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Deviations: Submission

Series: Deviations #1
Contributors: Jodi Payne and Chris Owen

Tobias is a skilled Dom, able to bring even the most hesitant submissive around. Noah is a man in need of just that. He wants to sub badly, but has yet to find someone he believes can take him where he needs to go. Through a series of encounters in the world of bondage and discipline, Noah reveals why he has trouble trusting, why he needs such a firm, steady hand. Tobias may allow himself to dominate, but he has trouble letting himself love. Still, Tobias can't resist Noah's charms, and the two of them set about making a scene for themselves, one that works for them and their unique set of problems. They learn to love, but can they stay together while they explore each others' secrets, in a world where all is laid bare and emotions run high? From authors Chris Owen, writer of the popular Bareback, and Jodi Payne, writer of String of Pearls comes a romance on the deviant side, where love is all tied up with the need to submit, the need to dominate, and the need to share a life of exploration and care. These two skilled authors create a world that's hard to resist, and a book that's even harder to put down.

 


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EXCERPT FROM SUBMISSION

There were many truths in this life, Tobias decided as he knotted his tie for the evening. Death comes to all, taxes must be paid, and fortieth birthdays were a reason for one's friends to buy nice wine, make lavish cakes, and throw dinner parties. Forty-first birthdays, on the other hand, went unremarked upon by all but one's nearest and dearest. As he had cards from a few friends and a message from Phan, he thought he'd just about exhausted the expected well wishes.

But turning forty-one did not mean he was dead or unable to make his own fun. He'd made his arrangements for the evening, planning with as much detail as he could—which, admittedly, wasn't much. He knew what to wear for his mood; he knew where he'd go and what he'd eat; he knew what he wanted. But there were an amazing number of variables at play, more than he usually allowed.

He was thinking about that as he straightened his dinner jacket and pocketed his keys. It was a highly planned evening of spontaneity that lay ahead of him, the novelty of which made him smile. Perhaps letting the fates blow once in a while was a good thing. In any case, he'd find out shortly; the worst he could do was have an evening of fine dining and a bottle of wine. The best would be far, far better, but it was rare to find exactly what he sought.

Tobias ran a comb through his hair one last time as he waited for his car, the light in the entry to his condo making the few stray silver hairs shine among the darker brown. Forty-one wasn't too old, he decided. It was a fine age to be, the height of his success and skill. He lacked for nothing, really.

Only someone to share his birthday with.

The phone rang and he pushed the thought away, startled to realize it wasn't the house phone signaling his car, but his landline. ''Dr. Vincent,'' he said as he answered. God, he hoped it wasn't an emergency—he really wasn't dressed to have a lamb be born, or to nurse a horse through colic.

''Good evening, Doctor, I'm sorry to call like this. I'm sure you have plans,'' came the smooth and cheerful voice of his elderly housekeeper.

''Oh, Mrs. Miller, hello. I do, yes—I'm just on my way out, but I have a few minutes.'' He smiled to himself ruefully; he would talk for as long as the lady decided, and he knew it. No matter how successful he got or how many birthdays he had, there would always be Mrs. Miller to defer to.

''I'm merely calling to wish you a happy birthday,'' she said, ''and to ask if you'll be out to the farm this weekend.''

Tobias’ smile grew. ''Thank you, Mrs. Miller, that's really very kind of you. And yes, I'm planning to drive out tomorrow afternoon until Monday.''

''Should I tell Peter not to come then, or would you like him to exercise the horses?''

''No, I'll do it,'' he decided. It was one of the best things about going to the country, and he wouldn't happily pay someone to do it for him when he was there. The house phone buzzed at him, two shorts. ''Thank you again, Mrs. Miller.''

''I'll see you tomorrow, Doctor,'' she said, and he could picture her grinning. ''Enjoy your evening.''

''I hope to,'' he said with a smile. He hung up, buzzed the front desk, and headed to his club.

* * *

The car pulled up in front of the building and Tobias lowered his window for the security guard. ''Good evening, Tobias,'' the man said with a smile that was entirely professional, despite his use of Tobias' first name. It was a club rule that all members were to be treated equally until there was an agreement in place between individuals, and as last names were not used at all in order to preserve anonymity, given names were expected.

''Timothy,'' Tobias said with a warm smile. ''When did you start out here?'' The last time Tobias had been to the club Timothy had been inside.

''About five months ago. I like it, though I'm called back inside if needed.'' Timothy made a note of the number on Tobias' membership card and smiled at him again. ''Have a nice evening, Tobias. And welcome back.''

The car moved slowly ahead and stopped at the wide front steps; by the time Tobias had opened his door the driver was there, and the front door was opening.

''Tobias! Timothy said you were here.''

Tobias shook his head and smiled again. ''I trust you don't mind me appearing again after all this time?'' he asked Bradford.

Bradford met him on the steps and shook his hand. Tobias' friendship with Bradford went back far too many years to count anymore, and even after Tobias’ long absence from the club, the man’s firm handshake felt as familiar and comforting as a favorite sweater. ''The day we turn you from here, my friend,'' Bradford told him with a warm smile, ''is the day I close the old place up. Now, come in! Eat. Enjoy your birthday. I have a room reserved for you, as you requested. You're not meeting anyone are you?''

The club had a small, exclusive membership made up of carefully screened Dominant and submissive men. These men had been screened not just for their level of training but also style and personality, thereby keeping the membership diverse and varied. It wasn’t a BDSM club in the common sense; it was more a place for men to meet, socialize and fulfill each others’ needs and fantasies in a safe and monitored environment. Bradford had taken over management of the club a number of years ago, and eventually assumed ownership as well when his mentor, a smooth, confident Dom who had also been a mentor of Tobias’, was ready to retire. Bradford was a natural host; he knew his membership well, and he had a knack for making everyone feel right at home.

