Finally, we reach the driveway, and the car is swallowed by the creaky jaws of the garage door behind us. I haven’t even turned off the motor as I bark out his instructions. “You have ten minutes to prepare yourself in the sub room, and I want you naked and ready when I knock on your door.”
“Yes, Master.” With no responsibilities but following his Master’s orders and nowhere else to be in the whole world, Dane is utterly serene as he makes his way to the cellar stairs. I might envy his position right now if I weren’t so damn pleased to be at the other end of the commands.
I have only one detail to take care of—stripping down to my jeans and bracelet—and I’m ready for him. Tonight’s scene involves patience and artistry; Dane is my granite, and I am the sculptor. My knuckles tap out a soft warning before I open the door to find Dane waiting in perfect submissive posture. His lips curl up at the corners when he sees the way I’m (not) dressed. The feeling is oh so mutual, my sweet boy.
“Time for your Master’s collar, Dane.”
“Yes, please,” he answers, dropping his chin to his chest so I can fasten the buckle around the back of his neck.
“I can’t imagine ever not getting a charge out of seeing you in nothing but my collar. Come; step in front of the mirror so you can enjoy it, too.”
“Thank you, Master.”
I lead Dane to the fluffy rug I’ve placed a few feet from the mirror. His gaze follows my reflection as I pick up the coil of blue silk-and-bamboo-blend rope and step behind him. “All the work will be mine tonight, Dane. Your job is simply to still your mind and body. Release your hands to your sides.”
The first length of cobalt rope crosses his chest. “This really is your color, Dane. Look how beautifully your skin tone plays off the rope.” My fingers knot a crisp two-column tie to anchor the silk just under his nipples. “How does it feel to become my gorgeous work of art?”
Dane pulls in a deep breath. “Feels nice, Master.”
Twist, loop, tug . . . same thing on the other side.
“I can practically hear my rope weeping for joy to be wrapped around such perfection, Dane.” Swish, wind, tighten. “Turn sideways so you can watch me do your back.”
Dane watches with great fascination as I bind his wrists and slip the twine through the D-ring of his collar to anchor everything in place.
“How are you doing, Dane? Can you feel the warmth of your Master’s embrace now?”
“Yes, Master,” he responds, sounding far away and mesmerized.
“That’s good, boy. You’re doing so well. I’m going to stop talking now so you can just concentrate on the sound and feel of the ropes as I decorate you. Talk to me if you need to; tell me if you’re feeling anxious or if anything is too tight. This should all be very soothing.”
The soft rush of silk is the only sound in the dungeon aside from his breathing and mine; the only movement is that of my hands as I work without conscious thought, tying a series of decorative knots down Dane’s spinal column. Dane disappears deep within himself. Well balanced on his feet, he responds with the slightest twist as I thread the rope between his legs and finish off my design with an intricate cage around his erection.
With firm hands on his shoulders, I turn Dane to the mirror again, standing behind him so I don’t block his view. Running my hands along the taut ropes and the skin between, I am treated to his goosebumps and soft moans. My perfect, responsive boy.
Careful not to break the carefully woven spell, I place my mouth near Dane’s ear. “Close your eyes and feel what it means to be held tight by your Master.”
He pulls in long, slow, rhythmic breaths—the very vision of relaxation I was hoping to achieve. I step into his back and support his body with my arm around his belly. “Memorize this, Dane. Make this a part of you so you can come back to this place whenever you need to.”
He seems just short of a deep sleep, and I’m afraid if I were to let go, Dane might actually topple. Yet when I lean into him to provide support, his solid presence in the scene renews my strength.
“I’m so proud of you, Dane. You’ve really quieted your thoughts for me tonight. Please stay just like this for as long as you need. Open your eyes if you like, or not. Just be; I’m right here with you.”
And I can think of nowhere else I’d rather be for the foreseeable future.
“When you tell me you’re ready, I’ll untie you.”
He drags in several more deep breaths before slowly opening his eyes and meeting mine in the mirror. “Ready, Master,” he says.
I give him a nod. “Most people really enjoy this part, and I hope you will, too. Let me know if you get cold, and I’ll throw a blanket over your shoulders.”
I release the end knot and begin the unwinding, untying, unbinding of my submissive. Dane watches my movements in the mirror, his gaze making a circuit from my hands to my chest to my face. His cock springs free as the rope clears its tip. Hold that thought.
“Keep breathing, Dane. Nice and easy, just like before.” I watch him for signs of distress; the process of being released can sometimes feel like rejection. If Dane’s liberation turns to sub drop, I am ready to catch him. Meanwhile, each knot I undo is replaced with a warm caress, gentle words, the soft press of my lips on his skin. Every inch of him is loved, and I won’t settle for conveying anything less.
