Welcome to Day 6 of the Perfect Blog Tour with Kallypso Masters and friends.
Thank you, Guilty Indulgence, for hosting me!
This six-day Perfect Blog Tour celebrates the release of Nobody's Perfect (Rescue Me #4), by Kallypso Masters, which released this week—FINALLY! Perfect continues the long-awaited Happily Ever After for probably the two most wounded characters in the series, Damian Orlando and Savannah Gentry (now Savi Baker). Their heartbreaking story began in Masters at Arms (a free read—see links below) and the couple reunited in Nobody's Hero after eight years apart.
Those who follow me on Facebook know that, as an incest and child sexual abuse survivor myself, this book was akin to opening a vein and pouring my lifeblood onto the page. I usually take 2-3 months to write and edit a book in this series (tops). This one took nearly eight months! The result is not an autobiographical story, but my fellow survivors will come face to face with a lot of the same triggers and aftermath we all suffer as a result of our abuse.
Many of the people who helped me get the BDSM, psychology, and other aspects of this story right also are survivors of abuse, or live the lifestyle and work with survivors using BDSM for healing. This Perfect Blog Tour kicks off with the personal reflections of Ekatarina "Saya" Sayanova, who served first as a subject expert (BDSM and medical expertise), then a beta reader, and finally an editor. While reading the whipping by catharsis scene you'll be reading over the course of Days 2-6 in this tour, she was drawn into the scene almost as if she were a participant—at one point, Damián, and then Patti, the bottom he is working with in the scene.
In this Excerpt blog tour, you will be reading from a single scene, Chapters 10-11 of the book. In this scene, Damián (sometimes called Damo) is called upon to be a Service Top to Patti, a slave/masochist at the Masters at Arms Club whose Master (Victor) isn't a sadist and is unable to give her the level of catharsis through whipping she needs to work through a severe trigger that shut her down emotionally earlier that day. This happens to be the first time in months that Damian has been in the club—and is the first time ever for Savi, who was invited here by Adam, who plays a role in helping Savi to understand the purpose of a cathartic whipping—and why Damian is the one to provide that.
** If you are just joining us, you are going to want to take a look at the first five stops in tour to get caught up on what is going on. The links are below.
Sept 20 ~ My Reading Obsession
Sept 21 ~ Herding Cats and Burning Soup
NOTE: Yesterday's excerpt ended at a scene break the night before the continuation of the story. Just didn't want to jar you, since you can't see the * * * tipoff.
Savi had no clue how she'd wound up back in the club again the next morning, soon after dropping Mari off at school.
"Which is your dominant hand, Savi?"
Savi swallowed, looking up at Adam who held a menacing bundle of olive-green rope in his hand. "My right."
"Okay, I'm going to restrain your left hand and arm first. You'll still have use of your right one for a while. You still have some control, if you feel the need for it, until you get used to the restraints—and me."
She could inflict a lot more damage with her feet and legs than with her hands anyway, but couldn't help herself from pointing out the obvious. "Like fighting with one hand tied behind my back?"
Adam grinned. "One hand tied at your side, actually." He tweaked her nose as if she were a kid, similar to what Damián had done last week. "Trust me, little one. You aren't going to need to fight me off. Remember what we talked about? I'm just going to work on decreasing your fear threshold. Starting now. Deep breath."
She forced herself to draw a slow, deep breath. No point trying to deny it. He had to know she was scared to death.
So, why was she even considering letting him do this to her?
Because she needed to get past her fear of being restrained before she'd ever be able to experience what Patti had with Damián last night. Damián had told her once that being restrained actually would make her feel freer. Dear lord, she hoped so.
"Okay, I'm ready." Sweat broke out on her upper lip. Savi steeled herself for the terror to come.
Adam chuckled. "No, you aren't. I think you need reinforcements. Wait here."
Where would she go? Her legs had turned to mush. Maybe she wouldn't be able to protect herself, after all. A knot formed in the pit of her stomach. She watched Adam walk toward the hallway leading to the kitchen, remembering back to Christmas Day when she'd nearly opened the other door to this room, with Mari in tow. Thank God they had kept the doors to the club locked. She didn't blame Karla and Adam for house hunting. This was no place to raise a child. Savi appreciated how carefully they had shielded Mari from the club and its members last night, though.
