Authors: Ashe Barker
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Erotica, #Romantic, #Romance, #Contemporary
A Total-E-Bound Publication
ISBN # 978-1-78184-438-0
©Copyright Ashe Barker 2013
Cover Art by Posh Gosh ©Copyright August 2013
Edited by Sarah Smeaton
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, Total-E-Bound Publishing.
Applications should be addressed in the first instance, in writing, to Total-E-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 2013 by Total-E-Bound Publishing, Think Tank, Ruston Way, Lincoln, LN6 7FL, United Kingdom.
This book contains sexually explicit content which is only suitable for mature readers. This story has a
This story contains 158 pages, additionally there is also a
at the end of the book containing 11 pages.
The Dark Side
Book two in the Dark Side serial
Can Eva outrun the secrets of her past, or is surrender her only choice?
Eva Byrne’s first encounter with the darker side of Nathan Darke’s sensuality ends in disaster. Frightened, hurt, betrayed, she struggles to regather her shattered confidence—in him, and in herself.
Desperate to continue her journey of exploration and self-discovery, Eva has to convince a sceptical Nathan that she’s worth the trouble. And that she can learn to submit to him. When she is forced to reveal elements of her past she has preferred to keep hidden, both her brilliance and her vulnerability are laid bare. Will Nathan accept Eva as she is, and help her to become the woman she longs to be, or will she face yet another rejection?
Terrified and intrigued in equal measure, Nathan has no idea how to deal with the exquisitely enigmatic Eva Byrne. Should he cut his losses and run, or allow their relationship to continue, and watch as Eva’s delicate beauty unfurls in his hands?
Fascinated and ensnared by Nathan, Eva longs to taste what he offers and her erotic journey continues. But how much will she have to surrender to him in order to liberate her own desires?
This book is dedicated to Lisa, for showing me how it might be possible, and to Hannah, for convincing me it was.
The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:
iPad: Apple Inc
Google: Google Inc
McDonalds: The McDonalds Corporation
: Emily Brontë
TOMS: Toms Shoes
Flickr: Yahoo! Inc
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart/Lorenzo Da Ponte
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
: Tennessee Williams
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:
Alea Casino: London Clubs International
Tesco Express: Tesco plc
Pizza Express: Pizza Express
Costa: Costa Coffee
Bose: Bose Corporation
Fender: Fender Musical Instruments Corporation
YouTube: YouTube LLC
Streets of London:
Harvey Nicks: Harvey Nichols
Sky: British Sky Broadcasting Group plc
Starbucks: Starbucks Corporation
Marks & Spencer: Marks & Spencer
Mud Puppy: Salamander Brewing Company
Three Ridings Bitter: Ossett Brewery
Yorkshire Blonde: Ossett Brewery
Barbie: Mattel, Inc
Tracey Beaker: Jacqueline Wilson
Land Rover: Land Rover
Latino: Milos Karadaglic’s
Technicolor: Technicolor Motion Picture Corporation
The Deer Hunter
: Michael Cimino
Hurts So Good: Jimmy Sommerville
Mist. Dim, cloudy, swirling. Pain, intense pain, burning, searing pain. A voice, harsh, angry, cursing words. Lifting, moving. “No, stop, please… Hurts.”
“Sorry, angel. Christ, I’m sorry. Lie still, let me help you.” Soft, comfortable, gentle hands, soothing, cool.
“Aah!” More sharp pain intruding, spearing, trust-breaking. I sob, struggle. I need to escape.
“Easy, love, you’re going to be okay, I’ve got you…”
Darkness again, sweet, silent darkness. I float, drifting, escaping…
* * * *
I wake. The room is in semi-darkness, the heavy curtains closed to shut out most of the sunlight. I am face down, lying on top of the duvet on Nathan’s huge bed. I lie still, listening. Silence. But I sense I’m not alone.
The first forgetful moment of wakening slips past and I start to remember, to recall what happened. The sofa, tied down, helpless, exposed. And the cane, the beating. Jesus, the sheer mind-numbing paralysing agony of it. Then it stopped. I must have passed out. Nathan must have released me, carried me to the bed.
He was there then. I start to recapture bits of memory, pulling the threads together. I remember Nathan’s voice, shocked, then angry as he realised I was losing consciousness, then nothing as the black fog covered me. I’m pretty sure I heard ‘Holy fucking shit’. Then nothing.
Then, much later perhaps, his hands, his arms lifting me, hurting again. My fear, my desperation to escape, to be safe. His soft words soothing, his gentle hands spreading healing, cooling cream over my tender skin. Him rousing me when I wanted to sleep, when I wanted to drift away. I don’t want to return, to be hurt anymore. Asking me my name. Asking me where I am. At last, satisfied, he let me be. I remember drifting away again, peaceful now, resting, sleeping.
