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© 2016 JB Duvane
Cover by Kasmit Covers
All Rights Reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express permission of the publisher .
This book is a work of fiction and is intended only for adults over the age of 18.
All characters are 18 or over.
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About The Dark Doctor
Bonus Chapters from His to Take (She’s Mine Book 1)
About JB Duvane
Also by JB Duvane
Abby thought she was running away from her problems, but she wound up running into the arms of her worst nightmare.
“…from this point forward your will is no longer your own. You belong to me.”
I thought I had found the perfect guy. Jake was handsome and sexy and had eyes that could get me to do just about anything. The problem? The thought of being in love scared the hell out of me, so I called it quits and ran before I got in any deeper, driving off into a crazy winter storm. When I woke up the next day I was in a strange hospital and slowly came to the realization that I was being drugged and held there against my will…by my ex-boyfriend Jake. He claims he’s someone else though…a doctor in this dark, creepy private hospital in the middle of nowhere…but I know it’s him, and I don’t know how I’m going to get out of here.
This is a standalone novel of 44,000 words with gothic elements, dark sexual themes, kidnapping, nightmares, insanity and has a HEA.
I gripped the steering wheel tightly as I wove my way through the last bits of rush hour traffic at twilight. Steady streams of tears poured down my cheeks.
Streams that mirrored the drops of rain that danced in miniature rivers down the windshield in front of her.
“Oh, Jesus Christ! Shut the hell up with that nonsense.” I said out loud to myself. The rain had just started coming down heavier as the daylight faded away and headlights lit up in long strings in front of me. I’d hoped that leaving would make me feel better, or maybe just relieved somehow. That running away would alleviate the panic that was building inside me every time I kissed Jake. But that wasn’t the case at all. I already missed him and at every exit I passed I wanted to turn back and run into his arms. I was too scared of my own feelings, though, and the dreary weather and darkening of the sky were really very appropriate at that moment, considering that there was no way I was going to be able to stop crying anytime soon.
The irony of the situation I was suddenly finding myself in was not lost on me, though. Here I was, a 24-year-old girl most people would consider an adult, yet for some reason, I wasn’t able to feel good about anything in my life that really mattered to me. And I still wasn’t sure when I was going to start feeling like an adult. I had been writing since I was a kid and selling my books online for years, yet I could never admit to myself, or anyone else, that I was a writer. I would tell people that writing was a hobby, and I would always qualify it by saying that they were just romance novels, which somehow made me feel less like a big old liar than if I were to just come right out and say that I was a writer. My soul sucking day job in retail was somehow more appropriate to refer to as my real job and when people invariably asked “what do you do?” that’s what I told them. As if retail sales were my life. And there was just no way I could even begin to see myself as an adult. I looked at my parents and people their age and just didn’t understand how or when I was supposed to resemble anything remotely like them.
When am I going to actually feel like an adult, goddamnit? I thought as I fought back full-on sobs.
And then there was this thing with Jake. I loved him. And he loved me. At least he told me he did. But the more I saw those incredible eyes of his and felt the shivers that his kisses sent coursing through my body the more I wanted to bolt out the door. The sex was incredible if somewhat confusing at times, but we were just figuring each other out. And besides, I was an adventurous girl and I was willing to try anything once. The real problem was his eyes; the way they looked at me like I was the only thing on this entire planet that he could see. He could give me one look and send me into a fit of passion that left my jeans soaking wet. It just scared the hell out of me the way his eyes seemed to look inside me and make me believe that he loved me. I told myself that’s what I was really running away from, those eyes of his and the way they could manipulate me, and I think I was actually starting to believe it.
She let the tears fall and wash black streaks of mascara down her cheeks, hoping that those same tears would wash the sorrow out of her heart too.
“Ugh, stop being so pathetic, Abby!”
But I am pathetic. I’m ruining my own freaking life with every mile I drive away from Jake, and no one’s gonna feel sorry for me because of that.
“So go ahead! Feel sorry for yourself. Live it up!” I said out loud as I burst into tears again.
“Can’t you just stop it for a little while, Abby? Can’t you just grow up and stop being a basket case for like ten seconds?”
