Authors: Deb Varva
He parked and walked to the door that stood ajar and laughed at the not so subtle message that no one would jump to open the door at Carl's convenience. So far, his host was running true to form. By making Carl call him, having the interview on his home turf and now this, he was establishing his alpha male position. Carl loved the way the man's mind worked.
Standing in the foyer, he called, “Hello?”
Nothing. No, he could hear a female voice singing off key and the sound of pots banging in the distance. Not the sounds he was looking for, but reassuring in their normalcy. Finally, he heard a man's low rumble to his left and he followed the sound.
Another door ajar made Carl roll his eyes as he stepped through.
His first impression of James Pauly was one of stunned admiration. Pictures on the web did not do the man justice. Lean strength and neatly trimmed brown hair made him look years younger than thirty-nine. A bit of silver at the temples set off the warm tan of his skin, he was classically handsome.
He was also sitting on the edge of an oak desk with a phone to his ear, but his eyes were staring back at Carl with an intensity that unnerved him. Sexual tension crackled in the air. This was either going to be the interview of a lifetime or the interview from hell. How in god's name was he supposed to concentrate on the job?
“Yes, Sammy, that is why I'm giving you a heads up now. I trust you to run things smoothly and I will merely be a phone call away, regardless.” A pause. “When I have the dates confirmed, yes.” A chuckle this time that went through Carl like a shiver. “You'll do fine. Bye, Sam.”
Sam Maynard was the manager of the restaurant and Pauly's best friend, Carl knew. Was Pauly going on vacation?
“Good Morning, Mr. Pauly. I'm Carl Guttuso.” He started to step forward and hold out his hand when the other man's hand came up to stop him.
Halting in his tracks, not knowing what to do next, he got the distinct feeling of being stalked as Pauly came toward him and stopped within his personal space. Spicy cologne filled his nostrils.
“Call me James for now, Carl. I'm pleased you could come.” James took the hand that was still half-raised and wrapped both of his hands around it, holding on a bit too long before letting go. “Sit and we'll talk.” James turned and sat behind his desk.
Carl took a deep breath to clear his head. He knew James was playing him. He understood the point of standing so close, James was a couple of inches taller and a few pounds heavier, he meant to be intimidating. The slight emphasis on “come” when the man squeezed his hand was not lost on him either. Even knowing all that, he landed in the chair with a thump as his legs gave out.
“What do you wish to know?”
Carl pulled out his notebook to check the questions he wanted to ask. “First, I would like to establish the facts, if I may. You are a Dominate in BDSM.”
“You preside over a club of other dominates in the area.”
“No? Forgive me, but I know I heard Mike Adams correctly yesterday.”
“I'm sure you did. And, by the way, he was greatly distressed by that.” James leaned back in his chair and relaxed. “I only meant that our group is not a formal club. We are friends who support each other.”
“What kind of support?”
“As with any faction of people, we need the approval of our peers. There have been many times in the past that I would have liked to talk over a problem with someone who truly understood. Have you been to The Leatherman?” Carl nodded. “Then you know, for the most part, the men there simply want the quick thrill.” James grinned.
Carl's brain stuttered at the sight of the grin. Attraction did not help his thought process. “Why the grin, James?”
“I was just remembering a shirt I saw once, ‘Whip me, Beat me, Make me smile.’ My point is— the usual clientele of The Leatherman don't view domination the same way I do. I wanted, still want, to explore a man's boundaries. I want a rapport with my sub that includes body, mind and heart. My friends feel the same way.”
“I'm not sure I understand completely. You don't get off on hitting a man or humiliating him?”
“Actually, I do.”
“Then I'm lost here.”
“And you always will be, Carl. This is not a way of life you can study from the outside and write about with any degree of accuracy.”
“Why would you assume that? I'm very good at what I do, James.”
