Stephenie Meyer owns the Twilight Characters.


I walked into my office to find my secretary waiting anxiously. She jumped up and motioned toward my office door, which remained closed. She moved closer and whispered so nobody else would be able to hear her words. I had only been here a few seconds and I was already confused.

"A Dr. Cullen is waiting in your office," Angela said softly.

"For what?" I asked, keeping my voice down for no apparent reason.

She shrugged and returned to her desk. I rolled my eyes at her ceremoniously and walked over to the door to enter my office. I saw a handsome man sitting in a chair in front of my desk. He rose quickly and extended his hand for mine.

"Hello Dr. Swan, I hope you don't mind the intrusion but I had to speak to you."

I set my briefcase next to the desk and motioned for him to sit again. He was a bit nervous and I kept trying to place the name Cullen, but nothing was familiar.

"I've read all your research," he began. "I'm a surgeon in Seattle and I need your help."

My father lived in Washington but I didn't know any of the physician's from Seattle. My work was research only and I rarely talked to practicing doctors.

"Help with what?" I asked.

"I need you to work with my son," he said quickly.

"Oh, I don't…."

"I know you don't take on patients, but you are the only one who can help him. Please just do an assessment of him, please."

He handed me a folder and I opened it to see the picture of a handsome young man with green eyes and a wide smile. He looked healthy and happy. I glanced at the doctor and saw the sadness in his eyes and the hope welling up in his heart. I turned the page and saw a ghost of the man on the other page. He was too thin and his face lacked any expression. He looked almost comatose but had his eyes open.

"What happened?" I asked, as I skimmed his medical report.

"We don't know. He went missing six years ago and showed up one morning in our driveway. He doesn't speak or respond in anyway."

I set the folder down and sighed loudly. "You think he was abducted by aliens?" I asked angrily. My research had been dealing with the psychosis of alien abductions. Too many people viewed it as my agreement the problem existed, when I was actually trying to show it was simply a mental illness.

"Dr. Swan, I have no idea what to think, but something happened to my son and I want to find out what it was."

"I can tell you right now. He took too many drugs and it scared someone into returning him home."

"There was nothing in his system or in his hair follicles," Dr. Cullen pointed out. "His bank account was never used the entire time he was gone. He graduated from Northwestern and was accepted to law school before he vanished."

"Any drama with a girl?" I asked, thinking he was running from something.

"He was dating a family friend. They were planning a future together," he said sadly.

"Where's the girl now?" I asked.


I took a deep breath and looked out my window toward the San Francisco bay. I felt like I was being pulled into something I should run from, but the look in Dr. Cullen's eyes interfered with my natural desire to refuse.

I got up and moved to the center of the room so I could pace. I was thinking about my schedule and when I could take some time when Dr. Cullen interrupted me. "I have a private plane; we could leave as soon as you're ready."

I stopped short and let my mouth fall open. "You expect me to go right now?"

"This is urgent, Dr. Swan. I'm trying to save my son," he said emphatically.

"I would need to pack a bag," I said, realizing it sounded as if I was agreeing to go with him.

He shook his head in response and added, "I'll buy you whatever you need. I want you to come with me now."

I automatically took a step toward the door and said with a hint of fear, "May I see some identification."

He pulled out his wallet and held up his license. He also held up a card from my mentor, Dr. Newton. "He sent me to see you. He thinks you can help my Edward."

Mike would only send someone he thought highly of and knew I would do anything if his name was attached to it. I nodded and picked up my briefcase ready to follow this stranger anywhere. When we exited my office I told Angela to cancel all my appointments for the week. She looked stunned but relaxed when I told her I would check in later in the day.

I was taken to a small private jet and flown to Seattle. Dr. Cullen didn't talk much on the way and I didn't press him for answers. I wanted to make an assessment of Edward without bias from his father. We drove to a large private estate and I entered the house and was greeted by a kind, beautiful woman.

