Book II in The James Lucas Trilogy
The Cross and The Trinity struck me as a weightier read than Beyond The Edge. It looks at the fragility of life and there is even a bit of a philosophical bent. Don’t get me wrong, there is kinky sex galore-Ms. Lister can write some kinky sex like nobody’s business-and the fetish party sequence still makes my pupils dilate just thinking about it, but there is also depth and emotionality that moved me. I would categorize it much the same as its predecessor as a slice of life tale with infinitely relatable characters.
~ Optimist King’s Wench, Prism Book Alliance, 2014
Blurb: Tate and Sebastian are having trouble maintaining a successful monogamous relationship. When trust is betrayed and old friends reappear, the men are faced with the challenge of making things work or changing the way they will be together. Nobody ever said relationships were easy, and when sexy Dom James Lucas swoops in at the right time, things get even more complicated. Or do they? Do gay men have to tow the traditional line, or is there room for a new definition of true love?
My So-Called Life
Driving home from another boring workshop, I cranked up the tunes on the radio. I yawned and shook my head wearily. What a fucking week. Okay, who was I kidding? What a fucking three months.
My workload had doubled. My boss, believing that my intelligence and capabilities automatically signified an interest and ambition to succeed, had put me on the fast track, learning to be an associate consultant in the business. I’d been working long days and frequent weekends, as he’d expanded his clientele and increased his business reach. I was exhausted.
To top it off, my dad lay in the hospital dying of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and advanced Parkinson’s; the former the result of fifty decades of incessant cigarette smoking, the latter a cruel chance of fate and genetics. My mom was a basket case. My brother Frank wasn’t much help. He had a wife and three kids to look after. He did what he could, when he could, but I knew he had other responsibilities. The truth was, so did I. And I wasn’t sure I was fulfilling them very well these days.
Maybe I was being paranoid. My partner, Sebastian, seemed as loving and attentive as ever when I was home. I wasn’t sure what he did when I was at work. He had his job, true, but that didn’t take up nearly as much time as mine, and I worried about him being bored and lonely a lot of the time.
Anyway, I was determined to change things, because I missed him.
Our first six months of living together had been wonderful. We’d both been deep in the throes of newfound love and passion, heady indeed, and found that this gave us the energy and imperative to make the practical adjustments work. We were well suited to live together.
I loved to cook and Sebastian loved to eat. I still didn’t know how he managed to stay so slim eating as much as he did, but at least I had him eating a little healthier now, although he still snuck junk food in whenever he could. He did like to jog, and sometimes I’d go with him. I called it “walking the dog” when I did, which gave him a little giggle.
Sebastian had a penchant for dress up role-play. He’d discovered pup play online and owned enough gear to make this a fascinating pastime. He liked to play at being my pup when in the mood, and I enjoyed rubbing his belly whenever he wanted me to. This usually led to sex, no matter how much I tried to be good. He didn’t seem to mind. He would ask, on occasion, to have some platonic playtime, but not very often. He got worked up as much as I did whenever he put the hood on and tail in. It seemed a match made in Heaven.
I pulled into my parking spot and got out of the car, grabbing my briefcase and jacket, and walked quickly to the building’s entrance. Maybe we could go out for supper, then to a movie or something. We’d had so little time together lately.
Sebastian lifted his head from the magazine he was reading when I keyed myself in. “You’re home!”
I checked my watch. Six thirty-five. Earlier than I’d been home all week.
“I know. Amazing right?” I shook my head. “How’s it going?”
“Fine.” He stood up and approached me, moving in for a hug and a kiss. I ruffled his blond mop of hair affectionately.
“Do you feel like going out for supper? We haven’t tried that new Indian place yet.”
Sebastian smiled happily. “That sounds great.”
Located in a small strip mall at the edge of Ottawa’s swanky Alta Vista neighborhood, the restaurant was cozy and warm, decorated with an eastern elegance. The tantalizing aroma of Indian spices filled the small space while sitar music played softly in the background.
We were seated at a small table in the corner, which suited me perfectly. I wanted to enjoy an intimate meal with my boyfriend for once.
