Saturday, November 21, 2009

Burkett Isle by Mychael Black and Shayne Carmichael

“Anything decent on TV?” Ben asked from the kitchen.

“Not really,” Josh said. “Dinner almost done?”

Ben walked over and gave Josh an upside-down kiss. “Mmm…soon.”

“There’s not a damn thing on.” Joey dropped the remote down in disgust, then eyed the other two. He realized he’d made a mistake in letting Josh go right after Josh and Ben started dating. “If you two play tonsil hockey all weekend, it’s really gonna be a bore.”

Josh grumbled when Ben pulled back. “Oh, like you haven’t been getting any. Trust me, we won’t spend all weekend in the sack, smartass.”

Ben grinned. “We won’t?”

“Fuck you,” Josh laughed, reaching up to whack Ben on the arm. “Feed me. Then feel free to challenge me on that.”

“You’ll eat your words. That’s a promise,” Ben shot back.

“You’re both making me wish I’d brought along a fuck buddy for the weekend.”

“You should have,” Ben flippantly agreed before he headed back into the kitchen.

“See?” Josh grabbed the remote. “We’re perfectly fine.”

“You sure you’re not trying a bit too hard to convince me?” Joey asked with a touch of curiosity. “I think I know you better than that.”

Rolling his eyes, Josh didn’t say anything for a moment. “We’re just different, that’s all,” he said finally. “We agreed to take things slow.”

His toes pointed down, Joey kneaded them slightly into Josh’s thigh. “Did you agree to take it slow because you want to or because you don’t want to lose him? And remember, the last time I saw you, you were drunk off your ass and complaining about Ben.”

“Both,” Josh muttered. “I love him, but…he hasn’t said anything like that to me.”

“I think he cares about you, but I haven’t seen anything like love when he looks at you.” Joey sat up, then shifted to put his arm around Josh. Inwardly, he was rather pleased with the situation. “If it gets bad enough, you know you can always talk to me.” Then he released Josh and stood. “Maybe we should hit the liquor cabinet. They always kept this place well stocked. Want something?”

“No, thanks.” Josh got up and wandered into the kitchen, looking somewhat preoccupied with his thoughts.

As Josh walked away, Joey watched him out of the corner of his eye and smiled to himself before pulling several tall glasses from the cabinet. He had a really good feeling both Ben and Josh would be joining him. No doubt Josh had some serious doubts about Ben, and Joey enjoyed egging him on. Ben had never deserved somebody like Josh, and Joey wanted Josh back. Once he grabbed a bottle of vodka, he wandered into the kitchen.

“Feel like a screwdriver?” he asked Ben as he passed the guy on his way to the fridge.

“Sure.” Ben flipped the hamburgers on the stove-top grill. “Want one, babe?” he asked Josh.

Josh sat at the table. “Hell, why not? Mix me up one, too, man.”

After he grabbed a couple cans of 7-Up and the orange juice, Joey returned to the bar and mixed up the drinks. He gathered up all three glasses in both hands before returning to the kitchen. “There’s more where this came from.” With a smile, he set the drinks on the table, then sat across from Josh. Ben went to the table to get his drink and took a sip. He winked at Josh and gave him a grin on his way back to the hamburgers.

“Oh, man, that’s good,” Josh said after a sip. “Burgers done?”

Ben returned a couple minutes later and put a big plate of his signature teriyaki burgers on the table. “Yup. Fries coming up.” He got the basket of fries from the counter, then sat down beside Josh.

All three of them dug in and between mouthfuls, Joey complimented Ben on the dinner. “I need to hire you to cook for me, man.”

Ben smirked at him. “Keep one of your fuck buddies around long enough and make him do it.”

“Yeah, right,” Josh mumbled in-between bites. “No one can touch my man’s cooking.”

“True, but I’m not for hire. Unless somebody pays me some big bucks.”

“I can promise you big bucks,” Joey tossed in as an inducement.

Josh raised an eyebrow. “Now he’s pulling out the big guns.” Ben leaned over and whispered in Josh’s ear. Whatever it was, Josh snickered. “Shut up.”

Joey smirked and settled back in his chair as he finished off his drink. “I’ll get you in my kitchen yet, Ben.”

“Just fix me another drink, smart ass.”

“Mmm…” Josh stole a quick kiss from Ben while Joey got up to mix more drinks.
“You’ll have to fight me for him, Joey.”

“Damn shame I forgot my swords. We could have fenced for him,” Joey quipped. As he stood at the bar, he glanced into the kitchen, happy to see the guys preoccupied. Then he pulled out a small vial and dropped a tablet into Ben’s glass. When he returned to the kitchen he set the drinks down with a flourishing bow.

