A platonic Dom/sub relationship?
It’s a damn odd arrangement.
When Jessi Crenshaw’s husband Graham dies unexpectedly, she’s devastated. He’s the only man she’s ever loved. Just eighteen when she met him, she’s been married to him for twenty-five years. Now she’s lost her friend, her lover…and her Dominant.
But as it turns out, Graham had an inkling that his health was in decline, and he tapped his friend and protégé in the Lifestyle, firefighter and paramedic Judd Farris, to be Jessi’s Dominant until she gets back on her feet.
Judd is determined to fulfill his promise to his friend. But it’s a damn odd arrangement—a platonic Dom/sub relationship. With her fiery auburn hair, sparkling green eyes, and audacious spirit, Jessi captured his attention the first time he ever saw her. At her husband’s funeral.
A man could go to hell for the things he’s been thinking. But they’ve drawn a line, and he’s going to stick to it.
Judd’s sexy good looks and his gentle confidence aren’t lost on Jessi. She’s torn between loyalty to the man she loved, and desire for the man increasingly in her fantasies. In the letter Graham left for her, he mentioned that she might find Judd attractive. But that’s simply ridiculous. He’s five years younger than she is. He couldn’t possibly be interested in her. Could he?
Judd’s a Dom without a sub, and Jessi’s a sub without a Dom. It’s perfect for the time being. Could it be that Graham had more in mind than merely a temporary solution?
And could it all end at the hands of a madman?
In this teaser from FOR SPARROW, Jessi receives a letter from the love of her life from beyond the grave. Now, she has a decision to make.
Standing at the kitchen island, he handed her an envelope. Her heart ached at the sight of Graham’s familiar left-handed scrawl across the face of the envelope.
Jessi’s eyes filled with tears.
Judd spoke softly. “I’ll be out back when you’re finished, and we can talk about it if you like.” He squeezed her shoulder gently. “Come on, Buddy. Let’s go outside.” Happily, the puppy followed Judd out the back door.
Jessi’s hands shook. With her index finger, she traced the writing on the front of the envelope. She glanced out the back door to see Judd kick off his shoes and sit on the edge of the pool, sinking his feet into the water. Buddy flopped down beside him and rolled over, wanting his tummy scratched, and Judd obliged.
She turned her attention back to the envelope. Her irrational self told her that if she didn’t open it, somehow everything could go back to normal. But curiosity won the moment, and she slid her thumb under the flap and carefully opened the letter.
My dearest Sparrow,
I’m so sorry I’m not there with you. I can feel my heart beginning to wear out. Please don’t be angry with me for not telling you; I know how you worry about things. We’ve had a good life together. I’ve told you before, and I’m telling you again, you are the best thing that ever happened to me. The fact that you are the mother of my children amazes the hell out of me. What did I ever do to deserve such a terrific family?
Jessi reached up to wipe a silent tear from her cheek. Self-consciously, she flicked her eyes out to the pool deck to find that Judd was watching her intently, and he flashed a sympathetic smile. Sniffing, she read on.
It would be pointless, I suppose, to tell you not to mourn. Just don’t do it too long. And don’t you dare wear black. God, I hate all that maudlin bullshit. Now, Sparrow, you and I know that you are a natural submissive. I don’t want you to feel lost without a Dominant in your life. I want you to find one, a true Gentleman who will cherish you in the way you deserve. One who will nurture the sexy, sensual woman you truly are. Don’t you go back to some kind of vanilla half-existence. That would really piss me off.
Tears still streaming, she laughed because she could almost hear Graham’s voice.
If you have this letter, you’ve met Judd. I’ve known him for several years now, and he’s a solid Dominant. I’ve asked him to check in on you and to take care of some things around the house. I’ve also asked him to help you out until you find a Dominant of your own. Judd is willing to give you knee time, Sparrow, to help you settle your mind and find peace. I don’t mean sex and kink. He would be a sort of ’emotional Dominant,’ just until you get back on your feet.
