Liam chewed on the end of his favorite blue pen as he studied the weekly client schedule for Rogue Ink, Body Mods & Piercing Studio. They still hadn’t technically changed the name of No Quarter to the new one, but he, Neal and Ray had all agreed on it the night before when they’d been celebrating their decision to buy it from the current owner. He thought adding the word ‘studio’ gave it a classier sound while the rest of the name kept it edgy. Neal and Ray had concurred.
Liam grinned around the pen clicker. I own a business. A for real business. He figured he shouldn’t be so hasty, but couldn’t help it. They’d only told Marty the day before that they wanted to purchase it from him, so he should probably calm down until everything was more official. He grinned again. But I don’t want to.
More important than owning the business, though, was that he was doing it with his Master. It was fortunate that he also liked Ray, Neal’s tattoo artist buddy, but he couldn’t deny what a great feeling it was to be sharing his life in all ways with Neal. It was another step forward in their evolving relationship.
Liam chewed some more, his mind drifting to thoughts of how close he and Neal had become. Over the past week, he’d caught Neal gazing at him with a fond expression on several occasions and had wondered what was going through his Master’s head. Neal had also been more tender with him, had wanted to make love more than he’d wanted to scene and they hadn’t even spent any time at Kiss of Leather. Liam had loved every second of it, but he couldn’t deny that he still craved the rough and commanding side of Neal.
Even though they’d only been living together for three months, they’d shared such a strong connection from the very beginning that Liam found it easy to read his Master. He had great instincts about people in general, but with Neal it was more powerful than it had ever been. Mark—his Master who had died the year before—came to mind and it caused a slight pull in his gut. He would never stop loving his previous Master, or forget all that Mark had done for him—would always be grateful. But at the same time, the love he carried for Neal had a different quality to it that affected Liam in a soul-deep, satisfying way.
The bell jangled on the door as it opened and Liam glanced up. He smiled at Cruella, no longer afraid to show his teeth the way he once had been. Along with everything else that had changed in his life, his self-esteem had been steadily growing as well. The unwavering support he received from Master Jordan, his counselor Eileen, and of course, Neal had helped to keep him on track. The unconditional love Neil expressed also contributed to his burgeoning acceptance of himself. Even his ability to manage his anxiety had increased.
“Hey, Liam.” Cruella’s quiet voice was barely audible as they entered the shop. They weren’t shy, necessarily, or even anxious the way Liam was, but simply soft-spoken.
Liam glanced at the wall clock above the framed poster of Divine and scrunched his brow as he noted the time. He then examined the work schedule taped to the sliding keyboard tray to see if he’d made a mistake. It was positioned right next to his phone-answering script. Messing things up by typing out the wrong employee schedule was not something he wanted to do his very first day as a business-owner. Owner in theory, at least.
Liam lifted his head to see Cruella examining their reflection in front of the free-standing mirror positioned next to the glass counter. The piercing jewelry display case and the scratched-up wood-framed mirror lined the wall to the right of the front door and the stairs leading to the piercing and inking areas were to the left. The restroom, storage area and break room were located behind the large, equally scuffed-up desk where Liam sat. Hmm. New carpet and new lobby furniture. He’d pay for it himself, if necessary. The parlor didn’t need any more ickyness. Marty had really let the place go.
Liam considered Cruella as they angled their body first to one side then the next, then leaned in to flick something from underneath one of their heavily lashed, purple-lined eyes. They used one hand to brush back the platinum bangs that accented their shoulder-length ebony-colored hair. Finally, they swept their hands down their tall, thin frame wrapped in a skintight black spandex mini. White fishnets—barely visible over Cruella’s pale skin—and thick-soled black combat boots completed the ensemble.
Cruella turned to him. “What do you think? The dress is new.”
“You look amazing.” Liam squinted. “Is that a new lipstick?”
Cruella’s pouty lips parted. “You noticed?”
Liam blushed. He’d never paid much attention to things like makeup before, but he loved how Cruella put their self together. As he and Cruella had gotten to know each other, he’d also learned so much about cosmetic companies and who made what and whether it was vegan, made with fresh ingredients or cruelty-free. He’d had no idea.
