Friday, May 30, 2014

Seventy-four


The curtain is about to go up, and I need to focus on something other than Dane dancing for Riley and Sean’s eyeballs—and not mine. Just as well, I have arrangements to make.

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From: Marcus Andrews
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 6:42 PM
To: Edward Cullen
Subject: Need your help

Shifting from poetry to poetic justice and hoping you'll stand by me.

We've located Dane's abuser - asshole named WAYNE preying on subs all over the city. With Aro's help, I'm taking this fucker down. Your pretty face in the crowd would be a tremendous boost.

Monday night, 2/4, Downstairs (354 Bowery)

I'm afraid the club is all male, but hope Bella might join us all afterwards for a celebratory dinner.
M 
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From: Edward Cullen 
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 6:45 PM
To: Marcus Andrews
Subject: Re: Need your help

Marcus-
Whatever you need, you know I'm in.

BUT do I really have to be a face in the crowd? Haven't swung my cat in months, but it wouldn't take me long to get my arm back.

Think about it. We made a good team once upon a kinky time, remember?

Isabella is right next to me and says she'll take care of the after-party arrangements - our treat! (aww, ain't she generous?) Just text her your thoughts, numbers, time, etc. My wife can book a reservation like nobody's business!

(wife- WOW!)
E

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Edward standing next to me, tightening the screws on the dom-wannabe. The idea appeals on so many levels.

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From: Marcus Andrews
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 6:58 PM
To: Edward Cullen
Subject: Re: Re: Need your help

Quite an offer, my friend.
Yes, I do seem to remember a time... practice up and we'll talk!

Thank your sweet wife and tell her I'll be in touch.
M
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If I know Edward, he’s already warming up his whipping arm. I have to admit, it feels good knowing he’ll be in the arena with me. Honestly, I can’t think of a better man to have as my wingman, or whip man, as the case may be. Hopefully, Dane will be equally bolstered by Edward’s presence.

Which leaves me one more phone call—the good doctor. It’s after seven, but Eleazar doesn’t seem the type to be a stickler for the time clock, especially where his patients are concerned. If he can’t talk, he can send me to voice mail. An unexpected case of the nerves afflicts me while I wait for him to pick up.

“This is Eleazar.”

“Hi, Eleazar. It’s Marcus—Dane’s Marcus.” Fucking fantastic.

“Ah yes . . . aren’t you the fellow who tried to appropriate my chair? I vaguely remember you.” His warm laugh instantly erases the awkward. “What can I do for you, Marcus?”

“I wanted to let you know I had a chance to speak with Dane this afternoon.”

“About your feelings for him?”

“No! Well, yes, I mean . . . I did, but that’s not why I’m calling.” Seriously? What is this truth-extracting voodoo?

Eleazar is maddeningly impassive. “Okay.”

“What I meant was we talked about what I have planned for Wayne. Dane really wants to participate, so I am calling to give you the details so you can be there for him.”

“You work quickly.”

“I don’t like him stewing.”

“Stewing is definitely not good.”

“Right, so would you be available the evening of Monday, the fourth?”

“I will make myself available.”

The relief that washes over me is a surprise. For all my confidence, I feel infinitely better knowing an expert will be on hand. I also didn’t realize how choked up I’d become until I try to form words.

“Tha—ahem, thank you, Eleazar. I know that will mean the world to Dane.”

“My pleasure. If either of you wants to talk again beforehand, do not hesitate to contact me.”

“Will do.”

Marcus–”

His sharp tone catches me off guard after what felt like a boilerplate offer. “Yes?”

“Watch Dane. You know he’s rather skillful at hiding things, especially if he feels he might be disappointing . . . someone he wants to impress.”

Me.

“Doc, if it makes you feel better, I’ve seen that behavior before, and I know what to look for.”

“I’m sure you do, Marcus. There’s a reason Dane has put himself in your care.”

I won’t deny it; the ego-stroking feels good.

“Thanks, Eleazar. I appreciate your confidence. So we’ll see you at seven at Downstairs. You know the place?”

“I’ll Google it.”

“Okay, and don’t worry about being seen—this is a private party.”

“Good. That’ll be better for Dane.”

“Listen, feel free to share this invitation with any of the other victims. I trust your judgment.”

