Weekend Excerpt–Warrior Mine

WARRIOR MINE, my current WIP, is the fourth book in the Dream Dominant Collection.  It’s also a spin-off from DD Book 2, LOST & BOUND, although it’s still entirely stand-alone.

WARRIOR MINE actually came into being because I had readers who’d loved LOST & BOUND and wanted to know more about Jackie and Scott.  Initially, I thought it might make a good novella.  Now, however, over 100k words in and still not finished, the story has taken on a life of its own.

The story also breaks the mold of the Dream Dominant Collection.  Jackie Walker is the first leading lady who does NOT have red hair.  That’s because when I originally created Jackie as Blake Walker’s sister, I gave her the same dark hair he has.

And Jackie is a different kind of submissive than I’ve written before.  While Shasta/Amy from LOST & BOUND is a baby girl, Jackie is another type altogether.  After turning her over and over in my mind, I realized she’s a warrior princess.  So this has been a very exciting story to write.

I’m still hard at work on this book, and I’m hoping for a late summer release.  Keep watching for the cover reveal!

Here’s a little snippet from WARRIOR MINE.

“It’s a gorgeous day,” Scott commented.

“It really is.  I haven’t been out in the woods like this in a long time.”

Scott watched her appraisingly.  “Are you much of a camper?”

“I can hold my own.”  She lifted her chin, and he saw a glint of challenge in her eye.

“I imagine you can,” he smiled to himself.

He watched her dig the toe of her boot into the soft black earth and push it into a small heap.  “So let’s talk, Jackie.”

She exhaled loudly, and out of the corner of his eye, he saw her grip her hands so tightly together, her knuckles were white.

“This makes you nervous,” he observed.

“Well, yeah!  You’re over here wanting me to agree to be some kind of…I don’t know what…slave, I guess.  That’s so not me.”

“You’re right, it’s not.  I see in you a submissive soul, but a slave is not remotely what I have in mind.  Jackie,” he straddled the log to face her, “you’re a strong, smart, sexy lady.  I admire the hell out of you.”

“So why do you want me to give all that up?”

“I don’t want you to give anything up.  I love all those things about you.”  He laughed softly.  “I love that you challenge me.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Jackie’s expression was dubious.  “I don’t understand what you want from me.  Am I supposed to run and jump into your arms like Amy does Blake?”  She rolled her eyes.

Scott had to laugh.  “You’re not a slave, and you’re definitely not a baby girl like Amy, either.”  He gave her a side-long glance.  “Amy’s a sweet girl, but she’d drive me nuts.  A Daddy Dom I am not.”

“Good, because there’s no way I’m calling you Daddy.”

“Our dynamic would be more King and Princess.  You’d call me Sire.”

He was pleased when he saw her reluctant smile.  “All I want is for you to let go and allow me to lead you, to help you be free to be your true self.  You can depend on me, Jackie.”

Restlessly, Jackie got up and paced back and forth.  “It’s not like it’s just me, Scott.  I’m a mother.  I have two kids to care for, and they have to be my priority.  I can’t decide I’m going to just go off and do whatever I want.  Plus, there’s the business…”

She stopped pacing and faced him.  “I’m a whole ‘package deal’.  You don’t need all that.  You should be out meeting women who aren’t so tied down.”

Scott couldn’t stop the smirk as the image of a nude Jackie tied to the posts of a bed flashed through his mind.  She must have realized it, because she blushed bright red.  “I’ve met my share of women, Jackie.  Women who don’t mind being tied down.”

He chuckled.  “I’ve done the club scene, and I’m tired of casual sex.  When Blake told me he’d found someone, I have to admit, I felt envious.  I took a hard look at my life and I realized it was time to make a change.  I had no idea I’d meet someone so quickly.”

He considered going to her, but changed his mind, allowing her space.  “I’m attracted to you, Jackie, in a way I haven’t been to anyone else.  You have no idea how hard it was for me to resist you that night you came to my room.  Hell, to resist you last night.  You’re beautiful, Jackie, in case no one’s told you in a while.  That one perfect exposed breast?  I’ve had dreams about that.”

Jackie blushed, wrapping her arms around herself.

“Together we have an explosive chemistry.  I know you feel it, too.  I’m dying to take you to the next level.”

Arms still crossed, she shrugged.  “Yeah, we have physical chemistry.  Maybe it’s because it’s been a long time for me, I don’t know.  And I appreciate the things you’ve done, like taking care of things when Emma was sick, and Jesus, you saved Grant’s life.”

She started pacing again.  “And you washed my hair.  I couldn’t believe you did that.    So when you say, Now be my submissive,” she deepened her voice to imitate Scott, “it’s like I owe you.”

