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JUNE 2005

Tryout at the Bondage Club

By david stein

Despite my longwindedness, we made it over to J's in plenty of time. After we paid at the door and checked our jackets, Stan moved off to see who else was there. I stayed at the bar sipping a Coke, greeting guys I knew as they came in, wondering if I really wanted to stay. Sure, I'd have liked to get tied up and played with, but the man I wanted to bottom for wasn't present. Although other good tops came in unaccompanied, carrying their own bags of gear and clearly ready for action, I didn't make any overtures. I wouldn't want a man to be working on me while thinking about someone else, and under the circumstances I doubted I could give anyone besides Terry my full attention.

I wish he was here, I thought for the fourth or fifth time, and for the fifth or sixth time reminded myself that he wasn't even in town. But what if he were? I speculated. What if I looked up this second and saw him in the mirror standing behind me? What would I do? What would he say? What would he do?

I'd been glib enough with Stan, but I was still unsure what I wanted from Terry — except that I wanted him as badly as I'd ever wanted anything in my life. Master? top? Daddy? lover? partner? I rolled the words around in my mind, trying to see if one fit better than the others, but they were all so vague, so open to interpretation. It was like being back in Philosophy 101, only with more interesting questions:

D/s Dilemmas

  • If you love your slave, is he your lover?
  • If your partner calls you boy, is he your Daddy?
  • If your lover would do anything for you, does that make him your slave?
  • If a bottom surrenders unconditionally to a top he trusts, does that make the top his Master?
  • If you love, honor, and obey a top, how is that different from serving your Master?
  • If you stay in role only during sex, does that mean you're faking it?
  • If your sex roles permeate your lives, are you and your partner losing your grip on reality?
  • How do you tell love from lust? And are they points on a line, or totally different things?
I'd tied myself up in verbal knots — and, thanks to my big mouth, maybe Terry as well. Lord knows what he thinks of me now — killer bottom, probably. It wasn't enough to tell him on the phone what I want. No, I had to tell him what he wants, too! He's probably running as fast as he can in the opposite direction. Stan's right: I need a gag — preferably Terry's cock or boot! And then if he'd only blister my ass until I can't think at all! Fat chance of that happening tonight.

It was 8:40, and the bar was filling up. As Stan had predicted, it was a good night for the club. Stan himself was nowhere in sight — probably found someone who ties mean knots. I didn't want to go home alone so early, so I stayed, resigning myself to an evening on the sidelines. Can't even get plastered with just soda and juice — I shoulda brought some beer.

I lifted my head to finish my Coke. As the can touched my lips I glanced into the mirror and almost dropped it.

"Terry?" I blurted out, not entirely sure that the image facing me was him — it was too much like my fantasy. The tall leatherman in the mirror neither moved nor spoke as I slowly lowered the can and turned around, half expecting him to vanish like a ghost.

He didn't. He just stood there silently, less than a yard away, as I satisfied myself it was really him. The gleaming brim of his Muir cap shaded his hazel eyes, but I recognized his mobile, expressive mouth — the left corner was twitching under the clipped moustache, as though he were trying to suppress a devilish grin — as well as his large nose with the creased bridge (broken in a schoolboy fight?) and his strong chin bristling with 9 o'clock shadow.

The heavy CHP motorcycle jacket he'd worn for our interrogation scene hugged his wide shoulders. The jacket was open, and under it he wore a gray leather uniform shirt. Its collar was also open, letting his chest hair curl out. My mouth watered as I thought about foraging in it, and my cock was already threatening to split my threadbare jeans.

A steel chain encircled his left shoulder, and his powerful, meaty thighs were encased in black leather breeches — a wide gray stripe and a narrow yellow one ran down the outer seams (for bondage and piss?). The wide, basketweave-stamped police belt threaded through the snaps on his jacket hung open, but an identical belt on his breeches was cinched tight enough to produce visible love handles. Handcuffs gleamed on that belt, but there was no holster or nightstick to accompany them, just his keys, and he wasn't wearing any police insignia. Short, skintight black gloves strained over the knuckles of his large hands, clenched at his sides.

My heart pounded as my eyes traveled down, past his well-filled basket, to his knees, where his breeches disappeared into tall, immaculately cared-for engineer boots, the thick soles planted solidly about a foot apart on the sawdust-strewn floor. A black leather duffel bag was parked beside him. The oil-tanned leather of his boots was a glossy matte black, not shiny like his police boots. Saliva dripped from my half-open mouth before I snapped it shut and swallowed self-consciously, shaking my head to clear it before looking up again.

Even at a distance, I could feel the tension in his body. Why is he here? I wondered. Was he lying about having to go out of town?Or did his plans change? Did he come here to find me, or was he looking for someone else, expecting me to be moping at home?

"What a nice surprise, seeing you here," I said as casually as I could manage. "Weren't you supposed to be out of town?"

"Not another word, boy," he ordered in a tightly controlled voice. The ghost of a grin had vanished, and his jaw was set. "Never mind where I'm supposed to be. Think about where you ought'a be. Show me you meant what you said yesterday. Show me that you're worth more of my time."

His bass-baritone rumble made me vibrate like a tuning fork, and my cock was so hard it hurt. Thinking fast, I solved the puzzle of his unease. He's taking a risk. Lots of guys here know both of us. I could humiliate him with a single word, a single gesture of rejection.

Terry's head shifted upward slightly, and I looked into his eyes. Along with the easy self-confidence, the powerful mind and will, and the playful sadism that had first captivated me, I sensed his vulnerability. What they'd think of him isn't important — it's what he'd think of himself if he's misjudged me. I'd told Stan that Terry opened a door in my mind I didn't even know was there. Apparently I'd opened one in his that he'd slammed shut and locked years ago. He's not totally sure of me, but he trusts me not to hurt him, not to make him sorry he tried.

I didn't want that kind of power; it scared me. Like most bottoms, I preferred an invulnerable top — an indestructible superman who'd give me what I needed, and take what he wanted, without my having to worry about his feelings at all. My heart pounded harder as the seconds ticked by and Terry's jaw clenched tighter — though he was waiting with more patience than I'd have shown in his place.

If I give myself to him, I'll be slave to a man, not a fantasy — a fragile, imperfect, fully rounded human being, not Robotop. Can I handle that? . . . If he's willing to take on all of my shit, why the hell not? . . . Why do we make it so hard for ourselves, anyway? Why can't we love each other without working through all these issues of power and control? Another puzzle piece suddenly clicked into place. Maybe working through them is how we love each other. I knew what I had to do — I'd known from the start. Now I was ready to do it.

I dropped to my knees, crossed my hands behind my back, and bent my head over his boots. I kissed the toe of the left one slowly and reverently, then the right. I shuffled forward, folded myself as small as possible, and laid my cheek on the instep of his left boot. The leather was surprisingly soft and cool against my skin. When he didn't shake me off, I closed my eyes, keeping my hands behind my back and my ass in the air.

Time seemed to stop. I couldn't hear anything from the other men in the bar — either they were watching us in rapt silence, or we were in a world of our own. The movements of my heart and lungs became slower and more regular as tension flowed out of my body. The uneasiness I'd sensed in Terry also vanished; his boot under my cheek was a rock that would never fail me. I actually stopped thinking, my restless mind suspended in a timeless moment. From his cap to the soles of my own boots, we were one.

Time started up again when Terry bent down and, without moving his boot or my head, swiftly, efficiently bound my wrists with what felt like strips of leather. I moaned as he cinched them cruelly tight.

"Thank you, Sir!" I rubbed my face against his boot. "Please, Sir! Make me yours!"

"Quiet, boy. Kneel up."

I raised my head and straightened my back. In front of my face, stretched between his hands, was a beautiful black leather collar. The thick, heavy strap, about 2 inches wide, had a line of small chain-link studs running along each edge, sturdy D-rings, and a solid locking buckle. It looked brand-new, unworn. I swallowed and blinked my eyes to clear the tears filling them.

