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Rated: 18+ · Chapter · Gay/Lesbian · #2188300
Adrienne and Theodora have lunch with her father. Jaxon gets what’s coming to him.
         Hey Daddy. I was wondering if I could drop by your office later today?
         Hey baby girl, he replied almost instantly, of course you can drop by later. I've missed you, maybe we can grab lunch?
         Sounds good Dad. I'll meet you at Flake?
         See you there around one.
         Adrienne swallowed hard, nervous to tell her father what had been going on for years. She was even more afraid that he might not believe her. Her parents had known Jaxon since high school when he got Bryson onto the football team, and had loved him ever since, treating him like one of their own children, and her brother looked up to him like the older brother he never had. She wished it would be easier, that she could just leave him and be done with it, but she knew that, with Jaxon, nothing was ever that easy.
         As she lay against the pillows, deep in her thoughts, she heard Theodora groan and shift in her sleep to turn toward her. She opened her gorgeous hazel eyes and looked up, groggily, at Adrienne. Theodora's eyes lit up and she smiled hugely as if she hadn't expected Adrienne to stay, but she was so glad she had. Jaxon, in the almost ten years they'd been together, had ever looked at her like that, no matter the situation. This woman woke up after a single night of knowing Adrienne and looked like she'd just won the lottery.
         "Good morning," Adrienne chirped cheerfully as she smiled back sweetly, loving the feeling of smiling genuinely for the first time in forever, and having an actual reason to smile about.
         "Good morning," Theodora said a bit groggily, but Adrienne could hear the smile in her voice, "I'm glad you're still here."
         "Well, I don't have a key or anything to lock up behind myself and I'd never leave you in an unlocked apartment by yourself without your knowledge," Adrienne said, her face a bit worrisome as if she was upset that someone would do something like that.
         "Do you want one?" Theodora joked, but not really, as she rolled to face Adrienne and prop herself up on her elbow.
         Adrienne blushed and hide behind her mess of hair as Theodora tossed the covers off of her and stood to stretch, her silk shirt riding up a bit to reveal sexy, toned abs that Adrienne found herself wanting to run her tongue over.
She had the little V that disappeared under her shorts and Adrienne found her nipples growing hard and her breasts plumping with desire, making her cross her arms over her chest to hide her sudden arousal. Theodora turned to walk to the door and Adrienne, for the first time, noticed Theodora's firm ass and smooth, sexy thighs in the silk shorts and swallowed hard.
         "Would you like some breakfast?" she said looking over her shoulder and smiled as she saw Adrienne's gaze flow up her body slowly as she nodded, "See something you like?"
         Adrienne blushed but nodded, making Theodora chuckle her wind chime laugh as she motioned for Adrienne to follow. Adrienne slid from the bed and scampered silently to catch up with Theodora and sat on one of the bar stools at the island in the kitchen as Theodora turned on the Keurig to make some coffee. She grabbed cream from her neatly-stocked fridge and sugar from her obsessive-compulsively organized cupboard and gave Adrienne the first mug and a spoon.
         "I have flavor syrups if you want to add one to your coffee," she said, "I have French vanilla and hazelnut."
         "I'll take the hazelnut, please," Adrienne said sweetly and Theodora set it in front of her and let her pump how much she wanted into it. "So, what's for breakfast?"
         "I have some stale bread," Theodora said, "I could make French toast, unless you're diet is too strict then I have eggs and spinach and stuff, too. Whichever you prefer."
         "French toast sounds amazing," Adrienne chirped, "I haven't had it since I was a kid. Mom didn't cook very much but when she did, it was a real treat."
         "French toast it is."
         "Can I help?" Adrienne asked as she took a sip of her coffee.
         "I think I can handle French toast, sweet girl," Theodora said with a grin, "but I appreciate the offer."
         "So," Adrienne drawled after a few moments of nothing but the clanking of a fork against a bowl as Theodora beat the eggs, vanilla, flour, and milk, "would you like to pick up where we left off last night?"
         "Sure," Theodora said, "why don't you start?"
         "I started last night," Adrienne said, "and I'm not sure I was really at an advantage with that, so you start us off."
         Theodora did not like to be told what to do, but she could tell Adrienne was being playful so she let the command slide and thought quietly as she set a pan on the stove to get hot, "What do you want out of life, Adrienne? What is your end goal?"
         "To be happy," Adrienne blurted without even thinking, "I want to have kids one day, with someone that treats me well and takes care of me, and I take care of her and make her happy, too."
         Theodora smiled, "You do realize you just said her right?"
         Adrienne nodded, a hopeful gleam in her eye as she sipped her coffee. Theodora winked as she turned back around to toss a slice of the staling bread into the sweet egg mixture and quickly transfer it to the screaming hot pan.
         "What do you want, Theodora? Out of life, I mean. What is your end goal?"
         "About the same as yours. Find a good woman, preferably a kinky one, maybe have a baby or two, grow old and just be happy."
         "Do you have, what did you call them last night, subs?"
