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 2013 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 161 pages, additionally there is also a
at the end of the book containing 5 pages.
Book three in the Sure Mastery Serial
Now her submission is complete, will her Master still be there when she needs him most, or will the ghosts of her past destroy their fragile future?
Ashley and Tom’s sensual journey continues as an old friend returns to Black Combe. As her business flourishes and her relationship with Tom deepens, Ashley is happy—truly happy—and looking forward to the future. Then, without warning, her world is shattered once more as her past comes crashing back, violence and malevolence crushing her newfound happiness and threatening all she now holds dear.
Shocked and horrified as she learns the terrifying truth, Ashley has to battle for her own survival and that of the tiny life just starting inside her. Can her Master protect her? Is there a future for them after all?
Sure mastery can only be met with absolute submission. As Ashley surrenders to the inevitable, relying on her Master to keep her safe, will it be enough?
This book is dedicated to my family, as ever, John, Hannah and Jack.
The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:
McDonalds: McDonald’s Corporation
Big Mac: McDonald’s Corporation
Porsche: Porsche AG
McFlurry: McDonald’s Corporation
Mini: BMW AG
Head and Shoulders: Procter & Gamble Company
Land Rover: Land Rover
RSPCA: Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Clio: Renault S.A.
iPad: Apple, Inc.
BMW: BMW AG
Marriott: Marriott International, Inc.
Transit: Ford Motor Company
The Karate Kid:
Robert Mark Kamen
Pepsi: PepsiCo Inc.
Pampers: Procter & Gamble Company
Marks and Spencer: Marks & Spencer
Photoshop: Adobe Systems, Inc.
Samsung: Samsung Group
O2: Telefónica Europe plc
EE: Everything Everywhere Limited
The Cat in the Hat:
Autoglass: D’Ieteren SA
Crimestoppers: Crimestoppers Trust UK
Audi: Audi AG
Sellotape: Henkel AG & Company, KGaA
“Eva! You mean Eva Eva?” Eloquent, that’s me.
Tom too, it would seem. “Yes, Eva Eva. Nathan’s Eva. And she’s not on her own.”
Just the mysterious Eva materializing out of nowhere was enough to floor me. And by the sound of it, Tom was every bit as surprised. But there’s more apparently. He’s not volunteering so I have to ask. “So, who else is with her?”
“Her…” Words do fail me now. I’m scurrying across the yard toward my car and I manage to drop my phone. By the time I’ve retrieved it from under my rear tire, the obvious inference has occurred to me. “The baby, is it…? I mean… How old is it? The baby?”
“About ten weeks I gather. And yes, she’s Nathan’s baby.”
“Ah.” Says it all really. Complicated doesn’t come close to describing this. Still, I’ve always had the distinct impression Nathan Darke likes children. I’m just wondering whether or not to offer up that optimistic observation when Tom’s voice cuts through my tangled thoughts again.
“We could really do with a bit more time here, before Rosie arrives back and everything gets messy again.”
“Nathan needs time to talk to Eva, and I’m on my way to Keighley to get hold of a cot. Grace is babysitting, so that leaves you. Could you think up some delaying tactic, take Rosie for a burger or something, just keep her out for an extra hour or so?”
“Yes, I daresay I could. Won’t she think it a bit odd though, me just turning up? I never meet her from school.”
“Maybe, but she’ll be so delighted to see you she’ll soon forget.”
“I take it I’m not telling her about Eva or the baby?”
“I think that’s down to Nathan. Just hedge as best you can until you get back here. And, Ashley, I do appreciate this, babe. Nathan does too.”
“I— You’re welcome. I’ll see you in a couple of hours or so then.” And I hang up, get the car started then I’m off, headed for Rosie’s school.
* * * *
She was surprised to see me hanging round the school gate, and just as delighted as Tom thought she’d be. Amazingly, she never once asked where Grace or her dad were, just accepting me as part of the family team. It’s a fairly warm, fuzzy sort of a feeling, I decide, being part of a family again—a family who looks out for each other and rally around to help in a crisis. I’m mulling that over and responding to Rosie’s excited chatter as we tootle along the road heading for McDonalds in Keighley. She’s full of stories about her day, the painting of Barney she’s half finished, the ‘Cat in the Hat’ poem her teacher read to the class and the particularly disgusting fish that was on offer in the school dinner hall. A less than enjoyable lunch seems like a good excuse to pig out on a Big Mac before we head for home, and Rosie buys that suggestion enthusiastically. So far so good.
