Billionaire UnveiledBy: J.S. Scott
I wrapped my arms around my own body to comfort myself. “Can you keep my secrets?” I asked in a raspy voice. “There’s really no reason for anyone to know.”
“You’ll need counseling, Danica,” Marcus answered hoarsely. “But yes, I can keep your secrets. What you tell people is completely up to you.”
I sat down on the bed, my knees ready to give out from fear. I wanted to talk to somebody, but not my family. He was right. I probably would need therapy after what had happened, but I really didn’t want to share this with my family. My sense of shame and humiliation was too raw. They all thought I was crazy to be running into turmoil and war zones. I didn’t want them to know all the consequences of my job. All it would do was worry them when I eventually wanted to go back to work.
Marcus took off his suit jacket and tossed it over a small dresser in the room, and then took a seat in a chair near the bed. “I’m listening, Danica. Maybe you can’t call me a friend, but I’m here to help if you need me.”
He was composed, seemingly ready to hear about my experience.
The revulsion and humiliation I’d experienced when I was raped and beaten so often that I wasn’t able to keep track of how many times it happened. And that once the rebels were finished with my body, how I’d wondered if that time would be the last.
I tried to swallow the lump in my throat as I glanced at Marcus’s unreadable expression. Uncertain whether I could keep looking him in the eyes while I dumped my entire experience with the terrorists on him, I reached over and switched off the overhead light before I sat cross-legged in the middle of the bed.
Maybe I couldn’t tell Marcus every single detail of my experience as a captive, but I knew I needed to vent and let some of my anger and fear exit my body by putting it all out in the open.
Satisfied that I couldn’t see much of his expression in the dim light, I started to talk…
As promised, Marcus listened, occasionally letting me know that how I was feeling was perfectly natural considering what had happened.
By the time the flight was over, I’d collected myself and said a brief good-bye to the man who’d been my comfort and my confidant before I joined my sister in Washington, DC.
It would be a year before we met again, and he’d be responsible for stealing me away from somebody else one more time, but in very different circumstances…
“What in the fuck am I doing here?” I muttered to myself irritably as I trudged down the crappy sidewalk in one of Miami’s rougher areas.
The area was dimly lit, and the caliber of the neighborhood I was walking through had gone swiftly downhill. I hadn’t been in Miami for a year or two, but it always amazed me that the affluent areas could abruptly end, and a short walk later, I’d end up in a dump.
Not that I gave a damn. I’d left my car and driver several blocks back, and in a better area. My elderly driver, George, didn’t need to get his blood pressure up any higher, and I’d badly needed to clear my head with a walk before I met up with Danica.
I wasn’t worried about my personal safety. I knew at least a hundred different ways to kill bad guys, and I was packing a loaded Glock under my suit jacket. If anybody wanted to screw with me, I’d make them sorry they were ever born. Hell, I’d actually welcome a decent fight right now. I was just that pissed off.
Dani and I had been in the same city a time or two in Europe, but we hadn’t really seen each other. Okay, maybe I’d seen her, but she hadn’t actually seen me. I’d known she was there because I’d made it a point to watch out for her and follow her work destinations. It hadn’t really surprised me when she went back to reporting soon after she’d physically recovered. She was still in hot spots all over the world. The only place I hadn’t seen her was the Middle East.
Then, a few months ago, I’d stopped seeing her altogether, and I hadn’t been able to get much information about where she was going for her stories.
Now I knew why.
I’d been in Seattle a few days ago, and I’d dropped by Jett Lawson’s place to see how he was recovering. Even though it had been a couple of years since Jett had nearly gotten killed on our last PRO mission together, he still required surgeries to repair some of his injuries. Most of the operations were cosmetic at this point, done to cover some of his scars. Unfortunately, thanks to his bitch of an ex-fiancée, some of Jett’s emotional pain wasn’t going to heal anytime soon.
But his own love life and ex-future marital partner hadn’t been my buddy’s concern when I stopped by to visit. Jett’s thoughts had been diverted to his sister Danica’s new boyfriend.