Friday, September 16, 2011

The Dark Side of T-R-O-U-B-L-E

The Dark Side of T-R-O-U-B-L-E
By Sable Hunter

Domestic abuse is disgusting. Unfortunately, Cooper, the heroine of T-R-O-U-B-L-E, is a victim of domestic abuse, and perhaps, one of the most tragic things about it is, nobody else knows. Domestic abuse is considerably more common than you think it is. More than 25 million American women are victims of domestic abuse. And it’s not just women. 4 out of every 10 victims is a man. Chances are, you know someone who is a victim. I know, I know. You may never talk about things this depressing with your friends. It is hard to confide in someone, and Lord knows it is hard to listen to things like that. The sad truth is, only 1% of all domestic violence incidents are reported to the police.
Cooper had been a battered wife; and until her husband had gone missing, she had no idea that she would ever be free of that torment. She did not understand a man’s gentle touch, or sweet caress, or tender love-making. She had heard of it, of course. But on some level, it was kind of like Santa Claus. A beautiful thought, to be sure, but a man who is strong and gentle could never really exist.
One of the most beautiful things about sex, and you know, I can think of a lot of beautiful things about sex, is the complete surrender and trust that you are giving to your lover. It is complete, and selfless and unconditional. It is a sign of great strength to be a tender lover, to be gentle and caring and giving. Anything less shows that something is wrong.
Nobody should tolerate a person who needs to beat someone else to feel better. Nobody needs to. There are plenty of men and women in the world who are secure enough to give to another person like that. Understand that I am no psychiatrist, but I know a thing or two about relationships. At some level, a person who batters their significant other is afraid. They are terrified of something; and whatever it is, they are handling it quite cowardly. It may be intimacy, or commitment, or judgment, or loneliness, but I promise, weakness and fear is at the root of that violence.
The solution for that kind of fear is love. A person who loves their partner cannot harm them. A person who loves one’s self does not need to force any affection or attention. Someone full of love can never abuse someone; allow abuse on one’s self, or anyone they care about. I strongly urge anyone aware of abuse or any signs of abuse to inform an authority immediately.
Wow, I ranted there, didn’t I? It is something I am passionate about. As a lover, and a creator of lover-fiction, I feel surrounded by it and I know what it is capable of and how magical it is. Hurting someone is never a consequence of real love. In fact, clearly it is indicative of an absence of love.
In T-R-O-U-B-L-E, a victim of domestic abuse discovers what real love is, and how a real man behaves. It is important to me that no person has to live with the suffering of an abusive relationship. A percentage of the sales of this book are going toward the Safe Place. The Safe Place is a shelter in Austin, Texas with programs and homes to aid victims of sexual and domestic violence as well as programs for rehabilitation, child care and prevention. If you would like to learn more about Safe Place, or get in touch to give or volunteer, please visit their website

