Happy Friday, lovely peeps. An extra happy one because it's release day for Under his Protection. I'm so excited that Lukas and Jacqui's story is back out there.
This is a previously released title. If you've read the anthology Dominant Persuasions, you'll have met these two. I have added some new material, but it is in essence the same story, so bear that in mind if you've read it before.
Either way, I'm stoked that these two get to shine on their own now, and as my editor pointed out.... I may well write the story/stories of the other characters you meet.
To celebrate the release I'm giving away a $10.00 Amazon GC. To enter, leave me a comment and tell me why you like to read BDSM stories. :-)
(I'll pick a winner next Friday!)
And, cause I'm nice like that, you can read the entire first chapter right now and here. Enjoy!
Jacqui Page is all set to spend her thirty-fifth birthday eating her body weight in chocolate and watching chick flicks—until her best friend drags her off to visit the local BDSM club.
Now, a birthday spanking sounds like a mighty fine idea. Especially if it’s going to be delivered by the one man she’s been secretively lusting after for weeks—her melt your panties in an instant, bad boy neighbor.
Lukas Markz can’t believe his eyes when his shy, goody-two-shoes, next-door neighbor turns up at his club, dressed as every Dom’s wet dream. He doesn’t do commitment, but witnessing her submission brings out his inner caveman. No other man is going to get to mark her soft skin or listen to the sounds of her surrender. This bundle of curves is under his protection, and he will show her what it means to be his.
This is a previously published work. It has been revised and edited for Evernight Publishing.
Available from Amazon Amazon UK Evernight Bookstrand
UNDER HIS PROTECTION
Copyright © 2017
The insistent ringing of her doorbell cured Jacqui of any misguided notion that she would be able to just spend her thirty-fifth birthday with her favorite tub of ice cream and her intended marathon watching of chick flicks. Oh, no, of course not.
She should have known that her friend and work colleague Lauren would not let this opportunity pass by. Ever since the Christmas Party when a worse for wear Jacqui had bemoaned the state of her sex life and the utter lack of decent, eligible men, Lauren seemed to have made it her mission to “shake Jacqui out of her rut”.
So far, this involved a myriad of blind dates—none of them particularly noteworthy. There had been nothing wrong with her dates. They all seemed perfectly nice, respectable, successful men, and therein lay the problem. She might well be setting her bar too high, but she wanted the bad boy underneath the business suit. Like her sex-on-legs-drop-your-panties-in-an-instant neighbor.
Even his name gave her palpitations—Lukas Markz—well over six foot of prime male meat, as Lauren would have called it. Short, military crop blond hair, designer stubble, and eyes the color of the deepest ocean, plus with an accented voice to die for. The man made her swoon just thinking about him. He was also way out of her league and had never shown any more than passing, polite interest in her, so her daydreams would have to remain that.
Jacqui was under no illusions that beneath that façade of polite business man lurked a male who not only knew his way around a woman’s body, but also one determined to take his pleasure where he found it, and damn the consequences. After all, in the eight weeks she’d been fortunate enough to housesit in this flash apartment building, she had never seen him with the same woman twice. More than one had tried and had been firmly and politely shown to the front door.
Just this morning, when she had made a dash for the post clad in nothing but her snowflake covered onesie and oversized rabbit slippers, she had seen him bundle a clearly inebriated woman into a taxi.
Whoever that woman had been, she’d been screeching at him. Lukas had grimaced, while extricating himself from the floozy’s clumsy attempts to kiss him. Having managed to get her into the back of the taxi, he’d shoved a wad of cash into the driver’s hand, bashed his hand on the roof of the taxi, and stood, watching it disappear from view.
He must have been interrupted by Miss Floozy while in the middle of a workout. Despite the early hour, and the frost curling their breaths in front of their mouths, his body carried the fine sheen of sweat, and Jacqui had been utterly unable to tear her gaze away from the sight of his bunching shoulder muscles, which were perfectly showcased in the tight black vest. They tapered down to a trim waist, and an ass to die for. Heat rose in her cheeks even now when she recalled the moment he’d turned ‘round abruptly. He had caught her checking him out, while he was mid adjustment of what looked like a very impressive bulge in his low-slung joggers.
