Title: Unforgettable You
Series: Me, You, and Us, Book 2
Author: Deanndra Hall
Genre: Erotic Romance, BDSM
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For Sheila, a lie is a deal-breaker. But what if it’s not a lie? What if it’s just not the whole truth?
Being a popular Dom at the nicest BDSM club in town would be the top of the mountain for lots of guys, but for Steffen Cothran, it’s meant heartache. He lost someone he thought he might be able to have a future with to his best friend when Trish Stinson and Clint Winstead patched things up. He knows he wants a relationship, but so far he’s had trouble finding that one person, the one he knows he's meant to be with, to make that happen.
That all changes when Trish and Clint walk into the club with Trish’s best friend, Sheila Brewster. Even though he's met her, he never really had much contact with her. But Clint has a plan: He’s looking for a Dom to protect Sheila in case her abusive ex-boyfriend manages to get paroled. And Clint happens to think that Steffen is a great candidate for that position.
Steffen and Sheila’s relationship starts casually and quickly grows into a promising romance. But one question makes all the difference, and when Steffen doesn’t lie but doesn’t tell the whole truth with his answer, Sheila’s left wondering if she can ever trust anyone again. And when Steffen’s little omission shows up on his doorstep in full-blown chaos, the relationship he’d had such high hopes for is shattered, possibly forever.
In the aftermath, Sheila sets a course for self-destruction that turns out to be more dangerous than anyone could’ve imagined. With no one to blame but himself, Steffen finds it hard to help a woman who won’t have anything to do with him.
Two broken hearts. One huge mistake. A few really bad choices. And a lifetime of pain if things can’t be righted. It may be impossible to mend the broken trust, and their love could be lost forever.
The second in the Me, You, and Us series following Adventurous Me, Steffen’s story in Unforgettable You is funny, smart, sweet, kinky hot, and heartbreaking. It’s a tale of what happens when you forget that there’s not a lot of difference between a lie and a partial truth, and what love really means when two people belong together.
WARNING: This book contains explicit sexual situations in graphic detail. Not intended for readers under the age of 18. Reader discretion advised.
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DEANNDRA: So this is Deanndra and I’m here today with Steffen Cothran, who is just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.
STEFFEN: Oh my god, you’ve found a way to make me blush!
DEANNDRA: You’re used to hearing that.
STEFFEN: Actually, yeah, I kinda am, although that’s definitely not what I’d want to be known for, to tell the truth.
DEANNDRA: And what would you want to be known for.
STEFFEN: Why, my sexual prowess, what else? *laughing*
DEANNDRA: So are you legendary in the bedroom?
STEFFEN: *smirking* Yeah, in my own mind.
DEANNDRA: Uh-huh. Just as I thought. So, what are you up to these days?
STEFFEN: Hanging out at Bliss, trying to look cool while I pant after some of the subs who hang out there with us.
DEANNDRA: Looking to collar one of them?
STEFFEN: Nah. They’re all just looking for fun. They don’t really want anything serious and, if they do, they most certainly haven’t ever bothered to let me know that.
DEANNDRA: And if they did?
STEFFEN: Uh, I might consider one or two of them, but probably not. They’re not really my type.
DEANNDRA: In what way?
STEFFEN: In that they’re great to scene with, but if I had to live with them day in and day out, I think I’d probably lose my mind. It’s going to take a special woman to be with me. She’s going to have to tolerate an inordinate amount of bullshit, and most women just can’t do that.
DEANNDRA: Bullshit? From you?
STEFFEN: I’ll admit it – I’m a smart ass. I can’t help myself.
DEANNDRA: Well, at least you know that about yourself.
STEFFEN: No sense denying it. It’s the truth.
DEANNDRA: So what does a great scene consist of for you?
STEFFEN: Hmmm . . . bondage. Definitely bondage. I love a spreader bar and leather cuffs. A Hitachi Magic Wand. A big bottle of lube. Maybe a ball gag and a blindfold. A nice suede flogger, or maybe a paddle. Nipple clamps, adjustable if she’s not very experienced, and clover clamps if she is. And candles.
DEANNDRA: Wax play, huh?
STEFFEN: I like it, but that’s not what I meant. Just to set the mood. Something nicely scented, lavender or jasmine or something like that. Maybe a bubble bath afterward. Chocolates. Wine.
DEANNDRA: Are we talking about scening or seducing?
STEFFEN: Yes. *laughing*
DEANNDRA: But you want to make her scream?
STEFFEN: Depends on what kind of screaming we’re talking about. From fear and pain, no; well, okay, maybe a little. From pure intensity of climax, absolutely. And then lots of moaning – lots and lots of moaning.
DEANNDRA: So this isn’t just about sex for you, is it?
