I’m getting excited now! It’s almost time to turn my Pets loose on London! The big launch date for The Pet Shop is October 14th, 7:00 pm at Sh! Hoxton. And I won’t be throwing the party alone this year. Maxim Jakubowski will be partying with me as he launches his new erotic novel, Ekaterina and the Night.
For the next three weeks, I’ll be bringing you a little closer to the world of my Pets, so you can be ready to party with us. I’ll be giving little excerpts and tidbits along with pictures from my research of this transcontinental novel. Since I just got back from Oregon, I’ll start off by giving you a sneak peek at the world of Vincent Evanston, reclusive philanthropist and tree-hugger extraordinaire. Vincent lives in Oregon, and in spite of being richer than God, no one is really sure whether he’s real or just a legend.
The Business Trip
It wasn’t Stella’s first time in the States or the Northwest. She considered it a very good omen that her first trip for Strigida was to such a lovely place. In a lot of ways, the Western part of Oregon was like a primordial England that had been picked up by each of its corners and stretched and tugged and expanded. Then after it had been given a hearty shake to rid it of too many people, it was snapped like a puzzle piece in between Washington and California to glisten in the veil dance of wet Northwest sunlight.
First Encounter with Vincent
‘The clear-cut will grow back on its own given time,’ Bob was saying as he pulled the Land Rover to the edge of the rutted excuse for a logging road and stopped so she could look. ‘Erosion is our main concern here.’ He nodded to the dark patch of heavy forest next to it. Tall conifers drapes in moss and spiked with mistletoe looked like giant, pre-decorated Christmas trees. ‘That patch would have met the same fate had it not been for Vincent Evanston.’
If Bob hadn’t before, he certainly had her full attention now. ‘Vincent Evanston? You know him?’
‘Yep.’ He laughed under his heavy mustache. ‘Always preferred to spend his time with the birds and the beasties rather than with humans. Guess I’m a bit like that too, but then I wasn’t born richer than God like Vincent. He’s a strange one.’
‘Then he lives around here?’
‘Has all his life. Right on the other side of those trees there. Speak of the devil.’ Bob raised the pair of binoculars that permanently hung around his neck, then gave a confident nod. ‘That’s the Birdman there. He spends a lot of time in these woods when he’s home.’
She fumbled with the spare pair of binoculars Vanguard had lent her, giving herself a hearty knock on the nose before she managed to get them focused. Her stomach did a flip-flop, then a pirouette. Even with her unsteady hand and the thud-thud of her heart making the scene tremble in front of her eyes, she knew she was looking at Tino, who was looking right back at her. She caught her breath ‘You’re sure that’s Vincent Evanston?’
Journey to Vincent’s House
This time there was no limo waiting and no driver. But the sexiest blue Jeep she had ever seen was parked waiting for them on the tarmac. The top was off exposing an elegant roll bar and frame to the early evening sun. Vincent helped her into a leather jacket, buckled her into the Jeep, then climbed into the driver’s seat. ‘I wanted you to enjoy the lovely scenery, Stell,’ he said, as he cranked the engine and they headed away from the airport. ‘I seldom use the limo, and besides Pets much prefer fresh air over stuffy old cars, don’t they?’ He spoke like he knew, she thought. And yet of course Vincent Evanston would prefer the great outdoors.
They left the city and headed out over the Coastal Range on a bumpy scenic back road. Vincent chatted away about the volcanic make-up of the Pacific Northwest, and the unique eco systems that had developed because of the volcanism of the region. And indeed it was fascinating to know that the area was long overdue for an eruption in the Cascades, and that Mt. St. Helen’s eruption in 1980 might have just been the tip of the iceberg.
‘It’s one of the prettiest places on the planet,’ he was saying, as he pulled to the side of the deserted road. ‘And I’m looking forward to showing you some of my favourite parts of it.’
The Lookout, which was what Vincent affectionately called the big cantilevered house that was mostly glass and wood was set high enough to view the Pacific Ocean in one direction while nestling in the arms of the hilly woodland in the other. Once inside, he led her across pale sandstone floors of what was mostly an open planned house, back to a big bedroom with its glassed-in patio that led down to a protected wild garden below. The big high bed looked out over the landscape of conifers and rugged volcanic rocks and gave the distinct feeling of being in a tree house.
Her intake of breath at the view made him blush with pride. ‘My room,’ he said. ‘Our room while you’re here.’ He held her gaze. ‘If you’re good, I’ll let you sleep in the bed with me.’
Now it was her turn to blush.
He nodded to the hardwood floor. ‘Sit down and let me get you undressed. You’ve had an uncomfortably long time in those clothes, and I want to look at you. I would have loved to have made you ride naked in the Jeep. Since I first met you, that thought has given me my share of hard-ons. But alas that might have gotten us arrested. And I don’t intend to spend our time together in jail.’
She sat down on the cool wood of the floor and let him lift her arms over her head and slip the T-shirt up, hands skimming her breasts as he did so.
‘Their nest is behind that waterfall.’ Vincent nodded to the cascade of water that the little dark bird had just darted through. ‘Dippers often find protected places behind waterfalls to raise their chicks safe from predators. The chicks should be about to fledge any time now. I’d love it if you could see that. It’s so amazing to see them for the first time after knowing they were tucked away all safe and sound just waiting to spread their wings and fly.’
He sat with Stella’s feet across his lap and was busy removing the hiking boots he’d bought for her to check for blisters. ‘You okay, Stel? I know it’s quite a little hike to get up here, but it’s such a lovely place.’
She nodded and wriggled her toes happily. She’d never felt more blissed out.
‘You like it here?’ He asked, knowing she couldn’t answer. The best she could do was smile enthusiastically and rub her bare foot along his thigh.
He curled his fingers around her foot and lifted it to his lips, pressing a kiss to the arch of it. ‘I knew you would. How could you not?’
She lay back on the large rock he had found for them and let the sun’s warmth wash over her. She could feel his eyes on her, and that was warmer than the sunlight. That made her feel deliciously sexy, even more than sexy, it made her feel adored. She knew she was smiling. She could feel it. He watched her when he thought she wasn’t looking, and she watched him. She didn’t care if he was looking or not. She was a Pet. The rules didn’t apply to her. Sometimes that was a good thing.
After the Punishment
The cocktail of feelings rushing through her dwarfed the pain of the spanking. She fucked him with anger and shame and lust and hurt and pain and need and other things she had no name for. And he took it, all of it, and when she passed the point of no return and shuddered as though she would break apart into a thousand tiny pieces, he came in tremors that shook the bed, that shook his body, that shook her to the core, then he pulled her down against his chest and smothered her face and throat and shoulders in breathless hungry kisses.
They never did get around to a real meal, but it didn’t much matter. Sometime in the hours before dawn, she woke to find him standing naked in front of the sliding window and she thought how beautiful he was standing there bathed in moonlight, but the thought barely surfaced above consciousness before she slept again.
Next week I’ll be giving you a peek at Tino’s England and the mysterious grounds of The Pet Shop.