Two recovering sex addicts. Two broken souls. One shared passion.
Mary Ann Scott was once an aspiring fitness model and all-around party girl. Now, she’s a sex addict whose recovery is making her miserable. Despite spending nearly a year in a treatment program, she struggles to escape the scars left by her addiction. Then, one night, she crosses paths with Peter Robert Rogers, a childhood friend turned handsome firefighter who just happens to be a recovering sex addict as well.
He comes into Mary’s life broken, distraught and vulnerable. Having experienced that feeling, too, she reaches out to him. Together, they try to help each other heal. But in doing so, Mary doesn’t just open old wounds. She evokes a wealth of pent-up desire…a desire that quickly consumes them both.
Now, she and Peter are nearing the brink of relapsing. They’re on the verge of giving in to their addiction. Will it break them once more? Or will it bring them together and finally heal their wounded souls?
|Publisher:||Totally Entwined Group Ltd|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||3 MB|
About the Author
Jack Fisher was born in Washington DC into a large, loving family that nourishes creativity at every turn. He grew up on a steady diet of comic books, movies, and Saturday morning cartoons. That diet gave him an active imagination, one he channelled into writing. He began writing at age 16 and hasn’t really stopped since. He quickly developed a soft spot for romance, often writing fan fiction of his favourite fictional couples. Eventually, he graduated to writing stories about couples of his own creation, with a heavy focus on heated passion and powerful intimacy. He is currently single and lives just outside of DC. He is still a self-professed comic book lover and all around sci-fi geek while striving to refine his craft in any way he can.
Read an Excerpt
Copyright © Jack Fisher 2017. All Rights Reserved, Totally Entwined Group Limited, T/A Totally Bound Publishing.
‘Hello. My name is Mary Ann Scott and I am a sex addict.’
Eleven months ago, a beautiful young woman named Mary had stood up in front of a crowd of strangers and said those fateful words for the first time. The young woman, who had once taken so much pride in being outgoing, loving and passionate, had spoken those words with such fear and uncertainty. Now a shadow of her former self, Mary sat quietly, listening, as just another misguided soul in the Hartman County Community Center.
“Hello. My name is Susan Michaels and I’m a sex addict,” said a middle-aged woman.
“Hi, Susan,” the crowd of similarly damaged attendees replied.
“I’m proud to say that it’s been exactly one year since I’ve joined this program—a full year since I hit rock bottom. I thought I would never pull myself together after two divorces, five affairs and…I don’t even remember how many one-night stands. But I did it. And it’s all thanks to this great program and to you, my wonderful friends.”
Susan received an extended round of applause. Some stood up and clapped while she beamed with pride. She looked way too happy for someone who had been in this program just a little longer than Mary. She couldn’t possibly be this seemingly content.
Mary still gave her weak applause. A few came up to shake Susan’s hand and give her a hug. Mary remained in her seat, keeping to herself and hoping she could stay invisible for the rest of the meeting. At one point, she had to look away. Susan’s beaming success—however real it might be—only reminded her of her utter lack of progress.
“It’s not fair. It’s just not fair,” Mary said under her breath.
She hugged her shoulders and kept her head down while everyone else congratulated Susan. As Mary looked around the room, she recalled the many lurid stories she’d heard since joining this program. The Chapman Hill Addiction Outreach Program—or CHAOP, as everyone called it—billed itself as the best addiction treatment program in the state. It had resources for every kind of addiction—from substance abuse to gambling and eating disorders. They didn’t advertise the division that specialized in sex addiction, but it made the same bold claims, promising it could help men and women whose unhealthy sexual habits had destroyed their lives.
After nearly a year, however, that promise rang hallow. Sure, the program had helped Mary rebuild her life but only to a point. It might be less destructive than her previous life, but CHAOP didn’t fulfill her in the ways the program had promised.
Susan Michaels might have been a lightweight in terms of her addiction, so maybe she’d had it easier. Affairs and one-night stands barely scratched the surface of what Mary had done. While she could hardly call herself the most decadent person in this program, she still felt stuck while everyone around her seemed to be making progress.
“Thank you. Thank you all,” said Susan, now in tears.
She looked like she had just won the Super Bowl. Everyone in the room kept cheering for her, supporting her for her accomplishment. Mary still questioned just how much praise this woman deserved.
Over the past months, she’d heard about every kind of tragic story caused by sexual addiction. Men talked about how they had bankrupted themselves spending all their money on strip clubs, prostitutes and porn. Women talked about how they’d destroyed their lives by sleeping with their teachers in high school, seducing police officers and attending wild sex parties that had begun in one city and ended in another. Some of those acts had even resulted in prison time. Mary felt lucky in some respects, because she’d never ended up broke or in prison, but that luck only went so far.
Is that how I’m supposed to feel after a year? she wondered. If so, I’m way behind.
Mary tried to remain engaged, if only to avoid unwanted scrutiny. She watched her fellow addicts walk up to Susan to congratulate her. None of them appeared as conflicted as she was. Then again, she had a hard time relating to any of her peers.
