Monday, March 24, 2014



Had Dane not put voice to it, the damn imagery might not have haunted me: I can roll over in bed and talk to you first thing before I start my day. I’ve woken up alone for the better—or worse—part of the last ten years of my life, but today is the first time my bed truly feels lonely.

I want.

Heaving my sorry ass out of bed and straightening the sheets helps a bit—at least the puffy duvet covers the evidence that one side was left empty. Without conscious thought, I’m already halfway to my study, my foolish heart leading the charge. One wiggle of the mouse awakens my screen and sets my anticipation on ice.

Wake up, Dane.

I am not so selfish, really, to begrudge the boy his rest. In fact, I take his extended slumber as a great compliment. It’s not the tortured souls who are able to enjoy a luxurious sleep.

What if he’s up, holding out on you?

Mistrust is unwarranted, and the malignancy is unwelcome. He hasn’t failed me—yet.

Ugh, why so morose today after yesterday’s breakthrough session? This morning needs a makeover, starting with a hot shower and a tall pot of dark roast. The holidays have afforded me a welcome break from my regular schedule, and I have the next . . . thirty-four hours by my PC’s clock until Dane’s return, most of which will be devoted to planning our next scene. Yes, I’ve scheduled his next visit for tomorrow night. With Edward and Bella arriving early on Sunday, it seemed prudent to give myself a little time and space to turn over the dungeon. Or maybe you couldn’t wait three days to see Dane again.

Yes, there is that.

Let the research begin; I am nothing if not thorough. Steaming mug in hand, I put my browser to more productive use than refreshing while I sit pining pitifully for Dane’s message.


From: Dane Carmichael
Sent: Thursday, January 3, 2013 8:25 AM
To: Marcus Andrews
Subject: For Master

Good morning, Master.

i brought my laptop to bed with me last night, anticipating this morning’s greeting. i slept well and woke with a smile, Master.


You honor me with the address. i will not disappoint You.


From: Marcus Andrews
Sent: Thursday, January 3, 2013 8:35 AM
To: Dane Carmichael
Subject: Re: For Master

Good morning, Dane.

Your gesture pleases methe metaphor is lovely.

Yes, you are mine.


No need to tell him he graced my bed as well.

With the cancer of my brief doubt safely in remission, I return to the videos and hone my technique. Dane has promised to place himself in my hands, and I plan to show him—quite literally—what he’s in for.

“You prepared dinner for us tonight, Master?” Is that hurt I hear in his voice?

“Not to worry, Dane. This is just a snack. I don’t want your stomach full for our scene, but I also don’t want you uncomfortably hungry.”

He waits stoically, perfectly posed, while I take my seat at the kitchen table and enjoy the view. At some point down the road, I may decide to take charge of his clothing decisions, but for now, I’m enjoying the parade of snug shirts and just-loose-enough-to-move pants he’s choosing. Today’s selection: a broken-in pair of dark-wash jeans topped off with a purple T-shirt from the show Disaster! — Dane’s current job, but I strongly suspect he already knows I’ve discovered that. Nevertheless, his wardrobe choice seems to be an offering, a nugget of himself he’s decided to freely share.

“I’ve heard that show is quite funny. Have you seen it?”

Dane cracks a smile. “Just about every night, Master.”

“Good to know.”

He nods, acknowledging my subtle thank-you for sharing. And now, back to business.

“You may kneel, Dane.”

He sinks instantly next to my chair and lifts his glassy-eyed gaze to mine. “Yes, Master.”

“Please remind me of my condition for using the title ‘Master.’” I won’t insult him by asking him if he remembers; that’s a given.

“You required that I put myself in your hands.”

“Perfect,” I answer, raising my hands to his eye level. “Today is about learning to receive everything from these hands, Dane—from basic sustenance to outrageous pleasure.” His Adam’s apple bobs with a thick swallow. Dane will succeed, and we will have overcome another major hurdle. “I’d like to hear you as much as you’re able to voice your needs and your desires today. Can you stretch yourself for me?”

“Yes, Master, I will do my best.”

I know you will.

“Your safe word?”


“Are you hungry, Dane?” The prompt is meant to get him started, and there’s only one skipped beat while he surveys the choices.

“Yes, Master. May I please have a pretzel?”

“My pleasure.” I pop the salty snack between Dane’s lips. “Tell me if you get thirsty.”

