“Time for a little redecorating,” I tell Dane. “Let’s take advantage of that sun streaming in, shall we?”
“Whatever you say, Master,” he says agreeably.
“Yes, there is that.” We’re both grinning as we slide the small round table to the window and make a return trip for our chairs. “Here. Sit.” Dane obliges, scooting his chair in while I step behind him and place my hands on his shoulders. I’ve grown rather fond of his dance tanks, and today’s choice—black and snug—has just been voted the unofficial winner.
“Eat. I got you some fresh berries.”
“Thank you, Master.” Dane smirks while he diligently loads up his spoon with yogurt, granola, and one of each type of berry—all to appease me.
It’s not easy pulling my hands off him, but the boy must eat. I take my seat across the table, leaning back, folding my arms, and stretching my legs to encircle his ankles. His eyebrows lift, but his spoon doesn’t stop for more than a split second.
That’s right, Dane. You’re mine.
There’s a bit of a twinkle in his eye as he says, “The sun feels good on my arms.”
Such a tease, causing his Master to imagine the taste of sun-kissed skin.
My gaze follows the sunbeam lighting up his exposed arms and shoulders. “Looks good on you, too.” Funny, I can have him any which way I choose, but this modest sliver of heated skin raises a rapid, ramrod erection.
I want him, and I’ll have him before we part ways this morning, but I need to make another attempt at culling out his issues while the nightmare is still fresh. It’s always a risk—Do I trade his good mood and this perfect ease between us for the chance to make real progress?—but the responsible part of me knows what I have to do.
“I’d like to talk about last night.”
If it’s difficult for him not to roll his eyes or groan, I’d never know from his measured response. “As you wish.”
“What can you tell me about your nightmare?”
The ball is in his court. Dane sets his spoon down onto the saucer and pulls the napkin to his lips. Stalling perhaps, but not refusing. Not safe wording. I can wait.
His eyes lift to mine. “It wasn’t you, you know.”
“I know, Dane.” Though I’m not letting myself entirely off the hook, because what I said to him clearly triggered something unpleasant.
“Okay, good.” His hands disappear into his lap, where I imagine they tug and twist, searching for comfort. “It was a scene we did . . . about a month before he . . .”
Dumped you. Fuck.
“Anyway, I’d been kind of a wimp the time before, and Master was working on my pain tolerance.”
My jaw tightens with unbearable tension as my teeth gnash together in rage. If I didn’t need to hear this dream, I’d rip apart every single fallacy as it escaped his lips.
“Master was adding another weight to the chain . . .” Dane’s gaze drifts to the window, and his mouth twists into an awful grimace. “I was in a lot of pain, but I was trying . . .”
My fists press into tight balls beneath my arms. I am so close to losing it.
“I dropped my . . .toy . . .” Dane tears up with remembered humiliation.
Fucking hell! I’m dying for him.
“. . . And I tried ‘no’ multiple times, but Master didn’t—”
“Jesus Christ, Dane!”
I’ve had enough. I’ve had far too much, actually, as has the beautiful man falling to pieces across from me. I’m out of my chair in a shot, pulling Dane to his feet and wrapping him in the security of my arms. “What that monster did to you! That was not consensual domination; it was the definition of abuse! Thank God you got away from him!”
My tears reach Dane’s cheeks as his own leave wide, wet splotches on my t-shirt.
“I’m sorry, Master,” he says through his sniffles, “I was doing better for a while.”
“It’s my fault, Dane.” I flatten my palm and rub firm circles against his back as the guilt engulfs me. “I triggered this last night.”
Dane does me the great honor of not minimizing my role, not trying to assuage my conscience. My thoughts are spinning back handsprings, analyzing every word and grasping for the right thing to say—which is the exact moment I realize I might just be in over my head here.
“When you were doing better, Dane, were you getting help?”
He tenses, but my arms draw out the truth as surely as Wonder Woman’s golden lasso. “Yes, there was a guy, a doc at the shelter who helped me through.”
“And when did you last see him?”
“I don’t know, maybe three or four months ago. I was fine; the nightmares stopped, and I wasn’t feeling so paralyzed. I’d had a few auditions, even gotten a bit role. He said I was good to go.”
Good to go is no expert’s conclusion. Dane heard what he wanted to hear. I pull back and tip up his tear-stained face with my hand at his chin. “Did he also tell you to come back and see him if there were any recurring issues?”
His grimace answers for him.
“Dane, it only makes sense that once you start scening again, things are bound to resurface. I’d like you to check in with the doctor again, just to be sure we’re on the right track.”
His mouth turns down into an angry frown, and he spins away from my fingers. It’s the first hint of opposition I’ve seen from Dane since we met. I tamp down my dom voice for now because nobody ever made any progress in therapy because someone ordered him to go.
There’s one surefire way to get through to Dane. It’s worked every time, and if it costs me any credibility with him to show him I’m vulnerable, it’s a price I’m willing to pay. Every damn time.
