An erotica novella with gay, bdsm and contemporary themes by Elizabeth Coldwell.
When Sean Bradley gets an invitation to Dante’s, the most exclusive gay club in town, he doesn’t realise it will change his life for ever. This is no ordinary club, and its world of decadent delights is designed to pair wealthy dominant men with cute young submissives. The club’s owner, Dante Capello, is immediately taken with Sean, and sets about leading him into a world of BDSM pleasures, where he will learn how to receive the strictest of punishments and obey without question. But though Dante is a demanding master, he has a reputation for keeping his emotional distance from the boys who submit to him and discarding them after a weekend in his servitude. How far is Sean prepared to go to truly become his?
‘I haven’t seen you here before.’ The American-accented voice was soft in my ear, startling me. I turned to see that while I’d been watching the near-naked dancers, someone had been watching me.
I found myself staring at one of the most handsome men I’d ever seen. In his mid-40s, his thick black hair fell almost to his shoulders, and he had a neatly trimmed goatee beard. The warmth in his dark eyes was a stark contrast to the cruel set of his mouth. A chunky silver Rolex circled his wrist, and he had a thick platinum band on the ring finger of his right hand. I didn’t need to see the label in his sharply tailored black suit to know it had probably cost him more than I earned in a month.
‘I – er – it’s my first time here,’ I stammered, raising my voice to be heard over the music. Who was this man? Why had he approached me? Had he realised that I somehow didn’t belong here, among this opulent display of strangely perverse sexuality?
‘Yes, I thought you were new. How do you like the place?’
‘It’s – it’s different. Whoever owns it must have spent an absolute fortune fitting it out.’
‘Not quite a fortune, but yes, it was expensive. Though I consider it money well spent. I’m Dante Capello.’
He extended a hand. When I took it, his grip was firm. I wondered if he felt, as I did, the electricity that seemed to sizzle between us as we touched.
‘Sean Bradley.’ For some reason I couldn’t explain, the word “sir” fought to escape from my lips. I bit it back as Dante finally let go of my hand.
‘Nice to meet you, Sean.’
‘Er – wow, so you own this place?’ I was aware that I couldn’t be presenting him with a very good impression of myself, but lust had me blushing and tongue-tied.
‘Indeed. And what do you do for a living, Sean?’
‘Oh, I work in the post room of a firm you’ll never have heard of. I’m sure there are more boring jobs in the world; I just can’t think of one off the top of my head.’
‘Well, as long as you’re keeping the wolf from the door, eh?’ Dante smiled, showing his pointed white teeth. He appeared about to add more, but he was distracted by the music coming to an abrupt halt. ‘Ah, looks like the entertainment’s about to start. Come and watch it with me, Sean. I think you’ll enjoy it.’
Before I could reply, he started making his way through the crowd to the low, padded seats arranged in a semi-circle around the dancefloor. I trotted after him, aware of envious glares from some of the young dancers as I passed. Was that why they were here tonight? Hoping to pull the man whose money funded this hormone-charged playground? Perhaps they saw me as an interloper on their patch. But I was no gold-digger – just an ordinary guy trying to make sense of these extraordinary surroundings.
As Dante approached, two men occupying the very centre of the semi-circle vacated the bench. Now that’s power, I thought. People giving up the best seats in the house for you, without even being asked.
But best seats for what? I had no idea what passed for entertainment here. My question was partly answered as the dancefloor emptied rapidly. A large cage was lowered from somewhere in the gods, coming to rest on the floor to a murmur of excited anticipation.
‘Gentlemen,’ the DJ announced, ‘we present for your enjoyment a very special mixed martial arts bout. Please welcome to the arena of infinite delights Johnny Boy McCoy and Chase Diamond.’
The lights dimmed, leaving the crowd in total darkness for a moment. Then, to the strains of Eye of the Tiger, spotlights picked out two men striding confidently towards the cage. They were both lithe, muscular, good-looking – and wore not a stitch of clothing. Their bodies had been oiled ’til they gleamed, and every last hair had been removed from the neck down. Their half-hard cocks bobbed proudly as they walked, responding to the attention of every eye in the club upon them.
