A Strong Hand

A Strong Hand

by Catt Ford

Paperback(First Edition,First edition)

$14.99
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Overview

Nicholas Sayers, needing money for college, takes a job as assistant to infamous photographer Damian Wolfe. It's just taking pictures, right? Wrong. While Nick has never questioned what kind of man he is or what he truly wants in life, working for Damian during a BDSM photo shoot opens his eyes to all sorts of sexual possibilities, and many of them include the handsome Mr. Wolfe. Damian has serious doubts about getting involved with a younger man who knows nothing about the BDSM lifestyle, but Nick's adventurous and humorous approach to new experiences is far too alluring to resist. Although he knows it might be a mistake, Damian takes Nick into his life. Flirting on the edges of control, submission, and pain excites Nick more than he would have ever dreamed possible. With Damian, Nick learns about his own deeply hidden desires and finds out that relinquishing control doesn’t make him weak—having someone else in control of his sexual pleasure simply heightens it. And the reverse is true for Damian: Control turns him on. So they set out to explore these sensual boundaries together, neither expecting to find love along the way.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781935192831
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC
Publication date: 04/13/2009
Edition description: First Edition,First edition
Pages: 235
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.51(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Prologue

At the sound of the crash, Damian rolled his eyes heavenward and wondered for the hundredth time whatever had possessed him to hire such a clumsy, surly, irritable, annoying, immature, and inexperienced assistant.

Taking a deep breath to quell his irritation, he raised his voice to ask, "Are you all right, Nicholas?"

"Yeah," came the muffled reply. Even at a distance Damian could tell that the boy was frustrated and angry.

"What was it this time?" he asked.

Ashley's eyes crinkled in silent laughter as he sat, perched on the stool, where he'd been watching as Damian set up the shot.

"Nothing breakable," came the defensive answer.

"Have it cleaned up by the time I get out there," Damian instructed, before muttering, "to save me from having a heart attack."

The response was indecipherable, but the resentful tone was clear.

"Why do I put up with this?" Damian sighed to himself.

"Why do you?" Ashley asked, chuckling. He was quite sure he knew the answer; after all, the hapless assistant was by far the most beautiful young man that Damian had ever hired. They never seemed to last long, but Ashley was certain that all of them had "skills" outside the arena of photography.

"He was better than the rest of the lot that applied after Derek left," Damian grumbled, his gaze fixed on the viewfinder of his camera.

Today's shot was just a still life, but it still took Ashley's breath away. There was no better photographer at work in London today; Damian Wolfe could make the simplest object compelling and exquisite.

It had taken forever, and all the weight of a long friendship, for Ashley to convince Damian to shoot hiscatalog. Although Damian was American by citizenship, with a French father and Italian mother he was fairly cosmopolitan; he and his parents had lived all over the world before he finally settled in America as an adult. After a case in which his work had been taken to the Supreme Court in America as an example of indecency but was vindicated as freedom of expression, Damian had found it more comfortable to work in Europe.

He was fond of saying that although the Supreme Court was on his side, the U.S. was simply too young a country to appreciate erotica. They preferred sentimentality to beauty. Treacly calendars with ivy-covered cottages and flowers in vases, or even worse, babies in animal costumes were all that some Americans deserved in Damian's opinion.

He was welcomed to the London art scene with open arms, the much-publicized court case having made him an instant celebrity. Although he disdained the renown, he did appreciate the fact that it brought his work to the attention of coAshley Winthrop was an entrepreneur in high-end erotic toys and a noted patron of the arts; he was also a connoisseur when it came to erotica. He had already purchased several of Damian Wolfe's pieces before he had finagled his way into meeting the artist at a gallery opening.

Recognizing their similar interests, they soon became friends. Ashley wasn't shy about badgering Damian to shoot several of the items he offered for sale, and when he'd seen the results, he continued to pressure the artist until he'd agreed to photograph the entire catalog.