         "I do not have any...er...solid subs. I don't take on subs, really, I just do what people like me to. I'll tie them up, whip them, spank them, if I'm feeling frisky and they want to I'll fuck them, but very rarely."
         "Oh, okay. Well I don't have any either."
         Theodora let out a gut-busting laugh and doubled over, "That was good."
         Adrienne grinned with a sly chuckle, just a bit proud of herself for making Theodora laugh. Theodora flipped the toast in the skillet, and while she waited for it to brown, she went and got syrup from the cupboard from earlier and a butter dish on the counter to set on the island for their toast.
         "Would you like me to fry up some bananas or slice some strawberries?" Theodora offered as she plated the toast and set it in front of Adrienne.
         "Please, don't make another mess," Adrienne said, "just come and eat."
         Theodora plated herself a slice of toast and sat down next to Adrienne and began eating, but she was quiet for a long time.
         "Are you okay?" Adrienne asked as she finished her toast.
         "Adrienne," Theodora said, and again was quiet for a very long time.
         "Yes?" Adrienne said, impatient to hear what Theodora had to say.
         "I'm sorry, I'm thinking of how to word this. Give me just a moment, please."
         Adrienne folded her hands in her lap, waiting for Theodora to collect her thoughts, wondering what could be so pressing that she had to think of how to word it. She heard Theodora take a deep breath and then release and turned to look at her.
         "Adrienne," Theodora started, "If you had somewhere to go, would you leave Jaxon."
         "Yes," Adrienne blurted without really considering the answer, but that was literally ninety percent of her problem.
         "You answered that awfully fast," Theodora said, "please take at least a few minutes to think about what I've asked."
         "Theodora, I'm tired of being smacked around. I'm sick of not being happy. I'm sick of being engaged to a self-righteous prick that doesn't give two shits about me, cheats on me, and then has the audacity to accuse me of the shit he's doing. Yes, I would leave him if I had a place to go. I actually texted my father this morning. He's a lawyer, and I was going to tell him about what's been going on for the past several years. God, I just hope he'll fucking believe me."
         "Why wouldn't your father believe you, Adrienne?" Theodora cocked her head in concern.
         "My mother and he have loved Jaxon like their own child since my brother introduced him as his best friend to them when we were in high school. They love Jaxon. I'm not sure they could see the truth with the facade that Jaxon puts on in front of everyone."
         "Would you like me to come with you to meet your father this afternoon?" Theodora offered, "I could tell him about my friend and shed some light on the signs that your mother and he seem to be missing. I want to help Adrienne. I don't know what's got me so invested, but I think it's because you remind me of Dani, and I'd hate to lose someone to violence again, even if we have just met."
         "I think I would like if you came with me," Adrienne said thoughtfully, "I think you'll help me stay brave and go through with it."
         "Well, the reason I asked if you would leave if you had a place to stay is I'm willing to take you in. If it means getting you out of harm's way and away from that bastard, I would do just about anything to help you."
         "D-do you really mean that Theodora?" Adrienne stumbled, "I don't want to be a burden or take up any space."
         "I mean it with every last beat of my heart, Adrienne."
         "Let's go talk to my father before we decide anything. Meanwhile, I will greatly consider your offer."
         Theodora seemed content with Adrienne's answer and continued eating, while Adrienne stood up to clean the up the mess.
         "What are you doing?" Theodora asked around a mouthful of toast, as Adrienne stepped into the kitchen and grabbed the pan off the stove to wash it.
         "Cleaning up breakfast, Silly," Adrienne smiled as she ran some water over the pan, "you made breakfast, the least I could do is clean up. Besides, I've got to prove I can earn my keep if we're going to be roommates."
         "Roommates," Theodora repeated as she took another bite of her toast. Her voice sounded as though it longed for something more. Well, she didn't have to worry about that. Once Adrienne was free of Jaxon's death grip on her life, she intended to deepen Theodora's and her relationship. She scrubbed the pan with the Scrub Daddy that sat on the sink and laid it in the drainboard to dry, then turned around for their plates and rinsed them to place in the dishwasher. Adrienne set her mug on the top rack and waited for Theodora to finish her coffee too.
         "Do you mind if a borrow some clothes to wear to meet my dad for lunch?" Adrienne asked sheepishly, "All of my clothes are at Skylar's place."
         "Adrienne, what's mine is yours," Theodora said standing up to head toward her bedroom to show Adrienne her closet, "come along let's pick you out an outfit."
         Theodora led Adrienne into her walk-in closet and turned on an overhead light to illuminate the neatly-hung clothes. Theodora ran her hand along the clothes and looked at Adrienne, thinking and looking back at her clothes, "Do you mind if i pick something out for you?"
         Adrienne shook her head and smiled when Theodora turned away, wondering what she would pick for her to wear. She grabbed a pair of black jeans and handed the hanger to Adrienne.
         "These are comfier than most of my pants, but still sexy," she said thoughtfully and plucked a pretty emerald chiffon blouse from the rack and handed it to her also, "I think you'd look beautiful in this." Theodora curled a stray wisp of Adrienne's blonde hair behind her ear and looked into those gorgeous blue eyes. "Not that you need to have anything on to be beautiful."
