Read The Author's Friends Online

Authors: Shelly Douglas

The Author's Friends (2 page)

BOOK: The Author's Friends


“Why would an intelligent, grown woman behave the way you did last night?” Michael asked as he brought two steaming mugs of coffee to the table.

Carla tried to keep her glossy lips in a straight line as she reached for her cup and gingerly sat down.  “What do you mean, Dr. Cohen?”

“You know exactly what I mean, you little minx.  I hear there’s a casting call for a sequel to ‘The Brat Begged for a Bare Bottom Spanking’.  Do you want to ring Mr. Spielberg’s secretary or should I?”  He waved his cell phone in the air smiling.

“I don’t think he produces that kind of movie, dear.  Aren’t you going to be late for your first patient?” Carla casually checked her watch, hoping the conversation was coming to a close.

“Thanks for your concern, but I have plenty of time.  Was your stress level at the office really that high yesterday, or am I not giving you enough attention?” He passed her the cream and sweetener.

“I don’t know if I can put my feelings into words, Michael.”

“You certainly didn’t need to say anything last night, it was written all over your face.  I must admit; you did play a convincing brat.”

She put her hands up to her cheeks.  “Oh for God’s sake. Was it that obvious?”

“I’m forty-two, Carla - way too old to be playing games.”

“Are you asking me to have a conversation with you about my fantasies?” A beautiful shade of red was rising from her neck.

“This is not one of Dana’s romance books we’re talking about.  This is real life, our life.  I would like to hear about your needs.”

“Can I make an appointment and lie on your couch later?” She crossed her eyes and took a sip from her mug.

He got up from the table and walked to the back of her chair.  “You want more rules, don’t you?” He gently kissed the crown of her head, inhaling her fresh botanical scent.

She didn’t move a muscle.  A deer caught in headlights would have looked more relaxed.

“I’m happy to oblige, my love.  But you aren’t going to be the one in charge; that status you must leave at the office.  My dominance will not be in your control,
.” He slowly moved her blonde hair to the side and kissed the nape of her neck.

She savored the chill that ran down her back and then turned to face him.

“Well, is this what you want, Carla?”  There was a dark edge to his voice that matched the color of his eyes.

“Yes, sir,” she whispered in a hushed tone.

He stooped to her eye level.  “Come straight home after work.  I expect to see you sitting at this table no later than six o’clock.”  Collecting his thoughts, he traced the line of her jaw with his finger.  “Do I need to tell you what will happen if you’re late?”

Carla slowly shook her head.

“And just so there’s no confusion, the next time you act like a brat, you will yearn for the day when I bent you over this knee and
you with my hand.” He tilted his head and winked.

He must stop using that word
, she mused as her pussy clenched.



“Dana Michele McBride, you need to rise and shine.”

She rolled over.  It took a moment for her head to clear.

“What time is it?” she mumbled.

Richard looked at his watch.  “I knew you shouldn’t have stayed up so late.” His arms crossed impatiently.

Dana rubbed her eyes and hoped Richard would leave without much more of a
fuss.  She had a long day ahead of her.  Floyd wanted some exercise, there was work to be done for the newspaper, and last but not least, she hoped to make a dent in her new novel.

“Richard, I’m sorry; I’ll get a move on.  But don’t you want to snuggle before you head off?”  Dana asked coyly.

“As much as I would like to take you up on that offer, I need to get to a meeting that starts in a half hour.”  Richard bent over, gave her a peck on the lips and rushed out the bedroom door. 

Dana rested her head one more time to gather her thoughts.  As much as she wanted to roll back over, she knew there wasn’t time.  If she hustled, maybe she could run on the treadmill for an hour.  That always helped her focus.  She put on some sweats and dragged Floyd downstairs to feed him, which never took more than thirty seconds.

Moments later they were out the door for their daily walk.  Because it was such a beautiful, crisp morning, they took their time getting around the block.  Of course, one can only go so fast with a dog like Floyd.  The walk was just enough to get Dana’s juices flowing, so as soon as they returned home, she jumped on the treadmill.  The exercise was stimulating; it gave her time to think more about her book and what she was going to write next.  Richard would have been proud since he was always preaching about living a healthier lifestyle.  She would just omit the fact that she hadn’t eaten any breakfast. 

Dana quickly showered, dressed, brewed a pot of coffee and sat down in front of her laptop.  Floyd flopped down and fell fast asleep at her feet.

Dana had a newspaper article due that afternoon, and as she pecked away at a review of the Home and Garden Show that was currently being held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center she wondered if anything could be more boring.  She tried to add some flair to the piece, but knew if she did, the editor would just chop it up and spit it back at her.  She labored away for an hour and sent it to the office for review.  Now she could get on with the exciting work -  her book.

She knew the next scene at the B& B had to be steamy and different from what she’d written in the past.  Being repetitive was tedious, and she wanted her followers to enjoy new twists and turns in the storyline.  What she needed were new ideas that would capture their fantasies. 

Brad picked up Kristin late in the afternoon.  The traffic out of New York City was always difficult to deal with, particularly on a Friday.  The conversation had been downright uneventful, and much to Brad’s surprise, the subject of sleeping arrangements never came up.  That was certainly a hopeful sign.  He had selected a B&B that sat right on the harbor, and they arrived in Niantic just before dinner. 

A middle-aged couple was behind the front desk as they entered through the front door.  The owners introduced themselves as the Wrights and were as friendly as they could be.  Much to Brad’s delight, Kristin asked if they could have a room with a view over the harbor.  The availability of a room with a king-size bed was music to his ears.

They took the elevator up three floors to their room.  As advertised, the room was down at the end of a hallway, and it had a large glass front that overlooked the harbor.  Kristin threw her arms around his neck when they got into the room exclaiming how romantic it was.

