Can love spark from the ashes of a past relationship?
Jon Fox has given up on love. He’s a writer who loves his privacy and his need to create his art. He has the perfect life, a breezy penthouse and the need to dominate, but he’s alone. He’s got a crush on Ainsley, but he can’t date the best friend of his ex-boyfriend, can he?
Ainsley Carter is in Cleveland for the summer to create the sets for a local production of Romeo and Juliet. He can’t wait to see Jon again. He yearns to be dominated by Jon and kindle the sparks he feels every time he sees him. He’s got the key to the penthouse, but will he also land the key to Jon’s heart?
He’s got all summer to find out.
Reader advisory: This book contains reference to an attempted suicide.
General Release Date: 21st July 2020
Jon Fox settled back in his seat and stared at the players before him. He’d spent too much time today at Club Extasy and should’ve found someone to play with by now. Should’ve. He bit back a groan. He liked to play at the club and loved giving a good spanking, but he wanted someone specific.
He spotted a scene taking place across the room. The sub wore a harness across his torso, and a jockstrap. His bare ass jiggled as he walked. His thick boots clunked with each step. The Dom, a blond Jon didn’t know well, cuffed the sub to a St. Andrew’s cross.
Jon shifted his position to get a better look at the sub and scene. The tattoo on the man’s back caught Jon’s attention. He knew that ink—a cross with a set of wings stretching across his shoulders. Jon had seen the ink on a man he’d known well. Ainsley. His former boyfriend’s best friend. Would Ainsley be at the club? He did like to play and had visited Club Extasy before. Was he there now?
He rubbed his crotch as he watched the Dom flog the man with the tattoo. Damn, the view was hot. Each time the Dom spanked the man, Jon’s breathing hitched. He wished Ainsley were the man being flogged. No, he wished he were the one flogging Ainsley. He’d love to have a scene with him. He’d bet they’d have a good time. He massaged the bulge in his leathers.
This had to be some level of hell, watching a man who reminded him of Ainsley being spanked. He’d lusted after Ainsley for the last two years. He and Ainsley had always gotten along because they loved to talk about sports and running. He understood Ainsley’s affection for the theater and Ainsley seemed to appreciate his need to write. Jon’s ex, Leo, had never understood either man. Jon didn’t miss Leo, but he did wish Ainsley would come around now that Jon and Leo had split up.
The sub twisted and flinched from his position on the cross, but didn’t use his safe word. Jon listened to the scene and rubbed his dick harder. He didn’t get off on watching, but the view was too much to ignore. The sub’s ass shimmered red and had to be hot. The Dom moved up to the sub’s shoulders, then down to his upper thighs, leaving angry lines on his body. Perspiration glittered on the sub’s skin and caught the light. When the sub cried out, Jon tensed. He needed to come and so did Jon.
He marveled at every lash and stripe across the sub’s ass. Beautiful. He wished he were the one doling out the punishment. He loved the power in dominating, but he loved giving the sub what he or she needed even more.
Jon opened the front of his leathers and stroked his dick. His balls tingled and he growled. As the scene ended with the sub collapsing against the cross, Jon gritted his teeth and came. A ribbon of cum landed on his thigh. He panted as he added a few more strokes, then stilled.
“Fuck.” He stared at the ceiling. He wasn’t one for jerking off while watching a scene, yet he’d done it. Whoever this sub was, he had to be important. Maybe the catalyst had been the tattoo and the chance that the man could be Ainsley. Jon didn’t know.
Once his heart rate returned to normal, Jon grabbed a towel and wiped his leathers clean. He abandoned the towel in one of the hampers, then strolled back to the changing room. He loved the freedom of the club. He didn’t have to worry about being seen or anything being off-limits. Everyone, Dom and sub, could mingle together, but the Doms were in charge.
He stood in front of his locker and changed out of his leathers into a pair of jeans and a T-shirt. Jesus. What kind of pervert was he that he got off watching a sub who looked like Ainsley being flogged? He had a terrible crush on Ainsley and no way to act on it. He massaged his forehead. He’d better get a sub and fast so he could move on with his life.
“Jon?” Ainsley strolled across the locker room and stopped beside him. His nipple rings glittered in the light. The jockstrap barely contained his cock and balls, and the harness stretched across his slender torso. “Hi.”
“Hi.” Jon fought his instinct to keep the man at bay and tugged him close for a hug. This version of Ainsley wasn’t quite the polished man he remembered, but he liked the rougher version more. “I never thought I’d see you here again.”
