Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Unrestrained, my newest BDSM erotic romance release, comes out December 3, and I want to share a snippet with you. But first, what’s the story about? My heroine, Athena, is an accomplished businesswoman. Since the death of her husband, she’s had a desire to explore submissive cravings she’s always suppressed. That’s when she meets Dale, a retired Navy SEAL. Dale is an accomplished Master who can help her accept the true nature of her submission. Together they’ll learn more about the nature of love between Dominant and submissive, and how it defies all categories.
Okay, admit it – did I really have to say anything more than “Navy SEAL” + “Master”? (lol) Here’s the excerpt. In this scene, Athena has invited Dale to her home for lunch and to discuss him helping her explore her submissive side. Hope you enjoy it! (Note: If you’d like to read a full chapter excerpt, Chapter One is on my website, under the Unrestrained book page.)
* * * * *
“Mrs. Summers?” Her cell beeped. “Your guest is here.”
“Thank you, Lynn. Show him to the gazebo and make sure he has a drink. I’ll be right there.”
Time had escaped her. With any other guest, Athena would have been waiting near the door to personally greet them. However, she’d been jumpy as a cat since noon and had needed to calm her nerves. She could lie to herself, attribute it to a hundred different things, but the truth was it was all about Dale.
She’d thought long and hard about the question she’d ask him. There was no requirement that she ask it, but she already knew she was going to do so. As a result, tiny manic frogs were jumping in her stomach. Beyond that, for the first time in two years, an attractive man she desired was coming to have lunch with her. She took a deep breath. “I am forty-six years old,” she told the mirror. “A grown woman. If I simper, giggle, blush or do something equally ridiculous during this meal, I will stab myself with my own fork.”
He’d seemed to like her pencil skirt, so today she wore one in purple, with a pale yellow blouse over it that had a sash tied at her hip, the ends trailing down the side. The fabric gathered at the throat like a mock turtleneck, no decorative distraction between it and where it nipped in at her waist. As a result, it enhanced the size and shape of her breasts, drawing male attention to them. The outfit was classy yet sensual, sending a message of hands off combined with I am a woman and won’t conceal it. Her hair was clipped loosely on her nape, a few tendrils loose and curling around her face.
She knew she was an attractive middle-aged woman. Even so, as she approached the gazebo, it was gratifying to see him turn at the sound of her heels, watch his gaze latch onto her with obvious appreciation, coursing over her legs, the sway of her hips, the movement of her breasts. When he reached her face, the heat in his eyes made her body react as if he’d licked a trail right up her inner thighs. At the sight of him, she had to take a steadying breath of her own.
He wore black jeans and a forest green long-sleeved shirt. The sleeves were rolled up, revealing his forearms and the black watch he wore. She expected it was a military-grade or diver’s watch. It had an outer dial that measured degrees and several smaller dials within the face. Given he’d been a SEAL, she was sure it was rated for underwater use. A man who wouldn’t be lost, no matter where he was.
He was dressed appropriately for their lunch, but if he’d intended to maintain a sense of social distance, acquaintances getting to know one another better, he might have chosen slacks and a dress shirt. The fact he’d selected a more informal outfit, a contrast to her more formal one, suggested something far different. It wasn’t rudeness; it was anticipation of the roles they were both projecting. She wouldn’t say playing, because it didn’t feel that way at all. There were no casual or unintended messages at this lunch. Whether unconscious or not, she’d chosen every aspect of her appearance carefully, and intuitively she knew he’d done the same.
His short dark hair lay smooth and gleaming against his head, and when those blue-green eyes reached her face, she was having a hard time not curling her fingers to hide their tremor. His dark lashes intensified the color, the matching brows giving his already strong face a more authoritative cast.
It’s a pleasure to see you again. As she drew closer to the gazebo, she knew that was what she should say, initiate some polite chitchat. But she didn’t. Anything like that died in her throat, the effort of forcing it out too much. It would be obvious how wrong it was.
She’d had Lynn set up their lunch in the large gazebo, because there was a good breeze today and it overlooked the man-made pond. A pair of ducks was swimming across it. Sometimes, in the early morning, deer came from the woods that backed her property, drank from it. Grazed on the lawn. The pear tree grove also screened the gazebo from the house, making their meeting private. Lynn would bring the food or more drinks when Athena rang, and not before.