“You are, but it changes with each couple. The next relationship I am a part of will be different from the last one. I have grown as a Dom since then and I hope to bring that maturity to my new lover. Even my friends, who believe as I do, express their belief in their own manner. How can you write that? I don't think you can if you are not a part of it.” James waited while Carl worked out the puzzle he presented. “I think you should be my sub for a period of time to fully comprehend what I believe a true power exchange can be.”
“You want me to be your sub?” His voice went up an octave. Carl knew James had been maneuvering him from the beginning, but this never occurred to him.
“You have immersed yourself in your stories before.”
“Spending a couple of weeks on a lobster boat is not the same as being your whipping boy. As for the other, I'm not comfortable with the idea of writing about my sex life.”
“Yet, you were comfortable with the idea of writing about mine, were you not?”
“I don't bottom.” His ass was his own.
“You will now.”
“I don't like pain.”
“You will come to love it.”
Carl took a deep shuddering breath and put his pen down. “How long are we talking about?”
“I realize you don't punch a time clock, but I have never required a slave, so... ”
“Wait a minute. Slave?” What the hell was he getting into?
“Some couples live the life twenty-four/seven. As I was saying, I don't want to do that, so Friday evening to Monday morning for three months.”
“I was only on the boat for two weeks.”
“There wasn't as much to learn. Two months.”
Carl could tell James was enjoying the barter and so was he if he was honest with himself. “One month. I do have a life, you know.”
“Not according to Google. Six weeks.”
Was he really going to do this? “Fine. Starting when?”
James allowed himself a gloating smile, Carl noted, as he stood up and came around the desk. “Stand up please, Carl. I want to see what I'm getting.”
As Carl rose and was caught in the scent of his cologne again, James reached out to cup the semi-erect bulge in his slacks. While he fondled Carl, he gave him a to-do list. “You will need to get a complete physical— I won't touch you until I know you are healthy enough to take it. You will also need to be tested for STDs and AIDS. I will do the same and we will meet again to exchange paperwork and sign a contract.”
Brain-dead once again, Carl tried to concentrate on the subject at hand. This became more difficult by the minute as James opened his pants and pulled his dick out. He felt his flesh fill and harden in the older man's hand. “Contract?”
“It's an agreement to be exclusive and spells out our responsibilities to one another. Not so much a legal commitment as a moral one.” James looked down to watch his hand stroke the cock he held. “Tomorrow is Friday, so we'll meet two weeks from tomorrow. All the test results should be in by then. Call me if they're not.”
“Yes. I will do that.” Carl's head dropped forward and he groaned as James released him. He was still hard and aching. The cap was so tight it gleamed in the afternoon sunlight that filtered through the room's windows.
“You will call if you change your mind as well, Carl. I expect that courtesy.”
“Of course.” His senses resurfaced enough to realize he was swinging in the wind and he self-consciously tucked his boner away. Nothing about this interview had gone as planned and he had a lot to think about when he got home.
James sat in his chair and closed his eyes, remembering the tremors that shook the reporter's hands as he put his pen down. He was sure in that moment Carl decided to accept his challenge.
He took a chance touching him as he did. The long, cut cock had fit his palm nicely, taxing his customary control. He'd had to conclude the meeting quickly before he jumped the man. His hand still tingled in remembered pleasure.
He also enjoyed the confusion on Carl's face when he left. He would probably change his mind daily until their meeting. That was fine. James had faith in the man's professional curiosity and his own appeal.
James reached for the phone to call Sam back with the dates he needed to be away from the restaurant.
Carl spent the first week running errands and taking care of the to-do list. He told his doctor he wanted to get back into shape with a personal trainer and had a full physical including a stress test he passed without too much trouble. The blood test for sexually transmitted diseases was something he did at regular intervals and he was confident he was clean. One couldn't catch anything from a book or DVD after all.
He resented the fact that James thought he had no life. Okay, maybe it was true, but his travels to get the great stories took a toll on his love life. Writing was his passion and the few boyfriends he'd had did not last long when they realized they came second. Because hook-ups made him feel slutty, he was alone a lot.
