Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday's Safe Word Shelf: Another Way by Anna Martin

Another Way #1
On the surface, Jesse Ross is an average guy in an average relationship with his college sweetheart, Adele. But what his girlfriend doesn’t know is that he’s having an affair—with a man—and exploring his sexuality in ways she never could imagine. His compartmentalized life suits Jesse just fine, and he has no intention of coming out of the closet either as a bisexual or as a submissive.

However, Jesse takes a tumble when his Master, Will, admits to wanting more, wanting Jesse as his partner, not just his submissive. Suddenly Jesse's conveniently pieced-together life isn’t quite so comfortable. In the end, Jesse has to lay it all on the line—for his girlfriend, for his lover, and for himself.

Of Being Yours #2
It's been three years since Jesse Ross had to choose between his Master and his girlfriend-three years he's spent living in a loving relationship with Will, his Dom, and finally being open about his sexuality. To the outside eye, Jesse and Will's relationship is settled, solid, and romantic: people expect them to settle down, get married, have a family. It takes a car crash to expose the papered-over cracks in their life together.

Traumatized by the crash, Will finds his confidence shattered. After unintentionally causing Jesse pain during the accident, Will finds it impossible to hurt him in the bedroom, and suddenly he has to reassess his ability to be Jesse's Dom. The emotional and physical deadlock leaves Jesse struggling to hold the pieces of their tattered relationship together. The physical scars may heal with time, but the emotional trauma has left more damage than either man could have anticipated....

To Say I Love You #3
After six years of romance and kink, Jesse Ross and Will Anderson have had their ups and downs and come through them stronger and happier. But when Jesse’s mother dies unexpectedly, Jesse is forced to return to his childhood home in Georgia to help his family cope. Will transfers from Seattle to his company’s Atlanta office, but love their way is out of the question while they’re staying in Jesse’s parents’ home. So Will buys a small house for them to fix up and find some privacy.

When their lives start to settle back into something like normality, Will and Jesse resume their recently neglected BDSM relationship. Along with the security of Jesse’s submission comes trouble, as a local man tries to lure a lonely, grieving Jesse away from Will, and one of Will’s coworkers causes tension between them. Both men are forced to reassess what really matters, and where their romance is heading.

Another Way
Chapter One
IT WAS 4 p.m. on a Friday, and I was at work when my phone chimed with a familiar tune. The message was simple, and gave me no idea of what sort of mood he might be in.

Will: 7 p.m.

That was it. Three characters, but they told me all I needed to know. For the next hour I itched to leave my job in a downtown independent bookstore, and I practically ran from the building when the clock ticked over to five o’clock.

As was our routine every Friday, I got into the house just as Adele was leaving. I gave her a quick kiss as she trotted out of the door in a black pencil skirt and a white blouse, her long, red hair bouncing in her ponytail. She loved her job as a front of house manager in a nice French restaurant in the city; it was a pretty small place, and she was almost as famous there as the food was. It was Adele who practically kidnapped a chef when she was living in France a few years ago and convinced him to relocate to America. She now ran his restaurant, while Theo got to cook the food he grew up with. Everyone was happy.

Although… I had my secrets. As soon as Adele left, I went down to the basement and spent twenty minutes on the treadmill, followed by twenty minutes of a boxing program to loosen up my muscles and warm up, so to speak, for the evening ahead. When that was done, I went up to our bedroom and set out some nice clothes—in case I went out after—and took a shower, making sure I was perfectly scrubbed all over.

He didn’t like it when I wore strong-smelling deodorants or aftershave, so I used a scent-free antiperspirant and dressed in loose clothing. This routine was familiar to me too. I left the house with twenty minutes to spare in order to travel the ten minutes to his house.

After I’d parked outside, I went around to the back of the house and let myself in, making sure to lock the door behind me, and went straight up the back staircase to the attic, where I undressed and piled all of my clothes neatly by the door.

Then I sat back on my heels, laced my fingers behind my neck, dropped my head, and waited.

“Good evening, Jesse,” he said from behind me, and I heard the door click shut. He must have been waiting for me to get into position. It was nice to think that he was as anxious to start our session as I was.

“Good evening, Master,” I said softly, and I felt him come up behind me.

“I’ve missed you,” he said simply and ran his fingers through my hair. I decided to break position and lean into his touch, just with my head, as he lightly scratched my scalp and tugged on the roots of my hair. This was my way of saying I missed you too.

It had been about two weeks since we saw each other last—circumstances and family commitments had gotten in the way of our relationship. It wasn’t the longest we’d ever gone without seeing each other, but it was pushing the boundaries of how long we could cope. I needed him more frequently than once every two weeks. If we got our way, it was usually two sessions a week.

“What shall we do with you tonight, I wonder?” he asked as he let go of my hair and walked to the stereo. Both Master and I were fond of persistent rock music playing in the background—something rough and edgy that created an atmosphere up here.

I kept my eyes glued on the floor, even as I felt him come up behind me with two padded cuffs and attach each of my wrists to the opposite elbow.

“Test them,” Master said, and I obediently tugged on the restraints. I wasn’t going anywhere.

These cuffs were familiar to me; they were a light tan leather with white sheepskin lining. They were my favorites because Master bought them for me, and would never use them on anyone else. I caught sight of him as he moved, and I couldn’t help the rush of blood that went straight to my cock. He was wearing dark brown leather pants and a T-shirt that might once have been the color of milky tea but had been washed out to the point where it was so thin you could see straight through it.

His hair was long and messy, as always, and through the windows that were set in the ceiling, it shone all sorts of shades of red and mahogany in the evening light. Master Will had a lean, athletic build that he’d earned snowboarding in the Canadian mountains visible from his Seattle home—through the windows in the ceiling, in fact, if one was standing at them.

Once I was secured, Master came around to my front and braced his hands against my naked chest, helping me rise to my feet. Now that I was secured, he cupped my face in his hands and brought his lips to mine.

The feel of his lips and his hot tongue probing my mouth was almost too much for me. I rose up onto my toes to close the small gap that was created by the height distance between us—he was wearing boots and I was barefoot. My cock, which was hard already, began to ache in another familiar way, and I wanted more. With him, there was always more.

“I would like to collar you tonight, Jesse. Would that be okay?” he asked as he broke our kiss.

I nodded silently; he hadn’t given me permission to speak.

“Thank you,” Master said, accepting the gift of my submission. He walked to the wall and selected a slim, tan leather collar—it matched the two restraining my wrists.