It seemed the room was suddenly thick with testosterone, just the sight of the naked fighters enough to rouse the audience. Pressed close to Dante on the bench, I could feel the heat of his thigh through my jeans. I breathed in the subtle citrus scent of his aftershave, trying to memorise every detail of this moment so I could tell Pete about it later.
‘You know the rules of this bout.’ The DJ, who appeared to be doubling as the referee, spoke half to the crowd and half to the two fighters. ‘You fight ’til one of you submits, then the loser gets his arse fucked.’
Whoops and cheers rang out at this. I looked at Dante in surprise. Had I heard that right? Would this fight really end with one of the two men being buggered – and in front of a baying audience too?
‘Relax, Sean,’ he said. ‘Everything that happens here is consensual. I might pay my fighters well, but those two sluts would probably give me money for the thrill of being fucked in public.’
At a signal from the DJ, the fight began. The two men circled each other, jabbing punches and trading kicks. Pete and I sometimes caught cage fighting bouts on satellite TV, buried away late at night. He’d always joked that it was a sport designed for gay men, given the way the fighters always seemed to end up writhing on top of each other on the floor. Never had that comment seemed more true.
Johnny Boy, the taller and slightly heavier of the two, kicked out as he pirouetted, catching Chase full in the chest. The other man staggered back, but did not fall.
Beside me, I overheard one man say to his companion, ‘I’ll wager you £50 the blond ends the night with a cock up his arse.’
By “the blond”, he obviously meant Chase. I wasn’t so sure, particularly when he swung a right hook that caught Johnny Boy square on the cheekbone.
‘So who’s your money on?’ I whispered to Dante.
‘McCoy, every day of the week. Chase may look the part, but he’s too cocky. He thinks he’s won before he’s even stepped in the cage. He’ll learn though.’
As if to prove the truth of Dante’s words, Johnny Boy was hauling Chase to the floor. I couldn’t help but notice that Chase had the beginnings of a black eye, bruised and sore-looking.
‘Do they ever seriously hurt each other?’ I asked, as Chase took another blow to the stomach.
‘Oh, there’s the odd cracked rib and Cheng Li – he’s a cute little Chinese pain slut, always goes down well here – once got his collarbone broken. Nothing major, nothing that keeps them out of action for more than a couple of weeks. And though it doesn’t look like it, they usually shy away from damaging the face. After all, I select these men on their looks as much as their fighting skills. My clients love to see a pretty boy getting a good shafting.’
As he spoke, his hand brushed my crotch lightly. The fight was affecting me more than I might have expected, my cock swelling and thickening in my jeans. Dante gave a small chuckle when he realised how turned on I was, and I felt the blood rising to my cheeks, glad the low lighting concealed the signs of my embarrassment.
The fighters were still down and grappling on the floor. I couldn’t help but notice that both of them were fully erect by now, cocks stimulated as their sweating, glistening bodies rubbed together. For a moment, it seemed as though Chase would gain the upper hand, rolling Johnny Boy over on his back. He threw back his head, taking a steadying breath. It was a short-lived respite. Almost before he knew what had happened, the older, wilier Johnny Boy had flipped him on to his back, pinning him securely in place.
‘Submit,’ he growled, grabbing hold of Chase’s rock-hard cock, and the crowd took up the cry. They sensed victory was near, and they wanted to see Johnny Boy claim his spoils.
‘OK, OK, I submit.’ Chase was beaten, but he didn’t sound too disappointed about it. He lay, passively, as Johnny Boy made a triumphant circuit of the cage, shaking his clasped hands together above his head to the frenzied applause of everyone watching.
The DJ tossed Johnny Boy something and retired from the ring. It was a bottle of oil, presumably the same stuff the two fighters had used to make their bodies shine under the lights. Johnny Boy rolled Chase on to his front, straddling the small of his back. He flipped the top off the bottle, and squirted a generous amount of oil into the crack of Chase’s arse.