“Well…you said that you’d put aside some money this month to send away for that exclusive purple matte one you’ve been wanting.”
He didn’t want to sound silly in front of them. Even though Cruella was the sweetest person alive and Liam was getting better about not thinking less of himself, he still couldn’t help but be intimidated by people who he viewed as remarkably beautiful. Cruella knew about the no-touch rule Liam had, so they were respectful of it. However, they’d found a way to convey affection without it.
Cruella blew him a kiss. “Thank you, baby. You always make me feel special.” Cruella gave him a half-smile as they shrugged one shoulder. “Maybe someday another person will too.”
Liam bit his lower lip. He had an idea who Cruella might mean. His attention was drawn to laughter upstairs, as was Cruella’s. Ray. He’d always been super nice to Cruella and Liam wondered if it would ever go beyond that. Liam thought he could probably vibe it out, except that he hadn’t been around Cruella and Ray enough while they were in the same room together to be able to tell. It didn’t help that unless Cruella was with a customer at the desk or being questioned by Ray about a client, they made themselves busy elsewhere whenever Ray was around. And they never, ever went upstairs.
Liam glanced up at the clock again, jarred back to his original thoughts when Cruella had arrived. Focus, remember? One thing at a time. “Did I tell you the wrong time to come in today? Because I’m sorry if I did. I didn’t mean to.” Everyone had already determined that Liam’s comfort zone didn’t encompass being the boss in the slightest, most notably Liam himself. If they were ever to have a staff member who was as salty as Sideshow had been, he’d have to defer to Neal or Ray in a heartbeat.
“Oh no, not at all. You’re not wrong.”
Cruella stepped away from the mirror then wandered over to the lumpy couch that sagged in all the wrong areas. Liam narrowed his eyes, mentally adding a new waiting area sofa to his list of shop improvements. Cruella perched on the edge of it, carefully folding their hands in their lap.
Cruella continued. “This was the only way I could work it so I wouldn’t be late. You know, because of the bus schedule.”
“I’m glad to hear that. I don’t drive either.”
Cruella tilted their head. “Were those the same thought? I’m assuming you don’t mean that you’re glad about the bus schedule.”
Liam attempted to unravel where his mind had traveled to as well as deciphering what Cruella meant. They understood each other’s communication issues, but that didn’t necessarily mean they always understood what they were saying to each other.
“Oh. No, they’re not.” He shook his head in frustration. “The same thought, I mean.” Liam took a breath then concentrated on what he wanted to get across. “I’m glad to hear that I didn’t give you the wrong information and I understand what it’s like to have to rely on other transportation because I don’t drive either.”
Cruella arched their eyebrows. “I see. That makes more sense.”
Because Cruella’s voice was whisper-soft and without much inflection, they’d been mistaken before by strangers as being snooty or emotionless. Liam knew better and realized that Cruella’s response to Liam’s comments was sincere and not flippant. Everyone was so nice to Liam at the shop, so accepting. It helped make it easier for him to work with the public, something he’d despaired of ever having the ability to do without it throwing him into continual panic attacks.
“Did you want to help me decide on what type of carpet to get?”
It would be another thirty minutes until his dinner break before it was time for Cruella to take over, and he figured they could work on something together while Cruella waited to begin their shift. Liam was the one who had suggested to Marty that Cruella replace Sideshow when he’d stormed out the previous month and Cruella had seemed very grateful for the job. A schedule had been set up where Cruella could work in the evenings when Liam was there until they got used to the routine at the parlor.
Liam and Neal always took their breaks at the same time whenever they were at the shop, then Liam would read in the employee room until Neal was done for the day. He knew things would likely change once the shop was officially theirs and he’d already been preparing himself for that eventuality. He operated much better with structure and consistency, but his desire to own No Quarter had superseded any other concerns.
Cruella stared at him as though they were trying to interpret Liam’s question. “I don’t understand, baby. Are you and Neal redecorating your apartment?”
Liam pondered Cruella’s inquiry. Should they redecorate it? It wasn’t a bad idea. He could totally picture not only new carpet, but more modern blinds and maybe adding some era-appropriate accents to the nineteen-thirties duplex.
