Larry didn't think he was made for happy-ever-afters, until one Dom changed his mind.
Larry likes to keep his BDSM and sex separate. He has his reasons and he doesn't have to explain them to anyone else. Though he has a friend in another sub, Hank, no one knows Larry—maybe not even Larry himself.
Life takes twists and turns one can never predict. When one of those twists turns out to be a Dom Larry is attracted to, Larry's secretive life and hidden desires threaten to come bubbling to the surface.
But for that to happen, he'll have to learn to trust someone.
Bo Olsteen always wears his leather hood when he's at the club. He likes to keep a firm line drawn between the Dom and the man outside of BDSM.
He hasn't gotten laid or had a scene with a sub in far too long to admit. No one has caught his attention until he sees one blond man with boundaries all over the place and a chip on his shoulder at the BDSM club in Ravon.
Two men, neither of them expecting the connection that bursts to life between them, are about to learn the power in true submission.
About the Author
A native Texan, Bailey spends her days spinning stories around in her head, which has contributed to more than one incident of tripping over her own feet. Evenings are reserved for pounding away at the keyboard, as are early morning hours. Sleep? Doesn't happen much. Writing is too much fun, and there are too many characters bouncing about, tapping on Bailey's brain demanding to be let out.
Caffeine and chocolate are permanent fixtures in Bailey's office and are never far from hand at any given time. Removing either of those necessities from Bailey's presence can result in what is known as A Very, Very Scary Bailey and is not advised under any circumstances.
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Seeing Hank so sappy and in love with his Dom and soon-to-be husband left Larry in a state of depression for almost a week. Not that he let anyone know he was such a petty little shit, and he was happy for his bestie. Hank deserved his happiness. Larry had even pushed him toward it months ago, goading Hank to approach Thomas, the Dom Hank had been ogling.
So Larry wasn't sure why he felt so down about it all. 'Live in the moment' was his motto most of the time. But not when he had to make trips back to where he'd grown up.
"Jeez, no wonder I'm a mess." Larry tried to shake off his funk. He'd been stuck in that hellhole for the last few months and had just returned home. That was the true source of his moodiness. The past was clinging to him like a bad rash and he needed it gone.
Larry didn't want what Hank had. It was preposterous to believe such a relationship would work for him.
He wasn't envious after all, and was just confusing his emotions because Larry didn't examine those things that often.
All he cared about was that he was clean, that he lived in a clean home — apartment, if one wanted to get technical, but it was his home.
After he'd showered and gotten dressed, Larry was ready to go to work. His volunteer position at Jen's Soup Kitchen was one thing Larry always looked forward to. Yes, it was depressing to see so many people in need, but helping them and at least trying to make a difference were two things Larry lived for.
And not even his best friend Hank knew about it.
Then again, Larry hadn't ever been good at letting people in, and bragging about doing a good deed seemed like a skeezy thing to do.
The stroll to the soup kitchen took almost half an hour, but Larry enjoyed the sunlight on his skin and the gentle breeze, though he could have done without the exhaust fumes.
There was already a line forming at the shelter, although breakfast had just been served. Larry waved to some of the regulars, relieved to see Mrs. Eddison, one of his favorites, sitting on a bench in the shade.
"Hey, Mrs. E, how's it going?" Larry asked as he stopped in front of her. She looked healthy for someone in their late seventies, with few deep wrinkles except the crow's feet around her eyes. Her laugh lines were reminders that she was a happy person despite her circumstances.
"Larry, I'm glad you're home," Mrs. E said, smiling at him. She patted the bench. "Sit down for a moment. You don't have to help with lunch yet, do you?"
"I always have time for you," Larry replied, taking a seat beside her. "Did your door get fixed?"
Mrs. E tutted. "I told you not to spend the money on that. The chair under the doorknob —"
"You deserve more than a chair under a doorknob," he cut in. "Everyone here deserves more than they have." And it broke his heart.
"Including you, son?" Mrs. E patted his leg. "You saved me from being homeless with that grant you found, and you've kept up repairs when something's gone wrong with the house. Don't you deserve better than to be alone, or to have to go back to a place you hate?" She sighed. "What did your idiotic parents do to you?"
