Suburban Dominants #2
A re-release of the second book in my Suburban Dominants Series
Blurb: A stalker trying to drag her out of her workplace in handcuffs isn’t even Andrea Faselli’s worst nightmare. More dreadful is her attractive boss rescuing her and then having to explain to him that she gave up trying to get a restraining order against Cal because she met him in a BDSM club. Andrea expects to be fired and is stunned when instead he asks her for a date.
Nick Tysinger is the most attractive man she’s ever met, and learning he’s a Dominant makes him even more exciting. Her experience with Cal has made her wary, but in exploring their needs together, Andrea and Nick find they’re compatible in more ways than just their kinky leanings.
Still, there are issues to work out between them. They argue over Nick’s estrangement from his family. Nick worries how Andrea will react when she learns he sometimes shares in a ménage with his best friend and his best friend’s wife. And Cal isn’t ready to give up his imaginary claim on Andrea yet.
Five Stars: “Nick’s Lady is an excellent story about two very real people learning to love each other and explore their darker sexual needs…. The temperature in the room rises very time this pair gets together. I am surprised that my computer didn’t melt. I loved this very well thought out and realistic story and I loved the all the characters, both primary and secondary. I also enjoyed the BDSM elements and raw, steamy sex. Nick’s Lady is definitely a keeper.” — Oleta M Blaylock, Just Erotic Romance Reviews
4 1/2 Lips “Nick’s Lady is one of the most delightful BDSM books that I have read lately. It is inventive and imaginative while having no element of humiliation whatsoever in it. I loved the way Katherine Kingston creates characters with true life issues and problems to overcome and reactions that are very believable. The sexual chemistry is over the top hot and will leave you panting with the characters and wanting to be in their place. There is a loyalty, closeness and emotional tenderness that are so much a part of this book and the characters in it that you will fall in love with them all. Katherine Kingston has penned an emotion, sexual fulfilling, creative, imaginative, and intriguing story packed with underlying suspense that will keep you turning the pages until the end of the book and leave you wishing that it had not ended. I can not recommend Nick’s Lady highly enough.” — Tara, Two Lips Reviews * Read Full Review *
Five Roses “Oh My God, I loved this book. The way this author wrote the way he saved her from the “Ass” Cal, oh it was pure heat after that. I couldn’t put it down. I loved the way that Nick shows her what a “right” relationship is all about, not the one she had with the “Jerk”. If you love a “great” loving BDSM story, then this is the one for you.” — Nicole, My Book Cravings * Read Full Review *
If she hadn’t been so deeply engrossed in working on the spreadsheet, Andrea Fasselli would have seen him coming and dashed off to hide in the ladies’ room or the supply closet. But the formula for the loan-cost averaging refused to work properly and fixing it occupied all her attention. It distracted her from her usual careful attention to her surroundings. Otherwise, she might have looked out the front window when the door slammed shut and seen his truck in the parking lot. But she didn’t notice it.
She didn’t even hear the door from the street open and close. It took the sound of Cal Hartman’s voice to jerk her out of the concentration and make her look up. His gaze locked on her as he said, “Here you are, bitch. Finally caught up with you.”
Andrea drew a deep breath and straightened her spine. “Cal, I’m working. You don’t belong here.Go away.”
They didn’t have cubicles, just desks, so all around the large, open work area, heads popped up, sensing something dramatic happening.
Cal crossed the room to stop beside her desk. “Sorry, baby,” he said. “You’re playing hard-to-get just a little too hard. I understand why you’ve put on a show of resistance, but the game’s over now. I’ve got you.” He loomed over her so she stood up to face him.
“Cal, you can’t just come in here and–” Something cool and metallic snaked around her wrist and then snapped shut with a loud click. She glanced down. Her heartbeat sped up and icy sweat broke out on her forehead at the sight of the handcuff around her wrist.
“Cal! What are you doing? Get this thing off! Now!”
