Monday, May 5, 2014

Sixty




Dane proceeds to take at least three laps to each of my two, and he’s still going at it long after I’ve crawled out and plopped my tired ass on the side. Leaning back on my palms, I could easily watch him for hours, yet it only takes one lap to recognize that Dane swimming toward me makes me a whole lot happier than Dane moving away. I’m ridiculous, and I know it. Where’s he going? To the other end of the pool!  That damn Neanderthal thing again.

Mine, mine, mine!

A break in his rhythm catches my attention, and I can almost feel his body’s long sigh in my own bones as he slows to a stop between my dangling feet. Off come his goggles, and Dane dips his head underwater and pushes his hair out of his eyes. Pressing his hands against the wall, he extends his left leg behind him and pushes into the stretch. Glancing up at me, Dane grins, lifts his foot into his left hand, and pulls the damn thing up to the back of his head.

“Are you kidding me with that? God, you are such a show off!”

“I’m stretching!”

“Okay, Dane.” I pretend that he’s not driving me crazy, and he pretends not to be doing it on purpose. It’s a beautiful arrangement.

Mine, mine, mine!

There follows a complicated sequence of contortions, each designed to torture me in a unique way. Torso twists, shoulder rolls, arms and legs stretched and flexed and . . . hell. It’s hell. He seems to be quite enjoying himself, but then, Dane always takes great pleasure in knocking me off balance.

This stretchy thing across my groin hides nothing, and neither—I’m quite sure—does my expression as I watch him up close, slack-jawed and helpless. I’ve had it.

“Dane, you just about through here?” He has to hear my exasperation.

And that’s when he does the thing I pictured him doing when my famous blue Speedo fantasy was born, before I learned about La Perla and short stretchy things and how Dane doing the thing right in front of me is so much worse than from a distance in a daydream. With his palms on the coping, he lifts his body straight out of the water, pausing—let’s be real, posing—Olympic high-bar-style: two-armed push-up, abs rippling, legs fully extended down to ten perfectly pointed toes, water gliding off pebbled skin, and last but never least, the perfect hump of virile boy suspended just inches from my mouth.

Oh, merciful heavens.

As if pulled from above, Dane effortlessly lifts his body out of the pool, placing his feet right between his hands. Crouched next to me, he leans into my ear, dripping a cool stream off his chest. “Master?”

“Huh?”

Dane chuckles. “I’m ravenous.”

I can relate. He pulls me onto my feet and retrieves our towels. It kills me not to be able to peel that suit off him and wrap him in my arms. For now, I settle for the tuck of the towel at his waist, but we certainly head down the stairs quicker than when we came up.

In an obvious attempt to take back some semblance of control of this totally out-of-control situation, I give Dane a good ogling when he drops his towel and slides off his suit. So much for shrinkage! It’s not all that much of a relief when he pulls on his plum-colored briefs, but I’m not going to do anything about it here.

“Did you have something in mind for lunch?” I ask while throwing on my clothes as quickly as possible. I don’t like to keep Dane waiting when he’s hungry.

“How do you feel about Indian?” He tugs on his jeans and leaves them carelessly unzipped while pulling on his tight red shirt. I’m so jealous of the hand tucking it in, I could actually weep.

“That’s fine. Whatever you like.”

“There’s a place called ‘Namaste’ right down the block from my place. If you want, we can do take-out.”

My fingers freeze over my belt buckle. It’s an awfully long ride back to Times Square from here, and there’s no way Dane is planning to hold out that long to eat. There’s only one logical explanation for his suggestion, and my heart stops beating while I process it. He’s turned his back to pull on his coat—or to avoid making eye contact.

“Sure, sounds great,” I answer, hoping my voice doesn’t give everything away.

And it’s strange. Because this is Dane’s gig, has been all day. Not exactly my comfort zone, well that’s actually a huge understatement. But—and wow, is this a BIG BUT—this part could never have happened otherwise. This offering of Dane’s, this sweet slice of his personal life, a piece of himself he could’ve withheld, could never have been mine for the taking; this is something that can only be given away.

“It’s a couple miles. We should probably take a taxi.” He spins back around toward me, and I give him a nod. My heart is in my throat, but that’s okay—it blocks a whole lot of words from spilling out. Dane seems grateful for it, giving me a small smile as he settles his duffel over his shoulder.

