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Authors: Z.L. Arkadie

Explore Her, More of Her

BOOK: Explore Her, More of Her
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CONTENTS

Explore Her, More of Her (Daisy & Belmont, #2)

License Note

Books - LOVE in the USA

Chapter One - Take The Lifeline

Chapter Two - The Lost

Chapter Three - Deserting the Island

Chapter Four - Family on the Wall

Chapter Five - Only the Courageous

Chapter Six - The Girl from California Goes Walking

Chapter Seven - Moments Like This

Chapter Eight - The Host and I

Chapter Nine - I Choose You

Chapter Ten - Can We Start All Over Again

Explore Her, More of Her

(Daisy & Belmont, #2)

LOVE in the USA, Book 6

Z.L. Arkadie

Learn More About Z.L. Arkadie

Cover Design by Karri Klawiter of
 
Art by Karri Photo Illustrator

Copyright © 2014 Z.L. Arkadie Books

License Notes

All rights reserved, including right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form or by any means whatsoever without prior written permission from the publisher.

Links To Available Books in the LOVE in the USA Series

A sexy kind of LOVE…
 

Book 1 -
Find Her, Keep Her - A Martha’s Vineyard Love Story

Book 2 -
There’s Something About Her, A Manhattan Love Story

Book 3 -
Say You Love Her, An LA Love Story

Book 4 -
Know Her, Love Her (Daisy & Belmont, #1)
 

Book 5 -
Still In Love With Her (Maggie & Vince, #1)
 

Book 6 - Explore Her, More of Her (Daisy & Belmont, #2)

Book 7 - He’s So Good: A San Francisco Love Story - Coming June 2015!

CHAPTER ONE
Take The Lifeline

***

Wednesday Afternoon…

I wake with a start. The ceiling looks different. I scramble to sit up. Tree branches canopy over a patio where two chaise lounges border a hot tub. Steam rises from the aqua water. I’m in a white tank-dress that I left in my closet in Malibu. Why the heck am I wearing it? Am I dreaming? I squeeze my eyes shut, and when I open them, nothing’s changed—this is real.

“Daisy?”
 

I scramble to turn around. It’s Belmont, and he has a black eye and a bruised cheek.

“What happened to you? Where are we?” I ask.

He rushes toward me. Suddenly shockwaves ripple through me, and I curl up on the bed until the pain passes. I look at my ankle. A bracelet is clamped around it, and Belmont is wearing one too.

“Please maintain a distance of at least five feet while standing and ten feet while lying down,” a man says over a P.A. system.

Belmont and I look at each other, wondering what in the world is going on.

***

Belmont Lord

Yesterday Afternoon…

Belmont sat up and shook the cobwebs from his head. He had been lying down, tucked under warm blankets, in a cold room.
 

He looked at his chest. “What the…?” Someone had attached nodules to his chest, the kind that monitor the heart. Belmont ripped them off as he glared at the blue waterproof walls. He recognized them. He’d had them built to protect himself from the destructive forces of nature that affect islands in that tropical region. He was on the private island he owned in the Bahamas, and he sure as hell hadn’t brought himself there.
 

After Belmont confirmed that he was alive, it dawned on him that he felt like shit. The left side of his face, including his eye, throbbed, and something heavier than nothing weighed down his ankle.
 

“What the hell is this?” he whispered as he touched it. It was the type of ankle bracelet the courts put on criminals to track their whereabouts. Was someone trying to keep tabs on him? If so, who?
 

He examined the room, looking for some sort of clue to how he’d gotten there. A handful of his enemies would love to see him suffer, starting with Matt Silver and Holden Reece. Matt had made a backhanded threat against Daisy, and Belmont took that remark as a declaration of war. So Belmont had locked and loaded and fired back. He had a plan in motion that would expose Reece Holdings for insider trading. But they couldn’t have learned that fast about the shot he took.
 

Belmont massaged his jaw. He had been heading over to Daisy’s to make sure she was safe, and to seduce her, before he was assaulted. He’d needed her body—he still did.
 

Belmont frowned as he remembered the cry of one of his assailants. “Charlie…” He could pick his brother’s voice out of a lineup of distorted voices. Why in the hell had Charlie accosted him in a parking garage?
 

Belmont slid off the bed. His body ached from throwing a barrage of unsuccessful punches. He went into the box-sized bathroom and studied his face in the mirror.

“Damn it,” Belmont whispered. He had noticeable bruising around his eye and on his cheek and jaw. Charlie had gotten him good.
 

Belmont opened the medicine cabinet to look for the antibiotic cream before he remembered it was in the first aid kit in the master suite upstairs. He decided to treat the bruise then figure out what the hell was going on. Belmont rushed out of the bathroom, but when he smashed the button to open the door of his prison, nothing happened. Just to be sure, he tried it again, and again the door didn’t budge.

He beamed in on the control console located on the wall in one corner of the room. Upstairs, there was a full control room that let him monitor and control every part of the three-acre island. The smaller panel was a substation of the larger room, and it was wired to remain on twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. However, none of the indicator lights were on. The panel had been turned off. Belmont walked over to the machine and tried to turn it on, but it wouldn’t power up. He checked the sockets—it was plugged in. Then he ran his fingers along the edge of the rectangular box and noticed a screw loose at the top.
 

“What the hell?” he said under his breath.
 

Someone must’ve rewired the system. Charlie was the only one who knew Belmont’s safe room existed. He was also the only one who was aware of the complex wiring connecting that room to the one upstairs.
 

