Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Twenty-seven


“Dane, I’ve got you. Shh, I’ve got you.” I can’t hug him any tighter without crushing him, and yet he doesn’t seem to register my presence. He’s gone completely slack in my arms as I rock him.

This awful, awkward position is not working. We need full body contact, and the only way to achieve it is to tackle Dane to the floor. In the process of getting us both horizontal, I manage to send both cuff and condom flying. I press Dane’s head against my heart, willing him to find comfort in the steady—if rapid—strength of its beat. One hand buries itself in Dane’s hair, pulling the strands through my fingers the way he likes, while the other clasps him tightly around his shoulders.

I murmur what I hope is a soothing stream of reassurances: I’m here, Dane; I’ve got you; you did well; I’m proud of you. I’m not sure he hears any of it or registers the truth in my words, but I know he can feel the vibrations through my chest.

I replay the scene, attempting to decode his mysterious behavior. My blood turns cold when I reach his panicked Master, please! Don’t give up on me!

“I’m sorry, Dane. I’ve failed you.” It physically hurts to say those words aloud. Goddammit! What did I miss?

I still can’t get him to respond. I need to get him out of the dungeon and into a space where he feels more comfortable. I pray to whatever god might be listening that there exists such a place under my roof—or anywhere with me for that matter.

I drop my lips into his hair and leave a soft kiss on the top of his head. “Dane, let me take you to the sub room so you can—”

“No, Master, please!” He grabs my arm and pushes his head off my chest.

“At least let me go get you a blanket.”

His hand grips my bicep like a vice. “Please don’t leave me.” There’s that look again—the one that demolishes me.

“All right, Dane. I’m not going anywhere. I will stay right here on this floor with you until you’re ready to move, okay?”

He nods and relaxes his hold on me, but his terrifying expression reminds me of a dog sprawled in the street after being struck by a car.

“Dane, I really need to understand what happened here. You have to help me. Please. What gave you the idea that I was giving up on you?”

He considers his answer—or perhaps Dane’s considering whether he can answer at all. I await his judgment like a convicted criminal at a sentencing hearing. The poor boy opens his mouth to answer but is unable to give voice to his thoughts. He drops his gaze and shakes his head forlornly. 

Shit.

I’m more determined than ever to find out what’s going on behind those doleful eyes, but I fear the imposed eye contact is making it even more difficult for him to share honestly.

“Dane, flip over.” He shoots me a quizzical look but complies as usual, spinning in my arms so that his back is now flush against my chest. His plump ass settles between my hips, and my dormant dick finds a warm home nestled against his smooth cheeks. Nuzzling his neck with my nose and lips, I ask, “Is this easier for you?”

He relaxes into my body, weaving his arms and fingers around mine like a flowering vine making its home around a trellis. “Mmhmm,” he hums.

I keep my voice soft and as nonthreatening as possible. “Can you tell me what spooked you, Dane?”

He answers, barely above a whisper, “I couldn’t be who you wanted, and then you let go.”

“I’m sorry about that. I only let go of the chain so I could hold you closer. That was not rejection, Dane.”

“Okay.” He’s not exactly convinced, but he seems open to my explanation.

“In what way were you not what I wanted, exactly?”

“I couldn’t let you . . . wasn’t submissive enough . . . frustrated you.” Even through his fits and starts, I get the message loud and clear.

Without conscious thought, I tighten my grip around his chest, scoot closer into his body, tangle my feet around his ankles. “I promise I’m not frustrated with you. And you are more than submissive enough for me, Dane.” If anything, he’s too giving of himself, to a point where it’s not healthy for him.

“But I—I tried to . . . and I couldn’t . . .”

Ugh, my gut twists remembering the tearful plea to use his body. “Dane, why did you offer that if you weren’t ready?” I shove away my own guilt at not seeing that he was pushing himself too far; I’ll have to deal with myself later.

“If I can’t . . . you won’t need me . . . you’ll put me out.” He can't even speak the unimaginable conclusions he's already drawn.

I imagine the haunting drama that Dane must be visualizing: a dairy cow untethered from her stanchion by the very hands that lovingly milked her until she no longer provided, marched out to pasture to live out the useless balance of her life. His careful composure breaks. I feel the quake of his shoulders against my chest, and I drop soft kisses along the line of his clavicle while he cries softly.

