Sometimes love is found in unexpected places.
After months of secretly watching Master Carlyle, Ralph wishes the Dom would notice him. But why would he want a sub who is bigger and taller than him when there were so many delicate twinks begging for his whip? What Ralph doesn’t understand is that Carlyle has watched the young sub and he not only wants him, but he plans to keep him.
Ralph Morris scanned the crowd as he walked through the club, looking for signs of trouble. He took his job as a bouncer seriously. No one had ever been injured on Ralph’s shift and he planned to keep it that way. He might not be as smart as some of the college students he worked with, but Ralph enjoyed his job. The smell of sweat and leather filled the air, like a rich cocktail to the senses. Inhaling deeply made his cock harden with need. Swallowing back a groan, he flashed a quick look over at the main stage. No scenes had started yet, but the night was still young. Plenty of time for whips, chains and other delicious toys to come into play. For a brief moment Ralph let the image of ropes wrapped around his own wrists flicker through his mind but he banished it quickly. No time for distractions if he planned to keep his job.
At twenty-two years of age, Ralph had six years of work under his belt and a nice nest egg in his bank account. Having grown up poor, Ralph still had nightmares about being back in that broken down trailer where his mother was too drunk to feed him and his father too ill from lung cancer to help. Horrible dreams merged with memories about fighting the dog for scraps of food and hiding from the rats in the darkness. If he hadn’t loved his father so much he would’ve left at thirteen years of age when his mother’s wild rages began. The day his father died, Ralph walked away and never looked back.
Ralph loved the nights he worked inside instead of standing by the front door freezing. Skirting the small dance floor, he spotted his favorite Dom across the room. Carlyle Temple sat at a table with his friend, Lindi Samms. Carlyle looked delicious with his blond hair pulled back, and the leather vest he wore exposing most of his upper body. Hair sprinkled across Carlyle’s chest, catching the light with their pale color. Ralph barely held back a whimper as he thought over how the Dom’s skin would taste beneath his lips and tongue. Carlyle didn’t reach Ralph’s massive proportions but the sub didn’t find any fault in the slim but muscular six-foot Dom. Carlyle would tower over most submissives. Unfortunately, Ralph’s build overshadowed all the Doms in the building, a good thing for his job as a bouncer but not so good when he was looking for a man to top him.
If only he could get Carlyle to really see him as a potential sub instead of only a bouncer. But Ralph learned long ago wishes didn’t come true and most Doms preferred a pretty twink rather than a big man. Ralph might be large and solidly built but he wasn’t a Dom no matter how many cute subs tried to get him to paddle their asses. His submissive tendencies were hidden while he worked and needed to get others to back down, but at night, alone in his apartment, he dreamed of a gorgeous slim blond with well-defined muscles and a fine hand with the whip.
“Hey, Ralph, are you going to my show tomorrow?” Ralph turned away from the object of his obsession to face his friend. After a month of belonging to Master Jones, Stephen Carter glowed with happiness. The thin artist flashed him a bright smile showing that at least for him everything was right in the world.
Ralph was happy for Stephen, he really was, and if he repeated it enough times he could even suppress the jolt of envy stabbing him in the heart. Stephen had seen Master Jones and culled him from the herd through gifts and charm. Ralph wished he had even an ounce of talent to pull something off like that, but he might as well ask for the moon. Stephen was sleek and elegant; two things Ralph would never be with his large muscular build and clumsy feet. It didn’t make him stop liking the shy artist but it made him self-conscious around him.
“Well are you?” Stephen asked impatiently. “Going to come to my show tomorrow?”
“Of course.” Ralph patted Stephen on the back, careful of his strength. He received a blinding smile for his answer.
“Great. It will be nice to see a friendly face,” Stephen nibbled on his thumbnail. “I’m kind of nervous about the whole thing.”
“Why?” Ralph didn’t understand Stephen’s nerves. Although he was only a bouncer, even he could see his friend’s brilliance.
Stephen shrugged, shifting uneasily back and forth on his feet. “I’ve never had strangers look at my stuff except, you know, teachers. At least not where I could see them.”
“Didn’t you have school art shows?”
A blush stained Stephen’s cheeks. “Not if I could get out of them.”
Ralph laughed. “I’m sure it’ll be fine. I’d be surprised if you weren’t sold out by the end of the night.”
“You think?” Stephen’s fidgets were even starting to make Ralph nervous.
He gave Stephen’s shoulder a light squeeze. “I’m not an art critic but I think you’re really talented.”
“Thanks, Ralph. I’m really glad you’re going to be there.”
“Isn’t Master Jones?”
Stephen shrugged. “He’s out on a business trip to turn some company around. I don’t know if he’s going to make it back in time.”
Sympathy stabbed through Ralph. He knew how much Stephen depended on the solid strength of his Dom to get him through stressful times. “I’m sure he will make it if he can.”
“I hope so.” Stephen took a quick look around. “I’ll let you get back to work, or in this case, staring at Carlyle,” he teased.
Ralph could feel the blush rising on his cheeks. “I can’t help it, there’s something about him.”
“The way he wields a whip?” Stephen teased.
A shiver rippled up Ralph’s spine. “No, there are other Doms who can whip just as well. Your master is one of them.”
“I wouldn’t know. We haven’t worked our way up to whipping yet.”
Ralph couldn’t tell from Stephen’s expression if that was a good or bad thing. “Do you want him to whip you?”
Stephen shrugged. “I want him to do something. He’s super careful, like I’m gonna break or something.”
“Give it a little time. He’s still getting used to you. There’s no hurry.”
“No. I guess not.” Stephen dipped his head down as if the floor suddenly became an object of fascination.
Stephen shrugged. “You don’t think he’d go to someone else, do you? You know, someone who he knows likes to be whipped.”
It probably wasn’t polite but Ralph couldn’t stop the laughter bursting out of his mouth. Only Stephen’s outraged expression brought his mirth to a halt. “Sorry, but now you’re just being stupid. Master Jones is madly in love with you. There’s no way that man will turn to anyone else. Give it a little time, okay?”
Stephen nodded. “Okay. You’re right. I guess I’m just nervous about the show and it’s making me crazy about everything else too.”
“There’s no reason to be nervous, Stephen. We all think you’re brilliant,” the warm smooth voice speaking behind him cut through Ralph’s composure quicker than a knife through butter. He bit back a moan when the dominant’s hand stroked up his spine. “Good evening, Ralph.”