“Hmm, let me think about it. Thank you for the offer.”

“Sure. We’re all going out afterwards, would love to have you there, too.”

“That’s a great idea. Surround Dane with people who love and accept him exactly the way he is. I’m sure you know, Marcus, no matter how well this goes, you have to expect some emotional fallout. It could happen later that night or it might be down the road. One never knows . . . but providing a loving safety net will definitely ease the bumps.”

“Well, I’m all about smoothing the way for Dane.”

More of that warm laughter fills my ear. “I love that you’re all about the long view, Marcus. We both know there’s nothing smooth about what is about to happen.”

“Right, Doc. Thanks a million for reminding me.”

He pauses long enough to eliminate the breeziness from his tone. “You’re welcome.”

Saying thank you again feels weird, so I clear my throat and close with, “Have a good night, Eleazar.”

“You too. See you soon.”

Plans are taking shape, acquiring color and sound. The home team stands are filling in with good guys. Aro will already have begun baiting the line, and I’m sure I’ll hear when he hooks Wayne the Pain with our plump, juicy worm.

As for the details of this little “demonstration,” I won’t send my mind to wander in that ugly pasture again until after Dane is collared. That still allows me a whole week to plot the intricacies of Wayne’s demise and a far better place to expend my sexual and emotional energy in the meantime—on my beautiful boy.

Collaring Dane. There’s a thought that lifts my spirits, with certain other body parts sure to follow.

Sigh. How might I begin to express what Dane means to me or how I long to deepen our connection and travel further down all the roads not yet taken with him?

I’ve been privileged to attend a handful of collaring ceremonies over the years where close friends and clients have made the commitment. Each ritual was unique, suited to the distinctive personalities of the two men and the qualities of Master and submissive.

Like everything between us, this process will be part Dane, part me, and part this separate entity I’ve begun conceptualizing as “us.” I’ll inject my heart and soul and coach Dane to do the same; in the end, I’m quite sure the result will be something neither of us could have created alone.

Dane will need time to prepare. He’ll need to be re-taught exactly what collaring means in a committed, caring, consensual relationship, and he’ll have to think about what kinds of vows he wants to share with me, what kinds of promises he is willing to make.

A black shadow of doubt passes across my heart: What if he doesn’t want this? What if—knowing how great it can be—he decides to explore other options? What if he decides to look for a newer model?

God knows, the boy is any master’s wet dream in every possible way, but would any other master appreciate him the way I do, on so many levels? His sharp intellect, his humility, his sense of humor, the depth and beauty he holds inside? His damn twinkle?

Bah! The answer is swift and excruciating: If Dane so desires, of course I would let him go.

I would no more try to bind him to me through guilt or obligation than I would disrespect his safe word. I have to believe Dane will choose to stay with me and set my sights on that; the other possibility is far too painful a place to live.

Fresh air and a clear head are what I need. Dressed for dinner, I set off toward Central Park. I can’t even draw a breath in this city without ingesting Dane; he lives in everything that holds beauty for me. Poems I memorized in my youth percolate to the surface and take root in my consciousness. If I’m not careful, I’ll soon find myself whistling!

Collaring, collaring . . . Focus, old man!

The “where” feels obvious: my den, the location of our most intimate moments. The “who” is easy. That’ll be the two of us. Fine by me if someone wants a witness to their bonding, but Dane and I don’t need that. The “when” has already been established: this coming Monday, the end of our contractual trial period, perfect timing for us to head out to my house for an extended stay and enough lead time for Dane to consider his vows.

And now, to ponder a tougher question: what?

Entering one of the many tunnels in the park, I set my mind free to fantasize visuals of Dane in various stages of undress, wearing everything from a “traditional” collar of leather and studs around his neck to something more graceful and subtle. Dane’s initial aversion to bondage has created a unique phenomenon: after a month’s time with this submissive under my care and command, I have yet to clasp anything around his neck. Even stranger, I wasn’t aware of the fact until this very moment as visuals of wide, leather-banded collars fail to connect with my mental construct of Dane.