The traffic thinned out gradually as I drove north, out of the city and towards an unknown place that seemed a hell of a lot safer right now than the arms of the man I loved. God, he had great arms too. I felt so safe when we were in bed together and he wrapped them around me from behind. It felt like nothing bad in the world could touch me when we were together. Nothing but my own stupidity. But here I was again going back and forth about Jake. One second I was confident of my decision to leave him, and the next I was mooning over his eyes and arms and remembering how safe he made me feel. I was going to give myself mental whiplash if I didn’t stop this. I really needed to find a nice, quiet place where I could relax and take some time to think. I was sure that after a few days away I would be able to see things more clearly, but the thing I wasn’t sure of was which part of me would win out. The part that was running away from him or the part that was missing his strong, safe arms.
“Goddamnit, I need something to get my mind off him.” I turned the radio on, trying to find some upbeat music or anything that might distract me from the incredibly sad image of his face, and those eyes when I told him that I couldn’t do this anymore.
“Do what? What do you mean?” he asked, his voice more serious than I had ever heard it. He knew something was wrong and I avoided his eyes by staring down at my hands. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know how to explain to him that I loved him too much and it was all too scary and I had never let a man get this close to me, ever. It seemed plausible when I made the final decision an hour ago, but it suddenly all sounded so ridiculous and childish to me when I was trying to explain it to him.
“I need space, Jake. I think I just need to be alone for a while. This is all moving so fast and I had never planned on a serious relationship,” I said as my voice trailed off to almost a whisper. I was losing my momentum fast. I felt like I needed a stronger argument, but those were the first things that popped into my head that didn’t sound completely idiotic. I guess it just seemed easier to lie to him and give him a string of cliches straight out of some TV show dialogue, because telling him that I was terrified of what I was feeling just sounded so overly dramatic. What idiot left a guy because she thought she was starting to love him too much?
When I looked up at him I could barely open my mouth, let alone summon up the strength to tell him the truth. How could I tell him that every time he kissed me it made me wish that a hole would open up in the ground underneath me. I couldn’t take it anymore because it was getting to the point that I needed his kisses too much. I craved them and I felt like my heart was going to explode every time his lips were near me. But then what if the kisses from those incredible lips went away? What would I do then? I just couldn’t face that possibility, and I kept thinking that, no matter what, I couldn’t let him kiss me one more time. Leaving seemed so final, but I just didn’t know what else to do.
“This is just great, Abby. Run away and find a rock to hide under while the man of your dreams slips through your fingers, why don’t you.”
I continued to cry as I drove through the pounding rain and thought about the image that I just couldn’t get out of my head. The sad look in those deep, dark, eyes as I turned and walked away from him. He had one of those classically handsome faces with a strong, chiseled jawline and a gorgeous mop of two-days-past-needing-a-haircut shaggy, dark brown hair - which were definitely some awesome perks for sure. But his eyes…my god, did I mention his eyes? I pictured them as I drifted along in my driving daydream, trying desperately to replace the sadness that I had caused in them with the lust that had previously been there every time he looked at me. Before tonight, that is. I tried as hard as I could to visualize the mesmerizing, swirling lust filled stares that had always made my head swim. I knew it probably wasn’t the best idea to keep thinking about him, but since I couldn’t stop myself right now I figured it was better to picture him at his most glorious than dwell on the miserable. I had never seen eyes as dark and incredibly intense as Jake’s before. They almost felt like they were not only seeing into my soul…
…but were talking to it, whispering sweet things to it. Telling it secrets that my brain didn’t even know or understand.
“Good lord, Abby. How much more melodramatic can you get?” I said as I rolled my eyes at myself. But to be completely honest, even though I was prone to romanticization, I wasn’t really exaggerating in this case. From the very moment I met him I hadn’t been able to mask my feelings when his hypnotic eyes met mine. The world dropped away and all I could see were those deep, dark pools of moonlit water. Even as he walked towards me, before we met, it was as if I could feel the energy of his stare boring into me and through me. I was frozen in place until he touched my hand and smiled, and my mouth may as well have been full of food for all the good it was to me at that moment.
“Hello. My name is Jake. Jake Lewellyn.”
“You must be Abby.”
I’d just climbed out of the swimming pool when this man with laser beam eyes approached me. If he hadn’t said my name I would’ve thought he was talking to someone that was standing right behind me, but there he stood, just inches away from me, holding his hand out and smiling. He was easily a foot taller than me and as I looked up at his face and shook his hand I had shift a little to block the late morning sun that was peaking up over the country club roof just behind his head.
“Maxwell went inside to use the club’s phone. She asked me to tell you where she was if you got out of the pool before she came back,” he said with a sexy smile.
“Oh, she did?”
