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Destined for the Dom

By:Jan Bowles


Prologue




Dressed as Genghis Khan, Hunter Black scanned the large room. The New Year masquerade party was going down a blast. Club Submission was packed to overflowing with party revelers. They all wore fancy dress costumes, most of which revealed plenty of flesh, leaving very little to the imagination. He smiled knowingly, but then what did he expect. Submission was a BDSM club, and just about anything and everything went down here. Yeah, every sexual fantasy a man or woman desired could be enjoyed right here at Club Submission. As a Dom, he felt right at home.

Quite early on in life he’d discovered his predisposition for the D/s lifestyle. He needed the buzz of a woman’s submission as much as the air that he breathed.

The clock struck twelve, and a huge cheer went up. “Happy New Year, everyone,” shouted the tall well-built guy fondling his sub’s naked breast.

As the club erupted into a slightly out-of-tune rendition of “Auld Lang Syne,” he moved across to the bar and pulled out a stool. “Hey, Todd, give me a bourbon will you. A large one to see the New Year in, and have one yourself, buddy.”

“Thanks, Hunter.” Todd filled two shot glasses, and slid one across the bar. “So where’s Trudy?”

Hunter raised the glass. “Me and Trudy split.”

“That’s too bad. I thought you two were getting serious?”

Hunter lazily swirled the golden liquor around his glass. Settling down was the last thing on his mind. He’d seen too much destruction in the world. “Nah, you know me, Todd. I’m not a settling-down type of guy.”

“That’s what Zane said. Now look at him.”

They both watched Zane dancing with his gorgeous new sub, Emma. Dressed as the devil and Cleopatra, they looked incredibly happy as they embraced. Hunter had to admit he felt a little envious, but he wouldn’t let on to Todd. Instead he turned away from the smooching couple.

This year everything seemed more poignant than ever. A young woman who’d frequented the club had tragically lost her life. Why had it happened? He’d only known her by sight, but he just couldn’t shake her image from his mind. It seemed such a waste, but it also underlined how fleeting life could be.

His thoughts drifted to the past. His life simply overflowed with regrets. Why couldn’t he keep any of the promises he’d made? Maybe then he wouldn’t be so lonely.

Trying to stave off his melancholy, he asked the barman, “So have you made any New Year’s resolutions, Todd?”

“Nope, not a one. As a single guy, I just take life as it comes. What about you?”

Hunter threw back his head and took a large slug of bourbon. “I only ever made one New Year resolution in my whole Goddamn life. I didn’t stick to it, so I’ll be damned if I make the same mistake again.”

Once again he was reminded of his past. Of course, as a thirty-two-year-old man, he’d had his fair share of regrets, but failing to keep a New Year’s promise fourteen years ago was a low point in his life. He remembered the girl he’d made it to—Zoë Leighton. He’d made a pledge back then, but hadn’t seen it through. Even though they were just kids at the time, it still left a bitter taste in his mouth. He recalled his very words.

I promise I’ll come back for you, Zoë. I’ll find a place for us to live. As soon as you’re old enough to leave here, I’ll come back for you.

It was all going to be so simple, but as usual, life had other ideas. That was a long time ago now, and he’d never once returned to Pittsburgh in all that time. Fuck. He shook his head. What a selfish, uncaring prick he’d been, but he just couldn’t face seeing Zoë’s disappointment.

At eighteen, he’d enrolled in the Marines, figuring the don’t-give-a-fuck lifestyle would suit him perfectly.

Some decisions were right, while others were downright suicidal. The Marines had seriously fucked him up. He’d really enjoyed the intensive physical training, but a stint in Iraq, followed almost immediately by a long tour of duty in Afghanistan had changed him beyond all recognition.

The sheer horror of what he’d seen and done had fucked with his mind. Just like vultures picking over the bones of a dead carcass, his time in the US Marine Corps had stripped him clean of all feeling and emotion. Now all that remained was a fighting machine devoid of love and intimacy.

So just where had the freethinking and optimistic Hunter Black gone—the young guy Zoë had depended on?

He took another slug of bourbon, and slid the empty glass across the counter. “Same again, Todd.” Melancholy forced him to wonder what had happened to that beautiful green-eyed girl. Was she happy? He hoped she was far happier than he was. He guessed by now she’d be married with a family of her own.

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