By pulling on his leathers and entering Cuffs, the BDSM club he frequents, Holden MacKay can leave his life in Blackwater Falls behind and become "Bobby," a masochist and sexual submissive. The pain he craves soothes something deep inside him and makes him feel alive, and the role he plays in the club enables him to fully connect with his sexual self in a way he never could with traditional sex. But when Holden meets the aloof and sexy Dom, Sloane McClain, there’s something about the man that reaches in and grabs him right through the excesses of alcohol and drugs Holden normally indulges in.
Could this man be the mate he's waited for, but thought he'd never find? Holden needs to figure out if what he’s feeling is real, or if it’s all just wishful thinking. But he has more secrets than just his name, and too much to lose if anyone discovers them. And when someone begins killing the Doms Holden plays with and dumping their bodies outside Blackwater Falls, he has to act not only to find the killer and protect his secrets, but to save the man he’s beginning to love more than his own life.
Holden slipped on his Bobby persona as easily as he slipped on his leathers, so that by the time he reached the club the next night, he had become a different person, one who was keyed up and ready for whatever came. He smoked a joint on the way into town just to bring himself down a little. The soft leather of his harness rubbed sweetly over the welts on his back and shoulders, making him half-hard before he ever got inside. He knew he was walking stiffly and rolled his shoulders to relax as he stepped past the doorman, checked his coat and entered the room.
The lighting was moody and dim, as usual, and because it was already getting late, the room was crowded, with men and women dancing together in all combinations on the tiny dance floor. The music, with its loud, almost techno beat throbbed around him, as the old familiar excitement took hold of him. The floor was actually too crowded to dance. Some were moving together slowly, their bodies rubbing against each other while others had given up even the pretense of dancing and were openly having sex on the dance floor.
On the sides of the room, men and women leaned against the walls, watching the action, or else were totally intent on their partners, some of whom were dancing for their partners sinuously. Many of the women were topless, and more than one male sub’s bare ass was exposed, much like Holden’s.
Pushing through the crowd on his way to the bar, he spotted Sloane McClain standing at the far end, his arm slung around a small, good looking blond who had his face tipped hopefully up toward him. Ignoring him and the definite twinge of jealousy he was feeling, Holden slid onto the vacant stool and gave his attention to the bartender. He’d decided to drink a few beers tonight, since he realized he was too marked up and sore for any play. Actually, if he thought he could find a Dom to take him on, he might try it, but he realized the chances of that were slim, considering the looks of his back.
He’d thought about not showing up at all, but McClain intrigued him and Holden was curious about him. He’d been almost totally wasted the night before but he still remembered the strong scent in the room when he woke up. Strong scents like that were associated with only one thing he could think of—mates—and that idea scared him much more than he’d imagined it would. It was the main reason he’d come back tonight to tell the truth. He needed to find out if that smell had been for real.
For a cougar shifter, true mates were discovered by a touch, a look, or by an unusual odor. There was always an immediate attraction and an overpowering urge to be with the person all the time. He’d never experienced it before, though in the past few months, several of the Sutherland clan had been affected by it. Some of them, like Spencer Sutherland, were among his closest associates. He’d never term a Sutherland as a friend. Rivalry between the clans was too strong, but perhaps Spencer was the closest thing to a friend that he’d ever had. The gorgeous man had also been a fuck buddy, but it had only ever been just that. Spencer had found his mate recently in the new deputy sheriff who’d come to Blackwater Falls, and while Holden was glad for Spencer, he also missed his companionship.
He was curious then to see if that smell had been real or just a part of the alcoholic and endorphin-filled haze. He needed to get closer to McClain again to make sure. A little smile turning up one corner of his mouth, Holden wondered if Sloane had tried to call him on the bogus cell phone number he’d given him. Just then an enticing scent teased at his nose and a deep voice behind him answered the question.
“The time and temperature thing was helpful. You have that number memorized, do you?”
Holden twisted around on his stool to look up at those steely gray eyes. He took another deep breath. The scent was definitely coming from McClain. “It does come in handy at times,” Holden said, one corner of his mouth still quirking upward.
Sloane still had his arm wrapped around the blond at his side, and the man was looking Holden over with smug interest. Holden ignored the sub and kept his gaze on Sloane, who was shaking his head.
“You like to play at being a sub, don’t you? But you don’t know the first thing about it.” His tone was hard and implacable, and the sardonic smile on Holden’s lips grew in proportion.
“I know all I need to know.”
“Do you?” Sloane replied, looking him over and then dismissing him as he turned away, pulling his blond with him. Over his shoulder, he cast back one parting shot. “Why don’t you go home, little boy, and get online. Maybe play in a chat room? You can probably fool someone there into thinking you know what the hell you’re doing. You’re not fooling anyone here.”
Holden took a deep breath and lay down on his back in the middle of the big bed, stretching his arms above his head. Sloane smiled down at him and moved over to his bedside table, pulling out several sets of handcuffs. Moving efficiently, he first cuffed each of Holden’s wrists to the spindles on the headboard. The cuffs were fur-lined and comfortable, not tight at all, but Holden felt his throat tighten just the same. Sloane patted his abs and moved down to his feet, pushing them wide apart and then securing each ankle in a similar fashion to the footboard. He held up the keys for Holden to see.
“I’m putting these right here on the table. If you start to panic, I can get you free in a few moments, okay? But only if you use your safe word. Otherwise, I won’t stop once we start, no matter how much you beg. I want to hear you beg me, actually.” He said with a little smile, sitting down beside him and running his hands down Holden’s flanks in a long caress. “Ready?”
Holden nodded, and Sloane chided him gently. “Say yes, Sir.”