"Do you want it?" he asked softly.

"Please, Sir, yes," I said in an equally soft voice.

I leaned forward to make it easier for him and also pulled my arms against the bonds holding them behind me — not in an attempt to escape but to enjoy the feeling that I couldn't.

He buckled the collar around my neck, pulled it snug but not tight, and closed the small padlock. The strap felt stiff against my throat when I lowered my chin, but it was lined with soft, smooth glove leather. Terry grabbed the D rings at either side and slid it around my neck a quarter-turn in each direction; it dragged a little against my skin, but not painfully. He'd obviously chosen it (or designed it?) for long-term use.

My chest was filled with joy, a little fear, and a lot of excitement. Underneath it all was wonder at how different I felt from other times I'd been collared in a scene. This is a slave collar, I told myself. It's not a bondage toy, not a fetish object, not a fashion statement. It's a symbol and tool of control. While I wear it, this man ownsme. I belong to him, and I have to do whatever he tells me. Isn't that what I wanted?

"It looks good on you, boy," Terry said as he ruffled my hair, jerking me out of my trance. "I knew it would."

I looked up and saw him smiling, seemingly relaxed. Although I quickly glanced down again, I was satisfied. If he's happy, I'm happy. He ran a gloved hand over my face, encouraging me to kiss and lick it.

"Your neck needs a collar, doesn't it, boy?"

"Yes, Sir!" I responded, but with three of his fingers probing my throat, it came out a grunt.

"Yeah, you need it bad. That's why I had this made for you today, dickhead — paid triple for a rush job, too. I'll take that out of your hide, of course."

"Yes, Sir! Thank you, Sir!" I said into his palm. "You won't regret it, Sir!"

He pulled me toward him and caressed the back of my head as I hungrily licked his crotch, as eager to prove my love as to consummate my lust.

"That's enough, boy," he said finally, lifting me off him.

I repressed the impulse to say, "Yes, Sir" — he doesn't need my agreement every time he says something! — and contented myself with kissing his boots again.

"Stay there, dickhead," Terry said above me in a loud voice. "In fact, put your head on the floor. I don't want you flirting with every stud who passes."

Obediently, I bent down until my forehead touched wood. As Terry walked away I squirmed a little, widening my legs and pulling my head in, until I felt stable — a human tripod — if not exactly comfortable. I'd always said I "wasn't into humiliation," but my cock was hard as I knelt with my face in the dirt and my hands tied behind me, waiting for my Master to reclaim me.

The bubble of silence had vanished. The footfalls of men in boots (or even sneakers) vibrated the floor all around me, and conversation and recorded music rolled over me. I was nudged several times, and a few guys amused themselves by wiping their bootsoles on my hair or ass. I didn't move. The noise of horny men psyching themselves up for three hours of bondage and JO grew and grew. My ass was slapped and even kicked more than once, but I forced myself not to react. I was sure Terry'd be watching, judging my obedience but also ready to protect me from any real harm. I wondered if Stan saw me. He's probably tied up, too, by now.

The crowd began to move toward the back of the bar, where it opens up into a wider space with several different side rooms and areas. Apparently the circle was forming, a tradition at the NYBC and many similar clubs: after the doors are locked, everyone who wants to participate introduces himself and, if he wishes, says something about what he's into or looking for. The process can be tedious for regulars, of course, but it breaks the ice for newcomers and helps everyone zero in on the guys whose interests seem compatible.

A familiar pair of boots straddled my head, and Terry commanded me to stand up. When I swayed for a moment after getting on my feet, he steadied me with a strong hand on my shoulder. I kept my eyes lowered, but he lifted my chin and made me look in his face. He had a goofy smile, not his usual lopsided grin, but his eyes were bright and clear. He seems happy. I smiled back at him. After that reality check, he pulled me toward his chest, and I kissed and licked all the flesh and leather I could reach.

He laughed when I slurped my tongue under his chin, rasping at his beard stubble, and held me tighter. When I stood on tiptoes to reach higher, he gave in and bent his head so we could kiss. I let him pillage my mouth with his tongue — and tried to suck it back into me when he began to withdraw. I felt his chuckle more than heard it. I tried to look at his face again, but he spat in his palm and rubbed it over my lips and cheeks, cleaning off the dirt from the floor. Finally he knuckled my head and held me at arm's length. He'd checked his jacket and cap, and thanks to his short sleeves, I'd felt his muscular, hairy arms brush mine when we hugged. I licked my lips, wondering how one of them would feel shoved up my ass.

"That was fun," he said, grinning widely, "but we'd better get back there or they'll start without us."

"Who cares?" I said, then, realizing the lapse, flinched and lowered my eyes. "Sorry, Sir." Terry laughed it off.

"We'll talk about protocol later, boy. Tonight, as long as you're respectful and obedient, don't worry about it."

When I glanced at him gratefully, still a little unsure I wasn't in trouble, he knuckled my head and laughed again.

"Relax, Matt. You worry too much. Here — this'll help." He pulled a pecker gag out of his bag, stuffed it in my mouth, and buckled it tight around my head. "Now you won't have to think about what you say — 'cause you won't be saying anything."

He chuckled as I moaned around the spongy plastic plug, happy to have something cock-shaped to suck on.

"Carry this, dickhead," he said and slung the strap of his bag over my right shoulder and across my chest; the bag itself banged against my ass just below my bound hands. It didn't weigh as much as I'd expected — no extra-heavy irons this time?

Behind me, he rummaged in the bag, then came around in front again to clip a leash to my collar — four feet of tightly braided leather in a beautiful combination of black and silvery gray. Like the collar, it looked new, and I wondered if he'd bought it, too, just for me. New slave, new collar and leash — kind of like an engagement ring! As he slipped the loop at the other end of the leash over his left wrist, he looked into my eyes and grinned again.

"Move it, dickhead!" he said as he turned and headed toward the back.

I followed him, keeping my eye on his trim leathered rear, wanting to get my tongue all over, and into, his ass. But something nagged at me: He keeps calling me "dickhead," like it's a name. I wasn't sure I liked it — then again, I wasn't sure I didn't. Doesn't matter, I guess, long as he likes it.

"Good boy," Terry said when we reached the circle, almost the last ones to join it. He patted my head and pushed me to my knees beside him. Tentatively, I sat back on my heels. He didn't object, and when he saw that the bag's strap wasn't long enough to let it rest on the floor behind me, he adjusted it.

I glanced around the circle, again looking for Stan, but mostly kept my eyes on the floor in front of me — I wasn't eager to exchange glances with anyone else I knew. Although I wasn't ashamed of being Terry's slave — far from it! — I doubted the others would understand. I was still having trouble understanding it myself! I knew I liked it (my cock was a steel rod in my jeans), but despite Terry's grins and hugs, part of me still worried about what I'd gotten into.

Working my jaw around the gag, I concluded that I could scream if I had to, but I sure couldn't talk — which was just as well, because this slave business was still too new for me to talk about it in public. I sure do want to talk more about it with him in private, though — a lot more!

When it was Terry's turn, about a quarter of the way round, he said he was "into rope, leather, steel, rubber, and anything else I can use to make a man helpless and ready to give me whatever I want. But I'm not shopping tonight; I have my catch already. A lot of you probably know this cocksucker" — he grabbed my hair and pulled my head back so everyone could see my face — "as Matt Stone. I won't ask how many of you have already had him, 'cause it'd embarrass him if anyone said no." There was nervous laughter as my cheeks flamed red.

Okay, I thought as he made me face the too-familiar crowd, so he thinks I need taking down a peg or two. Deflate my vanity or something. I can handle that. I probably need it, too. My cock's still hard, anyway. Terry let my head fall back before continuing.

"This is the age of recycling," he said, "so tonight he's my slave. I'll decide later if we'll go any further — this is like a screen test for him. Since he's always horny, and definitely thinks too much, I've given him a new name: dickhead." He grabbed my collar and pulled me up off my heels. "Don't slouch, dickhead. It's bad form." There was more laughter, and my face reddened again.

