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Sir's Rise (Rise of the Dominants #1) E-book

Sir's Rise (Rise of the Dominants #1) E-book

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Surprise Encounter

“I’m sorry, son…”

Those are the last words my father said, and they echo in my mind now as we pull up to the university. I stare out the car window, swallowing down the anger building inside me, gutted that he’s not here to share in this moment.

“Wow, Thane! This is a huge campus. You sure you’re not going to feel lost here?” my uncle asks, grinning as he looks at me in the reflection of the rearview mirror.

I shake my head once, frowning. I know he means well, but nothing and no one can make up for the disappointment I feel facing this day without my father—or mother.

I get out of my uncle’s sedan and sling my backpack over my shoulder. I look around at other students with their parents following behind, carrying large boxes and various pieces of furniture, and shake my head in amusement.

All the shit that’s completely unnecessary for their education.

My uncle pulls out my large suitcase while I grab the clothing bag that contains my armor against the world.

My aunt grins up at me. “Thane—”

My uncle immediately hushes her. “Remember, sweetheart, we don’t call him by his first name when we’re in public.”

I glance around, relieved no one overheard her. I don’t plan to reveal my given name to anyone here. I even toyed with legally changing my last name at one point, but I’m a Davis. I’m not about to give that up on top of everything else I’ve lost.

Not wanting to be recognized, I’ve cut off my boyishly long, dark Italian hair, replacing it with a respectable crew cut. It gives me a more businesslike appearance, and it makes me look older by several years.

With a change of location, new look, and enough time for the scandal to settle, my plan is to keep my head buried in textbooks to avoid being recognized by anyone here. The last thing I want—or need—is for my past to follow me to college. After living through two years of hell, this is my chance to break free from what happened and determine my own fucking destiny.

My aunt is positively glowing when she announces, “I baked you a fresh batch of brownies. It should help break the ice with the other boys.”

I groan inwardly as she produces a massive plate from the trunk of the sedan, holding the brownies up proudly. I lay the heavy clothing bag over my suitcase, balancing it there so I can dutifully take her large plate before I turn to leave.

“Wait…don’t you want us to go with you?” my uncle asks in surprise.

I turn back toward him and say in all honesty, “No, Unc.”

“But…” my aunt whimpers, looking at me pleadingly before shifting her gaze to my uncle.

He looks me in the eye for several seconds, then nods his acceptance. Wrapping his arm around my aunt, he tells her in a low voice, “He needs time alone.”

“But I thought we would get to see his dorm room…and meet his roommate…” she sputters.

My uncle smiles at her with compassion but shakes his head slowly.

I can tell I’ve hurt my aunt’s feelings but, right now, I can’t stomach the thought of pretending I’m okay. Especially as I watch the mothers around me hugging their adult children with tears in their eyes, while the fathers look at their sons and daughters with pride.

Those are things I will never know…

I find it far easier to simply ignore this day, getting through it the only way I know how—alone.

I start toward my assigned dorm building, only turning back when I hear my uncle’s sedan driving off. As I watch the vehicle slowly disappear into the tangle of traffic, I’m hit with a sense of deep sadness. I know intellectually that I’m fortunate to have my uncle and aunt’s support, but nothing can penetrate the darkness I feel inside—not even their sincere love.

Saddled with my aunt’s unwieldy plate of brownies, I’m forced to wait for an opening on the crowded elevator rather than take the stairs.

I barely avoid the large plate tilting and crashing to the elevator floor when a guy squeezes into the cramped space, bumping against me just as the doors close.

While the old elevator groans in protest from the excess weight, I glance around at my fellow freshmen. It doesn’t seem as if they’re settling in for a simple year at college by the sheer amount of food and supplies they carry.

No, it looks like they’re preparing for the apocalypse.

I smile to myself as I get off the elevator and head down the hallway. Based on all I’ve been through, I’m light-years ahead of my classmates and, unlike them, I’m not a person who needs pampering.

I’m here for my degree—it’s the only reason I’ve come—and I’m hoping that my roommate shares a similar focus.

Finding my room number at the end of the hall, I open the door, still balancing my aunt’s brownies. As the door slowly swings open, I’m relieved to see my roommate hasn’t arrived yet.

I lay the plate on one of the beds and survey the room. While it appears the two sides are identical, one has a better view out the small window. I immediately claim it, knowing the view from that window may save my sanity in the months to come.

To make it fair to my roommate, I switch our desks, taking the one with knife gouges that spell out the words “I love Sherry” in big letters. I chuckle to myself, unsure if the previous owner was proclaiming his love of a girl or the type of alcohol he prefers.

I push the desk up against the window and reposition the bed slightly.

Taking my suits out of the garment bag, I hang them in the small closet with care. I know a man in the business world is judged by the suit he wears, so I have been purposeful in my selection. I want my professors to know I’m not only a serious scholar, but that I intend on graduating early.

As far as I’m concerned, every day I spend in this place is a day I’m not actively advancing in my career.

I shove my suitcase under the bed and sit down at the desk that is now my home for the duration of this year. Taking out my textbooks, I look them over with interest, wanting to get a head start.

Unfortunately, on the other side of the door I hear nothing but chaos as furniture bangs against the walls and guys laugh and shout at each other while they settle in.