         Adrienne bit her lip and blushed as Theodora's touch sent electricity through her body and made her breasts ache again. She wanted this woman's touch, she wanted this woman's sex, but most importantly, she wanted this woman's love. She wanted so badly for Theodora to want her the way she craved her, sexually and emotionally. She wasn't sure what she'd do if she didn't, but leaving Jaxon was the first step she needed to take in order to get closer to Theodora in both ways, and she just couldn't wait.
         "You can shower first, if you'd like," Theodora said, looking thoughtful like she wanted to say something else but thought better of it, and continued picking out clothes for herself.
         Adrienne was hoping Theodora would want to shower with her, but she knew that Theodora was being overly respectful of Adrienne's boundaries right now; boy, did Adrienne hope that she'd cross them when the time came though. Theodora came out of the closet laying her outfit, which was a simple black pencil skirt and a deep, blood-red blouse, out on the bed, and led Adrienne to a linen closet and handed her a washcloth and two towels and sent her off to the bathroom to shower.
         Adrienne started up the shower and slid out of the silk pajamas that she'd borrowed from Theodora, and folded them to placed on the beautiful black marble countertop and slid under the hot water and let it run from her head to her toes. She shampooed her hair quickly, then rinsed and ran conditioner through with her hands to let it sit as she washed her body, finally rinsing it out after her body was clean. She stepped out of the shower and bent over to wrap her hair in one towel and wrapped herself in the other and walked back to Theodora's room where she found the beautiful woman laying on her bed, reading a book, waiting for her. Theodora looked up from her book, the bottom half of her face hidden behind it, but her eyes spoke volumes, and then so did her mouth.
         "Wow," Theodora said as she marked her spot in the book and let it close in her lap, "I didn't think I'd see you in nothing but a towel this early on."
         "Play your cards right, and you could see a lot more than that," Adrienne blurted, then blushed almost instantly, "I'm sorry, I have no clue where that came from."
         "And I'm supposed to be upset, why?" Theodora said quirking an eyebrow, "Unless that wasn't a promise. In which case the, I'd be very upset."
         Adrienne chuckled as Theodora handed her a pair of panties and her strapless bra, which she quickly slid into as Theodora left to go start her shower, leaving Adrienne to dress by herself. She decided to let her wound breathe a little today and not cover it. Adrienne slid easily into the black jeans that hugged her like a glove, and then put on the beautiful blouse and held the collar to her nose and inhaled deeply, loving that it smelled like Theodora and rolled her eyes back at the scent. She walked out of the bedroom and down the corridor to the living room and slid her shoes on, then went back to the bedroom to wait for Theodora to get out of the shower.
         Theodora came into the room, steam roiling off of her still wet skin as she walked into the room in nothing but a towel, her long crimson hair in a knot on top of her head. Adrienne watched as Theodora strutted a bit for her as she grabbed a bottle of lotion off of her dresser, and walked over to her, biting her lip seductively and Adrienne immediately felt her heart begin to race. It felt as though her heart were beating so hard that Theodora could see it pounding through the borrowed blouse. Theodora stopped in front of Adrienne looking down at her as she sat on the bed, leaned forward almost as if she were going to kiss her, which Adrienne desperately wanted, no, needed. She felt her lids get heavy with desire as she leaned forward to meet Theodora, but just as her body inched forward, Theodora lifted her foot up onto the bed beside Adrienne and opened the lotion bottle to apply some to her smooth beautiful legs. Adrienne blushed, a bit embarrassed at her overwhelming desire to simply kiss Theodora's luscious lips. Adrienne felt her heart slow noticeably and she draped one leg over the other and leaned forward to whisper against Theodora's ear.
         "Two can play that game, Ms. Alvarez," Adrienne whispered against her ear, and felt goosebumps raise the fine little hairs on her arms, even as Theodora tried to play it cool.
         "I was hoping you'd say that, Ms. Thorne," Theodora whispered so close to Adrienne's ear that she could feel her teeth against it as her lips curled into a wicked grin, "I'd absolutely love to see what you've got, little one."
         Little one? Where had that nickname come from, and why, oh why, did it turn her on so? Adrienne bit her lip, trying to quell that roar that was her desire for this beautiful woman. She looked at the time on her phone and it was nearing the time that she and her father had agreed upon so she stood, and walked toward the bedroom door, then turned back to Theodora who raised a brow as she finished applying lotion to her other leg.
         "I will be waiting on the couch, Theodora," Adrienne said, sounding a bit cocky, and meaning to.
         "Oh," Theodora said, putting on a sad puppy facade that slowly but surely turned wicked, "I thought you might like to watch me change my clothes."
