Weekend Excerpt–HUNTER’S PRIDE

HUNTER’S PRIDE is OUT!

Redheads & Ranchers Book 2 is the story of corporate lawyer Poppy Chastain. Sent by her New York real estate development firm to Idaho, her mission is to convince fifth-generation cattle rancher Hunter McFall to sell a parcel of his ranch so Slade & Howell can put in an access road to the mountain property they plan on turning into a luxury resort.

Hunter will never agree to sell his land, but when he meets Poppy, he wants to show her exactly why he won’t. Somewhere along the way, they discover an explosive chemistry they never expected.

But behind the scenes, Slade & Howell is making plans to gain Hunter’s land by any means necessary. Can Hunter and Poppy’s love survive?

Here’s a teaser from HUNTER’S PRIDE:

Back at the ranch, Poppy took advantage of the huge master shower while Hunter saw to a few ranch matters that needed his attention.  Afterward, while he cleaned up for dinner, Poppy took care of some emails that had come in during their ride in the mountains. 

When they were both ready, Poppy insisted on stopping at the barn to see how the mother and calf were getting along.  Which was swimmingly.  Hunter commented that they’d be ready to join the rest of the herd in the next day or so.  Poppy snapped a few pictures then took Hunter’s hand and the pair headed for his big black Expedition. 

Country music played quietly in the background on the half-hour ride into McFall.  By the time they drove into town, the sun had set.  The parking lot at the North Star was about half-full.  Hunter managed to find a spot near the end of the first row.

“Hang on,” he said as he turned off the ignition.  “I’ll get your door.”

Poppy smiled to herself as she watched him walk around the SUV.  Hunter was always handsome.  Whether he was rain-soaked or working in the barn or naked by the fire, he was undeniably hot.  But tonight, in his dark jeans and white dress shirt, he was sex on legs.  She was suddenly ready to be back at the ranch.

As he opened her door, he smirked at her knowingly and briefly, she wondered if he could read her thoughts.

“You look amazing,” he said, holding her hand and helping her step out of the truck.

Poppy laughed lightly.  “You’ve seen this skirt and blouse before.  I wore it the first day I was here.”

“I’ve seen everything,” he murmured, his voice low and sexy.  “It’s still amazing.”

She rolled her eyes and blushed.  “Well, you look pretty hot yourself.”

He grinned at her.  “Do you think so?  I clean up okay?”

He held open the door, and she walked into the bar.  The place was fairly busy for a Thursday, and heads swiveled as Hunter followed closely behind her, directing her to the same booth they’d sat in her first night in town.  Starla nodded at them from her post behind the bar.  Classic rock served as a background for the buzz of conversation, occasionally punctuated by the clack of billiard balls on the other side of the room.

A young brunette approached them with a pair of menus.  “Hey, Hunter.”

He smiled at her.  “Hey, Lynnette.  How’s school?”

“Aw, you know.  I’m glad to be home for the summer.  Can I get you something to drink?”

“Let’s start with a couple of Jamesons, neat.  We’ll figure out what else we want.”

The server nodded.  “You’ve got it.”

“Jamesons?” Poppy asked as the girl walked away.

Hunter’s grin was boyish.  “Thought I might get you all liquored up so I can have my way with you later.”

“No liquor required for that. And I was figuring on having my way with you.”  She arched an eyebrow in challenge.

“Hot damn,” he breathed. 

Grinning, Poppy tried to ignore the curious stares of the good citizens of McFall as she perused the menu. 

Hunter, however, commented on it.  “Ever feel like you were in a damn fishbowl?”

“I wasn’t going to say anything, but, yeah, it’s a little uncomfortable.”

Hunter pursed his lips and shrugged slightly.  “I haven’t really brought a date here before. Not since Tara died, anyway.  I suppose folks are just curious.”

Poppy’s heart skipped a beat as she remembered her morning in Hunter’s office.  “That reminds me–”

The server’s voice startled her.  “Here you go.  Two Jamesons, neat.”  She placed the glasses in front of them.  “Are you ready to order?” 

Hunter looked to Poppy.  “Do you know what you want?”

She nodded.  “I’ll have the cheeseburger, medium-well, with swiss.”

“And for you?” the girl turned to Hunter.

He nodded.  “I’ll have the same.”

