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Destined to dominate, p.1
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       Destined to Dominate, p.1

           Red Phoenix
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Destined to Dominate

  Copyright © 2018 Red Phoenix

  Google Play Edition

  Destined to Dominate: Captain’s Duet

  2nd Book of the Set

  Cover by Shanoff Designs

  Formatted by BB eBooks

  Phoenix symbol by Nicole Delfs

  This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.

  All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the author.


  Love conquers all…

  The world does not accept us,

  My own parents don’t understand.

  While people only see the scars Captain earned in battle—I see the man.

  His brand of love is kinky but true, and I won’t let anything keep us apart.


  I wanted to collar her but chose to protect her instead.

  Love is a powerful force, but I see the barriers she chooses to ignore.

  Time is our enemy—and it’s the one thing I cannot fight.

  But I love this woman more than life itself.

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  Title Page

  Copyright Page



  Coming Next

  About the Author

  Join My Friends of Red Phoenix Group

  Painful Farewell

  Unexpected Hello



  His Proposal

  Her Acceptance

  The Protector


  The Mystery


  The Unexpected

  The Mission

  As One



  New Vision

  Old Fears

  Meeting Destiny




  Full Circle

  Other Red Phoenix Books

  Connect with Red on Substance B

  Painful Farewell


  “Goodbye, my pet…”

  I allow myself one last look in the rearview mirror as we drive away from each other. An overwhelming sadness threatens to devour me, and I force my gaze to return to the road straight ahead.

  I hold onto the fact that I am doing the right thing for Candy, but I find myself reminded of a similar moment when I was young and felt bereft after being kicked out of my home. I was certain I was doing the right thing back then—but being right didn’t make it hurt any less.

  So, knowing I’m in for a bad night and in need of a friend, I drive straight to Gallant’s place. It is unusual for me to visit unannounced, however, I trust he will understand.

  Ena answers the door when I knock. Her eyes widen when she sees me, and she immediately bows her head. “What a lovely surprise, Captain.” Stepping aside, she invites me into the house.

  I nod curtly as I enter, too wound up in my emotions to speak. I’m surprised to see their two young girls running up, but they suddenly stop short when they see me. I have visited on several occasions, so they have no reason to be shocked by my face.

  “Captain Walker,” the oldest says in a voice filled with awe as she gives me a salute.

  It isn’t until then I realize that I still have my uniform on. Although the child’s salute is unnecessary, I appreciate the sentiment behind the gesture and thank her.

  The other little one smiles, adding, “You look so handsome, Mr. Walker.”

  I chuckle, knowing I look anything but. However, their youthful kindness tugs at my heart.

  “Is that Captain’s voice I hear?” Gallant asks from somewhere in the house. When he arrives and sees me in uniform, he instantly stands at attention.

  I can’t help but smirk, noting how old habits die hard.

  “At ease,” I mutter, shifting uncomfortably, wishing I had thought to take off my uniform before coming here.

  Gallant eyes me thoughtfully before asking his wife, “Ena, would you please pour Captain and me a glass of Jack Daniels?”

  “Of course,” she answers. Ena artfully herds her children out of the room, apologizing as she leaves, “They know better than to stare, Captain Walker. Please accept my apologies.”

  I smile at the two young girls who continue to stare at me.

  “No need to apologize, Mrs. Gallant. I find your daughters’ attention endearing.”

  Once the children are out of the room, Gallant puts his hand on my shoulder. “I’m glad you came.”

  I grunt in disagreement. “It was a foolish thing to do. I should leave.”

  “Nonsense!” he assures me, walking toward his study. “I consider it an honor you’ve come to visit.”

  I say nothing as I take a seat and wait for Ena to arrive with the drinks. Once she shuts the door behind her, I meet Gallant’s gaze. “I’d like to know what you thought would happen when you advised me to bid for Candy at the auction.”

  Gallant sits back in his chair and smiles warmly, not concerned with the gruffness in my voice. “As I said at the time, I knew you would provide Miss Cox with the experience she needed.”

  I growl, “Did you not anticipate there would be complications?”

  “Such as?”

  “That the girl might come to have feelings for me?”

  “I’m not surprised. I mentioned to you that I thought you two were a good match. I was perfectly clear about that when we spoke.”

  “Well, I never expected Candy to fall in love.” I turn my head from him and mutter, “Or for me to feel the same for her.”

  His eyes light up in sudden understanding. “That’s the reason for the uniform. You plan on collaring her today.”

  I look away, the pain of leaving her still too fresh to bear. I pick up the chilled glass of whiskey and look him in the eye. “Nope.”

  I watch as Gallant’s brow furrows. “I’m clearly missing something here.”

  “I was going to collar her, but I just met her parents.”

  “What happened?” he asks with concern.

