Olly threw himself onto the battered couch in the nurses’ break room with a dramatic sigh. Challenged by his momentum, the ancient springs groaned and creaked beneath him. He bounced a couple of times before settling in place.
“Lord, my cute little butt needs better support than this heap of firewood can provide.” He swung his legs up onto the cushions. “It’s been one long-assed day.” He wriggled his toes inside his sparkly purple sneakers. “Why do you suppose the Americans call these things sneakers? Do you think they were designed for tiptoeing off to clandestine booty-calls?”
“Are you addressing that question to me, Nurse Lane, or are you talking to yourself again?”
Olly pulled himself up and peered over the back of the couch. “Well, I thought I was conversing with my biggest fan, i.e. me. Oh, hey, Rex, I didn’t even notice you lurking there. Did you get lost on your way to the doctors’ lounge? And why do you guys have a posh lounge when we only have a break room? Doesn’t seem fair, considering everyone knows we nurses do all the work around here.”
“The coffee in here is less toxic and you always have chocolate biscuits. My chances of finding anything edible in our break room are slim to none because surgeons absorb sugar from fifty feet away. The tin is perpetually empty.” He stirred the contents of his chipped mug with vigor. “Can I make you one?”
“Only if you want me to worship at your feet.” Olly hoped his drooling wasn’t too obvious.
“My ego could deal with that. Not sure your Joe would approve, though.”
Olly groaned. “Does Joe send out memos or something? I swear every staff member at this hospital is under instructions to keep an eye on me and send in reports. Joe doesn’t even work here and he knows more people than I do.”
Rex handed him a mug. “He does know everyone. And everyone knows you… Even the ones you haven’t met.”
Olly inhaled the scent of freshly brewed coffee. “I haven’t had a cup of this all day. That has to be some kind of endurance record. Gimme a biscuit. Oh, and you earned some brownie points for not denying nurses do all the work.”
Rex shoved Olly’s legs off the sofa and took a seat next to him. He planted the biscuit tin between them. “Don’t snaffle all the bourbons. I have a medical degree. I know better than to say anything that might piss off a nurse—even you.”
“If there are jammy dodgers left, your bourbons are safe.” Olly rooted in the tin. “Woohoo! There’s one.” He and Rex shared a high five. Olly dunked his biscuit in his coffee then consumed it in two bites. “Oh, God…so good. Sugar and caffeine in one hit. I’m in heaven. All I need now is a foot massage and I can die happy.” He toed off his sneakers to reveal rainbow-striped socks.
“You can get that from someone other than me.” Rex hauled himself out of the sofa’s amorous clutches. “I have my limits. Gotta get back before one of the ward sisters notices I’m AWOL.”
“Good luck with that, they have spies everywhere.”
Rex grunted. “Ain’t that the truth? When are you back on shift?”
“Tomorrow afternoon. I’m working from two till ten. At least I get a nice, long lie-in.” He closed his eyes and drifted into a daydream involving Joe, a flogger and multiple orgasms.
“If you were a dog, I swear your back leg would be twitching right now.”
“Fuck off, Rex.” Olly didn’t bother to open his eyes—it was too much like hard work. He wouldn’t normally have spoken to a doctor that way, but he was off shift and that meant anyone was fair game. He flicked his fingers in a gesture that could only be interpreted as dismissal.
“Cheeky brat.” Rex sounded fond of Olly rather than annoyed with him. His words were followed by the thud of the door closing.
“I get called that a lot,” Olly murmured.
He was in danger of falling asleep. His grip on the coffee mug slackened but, as it tipped, he came back to full alertness. There was no way he was going to lose a single precious drop of his illicit caffeine hit. Of course, he would have to confess to Joe when he got home. He wasn’t supposed to have coffee without permission, but at the end of a long, difficult shift his willpower was non-existent. He giggled. Punishment followed by Joe pounding him through the mattress would be a great way to end the day.
