Lee awakened Monday morning to the smell of bacon and eggs cooking. It was after nine o’clock, and he’d slept solidly all night, no nightmares, no tossing and turning, no fitful waking for his brain to torture him.
And it was a damn good bed.
He managed to sit up and wasn’t sure if feeling a little less in pain that morning was due to the comfortable bed or the good night’s sleep he’d had. He pulled the wheelchair in close, checked the brakes, and dragged himself into it.
That’s when his left shoulder decided to sting again.
If he put too much weight on it, it hurt like a motherfucker. Which was exactly why he couldn’t use crutches yet.
Still, he gritted his teeth and made it into the bathroom by himself, then out into the kitchen.
“Hey,” Arlin said as he saw him. “How’d you sleep?”
“Can I get you anything?”
“Actually, my meds are on the coffee table.”
He barely finished saying it before Arlin was off, returning with the bottles seconds later. And he drew him a fresh glass of water, setting it on the counter next to him before starting to pour him a mug of coffee.
“Leanna and Sharon are coming over for dinner tonight,” Arlin said. “I hope you don’t mind. Sharon’s looking forward to meeting you.”
“Don’t you have to work today?” He took his pills, holding off on the anti-anxiety one. He actually felt pretty steady that morning. If he didn’t need it, he didn’t take it.
“Leanna gave me orders to take the day off. And before you feel guilty, don’t worry, she’s been riding me to take a day off for a long time. She’s right. This is the perfect reason.”
“Thanks.” Arlin had left sugar and creamer out for him, too, so he fixed his mug of coffee. He couldn’t help thinking about the dream he’d had the night before, a continuation of the one from his nap on the couch.
Of him being the one in here, cooking for Arlin.
Giving himself totally to him.
His cock stirred at the thought.
Okay, well, there’s my libido.
Thank goodness his shorts and being seated in the wheelchair hid the growing evidence of his libido returning.
“Toast or English muffin?” Arlin asked.
“Toast is fine, thanks.”
“You want to eat at the table, or on the couch?”
“I’m already up, so in here’s fine.”
* * * *
Arlin would never admit to his friend how he’d gotten up that morning and stood in Lee’s bedroom doorway, watching him sleep.
Seeing him like that…it reminded him of that camping trip when they were in high school, the two of them sharing a tent.
How in the early light just after dawn, before anyone else was up, how he’d lain there on the other side of the tent and watched Lee sleep.
Knowing it was likely the only time in his life he’d ever get to see the man like that.
He was still as deeply in love with him as he’d been back then.
After breakfast Arlin helped Lee get settled on the couch again before he went out to refill the bird feeder. When he returned, he noticed Lee watching through the sliders.
“That’s really neat,” Lee said. “Been years since I’ve been able to hang out like this.”
“I have fun feeding them. Kind of relaxes me watching them.”
They spent the morning and afternoon talking, relaxing.
It was both the best day Arlin could remember in a long while and the most bittersweet. All those old feelings had returned with a vengeance, the longing, the desire.
And here he was, an adult with a responsible life, finally able to pursue his heart’s desire…
Who was sitting right here on his fucking couch…
And he felt paralyzed.
Lee ended up taking a nap. While he did that, Arlin took the opportunity to go grab a shower and get some chores done. He also sorted through Lee’s laundry and grabbed the dirties, since he needed to wash clothes anyway. Then he put all of Lee’s clothes away in the dresser and closet in the guest room, emptying the three suitcases and several garbage bags.
It hadn’t shocked him to see Lee didn’t have much stuff, to be honest. His friend had always lived leanly, even when a kid. He’d envied how Lee could easily pare his possessions down the way he did.
There was another point that drove reality home. He might be doing the chores now, but long-term, Arlin knew he needed a submissive partner. Even on the lightning-strike chance that Lee might be interested in him, trying to have a relationship with another Dominant would be like mixing gasoline and a road flare. No telling what would happen, but it would burn hot and take the whole motherfucking house down with it.
He’d been through one divorce.
He didn’t want to go through another one.
After Arlin had cleaned up from dinner—leftovers—he knew it was time to force the issue. Lee needed to try to reclaim his life, and taking a damn shower might seem like a small step, but Arlin knew it would help Lee physically feel better.
Maybe I am a masochist after all.
It would be sheer torture helping his old friend—the guy he’d crushed on hard and heavy in high school—take a shower.
Lee’s face looked flushed after Arlin got the bathroom set up and returned to his bedroom, where Lee sat waiting.
“Are you all right?” Arlin asked.