"Welcome to our home, Dr. Swan. I'm Esme Cullen." I only nodded and then followed Dr. Cullen up a large staircase to a room at the end of a hallway. He reached above the door and pulled down a key. I touched his arm to stop him and asked, "Why is the door locked?"

"We're not sure what to expect from Edward. It is for his safety as well as ours," he answered.

I set my case down and straightened my skirt as the door opened. I saw the man sitting on a bed on the far side of the room. He was looking out a window and didn't react to our intrusion at all. Dr. Cullen walked over to touch his shoulder and said, "Son, you have a visitor."

Edward remained perfectly frozen so I walked in front of him to see if he would look at me. He only stared like he had been. I reached out and took hold of his chin to angle his face up to mine, but his stare was blank and not registering any recognition. "What medications have you tried?" I asked.

"None," Carlisle said to shock me.

I dropped Edward's chin and looked at his father for an explanation. "We want to know what we're dealing with before we add anything into the mix."

"I think it is rather clear what you're dealing with," I said haughtily. "The man is having a psychotic episode and needs antipsychotic medication."

"You've seen him for one minute and you're ready to make a diagnosis?" he challenged me.

"Is there any more to see?" I asked with a loud voice. "Staring is staring, what more is there?"

He angrily pushed me out of the way and said, "Edward, lift your hand."

His son remained still until Carlisle began to lift his own hand. Edward mirrored him and stopped when Carlisle stopped. He turned to look at me as if to gloat but I still wasn't sure what he meant. So his son mimicked his action, so what?

He pointed at the deep cuts on Edward's forearm and I cringed at the sight of the wounds. "He cuts?" I asked.

"Only if you instruct him to do it," Carlisle said softly.

I looked at his face again and stepped closer to speak forcefully. "Edward, stand up," I said and he stood without hesitation. "Sit back down again," I said softly, but he remained standing. "I said sit," I yelled and Edward quickly sat.

I glanced at Dr. Cullen's hopeful face and asked him to leave the room. I wanted to asses Edward by myself. He walked out hesitantly and shut the door. Edward didn't move or seem aware of me in any way. I pulled a chair up to sit directly in front of him and watched him for several moments. I finally said, "Edward, can you smile for me?"

He never blinked or responded so I spoke with an angry voice and said, "Smile damn it."

His mouth pulled into a slight grin and then slowly faded back to the lifeless mask. Someone had been dominating him and his survival instincts made him responsive without thinking about it. I picked up his hand and brought it to my mouth to kiss his fingers lightly, he didn't respond. I then bit down forcefully on one and his eyes brightened and he turned to look at me.

"I'm not one of them," I said with a gruff tone. "I'm not here to hurt you."

I was absolutely stunned when his eyes filled with tears and turned back to stare at the window. I put the chair back to its place and left the room to see Dr. and Mrs. Cullen. They were waiting in the family room and I sat across from them.

"Your son has been abused, severely. We won't find out why until we pull him back into reality. It won't happen until he feels safe enough to acknowledge his memories."

"How do we do that?" Esme asked.

"Very slowly. The slightest wrong move would set him back. Are you two his only family members?" I asked.

"No, he has a brother and a sister," she told me.

"They need to be here. You need to orientate him into the family as much as possible. I'm not sure about the ex, we'll wait on her appearance," I decided.

They both nodded and Carlisle left to make some phone calls as Esme served me a salad and some tea. We chatted and I found out the family had moved from Chicago, Edward never actually lived in this house so I told her to make everything as familiar as possible. He needed pictures and mementos of his past.

I had agreed to stay two days and welcomed the sight of jeans Esme left in my room. I changed and looked out the window at the large grounds leading into the forest. I felt right at home in this environment. After Carlisle and Esme filled Edward's room with pictures I went in to see him again. He was still sitting on the bed so I took his arm and barked, "Stand."

He stood on command and I pulled him forward to the wall with childhood pictures. "Look at them," I instructed forcefully.

His eyes moved to the wall and took a moment to look at each picture. I spoke softly and said, "You're still in there but too afraid to come out. It's okay for now," I said and rubbed his arm gently.