"Do you like your new name, dickhead?" Terry asked teasingly, apparently determined to humble me thoroughly.

Equally determined not to let him throw me, I nodded my head firmly. By then I'd decided that I did like the tag. It sounded tough and hot, more like an affectionate nickname than a putdown.

"Don't you agree it fits you well, dickhead?"

Again I nodded. My sex drive is so wrapped up with fantasies and fetishes and other ideas in my head that it did sort of fit.

"He's very agreeable when he's gagged," Terry explained with a smirk, drawing more laughter. "I'm still working on his attitude the rest of the time. . . . Your turn," he said at last, gesturing at the man on my left, a nebbishy guy I'd often seen prowling around the perimeter of the action on club nights.

As far as I knew, he never actually got into anything at the club — probably because the little he typically said about his interests wasn't enough to encourage anyone to take him on. At Bondage Club, "I like to tie guys up" is a little too generic to set any pulses racing (unless the man who says it happens to be your wet dream on looks alone). But this night the nebbish opened up, perhaps encouraged by Terry's example.

"I like to tie up young, athletic guys so tight it hurts, then gag 'em and make it even tighter. After they've suffered for an hour or two and are all sweaty and sore, I like to lick their bodies all over, jerk off on them, then jerk them off."

When he finished, you could've heard a handcuff key drop. Maybe no one knew if he could even tie a knot, but this time he'd have all the volunteers he could handle willing to find out. The intros got raunchier and wilder after that, and when the circle broke up and guys started pairing off, the overall energy level seemed higher than I could remember it being for a long time.

Several men came over to greet Terry, an infrequent visitor but a longtime member, and I stayed on my knees in front of him while they talked. One congratulated him for "making an honest slave" out of me.

"I haven't done anything to him — yet," Terry said. "Didn't you see how he threw himself at me as soon as I came in?"

I spluttered around my gag at this whopper, but he booted my ass, so I settled down. Let him tell it his way.

"Anyway, tonight's only going to be a test drive," he went on. "We haven't made any commitments. I'm not convinced yet that this fucker is ready to settle down, or that I want to go to the trouble of training him. He's been quite a slut — haven't you, dickhead?"

I blushed again and nodded. Why's he keep harping on my sexual history? I didn't catch the plague. What more does he want?

"Better an experienced slut who knows who he is and what he wants," one of the men said, "than some asshole kid fresh off the bus with his head full of Drummer fantasies."

I could've hugged him. I glanced up and tried to thank him with my eyes. He winked, and I recognized him — years ago we'd played together a couple of times. He wanted more, and I wanted variety, but we'd parted on friendly terms. Terry, however, wasn't as pleased by the remark as I was.

"Not every kid fresh off the bus is an asshole," he said in a serious tone, "Drummer fantasies or no. Sometimes they're simply . . . unripe. Even a slut like dickhead here was a kid once."

He ruffled my hair and let me nose his palm, so I knew he wasn't upset with me, but I felt as if I'd missed a clue.

"Now, if you'll excuse us, gentlemen," Terry said, "I need to find somewhere to work on my slave-for-a-night before all the good spots are taken."

They were in short supply, too. Both of the club's bondage racks were in use already, as was the padded, eyehook-trimmed table, several eyebolt-equipped posts, and three or four chains hanging from the ceiling. But I didn't care. I'd have been happy if Terry had done nothing more than strip off my clothes and let me lie at his feet. Oh, it would've been nice if he took the gag out to let me use my mouth on other things, like his boots and cock, but I could do without that, too.

There was one more delay, however. I was on my feet, his bag hanging off my back again, and he was leading me toward the small raised platform in the back, which has no special equipment so was still unoccupied, when Stan suddenly appeared and stood in front of us like a roadblock. Although he'd stripped down to boots and gym shorts, there wasn't a rope or chain on him. He looked ready to take Terry apart with his bare hands.

"Hello, Stan," my Master for the night — and much more, I hope! — said mildly, obviously having no trouble recognizing the man he'd supposedly snubbed. "Did you want something?"

"I don't like hearing you make fun of my friend in public. I want to be sure he's all right. . . . You okay, Matt?" he asked, stepping toward me.

I was touched by his concern, and despite being gagged I could have at least nodded. But Stan, in all innocence, had put me in an awkward bind: If I acknowledged him without permission, I'd piss Terry off. But if I didn't reassure Stan somehow, he'd really worry, and maybe start a fight. Terry had it all over him in reach and weight, but Stan was solid muscle. I didn't want to find out which of them would win. To my relief, Terry himself rescued me — after he was satisfied I wouldn't make a move on my own.

"There's no one here by that name, Stan. If you're worried about dickhead, just ask him — he has permission to answer by nodding or shaking his head."

Now poor Stan was in a similar dilemma: Should he use Terry's name for me? If he did, he'd be acknowledging Terry's mastery and my new status. If he didn't, I'd have to continue ignoring him. He shifted uncertainly on his feet, looking from me to Terry and back again. I was starting to think he'd punch Terry out from sheer frustration.

Finally Terry laughed. "Use your eyes, man!"

He grabbed the front of my 501s and ripped them open, then pulled out my rod.

"Look at his cock! You know him better than I do. If he was scared or turned off, this'd shrivel like a punctured balloon. He loves being treated like this. The more I try to humiliate him, the prouder he is at being the center of attention. He blushes for a few seconds, but that only makes him look hotter."

I felt myself blushing again — and hoped Terry was enjoying it.

"Anyway," he continued, draping his arm around my shoulders, "I've had enough of those games for now. I'm going to get him out of these clothes, let him love my boots for a while, tell him some stuff he needs to hear, then truss him up like a Christmas goose and fuck him senseless. Nothing that a friend need be concerned about."

Stan's no fool. I obviously didn't need rescuing.

"I'll be watching you, man," he warned, glaring at Terry before stalking off.

"I'm glad you inspire such loyalty, dickhead," Terry said quietly when Stan was out of earshot. "I hope it means you know how to give it, too."

Should I nod? But he pulled me forward again before I could decide how to respond.

We halted at a small table in a corner of the platform. Terry took his bag off me and set it on the table, stripped off his gloves, laid them next to the bag, and felt my hands. My arms hurt by then, but despite the tightness of the bonds my fingers weren't going numb. Our hands clasped momentarily in a silent dialogue, and then he let go.

"Down, boy," he said, pointing at the floor between the table and the bench at the back of the platform. I settled onto my knees, and he tied my leash to a sprinkler pipe on the low ceiling above me.

"I'm taking out this gag," he said as he unbuckled the strap, "because I have to go piss. But I want you to kneel here quietly and not talk to anyone until I get back. Understand, dickhead?"

"Yes, Sir," I said after working my jaw back to normal. "But you could let me take your piss, Sir."

He grabbed my hair and pulled my head back until I was looking up at him. The collar's edge dug into the back of my head.

"Greedy idiot," he said, obviously angry. "I can overlook your speaking out of turn — this time — but I won't tolerate stupidity or thoughtlessness. You know better than that: no fluid exchange. You want to get us thrown out of here? Or have the club lose its meeting place?"

"No, Sir — I'm sorry, Sir. Please forgive me, Sir." I'd made the offer to please him but clearly hadn't thought it through.

Terry said nothing as he released my head, just growled and walked away. I hung my head and contemplated the prospect of being answerable to such a demanding Master, wondering if I'd ever be good enough to satisfy him. Will he punish me whenever I fail to meet his expectations? The typical emphasis on punishment is one of the things that had always turned me off about Master/slave scenes and relationships. I want to obey him because I love him and enjoy pleasing him. I don't want to be coerced into anything — or made to feel guilty or inadequate all the time.

When Terry didn't return after a couple of minutes, I shifted my position a little to get an unobstructed view of the developing scene out in the center of the room. The nebbish had one of the better-looking jocks in the club — a softball star, I think — tightly spreadeagled on a bondage rack and gagged with his own sock (it matched the one still on his other foot).

