Weekend Excerpt–LOST & BOUND

Spoiled Hollywood bad girl Shasta Pyke
is used to getting her own way.
She’s met her match in
Dominant mountain man Blake Walker.

LOST & BOUND, Dream Dominant Book 2, is special to me for several reasons. For one thing, Blake Walker is my first literary Daddy Dom, and I loved getting to know him. He’s strong, sexy, and oh, so protective.

Another reason this book is forever in my heart is the setting. Growing up, I spent many a happy summer vacation in the wilds of northern Ontario, Canada. Writing this book, and the spin-off WARRIOR MINE, Dream Dominant Book 4, allowed me to take a nostalgic trip back to one of my favorite places on earth.

In LOST & BOUND, actress Shasta Pyke gets into trouble with the law in Hollywood so she’s sent to cool her heels for a while in the wilderness of northern Ontario. Bush pilot and former wilderness counselor Blake Walker is none too impressed with the new high profile guest at his family’s remote lodge, but as he spends time with her, he begins to see glimpses of the frightened little girl she hides from the world. Could she be the baby girl his Daddy Dom soul craves?

Here’s a teaser from LOST & BOUND.

Blake expertly angled the small boat to rest beside the tiny dock and killed the motor, tying off his end before jumping out and tying the front end as well.  Then he again offered his hand, helping Shasta climb out of the boat and onto the dock. 

She stood taking in the view as he unloaded her things.  The lodge was visible across the water, seemingly closer than it actually was, judging by the ten-minute ride.  If she hadn’t been in such a foul mood, she would have found the place beautiful.  The only sound she could hear was the wind in the tops of the countless pine trees covering the island.  It would be a short climb up to the crest of the island where a log cabin sat.  She could see a stone-surrounded fire pit flanked by a quartet of dark green wooden Adirondack chairs and further away, stretched between two large pines, was a white canvas hammock. 

When all her things were on the dock, Blake turned to her.  “Let me take you to the cabin.  There are a few things I need to show you.”

He took off up the hill and Shasta teetered along behind him, carefully avoiding large rocks that were in the way.  “Are you making it?” he called over his shoulder.

“I’ve got this, don’t worry about me,” she muttered.

Blake turned away and grinned to himself.  He was waiting for her when she finally made it up the hill.  “I hope you brought other shoes.”

Out of breath, Shasta put her hands on her hips and nodded. 

He unlocked the door and held it open for her to enter the cabin.  She stepped into an open room featuring a seating area in front of a fireplace immediately to her right.  Further into the room, a kitchen was arranged in the back left quarter of the space with a cast iron stove on the back wall and a kitchen table pushed against the right wall down from the fireplace.  Between the fireplace and the kitchen table was a small desk that held some sort of radio equipment.  Shasta peered into an alcove to her left and saw that it was a tiny bedroom. 

“Now,” Blake was saying, “the lights run on propane.  You turn this little lever and you can light them with a lighter.  The fridge and the cooktop also run on propane.  Same thing, you turn the knob and then light it with the lighter.  I already lit the pilot on the fridge and it should be fine.”  He indicated a small metal box beneath the kitchen counter.

Wordlessly, Shasta followed him around the room, trying to take in all his instructions.  “Now if you want to bake, or if you’re just cold, you can build a fire in the stove.”  He showed her where to put the wood.  “And there’s always the fireplace.  Wood is stacked outside against the back of the cabin.  I can always bring you more, too.”

He waved at the few kitchen cabinets.  “We’ve stocked the cabinets and the refrigerator but if you need anything, just let me know.”  He headed for the door.  “Water comes from a spring near the front of the island.”

“Wait.  What?”

“Water.  You know, to drink?”

Desperately, Shasta searched the room, making a beeline to the sink.  Instead of a faucet, there was a green-painted old-fashioned hand pump.  She worked the handle a few times and a spurt of water came out.  She looked back to him, bewildered.

“Well, you can’t drink that.  Not without boiling it for about ten minutes.  It comes straight out of the lake.  Use it for dishes and things.  You can drink the spring water right out of the ground.”

“Wait a second.  Where’s the bathroom?” 

“I was just going to show you.  Follow me.”

Blake headed out the door and Shasta followed along behind him.  He turned down the right side of the cabin, following a narrow trail through the trees.  Shortly, the path opened onto a small clearing and to the right of the clearing was a tiny log structure.  “Here’s your bathroom,” he pointed.

She began to shake her head.  “Oh, no, no, no, no, no,” she murmured.  “There must be some mistake.  I don’t do outhouses.  Does Eddie know about this?” she demanded.

“Who’s Eddie?” Blake returned, picturing the smarmy suit guy.

“No.  Absolutely not.  This is completely unacceptable.  Besides,” she breathed deeply, trying to regain her composure, “where is the shower?”

“Well, some guests bathe in the lake.”  He took in her incredulous expression and continued.  “On the other hand, we do have a solar shower.  I’ll show you.” 

Shasta followed him down the other side of the cabin, to the place where the tiny bedroom jutting out from the main cabin made a little sheltered corner.  A post was situated in the corner with a pulley rigged to the top. 

“This is a solar shower.”  Blake held up a large flat rectangular vinyl pouch that was clear on one side and black on the other.  The clear side had a large round valve and there was a handle on one end.  The other end had clear tubing attached and at the end of the tubing was a tiny shower head.

“You fill this up with water, seal the valve, and lay it out in the sun.  The dock is a good place.”  He watched as Shasta held her forehead with the palm of one hand, gaping at him in disbelief.  “Anyway, when you’re ready for a shower, you hang it up here,” he indicated the pulley, “and just shower away.  The spruce trees right here make for privacy, although you shouldn’t have any folks out on the lake, seeing as how you’ve rented out the whole place.”

Wordlessly, Shasta turned and hobbled back to the front of the cabin, sinking into one of the Adirondack chairs.  Blake followed, hands in his pockets, uncertain whether or not to continue the tour.  She glanced up at him, deciding to change tacks. 