I left him alone and sat again with Esme and Carlisle. "Emmett is coming as soon as possible. Alice will be here tonight."

"How do you feed him?" I asked.

"We set a tray in the room. He eats it eventually, but we never see him eat it," Esme informed me.

I nodded and said, "He is to eat at the table from now on, during regular family hours, no special treatment. What about grooming?"

"Carlisle showers him and I shave his face and comb his hair."

"Okay, I need to see the nighttime routine. I won't interfere or speak, just do what you normally do," I instructed.

"I would normally take a tray to him about now," Esme said cautiously.

"I'll bring him to the table," I said, and stood to head up to his room.

Esme left the room and I turned to Carlisle. "This has nothing to do with aliens," I said assuredly.

His face reddened a bit and he nodded. "I know," he said and quickly left the room.

I felt my hands turn numb and I swallowed deeply. I wasn't sure what Carlisle was saying but it made me nervous that he possibly knew more about me than he let on. I quickly climbed the stairs and went into Edward's room.

I stood in front of his dead gaze and said kindly, "We are going down to dinner, Edward." He never moved so I said with venom, "Move your ass."

He stood and walked like a zombie toward the door.


I led Edward to the dinner table and sat him next to me on the end. I watched his eyes closely and didn't see anything that made me think he was paying attention. I picked up his fork and held it out for him to take. He didn't move until I picked up my own fork, then he reached out and took his.

"Shit," I mumbled under my breath. If someone had used him as a sub they took things too far. I had no idea how I was going to explain my theory to the two parents watching my every move.

"Edward, eat," I instructed harshly, not sure if I was really getting him to eat or angry at myself for getting involved in this situation.

He looked at his plate and began eating. The Cullens were watching with fascination and looking at me like I was the answer to their problems. I didn't have the heart to tell them it couldn't be me.

"Just carry on normally," I told them, so Esme began talking about her day. She was an interior designer working on an office suite for a major CEO. I tried to appear completely fascinated by her conversation, but I was watching Edward intently from the corner of my eye.

I finished eating at put my fork down, so Edward did the same. I sighed at his action and crossed my arms so Edward sat still with his head down. I tried my best to ignore him, but Esme's pain was hard to ignore. I finally brought up the subject of his ex as I tried to find who could have done this to him.

"Was Edward and his ex…adventurous?" I asked, hoping I wouldn't have to explain.

"Tanya? I guess. They liked to travel and…."

"No, it isn't what I meant. Were they into anything kinky?"

Esme looked confused and Carlisle shook his head back and forth slowly. "Nothing out of the ordinary, they were a typical couple."

"Did he cheat on her?" I asked, and his mother covered her mouth with her hand so she wouldn't say anything out of anger.

"I wouldn't know," Carlisle said, "Maybe Emmett could answer that."

"Okay, continue on with your routine and I'll watch," I said, and commanded Edward to return to his room. He followed us without raising his head and once inside the room Carlisle began to undress him. I looked at his body and saw familiar signs of a submissive lifestyle, bite marks, candle wax, and fingernail scars. He also had deep cuts showing he had been abused badly.

I followed them into the bathroom and when Carlisle removed Edward's boxers I remained in the room. It was then Edward raised his eyes and looked directly at me. I could feel my heart pounding and I buried my fingernails in the palm of my hand to stop myself from reacting. I was certain Edward noticed a change in my eyes, because I noticed the change in his.

I finally dropped my gaze and didn't look again until Carlisle was shampooing Edward's hair. I glanced over quickly to see him still staring at me, so I turned and left the room. Esme was waiting with pajamas and a comb. I sat in a chair and tried to show mild interest when Carlisle brought him into the room.

Once Edward was ready for bed Esme turned to speak to me. "We usually leave him here alone and he eventually goes to bed."

"Are you tired?" I asked him.