The china gleamed, the silver was polished. The ironed tablecloth moved gently in the breeze coming off the water. The ceiling fan blades made a rhythmic hum.
She came to a stop a few steps away from the gazebo. He settled his hip on the rail, one long leg braced, the sole of his other boot sliding along the wood floor. They were the same boots he’d worn the other night, the ones with the silver tips.
“Come here, Athena. Stand in front of me.”
A breath fluttered from her throat like a startled butterfly. She stood in place for another blink, teetering on indecision. Not a decision about what he wanted her to do, because the moment he said it, she wanted to go to him, but a decision about what it meant if she did. Dreams and fantasy were about to step over the line into nascent reality, and things could go wrong. Some things were better staying fantasy, letting dreams alone be the place where she let go of the reins.
Her gaze slid back up. Over his legs, the way his thighs outlined his groin area, though the loose shirttails hid most of that from view. Was he wearing the belt he’d worn the other day? He had a drink on the rail next to him. The dark amber liquid suggested Lynn had brought him a whiskey, or maybe a Coke mixed with something else. She didn’t yet know his drinking habits, beyond black coffee.
She started to walk. It was nine steps to him. She made it five, and then she was at the table, her hand on the back of one of the chairs. She couldn’t move further.
“Have you thought about what you want, Athena?” he asked. “Do you have an answer for yourself?”
He didn’t ask if she had an answer for him, because he’d already understood that the question had never really been for him. He knew what she wanted, as much as he understood she had to accept her answer to make those last four steps.
“One more time, Athena. Come to me.”
He wasn’t coaxing. He was commanding. Those outside their world didn’t understand that the command wasn’t backed by a threat, but something far more powerful. Over here, by the chair, she was outside of herself, lost. Adrift in a world of beauty muted by a cloudy veneer she couldn’t penetrate until she dropped her shields, let herself accept the vulnerability that came with full awareness of who and what she was.
One and two. Three and Four. Like hopscotch when she was a little girl. She stood directly in front of the silver tip of his boot now, her elegant pumps aligned with it as the center point.
She stared at his chest, dropped her gaze to his thighs again. His arm rested on the right one, the side where his hip was half-cocked onto the rail. His nails were clean, the potting soil that had collected under them gone, but they were still rough hands, a workman’s hands. One of those hands lifted, cupped the side of her breast, just as before. She pressed her lips together, that fluttering moving down her sternum, spreading out beneath her rib cage as he curled his fingers, stroked her with his knuckles. He didn’t touch the nipple, but it tightened beneath her bra, aching for him to do so. It was one of her thinner ones, so she was sure her response became visible to him, the breeze blowing the light fabric of her blouse against her. But apparently it wasn’t enough to suit his tastes.
“After five o’clock, when your staff is gone, I want the bra off. You understand?”
She nodded. Then she closed her eyes, shuddered hard. He shifted off the rail, his shoulders wide enough to block her view of anything behind him. Now he put his hands on her upper arms, a brief reinforcement of his words. He touched her hair.
Letting her go, he pulled out a chair, gestured. “Sit.”
When she complied, he retrieved his drink from the rail and took the chair next to hers. Though he leaned back, his knee stayed close to hers. “So tell me what you want, Athena.” His expression wasn’t hard or unkind, just unrelenting. She reveled in that inflexibility, the decisiveness.
It gave her the courage to set a course.
* * * * *
Athena is a widow and an accomplished businesswoman. She’s the type of person who exceeds expectations in business, family–life in general. Since the death of her husband, she’s had a desire to explore submissive cravings she’s had for some time. The hitch is, Athena is known as a Mistress, because that’s the role she played to her husband.
Though she knew her submissive nature was strong enough to serve her husband as a Domme, because that’s what he needed, it’s when she meets Dale, a retired Navy SEAL, that she attempts to discover what her own submissive desires are. But letting go of that control is harder than she expected.
Fortunately, Dale is an accomplished Master who can help her accept the true nature of her submission, rather than how she’s tailored it to meet the expectations of others. But in the course of learning what letting go means, both of them will learn a bit more about the nature of love between Dominant and submissive, and how it defies all categories.
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