STEFFEN: No. It’s not. I most definitely want a kinky girl who can meet my needs, but I want to meet hers too. And I want to connect with her on a level that goes way beyond just physical.
DEANNDRA: So you’re looking for love.
STEFFEN: Aren’t we all?
DEANNDRA: I’ve already found it.
STEFFEN: Lucky you! Yeah, I hope I eventually do. That’s my goal anyway. Best case scenario would be to find someone through a mutual acquaintance. It’s risky out there these days. Take a sub home with me, wind up in pieces in a drainage canal. Counter-productive to forming a lasting relationship.
DEANNDRA: Wow – I’ll say. It puts the lotion on its skin . . .
STEFFEN: Exactly! *laughing* Talk about a mood-killer . . .
DEANNDRA: We’ll have none of that. You’re far too good-looking to be fish bait.
STEFFEN: *smirking* Thanks. That makes me feel sooooo much better.
DEANNDRA: So, questions. Tats? Have any?
STEFFEN: Nope. Not because I don’t like them. Just never have gotten one, that’s all.
STEFFEN: I’ll never tell . . .
DEANNDRA: Well, that’s no fun. Beer or whiskey?
STEFFEN: Definitely beer.
DEANNDRA: Blond or brunette?
DEANNDRA: Ooooo! Okay! There’s hope for me yet!
STEFFEN: You’re taken.
DEANNDRA: And if I weren’t?
STEFFEN: I think my search would be over. *winks*
DEANNDRA: Well, aren’t you the charmer?
STEFFEN: I try.
DEANNDRA: Steffen, I’m so glad I got a chance to talk to you. Good luck, sweetie. You’ll be fine.
STEFFEN: Thanks. You’re an angel. Good talking to you too.
This was the last place on earth I wanted to be.
I know they’re my friends. I know I should do this. But I really don’t want to. Sure, I’ve had worse days in my life, god knows, but this is going to rate right up there.
He told me to be sure to wear hiking boots, and I’m glad he did. The trail isn’t muddy, but I would’ve ruined a pair of shoes walking back in there. It’s dusty and rocky, and I’m wondering if Trish’s people will be there and, if so, what they’ll think. I know my mom would think I’d lost my mind. Dave had called and offered a ride with him, Marta, and Angela, but I declined. I needed time to get my head on straight. Truth told, I was secretly hoping I wouldn’t have any luck finding the place and later I could say, “Oh, yeah, I tried to be there but I couldn’t find it.” No such luck. It’s very, very clearly marked, and there are plenty of cars here, so I didn’t have that out.
It’s torture, walking along the trail and having to make small talk with Dave and his ladies. I really don’t want to. I’d rather be alone with my thoughts, but I’m pretty sure that’s what they’re trying to help me avoid. So I need to get real with myself here.
I’m not in love with Trish. Yes, I’m very, very fond of her. Yes, I did fuck her. I scened with her. It’s not like I’m some greenhorn and I have no idea what we were doing. But god, her body is so damn ripe and I wanted more. And the worst part is that she’s an amazing person and we could’ve built something together, something really strong. I do love her in a way; she’s a very loveable person, and I love her as a friend. It could’ve been a lot more if it had been given some time, but that didn’t happen.
Clint. He’s my best friend. We’ve known each other for a long time. I have trouble remembering that he’s younger than me because he’s always seemed so much older than he is. I guess grief does that to a person, and he’s certainly had his share of it. We met right before everything fell apart with him and Christi, so I knew them as a couple. She came onto me a few times, but I was pretty sure she was just messing with me. Now, knowing what she was up to, I’m not so sure, but I’m certainly glad I didn’t fall into that trap. That would’ve completely fractured my friendship with Clint, and I’d never want that.
But Trish was a susprise. I never expected to walk into the club that night and find someone like her there, so willing and yet so unsure. But she wanted it. She wanted to explore herself, her sexuality, and I was glad to be there to help her do that. The personal perks weren’t a bad thing either; god, the girl is good. I remember that body under my palms and my knees almost go weak.
And I remember when everything fell apart. I wanted so badly to go to her, to help her make it through all that, to help her forget what had happened. But I knew if I did that, my friendship with Clint would most likely be over. And that would’ve been fine, if Trish and I had stayed together. But if we’d fallen apart, then I would’ve been out a friend and a lover. It was a lot to think about, and I’m not sure how that would’ve gone. Not sure at all. But I do know this.
I could’ve fallen in love with Trish Stinson. I’m not entirely sure that I didn’t on some level. But the look in her eye the night of the collaring ceremony was all I needed to let me know that it wouldn’t work. She wanted Clint; that was painfully obvious. I knew then that, even if he didn’t show and she was broken, I didn’t stand a chance. Dave would take over, help her heal, and she wouldn’t give me a second glance. In her defense, I know she would’ve done that to keep from fracturing my friendship with Clint, but I was hoping . . .