After sneaking another biscuit, a bourbon this time, Olly levered himself up. He shoved his tired feet back into his sneakers, then tied the laces in a double bow. He intended to shower at home, so he pulled on his black Edge sweatshirt over his lurid pink scrubs. He had several more brightly colored sets that he’d bought himself back in his wardrobe. He couldn’t abide the dull green ones the hospital issued—the color did not go with his hair. He also washed them himself. The hospital laundry made everything smell the same and Olly preferred the scent of lemons to carbolic.
The knowledge that he was heading home always put an extra spring in Olly’s step, even after a tiring day. He took his usual shortcut down the rear fire escape to the staff car park. He wasn’t supposed to do it, but it cut a full six and a half minutes off the prescribed exit route via reception. He always waved at the security camera to annoy the guards in the monitor room. In his opinion they were too grumpy and he felt it was his duty to cheer up their day.
Even from a distance and through the damp haze of a Yorkshire afternoon, his car was easy to spot. In the massed ranks of gray, black and white vehicles there was an occasional daub of red but only one bright yellow burst of sunshine. Though he had access to The Edge’s company vehicles, Olly’s heart was firmly given to Fifi, his sweet little Fiat. He had saved hard to buy the diminutive car, which now sported faux fur cushions in a garish shade of tangerine and a plush Minion toy hanging from the rearview mirror. Only a couple of years old, Fifi had air conditioning for the two weeks of summer when it was needed and a sound system powerful enough to entertain half the county. Best of all was the heated driver’s seat, which warmed Olly’s ass almost as well as a spanking from Joe.
When he reached his car, Olly paused as he always did, to take in the view. The building housing Bourton Military Hospital and Convalescent Facility had once been an imposing stately home—one of the grandest houses in North Yorkshire. Its position on a bluff, rolling moorland, at its foot, had been of strategic importance during many a historical conflict. Olly could easily picture roundheads and cavaliers ranging across the moors, engaged in battle. Well, actually, he could picture being held captive by an evil roundhead general, then being liberated by a dashing, long-haired hero in a feathered hat and the resultant kinky celebrations. He had no particular reason for making Cromwell’s troops the bad guys other than the royalists dressed better.
Though Bourton had been extended with the addition of modern wings, the development had been kept to the rear of the building, so its front aspect remained much as it had been in Elizabethan times when the first stones had been laid. In the early evening with the fiery hues of the setting sun reflecting from thousands of tiny panes of glass in the leaded windows, it was a spectacular sight. It always made Olly smile, and that evening was no exception. No matter how emotionally exhausting his day had been, Bourton at sunset was one big happy pill.
He clambered into Fifi, turned on the ignition and selected appropriate tunes for the thirty-minute drive to the coast. Duran Duran’s Wild Boys blasted out of the speakers. Olly added his slightly out of tune voice to Simon Le Bon’s in a loud duet and pulled out of his space. By the time he got home he would have worked his way through Hungry Like the Wolf, Rio and Girls on Film at least three times. With the setting sun at his back, he headed across moorland scattered with the gold and mauve of gorse and heather. Ahead of him, storm clouds bruised the sky black and purple. Olly frowned.
Hope I get back before that deluge arrives.
He pressed the accelerator a bit harder, urging Fifi on through a strangled rendition of Hold Back the Rain.
The musical magic worked because, as Olly approached the causeway linking the mainland to the island where he lived, it was still dry. He heaved a sigh of relief. Driving across the narrow road in the rain wasn’t fun. Between the sea mist and spray beating up from the tires it was a case of aim and pray he didn’t steer off the edge. He checked nobody was coming in the other direction before starting out. If Aiden and Heath had plans for the evening, Aiden had a tendency to drive like a Formula One wannabe. The way was clear, so Olly pointed Fifi at the island and covered the final part of his journey.
