Authors: Ashe Barker
Tags: #Erotic Romance Fiction
A Totally Bound Publication
©Copyright Ashe Barker 2014
Cover Art by Posh Gosh ©Copyright January 2014
Edited by Sarah Smeaton
Totally Bound Publishing
This is a work of fiction. All characters, places and events are from the author’s imagination and should not be confused with fact. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, events or places is purely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form, whether by printing, photocopying, scanning or otherwise without the written permission of the publisher, Totally Bound Publishing.
Applications should be addressed in the first instance, in writing, to Totally Bound Publishing. Unauthorised or restricted acts in relation to this publication may result in civil proceedings and/or criminal prosecution.
The author and illustrator have asserted their respective rights under the Copyright Designs and Patents Acts 1988 (as amended) to be identified as the author of this book and illustrator of the artwork.
Published in 2014 by Totally Bound Publishing,
Newland House, The Point, Weaver Road, Lincoln, LN6 3QN
This book contains sexually explicit content which is only suitable for mature readers. This story has a
This story contains 58 pages, additionally there is also a
at the end of the book containing 11 pages.
Her Master gone, is she destined to spend the rest of her life alone? Or can she bring herself to surrender—again?
Too busy trying to make a living out of her guest house in the Yorkshire Dales, Imogen hasn’t got time to be lonely, or even think about having fun. And surrendering to her innermost submissive desires is just a distant memory.
A widow for six years, Imogen is not looking for another lover, let alone a Master. She had one of those once, and no-one could ever compare. Certainly not a handsome, cocky young man passing through the area and needing a room for the weekend.
But when sexy Zack Lassiter turns up on her doorstep, he instantly recognises the underlying grief cocooning Imogen from the world outside. The intuitive young Dom makes himself at home in her house and quickly exposes her most private needs and fears. He sees straight through her façade of self-sufficiency to expose the yearning she tries so hard to stifle.
Unable to deny or resist the intense attraction she feels for her sensual guest, Imogen is quickly drawn in as he invites her to rediscover her submissive nature. Can she surrender once more, perhaps even find happiness and fulfilment again with a new Master?
And is Zack that Master, or will he also go for good?
The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:
Google: Google, Inc.
eBay: eBay Inc.
BMW: BMW AG
Co-op: Co-operative Group Limited
Quantum of Solace:
Bond: Ian Fleming
Yorkshire.com: Welcome to Yorkshire
As the car pulled out of her driveway, Imogen flicked over the ‘Vacancies’ sign in her street-level window to indicate that she once again had space for a weary traveller or two. It was February, definitely the quiet season in the Yorkshire Dales, but there was always the possibility of passing trade. A stray hiker or maybe a die-hard Three Peaker who didn’t mind the rain and the fog and the probability of being cut off for days by sudden snow. And she had to face it, she needed the business. After Easter things would pick up, always did, but until then…
Imogen’s little guest house was situated in the hamlet of Countersett, close to Bainbridge, in the heart of the Dales. The perfect getaway for intrepid outdoorsy souls or those seeking solitude and inspiration. All Imogen was seeking was a decent living, but every year that seemed more and more difficult to achieve. Foot and Mouth hadn’t helped, but that was years ago now. These days it was the recession, and ever more severe weather that reduced the once steady flow of hungry, tired tourists to a meagre trickle. The family whose tail lights were now disappearing around the bend in her lane had been her first customers this week, though between the five of them they’d occupied all three of her available guest rooms, so she’d been glad enough to see them. Imogen had a sinking suspicion they might be her last. She had no more bookings for ten days, and meanwhile she had electricity to pay for, she badly needed to order a new load of logs, and her washing machine was on its last legs.
She saw no alternative if she wanted to carry on basking in such luxuries as light and heat. She needed a job. Anything would do, as long as it brought in a steady wage, and left her free in the mornings to dish up hearty breakfasts to any guests she might just manage to drag in off the fells. Sighing, reluctant to compromise on her dream of running a successful country guest house, but at heart a pragmatist, Imogen headed into her large kitchen to fire up her laptop. She Googled ‘temps in North Yorkshire’ and sat back to see what emerged.
