Thank you for joining us on the Power Play: Awakening virtual release tour! *throws penis-shaped confetti borrowed from Anne Tenino* No party is complete without favors, so we’ll be giving away winner’s choice of one backlist book from Cat or Rachel to one lucky commenter from this blog at the end of the tour. We’ll also be giving away a lovely custom chainmail bracelet with a silver padlock clasp (handmade by the awesome Amara Devonte) to one lucky commenter drawn from all the tour stops, so follow along and party with us at each–you can earn an entry at every stop!
Today we’re bringing you a hot little excerpt from Power Play: Awakening. Group play presents a ton of opportunities for the creative Dominant that playing alone may not, and for me, one of the most fun among them is jealousy. There’s little quite so delightful as watching two submissives battling for your attention, and for many submissives, even though they may not enjoy it at the time, they often look back on such situations with fondness: “Look how good I was. Look how proud I made you. Look at how you smiled at me.”
Jonathan, the Dom in power play, has deliberately put his current sub and lover in a room with a prior sub and lover, in part because the prior sub has some skills he needs, but also, let’s face it, because he thinks it’ll be fun. (Hey, sadist, remember? ) The sub, Brandon, has never been in a situation like this before. In fact, he’d never even flexed his submissive muscles before he met Jonathan, so it’s all kind of new and disturbing to him, and he’s not sure how he measures up. When all is said and done, Jonathan lets him know how proud he is, but first he’s got to make it through this:
After a month with Jonathan, Bran had thought himself long past the capacity to be embarrassed, but this day kept proving him wrong. First Jonathan had made him jack off in front of him, which, yeah, was pretty fucking awkward at first. (But pretty fucking hot by the end, he had to admit.) And now Jonathan was greeting some fucking supermodel or some shit, welcoming her off the elevator with a too-familiar hand at the small of her back while Bran knelt on a cushion by the couch like some pampered pet.
“Jonathan,” she said through a thousand-watt smile—lilting, almost songlike. Heavily accented. French, maybe?
Jonathan beamed back up at her—she was four, maybe five inches taller than him, but it didn’t seem to bother him at all—and purred right back, “Solange.” Took a little duffel from her with one hand, slid the other around her neck and pulled her down to kiss on both cheeks, then the lips. Chaste, didn’t linger, but Bran was pretty sure that last kiss wasn’t part of any European tradition.
“Come in, come in,” Jonathan said, guiding her over to the couch. “So good to see you again.”
Her gaze raked over Bran’s bare body—no smile for him, and why the fuck not, huh?—as if she were measuring him for a suit. As if it were perfectly normal to find a guy kneeling naked on the floor and perfectly okay to stare at him for fucking hours without even saying hello.
Well, maybe in Jonathan’s world it is.
“And you, Jonathan,” she replied, in that perfect fucking accent as perfectly pretty and perfect as the rest of her. Then she aimed a perfectly manicured finger at Bran and said, “Is zis my project?”
Bran may or may not have blushed clear down to his fucking toes. Project? What the fuck?
Jonathan plucked her hand from the air and pressed it to his lips. “Indeed. Work your magic, my dear.”
A strangely deferential nod, almost painfully elegant. “Yes, Jonathan.” She stepped close to Bran, bent down and hooked that manicured finger through one of the O-rings on his right wrist cuff, tugged with the confidence of a woman who knew men would follow her anywhere. “Zis way!” she chirped, pulling him to his feet, guiding him to the dining room table, and pulling out a chair for him. He glanced back at Jonathan, who was following close behind, her bag in hand, and asked without asking, Can I sit on the furniture?
Jonathan nodded, set her bag on the table, turned to her and asked, “Warm water?”
That deferential nod again. “Yes please, Jonathan. Thank you.”
Why does she keep saying his name?
She began to unpack her bag. Files. Tiny scissors. Some sort of little wooden sticks, flattened on the ends, that looked like the sort of thing the Viet Cong might jam under your fingernails. Couple of bottles of God-knew-what. Hand cream. Nail polish?
What the fuck? Surely Jonathan didn’t mean for him to—
Solange grabbed one of his hands in both her own and pulled it to her, palm up, just inches from her face.
Well, at least the nail polish is clear.
Jonathan came back a moment later with a porcelain pitcher of water, a little matching porcelain bowl, and a pile of hand towels. Solange abandoned her scowling inspection of Bran’s hand to spread a towel on the tabletop and pour water in the bowl. She squirted something flowery-smelling into it, swirled it around, then picked up Bran’s hand and stuck it in the water.
“Soak,” she ordered when he tried to pull his hand back. The water was fucking slimy.
“Do as she says,” Jonathan said, coming up behind her and draping his arms over her shoulders. She leaned into his chest, head back, eyes closing, arching into him like an especially contented cat.
