Madelon Smid Launches Fatal Flight with a Tour and a Giveaway

Fatal Flight

Sisters in Peril Series Book 1

By Madelon Smid

 

Madelon will be giving away 1 ebook copy of Fatal Flight, 1 ebook copy of Climbing High, and 1 ebook copy of High Seas. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.

 

About Fatal Flight:

 

When he finds Sky Stravinski, Adam Hamilton becomes enmeshed in a world of danger. Did he bring it with him, earning an enemy as chief engineer and test pilot, or find it along with her? Fulfilling his commitment means persuading Sky to meet the grandmother she never knew she had. Recovering from an airplane crash, torn between opposing forces, and caught up in the attacks on Sky, Adam fights for the fascinating pilot, determined to keep her safe, and win her love.

 

Everything Sky owns comes under attack, from her airplanes to her airfield and her life. Combatting a hidden enemy and Adam Hamilton’s intrusion, Sky feels trapped by circumstances outside her control. As her sponsor, he earns her trust. But Adam wants things Sky won’t give. Meeting her grandmother and developing a relationship with Adam will pull her back into their world of wealth and entitlement. Sky won’t become a rich man’s plaything again. Will the threats that bring them together convince Sky Adam deserves a place in her life?

 

Buy Links for Fatal Flight:

Amazon US| The Wild Rose Press| Amazon CA

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Fatal Flight Excerpt:

“You consider going to Max behind my back being upfront?”

“Max came to me. I was interested and after crunching the numbers, researching your top notch standing on the circuit and talking with my father, thought this was a great PR opportunity for our corporation. I didn’t know you were against the idea. My experience is that as soon as someone knows what I’m worth, they want something from me.”

“And you assumed I was sticking my hand in the pot.” She stopped at the entrance to the big tent, where oceans of food were served all day. “Okay, I see where you were coming from. Pax.” She offered her hand.

She took quiet satisfaction in the fact he looked like she’d turned him on his head. Good, keep him off balance, and he couldn’t do the same to her. He took her hand, his long fingers warm and dry, just the lightest of squeezes. He’d never used his size and strength to intimidate, she realized. He was a true alpha male, for only the strongest, fastest and smartest protected the vulnerable. A weaker male, took advantage of them.

 

About Madelon Smid:

 

Madelon Smid has the pioneer spirit of a true prairie woman. She seeks inspiration from the rolling hills and river coulees that surround her home; creating characters as intriguing and beautiful as the ever changing skies.

As a successful non-fiction writer, she co-authored a best seller, Smart Women, published Chronic Challenge: Living Well with Chronic Disease, and many articles in national and regional magazines.

She taught writing classes for adults at her local college, ran a successful online writing course, and edited five anthologies for the Prairie Quills Writers’ Group, before returning to her true love – fiction. The six romantic suspense stories in her Daring Heights series have received glowing reviews.

While she continues searching out the best in nature, exploring new stretches of water in her kayak, and seeking new mountains to ski, she sees every adventure as fresh material for the next story she will create in her home by the river.

 

 

 

Madelon’s Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.madelonasmid.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/madelonsmid

Twitter: https://twitter.com/madelonsmid

Blog: http://www.madelonasmid.com/my_blog/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Interview with a Demon Part 4

Interviewing a demon turned out not to be a straight forward thing. Absolutely nothing went according to planned, and too late, I realised walking away from it afterward, even with a vampire and a succubus protecting me, wasn’t a given. You see, the truth is, there was just way too much baggage for all parties for the interview to go by the book. I don’t know why I ever thought otherwise. Anyway, enough of my moaning. I’ve done my best to report the details honestly and without bias, but the truth is, after my experiences with Magda Gardener and her Consortium, I have more than a little baggage of my own.

 

Interview with a Demon – the interview so far:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Interview with a Demon Part 4: A Tale Interrupted

 

While the Guardian admired the moonless sky, much as I’m sure Reese and Alonso did when they were in the garden he modeled his prison after, there was no doubt his focus was still entirely on me. But then what physical illusion there was of him was just that, an illusion. To be under his subtle scrutiny made me all the more uncomfortable in a giddy sort of way, and yet it didn’t seem to distract him in the least from the task at hand.