Feeling slightly shaky, Poppy sipped her whiskey, appreciating the burn as it trickled down the inside of her chest.

“You started to say something when Lynnette interrupted.”  He leaned forward on his forearms and watched her steadily.

“I almost forgot.  I meant to tell you something.”  She glanced up at him, breathing deeply as she tried to quell a slight tremble of nerves in her stomach.

“This morning, I opened your desk drawer looking for a notepad, and I found your wedding photo.  I didn’t mean to snoop, honestly, I didn’t.  I’m very sorry for invading your space like that.”

Hunter shrugged lightly.  “I told you to think of my office as your own.  You’re welcome to use anything you like.  Including anything you need out of the desk.  You don’t have to apologize.”

“I feel like I intruded, and I’m sorry.”  She risked a look in his direction.  “It was a beautiful photograph.”

He sipped his whiskey and stared down at the table.  “It was a beautiful day.”  He looked back up at her.  “That was almost ten years ago.”

Curiosity overwhelming her, Poppy decided to press forward.  “How did you two meet?”

Hunter gazed out across the room and sighed.  “We met at a bar.  Which isn’t as lame as it sounds.  I was dating a friend of hers, and a group of us had gotten together to hear a band down in Ketchum.  She was visiting from California.  We just clicked.”

Now that the door was open, Poppy had to walk through.  “And she was a redhead.”

“She was.”

When he didn’t say anything more, she fidgeted with the edge of her napkin.  She had so many more questions, but the topic seemed to have dead-ended.  She sighed softly.  “Well, anyway, I’m sorry for getting into your personal business.”

“Hey.”  His voice was soft as he reached across the table.  She took his hand and squeezed it affectionately.   “My life is an open book.  Ask me about anything you like.  And I mean it when I say consider the ranch your home.  Use anything you need.  Open any drawers you like.”

Wide-eyed, Poppy regarded him for a moment.  “When she died, you must have been devastated.”

Briefly, Hunter squeezed his eyes shut.  “I was.  I was a mess.  Losing Tara, losing the baby…”  He shook his head.  “I was useless for a while.  But then I realized that I wasn’t doing anybody any good wallowing in self-pity.  I sure as hell wasn’t honoring their memory.” 

He chuckled lightly.  “Could be it was Rolly’s boot up my ass that finally got me moving again.”

“You loved her.”  Poppy’s voice was soft.

He nodded.  “I did. With all my heart.  I didn’t think anybody would ever be able to fill that emptiness in me.” 

He smiled across the table at her.  “Then this prissy little big-city lawyer showed up in her fancy clothes and her designer shoes.”

Poppy frowned slightly and leaned forward.  “Prissy?  Who are you calling prissy?”

“You, Ms. P.K. Chastain.  If the cow poo shoe fits…”  He gave her a wink. 

She had to smile.  Elbow on the table, she rested her chin on her hand before she risked her most burning question.  “I look a little bit like her.  Is that weird?”

His sigh was deep.  “It’s true, you both have red hair.  But Tara’s eyes were light brown.  Yours are much darker.  And you have a completely different spirit, which to me makes you different as night and day.”

“How is my spirit different?”

He shrugged slightly.  “Tara was kind of…quiet.  She was calm, practical.  Predictable, maybe.” 

He met her gaze, his eyes sparkling with emotion.  “You’re bold and audacious and passionate.  You are your own unique self.”

Her brow furrowed.  “Is that good?

“I wouldn’t change a thing about you.”

Poppy flushed with pleasure.  “Well…good!  Because what you see is what you get.”

The thump of upbeat seventies rock shifted to a slower country song and Hunter slid out of the booth.  “Come on,” he said, holding out his hand to Poppy.

She glanced up at him.

He quirked an eyebrow.  “If they’re going to be talking about us anyway, might as well give’em something to say.  Dance with me.”

HUNTER’S PRIDE by Pandora Spocks

HUNTER’S PRIDE
is on sale now at your favorite online bookseller.
It’s even available in paperback.
books2read.com/HuntersPride

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Weekend Excerpt–HUNTER’S PRIDE

Coming July 2!

HUNTER’S PRIDE, the second stand-alone novel in the Redheads & Ranchers Series, comes out Tuesday, July 2.

