Traded(7)

By: Rebecca Brooke



“Okay.”

I grabbed a bottle of white wine from the cooler and poured a glass. Handing it to her, I looked at the menu in her lap. “Did you decide what you want to eat?”

“Whatever you’re going to have is fine.”

Elena’s eyes hadn’t moved from the floor since her piece of shit husband left. She was subservient and submissive; two things I liked from a woman, but only in the bedroom.

“Elena, when was the last time you ordered your own meal?”

Her head lifted. Her eyes were dazed. “Dominic doesn’t take me to restaurants. He says I don’t look nice enough to take out.”

Fuck, it kept getting worse. While the dress she wore didn’t fit her very well, she had an appealing face. First thing in the morning, I was going to get her set up with some new clothes, and some other appointments. I had a feeling the poor woman had never been pampered a day in her life. It struck me that the reason she sat before me was because her husband owed me money, yet I thought nothing of spending some on her.

I covered her hand with mine, but Elena snatched hers away and I sighed, pulling back. “I’m not sure what your husband told you, but you are beautiful. And you can pick anything you want for dinner.” Knowing that giving her permission might only get us so far, I picked up the menu and began to offer suggestions. “Do you prefer meat or fish?”

“I’ve never had fish that wasn’t flounder.”

“You’ve never had salmon?”

She shook her head.

“Okay then. Let’s have you try something new. I’ll have them send up a chicken dish as well, in case you don’t like it.”

“You don’t have to do that. Whatever you get will be fine.”

“Elena, it’s not a problem. You’ve had a challenging day. Now take a sip of your wine. I’ll order dinner.”

I watched her bring the glass to her full lips. For a moment she stared at the liquid, tipping it up to take her first sip. Satisfied, I walked over to the phone that connected me directly with the concierge and placed our order.

She watched me place the order, her eyes growing bigger as I listed enough food for five people.

“Of course, Mr. Hawes. We’ll have everything up there as soon as we can.”

“Thank you, Robert.”

Hanging up the phone, I returned to my seat and watched Elena for a few moments. She looked uncomfortable, awkwardly perched on the edge of the chair. I wanted to find a way to get her to relax. So much for a peaceful night of baseball.

“You didn’t need to order all that food.”

“Well, Brock and I need to eat too.”

“Brock?” Her head snapped up, looking all around the room.

“Yes, Brock. He’s imposing but I promise he won’t hurt you.”

“That’s not what you told Dominic.”

A little more forceful. Maybe there was hope for her after all. “Yes, but I couldn’t listen to him spew more shit. Idiot has verbal diarrhea.”

She looked out the front window and down onto the field. “He just wants me to be the best wife I can. I’m not very good at it.”

“Don’t think like that. Not many women would go along with what happened here tonight, but we can talk about that tomorrow. Have you ever seen a baseball game before?”

A small tear escaped from the corner of her eye. “Never.”

“Then please, for tonight, sit back and enjoy. We can worry about everything else tomorrow.”

She didn’t say anything, but she did lean back in her seat, the glass of wine gripped tightly in her hand. Whatever her husband had put her through, there was a strong woman underneath. My guess: she’d hidden that person for so long that she’d forgotten how to stand up for herself.

When dinner arrived, her eyes rounded as the waiter pushed in the cart with the food. Her focus solely on that, she missed Brock returning to the box. He quietly took a seat at the bar, behind where she sat and once the waiter had placed our food on the tables in front of us, he took Brock his steak.

Elena picked up her fork and speared a piece of salmon. Just like the wine earlier, she examined it before putting it in her mouth. It became evident that she liked it when she immediately went back for another bite. I barely tasted my steak. Watching her eat fascinated me.

“That was delicious.” She dabbed at the corners of her mouth, placing her napkin on her plate.

“I’m glad you liked it.”

There was another knock at the door. Taking two drops in one night was dangerous, but I was tired of giving up nights in the restaurant.

Derrick Reynolds walked in. Unlike Dominic, he had a confident swagger and a smirk on his face. The first thing I noticed was lack of bag. I dealt in cash. I’m not sure what he was thinking.

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