Authors: Julie Shelton
BOOK THREE OF
THE DOMS OF PASSION LAKE
Virginia is for lovers. Passion Lake is for…kinky lovers. Welcome to Passion Lake, a town owned and operated by a group of ex-Navy SEALs. A town where they are free to live their kinky lifestyles without fear of interference or censure.
On the run from an abusive Dom, Charlotte Fielding has sworn off men and the BDSM lifestyle. She’s only attending this particular Open House for the free food. But when her abuser, who also happens to be at the club, confronts her, former SEALs Nikolai Rostov and Jay Gillespie come to her rescue and offer to help. But that would require her to trust the two hunkiest Doms she’s ever met. And Charlotte’s all out of trust.
But fate has brought these three people together—Nik, the big Russian Daddy Dom, Jay, the switch, and Charlie, the submissive who needs what both of these men have to offer. Just as they need what she has to offer. Can she learn to trust them? Can she risk her heart? And when danger comes for her will she stay and let Nik and Jay risk their lives to keep her safe? Or will she run—and risk destroying the only happiness she’s ever known?
WARNING: This book contains material that could cause spontaneous combustion of both panties and electronic devices. Read at your own risk. You might (okay, honestly? There is no “might” about it—you WILL) need a bucket of ice water and an industrial fan to survive the reading experience. You have been warned.
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Copyright 2015 by Julie Shelton
First Ebook publication, May 2015
Cover design by Rhiannon Ayres
All cover art and logo copyright 2015 by Rhiannon Ayres
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Letter to Readers
If you have purchased this copy of
thank you. Also, thank you for not sharing your copy of this book.
Regarding E-book Piracy
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This is Julie Shelton’s livelihood. Please respect Ms. Shelton’s right to earn a living from her work.
This book is dedicated to you, Jill. You are my beta reader, critique partner, idea generator, supplier of kinky photos (purely for research and inspiration, of course), reviewer, virtual assistant, reassurer, all-around general indispensable friend, and the Queen of Continuity. Plus a whole slewji of other things I can't think of right now. But I know you're those, too. Thanks.
“C’mon, Jay, we’re going to be late!” Nik Rostov bellowed from the top of the stairs. When Nikolai Rostov bellowed, in that deep, rich,
voice of his, moose were known to sit up and take notice. Fortunately there were no moose in Passion Lake, Virginia, a resort community nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
At six feet, eight inches tall, Nikolai “Iceman” Rostov was nearly as large as a grizzly bear, and even more dangerous. Despite his size, his lithe body was trim and fit, rippling with muscles. He could snap a person’s neck as easily as if it were a toothpick. He was a specialist in SAMBO, the martial arts used by
the Russian Special Forces, as well as all sorts of vicious street-fighting techniques he’d learned growing up in the slums of Odessa. His entire body was tattooed, including his head, which was covered with curse words and phrases in the Cyrillic alphabet.
For years he’d shaved his head so the tattoos were visible. And intimidating. But two years ago, when he and Jay had opened the Passion Lake Lodge and Campgrounds, he had given in to the advice of his SEAL buddies and had let his black hair grow out. Now it was thick and shaggy, curling around his collar. Intimidating was not a good look for someone in the hospitality business.
He still wore the gold hoop in his left ear, but now it was mostly hidden by his hair. and the neat black mustache and goatee that had given him such a wicked, almost Satanic look had morphed into a softer, scruffier, sexier three-day growth of beard. He still looked like a grizzly bear. Except when he smiled, like he was doing now, which completely spoiled the effect. When Nikolai Rostov smiled, he looked more like a teddy bear than a grizzly bear. On missions with his SEAL team, he’d never smiled.
Nik and former teammate Jay “Dizzy” Gillespie owned the Passion Lake Lodge and Campgrounds. The Lodge was an enormous, rustic structure that boasted twenty-four guest rooms, a spacious, two-story Common Room with pine-paneled walls, an open, beamed ceiling, and a rock-wall fireplace big enough to roast an entire ox. But the jewel in the crown was The Icebox Bar, a Texas Roadhouse style establishment with good food, friendly atmosphere, and plenty of space for dancing. The Midnight Riders, a live band made up of their buddies and some local musicians, played rock and roll music every Friday night and good old, down-home country music every Saturday night. There were enough musicians in Passion Lake to allow the band members to rotate, so no one person was committed to more than every other week-end. Although they often sat in on each other’s sessions.
