Games in the Dark: A Dreamspinner Press Anthology
Click on image to enlarge.
by Julianne Bentley, Ashlyn Kane, Lyn Gala
Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica
Description: Take a walk on the wild side with a serving of kink: restraints, blindfolds, spankings, threesomes, and more--just a taste of danger to whet your appetite. But these games are meant to do more than just tease. While these men are getting a thrill, they're exploring their emotions, making peace with their wants and needs, and sometimes finding love along the way. Through that lens, we can see the truth: it takes trust to play fair. Come with us and play some games in the dark. Fit to Be Tied by Ashlyn Kane While shopping for gag gifts at the local sex store, Tyler notices his boyfriend Jem scoping out a set of handcuffs. He raises an eyebrow, but doesn't forget. On their next anniversary, he surprises Jem with a very personal gift: himself bound to the headboard of their bed. Only it seems that Tyler misunderstood: Jem's the one who wants to be cuffed. Silent Negotiations by Lyn Gala Michael seems to have everything--looks, health, intelligence, and an experienced lover. But he's well aware that he's a bit of a dork when it comes to relationships. When he learns his lover has been exploring the kinky side of the Internet, Micheal's afraid he's not enough for Raahi--and also discovers he's more than a little interested himself in exploring the wilder side of passion and love. The Perils of Tardiness and Telling Tall Tales by Sienna Bishop Emery's on a tight deadline to ready his family's clothing store for the big fall open house. But as his precious time ticks away, he realizes he's allowed Theo, the hot young delivery boy, to get away with being late way too often. When Theo finally shows up two hours late with a very suspect excuse, Emery unleashes his temper... only to find that's what Theo wanted from his boss all along. Eye Opener by Ariel Tachna Takoda has worked at Metamorphosis, Las Vegas's premier gay leather bar, for four years, perfectly content to serve drinks and leave the patrons to their preferred fetishes... until the night the club's owner, Rhys, takes the stage for a celebratory exhibition. What Takoda sees helps him realize the lifestyle might be more appealing than he'd expected. Maximum Exposure by Marguerite Labbe and Fae Sutherland It's been two weeks since Sebastian exposed Angel to a world of submission and domination that Angel never knew existed. Being so new to the scene, Angel's not sure he can give Sebastian what he wants when the Dom suggests the vulnerability and intimacy of erotic Japanese rope bondage. Understanding control is the key to Angel deciding whether to put an end to a relationship or to move forward and find his way to passion with Sebastian. Remarkable Restraint by Devon Rhodes When Chaz finds it impossible to hide his attraction for his straight roommate, he decides that avoiding Justin is the best answer. But Justin is not a man to be ignored, and he takes matters into his own hands by restraining Chaz's hands--and feet--until he gets some answers. It will take remarkable restraint from both to find a way to stay friends... and to grow into something more. Learning As We Go Along by Ellen Whitehall Jake and Matt are friends, colleagues, roommates, and lovers. But Matt wants more than just a simple relationship: he likes to be dominated. Now it's up to Jake to decide if he has the will and desire to learn what it takes to get them to the next level of love. Despite a few missteps, will they discover how to enjoy the games they play at night? Bent by D.G. Parker When Jack agreed to suit up and man the Hell Bent for Leather booth at the Big Gay Expo, the last thing he expected was to run into a straight man whose blush definitely aroused his interest. So when Sam begged him to keep his heterosexuality secret, Jack knew he had one chance to come up with a plan: a plan to make the now-curious Sam his and his alone. All Kinds of Attention by H.J. Brues Troy has always been bullied and pursued for his pretty, fragile appearance. It's made him cynical and too quick to use his sharp tongue or fists to prove he's not as weak as he looks. When he enters a leather bar by mistake--hiding from yet another harasser--he meets Tom, who offers a new and freeing experience if Troy agrees to be his for the night. In spite of his fears, Troy is so intrigued that he accepts and discovers that Tom is like no other man he's ever met. The Cub by Edward von Behrer Helping out a friend who owns a fetish shop, I'm minding the store when a customer grabs my attention from the moment he steps in the door. Corey is on a quest for an outfit that will help him attract the Daddy he wants. Making a sale is taking a back burner... because I intend to help young Corey find just what--and who--it is he's searching for. Black and Blue by Dar Mavison It's love at first sight when Archer sees Freddie at a club. They seem compatible from the start--Freddie has a need to serve, and Archer likes to protect--but both men prize their privacy, and all they really know about each other is instinct and desire. It comes down to one night when Archer invites Freddie to his home for a private scene to convince Freddie how right they are for each other.
eBook Publisher: Dreamspinner Press/Dreamspinner Press, 2009 2009
eBookwise Release Date: November 2009
31 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [498 KB]
Reading time: 312-437 min.
The mix of stories in this anthology is well balanced. Some were amazingly sweet and loving, and others were hot enough to start a fire. I found each story unique and a thrill to read. I recommend this anthology to anyone who likes a little kink in their love stories. 4 of 5 cups Delane @ Coffee Time Romance & More
Kink has always been a part of human sexuality, lurking around the edges but never entirely hidden. Lately, kink has edged its way into the mainstream--bondage, spankings, and dominance/submissive play abound in the media. Often, kink is a joke, a topic held up as a "deviant abnormality" used to titillate the audience. There's so much more to kinky play than that; kink can be a means of exploration, a path to our most secret sexual natures.
