Time flies when you're sitting around biting your nails in anticipation of Publication Day...but we're in the final stretch with my newest release which is coming out at Loose-Id!!
To celebrate...meet Julia...infamous sub of the deceased Master Jasper...a legend in the Cincinnati BDSM community...
excerpt begins here:
I hear whispers behind my back. It’s her. It’s really her. Are you sure? I’m sure. Who’s she here with? She’s alone, it’s so sad. I don’t know how anyone could replace Master Jasper. Seriously, no one could. Do you remember…
I close my eyes, thinking what a bad idea coming here. What was I thinking, letting Maxwell and Jonathon talk me into coming here tonight—during a branding ceremony? Master branded me…here…at this theater…so many people here knew him—knew us. I should have realized people would recognize me…and talk.
I see Maxwell first. He grabs me and pulls me into an over-exuberant hug, stealing my breath and for a moment making me forget the stares and my brand. “I’m such an idiot. I shouldn’t be here,” I whisper in his ear, rubbing the spot on my hip where the scar of Master Jasper’s brand suddenly flares to new life, itching like crazy. “People are talking.”
“Yes, they are! Let them talk.” Maxwell hugs me tighter. “Besides, when you’re in the room, people have always talked! Since when are you afraid of what people think?”
“Before, people talked about how wonderful my relationship was with Master. It made me proud to stand by his side. Now, they pity me.”
Maxwell steps back from me, taking a long look up and down. “They won’t pity you for long. My God, Julia, you’ve grown even more beautiful since I’ve seen you! And look at this!” Maxwell ruffles my head playfully. So is this the new, ruffled, just climbed out of bed look?”
“Actually, before the wind, rain, sleet, and the close encounter with your hands, it was a sleek, cosmopolitan, slightly funky look.” I lie, laughing.
He steps back and frowns, pushing my bangs out of my face as he takes in the results of nature and gravity. “It's an improvement over bald."
I stick my tongue out at him and in return he exudes sarcasm. "Sleek? I can almost see that."
“I was never bald!" I pout.
“Mmm, kind of like Sinead O'Conner isn't bald.”
“Hel-lloooo, stubble,” I insist. “I was never shiny head bald.”
Breaking into a huge smile, he makes me realize he's been teasing. “I liked bald!” he insists, drawing me down the aisle and rubbing the top of my head as if I'm the shorter, younger sibling. “I like this better.”
Although for the moment I’d forgotten the whispers, trailing behind him a surge of fresh rising panic assails me. The throng folds around us like a strangling glove, whispers, and beneath the whispers Jasper’s name and mine. Do you think she’s here alone? I’m sure she is, I heard she left the scene.
“Breathe, honey,” Maxwell commands, looping his elbow around mine, walking faster, and pulling me through the crowd. He prods me along, issuing commands, “You look like a scared rabbit! Stop looking so worried. Jonathon is holding seats, so stop biting your lip and unfurrow your brow! You look absolutely fabulous! I was only teasing about your hair! So smile, chin up, and remember to watch your language.”
It is her! It’s Julia! My God, she’s beautiful!
“Watch your mouth, pretend you’re in school, and no cussing in front of the kiddies. Okay?”
“No. Not okay. I really do watch my mouth around the students all day. Here, on the other hand, we’re all adults, and if a flying fuck creeps out, we’re all old enough to deal with it.”
Leading me down the center aisle, my heels sink into an oriental patterned carpet that seems plusher than I remembered. Glancing at the stage, the velvet drapes are now black velvet instead of the red satin I seem to remember. Maxwell pulls me to a dead stop and I realize I’ve missed what he was saying. “Pay attention! I don’t want you to screw tonight up, sweetie, and Jonathon brought along one very special, very dominant Mr. Gorgeous and he will not get anywhere near naked with you if so much as one curse word escapes those adorable cupid lips of yours.”
“You’re joking. Not only did you trick me into coming, now you’re fucking telling me that you and Jonathon are trying to hook me up with a damn priest?”
“Darling, as much as I agree that damn, fucking, and priest go together in a sentence, tonight they don’t…not if you want to get this Dom to notice you…and darlin’, trust me—you so want this Dom to notice.”
“How gorgeous is he?” Nodding nervously, I try to remember how to breathe as I scan rows of opulent, scarlet velvet seats for Jonathon, catching sight of him just as he turns to see us stepping down the three steps into the orchestra seating. After catching his wink, I realize that he has turned his attention back to the mystery man.
My attention is drawn once again to the throng of followers I attracted with my entrance. And Maxwell and Jonathon can’t imagine why I insist on going to the novice BDSM meetings. There’s something to be said for anonymity.
It isn’t her. Yes, it is! Ask her. I’m not asking her; that would be rude. You ask her. I don’t need to ask her, I don’t think it’s her. Maybe it isn’t her, Julia would be older…
I pivot on my heel, facing the two closest whisperers. “Rude is talking about me behind my back. Go away!”
I make shooing gestures with my hands, feeling better as the crowd disperses. “Why did I agree to come here tonight?”
Maxwell nods toward Jonathon and the mystery man. “Because of him.”
Tilting my head, I take in the line of the mystery man's thigh, seeing the obvious outline of very firm muscle. I swallow hard, lusting harder. He turns and his profile is revealed. I try to put the strong features together in my mind to form a face. At his quick glance my way, I could wet myself he’s so hot and young, not young as in too young, but young, my age or only slightly older. I’m not sure how I feel about that. “Dear God.”
excerpt ends here ... tune in tomorrow to meet the mystery man