Graceful Submission

(1 customer review)

She’s an inexperienced sassy sub and he’s an experienced no-nonsense Dom… Perfect for each other, right?

Grace is a high school English teacher with one failed marriage in her past. Finding the right man has not happened for her but trying to stay away from the wrong man is harder than it appears. The vice principal, soon to be principal, just won’t take no for an answer. While helping her best friend’s husband plan a surprise birthday party, she meets a man who is unlike anyone she’s met before. They meet online first and Grace is falling for his charm and his dominant personality, when she meets him in person, she knows her life will never be the same.

For Toffer Shelley, given his profession, finding the right woman is nearly impossible. People can’t see past his fame, or fortune. When he meets Grace online, he is happily surprised at their connection and common interest in D/s. As a Dom it’s not always easy to find a sub that rocks your world. Grace did that and so much more.

Amidst a false complaint at Grace’s job, Toffer flies her to his home a few days before the surprise party so they can explore their feelings. What they discover will change their lives forever. Will the manipulation of Toffer’s vindictive ex or Grace’s vengeful co-worker destroy the magic they’ve found?

Publisher’s Note: This adult romance contains elements of adult themes, sensual scenes, betrayal, HEA, and power exchange. If any of these offend you, please do not purchase.

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Sample Chapter

Note to self: Make sure to avoid eating lunch in teacher’s lounge. Avoid Joe Watson at all costs. Don’t forget you control your own destiny.

 

To Do List:

Pick up dry cleaning

Grade at least fifteen more term papers

Stop at Betty’s Books to pick up Lindsey’s birthday gift

Call Peter to discuss plans for Lindsey’s party

 

“Ms. Kinison?”

Grace Kinison looked up from her desk, cell phone in her hand. “Shouldn’t you be at lunch, Jessica?”

“I just wanted to know what I made on my term paper.” Jessica LaBlonc’s voice was wobbly and Grace sighed. She knew it was hard for the senior to come in and ask about her grade. For Jessica to pass senior English, she had to make at least a B on her research paper. But then again, so did eleven of her fifty-seven students.

But those other students weren’t worried about their grades. Jessica was. And the fact that she was concerned pulled at Grace’s heart. Jessica had worked hard. She just couldn’t grasp the concepts of the class.

“I haven’t started on your class yet,” Grace replied softly. “I’ll know final grades by Friday.”

“But that’s three days away,” Jessica wailed. “I don’t think I can wait that long. We turned them in last Friday! Why does it take so long?”

Grace put down the phone and clasped her hands together.

“Jessica, I have fifty-seven papers to grade. It takes time to make sure it’s done properly. I’m sorry; you’re just going to have to wait.” Grace groaned inwardly at the girl’s dejected look. “Let me ask you this. How do you think you did?”

The senior bit her lip and then smiled. “I think I did okay. It was hard, though.”

Grace stood up and rounded the desk. “If you think you did fine, then don’t worry about it. I’m sure that everything is okay. Listen, I’ll grade it tonight and let you know first thing in the morning. Fair enough?”

Jessica nodded vigorously and Grace shooed her out the door. She sat back down, picked up her phone and dialed. She pushed send and raised the phone to her ear.

“Watson alert! Watson alert!” Rebecca Shane, the teacher in the room next to her and Grace’s best friend, slammed the door to Grace’s room and turned off the lights.

Grace disconnected the phone and ran to where Rebecca was standing stealth-like against the blackboard.

“Where is he?” Grace whispered.

“He’s coming this way, clipboard in hand. Have you decided how you’re going to turn him down without pissing him off? If you make him mad you go from a senior English teacher to a freshman English teacher with one wave of his pen.”

Grace’s shoulders slumped. “Why won’t he go away? I told him two weeks ago that I didn’t want the vice-principal’s job next year. I just want to keep doing what I’m doing.”

Even as the words left her mouth, Grace knew it wasn’t true. She didn’t want to keep being a senior English teacher. But she didn’t want to be a vice-principal, either. She wanted to write full-time, not just from midnight to 3 a.m. All she needed to do was sell one story. One story and she would know that her writing wasn’t in vain. Then she could quit her job and live off her savings until she hit the big time. And if she didn’t make it big, she would wait tables. Anything was better than working for Joe Watson, who would be principal next year.