“Listen,” she smoothed, “we seem to have gotten off on the wrong foot.”  She pasted on her dazzling Shasta Pyke smile.  “Obviously, there’s been some kind of mistake.”  Standing, she approached him, pushing her glasses back up onto her head and fixing him with soft brown eyes. 

“Here’s the thing.”  She reached out to stroke his arm, biting her lower lip provocatively.  “I can’t stay here.  And you don’t want me here, not really.  The place is already paid for.  Just,” she stepped closer, brushing her breasts against his arm, “maybe you could drive me someplace where I can get a cab or an Uber or something, and I’ll be out of your hair.”  She wrinkled her nose and winked.  “What do you say?”

A slow smile spread across Blake’s face.  “What do I say?”  He laughed lightly, shaking head.  “I say, you’re a piece of work, lady.”  With that, he turned.  “I’ll leave you to it, then.”

“Wait!” she shouted after him.  “You can’t just leave me here!”

He waved over his head and didn’t turn around.

“Come back here!  You come back here right now!”

Wordlessly, he cast off from the dock and pushed the boat away from the shallow water. 

“What about my bags?  They need to be taken to the cabin!”

“And it will be dark soon.  So you might want to get on that,” Blake chuckled.

Shasta was on the dock by now and she stomped her foot, fists balled at her sides.  “Do you know who I am?” she screamed.

“You look to me like a little brat who needs her ass tanned,” he fired back.

She shrieked unintelligibly and threw a rock at the boat.  She missed by a mile and the rock plonked harmlessly into the water.

Blake laughed again, started the engine, and headed back to the lodge.

LOST & BOUND by Pandora Spocks

LOST & BOUND is available
at your favorite online bookseller:
books2read.com/LostandBound

Weekend Excerpt–Skinnydipping

When spoiled Hollywood bad girl Shasta Pyke gets into trouble with the law, she’s sent to cool her heels for a while in the wilderness of northern Ontario. That’s where she meets Dominant mountain man Blake Walker.

Blake’s none to impressed with the sole VIP guest at his family’s remote wilderness lodge. But as he and Shasta spend time together, he begins to see the frightened little girl she hides from the world. And that stirs his Daddy Dom soul.

Is it possible that the Shasta Pyke is the baby girl he’s been looking for?

Here’s a teaser from LOST & BOUND, Dream Dominant Book 2:

When Shasta finally woke up the following morning, she felt worlds better. And she was famished. Donning a pair of jeans, a Joan Jett t-shirt, and a hot pink hoodie, she made her way once again to the kitchen cabinets. She moved around a few boxes and jars as she looked through the provisions, finding a thin rectangular blue box. Macaroni and cheese. A slow smile spread across her face.

Many years ago, she’d done a commercial for the stuff. Of course, when you make a commercial, you can’t actually eat the product. After every take, she’d been required to spit it into a bucket. But it had tasted good, and when she’d told her grandfather about it, he’d made her a box of her very own. She remembered it being one of the best things she’d ever tasted.

Shasta wasn’t a cook. She couldn’t remember ever cooking anything for herself beyond warming up left-over pizza. Turning over the box, she quickly read the instructions. “How hard can this be?”

Following the directions step by step, she lit the stove top and put a pot of water on to boil. Unsure if she could cook with the lake water, she used the spring water just to be on the safe side, realizing that she’d have to make a trip to the spring sooner than she’d anticipated.

When the allotted time had elapsed, she drained the macaroni and stirred in the milk and butter from the tiny fridge. Then she tore open the foil packet and poured it over the mixture. “Orange powder? What the hell?”

She stirred and stirred until most of the lumps had disappeared, then sat down at the table to eat right out of the pot. She took her first bite and her eyes rolled back in her head. “Oh, my God, this is so good!” she moaned around a mouthful.

After she’d eaten as much as she wanted, she put the rest into a plastic container she found and placed it in the fridge. Holding the empty pot, she looked around for the best way to clean it. She finally settled on filling it with lake water and putting in back on to boil, dripping a few drops of dishwashing liquid into it for good measure.

When the pot was cleaned, dried, and returned to its hook on the wall, Shasta stripped out of the hoodie and wandered outside. The sun was bright overhead and the sky was a brilliant blue. She closed her eyes and listened to the breeze rustling in the tops of the trees, breathing in the scent of pine straw warmed by the sun. Opening her eyes, she shook her head. Under different circumstances, this would be an amazingly beautiful place.

Carefully, she picked her way down the slope to the dock and walked to the edge. The water was crystal clear and she could see huge boulders and the ghosts of long-ago fallen trees resting on the bottom of the lake. A light breeze rippled the water in a mesmerizing way, and she stood for a moment feeling a sense of peace settling over her.

When she looked up, she saw movement across the lake. Someone was walking along the water’s edge. Blake. Has to be. Everyone else left yesterday. He stopped and seemed to be looking her way. She sighed, remembering their last exchange, when she’d screamed and thrown a rock at him. “Sometimes, you are such an idiot,” she muttered to herself.

She watched him for a moment, watched him watching her. She wished he would come over. Shouldn’t he check on me? I’m a guest. The only guest right now. I mean, what if I needed something?

She sat on the dock, removed her shoes, and rolled up the legs of her jeans, dangling her feet in the cool of the lake. The sun was hot and the water felt good. She realized that once again, she’d failed to get her solar shower going. There probably wasn’t enough time for the water to heat up now.

Of course, I could always go for a swim. It would do until I can get the hang of this shower thing. She grinned mischievously in Blake’s direction. Maybe she could entice him to come over.

Giving an exaggerated stretch, she pulled the t-shirt up over her head and dropped it on the dock. Then she stood, shimmying out of the jeans, placing them on top of the shirt. She flicked a quick glance back across to water to make sure he was still watching and turned to reach behind her and unhook her bra.

Topless, she turned back towards the lodge. Blake was still there. Slowly, she hooked her thumbs into the top of her white lace panties and slid them down her legs, kicking them off to rest with her other clothes.