Spreadeagle is my own favorite position, so the boner hanging out of my jeans throbbed as I watched the nebbish add rope after rope to increase the tension. He was damned good, too. He'd used padded leather restraints for the jock's ankles and wrists, and he was making neat loops of rope around the well-muscled upper arms, thighs, calves, chest, and abs. Each time he tied off a new rope to the frame, his "victim" moaned and his hard cock jerked higher — or it did until his cock and balls themselves got tied down!

I was so caught up in the scene I was watching that I didn't notice Terry until he was practically next to me. He was carrying a can of 7-Up and a glass of ice.

"Did I say you could watch, dickhead?" he asked as he set the glass on the table beside me.

"No, Sir. But you didn't say I couldn't, Sir."

Terry chuckled and untied my leash from the pipe. He seated himself at the table, stretching out his legs so one of his tall boots brushed my flank. I stole a glance at him over my shoulder — he'd put the loop of the leash over his left wrist again, but the line between us was slack. He was drinking his soda. He raised his eyebrows at me over the glass, and I looked down again.

This stinks, I thought. What's the use of having a hot-looking Master if I can't look at him?

"You know, dickhead," he said in a lazy drawl, speaking to the back of my head, "you behave pretty well for a guy who says he never thought about being a slave. Oh, your manners and carriage could stand some work, but that's penny-ante stuff. I'm not interested in the kind of theatrics that wins contests, where I snap my fingers and you jump through hoops. . . . I'm sure you could do it, too, but that's not what I wanted you to show me. That's not why I came down here tonight. . . ."

His voice trailed off, as if he was unsure of himself suddenly — or unsure of me. The devil in me decided to goose him a little, show him that as much as I wanted him, I wasn't any wimp he could string along.

"So why did you come here tonight, Mr. Andrews?" I asked over my shoulder. "What are yoah intentions, suh? Hon'rable, Ah hope."

His face registered shock momentarily, then relaxed as he laughed heartily. Well, I've made my point, I thought. I gave him a quizzical glance with one eyebrow raised (a trick it took me years to perfect), then turned my head forward again with as much dignity as I could muster.

"It's almost 10:00, asshole," he said behind me, barely suppressing a chuckle, "and I've barely started tying you up. Ditch the Scarlet impression and stand up and turn around."

Once I was on my feet facing him, he pulled me toward him with the leash, finished undoing my pants, and slipped them off over my boots as I lifted one leg at a time. My cock throbbed when he touched it, and I almost shot right there. I watched helplessly as precum welled out of my cockslit and slowly spun down to the floor.

"Can't have you dribbling all over," Terry said as he got a rubber out of his shirt pocket and slid it onto my engorged dick. I prayed simultaneously for him to stroke me hard enough to bring me off and for him to stop touching me so that I wouldn't come too soon.

The condom was just the beginning. He pulled the leash end off his wrist and tossed it over my shoulder so it wouldn't get in his way, then got some more long, narrow strips of soft leather from his bag, the same he'd used to tie my hands, and proceeded to harness my genitals. He not only installed a tight band of leather around the base of my package but also painfully stretched my ballsac, finally separating and tying off each ball so they were like little ripe plums.

"The porn stories make it seem so easy," he said in a conversational tone as he worked on me — as if weighing ideas in his hands, not my manhood. "Drag a man out of a bar and into your dungeon, attack his self-esteem, cut him off from everything he knows — work, friends, family — torture him for a few days, or weeks or months, break him down to nothing, then build him up again into whatever you want."

My cock jutted obscenely, the shaft swollen and the head a purple knob. I whimpered in a mix of pain and pleasure as he sheathed it tightly in leather all the way to the glans.

"Whether he loved you or hated you before," Terry continued, "if you 'break' him, the theory goes, he'll be your loyal slave for life." He looked at his handiwork approvingly.

"Uh-uh," he said, snapping his finger against each of my balls — I arched back and hissed through my teeth at each jolt of pain. "It doesn't work that way," he said, then slapped the head of my sheathed cock hard enough to make my balls bounce.

"Aiee! Shit, Sir . . . ," I started to beg — but we could both see that my cock was still hard, so what would be the point?

He sat back, grinning, and let me recover unmolested while he continued his little lecture.

"Yes, you can break a man with torture," he said, "and when he's broken he'll do whatever you tell him to. But he'll serve you out of fear, or because he can't think on his own anymore, not because he truly wants to please you."

I looked closely at him, a crooked grin on my own face, as I recalled my own earlier thoughts about punishment. Do we really think so much alike?

"Some guys may not care about that," he went on, "or they may like it that way — or think they do — but not me. Sorry if that disappoints you."

I shook my head, smiling broadly.

"Not at all, Sir. I'm glad you feel that way, Sir. Not that it surprises me, Sir."

"Don't be too sure you have me all figured out, dickhead," he warned. "But I can tell you I'd never want a man under my hand to come out of the experience worse than he went in, but only better, stronger, happier. That's the way I was trained."

"You were trained, Sir? As a slave?"

"Not now, boy. Someday I may tell you about it, but not to-night. Now shut up and listen. . . . I wouldn't even want a slave," he continued, "who wasn't eager to belong to me, who hadn't chosen me as his Master as much as I chose him as my slave. And any slave of mine should be as turned on by the bondage or torture or humiliation I enjoy giving him as any bottom I might bring home for a more limited scene. For example . . ."

He sat up and reached under my T-shirt — the one he'd given me — to work my nipples with his fingers. I moaned and rolled my eyes, almost losing it again as he pinched and pulled at them.

"Oh, yes, Sir," I begged, "please, Sir . . ."

"Shut up."

Much as he'd done with the same T-shirt when my hands were cuffed to the cell door, he pulled it over my head and rolled it behind my neck. Taking a long, thin black cord from his bag — it looked like braided nylon, not leather — he tied one end around my left ball and ran it up through my right nipple ring, then down again to my right ball. He looped it around the ball, back up through my left ring, and down again to my left ball, where he tied it off after making sure that all the lines were taut. I was already moaning softly, enjoying the tension on my balls and nipples but sure that it was only going to get worse.

Terry slid another, shorter length of cord behind the one criss-crossing my chest at a point halfway between my nips and balls. He brought the ends of the short cord together in front and made half a knot, retaining one end in each hand. Slowly, staring at me with intense concentration — while I looked at him with a mix of fear and desire — he pulled the cord ends he held apart, which brought the lines between each of my nips and balls closer and closer together, increasing the agonizing tension. My knees trembled, and cold sweat broke out on my forehead and under my arms. I bent forward to relieve some of the pressure.

"Stop that, dickhead," he growled. "Stand up straight."

I groaned and obeyed, nearly screaming at the rush of pain when I straightened up. He cut me some slack for a few seconds, then began tightening the cords again. The pressure kept increasing. Sweat was pouring from my pits and pubes, and tears spilled from my eyes. I was bawling like a baby — but making no effort to escape — when he finally stopped, slackened the tension a little, and tied the knot off, leaving my nips and balls painfully, but not unbearably, stretched.

"Good boy . . . good slave . . . you did fine," Terry crooned, gently stroking my sweat-soaked torso until my sobs and shakes subsided. Then he stood up and, with his hands on my hips, turned me so I was facing away from him.

He unhooked the long, braided-leather leash from my collar, and I felt him tie or hook it into the straps binding my wrists, then use it to raise my bound hands several inches up my back. Holding them in that position with one hand, with his other he drew the leash through my left armpit, across my chest and over my right shoulder, around behind my neck, then down over my left shoulder, across to my right armpit, and back to my wrists, where he tied it off. When he was finished, my forearms were held tight against my back, just below the middle, and my elbows jutted out to either side. I felt the taut lines of braided leather press against the sides of my chest and under my arms, but the bunched T-shirt cushioned my neck.