Larry's throat went tight and he made an unfortunate squelching sound when he tried to swallow. Leave it to Mrs. E to get right to the heart of it all.
"You've gone back before, but never for this long," she continued. "And maybe I'm wrong, maybe you have wonderful parents. If so, I apologize. But I can see your pain, son."
Larry wanted to jump up and run into the soup kitchen, or back to his apartment — anywhere away from the questions Mrs. E was tossing his way.
"Ever since you chased those thugs off years back, you've watched out for me," Mrs. E said. "Who watches out for you?"
That was an easy question to answer. "I do." Larry cleared his throat then plastered on a bright smile. "I'm a tough guy."
"Never said you weren't." Mrs. E gave his leg another pat. "There's more to life and living than being tough."
Sometimes there wasn't. Larry nodded rather than argue or explain. "I'm glad your door is fixed." And he was glad he'd used a chunk of his savings to keep Mrs. E from losing her house, not that she ever needed to know about that.
"You should come by and see it," Mrs. E told him. "I could make dinner."
If she'd had enough money to splurge on dinner guests, Mrs. E wouldn't have been a visitor at the soup kitchen. Larry would have helped her out more, but she refused to knowingly take any money from him.
He did know her weak spot. "Well, I've been craving some Pho. If you'd like to share some with me again sometime, that'd be great."
Mrs. E's pale blue eyes lit up as she clapped her hands together. "Oh, you! You know I can't say no to Pho!"
Larry stood then bent to kiss Mrs. E's cheek. "No one should say no to Pho. I'd better get to work."
"You're a good man, Larry. Anyone who doesn't see that isn't worth bothering with," Mrs. E said. "You'll always be a son to me. You know that, don't you?"
"Yes, ma'am," he rasped, then waved goodbye. "See you in a few."
Larry's eyes burned worse than when he had to chop up onions. It was nice to know someone in the world cared for him like family.
Another night, another disappointment. Bo Olsteen didn't know why he'd bothered checking in at the club. He hadn't seen anyone he wanted to do more than talk with in months. Since moving to the town of Ravon, he hadn't even gotten laid. Worse, he hadn't had a scene, hadn't been able to wield his whip, flogger or any of his beloved tools.
"The Hooded Monogamist rides again," said a familiar voice from behind him. "Alone, of course. Are you ever going to take off that executioner's hood?"
Bo turned and flipped off Quarry, one of the club owners. "Fuck off, Quar. You know why I wear it."
Quar nodded. "Yup. The whole Dom who loves leather thing, I do get it, but that doesn't mean I won't pick on you. You've been coming here for months now, Bo, and no matter what boy comes panting after you, you turn him down. Of course, I'm going to give you shit about that."
"I just haven't seen anyone who has really caught my attention. Although, okay, maybe I'm being too picky." He could at least get laid, or, if it came down to making a choice, set up a nonsexual scene with someone. He needed the freedom BDSM gave him. It might have seemed like a contrary way to think, since all the power was in the sub's hands when it came to BDSM, but that was just it. Bo could let himself go and know that the sub would lay out hard limits not to be crossed.
"The problem is, I don't know what subs will really speak up if I'm too rough," Bo admitted since Quar just kept staring at him. "I need to put someone over the bench and beat their ass, see someone submit, and be able to trust they'll stop me —"
"Most of the subs here are good boys, as I've told you before, but since none of them appeal to you, maybe — Yeah. There ya go," Quar said, interrupting Bo. He pushed at Bo's shoulder, encouraging him to pivot. "That guy. Wow, I haven't seen him in a while. Didn't know what happened to him. Anyway, that pretty blond over there? That's Larry. Plain name, but he is tough as nails and he doesn't play around. By that, I mean — You know what? Go talk to him yourself." Quar pushed at Bo. "Go on."
Since the man Quar had pointed out seemed to be coiled as tight as any spring Bo had ever seen, Bo decided to approach him — Larry. Quar was right. That was a plain name for a man as attractive as Larry was.
Bo stopped a few feet in front of Larry, who was still walking down the side aisle of the club, greeting people who spoke to him.
