You would think a Native American, who could track a piss ant through a meadow covered in heavy grass, wouldn’t get lost. But he was lost. Orion Brown, son of a full-blood Lakota Sioux was lost, but not in any geographical location. Orion was lost within himself. The deaths of five of Gunnery Sergeant Orion Brown’s men in combat in Afghanistan, and their battle buddies crying on his shoulder, had put him into unknown territory. Oh, he’d remained strong for the Marines who survived. He bucked them up to resume combat without their battle buddies guarding their sixes, but it had cost him. His stronger than strong routine had earned him an honorable discharge from the Marine Corps, panic attacks, and the inability to touch or be touched by other human beings without having a nuclear nervous meltdown.
His assigned VA shrink was a joke. Well, the man himself wasn’t a joke. He was sincere, he gave the impression he cared, and he listened when he grudgingly shared some of his feelings, but if he mentioned “survivor’s guilt” just one more time, Orion would show him just how much damage a Marine could do to office furniture. The doc just didn’t get it. He was damned if he tried to open up and interact with the people around him, and he was equally screwed if he let anyone throw an arm over his shoulder or kiss his cheek or slap him on the back. The first induced no feeling at all, as in semi-frozen stiff on a morgue slab, and the second induced panic attacks of epic proportions. He was rapidly being torn apart by the dichotomy of reactions.
A slip of a finger on his PC keyboard, offered salvation. The BDSM site wanted to know if he was a Dominant or a submissive. He almost didn’t fill out the personal questionnaire, but overhearing the prevailing opinion of him from two of his students in the Marine Special Operations Tracking/Counter-tracking Course he taught, convinced him he needed to go beyond conventional medical practice. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to have an extremely sexy Mistress paddling his backside if he was brought back to the land of the normal.
But the Great Spirit was not inclined to grant him normal. Irony of ironies, there was no female Dominant at the local dungeon strong enough to keep him from topping her. Instead, he was assigned to Dai Waleska. A six foot, two-inch Japanese-American Kung Fu Master. Now the overriding question was, was it worth submitting to another man’s physical, and possibly sexual, domination for a chance at getting back on a normal track. Which was more important? Dominance and submission to conquer his frozen core and panic attacks, or maintaining a macho Marine image that would more than likely end with him gargling with a Glock somewhere down a very short road?
Dai waited while Orion seated himself on the legless chair. Most Westerners could not seat themselves without some awkwardness. It pleased him to discover Orion had a natural economy of movement. He made it seem graceful.
He’d already determined to begin Orion’s training with a subtle action. If this small test proved successful, it would tell him his decision to use an iron fist in a velvet glove would be the best way to reach the sub. Picking up his chopsticks, Dai selected a slice of pickled ginger and held it up to Orion.
“Here, try this. It’s ginger and very good. It’s also good for you. Ginger soothes the stomach.”
He waited as Orion nervously stared at the offering before him, and he could see the internal debate taking place written large on the man’s face. Should he open his mouth or not? If he took the morsel from another man’s chopsticks, what signal did it send?
Dai kept his offering rock steady and beamed his approval when Orion leaned forward and took the ginger directly into his mouth.