It shouldn’t have been a problem. These men and women came from many different walks of life. Some were young and attractive, not unlike the crowd Mary used to run with. Others were older and average-looking, the kind who nobody gave a second glance. From former strippers to retired accountants, they all had their own tragic story to tell. They each seemed to get something out of this, but Mary might as well have been an alien to these people.
What am I doing wrong? Why is Susan freakin’ Michaels making so much progress while I’m stuck after almost a year? Am I missing something here or am I supposed to be this miserable?
No matter how many times she asked herself those questions, she never got an answer. It didn’t make sense. It also frustrated her to no end.
“You’re awfully quiet this evening, Mary—more so than usual,” said a familiar voice.
“Sorry, Sister. It’s been a rough week for the fitness industry, what with droughts and heat waves keeping people indoors,” replied Mary, avoiding eye contact as best she could.
“Your lying skills haven’t improved much, either. I thought we agreed you would at least try harder to not brush off my concerns.”
“Guess I forgot,” muttered Mary.
“I’m sure you’ll remember next time. Until then, why don’t we save ourselves the trouble and discuss them? We don’t have to share them with the group. This can be another one of those conversations that stays between us.”
Mary shook her head and groaned. Sister Angela had a heart of gold, but she could be downright annoying when it came to having uncomfortable conversations. She claimed to be a former sex addict, calling her younger self an unrepentant sinner of the worst kind.
She told very personal—and very graphic—stories about her descent from being a talented actress to becoming a drug-addicted prostitute in Los Angeles. Some of her experiences made Mary’s problems seem like child’s play, especially the ones that involved oil wrestling and rooftop orgies. Mary sometimes questioned their validity. But even if only half of those stories were true, it made her uniquely qualified for this program.
Now a middle-aged woman working closely with the Hartman Catholic Church, Angela Murphy said she’d found God after surviving a drug overdose. She claimed to be living proof that anyone could overcome their addiction. Having since taken a vow of chastity, she claimed her life had become so much richer. She made it seem so appealing. However, Mary found it difficult to get excited.
“Come on, Mary. You know you can tell me anything. I won’t judge,” the nun chided as she sat down in the chair next to Mary’s.
“You never do,” Mary conceded.
“Then say what you need to say. You don’t have to tell me everything—just whatever makes you feel most comfortable.”
“Funny, I remember a number of guys telling me that exact same thing before we took our clothes off.”
“You’re not laughing, so it can’t be that funny. You’re not known for your sense of humor, either, so I assume something is really bothering you.”
“You know me too well, Sister,” Mary said.
“I know you like to avoid your problems until they blow up in your face,” Sister Angela said. “You’ve been hurt before because of that.”
“You don’t need to remind me.”
“Then I also don’t need to remind you how much worse it could’ve been if you’d kept avoiding your problems. So why take a chance?”
Sister Angela reached over and consoled Mary with a gentle pat on her shoulder. This made it next to impossible for her to brush the nun off again. She was just too damn kind. It annoyed Mary no end, but it didn’t make the older woman’s words less valid.
“Look at her. Look at how happy she is,” Mary said, now gazing back toward Susan.
“She should be. She’s come a long way,” Sister Angela said.
“I still remember all the times she came to meetings looking like a wreck. I remember how she broke down in tears, talking about how she’d once banged every guy on her block while her husband was traveling. It wasn’t that long ago that she’d claimed she couldn’t control her urges—that she was always going to be an addict.”
“She’s not the first person to say that. She’s not even the hundredth.”
“I don’t doubt that, but it doesn’t even matter in the end because some way, somehow, she turned herself around and became this ray of virgin sunshine. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it doesn’t always happen over a lifetime, either,” Mary said.
“It’s a process. It can’t be rushed or forced, but when it works…it’s the healing power of God at its best,” Sister Angela replied.
“And I’ve seen that healing power find so many others since I’ve been here. It’s like every other week, someone has this epiphany—this realization that allows them to cure their addiction.”
“Addiction can’t be cured. It can only be treated.”
“I know, damn it. And no, I’m not going to apologize for cursing.”
“You rarely do. I’ve stopped expecting you to,” Sister Angela said.
“And why should I?” scoffed Mary. “Because no matter what I do—no matter how hard I try—that healing power never finds me.”
Mary’s frustration got the better of her. That tended to happen whenever she talked to Sister Angela about her progress in the program or lack thereof. She didn’t like arguing with a nun, but eleven months of inner turmoil made it difficult to stay calm.
Sister Angela still didn’t hold it against her, although it might have been easier if she had. Mary kept hugging her shoulders, avoiding eye-contact, even while Sister Angela consoled her. The nun was so patient and understanding, making it very difficult to stay mad at her. She always let Mary vent when she needed to. On a day like today, she needed to do more than that.
“I just…don’t know how much longer I can feel like this,” Mary continued. “I’ve already uprooted my old life. I’ve put as much distance as I can between myself and everything that fueled my addiction.”
“Do you regret that decision?” Sister Angela asked.