Chapter One


“COME ON, boy.” Neal’s hand was warm and solid on the small of his back. “Robin and the others are waiting for us.”

Way’ra looked at his lover. The huge, muscle-bound blond looked altogether too pleased with himself, really. They were heading into the Iron Eagle to apologize for Way’s utter meltdown at work yesterday.

He’d been hoping to only suck up to his bosses—Jude and Day—not to the men from the third floor.

“It’s going to be fine. They’re going to understand you were freaked out and that you’ve got a safeword now, and they’ll be happy to honor it.”

“I’ll be right down to work,” he promised Day.

Day waved one hand. “Your shift doesn’t start until noon, Way.”

“There, see? You’re not shirking work or anything to do this.” Neal kissed the tip of his nose. “How is that plug treating you?”

“Neal!” It was weird enough to be wearing one, but to talk about it?

“Yes, love?” Neal looked like everything was normal. Like talking about that was normal.

“Shh.” There. That was clear, right?

“What?” Neal asked. “You haven’t answered my question yet.” Neal led him to the stairwell and they headed up to the second floor.

“I don’t have to wear it to work, do I?”

“You don’t think it would enhance your day?” Neal looked and sounded like he was totally serious.

“It’ll be… so big. So… in me.”

“In you is kind of the point, love.” Neal’s eyes twinkled at him.

“Shh. Be nice. Maybe Robin isn’t here yet.”

Neal chuckled. “Meanwhile, you still haven’t answered my question. How is that plug treating you?”

“You can’t ask those sorts of things, love.”

“Of course I can—I just did.”

He shook his head, his cheeks feeling like they were on fire.

Neal stopped him in the stairwell, tilted his chin, and took a kiss, tongue slipping into his mouth. “I love you. And I want to know how the plug feels inside you.”

“It’s really there. Like pressing on my hole. I’m worried it’ll fall out.”

“You have underwear and jeans to make sure that doesn’t happen. But I think you’ll keep it in under your own power.”

“I can’t believe we’re talking about this. This is where I work.” He wanted to curl into Neal and hide.

“Well, there’s no one around, and this isn’t just any place.” Neal hugged him tight. “Given what goes on here, I don’t think a little conversation about a plug is going to shock anyone.”

Way gave in to temptation and snuggled in. How on earth had he ended up here—on the run from parents who believed he was going to Hell for kissing a boy to working for a gym with a gay BDSM clientele?

He knew his parents would say he’d lost his way entirely, but he liked to think he’d gotten lucky.

“You ready to go find Robin, love?”

“No, but it’ll be better to do it.” He’d messed up badly. Robin and his lover? Master? Top? Dom? Robin and Stack had been having a scene on the second floor, and Way had shorted out—embarrassing both himself and Robin.

“It’s not going to be bad. Not like you clearly think it is. I think Stack and Robin are worried that they upset you so badly.” Neal took his hand and they headed into the gym on the second floor.

“Not to mention Tide.” Master Tide was… intimidating.

“He’s not mad at you either, I swear.”

“I hope not. I wasn’t trying to be an ass.”

“I wasn’t either,” said a voice from behind them. And Way turned to find Master Tide right there.

Oh God. Okay. Okay, breathe. “I’m so sorry. I was scared and stupid and I didn’t mean to do anything wrong. I’m… I’m very new. Like the newest. Like no one’s ever been so new.”

Tide chuckled and put a hand on his shoulder. “You don’t have to apologize, kid. I’m sorry we involved you in something you weren’t ready for. I wish we’d known, you know?”

“Well, Way has a safeword now, and he knows he can use it if a situation like that comes up again.”

“Yeah? That’s awesome. What is it?” Tide asked.

“Asparagus.” He blinked up, knowing he had to be red as a beet. “It was my first…. I never was trying to be friends with anyone before, you know?” He wanted to be friends with Lance, with Robin.

Tide’s smile was warm. “Next time I’ll be more gentle, I promise.” Tide gave him a wink.

Next time?

Neal clapped Tide on the shoulder. “You get it, I know.”

“I do. My boy was very new not all that long ago. You couldn’t find a better friend than my Lance. I know the two of you work out together sometimes.”

“Only on my breaks or after work with Day’s permission. I promise.” He wouldn’t jeopardize his job for anything.

“I wasn’t implying you were shirking your job, kid. Take a breath, huh? You’re not in trouble,” Tide told him.

“I’m going to speak to Day. You deserve to use the facilities.”

