Since Having it All is technically no longer a work in progress but is instead a NEW RELEASE any time now (yippy!) I’m sharing an excerpt from my next Corbin’s Bend book instead for #WIPITUP this week. We are joining Traci and Troy just after the last snippet I posted of this opening scene of Psychology of Submission. Let’s see what Traci and Troy are talking about after he drags her away from the picnic area.
“Then tell me why you decided not to go to the conference. You’ve been working so hard on your research. You just got another article published in Psychology Today. I’m so proud of you, Trace. Why wouldn’t you want to go and enjoy talking about your research with other psychologists?”
“Conferences are boring. It’s no big deal.” Traci shrugged.
Troy turned his body to face his sister, pulling her hands until she had to shift to face him. Traci was careful not to look him in the eye. She was unprepared when he lifted her chin with his finger. The love and concern she saw warmed her.
“You’ve been hiding things from me and now you’re lying to me, Trace. I’ve been reluctant to push you before now, but that was a mistake. You’ve worked too hard on your research to just walk away from it now. That tells me something big is going on in that beautiful head of yours and I want you to share it with me.”
“Really, Troy. You’re making a mountain out of a molehill. It’s nothing. Let it go.”
His hands moved to her upper arms, gripping her tightly. “I asked you to stop lying to me. If you recall, there are consequences for lying in our relationship.”
Traci’s heart rate jumped as she remembered clearly what those consequences were. “Oh, for crying out loud. You wouldn’t dare spank me again.”
“I never dreamed I’d need to, but I will if I think it will help. Please, Trace. I can’t help you if I don’t know what’s wrong. I love you. Let me in.”
Traci looked away, calming herself by watching children playing on the enormous jungle gym several hundred feet away. Sounds of joyful play filled the air. She felt the familiar tug of submission, reminding her of her natural desire to submit to a stronger man. She’d spent thousands of hours studying the psychology behind dominance and submission. It was her specialty. Still, resentment flared within that she couldn’t stop it from happening within her own mind. She was an intelligent, strong woman. Understanding the reasons why she still yearned to submit to the will of a man didn’t make her any less pissed when she couldn’t stop it from happening.
All of the damn research, and I’m still no closer to being able to stop my own mind from betraying me. Life would be so much easier if I could just settle for a vanilla relationship.
Her inner anger flared, making it harder to hold up her protective shield. Her brother waited her out, seeming to understand she was waging an internal emotional struggle.
“Fine. I don’t want to go because my area of specialization isn’t well received in the psychological community. It’s easier to just stay home than to go and feel like everyone around me is ridiculing me.”
She detected disbelief as her brother answered. “I bet you’re just being paranoid, Trace. You’re a published professional. Why wouldn’t they want to hear what you have to say? Are you sure this isn’t more about fear of public speaking?”
“I’m sure. Public speaking makes me a little nervous on its own, but it’s the fear of getting rotten tomatoes thrown at me that has me dreading it.”
He laughed at her. Too bad she hadn’t been exaggerating. “Now you’re being ridiculous, but I’ll play along. What about your study of relationship dynamics do you think they don’t respect?”
They were at the heart of her lie. The reason she’d avoided this discussion for months. If she couldn’t even talk about this with her brother, the man who loved her most in the world and who lived in Corbin’s Bend as the head of household in his domestic discipline marriage, how in the world could she get up in front of a bunch of professionals and talk about it?
Again, he waited patiently. The silence between them finally forced the words from her. “I just don’t think they want to hear about the kind of relationships I’ve studied.”
“A bit more specific.”
“A bit more specific.”
“Rather than playing this guessing game, why not tell me the title of your work?”
Traci took a deep breath before continuing. “The Intimacy of Dominance and Submission. I study the psychology behind what makes Doms and HoH’s need to dominate and protect. I also study the psychology of why some people long to be submissive, both sexually and domestically.”
Troy whistled softly. “Well, you certainly have a hot-bed of test subjects here in Corbin’s Bend. At least that explains in part what made you want to move here, to live your research.”
Traci snorted an unladylike sound. “Researching others, yes. I wouldn’t say I’m living my research.” Traci had to push down the now familiar self-pity she’d been fighting since last year’s conference.
Psychology of Submission will be released on June 4th! Don’t forget to check out these other great authors!