At the edge of the dock, she paused to smooth her fingers through her hair before executing a shallow dive, surfacing a dozen yards from the dock. Treading water, she turned herself toward the lodge. Blake was walking away from the lake in the direction of the main lodge.

“Well, shit,” she muttered to herself. “Maybe he’s gay.”

She swam until she felt cool and clean, then climbed back onto the dock. The sun felt good on her skin, so she stretched out on her back and dozed.

*****

Blake woke up that morning feeling slightly guilty for not checking in on Shasta the previous day. It was odd that she hadn’t had lights on since she’d arrived. He couldn’t shake the feeling that she was trying to play him, though. He figured he’d get on with a few of his chores and keep an eye out for her. He could always head over in the afternoon if he still didn’t see any sign of her on the island.

He busied himself with checking the guest cabins, making notes of repairs he could begin making over the next few weeks. He’d just finished with the last cabin and was thinking about stopping for lunch when he glanced across the lake and saw her. She was standing on the dock apparently watching the water. Immediately, he felt a sense of relief. At least she hadn’t asphyxiated herself in the night.

Making his way towards his cabin, he took the route along the edge of the lake rather than the central path. Now she was sitting on the dock, with her feet in the water. He stopped to watch her, wondering what she’d been doing up until now.

Maybe trying to rig her phone to work, he chuckled to himself. He realized she’d noticed him and thought to wave, but at that moment she stood and removed her top. Then she performed a striptease, dropping her clothing item by item onto the dock. Even from this distance, he could appreciate the curves of her tits and hips, offset by her narrow waist. Dumbfounded, he watched as she wiggled out of her panties and paused seductively on the edge of the dock before plunging into the water.

He shook his head, willing his cock to go back to sleep. Nope, I’m not biting, princess. He turned and made his way back to his place.

LOST & BOUND by Pandora Spocks

LOST & BOUND is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/LostandBound

Weekend Excerpt–LOST & BOUND

Spoiled Hollywood actress Shasta Pyke
is used to getting her own way.
She’s met her match in Dominant mountain man Blake Walker.

LOST & BOUND, Dream Dominant Book 2, is set in a location that is very special to me. When I was growing up, I spent many a summer in the wilds of northern Ontario. It’s an amazingly beautiful place, full of tall pine forests and glacier-made lakes.

In this book, it’s where Shasta Pyke is sent to cool her heels for a while after she gets into trouble with the law in California. And it’s where Blake Walker helps his sister run the remote guest lodge that’s been in their family for generations.

Initially, Blake’s not too impressed with their new high-profile guest. But as he and Shasta spend time together, he begins to see the frightened little girl she hides from the world. Could she be the baby girl this Daddy Dom’s been looking for?