Already, Ashley knew that this catalog was destined to become a collector's item. Taking an ordinary item such as handcuffs, Damian had created a simple but elegant set and lit the cuffs so that the metal dazzled with a seductive promise that Ashley knew no submissive would be able to resist. He could hardly wait to see what Damian could do with a whip.

Damian moved forward to adjust the angle of one of the cuffs, donning a pair of sleek black leather gloves to ensure that he transferred neither fingerprints nor dust to the highly reflective surface.

Ashley's groin tightened as he watched the sure, graceful hands stroke the metal. The first time Damian had picked up a crop in Ashley's office, running the braided leather absently through his fingers, Ashley had recognized a fellow Dominant. He had no desire to feel the bite of the whip himself, although he found the photographer extremely attractive, but he greatly desired to see Damian in action, with a slender submissive body drooping in front of him, eagerly surrendering to whatever delicious punishment he was sure Damian could devise.

Damian returned to his stance behind the camera, completely oblivious to the other man's train of thought as he took the shot. He was somewhat pleased with it. He wasn't sure it was the best he could do, but at least it was a starting point.

"I don't know why you badgered me into this," Damian grumbled, pushing back his shoulder-length hair while still looking through the viewfinder. "I've got to be at least twice as expensive as any product photographer, and three times as slow."

"Four times slower and five times more costly," Ashley said gleefully, rubbing his hands together. "I've worked it all out, Ian, but the cost-benefit ratio is on my side."

He couldn't see the photographer's face, hidden behind the curtain of his glossy hair, but that wasn't where he was looking anyway. Damian really had a lovely body: broad shoulders, narrow waist, and quite a fine arse, if he did say so himself. Ashley knew that he would never get his hands on it, but a man could dream, couldn't he? Although the charm of demanding the submission of another man would be lost with Damian, Ashley still rather fancied him. Holding him back was the fact that he was not at all sure that he might not end up in the encounter with his own arse in the air, awaiting either the kiss of the whip or the surge of what looked to be a massive cock, if Damian's package was anything to go by.

"How can that possibly be a good thing?" Damian asked, exasperated by his own slowness. His standards were incredibly exacting but ordinarily he didn't have a client hanging over his shoulder; he simply worked out his own vision to his satisfaction.

"Not only will people in the lifestyle be fighting to get their hands on this catalog, they will pay for them," Ashley said. "And they'll buy. Those handcuffs have been a staple in my line for over five years and even my mouth is watering over them. I would buy them from me right now, if I had someone to put them on."

Damian laughed. "Surely you have someone awaiting your ... kind attentions." His eyes raked insolently over Ashley's body.

The tawny-haired man shivered under the intense scrutiny of an alpha Top, but the little smile that curled his lips didn't change; Ashley was experienced enough to know how to stand his ground.

"I can't imagine that you haven't ... ahem ... tested these items thoroughly before offering them for your customers' consideration."

Ashley grinned, his teeth gleaming white under the modeling light. "I know what they're all used for, yes."

"I'll bet you do." Damian smirked, before going back to concentrate on his shot. He was perfectly aware that Ashley was an enthusiastic player, not merely a dabbler who sold toys. Not that Damian himself played anymore; he'd grown weary of demanding subs who misbehaved in order to earn whatever punishment they desired. He'd decided that empty was better than half full and had lived a celibate life in the five years since he'd come to live and work in London: ironic for a man who made his living creating erotica. An irony that he fully appreciated, but by now he had convinced himself that he was more suited to the purer gratification to be derived from the visual stimulation provided by his models.

At that moment, Nick pushed the studio door open, letting the light pour in just as Damian was about to release the shutter.

"Fucking hell, Nicholas, can't you remember to knock?" Damian snapped without looking up.

Nick pushed the door shut hurriedly, irked at being berated when the studio lights were still on anyway; he'd checked for the sliver of light under the door, not that he was going to mention that. In a sullen voice, he asked, "Just wanted to know whether you wanted your tea now."

Ashley watched with interest as the boy's velvety dark eyes flicked nervously between the photographer and the glittering handcuffs, displayed like a jewel on a bed of soft dark feathers.