There’s no possible way I can concentrate, so I grab the first book on the stack and slip it into my backpack. Before I leave, I write out a simple message and place the plate of brownies on the other desk, along with the note.

My aunt made these especially for you. Do with them what you like. I’ll be back later. ~Davis

I’m in no mood to deal with the commotion of my roommate moving in, or the emotional goodbyes that are sure to ensue between him and his parents, and gratefully slip out of the room before they arrive.

I run down the stairs and breathe a sigh of relief the second I make it outside into the fresh air. Each step toward the library brings a greater sense of calm. Ever since the “incident” I have found my refuge—my escape—in study.

I thrive on expanding my mind because it allows me to temporarily forget what’s happened. However, studying is more than just a distraction for me. The information I learn now will be used at some point in my career. This is not just an escape, but also the means by which I plan to carve out a life for myself, independent of everyone else.

I’m grateful to find the library fairly empty when I arrive. The majority of students are still either in the middle of setting up their rooms or saying goodbye to their parents, while a few are partying early to celebrate their first day on campus.

Since I have my pick of location, I settled down in the back. Taking out my Applied Calculus textbook, I begin flipping through the pages.

Damn…

I thrive on a good challenge and, by the looks of several of these equations, this should prove an interesting semester for me.

Fishing out a notebook from my backpack, I choose the first equation I’m unfamiliar with to see how far I can get on my own. I always use a pen whenever I do math calculations, preferring to document my thought process, rather than erase it as things become clearer.

But this math problem is even more challenging than I’ve anticipated. Hours into it, I look over my calculations with growing frustration, but I can’t let it go.

I’m distracted when I hear two girls arguing quietly.

Looking up from my notebook, I see the library is now full of other students looking to escape, and all of us are focused on the two who are quarreling.

“I’m tired and just want to go home already…”

“Why can’t you be happy for me? This is my big day, damn it,” the other girl hisses. “All you ever want to do is stick your head in books.”

“You know, it wouldn’t hurt for you to do that once in a while.”

“Don’t even start, sis. Fine, be a bookworm. See if I care,” she growls in disgust. “I’ll just tell Mom and Dad where to find you when they’re ready to leave.”

“Sounds perfect to me.”

“You’re such a stick in the mud,” she huffs, stomping off.

The library quiets down after the girl’s dramatic exit, so I dive back into the equation I’m working on, but I’m soon distracted again by a soft sigh.

I look up to see the young woman has chosen to sit near me. Glancing around at the empty tables, I realize it is purposeful on her part. I look at her again to find she is blatantly staring at me.

As soon as our eyes meet, however, she looks away and adjusts her glasses with a slight smile on her lips. Her short chestnut hair frames her delicate face, emphasizing the sprinkle of freckles across her nose.

The girl has a decidedly bookish look, which I find charming. I return to my equation, quite aware of her gaze when she thinks I’m not looking.

Rather than concentrating on the math problem in front of me, I’m now focusing on her. Another glance in her direction and this time I hold her gaze. She doesn’t look away as the sexual tension builds between us.

I make no move toward her, smirking as I look down at my equation again. She’s proven a worthy distraction, and I can no longer concentrate.

The girl lets out a long sigh, chewing absently on her pencil as she pretends to read the book in front of her—but, I suspect she has other things on her mind.

I watch with interest as she gives me a flirtatious grin, adjusting her glasses before getting up and heading to the reference section of the library. She’s wearing a midline skirt that is conservative but still sways enticingly as she walks away.

A few minutes later, taking her cue, I set down my pen and leave my calculations on the table. Surveying the other students, I note they all seem preoccupied and not are watching what I’m doing.

The librarian, however, stares at me intently as I walk past her. I give her a slight nod, acknowledging her station, and watch with satisfaction as she blushes.

Heading deep into the reference section, I find my chestnut beauty hidden in the back. A smile spreads across her face as I approach, but when she opens her mouth to speak, I put my finger on those pink lips and shake my head.

There will be no words between us.

I replace my finger with my lips, pressing my mouth against hers. Kissing her gently at first, I feel her body respond to mine, and I slip my tongue into her mouth.

She moans softly so I pull away, shaking my head. The only way this continues is if she stays totally silent.

Looking at me with those sultry eyes, she tilts her chin up, begging for another kiss.

Read more in Sir's Rise, the first book in the Rise of the Dominants trilogy.

Thane Davis sacrificed everything to become the man he is today by staying true to three hard rules:
1. Make no friends.
2. Leave no trace.
3. Avoid the past.

He is a confident alpha who demands respect, yet keeps to himself.

But that changes the night Rytsar Durov invites him to a secret, underground club and introduces him to the world of Dominance and submission.

He soon finds his calling pleasing women who long to test the boundaries between pain and pleasure.

In the process, Thane comes to discover there are some things worth the risk, some people worth sacrificing for, and some problems you can't outrun.

The 1st book in the Rise of the Dominants collection, a prequel trilogy set before the events of Brie's Submission. Discover what made your favorite Doms into the men they are. Delivered directly to your email via Bookfunnel. To make sure you get access to your book as quickly as possible, please whitelist help@bookfunnel.com.

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