Trained(The Monroe Trilogy Book 2)

By: Cynthia Dane

Monroe stepped out and extended his hand to Alice. Sometimes he was cold, and sometimes he was a perfect gentleman.

Sometimes the places he took her were too unreal.

She knew they would be staying in a fancy, swank-as-hell hotel. That was a given. She wouldn’t be surprised at this point to find out he had his own apartment in downtown Chicago, although, as it turned out, he did not. He did have first dibs on a condo in a hotel. A condo in a hotel! Not any hotel, either. A world-famous name right on Michigan Avenue, which Alice quickly discovered was a big fucking deal. I can smell the water from here. That’s what she thought as Monroe took her hand and led her into the lobby, where no fewer than five finely-dressed employees began their ass-kissing as they rushed to check him in and shorten the time it took him to reach the three bedroom condo at the top of the forty story building.

“This isn’t a hotel room,” Alice said, stepping into the foyer of a condo that probably cost more than her life. “This is ridiculous, that’s what it is.”

Ms. Clayborn dragged her luggage into the spacious living room and then to a secluded bedroom in the far corner of the condo. The bodyguard did a sweep of the place before motioning for his boss and his main squeeze to enter the master suite on the other far end. Alice lingered in front of the living room window, catching a glimpse of Lake Michigan while Monroe ushered her into the abode she would call home for the next few days.

“Wow,” she uttered, gobsmacked at the fantastic view outside. A sliding glass door opened to a patio lining the width of the master bedroom. Half-wall glass, wrought-iron fencing, and a gilded ceiling safely enclosed the space furnished with antique lounge pieces. It almost made Alice miss the gorgeous bedroom behind her. Bedrooms were a dime a dozen, though. Even the million-dollar ones. Views like this, though? A view of a quiet, still lake reaching for the horizon? That lasted forever.

Speaking of forever, where was her phone? She had to take a picture and send it to Candice!

“I have a few minutes,” Monroe said, sitting at a table a few feet away from Alice. “We need to discuss something.”

Alice pulled herself away from the window and sat down. She wasn’t familiar with the geography around there, so it was probably embarrassing to ask, “Is that a mountain I see over there, or clouds playing with my head? Can I see boats on the water? Is there a view of the city skyline somewhere else here? How about in Ms. Clayborn’s room?”

“What is it?” she asked. “Did I do something wrong?”

“No… why would you assume that?”

“Because you sound like one of my bosses summoning me into his office to fire me.” Alice snorted. “Funny, that. Happened a few weeks ago. Guess where I was working.”

Monroe slid his arms across the table, hands folding next to a glass centerpiece. “You’re not in any kind of trouble. It disturbs me that you would assume so easily.”

“Well, in the real world, when people say we need to discuss something it’s usually not good… but I get that’s how you talk.”

He gazed at her for more than a few seconds. His pensive silence was filled with the kind of self-reflection Alice never associated with guys this rich and powerful. “I apologize. I’ll mind my vocabulary around you.”

“I didn’t say that…” Alice liked his vocabulary. She actually felt like she got to use her worthless English degree around him. “I’ll do better to not automatically assume the worse around you.”

“Anyway,” Monroe segued, pulling out a leather binder from one of his work bags. It was simply labeled “Ms. Culver Matters” and “Classified.” Ooh. Classified Ms. Culver. How sexy. “Do forgive me, but we really must discuss what will happen this week.”

“What’s gonna happen?”

He flipped open the binder and pulled out the first piece of paper. “I partially explained this when I invited you, but I think it’s imperative we discuss it more in depth now.” He pointed to the first headline. “It’s regarding the role you will play while you are here.”

“My role.” She picked up the paper. The Matter of Ms. Culver, Submissive In Training. “Uh… huh…”

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