         Theodora undid the towel, slowly and deliberately letting it slide down her body to the floor, the smile on her face one of pure sadistic enjoyment at Adrienne's obvious lust and torment of denying herself the pleasure of caressing Theodora with anything but her eyes. Theodora's breasts were plump and perky, they weren't porn star perfect, but they were all natural and beautiful, with peaked brown nipples from the chilly air in the room. Adrienne's eyes lingered on Theodora's gorgeous chest, then traveled down to the soft, trimmed, dark curls between her smooth olive thighs. She had the body of an absolute goddess, and by George, she knew it. She strutted over to Adrienne, who stood, dumbfounded, in the doorway, and looked her up and down, taking in her swollen breasts and her thighs squeezed together so tight they could probably crush a watermelon.
         "You can go," Theodora said with an impish grin as she turned on her heel back toward where her outfit lay on the bed, "I'll be there in a jiff."
         "I-uh-you might need help," Adrienne said, mentally smacking herself in the forehead as she sounded like a fourteen-year-old boy.
         "Oh, no, Ms. Thorne," Theodora smiled softly with underlying mischief, "you can go wait in the living room like you said. I won't be long."
         "Y-yes, ma'am," Adrienne said and left the room.

         "It'll be Mistress to you, soon enough, little one," Theodora said quietly as the door clicked shut behind Adrienne as she left the room. Theodora hated to see her go, but loved to watch her leave. Her ass looked amazing in the jeans that she'd picked out for her, and she knew it would, and the emerald against that soft porcelain skin was absolutely stunning, as she knew it would be as well. She'd never show, if she could help it, but Theodora wanted Adrienne just as badly as Adrienne very obviously wanted her. She'd had the girl in the palm of her hand when she'd walked through the bedroom door in nothing but her towel. Adrienne had practically been salivating. She could've sworn she'd seen Adrienne's heart starting to pound the closer she'd gotten to her, and she loved having that affect on her. She wanted to badly to touch Adrienne, but she was going to wait until Adrienne was ready for her or Adrienne made the first move. It seemed the former of her two options was going to be more likely. Adrienne seemed almost scared to touch Theodora, as if she was going to catch some kind of disease, or worse, confirm that she really did like women.
         Theodora slid on her panties and latched her bra behind her back and applied some Michael Kors Amber perfume to her neck and wrists and got dressed, sliding on her heels carefully, then pulled her hair into a tight bun and slipped on a pair of glasses that she thought made her look a bit older, but more distinguished, more sophisticated, and meeting Adrienne's father for the first time, she wanted to make an amazing firstmpression. Thankfully, this outfit never seemed to fail in doing so on any occasion. She applied a bit of makeup and took one last look in the mirror, then left the room to join Adrienne in the living room.

         "Ready to go, Adrienne?" Theodora asked, making Adrienne look up from her phone. Upon seeing her Adrienne's mouth fell agape, her eyes traveling from the black stilettos to her form-fitting pencil skirt, up her tight white blouse, lingering slightly on her breasts, then up her long, graceful neck, finally meeting her gorgeous, smokey, hazel eyes behind the thick rimmed glasses.
         "Y-yes," Adrienne stammered as she stood, grabbing her clutch to join Theodora by the door, "you look lovely."
         "Thank you," Theodora said with a knowing smile and opened the door, gesturing for Adrienne to exit first, "you look very beautiful yourself."
         The two walked to Theodora's car together, nothing but the sound of their heels clicking on the pavement and the roar of cars on the main street. Theodora walked ahead of Adrienne and grabbed her door for her and offered a hand to help her in. Adrienne accepted as she sank into the soft leather seat and draped one leg over the other, thanking Theodora for her help as she closed the door and walked to her side of the car. Theodora slid into the driver's seat and revved the car up, then looked to Adrienne.
         "So," she smiled, "where are we headed to meet your father?"
         "Venice," Adrienne said, smiling fondly as if remembering a good memory, "a little hole in the wall called Flake."
         Theodora typed the restaurant name into her Waze app and proceeded to the highlighted route. Adrienne was quiet on the way to the restaurant, watching the scenery as Theodora watched to road. The silence wasn't awkward though, it was peaceful and serene. It was as if she and Theodora had known each other their whole lives, and this was a normal, everyday occurrence. Adrienne finally looked over at Theodora, who in turn, looked back at her and smiled softly.
         "Thank you for coming with me to meet my father," Adrienne said, blushing shamefully, "I don't think I could do this without you. You've really opened my eyes a bit."
         "Opened your eyes? To what?" Theodora scoffed, "The fact that you're a princess and should be treated as such?"
         "Sorry," Adrienne blushed, shrinking back as far as the leather would allow.
         "Adrienne, no," Theodora sighed apologetically, "I'm sorry, but you are a princess and should be treated like royalty, or at the very least like a human being, and I'm just so sad, and angry that I had to, as you say, open your eyes to that."          
         Adrienne smiled softly and curled her hair behind her ear, "Well, last night I felt like a princess."
         "Last night?" Theodora asked, sounding genuinely confused, "I took you to In-N-Out and basically passively interrogated you and slept next to you."
         "You don't understand, Theodora," Adrienne smiled sadly, "any night that I'm not getting smacked around or being used as some type of furniture or used as a literal cum bucket, is a great night in my book."
