Gabe Ellis knew some people were “like that,” but it never occurred to him those people might include his boyfriend, Tom Hampton. Now Gabe has to deal with the idea his gorgeous, successful lover enjoys hurting people -- and being hurt -- for fun. Worse, Gabe has to come to terms with the fact that so does he.
Tom was once known in the local BDSM scene as a ruthless Dom, but he left the scene when he realized he’d rather have a vanilla partner than one who can’t deal with the fact that he’s a switch. Those old feelings come crashing back in, however, when Gabe confesses to darker desires.
Gabe seems made for Tom, a switch who flips between stern Dom and sweetheart sub. But not everything goes smoothly as they explore their new dynamic. Will Gabe embrace the lifestyle, or ask for it all to stop?
As soon as the plane touched down, Tom was on his phone, texting Gabe. Home in an hour. Could use some stress relief if you’re up to it.
It had been a long and frustrating trip. They’d finally arrested the man responsible for a spree of robberies that spanned twelve states, but now Tom was caught up in the negotiations to determine where the trials would be held, and in what order. That would be frustrating enough, but the DA from South Carolina had turned out to be a homophobic asshat who didn’t care how many people knew it. After three weeks of hardball negotiations and biting his tongue, all Tom wanted was to eat his weight in unhealthy junk food, change into old, worn clothes that had never seen the inside of a tailor’s shop, and let his beautiful, inventive boyfriend drag him out of his skull for a while, then pound him into the mattress.
His phone buzzed with a reply while he was waiting on his luggage: Stress relief like pizza n dumb movies, or more like ...
A picture popped up on Tom’s phone: one side of a silver, gleaming set of handcuffs, two twists of red rope, and the leather bridle strap.
Tom felt something ugly finally unclench in his chest. I’ll take what’s behind Door #2, Monty.
Tom looked at the picture again and felt his innards twist and tighten with anticipation. That damn strap had hurt. It would be perfect.
In the cab, Tom got a second picture; Gabe’s palm, and resting in it was a black leather blindfold and the keys to the cuffs on their keychain.
And just like that, half the tension melted right out of Tom’s body. He didn’t have to stand up to everyone in the room and argue for his position. He didn’t have to be the guy in charge, the loudest man in the room, or the shrewd lawyer. He could just be... Tom. He could trust Gabe to tell him what to do, because Gabe wanted what was best for Tom, wanted Tom to feel good.
Tom closed his eyes and sighed, letting a little more of the tightness slide out of his shoulders and back. He was Gabe’s, and he didn’t have to worry about anything else.
The phone buzzed again. U haven’t eaten yet, I know u. Come to the kitchen first, have a protein shake and an espresso.
Gabe wanted him to eat -- well, consume some calories, at least -- before they started, and that was probably smart, because Tom’s sense of time was all twisted to hell and he wasn’t sure when he’d last eaten. Dinner the night before, maybe? He’d had a soda on the flight, but that wasn’t enough to get him through a scene.
Gabe was already taking care of him, and he hadn’t even gotten home yet. Yeah, this was the best idea.
When Tom finally got home, he found a sticky note on the front door in Gabe’s writing: Kitchen 1st!
Tom grinned and pocketed the note.
In the kitchen, Gabe had obviously been very busy; there was a place at the table laid out for Tom. An empty glass for his shake, set above a covered plate that held a few tidbits. A tiny round of cheese, a handful of crackers, two lemon petit four cakes, and a small dish of grapes, blueberries and one strawberry. Two multivitamins next to the plate and some juice to wash that down with. His espresso cup, which was empty, but the machine had been set up already and all he needed to do was twist, press the steamer button, and voilà, coffee.
Next to his plate was a piece of paper and a pencil. A sticky note on top of that read, “Relax, baby. Do the sudoku while you eat. Forget all about the trip. I love you.”