Cody is just settling into his submission, learning to completely trust his Dom, Jake, again after the revelations about Tony, when something happens to make Cody question his importance in Jake’s life. Deliberately provoking Jake into an argument works only too well. Their argument escalates and Cody says things he regrets as soon as the words leave his mouth, but then is too stubborn to take back. When Cody makes a dramatic declaration that he wants to leave, Jake reluctantly agrees. A chance confrontation at a BDSM club results in a torrid scene between the two lovers, but what will happen when the scene is over? Will they be able to find what they thought they’d lost forever? Or will bitter memories keep them apart?
“What are you talking about, Cody? Let’s be clear.” Jake said in a voice that was so low and unsteady, Cody should have taken warning, but he couldn’t seem to stop.
“Oh c’mon Jake, from the beginning of this relationship, you took charge and told me I was your submissive. I never had any real choice in the matter.”
Jake’s face drained of color but his voice was rock steady. “And if you’d had a choice, as you say? What would that have been?”
“Well, I don’t know because you never gave me a chance to figure it out, and now you’ve just a-abandoned me, and I never see you anymore, and I do reach out to you, but you don’t even seem to care.”
“I see,” Jake said softly. “You think I don’t care?”
“I think you care more about yourself! You never talked to me about taking that lieutenant’s test, knowing that if you passed it we’d no longer be partners on the road. It’s just more of the same thing, like when you lied to me about Tony. You don’t trust me to be able to handle the truth. Well, guess what, I don’t trust you either!”
There was a long, painful silence and then Jake shook his head. His face was tight with anger. “If that’s how you really feel, Cody, then I truly have failed you, and I don’t see much way for us to go on from here, do you?”
“I’d offer to just go on as boyfriends, outside of the lifestyle, but it doesn’t seem to me that you want that either.” He pinned him with a steady glare and gave him one last chance to back off, one last chance to pull this thing back from the brink. “Do you, Cody?”
Miserable now, but clinging to his pride, Cody stubbornly raised his chin. “No. I want a real Dom. Somebody who’ll take care of me and l-listen to me and give me what I need.”
“A real Dom? Okay,” Jake said, letting out a ragged breath. He looked as if he was in physical pain. “If that’s how you feel, then-then maybe you should go find one. I don’t have a safe word to use, but I-I release you, Cody.”
Cody felt like Jake had given him a physical blow. That hadn’t been what he meant at all—he just wanted Jake to give him what he needed, not to release him to go look for anyone else. The thought of another man giving him orders was just…wrong.
“I hope you find what you want, since that’s obviously not me,” Jake continued, his voice soft and thick with emotion. “Obviously, I’ll give you a few days…you know, to find a place, move your things…”
“Oh hell no,” Cody said, jumping to his feet, his reckless temper coming to his aid even though it felt like his heart was being ripped out by the roots. “I don’t need a few days. I’ll be out by this afternoon.”