For some people--submissives--being tied up frees them to release their self-control, relax, and be more fully in the moment. For dominants, being the one to call the shots in a sexual context allows them to take care of their lover in a deeper way, to give them a different experience, to free them to fly. Bondage. Domination. Sadism. Masochism. Playing sexual games with control and submission, with pain and pleasure, and with restraint and freedom lets lovers loose to explore new sides of themselves. Consent and the willingness to try new roles, to play, seriously but fearlessly, are the keys.
The stories in Games in the Dark focus on the headspace of the individuals involved rather than simply on what they are doing with their bodies. The roles and costumes and toys are elements of their play, but the most important focus, what truly makes a scene kinky, is what goes on inside the heads of the players. Kink is far more of a mental game than a physical one. Putting on a pair of boots and wielding a whip or a butt plug is what the observer sees, but the honest and willing exchange of power that is unseen is what makes kink so exciting.
In these eleven stories, we have couples who are fresh to the BDSM scene, exploring new aspects of what turns them on and getting a taste that whets their appetite for more. Other couples have one member who is familiar with these games, introducing his lover and guiding him on the path to learn more. Finally, we end with a few men who are more experienced with kinky play, coming together with new partners and learning what makes them tick.
We hope that these stories inspire our readers to explore what is inside their own heads rather than being passively titillated. Let our authors encourage you to create your own fantasy scenarios and play your own games in the dark!
Associate Editor, Dreamspinner Press
September 2009 * * * *
Fit to Be Tied Ashlyn Kane * * * * * * * *
"What do you think?" Jem asked, holding up the package so Tyler could see it.
Tyler looked over from the selection of adult-themed gag gifts he was perusing and winced. It was a garishly colored, garishly named ring of soap fitted with a hole of a certain size and function. "I think it's tasteless. And kind of tacky." Pretty much exactly what the birthday invitation had ordered, actually, with the caveat Gag gifts only! underlined three times at the bottom.
"Tasteless, tacky, and hilarious," Jem corrected, putting it in the basket with the other odds and ends he'd picked up. Jem was such a fastidiously private person that it had taken Tyler a week to catch on that they were dating and not just randomly meeting up for coffee on a regular basis, so this was the first time Tyler had ever taken him to a, well, a sex shop, for lack of a better term. The freak-out he'd been expecting hadn't happened, but then again, they weren't shopping for them, either. The basket was full of odds and ends for Jem's co-worker Mike, who was turning forty. Apparently Mike's wife had a wicked sense of humor.
Tyler sincerely hoped that penis pump thing didn't actually work. "Just like you, then."
Jem flung a pair of crotchless panties at him when the saleslady wasn't looking, which was about par for the course for their relationship. They had been together for just over five months now, and those five months had been... enlightening for Tyler. Jem talked about himself so little that sometimes it felt like Tyler barely knew him at all, despite the fact that they'd met more than ten years previously. But most of the time he looked on it as a challenge, and every new little detail he discovered was carefully filed away in his mental collage of facts about Jem. Just two weeks earlier, he'd been sorting through Jem's boxes of still-unpacked junk and discovered a binder full of notes on ancient Greece. Apparently Jem had minored in classical studies.
Classics and computer science didn't seem a likely pairing, but Jem was full of little contradictions like that. It made him more interesting. It also explained the shelf full of incomprehensible epic poetry Jem refused to get rid of.
"Do you need to pick out some more naughty sex paraphernalia, or can I pay for this stuff?" Tyler asked, tugging on the basket Jem was holding.
"Hmm? Oh, no--go ahead."
Shrugging, Tyler brought the basket up to the cash desk. It was easier to meet the cashier's eyes than it had been six months previously, when he'd had to come in alone--although, he belatedly realized, he basically had a basket full of kinky dollar-store items. "They're gag gifts," he explained, probably unnecessarily. "Fortieth birthday party."
"Say no more," the cashier said. "Seriously, please. Any information at all is too much."
"A sex store can't possibly have hired a prude."
The girl smiled, showing way too many teeth to be friendly. Her name tag said Candi. "Oh, I'm not a prude. I just have a very active imagination and a blog."
Tyler froze in the middle of handing over his credit card, his mouth half-open, and had to make a conscious effort to close it. "I... have just decided I am not going to ask for clarification or whether you are joking."
"Always a good policy around here." Candi winked an overly made-up eye and handed him a pen to sign the receipt.
Scrawling his name with a flourish, Tyler took the bag. "I'm learning."
"Good for you," Candi said, but she wasn't looking at him--she was looking at Jem, who was halfway across the store, browsing through some very interesting displays. "Hey--don't you want your complimentary condom?"
Jem had finally cajoled him into getting tested the month before; Tyler hated going to the doctor when he didn't absolutely have to, but he had been willing to make an exception in this case. "What for? Save it for the next guy. Or girl."
He caught up with Jem in the rear corner of the store, to the right of the dildos and behind the porn. For a moment he thought the other man was just staring off into space, but then he saw what Jem was looking at and registered the expression on his face.
Well, Tyler thought, following his gaze, you learned something new every day. Pretending he hadn't noticed anything out of the ordinary, he said, "Hey, you ready to go?"
"What? Oh--yeah, sorry." Jem flashed him a grin that still made him go weak in the knees, despite the fact that he now saw it all the time, including the softer, gentler variation first thing in the morning that was Tyler's particular favorite. "Got distracted."