“Oh, Neal. I’m fine.”

“Of course you are, but you deserve to use the facilities,” Neal repeated. “I’m talking to Day.”

“You don’t need to talk to Day,” Tide said. “As an employee of the gym, you totally have use of the facilities, and as the submissive of a member also.”

“Doubly validated!” Neal looked pleased.

Way hid his face in Neal’s arm, and both Neal and Tide chuckled softly.

“Robin and Stack are working out. And by that I mean actually working out.” Tide grinned.

“Excellent. Come on, boy. Let’s go speak to them.”

“Okay. Yeah. Let’s do this.” Way took a deep breath. He didn’t suppose there was any reason to delay.

Neal took his hand again and led him into the second-floor gym, and then across to where Robin and Stack were using the equipment.

Every inch of Robin’s body that he could see was shaved bare. All of it. Head. Eyebrows. All of it. Way’s cheeks burned, and he didn’t know where to look.

Robin smiled and waved at him but didn’t stop working out until Stack did and signaled to Robin to stop.

Then Robin bounced right over to where they were standing. “Hi, Way! And Master Neal.”

“Hello, Robin. You look quite striking. Doesn’t he, Way?” Neal asked.

He looked at the collar of Robin’s shirt, absolutely unable to meet Robin’s eyes. “Yes. I’m sorry about yesterday, Robin.”

“Oh, honey.” Robin came right up to him and grabbed his hands. “I’m sorry we upset you.”

“I….” Then he could look at Robin because Robin wanted to be his friend, and he wanted that too. He grabbed Robin and hugged him tight.

Robin hugged him right back, holding on for a long moment. Then he leaned and looked at Way. “Are you okay, honey?”

“I was so…. I mean, I’d never seen. Never.” He knew he was babbling, but he couldn’t stop.

“It was pretty intense, wasn’t it?” Robin fanned himself. “God, I was flying. Just flying.” Robin glanced over at Stack, the look… incendiary.

“I was a little scared for you,” Way admitted.

“Scared for me?”

He looked over at Stack, then whispered, “The… the… the dildo was so big and then… I saw. I’m so sorry, but I looked and I saw everything.”

Robin preened a little. “Did I look good?”

“You looked amazing.” And that was the truth. Terrifying and overwhelming, but amazing.

“Good.” Robin hugged him again. “I wouldn’t have minded if you’d stayed, but I can totally understand not wanting to, especially without your master.”

“I… I’m not used to… I never even knew that… you know? This?” He was still babbling.

Neal slid his arm around Way’s shoulders, and he pulled Way against his strong, warm body. It was comforting. “Way and I haven’t made an official Master/sub commitment yet. But we have discussed that Way’s participation in any of the things that go on here must also include me.”

“Of course. I meant no disrespect, Master Neal.”

Stack growled low in his chest. “Of course you didn’t. Who is the master here?”

Robin shivered. “You, Sir.”

Neal chuckled. “That was rather the point from the other day’s display, hmm?”

“It was. Someone had quite forgotten who was the master and who made the rules here.”

Master Stack sounded so… mean.

Robin cuddled into him, though, nuzzling against the big man. “That would be you, Master. And I love the way you reminded me.”

Stack’s hand wrapped around Robin’s hip, fingers pressing into his ass, and the stern man nodded, cracking a smile.

“Are you feeling better about what happened yesterday?” Neal asked.

Way nodded and tried to smile. He was, he thought. Mostly.

Neal snorted softly. “That wasn’t terribly convincing, love.”

“I’m sorry. Yes. I am. And I’m super sorry. I was stupid. I won’t do it again.” That had to be better, because he was back to mortified, and he wanted to hide in the bathroom for a few minutes now.

Neal shook his head. “Not the apology—the you feeling better about the situation, and I don’t think you are.”

“You didn’t do anything wrong,” growled Stack. “You’re just really, uh, innocent.”

“I am. No one ever told me men did this sort of thing.” Only demons and sinners.

“Well, we do. And we like it. I know you like it too. But I get that it might be overwhelming. You two want to play with me and Robin sometime, you let us know,” Stack offered.

Way managed a shaky smile and a nod. “I have to get to work, I think. Thank you both, really.” He knew he had three hours, but maybe Neal had forgotten.

“Work? Not until noon today, love. There’s plenty of time for us to talk, work out, whatever.”

“Oh, right.” He went for an apologetic smile. “Excuse me a second. I have to use the restroom.”

Neal leaned in and whispered into his ear, “Don’t run away for long.”