Here’s a sneak peek at the scene where everything changes…

When the power went out, Blake wasn’t surprised in the least.  If anything, he was surprised it had lasted as long as it had.  This was undoubtedly the worst storm so far in what had been a very dry summer.  Angry lightning streaked across the dark sky, with thunder booming almost instantaneously.  For microseconds, the flashes illuminated the entire lake like mid-day. 
               He slid open the sheer drapes that shrouded the glass doors overlooking the lake and settled in, book in one hand, a second bottle of Lebatt Blue in the other.  Leaning back, he rested his feet on the battered leather ottoman, content for the moment to watch the storm’s fury.
               His eyes moved to the dark shape in the middle of the lake.  He knew from experience that a wild storm like this one was a dicey proposition in the tiny island cabin.  For one thing, because it was situated on the crest of the island, the wind howled mercilessly around the structure.  And being on the highest point, with thirty-foot pines towering over it, the cabin was a natural lightning rod.  The thunder would be deafening. 
               He wondered how Shasta was faring.  As he watched, another jagged bolt etched a path across the sky.  He chuckled lightly, picturing her, eyes wide, with the covers pulled up over her head. 
               I should check on her first thing in the morning.
               Eventually, he lit the oil lamp beside him and began to read.  Bear paced anxiously back and forth in front of the huge window.  He’d never been a fan of storms, not since he’d been a pup.  Suddenly the dog stopped pacing and whimpered softly. 
               “What’s wrong, boy?  You’re okay, it’s just a summer storm.”
               Bear whimpered again and woofed softly.  Frowning, Blake set down the book and stood beside the dog, looking out into the stormy night.  “What is it?  Is something out there?”
               Then he saw it.  A tiny point of light between him and the island.  It bounced and tossed as it…
               Blake shook his head.  “No way.  No way is she in a boat in the middle of this storm.” 
               In the next instant, lightning flashed and he saw her clearly, Shasta, huddled against the wind and rain, steering the tiny skiff toward the lodge’s dock.  She was battling against the ferocious gusts of wind and white-capped waves on the lake that threatened to capsize the boat.
               “Son of a bitch!” Blake growled.  “No more sense than a…”  He threw on his boots and shrugged into his rain slicker, pausing to don his headlamp before pulling up the hood.  “Son of a bitch!”
               He kept his eyes on Shasta as he stalked out to the dock, crossing to the end to wait for her.  When she was close enough, he held out an old wooden oar and she grasped the end of it, allowing him to pull her the rest of the way to the side of the dock.  Blake reached down to cut the motor and grasped her by the upper arms, pulling her out of the boat.
               She stood in front of him, eyes wide with terror, and she was soaked to the skin, not having bothered with a rain coat.  He shouted above the storm.  “God-dammit, Shasta, what the hell were you thinking?”
               She just blinked up at him, shaking either from fear or cold, or both.  “Come on, let’s get you inside.”  He easily scooped her up in his arms and she buried herself against his chest.
               Blake was shaking too, but it was from anger.  She’d recklessly endangered herself.  If he hadn’t seen her, if the boat had swamped…  It was beyond his comprehension.  He carried her straight into his cabin, kicking the door closed behind them.  He set her down in the kitchen and stepped back.
               “Explain yourself.”  He crossed his arms and watched her expectantly.
               Shasta stood shaking, her red hair plastered to her head, her soaked white camisole completely sheer, her pink pajamas clinging to her legs.  She crossed her arms, too, but the gesture was self-protective rather than angry.  It only served to push up her breasts, punctuated by hard-tipped nipples, made harder by being cold and wet.  He worked to ignore them, trying to understand what she’d been thinking.
               “Well?”
               “I…” she stammered, “I was so scared.”  She was shivering constantly now, and a trickle of blood ran down the side of her face.
               Blake lifted her chin gently.  “What happened?  Why are you bleeding?”
               Her head shook slightly.  “I don’t…” her teeth chattered, “I don’t know.”
               Peering closely, he saw a cut at the hairline above her right temple.  Swiping the hair back, he spied a sliver of glass and carefully removed it.  “Come with me,” he commanded.
               She followed him through the living room as he picked up the oil lamp and carried it into the bathroom, where he lifted her up and sat her on the counter.  The cut on her head had begun bleeding in earnest when the glass had been removed.  Blake used a gauze pad to apply direct pressure on the cut.  Shasta sniffled softly as tears ran down her face.
               “What’s wrong?” he growled.
               “You called me Shasta,” she sobbed.
               He snorted.  “What you did was a very ‘Shasta’ thing to do.  That’s the least of your worries right now.  Hold this.”  He moved her hand to hold the gauze in place and he reached around to turn on faucet in the bathtub.    
               She sat shivering, watching the tub fill with hot water.  Clouds of steam filled the room.  He left for a moment, returning with a flannel shirt of dark red plaid, which he hung on a hook on the back of the door.  Next he turned off the water.
               “Let me see how it’s doing,” he murmured, carefully peering under the gauze.  The bleeding had slowed.  He took a bandage from the medicine cabinet and applied it over the cut.  Shasta was still shaking like a leaf. 
               “You’re almost hypothermic.  I want you in the tub.  Strip.”
               Shasta blinked up at him. 
               “Don’t make me tell you twice.”  His voice was quietly intense as he lifted her off the counter and stood her in the middle of the floor.
               Shakily, she pulled the camisole over her head, dropping it to the floor.  Blake watched unblinkingly, a hard expression on his face.  She hooked her thumbs into the top of her pants and slid them, panties and all, down her legs.  She nearly tripped stepping out of them, and Blake reached to steady her. 
               Naked, she stood trembling as he devoured her with his eyes, starting with her perfect round tits and their tight pink points, her narrow waist and the flair of her hips, the bare cleft at the junction where her legs met.  After all, she’d been on display on the dock, surely she wasn’t shy now.  He knew he was being an ass and he didn’t care.  Anger still thrummed through his veins.
               “Get in the tub.  I’ll set a timer for fifteen minutes.  After that, the water will cool off too much to help.”  He disappeared, returning moments later with a kitchen timer which he set on the bathroom counter.
               “Why aren’t you in the tub?  Was I unclear in some way?” he snapped.
               Shasta touched the wall for stability as she dipped one foot into the tub.  “It’s hot.”
               “It’s supposed to be hot.  We have to warm you up.”  He watched her step in with the other foot and ease herself down.  She looked like a drowned rat, peering up at him all wide-eyed. 
               “When the timer goes off, get out and dry yourself.  You can put this on,” he indicated the flannel shirt he’d hung on the door.  “You will go into the bedroom and sit on the edge of my bed.  You will wait until I come back.  Is that clear?”
               Shasta nodded silently.
               “I said sit.  You will not lie down, you will not get into the bed.  You will sit.  If you’re cold, there’s a blanket you can use to wrap around yourself.  Do you understand?”
               Again, she nodded.  A look of annoyance crossed his face, and then passed.  He nodded sharply.  “I’ll be back.”  He closed the bathroom door behind him and she heard him speak to Bear.  “Stay here, boy, keep an eye on her.  I need to think.”

LOST & BOUND by Pandora Spocks

LOST & BOUND* is available at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/LostandBound

*It’s called DREAM DOMINANT BOOK 2 at the Apple Store.

Weekend Excerpt–Lost & Bound

LOST & BOUND is the second book in my Dream Dominant Collection. The series is currently four stand-alone contemporary erotic romance novels featuring sexy Alphas and the smart, strong redheads they can’t resist, all with a healthy dose of light BDSM.

In Lost & Bound, spoiled Hollywood actress Shasta Pyke is sent to the wilderness of northern Ontario for a few weeks following a brush with the law. When she encounters bush pilot Blake Walker, she assumes she can manipulate him the way she does everyone else in her life.

But this Daddy Dom’s not falling for her act. In fact, as Blake spends time with her, he begins to see the frightened little girl she hides from the world. Could she be the baby girl he’s been looking for?

Here’s a teaser from Lost & Bound.


Blake went outside, needing space, needing to breathe.  She followed along behind him.  “What do we need to do now?” 

“Are you hungry?” 

She frowned slightly.  “I guess I am.  I hadn’t thought about it until now.” 

“How about I catch us some fish for lunch?” 

Her expression was doubtful.  “Just like that, you can catch some fish?” 

“Just like that.”  He winked at her and headed for the plane to get his rig. 

While Blake took his fishing rod a few yards down the shore, Shasta sat tailor-style on the dock and watched him.  He flicked his wrist and she heard a whirring sound as his line flew out over the lake and plopped into the water.  Then he slowly reeled in his line, the lure bobbing along the top of the water as it moved closer to him.   

His open tackle box sat beside her on the dock and she began to look through all the items it held.  There were lures of all sizes, shapes, and colors.  In the bottom was a clear plastic box full of lead balls of various sizes.  And one small compartment held a pink rubber worm that sparkled in the sunlight.   

Curious, Shasta picked up the pink worm and grinned as she squeezed it. 

From the shoreline Blake called to her.   

“Hey!  Are you touching my tackle?” 

She looked up at him, surprised.  While the aviators hid his eyes, there was no mistaking the smug curve of his lips.  She matched it with a sassy smirk of her own.  “Do you want me to touch your tackle?”  Her giggle echoed across the water, and he grinned broadly. 

