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.

 

Amber Daulton: ARRESTING MASON Book Launch and Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Enter for a chance to win this Topaz Gemstone Necklace, Beaded Earrings, and some swag. One winner will be randomly selected. Just follow the link.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arresting Mason is Book I of the Arresting Onyx Series

Their chance encounter resulted in a steamy affair, but will his former gang and a parole officer tear them apart?

 

Once you’re in a prison gang, you’re in it for life. That’s what Mason Harding thought until the boss accepted his resignation. After the State releases him on parole, a sexy divorcée behind the wheel of a car almost ends his life quicker than a shank. His chance encounter with Mia Eddison results in a night of passion, but her brother—his parole officer—catches them together and doesn’t approve.

 

Mia falls hard for the cocky ex-con, but not because of his chiseled body. She vows to break through his walls and discover his secrets, but never expects those secrets to threaten her life. When members of an organized crime ring kidnap Mia to force Mason’s return to the gang, he goes up against an old friend to save the woman he loves. Will his sacrifice be enough or will everything fall apart in a blaze of gunfire?

 

Book Links:  

Amazon| B&N| iTunes  | The Wild Rose Press store| Goodreads

 

youtube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rc0q0dLLFPM

 

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Length: 80k

Heat Rating: 5 Flames

 

 

Arresting Mason Excerpt:

“Which one is your car?” She glanced around the crowded parking lot. A few streetlights pushed back the darkness and shadows. The restaurant served customers until midnight on the weekends, but no one loitered in the lot, at least from what Mia could see.

“Don’t have one at the moment.” Mason hooked his thumbs in the belt loops of his jeans. “I took the bus. It stopped a few blocks from here.”

 

“Would you like a ride?” She pulled the car keys from her purse. “I feel a little ridiculous we met here tonight. I just wasn’t sure if you were some kind of freak.”

 

His eyebrow lifted, and he closed the distance between them as a tiger would zero in on its mate. A sexy, masculine smile curled his lips. “Have you made up your mind yet?”

 

“I’ll let you know in the morning.” Desire trickled down her spine. Mia nodded toward the passenger side of the car for him to hop in.

 

He confiscated her keys instead to unlock and open the driver’s side door for her like a gentleman. Then he leaned closer and nuzzled her temple with his nose.

 

Not sure if he planned to seduce her in the parking lot or if he merely wanted to tease her, Mia pressed her hand to his chest and tried to think straight. “You’re the first guy I’ve gone on a date with since my divorce. I haven’t slept with anyone since Evan.”

 

He tunneled his fingers through her wavy, chestnut-brown hair. “I haven’t dated anyone in a long time either. We’ll take it slow or fast, whatever you want, but I promise you one thing. After I’m done with you, you won’t even remember that bastard’s name.”

 

Oh, God. She almost melted right then and there. “Fast. I want you, Mason.”

 

“Take me to your place and you can have me.”

NetGalley Opportunity: 

Available for Review

Limited Time Only (promotion runs from May 1-15)

Find Arresting Masonon my publisher’s landing page – https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/publisher/82136

 

About Amber

Writing is the fruit of happiness.

Amber Daulton lives her life by that one belief even though she normally isn’t so Zen. As a fan of contemporary, paranormal, and historical romance novels alike, she can’t get enough of feisty heroines and alpha heroes. Her mind is a wonderland of adventure, laughter, and awesome ways of kicking a guy when he’s down. She probably wouldn’t be too sane without her computer and notebooks. After all, what’s a girl to do when people are jabbering away in her head and it’s hard to shut them up? Write!Nothing else works.

 

Social Media Links:

 

Blogsite – http://amberdaultonauthor.blogspot.com/

Facebook Author Page – www.facebook.com/amber.daulton.author

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AmberDaulton1

Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/amberdaulton5/

Goodreads – www.goodreads.com/author/show/6624921.Amber_Daulton

Amazon Author Page – http://amzn.to/14JoZff

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/amberdaulton

LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/pub/amber-daulton/87/538/368

Google Plus – https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AmberDaulton

The Wild Rose Press – https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/2362_amber-daulton

Don’t forget  a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Pole: More than a Physical Challenge

I’ve got a little under two months before the photo shoot that I’ve been blogging about and working toward almost

since this pole journey began. The past few weeks have been a roller coaster ride of confidence and lack thereof. I’m not alone in this. It seems to be common among the group of women I started pole with. All of us are signed up for the photo shoot as a way of gaging our progress. We’ve been training for ten months now – long enough to see major improvements in skill, strength and stamina, but also long enough to see just how far we have to go and to be impatient, sometimes disappointed, with ourselves that we’re not getting there faster. There are good days and there are bad days. There are days when it feels more like regress than progress.

