I’m not sure what it is about other people’s birthdays, but they have a fantastic ability to make a person take stock. My own birthdays pass me by with ease; other people’s birthdays make me stop and think. I’m nine years older than Emily. I’ll be thirty this year.
When I was nine, around the time Emily made her first appearance on the planet, I’d just discovered that I loved writing. A supply teacher gave the class an assignment—to write a story about whatever we wanted. Mine was about a pack of wolves. I can still remember the buzz I got from writing it. Our regular teacher had returned by the time the stories were due to be handed in—the work was never marked, but I’d already caught the bug.
Fast forward a bit and, nine years ago, when I turned twenty-one, I was trying to work out what I wanted to do when I grew up—on a practical level at least. I knew I wanted to write, but I wasn’t sure what sort of “back up plan” I should have and was debating switching from a science degree to an arts degree. (As it happens, nine years on, both degrees are still only part done and I still don’t have an effective back up plan in case writing doesn’t work out!)
Coming up to within the last year, when I started writing one of my latest stories, Temporary Mark, I needed to go back to really study the first story to feature Mr. Nolan—a novella called Bi Now, Gay Later, which I wrote back in 2009. I was shocked to see how much my writing has changed as I’ve grown just a few years older.
That made me stop and take stock, just as birthdays do. It made me wonder what my writing and my life will be like in five or ten years’ time. I’m not where my twenty-one year old self thought I would be at thirty. I doubt that when I’m forty I’ll be what I expect to be either. In both cases, I can only consider that to be a very good thing.
I’ve had a lot of unexpected luck over the last nine years. Here’s wishing Emily, and everyone else who turns twenty-one this year, just as much luck on their way through their twenties.
Bi Now, Gay Later
Jerry would be Denton’s ideal submissive—if only he would just get his last foot out of the closet and admit he’s properly gay. Denton loves Jerry, but he knows it’s a master’s responsibility to make sure his submissive doesn’t lie to himself or the rest of the world. He can’t let Jerry hide behind the bi-sexual label forever.
Jerry has no doubt that he’s one-hundred percent bi-sexual. He’s also well aware how much his master hates that fact. Jerry loves his master and he wants to please him, but he can’t lie and say he’s gay when he knows he’s not. Denton would be Jerry’s ideal master, if he could just accept the fact he’s bi.
Eventually, somebody’s going to have to give in and admit he’s wrong. The only question is who?
“Do you reckon he spends a lot of time thinking about having sex with women?”
Denton Greenwood’s lips quirked into an amused little smile as he turned to his friend. “I have no idea who you’re talking about. But, since we’re in a gay bar, I’ll go out on a limb and guess that no one in here spends a lot of time thinking about doing anything with a woman.”
“Jerry’s not gay though, is he?” Peter pointed out. “He’s bi.”
Denton’s fingers tightened around his glass as his eyes automatically sought out a blond head of hair in the crowd. Someone stepped to one side. Jerry came into view. “He’s not bi.”
“He says he’s bi.” Peter drained his glass and put it clumsily on the little table between their leather arm chairs. “Do you think that means he thinks about screwing women as often as he thinks about screwing men?”
Denton clenched his jaw as he watched Jerry nod his agreement with whatever the man standing next to him was saying. “He’s gay.”
Peter shook his head. “He says he’s bi. He should know.”
“I am his master,” Denton snapped. “I know which way my lover swings, and Jerry is as gay as any man in this bar.”
Even on his eighth pint, Peter seemed to realise he’d hit a nerve. “How’s it working out between…?” he trailed off.
Denton continued to watch his lover speaking to some of his friends, all of them other collared submissives, on the opposite side of the room.
“Everything’s fine,” he snapped. It didn’t sound like it when he bit the words out like that, but it was the truth.
In the months since Jerry had come under his protection, the younger man had turned out to be a damn near perfect match for him.
“He seems to have come into his own since you gave him his permanent collar,” Peter offered.
Denton nodded. That was true too. He’d never guessed that the stunning, if rather tentative, submissive who had first come to his attention would thrive so well under his rules and discipline, but Jerry had a way of wrapping rules around himself as if they were a comforting blanket, and taking every limitation his master put upon him as a gift. And, more than any of that, he had a way of throwing himself so wholeheartedly into his submission that the idea of letting him go had quickly become unthinkable.
As loath as Denton was to act soppy for anyone, even Jerry, he could just about admit that the submissive was the only one of his lovers he had ever actually fallen in love with. As long as they were alone and not doing anything overtly romantic at the time of any such admission, of course. A dominant had to hold on to some sort of standards. He wasn’t so far gone that he was willing to shout it from the rooftops or let heart toting teddy bears worm their way into his life.
Denton held back a sigh. Damn near perfect, was all well and good. But knowing his lover could be completely perfect if he would just admit he was gay just made it all the more difficult to accept the younger man’s stubborn insistence that he was bisexual with every day that passed. To feel perfection there, waiting just out of his reach, it was like a persistent itch at the back of Denton’s neck.