As she waited, she wondered what kind of reinforcements he had in mind. She really just wanted to get this over with before she could work herself into a full-blown panic attack, Adam came back into the great room with Damián and Karla following close behind him. Seeing Damián again caused the knot in her stomach to flip-flop to life. He wore his black leathers and a black Harley Davidson leather vest. No shirt. The tail of the dragon tattoo snaked down his bicep and arm, and she remembered how he'd made the dragon's mouth on his pectoral move when she'd first seen the tat.
Her face grew warm. Damián didn't approach her. Instead, he came to a standstill a few feet away. Surprisingly, she wished he would take her in his arms again. She'd missed him so much.
Now where had that impossible wish come from?
He grinned at her, but she sensed he was a bit nervous, too, by the way he clenched and unclenched his jaw. "Dad tells me you might need a little encouragement."
There was no censure in his voice for not letting him be the one to introduce restraints to her. She wasn't sure how much Damián could help, but his presence did relax her a little bit. She trusted Damián to make doubly sure nothing happened that she didn't want to happen. Karla, too.
But was he disappointed that she hadn't asked him to do this? He'd left the club almost immediately after the scene with Patti. In her need to find out whether she could be restrained, Savi had turned last night to Adam and Karla for help, but it had gotten late. She needed to get back upstairs to Mari. Savi had tossed in bed all night, worrying about what she'd agreed to let Adam do.
Karla stepped up to her side and whispered in her ear, "Remember what I told you last night about my first time in rope bondage?" Savi nodded. "Good. Just relax and give into the rope. It's an incredible feeling."
"I feel silly needing so many people to do a simple arm restraint."
Karla stroked her upper arm. "Oh, Savi, for my first time, I had Adam, Marc, Angelina, and Luke all there with me."
Adam's large hand reached out and stroked Karla's expanding tummy. "I was the one who was scared shitless that time. Either you or Angelina roped me into that scene. I still haven’t figured out who the guilty party was."
Karla looked up at Adam and smiled innocently, the love on her face so apparent. Savi's gaze went again to his hand on her belly. Lucky woman. Karla would have Adam by her side when she gave birth. Savi wished… She glanced at Damián.
No. Don't even go there.
Savi might not have had Mari's father at her birth, but she'd done fine without him. Anita had been an excellent coach. The woman had four kids of her own.
Adam kissed Karla on the lips. With obvious regret, Karla broke off the kiss and turned her attention back to Savi. "Sorry." She blushed. "Where were we? Oh, yeah. Well, I trusted Adam to never do anything to hurt me when I let him tie me up that first time. But we'd known each other for nine years by then." Karla touched Savi's forearm. "You can trust him, too. He's a master at Shibari and a completely honorable man."
Intellectually, Savi thought she could trust them all, but connecting what her mind thought with what her body felt wasn’t going to be easy. The fears of the past prohibited her from trusting anyone emotionally, but she was tired of living in fear all the time. Holding her chin up, Savi took a deep breath and released it slowly. "I'm ready."
Damián took up a spot an arm's length in front of her and Karla stood beside Adam, who began to unwrap the bundle of rope.
"Eyes on me, Savita."
Savi's gaze was drawn to Damián's face. He smiled and took a step closer, invading her personal space. Her heartbeat tripped, then kicked up a notch, beating wildly. Damián's hands reached out and he stroked her shoulders and upper arms, having a surprisingly calming effect on her. Adam lifted her left elbow and positioned her hand in the air at a ninety-degree angle, as if she were waving to someone in the distance. Quickly, he looped three knots around her three fingers, leaving only the thumb and pinkie free.
Here we go.
Damián took a breath as well and Savi mimicked him by drawing in a deep one of her own. Adam drew her hand back, nearer to her shoulder joint.
Damián's hand stroked the underside of her arm. "You have such soft, beautiful skin."
The touch of his warm fingers set forth an outbreak of gooseflesh, followed by warning bells. When her nipples hardened, she reached with her free hand to cover her chest, but he entwined his fingers in hers and returned her hand to her side.
She squirmed in discomfort, then did as he'd reminded her. At least he didn't point out her body's traitorous betrayal—or take advantage of her.