He didn't respond so I elevated my voice just slightly. He remained silent so I got just a bit more forceful. His head was still but his eyes moved to look at me. It was a seductive look which angered the hell out of me. I forced myself to keep my voice even and said, "Edward, are you tired?"

He only stared so I asked his parents to leave the room. Esme kissed her son and Carlisle patted him on the back, but his gaze remained locked on me. When we were finally alone I sat back and gave him my own seductive look. "I know this game," I said softly. "I'm not saying someone didn't mess you up, but don't you dare try to push me into acting. I'm in control because I'm the doctor and you're my patient. I won't blur the line."

His eyes moved back to the window and I left the room. I had no idea if he understood what I was saying, but something told me he could see what others couldn't. It terrified me and excited me at the same time.

I came down the stairs just as Alice arrived. She bounded through the back door like a Tasmanian devil. Her tiny body shocked me, looking nothing like her tall, lanky brother. I tried to introduce myself but she ran right at me and practically jumped into my arms.

"Thank you so much for helping my brother. I miss him so much and I seriously doubted he was alive after all these years, but to see him as only a ghost is so disturbing."

I couldn't get a word in edgewise as she continued to have a one way conversation. I was relieved when Esme arrived to take Alice's full attention away from me. We all settled in the living room and Alice began bombarding me with questions.

"Do you know what happened to him?"

"I have an idea," I shared, but nothing more.

"Will you be able to fix him?"

"Edward will have to fix himself and it will be a long process."

"What do you need from me?"

It was the question I was waiting to hear, since her cooperation would be vital. "I want you to remind Edward of what it was like to be children together," I began but her expression made me stop talking.

Carlisle finally explained. "Alice is Esme's daughter from a prior marriage. Emmett is my son. Edward is our child together."

It was actually a piece of the puzzle I was looking for. Edward would have been spoiled and most likely filled with guilt. It would have made him open to becoming a submissive.

"I spent summers with my father," Alice said softly, telling me she didn't have the closest relationship with Edward.

"If you had a relationship of animosity, don't change it now," I told her.

"No, I was crazy about Edward. He was just always in his own little world."

I didn't press the issue because I felt Alice would be more open if I got her alone and questioned her. I was very interested in Edward's own little world, but I wouldn't make her say anything in front of Carlisle and Esme.

I eventually headed off to bed. I found everything I needed in the guest suite so I showered and brushed my teeth. I wore my bra and underwear to bed, leaving the nightgown Esme laid out across a chair. I thought about my own childhood. I had a tough father, a police chief, but a very dependent mother. I had to be the adult and I guess it was what opened me up to be a Dom.

The first man I had a serious relationship with pressed the issue and we decided to give it a try. The further I got in school the more I realize how unhealthy it was, but passion and sex can be a very powerful force. I wasn't capable of innocent role playing or seductive spanks. I needed total domination to get turned on by a guy now. It was easier to remain celibate and concentrate on my research.

I struggled with self loathing and I wondered if it was what made Edward retreat into his mind in order to remain in his own skin.

I finally let fatigue get the better of me and I drifted off to sleep. I never heard the bedroom door open, or the slow footsteps coming to my bed. I was oblivious to anyone in the room until a hand clasped tightly around my throat.

My eyes shot open to see Edward standing over me with closed eyes. I tried my best to fight him, but my kicks and scratches had no effect on him. I finally did what I knew to do. I completely relaxed and stared up at him as he chocked the life out of me. I spoke with great difficulty and screeched. "Get your fucking hand off me."

His hold released and he let his head drop as if awaiting punishment. I was overcome by adrenalin. "Get on your knees," I yelled to him.

He quickly fell to his knees and kept his head down. I grabbed a fist full of his hair and pulled his head back forcefully. His eyes were still closed but a small smile was on his face. My hand recoiled and I scooted far from him in the bed. "Get out of here," I yelled.

His smile faded and he finally opened his eyes. He looked right at me with such contempt it angered me. I began to shake from my need to punish him. Everything in my soul screamed at me to make him pay for taking such liberties with me. Instead I pulled the image of my office into my mind to keep me grounded.

