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Chapter One 1 page

Relative clauses (Structure widely used in written descriptions)

 

1. A relative clause adds information about one of the nouns in the main clause. The relative clause comes immediately after the noun it relates to:

Mr McElroy, who lived in the big rambling house next to our Store, was very tall and broad.

 

2. A relative clause goes at the beginning of a relative clause:

 

WHO, WHOM

 

“Who” and “Whom” are used for people. “Whom” is only used when the relative pronoun is the object of the relative clause:

He was a simple man who sold patent medicine.

The lawyer whom you requested is unavailable.

WHICH

 

“Which” is used for things:

I enjoyed the book which you lent me.

THAT

 

“That” may often be used instead of “who”, “whom” or “which”:

I enjoyed the book that you lent me.

WHOSE

 

We use “Whose” in a relative clause to show who something belongs to. It may be used for people or things:

Mr McElroy, whose garden I enjoyed playing in, hardly ever spoke to me.

That’s the house whose garden is open to the public.

3. There are two main types of relative clauses:

 

1) Defining relative clauses.

 

The information in a defining relative clause is essential to the meaning of the main clause. If the defining relative clause is taken away, the meaning of the main clause is not clear:

He was the only Negro I knew who wore matching pants and jackets.

In defining relative clauses:

- you may leave out the relative pronoun if it is the object of the relative clause;

- you should not use commas to separate the relative clause from the rest of the sentence.

 

2) Non- defining relative clauses.

The information in a non-defining relative clause is extra. If the non-defining relative is taken away, the meaning of the main clause is still clear:

Mr McElroy, who lived in the big rambling house next to our Store, was very tall and broad.

In non-defining relative clauses:

- you must not leave out the relative pronoun, even if it is the object of the clause;

- you must not use the relative pronoun “that”;

- you must use a comma or commas to separate the clause from the rest of the sentence.

 

4. Rewrite the following sentences as one sentence, using relative clauses, and making any other necessary changes.

 

1. My aunt was an adult. She impressed me a lot as a child.

2. She had a short plump figure. Her figure made it difficult to find attractive clothes.

3. In spite of this, she had a large wardrobe. I was allowed to help her select something colourful from her wardrobe. She would brighten up the dark day with something colourful.

4. She had two habits. These two habits fascinated me and worried my mother.

5. Hanging from her mouth she kept a lighted cigarette. Her mouth was generously painted bright red or orange. The cigarette was never removed to embrace a child or to talk.

6. She was a great talker. Her favourite subject was the lives and loves of friends, relatives and neighbours.



7. She recounted scandals to my mother. My mother tried to change the subject if she saw me listening.

 

 

Write paragraphs (using relative clauses) on the following topics:

 

  1. Describe your own character. At least one of the adjectives must be negative.
  2. Describe a person from your childhood who you remember well.
  3. Describe the personality of somebody you look up to.

 

Topic sentence:

- relationship to you (where or how you knew the person)

Supporting sentences (select some of your impressions):

- occupation

- appearance: age, attractiveness, some special features

- clothes: person’s usual style

- behaviour: voice, smile, walk, gestures

- character: positive / negative aspects

Concluding sentence:

- summarize what knowing this person meant for you.

 

Note: Describing a person, you must decide on the overall impression. Select the most obvious personality traits of an individual for your description and arrange them in a logical order.

 

 

 

Chapter One

MacKensie slowed the rental car and looked down the curving cobblestoned driveway to the red brick English Tudor house. Surely this was a mistake. But the number on the wrought-iron gate matched the one on the form from Exchanges for Vacations. She drove past a landscaped lawn the vibrant green of the Pacific Northwest and stopped in front of the garage.

Feeling as if someone would call the police on her at any moment, she walked up the steps to the front door. Here was the true test: a keypad. She punched in the number the owner had e-mailed, and her jaw dropped when the lock snicked open. Right place.

She glanced down at her scruffy T-shirt and faded jeans. Wrong person.

A growl at the door announced the reason the owner had picked Mac rather than some other vacation-exchange client. She huffed a laugh. It was probably the first time anyone had ever chosen her for anything. She pushed the door open. “Hey, Butler.”