In the book, Poppy P.K. Chastain is a young, ambitious corporate attorney. She’s sent by her international real estate development company in New York to broker a deal with an Idaho cattle rancher for a small parcel of his property.

For Poppy, this is her chance to solidify her career with Slade & Howell. No more grunt work–she’s finally in the big leagues. All she has to do is convince Hunter McFall to sell a couple thousand acres so S&H can put in an access road to the luxury mountain resort they’re planning to build.

Hunter is having none of it. He doesn’t want a fancy resort trashing up the peaceful town named for his great-great grandfather. And he damn sure doesn’t want a road across his property. He’s prepared to say a flat NO when the development company’s lawyer comes out to the ranch to talk to him. He didn’t count on the pretty, spunky redhead.

Neither Poppy nor Hunter planned on falling in love, but their chemistry is undeniable. What they don’t know is that behind the scenes, there’s a scheme unfolding that will tear them apart. Is their passion real, or did Poppy play Hunter all along?

Here’s a new snippet from HUNTER’S PRIDE.

Golden sunlight streamed through the windows of the cabin, creating a brilliant space in stark contrast to the dark box from the previous night.  Hunter sighed to himself as he watched Poppy spoon another bite of oatmeal past her perfect lips.  She looked across the table at him and smiled softly.

 They were dressed in their clothes from the previous day, now dry thanks to the fire.  The only difference was that Poppy had added the flannel shirt over her white t-shirt, wearing it like an oversized jacket.

 Throughout the morning as they’d restored order to the cabin and made breakfast, they’d worked quietly, occasionally exchanging knowing glances and subdued smiles.

 Hunter sipped his coffee, and his mind drifted to the previous night.  After the blowjob that had to have registered on the Richter scale, they’d gone to bed, where they’d ended up making love twice more before finally succumbing to exhaustion.

 Mentally, he shook his head.  Five orgasms in one night.  That was far and away his all-time personal record.  And he’d seen to it that Poppy had enjoyed a few more than that.

 She met his eyes again and smiled.  A thought had been swirling around in his head since they’d lain breathless after that last time.  It was still there when he’d awakened, Poppy curled into him with her red hair framing her sleeping face.

 He hesitated, though.  Maybe she does this all the time, he thought.  The idea bothered him, but then, who was he to judge?  He had no kind of claim on her.  Three days ago, he’d assumed P.K. Chastain was a man.

 When she tilted her head curiously, he realized he’d been staring.

 “What’s up?” she smiled.

 He shook his head slightly.  “Nothing really.”

 Her eyes narrowed thoughtfully.  “You just seem to have something on your mind.”

 Stalling, he swiped a hand across his mouth and leaned forward on his elbows.  “I was just thinking…”  He frowned slightly.  “How much longer are you in Idaho?”

“I fly back to New York on Sunday.”

 He shifted his jaw.  Nothing ventured… 

“I was just thinking that maybe you might stay with me, at the ranch, rather than at the motel in town.”  He watched her closely.  “There’s a lot more I’d like to show you around here, and my house is a hell of a lot nicer than the Deer Creek Motor Lodge.  Plus…”  He trailed off.

 “Plus?”  Amusement twinkled in her eyes.

 He exhaled sharply.  “Plus, I think we’ve got an incredible connection.  I mean, I don’t know about you, but I don’t do this on a regular basis.”  He gestured toward the bed. 

Her eyes widened.  “I don’t do this on a regular basis,” she said.  “Are you asking if I do?”

 “No, God, no!  I didn’t mean to imply…  Shit.”  He ran a restless hand through his hair.  “I just mean that I feel like we have something here.  And for the first time in a long time, I’d like to explore it and see where it leads.”

 Feeling like he’d overstepped, he backtracked.  “Maybe you’re more comfortable in town.  I get it.  And I imagine you have work to do.  Don’t worry about it, it was just a random thought.”

 Wordlessly, Poppy pushed back from the table and came around to him.  She straddled his lap and took his hands in hers.

 “Hunter, I like you.  A lot.  All this,” she nodded her head toward the bed.  “That’s all you.  I’ve never had a night like last night.  Obviously, we have physical chemistry going on here, but I agree with you.”  She smiled up at him.  “I think it’s more than that.  And I’d love to see where it goes.”