Another snap and he’d fastened the other loop around his own arm. “Sorry, sweetheart. I know you think you don’t want it, but we know what you really want, don’t we?” He leaned toward her on the last words, his expression going lascivious.
Her coworkers stood around watching, some with their mouths hanging open, others smiling, apparently thinking this was some kind of joke or prank.
“Cal, this isn’t funny. It’s over between us. It’s been over. I mean it. Take them off! Now!” She shrieked the last word as he started to drag her away from her desk, toward the door.
Her coworkers went from amusement to concern, and a couple started toward her. Another man came out of an office in the back and stood for a moment, looking around. Andi felt her stomach fold in on itself. The last thing she wanted or needed was for Nick Tysinger to see this show. Bad enough everyone else in the office witnessed her humiliation. Having him see it too was just more than she could take.
Then it got worse. She snagged a foot around the corner of a desk for leverage against Cal. He stopped when he felt the resistance drag him back. He turned toward her again.
“Come on, slave,” he said. “You know in your submissive heart you want this. You sure wanted it once!”
Andi wished the office would catch on fire right then. Or a lightning bolt strike. Or–something. Where were those lightning bolts when you needed them? Anything to stop this, to shut him up.
“Cal, you’re delusional! Get away from here and leave me alone. I’m not your slave or servant. I’m not your anything!”
“Come on, baby,” he said. “You know I like a bit of protest, but you’re pushing it too far.”
A new voice joined the contest. “Didn’t you hear what the lady said?” Her boss had come over to stand next to Cal. He put a hand on the chain between the cuffs, preventing Cal from dragging on it.
Nick Tysinger was a couple of inches shorter than Cal, but broader in the shoulders. He was also a couple of years older and had the confident air of a man who could take care of himself in a fight. The dress shirt and chinos didn’t completely hide the muscles in his thighs and arms.
She was glad to see him and wanted to die of the humiliation at the same time.
“Back off,” Cal told him, trying to shake Nick’s hand off the cuff. It pumped her arm up and down until she pulled her hand back to the desk and Nick added his own strength to get it there. “This isn’t your business,” Cal said.
“The lady works for me, and she seems to have some objections to complying with whatever it is you’re trying to force her to do.”
Cal let his arm drop and turned to face Nick. “Look,” he said, striving for a man-to-man, buddy-buddy tone. “You know how it is with these submissive women. They say “No. No’. but they mean ‘Yes. Yes’.”
“No, I don’t,” Andrea said with all the force she could muster. “When I say ‘No’ I mean ‘No’. End of discussion.”
“You heard her,” Nick said. “Which part of ‘No’ is confusing you? Where’s the key to these things?” He rattled the handcuffs.
“What’s your interest?” Cal asked, suddenly changing to an aggressive stance with Nick. “You want her? She’s good, but not that good. Takes a lot of work to get her excited. Helps to beat her butt some, but even then she wants to be petted and all that stuff. Still, she’s mine. I’ve trained her and got her to respond to me.”
“Cal, what the hell are you talking about?” Andi asked. “Trained? What’s gotten into your head? You haven’t trained me and I’m not yours. We’re done. We never were. Why can’t you accept that?”
“Because it’s not so.”
“Andrea said it was so. You better start accepting it,” Nick warned. “Now, where’s the key to the handcuffs?”
“Not your business.” Cal started pulling back again, trying to drag her away.
“She works for me. I’m paying her for the time you’re wasting. That makes it very much my business. Besides,” Nick suddenly released the handcuffs and snaked an arm around Cal’s throat. “I have a thing about people who try to force others to do something they clearly don’t want to do. It offends my sense of what’s right and proper.My sense of Karmic justice and–Ah, here it is.” While he’d been talking, he’d also reached into Cal’s pockets and felt around until he came up with the single key on a metal ring.
He held the key out to Sandy, the person standing nearest. “Come unlock it for us.”