Hope died when I heard his voice from the back of the crowd that night. If there’s anything I know about Clint, it’s that he’s a smart guy and he wouldn’t let her go. And that’s when I knew it was over for good.
When I reach the clearing, everyone’s there. Hailee and McKenna run up to me, babbling on about their dresses, so I tell them, “You girls are beautiful!”
“I love this dress! Don’t you love this dress, Mr. Steffen? I love this dress!” McKenna cries out. She’s twirling around like little girls do, and it makes me wonder: I’m forty-five years old. Will I ever have a little girl? What would she look like?
Guess that would depend on her mom, huh?
I bump into someone and automatically blurt out, “Excuse me.”
“Quite all right.” The voice is pure honey, so I turn to look.
She’s got big blue eyes, long, paprika-colored hair, and skin so fair that I want to ask for an umbrella and hold it for her so she doesn’t burn in the fall sunshine. When she speaks, she smiles, but the smile doesn’t reach her eyes. And holy shit, those tits. Amazing. I don’t want to be rude and look down, but I wonder if her legs are as shapely as the rest of her because, if they are, those will be one great looking pair of legs. “Um, hi. I’m Steffen, Clint’s friend.” I hold out my hand to shake hers, and she takes it weakly. “And you are?”
“Sheila. I’m Trish’s friend.” Before I can ask another question, she says, “Oh, sorry. I need to go over and check on the girls.” And just like that, she’s gone.
Wow – was it something I said? Huh. About that time, Dave calls everyone together. He’s actually an ordained minister – in the High and Holy Church of Martinis, I suppose – and he’s doing the ceremony. He does a good job too, and their vows are beautiful. Then Clint re-presents her with the collar and they do an actually collaring ceremony.
And my heart breaks. I was so close. It was all right there at my fingertips and I let it slip away. I think to the next year’s pairing ceremony and wonder: Will I find anyone by then? The walk back to the car is excruciatingly long, and when I lay a hand on the door handle, I feel someone grip my shoulder.
“Steffen, I’m so sorry.” I turn to find Dave standing there. There’s not another soul around, and I know he left all the congratulating and well-wishing and followed me out here. “You know I scout for you. You’ll find someone, I’m sure of it.”
“I’m not so sure anymore.”
“Look, give it a chance. Hell, up until Trish walked in that night, you swore you didn’t want anything permanent, remember?” He gives me a faint grin.
“Yeah. You’re right. I did say that. But you know, when you think you’ve stumbled onto the right one and . . .”
“I know.” I always think of Dave as being our age – hell, he looks like he is – but in this moment, I see the wisdom of his years shining through. “Look at it this way. Everything happens for a reason, right?” I nod. “That means if you’d hooked up with Trish, whoever is really out there waiting for you would be left out in the cold. So cheer up. She’s still out there. You’ve just got to find her.”
I miss my dad. I’m glad I have Dave, but I really, really miss my dad. I just hug my friend and slap his back. “Thanks. Just keep scouting for me, okay?”
“Always, son. Always.” When I pull out of the parking area, I throw back a weak wave. I think of some of the subs at the club, and just shake them out of my head. They won’t do. Hell, even Trish’s friend wouldn’t give me the time of day. I’ll just go home and forget about it.
And come tomorrow, I’ll get up and start all over again.
The writing of Unforgettable You
I never intended to write Unforgettable You. Adventurous Me was supposed to be an independent novel, but I kept having readers ask me about Steffen and Dave. They were pretty solid characters, so I decided I’d give it a whirl.
In Adventurous Me, we saw Steffen get his hopes with Trish dashed. I knew he was crushed; I didn’t realize how crushed he was until I started to hear from him in Unforgettable You. He was really counting on being able to step into that relationship, and being the first Dom there with whom she scened played a huge role in that belief for him. Even though he and Clint are very, very good friends, Steffen pretty much assumed the “all’s fair in love and war” mentality when things fell apart. I was pleased that Clint held no ill will for him; in fact, he felt somewhat guilty that Steffen was hurt so badly.
I also had no idea what had gone on in his past, and I certainly couldn’t have anticipated how horrifying it was. When it turned out to be almost as bad for Clint, I felt like pure evil had descended into the story, and I had to capture that, its essence and terrible truth, so it could be understood for what it was and how it had shaped his life.
