Give me six months, and I'll give you the world.
Brandon McKinney has scraped and sacrificed for what little in life he’s ever had. Though it’s been fifteen years since he escaped his father’s abuse, the damage remains. Trust seems as far out of reach as his dream of becoming an architect, and though he’s come to accept being gay, he can’t deny the shame and confusion he feels at other urges—the deeply-repressed desire to submit.
Jonathan Watkins is a self-made Silicon Valley billionaire whose ex-wife took half his money and even more of his faith. Comfortable as a Dominant but wary of being hurt again, he resorts to anonymous pickups and occasional six-month contracts with subs seeking only a master, not a lover.
When a sizzling back-alley encounter cues Jonathan in to Brandon’s deep-seated submissive side, he makes the man an offer: Give me six months of your life, and I’ll open your eyes to a whole new world. Brandon doesn’t care about that; all he wants is the three million dollars Jonathan’s offering so he can buy the construction company he works for. But he soon learns that six months on his knees is no easy feat, and shame and pride may keep him from all he ever wanted—and all he never dreamed he had any right to have.
PUBLISHER'S NOTE: This title is the first of a two-part story. Readers are strongly encouraged to continue Bran and Jonathan's journed in Power Play: Awakening.
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Power Play Resistance
By Cat Grant, Rachel Haimowitz, Carole-ann Galloway
Riptide PublishingCopyright © 2012 Cat Grant and Rachel Haimowitz
All rights reserved.
Bran looked up from his beer at the preppy little moron who'd just sat down beside him. Fucking tourists.
Jian Li blinked twice and went back to cleaning glasses behind the bar.
The moron cleared his throat. "Pardon me? Sir?"
Jian Li kept ignoring him. Tourists tipped for shit anyway. Bran took a sip of his beer—warm like the Chinese always drank it; wouldn't that throw Mr. Tourist for a loop—and decided to take pity on the man.
He was kind of cute, after all.
Bran planted his elbows on the bar and raised an eyebrow at the guy. "Lost?" he asked.
Mr. Tourist blinked at him like he hadn't already checked Bran out—though he obviously had, else why invade his space at an otherwise empty bar—and flashed him a bright smile. "Not anymore."
Strange diction. Not quite New England, not quite old England. Certainly not California. The tourist cast his eyes about the crowded room, and Bran could see the exact moment when he registered the lack of white faces in the bar. "No cognac, then?"
Bran chuffed into his beer. "Don't get a whole lot of call for it in this place. Jian Li," he said, raising his hand to catch the bartender's attention. "A beer for the Gweilo, please." Jian Li gave him a small nod and an even smaller smirk, and Mr. Tourist turned to him with a quizzical glance. "That's what everybody here calls me," Bran said with a shrug. "Beer's warm, by the way."
Jian Li placed a mug in front of Mr. Tourist with a curt nod.
Mr. Tourist took a sip and tried very hard not to grimace. Bran stifled a snort.
"Yes, well ... much obliged. Next round's on me."
This time Bran didn't bother hiding his amusement. "Who says there's gonna be a next round?" He drained what was left in his mug, then nodded at Mr. Tourist's. "Since it looks like you're not gonna drink that ..." Bran scooped it up and saluted him with it. "Thanks, pal." Then he nodded at Jian Li, got up, and sauntered over to the nearest table.
He felt Mr. Tourist's gaze burning a hole in the seat of his jeans on the way. Even thought about inviting him over for second. After all, the guy was cute in a scruffy puppy sort of way—if totally fucking clueless—but Bran really wasn't up for company tonight. He took a swig from Mr. Tourist's beer. Took another. Sank down and put his back to the guy. He wasn't nearly drunk enough for ... well, anything.
Fucking tourist looked made of money. Bet his hands are soft. Fucker.
But of course, Mr. Tourist couldn't take a hint. He pulled out the chair opposite Bran as if he owned the place, then asked, "Mind if I sit down?"
Bran sighed. "Would you leave if I said no?"
Mr. Tourist shrugged, smiled with the kind of confident swagger Bran imagined lawyers flashed at juries. "What's bothering you?"
