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A mention of Steve's past in the BDSM scene has Zack craving new ways for them to connect. All of the couple's concerns fall away when Steve and his ex, Peter, are in a car accident. The last ones to know, Zack and Josh, Peter's slave, rush to the hospital. The injuries from the accident force the dominant man to set aside his pride and accept help from Zack. Will the couple get to explore new boundaries in their relationship or will the dependency Cutaway the structure holding their relationship in place?
“Okay, Carlos, now I’m insisting you tell me where we’re going.” Steve pulled Zack closer, his arm around his shoulders. They were on a Saturday night double date with Carlos and his wife.
“Esse, it’s going to be great,” Carlos answered, throwing a grin back their way.
“You keep saying that, but we’re not in the best part of town.”
“Do you want to be stalked by the paparazzi all night long? This is just something different to do.”
“Oh, tell them already.” Angie laughed. “He wants to show you D&D.”
Zack glanced between the three others present. “What’s that?”
Steve kissed his head. “My sweet former Mormon. It’s a tabletop role-playing game, played with dice and�fantasy situations.”
“So�it’s what Carlos and I do all day, except dice dictate our actions?” Zack patted Steve’s stomach. Their pace slowed.
“No, no, listen. The DM, Dungeon Master, tells the players what to do.” Carlos practically skipped with excitement. “The dice just tell them how well they complete the action.”
“My mistake, it’s completely different from acting all day because instead of a director telling us what to do, a DM has the honor?” Zack smiled at Steve, but sobered when it wasn’t returned. “What?”
“Back me up,” Steve whispered. “Guys, come here a second, please.” He wanted to seem casual, but they were less than a block away from somewhere he had no desire to lead his friends. “Where were you planning on playing? I thought D&D games were held at card shops and basements.”
“That’s what’s so exciting! There’s a club called The Dungeon, and the website said it’s owned by a world famous DM, um�Peter�”
“Mansy,” Steve finished, and Zack’s mouth fell into a perfect O. Peter was a totally different sort of DM than what Carlos looked for. Where to go with this? How to get them out of there without explaining everything? Before he formulated a plan, Zack jumped in.
“Shit, Carlos, I’m sorry. I can’t go in there. Peter is one of Steve’s exes, and he makes me crazy. Seriously, the last time we were around him, he and I came to blows. Steve and I almost broke up over it. I hope I’d be okay around him now, but I don’t want to chance it with everything going so well between us.”
Steve mouthed thank you to Zack and gave him a kiss, promising more later. The moon glinted off the metal in his collar, and Steve wondered if it did the same on his silver bracelet. The two jewelry pieces symbolized their commitment to each other, and the lifestyle they shared.
“Oh,” Carlos sounded resigned. “I sure as hell don’t want to cause problems. Would hate to make work awkward.”
“Yeah, it’s all about you.” Angie laughed again. “Why don’t we play at home?”
“If by home you mean our house, by all means.” Steve breathed a sigh of relief when they agreed. Three hours later, they stopped their game when Carlos and Angie realized their babysitter had to leave. “Zack, can you come here, please?”
Zack came back from seeing their guests out and embraced Steve. “Yes?”
“You should consider improv. That was an incredible performance distracting Carlos.” He kissed Zack, grasping his collar.
“Mmm, I wanna talk about that club.” Zack tilted his head to the side, exposing his neck to the caresses of Steve’s fingers and lips.
“What’s to talk about? It’s a BDSM club.” He stopped the foreplay when his partner no longer responded.
“Well�we’re half of that, at least.”
Steve took him in his arms and ran his lips through Zack’s blonde hair. “We are, but it’s a completely different world than what we share, love.”
Zack pulled away and met his eyes. “Did you go with him?”
“Peter?” A nod. “Yes, but not once after we got together.”
“I know, but�never mind. Let’s go to sleep.” He stared at the ground as they went upstairs to their bedroom.
Steve sat on the bed and brought Zack between his legs. “Tell me what’s on your mind, love.”
“I’m sorry, Steve. Part of what I said to Carlos is true. I’m insanely jealous of Peter. You did a lot more with him than you do with me.” Zack leaned into Steve’s touch on his face.
“You’re right. I did, but I’ve done a whole hell of a lot more important things with you.”
He changed his mind about their positions and sat Zack next to him. To have the man between his legs was a symbol of Steve’s dominance and neither needed that right now. Zack rested his head on his shoulder, signaling that Steve made the right call. Steve hugged him tightly and spun his collar. “It’ll have been five years since I put this on you and made you mine.”
“And you mine,” Zack whispered.
“That’s right. Forever. I’d say commitment like that trumps a few nights at the club, wouldn’t you?”
“I didn’t mean I don’t love what we have, Steve. I do, but we could still keep it and explore more, right?”
“Sure we can. What I don’t think you get about Peter and I is that we were never in a relationship.”
“You were just friends-with-benefits, I know.”