 She kissed his cheek and slid off his lap.  “I didn’t want to complain, but the motel is a pit.  I’d lots rather stay with you.”

 He felt his lips curl in a guarded smile.  “Really?”

 Poppy nodded, a slight frown wrinkling her brow.  “I mean, it’s a little complicated, isn’t it?  I’m supposed to be negotiating an offer from my company.  But I suppose we’re still discussing it, right?  It wouldn’t do for the office to know that I’m staying with you, though.  It wouldn’t look very professional.”

 “Will it be a problem?”  For the first time, Hunter tried to factor Slade & Howell into the situation.

 She grinned mischievously.  “Not if they don’t know about it.”

 Suddenly, Hunter wanted nothing more than for Poppy to be with him at the ranch for the rest of her time in Idaho. 

“So, does that mean you’re staying with me?”  He stood and walked toward her.

“That’s exactly what that means,” she smiled.

 He released the breath he’d been holding as a smile spread across his face.  “Great!  Fantastic!”  He rested his hands on her hips and leaned down to press a kiss to her lips.  Reaching around his neck, Poppy steadied herself, tangling her fingers in his hair.

 Reluctantly, he ended the kiss, resting his forehead against hers.  “I’d better stop before we end up back in bed.  I’m already having a hard time walking today.”

 Poppy giggled.  “I’d never complain about being sore, as long as it’s for all the right reasons.”

HUNTER’S PRIDE by Pandora Spocks

Watch the official book trailer for HUNTER’S PRIDE.

HUNTER’S PRIDE
is out Tuesday, July 2.
Reserve your copy now: books2read.com/HuntersPride

Coming Soon–HUNTER’S PRIDE

What are you reading this summer? I have a suggestion–HUNTER’S PRIDE, Redheads & Ranchers Book 2.

Here’s the official blurb:

A handsome rancher with a tragic past,
determined to hang on to his inheritance.
A spunky young corporate lawyer

ready to make her mark in the world.
A sinister plot against them both.

Hunter McFall is a fifth-generation Idaho cattle rancher.  He’s been approached to sell a small fraction of his land to a big-city real estate developer.  Something he has no intention of doing.  He’s agreed to hear out the firm’s lawyer, but that’s the end of it.  To his surprise, it’s just the beginning.

Red-haired Manhattan business attorney Poppy Chastain is determined to make the most of her first opportunity to show her bosses what she can do.  Slade & Howell have sent her to the boondocks of Idaho to convince the hard-headed rancher to part with a tiny plot of his property.  She didn’t count on the sizzling attraction between them.

Together, they find a passion they weren’t even looking for.  But their love is threatened by a covert scheme to separate Hunter from his land by any means necessary.  When he finds out, he’s sure Poppy has played him for a fool.  Can she convince him otherwise, that what they’ve found is real?

If you love hot cowboys, sassy redheads, and steamy, romantic happily-ever-afters, you’ll love Hunter’s Pride.

One-click Hunter’s Pride now!

How about a little teaser?

By the time they finished eating and paid their tabs, Hunter was positive Poppy had to be feeling the effects of the alcohol.  But she seemed determined to press forward independently.

Together, they made their way to the door of the bar.  With all the noise and music inside, they had been blissfully unaware that a spring storm had rolled in.  Rain pouring down in buckets was punctuated by jagged flashes of lightning and the percussion of thunder rolling through the valley.

He’d already decided that he’d be making sure she got back to her room safely.  The storm just clinched the deal.  He could barely make out the lighted walkway of the motel through the torrents blowing across the highway in waves.

Beside him, she stared out into the storm.  “Well, shit!”

He rested a hand on the small of her back.  “Don’t worry.  I’ll take you back to the motel.”  He took a couple of steps.  “Stay right here.  I’ll get the truck.”  With that, he dashed out into the deluge.

When he pulled the huge black Expedition to the front door, he leaned over and pushed open the passenger door.  Poppy launched herself into the truck and slipped, falling headfirst over the center console, her face landing smack in his lap.

“Whoa, now!” he laughed.

She scrambled backward, nearly falling out of the truck.  “Um, sorry about that,” she gasped as she swung the door closed.

“It’s okay, just…get yourself settled.”