"Besides you, you mean?"
"Ouch." Mr. Tourist sat down. "I did let you steal my drink, after all." He held out his hand. "I'm Jonathan, by the way."
Bran stared at the outstretched hand, contemplating spitting into his palm before shaking it. That'd scare him right off.
For some reason, though, he didn't. And yup, Jonathan's hands were soft. "Bran," he conceded.
"Short for Brandon?"
Bran's gut tightened the way it did every time he heard his given name. Old habits and all that. "Just Bran," he said curtly. "So, you're obviously not from around here. Slumming it tonight?"
Bran tried to pull his hand back, but Jonathan held on for a few more seconds, a sardonic smirk tugging up one corner of his mouth. His very, very pretty mouth.
Pink, like a girl's.
"Just wanted to get out of the house. I've lived here five years now and there's still so much of the city I haven't seen." Now Jonathan was grinning in earnest. "How about you?"
For a moment, Bran nearly gave in to the urge to spill his whole stupid story. He'd never see this guy again anyway, right? But all he said was, "Getting drunk, actually. Isn't that what people do in bars?"
Jonathan's grin turned downright filthy. "Among other things."
Shit. Bran drained the beer in one long gulp—Jonathan's eyes zoomed in on his throat and stayed there—then banged the empty glass on the table. "Buy me another, and maybe I'll tell you."
"Fair enough." Jonathan nodded and went to the bar for another round.
Bran most definitely did not check out his ass while he walked away.
Jonathan came back a minute later with two whiskeys and that same stupid, cocky grin plastered to his face. Bran took a sip. It was the expensive stuff—the kind people only bought him when they were trying to get into his pants. Still not in the mood, pal, but I'll drink your liquor.
Jonathan held up his glass. Bran clinked it, then knocked back his double in one go. It burned the whole way down, but damn if it wasn't good.
Jonathan's eyebrow arched high and perfect over one blue, blue eye. "We're not running a race here, you know."
"Good thing, cos I'm getting a little too drunk for that."
Jonathan laughed, genuine and carefree, loud enough to turn disapproving heads in the bar. If he noticed, he didn't seem to care. "What's the occasion?"
"Can I help you find it?"
Bran snorted and grabbed the still-full shot glass from Jonathan's hand.
"It's not in my pants, you know."
Another laugh. "Maybe it's in mine?"
Touché, sir. Bran leaned over the table and eyed Jonathan's crotch. "I dunno, looks a little small to be hiding three million dollars."
There went the other eyebrow. "What do you need three million dollars for?"
"My boss is selling his business at the end of the year. Wants me to buy it —I want me to buy it. Little matter of scraping up the money, though. No fucking clue where I'm gonna get it, but once I sober up tomorrow I'll figure it out."
"I hear banks are pretty good for that kind of thing."
"Not for guys like me. I'd have better luck with the Triad."
"Don't they break your legs if you miss a payment?"
Bran smirked and downed Jonathan's whiskey. "One more drink and I won't even feel it."
A hand slid onto Bran's thigh, and he jumped at the touch. "Do you feel this?"
Now it was Bran's turn to raise an eyebrow. Among other parts of his body. But he held perfectly still and said, "Bit handsy, aren't you?"
The hand slid up his thigh, fingers brushing his swelling dick through his jeans. "Let's just say I'm used to going after what I want."
Bran nearly choked on his next breath as those questing fingers squeezed his dick. "Guess you rack up a lot of restraining orders?"
Jonathan laughed. "I like you. Let's get out of here." He pulled his hand from Bran's crotch just long enough to slap some money on the table—A fifty? Jesus fucking Christ—then grabbed Bran by the wrist. Bran's first instinct was to dig his heels in and shake the guy off, but his dick was practically poking a hole through his zipper, whiskey be damned.
Jonathan pulled him toward the front door, but Bran jerked his head in the opposite direction. "This way." They marched toward the back, past the men's room, which of course Jonathan tried to tug him into. Bran tugged him back. "Don't disrespect their space."
Jonathan's eyebrows shot up again, but he didn't argue.