Terry hugged me from behind and lightly rubbed his fingers over my stretched-out nipples until I moaned. My cock, having softened as the pain from the nip-and-ball torture mounted, filled out again until the leather strips wrapping it made a tight, smooth sheath. I almost came as he rubbed the head of my cock while kissing the back of my head and licking behind my ears. My whole body seemed to have become a single sexual organ, so that anywhere he touched me it felt like a spit-slick finger gliding across the most sensitive part of my dick.

I was babbling incoherently when Terry finally turned me around again and pushed me to my knees. The continued throbbing in my nips and balls was almost pleasurable, and the leather tightly binding my hands, arms, and genitals was like a safety harness. I felt I could do no wrong with the parts of my body still free to move, like my head and tongue. I dived for his crotch, rubbing my face against him like a bitch in heat, slobbering and moaning over his leather. He indulged me for several minutes, stroking my head where it bobbed between his legs, but eventually pulled me off with a firm hand on the nape of my neck.

"Settle down, dickhead," he said, and seated himself again, stretching his legs out on either side of me.

I sat back on my heels, wincing as my nips were pulled tight again, and stared at his saliva-streaked crotch with my tongue out like a thirsty dog. Oddly, we still seemed to be alone in our corner of the room — or maybe I was just oblivious to anyone else, I was so focused on Terry. My eyes slowly traveled from the bulge between his legs down the length of his boots and back again. I sneaked a look back at his face: he had his crooked grin, and his eyes were sparkling. He's pleased with me, I thought. Satisfied, I lowered my eyes again.

"You're dying to lick my boots, aren't you, boy?"

"Oh, yes, Sir," I said, already drooling. "Please, Sir."

"Go ahead, then. Get your mouth and tongue on my boots. Clean 'em good. Love 'em."

I was tasting leather before he finished talking, starting at the toe of his left boot and working up. Despite the years on them, the oil-tanned engineer boots had a stronger leather smell than his patent-finish police boots, and their slightly rougher surface seemed to stimulate every nerve ending in my tongue. But the thick leather was surprisingly soft — so broken in it was like black velvet. I had to moan in pure pleasure.

"That's right," he said with a chuckle. "Whatever else you are — or become — you'll always be my bootslave, won't you?"

"You know it, Sir! Thank you, Sir," I said, pulling my mouth away from his boot for an instant.

Any more at home like you? I wondered as I returned to licking at the instep — meaning boots, not Masters. I did like being his bootslave. Somehow it felt more comfortable, easier to get my head around, than just being a slave, without qualification. Let's see: I could be his chain slave, his rope slave, his cop slave, his erotic-art slave, his . . . Terry interrupted my speculations, though not my boot worship.

"I'm due in Vermont tomorrow at ten in the morning," he said, as if discussing his schedule with a secretary. "I have to see a private client about building his dream house. He has a mountaintop all picked out. . . . I was going to leave this afternoon, have a relaxed drive, and stay overnight."

Grabbing a handful of my hair, he raised my head off his boot until our eyes met. His were shining with intensity, but mine had started to blur again with tears — from pain as well as joy.

"Damnit, Matt. I couldn't stop thinking about what you said to me yesterday morning on the phone. I figured you'd probably be here tonight, at least to watch the action and talk with friends — and if you weren't, I'd have called and told you to get your ass down pronto."

"I'm glad you came here tonight, Sir. I couldn't stop thinking about you either, Sir."

He acknowledged my statement with the briefest of grins, then let my head drop back. I started licking again but soon froze as he gave me a verbal lashing.

"At first I was furious with you," he declared. "How dare you tell me I still want a slave? How dare you presume to know more about me than I know myself? And how dare you say you might want to belong to me, but I'd have to convince you?"

I felt defensive and ashamed at the same time. I'd had to tell him what I felt, and what I'd figured out. Guess I could've been more tactful, though . . . . Like most bottoms, I tended to forget that tops — the good ones, anyway — are often more sensitive and high-strung than we are. . . . He must be going to forgive me, though, or we'd never have gotten this far tonight.

"Eventually," he went on, his tone gentler, "after a lot of uncomfortable soul-searching, I had to admit you were right. I do want a slave: not just a regular boy I can work over and fuck, but someone I own, someone who'll do whatever I want, not merely what he's agreed to in advance or what I can coax him into. . . . Probably that's the only way I can love a man, by owning him. Certainly I haven't loved any of the bottoms I've played with since my slave left. Oh, I've been very fond of many of them. They're good boys — good men. But love? No.

"You're right, though, to be cautious about that kind of relationship — not only in view of my own track record, but also considering how many other guys've tried it and messed themselves up."

He stroked my head, and I gratefully resumed licking his boots. But I was listening to every word, too.

"So many guys call themselves Masters and slaves, and so few make it work. It's easy to do for a night, a weekend, even a week or two. But when you try to make it last indefinitely, day in and day out, try to make it real . . . it's so hard. So few succeed. Those who recognize it isn't working, call it quits, and say goodbye are the lucky ones. Others leave real wounds on each other, like my first slave and I did, wounds that can take years to heal. And still others, maybe even sadder in the long run, protect themselves by denying their needs and avoiding the things that turn them on. Later they wonder why their lives feel so empty. . . .

"I'm glad you enjoy licking my boots, dickhead. I've never known anyone else do it with quite so much gusto as you. That's good, because I love boots, too, and I have a lot of them."

In response, I just slurped louder — and would've wagged my tail if I'd had one, so I wagged my ass instead.

"I've never understood," Terry went on, as if thinking aloud rather than talking to me, "how some guys can get off on forcing men to serve them — even in fantasy. What's that say about them, if their partners don't find serving them rewarding? . . . But there I go again, back on my soapbox."

I didn't mind. I could listen to his dark-honey voice all day, especially while savoring the rich, black leather encasing his feet and legs. After a few minutes he began talking again in a low voice that seemed to be pitched at my ears alone. Despite the noise from the activities elsewhere, I could hear every word.

"Let me tell you a story, dickhead, about these boots you're loving. They're special to me. They marked the end of my apprenticeship in s/m. Remember Larry? The bottom who taught me? I know I told you about him."

"Yes, Sir, I remember."

"Well, I bought these boots after the first time we played for a whole weekend at my little apartment in Manhattan. Usually I went out to his house in Queens, and even though I was the top, because he had a lot more experience, he made the rules. For instance, his lover stayed in earshot while we played, in case I fucked up and Larry needed help."

I absorbed his words, without thinking about them much, as I worshipped his beautiful boots. The head of my rubbered, leather-wrapped cock kept brushing against the floor as I moved, and I strained against the tight leather bonds on my arms, not to escape but to remind myself that I couldn't. My nipples were almost numb by then, but my balls still ached. And every time I swallowed or breathed deep, I felt his slave collar hug my neck.

"This time," Terry continued, "I did what I wanted, by my rules — and made him love it. I was nervous as hell — I'd never run a scene past one night before — but Larry never knew it. He came at least six times. I'd have made him shoot again before letting him go, but he begged me not to: his poor cock was raw. So was mine. After I released him, he got on his knees and kissed my boots — the 11-inch engineers I usually wore back then. He called me 'Master' for the first time and thanked me for one of the best scenes of his life. Did wonders for my self-confidence."

I straddled his leg and slurped at his boot in long, sensuous strokes from the instep to the top, still listening carefully.

"After that scene, I had these boots custom-made. Had to send away for them — and return 'em twice before the fit was perfect. That was more than ten years ago, dickhead. I've had these boots ever since. They just get better the more I wear 'em."

By then I was lying on my side between his legs, straining to lick along the back seams of his boots, wanting to caress each stitch with my tongue. I could see he was right. The boots fit him so well there wasn't a bulge or crease anywhere on the shafts.

"They cost a lot," he went on, "but they were worth it. I could've gone through three pairs of cheaper boots in the same time — and not have enjoyed 'em nearly as much. I take good care of my boots. I recondition them regularly and keep 'em clean, with a little help from bootlickers like you."