I spoke with a shaky voice but I was controlled. "Edward, you will never come into my room again. Now go back to bed."

He remained still.

"Fine, sit there all night," I said and turned over.

My heart was racing with excitement as he remained kneeling on the floor next to my bed for the remainder of the night. I knew then he had been an excellent sub, and it had cost him his mind. I also knew I was not the person to help him and I needed to make it clear to the Cullens as soon as possible.

I woke up the next morning to a loud voice ringing throughout the house. It was laughter coming from downstairs, along with a shrill scream of delight. I sat up and saw Edward still kneeling and he appeared to be sound asleep.

I groaned and then reached out to touch him. I was certain his legs were numb and I couldn't order him back to his room. He opened his eyes and I said adamantly, "Get in this bed and lie down." He moved to my order and I headed into the bathroom to get dressed. I put on the same jeans with a different t-shirt and then headed downstairs.

Alice grabbed my hand and pulled me over to meet Emmett. The man was huge, so much larger than Edward. His features were dark, unlike his father. Edward resembled Dr. Cullen much more than Emmett did.

"So you're gonna cure Eddie?" he teased.

"No, I'm not," I said with a blush. "I'm just here as a consultant."

I glanced around the room and didn't see Carlisle or Esme so I decided to question Emmett and Alice. "Can you give me some information about Edward as a teen? Was he sexually active?"

Both of them broke into laughter and Alice finally answered. "Edward wanted to be a priest. He didn't even date."

It was another piece of the puzzle I could lock into place. He was feeling guilty for the change of plans and felt his sexual peccadilloes made him evil. "Tell me about Tanya," I pushed.

"Oh, we've known them for years. It was weird when Eddie started dating her, since we thought of them as family, but they made a good couple."

"Was Tanya domineering?" I asked coyly.

This time Alice laughed alone. "If being a bitch is domineering than she was the most domineering person alive."

"So how did they make a good couple?" I asked in confusion.

The siblings looked at each other and Alice acted like she had said something she shouldn't have. Finally Emmett tried to explain. "Edward was a mamma's boy, kind of a wuss. Tanya changed that and he started acting like a man."

"Would you say she ran the relationship?"

I was certain to hear my questioned affirmed, but I was stunned when Emmett said, "No way. Edward ruled with an iron fist."


It didn't fit. He had all the actions of a sub but had been the dominate partner in the relationship. I was totally confused and wondered if I had gotten it all wrong. Maybe I was letting my own experiences influence my diagnosis of Edward. I decided to keep quiet and observe for the rest of the morning.

Esme came downstairs dressed for the day and said hello to Emmett. She turned to me and said, "Are you aware Edward is in your bed."

I could feel my face blush and I answered quickly. "He came into my room last night. He wouldn't leave unless I spoke harshly so I spoke softly and let him sit there all night. I put him in my bed when I was ready to come downstairs."

"I'm sorry, we should have locked his door," she said in regret.

"Has he attempted to hurt anyone in the past?" I asked, without telling her of his hand on my throat.

"He brought a lighter into our room one night. Carlisle woke up, so I'm not sure if he meant to hurt us or not."

"Mom," Alice said in shock. "You need to have him committed. He's not a child but a twenty-eight year old man."

"He's our son and I will not have him put away as if we are ashamed of him," Esme said loudly. She turned to look at me and said, "I usually take him a tray at this time."

I looked over at Emmett and wondered exactly what his relationship was like with Edward. I finally said, "Emmett, go tell Edward to come downstairs to eat. Don't yell, but let him know you mean business."

Emmett smiled and I noticed his deep dimples. He bolted from the room as if ordering Edward around was going to the highlight of his day. It made me chuckle to see two grown men acting like brothers. It reaffirmed the notion that some things never change.

Edward came walking down the stairs in front of a grinning Emmett. "Where do you want him to sit?" Emmett asked.

"He can choose where, just tell him to sit," I instructed.