“Sweet, sweet boy, can you hear me?” He nods and he sobs and lifts our joined hands to his cheek to brush away tears.

“I need you, Dane.” I’m sure he hears the crack in my voice. “I am not ‘putting you out.’ In fact, I’m not putting you anywhere but right here, close to me.”

“But, Master,” he protests, lifting his head so our lips are nearly touching, “the other sub, he lets you do those things?”

“The other—” I don’t feel so different right now. “Dane, Pau—that other man is not my submissive.  He belongs to a friend of mine. My arrangement with him is nothing like what I have with you.”

He drops his head miserably as if the effort of holding it up is too great to bear any longer. He moans into the carpet. “I didn’t even satisfy you. I knew this would happen if I allowed myself to feel pleasure again. He was right. It’s all happening again!”

It’s clear who ‘he’ is. The motherfucker has officially entered my dungeon. “What’s happening?” I press Dane, not because there’s any pleasure in it for me, but because I have to bleed this poison out of the boy’s system.

Dane scrambles out of my arms and away from my body, leaving me cold and exposed, but one look at the terrified expression sitting atop the tight, defensive ball of his body confirms that he is in a far more vulnerable state. He cowers as if I’ve slapped him or I’m about to. 

“I should save you the trouble of throwing me out on my ass and just go.” Despite his threat, he’s frozen to the spot.

My blood runs cold and outrage makes my voice quake so violently, I’m sure Dane hears it too. “The fucker kicked you out? After he used you, abused you, and denied you?”

Crap. I’d do anything to retract my words, but my feelings are out now, and there’s no taking them back.

His chin drops to his bent knees, and Dane dissolves. “I deserved it.”

I pop up onto my elbow. “How on God’s green earth did you deserve it, Dane?” I’m yelling but praying he understands it’s not at him; it’s on his behalf.

“He had to bring in another sub to do what I couldn’t do for him,” he spits, “just like you did. Because I was selfish and needy and . . . chicken shit!” His balled-up body rocks violently; his focus darts around the room.

“Dane, you’re none of those things. NONE of them!”

Tears of rage and disappointment well up in his eyes as if he has already accepted I’m going to kick him out, but I just haven’t figured it out yet.

It’s all wrong. Everything he’s done tonight has been for the wrong reason. It’s not Dane’s fault, but it’s all tainted now. The effort of containing my rage is making my temples throb. “This is why you asked me to fuck you?” He doesn’t answer. “This is why you cooked ten banquets’ worth of food for me?”

“I wanted to do something nice for you,” he answers softly.

Cooking is one thing; giving away pieces of himself in the dungeon is an entirely different story.

“This is why you accepted my cuff?” I could put my fist through the concrete wall. What a fucking idiot I was, believing we’d had a breakthrough, for Chrissakes. “You were afraid of my rejection? What about our contract? Did you think I’d terminate the trial period if you didn’t offer me your ass? Do you have so little faith in me, Dane?”

“No, Master!” He rises to his knees and finds his voice through the tears. “I took your cuff because it meant you would keep me close to you. But then you broke the connection!”

He loses it right there—all the way. Body-wracking sobs and tears coursing down his cheeks. He crosses his arms over his chest, a lost, little boy desperately trying to soothe himself, and I break in two. Rushing forward, I gather him in my arms and pull him against my chest, then into my lap. “I tried everything,” he keens, while I rock him slowly side to side. “I wanted to be enough for you.”

I want to kill the guy who made Dane doubt himself this way—after I cut the fucker’s dick off and shove it down his goddamn throat. But more importantly, I have to separate myself from the monster in Dane’s mind if I’m to have any chance of helping this boy.

I know better than to say something in the heat of the moment, to make a pledge I can’t live up to. As I consider what I’m about to promise him, I realize with equal measures of surprise and relief that I feel no regret whatsoever.

After thirty years, give or take a few months, I’m ready to stop cold turkey, right here, right now. The income is the easiest piece to give up; I have everything I need and a solid nest egg for my future. I’ll find another way to guide my peers; I’ll consult on the tough cases. 

It’s so easy, so perfectly clear to me. The only thing that matters—he’s right here in my arms. Actually, he’s splayed across my lap, the two of us a messy jumble of naked body parts, literally connected at the heart.