Josh mumbled something, mouth too busy with Ben’s. When they finally parted, Josh smirked up at Joey. “I’d kick your ass in a heartbeat.”

“You never could in high school. Why don’t you two go relax in the living room, and I’ll wash up.” Joey took a quick sip of his drink before he started to gather up the dirty dishes.

“I let you win,” Josh shot back. He got up, tugging Ben with him. “Come on, gorgeous. Let’s go make out while Joey does the dirty work.”

Joey almost laughed but managed to stop himself. It wasn’t likely Josh would get much out of Ben since he’d spiked Ben’s drink with a mild sedative. Happy with himself, he filled the sink with hot water, added soap, and piled the dishes in the water. His thoughts were occupied with his own touch of glee as he methodically washed the plates and utensils. While he wasn’t overconfident, he did have the feeling Josh would return to him.

He could hear the television and low murmurs from the living room. It didn’t take him long to finish the dishes, but he puttered around, wiping down the counters and table. Finally, he tossed the dish cloth into the sink, picked up his drink, and went to join them.

“Dude. You can’t be tired,” Josh laughed, nudging Ben with his elbow.

“Mmmhmm…” Ben’s response was muffled on Josh’s thigh. One of Ben’s hands rested higher up, fingertips close but not quite touching Josh’s crotch.

Josh sighed. “So much for fooling around.”

“Must have had a hard day at work.” Joey grabbed Ben’s shoulder, shaking him slightly. “You’re disappointing your man.”

Ben yawned widely in answer. He squeezed Josh’s thigh lightly and mumbled, “Sorry, babe. Maybe I should hit the hay before I fall asleep here.”

“Okay.” Josh bent down and kissed Ben’s head. “I’ll be in there in a bit.”
“’kay.” Ben sat up and gave Josh a brief kiss before heading down the hall, already half-stumbling.

The Craft of the Wise 4: Healing Hearts

The impact of his kiss made her breath catch in her chest. She could scarcely breathe with his large hands pulling her tight against him. His arousal, large like the rest of him, pressed against her belly and sent her mind reeling again.

Mine.

Like before, his thought echoed into hers as if they belonged together. Whatever this primal urging, he’d been driven to want her. To need her.

She shivered at the realization because, Goddess above, no matter how much she wanted to deny it, to tell herself jealousy of the other mated witches drove her response, her mind and heart would not be swayed. She needed him, too.

When she lifted her hands to his hair, she threaded her fingers through the unruly locks. Devin’s moan of satisfaction rippled into her mouth. She yielded to the force of his kiss and boiling heat cooled to a simmer. He kissed her with a tenderness she didn’t know could exist. His tongue touched hers, just long enough for her to learn the taste of him then yearn for more when they parted.

Mine.

His voice whispered now, no longer the growling declaration of possession from a moment ago.

Her body awakened against his, an ache growing between her thighs. Sadly, she could count the number of previous lovers on a single hand, and now didn’t know how to ask him to touch her. To douse the growing heat threatening to overtake her bodily. All she could do was shift with embarrassing shyness against his erection.

When Devin pulled away, she opened her eyes to look into his. Even in the dark night, she saw the smoldering flames in them. “This is dangerous, Selena. No matter what I want—what I hope you want, too—this is dangerous.”

Her swollen, moist lips stung. A thrilling reminder of him. His hunger. His need.

“These are dangerous times, Devin.”

He shifted his gaze away. “I would never forgive myself if I hurt you.”

She cupped his face in her palm, angling him until they looked directly at each other. “Then don’t hurt me.”

He hesitated a moment, then lowered his head. “I won’t,” he whispered before his lips caressed hers.

Somehow, for some reason, she knew he wouldn’t.

He slid a hand beneath her shirt, his fingers grazing against her breast. Her nipple awakened beneath his touch, rousing from a long slumber. She fit neatly in his large palm, and he squeezed until she released a sigh against him.

His tongue teased into her mouth. Swept over her lips and toyed with her. In his kiss she found his tenderness. His ability to cherish and be cherished. It made her yearn for more.

Impatient, he pushed her shirt up and she broke away from him to maneuver out of the material. Her hair settled across her shoulders and she shivered. The cool night breeze touched her nakedness and she wanted to curl up against him again. To feel his warmth wrapped around her.

As if he sensed her thoughts, he stepped close to her again, but not before sliding his hands into the waist of her shorts. Cotton panties and shorts rolled down her thighs until gravity brought them to the ground. She stood before him naked, exposed for his scrutiny. She didn’t consider herself much to look at. Small breasts, barely a curve to her hips. But when he looked at her, she felt majestic enough to grace the cover of a magazine.

She held her head high when his gaze traced the length of her body. A flush started in her cheeks and crept down until her body blazed beneath his stare. He looked into her eyes again before branding her with a gentle kiss.

