USA Today Bestselling Author
For three years I’ve been relying on Aldric.
After my parents died, he swooped in to take care of me.
It’s not fair to him. I know I’m holding him back.
I’m a ballerina, but only in private.
I’m also Little…but only in private.
My fantasy of Aldric being the Daddy I crave is just that, a fantasy.
What if I admit what I really want and I lose him?
With our age difference, I know we have an unconventional relationship.
There’s no place I’d rather be than with Juliet.
She’s my Little, even if she doesn’t realize it.
We live together. I take care of everything for her while she grieves.
If this is all I ever get with Juliet, I will take it.
She’s mine even though I’ve never told her.
I could take a risk and ask for more, but what if I lose her?
We met Juliet and Aldric at the end of Building Trust, Aldric is giving dance lessons at Blossom Ridge and already it’s a huge success with the girls. Juliet accompanied him for that first lesson and was immediately drawn to the group as they were discussing the naughtiest things they do for attention. Aldric notices since she rarely goes out in public and for her to engage with these women was totally out of the norm.
He’s also encouraged, he’s a Daddy and for years he’s been taking care of Juliet. In his own mind he’s her Daddy yet he’s not. He moved in to help her after her parents died and he has no desire to leave her. He just doesn’t want to scare her away.
That evening after they’ve eaten dinner, they have an interesting discussion about what happened that day.
This is a favorite scene.
I met Aldric soon after we moved here. He was twenty-two. My parents hired him to teach classes. I thought he was the most gorgeous man I’d ever seen. I’m pretty sure I fell in love with him when I was five. Most people would probably think that’s crazy, but since I’ve never told a soul…
During my childhood, Aldric came and went many times. He was a dancer, after all. He went to New York for a few years and later Los Angeles. But he always came back, and my heart always seized when he did.
I flinch as he interrupts my thoughts. “Did you know?” I clear my voice. “Did you know those women were, uh… Little?”
The moment the word comes out of my mouth, I wish I could take it back. I’ve revealed too much, and I know it immediately when his brows rise high. “I did. How do you know that term, honey?” His voice is gentle. His hand stiffens on my cheek.
My face heats. I shrug. “Internet.”
He narrows his gaze. “Research?”
“Or whatever. That’s not important.” I wave a hand between us and slide down from my stool on the opposite side. For once, I need some space. That’s rare. Usually, I prefer there be no space between us and I relish the times he’s this close to me.
I snag my plate and take it to the sink.
Aldric follows me, removes it from my hand, and sets it on the counter. “Juliet…”
I spin around, intent on fleeing this room and this conversation. “Shit,” I mutter under my breath.
“Juliet?” His voice is higher. “You’re just going to cuss and walk away?” He’s following me. Shit shit shit.
I hurry down the hall and into my bedroom. When I start to close the door, he sets his hand on it and prevents me from hiding.
“I’m tired, Aldric.”
“No, you’re not. You’re embarrassed. And I don’t want you to be. I want you to talk to me.”
I turn and head for my attached bath and step inside, hoping to at least put some space between us. I’m not going to be able to hide from him. It won’t do me any good to shut the door. It would be childish. But at least I can busy myself in front of the mirror.
So, I take the band out of my braid and proceed to unravel it, knowing I can stand here and brush through the length for a while to avoid facing him.
I’m more than aware of Aldric taking a seat on my bed. He’s not going away. I have mixed feelings about this new development. Usually, I like it when he’s close. He rarely comes into my bedroom. But tonight I’m beyond flustered.
After a few minutes, Aldric speaks again. “Talk to me, honey. I’m not leaving. We’re past overdue for a serious conversation.”
I put my brush down and turn toward him, leaning in the doorway. “We’re not. We’re fine. Can you please just forget you overheard me and drop this subject entirely?” It’s been a long time since I’ve been this unnerved.
I know it’s wrong of me to behave the way I do. On so many levels. I’m keeping Aldric from having a normal life while he continues to live here with me. It’s unconventional. I’m sure people talk about us or at least wonder about us. Hell, most people probably assume we’re a couple.
I’m equally certain the idea has never crossed Aldric’s mind. He’s my… guardian. He sees himself as my caretaker. When my parents died, he moved into my home to take care of me.
It’s not his fault I’ve always fantasized I’m living a different life with him. It’s certainly not his fault I’m still secretly drooling over him at twenty-three and have spent years doing so. He doesn’t even know it.
I don’t know why he stays. I’m a disaster. Sure, he was meant to be my guardian. If I’d been a child, he would have raised me. But I wasn’t a child when they died. I was an adult. I should have been able to pull myself together after a few days or weeks and let him go.
I didn’t. On purpose. I’ve never pulled myself together. Not just because I don’t want Aldric to leave but also because I haven’t faced what happened to my parents. We both know it. We just don’t discuss it.
“No. We’re going to talk,” he insists. He looks around my room slowly. “You never let me update your bedroom. I’ve asked many times. Why?”