“At the time my home, as it always had been, since before I had need to remember, was a deconsecrated chapel near the city that is now Manchester in the North of England, but you already know this. Of course it was not the chapel to which I was bound. The place itself had been considered sacred ground as long as humans walked the earth, although I don’t know why. The mortal sense of what is sacred and what is profane has always puzzled me. You see, my task was to guard holy ground. I don’t know how that became my charge, or when, only that it always had been, even after the chapel was deconsecrated and put on the market to be sold as a home or a boutique or even a pub. The latter two were not at all to my liking. While I would have enjoyed the orgy of sensation and experience such places might offer me, it would have been only a temporary glutting of my capacity for pleasure and would have most certainly drawn enough attention as to make it difficult for me to choose as best suits me. In fact it might have drawn to me those whose attention I would prefer not to have. Of course, you understand, I mean my jailor, who for the most part ignored me, seeing me as little threat at the time.” He offered a satisfied chuckle. “You see, even our incomparable Magda Gardener makes mistakes. So, after a tiresome parade of estate agents, none of whom held my attention for long, none of whom had what I needed if I were to resume making the kinds of choices I delighted in, one of them at long last succeeded in bringing to me exactly what I had been waiting for. And then the daft woman tried to discourage her from me.

“‘The place has set empty for a very long time, so it will be costly to renovate.’ Those were her words when she saw her perspective buyer’s delight.”

It was very disconcerting for me to hear the voice of a woman with a northern accent coming from the Guardian. With difficulty, I kept my eyes averted and reminded myself that even his voice, whatever voice he chose to use, was just an illusion. He continued. “Then the devious agent added, ‘of course any … human remains have long since been removed from the crypt … as far as we can tell anyway.’ Oh how I longed to throttle her then and there, but of course I could do nothing.” He laughed softly, and I swear I felt the warmth of his breath against my ear. “As it turned out, I had nothing to worry about where her dear client was concerned.

“But Annie, for that was the client’s name, as you may have already suspected, would not be put off. I will never forget her words.” I was even more disturbed to hear him speak in the voice of Annie Rivers. “‘Can you imagine?’ she said, ‘I’ll be the only one of my friends who had a genuine crypt for a wine cellar. Too bad there’s not at least one stone sarcophagus left, you know, as a conversation piece.’

“The agent was horrified and, as for me, well I was instantly enchanted. My dear Annie had laughed with delight when the agent showed her the bathroom with the large tub. ‘Oh I’m really going to enjoy this. It’s big enough for company,’ she said. Oh how that thought intrigued me. You see, an evangelical group had installed the great tub. They were the last to rent the building before it was deserted and sold for the final time. They believed in some strange ritual of baptism that demanded immersion for which it was an essential tool. They didn’t interest me much other than as a dalliance now and then brought on by boredom. In truth, there was little more I could manage, since at the time, I was imprisoned with very limited access to the pastor’s flock. But my efforts did result in several attempts at exorcism. However, when the ‘spawn of Satan’ they feared did not vacate the premises after their hocus pocus, they gave up and left claiming something evil lurked within. Once again, I waited.

“I was not happy with the way the agent rushed Annie through the nave and the sacristy, nor with how she dwelt on the overgrown mess of the back garden and how many bodies had been buried there before the deconsecration. I punished her for that later. As for my dear Annie, I gave her just enough of a sense of well-being, of euphoria that, by the time she left, I was certain she felt right at home and that there was nothing the agent could do that would keep my beautiful Annie from me.”

Without warning the hair on the backs of my arms stood at full attention, as though a bolt of electricity had passed through me, and the ground tilted sharply beneath my chair. Before I could do more than yelp and stumble to my feet, Susan appeared, looking far more wraith-like than the Guardian, and almost as terrifying wearing her rage like a heavy cloak.

“This interview is over.” Her voice made my jaws ache until my head felt like it would explode. But it wasn’t me she was speaking too, and frankly, I was glad. Suddenly the temperature in the garden plummeted and snow began to swirl on a growing fell wind. In spite of the howl of what was quickly becoming a blizzard, Susan’s voice cut through it as though it were deadly silent. “How dare you? How fucking dare you? I trusted you. I gave you your voice, I even let her come to you.” She nodded her head in my direction. “And this is how you repay me, by flaunting the sordid horrors you visited on my best friend?”

