Traded(4)

By: Rebecca Brooke



“I guess that’ll have to do. Let’s go.”

Taking my arm he led me out to the car.

“Where are we going?” I was practically bouncing in my seat with excitement.

“Don’t worry about it. You’ll see when we get there,” he snapped.

The almost imperceptible shaking of Dominic’s hands caught my attention. He was nervous, something I’d never seen from him—even when we’d woken up married after a long night in Vegas. How much had changed since then.

We pulled into the lot of the baseball stadium. Excitement tore through me. Baseball was Dominic’s favorite sport and the fact he invited me to come see the game with him meant so much.

“You brought me to a game.” It was hard to keep the glee from my tone but I tried. I didn’t want him to change his mind or regret his decision, thinking I couldn’t behave.

“Just shut your mouth and do as I say.” He got out of the car and waited at the front for me to get out. I opened the door. “Grab your bag.”

I wanted to ask what I needed an overnight bag for but I’d already upset him enough. Quietly, I climbed from the car and followed him to the Will Call, where he checked in and strode to the elevators. Gripping the handles of my bag, I walked quickly to keep up, following him as we made a right down a hall where there was no access to seating. In front of us were about ten doors.

The club box section? How had he afforded this?

At the next to last door, Dominic knocked and waited. The silence was heavy, and I got a feeling in my gut that told me this evening wasn’t going to turn out the way I’d thought. I chanced a glance at Dominic using just my eyes, careful to keep my head lowered to the floor. His skin was void of all color. It sounded a stupid thing to say, but it was true. More often than not, his cheeks were reddened from alcohol, so to see him like this made me even more nervous. His hands fidgeted at his sides, and he bounced up and down on the balls of his feet. There was a noise on the other side of the door and he froze. After a few seconds, the door swung open to reveal a guy you’d expect to see sitting outside a club checking IDs, bouncing the idiots who didn’t belong. His gray T-shirt was extremely tight, stretched across muscles so large I knew the guy either took steroids or lived in a gym.

“Don’t stand there and hold the door open. Come in or leave.”

My attention was drawn to a man, sitting alone in the middle of the room. I drew in a deep breath and my lungs burned. It was like the air in here was different – thinner. Goose bumps erupted all over my body, even though the temperature was no different. I told myself I was being silly, but I’d always had the innate ability to sense danger. It was something that had likely saved me a few times with Dominic. I was always able to tell when his mood was worse than normal, ensuring I was even more careful. And with the feeling that had made its way from burning lungs to the base of my spine and was currently wrapping around my chest, making it difficult to breathe, I knew without a doubt that the man was no saint.

Dominic pushed me from behind, forcing me into the room. I looked back at him but he said nothing to explain what was going on. He grabbed my arm and pulled me forward.

“I hope the bag she’s carrying means you brought my fucking money,” the guy in the chair said and for the first time, I got a good look at him. His hair was a deep honey blond, the thin black-framed glasses perched on his nose contrasting nicely with his green eyes; shrewd eyes, trained on my husband.

Dominic raised his hands. “Ashton, hear me out for a moment.”

“I’ll take that as a sign you don’t have the rest of my money yet,” the man drawled, his words slow and drawn out.

The hair on the back of my neck prickled and I felt a presence behind me. Taking a quick peek over my shoulder, I saw that the huge, scary guy from earlier now stood directly behind Dominic. His eyes were narrowed, his muscular arms crossed over his chest.

“Give him a chance to explain, Brock,” Ashton said, lifting a glass of amber liquid to his lips. “I don’t think the asshole is stupid enough to come here without my money and not have another plan. Did you, Dominic?”

“No . . . ah, no . . . of course not. I do have something to offer you.” Dominic’s voice shook with every word. My gut screamed at me that something was very wrong. I folded my hands behind my back; afraid Dominic would see and reprimand me.

What money could this guy possibly be talking about? I knew we had credit card debt, but exactly how much, I didn’t know. Dominic took care of all of the bills. Said he didn’t want me to make mistakes.

I stumbled as Dominic pushed me from behind, my shoes catching on the carpet beneath my feet. “I’ve brought a trade.”

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