He’s allowed my words to wrap around him and at least provide enough comfort to stem the tears for now.

“Dane,” I say in a commanding voice he’ll recognize.

He lifts his head and trains his bleary, red eyes on me. “Yes, Master?” he fucking whimpers, so ready to hear something terrible.

“You are enough for me. You are all I need.” His brow knits in confusion, and I finish my thought. “When you feel up to it, we should talk about making our arrangement exclusive. I don’t want you to have another moment’s doubt about my loyalty.”




Anyone else need a hanky? Sheesh! What about Marcus's offer? Was he too rash? Did he give YOU a rash? Will Dane believe him?

Story "research" often takes me down some interesting roads, to say the very least. Last night, while googling the real Disaster! show, I came across the most unwelcome and shocking announcement that the show will be closing on April 11th! Dismayed and disappointed beyond belief, I was discussing this terrible turn of events with Jayme when an idea occurred and blossomed into a full-fledged nutty plan. Tomorrow, the two of us are meeting in NYC to see the show! Jayme's birthday is on Saturday, and she has been a huge part of this story from the very inception, "pre-reading" even before the pre-readers, consulting with me in such a meaningful way about character development and plot and dialogue, and even their scenes- not to mention being a fantastic friend overall-so it made good sense for us to celebrate her birthday at the show together. I'm out of my stinkin' mind excited, more to meet Jayme than to see the show, although THAT TOO! Might even tell those folks at St. Luke's Theater they're featured in a kinky little story!


Want to join us? There are plenty of great seats left!  XO

38 comments:

  1. I don't usually comment on the Chapters because I don't want my excitement over how the story is building to interfere with the rest of your readers, but today I'm making an exception.

    I'm still not commenting on the story, but rather on the author's note. Thank you, Born, for this wonderful opportunity to MEET YOU and see Disaster! in NYC. You are truly one of the most loving, kind, and generous people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, and spending time together is going to be the best gift ever! When people hear a loud Squeeeeing noise tomorrow, that will be me greeting you!

    It's going to be a blast, and I cannot wait.

    xoxo

    Jayme

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  2. Awwwwwwww! One for you and Jayme! Have fuuuuun!
    And two...Dane and Marcus! Gahhhh!
    Oh Dane, my heart breaks for him. His fear of being discarded and not living up to what marcus needs. I'm soo glad Marcus held him like he did.
    Marcus! OMG! Gahh. It's going to be Dane and only Dane! Eeeeeeeee! I'm so glad he made this decision, not only for Dane, but for himself too. It's time for him to have it all.
    Xoxo <3

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    1. It's time for him to have it all. ---!!!! LOVE IT
      Thank you, Pates!
      x

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  3. Holy crap! I can barely handle Dane's pain and disappointment in himself, let alone Marcus promising to "deal with [him]self later"!

    oh gosh, this was a painful one. But at least Dane's panic led him to open up a little bit about what he's been through. That can only give Marcus more ideas on how to help Dane (or how to get him the help he needs, if thats what needs to happen).

    I'm trying to decide how I feel about Marcus deciding he doesn't need his job anymore. He's taken so much pride in his work before now, and I'd hate for him to promise to give it up in the heat of the moment. I mean, he seems level-headed enough as he thinks it through before speaking it out loud. Maybe it's just the right moment for M to realize he doesn't need it like he thought he did.- One of those times where things just click into place with no explanation for how you got to the decision, you just know it's right??

    I can't wait to see where more conversation will take these two boys, if Marcus's decision sticks, and where they can go from here.

    Soo jealous about your NYC excursion tomorrow, wish I could join! Have the most fun ever!

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    1. I love your thoughts on Marcus giving up his job. We know he's not the type to make decisions without careful consideration, but somehow, there's the sense that this is the right thing and he just knows it in every bone. I think there's room for both in one person (at least I've certainly felt it in my own bones), but I love how you reached your conclusion.
      Thanks for all your sweet words and insights.
      xo

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  4. Oh, dear lord. I need ALL the hankies, little pumpkin!

    Sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom before the way to the top is found. Marcus just opened all the doors to their future with a seemingly giant, but needed, sacrifice.

