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Authors: Erin Lark

Finding Orion (21 page)

BOOK: Finding Orion
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Crap.
"Just a minute,"
I called, searching the floor for whatever clothes of mine
Jace
had brought in from the living room. I froze when he kissed at the back of my
neck.

"What
time is it?" he asked with a yawn, leaning against me.

"Seven?"

Jace
ran a hand
through his hair.
"Too early.
Go back to sleep."
He kissed my shoulder.

"I
can't." I lowered my voice when the knock on the door came again. "And
neither can you." I stood from the bed and threw the covers off, which
resulted in a very stern look from
Jace
. "Unless
you want David to see you naked, I suggest you get dressed."

"Now?"

I couldn't
tell if it was a child's whine for the fun of it or if he was serious. "Yes,
now." I threw him his shirt and went out into the living room to gather
the rest of our things.

When we were
both somewhat presentable, I unlocked the door and smiled at David.

"Morning,"
David said, glancing around me at
Jace
. "Simon
said you..."

"The
fan, right."
I stood aside so he could come in, closing the
door behind him. David stopped in the middle of the room and gawked at
Jace
. "For Christ's sake, man, get a damned shirt on."

Jace
, seemingly
amused by David's sudden attraction, retreated into the bedroom for his shirt.
He came back out and only looked a little better. He was either still half
asleep or was doing it on purpose. His shirt was ruffled with most of the
buttons poked into the wrong holes. His hair was a complete mess.

"David,"
I began, placing a hand on his shoulder. "I'm so sorry about that. And
last night..."

"Nope,"
David yelled, covering his ears. "I'm not listening." He hummed so
loud Simon probably heard him from all the way down in the bar.

Jace
smirked, and
thankfully stepped to the side when David headed down the hall.

I hit him in
the arm.

"What
was that for?"
Jace
asked
,
rubbing what was probably an imaginary bruise.

"Don't
tease him like that. It isn't fair. That's like promising
a
peanut lover peanuts
even though they're allergic."

"How the
hell did you come up with that? He's not allergic—"

"You're
taken, and from personal experience, I think it's safe for me to say you're
straight.
Neither David or
Simon are bi. They're
just..."

"David
and Simon?"

"Pretty
much."

David walked
back into the living room and averted his gaze as he walked past
Jace
. "Need to get a few things from the apartment.
I'll be right back."

I frowned,
then
looked at
Jace
after David
stepped out. "Okay, what's going on?"

Jace
held up his
hands. "What? I didn't do anything."

"I've
seen David when he's shy, and that's not shy. And he only does it with you."
I crossed my arms over my chest.

Jace
shrugged. "He's
a submissive, what can I say?" He laughed when my mouth fell open. "You
can't tell me you didn't know."

I took a
moment to look back on the way Simon and David acted around one another, but to
me, they always just seemed playful. Sure, Simon was the more outgoing, bolder
of the two, but I honestly never thought of David as a submissive. I suddenly imagined
him in a collar and cuffs and just about lost it. "He can't be," I
finally said. "How can you tell?"

"Same
with you."
When I didn't say anything, he continued. "The
averted gaze, the way you walk." He lowered his voice. "The way you
act in bed.
Submissive."

When I
finally found my voice, I asked, "And how do you know anything about
submissives
?"

He grew quiet
then and leaned out the front door to check down the hall. He let out a sigh,
possibly because David was nowhere to be found, but he didn't speak. Thinking
back on last night, I'd wondered if he somehow knew, but if he had, I’d no idea
how he figured it out.
Soon
too.
"How did you know?" I asked, changing the subject so
the focus was on me instead of him.
"When?"

"The
first night you had me over." He walked over to the kitchen counter and
picked up my copy of Anne Rice's
The
Claiming of Sleeping Beauty
and flipped it over to the back cover. "You
had this under the coffee table."

Oh, God.
My face burned. My mouth
was dry. And I couldn't swallow worth a damn.

"Just
because I read books by Anne Rice, that doesn't mean I'm a submissive," I
argued, more than likely recovering from my shock one second too late.

"No, but
like I said, there are other things I noticed." He set the book back down
on the counter and made his way over to the couch. "I was actually hoping
to avoid this."

I sat down
beside him and couldn't ignore the weight of his voice. He didn't look at me.
Instead, he focused on his hands, getting a distant look on his face. I couldn't
even begin to imagine what was going through his mind just then. David would be
back any minute to fix the fan, and I'd somehow lost
Jace
down memory lane.

I reached
over for his hand. He flinched, but he didn't pull away. I frowned and pushed a
little harder, squeezing his hand with mine. He returned the gesture, even
though it wasn't nearly half as strong as it had been the other night.

We'd stepped
into some forbidden territory, and I honestly wasn't sure how to get him back
out again. I glanced at the door. I waited for David to walk in so I could run
to get Simon, but either because he was shy or submissive just as
Jace
had guessed, David didn't return.
 
 

"
Jace
," I urged, moving the coffee table out of the way
so I could kneel in front of him. "Look at me. Please. I didn't mean it.
Whatever I said, I wasn't thinking."