  “They’re a hell of a lot younger than I am. I felt like an old fool standing there.” I stand up and start pacing. “What the hell is wrong with me? Thinking it could work between us?” I shake my head angrily, disgusted with myself. “Even worse, her poor mother couldn’t bear to look at me—and for good reason. I have the face of a monster.”

  Gallant says nothing, a look of compassion on his face.

  “So…rather than embarrass Candy, I left.”

  “How did Candy react to you leaving?” he asks, clearly concerned for his former student.

  “She wasn’t there, Gallant. Candy has no idea what I had planned for today.” I turn away from him and shut my eye as the wave of grief settles over me.

  “She must never know. It would break her heart.”

  “Do you honestly feel this is the right decision?”

  I turn and snarl at him. “Was there ever any question? I’ve already lived the best years of my life. It’s only downhill for me from here on out. While Candy…she’s got her whole life ahead of her.”

  “Have you?” he asks in a demanding tone.

  I look at him with resentment, in no mood for nonsensical questions. “Have I what?”

  “Have you lived the best years of your life? Because I believe bett
er ones are ahead.”

  I throw my hands up in frustration. “I need the support of a friend right now. Don’t you dare make me starting doubting my decision.”

  Gallant stands up and walks over to me. “You were brutally frank with me once while I was under your command, so let me return the favor as your mentor. You maintain that Candy should commit to a younger Dom, while she insists otherwise.”

  I nod in agreement.

  “As you are an honorable man, I know you would never purposely hurt Miss Cox.”

  “Of course.”

  “Since you have a clear difference of opinion with Candy, I suggest you put your assertion to the test. Give her a temporary collar and present her with Dominants you feel are worthy.”

  “Absolutely not!”

  “Hear me out,” Gallant insists, holding up his hand. “Acting as her temporary Dominant, you can set up opportunities for her to interact with Doms you deem better suited. If you are correct in your assertion, she will forge a greater connection with one or more of them, and you will be free to let her go without hurting her.”

  Although I can see the wisdom behind his suggestion, spending more time with Candy would make it far more painful when I finally have to let her go.

  “On the flipside,” Gallant states, “if no connections are made with the men you have specifically chosen, you must concede defeat and accept that you’re wrong, presenting Miss Cox with the permanent collar you planned to give her.”

  I snort in disgust. “The test is unfair to her. I’m surprised you would even suggest it. Giving Candy the carrot of a temporary collar when we have no future together seems far crueler than simply walking away.”

  “Captain, I know you have the highest respect for Miss Cox, which is why you should give her the opportunity to decide for herself.”

  I let out a frustrated sigh, remembering the look on her mother’s face and the humiliation I felt when her father tried to push cash into my hand. To subject myself to further insult just to prove to Candy that our relationship is doomed seems foolhardy at best.

  However, Gallant is right about one thing. It would be far better for Candy to look back on our relationship years from now, having willingly walked away, than to nurse the festering wound of a broken heart.

  “I will consider what you’ve said,” I inform him, even though I dislike the suggestion.

  “I’m glad to hear it.”

  “And, just for the record, you make a horrific matchmaker.”

  Gallant chuckles lightly. “I was simply trying to pair like partners for a scene—nothing more.”

  I snort, not believing him, as I set my glass down on the table. “I believe we are done here, and I can’t say I particularly enjoyed our little talk.”

  “Funny, that’s what I would have said after our conversation about my stature all those years ago.”

  “It wasn’t your stature,” I correct him. “It was your lack of confidence that I took issue with.”

  Gallant tilts his head slightly. “I stand corrected.”

  As I leave, I notice Ena waiting at the door to see me out. “I hope you will come again soon, Captain Walker.”

  “Next time, let’s make it my place. And bring the girls.”

  “Goodbye, Captain Walker!” the oldest calls out from the hallway.

  I find myself smiling, despite everything that’s happened. While I may be too old to have patience for most children, I have a definite soft spot for these two.

  I turned to Gallant before heading out the door. “If I choose to go through with this test and I’m right, you’re going to owe me.”

  “And, if it turns out you’re wrong, I shall call in a favor at some point,” he replies smoothly.

  I chuckle on my way out.

  Although the road ahead could prove precarious, at least I will have an end goal in mind by taking her on as a temporary sub. However, I refuse to dwell on the fact that completing such a mission would mark the official end of Candy and me.

  Unexpected Hello


  I park the car and pull numerous Christmas gifts out from the back seat. I can’t explain it, but I am overwhelmed with a feeling of joy and chalk it up to the pure magic of the holiday season.

  I love everything about Christmas—the music, the decorations, the holiday treats and, of course, the gifts—especially when you find just the right one.

  I can’t wait for Captain to open the special one I bought today!

