Monday, March 31, 2014

Twenty-five


-------------------Twenty-five-----------------

Tuesday, another day not spent with Dane. It seems the most honest way to measure them now. His early morning messages are not nearly enough to satisfy my need to know what he’s doing, who he’s seeing, or how he’s feeling—especially since his emails have revealed so little since Sunday night.

I know he’s rehearsing right now, and in a very real sense, I am too. There’s a unique solace derived from the ritual of cleaning the equipment, straightening the whips and crops along the wall hooks, and readying the cuffs for the next guest.

What does Dane need?

Keeping that question at the forefront, I run through the possibilities in my mind and predict the likely outcomes. I reflect on the progress we made during the massage session, how open Dane was both physically and emotionally; which limits I pushed and how he responded; what he liked and what he only tolerated; what he freely offered.

How heartbreakingly beautiful he was when he let himself go. How desperately I need to get him there again.

By the time I’ve made my preliminary plan and arranged furniture and implements to suit the scene, I’ve worked myself into quite a state, and I can’t think of a single compelling reason not to take advantage of it. I strip off my clothes and flop down onto my bed. Towel and lube are within reach, and I fully expect the scene I’ve just invented to provide the fodder for this session.

Something completely different happens when I grab hold of my cock, something so unexpected, so quintessentially Dane. It’s not the hot, naked, slippery, pumping of erect body parts that fuels my fantasy, but the quiet humble gifts he’s granted me: the respectful drop of his eyes, the press of his face into my neck, the “Will you kiss me?” and the bright light of his joyous smile. At the very end, it’s his orgasm I relive as mine peaks.

A long run on the treadmill eases some of my post-pizza guilt. After the aerobics, it’s free weights, crunches, and anything else I can throw in that might possibly cause Grandfather Time to slow his damn roll.

Showered and dressed, I head to the grocery store, picking up some staples along with the ingredients Dane will need to make dinner for us tomorrow night.  I’ve set out two chicken cutlet recipes—one very easy and one requiring a bit more effort. I’ll have everything he needs for both on hand and allow Dane to make the choice. I toss some mushrooms and red pepper into my cart, settling on an egg white omelet for dinner tonight.

I’ve been meaning to catch up on “Strike Back,” so I’m perfectly content to sprawl out on the living room couch in front of the massive screen. About ten minutes in, I realize I have absolutely no idea what’s going on. My mind has wandered to Dane’s show. I’m picturing him in his various costumes, imagining that he’s wondering if I’m there, maybe feeling disappointed when the lights come up and he doesn’t locate me in the crowd.

For one outlandish moment, I seriously entertain the idea of meeting him at the stage door after the show, pulling him into my arms and kissing the fuck out of him.

Hello, asshole. Have you forgotten there’s a bit of a problem? He walked away from you, remember? Your submissive is likely to be better behaved, but there’s absolutely no telling what Dane, the man, will do next. With that sobering thought, I drag my sorry ass to bed.

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From: Dane Carmichael
Sent: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 8:13 AM
To: Marcus Andrews
Subject: Tonight

Good morning, Master.

Sleep still eludes me. i look forward to tonight.

yours,
dane
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From: Marcus Andrews
Sent: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 8:17 AM
To: Dane Carmichael
Subject: Re: Tonight

Good morning, Dane. I’m sorry to hear your nights have remained restless. Have you relieved your tension at all since our last session?

Warmly,
Marcus
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From: Dane Carmichael
Sent: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 8:18 AM
To: Marcus Andrews
Subject: Re: Re: Tonight

No, Master. i was unable.

yours,
dane
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From: Marcus Andrews
Sent: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 8:20 AM
To: Dane Carmichael
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Tonight

You are in the best of hands, my boy. Rest assured—your Master will take care of you tonight.

Warmly,
Marcus
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From: Dane Carmichael
Sent: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 8:22 AM
To: Marcus Andrews
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tonight

It is Yours to decide if i am worthy, Master.

yours,
dane
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From: Marcus Andrews
Sent: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 8:23 AM
To: Dane Carmichael
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tonight

You are worthy. Always.
6 pm. Do not keep your Master waiting.

