Peter loved Kate with all his being, but that didn't mean he'd tolerate an ultimatum from her.
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 and Kate has agreed to appear with Peter in a college summer stock production of Kiss Me Kate. She only hopes she isn't making a huge mistake. The place looked like it was made up of log cabins, and Kate does not like camping. However, when she tells Peter she wants him to honor their contract and let her have her own place, he is not the least bit happy about it. What Kate wasn't prepared for, however, were the primitive conditions of the cabin he assigned her, so when he tells her his cabin is for a highly paid staff member so it has much better amenities, she asks him to show her his. When Kate realizes she'll need to accept Peter's invitation if she's to survive the next six weeks, she badly wants to tell him off but knows he'll only make her regret it if she does. Even so, she remains undecided.
Peter propped one elbow against the tall dresser and gazed at her. "Kate, I'm serious about wanting you here with me. I will honor your contract, and you can still keep the cabin and have the room set up as a place to go when you want to be alone, but I'd like you to sleep, bathe and play with me--in here." When she remained undecided, he crossed over to take a seat beside her and clasped one of her hands in his. "Stay with me, Katie. Please."
With a sigh, she gave a single nod."
"Good girl," he praised, giving her a brief squeeze and a quick kiss. "I'll go see about getting our luggage sent up here. How's your knee?"
She shrugged, which Peter took to mean it bothered her.
"Okay, you rest while I get your medicine, then I'll help you unpack and give you the grand tour of the place." Her entire body stiffened in reaction, putting Peter on instant alert. "What?"
"Could I unpack later? I'd like to stretch out for a bit. We can take the tour in about a half hour, and I'll settle in after dinner. Would that be all right?"
Okay, something was definitely up, but at this point, he just wanted her comfortable. "If that's what you want, it's fine with me. I need to meet with some of the tech people after dinner, so you can unpack then. Her resulting smile served as his reward. Whatever it was she kept from him would surface eventually, and he was willing to wait.
"Thanks," she said sweetly.
Though Kate is putting on a good face, the sight of the camp where they'll be performing fills her with dread. Her idea of roughing it is staying at a three star hotel, and from what she's already seen, her cabin should be condemned as inhabitable. Left with little choice, she'll need to share her estranged husband's cabin with him.
Thanks for visiting. I hope you enjoyed this brief excerpt and wish you and yours a very Frisky Friday.