Trained(The Monroe Trilogy Book 2)

By: Cynthia Dane


“How lovely!” Alice swung her legs over the side of the table. “I’ve always wanted to be a mother.”



***



The situation was unfortunately simple: Alice couldn’t be seen in any high profile places, so when she went to New York, she flew commercial and kept her shopping to the boutiques the middle class considered upscale.

To Alice, the dresses she thumbed through on the racks were made of the finest quality and romantic. Set aside those romantic notions. Okay, maybe a little romance. Was it a terrible thing to giggle as she pulled a discount Dior dress off the rack? The bargain!

“That one would look so beautiful on you,” the salesperson said behind her. “Would you like to try it on?”

Alice held up the strapless cocktail dress to the mirror. “I think so.”

As she slipped into a fitting room, she received a text from her mother. “Are you still visiting tonight?”

Of course Alice was. She wouldn’t go to New York and not visit her parents on Long Island, right? Besides, this was her last chance to see her family before everything officially changed. For all of them.



***



“Dee!” Alice dropped her shopping bags and jumped into the woman’s arms. “I was hoping it would be you!”

“Ah, shucks. When Mr. Monroe calls me to come back to work for you, I ain’t gonna say no. You’re fun, ma’am.”

“Please. Alice.”

They parted. Dee was back in her bodyguard uniform and all felt right in Alice’s world. Well, minus the part where she now needed a bodyguard more than ever. “You’re back at work in time. Tomorrow’s the big day.” Every time Alice thought about it, her heart fluttered and her stomach exploded in anxiety. That was normal, right? Everyone got cold feet.



***



Under Monroe’s watchful eye, Alice rearranged her paperwork she kept in a safe in the hotel room.

“As soon as your name is attached to that account, it will be all yours,” he said, stroking her long hair. The leash coiled from Alice’s collar to his other hand. A kiss touched the top of her head. “All the money I put into it will be rerouted through five different countries. I’m not saying it’s totally untraceable, but it won’t be easy even if someone is looking for it.”

“You take such good care of me.”

The leash tugged at her throat. Alice wasn’t done with her reorganizing, however. “I’ll start putting money into it as soon as the paperwork goes through. It’s all yours, my love. Pay your bills, invest, do whatever you want.”

“I will, sir.”

He stopped her chore long enough to tip her head back and kiss her. Alice almost fell beneath his spell for the second time that day – but there was work to do! So much to do. Tomorrow was a big day.



***



“You sure you don’t want to invite your friend or even your mother?”

“No,” Alice said after endless consideration. “They wouldn’t understand. Let’s save it for the real thing.”

Monroe agreed. The fewer people who knew, the better.

“You’re sure you want to use that ring?” He meant his mother’s wedding ring.

“What better trinket to send a message to your father?” Alice had few pleasures to indulge in. Her fiancé and the look on Russell’s face when his whole world crumbled were two of them.

“You’re more sadistic than I ever gave you credit for, my love.”

“Takes a sadist to know one.”

“Touché.”



***



The judge stepped out of his chambers and shook Monroe’s hand. “Look at you! Thought for sure you were bullshitting me when you called me last week.” He shook Alice’s hand as well.

Monroe kept a protective arm around Alice’s midsection. The Dior dress kept riding up her thighs, damnit. “I trust that your reelection campaign is going well?”

“With your donation? Of course.” The judge gestured to the podium at the front of the room. Julia and Dee already stood there, dressed in Sunday best. Julia pulled out a handkerchief and dabbed her one good eye. It was that sort of thing that gave Alice strength today. “Shall we?” The judge’s voice was as ominous as the seven trumpets heralding the Apocalypse.

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