“Baby? You still with me?”
“Huh?” Carpet. We were talking about carpet, because…? “Oh! No, we’re not redecorating, at least not yet, but I was thinking of the shop.”
Cruella ran their purple accented French tips through one side of their hair as they crossed their legs. “It’s none of my business, but do you think Marty will let you? From what I’ve heard, he isn’t very keen on putting more money into this place. That’s why I hope you can get Neal to agree to buy it with you and Ray.”
Liam’s eyes widened. How could he have forgotten? In some ways, the shop had seemed so much like theirs already that he hadn’t thought it was necessary to make an announcement. “I can’t believe I didn’t tell you!”
Cruella shook their head in seeming confusion. “That you wanted new carpet? I’m not offended.”
“No, Cruella, it’s so much better than carpet. Neal said yes, the shop is going to be ours!”
A high-pitched squeal burst out of Cruella as they clapped their hands, the loudest sound Liam had ever heard them make. They bounced on the ratty couch right as Ray raced down the stairs so fast he had to grab onto the railing to stop himself from tumbling to the bottom. He made it to the waiting area in one piece, his face flushed and his breathing frantic.
“Is everyone okay? What the fuck?”
Cruella immediately hunched their shoulders and averted their eyes as they tugged on the hem of their mini. Liam couldn’t stand it when Cruella got self-conscious.
“It was my fault, Ray. I forgot to tell Cruella about buying the shop so I sort of sprung it on them in a weird way.”
“It’s not your fault, baby.” Cruella quickly rose while still yanking on the stretchy dress. “I’ll go make coffee.”
Ray appeared uncomfortable, almost as if he wasn’t sure what to do with himself. “As long as you’re…” He cleared his throat, the flush deepening. “As long as everyone’s okay, that’s all that matters.”
Liam was terrible at social stuff, especially anything to do with dating. He could still barely believe how well things had turned out between him and Neal. He really had Neal to thank for that, though. He’d stuck it out even though Liam had been so lost when it came to the whole new-relationship dance. But at the same time he wished he could do something to help with Ray and Cruella.
He shot to his feet, banging his knee on the still-open keyboard tray. “Ow.”
Ray frowned at him, crossing his arms. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine. But I think I should take my dinner break early. I’m really hungry.”
Ray’s eyebrows went from being pointed downward to shooting up. “But Cruella just went in the back to make coffee. There’s no one out here.”
“I know. That’s why I…” Oops. “What I mean to say is that they’ll be right back and you don’t have a client, right?”
Ray sighed. “Where are you going with this Liam? Because I’m mega-confused.”
“Let’s see, uh…” Liam chewed on the side of his lip. “Oh, I know! Because if you don’t have a client, that means you can wait here until Cruella comes back and I can go have my dinner now.”
Ray’s eyes darted to the side where the door to the break room was before fixing his gaze back on Liam. “Well, I don’t know…”
Liam had nothing left, no further explanations. Nerves had begun to take hold, so he went with it. “Thanks, Ray, gotta go.”
He shot off like a rocket, taking the stairs two at a time—no easy feat, as short as he was—and careened toward Neal’s piercing room. He already knew Neal didn’t currently have a client, so he shoved the door open then almost slammed it behind him.
“Jesus, Liam.” Neal jerked his head around from where he’d been wiping off the top of the metal cabinet that held all his instruments. “You scared the shit outta me.”
“I’m sorry, Master. Don’t be mad.”
Neal chuckled. “I’m not mad.” He set down the rag and cleaner on the counter next to his cabinet. “I just wasn’t expecting you to come roaring in here like that.” Neal glanced at his watch. “You’re early too. I didn’t think I’d lost track of that much time.” Neal’s expression turned to one of concern and he stepped closer. “Is everything all right? Did one of the customers hassle you or something?”
“No, it’s nothing like that. I just…” He couldn’t lie to Neal, not ever. “I saw an opportunity to leave Ray alone with Cruella so I took it.”
Neal’s mouth dropped open. He blinked at Liam a few times then let out a snorting laugh. “Oh my God, you little conniver.”