They stumbled out the back door, into the alley. It'd rained earlier, which helped to drown out the stench of piss and rotting garbage at least a little. Too-bright sodium lights on the bar's back façade glistened off the damp pavement and burned halos through the humid air.
Not the nicest place he'd ever fucked, but he kinda liked it exactly for that reason; twenty bucks said Jonathan was appalled that even the soles of his shoes had to touch this filthy ground. He backed Jonathan against the brick alley wall, a little harder than he'd meant to in his urgency, but Jonathan only smiled up at him.
Bran wanted to ravage that smile right off his smug little face.
"I wanna fuck you," Bran growled into Jonathan's neck. He had four or five inches and twenty pounds on the guy; he could pick him up, fuck him right against the wall. "I wanna—"
Fingers closed over his wrist as he reached for Jonathan's zipper. A sharp flash of pain, and next he knew, he was on his knees in a fucking puddle, cold water seeping through his jeans, wrist still clamped in Jonathan's hand.
"What the fuck?" Bran tried to pull away, couldn't. Fuck, that hurt. Tried swatting at Jonathan with his other hand, but ended up grabbing the wall to keep from toppling over. The first stirrings of fear cut through the pleasant haze of liquor and lust he'd been dumb enough to let himself sink into.
And yet he couldn't quite shake it off. Didn't want to—too fucking horny. And how fucked up was that?
No more fucked up, he supposed, than Jonathan, who caught his eye and smirked that self-satisfied smirk as he worked down his zipper with his free hand and pulled out his dick. He was already rock hard, and surprisingly well-endowed for such a short guy. Longer than Bran's, actually, straight and thick ... and sprinkled with freckles, just like the bridge of his nose. Bran's mouth watered.
Was he serious? "You're out of your fucking mind. Let go of my hand."
Jonathan let go—and grabbed hold of Bran's hair instead, tugging his face into his crotch. That impressive erection slid right past Bran's shock-slackened lips.
For a split second, Bran considered biting him, but ... damn, he tasted good, felt even better, firm and heavy on his tongue. His hand drifted down, cupping his own dick through the confines of his jeans. He was already so fucking hard he knew he'd come if he touched himself skin to skin.
"That's right," Jonathan said. "Hands on me. Take that cock— you know you want it."
The hell of it was, he did.
Jonathan's fist tightened in his hair until it felt like he'd rip it right out, shoved his head forward until his chin hit Jonathan's nuts. He gagged, tried to pull back, but Jonathan held him firm.
"I said suck it," Jonathan growled, yanking Bran's head back until only the tip was in his mouth, then jerking him forward again.
Bran's hands came up to Jonathan's hips, grabbed hard, but whether to shove him away or drag him closer, he couldn't quite tell. All he knew was his balls were hot and tight, his dick pulsing with every rapid beat of his heart, every thrust of Jonathan's dick down his throat, every painful tug on his hair, and if he let go of Jonathan's hips he'd touch himself and come until he passed out in this filthy fucking alley and he didn't want it to end yet, didn't—
Jonathan groaned and came, flooding his mouth with salty bitterness. He tried to pull off, but Jonathan held him there, fingers tightening until his eyes watered and the pressure in his belly, back, and balls fucking exploded, set the world to swaying, and only Jonathan's hand in his hair kept him upright as his chest hitched and his muscles spasmed with the force of it.
"Swallow it." He did, since Jonathan was giving him no choice. It tasted fucking disgusting, but he felt too good to care very much.
Jesus, like a fucking teenager again, coming in my own pants. He wiped his mouth, looked up at Jonathan's smug smile. How did he fucking do that to me?
Bran wobbled to his feet, hand flailing out to catch hold of the wall. Jonathan stared at his lips—no doubt red and swollen from their recent punishment—and licked his own. He leaned in to peck Bran on the cheek, then ducked his head to refasten his pants.
"So ..." Jonathan said. He fished into his pocket, retrieved his wallet, snagged a business card and handed it to Bran. "Perhaps you'd like to see me again sometime? Dinner maybe? Do it right?"