"Turn off the modeling lights, Nicholas."

Dragging his feet, the tall, slender young man made his way to the power pack, crouching beside it to press the button. There was a click and the room was plunged into darkness. In that moment, the erotic tension in the room roared in Ashley's ears. Everything was silent. Not one of them made a move in the dark, but he felt strongly that at least one of the people in the room really wanted to.

Then the sudden flash of Damian's lights split the darkness with a series of soft explosive pops. The photographer took several shots, bracketing, Ashley remembered him calling it.

"Okay, Nicholas. Lights," Damian ordered tersely.

A click and the modeling lights were back on. Ashley had continued to look in Nick's direction to avoid being blinded by the lights, so he was in the perfect position to observe the soft, liquid look in the boy's eyes as he gulped in some air and stared avidly at the cuffs before his usual impassive mask slid back into place.

Ashley glanced at Damian to find that he was still fussing with his camera. Finally Damian stood upright. "I think that's it for today," he said in a dissatisfied tone.

"Tell me again why you were shooting in the dark?" Ashley asked.

"Star filter," Damian said. His laugh lines sprang into being as he smiled and reached up to sweep his hair out of his face. "We're going to make your old police standards sparkle like diamonds." He suddenly seemed to realize that Nicholas was still crouched by the pack. "Why are you here?" he demanded bluntly.

"Came to ask if you wanted your tea, yeah?" The husky voice was soft and yet still communicated Nick's insolence clearly.

"Go boil it, or buy it, or whatever you do with it," Damian said, losing interest.

"What would you like in yours, Mr..." Nick asked Ashley, with a bare modicum of politeness.

"Winthrop," Ashley supplied amiably, although he had told Nicholas his name at least twice before. "I am in the mood for a bite of something sweet, perhaps an éclair or a napoleon. And get me a latté, large, cinnamon decaf. With whipped cream. Low fat!"

Before he slouched from the room, Nick muttered, "You really think that's going to help?"

Damian chuckled under his breath at Nicholas's jibe, still standing with his hands on his hips, glaring at the handcuffs as if they were a recalcitrant model, refusing to hold a pose.

"Dreadful baggy trousers," Ashley muttered fastidiously, looking after Nicholas. If he had the dressing of the young man, he'd be wearing something tight and form-fitting, depending on what kind of arse he had. It looked as if it might be quite a pert one, but those loose jeans were so deceptive, as Ashley knew to his cost. Not only had Damian's last assistant Derek turned out to be a tad on the pudgy side, but he didn't even like to play.

"What was that?" Damian asked abstractedly.

"I asked your boy for something sweet," Ashley said, grinning inwardly at his choice of words. Sure enough, they caught Damian's attention and he smirked appreciatively. "He seemed a bit dismayed."

"That'll be because I don't usually run to cakes for tea. I expect he'll have gotten into the petty cash and gone down the street to the pastry shop," Damian replied in resignation. "Well, come along. The young twit has either put the kettle on with no water or forgotten it altogether. I'd better check on it."

Ashley slid off the stool and followed Damian out of the studio into the kitchen area, his eyes bright with curiosity. Something was brewing here, even if it wasn't the tea, and he was interested to see how it all played out.

* * * *

Chapter One

Nick raced up the stairs of the tube station two at a time, hoping he wouldn't be late for work yet again, but the train had been held up and he had to run for it. He pelted along the street, stopping in front of the warehouse building that housed Damian's studio to try to catch his breath. It would never do for his boss to know that he'd hurried so as not to be late. Bad for his image.

He pushed open the outer door and took the lift to the top floor instead of the stairs, hoping he would have caught his breath by the time it arrived.

"Late again?" Damian asked sardonically when he heard the loft door open. He didn't bother to turn around so he didn't see the guilty look that flitted over Nicholas's face.

The voice was surly as usual, with no trace of the regret that shadowed the large dark eyes. "Not very late."

"Well, it hardly matters; the model is even later," Damian fumed.