Tobias shook his head again and allowed himself to be led inside. The solid doors closed behind him and he took a deep breath, immediately relaxing. There was just something about the dark interior, the plush fabrics and deep wingback chairs that called to him. Or perhaps it was the crossed whips decorating the walls.

''I don't have a guest, if that's what you mean,'' he told Bradford as they made their way to the small bar. ''But I'm open to possibilities.''

''I was hoping you would say that.'' Bradford suddenly looked speculative. ''In which case...''

''Wait,'' Tobias said, laughing. ''I'm not saying I want you to find me a date. I'm just saying I want to have a pleasant evening—a nice meal, people I like around me—''

''And it's been eight months since you've been here, Tobias. I know you spend your weekends on the farm and your weeknights in town. I'd certainly have heard if you had someone new.'' He shook his head sadly, making Tobias grin. ''No, my friend, you deserve to play. And I might just have the right someone for you.''

Tobias tilted his head and considered his friend. Bradford had been running the club for a number of years, had been an integral part of Tobias' own training. There was perhaps no one more capable of knowing the type of partner Tobias needed, liked... desired.

''Tell me,'' Tobias invited, accepting a glass of ice water from the bartender.

Bradford beamed at him, delighted. ''I can, and will do you one better. Come.''

Tobias had little choice but to follow as Bradford crossed the room with purpose to a small table. Tobias, being behind, could see little other than a man sitting alone. He rose quickly as Bradford made a direct path to him.

''Tobias,'' Bradford said grandly, ''I would like you to meet Noah. Noah, this is Tobias. It is my opinion that the two of you are well suited. Of course, you may decide otherwise, but I encourage you to at least discuss the matter.'' He then bowed his head and stepped back, wishing them good evening with a knowing grin before turning and walking away, leaving Tobias to face this stranger alone, knowing no more than his name.

Title: Submission
Published by: Pretty Muses Publishing
Release Date: October 29, 2016 (Second Edition)

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Purchase it from Juno Publishing directly,
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Refraction: A Collaborations Novel

Series: Collaborations #1
Contributors: Jodi Payne, B.A. Tortuga

Texas artist Tucker Williams arrives in New York City for a gallery showing of his work and finds the city blanketed in snow. He meets free-spirited underwear model Calvin McIntire on the steps of the Midtown library and is captivated by a wild beauty that manages to compete with the demons that occupy his soul and fuel his work with their lust for blood and erotic imagery.

Unable to deny a new inspiration, Tucker sublets a studio and finds the city’s energy almost as addictive as Calvin. Tucker is obsessive, barely holding on to sanity as his art consumes him, and Calvin is dealing with demons of his own, trying desperately to protect his soul in a business where only his appearance has value.

They each prove to be the perfect remedy for the other’s personal brand of crazy until, in the midst of stress and exhaustion, they discover that a promise Calvin needs is the one thing Tucker can’t give him, and their heaven turns to purgatory.

Can both men find a path toward wholeness in Tucker’s beautiful but chaotic Texas home? In order for them—and their passionate relationship—to thrive, they’ll need to adapt, share their psychoses, and find a true balance between New York City and rural Texas.


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EXCERPT

Chapter One

 

Tucker Williams leaned against the steps of the library beside the big stone lion and watched the white stuff fall out of the sky. Colder than he’d ever been in his whole life, he shivered, trying to figure out what the fuck a guy like him was doing all the way up here.

The logical part of his brain, the part not frozen solid, reminded him that he had a gallery opening tomorrow. A major opening. Right.

So he was up here touristing all by himself and freezing his nuts and his toes off and waiting to show up in his best jeans and jacket tomorrow night.

Go him.

Christ on a sparkly pink crutch, everyone here wore black, and no one smiled a bit. Surely there had to be somewhere here with friendly folks and heat.

Right on cue, one of those black-clad Yankees—this one in a black knee-length coat, black earmuffs, and chunky black boots—came trotting down the steps right past him. Like every other guy on the busy street, he was on the phone.

“That spread is mine, Michael. I want it. You make it happen. I’ve got the best ass of the bunch, and you know it.”

The man stopped two steps below Tucker. “I’m easier to work with too. You tell them, okay? I need to get out of the weather. Who ordered this shit? Later.”

Huh. Earmuffs were a thing. Go figure. Tucker had to admit, the whole pseudo-duster thing was pretty hot.

“’Scuse me, sir, but is there a decent place to get a cup of joe around here?” Tucker asked.

The guy turned his head, but Tucker couldn’t get a good look at him behind the collar he’d pulled up against the weather. He was squinting against the snow, and his hair was mostly hidden under a knit hat, but it looked like it might be blond.

“There’s no such thing as a bad cup of coffee in New York. You look like you’re freezing your ass off, man. Come on, I’ll show you.” The guy just took off down the steps, and Tucker didn’t have much choice but to follow.

Good Lord and butter, these folks walked like huge flocks of birds. Great big old flocks of ravens. Oh. Oh, he could—he could paint that, right now.

“Calvin.” He was offered a gloved hand. Black leather, of course.

“Williams. Tucker Williams. Pleased.” He pulled his hand out of his pocket and shook.

“Not from around here, I take it?” Calvin gave him wink and a grin.

Cool. This one smiled. “No, sir. I’m a bit from home, but that’s obvious, I reckon.”

