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by Nicki Bennett, Ariel Tachna
Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Romance
Description: Sequel to Exploring Limits Having made a commitment to see where their relationship leads, actors Jonathan Braedon, Devon Aldridge, and Kit Webster are taking advantage of a long weekend break from filming the miniseries Camelot to escape their castmates and head for the coast of France. They're already exploring options they'd never before considered, and at a cottage with a private beach, they'll stretch the limits of their growing intimacy and introduce a new level of kinkiness to their loveplay.
eBook Publisher: Dreamspinner Press/Dreamspinner Press, 2010 2010
eBookwise Release Date: May 2010
16 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [187 KB]
Reading time: 116-162 min.
Devon Aldridge opened the door to his closet and ran his hand along the hangers, trying to decide what to pack for the weekend. Who was he kidding? He was trying to work up the nerve to pull out his leathers. For reasons he never fully explored, he kept them with him, just as he did his toys, even when he wasn't in a relationship that needed them. He wondered now what that said about him.
It was far too early in his relationship with Jonathan and Kit for that dynamic. In fact, he wasn't sure if they'd ever be ready for it. Surprisingly enough, it was Jonathan who'd shown signs of interest, though Devon wasn't sure the American would be satisfied as a sub for long. Jonathan reminded Devon of himself when he'd first been brought into the BDSM scene. That thought would lead him in a direction he didn't want to go, and he forced it aside. Kit, now, had stated more than once his aversion to intentional pain, his unease at the idea of submission. Remembering the distress he and Jonathan had caused their younger lover once already sent a stab of guilt lancing through him. He couldn't risk that again, wouldn't risk anything that might threaten what was building between the three of them.
Devon hesitated to put a name to their relationship that had started on the set of Camelot, not when they hadn't talked about anything more than the present. Sure, they'd gotten tested and gotten rid of the condoms--that memory brought a rakish smile back to his face--but that was more about the practicalities of now than it was about making long-term promises. While they were together, they'd be faithful, would protect each other by those choices, but they hadn't talked about beyond filming. It was easy to forget, in the middle of such a long shoot, that it would end eventually, but Devon had been on enough sets, enough shoots, to know the illusion was just that.
His thoughts turned back to one film in particular and the aftermath of its ending.... No. No, he refused to relive it again or give it any more power over him. Pushing hangers aside roughly, he reached to the back of the closet and pulled out the supple black leather garments. Maybe it was time to associate them with more pleasant memories.
His hands shook as he stripped out of his jeans and sweater and replaced them with the soft leather. The last time he had worn them still haunted him, still colored so much of his perceptions about dominance, about submission. He was no longer that man, though. He had learned the true meaning of giving and taking since then, but not in that context. Things are different this time, he reminded himself. This time, I can control what happens. He glanced back at the toy box he had packed earlier, knowing what he had included and what he had deliberately left out. Restraints, yes. Whips, no. Not when Kit had said he didn't want pain.
His skin prickled with goose bumps, each tiny individual golden hair standing upright as he smoothed the butter-soft leather over it. He reached for the fastenings of the trousers and realized how badly his hands were trembling.
"Bloody hell!" he cursed, drawing a deep breath. You can do this. You can control this. Knowing it was probably a mistake but needing something to numb the remembrance, he reached up to the closet shelf for the bottle of scotch he kept there. Not bothering with niceties like a glass, he unscrewed the cap and took a long pull, letting the fiery liquor burn down his throat.
Fortified with liquid courage, he tied the laces quickly, before he could think anymore, stuffed the bottle back in the closet, grabbed his gym bag with the toy box and some toiletries in it, and all but ran out the door. Anything to get away from the memories.
* * * *
Shifting the car into gear, Jonathan Braedon checked the mirrors before driving off the ferry ramp and through the crowded traffic of the Calais docks. The cottage Devon had rented was only about an hour's drive down the Picardy coast, according to his GPS. Kit had lobbied for taking the train from London, pointing out that it was much faster and that once they got through the Channel Tunnel they could transfer from the Eurostar to a line that offered private compartments, the latter observation made with a leer making it perfectly clear how he hoped to take advantage of that privacy. Devon, somewhat surprisingly, had argued for taking the ferry instead, claiming (rightly, as it turned out) that the view sailing from the White Cliffs of Dover wasn't to be missed. Jonathan didn't have a preference either way, but when it turned out that the seaside village where they would be staying was too small for train service, it made more sense to take his car than to rent another when they landed in France.