Nodding, the woman took the key and unfastened the cuff from around Andrea’s wrist. When she held it over Cal’s arm, Nick should his head. Instead he took the key back and stuffed it into Cal’s pocket again. Then he turned Cal and pushed him ahead until he got to the office door.
“Open it,” Nick ordered.
Cal did so.
“Get in your car and go. If you’re still here in five minutes, I’m calling the police and having you arrested for trespassing. And if you ever show up here or anywhere near Andrea again, we’ll swear out a warrant for attempted kidnapping. You know how long that could get you sent up for?”
Cal shook his head.
“I don’t either,” Nick admitted. “But I’ll bet it’s a sizable chunk of your life. You want to risk that?”
“Good. Stay away from Andrea.”
They all watched Cal stomp across the asphalt, yank open the door of the pickup truck, jump in and tear out of the parking lot as though a pack of demons chased him. Andrea didn’t start to relax until its taillights had disappeared. Then she sank into her chair and covered her face with her hands. She didn’t want anyone to see the tears of mortification she couldn’t hold back.
Around her the office stayed very silent, except for the footsteps and the squeak of chairs as people returned to their desks. A phone rang. Someone began to pound on a computer keyboard. A warm hand rested gently on her arm.
“Come into my office,” Nick said, quietly, so that no one else could hear.
She wiped her hands across her face to clear away the tears and looked up at him. She couldn’t read anything in his green eyes as he handed her a clean, folded handkerchief.
He’s going to fire me, she thought, although the expression on his face was carefully neutral. And I don’t even blame him. She mopped up and followed him when he turned and walked away.
He closed the door behind her, and she braced herself. “Sit.” He waved toward the chairs facing his desk.
Andrea sat. Her mind wandered off to filing unemployment and figuring out whether the temp agency would take her back. How would she survive? With her aunt’s needs to see to as well as her own, she barely made ends meet as it was.
“Are you all right?”
She drew a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Yes. Thank you for your help out there. Cal–I think he’s delusional. We went on a couple of dates. Almost a year ago. Ever since, he’s thought he owned me or something.”
“This isn’t the first time he’s done this?”
“No. I try to be alert. Usually I see him coming and hide.”
“You don’t strike me as the type who usually hides from problems. Why haven’t you taken out a restraining order?”
Andi sighed. She really didn’t want to discuss this. “I tried, once. The people I talked to weren’t very sympathetic.”
“Why not?” An edge of anger underlay the question.
“I’d really rather not go into it.”
“Andrea, if that man is harassing you like that, there’s no good reason why they shouldn’t issue a restraining order.”
“It’s just that there were things that made it look like I was asking for it.”
His brows, a slightly darker blond than his hair, pulled together. “Things like what?”
“Nick,” he corrected.
“Nick.” It somehow made it worse to call him by his given name. “It’s not easy to talk about.”
“I can tell. But I’m also betting that whatever you tell me won’t really make a difference.”
“It might shock you.”
“I doubt that too.”
“Don’t be so sure. It was where we met. It did look bad.”
“If I said I first met Cal in a BDSM club, would you be surprised?”
Nick’s answer came back without hesitation. “Not particularly. Most of the better clubs try to screen out the nutjobs, but they don’t catch all of them.” He paused a moment. “So it was the literal truth when he said you were a sub?”
She shrugged. “Close enough, I guess.”
He sounded almost impatient when he said, “It’s not a crime and nothing you have to apologize for. That’s why you couldn’t get a restraining order?”
“Before we got through with the leering and jokes and suggestive comments, I’d given up on it.”
“You remember their names?”
“Who? The people at the courthouse? Um…no. I didn’t want to remember if I ever heard them.”
“Understandable,” he admitted.
“So what now?”
“Would it help if we moved you to a back room where the receptionist could buzz you if she saw him coming? Check that. She’d better buzz me. And I’ll call the cops.”
Andrea felt her eyes widen. “But… Aren’t you going to fire me?”
“Because some nutcase is stalking you and found you here? Is that fair? What do you think I am?”