“I’ll say. In here.” Calvin opened a door, and Tucker was hit with the smell of baking bread and a beautiful blast of warm air. “We’re expecting a pretty good hit. How long are you in town?”

“Until Monday.” Then he’d go explore somewhere else for a few days. Although, he loved that bird image….

“Well, if you haven’t been in the city in a snowstorm before, and it looks to me like you haven’t….” Calvin laughed. “You should know that you can’t get a cab in the snow. Ever. Don’t even bother trying. Get some boots and take the subway. Just coffee? I’m gonna hang out for a bit and eat something.” Calvin pulled off his earmuffs and squinted at the menu. “Large almond-milk latte with an extra shot and the vegetarian chili… and…?” He looked at Tucker.

“Triple espresso and whatever y’all have that’s the darkest chocolate.” No way he was going underground to get on a train. No way on earth.

“Mmm, chocolate. That’s one way to warm up.” Calvin pulled off his gloves and then fished a credit card out of his pocket. “On me. Well, on my agent. It’s a work day.” He held his card up to the reader until it beeped, and the card disappeared into his pocket again. “I’m gonna grab a seat. You headed back out there?”

“I think I’ll just sit a minute. Defrost.” Eventually he’d figure out how to get back to his hotel.

“Do that.” Calvin glanced over his shoulder as he headed for a table, and this time Tucker saw a flash of bright green eyes as they caught the light. “Tell me why you’re up here in this shitty weather?”

“I have a thing I have to be at Saturday evening. Everyone told me to come up a few days early and explore. What kind of agent?” He had one too. Her name was Marge. She was something else.

“Oh, Michael. He’s a talent guy.” Calvin stuffed his gloves into his pockets. “So you came out in this weather just to visit the library? Did you get a picture with the lions, because that’s a thing. Patience and Fortitude.”

“No, sir.” It was a cool library, though, and he’d spent a couple of happy hours in the 750s, just looking. Sort of like he was just looking at Mr. Pretty here. “Are you from here?”

Their order arrived, and Calvin waited to answer. “I grew up in Vermont. But I’m from here now. Got here when I was seventeen.”

“Wow. I wasn’t ready for something like this at seventeen.” He wasn’t ready for it now, he didn’t think. Although that motion…. Tucker wondered if a guy could rent a studio space for, like, a week. Just to paint.

Calvin looked at him. “Oh. Did I say I was ready?” He laughed and picked up his latte. “No, I had a job, but I wasn’t anything close to ready for this town. I adapted pretty quick, though. It’s home now.” He sipped his latte and then spooned up some “chili.” Didn’t seem like a great combination.

Shit, he was fairly sure that vegetarian chili was a crime against nature, but he was a stranger in a strange fucking land, so he didn’t remark none on it.

“Where are you staying? Oh—that’s nosy, right? You don’t have to answer that. Sorry. I was just making small talk.” Calvin giggled.

Yeah, Tucker was pretty sure that qualified as a giggle.

“How’s your chocolate?”

“Dark.” He licked his fork and hummed, the bitter and sweet exploding over his tongue. “Possibly the best piece of whatever-the-fuck fancy-assed piece of cake I’ve ever had.”

Calvin put his spoon down. “You’re good at that.”

“At eating?” He’d hope so. Lord knew, he’d done it for years.

“No, the tongue thing. With your fork. Licking.” Calvin braced his elbow on the table and his chin in his palm, eyes narrow and a wicked smile on his lips. “Do that again.”

“Listen to you.” Lord have mercy. That was hotter than the hinges of hell. Damn, how did that… how did something like that even happen?

“Yes, listen to me.” Calvin sounded playful, and he shifted, picked up his latte, and took a sip. “Do it again, Mr. Williams? Please?”

“Well, since you asked so pretty.” Lord, please don’t let me get my ass kicked here. He took another bite, his cheeks lit on fucking fire. He licked his lips clean, then managed to meet Calvin’s eyes. “Ta-da?”

Calvin laughed and applauded, the sound pure happy. “Oh. That was lovely! So hot. You’re a riot, Tucker. I’m glad I pulled you out of the snow.” Didn’t seem like he was too worried about people overhearing, but then he leaned in closer. “Also, I think your cheeks are warm enough to melt that shit right off the sidewalk.”

“Y’think? Shit marthy. I can’t believe this mess.” That he was flirting like he knew this guy, like this feller knew him from Job.

“Wait until tomorrow morning. Might be eight or nine inches.” Calvin leaned back again and dug into his chili. “Might even be a foot. Hard to get around in this weather. Personally, I like to stay in bed all day.”

“Eight or nine inches, huh?” He couldn’t have stopped his expression if he’d tried.

“Mmm. Last I checked.” Calvin’s look was absolutely deadpan. “The weatherman doesn’t always get it right, though. Sometimes it’s a better idea to check out the radar for yourself, you know?” He took another bite and winked. “That might be carrying the metaphor a bit too far.”

He had to laugh, had to, because not only was that true, but he hadn’t expected to meet someone to flirt with shamelessly while on one of his wanders.

Calvin laughed with him. He got up to put his bowl in a rack by the garbage cans, and when he came back, still giggling, he shrugged off his coat and hung it over the back of his chair. “Warm finally.” He had on a tight green sweater that left almost nothing to the imagination. Every ridge and line of his chest was plainly obvious, and the fabric stretched across broad shoulders.

Pretty, pretty. Tucker liked that Calvin wore a color. The green suited him to the bone.

He could eat that fine son of a bitch up, yessir.

