Sparklers or Spankings, The Celebration Series, Book 7
Chapter 1 – Harper
Do people really say this stuff? I covered my mouth while I giggled like a schoolgirl at the two actors on my computer screen.
“Give it to me,” the actress said breathlessly on a long dramatic sigh.
“You want this?” the actor growled in a husky, overly-passionate tone.
The male actor was built—and not just his shoulders, pecs, and abs. I leaned closer to the computer monitor. “Are there really guys that big?” I queried the computer screen and jumped in my seat when the guy suddenly grunted.
“Give it to me harder, Turk. Yes, right there, harder!” The woman’s voice grew louder, her face contorted with what I assumed was supposed to be pleasure but looked more like horrid pain.
Turk shifted and changed their position. “Is this what you want, Kitty? Is this it?”
The woman all but meowed, and I dropped my head to the desk to stifle my laugh—or was it a groan of irritation?
Man, how was I going to get through four different movies if I couldn’t make it through one for my assignment? Normally, research wasn’t a big deal, but this was torture. I had no problem with people who enjoyed adult movies. In fact, I offered them as an option for my guests, but they just weren’t my cup of tea.
“Turk, oh Turk!” Kitty purred and let out a moan so incredibly loud that I wondered if she was about to have a litter of kittens herself.
“You like that? You like how hard I’m giving it to you?” Turk’s voice drifted from the speakers just as a crash came from the front of my inn. I jerked upright so I could see over the monitor. Had someone just come in the front door?
“Yes! Yes!” Evidently, Kitty liked “that”.
I clicked the pause button on my computer and pushed away from my desk.
“Hello?” I called as I dashed to the foyer area. “Is someone there?”
As I rounded the corner, I came to an abrupt halt. A dark-haired man squatted in a sea of a million tiny pieces of crystal from a shattered vase. His cheeks turned a bright red as he rushed to
clean up the mess.
“Oh, no! Don’t worry about that,” I gushed as I hurried forward and tried to wave his hands away. “I’ll get that, I don’t want you to get cut. You’re alright, aren’t you? You didn’t cut yourself, did you?”
The man, reaching for another of the larger pieces of crystal, startled and did a double take when he looked at me. In that moment, I got a brief look at a pair of hooded eyes.
“Are you alright?” I asked again as I assisted in the cleanup. “Please, it’s only a vase. A towel for the water and a broom for the glass, and it will be all gone.”
I glanced up and gave him the biggest and calmest smile I could. He blinked once, then again, before he shifted his gaze to travel down my neck and shoulders.
I cocked my head to the side. My, my, he was a looker—and not just because he was looking at me but because he was handsome. He had sharp cheekbones set into a full oval face with eyes so deep and dark blue that I thought I might fall into them and drown. His full lips opened and closed like a fish out of water.
“Are you alright?” I repeated quietly as he continued to stare at me.
He shook his head and cleared his throat at the same time. “Yes, I’m very sorry.” He drew his attention back to cleaning the mess.
I reached for his forearm, immediately noting the soft, almost silky quality of his suit jacket. Wow, that had to be expensive. “You don’t have to clean this up, I’ll get it.” I gave him another one of my award-winning smiles at which he blinked a few more times.
“Um,” I stood, holding my right hand out, “I’m Harper Reed, the owner of The Inn and Out Bed and Breakfast. Do you have a reservation?” I didn’t recall anyone scheduled to arrive this early in the day, but sometimes people showed up early.
The man ran his entrancing gaze from my toes all the way up, then from my face down my shoulder and along my arm to rest on my outstretched hand. As he began to reach for it, he unfolded himself from the floor, and my eyes widened with each inch that he grew.
“Good lord, you’re huge,” the words spurted off my tongue without thought. The picture of the man on the computer screen flashed to mind. Would this guy be that big in the equipment category? Without conscious thought, my eyes landed on the zipper area of his dress slacks. Huh, maybe they do exist. I averted my eyes immediately as my cheeks began to warm.
A husky laugh vibrated out of his chest as he took my hand. “I’ve heard that a time or two.”
Oh, I bet he has, I thought to myself. “How tall are you? I’m not sure I’ve ever met a man of your stature.” I studied him from the top of his wavy brown hair down to the polished tips of his black dress shoes.
He laughed aloud, “Not enormous, but, yes, I am tall.” He grinned, and my body heated in places that the porn video I’d been watching hadn’t even touched. Holy smores! “I’m six-foot-five, and you’re very short.”
I beamed proudly at him, “I’m not short; I’m fun-sized.” His eyes jumped over my head toward the living room where I’d been working. “And your name is?” I glanced at his mammoth paw that still engulfed mine.
