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 near the end of Chapter Four, Peter Thorton has driven with Kate 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 Peter's plan. She only hopes she isn't making a huge mistake. The acting camp 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. However, when he asks her sweetly to stay with him, she caves. And when he asks, she admits she hates him a little less now.
Sliding over to rest her head on the pillow, Kate stretched out and waited for Peter. She almost fainted when she got a glimpse of the lodgings he'd assigned her. Throwing an arm over her eyes, she let out a soft groan. The beds didn't even have sheets, though those probably would have been provided. Screens instead of windows? Really? Bug spray hadn't even made it to her 'maybe list' of items to pack. Nor had a needle for removing splinters from her feet.
With her knee hurting the way it was, keeping her belongings in a separate location had been a stupid idea, sponges or not. All the same, she was going to insist Peter get the cabin set up for her--just in case. Perhaps they could go shopping tomorrow for whatever was needed to make the place semi-habitable.
Relaxed, Kate fell into a light drowse when Peter jostled her shoulder. "Roll over, sweetie."
Obeying, she barely felt the needle, but the ache in her knee eased a few seconds later and she sighed.
After he'd placed a fresh wrap around her knee, Peter asked, "Ready for the tour?"
With a nod, Kate started to sit up when the room began spinning.
"Easy, Katie," Peter said, placing his hands on her shoulders to steady her. "I'm beginning to get worried. This is the second time you've gotten dizzy in two days."
"I'm fine. Just a little tired," she admitted, shutting her eyes against the vertigo.
"Maybe we should hold off your tour until tomorrow and put you to bed instead. I can have a couple of the students bring up the luggage and help you unpack while I fix you a tray."
"No!" Kate protested, her eyes snapping open.
Peter released her, stood back and crossed his arms. "Is there something you need to tell me? What big secret have you got packed that you don't want anyone knowing about?"
Shit. Groaning, Kate shook her head. "Nothing. Sorry. Guess I'm not fully awake, yet. I would like to tour the place, though." She smiled up at his scowling visage. "Please?"
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, forgetting that she couldn't let him see the "extra" items she'd packed.
Thanks for visiting. I hope you enjoyed this brief excerpt and wish you and yours a very Frisky Friday.