An hour and a half later, Imogen had managed to register with three temp agencies. She’d possibly been a little overenthusiastic regarding her range of skills, but needs must. She had to get in the door, get in front of some prospective employer at an interview, then, maybe, she could sell herself. She was personable enough, if unremarkable in her appearance. She would never see her forty-second birthday again, but Imogen knew she looked no older than thirty five. Small and slim, she was always on the move, always bustling around, always busy. She kept herself fit, loved walking and cycling and chose not to own a car. Well, she might choose to own one if business ever picked up enough. Pedal power was cheaper, though. Shoulder-length ash-blonde hair—these days helped along by regular visits to a salon in Skipton—and a deft hand with cosmetics meant she could look decent. Presentable even. Add to that honesty, trustworthiness, reliability, reasonably literate. And she was definitely good with money despite having none to speak of. She could do shop work for sure, and would probably manage okay in an office, at a pinch. She wasn’t going to win any prizes for accurate typing, but she could find her way around a spreadsheet. Oh yes, she was definitely employable. Now all she had to do was convince someone who could offer her a job.
* * * *
Her somewhat strained job prospects were still exercising Imogen’s thoughts as she cycled back along the lane to her house later that afternoon. She was wondering about maybe finding some way of working from home—four buses a day into Skipton would make commuting to work something of a tall order in any case. Perhaps she could become an internet entrepreneur. Ebay was created for the likes of her, surely. Except she’d need a reliable broadband connection and mobile phone signal for that, and Bainbridge was not exactly speeding up the fast lane of the information super-highway.
Maybe she should think about marrying someone rich. That could be a good career move. She wasn’t even that fussed about the marrying bit, just the company would do. Well, except for the sex. Anyone of her age, single, and who was prepared to move out the back of beyond to live in her idyllic country retreat with her, would probably be into vanilla stuff. Too bland. Too—predictable—for Imogen’s taste. Not that she’d tasted much of anything for years now. Not since Sean.
She was amazed to feel tears pricking at her eyes. Christ, she’d thought she was past all that. Six years on, and she really, really
be past all that. Past sobbing at the sight of his picture tucked away in a drawer in her bedroom. Past gulping back her tears at a snatch of memory—a moment of remembered shared pleasure coming back to taunt her lonely present. Over the years she’d been alone, Imogen had trained herself never to glance in that rear-view mirror. She had to move on, had to keep on trying to move forward. She
She supposed her problem lay in not really knowing where ‘there’ was. What was she looking for? If not a life with Sean, then what? There must be something else for her, but she hadn’t found it yet. Maybe she never would. She’d convinced herself that this guest house was her future, now she suspected it might be a millstone instead. She wondered if it had been a challenge to begin with, a huge responsibility that had the sole purpose of sucking up her attention, her energy and her drive. She needed to fill her days, and her nights with something. Anything. A distraction. And now she was failing at this, too.
She reached her gate, dismounted and unlatched it. She pushed her bike through, brushing the tears from her face with her gloved hand. Angrily she sniffed, determined not to give in. Not to spend another evening gazing at the television and lecturing herself on the evils of pouring another glass of wine, only to eventually stumble off to bed with no idea what she’d watched for the last three hours, and an ever increasing row of empty bottles waiting to go to the bottle bank.
She rounded the corner of her house and stopped dead. A car was in the driveway. A nice car, one of those large, smooth, purring things. As she came closer, she saw it was a BMW, its dark grey bonnet gleaming in sharp contrast against her brick-red gravel chippings. The car was empty, and as she stood admiring the sleek lines, Imogen balanced her bike against her front porch and glanced around for the occupants. They had to be here somewhere, there wasn’t another property for half a mile, nowhere else they might be. She reached out, laid a palm on the top of the bonnet and felt the warmth there. The car had not been standing idle long.
The crunch of footsteps behind her settled the matter. She turned and saw him.
Young. Ridiculously young to be let loose with a car like this. Her first impression was one of incredulity that this beautiful machine might be entrusted to the care of, well, someone like him. Someone with long, dark hair, brilliant blue eyes, full lips that smiled to reveal strong, straight, white teeth. And a tattoo of an angel on his tanned forearm. She had to admit, the artwork was impressive as he reached out to offer her his hand. Not to her taste, of course, but still…
“What? Sorry, I…”
He’d said something, but she hadn’t caught it. Too busy staring. And lusting after his car. And her eyes were still blurry, though that shouldn’t impair her hearing.
“I saw your ‘Vacancies’ sign. Wondered if I could hire a room. For the weekend?”
His hand was still outstretched, and belatedly Imogen took it. A brief shake, then, “Yes. Yes, that’ll be fine. The weekend? What’s that—three nights?”
“Yes, if that’s okay. Till Monday.”
“Monday. Right. Just bed and breakfast?”
“And evening meal, if you do that? I can’t be bothered looking for restaurants if I don’t have to.”
“No, of course. Evening meal’s fine.” Her head was busy totting up the tariff, and wondering if this unexpected windfall of a customer might stave off the evil day when she had to go out to work. Probably not. But it all helped. Maybe he’d recommend her to—someone. “Please, come inside. I’ll show you the room.”