“A businessman who’s had his work seriously disrupted for no good reason.”
“Well, yes, true. But also a businessman who cares about his employees, especially one who shows as much promise as you do. So my next call is going to be to my lawyer, to find out about getting a restraining order.”
“You shouldn’t have to do that.”
“Neither should you have to put up with being stalked.”
Andrea sighed. “No. But I guess in a sense I did ask for it.”
“By going to a BDSM club?”
“And letting myself be picked up by an obsessive jerk.”
“You got dealt a bad hand in the dating game. It isn’t confined to places like The Pointe. Too many women, and some men too, get burned by pickups in bars or even people introduced by friends and relatives. The better clubs should actually be safer than most places because they try to screen the clients.Have you contacted the place you met him?”
She needed a moment to absorb the fact that he knew about The Pointe and what it was.”CandlePower. Yes, I’ve told them. I was the second complaint about him, so they’ve banned him. But…”
“It doesn’t really help you much.”
She shrugged. “I’m working on it. It will help if I can get Cal to leave me alone. Then I can move beyond it.”
“My threat, plus a restraining order should take care of it.”
“Good, then let me help you take the next step in healing. Would you accompany me to The Pointe this weekend?”
For a moment she could do nothing but stare at him. She realized her mouth hung open and shut it so hard and fast her teeth snapped together.
“It would be our secret, of course. And I’m taking a risk, even by suggesting this.”
“I know. I don’t understand why you’re doing it.”
He hesitated for a moment, but he kept his eyes on her face. “Because even before this, I…was interested. Considered asking you out. I would have, if you weren’t an employee of mine, but this– He stopped and shrugged. “You’re attractive and I’m interested. On several levels. I just found another level, and it’s pushing me over the edge.”
For a moment she couldn’t speak from the surprise. “You’ve hidden it well. I had no idea.”
“You weren’t supposed to know. I had no intention of saying or doing anything about it. Until today.”
Just as she had had no intention of admitting she had a crush on him. Her boss. It had seemed ridiculous and totally futile, so she’d admonished herself for it and made sure she never let her interest show. Even now, she wasn’t sure this was a good idea. Handsome, intelligent, successful, and president of his own commercial real estate firm, Nick Tysinger was way out of her league. Was she jumping from the frying pan into a lobster pot?
He seemed honest and upright too, but she didn’t really trust her own judgment in men since Cal. How could she know that he would respect the limits of her submission and her interest in playing BDSM games? Of course, he was giving her a handle by even admitting he knew about BDSM clubs and frequented them. If she were to let that out in the right places, he might well be ostracized or his business damaged. Not that she would do that, unless she absolutely had to.
Up until today she’d have said he was a rather cold man, stern and solemn. He didn’t smile often. His very sternness was actually part of his appeal to her. But all of his employees admired and liked him. They universally described him as fair, honest and loyal. Her instincts said she could trust him.
She didn’t trust her instincts.
“Well?” he asked. “Will you?”
“I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
His expression didn’t change, telling her nothing about his feelings. “Is it that you’re not interested in me personally, or that you’re too afraid to try again?” One corner of his lips quirked, though she couldn’t read what that meant. “If you’re really not interested, tell me now. It won’t cost you anything related to the job. I’m not that petty. It might dent my ego a bit, but I can handle it and you’re far too good an employee to let go. I’d rather know, so I don’t waste my time.”
Was she interested in him personally? Hell, yes. Unfortunately–not that she’d admit it–he was also right about her being afraid. It was true. She’d been trying to avoid it, but he’d put his finger right on the issue. Cal had robbed her of her confidence, and it was time for that to stop. Maybe Nick could even help her stop being afraid. If…
She glanced at his fingers. He had nice hands, strong, well-shaped, with a light sprinkling of hair on the backs. It was the same color as the short-clipped hair on his head and shone gold against his tanned skin. He didn’t wear any rings. “You’re not married, are you? Or committed?”