Liam didn’t like the sound of that. “It’s not conniving if it’s true love.”
Neal’s features softened and he reached out, tugging Liam close. “Sweetheart, you don’t know that. I’m not even sure if Ray’s interested and he’s been my bro for a long time.”
Liam peered up at Neal. “Do you think, you know, it’s because Cruella’s genderqueer? I mean, Cruella’s so nice and really likes him. He’d be missing out if he didn’t give them a chance.”
Neal rubbed his shoulders then slid his hands up Liam’s nape before sinking his fingers in his thick, dark hair. He held Liam’s head in place so he could take a leisurely kiss, parting his lips, pushing his studded tongue inside Liam’s mouth. The shared closeness and warmth between them, the taste of Neal, the masculine scent of his Master—it immediately whisked him away to the private universe in his mind where only the two of them existed.
After a firm press of his lips to Liam’s, he pulled back but didn’t let go of his hair. He gazed down at him.
“You have such a good heart. But let’s let them work it out between themselves, okay?”
Liam swallowed. He wanted to help, but Neal was his Master… “Is that an order?”
Neal set his mouth in a hard line. Liam recognized the expression well. Whenever Neal was grappling with his role as Liam’s twenty-four-seven Master, he’d have to take a moment to consider something that was a foreign concept to him. They’d talked about it a lot. They practiced a modified version of TPE that was uniquely theirs, one that could work for them both in their daily lives.
“Well…” Neal loosened his hold on Liam’s head, letting one hand drift down his back, gently caressing him as he appeared to gather his thoughts. “It seems rather extreme for me to order you not to interfere. It could also be a gray area as to what would constitute interfering.” Neal squeezed his shoulder. “How about this? Consider it to be more along the lines of me giving you strong advice. Think of the ramifications of you trying to force something between them. What if you didn’t make the right call and it drove them apart instead of bringing them together?”
Liam gasped. “Oh no! I have to stop them!”
Right as he was about to charge from the room to prevent dooming Cruella and Ray’s unfolding love story, Neal wrapped him in a bear hug, stopping him mid-bolt.
“Hold on there, turbo.” Neal chuckled. “I think they’re fine for now. I mean, dude, they have to at least be able to communicate as boss and employee.”
Liam’s heart clutched once again. “That’s right, I hadn’t thought of that either. They’re no longer co-workers.” Liam twisted in Neal’s embrace to gaze up at him. “Did I just ruin everything because now Ray will be their boss? I don’t want Cruella to leave and get another job.”
Neal hoisted Liam up and he instinctively wrapped his legs around Neal’s waist. He loved it when Neal carried him. Neal deposited him onto the piercing chair, releasing him but gathering up his hands in his own.
“Hey, you know what I need right now?”
Neal gave him a smile and Liam knew he wasn’t mad. Not that Neal ever really got mad at him. It was just one of those worries left over from his foster care upbringing that still clung to him like a stain that couldn’t be removed.
“My boy’s attention on me.”
“Oh.” Liam’s stomach twisted. “Sorry.”
Neal tugged on him. “Nuh-uh. None of that. Nothing to be sorry about. I’m simply telling you what I want from you as my sub.”
Liam worked through everything in his head. “So, as my Master, you’re reminding me that it should be about us right now, and not another couple who aren’t even really a couple.”
Neal’s smile grew into a grin. “Exactly.”
He ran his hand up Liam’s denim-covered thigh until he’d slipped it underneath his black tee. Warm flesh connected with Liam’s, the strength of Neal’s touch obvious even though the gesture of sliding his palm along Liam’s torso had been so simple. Neal ratcheted it up when he reached one nipple. He pinched the silver barbell piercing then gave it a twist. The jolt of sensation shot straight to Liam’s cock and he arched his back, pushing his chest out as if the tiny nub was begging for more.
“Do I have your attention now?”
Liam’s thoughts had shorted out. “I…I…” His Master’s touch was better than chocolate. Even better than ice cream.
Neal wrapped his free arm around Liam’s waist, bringing them closer together as Neal leaned into him. He nibbled on the side of Liam’s neck then gave the nipple another twist. Liam let out a strangled whimper in response, fighting to keep his noises from being heard by anyone in the shop.