Taxis are not hard to come by, and Dane gives the address as I scoot inside next to him. I can’t decide which of us is more nervous right now, but I do know that things are always better when we’re connected. I reach for his hand, weave my fingers around his, and pull the bundle into my lap. He looks down at our hands, at the slow swipe of my thumb across his knuckles. His phone vibrates in his back pocket, and Dane reaches for it automatically before shooting me his “uh-oh” look from this morning’s unauthorized conversation with Riley.

“May I?”

“Of course. Can you do it one-handed?”

Dane grins at the innuendo. “It would be easier with my right hand, but I can manage.”

“Good.”

He chuffs, not even a little surprised I haven’t given him back his hand. Squirming and tipping, he pulls out the phone and taps his password with his left thumb. His smile fades as he reads the message. “Excuse me, Master, but may I have my other hand please? I need to type a message right away.”

“Of course, Dane.” I let go and he pulls away. “Everything okay?”

“I just heard back from Eleazar. He wants to meet me on Monday.”

“That’s the therapist?”

“Yeah.” He starts typing out a reply. “I’m not meeting him on Monday. That’s your birthday.”

My lips have already curled into a smile despite themselves. “Dane, meet with him.”

“No way,” he says, head shaking vehemently while he types. “We’ll find another day. I’m not taking time away from our day together.”

“Did you just disobey me?”

His head whips around, and for a second, he looks completely lost. Poor Dane, what an awful dilemma. And what terrible timing for the driver to pull to a stop at the curb.

“That’ll be eight-fifty.”

Dane’s too flabbergasted to fight me for the fare, and he’s wise enough to stop typing until we sort this out. He exits the taxi after me, his expression a mixture of misery and opposition, and he honestly looks like he’s thinking about putting up a fight.

We’ve both got our gym bags slung over one shoulder and Dane’s phone hangs from his hand like a bloody axe.

“Let’s not do this right here,” I tell him, placing a hand on his lower back and guiding him out of the flow of foot traffic.

“I’m sorry,” he says. “I didn’t mean to go against your wishes. I just—never mind, it doesn’t matter what I wanted.” His shoulders droop along with the corners of his mouth.

I cup his chin and lift his face. “Of course it matters what you want, but the most important thing is your well-being.”

His anguish multiplies before my eyes, but he’s muzzled himself, not a bad strategy if you’re afraid you’ll get in trouble for speaking your mind.

“Dane, talk to me.”

“I don’t think you’ll like what I have to say.”

My gut twists. “All I require is honesty and respect. Do you have a problem with that?”

“Absolutely not,” he answers with a fierce nod.

“Okay, then.” I drop my hand from his chin and give him some space to gather his thoughts. “I’m listening.”

“First of all, I’m fine. I’m happier than ever and feeling better every day we’re together.”

“You do realize that every time you insist how happy you are, you’re kind of miserable, right?”

He looks at me as if I tricked him. “Well, except for this particular moment, which I’ve obviously royally fucked up, I’m extremely happy.”

He rolls his eyes, and I have to smile. “Okay, Dane. If you’re fine, that’s great—really, I hope you are. I’d just like a little professional corroboration so I know I’m doing right by you.”

“You are!”

“Look, we’ve already been through this, and you’ve already agreed to go see him. What’s the big deal if you carve out a little time on Monday?”

The conflict is written all over his face, but bound by honesty, he spits out the answer. “I have plans for us.”

My hand flies to my heart. He has plans for us. Jesus.

“I hate to be an asshole, but can we not spare an hour or two to see this guy?”

“Two? We?” Fuck, he looks like someone sucker-punched him, and I’m about to kick him while he’s down.

“I was hoping you’d sign a release and let me talk to him as well.”

Dane bites the inside of his cheeks and turns his head away from me. What felt like hell earlier has nothing on this little scene. And the damn waiting . . .

Finally, he turns back, and in a gloomy, broken voice, he pleads, “Why?”

I’m not ready to tell him what I need to discuss with the doctor; that’s the whole reason I need to speak to the man in the first place. I don’t know shit about victims facing their abusers. I have a strong sense of how to direct things, based on what I understand of Dane and how I’ve seen him handle different situations, but the whole idea is to heal him, not cause further harm.

“As I said, Dane, I need to know I’m taking good care of you. I appreciate your assessment of things, but I’m really sorry; I’m just not confident you’re the best judge of that right at the moment. And frankly, neither am I. I know that sucks. Trust me, it sucks worse for me, because I’m not really used to doubting myself.”

Whoa. You want to pull back on the reins a bit there, Tonto?