Sheepishly, she buckled herself in and clasped her hands in her lap.  “Okay, I’m settled.”

Suppressing a grin and mentally shaking his head, Hunter turned the truck and headed toward the highway. 

At this time of night in a town like McFall, there was no traffic to speak of.  Anyone not already home was currently parked in the lot in front of the North Star.  He paused anyway, peering through the rain in both directions before cutting across to the motel.

“Which room is yours?”

She pointed with an unsteady hand.  “Lucky number 7.”

He pulled into the space beside the Range Rover she’d driven out to the ranch.  “Hang on.”

Ducking, he hurried around and opened her door.  She accepted his hand and slid down, clutching her shoulder bag with the other hand.  Together, they dashed the ten feet to the covered walkway.

For a moment, they stood dripping, looking out into the rainy night.  Poppy fished the room key out of her bag.

“Well, thanks for the ride.”  She leaned down and closed one eye, her right hand weaving a bit as she aimed for the lock.

“Can I help?” he asked.

He took the key from her and unlocked the door, swinging it open.

“Thanks.  I would have gotten it.”

He tried to stop the smile.  “I know you would have.”

She peered up at him, red hair drenched from the rain.  He stepped closer, and she reached around his neck, pulling him to her, pressing her red lips to his.  Her intensity surprised him, but he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her closer, giving in to her passion.

Gradually, she loosened her hold, and he released her.  Gingerly, she touched her fingers to her lips.  “Sorry about that.  I’m a little drunk.”

“Not a problem.  But you should go inside now.”

She nodded slowly.  “Yeah.  Thanks for everything, Hunter.”

“You’re welcome.  Go on now.  We’ll talk tomorrow.”

She headed into the room and peeled off the cardigan, dropping it on the floor.  Then she gripped the bottom of the camisole and lifted it.  Hunter realized that with the drapes open, she was about to put on a show for the entire North Star Bar & Grill, assuming they could see through the rain.

“Hold up there,” he said, hurrying inside to draw the curtains.

Giving up on the camisole for the moment, Poppy sank onto the edge of the bed.  He squatted in front of her, taking her hands in his.

“I’m going to go now,” he said softly, “and I need you to lock the door behind me.  Okay?”

She blinked as she tried to focus on his face.  “Okay.”

“Okay, come with me,” he said, guiding her to the door.  “After I go out, you lock the door.”  Unable to resist, he pressed a light kiss to her forehead.  “I’ll call you tomorrow.”

He stepped out onto the sidewalk and pulled the door closed behind him, then stood listening.  “Poppy?”  He knocked lightly.  “Lock the door, hon.”

From the other side, he heard the click of the lock, then the rattle of the chain.  “Good girl.  Okay, we’ll talk tomorrow.  Good night.”

HUNTER’S PRIDE by Pandora Spocks

HUNTER’S PRIDE,
the second stand-alone contemporary
erotic romance novel in the
Redheads & Ranchers Series,
comes out July 2.
Reserve your copy now:
books2read.com/HuntersPride

Who Doesn’t Love a Cowboy with a Heart of Gold?

💋 COMING FEBRUARY 12! 💋
JENNY’S VOICE, Redheads & Ranchers Book 1

A traumatized young woman held hostage for years. 
The rancher who comes to her rescue. 
The crime boss who will kill them both if he finds them.

Jenny Stone’s voice was silenced the horrific day ruthless crime boss Victor Sorkin executed her parents in cold blood and took her as his personal good luck charm. Now she’s his ‘pet’, at his mercy when he summons her to warm his bed. Or the beds of his more esteemed business associates.

When she sees her chance to escape, she takes it, hitching a ride with an unsuspecting cowboy, horse trainer Cole Caldwell. Cole’s stunned to find the terrified young redhead hiding in his horse trailer. She’s as skittish as some of the horses he works with, and she doesn’t even speak. But the nurturer in him wants to shelter her, to protect her. He’ll do his best to ignore the attraction he feels, content to help her know she’s safe with him.

When Jenny first escaped, her only thought was to get away. But now she’s worried. She’s put Cole in unspeakable danger. Should she leave before Victor finds them? Could it already be too late?

If you like your romance filled with hot cowboys, suspense, and happily-ever-afters, you’ll love JENNY’S VOICE.

