Chapter 1


“TO FIVE wonderful years with the best sub ever!” Richard Miller raised his glass, filled with a truly excellent Merlot. He was in an exceptionally good mood, and it showed in the way he beamed at his sub and lover of five years. Dean smiled right back. He, too, was in the mood to celebrate, although his enthusiasm was a bit hampered by the sting in the sensitive flesh of his ass and the occasional shudder that ran through him whenever the plug buried inside his hole hit his prostate.

Richard grinned knowingly. “Feeling troubled, boy?”

Dean knew better than to make a face or complain. He lowered his gaze to the crisp white tablecloth in front of him and spoke as softly as possible. “Yes, Master. I can feel your hand on my flesh every time I move.”

Richard patted Dean’s hand. “As it should be. You are mine, boy, and don’t you ever forget that.”

Dean loved the possessive tone. It turned him on even more than the memory of the spanking he had received before they came to Mamma’s, their favorite Italian restaurant. Of course, it hadn’t been just the spanking, although Richard was a genius at pushing Dean until he thought he couldn’t take it anymore. It was also the fact that he hadn’t been allowed to come, not even when Richard had teased him with the brand-new plug now resting between his asscheeks, or while Dean had given Richard a blow job. The leather cock ring Richard had put on him as a finishing touch prevented him from coming while keeping him painfully aroused—which was exactly what Richard wanted. Dean shuddered and then moaned softly when the movement caused the plug to nudge his prostate in a most delicious manner.

“It seems I have a very horny boy on my hands tonight.” Richard’s tone suggested he wasn’t troubled by that.

Dean dared to look his Dom right in the face. “It’s your fault, Master. You make me ache and need so much, I can hardly stand it.”

Richard reached over the table to caress Dean’s cheek. There was a hint of steel in his voice. “Are you complaining, boy?”

Dean shook his head vehemently. “No, Master! I would never do that! I know you always give me what I need. I trust you.”

“That’s my sweet boy. I have your best interest at heart, never doubt that. And tonight is special, because it’s our anniversary. I want to push you farther than I have in a long time.” An evil grin appeared on Richard’s lips. “I’d advise you to enjoy your food. You’re going to need the sustenance.”

Again Dean felt his entire body tremble, but he cut off his moan quickly when the server came with their appetizers. Mamma’s was a very small restaurant with only ten tables, hidden on a side street close to their own apartment on the Upper Eastside. The place was owned by an Italian woman everybody just called Mamma.

In Dean’s opinion, she was the best cook in all the world. Since neither he nor Richard were gifted in the kitchen, they often came here to eat or had Mamma deliver meals to their place. Dean looked down on the bruschetta the server had placed before him. The enticing scent of fresh, very ripe tomatoes mixed with garlic, basil, a hint of marjoram, and a superb olive oil on top of a roasted, homemade slice of bruschetta bread made his stomach growl. He didn’t reach for his cutlery, though. He waited for his Dom to give him permission to eat. While Dean inhaled the wonderful aroma and listened to the clinking of Richard’s knife and fork, he wondered if this was part of his torture today—not being allowed to enjoy the food. He quickly regretted this treacherous thought when Richard offered him a piece of his own bruschetta with his fingers. Dean opened his mouth and closed his eyes to concentrate fully on the explosion of tastes on his tongue. There were the tomatoes, the garlic, the bread, and, underneath it all, the salty temptation of Richard’s fingers. Dean whirled his tongue around them, sucking lightly, which drew a moan from his master. “Dean. Boy. So good.”

Dean licked his lips, slowly, carefully, knowing what that did to his master. Richard was a very visual man, after all.

“Naughty boy. I should have spanked you harder.”

The words made Dean ache in all the right places. Another bite of the bruschetta was offered to him, and they both reveled in the sensuality of their game. After the bread, the server served them a plate of antipasti: grilled peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and mushrooms in a dressing of the same heavenly olive oil and scented balsamic vinegar.

When he got a plate with spaghetti and seafood next, Dean knew Richard had ordered this feast especially for him. All his favorites in one evening. Between bites he looked at his handsome master, whose ebony skin glistened in the light of the solitary candle on their table. Dean was no longer surprised that he felt a little flutter in his stomach every time he looked at Richard, even though it was their fifth year together. Something about the man kept him hooked, and it wasn’t just the Dom/sub dynamic of their relationship. Richard appealed to him on levels far deeper than that. Dean smiled at his wonderful man.

“Thank you, Master. This is delicious.”

Richard grinned, full of male pride. “I’m so glad you approve. Only the best for my boy. I need you happy and relaxed for the things I have planned.”

Suddenly Dean couldn’t wait for dessert to come. Tiramisu with fresh strawberries, another favorite of his. Richard fed him the sweet temptation in small bites, and Dean practically tongue-fucked the spoon. Every time he swallowed, he felt the plug move in his ass, sending his already prickling nerves into sensual overdrive. The combination of the sweet tiramisu, the full flavor of the strawberries, and the constant tingling in his backside would have made him come right there in the restaurant, if not for the cock ring.

Richard sensed his distress, which sent him into full Dom mode. Dean could tell by the way his master held himself, how he flexed his impressive chest muscles and biceps under the expensive, dark red silk shirt he wore. Dean felt his entire body heating up while his mind settled firmly in his sub headspace. This was no longer an anniversary celebrated by two equally successful men who happened to like their sex with a little spice. It was now Richard’s show, the scene he had come up with for both their pleasure. And Dean would submit, like he always did, because deep down, he knew this was how his life was supposed to be. He lowered his head, since eye contact was no longer allowed, waiting for his Dom to give him directions.