After many false starts, and much gnashing of teeth, the fourth book in the Dominion Trust series, Quinton’s Crucible, is now live at all major retailers.
This story follows the story of the harrowing ordeal of Quinton Trask, a rather nasty fellow readers were first introduced to in book #2 of the series, Her Troika. Unlike anything I’ve ever written, this book is my first F/m title, and it’s likely the darkest book I’ve written to date (if you’re averse to non-con themes, look elsewhere…). Quinton may be a “bad” man… but even his considerable will is no match for the steely Anna Shaw.
Since this is an F/m title, I recognize that this story may not be for some of you, and that’s perfectly okay. We all like what we like. But I just had to write this story. The tale of Anna and Quinton had been gnawing at me to write for longer than I care to admit, and I simply had no choice but to complete it.
For those who take a chance on it though, I think you’ll be surprised. Read on after the product description for a nasty little excerpt:)
A Note About Kindle Unlimited Availability: This book is being released wide for now, so for those of you non-Amazon folks you’re in luck.
Due to several recent troubling changes implemented by Amazon, I am keeping this title out of KU at this time. I understand that this may be problematic for any readers who only read via KU, but without complete confidence that Amazon is correctly recording page reads in the program I cannot in good conscience put any new titles into KU. I’m very sorry for any inconvenience this may cause some of you.
If Amazon cleans up the mess that is the current state of Kindle Unlimited (and yes, IMO it is definitely a mess), then I can certainly revisit putting new titles into KU. But until then, for business reasons (and my basic sense of right and wrong) I cannot put this title — or any other new titles — into KU.
(If any of you have questions regarding the current KU problems, feel free to write me and I’d be happy to explain further.)
Hope you enjoy the book!
As it so often was, my choice was obedience, or pain.
When they held the whip, or the cane, or the crop, my eyes always focused on the hands. The way the fingers caressed the braided leather of a handle, the way a maroon painted nail would catch the light as the cane sliced through the air, my bound body waiting to be reacquainted with its old friend agony.
I knew what they wanted, what they expected. But I never cooperated. They’d never make me give it to them.
I always chose the pain. No matter how bad it was — and there had been times that it was awful — it still paled next to the bitterness of obedience, of bowing.
They liked to make me wait. But it wouldn’t work either. I would endure, and I would prevail.
The door opened, the subtle zephyr of air across my chilled skin bringing me back to the present. I straightened my back, raising my chin. It was an unspoken expectation that I was to look at the floor in their presence, but I wasn’t about to meekly conform to their insane demands. It would cost me, I knew, but nothing came without cost in this place. I would show them I was no cowering dog.
I would endure.
The sound of the heels on the smooth concrete always echoed, and as a result I could never tell how many of them had entered, how many would witness my ordeal, participate in it, savor it.
Then the heels appeared in the circle of light shining down upon me. So, it was to be only one tormentor this time. I dreaded it when it was only one, for oddly, it always lasted longer, the pain was always worse.
But I would endure.
“Do you know how long you’ve been in this hole?”
My blood ran cold at the sound of the silky smooth voice, the cool confidence, the edge in her slightly clipped cadence. It was her. I was certain of it.
I was afraid, but she’d never know it.
I would cry out before the end, a seething mass of marks burning across my skin. As always, I’d try to hold back the tears. I wouldn’t let her see them. Not ever. I would not scream. I would not break.
I would endure.
My punishment was always merciless, but that wasn’t the worst of it. It was what happened afterward.
She whispered them against my welted skin, as my muscles trembled and spasmed, pain wracking my shoulders, the stripes upon my back like flames licking my flesh.
It wasn’t her lash that I feared.
They were the words she spoke to me, before leaving me to my agony, my solitude. Each time, they threatened to undo me — and each time I heard them, they were more seductive.
“Surrender to me.”
Finally, the harrowing story of Quinton Trask’s ordeal can be told. This novel can be read as a stand-alone, but the experience will be much richer if the reader has previously read Her Troika, Book #2 in the Dominion Trust series.
Publisher’s Warning: This dark romance is intended for mature audiences. 18 and over only!