Well, Bradley Caine, I think your good fortune is just beginning,
Dana thought as the aroma of coffee beckoned from the kitchen.



“Dana, what are you doing for lunch?” Carla’s tone was rushed as she put her cell phone on speaker.

Dana looked at her watch and sighed.  “Well, I guess I’m going to eat a cup of delicious Greek yogurt,” she joked as she continued to type.

“Can you meet me for lunch downtown in about thirty minutes?  I need to see you.” Carla tapped her fingers on the desk.

“Okay, sure.  Hey, what’s going on, Carla?  You haven’t been your usual jovial self.”

“How about the eatery we went to the last time  - the one on Grant Street.  Is that okay?”

“Sure, that’s fine.”

“Thanks.   See you in thirty.”  Carla put her cell phone in her bag, and reclined in the leather chair at her desk.

A half an hour later arrived at the food court and scanned the tables for her friend.  Carla was sitting alone with her arms crossed.

“Uh oh.  Are you going to spill your guts now, or should we eat first?” Dana asked as she took off her jacket.

“I actually don’t feel like eating, but I will for your sake.”  Carla shrugged as she threw her coat over a chair.  They headed straight to the counter and ordered their usual favorite salads.  When they returned to the table, there was an awkward silence.

Dana cleared her throat.  “Are we going to have a conversation, or am I going to have to conduct this like an interview?”

Carla bit her lip.  “First, let me apologize again for my behavior last night.  You know how I love you guys, and this holiday will be your best ever.  Michael and I very much want to be a part of your happiness.”

“Just for the record, you’ve already submitted an apology and it was accepted.  So, once again, I feel the need to ask what’s going on Carla?  This isn’t like you.” Dana moved her salad around the plate, obviously not intending to eat it.

“Stop playing with your food, Dana.  Did you eat breakfast this morning?  You know how Richard hates when you skip …”

Dana held her hand up.  “I see you’re still bossy, so that’s comforting.”

“Yes, well that’s part of the problem.”  Carla shook her head.  “Dana, I would love to be a submissive for Michael.  It’s no secret that he wants it, and part of me does too, but I don’t know that I’m capable.  We’re talking about a thirty-five-year-old woman who’s used to running the show.  How can I be responsible for a large staff at work all day and then be taken over a knee for coming home a little late?” She lowered her voice, looking around to make sure no one heard her last words.

“Not that I’m judging, but just to be clear, what the hell happened last night?”  Dana took a small bite of her salad.

“Well, I did have a crazy day at the office and needed a release.  I knew ‘the brat personality’ would get Michael’s juices flowing and seized the opportunity to challenge him.  It was like playing a scene, and we carried it to the end of the night.  I have to admit, it was kind of fun for both of us.  But, of course, you know him; we just
to discuss it this morning.”

Dana stopped chewing.  “He
a therapist.”

“Yeah, I’ve heard.” Carla ran a hand through her wavy hair.

“Jesus, Carla.  You aren’t going to stop there, are you?”

“Dana, do you know why his marriage ended?” Carla took a sip of her Diet Coke and swallowed hard.

“No, but you better tell me right now.”

“After five years, his wife decided she didn’t want to be a submissive anymore.  According to Michael she, too, was a professional and thought it would be wonderful to be taken care of when she got home from work.  But eventually, Lilly tired of her new role and asked for a divorce.”

“So, that’s why he’s been careful with you.  Now I understand.” Dana slowly nodded.

“Yes, and I pushed him last night.  I did it on purpose, and he knew it.  This morning, he asked me if I wanted  more rules.”

Dana leaned forward.  “You know him better than I do, but I’m sensing he’s even more strict that Richard.  Am I right?”

“Dana, there’s a dark edge to Richard personality that I never saw before.  He doesn’t talk much about his background, but important information is there; I can feel it.”

“He’s so sweet and gentle.  What exactly do you mean by dark?” Dana folded her hands and leaned on the table.

“He’s the most even-tempered man I know.  Last night, he spanked me hard and put me to bed, but it didn’t feel … wrong.  The way he did it, seemed very right.  He’s so good for me.”

“You aren’t answering my question.”

Carla shrugged.  “It’s just a feeling I get.  There’s something about him being in control, something about the gleam in those dark brown eyes.  I can’t describe it.  Am I making any sense?”

“No.  But the important question is, are you okay with it?  Is he scaring you?”

“Dana, he’s turning me on. That’s the scary part.”  She crossed her arms and raised an eyebrow.



Michael was having a difficult time keeping his head in the game.  He’d seen three patients that morning, but most of his attention had been focused on Carla. 

He could spend many years trying to figure her out. She was such a complicated woman.  But he loved a good challenge.  In fact, it was her strength and self-assurance that he had found attractive in the first place.  He liked her intelligence, unpredictability and humor; he even enjoyed when she crossed the line.  But if the relationship was going to work, their roles needed to be defined.

In all fairness, he hadn’t opened up totally to her either.  He knew there was enough baggage in the recesses of his mind to start up a luggage store.  Pondering those thoughts, he wondered how his honesty would affect their relationship.  It was becoming evident that she was sensing there was another layer to him that he hadn’t revealed.  He wanted to fill her in on his background, but it was just too soon. 

“Doctor, are you listening to me?” 

Michael shook his head and cleared his mind.  “Yes, I’m sorry.  I drifted off for a moment. Please return to what you were saying.”

Self analysis wasn’t one of Michael’s strong suits.  Sometimes even the best therapists needed help, too.  His friend Jason practiced in the same building, so it was easy to stop by for an occasional tune-up.  The fact that he was dwelling on his past meant it was probably time to go see his buddy. 

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