Sunday, May 4, 2014


The subway is crowded, and the usual sights, sounds, and scents do an admirable job of taking the bloom right off my rose—or maybe it’s the anxiety of our upcoming athletic endeavor. I know how to swim, but I’m not particularly good at it. The downside of being with the perfect man, of course, is that my own flaws are ever so glaring. Not that Dane seems to mind. What I’ve always viewed as weakness, he somehow finds endearing—even hot.

“This is us,” he says, pulling me from my thoughts as the 7 train screeches to a halt.

Queens Boulevard. Dane’s stomping grounds. Dane’s home.

He threads his fingers around mine as the train comes to a stop, and I follow his confident lead up the staircase and out into the cold street.  As if sensing passivity might be difficult for me, Dane fills me in on our route. I marvel once again at Dane’s humility and his uncanny ability to “bottom from above.” Any power he might hold over me because of his superior familiarity with our setting is freely relinquished in the most graciously humble way. My head plays a little game of connect-the-dots, taking me back to Dane’s deference while I was blindfolded, his generosity in all my “compromised” moments, where words have spilled from my lips or emotions have escaped me.

At the front desk of the Y, Dane reaches for his wallet. Let it be.

“I need a guest pass, please,” he says to the young Asian girl behind the counter.

“Sure, that’s ten dollars, and here’s a registration card for your guest to fill out.” Dane quickly slides a twenty to her and hands me the pen attached to the counter with a short, silver-beaded chain.

“Thank you, Dane,” I respond, quelling any fears he might have had about my putting up a fight.


“Need towels?”

“Yes, please. And lockers,” he answers her.

He gathers his change, our towels, and the keys, leading me to the locker room and our side-by-side lockers. With our suits already on, there’s none of the pre-karate awkwardness as we undress and stow away our gear; in minutes, we’re up the steps and standing in the highly chlorinated, sub-tropical climate with only our skimpy suits, the goggles we picked up before boarding the subway, keys dangling from wrists, and towels draped over one shoulder. I hear footsteps overhead, and much to my chagrin, I look up to discover there’s a track encircling the perimeter of the pool one flight up, and all those people can look right down and see us.

“Oh god.” I grip my towel in front of me and pray for someone to pull the fire alarm. I’m not above a minor infraction of the law if the situation calls for it.

Dane chuckles and places a hand on my shoulder. “Come on, you’ll feel better once we’re in the pool.”

“I seriously doubt it,” I grumble.

Dane tosses his towel and key onto a bench and gives me a sly wink while I ogle him. Without any warning—and frankly, a damn warning would have been quite nice—he bends forward and presses his palms to the floor. Fuck me, I suppose I should be grateful he didn’t turn his back to me first! He pulls up and grins at me, reaching hands above head and displaying every finely-tuned muscle. I have the sense that I’m standing there with my jaw dropped open like a teenager at a peep show, but I can’t move. He’s got me frozen in his tractor beam of hotness, and there’s no escape for me until he puts an end to this torturous routine.

But no, he anchors his feet a bit wider, and he’s twisting that torso, abs flexing and popping as he warms his muscles for action. The tantalizing bulge inside the flash of blue material is a tease as he spins side to side, hiding . . . Wait! There it is! . . . Now, it’s gone again!

“Aren’t you going to stretch?” he asks me. He’s onto the shoulders now, rolling one back, lifting, releasing.

“No, I don’t need to.”

Dane smiles without condescension. “All righty, then. Shall we?” He tips his chin to a free lane and walks his sweet, blue tush to the edge. “We can share the lane. Just stay to the right when we pass?”

“What happens when you lap me?” The misery is apparent in my voice, and I know I need to stop being a whiny bitch, but with the moment of truth upon me and only this tiny excuse of a suit as armor, I am a big, pale fish out of water.

Dane leans in, eyes shimmering with mischief. “Aren’t I always gentle when I lap you?”

That earns him a solid eye roll, but he responds by giving me a fearless once-over. With a shake of his head, he says, “You’re putting me way off my game with that suit, you know.”

