“Before we begin—before you begin—let me apologize for what I said out there.”
Liz licked her lips. Her mouth had dried. “You mean about spanking me?”
He nodded. “I shouldn’t have said that. I’m sor—”
“Don’t apologize until you hear what I have to say.” She twisted her hands. What if he thought she was a kinky freak? What if he hustled her out of his condo and his life? Liz took a breath. “I did think you were older than you are, but that wasn’t the real issue.”
“I don’t understand.”
“In my marriage, there was never any question who was in charge. Otis always consulted with me, but I deferred to his judgment. He led; I supported.”
Grant arched his eyebrows. “That sounds very traditional.”
Liz nodded. “Yes. I assumed when I got involved again, the man would be…traditional…like Otis.” She wasn’t being clear enough. “I figured I would meet someone through the Rod and Cane Society.”
Grant frowned. “Rod and Cane. The mansion we were at?”
“Is that some sort of fraternal organization?”
She nodded. “Otis was president. Jared, whom you met outside, has filled in until an election can be held. I’m vying for a seat on the governance board. It’s a bold move for a conservative—some would say old-fashioned—organization to admit a woman.” Stop stalling. Say it.
“What does the organization do? What’s its purpose?” In a game of Twenty Questions, Grant probably would need no more than a couple to guess the object.
Liz rubbed her hands together. “Rod and Cane supports and promotes domestic discipline. The male members spank their wives.”
Grant blinked. “You were spanked by your husband?”
“Yes.” Relief that came from truth settled over her.
“Wow.” He exhaled and studied the floor. Then his head shot up, and he sought her gaze. “You want me to spank you.”
Grant got to his feet and shoved his hands in his pockets. He paced. “Well, this wasn’t what I expected you to say.” He glanced at her then tossed his head back and laughed. As if she were a joke. She’d bared herself to him, and he laughed at her?
What a jerk. And to think she’d considered him a nice guy. Liz grabbed her purse and sprang to her feet. He’d driven her, but she’d crawl back to Rod and Cane if she had to!
Reasonable Doubts blurb
Widow Liz Davenport assumes when she begins to date, her new man will be like her late husband–a member of the Rod and Cane Society and an experienced disciplinarian who can provide her with loving guidance she requires to feel grounded and secure. So why is she attracted to Grant Davis, an ex-Naval JAG officer who works for her nemesis and has never spanked a woman in his life?
Events in his recent past have forced Grant to take stock of his life and try some new things. But spank a woman? He’s never considered that before, but with Liz’s coaching he’s willing to try.
But when the past collides with the present, will he be able to step up and become the disciplinarian Liz needs?
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