“Mmmm, I’m salivating already.” Sebastian murmured while perusing the menu.
“You’d do Pavlov proud, pup,” I said, enjoying his blush and shy grin. His eyes met mine and I remembered an intimate moment from…a couple of weeks back? Had it been that long?
I rubbed my fingers against my forehead, the fatigue of my long hours getting to me.
“You okay?” he asked.
The waiter came and took our drink order, then returned quickly. We told him what we wanted off the menu.
“Hot, please. Pretend we’re family,” I said.
The waiter grinned, writing quickly. “You can take it?”
“We can take it.”
“Of course, sir.” He gathered our menus and headed to the kitchen.
We sipped our drinks, enjoying the intimate warmth of being together in a soothing environment.
“This is nice. I miss this,” Sebastian murmured, gazing at me with emotion.
“I know. Me too.”
“You’ve just been working so much,” he said. “When is he going to let up on you, Tate?”
I shrugged. “Soon, I hope. I’ll talk to him on Monday. When I accepted the promotion I didn’t realize how much extra work there’d be.”
“You do realize we haven’t had sex for three weeks?” he said somberly.
“Um…really? I guess…really?” I sounded like the idiot I was.
He nodded. “I just miss that too, y’know? Your job’s important. I get that. But what about me?”
“You don’t think you’re important?”
“I wonder, sometimes.”
“Sebastian. You’re very important to me. I love you, you know that?” I hesitated. “I’m just kind of distracted right now. With work, with what’s going on with my Dad.”
He nodded. “How is he?”
“Same. Cruddy. I wish he would just…”
“Don’t say that.”
“My mom’s going out of her mind.”
“I know. I talked to her last week. She was pretty upset. She went out with my mom and Granny Jo for supper. I think it helped a bit, but she sounded so exhausted and stressed.”
“She did? That was nice of them to ask her.”
“Haven’t you talked to her recently?”
I shook my head. “It’s been a crazy week. I’ll call her tomorrow.”
The waiter brought our food and we ate slowly, enjoying the flavors and heat of the traditional dishes. The flavorful food rejuvenated my energy and when the meal was over I wasn’t ready to go home.
“Wanna go dancing?” I asked my blue-eyed cutie after we left the warmth of the restaurant. “We haven’t done that in awhile.”
He grinned and grabbed my hand. “Sure!”
Sebastian had gotten over his fear of public dancing and now loved to shake his booty for me whenever possible. He was a great little mover—I just had to keep the hands of all the other horny men off him.
“The Lookout?” I suggested.
“Isn’t Friday night Ladies’ Night?”
I shrugged. “So? I don’t want to share you with anyone anyway.” I pulled him over to me in the darkness of the parking lot and grabbed his ass.
“Fuck,” he hissed, rubbing himself against me. I felt the hardness of his cock under the denim of his jeans.
Our lips came together and we kissed desperately, our bodies reaching for something elusive and rare. It had been a long time.
Turned out dancing dirty together in a room full of hot lesbians was exactly what we needed. They urged us on, realizing no doubt that we were desperate for each other. They took turns with each of us too, as if to prolong our separation and drive us even crazier. By the time we managed to extricate ourselves it was near midnight and it seemed I would die if I didn’t get Sebastian into bed as soon as possible.
I drove home, my right hand moving between his thigh and his crotch the entire way. Sebastian looked as if he might explode or faint or something.
We didn’t make it to the bed. Half an hour after getting home we lay entwined, naked, on the living room floor rug, giggling like naughty schoolgirls.
“Holy shit, Tate, that was awesome.”
I kissed him hard, hinting that I’d be ready for another round in a few minutes.
“Again? Really?” he mumbled against my lips as my hand found his cock and gently coaxed it back to life.
The following day we woke up feeling satisfied and relaxed, a nice change from the stressful past few months. We stayed in bed, snuggling, until the sun was high and our stomachs began to rumble.
It was a wonderful interlude of intimacy in a crazy schedule and it didn’t last long.