“Beautiful,” he murmured.

When he stepped back to kick off his shoes and remove his shirt, Selena’s mouth dried up. Muscles and bulk rippled in the night air. The few glimpses the gap in his shirt provided had been just an appetizer to the real deal. And, sweet Lady above, the real deal fueled her wildest fantasies. Even the red handprint branded on the side of his neck awed her. The imprint added a certain dramatic flair and sense of danger to him.

He glanced at her when he pushed his slacks over his hips. She should have been embarrassed, tempted to look away, but the slow unveiling of skin held her captive. He had to have known the effect he had on her based on the wicked grin splitting his face.

Then he was fully nude.

Veriel's Tales: Losing Regana by Brenna Lyons

Early Winter, 1107


Jörg stood in the midst of the Christian hell. He’d thought nothing could touch his cold heart save Regana’s soul reborn, but this chilled even that organ.

The small village had been attacked like the others had, savaged nearly beyond recognition, the structures burning...and the crops, the populace decimated. The dead included not only able men and boys, but also women, the elderly, and babes. No one had been spared...knowingly.

The boy was small, even for his age, and Jörg guessed him to be about eight. He was shivering in Evul’s arms, though he was wrapped in a fur and seated as close as possible to the fire. Jörg suspected he shivered more from fear than from the night air that heralded the coming winter.

“These men,” he began in a soothing voice he’d thought he’d lost a century or more before. “Did they make demands of the people of your village?”

The child’s voice was tremulous and ragged, most likely from crying, though he was certain not to admit such a thing. “No demands, master.” He’d already learned that Jörg’s men called him master; he was an intelligent boy.

“Did they ask anything?” An attack like this was meant to do something. While Jörg rarely concerned himself with human wars, this one had his attention. It defied all reason.

The hair rose at the back of his neck, a warning that Jörg was missing something basic, something dangerous.

“Nothing. They simply came into the marketplace and started cutting down anyone they saw.” He bit back a sob, and Evul held him closer to his big chest.

Jörg’s man had once had a son. Perhaps the boy would be as good for Evul as the former farmer would be for the orphaned child.

“Did they say anything?” he demanded, certain that the child had been spared to give some clue. What gave him that certainty when nothing else in life was sure, he could not say.

“They were looking for someone,” the boy offered.

That was more like it. “Who?”

“I know not. A woman, they said.”

“What description did they give? Did you hear it?” His heart sped, and again he could not state why it did.

“I was close. They gave no description.”

“Then how did they hope to find her?” he asked, exasperated.

“They said...” He paused, looking to Evul as if seeking counsel.

“Answer the master, boy,” he was instructed, though kindly so.

The child nodded. “They said this woman would find them, if they encountered her...lair.”

Jörg’s heart stuttered. “Regana,” he breathed. Surely, no woman but Regana would seek out confrontation with such men.

“Master Jörg?” Evul asked.

“We follow, Evul. As fast as we can.”

“And the child?” his man asked.

“If he slows your pace, leave him in the care of a few who will protect him well. They can travel at their own pace.” If it was Regana, he owed this child more than he could name. He considered what would likely come next. “That might be wise, Evul. And the men should dress for battle at all times.”

Jörg left the fire, waiting to dematerialize until he was well away. No one asked what he intended, though no one knew why he would follow immediately in brigands’ wake.



* * * *



Ilona stared down the length of her sword, hating the man she faced with every muscle and tendon, every bone and organ she possessed. It wasn’t enough to single out hating him with all of her heart. This went deeper, taking all of her.

Cessius had killed her family, everyone from her warm old grandmother to her sister’s youngest, a babe no more than a few weeks into this life. He’d done it while she was far afield, and it had been over before she’d had time to respond to the fires he’d set to destroy the rest. The men had been slaughtered in the outlying buildings, probably before the beast had descended upon the few women and children, though he might have taken them in unison, splitting his troops to accomplish the task.

No. That was unlikely. Cessius was a man who seemed to enjoy his slaughter a little too much for that. He would have wanted to see every life stolen personally.

His smile widened. “You cannot be serious, girl.”

She noted the rough men closing slowly in nothing more than the same cold detachment. “You need your men to fight one armed woman?” she challenged.

“I have need of no one.”

Ilona would have said the same until that day. She did need others, but now her others had been destroyed. Even the crops would be gone, if an unexpected rain showed no kindness to her.

She almost snorted in disbelief at that thought. When had anything or anyone but her family showed her kindness? Never that she could recall.

Cessius spoke again, perhaps believing that she had no intentions of speaking now that her challenge had been issued. “You and I, then,” he decided.

She nodded slowly, retaining her calm.