When he was in front of me again, I dropped my head. We stood like this, two equals until the moment that piece of leather wrapped around my neck, and he buckled it at the back, gently smoothing my hair out of the way of the catch. Then, until he decided to take it off again, I belonged to him.

This was a ritual that we’d developed. In the early days of our relationship, I wasn’t comfortable with everything that our sessions entailed. So Will had set up a few sessions where I wasn’t collared and I referred to him by his given name or “Sir” and we worked on finding out our mutual limits. These days, I rarely—if ever—denied his offer of collaring me, but he still gave me the choice, and I appreciated that. It made my handing over of control to him even more profound.

The collar helped me lose myself and go deeper into “subspace,” a state of mind where I was more willing to hand over all control to my Master. I was pulled into another kiss, but this time he held me steady and forced me to bend backward, bend to his will as he dominated my mouth. I lived for these kisses, the ones that forced me to accept my place in the hierarchy of the room, pushed me into accepting the role I’d chosen. Because it surely wasn’t an easy one.

Master carefully helped me back down to my knees, and when I was settled, he opened the front of those amazing brown leather pants and withdrew his long, hard cock. It only took him raising one eyebrow at me and my mouth was on him in an instant, sucking him into my mouth and licking around the head, desperate for the taste and smell of him. Once I’d sucked off all his flavor, I wanted his scent, and I took a deep breath, relaxing my throat and leaning in to take him all the way into my mouth until my nose was buried in his short hairs and his balls were tickling my chin. I used my tongue to lave him with attention until he made that low sound in the back of his throat that I lived for, half moan and half grunt—a warning.

He liked to come before we got deep into the session. I had asked him about it once, and he said it helped him to stay in control if he’d already had one orgasm. That made sense.

“Swallow,” he commanded, not that the word was really necessary. There was no way I could escape his strong fingers in my hair, holding me in place as his cock throbbed and shot his come straight into the back of my throat. I was enthralled by the sensation and swallowed happily around him.

He softened in my mouth, and I licked him clean, then sat back on my heels as he tucked himself away. There were no words of praise for my efforts; instead, Master turned and went to prepare something else behind me. I appreciated the moment. It gave me time to think.

I BECAME a submissive when I was still in college and in the process of discovering my sexuality. One wild night at a BDSM-themed club got me intrigued, and a few weeks, later I ran into one of the girls from the club in a coffee house. She was a Domme, and after a few dates where words like “hard limit” and “pain threshold” and “safeword” became part of my vocabulary, we agreed to start a relationship.

Laura was only a few years older than me, but she held herself with a grace that reminded me of the old movie stars of the early part of the century. She was a lady in the truest sense of the word. She also prided herself on finding the darkest recesses of someone’s soul and turning them over for inspection, poking and prodding deep into their psyche and using that information to her advantage. She never really hurt me, not even when she was lashing my skin with a crop or a whip or a multi-tailed flogger. Not once did I ever use my safeword with her, although she truly pushed me to the edge of my comfort zone, always backing off before I screamed for her to stop.

It was pretty Laura who twisted my sexuality to become a fluid thing, not a fixed label that is so often either black or white. She helped me to define myself as pansexual, heteroflexible, and willing to contemplate a relationship with another man. Our D/s relationship was tested when she got engaged and pushed when she got married, although we continued to pursue our connection with her new husband’s blessing, on the condition that we never partook in sexual intercourse. That was fine. I could count on my fingers the number of times I’d actually fucked Laura.

When she fell pregnant with twins, however, things between the three of us became strained. I wasn’t happy with giving up on a D/s relationship I’d given two and a half years of my life to, but even I could accept that she just couldn’t continue to take on the responsibility of a submissive when she’d soon have two babies to care for.

That was when she suggested that I meet Will.

Despite my submersion into the world of bondage and discipline, I’d never really been a member of the wider community, even though Laura was. I’d heard his name before in conversation, but I’d never met the man until I was forced to choose between subbing for Will or being alone. My initial reaction to her suggestion was no—there was no way I was going to submit to another man. My previously open thoughts, when pushed, backfired on me.

And then I met him. Will was charismatic and kind, and he was funny and nice and had an inner steel that was apparent even over beers in a regular bar downtown. I immediately liked him as a person, and we agreed to meet again, as friends, to see how our relationship panned out.

“I’ll push you,” he said one night, “in ways that Laura has never pushed you before, just by the sheer nature of our relationship. But I think it’s something you should consider.”

The chemistry between us was undeniable, and in the back of my mind I was curious. I ended up taking two weeks’ vacation from work, lying to my girlfriend as to my whereabouts, and moving in with Will. Those were, without any doubt, the most intense two weeks of my life.

When they were done, I moved out again, back to my own apartment, and he told me that if I wanted to continue our relationship, I should be waiting for him, on my knees, the following Saturday. I was there, and our relationship started to grow over the following eight months.

“What are you thinking about so intently, Jesse?” Master asked while tipping my chin up with his finger so I was looking at him.

“You, Master,” I said truthfully. “About how I came to be yours.”

Master smiled, and I could see his inner warmth, despite all the pressure he put on me to perform for him. “You always know what to say,” he said with a slight laugh, and reached down to stroke my cheek gently.

Instead of helping me to stand this time, Master had me follow him on my knees to the south wall, and I rose to standing by resting my shoulders on the knee supports of the bench and pushing back onto my feet. Once I was upright, Master bent me over by placing one hand on my chest and another on my lower back, forcing me to bend over facedown on the bench. He quickly restrained my ankles and then began to work a length of rope around my waist, between my legs, and back up to attach to my restrained arms and wrists.

Master took hold of my hands, making sure my circulation was still good, then left me for a moment to go and select a toy. I took slow breaths, reminding myself that he’d never really hurt me before, not beyond my limits, and that I trusted him implicitly.

His soft footfalls signified his return to my side, and from this position of my chest pressed into the bench, I could feel every thundering beat of my heart. I wondered if he’d show me the toy first, or if he’d just hit me, or if he’d run it over my body. Maybe he’d put it between my fingers or my lips or my legs….

There was a dull thud across my backside, followed by a familiar warmth as blood rushed to the area. Master trailed the flogger across my ass and thighs, the ends of the soft suede tickling slightly before the sensation disappeared, and I prepared myself for the next blow.

“Let me hear you, Jesse,” Master commanded, and with the next fall of the flogger, I let out a low moan.

From the position I was restrained in, he could only aim his blows across my ass and thighs—not that I was complaining. Rather than hurting, the sensations he caused just turned me on, more than I was before, and especially while he was only warming me up with light thuds. Too soon, though, he stopped, and I couldn’t help but whimper at the loss.