Dane nods and swallows down the miniature pretzel. “May I have another, please?”

His choice. “You sure may.” This time, as he pulls it in, his lips graze my fingertips. “I like salt,” he confesses with a tiny grin.

“So it’s salt you seek, and not your Master’s taste?” He knows I’m teasing, but he trips over his words to correct himself.

“Master’s taste will always be my favorite.”

“Mmhmm, nice save. What now, my hungry boy?”

 “Isn’t it your turn now, Master?”

“I thank you for your concern, but I had my snack earlier so I could focus entirely on your needs.”

“In that case, may I please have a carrot dipped in hummus?”

His injection of just a touch of pluck makes me chuckle. “Perhaps I should deliver it while standing on my head?”

I’m rewarded with a brilliant smile. “If it pleases you, Master.”

My heart fills with a lightness that is becoming dangerously familiar. “I think we’ll do it right-side up for now.”

“As you wish.”

I wish too much.

Dane takes the carrot from my hand, making a point of sucking my finger into his mouth and teasing at it with his tongue when I pull away. My other hand slips to one of its new favorite spots, and I rake through Dane’s hair.

“How is my touch, Dane? Does this bother you?”

He closes his eyes for a few seconds, as if taking a poll of his sensations. When he opens them again, he seems surprised by his own response. “Not at all, Master. In fact, I think I like it.”

“That’s good.” I don’t want to shake Dane with an overly emotional display, but inside, I’m turning back handsprings.

My fingers drift away with a loving caress behind his ear. “What would you like now, Dane?”

“Master, if I could . . . may I have one of those olives . . . along with more of your touch?”

“You may.” And I need more contact, too. “I’d like you at my side, Dane, if you’re comfortable.”

Without hesitating or breaking form, Dane shuffles closer, until he’s resting against my thigh. My left hand continues to feed him olives and cheese and vegetables as requested while my right hand wanders through his hair, down his neck, across the line of his shoulder.

He seems so content and peaceful nestled into my side, it’s impossible for me to reconcile this man kneeling at my feet with the timid submissive who filled out his checklist with limits on touching and kissing and speaking. Time to explore those limits in Master’s dungeon.

Dip it in hummus! Cheeky! Okay, back in the dungeon they go! Who's coming along?


  1. I am definitely coming along, Mistress! ;)

    I thought it was sadly realistic that Marcus had a brief moment of doubt about Dane this morning. It's going so well already, that he's second guessing- poor thing- hopefully that doesn't last and that more time he spends with Dane, the more he'll realize this is the real deal! And his poor lonely bed, I wonder if when Dane spends the night, he might get invited into the Master's bed??? :)

    I got chills at "Yes, you are mine." obviously... lol

    love the whole feeding scene- not only was Dane comfortable enough with it. He asked for each item and even asked for more touch from his Master. Soo... touching! lol.

    I can't wait to see what Marcus has in store for their time in the dungeon!!

    1. I don't want to make the story sound too easy or linear. I don't think any relationship really works that way, even after a long marriage. Ah...good question about the bed. My lips are sealed!

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, as always. MWAH!

  2. Ooo, ooo ... Me, Born, me! I'm coming with you ... to the dungeon! (Sooo many interesting things about that sentence! ) Maybe there will be an entire Marcus dipped in hummus? Well a girl can dream.

  3. Dane is really making great strides with Marcus slowly easing him along. Can't wait until they head into the dungeon. Love this story.

  4. Already Dane is starting to bloom under Marcus' touch. So far this is a sweet story and I like it very much!

  5. Count me in Born but I'll be the girl near the back :)

    I've read a few Dom/sub stories and reading this one I tend to worry that Dane will push his luck e.g. when M asked if he was hungry and D answered yes but asked for a pretzel, momentarily I worried that he had overstepped, it is so nice and makes a pleasant change to have a more relaxed set up. Well, relaxed for now at least.

    Can we take it that E & B will be making a cameo appearance soon>

    Thank you


    1. J, please read this story without anxiety. Marcus is looking for ways to reward Dane, not punish him. AND- despite the strides that Dane makes in the story (and they are significant) I chose to name the story for MARCUS's evolution. (HINT)

      I LOVE that you picked up on the cameo....YES! :D

  6. Thank you Born, I shall indeed read without anxiety and enjoy it more than I already do and I was wondering about the title so that clears that up.