Once he was safely on the road, Jonathan couldn't help but glance in the mirror again, this time to check the view of the back seat. His eyes lingered appreciatively on the image of Devon's long, lean body encased in tight black leather. He was going to have to watch his speed on the way to the cottage. The anticipation was already tempting him to break the rules.
When Devon showed up at his house that morning, Jonathan's first thought had been to jump the Brit right then, and if Kit's drooling was any indication, the younger man had felt the same way. The leather clung to every bulge, every plane of Devon's body, outlining, highlighting, and drawing attention to his incredible physique. Jonathan wanted to run his fingers over every last inch.
He might have done it, too, except Devon had seemed distracted somehow. He would almost have said uncomfortable, if it were anyone but Devon. Oh, the blond had smiled and laughed at Kit's exaggerated leering and cheeky comments, but something in his eyes didn't match the rest of his expression. Maybe he was just tired; it had been a grueling week of filming, and they all needed to unwind. Jonathan hoped that was all it was. He'd just have to be sure to lavish enough pleasure on Devon to banish that look from his eyes.
And if that wasn't all it was, if, heaven forbid, something else was wrong, he'd coax and cajole until Devon told them what it was, and then he'd make sure they made it better. He had no idea what he and Kit could do to help if it was something wrong at home, but at the very least, they'd make sure Devon knew he wasn't alone.
Thinking about all the things he could do to show Devon how much he meant to him was making Jonathan's jeans uncomfortably tight. He glanced in the mirror again at the triangle of golden skin showing through the opening of the leather jacket. He'd start by slowly peeling the jacket open, tasting every inch of flesh as he revealed it and worshipping the tight pink nipples until the Brit was begging for more.
Then he'd slip the jacket down Devon's shoulders, trapping his arms in the sleeves, and lick all the lines of the blond's six-pack, tracing every muscle. If Devon asked nicely, maybe, just maybe, he'd take the jacket the rest of the way off so Devon had his hands free to return the pleasure. Then again, the idea of Devon at his mercy was incredibly tempting.
With his arms trapped, Devon wouldn't be able to stop Jonathan from loosening the ties of the leather pants, catching the fine golden hairs in his teeth, and tugging at them, just hard enough that Devon would feel the skin of his abdomen pull taut. He'd push the leather aside just enough to bare the other man's hipbones and trace them with his tongue, dipping just a little lower each time, breathing in the heady scent of Devon's arousal as he teased his way closer to it.
Jonathan glanced in the mirror again, his sensual daydream faltering at the reflection of Devon's brooding expression as he stared blankly out the window. Something was definitely wrong. Devon had been Jonathan's friend before he was his lover, but even when he was fighting through problems with his estranged wife, Jonathan hadn't seen Devon look this distressed. He wondered if he should say anything now, or if it would be better to wait until they got to the cottage and he could focus on Devon completely. He glanced over to the passenger seat at Kit, wondering if the younger man had also noticed Devon's behavior.
Kit Webster, Percival to Jonathan's King Arthur and Devon's Lancelot in the Camelot miniseries, had taken the front seat next to Jonathan when they left on their trip for one very simple reason: if he sat in the back seat with Devon, he wouldn't have made it to their destination before molesting the man. Kit had been called sex on legs more than once, usually with a bit of teasing thrown in, but he knew, as surely as he knew his own name, that he had never looked as good as Devon did in the skin-hugging leather pants and loose leather jacket.