Playing “dress-up-doll Dane” isn’t exactly taxing, but then again, it doesn’t particularly stoke my fire. Frankly, the whole collar/leash/pet metaphor doesn’t line up with my perception of Dane as a submissive or how we operate together, nor does he require even a moderately powerful lead to follow at a perfect heel. Lord knows, the boy loves a good spanking, but Dane does not crave true humiliation the way I’ve seen others need it to get off. I would be surprised if puppy play ever entered our repertoire.

Perhaps it’s sheer greed on my part, but I cannot fathom covering the elegant stem of Dane’s neck or sacrificing even an inch of that nape where my fingers love to play—and Dane loves to have me play. Most especially, the very idea of putting uncomfortable pressure on Dane’s neck makes my stomach hurt in ways that Tums can’t fix.

What, then? A collaring requires a collar, and my boy deserves a meaningful symbol of our Master-submissive bond. I appreciate that an outward sign of commitment will undoubtedly elevate both of us in scene.

Mine, mine, mine!

Yes, there is that as well. The possessive beast living inside me needs to mark the boy even if only for my own eyes to feast on the view. Hmm, about that . . . the boy is mine no matter where he goes, whether or not I’m with him, which brings a fresh set of challenges.

There is nothing I can conceive that Dane could wear at work without raising unwanted attention and possible interference with his performance, so right away, I rule out his wearing any kind of piece at the theater. As for the rest of the time, when we’re not in scene, he’d do well with a “day collar”—a constant reminder of his Master, something that might be seen by others but not readily identified as a submissive collar. That information stays between Dane and me and whomever he chooses to share it with.

My dilemma has doubled; instead of one collar, I now need to think about two. What symbols make sense for us in the context of our relationship? What messages do I wish to transmit to Dane about being exclusively possessed by his Master? My brain needs to marinate for a bit. I’m sure the right idea will make itself known in good time.

That leaves me to ponder the “how.” What kind of ceremony defines us? What kind of scene reinforces the values and promises we will exchange?

The delicious quandary paints the distance between the stage door and my feet with a rainbow of possibilities, ranging from sweet and breezy to serious and kinky—and every permutation of the above. In short, by the time I arrive at St. Luke’s Theater, I am both deeply content and entirely too wound up for the evening ahead. 


Hail, hail! The gang's all here . . . or coming! Collars? Scenes? Marcus has a lot of planning to do!

It's a travel weekend for this little pumpkin but I will read, enjoy and respond to each of your comments and PM's...eventually! See you in a few! XXX

20 comments:

  1. Lovely thoughtful chapter with lots to ponder.

    Firstly, loved the mails with Edward, it's great that Marcus wanted him to be there and even greater that Edward didn't just want to be a spectator but wants to participate and with a whip!!! Goodness me, that chapter is going to be something...Edward and Marcus et al, all masterly in one space, words can't express.

    It's good that Eleazar will be there too, I'm not sure about Wayne's other victims being in attendance, it could be cathartic or could just be far too emotionally charged. I wait with interest to see what you do about that, Born.

    And then Marcus' pondering, how thoughtful he is, again putting Dane first regarding the collaring or more precisely to collar or not. I've been wracking my brains what would be suitable for Dane to wear, something for when they are in scene and then something for when D and M are apart. Maybe a thin chain with something like a St Christopher pendant, or a St Marcus in this case lol or maybe one of those string like bangles for a wrist, the string representing rope and tied in a knot to remind Dane how far he has come regarding his fear of bondage. Oh the possibilities but as Marcus says the right idea will show itself.

    Finally, the evening ahead, how exciting especially as M is so wound up..... this could be a hoot, let's hope Riley behaves.

    Have a great weekend, can't wait for the next chappie

    Thank you

    Jarvis
    xx

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    1. I hope words CAN express that scene, J. LOL I hope mine can...it's been built up so much I'm not sure how I will, but I do have some ideas! I agree with you about Eleazar and the other subs. We'll have to see how that plays out (well, you'll have to wait)!

      I love both your ideas for Dane's "collar"...I could see Dane rocking so many different looks. We'll have to see what Marcus finds in his heart. Hope you will enjoy the double date. I love writing the dynamic between Riley and Marcus. I guess I like strong, cocky men! SHOCKING!
      Thank you for your lovely, thoughtful review. Really appreciate it.
      xx

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  2. I am so very much eagerly anticipating watching Wayne get his comeuppance! Now that Edward has agreed to be a part of the plan, I am even more eager to see him wield the whip!! All that doesn't detract at all from the main theme of the chapter, Marcus' ruminations on how to properly collar his baby......I love to just sit back and watch his mind work on this. I know he will choose the best possible of all considered ways to bind his beloved to himself in this very lovely symbolic ceremony. Have a great weekend and keep our boys safe in your mind until next time!