“Here we go,” he murmured, reeling halfway through his third cast.  He jerked up on the line and reeled faster. 

Shasta jumped up.  “Did you get one?” 

“Yup.  He’s not a huge one; we’ll need at least one more.”  He reeled the fish closer to the shallow water and scooped it up with a blue net before depositing it into a large bucket filled with water.   

Shasta ran over to look.  The fish in the bucket was pond-scum green, mottled with streaks of brown.  “Ooh, he’s kind of ugly.” 

“Ugly?  That’s a smallmouth bass right there.  He’s good eating.”  She eyed him skeptically.  “Would you like to try?” 

“Really?” she grinned, wide-eyed. 

“Really.  Go pick out something from the tackle box and I’ll put it on a line for you.”  While Shasta returned to the tackle box, Blake retrieved another fishing rod from the plane. 

“I don’t know what to pick.  What if I pick the wrong thing?” 

Guilt gnawed at his gut as he remembered the way he’d criticized her earlier in the day.  “You can’t get it wrong.  Pick anything you like.” 

She grinned up at him, and he felt his heart melt.  “I like the sparkly ones.  I think I want the pink worm.  He’s nice and squishy, plus, he sparkles.”   

Blake nodded.  “The pink worm it is.”  Quickly he attached it to her line and handed her the rod.  “Now, all you do is…”  He stood behind her, reaching around to help her hold it properly.  “Just bring it back and flick it forward, holding your thumb on this button on the reel.”   

Shasta watched as the pink worm sailed out over the water.  “Now just slowly reel it back in.”   

She did as he said.  Blake stepped back to watch as she concentrated, absently chewing on her bottom lip as she turned the reel.  When the worm lifted out of the water, she turned to him, frowning.  “I didn’t catch anything.” 

“Just keep doing it,” he chuckled.  “It takes time.”  He returned to his place on the bank and cast out his own line again.   

On her fifth cast, Shasta felt a tug on her line.  “Ooh, I think I have something.” 

Blake dropped his rod and hurried back to her.  “Good.  You’re doing fine, just reel him in.”  She gripped the rod like her life depended on it, reeling as quickly as she could, her rod bending dangerously toward the water.  “You’ve got it, bring him a little closer and I’ll get him in the net.”   

As soon as the fish was within reach, Blake used the net to scoop up their second smallmouth bass.  He took it off the hook and placed it in the bucket with the other one.  Shasta peered into the bucket before grinning cheekily at Blake.  “My fish is bigger than yours.” 

He laughed out loud.  “Yes, yours is bigger.” 

She nodded proudly.  “Yep, me and the sparkly pink worm, we rocked this.” 

She circled her fists around in front of her, performing an impromptu “cabbage patch.” 

“Do you want to clean yours by yourself?” 

Shasta immediately frowned.  “No.” 

“Well, don’t go getting too big for your britches, then.”  Blake carried the bucket to a board wedged waist-high between two birch trees.  “How about I build a campfire and clean the fish?  You can go get the skillet and some plates?”  He nodded toward the cabin. 

When she returned from the cabin carrying a large cast-iron skillet stacked with a pair of white-dotted blue enamelware plates and a variety of utensils, a fire was roaring in the stone ring and Blake was filleting the first fish.  Shasta placed everything on a stump near where he was working and sank onto a log close to the fire.   

Neither of them spoke.  Somewhere further down the lake, a loon called and they heard it echo across the water.  Blake’s attention was on the fish but out of the corner of his eye, he watched her assessing him. 

“Have you always been a mountain man?”  Her expression was earnest. 

Blake’s head dropped back as he laughed out loud.  “A mountain man?  Is that what I am?” 

Shasta smiled sheepishly.  “Aren’t you?” 

“Well, I grew up at the lodge.  My grandparents built the place.  My grandmother was Miranda.  The lake is named for her.  But I haven’t always lived here.  I went away to college.  After graduation, I worked for a while as a wilderness counselor.  I was in the woods a lot, but I was based in Toronto.” 

“A wilderness counselor,” she repeated thoughtfully. 

“Yeah, you know, we worked with troubled city kids, took them out and taught them survival skills and self-reliance, that kind of thing.” 

“You worked with bad kids?” she wondered. 

He shook his head.  “They weren’t bad, really.  Just…lost.  They needed help to find their way.”   

“Why did you stop?” 

Blake shrugged.  “My folks ran the lodge for years until my dad’s stroke.  They retired to Florida.  My sister and her husband started running the place full-time.  When that asshole bugged out, I came to help her.” 

Shasta watched him appraisingly.  “That was really nice of you.” 

“She’s my sister.  I’d do anything for someone I love.”  He placed a grate over the fire and set the skillet on top.  “Besides, I’m happy to be home.  I drive past my old school every time I go into town.  There are a lot of great memories.  I don’t really miss the city.”  He sat opposite Shasta on another log. 

She laughed lightly.  “It must be odd to come back to live where you grew up.  I imagine you were the big football hero around here.” 

He shook his head.  “Football is for sissies.  We played hockey.” 

“Oh, excuse me, hockey,” she laughed.  

“That’s right.  Hockey.  A man’s sport.”  He reached into his mouth, and to her surprise, removed his right front tooth and the one beside it.  “Where I come from, if you have all your teeth, you weren’t really trying.”  He laughed at her shocked expression as he refit the teeth into his mouth. 

Shasta grinned smugly.  “I’ve got you beat, mountain man.”  She stood and leaned toward him, parting her lips and baring her perfectly straight, whiter-than-white teeth.  She ran her forefinger across them.  “All of these are fake.  I had them all capped.  Can’t have uneven or discolored teeth in Hollywood.  Nope.” 

She sighed as she sat back down.  “Nothing about me is real,” she murmured. 

