Peter loved Kate with all his being, but that didn't mean he'd tolerate an ultimatum from her.For Sneak Peek Sunday we share six paragraphs from a published work or a WIP (work in progress).
My submission for this week is from my 5th book, and newest release, Acting Lessons.
He was a strict and demanding college professor turned professional director who excelled at giving acting lessons. She was his shy and uncertain former student who became a professional actress under his tutelage. They fell in love, married, and won two Tony Awards before tragedy struck and a simple kiss ripped them apart.
After a six month separation, Peter Thorton decides to take matters into his own hands by making his famous wife, Kate, an offer she wouldn't refuse. Plainly put, he wants her back and he intends to do whatever is necessary to achieve his goal, even if it means giving his stubborn, willful leading lady a daily reminder over his knee that she promised to obey him.
In this scene, which occurs early in the first chapter, Peter Thorton, seated comfortably in her agent's office, is attempting to convince his wife, Kate, to give their marriage a second chance by signing her to appear with him in a College Summer Stock production of "Kiss Me Kate." Kate isn't sure she can trust Peter with her heart again, since she believes he's been unfaithful to her, but she's never stopped loving him. And though Domestic Discipline originally played a part in their marriage, their last two years together had them living like polite strangers sharing the same house. Peter realizes he made a mistake in letting Kate do as she pleased, so he's determined to rectify matters immediately. However, Kate has a few stipulations of her own, which has prompted Peter to inform her she was acting the brat.
Her entire body bristled with the accusation. "I am not a brat," she insisted. "I just don't want to play opposite you again. From what I've heard, your temper has grown worse, not better, over the years, and if you're trying to direct as well as act…. Well, experience has taught me your fuse gets shorter and shorter as the pressure increases. I'd simply like to lengthen the cord to keep things from blowing up. You need to direct, so why not let someone else play the lead, rather than over exert yourself?"
"What? And let you stomp your sharp little heels all over a student? I think not, darling. I am here because you, my lovely lady, are a draw. Audiences adore you. But then, they don't know you as intimately as I do, so they are taken in by your sweetness and light act. The deal remains as is. You either agree to play opposite me while I'm directing, or…."
"Or?" she prompted, regarding him warily.
"Or, I will have to find an actress who is less contentious and more eager to work with me."
Kate stiffened slightly, then smiled. "I'm sure that won't be at all difficult for you--darling."
He grinned at her emphasis on the last word. Though she'd said it with a smile gracing her lips, he suspected she was silently substituting "shithead." Suddenly, he looked forward to the challenge this prickly Kate represented. Another reason he wanted to do this play with her was because he'd missed her teasing and warm companionship. Despite her brittleness toward him now, he knew how to soften her. The sex hadn't been bad either, and he wanted her back.
Hmm. Kate's developed a bit of a temper during their separation, but Peter is fully prepared to handle anything she throws his way, including herself.
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