He drew his sword, gazing down its length with a fondness that was unseemly and unsettling. Then he came at her.

Ilona was no babe with a sword, but she found that even she was pressed to match him. Not that she intended to fail in that regard. Though his men would surely kill her for it, she would make sure Cessius preceded her to death.

Beads of sweat ran down her back beneath the fur tunic that shielded her from the wind that spoke of coming winter. In moments, her muscles burned and her lungs labored.

Then she saw it...the opening she needed. Cessius saw the blow coming, but not early enough to avoid it completely. Blood coursed down his face from the cut she’d drawn from the bridge of his nose to the line of his jaw. Even if he survived, he’d be scarred, marked for life.

Cessius reeled in surprise and she vaulted toward him, her sword coming up for the tender flesh of his stomach.

She never connected. Hands and bodies swarmed over her, pulling her back and down. Ilona fought them, screaming out her fury. Of course, he’d broken his word. Cessius was nothing short of a scheming carrion eater, and she’d known that at the outset of their battle.

Her sword hand was pummeled, her sword wrenched from her weakened grip. Her knees and elbows bit into one body part after another, prompting grunts and shouts of complaint. A fist found a solid shot at her stomach, and Ilona half-curled against the hold on her, swallowing down a scream of pain.

It was all the opening they needed. The moment of her incapacitation ended with her pulling her legs against restraining hands. Then she was spread out on the ground, her extremities pinned down beneath the formidable bulk of Cessius’s fighters.

She looked to their leader, taking pride in her mark, the blood shimmering in the fires’ glow in the dying light. Though it was unlikely his men would dare tell others how he came by such a wound, there would be tales, speculations that it had been she. Every time they came to Cessius, he would remember how close he came to death at her hands.

Ilona shook in a sudden chill, her body aching. The time passed slowly, and the death blow didn’t come. She supposed that Cessius meant to take it himself.

He turned, and the slow perusal and knowing smile made his true intention more than clear. Ilona set her jaw, determined not to give him the satisfaction of a reaction. She’d lain with men before, so there would be no terrible pain a maiden suffered. Anything else, she could bear in silence.

At Cessius’s nod, the men at her legs reached for the ties on the trews she wore beneath the tunic. Ilona threw her hips up, trying to evade them though she knew it was hopeless.

“I believe she is anxious for you, Cessius,” one of his men taunted. He laughed and others followed, a mocking sound that called her a fool for moving against them.

Fury burned in her. She laid there, her muscles coiled in preparation for an attack she knew she’d never gain the opening for. Her trews were unlaced and eased away, baring her to the frigid air around her.

In a moment of clarity, she knew it was going to hurt. Though her barrier was no more, neither was she aroused. Her body was dry and would remain so, and Cessius would delight in forcing himself into her in that manner. Ilona fisted her hands, willing herself to be silent, no matter the cost to her.

Cessius unlaced his trews, baring himself. As she’d expected, the miserable excuse for a man was aroused, ready to best her in the only way he felt mattered now that she’d bested him at sword.

She spat at him, the only weapon left that accurately reflected her disdain.

His eyes hardened, and he dropped to one knee beside her, reaching for her hair.

It was a move he never finished. One moment he was leaning over her. The next, he was screaming in pain, four blades protruding from his chest, unbelievably where she knew his ribs to be.

Blood soaked his tunic, and Ilona stared at it, struck by giddy disbelief. Had the gods answered her prayers? They’d never done so before, but she supposed it was possible that they had.

Cessius’s men moved. Some scrambled from her, only to be cut down by soldiers dressed in strange black clothing that blended into the shadows of buildings backlit by the roaring fires. Others rushed toward the unseen force behind Cessius.

In an instant, Cessius had been tossed far from sight and the true carnage begun. Whatever it was, man or beast, it moved faster than any man should, a veritable blur to her eyes. One by one, they were cut down. Blood sprayed her uncovered body, cooling fast in the night air.

One last man stayed his place, still holding to her arm. Ilona didn’t note his presence until she tried to move. Her surprise seemed matched by his own. He grabbed for her, no doubt hoping to use her as a shield or kill her before he died himself. She struck him across the face with the bottom edge of her fisted hand, trying for a kick before he could right his senses, but her legs were still tangled in the trews they’d half-removed.

His face swung back toward her, and his dagger was unsheathed before she’d recovered from her misstep. He never had a chance to use the weapon; his head swiveled half the distance around his body with a sickening snap. Ilona recoiled from the slap of his unwashed hair, half-swallowing a cry of alarm.

His body jerked to the side, and she was left staring at a fitted pair of boots unlike any she’d seen before. The ankles parted, the legs pivoting out as the man in those boots crouched. She looked up past hide trews, then a dark tunic to the harsh lines of a man’s angry face.