Neal’s hot breath wafted against his ear, the sensual promise it held making the little hairs on his neck stand on end. “I’d like to push that boundary with you, boy. Make you scream so everyone in the shop can hear. Let them know how wanton and sexy you are, how much pleasure I give my boy.”
He exhaled on a groan. “Anything you want.”
Liam sucked in a startled breath as the back of the chair fell away. Neal lowered him onto the vinyl surface then released his hold. His Master regarded him with the same affection in his eyes that Liam had recently noticed. Neal brushed Liam’s hair back from his face, the gesture more one of fondness than necessity.
“I want you and I always will.”
Neal winked then busied himself lowering the arms on both sides of the functional piece of furniture. It could be adjusted into whatever position was necessary in order for Neal to be able to reach the most hidden areas of a man’s body. Liam waited for his Master’s instructions, trembling from the delicious anticipation.
Neal finally seemed to get the chair in the position he preferred, the surface flat, the extensions to support arms and legs no longer blocking any access.
“Okay, boy. Pants off.”
Liam’s excellent sub training prevented him from interrogating Neal about the removal of his shirt. His expertise at submission was the only time he seemed to be able to keep his random blurts in check. Liam undid his studded leather belt, popped the buttons of his jeans then wiggled his way out of them. When he reached his briefs, he paused.
He said pants. Nothing about underwear.
The weight of Neal’s stare bordered on the physical. Neal stood in a relaxed stance, less than five feet from the chair, his arms crossed as if waiting to see what Liam would do next. Liam sort of wondered the same thing. He allowed his eyes to drift closed, settling within himself. It was all part of the process he went through when letting go. Ever since he’d first submitted, he’d needed that moment to quiet the constant noise and distractions in his head that plagued him incessantly.
“That’s my good boy.” Neal’s soothing voice wrapped around him. “Let me see those beautiful eyes.” Liam was greeted with Neal’s smile. “There you are.”
Liam glanced down and noted that while Neal’s pants were unbuttoned all the way, it didn’t appear as if he was about to remove them. One corner of Neal’s mouth quirked up, his expression one of mischief.
“Such a patient boy, ready to do whatever his Master wants.”
Liam’s breath hitched. Neal had barely touched him yet already his cock pulsed within the tightening fabric of his briefs. Neal stepped toward him then grasped his chin. He lifted it, his pupils wide as he stared into Liam’s eyes.
“Hot damn. How’d I get so lucky as to find you, Liam?”
Liam began to shake his head in protest, but Neal’s firm grasp prevented him from doing so. “Master, you’re everything to me. I love you.”
Neal’s eyes shone. “Love you more than you know.” He inhaled, seeming to gather himself as he released Liam then straightened. “On your side, facing me.”
Liam immediately complied with Neal’s wishes. Every time Neal gave him a command it would thrill him. It didn’t matter how inconsequential it might seem to an outsider or even to Neal himself, but to Liam it meant he had his Master’s attention. Whenever Liam pleased the man he loved, it gave him a sense of satisfaction he couldn’t get anywhere else or in any other way.
Neal had gone back to a more playful mien as he ambled to the door. He pushed the button to lock it, then dimmed the lights. It wasn’t by much—there would still be plenty for them to see every intimate detail of whatever it was they were about to do—however, it took the jarring edge off the fluorescents. Neal angled his body around.
“I was just thinking that as long as we don’t get our official dinner break for another twenty minutes or so, we’d might as well have an appetizer.”
Liam swallowed hard. They’d never messed around at the shop before. At least, not really. They might kiss, cop a feel or tease, but never anything that brought either of them to a happy ending.
When Neal reached him again, he shoved his hand down the front of his open jeans then fished out his ample dick, the full hardness showcasing the trail of veins running along the length that led to the thick metal ring at the end. A tiny bead of pre-cum glistened next to the silver piece of jewelry and Liam instinctively licked his lips. He wanted it.
“Here. We shouldn’t let anything go to waste.”