“I know.” Ainsley toyed with the wrinkles in Jon’s shirt. “Leo thought it was best if my path didn’t cross with yours.” He blushed. “He hated that you and I got along so well.”
“He would.” He swept his gaze over Ainsley again. “You played.” The sweatiness of Ainsley’s body added to his sexiness.
“I did. The flogging scene. I heard you watched me,” Ainsley said. “Did you?”
“That was you?” Jesus. His fantasy man really had been the one he’d watched. No fucking way. “Was it good? You seemed to enjoy it.”
“Yeah.” A smile curled Ainsley’s lips and accentuated the cleft in his chin. He seemed more relaxed than the last time Jon had seen him. Ainsley rested his hands on his hips. “I wanted to talk to you.”
“Oh?” Jon sat on the bench and donned his socks, then running shoes.
Ainsley sat beside him. “I’m going to be here in Cleveland this summer. I designed the sets for the Colonial Theater. They’re putting on a production of Romeo and Juliet.”
“Uh-huh.” Jon tucked his leathers into his gym bag. He had to hide his enthusiasm. Ainsley would be in his area for a while. He’d have to see the production and bump into Ainsley at least once or twice.
“The thing is, I’m staying at a hotel downtown, but it’s expensive. Leo, in his infinite wisdom, decided he had a better idea and gave me the pass to park in your building as well as your penthouse key. He said I should stay with you because it’d be cheaper.” Ainsley tensed. “He practically begged me to take the key.”
“Uh-huh,” Jon said, repeating himself. He didn’t doubt Leo would push Ainsley, but he did wonder why Leo would push him and Ainsley together. Maybe he’d better call Leo.
“I’d rather stay with a friend than a hotel,” Ainsley said.
Ainsley wasn’t a helpless man. Not by a long shot. He freelanced in the theater circles doing lighting and sets for whatever production needed him. Hell, he was in high demand because his sets were always so realistic without being expensive. He knew how to run a business and keep his bills in check. Jon stared at him a bit longer. Ainsley might not be helpless, but looking at him in the harness and jockstrap, he seemed so sad. Part of Jon wanted to say no. He’d turned the spare bedroom into his own dungeon and the den was his office. Besides, he liked his privacy. But… Ainsley wasn’t a stranger and wouldn’t be shocked by the room of toys and floggers.
“I’m sorry. I’ve overstepped.” Ainsley stood. “Forget I asked.”
“Did you come here to see me?” Jon said, his voice firm. He needed to know Ainsley’s motivations.
“No. I came here for stress relief. Good God. People don’t understand I can direct them with sets and give them plans for the lighting, but I can’t do everything and I’m not a miracle worker. They have to help and I needed a break.” Ainsley snorted. “I hoped I’d run into you, but the odds weren’t in my favor.”
“I guess not.” Ainsley had bruised his ego just a tad.
“I understand if you don’t want the pain in the ass.” Ainsley shook his head. “Forget I asked. I’ll give Leo the key and pass back.”
“Slow down.” Although he wanted to continue the conversation, seeing Ainsley so subservient and hot in his harness and jockstrap made concentration almost impossible. “I could be convinced.”
“Jon?” Ainsley’s eyes widened.
“I have rules, you know.”
He snorted. Their conversation reminded him of negotiations before a scene. “I spend a lot of time on the patio and I prefer to sleep naked. I write naked, too.” He dipped his head once. “I need privacy.”
“No unexpected guests.” He hated having to get dressed because someone had decided to visit.
“I turned the guest room into a play space and my office is the former den. All I can offer you for sleeping space is the sofa in the living room,” Jon said. “Is that viable for you?”
“I can do that.”
He wasn’t arguing? Good. “So Leo gave you the key?”
“And the parking permit.”
Jesus Christ, he could kick Leo. “You really need a place to stay?”
“Yeah. The hotel is eating up my paycheck. I’ll gladly kick in for rent and food.” Ainsley laced his fingers together. “I know my place.”
He should argue and barter more, but he wanted someone there. He saw possibilities with Ainsley. “Fine.”
“You’re okay with me being there?”
“Yeah. I’ll manage.” He tamped down his giddiness. He’d wanted Ainsley alone for so long. Having him over could be good and allow them to get closer. “Why don’t you come over tonight and we’ll get you set up?”
Ainsley brightened. “Deal.”
Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and BDSM themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been the runner up in the Kink Category at Love Romances Café as well as nominated at the LRC for best author, best contemporary, best ménage and best anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on Amazon.com.
When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice.
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