Dane’s hard glare softens at my confession.

“So,” I start, opening my arms, “can this work without screwing up everything you have planned? Because, Dane, I gotta say, I’m sure whatever you’ve cooked up is amazing and thoughtful and totally you, but you could not possibly give me anything I’d want more than the assurance that I’m good for you.”

He barrels into my chest so hard, I stumble backward, but his firm grip around my back keeps me from falling.

“You trying to get even with me for crashing into you in the pool?”

He starts to chuckle against my chest, and soon we’re both shaking with laughter and relief. God, he feels so good in my arms as I finally hold him the way I’ve wanted to for hours now—not counting the facts that we’re both clothed and standing in front of a busy Indian restaurant.

His verdict is a murmur into my thick coat. “How early can I make the appointment?”

“Whatever time you like, Dane.”

“Okay, I’ll see what Eleazar can do.”

I drop a kiss on the top of Dane’s head. Chlorine, not my favorite shampoo scent, but right now, it’s heaven.

“Thank you, Dane. You’ve already given me the best possible gift.”

Dane stands, pulling away from me. “I already know what he’s going to say about you, but I get it. And there is one really serious thing I need to say to you, Master.”

“What’s that, Dane?”

“I. Am. Ravenous!”

Whew! That was tense, huh? Is Eleazar going to approve of Marcus? *snicker* XXX

24 comments:

  1. well i do think that eleazar will approve :D As much as Dane's come a long way, of course there are issues to be worked through. Marcus admitting he's needing elezars guidance also shows Marcus is in this for the long haul (as if we didn't already know that). :D

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    1. Yes, absolutely, AND more importantly, Marcus is not going to let his own ego get in the way of Dane's complete recovery.
      XOXO

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  2. Poor Dane, he was a bit like a rabbit in the headlights there..

    But first, the swimming pool stretches, I was so picturing that, especially the pulling himself out of the pool move, yum.

    Then Dane offering his home to Marcus, momentous.

    But back to poor Dane, Marcus is always his master isn't he, Born? Does that mean that he can't disobey ever, I found that part interesting. He promised Marcus he would see the therapist and we can sense that he doesn't really want to but I can understand him wanting to have Marcus' birthday first. It's sad that he reverted to keeping silent but good that Marcus was able to coax him to speak his mind, these things bode well for the future.

    I wondered how Marcus was going to bring up Wayne and now we can see his thinking, I hope he remembers the incident with Sean and how Dane was upset when Marcus didn't speak to him first. I'm glad they ended with a cuddle and closeness as our men may have a few tricky moments ahead.

    Thank you

    Jarvis
    xx

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    1. Yummy yum yum watching a man like that put his body through its paces. I can only imagine...and I often do! Is Marcus always the master? I have to answer yes and no, but don't forget, they're in this funky "trial period" right now, so maybe their "normal rules" don't quite apply- however they might define them. I do believe that Marcus has every right and actually a true responsibility to push for this therapy appointment if he is unsure whether he might be hurting Dane in some way. It affects them both in the capacity as Dom and sub, and that's where I think it's okay for Marcus to make this demand. There may be other pieces of Dane's past or their continuing relationship together that don't fall under this umbrella. I guess we'll have to see... it's definitely tricky and there's no right or wrong answer. I love that you're pondering it! One more little thought...I don't know if Dane would consider himself "poor Dane" in the situation. ;)

      Ahhhh, yes. Well spotted on the Sean parallel. *wink wink*
      xo

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  3. Oopsie!! Sometimes our mouths open and spew before our brain engages! Poor Dane, I bet he wishes he could turn back time for about 10 minutes. Marcus handled it well and in the end so did Dane. Mistakes turn into lessons which end up turning into tummy grumbling, cuddle sessions. I would have gone "Awww" if I had seen them in the street.
    PS. I want naan now and our only Indian place in town just closed. Sigh
    xoxo

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    1. Oopsie! I agree with you about mistakes, and I'm glad Dane isn't holding things in. Spewing is so much better! Sorry about the craving.
      xx