The blanket is close by, and I pull it around Dane’s shoulders, releasing the collar and freeing his hands. When the last of the rope is coiled again in my arms, I take Dane by the hand.
“Come on, sweetheart. Let’s go upstairs.”
Aftercare consists of a full-body massage on my bed, rendering my boy a limp mass of relaxed muscles topped off by a lazy grin. Limp, with one notable exception. There was a reason I started him on his belly—ending with Dane on his back leaves him exactly where and how I want him.
Coaxing his ankles apart with my knees, I burrow into position between Dane’s thighs and pop open my jeans, earning a surprised lift of his head to check out the turn of events. He drops back onto his pillow with a happy sigh as my slicked-up fingers breach his opening. Soon enough, Dane is moaning and squirming and tensing as desire awakens his body.
Kicking off my jeans, I cover Dane from toes to chest, pressing warm skin against cool, need against need. This.
Perched over his face, I dive into his deep brown pools, finding honesty, gratitude, and trust. This.
Touching down on his lips, I shed the last vestiges of Master, shifting seamlessly without losing intensity. This.
“I love you, Dane.” It’s so easy to tell him now; I almost can’t believe it was ever difficult.
“I love you too, Master—Marrrrrcus?” Dane looks like he just stumbled into his own surprise party—confused and amused.
I push the hair off his crinkled forehead while a low belly laugh escapes me. “Don’t sweat it, Dane.” Kissing him again cuts off the conversation and refocuses both of us on this moment. Names are unimportant; the emotions are real, and we’re here together in this.
“Okay,” he says, and I can see the Dane grin spreading across his face, “whoever you are, would you please fuck me already?”
His question finds its answer but not with words.
After my boy is good and fucked, he tumbles out of bed with a tired, yet somehow still impressive, display of acrobatics.
“Where are you going?” My voice is already thick with the prelude to sleep.
“Gotta get a couple things from my bag.”
“Yes, Master,” Dane answers with a chuckle.
I keep one eye half-open, and Dane rewards me with a full-on view from behind of a perfect toe-touch bend to the floor. “Who does that?” I mutter, causing Dane to shoot me a smug grin around his contorted body. “You’re lucky I need my pillow, boy, or it would be up your ass right now. Damn showoff!”
He roots around for another minute before climbing back into bed beside me, smoothing one hand down his leather necklace and clutching our poetry book in the other. “My turn.”
I can’t even look at Dane without smiling so hard my face hurts. He’s holding fast to the rituals we’ve established, two more elements of the “comfort food” that is our relationship. “What have you got in store for me tonight?”
Dane scoots back so his ass hits the headboard, and he opens the book to the marked page. “A little Walt Whitman I chose after talking with Sean.”
I’m expecting “O Captain! My Captain!,” so I’m blown away when Dane begins, “To a Stranger.”
The glance he shoots me could be one of the many I’ve stolen while driving—a quick check-in, hoping to avoid getting caught looking but failing each time. I’m sure Dane sees delight and curiosity in my expression as he turns back to the book and reads:
“Passing stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon
You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking, (it comes to
me as of a dream,)
me as of a dream,)
I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you,
All is recall'd as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste,
You grew up with me, were a boy with me or a girl with me,
I ate with you and slept with you, your body has become not yours
only nor left my body mine only,
only nor left my body mine only,
You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass, you
take of my beard, breast, hands, in return,
take of my beard, breast, hands, in return,
I am not to speak to you, I am to think of you when I sit alone
or wake at night alone,
or wake at night alone,
I am to wait, I do not doubt I am to meet you again,
I am to see to it that I do not lose you.”
“What a beautiful selection, Dane. Transcends time and space . . . just lovely. For the record, if I have my way, you may never lose me.”
“Good to know.” The last thing I see before he leans over to turn out the light is Dane’s smile.
“Dane, you’re fidgeting. Wanna talk about it?”
“Sorry,” he answers, smoothing his hands along his lap and clasping them together over the seat belt.
“I don’t want you to apologize; I want you to talk to me if you can.”
He’s been fine all day—brilliant in his submission, sweet and engaging over lunch, intense in his workout. Sure, he was a touch quiet as we packed up and left my house but nothing that set off any alarm bells.
Eleazar’s warning rings in my ears: “You know he’s rather skillful at hiding things, especially if he feels he might be disappointing . . . someone he wants to impress.” Now I see it plain as day. Whatever he’s been repressing has erupted, and we are going to have to deal before stepping into that dungeon in just three short hours.
