FOR SPARROW has been nominated for both the 2017 New Apple Book Award and the 2017 RITA Award in Erotic Romance. It’s a contemporary light BDSM romance set in sunny Palm Beach County, Florida.
When Jessi Crenshaw’s husband Graham dies unexpectedly, she’s devastated. But it seems that Graham had an inkling that his health was in decline, and he tapped his friend, Dominant firefighter paramedic Judd Farris to look out for Jessi until she gets back on her feet.
It’s a damn odd arrangment, though. A surrogate Dom, in a platonic D/s relationship? Judd’s determined to keep his promise to his friend. But as time goes on, that line becomes harder to honor. How long until Jessi and Judd give in to mutual attraction? Could it be that Graham had something more permanent in mind all along?
Judd and Jessi watched for a few minutes, then Judd tugged gently on the lead and they moved along to another room. A larger crowd had gathered in this doorway, but Judd made his way to an attendant supervising the black velvet rope separating the room from the hallway.
“Right this way, Master Judd,” the man said.
They squeezed past the other onlookers toward a collection of leather club chairs at the end of the room. Judd was shown to a chair. Jessi looked up at him questioningly. “I made reservations for this one, Angel. It’s something I want you to see. You may kneel beside me.” He sank into the chair and nodded to his left, indicating her place.
Jessi sank to her knees facing a raised dais in the center of the room. A huge steel tripod stood on the dais. It was tall enough for a man to easily stand beneath it with room to spare, and a large metal ring hung suspended from its apex. She shivered in anticipation.
Soon most of the remaining chairs were filled by other Dominants, all with at least one sub kneeling at their feet. One Domme had a male and a female submissive kneeling beside her. The other guests had to content themselves with jockeying for position in the wide doorway.
Jessi couldn’t imagine what was about to happen. A nude young female submissive approached Judd, eyes cast down. “Excuse me, Master, would you care for a beverage?”
“I’ll have a glass of sauvignon blanc, sub, thank you.” Before she could censor herself, Jessi’s head jerked up and she looked at Judd. He winked at her and tugged on her lead. She returned her eyes to the floor. Her mouth suddenly felt like it was full of cotton.
What I wouldn’t give for a glass of wine right now.
The submissive quickly returned with a single glass of wine balanced on a tray. She handed it to Judd without comment and bowed before backing away. Jessi heard Judd take a sip of wine, and she coveted it so badly she could taste it.
“Would you like some wine, Angel?” Judd asked quietly.
Jessi looked up at him. “Yes, please, Master Judd.”
Judd took another sip, then leaned down and pressed his lips to hers. As she opened to him, the cool sweet liquid filled her mouth. He kissed her sensuously and sat back up again, a smug smile on his face. Jessi looked back down and smiled, too.
That was hot.
She heard the sound of feet approaching and cautioned a glance to her left where the last vacant chair had been. She saw expensive black leather dress shoes and black slacks. A familiar spiced musk scent wafted past her as a hand reached behind her toward Judd.
“Good evening, Master Judd.” The voice was a rich baritone, the accent softly Spanish.
“Master Mateo. It’s good to see you. It’s a wonderful party, as always.”
“I am glad you are enjoying, my friend. It’s so good to see you again. And this is your lovely sub?”
Judd’s hand rested protectively on Jessi’s right shoulder. “This is my Angel. Angel, say hello to Master Mateo.”
Shyly, Jessi raised her eyes. The man in the chair next to her was elegantly dressed in a black tuxedo. Sharp brown eyes peered at her from behind the black and silver mask covering the top half of his face. A neat dark beard and mustache framed the rest of his face, and his long dark hair was swept up in a stylish topknot. His lips were pursed in an expression she couldn’t read.
She bowed her head again. “Hello, Master Mateo.”
“So nice to meet you, queridita.”
A hush fell over the room and the lights dimmed as a fit bald man led a beautiful brunette out onto the dais in the center of the room. Shirtless, he wore loose pants of black silk. The woman was wrapped in a black silk kimono, her eyes covered in a blindfold of black lace. She knelt in the center of the raised platform while the man returned to the door through which they’d entered. Moments later, he was back with a basket full of red rope. Wordlessly, he stepped up to the woman and pulled her head to his thigh. Jessi sighed along with the woman, knowing what it was to kneel before the man she trusted.
After a moment, the man helped the woman to stand, and, cupping the back of her head, he kissed her passionately before removing her robe to the waist, where it was tied with a wide silk belt. Using the red rope, the Dom wrapped her chest, both above and below her breasts, in an intricate pattern. Placing a bamboo cane across her shoulder blades, he lashed her arms out to her sides, continuing to add to the pattern. Occasionally, he paused to caress her cheek, or to place soft kisses against her neck.
Jessi watched with rapt attention, mesmerized by both the sensual scene, and the deep intimacy shared by the pair, Dom and sub. Her feet began to tingle from lack of blood and she shifted slightly. Judd gently squeezed her shoulder and when she looked up at him, he nodded, indicating his permission to sit on her right hip with her legs curled to her left side. Jessi leaned against Judd’s left knee and continued to watch the performance.
Soon, the Dom ran ropes beneath the skirt of the woman’s robe, back and forth until he’d woven something resembling a thong, at which point, he removed the robe completely. Before Jessi knew it, he’d run some rope through the ring overhead and the woman was now suspended, her legs tied in arcs extending out like a floating ballerina.
Unconsciously, Jessi rested her cheek against Judd’s thigh and wrapped her right arm around his calf. Unable to look away, she absently caressed his ankle with her fingertips as the performance continued. Finally, the man gently untied the woman’s legs and lowered her to the floor. He restored the robe around her waist and continued removing ropes until there were none. At his nonverbal command, she again knelt at his feet and he caressed her hair tenderly.
The audience, who’d been holding their collective breath, burst into applause. Jessi smiled up at Judd and he leaned down to kiss her tenderly. “What did you think, Angel?”
“That was beautiful,” she replied, eyes shining.
Judd stood and helped Jessi rise on unsteady feet.
“It was indeed beautiful. Master Jeremy is an expert in Kinbaku. We are privileged to have him here tonight.”
Jessi heard the deep voice behind her, but more than that, she felt the presence of Master Mateo, though he was not standing close enough to touch her. Instinctively she bowed her head.
“Thank you for making sure we had a seat for this performance,” Judd said. “I wanted my Angel to see it up close and personal.”
“It was my pleasure. I’m very happy you both enjoyed it.”
“I think we’ll go outside for some fresh air. See you later.” Judd gave a slight tug on the lead and led Jessi toward the door.
“I am sure of it,” came the reply.