"The kid-in-a-candy-store analogy would be perfect and yet very wrong here," Tyler smirked, leaning over to steal a kiss before he took the excuse to grab a handful of Jem's butt and push him toward the door. "Come on; let's go home. This store's giving me a contact boner."
Jem's reaction said it all. "You are such a complete weirdo, but I love you anyway, even if I can't figure out why." It was a lot of words for a raised eyebrow, a half-smile, and a shake of the head, but Tyler would take it gladly. "Sure you don't want some help with that?" He reached around behind Tyler as if to goose him back, but Tyler sidestepped him neatly.
"Oh, I want." He headed off further designs on his ass by taking Jem's hand in his instead. "I would just prefer a more private setting."
"Oh, well, in that case." Jem tugged on his arm. "Lead the way." * * * *
"Since when are you such a party animal?" Jem laughed, one arm wrapped around Tyler's waist for support. His other hand was busy forking over what was surely an obscene amount of money for their cab fare. "I thought you hated overly social settings."
"This one was full of computer nerds," Tyler pointed out, attempting to take a step forward without Jem's support and nearly falling on his face. Jem caught him around the wrist before he could do himself an injury. "It doesn't count."
"Well, you've certainly made an impression," Jem said, "albeit a drunken one."
"They liked me," Tyler said happily, leaning heavily into Jem's shoulder. It was a nice shoulder. People didn't normally like him. He told Jem as much.
"People don't usually understand you," Jem corrected. He stopped them at the front door to fish in Tyler's jeans pocket for the keys. On any other day, Tyler would have wriggled around to keep his hand in there for as long as possible, but he was afraid that if he tried it today, he'd fall over and take Jem with him. "There's a difference."
The best thing about Jem was that he said stuff like that and meant it as a compliment to Tyler's intellect and sense of humor. Well. Tyler leaned back as much as he dared as Jem bent over to look at the keyhole closer up. One of the best things about him, anyway.
Jem finally got the door open--Tyler made a mental note that they really needed to replace the porch light--and helped him inside. "Watch the cat," Jem warned. "That thing's a menace in the dark."
"He is not," Tyler protested, but almost tripped over him anyway. "He just likes to welcome you home."
"He'd like me to break my neck," Jem muttered. He probably didn't mean for Tyler to hear him, but he did.
"Well, you did almost lose him that first week," Tyler pointed out while Jem bent over to undo his shoes. He could sort of see the cat's side of things, though he privately thought Jem had a good point about the sneaking-up-in-the-dark thing.
"Are you ever going to let me live that down?"
Tyler considered, leaning one hand on the doorframe to make sure the extra brain activity didn't overbalance him. "I can't tell. Ask me when I'm sober."
"That'll be next week, judging from the amount you put away," Jem teased, easing the first foot out of its shoe.
"That gives me lots of time to think of an answer," Tyler reasoned, standing on his unshod foot so Jem could free him of the other shoe.
"Okay; let's go. Bedroom." Jem stood, wrapped his arm around Tyler's waist again, and helped him up the stairs.
Standing next to the bed, Jem stripped Tyler of the rest of his clothing, tossing it all into the laundry basket in the corner. "Don't lie down yet; I'm going to get you some water, okay?"
"Okay," Tyler said agreeably. "I'll just sit here and, you know, be naked."
"Only you could be this talkative and this coherent when you're three sheets to the wind." Jem grinned, heading into the bathroom.
"Also horny," Tyler called after him hopefully. "And thank you. I think. Wait, was that a compliment, or were you saying I don't shut up?"
"Tomato, tomahto," Jem replied from the bathroom. He reentered a few seconds later with a glass of water, which he insisted Tyler drink before allowing him to lie down on the bed.
"Aren't you going to take advantage of me?" Tyler asked.
Jem yawned. "In the morning," he said, pulling the covers up to Tyler's chest. "You're too tired to enjoy it now."
"You mean drunk," Tyler pouted, though it wasn't like Jem didn't have a point. His eyelids were awfully heavy, anyway, and the sooner he went to sleep, the sooner the room would stop spinning.
"Tomato," Jem said, flopping down on the mattress beside him. He rolled over and slung an arm over Tyler's hip, snuggling their bodies together before pressing a kiss to Tyler's shoulder.
Tyler closed his eyes. "I love you too."
He thought he could feel the smile against his skin. "Good night." * * * *
A few weeks later, Tyler woke up not to the sound of Jem's alarm, as he usually did on weekdays, nor to the rumbling of his own stomach that was customary for weekends. For a minute he couldn't figure out why he was awake--and then he felt Jem's shoulder shift next to his thigh and realized he was really ridiculously horny.
"Good morning," Jem said, voice muffled by the fact that he was speaking almost directly into Tyler's groin.
"No kidding," Tyler answered with a gasp, barely resisting the urge to reach his hands down and drag Jem's mouth onto his cock. "Good morning to you too."
Jem didn't bother attempting to talk with his mouth full; he just went gamely back to what he'd been doing before Tyler had woken up. Tyler moaned happily, letting his head loll back on the pillow while Jem blew him. Jem had turned oral sex into a fine art form, though, and Tyler could only resist watching for so long before he had to prop himself up, gazing down the length of his body to watch. The California sun had burnished Jem's skin a beautiful medium gold; his eyelashes were dark smudges on hollowed cheeks, and bedhead had made his normally crazy straight black hair stand up in even wilder tufts.
