Genres: Gay, GLBT, Romance
Collections: A Slave's Desire, Empassioned, Seeking Submission, Society of Masters
Editor(s): D.M. Atkins, Rylan Hunter
Cover Designer(s): Siol na Tine
Cover Art Credits: Photo © Arturkurjan at Dreamstime.com.
Production Editor(s): Erika L. Firanc
Proofreader(s): Kailin Morgan
Length: Novel (103,000 Words)
Publication Date: February 9, 2016
Serialization Date: November 30, 2017
Archive(d) on August 30, 2018
Tags: bdsm, m/m, Novel, Society of Masters, The Manse series
Content Labels (What they are and why we use them)
A beautiful flicker of shared humor ignited between them. Shea’s smile grew. His gaze skimmed down, briefly and flirtatiously, over David’s body and he was transformed before David’s eyes. There was a natural sensuality to his body, a tease in his smile that lured David in. In all of these subtle ways, Shea begged to be taken, held tight, and kept close.
David realized, then, how much he enjoyed bringing that particular, complicated smile to Shea’s lips. David was also powerfully attracted to Shea, who seemed too innocent to anticipate the heady strength of David’s lust once it was fixed on something he desired. It was more of a challenge to lure Shea in, in an appropriately respectful way, given the strangeness of the circumstances. But David did love a challenge.
“How dare you, David,” Shea teased. “The nerve of some people. Paying for hotel rooms and doctors and food.”
David shifted a little further into Shea’s personal space—just enough to be cozy. Then, he slowly, subtly, breathed in the clean, freshly-showered scent of Shea’s skin and the perfume of soap lingering on him. With a cute, self-conscious smile, Shea wordlessly welcomed David in. Bowing his head slightly, losing some of his levity, David cleared his throat.
“I want to be honest with you,” David said. Shea looked like he was paying close attention. “After what you told me about your roommate, and his intentions for you, it’s only fair, so there are no misunderstandings. I’ve realized that what I’m interested in with you is… more than friendship. You’ve been through so much. I won’t pursue you if it’s unwanted attention. And the medical care, the suite—none of it is contingent on you giving me anything, even your friendship or kindness.”
Maybe the fate of his beloved sister, Donna, was a cautionary tale to stay away from Shea, who reminded David so much of Trent. But if David had learned anything, it was that total honesty, even when painful or possibly disastrous, was key. He had to trust that if he was direct and truthful with Shea, his instincts would guide him to the correct path.
“Wow,” Shea said softly, searching David’s eyes. “Pursue. That’s a hell of a word. That implies what I think it does, doesn’t it?”
“Most likely, yes,” David agreed. “It would be dishonest to pretend I’m not attracted to you. Do you need me to back off?” He dragged the back of his index finger lightly down the center of Shea’s chest, sensing his quickened heartbeat and the heavier rise and fall of his chest.
“No, I like when you’re close,” Shea replied, dropping his gaze as he grew shy. David’s finger skimmed lower.
“Are you sure?” David opened his hand, wrapping it around Shea’s waist. Shea’s breath caught.
“I know you’ve been hurt. It’s in my nature to take care of the people I desire, to safeguard them and ensure they have nothing to worry about. I want to do that for you.” David reached up with his other hand and lightly caressed the side of Shea’s neck. “But I’m not only here to help. I want to have you.”
Shea let out a soft sound, half moan, half gasp. When David pushed in, their mouths a breath apart, Shea tilted into David’s approach, parting his lips, a slight frown line formed in his brow.
David was used to getting what he wanted, and having men fall to their knees before him. But Shea was a different type of person. It evidently wasn’t in his nature to fight back, even to defend himself, so when pursued by a dominant man, Shea was left helpless. Imagining what could befall him in the wrong hands told David he needed to try to step in. Yet, in yielding to David, Shea had no idea who he was playing with, who he was dealing with. David suspected his desire, abilities, and resources were well beyond anything innocent Shea had ever dreamed of facing. David needed to tread carefully.
“Say the word, and I’ll go. I’ll leave you alone.”
In response, Shea took hold of David’s arm and closed his eyes as he pushed toward David’s lips, his warm, minty breath ghosting over them. The primal need in David, the Master used to claiming and consuming, surged to the surface. With a growl, his teeth scraped over Shea’s lower lip, barely biting it.
Shea’s hand tightened its grip on him.
“I’m so fucking tempted,” David breathed.
The warm silk of Shea’s lips skimmed nervously over David’s mouth, trembling against him. Right away, David’s fingers found the back of Shea’s head, palming it as he pressed in, taking the kiss deeper. Shea’s hair was soft between his fingers. After sucking on Shea’s upper lip, David licked firmly into the heat of Shea’s mouth, over his tongue, tasting him with a moan. Shea yielded so easily, opening to the kiss no matter how deep David went, arching in his arms to let David surge in as much as he needed to. Shea rocked against David’s body, moaning softly.
Let him go, David’s mind warned him, because of how easy it would be to keep going.
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