Jacqui had wrenched her gaze up to his face just in time to see the amusement replace the ice-cold disdain she’d seen in them when he’d dealt with the floozy.
One eyebrow raised, his full lips had curled into a sardonic smile at her actions, and she’d watched his long-legged approach with a growing sense of doom. Naturally, the one time Lukas took any notice of her, she had to be sporting the just-out-of-bed look, wearing her comfiest onesie with not a speck of makeup on her face. At least she had brushed her teeth that morning.
Her throat had gone dry when he stopped next to her, so close that his body heat and the far too alluring musk of hot sweaty male invaded her nostrils. In any other man that should have been off putting, but with him, underlain with the whiff of expensive cologne that she would always associate with this man, it proved a live wire straight to her libido, and further scrambled her brains.
“Morning … Jacqui is it?” The devastating smile that accompanied those few words further robbed her of any remaining, functioning brain cells, and instead of replying in a sensible manner, she’d simply stood there, dumbstruck. She couldn’t be sure she hadn’t been drooling, to be honest, and wasn’t that a mortifying thought.
“Err, yes … how …. err.”
His grin deepening, he gestured to the bundle of post she clutched to her bosom.
“I’ve been meaning to say hello. You’re housesitting for the McKennas while they’re in Australia, right?”
Somehow she must have managed to nod at least, because he reached past her to open his postbox and pulled out his own mail.
“Thought so. They did ask me to keep an eye out for you. I’ve been too busy to come by, but you seem to have it under control.”
He’d winked at her while saying that, and beads of perspiration rolled down between her shoulder blades, because he followed that announcement with a slow appraisal of her body. It left her tingly all over, and feeling utterly exposed, as though she’d been standing there naked and not covered head to toe in fleece. Come to think of it, surely there ought to be a law against meeting any hunk dressed the way she was. Time seemed to stand still while he checked her out, and his blue eyes were definitely dancing in amusement when he finally brought his gaze back up to her face.
“You know where I am, if you need anything…” He’d paused, his gaze intensifying for one delicious second as he studied her mouth, and frowned. Jacqui immediately stopped worrying her bottom lip with her teeth, and the brief flash of male interest she’d read in his azure gaze took her breath away. She must have imagined that, however, because in the next instant he’d blinked and stepped away.
“See you around, little dove.”
With a jaunty wave, he’d taken the stairs three at a time, instead of the elevator, and disappeared from view, leaving her a drooling, panting mess at the bottom of the staircase. Which had probably been for the best.
Been there, done that, got the t-shirt and the broken heart to prove it, remember. And you were called a freak.
Getting involved with a player like him never ended well, and was, after all the main reason why Jacqui had successfully shied away from getting entangled in any relationship, especially with a guy who pushed all of her buttons with one look. Unbidden, the face of her ex swam into her mind, and she ruthlessly pushed the unwanted memories away. Better to stay single and sexually frustrated than to risk being used again. Jacqui still wasn’t sure how she’d read that all so wrong. One minute she’d thought they were in love and she’d found Mr. Right, the next … dropped like the proverbial sack of potatoes in favor of someone younger, skinnier, and less serious.
Phht. Jacqui had a brain to go with her curves, and she had every intention to keep on using it, thank you very much.
The doorbell rang again, and with a wry grin at her thought processes, she checked the peephole in her door. Sure enough, Lauren was bouncing up and down on her feet in her typical manner. That woman was the human equivalent of a whirlwind. Always on the go and doing ten things at once. It was one of her most endearing and also most annoying features, as far as Jacqui was concerned. With a sigh she yanked the door open, and her friend sauntered in.
“Look at you. Saturday night and your birthday, and you’re in your … what in all the blazes is that? A onesie? Let me guess, you’ve been in that all day, wallowing in self-pity. Well, no more. Hit the shower. I have plans for you.”
Jacqui swallowed her groan and crossed her arms over her chest as she attempted to make a stand against the unstoppable force that was her friend on a mission.
“What plans?” she asked.
Lauren laughed and tapped her nose.
