185 pages / 88000 words
Paperback at Amazon
In this sequel to Deviations: Submission, Dom Tobias and Sub Noah are back, learning more about each other and their relationship, testing the boundaries of what they can and cannot handle, both together and apart.
Tobias works at becoming more comfortable and finding his balance as a full-time Master again. Meanwhile, his work brings out the true submissive in Noah, who faces some of his greatest fears, and his greatest secrets, confessing to Noah about a terrible time in his past.
He's not the only one who has a rough time. Tobias breaks down and shows Noah he's not all dominance, too, which sends shockwaves through their romance, leaving them to wonder if they can keep it together.
Wednesday. It had been a long, drawn-out week, and Tobias couldn't believe it was still only Wednesday.
He'd had a full day, out of town as usual in the morning, helping a mare to foal. She threw a beautiful dark bay colt that presented very much like his particularly handsome sire, and Tobias had considered making a bid for him right then and there but restrained himself. He was already training Noah; he didn't need another colt to complicate their weekends. Things were busy enough in his life without adding a new horse to his stables, a new responsibility to his already full plate.
In the few weeks since he'd met Noah at his club, Tobias had swung from one rush of feeling to another. Sexually, they were more than compatible, Noah's natural submissive tendencies meshing well with Tobias' own need to dominate. It went deeper than just mere sex, however, and in very short order Tobias and Noah had signed a six-month contract binding them together in a more tangible power exchange.
It was serious, it was important, and it was very heady. Tobias found almost all of his time taken up with thinking about his new submissive, lost in plans and a fair number of daydreams. It made his hours working as a large animal veterinarian seem almost relaxing by comparison. He only hoped that Noah's daydreams were confined to when he wasn't in his patrol car -- a police officer with his mind on his relationship wasn't good for anyone.
When Tobias walked in the door of his uptown condo, he set his keys down on the hall table and hit the play button on the answering machine as he pulled off his boots. After a long beep a rich male voice began to speak. ''Hello, Tobias, it's Bradford. I haven't seen you or your boy around the club in nearly a month. I trust this is a good sign? I'd like to get together and hear about how things are going. Yes, as a matter of fact, I am checking up on you; don't get your knickers in a twist, friend, it's just that... well, I worry. Oh, thank you for sending me a copy of your contract, I've put that in your files. Give me a call, Tobias, and let's have dinner. I'd like to catch up.''
Tobias sighed ruefully and nodded to himself. On some level he'd expected the call, though he hadn't really thought about it in terms of Bradford checking up on them. Still, it wouldn't be a trial to talk about Noah and where things stood at the moment; in fact, he'd welcome another perspective. He had a plan for the weekend and it might be a good idea to talk it over with someone who knew them both.
After stopping in the kitchen long enough to determine that he needed to order out for dinner, Tobias picked up the phone and called Bradford's direct line at the club. If the man didn't pick up, he'd at least be able to leave a message.
''Hello?'' Bradford was a man who'd done very, very well for himself. Part of his success was due to the fact that he could always be relied upon to respect the anonymity and privacy of his members and guests. Case in point, he never answered the phone with his own name or the name of the club, just a simple, discreet greeting, giving away nothing until he knew who was on the other end of the line.
''Good evening, Bradford,'' Tobias said with a smile. ''I got your message, Mother.''
''Ah, sonny-boy, so good to hear from you.'' Bradford snorted. ''Don't give me that crap, Tobias. I set the two of you up, you're both important members, and I want to know how it's going for you. That's called integrity, hmm? Trust me, I haven't a maternal bone in my body.''
Tobias grinned, not buying it for a moment. ''Sure. Whatever you say. You can stop worrying, though; things are fine.'' He crossed to the big window in his living room and looked out at the city lights, counting blocks until he found Noah's.
'''Fine' is such a drab, generic word, Tobias. Tell me what you really mean,'' Bradford encouraged.
''I mean... fine. Good. Great. He's coming along nicely; we've established a base level trust, I think.'' He turned and leaned on the window sill, facing the room. ''He had dinner with Phantom last week.'' Tobias resisted the urge to cringe at the thought of the two men, his new lover and his past lover, chatting happily over dinner. They both tended toward the unpredictable, and that worried him.
''Oh, yes, I know he did. That's part of the reason for my call. I gather it went well? Phan thought he was 'hot.''' Bradford loved gossip and made himself privy to all the rumors around the club. At first glance one might call it catty, but Tobias knew better -- he was simply protecting his own.
''It seemed to go well. Noah was fine when I saw him later. Calm, steady... he seemed to think Phan was -- look, how deep do you want to go here? I'd rather do this in person if you're looking for a long debrief. If you're just needing quiet assurances, both Noah and I are fine. The weekends are going well, and we're in touch through the week as well.''
Tobias knew as soon as he spoke that he'd sounded snappish and protective and that Bradford wouldn't miss it. The trouble was, he wasn't sure why he suddenly felt like pulling back -- and that meant he needed to talk it out. He sighed. ''Damn circular logic,'' he muttered.
''Tobias,'' Bradford sighed and made a clicking sound with his tongue. ''Be my guest tomorrow night for dinner. Here. What would you like to eat? I'll make sure it's prepared for you.''
Tobias rolled his eyes, safely several miles out of Bradford's view. ''Something gentle. Linguini in clam sauce?'' He hoped the tacit acceptance would be enough.
''Done. I look forward to seeing you, Tobias, it's been long enough,'' Bradford said softly, and Tobias could practically hear the man's very genuine smile.
He found himself smiling in reply. ''I'll see you tomorrow night, old friend. Around seven, I think.'' He hung up and turned once more to look out over the city, watching the cars cruise along Lincoln, toward downtown and Noah.
Sometimes love is complicated.
Copyright 2016 Chris Owen