“Here he is now, your toy for the weekend. I’m sure you’ll find Carter quite enjoyable.”
Carter suppressed the shudder running down his spine. He heard the warning in his master’s voice. Be a good boy or suffer the consequences. It terrified him as it always did. But being afraid and showing it in front of his master never got him anywhere except a trip to a new and more horrible circle of hell. After three years of living with the man, Carter now understood that the sadist enjoyed such showings of weakness and the chance to exploit them. Carter briefly tightened his grip on the leash he held, the only sign of emotions that he allowed himself. He’d get through this weekend as he had all of the others. It was either that or die, and while he knew that his inevitable death lurked nearby, he still had enough will to live not to hasten it.
He stopped in front of his master and the other man, head bowed, body deceptively relaxed, and stared at the two sets of feet in front of him. To his left were his master’s Italian loafers, buffed to a high shine and costing far more than the average person’s monthly wage. To his right was a surprisingly different type of footwear. Instead of equally expensive and high-toned shoes, he saw two gigantic black boots, the kind you’d see on bikers. Shitkickers. Jeans replaced designer slacks and, just within the periphery of his downcast gaze, larger hands hung on either side of thick thighs. Another shiver tingled at the base of Carter’s spine. This business associate of his master’s was different from the others, and not in a good way.
“Turn around, boy,” his master barked out.
Carter obeyed instantly and gracefully, the way he’d perfected over the years. He heard a grunt of surprise and couldn’t help smiling quickly and ruefully to himself. He knew what the guest saw—a newly done corset piercing running from between his shoulders down to the small of his back. A black silk ribbon had been laced through it, the strings of the bow dangling to the beginning of the cleft of his ass. He wore his matching black silk lounge pants low on his hips, allowing the swell of his butt to peek out.
Knowing his role well by now, he looked over his shoulder to give the stranger a coquettish smile. He dared, as well, to glance up through his lashes at the man who’d have command of his body for the weekend. What he saw in that moment made his blood freeze. Tall and broad, clad in a leather jacket and black T-shirt, the guy dwarfed Carter’s master and the goons he surrounded himself with. Although he’d caught the merest glimpse of the man’s face, he’d seen plenty. Despite the lure of the man’s rugged good looks, he also scared the crap out of Carter. This might be the man to end Carter for good.
The ice in his master’s glass clinked as he took a long swallow. “I told you he was as pretty as a girl.”
Carter couldn’t help the blush that bloomed on his already made-up cheeks. He’d been told to use cosmetics, something else he’d been forced to learn in his life as the sub of a viciously controlling man. Sometimes the men his master lent him out to preferred girls to boys, so he needed to make himself even more ‘pretty’ than he naturally was. Nothing too obvious—everything from his barely there eyeshadow to his slash of lip gloss was done in earth tones. He still hated it. Not that he spent too much time on that emotion or on regret. He’d made decisions that had led him to this terrible place, and he was stuck with it. At least he’d die living more authentically than he had the first eighteen years of his life. Here he was a gay submissive, his true self, even though he really lived more as an unwilling slave. No one tried to make him into something he wasn’t.
So, he played his role as best he could, batting his eyelashes a bit and licking his lips in silent invitation to have a cock shoved past them. And he knew it would be that way, hard, fast and brutal, the cock choking him. It always was. He focused his gaze on the guest’s crotch and saw the outline of the man’s dick against the worn fabric of the jeans. Oh, yeah, like everything else about the guy, the dick looked supersized. He’d survive a face-fucking, though, having had the gag reflex trained out of him. It was the other things his temporary master could do to him that stabbed his guts with fear.
The instinct to flee was strong but he beat it down. There was nowhere to go even if he could outrun his master’s private security. They were on a secluded island, too far from the coast of Florida to swim to, and Carter had no idea how to drive a boat even if he could reach one. Escape was not an option, so he turned around instead and held out the end of the leash attached to his choke collar.
“Please let me service you this weekend, sir. I promise you won’t be disappointed.”
He put every bit of seduction he could into his voice, proud that it didn’t betray his fear. He dared to glance up at his master’s face and saw the satisfied glint in the man’s eyes. Even though lending Carter out to business associates was intended to help cement the awful deals he made, Carter knew that another part of it was the sadistic pleasure his master got from seeing other men brutalize his sub. When the weekend ended, Carter would stand before his master while the man catalogued Carter’s injuries and demanded a detailed recital of what had been done to Carter’s body. Then his master would fuck him with more passion and, perversely, gentleness than usual. Even though Carter remained a neophyte in the BDSM lifestyle, he knew this wasn’t how a master was supposed to treat his sub.