Like me? I was suddenly outraged. No one's like me! He said it himself! I slid down to his feet and got onto my knees, ignoring the pains that stabbed me with every change of position. Fastening my teeth onto the front of the sole of his right boot, I shook it, growling all the while, like a dog worrying a bone. Terry started laughing, but I held on and shook it even harder.

"Okay! Okay!" he exclaimed. "I get the message, boy! I'm sorry! No one else is like you! No one else services my boots the way you do."

I released his boot from my mouth and began lapping softly at the instep, the picture of innocent submission. He was still chuckling, and I marveled at how well we communicated without words. A good thing, too, because somehow he gets to do most of the talking! Master's prerogative, I guess. I also marveled at his reaction to my little stunt. A lot of other topmen would've ground me into the floor for that.

"Now where was I, you jackass? I'm probably crazy even to consider taking you on as a slave — have to watch you every minute, or you'll be pulling my chain before long. What was it Oscar Wilde said — when you feast with panthers, the danger is half the enjoyment? Something like that. . . . Anyway, I was telling you about these boots you've been lovin'. Not much more to say, actually. I've always given 'em what they need, and they've repaid me with years of faithful service."

Pretty sure, then, where he was headed, I still licked slowly and listened carefully.

"I enjoy owning things like these boots, dickhead: things that are well made, top quality, built to last."

His voice was very soft now, making me strain to hear it from my position down at his feet. Straddling his leg, I crept cautiously closer, alert for any sign I should back off.

"Any slave of mine, dickhead, would have to be like these boots: dependable and trustworthy, yielding and soft to the touch, but tough, strong, built to last. When I wear these boots, they cling to my legs and move along with me. But when I take 'em off, they stand up on their own. That's the kind of slave I'd want: well trained and eager to serve me, but able to stand on his own feet, too.

"While he's with me, I'd give him whatever he needs to stay healthy and happy — not always what he wants, but whatever he needs. And when he's on his own, I'd keep tabs on him, pulling on his leash if he got careless or too wild. But I can't afford a dependent, someone I'd have to support and discipline full time. That's too much work, and it stops being fun real quick."

I'd almost reached his crotch, softly slurping at his leather pants, which tasted slightly different from his boots, with even more of his own smell permeating them. I must have seemed to be enjoying myself too much.

Terry suddenly grabbed my hair and yanked my head up. He kept pulling until my chest was completely off his leg, bent back in a curve. The pain from the hair-pulling was nothing compared with that from the suddenly increased tension on my nipples and balls. I screamed and begged, but his face, no longer grinning, seemed carved from stone.

"Have you been listening to me, asshole, or just wallowing like a leather pig? Have you heard a word I've said?"

"Yes, Sir!" I protested. "I heard every word, Sir!" I was gasping, and he lowered me slightly. "You were telling me what you want a slave to be, Sir: tough and dependable and pliable and self-supporting, Sir. Like your boots, Sir. I only crept closer to hear better, Sir!"

His features softened, and he let go of my hair, allowing me to bend forward enough to relieve the agony. But he didn't let me go back to licking his crotch. He slowly bent the leg I was straddling, pulling his boot back toward him and raising his knee under my butt. I lifted myself from my knees onto my own feet, but he made me plant my ass on his leg, just in front of his knee. My hard, sheathed cock lifted and pointed toward him — the reservoir at the end of the condom was white with all the precum I'd dribbled into it.

Smiling, he bent forward and kissed my eyes with incredible tenderness, licking the tears away. My heart melted all over again.

"Please, Sir," I whispered, dignity be damned. "I need you so bad, Sir. I'll do whatever you want, Sir. I'll be whatever you want me to be."

"Stop talking like a porn story, Matt."

His use of that name startled me, I was already so used to his calling me "dickhead" or "boy" or "asshole" — whatever. He sat back, and I noticed his moustache twitch slightly above his full, sensuous lips. He looked very serious, but a wicked sense of fun was never far from the surface.

"If I wanted a piece of blank manmeat to shape," he told me as I stared raptly, "I wouldn't be attracted to you in the first place. What would be the point of taking you as my slave and then trying to change who you are? I told you what qualities I expect in a slave. If you have them — and I think you do — we can make this work; if not, I can't give them to you. But it's not those qualities that make me want you. D'you understand?"

"I think so, Sir. A strong back, a tight ass, and a soft mouth aren't enough for you — you want to own my soul, too."

"Damn right I do!" he laughed. "If all I wanted was personal service and easy sex, I could hire it. If I'm going to go to the trouble of being any man's Master, he'd better throw some spirit into the bargain. I don't need a draft horse. I want a thoroughbred, and I'm willing to put up with some temperament for the fun of racing him."

"Like your Jaguar, Sir?"

"Exactly like my Jaguar. I knew you were a smart boy."

"Just trying to keep up with you, Sir. You know how they say the brain is the largest sexual organ? Well, I'm afraid I'm a bit of a size queen there, Sir."

"So am I, boy, so am I," he chuckled. "We have the damnedest conversations! I think that's one of the things I like most about you — we start talking, and I never know where we'll end up."

"You were telling me what you want in a slave, Sir. Is there more?"

"Plenty! But you already knew that. Surrendering to me for a scene, which you're very good at, isn't the same as surrendering for the long haul. That'll be much harder — for both of us, especially given that temperament of yours. You'll have to learn to run in harness without losing any of your spirit."

"Doesn't sound all that hard, Sir, if you're the jockey. There's always the whip, of course."

"Wiseass — be serious for a minute! You know all those rules they make so much of in Master/slave porn stories? Like not speaking unless you're spoken to, not wearing clothes in the house, not sitting on the furniture, not looking your Master in the eye, not touching your cock, sleeping on the floor, etc., etc.? Listen carefully and I'll tell you a secret: none of that is really essential. Oh, rules like that can very useful for training and discipline, and some guys get off on them, but they're not important. They're trimming, not the heart of it at all.

"Paying attention, though — that's important. It doesn't make anyone a slave, or a Master, all by itself, but you can't be either without it. You just can't afford to take anyone you love for granted."

My eyes had filled with tears again by the time he stopped talking. How could I not love a man who spoke like that, after playing me as hard and as well as anyone had in years? Could we have them both — a high-intensity sexual relationship and a realistic life partnership?

"Maybe you'll become my slave, Matt," he said softly. "Or may—be if we start out on that journey, you'll decide it's not what you want after all. Maybe I'll decide you're not the right one for me, or that I want you in a different way. It's too soon to tell. But the potential is definitely there, and that's what I needed to be sure about. There's a fine chemistry between us, on several levels. Oh, you're still a pushy, self-centered smartass, but you'll get over it . . . or I'll get used to it."

Terry was grinning openly now, and I felt waves of love — and relief — course through me. But then he looked at his watch and cursed.

"Oh, shit. Guess I got carried away with the sound of my own voice — or with the feel of your tongue on my boots. It's after 11:00. At midnight they unlock the doors, and we'll have to turn into something that won't scare the regular customers. . . . Stand up."

I obeyed, wincing as my nipples were pulled. He immediately reached for the cord connecting my nipples and balls and untied it. When my nipples were free, except for the rings in them, he pulled my chest toward his face, kissed each nip tenderly and licked at it for a few seconds, fingering and tugging at my balls at the same time. The pain and pleasure were so intense I almost shot, but he pulled off in time.

He released my other cock-and-ball bindings and stripped the condom from my still-hard cock, then turned me around to untie my arms. When they were free he rubbed them vigorously and kissed my wrists. I wanted to hug him, but he forestalled me.

"Get down on your knees again, dickhead."

I glanced at him quizzically for an instant, then obeyed.

"Straddle my boot and jerk yourself off. I want to see you come, slaveboy."

I moaned loudly as soon as I touched my cock. It was still moist from the lube in the condom, and my hand slid over the head as slick as Greg Louganis through water.