The sight of it was just too much for Tyler to resist; he just had to touch. Reaching down, he slid the fingers of both hands into Jem's hair and tugged upward until Jem released him with a wet slurp and slithered up his body to kiss him.
Tyler ignored his lizard-brain as best as he could, sliding his hands down Jem's smooth back until he had a couple handfuls of ass to squeeze. Deep, wet, urgent kisses let him know Jem was having as hard a time controlling his libido as he was. Jem's writhing and squirming underscored his urgency, rubbing their erections together frantically until Tyler couldn't take it anymore. Breaking the kiss with a gasp for breath, he gave a gentle tug on Jem's left cheek. "Come on; move. I've got an idea."
"It pays to date a genius," Jem moaned into his mouth after one last, hurried kiss, then complied with Tyler's directions, rotating his body and allowing Tyler to position him on his side. He settled so that his head was pillowed on Tyler's thigh; Tyler could feel his rapid breathing and the tickle of soft hair on his skin and had to force himself not to twitch. Instead, he caressed Jem's legs from his knobby knees up to the curve of his buttocks, took a deep breath, and inched forward until Jem's erection brushed his mouth. He heard a strangled gasp from Jem, felt a series of slow, long, sloppy licks at his cock, followed by a sharp breath against his sensitive skin as he sucked the head of Jem's erection into his mouth.
It wasn't long at all before he could feel Jem's thighs trembling, and not long afterward he started to feel the vibrations of Jem's muffled moans of appreciation around his dick. Tyler just hollowed his cheeks and did his best to give as much pleasure as he was receiving, cupping one hand around Jem's sac and squeezing gently. Jem was extra sensitive there, and his hands curled extra tightly into the flesh on the backs of Tyler's thighs as his moans doubled in volume. Fighting the urge to simply give in and thrust into the wet cavern of Jem's mouth with abandon, Tyler slipped a finger into his mouth next to Jem's cock, getting it nice and wet.
Jem came the second the slick finger pressed against his hole, releasing Tyler's dick from his mouth and cursing as Tyler coaxed out every last drop. His heaving breaths were hot and damp on the skin of Tyler's thigh as his cock jerked one final time. Tyler released him gently, biting his lip to keep back the urge to jut his hips forward and thrust his own leaking dick down Jem's throat.
Jem gave a low, satisfied sound then rolled onto his back, dragging Tyler with him. Scrambling to get his hands and knees under him and avoid squashing his boyfriend, Tyler had just enough time to ask, "Jem, what are you--" before he figured it out and promptly shut up. Jem elbowed his knees farther apart and settled his hands on Tyler's hips, and then Tyler was thrusting down into his mouth as Jem took him in deep.
It took all of the strength Tyler had left not to just collapse on top of Jem after he came, heart pounding so hard his vision was spotty. As it was, it took a halfhearted push from Jem before Tyler could manage to remove his legs from Jem's chest. He rolled onto his back, staring up at the ceiling in wonder. "Have I mentioned lately how much I love how horny you are in the morning?"
He could hear the grin in Jem's voice, even though his muscles weren't ready to cooperate and let him lift his head to see. "You might have mentioned it once or twice, but I never get tired of hearing it." He crawled back up to lay down with his head next to Tyler's on the pillow. His hazel eyes were already as wide awake as his hair, which was sticking up even more enthusiastically than before.
Tyler just wrapped an arm around him and muffled a sigh in his shoulder. "Do you have to go to work today?"
Jem squeezed his butt. Tyler should have seen that coming. For some reason, although morning sex made Tyler want to sleep for another two hours, Jem got another hit of his seemingly boundless energy. "Yep. Sorry. We can't all be self-employed."
Tyler grumbled, but let Jem kiss him anyway, then watched his naked form disappear into the bathroom. Then he blinked, rubbed sleep from his eyes, and turned over to glance at the clock. The legend in the bottom left-hand corner told him that today was their six-month anniversary. He flopped back over onto his back, feeling a faint twinge of nerves and wondering if this was Jem's idea of celebrating or if he should ascribe the morning's activities to Jem's usual morning horniness. He didn't get a chance to ask--not that he would have--because he fell back asleep before Jem finished in the shower, only to wake an hour later with the sheet pulled up to his chin and a cold cup of coffee on the bedside table. * * * *
They hadn't talked about their milestone anniversary--well, it was significant for Tyler, anyway, though he knew Jem had just come out of a long-term relationship before they'd started seeing each other. Tyler had never so much as lived with anyone before Jem, though, so he thought it warranted some celebration. He wasn't really expecting Jem to remember, to be perfectly honest; their relationship had never fallen into the sappy romance category.
So it was a surprise when Tyler found himself spending the day not checking up on his online business as he'd expected, but planning and preparing an elaborate dinner for two. He kicked Euler out of the kitchen--the damn thing would just mew for milk and attention anyway--and got to work. It was okay if Jem didn't realize what they were celebrating; Tyler still wanted to mark the occasion.
Tyler planned his menu carefully. Dessert was a given; it would have to be strawberries dipped in dark chocolate. Nothing else would do. Dinner itself was trickier--it had to be romantic and delicious but preferably without too much garlic or a lot of onions. After deliberating half of his prep time away, Tyler decided on prosciutto-wrapped asparagus with lemon chicken and roasted potatoes, and made a beeline for the car so he could purchase the necessary groceries.