A few tense seconds ticked by after Carter’s invitation, the leash remaining dangling in his hand. Then a larger one entered his field of vision and took it. For a brief moment, their fingers touched and Carter felt a jolt right down to his core. The heat and power within that simple contact surprised him. He couldn’t remember having anything like that strong a reaction with another man, certainly not with his master. He realized with surprise that here was a true Dom, a master of not only men like Carter, but men like his master as well.
“He’s certainly everything you promised, Winters.” The gravelly baritone washed over Carter, claiming his attention and increasing his fear. It was the voice of a killer. “I’m not sure how you can stand to share him.”
The master chuckled. “Consider it a perk. I like to show my appreciation to business associates.”
The guest grunted. “My clients are paying me a hefty fee to secure your cache of arms for them. Trust me, it will buy plenty of entertainment.”
The master drained his glass of Scotch, his favorite drink, and chuckled again. “I’m sure it will, but you’re a new customer, so I like to get to know who I’m doing business with first. I intend for these next two days to be relaxing for both of us. Go ahead and play with my boy. You can do anything you like with him, Crow, so long as he’s still breathing at the end of it.”
Those words should have comforted Carter. Instead they scared the crap out of him, as did the man’s name. Crow fit him, with his ink-black hair pulled back into a sleek ponytail, and his two-day stubble. He looked ready to swoop down and start pecking at Carter’s smaller, weaker body. He worked not to show his fear in his expression, though, keeping his lips curved up in a seductive smile.
The guest grunted yet again, his universal expression apparently. “Whatever you say, Winter. This deal is too important to me and my clients, and I can’t say playing with such a pretty toy will be a hardship.”
Crow tugged on the leash, not so hard as to choke Carter, but he got the message nevertheless and stepped closer to the man. It felt a little like approaching his executioner, except no, he was being melodramatic. No matter what this man did to him, Carter knew how to ride out the pain and degradation. He’d survive and wouldn’t give up hope that there was a way out of this miserable life. Carter couldn’t stop the flinch, though, when the guy reached out to cup his chin. A thick thumb with a wide, intricately designed silver ring on it swiped across Carter’s lips.
“Well, I brought a few toys with me,” Crow said thoughtfully. “It should be interesting to see how he takes to them.” He dropped his hand. “It’s been a long day of travel for me, so if you’ll excuse me, I’ll retire now.”
The master waved his hand. “Of course. Carter will show you the way to your room. You’ll find your bags there already.”
“Thank you. Good night.”
Crow took his leave, maneuvering Carter to his side with a smooth move that led to his arm encircling Carter’s waist. Their bodies brushed against one another as they walked out of the room and over to the central staircase. Each time he bumped into the man, it was like bumping into a steel column, not an ounce of give. The height difference left Carter tucked under the man’s arm, or at least he would have been if Crow had hugged him closer. The guy’s hold was loose, barely touching Carter’s naked skin, yet it raised goosebumps nevertheless. Carter figured the guy to be totally straight, maybe not ever having fucked another man and only doing so to seal the deal with the master. He hated to think what that boded for the night ahead of him. If Crow wasn’t into men, would he be more or less vicious with Carter?
He couldn’t afford to let his fear rule him, he reminded himself. He concentrated on how much even the loose hold tugged at the corset. He’d never had one before and while the piercing had been done the previous day to give his skin a chance to calm down, the occasional slight tugging and rubbing still made his back sing with pain. Despite how he’d been treated over the last few years, the sub in him still responded, his cock twitching within the confines of its cage. It had been so long since he’d come, even the small amount of arousal made his balls ache.
They walked silently up the stairs and down the hallway of the second floor. Carter subtly steered his guest master to the room assigned to him. This routine had become familiar and he had no trouble leading from the position he’d been put in. He was just glad that he wasn’t being yanked by the leash. Crow removed his arm the moment they stepped inside the bedroom and kicked the door shut with a loud thud of his shitkickers. When Carter moved farther into the room, Crow stopped him with a subtle touch then surprised him by pulling the collar over Carter’s head and tossing it and the leash on a nearby table.
Carter swallowed hard, relieved to have the dangerous and often hurtful metal off his neck. He flinched again when Crow reached out to cup his chin and lift his head. He dared to move his gaze from the floor to the man’s face and found him frowning down. Damn, what had he done wrong already to piss the man off? Crow swiped his thumb across Carter’s lips as he’d done before, then up Carter’s cheek.
“Do you like wearing makeup or is that supposed to be for my benefit?”