“Don’t worry, it’s not the end,” he said, and I could hear the smirk in his voice.

Rather than letting me down, Master left me in position and released my arms from the cuffs, leaving them around my wrists and retying them to the bottom legs of the bench. I was now stretched out with my back exposed to him, and Master retied the ropes so my thighs and biceps were included in the intricate web.

He disappeared for a moment, and I was left alone with my thoughts again, although this time they didn’t stray far from the feeling of friction around my body and how I could wriggle to make the rope chafe against me. Then he was back, demanding that I open and sliding the ball gag into my mouth, securing the straps around my face so they were tight but not biting into my skin.

I was dubious the first time he gagged me; it wasn’t something Laura was fond of because it limited my ability to stick my tongue in her pussy. But Master liked it, so it was something I frequently found pressed between my teeth, forcing my mouth open and my tongue down. He pressed a soft, red square of fabric into my hand; since I couldn’t shout red at him (my safeword), which would make him stop whatever he was doing, dropping the cloth would have the same effect.

Another thing I had learned was to never predict what Master would do next. Just when I was expecting him to pick up the flogger again and start laying into my back, I felt his well-oiled hands come down on my shoulders. He gently rubbed them, easing out my tension, and I relaxed under his skillful manipulation of my muscles. It seemed like he had used some kind of warming oil, because it was leaving an amazing tingling sensation on my skin.

After his hands left me, I felt a trickle of warm liquid that started at my spine and slid down between my ass cheeks. From there I felt tiny amounts slide down between the hairs on my thighs, pushing me into a frenzied need. I jerked my hips forward, but there was no relief, nothing for me to buck up against, and my whimpers were now those of frustration.

I couldn’t relax, not really, even as his hands came down and continued to knead my back, along my spine, and down my biceps, eventually working down to my waist and lower, gently rubbing the skin that he’d beaten not so long before.

“Are you okay, Jesse?” he asked, checking in on me. I nodded. “Good.”

For long moments I was left alone again to only the sounds of my breathing, harsh over the gag, and the feel of the air in the attic cooling my oiled skin. He must have taken his boots off because I didn’t hear him approach, so the sting of the riding crop against my ass made me scream and jerk in my bonds.

Instead of continuing to deliver strong, stinging blows, he started to tap the fold of leather over the most sensitive parts of my body—the soles of my feet, under my arms, my ribs, just above my navel, the crease where my buttocks met my thighs, my inner thighs.

I was trembling with need and would have been begging for his touch if I were able to get the words out. Then he rearranged my knees so they were wider, and gently started tapping on my scrotum.

Thanks to the ropes I didn’t go through the roof, but I made a fair attempt at it. The sensations were getting too much for me, and I feared I would orgasm from this alone. Then Master started to intersperse these light taps with harder whips, and I felt myself sink deeper into subspace.

“Oh, and you can come when you’re ready,” Master said, almost absently, and I sighed in relief. I wasn’t letting myself get close to orgasm, but as soon as I relaxed, the strain of holding it back became apparent.

Master continued to tap my balls with the crop and leaned around, taking my cock in his hand, which was still slick with oil. It only took a few strokes for me to come, screaming into the gag. It was so intense I was left trembling and shaking all over. Master quickly undid the straps on the gag and stroked my hair, allowing me to come down gently.

When I was done, laid out languid on the bench, he worked to get me free of my bondage, leaving the wrist and neck cuffs in place. His hands were always on my skin, letting me know he was close and taking care of me. It was this act of submission that I reveled in—being taken care of by someone who loved me deeply.

I knew that the session could end at this point; both of us had orgasmed, and we had fulfilled our mutual needs. Some days our session would end at that point, with no penetrative sex whatsoever. That was fine with both of us. There were some days when I found myself literally aching for his touch and for the feeling of completion as he fucked me, and other days when I didn’t want to go there. But the point of being a submissive is yielding to the desires of another, so once I was free of my rope restraints, I stood on shaky feet and laced my hands behind my head again.

Master leaned forward and brushed soft kisses over my mouth, then up the lines of where the straps of the gag had been, soothing away the ache from where they had been pressed into my skin. I was ready for whatever he wanted to do to me next.

“On your knees, Jesse,” he said in a soft but authoritative voice, and I immediately complied, sinking down while holding my position with my hands behind my neck. “All fours.”

I dropped forward and held myself perfectly still as he circled me slowly. Then, with a snap of his fingers that indicated I should follow, he walked toward the pulley equipment to my right. Master was the first one to use suspension bondage on me, and although my first experience had been vaguely terrifying, I’d grown to love it.

There were plenty of different ways he could tie me up; some of the more intricate forms of bondage took up to an hour to get into. Master was accomplished in many different types of shibari—rope bondage—and he liked to keep me on my toes by manipulating my body into different positions each time we played.

Master had me stand again, and I dropped my eyes to the floor once I was stable. He had me hold my arms out to the sides as he wound the rope around my chest and upper body, and after a few minutes, this simple task caused my biceps to burn with the effort. Once the first point for the suspension hook was tied, he lowered my arms and cuffed my wrists together so they were held at my lower back. From here, another length of rope was worked over my shoulders, around my sternum and arms, binding them behind me.

The two lengths of rope were left on the floor, and Master left my eyesight for a moment, coming back with two more padded tan leather cuffs, which were secured just above my knees. Two more ropes were then tied to those cuffs, and I was ready.

Master gathered the four ropes in his hands and deftly threw them over his shoulder, out of the way, as he helped me sit down again. The pulley system was lowered until it was a few feet above me, then Master went about securing all of the ropes together through the steel loop and again to a second “safety” point on the ceiling. He pulled my legs up so they were off the ground, and pulled them apart. I could still close them, but why would I want to do that?

Once he was satisfied I was secure, Master pushed the button on the pulley to raise me up, stopping when I was just at the right height for him to fuck me. He left my side for long moments, letting me settle into the ropes, looking up at the black ceiling as he changed the music to a heavier, grittier rock—fucking music. When he returned, I could see a glint of silver in his hand, and he took my chin, tilting it so I was looking at him, and dangled a chain in front of my eyes. He was smirking. They were nipple clamps.

Of course, he knew how fucking sensitive I was there. I glared at him as he brushed his palms against my chest to get my nipples to tighten, and he chuckled at my expression.

“Oh, Jesse,” he sighed. “We’re going to fuck that attitude right out of you.”

And… I was hard again. Dominating Will, my Master, was sexy as all fuck.

It didn’t really hurt when he attached the clamps; it was more like a consistent pressure, which actually felt really good, like he was constantly, gently pinching my nipples. I groaned as he stepped away and left the chain resting on my chest.