The only concern he had at this point, besides getting to the cottage as quickly as possible, was the frown he saw on Devon's face any time he thought the other two weren't watching. Kit had seen a lot of different expressions on Devon's face, both when he was acting and when he was not, but this one was new; more introspective, more--Kit hated to use the word--desolate. And that worried him almost as much as the leather aroused him. Whatever was going on in Devon's head, it wasn't good, and that didn't bode well for their vacation. Kit hid a frown of his own. As soon as they got to the cottage, they were going to get to the bottom of this so they could all relax and enjoy the time off.
Devon realized he'd been staring out the window for almost an hour and couldn't describe the scenery they'd passed if his life depended on it. He also realized that both his companions were unusually quiet. Not that Jonathan was one for small talk, but it was unlike Kit not to have something to chatter about. Hoping he hadn't infected them with his own black mood, Devon tried again to shake off the unwanted memories. "How much longer 'til we get there, Jon?"
"If you start asking if we're there yet, I'll turn this car around right now," Jonathan answered, relieved to see Devon pull out of his private world and determined to lighten the mood. "The village is just ahead, and it should be easy to find the cottage since it's right on the beach."
"And not a moment too soon," Kit quipped, turning to look at Devon in the backseat. In a deliberate effort to bring a smile to his lover's face, he added, "I'm so worked up just thinking about you in those leathers, mate, that I could just about come sitting here!"
"You'll come when I let you," Devon snapped without thinking, realizing what he'd done an instant later when two sets of eyes widened in shock at his commanding tone. "Bloody hell," he groaned, dropping his head into his hands.
Making a final turn as the GPS announced they had reached their destination, Jonathan pulled into the driveway of the cottage and killed the engine. "Devon?" he demanded, turning anxiously in his seat. "What's wrong? Let us help you, whatever it is."
The words Kit wanted to say froze in his throat. He wanted to assure Devon that he loved him, that whatever the problem was, it wouldn't touch Kit's emotions, but he had no idea if the sentiment would be welcomed. Instead, he added his plea to Jonathan's. "We're here for you, Devon. You know that, right?"
The tightness in Devon's chest eased a little at the concern evident in Jonathan's voice and Kit's words. He was not with Robert this time. They cared for him, maybe as much as he was growing to care for them. And he knew he owed them an explanation for his behavior.
"I've been a right bastard all morning, haven't I?" he muttered. "Let's go inside, and I'll try to explain."
Kit opened the door and climbed out of the car, stopping at the boot to grab his bag. On impulse, he grabbed the other two as well. The sooner they got inside, the sooner they could deal with whatever was bothering Devon.
As soon as Devon had unlocked the door and it closed behind them, Kit dropped the bags and took Devon's head in his hands. He stared intently into the troubled green eyes for a few moments before deliberately closing his mouth over his lover's and kissing him thoroughly. When he pulled back, he smiled. "When you're ready to talk, we're ready to listen."
Jonathan wrapped his arms around Devon, pulling the blond back gently into his embrace and kissing the strip of golden skin above the collar of the black leather jacket. "There's nothing you can say that will change the way we feel about you," he added, knowing that for himself, at least, those feelings had grown far deeper than mere physical attraction.
For a moment, Devon let himself be soothed by the kisses, drawing strength from the two men who had already given so much to him. He turned his head to meet Jonathan's lips, opening himself to the American's warm, moist kiss.
"Trust us, Devon," Jonathan urged. "You don't always have to be the strong one."
"Tell us what's wrong," Kit encouraged. He took a step forward so that Devon was caught between his body and Jonathan. He stretched up to join his mouth to the two already connected, bringing the three of them together in this, as he wanted them to be together in all things.
Bracketed securely between his two lovers as they kissed him, Devon realized he no longer felt angry or guilty or fearful. He felt safe. He felt... loved. Raising a hand to cup each man's cheek, he drew back and smiled ruefully. "Let's sit down, yeah? And I'll try to explain."
Kit drew back enough so they could move to the couch, but he had no intention of moving any farther away from Devon than that. Whatever was on Devon's mind, it was clearly bothering him, and Kit wanted to be close enough to provide physical comfort along with whatever words he needed to say.