"What do you want me to do?" Nick asked, dumping his backpack in the doorway where anyone coming in would be sure to trip over it.

"See if Gabe needs anything after you move that damned bag," Damian said. "I'll be in the studio."

Nick kicked the pack out of the way and went to the makeup room, well fitted out with lights for the stylist to do his work. The man was short and bald, dressed in a frilly pink shirt, tight shiny jeans, and high-heeled, pointy-toed boots. He was sitting in the makeup chair reading a magazine and looked up at Nicholas with teasing eyes when he entered.

"Hey, beautiful. Come to cheer a lonely girl's vigil?" the makeup stylist lisped.

Nick shook his head. "Not bloody likely, Gabe. Need anything?"

"How about a flute lesson?"

Nick looked puzzled and then flushed when he caught the import of the comment. "Fuck off, wanker."

"I wouldn't have to, if you helped a girl out," Gabe called after him and snickered as Nick scuttled away quickly. He did so enjoy tweaking the pretty little straight boys.

After a few phone calls to the agency and another half hour's wait, Damian finally emerged from his office to dismiss the stylist. "Sorry, Gabe. You might as well go home. The model seems to be lost or something. He's a no-show."

"You know I get paid for the time just the same, right?" Gabe said, beginning to return his brushes to his kit. "I canceled another shoot to do this one."

"Yeah, I know. I'll make it good with the client. We'll have you back again next time," Damian promised.

Gabe nodded and packed up his case. Damian signed his voucher, and Gabe said, "Thanks for understanding. Some people in the biz--"

"I know," Damian said. "Say no more; not your fault."

"Ta ta then, love," Gabe said, returning to his usual manner.

Damian watched the studio door swing shut quietly after the stylist left. He jumped when he heard Nicholas fling open the door to the bathroom, letting it smack against the wall. "Fuck it all to hell! You don't have to break the fucking door, do you?"

"Sorry," Nick said, and he flushed to the roots of his hair. His eyes dropped, and Damian suddenly noticed how very beautiful he looked when he was ashamed.

"Come into the studio," he commanded, striding into it without looking back to see whether Nicholas was obeying him.

Nick complied, following the photographer silently, hoping desperately that he would know how to do whatever Damian told him to do next.

A strong hand landed on the small of his back and propelled Nicholas forward to where Damian had set up a painted canvas backdrop and what looked to be a ballet bar. "Just kneel there for a minute, will you? I need to check the lighting."

Sighing, Nick got to his knees and crossed his arms, scowling defiantly at the camera.

Ignoring the defiant expression, Damian called out, "Turn around. No, all the way. Away from me, you dolt."

Nick shuffled around on his knees until his back was square to the camera.

"Back toward me. To the left. Your left! Your other left!" Damian sighed in mounting frustration as Nicholas first turned to his right, away from the main light, and then back into his original position. He strode quickly forward and took the boy by the shoulders, jerking him into the position he wanted. "There! That's where I want you. Stay right there and don't move."

He raced back behind the camera, cursing softly to himself. He wondered why he'd never noticed the sculpted cheekbones and elegant jawline of his young assistant. Damian had noticed his eyes, of course; they were hard to miss with their long lashes, but somehow he'd become fixated on Nicholas's nose, directing all his irritation with his incompetent assistant at his nose. The slight asymmetry seemed to take up Damian's entire vision when he looked at Nicholas, but something about the way the lights were caressing the young man's face made his beauty spring to life for him for the first time.

"Nicholas," Damian said softly in a moment of recognition. How could he have been so blind?

"Yeah?" Nick responded, not daring to move from his position.

"The model bailed. And I have this idea, a concept; it's gnawing at me. I want to take the shot. I need to," Damian started to explain.

Nick swung around to face him and nodded. Damian was startled. It looked as if Nicholas understood just what he was saying about his need to create the image in his head and was agreeing with him! What did he study at university again? Whatever. Damian couldn't remember ever asking him.

"I need a model to pull this off. Can I use you?"

"What do I need to do?" Nick asked, his voice interested and bright for the first time in Damian's memory.

