Authors: SE Jakes
For the readers, who make me smile daily with their emails and support.
Glen Rhodes remembered the first time he’d snuck into the leather bar. He’d been seventeen with a good fake ID, and he’d fought with the first man he’d encountered. Hadn’t expected to be grabbed and treated like he was there for the taking.
Hadn’t understood he’d been in way over his head. If it hadn’t been for John…
John was big and broad, a bear in every sense of the word, but Glen hadn’t been looking for a bear, just a man to help him deal with his submissive needs.
It had been confusing as hell, and John had helped him make sense out of his wants. Until then, Glen’s life consisted of competitive swimming and little else, to the point where he’d started to feel closed in. Constricted.
The panic attacks that began that year had made everything worse. He’d talked to coaches and shrinks, but nothing they recommended helped defuse the frustration. The road to the Olympics was a long one, filled with days and nights of constant practice. Physical stamina was a must, but mental toughness was a necessity—the other half of the puzzle.
It wasn’t until he stumbled on BDSM porn one night that he realized what he might be missing. It turned him on like nothing else had.
How to go about getting it was a different story. Fantasy took him only so far, and even though he wasn’t hiding his sexuality, there weren’t any seventeen-year-old boys he knew who were willing—or able—to tie him up the way he needed.
John gave him that outlet.
John took him home, tied him to the headboard and let him come. And then he’d left him tied for hours and took Glen in ways he’d only seen or read about.
“Virgin,” John had murmured, and it hadn’t been a problem for him at all.
From that point on, John gave him what he needed without Glen having to do much more than show up. Other types of submission were not for him—he liked spankings but not whips or punishments—he’d urged John to try both with him a few times but it ended in disaster because Glen simply couldn’t get off.
Rope bondage or cuffs or spreader bars—Jesus, sometimes just seeing a ball of twine got him hard. And the submission with John focused Glen on his swimming, to the point where he had an amazing Olympic career in front of him if things continued along that vein.
They hadn’t. And while he and John were never exclusive, John had always been there for him. His touchstone. He’d assumed, in that naïve way you had when you were young that you and everyone around you would live forever.
Now, a little over ten years later, the bar looked the same. He’d been back here a few times since John’s death five years ago, trying a new Dom less than a year after John died.
Too soon. Wrong Dom. Since then, nothing had seemed right, and he just kept one foot in front of the other, did his job and fucked as many men as he could.
Since then, he hadn’t let anyone else in—literally, figuratively—and he wasn’t sure why he’d turned the car in this direction tonight, why he stood outside, listening to the music and the laughter. It wasn’t even Thanksgiving yet, and the lights blinked along the windows, wreath hung on the door… Glen wouldn’t be able to escape the time of year.
Christmas always hit Glen hard. John had died in the weeks prior, and although some said Glen should’ve moved on by now, he hadn’t been able to.
But lately, the numbness had been replaced by a deep ache he couldn’t fill, no matter how often he fucked random guys.
It was time to allow himself to be tied up again. Whether or not he would find the right Dom remained to be seen. But he’d start at the club he’d met John in, because they knew him. They’d protect him, although he felt stupid for even thinking he’d need that.
You’re vulnerable—you need it
, his friend Clint, aka Tomcat, had told him the week before. He’d met Clint years earlier, through John’s work. John had been with the CIA, although Glen doubted anyone in the Dom/sub world who knew the man would know that. And although Glen rarely saw Clint, they spoke often, with Clint checking up on him at least every couple of months.
And so, because of Clint’s words, Glen swallowed his pride and went toward the comfort of the old club, where there were rules and regulations, and not everyone who said they were a Dom was allowed through the door.
He’d promised he wouldn’t do anything dumb but damn, he wanted to be fucked stupid—and soon.
A shiver brushed the back of Derek’s neck seconds before he spotted the blond walk through the door.
The boy was beautiful—handsome, maybe mid-to-late twenties. The tattoos that ran up and down his arms were a promise of many more under the black wife-beater that he revealed when the black leather jacket slipped off.
He turned to the older Dom, James, sitting next to him at the bar. “Who’s that?”
“That’s Glen,” James said with a half-smile. He’d been watching the boy as well. “I didn’t think we’d ever see him here again.”
Derek’s gut tugged—usually that meant the boy was a pain in the ass or not a good sub at all. But typically, this bar wouldn’t allow someone like that inside. “Why not?”
James pointed to the wall and Derek turned his head toward the picture of John.
“He was John’s?” John was a legend at this place—part-owner, friend to all. A Dom who taught others what the term really meant. He’d also been retired CIA, although Derek was only privy to that because of his own time in the military.
“For five years, until John died. After that…” James shook his head.
“He’s never taken another Dom?”
“He tried. But it didn’t work. John was a hard memory to live up to.”
“Maybe he tried someplace else?”
“No way—this is Glen’s home. He knows that. John wouldn’t have wanted him to go someplace he wasn’t known to sub. He’s been fucking around in other bars, literally, but that’s about it.” James looked at Derek. “If he’s back here, that means he’s looking.”
“Any advice?” Because Derek was chomping at the bit to approach him. The shiver touched his neck again and he rubbed the skin there and wondered why this boy hit him so hard.
James fixed him with a hard gaze. “He’s not easy. Never was, never will be. He doesn’t want the traditional relationship. But if he respects you, the submission you get…”
James didn’t finish but Derek knew—could tell by the strut the boy had, even with the sadness in his eyes—that Glen submitting would be a wild and beautiful thing. He’d had that once, a long time ago, and some said he’d been purposely picking the wrong boys since.
They were probably right.
