Definition of a sequel:
A published, broadcast, or recorded work that continues the story or develops the theme of an earlier one.
synonyms: follow-up, continuation
"the film inspired a sequel"
Something that takes place after or as a result of an earlier event.
"this encouragement to grow potatoes had a disastrous sequel some fifty years later"
synonyms: consequence, result, upshot, outcome, development, issue, postscript;
Given its definition, an author usually writes a sequel because there is more story to tell, and that's partially why I wrote Past Interference. I did feel there was more of Jerry and Elly's story to tell, but more than that, I felt I left things "unfinished" between them.
To my mind, the abuse Elly suffered from her first husband was more than physical, it was deeply psychological to the point Elly began to doubt her own judgement. I knew at the end of "A Simple Misunderstanding" that Jerry would propose at Christmas, and I knew Elly would accept because she loved and trusted him. But then the old insecurities would begin to set in. She'd made a mistake once. A bad mistake. Who's to say she wouldn't do so again? Though a part of her knows Jerry would never become the monster Arthur turned into, she believed Arthur had loved her, too, and she was wrong. Elly wants nothing more than for someone to tell her she's crazy for harboring such insecurities, but no one does, because Elly isn't crazy, she's scared. But the fear she suffers from can't be assuaged with a cup of hot tea and a cuddle.
The point is despite Jerry's protestations of love and affection, Elly has doubts that no number of words can allay, only actions.
Past Interference is a story of emancipation from fear, but the journey is not without pain.
|Sometimes you need to let go of the past to move into the future|
Valentine's Day in Corbin's Bend. As Elly Benson readies herself for her second wedding, the doubts and misgivings of any new bride-to-be are exacerbated by the abuse she suffered during her first marriage.
Though she's lived with Jerry Douglas for four months now, and been subject to his discipline more than once, Elly's first husband had been kind and careful with her, too, until the day she vowed to love, honor and obey him. And their move to Corbin's Bend turned him from the strict, but caring husband she thought she'd married into a monster she no longer recognized.
Though Elly has expressed her doubts to Jerry, she knows if they are to work things out she needs to be totally honest with him.
“You have a lot of supporters here, Elly, who wouldn’t hesitate to trounce me if I even considered mistreating you, which I would never do. No matter what. I love you with all my heart, and I don’t like seeing you unhappy or uncomfortable.”
Her heart understood; her mind still had doubts. “I know.”
“So, do you want me to call off the wedding?”
Lifting her head, she turned to meet his gaze and confessed, “Arthur used to punish me anally.”
She spoke quickly, as though saying the words fast would make the memories less painful. “He had a huge butt plug he would force into me, then he’d cane me so it would dig deeper and cause me more pain. When I was finally sobbing and begging him to stop, he would… He’d take me that way, too. I think he liked hearing me cry and beg. Making me do things I hated made him feel stronger, more powerful. My weakness gave him pleasure, even though he claimed it didn’t. I realize now that he got off on hurting me.”
“He was a sadist, who enjoyed anal play. That’s not unusual, but it helps explain why you’re so skittish when I take your temperature.”
Shaking her head, Elly admitted, “It didn’t feel like play to me.” Then she asked the question that made a part of her shrink in fear. “Will you want to have sex with me that way, too?”
“If I did, I would make sure it was an entirely different experience for you.”
She tried again, hoping he would give the answer she sought this time. “But once we’re married, will you insist I let you do that to me?”
“Insist we have anal sex? No. Persuade and coax? Probably.”
As a voice inside her head screamed in refusal, she whispered, “Except even the thought of trying scares me.”
“Good to know.”
Meeting his gaze, her throat grew tight with fear. “After we’re wed, I will no longer have the right to refuse you.”
He shook his head. “That’s pure hogwash. Your ability to say no won’t mysteriously disappear once we get married, Elly.”
Experience had taught her otherwise. “Legally, it will though. I will have promised to obey you. I can be punished if I don’t.”
“Sweetie, you can be punished now if you disobey me. That won’t change.”
She gaped at him. Why didn’t he understand? “But I haven’t promised anything, yet.”
“You think not?”
Marriage vows were sacred to her, and he treated them as if they held no significance. “Well, I haven’t.”
“The fact you’re living with me now, puts you under my authority, Elly. I’m still our HoH, and as such, that makes me responsible for your actions and you answerable to me as well as my rules. You understand what they are because we discussed them, and you’ve agreed with each one. None of that will change after we wed.”
Swallowing back her unease, she blurted, “But must I promise to obey you?”
He drew back with a frown. “Is that what this is about? Your vow of obedience?”
“In part,” she whispered.
“You think removing that single word from your vows will alter something between us?”
He nodded, then tapped her hip. “I think you should get up now.”
“Because I need to get back to work.”
“No, Elly. I want you to think about what you just said to me. You envision your avowal to do something you’re already doing now will affect me in some way. That I will make demands of you I wouldn’t even consider making now. I’d like you to give some thought as to why you suspect that might happen. Do you imagine me ordering you to your knees so you can fellate me? Or perhaps insisting you allow me access to every part of your body regardless of your wishes? If you believe your vow to obey will change me so dramatically I will no longer respect your thoughts and feelings, then I think we should call off the wedding, and you might want to find another place to live.”
Her eyes burned at his words. “Why?”
“Because as long as you suppose I’m capable of such disregard for you, I will never be able to convince you otherwise. No matter what I say or do. Now, get up please.”
His disappointment ate at her like acid. “Are you going to kick me out?”
“No. I’m going to go back to work where people have confidence in me to do what’s best for them and the animals I treat.”
“No, Elly. You’re not. This isn’t a punishable offense, but it is a deal breaker. I can’t build a life with you if you can’t trust me enough to protect and care for you.”
Shaking her head in denial, she said, “It’s not that, I —”
“Yes, it is. It’s exactly that. The very fact you think I could and would force you to do something against your will, because I expect you to obey me, indicates you don’t trust me. You might love me, and want to believe I won’t hurt you, but a part of your mind will always wonder when and if I will turn against you the way Arthur did. We can’t live that way. I can’t live that way. Now, please get up so I can leave.”
He couldn’t walk away if she refused to move, so Elly pressed against him. “No. I won’t.”
“Fine.” Without another word, he lifted her from his lap and set her down on the couch beside him. “I’ll be back in about an hour. Go ahead and lie down. I’ll fix dinner.”
With that, he turned and strode back to his clinic.