Passion Lake Lodge was situated on a hill overlooking its namesake, a large, deep, freshwater lake. Nik and Jay had purchased the land and helped to build the main building, as well as six cabins scattered randomly through the woods, and a small campground area along the near end of the lake. The entire area had become a popular destination for boaters and fishermen, and there was even a white-sand beach for kids to swim and build sand castles, as well as a dock for them to jump off of.
“Hold your horses,” Jay’s voice floated up the basement stairs, “there’s plenty of time.”
“We have to be there in fifteen minutes. It’s thirty miles away. Do the math!”
“You know I don’t do math,” Jay hollered.
“Hence your chronic lateness,” Nik retorted, watching as his business partner and frequent scene partner entered the stairwell and started up the stairs from their private wing at the west end of the Lodge building. “Hold it, boy. Did you pick up that trail of dirty clothes you left on the floor?”
Jay just smirked. “Yes, Papa Bear. All picked up and put in the hamper.”
“You know how crazy that makes me.”
“I know. That’s why I do it.”
Biting his cheek to hide his smile, Nik stepped aside to let Jay join him. “You know,” he said thoughtfully, “if you were a sub instead of a fellow Dom, an attitude like that would earn you a punishment.”
They were in the long hallway that led out into the bar. Along the right-hand wall were doors leading to Nik’s office and the public restrooms. Behind the left-hand wall was the kitchen and the end of the Icebox’s bar. They could hear voices and the muffled clank of pots and pans—the usual hustle and bustle coming from the kitchen. The kind of hustle and bustle that told them it was going to be a busy night at the Icebox. With both the Lodge and the cabins fully booked and campers in the campground, that wasn’t a surprise. Jay closed the door. It locked automatically.
“Look, Nik, I know that you always pad the time, because you know I’ll always be late. Therefore, we are always right on time.” Jay smirked. “And kudos for use of the word ‘hence’.”
Nik frowned, his attention riveted to Jay’s well-defined pecs and six-pack abs playing peek-a-boo between the flaps of his leather vest. “What are those?”
Jay looked down at himself as if expecting to find something. “What are whats?”
Jay just laughed. “Look it up. That’ll be your word for tomorrow. And do we remember our word for today?” For the past ten years, Jay had insisted that Nik learn a new English word every day and use it in a sentence. As a result, Nik’s vocabulary had increased enormously.
He now spoke nearly perfect vernacular English and had lost most of his accent, except for a slight glottal heaviness that was especially noticeable when he reverted to his native Russian, which he often did, especially when vexed. Like he was now, muttering beneath his breath in a guttural street dialect he knew Jay didn’t understand, even though Jay spoke flawless Russian.
“Yes,” Nik said through gritted teeth. “Today’s word is throttle. The sentence is, ‘My partner is so annoying, my fingers are itching to grab him by the throat and throttle him’.”
“Perfect,” Jay laughed. “Except today’s word was viscosity.”
Nik just gave his partner an exasperated grin, looking him up and down. Jay was six feet four with freckles and light green eyes the color of sea glass. A thick thatch of collar-length, reddish-brown hair hid his slightly over-sized ears and gave him a tousled, sexy, just-rolled-out-of-bed vibe augmented by his lean, muscular frame. His happy-go-lucky attitude was diametrically opposed to Nik, who had never had a single happy-go-lucky moment in his entire life. Where Jay took very little seriously, at least not since he’d left the SEALs, Nik took
The mischief twinkling in Jay’s green eyes often made him look twelve years old instead of the thirty he actually was. But the deep stillness that was an innate part of who he was, served as a warning to everyone not to take him lightly. Or it should have. Despite his youthful looks, or, quite possibly
of them, he’d also been one of the most lethal members of his SEAL team. He could kill with parts of the body not usually considered to be weapons. A flick of his hand, so swift it was barely detectable by a slow-motion camera, could crush a man’s windpipe. Enemies who had underestimated him based on his boyish appearance and demeanor, were now dead.
Jay was the youngest of four brothers, eleven years younger than Max, the next oldest, fourteen years younger than Dave, seventeen years younger than Sam, the oldest. Because of this enormous age gap, he’d never been close to any of his siblings. Their mother had died of cancer when Jay was only three. Their father, General John Gillespie, a Deputy Director under the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was a cold man and a harsh disciplinarian who’d rarely spent time at home with his sons. He’d left their upbringing to a succession of live-in housekeepers and nannies. All of the Gillespie boys had entered a different branch of the service, so when Jay’s turn came, the Navy was the only one left. He’d entered the day of his eighteenth birthday and immediately signed up for SEAL training, determined to make his father proud of him. Unfortunately, that was something he would never know. General Gillespie had died before Jay even finished training. But he had definitely made his older brothers proud. All three of them had attended his graduation, wearing their own Army, Air Force, and Marine uniforms. The four brothers now maintained a regular correspondence through email and Skype.
