Bound to the Past
Book 5 of Stronghold
Kate came back into Andrew's life like a blast from the past - a past that he thought he'd gotten over, but the effects of which he'd never quite managed to escape. They were young, they were in love, and he lost control for one instant, and that instant changed the course of their lives.
Now he wants to make things right and put the past behind him, but in order to do that he needs closure and Kate's the only one who can give it to him. Of course, once they start spending more time together in the present, it starts to become clear that maybe he's not quite as ready to put their past away entirely.
Ever since her return to Maryland, Kate hasn't been sure how to feel about her ex-boyfriend. She hated who he became while she was gone, but she can see him starting to change again and she likes the man that he's become over the past few months. He's different, but the same, and when she agrees to scene with him again, she decides she's not going to close herself off to the possibility of reconciliation.
However, the incident that shattered their past is now threatening their future together, making it harder for them to move forward from where they were. They have to decide whether or not they're going to try get their happily-ever-after, and if so, they're going to have to do what they didn't do before and fight for each other.
This is part of the Stronghold series and can be read on its own, although is more satisfying when read as part of the series. The book is approximately 87k words and includes BDSM, whipping, spanking, kinky sex, alpha males, and a guaranteed happily-ever-after.
Andrew pulled her a little closer, his big hand splayed open on her back, and Kate sucked in air to her suddenly tight chest.
"I keep thinking about how this might have been our wedding if we hadn't..." His voice trailed off as he came far too close to the topic that, by silent, mutual agreement, they'd avoided at all costs. Their conversations had been brief and light, when they had them at all.
Maybe it was the couple drinks she'd had (open bar, thank you very much Hilary's mom), but instead of laughing it off or immediately changing the subject she just quietly replied, "Me too."
They swayed in silence for a moment. It didn't hurt her heart any to make the admission. That was reassuring. She really was over him. But she did feel a wave of... nostalgia? Resignation? A touch of sadness over lost opportunities and 'what-ifs?'
"Want to scene with me next weekend? Saturday?"
Kate blinked. Maybe she should have expected the offer, but she hadn't. He wanted to try again... but why?
"Andrew," she said slowly, gathering her wits. "This isn't some kind of... I mean, you aren't... I don't want to lead you on if..." Crap, she was stumbling over her words, because she didn't want to just come out and say 'if you're still in love with me, then we can't, because I don't want to lead you on.' Not speaking bluntly wasn't like her, but it sounded so conceited to make that assumption, especially if that wasn't what he was saying.
He chuckled, and even looked a bit sheepish, making her relax. "Just a scene, Kate. Since we already had the limits talk, even if it didn’t end very well, we know what to expect now and I’m sure it’ll go better this time."
"Well..." She looked up into his dark eyes, which were full of interest and desire. "Um... I just want to confirm, you’re saying you’re okay with no sex in the scene."
His husky laugh made some of the couples around them glance over. Especially their friends. Oops.
"Yes, that’s what I’m saying. It’s no problem for me. I haven't had sex in a scene in months."
"Since even before you came back," he clarified, interpreting the expression on her face correctly. "Although, I will admit, having you around the club has kind of killed my interest in trying again, at least with someone else. It just feels weird when I know you're there."
"We'll get over that eventually," she said lightly. They would need to. She wrinkled her nose at him to let him know her next words were teasing. “Is that why you were so desperate when we tried to scene together the first time?”
She understood what he was saying though. Yeah, okay, they weren't together anymore, but rubbing that in his face by going beyond a non-sexual scene with someone that she wasn't in a relationship with just felt wrong. And apparently he felt the same.
Andrew snorted and ignored her question.
"So is that a yes to scening next Saturday?"
The look in his eyes was too complex for her to decipher. Not surprising, her own feelings were too complex for her to even begin to try to figure them out. She wet her dry lips. Gotta risk it to get the biscuit.