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 and asks Kate to make sure she understands the consequences of her actions.
"He didn't realize, chica, and you didn't tell him. He treated you with gentle care when you wanted him to be firm. He played the understanding husband when you wanted him to be strict. And he remained distant when you wanted him to sweep you up and make love to you. He thought he was giving you what you wanted. What you needed. Then, something happened. We never heard what, but the next thing we knew you were gone and moving men came to collect your things.
"We were afraid to ask why you left. Mr. Peter was angry most of the time. He snapped out orders and had little patience when something went wrong. We could tell he was hurting, but he asked us not to speak your name. It was as if he'd shut a door and left you on the other side, except you still had his heart."
Kate shook her head, though she suspected Consuelo told her the truth. She'd assumed Peter had not only stopped loving her, he'd regretted ever marrying her. Apparently, she'd been wrong. She should ask Peter to explain his relationship with Emily, but she wasn't quite ready for that confrontation. Not yet. Perhaps, she'd never be.
"I don't expect you to tell me what made you leave, but I want you think carefully before you destroy your own happiness." She pointed to Kate's luggage. "Is what you're doing here worth the risk of ruining your marriage?"
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 pregnancy. 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.