It had been too long since he’d fucked me. That was all I could think. Just too long.

He rubbed at my anus with a soft finger, teasing all around the area until I was bucking in my ropes, silently begging him for more. He chuckled softly, and cool, wet lube was added as he slid his finger in to the first knuckle. That was somehow worse; I wanted his cock, not his finger, even as I appreciated his need to prepare me. More lube and a second finger caused me to moan and whimper out loud, earning me a sharp, stinging slap to my ass.

“Shush,” Master reprimanded, and I gritted my teeth against the sounds begging to be released from my throat.

He turned his fingers over and pushed them all the way into me, thrusting a few times before his third finger joined the other two. Despite my earlier orgasm, my balls were aching for another release, and I had to work on all my self-control to remain silent and calm under his clever fingers.

Finally, finally, Master removed his fingers and pressed the head of his cock against my entrance. His grip on my hips was almost painful, and he moved torturously slow, pressing just inside me and then stopping, then pushing more and stopping again.

“Please, Master, please,” I begged, earning three more sharp slaps to my ass, one for each word, which may have been what I wanted anyway.

“What do you want?” he demanded.

“You to fuck me, please, Master,” I told him.

He slapped me again, but that was feeling nice already, then he plunged himself all the rest of the way inside me. My heart was beating so hard in my chest and my breath was coming out in gasps, but to be filled by him again was amazing, so I could forget everything else.

In that moment I belonged to him, totally, completely, consumed by him. Nothing mattered, no one mattered except the man behind me, taking me to a whole different level of arousal and sex and need, pushing his body into mine over and over, forcing me to submit on a physical and emotional and mental level.

His arm snaked around my body, and he leaned over me, reaching for the chain that connected the clamps on my nipples and yanking them off in a swift move. I screamed out as the blood rushed back to the area—partly from the pain, mostly from the surge of need.

My back arched, and he hit a new spot inside me, and I came so fucking hard, with the sounds of his orgasm following me. He kept thrusting, slow and really deep to draw out the pleasure as long as he could, even though I was so exhausted I could have fallen asleep right there, in my little nest of black ropes.

Master quickly released my legs, removing the ropes so I could put my feet on the floor to steady myself. He rubbed my lower back—a quick, reassuring gesture—then helped me to stand upright while he removed the rest of the bondage.

“How are you doing, Jesse?” he asked softly and kissed my shoulder.

“Fine, Master, thank you.”

He was half a step behind me as I grabbed my pile of clothes and walked down to the second floor, heading for the small guest bathroom where I usually cleaned up.

“Come with me, today?” he asked. It was a command I could refuse if I wanted to, but there was no way I would. More time with Master was always a good thing.

He led me through to his bathroom and turned on the shower—it was a walk-in style with slate tiles and multiple showerheads. I had been in here once or twice before, but he certainly didn’t make a habit of it.

“Get in,” he said with a smile. I dumped my clothes on the floor and let out a low moan of contentment as the hot water washed away the grime of sweat and sex, and eased the ache in my muscles.

Master followed me in and pulled me back into his arms. The water was hitting my chest, and he filled his palms with shower gel and rubbed it into my skin. Even though my cock responded to his touch, I ignored it. This was about more than the eroticism of him touching my skin. It was a ritualistic thing, him helping me to clean off.

I returned the favor, and Master quickly and efficiently cleaned himself, and then told me to take as much time as I needed. In the guest bathroom I often took long showers, helping me to calm down and find my way back into my own skin. Sometimes Jesse Ross seemed like an entirely different person.

Of Being Yours
Chapter One
THREE years down the line, and he was still my everything.

And I was still his.

Things had changed, of course; he’d quit his job at his father’s firm in order to pursue his own career, on his own terms, where the name Anderson would only mean Will and his own achievements, not those of his father before him. His new role was developing software for emerging communication devices, mostly for the military. It often meant signing nondisclosure agreements—he couldn’t tell me about his contracts, and I just had to accept that sometimes he was stressed and couldn’t tell me why.

I had completed my MA in history in just over two years, during which I’d lived off my sponsorship and a scholarship and worked like a madman to finish in as short a time as possible. I was motivated by the knowledge that my funding wouldn’t last forever. In my graduating class, I was one of the lucky ones: I took my interest in modern history and used it to secure a job at Seattle’s EMP Museum. Although I started off right at the bottom of the career ladder, I had a fantastic boss who encouraged me to take on my own responsibilities, and slowly but surely, I managed to creep my way up in the museum’s hierarchy.

It was sometimes a point of contention between us—how much time we both spent at work. I was used to fairly regular shifts at the museum except when a project took over my life, and Will had to work weekends when the company demanded it of him. Things started to settle down after the screaming, plate-smashing argument we had a year ago. Sometimes little things like lunch together on Fridays, or neither of us working on Sundays unless it was really, really important, helped maintain a happy equilibrium. We also stuck a calendar to the fridge where we could mark important dates; that way there was no comeback to the argument “I told you about it!” “No you didn’t!”

We talked and talked and talked about moving away from Seattle to a bigger city, one where we could pursue something different…. To New York, where I could take the next steps in my career, or to Washington, DC, where Will could further his. But Seattle was our home, where we’d fallen in love and where his family was. So we stayed.

We held hands in public from time to time and dealt with the inevitable consequences of that choice. People invited us to family gatherings—weddings, barbeques, parties—as a couple. I called his mother Mom. She called me “that pain in the ass who eats all the food in my house.” I loved her to bits.

Will’s father had a harder time coming to terms with our relationship than Cara. Although he still loved his son, it took some adjusting for him to rearrange his expectations of Will’s future. I respected that, just as I did him as a man. I wouldn’t have blamed him for resenting me, but he never did. He was stern but fair and, with time, came to accept me as Cara had.

We took rather infrequent trips down to Georgia to see my big annoying fucked-up family, the infrequency mostly due to the fact that they were fucking crazy and drove me crazy every time I saw them. As expected, Will was never “Jesse’s partner” or “Jesse’s boyfriend” in polite company. He was my companion, or my housemate, or (the best one yet), when we introduced him to my eighty-five-year-old grandmother, my “man friend.” Will had to excuse himself after that one to go outside and die laughing.

It always amused me how unequipped Will was to deal with the heat in my home state. I purposely timed our previous visits around the cooler holidays: Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving. Fourth of July weekend was going to be a challenge for him, but he had agreed that this year, we’d spend that particular holiday down south. I, for one, was looking forward to it. He looked incredible in a tight T-shirt and shorts.