"That's right, boy," Terry said to encourage me. "Stroke your meat. Pull it hard. I want to see you shoot your load all over my boots. That's how I keep them in good shape, with cum. It's the best leather conditioner there is."

While he talked, he pushed his boot toe under my still-sore balls and jiggled them. I spread my legs wider, and he toed the tender skin between my balls and asshole, then poked at the asshole itself. I moaned and squirmed against his boot, my hand flying up and down my cock. I wanted to come so bad — and to prolong this ecstatic foreplay forever.

"C'mon, dickhead," he said. "We don't have all night. You should be hotter than hell by now. I want you to shoot for me. Shoot on the count of three. . . . One."

"Yessir! Yessir! I'm going to come for you, Sir!"

I was humping his boot toe, bouncing my balls against the tall shaft.


He almost lifted me off the floor on his outstretched leg. I threw back my head and groaned.


"Ahhggh! Oh, God, Sir! Aiiee!" I screamed, and my whole body convulsed as I shot spurt after spurt of cum onto his boot, his leg, his crotch. "Ahh-ahh . . . ."

It felt so good I almost passed out. I collapsed in a heap at his feet, mumbling, "Thank you, Sir! Thank you, Sir!" over and over. I was drained.

"Shut up, dickhead," he told me. "You have something better to do with your mouth."

I had a pretty good idea what it was. I hauled myself up and started licking my cum off his leathers like it was whipped cream. I followed the trail from his boot all the way up to his crotch, where a big glob had landed right on his cock. I licked it up and flashed him a shit-eating grin, then planted my mouth back on his crotch, clamping the hard shaft of his cock between my teeth.

"That's enough, boy. Time to get dressed."

"Grrr," I growled, holding onto his boner like a dog refusing to give up a bone.

He laughed, but lightly smacked my head.

"I mean it, boy. That's enough. No more tonight."

I pulled off and sat back on my heels, hanging my head and pouting.

"Oh, you're impossible," he said. "Put your clothes on and go get us something to drink. Now."

He stood up, stretched, and stifled a yawn as he looked around at the various scenes winding down in the rest of the room, then back at me while I rolled down the T-shirt and slipped back into my jeans.

"Probably ruined my reputation tonight," he said with a half-grin. "I usually give more of a show when I play in public."

"You'll hear no complaints from me, Sir."

"You'll hear one from me, asshole, if you don't put a cold Coke in my hand pretty damn quick. . . . Never should have told him protocol wasn't important," I heard him mutter behind me as I turned and headed to the bar.

I spotted someone who looked like Stan lying on his side, chest facing out, on one of the risers across from the bar. He had trunks on, so he was decent enough, but he was tightly hogtied and wearing a full leather hood with no mouth or eyeholes. Looking closer, I was sure I recognized the trunks and boots from earlier that evening and, even more, the short, heavily muscled body. I was relieved to see that whoever tied him up had also tied him in place so he couldn't roll off. He seemed to be breathing regularly (his chest moved in and out as far as the ropes would allow), and in his head he was probably a million miles away.

Waiting for a fresh glass of ice for Terry's soda, I glanced around for Stan's top. It was easy to spot him standing nearby, a tall black man in army gear talking with a couple of other guys but glancing at Stan periodically. I knew him slightly — Carl? Craig? A good man whatever his name is. . . . Like the one I have waiting.

I hurried back, finding Terry seated again, half turned away from me and watching the porn video on the monitor in our alcove while puffing on a big black pipe. Sweet smoke wreathed his head. He was awkwardly slumped in the undersized chair, and he rubbed the back of his neck from time to time as if he was tense, or sore. The gear he'd used on me was all stowed away — except the collar I still wore.

He didn't look at me as I set the drinks on the table and poured Coke into his glass. I set the can down, then moved behind him and laid my hands lightly on his shoulders. He seemed surprised at the liberty and turned his head back to look at me, but I spoke first.

"You seem to be in pain, Sir. Would you like me to massage your neck and shoulders?"

"Yes, that would be nice," he said after a moment's consideration. "Go ahead."

I ran my fingers around the base of his thick neck and across his shoulders, feeling for the tightness underneath the gray leather of his shirt. I was shocked at how knotted up he was.

"This may hurt at first, Sir," I warned. "You're very tight."

"I can take it, boy," he said. "Do your worst."

I'm not a trained masseur, but I learned a few tricks caring for Greg, and I used them all as I worked Terry's muscles like tough bread dough, kneading and pummeling them until they finally lay limp and smooth under my fingers. He bore the treatment stoically, puffing on his pipe from time to time, until near the end, when he gave a massive sigh and seemed to let go all at once, as if finally permitting himself to relax.

I kissed the back of his neck and the top of his head (he'll have a bald spot there in five years), then got down on my knees beside him. Wordlessly, he handed me my 7-Up. I drank about a third of it — getting that big lug to relax had been a real job! — before setting it down on the floor in front of me. I sat back on my heels and crossed my arms behind my back.

Terry chuckled and wrapped his big hand around my head, ruffling my hair and stroking my face. I licked his palm and drew my nose across his wrist. He pulled me toward him and laid my head on his thigh, just in front of his dangling keys.

We sat like that for several minutes, saying nothing, needing no words. My cheek lay against his leather; his arm cradled my head, his hand squeezing my shoulder every now and then. Smoke rings from his pipe floated down to the floor in front of me, except when random air currents carried them away.

Finally he stroked my hair again and fingered the padlock at my throat.

"Party's over, boy. Time to take this off."

I looked up, and my eyes pleaded with him, but I knew he was right. He unlocked the collar and lifted it off. I felt more naked than when I was bareassed.

"Pull up a chair, Matt." I obeyed and sat across from him. "Did you have a good time tonight?" he asked after I was seated. "Sorry I never got around to fucking you."

"That's okay, Sir. I had a very good time. I'm sorry you didn't get off, Sir."

"That's not your concern," he said sternly, but then broke into a grin. "I had a good time, too. I don't have to shoot to enjoy myself. Later, on the road to Vermont, or lying on my bed in the guest house there, I'll think about tonight — and about our sessions Tuesday night and Wednesday, too. I'll probably shoot my load half a dozen times, remembering, and planning what I'll do with you next time.

"I can hardly wait, Sir!"

"Well, you'll have to, and so will I — but you don't have to keep calling me 'Sir.' You're not collared or bound now."

"I want to, though, Sir! . . . Unless you'd rather I didn't?"

"Hmm," he stalled, rubbing his chin with his hand. "I have mixed feelings about that. I don't want you to 'Sir' me constantly merely because you think it's expected — I would expect it, of course, if you were my slave, but that's not settled yet. And I don't want you doing it because it makes you hot. That's a distraction if I want to talk with you on another level, like now. But if it's a sign of respect . . . you're nodding, but do you really mean it?"

I pulled back, hurt by his distrust.

"If you can't even believe I respect you, what's the use?"

"The boy I led out of the Spike a few days ago didn't respect much of anything," he said.

"He's not the same boy you left on the sidewalk Wednesday night," I answered back.

Terry grinned crookedly and puffed a smoke ring at me. I held my ground, determined not to cough or flinch, as it hit my face and slowly dissipated.

"Strangely enough," he said, "I think that's true, but damn if I know how it happened. D'you understand it?"

"No, Sir — I mean, Terry." I shrugged. "But it's real. I'm not the same as I was, and I don't want the same things anymore."

"What do you want now, Matt?" He looked me in the eyes with the utmost seriousness. "Do you really want to be a slave?"

"I think so, but I'm not sure I know what that really means. Years ago I tried it for a weekend with Jake — you know, sixtysomething topman, shaved head, old leathers, hangs out at Altar on weekends and seems to know everybody?"

"Yes, I know Master Jake very well."

His cockeyed grin suggested that was an understatement. There's some history between them! What?

"He warned me I wasn't slave material," I went on, "and our weekend seemed to prove it. It was boring and frustrating, not exciting at all. After that, I never tried it again, never wanted to."

