Trained(The Monroe Trilogy Book 2)

By: Cynthia Dane

“Really? You? Scared of anything?”

He neither frowned nor smiled. “All children are scared of something. I was afraid of crashing. I remember my mother piling a ton of blankets on top of me and suffocating me until I felt safe. She spent a whole three hour flight like that.”

“You remember how long it was?”

“I remember we flew from here to somewhere in Ohio. Random details like that stick with you.”

“Speaking of your mother…” No. Alice wouldn’t bring up that. For some reason she knew, in the back of her thickening head, that such a thing was a terrible idea. “Do you still talk to her? You’ve made it sound like she’s out of your life.”

Monroe leaned away from her, nose involuntarily crinkling. “I haven’t seen her in many years, no. After the divorce, my mother disappeared from my life. I couldn’t even tell you where she lives now.”

“You haven’t gone looking for her?” Even if Alice hadn’t known about some crazy allegations, it was at least strange to her that a grown man with the means and money hadn’t gone searching for his mother.

“She left my life for a reason. I don’t have the time or resources to go looking for someone who clearly doesn’t care about me. My father… no, never mind.”

What if I told you otherwise? His father? Alice had a hunch that whatever Russell was telling his son was nothing but a bunch of lies. Yet how did a woman tell her boyfriend, whom she barely knew, that his father was akin to a shitweasel?

“I’m sorry to hear about that.”

“Your parents are still together, right?”

That question caught her off guard. “Yes, they are.” Alice’s father still took her mother on surprise trips every birthday and anniversary. Sometimes they weren’t much, but even staying in a hotel a few towns away and pretending to be tourists was better than sitting around home and waiting for something fun to happen.

“I’m rather envious of that. Most of the couples I know who are my parents’ age have either divorced or only stay together out of propriety. There’s nothing like respect there, whether emotionally or physically. What I mean is that there is a lot of infidelity,” Monroe was quick to explain. “I don’t want that in my life. I want someone I can see myself being happy with forever. I would divorce before I cheated.”

The plane was definitely moving. Alice wondered if she should buckle up. For takeoff or what Monroe was saying? Who knew? “You have a lot of honor in your relationships.”

“Honor? I suppose so. All I know is that I don’t want to go through the hassle of marrying someone and keeping them by my side unless I was willing to make it work. Ironically, I’ve met quite a few men like me lately. Perhaps there is a surge of lovesick husbands emerging who can’t imagine anything but their monogamy.” Was that a smile tugging at his face? “It would be nice to think about. That even the biggest playboy can meet the woman of his dreams and settle down to eternal happiness.”

Things were seriously starting to come together. The wistful longing for “the one.” The plans to create a happy home through a happier marriage. The constant talk of honor and dues. Damon Monroe, for all his intimidating qualities, wanted the same things Alice did. They both wanted a loving, long-term monogamous relationship that would culminate in them creating the family he never got to have growing up. Forget all the conspiracies regarding his mother – in the end, it was about familial happiness. And sexual happiness, Alice supposed.

“You take everything very seriously,” Alice pointed out.

“Yes, I do.” His arm curled around her, fingers stroking her bare shoulders as they poked out from her red top. “I invest seriously. I love seriously. I make my plans seriously.”

Alice grinned against his chest as he took her over on the couch. “What are your current plans, Mr. Monroe?”

He smiled against her throat. “My current long-term plans are to secure more business transactions for my family and to make you my wife. Every business decision I make right now has you guiding it, whether you know it or not.”

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