“Look, maybe one nightmare isn’t necessarily anything to worry about. It sucks that I have to push you on this, but as your Master, I’m responsible for your well-being, and I just don’t feel confident at this point that I’m able to give you everything you need.”
He spits back, “How can you not be everything I need?” his childlike faith stained by the sting of betrayal.
“Dane, what kind of an asshole would I be if I didn’t insist on you getting the best care? Look what happened here last night. I’m walking blind through a minefield and praying I don’t step on a live shell. I’m sorry, but I’m just not that good.”
The look he gives me breaks my heart, but it’s the damn truth. Finally, he turns away, entirely defeated.
“Fine, I’ll call him,” he agrees, “for you, but with all due respect, I don’t think one nightmare is an issue.”
“Noted, and thank you.”
“And also, I know you wouldn’t hurt me, if that helps.”
“It does—immensely,” I answer, even before his words dissipate. “And you’re right. What you described is nowhere near the kind of pain I meant yesterday.” My head is shaking like a busted jack-in-the-box, but I can’t seem to stop it.
“Maybe it would help if you could . . . tell me a little about the kind of pain you did mean? Just whatever you think I need to know, I mean,” he hedges.
I consult my watch because this is so not a conversation to start and not finish. “Why don’t you have a seat, Dane?”
He snaps to obey, my compliant submissive once again. I scoot my chair around so our hips meet when I sit down again. I wrap my fingers around his hand and pull it into my lap.
“Unlike your previous ‘Master’ . . .” I sneer. “Fuck! You know what, Dane? I’d really like you to stop calling him that. What was the bastard’s name?”
Dane’s jaw drops open, and he sits there for a long few seconds before answering. “Really?”
“Yes, really. He’s no more your Master than Donald Duck. Let’s peel back the damn curtain and take a shit on the Wizard. Come on, Dane, his name?”
The gauntlet floats through the air and drops in his lap. Dane told me last night that referring to me by name is a hard limit for him, and here I go demanding the asshole’s. If he can come through on this—
It’s my birthday and Christmas and Mardi Gras all rolled into one. “The guy’s name is Wayne? For real?”
Dane nods, and when I study his face, I can see why he’s not answering with words. He’s about to crack up, big time. This is beautiful.
“Wayne, the wee-willied wannabe. Come on, Dane, say it with me. ‘Wayne, the wee-willied wannabe.’”
His chin tips to his chest as the laughter overtakes him, and while it does, I throw new logs onto the fire. “You don’t have to say anything, Dane, but if Wayne-the-weanie’s winky is smaller than my pinky, knock twice on the table.”
A fresh ripple of hilarity shakes his shoulders as he lifts his fist to the table and raps twice.
“Oh god, I shouldn’t!” he forces out, shaking his head and wiping tears from his eyes.
“Yes, Dane, you really, really should.”
Given permission, he lets go in earnest. I hope he’s remembering some other fully terrible detail of Wayne’s physique—dare I hope for an extra toe or a big, hairy mole on his chin?—but I don’t have the heart to make him divulge another out loud. I won’t be there later to reassure Dane if his training kicks in and leaves him feeling guilty. I’m not nearly through with this Wayne character, but Dane has left an important question on the table, and I don’t intend to let the asshole rob me of the chance to answer my submissive.
“As I was saying before Wayne interrupted,” I begin, waiting for Dane’s laughing fit to die down, “the pain I would have you experience is more sensation for the sake of intensifying your response—not true pain inflicted because I get off on it—which, by the way, I really don’t.”
His head whips around. “You don’t?”
“Let me put it this way. If you happened to get a real high off a good striping, I would certainly deliver it with gusto. I would get worked up because you were, not because there’s something about beating people up that inherently rocks my world. Make sense?”
“I guess.” He shrugs.
“Dane, there is nothing that could possibly excite me if you weren’t into it as well. It’s consensual play, not slavery. Have you signed up for the wrong tour of service?”
“No,” he answers, adding a firm head shake. “Not this time.”
“There you go. Now, when I see that you’re ready, I’ll dial it up a notch. For example, I might clamp those gorgeously responsive nipples of yours and watch what happens.”
Dane shifts in his chair, and that telltale pink hue rises from the stem of his neck. And just because he’s so fun to rile, I pull him further into the game. “How does that sound, Dane?”
His lashes flutter while he sucks in a sharp breath. “I’m sure you know best, Master.”
I give his hand a little squeeze. “Well played, boy.”
He looks up shyly then back down to his lap.
“You know, Dane, I think you’d probably feel a whole lot better if I treat you to a sample of what I mean.”
I’m there to meet his inquisitive eyes as he lifts them again. “You mean now?” His question has the sweetest note of anticipatory “make me.”
“I mean right now.”
I can practically hear him swallow as he waits for my next move. If my dick were any harder, it would bust a hole right through my trousers. I really need to get these damn things off, but first things first.
My boy is about to receive his first erotic spanking.
I forgot to mention yesterday that Jayme provided the name for our villain- ask her about him sometime! ;) SEEING SUE TODAY. Wheeeeeeee! Have a good one, everyone! xxx