 

Most of the time I don’t think about being twenty to thirty years older than almost everyone else in the studio. I know I’m fit, I know I am holding my own, even doing fairly well. Most of the time I’m just focused on meeting the challenge of the day. But what to wear for the photo shoot has brought my age neurosis back to me with a vengeance. I’ve mentioned in earlier posts that skin contact with the pole is necessary to perform some of the more difficult moves. Wearing less and less clothing to compensate for more and more complex moves has been, and still is, one of my biggest challenges. Most of us start beginning pole in our sweats and tee shirts, and if we stick with it, the process becomes a slow, and sometimes, reluctant strip tease. As we learn and improve, we move to leggings, then to shorts, then to racer back tops we can tuck into our sports bras when we need belly for grip. Then finally the day dawns when we graduate to pole shorts and tops, with not much more coverage than a bikini, and we just get on with it. And here’s me in all my vanity wanting to look good and fearing being judged for not looking twenty no matter how good I look.

 

Yes, it’s only my neuroses that have me feeling this way. I’ve never worked with a more encouraging, more non-judgmental group of women. The camaraderie has made the journey nearly as much fun as the challenge of the sport itself. The difficulty of learning pole and the strength it demands has been a great equalizer. We all know what it has costs in terms of bruises, pain, sweat and tears to get to where we are now. So that means as much of the battle to become skilled at pole is dealing with my own repeated crises of confidence as it is learning technique. The truth is, of the two battles, the one that goes on in my head is by far the more difficult. And when you’re the old lady in the group, you’ve had a helluva lot more time to fill your head with neuroses and irrational doubts and fears.

 

Owning my age is one of the wonderful things that has come from my pole training. I’ve made an amazing discovery. There is no downhill slide once you pass the age of fifty and find yourself looking sixty smack dab in the eyeballs. There is, however, a paradigm shift – or can be if we’re willing to open ourselves to the possibilities. I was fearless when I was younger, back before I had been battered about by the world a few times. But the older I get, the more I fear. That seems to be common when you’re our age. God how I hate that phrase! It’s like the excuse to end all excuses, the get out of jail free card, the “let you off the hook” disclaimer for everyone over forty – as if the rules no longer apply. As if it’s now time to coast our way on into the end zone with as little effort as possible.

 

The paradigm shift comes when we’re bold enough to say, fuck it, I’m just going for it! Whatever ‘it’ is. There’s another kind of fearlessness that happens as I approach sixty. I’ve battled my own version of ageism long enough to know that most of what I fear is never going to happen, and it’s going to be a long boring journey to the grave if I let those fears of being our agecontrol me.

 

The push, the challenge, becomes to live in the moment, to live urgently and boldly, to remind myself when doubt rears its ugly head that age is just a number. It is NOT who I am. I’ve been on this fitness journey long enough to realize that the bumps and bruises and aches and pains as well as the challenges met and the triumphs celebrated are an outward manifestation of the deeper journey going on inside me. The slow strip tease, the exposure of skin – bruised and abraded, and not as supple as it once was, goes so much deeper than muscle and bone. It becomes the laying bare, the exposing, of the inner wounds and bruises, the deep seated fears that I’ve kept hidden away. It is a viewing of myself more clearly, a loving of who I am and what I’m becoming more completely. It is perhaps learning to be more gentle with myself even as I push myself harder than I ever have before. Oh, it doesn’t mean that the battles are over, that I am still not filled with doubts, still not afraid of the challenges ahead of me, still don’t want to run away and hide underneath my duvet. But it means I’ve had some success at pushing through the fears, and success breeds more success — something worth reminding myself of every day.

 

The wonderful surprise of it all is that I’m stronger, fitter, more sure of myself now than I ever was in my twenties. And the even bigger surprise is that I keep getting more so. My skill improves with my strength and stamina, and with those my confidence and my view of the world as a place full of possibilities, until I can honestly say, and mean, life is better at fifty-nine than it ever was when I was twenty or thirty. The paradigm shift is a reminder that I get to choose. I get to embrace this journey and move forward in spite of my fears, because overcoming those fears, one step at a time, one challenge at a time is truly what it means to be fearless.

 

Interview with a Demon

While it has been an effort to sort through what actually happened, I have finally managed to piece together another segment of what happened during that unaccounted for stretch of time I spent with The Guardian in his prison. As the memories come back to me and as I deal with the consequences of the experience as best I can, I will share the results with you, as I promised him I would. Thank you for being patient.