"I need to work out the pose, and it'll be cheaper to use you than a model. Just with some of these things of Ashley's," Damian said, waving a careless hand at a table holding various whips and strappy-looking things.

"All--all right," Nick said faintly, looking at the table full of implements with nervous fascination.

"Right. Get up and out of your kit, then," Damian ordered. "I need your bare skin."

He grinned impishly, expecting to have to convince the young man when he refused, but was surprised as without hesitation, Nicholas started stripping right there in the set, tossing his T-shirt off to the side. He stood up to toe his sneakers off and unzipped his pants, only to realize that Damian was staring at him. His hands hesitated. "Am I doing it wrong?"

Damian laughed. "There's no wrong way to get undressed. Especially if.... "He trailed off, thinking it might not be wise to bandy racy comments with his assistant. On the other hand, the way things were going, Nicholas wouldn't be around that long anyway. "Especially with a tight little ass like yours," he resumed, figuring it didn't make much difference if Nicholas ran screaming into the night. No model, no shot, at least for today. "Green socks?"

"Oh. I thought maybe I shouldn't be throwing my clothes on the floor," Nick muttered, ignoring the comment on his brightly colored socks.

"Throw them wherever you like, other than in the set," Damian said generously, excited by the prospect of a compliant model to play with for a couple of hours. This way he could get his idea worked out before the expensive model arrived.

Nick continued to strip, feeling a bit flustered, but Damian was no longer looking at him, so he made short work of it. He stood there naked, waiting for the next instruction.

Damian came over and took him by the arm, leading him to a lump under the canvas. "Kneel on that; I put some packing foam under there. It'll be easier on your knees."

"Away from the camera?" Nick asked.

Damian rolled his eyes. "Yes, away from the camera. Right there." He pointed insultingly.

Nick dropped to his knees, grateful for the soft cushioning under the backdrop. His knees were bony, and the concrete floor had hurt when he knelt there earlier.

Damian came back to him making a clanking noise, and Nick darted an anxious glance at the photographer. He was carrying black leather restraints of some kind, linked together by a length of silver chain.

"Give me your hands," Damian ordered.

Silently, Nick held out his wrists.

The leather cuffs were long, almost like a gauntlet, running nearly to Nick's elbows. Damian fastened the various buckles on the right arm, passing the chain over the bar in front of Nick. It was quite high, almost to Damian's shoulders, and Nick had to raise his arms for Damian to attach the second restraint.

After Damian had him securely bound to the bar, he stroked the smooth, honey-toned skin of Nicholas's bare shoulder. "Okay?"

"Yeah."

Damian thought Nicholas's voice had sounded a bit breathless, but he was so excited to see his artistic vision come to life that he paid it no heed, bounding back behind the camera to check angles and lighting.

He suppressed a gasp, swallowing it when he saw the lithe form, lean muscles taut in the slender shoulders, buttocks round and tempting, and the glossy dark curls shining under the sole light source. He really was blind, Damian marveled. It was a mercy that the insipid blond model actually hired for the shoot hadn't turned up. Nicholas was perfect for this. Damian enjoyed the sight of the muscles in Nicholas's thighs twitching slightly as he fought to remain still.

Damian checked his focus and snapped off a couple of quick shots. "You doing okay?" he called out.

"Yeah, l close around his ankle.

Without answering him, Damian pushed his legs apart with his foot. Nick suddenly felt very vulnerable and exposed, his cock swelling but not hard yet, his balls dangling where he was sure Damian could see them. Hell, Damian could probably see everything that was to be seen about his arse!

Nick jumped when Damian spread his legs even further and a cold cuff was clamped about his other ankle. When the strong hands released him, Nick tried to move his legs together but found he couldn't.

"No need to worry; it's just a spreader," Damian said in a very pleased tone of voice. "Excellent. You were born to wear one. You look great in it."

