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[personal profile] xanthefic
I've already posted the new cover art, summary and extract for Ricochet on my Xanthe Walter website, but for those who haven't seen it there, I'm posting it here too. The cover art was done by the wonderful bluespirit_star.

I also have a tentative date for publication - Monday November 5th. If that changes, I'll let you know.

When the right dom is all wrong!

Even in a BDSM universe, where everyone identifies as dom or sub, finding the right partner isn’t always easy.

Matt is a big star on the hit TV show, Collar Crime, and he’s looking for a dom who ticks all the right boxes, including being as tidy and organised as himself.

That definitely isn’t his chaotic co-star, Rick, with his spanking fetish and habit of tying a different sub to his bed every night.

When Matt meets the perfect dom he’s swept off his feet, but he soon discovers that being pursued by a handsome, controlling billionaire isn’t the erotic fantasy he’d imagined.

Maybe the right dom for him is the one he thought was all wrong…


Matt wrapped a towel around his waist and emerged into the spare bedroom to see a clean tee shirt lying on the bed. He pulled it on to find it more or less fitted him. He looked at himself in the mirror and sighed as he saw the words emblazoned on it:

You want to spank me, and you know it!

They were the words of an infuriatingly catchy pop song that everyone had been singing a few months ago.  Still, it was better than his liquor-stained shirt, so he decided to go with it.

He walked down the stairs and found Rick in the kitchen, brewing some coffee. He had showered and dressed too – in a pair of black jeans and a tight crimson shirt that hugged his body almost obscenely. There was the usual assortment of leather bracelets around his wrists, and he was wearing his favourite thumb ring. A gold ear cuff clung to his left ear, attached by a chain to a ruby ear stud with a long scarlet crystal spike hanging from it. As usual, Matt felt decidedly under-dressed beside him.

“Thanks – shit I need this!” Matt said, taking the mug of black coffee that Rick handed to him.

“You’re welcome, and you’re right; I do.” Rick winked at him, nodding his head at the slogan emblazoned on his chest.

“Hah hah hah hah hah.” Matt glared at him. “Was this really the only spare tee shirt you had?”

“Nah, but I liked the idea of you wearing that slogan.” Rick grinned. “Also, it’s a great shade of blue on you; brings out the colour of your eyes. Plus, it actually fits.” He stood back and surveyed Matt critically. “It’s not mine – some sub left it here a few months ago.”

Matt took a deep sip of his coffee. “And they never came back for it?”

“Nah – I never invite subs back; it complicates things.”

“Really? Never?” Matt glanced at him over the rim of his mug, startled. “I mean, I know you get through a lot of subs, but you never see them again after?”

"I try not to. Once is fun, but twice starts to feel like we’re dating, and I don’t date.”

“Why not?”

“Why?” Rick countered with a grin.

“I don’t know – lots of reasons: Intimacy, friendship, affection… love?”

“I’ve got friends for that. Relationships just complicate things.”

“Wow – those are some massive commitment issues you’ve got there, O’Shea.”

“I freely admit it. Now, if you’ve finished guzzling that coffee – take this.” Rick handed him a motorcycle helmet.

Matt stared at it blankly. “Uh… why?”

“Because I don’t trust that you’re sober enough to drive yet, so you’ll be my passenger on the bike.”

“I’m not sober enough to drive, but you are?” Matt raised an eyebrow.

“I only had one glass of wine. You were knocking it back.”

“I’m fine. There is no way I’m getting on that stupid bike with you.”

“Tough.” Rick’s expression changed, and he folded his arms across his chest. “Because there is no way I’m letting you get behind the wheel of a car right now.”

Rick was usually very easy-going, so Matt had expected him to shrug and give in, but it seemed that he really did mean it about him not driving. He might have a point – Matt had drunk a lot only a few hours ago; it probably wasn’t entirely safe for him to drive yet.

“Why don’t you drive my car then?” Matt held up the keys.

“What’s the matter…? Oh wait!” Rick rolled his eyes. “You’ve never been on a motorcycle before, have you?”

“Well… no,” Matt admitted. “They always seem noisy, and dangerous, and… ”

“Fun and exciting?” Rick raised an eyebrow. “You know, I don’t think there’s nearly enough fun and excitement in your ordered little life.”

“And I don’t think there’s nearly enough order and routine in your freewheeling existence,” Matt retorted.

Rick laughed. “You could be right, but we can’t all be as perfect as you. C’mon – let’s get moving. I can’t be late for work after Petra's dressing down yesterday.”

Matt took the helmet and followed Rick to the front door. Rick opened it… and they both froze as a dozen camera light bulbs flashed at them.

“Rick, Rick – any comment about what happened down the Justice Hall last night?” a reporter yelled.

Matt stood there, open-mouthed, taking in the sight of the dozen or so journalists camped out on Rick’s front drive, complete with brightly flashing cameras.

“Damn it – I forgot to lock the front gates when I got home last night,” Rick muttered.

“Are you worried about your job, Rick?” someone called.

“Do you think Petra Davies will fire you over this?”

“Rick – are you and Matthew Lake having an affair?”

“What?” Matt exploded.

The journalist who’d yelled that out grinned at him. “Well, you stayed over last night, and that isn’t the shirt you were wearing when you arrived.”

“How did you…?”

“Forget it, Matt. They just want to get a quote out of you,” Rick told him quietly. He took hold of Matt’s hand and dragged him across the driveway towards his Harley. “Have you never dealt with the paparazzi before?” Rick asked as they walked.

“Well… not like this, no. Have you?” Matt asked, shocked.

“Plenty of times, but that’s because I’m always doing stupid things and drawing attention to myself, whereas the most gossip you’ve ever given them is going out for a meal with your boring accountant dom, followed by a quiet night in.”

“That is not… ” Matt began, and then he sighed. “Okay, that is true.”

“Matt! Does this mean you’ve split up from Emily Campanillo? Or doesn’t she know that you’re sleeping with Rick?”

“What the hell business is that of yours? And I am NOT sleeping with Rick!” Matt rounded on the journalist angrily. Rick took Matt’s helmet out of his hand, placed it on his head, and began buckling it up under his chin.

“Is it true she offered you her collar, but you turned her down because you’re secretly in love with Rick?”

“No! Where on earth do you get this shit?”

“Matty – I’ve told you, just stay calm and say nothing,” Rick hissed, fastening the helmet a little too tight, in what felt like an effort to gag him.

“No way! I am not letting them get away with making up stuff about me!”

“Matt – how does it feel to be another notch on Rick O’Shea’s bedpost?” someone yelled. “Do you feel cheap and dirty now? He’s had just about every other sub in town, after all!”

Matt saw red. He jerked away from Rick and stormed across the driveway… only to find himself suddenly walking on air, his feet kicking out uselessly beneath him as a strong arm latched around his body and swung him off the ground.

“What the hell…?” Matt hollered, as Rick threw him over his shoulder, cave-dom style, and carried him back to the bike.

He plonked Matt on it, got on behind him, and put his arms around Matt to grab the handlebars, trapping Matt there. “Now shut up and stay still,” Rick ordered, revving up the bike.

“But I – ”

“Quiet!” Rick thundered. He stamped his foot down on the pedal, and the bike roared out of the driveway and onto the road, leaving a trail of scattered journalists in its wake.

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