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By:Francette Phal

“What can I do for you, Alex?” he inquired laconically and Dominic was pleased to see that he had the good sense to look anxious.

“You…you said I could contact you if I had information about Eden.”

“And do you? Have information on Eden, that is?”

He smiled triumphantly at Dominic. Rising just a bit out of the leather chair to search for something in his back pocket, he slid a piece of folded paper towards the dark haired man. Dominic simply raised an eyebrow as he stared at the offensive crumpled paper. “What exactly am I looking at?” He didn’t move, didn’t even reach out to touch it. He returned his gaze to the grinning man and itched to press the button for security.

“That’s your girl, man. I found your bitch!”

In that instant Alex paled considerably, wishing he could take the words back as hunter green eyes pinioned him, nearly drawing blood from where he sat. There wasn’t much he knew of this man. All Alex saw was the grandness, the wealth, and the fact that Dominic Armstrong could very well be the answer to all his money problems. But looking at him now, caught temporarily in those cold, calculating eyes, he wondered whether he hadn’t bitten off more than he could chew.

“Be very careful, Alex,” he began voice like sandpaper on silk, “I don’t take kindly to people insulting my wife.” His lips drew back, showing nothing but teeth. “Now, I strongly suggest you tell me exactly why you are here, or I will have security escort you out.”

“She’s in Amesbury. She’s been sending my girl some money every few months. I was looking through Jenna’s things and I found that.” He pointed at the crumpled paper. “It’s an envelope that has a post office box address on it, but I’m sure you can find her with it. It has her name on it—Eden Mercer.”

So it did. Dominic, having reached for the wrinkly envelope minutes ago, peered at it now while his mind worked. Laughter nearly burbled up from his gut. Right under his own fucking nose. A whole year, searching as he had, and she’d been right under his nose! Simply brilliant.

“You...you said you’d pay me if I had information.”

And pay him he would, for Alex had given him something the highly paid PI he’d hired couldn’t have: his pet’s location.

With a Cheshire Cat grin, he glanced at Alex. “Twenty thousand dollars, as promised. See yourself out and my personal assistant will cut you a check.”

When he was alone again, Dominic pored over the crumpled envelope as though it had more to convey. He looked at the perfect curve of her writing. She’d touched this. His fingers traced the blue ink absentmindedly. He could remember that night he’d returned and had found her gone. Dominic had nearly lost his mind. His rage had blinded him to everything, pushing him far too close to murder; it’d taken an act of God alone to bring him back from the edge. But he’d been wrathful, scouring nearly every crevice for her to no avail. He’d torn the mansion upside down looking for clues, anything that would tell him where she’d gone.

It’d taken holding Bruce at gunpoint before his so called best friend confessed to his part in abetting Dominic’s deceitful wife. That bit of information had led him to the stripper and her boyfriend, the one who’d just left Dominic’s office. He’d gone to Italy on the off chance that he would find her, but he’d realized how stupid that had been considering he lacked the exact destination. Every trail he’d chased had been a dead end. But he’d refused to stop; nothing would’ve made him stop looking for her. He would’ve searched for her until his dying breath. But it wouldn’t come to that it seemed. He finally found her, and it was high time he returned his pet to her cage. Dominic had underestimated her once; he wouldn’t make the same mistake twice.

Chapter Four

Jenna knew she shouldn’t have pushed, but with Alex’s track record it was only natural for her to be apprehensive, especially after coming into such a large amount of money. The last time he’d had nearly this much money, it’d been borrowed from a few unscrupulous people who hadn’t been shy in detailing exactly how easy it would be to not only break Alex’s body, but take a piece of Jenna’s ass in the process. She’d spent nearly two months on her back getting the loan sharks their money back, and Jenna wasn’t about to go through that shit again. So she’d posed the question when he’d returned from clubbing with “the guys”. She’d ignored the pussy and liquor cologne that oozed off him like noxious fumes and instead got straight to the point. His reply had been a brusque shove that sent her stumbling back. She’d returned with a slap to his face, and he’d countered with a punch to hers, the sort of punch a guy would throw during a fight with another guy. It’d hurt like a motherfucker, and despite the fact that she’d taken more than her fair share of his love taps, this one hadn’t hurt any less. He hadn’t stopped there; one punch was never enough for him.