Her breathing went ragged at the sight of red eyes. Ilona grasped at the hope that it was simply the firelight reflecting off, but what man had eyes the color that would cause such an eerie glow?

The certainty that he was a demon sent her heart skittering in her chest. Realization that she lay out before him, uncovered as if a sacrifice, coated in blood a demon would find an invitation, did strange things to her, things it had no right doing. She’d heard it said that demons had insatiable hungers for flesh...both of appetite and sexual longing. Still, the idea of him slaking them on her was wildly appealing. She blushed in the knowledge that she was dampening in invitation, scenting for him.

He leaned over her, and reached for her trews. Ilona gasped, closing her eyes, anticipating his touch.



* * * *



Jörg could hardly control his emotions. Fury that they’d dared try to rape her warred with the ache of needing her. She was laid out, open to him, her sex preparing for him, even now. He could send his men away and end this madness.

She is my descendent! How foul a creature am I?

She is of Regana’s line.

I don’t know that for certain...which means, she may not be of my blood, at all. How would I trace it after so many years?

Even if she were, she was dozens of generations removed from him. If any of Jörg’s blood still ran in her veins, it was so diluted as to be hardly worth notice. She wasn’t a sister or even a close cousin. People much more closely related married every day.

Her soul is Regana’s soul. She is already mine, my mate!

But not in this time and place. Not in this incarnation. She had to choose him again to be his.

The look of invitation in her pale blue eyes told him she would choose him if he asked, but it would be dishonorable to take a choice given in these circumstances.

Instead, he grasped the trews, watching her eyes close on a gasp, and eased them up her legs. She tipped her hips up, at the surface a move that helped him dress her, but her open mind spoke the truth of it. His hands were close to her center, and she wanted his touch. She wanted—

Jörg closed his mind to her abruptly, aware that his fangs had descended and his eyes were glowing a hot red. His cock throbbed, a maddening insistence on fulfilling the scenes in her mind.

The trews at her waist again, he grasped at the ties. Her head rocked back in a look of ecstasy. Her hips rose to him again, as if she were unaware that he’d covered the straw-colored curls dotted in blood and the fragrant slit beneath.

He couldn’t do it. Jörg couldn’t tie them shut with his hands shaking as they were.

“Master Jörg?” Evul intoned, doubtless confused by his indecision.

Jörg motioned him for silence, leaning over the woman until he was nearly nose to nose with her. He cupped the base of her skull in his hand, raising her head from behind. “Look at me, woman.”

Her eyes opened, pleading...and he knew very well for what without opening himself to her mind again.

“What is your name?” He had to know. He had to know everything about her. It was his madness, his curse, his damnation.

“Ilona,” she breathed.

He nodded. “Your protection is my only concern, Ilona,” he lied. He wanted much more than her protection, but that was the only choice he would ask her to make this night. “Do you believe that?”

“Yes.” Her breath was sweet with arousal, hot and fast against his face.

“Ask for my protection, and you will have it.” He hadn’t asked that question in all the years he’d been a beast, but he was asking it now. Enough Warrior remained in him to want to protect his mate. Though he could not give her an amulet and dared not speak the entire ceremony aloud, he knew what he was promising.

She seemed confused by that.

What will I do, if she refuses me? He knew he couldn’t trust himself to accept it gracefully.

“I want you,” she whispered.

“You want my protection?” he qualified. I will ask no more than that tonight.

“Yes. Only you.”

Jörg nodded in understanding. Something of Regana remained in this woman, something that knew him on sight.

He let his hand relax beneath her head, and she dropped it back again, baring her throat to him. The voices within—the ones telling him that he was wrong to consider this—were drowned out by the pounding of her pulse.

Her skin was hot against his lips. Salt and musk played on his tongue. Jörg bit down, masking her pain in pleasure, his head spinning at the taste of her.

He drank slowly but long, seeking out the information he needed to protect her well. Her family was dead, killed only this day by the one who’d thought to rape her. This band was part of a larger, headed by Cessius’s brother. When it was learned they were dead, there would be retaliation.

Ilona rose against him. Her hands fisted in his tunic, her scent sublime. Her panting breaths became moans, then a sharp cry of climax. She pleaded with him to give her more.

Information he sought about her family came next, faces and names, none of them a husband, thank the gods, though she’d known men before. Fury rose up at that piece of knowledge. That was one thing he could not allow her; he would be insane in jealousy if another touched her.

Jörg sent an order for her to sleep, then closed his feeding site, lingering over her, cleaning the small amount of spilled blood from her pale skin. Gods, but he would taste all of her.

“Master Jörg?” Evul called. “Are you well?”

