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“She was supposed to trust him with her body and heart, but he didn’t trust her with his past.”

Suzie Kaspar has been a widow for five years. She struggles with her responsibilities as a single mother, but she doesn’t accept help easily. Her late husband was sweet but not strong, and she was responsible for herself and their children even before he became ill and died. After she witnesses her sister’s collaring ceremony, she is both intrigued and intimidated by the lifestyle.

Sadist Captain Connor is an enigma. He is well liked at Club Indigo, but nobody really knows him. Connor is looking for a submissive masochist in the bedroom and a strong and independent woman outside it, but his experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq have left invisible scars he doesn’t share with anyone.

While Connor and Suzie struggle with their relationship, they discover something alarming about Suzie’s son’s best friend. The devastating information will shake the foundations of their relationship and magnify the trust issues they’re already having.

Can Connor show Suzie how wonderful it is to lean on a man and to discover there is pleasure to be found in pain? Can she trust him with her life and her heart, the way she trusts him with her body?

Publisher’s Note: This steamy contemporary romance contains elements of power exchange.

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Sample Chapter




Suzie stood for a few moments after Laura and James had left the room. It had been a beautiful collaring ceremony. The BDSM lifestyle was still very strange and a bit scary to her, but she was starting to think she could grasp some of the appeal.

The slender redhead James had been talking to came up to her. “Are you all right, dear? You look a bit lost.”

Suzie tried to remember her name. This was Kate. Kate from that munch her sister had attended. “Er, yes, thank you, Kate. I’m a bit overwhelmed by all of this. I mean, the ceremony was beautiful and I can see how much James loves my sister and Laura loves him, too. But I really don’t get this BDSM stuff.”

Kate linked her arm around Suzie’s and took her to a red leather couch in a quiet corner of the club. “Let’s talk a bit and maybe I can explain some things. Over here, we won’t have to deal with the music and we can hear each other.” The music had switched to the provocative sounds of Enigma and while not overly loud, it was distracting. Suzie sank down, feeling at ease with Kate. But wait, wasn’t Kate a sadist? She stiffened, and Kate chuckled. “Don’t worry, dear. I won’t start whipping you out of nowhere. Every scene is negotiated. But it wouldn’t be wise for an unattached, attractive submissive to hang around in the club unless you want the attention.” Suzie casually glanced around, and Kate chuckled again. “Don’t worry, the Doms won’t come jumping out at you. Besides, sitting here with me means you’re under my protection. No Dom will approach right now.”

Suzie sighed in relief, but then her mind whirled back to something Kate had said. “What makes you think I’m submissive?”

Kate paused for a moment and pursed her lips. “It’s a lot of little things. The way you act and react. For instance, if a virtual stranger had taken me by the arm and ordered me to sit, we wouldn’t be sitting here right now.”

Suzie mulled that over. “Okay, well, maybe I’m not dominant. But I can be just normal…” She winced at the word ‘normal.’ Damn, she had put her foot in it, hadn’t she?

Kate didn’t act insulted. “You’re referring to what we would call ‘vanilla.’ You didn’t see yourself while your sister was being collared. You liked it. You touched your neck as if trying to imagine how it would feel. You’ve also missed at least four or five Dominants who were eager to get to know you.”

“What do you mean?” Suzie was confused.

“A new submissive is like a magnet for a Dom. Sometimes it seems like radar. I certainly haven’t seen submissives paying attention to you. Luckily, James asked me to keep an eye on you.”

Suzie looked perplexed. “He did?”

“Of course. You’re Laura’s sister. He wanted to make sure you were okay.”

Suzie nodded in understanding. “I guess I can understand that. They might not have married today, but he’s like my brother-in-law now, isn’t he?” Kate inclined her head and Suzie continued. “But I don’t get why that makes me a submissive? I was very happy with my husband and he wasn’t dominant at all.”

Kate patted her hand. “I believe you loved your husband. But isn’t it possible there was something missing in your relationship?”

Suzie thought about that for a moment. “Well, it sometimes felt like I had to take on all the responsibilities and make all the day-to-day decisions for our family.”

“Wouldn’t it have been wonderful if he would have taken more responsibility?”

“Okay, maybe you’re right about that. I can see why being tied up and not being able to move could be hot. But what about punishment and pain? I really don’t get that part. Why would a submissive let someone willingly hurt them? Maybe I should ask you why you like to hurt people?”