“In all seriousness, shit’s gonna close tomorrow. But the Empire State will be open and the World Trade Center, if you’re looking for a view and some local history. I’ve never been up to catch the view in the snow. I bet it’s pretty cool. You won’t have the same pictures as everyone else, anyway.”

Calvin’s phone started ringing. “Excuse me a sec?” He pulled the phone out of his coat pocket. “A-yo. Hey. No, I want the—well, you know my angle, whoever will pay me more. Oh, I’ve never heard that joke before, Michael. Ever. Yes, go with Calvin. Thanks, man.” He hung up. “Sorry.”

“No worries. I don’t mean to be keeping you from anything. Honest.” A man had to work.

“You’re keeping me from going insane in this snow. Keep up the good work.” Calvin sipped his latte again. “My agent thinks Calvin Klein jokes are funny. You can keep me from that any day.”

“Calvin Klein jokes? Like the drawers?” Those were still a thing? Lord have mercy. “Or don’t they do perfume too?”

Calvin laughed. “Cologne. And yes, they do that too, but you don’t get paid as well as you do for the underwear ads. Is that what you mean by drawers? They do jeans too, if that’s what drawers are.”

“Yessir. I mean tighty-whities. Is that what you do? Model?”

“Yeah. Sorry I didn’t say that earlier. Sometimes people get… sometimes they forget they’re talking to a real person when you tell them, so I like to hold off a bit.” Calvin winked.

“No worries. I work with models, every now and again.” For the most part, he found them patient as fuck.

“Yeah?” Calvin was flirting again. “What did you not say you do again?”

“I’m a painter—not houses.”

“Okay, not houses. What do you paint? Landscapes? People? Abstract stuff? I love art that you have to look at and think about.”

“Uh. It’s sorta… it’s a little weird.” He didn’t tell a soul at home about the paintings that he was showing here. Not a soul.

“This is New York, my friend. We make weird an art form all the time. But it’s cool. You don’t have to tell me. I’m nosy. I just ask questions.”

“I sorta make a living painting about horror, sex. Right now, birds. I’m very into birds.” He didn’t know why he did either, but he did, and he was, apparently, damn good at it.

“Horror and sex and birds.” Calvin nodded, looking thoughtful. “Can’t quite picture it. But birds are probably great subjects. They’re so aloof and knowing.”

“Yeah? Cool.” Okay, so Calvin didn’t run screaming or tell him he was going to hell; that was a plus.

“You have a pic on your phone? I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.”

“Fair enough.” Did he? Lord, yes. His phone was his goddamn life. He scrolled through, finding the album of his paintings.

“Deal.” It took Calvin about three seconds to pull up a picture of himself on a rooftop wearing a pair of blue boxer-briefs with DIESEL printed on the wide black waistband and a white tank top that he was lifting up around his ribs with one hand. City office buildings were blurred in the background. “No laughing.”

“Well, look at that. You have a nice heinie.” He could tap that, no question. “Was it hot up there?”

“Fuck, yeah. It was like working in a frying pan. They would spray the roof with a hose to cool it off, and it would dry in three seconds, and then they had about fifteen seconds before I started screaming.” Calvin laughed.

“Lord. You got some balls, I swear. I got nothing but respect for the work y’all do.” He personally thought posing was hell. He didn’t do still. Ever.

“Well, thank you.” Calvin beamed at him. “I had ice cream that day as a reward, so it wasn’t that bad. Okay, your turn.”

He pulled up one of his demon series—a fierce horned beast appearing from between white feathers, the mouth promising pure decadence.

“Oh. Oh my.” Calvin reached out and took the phone from him to get a closer look. “Fuck, man. This is way hotter than ‘horror and sex and birds’ sounded. I mean, Jesus. Look at him. You do this? You look way more… I mean, not like this. I would never have guessed. Wow.”

“No one does. That’s probably good, hmm?”

Calvin flicked his eyes from the phone to Tucker’s face. “Yes and no. I mean, you should look how you want to look, but man, the artist that does this work? With a body like yours? You could seriously rock something… way darker.”

“I tend to work buck naked. Saves clothes.” Wait. Did he say that? Out loud?

Calvin’s eyes popped open wide, and he started to laugh. Hard. Loud enough that people looked over at them, and he had to wave his hand to apologize because he seemed to be having trouble breathing.

He managed to just drink his coffee, keeping a mostly straight face. This guy let folks take his pictures in his skivvies; working naked was nothing.

Calvin silently handed Tucker back the phone, fanning himself with his other hand. He finally got a deep breath and puffed it out, grinning. “Jesus Christ. I don’t know what I was expecting you to say, but it wasn’t that. But that’s cool; I do some of my best work naked too. I just don’t get paid for that.” He winked and picked up his coffee. “Shit, my sides hurt.”

“When you get it from laughing, that’s okay, I think.” He pocketed his phone and finished up his sweet. So rich and good.

Calvin blushed. “I’m sorry. I’m not laughing at you. Honest, I’m not. I’m laughing at how stupid I am for looking at a fairly clean-cut, good-looking Texan, and… I don’t know. I got it all wrong, obviously, and for some reason that makes me absurdly happy.” The blush and a little humility made Calvin look younger, sweeter.

He grinned, that smile charming the hell out of him. “Shit, honey. I’m just tickled you didn’t ask if I was an axe murderer.”

Calvin’s eyebrows twitched. “I figured that would be rude since you hadn’t asked me that question yet.” He finished off the last of his coffee, tipping the cup up high to get the last drop.

“Rumor is you folks have all the axe murderers you need.”