A bit of outrage colored his answer. “I wouldn’t be suggesting this if I was. I respect vows and promises too much to do that.”
“I’m sorry. It’s just that… Not everyone is that honorable. I had to ask.”
As cool and confident a man as Nick was, it still must have taken some nerve to admit as much as he had and ask her to go out with him. It made her summon her own courage to match his.
“It’s not you,” she said. “At least not personally. It’s just that you’re my boss, and that could be trouble all the way around.”
“You’re grabbing for excuses. Or don’t you trust me when I say that any personal relationship will have no bearing on our business dealings?”
“I trust that you would try to work that way. But you’re human, too.”
“And if worse comes to worst, you have a sword to dangle over me. I really don’t like approaching it that way. I just want it to be low-key. A way to get you past the trauma and fear of Cal’s craziness, and see what, if anything, happens between us. How about a deal? A visit to The Pointe this weekend, a visit to CandlePower one night next week. Just as friends. No demands, no expectations. The first time we each play, but very limited and not with each other. We do agree to keep an eye on each other, though. After two nights, we do dinner and assess. How does that sound? Safe enough?”
How could she refuse an invitation so carefully thought out and presented? “All right. Let’s do it.”
For the first time, a small smile curved Nick Tysinger’s very nicely shaped lips. “Saturday, then?” It made her realize how rare that smile was. And how attractive.
“Good. You okay to get back to work?”
“I think so.”
“I’ll let you know what my lawyer says about the restraining order.”
“Thank you.” Andrea had to draw a deep breath and straighten her spine before she went out to face her fellow employees.
Mary Ellen Carter, the office manager, stopped her as she walked by. “Andrea? Are you all right?”
“Yes, thank you,” she answered. “It rattled me. I can’t believe what he did. I dated that guy twice, a year ago, and he thinks he owns me. He won’t leave me alone no matter how many times I tell him there was nothing between us. He’s delusional.”
Mary Ellen nodded. “He seemed like he might be a few spoons short of a full service. He could be dangerous.”
“I know. Mr. Tysinger– Nick is going to help me get a restraining order to keep him away from me.”
“Good. He’s something isn’t he?”
“He prefers ‘Nick’. And, yeah. He seems kind of quiet and solemn and even a bit harsh until you get to know him, but he really cares about his people. You can tell. He doesn’t make any big deal of it, but he’ll help when you need it. Of course, he expects a lot, too. He doesn’t suffer fools, but if you’re good and you work hard, he’ll repay it.”
“And on that note, I guess I’d better get back to that spreadsheet I was working on.”
“Andrea?” Mary Ellen said, quietly, as she started to turn. “Don’t feel badly about it or be embarrassed. It wasn’t your fault.”
Nice to know Mary Ellen believed that. Andrea wished she could convince herself. But it had been her bad judgment to let Cal Hartman anywhere near her. To give him any encouragement on that first encounter at the club, or on their one subsequent date.
“How’s your aunt doing?” Mary Ellen asked as Andrea turned away. They all knew Andrea went to the nursing home most days on her lunch hour.
“Not great. But she seemed a bit perkier today.I even got her to eat all of the meatloaf and some of the green beans at lunch.”
“Good. I’m glad.
Andrea got back to work on the spreadsheet, but managed to keep from diving so deeply into it she forgot to keep watch on the door. An hour later, Nick came out of his office and stopped at her desk.
“My lawyer will meet you at the courthouse at nine o’clock tomorrow morning to help you file the papers,” he said, and went on to give her the attorney’s name and a description so she would recognize him. “I gave him the license number of that idiot’s truck in case they need to track down his address. Let me know how it comes out.” Then he said goodbye and went on out to his car.
A little bit later, Mary Ellen stopped by her desk, and said, “I heard him talk about the lawyer. Didn’t I tell you he was a good guy?”
“You did,” she said. “You were right.”
But she couldn’t help asking herself, Is he good for me? Could I be making an even bigger mess of my life by accepting his offer?
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