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Dominic’s Touch (The Forbidden #1)
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Where do we draw the line between love and the forbidden?
Chloe isn’t supposed to want Dominic, not because of who he is, not because of what he is to her, but because of the complications being with him would cause. As she grows older, things change.
Love becomes tainted.
People are betrayed.
What she always thought would last … didn’t. Or maybe it never was supposed to.
And it’s when it feels like the world is falling apart that she finds her feelings for Dominic growing, changing … becoming forbidden.
As emotions peak, love is tested, and her life is turned upside down, it’s Dominic who’s there to keep Chloe upright. It’s Dominic who’s there to show her that no matter what, love can’t be wrong, no matter who it’s with, or what anyone else thinks.
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It was a hot summer day, so hot that all she wanted to do was go to the pool, spend all day swimming and lying out, eating ice cream before it melted, and not have to wear this funny little lilac dress her mom had given her to put on.
Chloe stood among the other bridesmaids, all of the women at least fifteen years her senior. All of them, except Chloe, filled out their dresses. And here she was, fifteen years old, a child compared to the thirty-something-year-olds beside her. She felt out of place, silly, really. But her Aunt Clara had chosen her to be a part of this big day, her big day, so Chloe would stand here and suck it up, and pretend she didn’t feel the beads of sweat dotting her body.
She glanced over at where her Aunt Clara’s soon-to-be-husband stood.
Dominic, with his short dark hair, his big, muscular body wrapped up in a black and white tux, looked like he’d just won the lottery as he grinned and stared down the aisle. He was handsome, and years younger than Aunt Clara.
They’d been dating for years, since Chloe was only twelve, and she’d always known him as Uncle Dominic.
And so here they stood, waiting for Aunt Clara and Uncle Dominic to tie the knot.
The “Wedding March” sounded and everyone turned and faced the aisle. Chloe saw her Aunt Clara emerge, the white wedding dress she wore so gorgeous, just like her. It also looked expensive, probably was given the fact this entire wedding reeked of money.
But then again, Clara was a very important person, just like Chloe’s mom and dad.
Doctors. Chloe had a family of physicians.
Chloe looked at Uncle Dominic again. He was so different than Clara, than the other men Chloe had seen her with in the past. He hadn’t gone to college like Aunt Clara. He was a military man, a man who served his country, as her mother said. Chloe had heard people talk about how heroic Dominic was, how powerful and strong he was … how lucky Clara was to have such a hero in her life.
They called him a SEAL, and although she knew what that meant—kind of—from listening to him talking with her parents, she didn’t fully know what it all meant. What she did know what that it was important.
What Chloe knew was they were lucky to have each other.
And then Aunt Clara started walking down the aisle, but Chloe couldn’t help but stare at Uncle Dominic. He wore a big smile, his attention solely on his soon-to-be wife. Chloe adored her Uncle Dominic. He was the only one who told her stories of the faraway places he’d been, the only one who’d played the knight to her princess when she was younger.
He was the only one who was never too busy for her.
Maybe that was why she liked him the best. When everyone else was too busy to be bothered with Chloe, Uncle Dominic was always there.
When Aunt Clara stopped in front of Uncle Dominic, she turned and smiled down at Chloe. This had all been rehearsed yesterday. Chloe was nervous, but she forced herself to step forward and take Aunt Clara’s bouquet without any mistakes, even though she felt anxious.
Uncle Dominic turned and looked down at Chloe. He smiled, but then she saw how he crossed his eyes. It took every ounce of control Chloe had not to start laughing.
The ceremony finished without fault, and Chloe found herself stuck in the corner, watching as champagne was passed around. The pool was sounding better as time passed.
“Why the frown, Chloe?”
She knew that voice, deep and slightly scratchy. Lifting her head, she stared into Uncle Dominic’s bright blue eyes. They always reminded her of the ocean. She had seen enough pictures to know the color was the same.
“What’s wrong? Not enjoying the party?”
“I am. It’s fine.” She wouldn’t tell him how she felt, wouldn’t tell him she knew things were going to be different now. They wouldn’t be around anymore, wouldn’t invite her to the cottage on her summer vacations. They’d have their own life, have their own vacations as a married couple.
God, Chloe couldn’t believe how much she was thinking about all this. She should only feel happiness.
When she stayed quiet, he spoke again. “I thought we could tell each other anything.” He pulled up a chair in front of her and sat down. “Whatever’s wrong, I’m here to listen.” He chucked her under the chin with his finger. “We’re family now.”
“I’m fine. I promise.”
He leaned back in his chair and looked at her with a frown.
“I can see something’s bothering you, but we don’t have to talk about it, not until you’re ready. If you’re ready. Okay?”
He looked at the wedding party, and long moments passed where neither of them spoke. Then he glanced back at her. “Listen. No matter what, I’ll always be here, okay?”