She wondered what it would feel like not to have to grade papers every night. Not to have to listen to parents say, “My child says you don’t like him and that’s why he’s failing your class.” Not to have to hide from slimy vice-principals.

“Are you listening to me?” Rebecca said. “He may have convinced everyone else that he thinks you’re the best person for the job, and I’m not saying that you’re not, but we both know that he wants you in the main office so he can stare at those hour after hour.”

Rebecca pointed her finger at Grace’s chest and Grace blushed furiously.

She wanted to object to her friend’s blunt words, but they both knew they were true. Grace was no runway beauty. At thirty-nine, she was at least forty pounds overweight. But she carried most of her extra weight in her chest. And it was the chest that attracted attention she didn’t want.

To try and hide her breasts, she wore matronly clothes to work: turtleneck sweaters that were one-size too large and long skirts that almost hit the floor. Every morning, she twisted her long auburn curls into a bun and hid her deep brown eyes behind glasses.

That had worked perfectly for years. Until the warm September morning when she and Rebecca had gone to the Pearl Street Mall. Grace loved the Pearl Street Mall. It was one of the best things about living in Boulder. An open-air shopping area with stores galore.

The best part was not the shops, though. It was the people. Tourists and residents alike flocked to the area. And it was a perfect place for Grace to sit and people watch, helping her build characters for her books.

For her people-watching escapades, Grace always allowed her ‘writer’ side to come out. That morning she had been wearing jeans and a tank top, her long curls cascading down her back. She and Rebecca had been sitting on a bench, discussing whether or not an older couple they were watching was happy or not (just look at the furrow of his brow, Grace had said, he’s disgusted with being here, and with his life) when a low whistle caught their attention.

Standing above them, and staring straight down Grace’s top at her double Ds, was Joe Watson. Grace had stood quickly and tried to hide her chest with the notebook she was holding, but the damage had been done.

After that, Watson came by her room two or three times a day. He’d asked Grace out to dinner several times and she’d refused. Then the unthinkable happened. Mark Alt, the principal, announced his retirement and Watson was promoted to his job. Now Watson was after Grace to take the vice-principal’s job for the following year.

“Two more minutes until the bell,” Rebecca said. “Maybe he stopped at Beaton’s room and you’re off the hook for another day.”

“Fat chance of that. You’re nice and thin. Why can’t he go after you?”

“My attributes aren’t quite as impressive as yours,” Rebecca said with a laugh.

The bell rang and Grace let out a deep breath. She turned on the lights, opened the door, and walked straight into Joe Watson’s chest.

“Ms. Kinison.” His voice was low and Grace stepped backwards. “We missed you in the lounge today. A working lunch? In the dark?”

Rebecca scooted past them with a guilty look on her face. Watson raised his eyebrows at the two women.

“We were just talking,” Grace said quickly. “And conserving energy.”

Grace cringed as he spoke. “Please come to my office and see me before you leave this afternoon.”

Watson left after issuing the command, and Grace turned her attention to greeting her afternoon students. Four more months of Watson. Online publishers were considering several of her short stories. And her book should be ready for submission by the middle of March. Maybe when it was time to sign contracts for next year, she’d know whether or not it had sold. If not, the four more months of Watson turned into another year, and Grace wasn’t sure she could handle that.

She sighed as she realized she hadn’t been able to call Peter to discuss details about Lindsey’s fortieth birthday party. It looked like her evening was going to be full again.

***

Grace ran her fingers over the blue bindings of the Nancy Drew book. A first edition Mystery of the Lighthouse by Carolyn Keene. A perfect gift for her longtime friend. It was the only book Lindsey was missing in her Nancy Drew collection.

It had taken Betty Rook, the proprietor of Betty’s Books, more than six months to locate a copy that was in pristine condition.

Grace smiled as she remembered childhood summers where she and Lindsey had read the Nancy Drew books to each other. They’d laughed over the antics of Nancy, Bess and George, and acted out scenes in the backyards of each other’s houses.

Now Lindsey was living in Brentwood with Peter, her husband. The couple wrote for the highest rated program on TV, LA349; a cop show based in Los Angeles. And Grace was a wanna-be writer who was divorced and still living in Boulder.