He eyed her curiously.  She gave him a sidelong glance, then ran a finger down her nose.  “Nose job.”  She waved a handful of hair.  “Extensions.”  She grabbed her tits.  “Boob job.”  She looked down at the dirt.  “Even my name is fake.” 

Blake had been watching her with interest.  “Your name isn’t Shasta?” 

She snorted.  “Who would name their kid Shasta?  Eddie gave me that name when I was five.  He told my parents that nobody would hire Amy Malone.  I needed a name with pizzazz.”  She waggled jazz hands.  “I think he has a list of names in a drawer someplace and you just get the next one on the list.” 

“So your name is Amy.” 

Shasta nodded.  “But nobody’s called me that since my grandpa died.  He thought all the acting stuff was stupid.  He kept telling my parents to let me just be a kid.”  She laughed.  “He refused to call me Shasta.  My grandpa was a pretty stubborn guy.” 

His expression was soft.  “Why would you get a nose job?  Or breast implants?” 

She shrugged and pulled her sunglasses down over her eyes.  “Eddie said the boobs would help me transition between being a child actor and an adult.” 

Blake could feel his protective nature surging.  “Eddie’s that guy who brought you here?  He made you get a boob job?” 

“He didn’t make me.  But I knew he’d be disappointed if I didn’t.”  She used her toe to push a patch of pine needles back and forth. 

The fish was done, and Blake was glad for the distraction.  He plated the fillets, handing one to her and taking the other for himself.   

“Oh, my god, this is amazing,” she moaned through her first bite. 

He grinned.  “Nothing like fresh bass, right out of the lake.  Unless it’s fresh trout, right out of the lake.  That’s pretty good, too.” 

They enjoyed their lunch without conversation, appreciating the quiet of the wilderness.  The silence was broken only by the crackling of the fire or the occasional call of a loon.  Once again, Shasta felt a sense of peace settle over her. 

Blake took her plate when she was finished.  “Now, we’ll see about washing up these few things and then we’ll blow this pop stand.” 

LOST & BOUND by Pandora Spocks

LOST & BOUND is available at this universal Amazon link:
mybook.to/LostAndBound

Weekend Excerpt–LOST & BOUND

LOST & BOUND is the second book in the Dream Dominant Collection, a series of stand-alone erotic romance novels featuring hot Alphas, sassy redheads, and light BDSM themes.

Here’s the official blurb:

Blake Walker is no stranger to tragedy. Immediately following a horrific event years earlier, he was lost for a while until he embraced his Dominant nature and found his true calling. But things change and now he’s back where he started, helping to run his family’s secluded lake lodge.

When pampered Hollywood starlet Shasta Pyke gets into trouble with the law, she’s sent to the wilderness of northern Ontario to cool her heels for a few weeks. There she meets sexy bush pilot Blake, who is tasked with seeing to her needs as the sole guest at the lodge.

Initially, Blake isn’t impressed with the spoiled actress, but he’s happy that her visit allows for his sister Jackie and her kids to go on a much-needed vacation. Try as he might, he can’t figure out what the hell Shasta Pyke is doing so far out of her element. 

Shasta’s attracted to Blake’s obvious good looks, but there’s more to him than that. He sees through her armor to the vulnerable little girl she hides from the world. The Daddy Dominant in him craves to shelter her, to make her his own.

Is there any way Shasta will agree to submit to Blake’s Dominance?

How about a little teaser from LOST & BOUND?

Blake went outside, needing space, needing to breathe.  She followed along behind him.  “What do we need to do now?”

“Are you hungry?”

She frowned slightly.  “I guess I am.  I hadn’t thought about it until now.”

“How about I catch us some fish for lunch?”

Her expression was doubtful.  “Just like that, you can catch some fish?”

“Just like that.”  He winked at her and headed for the plane to get his rig.

While Blake took his fishing rod a few yards down the shore, Shasta sat tailor-style on the dock and watched him.  He flicked his wrist and she heard a whirring sound as his line flew out over the lake and plopped into the water.  Then he slowly reeled in his line, the lure bobbing along the top of the water as it moved closer to him.

His open tackle box sat beside her on the dock and she began to look through all the items it held.  There were lures of all sizes, shapes, and colors.  In the bottom was a clear plastic box full of lead balls of various sizes.  And one small compartment held a pink rubber worm that sparkled in the sunlight.

Curious, Shasta picked up the pink worm and grinned as she squeezed it.  From the shoreline Blake called to her.

“Hey!  Are you touching my tackle?”

She looked up at him, surprised.  While the aviators hid his eyes, there was no mistaking the smug curve of his lips.  She matched it with a sassy smirk of her own.  “Do you want me to touch your tackle?”  Her giggle echoed across the water, and he grinned broadly.

“Here we go,” he murmured, reeling halfway through his third cast.  He jerked up on the line and reeled faster.

Shasta jumped up.  “Did you get one?”

“Yup.  He’s not a huge one; we’ll need at least one more.”  He reeled the fish closer to the shallow water and scooped it up with a blue net before depositing it into a large bucket filled with water.

Shasta ran over to look.  The fish in the bucket was pond-scum green, mottled with streaks of brown.  “Ooh, he’s kind of ugly.”

“Ugly?  That’s a smallmouth bass right there.  He’s good eating.”  She eyed him skeptically.  “Would you like to try?”

“Really?” she grinned, wide-eyed.

“Really.  Go pick out something from the tackle box and I’ll put it on a line for you.”  While Shasta returned to the tackle box, Blake retrieved another fishing rod from the plane.

“I don’t know what to pick.  What if I pick the wrong thing?”

Guilt gnawed at his gut as he remembered the way he’d criticized her earlier in the day.  “You can’t get it wrong.  Pick anything you like.”

She grinned up at him, and he felt his heart melt.  “I like the sparkly ones.  I think I want the pink worm.  He’s nice and squishy, plus, he sparkles.”

Blake nodded.  “The pink worm it is.”  Quickly he attached it to her line and handed her the rod.  “Now, all you do is…”  He stood behind her, reaching around to help her hold it properly.  “Just bring it back and flick it forward, holding your thumb on this button on the reel.”