An hour later we’re pushing the empty wrappers and cartons around on the bright red plastic tray, and I’m wondering if it might be all right to head for home when my phone buzzes to signal the arrival of a text. I send Rosie to dump our debris in the huge bin while I check it.
Fine to come home. See you soon. Love you. T
I smile, especially at the last bit. My response is short—
On our way. 20 mins. Love you too. A
Knowing what we’ll be walking into makes the short ride home rather fraught for me, but Rosie seems oblivious to any tension, or to my general silence. I pull up at the huge gate into Black Combe and Rosie hops out to press the buzzer. A few seconds, then the massive gate slides majestically aside, and Rosie skips alongside the car as I crunch over the gravel toward the house. I navigate the bend in the drive and the house comes into view, Nathan’s sleek black Porsche parked in front. I pull up alongside as Rosie fusses with an excited Barney bouncing around the house to greet us. I get out of the car and, flanked by Rosie and Barney, stroll around to the kitchen door at the back. Rosie flings it open when we get there, bounces inside full of news of horrible fish and delightful chicken nuggets and strawberry McFlurries. I follow more cautiously, not entirely sure what sight might greet us.
What we get is a surreal spin on domestic bliss. Rosie comes skidding to a halt, her excited stream of girlish babble silenced at the sight of her father seated at the kitchen table, a tiny baby in his arms sucking contentedly from a bottle of milk. She stares at him, astonished, then at the baby—a remarkably pretty little thing, incidentally, all pink and fragrant. Her eyes are closed, the very picture of contentment, and her cheeks are moving rhythmically, suckling the bottle. The tiny air bubbles rising through the milk indicate her success, and Nathan tilts it to improve the angle for her. The adoration in his gaze is unmistakable. Clearly, Rosie has a sister.
Not that she knows it yet, and I’m wondering if I should make myself scarce, give him the space to talk to her alone. Apparently not.
“Hi, you two. Rosie, come over here, there’s someone you need to meet. Ashley, my hands are full. You don’t mind making your own coffee do you? Mine’s black.”
He gestures with his head to the empty chair next to him, and Rosie scurries across the kitchen.
“Uh, no. Not at all…” I set about fixing us both a coffee.
“Whose baby is it? Can I hold her? What’s her name? How long are we looking after her for? Does she like Barbies?” Rosie seems to have rallied admirably from her surprise and is bombarding Nathan with questions.
The excited babble cuts off suddenly as Rosie spots something else, something equally incongruous to her. And I confess I’m also a little puzzled by the presence of the rather battered violin case occupying pride of place on the kitchen table. Rosie stares at it for a few moments then turns to her father, with her eyes wide and mouth quivering.
“That’s Eva’s. Eva’s violin. She took it with her. But it’s here again. Why is it here, Daddy?”
“Hush, love. Listen to me.” He hesitates, his gaze fastened on Rosie’s excited, hopeful little face, then he hits her with the big one. “Eva brought it. She’s back. She’s upstairs, asleep.”
Rosie leaps to her feet, obviously intending to bolt for the stairs to see for herself the beloved Eva, truly returned from…wherever.
“Rosie, wait. Come back here, sit down and listen to me. Now, please.”
Nathan’s voice stops her mad rush. Rosie does as she’s been told, as anyone would, I suspect, on hearing that tone, and he continues. “Eva’s here, you’ll see her soon. But she’s been poorly, and now she’s tired so she’s asleep. We need to let her have a good, long rest, and you can talk to her later, I promise. The doctor needs to come and see her as well.”
He nods his thanks to me as I place a mug of black coffee on the table in front of him, then he turns again to Rosie. “This is Isabella. She’s Eva’s baby.” He smiles at Rosie’s wide-eyed, astonished look and goes on, “And mine. She’s your baby sister.”
Rosie looks from him to me then back again, searching our faces for some sign that this could make sense. That baby sisters do just turn up out of the blue, and can be found waiting for you in the kitchen when you come home from school. No one speaks. By common, unspoken consent we all let the silence stretch as each of us, I suppose, assimilates the impact of the day’s events.
Then, “Is she staying? I mean, are they both staying? Daddy, please don’t let her go away again. Please…” Rosie’s eyes are tearful now, her lips quivering again as she considers the prospect of losing her—well, I don’t exactly know what Eva is to Rosie, but she’s clearly very important—all over again.
It’s clear to me that although she likes me well enough, I’m her friend, maybe even a bit like a big sister. But Eva? Now Eva’s something very special to Rosie. And I suspect to Nathan too. I hope for all their sakes this is going to turn out okay.