Another growl, a whine. Mac dropped to her knees on the tile flooring, averted her gaze, and held out her hand. “Easy, Butler.” His owner, Alex, called him all bluff and no follow-through. He'd damned well better be right. She sure didn't want to start her new life by becoming a dog's chew toy.

In her peripheral vision, she watched the elderly black mongrel inch up to her hand, tail curled under his belly. A scared dog, the most dangerous kind. But oh, the scars on his muzzle and his legs, his ragged ear, told a story of pain. “You've had a hard life, haven't you? Me too. I think we can be buddies, don't you?”

She felt the warm muzzle touch her hand, and she turned slowly. Butler held his ground, his tail still low but starting to wave back and forth. He wanted to be friends so badly. A mixture of Lab and golden retriever, she'd guess, the friendliest breeds in the world. “Yeah, we're good, huh, Butler.” She gently scratched his neck and ruffled his fur. He edged close, and the big body started to wiggle.

She laughed, still not moving anything but her hand, slowing her petting and letting him nudge her hand. As they got to know each other, she gave him a quick once-over to make sure there weren't any problems the owner hadn't mentioned. She could do a more complete one later. “But you look just fine and healthy, don't you, Butler?” she crooned. Babysitting him would be a pleasure, not a chore. She gave him a final pat and rose.

Her suitcase weighed a ton and grew heavier as she climbed the stairs. Panting, she stopped on the little landing and ran a hand over the hand-carved railing. What a place. Was the owner insane, wanting to exchange this palace for her tiny Iowa house?

On the second floor, she checked out the guest rooms. The owner's information sheet indicated she could take any of them. Tough choice, but the view of the Olympic Mountains decided her on the fourth one. With pale blue floral wallpaper and a cream and blue Oriental carpet on the floor, the room felt very peaceful. With her limited wardrobe of interview clothes and jeans, unpacking took only a few minutes.

Time for a tour of the house. She trotted downstairs and explored what would be her home for the next two weeks. On the west side: a formal living room with a gas fireplace and a traditional den that held an office area, dark leather furniture, and well-filled bookcases. She stopped long enough to check the books. Classics and mysteries. History and historical fiction, with a major emphasis on war. Bloodthirsty guy. No romance books—not surprising—but very little science fiction either. Pretty worthless library. Oh well.

She continued and found a well-appointed kitchen near the back of the house. The east side held a formal dining room and a cozy family room that led onto a patio. Walking back toward the foyer, she noticed a heavy, dark oak door tucked neatly under the staircase. Just like Harry Potter's cupboard, only done with style.

Locked.

Now isn't that odd? The master bedroom hadn't been locked, and neither had the den with all the office equipment, although the oak filing cabinets were. The owner had even left the computer unprotected, with a note taped on the monitor that she could use it if she wanted.

So what was behind this door?

Butler walked up behind her, his toenails clicking on the pale gray tile.

“You're right, guy,” she told him. “None of my business. Why don't you show me the backyard?”

Out through the family room to the covered patio and, okay, if she'd fallen into hog heaven, so had Butler, with at least an acre of backyard. Wiggling in excitement, he brought her a ragged ball for her to throw. And throw. And throw. For an old dog, he didn't tire out worth a darn. Finally she called it quits and tossed the ball into a box filled with more throw toys. “We'll get to those tomorrow,” she told him.

The uncovered end of the patio had an inground Jacuzzi.

She eyed it. The foster home where she'd been raised hadn't possessed amenities like Jacuzzis, and she sure hadn't had one during her year on the streets. She'd been in a hot tub twice during her college years at Iowa State, none since. Although lots of homes in Oak Hollow had Jacuzzis, once her past had been discovered, the good and righteous townspeople shunned her socially, even if she was good enough to treat their pets. And in all reality, if she hadn't partnered with Jim Anderson in the only vet clinic in town, they probably wouldn't have allowed her to touch their pets.

The familiar bitterness mingled with sadness, and then she brushed the emotions away. Hey, she was here, in Seattle. No one knew her or that she'd been a whore. She could and would start a whole new life.