Neal brought the crown of his stiff flesh to Liam’s mouth. Liam slid out his tongue just far enough to swipe the tip over Neal’s slit. The uniquely bitter salt of his Master melted on his tongue and Liam sighed. He’s mine. His submission to a man had originally been all about belonging to someone else completely, but with Neal, his own possessive side had blossomed. Neal was his Master and his alone.
What sounded like a purr of appreciation rumbled in Neal’s chest. “Hold that thought.” He snickered. “Or should I say tongue?”
Liam let out a small laugh. Most of the time, their interactions were filled with a lot of playfulness, something that Liam hadn’t realized he needed as much as he did. The veil of sadness that had been an ongoing accompaniment to his early years had left him with a healthy appreciation for happiness whenever it was offered.
Neal leaned over then pressed a kiss to Liam’s forehead before making the short journey to his leather jacket that hung on the door hook. He plucked a small packet of lube from his wallet, holding it up with a smile. He returned his billfold to his coat then advanced on him, the smile morphing into a seductive leer. Liam’s cock jumped, the ache in his balls getting heavier as Neal drew near.
“Easier clean-up if we suck each other off, but I’d like to add a little more to it.” Neal winked.
Liam nodded, the movement shaky. Whatever Neal wanted, Liam would give him, as long as he could have a mouthful of Neal’s dick. Neal stopped in front of him, his scarlet-tipped erection a few inches from his lips, the scent of his Master filling his nostrils. He tore open the slick and squeezed the contents onto two fingers, disposing of the empty packet in a basket next to the chair. He used his clean hand to palm the back of Liam’s head, tugging him closer to his stiff length. Liam opened up, ready to take it all.
Neal slipped his other hand below Liam’s waistband and Liam started at the unexpected coolness from Neal’s fingers as they quested in his crease. Neal slid the wet digits down to his hole, teasing the sensitive opening right as he thrust his dick past Liam’s parted lips. Liam clamped on, using his own metal tongue stud to stimulate Neal’s glans while remaining careful of the heavy ring. Neal had taught him ways to avoid accidentally chipping a tooth.
Right as Neal breached Liam’s pucker with both fingers at once, Liam gave a long pull on Neal’s shaft. The accompanying groan and thrust from Neal filled Liam with a strong sense of his own sexual power. Neal never held back when they made love—he wasn’t the type of Dom who kept his feelings hidden or who insisted on maintaining a certain aloofness with his sub. Everything with Neal was honest and open.
Liam worked Neal’s cock good and hard and Neal did the same thing inside Liam’s ass. He pumped his fingers in and out of Liam’s channel in a steady rhythm while fucking his mouth. Liam writhed on the digits invading his hole, helping Neal along by bearing down on them, taking as much of them as he could. He sucked and licked Neal’s dick, keeping his tongue moving around and around the head, occasionally pointing it so that he could play with the ring in Neal’s slit without his stud getting in the way.
It was a given that there would be no coming without Neal’s say-so, yet that didn’t mean it would be easy to stave off. Neal dug deeper in his passage and Liam already knew he’d be in trouble, knew what Neal was going after. As soon as Neal’s fingers hit their target, Liam clenched around them, moaning on his thick erection.
“Fuck yeah, boy. So hot and silky inside—smooth, tight.” Neal’s words came out disjointed, his breathing frantic. “The way my cock spreads your lips wide…” He sucked in a quick breath. “The way you take it.”
Neal stabbed his fingers in and out of Liam’s hole faster, thrusting harder with his dick until Liam relaxed his throat, swallowing around it while holding his breath. In the beginning, Neal’s PA had thrown him off his game, the ring triggering his gag reflex. All it meant was he’d had to practice more. Liam almost smiled around Neal’s cock but stopped himself. Pleasuring his Master was more important.
“Jesus, Liam. So good.”
Neal clutched Liam’s strands of hair tightly, the slight sting only making his need worse, his pre-cum leaving a damp spot on his briefs. Neal banged into his gland again then stayed there, massaging it until Liam couldn’t keep his legs still, couldn’t stop shoving his ass against Neal’s hand as if begging him for relief.