On the other hand, if you found yourself attracted to Judd, it would make me happy knowing that you’d be in good hands. He’s a good man, Jessi, a gentle man, and a Gentleman. He would be a perfect sexual Dominant for you. I worry thinking about the dangers out there, Sparrow. You and Judd could make your own way.
Mortified, Jessi glanced out the back door. Thankfully, Judd was staring out across the pool. “I can’t believe you’re telling me these things,” she murmured to herself.
Anyway, I trust you, Sparrow. You’re smart and strong, and I’m so proud of you. Never forget that you are absolutely the love of my life. I’m forever grateful to you for taking my hard, stuffy heart and helping me to be a better man than I ever dreamed about being. Be sure the kids know how much I love them. I love you, my Sparrow, with all my heart. Live happy. Find love and cherish it.
Your loving husband and Master, G.
Jessi was completely undone. Sobbing, she folded her arms on the counter and rested her head on them. She cried until she felt she had no tears left. Moments passed, and she raised her head. It hurt, and her eyes felt puffy. With a glance at Judd and Buddy still sitting by the pool, she went into the powder room and splashed water on her face.
Taking a deep breath, she forced her feet out the back door and across the pool deck. Judd smiled up at her kindly. “How are you holding up?”
Jessi shrugged as she stepped out of her sandals and sat beside him, slipping her feet into the cool water. They sat without speaking, each gently sliding feet through the water, watching the ripples cross the pool and return to them. Judd moved his foot under her leg and raised her foot to the surface. The fuchsia nail polish was chipped and peeling.
“How long since you had a pedicure, Jessi?” he asked gently.
She moved her foot away and looked at him sharply. “What exactly did your letter say, Judd?”
He exhaled forcefully. “Like I said, he was worried about you. He said that you’re submissive and that you might need somebody in your life until you find your way.” He glanced at her knowingly. “When was the last time your mind was quiet, little one?”
A tear slid down Jessi’s cheek, and she swiped at it roughly. “So, you’re my appointed Dominant, is that it?” she asked testily.
“It’s not like that.” Judd looked at her steadily. “Graham and I were friends. We talked about Dominance and submission for hours over the years. He trusted me. Trusted me with the one thing that meant the most to him in the world.”
He paused, gazing at her thoughtfully. “He didn’t want you to run into the wrong kind of man while you’re looking to ease your mind, to fill that emptiness that I see in your eyes.” Jessi stubbornly looked away and swiped at her cheek again.
“You know, it’s entirely up to you. I’m going to complete the list of things around your house. I promised him I would. But whether you accept me as a surrogate Dominant? Only you can decide that.”
He ran a frustrated hand through his hair. “You miss knee time; I know you do,” he said softly. “A chance to just let go of all the concerns that weigh you down.” Jessi turned back to look at him, her expression softer. “I’m not talking about kinky sex, tying you up, and all that. I’m offering you a chance to clear your mind of everything; let me carry your burdens for a while.”
“Why? Why would you do that?” Her voice was strained.
Judd shrugged. “I’m Dominant. It’s what I crave, to be needed, to take care of a submissive.” He laughed lightly. “I’m a Dominant without a submissive, and you’re a submissive without a Dominant. For the time being, it works out well.”
He gazed at her steadily, kindness in his brown eyes. “Just say the word. Do you want knee time, little one?”
Another tear rolled down her cheek. And she nodded. “Yes,” she whispered. “I want knee time.”
He smiled patiently. “Yes, what, little one?”
Judd shook his head. “I’m not your Master, little one. Yes, Sir will do.”
Unconsciously, Jessi bowed her head submissively. “Yes, Sir, may I please have knee time?”
“Yes, you may,” he responded gently. “There is a big leather chair in your den. Be kneeling beside the chair in two minutes. Your eyes will be closed, and you will clear your mind. Do you understand, little one?”
“Yes, Sir.” Jessi stood and started to walk away but then turned and looked at him anxiously. “My clothes, Sir?”
“Your clothes are fine the way they are,” he answered. “Hurry. I’ll come to you shortly.”
“Yes, Sir,” she said, and she hurried into the house.FOR SPARROW by Pandora Spocks