Can't Hurry Love(7)

By: Dixie Lynn Dwyer

As much as she feared and hated the man, he did provide for her, and any money she didn’t spend, which most of the time he forced her to, she stashed away and waited for the opportunity to leave him and disappear. That first time cost her, but at least she had gotten the account established and placed the money in the bank safely. Over a hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Seemed like a lot, but it hadn’t been enough to keep Sanford from finding her and forcing his way into her small apartment that one night a few months ago. The thought made her feel dirty, and like she would never be out from under his thumb and control. Even his last contact with her warned her to never stray. To always remain faithful or her punishment would be the worst ever. She felt the tears in her eyes as she looked at the menu on the wall in the café. Again, men looked at her and gave smiles or winks, and women eyed over her outfit, hopefully liking her own combinations. She hated to stand out, but like Francesca told her, she was stunning, with her long, light brown hair, her almost glowing green eyes, and despite the high heels she always wore, she was petite and sweet looking. A natural submissive, but why did that characteristic have to be a negative? She ordered her latte and waited as the barista made it for her. She remembered the conversation she had with Francesca recently and the fact that a lot of guys were asking Nina out, and she kept declining. They talked about feeling vulnerable, about how Francesca met her men and how instantly she knew things were different with them. Of course she resisted, and that made Nina smile. Her cousin’s situation had been different compared to Nina’s. Unfortunately, Sanford was still out there. He really wasn’t willing to let her go or to give up possessing her, and truthfully, Nina worried about ever being free.

As she walked out of the café and along the sidewalk, she spotted a table under an umbrella right along the street. She placed her bags onto the seat next to her and then sat down. She took a sip of the coffee, and it tasted incredible. She liked this place. A lot. She sat back, crossed her legs and enjoyed just watching the people walking by and taking in the colors around her, the various flowers and plantings along the streets, adding to the welcoming feeling Fulton had to offer. Perhaps if things went well with this new business venture, she could look into renting one of the upscale condos in the hotel complex along the water.

With that thought, she pulled out her cell phone and searched up the condominium complex that was right down the street, her curiosity getting the better of her. Then the prices came up on her cell phone. “Keep dreaming, Nina. You may never be able to afford prices like that.”

* * * *

Costanza was heading out of the parking lot and along the main streets of town when his gaze landed on the backside of a sexy woman. She had long, light brown hair, hips and an ass a man could hold on to, and she was petite despite the very high heels she wore. Her figure was sexy as sin, and that pale pink skirt hugged it perfectly. As a few men passed by her, she didn’t even acknowledge them, but that didn’t stop the men from turning around and getting a look at her ass. When she paused by the café he was planning on stopping into, he was surprised. Maybe he shouldn’t stop. Was he in the mood for a little fun? He usually stuck to the same places or just made a phone call and met up with a woman. It had been a while. Months actually. As he pulled the Range Rover into a spot on the street that just opened up, he was shocked when the woman turned. “Nina?” he whispered. His heart began to race. He looked around the place, a feeling of concern immediately filling his chest as he placed the vehicle in park and got out of the Range Rover. He hit the lock button on his key and headed onto the sidewalk.

Why was she out here alone? He was pretty sure she had some sort of incident with an ex, and Francesca was concerned for her well-being. He remembered meeting her that day at the restaurant he was having lunch at with Francesca to talk business. Nina appeared. She was emotional, and right away Francesca excused herself to hug her cousin, and they whispered between one another. Something was wrong. He gathered bits and pieces, and then Hunter mentioned something to Costanza’s guard, Quaid, when they were searching for London. Nina was assigned security immediately.

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