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  4. That was an unexpected chapter, you surprised me. Often in relationships you have moments of doubt, you make mistakes and you disagree. I loved the fact that Dane slipped and had a little bout of disobedience. I understand that in the Master-submissive realm it is a big no-no, but in the real world it is quite the common thing. So even though he spoke out of place to me it showed how comfortable and safe he feels in their relationship. In the big spectrum of things this moment came at the perfect time, since it allowed Marcus the opportunity to express why going to Eleazar is a necessity and how he need to be involved. I said it again but Dane is so disarming, what an effort for Marcus to remain strong. Marcus is indeed a Master amongst Masters. Now unto happier moments... Marcus sexy fantasy came to life it is a great that he is in good health otherwise a heart attack sounded like a real possibility there. I know I would have at least hyperventilated, what a yummy moment. And finally my favorite part of the chapter Dane's invite to Marcus to go to his place... Wow, I mean that is a big step for Dane, he is letting the draw bridge down, welcoming Marcus to his castle. That is certainly a part of him he could have kept private for many different reasons, but in Dane's case I think it shows how secure and proud of who himself he has become. Lovely twist and now I'm feeling excited to go into Dane's home, so until next chapter.
    Thank you so much for sharing, because sharing is caring ;) and also for your kind replies.
    Gigi

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    1. I LOVE SURPRISING MY GREAT READERS! I love that you pointed out how hard it must have been for Marcus to remain strong there with Dane all upset and a little rebellious- so out of character for him that Marcus had to know how much he was asking. But like the parent who has to be a parent and not a friend, this was Marcus's role and he played it as well as anyone could have, especially the reconciliation moment at the end where he cuddled that boy so hard!

      I agree that Dane's instinct to bring Marcus into this part of his life is very endearing. Let's see how it works out for them. As always, Gigi, thank you so much for your insights and for sharing your honest responses.

      xo

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  5. My emotions ran the gamut with this one. The beginning is so light and sorta fluffy, save for the actual and rather thick UST going on. I love how Marcus ogles Dane. He's so appreciative of everything about Dane's body and mind. His ogling is never relegated to only his physical form because he often mentions the expressions and what they convey to him. I love that about them both. The end was a toss up between sort of sad and worried about Dane to "D'aaaaaaaaaw' moments. I got teary with Marcus' confessions. And honestly, a little teary with Dane's sly invitation to eat at his place. So well done.

    I think most of all this chapter brought up some questions regarding how Dane will handle everything. I know you'll answer most of them outright and any that aren't I'm almost positive I'll be able to piece together. I'm looking forward to meeting Eleazar, for sure!

    Favorite line... He barrels into my chest so hard, I stumble backward, but his firm grip around my back keeps me from falling. ...The visual with this was so strong and so fitting. Dane's need and absorption of these little tender moments sort of slays me. If I'm honest, Marcus' reaction to them slays me too. Not a big surprise :D

    xoxo
    V

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    1. You are so right about the ogling that Marcus does to Dane. It's way more than the physical. I guess if I had to pick one quality along with the physical beauty that Marcus admires in him, I'd say it's his humility. Dane just has a way of oozing humility even while stretching that gorgeously perfectly tuned machine of a bing bang rock 'em, sock 'em bod. And that's why Marcus's "You're such a show off, Dane" really felt humorous to me.

      I hope your questions will be answered, and I'm really glad you're thinking ahead that way and wondering. As the author, I spent a lot of time trying to decide if I wanted to impose a third party here to help Dane or let my Master be everything Dane needed. In the end, I looked to Marcus's personality as my guide. His ego would never interfere with Dane's well-being. He's just not that kind of person, not that kind of Master, and not that kind of friend. So he has to be a bit of a hardnose Master over this, and we'll see if it was the right move...soon. You slay me with your love for these boys. Thank you so much.
      xxx

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  6. I feel like my comments here lately have been a sappy mush fest. It makes me slightly uncomfortable. About this chapter....I think Eleazar might just have some reservations about dane jumping from what he may perceive as the proverbial frying pan into the fire with his going right into a relationship with Marcus. My feelings may be a bit skewed about therapists what with my own dealings with one or two.....I love the way dane is speaking out more and more of his true inner feelings to Marcus and love that he has plans for a birthday celebration. I hope they can do both birthday and therapy without too much conflict....

