Stalked (Predators MC 4) - Page 59

“You had to know there was a possibility you would have been caught when you applied for it.”

“I did, but I was willing to risk it. Julian, the monk who found me, had been diagnosed with cancer, and monks don’t own cars,” she explained. “He could ride in one if he was sick, and I wanted to help. It would be my payback for him giving me a home.”

“Why didn’t you go back there when you turned eighteen?”

“It was too painful. Julian died when I was in the orphanage. As much as I loved it there, I couldn’t bear him not being there anymore.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Thank you. I still miss him every day.” Zoey wiped away the tears she hadn’t been able to hold back. “If you don’t believe me, you can call….”

“I believe you. I didn’t realize monks existed in the United States. I always assumed they lived in Tibet.”

Zoey laughed so hard she had to hold her belly. “You know, when you assume—”

Stump held his hands up in defeat, laughing back. “You make an ass out of yourself,” he finished for her. “Which wasn’t the first time I made an ass of myself today. Why did you get your Theology degree…? Please don’t tell me you want to become a nun.”

“No, of course not.” She laughed harder at his expression.

“Thank God.”

“I did think about becoming a female monk when I was younger, but I love oatmeal cookies and loud music too much to give them up.”

“Just to make sure that I don’t make an ass of myself again, do you have sex if you want to?”

“Of course…” She flushed when she read the grin that started spreading across his face. “If I choose to do so, which I don’t. I choose to be celibate.”

“No one, other than priests or nuns, chooses to be celibate, and even they have a problem with it.”

“I don’t. I’m very content.”

“No one is content when they aren’t getting laid. I don’t care how many stacks of Bibles they swear on.”

“I am.”

“If you tried it, you wouldn’t be so content. Does your religion forbid it?”

“I don’t follow one particular church or doctrine. I choose to live my life without sex or alcohol, not because I have to, but because I want to.”

“No alcohol either? You’re giving up the best parts of life.”

Zoey placed her hand on the one that was resting between them. “I’m seeking enlightenment in living the best possible life I’m capable of. That’s what I want to show you if you let me.”

Stump moved his hand away quickly. “I’m not giving up sex or alcohol.”

“You don’t have to. My way isn’t for everyone; I understand that. What I can help you with is making the best life for you that suits your needs and wants.”

“So, I don’t have to give up sex or alcohol?”


“Then I’m in. It’s not like you left me with a choice, if I’m going to be able to keep Grace and Penni safe. You really are planning on going to the police station tonight, right?”


“Then, why did you look like you were lying when Penni asked?”

“I spent a lot of years dodging the police when I was younger. I’m afraid old habits die hard. I’m determined to face that particular fear tonight. I won’t do anything to jeopardize Penni’s and Grace’s safety. I’d give my office up before I let that happen.”

“I can go with you, so you don’t have to go in alone.”

“I would appreciate it. Now, let’s finish your session so we can go.”

“We’re not done?”

“We’ve spent most of the time talking about me. We need to make goals for you, and then we can go.” She had led herself away from the main objective of getting Stump started on his life plan.

“How many do I need to set?”

“I like to start with at least five. Then we can add more if needed.” She picked up her iPad, ready to type in his goals.

“Like, I could be in better shape physically? Shit like that you wanting?”

“Yes, and without the profanity, if possible.”

“Let that be the second goal—to watch my language.”

“I was going to suggest that one.” She eyed him. “I have a few suggestions for you….” Zoey lifted her hand to her scarf when he looked at it as if he wanted to strangle her with it. “How about finding a job?”

“Go ahead and add that to the list, too. And add a new girlfriend while you’re at it since I just lost my last one and you’re celibate, so that lets you off the hook.”

“Thank Buddha,” she muttered, typing the goals into the iPad.

“What’d you say?”

“One more.”

“Oh… How about managing my money? Can you help with that?”

“Yes.” She eagerly turned off her iPad. “We can start first thing in the morning. I’m looking forward to getting started working with you to achieve your goals.” Standing, she reached out her hand to help him up, but he immediately rose. “Aren’t you excited?”

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