Monday, February 25, 2008

Quiet Storm

THE RETREAT - Portia Da Costa

Ben Chambers, the hero of my story THE RETREAT, is what I like to call a Quiet Storm.

He's softly spoken, reserved, and watchful. But he's not a wimp or a Beta. Far from it. He doesn't have to posture or snarl or throw his weight about to exert his dominance. He can take his lover's breath away with a few choice, quietly phrased words, and bring her to her knees with nothing more than a half smile.

He's beautifully dressed [with a fondness for natty Edwardian clobber, Jeremy, even though he's a twenty-first century man] and for most of the story he keeps his clothes on. He only gets naked when it really means something and he doesn't need to parade around dripping wet with acres of pecs and abs on show to be a hunk. He can express total masculinity without waving his dick about.

He's understated but powerful, a sexual master who wields authority in low tones and with spare, elegant gestures.

If you want to see a Quiet Storm in action, watch Edward Norton in The Illusionist. He's pretty much the template for my Ben.

THE RETREAT is part of the BOUND BRITS British themed BDSM anthology and published 25th February 08. Click here to buy it from TOTAL-E-BOUND.


Ben Chambers is the perfect boyfriend, the perfect lover, the perfect man.

Sarah adores him, but she knows that despite the deliciousness of their lovemaking, their shared interests, and the fun they have together, there's a certain special something missing in their relationship.

And then, arriving for a hedonistic weekend of luxury at The Retreat, an English country house hotel, something happens that changes everything between them. A momentary, inconsequential pat on the bottom opens the door to a breathtaking world of daring and transgressive sexual pleasure… and forges a bond that's both profoundly physical and a melding of their souls.


Her clothes were outside. Where Ben was.

Her heart thud-a-thudding, she opened the bathroom door.

Ben was lying on the bed, fully clothed, and reading a magazine. He had a glass in his hand, containing an inch of amber fluid that she guessed was whisky, and as she entered, he put it to his lips and took a leisurely sip. His eyes were on her though, staring over the rim at her intently as he swallowed.

He looked like a young god idly perusing his lowly subject.

"I thought we'd take a late dinner," he said casually, then took another sip of his drink, "Unless you're hungry now?"

Only for you. Only for you.

"I…er…I'm fine. Thanks."

The answer sounded woefully incomplete, as if there should have been more.

It was astonishing how easy it would have been to add the word "master".

"Good!" he said with a strangely satisfied smile, then he finished his whisky, set the glass aside, and sprang lightly to his feet. "I think I'll freshen up. I won't be a moment."

As he walked towards the bathroom, he paused and looked back pointedly at the magazine on the bed.

He wants me to read it.

Then, with another small, knowing smile, he disappeared, closing the door behind him with a decisive snick.

For a moment, Sarah was frozen in place. Why was she afraid of a magazine? What was wrong with her?

But the shiny pages seemed to reach out and taunt her from across the room. Still not looking at it, she grabbed Ben's glass, sloshed a little more whisky into it, and gulped it down, making herself cough. Panicking, she refilled it with water and sipped a bit of that, slowly. She didn't want to get tipsy mixing spirits with the champagne already in her.

When she sat down, and started to flick the pages, she discovered that the magazine was exactly what she'd feared-hoped?-it might be.

It was about bondage.

And erotic corporal punishment.

A high quality, beautifully produced publication, but a spanking magazine nevertheless.

As she perused an image of an exotic dark-haired woman in a black corset being spanked across a stern looking man's knee, the last piece of the jigsaw of her and Ben dropped neatly into place, and the tap on her rump made crystal clear sense.

This is it. Exactly it. This is what he really likes.

The sound of the bathroom door opening made her jump physically up into the air and sent the magazine slithering to the floor. Ben walked swiftly across, picked it up, and studied the same image that Sarah had been looking at for a moment. He'd removed his tie, she noticed, and unbuttoned his waistcoat and rolled up the sleeves of his shirt.

Her heart did a flip as he closed the magazine, set it on the bedside table, and sat down beside her.

"I guess you know what I want now, don't you?" His brown eyes were luminous, like the whisky with a brilliant light shining through it.

Sarah's tongue clove to the roof of her mouth, but after a moment, she managed to gasp, "Yes!"

Ben's eyes were unwavering upon her, searching, searching.

"It's your choice, Sarah…I don't want us to do anything you don't like. We can simply have a delightful weekend here…relax, walk, enjoy good food and wine-" he paused for a second, "-make love…Nothing more than that."