“It’s a surprise, silly, for your birthday. You’ll like it, you’ll see. Have I ever steered you wrong?” She shrugged out of the long woolen coat she was wearing, and Jacqui pulled back in surprise to see her friend in full office attire, and far more conservative than she usually wore to work. From the pencil skirt to the sensible blouse and fitted jacket, it screamed prim and proper, were it not for the eight inch heels she was teetering on and the wide leather collar around her neck. Thanks to the BDSM erotica Lauren had recommended to her, Jacqui knew exactly what that stood for, and as the back of her legs made contact with the sofa, she sank down into the soft furnishings with a grateful sigh.
The other woman’s hand went to that accessory around her neck, when she noticed Jacqui’s reaction, and she looked unsure for one fleeting second, before she grinned.
“Ah, yes, I forgot you’ve been reading and would recognize that now. Damn it, that kinda spoils my surprise, but, never mind. Don’t just sit there gaping at me as though you’ve never seen a play collar before. You need to get ready. Time and my Master wait for no one.”
Jacqui knew her mouth had fallen open and she was doing her best goldfish impressions, but she couldn’t have heard her right.
“Your what? You’re kidding, right? This is all one big elaborate joke to…”
Her voice trailed off when her friend sobered, sat down next to her on the settee, and took her hand in hers.
“No joke. I would never joke about something that is such an important part of my life.” At her strangled groan, Lauren winced. “Sorry, maybe I misjudged my timing, but you’ve been loving the books I recommended, and you never hit it off with the vanilla guys, so I just thought—”
Her friend startled at Jacqui’s interrupting screech. She yanked her hand out of Lauren’s, jumped to her feet, and started pacing up and down the long length of the plush living room that made up her temporary home. Not that she was in the right frame of mind to appreciate the luxury surrounding her right now. She was too caught up in the conflicting emotions battering her insides at this moment in time.
“Jacqui, look, I’m sorry, I—”
She blanched when Jacqui stopped her rapid pacing, and hand on her hips stood in front of the other woman, simply glaring at her.
“You’re sorry. And that makes it all right, I suppose? I thought you were my friend. I told you things that I never told anyone, and all this time you were what? Setting me up for what purpose? To sink to my knees and go ‘Yes, Sir, No, Sir, three bags bloody full, Sir?’ That’s never gonna happen. I’m not a bloody doormat, you know, and—”
It was her turn to blanch when Lauren made a disgusted sound at the back of her throat. She rose from the settee with a fluid grace that Jacqui could only admire, especially with those killer heels on her feet. They meant that the other woman towered over her, and Jacqui swallowed nervously when her friend glared down on her.
“Have you quite finished, Jacqui Page?” Lauren’s voice could have cut glass with its icy disdain, and Jacqui couldn’t hold her gaze. Guilt at her outburst pricked her conscience, and she was also more confused than ever. This, right, here, was Lauren in full office manager mode, and the reason her friend had recently been promoted. No one messed with her when she was in this mood. It was yet one more reason why she couldn’t reconcile the news that her friend had a Master.
“I realize this must have come as something of a shock, and is why I didn’t tell you about my kinky side before, but, surely, it can’t be that much of a surprise after what you’ve been reading. And that doormat comment is beneath you. That’s just twatwaffle stereotyping nonsense, as you well know. Being submissive does not mean you’re ever a doormat. I chose to give my Master my submission, because … well, because it is incredibly freeing to give up control to him within the dynamic of our relationship, and quite frankly, I need to. When I’ve had a day of running at full steam and dealing with all the shite life throws at us on a daily basis, having him help me out of my head … I can’t even begin to describe that feeling.”
She lost some of her annoyed stance as she spoke, her eyes taking on a dreamy faraway look that made a sliver of envy grasp hold in Jacqui’s psyche. She’d always assumed that the books she liked to read had embellished that part, but seeing her friend now, hearing the reverence in her voice, gave Jacqui pause for thought.
It also made her heart beat faster, and those yearning niggles she was always left with after she’d finished a particularly good story took hold with breathtaking intensity.
“Right, I’m sorry, please forgive me. I don’t know what got into me.”
She reached her hand out toward Lauren, and blew out a sigh of relief when Lauren took it.
