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. Though Kate isn't sure she can trust Peter with her heart again, since she believes he's been unfaithful to her, she's never stopped loving him. And despite having Domestic Discipline originally play a part in their marriage, their last two years together had them living like polite strangers sharing the same house.
Now, however, 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's against her using birth control. 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 cover the evidence, but Consuelo isn't fooled. Unfortunately, Kate has no choice but to continue with her plan, despite her growing unease
Consuelo left with a nod, so Kate hurriedly dried her eyes and spread the weight and contents of her belongings between the two suitcases. The last thing she needed was Peter walking in while she scrambled to move her items about. She was just closing the second case when firm hands grasped her waist from behind and warm lips pressed against her neck.
Letting out a gasp, Kate gave a guilty start. Peter promptly turned her to face him.
"You're awfully nervous. Is…. You've been crying. What's wrong?"
"Nothing," she answered, her laugh a little too bright. "Consuelo and I just took a walk down memory lane, and it made me sad. That's all."
He frowned, as if he didn't believe her, but stroked her hair and back. "If Consuelo was here, why are you packing? I asked her to help you."
"She did, but when I discovered I'd forgotten a couple of items, I finished up by myself."
His dark, intense eyes regarded her intently. The man could be a mind reader at times, so she held her breath. Finally, he nodded. "Are you ready now?"
Slowly letting out a sigh of relief, she gave a quick nod. "Yup. All packed and ready."
He glanced at her collection of two suitcases, garment bag, make-up case and other essentials. "Hmm. I guess I should consider this reasonable for you, considering we'll be gone for six weeks. Good thing we've got a large trunk."
Kate smiled weakly in agreement as Peter called for William. Once William had the car packed, Peter checked a final time to make sure his employees knew how to reach them, then he assisted Kate into the passenger side and they were off.
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.