With great regret, I toss my towel to the side and scowl at my unruly submissive while fixing the goggles over my eyes. “Let’s go, Dane, before I change my mind.”

His grin is a mile wide as he mouths, “Yes, Master.” Turning to the water, he sets his goggles in place, shakes out his hands, and steps to the edge of the pool. Right before my eyes, Dane visibly enters his zone, not unlike slipping into sub space or into his character on stage. Tensed and fully engaged, he extends his arms, hollows out his stomach, and pushes off using the powerful muscles in his legs. There’s barely a ripple in the water as he slices through the surface. I can’t look away as his legs propel him forward with a restrained but mighty flutter kick. An arm arcs out of the water, dives back in, and drags him forward. His body tips ever so slightly to accommodate the other arm’s rise and pull, and soon I’m mesmerized by the fluidity of his motion. Just before reaching the far wall, Dane manages an effortless flip, emerges about one-quarter of the way down the lane, tips his head to one side, and draws his first breath. As he swims back toward me, I have a chance to fully appreciate the front view, the majesty of his shoulders, his aerodynamic form, and the perfection of his rhythm.

My trance is broken when he touches the wall and stops, looking up to see what the hell I’m still doing there. I have no excuse for my behavior other than the fact that Dane’s majesty has hijacked all my brain cells, and I’m not sure that will get me off the hook.

“Sorry, go again. I’m right behind you.”

Not quite sure if I’m to be trusted, Dane gives me an obliging you’re-the-boss smile before pushing off the wall again. Screwing up all my courage, I line up my toes with the edge, take three deep breaths, and dive in.

The initial shock steals all my carefully hoarded oxygen.  So distracted by the unforeseen audience above and the utter perfection of Dane, I failed to prepare myself for the cool water that slapped me everywhere all at once. Rookie mistake.

I gasp for a clean breath with my very first opportunity., My crawl stroke feels just that—clumsy and mechanical, nothing like the dolphin-like grace I was just ogling. The joggers above are surely gawking and thinking how nice it is of that young boy to bring his dear old dad out for a little swim.

My kick is uneven, tangling me in the plastic lane dividers like rubbish snagged on a fishing line. When I strike out again, concentrating on my legs, the arms get out of whack. For a coordinated guy, I’m kind of a freak right now. And here comes Dane.

Coming toward me from the other direction, his form is beyond admirable; it’s textbook. Hold your shit together, Marcus, at least until he passes. I tighten, straighten, realign, and meet his eyes goggle to goggle underwater and feast on the close-up view of perfection as it swims past me from tip to tail.  

Seems like forever, but I finally reach the wall. No fancy flippy turns for this guy—a La Perla suit does not a swimmer make. I know my limitations. I push off hard with my legs and glide until I’m at a near standstill. And here comes Dane again—far sooner than I would have liked. He swims past, and I resist the urge to grab his tiny little bathing suit and drag him backwards.

Dane’s fluttering feet clear my head, and I kick it into high gear. At least, if I make it back to the wall before he passes me, maybe I can retain a shred of dignity. Faster, arms! Harder, legs!  Here comes Dane. Fucking hell, I’m about to be lapped, and I need to take it like a man—or at least, a manly fish.

His fingertips appear in my peripheral vision, soon followed by every gorgeous inch of him. As I watch helplessly, he overtakes me with his head, torso, thighs, and finally, his toes. My eyes crawl back along his body—if I’m going to be shown up, I might as well enjoy the view—when suddenly, he breaks form and curls his body in front of me and bam!

Disoriented and confused, I sputter to the surface where Dane has ripped away his goggles and is regarding me with great concern. “Are you okay? Do I need to break out the CPR?”

“What happened to ‘being gentle with me’? Why would you go and—” Shit, that happened.  I pull off my goggles, for all the good they did me. “Crap, Dane, I’m sorry. You shouldn’t have—”

“It was my fault. I was being a hot dog, and you almost whacked your head. God, I would never have forgiven myself.”

“You? I’m the one who practically rammed you right through the wall!”