“Yes, she did. She also told me to have you join me at my table. She said she’d meet us over there when she was done on the phone.”
Maxwell had brought me to the club with her for a day of full-on rest and relaxation after a night of wallowing and crying over being dumped by the guy she had been seeing for almost two months. I looked around the pool patio to see if I could catch a glimpse of her, but it sounded like he was telling me the truth. The thought of a gorgeous stranger at a country club lying to me to convince me to sit at his table made me smile to myself, and through my giddy haze I realized that he was smiling back.
What and incredibly sexy smile, I thought as I continued to stare up at him. And I had a really hard time not staring at him, especially since he was easily the most gorgeous man within a twenty-mile radius. But it may also have had to do with the way he looked back at me. His eyes seemed to get bigger and darker the longer we stood there, and he leaned toward me like he was about to say something, or do something. It was very unnerving, but in a way that made me almost swoon.
“Why don’t you grab your things and we can head over to my table,” he said, gesturing to the far corner of the patio but never taking his eyes off me. I immediately wrapped a towel around my body, hoping that he hadn’t already seen the worst of it when I was hoisting myself up the pool ladder. Even though I had recently lost some weight I was so used to feeling insecure about my body that it was just a reflex now. I knew I would never have the skinny arms and legs and flat stomach that Maxwell had, but I was working on just feeling good about being me, and it had been going pretty well until this handsome man started picking me apart with his eyes. At least, that’s the way it felt.
We walked in the direction that he had pointed, then stopped in front of a table that was littered with a variety of glasses with bits of different colored liquids in the bottom and a small cordless speaker that was playing some super bassy song.
Hmmmm…Mr. Popular, obviously. He’s just talking to me because he’s friends with Maxwell, I’m sure.
A waiter walked up and asked Jake if there was anything we needed.
“Yes, just take all these away please and…would you like anything to drink, Abby?”
“No thanks.” I was still barely able to form full sentences around this guy, but anything would have been better than the self-deprecating jokes I could feel bubbling up inside me, just waiting to get out.
“Do you want anything to eat? Are you hungry at all?”
“Well, that’s a silly question,” I said as I laughed, trying to make a joke and failing miserably. Jake smiled and told me that the food there was very good, but I just shook my head and tried to sink as far as I could into my chair.
“No, really, I’m fine. Thank you,” I said to the waiter and he nodded back at me.
Jake told the waiter to come back when the rest of our party had joined us, then settled into his chair while the table was being cleaned off.
“So Maxwell tells me you’re a writer.”
I stopped breathing for a few seconds and looked around the patio, avoiding his eyes and laughing like he had just told a joke.
“I’m sorry. I feel like I’m missing something. Isn’t there a supermodel orgy around here you’re late for?”
Oh God, I can’t believe that really just came out of my mouth! I thought as I laughed, trying to make light of my ridiculous comment. I was overreacting like crazy, and I guess I was a little on edge because I hadn’t talked to a guy, let alone a really hot guy, in forever. But the way this guy was looking at me was kinda unsettling. And I didn’t know if he was flirting with me or what the hell was going on, but figured I couldn’t possibly be his type so I told myself to just get a grip. Plus the comment about me being a writer really threw me for a loop. Where did Maxwell get off telling him I was a writer? But even through all of my idiotic insecurities, I knew that comment was just lame.
Just chill out Abby. He’s not into you so stop acting so silly. He’s just a really nice guy.
I laughed weakly again to indicate that it was a joke, but I really felt like crawling under the table for the rest of my life. And, of course, Jake was still looking at me with those eyes and that damned expression, and I was pretty sure he was laughing at me, or that he had just realized I what an idiot I was.
“Oh, brother. Andrew just called me on the club phone cause he couldn’t get me on my cell. And he kept me on there for like fifteen minutes. Ugh. It’s hard to hate him when he sounds so sorry.”
Maxwell looked from me to Jake and back to me.
“So! You two got a chance to get to know each other a little?” she asked as she flopped down on a lounge chair and put her feet up.
“Yeah, we’ve gotten to know each other. I now know that this is Abby and that I am apparently late for a supermodel orgy that I didn’t even know was happening. I feel so out of the loop,” Jake said as he winked at me. And oh God could he wink. I couldn’t believe I had been so rude to him.
“I’m so sorry about that. I really don’t know why…”
“Don’t worry about it,” he said with a smile as he put his hand over mine on the table.
My face flushed as I looked down at his hands.