Once they were seated on the overstuffed sofa, Devon glanced at the men on either side of him, wondering how much he should tell them. Enough to explain his uneasiness, certainly, but there were some things he wasn't ready to share, things they didn't need to hear. "This isn't the first time I've been... involved... during filming," he began, knowing there was no comparison between then and now.
The bleak expression in Devon's eyes tore at Jonathan's heart. He was shocked at how much he wanted to find the person responsible for putting that expression there and make them pay for hurting Devon. He ran a hand down the collar of the blond's jacket, tracing the transition from cool leather to warm golden flesh. "Does this--does the leather have something to do with that involvement?" he asked.
Devon nodded grimly. "It was nothing like this," he admitted. "It started as just sex, but he--" Devon stopped, unable to force himself to choke out the name. "The... other bloke... he--we...." He trailed off as the memories ensnared him.
Kit didn't want to ask, didn't want to know, but something told him they needed to. "What did he do, Devon?" he pressed. "You need to tell us so we don't accidentally set you off."
"It was BDSM, wasn't it?" Jonathan asked gently. He might have no experience with that type of relationship himself, but he was widely read enough to recognize the indicators. "He abused you."
Kit didn't need to hear Devon's confirmation. The anguish on the blond's face was all the confirmation he needed. "Fucker," he muttered under his breath, anger filling him at the thought of anyone hurting his lover.
"I was willing," Devon admitted. "Eager, even, in the beginning. I wanted to give in to him, to let him teach me, control me. But then he decided that my being a sub wasn't enough. I don't know why. Maybe he just got bored. Maybe he got off on watching me dominate someone else. But I started to feel uncomfortable. I didn't like the person I was becoming." He stared at his hands, scrubbing at the knuckles, his voice beginning to crack. "Every time, he demanded more, from both of us, before he'd let us... before he'd... and I--I couldn't stand to look at myself in the fucking mirror anymore, you know?"
Kit didn't know. He didn't know at all, but he couldn't get past the image of Devon's shattered self-esteem. "That's not who you are," he said softly. "You've never been that way with us. I refuse to believe you've just been pretending. You wouldn't have been so upset over the misunderstanding we had if you were that man."
"I thought I'd got past it," Devon insisted, squeezing his hands together harder as he fought to maintain his control. "Thought it was behind me. Went back to women, got married. Got divorced. Got married again. Going to wind up divorced again." The ghost of a smile tugged at his lips. "And then I met you two. And it's been so bloody good, so much more than I ever... and I thought maybe I could wear these again, that it would be safe." He shook his head bitterly. "I fucked up then, so badly, when it didn't even matter. If I fuck things up now, with you...."
Jonathan gently pulled Devon's twisting hands apart and held them in his own. "Devon," he commanded, putting a hint of King Arthur's steel in his voice. "Devon, you're not going to fuck up. You're not going to hurt us. We trust you, we--" He bit back the admission of love, realizing he could only speak for himself, at least in that regard. "We aren't going to let anything from the past come between us. In fact," he said, looking to Kit for confirmation, "I think it's time we gave you some new memories to go with these leathers."
Nodding, Kit reached for their joined hands, closing his own over them as well. He scooted closer to Devon's side, pressing against him. "What do you say, Dev? Can we make love to you while you're wearing these sexy clothes? You won't regret it. I promise." He punctuated his request with teasing kisses to the side of Devon's neck.
Jonathan bent forward to run his tongue down the wedge of skin between the supple leather lapels of Devon's jacket. "This bit has been tempting me all morning," he admitted, opening his mouth to suck at the tender flesh.
Devon's head fell back against the sofa cushions as he gave himself over to his lovers' attentions. "Fuck, yes," he groaned as Jonathan's teeth tugged at the hairs sprinkled down the exposed skin of his chest.
Kit smiled and reached down to cup the unapologetic bulge pushing at the front of the leather pants. "This is what's been tempting me." Without waiting for permission, he began undoing the fastenings on the trousers, pulling the plackets apart so he could get his hand inside, around Devon's erection.
Jonathan's hands went to the jacket zipper, inching it down slowly, his mouth following the trail of skin that was revealed. "You are so fucking sexy like this, Devon," he rasped between kisses and love bites. "I nearly ran off the road watching you in the mirror on the way here, thinking about tasting you this way."
