Bay Area Professionals
Dr. Ethan Marshall is the young medical student on call the night Tessa Duran murders her husband for abusing her twelve-year-old-son, Rino. Ethan stays in the cubicle while the rape kit is performed and is surprised when the boy resorts to prayers instead of tears.
Despite compelling evidence, Tessa is sent to jail for life. To avoid placing Rino in foster care, their parish priest agrees to raise him. Ethan is touched by Rino’s plight and visits whenever possible, but the connection is broken when the priest and young boy leave the area months later.
Raised by the Dominicans in California, Rino considers joining the order until a romance blossoms with a fellow student. After much soul-searching, he turns his back on everything familiar, and chooses his orientation over his perceived vocation. Upon graduating dental hygiene school, Rino takes a job at the office of Scott Gregory and Robin Kennedy.
Seventeen years have passed since that horrible night in the emergency room. Forty-three-year-old Ethan is now a Dominant in search of a full-time submissive. Twenty-nine-year-old Rino is adrift, longing for someone or something to help him find the serenity he’s lost along the way. As they rekindle their friendship, they realize they might be perfect for each other.
“So, Rino,” Robin said. “Is this a typo or do you really spell your name with an I instead of an E?”
“It’s short for Quirino.”
“That’s an unusual name."
Rino shrugged. “I’m part Filipino and named after one of our presidents. My mother started calling me Rino from an early age and it stuck.”
“Makes sense,” the redhead said with a nod. “I also spell my name, Robin, with an I.”
“Some people use a Y. Did your entire family move here from the Philippines?”
Rino shook his head. “It’s just my mom and me.”
“I see. Was your father in the service?”
“No,” Rino said impatiently. “Is the doctor going to interview me or what?”
Robin took his eyes off the paper and responded in a withering tone. “Do you have something more important going on?”
Rino cringed, realizing his mistake. Shit, maybe he’s the doctor, and I just pissed him off, he thought in a panic. Robin waited with a quiet air of authority that made Rino want to slide off the chair, get down on his knees, and beg his forgiveness. The man was a study in contrasts with his milky white skin covered with an even dusting of pale freckles and his fiery curls. They were sort of clownish, but there was nothing funny about the piercing blue eyes, framed by auburn lashes, gazing at Rino confidently. Robin wasn’t handsome in the traditional sense, but he oozed sex and power, two qualities Rino found irresistible. He was also ripped, and the nipple ring clearly outlined against the soft cotton fabric of his pale blue scrubs was a sign that there was more to this guy than dentistry.
“Not at all,” he said, “I apologize for being rude. Anxiety about my future is making me forget my good manners. I really need the job.”
“Then let’s try and concentrate, shall we? Now, tell me something about Rino with an I.”
“I’m a hard worker.”
“Are you legally allowed to work in this country?”
“Of course,” Rino replied shortly.
“Do you require a working visa?” Robin probed.
“I became a citizen twenty years ago, when I turned nine.”
“So you’re twenty-nine?”
“Are you currently employed?”
“I quit a few days ago.”
“My paycheck bounced.”
“No shit… sorry… I keep saying the wrong things.”
“I would have said a lot worse,” Robin commiserated.
Rino rolled his eyes. “I’ve had better weeks."
Read the 4.5 Star Review from Hearts on Fire here: http://heartsonfirereviews.com/review-mickie-b-ashling-forged-in-trust/
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