As if it’s just sinking in that he’s been head-butted, Dane absently runs a hand over his chest. “I’ll live—” Enter the sparkle—“though that head of yours is pretty hard.”

We’re toe-to-toe with Dane backed up against the tile wall. For the first time since we left the hotel this morning, I find myself in the superior position. I know my grin matches his as I reach out and ghost the point of impact with my palm. “Tell me about it. I’ve had way softer pillows.”

Dane lifts both eyebrows in surprise and measures me with a long stare, not quite sure how far he can take the teasing without earning his Master’s revenge, however playful. “You think that was hard? Good thing you didn’t hit me a little bit lower!”

His feistiness thrills me; it’s a reflection of how comfortable he feels expressing his sense of humor without fear of an outsized response.

“No kidding! I could’ve broken my nose on that thing!” We both burst into relieved laughter. “It’s no wonder you’re excited, Dane. I’m sure I got you all hot and bothered with my awesome form.”

He grips the wall behind him with his outstretched arms, but his gaze does a fine job of fondling me but good as it sinks beneath the water line. “Yes, Master,” he murmurs for my ears only, “starting in the dressing room.”

I shake my head at his audacity. “Maybe I should stick to dry land.” I move to the side and place my palms on the coping.

“You’re leaving?”

Aw shit. Puppy dog eyes? Seriously?

“I thought this might be a good time to commence the watching phase.”

Dane clasps my wrist, stopping me dead in my tracks. “What if I give you more space in the lane?”

Double shit.

“Dane, I’d need the whole damn lane.”

“Deal!” He grins, Monty Hall having just sold the biggest zonk to any contestant ever to grace his show.

“Excuse me, but how are you going to swim with me if I’m hogging the whole thing?”

Dane shrugs. “I’ll just go under.”

Bluff called.

“You’re planning to swim under me?”

“Sure. Whatever it takes to keep you here.”

Yeah, you go ahead and try to refuse that. I sigh; Dane grins. “You win, Dane. Why do I even bother?”

“I have no idea.” He pulls on his goggles and slides his foot up the wall. “Ready?”

“No.” Not even a little.

Dane chuckles. “See you when I see you.”

Ugh, poor Marcus! I picture him in full wet suit, head spinning every which way as he watches the gorgeous sea life pass him from behind, below, above...LOL. Pretty pictures in the Patch. Enjoy! XXX


  1. ohmygosh I really fell you Master Marcus! LOL It's sort of understandable Marcus feeling inadequate, insecure ... he sounds like having a Bella moment lol, an insecure teen having a crush on the school champion lol
    *shakes head* But it's Dane that's amazing me every.single.chapter! How much he grew up in those few days ...
    Oh man, Marcus is a goner! Awww has it been a long time you feel this way, Marcus? Or maybe you'd never felt never this way before? *contented sigh* the beauty of a mature love mixed with those young sensations and how happy I am that Dane is right there with him? Marcus is not only his Master, he's waaaay more than that and ...can I already dream of a marriage with a white picket fence in the suburbs ... with a glorious dungeon? *sappy Muse is sappy*

    1. This right here: the beauty of a mature love mixed with those young sensations...
      you just hit the whole nail right on its head, Muse! And he REALLY doesn't know what to do with himself! You can dream all you like. The house already exists, dungeon and all! ;)

      MWAH and feel better!

  2. Poor Marcus, how we feel for him here, how we sense his inadequacies but the things he will do for his submissive just make my heart go aahhhh.

    And Dane, so pure, innocent and kind. He must know the power he has but he always uses it for good, never abusing it, never taking anything for granted.

    I smiled the whole way through this chapter whilst sympathising with Marcus as I'm not a great swimmer either, get the swim done Marcus and then get back to your mastering ways, I can't wait to see what's next.

    Thank you Born


    1. Your comment: He must know the power he has but he always uses it for good, never abusing it, never taking anything for granted.---YES! Dane never once makes Marcus feel like less of a man for his feelings of inadequacy or his vulnerabilities. And right on, sistah, about Marcus climbing right out there on any and every limb for Dane. These two are so good for each other! :D

      Thank you, Jarvis!