What. The. Fuck?
“Qu’en penses-tu?” Jonathan asked—or at least Bran assumed it was a question; he didn’t speak a lick of French and had no idea Jonathan did, either. “Tu peux le ranger?”
Solange just shrugged and crossed her arms across her chest, curling them over Jonathan’s. Jonathan pressed his lips to the crown of her head and inhaled.
Bran scowled. Jesus fuck, you two, get a room.
“I suppose he’s not quite as pretty as you are, my dear.”
Fucking Cleopatra isn’t as pretty as she is. And anyway, he was not pretty, for fuck’s sake. Pretty was for girls.
Solange turned her gaze from its worshipful contemplation of the underside of Jonathan’s chin and raked it over Bran’s arms and chest and face. Then dropped it to his lap—he glared at her, but she was too busy to notice—and stayed there for a good long while. At last she shrugged again with that cool false affectation of a runway model, and said, “Vous me flattez, Jonathan. Dois-je être jalouse?”
God, could they be any ruder? He was sitting right here, for fuck’s sake. They were obviously talking about him. Couldn’t they at least have the decency to do it in English?
Jonathan must’ve read something in his face—the narrowed eyes, maybe, or the clenched jaw—because he winked at Bran and said, “Don’t worry, Brandon, I think she rather likes you.”
“I don’t suppose,” Jonathan continued, easing his hands out from beneath hers, only to slide one down inside the wide neck of her shirt to cup a tiny pert breast beneath, “that you might like her as well?”
Oh, great. How the fuck was he supposed to answer that without insulting Jonathan’s guest and getting in trouble?
Solange’s firm arms snaked up Jonathan’s chest to hook around the back of his neck, pulling him closer as she met Bran’s eyes and licked too-full lips. Jonathan’s free hand found its way to the waist of Solange’s fitted slacks, wormed down inside and disappeared between her legs. She gasped, arms tightening, eyes fluttering shut.
“Um . . .” Bran cleared his throat, nervous fingers making ripples in the cooling water bowl. “I don’t, uh, I mean . . . I’m gay, Jonathan.”
As if he’d flipped a fucking switch, Jonathan pulled away from Solange, stepped back, wiped his hand on a spare towel, and shrugged. “Ah well. More’s the pity. I’ll leave you two to it, then.”
Bran kind of thought he should feel sorry for Solange, what with Jonathan getting her all worked up like that and then walking away. But honestly, all he could think was Thank God.
To be continued in Power Play: Awakening!
Brandon McKinney is a man reborn. Newly awakened to the notion of consensual power exchange and the submissive urges inside him, he begs for a second chance from the man who opened his eyes to this world: Silicon Valley superstar Jonathan Watkins. But no birth is absent pain, and Brandon’s is no exception. He fears he’s not strong enough to see it through.
Jonathan knows better. He’s seen the iron core inside his new submissive, and the wounded heart inside him too. He means to teach Brandon to heal the one with the other. They have five months left on their contract, after all, and Jonathan has done more with less before.
It’s tough to stay objective, though, when you’re falling in love. Shame Brandon doesn’t feel the same. He’s only there for the three-million-dollar payout at contract’s end—a fact that Jonathan, nursing his own wounded heart, reminds himself of each day. For even as Brandon’s barriers break and his mind expands, even as he grows to love his place at Jonathan’s feet, he’ll never love life with a sadist—especially one who cannot escape the public eye.
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About the authors:
Rachel Haimowitz is an M/M erotic romance author, a freelance writer and editor, and the Managing Editor of Riptide Publishing. She’s also a sadist with a pesky conscience, shamelessly silly, and quite proudly pervish. Fortunately, all those things make writing a lot more fun for her . . . if not so much for her characters.
When she’s not writing about hot guys getting it on (or just plain getting it; her characters rarely escape a story unscathed), she loves to read, hike, camp, sing, perform in community theater, and glue captions to cats. She also has a particular fondness for her very needy dog, her even needier cat, and shouting at kids to get off her lawn.
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EPIC Award–winning author Cat Grant lives by the sea in beautiful Monterey, California, with one persnickety feline and entirely too many books and DVDs. When she’s not writing, she sings along (badly!) to whatever’s on her iPod shuffle, watches lots of movies, and fantasizes about kinky sex with Michael Fassbender.
No party is complete without favors, so we’ll be giving away winner’s choice of one backlist book from Cat or Rachel to one lucky commenter from this blog at the end of the tour, June 15th.
We’ll also be giving away a lovely custom chainmail bracelet with a silver padlock clasp (handmade by the awesome Amara Devonte) to one lucky commenter drawn from all the tour stops, so follow along and party with us at each–you can earn an entry at every stop!