Kit agreed completely with Jonathan's sentiment and with the idea of telling Devon. "I got hard as soon as I got a glimpse of you," he murmured, his hand starting to work on Devon's cock. "Just seeing the way the leather clung to you had me wanting to touch you."
Devon arched his back, offering himself completely to his lovers' touch. He wanted to tell them that he was theirs, but Kit's hand and Jonathan's mouth were rapidly taking away his power of coherent speech. He threaded a hand into Jonathan's sandy-brown hair, guiding his head lower as the other hand reached to pull Kit's head toward his for a kiss.
Kit moved in eagerly for the kiss Devon was offering. He had started this relationship because of his interest in Jonathan, but his attraction to Devon had long since grown equally strong, and he relished the opportunity to make that clear to him. He slid his tongue between Devon's lips, eager for another taste of his lover. His hand set up a steady rhythm, pumping Devon's erection with deliberate firmness.
Jonathan could feel Devon's muscles trembling beneath him as he kissed his way down the toned abdomen. He paused to tease at the dip of Devon's navel, lapping at the depression with his tongue before closing his teeth around the circumference and sucking hard enough to leave a mark. "Look at you," he murmured, glancing back up Devon's body, whose chest glistened with Jonathan's saliva and hips pushed into Kit's palm as they shared a heated kiss. "You look so beautiful like this, letting us love you...."
Devon rocked into Kit's fist, moaning against the younger man's mouth at Jonathan's words and that incredibly sinful voice. He pushed his tongue deeper into Kit's mouth and tugged at Jonathan's hair, trying to urge their other lover to join the kiss. Jonathan was taking his time, though, thoroughly laving every bit of skin along the way. When he latched onto a nipple and suckled it, the pleasure was so intense Devon shuddered between them.
Kit gave Devon possession of his mouth, not even trying to pull away to give voice to his own words of appreciation. Words weren't his strong suit anyway. He'd let his actions express his feelings. When he felt Devon shake beneath his hand, he knew their gestures were meeting with his approval. The movement of his hand intensified, trying to push Devon toward the edge, to let a surfeit of pleasure wash away the unpleasant memories.
Jonathan smiled to himself as he felt Devon tremble against them. His own erection was pressing uncomfortably inside his jeans, but he tried to ignore it as he licked his way across Devon's chest toward his other nipple. "That's right, Devon," he husked between kisses. "Show us how good it feels; show us we're giving you pleasure." He bit down on the pink nub and tugged hard before releasing it. "Let us watch you come...."
Devon writhed beneath Kit's hand. He was so close, so fucking close. All he needed was a little more, a little harder, a little faster.... Then Jonathan bit his nipple and urged him to come, and Devon lost it, crying out into Kit's kiss, pulsing a stream of hot come over his stomach.
As soon as he felt Devon tense beneath them, Jonathan slid down to lap up the creamy fluid from Devon's cock and Kit's hand. He licked Devon's stomach as the blond shuddered through waves of aftershocks. When he had cleaned the sated Brit thoroughly, he slid back up to join his mouth to Devon's and Kit's, letting them share the taste of Devon's release.
Kit's tongue snaked into Jonathan's mouth to savor the essence he had helped unleash, his fingers continuing to caress Devon's softening cock, gently now, hoping to draw out the pleasure for as long as possible. He ignored his own arousal still painfully encased in tight jeans. This moment was for Devon. "Feeling better?" he asked softly when he finally lifted his head.
The release of tension, both physical and emotional, left Devon feeling deliciously boneless. "Much better," he murmured languidly, moving back and forth lazily between Jonathan's lips and Kit's. "We could spend the rest of the weekend right here."
"No, we can't," Jonathan countered, sliding a hand inside the butter-soft jacket to circle Devon's back. "As incredible as you look in these leathers, we need to get you out of them, because Kit and I have more plans for you, and it would be a shame to stain them."
"That's right," Kit agreed with a grin. "We're not done with you by a long shot. I want to play with your toys."