He patted Neal’s arm, nodded, then scampered off to hide himself, wash his face, and maybe have a little cry. When he got to the bathroom, though, Robin was there with him.

“You really okay, honey?”

“Uh-huh.” He shook his head.

“No, you’re not, huh? You wanna talk about it? Have you got questions? You’re a sub like me, I could help you with stuff. Just talk, whatever.”

“I’m just…. I didn’t know what to think.”

Robin walked him into a quiet little lounge that he’d only cleaned maybe once or twice. It was dim and padded, a simple place with overstuffed everything. “This is our space, huh? Somewhere away from the chaos.”

“Our space?”

“A quiet space for submissives. Masters aren’t allowed here.” Robin rubbed his back with a warm hand. “You can talk to me about anything, honey.”

“Were you scared?”

“Me?” Robin seemed surprised by his question. “No, not at all. I trust my master completely. And it was pretty damn hot.”

“But… it had to be so…. He shaved your eyebrows, Robin, and whipped your hole!” And it had excited Way, which was worse.

Robin shared a conspiratorial grin with him. “He did! God, it was so hot.” Robin shivered, and he was getting hard as they talked about it, the bulge in his tight workout shorts unmistakable.

“It seems so… impossible.”

“Now you know it isn’t, because you saw it happening. And that’s what masters do—make the impossible happen.”

“I don’t know how to…. I mean, I’m so worried, you know.”

“God yes.” Robin hugged him again. “I totally know.”

Robin did? But he seemed so… with it.

“The trick is to give your worry to your master. Let him take it.”

“Why did you let him do that to you? Why did you let Tide do it?” That was what he wanted to know—why.

“Because it let me forget about everything but him. It let me relax. It totally put me in my subspace.”

“Am I supposed to know about that?” Way asked. God, he was a baby.

“Not if you and your master—I mean Neal—haven’t discussed it. Subspace is… this mind-set where you can let absolutely everything go and just be. It rocks. It’s peaceful and warm and wonderful.”

“But… how? I hate feeling like I’m slow and stupid. I haven’t done anything and I… I just… I want to understand.”

“I think it’s cool that you’re trying to learn.” Robin pressed closer. “Where do you want to start?”

“I don’t know where the beginning is, Robin. Help me?” He wanted to be a part of this.

“Well, you have a master and a boy, and you have that with Master Neal. You’re definitely more boy material than master material.”

“Yes. That seems to take a lot of… intention.” And stubbornness.

“Being a master?” Robin shrugged. “I like being a sub. We’re all different, and we’re all suited to different things.”

“Yes.” That he understood. Sometimes he wished he knew what he was suited to do, to be, but he was willing to be patient, to wait.

“Master Stack helps me be a better version of me. He helps me concentrate and not be flighty. And the sex is amazing.” Robin grinned at him. “And sometimes he needs to remember that he’s the master. Sometimes he needs me to push him so he can let himself breathe again.”

Way stared at Robin. “But….”

“You think the sub isn’t strong? Doesn’t have power? We so do, Way. It’s a partnership, even if it looks one-sided from the outside. It totally isn’t.” Robin rubbed his palm over his bald head. “I let him be strong, like he lets me submit. I take more than I ever thought I could, and I like it.”

“What do you mean… take more?” That sounded kind of ominous.

“You saw me riding that dildo, honey. I know you did.”

Way swallowed hard and nodded.

“As wide as I was stretched, begging for the whippings in between, pushed me further.”

Oh God. God. He was going to…. “I’m going to get hard,” he whispered.

“Good! I felt strong and hot and sexy. I would be upset if you saw me and weren’t turned on. I like knowing he made me shine like that, he made me so arousing, as well as aroused.”

“I think I need to go see Neal. I need to…. I’m not mad at you.” No, he was hard and aching and wanting and he couldn’t work like this.

Robin gave him a knowing smile and another hug. “I know you think you’re new at this and that maybe you aren’t doing well, but you have all the right instincts—going to your master to deal with your hard-on is totally the right thing to do.”

“You don’t think I’m stupid?”

“No. I think you got dropped in the ocean and you’re swimming. Let Neal rescue you.” Robin hugged him again, then urged him to get up and go. “In a lot of ways, I envy you—you have everything in front of you still. Do me a favor and enjoy all of it.”

“Are we still friends?”

“We are. Go on. I bet, if Neal asks nicely, you might get the day off.”

“Oh no. I can’t do that.” But wouldn’t it be nice?

