Unbreakable (Unrestrained #4), page 1
BOOK FOUR IN THE UNRESTRAINED SERIES
S. E. LUND
Copyright © 2015 S. E. LUND
All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2015 S. E. Lund
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I met the love of my life on a night when meeting a new woman and starting a relationship was the last thing on my mind.
That night, if you had asked me if I was going to get married again, I would have scoffed and said something like, “Tried it. Not for me,” or something along those lines. I truly felt that I was not the marrying type, too wrapped up in my career to need a life partner or companion to live with me and share my life.
Lara, my best female friend and partner in crime in the BDSM world, had pestered me for several years to find someone to spend my life with, but I’d resisted. Back then I’d rationalized it, saying that marriage and domesticity weren’t my thing.
Then I met Kate.
The night I met Kate, my focus was on shaking Ethan McDermott’s hand, handing him a generous check as my donation to his fundraising event, and getting through the evening so I could go home, hit the sack and get much-needed shuteye. I’d been working hard since the start of the Fall semester with classes and evening call, and was mentally and physically exhausted. On top of a specialized surgical slate as a neurosurgeon, I had my cover band Mersey, I had my father’s robotic implements business to oversee, and I had the charitable foundation I started in his memory to head. Although I was almost a figurehead for the corporation and foundation, I still had responsibilities.
On the romance front, I’d just split with a long-time submissive and the breakup wasn’t as amicable as I would have liked. I wanted a new submissive, but I wasn’t obsessed with it. At that point in my life, I was hyper-focused on my career and establishing myself as a neurosurgeon specializing in robotics.
Managing my very busy life meant I had little time for romance, so I gave it up in favor of a straight no-emotional ties session of bondage and dominance three times a week with a submissive who knew to expect nothing in return but orgasms with some kink.
Now, here I was, eight months later, eager to marry and start a new home and family with the woman who became part of my life completely unexpectedly. Katherine Marie McDermott had become the biggest part of my life, filling a huge hole I didn’t realize existed and which I had swept under some emotional rug so I wouldn’t have to stop my busy life and consider what was wrong.
I sat in my office at the Aga Khan hospital and smiled as I closed the patient file I’d been reading unsuccessfully. I knew that when I read the same paragraph over three times that I was done for the day. It was close to 7:30 PM and I’d been at the hospital for more than twelve hours.
That was enough for one day.
I almost made it out the hospital exit to the parking lot when who should round the corner ahead of me but Sam.
She was a medical student with whom I’d had a brief affair two years earlier. She had been a medical student doing a surgical rotation in her final year when I was a visiting scholar teaching neurosurgery. Sam had recently returned to Nairobi to take my class and do a clerkship in neurosurgery so she could get experience in the field before she decided on her specialization. Given how close she was to Michael Owiti, I suspected she’d ultimately go on to be a neurosurgeon, and perhaps in pediatrics. It meant that we worked together on cases and of course, I taught the robotic surgery class she was taking.
She hoped to rekindle our previous relationship but she failed to win me back. She didn’t seem to want to take no for an answer even when my fiancée accompanied me to Africa during my stay.
I frowned when I saw her but then caught myself. There was nothing she could do now to hurt my relationship with Kate, so I tried to approach her with patience and humor when straight avoidance didn’t work.
“Hello, Sam,” I said as I passed her. Of course, she reached out and grabbed my arm.
“Just the man I wanted to see.”
I pulled my arm out of her grip and waved her off as I rushed past. “Sorry, can’t stop and chat. Gotta run,” I said. “Dinner’s waiting.”
“Wait,” she said, stopping in the hallway and turning to me as I reached the exit. I stood there, my hand on the door, ready to push it open, and considered whether to keep going or to turn to face her.
The urgency in her voice made me stop. I turned and looked at her, trying to hold in my impatience. “What is it?”
“I was just going to ask about a pediatric patient in the ER…” she said. “I know you want to specialize in pediatric neurosurgery so…”
“Isn’t Michael still here?” I said, frustrated that I couldn’t prevent Sam from being part of my day. I didn’t want to give Kate any reason to be jealous or uncertain about our bond. To me, it was unbreakable, but to Kate, it might not seem that way. Not yet.
“He had to scrub in on another case,” Sam replied.
I sighed and let go of the door. “What have you got?”
She came to where I stood and smiled, running her hand down her hair. “A seven-year-old boy. Fell off a climbing structure at school. I could use your expertise.”
I’d been working with Michael Owiti, Chief of Neurosurgery at the Aga Khan hospital in Nairobi, and had assisted him on several pediatric cases. I planned to specialize in pediatric neurosurgery with a fellowship at NYU in Manhattan when I returned to the US in August and so was always interested in getting more experience in the field. But I also had a beautiful and seductive fiancée at home waiting for me.
Kate would be disappointed if I was late yet again.