Tyler heard the front door open just as he was lighting the last candle on the table and the nerves he'd been keeping at bay since nine o'clock that morning reasserted themselves full force. "Tyler? Hey, are you home?" The door shut loudly, the vibration causing rings to appear in the wine Tyler had just poured. "We've got to hurry and get ready. I made us a--"
Tyler looked up as Jem walked through the door from the kitchen into the dining room, feeling a flush creep up his cheeks and ears. "--dinner reservation," Jem finished, his own cheeks flushed a little.
Tyler was busy still staring. Rather than his usual work wear of khakis and a button-down with rolled-up sleeves over one of his various graphic tees, Jem was dressed in a blue collared shirt with two buttons undone, slacks, and a matching blazer. He looked good enough to eat. Tyler guessed he'd remembered it was their anniversary after all. "Um," he managed at last. "Welcome home?"
Jem gave him a shy grin. "On second thought, I'm suddenly feeling like a quiet night in." Then he grabbed a double fistful of Tyler's shirt and hauled him into a kiss. "You made me dinner."
"I always make you dinner," Tyler protested.
Jem smiled against his mouth. "You know what I mean. And it's my favorite."
He was referring to the prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, which was in fact the only way Jem would eat asparagus at all. "Well, if I can't spoil you, who can?" Tyler said flippantly, but he was secretly pleased Jem had noticed. Maybe not so secretly--he knew his poker face completely sucked.
"I wasn't complaining," Jem assured him with a smile. He sat down before Tyler had a chance to pull his chair out, but by this point, Tyler was ready to just roll with the punches. "Come on; we should eat this before it gets cold."
Tyler had meant for them to eat by candlelight, but he left the main light in the dining room on, anyway. They were already eating in a different room of the house than usual, and he didn't want it to get too awkward. He needn't have worried, though; Jem simply made all the right noises about the food like usual and caught him up on office gossip, which, as Jem worked for a video game design company, was mostly about new projects that were in the works.
"Oh, your mom called," Tyler remembered belatedly with an internal wince. Talk of moms was not sexy, but when you shared a home with someone, you were expected to give them messages. He had learned that the hard way. Unlike Tyler's parents, Jem's had been normal well into middle age. Then their elder son had gone MIA and they'd fallen apart. He couldn't blame them for that, but they kept dragging Jem into their stupid little games, which made him angry.
Jem's distaste was obvious. "What did she want?"
"She wanted to know when I'm going to let you off your leash for a visit." Tyler rolled his eyes. "Her words."
Jem speared a piece of asparagus, unperturbed. "What did you tell her?"
"I said as soon as she was ready to stop badmouthing your dad to your face I'd have you on the next plane."
Jem swallowed and grinned. "Then what did she say?"
"I don't know; I stopped listening after she started in on her list of reasons she's allowed to talk about her ex-husband however she likes."
"I love you," Jem said wistfully. The expression on his face made it clear he was imagining his mother's reaction to that and enjoying it immensely.
"I love you too," Tyler said drily, and steered the conversation to more pleasant topics.
When they had finished eating and put the leftovers away in the fridge, Tyler knew it was time to act. If he didn't mention the other part of Jem's present now, he knew he never would. "I want to give you something," Tyler blurted out, clamping down forcefully on the urge to wring his hands. "But I don't want you to think you have to--I mean--" He huffed, flustered, and made an effort to collect himself. "Give me five minutes and come up to the bedroom?"
Jem's eyes held curiosity and a hint of hesitation, but he smiled anyway. "I'll go load the dishwasher."
Tyler let out a long breath as he climbed the stairs and opened the door to the master bedroom, ensuring that it latched behind him. He didn't want Jem to come in before he was ready and spoil the surprise. Working quickly, he closed the curtains, tossed the afternoon's mess of discarded outfits into the laundry basket, and then stopped, surveying the room and wondering if the candles were really too much. Deciding that, at the very best, they posed an unnecessary fire hazard, he left them unlit, switching on the reading lamp on the night table instead. Tyler folded back the covers, set the bottle of lubricant on the table, and wrung his hands for a minute before stripping down to his boxers, throwing his clothes into the basket with the others.
Keeping his breathing as even as he could, Tyler sat down on the bed, pulled his last-minute impulse buy out from under the bed, and turned it over in his hands. Finally, he heard Jem's footsteps on the stairs, and he hurried to arrange himself before the door to the bedroom creaked open. Tyler couldn't make out his face, backlit as he was by the sunlight still streaming in from the hall, but then the door clicked shut again and Jem took a step forward into the light from the bedside table.
"Tyler?" Jem's tongue flickered out and wet his lips, leaving an entrancing sheen; his eyes were wide and dark, but there was something off about his posture and the tone of his voice that Tyler couldn't quite put his finger on just yet. This was certainly not the reaction he'd been expecting. "What's--ah, I mean--." He ran the nails of one hand up his arm, as if to scratch an itch, then back down to the wrist, and all at once, Tyler got it.
"Oh my God. I got it backwards. I can't believe it." Tyler rolled his eyes at himself, thunking his head back on the pillow. If he tilted his head back just a little, he could see his own hands, wrists encased in stiff black neoprene cuffs. "It's not like you could be any more obvious."
"Hey!" Jem protested, but he took another step closer, the note of confusion gone from his voice.
"Does this have to do with your surfing philia?" Tyler wanted to know. His face was almost done being embarrassed; he could tell by the pins-and-needles feeling in his cheeks.