Faint sounds told Nick that Damian had retreated behind the camera once more. It made him feel a tiny bit safer, but not safe enough. Trussed the way he was, he could barely move. Nick had never been able to please Damian before and hearing approval in his employer's voice was ... heady. On the other hand, he had also never had his legs held apart and trapped before, and it was disturbing. He was just trying to calculate whether he could manage to get to his feet with the spreaders on when the lights flashed, practically blinding him because he wasn't ready.

"You could warn a person!" Nick yelled with an energy that surprised even him.

"Sorry," came the distracted reply.

Somehow Nick knew that Damian wasn't going to remember to warn him the next time either. He squirmed uncomfortably; wearing these restraints somehow made him feel more naked than when he'd just taken off his clothing. He wondered how long Damian--

The lights blinded him again, but he didn't say anything this time.

"Stick your ass out a little. No, back, toward me. More. No, too far, go back to where you were. Okay, back it up again. There! Hold it right like that!"

The lights flashed in quick succession, and Nick's hip twinged. He hoped he'd be able to hold the pose as long as Damian wanted without his back cramping up.

"What's the scar from?"

"Oh, sorry," Nick muttered. "Uh, an accident. Had to have an operation."

"It's beautiful," Damian responded.

Nick was outraged; how dare Damian say that? He knew it was ugly, and it sure as hell hadn't been beautiful acquiring it. "Har fucking har," he retorted sarcastically.

"Shut up," Damian said, in his dreamy, crazy-artist voice.

Nick shut up accordingly. He knew Damian wouldn't hear whatever he had to say anyway. His arms were falling asleep as the blood drained from them.

"Okay, straighten up a bit. Now turn your head to the left slightly. Oh, very good, you remembered which way" Damian demanded irritably, striding forward and pushing Nicholas back into position. "Do as you're told, boy."

"Yes, sir!" Nick hissed angrily.

"And stop talking, or I'll swat you," Damian instructed.

Nick froze into position, except for his cock, which rose in a slow steady swell of blood. The heat pooled at his groin made him fidgety but he didn't want to know whether Damian was serious about his threat. He sounded as if he would do it.

Nick jumped as he felt warm hands land on his hips. Something brushed across his arse and he yelped, even though it hadn't hurt at all.

"Stay still, dammit!"

Fuck, Nick thought, he sounds serious. He concentrated on keeping his body positioned exactly as Damian had left him.

Finally his back and hip were signaling dire distress and Nick had to move, letting out a little groan. He yelped and flinched as a hard hand cracked against his arse, sending a burst of heat through his left cheek.

He turned instinctively just as the flash went and heard a click.

"Will you hold still now, or do you want me to swat you again?"

Damian's voice came from almost directly behind him, where he was standing with the cable release in his hand. Nick fell silent and turned away from the camera again. He could see the handprint in his mind, red against the whiter skin of his arse. He was suddenly very embarrassed and humiliated to know that Damian had taken a picture of him that way and wondered what insanity had led him to yank off his clothes and kneel here unresistingly while Damian took more photographs. Not that he had much choice now that he'd let Damian tie him up. The words alone sent a shiver of arousal over his bare skin.

"Got it," Damian breathed, when he'd captured the final shot. He came to himself then and chuckled as he took in the slim body of his assistant, stretched and bound, muscles moving under the smooth skin as he strained to remain still; a picture of sensual promise.

"Sorry, Nicholas. I got a little caught up in my vision," Damian apologized as he came forward to release the young man. He chuckled as he saw the palm print on the boy's round, enticing cheek. Had he really done that?

He knelt behind Nicholas, leaning just a little closer than necessary to take in a whiff of the faint vanilla scent that clung to the boy as he released the ankle cuffs on the spreader bar.

Nick shivered and the fine hairs on his back stood up as he felt the heat of Damian's body so close to his. For a moment, the man was kneeling behind him and Nick was trapped there, cuffed and spread. If Damian were to try something, take his pleasure, Nick wouldn't be able to do a thing to defend himself. He was terribly frightened, and yet his cock was betraying him by remaining achingly hard.

