I promised her that I’d live my best life once I was free.
It was that promise that led me to Voyeur–to Daniel.
What better place to conquer my fear of intimacy than a club that allows you to watch? Who better to help me than the owner himself?
On night one, my past comes roaring back, urging me to run like I always had before.
This time I ran into his arms.
With my fear still clinging to my skin, he brushed it away and made his own promise.
“I’ll teach you.”
His promise turns to friendship. A friendship turns to passion.
We didn’t know what to do with that passion— between the not-so-broken girl and the man who promised to never love again.
Daniel and I started because of a promise, and I hoped that we wouldn’t end because of one too.
“Ignore them,” Daniel said. “Just be yourself. Carina was right though, take a deep breath to help keep from word vomiting. Also,” he held up a finger. “Always have an out. Feeling trapped in a situation can make it worse.”
“An out. A hand signal with a friend to rescue you. A phone call. Anything.”
“Okay.” I took a fortifying breath, pulling myself upright, stretching my neck side to side.
“How about him?” Daniel nodded to a guy at the end of the bar.
He looked…safe. A button-down with his sleeves rolled up his forearms. Longish, light brown hair that kept falling into his eyes, and a mouth that smiled each time the bartender talked to him.
“He’s looked down here more than once.”
“Don’t look so shocked. You’re a knockout, Hanna.”
Flashes of Daniel staring between my thighs as he came bombarded my brain, and I shook them off. That probably wasn’t what he thought about when he complimented my looks.
“If things get to be too much, just brush your middle finger along your brow. I’ll come rescue you.”
“My hero.” I pretended to swoon.
He laughed and shoved my shoulder. “Go. Remember deep breaths and be yourself.”
I edged around the bodies on shaky legs until I was finally able to lean my elbows on the bar next to the stranger. Daniel spoke to Jackson on the opposite end but kept glancing my way, making me feel secure.
“Hi,” I said.
He looked to me with the deepest brown eyes I think I’d ever seen. His lips tipped up into an easy smile that was even more devastating less than two feet away. “Hey,” he greeted.
His deep voice hit me in the chest, and I took a deep breath before letting words tumble free.
“Can I get you a drink?” I asked.
“Isn’t that my line?”
I leaned in conspiratorially. “I know the bartender.”
“Ohhh,” he nodded in understanding. “Sure. I’m not one to turn down a free drink from a pretty lady.”
His compliment hit me, creating a swirl of pride, mixing with the typical fear in my chest. I did my best to shove down all the scenarios where this man kidnapped me, and I was forced to use the one hour of self-defense Daniel taught me to save my life.
Jackson looked over, and I shouted our drinks. When I looked back to the man, he’d shifted on his stool to fully face me, hand held out. “Zane.”
I swallowed, looking down at his large hand, mentally preparing to place mine in his. My heart thundered, and just as soon as my hand was in his, I quickly snatched it back. If he noticed my discomfort, he was nice enough to not call me out on it.
“Hanna,” I introduced, swallowing the nerves.
“Nice to meet you, Hanna.”
With one last look to Daniel and another deep breath, I sat on the stool beside him and tried to flirt.
It ended up being less flirting and more like talking. Two strangers getting to know each other. And the thing I got to know about Zane was that he liked to drink. One drink turned into two and then into three. All within a thirty-minute span. When his attention began to drift more to my chest than my face, red flags started waving. When his hand landed on my thigh, entirely too high for anyone’s liking, I knew it was time to get out.
I jerked to the side, pulling away and ramming my knee into the bar.
Glancing over, I thankfully found Daniel’s eyes on mine. I rubbed my brow with my middle finger and waited. Less than a minute later, heat pressed to my back, and Daniel’s familiar spicy orange scent wrapped around me.
“Baby,” he said against my ear. “I know I said we could do a threesome, but I’ve changed my mind. I want you all to myself tonight.”
I could barely focus on Zane’s glassy eyes widening. All my senses focused on the way Daniel’s arms wrapped around my middle. The quick zap of panic at the first touch quickly faded to a happy buzz.
“Uhhh,” Zane mumbled. “What?”
“We like to get a little weird. You don’t mind being my bottom, right?”
Zane’s hands flew up as he sat back. “Whoa. Sorry, Hanna. Not my thing.” His face scrunched up. “You seemed so normal,” he muttered.
I could only muster a high-pitched laugh of discomfort.
Warm lips trailed up my neck to my ear. “Come on, baby. I’ve got plans for you.”
Daniel gripped my hand and led me back over to our seat. Still in shock over the rush of sensations, I could do nothing but sit there, wide-eyed, and waiting for the next move.
He dragged his hand through his hair and leaned his elbows against the bar, smiling. “Still your hero?”
“Yeah,” I laughed. “Just a really dirty one.”
“You want to try again?”
“I think I’m good for tonight. As not-great as that was, I think it was a step up from earlier.”
“I’m proud of you for trying.”
His compliment almost had me bouncing in my seat. “I learned from the best.”
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Fiona Cole is a military wife and a stay at home mom with degrees in biology and chemistry. As much as she loved science, she decided to postpone her career to stay at home with her two little girls, and immersed herself in the world of books until finally deciding to write her own.