Jim Menetti had a life at Indiscreet, the Gay BDSM club owned by Bear Drummond and Reed Davis. His life revolves around Reed, his Master, and his position as manager of the Club.
On Jim and Reed's third anniversary, Jack Leary, Reed's on and off flame comes back and Jim's relationship with Reed unravels.
He picks himself up and makes a life for himself apart from his job, buys a home, makes it into a cozy retreat, and gets a cat he names Waltzing Matilda. He even has a new love interest, the mysterious Professor Caleb Brickner, an expert in the Spanish Inquisition and medieval torture.
Then Reed changes his mind.
Jim "Boy" Menetti's perfectly shaped eyebrows furrowed in concentration as he piped the last of the cream cheese icing rosettes onto his special six layer carrot spice cake. It was a cake his Master loved. Moving his dark brown hair from his eyes he glanced at his best friend, Brian. Jim bit his lush lower lip, and began chopping roasted pecans to decorate the sides. He wished Brian wasn't here. He was dangerously close to losing it; but Bear was upstairs with Reed, so that meant Brian was here in the kitchen with him. The question was could he hold it together long enough for them to leave. Taking handfuls of the chopped nuts he used a template and started to carefully place the chopped pecans around the side of the cake in undulating waves. It was a masterpiece, the best carrot spice cake he ever made. It had to be. Jim was grasping at straws. He was losing Reed by inches and he knew it.
"That's perfect." Brian Murphy examined the cake from all sides.
"I hope so, cub, tonight Reed and I will be together, officially, for three years." Brian watched Jim. In the last months he had gotten to know him almost as well as he knew Bear. Jim was constantly biting his lip. Jim biting his lip was his tell. Something was very wrong in Jim's world and whatever it was had something to do with Reed and Jim making this very special cake. Brian could tell, although the cake was a masterpiece, his best friend's heart wasn't in it. Which was strange. The cake displayed Jim's usual penchant for perfection but Jim's face didn't exhibit the customary joy it displayed when he was doing something extra for Reed that would make Reed smile; especially something as extraordinary as this anniversary cake. It was almost an unspoken plea to his lover. Please see me! Know how much I love you! Brian read Jim very well.
Jim slid a tray of pecans across the stainless steel counter. Brian just managed to catch it before it spilled onto the floor. Jim didn't even notice what he had done. He kept his head down so Brian couldn't see his face.
"Here, make yourself useful," Jim said briskly, "pick out three pecans that are perfect to decorate the top," he said absently as if he were anywhere else but in Indiscreet's kitchen celebrating his and Reed's anniversary by making this exceptional cake that Brian knew took hours to prepare properly. He must have been up all night. Jim was both distracted and distraught.
Brian sorted through the fresh, roasted pecans in a furious search for three unblemished nuts. "What's with you lately, anyways?" Brian asked. "I'm the nerd with the nerves. You're usually cool as a cucumber if you'll pardon the cliché. For someone celebrating an anniversary with a man you love to pieces, you look kind of bleak."
Brian was genuinely concerned. He wasn't a gossip. Brian proved that on the memorable night Jim gave Brian a tour of Indiscreet, the Gay BDSM club to which both, he, Jim, and their partners Bear and Reed belonged. Brian refused to listen to Jim gossip about Bear, even though the gossip would have given him an distinct advantage by imparting some insight into the man to which he was about to commit his life after knowing him for only a few days. Brian didn't listen because he knew Bear would prefer to tell Brian some things himself and for Brian to work at finding out the rest. It was a further test of Brian's commitment to his Master.
Brian had a bone-deep integrity then and now; despite his life as a pampered pet of his "Papa" Bear. Brian wasn't always a pampered pet. Before Bear, Brian led a very rough life, even though he managed to graduate from Monmouth University with a double Master Degrees in IT and Finance. Brian was horribly abused as a child and Bear was trying to make Brian secure in his love and trust. Brian adored Bear, his new life and his new best friend and was therefore upset to see Jim so rattled.
Brian had a keen intelligence and he handled all of Bear's personal investments. Bear's Boy was far more than a pet but was comfortable enough in his own skin that he cared little what other people thought. He was an out and proud gay man with a strong submissive streak. He was made for Bear, just like Jim was made for Reed, if only he could make Reed see it. Brian had a feeling that the shit was about to hit the fan and his feelings generally proved out to be true. This was one time he hoped he was wrong.