Kate had been watching Suzie with laser-like focus and nodded. “Those are all valid questions. I think we can both agree that you’re interested—more than interested—in the lifestyle. I’ll try to answer your question about me.” Kate settled herself more comfortably. “First of all, I only enjoy inflicting pain the submissive enjoys. I work as a massage therapist and I know how one kind of pain can ease another, release tension and strengthen a body or a person.” She paused to collect her thoughts. “I like the power it gives me, especially when I get to dominate a man much bigger and stronger than I. It’s a heady experience. In some ways, it’s like an art to me. The human body is my canvas. I love creating patterns with ropes, markings or wax. I think the appeal to me is all these things and more. Most masochists don’t just want pain for pain’s sake. I can’t think of anyone who gets off when they hit their thumb with a hammer. It’s the combination of pain, lust, power and beauty that works for me.” Kate had been looking in the distance while explaining, but now her eyes returned to Suzie. “Do you have any other questions?” Suzie shook her head. “Great, I have a proposition for you. Why don’t we do a scene together?”

Suzie frowned. “While I might be submissive, I’m fairly certain I’m one hundred percent straight.”

Kate threw back her head and let out a laugh. “Don’t worry, dear—nothing sexual, nothing intense. BDSM doesn’t have to be about sex, but you might find the answer to why someone would willingly submit to pain.” With that, she patted Suzie’s arm again and left her sitting on the leather couch.

Suzie stared after the woman in confusion. Was she really submissive? Granted, that book Laura had loaned her was pretty hot. She loved the way James was with Laura. She had seen how her sister had changed. Laura was so much stronger now. Okay, so the lifestyle had its benefits. But why couldn’t she be the one wielding the whip? As soon as the thought crossed her mind, she dismissed it. She couldn’t imagine herself hurting someone deliberately. Did she want to experience a scene? Suzie couldn’t believe she was considering it. But she was, wasn’t she?

Before Suzie knew what she was doing, she rose from the couch and walked to where Kate was standing. As she stood in front of the redhead, she didn’t know what to say or do. Kate smiled and held out her hand. Suzie felt a weight lift from her shoulders and she placed her hand in Kate’s.

Kate walked her over to an apparatus that looked like a spider web on the wall in the main room. “Suzie, you’ve decided to do a scene with me. We have to discuss a few things before we start. Are you comfortable taking off your dress?” Suzie chewed her bottom lip and nodded. “Okay.” Kate continued. “Are you okay with me touching your breasts and any part of you above the middle?” Suzie nodded again. “Legs and buttocks?” Kate inquired.

Suzie hesitated. “Can I keep my panties on?”

“Of course,” came the quick reply. “I won’t touch your pussy, either.”

Suzie exhaled slowly. She would have been very uncomfortable if a woman touched her there. “In that case, legs and buttocks are fine with me.”

Kate looked pleased. “I would like to give you two safewords. How about ‘mercy’ if you want to stop and ‘time out’ if you need me to slow down?”

Suzie blinked. “I thought they would be red and yellow.”

Kate nodded. “Those words will always work and will be recognized in every BDSM environment. You could use either those or the ones I gave you, if needed. Last question.” Now, didn’t that sound ominous? “Would you prefer being bound or would you be able to keep still by yourself?”

Oh, okay. Bondage. Suzie didn’t need to think about that. She actually felt herself getting aroused by the thought. “Bondage, please.”

Kate smiled. Suzie couldn’t pull her gaze away—she was completely mesmerized by the woman.

Kate ordered her to strip and bent to pick up something from a big black bag. When she straightened, Suzie had taken off her dress and could see Kate holding black leather cuffs. It reminded her of the bracelets around the arms of the heroes in ‘Spartacus.’ Automatically, she held out her arm for Kate to fasten the first one. Kate tested the snug fit. “How does it feel?”

“Good.” Suzie didn’t hesitate to answer, because it did feel good, like the feeling of calm and peace she felt from the moment Kate had held out a hand to her was amplified.

Kate didn’t answer, just proceeded to put on the other cuff. When that one was on and the fit was to her liking, Kate touched the band of Suzie’s bra. “Would you mind if I take this off?” she asked.

Suzie shrugged; it wasn’t like she needed the bra. Her breasts were small and firm, even after two children. It wasn’t like she was the only one without clothes—maybe half of the crowd had lost their attire by now. “Okay, I guess.”

Kate took her chin between forefinger and thumb. “From now until our scene ends, you’ll answer either with ‘Yes, Mistress’ or ‘No, Mistress.’ The only exception is if you need to use your safeword. Am I clear?”

Suzie gulped and squeaked, “Yes, Mistress.”

Kate smiled and let go of her chin but held her gaze. “Good.” Kate stood back, so Suzie could take off her bra, then she pressed her backward to the web. Suzie moved until her back was against it. Kate pulled two items from her belt and held them up for Suzie to see. “These are quick release hooks. If needed, I can press this button and you’ll be free in seconds.”