One of the best things that had developed in our relationship was that Will had become quite the horny little bottom. It was really adorable, actually; he would fuck me into oblivion, so hard it would hurt for days, but when he bottomed for me, he liked it to be sweet and slow and romantic.

I always knew when he wanted me to make love to him. He’d grow quieter, almost as if he was scared of asking me for what he wanted. Not that I ever said no.

Some of the best moments in our relationship were when I’d gently lay him down on the bed, our lips fused together and moving slowly, my hands roaming over his skin as he unbuttoned my shirt, kissing my neck and throat as we rocked together.

I would light candles sometimes, and the flickering light made strange shadows dance over our skin and the walls. Or sometimes it would be late in the afternoon when the sun had turned the sky pink and orange—just enough light to see by.

His fingertips—oh fuck, his fingertips. I could, and would, watch his hands for hours, but when I made love to him, he would trail just the very tips of his fingers all over my skin, but particularly up and down my sides, and look up into my eyes with a vulnerability that was real only in that moment. Will was still the least vulnerable man I had ever known. But when he was underneath me, with his wide brown eyes so open and honest and loving, I had the power to break him.

Instead, I loved him.

When we made love with my chest to his back, my cock buried deeply inside him and his face in a pillow to muffle his cries, I’d take both his hands in mine and hold them tightly. I would kiss the back of his neck, his shoulders, lick from the first bump of his spine as far down as I could, arching my own back upward until the pain of not being pressed up against every inch of his skin was too much.

What I liked best was having his ankles over my shoulders when he was on his back, or his feet braced against my chest as I bent him in half, the position spreading his cheeks wide for me. When we made love like that, I could see him. See all of him. He was the most beautiful thing in my world when he lifted his hips to my thrusts, never able to be the passive lover. Never submissive.

Like that, I could watch my name fall from his lips when he came, his throat bared to my teeth, his eyes screwed tightly shut from the deep, intense emotion that threatened to overwhelm us both. He would grip my biceps as he came, gasping and sobbing. I had moments where I almost lost my own orgasm while I was so absorbed in him; it would throb through me in gentle pulses that went on and on and on instead of one hot burst of pleasure.

“Will,” I would whisper over and over again, as if it were the answer to everything. “Will.”

Sometimes, it was.

WE’D made some changes to the playroom over the past two years, getting rid of certain pieces of apparatus that we rarely used anymore, like the spanking bench and the padded table, and replacing them with new equipment. While being snowed in the previous winter, I’d stripped the black paint from the walls, sanded them back, and replaced them with dark wood paneling.

The hardwood floors had always been one of my favorite things about the attic space, and in the same long weekend, they’d been restained. The glass boxes holding our equipment had gone, too, and now where there once were mirrors, a long, shallow cupboard held whips, riding crops, paddles, and thin, whippy canes.

The overall effect was that of warmth. Our old playroom had been harsh: black walls, silver mirrors, glass and metal and chrome. And that worked for us in the first few years of our relationship, when our roles were much more defined as those of Master and submissive. The new room reflected our changing positions. I still served him, but there was an undertone of love and respect and commitment between us that had undoubtedly shaped who we were.

Now when I knelt for him, the smell of wood was reassuring, along with the warmth and the music that was still pulsing rock. Some things didn’t change.

“Good evening, Jesse.”

“Good evening, Master.”

He walked past me, gently brushing his hand over my head as he did so, crossing from the door to the wall where my collar and cuffs were hung. I lifted my chin so he could secure the beautiful tan leather sheepskin-lined collar around my throat, then held my wrists out so he could buckle them to the cuffs. When he was done, I moved my arms back behind me and held each elbow with the opposite hand.

“How energetic are you feeling tonight?” he asked. “What I’ve got planned for you will require plenty of stamina.”

“I’m ready to serve you,” I said, keeping my eyes low.

He hummed low in his throat, disbelievingly. “Follow me.”

Master hadn’t indicated that I should stand, so I crawled after him to the other side of the room, where our rigging equipment was set up. I hated crawling, but it was one of the few things that sent me straight into a submissive mind-set. It was precisely because I hated it but did it anyway that it reminded me I was beneath him. He owned me. I did what he told me to do. And with realizing that, I was ready for whatever he had planned for me.

I knelt at his feet where he’d stopped, and resumed my previous position. When I was once again still and silent, he moved to the wall and selected several lengths of red climbing rope. I rose to my feet when he snapped his fingers at me, and he walked around me to begin enclosing my body in the ropes. I braced my feet so I wouldn’t stumble.

Master had a collection of different ropes, mostly either red or black, which complemented my softly tanned skin and blond hair. Sometimes he used plain hemp, which seemed to blend into my skin tone but itched and left red marks where it chafed against me. Sometimes that was the point.

It took a while for Master to work the rope in a diamond pattern across my torso and knot it in various places. When my upper body was enclosed, he threaded the long ends through the D rings attached to my cuffs. With sure hands he helped me lean back into the sling that had replaced nearly all uses of our old padded table. I settled into it comfortably, knowing where to position my weight so that I was evenly balanced as he suspended me from a beam in the ceiling. As soon as I was settled, he tied off the ropes behind my back, ensuring I couldn’t move.

There were a few positions I could be manipulated into while lying in the swing; the main straps supported my spine, but my shoulders, arms, and legs could be tied off in different ways. Tonight Master pushed my knees almost to my shoulders and tied them to one of the support ropes.

Positions like this made me uncomfortable and he knew it. I could handle having my body stretched out, but being curled in on myself increased my sense of claustrophobia. I felt aggrieved for a moment, that he would choose this position when he knew I didn’t like it.

I shut those thoughts down.

This was what serving him meant.

It wasn’t what I wanted, but it was what he wanted of me.

Like this, I was spread for him, my legs obscenely wide and the backs of my thighs presented to his touch. I expected the whip and was pleasantly surprised when he chose a soft leather multitailed flogger instead. He trailed it over the curve of my ass, gently stroking my balls with the falls, then whipping my thighs and calves.

I caught his eye and he gave me an extra-hard smack for that. I cried out and grasped at the ropes at my wrists as I writhed away from the pain.

“Relax,” he told me as he returned the flogger to the wall. “It’s going to hurt a lot more in a moment.”

I believed him and shut my eyes, taking long, deep breaths while pulling experimentally on each of my bonds in turn. I couldn’t break free, of course, but this testing of my restraints and relearning of my own limitations helped me absorb the pain in my ass and thighs. From the initial sting, the pain had dulled to a gentle, warm throb. It was just enough to keep me floating happily in my subspace.