         "I'm not sure why I didn't think he'd rape you too," Theodora shook her head, "fucking bastard. I don't even know this guy and I want to end him. I just hope your father will see it that way, too."
         "Let's hope."
         Theodora parked on the street in front of Flake, and walked around to help Adrienne out of the car. Adrienne saw her father's sleek black Tesla across the street, knowing he was waiting inside for her, but unlike her mother he wouldn't order something cause he was never sure about what she wanted, which she was grateful for since Theodora was with her.
         Adrienne walked with Theodora and went to grab the door, but Theodora gave her a glare that told her she knew better than to open the door and Adrienne waited for her to instead. Theodora grabbed the door, and gently touched the small of Adrienne's back as she walked inside, making her wink over her shoulder at her. Adrienne walked right up to the man that Theodora had assumed, based on looks alone, was her father. He was a very tall man, towering well over six feet, and very muscular under his hand-tailored suit. He had a full head of thick, salt and pepper, mostly salt, hair kissed with tawny highlights that was slicked back to make him look kind of like a mafia boss of sorts, complete with a silver goatee, and a set of perfectly-straight, pearly-white teeth.
         "Hi daddy," Adrienne said, tossing her arms around her father's neck as he wrapped his arms tight around her picking her up off the ground to crush her against him, certainly cracking her back, and probably causing pain to the wound under that pretty blouse.
         "Hey there, pretty girl," her father kissed her cheek as he hugged her tightly, then set her back on the ground, "are you coming home for dinner this weekend? Mom's making your favorite: chicken n' dumplings.
         "Maybe, daddy," she turned to Theodora with a soft smile, "Dad, this is my friend, Theodora."
         "Pleasure to meet you, Mr. Thorne," Theodora said confidently, holding out her hand to shake his, not missing a single beat.
         "That's a beautiful name, Theodora," he said, all of his brilliantly white teeth gleaming as he smiled genuinely, "the pleasure is all mine."
         "Let's order," Adrienne said, "I don't know about you guys, but I'm starving."
         The three walked to the counter together and ordered their food. Adrienne got the Chickie McGreens salad, her father got the Croissan-wich Jones, and Theodora got the Ninja bowl. Theodora and Adrienne's father argued about who would pay, finally Adrienne just pulled out her clutch and paid the man behind the counter. The two stood dumbfounded as Adrienne walked past them to sit a quiet table in the corner. Theodora and Mr. Thorne came over and sat down with her. Theodora gave Adrienne a look that told her she was in trouble later, making Adrienne smile.
         "So," Adrienne's father started looking toward Theodora, "where did you two meet?"
         "Skylar dragged me to a club the other night," Adrienne said, "we met there."
         "Did Jaxon go with you?" he asked sipping the bottled water he'd bought.
         "No, daddy," Adrienne said, swallowing hard, "Jaxon is actually the reason I came to talk to you today."
         Just then, their food arrived and they thanked the man as he set the food down then walked away. Adrienne looked toward her father who'd picked up his sandwich and began eating, "So, what is this about, Addy?"
         "Daddy," Adrienne started, biting her lip and looked to Theodora, who nodded, but remained quiet, "Jaxon has...changed a lot since high school."
         "Well I'd certainly hope so, Adrienne," her father said as he swallowed a bite of his sandwich, "he's a man now. He's with the firm, and when you two decide a date, he'll be part of the family. He has responsibilities to you, to protect you as his wife...well fiance anyway."
         "Well, that's just it," Adrienne said, rubbing her arm, "he's not protecting me, Daddy. He's hurting me."
         "I'm not sure I follow, Addy," he said, leaning forward on his massive forearms, "what are you saying?"
         "Remember when I 'broke my leg' because I 'fell down the stairs' at your office Christmas party last year?"
         "Yeah?"
         "He saw me talking to one of your colleagues on my own without him by my side and we got into an argument and he shoved me down the stairs when we were leaving."
         "This is very serious, Adrienne Marie," her father said sternly, "you're not lying to me, are you?"
         "No, daddy," Adrienne said sadly, "that wasn't the first time either. All the other times I ended up in the hospital were because of Jaxon too, and the abuse hasn't stopped." Adrienne peeled the blouse back to show her father the swell of her breast where the slice was healing, "He just did this two days ago."
         "Oh, Addy," the large man teared up as he looked from his daughter's chest to her eyes, "why didn't you tell me, baby?"
         "I knew how much you and mom loved Jaxon," Adrienne said softly, as her father buried his face in his hands.
         "I would never love some little punk ass womanizing asshole more than my own daughter. I thought you'd been acting a bit strange lately, but I thought maybe you might be getting jitters about the wedding, or hell I don't know, I thought maybe you were pregnant. I just chalked it up to hormones. Baby, I'm so sorry."
         "I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner daddy," Adrienne said, "Theodora was the one that convinced me to tell you."