Adam's voice brought her back into the scene. "This technique is called the claw." He wrapped the rope close to her armpit, pulling her wrist closer to her upper arm. Her fingers curled into a claw-like pose. "Let me know immediately if the ropes get too tight or you feel any tingling or coldness anywhere."
Well, her skin was tingling, but not from the rope. Adam's concern for her comfort helped her relax a bit more. She nodded.
Karla whispered in her ear, "It's best that you give him verbal responses and address him as Sir. Good practice for when you come back to play in the club."
Savi certainly didn't feel comfortable calling Adam "Sir," so she just said, "Yes, I understand."
Adam grinned at her blatant omission, but went to work. One end of the rope began to fly as Adam looped it under and around her forearm and upper arm more quickly. Savi flexed her fingers and tried to move her hand to see how much mobility she had left.
"Are you in any discomfort?"
Adam's question stilled her movements. He seemed so attuned to her. "No. I'm fine." She continued to resist calling him Sir. The gentle tug of the rope began to relax her, but she wasn't worried about fighting them off, if she needed to. She still had a free hand and two unrestrained legs, but they had done a very good job of making her feel calm rather than threatened. Maybe Karla's presence helped, too.
Adam continued to tie the rope, then pulled the end through once more and gave it a tug. He dropped his hands to his sides and came to stand beside Damián, but his gaze remained on her. "How are you doing, hon?"
"Okay…Sir." Now where had that come from? The man somehow just commanded respect.
The beginnings of panic clawed at her throat. Hearing the words from Adam didn't have the same effect as when Damián had said them to Patti.
Damián seemed to be aware of her distress and stepped even closer. His body brushed against hers and he locked gazes with her, grounding her. "Deep breath, Savi." He wrapped his arms around her and stroked her back through her T-shirt as he turned to explain to Adam that those words were a trigger.
Damián seemed a little upset, but she quickly realized he wasn't angry with her. Being held so securely, she was surprised to find her body relaxing against him.
"Fuck. I'm sorry, hon. Damián told me about your triggers and I'm just so used to saying that to Karla and the other subs, I forgot."
Savi didn't want to upset Adam. "It's okay."
"No, it's not. A Dom needs to consider everything that might go down in a scene before he starts—and definitely needs to remember a sub's known triggers. You have my sincerest apology."
Damián pulled back and glared at Adam, still displeased with him. She didn't want to come between these two.
"It's not Adam's fault. It's just two silly words, really. I shouldn't let them bother me."
Damián turned his focus back to her and brushed a loose strand of hair from her forehead. "Anything that has that kind of effect on you isn't silly. Don't negate your feelings. If you feel something, own it."
Validate your feelings. How many textbooks had she read that in, and yet she'd spent a lifetime tamping down her feelings. Of course, she wasn't going to change that mindset in one evening. Damián seemed to sense that and just took her in his arms again. Her eyes began to burn. She'd never had any man other than maybe Father Martine consider her feelings to be all that important. It was comforting…and made her want to cry, for some reason. Not that she could. She never cried.
Savi resisted the urge to lay her head against his shoulder. She let him continue to stroke her back. So gentle. Memories of how he'd touched her in the beach cave flitted around the edges of her brain, but she pushed them away. Those images were too painful, knowing she could never have that with him again.
For now, though, she was content to just feel safe in Damián's arms.
An amazingly safe place to be.
Well, that’s it for this tour. Thank you everyone who stopped by, I hope you enjoyed the excerpt.
For those new to the Rescue Me series, the intensely emotional stories will have you laughing, crying, screaming, and experiencing a catharsis of your own as you read about these honorable, loveable, but quite imperfect characters who still manage to fumble toward ecstasy in the arms of their perfect mates.
The stories are told in chronological order and build upon past stories, so you'll readers are advised strongly to read the series in order. To help you enter their world and understand many of the main characters in the series (who will return in book after book), the introduction to the series, Masters at Arms, is a free (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, All Romance eBooks, Kobo, iTunes, and other booksellers). Masters is followed by Nobody's Angel (#2), Nobody's Hero (#3), and Nobody's Perfect (#4). At least five more books are planned over the next few years, but no other publication dates have been set.
Find Kally at the following places:
Facebook Author Page https://www.facebook.com/KallypsoMastersAuthorPage
Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Kallypso-Masters/e/B007WUQPOQ/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1347851121&sr=8-2-ent