The Edge, his partner Joe’s company, was housed in a rambling old building that had once been the estate of an eccentric billionaire. Now it played host to elite training courses for various clandestine parts of the security forces. That was the aspect the public saw. Interspersed with survival skills and espionage 101, The Edge also offered classes aimed at participants in the BDSM scene. Joe and his business partner Heath were both lifestyle Doms. They had set up The Edge almost ten years earlier, turning it into a thriving and well-respected business.
Olly smacked his lips together. Thinking about Joe made him drool, gave him a guaranteed erection and sent shivers down the length of his spine. He parked Fifi between two of The Edge’s logo-adorned four-wheel drives, then jumped out. He gave the little Fiat a pat before heading inside.
The entrance hall was grand and rather intimidating on first viewing, but to Olly it was warm, welcoming and smelled of home. A fire crackled in the enormous open fireplace, taking the chill from the air. A massive patterned rug covered two-thirds of the floor and there was a scattering of cozy armchairs for people waiting for appointments. Low tables held a range of newspapers and magazines. There was no reception area, but Joe and Heath had offices on opposite sides of the hall. If neither of them was around, a brass bell summoned whoever was on meet-and-greet duty.
Heath’s door was closed. Olly guessed he and Aiden were having some pre-dinner alone time, which probably involved Aiden bent over Heath’s desk. Aiden was Heath’s sub, and Olly’s best friend and partner in crime. Olly smiled when he saw Joe’s door was open a crack, soft light spilling around the edges. He gave the heavy oak a soft tap.
“Come in, Olly.” Joe’s voice always had an edge of command, even in giving the most mundane instructions.
Olly shivered. He pushed the door open and walked into Joe’s office.
“Close the door behind you, please.” Joe glanced up from whatever he was working on. He gave Olly an appraising look.
Olly clasped his hands behind his back, fidgeting from foot to foot.
“How did you know it was me, Sir?”
“Other than the fact you were due back from work about now?” Joe quirked an eyebrow. “Heath never knocks if the door is open, he barges straight in. Aiden knocks, then stomps around outside until he’s invited in. That young man has no patience. At this time of the evening it’s unlikely to be anyone else.” He stood, then pushed his chair back.
Olly, keeping his hands behind his back, sank to his knees. He ducked his head, unwilling to meet Joe’s icy blue gaze. Joe walked around his desk. He perched on its edge.
“Hmm. I suspect you’ve been disobedient, Oliver. How many mugs of coffee did you have today?”
Olly’s face heated. “One, Sir.”
“Do you think mumbling your confession makes any difference?”
“No, Sir.” Olly widened his eyes and tried his most appealing expression. “I ate two biscuits as well, but one was a jammy dodger and you know I can’t resist those. There are never any left in the tin in the nurses’ break room, but this evening there was one, buried under the boring digestives. I couldn’t leave it there, could I? Then I got a serious sugar craving. I think my willpower is getting stronger because I only had one more and it was a bourbon so it doesn’t really count.”
“Sugar and caffeine.”
It was a reprimand disguised as a statement.
“Yes, Sir.” Olly nibbled his lower lip. Anticipation built, a slow burn centered in his balls. The urge to fidget was strong, especially with stimulants rushing through his blood.
“Stand up. Grip the edge of the desk.”
Joe moved to one side, making room for Olly. Olly rose with as much grace as his trembling legs would allow. He stood, legs apart, about a foot from the desk, and leaned forward to rest his hands on the edge. The familiarity of the position sent him halfway to subspace. That and the absolute certainty Joe would punish him. He’d broken Joe’s rules and Joe was reassuringly consistent when it came to consequences. It was one of the many reasons Olly loved him so much.
He sighed when Joe stroked his ass. He wished the touch was against bare skin rather than through the polyester of his scrubs, but it was a start. He wiggled, hoping for more.
“Be still, brat.”
Joe slipped his fingers beneath the elasticated waist of Olly’s pink polyester trousers. He pulled them down so the fabric rested below the curve of his butt.
“Pristine. All my marks have faded. We should do something to remedy that, don’t you think?”
“Yes please, Sir.”