Damian noticed that the boy was trembling and gently released one arm, hanging on to the other one, sensing that Nicholas was about to bolt with the restraint still buckled onto his wrist. Once he had set the boy free, Nicholas sprang to his feet with a coltish grace, keeping himself turned away from Damian. He ran for his clothes, scooped them up, and headed straight for the bathroom, slamming the door shut behind him.

Damian remained where he was, running the leather restraints through his fingers, still warm from Nicholas's heat. He could smell a hint of arousal on the air. So the boy had been turned on by this? Until now, Damian had been so involved with making the shot in his head a reality that he hadn't even considered the ramifications of having the beautiful young man, naked and bound, kneeling before him.

He heard the outer studio door slam shut violently and smiled. Probably that meant he'd seen the last of Nicholas, but damn, the boy was delicious. His cock was pressing uncomfortably against his zipper, so Damian unzipped to relieve himself a little. When he pulled his cock out, the air was cool against his heated flesh, and his hand felt good. He closed his eyes, kneeling there, right behind where he'd had Nicholas restrained and spread, and he stroked himself off, gloating over the beauty that they had created together. He came with a stifled groan, shooting onto the canvas right where Nicholas had knelt.

* * * *

Never had Nick been so grateful that he followed the fashion of his peers. It was one thing to be an independent thinker and go against the tide, but sometimes it was better if one wore baggy pants, giving one a fighting chance of hiding a raging hard-on.

He could feel his erection sway with every step he took, his boxers softly rubbing against the swollen head of his cock. He hoped he wouldn't come in his pants before he got back to his shabby little cold-water flat.

He took a seat in the train, because the tube was fairly empty at this hour. And then he stood right back up again when he saw how his erection tented his pants. Only a blind man could miss it. Soberly, he studied the advertisements over the windows, willing his prick to go down, but with minimal success.

He usually had several hard-ons and jacked off a minimum of once over the course of a day, but now he was hard enough to pound nails. When he got off at his station, every step was an effort. For the first time he wondered whether briefs might not actually be better. Surely they'd be more ... restrictive when one was in a state? Nick groaned; just thinking the word "restrictive" made his cock jump again.

There was nothing for it but to hurry. He made it to the outer door of his building and raced up the stairs. At least that effort made his erection go down a bit. By the time he unlocked his door, he was in hopes that he had it under control because he was not going to give in to this--whatever it was.

He went into the tiny bathroom and lowered his pants, pulling his boxers down with them. He stood on the edge of the tub, twisting and craning until he could get a glimpse of his own arse in the mirror, with a handprint blooming rosily on his cheek.

"Blooming idiot, Nicky," Nick muttered and then laughed at himself. "What the hell was I thinking? If I was thinking."

But there it was, a blush-red mark with a paler edge all around it. As he looked at it, the palm print began to throb, sending a rhythmic pulse straight to his groin. His cock rose up again, hot and hard, pointing to the ceiling. He couldn't remember ever being this hard before, and it was killing him.

He tried to think of his last girlfriend's breasts, or failing that, the girlfriend before as he stroked himself, rubbing his thumb over the head slippery with his precum. He panted as he stroked faster, adding a little twist with each pass, but he couldn't quite.... Suddenly the sound of Damian's hand cracking against his arse filled his mind and he imagined how the other man must have looked when he delivered the smack, and then he was coming with a hoarse cry, harder and longer than ever before.

He was on his knees when he recovered his senses, one hand clutching the sink, the other wetly wrapped around his limp dick, gasping at the memory of what had happened between him and his employer.

"Holy fuck," he whispered.

* * * *

After Damian had cleaned up and put himself tidily back together, he took his camera into the darkroom to unload the film. He shot digital on occasion, but he still preferred the older, manual single-lens reflex; it gave him so much more control over lighting, depth of field, and focus.

He couldn't wait to develop these shots and see what he had.

Patiently he mixed a batch of chemicals and got the developer up to speed. He fed the film into the spooler and waited at the other end to see what came out. When the leading edge of the negative appeared, he bent closer, getting a nose-full of the acrid smell. He lifted the end to peer at it against the red light and began to smile.