To minimize the damage, Jenna had assumed the fetal position, one she’d become accustomed to over the course of their relationship. She didn’t know how long it lasted, but when he’d finally grown tired, she was a mass of burning agony. Every inch of her being throbbed mercilessly, and she knew he’d broken a few things. Blood coated the inside of her mouth, nearly gagging her. Breathing was agony, moving was sheer hell. So she’d lain there, praying for the darkness at the fringes of her vision to consume her. But her body refused to shut down, refused to give in, and when he’d began to disrobe her, carelessly tugging her jeans down her hips and further down her legs, Jenna had dared to attempt an escape.

“This is the only thing you’re good for, Jen,” ’he’d grunted in her ear, “and you can’t even give good pussy right.” He’d been short of breath as he’d carelessly flipped her onto her stomach. His weight had fallen on her again, and he’d raised her hips to brutally thrust into her. Jenna had closed her eyes and prayed it would be over. When he’d finished, he’d gone out again, leaving her exactly where she was now, prone on the hardwood floor. In an attempt to assuage the pain, she allowed her mind to wander.

She can’t remember her parents because she never had any. Well, she did technically because two people did fuck to conceive her, but she’d never known who they were. She’d grown up in the foster system, bounced around from home to home, and had no stability whatsoever. Puberty hit her all in the right places far too early, and one too many men who were supposed to nurture her took notice and took advantage. Jenna grew up too fucking quick. Her first time was with the high school quarterback. She could barely remember his name now, but he’d been a senior and she’d had a thing for older men and muscle cars. In the backseat of his Mustang behind the football field, her popularity had been forged in virgin blood. She became known as the quick and dirty girl. She’d met Alex when she’d been sixteen and he got her a job at the Crazy Pussy. He said she’d be his girl, and they’d been together since.

What Jenna had begun to realize a very long time ago was that being Alex’s girl was like being fucked in the ass without lube, and she was getting tired of limping her ass everywhere. Getting off the floor was a huge challenge, and it took nearly all she had, but she managed the feat. She was a ball of agony, and propped up against the loveseat, she felt like the loneliest person on the face of the earth. Raising a hand up she felt around for the bag she’d left on the loveseat when she’d arrived home earlier. She looked at the phone in her hand, tears pooling in her eyes. She shouldn’t call. They’d promised each other to have as little contact as possible to maintain Eden’s whereabouts and to keep Jenna safe. But Jenna needed her best friend. She was the only family she had.

“Hello?” Eden answered tucking her phone between her ear and her shoulder while she rummaged for her keys.


Eden’s heart lurched for a second in a desperate attempt to come up her throat at the sound of that voice. She stopped her search and took the phone in hand. “Jenna, what’s wrong?”

“I know you said not to call, but Alex and I had a fight…” she trailed off, but Eden instantly knew the implication of that. Alex had laid into her again. For the life of her, Eden still could not understand why Jenna stayed with the scumbag when he treated her no better than a punching bag with a convenient hole to stick his dick in when the mood struck him. Alex was a piece of shit boyfriend and each and every time he laid a hand on Jenna, Eden wanted to gut him.

“How bad is it?” she asked, stepping inside her apartment.

Eden heard her sigh, the sound coming from a place that was familiar to her, too. It was a broken sound, a tired sound that came from living a tumultuous life that never seemed to end. “It’s not too bad, but it hurts to breathe…my face is pretty banged up, too.”

Eden swore under her breath. Promising Jenna that she was on her way, she hung up the phone. Eden didn’t go into much detail with the Amy, her sitter, simply that there was emergency she needed to tend to and would pay double her regular fee if she stayed with Liam for a few more hours. Ami readily agreed, and with a kiss on a sleeping Liam’s cheek, Eden was out the door again.