Excerpt From T-R-O-U-B-L-E
Hearing the front door open, Ky turned to find a sight that stole his breath away. God, she
looked good enough to eat. Her face shone with excitement and her smile was totally contagious. It was all he could do to hold back from sweeping her in his arms and greeting her with a kiss.
"Hey, Ky. I am so glad you could come. And thanks for bringing the animals."‖ She was
definitely happy; there was no way she could hide that fact.
"Hello, sweetheart. We couldn‘t wait to get here." Opening the crew cab door, Samson
bounded out and Ky had to help a much more subdued Rover. Reaching in the back end, Ky picked up the cat carrier and the paper sacks containing the wine and the sex toy. He was saving the toy until after dinner, hoping to change the tone from friendly to erotic. Cooper held the door open and the dogs entered first. Stepping just inside, Ky set the carrier down and watched as Cooper sat down beside it to coax the kittens out of their confines. They didn‘t require coaxing. Out they bounded, eager to see where they were and what they could get into. "I remind you; I call them the wrecking crew," Ky dryly commented. "I don‘t care." Cooper smiled. "It will be so nice not to be alone."
She didn‘t look toward him as she said it, so she didn‘t see his reaction. Ky felt an
uncharacteristic tug at his heartstrings. He replied before he thought. "A woman like you should never be alone," he said softly.
Ky helped Cooper get the animals settled. They introduced them to their food and water
bowls and the kittens to their sand box Cooper had put under the sink in her bathroom.
"The food smells great. I‘m starving." Ky was serious, his stomach was growling and the
food smelled incredible.
"Then come sit down. It‘s all ready." She led him to the dining table and proceeded to set
the food down on hot pads so they could serve themselves family style. He uncorked the wine and she held the glasses as he poured. Ky noticed that her hands were shaking. What does she have to be nervous about?
"Did you go out and buy new plates and glasses?" Ky‘s tone was on the gruff side. Cooper immediately tensed and looked up at him with wide frightened eyes. She slowly sat the wine glasses down and stepped straight backwards a few feet, striving to put some distance between them.
"Yes, sir." She cast her eyes down and whispered, "I‘m sorry."
What happened? Ky was dumbstruck. He couldn‘t believe that she had transformed before his very eyes. One moment she had been happy and excited, the next she was trembling— obviously frightened. Of him. God, she was afraid of him!
Thinking quickly, he did the most reassuring thing he could think of. He sank to his knees at her feet and held his hands out toward her, palm up. "Baby. Don‘t be afraid of me. I would never hurt you."
She watched him carefully, taking a step or two back. Ky hadn‘t been a witness to how she had reacted to the serpent; he‘d had his back to her. However, if he had to bet—the fear on her face then, would be no worse than now. "Come here, love. You can trust me. I‘m harmless. I promise." He spoke softly, just as he did to small, frightened animals people brought to the shelter. "You‘re safe with me; I‘d protect you with my life."
He watched her lift her eyes to his. She worried her bottom lip, thinking. Then, she took one step forward, then two, until she stepped into his arms. He held her close, kissing her right in her middle, over and over, through her clothes.
"I bought the plates and glasses so we would both have one; I only had enough for me
before." She pulled on his hands. "Come on, let‘s eat."
Ky stood. "Sweetheart, don‘t you want to tell me why you were so afraid? You didn‘t really
think I was angry with you, did you?" He stood close to her, willing her to think of him not as a threat, but as a shield against whatever would threaten her.
"No, I don‘t think you would hurt me. I…I overreacted. I‘m sorry." Cooper looked just over
Ky‘s shoulder. She wasn‘t quite meeting his gaze.
"Look at me, baby. Look at me," Ky urged her. "Won‘t you tell me why you reacted that
way? Has someone hurt you?"
"I‘m fine." She walked to the table and pulled out their chairs. "Please, Ky. Don‘t make
me…I don‘t want to…I…please don‘t make me—"
"Shhh…It‘s okay. I‘m sorry, we don‘t need to discuss it now." He went to her, and she
stiffened slightly when he took her in his arms. "It‘s perfectly all right. Let‘s enjoy ourselves."
The subject wasn‘t closed by a long shot; he would make sure of that. But it could wait. Right now, they were together and nothing or no one would ever hurt her again. And she could take that to the bank, because it was non-negotiable.
They sat down to fill their plates and then couldn‘t eat for laughing at the animals. "Look at them. They‘re all lined up." And they were, from the biggest to the smallest–they were sitting in a row facing the couple that had shown them every kindness.