This change of subject surprises me, but then I glance around, following his gaze and groan. “I’ve told you. My mother decorated it. It’s got sentimental value. I don’t want to change it.”
This is true. Partly. My mother dreamed of this princess haven and my father made it happen. Pink frilly everything. Bedding, curtains, rugs. Even a vanity table with a pink ruffled skirt. There’s a ballerina lamp and a music box. My pillows are fluffy and pink.
Aldric clears his throat. “Why have you been researching age play, Juliet?”
“Why do you know about it?” I toss back, rather proud of myself.
“I’ve known I’m a Daddy since before you could read, honey. It’s in my blood. Answer my question.” He looks me dead in the eye while he tells me this, never wavering.
I gasp, mostly because I’m shocked. All this time…
We’re treading in uncharted territory here. I think I’m going to faint. I’ve always assumed Aldric took care of me the way he does because I work hard to make it seem like I’m incapable of doing so myself. I’ve always thought he stayed with me out of obligation to my parents.
I lick my lips. My mind is spinning in ten directions.
“Are you a Little, Juliet?” he asks.
I shrug, glancing down. I don’t know how to respond. Part of me is elated. I’ve been pretending he’s a Daddy for years. Pretending he’s my Daddy in fact.
He draws in a deep breath. “It makes sense. I should have known. I’ve even considered it many times, but I wasn’t sure.”
It’s not like there wasn’t a billboard. I’m as Little as they come. I’ve read every book and researched every possible site in existence. I’ve never encountered anyone who’s as Little as me. The only reason it hasn’t ever sent me into a full panic is because I’m aware I’m in good company. I’m not the only Little in the world. There are tons of women like me. Women who prefer to be nurtured and cared for. Women who don’t want to be adults.
What I didn’t know was that Blossom Ridge was a resort for age play. I didn’t realize until Aldric took me there today that everyone taking his class would be my age or older living in an age-play relationship. I was stunned and spent the entire class sitting in the corner of the room pretending to read while secretly soaking in the atmosphere.
My heart was racing the entire hour. It was supposed to be two hours, but during the break, the women in the class ended up in a heated discussion about who was the naughtiest. I was drawn to them like a magnet.
Aldric is right. It’s not like me to enter into a conversation with virtual strangers. I never do that. But the more they talked, the more I wanted to belong. To fit in with other people for the first time in my life. I felt safe. And I shared something incredibly personal. The fact that I dance when I’m alone and don’t tell Aldric.
It was out of context of course. He’s not my Daddy. But they didn’t know that. In fact, I’m sure they assumed he is my Daddy.
Also shocking was the way Aldric worked with them. He taught the modern dance class as if it were a room full of actual children. He spoke to them like a Daddy would. I sat stunned, pretending not to pay attention. Soaking it all in.
I swallow and meet Aldric’s gaze, crossing my arms to hug myself. I’m wearing a leotard, mostly because I’m often wearing a leotard. I was raised wearing them. I own dozens. They’re comfortable. Most days I either wear a pink leo with soft pink sweats over it or a simple tank top and spandex shorts.
I’m petite and well aware I have a dancer’s body. Lean and small. Unfortunately, I’m also a bit on the shorter end of most ballerinas. Unfortunately for my parents, that is. Not for me. I never wanted to be a ballerina.
I love dance. It’s in my blood. I’ve lived in a dancing world my entire life. I can feel the beat and the music all the way to my bones. That’s not the problem. What I hate is performing. I never had a taste for being on stage. I don’t like people to watch me. This is why I dance alone.
“How long have you known you were Little, honey?” Aldric asks gently.
I lower my gaze and drag my toe over the hardwood floor, stalling. “I don’t know. A while,” I murmur.
“Does it embarrass you?”
I jerk my gaze to his. “Of course it does.”
“Why? It shouldn’t. It’s a lifestyle preference, honey. No reason to be embarrassed. I should have confronted you sooner. I’m sorry.”
Becca Jameson. Feeling Brave (Kindle Locations 124-187). Becca Jameson Publishing.
While Juliet definitely wants Aldric to be her Daddy, she also knows he wants her to grow a bit more independent.
This book shows that slow steady growth as an individual as well as the relationship that has been sitting dormant for a very long time.
There’s laughter, tears and so much more within these pages, including some sizzle. I look forward to the next book in this series.
5 Contented Purrs for Becca!
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Becca Jameson is a USA Today bestselling author of over 100 books. She is most well-known for her Wolf Masters Series, her Fight Club series, and her Club Zodiac series. She currently lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and Goldendoodle. Two grown kids pop in every once in a while too! She is loving this journey and has dabbled in a variety of genres, including paranormal, sports romance, military, and BDSM.
A total night owl, Becca writes late at night, sequestering herself in her office with a glass of red wine and a bar of dark chocolate, her fingers flying across the keyboard as her characters weave their own stories.
During the day–which never starts before ten in the morning!–she can be found jogging, running errands, or reading in her favorite hammock chair!
…where Alphas dominate…