“Susan, I don’t understand.” The Guardian spoke with little emotion that I could sense, but then I was busy trying to keep from freezing to death. By this time the wind was howling and snow was falling heavily in what had, only moments ago, been the garden in high summer.

“How the fuck can you not understand? She’s not your Annie. She was never your Annie. You’re here because of what you did to her, because of what you tried to do to all of us. And don’t give me that bullshit about things being different with your kind. I don’t care if it’s different. You know exactly how it is withmy kind.” She rubbed a tight fist against her chest as though she were in pain.

“Susan, you are a vampire,” he responded as calmly as if he were telling her that her shoelace was untied. “And you are unique even among vampires. You are the only one of your kind.”

“And I wouldn’t be a vampire if you hadn’t … if it hadn’t been … How could you not know that …” Her voice drifted off and then she shouted, “Talia, pull her out.”

But Talia didn’t pull me out, instead, I stood with my teeth chattering chafing my arms watching an altercation between a demon and a vampire and wondering if I’d be collateral damage.

 

Concert Part 6

It’s time for episode 6 of Concerto, in which more than the music is passionate. If you’ve missed any of the other
episodes of Concerto, just follow the links. Enjoy!

Concerto Part 1: A little Night Music

Concerto Part 2: Distractions

Concerto Part 3: Too Much to Bear Alone

Concerto Part 4: Writing and Waiting

Concerto Part 5: A Duet in a Storm

 

 

 

 

Concerto Part 6: Remember How it Feels

It was an effort to crawl from beneath the piano. I scrabbled up to my knees and then climbed my feet, legs trembling, shoulders tight. This time I found the man’s gaze focused completely on me, even as he played. I stood for what felt like an age under his scrutiny, almost as though he were inspecting me for storm damage. There was no sympathy, which was just as well, I wanted none, but there was satisfaction, as though for a job well done. Then with an abruptness that startled me, he shoved back the bench. At first I feared he’d stop playing, a thing I realized I wasn’t yet ready for. But he continued to play with his left hand, beckoning to me with the right. He invited me, not onto the bench next to him, but onto his lap.

 

There was an awkward moment in which I fought the robe and the sash and the movement of his foot on the damper pedal to find purchase on his lap. All the while his right hand, settled low on my hip, urged me, guided me, teased me into a position that completely obscured his view, and yet he continued to play. When I was settled, his breath hot against my neck, He scooted the bench forward until the edge of the keyboard pressed against my belly. It was an awkward position, an embarrassing position, or would have been if it wasn’t also a completely intriguing position. I sat with my legs spayed either side of his so that he could reach the pedals. While certainly the music benefitted from his efforts, I couldn’t keep from wondering if his liberal foot work might also be for my benefit, or possibly even his own, because it quickly became evident that he was hard. The robe had ridden up until my bottom was bare against his trousers, and the sash had come loose in our scrambling for position.

While he continued to play, he took it in turns, one hand and then the other, cupping and caressing his way inside the front of the robe before sliding it off my shoulders. I didn’t have to wriggle much to be free of it. Then with his left hand low on my belly, he pulled me back tightly against him, and began to kiss and nibble my neck. My gasps and moans in response to mouth at my shoulder, my nape, my earlobe created a passionate duet to what his fingers were doing on the keyboard, the keyboard which he played blindly never missing a beat, never missing a note.

I raised my right arm up around his neck, then onto his head, curling fingers into his thick dark hair and dragging him down until my mouth could catch the corner of his lips. A flick of my tongue, a nibble of my front teeth, and I felt him surge beneath me, felt the sharp catch and release of his breath humid across my chin. Then he did the strangest thing. He reached for my hands – first one and then the other — and placed each gently over the top of his own. All the while he continued to play. As I tensed, he whispered. “Relax. Just let me do the work. Like a dance. Let me lead. Feel the music, feel it down deep.” As if for emphasis, his leg shifted for a press of pedal in just such a way to bring me closer to his erection.

“Oh. Oh!” My voice came out a harsh squawk, and I got it. I truly got it. As he guided me and we played together, the melody my hands mirrored against his went straight to my heart, then moved down deep below my belly until I felt the vibration of each chord, each arpeggio between my thighs where my body pressed up against his.