I called my mom that evening while Sebastian was watching TV in the bedroom. “Hey Mom, how’s it going?”
“Oh, hi, sweetie. Okay, I guess. I spoke to Sebastian last week. He says you’ve been working late a lot.”
“Yeah. They offered me a promotion about three months ago. I took it before realizing how much more work it would be.”
“Oh.” She sounded like she wanted to say more.
“It’s not…anything else?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I mean, you’re not seeing someone else?”
I clenched my fist against my thigh. “Tell me you have not been worrying about my relationship on top of everything else.”
“Sebastian sounded so sad and lonely when I spoke to him.”
“Mom. I’m not cheating on him. I’m working my ass off for people who have very high expectations of me.”
“Okay. I believe you. But, I think Sebastian has high expectations of you too. And having been in that same place for a good long while, I guess my paranoia got the better of me.”
“I’m not cheating, Mom. I’m too damn tired to cheat. And why would I want to?”
She laughed. “Well, that’s good. I think Sebastian’s a good fit for you.”
“You don’t have to tell me that. This job on the other hand…”
“You need to talk to your boss. Let him know the workload is affecting your personal life. Most supervisors are sensitive to things like that.”
“I’m going to talk to him on Monday. I can’t go on like this.”
“Well, I hope you get it sorted out. It’d be a shame to quit after all the time you’ve put in there.”
“Yeah, I know. I don’t want to quit. I just don’t want to work so much.” I toyed with the top of my club soda can. “Did you see Dad today?”
“Yes. Actually, I just came from there.”
“How is he?”
“The same. I keep thinking he’ll start to go one way or the other, but he’s always the same.” When she spoke again, her voice was very quiet. “Tate, this could go on for months.”
I sighed. “I know.” I ran a hand through my hair. “I’ll go see him tomorrow.”
“He’d like that. Why don’t you bring Sebastian with you?”
“Look, honey, I know he’s never been hugely supportive of your lifestyle. But he’s really in no position to judge you right now. He’ll just be glad to see you.”
I hung up the phone, struggling with my emotions all of a sudden. It was too much. The pressure at work, my dad in the hospital, my mom stressing out, and Sebastian needing me. I had to get out of here.
I grabbed my keys and put on my boots. Sebastian came out of the bedroom.
“Where are you going?”
“I just—I’m going for a walk.” I muttered, not wanting to linger in case the threatening tears emerged.
I felt bad about taking off, but I needed to breathe. I really did need to speak with my boss, because this schedule was killing me. But if I was honest, it wasn’t just work that was affecting my relationship with Sebastian. I hadn’t lied to my Mom. I wasn’t actually cheating on Sebastian. But I felt like I was.
The dreams had started about three or four months after we’d moved in together, and James Lucas was in every one of them.
I didn’t always see him in the dream, but I knew he was there. I knew because of what I felt in the dream. And what I felt was indescribable.
It reminded me of that last weekend I’d spent with him. The sense of trust and submission and testing. Him testing me, testing the boundaries of what I would do for him. I had done everything he’d asked of me. And I would do more—much more.
I felt my cock swell just thinking about the tenor of those dreams. They always involved restraint of some kind. And I was always on the edge, ready to come, but not allowed. In some of the dreams, I saw him as he teased me. In others, I only heard his voice. And in a few, he was simply a nearby presence, waiting and watching, while I struggled with my captive desire.
These dreams made me feel guilty even though I knew everyone had sex dreams about people other than their live-in-lovers/spouses. To dream of a variety of people wouldn’t have bothered me so much. But it was always him. And if I was honest with myself I’d admit that I missed and desired him in my waking world as well.
But why? Why did he haunt my dreams at night and my thoughts during the day?
I couldn’t imagine my life without Sebastian. The intimacy we had and the sex we enjoyed, when I wasn’t so busy and tired, was mind blowing. He was my lover and my friend—and my pup when the mood hit us. And he was even my Dom from time to time.
However, no Dom could compare to James.
