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“My, my! Does Rupert have you house-trained already? He doesn’t usually trust his toys with a key until their spirit’s been completely broken.”
Leon Powell frowned as he glanced over his shoulder. “What did you—?” He quickly cut himself off when he saw who stood at the bottom of the steps leading to Rupert’s front door.
Somehow James Campbell was still able to look down his nose at Leon, even while standing a good three feet below him.
Leon opened his mouth, but hurriedly closed it again, before he ended up something he shouldn’t. Heaving his heavy backpack into a more comfortable position on his shoulder, he took a deep breath.
Be polite, he reminded himself. Rupert does business with the guy. It would probably be a really bad idea to call him an arrogant pillock and slam the door in his face.
“I’m sorry,” Leon said in his best ‘I’m dealing with a professor I need a good grade from’ voice. “I don’t think Rupert’s home right now, but when he gets back I’ll make sure he knows you called.”
Turning his back on James, Leon once more offered his key up to the lock on Rupert’s front door.
Toy… Broken… Trained? James’ words niggled at the back of his mind, but Leon did his best to push them away as he opened the door and stepped inside. He had plenty to think about after a day full of lectures and workshops. He didn’t need anything else messing with his brain.
Crouching down to pick up the day’s post, Leon only just stopped his backpack sliding off his shoulder and scattering a dozen thick text books across the elaborately tiled entrance hall.
Suddenly, the front door jerked towards him, almost knocking him off his feet. Leon looked up just in time to see James stride past him in a blur of expensive tailoring, as if he were no more important than the damn doormat.
“Rupert’s—” Leon begun again.
Before Leon could say another word, James had marched straight into Rupert’s study, as if he was the only one who actually had a right to be there. Leon’s fist tightened around his keys as he pushed the jagged bits of metal into his jeans pocket. He was the one with the keys. He was the one who Rupert actually wanted to find waiting for him when he came home.
Quickly slamming the front door, Leon tossed the mail on the hall table and rushed after James.
Backpack hurriedly tossed into its habitual resting place beside the big leather sofa, Leon shoved his hands into his pockets. A moment later, he pulled them back out and made a conscious effort not to look like a nervous little school boy as he watched James run a critical eye over the various books and ornaments on Rupert’s shelves.
Leon barely held back a sigh when he realised there really wasn’t any polite way to get rid of the man. “Would you like something to drink?”
“Doesn’t Rupert prefer his boys to kneel when asking their betters if they can be of service?” James asked, as he draped himself languidly into one of the high backed chairs flanking the fireplace.
“Boys?” Leon repeated, blankly. As in boys plural?
James’ laughter was like fingernails on a chalkboard. “Don’t tell me Rupert has you thinking you’re the only submissive in his stable.”
Submissives and stables and everything else be dammed. The only fact that really registered in Leon’s mind was the possibility of his boyfriend screwing other guys. A strong hand clamped around his heart and squeezed several beats out of it.
For just one brief moment, Leon was too shocked to try to school his features into displaying anything other than his honest reaction. Sod’s law that he had to meet James’ eyes during those same few seconds.
“Child, Rupert’s one of the most highly respected dominants in the city,” James said. “You didn’t really think you’d have him all to yourself?”
Leon just stared at him unable to bring a single word to his lips as he slowly lowered himself onto the sofa. It was either that or collapse to the floor as his knees buckled beneath him.