This week I’m sharing from my newly published novella, Playing It Safe. It follows the story of Ivy Walker, an emergency room nurse who is working temporarily at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas, and Deacon Sullivan, a former firefighter who retrained as a 911 dispatcher after an accident at work left him paralyzed. Deacon is a believer in domestic discipline and spanking, but it’s a new idea for Ivy. In this excerpt, he’s trying to explain it to her.
“And you always think of yourself as the lowest priority,” Deacon finished. “That’s what we’re going to work on, if you agree. I’m going to help you remember that taking care of yourself and being kind to yourself is just as important as the way you treat your patients.”
“I’m not sure how that’s going to work. If it comes down to a choice between me and my patients, my personal needs are always going to have to give. What does that have to do with –” She broke off, a furious blush creeping up from the base of her neck and over her face. “You know…”
“It’s pretty simple actually,” Deacon said. “We will talk about and agree on ways that you should be taking care of yourself or things that you should not be doing, and if you break those agreements, I’ll spank you.”
“And that’s supposed to help? How could hitting me possibly be helpful?”
“First of all,” Deacon clarified, “a spanking isn’t the same as hitting. Yes, it may involve smacking your bottom, but I will never, ever lay a hand on you in anger or ever anywhere but your bottom. Secondly, I will never do anything to cause you harm. A spanking may be temporarily painful, but the aim is not to hurt you or put you in your place or beat you down in any way. I want to help you. I want to help you learn that you are important, and that you are worthy of consideration. I’ve had my ass busted more than a few times, and I can tell you for sure that it’s a pretty effective way to make sure you remember something.”
“You?” Ivy said, eyebrows raised, “but you can’t –”
Deacon smiled wryly. “No, not anymore. I couldn’t feel it now, but I certainly could and did when I was younger. I’m not asking you to submit to anything I haven’t experienced myself. I’ve been on both sides of the spanking fence at various points in my life.”
“You’ve done this before, then?”
Deacon nodded. “A few times. I’ve always known this was something I wanted and needed in a relationship and a few girlfriends have agreed to it. It’s not a power trip for me. It’s not a control thing. It’s just a way for me to take care of people I care about.”
“But I’m not your girlfriend.”
“You’re still someone I’m coming to care about a great deal. I don’t like to see you treating yourself this way. I’ll never force you. If you say no today, I won’t bring it up again, but I’m asking you to let me help you.”
Ivy was quiet for a long moment. A deep crease formed between her brows. Deacon had to resist the urge to drop a kiss on top of it. He wanted to tell her not to overthink it, to just let it happen, and everything would be okay, but this was her choice. She had to consent freely. Anything else was abuse.
“What would you do?” she asked finally. “You know, if you… did it?”
When travel nurse Ivy Walker comes to Dallas for a three-month stint working in the emergency department at Parkland Hospital, a relationship is the last thing on her mind. She just wants to do her job and see a few sights before moving on to the next job. However, when she is assigned to work with former firefighter turned 911 dispatcher Deacon Sullivan to find sponsors for a community health and safety fair, she finds herself falling hard for him. Despite being paraplegic, Deacon doesn’t want her to take care of him. He wants to take care of her. He introduces her to domestic discipline and gives her things she never knew she needed – love, boundaries, and protection. Yet even as the two fall ever deeper in love, the time until Ivy must leave grows shorter. What will Ivy do when her contract ends? Will she walk away from a lucrative career to stay in Dallas with Deacon or leave behind the greatest love she’s ever known for the sake of her career?
NOTE: This story contains scenes of spanking between consenting adults. Do not read if such material offends you.