And now I’m awake, and he’s here somewhere. Not talking. Watching me, perhaps. I stir, try to move, but the pain overwhelms me again. I groan, lie still. Where is he? Where’s Nathan? I need to talk to him. I need to tell him what I think of him and his bloody games. The bastard. The heartless, vicious, fucking bastard.
“Eva?” His soft, tender voice sounds close to my ear. I can feel his breath, whispering across my hair. I turn my head, face him.
The words of accusation tumble out, unchecked. “You promised not to hurt me. You promised to take care of me. You… You…” His deep, chocolate eyes are, if anything, more pain-filled than mine, but I’m not letting up. I’m driven by unexpected disappointment.
And by a self-righteous sense of betrayal. I spit my words at him. “You bastard. You total and absolute bastard. Sadist!”
He’s crouching beside the bed, at my eye level. He doesn’t back away in spite of my anger. Neither does he retaliate, seek to defend himself. He just gazes at me.
“What date is it today, Eva?”
“How the fucking hell should I know? Go buy a newspaper. And drop dead while you’re at it.”
His wry smile only serves to enrage me further.
“Fuck off. I hate you. I hate you.” The last words are sobbed, my anger spent suddenly, giving way to grief. He reaches for me, pulls me into his arms. And I go. Unresisting, I cling to his black T-shirt, sobbing noisily. “I was scared. I was so scared… I thought I was going to die.” My voice is small, no more than a whimper. He just holds me, stroking my hair, my shoulders and my back.
“You’re not dead, love. Nowhere near. I’m sorry, though, it was my fault, I should have seen… You should have told me. Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know. I couldn’t… I just couldn’t.” Incoherent, I just cling on, my tear-stained face buried in the fabric of his T-shirt. He doesn’t press the matter. Not now. Not yet.
Embarrassed, confused, my head in turmoil, I retreat into my normal mode of defence. Myself. “I want to be on my own for a while. Please.”
“I’m not sure…”
“Please. I need to think. I need to sleep. Please, just leave me on my own for a while.”
Not convinced, he’s frowning at me. Then he relents, slightly, “All right. But I’ll be downstairs. In my office. And you, you don’t go anywhere. Understood?”
“What? Where would I go?” Bewildered, I stare up at him. I’m in no condition to go gadding about bloody Leeds, that’s for sure. The man’s an idiot as well as a sadistic bastard.
Just my luck.
His smile, gentle, tender, suggests he knows what I think of him at this precise moment and has some sympathy with my views. “Okay, I’ll go, leave you in peace. For now. But I’ll be back in a couple of hours. No more.” He gestures with his head at the table beside the bed. “Your phone’s there. Text me when you wake up.” He stands, looking down at me for long moments before adding, “Eva, we need to talk about what just happened. Really talk. You scared me. I thought… I thought… Shit. We need to talk.”
I don’t answer, just pull myself over to lie on my side, my back to him. I hear him cross the room, hear the door close gently behind him and at last I am alone with my thoughts. I close my eyes again, and I sleep.
* * * *
And now I’m awake, and find myself perversely wishing he was still here. I should never have sent him away. I need to apologise—I let him down. I let me down. I need to know we’re okay.
I struggle to push myself up onto all fours, not yet trusting myself to be able to sit. The pain has subsided to a sharp sting, but I’m sore, very sore. I need to get to the bathroom, shower, get a drink of water. I shuffle sideways to the edge of the bed, ease my legs over, then get my feet connected with the floor. I carefully, slowly, push myself up into a stand, grabbing the bedhead for support. I wait for my head to clear, for my knees to lock, ready to carry me.
A note. On the pillow next to where my head was. A note in a small white envelope. My name on the front.
He’s gone. Not far, only downstairs. I sent him away. But he left me a note…
I pick it up, turn the envelope over in my hands, then drop it to the duvet as I suddenly need to rush for the bathroom. I get there in time—just—and heave up my guts. This is getting to be a habit in moments of stress around Nathan. The nausea isn’t going away any time soon. I spend the next half an hour clinging to the side of the toilet, making a disgusting spectacle of myself.
Eventually, weak, feeble, fragile, I totter back to the bed. I realise I am still naked. Bruises have started to develop on the backs of my wrists. I guess I must have been straining against the straps as he caned me. So much for leaving no marks. There’s a mirror on one of his wardrobe doors so I stagger over there, twisting my body to see the damage to my bottom.
It is strangely unscathed, just three or four light pink stripes to show for my ordeal. I test the marks with my fingers. The skin is tender, stings slightly, but otherwise I seem to be okay. Desperately relieved, my confidence in Nathan marginally starting to recover, I go back to the bed. I sit down carefully, shifting to test my throbbing bum. It’s bearable.
I pick up the envelope and without giving myself time to think I slide my thumb under the flap to tear it open. I pull out one sheet of A5 paper, handwritten.
I’m downstairs if you need me. Text me when you wake up to let me know that you’re OK.