  3. I love how Marcus' ego isn't even the least bit dented by dane's swimming prowess. Now that's 2 things he does infinitely better than his Master, swimming and dancing. The give and take here between them is both comical and heartwarming. Another lovely chapter, and I love the Speedo visuals....

    1. Yeah, Dane's better than Marcus at a whole host of things but because Marcus's heart is just so huge and he just appreciates every little thing about Dane, it only makes him feel grateful (although a wee bit insecure!)
      So happy you enjoyed their "give and take." Lovely way of describing their whole relationship, actually, Judy. <3

  4. I love how well they fit together, even in the simplest tasks as walking down a street. It is nice to see Dane take the lead, because he does it so gently and he is always mindful of Marcus's feelings. He is a submissive through and through, it is present in every aspect of his life, like Marcus said even when he tops he does it from the bottom. When I see him grow so confident under Marcus's care and marvel at how he shines being his submissive, I can respect his decision of not calling Marcus by his given name even more, I guess he is enjoying their relationship and the titles it provides them with immensely. Marcus has his own issues mainly because of the age difference and they are bound to rear their ugly head every now and then, but the way Dane deals with them is so respectful and disarming. They are good for each other. I hate public swimming pools, but you managed to make them appealing through this scene. Then again who could resist the calling of such a seductive selkie.
    What an enjoyable Sunday this is turning out to be; a yummy chilaquiles and fresh papaya for breakfast with my even yummier hubby, this chapter up when I got home, warm apple pie with vanilla ice cream, and a couple of movies ready to be watched.
    Have a lovely Sunday, thank you so much for sharing your writing so generously, and your kind replies to all reviews.

    1. DISARMING! What a fantastic word for Dane. He does it time and time again...just kind of opens himself up and shows Marcus that he accepts (and let's face it, loves) even his most embarrassing "inadequacies."

      Sounds like a beautiful day. Glad you're enjoying it.

  5. Really cute chapter. Love and adore these two.

    1. Thank you, Keye.
      So happy you were able to be here and enjoy them!

  6. "His feistiness thrills me." It's all of these little moments that keep intriguing me so much. I love that when D is teasing his Master, we see no remnants of the guy who didn't even speak when he first met Marcus. It hasn't even been 3 weeks (is that about right?) and sometimes I find it hard to remember just how far Dane has come! He is fantastic, and I adore his playfulness- I think he'd be fun to be friends with in real life! lol.

    "Aw shit. Puppy dog eyes? Seriously?" Marcus is soo cute, he just cant even deal with Dane's adorableness. lol I like that these kinds of moments could leave me picturing how they could co-exist in more vanilla situations down the road. They're not quite (!!!) a normal couple, but they have their moments of it- puppy dog eyes, teasing, general cuteness.

    *happy sighs*

    1. You know my characters move quickly though time and space seem to be at a standstill. I guess it's my M.O.! :P
      You're so right that Marcus can't deal with Dane the adorable. Wait till tomorrow!

      Okay, they're really not even close to a "normal" couple- whatever that might be! I never know from one minute to the next what the heck they're going to do or so. They drive me NUTS! Feel better?

  7. I'm 99.9% sure this was the cutest damn chapter ever written. First of all....swimming. Nuff said there. Second, little suits, and I do mean little. Little and yummy and so delightfully colored and...and...I digress. Where was I? RIGHT! Cutest damn chapter. All the bantering, Marcus' insecurities. I'm thinking he might actually be worse than Dane! Dane's are pretty well out there and his issues seem to get better when he's with Marcus. Marcus on the other hand, he needs to stop seeing Dane as this perfect specimen saddled with an old fart Master and realize but good that he's the reason I'm reading this story and he's the wonderful man I'm going to start a fan club for. So there. *Folds arms and dares Marcus to disagree...bitch brow is implied* That's what I thought.

