This is one of my longer stories – not quite a novel, but longer than most novellas, lol.
This book has proven to be a bit of a marmite book – readers either love it or hate it. Sloan, the dom, is flawed. I think his biggest flaw is that what he says doesn’t always reflect how he really feels. He likes to sound like a hard-arse. You have to look at his actions rather than his words to see what he really feels. I quite like characters like that – but your milage my vary – you have been warned, lol.
“Stand under the mistletoe until midnight, naked, bound and blindfolded. Submit to any dominant who wants a piece of you.”
At the junior doms regular poker night, anything can, and frequently does, happen. Add in crackers that contain dares instead of jokes and two men’s lives might never be the same again.
When Carl applied to join the best leather club in the city, he had no doubt about his preference for dominance. It was only when he set eyes on Sloan that he began to wonder if submission might be far more fun than he originally thought.
With no time for club politics and little interest in rising through the ranks, ever since experienced dom Sloan moved to the city and joined the club, he’s been quite content to bide his time among the junior dominants and keep a brotherly eye on a young man who is obviously out of his depth amongst his more sadistic contemporaries.
One man has to do the dare. The only question now, is which man will it be, and are either of the friends ready for the way their relationship might change after a night of Mistletoe and Submission?
And here’s a quick excerpt:
“Bloody hell—leave the man be. If he doesn’t want a blowjob, there’s no rule that says he has to have one!” The front legs of Sloan’s chair slammed into the floorboards as he stopped balancing precariously on the back legs of the fine mahogany antique and suddenly leaned forward to rest his elbow on the green baize. “Now, are you in or not?”
While everyone else’s attention seemed to turn back to the poker game, Carl Jenkins glanced down at the submissive kneeling at his feet. Shaking his head, he offered the rather confused looking sub an apologetic smile. “Nothing personal.”
The guy silently crawled away, towards the next dominant sitting around the table and quickly set to work. Within seconds Mike’s fly was unzipped, and the sub had his lips wrapped around his third cock of the evening.
As the bets were placed, Carl barely looked at his own cards before he folded. His mind wasn’t on the game right then. He mentally rolled his eyes at himself as he stared at the tiny stack of poker chips that remained before him.
He supposed he should be used to placing his bets blind. There was only one thing he’d ever managed to think about on any of their regular poker nights, and it was never the sodding cards.
As he took a sip of his beer, Carl glanced, as subtly as possible, towards Sloan. The older man’s attention was all focussed on his cards. His hair was longer than it had been when Carl had first met him a few months before. The ragged blond strands fell forward into Sloan’s eyes as he studied the game, sharp blue eyes quickly taking in every detail.
He increased the stakes, pushing several extra stacks of chips into the pot. Carl’s eyes followed his every movement with as much rapt attention as they always did. Sloan had wonderful hands, strong and confident. It was so easy to imagine those hands—
Quickly shutting down that line of thought, he tore his attention away from Sloan and all the amazing things he could so easily picture the other guy’s hands doing.
Out of the corner of his eye, Carl noticed that Mike had finished enjoying the sub’s mouth and had folded out of the game too. Pushing back his chair, the other dominant left the room. A hint of a Christmas tune floated into the room from somewhere else in the club as the door was opened.
Another snippet of a carol informed Carl of Mike’s return a few minutes later, just as Sloan scooped up his winnings. The moment the last chip was cleared from the centre of the table, half a dozen Christmas crackers were tossed down in their place.
Carl kept his attention on Sloan as the older man raised an eyebrow and glanced from the crackers to Mike and back again. He didn’t need to actually say anything. His expression alone was enough to let everyone know he wasn’t in the mood for stupidity.
Apparently far too pleased with his latest scheme to take the hint, Mike turned his seat around and straddled it, still grinning from ear to ear.
“Very festive?” Ryan offered, somewhat warily, from the other end of the oval table.
“Wait ‘til you pull one!” Mike said, eyes sparkling with someone’s future misfortune.
“What happens then?” Todd asked from the seat next to him, leaning back in his chair a little, as if one of the garishly coloured tubes might leap up and attack him at any moment.
“Then the lucky winner has to do the dare inside.”
Carl’s gaze reluctantly settled on the crackers, wondering what chance he had of getting out of pulling one of the damn things. He could guess what sort of dares they would contain if Mike had written them. At best, it would be painful and humiliating.
At worst… Carl glanced across to Sloan. He didn’t want to think about his worst case scenario right then. It would be far too much like tempting fate.
“Carl, you’re first,” Mike announced.
“Why Carl?” Sloan cut in, before Carl could scrape two words together.
“Because he never does a damn dare!” Mike protested. He turned to Carl. “What’s wrong, sweetheart? Scared of a little Christmas cracker?”
Bloody terrified would have been closer to the mark, but Carl reached out and picked up one anyway. There wasn’t much else he could do. Any dominant worth his salt would rise to that kind of bait. If he backed down, he knew he might as well just skip straight to that worst case scenario anyway.
