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Ainsley is a Dom whose need to submit meets with harsh results, one haunting her for almost two years. She fears her future with a menace on the loose. Brett is an alpha male who finds he can submit to his Mistress Anya--his Ainsley--and love it. His past could hurt them but not as much as Ainsley's stalker. This just in? Will their strong personalities agree or will it push them apart when they need each other the most?
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
"I'm Brett Cannon, WYNC, for This Just In..."
I can't believe this.
No wonder people think what they do.
What can we do?
Nothing. Who will believe what we say?
The Internet heated up after a report from a New York City reporter aired on one of the major networks. Chat rooms filled quickly, everyone discussing the segment dealing with their world. For years, everyone involved in the life had been extremely careful when talking about Dominants and submissives because of the way normal society frowned upon it, though many of those partaking of its pleasures lived in the very same normal world, afraid to admit to what turned them on.
Now, an ignorant newsman used a so-called sensational byline to make his career and their lives hell. It would have been one thing had he been more accurate with his research but instead, he made them out to be pornographic, some going as far as to participate in orgies, even mentioning debauchery.
Can we lynch him? one asked in a Chicago chat room.
Someone should show him a thing or two, another added.
The network's ratings went up and they decided to expand the report into one of those hour-long exposés like 48 Hours. Rumor had it the reporter's contract had been picked up by the network as well. Everyone on-air loved what this one segment had done for them.
Truckloads of letters went to both the network headquarters and the local affiliate. While some praised his work exposing these deviants, most of the mail complained he should do more in-depth research. Many called for a retraction of the story. Cannon evenreceived a few threats of the deadly kind.
The day Cannon left New York for the national bureau position, his boss called him into his office.
"You've done well, son."
"I'm worried about the hate mail."
"I wouldn't worry about it."
"You're not getting it. The threats are..."
"The more threats, the harder you hit in your reporting. You've gotten great ratings and a network position. What more could you want?"
"I'm not sure."
"Forget it, son. You got what you wanted. Now go enjoy it."
Brett Cannon left the office, went home to his Manhattan loft and settled into his downtime--the break between jobs. He had two months to get himself settled in his new home--Los Angeles. The movers would arrive in a week to pack up his home and drive his things across America to the small Spanish-style house in Yorba Linda--close enough to be considered the Los Angeles area while far enough away to be out of the city. In the meantime, he had plenty of time to come to terms with the story that had made him famous.
After he went home, Brett showered and slipped into silk boxers. A holdover from an ex-girlfriend, she had bought him a pair years before and, after she'd left, they remained a part of his life. He went from his dressing area to where his laptop waited.
Setting up a screen name--bqcannonnyc--he entered into the world he'd been accused of single-handedly trying to destroy. His conscience screamed at him to learn the real story behind the Dominant/submissive lifestyle. From what came out of the feedback he'd received, he'd only touched on one small aspect of the life--one not used by everyone. Something ate at him. What didn't I delve into? Why did all these people react the way they did to my report? When the hell did I become a reporter with a conscience?
Signing on, he surfed through several chat rooms, cringing at some of the reactions. He switched between several, hoping to find an answer to his questions. One thought hit him--if and when someone recognizes me, will I be able to accomplish getting the facts straight, or will everyone turn away after word gets out who I am? Son of a bitch! You've gone and done it now, Quincannon.
Ainsley Reynolds lived a quiet life in San Francisco where she owned a bookstore catering to readers of out-of-print and hard-to-find volumes. Her store's signature line--if we can't find it, it can't be found. She shared her business operations with her partner and best friend, Cecily Bonds. Cecily ran a small exclusive tour service after-hours specializing in midnight ventures around San Francisco. Together, they'd seen huge success, their financial outlook stable and very impressive. Ainsley enjoyed what she did but preferred her private life after-hours.
When not at work, she prowled the bondage clubs. Usually she chose to dominate her partner, unless she went to one club where they knew her only as slave. When she went there, she wanted to be unknown and sharing her title with others gave her what her body needed. When she went to Midnight Pleasures, she had absolutely no clue what would happen, though she trusted the Dominants without question, despite having one personal bad experience.
Thanks to an out-of-control master, she'd spent several days in a private hospital up the coast healing from his physical punishment for some imagined infraction. The club owner took care of all her medical bills and had given her a lifetime membership. He never stopped apologizing. It relieved Ainsley to know the guy had been banished from the club and later left San Francisco. If he ever returned, he'd be answering an outstanding bench warrant for his arrest, the club owner well connected. Don Diego had made sure to keep tabs on the man only because he wanted warning if the out-of-control master had any intentions of returning to the area.