Do it right? What was he, some blushing virgin? But he had to admit, he was feeling better than he had all day. Hell, better than he had in the last couple of months.
"Yeah, maybe." He took the business card, stuck it in his pocket. "Don't get lost on the way home, Gweilo. This neighborhood's a little rough at night."
Jonathan laughed, winked at him. "Oh, don't worry about me," he said. "I can take care of myself."
Bran didn't doubt that for a second.
* * *
Bran landed face-first in his pillow the moment he got home, and slept like the dead. Didn't stop him waking up with a monster hangover, though, his eyes burning in his skull like a pair of boiled eggs. That's what he got for being stupid enough to get shitfaced. Usually one beer was his limit.
He dragged himself out of bed and stumbled to the kitchenette for a glass of water, realizing two steps in that he was still wearing his jeans—and they were fucking disgusting, knees still damp with alley slime, crotch stiff and crusted with last night's loss of control. Jesus, what the fuck had come over him?
Jonathan, apparently. Or whatever his name really was.
He knocked back his water in one huge gulp, then unzipped his jeans and peeled them off. They stuck to him, pulling at his pubes. That's what you get for having casual sex in an alley, idiot. Probably have herpes now.
And I'd fucking deserve it.
... But damn, it really had been kind of hot. Fuck "kind of." Try "insanely." He chuckled, and his headache spiked.
Gritting his teeth, he gingerly disengaged his pants from his pubes, dropped them where he stood, and headed for a shower. He stayed under the hot spray until his skin stung, toweled off, threw on clean boxers and an undershirt, and trudged back into the living room. He scooped up his dirty jeans and was about to toss them in the laundry basket when his wallet fell out of the back pocket. A business card fell out along with it.
Oh, right. Mr. Bossy had given it to him. Bran hadn't even bothered looking at it before. Jonathan S. Watkins. Name and phone number. Nothing else. What the hell kind of business card was that? He flipped it over, but the back was blank.
Watkins ... Jonathan Watkins ... Why did that sound so familiar?
He fired up his ancient desktop, drumming his fingers on the desk while he waited for Google to load.
17,400,00 results? What the fuck? Who was this guy?
Ex-CEO of the world's largest computer empire, apparently. And current Chairman of the Watkins Foundation, charitable organization extraordinaire. Yup, the photo matched. Jesus, the guy didn't even look thirty.
Holy shit. I blew a fucking billionaire.
Bran picked up the plain white business card again, flicked it with his thumb. Did this guy really want to see him again? What for? Last night was a little fuzzy, but he didn't actually recall Jonathan drinking more than a sip. But he had given Bran his card—his personal card, from the look of things.
Bran fingered his cell phone. Looked back at his computer screen. Surely a guy like Jonathan wouldn't answer his own phone. A secretary maybe. Or a personal assistant. Whatever guys with more money than God hired.
Eh, he probably didn't really want Bran to call him, anyway. Probably just felt bad leaving his bit of rough on his knees in an alley with cum dripping down his chin.
And yet, he had invited him to dinner, hadn't he? Or had Bran been so drunk he'd imagined it?
Only one way to find out. Bran flicked on his phone and punched in Jonathan's number. It rang twice before the line clicked on.
"Hello, Brandon. How's your headache?"
What. The. Fuck? "How did you know it was me?" Who was this guy, some kind of fucking stalker? Bran went to the window and parted his drapes, feeling ridiculous even as he did so.
Jonathan chuckled. "Do you know who I am yet?"
Bran hesitated. "Uh, yeah."
"Well, there you go. So, dinner tonight?"
"You sure you got time for me? Sounds like you're pretty busy."
"I managed to squeeze you in last night, didn't I?"
"Fuck you," Bran replied, but his words lacked the bite he'd intended.
Another chuckle. "Eight o'clock, then? I'll send my car to pick you up."
Excerpted from Power Play Resistance by Cat Grant, Rachel Haimowitz, Carole-ann Galloway. Copyright © 2012 Cat Grant and Rachel Haimowitz. Excerpted by permission of Riptide Publishing.
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