Emmett nudged Edward's shoulder and said, "Sit at the table, ass face."

Edward walked to the chair next to me on the end and sat down. He stared down at the wood but his mouth twitched like he wanted to smile. I leaned over and whispered, "I'm not feeding your sorry ass, so drop the grin." Instead it grew a hint larger.

He sat all through breakfast with his plate in front of him and not attempt to eat. I refused to tell him to pick up his fork so he sat staring. When the others finished I stood and took Edward's plate and headed to the kitchen.

"He didn't eat," Esme pointed out.

"Then he'll go hungry," I replied and kept walking.

I made it to the sink and had to use both hands to steady myself. I knew it would excite Edward to go hungry, especially since he was aware I was aware of his sacrifice. It also excited me to know he would go hungry for me. I needed to get out of here as quickly as possible.

When I came back into the kitchen Esme was feeding Edward with her spoon. It almost sent me into a rage. I felt like I had been cheated on, disrespected, callously discarded. Edward glanced at me to see my reaction and I felt my hand twitching to slap him.

"I'm leaving today," I said, and headed out of the room.

Dr. Cullen jumped up and ran after me. "Dr. Swan, please. We've seen such a changed in Edward since you came. Don't give up on him."

"I don't take patients. I'm a researcher," I said in frustration.

"I'll pay whatever you want. I'll fund your next project," he offered.

I felt tears sting my eyes and I had to find some way to make him understand. "Carlisle, I can't help Edward, it can't be me."

"Why?" he asked.

"I can't explain, but if he was…damaged…by his lifestyle I can't be the one to help him," I pleaded, as tears filled my eyes.

He took hold of my arm and led me to his office. He sat next to me on a small sofa and looked into my eyes. "Tell me your theory of what happened to my son."

"I'm not sure," I stammered.

"Then tell me your educated guess," he demanded.

I hesitated and tried to find the words that would be softer, more generic, more normal, but nothing fit. I finally said, "I think Edward was a submissive in a relationship that got out of hand. I think the Dom got power hungry and Edward was determined to do anything to please her. It cost him his mind."

Carlisle stared at me like I had gone insane. He shook his head a couple of times and finally said, "Why would he walk away from his fiancé and let us look for him for six years."

I laughed incredulously and yelled, "You don't get it. He was told to leave, he was told to keep his whereabouts quiet, and he was told when to eat and when to piss. He gave up his soul for sexual pleasure. Your son is damaged and I'm not sure he'll ever recover."

I heard a slight gasp and turned to see Esme looking at me with her hand over her mouth. I hated hurting them, I hated telling them their perfect son was a sexual deviant, but I hated it even more that I liked it.

I ran from the room and headed upstairs to change back into my business suit and call a cab. I wanted far from Seattle and the memories Edward was causing to surface in me. When I stepped from the bathroom Carlisle was waiting in my room. He looked directly at me and said, "It has to be you to help him. Nobody else understands."

"I have my own recovery to consider," I said in just a hush. "I can't help him when I'm wondering just how far he is willing to go for his Dom. It intrigues me, it fascinates me, and God help me it excites me. I can't help him."

"But you can tell me how to help him. You have insight I don't have. I'll do the work, but I need you to tell me what to do for him," he begged.

I said the worst thing possible. I said, "Accept your son is gone and put him in a care facility."

Carlisle's face pulled into pure rage at the suggestion and he shook his head adamantly. I pushed past him and headed toward the stairs. Edward was standing in the hallway with a blank expression on his face and it pushed me over the edge.

I got right into his face and said, "It didn't make you perfect. It made you a fucking idiot. And if you ever lay your hand on me again I'll cut it off."

I was shaking as I made my way down the stairs and I wasn't sure I heard what I thought I heard. I glanced back to see Edward looking down at me. He had tears coming from his eyes and he spoke in a clear audible. "Help me, please."

Carlisle came into view with pleading eyes and I looked to my side to see the others staring at me with hope. I held their dreams in my hands and the truth was I wasn't sure I could help Edward or hurt him further. I was confused but also weighed down by the pressure of their expectations.