Belmont fumed. Fucking Charlie. He was going to wring his neck as soon as he got himself out of that jam. Belmont shook his head. Charlie must’ve forgotten that he was a first-rate electrician. Belmont believed that a man who bought and sold multimillion-dollar properties ought to know how to build a structure from the inside out.
 

He went on a rampage looking for a tool kit. He opened drawers in the kitchenette then headed back to the bathroom to check the drawers and cabinets. Sometimes he went overboard storing his things, often hiding them from himself. Daisy often watched and remembered where he put things. She was a big help. Unfortunately she wasn’t around when he built the safe room. Belmont paused to calm down so that his memory could flourish. He hadn’t been in that damn room in six years, since he’d installed a new camera on the western side of the island and had to hook up the wiring to the control panel.
 

That’s it!
Belmont smiled victoriously. He pushed the bed away from the wall and opened a hatch in the floor. Inside, he found a compact transceiver that he had stored in case he lost cell phone reception. His current predicament was worse than that—he had no cell phone at all. There was also a first aid kit, which was better stocked than the one upstairs. He kept digging until he found the small black toolbox that contained a ratchet set, a wrench, a set of pliers, extra wires, and a soldering kit.

Belmont sighed with relief. Things were looking up. Even though his face hurt, he went to work restoring the power to the control panel. Once he got started, he realized Charlie sure as hell hadn’t rewired the panel himself. Belmont was undoing the work of a professional. Hours ticked by, and the longer it took him to finish the task, the further away from Daisy he felt. He missed her body, the sound of her voice, and her sensual kisses.
 

Belmont was convinced that he wouldn’t be stuck in that predicament if he and Daisy had never hit that rough patch. While he was wasting away on the damn island, she was in Provence, France, traipsing off into the sunset with Dexter Frampton. Belmont tried to shake the thought of the two of them together out of his head. If only he could make Daisy as happy as he strove to make her. The only part of Daisy that still wasn’t a mystery was making love to her.
 

Belmont tugged too hard at an essential wire.
 

“Shit,” he muttered. He had almost destroyed it.
 

Suddenly his thoughts sent a surge of frustration through him. Hell, he had given Daisy everything he thought women wanted. Her every wish was his command. The only problem was she never asked for a damn thing! All she did was stew in discontentment while trying to mask her agony with a dull smile. Damn, he hated that smile just as much as he loved her.
 

Loving Daisy had never made much sense to him. She was nothing like the women he’d dated in the past. They loved his wealth and his status. They wanted to flaunt him every chance they got. They asked for what they wanted, and he had bought everything from boob jobs to BMWs to summer-long vacations traipsing around the world. He liked to give, and he only took infrequently.
 

But when he’d first laid eyes on Daisy, he knew she was different. He knew she was
the one
. He just didn’t think she would be so difficult to make happy. Belmont had hoped he could fall out of love with her, but the cells of his body loved the cells of her body. His soul craved her soul. His mind needed her mind to complete him. He had waited thirty-five years to find her. Daisy was the woman God had made for him and he was the man for her—that he knew for sure.

Belmont’s glare rolled around the room. There were no windows, but the clock on the oven said he had been at his task for at least six hours. He had gotten a portion of the control panel working but not the part that controlled the safe room door. Belmont felt like road kill. He was so exhausted that he started mixing up wires. Charlie’s electrician had added filters and control boxes that weren’t part of the original design, so Belmont had to find workarounds. Then when he fixed one function, another function stopped working.
 

Belmont wanted to yell, but instead he kept his composure. He needed food and a bit more sleep. He opened the refrigerator. There wasn’t that much there to eat. What did Charlie want to do? Starve him to death? Belmont took out one of the three turkey sandwiches wrapped in plastic and one of the three beers. Charlie knew he only drank beer when he was stressed.
 

The silence was getting to Belmont. He had to force his brain not to think of Daisy or all the work he was neglecting. He also had to keep himself from getting so pissed off at Charlie that he got careless with the box and made mistakes. Belmont hated being helpless, but there was no use in pushing himself to exhaustion. After he finished eating, he took two painkillers for his throbbing everything, lied down, and closed his eyes.
 

When Belmont woke, he was laying on his side, facing the kitchenette. The oven said it was nine a.m. He rolled up to sit. He had been asleep for almost ten hours. At least his head felt better.

Belmont brushed his teeth, washed his face, took two more painkillers, and got back to work on the control panel. Now that he could think more clearly, he figured out that he shouldn’t try to remove the aspects Charlie’s guy added—he should meld them into the existing wiring. More hours ticked away, but Belmont had finally fixed the last wire. When he pushed the button to open the door, it slid open.
 

He smiled and looked at his ankle monitor. It would only take a dig and turn in the lock with a flathead to free himself from it, but he wondered what the purpose of the damn thing was in the first place. So he left it on. Now that he had telecommunications back up, he wanted to call Charlie and insist that he explain himself. However, Belmont was too curious to put an early end to the madness. He would wait as long as he could to see what Charlie had planned. From the amount of food that Charlie left in the refrigerator, he hadn’t expected Belmont to remain in the hole for long. At least, that was what Belmont hoped.

Belmont rushed up the stairs to the main control room. He had to make the main system the slave and the smaller panel in the safe room the master because an outside source had linked into the main system, giving that person the ability to control everything. Belmont didn’t terminate their control, but he fixed the system so that he could lock them out if he wanted. He powered up the massive surveillance system, but all he heard was white noise. Belmont rushed back downstairs to activate the override function, and this time when he activated the system, the TV monitors showed various shots of outside and inside the property. The timestamp on the corner of each monitor said it was Wednesday afternoon.
 

BOOK: Explore Her, More of Her
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