That gave Bo more time to study Larry. Medium height, or average, perhaps, with blond hair that gleamed under the club lights. The hair was just past Larry's shoulders. Larry's body carried only a bit of bulk, like he worked out enough to stay in shape, but not enough to turn into a muscle-hound like Bo himself.
Larry didn't notice Bo until he walked right into him.
"Umph." Larry had turned his head just in time to smoosh it against Bo's chest.
Rather than reach for Larry, Bo kept his hands at his sides. "Careless, sub."
Larry jerked his head up, eyes blazing, mouth open in a way that looked like curse words were fixing to spew out of it.
Bo raised one hand, held up one finger. "I'd be very careful what you say here, boy."
The ire in Larry's eyes turned into something else. Something that sure looked like need to Bo.
"I'm waiting for your apology," Bo said in his deepest voice.
Larry blinked, then snapped his mouth shut.
Bo liked a challenge. "That's right. Save it until you're on your knees for me. Then I'll cane your ass until you scream for forgiveness."
Larry's nostrils flared and he shivered.
Bo waited to see if he'd pushed too far, if his punishment would be considered too much for Larry — or if Larry even wanted to play.
Larry stared back at him the entire time, not acting like any sub Bo had ever met.
After a moment, Larry spoke. "I don't mix sex and scenes. I'm not a sub outside of a playroom or any other spot we agree upon. You want me to beg forgiveness?" Larry shivered a second time. "You want to cane me? I want that, too. But I won't so much as jack you off or let you jerk off on me."
While that was a little disappointing, Bo wouldn't turn Larry down. There'd been more than one play-partner Bo had been with over the years who hadn't wanted sex involved in any way. It wasn't a problem for him.
But Larry was sexy and fierce, and he had a chip on his shoulder, or so it seemed to Bo. Larry was a challenge, but Bo didn't want to try to tear away Larry's rules any more than he wanted to ignore Larry's limits set out for BDSM.
"Get us a key and I'll get my gear," Bo said before Larry could take his silence for a refusal. "Be naked and kneeling when I get to the room."
Larry winked at him and strolled toward the Dom who handed out the keys to the individual playrooms.
Almost instantly, a young, dark-haired man appeared beside Bo. "He won't let you beat him and fuck him, Sir. I would. I'd let you do anything to me. We can leave, and he'll get over it."
Bo hated being a jerk, but he hated other people being jerks, too. "Not happening." He didn't glance at anyone else as he headed out of the club to get his gear. Bo had a nice leather duffel bag he kept in the trunk of his car just in case he met someone he found interesting.
He'd always thought he was a bit of an odd duck. He loved sex, but he didn't crave it, not like so many other guys and gals he knew did. Not like he craved a whip in his hand or the sound of flesh taking a hit.
Those images alone gave him a hard-on. He was a true sadist — he loved bringing pain to someone who wanted it — but he was also much more than that. So few people understood that being a sadist didn't make him a sociopath or devoid of feelings.
He wasn't going to have himself a poor, misunderstood sadist pity party over it, either. Bo retrieved his bag and made sure the trunk was locked before he returned to the club.
Although less than three minutes had passed since his interaction with Larry, Bo was pleased to see that Larry had followed his orders to a T.
"Excellent," Bo murmured as he set his bag on the counter to the left of the door.
Larry was naked, his faux tan fading and speckled in spots, his pale skin peeping through from underneath. Larry sat on his heels with his knees spread, head down and elbows gripped behind his back.
There was nothing to correct. Larry knew how to submit.
"Stand up. We need to talk before this goes any further." Bo would never lay a stripe on anyone without a detailed conversation over limits and needs first.
Larry sighed and stood. He leaned against the massage table behind him. "Do you ever take that leather hood off?"
"When I'm not here, sure," Bo answered. The leather was hot, but he dealt with it. "Just as you don't mix your sex and BDSM, I don't mix this" — he gestured to his leather garb — "and the rest of my life."
"Fair enough. So, no sex, of any sort," Larry began. "I like pain, need it to get out of my head." He clenched his fists.
Bo wondered if Larry was aware of the action. "I'm fine without involving sex. How much pain, and what are your rules about marks?"