I switch to “peripheral mode,” engaging my stealth monitoring system so Dane doesn’t feel like a lab rat. Still, he shifts in his seat until his back is almost facing me as he gazes out the window. I wait. Fuck.
A soft, scared voice penetrates the thick air inside the car. “I don’t want to hurt you.”
My arms feel like two concrete blocks resting on the steering wheel. The hard leather circle gives way under the crushing grip of all ten fingers. Where the fuck are my Tums?
Dane needs to hear that I’m not afraid of his truth. I muster up my faith in us, but I still hear my voice crack on the third word in. “I’ll be fine as long as you are honest with me.”
An arm lifts. Tears are wiped on pants.
“Dane, would you like me to pull over?”
“No, I can do this. Just give me a sec.”
“Take your time.” Spit it out.
My knuckles are white, and my stomach is turning faster than my tires. Dammit, Dane—
It’s a start.
“Dane, that’s perfectly normal. You’re about to face someone who abused you physically and emotionally for months, if not years. Remember what I said; if you’d prefer to stay out of it, you can stay at the hotel.”
Please don’t ask me not to do this thing.
“I’m not scared of . . . Wayne.”
“You’re scared of me?”
Oops. That probably should have stayed inside. Dane’s head whips around, his face a mess of tears and astonishment.
“No! Never! Is that what you think?” He’s pressed against the door, shrunk as far away from me as possible in our tiny quarters as we barrel down the highway together. Thank goodness my doors lock automatically when the engine starts.
“Dane, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to blurt that out. No, I don’t think you’re scared of me, but my imagination is running a little wild here.” My heart is pounding against my ribs, and I’m having a hell of a time keeping us in our lane.
Sniffle. “I’m sorry. God, I’m making it worse.”
“You know what, Dane? I’m going to take a deep breath here. How would you like to join me?”
Out of the corner of my eye, I see him nodding. “Sure.”
The first breath feels so good, we take a few more after that. Dane trails off with a shaky sigh.
“Okay, here’s the thing,” he says. “I haven’t seen Wayne in a long time, and the last time I did see him, I had . . . feelings for the man, so what if . . .”
He shakes his head and turns away.
Oh, wow. So wasn’t expecting that.
I have no idea what to say, but I have the strong sense that whatever words come out of my mouth next are crucial to Dane’s well-being. Seems like a good time to bite my cheek and think before I speak.
Slowly, as dispassionately as possible, I ask, “Do you think you have feelings for him still?”
It’s not easy to hear Dane over all my self-berating for failing to consider this scenario. Is it possible Dane could still want this hideous, abusive blowhard? Am I so bloated with ego that I failed to see what was right in front of me the whole time?
“What I feel right now is shame and frustration and—even though I probably shouldn’t—hatred. But I’m not sure I trust myself not to go back to that place where he was my whole world.” Dane’s hands are balled into tight fists in his lap. Big, messy sobs wrack his body as he forces out his confession. “I can’t . . . lose you.”
I hate that we’re doing this in the car, where I can’t reach him, but there’s a reason it’s happening here. I need to respect his choice, as much as it’s eating me up.
“Dane, look. Neither of us can predict how you’re going to feel when you see this man again. My guess is, you will have a violently negative reaction, and that’s actually what I’ve been focused on. I can’t say I’ve even considered the possibility you might have romantic or sexual inclinations at this point, but I suppose that’s possible.”
“I don’t see how I could either,” he mutters.
In the battle of good versus evil, I’m pretty confident I’d beat Wayne every damn time, but if Dane’s heart is stuck on the sack of shit, I guess we’ll deal with it somehow.
“You can’t help your emotions, Dane.”
“I can’t want him. I just can’t.”
Frankly, I’m in perfect agreement with that statement, but saying it out loud won’t help him. What might help is my confidence in him.
“I trust you even though you don’t seem to trust yourself right now.”
He shifts in his seat; the tension seems to ratchet down a notch. “And I trust you, so I guess I have to believe you.”
I sneak a quick peek and find the beginning of a smile on his lips. “Then trust this, Dane: Whatever happens, happens, and you and I are gonna be just fine.”
He’s quiet for a few minutes, mulling it all over. “You really believe that, don’t you?”
“With all my heart.”
“With all my heart.”
Do you believe? Hey, how'd you like my fade to black with "After my boy is good and fucked," ...guess you can use your imaginations there! ;) So, there they go, on their way into the city for the BIG FAT THING. Eeeeep! With me?