    And who's to say that several years down the road Dane becomes this confident, strong man and the sacrifices made today are amended to include more consulting work for Marcus? Anything is possible! However, I doubt Master will ever think he gave up something important while his submissive is at his side. Methinks he will feel like the king of the world! With or without is kinky business. Lol

    This chapter was amazing! Summed up in one line: "I need you, Dane."

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    1. I do agree about "rock bottom"- or at least this dramatic scene that helped bring out Dane's insecurities sooner rather than later. Festering wounds are the worst. The dungeon is most helpful in that way- the intensity brings things right up to the surface. There is literally nowhere to hide. To me, that's the true beauty of two people in scene together: they're raw, all out there, no secrets.

      I love your comment about Marcus never thinking he gave up something important as long as Dane is by his side. I can't imagine it either!

      Thank you.
      x

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  5. Poor Dane is even more broken than Marcus had imagined. What a loving thing for him to even consider, giving up his JOB training subs so that Dane won't feel like he fails. Marcus seems to instinctively know what to do here, even though this is all new territory even for him. This chapter is raw and emotional. Love it!

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    1. Yes, I think Marcus had underestimated Dane's response...but now he sure knows! I think at this juncture you might have more faith in Marcus's ability to take care of Dane than Marcus does, but let's see if that changes as we go along here. Thank you so much, Judy!
      x

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  6. Oh Dane, you have a lot of work ahead of you but luckily you found the right man for the job. Exclusivity between the two marks the beginning, I believe, of a beautiful relationship. Both will be fulfilled in ways they never imagined. I cannot wait to see a Dominant Marcus full of love. I bet he doesn't even imagine the difference it is going to make in his life let alone Danes.
    Have fun at the show you two. Happy Birthday Jayme!

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  7. Wow, what a chapter, heartbreakingly real but so necessary for them to move on. I'm sure there will be more backwards steps but this is such a leap forward for them and they will do it exclusively, I'm so happy.

    Thank you Born for your beautiful writing, I will think of you both at the theatre whilst going about my business in smoggy London.

    Jarvis
    xx

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    1. Aww, thank you, Jarvis! I really love your insight that this may not be their last backward step, but indeed this does offer an incredible leap forward.
      xx

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  8. This world is not something that I am apart of and therefore the only understanding that I have is through what I have learned from fanfic world so you will have to forgive me if I apply my world thoughts into my reviews. But, yes, as you did say in response to my review in chapter 26, I can say that I see the validity of the physical contact taking precedent over talking it out. This becomes more clear in the beginning of this chapter. To me, anyways.

    I think my heart clutched at the thought that Dane's expression reminds Marcus of a dog in the street after being hit by a car. That is a very descriptive and sobering thought that hits home just how serious this issue that the two are experiencing right actually is...this is no game for either of them.

    This, Marcus, will not stand for. Good!

    The motherfucker has officially entered my dungeon.

    Reading their conversation is heartbreaking. But, finally, verbal communication. Yay!

    Now that is quite a statement. That Marcus is willing to change everything in his life, basically give up his life as he knows it, to concentrate on Dane. That, my friend, is solid commitment. Undeniable commitment.

    Have a great time seeing the show with your friend!!!

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    1. It is absolutely not a game, despite any references to "playroom" or "games." For Dane, it seems a matter of absolute life and death, to be bound up with the right person who can appreciate what he has to offer and nurture instead of take advantage of his pure goodness. For Marcus, he knows his responsibility to this sub/ this man surpasses anything he's ever taken on before. And yes, commitment is absolutely the perfect word. Thank you for maybe suspending your "world thoughts" for a little bit to see things through the eyes of my characters. We appreciate it! xoxo

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  9. Poor Dane - his previous experiences have sure as heck impacted on him in so many ways. I still wanna hug him hard, but I get the feeling Marcus is the only one able to soothe him. And now that Marcus knows more about what's going on with Dane, he's decided to become exclusive, giving his submissive what he needs. Hard chapter to read, but I sense Marcus' decision will be a turning point for both of them. Have a great time in NYC! x

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    1. I think Marcus is exactly the man for this job! :)
      xo

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  10. Maybe that's what I was waiting for. I'm back in for the rest of the ride.