This new wrinkle in the disaster that was his life defied description. Was it work or did he now have a boyfriend? He made a face. No, but what did you call a man who wanted to do— what? ‘Training’ James said because Carl had no idea what BDSM was all about. Maybe mentor was the right word.
The Leatherman was not an accurate example of romantic power exchange according to James, so the kind of things he would be subjected to were a mystery. He suspected the mechanics would be the same. There would be whips and ropes, he was sure, but the romance of the experience remained doubtful.
James’ dominate nature was clearly tied to his sexuality. The authority in his voice and manner was sexy without a doubt, but controlling men did not normally draw a response from Carl. His infatuation with James made no sense. He had no secret desire to be abused and he sincerely hoped he wasn't going to be.
Damn! He was going to make himself nuts at this rate.
The second week crawled by. It started by having a lunch date with his best friend, Tony. They grew up together and Carl figured it would be smart if someone knew where he was and what he was doing there. Just in case. Not that he was afraid. Damn!
Tony's reaction, of course, was to laugh until he was hiccupping. Being straight and even-tempered, Tony did not understand Carl's fascination with James or BDSM. He promised to keep an eye on the apartment when Carl was with his ‘Master’ and to visit him in the hospital if something went wrong. A snicker accompanied this declaration and Carl took the ribbing with good humor.
The talk with his editor at the Journal did not go as planned. It was fine if he wanted to arrange his scheduled desk time for Mondays through Thursdays to work on his by-line, but no one would be interested in a story about fags tying each other up. God, he hated that man! Before he left the building, he recruited four writers and the janitor to put Coke, or whatever they deemed appropriate, in the man's coffee every chance they got. A quick call to the Boston Herald was more productive and restored his faith in mankind.
Thursday night brought a return of the worry this was a huge mistake. Earlier in the day, a courier delivered a package from James containing a remote for the gate and a house key. That gesture alone told him how serious James was about this venture. He lay in bed, wide-awake, and re-played his interview with James for the hundredth time. Had he really agreed to submit to him?
Submit. The word made him uneasy. He pictured himself on his knees in front of the older man, a hand controlling his head, and in spite of his misgivings, the image had his dick swelling.
Carl laid his head back against the pillow and squeezed his cock in one hand while reaching behind with the other to press a finger inside his hole. The dry penetration reminded him of what was in store for his ass over the next six weeks and his erection softened a little. Was it worth it? The story would be good and James was smokin’ hot, but could he bend over for the man? Yeah. If the price of sex with James meant he bottomed, he would gladly give it up. The Dom was a wet dream in the flesh.
The thought of seeing James naked worked better than any video and again his excitement mounted as he jerked his shaft until it stood straight up from his belly, ooze making a thin trail along its length. His breathing was harsh to his own ears and he closed his mouth. Now, every inhale was a struggle and he was desperate to come.
Behind his eyelids, he could picture the Dom's body, tall and firm, standing over him. Just one more minute. Just one more tug on the meat in his hand. Just one...
Spunk shot out to land on his hand and stomach as Carl gasped in relief. He kept milking his cock until there was nothing left and the feel of his hand became almost painful. He lay covered in cum, not sure what it meant that the image in his mind as he came was of James raising a whip. He groaned. Damn!
James had not been idle for the last two weeks either. Blood tests and calming his partner and long-time friend, Sam, took up most of the first two days. Sam was smart and ran the business end of the restaurant with the precision of a drill sergeant, but he lacked confidence. James thought his being unavailable three days a week was going to be good for Sam.
He hoped the time away would be good for him, too. With luck and Sam's help, he might be able to take these little breaks more often. Ten years devoted to building a successful business, first as a chef then as the owner, was enough. He wanted to enjoy the wealth now.
After that, the fun part began. First, he needed go over the leather goods. Anything cracked or split was tossed. The same went for any leather stiff with age and questionable stains. Second, he threw out any body-cavity toys. Plugs, gags, sounds and tubing needed to be new for sanitary reasons.