And that life really should include a Jacuzzi. She eyed the eight-foot brick fence around the backyard. No one could see over that thing. Giggling at her boldness, she stripped right down to her birthday suit.

* * * * *

Alexander Fontaine strolled toward the security gate at Sea-Tac Airport. Excellent timing. He'd left just enough time to clear security before the plane to Des Moines boarded. As he walked, he programmed a reminder on his BlackBerry to check that the veterinarian was doing all right with his dog. Her credentials had been excellent, but Butler had never been impressed by academic awards.

Before he'd finished, the phone rang. He glanced at the screen. The Seattle Harbor Hotel. Odd. He thought he'd left everything tied up, at least until he returned.

“This is Fontaine.”

“Alex, this is Craig Dunlap. I wanted to check…” The manager of the hotel paused. “Ah, it's about the seating arrangements at the ball.”

“Go on.” The head table's seating had been set and confirmed weeks ago.

“My secretary had a call from your…from Miss Hanover. She wanted to add a few extra people and rearrange the—”

“Stop.” Alex took a breath to cool his anger. Not Dunlap's fault in any way. “Craig, I appreciate your calling to confirm. Please leave the seating arrangements as they are and tear up anything Miss Hanover suggested. Now and in the future.”

“Of course, sir.”

“I'm sorry for any inconvenience this”—millstone around my neck—“lady might have caused. Thank you again for checking.”

“My pleasure, sir.”

Alex flipped the phone shut, then opened it to check the recent calls. Five from Cynthia. With a grunt of annoyance, he dropped the phone back in his pocket. The woman had passed persistent and headed right into obsessed. Apparently his plan of escaping her attentions by attending a conference and touring Fontaine holdings in Iowa had been extremely optimistic.

He dodged a woman pulling her bag on a leash, then a gaggle of teenagers. What was he going to do about her?

“No…my bag! Stop!” The wavering voice came from behind him.

Alex turned and spotted an elderly woman frantically trying to rise from the floor. A suitcase lay beside her. The unkempt man sprinting away from her, and toward Alex, had a black purse tucked under his arm like a football.

Anger welled up inside Alex. A man had a responsibility to protect the helpless, not abuse them. This looked like a fine time to do some instruction. He turned away then, just as the thief darted past, and stuck his foot out. The man went down with a satisfying thud.

Alex put a foot on the purse strap, figuring the thief would cut his losses and escape. Instead the man snarled. From the whites around his pupils, he appeared higher than a kite. He pulled a knife and sprang at Alex. Alex blocked, knocking the knife to the outside, and punched him hard in the jaw.

Yeah, he was high all right. The thief shook off the punch and charged again, swinging the knife.

Alex started to dodge, but a little teenager ran right between them. Unable to do anything else, Alex grabbed her, spinning her out of the way and taking the knife in the back of his shoulder.

Pain ripped through him in a searing-hot flash. Growling, Alex turned, grabbed the man's knife arm, and side kicked into his stomach.

No reaction. He slammed his foot farther to the left, feeling the bastard's ribs break like kindling. And the guy was still on his feet, waving the damned knife. Hell with this. With one savage kick, Alex took out the guy's knee.

PCP or not, nobody walked on a joint that wasn't there. Howling curses, the man crumpled. Unable to rise, he pounded his knife on the floor.

Alex eyed him and considered thumping him one more time just to shut him up. Instead, as blood trickled down his back, he went to help the old lady to her feet and give her back her purse.

“Bless your heart,” she said, clutching the purse to her chest. “I don't know what I'd have done if he'd gotten away. I have a new great-grandchild in Ohio, and—”

Airport security arrived then to haul the druggie away, and Alex ended up in the nearest emergency room getting his back stitched up. By the time he finished giving the police a statement, his flight had departed with his luggage on it. Due to a plane being taken out of service, all seating on the next flight was completely filled, with a long waiting list, and the soonest he could reschedule his flight was two days away.

Well, fine. He hadn't wanted to go to Iowa anyway.

Back hurting like hell, Alex got in his car and headed home.

