Having survived the streets for five years, Alexis Amari knows that staying safe means keeping to herself and not getting attached to anyone. All her training and logic come to nothing the day she visits Ye Olde Kinke Faire, intent on picking as many pockets as she can, and meets Ryan Walston.
At twenty, Ryan has a good life and is training to be a Dom. He’s at home at Elan Isle and Ye Olde Kinke Faire and when he meets Alexis, falls head over heels. When he finds out about her past, he gets her a job on the island. He hopes to be a good Dom someday. With them starting out on a D/s relationship, someday is now today and he struggles with the gaping holes in his experience.
Real work is harder than Alexis anticipated and she finds it more difficult to follow the rules than she expects. They both worry they will mess things up. The best night of their lives is blown apart and their entire future hovers on the edge of a knife. To move forward, Ryan and Alexis must face their deepest fears without falling apart. The sacrifices they make will either save their relationship or send them careening over the edge.
From her spot leaning against the railing, Alexis Amari had a pretty good view of the people around her. Each one was excited for what lay ahead. Alexis was excited too, though not for the reason they were. They were headed to Elan Isle to partake in something called Ye Olde Kinke Faire. She’d been to several renaissance fairs in her lifetime so it would be old hat. Every day at such an event was good for her pocketbook. With cash sticking out of pockets, and billfolds peeking out of purses, renaissance fairs were the perfect place to pick a pocket or ten.READ MORE
A part of her felt badly for what she was about to do, but like every other time her conscience stood up and tried to tell her she was a good girl and that “Good girls don’t steal,” she pushed it away. After all, that voice sounded remarkably like her grandmother and her grandmother had never been in her situation. Good girls might not steal, but she’d rather steal than other courses she’d had to take at times.
Since they had another fifteen minutes before they docked at Elan Isle, she people watched. Part of her was keeping an eye out for the most likely to lose their money. They were easy to spot as their billfolds already showed. In this group, a lot more showed than she’d ever seen before. The men wore skintight pants and the women had on such short skirts that if they bent over, Alexis turned away. Looking at pussy wasn’t her thing and from what she could tell, none of the women in the short skirts wore underwear.
They made her feel overdressed in jeans and a camisole top.
Besides the tacky clothes, she noticed a few women in period garb. Well, period garb was an overstatement. Their dresses might have looked eighteenth century-ish, if it weren’t for the fact their breasts were outside of their corsets waving in the wind. How brazen—and fascinating. She watched them out of the corner of her eye and saw one of them bring out a book. Alexis recognized the cover right off. It had been on the bestseller shelves for a few years. Something about kinky romance, if she remembered correctly.
While she could understand people’s right to read what they wanted, the whole romance angle bothered her. There was no such thing as happily ever after. None. She should know. At nineteen, she’d been on her own for five years. Ever since the day her father kicked her out of the house. Alexis had been lucky. A few other homeless teens taught her the ropes. She’d learned how to pick pockets and where people left out good food.
Unfortunately gangs had moved in wanting the money, and she’d had to move out. On her way out of town, she’d found out what a treasure a renaissance fair was. Every day the foot traffic changed. She was free to pick pockets all day long as those people wouldn’t be back the next day. Renaissance fairs had supported her through some rough winters. Nobody believed the pretty girl with the straight black hair, olive skin, and doe eyes would steal a thing. If they only knew.
Alexis looked back at the woman with the romance. She was laughing and waving the book about as she appeared to be reading from it. Whatever she said sent a roar of laughter up from those around her. Nobody seemed to be taking the book seriously. Huh. Maybe they weren’t into romance either.
Turning away from the people, she gazed out over the water at the approaching island. She’d never heard of a renaissance fair on an island before. It made her a little queasy as getting away would be nigh difficult if she was caught. The ferry only went three times daily. But surely on an island there would be places to hide. She was banking on it as there was no way to turn back now. She’d seen enough money on the boat to pay for the next week’s food.COLLAPSE