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  11. Sorry I didn't get to review last chapter, honestly I couldn't come up with anything about or beyond what everyone else had go say. It would probably just been ditto. LOL I was afraid that Dane had safe worded because Marcus dropped the tether. Marcus giving up his work is monumental, though having Dane by his side permanently will go a long way in helping to heal Dane. He is so broken, and between them I felt like crying. Hope you enjoy your outing tomorrow. Happy Birthday, Jayme.

    flutterfli

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    1. I think it's pretty cool how readers have started really getting into other people's comments and responding to each other here and on FB. That said, you certainly don't have to feel like it's a competition or you have to come up with your own original response or something!
      You read that one right- with Dane's safe word! Awww, thanks for your powerful response. I really appreciate it, flutterfli!
      x

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  12. I loved Marcus realizing that he is ready for a change. He is very good at his chosen profession, but why wouldn't he be when ha has spent a lot of years focusing on excelling at it. Now that Dane has entered his life he has the opportunity to concentrate on their relationship and mix business with pleasure (in a way). People that lack for better word a "fulfilling" personal life often concentrate on mastering (no pun intended) other aspects of their lives. I suspected he was going to feel guilty for believing that Dane had had a breakthrough, but I'm delighted that he overcame those feelings and instead chose to move forward and look for ways to help Dane and make their relationship work.
    As for Dane I don't think e has hit rock bottom yet, especially since he is still not able to even talk about most of what happened to him and specially not about the things that he is truly sacred of. I think he has become the proverbial onion as soon as one layer is peel another one comes up. The beautiful thing about this is that Marcus is willing to peel as many layer as it is necessary to free the real Dane and rid him of all those layers that are keeping him in the dark, weighing his soul down.
    I can of want to adopt Dane... Does he have any family? Is there someone out there that cares for him?
    Have a great day tomorrow, enjoy the show :)
    As always thank you for your writing and blessings
    Gigi
    PS I hope half of this makes sense I just got home from the dentist.

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    1. It's interesting you see this as another "layer" and not rock bottom. I actually agree that rock bottom isn't exactly the right characterization for where Dane ended up here. I think it was a really intense scene that brought out a very big issue that was holding them back and now it's out there to be dealt with. Will there be more of these? I wouldn't doubt it. We know Marcus's teasing about his age is an issue that has come up, and I can foresee others. No relationship of any kind is without its challenges, especially where baggage is coming from both angles. We just can't help it; the question is, can we work it out? Very interesting observation that perhaps Marcus needed his work before he had a more fulfilling personal life.

      As to your question about Dane's family...thank you for asking it!
      xo
      b

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  13. Wish I was anywhere near NY just so I could join you. Funny, my son's 8th grade class is going to NY and will be there the 10th and 11th. Too bad I didn't chaperone, but on the other hand I would be awfully frustrated because I'm sure the chaperone's aren't supposed to ditch to go to an off-broadway performance with a bunch of ladies they met online!!!

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  14. My apologies for being late to R&R 27 & onward, I've been dealing with a situation at Casa de Muse.
    This chapter broke whatever was left of my heart after 26. *wavering neck sideways trying to release some tension*
    Though I partially agree with Gina about him excelling in what he does to compensate some unfulfilled personal issues - It's quite normal, I've seen it - I still can't bring myself to see Marcus giving up his activities. I appreciate the gesture and I can't help but feel my heart melting, it is indeed a huuuge commitment. Abysmal *see I had my Thesaurus at hand lol* but I'd rather read more of the back stories - hey Gina good catch on Dane's family! - before I accept it. *snorts - as if Marcus needed my input*
    Look. At. Me tsk tsk tsk - an old wimp E&B cat, pledging my allegiance to a kinky slash story! Well, it's never too late to ride a different wave eh? Oops, how did that come out? LOL
    It's because of you Mistress BOH, you and your talent brought me here and I bow to you.

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    1. Oh dear, hope the story provides you with a decent escape!
      Interesting thoughts on Marcus's retirement. Let your heart melt- it's good for you!

      I could not be more pleased to see you here "an old wimp E&B cat" opening your heart to my boys! That's how I got started, after all. An author I loved wrote her first slash and it really opened me up to all the possibilities. Love is love is love...thought the body mechanics and emotional needs are a wee bit different! ;)
      xo

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  15. Wow.. just Wow..... I'm not sure I have EVER read a chapter with so much raw emotion in it. They both need so much from each other and Dane is so broken. Even Marcus is having trouble with understanding how broken.