* * * * *

Mac sprawled in the Jacuzzi, legs floating in the swirling water. As steam rose from the surface, the slight tang of chlorine blended with the fragrant rosebush climbing the house. Bubbles everywhere, taking away the aches of the long flight and the stress of city driving. A slow rain had started a few minutes before, sending down little cold drops onto her exposed shoulders. Maybe she'd died and gone to heaven.

But when she shoved her hair back, she noticed her fingers had turned to pale prunes. No prunes allowed in heaven. Time to get out.

She'd soaked so long, her body radiated waves of heat as she picked up her jeans and shirt. Ugh. Already wet from the rain. She should have left them under the veranda, but with her enthusiasm about getting into the Jacuzzi, she hadn't been thinking. Laughing, she used the damp clothing to wipe herself down before entering the house bare-ass naked. Hey, Butler wouldn't tell, right? Feeling wonderfully decadent, she waltzed through the house, carrying her damp clothing.

By the stairs, she glanced at the locked door. And stepped closer.

No no no, MacKensie, don't touch. This is an obsession. Don't give in. She put her hand on the knob, gritting her teeth when it didn't turn.

It wouldn't open.

The floor shifted under her feet, and she could almost hear a door slamming shut, over and over, like explosions of sound back into her past. Then Arlene would turn the key, shutting her into the tiny space and the awful, monster-filled darkness that seemed to suck away all the air in the room.

Mac's hand turned clammy, slipping on the knob as she heard her foster mother's voice, “You little demon from hell. You stay in there until you're fit for the light.” Hours and hours in darkness and fear.

A whine and a wet nose made her jump. “Frak me!”

Butler looked up at her with big eyes, tail wagging.

“Sorry, darling.” Heart racing, she pulled her hand off the knob to rub his head and whisper, “Your babysitter's a mess.” Especially when finding a locked door. In her very own vacation house. Stomach twisting, she fought…and lost.

A pocket in her damp jeans yielded the wallet where her lock picks mingled with the coins. She smiled and pulled two out. An inside door—piece of cake. A trickle of excitement traveled up her spine. She hadn't popped a door open since last year when Old Maude had gotten locked out of her house. Of course, proving she could break in hadn't done her reputation in Oak Hollow any good.

Just open it. That wasn't so bad a crime. Picks in hand, she knelt in front of the door. One pin, a little pressure… Gently, gently. The next, rake across it. A simple lock. The door swung open.

Oh yeah. The tightness in her chest disappeared; she could take a deep breath again. The door was open.

She glanced at Butler, who'd sat down to watch her, then at the edge of darkness. Now why had the owner locked the door? “Maybe I should take a quick look, huh, buddy?” Who knows, maybe the owner left a heater on or something. Can't have the place burning down, right? Really, just think of it as her duty to a vacation-exchange partner.

She pushed the door open a little farther, and the scent of leather drifted to her. Her fingers found the light switch, and old-fashioned brass sconces on the walls lit with a subtle flickering like candlelight.

Frak me, but what is this? Iron bolts studded a wall of red brick. Manacles dangled from the higher rings, shackles lay on the floor. The back wall had a big, leather-covered cross with cuffs. A St. Andrew's cross. She not only remembered the name, but she knew what this place was: a dungeon—a private BDSM dungeon. And very well equipped.

Excitement slid across her skin like a cool breeze. The first time she'd seen a BDSM club had been years and years ago when an elderly businessman with a taste for the exotic had hired her for the whole evening. God, the tales of whips and bondage scared her, but her pimp terrified her more. Mac's mouth twisted as she remembered how Ajax had patted her on the head like a dog before shoving her into the man's car.

She'd been prepared for pain. To her shock, the john—the client—made her strap him to the cross and beat him with a switch. Hitting him, seeing his skin redden and welts appear, had made her sick inside. But it made him rock hard, and he'd barely lasted a second afterward. He departed, leaving Mac to wander around the club. And then she'd seen a man—a Dom—doing what she'd just done, whipping his sub, only with far-greater skill and…something else. She watched how he controlled his submissive, how he alternated pain with gentle touches. He'd touch the woman intimately and then caress her face before starting again.