Suzie started to nod and remembered her orders. “Yes, Mistress.” She was rewarded with a smile before Kate’s face turned serious again.

“Hold your arms out to the side, a little under your shoulder in height,” Kate ordered and used the hooks to attach the cuffs to the web. “Can you move?”

Suzie tried. She had some freedom but not much. “No, Mistress.”

Kate stroked her arms, and Suzie let her head fall back. She was supported by the web. She couldn’t move, could only submit to the experience. She closed her eyes.

For the next couple of minutes, she experienced different implements, starting with a soft fur glove that had scratchy points in it. It was a strange combination of sensations. Then Kate used a leathery thing, slapping her hips and upper legs until she was standing on tiptoes.

After the stinging smacks stopped, Kate’s strong, slender hands stroked the abused skin, and it felt wonderful. It was even better when Kate pressed down on a tender spot. Suzie was disappointed she had restricted the scene to no sex. Damn, she wanted to get off. She couldn’t remember ever feeling this aroused.

She heard a melodic chuckle and opened confused eyes. She stared down at the Domme who was kneeling at her feet. Didn’t that seem wrong, somehow?

Kate rose and stepped so close, her body was less than an inch from Suzie’s. Suzie could feel Kate’s breath and feel her body heat. She thought the other woman could probably hear her heartbeat, it seemed so loud in her chest. “You, sweetheart, aren’t just a submissive; you get off on pain.” Suzie started to shake her head, but Kate continued. “Don’t try to deny it, Suzie.” She stepped away and Suzie started to sob from the loss of the connection. Her head slumped down and she closed her eyes, willing the tears away. The next moment, she felt a wealth of little pinches on her breasts, armpits and the undersides of her arms. Her eyes flew open. Kate was putting small clothespins in a beautiful symmetrical pattern around her breasts. Clothespins? Her mind screamed. There was something odd about them—they were connected by a string. She’d never seen such a thing. She gasped and made eye-contact with Kate as the sadist held one of the clothespins between her long and slender fingers and pinched down hard as she applied it. Suzie yelped at the pain. The Domme looked her square in the eye and lifted an eyebrow. One corner of her mouth tipped up as she continued to put them on. Suzie was barely aware when Kate picked up the cord at the end of the line of pins and pulled. The clothespins attached to it came off like opening a zipper. The sensation was unlike anything Suzie had experienced before. She couldn’t decide if it was pain or something else. With no warning, Suzie climaxed.

The next sensation she was aware of, Suzie was sitting on a cushion leaning against something and heard a man’s question, “Does she need something to drink?”

A woman, maybe Kate, responded, “Not yet. Give her some time.”

She continued to float, hovering in the twilight between being awake and asleep—that tranquil place she seldom experienced for long.

* * *

Pity she wasn’t interested in women, Kate thought, looking down at the masochist at her feet. Because she was indeed a masochist. Suzie’s reactions had been beyond Kate’s expectations. It was not often a woman could get off without direct stimulation to her clit. Suzie’s reaction to pain was the arousal Kate loved to see in a woman. She accepted the bottle of water Chris handed her. He had cleaned the scene area for her while she kept a close eye on Suzie. Aftercare was always important, especially with a first timer and most certainly when someone reacted as Suzie had. Suzie stirred and Kate adjusted the blanket that gave both warmth and security to a sub after a scene. Chris made eye contact with Kate, and she understood the unasked question. She nodded for him to go ahead.

Chris took back the water bottle and knelt before Suzie. “Drink,” he ordered, holding the bottle to her lips. Obediently, she opened her mouth and swallowed. Submissive all right! Chris followed the water with rich dark chocolate.

* * *

How had they known it was her absolute favorite? she thought. When she had finished the bite, he let her drink some more. Suzie started to show interest in her surroundings. She was leaning against Kate’s legs. They were solid and warm against her back. She was wrapped in a soft blanket, with Chris kneeling in front of her.

“How are you feeling?” he asked.

“Great,” Suzie said with a breathy voice and a lazy smile.

Kate stroked her hair. “You did so well, sweetheart. I’m so grateful you were willing to share this first time with me. You’re beautiful in your submission.”

Suzie felt safe and happy and cared for. It reminded her of an event from her childhood. She had been separated from her mother while they were out shopping and had been convinced she had been abandoned. When her mother had found her, she’d been filled with relief and contentment. What she was experiencing now was almost the same.

She tried to get up but staggered. Both Chris and Kate reached out to steady her. She moaned as Kate touched a particularly tender spot at the side of her breast.

Kate chuckled and whispered in her ear, “You’re even lovelier in your masochism.” Suzie’s pussy wept with moisture as the Domme kept pressure on the sore spot.