Well? He could fly in this form, if called upon. Jörg brushed the tangled hair from around her face, fisting it to imprint its feel on hands starved for her.

“Master?”

“We travel to my home, Evul,” he managed. “No man touches Lady Ilona but myself, save for her protection.”

There was shocked silence.

“Am I understood, Evul?” he inquired in a warning tone.

“Of course, Master. But if I may be so blunt... Who is this woman?”

His fangs extended, and his fury burned. “She is mine. She has my full and uncompromising protection. That is all you need know.”

“Should I—?”

“No.” Jörg grasped at Evul’s wrist, halting his reach toward Ilona. “I will take her as far as I can.” The less another man handled her, the safer they all would be.

His man eased his hand away, looking at it in confusion. “As you wish.”

Jörg stood, cradling Ilona to his chest, waiting only long enough for his men to mount their horses before he sped off, keeping pace with them toward his home.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Touch Me, Tease Me, Whip Me by Eliza Gayle

The slap of leather against naked flesh echoed in Walker’s brain, tormenting his need, which was already at a feverish level. He stepped, mindless, from the club into the harsh, biting wind. A few die-hard smokers huddled close to the wall, the glowing embers of their addiction lighting the darkened patio. He wasn’t a smoker, but it was the only place outside to catch his breath and maybe relocate the section of his brain where his control was stored.

He’d spent the last hour at the flogging station with Dex, watching and waiting—for what, he wasn’t sure. There had been a steady stream of beautiful women in line waiting to get flogged by the most popular Dom in the club, but when the cadence of blows began to beat in rhythm with the pulse in his stiff dick he decided it was time to get some fresh air.

“Hey man, you gotta light?” One of the half naked, leather and black nail polish goth guys ambled over to him.

“No, don’t smoke.” And he wanted to be left alone.

Goth Boy gave him a confused look before he turned and wandered back to his group.

What am I doing here?

He’d moved to town six months ago after a long and difficult break up. By chance he’d overhead some clients talking about Purgatory and, his curiosity piqued, he’d come to check it out. It had been everything he’d expected, plus so much more. The club seemed to cater to a variety of clientele from the straight goth crowd to the extreme fetishists, and the place was definitely a playground for the voyeur. Drawn to the upstairs VIP area and its many play stations, he came here as often as he could get away.

Lately, though, simply observing wasn’t enough, and the few times Dex had handed him the flogger to take over when he needed a break had been very nice. What he craved, although, ran much deeper than flogging a stranger. There were willing and available submissives in the club he could play with, but he yearned for a connection and a level of submission he doubted most women here would understand. Besides, he hated the word play, and the first time it came out of a sub’s mouth he was usually gone.

Walker pulled his collar around his neck and shivered in the cold. He couldn’t stay out here much longer, so it was either go back inside or head on home. At least now his body was under a semblance of control. A glance at his watch showed ten-thirty, still early for a Saturday night.

Fine. He’d go in and watch a few of the stations, chat with Dex, then head on home.

Alone. Again.

Walker pulled the heavy door open and hustled inside, seeking the awaiting heat and excitement. Bonnie, the door supervisor, smiled at him, and he returned a warm greeting.

“Walker, Sir, I can’t believe you’re out there without a jacket.”

He’d chatted with her many times and found her as genuine as they came.

“I’d tell you again to just call me Walker, but you aren’t ever going to do it are you?” She’d lost her Dom last year to cancer, and while she seemed to be embracing life once again she’d firmly stood against finding another man.

She blushed and lowered her gaze. “No, Sir.”

He understood her grief and knew that one day someone worthy would come along and get her back on her knees where she so loved to be.

“No worries, Bonnie, I can see what a good girl you are and would certainly never hold that against you. No one should.” He touched her chin and tilted her head until their gazes met. “It is chilly outside, so be sure to bundle up before you go home tonight.” He liked the fact that he was getting to know everyone here and making friends. It never hurt to be around like-minded people who accepted him as is with no judgment.

A slow smile spread across her face and she nodded before turning her attention to the customer who’d come through the door behind him.

Glancing down on the main floor, he saw the rope swing in motion with Leo astride his latest victim as they swung from one end of the room to the other. The crowd went wild as the pretty blonde’s face bloomed in ecstasy at the attention.

The club was in full Saturday night swing as he moved slowly through the crowds around each play station. He couldn’t even get close enough to the extreme booth to see what they were currently offering up, so he turned and set off in the direction of the flogging stations.

By now his friend would be looking to take a break, but Walker wasn’t sure he was up to wielding anymore tonight. Already his groin ached enough to give him second thoughts to any offers he might receive. He could use a good dick sucking right about now.