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    1. What a very sweet thought you closed with there! Sometimes I think my characters are holding ME and keeping me safe...keeping me company...keeping me well entertained! I will do my best in the upcoming chapters to meet expectations! :)
      xxx

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  3. I think you know that I have a particular fondness for dialogue in a story- it just seems to suck me into a story on a level above what descriptions of characters' physiques or the decor of a room could ever do. And knowing that fondness of mine, one might suspect that I would struggle in chapters like this one that take place, in large part, inside Marcus's head. But, that is not even close to the case. Although our personalities are very different, Marcus's inner monologues seem so relatable. He "talks" to himself how I would talk to myself- not to narrate the scene for an audience, but just to work through what he needs to. It is super engaging and never slow or dull.

    Love that Edward wants to take more of an active role in Wayne's comeuppance. You can tell he wants to help Dane, get the bad guy off the streets, and perhaps most importantly, support Marcus by helping him support his boy. Thinking of Edward and Marcus, side-by-side, Master-ing the wannabe??? *swoon*

    Can't wait to see the double date night! I hope you give us lots of scenes of Riley being adorably difficult and Dane being adorably cheeky! lol but if you don't- I'll just have to let my imagination run wild!!! lol

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    1. Dig,
      That is a tremendous compliment. I'm not sure if I've ever expressed to you my main insecurity about this particular story is that I spend so much time in Marcus's head, I'm never quite sure if my readers are happy to be there with me. This is very affirming, and I really appreciate your kind words.

      Side-by-side mastering...yummy! Kind of like that scene in KEA where Isabella has dinner with those two. Holy heated dinners, Digiman! I think you will enjoy the dinner scene, but if your imagination comes up with anything else, please DO SHARE!! MWAH!
      xoxo

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  4. Please give a warning ahead of time when we get to the chapter when Marcus and Edward are doing there thing together. I am going to need some prep for that chapter. Like a powerful fan to cool me down, maybe a big jug of ice water, some absorbant undergarments...etc. etc. Have fun w/ your adorable Mr. H this weekend. Love this chapter m'dear. xoxo

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    1. You will be significantly forewarned, my dear! Thank you for your lovely words.
      xx

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  5. What an exciting way to start a chapter. I know Edward suggested the whipping as a punishment to Wayne... But unfortunately I can't stop picturing Marcus and Edward double teaming Dane, so yummy and sexy. OK so back to business, so the plan for Wayne's punishment seem to be shaping up, so great to see so many people coming on board since it shows how Dane's corner is becoming quite full. I have told you before how I love these chapters with just Marcus since I love his inner monologue so much. I often find myself commenting on Dane since he is such a scene stealer and there is something about him that compels me to comment about him… Like I just did now LOL it is shocking I fell for it and him again. So I think is greatly over due for me to concentrate more on Marcus. There is such an air of power and self-sufficiency that makes me feel that he is nearly perfect, so I tend to over look his insecurities and these chapters where I get to inhabit his brain for a little bit help me remember how incredibly soft and cautious he is. As a Master he commanders attention to his acts and sheds the spotlight on his submissive, but as the man behind the whip he shows so much of himself. Thank you for writing these chapters so well and for allowing your character to expose himself so generously to us. Chapters like these make me realize that in spite of the Master-submissive relationship they are still just two souls navigating the complex yet beautiful experience that is falling in love.
    As always thank you so much for sharing these captivating characters, their amazing story, and for your kind replies to all the reviews.
    Enjoy your weekend :)
    Gigi

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    1. I don't blame you for having that 3some in mind, but nah on so many levels (and I know you get that, too!) I really love what you wrote about Marcus exposing himself. I totally get that Dane's probably the guy you wouldn't be able to take your eyes off if the two of them were together walking down the street, but you really seem to appreciate the complicated, loving, conflicted human being that is Marcus as well. "Two souls navigating the complex yet beautiful experience that is falling in love." WOW. You are totally writing the back cover of my first novel. xoxoxox

