Healing Heather – Incognito #4

HealingHeather_300X454ISBN:  ISBN:  978-1-60088-097-1

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Heather Gilpatrick, a young Irish widow, seeks new happiness in the U.S. She longs for the same loving, Dominant-submissive relationship once shared with her husband. However, when she tries, she pays dearly at the hands of an abusive Dom.

 When Detective Paul Baxter meets her in the hospital, he realizes her scars are more than physical. Although Heather’s given up on that lifestyle, Paul offers to reintroduce her to the joys and pleasures available from a true master, with hopes of healing her heart.

 But the abusive Dom wants what’s his, and is willing to kill to get it.


Heather Gilpatrick cringed and stifled a moan as she swung her legs over the side of the hospital bed. Pain radiated outward from her ribs, and the left side of her face throbbed in time with each heavy beat of her heart. Thank God the bastard hadn’t broken any bones.

Slowly, carefully, she slipped to the floor and reached for the mint green scrubs the nurse had brought her. As if it wasn’t bad enough she’d been beaten to a bloody pulp, the clothes she’d been wearing made her look like a five dollar whore under the bright lights of the hospital ward.

Even though Harold had gotten his just desserts, she’d still like to have at him. With him bound to a stake. No one treated her that way.

A pain, completely different from that which made movement a challenge, speared her heart and forced tears to her eyes for the first time that night. She touched the pendant hanging around her neck and closed her eyes, envisioning her late husband.

“Davie, me love,” she whispered. “I give up. I’ll never have another relationship like ours. I’m done trying to find it.” She raised her arms to remove the symbol of the life she’d once cherished with her husband.

The door opened. “Ms. Heather Gilpatrick?”

Glancing up at the two men who strode into her room, she slipped a hand behind her back, hoping her ass wasn’t hanging out of the gown for the world to see. “Aye, I’m Heather.” She kept her voice flat, except for the soft Irish lilt she could never fully mask. She was furious and embarrassed that she’d let this happen, but she wouldn’t let on to anyone how upset she was. “Do you have my discharge papers?” she asked, even though these men obviously weren’t doctors.

The younger one, wearing wrinkled gray slacks, white shirt, and a bland tie, couldn’t be much over twenty-eight. He looked nervous, glancing around the room, focusing on everything but her. The other, at least forty and unquestionably handsome in snug faded jeans and well-worn black cowboy boots, didn’t show such compulsion. He sent her an endearing grin and shook his head.

“No, ma’am. I’m Detective Paul Baxter, and this…” He pointed toward the younger guy. “…is Detective Mike Morris.”

The doctors called the goddamn cops. Bloody hell. She clamped her mouth closed and glared as well as she could with one eye nearly swollen shut.

Baxter, the good-looking one, stepped to within a few feet of her. His eyes were a rich mink brown, almost the exact shade of his collar-length hair. “Ms. Gilpatrick, I’d like to ask you a few questions about your injuries.” He poised a pen over a notebook, but watched her with those gorgeous eyes.

“I’ve got nothing to say, Detective.” Her bravado would probably go over much better if she didn’t know that her face looked like hamburger.

“Ma’am…” he said in a cajoling voice that made her want to grind her teeth. Right now such action would hurt too much. “We need to find the man who did this to you so he doesn’t do it again. Was it your husband?”

She swallowed back the cry of protest and shook her head. “I’m a widow.” Davie would have never, ever, so much as bruised her, let alone make her bleed.


“I told the doctors this already. It was in an alley. It was dark. I didn’t see his face.” She fiddled with the chain that hung around her neck. “I’m sure it won’t happen again.”

Baxter’s gaze flickered to her fingers and zeroed in on the pendant. She laid her hand over it, covering it. Not that anyone outside a very discrete world would know what it meant, but still, his gaze was so…intense.

He turned toward his partner. “Morris, why don’t you run down to the cafeteria and grab us some coffee?”

“Sure, Tex. Ma’am?”

“I don’t want anything, thank you.”

“Go on. I’ll finish up here,” Detective Baxter said. Morris left as if his butt were on fire.

Heather picked up the scrubs. “If you’ll excuse me, I need to get dressed so I can get out of here.”

“Did your master do this to you?”

His words sent a chill racing down her spine. She dropped the clothes and stumbled back against the bed.

Baxter rushed forward and caught her before she fell. “Whoa, there, Ms. Gilpatrick.”

How did he know? Unless…he was one of them.

Out of habit from years of living as a submissive, she dropped her gaze from his face. The signs were subtle, but if he was one, they were there. Keys hooked on a belt loop on his leftside. His tie tack was a tiny pair of handcuffs. Those things alone weren’t uncommon for a cop, but if he knew about the BDSM symbol she wore as a pendant, then he was probably a Dom.

“You all right?” His voice was low, his hands strong and gentle as he gripped her upper arms to steady her.

She nodded, but that shot pain through her skull, and she groaned.

He lifted her onto the bed as if she weighed no more than a feather, and she had no choice but to lie back when he pressed her shoulders.

“Do you need me to get the doctor?”

“No, sir.” She bit her tongue. He was just a cop, not her Dom. They weren’t in a club or anywhere else where he could command her. And after tonight…lesson learned. She was out of that life. No more. These American men didn’t know how to treat a woman. They thought they could get away with anything. She met his gaze defiantly, which seemed to amuse him.

He had a nice smile, she thought idly. Straight white teeth, one side of his lips tipped up higher than the other. Laugh lines bracketed his mouth, and the squint lines that fanned out from his eyes showed signs of years in the sun. And maturity.

“Heather,” he said, his voice gentle, the soft southern accent making her name sound like an endearment. “If your master did this to you, I know you’re not going to give me his name. But I need to know that when you walk out of here, you’re not going to go back and let him do this to you again.”

“Not bloody likely,” she said through clenched teeth, then turned her head away. Hell, she’d said too much. She had to protect the club. It wasn’t Katriona’s fault a bastard of a Dom had lied on the application form. And Katriona had made sure she got a ride to the hospital and that her medical bills would be covered.

“Not likely or no, you definitely won’t go back to him?”

Staring at the darkness beyond the window, she evened out her breathing and steadied her voice. “It happened in an alley. It was dark. I saw nothing.”

Baxter sighed. When a gentle finger traced her uninjured jaw, she snapped her gaze to his.

“A Dom’s main priority is to protect and care for his sub, not bring harm.”

I know!

He reached into his shirt pocket, drew out a card, and handed it to her. “That’s my cell phone number. If you ever need help, you call me. Day or night.” He stepped back from the bed and pocketed his notepad. “I’ll write this off as an attempted mugging. Do you have enough money to get home?”

She almost missed the switch in topic. “Y-yes,” she stammered. “Thank you.”

“You be careful, all right?”

She nodded slowly to keep her head from exploding.

“Call if you need anything, or if you decide to reveal who did this. I’ll see that justice is met.”

She dropped her gaze from his. “Don’t worry. It has been.”

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