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, Acting Lessons, loosely based on the story of Kiss Me Kate.
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 by informing his famous wife that if she keeps acting like a brat, he will turn her over his knee. Since Kate doesn't believe him, she dares him to try it. He doesn't hesitate, And before she gets another word out, Kate finds herself stomach down across her husband's knees. Furious and humiliated by both her position and Peter's warning swat, she demands her agent call the police while Peter suggests the agent give them some time alone. Furious, Kate makes the mistake of challenging her husband, and he lets her know right away what he will and will not tolerate by proving to her his threats are no longer idle. The spanking provides an emotional release for Kate, and she ends up crying in Peter's arms. Once she gets herself under control, Kate attempts to apologize, but Peter cuts her off with a kiss then informs her he wants them to have dinner together. Kate informs him she has a previous engagement she is not willing to cancel.
He frowned, not saying anything, until Kate feared he'd insist, or flip her back over his knee for being stubborn, when he said, "What time is your class?
"Eight o'clock. Why?"
"Why?" he asked, his surprise clear. At her slight nod, he added, "Because I find it difficult to schedule around something if I don't know when it's taking place. Go to your class; I'll pick you up afterward."
She let out a soft sigh. "Why tonight?" she complained, knowing she sounded like a thwarted child.
"Because we need to get some specifics out of the way. I don't enjoy quarreling with you, Katie, but I absolutely refuse to let you play the brat any longer, so several things are going to need to change between us. That means coming to a new working arrangement we can both accept."
When she glared at him, he regarded her with one arched eyebrow, and further words weren't necessary. She recognized the familiar expression to mean, "You're already on my lap, so don't think I won't flip you over on your stomach if you continue to thwart me on this."
Kate pushed, so Peter pulled. Temporarily reconciled, Kate has to decide whether to give into his wishes or stand firm so he doesn't think she's lost her backbone.
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