“I’m sorry. Where are my manners?” He cleared his throat, “I’m Mason, Mason Tidewater.”
“Well, welcome to The Inn and Out, Mr. Tidewater. Did we have a reservation for you? I don’t recall your name on the guest list.” I finally slipped my hand out of his and cradled it to my belly to keep the warmth a moment longer as I turned to the front counter. I bet this man could do some serious warming on a cold winter’s night. I surreptitiously glanced at his left hand, no ring. Maybe his girlfriend was meeting him here.
“No, I didn’t make a reservation. My trip was spur of the moment, and I didn’t expect to be staying long. I saw the vacancy sign out by the street. I’m hoping you might still have a room here for the weekend.”
I opened my appointment book; I knew we had at least one room available. I assessed him covertly. I wasn’t sure he would be interested in it—or maybe he would be.
“Unfortunately, probably until Tuesday.” He gave an aggravated sigh.
“Oh, Mr. Tidewater, there is nothing unfortunate about that.” I pulled out a few forms, “When can we expect your guest?”
I glanced at him and had the urge to rub the sudden wrinkles out of his forehead. “Is someone going to be joining you for your stay here?”
“No, no, I’m here on business. Well, I was here on business, but it got put on hold, so I need to stay over the weekend.”
“Well, you picked a good weekend to be stuck here. Next weekend everywhere would be totally booked. We have lots of people who come into town to celebrate Memorial Day with us. Nobody has a better Memorial Day parade than Celebration Township.” I directed my attention back to my book, “Hmm—”
I had one suite available, but I would have to move him tomorrow to a different one.
“I have the Come As You Are Suite available for tonight, but I’ll have to move you tomorrow to The Total Control Suite for the next couple of nights.”
He raised an eyebrow. “The come-as-you-what suite?”
I grinned, “Oh, yes! The Come As You Are Suite. It’s one of my guests’ favorite suites.” I stared at the wrinkles that appeared on his forehead again. He needed to watch that or he was going to have permanent ones. “You don’t mind changing suites, do you?”
“No, I don’t mind.”
“Great, I’ll need your driver’s license and a credit card.” I pulled out the registration papers and began to fill them in. I still did things the old-fashioned way, by hand. I used the computer for work and school but not for my check-in process.
A laugh floated down the stairs followed by the murmur of a man’s voice—ah, Janie and Steve. I returned my attention to the paperwork as Mr. Tidewater set his things on the counter in front of me.
“Good morning, Harper,” Janie called joyously as she entered the front foyer.
“It’s almost afternoon, but I am guessing you all had a late night.” I grinned. “Oh, be careful of the glass, I haven’t had a chance to get that cleaned.” I pointed to the debris. “I knocked it over earlier,” I tacked on after a quick glance toward Mr. Tidewater.
“What a shame. That vase was so pretty with those daisies,” Janie lamented and then promptly changed topics, “Harper, do have any other flavors of those edible underwear? That cherry was to-die-for, but I’d love to try a different flavor.”
Mr. Tidewater’s jaw dropped just the slightest amount as he stared at his driver’s license on the counter in front of him.
“I do! I actually have several more flavors. Would you be interested in the strawberry, banana, chocolate, or lime? I hear the lime is rather refreshing.”
Janie glanced at her husband, and he grinned at her, “I think we’ll try the lime.”
“Great, I’ll put it in your room. Are you still planning on going for a picnic?”
Janie approached the desk and eyed my new guest as if he were on the menu. “Yes. Is our lunch ready?”
“It sure is. Mr. Tidewater, can you give me a moment, please?”
He nodded without making eye contact. I had the distinct impression that Mr. Tidewater was unaware what kind of an establishment he had stumbled into. I giggled as I went into the kitchen to get the lunch I’d prepared for Janie and Steve.
When I returned, Janie was telling Mr. Tidewater that he had to try the edible underwear. I didn’t think it was possible, but his cheeks were a perfect match for the strawberry-flavored ones.
“Here you go,” I handed the cooler to Steve. “I put in all your requests, plus I added a little gift for you.”
“Thanks, Harper,” Steve said, and the two of them disappeared out the front door arm in arm.
“I’m sorry about that, Mr. Tidewater.” I gave him another huge smile.
“That’s alright, um—” he paused for a second and glanced around the entry, “can I ask what type of business you run?”
I replied as seriously as I could, “It’s a bed and breakfast that caters to couples. We do get singles once in a while, but generally we have couples visit us. Most of them are looking to spice up their relationships.”
“And you supply edible underwear to do that?” he deadpanned my way.
“Oh, yes,” I grinned, “not only those, but all kinds of toys and other sexual aids. Each suite comes with a selection, and people are only charged for what they open. All the packages are sealed for safety, and each suite is themed. For example, The Fantasy Suite has costumes that people can use to act out their fantasies.”