“Come here, sweet thing,” Chris said as he picked her up and carried her to the couch with Kate close behind. The three of them sat down on the couch to talk until Kate was positive Suzie would be okay after their scene. Chris offered to take her home.

“But what would we do with my car?” Suzie inquired.

“No problem, sweet thing. I came here with James and figured to go home in a taxi. I can take one from your house instead.” Chris winked. “I could stay over if you like?”

Kate swatted his arm. “You incorrigible flirt. You couldn’t resist, could you?”

Chris grinned. “I promise to behave like a perfect gentleman.”

Kate scoffed but turned to Suzie. “What about it, Suzie? Either Chris or I will take you home. Although the scene wasn’t long or intense, sub drop can happen and I would like for you to have someone with you. At least for the ride home.”

“What’s sub drop?”

Chris jumped in before Kate could answer, “Sub drop is something that can happen after an intense scene or any scene, really; it all depends on the submissive. Anyway, scenes can bring out deep emotions, not right away, but a little after. Then the sub may drop into a depression and it can take days to get out of it. But if you have someone with you who can help you through the initial feelings then it’s much less likely to be a problem.

Suzie thought about it for a moment before she answered, “The children are with my father and Mary. If it wouldn’t be an imposition, I’d like to have your company, Kate.” She turned to Chris. “No offense, Chris, but Kate was the one I did the scene with.”

Chris took her hand in his and kissed the top of it. “None taken, sweetie.” He kissed Kate on the cheek and sauntered away.

“Chris,” Kate called after him, and he stopped in his tracks. “Take my car.” She unclipped her keys from her belt and held it up.

Chris swaggered back and took the keys from her. He smirked, “How you always take care of me. You really want to serve me, don’t you?”

Kate shook her head. It was a running joke between the two of them. She didn’t know what to make of their strange attraction. For now, she needed to concentrate on Suzie. She and Chris would address their issues later. With that resolved, she stood up and urged Suzie to do the same. “Let’s get you dressed and home, dear.”


Chapter One



Suzie decided to have a family barbecue the weekend before school started. James and Laura were available and so were Dan and Mary. Laura twisted James’ arm to get him to handle the grill. Everyone began to arrive about four o’clock with food. Mary brought potato salad and Laura had made the coleslaw, so all Suzie had to do was dessert. She had made cookies for the children and a classic layered trifle for the adults. The weather was warmer than usual, so they decided to eat inside. James was the only one who would have to endure the heat. He took a beer outside with him to get the charcoal going as it would take it a while to get hot enough for cooking. The only thing fancy about the meal was Suzie’s trifle. The meat was hotdogs and hamburgers, although Suzie had mixed spices into the ground beef for a little more flavor. She had three different cheeses for those who liked it on their burgers—cheddar, provolone, and American, which she knew Tim preferred.

The adults settled in the living room to chat while the grill got hot. Tim and Abby were in the basement with their trains. They had forbidden their grandfather from coming down until they called. They were working on something special and wanted to put the finishing touches on it before they showed it to anyone. Suzie had seen part of it but had been sworn to secrecy. She continued to be amazed at all the changes they made to their layout. Apparently, the building and rebuilding of train tracks was a big part of the fun.

Dan and James had beer and the women were drinking white wine spritzers. They were trying a white wine from the local Somerset Ridge Vineyard & Winery. The day was partly a celebration, since Dan had moved in with Mary two weeks before. They planned to have a housewarming when Dan was settled in and they had made a few changes to the house.

Laura asked Mary, “So, how is it to have a man around the house? I’m sure it must be an adjustment after living alone.”

“It is,” Mary replied, “but I think the pluses outweigh the minuses. It’s easier than I thought it would be, since Dan brought so little furniture. We only had to rearrange the living room furniture to make room for his recliner. We’re still discussing the TV situation.” She smiled indulgently at Dan as she spoke.

Dan beamed at Mary. “I have no problem with compromise, but I do like a TV big enough to see the game during baseball season.”

“I didn’t realize you were a Royals fan, Dan,” James said. “We should catch a game together sometime.”

“Actually, James, I’m a local heretic. I root for the Cards.”

“Say it ain’t so, Dan!”

“Yep. I grew up in St. Louis, so I come by my heresy honestly. But really, I just love the game. I’ll watch any baseball that’s on, and the girls will tell you that I took them to Royals games at least a couple of times a season until they refused to go anymore.”

“He did. He had one of those books where he charted every play,” Laura confirmed. “I remember when he took us to St. Louis to see the Cardinals on Mother’s Day. He decided it would be a nice present to give Mom—a break from all of us.”