         Adrienne's father looked to Theodora, who nodded, "Sir," she began after swallowing a bite of acai sorbet, "I had a friend who was in an abusive relationship for years; much like what Adrienne has described to me, and he ended up killing her. I had tried to intervene, but she'd told me to mind my business, so I couldn't help but feel that I played a part in her murder. I couldn't just sit by and let Adrienne endure the same thing, knowing that the same fate could be a very real possibility for her. I'm glad she let me convince her to come to you."
         "Well, I'm very grateful to you Theodora," the huge man reached over and grabbed her hand, squeezing gently, "thank you. I am forever in your debt."
         "I'm glad to help, Mr. Thorne," Theodora smiled sweetly, "the pleasure is all mine."
         "Would you two mind following me to my office?" he asked, "Jaxon is going to be terminated publicly and immediately."
         "I'd be more than happy to, Mr. Thorne," Theodora said as she got up to go ask for a box for Adrienne's salad that she hadn't touched. Adrienne and her father both stood and headed toward the door. Theodora followed with a gentle hand on Adrienne's back as she led her to the car after getting a nod from Adrienne's father. She opened the door for Adrienne and helped her in and handed her the box of salad before closing the door and walking to the driver's side and got in, revving the engine, waiting for Adrienne's father to pull out, and began to follow once he did.
         Adrienne felt her stomach begin to tighten, she was nervous to see Jaxon, especially after not coming home last night, but she felt that she could face anything with Theodora at her side. She looked over at the woman that was changing her life at such an alarming rate that it scared her, but she liked it. She loved the way Theodora had treated her this morning, asking what she wanted, making her breakfast, taking care of her. Was she really falling for Theodora, or what Theodora was doing for her? Theodora claimed that this was how normal human beings treated each other, so maybe she was just being nice? She didn't have to push Adrienne so hard to go to her lawyer father about her abusive fiance, though. She didn't have to care that much, especially since they'd literally just met last night. She'd asked for nothing from Adrienne, not money, not sex, not even a kiss. Adrienne noticed in other people that most of them usually made it very clear what they wanted from the get go, whether it was love, money, or sex; it was usually very easy to tell.
         Theodora was different, though. She dripped sex appeal, she'd teased the hell out of Adrienne this morning, she could absolutely tell that she wanted something sexual between them, but she didn't act on anything. Theodora had never actually touched her except for consoling her with a squeezing of her hand or the hand on the small of her back as she ushered her through the door at lunch, but otherwise she'd pretty much kept her hands to herself. She didn't want her for money, because she already had that. Sure, you could never have too much money, but Theodora could have anyone she wanted especially if all she wanted was more money. Did Theodora want love? Did she want sex, but in reality wanted that sex to be slow and passionate? Did she want their first physical interaction to actually mean something? She'd treated Adrienne better in the last two days than Jaxon had treated her in the entirety of their relationship.
         Adrienne had forgotten what it meant to be cared for on a basic human level, and Theodora had shown her that in a single evening. The concern that Theodora had exuded when Adrienne spilled that she was being abused was staggering. Adrienne had never told anyone that she was being abused except for this woman she'd just met, but Theodora acted as if they were best friends and tried desperately to help. Most people who wanted sex would probably have just walked away, not wanting someone's life story, especially one filled to the brim with dark, emotional baggage like Adrienne had buried Theodora in last night. Adrienne decided, as she watched the gorgeous woman concentrate on the road, that Theodora was at the very least a friend, a confidant, who she hoped would soon be more.

         After what felt like an eternity, they finally pulled into the lot of Thorne & Wescott law offices. Thomas Wescott was one of Adrienne's father's oldest friends from high school, who he went to law school with and later opened their own law firm together. He was also a family friend and a permanent fixture at most of the Thorne's family functions, along with his two sons, who'd gone to school with Adrienne and were very close with Bryson. He'd always treated Adrienne as if she were the daughter he never had, or at the very least his niece because her father and he were practically brothers. Mr. Wescott was standing outside, waiting for them as they pulled into the lot. Adrienne knew that her father consulted with Thomas on everything before he made a business decision and knew he had called him on the way there to do so in private.
         Theodora parked and moved quickly to help Adrienne out of the car, but was careful to keep her hands away from her while she was in Mr. Thorne's line of sight, not wanting to unearth a secret Adrienne didn't want publicized quite yet. They walked side by side and stopped to meet up with Mr. Wescott and her father, who were talking very sternly to each other.
         "I want to fucking kill him, Tom," they heard Adrienne's father say, his face slowly turning red the madder he got, "he's been putting his hands and God only knows what else on my baby girl. I want him dead."
         "Jamie," Mr. Wescott said calmly, placing his hand on his friend's shoulder, "If you want to beat the hell out of him, I will turn a blind eye, just make sure you do it in the parking garage, but just remember you've got to get him down there first. We could make it seem like we want to discuss something with him, make it seem like we want to offer him a promotion or something, take him for a walk, and then you can do what you please." Mr. Wescott's gaze moved toward Adrienne, "I don't normally condone violence, but if it were my wife or my daughter or hell even, Ben or Tony, I'd want to beat him to a pulp too."