Once the entire length of film had rolled out, he took it to the light box, although it was still damp. Even without a loupe, he could tell this was the perfect pose to show off the spreaders, with the added benefit of the chained cuffs. Ashley would be thrilled.

The lines of submission in the bound body coupled with the undeniable elegance of the curves and planes of his form made Nicholas the perfect model for this job.

Except, Nicholas wasn't a model. In fact, Nicholas was most likely not going to be coming back at all. Damian smiled ruefully as he surveyed the rest of the shots. He paused, arrested when he came to the shot where he had spanked Nicholas.

He licked his lips as he looked at it. It was delicious. The camera had caught the moment when Nicholas looked back over his shoulder, his lips parted with surprise, his eyes wide, showing fear, shock, and an arousal that Damian felt sure he would have preferred to hide.

The way his body was angled revealed one dark nipple, large and luscious, begging to be pinched. Nicholas had managed to twist his body enough that his cock was barely backlit, outlined against the backdrop, a cock that was hard and standing upright, hungry for attention.

Damian's hand brushed over the bulge in his jeans when he saw his own handprint on Nicholas's ass, like a brand of ownership, the reddened skin contrasting with the pale, subtly curved flesh.

"I must have a print of that one," Damian muttered. No matter what, that shot was going to be a permanent and prominent part of his own private collection, the one he never showed the world.

He reached for his cock and stroked himself to another massive orgasm, his gaze glued on the best shot he'd ever taken, until he closed his eyes as ecstasy washed over him.

* * * *

Nick woke up with a start. The alarm hadn't gone off but he had. He smiled ruefully. After jacking off in the bathroom, he'd settled down to study, only to have to yank his mind back to his books every two seconds.

Now he was lying in a puddle of his own rapidly cooling cum. And yet his cock was still half-hard.

"Dude," Nick said out loud, but softly. "You're going to have to stop thinking about it."

Instead, he thought about it some more, his stomach fluttering with the thrill that rolled through him whenever he went over the entire afternoon, step by excruciating step. He thought he knew what he was doing when he took his clothes off. He was an art student, and he'd modeled for pay before; besides, he'd watched Damian at work, and the man never laid a hand on his models.

It must be something about him, he thought miserably. Something that he didn't know about himself but that Damian could see that would make the man tie him up. No, not merely tie him, but put those leather restraints on his wrists, stretching him to trap him at the bar. And then the spreaders. The cold metal had contrasted with the enticing warmth of Damian's fingers, barely brushing his skin as he locked Nick into them.

He rolled onto his knees. Without realizing it, Nick's left hand was fondling his balls as he stroked his cock with his right. He thought about Damian's hands on him, caressing his arm gently, and finally that strong hand chastising him with a hard swat to the arse.

And then Nick cried out as he came yet again, arching his back so his throbbing backside was raised up, offered to the man he imagined to be standing behind him.

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Strong Hand 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
DianeYu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a solid m/m, BDSM story. It takes place for the most part in Damian's studio, where he is photographing BDSM toys worn or held by sexy models for a catalog. I loved this setting as it introduced so many interesting characters into the mix and there was always something erotic or surprising going on.Nick is much younger than Damian and works part-time as his assistant while finishing his last year of college. He tends to be shy and is often blushing as he is introduced to the world of Doms and subs, and even models some of the clothing and toys for the catalog. It was fun to watch the relationship develop and follow it to the somewhat mushy, but satisfying ending. Well worth a read.
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mhis_dream More than 1 year ago
I am new to this genre and the relationship between Damian and Nick is not what I expected. It was fun, sexy and intense all at the same time. I look forward to reading more books by Catt Ford!
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Naughty_Harp More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. Although the plot wasn't earthshatteringly original, it was written so well, you could see in your mind the art the author was describing. Also, the sex was pretty hot -- but more story than sex, so if you're looking for sex page 1 to the end, this is probably not for you. (But see my recommendation below if you're into BDSm with hot sex front to back and every which way.)
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