Somewhere in the shifting and settling and pressing of notes, we had both joined the melody with urgent, needy animal sounds that the notes didn’t quite cover. The movement of his foot on the pedals was accompanied by an insistent rocking of his hips beneath me and by my own baring down.

I suppose it should come as no surprise that someone with the dexterity to play like he did should be able to manage with his left hand to reach beneath me and wriggle just enough to free himself. While one hand worked its magic on the keys, the other worked another kind of magic, opening me, strumming me, playing me— though little effort was needed. I was well ready for him, when he lifted me just enough to ease into position, then with a soft grunt, he guided
me down onto him. My scent rose to fill the room as he returned fingers, shining and wet from me, to the keys and continued to play, keeping time to the rise and fall, thrust and withdraw of the music with his body inside mine.

Tension built and stretched and tightened around us until every move, every effort was a breathless brittle striving,
until feral growls and groans battled the hammering of strings echoing in wood. Until at last his hands collapsed on the keys with a discordant ringing crash. He stood and grabbed me tightly around the waist, forcing me bodily forward over the keyboard, my hands scrabbling their own discordant efforts to brace myself against the demanding assault of his body, which I returned with an my of own assault. The hard muscles of his thighs forced me up on my toes, and I cried out as my first orgasm hit. He bit my shoulder and pulled out against my protests. Then in an awkward scramble for position, he shifted me to face him, my bottom coming down uncomfortably hard on the keyboard before he cupped me and lifted me. And when the angle was just right, shoved back into me, deep and hard.

“You understand. You feel it. I can tell you do.” This time when he sent me clawing and growling over the edge, he came with. And when he had emptied himself with bruising impact, he gasped against my ear. “Remember it. Remember how it felt. Remember everything.”

 

The Retreat: Book 2 of Kay Jaybee’s Perfect Submissive Trilogy Now Out

 

 

 

A Twisted Fairytale-ish…

 

Continuing the story of Miss Jess Sanders journey through the world of the professional submissive, The Retreat takes her away from the life she has only just been getting used to in The Fables Hotel, Oxfordshire (see Book One: The Fifth Floor).

 

Not only is Jess being taken further out of her comfort zone…she has to face life through the haze of a mangled fairytale…

 

The Retreat Blurb:

Just as Jess Sanders is adjusting to her new life as the submissive in residence on the fifth floor of The Fables Hotel, her employer, Mrs Peters, makes a startling announcement. She has agreed to loan Jess, and her dominatrix Miss Sarah, to one of their most demanding clients; Mr David Proctor.

Whisked away by the mysterious Kane to The Retreat, a house hidden in a remote part of Scotland, Jess and Miss Sarah find themselves teaching a new submissive how to meet Proctor’s exacting rules.

As Jess comes to terms with the techniques of The Retreat’s overpowering dominatrix, Lady Tia, she discovers that Proctor’s motives may not be all they seem. Just who or what is Fairtasia? And why does Jess feel like she’s walked into a warped fairy tale?

In order to get back to the fifth floor, Jess is going to have to be far more than just a perfect submissive…

 

Buy The Retreat Here:

AmazonUK
AmazonUS
AmazonAU
AmazonCA
Barnes&Noble
iBooksUK
iBooksUS
Kobo
Smashwords

(The Perfect Submissive Trilogydoes not have to be read in order, but you will get more out of Jess’s story if you read The Fifth Floor before The Retreat)

 

 

The Retreat Excerpt:

 

…Still held by the back of the neck, she was frogmarched along a narrow corridor by a slim young man Jess hadn’t been
able to see clearly in the dark. Whoever he was, he had kept purposely behind her as they strode through the castle. She had almost dared ask him where she was going, but Jess’s words died on her lips when she saw the spiral staircase of bare stone ahead of them.

Two minutes later, at the top of the stairs, they’d reached an open wooden door. With no corridors to either the left or right, there was no other way to go but through it. Jess was suddenly reminded of Rapunzel; who’d been imprisoned in a room at the top of a tower with nowhere to run.

The guide held her by the shoulders. His unspoken instruction that she should not look at him was made clear by the increasing intensity of his grip. With an unexpected burst of speed, the man then took a step back, while at the same time urging his charge firmly forward. No sooner had she stepped into the room than the door was snapped shut behind her. Jess found herself alone in a circular space which had curtains drawn all the way around it.

