Home > Billionaire Unbound ~ Chloe (The Billionaire's Obsession #8)(10)

Billionaire Unbound ~ Chloe (The Billionaire's Obsession #8)(10)
Author: J.S. Scott

She couldn’t see his features. He was still standing outside the vehicle and the light from inside the truck didn’t reach his face.

“Thank fuck!” he answered in a relieved tone. “Let me see your arm.”

His touch was tender and easy as he supported her arm with one hand and probed gently at her wrist with the other. “You already have some old bruises.” Gabe’s voice vibrated with fury.

Chloe knew she’d have more by morning. The previous ones were almost unnoticeable, so she hadn’t worn a shirt with extra-long sleeves. “They’ll fade.”

“They shouldn’t be there in the first place,” Gabe grumbled. “What the hell, Chloe? Has this happened before?”

Chloe sighed. It had happened more times than she could count. Honestly, the physical pain faded; the mental torture was a whole lot harder to get over.

She was silent as Gabe released her arm and buckled her seat belt. He closed the door carefully and moved to the driver’s side.

Darkness fell over the interior of the vehicle as he sat down and closed his door; he made no move to start the truck. It was so quiet that Chloe could hear his ragged breathing.

Finally, he spoke. “I want to know what happened, Chloe. I’d like to know everything. I can’t help you if I don’t know the whole picture.”

Tears sprung to her eyes as she heard the concern in Gabe’s voice. “It’s a long story,” she warned, really wanting to blurt out her confusion and pain to Gabe.

“You have brothers who would have protected you, friends like me who would have protected you. It’s not like you depend on him for anything. I want to understand why.” His voice was a mixture of agitation and puzzlement.

“I know. I’m not certain that I can really explain,” Chloe said tearfully.

“Hey, I’m not blaming you,” Gabe explained gently. “I just want to understand.”

His genuine interest made Chloe cave. “That makes two of us,” she answered on a strangled sob.

Gabe had referred to himself as her friend, even though she’d done everything she could to avoid him or push him away ever since he’d kissed her on New Year’s Eve.

“We’ll figure it out, Chloe. I promise,” Gabe said huskily, his hand reaching for hers through the surrounding darkness. “Just promise me you’ll never go back.”

Her heart stuttered as he clasped her hand gently and entwined her smaller fingers with his. It was an easy promise to make. She’d come far enough that she’d never go back again. “I promise.”

Gabe started the vehicle. “Right now, that’s about the only thing I really need to hear.”

The relief and sincerity in his voice made Chloe start to sob, not realizing how nice it was to have someone who cared. No doubt, her brothers would want to kill anybody who caused her pain, but the concern seemed different coming from a man who wasn’t related to her.

“You’re a good man,” Chloe told him, the thought hitting her at the same time she spoke it aloud.

“I’m not perfect, but I’m damn well someone better than what you just left,” Gabe answered, his tone disgruntled.

“Thank you for helping me.” She was grateful that Gabe had appeared when he did.

“Hell, all you ever have to do is ask. I’m pretty damn happy that I was craving a steak tonight.” He squeezed her hand and let it go to put the truck into gear.

“I’m not very good at asking for help,” Chloe admitted.

“I noticed,” Gabe replied unhappily as he maneuvered the vehicle out of the parking lot. “Now talk,” he insisted.

Chloe took a deep breath, and began to honestly reveal everything she could about her completely messed-up relationship with James. She shared what she’d discovered in counseling, and how she was slowly taking control of her life again. He didn’t judge her, asking questions when he wanted to clarify something, but not berating her for staying with James for so long.

She slowly opened up, telling him more and more as he encouraged her to keep talking.

Chloe couldn’t ever have imagined spilling her guts to a man she didn’t know well about some of the worst mistakes she’d made in her life.

With Gabe, it was much easier than she thought it would be.

“I guess I wanted to believe that James loved me, but just didn’t show it. I wanted to believe that he would change. It’s finally time for me to separate what’s true and what I wanted to be true but never was,” Chloe told Aileen tearfully as she sat across the kitchen table from her later that night.

Aileen Colter couldn’t help but wonder if she had seriously failed as a mother with her youngest child as Chloe finished her confession. She’d been horrified since Chloe had started telling her about James’s behavior since she’d come back to Rocky Springs for good.

Dear God, I knew the relationship wasn’t good, but I never really believed that James was capable of the kind of mental and physical abuse Chloe just told me about.

Tears filled her eyes as she looked at her beautiful baby girl. Chloe was far from being a child, and she’d always had a good head on her shoulders and a kind heart, but she’d been so young and naïve about men when she’d met James, and he’d been the only example of a boyfriend she’d ever known.

“It’s over now, baby,” Aileen told her remorsefully, wishing she’d spoken more frankly with Chloe before now.

She’d been worried about Tate.

She’d been worried about Marcus.

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Sinclairs series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
Most Popular
» A Thousand Letters
» Wasted Words
» My Not So Perfect Life
» Caraval (Caraval #1)
» The Sun Is Also a Star
» Everything, Everything
» Devil in Spring (The Ravenels #3)
» Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels #2)