“I remember that,” Suzie said. “Mom said it was one of her favorite Mother’s Day presents. Of course, we made her breakfast in bed before we left and she also got cards and flowers.”

“The next year, she was on her first course of chemo and we took care of her instead.” Laura sniffed as she teared up at the memory.

James reached over and took her hand, squeezing gently, “Some memories are better than others. I’ll bet she liked both presents.”

“Yes,” Dan said as he reached for his handkerchief to blow his nose and clear his throat. “And you had to go through it twice, Suzie Q.”

The childhood nickname broke the somber mood as Suzie said, “You haven’t called me that since I was ten, Dad. I always thought it was odd, but it was kind of fun, once you played the song Susie Q from Credence Clearwater Revival.”

“I remember that song. It was popular for quite a while. I always liked CCR,” Mary said. “They played some great rock and roll.”

“James, do you suppose the grill might be hot by now?” Laura asked. “I’m getting hungry. Vegetables and dip only go so far.”

“Do you see what I do for this woman? She wants me to go outside in ninety-five-degree weather and slave over a hot grill.”

Everyone laughed as James got up to check the grill. He returned two minutes later and said things were good to go. “Who wants what?”

He got the orders of all hamburgers from the adults, and Laura went to find out the children’s preferences. “Abby swears she’ll eat two hotdogs, and Tim wants at least one cheeseburger and a hotdog. I think you should probably do a couple extra of each.”

James went into the kitchen for the meat. He came out with the tray and a fresh beer to sustain him in the heat.

The women got up to set the table, and Mary brought Dan another beer. After another ten minutes, Laura went out with a clean plate for the cooked meat and the cheese for those who wanted it on their burgers, while Suzie called the children to come and wash up.

Once the meat was cooked, James came in and they sat down to eat. Dan led grace, and Suzie helped Abby with the potato salad and the coleslaw. Once everyone had what they wanted, they dug into the food. There was silence for the first few minutes as they sated their initial hunger. Then the compliments started. “I don’t know what kind of spices you put into the ground beef, but this is marvelous, sis,” Laura exclaimed.

“It’s a secret family recipe,” Suzie teased. “Your coleslaw is excellent as usual.”

“Thank you, ma’am. The potato salad is great, Mary. What all is in here?” Laura asked.

“I like extras in my potato salad, so this has hard-boiled eggs, onions, and dill pickles. I also make the dressing from sour cream instead of mayo. I think the real key, though, is the fine dice. It lets the flavors come together better. I saw a variation in a cookbook that I’m going to try next time I make it. In addition to what’s already there, it has beets,” Mary explained.

“Whatever is in, everything is great,” said Tim. “Thank you all.”

“I agree with Tim,” Abby said as she started on her second hot dog. It was covered in an excess of ketchup and relish like her first. Suzie kept a close eye on Abby in case of spills.

“I think I can safely say you’re welcome on behalf of everyone who contributed to the meal,” Mary said. “And, Suzie, you have two wonderfully polite children here.”

“Thanks, Mary. I try, and so do they,” Suzie said.

“There are plenty more burgers if anyone wants seconds,” James said.

“Maybe in a little while,” Dan said, “but we have to save room for that delectable looking trifle. Did you use Mom’s recipe, Suzie Q?”

“Of course, Dad. Mom made the best trifle I’ve ever had,” Suzie said.

The adults sat and talked while the children continued to eat. “You both must have hollow legs to store all that food,” Dan said, “or maybe it’s all the calories you burn with your mystery in the basement?”

“Granddad, don’t be silly,” Abby said. “We learned about the human body in science class last year. Nobody has hollow legs. Right, Tim?”

Tim nodded vigorously, his mouth currently full with his second hotdog. He had a full load of condiments on his. He was eating over his plate, careful that it didn’t drip anywhere else.

Just then, what sounded like an old-fashioned phone started ringing in the living room. “What on earth?” Suzie asked.

“I’m sorry, everyone, that’s my phone. I’ll have to get it. It’s probably something urgent at work.”

“I really wish you’d retire, honey,” Dan said. “You can get Social Security now, and with me in the house, your expenses are down.”

“That’s a conversation for another day, dear,” Mary said as she went into the living room.

“I’m serious, Mary,” Dan called after her.

A few minutes later, Mary came back in with her brows drawn, and her smile had changed to a frown. “I’m sorry, everybody, but I have to go back to the laundromat. One of the machines died in the middle of a load. Will you take me, please, Dan?”

“Under protest, but yes, I’ll take you. Sorry to leave before dessert, honey,” he said to Suzie.

“Can you wait just a minute and I’ll fix you some trifle to take home?” Suzie interrupted.