This novel contains the following themes or activities: pervasive F/m BDSM, capture fantasy, intense and explicit sex, and other acts of unequal power dynamics. If any of these might be offensive to you, please do not buy or read this book.
Word Count: 94,532
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Apple – coming soon
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From Quinton’s Crucible…
The pain was what first woke me up.
It was dark, so dark all I could really make out were hints, suggestions of shapes. Was I dead?
Had I awoken in Purgatory — or worse?
I didn’t believe any of that shit though.
Wherever I was, it was cold, a dank, penetrating chill that left my skin clammy. I was certain I’d be able to see my breath steaming before me had there been light enough to perceive it. The flesh under my left jaw felt like someone had scrubbed it with eighty grit sandpaper. My thighs and calves ached. My abdominal muscles were tight, trembling.
I wasn’t dead after all.
A shaft of white light pierced the space in front of me, and I recoiled with a grunt, my eyes screaming, my hands for some reason not cooperating when I tried to shield myself from the brightness. Slanting diagonally down from above, a square of illumination was painted across the concrete floor.
Then I realized why I couldn’t bring my hands up to my face.
“What… what’s going on? Where am I? Is anyone there?”
I looked around, trying to adjust to the new light, the glare preventing me from making out anything in the shadows beyond. My hands were manacled in thick leather cuffs, thin chain linking them to a wide, stout leather belt. My jacket was gone, but I still had on my clothes.
Except my shoes and socks.
For some reason, realizing my feet were bare filled me with a primitive dread I couldn’t explain. Trying to push myself to my feet, my bare heels slipped on the hard concrete, my legs like lead.
My ankles were bound fast too, wrapped in the same sort of cuffs. Chains, the links catching the light, ascended up my thighs, once again connecting to the central belt. It was something I’d only seen on dangerous criminals paraded in a courtroom at trial.
“Let me the fuck out of this, goddamn it!” I yanked hard at the cuffs, my wrists burning with the stretch of skin. But it was useless. “Fuck!”
“Do you know what day it is?”
The smooth female voice stunned me for a moment, the question so inane, I thought I might have misheard it. Why the hell did it matter what day it was? I was tied up like a Christmas goose.
Keep it together, asshole.
It could have been any day for all I knew, but I assumed it was the day I’d been jumped in the parking garage. That I remembered that much was an unexpected relief. I was so disoriented already, the last thing I needed was amnesia on top of it.
“What’s your name?”
That voice was familiar, a calmness to it that was both settling… and ominous.
“My name is Quinton fucking Trask. Who are you?”
“This is gonna be a lot of work,” another female voice said from off to my left. This one was huskier, cold. “He should be scared shitless and he’s already like this?”
I sat up then, still pulling at my bonds. It was maddening to be restrained, something I’d never experienced before. Even the act of sitting up was awkward without the use of my hands.
“You mind telling me where in God’s name I am? Who are you people?”
Two women. Younger, but not too young. Why was that first voice so familiar?
“You don’t need to know that, Quinton.” It was the first woman — and her words sent a chill down my spine.
You’re in real trouble here.
“What the fuck do you—”
The slap rocked my head to the right, a burning pain suffusing my cheek, stars bursting behind my eyes. The blow was so hard, I flopped onto my back, my head dashing against the concrete with a dull thud, a bright flash of pain making me groan.
Get up, goddamn it.
I forced myself to sit up once more, my head swimming for a moment until I could focus my eyes on that single square of light upon the floor. I was suddenly very, very grateful for that light. It meant I wasn’t buried in a tomb somewhere, or lost in the bowels of some great, dank prison.
I needed to know who I was dealing with. Then I could figure out how to get the fuck out of this mess.
“You’re not used to rules, are you?” the smooth voice asked, closer this time. I resisted the urge to cringe, already expecting another slap, no matter what I said. “But you’re going to learn to live with them. Lots of them. So, here’s the first one — and this holds from this moment forward. You will not curse, no matter what. Do you understand?”
“I understand you’re a cunt. Why don’t you let me out of this and we can—”
This slap was harder, catching me low across the right cheek, my teeth chattering together. I managed to stay up this time, but the entire side of my face felt like it was on fire. I could taste blood in my mouth.
“I asked you a question, Quinton. Do you understand?”
