Beyond A Planned Fantasy by Suzannah Safi
contemporary erotic romance
novella length (25,000 words)
Cover Art by Valerie Tibbs
Carol has one thing on her mind when she creates a fantasy encounter—revenge. Then, her escort, Leo, pushes her boundaries as he introduces her to forbidden desires. She's only booked her fantasy man for the weekend, never planning on seeing him again. What she doesn't know is that Leo has a plan of his own and his own need for revenge. Carol may have wanted only a weekend fantasy; she ends up with more than she'd ever bargained if she can only trust her heart and her fantasy man.
Carol paced the marina searching among the bobbing mass of yachts for the Dragon Boat. Her escort’s terse instructions had directed her to the third yacht on the left. Squinting against the sunlight, she spotted the familiar snow-white yacht, and her heart sped with anxiety. A white flag decorated with a red and black dragon fluttered above the mast—the recognized symbol of the famous Twin Dragons club.
Carol breathed deeply, inhaling the salty air that rallied into her nostrils. Her heart rate picked up as she walked with heavy steps toward the boat.
As if an unseen force weighted down her forward progress, its clarion call a warning of what was to come.
The hem of her short white dress swirled around her thighs, urging her to continue forward. The morning’s soft breeze fondled her hair.
She simply had to do this. Or did she?
Being in the hands of a handsome escort could prove to be dangerous territory. She had no idea how her husband-to-be would react if he found out. She reached up to touch the thin gold chain around her neck, her fingers tightening on the simple diamond engagement ring threaded on the necklace. The thought of her sacrifice to save her father from prison drilled in her brain a painful reminder of the necessity of this single act.
Her feet carried her to the yacht’s stairs. Slowly, one step at a time, she climbed. Shaky fingers curled around the cold banister, and her sweaty palm left behind a wet mark on the rail. On the yacht deck, Carol paused and removed her sunglasses. The dark window of the cabin reflected her desperate, wide-eyed expression as she scanned the polished wooden deck.
“Hello,” she called in a shaky voice wavering with doubt. Carol stepped toward the center of the yacht. Her fingers caressed the fabric of a blue-striped chair prominently positioned. Two glasses and a decanter filled with yellow liquid rested in an ice bucket. She licked her lips in anticipation of a cool drink that would wet her dry throat.
“Bonjour, Carol,” a deep throaty voice with a French accent startled her from behind.
She swirled around; her scarlet hair flew into her eyes, blocking her view like a heavy curtain. Her escort’s French accent was easy to recognize.
“Hi,” she replied weakly. Her fingers struggled to push her hair away from her face in spite of the breeze tugging it back in place. Her tangled red locks obscured the stranger’s features.
His footsteps moved closer, and he stopped an inch from her body. Carol heard his soft breathing, felt the heat radiating from his body. Thick fingers trailed the strands of hair away from her face slowly, and the trace of his warm touch sent small tingles up her spine. Her breath hitched as her view cleared. Her gaze elevated upward and locked with his wolfish hazel eyes guarded with thick black lashes.
“I’m your escort,” he whispered. His long hair hung freely around his shoulders, dark as a clear night.
Drums of heaven pounded in her heart; her gaze meandered over his full sensuous lips as he drawled in his sultry accent. Fantasies of what he would do to her body rushed through her imagination like a river flood on a rainy day. She shivered as her gaze trailed along his half-naked body covered in nothing but white cotton trousers. His sculptured chest tempted her to explore. His six-foot-tall body stood in front of her in a relaxed posture, bare footed as if he had no worries in life.
“Your code name is Carol, right?”
“Yes,” she lied. Everyone who played these games used code names for secrecy. Something that she was coming to regret being unaware of, but still, there was nothing that said she had to tell him anything beyond what the fantasy was. Shame rose with heated waves to her cheeks as she thought of her fantasy man.
“You look uncomfortable, cherie,” he said frowning. “Something wrong? Change of mind perhaps?”
“No! I’m fine.” She flashed him a bright smile, hoping he wouldn’t notice the too-quick response or the slight tremble of her voice. With his attention sliding over her body, she shuddered, suddenly feeling vulnerable and exposed.
The truth struck her. She was going with a stranger to the middle of the sea and placing herself under his mercy. Carol touched her bag reflexively; she had her cell and a can of pepper spray for protection, if she needed to use them. Carol had undergone many adventures in her lifetime: scuba diving with the sharks, mountain climbing, and bungee jumping, yet this one was no different in its element of danger. Well, maybe slightly different. Usually she didn’t have a living god as a companion.
“Come in, please.” He gestured for her to follow, but didn’t touch her again. He kept his distance, which surprised her that he didn’t pursue with his sexual appetite leading the advance.
Carol glanced behind her toward the stairs with her last thoughts of quitting. This was her only chance. She could risk it for couple of days. The weekend stretched out before her. Her family had left Los Angeles to settle some accounts with the lawyers and wouldn’t be back for a few days. Today was her chance to disappear without explanation.
Her legs backed a step toward the stairs.
She turned her gaze to his direction; he stood there, hands in pockets looking strong and virile like a lord of the jungle. His eyes narrowed, his lips drawing a thin line as if he read her hesitation. He stretched a hand and beckoned her, encouraging her to follow.
Adrenaline drummed through every cell in her body, but she ambled forward toward him. He guided her to the cushioned blue-striped chair and took her bag from her shoulder.
“I’ll send it to our room, Oui?”
Holy crap! “We are sharing a room?” She swallowed hard.
“Yes,” he said matter-of-factly. “Is there a problem?”
“No, not at all.” She pasted a grin on her face.
He drew closer and placed his fingertip on her lips. “I promise,” he said, “you’ll feel comfortable, and I’ll help you enjoy your fantasy. This is why you are here, right, cherie?”