Jay had also been the youngest member of his SEAL team. One of the team’s linguists, he had an excellent ear and was fluent in six languages, including Russian, Arabic and Bulgarian.
When Nik and Jay met nearly eleven years ago at the Naval Air Base in Coronado, California, they had formed an instant bond, despite the fact that Jay was barely nineteen and Nik was nearly eleven years older. As a Russian defector with unique and specialized skills, plus a USB drive containing secret Russian Army intelligence files, Nik had been hired by the U.S. Navy to teach street fighting techniques to the newest SEAL trainees, eventually becoming a SEAL himself. He and Jay had been inseparable ever since, fighting together, scening with subs together, going into business together, living together.
Jay loved Nik Rostov. He was more of a brother to him than his own had ever been. He was also a trusted friend and partner. A fellow Dom. And possibly something much deeper, although that was an area Jay had always refused to even look at, much less explore.
Growing up on the streets of one of the Ukraine’s worst neighborhoods, Nik’s life had been brutal. The son of a disgraced Russian naval officer and a local prostitute, Nik, at age eleven, had seen his father gunned down in the street. That’s when he had realized that the only fate awaiting him in that place was misery and death. So, at the age of eleven, rejecting the drugs, gangs, weapons, and ruthless disregard for human life that surrounded him, he had escaped, stowing away on a Turkish freighter headed for Sochi.
As soon as they’d left the port, he had turned himself in to the Captain, paying for his passage by working in the engine room. Never complaining, never shirking, he had done the same amount of work done by men twice his age and size. And he had done it well. Because Nik Rostov had possessed something that none of the other people in his life had ever had. Integrity. And a driving need to be successful.
At the time, Sochi had been a resort destination favored by the top leaders of the Communist party in Russia. As a result, it was cleaner and more upscale than many other Russian cities. He’d quickly made himself indispensable to the owner of a fashionable restaurant in one of Sochi’s better neighborhoods. In exchange for washing dishes, sweeping, cleaning the greasy flat top, and running errands, he’d been given three meals a day and a cot to sleep on in the storage room. The restaurant owner, impressed with his ambition, became somewhat of a mentor to him, teaching him how to read and write. By age fifteen Nik had saved enough money to buy a train ticket to Moscow. Armed with the name of his mentor’s uncle, another restaurateur, Nik had distinguished himself first as a bus boy, then a waiter, and finally, as house manager. As he’d grown, he’d watched Russian state television avidly, mimicking the way the news anchors spoke, teaching himself how to speak proper Russian, instead of the gutter dialect he’d grown up speaking.
At age eighteen, he’d joined the Russian Army and had been recommended by his superior officer for
, the Russian Special Forces, working his way up to the rank of Second Lieutenant. He had discovered, as he’d grown older, that he somehow possessed a bottomless capacity for comfort and guidance, even though he’d never experienced either as a child. Nurturing was simply an innate part of Nikolai Rostov’s nature.
And Jay, whose childhood had been similarly barren, had soaked it up, as evidenced by the fact that they had grown even closer over the last three or four years. They had an easy camaraderie that allowed Jay the freedom to joke and be playful and Nik the opportunity to bluster and scold and then reassure. It was a dynamic that worked well for both of them.
Nik gave his partner an appraising glance. Tonight Jay was dressed in black leather pants, no shirt. The sides of his leather vest were linked together with chains dangling across the well-defined muscles of his broad, tanned chest and abs. Nik was also dressed in black leather. But his pants had buckles up and down the sides and instead of a vest, he wore a leather harness that consisted of four thick straps, two over his shoulders and two around his sides, all connected to a steel ring in the middle of his superbly sculpted chest. They both wore heavy black biker boots.
Both men exuded an aura of power that was mesmerizing. They were pure, primal males, predatory and lethal. They commanded attention no matter where they were or what they were doing. If they were in a room, no one else existed.
“Being late is a sign of disrespect,” Nik said. “Do you remember what I said I would do the next time it happened?”
“”Yeah, you said you were gonna paddle my ass.” Jay waved a dismissive hand. “You always say that, Papa Bear. I know you don’t mean it.”
Nik’s smile was pure evil. “Well, boy, as it turns out, you were wrong. I do mean it. And tonight you’re going to get what’s been coming to you for far too long. And just to make it truly meaningful, I’ve decided to do it at the club. At one of the public stations.”