An Understated Dominance
by Marina Vittori
Two days later, at the Peaceful Medical Center, Dahlia finally woke up.
The first thing she noticed was that she was in a very plain room that contained a table, two chairs, and a hospital bed.
She thought everything looked vaguely familiar, as if she had been here before.
“You’re up?” Dustin quipped as he appeared at the entrance of the room.
He was carrying a bowl of chicken soup in one hand. Even though it wasn’t the most flavorful dish, the soup looked tantalizing to her as she hadn’t eaten anything for the past two days. So much so that her stomach began to growl non–stop at the sight of it.
“Were you the one who saved me?” she asked first to break the awkward tension between them.
“You were injured and unconscious on the roadside, so I patched you up,” he answered plainly.
“You patched me up?” she repeated with furrowed brows. A split second later, she hastily asked, “Oh, right! How long have I been unconscious? What’s the situation with the Spanners now? Are my parents in danger?”
The sudden barrage of questions made his head spin.
“You were unconscious for two days and two nights. Your family is safe and sound. As for the Spanner residence, it has been engulfed in flames,” he answered each of her questions calmly.
Upon receiving news that her family was safe, she couldn’t help but breathe a sigh of relief. However, it didn’t take her long to ask another question in surprise. “Engulfed in flames‘? What happened?”
“I don’t know the specifics, but I heard that there was a gas leak, so all 20 to 30 people inside the Spanner residence got burned alive inside,” he said.
“A gas leak? Do you suppose it was a coincidence?” she asked in a confused manner.
“The wicked reap what they sow. The Spanners have done many evil deeds and always sought to harm others. Seeing them fall from grace like this, I suppose this was just karma coming for their ass in a way.” Dustin said.
She nodded in response, feeling a sense of relief on the inside.
With the Spanner household destroyed, she surmised she did not have to worry about being their target anymore in the future.
“Alright, stop letting your mind wander. Have some soup first,” he said as he handed her the chicken soup.
“Thanks,” she replied. Since she was hungry, she didn’t refuse his kind gesture and happily started digging. into the soup. She managed to finish the entire bowl shortly after.
However, she still felt hungry after finishing her food and considered licking the bowl.
“I’ll get you another bowl,” he said after noticing her expression and served her another bowl of chicken soup.
Without a word, she devoured the second bowl of soup as well.
Now that she was having the chicken soup, she soon felt a pleasant warmth in her stomach, which made her feel so content it was hard to describe in words.
Although the two bowls of soup may not look like much, he was the one who cooked them precisely because he was aware that they were very good at speeding up the recovery process.
“Still hungry?” he asked.
At that moment, she couldn’t stop herself from letting out a small burp.
She realized that she might come across as improper to him, so she tried to swallow the air back into her stomach.
“I guess you’ve already had your fill then. Be sure to get lots of rest, and I’ll come back later.”
Before he could leave, she called out to him and said, “Wait! I have something to say to you!”
“What is it?” he said, as he stopped in his tracks and looked back at her.
“It’s about Chris. I’m sorry for accusing you,” she muttered.
After hesitating for a second, she clenched her teeth and continued, “That guy wasn’t a good person to begin with. I can’t believe he managed to trick us out of such a large sum with his silver tongue. If only we had listened to your advice in the beginning.”
“What’s wrong with you today? Did the great Ms. Nicholson just apologize to someone?” he teased.
“What do you mean? Do I seem like such an unreasonable person to you?” she shot back, clearly offended by his remark.
“I’m kidding! So what if I got accused again? It’s not like this is the first time anyway, so forget about it,” he said and shrugged his shoulders.
“Why does it sound so wrong coming from you?” she retorted while wrinkling her brows.
“Alright, let’s just forget about the past, shall we? Now, take off your clothes…” he said casually.
“Huh?” Her expression instantly changed and she subconsciously shielded her chest with her arms. “What are you planning to do to me?” she exclaimed.
“No need to get so worked up, you have injuries, so I’m just helping you change your bandages,” he answered as he lifted up a bottle of ointment in one hand.
“You want to change my bandages for me?” she repeated.
As if she had just realized something, she hurriedly quipped, “Were you the one who changed my bandages for the past two days?”
“Then, I… You’ve seen everything by now?!” she cried, her eyes wide as saucers.
“So what if I’ve seen everything? It’s not like I haven’t seen them before, so what’s the big deal?” he said easily.
“You get your ass out of here right now!” she screamed in response, her face flushed from the shame and anger.
She couldn’t believe the nerve of this man. How dare he undress and touch her body without her consent.
“I can still scram if you want, but I’d advise you to give it some thought. Although the injuries on your body have healed, the scars are still there. So, if not treated in due time, I’m afraid you won’t be able to get rid of them in the future,” he patiently explained.
She bit her lip and began to feel somewhat conflicted on the inside.
“Fine, since you obviously don’t care about that, I won’t help you anymore. You’d better not regret it when you see yourself covered in scars in the future,” he retorted with his hands across his chest before turning around and beginning to leave.
“Wait!” she hollered, finally heeding his advice. It was simply a woman’s nature to take care of hernappearance. Even she wasn’t an exception. The thought of her body being covered in scars was worse than the idea of getting killed!
“What, changed your mind?” he asked as he turned back to face her with an amused look.
“Help me change my bandages, but with your eyes blindfolded!” she ordered, then threw a random piece of clothing that was lying next to her at him, as if to vent her frustrations. However, her whole body froze when she realized what she had thrown at him.
It turned out the item of clothing she just threw at him was her underwear!
“You sure have weird tastes. I refuse to use this as a blindfold, if you don’t mind,” he remarked as he threw the panties back to her.
“S–shut up!” she stuttered in embarrassment, her face turning pinker by the second.
Her pretty face was similar to a ripe peach covered in morning dew now. He was tempted to touch her.
“Fine, I’ll only apply the ointment on your back while you apply the rest on the front yourself,” he finally
relented, for fear that she would storm out of the room.
“Hmph!” She pouted.
It was only after multiple bouts of hesitation that she finally agreed to his plan.
Her injuries needed to be healed, but it wasn’t like she could take care of the scars on her back properly without external assistance.
“I’ve already finished applying the ointment on your back evenly…” he trailed off before continuing in a cold voice.“… Now, on to your butt—”
An Understated Dominance by Marina Vittori
Author: Marina Vittori
Artist: Dahlia Nicholson and Dustin Rhys
Released: July, 9, 2023
Native Language: English