    Now .......if we could just deal with that villain Aro, lol but from your hints about him, maybe, in the words of Jane Austen " he improves on acquaintance" ;)


    1. Well he's not really the bad guy in this story! ;)

  7. I'll be there and I hope Marcus (along with us) gets to see Bella and Edward's scene. That would be sad to miss. I'm slowly making my way through KEA again. It's longer than I remembered and my husband and I discovered Game of Thrones this weekend so that makes my journey through KEA a bit slower. I love that Dom-ward!

    1. I love that comment "It's longer than I remembered!" DUDE, it's half a million words. Even I don't go back in there unless a reader is pulling me through.

  8. You know I'm joining you in the dungeon! :D
    EEEEEEEEEEEE! Dane asked for more touching! Love love love the paces they are taking.
    "Yes, you are mine."
    *sighs all the sighs* I'm giddy!
    Love it, Born!
    Xoxo ❤️

    1. Oh, I was HOPING, Pates!
      Giddy is good. Let's keep you both that way!

  9. It's not a long fall, Marcus. Just....jump. ;)

    So many wonderful moments to love in this chapter. Marcus and his wants, which are sweet and normal really. Dane and his relative ease of response to his new Master. The feeding, the flirting, the levity they both seem to enjoy so much. And finally the closeness of proximity at the end. The image of him leaning against Marcus' knee is touching AND hot.

    Favorite line... I want. ...I want for him too.


    1. Ahh, I'm so pleased you liked the little knee lean there at the end. Somehow it just felt really significant to me. MWAH!

  10. Gotta love hummus! It's so great that Dane's not only getting used to Marcus' touch, but enjoying. I'm hungry now. :) great chapter.

    1. You know you're always going to be hungry after you read one of my chapters, Lisa!

  11. Self doubt is a cancer...that was a profound line m'dear loved it. Giddy when you wake up and wait to hear from someone. I remember those days, and still have them from time to time lol. Marcus is so damn sweet I almost forgot he was a Master...almost. Then he reminded me!

    1. MWAH! I love your comment there. He's always a MASTER!

  12. Grrr. My alerts didn't work all week, so I'm just now getting to submerge myself in this world again. But, on the bright side, I get several chapters at once! *clicks on chapter nineteen*

    1. It was my fault the alerts didn't work for a few days but we're all back on track now! xo

  13. I love how Marcus uses the play on words to get the message across to Dane about his putting himself in his master's hands. It is all about the simple wording to keep it from being an insult and still getting the point across. That is an art-form in itself.

    Love the combination of food and petting to get Dane to relax.

    1. Thanks, Keye. I think the words are meaningful to two well educated men such as these. Marcus knows Dane will respond to verbal cues, along with the physical. xo

  14. As far as I remember Marcus has never done the romantic relationship with D/s relationship. This wanting ST upon waking must be freaking M out more than he is letting on. Early in any relationship there is usually questioning of what you are feeling and the others. That feels pretty normal. I'm waiting for a shoe to fall.

    1. Marcus will let you know a little more about his past as we go...
      You're right about all the questioning. Pile the D/s on top and you have a Marcus mess in the making!

  15. How fitting that I am reading this chapter while still in bed this morning. I as well woke up with the boys (and B) this morning!


    This chapter was full of sweetness. Marcus catering to his sub's needs in sweet anticipation/ preparation for later's events.

    I saiD in the last chapters review how the boy who filled out the checklist and trembled in fear of his own release a few chapters aback is becoming unhinged and unrecognizable. And then you said it at the end here and asdfghkllbhhd.

    Excited for what Master has planned next for both of them.

    1. Yeah, they're making so much progress! Dane is really opening up for his new Master. Sigh...

  17. me!!! can't wait to see them back in the dungeon! and someone's morose mood in the morning tells me he's falling hard. i really love their light-hearted banter and dane's revelation that he doesn't mind marcus's touch. he really had to give it some thought, soon the touches and kisses will be given without any thought at all. but i'm sure one day dane will have to be punished and i'm curious to see how marcus handles that delicate situation.

    now i'm torn! i want to focus on these boys but i'm dying to check out benched, sounds sooo good! just gonna have to split my time. :) xx

    1. LOL Jodie! Benched will take you all of three minutes! Thank you for your really beautiful insights here. You're right about that touch being all kinds of things...and how will both Dane AND Marcus handle that eventual screwup we know is bound to happen? MWAH!