A Little Help From My Friends

I’ve never pulled on my own background as much as I have for this WIP (The Billionaire Submissive).  We lived in the Twin Cities area of MN for almost 5 years…13 years ago.  I’ve only been back once in the past five years.  Lots of things have changed, but there’s also a feel, a vibe, that you get only after being there in the city.

Donovan’s from the Twin Cities area but I wasn’t exactly sure where until I started exploring some of his past unexpectedly a few days ago.  He’s from an older, well established northern St. Paul neighborhood, but I hadn’t tried to pin him down until he dragged me BACK to that neighborhood.  Then I needed to know some streets, or at least a general idea of where exactly we were.  Was it North Saint Paul?  Maplewood?  What were the names of the streets in that area?  I honestly couldn’t remember.

Food plays a huge role in this book, and I remembered a bakery in that general area.  But where was it?  That Man thought it was Payne Ave but he couldn’t remember the name of it.  I thought it was off 7th.  I finally asked my friend Wanda for help, who still lives in the Twins.  It sounds like the Swedish bakery I’m remembering is probably gone, but it was on Payne.  That narrowed my general area down.  Then I used Google maps street view to finally pinpoint what I wanted.

I also needed a diner in the area, so I made up one based on the names that are close to that area (I didn’t want to use a real place).  Hopefully it’s enough to give a solid sense of place!  Thank you, Wanda!

1K+ tonight and finally moving a little through the slower scene.

I adore this snippet.  This is the first time Mr. Morgan really gets a taste of Lilly’s spirit.  Oh, she’s played him a couple of different ways already to get what she wants, but this time, she makes him regret being an arrogant idiot.  *grins*

Her patience was unraveling very fast.  “How exactly did you intend to blackmail me, Mr. Morgan?”

“I was going to threaten to tell everyone exactly what kind of business you’re running on the side.”

She nodded, her irritation rising.  “So you were going to tell people like my parents and friends and professional clients that I’m a whore.  Yeah, that’s a sure way to get a woman to agree to get into bed with you.”

He had the grace to squirm uncomfortably beneath her accusing glare.  “I thought—”

“Yeah, we’ve already been over what a boneheaded idiot you are.”  She stood up and snatched the contract off his desk.  Most of it had been crossed out anyway.  “This is what I think of you and your worthless contract, Mr. Morgan.”  Then she tore the papers in half, threw them on his desk, and stalked toward the door.

“Miss Harrison, wait.  Lilly!”

She heard him coming around his desk but she didn’t slow or turn to look at him.  She started to open the door but he flung up an arm and slammed it shut, pressing his weight against it to keep her from opening it again.

“Mistress.”

That got her attention.  She looked at him but didn’t soften her face or give him her words.

“I’m sorry.  I’m an idiot.  I was wrong.”

“Wrong to even thinking about blackmailing me?  Or wrong to think I would actually accept money in exchange for having sex with you?”

“Shhh,” he lowered his voice.  “I don’t know how sound proof this door is.”

Ha.  She could only hope the simpering Miss Wruthers was pressed against the door on the other side listening avidly.  That would serve him right.  “That’s your problem, Mr. Morgan.  Not mine.  You’re the idiot who’s bewildered why I’m furious that you keep trying to shove money down my throat along with your cock.”

“Lilly, please!”

“Please what?  Please forgive you yet again for trying to make me into your very own prostitute?  Maybe you thought I’d charge by the lash.  Drop your pants now and give me a grand.  I’ll see how many cracks I can get in before your secretary comes charging in to see if I’m killing you.”

“I’m sorry,” he whispered furiously, his face so red it almost made her laugh despite her anger.  “Please.”

She at least stopped hurling comments back, but she didn’t unbend her stiffness or withdrawal.

“I was wrong.  Terribly wrong.  You ought to punish me.”

She let her shoulders relax and he sagged against the door in relief.  “I don’t know, Mr. Morgan.  You haven’t even answered my questionnaire yet so I know what implements to use.”

“Anything.  Anything you want.”  She didn’t have to drop her gaze to his crotch to know he was aroused again.  “Punish me any way you want.  I deserve it for insulting you yet again with my ignorance.”

Pretending to think about it, she shifted her portfolio to her other hand and then finally nodded.  “Meet me at Dmitre’s tonight at 7:00 p.m.”

“I can pick you up…”

She narrowed a glare on him and he raised his hands.  “Or not.  I’ll just meet you there.  But you will allow me to buy you dinner?  It’s the least I can do.”

“Very well.”

“And after?”  His voice deepened and he dared to touch her arm, just a light brush like he’d take her elbow and escort her to the elevator if she’d allow it.

She gave him a little nod, and he grasped her arm more confidently.  He opened the door and she was half surprised to see the secretary typing away furiously at her desk just feet away instead of hovering outside to eavesdrop.  “And after… dessert.”

“Your place or mine?”

His voice was such a rough growl that Miss Wruthers looked up, wide eyed with alarm.  Lilly smiled and waved goodbye to her, but she did lower her voice to ensure his privacy as much as possible.  “Yours.”

“Do I need to have any…equipment?”

The elevator dinged and the door slid open.  Ignoring whoever might be stepping out as well as the watching secretary, she reached up and dragged his mouth to hers for a hearty kiss.  “Just this, lover boy.”

Releasing him, she patted his cheek and stepped onto the elevator.  Before the door could shut, he blocked it with his hand.  Panting, he stared at her as if afraid to let her go.  His hair was mussed up, his tie crooked, and those poor tortured trousers would never be the same.  “Lilly?”

“Yes, Donovan?”

He cast his gaze down the length of her body to land on her favorite red heels.  “Wear these shoes tonight.”

She normally didn’t like to take such blatant orders from a man, but for him…  She smiled. “You got it.”

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