Shasta watched as the pink worm sailed out over the water.  “Now just slowly reel it back in.”

She did as he said.  Blake stepped back to watch as she concentrated, absently chewing on her bottom lip as she turned the reel.  When the worm lifted out of the water, she turned to him, frowning.  “I didn’t catch anything.”

“Just keep doing it,” he chuckled.  “It takes time.”  He returned to his place on the bank and cast out his own line again.

On her fifth cast, Shasta felt a tug on her line.  “Ooh, I think I have something.”

Blake dropped his rod and hurried back to her.  “Good.  You’re doing fine, just reel him in.”  She gripped the rod like her life depended on it, reeling as quickly as she could, her rod bending dangerously toward the water.  “You’ve got it, bring him a little closer and I’ll get him in the net.”

As soon as the fish was within reach, Blake used the net to scoop up their second smallmouth bass.  He took it off the hook and placed it in the bucket with the other one.  Shasta peered into the bucket before grinning cheekily at Blake.  “My fish is bigger than yours.”

He laughed out loud.  “Yes, yours is bigger.”

She nodded proudly.  “Yep, me and the sparkly pink worm, we rocked this.”  She circled her fists around in front of her, performing an impromptu “cabbage patch.”

“Do you want to clean yours by yourself?”

Shasta immediately frowned.  “No.”

“Well, don’t go getting too big for your britches, then.”  Blake carried the bucket to a board wedged waist-high between two birch trees.  “How about I build a campfire and clean the fish?  You can go get the skillet and some plates?”  He nodded toward the cabin.

When she returned from the cabin carrying a large cast-iron skillet stacked with a pair of white-dotted blue enamelware plates and a variety of utensils, a fire was roaring in the stone ring and Blake was filleting the first fish.  Shasta placed everything on a stump near where he was working and sank onto a log close to the fire.

Neither of them spoke.  Somewhere further down the lake, a loon called and they heard it echo across the water.  Blake’s attention was on the fish but out of the corner of his eye, he watched her assessing him.

“Have you always been a mountain man?”  Her expression was earnest.

Blake’s head dropped back as he laughed out loud.  “A mountain man?  Is that what I am?”

Shasta smiled sheepishly.  “Aren’t you?”

“Well, I grew up at the lodge.  My grandparents built the place.  My grandmother was Miranda.  The lake is named for her.  But I haven’t always lived here.  I went away to college.  After graduation, I worked for a while as a wilderness counselor.  I was in the woods a lot, but I was based in Toronto.”

“A wilderness counselor,” she repeated thoughtfully.

“Yeah, you know, we worked with troubled city kids, took them out and taught them survival skills and self-reliance, that kind of thing.”

“You worked with bad kids?” she wondered.

He shook his head.  “They weren’t bad, really.  Just…lost.  They needed help to find their way.”

“Why did you stop?”

Blake shrugged.  “My folks ran the lodge for years until my dad’s stroke.  They retired to Florida.  My sister and her husband started running the place full-time.  When that asshole bugged out, I came to help her.”

Shasta watched him appraisingly.  “That was really nice of you.”

“She’s my sister.  I’d do anything for someone I love.”  He placed a grate over the fire and set the skillet on top.  “Besides, I’m happy to be home.  I drive past my old school every time I go into town.  There are a lot of great memories.  I don’t really miss the city.”  He sat opposite Shasta on another log.

She laughed lightly.  “It must be odd to come back to live where you grew up.  I imagine you were the big football hero around here.”

He shook his head.  “Football is for sissies.  We played hockey.”

“Oh, excuse me, hockey,” she laughed.

“That’s right.  Hockey.  A man’s sport.”  He reached into his mouth, and to her surprise, removed his right front tooth and the one beside it.  “Where I come from, if you have all your teeth, you weren’t really trying.”  He laughed at her shocked expression as he refit the teeth into his mouth.

Shasta grinned smugly.  “I’ve got you beat, mountain man.”  She stood and leaned toward him, parting her lips and baring her perfectly straight, whiter-than-white teeth.  She ran her forefinger across them.  “All of these are fake.  I had them all capped.  Can’t have uneven or discolored teeth in Hollywood.  Nope.”

She sighed as she sat back down.  “Nothing about me is real,” she murmured.  He eyed her curiously.  She gave him a sidelong glance, then ran a finger down her nose.  “Nose job.”  She waved a handful of hair.  “Extensions.”  She grabbed her tits.  “Boob job.”  She looked down at the dirt.  “Even my name is fake.”

Blake had been watching her with interest.  “Your name isn’t Shasta?”

She snorted.  “Who would name their kid Shasta?  Eddie gave me that name when I was five.  He told my parents that nobody would hire Amy Malone.  I needed a name with pizzazz.”  She waggled jazz hands.  “I think he has a list of names in a drawer someplace and you just get the next one on the list.”

“So your name is Amy.”

Shasta nodded.  “But nobody’s called me that since my grandpa died.  He thought all the acting stuff was stupid.  He kept telling my parents to let me just be a kid.”  She laughed.  “He refused to call me Shasta.  My grandpa was a pretty stubborn guy.”

His expression was soft.  “Why would you get a nose job?  Or breast implants?”

She shrugged and pulled her sunglasses down over her eyes.  “Eddie said the boobs would help me transition between being a child actor and an adult.”

Blake could feel his protective nature surging.  “Eddie’s that guy who brought you here?  He made you get a boob job?”

“He didn’t make me.  But I knew he’d be disappointed if I didn’t.”  She used her toe to push a patch of pine needles back and forth.

The fish was done, and Blake was glad for the distraction.  He plated the fillets, handing one to her and taking the other for himself.

“Oh, my god, this is amazing,” she moaned through her first bite.

He grinned.  “Nothing like fresh bass, right out of the lake.  Unless it’s fresh trout, right out of the lake.  That’s pretty good, too.”

They enjoyed their lunch without conversation, appreciating the quiet of the wilderness.  The silence was broken only by the crackling of the fire or the occasional call of a loon.  Once again, Shasta felt a sense of peace settle over her.