Sloan held out a hand to pull it with him.
Glancing up from the mishmash of reds and golds for a moment, Carl met the older man’s gaze. That was a really stupid thing to do. As their eyes locked, the younger man’s brain stopped working, just the way it always did when the vivid blue stare caught him in its sights.
Muscle memory of year after year of Christmas dinners around the family dining table was the only thing that made him keep hold of his end of the cracker when Sloan tugged on the opposite side.
Apparently Mike hadn’t just messed with the bits of paper in the crackers, replacing the traditional lame jokes with dares. The bang was more like a gunshot than a festive pop. A brilliant flash of light filled the room. Smoke made half the men around the table choke.
“Bloody hell, Mike!” someone spluttered.
Carl looked down at his hand. A few scraps of brightly coloured bits of paper and the slightly scorched end of the snapper were all he’d kept hold of.
The middle section of the cracker rested on the table in front of Sloan, in amongst his poker chips.
“Which one did you get?” Mike asked, practically bouncing up and down in his chair with anticipation.
Sloan began to delve into the tube with his fingers. He stopped short. A glance at Mike and Carl saw the older man think better of that plan. Upending the cracker, he tipped out the contents onto the table.
A piece of paper tumbled out, along with a condom that promised to glow in the dark and a cock ring decorated with a festive, and no doubt very painful, sprig of holly.
Ignoring the rest, Sloan unfolded the paper.
He glowered at Mike for a moment before he shook his head, apparently not in the least impressed with the other man’s stupidity. Crumpling it in his hand, he pitched the paper across the room, towards the bin that was usually reserved for the empty beer bottles.
Mike and Todd jumped out of their chairs. Racing across the room, they scuffled over the bin until Todd finally succeeded in wrestling the piece of paper away from the other dom and holding it up out of the shorter man’s reach. They banged into the poker table as they returned, carelessly kicking against the sub who was now busy servicing Ryan.
Carl only just managed to catch the beer bottles before they spilled across the table. Finally, Todd collapsed, breathless with laughter, onto his chair and unfolded the paper.
“Stand under the mistletoe until midnight,” he read. “Naked, bound, blindfolded, and submitting to any dom who wants a piece of you.”
Laughter raced around the room, but Carl didn’t join in with it. He felt the blood drain out of his face as the meaning behind the words sunk in.
He could have won that dare. He could have had to… Carl tried to take a deep breath. The lingering trace of smoke from the cracker’s explosion almost choked him.
“You really don’t have a clue, do you?” Sloan snapped.
“You have to do it!” one of the other doms immediately protested.
“What’s wrong, Sloan, frightened?”
“A dare’s a dare.”
Everyone around the table had something to say, except Carl. He stayed perfectly silent in the middle of it all, as even more chaos than usual descended on the room.
“That’s a sub’s dare,” Sloan spat out. “Do I look like a sub to you?”
“A dare’s still a dare,” Todd sing-songed.
Mike started to make chicken noises.
The fact that Christmas was just around the corner must have gone to their heads. That was the only explanation Carl could think of. They always wound each other up—that was nothing unusual. But they were usually far more cautious about riling Sloan.
The older man glared at each of them in turn before he tossed back the dregs of his beer.
“If you haven’t got the balls for it,” Ryan said, his voice lethargic with pleasure as he pushed away the sub kneeling at his feet and zipped up his fly.
“Yeah,” Mike chimed in. “If you can’t handle it then…”
Sloan slammed the empty beer bottle down on the table. Every eye in the room turned towards him as silence descended.
Carl swallowed rapidly as Sloan’s eyes flashed with anger.
“Um…” Todd hesitated. His eyes flashed around the room, as if searching for an escape route.
Carl felt the other man’s gaze fall on him and zoom in on the other end of the cracker still in his hand.
“Carl should do it!” Todd shouted.
All four of the other younger doms might have been idiots, but they were idiots with survival instincts. It only took them seconds to jump on Todd’s bandwagon and use it to flee out of range of Sloan’s building anger.
“No, I’ll do it.” Sloan’s voice cut through all the commotion with ease.
For several long seconds no one said a word.
Finally Todd managed to find his voice. “What?”
“I said, I’ll do it,” Sloan said, with the kind of calm that generally meant he’d gone straight through his normal anger and emerged into the cold fury that existed on the other side of it.
“You want to see what happens when you give a real dom a sub’s dare?” Sloan nodded, apparently to himself. His hair fell forward into his eyes again, but he didn’t reach up to push it out of his way, he just glared through the blond strands in that way which always rushed straight to Carl’s cock. “Let’s get on with it.”
Carl was vaguely aware of the other doms exchanging worried glances across the poker table. They’d opened the can of worms without a thought, but now they seemed to be wondering if they were worms after all. The can’s contents looked a lot more like poisonous snakes as they writhed and curled around their feet, dangerous, unpredictable and impossible to get back in the sodding can now.