Five minutes later, she was still taking slow, deep breaths in an effort to keep calm. Whatever was happening would be for a reason, and if she knew David Proctor like she thought she did, Jess was sure that somewhere in the room there would be a camera observing her every move, gauging how she was reacting to this enforced situation.

Stood still, Jess cast her eyes around the room. If life at Fables had taught her anything, it was that the more detail she took in about her surroundings, and the more attention she paid to every word spoken to her, the more she’d learn, and the better her chances of survival and erotic contentment would be.

‘So, I’m inside the turret I saw from outside.’

In the centre of the room, a spindle-backed wooden chair sat next to a matching table. ‘All that’s missing here is a spinning wheel. Forget Rapunzel, this is Sleeping Beauty!’ Jess muttered to herself as she walked around the rug-covered stone floor, skirting the very edges of the room as if she was a tiger patrolling the surrounds of its cage. She ran her hands across the floor to ceiling dark purple velvet curtains. Unsure if she wanted to see behind them or not, Jess drew each one back.

The majority of the room’s walls were constructed of large blocks of bare granite, but as she threw open the third curtain, Jess stepped back in surprise. A wooden door, about four feet high, and two foot across, had been built into the curve of the stone. ‘OK, so maybe this isn’t Sleeping Beauty or Rapunzelafter all. Maybe it’s Snow White.

With her heart thumping, the submissive placed her hand on the brass doorknob and bent to see what was through the doorway. ‘Oh thank God!’

It was just a washroom. A modern shower cubicle, sink, and toilet were plumbed into the exquisitely tiled carpeted semicircle. Making use of the facilities, Jess wondered if this was to be her room; where she was to spend all her time when she wasn’t doing whatever it was that Proctor expected her to do.

Returning to the larger room, she continued to explore behind the curtains, wondering if any other cubbyholes were secretly attached to this turret. No more doors appeared but, drawing back the last pair of drapes, Jess jumped as she came face to face with her own bedraggled reflection.

A huge, round mirror stared at her. ‘So maybe this is Snow White! Complete with the scary mirror on the wall and the dwarf-sized door. Which means, I only have the Wicked Queen left to meet.’

As soon as she’d spoken the words she slammed her hand to her mouth. Why had she said that out loud? Until that point she’d considered herself to be doing well. She’d shown whoever was watching her via the camera she was convinced was installed in the turret somewhere that she was capable of acting calmly, and was brave enough to explore, not merely sitting and cowering on the chair awaiting her fate. Now she’d blown it. I might as well have laid back on the bed and wanked without permission, Jess thought crossly. Instantly, she wished she hadn’t had that thought either, for some solo comfort from her fingers over her ever-damp clit would been have more than welcome.

Beginning to shiver, realising that the curtains hadn’t been there to hide things, but to keep the heat in the room, Jess put the heavy velvet drapes back in place, starting with the one over the mirror. She’d never liked looking at herself, and the sheer size of this particular mirror, along with the brilliance of its shine, unnerved her as it reflected back her dishevelled red hair and tired eyes. ‘Not exactly the fairest of them all!’

Sitting at the little desk, Jess reasoned that this couldn’t be her bedroom, as there was no bed. That meant that, despite the fact it was almost one o’clock in the morning, she was being kept there for a reason other than to get some sleep. The idea of a wicked queen came back to her mind. No one had mentioned a mistress equivalent to Mrs Peters. Until now Jess had assumed that David would run this place, but now, as fatigue took a firmer hold, Jess saw how unlikely that was. Hot shot businessmen don’t run places like this; they get other people to run such establishments for them while they sit back and get off on the results. Surely though, she thought, allowing her eyes to close for a few seconds, if I can survive Mrs Peters’ regime, then whoever runs this place will be no problem. She snapped her eyes back open. Or could they be worse?

 

Many thanks.

Kay xx

 

About Kay Jaybee:

 

 

 

Kay Jaybee was named Best Erotica Writer of 2015 by the ETO

Kay received an honouree mention at the NLA Awards 2015 for excellence in BDSM writing.