         "Sounds good to me," her father said, still angry, the veins in his neck and head bulging.
         "Relax my friend," Thomas hugged him reassuringly, "you don't want to come off angry. Just keep your cool until we get down to the garage and then go crazy."
         Mr. Wescott's gaze went from Mr. Thorne to his daughter and he walked over to her enveloping her in a giant hug. He, like her father, was quite a burly man, and he dwarfed her noticeably. He kissed her cheek and held her close, apologizing against her hair over and over, "You're like the daughter I never had Addy. We'll get him, don't you worry."
         "Thank you, Mr. Thomas," Adrienne said against his shoulder as she hugged him back, "that means a lot to me."
         He looked at Theodora and smiled, "You've played a big role in this too, thank you for bringing it to our attention that Jaxon was hurting her. He will be dealt with severely and immediately."
         Theodora nodded, "As long as I get a punch or two in, I'm good."
         Adrienne's father laughed and nodded, "You betcha, kiddo. Now, let's get in here and deal with this asshole."
         Theodora and Adrienne followed Mr. Thorne and his business partner into the building, their heels clacking on the gorgeous marble floors of the establishment as they walked down a long corridor to an office with the door closed whose plaque read: Jaxon Overton.
         Adrienne's father knocked on the door and after Jaxon replied, opened the door and let Mr. Wescott, Theodora, Adrienne, and himself in. Jaxon looked up from his computer and the hand over his mouth dropping as he looked at the crowd in the room now. Looking from his two bosses, to the strange woman, then finally his fiance who he glared daggers at as he stood, then back to his bosses.
         "To what do I owe the pleasure of this visit, sirs?" he asked his two superiors, who both smiled.
         "Why," Mr. Thorne began, "a promotion my dear boy. Come, let us take a walk as we discuss the responsibilities of your new position."
         Jaxon smiled and nodded as he walked out from behind his desk, scowling at Adrienne and looking Theodora up and down with a sly smile in passing. Adrienne shook her head as she noticed Jaxon checking Theodora out right in front of her and rubbed her neck. She was never good enough for Jaxon; there was always a woman who was better looking or more statuesque than she. They all walked out together, Jaxon behind Adrienne's father and Mr. Thomas, and the two women behind Jaxon.
         Theodora noticed Adrienne getting a little tense, and reached over to take her hand, squeezing it gently. Adrienne looked over at her and smiled thanks as they walked hand in hand to Jaxon's beating. Adrienne's father went on about a new executive parking spot for Jaxon while they took the elevator down into the parking garage, the women's heels clicking on the cement, echoing in the empty garage. Adrienne's father walked deep into the garage so that if Jaxon did happen to get away he'd have to run quite a bit to get to an exit, then placed his hand on the boy's shoulder.
         "So, do you think you're ready for this, Jaxon?" he said with a smile that didn't touch his eyes.
         "Yes sir," he beamed proudly, his hands in his pockets, "I think I am."
         "Actually," Mr. Thorne said as he pulled an arm back and punched Jaxon as hard as he could in the stomach as hard as he could, knocking him on his ass, "I don't think you are."
         Mr. Wescott took the opportunity to kick the boy in the ribs while he clutched his stomach, and bent over to grip the front of his shirt, delivering a few bone-crunching blows to his head.
         "You like to beat women, Mr. Overton?" he spat in Jaxon's bloodied face.
         W-what are you talking about?" he said, blood spattering on his shirt with every word he said.
         "Cut the bullshit, Jaxon," Mr. Thorne said, "Addy told me all about the Christmas party, and a few things after that. I'm sure she hasn't told me everything. I'm sure that was for your sake, because only knowing the inkling that I do of you putting your hands on my baby girl, I already want to castrate you with a fucking spoon."
         Jaxon looked at Adrienne, hatred bleeding from his eyes, "You fucking bitch. You told your--"
         But before he could spit another venomous word at her, Theodora walked quickly but calmly forward kicking his hard across his face with her stiletto heel pushing against the pounding pulse in his neck and leaned down pushing down on his neck harder as she did so, and said, "Now, is that anyway to speak to your beautiful fiance? Ex-fiance rather?"
         "Who the fuck are you?" he choked out as he spit out a tooth.
         "A very concerned friend of your gorgeous fiance," she smiled, as she reached down, he heel still stabbing his neck, and grabbed his nose and broke it with little force or concern. It was as if by just a snap of her finger, she snapped his nose clean in half. Adrienne covered her mouth at the sound that it made, and the scream that Jaxon let out as he tried desperately to scramble out from under Theodora's heel, but she wasn't having it.
         "Addy," Adrienne's father said, "What bone did you break when you 'fell down the stairs' at the Christmas party?" he asked, using air quotes.
         "My leg," Adrienne answered quietly.
         Adrienne's father leaned down toward Jaxon with his hands on his knees, "For every bone of her's that you've broken, you'll get the same. One broken leg, coming right up."