After a somber fifteen minutes of discussion, Bo thought he and Larry understood each other. "Kneel and present yourself again. You look better down there than upright."
Larry had let on that a little bit of humiliation was one of his kinks, though he'd never stand for it outside of this room.
And he did look gorgeous on the floor.
"Good boy." Bo patted Larry's head and walked around him. "You have a nice build. I think I'd prefer the fake tan to be gone should we agree to do this again."
Larry grunted. Bo grabbed a handful of Larry's hair and yanked. "Something to say, boy?"
Larry's Adam's apple bobbed before he answered. "I rarely do repeats."
"I'm sure you'll make multiple exceptions for me," Bo drawled, certain he had Larry figured out, at least when it came to this — the exchange of power they were going to share. He tightened his hold until Larry's eyes began to water. "So, this is about pain and your need for punishment. You aren't looking to enjoy it tonight."
Larry gasped and tried to pull his head away, but he couldn't escape Bo's grasp.
Bo had taken a guess there, but it was apparent he'd struck home. "You want to walk now, use your words. In fact, give me one of them."
"Green," Larry rasped. "Green, green, gree — ouch!"
He let go and added a shove that sent Larry forward. Larry caught himself with his hands.
"Stay down just like that," Bo commanded, studying the breadth of Larry's shoulders, the rise and fall of his back as he breathed.
Bo took off his boots, making certain to stand where Larry could watch him. Then Bo removed his socks before coming closer to Larry.
Bo put one foot on Larry's ass and pushed.
Larry went down on his stomach.
Bo was on him a half second later, straddling his hips, grabbing his hair, hunched over and muttering, "That what you want, boy? To be punished for your sins?"
"Cut the religious shit," Larry snarled.
Bo reached back and slapped Larry's ass as hard as he could. "You don't give the orders now."
Larry jolted and Bo did it again, then a third time before he got up and dragged Larry, now kicking and fighting him, over to the spanking bench.
Larry wanted hard, he wanted anger and he wanted release, albeit not of the sexual kind.
Bo would give him all that he was asking for.
They started at the bench, with Bo having to pin Larry down over it. That meant, rather than spanking Larry's ass, Bo pinched and slapped at him, working up marks that would remain for days, as Larry had requested.
Larry fought him, bruising Bo in return, but not once did Larry speak his safe words for slowing down or stopping. He only asked for more.
Bo was big, muscular, tough. He could handle the kicking and hitting, but that didn't mean he liked it. After nearly getting nutted, he roared beside Larry's ear, and was delighted by the way Larry went still.
At least, Larry went still long enough for Bo to plant one hand on the small of his back, fit himself between Larry's legs and start spanking the hell out of him.
With every burning swat, Larry cursed him. Bo spanked him until it was clear that wasn't enough. Then he wrestled Larry into the restraints on the bench — safer than trusting Larry to be still when he was working through so much anger — and went to fetch the cane.
"You haven't done enough," Larry was griping, trying to squirm in the restraints.
Bo had him latched at the ankles, wrists, chest, waist and mid-thighs. "You know you've got more coming, boy."
Bo almost tripped walking to the counter. He'd expected more fight out of Larry, but was glad Larry seemed to be getting to where he needed to be.
"You're welcome." Bo took out a vial of arnica, his rattan cane and a bottle of organic skin cleanser pads he made and carried with him for sessions like these. He set the items down on the table by the spanking bench. "Water?"
Bo got a bottle of water, and it was awkward, but he managed to get Larry hydrated.
Then he capped the bottle, picked up his cane and dragged the tip of it down Larry's spine.
Larry's eyes rolled back. "Please."
"Please what?" Bo asked, pressing the tip of the cane against the divot above Larry's left ass cheek.
"Please hit me," Larry said. "Please make me scream."
Bo would have liked to ask why Larry wanted to scream, but there wasn't always a single answer or a bad reason. Sometimes, a sub just needed pain. Larry wasn't his sub except for this one session, and Bo didn't think that gave him the right to pry. Now, if Larry were mine —
Excerpted from "Submit"
Copyright © 2017 Bailey Bradford.
Excerpted by permission of Pride Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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