Stalked (Predators MC 4) - Page 6

When Buster stood up at the name again, reacting in fear, she decided it might be better not to mention male names again. Choosing another topic of conversation, she rose from the floor to dry herself.

“I forgot to introduce myself. I’m Zoey.” Taking off her brightly colored scarf, she opened one of the drawers in the vanity to grab a brush. Smoothing out the wet curls of her dark brown hair, she then hung the flimsy scarf on the towel holder to dry.

Putting the brush back in the drawer, she opened the bathroom door, making sure the dog was following behind her as she went to the couch in her office.

She was coaxing Buster onto the couch when her client walked into the office.

“Good morning, Felix!” She rose from the couch to hug the client she had been working with for the past six months, watching Buster closely to see his reaction at a male in the room.

“I don’t know about good. It took me ten minutes to find a parking space because it’s raining,” Felix complained, walking toward the couch.

Zoey was relieved to see Buster give an unconcerned look as he approached.

“What did I tell you about being negative?”

“That when I want to be negative, find something to be positive about.”

“And…?” she prompted.

“Focus on that instead of the negative.”

Zoey motioned for him to take a seat on the soft couch that was covered with bright pillows. As he was getting comfortable, Penni knocked on the open door, drawing her attention.

“Your tea and Buster’s food.”

“Thank you. I appreciate it.” She took the items from her, setting them down on the coffee table in front of the couch.

“I was happy to do it.” Penni shook her head when Zoey tried to give her the twenty that she took out of her pocket. “It pays you back for all the cups of tea you bring to me and Grace. We’ll call it even.” Penni took a step back when Buster started to growl at her again. “I’ll talk you later. I need to get busy if I’m going to be able to keep my lunch date with Jackal.” Going to the door, she kept an eye on Buster, who started growling louder at the mention of Jackal’s name.

At her hasty exit, Zoey gave the dog a reproachful glance.

“Sorry about that. Buster is having issues with certain names.”

“Cute dog.”

“I think so too.” Zoey gave him a wide smile. “We’re going to start over, and you’re going to tell me something positive that happened to you this morning,” she said, taking a seat on the opposite side of the couch then patting the cushion next to her for Buster to jump back up.

Felix appeared to have to think hard for an answer that would meet her criteria of being classified as positive. “I wasn’t late for my appointment with you.”

“There you go!” Her praise had Felix straightening on the couch. “Being more punctual was one of the goals that you wanted to accomplish by working with me. Are you ready to get started?”

“Yes,” he said, smoothing down his rainswept hair.

“Relax, Felix. These tapes are only to monitor your progress.” Zoey pressed the button on the compact black controller for the camera that pointed at where he was sitting. Reaching for the iPad on the table, she pulled up Felix’s file. “How is your homework coming along? I told you to go out on three dates last month. One with a woman you asked out based on how attractive you found her, another who you had something in common with, and the third was someone you weren’t sexually attracted to and had nothing in common with. Did you succeed?”

“Partly. The one I found attractive looked at me like I was crazy for asking her out; the second one stood me up; and the third one, we had dinner, and then she blew me off when I asked her out again.”

“That’s great. You’re moving in the right direction,” she enthused, typing her notes onto the iPad.

Felix’s eyes widened. “How’s that great? I struck out.”

“The only ones who struck out were the women who didn’t give themselves a chance to know you better. Your objective was to start dating again. Before I gave you the assignment, how many dates had you been on in the last year?”


“There you go, and just having one now isn’t bad. I told you not to expect a romantic connection right away. The goal was to increase your pool of acquaintances so you don’t feel as lonely. This month, I want you to ask out six women using the same criteria as before, just doubling it.”

“You want me to be humiliated again?”

“I want you to be empowered,” Zoey gave him the motivation he couldn’t find for himself since his relationship had ended. “Each time you ask a woman out, you’re building your confidence and building friendships along the way.”

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