Warmly,
Marcus

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From: Dane Carmichael
Sent: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 8:24 AM
To: Marcus Andrews
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tonight

i would never keep You waiting, Master.
i will be on your doorstep promptly at 6.

Until then, i will be preparing myself for You.

yours,
dane
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If things hadn’t gone haywire at the end of our pizza date—or whatever it was—I could imagine greeting Dane with a bone-crushing kiss. If he hadn’t flown off the handle at my tactless announcement, perhaps we could’ve picked up again where the fizzy drinks entered the picture, with teasing, effortless banter.

Truth is, I have no idea what's in Dane’s head right now or where he’s been for the past few days, and it scares me. Not knowing is bad enough, but it’s worse than that. I suspect we’ve taken a major step backwards. Dane won’t be so quick to let down his guard the second time around.

I could set my watch by the boy’s arrival. I’d bet my last dollar he’s been out on the stoop for a good ten minutes but won’t dare ring before the appointed time. Six o’clock.

Buzz!

Deep breath . . . and open!

Before I can get out a word of greeting, my jaw drops open. Dressed in those soft, torn jeans I love and encased in down from his waist up, Dane grips a large paper grocery bag in each hand.

“What’s all this, Dane?”

“I made you a few things, Master.”

A few things?

His flat expression is unreadable though I am trying like hell to get a handle on his emotional state. Funny, Marcus, you barely have a grip on your own!  Clearly, he’s put some effort into preparing something for me on his time off, and that has to be a good sign.

He sets down the bags and hangs up his coat, a simple, automatic act of making himself at home that causes my chest to swell with hope. Stay a while, won’t you? Today’s T-shirt is purple with white collegiate block letters spelling out “Hunter.” Another essential breadcrumb dropped at my feet. After my appearance at his show, he can be sure I’m devouring every morsel.

If only his wardrobe had emoticon T-shirts.

“Here, let me carry something.”

“No, please, Master,” he answers, picking up the bags and following me to the kitchen, “that’s my job.”

In the face of Dane’s gesture, the ingredients I’d previously laid out on the counter read cheap and impersonal, greeting us both like a five-dollar whore with her legs spread. “Don’t worry about this,” I tell him, pushing everything out of the way so Dane’s gifts can take center stage.

He’s quick to reassure me. “It’s fine, Master. I didn’t bring this for our dinner tonight. This is all for you—for when we’re not together.” I can only respond by swallowing the lump in my throat, leaving Dane to jump in, “Of course, if you want any of this tonight, I’m obviously more than happy to serve you whatever you want.”

Of course he is.

I acknowledge his offer with a slight nod. I really shouldn’t turn over control of this situation to my submissive even if he is about to set a banquet before me. “Let’s see what happens.”

Satisfied with the vague direction, Dane moves silently with purpose and grace. I drop onto one of the stools for a front row seat and watch with great reverence as he dips below the horizon of the counter top and emerges each time with two handfuls of mysterious plastic containers. One treasure appears after the next until the granite slab is covered with the fruits of his labors. There’s no telling how many hours he’s been working.

He painstakingly avoids my gaze, but there’s a slight tint to his cheeks that inflames my desire. This is a daring liberty for a submissive to take; I didn’t ask for any of this, and Dane had to know there was a risk I wouldn’t welcome his initiative. God knows, he’s assumed complete control right now, having effectively enthralled and humbled me with his generosity.

Finally, he’s retrieved the last of the goodies, as evidenced by the meticulous creasing of paper bags. As he bends one final time to slide them into the holder beneath the sink, I marvel anew at Dane’s comfort level in my home and how he seems to have completely mastered my “system.”

Meeting my eye over the arrayed food, he asks, “May I tell you what I made, Master?”

“Please.” I am on the edge of my stool here.

