Peter loved Kate with all his being, but that didn't mean he'd tolerate an ultimatum from her.Welcome to another offering for Frisky Friday, where we hope you're getting as excited about the weekend as we are.
My submission for this week is from my 5th book, 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 at the beginning of Chapter Four, Peter Thorton is attempting to get his wife ready for a trip to a college camp ground in upper New York, where they will appear together in a summer stock production of "Kiss Me Kate." Kate has agreed to help Peter teach the drama students who have auditioned and been selected personally by him for the course he is teaching. 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. Though things are far from perfect between them now, they are temporarily reconciled with one small problem. After suffering two miscarriages, Kate is afraid to try again. Afraid she'll fail. Peter understands, but because they both want children, he doesn't want her using birth control, either. Unfortunately, Kate doesn't agree. However, hiding contraceptive sponges in her luggage isn't going to be as easy as she thought, especially when their motherly housekeeper Consuelo enters the room to check on her. Kate does her best to hide the evidence, but Consuelo pulls her aside to talk.
"The year Mr. Peter hired us; you two were a loving couple." Consuelo smiled, but her expression contained a touch of sadness. "Teasing, laughing, playing, and yes, Mr. Peter spanked you more than once when you ignored his advice and worked yourself too hard, or behaved foolishly to the point of injuring your knee."
None of this was news to Kate, but she'd just turned twenty-one when they'd moved into this house over two years ago, and many things had changed since then. However, she still blushed at hearing how their behavior appeared to William and Consuelo.
Consuelo reached out to touch Kate's hand. "You were crazy about each other, and it showed. Your careers were taking off: Mr. Peter won his second Tony in June, you won your first, and both of you glowed with pride. You'd already signed to appear in your first serious drama when you learned you were pregnant, and though I could tell you were nervous, you looked happy, too. And then you lost the baby. After you came home from the hospital, everything changed. You went on to win a Tony nomination for your play, but neither of you were happy. No one laughed any more, although you did your share of crying."
Consuelo nodded. "I think we all knew you were depressed, which was why Mr. Peter did everything you asked, but what you asked for wasn't what you needed or wanted. Was it?"
Kate shrugged even as she wiped away tears with her fingers.
Though Kate harbors some guilt about using a contraceptive against Peter's wishes, especially one that he could possibly ingest, she feels he has no right to dictate whether or not she can prevent pregnancyl. However, attempting to keep a secret like that, from a husband who's determined to ensure you take good care of yourself, carries its own risks. And risks incur casualties.
Thanks for visiting. I hope you enjoyed this brief excerpt and wish you and yours a very Frisky Friday.