The Scars That Bind Us

By: Dixie Lynn Dwyer

Healing Hearts 10



DEDICATION



Dear readers,

Thank you for purchasing this legal copy of The Scars That Bind Us. Joanna “Jo” Flemming is a survivor. Instead of living her life in fear after tragedy and suffering from PTSD, she has chosen to get stronger, become more resourceful in hopes of never being a victim again. In the process she has hardened her heart and trusts no one.

That all changes the moment fate steps in and she meets men who not only share her same views on life, on trust, on surviving and protecting themselves, but also the connection of post-traumatic stress. Something that has the potential to kill even the strongest of resolve, or be a negative fear holding them back from letting go and letting love, emotions, and a connection in.

May you enjoy their journey, and the hope of healing their broken hearts.

Happy reading!

HUGS!



Dixie





Prologue




Joanna “Jo” Flemming walked out of the gym. It was late afternoon on a Saturday, and she had plans to go see Afina, along with Amber, Francesca, London, and Melina. What she hadn’t expected when she got to the parking lot and her black Charger, was federal agent Danny Flemming. It had been a shock, to say the least, when he showed up investigating the dirty cops involved in Afina’s abduction and near death. Thank goodness her brothers were off on some mission, or they might do something rash. His eyes gazed over her body like most men’s did. She was in exceptional physical condition. Had large breasts, a tight, round ass, and was a master in martial arts and other things she didn’t let people know about. All of it stemming from one super fucked up childhood, the torture and loss of her parents, as well as her abduction that lasted for months. It was a miracle that she was even able to function in society.

She stared up at him. “What are you doing here, Danny?”

He squinted. “Good to see you, too, cousin.”

She snorted and looked around them to make sure no one was around. “Don’t throw around that term. We aren’t cousins.”

He licked his lower lip. “Technically, no, and thank God, or I would go to hell for the fantasies I’ve had over the years in my dreams about you and I.”

She held his gaze. “You’re such an asshole.”

He chuckled, his gaze never leaving hers. He wasn’t her cousin by blood, even though her father and his father were adopted together, but came from different families. They thought of one another as brothers, but technically they weren’t. It made her think about her mom a moment, and how even she suffered because of her dad’s decisions. Five kids, and the decisions he’d made sacrificed all of them.

“How are you?” he asked.

She shrugged her shoulders.

“Your brothers, how are they doing?”

She adjusted the strap of her gym bag before lowering it to the ground since he was sort of blocking her car door.

“They’ve been away a lot,” he said matter-of-factly, and like he knew because he lived around here and was friends with them.

“And you know this how?”

“You know how I know, Jo.”

“And you know how my brothers feel about that.”

“It’s come in handy a time or two to help them in their professions.”

She sighed. That was true. The man had resources, but he was still the son of the man who assisted in abducting her, had men hold her hostage, torment her, and keep her in a crate she barely fit in. She shivered from the thoughts.

“Listen, we don’t need to be seen talking to one another. It will open up questions, and surely I’m not willing to go with the whole “cousins” thing.”

“Well we share the same last name, and I’m sticking around the area. I’ve got a job in Sussex, and there’s some new information coming out that your brothers may be interested in. They’re due back soon, right?”

“Considering that you’re from the fucked up side of the family, not sure my brothers will care to hear about it, whatever it is.”

“But I’m not that monster, nor are my brothers. My father was a complicated man, and yes, he got involved with shit and never should have partnered up with Fredrico Porcini, but he did.”

“And drug my father into it, too. Made it so that nothing else mattered but pleasing Fredrico. Your father also aided in my abduction.”

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