 

Missed part of the interview? Follow the links

Part 1

Part 2

 

Part 3 A Demon’s Tale

The Guardian sat silently for a time, long enough for me to be tempted to look over at him, or to try and prompt the conversation. But at last he took a deep breath – no doubt for my benefit and spoke. “I won’t start at the beginning. While I may have plenty of time, you certainly do not.” The rich warmth of his chuckle made me want to scoot my chair closer to his in hopes that he might touch me. That I craved his touch made me want to scream for Talia to pull me back to the safety of the waking world. If he were aware of my feelings, he didn’t show it, but continued. “My tale is a long and often tedious one, much of it spent bound or imprisoned by meddling shamans or priests or witches, who invariably mistook my nature for evil. Those in power, after all, have need of the threat of evil if they are to maintain control. I have, more than once, provided them with the necessary excuse for the disturbing and culturally unacceptable behavior of their subjects. Would that they had only understood me better rather than attempted to use me to promote their own agendas. But then that, I suppose, is the nature of human beings.”

“And yet you let your behavior prove them right.” Damn, I have a big mouth, but you see, I already knew a good deal of his story, after all, and I wasn’t about to let him white wash it.

He only shrugged. “Do you consider a lion evil for killing a gazelle, a hawk for taking a rabbit? I am, to the best of my knowledge, as much a part of the natural order as they are. That humans chose to interact with me to begin with is less so, I would postulate. That is, unless they were drawn to me from the beginning by the very nature of who I am.” He raised a negating hand as though batting away a fly. “We’re wasting time arguing my morality when it’s such a human term. I’ve not brought you here for that purpose.”

With a sudden chill, I realized, he had indeed brought me here as surely as if I had been one of the poor souls he had possessed. Susan had allowed it. I quickly reminded myself. Talia had made it possible. But they all owed him a life — several lives, in fact. Before I could contemplate my place in his plan, he continued.

“I cannot impart to you what it’s like to be bound for an age with only my own longings and urges for company. You’re far too finite to understand how maddening such imprisonment is for one who desires nothing so much as flesh and the pleasures and pains it brings. Oh yes, I would gladly take pain to the agony of languishing in uncontained eternity with nothing to hold me to myself and no way of touching the passing of everything around me.”

“But that’s not how it is for you now, surely. I know you interact with the world, at least with Susan and Michael and the other consortium members. Some of them anyway.”

For a moment he was silent, and then he sighed. “It’s true that Susan has become a gentle jailor, kind and considerate of my needs. And yet surely you must understand that never in my long existence have I been incarcerated in a prison so complete, so without any hope of escape.”

“Would you?” I asked, “escape if you could?”

This time the silence was so complete that I thought he had left me. I turned partially toward him startled by the fact that he truly had no face. He appeared much like an unfinished painting of a man overlaid on a starless night. And from that abyss of darkness was a sense of ravenous hunger and desire like nothing I had ever felt. I was taken completely aback that it was even possible for so much hunger and need to fit into one female vampire, no matter how powerful. How in the world could Susan contain him?

Suddenly there was a roar of wind across the fells and, in an instant that hunger was so close to me that I felt it had already devoured me. But even before I could do more than draw breath to cry out, the feeling vanished and he again sat next to me in profile. “I would ask you once more, please don’t look directly at me. I am … unfinished.”

I found myself gripping the chair arms as though I feared being tossed out. Honestly if the chair didn’t toss me out, I ran the risk of dumping myself out onto the ground, I was shaking so badly.

“I am sorry,” he said. “Susan tells me that my impulse control could use a little work.”

My relieved laughter had a hysterical edge to it, then I bit my lip to make myself shut up, and looked the other way.

“You asked me if I would escape if I could.” He continued as though nothing had happened. “In truth I don’t know. Every heart longs to be free… but then I don’t have a heart.” His words drifted away and somewhere deep in the garden an owl trilled, an owl who could no more have been there than the garden itself. “Perhaps residing this close to Susan’s heart, is the closest I shall ever be to having one of my own.” There was another brief pause, and in that instant, I
wondered if the sadness I heard in his voice was only me anthropomorphizing. He continued.

“However when I have been able, when I am free enough to do so, I plan, and I scheme, and I choose wisely. I shall tell you, at least in part, the culmination of such plans, the journey that has led me here to this new prison, so different than any that have ever contained me. Of course you know some of my story, in fact you’ve written it down. But you’ve told it through Susan’s eyes and, while I would never presume to discredit her human point of view, I do wish to give voice to how it was for me, how I experienced those events which led to my strange imprisonment.”

 
© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

Site created and maintained by Writer Marketing Services | Sitemap