“Not you—your master. Either way—go!” Robin laughed, pushing him out the door.

Neal was in the hallway, chatting with Day and Tide and Stack, and Way stood there, hoping his lover would notice him.

Neal looked over at him and smiled, the look lighting up Neal’s entire face, making him look so happy. Neal signaled to him to come over.

He headed to Neal, one hand carefully hiding his erection. “Neal.”

Neal’s arm went around his shoulders, pulling him into the protection of Neal’s arms and body. “Hey, love.” Then Neal spoke to the others. “I think we’re going to go upstairs, guys.”

Tide, Day, and Stack chuckled, but the sound wasn’t mean. Still, Way knew they knew what they were going to do.

“Upstairs?” Oh. God, he wanted Neal.

“Yeah. I imagine no one is using the dorms?” Neal aimed that at Day, who nodded.

“They should be private.”

“Good. I need one—” Neal paused. “—for a while.”

Way felt his cheeks go so hot, but the others all nodded and smiled.

“There’s a Do Not Disturb sign,” Stack noted. “As long as it’s not on the door too long, you can use it.”

“Or you could go home,” Day suggested. “I know you’re not far, and then you can take as long as you need.”

“I have work at noon,” Way said.

“Take the day off, boy. You keep the place brutally clean. It’ll be fine missing a day.”


Neal’s hand covered his mouth. “Thank you, Day. I appreciate the time.”

Day chuckled softly while Stack and Tide laughed out loud.

Keeping his mouth covered, Neal walked him to the stairwell, only letting go when they got there.

“Never argue with the boss when he gives you the day off, love.”

“I just…. I didn’t want him to think that… I’m so….” Confused. Hard. Aching.

“I think he thought you needed a day off to process everything. And he was willing to give it to you.”

They went down the stairs and headed home.

He could feel the plug moving inside him, his cock aching in his jeans.

Neal’s hand slid down his back and landed on his ass. He scooted forward, his entire body going tight.

“Where are you going?”

“I don’t know. I don’t know anything right now.”

“You need me to love the confusion away.”

They turned the corner to their street and Neal put an arm around his shoulders again, tugging him close.

“I talked to Robin.” A lot.

“Yeah? What about?”

“Uh. Stuff? Sex stuff?” He was going to burn alive.

“Master and sub stuff?” Neal asked as they walked to the front door.

“Uh-huh.” He chewed his bottom lip, making it sting.

“Did he help you understand stuff?” They went in, and it seemed so normal, so much like home.

Neal drew him over to the couch in the den and they sat together. Neal faced him. “Well, love?”

“He said that I had good instincts and that I should let you help me.”

“Robin’s a good sub. I guess one of the questions should be: Are you interested in being my sub?” Neal put a hand on his thigh.

“I want to learn about things—about these things.”

“And I’d like to teach you.” Neal cupped his cheek, thumb rubbing across his lips. Then, leaning in, Neal kissed him. The connection was sudden and fierce, sparking between them, and he gasped. Whoa.

Neal tugged at Way’s clothing, pulling his shirt out of his pants. Neal’s strong fingers played over the skin of his belly. His abs tightened and that moved the plug inside him. Every move he made stimulated him, both inside and out.

Pushing his shirt up over his head, Neal undressed him. Every move Neal made also stimulated him, aroused him.

Thank God they were home, here, safe and in private.

Neal pressed his thumbs against Way’s nipples, moved them back and forth, and it didn’t take any time at all before they started to ache, to tingle.

Leaning over him, Neal kissed him, pressing him down onto the couch.

He wasn’t sure why Neal was so excited, but he knew why he was, and he moaned into Neal’s mouth. Neal’s moan answered his, the sounds merging together. Like their bodies were trying to. He arched up to meet the pressure of Neal’s body.

“Needy boy.” Neal muttered the words into Way’s mouth, and Way nodded. God yes. He always needed with Neal, and today he was revved up from talking with Robin, from thinking about what had happened to Robin yesterday.

Neal dragged his hand along Way’s side, fingers leaving tingles behind them. He stretched into the touch, his toes clenching as he did. Oh, so good. So hot. And so much easier than talking.

Neal rubbed their groins together, and he could feel the heat and hardness of Neal’s cock against his, denim all that separated them. He nudged the heavy cock as he tried to get to Neal’s belt buckle.

That had Neal groaning and pushing harder against him. “Love your touch.”

That made him shiver, that it was just his touch that made Neal hard.