She found her voice again. "But this…" she gestured to the magazine. "This is what you want, isn't it?"

His shoulders lifted in the slightest of shrugs. "It is…it is…"

The air in the room seemed heavy and difficult to draw in. But Sarah pulled in a lungful of it, straightened her spine, looked at him as bravely as she could.

"Then I want it too."

"Are you sure? It isn't a frivolous game to me…I take this quite seriously. You need to know that before we start."

Sarah's heart leapt, galloped. But part of her was more sure of herself than ever before in her life.

"It's serious to me too. I want it. Now."

Again. A long look.

"Very well, Sarah." Relaxed, he steepled his long elegant fingers in his lap, and cocked his head on one side, his smooth brown hair gleaming in the lamp light. "Stand up, please, and take off your robe. Then place your hands on your head, and turn slowly, showing yourself to me."

Obeying him, Sarah felt as if she were floating, insubstantial, like a feather. As she shucked off the soft robe, she felt more naked than she ever previously had with him. More exposed than the times when he'd crouched between her thighs, licking her sex.

She was astonished that the warm air on her skin felt like a caress and the uncovered state of her body a slow, lascivious exploration. Her nipples had puckered to a state of hardness so intense it was painful, and to her embarrassment, as she moved, slowly turning, a sticky trickle of arousal welled from her pussy and flowed down the inside of her thigh.

Unbelievably, Ben's dark brows lifted as she completed her circle, and he was watching the oozing progress of the sexual fluid down her leg.

"You're eager, aren't you?" he observed softly, "You're wanton and wilful…easy to rouse."

She opened her mouth to admit it and he made swift, little chopping motion. "No, you mustn't speak. You must be still and quiet now. Obedient. Without ego."

Before she could react in any way, he cupped her breast, his fingers firm, authoritative. He gave her a swift, assessing squeeze, first one, then the other, as if he were judging the flesh of a fine horse or other prized animal.

A second later, his hand went between her legs and gripped her just as possessively.

A gasp escaped her lips, and Ben gave her a tiny warning nod, his lids lowering slightly as he tightened his hold on her sex. Lifting his hand upwards, he made her rise on her toes. Not to avoid the delicious pressure, but to try and ameliorate her uncontrollable reaction to it.

In the space of a few moments, she was almost ready to come. And he hadn't even begun what he intended to do to her.

THE RETREAT is part of the BOUND BRITS anthology which also contains novellas by Sierra Cartwright, Lisabet Sarai, Barbara Huffert, Cassidy Ryan and Dakota Rebel.

Click here to buy BOUND BRITS from TOTAL-E-BOUND.

Oh, and leave a comment here on this blog post and I'll pick a winner at random for a copy of a book from my backlist.


Portia Da Costa
Writing for Black Lace for fourteen years, and hopefully, better than ever! ;)


blackroze37 said...

please enter me to win this, wow going to be a HOTTTTt book

Dayle A. Dermatis said...

Whew! ::fans self:: I'm surprised my computer didn't burst into flame over that smoking hot excerpt! I can't wait to read more!

Janine Ashbless said...

Ed Norton is wonderful and perfectly compliments that steamy excerpt Portia.
I love the idea of a Nice Guy who Needs to Spank - what a delicious paradox.

It's a real pity I couldn't stand The Illusionist (And I wanted to like it. Oh boy did I want to like it!). Watch The Prestige instead.

Portia Da Costa said...

Thanks, guys! I'm glad you like my quiet alpha... I love the idea that nice guys can also be mysterious and powerful. :)

I've seen The Prestige, Janine, and while I thought it was very clever and probably superior cinematically in many ways to The Illusionist, it left me completely cold and unengaged. I didn't *like* any of the characters and I didn't care about them.

Whereas the instant I saw Eisenheim.... phwoaaaaagh!!!! Edward Norton was just so delicious to me that I could easily forgive any faults in the movie. :)

Madelynne Ellis said...

Lovely excerpt, Portia. I'm afraid I haven't seen the Illusionist so I'll have to rely on your descriptions to engage the senses.

juliemt said...

Great excerpt, Portia! I'll definitely be ordering this one.

Stacy~ said...

Well, well, well Portia, you've got me thinking of Edward Norton in a whole new light! Your book sounds wicked, and I'm definitely wanting more. Great excerpt :)

Amy S. said...

Sounds great!

Olivia Knight said...

Fabulous stuff - and yes, The Illusionist, exactly - I can even hear Eisenheim's accent in your character's speech. You catch the personality so well.