Of course, what were the odds I’d ever see him again? I refused to seek him out. I’d told Sebastian that it was over with James, and I’d meant it. I wouldn’t jeopardize our relationship by hooking up with someone else, let alone the man who’d declared his desire to possess me.
Maybe these dreams were simply the manifestation of my frustrated desire for Sebastian, since work was keeping me from enjoying him as much as I liked. Perhaps, if I made an effort to alter my crazy work schedule so that I could spend more time with my boy, the dreams would go away.
After I’d burned off some of the latent anxiety I returned to the apartment and found Sebastian playing a videogame, his bare feet on the coffee table and a cup of tea beside him.
“Hey,” he greeted me distantly, no doubt ticked off by my hasty exit.
The walk had cleared my head a bit and all I wanted to do was curl up on the couch with my boy. Well, maybe that wasn’t all.
I came up behind him and bent down, nuzzling his neck and ear the way that I knew he loved. “Hi beautiful.”
He giggled. “Good walk?”
“Yes. Sorry. I just needed some fresh air.”
“And what do you need right now?” he asked, gazing up at me with a twinkle in his eye.
I slid my hand down the inside of his t-shirt and teased his nipple. “Some fresh meat.”
He groaned, dropping the controller.
I tilted his chin up, kissing him hard. Taking my hand out of his shirt, I began to unbutton his jeans. I still leaned over him and the couch, my crotch pressing against the back of his head. He tilted his head backward as his hands came up and started working my fly.
Soon I had his cock out. His vocal response made me even more eager.
“Oh my God, Tate…that feels so good.”
He’d managed to release me from the confines of my own jeans and now worked my cock from underneath. I moved my hand faster on him.
“Oh…fuck yeah…” I groaned, all the tension I’d felt earlier concentrated in my dick and balls. Sex therapy. It’s really the answer to stress of all kinds.
We worked each other in this position until it became too uncomfortable.
“Get naked and come to the bedroom,” I ordered breathlessly.
“No,” he said, struggling to zip his jeans.
I stared at him, confused.
“You get naked and come to the bedroom.”
I hesitated, trying to catch up as he switched on me. It sent a thrill from my head to my toes.
“Now,” he said firmly. I felt the smile emerge on my face.
“Yes, Sir,” I mumbled, scrambling out of my clothes while Sebastian walked calmly to our room, glancing back to make sure I was coming. As soon as I had my clothes off, I followed.
“Please,” I begged. “Please let me come.”
“Shhhh. Not yet.”
He had me tied down to our bed and now teased me mercilessly in his gentle, thorough way. I couldn’t take much more of it.
He surprised me by backing off the bed. “Wait here a second.”
Wait here? What else would I do? “Okay?” What was he up to?
He left the room, soon returning with a bottle of Beehive corn syrup.
“Oh no…no…not that!”
I struggled frantically in my bonds while he grinned widely.
“This is just what you need, Tate,” He asserted as he approached.
I shook my head. “Why?”
“Because it’ll give you something to focus on besides your job.”
I held my breath as he tipped the bottle over my belly and thick, artery-clogging corn syrup oozed toward my arching cock.
I made a noise of distaste as the cold, sticky syrup hit my sensitive flesh, and I gave an involuntary shiver. I could handle chocolate syrup. I could handle hot wax. I could even handle other men’s spunk with aplomb. But corn syrup? No. It was just too…something.
“Please lick it off, baby, quick…now.” I whined.
“Poor boy. Just tell me one thing. Will you really talk to your boss on Monday?”
“Will you tell him you can’t work so much?”
“Yes. I’m going to tell him.” I shivered as the thick syrup pooled at the base of my dick, the feel of it on my skin both sexy and disgusting at the same time.
“Will you tell him it’s because you need to come home early to get sucked and fucked and tortured more often?” He put the bottle down and swirled the syrup with his fingers over my belly and cock.
“Yes, I’ll tell him exactly that Sebastian. I’m sure he’ll give me lots of time off after I tell him that. Like, my whole life.”
“Shut that mouth,” he said, kissing me hard.
Then his mouth was on my dick, licking all that gooey syrup off, and I didn’t care about anything anymore.