Pain is a uniquely human indulgence and through it, we can see beauty in the most free and pure form.

On the last night of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Charlotte Hanover finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. She didn’t mean to witness the murder of two men. Kidnapped, bound and gagged, she finds herself in the back of a trunk. She has only one thought, escape, or die trying.

Sinclair Stuart shouldn’t have taken the lass. He knew the minute he looked into her eyes, it had been a mistake. Someone had tipped off Viktor Sokolov and his men, and now he and the girl were fugitives. In order to keep them both alive, he needs for her to fear him.

From the dazzling city lights of Edinburgh to the rugged northern coast of Scotland, Sin understands the danger they are in, not only from the twisted and mad Sokolov, but also the secret organization he works for, The Watch. Vows will be tested, and expectations will need to be met in order for them both to survive.

Publisher’s Note: Book two of The Watch series but can be read as a standalone. Contains graphic scenes and power exchange.

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Excerpt

He undid the cuff on her ankle and stood her up. Unzipping her jeans, he pulled them down to her knees. Then he sat in the chair and situated her over his lap.

“What are you doing?” She fought to get free. A strong arm came down on her back, holding her in place.

“I’m going to punish you.”

“God, no, I’m sorry. I should have told you my real name. Please don’t kill me,” she begged. “I’ll do whatever you ask.”

“I’m not going to kill you, Charlotte. I’m going to spank you.”

Her thong offered little protection as his hand came down on her bare bottom. She jumped as a slow heat enveloped her cheeks. Again, and again, he continued to smack her until her bottom burned. Tears flowed down her face, staining the cushion of the chair. No one had ever spanked her before and it was both jarring and humiliating. Then as suddenly as it started, it stopped and she stilled in his arms. Please be over. He picked up his belt, folding it in two.

“Five strokes, Charlotte. I want you to count them.”

She nearly came out of her skin when the first one hit her already burning backside. She waited for the next strike, the only sound in the room, her crying, which sounded far off and distant to her ears as she tried to keep herself focused in the present.

“Count it,” his deep voice rang out.

“One.” It was no more than a whisper. She tried to catch her breath as she tensed for the second one.

“Relax.”

Relax, was he fucking kidding. She didn’t have time to finish the thought before the second one assaulted her. Once more, the soft wail of her tears broke the silence.

“Count it. If I have to remind you again, I’ll add more.”

“T-two.”

The bite of the leather tore at her cheeks. “Three,” she screamed. The things the abductor will do to you before you die will be far worse. Why the hell did she leave Michael at the church? Why the hell did she run away without telling anyone where she was going? Why the fucking hell did she go to the bar last night?

Crack. She was in Purgatory; that must be it. She was already dead, and this was Purgatory. “F-f-four.” The last one hit with stinging madness. She screamed, gripping his large thigh underneath her for support. The wool of his kilt was rough on her hands, his leg solid steel.

“Say it, darling.”

“Five,” she cried. “Five.” She was sobbing in earnest now and for a moment she forgot where she was, forgot she had been kidnapped. Strong arms sat her up, holding her, and a gentle voice whispered in her ear, “Aye. It’s all right now. Stop your greetin’. You’re all right.”

“Please don’t kill me,” she repeated, over and over.

“You need to listen to me and do as you’re told. I can’t keep us safe otherwise.” He rubbed her back softly, pulling her against his chest to rest her head. She relented, finding some strange comfort in the solidness of his embrace. His hand brushed the hair off her face, wet and clammy. She was exhausted and obviously in shock, the only reasonable explanation as to why she lay there, relishing his warmth. Her hand drifted across his chest and came to rest on top of the leather holster. His heart beat with a steady thrum, the heat of his body radiating off him, enhancing his scent. She inhaled deeply. He smelled good, of soap and sweat and something more carnal—desire perhaps.