I decided to see just how strong Edward really was. I said in a gentle voice, "Go to your room." He turned immediately and walked to the door of his room without looking back. I knew in that moment Edward was capable of being the perfect submissive and I trembled at the thought.

I looked at Carlisle and said, "I'll be in touch." And then I walked out the door and got into a cab.

I wasn't naïve and I knew what it would take to help Edward. I also knew I would have to find out what happened to him and prayed it wouldn't be something I had done to one of my subs. I had always considered myself to be compassionate, but somehow the game always elevated. Sex wasn't love if your partner was a toy, no matter how much you tried to put their desires ahead of your own.

When I got back to San Francisco I went straight to Jake's house. I needed him to tell me I was okay; that what we had years ago was love. He opened the door and his eyes grew wide when he saw me. He quickly let his head drop and I burst into tears. "Don't," I demanded. "I need a friend right now."

He took my hand and pulled me into his apartment. I could tell it was hard for him to be himself around me and I realized I never gave a thought to what he did when I wasn't around. I sat on his sofa and cried into my hands.

"Bella, what's wrong?" he asked.

"I'm sorry Jake, for everything I've done to you," I sobbed.

"For loving me?" he asked, and ran his fingers through my hair.

"It wasn't love. It was sick and twisted. If I damaged you in any way I'm sorry."

He pulled me into his arms and kissed my hair gently; being the man I never allowed him to be, the man I never felt he was capable of being. He comforted me and whispered it was okay and he felt nothing but love from me. I wasn't sure I believed him, because I knew this was a side of him he hated.

"I met a sub who is really messed up. I'm not sure how to help him," I admitted.

"Who messed him up?" Jake asked.

"I don't know. He ran out on a fiancé and was gone for six years. The family did everything they could to find him. He showed up one day out of the blue."

"How do you know a Dom messed him up?" he asked.

"I've seen the scars; it is way more than play toys. He took some serious shit."

"He must have been deeply in love," Jake surmised, and I instantly pulled out of his arms.

"No Jake, it isn't love when someone hurts you." I stood and let my head fall back as I yelled at the ceiling. "God, you don't prove love just for an amazing orgasm. Sex shouldn't have power over someone."

"Bella," Jake said in disagreement, "Adults choose this way to get the most out of what they desire. It is consensual and I'm not going to apologize for my lifestyle."

"No Jake, we are screwed up. I have to dominate because I was terrified to be like my mother. I didn't want men using me and then leaving me heartbroken. You do what you're told to make others proud of you; you desire attention and confuse it for love.

"So why are you here?" he asked angrily. "To tell me you never loved me?"

"No," I cried out. "To apologize and ask you some questions. This guy was the dominate partner in his relationship with his fiancé. Why would he be a sub to someone else?"

Jake laughed like I was missing something very obvious. He finally had to spell it out for me. "He has a conservative family, right?"

I nodded.

"The girl was a childhood friend or something, right?"

Again I nodded.

Jake shook his head and said, "She was a decoy. A relationship to keep his family from knowing what he was really into and I seriously doubt they actually had sex."

My mind was spinning and I tried to think it all through. It would be easy to tell a girl who knew you well that sex would have to wait, especially if she knew you had wanted to be a priest. I was beginning to put things together but I still needed to know who took it too far.

"Okay, how did he disappear for six years?" I asked Jake.

"Seclusion, a wealthy Dom, maybe he was held prisoner…"

"Why dump him in his parents' driveway? He could have easily been killed and nobody would have known."

"You're not going to like the answer," Jake said, and his eyes moved from mine.

"What?" I pushed.

"She loved him."

Jake was right, I didn't like the answer because I refused to believe the abuse he received was love. It hurt because I didn't want to believe I could be capable of hurting someone I loved that badly. I finally asked the hard question. "Do you think I could help him?"

Jake looked at me for a minute and said, "Only if you grow to love him."