Kay Jaybee has over 180 erotica publications including, The Retreat- Book2: The Perfect Submissive Trilogy(KJBooks, 2018), Making Him Wait (Sinful Press, 2018), The Fifth Floor- Book1;The Perfect Submissive Trilogy(KJBooks, 2017), Wednesday on Thursday, (KDP, 2017), The Collector(KDP, 2016), A Sticky Situation(Xcite, 2013), Digging Deep, (Xcite 2013), Take Control, (1001 NightsPress, 2014), and Not Her Type(1001 NightsPress), 2013.

Details of all her short stories and other publications can be found at www.kayjaybee.me.uk

You can follow Kay on –

Twitter- https://twitter.com/kay_jaybee

Facebook -http://www.facebook.com/KayJaybeeAuthor

Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3541958-kay-jaybee

Brit Babes Site- http://thebritbabes.blogspot.co.uk/p/kay-jaybee.html

Kay also writes contemporary romance and children’s picture books as Jenny Kane www.jennykane.co.uk  and historical fiction as Jennifer Ash www.jenniferash.co.uk

 

 

 

In Training — Not Me, the Novella

Does anyone else love a good training story as much as I do? Earlier this week, I shared another one of my pole posts with you lovely lot. While being the main character in my own ‘in training’ story, I love to read other people’s stories of being in training even more,  and … oh yes, in case you didn’t know, I also love writing fictional in training stories. While my pole tale has unfolded mostly off the written page with me offering only little glimpses of it to you now and again, can you imagine how it would be to be put through the hard paces of a really tough training programme on reality TV? Oh, I can! And that’s exactly what In Training is all about. Here’s a little excerpt I thought I’d share with you today, since I’m in training mode. Enjoy.

 

In Training Blurb:

Getting fit on reality TV is PR guru, Lauren Michaels’, brainchild for gym equipment and fitness company Physicality, Inc. The brilliant PR stunt involves one brave volunteer who wants to be fit badly enough to submit to the not so tender training techniques of personal trainer, Wolf Jennings, whose successful, but non-conventional, methods would make a drill sergeant look like a fluff ball. But when CEO and owner of Physicality, Inc., Claire Amos, decides her PR ace in the hole needs to walk the walk, Lauren finds herself between a kettle bell and a hard place… er, a hard trainer. That’s nightmare enough, but for six weeks, 24/7, the explosive chemistry between the two will be sweated out live on camera for the whole world to see. What could possibly go wrong?

 

In Training Excerpt in which Bets are Placed:

“On your knees, Michaels! Do it on your knees. You can’t do a full press-up until we strengthen those spaghetti arms. Do it like this.” He demonstrated the modified press-up. “Now I want you to do as many as you can in thirty seconds.” While thirty seconds lasted forever, as many press-ups as Lauren could do didn’t take long at all before she fell to the mat with her arms trembling. “Damn it, Michaels, you gotta be willing to push yourself. I can’t do it for you.” He reset his timer. “Do it again.”

 

***

 

“Well, this isn’t an auspicious beginning, Misty,” Del Allen said as they observed the training session going on in the gym below. “As much as I admire Claire Amos for believing her people should walk the walk, it’s clear to me that Lauren Michaels’ heart just isn’t in it. One has to wonder why the waste of time, energy and money for someone who doesn’t want to be here when there are so many who really do. I’ve said it before, I hope Physicality has a back-up plan because I’m betting Lauren Michaels won’t make it to the end of the week.”

“The real question, Del, is not whether Wolf Jennings can ‘get someone there,’ but whether he can motivate someone to wanthim to. Certainly this is a world away from what Lauren is used to, and apparently she didn’t know she’d be participating until twenty-four hours before.”

 

***

 

It was near the end of the fourth day when Lauren finally broke. “I can’t do any more,” she gasped after what seemed like miles of lunge walking back and forth across the gym with a dumb bell in each hand—dumb bells that got heavier with each step. “I need the hot tub. When do I get to use the hot tub?”

“When you’ve earned it,” Jennings growled. “Now do it again.”

“I hate you,” she forced the words out, no longer caring if the ever-present cameras picked up her remark or not. She reckoned that would be one more reason for the ‘sack Lauren and hire me’ faction to tweet nasty things about her. It’s not as if she wouldn’t trade places with them in a heartbeat.

“I’m not here for you to like,” came the reply. “Keep your back straight, shoulders back. Head up!”