JENNY’S VOICE is Book 1 in the Redheads & Ranchers Series. 
Sexy redheads and the ranchers they can’t resist. 
One-click your copy today! 
books2read.com/JennysVoice

JENNY’S VOICE is available everywhere for pre-order,
but for a limited time,
it’s just 99¢ exclusively at Amazon.

Black Friday/Small Business Saturday SALE!

Happy Thanksgiving!
I hope your holiday was fabulous.

Now we’re ready for shopping season.  Black Friday deals are already underway, and Saturday is Small Business Saturday.

Did you realize that an Indie author is a small business?  Buying an Indie book is the literary equivalent of shopping local.

Before the holiday season gets out of hand with all the craziness, I have a great deal for you.  Why not treat yourself to the entire Rannigan’s Redemption trilogy for just 99¢?

The deal is only on Amazon, and it’s only good Friday, Nov. 23 and Saturday, Nov. 24.  After that, it returns to regular price.

Just click HERE to get your copy!

Exciting News and an Incredible Deal!

🔥99¢ Pre-Order🔥
The complete 4-novel Dream Dominant Series.
NOW at iTunes.
Don’t miss out!

That’s right!  The Dream Dominant Series is being re-released with HOT new covers as a boxed set exclusively at iTunes.  And you can pre-order right now for just 99¢.

The complete series includes:

  • LUKE & BELLA, Dream Dominant Book 1
  • LOST & BOUND, Dream Dominant Book 2
  • FOR SPARROW, Dream Dominant Book 3 (and 2018 Golden Flogger Award Winner)
  • WARRIOR MINE, Dream Dominant Book 4

Don’t miss this opportunity to own
all four Dream Dominants for just 99¢.
Just click HERE.

WARRIOR MINE is Almost Here!

The 4th book in The Dream Dominant Collection comes out Tuesday, August 14!

Like all of the Dream Dominants, this contemporary erotic romance novel featuring a light BDSM theme is a stand-alone story, but WARRIOR MINE is a spin-off from Dream Dominant Book 2, LOST & BOUND.

It came about when readers suggested that a couple of supporting characters, Scott Nielsen and Jackie Walker, needed a story of their own.  Initially, I thought it might make a good novella.  But as I went along, the story took on a life of its own, ending up at 115k+ words, the longest single book I’ve ever written.

Which is why it’s well-worth the 99¢ pre-order.  After release day, it will go to its regular price.

Here’s the official blurb.

She is the perfect combination of princess and warrior.

Scott Nielsen and Jackie Walker.
Their attraction is instant from the moment they meet.
But he’s Dominant.  And no way is she submissive.
Is it a missed connection?  Or a divine appointment?

Scott Nielsen is ready for change.  He’s walked away from his career as a wilderness counselor, planning to start his own outdoor survival school.  He looks up his old friend and former colleague Blake Walker, intent on leasing space at Blake’s family’s remote wilderness guest lodge.  That’s where he meets Blake’s sister Jackie, who runs the lodge with her brother’s help.  Her strength and independence intrigue Scott.  A single mom, Jackie has no intention of being anyone’s submissive.

In his personal life, Scott is tired of casual sex in the BDSM club scene.  Envious watching his buddy Blake fall head over heels for his own submissive, Scott thinks he might be ready to take the plunge himself.  As he and Jackie spend time together, he’s enchanted with her inner Warrior Princess.  But Jackie’s been burned before.  And she has two children who are her priority, not to mention the business to run.   As independent as she is, she can’t see relinquishing her power to a man, not even one she’s falling for.

Scott’s heart aches at the idea of not having Jackie in his life.  Can she take another chance on love, or will she insist on ignoring her submissive soul?

If you enjoyed LOST & BOUND, you’ll love this spin-off stand-alone story.

This is the WARRIOR MINE Official Book Trailer.

How about a little sneak peek?

“It’s a gorgeous day,” Scott commented.

“It really is.  I haven’t been out in the woods like this in a long time.”

Scott watched her appraisingly.  “Are you much of a camper?”

“I can hold my own.”  She lifted her chin, and he saw a glint of challenge in her eye.

“I imagine you can,” he smiled to himself.

He watched her dig the toe of her boot into the soft black earth and push it into a small heap.  “So let’s talk, Jackie.”