"If you guys have finished eating, why don‘t you give us some privacy?" Ky was kidding,
but Samson surprised him, got up, and headed for the living area. The others followed suit, causing Cooper to dissolve in a fit of giggles.
Ky was entranced. He loved to watch her have fun. She was absolutely beautiful and he
couldn‘t wait to taste her lips and every other part of her. But he forced himself to eat, not that it was a chore. The food was fabulous. "You‘re a very good cook."
"Thank you." She looked like she was about to say something else, but she stopped herself.
Cooper couldn‘t believe it. She almost told him about Richard and how they never shared a meal. How odd that she felt compelled to talk to this man she barely knew. There was no denying it though, she felt safe with him–safer than she had felt in a long time. This was dangerous. Cooper Lawson knew Kyler Landon could become highly addictive."The etouffee was great, but this bread pudding is out of this world."‖ Ky helped himself to a second portion.
"I‘m making a pig of myself, but I don‘t get home cooking like this very often.
Don‘t you want some?" He held his hand out for her plate.
"No, I‘d better not." Cooper looked at his face, trying to ascertain if he was testing her. Richard would have taken the opportunity to point out how much she didn‘t need to be eating sweets, but Ky looked sincere. "Really, you go ahead. I‘ve had enough."
He eyed her curiously. "You‘re not dieting, are you, Cooper?"
Oh, no. Here it comes. A lecture. Cooper hung her head. "Of course. I know I‘m fat.
Obviously, I need to be on a diet."
"What in the hell are you talking about, Cooper?" Ky sat his fork down and lifted her chin
so she would look at him. "You are perfect. Your body looks the way a woman‘s body is
supposed to look."
"You don‘t have to say that, Ky," she tried to smile. "I‘m not going to take your bread
pudding away from you."
"Not all men like ultra thin women, Cooper. I like my woman to be a woman. With real
curves, all soft and luscious." His voice was hypnotizing her, and when she came to herself, she realized she was leaning closer to him by the moment.
"I‘ll put on a pot of coffee." She got up, abruptly, and left him sitting there.
He followed her. Ky walked right up on her, close enough she could feel his heat. With one hand, he pulled back the thick, sexy weight of her hair, so he could plant tiny kisses on the sweet curve of her neck.
She shivered. "Ky, please don‘t," she whispered.
"Why not, babe?" He let his tongue dance along her skin. She jabbed the plug at the wall a few times before she actually got it into the receptacle. "Don‘t you want to? Aren‘t you attracted to me?"
"Of course, I am. Look at you. But, I‘m… " She didn‘t know what to say. Desire for him
was welling up in her, almost to overflowing. But she was afraid. Not of him. She was afraid Richard had been right. She was afraid she was lacking the very things that would satisfy a man such as Ky.
"Oh, babe," he whispered next to her skin. "I‘ll tell you what you are. You are exquisite."
For just a moment, she allowed herself to lean back into him. He rubbed his hands up her arms and then back down, when all hell broke loose.
A raucous chorus of yelps, howls, and baying filled the house. The loud noise had scared the cats who were tearing around the room, thinking the devil himself was at their heels. Samson and Rover were standing at the back door, barking at something on the other side of the screen.
Cooper had left both the front and the back doors open, with just the screen doors in place, letting the late summer breeze fill the house. Ky purposefully strode to the door, ready to do battle. "Whoa!" What he saw caused him to back up.
"What is it?" Cooper couldn‘t imagine what would give Ky pause.
"It‘s a skunk," Ky spoke softly. "Samson. Rover. Come here boys. Come here before you
get an unexpected surprise."
"It‘s all right.‖ Cooper stepped around Ky and pulled the dogs away from the door.
"That‘s Leroy. I‘ve been feeding him." Cooper walked out the door and the skunk just stood calmly, waiting for her to pour some food from a bag she had hidden behind the door.
"Love, I don‘t think that‘s a wise idea." Cooper stepped up to the skunk and knelt down to
stroke his silky fur.
"Well, I‘ll be damned."


June M. said...

I think it is great that you wrote a book dealing with domestic violence. My sister was a victim for years and only recently left/divorced her abuser (she was afraid her children would be forced to visit him w/o being old enough to decide/etc). I am so happy that she is away from that and hope that she finds someone who will show her how beautiful and special she is, and even more that she learns this for herself.

sable hunter said...

June - I have family experience also and it is a heartbreaking situation - I am so glad your sister escaped. And I hope she finds a Ky for herself. Thanks for commenting.