“Apology accepted. I do remember what’s it like, when it first dawns on you that you might
be kinky. It’s all rather overwhelming, and you don’t know where to start, let alone admit it out loud because that makes it real, right?”
Jacqui didn’t know what to say to that far too accurate assessment, so she simply nodded. “If you figured all that out about me, why all the blind dates with the boring guys from hell then?” she finally asked.
Lauren shrugged and grinned at her. Just like that her annoyance fled and her mischievous friend was back. “Well, I had to be sure I wasn’t reading you wrong. Besides, nothing like some dates with vanilla guys to make you realize what you really want.” She gave an exaggerated shudder, which made Jacqui laugh.
“They weren’t that bad, you know. Just…”
Lauren gave her a pointed look and nodded her head.
“Exactly, just … boring, and safe, which is what you needed after the asshole, but enough now. You need some real fun. Hence for your birthday, I’m going to introduce you to some Doms that are definitively not boring.”
The way she grinned at her gave Jacqui renewed palpitations. She hadn’t realized her mouth had fallen open until Lauren shut it for her with her index finger under her chin.
“Please, not another blind date.”
“Of course not, silly. No Dom worth his salt would go for that. No, you, my lovely, are coming to the club with me. It’s newbie night, as it were, and I’ve put your name down and Sir agreed to sponsor you, so we’re all good, or at least we will be, once you’ve lost that godawful onesie.”
“It’s not awful, it’s comfortable, and what on Earth does one wear to a club anyway? And come to think of it, if we’re going to a club, then why are you dressed for the office? That makes no sense.”
Crossing her arms over her chest to hide her trembling fingers, Jacqui did her best to glare at her impossible friend. She ought to be furious with her, but, in truth, the mere thought of going to a club, at seeing firsthand what she’d been secretly fantasizing over for a long time now, meant her knickers were growing damp, her breathing sped up, and she was hard pushed not to let her excitement show. Not that she would have to fear ridicule from Lauren. Unlike that last so-called boyfriend she’d had who called her a freak for asking him to spank her, and had then dumped her faster than you could say paddle.
She couldn’t win really. One thought her too serious, the other a freak. At least her friend didn’t think that. No, Lauren here had her own Master, for pity’s sake, and no doubt a spanking was tame compared to whatever her friend got up to in her spare time.
Her next words confirmed that and conjured up all sorts of interesting scenarios in her head.
“Sir has asked me to dress like this. As for you … well, you could wear that, I suppose. There’s at least one Dom that I know of who would find that get up a huge turn-on, but I don’t think you’re quite ready for him yet.” She giggled when she took in what was no doubt Jacqui’s renewed goldfish impression. “Lucky for you I brought your outfit with me.” She pulled out a purple and black corset, which was stunning in its simplicity, even if the see-through panels made Jacqui’s cheeks heat in embarrassment. Next came an itty bitty little black skirt which would barely cover her ass cheeks, hold up sheer stockings and, mercifully, evening sandals with a much more reasonable heel than the ones Lauren was wearing. They were still much higher than Jacqui’s usual choice of footwear.
“I know, I know, you don’t do heels, but trust me. You and those babies—”she gestured toward Jacqui’s boobs, “in this corset, and with those killer legs of yours out, there won’t be one Dom in that place who won’t want a piece of your ass. They just love a newbie to corrupt.”
She grinned at Jacqui’s sharp indrawn breath.
“Has it occurred to you that I might not want every Dom in that place to notice me?”
Lauren waved a hand in the air, and taking her by the shoulders steered her toward the bathroom.
“Poppycock, of course you do. You don’t have to take them up on their offer, but you do want them to offer, trust me, and don’t worry, Sir will help you through it. I’m pretty sure he’s got someone in mind to show you around, already, and he is yummy, I tell you.”
Jacqui wasn’t at all sure she liked the sound of that, but Lauren was an unstoppable force when she got a bee in her bonnet, so with a sigh, Jacqui simply gave up.
“Fine, have it your way. I’m going, I’m going.”
There you have it. What do you think? Don't forget to enter my giveaway, will you.
And above all, stay naughty!