Placing his hands on the first two containers, he says, “These two are kale soup with a chicken broth base, one for the fridge and one to freeze.” Stepping to his left, he taps the containers one at a time, describing each as he moves down the line. “Spinach and feta squares, quinoa with dried cranberries and slivered almonds, sesame soba noodles with chili tofu, black bean salad, and zucchini brownies.”

Dane glances up at me, and I recognize the look in his eyes with perfect clarity for the first time this evening. He’s the eight-year-old boy who whittled his very first knife and watched with his heart in his throat while his father opened the present on Christmas morning.

His father’s eyes moisten, the old man’s voice suddenly scratchy and raw. “Thank you, son. This is the finest knife I’ve ever owned.”

I’m not often tongue-tied, as my friends will attest, but it’s not every day I’m deluged with such thoughtfulness. “Dane, you must’ve spent hours on this.”

A wrinkle creases his forehead. “You’re not pleased?”

What? Of course I’m pleased! Look at all these super foods!”

He cracks a smile, and some of the air comes back into the room. “I was feeling a bit guilty for the grease fest at Two Boots.”

I chuckle. “It’s not as if you tied me down and force fed me, Dane. I’m a ‘big guy,’ remember?”

“Vaguely.”

Yeah, it’s been too long for me too, sweet boy.

“Anyway, these old bones thank you.”

The forehead crease is back. Now what have you done, Marcus?

“Master, may I tell you something?”

“Yes, Dane, of course. Always.”

“I just wanted to say . . . I wish I could’ve said it the other night . . .” The corners of his mouth curl downward, and my stomach rolls with apprehension. “The way you constantly refer to yourself as an old man . . . it’s just not how I see you.”

Called out—and spectacularly so. Old is not how I want him to see me either, so what the hell am I doing?

This moment of real connection with Dane, the man, is one I acknowledge with full eye contact and an appreciative nod. “Your comment is duly noted.”

Dane smiles with relief. “Okay, good, because this isn’t ‘old people food’ or anything. It’s how all of us dancers eat.”

“Fair enough, Dane, and let me say this so we are absolutely crystal clear on the subject: I not only appreciate the enormous effort you obviously put into this, but I truly appreciate the sentiment behind it.”

His olive-toned skin hides most of the blush, but his bashful smile is just as telling.

“I’m pleased you’re pleased, Master. Now, what shall I serve you for dinner tonight?”




Mmm, what shall he serve indeed? Is this what you were expecting from Dane? What's up with that?

A very special birthday shout-out (Yom Huledet sameach) to my beta extraordinaire- Chayasara. Remember when you had the best babysitter on the block but you didn't really want everyone to know because then they'd be calling her all the time? So yeah...Chaya's just okay. Ugh, I lied. Every chapter bears her mark in some way, but it's much more than that. She's a driving force, someone who can ask the question that might cause a tailspin but usually ends up righting the car on a better path. And it's much more than my words you've healed. I love you, Suzy Q!

32 comments:

  1. well well well. It seems to me that Dane did not go cowering away with his tail between his legs, proverbially, after their last encounter. It seems he has renewed his efforts to become the best, and hopefully favorite or only, sub that Marcus ever had. The food all sounds wonderful! Some for now, some for later, meaning that a later is a presumed outcome! This is almost a bit forward of Dane, but also a hopeful gesture. Dare I say, romantic? Love this chapter!!

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    1. Oh! You dare with your inference as Dane doth dare with his gesture! Love your insights!
      xo

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  2. *sigh*

    Why am I on the fence this time? While the gesture is great, along with his explanation behind it, I fear his motives might be to deflect from the issues at hand, and his insecurities, even if its only being done subconsciously. Is he trying to buy Marcus' devotion and loyalty? Love? Only time will tell, darn it!!

    I love Dane, but this was a little much. One or 2 things makes a nice sentiment, but he 'did the most' as my seventeen year old would say. It was a grand gesture, indeed. But was it necessary? Probably not. I hope Marcus digs into it a little more.

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  3. Ermmm, I'm not really sure about this, If I were Dane what would I do?