Liam let go of Neal’s cock then drew in a gulp of air before descending on it again. He sucked and pulled, licked and teased, and all the while Neal mercilessly worked his prostate.
I’m gonna come. I’m gonna come.
Right as Liam’s sac hugged his body, Neal froze. Accompanied by a hearty growl, the first long stream of Neal’s cum pulsed down Liam’s throat, quickly followed by several more jerks of seed. Liam drank it down, using Neal’s orgasm as a way to postpone his own. By focusing on Neal’s satisfaction, he’d been able to avert his own crisis. It didn’t hurt that Neal had stopped working his gland while he’d been busy coming.
Liam slowed, keeping his movements gentle as he finished cleaning Neal’s softening shaft with his tongue. Neal let out quiet sounds of approval, petting Liam’s head, the gesture soothing. He still hadn’t removed his fingers from Liam’s passage and in case Neal was considering doing such a thing, he clenched around them to send the message that he wasn’t ready for them to go yet.
Neal gave a throaty chuckle. “I haven’t forgotten my boy. How could I after that spectacular hummer?”
Neal curled his fingers in Liam’s hair, fisting the strands as he yanked his head off his sated dick. He slowly started pumping into Liam’s ass again.
“Take it out, boy. Give me that hard cock. My cock.”
Liam fumbled with shaky hands, anxious to follow Neal’s command. Once he’d shoved his briefs down below his sac, his nuts propped right above the elastic, Neal leaned over, taking Liam’s slender shaft to the base.
The way he used his tongue drove Liam crazy, Neal’s ability of working his piercing to give pleasure akin to an art. Liam had learned the techniques of employing the tongue stud for oral from his Master. Because Liam didn’t have the Prince Albert, Neal could play more with his own piercing. Not only could he work it in the valley under the crown, but he could press it into Liam’s slit as well. He alternated back and forth, taunting Liam’s most sensitive spots on his cock while increasing the pace of massaging his gland.
Neal’s head bobbed as he simultaneously used his fingers to plunge in and out of Liam’s channel over and over. He picked up speed, adding moans and growls, Liam losing control as he fucked Neal’s fingers as much as they were fucking him. With Neal’s lips clamped around his hard length, Liam wasn’t sure how he’d know when he could come, because it was about to happen very soon—whether he wanted it to or not. He gripped the edges of the chair to not only keep from grabbing Neal, but so he wouldn’t slide off in his enthusiasm.
Neal pulled off. “Now!”
He inhaled deeply then took Liam to the root while also pegging him good and hard. Momentarily distracted by the break in rhythm, he’d been able to keep from coming before he’d been given permission. But now that he had it? Liam couldn’t deny how ready he was to simply let go.
Before he’d had the chance to overthink, or worry or question if others would hear—Liam howled out his release, his cock bucking in Neal’s mouth as he emptied his balls, Neal not pausing at all until Liam couldn’t stand it. He pushed at Neal’s head, whimpering.
“Too much!” he squeaked out.
Neal slowed down, keeping his licks soft and being seemingly careful of avoiding Liam’s sensitive cockhead. He let Liam’s dick slide from his lips but continued to clean him with his tongue. It was odd how much he enjoyed the post-climax moments when Neal would attend to him after a blow job, or rub his back and massage his joints after a scene. As far as Liam was concerned, he wanted the care and closeness he had with Neal to last.
I never want to be without him.
A stab of fear shot through his gut at the thought of losing Neal the way he’d lost Mark. It was irrational, even if it was something he logically understood, but Neal meant so much to him. He hadn’t expected their bond to grow so strong or so fast.
Liam glanced down at Neal. His Master was nuzzling his groin with his cheek, an easy smile playing on his lips.
“Hey.” Liam smiled back, but the shadow of his scary musings still lingered in his mind.
“What is it, sweetheart? I can tell you’ve drifted. I might have to work on my technique.”
Neal winked then straightened, removing his fingers from Liam’s ass as he did. The slight burn satisfied him, the quick and rough sex something he’d needed. But he worried that Neal didn’t believe he’d done a good job at pleasing him.
“Your technique is amazing, Master. It doesn’t have anything to do with that.”