"Ah, no. No, this is something different."
Tyler didn't miss the low, rasping quality to Jem's words. "Good. Then come over here and untie me so we can switch places."
"They're Velcro cuffs, Tyler."
Okay, so not really finished with being embarrassed, after all. "It was part of the atmosphere," Tyler sulked, ripping them open. "Besides, you know brain function decreases with arousal."
Jem sat next to him on the bed, close, but not too close. He seemed to be struggling to find the right words. "Why did you even bother?" he asked hesitantly. "I'm not offended or anything, but you didn't exactly look super enthused. Why--"
"Whoa, okay, I'm going to stop you before you offend both of us. First of all, because I thought you wanted it, obviously. I saw you staring at these the other day," Tyler deposited the cuffs in Jem's lap, "and I misinterpreted a little. And don't think I wasn't interested!" Not as interested as he was in having Jem tied to the headboard, but Tyler was basically interested in everything that involved Jem, doubly so if he would be naked. "I was a little nervous. I didn't know how you'd react, and clearly my doubts were well-founded."
"Clearly," Jem echoed drily. He sounded way too smug for someone who was about to be tied up, but he kept staring down at the cuffs, turning them over in his hands. "You don't have to do this, you know."
"Exactly which part of having you naked and trussed up at my mercy is it that you think I won't enjoy?" Tyler pried the toy gently from Jem's unresisting grasp. "Please note the aforementioned nudity should be attained posthaste." Grasping that the evening couldn't move forward unless he pushed it a little, Tyler got to his feet, leaving the cuffs on the pillow. "Come on; stand up."
Jem did, his only sign of discomfort the slight reddish tinge to the very tips of his ears. His fingers curled into the hems of his sleeves, so Tyler walked up close to him and slid his hands up Jem's chest and back under the blazer, coaxing it down his arms. He caught it before it could fall and slung it over the back of a chair, debating. If this was really what Jem wanted, Tyler didn't want to go halfway. He circled him once, then brushed his chest up to Jem's back as he reached around to undo Jem's shirt buttons. Keeping his touch light, Tyler took particular care to move slowly, listening to the quickening of Jem's breath. A soft tug pulled Jem's shirt free of his trousers. Tyler walked around in front of him again to unbutton the cuffs before taking a step back to survey his handiwork.
In the forty painstaking seconds Tyler had been working on Jem's shirt, the flush that had begun at the tips of Jem's ears had spread down past his shoulders, the gentle pink contrasting nicely with the brown of his peaked nipples. His full lips were parted, his eyes hooded. Tyler pushed his shirt off the same way he'd done with the jacket, letting his touch linger as the garment fell to the floor.
Jem shivered and licked his lips at the contact, but otherwise he stayed still.
Okay, so this is really hot, Tyler decided. Judging by the bulge in the front of Jem's trousers, he thought so too. Tyler let his fingertips trail down Jem's chest and stomach until they rested on his belt buckle, which he quickly unfastened and pulled through the loops. Carefully, Tyler unbuttoned the fly, making sure that the pressure of his hand was no more than a whisper against Jem's skin. Then he drew down the zipper and stepped back, watching as the trousers puddled on the floor, leaving Jem standing in his boxers and socks.
Great. How was he going to get Jem's socks off without breaking the mood? Tyler thought for a moment, running his fingertips up and down over Jem's rib cage. Right. He wasn't a genius for nothing. "Turn around." Tyler sat back down on the bed, watching.
Jem obeyed. When Tyler squinted, he thought he could see the hair on the back of his neck standing up.
"Bend over and take off your socks," Tyler said triumphantly. "Slowly."
At that, Jem finally looked over his shoulder. "Are you serious?"
Tyler gave him the sternest face he felt was possible in the circumstances and made a twirling motion with his index finger.
Jem rolled his eyes, but turned back around and bent over anyway, affording Tyler a lovely view of his butt under soft cotton. Apparently, Tyler had underestimated the amount of time Jem could spend bending over and taking off his socks; he was certainly taking his time, running his hands over his lean legs. It was lucky Jem was a surfer, or Tyler had a feeling he would've fallen flat on his face before he managed to strip himself.
"Come here," Tyler ordered when Jem's feet were finally bare. His eyes were sparkling now, like he was amused as well as turned on, but he obeyed, even holding himself still when Tyler took his face in his hands and licked into his mouth, welcoming the intrusion with a moan and his own tongue. He went easily when Tyler led him back onto the bed, arms pliant as Tyler secured his wrists to the headboard. Tracing one finger over Jem's full lower lip, he couldn't keep himself from asking, "You're sure this is what you want?"
Jem drew the finger into his mouth briefly, never breaking eye contact, before releasing it with a puff of cool breath. "See for yourself," he suggested, wiggling his hips.
Tyler had to admit that the evidence was incontrovertible, but he reached out anyway, cupping Jem's erection through the fabric of his boxers. Oh, he wanted, all right. Still, it seemed a shame to give in that easily when he could tease Jem instead. "I don't know; I'm not sure I'm convinced."
"I should have known you'd be a--" Jem interrupted himself with a gasp when Tyler tightened his hand around his erection-- "tease."