Steve wished the thought made it easier for Zack, but for some reason, it seemed to make it worse. He didn’t know how to fix it. “Why don’t you go to sleep? We’ll talk more about it in the morning.”
Zack silently got off the bed and undressed. His blonde, wavy hair topped a handsome face and well-built body. He played the lead in the network television show, Ben’s Life, which Steve directed and co-produced. Zack was also Steve’s submissive. “Are you joining me?” Zack asked.
“I should work more on the hundredth episode.”
A smirk came over Zack’s face and Steve knew he lost the battle to be responsible. “I disagree. You should stay right here with me,” Zack said as he straddled Steve’s jean-clad lap. “Besides, you don’t know the plotline, anyway. So, what can you do?”
Well, Steve had more information than he could give Zack. Of the three possible plotlines, one would really screw the couple. Or at least cause more anxiety than needed. Still, Steve would rather be able to prepare Zack. As that wasn’t currently an option, he answered what the man really cared about. “I think a bottom shouldn’t try to top.” That response increased Zack’s look of excitement.
“Sounds like I need to be reminded I’m a bottom.”
Steve mirrored Zack’s grin, nudged him off his lap, and pulled down Zack’s boxers, the only clothing he still wore. His cock stood at half-mast and bounced in greeting. “Take your position.” Zack eagerly put himself face down over Steve’s lap, his hardness between his parted legs.
“Now, why are you being punished?” Steve rubbed his butt vigorously.
Zack lifted his hips into Steve’s hand. “I gave an order.”
“Yes, you did. Do you give orders, love?”
“No, I follow them.”
Steve smacked him between the cheeks once. “That’s right. Now, since this is not the first time you’ve shown unearned brashness, I will give you twenty swats with my hand. Count for me.” He secured his arm around Zack’s waist to stop him from squirming. He didn’t need to worry about Zack trying to get out of it, but movement made the punishment less effective. So too, did his arousal. However, there was nothing to be done about that. Steve spanked five times on each cheek then rubbed again. The globes shook beneath his slaps. “Your ass is perfect.” And warm. He traced his fingers along the redness. Then dipped them one by one into his crack.� Without warning, Steve finished the last ten swats on the sides, inner thighs, and the crease where they met. He flipped Zack over and claimed his lips hungrily. “Kneel on the bed.”
Zack panted as he moved into the indicated position. Lust seeped into every feature, from his half-closed eyes and lip caught between his teeth. His hand traveled down to capture his throbbing manhood.
Steve knelt across from him and grasped his arm mid-reach. “No, you don’t. You’ll have to until wait you use that wonderful mouth of yours to suck me dry. Understood?” The question was moot as Zack already unfastened Steve’s tight jeans and slid them and his briefs down his thighs.
His normally cool baby blues burned as he stuck his tongue out to meet the head. “God, Steve, you taste so good.”
And I thought I was in control. Right, about that�Steve curled Zack’s hair around his finger as Zack worked his warm wet tongue over the pulsing veins of Steve’s cock. Ever so slowly, he took it in his mouth inch by inch. From there, the pace changed. Zack’s head bobbed and his mouth sucked tight. “Baby, I’m gonna�”
“Mmm, please do,” Zack moaned around the thick shaft, pushing Steve over the edge.
He shot his seed down his boyfriend’s throat and brought him up for a kiss. The taste of his juice on Zack’s tongue threatened to make him hard again. “You’re fantastic, do you know that?” He reached between them and stroked Zack. “I think you’re close, too.”
“So close, please�”
“Come for me.” As soon as the words left Steve’s mouth Zack arched his head and cried out. His release coated Steve’s hand and Zack’s chest. Zack was so well-trained he never orgasmed without permission. He fell back against the bed and Steve went to the bathroom and wet a washcloth, washed himself, and then carried it out to run it over Zack’s chest and the still sensitive head. When they were both clean, he snuggled behind him in the spoon position. “I love you.”
“I love you, too. Thanks for that.” Zack kissed him deeply and settled into his embrace.
Steve couldn’t help thinking the rest of him was pretty perfect, too.
Zack woke up cold the next morning. He patted the bed next to him to find it empty. The clock read only seven. He pulled on a pair of sweat pants and made his way downstairs to find Steve on his computer, with their cat, Timmy, next to him on the couch.
“What time did you get up?” Zack asked.
Steve moved his laptop, brought Zack closer, and stood up to kiss him. “About an hour ago. Are you going for a run?”
Zack bounced the idea around and shook his head. “I did five miles yesterday. I think I’m good for the weekend.” He stayed close and burrowed into Steve’s chest as he sat down again. “What are you doing?”
“Some research, love.” Steve smiled down at him.
Zack returned the smile. “You got out of bed before I woke up. Missed out on morning cuddling.”
“Sorry about that. I wanted to check some things to talk to you about when you woke up.”