Kat and Cindi were busy marking the hell out of a couple of subbie boys when he walked up. Their arms arched back and sprang forward with as much force as they could find. The whoosh of the air splitting for the dozens of knotted tails caught and held his attention as they connected with bare, red streaked skin.

Dex stood next to him, watching and enjoying the show those ladies loved to put on. Every male subbie in the room ate it up and no doubt wished it was them like it was nobody’s business.

“They’ve got some real pain sluts in the booth tonight,” Dex mumbled.

“That’s for sure. A little different from what you’ve got going on, huh?”

“Wait until you meet my next appointment, Cass. She’s—”

“She’s what?” A sultry sexy voice sounded behind them and both men jerked around to see.

“Why, she’s the most beautiful woman in the room, that’s what.”

“Nice save, Dex,” she murmured.

Walker stood speechless at the sight before him. Long, raven dark hair framed a narrow face, and dark eyes surrounded by thick inky lashes that watched him curiously. Her nose was ordinary but the red lips underneath drew him like a moth to flame. He lingered there watching them part slightly while her tongue darted to the edge. He felt his cock stir in his pants as his own curiosity piqued.

“Cass, here for another session, I see? Do you need to feel my flogger on your skin?” Dex teased her until she broke the look between them to turn to his friend.

“Need is overrated these days, Dex, you know that. But I can’t deny I do enjoy coming to see you on occasion. Even a girl like me enjoys a little fun now and then.”

Dex snorted and shook his head.

Walker closed his eyes and let her smoky voice float over him. There was more to what she said, he could sense it. The slight hitch in between sentences, the nervous way she moved her hands, all combined to make him curious to know who this Cass was and the story behind her.

“Well come on, sugar, you’re in luck. You’re next on my list.” He led her to his station and waited for her to get in place.

A sexy ass swayed in a tight, low-slung denim skirt when she moved. Her outfit was a far cry from the leather and PVC wear of many in the crowd, but somehow the simplicity of denim riding low on her hips and a crisp, white cotton half-shirt leaving her midriff bare did more for him than all the big tits with their nipples covered by tiny strips of electrical tape. No, he was an ass man through and through, and the more she twitched it the more he thought about fucking it.

Double Trouble by G.A. Hauser

“You are wicked.”

Donny Rothschild sipped his martini, poolside. “I am. What’s your point?”

Seeing his identical twin brother Danny laughing, Donny knew it was like staring into a mirror. He and Danny did nothing to try and prevent looking alike. On the contrary, they enjoyed it.

“Did the poor fucker at least like it?” Danny finished his own drink, placing it on the patio next to his chaise lounge.

“Don’t know.” Donny sipped his martini more slowly. “He moaned a lot.”

“Did he come?”

“Isn’t it only important that I did?” Donny grinned impishly at his brother.

Adjusting his sunglasses on his nose, Danny relaxed where he lay, his bronze skin shimmering with sweat and suntan lotion. “True.”

“I mean is it really my responsibility to ensure every sexual encounter ends with anyone else having an orgasm but me? What am I? A charity worker?”

Danny laughed again.

Grinning at the sound, Donny knew his brother agreed. Danny agreed with everything he did and said.

“Are you still making a list of each conquest?”

Donny set his empty glass on the pale concrete under his chair. “No. How can I when I stopped bothering with their names. What am I supposed to do?” He put on a thinking face. “Mr. Pectorals, Mr. Big Dick? You see how confusing it can get.”

“How about just a notch on the bedpost?”

“Already do that.” Donny nudged him. “And you know I do.”

“I know. I know everything you do, Don.”

“Mm. True.” Donny gazed out at the crystal clear water of their pool, glistening in the mid-day sun. “I am in the mood for a good challenge. Getting sex has become too easy.”

“That’s what happens when you’re loaded and good looking. The gay men come crawling out of the woodwork.”

Donny rolled to his side to stare at his brother. “We are too good looking.”

Peeking at him from under his sunglasses, Danny asked, “What’s your point?”

“My point is I’m bored. Christ, Danny, we snap our fingers and men shove our cocks into their mouths.”

“Oh, I know!” Danny mocked, “It’s awful!”

“I’m serious. I barely get an erection thinking of it.”

“Try women again.”

“No thank you. Too clingy.” Donny spun to his back, bending his knees in a wide straddle.

“What then?” Danny turned to lie on his side, so he could see his brother.

“I need a challenge. Something insurmountable.”

“There’s no such challenge.” Danny sat up, gripping the side of the lounge chair. “Everyone wants it.”

“Not everyone.”

“Come on, Donny. Who has said no to either one of us?”

“Perhaps a married man?”

Danny laughed, pushing his long hair back from his face. Donny could see him perspiring. It was hot lying out in the sun.