      Thank you for all your gorgeous thoughts and for sharing them with us.
      xxx

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  6. omg edward's getting the whip primed and ready? be still my heart! that will do remarkably well to help Wayne decide he will indeed be attending. Eleazar's presence will be a great assurance for all involved - I just hope him being there will be enough and there won't be any immediate fallout he'll have to deal with when the time times. And I love Marcus' musings about their collaring ceremony. Can't wait to see what unfolds there! :) enjoy your trip B! :)

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    1. Oh the fallout...hmmm. We'll have to wait and see on that one, I guess! ;) I haven't written the scene(s) yet so I'm not quite sure how Dane will respond to the proceedings, BUT with E and Marcus and Sean and Riley and Edward all there to hold him up, I cannot see how the boy wouldn't be able to manage it. We shall see...
      xoxoxo

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  7. Oh good lord. Edward and Uncle Marcus working together whips in hand, shirtless. *pants* I can't even Gah dhdisojwjwyeixkch^!*jdkw

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    1. It is quite a stimulating visual, no? ;)
      YOU CAUGHT UP! Tag, I'm it!
      xxoo

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  8. EEEEEEdward! Of course he would be there! :D And Bella ready to have the after party! I love them!

    Marcus had me a little teary eyed with his thoughts about Dane wanting to possibly be with someone else. Especially when he said he would let him go! Like he wants to go anywhere, Marcus! You silly love sick fool! That I adore!
    The collaring, yes! what will it be? I was thinking a cuff of some sort, especially when he was thinking about not wanting anything around Dane's neck. I soo adore his complete thoughts of care and love for Dane. Sooo soo much!
    I hope your having a great trip, B!

    xoxoxo
    <3 <3 <3

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    1. Hee hee, yes, Marcus is not thinking straight! Why would Dane want ANYONE else ever?? Thanks for your predictions on the collar/cuff. Good stuff, Pates!
      xox

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  9. I am so looking forward to seeing Marcus, Edward and Eleazar all together in one room. It will be great to see little d get his comeuppance, but I would love to see these three in a more relaxed setting. Afterwards?

    Marcus self commentary is so enlightening. While the big I love you's have been said, he is still processing it. His internal debate on collars speaks to me of trying to still get a handle on his relationship with Dane. Of course he would let him go, but Dane doesn't want to. For all you have written him as a wonderful Dom, you have written him as a better man.

    I'm looking forward to the double date. Thanks for sharing this story.

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    1. Why yes, there's a celebration afterwards, and you are ALL INVITED!

      What a beautiful line about his being an even better man than dom! Thanks for that.
      xo

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  10. Oh my entire body is ablaze at the thought of Edward in scene with Marcus and Ex master dickhead. I haven't read any of the others where Marcus and Edward had any interactions so this will be a treat for me.

    I just love how seriously Marc is taking this. This is such a huge moment for them both and Marcus is nothing if not thorough. He's a man of plan, strategy, control and he needs this to be perfect and meaningful for his boy. So every thing has to be thought out and all avenues considered. Even Dane's life away from him. I loved how he thought about Dane's collar and what would be appropriate for him at the theatre. Theres a level of comfort in knowing that Dane is held in such high regards and that Marcus will do pretty much anything to care for this boy. He deserves it after all hes been through. And Marcus deserves the pleasure he earns from caring for Dane.

    Marcus having his moment of doubt damn near killed me. But sometimes that doubt is necessary to gain that clarity to. He pulled himself back well. And he's right. He has to trust and believe that Dane will accept him.

    ~I can’t even draw a breath in this city without ingesting Dane; he lives in everything that holds beauty for me~ LOVE LOVE LOVE THAT!!!!

    So excited for them to make their relationship official. Their lovely souls belong together.

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    1. It's so cool that you are walking the streets where I imagined those two (and my whole kinkiverse cast) living out their stories. I had a few of those moments as well when I was just there, but this is more of a midtown adventure, for the most part. You're right, Marcus never loses sight of what is important to Dane's happiness and fulfillment, and for this, he reaps the mightiest reward- his own true happiness. :)
      xox

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