“Yeah,” Lee muttered.
Arlin wasn’t an idiot. He hesitated. “Okay, let’s talk.” He sat on the edge of the bed. “What’s going on?”
“Sorry I’m such a pain in the ass right now.”
“This is more than that. Talk to me.”
Lee wouldn’t meet his gaze. “You want to know why I’m not more angry at Tila?”
This was an odd segue, but whatever. “Sure.”
“Because we hadn’t been sleeping together before this. Not for months.”
Arlin’s gaze narrowed. “Oookaaay? So it’s been a while for you.”
“Yeah,” Lee quietly said, sounding nothing like himself. “A long while.”
Arlin still wasn’t sure exactly what his point was. “Hey, we’re guys, and we’re friends. I—”
“I had a crush on you in high school, okay?”
Arlin’s mouth snapped shut. He’d expected a lot of possible things.
Lee’s face had now turned the deepest shade of pink Arlin had ever seen another human being wear.
“I’m gay,” Lee whispered. “So…I’m sorry in advance if parts of my body don’t…cooperate while you’re helping me. I hope it doesn’t freak you out. And if you change your mind about helping me, believe me, I understand.”
Arlin knew it’d be totally inappropriate to hop up off that bed and do his own touchdown victory dance. The guy was obviously upset and worried and emotionally charred right now. Losing his career, his marriage, his independence—treading carefully was not only wise, it was mandatory.
There wasn’t going to be any kiddie-pool-intro to this topic, though. It’d be stupid to waste more time at this point in their lives.
“Well, if we’re confessing things, I have a couple to confess myself.”
Lee didn’t raise his head, but as Arlin watched Lee, he noticed Lee’s gaze had drifted toward him.
“I’m gay, too, and you have no idea how many times I jerked off to fantasies of you back in high school.”
Lee’s head popped up. “You’re…gay?”
Arlin nodded. “Yep. That’s why I got divorced, although I didn’t tell her that.”
Arlin reached over, gently caught Lee’s chin between his thumb and forefinger, and tipped his head up enough he could look Lee in those gorgeous blue eyes of his.
“And the second confession I have is I’m kinky. I’m a Dominant.”
Lee’s eyes widened. “You…are?”
“Mmm-hmm. An ass-spanking, paddle-wielding Dom. I’m even a member of the BDSM club here in Sarasota. So the question I now lay before you is this—you still want me to help bathe you? And I don’t just mean a bath.”
The other man swallowed hard, the sight of his throat nervously working like that hardening Arlin’s cock and making him want to own the guy right there.
Time to kick it up a notch.
Arlin leaned in, still holding Lee’s chin. Keeping his voice low and steady, he said, “Then the proper response to that would be, ‘Yes, Sir.’”
Lee’s lips parted, kissable.
The tip of his tongue darted out, licking them, before he softly said, “Yes, Sir.”
* * * *
Lee had been prepared for a bunch of reactions from his old friend over his confession.
This had not been one of them.
Not even close.
No way in fucking hell was he going to turn Arlin down, either. A chance to make some fantasies come true?
“I’m not going to be a very good slave or whatever right now,” Lee said. The feel of Arlin’s fingers holding his chin felt better than good—it felt right. “I can barely get around by myself.”
Arlin leaned in close, the corners of his lips quirking in a handsome smile that had Lee’s cock hard and throbbing.
“It’s okay, buddy. Dom doesn’t mean asshole. Dom means I’m in charge, though. You do what I tell you to do. And you’re not my slave yet. We’ll start with submissive and go from there. Long story, mostly semantics, and a discussion for another time. I only have three rules right now that you must agree to follow.”
Even saying that felt perfect.
Arlin looked like he was trying not to laugh. “You need to hear the rules first.”
Arlin’s thumb stroked Lee’s lips, resting there. “Shh. Listen. Rule one—complete honesty. Even if you think it’s painful. Do not lie to me. I’m not talking about white lies in the name of keeping a good kind of surprise secret, either. Use logic. If I ask you a question about something we’re doing, or our relationship, you answer me honestly. Understand?”
He lifted his thumb from Lee’s lips but didn’t move his hand.
The thumb returned. “Good boy. Rule two, which dovetails with rule one—you don’t cheat on me, and I won’t cheat on you. We are exclusive to each other. Period. Doesn’t mean you can’t see friends, or have a social life. But you don’t kiss or fuck or have any kind of sex or play with anyone but me, and vice versa.”
His thumb lifted again.
Lee’s cock ached so painfully he thought it might explode right there. “Yes, Sir.”
