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Ssdei: Captive to the Dark(7)


“I bet.” Before I could go on, she cut me off. “Jordan, why don’t you tell Mary what you do? I’m sure she’d love to hear.”

No doubt he worked for his father. The rich spoiled son of some billionaire. But, isn’t that what everyone said about me? To please my sister I turned and gave him my full attention. The sudden courtesy had him looking down. Shy? Who, Jordan? I couldn’t imagine that. Not by the way he acted in the Jacuzzi.

“Well.” He took a deep breath and met my gaze. “I’m a lawyer. But it’s not a big deal, really.”

The shock couldn’t have hit me harder. My heart jumped. So he did take care of himself. No working for Brighton Industries after all. “That’s amazing. How do you like it?”

“I love it.” He smiled and went back to eating his salad. Talking about himself didn’t appear to sit well with him. I could relate, whether our reasons were different or not. Who was Jordan, really? The more I learned, the more appealing he became.

Bethany didn’t mind picking back up. “He’s amazing. You should see all the charities he’s a part of, too. Mainly ones concerning children. He’s so caring toward them. You two have a lot in common. You should talk about it. Later, when you’re alone, of course.”

We both nodded and the rest of the meal went by in silence. Rinsing the dishes quickly became my chore as I took the plates and headed to the sink. Anything to get out of more conversation. Charles was starting to talk about the client he was meeting. All three of them seemed to know who Mr. George was. Nothing about what they were saying held my interest enough to continue listening.

Glass clinked as I pushed in the rack and put a soap tab in. My approach back into the living area didn’t escape anyone’s notice.

“You two don’t mind if Charles and I have some romantic time on the top deck, do you? I’m afraid I haven’t seen him much lately, and the stars are awfully bright tonight.”

Well, I should have seen that coming. “Go ahead. Have fun.” I walked over and sat on the white leather sofa while Bethany grabbed her husband’s hand and pulled him out of the door.

“Persistent, isn’t she?” Jordan laughed and plopped down, leaving a cushion between us.

“Yeah, just a little.”

Weather reports played on the wide screen and I stared at it not seeing anything. Thoughts crowded my mind about everything that had played out to this point. Slowly, I turned to Jordan. It didn’t surprise me to see that he was watching. He looked at me a lot. Maybe it was a little creepy, but I didn’t quite feel fear. Just curiosity at what he was thinking.

“What you said in the Jacuzzi, about possibly wanting to get to know me...” I left the statement open, waiting to see what he was going to say. A part of me felt like I needed to work harder to get to know him. After all, he’d surprised me by going off and choosing a profession that was separate from his father’s business. I admired that.

Fingers rubbed down his dark hair while he brought his hand across the back of his head. “You’re different than anyone my father’s suggested.” His voice lowered. “Maybe I thought you were going to walk up looking like your sister’s twin. Don’t get me wrong, she’s beautiful, but I’m more interested in what’s going on upstairs.” He pointed to his head. “There’s a lot running through yours. I can see how you take in everything. There’s such anger and sorrow behind your eyes. I know the pain that lies there.”

The possibility of him having learned my secret had my back stiffening. “What do you know?” The softness of my tone almost got lost in the pulsing roar in my ears.

“You’ve been hurt. I don’t know how, or by whom, but it’s there. You try so hard to smile, but you can’t hide your hurt from me.”

I stood, half torn to flee, half trying to pretend he was wrong. If he could see it, who else could? “You’re hiding something, too.” I knew dark found each other, but I didn’t want him to see my pain, just my need to be ravaged in the harshest way. I wanted to be covered in welts. Possibly even bleed in order to obtain my pleasure.

“Perhaps. But we can agree we’re not like everyone else. True?”


“Sit.” He grinned and patted the cushion. “No need to get upset. Your secret is safe with me. You might not be, though.”

Chapter 2


The deck beneath my feet wasn’t as sturdy as I’d imagined. Waves still rolled in a gentle pattern, but I pushed forward, wanting to get as far away from the water as I could. Two days on a boat and I hadn’t got sick once. Not until I stepped off. Now I wasn’t so sure.