“There’s no one else?”
She shook her head. “You’re Michael’s backup.”
I nodded. “Okay. Let me send a text and I’ll meet you down in the ER.”
She went back the way she came while I stood in the hallway and sent Kate a text.
Sorry to do this yet again but I have to consult on a pediatric case in the ER. Will be home as fast as I can so I can see you for at least a few hours before bed.
I waited for a few seconds but there was no answer so I slipped my cell in my pocket and went back to my office. I slipped on my lab coat and made my way to the ER. A pediatric head trauma was right up my alley. Still, as much as I enjoyed working on such cases, I enjoyed my soon-to-be wife even more.
There was nothing to do about it but get there and see what was waiting for me.
Forty-five minutes later, I left the ER after consulting on the case. It was pretty straight-forward and in truth, I didn’t think Sam really needed my advice. I checked over the patient’s chart, examined him in the ER room, looked at the CT results, and ran Sam through her paces. As I expected, she had everything figured out so she probably wanted me to come down and check on the case just because I was there and Michael was busy.
In other words, just to spend more time with me. Or to impress me with how well she had already done assessing the ca
Whatever the reason, I was annoyed with Sam for needlessly delaying me but I was not going to spend any time thinking about it. Instead, I left the ER, dropped my lab coat off at my office and was back out the door in less than an hour.
I took out my cell and checked, but there was still no answer from Kate.
Where was she? Perhaps out by the pool, reading. Maybe stopped at a shop to pick up something for dinner.
Maybe she was still at the studio working late on a project?
I got in my car and drove home, eager to find out why she hadn’t answered my text. Luckily, traffic on the Mombasso Road at that hour was light and I made it home before nine o’clock. Later than I hoped, but earlier than midnight, which I’d pulled quite a few times in the last month.
I parked the car and entered the cool dim interior of our house, surprised to see that there were no lights on. Everywhere there were half-filled packing boxes. We were leaving in a few weeks and were starting to pack up our life. A pang of nostalgia filled me that we’d be leaving the house where we’d been so happy, but it was time.
I dropped my keys off on the table in the entry and took in a deep breath to see what was cooking but didn’t notice any aroma coming from the kitchen. I stopped in and grabbed a glass of ice and poured a shot of vodka for myself, then took the glass and looked out the sliding doors to the patio and pool, but Kate was nowhere in sight. I went back to the living room and then saw a light in the back of the house, so I checked out Kate’s studio.
There she was, still dressed in her little white nightgown, standing in front of a large canvas, her paintbrush in hand.
“There you are,” I said, warmth for her spreading through me. She’d been painting all day…
She turned, a look of surprise on her face, her chestnut hair loosely up in a bun, her green eyes wide.
“Drake!” she said and came right over to me.
I kissed her cheek, one hand on her waist, pulling her against me. She kept her arm with the paintbrush away from her body, and leaned against me, her cheek pressed against mine.
She pulled away. “What time is it? Are you home early?”
“No,” I said with a laugh. “I’m late. It’s nine.” I smiled at her. “You haven’t even dressed or had a shower?”
“No,” she said and turned back to her painting. “I’ve been working since I got up. I’m just about finished so I didn’t want to stop. We only have a few weeks left and I wanted the paintings I’ve been working on to be finished before we go so I can ship them.”
I turned to check out her painting, half-expecting to see some vista from her safari, with elephants or antelope, but instead, it was of her father.
Ethan McDermott, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New York. Now a rehabilitation patient, recovering from a stroke that left him temporarily paralyzed on one side.
“It’s Ethan,” I said in surprise.
“Yes,” she said and cocked her head to one side. “I’m doing it for Elaine for her birthday. What do you think?”
“It’s fantastic,” I said truthfully, for it was. “Have you been painting all day? When did you start it?”
I opened my eyes in wonder. In the painting, Ethan was seated in an old wooden chair behind his great oak desk, a framed photograph of a UH-1 “Huey” helicopter in the jungles of Vietnam on the wall behind him. Ethan was wearing a tuxedo with a black bowtie. I recognized the photo Kate was using for her subject. It had been taken before the New Year's Day levee Ethan went to.
That New Year's Eve, Kate and I got back together after a temporary break up due to meddling friends and misunderstandings. I gave her my belated Christmas gift of a single diamond teardrop necklace, which symbolized for me how serious I was about her.
That seriousness had never waned, for even a moment since. It had only intensified.
“It’s really very good. Better than good. It’s totally professional. Like you’d find in a bank boardroom or lining marble hallways.”
“That’s the effect I was shooting for,” she said and stepped back farther from the canvas. “I want it to represent how dignified he is underneath the rough exterior. He really is very distinguished even if he looks like a drill sergeant with that haircut.”
I laughed and went up behind her, my hands circling her waist, my chin resting on her shoulder.