Arlin’s smile widened even as his thumb returned once more. “Good boy. Rule three is I am in charge. For now, you can safeword for anything. Even if we’re talking like this. But if you don’t safeword, and I tell you something, I expect whatever it is to be done or followed or what have you. Do not make me repeat myself, unless you literally couldn’t hear me the first time. Even if I say something casually in conversation, take that as a command unless I specify otherwise.
“Eventually, once you’re back up to one-hundred-percent, there will be punishments for failing to follow my orders. Not right now. Between your leg and everything else, I’d rather let you get used to this. Deal?”
His thumb moved to stroke Lee’s chin.
“Yes, Sir. What do I use for a safeword?”
“Easy. Colors. Green means we’re good. Yellow means slow down or hold up or check in. Red means stop.”
“Okay. Yes, Sir.”
“You’ve never been with a guy?”
Lee shook his head. The furnace he’d felt burning in his cheeks, which had abated a little, returned with a vengeance.
Now Arlin wore a sexy, sultry smile, heavy lidded eyes studying his face.
“Oooh, buddy. Are you in for a treat, then. Obviously, I can’t do what I wish I could do, which is hogtie you on your back and fuck your sweet ass until you pop. But I’m creative. I’ll think of something.”
Lee heard the whimper escape him—and so did Arlin.
Arlin leaned in, his lips just over Lee’s. “How long’s it been since you last came?”
Lee struggled to think with his cock now hogging the blood supply that normally flowed through his brain. “At least a month, Sir.”
Arlin’s eyebrows shot up. “Really? Not even masturbating?”
Lee struggled to maintain eye contact with Arlin. “No, Sir. I was busy before the game with practices, and then…” He shrugged. “Haven’t felt like it since then. First the pain meds and stuff, then now with all the shit with Tila…I haven’t.”
“How about now? Right this minute. How do you feel?”
Arlin had demanded honesty.
“I’m so horny I feel like I’m going to explode.”
Arlin closed the gap between them and kissed him, gently, exploring, while another low, needy moan escaped Lee.
He’d totally lost control now, wanted this man, wanted everything he promised and not just sex.
A relationship, a guy who understood him, who knew him. Who wouldn’t belittle him for his fantasies.
Who he didn’t have to worry about going to the tabloids later.
When Arlin sat back, Lee leaned forward, trying to follow him and not lose contact with him.
Arlin laid a finger over Lee’s lips, gently pressing to make him sit back in the wheelchair. Then he stood and stripped his shirt off, his gaze never breaking from Lee’s.
“Just wait until your leg’s better,” Arlin teased. “Prepare to be fucked in nearly every position I can contort you into, and on every remotely horizontal surface in this house.”
Lee’s cock twitched. “Yes, Sir,” he whispered, barely able to speak now.
He’d never felt such heat, such intense sexual tension and physical attraction, as he was at that moment.
I love him.
This wasn’t merely a teenage crush anymore. This was lust and need and desire and the knowledge that this man had voluntarily stepped in and stood beside him when no one else could even be bothered to step up.
Arlin reached in and pulled Lee’s T-shirt up and off of him, dropping it onto the floor to join his. When Lee tried to reach for Arlin, he stopped him.
“No. Be my good boy.” Arlin put Lee’s hands on the wheelchair armrests and smiled. “Stay.”
He ran his hands over Lee’s abs, his chest, circling his nipples and gently tweaking them. All the while, Lee held on to the armrests, his fingers tightly curled around them, willingly immobile while Arlin watched his reaction.
The feel of another pair of hands on his body…it was amazing. He’d never realized how sensitive his nipples were before, like they were a hotline straight to his cock and balls.
Arlin slipped a hand behind Lee’s head, grabbing a handful of his now shaggy hair and holding on tightly as he leaned in to kiss him again. This time he slanted his lips over Lee’s mouth, crushing him, tongue pressing for and being granted eager entrance into Lee’s mouth.
Arlin’s other hand worked back and forth between Lee’s nipples, tweaking them, harder each time, until the moans he let out apparently met with Arlin’s approval and he maintained that level.
With his cock rigid, throbbing, Lee held on to the armrests, wishing he could wrap his arms around Arlin right now and hold him. The stupid wheelchair and his damn leg made everything harder to manage, got in the way. He hated it.
When Arlin released his head and sat up, he wore a pleased smile. “I think someone’s ready for a bath, hmm?”
He nodded, eagerly. When Arlin arched an eyebrow at him, Lee realized his mistake.
The smile was worth it. “Such a good boy for me.”