Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sunday's Safe Word Shelf: Strangers in the Night by Jaycee Edward & Helena Stone

When Army veteran, Slade, stumbles upon an isolated cottage on a cold, dark, night, the young man finds more than just the shelter he’s seeking.

Former club Dominant Callum is surprised to find a handsome stranger knocking at his door but invites him in despite his reservations. A nightmare reveals Slade’s deep-seated emotional issues, and Callum knows he needs to get creative if he’s going to help Slade leave the past behind.

Neither man is prepared for the feelings Slade’s introduction into the world of BDSM will unleash, and thirty-six hours will either be enough to bind them, or they will remain forever strangers in the night.

Chapter One
SLADE PULLED his collar up to ward off the cold wind. Bloody freezing, he would kill for something hot to drink. He wasn’t sure how far he’d walked or how far he had yet to go. He needed to find shelter and a bed, without having to spend a fortune in the process. At this point even an old, drafty barn with some straw would be welcome. He shouldn’t have insisted he be dropped off here, in the middle of nowhere.

The pain in his leg increased by the minute, becoming unbearable. If he didn’t find something soon, he’d be left no option but to rest here, exposed to the elements.

The sight of a roofline in the distance brought a glimmer of hope. Gathering what little strength he had, he trudged on, that roofline becoming a lifeline in the dark. Of course, knowing his luck, there would either be no one there, or whoever lived there wouldn’t be willing to give shelter to the likes of him.

When he reached the house, he wasn’t sure if he was relieved or nervous to see lights burning. It didn’t matter; he’d run out of options hours ago. His hand shook as he raised it to knock on the old wooden door. He had no idea what time it was, but he knew it was late. The masculine face glaring out at him when the door opened was not welcoming—attractive, but not at all friendly.

“What do you want?”

“I’m sorry for disturbing you.” Slade took a deep breath. “I’m… I’m lost and I hoped maybe you could… would….”

“Would what?” The man eyeballed Slade with suspicion.

“Eh, tell me where to find a bed for the night?”

“A bed, huh?”

The man’s gaze raked over Slade again, and Slade saw something flash in them before the man stepped aside, opening the door.

“The nearest town is at least a day’s walk. You’d better come in while we figure something out. You look frozen.”

“Th-thank you, sir,” Slade said. He stepped over the threshold, unable to pass the big man without brushing against him.

The warmth inside the house engulfed him, sending shards of pain to his fingers as feeling returned. He rubbed his leg, the dull ache having become a constant throb during his miles of walking. The place was small and efficient, more cabin or cottage than house. The open floor plan gave it a cozy, comfortable feel. The flames in the open fireplace were the most beautiful and welcome thing Slade had seen in a long time. He looked at the fire with longing, glancing at the man, who nodded at him.

“Warm yourself up,” the man said, his demeanor not quite as gruff.

“Thank you, sir,” Slade said as he moved into the room to stand closer to the fire.

Slade wasn’t sure, but he thought he saw a smirk on the man’s face. “Enough with the ‘sir’ already. The name’s Callum Armstrong.”

The heat from the fire on his bone-cold skin was painful, but Slade welcomed it. He shivered as he rubbed his hands together.

“This is where you tell me your name, sir.” This time there was no doubt in Slade’s mind; that was most definitely a smirk.

“My name is Slade, sir. Uh… my name’s Slade Magnussen.” He could kick himself. Why had he turned into a bumbling idiot all of a sudden?

Callum chuckled as he gestured to an overstuffed lounge chair near the fire.

“Sit down, Slade. Take the weight off.” Callum shook his head as he strode over to the kitchen area.

Slade sank into the chair and couldn’t help the exhausted sigh that escaped him. Callum returned, handing him a steaming cup of tea, which Slade took gratefully.

“Thank you.” Slade looked up at the man towering over him. “I was about ready to collapse out there.”

“Why exactly were you out there on a night like this? Walking, no less. There’s nothing around here for miles.”

“Yeah… tell me about it,” Slade muttered. He swallowed before continuing. “I’d taken a lift off this truck driver and….” He looked away. “I didn’t like the vibe and had him drop me off at a crossroad a few miles back.”

Callum cocked a brow at him. “That explains how you got here. Not what you were doing out there in the first place.” Slade thought he detected a slight Scottish accent.

He studied his host. Callum was a large man, well built with short-cropped red hair and a neatly groomed beard. Of course he had questions. He even deserved a few answers after bringing a stranger into his home. Slade wasn’t quite ready to share his life story with him, though.

“I’ve been traveling. I was away for a few years and promised myself I’d get to know the whole country if—when I got back.”

Callum pursed his lips and nodded.

Author Bios:
Jaycee Edward
Jaycee Edward is no longer seventeen years old but don’t tell her that. She’s actually a tad older and lives in northeast Ohio with her handsome husband and one, big gorgeous dog. She has two grown stepdaughters and is proud to be the ultra-cool Nana to two amazingly incredible grand-teens. Jaycee loves pistol shooting and is has earned her Bar 7 Sharpshooter status in the Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program and hopes to someday reach the level of Expert Marksman. She is the token liberal and constant source of fascination to the other members at her gun range. Jaycee knows way too much about the inner workings of Walt Disney World and anything related to One Direction. She’d love to pull you into the rabbit hole with her. All you have to do is ask. Find her there or contact her through social media.

Helena Stone
Helena Stone can’t remember a life before words and reading. After growing up in a household where no holiday or festivity was complete without at least one new book, it’s hardly surprising she now owns more books than shelf space while her Kindle is about to explode.

The urge to write came as a surprise. The realisation that people might enjoy her words was a shock to say the least. Now that the writing bug has well and truly taken hold, Helena can no longer imagine not sharing the characters in her head and heart with the rest of the world.

Having left the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam for the peace and quiet of the Irish Country side she divides her time between reading, writing, long and often wet walks with the dog, her part-time job in a library, a grown-up daughter and her ever loving and patient husband.

Jaycee Edward

Helena Stone