    I would be guarded and a little hurt and guarded and a little peeved and guarded and wanting to run to protect myself and worried that Master would have a better connection with one of the hundreds (because I would be exaggerating everything in my mind)of subs who enter the playroom who can do so much more than I and bear so much more than I am capable of and I know for sure I would not be cooking Master lovely food.

    I'm worried now but shall place myself in your hands Born, can't wait for the next chapter.

    Thank you

    Jarvis

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    1. That was an absolutely beautiful note on the chapter and the state of how you might respond emotionally in Dane's position. I'm not sure Dane has "guarded" in his vocabulary, much to his detriment (at least, in the past).
      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me.

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  4. Hmmm, I wonder if that was a gesture to show he is the better sub or a gesture of romance. Wanting to do for you mate, even if things are not all rainbows and roses right now. I really loved his comment about not seeing him as old. I get that feeling!

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    1. Those are both really beautiful interpretations.
      Thank you, Vicki.
      xo

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  5. Hmm very interesting. I will echo other reviewers sentiments- wondering what Dane's motive here was. Is he trying to be the best sub ever? Is he trying to apologize for walking out on Marcus the other night? Is he just trying to feed the guy he has big time feelings for? Is he avoiding a serious discussion?

    I'm interested to see how Marcus carries on from here? I was impressed (and maybe a little flabbergasted), that Marcus was together enough to try to plan a new scene for Dane when he had no idea what was going to happen! I guess that's just a Dom for you, huh? planning for every contingency!

    I loved when Dane assured Marcus that he doesn't see him as an 'old guy.' very cute!

    Here's hoping that a delicious dinner and a productive talk will follow soon enough! ;)

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    1. Those are all perfectly reasonable interpretations of Dane's actions.

      Great observation about Marcus going forward with planning for Dane's next scene, and I wonder (well, okay, I don't really have to wonder, but YOU might be wondering) how Marcus's current mood might influence what they're going to do together in that dungeon.

      It's really important for Marcus to stop seeing himself as old around Dane. Glad Dane had the wherewithal (and the balls!) to call him out on it.

      Dinner and conversation eh? Hmmm. *wink*

      Love you, Digi!
      xo

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  6. What does Dane need? Answers to what I am sure is many, many questions. LOL Marcus has needs too. Conversation is in order for these two.

    "Grandfather Time to slow his roll..." Bruahahahaha. No doubt!

    So descriptive:

    the ingredients I’d previously laid out on the counter read cheap and impersonal, greeting us both like a five-dollar whore with her legs spread.

    Cracked me up!

    I am LOVING the items that Dane brought. Now all I need are the recipes.

    Though Marcus didn't ask for these items, I view it as Dane listened to him and prepared him delicious, healthy foods for him. Ones that would load him down with grease and other unhealthy things. So, in essence, Dane is taking care of Marcus.

    Now Marcus knows what Dane has been doing with all his sleepless nights. LOL

    Hah! Good that Dane called Marcus out on all the "old" comments. It is kinda wearing my ass out too. LOL

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    1. OH! Yes, Marcus does have needs too, doesn't he??
      LOL on the recipes. You know I get blamed a lot for turning people onto sweet potato fries, but I also wrote about turkey chili (and provided the recipe in my FB group) and here you go with only healthy super foods!

      Dane taking care of Marcus is a beautiful interpretation of his efforts. HA! Yes, maybe Dane was cooking late into the night instead of sleeping!

      BAHAHA on wearing your ass out. Hey, I feel Marcus, but I agree. Enough already. You truly are as old as you feel and project to the world, and he needs to cut that shit out already! He's got a young hottie!