Mac hadn't been able to stop watching. She hadn't felt arousal—hell, sex hadn't interested her since her first month as a hooker—but something else.

Later, in college, she'd ventured into a different BDSM club, not once, but twice. But when a Dom had approached her, she'd fled. No one was going to control her, no matter how…interesting it looked. She'd had enough of that to last her whole life.

Her hands hurt. Mac blinked and refocused in the present. Dungeon.Vacation exchange. Seattle. Giving a snort of exasperation, she uncurled her fingers where the nails dug into her palms. Veterinarian, Mac, remember? Not a whore, not since Jim and Mary had found her broken on the sidewalk. Her own personal angels, and they'd better reside in heaven now or she'd kick God's ass.

After pushing the door almost closed to keep Butler out, Mac slunk in, feeling like a dog herself. A naked alley dog. So a dungeon in the heart of a ritzy, stuffy house. Who knew?

She bit her lip. The owner wouldn't know if she snooped a little, and she could look at everything and actually satisfy her curiosity in a way she couldn't at the clubs.

Afterward she could leave the door unlocked until her vacation ended. Unlocked doors didn't bother her at all.

Maybe she should run upstairs and get some clothes on? Running around like this was…strange. But rather exciting. She grinned and walked across the room.

She tried out the waist-high bondage table, lying on it faceup. Imagining herself in the cuffs and strapped down with someone standing over her gave her a horribly vulnerable feeling…and yet the soft leather seemed to caress her skin. Next she stood against the massive wooden St. Andrew's cross fastened to the wall, remembering the women in the club, hands raised over their heads, legs spread. When her nipples tightened to aching points, she looked around for a source of cold air and found none.

She examined the nasty whips and then slapped one of the multistranded floggers against her leg. It created an odd thuddy sensation, not the stinging she'd expected. The thin wooden cane that she tried next hurt a lot more.

Whoever lives here must be a very scary person. Good thing he's gone.

Finally she came to the one piece of equipment that kept drawing her attention. She circled the spanking thing twice, trying to ignore the needy twisting inside. But just the thought of spanking had always…bothered her. She brushed her hand over the firm leather and felt a tremor of excitement. All right, then. How would a person use this one? It looked an awful lot like a vaulting horse for gymnastics, almost a sawhorse with a barrel shape on top. But no gym vaulting horse boasted leather cuffs on the legs. Littler cuffs on that side and bigger ones here indicated that a person didn't straddle the horse but would lie across the barrel part, head down and butt up.

What would that feel like?

Well, she'd tried everything else in the place. With a tiny giggle, she jumped up and draped herself over the top.

Chapter Two

Alex parked next to the cheap rental in his driveway. Obviously the exchange person had arrived. Had Butler liked her? Finding the woman's mangled remains in the foyer would really top off the day.

Hopefully he could work out some arrangement with her. By the time he could get a flight, the conference would be almost over, so he saw no point in pursuing that plan. Damned if he'd take up residency in some hotel in his own town. She'd just have to see reason. The house was big enough they didn't have to run into each other, or maybe he'd give her enough money to rent a hotel.

He walked in and called, “Hello.”

Silence.

Then with a woof of delight, Butler appeared from around a corner, skidding on the slick marble tiles in his excitement. Alex chuckled as he petted the squirming beast. They'd lived together for a good five years, ever since he'd found the dog skulking around the garbage bin at the beach house. His mother hadn't been impressed, but dignity ranked high on her list of priorities and was nonexistent on Butler's.

“So where's our tenant?” Alex asked as he tugged gently on Butler's ears. He didn't hear any noise in the house, so she was probably upstairs unpacking. As he headed toward the stairs, he felt a warm trickle from under the dressing the emergency-room nurse had applied. Apparently his stitches hadn't appreciated being rubbed against a car seat. Turning, he headed for the dungeon, where he kept most of his first-aid supplies. Might as well patch himself up, although that might prove difficult, considering the wound was on his back. Maybe he'd grab some gauze and tape and see if he could get the woman to slap it on. She was a vet, after all, which was one of the main reasons he'd chosen her.