“He’s extremely smart. His daughter is a chip off the old block.”
Kate twisted around in my arms and smiled, slipping hers around my neck.
“I’m sorry I didn’t fix anything for dinner.”
I tried to kiss her but she dodged my lips, so that I ended up kissing her ear.
“Don’t kiss me,” she said and covered her mouth. “I’ve been drinking coffee all day.”
“We’ll reheat leftover spaghetti,” I suggested, thinking of what I saw in the fridge when I got out my bottle of vodka.
“I’ll go have a quick shower while you get things ready,” she said and slipped out of my arms.
I let her go, watching as she went down the hall to our bedroom and the en-suite bathroom.
Then I turned to examine the painting of Ethan once more. Warmth for him filled me. We’d be back in Manhattan for New Year's and I wanted to spend it with him and Elaine. By then, Kate and I would be married and looking forward to the year as newlyweds.
I almost had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t caught in some dream, only to wake up only to find I’d been asleep and the wonderful life I was leading was nothing but a figment of my imagination.
Then I went to the kitchen and reheated the leftover spaghetti.
“So tell me about your case,” Kate said while we served our plates. “I just checked my cell and saw that you messaged me. Sorry I didn’t reply but my phone was in my bag in the living room and I must not have heard the alert.”
I poured a glass of red wine for us, and thought about my case. I described the patient and the diagnosis.
“It was pretty straight-forward and I really didn’t need to consult,” I said.
“Was Michael busy?” Kate asked, twirling her fork in her pasta. “I thought he was handling evenings in the ER this week.”
I nodded and took a sip. “He was in the OR with an emergency case. Sam had a patient and asked me to consult.”
Kate’s fork stopped twirling in the pasta for only a second or two, then resumed. She nodded but didn’t say anything.
“Sam, hmm?” she said finally, taking a mouthful of pasta and chewing without meeting my eyes.
“Yes,” I said and pushed my bread into my sauce then took a bite. “I was Michael’s backup. I had no choice but to consult.”
“I understand,” Kate said, her voice light. She smiled. “You want to do pediatric neurosurgery. It’s perfectly natural you’d want to consult on her case.”
I reached out and took her hand. “I was pissed that she asked me. It was a really simple case. She didn’t need my advice.”
“She just wanted to have you around,” Kate said and looked at me through narrow eyes. She sighed dramatically. “I guess that’s the price I’ll pay for having such a hot fiancé… Everywhere you go, the nurses and female docs will be drooling over you.”
I laughed out loud at that. Then I leaned over and kissed her cheek. “There’s only one woman I want drooling over me.”
She met my eyes and smiled. “Never doubt that I do.”
I grinned. “I bet you were too busy today to even think of me.”
She shook her head. “I pined away for you, and had to console myself with my art…”
“It’s really good, Kate. I mean it. Elaine will love it.”
“I hope so.”
We finished our meal, talking about the day, the week and how close we were to leaving. In less than twenty days, our flight would take us out of Nairobi and Africa and to a connecting flight in Copenhagen, before flying across the Atlantic to Manhattan.
We’d be exceptionally busy, with just enough time to be settled in Manhattan before it all began. Plus, we had a date for our wedding and would be busy organizing that. Both of us wanted a small wedding at Ethan and Elaine’s with just a few friends and family in attendance. Of course, I didn’t really have family with the exception of my foster family, the O’Rileys and as for friends it would be them and my band mates and their spouses. Dave Mills. I invited Michael, but he wasn’t sure if he and Claire could make it. Apparently, Claire was busy with some art exhibition…
After we cleaned up the plates from dinner, we sat on the patio and watched the stars for a while.
“I don’t know about you but I’m exhausted,” I said and squeezed Kate’s hand.
“You go to bed,” Kate said, her voice light but I could hear a touch of something in her tone.
“Come here,” I said and pulled her off her chair and onto my lap. She slipped her arms around my neck and we sat like that for a while, enjoying each other while listening to the sounds of the night.
“I want you in bed with me,” I said. “I like falling asleep with my arms around you.”
“My mind’s still too wide awake to sleep now. You go ahead and I’ll be there in a while. You need your sleep.”
I smiled and brushed hair off her cheek. “If you were a man, I’d say you should have sex to help you sleep but an orgasm seems to wake women up, so that won’t help.”
Kate laughed at that and leaned her forehead against mine. “You know I leave all that up to you,” she said softly. “Whatever you want. Whatever you need.”
S. E. LUND SERIES:
Other author's books:
- Tease Me: The Macintyre Brothers Book TwoTame Me: The Macintyre Brothers: Book ThreeTempt MeIf You Fall (Brimstone #1)Bad Boy Saint (The Bad Boy Series Book 1)[Dominion 01.0] DominionBad Boy Savior: The Bad Boy Series: Book 4Drake Forever_Book Seven in the Unrestrained Series
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