Make Me Stay – Excerpt
Ten minutes later they were seated at a quaint restaurant in the center of town. Cade had requested a quiet table in the back so they wouldn't be interrupted. He was confused enough and didn't need any distractions. Being a well-known businessman, he was always running into people who wanted to have a drink with him. Gracie's return would probably be the talk of the town in a matter of days.
Once they ordered dinner and the waitress poured their wine he'd had enough small talk. He wanted answers.
"Why did you come back?"
"I told you." Gracie sipped her wine. "I took a job here."
"Do you think I'm stupid?"
"Of course not." She lowered her head.
"Don't do that."
"Just look at me." He was puzzled over her return and her elusiveness frustrated him.
She quickly raised her gaze, meeting his eyes.
"You walked away from this town without a trace. I don't believe you would come back after all this time to consult. Something isn't right."
"You told me to leave."
"Me!" He tapped his chest. "I told you to leave me. I never expected you to disappear. I thought I'd know where you were and what you were doing." Even though he told her to go, he'd always intended to take care of her.
"Without you, there wasn't anything here for me. You were everything. I had no family. I lived in your house. Where did you expect me to go?"
"We could have figured it out together. I would have made sure you were taken care of." She'd always been his responsibility and when she left he panicked she'd end up on the street.
"I needed to go. I had to figure out who I was. That's what you wanted."
"I wanted you to be happy."
"I am." She smiled. "I told you, I met someone who helped me."
"Then why aren't you with him?" He didn't like to think about her with another man. It infuriated him to know someone else touched what was his, even if he did let her go. "Are you running from him? Is that why you're back here? Do you need my help?"
She laughed. "I could never run from Martin."
He hated knowing his name. "So, Martin was your boyfriend?"
"Not really." She took another sip of her wine.
Her mysterious behavior pissed him off. She'd better start talking and fast.
"Your husband?" He felt his blood boil. Could she have gotten married?
"Cade," she said as she reached for his hand. "I don't want you to freak, but Martin was my Dom. I was his submissive."