Unsure is Book 1 in the Sure Mastery trilogy, the tie in story to The Dark Side. If you loved Eva and Nathan, you’ll love Tom and Ashley’s story as well as the opportunity to catch up with some old friends,
Here’s an excerpt…
“And now, what was that text earlier about? And what makes you think you can just up and go before you’ve fulfilled your part of our bargain?”
Still reeling from the violent, vivid images now swirling around my head of women—women who look and sound horribly like me—bound, gagged, whipped and beaten, I don’t hear him at first. He repeats his question. Dragged back to the present conversation, I’m indignant at the suggestion that I’ve reneged on our deal. I fling my response back without thinking of any possible consequences. “You broke the bargain. You promised me you wouldn’t tell anyone. About me. And then he turns up, threatens me, steals my camera. You had no right…”
His voice is level, calm. Infuriating. “I promised not to report you to the police, no more than that.”
“I thought it was just to be between us. No one else. I didn’t expect you to send your friend, your pervert friend, to have a go at me too.”
“Watch your mouth, Ashley. Do the research before you start slinging insults around. Now, just so’s we’re clear, I do my own dirty work. I didn’t send Nathan. I didn’t know he intended to come here. But I do know he wants you well away from Black Combe, preferably locked up in a cell. It’s about protecting his family mainly, although he was pretty pissed off about what you and your mates got up to in Bristol. You’ll do well to stay away from him, and from Rosie and Grace. Don’t attract his attention and I’ll make sure he leaves you alone from now on.”
I’m sad to lose the embryonic friendship of Rosie and Grace, but I can see there’s no realistic alternative. I nod my acceptance of these terms. “What about my camera?”
“He shouldn’t have taken it, I agree. Apparently it was done on impulse rather than planned. But he’s brought it back anyway.” He reaches for the camera box, slides it across the table towards me. “There, all present and correct.”
“Is that it then, no apology?”
“Don’t push your luck, Ashley. Now, how’s that sweet little arse of yours? Still sore, I’m guessing. You look as though you’re sitting on broken glass.”
His crude suggestion of moments earlier, what he’d like to do to my ‘sweet little arse’, is enough to start me blushing furiously. I cringe at the blunt reminder of what he already did do to me, the mortification of being stripped, spanked. Then, even more humiliating, brought so swiftly and ruthlessly, so thoroughly, to orgasm like some pathetic, sex-starved slapper. And, having no illusions about his personal distaste for me, his ability to arouse me at a slight touch is unnerving, degrading. I am making uncomfortable connections as the image of Dominance and submission and all that might means churns around my head, which is already spinning just thinking of it. Reluctantly I remember his hands parting my thighs as I lay across him, helpless but not resisting, and imagine his fingers on me again, in me. I shift in my chair, conscious of the continuous throbbing pain in my bottom but more aware of the sudden dampness between my legs.
“Let me see.”
“That wasn’t really a request, Ashley.”
I feel the blood drain from my face as his meaning sinks in, the threat no less chilling for being so softly delivered. I can’t let him touch me, though, not again. Not now. My pride and self-respect may be shredded, battered beyond recognition, but they are still there, buried somewhere. I lift my chin, my resolve to resist now hardening. Assertive Ashley is making a reappearance—and I hope she’s not going to live to regret it.
“No! No way am I letting you near me again.”
“Who says you’ve got a choice?”
I stiffen in my chair, hold his gaze, fairly steadily in the circumstances. I refuse to back down now. “I do. I’m choosing. And I choose ‘no’. I’ll be fine.” His sharp mossy gaze is locked with mine, and he gently places his mug back on the table top. Starts to rise. My courage deserts me, but I know I’m not giving in gracefully, not this time. There’s a difference between being beaten and being defeated. A big difference. He might not realise that, but I’ve come to know it over the years. And it’s really very clear to me now.
“Just leave me alone. Please, just leave me alone.” My voice cracks—so much for assertive Ashley. Still, she tried.
His lopsided grin indicates wry amusement at my short-lived burst of bravado. The bastard! Incredibly, though, he just shrugs and tips the last mouthful of tea down his throat. “Okay, have it your way. This time.” He reaches behind him into the pocket of his waxed jacket and tosses a pack of paracetamol and a tube of anti-inflammatory cream on the table in front of me. “These should help. There’s enough there for a couple of days. You’ll be feeling a lot more comfortable by tomorrow. Hopefully.”
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