God, is he for real? He seems so incredibly sweet, but hot guys aren’t sweet. At least not to me.
He let his hand linger over mine for a few seconds then pulled it back, but when I glanced back up at him his eyes sucked me into a vortex and held me there.
There was a silence at the table and I realized that everyone was waiting for me to answer a question. I tore my gaze away from Jake’s eyes and blushed furiously as I looked around the table. I had no idea how long I had been transfixed by his stare.
“I’m sorry, what?”
“Can I bring you anything, miss? A beverage, perhaps?”
The waiter was patiently waiting for me to mature by about ten years when Jake took control of the situation and saved me from further embarrassment.
“Just bring us a pitcher of Bloody Marys and a pitcher of iced tea, that way no one has to make any rash decisions right now.”
While Jake gave the waiter a few more instructions Maxwell grabbed my arm and pulled me over to her so she could whisper in my ear.
“He likes you, Abby. He asked me about you while you were in the pool,” she said as she pulled away slightly and gave me a big evil smile.
I quickly looked at Jake, who was now talking to a friend of his, then moved closer to Maxwell so I could keep my voice at a whisper.
“That is not even within the realm of possibility, Maxwell. Stop being stupid. I am not anywhere near his league!”
“Abby, get over yourself. You’re beautiful and funny, and you’re also the sweetest person I know. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean he can’t,” she said as she glanced back up at Jake and immediately sat back in her chair, smiling at him behind her sunglasses. Jake looked back and forth between the two of us, then smiled as he settled his glance on me. And there was that look again. It was almost like he was laughing at me, but not at me really. Like he was leaning in to whisper to me about our own private little joke that I didn’t even know about. And let me tell you, I really wanted to know about it. I wasn’t going to be able to stay here much longer if he kept looking at me like that. I was starting to feel giddy again and was a little worried about another stupid comment flying out of my mouth. And I was also starting to get worried that I could really like this guy.
I had finally stopped sobbing, but I just kept right on driving away from the lights of the city and into the quiet of the forest. I wasn’t sure where I was going or how long I would stay away, I just knew I needed to get out of there for a while. The rain was coming down harder and the visibility was getting worse, but there were very few cars on the road, and only one set of headlights a good distance behind me, so I started to relax a little. But of course, I still couldn’t stop thinking about Jake. I kept torturing myself by playing the first few months of our relationship over in my head, wondering if there was anything I could have done back then to make things turn out differently. It may seem like running away was an easy decision for me, but it wasn’t. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. I had never met someone I clicked with so quickly and, of course, that made things even more scary.
No one was more surprised than I was when he called and asked me out, but he did, and I said yes. And it was no time at all before I was trapped…trapped between him and a wall, that is. Or any hard surface, really. He had a very quiet but commanding way about him when we were alone together, and I started to see it even before we became fully intimate. He would start out by kissing me softly on the lips, and those incredibly gentle caresses would work their way up to deep, hard, passionate kisses that made me melt in his arms. The contrast between his hard grasp and his soft lips drove me wild as I melted into him, giggling and screaming and moaning his name. It took my breath away, the way he would grab me by my shoulders or waist or hips and push me up against a wall or a counter or a table, slowly nibbling his way down my neck and holding the back of my head while my body involuntarily curled up against his. My entire body sang with electricity whenever he would come near me, but he didn’t even have to touch me to send shivers of delight out to every limb. The very second he looked into my eyes my panties were left soaking wet and my head was left swimming with thoughts of him prying my legs apart.
I don’t know how long I had driven in my trance state, enveloped in thoughts about Jake’s lips trailing down my body, but I finally snapped out of it and looked around. I was driving down a dark road with enormous trees on both sides and the ground was covered in snow. It was so beautiful and serene up here in the mountains but still a little worrisome to be driving all alone on this dark, mountain road and I was comforted to see that there was still a single set of headlights a few miles behind me. I couldn’t make much out ahead of me except the light flurry of snow that had replaced the rain and the narrow road and lines of trees that disappeared up ahead into the darkness.
I had finally stopped crying during the sexy segment of my Jake flashback festival, and now I couldn’t stop thinking about the rest. Another wave of sadness came over me as I thought about all the fears that haunted me during the times I wasn’t with him. I wanted so badly to believe that he was for real. That he wasn’t lying to me or trying to trick me. And no matter how many times I turned everything around in my head I couldn’t come up with a single motive he could have for making me think he loved me…
Other than that he’s a man, I thought, gloomily. But still, no amount of trying to convince myself kept me from doubting him…or doubting myself, really.