Mary responded for both of them. “That’s very thoughtful of you, dear. I was looking forward to trying it.”

“I hope the basement surprise will keep for another day?” Dan asked Tim and Abby.

“We’re not done yet, Granddad, so yeah, it’ll keep,” Tim said. “We should finish it tomorrow, so maybe you could come Sunday after church?”

“Please, Granddad,” Abby echoed her brother’s invitation.

“We’ll see. I don’t want to put your mother out. Right now, I need to take Mary back to work. Love you, dears,” he said as he kissed both Suzie and Laura on the cheek.

“Well,” Suzie said, “I’m sorry to see them go. Are you ready for dessert?” She looked at the children and asked, “Do you want cookies or trifle?”

“Could I have a little bit of trifle and cookies?” Tim asked.

“Me, too, please,” Abby said.

“I’m glad you’re both willing to try something new,” Suzie said. “How about you help clear the dishes? You just sit tight, Laura.”

When the dinner dishes had been taken to the kitchen, Suzie brought out a plate of cookies, bowls, and finally, the magnificent trifle with its layers visible through the etched crystal bowl.

“Wow, that looks too good to eat,” James said.

“No,” Laura corrected, “good enough to savor.”

Suzie dished out the trifle, making sure each dish had a full complement of layers. From the sounds James and Laura made as they ate, they might have been making love to the delicious dessert.

“You’ve outdone yourself, sis. I know it’s been a long time, but I think this might be better than Mom’s,” Laura almost moaned her appreciation.

“I don’t know about your mother’s, but this is fantastic, Suzie,” James said.

“I like it, too,” Tim said. “Could I have some more, please?”

“Yes, dear; what about you, Abby?” Suzie asked.

“Yes, please. It’s really good.”

“I’m so glad I made the non-alcoholic version. I debated because I didn’t think the kids would want to try it,” Suzie said.

“It’s a hit all around. It’s a shame Dan and Mary couldn’t stay,” James said.

After they had all finished eating, Suzie excused the children to the basement, and James went back outside to cook the extra meat and then clean up the grill.

Suzie and Laura went into the kitchen to clean up and Suzie couldn’t contain herself anymore. “You won’t believe what happened at Club Indigo after your ceremony.”

Laura looked curious. “Did you do a scene with Chris?”

Suzie stood immobile, mouth agape. “Er, no.” She paused to collect her thoughts. “Why would you think I would do a scene with Chris?”

“Well, I guessed you guys were into each other. I…” It was Laura’s turn to fall silent. “Oh well, I don’t know. I thought you two hit off.”

Suzie chewed her bottom lip. “Yeah, you might be right about that, but Chris flirts with everyone of the female persuasion.” Laura chuckled and Suzie continued. “No, I did do a scene, but it wasn’t with Chris.” She paused a moment and then confessed. “It was Kate.”

“Kate?” Laura all but exclaimed, and Suzie gestured her to keep it down. “Sorry,” Laura said bashfully. “I was surprised. I never imagined you with a woman.”

Suzie smiled at that remark. “Granted. Although I did become aroused by it, what we did wasn’t really sexual.” Suzie felt her cheeks warm. She wasn’t about to admit to have climaxed after experiencing pain.

“But wait, Kate? She’s a sadist. Did she hurt you?” Laura looked astonished.

“Yes, she did. And I, well, I liked it.” Suzie rubbed a spot on the counter that was already clean. “I liked it a lot.” She looked up to her sister with pleading eyes and whispered, “What’s wrong with me?”

Laura placed her hands on her hips. “Girl!” she scowled, “there’s nothing wrong with you. What you like or don’t like just is. Don’t judge yourself.” Laura radiated indignity and power.

Suzie looked baffled first and then quipped, “Are you sure you’re submissive?” Both sisters roared with laughter. They laughed so hard, James came into the kitchen and they dropped the subject.

* * *

Later that evening, Laura was sitting at her vanity removing her makeup. The events of the day ran through her head—especially what Suzie had told her in the kitchen.

“What was so funny with you and Suzie earlier?” James asked. He sat on the edge of the bed, watching her put on her night cream. She could feel his eyes on her and she stole a glance over her shoulder. The man took her breath away in only a pair of dark blue boxers, displaying muscled legs and a taut upper body.

“She did a scene with Kate at the club, and we got to talking about it and then we just started laughing,” she replied. She swallowed as he rose from the bed and walked up to her. “She’s confused but also intrigued, I guess.” Laura continued as James slid his arms around her from behind, fondling her breasts. She moaned.

