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 an 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 is suspicious and decides to test him by making a few stipulations of her own. He agrees to the first two without an argument, so drops the bomb by announcing her third stipulation is he has to honor her request if she says there's to be no 'touching' between them. He counters by asking if she's ever seen "Taming of the Shrew."
"Yes, I've seen the Shakespeare play." she answered, giving him and his superior attitude a sharp nod. "In addition to the Taylor-Burton film."
"Good. So, you should also realize there will be lots of ' touching' between us whether you want it or not. Furthermore, I will not allow you to put up artificial barriers in order to keep me at bay. We may no longer live under the same roof, but we do have a past, and I intend to draw upon those memories from time to time. However, if giving my word will ease your mind, I vow not to violate the sanctity of your bed unless you invite me to do so. But other than that--I make no promises about keeping my hands to myself."
Kate frowned. Nothing he said offered her mind ease. Worried about what he didn't say, she straightened her shoulders and met his calculating gaze. "What if I disagree?"
His smile turned wicked. "You are always welcome to disagree with anything I say or do, although I warn you now there will be consequences for such action, and I assume you recall which form they'll take?"
Sitting back, Kate crossed her arms over her chest, creating a non-verbal barrier. "Those days have long passed, Peter. We're both too older and wiser now to play silly games of dominance and submission. Wouldn't you agree?"
One eyebrow arched. "No, I don't. Despite what your sharp words intimate, they weren't games, Kate. Not ever. You may not believe me now, but I will put you over my knee if you continue to act the spoiled dilettante."
Despite inwardly bristling at Peter's dominant stance, a small part of Kate is tempted to test whether his threat is real or merely for show.
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