“More muggers and thieves than axe murderers, actually. I don’t think I know anyone that hasn’t been robbed at some point. Especially people who look like tourists.” Calvin laughed. “You better watch your wallet.”

He arched one eyebrow. He didn’t think he’d take real kindly to that. Of course, who the fuck did? Seriously. No one just threw themselves in front of someone and said, “Fuck with me!” right? Right.

“I do, but thank you. I appreciate that warning.”

“For what it’s worth, crime usually goes way down in the snow.” Calvin slid his empty cup a couple of inches away. “I am all out of coffee.”

He leaned around the table and checked out Tucker’s boots. “Are those waterproof?”

“They do okay, yeah.” More waterproof than cold proof, for sure.

“Good. Come on.” Calvin stood up, looking more like a model now that Tucker knew he was one, and pulled on his coat. “Sorry. Unless you have plans, of course.”

“Plans? I have to be at the gallery Saturday night. That’s my plan.”

“That’s it? God, the things I could do with you for two days.” Calvin brushed a little too close as he stepped around Tucker and didn’t even pretend it was an accident.

They headed back out into the snow and retraced their steps to the library. The white stuff was starting to pile up, maybe three or four inches now.

Calvin didn’t say much on the short trip, but as he got close to the library, he poked Tucker with an elbow. “You’re gonna love this.”

He heard voices and laughter as they rounded the corner of the big building and headed into the little park next to it, where a small crowd of people was having one big snowball fight.

“You ready?” Calvin took a few steps backward and then started to run.

It took Tucker a second, but he figured what the hell? He hadn’t wanted to play so bad in a long damn time.

            Tucker gave chase, a redneck yell filling the air.

Pages: 260
Title: Refraction
Published by: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 12, 2018
ASIN: B07DCMH3KJ
ISBN13: 978-1-64080-488-3

 

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Be sure to visit BA Tortuga online at batortuga.com

Deviations: Domination

Series: Deviations #2
Contributors: Jodi Payne and Chris Owen

In this sequel to Deviations: Submission, Dom Tobias and Sub Noah are back, learning more about each other and their relationship, testing the boundaries of what they can and cannot handle, both together and apart. Tobias works at becoming more comfortable and finding his balance as a full-time Master again. Meanwhile, his work brings out the true submissive in Noah, who faces some of his greatest fears, and his greatest secrets, confessing to Noah about a terrible time in his past. He's not the only one who has a rough time. Tobias breaks down and shows Noah he's not all dominance, too, which sends shockwaves through their romance, leaving them to wonder if they can keep it together. With a deep exploration of the BDSM scene, secondary characters who shine, and a romance that has the reader rooting for these men from the start, Deviations: Domination is one book you can't miss. Authors Chris Owen, writer of the popular Bareback, and Jodi Payne, writer of String of Pearls have done it again.

 


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EXCERPT FROM DOMINATION

Wednesday. It had been a long, drawn-out week, and Tobias couldn't believe it was still only Wednesday.

He'd had a full day, out of town as usual in the morning, helping a mare to foal. She threw a beautiful dark bay colt that presented very much like his particularly handsome sire, and Tobias had considered making a bid for him right then and there but restrained himself. He was already training Noah; he didn't need another colt to complicate their weekends. Things were busy enough in his life without adding a new horse to his stables, a new responsibility to his already full plate.

In the few weeks since he'd met Noah at his club, Tobias had swung from one rush of feeling to another. Sexually, they were more than compatible, Noah's natural submissive tendencies meshing well with Tobias' own need to dominate. It went deeper than just mere sex, however, and in very short order Tobias and Noah had signed a six-month contract binding them together in a more tangible power exchange.

It was serious, it was important, and it was very heady. Tobias found almost all of his time taken up with thinking about his new submissive, lost in plans and a fair number of daydreams. It made his hours working as a large animal veterinarian seem almost relaxing by comparison. He only hoped that Noah's daydreams were confined to when he wasn't in his patrol car -- a police officer with his mind on his relationship wasn't good for anyone.

When Tobias walked in the door of his uptown condo, he set his keys down on the hall table and hit the play button on the answering machine as he pulled off his boots. After a long beep a rich male voice began to speak. ''Hello, Tobias, it's Bradford. I haven't seen you or your boy around the club in nearly a month. I trust this is a good sign? I'd like to get together and hear about how things are going. Yes, as a matter of fact, I am checking up on you; don't get your knickers in a twist, friend, it's just that... well, I worry. Oh, thank you for sending me a copy of your contract, I've put that in your files. Give me a call, Tobias, and let's have dinner. I'd like to catch up.''

Tobias sighed ruefully and nodded to himself. On some level he'd expected the call, though he hadn't really thought about it in terms of Bradford checking up on them. Still, it wouldn't be a trial to talk about Noah and where things stood at the moment; in fact, he'd welcome another perspective. He had a plan for the weekend and it might be a good idea to talk it over with someone who knew them both.

After stopping in the kitchen long enough to determine that he needed to order out for dinner, Tobias picked up the phone and called Bradford's direct line at the club. If the man didn't pick up, he'd at least be able to leave a message.

''Hello?'' Bradford was a man who'd done very, very well for himself. Part of his success was due to the fact that he could always be relied upon to respect the anonymity and privacy of his members and guests. Case in point, he never answered the phone with his own name or the name of the club, just a simple, discreet greeting, giving away nothing until he knew who was on the other end of the line.

''Good evening, Bradford,'' Tobias said with a smile. ''I got your message, Mother.''