Jace
pinched the
bridge of his nose and winced around what must've been a headache. "It
wasn't something you said." He looked at me then, with eyes that were so
full of pain it hurt. "It's everything you didn't say." He stopped me
before I stood back up. "I'm not blaming you. I just...I don't even know
where to begin."

Walking on
thin ice, I asked, "Is this about your ex?" We'd skirted around the
subject before, but I never thought the topic would've bothered him this much. "What
happened?"

He leaned
back on the couch and patted the cushion beside him.

I got up to
shut the door,
then
sat down next to him before
folding my legs beneath me. The looming silence made me uneasy, but I knew
better than to press the subject.
This is
probably the best chance you have at knowing who he was before you met him.
I
didn't change the subject. I didn't give him an out. Instead, I practiced
patience just as Master Orion had taught me.

And after
what felt like an eternity, I was rewarded for my good behavior.

"There's
a reason the band has the rule of not dating our fans."
Jace'd
shoulders dropped.
 
"I'm the reason it exists. And my ex..." He shook his head. "She
was amazing at first. She went to every gig. She was always supportive and made
one hell of a submissive."

"What
happened?"

"She got
abusive." He glanced at me. "You know about safe words right?"

Still not
sure of how much he knew, I said, "I've heard of them, yes."

"Well,
they're meant to be used by a submissive when she feels uncomfortable, if her
Dom triggers something, or something similar to either one of those. But
instead of only using
them
when she needed to, she'd
test me. On small things too, which is what really pissed me off. She didn't
take me seriously as her Dom, or the words we'd put in place to keep her safe."

"So...what?
She just
used them—"

Jace
was nodding
before I finished. "She used the words whenever she felt like it. And
after getting tossed around with her mind games, I just couldn't take it
anymore. I called things off and swore I'd never go back to that lifestyle."

"But is
it something you can actually give up?" That was like me not acting
submissive when deep down I knew I was. There was no way I'd be able to hide
that part of myself for long, and
Jace
noticing that
side of me just confirmed it. "Can you go back to...not being a Dom?"

"I was
hoping I could. That's why this feels so wrong right now." He licked his
lips. "The night I saw you in the bar, I knew you were a submissive, but I
couldn't tell if you knew about it or not. I wanted to avoid the fans and the
lifestyle."

"So you
picked me, because?"

"You had
no expectations. In fact, if I remember things correctly, you tried to turn me
away."

I smiled at
that. "I might've thought about it a little."

"But you
didn't, and when we walked that night, you were so confident. I figured I'd
gotten you all wrong."

"So, you
kept sending me letters because you thought I was safe?"

Jace
shrugged. "You
know when you get hurt you want to avoid whatever it was that made you feel
that way? That's exactly what I was doing—
am
doing."

"So
what now?
Now that we know the truth, where does that leave us?"

"In
your living room."
He smiled, but it quickly faded. "Look, I'm
not ready to be a Dom just yet, but if you're willing to wait, then I'm willing
to give what we have a decent shot."

"Do the
others know?" I asked, wanting to avoid any possible slipups before they
could happen.
 

"Kyle
does, and Amy might. Derek's completely out of the loop though, and I'd kind of
like it to stay that way. He's always acted like the older brother to us, even
though he's the youngest in the band. And honestly, I'd rather not have that
conversation with him. He's still under the impression that all pain inflicted
on a partner is abuse."

"That's
the same with
Karie
. I've never really talked shop
with her, but she's more than made her feelings toward BDSM known."

"And
Simon?"

I chewed my
lip. "I'm honestly not sure about him and David. I mean, I know Simon is
the alpha or whatever you call it—"

"Top,"
Jace
said with a grin. "He's known as a top.
David's a bottom—submissive."

"All
the time?"

"Maybe.
Some gay
couples do switch though. I never asked, and I kind of don't want to know.
Not my thing, really."

I tried to
think of how a gay relationship worked versus a straight one. The way
Jace
made it sound, one gave orders and the other one
followed them. Which I knew wasn't the truth, but when comparing a gay couple
to those in the BDSM lifestyle, it was the only possible parallel I could find.

"So, if
you could pick out David as a submissive, do you think he knows about you?"

Jace
raised an
eyebrow. "I don't doubt it. He's probably known ever since he first saw
me.
Simon too.
It's just small stuff, and unless you
live the lifestyle twenty-four-seven, it isn't really something you tend to
notice."

"But you
said you wanted to avoid living it."

"I do,
for now. Thing is, it isn't something you can unlearn. You just sort of know by
observing the way folks act."

"You
know, I kind of figured you were a Dom."

"Seriously?"
Jace
gave me a suspicious look. "Well
fuck,
there goes my plan for world domination. Get it?
World Dom-
ination
?"

I rolled my
eyes, but was happy to see his grim mood had improved.

"How did
you know? I kind of pegged you for a newbie,"
Jace
said, referring to my being a submissive.

"That
one text you sent me? Here, I’ll show you." I excused myself to get my
cell from the bedroom, handing it to him when I sat back down. I flipped
through the saved messages and highlighted one for him to read. "Remember
the conversation we had about stalkers, and then you asked me how many stalkers
I knew who offered dinner instead of bondage?" I waited for
Jace
to read the part I’d highlighted for him,
then
continued. "That’s how I knew."

BOOK: Finding Orion
6.89Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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