A sucker for a happy ending, Shelly Bell writes sensual romance often with a bit of kink and action-filled erotic thrillers with high-emotional stakes for her alpha heroes and kick-ass heroines.
She began writing upon the insistence of her husband who dragged her to the store and bought her a laptop. When she’s not working her day job, taking care of her family, or writing, you’ll find her reading the latest smutty romance.
Since having my very first kiss on New Year’s Eve, it’s been my favorite holiday. I love the idea of new beginnings and the thrill of what’s to come.
The story of Kate Martin and Jaxon Deveroux began in the WHITE COLLARED serial when Kate was a law intern assigned to Jaxon’s case. I’m excited to share with you this extra epilogue to their story. Although this scene is safe to read at work, White Collared and the other books in the Benediction series are definitely not.
Standing on the top rung of a ladder, Kate Martin grabbed the last ornament off the Christmas tree. She was a grimy, sweaty mess, but at least she was done. Having the tree in the condo that she shared with Jax, her Dom of three years, was too painful to look at anymore. It was her own fault. She shouldn’t have gotten her hopes up. But that small box he’d placed underneath the tree a week before Christmas had taunted her every time she’d passed through the living room.
They hadn’t discussed marriage in years. Not since she’d been a law student and he’d been a recent widow whose wife had been viciously murdered. They’d agreed that they didn’t need a state license to tell them they belonged to one another. It had meant much more to them to have her wear his collar, a symbol of his ownership over her as her Dominant.
But things had changed for her. She didn’t know when, but at some point, she’d wanted more. No one outside of their small BDSM community recognized the necklace for a collar. Now, she wanted a ring on her fourth finger—a ring on his finger—and a contract filed with the state. She wanted everyone to know she belonged to Jax.
Thinking about Christmas morning, Kate climbed down the ladder and gently placed the ornament in the bin with all the others. She sighed, remembering how excited she’d been to finally open the box…and how disappointed she’d felt when her eyes had fallen upon the diamond earrings. But she hadn’t said a word about it to Jax. Instead she’d put on a happy face and had concentrated on her blessings as they’d made love on a blanket under the tree.
Heat blanketed her back and strong arms encircled her waist. “You took down the tree. I thought we were going to do it together tomorrow.”
When had he gotten home?
She covered his freezing hands with her own warm ones. “I had a couple of free hours, so I thought I’d get it done.” She peered out the window at the dark sky. “Wow, I didn’t realize it was so late. I should go get ready.”
Her attempt to withdraw from Jax’s embrace proved fruitless. His arms tightened around her. “We’re not going to Benediction tonight.”
She looked over her shoulder at him. “But we always go there for New Year’s Eve.”
“Come with me,” he said, taking her hand and leading her to the couch. He sat and pulled her onto his lap. “Something’s been bothering you and you’re going to tell me what it is.”
Of course he’d picked up on her disappointment. He knew her even better than she knew herself. But talking about her feelings wasn’t easy for her. “Nothing’s bothering me. Now can I go take a shower? Because our friends are waiting for us.”
She tried to escape but he was too quick for her. Before she could blink, he’d flipped her, so that her belly rested on his thighs, and his hand smacked her bottom, hard.
“Ten spankings for lying to me,” he growled, not giving her any time to process the pain.
As a masochist, she surrendered to it, welcomed it. Jaxon had learned long ago that pain was the way to break through her walls. He didn’t hold back on her spanking. Even over her yoga pants, the force of his hands was enough to bring the needed tears to her eyes.
“Now let’s try this again,” he said, scooping her up and cradling her to his chest. He brushed one of her tear’s away with his knuckle. “You haven’t been yourself since Christmas day. Tell me why.”
“I love you,” she blurted out. “And I want everyone to know it.”
He was silent as his fingers played with the diamond jewelry around her neck. “My collar isn’t enough.” It wasn’t a question, but a statement.
“Not anymore. I know we decided—”
“Shh.” His hand tightened around her neck in a display of ownership. “That was three years ago. So much has changed since then. We’re different people.” His thumb swept across her throat. “From the moment we first met, I’ve been in love with you. You’re everything to me. My lover. My best friend. My submissive. When I see you, I see my heart. I’ve been waiting for a sign that you were ready…I guess this is my sign.” While his right hand remained on her neck, he brought his left hand, fisted tight, out in front of them. His fingers uncurled and there in his palm was a diamond ring. “Kate Martin, would you do the honor of becoming my wife?”
This time, happy tears dripped down her cheeks. “Yes. There’s nothing in the world that would make me happier.”
Driven by ambition …
Third-year law student Kate Martin outran her tragic past to become an intern for her idol and secret crush, the powerful attorney Nicholas Trenton. She is thrilled when Nick assigns her to represent his best friend and client, millionaire Jaxon Deveroux … the prime suspect in his submissive wife Alyssa's murder.
Seduced by desire …
Kate knows they have only a few days to find the real killer, and since signs point to a member of the BDSM community, she volunteers to go undercover as Jaxon's submissive at Benediction—the private sex club where he is a member—to covertly investigate Alyssa's last few months. For years, Kate has kept her dark fantasies a secret … but a chance to explore them with sexy, dominant Jaxon is just too tempting to pass up.
Check out the Benediction series:
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- 1 Print copy of the complete White Collared serial
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