He shuffled uncomfortably. “Maybe this isn’t the best place to be staying—since I’m alone, I mean.”
I reached over the counter and placed my hand on his. The warmth from his skin zapped straight to my chest, and we stared at one another for a moment. “I can see if any of the other B&Bs have a vacancy, but at this time of year, most of them are filled to capacity. I only have room because one of my couples had to cancel at the last minute.” I pulled my hand away when he glanced at it. “Sorry, I’m a touchy person; I didn’t mean to offend you.”
He cleared his throat, “You didn’t offend me.” He scanned the room, “You know what, I’m already here, and you said you had room. It’s been a long morning, and I’m tired. I’ll take it.”
“Great,” I tucked my bottom lip under my teeth. Personally, I was glad he was going to be around for a few days.
“What was the name of the suite I am going to be moving to tomorrow?” he asked as I swiped his credit card for the deposit.
“The Control Suite.” I slid the card back to him while I picked up his driver’s license to get his address. “That room is more for the couples who like BDSM. There are quite a few toys and restraining devices in there.”
“You actually have people who admit to wanting to do those things?”
I threw my head back and laughed, “Oh, Mr. Tidewater, there are so many people who hold back on their sexual impulses and desires. Here, they can let it all out and experiment for a few days. That is one of the guests’ favorite rooms. I have several couples who use it on a regular basis.”
He stared at me for a long time as if he had no clue what to say.
“I’m sorry if that makes you uncomfortable. I’ll make sure the restraints are tucked away so they aren’t visible while you’re using the room.” He might be a hot stud, but obviously he wasn’t very adventurous. I took a second to study him as he put his ID and credit card back in his wallet. Was he the type of guy who only wanted to have sex missionary style? Hmm, maybe while he was here, he’d let me ask him a few questions. Insight from a man who wasn’t into all the crazy stuff could make for a good paper for my class.
“Well, if you’d like to follow me, I can take you to your suite. I serve breakfast every morning from seven until ten, although I usually have coffee ready by five-thirty. I do serve lunch, but only to those who request it ahead of time. I can prepare a picnic lunch like I did for Janie and Steve, or you can eat on the premises. Dinner is on your own, and there is a list of places in the top drawer of the desk in your room.”
He was following me up the stairs to the third floor, and I glanced over my shoulder to find him staring at my butt. Oh, nice, I thought, and added an extra swish to my hips.
“If you need anything, and I mean anything,” I added politely, “you can call the front desk. If I’m not there, the calls get forwarded to my cellphone. I always have my cellphone on me, and, please, no matter what time it is, or what you need, just let me know, I’d be happy to provide it for you.” As I turned to study him on the landing, I silently thought, Yep, anything you want.
“Thank you.” His voice was huskier than it had been downstairs. He towered over me, and I couldn’t help but wonder: What would it feel like to be held against his chest—or to have those damn sexy lips brushing over mine? He broke the connection as he looked down the hall hesitantly, “And which of these is my suite?”
I turned away and wandered to the end. The inn had seven suites, four on the second floor and three on the third floor. Each of them had its own bathroom with deep tubs and shower stalls large enough to be used by two. I’d even had hand holds installed strategically for people who really wanted to enjoy clean fun.
“This is your room,” I unlocked the door and pushed it open for him. I held the key out, “Here you go.”
Mr. Tidewater entered and stood a foot from me, and again I was made aware of the differences in our heights as I leaned my head all the way back to see his almost-surprised expression.
His eyes scanned the room twice before he began to smile, “I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it certainly was not a tastefully-done room.”
I laughed, “I’m sure you expected your worst nightmare and not your sweetest fantasy, right?”
He turned toward me, and I was held captive by his deep blue gaze again.
“Yeah, something like that.”
I sucked in a breath and rushed out my words, “Is there anything else that you want—or need?”
He tilted his head the slightest bit and seemed to ponder my words, “Oh, there are lots of things I want, but no, thank you, Harper. I think I have everything I need, for now. I’ll just run down to my car and get my bags. You do have wi-fi here?”
“Of course, and I also have a subscription to several channels that have adult films. If you’d like to view one, the passwords are in the top drawer of the desk.”
“You provide adult films for your guests?” He gawked at me.
“There is little that I don’t provide for my guests, Mr. Tidewater.” I couldn’t help the fact that my pulse raced and my palms grew clammy. I also couldn’t help from allowing my eyes to drag down the course of his body as I spoke. For him, I would provide just about anything he needed for a night or two of fun.
He laughed, and the sound hit my core so hard that I thought my knees might buckle. “I’ll keep that in mind, Harper. I’ll keep that in mind.”