The book eased the pain of her meeting with Joe Watson. She’d flat out told him she didn’t want the job. His unhappiness was very apparent and he let her know that he planned to keep trying to change her mind.

When she’d told him not to bother, a look of such extreme anger had passed over his face that Grace had taken a step toward the door of his office. When the phone on his desk rang, she had bolted out the door and not looked back.

Grace patted the bindings of the book and put it back in its plastic cover. Then she picked up Jessica’s paper and got to work.

She had just given the paper a B in her grade book, and watched Jessica’s grade rise from an F to a low C, when the instant messenger bell on her computer rang. She maximized the program and frowned as an unfamiliar screen name appeared.

Toffer4U: Hello?

Graceful: I think you have the wrong address.

Toffer4U: I’m Toffer Shelley, a friend of Peter McGinley’s. He asked me to get with you about information for Lindsey’s party.

Grace slapped herself on the forehead. Peter. She’d forgotten to try and call Peter after the fiasco at lunch. The party was only three weeks away and she’d promised Peter that she’d give him pictures and stories that he could use for anecdotes and decorations. She’d allowed Watson to make her forget the things that were important, like Lindsey and her party.

Toffer4U: Are you there?

Graceful: Yeah, sorry, I was just slapping myself for forgetting to call Peter. Bad day, you know.

Toffer4U: Sorry to hear that. Wanna unload on a stranger? You can pretend I’m whoever you’re mad at and yell at me. Just put the caps lock on, and let me know if I need to hold my cheek as if you’ve slapped me.

Grace laughed out loud. Just like a friend of Peter’s to be a character.

Graceful: How do you know I’m mad at someone?

Toffer4U: Isn’t that what a bad day usually means, that you’re mad at someone at the office?

Graceful: Probably so. But it’s not an office. It’s a school, a high school.

This time the wait was on Grace’s end. She stared at the empty screen and chuckled. That little tidbit had sent Toffer4U back a few paces.

Toffer4U: Okay, I think I’m recovered. Please tell me you’re not a student.

Graceful: Let’s put it this way, the last time I was a student, Reagan was still in office.

Toffer4U: Really? So Miss. Ms. Mrs.? Graceful, what do you teach?

Graceful: It’s Ms. Grace Kinison. And I teach senior English.

Toffer4U: Yuck. You’re not going to make me diagram a sentence, are you? Or correct my spelling? This could get ugly.

Graceful: I might. What was the noun in your last sentence?

Toffer4U: Is that a trick question? If you look at my high school transcript, you’ll see that English wasn’t my best subject. I was a ‘let’s bribe the teacher’ kinda guy.

Graceful: Those are fighting words in my class. Shame on you.

Toffer4U: Mrs. Williams didn’t care. All she wanted to do was sit at her desk and read, and eat the chocolate I brought her. As long as we were quiet and handed in our papers, she didn’t mind.

Graceful: Was she close to retirement?

Toffer4U: Way past the time, if memory serves. But I remember her fondly. She never hassled me about anything. And I made a C. Still passing.

Graceful: I don’t hassle my students, I teach them.

Toffer4U: Sorry, didn’t mean to imply that you did. Forgive me? Shall we move on to the party before I stick my other foot in my mouth?

Graceful: Good idea. And the jury’s still out on forgiveness. What exactly does Peter want?

Toffer4U: When the jury comes back, let me know. Just don’t send me to the principal’s office, okay? I never was very good at bowing down to authority. And Peter wants embarrassing stories from Lindsey’s childhood. Pictures that will show how she’s changed. Pictures that show what she’s done in her life. He’d said you’d have a bunch. You can visit her parents’ house and pick up baby pictures. Since the party is a surprise, he thought you and I could work together and she wouldn’t figure it out. What do you say? Are you game?

Graceful: Yes, I am. But I have to finish grading term papers this week. Can we talk on Saturday? That will give me time to get out pictures and bring back memories.

Toffer4U: Saturday works for me. How about 1 p.m. your time? That would be noon in LA. We can spend the afternoon together. I’ll bring the wine and some hot sauce in case I stick my foot in my mouth again. You bring the food. Something spicy.

Grace felt a warm feeling spread through her stomach. Then she shook her head. A cyber date wasn’t a date. It was just talking. And it was planning for Lindsey’s party. Still, planning for it with Toffer should be fun.

Graceful: How about Thai?