''Ah, sonny-boy, so good to hear from you.'' Bradford snorted. ''Don't give me that crap, Tobias. I set the two of you up, you're both important members, and I want to know how it's going for you. That's called integrity, hmm? Trust me, I haven't a maternal bone in my body.''

Tobias grinned, not buying it for a moment. ''Sure. Whatever you say. You can stop worrying, though; things are fine.'' He crossed to the big window in his living room and looked out at the city lights, counting blocks until he found Noah's.

'''Fine' is such a drab, generic word, Tobias. Tell me what you really mean,'' Bradford encouraged.

''I mean... fine. Good. Great. He's coming along nicely; we've established a base level trust, I think.'' He turned and leaned on the window sill, facing the room. ''He had dinner with Phantom last week.'' Tobias resisted the urge to cringe at the thought of the two men, his new lover and his past lover, chatting happily over dinner. They both tended toward the unpredictable, and that worried him.

''Oh, yes, I know he did. That's part of the reason for my call. I gather it went well? Phan thought he was 'hot.''' Bradford loved gossip and made himself privy to all the rumors around the club. At first glance one might call it catty, but Tobias knew better -- he was simply protecting his own.

''It seemed to go well. Noah was fine when I saw him later. Calm, steady... he seemed to think Phan was -- look, how deep do you want to go here? I'd rather do this in person if you're looking for a long debrief. If you're just needing quiet assurances, both Noah and I are fine. The weekends are going well, and we're in touch through the week as well.''

Tobias knew as soon as he spoke that he'd sounded snappish and protective and that Bradford wouldn't miss it. The trouble was, he wasn't sure why he suddenly felt like pulling back -- and that meant he needed to talk it out. He sighed. ''Damn circular logic,'' he muttered.

''Tobias,'' Bradford sighed and made a clicking sound with his tongue. ''Be my guest tomorrow night for dinner. Here. What would you like to eat? I'll make sure it's prepared for you.''

Tobias rolled his eyes, safely several miles out of Bradford's view. ''Something gentle. Linguini in clam sauce?'' He hoped the tacit acceptance would be enough.

''Done. I look forward to seeing you, Tobias, it's been long enough,'' Bradford said softly, and Tobias could practically hear the man's very genuine smile.

He found himself smiling in reply. ''I'll see you tomorrow night, old friend. Around seven, I think.'' He hung up and turned once more to look out over the city, watching the cars cruise along Lincoln, toward downtown and Noah.

Title: Domination
Published by: Pretty Muses Publishing
Release Date: October 29, 2016 (Second Edition)

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Deviations: Discipline

Deviations Discipline Jodi Payne Chris OwenSeries: Deviations #3
Contributors: Jodi Payne and Chris Owen

Tobias and Noah explore their relationships more deeply than they ever have, not just with their own dominance and submission, but with their friends. As Noah helps Tobias through the loss of someone dear, he finds Tobias helping him, too, leading him through some intense sexual games, breaking down the last of Noah's fears, and helping him face his biggest one. The cage. Meanwhile, Tobias' ex-lover, Phantom, becomes close friends with Noah as they discover and try to resist the simmering sexual tension between them. Their teasing turns to real support when Phantom reaches the breaking point thanks to the lack of a master in his life, something he desperately needs. While Bradford works to become that master, Tobias and Noah go to Paris, where they see the sights, go to sex clubs, and re-negotiate their contract. Returning from Paris to their own lives brings then all sorts of new difficulties, from deciding whether they should love together to trying to figure out just where Phantom belongs in their ever-changing relationship. Deviations: Discipline is the third book in the popular Deviations series, which begins with Deviations: Submission, and Deviations: Dominance. Chris Owen and Jodi Payne have another winner on their hands, a gripping, emotional tale that you won't want to miss!


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EXCERPT FROM DISCIPLINE

Tobias cursed as he came across yet another torn up intersection. Traffic was a mess all through the downtown core, and his frustration level was rising with every one-way street he had to navigate. He was going in a circle, he just knew it, and Lincoln Avenue was always just out of reach.

The trouble, he decided, wasn't so much the damn construction as the sheer idiocy of the drivers who simply wouldn't get out of his way and let him get home. "It's not even close to rush hour," he muttered, talking out loud in uncharacteristic frustration and trying to ease around yet another truck offloading dirt or equipment or something. He hit the gas and then the brakes as a woman in a PT Cruiser cut him off and gave him the finger.

"And you would think," he added, "that with all this crap going on... I could at least lose this fucking erection." An incredibly persistent one at that, one that had been with him to varying degrees since he'd woken up from a morning dream about Noah and new leather wrist cuffs that had complex and intriguing chains dangling from them. He'd been hard off and on since then, and his body was definitely settling on full hardness at the moment.

He took another breath and looked around at the traffic as he shifted uncomfortably in his seat, his irritation growing. "But no. Not today. Today, I'm cursed with an iron dick, a schedule that's opened up, a submissive at work, and endless traffic. God damn it!" He slammed his hand down on the steering wheel and a miracle happened: the road in front of his car emptied.

So he hit the gas and took off, heading for home. The sudden siren and flashing lights in his rearview mirror made him glance down at the speedometer in dismay. "Ah, shit." With a sigh he pulled over and undid his seatbelt.

A chest in uniform appeared at the driver's side window. A knuckle tapped on the glass, and Tobias rolled down the window, stifling another sigh. The cop had one hand on his gun. As if Tobias could make a bid for freedom in this traffic.

"License and registration, please," a voice requested in an official tone, and Tobias dutifully reached for the glove compartment. "Wait a minute." The cop rested an arm on the door and ducked to see better into the car. "Do you have any idea how fast you were going, sir?"