The sound of a match striking made me jump. Fire play was definitely something in my Red zone—I wasn’t comfortable with that sort of stimulation at all. Both my Master and I had decided a long time ago that we weren’t going to leave permanent marks on my body, be that by needles or knives or fire. I forced myself to keep my eyes closed, even as my heart rate accelerated, and demanded that my rational mind remember that he would never do anything like that without my express permission beforehand.

“Good boy,” he murmured from between my legs. So he’d returned. “You can open your eyes.”

Master had turned down the overhead lights but was lit up by the soft glow of a white candle he held up to my line of sight. I swallowed.

“Do you know what I’m going to do with this?” he asked.

“I have a good idea, Sir,” I murmured.

“You’re a clever boy,” he said, smirking. “I’m sure you’ve figured it out.”

Several other candles were lit around the room, their hot wax melting slowly. Master ran his free hand up and down the inside of my thigh, slapping lightly in a few places to arouse me further. My cock was still half hard from his earlier flogging; now, with this new treat to look forward to, it was filling again.

“Different colors burn at different temperatures,” Master said softly. “I have a few to experiment with. These are BDSM candles, so they won’t burn you.”

I nodded and took another deep breath.

He didn’t ask if I was ready, just ran his hand down my flank and tipped the candle until a single drop of pearly white wax landed on the back of my thigh. I had braced myself to scream and was pleasantly surprised when the noise that my throat emitted was actually a long groan of pleasure.

The heat was concentrated for a moment, burning against my already reddened skin, but it soon cooled, setting hard and trapping the fine hair on my legs. Master let the next drop fall on the other leg, then trailed a long line from the sensitive skin on the inside of my knee to the equally sensitive skin on the inside of my thigh.

Then I did howl. The hot liquid ran for just an inch or so before solidifying, abstractly tickling the hairs on my legs and burning my skin at the same time, pain and softness and pleasure all rolling together.

Master had used all of the melted wax from the first candle and set it back down on the floor to burn down some more. He chose a red candle next. I was panting for breath, the sound loud in my ears as I watched with equal trepidation and anticipation for the next hot spill.

Red layered over white with little splashes no bigger than the size of a dime, each a little pinprick of hot pleasure that stung and warmed my skin. After red came black, then back to white as the natural color of my thighs was overlaid with layer on layer of soft wax.

I waited with a vaguely masochistic enthusiasm for the candles to be dripped over more sensitive areas of my body; by now Master had coated nearly all of my inner thighs but had yet to let the hot liquid touch my cock or balls.

When Master picked up the black candle again, I was reduced to a whimpering mess, tears streaming down my cheeks, although I wasn’t sure why—this was one of the best sessions we’d had together in a long while. My cock was leaking against my stomach, a sticky mess that was somehow more uncomfortable than the torture he was inflicting on my thighs.

“I should have gagged you,” Master said as he teased me with the edge of the candle, not letting the wax fall. “I knew you wouldn’t be able to keep quiet for this.”

“Please,” I begged. “Please.”

He sighed heavily. “Oh, all right.”

Master walked around the ropes to my left side and poured a large puddle of wax onto my nipple. I screamed then; the sensation was too much like pain for that brief moment before it solidified. He gave my other nipple the same treatment before resuming his place between my legs, looking down on me with an expression of mixed pride and disdain.

I waited, whimpering, for the next stage, wondering if he’d bring me to orgasm or leave me to messily jerk myself off in the corner once he was done. He’d done that the week before, leaving me feeling dirty and humiliated and loving him all the more for it.

For all of my begging for the wax on my cock or balls, I’d never got off on them being tortured, and Master knew this. He replaced the candles on the floor while I was still catching my breath, then opened his jeans and pushed them down off his hips far enough to release his cock.

He smirked at my desperate whimper, pushing my hips up toward him despite the fact that I was already aching. He reached for a pot of lube and smeared it over me, pushing a finger inside to work it around and stretch me a little before rubbing more on his cock and positioning it at my asshole.

“Tell me you want it,” he commanded.

“Please,” I begged. “Please. I want it.”

“Want what?”

Master rubbed the head of his cock over my hole, not pushing in but teasing me more.

“I want your cock. I want it inside me.”

“Good boy,” he said, took hold of my ankles, and pushed in with a hard thrust.

I had no idea I was so close to coming, but the entire session, the slow buildup from the ropes, the flogging and the wax—oh fuck, the wax—had brought me right to the edge already. Master noticed.

“Don’t you fucking dare come without permission, Jesse,” he said.

“Won’t, Sir,” I said through gritted teeth.

He pulled out and slammed back in again, grunting with the effort. I forced myself not to arch into his thrusts, knowing that this would only align my prostate with the end of his cock and make it even harder for me to ward off my orgasm.

Within moments his balls were slapping an insistent rhythm against my ass as he pounded into me, and I could feel the wax breaking up as he manipulated my body underneath him. I watched, because he hadn’t told me I wasn’t allowed to, the sweat shining on his torso from both the heat in the room and the physical exertion of fucking me.

“Please, Sir, I need to come,” I begged him again.

“Wait…,” he said. Then: “With me.”

That was the permission I was waiting for; I knew his face and his body well enough to be able to tell when he was right on the edge. When he gripped my ankles tighter and his thrusts grew faster, I allowed myself to arch into the sensation, and moments after he cried out, spilling inside me, I found my own release.

Blood was still pounding in my ears as I came down from the massive orgasm that had shaken me all over, leaving me to catalogue all of the delicious aches and pains that I was able to take away from the session. Within a minute or so, Master had untied my hands and helped me out of the sling.

I fell forward into his arms and found a patch of skin between his neck and shoulder to nuzzle into, then turned my head to find his kiss. He smiled as our lips met and stroked my hair and the back of my neck.

“Can you stand while I take the ropes off?” he asked. “Or do you want to kneel?”

“I can stand,” I told him.

My mind was still floating along the edge of my subspace, giving me lots of warm, fuzzy feelings of being loved and cared for. Master rubbed down my wrists and arms as the ropes fell free, then roughly rubbed at the now dried wax on my legs to break it up a little.

“Um, Will?” I asked in a small voice.


“How the hell do we get this stuff off?”

To Say I Love You
Chapter One
I ROLLED over in bed and tucked my body around Will’s, curving against him like a question mark and tangling our feet together. It was perfect for all of three seconds, and then he threw me off and rolled away.

“Too hot,” he mumbled. Will searched for my hand on the bed and brought it to his lips, a kiss asking for forgiveness.

It really was hot, even I would admit to that. And I’d grown up here.