“Good.” He regarded him silently for a moment, then ran a hand possessively over Holden’s chest. “So beautiful.”
Holden felt the heat rise to his cheeks, noticing for the first time that Sloane was still fully dressed while he was totally exposed. He needed Sloane’s reassurance again and before he could ask, Sloane gave it to him, sliding a hand over his rock hard erection and dropping a kiss on the head. His dick was dribbling pre-cum on his abdomen, and he felt a little embarrassed.
“No, look at me, sweetheart. How do you feel?”
Sloane took hold of his chin again and made him look into his eyes. “Tell me how you feel.”
“I-I guess I’m not really fine at all. I’m freaked out. I-I feel…helpless, embarrassed…exposed. I keep thinking about…about Jackson. His lips stretched around that thing. It was…” he took a deep shuddering breath. “I feel like I should do something, but I didn’t know what. I feel that way now. But like I can’t do anything and all I can do is lie here and wait for you to do whatever it is you want to do to me.”
“And that’s how I want you to feel. You’re not in control anymore. I am. There’s nothing for you to do except what I tell you to do and all you can do is lie there and take it. The burden is off you. Can you feel that? You have to trust me now and stop thinking about anything but what we’re doing here and now. Trust me to take care of you. Trust me to handle everything. Give it all over to me.” He bent to kiss Holden and Holden tried to strain toward him, wanting more of him, wanting to wrap his arms around him but he couldn’t. All he could do was wait for whatever Sloane would give him. It was freeing in a way. He didn’t have to be anything for anyone. He didn’t have any responsibility here, because there was nothing he could do.
Sloane stood up and began to undress while Holden watched him, hungry for a touch, any touch. Sloane gave him what he needed, reaching out to pat him or caress him often, kissing him on the knee or rubbing the inside of his thigh. When he finally stood beside him, gloriously naked, his beautiful thick cock jutting aggressively upward, Holden could only stare at him, breathless at his beauty. He wanted to reach out and touch his shaft, rub it against his cheek, but he couldn’t. He’d never felt so helpless, so frustrated. He strained against the cuffs, and Sloane smiled down at him.
“No, you don’t. I’ll take what I want from you. And you have to give it to me. There’s nothing you can do. Say it.”
“Nothing I can do.”
“That’s right. You’re here for my pleasure, and I intend to take full advantage of every inch of you. In return, I’ll take all this burden from you. No more worries, no more thoughts of anything except me. You need to surrender all of it to me, and I’ll handle it.”
“Yes, yes, Sir,” Holden whispered, and shivered again. Sloane reached down and cupped his cheek and Holden turned his face toward the hand, kissing his palm. He heard Sloane’s sharp hiss of breath and looked up, thinking he’d done something wrong, but instead Sloane was gazing at him like he’d never seen him before.
“You’re beautiful, Holden. So beautiful,” he whispered and sat down beside him, bending for another kiss, one that was all too brief. Holden strained after him, needing more but Sloane rubbed a finger across his lips instead and reached for the tube of lube by the bed. “But you need to let go. Just relax and let me do all the work.” It was a gentle rebuke, but Holden knew it was one, and he felt ashamed.
“I-I’m sorry, Sir.”
He smiled at him. “I know.” He slicked up his hands and then poured a liberal amount over Holden’s cock and balls. “Just let it all go. I’ve got it now.” He gripped Holden’s cock with a greased up hand and jacked it firmly three times in rapid succession. Holden groaned and felt his eyes roll back in his head. The pleasure was even more intense than usual and Holden relaxed, going boneless.
“That’s it,” he said softly, running his hands over his balls and down beneath his body to his crease. “Let me take care of you.” He began to move up and then back, over and over. Slowly up to circle the head of his cock with his hand and then slowly back down his shaft to knead and massage each of his balls in turn, then dipping beneath Holden’s body to travel up his crease. One finger lingered at his hole to circle it slowly, massaging and promising things to come. Then he started the whole journey over again back down the way he’d come. His touch was firm, but not firm enough. Holden was stimulated, but never stimulated enough. All of his focus began to center on that wicked, magical hand, never ceasing, never speeding up, just going over and over the most intimate parts of his body to tease him, to pleasure him.
And though it all, the dirty talk never stopped. Sloane told Holden what he’d like to do him in stunning detail. He stopped occasionally at the head of Holden’s cock to slip a thumbnail into the slit, stinging him and making Holden cry out for more, but he never stopped and never did it twice in a row. He completely ignored Holden’s begging, even going out of his way to not do something twice in a row if Holden seemed to like it too much, so that in the end, Holden had no choice but to lie still and take it.
“That’s right. You’re being a good boy for me now.” He bent and bit the inside of Holden’s thigh, making him scream, then went right back to his slow stroking. “Think only about what I’m doing to you and how when I finally let you come, you’re going to call my name. Say it now just to practice.”
“That’s right. I have you right where I want you.” Time began to lose meaning for Holden as Sloane continued his ministrations. He might have been there twenty minutes or two hours. He was never sure afterward. Sloane’s movements were slow, agonizingly slow so that Holden was incredibly turned on and stimulated but never allowed to peak. Allowed…Holden had fought the concept for so long of being controlled by a Dom, but he was floating now, much like when a Dom gave him the pain he craved. But this was pleasure wasn’t it? Pleasure so intense it was almost painful.
Sloane was edging him. Holden had watched demonstrations of it at the club and though he had recognized its sexy sensuality, he never thought he would like it for himself. But it wasn’t about him, was it? This was about Sloane and what he wanted. And in return, Sloane was giving him a world of pleasure (pain?) he never knew existed.