Thursday, 4 September 2014
Fill Me: The new Dungeon Masters book.
Ryia Laurie wants to learn how to make her adult store, “Paddle My Ass,” better and more profitable. Asher Roberts, senior chef, and Elijah Deakin, head of security for The Dom’s Dungeon BDSM Club, want Ryia as their mate. Can they all overcome the legacy of Ryia’s abusive ex husband, Miles, to achieve this? Ryia, Asher, and Elijah attend the “New Directions in the Adult Industry” convention with their separate agendas. But Ryia is so busy looking at the exhibition displays, taking notes at the lectures, and attending all the workshops that Asher and Elijah are hard pressed to catch her attention. When they do, her lack of self-esteem makes letting her know how very interested they are in her even harder, if not impossible. How are they going to catch her interest and get to know her before the convention is over?
Ryia stood in the center of her store, her hands on her ample hips, staring critically at the new stock she’d just arranged on her brand new shelving. She wiggled her nose, screwed up her eyes, and finally nodded. Yeah, it’ll do until I think of a better way to display it.
She’d spent most of her first year in college trying to think of a name for the adult store she planned to own. But no word starting with R fit with Ryia and an adult theme. After that she’d played with words to go with “Adult.” Finally, she’d settled on “Paddle My Ass” as her store name. It screamed adult store, and sex, and yet fun.
All through the second year of her course she’d been researching places to locate her store. It had to be in the type of neighborhood where people would appreciate the genre, yet it had to be a safe enough neighborhood people would visit the store on a cold, dark winter’s day as well as in midsummer. It also needed to be not too close to any existing store.
Finally, only a few weeks before graduation, everything had come together and she’d rented her store in a new warehouse supply neighborhood which was perfect for her as she could now have walk-in-off-the-street clients, as well as appealing to businesses in industries similar to hers.
It took her three months to get her store set up and during that time she also had a website designed and ready to go live the minute the store was officially open. Now she’d been here a little over a year, and the bottom line of her accounts had been black for the previous three months, and she knew it’d continue that way. She was already getting repeat customers and business customers who were wonderful as they bought more than walk-in clients did.
Her first year alone had been both wonderful, but also very strange and difficult to adjust to. She’d gone straight from being a schoolgirl, to marriage, to a control freak, and then to being totally alone, with no one to speak to and nothing to do.
Miles hadn’t let her spend time with her friends except for the occasional lunch or coffee date when he was there as well. Consequently, most of her friends had long ago stopped contacting her, and her father had died very soon after her wedding. It had been his dying wish that she marry Miles, and she’d been happy to accept his choice of man for her because she knew he loved her. Apparently his illness had blinded him to Miles’s true character and she was glad he’d died without finding out what a cruel and devious asshole Miles had turned out to be.
Once she was alone again, Ryia’d had to learn and relearn everything she thought she’d known about life. No longer did laundry have to be done Miles’s way, everything folded exactly into sections. She could eat whatever she wanted to, whenever she wanted to. She slept in a bed every night, instead of on the floor, unless her husband had wanted her for sex. But best of all she could wear clothes whenever she wanted to, and she could choose those clothes for herself.
Miles had destroyed and thrown away almost every item of her so-carefully-chosen wedding trousseau. Lingerie that she’d felt beautiful wearing. Soft, filmy, silky night dresses that had touched and aroused her skin. Pretty dresses that had made her feel mature and grown up, a fit partner for a handsome man like Miles. He’d liked her to wear jeans and baggy sweatshirts “to hide those repulsive rolls of fat” when she left the house. Yet at home, he’d order her to remain naked, in case he wanted to fuck her.
Now alone, Ryia had developed her own style. She wore long, flowing, ankle-length skirts in fall colors, and teamed them with soft, silky shirts in the summer and fleecy warm sweaters in the winter. She wore sturdy boots in winter that kept her feet cozy and dry, cool flip-flops in the summer, and comfortable athletic shoes when she knew she’d be on her feet walking around all day.
At first, she’d suffered from dreadful pangs of guilt each time she bought something for herself, constantly hearing Miles’s accusing voice in her head, railing at how ugly, and useless, and unworthy she was. But she’d forced herself to repeat over and over again that the money she was spending was her own. It had always been her own, not his.
I am not useless. I am not completely stupid. My store is a success now, and it will be an even bigger success as I learn more and more about the industry. I will support myself and I will be happy.