A widowed Dom and a widowed sub typically didn’t mix well—both had expectations that were impossible to meet. But he was being tugged in Glen’s direction by something, and he glanced at the picture of John and back to Glen.
He watched the other men come up to the boy, hug him, welcome him as he drank his beer slowly. Glen looked overwhelmed after about fifteen minutes, was having trouble making eye contact with people, had his hands stuffed in his pockets, and Derek could see they were fisted. He couldn’t think of a better time to make his introduction.
He came up behind the boy and put a hand on the back of his neck, his palm tingling with the contact of the warm skin. Glen stilled immediately and Derek murmured, “Come on—you’re about to lose it.”
Glen didn’t fight, turned and walked next to Derek, not meeting his eyes, walking with his head down. Derek kept up the light rub on his hot skin until they moved to a more private area, ignoring the whispers that started immediately.
“Face the wall,” Derek told him.
“I don’t do that punishment shit,” Glen growled, tried to break away but Derek held him in place, inhaling the boy’s scent—beach and cinnamon and that pure scent of a man aroused.
“It’s not a punishment. You’re on sensory overload, headed to a panic attack. Now stay. Breathe.”
Glen gave a short nod, a flash of appreciation in his dark blue eyes, and did just that. Hung his head, stuffed his hands in his pockets again, and the men remained silent for a few minutes until Glen’s breathing became slow and steady. Derek studied his profile—his bearing was military, straight and sure, even with his head down with the kind of perfect posture of a sub. Derek had an urge to kiss him, but that would only end in disaster at the moment.
“Thanks,” Glen said finally, lifted his head and looked Derek in the eye. Half challenge, but there was also something else there…uncertainty. Lust, too.
It was enough. “I’m Derek Mann. Come sit. Have a drink.”
Glen nodded, sat next to Derek on the couch but asked for a soda when the waiter came to take their order. The waiter obviously recognized Glen, nodded at him, and Glen nodded back and drank half the Coke on his first pull. “I guess you know who I am.”
“I know who your Dom was,” Derek said. “That’s not the same thing at all.”
Glen frowned a little, as if he’d never considered that. “You’re the only one who had the balls to approach me like that.” That obviously sat well with Glen—with Derek too.
“Are you here to play?”
Glen stared at him, the dark blue eyes holding more pain than should be allowed for a young man. “I’m here to get fucked,” he said bluntly. “After that…”
Derek let the corner of his mouth tug up. Glen would be a challenge, as promised. Broken wasn’t a word in his vocabulary. “You’re military.”
“I was headed to the Olympics. Swimming.”
The challenge was back in his eyes. “John died and I gave up on everything. I figured if I could do something dangerous, I’d die sooner and then not break my promise to John.”
“Which was?” Derek had no right to ask, but he did.
Glen looked right into his eyes, his answer unapologetic. “Not to kill myself after he died.”
Why he told the dark-haired Dom that partial lie—since he’d already been in the military when John died—Glen wasn’t sure.
Bullshit you’re not sure—you want to scare him away.
But the Dom—with the dark brown eyes and chiseled cheekbones and lips that made Glen lick his involuntarily—didn’t seem shocked. Sad, maybe, but without the typical pity shit, which Glen had no use for.
Derek was big—broad, muscular—wore his leathers well. His chest and face were smooth—the total opposite of John in every way and it still made Glen hot.
Glen wasn’t small but next to this guy…
A flash of fantasy—of being pinned under the Dom, helpless. Being filled until he didn’t think he could take any more. Surrendering.
Damn, it had been so long for him. Fucking guys wasn’t giving him anything close to what he needed, and it had taken a trip in here and Derek’s touch to make him admit it to himself.
He swore he heard John whispering to him, but he couldn’t make out the words.
John. And that made him think of Mark and how bad that scene was, even though the man was as handsome as Derek.
“This was a mistake.” He made a move to stand, but Derek held him firmly by the wrist, looked him in the eye and Glen swore the man was hypnotizing him somehow.
“You’re looking for a fuck. I’m willing to give you what you need—where’s the mistake in that?” Derek asked calmly. “That’s not rhetorical, by the way. I expect an answer.”
“I can’t…not here.” He couldn’t go into the back rooms, with all the memories. Everything was welling up and his breath was coming fast again and the smells of beer and sex and cologne were stifling him.
“Your place.” Derek stood and Glen found himself doing so automatically as well, mainly because Derek still held his wrist. He let go so Glen could put his jacket on and then Derek’s hand went on the back of his neck again, leading him through the bar and into the parking lot. “Don’t make eye contact with anyone.”
Glen didn’t argue—Derek was telling him for his own good. And once he hit the uncrowded space, he took a big lungful of air and glanced toward Derek.
The man hadn’t taken his eyes off him. Glen felt…taken care of. Owned. His body missed that feeling.
So much so, he was willing to throw himself at the first guy who showed him attention.
But that wasn’t really true.
Derek’s voice broke through his reverie. “Did you drive?”
Glen pointed to the old Porsche.
“Beautiful baby,” Derek whispered as he steered them in its direction, and Glen had the feeling the man wasn’t talking only about the car. “Drive me in it.”
An order…a request, and it really didn’t matter. Glen would take him home. The men in the club wouldn’t have let him leave with Derek if the man hadn’t been sane, safe, consensual, no matter if Glen met their eyes or not.
Derek stretched his legs as far as he could in the low machine—the seats were all the way back—and the Dom leaned back and closed his eyes as Glen rumbled out of the lot and headed to the highway.
His townhouse was half an hour from the club—he lived close to the base but not on it, because he needed that cushion of privacy, since
don’t ask, don’t tell
was still very much a reality, repeal or not. Besides, his private life had never been anyone’s business. The Navy got its time and Glen got his, and that was the end of it.