"And now . . ."

"I want you — no, that's not right. I want you to want me. . . . Still not on the mark. I want to belong to you. It's not that I want to be a slave — I want to be your slave. Hell, I am already, no matter what you decide. I don't think I'll ever get you out of my head and heart. If we were vanilla fags, it'd be a simple case of lovesickness. But we're leathermen, and the only way I can imagine being yours is as your slave. . . .

"It's funny," I went on as Terry listened intently. "Earlier this evening Stan asked me why I wanted you to own me. I told him I'd seen how you treat your property." He smiled at that, but what I said next didn't please him at all. "I don't see how the bottoms you play with regularly can stand it, knowing you care more about that Indian rug on your bedroom floor than about them, because they're just passing through your life, not an integral part of it."

"That's not true," he protested. "I choose my play partners as carefully as I choose my furnishings, and I cherish them at least as much. I would never have chosen you at the Spike if I didn't already know a good deal about you. Did you really feel uncared for when I played with you that night?"

"Initially, yes. Oh, I felt safe enough as far as limits and stuff — I didn't think you'd harm me. But there was a distance even when you were fucking me. The roles we were playing were like masks we hid behind. The sex was great, the bondage and pain play were great, but you were like a fantasy, not a real person."

"What changed?"

"Hmm . . . let me think a moment. . . . Yeah, that's it. It started to change when you were annoyed that you couldn't give me your piss. The mask cracked a little — you weren't just a top, but a gay man in the '90s determined to do the right thing and still not liking it one bit. And after you had me all strapped into the sleepsack, you told me you'd enjoyed yourself, that you were glad you'd brought me home. And then you gave me one of the most fantastic orgasms of my life."

"Is that so unusual, telling a sex partner that he's pleased you and trying to give him pleasure in return?"

"Not unusual after a scene, but yes, very unusual while it's going on. You still had me bound — far tighter than before, in fact. I was still in a submissive, subordinate position. But you treated me like a person, not a piece of meat."

"I don't see what's so special about that," he said.

"You haven't bottomed much lately, have you?"

"Ahh . . . I see your point."

"Anyway, it wasn't so much what you did as how it affected me. The real turning point, though, was later, after brunch the next day. Remember, you came in with chains for me to wear while I cleaned the kitcken, and I made a smartass crack?"

"Remember? I almost threw you out because of it!"

"I'm glad you didn't! But you made me see something. You said you thought I'd enjoy wearing the chains, and I realized that you were right. At first it seemed silly wearing them outside of a sex scene, but I got into it, and by the time I joined you in the living room, they felt perfectly natural."

"They certainly looked good on you, and you moved so nicely in them."

"Thank you! When I knelt down next to you in the living room, and waited there, in chains, while you read the paper and listened to music, it didn't feel like a 'scene' — it felt like life. For the first time, I thought about being at someone's beck and call, awaiting his pleasure, of being put into restraints for no practical reason except that he enjoyed seeing me in them. . . . No — not 'someone.' You, Sir."

He looked away from me and puffed his pipe, giving us both a chance to examine our hearts. When he turned back, we looked into each other's eyes, and I think we knew then there was no turning back. Still, ever cautious, Terry spelled it out for me.

"For me to own you," he began, speaking slowly and carefully, weighing each word, "I'd have to know you were willing to give me anything I asked for, no matter how hard, no matter how painful or scary. No reservations. No holding back. No waiting to be convinced."

"Yes, Sir," I said when he paused. He shook his head.

"It wasn't a question. I'll tell you when it's time for vows and pledges." Abashed, I lowered my eyes.

"For you to belong to me," he went on, "you would have to know, deep down, without any room for doubt, that I would never deliberately harm you, that possessing you was my greatest joy, and that every pain you endured at my hands only deepened my love for you."

I shivered, wondering, Is that possible? Can two people really feel that way about each other? God, I hope so!

"We're still a long way from that point," he continued, "no matter how sure we may both feel that we can reach it. I'm willing to start the journey with you. . . . Don't say anything now," he warned as I opened my mouth. "Don't make decisions while you're still thinking with your dick. Take some time. Look inside yourself — like you made me do."

"All right, Sir . . . Terry." I grimaced at the slip, but he took no notice.

"Think it through carefully, Matt," he said. "You have to be sure. I won't tolerate being jerked around. We'll spend more time together as soon as we can, not only playing but also doing ordinary stuff like going to dinner or a movie — you know, like dating." He grinned, and I returned it.

"Matt," he continued, his face serious again, "it's been years since I was a Master, and you've never been a slave — I don't count your weekend with Jake, or tonight. We both need time to grow into our roles, to experiment together, to see what works for us, and what doesn't.

"Don't imagine that you'll say yes, and I'll give you a contract to sign and a week's notice to get rid of all your possessions — or that you'll never have to make another decision. Even as my slave, you'll still live in your apartment, hold the same job, and do most of the same things you do now. You'll just do it all subject to my orders and according to my preferences."

"That's a relief! People talk like becoming a slave is a cross between entering a monastery and joining the Marines. But what you're saying actually sounds doable."

"Well, lots of men do become monks, or Marines. In your case, I think you'll find it's more challenging to make such a fundamental change in your life without being removed from a familiar environment to a more structured setting."


"It's no joke," he said with a rueful grin. "The hardest part of consensual slavery is dealing with clashes between the 'real world' — where both Master and slave are answerable to their bosses or clients or the government — and the private world they create by their commitment to each other and to their respective roles. Even if the Master can afford to keep the slave at home all the time, external reality has a way of breaking in."

"Sounds like you're speaking from personal experience," I said. And I want to hear all about it!

"Yes, I am." He paused and looked distant for a few moments before continuing.

"I used to be bitter about that, but now I think it's a good thing. Masters need to be reminded that we're not gods and aren't exercising power in a vacuum — or in a social structure that supports what we do. No one's going to help me keep you enslaved if you decide you don't want it anymore."

"But what about a contract? Isn't that where you spell out a slave's obligations?" Terry laughed.

"Since slave contracts are unenforceable," he said, "they're mostly just props for a fantasy. The only value I see in them is if they help the partners understand their commitments more clearly. Writing a contract can be a useful exercise — actually trying to live by one can be perilous. Anyway, with you I wouldn't want anything so rigid at the start. I made that mistake last time."

"Well, despite the challenge of making it real, I feel encouraged by what you've said. Fantasy is a lot of fun, Terry, but I want a real-life connection with you. I want to follow your lead, whether I'm in your cell or your kitchen — or at the movies."

"Good! I want that, too. I love temporary role-playing, like with my uniforms, but I'm ready for something more."

We smiled at each other — equal partners in an adventure of inequality.

"You'll think about all this when you go home?" he asked.

"Damn right, I will!"

"Also try to imagine what our ordinary lives might be like if you were my slave. Next time we get together, we'll compare notes." His grin was devilish, and I knew he had more than just talk in mind. "Deal?"

"Deal," I said eagerly.

"Good. Now pick up my bag and walk me to the door. I won't offer you a ride home — that'd be more temptation than either of us could handle. Stay here and socialize. Convince Stan I'm not an ogre. Do whatever you want. You don't have to work tomorrow . . . today, now," he said, checking his watch.

"As a matter of fact, I do," I said sourly.

"Then go home and get some sleep!"

After he'd retrieved his jacket and cap, we hugged and kissed for, oh, an hour or two.

"Be good, boy," he told me when we finally broke apart, and a moment later he was out the door, leaving me behind.

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This story originally appeared in david stein's novel, Carried Away: An S/M Romance (Daedalus Publishing, 2002). It is reprinted with permission of the author and of the publisher.

The first chapter of the novel is available online in PDF format. The full novel is available at: Amazon.com (with excerpts) | Barnes & Noble | Daedalus | KinkyBooks.

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Copyright © 2002 david stein. All rights reserved.
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