"Jesus Christ," Tobias groaned, his head falling back on the seat. "Yes. Too fast. Would you like to know why, Noah?"

"That's 'Officer Dolan,' sir, and, yes. Yes, I would." Noah grinned widely.

Tobias rolled his eyes. "Well, you see, Officer Dolan, I have a smart-mouthed lover whom I can't get out of my head." He pointed to his lap. "I was in rather a rush to call him. Or at least think about him in private."

Title: Discipline
Published by: Pretty Muses Publishing
Release Date: October 29, 2016 (Second Edition)

 

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Deviations: Bondage

Deviations Bondage Jodi Payne Chris OwenSeries: Deviations #4
Contributors: Jodi Payne and Chris Owen

Noah and Tobias come back from Paris with a renewed contract and a deeper personal bond. Too bad things don't go as smoothly at home. When they get back, they face a crisis that might just threaten their contract, and their personal intimacy.

The crisis has a ripple effect, but Tobias and Noah finally learn that they can evolve with it, instead of collapsing. They experiment with scene after scene, making them longer, deeper, which allows them to explore more than they've ever dared. They even explore moving in together.

When Noah is forced to face the danger of his job, he starts to question why he became a cop. Tobias is also questioning his job. Soon enough, their external life is changing enough that they're forced to lean on each other to sustain them. Can they achieve a comfortable balance between their outside life, their scenes, and their love?


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EXCERPT FROM BONDAGE

Noah didn't have much in the way of souvenirs from his vacation in Paris. He didn't have a tan to show off, or a tattoo. He didn't have a shelf full of knickknacks or a stack of postcards. But he did have a pair of worn-in chaps, a couple of very nice welts from his Master's whip on his back, and some great stories. Even his pictures, the few he had taken, had come out fairly well.

Dinner was spaghetti. It was a simple meal; after eating out every night for a week he was ready for simple again. He hoped Phan would bring his usual bottle of Coke, of course. Beyond that, he'd made no plans for the evening, thinking that Phan might have something to unload if things were shaky with Bradford, Phan's provisional Dom. When the doorbell rang, Noah found himself hurrying to answer it.

Phantom grinned and bounced at him as soon as he'd opened the door, the bag with the Coke thumping solidly against Noah's back as Phan hugged him. "Oops, sorry! Hey, missed you! God, it smells great in here," Phan babbled at him, all smiles. He was dressed in loose jeans, which was a change for him, and a fuzzy sweatshirt that smelled like incense. "Have a good trip?"

They were still in the hall, for God's sake.

Phan had a way of making Noah smile despite himself. Sure, all this happy cheerful energy could be covering something, but for now it was fun and Noah went with it. "Oh, my God, Phan. I've never had a vacation like that. Paris is beautiful, and one of the kinkiest towns I have ever been in." He took Phan's bag and headed for the kitchen. "Come in, come in!"

"Paris? Really? Ah, you've never been to Rio." Phan was hard on his heels, one hand skimming Noah's back. "So? Pictures? Shopping? Did you go to the Louvre? The Eiffel Tower? Tell me everything! Well, not everything, just the highlights, but tell me everything. And feed me."

"I've never been anywhere until now. Sit!" Noah laughed and went to the stove. "Pictures are right there on the table. The Eiffel Tower was my favorite touristy thing, I think; the view and the evening air, it was romantic and beautiful and I felt like such a kid in love. The Mona Lisa was cool, too, I guess. But, Jesus, we had to wait in this long-ass line."

"The lady still draws a crowd," Phan said absently and Noah looked over to see him rifling through the photos. "God, it's beautiful," Phan said, flipping to the next one. "Some of these are really nice, Noah."

"Thank you." Noah put a pile of pasta in the center of Phan's plate and then one on his own. "Did you check out the one I got the other American tourists to take of us? That's my only picture of Tobias and me together; it came out pretty good, huh?"

"Uh-huh. You both look insanely happy," Phan said with a grin. "And he should always smile. Well, unless he's whipping your ass; it wouldn't work so well then, but you know what I mean." Phan looked through a couple more photos and finally set them aside. "He looks good," he said simply. "So do you."

"Thanks." Noah smiled at Phan, who looked a little thin to Noah, but he couldn't be sure, so he decided not to say anything about it. "It was such an amazing week. I have a couple of other things to show off, but eat first." Noah handed Phan a serving pitcher of sauce. "That's homemade, but quickly. I didn't stew it all day like I should have. Hope it's okay."

"If it's got garlic, it'll be good. You worry too much." Phan grinned again and dug into his plate with flattering speed. "So, what's this other stuff you wanna show off? Sir buy you presents?" He winked outrageously and took another mouthful. "Mm. Good."

"One or two notable ones, yeah." Noah had planned to wait until they were done eating, but he was too proud of his marks not to show them off. "Look." He stood up, turned his back to Phan, and tugged his sweater up to his shoulders. "Bullwhip. In public, in this club that was so strict I wasn't allowed to speak at all."

There was dead silence behind him and then he heard Phan's chair scrape back. "Shit," Phan breathed, and warm fingers traced around the mark on his right shoulder. "That's... wow. Not at all? God, did you make it?"

"I don't remember breaking the rule, but Sir says that sometime after the whipping, when he finally let me get off, that I was begging. Honestly? All I remember is that I needed the fucking cock ring off, and then just feeling a lot better and waking up from dozing in his lap. Can you believe that?" He didn't turn around, letting Phan explore the marks. "It was tough. I didn't really like the rule. I mean, I get not speaking to other people, but not being able to speak even to him, or to respond to his crop or the whip, I didn't like that at all."