Neal wandered back over from where he’d grabbed a towel, wiping his hands as he approached. “So there is something bothering you.” Neal encouraged him up by his shoulder then sat down next to him. “Come on, spill.” Neal gave him a jostle with his elbow. “Because I don’t want anything distracting you right now. I have something…” Neal cleared his throat. “Anyway, I wanna talk, but I still need your attention while I do.”
Liam leaned into Neal to maintain their closeness. He couldn’t deny that he was scared about what Neal might say.
“I’m paying attention, I swear. I just… Well, I don’t ever want to be without you. Like, never, never ever.”
Neal chuckled and put an arm around Liam, holding him tightly. He tilted his head so his cheek rested on top of Liam’s head. “That’s good to hear, very good. So, is that what’s worrying you? That you can’t have me forever?”
Liam considered it. He supposed that if he was afraid that something bad might happen to Neal like it happened to Mark, and if he never wanted to be without him, then it was only logical that he meant forever.
“Yes. That’s what I mean.”
Liam swallowed hard. He didn’t want to take back his words since they were true, but they’d never used the F word before.
“Thank you for telling me that, sweetheart.” Neal gave him a squeeze then angled his body toward him. He placed a finger under Liam’s chin and encouraged him to lift it. He locked his gaze on Liam. “So, there’s something I want to ask you.” Neal cleared his throat again. “I was thinking it would be nice for us to go away somewhere together, like to one of the places I’ve told you I’ve been to. You said you’d like to go snorkeling if I taught you to swim?”
Liam wasn’t sure he’d be able to figure out how snorkeling and being together forever went hand-in-hand, but he went with it. “I’d love to go snorkeling. I bet those colorful fish are so beautiful close up.”
He’d gotten permission from the owners of Kiss of Leather to feed the Koi in the pond and Neal had bought them a tropical fish tank for their home. Neal adjusted his stance further so he could take both of Liam’s hands in his own.
“Cool. So, I know we’re buying the shop and we have to get settled in with that and so on, but I was thinking…”
Neal’s cheeks reddened and it became obvious that he was nervous, which immediately jacked up Liam’s nerves. He’d start freaking out if his Master did.
“What, Master, what?” Liam started to shake.
Neal tightened his grip on Liam’s hands. “Ssh, no, it’s nothing bad. I’m sorry I upset you.” Neal kissed him several times around his mouth then on it. “Look at me, sweetheart. I’m asking you to marry me, okay? I thought we could celebrate by going to Hawaii or Costa Rica or something like that, you dig?”
Liam stared at Neal, his jaw hanging open. He couldn’t catch his breath, couldn’t draw in air and dizziness threatened.
“Liam? Liam?” Even through the haze he could hear the concern in Neal’s voice.
“I… I…” He swallowed without spit then managed to gulp in some air. “Love you. I love you forever.” It was all he could choke out.
Neal crouched lower until their gazes locked. He grinned. “Was that a yes?”
Liam jumped Neal, straddling him as he threw his arms around Neal’s neck with such enthusiasm that he almost knocked him over. Neal hugged him back, holding him secure in his arms as they clung to each other.
Then the tears came. Just a swell of emotion at first, but it continued to build until Liam thought he might burst. He hiccupped through his cries as Neal soothed him with words and gestures. Neal rubbed his back, whispering how happy he was, that he’d take care of him, would keep him safe and love him for always.
“I hope those are happy tears.” Neal loosened his hold somewhat, peering down at him.
Liam nodded, sniffing. “Y-yes. I swear. So happy, Master. And…”
He still couldn’t believe it. He hadn’t expected an offer of marriage, hadn’t really dreamed of it. A collar, of course, but he’d still been wishing for always and forever first. I’ll belong to him in all ways. We’ll be officially considered a family. They were a family no matter what, but marriage sent a clear message to everyone outside their circle that it was so.
“And?” Neal had taken a clean corner of the towel and had been wiping his face.
“Well, I want to make sure I heard you right. Could you ask me again?”
Neal laughed, the joy on his face obvious, which only made Liam that much happier. “I’ll ask you a million times if you want. Will you marry me, Liam Ellis?”