"Probably," Tyler agreed, debating his next move while he played for time by running his fingernails lightly down the inside of Jem's thigh. A torturously slow blow job fit the bill; alternatively, Tyler could straddle Jem's shoulders and demand some oral action of his own. That would effectively stop the flow of words from Jem's mouth, though, and when Tyler caught him in the mood to vocalize--well. It wasn't worth the risk that he might miss it. Besides, they hadn't exactly done anything like this before and if Jem got uncomfortable, Tyler wanted to know about it. "Hmm."
He looked up to find Jem staring at him curiously, head tipped to one side, and made a split-second decision. Reaching down to the floor, Tyler retrieved Jem's soft cotton shirt, rolling it so that it became a fairly smooth length of fabric. Then he leaned over Jem, one end of the shirt in each hand. "Lift your head."
For a second he thought he saw a flicker of uncertainty in Jem's eyes, but it was gone as quickly as it had come, and Jem closed his eyes, raising his head from the pillow as Tyler secured the makeshift blindfold. It was humbling to have another human being trust him so much, and he thought his voice sounded a little thick when he asked, "Can you see?"
"I can make out where the light is," Jem said. "That's about it."
"Good. Is it too tight?"
Tyler thought that was an interesting choice of words, but now was not the time to dwell on them. He shifted his body away from Jem's, just far enough that Jem wouldn't be able to tell exactly where he was, then reached out and rubbed his thumb in a circle over Jem's nipple. The little bud hardened and curled up under the touch, and Jem's mouth fell open.
Finding it impossible to refuse such a blatant invitation, Tyler ducked his head down and kissed him softly, tracing the contours of Jem's mouth with his tongue. He lifted his hand from Jem's chest and trailed it down past his navel instead, following the line of the elastic on his shorts before jumping again to the hollow behind his knee. "Okay?"
"You mean aside from the fact that I'm going to die of sexual frustration?"
Tyler smiled against his mouth, then migrated his lips to Jem's ear and gave him a gentle nip. "Apart from that, yes."
"I'm doing great," Jem not-quite-sighed, his body arching under Tyler's grazing fingers. "I'd be better if you'd actually touch me."
In retaliation, Tyler pinched the skin on his inner thigh just hard enough to sting a little--but Jem didn't protest. At least, Tyler didn't think that the low, almost animal sound Jem had made could be construed as a protest. Just to be sure, he repeated the experiment, sliding his hand up under the hem of Jem's boxers, his fingers closing just a little harder. Jem's answering cry went to Tyler's dick so powerfully that for half a second he thought he was going to come, but the moment passed and he was able to focus on Jem instead, who was now covered in a light sheen of sweat, his leaking erection darkening the fabric of his shorts. Tyler had to close his eyes and breathe deeply through his nose for a moment to stop himself, because while the idea of playing that kind of game obviously held some appeal for both of them, they had never discussed it, and now was not the time. Jem's pathological reticence to discuss any aspect of their relationship aside, Tyler wanted time to build up Jem's trust in him before they crossed that particular line.
"Lift up," Tyler commanded, barely recognizing his own voice. Hooking two fingers of each hand under the waistband of Jem's boxers, Tyler pulled them away from Jem's body and down, barely allowing the fabric to skim Jem's skin. Jem's erection lay angry-red and dripping against his stomach, his balls curled up almost too tightly. Running his hand up Jem's calf to his hip, Tyler urged him onto his side, quickly shucked his boxers, and settled in behind him with his chest pressed against Jem's back. With his face so close to Jem's neck, Tyler could hear his breath quickening and the hurried pounding of his heart. Following his instincts, he smoothed his right hand over Jem's chest and stomach, gently tweaking his nipples and carding teasingly through the dark patch of hair that led down from his navel. It seemed like Jem wasn't feeling particularly talkative tonight, so Tyler switched to Plan B, bringing his fingers to Jem's mouth and pointedly brushing his erection against Jem's ass. "Suck."
Jem opened right away with a wet-sounding whimper, taking the digits up to the second knuckle, caressing them with his lips and tongue. A tremor ran through his body and Tyler saw the hairs on his arms stand on end. "Cold?" he asked, slinging a leg over one of Jem's just in case.
Shuddering again, Jem shook his head no, licking between Tyler's first and middle fingers and sucking harder than ever. The combination of the sounds, sensations, and implications made Tyler want to rut against Jem's body, to rock his erection into the cleft of Jem's ass until he came. He had to bite down hard on his own lip to keep control of himself, which gave him a better idea. Gently thrusting his fingers in and out of Jem's eager mouth, he leaned in and nipped at the back of Jem's neck, scraping the sensitive skin with his teeth before laving it with his tongue.
A brief glance over Jem's shoulder confirmed that he really was as worked up as he sounded. Pre-come had left a glistening trail across his stomach and his dick was hard and full. Steeling himself, Tyler pulled his fingers from Jem's mouth, carefully disentangled their legs, and drew his lower body away from Jem's. He wasted no time slicking his fingers back along Jem's crease, circling the tight pucker with obvious intent. Jem stiffened and moaned, arching his body backward into the touch, and Tyler had to make himself pause there for a minute, just to be cruel. He took a deep breath and reached for the tube of lube on the table behind him, applied a generous amount to his already slick fingers, and pressed them forward into Jem's hot passage before the liquid had a chance to warm up.
Jem's body jerked hard, enough so that Tyler had to move his head away quickly or risk breaking his nose. He waited until Jem was panting hard and trembling to move his fingers, curling them lazily toward their target.
That was, apparently, the final straw. Jem's voice was a ragged breath, only half-heard over the pounding of their hearts. "Please."