“You don’t owe me, Jackie.  I washed your hair because it was what you needed.  That’s what a Dom does.”  He gazed out through the woods and exhaled sharply.  “I think you’ve read too many so-called BDSM books about sadist Dominants.  That’s not what we’re talking about.  We’re talking about safe, sane, and consensual.  Always.”  He looked back to her.  “You can depend on me, Jackie.  I’ve got you.”

She walked to the edge of the clearing, her back to him.  Her voice was small.  “What if I depend on you, and you leave?  I don’t think I could survive that.  Better to be on my own and know what I’m getting.”

“Jackie, I’m not him.  I’m not that guy.”  Scott approached her, tentatively reaching out to touch her shoulder.  “I’m this guy, right here, asking you to let me share your burden, to lighten your load, and set you free.”

She reached up to put her hand on his.  Her voice was small.  “I don’t know if I can do that.”

Leaning down, he kissed her hand.  “Fair enough.”  Ignoring the ache in his heart, he cleared his throat.  “Are you about ready to go?”

Jackie nodded.  Scott returned to the log to retrieve his backpack and together, they headed along where the trail continued beyond the clearing.

Almost immediately, the path led downward, although not as steeply as the way up had done.  Before long, the forest ended at a rocky bluff about thirty feet above the lake.

“Is this where the trail ends?” Jackie asked.

Scott nodded.  “I saw it on the map.  It seemed like a good possibility for some of my more advanced clients, so I wanted to check it out.  I figured we’d rappel down to the lake.”

Jackie’s eyes widened.  “What?”

“Have you done any rappelling?”  Scott already knew the answer, having asked Blake about it earlier.

“No, I haven’t done any rappelling.”  Jackie eased forward and peered over the edge.  “Would you seriously send your students here?”

“Only those with the right kind of experience.”  He set down the backpack and removed a coil of black nylon rope.  Watching Jackie out of the corner of his eye, he uncoiled the rope and loosely wrapped the center of it around the base of a sturdy young spruce not far from the edge of the bluff.  He released the ends over the drop-off.  Peering over the edge, he realized the rope was several feet too short.

“Okay, Princess, it’s not optimal, but we’re going to make this work.  Watch how I do it.”

Scott stepped between the two sides of the rope and wrapped them behind his waist, bringing them forward and stepping through them to create a temporary harness.  He had Jackie practice it, too, until she was able to do it herself.

“I’ll go down first, then it will be your turn.”

scott climbing

Scott rigged himself again and back stepped to the edge.  “Now when you go, just lean back and start walking.”  He leaned back and began letting himself down the bluff.  About twenty feet down, he came to the end of the rope.

He looked up to Jackie who lay on her stomach peering down over the edge.  “The rope’s a little short.  For the last few feet you’re going to have to fall.”  Before Jackie could respond, he released the rope and dropped the final eight feet, landing on his feet.

“Okay, Jackie, it’s your turn.”

“This is crazy.”

“Like I said, it’s not optimal, but it’s not so bad.  Go ahead and get the rope situated.  I’ve got you.”

Jackie worked the rope liked she’d practiced and backed to the cliff’s edge.  “This is crazy,” she repeated.

“You’ve got this, Jackie,” Scott encouraged.

Slowly, Jackie leaned back like she’d seen Scott do, and she took a faltering step backwards.  Her foot slipped, and she banged against the granite.

“It’s okay, just get your footing and keep coming.”

From below, he heard her huff, but she set her feet and leaned back again, taking a step at a time until she was about eight feet above his head.

“Now Jackie, this is where you’ll let go and drop the rest of the way.”

She froze on the cliff face.  “I can’t do it.  I’m going to fall.”

“I’ve got you, don’t worry.”

He watched as she debated with herself.  She finally shook her head.  “I can’t.  I’m terrified.”

“You know, Jackie, sometimes you just have to let go and fall.  But I promise I’ll catch you.”  Watching her carefully, he stood on the shoreline below, arms outstretched.

He heard her huff again.  “You’ll catch me?”

“I promise.  I’m not going anywhere.”

“Okay.  Here goes.”  With that, Jackie released her grip on the ropes and plunged into Scott’s waiting arms.  Automatically, he hugged her tightly as they sank onto a boulder on the shoreline.  He felt her heart pounding.

“Admit it,” he murmured, nuzzling her neck, “it was kind of a rush.”

“Oh, my God, I thought I was going to die.  That’s the scariest thing I’ve ever done.”

“Would you do it again?”

Jackie peered up at him and smiled reluctantly.  “Maybe.”

The cover reveal for WARRIOR MINE will be happening soon, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, if you haven’t read LOST & BOUND, now would be a great time to catch up.

Lost & Bound new cover 2

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