“You’re going to seduce a married man? You think that’s a challenge?” Danny shook his head. “Married guys are easy. They never get any.”

“We’ve never had a married man. We wouldn’t know.” Donny mirrored Danny’s position on the chair so they were facing each other.

“You want that complication? Some homicidal spurned Valley girl wife coming after us with a butcher knife?” Danny made a silly face at him. “It’s LA. Everyone’s out of it--on mood medication, in rehab, or designer drugs…not a good idea.”

“What about a straight man, then?” Donny slid his sunglasses to the top of his head.

“What about them? How hard can it be to suck a straight man’s cock?”

“I don’t know.” He touched his lip as he thought. “We’ve been spoiled rotten on easy gay men at the clubs. How difficult would it be to seduce a straight man?”

“What are you going to do?” Danny pushed his sunglasses up as well, revealing his chocolate brown eyes. “Just pick some guy out at random on the street?”

“It’s as good an idea as any.”

Danny appeared to be thinking about it. “My guess is it’ll still be too easy. What guy doesn’t want his cock sucked, Donny?”

“No. I’ll get him to suck mine. Or better yet, I’ll fuck him.”

That lit Danny up into laughter once more. “You think you can find some straight guy on the street and get him to suck your cock? Or better yet, get him to take it up the ass for you?”

Seeing the skepticism in his twin brother’s expression, Donny extended his hand. “Wager?”

“I’ll lose that bet. I know you. You’ll cheat. You’ll get some gay man to pretend he’s straight. Or he’ll be bi-curious with an ad placed in the personals.”

Another thought passed through his mind. “All right then. An even stronger challenge.”

“What?”

“We seduce him together.” Donny could feel the electric charge that comment sent through his brother. “Both fuck him.”

“I pick the man.”

Agreeing, he held out his hand. “Deal.”

Seeing a shadow pass nearby, Donny shielded his eyes from the glare. His mother, Patty, was standing at the foot of his chair, blocking the sun. “There’s food ready inside if you’re hungry.”

Danny hissed, “Don thinks he can seduce a straight man, Mom.”

“Oh?” She tilted her head curiously. “The gay men in LA not challenging enough for you?”

“No. They’re not.” Donny stood next to his mother, towering over her tiny five-foot-five-inch frame. “Think of it as sport, Mom.”

“You two do need something to occupy yourselves with.” She crossed her arms over her chest. “Twenty-five and living off the fat of your father.”

Danny rose up to stand next to them. “And? If I remember correctly you encouraged it. After graduate school you told both Donny and I to take a few years off. Am I right?”

“I did. I’m over indulgent with my two beautiful boys.” She cupped Danny’s jaw lovingly.

“We can work the rest of our lives, Mom.” Donny sighed. “Let us have a chance to play while we’re pretty enough to enjoy it.”

“I’m not stopping you.” She caressed Donny’s cheek next. “I want my babies happy.”

Danny wrapped his arm around his mother’s waist as they headed to the sliding glass doors at the back of the house. “We are happy, Mom. You and Dad did very good.”

“I’m very glad to hear it.”

Donny opened the door for her, allowing her to step inside first. The interior was cool by comparison to the boiling heat outside. Once they were in, Danny closed the slider behind them.

“You boys hungry?” Louisa, their cook and housekeeper, asked, smiling.

Donny urged her into an embrace to tease her. “Hungry for you!” He nibbled at her neck.

“Oh!” she chided, turning bright red and smacking Donny playfully. “Terrible twins! Both of you. Behave!”

“You’re wasting your breath telling these two to behave, Louisa. You’ve known them since they were thirteen.” Patty tugged Danny’s long hair back into a ponytail. “Have they ever listened to a thing any of us have said?”

Louisa fixed her apron and hair, even though neither were messed up from Donny’s antics. “No. They have never listened to no one. But they are good boys.” She nudged Donny to the table. “Sit. Eat.”

“Good?” Danny’s eyes glimmered impishly. “Us?”

As Donny joined him, he said, “You don’t know us at all, do you?”And began eating his lunch hungrily.

Ignoring his comment, his mother asked, “What are your plans for the rest of the afternoon?”

“Why?” Danny wiped his lip with a napkin and sipped his iced tea.

“Do either of you want to come with me to visit with your grandparents?”

Donny exchanged a look of distaste with his brother. “Next time.”

“Fine. I’ll see you both later.” Patty kissed each son on the top of his head and left the room.

Leaning over the table towards him, Danny asked, “What do you want to do?”

“Workout, shower, and go hunting.” Seeing the big grin on his twin’s face, Donny didn’t need a verbal answer. He rarely did.

Straight guy hunting? This could actually be amusing. Danny took another bite of his food and chuckled as he considered the possibilities.