She exhaled loudly, and out of the corner of his eye, he saw her grip her hands so tightly together, her knuckles were white.

“This makes you nervous,” he observed.

“Well, yeah!  You’re over here wanting me to agree to be some kind of…I don’t know what…slave, I guess.  That’s so not me.”

“You’re right, it’s not.  I see in you a submissive soul, but a slave is not remotely what I have in mind.  Jackie,” he straddled the log to face her, “you’re a strong, smart, sexy lady.  I admire the hell out of you.”

“So why do you want me to give all that up?”

“I don’t want you to give anything up.  I love all those things about you.”  He laughed softly.  “I love that you challenge me.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Jackie’s expression was dubious.  “I don’t understand what you want from me.  Am I supposed to run and jump into your arms like Amy does Blake?”  She rolled her eyes.

Scott had to laugh.  “You’re not a slave, and you’re definitely not a baby girl like Amy, either.”  He gave her a side-long glance.  “Amy’s a sweet girl, but she’d drive me nuts.  A Daddy Dom I am not.”

“Good, because there’s no way I’m calling you Daddy.”

“Our dynamic would be more King and Princess.  You’d call me Sire.”

He was pleased when he saw her reluctant smile.  “All I want is for you to let go and allow me to lead you, to help you be free to be your true self.  You can depend on me, Jackie.”

Restlessly, Jackie got up and paced back and forth.  “It’s not like it’s just me, Scott.  I’m a mother.  I have two kids to care for, and they have to be my priority.  I can’t decide I’m going to just go off and do whatever I want.  Plus, there’s the business…”

She stopped pacing and faced him.  “I’m a whole ‘package deal’.  You don’t need all that.  You should be out meeting women who aren’t so tied down.”

Scott couldn’t stop the smirk as the image of a nude Jackie tied to the posts of a bed flashed through his mind.  She must have realized it because she blushed bright red.

He gave in to the temptation to tease her just a little.  “I’ve met my share of women, Jackie.  Women who don’t mind being tied down.”

He chuckled.  “I’ve done the club scene, and I’m tired of casual sex.  When Blake told me he’d found someone, I must admit, I felt envious.  I took a hard look at my life and I realized it was time to make a change.  I had no idea I’d meet someone so quickly.”

Arms crossed, she stood ten yards away.  He considered going to her, but changed his mind, allowing her space.

“I’m attracted to you, Jackie, in a way I haven’t been to anyone else.  You have no idea how hard it was for me to resist you that night you came to my room.  Hell, to resist you last night.  You’re beautiful, Jackie, in case no one’s told you in a while.  That one perfect exposed breast?  I’ve had dreams about that.”

Jackie blushed, wrapping her arms more tightly around herself.

“Together we have an explosive chemistry.  I know you feel it, too.  I’m dying to take you to the next level.”

Arms still crossed, she shrugged.  “Yeah, we have physical chemistry.  Maybe it’s because it’s been a long time for me, I don’t know.  And I appreciate the things you’ve done, like taking care of things when Emma was sick, and Jesus, you saved Grant’s life.”

She started pacing again.  “And you washed my hair.  I couldn’t believe you did that.    So when you say, Now be my submissive,” she deepened her voice to imitate Scott, “it’s like I owe you.”

“You don’t owe me, Jackie.  I washed your hair because it was what you needed.  That’s what a Dom does.”  He gazed out through the woods and exhaled sharply.  “I think you’ve read too many so-called BDSM books about sadist Dominants.  That’s not what we’re talking about.  We’re talking about safe, sane, and consensual.  Always.”  He looked back at her.  “You can depend on me, Jackie.  I’ve got you.”

She walked to the edge of the clearing, her back to him.  Her voice was small.  “What if I depend on you, and you leave?  I don’t think I could survive that.  Better to be on my own and know what I’m getting.”

“Jackie, I’m not him.  I’m not that guy.”

Scott couldn’t stay away from her any longer.  He approached her, tentatively reaching out to touch her shoulder.  “I’m this guy, right here, asking you to let me share your burden, to lighten your load, and set you free.”

She reached up to put her hand on his.  Her voice was small.  “I don’t know if I can do that.”

Leaning down, he kissed her hand.  “Fair enough.”

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