"Yeah, it's always better to yell," Phan agreed. He was tracing the other mark, his fingers gentle and soft. "Christ." A moment later he cleared his throat and stepped back. "Did you get punished for losing it at the end?" he asked, going back to his plate, a little slower than he had been moving before.

"Oh, yes. But not for a day or so; my ass was way out of commission for about twenty-four hours." Noah smiled as he remembered taking Tobias in the hot tub, but as much as he'd like to brag about it, that moment had been so intimate, physically and emotionally, that he couldn't bring himself to say a word about it. It was private, and better kept just between Tobias and him. He lowered his sweater and sat down again, then picked up the bottle of Coke and poured himself a glass. "It was just... an incredible trip.

"Sounds like," Phan said with a grin and a nod. "Shame to come home from something like that, sometimes. Oh, did you sign? Bradford wouldn't tell me anything." He set down his fork and reached for his own glass as Noah passed him the bottle.

Title: Bondage
Published by: Pretty Muses Publishing
Release Date: November 6, 2016 (Second Edition)

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Safe Words: A Deviations Novel

Series: Deviations #5
Contributors: Jodi Payne and Chris Owen

In Safe Words, which picks up where the Deviations series left off, Tobias, Noah and Phan are all working on finding their place, both at Bradford's club and in their personal lives. They're all living together, and Tobias has taken on the roll of full-time Dom, which he loves, but finds incredibly challenging. While Noah finds comfort in the new state of things and is looking forward to deeper submission, but Phan is finding it harder to strike a balance. Too many changes happening too fast are making Phan act out, and neither Tobias nor Noah are sure how to deal with it. Life is not perfect for Bradford, either, as he discovers new feelings for his sub Nikki. Can Tobias help his friend, manage his job teaching the other Doms, and his relationships with Noah and Phan, or will the house that he's built for himself fall down around their ears? The Deviations series includes: Deviations Submission, Deviations Domination, Deviations Discipline and Deviations Bondage.


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EXCERPT FROM SAFE WORDS: A DEVIATIONS NOVEL

Tobias leaned in the doorway, one shoulder against the jamb and his arms folded over his chest, watching silently. He was wearing riding clothes, intending to go for a ride on his horse, but he hadn't yet made it down the stairs to the lower level of the farmhouse.

Instead, while dressing, he'd heard the clink of free weights coming from the newly created workout room, and, a little too like Pavlov's dog for comfort, he'd gone there instead.

Tobias had a weakness for watching Noah exercise. Noah had kept himself in insanely good shape after leaving the police force, maybe even better than he had done while working for the law. He tended to do a lot of work without his shirt on since his change of employment, and while he wasn't ripped and cut, he was certainly firm and tight. Tobias rarely missed a chance to look his fill.

"You're in here early," Tobias said, watching Noah's arms curl so his biceps flexed.

Noah glanced up at Tobias briefly, then back at his biceps. "Nine, ten," he counted out loud. "Good morning. Thirteen..." He grunted his way through fourteen and fifteen, his teeth clenched and his brow furrowed.

Tobias found he had more than a passing appreciation for Noah's intensity, and he smiled to himself as he felt desire lick up his spine. It never failed -- Noah and weights, that was all it took. Well, Noah and just about anything, but the weights were a sure thing.

"I can't sleep alone," Noah explained, still panting. "In that great big bed." He gave Tobias a suggestive wink as he set the dumbbells back in their rack. "Plus, I'm heading into town today." He patted his face with a towel and smiled mischievously.

"I know." Tobias tried not to sigh. Usually, he had no issue at all with Noah having a day off from his duties as Tobias' submissive. Usually, Noah wasn't all sweaty and glossy from working out on his day off. "Do you and Phan have plans?"

Phantom, Tobias could hear, was in the kitchen making breakfast. It was his day off as well, but Phan didn't seem to think that Tobias was capable of making his own breakfast. Though why toast needed the noisy rattle of a frying pan on a gas range, Tobias didn't know.

"We do." Noah approached Tobias slowly. "Breakfast," he said, just as something clattered in the kitchen, "which you've no doubt noticed, and then shopping and a downtown, greasy dinner. This would be why I need the extra workout." He leaned close and kissed Tobias lightly on the lips. "Are you going to miss us?"

"I always miss you. Well, usually. There are times I'd happily send Phan to town just so he'd stop pinging around the house and making it hard for me to get paperwork done." Tobias slipped his arms around Noah and kissed him again. "But I suppose he does have a valid point that I'm supposed to do that sort of thing in my office and not here."

"Well, you did insist that Bradford give you that swanky office at the club and a very sturdy desk to keep all that paperwork organized. I have to admit I don't think of the farm as work, either. I tend to leave that mentality at the club. But I'm just a sub; who am I to tell my Master where to do his work, right?"

Tobias snorted. "You do it all the time."

Noah grinned. "But I pay the price."

"One of these days, I'll stop letting you get whatever you want." Tobias barely kept himself from laughing. Noah teased, but he was never actually bad; if there was something to discuss, they handled things far better that way than with mental tug of war. They both liked the teasing, however, and Tobias would have been bored with compliant and malleable submissives.

Even if having two of them was a bit of a handful at times.

Title: Safe Words: A Deviations Novel
Published by: Pretty Muses Publishing
Release Date: November 6, 2016 (Second Edition)

Find Jodi's full catalog with links to all your favorite formats at Queeromance Ink!