      LOVE YOU, Keye!
      xo

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  7. I cldn't write as well as the others but I agree with most of them. First and foremost - to h-ll with this 'old guy' - it's time for Marcus to stop self-deprecating - it's not a Marcus and/or a Dom thing!
    Now *shrink's hat on* Marcus had feelings for Dane from the very first moment - hook, line and sink - as a sub but most of all as a man and this is the part that's weighing the most.
    As for Dane - I really don't know what goes on inside that damaged brain of his - but yes, the healthy feast is a lovely, darling way to show Marcus he cared for him, but at the same time he IS aware that he took a great risk 'assuming control'
    Still I don't know what to make of it ... and I'm afraid of the unknown. But I trust you Born.
    As for the dungeon part ... Marcus had a Dom's attitude - a very daring one - by preparing a scene without knowing what would be the outcome of their meeting.
    All in all - another great chapter and a nail bitten cliff!
    C'mon 26 bring it on! LOL

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    1. You wrote it just fine, Muse!
      I think you got inside both their heads really well. Seems as if they both took a risk and acted the way past experience would dictate they behave. Let's see how it pans out, shall we?

      See you tomorrow?
      xo

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  8. I think that Dane might have decided that if he couldn’t sleep, maybe cooking would relax him. Kale soup and Spinach and feta squares Sunday night, quinoa with dried cranberries and slivered almonds and sesame soba noodles with chili tofu Monday night, and black bean salad, and zucchini brownies Tuesday night. He might not be sucking up, but sharing the fruits of his labor. Or he might be sucking up. Only time will tell. At least Marcus will eat healthy for a while.

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    1. I think that's a fair read, Gumi. It was a long few days apart with no sleep for Dane!
      x

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  9. I notice that while Marcus was "pleasuring himself" he didn't do it as he intended fantasizing about a scene or Dane's body, but to something I don't even think registered with him: Feelings, memories, emotions, and words. That to me speaks of a deeper connection beyond the physical realm. I also noticed (not only in this chapter) that he feels insecure and unsettled, which might be very difficult feelings to deal with as a Dom, but for a man who is investing his heart in a relationship often are perfectly normal emotions.
    Dane on the other hand worries me, everything about him read like denial and avoidance. He is acting like everything is fine and nothing happened, not acknowledging the elephant in the room and disregarding his feelings. I guess in a way he is back where he started... denying himself, just with a much peppier attitude.
    I feel for him, I really do and I wish I could take a peek at his thoughts, but that would require a Dane's POV. Maybe? PLEEEEESE <--- (Shameless, Yes, I know :D)
    I hope Marcus addresses the issue and helps him open up, so Dane can find his own voice and both can openly state their needs and establish a stronger foundation to their relationship.
    As always thank you for sharing your writing and blessings
    Gigi

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    1. You're definitely right about Marcus's unsettled and insecure feelings, but while I believe they're on a personal level, I think it's important that he also feels out of his element as a dom and unsure of himself in an arena where he's always felt confident.
      I think your read on Dane is appropriate. There is a giant elephant in the room and I don't think he's going to stay hidden for long. Things tend to pop out in scene!

      Oh Gigi, a Dane POV would be CHEATING! You'd have more information than Marcus. How can I let that happen? MWAH!
      xo

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  10. So very proud that both of the gentlemen recognized the insecurity in the other. And what is a set back but another chance to grow stronger in their relationship. Watching them grow roots together is such a beautiful

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    1. Beautiful redefinition of setback. Love that.
      xo

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  11. wow I wasn't expecting that! Dane sure has been spending his sleepless nights thinking only of how to please his Master. I'm glad Dane called Marcus out on the whole age thing, and how comfortable he is in his Master's home. I'm thinking these two still need to talk, and I'll be interested in their dinner conversation as well as what will happen in the dungeon. Great update :)

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    1. Happy to surprise one of my "old faithful" readers! (Old in longevity, not in years, my dear!) Love that you commented on how comfortable Dane is in Marcus's kitchen. I'm giggling at your use of "dinner conversation" picturing votives and wine and linen napkins. Of course, I have something else in mind.
      xoxo

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  12. I think Dane took a step back in their progress. I saw it as an 'oh no' moment when Dane called it "his job" like their time together is just that; a job. Marcus has a lot of damage control to do. Kudos to Dane for finally calling Marcus out on the old man comments.