She was halfway across the gym when one of the dumb bells slipped from her sweaty fingers, hit the floor with a loud crash, and she tripped over it, going into a belly flop in the middle of the gym.

“Get up. Keep going,” Wolf yelled, jogging effortlessly to her side. “Don’t be a wimp, Michaels. Finish it. I don’t train babies. Stop whining and keep going.”

“I hate you.” This time she all but yelled it as she hefted the sweaty dumb bell and forced her way forward a couple more steps before she dropped the weight again—this time on her foot. It was only a glancing blow. She jerked away just in time, but it was enough. It was fucking enough! She dropped the other weight next to its fallen compadre and stormed back across the gym.

“Where the hell do you think you’re going?” he said. “You’re not done yet.”

“Oh, yes I am.” She grabbed up her sports drink and her towel.

“What? Are you a quitter, Michaels?” Jennings stepped in front of her, effectively blocking her way. “Is that it?”

“What I am is sick of you yelling at me, sick of you treating me like a subhuman.” She hadn’t planned it, but when he didn’t move, it just happened. A quick twist of the lid on her sports drink and she let it fly. Her aim was true, hitting Jennings in the face with a shower of bright orange Lucozade. Then she stomped off toward her room. She hadn’t expected him to follow her, but then there were a lot of things she hadn’t expected about the man she’d met at the pub less than a week ago.

Legs still screaming from the workout, she took the stairs two at a time with him gaining on her fast. At the top, he called after her, “They’re taking bets on how soon you’ll quit. Did you know that, Michaels?”

She stopped dead in her tracks, as though she were suddenly frozen to the spot. For a second she squeezed her eyes shut, fighting back tears. Then she took a deep breath, squared her shoulders and headed back toward the stairs, stopping in front of him to meet his cold glare. “Then they’ll lose.”

Fucking hell! Did she just say that? Surely she didn’t mean it. She would do almost anything to get out of this chamber of horrors, and yet here she was marching back downstairs, picking up the goddamned dumb bells, taking a deep breath and willing her legs to move forward. When she got to the end, instead of stopping, she gave Jennings a defiant glare, from where he now stood at the foot of the stairs, then she turned and headed back across. Somewhere a long way off, she could hear gasps and chatter from Wolf’s mezzanine fan club, but it didn’t matter. The world around her narrowed to the in and out drag of her breath, the pain in her quads and the slow step and lunge, step and lunge, that pulled her forward.

At the end, she dropped the dumb bells and bent over gasping, eyes clenched shut, hands on her knees. When at last she had the strength to stand up, she was surprised to find him next to her, hair still dewed in orange. He handed her a bottle of water and a towel. While she drank, he wiped his face on his shirt.

She didn’t look at him, she was still battling the urge to cry. She knew all eyes were on her. After the drama she was now embarrassed to have caused, that was a given. But it was only Wolf Jennings’ eyes she felt in ways that were somehow even more intimate than his kiss at the pub. At last she handed him back the bottle and struggled to meet his gaze.

“That’s better,” he said. “Now drop and give me ten. Pull a stunt like that again and I’ll shove you on the treadmill till your Reeboks wear out.”

She did as he ordered, counting each press-up out loud and hardly feeling the effort, dazed as she was by what had just happened.

 

***

 

In The Closet, still sticky from the drenching, Wolf all but fell into the chair and waited. The room was affectionately called such because it was the only space other than the bathrooms, where there were no cameras. It was for Skyping with Claire privately. He didn’t have to wait long. He took a deep breath and answered the call, offering no greeting. “Claire, I’m sorry, I swear… that woman… I thought she’d broken her foot. I thought…” He ran a shaky hand through his wet hair and gulped a breath. “I nearly lost it. I thought I was—”

“You thought you were going to kiss her,” Claire said. “So did I, so did millions of other people.” She raised a hand, cutting off his response. “Before you say anything else, check the tweets.”

 

Lauren Michaels kicks arse!

I was half hoping he’d spank her.

He can spank me anytime.

I’d drop and give him ten.

I thought he was going to kiss her.

Bets on how long before he does kiss her?

Where do I sign up for sports drink removal detail?

About time she drenched him. He’s her trainer, not her torturer.

 
© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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