         Jaxon's eyes widened and he begged Adrienne's father not to, but the man lifted his leg and stomped down as hard as he could on Jaxon's and Adrienne watched as his shin bent at an impossible angle and ran to her father, "Daddy, please. That's enough."
         "He hurt you baby girl," her father replied, nothing in his eyes but pure hatred, almost as if that's all he saw or understood. His pupils took up most of his eyes as if were on some type of drug that was controlling him. "He can't get away with that."
         "Daddy, please," Adrienne said, placing her hands on his chest, "I don't want you and Mr. Wescott or Theodora getting into anymore trouble than I'm sure this is going to cause."
         The two older men laughed heartily, "We've got connections all throughout the L.A.P.D baby girl," her father reassured her, "don't you worry about your dear old dad."
         "Daddy, please," she said, "this isn't you. You're the kindest man I know. Please don't ruin that image for me. I've never seen this side of you, and I don't want to see it anymore. Beating the shit out of Jaxon isn't going to change what he did to me. Sure, he deserves it, but I just want a restraining order and maybe a conceal carry license so if he tries to come after me when I leave, I can protect myself, but don't tarnish your reputation for the likes of him, Papa. He isn't worth it."
         As if Adrienne's words had snapped him out of some sort of trance, he straightened to his full height, swept his hair back and fixed his tie, "A woman wise beyond her years. I'm so proud of you Addy Girl." He looked back to where Jaxon lay bleeding on the floor of the garage and spat on him, "You say so much as a word, I will hunt you down, and just remember, I am one of the best lawyers in this whole goddamned state. I will nail your ass to the wall. You hear me? Stay the fuck away from my daughter, stay the fuck away from my family, and keep your goddamned mouth shut, or I will make your death look like an accident."
         Jaxon nodded vehemently and pulled himself back on his arms          out from under Theodora's heel as she stepped off and went back to Adrienne's side. Adrienne's father nodded at Thomas who nodded back.
         "Take his cell phone and any other electronics off of him. Come up with us in the elevator to our office and change. I have several extra suits in our utility closet that we can change into, then I'll come back down once I've gotten the girls on their way and help you with the cameras in the garage, then we'll call an ambulance for this sack of shit," he said emphasizing his last statement with a nudge against Jaxon's broken leg making him inhale with a hiss, "Remember Jaxon, not a word or I will end you in every way imaginable."
         Jaxon nodded again in understanding as they all walked back to the elevator and went up to the executive office. Adrienne's father walked over to his liquor cabinet and poured the girls each a bit of whiskey. Theodora tossed hers back and let out a satisfied sigh as Adrienne sipped hers; she didn't really care for whiskey. Her father seemed to remember and reached back into the liquor cabinet and pulled out a small tin and handed her a joint and turned on an air purifier as he sipped his own glass of whiskey.
         "Theodora," Adrienne's father started, "would you mind taking Addy home to gather her things? I am going to call around about apartments for her so she never has to return to that dreaded place."
         "She can stay with me, sir," Theodora said as she set her glass down on a coaster on his desk as she moved from leaning against the wall, "I promise to take good care of her."
         Adrienne's father seemed to consider the offer and sipped his scotch, "Whatever you may need, Theodora, please never hesitate to ask."
         "Thank you, sir," Theodora said with a nod of her head, "your daughter will be well protected. I'm a black belt in Krav Maga, I'm well equipped for the job."
         "Impressive, ma'am," he smiled as he finished his whiskey, "I appreciate anything you're willing to do for my daughter, and if you would, please join us for family dinner on Sunday."
         Adrienne rolled her eyes with a chuckle, but Theodora smiled sweetly and nodded, "I'd be honored to be your guest. Thank you."
         "Go quickly, please," he said, ushering them out of the office, "him being in the hospital for a bit will buy you some time but I'm not sure how much."
         Adrienne kissed her father goodbye on the cheek, then led Theodora out of the office and back down into the parking lot. Theodora gripped Adrienne's hand almost running to the car and opened her door, ushering in quickly, then ran to her side and started the car, asked for the address and peeled out almost as soon as the engine started. Adrienne sat quietly fidgeting with her fingers and Theodora reached over to hold her hand.
         "You did well," Theodora said as her thumb rubbed almost involuntarily across the back of Adrienne's hand, "as your father said, you're wise beyond your years."
         "It was just so brutal," Adrienne looked out the window, "I'm so sick of the beatings and the pain. I don't want to even see it anymore, not even for Jaxon. I just want the violence to stop."
         "I can understand that," Theodora nodded as she pulled into the lot of the apartment complex and got out, going around to help Adrienne out. Adrienne bent over to retrieve the spare key Jaxon and she kept under their welcome mat and unlocked the door and walked in. She went straight to the kitchen to grab trash bags to toss clothes and shoes in, the rest she'd probably need boxes for, but for now she was just going to grab the essentials. She ran to the bedroom and started yanking clothes from the dresser and tossed them into the bags as quickly as she could as Theodora grabbed her shoes and did the same.

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