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Destined for the Dom(9)

By:Jan Bowles

He held her hands tenderly in his, and smoothed his thumbs over the damaged skin. She saw anger in his eyes. “This ex-boyfriend of yours is a complete jerk. I’d kick the crap out of him if he were here now. This shouldn’t happen if you know what you’re doing.”

“And I suppose you do?”

“Too right I do. The club I belong to wouldn’t allow that to happen. At Club Submission, behavior like that is not tolerated. It’s called abuse.”

“Club Submission?” It sounded intriguing. “So what goes on there?”

“Anything and everything, so long as it’s between consensual adults. It’s not a place for the fainthearted or the easily offended. I’m a good friend of the owners, Matthew and Ethan. I’m sure they’d find you a job, that’s if you wanted one.”

“Doing what?” Zoë had to admit she was sorely tempted. She was a single woman. There was nothing keeping her in Pittsburgh.

“I know they’re short staffed on the bar. It might not be glamorous, but it’s well paid.”

“Why do you want to help?”

“When we first met you were barely eight years old. You were just a vulnerable, frightened little girl. Now you’re a frightened, vulnerable woman. I can’t leave you here. We share a connection. We always have.”

“But you didn’t bother for fourteen years, Hunter. Why the sudden change of heart?”

“I always hoped you were happily married with a family of your own, Zoë. I wanted to believe that you were living the American Dream. I wanted to believe that you had it all—a loving husband, beautiful children. You know the sort of shit—the house with the white picket fence. That’s what I wanted to believe anyway.”

“Yeah, you and me both, Hunter. So what can I say? Sometimes life really sucks.”

Chapter Four

The next day

“My God, Hunter. Is that your home?” Openmouthed, Zoë pointed to the large brick built house, as his Cherokee swept up the drive. “Didn’t the St. Mark’s boy do well.”

Hunter smiled. “Zoë, don’t forget I spent ten years in the Marines. I managed to save a fair bit. I guess I made a few shrewd investments along the way, too. Plus my job as an Air Marshal pays well.”

It had been hard to convince Zoë to return to Boston with him, but in the end she’d hesitantly agreed. As soon as he’d seen her seedy apartment in a rundown area of Pittsburgh, he’d felt obliged to help out. He’d practically seethed with rage at the way she’d been treated by her ex. If the guy had turned up while he was there, he’d have sent the prick into the next world.

Once Zoë had finally made the decision to leave with him, she’d become enthused and animated. Her natural high was infectious, and even Hunter, who rarely smiled, couldn’t stop grinning. From then on it had been a frantic scramble to pack everything. Luckily, he’d managed to arrange a moving company at short notice. In the space of just two hours, they’d packed nearly all her belongings, and were sending them on by freight.

As for their relationship and what would develop, who knew? Some might say he was a fool bringing her home, and perhaps he was. If he were to bring a woman back to the house as he occasionally had in the past, she would seriously cramp his style. Nevertheless, he instinctively knew that Zoë was the missing piece of his jigsaw. Somehow, when he was with her, he felt whole again, and he hadn’t felt like that in a long, long time. She was part of his past, and maybe, just maybe, she could become part of his future. Whatever happened, he couldn’t beat himself up over it, because this time, he hadn’t left her to fend for herself. Now he had peace of mind, and that was priceless.

He squeezed her hand. “Jump out, and I’ll show you around.”

“I can’t wait. You’ve done so well for yourself, Hunter. I’m real proud of you.”

After sliding from the driver’s seat, he walked around the car and opened the passenger door for his new lady.

Hunter placed his arm protectively around her shoulder, and guided her to the door. “I’ll show you the downstairs first, and then your room. Most probably you’ll want to catch up on all that sleep you’ve missed.”

“Are you kidding? I’m so excited. I don’t think I’ll sleep for a week.”

Once inside, Hunter picked up a stray sock that he’d left discarded on the floor. As a single guy, he hoped there was nothing else embarrassing left lying around. “As you can see I don’t exactly keep the place tidy.”

“You’re a man, so what’s new.” She joked. Zoë gasped with delight as she looked at the ceiling. “Oh, a chandelier. It’s so beautiful.”