~ ~ ~
The sharp rapping of the pencil as I repeatedly tapped it against the desk didn't do shit to calm my nerves. Only action, beingfront and center when things went down, worked. This sitting here and waiting bullshit was just that: bullshit. When my cellphone rang, I nearly reached for the ghost of a gun at my hip. Old habits died hard.
"Striker," I barked into the phone once I grabbed it.
The cool, calm voice took me on a quick waltz down memory lane. At the sound of my battle buddy, some piece of my mind relaxed. Wolfe and I went way back, and he'd saved my ass more than a few times. I'd saved his too, not that either of us kept count. It was because of that very bond I'd went out on a limb and pursued a childhood dream.
"Still waiting on the realtor?" Wolfe asked, his good ol' boy drawl filling the line.
I went back to drumming the pencil against the edge of the desk. "I put in the offer an hour ago. He said he'd call back in thirty minutes. If it doesn't pull through, and I've done all this waiting, I'm going to be pissed."
"You sure you want to do this? Purchasing an entire farm to start a horse rehab is noble, and you know I've got your back, but you could've done this anywhere in the US. No one knows horses like you. That's not my worry. But why..." He trailed off and I could sense his hesitation.
"Why there?" I asked, bluntly putting forth the question he withheld.
His grunt of acknowledgement caused me to lean forward in my chair. I clenched the pencil in my palm, then winced at the resounding snap as it broke. "Fuck," I muttered before returning my attention to Wolfe. "Truth? You're the closest thing to family I've got. You know I grew up on the streets. I was a shithead until the military set me straight, and even then, being with the horses was what finally got my head on right. I..."
The words were right there, but I couldnt force them out.
"I understand," Wolfe said, and gratitude filled me that he didn't make me say more. "Well, if you're going to do this, I've got a couple of contacts in that town I can put you in connection with. There's a woman named Hope Hopewell who runs a rescue. She can help you get up and running. And there's a vet named Doctor Hart who I highly recommend. Ill give you her number once you need a vet."
That name sounded familiar. I frowned until it hit me. "Hope. Is she the one you've tagged yourself as dating on Subspace?”
"Yes." A possessive undertone laced his words.
I sat back in my chair, body fully relaxed now. "I checked her profile out. She's hot. The blonde with her is fucking hot too."
"That would be Doctor Hart."
My jaw dropped as astonishment blasted me like a hurricane-force wind. "The vet? No shit."
The phone beeped and I checked the screen. Instantly, my muscles went rigid as I recognized the number. "Yo, man. I gotta call you back. Realtor's on the line."
"Roger that," Wolfe said, then the screen flashed that our call ended. I liked that about him. No awkward goodbyes or touchy-feely small talk.
Once again, I hit the accept button. "Striker."
"Mr. Striker, it's Cecil Sims at Sims Realty. I apologize for the delay in my call. Your offer on the property has been accepted.
"However, an issue has been brought to my attention. Apparently the prior residents did not properly vacate the premises. I've been making calls trying to arrange for the removal of their property, but I've had no luck. The good news, though, is the bank is willing to close on this today. I've already emailed the paperwork I need you to print, take to a notary, and sign."
"What kind of property are we talking?" I asked. "If it's just furniture, I can take care of it. I may even keep some. But if it's like a fuck-ton of trash...
"Horses, Mr. Striker. They left a few horses. They were in the large pasture in the back where the pond is, so they were overlooked. I'm assuming they were in the tree line when the assessor visited the property. Again, I greatly apologize. We'll be sure to have them removed quickly and at no cost to you. The bank has agreed to cover the removal fees," Sims hurriedly explained.
Poor guy had no idea how royally he was about to piss me off. I took a deep breath. "Sims, leave them so long as they dont require immediate medical attention. If they do need it, let me know. I'm friends with Fayette's Animal Control Officer. He can get them what they need until I take over there. How soon can I move in?"
"But, Mr. Striker..."
"Leave them," I repeated, keeping my tone deadly quiet. "They are living creatures, not trash. Whole fucking point of buying the place is for this exact reason."
The man's voice wobbled, but he kept on like a trooper. "Assuming you return the documents to me within an hour or two today, and we close, you can have the keys by tomorrow afternoon. The horses appeared to be fine, so I dont think it will be necessary to contact animal control."
While he spoke, I opened my laptop, connected to my email, then put the documents on a flash drive so I could print them off in the business lounge downstairs. I almost shut my laptop, paused, then clicked on the tab for Subspace.
"I'll have the docs back to you within the hour. I'll follow up with a call to ensure you received them. Roger that?"
"Uh, yes, Mr. Striker. I understand. Goodbye." Sims hung up without waiting for anything further. Good man. He wouldn't have got more from me anyway.
As if by their own volition, my fingers typed in Wolfe's name to bring up his profile on my friends list. From there, I navigated to his girlfriend's page, then to her friend. Force2NJoy appeared to be a smiling, thin, curly haired blonde. I'd ogled her picture more than a few times, but never read her profile. Even though my internal clock ticked loudly, reminding me I had shit to do, I took a moment to read her profile.
If you aren't rough and tough, you aren't my stuff. Sorry boys, but this Toy is for men only. I work long, sometimes odd hours, and life is short, so I don't have time to waste on wannabes who claim they are the real deal. If you can't tell the difference between being a Dom and an asshole, or Forced Seduction and rape, don't bother messaging me. Im not a 24-7 sub either, but for the right man, Ill rock his world 365.
I read through her list of kinks before gazing at her profile description again. Sassy little bitch. So she was into Forced Seduction, huh? Right up my alley. I loved bending a woman to my will, so long as we both were one hundred percent on the same page that her No really meant Yes.
Suddenly, I felt like the abandoned horses on the property were going to need to see a vet ASAP, whether they were in good health or not. Mind made up, and still aware of the clock counting down the minutes until I had a real home for the first time in my fucking life, I picked up my phone and dialed Wolfe.
"Striker," I said once he answered. "I'm going to need that vet's number."
Genre: Erotic romance
When D. F. Krieger was banned from writing contests at her school, she immediately set it in her head that she would become a professional writer. Since then, she has thrown away her plans of world domination through books, but she still enjoys writing. By the time she pens her final book with a hand ravaged by age, she hopes to introduce her readers to many alternate worlds, lines of thinking, and captivating characters.
When she's not writing, she can be found surrounded by rescue cats who call her Mom while she's cross-stitching, crocheting, painting, or playing video games. Her family loves that she plays video games, though they refuse to play first person shooter games against her anymore because she makes an awesome sniper.
You can find D. F. on the East Coast, hiding away from the real world with a gleam in her eye and a plot in her head. She resides with her husband, kids, and pets; who all kindly put up with her random bouts of laughter over things she can't explain and journal collecting fetish.
Wanna keep an eye on D. F. online? You can find her at her website dfkrieger.com where she updates what shes working on and occasionally posts to a blog.
Social Media Links: https://www.facebook.com/cominginhotboxedset/