  I head up the stairs to my apartment and pause at the door, struck by the faint scent of Captain’s cologne. When I hear movement inside my apartment, I smile to myself, knowing he’s come to surprise me.

  I get my keys out to unlock the door and slowly open it, trying to keep a casual look on my face as I walk inside.

  My jaw drops when I see who is waiting for me inside. Instead of Captain, my mom and dad are standing there.

  “Hi, honey,” my mom says, as if being here is completely normal.

  I stare blankly at the two of them, unable to process that they’re here and not Captain.

  “I think we broke Cleopatra with our surprise,” my dad jokes, waving his hand in front of my face.

  I shake my head and laugh, trying to regain my composure. “Sorry. It’s just that I thought I smelled something…” My voice trails off, realizing I was mistaken. Not wanting to explain myself, I ask Dad, “What’s up with this sudden visit? Is everything okay?”

  My mom walks over, pinching my cheeks gently. “Everything’s fine, honey. We just couldn’t stand the idea of our little girl being alone for Christmas, so we decided to surprise you as our gift.”

  I take her hands from my cheeks and squeeze them, taking a step back. I hide my disappointment, not wanting to hurt their feelings.

  As much as I love my parents, I was really counting on spending Christmas alone with Captain. “You definitely surprised me…”

  “We can see that,” my dad says with a cheerful laugh. “I want you to know we didn’t come empty-handed, C. We’ve gone all out for you.” He unzips one of their suitcases, pointing to the all the DVDs crammed inside. “I’ve brought all the holiday classics, so we can binge while we munch on your mother’s peppermint popcorn.”

  My mom clasps her hands together excitedly. “I’ve brought all the ingredients to make our favorite holiday treat.” She unzips a bigger suitcase to show off everything she’s brought. “It’s going to be just like old times, Cleo!”

  I’m so used to being called Candy these days that hearing my old name throws me. I repeat her words, trying to mirror her excitement. “Yeah, just like old times…”

  Considering the dark times we’ve experienced as a family, it astounds me how strong my parents seem now. According to my dad, Mom hasn’t had an episode longer than a couple of days since that first night I called them from the Submissive Training Center.

  My parents still have no idea what happened with Liege̶̶, blindly accepting my story of needing to unplug from the pressures of college over Spring Break and running off to the beaches of California. I told them that after immersing myself in the healing power of the sun and waves, I couldn’t bear returning to that university.

  They were understandably angry, not about my decision to drop out of college, but in my failure to call them. They will never know what really happened those weeks that I went missing. Telling them about Liege would not have brought me any comfort, and it would have devastated them both.

  Who knows what might happen to Mom if she knew.

  Thankfully, despite their anger with me for making them worry, and after hearing my voice and knowing I was safe, my parents chose to forgive me—but only after I swore never to disappear again.

  That is one promise I have no trouble keeping.

  I glance at my dad and can see a marked difference in his physical appearance. Not having to care for my mother on a daily basis seems to have given him new life. He looks years younger.

  Although my parents
’ visit is unexpected, I’m touched that they came all this way on a whim. I stave off the feeling of disappointment even as the hint of Captain’s cologne still haunts me.

  Oh, Captain…

  Deciding to accept this sudden change of plans, I look down at the bags I’m holding and announce, “I’ll go hide these and get the spare room ready for you guys.”

  “I’d be happy to help,” my mom offers.

  “Nope, you get started on the popcorn, Mom. That’s your only focus right now.”

  I head to my bedroom and set the bags down, pulling my cell phone from out of my purse.

  I immediately dial Captain’s number, wanting to hear his voice and explain that I have unexpected guests I want to introduce him to. Unfortunately, he doesn’t pick up right away. Rather than leave a message, I hang up and send him a text.

  Tried to call. Parents surprised me with a visit. Would love for you to meet them. Does tonight work?

  I figure there’s no reason to put off introductions. I love Captain, and my parents need to meet the man who has totally captured my heart.

  Do I think they will be shocked?

  Yes—at first. Who wouldn’t be with the age difference and his war wounds? But, once they get to know Captain, they’ll feel differently. I’m sure of it.

  I grab fresh sheets out of the closet and make the bed for them, checking my phone several times while I work, hoping to hear back from him.

  Before I leave the spare room, I set my phone to vibrate and slip it into my pocket so I won’t miss his response.

  “Is it okay with you guys if I invite someone over for dinner tonight? I’d really like you to meet him.”

  Dad gives me a knowing look. “A new boyfriend for me to grill?”

  “Are you really dating someone, Cleo?” my mom asks.

  “I am, and he’s perfect.”

  “More perfect than Ethan?” I can hear the surprise in Dad’s voice.

  I lean in close to him. “Not more than Ethan. But definitely on the same level.”

  “Oh, I’m so happy for you, sweetie. I can’t wait to meet him,” my mom cries.

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