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Here is a short sample from the book:
I wanted to be swept away in a grand and passionate love affair. I wanted it to wrap itself around me and raise me out of the monotony I had made of my life, of myself. I needed that perfect love to vindicate my past.
My past was an embarrassing cliche. Raised by parents who lost interest in me around the time I began to form my own opinions of the world, I sought reassurance of my worth from others. When I discovered the appeal of my youthful sexuality, I believed men could provide that worth.
It wasn’t long before I discovered how mistaken I was in that belief. By the age of eighteen, I was pregnant. I thought my boyfriend was more than gallant when he proposed marriage, and it made me love him. When I miscarried the baby not long after our wedding, I stayed with my new husband.
Not that I had much choice, really. My parents had kicked me out when they learned I was pregnant, attacking me with accusations and character affronts which assured I wouldn’t speak to them for years. I was on my own. No money, a high school diploma, and a husband who believed he would be a rock star one day.
I learned how to survive, took shitty jobs that barely kept a roof over our heads and food in our mouths. And because I needed to believe that I could have a better future, I took night classes at the local community college.
By the second year of my marriage, I learned why my husband actually married me. It hadn’t been for the sake of our baby, or to provide for us; it had been because he wanted someone to take care of him.
I remember him storming around our one-room apartment, berating me for not making enough money for him and his band to go on the road. It was all my fault, he said. All my fault because I hadn’t listened to him, hadn’t done what needed to be done.
He wanted me to give up night school and become a stripper. Better money, he said. I didn’t need school, he insisted, because he would be a star soon, and you didn’t need a college degree to be the wife of a rich rock star. All I had to do was to sacrifice for him now, and I would be repaid later.
I was actually proud of myself for telling him no, that I wanted to stay in school, that I would stay in school no matter how much he yelled at me. I told him to get a day job to make the money to go on the road. He kicked the furniture and stomped out of the apartment. I didn’t see him for a week.
I find it hard to accept, now, that I was proud of telling him no. I’m disgusted with my past self that I allowed him back into my life, let him stumble back into my bed, drunk and stinking after a week on the streets doing God knew what. I should have thrown his ass out the door.
I could say no to his demand that I become a stripper. I couldn’t say no to the marriage.
So many wasted years, supporting a man I loathed, and who loathed me in return in spite of my efforts to appease him. Not his fault, though. My fault. I knew the truth by year two of my marriage. That it took me eight more years to finally unload him … well, that was on me.
I desperately needed to shake the blame for those ten years of bad decisions and lost chances. I longed to banish the taint of my failed marriage, of failed dreams.
I was now twenty-nine years old. I had a college degree, a decent job, a place of my own, and a sense of urgency to claim a different destiny. Divorcing my husband was only the first step. I needed something more than a job and an apartment. I needed what I had never had.
A great love, a great passion. That was what I wanted. To float away in undeniable desire. Love could do that for me. And if not love, then passion alone could surely do, for now.
Two men offered me passion, Michael Weston and Gibson Reeves. Michael, tall and lean with the charm of a continental playboy. Gibson, who I still thought of as The Businessman, tall and muscular, with a handsome but inscrutable face.
Both of them, dominant males who saw something in me I hadn’t known was there. A sexual submissive, driven to be taken by their power. Me, into BDSM. Were they right about me? I didn’t know, for certain, but I wanted them to help me find out, was more than excited by the prospect of their special assistance.
Michael proposed five nights to explore my newly-discovered kink, and I had accepted. As for Gibson, I wasn’t certain what, precisely, he might have planned for me. After the fiasco of my “interview” at the Frederick Hotel, he simply said he wanted to see me again. For one night only? More than that? I didn’t know. But if things didn’t work out with Michael, it was likely I would be calling Gibson to find out exactly what he had in mind.
For now, my immediate future passion lay with Michael. And oh, how I anticipated seeing him again, although I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that Michael would be making the rules.
My job would be to please him, to see if by pleasing him, I pleased myself. I did not take my job description lightly. I swore to myself that I would do my best.
We had completed our agreement to take mutual STD tests, and now were waiting for the results. The wait was excruciating. Time passed in slow motion.
I attribute this to the phenomenon of time passing normally until you decide there is something you want to do. At that point, the universe conspires to slow the rotation of the Earth, the solar system and the Milky Way itself, resulting in a few days of normal time stretching into the length of a month. Stephen Hawking has probably written something about this. If he hasn’t, he should.
I slept poorly, often awakened by sexy dreams starring Michael and sometimes Gibson. This might not have been a bad thing if I could have stayed asleep all the way through the grand finale of my dream. But no, every time I was getting ready to orgasm, I would wake up. It was frustrating beyond belief, and possibly another result of the universe conspiring against me.
Finally, after an age, our test results came in; we were both clean. I would see Michael that night.
I received an e-mail from him telling me to be ready at 7:30 that evening. He didn’t say what we would be doing, only told me to dress casually.
At precisely 7:30, he knocked on my door.
I took a last look around my apartment. Everything was tidy, though the place wasn’t much to look at. I had lived here for over nine months, but I never seemed to find the time or inclination to decorate. There was little in the apartment beyond the basic utilitarian needs of furniture to sit on and a bed to sleep in.
When I left my ex-husband, I didn’t take many belongings with me. I wanted to leave everything behind me, and I pretty much did exactly that with the exception of some old photos, my clothes and shoes, and general necessities like toiletries. Everything else could be replaced with something new, something not contaminated by my old life.
I rented the second apartment I viewed. I would have rented the first one I looked at if I hadn’t seen a cockroach in the kitchen. My current place was clean, free of bugs, had a new paint job, and was in my price range. Sold.
It wasn’t a large place, with only one bedroom, a small bathroom, and a large open-room design that was a combination living room, dining room and kitchen. As I glanced around the living room, I noted how bland it all was. I wished I had spent some time and money on it, put something into it that would show something about me.
My heart beat quickly when I opened the door to Michael. He looked wonderful, even better than I remembered. His shiny black hair was pushed behind his ears and curled at the ends right above his shoulders. He wore a blue silky shirt and a tight pair of faded jeans. He smelled of musk and the outdoors.
He was tall and made my apartment seem smaller than normal.
He smiled at me and said hello. He held my hands and kissed me gently on the lips. I kissed him back, a little shyly, then gestured him into the room and shut the door behind him. I squirmed a bit when he looked around the room, but he made no comment on the place.
He said, “You look beautiful.”
“Thanks. You look great, too.”
He frowned. “It won’t do, you know.”
“What won’t do?” I asked.
“The pants you’re wearing. They’re forbidden, I’m afraid.”
“Do you have a grudge against pants? I thought these were pretty nice ones.”
He tsk-tsked me, then said, “Right out of the gate and you’ve already broken a big rule. I was afraid, after our first time, that you might be a difficult one. You’ll have to be punished, of course.”
“That’s not fair. You never told me not to wear pants. Anyway, you’re wearing jeans, so what’s the big deal?”
He chuckled, and said, “I’m teasing you. I just thought you looked pale, and now there’s some color in your cheeks.”
“I think you like keeping me off-footed.”
“Off-footed. I’ve never heard that one.”
“I may have just made it up.”
“Then I must be making you nervous.”
I thought, nervous maybe, but most likely, you’re making me brain dead, which is what happened to me the last time I was with you.
I changed the subject and asked, “Would you like a drink?”
“No, thank you. Those pants actually are going to have to go, you know. From here on out, you don’t wear pants when you’re with me, unless I specifically tell you to.”