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    1. I approve of sappy mush. In fact, I totally encourage it. What an interesting perspective you have on Eleazar's possible take on things. Looking forward to seeing your response when we get there.
      xo

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  7. Gah, Dane subtly inviting Marcus over to his place to eat! I was so excited to see that. There's something surprisingly intimate about inviting someone into your home. It's just different than going places together out in the world. I am excited to see what happens there and hopefully Marcus will give Dane some delicious memories to hold onto in his own home! lol

    I'm really not sure how I feel about Marcus asking Dane to sign a release so he can talk to Eleazar as well. I fully understand and appreciate M firmly requesting Dane talk to his therapist again and make sure he's on "the right track" and I also get that M wants to talk to the therapist to make sure that he won't hurt Dane, but for Marcus to be able to talk to the therapist about D makes me feel iffy. Idk, it is way early in the relationship (despite the strength of their bond)... I have faith in Master Marcus (not to mention the doctor) to keep everything appropriate and not use this as a way to pry into Dane's life more than D would willingly offer, but I do have mixed feelings so far. I shall withhold judgement though. :)

    I am soo excited to find out D's plans for Master's birthday, and I swooned a bit when D almost bowled Marcus over with his attack hug. Dane has faith in his Master's motives, I shall too. :)

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    1. Love your thoughts on Dane's place. Hang on to those for next time.
      INTERESTING that you have such reservations about Marcus gaining access to Dane's psyche. I think Marcus would agree with you that there are certain things he does not have a right to ask anyone other than Dane. I hope that can soothe your nerves (without my giving away anything) until you read this part of the story. Don't forget, Marcus is "he who waits patiently" for Dane to reveal himself. :)

      Oh yes, you can totally have faith in Marcus's motives. He only wants what is best for Dane--hence, the push for him to see Eleazar in the first place. *sprinkles Digi with rainbow glitter*
      xoxo

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  8. Mine, mine, mine! I totally get that sentiment. LOL

    Fabulous line/thought:

    I pretend that he’s not driving me crazy, and he pretends not to be doing it on purpose. It’s a beautiful arrangement.

    Um....oops:

    “Did you just disobey me?”

    Love Marcus!

    Exactly:

    “Of course it matters what you want, but the most important thing is your well-being.”

    Wow...Marcus admitting to Dane that he is out of his depth? I really like that. But I wonder what Dane thinks. I mean, does he want to think that Marcus is all knowing or that he is and can be human just like him?

    Oh good. Asked and answered! LOL

    I just bet Dane's hungry after expending all that energy. Marcus needs to feed that poor boy! LOL

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    1. I love that question about what Dane needs Marcus to be. Does it shake Dane to see that Marcus has faults? That he's human/insecure/vulnerable? I leave it to you...
      xo

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  9. These two make me giggle, laugh, and then want to hug them so damn tight. Marcus' admission that he wants to make sure he is good for Dane made me swoon. I can truly see not only the care for his submissive, but the love for his boy that Marcus gives completely to Dane. He wants him whole, complete, but most of all he wants him to be Dane.
    Xoxo
    ❤️❤️❤️

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    1. Love your reaction!
      OH AND I LOVE WHAT YOU JUST SAID THERE AT THE END! YES YES YES!
      Hearts and flowers to you, Pates!
      xxx

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  10. "you could not possibly give me anything I’d want more than the assurance that I’m good for you.” And that my friends is love. Wanting the other to have what is needed. Such a good chapter. Reminding us where they are coming from and that its hard to make sure you end up in the right place.

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    1. Agreed. Couldn't think of a better definition of love.
      xo

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  11. Hmmm talking about Waynehole with Dane at the therapist - now there is a novel idea. I agree with Marcus to not let Dane push this aside even for a day since there is traction with it.

    I can almost picture Dane stomping his foot during this conversation. He may be a sub, but he's anything but submissive in this conversation! !

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    1. There are times when Dane asserts himself- sometimes not really on purpose but just because what is being asked of him is so distasteful to him. I like that he can still stand up and say what's on his mind and Marcus will carefully consider it before making his decision. Dane needs to grow as a man and not just as a submissive. XOXOXO

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  12. Firstly... Damn you Dane with the teasing. I mean all that glorious swimming and expertly stretching *shakes fist and squeezes thighs together*

    Love love love that Marcus broached the subject of him wanting to talk to Eleazar too. I think that will help Dane feel a little less singled out and having Marcus right up there with him is just another way of him telling Dane that they're in this together; for the long haul, and that he genuinely cares about Dane, higher over his own desires.

    Love to see where this goes on both their parts.

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    1. Haha love the fist shaking and thigh squeezing! Hmm, I'm not sure Dane would see it that way. Marcus wants to talk about Eleazar about Dane more than anything, so it's not exactly share and share alike here. Still the fact that M is more than committed, more than ready to sacrifice plans should tell Dane everything he needs to know about how to spend the day.
      xxx

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