“Sounds like she’s expanding her horizons and going after the things she wants,” James observed. He didn’t let go of Laura’s breasts and made a disapproving sound when she tried to pry away his hands. “Hands behind your head.”

Laura complied, lifting her arms and lacing her fingers together. She didn’t like the flustered feeling she got when he was touching her breasts. They were so sensitive that she couldn’t focus on anything else when he caressed them. That was the reason James did it. Also, he was a breast man and Laura was well endowed in that department.

He kneaded the globes and skimmed lightly over her nipples. She shuddered. He wanted answers that didn’t reflect the way she thought she should react, but how she really felt.

“Speaking of exploring horizons. We’ve talked about it a few times and I need to be absolutely sure about this before I arrange it. You have double penetration on your ‘curious about’ list. Are you still interested in having a threesome?” He watched her expression in the mirror.

“How would you feel about somebody else touching me intimately? Wouldn’t you be jealous?” she asked.

James smirked. “I don’t know about another man fucking you. But stimulating you, driving you insane with lust, maybe oral. That would be fulfilling a fantasy of mine, honey. Think about the possibility of being bent over with me fucking you from behind, while somebody else has free reign with your breasts and you’re giving him a blow job or he’s eating your pussy.”

That was so wrong, but it sounded scalding hot to Laura. “Well, since you’ve introduced me to ass play, it piqued my interest. I didn’t realize it would require someone to join us when I marked it,” Laura said shyly.

James chuckled. “How did you think you were going to have double penetration without someone else involved? We’ve done some stuff with dildos, but that’s not remotely like a threesome. To be honest, I’m not sure I could handle having someone else fucking you, but I did want to see whether it was still something you wanted.”

“I don’t want to do anything that would mess us up, James,” Laura said. “Your first idea—that, I would like to try, but nothing that would make you jealous.”

Laura moaned as his right hand pulled her head backward by her hair and his skillful lips descended on hers in an upside down kiss.

* * *

Two days after their family dinner, Suzie was standing at her kitchen window doing the dishes. She had been baking this morning and the smell of vanilla and cinnamon permeated the air. She had half an hour before she needed to start dinner. Suzie was thinking of what to do next, when she noticed a familiar car pulling up out front. Laura climbed out of her recently acquired Nissan Versa holding a bag with the logo from their favorite boutique, Wilma’s, on it.

After letting her in and exchanging a greeting, Suzie gestured to the bag. “What’s that? Have you been shopping without me?”

Laura glanced around. She had deliberately chosen a time shortly before dinner when the children would likely be in the basement playing with their trains. “I have some more books for you. I have Holding Hannah by Maren Smith and another one by Cherise Sinclair called This is Who I Am. Both of these feature women who are masochists.” Laura handed the bag to Suzie. “There’s also a nonfiction book called Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns. It has a lot of information about being a masochist, playing with a sadist, and limit lists. You name it, it’s probably in there.”

Suzie accepted the bag and nodded. Her brows drew together and some wrinkles creased her otherwise smooth forehead, “I guess it won’t hurt to do a bit of reading.”

Laura smiled, her eyes tender as she replied softly, “It won’t, sis. I would also recommend a profile on Fetlife. There’s a lot to see and read about the lifestyle there, you know.”

“Okay, I’ll think about that.” At the dubious look on Laura’s face, she smiled. “I promise.” She placed one hand on her hip and cocked an eyebrow. “Do you want to stay over for dinner? You know I wasn’t counting on dinner guests, but I have some fresh baking, so we won’t starve.”

Laura chuckled. “No thanks. James is expecting me for dinner. Actually, I’ll be in trouble if I don’t hurry. I have to get back now. I’ll be by to pick up the kids about eleven on Saturday.” After a quick hug, she walked out.

Suzie stood for a moment gazing after her sister. She admired the firm stride and the confident posture Laura had. She had changed a lot since meeting James. Was that the relationship or the BDSM element? Suzie didn’t know, but it was intriguing. She shrugged and went back to cooking.

That evening, with the children in bed, Suzie started her routine of cleaning up and preparing for the next morning. She was a morning person and liked to have everything prepped for the next day. It made things easier on everyone. With a last swipe of the countertop, she was pleased with her efforts. What to do next? Television held no appeal, then she looked at the bag Laura had given her and grabbed the top book, Holding Hannah. She went upstairs and into the bathroom, opened the faucet and adjusted the water temperature. After putting in the plug, she let the bathtub fill while she stripped off her clothes. As she poured in bath salts with lavender and sandalwood scented oil, she stirred the water and sank in the tub, sighing in utter contentment. After being on her feet all day, her muscles ached and a bath always helped her relax. She dried her hands, picked up the book and started reading.