He went down the hallway to his dungeon and stopped. The door stood slightly ajar, and he knew he'd locked it before he left. In fact, he'd even checked it before leaving. Anger unfurled inside him, growing hard and fast. The terms of the vacation trade were spelled out clearly in the contract, including the locking of nonessential rooms. She'd deliberately broken in.

He couldn't hear anything inside, but he'd soundproofed the room years ago.

Placing a hand on the door, he silently pushed it open. Not difficult to spot her. She'd draped herself over the spanking bench, head hanging down on one side, legs on the other, with her ass—a pretty, round ass—up in the air.

Well, well. A trickle of humor dampened the anger. Now wasn't that an appropriate position for someone richly deserving punishment?

He'd enjoy turning those cheeks a nice pink.

He walked over silently. Before she could move, he set his hand on the back of her neck, holding her firmly across the horse. She gave a yelp of surprise. Her thick, wavy golden hair hung almost to the floor, concealing her face. Maybe five-five or so, she had a nicely toned body.

Since he'd adjusted the horse for Cynthia's taller body, this smaller woman's arms and legs dangled, giving her no leverage to struggle. Although she was certainly trying.

He didn't bother to listen to the sputtering and cursing coming from the submissive under his hands. And that she was submissive, he had no doubt. Someone might have played on the spanking horse, possibly, but the way she'd positioned herself so carefully, and the tiny wiggle she'd given when finally in position, spoke of a person imagining herself helpless and being excited at the idea.

A Dom had a duty to give a submissive what she needed, not always what she wanted…and to administer punishment as required.

“I locked this room before I left. You broke in.” A sub always needed to know the reason for the punishment. He gave her a hard swat, precisely placed on the fullest part of her buttocks.

What is the owner doing home? A second later, the man's hand hit Mac's bottom, the stinging pain almost extinguished by her shock. He hit me! She struggled furiously, but his large hand gripped her neck and pressed down unyieldingly.

Naked and caught. Humiliation swept through her in a hot wave. “Let me go!”

He didn't respond to her struggles or shouts, as if what she said was meaningless. His voice deep and controlled, he said slowly, “I trusted you with my house and my dog. Rather than respecting that, you break into a locked room and make yourself at home. Your punishment is five swats.” His hand slammed across her bottom again.

And again.

The burning pain swamped her mind. The fiery sensations on her bare skin hit each time in the same spot. At the fourth blow, her eyes filled with tears. His hand felt hot against her neck as his grip on it eased slightly. From deep inside her, guilt and shame welled up, choking off her yells. She shouldn't have opened a locked door; she'd betrayed an agreement, a trust.

But spanking? No one had ever spanked her. Ever. Foster children got time-outs; children who belonged got spanked.

As he gave the final swat, a shudder ran through her, leaving her trembling inside and out.

He still held her firmly with one hand; now the other stroked down her back, a firm, knowing touch. Not sexual but…assessing. When the hand reached her stinging bottom, she hissed with the increased pain.

“I want you to remain in this position—what was your name?—ah, MacKensie. Is that clear?”

“Yes.” She couldn't manage more than a whisper as the magnitude of her terrible blunder struck her harder than his blows. Oh God, what have I done? She'd not only broken the Exchanges contract, but more… Her neurotic need to open doors had destroyed her new start. How could she get a job as a vet out here if he turned her into the police? Or he could do something worse…

After Exchanges sent Fontaine's bio, she'd checked him out on the Net. He was not only richer than God, but he mingled with the elite in Seattle society. He could easily destroy her reputation. Who would hire her if he denounced her?

Footsteps moved away and returned. Then his hand pressed down on the small of her back. “This won't feel good, but it will help the pain and redness.” She had only a second to wonder what he meant before he began to massage lotion into her skin, right where he'd hit her. As pain flared back to life, she jerked, arched, tried to kick—and got a swat on her burning butt.

“Lie still.” The sheer authority in his voice made her force herself back down. “Good girl.” His touch gentled, and the pain eased, leaving only a hot throbbing in its wake. “Up you come now.” He lifted her off the bench. Broad hands gripped her upper arms, steadying her when she wobbled.


Date: 2014-12-29; view: 907


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