For all I knew they had a gun pointed at me already, a simple squeeze of a finger all that would be required to end me. I had zero leverage here. I needed to cooperate. I’d have to wait until they’d let their guard down.
I already knew they weren’t all that sophisticated, the two women not bothering to disguise their voices. I’d been through the survival and captivity training my dad had made me take. He’d told me it was something wealthy people never spoke of — that danger of being kidnapped — but it was always a very real possibility. At the time, I’d thought it was bullshit. I practically slept through the classes, never really believing I would ever be vulnerable to such a thing.
But I sure as hell believed it now.
Leaving their voices unmodulated meant one of two things — either they were amateurs, or they weren’t worried about me ever identifying them.
“That brings me to your next rule. You will answer every single question posed to you, immediately, and verbally.” Her voice dropped an octave, her cadence clipped, just hinting at anger. “Do you understand that?”
“Look, just tell—”
Not one but two slaps cracked across my cheeks, first left, then the right. The room spun, my lower lip throbbing, stinging. “Okay, okay! I’ll… I’ll do it!”
I heard soft laughter off to my left, and it made me want to scream.
“That’s better,” the smooth voice said. “You’ll be punished for calling me a cunt, but we’ll get to that in due time. For now, answer me. I’ve given you two rules. I want you to recite them to me. I don’t want any confusion.”
“No cussing. Answer any questions I’m asked.” I said it through gritted teeth, the coppery taste of my blood strong now, the corner of my mouth sticky with it. My entire body was shaking, though whether from fear or rage, I didn’t know.
“Good. There’s something else you need to understand. It could be a rule for you too, but it’s more like a universal truth, like the Sun rising in the east, or water flowing downhill. Youwill be punished for each and every violation of your rules. No exceptions. Do you understand?”
My heart was pounding now, my mind conjuring up all sorts of variations of the word ‘punish.’ How many different versions had I dealt out to the sluts I’d purchased? It didn’t matter. I’d get them to see reason. This was a game, something to compel compliance. Nothing more. They were after money. Everyone was. Once they calmed down, saw that I would cooperate, then we’d get past all this bullshit. I’d pay them, and this thing would be over.
You really believe that?
“I think there’s a chance we might be making some progress with you after all.”
The urge to snarl profanity at her was so overwhelming, I had to bite my tongue.
“He’s playing you,” the huskier, cold voice said, this time from behind me. “He still doesn’t really understand the shit he’s in.”
“I get it. You want something from me. I can give it to you.”
Good, getting to the point.
Maybe this would be over faster than I thought?
Something hard and thin tapped against my burning cheek, the smell of leather strong in my nostrils. “Want to guess what your next rule is, Quinton?”
Coldness clutched my vitals as the leather stroked the line of my jaw. I knew it was a crop. I’d wielded one plenty of times myself. I kept my mouth shut, not sure where she was going with this.
Something whirred in front of me, then a thin line of pure fire erupted across the front of my thigh. I cried out, curling my legs up toward my body, the skin already tightening where the crop had landed, a swollen welt no doubt rising across my flesh under the completely inadequate protection of my slacks.
“You’re supposed to answer any question posed to you, aren’t you?” Miss Smooth Voice practically growled it out.
“Yes! Okay, I’m… I don’t know the answer. I don’t know!”
I did not want another appointment with that crop, the pain now sinking deeper into my thigh. I wondered if she’d actually broken the skin.
Christ, this hurts.
“You don’t get anything. But about one thing you’re correct. You’re going to give us something, all right.” The flapper of the crop played lightly across both my bent knees. “You’re going to give us everything.”
I lowered my head, my gaze fixed on that square of light once more, trying to think, trying to come up with a plan — and wishing I’d paid more attention in those survival and captivity classes.
Then a pair of slender black boots appeared in the light, a figure crouching down. Dressed in nothing more sinister than slacks the color of midnight, and matching fitted suit coat, the silver choker at her throat glinted as she leaned forward a little, the light playing through the straight locks of her dark hair. Fathomless eyes looked upon me then, her lips thin, her expression as neutral as a rock face.
It was the bitch from that day in the holding facility. It was Anna.
“I think it’s time we got that first punishment out of the way.”