After twenty minutes of soaking and reading, the water had cooled off and Suzie reluctantly put down the book she had been engrossed in. Although younger than she was, Suzie could relate to the heroine. After pulling the plug, she stood up, pulled on her bathrobe, and stepped out of the tub. After brushing her teeth and cleaning her face, she was almost dry by the time she finished. She rubbed down her still wet legs and feet, hung her wet towel over the rack and the bathrobe on the peg and went into her bedroom. Her skin didn’t ask much, but she sloshed on the lotion with lavender scent, for the comfort and peace it gave her. She pulled on panties and an old t-shirt of Richard’s. It was soft from wearing and see-through in several places. She had kept several of his old t-shirts and flannel shirts for her own use.

Suzie turned down the light and nestled in her bed. Her mind wandered off, and she turned over onto her belly. Her hand slipped into her panties and honed in on her clit. She was familiar with her own body and knew what she liked and how she liked it. She pinched her clit between forefinger and thumb, pushed back the hood and exposed the nub to her touch, rubbing ferociously. Her legs tightened, muscles taut, and her breathing became irregular. She kept up a punishing rhythm, until her heart almost beat out of her chest and her upper legs involuntarily clamped together over her rubbing hand. Suzie lay panting for a few moments and turned over to her left side. As she drifted off to sleep, she thought, I had an orgasm. I don’t need pain.


6 reviews for Trusted

  1. Ronald

    This is an interesting story about two solid, intelligent people – Connor and Suzie – who start a relationship when she begins an exploration of BDSM with him, and discovers she has submissive tendencies. The story is complex because of their backgrounds – Suzie is a widow with two children, thirteen and ten years old – while Connor is a retired Army captain who has experienced some terrible things in Afghanistan and Iraq. It takes time for the various issues to come out, and trust between them is a major problem – but their BDSM and sex episodes are well done. There are also other characters including a subsidiary story about a troubled young man who is a friend to Suzie’s son. The story is enjoyable and the characters were well-drawn, but it was a little slow.

  2. Marybeth

    This is book 2 of the Club Indigo series. You do not have to have read book 1, but it would be helpful to understand relationships. Suzie has been curious since the collaring ceremony for her sister Laura. She does a scene with a Domme and finds that she is not only submissive, she is also a masochist. She has a scene with Connor and that is a start of a beautiful relationship. There are ups and downs and a little intrigue, but in the end there is a HEA. I loved this book and I am looking forward to book 3.

  3. Toni

    Book 2 in the Club Indigo series & I enjoyed it almost as much as the first. This is a standalone read, so don’t feel like you have to have read book 1 (Trapped) in order to enjoy this. That said, I did find myself a bit confused in the beginning with all of the characters & no re-cap as to who they are or what the relationships were. However, it soon settles down to only the major players for most of the rest of the story. Like the first book, this book does deal with some serious issues which gives the story some great depth that made it wonderful to read. Still enjoying this author & looking forward to more.

  4. Lori

    Club Indigo is back for round two and it's good. This is Laura's sister's story.  To start, know that Susie is not submissive. I mean she's curious, and she wants to learn more, but she is not a submissive. Until she has a session at the club.  Then, maybe she's a submissive,  maybe she's even a masochist.  Who better to teach her than the Captain.  Scottish dominant, gorgeous, and a sadist. A match made in heaven right?  We'll see.  They've both had some knocks in life, maybe they can get past it together.

    I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  5. Julie

    Suzie Kaspar had to make all the decisions and made sure she got everything accomplished in a timely fashion even before her husband became ill and died.

    Now she has been widowed for five years with two children, and her life has not changed since her husband’s death.

    How nice it would be to finally be able to let go and let someone else fulfill their lives and responsibly. Allow that person to make all decisions and take care of business, and she would submit.

    After attending her sisters collaring ceremony, she is impressed with her sister’s happiness and wants to find happiness for herself.

    At Club Indigo she meets Captain Connor, her Master takes her through her paces, introducing her to the beautiful world of BDSM gradually.

    He is intrigued by this brave, remarkable strong woman the kind he had been trying to find. Everyone has preferenced right. He finally has found her.

    However, they both have issues they have to learn to resolve, but they can both learn to solve them with each other.

    I enjoyed this book immensely!

    Can they make it work?

  6. Good bedtime reading

    When your husband dies leaving you with a hole in your heart…something or someone can make a difference to the steady life you’re leading with two children to take care of. That’s what happens to Suzie when introduced to BDSM by the sadist known as Captain Connor. Her trust in him as their relationship develops and expands towards an ever deepening intimacy as each individual feeds off the emotions of the other and experience the needs that can ensure a closeness that can’t be explained…A great read.

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