    Favorite line... I marvel once again at Dane’s humility and his uncanny ability to “bottom from above.” ...Do you ever wish you'd coined a phrase because it's just so friggin perfect? I do. I wish I'd coined that phrase. I'm not sure if you came up with it or found it but it fits so well with the way Dane is. I wanna smoosh'em both. <3


    1. HAHA! What's the .1% hesitation, huh? Oh this is rich. Marcus is more insecure than Dane? Hmm, maybe Dane's not done healing him yet? HA! You're starting a fan club?? Heehee, hilarious!
      Oh no no no, sweet V. Bottoming from above and topping from below are not mine! They're a "thing"- a way of saying what I was trying to say, even if they usually refer to something that happens during sex. But I am positively thrilled how much you liked this chapter. I think it's probably one of my favorites in the story. I also really love your observation that Marcus is actually becoming less confident in many ways because of his feelings for Dane and ironically, because of his SUCCESS bringing Dane into the light! This review had me smiling from ear to ear!

  8. awww! I loved how Dane was when Marcus felt so out of his element. Still, though that was the case, Marcus still managed to get a good look at his gorgeous Dane. I think I'm noticing that the more Dane blossoms, the more insecurities Marcus reveals. :) Loved it

    1. YES! What you said ^^!!! And it's Marcus's own doing! But...I ask you THIS, Lisa and Lady V (if you're reading) and anyone else out there: Is Marcus's revealing his insecurities a step forward or backward for him?


  9. I think it must be very scary for a strong man to have to reveal a weakness. I felt sorry for Marcus in the beginning. (Especially realizing he was being watched by more than Dane) Then it all got better because of Dane. Makes you wonder who is teaching who. That wonderful boy is going to make Marcus even better than he thought he could be. Love it. xoxo

    1. Ah yessss, NOW who's the grasshoppah, right?
      *wink* maybe the one being remastered?

  10. Ugh, poor Marcus indeed. I don't know how he is even swimming, I would just be there gawking. LOL
    Shoot, I'm just going to sit here and pretend to be the lifeguard. I adore that Marcus is doing activities he isn't 100% secure in just to spend time with Dane. To get to know Dane. To see who Dane really is and what he enjoys.

    1. He's barely swimming! I agree though. I find it endearing that he is so willing to go outside of his comfort zone and even make himself vulnerable and "weak" for Dane. In fact, he's found that doing so is probably one of the more beneficial things he can do for Dane.
      Thanks for getting it.

  11. So funny. Poor Marcus is an insecure mess. He doesn't know which way is up. " I marvel once again at Dane’s humility and his uncanny ability to “bottom from above.” I think Dane is also showing off for Master. Marcus is so head over heals. Just say it dude.

  12. Self deprecating insecure Marcus is incredibly sexy. And teasing Dane is adorable. I'm hoping that Dane is helping you B learn to be a little nicer to yourself.. .hmmm)??

  13. Gawwwwd these two make me so sappy!!!! But Marc breaks my heart when his walls are down and his inadequacies come out to bite. His esteem about himself sometimes seem so low. :(

    But I do love how Dane is always so quick to justify or reassure him. We often think that Dane needs to hear how beautiful or great he is or how much he's regarded and cared for, but its evident that Marcus needs to hear them once in a while too. And who better to tell him than his beautiful boy?

    I also think that the true test is Marc relinquishing so much powet or liberty to Dane and him not taking advantage of it. He knows his place and remains Marcus' sub in all things. Even when the reins are in his hands, he's cautious and mindful of line and boundaries that shouldn't be overstepped. Love that he's enjoying his free reign while knowing his limits. Shows that he's paying attention and that he respects his Master, their relationship and the very hard, rare decision on his Master's part to offer him control. Good on the boy. He continues to amaze!

    1. Who doesn't need to hear those things from someone loved and trusted? Poor Marcus, never thought he'd have to be tested in this way, to measure up against such perfection. Sigh...but he doesn't really GET it yet, he IS beautiful to Dane in every way. You totally get what Dane is all about it. A man who would never abuse the control he is granted, someone Marcus can truly trust. :)