    Dane gave away some essential parts of himself to little d. How much of him was already damaged that he would do that.

    I'm hoping Marcus doesn't give too much of what he needs away. Has he heard of compromise ? Maybe not.

    Thank you for an incredible chapter,

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    1. I really appreciate your comments on this one. I do see them both laid bare here- Dane obviously broken because of his past and his paralyzing fears, but Marcus just as much by his inability to reach Dane.

      You raise the quintessential question of the story- what exactly DOES Marcus need? MWAH!
      xoxo

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  16. And the Remastering of Marcus shifts into high gear. Step 1 - he only wants to be one man's Master. Go Marcus Go!!!

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  17. Annnnnd that's it. Heart fucking broken at what I read in this chapter. Yes of course, I called it in my last review. It was clear cut from the time Dane went so ooc, offering up his body like thaT, in ways he wasn't ready for. And I said that it surprised me that Marcus didn't pick up on it, and then he chastised himself for missing it in this chapter and I'm like RIGHHHHHHHHT?!?! guh

    This was so very devastating but necessarily so. These two NEEDED this breakthrough moment. If this is what it took for Dane's fears to be voiced and stripped bare then as much as it hurts I'm glad it happened. Marcus cannot be expected to read minds or draw conclusions all the time. Especially given how much a recluse Dane can be at times. Dane has to learn to give voice to his desires, fears, weaknesses, fetishes, loves, limits. Speak up and tell you Master what you want from him... your union. And trust that He is listening and will take good care of you and your advances. That he won't walk away from you, especially not like this.

    Broke my heart to see Dane like this again, but I felT where he was coming from and he needed thus break. They both did, if not to understand what frame of mind they're both currently in at the moment.

    As for Marcus' propsal at the end there. Well see how that goes! Because I do think that Marc had needs that Dane isn't ready to satisfy. It all boils down to where they both think this relationship can go and how deeply do they truly feel for each other. They both need to be on the same page, communicate. Or else evething will fall apart.

    Quick note, I've always thought that Marcus needs to explain to Dane that Dane is HIS submissive and his only sub. These people he take on, as part of his career is simply a means of what he does. As I mentioned before, there's a monumental difference between 'what he does for a living' and 'who he needs for a living'. Barriers can be set. Understandings can be come to. Communication is the key!

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    1. You're right, Dane should have spoken up, and it's not entirely Marcus's fault, but that won't stop him from feeling bad he missed the signs. He cares way too much about this boy to not berate himself for screwing it up. Interesting about Marcus having needs Dane can't satisfy. I'm not sure...you mean physically? It'll be interesting to see how that pans out. Barriers and understanding, boundaries I guess, come with a whole lot of trust. I think these two still have to find their way there together.
      xxx

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  18. And ugh do not get me started on how that masshat (remember what that meant) Slithered right into their scene. It tore at me when Dane thought that Marc would toss him out just because it was the way of his ex-master. He's so scarred. My heart hurts for him.

    Marc needs to show him that what he went through was not the true submissive experience but one of abuse and selfishness and neglect (all on the dom's part). Can't wait for Dane to find his place. He belongs with Marcus... and Marcus with him.

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  19. oh dane, such an utterly broken boy. my god, that piece of shit did quite a number on him. he's the quintessential sub and it's so sad that he didn't meet a decent master first, he would be the marcus of subs!

    i wasn't quite sure how i felt about marcus quitting his job but he seems so crystal clear about and it feels so right to him so i think he is doing the right thing. him and dane can continue the dom/sub relationship exclusively which at this point is healthieet for them both. there's no saying that marcus can't go back to training at some point in the future once their lives are on solid ground. i would love to see him and dane do it together someday. they would be amazing!

    i am a bit worried about how dane will react. how guilty will he feel? i think it's the best way for marcus to get through to dane that he is special and different, that their relationship isn't just a job. they have a lot of work to do but i'm so excited for them! x

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    1. The Marcus of SUBS! I LOVE THAT! OH! Marcus and Dane together in the dungeon with others? Hmm and mmmmm! Don't worry, lots more chapters to work through all your concerns. *WINK*

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