Sabrina Luna said...

Whew! Wow! Damn good, woman! Love it! Want more ... ;)

Sabrina )O(

R F Long said...

Oh dear... I really shouldn't read these things at work! *phew!* He's wonderful Portia!

Deanna Ashford said...

Sounds a great book Portia. I agree what you say about Edward Norton and The Illusionist.
I enjoyed the Prestige but I didn't like the ending, probably because I guessed it well before the end of the movie.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

oh. well. always thought of dear edward in a lovely, dirty way, but I like applying this sophisticated control. thinking the whole thing is well done, and only gets better. looking forward to it, portia!

Portia Da Costa said...

I'm so glad I'm changing people's perceptions of Edward Norton! LOL

Portia Da Costa said...

I don't think I did the speech pattern thing intentionally, Olivia. It must have been a subconscious thing... Which just shows how intense an impact Edward made on me, because I've only actually watched the film *once* all through!!!

Kate Pearce said...

Great excerpt-thanks for sharing!

Dakota Rebel said...

I have read this story and it so good. Beyond good. Once again you have out-done yourself. Your characters are so freakin' hot I too thought my computer would burst into flames.

Great story Portia.


Savanna Kougar said...

Portia, powerful excerpt. What a beautiful hot flow toward extreme passion.
Luved your -- he doesn't have to wave his dick about to prove his virility -- paraphrased.

Madeline Moore said...

Yow. Count me in. In on the comments praising the excerpt and in on Ed. You don't have to change my perception of him, I've been a big fan of his forever. I'm beginning to think it's a bit weird, Portia; we have the same celeb crushes. I missed new ViDo stuff intensely while the writer's strike was on...and any movie with Ed in it gets my attention. Thanks for the excerpt and pics, Portia. Good luck with you e-book sales.

Janet H said...

Wow. This excerpt will get your pulse racing. Very nice!!!

Sweet Samantha said...

I really liked your excerpt! I really REALLY liked the pictures that went with it. I loved the movie itself! It was so thought out and wonderfully profound.

Edward Norton was just hot. REALLY hot.

Portia Da Costa said...

Thanks to everyone for the kind comments, and so glad to hear that everyone gets Edward as a Quiet Storm the way I do!

Portia Da Costa said...

ps. there's another contest relating to Bound Brits that you might like to enter...

Where are the Brits Bound?

Good luck!

Anne Tourney said...

I love Edward Norton, especially in his subtle roles -- you couldn't have chosen a better model for this quietly dominant character, Portia. I love the way this scene portrays the psychological power of erotic dominance, the way nothing feels forced or artificial between these two. The heroine's discovery of her submissive desires feels completely natural here; as usual, you effectively make me feel her responses and weave an emotional as well as a sexual warmth into the scene. Beautifully done!

Portia Da Costa said...

Thanks ever so much, Anne! I really enjoyed writing this novella... attempting to portray the quietness and dignity of the scene, yet at the same time the intensity and excitement.

lisabea said...


Oh he's so deliciously a man.

TeresaNoelleRoberts said...

Wow. Just wow.

Quiet doms make me melt. Quiet doms who affect a bit of an Edwardian look turn me into a big, gooey puddle of happy girlflesh.

::scampers off to perform credit card abuse, and then potentially some self-abuse::

Cris Anson said...

Hey Portia, I just loved "Entertaining Mr. Stone" and "Suite Seventeen." I'm sure I'm going to love "The Retreat." made me want to get to BlockBuster to find some Edward Norton DVDs. Thanks!

Cris Anson
"Discovery" now available in print in the CANDY CRAVINGS Valentine's Day anthology from

Portia Da Costa said...

Hmm... sounds like I should write more fiction inspired by Mr Norton. :)

Although not, perhaps, by the creepy choirboy in Primal Fear... eeek!!!

Portia Da Costa said...

Glad you enjoyed EMS and S17, Cris. They were enormous fun to write too.

Not Edward, of course, but one of my other perennial hotties, Signor D'Onofrio. :)

abc said...

I LOVE this sort of thing. It is SO hot! Congratulations on your work. BTW (and I apologize for this complete non sequiter) how great was Daniel Day-Lewis kissing George Clooney at the Oscars!

Portia Da Costa said...

Yikes, I wish I'd seen the Oscars now!

Stacia said...

Great excerpt! I've been hearing so much buzz about this book lately & after reading just this excerpt, I can see why. Here's hoping I win :o)