“Yeah? Like what? Did you hear back from Tyler about the episode?” Zack referenced the other producer on the show and petted Timmy when he stretched across their laps.
“Irritatingly enough, I won’t find out what’s going on with that until the big meeting tomorrow.”
“Why? That’s not like him to cut you out of anything, especially not this important.”
“Yes, love, but the actors can’t know what’s coming. As a matter of fact, you all will only get the concepts for the first day’s scenes.” Steve nuzzled Zack’s head.
“Going to be a fun week, isn’t it?”
“At least I’ll have the full script after the meeting tomorrow.” He scratched the back of Zack’s neck and shoulders. “Maybe I’ll share.”
Zack leaned forward to enjoy the gentle touch. “Really up to you. Your life will be infinitely easier if I have a solid knowledge of my lines.” Steve worked down Zack’s back, and Zack shut his eyes for a moment before asking, “What research did you do, then?”
“You said you were curious about experimenting further into the lifestyle. So, I found some things we might do to try and ease into it. And I sent an email to Peter asking about the club. Stay relaxed. It’s okay. We’re just talking.”
Zack focused on Steve’s fingers trailing designs across his shoulders and breathed through the anxiety. Why would Steve still have his ex-lover’s email address? Did they talk? Should Zack care? Now, more than ever, he had to prove he was as exciting as Peter.
Steve pulled him back against his side. “It’s all about trust.”
“I trust you, Steve.” That much Zack knew.
He kissed Zack and held onto his collar. “I know, which is why I think we can start small.”
Steve’s words could be heard as a question or statement. Zack rested against him and ran his fingers through Steve’s happy trail distractedly. “Small is good. What were you saying about the club?”
“I’m not sure about the club. I really need to get Peter’s opinion. He knows his clientele best. If it’s generally a safe crowd, we can go there together. But, I’d want a more specific conversation on why you want to go.”
Since the real reason would get him a pat on the head, Zack said, “To explore�my masochistic tendencies.”
Steve blinked at him so long that Zack averted his eyes. “You’re not a masochist.”
“Yes, I am. I get hard as soon as you start spanking me.”
“Not from the pain.”
Zack tilted his head in confusion. “I like the way it feels.”
Steve took a breath and looked to be deep in thought. “Do you remember the one time I used my belt and the paddle on you?”
Zack instinctively shifted on the couch to put distance between them, but Steve picked him up and snuggled him on his lap. Zack still couldn’t look into his face.
“Hey, settle down. I’m not going there again, ever.”
“I deserved it.”
Steve hugged him tighter. “That’s debatable, love. I still regret doing it, three years later. Not the point, though. You didn’t enjoy it. A true masochist would beg for more and with other implements. There are people who can’t get off unless someone’s used a whip or cane on them.” He laughed and kissed Zack again. “The look of horror you’re giving me? Tells me I’m right, which is good because I love you too much to cause you consistent pain.”
“Then, what am I? Why do I like it?”
“What are you?” Steve raised Zack’s chin so their eyes met. “You’re smart, loving, and sexy as all hell. Your desire for a little bit of pain doesn’t make you a masochist. If anything, you enjoy giving up control.”
Zack pressed their lips together and stroked Steve’s chest. “You’re right. I do. And you like taking it, which is why we work so well together. What are your limits in this?”
“I’m not going to hurt you, period. It won’t be good for either of us. Besides, we have to keep this body as perfect as it is.” His eyes traveled down Zack’s torso, igniting a flush. “For the show, of course.”
“Seriously, no matter what we try, it won’t leave marks on you that don’t fade by the next morning. I want clearly defined ‘scenes’ of experimentation. Otherwise, we’ll get into a bad pattern. And�most importantly, Zack, I want you to agree to use your safeword during those scenes if you’re uncomfortable.”
“Okay, but if we’re in a scene and I use it, can we skip the reevaluation afterward and just chalk it up to a scene going too far?”
Steve laughed. “Yes. Your turn.”
Zack scrunched against the slender man’s chest, filled with peace and security. “Honestly? The only real limits I have are language.”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t mind physical pain, as long as it’s not too intense. I don’t care what else we do, as long as you promise me we won’t change the way we talk to each other. No demeaning language.”
“I would never. But you must have some physical limits.” Another statement or question from Steve.
“Yeah, things you wouldn’t think to do. Everything you listed, plus some very obvious ones. No bodily fluid, breath, knife, or any kind of blood play.” Zack shuddered at the thought and turned in Steve’s arms. “But, other than that, I’m willing to try most things once.” Steve glowed in the soft morning light as they locked eyes. His short, dark hair contrasted beautifully with the pale skin of his tight body. The hair on his chest and back grew thicker as he aged, unlike Zack who had to keep his torso clear for his job. “So, who decides when these scenes happen?”
“You put me in control. Who do you think?” After a small chuckle, Steve grasped Zack’s hair and brought him in for a hot kiss.