I think Unforgettable You is actually a lesson on how the things we grow up with and experience can shape our lives, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. Steffen loved his father and missed him once he’d passed away, but it was a simple and old-fashioned notion instilled by the man that unknowingly colored his adult behavior and led to problems for him. What Steffen learned is a classic example of believing something just because someone in authority said it was so. I’ve seen that over and over in the area where I live. But unlike in a lot of instances, Steffen’s belief didn’t cause him to be narrow- or closed-minded – instead, it caused him to behave in a particular way that hurt him and the people he most wanted to be near.
When I met Steffen in the first book, I thought the same thing everyone else did, that he was an ego-driven stud-wannabe who was just gaming his way through the female factor at the club. But I was so very wrong about him; Steffen is so much more than that. I’m glad I had a chance to really get to know him.
And you might find it strange that I talk about him that way, but it’s all true. One of the things I love to do is build strong, well-defined characters, and then let them talk. And talk they do. Adventurous Me was a mess that almost didn’t happen because I started writing it in third person omniscient point of view and it was horrible. I thought about it and thought about it and finally wondered: What will happen if I just let Trish tell her story? The result was the funny, smart, snarky, sexy voice of the book that I published. It just made sense to me to let Steffen tell his own story, and tell it he does in his own sexy, smart, sweet, and sometimes sad voice. I thought of him as just an extraneous character in the first book, but he’s so much more, so complex and emotional. When all of his protectiveness kicked in, I wanted to cheer. But I couldn’t; I was writing. Ever tried to type and clap at the same time? Doesn’t work!
Sheila was just Trish’s “wing woman” in the first book, but I knew she had more story to tell also. As a friend, she was a good one; as a main character, she’s a great one. I love the way their personalities play off each other. Where Clint and Trish’s personalities are more balancing and complementary, Clint more conservative and Trish wild and crazy, Steffen and Sheila are very well matched in their personalities. They both like to laugh, both have quick, sarcastic wits, and both are committed to each other. It’s a match made in heaven; well, once they get finished slogging through hell.
In all, Unforgettable You wrote itself pretty quickly once Steffen started to tell his story. Some parts were harder to get out onto the page than others, and in several spots I spent a good deal of time crying – couldn’t help it. Just as in Adventurous Me, the plot in Unforgettable You took me some places I wasn’t quite prepared to go, and left me wounded and bleeding a few times too. But in the end it all works out as it should.
I think my favorite line was this one to Steffen from Sheila: “I want to know you, really know you. You have a beautiful soul.” Thanks, Sheila – I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Other Books In The Series
Adventurous Me, Book 1
FREE ON AMAZON - FEBRUARY 1, 2015 - GRAB IT WHILE YOU CAN BEFORE IT GOES BACK TO $2.99
"Boring? Tiresome? Predictable? We'll see about that."
When Trish's husband of almost 30 years announces that he's leaving her because she's "boring," she sets out to find an adventure. Her attempt to drink her heartbreak away drops her onto a handsome gentleman who invites her to have an adventure, and Trish can't help but say yes.
She embarks on that adventure, but her path keeps crossing with that of another - Clint Winstead, a Dominant at the club, Bliss, and the one person in the place who seems to despise her. And that's fine with Trish. After all, there are plenty of other Doms there who want to play.
But when an annual event at the club throws Trish and Clint together for two weeks, both of them are horrified, not by the pairing, but by the feelings they're trying hard to deny. As the time passes, it's harder and harder to deny what they know is true - that is, until one nearly-tragic incident that almost changes both their lives irreparably. And when Trish realizes that continuing on with her commitment could cost her the ultimate - her life - she knows that it has to end. But does it?
Trish is the queen of second chances. But this second chance might just come at a price too high to pay. A little adventure is a good thing, but perhaps she's gotten far more adventure than she can handle.
WARNING: This book contains explicit sexual situations and BDSM themes. It is not suitable for readers under the age of 18. Reader discretion is advised.
About The Author
For as long as I can remember, I've been a writer . . .
and it has served me well. I wrote for local publications, wrote marketing and advertising materials, wrote for academic publications, and eventually grew jaded with the writing profession as I often watched others take credit for my hard work. I retreated into the world of 3-D art in the fiber and textile mediums and hid out in a world of colors and textures. But, truth is, there was always a story or two in my head. It wasn't until Nikki and I met in my imagination that I decided it was time to let those stories out, and I'm glad I did. My readers now get to enjoy the fruits of my imagination and, believe me, it runs wild!
On the personal side, I've been happily married to my lover and best friend for over thirty years, and I have two wonderful adult kids who've blessed me with two excellent choices of life partners. When I'm not writing, I'm playing with my three crazy little dogs, hiking in a local recreation area, kayaking, working out at the gym, tending my herbs, cooking, or doing some kind of research.
But I'd really rather be writing!