Weekend Excerpt–FOR SPARROW

I’m still beyond grateful that the BDSM Writers’ Con honored Dream Dominant Book 3, FOR SPARROW, with 2018’s Golden Flogger Award for Best BDSM Book in the BDSM Light category. It means so much to me that they not only liked the story, they also approved of the portrayal of the BDSM lifestyle.

In the preface to the book, I talk about the way I write BDSM romance. There are tons of books about billionaire Doms who reveal their brand of Dominance to young, naive submissives. And I love those stories, don’t get me wrong.

But I’m more interested in exploring the lives of real-world people all around us who quietly live the D/s lifestyle and go about their day-to-day business. The deep intimacy involved in a power-exchange relationship is the stuff of romance, and that’s what excites me as a writer. And it’s what you’ll get when you read any of my Dream Dominant books.

Here’s a little snippet from FOR SPARROW.

Judd Farris scanned the room uncomfortably.  He didn’t belong here, not really.  The truth was, he had been friends with Graham Crenshaw.  Good friends.  But Graham was his only connection to this gathering, and Graham was dead. 

Judd had attended the funeral at the church, and then the burial out at the cemetery.  There’d been no need to follow up with the gathering at the Crenshaw home.  But he’d been asked for a favor, and he hadn’t yet completed it.  There hadn’t been opportunity at either the funeral or the burial.  Maybe he could find a moment here.

He took a glass of wine from a buffet table in the dining room simply to have something to do with his hands, then made his way to a vacant spot by the wall in the living room.  His position on the edge of the crowd afforded him a perfect place from which to people-watch.

He’d spotted Jessi in her simple black dress from the moment he’d entered the house.  She was hard to miss with her bright auburn hair, her air of tragedy.  Of course, he’d seen her at the other two places as well, but not up close.  There were dark circles under her green eyes, and she looked thin and drawn, not unexpected under the circumstances.  But she was pretty, too, in an unassuming kind of way.

Take care of Jessi for me. 

Graham’s words echoed through his mind.  He’d met Graham a few years earlier, and they’d struck up an odd friendship.  Graham was a good twenty years Judd’s senior.  Maybe that was why they’d clicked.  Judd had looked to Graham as a mentor, and the two had met for coffee about once a month.  The last time they’d gotten together, nearly three weeks earlier, the older man had seemed preoccupied. 

If something should happen to me, please take care of Jessi for me.  She’ll be lost at first.  

At the time, Judd had noticed that Graham seemed to have lost a little weight, and he was perhaps a bit pale.  Judd had promised that in the unlikely event something should happen, of course he’d be honored to look after Jessi, see that she got her feet under her.  Before they parted that last time, Graham had given him two envelopes.  One was labeled with Judd’s name.  On the other one, he’d written For Sparrow

Open yours if something happens to me.  The other one, you should give to Jessi.  You’ll know when the time is right.

She’s young for a widow, he mused.  Graham had said she was, what, forty-five?  That made her five years older than Judd, he calculated for no reason in particular.  He watched as she hugged her son and daughter.  They seemed close.  Graham had spoken proudly of Adam and Cara, both out on their own and doing well.  He knew Jessi was glad to have them here.  They’d eventually have to go back to their own lives, though. 

He imagined he could feel Jessi’s envelope in the inside pocket of his suit jacket.  He’d opened his immediately when he’d heard the news of Graham’s death.  He’d read it over and over until he knew it by heart. 

Dear Judd,
If you’re reading this, I must be gone.  Dammit, I didn’t mean to leave this soon.  It shocks the hell out of me, really.  I want you to know that I appreciate your friendship.  You’re a good man, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know you.  Hopefully I’ve been able to pass along some things I learned the hard way. 

I respect you as a man and as a Dominant.  I know that you’ve worked hard to be the best of both that you can be.  That’s why I’m tapping you to be the one to look after my Sparrow for me.  Jessi is a smart, strong woman, but she’s a born submissive, and although I know she’ll be stubborn, she needs a Dominant to take her in hand, at least until she finds someone.  I can’t bear to think of her falling prey to some of those psycho ass-wipes out there posing as Dominants. 

The letter to her explains some of my thinking on this subject.  That and a few other things.  I’ll trust you to give it to her when the time is right. 
The other part of this letter is a to-do list of sorts, things that will need to be done around the house.  Things Jessi will never ask anyone to do, because like I said, she’s stubborn.  I’m also giving you the number to an account that I’ve set up to cover the expenses of these projects.  Please don’t use your own money to fix up the house.  I’d be awfully pissed off if you did. 

I appreciate you, Judd.  I hope that somehow some of the things we talked about will help you as you make your way in the world.  I hope that one day you find your own Sparrow, and that she makes you as happy as Jessi has made me.  You deserve every happiness.

So long, pal.  See you on the other side.
G.

The clatter of something dropped in the kitchen brought his thoughts back to the present.  He watched the new widow as people buzzed around her, pausing to murmur some heartfelt platitude before buzzing off again.  God, people said some stupid shit when they didn’t know what to say.

Judd saw a large woman in an ill-fitting black pantsuit lean over Jessi.  He’s in a better place?  What the fuck kind of thing is that to say?  Jessi was facing his direction, and he watched her eyes widen with disgust.  She simply excused herself and pushed past the ignoramus, retreating into the kitchen.

Thinking that this might be his chance, Judd set down his glass and followed her.  He made it into the kitchen in time to see her disappear through the back door.  He continued to follow her, but hesitated just outside.  Jessi crossed the pool deck and perched on the far side of the spa.  He watched her hunch over, and he realized that she was crying. 

Shit!  I’ll know when the time is right?  I sure as hell know when the time is wrong.

He waited a few minutes longer before beginning to slowly walk towards her.  His loafer scraped on an uneven paver, and she immediately sat up and looked his way. 

“I’m so sorry.  I didn’t mean to bother you,” he offered.

“I just needed some air.”  She wiped at her face, and seemed to be trying to hide the fact that she’d been crying.  As if someone would judge her for mourning.  “I buried my husband today.  That’s the first time I said that out loud.”  There was a haunted look in her eyes.

He felt his heart melting in his chest.  “I’ll leave you alone.  I just wanted to say,” he cleared his throat, “that Graham was a good man.  He was my friend and I’ll miss him.”

She smiled sadly.  “He’d be so please that you came.  Did you work with Graham?”

This is so not the right time to get into all that.  “No.  We were friends.  I’m Judd, by the way.”

She seemed to take in what he was saying, but he noticed that she didn’t introduce herself.  He decided to push forward.  “I thought maybe I would come back on Saturday, maybe help you with the lawn,” he said.

She gave a vague answer, and he felt that he’d done enough for one day.  “Alright, Jessi,” he said.  “Take care, now.”

–FOR SPARROW, Dream Dominant Book 3

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