Blake took her plate when she was finished.  “Now, we’ll see about washing up these few things and then we’ll blow this pop stand.”

One-click LOST & BOUND here.

And while all Dream Dominant novels are stand-alone, WARRIOR MINE, Book 4, is actually a spin-off from LOST & BOUND.

Why not read about Blake’s sister Jackie, and his best friend, Scott Nielsen?

One-click WARRIOR MINE here.

Weekend Excerpt–LOST & BOUND

I’m thrilled to announce that LOST & BOUND, Book 2 of the Dream Dominant Collection, has been named a 2018 Finalist (Erotic category) in the Colorado Romance Writers’ Beverley Contest.   Winners will be announced July 15, so fingers crossed!

Making this even more exciting is the fact that I’m getting ever closer to finishing WARRIOR MINE, Dream Dominant Book 4, and a spin-off from LOST & BOUND.

Here’s a teaser from LOST & BOUND.

Blake carried the bucket to a board wedged waist-high between two birch trees.  “How about I build a campfire and clean the fish?  You can go get the skillet and some plates?”  He nodded toward the cabin.

When she returned from the cabin carrying a large cast-iron skillet stacked with a pair of white-dotted blue enamelware plates and a variety of utensils, a fire was roaring in the stone ring and Blake was filleting the first fish.  Shasta placed everything on a stump near where he was working and sank onto a log close to the fire.

Neither of them spoke.  Somewhere further down the lake, a loon called and they heard it echo across the water.  Blake’s attention was on the fish but out of the corner of his eye, he watched her assessing him.

“Have you always been a mountain man?”  Her expression was earnest.

Blake’s head dropped back as he laughed out loud.  “A mountain man?  Is that what I am?”

Shasta smiled sheepishly.  “Aren’t you?”

“Well, I grew up at the lodge.  My grandparents built the place.  My grandmother was Miranda.  The lake is named for her.  But I haven’t always lived here.  I went away to college.  After graduation, I worked for a while as a wilderness counselor.  I was in the woods a lot, but I was based in Toronto.”

“A wilderness counselor,” she repeated thoughtfully.

“Yeah, you know, we worked with troubled city kids, took them out and taught them survival skills and self-reliance, that kind of thing.”

“You worked with bad kids?” she wondered.

He shook his head.  “They weren’t bad, really.  Just…lost.  They needed help to find their way.”

“Why did you stop?”

Blake shrugged.  “My folks ran the lodge for years until my dad’s stroke.  They retired to Florida.  My sister and her husband started running the place full-time.  When that asshole bugged out, I came to help her.”

Shasta watched him appraisingly.  “That was really nice of you.”

“She’s my sister.  I’d do anything for someone I love.”  He placed a grate over the fire and set the skillet on top.  “Besides, I’m happy to be home.  I drive past my old school every time I go into town.  There are a lot of great memories.  I don’t really miss the city.”  He sat opposite Shasta on another log.

She laughed lightly.  “It must be odd to come back to live where you grew up.  I imagine you were the big football hero around here.”

He shook his head.  “Football is for sissies.  We played hockey.”

“Oh, excuse me, hockey,” she laughed.

“That’s right.  Hockey.  A man’s sport.”  He reached into his mouth, and to her surprise, removed his right front tooth and the one beside it.  “Where I come from, if you have all your teeth, you weren’t really trying.”  He laughed at her shocked expression as he refit the teeth into his mouth.

Shasta grinned smugly.  “I’ve got you beat, mountain man.”  She stood and leaned toward him, parting her lips and baring her perfectly straight, whiter-than-white teeth.  She ran her forefinger across them.  “All of these are fake.  I had them all capped.  Can’t have uneven or discolored teeth in Hollywood.  Nope.”

She sighed as she sat back down.  “Nothing about me is real,” she murmured.  He eyed her curiously.  She gave him a sidelong glance, then ran a finger down her nose.  “Nose job.”  She waved a handful of hair.  “Extensions.”  She grabbed her tits.  “Boob job.”  She looked down at the dirt.  “Even my name is fake.”

Blake had been watching her with interest.  “Your name isn’t Shasta?”

She snorted.  “Who would name their kid Shasta?  Eddie gave me that name when I was five.  He told my parents that nobody would hire Amy Malone.  I needed a name with pizzazz.”  She waggled jazz hands.  “I think he has a list of names in a drawer someplace and you just get the next one on the list.”

“So your name is Amy.”

Shasta nodded.  “But nobody’s called me that since my grandpa died.  He thought all the acting stuff was stupid.  He kept telling my parents to let me just be a kid.”  She laughed.  “He refused to call me Shasta.  My grandpa was a pretty stubborn guy.”

His expression was soft.  “Why would you get a nose job?  Or breast implants?”

She shrugged and pulled her sunglasses down over her eyes.  “Eddie said the boobs would help me transition between being a child actor and an adult.”

Blake could feel his protective nature surging.  “Eddie’s that guy who brought you here?  He made you get a boob job?”

“He didn’t make me.  But I knew he’d be disappointed if I didn’t.”  She used her toe to push a patch of pine needles back and forth.

The fish was done, and Blake was glad for the distraction.  He plated the fillets, handing one to her and taking the other for himself.

“Oh, my god, this is amazing,” she moaned through her first bite.

He grinned.  “Nothing like fresh bass, right out of the lake.  Unless it’s fresh trout, right out of the lake.  That’s pretty good, too.”

They enjoyed their lunch without conversation, appreciating the quiet of the wilderness.  The silence was broken only by the crackling of the fire or the occasional call of a loon.  Once again, Shasta felt a sense of peace settle over her.

Blake took her plate when she was finished.  “Now, we’ll see about washing up these few things and then we’ll blow this pop stand.”

LOST & BOUND is available at your favorite online bookseller,
in both digital and paperback formats.
books2read.com/LostandBound

Watch the official LOST & BOUND book trailer!

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