Some years, summer in Georgia meant the mercury hit a hundred before you even got out of bed in the morning. Others, it meant nonstop rain for months on end. This was a sweltering summer, one that I remembered from my childhood and had almost forgotten, or remembered in the hazy, abstract way that almost-lost memories linger.

I knew what Will was sacrificing to be here with me, so forgiveness came easily. Since it was nearly morning anyway, I leaned over and kissed his shoulder before getting out of bed and tugging on running shorts.

The only good time to run was before the sun was even up. My sneakers were beat from running on dusty roads, but there was no way I was going to invest in a new pair until I knew more about what was happening. Things were still so up in the air.

I crept through the house to make sure I didn’t wake my dad or sister, or Jennifer’s Labrador puppy she called Baby. I was more than happy to take Baby out for a run, and did so a few times a week, but she still barked a lot. She’d grow out of it sooner or later.

The air outside was cool compared to what I knew it would get like, and I took a deep lungful of it before starting my loop around the neighborhood. Running alone made me think. Will was doing everything he could to stop me thinking, bless him.

Mama was dead.

It still hit me like a sucker punch every time I let the thought into my head, one of the reasons why Will had become so good at distracting me. There were times, though, when I wanted to think. I wanted to remember.

Jennifer had called me not even a month ago, her voice broken and raw.



“It’s Mama.”

“What about her?”

“She’s got cancer, Jess.”

“Oh, God. Shit. Where?”

The longest pause of my life. Then: “Everywhere.”

She wasn’t exaggerating. Will and I threw clothes into a suitcase that evening, and he paid stupid prices to get us both on a flight from Seattle to Atlanta. While I panicked, he called around to let both our bosses know, then his mother, who was like a second mom to me. Jennifer had promised to tell me more when we arrived. All I knew was that Mama was in the hospital and it was bad.

It felt like it took me a while to string together all the pieces of information I’d been given and put them in a logical order. Mama had been outside weeding her garden when she collapsed. They’d taken her straight to the emergency room, and she’d been admitted. Then she wouldn’t wake up.

That evening, a doctor neither my dad nor Jennifer had ever met before came and said he was an oncologist who had been treating my mother for years. Years.

That was when Jennifer had called me.

She only woke up a few times after that. I got to speak to her, not mentioning the C word or letting on that we knew. That was something the oncologist had insisted on. Mama hadn’t wanted us to know. She didn’t want us to worry about her.

Less than three weeks later, she died.

The cancer had spread from her breast to her lymph nodes, then to her brain. From the first time she’d gone to see her doctor with the lump, it had taken two years for the cancer to kill her. She’d refused nearly all treatment.

I doubled back and started the uphill leg of the journey to the house, a little quicker than I had before. These days, I only got the occasional pain in my side where the old breaks in my ribs were. It was all well-healed now, although running for a long time sometimes made it twinge. The sun was properly up now, and I could feel the heat on my skin; I hadn’t put any sunscreen on before leaving the house and didn’t want to burn. Having lived in the Pacific Northwest for half my life, my skin wasn’t so used to the sun.

Will was sitting on the porch swing when I arrived, freshly showered and dressed in shorts and a T-shirt, cradling a mug of coffee to his chest. I braced my hands on my knees as I caught my breath.

“I would have come with you,” he said lightly. I shook my head.

“It’s fine,” I said around my still-shaky breathing. “Felt good to get out.”

“If you go have a shower, I’ll make some breakfast.”

I leaned in to kiss him, but he stopped me getting too close with his fingertips pressed to my lips and grinned.

“Shower,” he repeated.

I could hear my dad moving about in his room and bypassed the family bathroom for the smaller one attached to my old room. It used to be the hallway closet until my mom converted it.

Will and I had been staying at my parents’ house since we arrived in Georgia. For the first few weeks, it was a base while we took shifts at the hospital. My dad barely came home, so Will had taken over all housekeeping duties. He was still in charge of things like meals, making sure we were all eating, doing grocery shopping, and running to the bank and taking calls from people sending their condolences.

In short, he was a godsend.

I showered quickly and dressed, scrubbed my hand over my jaw, and decided not to shave, then jogged down the stairs barefoot. Will was in the kitchen, a pan of eggs already on the stove with a loaf of sliced bread ready to go in the toaster.

This time I did kiss him, on the side of his neck, lingering there for a moment to tell him “thank you.” His hair was still wet from his shower, and I carefully combed the knots out with my fingers, untangling the reddish-brown strands.

I wore a variety of different bands and bracelets around my wrists these days, some leather, others made of braided thread, often picked up during mini-trips Will and I had taken around the Northwest. We’d started going out to the coast on the weekends when the weather was good, and there were plenty of little towns in the area that sold homemade jewelry and the like.

The collar Will had given me as a symbol of our more kinky relationship was nestled among them, the same simple braided-thread bracelet that had been around my wrist for years now. I’d belonged to him for a very long time.

Being back in the South had changed me. It was like my skin had remembered the golden-brown color I turned with just a little encouragement, and the sun had lightened my hair too. I’d had it cut, much to Will’s distress, not liking the blond curls that had started to take over. It was short on the sides now, with just a little bit of curl on the top.

Will burned in the sun. He had inherited his mother’s pale skin, which meant he needed to slap on the sunscreen before he left the house and keep applying it if we were out for any length of time. I wasn’t sure his hair had gotten lighter; it was probably just the changing color of his skin. His usual milky, pale complexion made his dark, brownish-red hair look even darker. I was getting used to seeing him with a burned nose. It was adorable.

My dad wandered down for breakfast first, grunted a hello at us both, and helped himself to the eggs Will had set on the table. Baby arrived just before Jennifer, skidding into the kitchen on legs that only knew one speed.

I’d grown to adore the dog almost as much as my sister did and crouched to rub her belly hard. Baby was a slut and immediately rolled onto her back to receive the attention she thought she deserved. “Baby” was never supposed to be her name; Jennifer had called her Daisy at first, but it hadn’t stuck. When my sister insisted on calling the puppy her baby, she’d started to respond to the affectionate nickname instead.

Baby chewed shoes. My shoes, in particular. For reasons none of us could explain, she never went for any of Will’s shoes, or Dad’s, or Jennifer’s… just mine. I had taken to almost exclusively wearing flip-flops. That way it didn’t matter if she tore them up. I could replace them cheaply.

Will ushered me into a seat, and the dog fell into place at my ankles, waiting for a treat that was sure to come. She’d developed a taste for bacon we were trying not to indulge.

By the time Jennifer arrived, my plate was loaded and Will had hooked his foot around mine under the table. He did that a lot.

