We live in a disposable society. Given the abundance of inexpensive products and rapidly changing technology, most people choose to toss out their underperforming items rather than attempt to fix them. Toaster not toasting? Not a problem. There are a dozen or more to choose from at your local department store, or better yet, order one online without leaving your favorite chair. Your shiny new toaster will arrive on your doorstep within days, if not hours.
It seems to me, relationships have fallen prey to this same toss and replace attitude, becoming revolving doors of half-hearted attempts at finding and nurturing love. Why bother to diagnose and repair when there’s another potentially less demanding, less stressful, new and untarnished situation around the corner, or better yet, on the internet, just waiting for you to log on?
So, what constitutes a relationship worth saving?
I’m a firm believer that as long as two (or more) people love each other and still want the same things, then the relationship has a chance of survival. It’s a matter of working together to find a way past the obstacles in the way of happiness. In the real world it’s a sad truth that no matter how hard a couple tries, sometimes they can never get back to what they had before. Thankfully, I’m in the business of writing happy-ever-after endings! 🙂
In SPRING TRAINING – Mustangs Baseball #5, Brooke and Todd, who you first met in FREE AGENT, have come to a crossroads in their relationship. After taking the big step of living together in a full-time Master/slave situation, they’re on the brink of tossing away over a year of happiness together because the path they’ve taken has proven more difficult to traverse than they could have imagined. Fearing he will lose Brooke forever if he doesn’t do something to repair the damage, Todd takes advantage of the Mustangs extended trip to Arizona for Spring Training to order up some coaching—for both of them. After all—it takes discipline to play the game.
Readers – What’s your take on the revolving door relationship mentality? Thumbs up? Thumbs down?
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About SPRING TRAINING
After months of frustrating failures, Todd’s relationship with Brooke is teetering on the edge of self-destruction. Entering into a full-time Master/slave lifestyle without proper instruction was a mistake he’s determined to correct, so, after arranging a training program at home for Brooke, Todd heads to Arizona with the Mustangs for some Spring Training of his own.
Overwhelmed by her lessons, and suspicious as to what her master is doing, Brooke pulls a disappearing act on her instructor, showing up in Arizona to find the Mustangs’ Training Camp isn’t the only work out Todd is receiving. The training is brutal, but with the help of Mistress Lola the couple learn to live the lifestyle they’ve chosen.
Todd hated to leave her, but what choice did he have? Spring Training wasn’t an “if you feel like attending” event, and the way things had been between the two of them, he couldn’t take Brooke with him. They needed to consider her bakery, too. Baked by Brooke thrived, thanks to her hard work and determination. Leaving the business in the hands of her hired help for six weeks wasn’t an option.
His grip tightened on the handle of his computer bag. Taking a deep breath, he relaxed his fingers, setting the chocolate-colored leather case, a Christmas gift from the woman standing across the room, next to his suitcase.
Tears streamed down Brooke’s flushed cheeks. Her usually luminous eyes were flat and rimmed in angry red.
“Brooke.” He took a step toward her, and she took an answering step back.
She’d been his sub long enough to recognize the tone of voice he used when he expected her complete attention and compliance. Though from her defiant stance, he wouldn’t know it. Reining in his anger, he tried once again to reason with her.
“I know you trust me, so I don’t understand why this is so difficult for you. You’ve literally put your life in my hands countless times, babe.” He hoped the use of the endearment would get through to her, but her arms remained knitted over her midsection as if she was trying to hold herself together. Maybe if he stated the obvious one more time.
“I can’t stay, and you can’t go with me.”
“I know that!”
Her insolent reply cut him to the core. How did we get to this point? With only a few minutes left to affect a change in her thinking, he didn’t have time for another pointless argument.
Deliberately dropping his volume so she’d have to concentrate to hear him, he ignored her outburst. “We’ve been over this. You said you wanted a deeper relationship when we left The Dungeon. You said you wanted a twenty-four/seven arrangement, but you’ve defied me at every turn. I don’t know anything else to do but this. Have you forgotten what our contract says?”
She shook her head, indicating she understood the clause he referred to, but there had been too many misunderstandings already, so he spelled it out for her. “You agreed to abide by my judgment on all things regarding your training and discipline. All things, Brooke. If you’ve changed your mind, then say so. We can void the contract right now if that’s what you want.”
Fresh tears followed the tracks left by her seemingly non-stop crying. Each salty drop was like acid, eroding away his conviction. He didn’t want to end their relationship, but they couldn’t continue the way they’d been going. Something needed to change, one way or another.
“Do you want to end this, Brooke?”
Her gaze snapped to his. Finally. “No! God, no.”
“Then you will submit to my will in this.” He stepped closer, close enough to touch her, but his hands remained fisted at his sides. “The way we’ve become… It’s my fault. I promised to see to your needs, and I haven’t. I let you keep things to yourself. I let you defy me, and I withheld punishment when I knew better. I apologize for my shortcomings as your Master. Trust me, Brooke, this time apart will be good for both of us. Frank is well respected as a trainer. He’ll take good care of you while I’m gone. He has my full permission to deal with you as he sees fit. He’ll do whatever it takes to teach you how to live the life you claim you want.”
“I want to be your slave, not his.”
Todd stifled a sigh. He’d enjoyed Brooke’s sassy personality at The Dungeon, but dealing with it in a complete slave/Master relationship had proven difficult. “Don’t use that tone with Frank,” he warned. “He won’t appreciate it.”
A flicker of something flashed in her eyes. Fear? God, he hoped not.
“He’s prepared a discipline program that you will adhere to. If you deviate, you’ll take whatever punishment he thinks necessary.” He let the warning sink in before reassuring her. “Remember, I’ll see every minute you spend with him. I’ll watch the live feed whenever I can, and when I can’t, I’ll watch the recordings. I’ll follow your progress closely. For the next few weeks, Frank will be your Master, but everything he does, he does because I allow it.”
“Thank you, Master.”
His blood heated at her soft-spoken concession. Ever since he’d told Brooke about his plan, she refused to use the title he, admittedly, didn’t deserve. That she used it today gave him hope.
“I promise you everything will be all right.”
“I want to make you proud, Sir.” The slump of her shoulders nearly broke his heart.
“None of this is your fault, subbie. I couldn’t be more proud of you than I am right now. I’ve seen you struggling to interpret my needs without proper direction. I made you a promise when we signed the contract, and I didn’t fulfill that pledge. This time apart isn’t a punishment. Think of it as a learning period.” For both of us.
He was determined to understand what it was like to be a sub so he could be a better Master for Brooke. “Scared out of his mind” didn’t half cover the ice-cold fear running through his arteries. Frank had hooked him up with a woman in Phoenix willing to take him on. She’d vowed to initiate him into the world of subservience in six weeks. Although he couldn’t imagine what that would entail, he knew it wouldn’t be pretty. But, as they say, failure wasn’t an option. Brooke needed him to be a better Master, and the only way he could do that was to understand what went on in her mind.
He wanted nothing more than to make her wishes come true, if only she would tell him what they were. “What? Tell me.”
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