Tyler swallowed, his cock jerking against his thigh. "Please what?" he asked, less steadily than he would have liked.
Jem moaned, long and low and almost inhuman-sounding. "Touch me," he said, chest heaving with the effort. "Fuck me. Anything you want. Just let me come."
"Not yet," Tyler told him, biting his earlobe as softly as he could when he was dying of frustration himself. He wanted desperately to give in, but he was almost one hundred percent sure that Jem didn't really want him to. "Soon," he promised, stroking in and out with two fingers. "When you're ready."
Jem stopped talking after that except to gasp, hiss, or moan where appropriate, moving his body in time with Tyler's hand. The whole experience was hypnotic--the near-darkness, the regular movements, the sinuous writhing shadow of Jem's body in the low lamplight, the consistency of the sound. When Jem's gasps turned to sobs after the addition of a third finger, Tyler coaxed him to lie on his belly, straddled his thighs, and ran his free hand up and down the smooth curve of Jem's back. Then he was nudging Jem's thighs apart and slicking up his cock and finally, finally pushing in, slow and steady, until his body was flush against Jem's.
Jem turned his face sideways on the pillow and shifted his legs as though he were looking for leverage, but with his arms secured to the headboard, he wasn't likely to find any. Tyler settled both hands on his hips anyway, just to reinforce that, and pulled back for his first thrust.
Jem's sob was softened by the pillow; his hands were curled in fists around the spindles of the headboard. The next thrust produced a sharp cry and a curse and, "Jesus, Tyler, please," and that was it, the angle Tyler had been looking for. He rocked in again, relishing the constant sounds of appreciation.
Soon, though, the shallow thrusts were not enough. Jem needed his cock faster, deeper, harder, and Tyler didn't have room to give it to him. Gritting his teeth against the pleasure, Tyler hauled up on Jem's hips, shuffling forward. "Come on; get on your knees," he said breathlessly.
Jem complied shakily, his body trembling as Tyler yanked him down so that he was straddling Tyler's thighs. He threw his head back so far it rested on Tyler's shoulder, body bent like a bow. Tyler bent his neck and stared down at Jem's California-gold body, laid out before him like an offering to some ancient god. He licked at the pulse point in his neck, thrusting steadily deeper, relishing the vibrations of Jem's moans in his own chest. "Jesus," Tyler groaned, sliding his right hand up the inside of Jem's thigh. He knew neither of them would last much longer. "Jesus. Don't--can you come when I tell you?"
"If it's in the next twenty seconds," Jem said harshly, writhing as Tyler brushed his fingertips over his balls.
"Now?" Tyler asked, making a loose fist around Jem's erection.
Jem's body clamped down around him like a vice. "Now's good," he croaked out, cock pulsing repeatedly in Tyler's hand as Tyler closed his own eyes and came, muffling his pleasure in Jem's neck.
"Holy Christ," Tyler said when he could speak again. "I need an entire carton of cigarettes right now." He couldn't even begin to describe what that it was like to have someone allow him that kind of control over him. That it had been Jem just made it that much more special.
Jem's answering laugh was hindered somewhat--the makeshift blindfold had fallen down from his eyes. "God, okay, my arms are rubber. Think you can let me out?"
"Hmmm." Tyler was feeling pretty rubbery, himself. "I don't know. I kind of like having you tied to my bed." But he made himself reach over to undo the restraints so Jem could flop boneless onto the mattress. "So, that was really hot."
"You liked it?" Jem panted, shaking hands pulling the shirt from his face.
"The evidence kind of speaks for itself," Tyler pointed out, reaching for a box of tissues. Next time, he'd remember to bring in a washcloth from the bathroom before they started, because there was just no way he could make his legs support his weight right now.
Jem was quiet while Tyler cleaned them up, but he sighed contentedly when Tyler leaned over to massage the tension out of his shoulders. Just when Tyler thought he'd fallen asleep, he turned his head against the pillow and opened his eyes briefly. "Darren didn't like it."
Tyler could have asked for clarification, but Jem was pushing himself mentioning his ex at all, so he just offered a flippant but heartfelt, "Was he brain-damaged?"
The corners of Jem's eyes crinkled into the crow's-feet Tyler loved so much as a smile crept across his face. "That would explain a lot, actually." Then the amusement faded. "Still, I mean, you don't have to, if you ever don't want--"
"Are you serious?" Tyler interrupted. At times like this he really wanted to kick Jem's ex. In some areas of his life, Jem was perfectly confident--playing sports, in his job, in most social settings--but in personal moments like these he often needed his sense of worth gently reinforced. Tyler knew just where to lay the blame for that. "You and your kinky sex fetish are the best things that ever happened to me! Now go to sleep."
"It's not a kinky sex fetish," Jem sulked, which was just the reaction Tyler had been expecting and the one he'd been looking for; it allowed Jem to save face and kept the mood light. His pout was completely unconvincing, though, since he apparently didn't even have the energy to open his eyes again. He pillowed his head on Tyler's shoulder and slung an arm around his waist.
"You say 'tomato'," Tyler quoted with a smile, pulling the sheet up. They could talk about this tomorrow, or, rather, Tyler would ask yes-or-no questions and probably still have to guess at the answers by the extent of Jem's blushing. For now, he was content to let it be.
"Yeah, I love you too," Jem said, which seemed apropos of nothing--but Tyler got it.