I was starting to get sleepy, most likely due to my self-imposed emotional turmoil, and I decided I would stop for the night at the next town I came to - whatever that was. I hadn’t ever driven up this road, even though I had meant to for years, and I wasn’t even sure how far I was going to have to drive before I got to the next town.
Suddenly something small and gray jumped out in front of my car and I swerved a bit but managed to keep myself from skidding off the road. As I gripped the wheel and slowed down I looked in my rear view mirror, hoping I hadn’t just killed some cute little forest creature. From what I could tell there was no small body lying in the road behind me, so I figured we were both lucky and I missed hitting him. I shifted my glance back to the road in front of me just in time to watch a fully antlered elk tumble up onto the hood of my car and crash into my windshield. I remember hitting the brakes and seeing trees and snow covered ground spin around and around in front of me, but then everything went black.
“The hospital entrance is around back. Just follow the driveway as it curves to the left up ahead.”
What movie is this? It seems so familiar to me. Have I seen it before? I feel like I know what’s going to happen next, but I don’t remember.
“Room two, down the hall, first door on the right.”
What happened to her? The girl on the stretcher. Her eyes are open but she’s not moving or talking.
“We need to intubate! Stat!”
Intubate? Is that really necessary? They always need to intubate on these TV shows. She looks like she’s breathing fine to me.
“Grab the head! Quick we’re losing her! I can’t get a pulse!”
Can’t get a pulse? But I’m fine. I’m right in front of you with my eyes open. Didn’t you see the part where I was wandering around in this big dark mansion all alone…
I shook my head from side to side and slowly opened my eyes a tiny bit. The light streaming in through the small window was too much for me to take so early, so I closed my eyes again and tried to think for a minute, but my thoughts came slowly, and I felt like my head was in a fog bank.
Ok, where am I? I’m laying in bed…and the light is really bright. Too bright. I don’t remember it ever being this bright before.
I kept my eyes closed tight as I studied the reverse image of slatted lines of light and shadow that were burned into the blackness of my field of view.
Wait, that looks like the pattern of light streaming through venetian blinds. I don’t have venetian blinds in my bedroom. Where the hell am I?
I rubbed my eyes and temples to try and alleviate the dull ache that sat like a hat on top of my head and slowly opened and closed my eyes.
Am I hungover? My god my body is so sore. I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck. What did I do last night. Did I get drunk? I hardly ever get drunk. I’ve been drunk maybe twice in my life! What the hell did I do last night?? Wait. I remember. I watched a movie. Or wait, was it a dream? It was…about a woman…and she was in an ambulance. No a girl? A girl in a nightgown in a big dark mansion…and there was an elk…and a car spinning. What on earth?
I opened my eyes and stared at the millions of holes in the large white tiles in the ceiling and then at the slatted venetian blind shadow on the wall in front of me.
What, am I in a doctor’s office? I feel like I should have my feet up in stirrups or something.
I slowly moved my hands up to the top of my head and winced at the pain in both my arms. I realized that I must have some sort of head injury because when I reached up all I could feel were bandages. I looked at my arms as I brought them back down to my sides and noticed that I had scratches and bruises all over them.
What on earth happened to me?
I looked around the room and tried to figure out where I was. From what I could tell I was in some sort of hospital that apparently hadn’t been renovated since it was built, which looked to me like the 1950s. The walls were covered halfway up with dingy white tiles and the floor with off-white linoleum. Behind the bed and up towards the ceiling was a small, rectangular window where the stripes of light and shadow came from that appeared on the wall in front of me. It was the kind of window that was usually reserved for the basement floor, where the majority of the walls of the room were below ground level. The antiseptic smell from some sort of strong cleaner filled the room, as well as a faint musty scent that made me wonder when this room had been used last. It was sparsely furnished with a very institutional grey and wood veneered side table that stood against the wall to my right with the requisite TV suspended on an arm above it. There were two doors in the room, one directly in front of me and one on the wall to the left. That door stood open and I figured it was probably the bathroom, but I wasn’t capable of getting up to investigate yet, so I hoped I wouldn’t need to use it anytime soon. I looked to my left and noticed a table with a pitcher of water and a glass, as well as a machine on a tall skinny stand that was making green zig zags and beeping out the sound of a heart beat, which I assumed was mine.