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  13. "might possibly cause Grandfather Time to slow his damn roll" cracked me up and good luck with that. Dane doesn't like those old man commits. He needs his Master confident.

    It looks like Dane cooks when anxious...He could cook for me anytime. I'm glad Marcus is so appreciative. It bodes well for some difficult conversation to come.

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    1. You are so right. The old man shit doesn't help either of them and Marcus better figure that out QUICKLY. Well, he cooked for a purpose just a little bit beyond anxiety...
      see you in the next one! ;)
      xx

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  14. Domestic servitude is more than just a turn on for Dane - it is smack dab in the middle of comfortville. I didn't see it before, but I'm sensing. Bit of topping from the bottom from Dane - steering in the direction he feels he can please Marcus.

    And....I've never had zucchini brownie. I've had too many sweets today, yet pretty sure I could eat a few of Dane's treats.

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    1. Dane's treats would be so good for you, you could eat them 'til the cows come home (whatever that means). Dane is masterful at knowing exactly how far to push Marcus, and this is all by instinct. Sigh...
      xxx

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  15. Oooookay... so domestic servitude has been one of the things highly regarded on Dane's checklist, so this act in itself may have just been him catering to his own comforts while showing his Master that he really does care for him. On another hand, I respect that he didn't just totally 100% (because it has happened some) revert back into the guy we first met. I see this as some attempt to keep control over the person who he's become with his master. Him doing this gesture as well as retaining his comforts in hi Master's home gives me great hophope that while they have some issues to sort out, they can do it both as men. And not as Dom almighty Marcus and cowering beneath the hand of ex-masshat (master asshat) Dane.

    On another hand, could this have been all a distraction? Dane has had a long few days, worried and confused. Confused of where he stands with his Master. Worried that he might had threaded the wrong grounds with his Master. We have to remember that neither of the two really know how they feel about each other and also not knowing how the other feels about them in return. And also there's so much they do not know about each other so it's often practical that conversations become misconstrued quickly. But good news is, that they are growing. This was a surefire surprising approach taken by Dane, as Marc pointing out was very risky on his part as well. Hey, who would have thought the Dane we first met might have been taking risks on.anything right now? So I see this as a step forward for them. Dane has shown that he's not running away and while it's perfectly acceptable that he's been hurt and he's not okay, this gesture shows that he's in and willing to talk/work stuff out. I don't think it's a suck up. He's just not ready to give up that easily. And neither does Marc. They have some talking and working shit out to do.

    But right now? There's some servitude to be had, yes?

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    1. I love that you see Dane's cooking as an active gesture of comfort for himself. I'm not sure I ever framed it exactly that way in my own mind until you mentioned it. Ahh, Dane as risktaker here? Also very interesting and insightful. Oh yes to the servitude, and therein lies the rub...
      LOVE how you are so thoughtful in your reviews and make me think about this story again! MWAH!
      xxx

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  16. hmm, this chapter was so very interesting. i definitely didn't expect dane to react the way he did. i think i put myself in his position and that's definitely not how i would have reacted. i expected him to be quiet and reserved, feeling unworthy - the embodiment of his emails - much like he was at the beginning. but while dane was pointing each dish out to marcus it made a bit of sense. instead of stewing and closing himself off over the days they've been apart, dane seems to have given their situation and feelings a lot of thought and i think a lot of that was done while preparing these meals. i think it helped ease his guilt too but i see it as a coping mechanism. i can see dane totally getting lost in the kitchen while his mind runs free. i think his time with marcus has proven that his previous abuse was just that, abuse. and now dane is hopefully being a bit more, shall we say, optimistic and open?

    to me, marcus basically did the same thing while preparing the dungeon. it's comforting to him and helped him think and focus. but his boy sure threw him for a loop! :D

    and my heart just melted when dane told marcus he doesn't see him as an old man. so sweet! i love marcus hearing that since we never see ourselves as other do! xx

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    1. I think you're onto something with why Dane prepared all that food...but there's a bit more you'll see in the next few chapters. Yeah, Marcus, get over those gray hairs!
      xx

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