Toffer4U: Great. One of my favorites. Make sure you get extra spring rolls. And some shrimp rolls.

Graceful: I’ll be here. So, Toffer, tell me. Were you a regular in the principal’s office?

Toffer4U: Semi-regular. Like I said, I’m not very good at bowing down to authority. I like to be in charge. What about you, Grace? Are you good at bowing down to authority?

Graceful: Authority? The only authority I have to worry about is my boss, who is a creep. But I’ve pissed him off and I’m afraid the punishment will be severe. Like demoting me.

Toffer4U: Punishment for what? Have you been a bad girl, Grace? Do we need to do some role-playing here? I can be the principal and you can be the errant teacher. Who knows where it will lead? I’ll keep the paddle handy Saturday, just in case.

Grace stared at the screen. The feeling in her stomach built and moved to her nipples, which hardened immediately. Toffer’s words on the screen made her feel warm, very warm. In all the right places. She shook her head.

Graceful: Never mind. I’ll talk to you on Saturday. I’ve got to get these papers graded.

Toffer4U: Okay, for now. But Principal Shelley will be back on Saturday and he’ll want an explanation. So be prepared, missy.

His icon disappeared from the screen and Grace laughed. The tingling that had spread to her nipples had made its way south. How long had it been since a man asked her about herself? And why was the idea of talking about punishment with Toffer exciting to her? She didn’t even know the man.

She wondered what he did for a living. If she called Peter with her questions, then Lindsey would wonder why she was asking about Toffer. She would just have to ask the man in question on Saturday.

She picked up her red pen and took a paper off the huge stack on her desk. Only thirty-two more projects to grade. At least her Saturday conversation with Toffer gave her something to look forward to while she dodged Joe Watson during the week.

***

Christopher ‘Toffer’ Shelley, known as Drake Dawson to his millions of adoring female fans, shut off his laptop and laughed.

He wondered what Grace Kinison was thinking right now. It was obvious that she had a sense of humor. The remark about the jury proved that. Did she think his parting remark was funny? Or did she think he was a jerk?

It had been so long since he’d talked to a woman as Toffer that he’d forgotten how great it felt. Grace wouldn’t judge him on his 6-foot 3-inch frame. She wouldn’t judge him on his square chin and high cheekbones; his muscles or his broad shoulders; his tanned skin and brilliant smile; or his light blue eyes and dark hair.

She wouldn’t know about his ability to charm fans and the press. He could be himself and not Drake Dawson, star of both the small and big screen.

He walked upstairs to his workout room and programmed the stair-stepper. He began his workout with a smile on his face. He wondered if she was submissive, or if she was freaking out right now about the punishment idea. He hoped she was submissive, that she would react favorably to his tendencies. An online submissive was better than none. And Toffer hadn’t had a submissive in his life for ages. He’d learned early in his career that letting his dominant tendencies be known was risky. He didn’t want to see his sex life splashed across the tabloids.

Toffer’s cock hardened as he worked out. Getting to know Grace was going to be fun. With any luck, he could make her his online sub. He’d have Thai food delivered to the house on Saturday. And he’d buy a bottle of red wine to sip while he IMed with Grace.

He made a mental note to tell Peter that he’d introduced himself as Toffer, not as Drake. Then he felt a pull at his conscience. Was it fair of him not to tell Grace the truth? He wasn’t really lying, per se. He really was Toffer Shelley, legally. Drake Dawson was his professional name.

If she came out and asked him if he was Drake Dawson he would tell her the truth. Until then he was just Toffer. And he was happy that Toffer was going out to play on Saturday with Grace.

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1 review for Graceful Submission

  1. Ronald

    This is a good story with an interesting twist – school teacher Grace is a novice at BDSM, while Toffer is an honest and serious dominant – and a famous movie star who hides his dominant activities. They begin their relationship on-line, and then in person after some problems at her school in Boulder, CO and the need to be at a friend’s party in LA causes her to fly out to spend time with Toffer, and get to know him better – and learn more about BDSM.
    The development of their relationship is interesting and graphic, and both characters are intelligent and behave in a logical matter. The side story about her problem at the school is also interesting and resolves itself logically. My only disappointment with the book was the epilogue, which introduced an unnecessary event that I thought detracted from the relationship they had. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

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