Trying to push the issue out of his mind, the way he had so many times before, he ran his eyes down Jerry’s body. It wasn’t an easy task when so much of his lover’s skin was concealed from him. For an absolutely gorgeous man, he was sweetly shy about his skin being put on display before anyone but his master. His inclination to hide himself away behind jeans and a long sleeve t-shirts whenever Denton hadn’t made a point of ordering him into something different was damn near a fetish.
Right then Denton couldn’t manage to smile indulgently at Jerry’s bashfulness the way he usually did. Jerry was his—all of him, and he wasn’t inclined to accept any part of his lover not being visible and available to him at that moment.
Can a temporary collar ever lead to a permanent relationship? Mark and Mr Nolan are about to find out.
Mr Nolan’s last relationship lasted for over two decades. But, since suddenly finding himself single two years ago, he has struggled to find a submissive who can fill the void in his life. Maybe a temporary arrangement is exactly what he needs to ease him back into the lifestyle he loves so much.
Mark’s never experienced life under the protection of a good dom. He’s merely had a series of abusive partners. He’s used to being treated as a temporary feature in a man’s life, then thrown away when they tire of him.
When mutual friends push them together, the last thing Mr Nolan or Mark expects is to end up hoping a temporary collar will become permanent.
Edward Nolan lowered his book and glanced at his watch. There was no good reason why anyone should knock on his door that close to midnight. Hell, there wasn’t even a bad reason for anyone to call on him at that time. Rising from his chair next to the fireplace, he slipped his glasses into his book to keep his place and made his way out of the lounge.
His footsteps echoed on the tiled floor as he strode purposefully across his front hall. He’d already locked up for the night. He glanced through the narrow window alongside the door as he took his keys from his pocket. Two figures were discernible in the gloom.
He pulled open the door. The light from the hall shone over his shoulder, illuminating two familiar faces.
Edward looked from Denton Greenwood to Jerry, from the young dominant to the even younger submissive, then back. The possibility of them being there because something was wrong occurred to Edward, but it was quickly dismissed. A man didn’t spend so many years on the leather scene as he had, without learning to read body language and
He studied each of his visitors in the full and certain knowledge that they were up to something. Denton did a marginally better job of hiding it than Jerry, but even so—if they’d been in the dock, no jury with sense would have hesitated to find them guilty.
Edward narrowed his gaze, but he nodded once, granting him permission to continue.
“It’s a slightly delicate situation, sir,” Denton hedged, with a not-so-subtle glance past him into the house.
They’d earned that much for their friendship over the last two years. Edward stepped back to let them through.
“Would you mind if we brought someone in with us, sir?” Jerry asked, blinking big blue eyes at him. “It’s just that it’s a bit cold to leave him in the car, sir…”
Edward glanced over Jerry’s shoulder, into the 4 x 4, parked by the kerb at the end of his drive. A figure sat huddled in the back, but the tinted windows didn’t allow him to make out any kind of detail.
Edward’s curiosity got the better of him. “You may.”
A tilt of Denton’s head sent Jerry to the car. He opened the back door to reveal a well-built young man with dark, spiky hair. He certainly wasn’t dressed suitably for the cold. His T-shirt was long-sleeved, but the fabric was ridiculously thin—the stiff wind blew against it, and the lines of muscle on the boy’s torso were clearly outlined through the material.
He evidently worked out, a lot. He carried serious muscle, and he obviously wasn’t above showing that off in the clubs. His leather trousers clung to his crotch and legs, putting all his assets overtly on display. The only place he could have gone dressed that way, and not have looked like a cheap-rent boy, was a gay nightclub.
The boy’s attention remained on the ground while he walked towards the front door. With his hands pushed awkwardly into pockets, his shoulders hunched up, causing him appear to be a turtle that would much rather retreat into its shell. He allowed Jerry to lead him forward, not attempting to take charge of the situation, even with someone as instinctively compliant as Jerry. Edward’s rapid assessment put a tick in the box indicating that the boy was a submissive.
A bit closer and Edward distinguished the silver piercing in his guest’s eyebrow. When the boy stepped into the light, the tissue-thin nature of his shirt let it be obvious that his nipples were pierced too.
Edward was well aware that Denton studied his appraisal of the boy. If this was another one of their matchmaking attempts, they had at least changed tactics. If the last seven submissives they’d thrown at him had all been carbon copies of his previous submissive, Frank, then this boy was the exact opposite of all those pretty, delicate little blonds.
“Mr Nolan, with your permission, I’d like to introduce Mark Howells to you. Mark, this is Mr Nolan.”
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Kim Dare is a twenty-nine year old, full time writer from Wales (UK). First published in 2008, she has since released close to eighty BDSM erotic romance titles.
While most of Kim’s stories follow male/male relationships, she also writes about characters that enjoy male/female, female/male (female dominant), female/female and all kinds of ménage relationships. Kim’s titles have included contemporary stories, fairy-tale re-tellings, vampires, time travellers, werewolves and werelions—not to mention the occasional wereduck.
Regardless of the gender of her characters or the different genres they inhabit, from short stories to full-length novels, there are three things Kim always wants to give her characters—kink, love and a happy ending.