Despite the natural forcefulness of the man’s voice, Carter couldn’t detect any menace in it. He licked his lips, tasting the cherry in the lip gloss, while he took a second to consider the wisest answer. He decided to go with the truth.
“It was intended to make me more appealing to you, sir.”
Crow’s signature grunt passed his lips before he let Carter go. “Well, it doesn’t do anything for me. Go wash it off.” He gestured vaguely toward the en suite before turning away to pull off his jacket.
Carter hesitated, his curiosity demanding a preview of the body he would soon be servicing. Because Crow wore a short-sleeved T-shirt, his huge biceps were on display the moment the jacket came off. With the T-shirt tucked into the waistband of the jeans, Carter could also see how perfectly the man’s torso tapered from his broad shoulders down to a narrow waist. The denim molded a firm ass and the tree trunk thighs. Carter’s heartbeat sped up and heat flashed through his body. He spun on his heels and fled to the bathroom before the guy could catch him ogling.
He tipped the door shut to give himself a few seconds of privacy. With slightly shaking hands, mostly out of fear but also from a touch of unexpected excitement, he grabbed a washcloth and wiped the makeup away. He stared a moment at his reflection, seeing for himself how wide his eyes were and how pale his skin was. The master never let him outside for long, preferring him this way. He thought he looked like a ghost, and perhaps he was. The boy who’d run away from his judgmental family and headlong into the arms of the wrong Dom had certainly died years ago. All that was left was a perfectly trained and utterly cowed fuck toy.
But he’d soon wish he were truly dead if he made the man in the bedroom mad with his dawdling. After another bracing splash of cold water on his face, he patted his skin dry and teased the wet locks of hair on his forehead into a sexier disarray. He took a deep breath to fortify himself then sauntered into the bedroom. His steps faltered when he saw Crow standing by the bed. If he’d thought the man impressive and scary in his clothes, the nearly naked version had Carter’s knees threatening to give way.
With only black boxer briefs on, Crow’s every muscle and sinew was visible. A sprinkling of black hair lay between his massive pecs, trailing down in a thin line below his navel. He made the perfect picture of raw power and masculinity. Even still at rest, his cock filled the underwear. For a brief, fleeting moment, Carter wished his life were different and that this man was his Dom, and a caring one at that.
There was no denying that command, so Carter approached the side of the bed where Crow stood. He put the usual amount of swing in his hips and was gratified by the way Crow’s gaze homed in on them. Straight he may be, but the man wasn’t immune to Carter’s charms. Good, because his master would crucify him, quite literally, if he didn’t please this guest. He stopped a foot away from Crow, trying not to look at the open bag of toys the man had placed on the nightstand. Best not to know sometimes what was coming.
Carter didn’t hesitate, shimmying out of the silk pants and kicking them aside. He blushed for some reason when Crow’s gaze slid slowly down his body, taking in his pierced nipples and belly ring, no doubt.
The man’s eyes narrowed at the sight of the cock cage. “Does Winters demand you keep that thing on all the time?”
He sounded mad, which made no sense to Carter.
“No, sir.” His voice came out kind of strangled, as it did when he was afraid. He swallowed to clear it and speak with more seduction. “It’s for you to leave on or take off at your pleasure.”
Once more, the man grunted. For someone less impressive, it might have been taken as a sign of dumbness. But Crow’s intelligence showed through his dark brown eyes.
“Take it off,” the man ordered before turning around to rummage through his case.
Carter fumbled with the clasp on the cage, not used to being the one to put it on or take it off. When he slid it off his dick, he wanted to sigh in relief. He wondered what to do with it for about two seconds before Crow lifted it from his grasp. The sudden movement made Carter jerk and take a half-step back before he caught himself. Nothing earned worse punishment than trying to evade what a master had in mind.
“Steady.” Crow wrapped his palm around one of Carter’s arms. “I think we’d better establish a few rules before you land on your ass trying to avoid me.”
Carter’s breath hitched. “I’m sorry, sir.”
Crow tossed the cage on the nightstand. “I don’t want your apology. I want your safeword.”
Surprised, Carter blinked back at him. Safeword? Seriously? He knew better than to fall for that trick. Having a safeword as a sub and expecting a Dom to heed it when you used it was the stuff of romance novels. He’d learned pretty quickly by his master’s hand that subs took what their Doms gave them and liked it. Or else. He was too experienced now and too clever to fall for that ruse.
He fluttered his lashes coquettishly and gave Crow a shy smile. “I don’t need a safeword, sir. I’m yours to command and will gladly take whatever you give me.”