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 when she discovers the primitive conditions of the cabin he assigned her. Realizing she'll need to stay with Peter if she's to survive the next six weeks, she badly wants to tell him off, but wisely keeps her mouth shut when he offers to give her a tour of the camp.
But when she rises to accompany him, Kate experiences a brief moment of dizziness. Concerned, Peter suggests she stay in and rest instead, offering to help her unpack and get settled while she relaxes in bed. Panicking, Kate promptly vetoes his suggestion, which merely arouses Peter's suspicions even more. In a quick turnaround, Kate apologizes and tells him she'd really like the tour he promised.
With a sigh, Peter extended a hand to assist Kate to her feet, then drew her close. "You don't have me fooled for a second, sprite. I don't know what you're up to, but I'm warning you now if you've packed an item I wouldn't approve of, you're in big trouble. I've given you several opportunities to come clean, and you've refused. I'd call that your second strike, the first being you chose to hide something from me to begin with. So, keep that in mind."
"Yes, sir," she whispered against his chest. She couldn't tell him. Not yet. She'd inserted one of the sponges before they left, so she was okay to go until tomorrow morning. If she confessed, he'd insist upon removing it, and then he'd…. No. Not yet.
Peter kept a firm grip on her arm as he led her out of their cabin. "Anything special you'd like to see first?"
His cabin had a shower, tub and toilet. Where would she go if she stayed in the lodgings he'd assigned her? An unfortunate, but real possibility once he found out what she'd secreted in her luggage. "Is there a communal ladies room?"
His brow rose. "Yes, but you won't need it."
"I know. I'm just wondering what it looks like."
"An odd choice, my love, however, we'll go there first if you want."
Kate shuddered with visions of a lengthy wooden plank fitted with bottom-sized holes stretched over a pit in the ground. She definitely couldn't do that. Especially not with a sore butt.
When Peter stopped in front of a long wood cabin, she suspected her worst fears were about to be realized.
"Ladies' rooms are the one place I'm not allowed in. Can you manage the stairs all right?""I'm fine. I climbed our long staircase at home, so this is nothing."
Finding herself caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place, Kate valiantly attempts to put on a good face. Given, her idea of roughing it is staying at a three star hotel, the sight of the camp where they'll be performing fills her with dread, and from what she's seen, her cabin should be condemned as inhabitable. Left with little choice, she agrees to share her estranged husband's cabin, but keeping him from discovering the extra items she's packed will undoubtedly prove a challenge.
Thanks for visiting. I hope you enjoyed this brief excerpt and wish you and yours a very Frisky Friday.