Christmas is approaching and all Xylan wants to do is move on with his life. With the media referring to the incident as "the sex scandal of the century", Xylan has become a prisoner in his own home. Worse yet, he can’t face his special room, a place he has always relaxed in. Will Hamilton help him overcome his fears or will Jarrett have truly taken everything from him?
“If you want, we can go home for Christmas.” Hamilton nuzzled his ear.
Xylan snorted. “Small town middle America? I can just imagine how they would treat me. Here is bad enough.”
“We can rent a cabin in the mountains,” Hamilton tried again. He stepped back a little but kept his arms around Xylan’s waist. “We can get away from all the media, at least for a few days.”
Xylan shook his head. “Let’s just spend it here, you and I.”
“You’ve become a prisoner in this house,” Hamilton argued. “You haven’t gone out since the press conference.”
“Correction, there has been no reason for me to leave the house since I have been unceremoniously dropped from every contract I had,” Xylan snarked. He stepped out of Hamilton’s arms and walked around the couch.
“You also haven’t been in the room since the incident. I think maybe we need to visit it, you’ve developed a bit of an attitude lately.” Hamilton cocked one eyebrow, a smirk on his lips.
Xylan sucked in his breath. “It’s terrible, I want to go back in, in fact I need to go back in, but I can’t face that room. Jarrett took something beautiful and destroyed it for me.”
“He assaulted you in your own home. He violated your innocence and trust but you can’t let him win. If you avoid the public, if you avoid the room, if you deny the one thing you love, then he has won. He will have accomplished everything he set out to do.”
Xylan wrapped his arms around his waist. He wanted to go back to Hamilton, to have the man pull him into his arms and protect him from everything, but he couldn’t. Xylan knew he was a big boy and needed to face his fears. “Maybe you need to order me to go in.”
Hamilton shook his head. “I’m not going to force you to do anything. It’s all mutual, you have a safe word so you never go further than you want.”
“I’ve thought about committing to this fully, making it a twenty-four seven thing,” he said, turning to look at Hamilton.
Hamilton sucked in his cheeks. “That’s one hell of a commitment. We’ve never even talked about total power exchange. You know that means your body is mine, no safe words, nothing.”
“Now, though,” Xylan shook his head, “I remember a few things about that night. I remember using the safe word and Jarrett ignoring it. If I turned this into a twenty-four seven thing then there would be no safe words. I know you wouldn’t hurt me like Jarrett did, but I’m afraid, Hamilton.”
“Give yourself time.” Hamilton walked across the room to stand behind Xylan. He ran his hand down the man’s back before wrapping his arms around Xylan’s waist.
“Where do you want to put the Christmas tree?” Xylan suddenly changed the subject.
Hamilton stepped away. “I thought I’d leave that to you.”
Xylan started to walk around the room. “Maybe to the left of the fireplace. We can get it out of the attic now. Maybe decorating the tree will make me feel better. I also have to plan Christmas dinner. I know it will only be the two of us but I still have to plan a menu and order the food.”
“Make sure you have a pumpkin pie for me.”
Xylan nodded absently before heading into the kitchen to find some paper. He needed order back into his life. He needed a routine. He pulled a notepad from his junk drawer, digging around he searched for an ink pen. He knew there was one in there, hell there was probably half a dozen in the drawer but he couldn’t find one.
“Fuck!” He screamed turning to throw the notepad against the wall. Hamilton had suggested therapy but he wasn’t going to sit in a room and talk about his lifestyle. He had nothing to justify but he was sure that any therapist he saw would want to know why he liked to be tied up and beaten. Hell, if he liked it when Hamilton did it, then what made Jarrett so different?
He needed to go back into the room. He needed to feel grounded again and only when Hamilton dominated him, caressed his skin with a crop, sent him into another place did he feel calm and grounded. Now, thanks to Jarrett, he practically had a panic attack every time he got close to the door.
He ran his hand over his face breathing in deeply as he did. He walked over to pick up his notepad. He would get a pen out of Hamilton’s office.
“Xylan, could you come here?” Hamilton called as Xylan came out of the kitchen.
Hamilton pushed the box with the tree in the corner. He opened up a small plastic sack and looked at the contents inside. “Take off your shirt.”
“Hamilton…” His voice was full of apprehension.
Hamilton looked at him, his face stern, one eyebrow cocked. “I said take off your shirt.”