“Working today?” I asked her as we settled down.

She nodded. “This morning I have surgery for a few hours.”

That was good. Jennifer had graduated with flying colors from her veterinary school and had opened a clinic with a good friend in the next town over. After Mama got sick she had reduced her working hours, and they’d been paying a temp to come in and pick up the slack. It wasn’t the best solution though; they were leaking money, and I knew Jennifer would likely go back before she was really ready.

The museum had granted me a leave of absence, and though I missed my work, it was better this way. Things were different for Will and me; we’d both managed to work our way up our respective career ladders, and I knew we could afford for me to not work for a few months. Our savings would take a knock, but Will said it was worth it.

With Daddy having retired a few years back, it meant all four of us were at the house from dawn ’til dusk some days, and I worried it was getting claustrophobic. My father would never come right out and say he needed us, or even wanted us around. Instead I was given the job of trying to interpret his moods, which was no easy task.

When we were done with the breakfast things, I nudged Will away from the dishwasher. He’d do everything if I didn’t stop him, and at home—our home—we had a rule that whoever cooked didn’t get stuck with the dishes too.

Once the chore was done, I went back to bed. It was there Will found me a little while later, and he crawled up behind me and held me close.

“I thought we talked about this.”

“About what?”

“Staying in bed all day.”

“Will, it’s barely ten. That hardly counts as all day.”

He stroked my belly lightly and laid kisses on my back and neck until I relaxed in his arms. Things weren’t great, and wouldn’t be for a long time. This was a small comfort, one that I latched on to.

“I need to talk to you,” Will said quietly.

“Sure,” I said, twisting round to face him.

“I need to go home,” he said.

I reached up and touched his face, just lightly. “I’ve been telling you to go home for ages. It’s fine, I’ll come too….”

He was already shaking his head. “You need to be here. I get that, I really do. There’s some stuff I need to tie up at home, then I’ll come back.”

“Your job, though.”

“That’s why I need to go back,” he said with a wry smile, rubbing comforting circles on my arm. “Trust me, I don’t want to leave you right now. I really don’t. But if I go and get this done, then hopefully we’ve got a bit more flexibility to make decisions.”

“Like what?”

“I don’t know yet. That’s why I need to talk to my boss.”

I nodded. “Okay.”

“I’ll be a few days, that’s all.”

“I’ll be fine,” I insisted. “I’ll miss you, but I’ll be fine.”

He leaned in and pressed his lips to mine firmly, cradling my cheek in his hand.

“When are you leaving?” I asked.

“Tomorrow, hopefully.”

“Oh.” That was soon.

“I can be back quicker that way.”

Will was planning something, I could tell. He wasn’t likely to tell me exactly what until it was done, though, and that was okay. I trusted him.

That night, he held me close despite the heat, stroking my hair until I fell asleep in his arms. We didn’t make love here, not in my parents’ house. It was a respect thing: when I had first brought him home to meet my family, my mom had put us in separate beds.

It did mean we hadn’t had sex since we left Seattle, and I needed him. We were sensual people, and our relationship was based on layers of intimacy. Holding each other as we slept was only one of those layers.

Still, it was better than nothing, and when his lips found mine for a slow, searching kiss, it was better. I tightened my arms around his waist, closing the space between us, and clung to the man who had become my anchor.

The next morning I drove him to the airport in Atlanta. It was a few hours away from my family home, so Jennifer let me borrow her truck for the trip. He was only taking cabin baggage, not checking a suitcase, so he could go straight through to security.

I didn’t want a long-drawn-out good-bye in the airport and kissed him in the car instead.

“I’ll be as quick as I can.”

“I know,” I said, knowing he needed this reassurance. “It’s gonna be all right. Go on.”

“Love you,” he murmured.

“Love you too.”

I didn’t want to have to watch him walk away and pulled out of the drop-off area as soon as there was a space. It was weird in some ways, being set free here without him. Not that Will would hold me back at all. We were independent people, regardless of our commitment to each other.

Since Jennifer didn’t need her car at work, I dropped her off at the office on the condition I’d take Baby out for a long walk while she was working. Her partner would bring her home, leaving me with the whole day in front of me and nothing to do with it.

I mentioned it to my dad, hoping he’d be in the mood to join me. I was expecting him to decline, so I wasn’t surprised when he gave me a wry smile and shook his head. There was a part of me that knew he needed space and time to grieve, another part that hated leaving him on his own.

My parents had met when they were both teenagers, but Mama had married another man when she was eighteen, and my dad had joined the Army to try and get over the loss of the woman he loved. By the time he left the service five years later, my mother was divorced—no one knew why—and dad started trying to woo her.

They had been together ever since.

My mind kept asking questions I didn’t want to answer: What would you do without Will? Could you cope? Will you be with him long enough to have to deal with one of you dying first? What if you had to live without him? What if you leave him on his own?

It wasn’t helpful. Then again, a sense of our own mortality is what separates humans from the beasts, so it wasn’t like I was the first person who’d had to deal with this internal self-flagellation. It was all the worse because Will wasn’t around.

I took Baby for the long walk through a small forest a couple of miles away. By the time we were done and heading back to the car, she was exhausted and I took pity on her, carrying her the last few hundred yards. She was asleep before I pulled out of the parking lot, and snoring by the time I hit the highway.

Author Bio:
Anna Martin is from a picturesque seaside village in the south west of England. After spending most of her childhood making up stories, she studied English Literature at university before attempting to turn her hand as a professional writer.

Apart from being physically dependent on her laptop, she is enthusiastic about writing and producing local grassroots theatre (especially at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where she can be found every summer), travelling, learning to play the ukulele, and Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk.

Although her most recent work is in the LGBT romance genre, in the past Anna has worked on a variety of different projects including short stories, drabbles, flash fiction, fan fiction, plays for both children and adults, and poetry. She has written novels in the Teen or Young Adult genre, Romance and Fantasy novels.

Anna is, by her own admission, almost unhealthily obsessed with books. The library she has amassed is both large and diverse; "My favourite books," she says, "are 'The Moonstone' by Wilkie Collins, 'To Kill a Mockingbird' by Harper Lee and 'Oryx and Crake' by Margaret Atwood." She also owns multiple copies of Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park books and re-reads the Harry Potter novels with almost startling regularity.

Anna claims her entire career is due to the love, support, pre-reading and creative ass-kicking provided by her closest friend Jennifer. Jennifer refuses to accept any responsibility for anything Anna has written.


Another Way

Of Being Yours

To Say I Love You

No comments:

Post a Comment