Jordan Nicholls here. You may have met me in Anthony & Leo or my own story, Jordan & Rhys. Thanks for inviting me, Amber. I’m trying to decide my best birthday memory. Hmmm, you have to understand most of them aren’t exactly PG. At all.
I think my best birthday has to be my last one, with Rhys. He’d moaned all day that we weren’t celebrating so I tied him up with rope, sat him in front of East Enders on TV and made him watch until he was begging for mercy. Payback for making me watching the Eurovision Song Contest – you have to read my book to understand that.
What was I doing? I was watching Rhys, and that was no hardship at all. My boy is truly beautiful. His skin was all flushed and his hair splayed out on the pale cushions. I could have licked him from top to bottom – oh wait, I did, but that came later.
I tickled Rhys’s skin with a feather, watching the wave of goose bumps over his skin. Damn, so beautiful. Then I ate birthday cake off his skin. Chocolate, of course. His muscles rippled as I got in those ticklish places.
It serves him right for all the complaints. We were celebrating. I got the man and the cake. What more could a guy want?
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Blurb: Eight months after the assault in which his sub and lover was killed, Jordan Nicholls isn’t making much progress in his recovery. Marchant and Ed, Jordan’s friends from the BDSM club, stage an intervention.
They employ a carer to look after Jordan. Rhys may be a sub, but he’s forceful, making Jordan eat and exercise rather than live on coffee and cigarettes. Despite Jordan’s protests, Rhys slowly forces him back to life.
But Rhys wants to be Jordan’s sub, and despite being protective of Rhys, Jordan’s not sure he can ever return to the BDSM lifestyle. In order for their relationship to continue, they’ll need to find a compromise that meets both their needs.
JORDAN SAT alone at the end of the bar, nursing a Coke and pretending not to notice his best friend, Tony, who was pushed up against the wall, his hands pressed flat against rough plaster as Leo kissed him.
“Wishing it was you?” Marchant Belarus sat on the stool next to Jordan. He was the owner of the BDSM club and too fucking perceptive. There was nothing he didn’t see or interfere in when it came to his club.
Jordan couldn’t take his gaze away from the couple, watching with a sad envy that didn’t come naturally to him. “Leo’s not my type.”
His lame attempt at a joke fell flat when Marchant didn’t chuckle.
“I never thought he’d be Tony’s, but look at them now.”
Finally Tony had a Dom of his own, and he exuded happiness. Despite the fact that Leo was younger and shorter than Tony, it was clear who was dominant in their relationship. For the first time, Jordan saw Tony, watched how beautifully he submitted—and Jordan was too late.
“Tony waited for years for you to notice him,” Marchant said quietly.
“You think I didn’t know that? I just thought…. Leo’s better for him than I am.” Jordan turned his head as Tony sank to his knees. The couple weren’t bothered by an audience. They never seemed to notice anyone else when they were in a scene. Jordan gave Marchant a wan smile. “What do you want? Apart from reminding me what I’ve lost.
“Ed’s worried about you. He sent me to talk to you.”
“I’m fine.” Jordan gritted his teeth as Marchant raised an eyebrow. Could you raise a derisive eyebrow? Marchant possessed eyebrows that conducted whole conversations, particularly when he thought someone was being an arse. “It’s taking time.”
Marchant patted his back, not requiring more explanation. It had been eight months since Jordan had been badly injured in an assault in which his sub, Mike, had been killed. Jordan was still recovering from the physical injuries, and the mental trauma was like a scar to his soul. Once outgoing and gregarious, now Jordan shuffled through the day, feeling like he was wrapped in layers of gray wool that muffled him from the outside world. Marchant’s sub, Ed, had once told Jordan that he breathed for the first time the day he met Marchant. Jordan had stopped breathing the day three drunk thugs used their fists to tear his world apart.
Jordan swallowed hard at the memory, and then he noticed Marchant had put his arm around him and Tony was pressed against him, also holding him. Solid walls of men hemmed him in, made him feel safe.
Tony gently swiped a tear from Jordan’s face. Jordan hadn’t even realized he was crying, but his nose was blocked and his throat tight. He rested his head on Tony’s chest and let the tears flow
Finally he raised his head, suddenly feeling claustrophobic. “Shit, I’m sorry, Tony. You—”
“Shut up.” Tony hugged him even tighter.
“Get off.” Jordan tried to bat them away. “Christ, you’re going to suffocate me.”
They stepped back, to his relief, but they didn’t leave his side—which was also a relief, even if he’d never admit it.
“Why don’t you go upstairs for a while?” Marchant said. “Ed’s working, and the place is empty.”
Jordan pushed back his hair, grimacing at the greasy feel. He’d let himself go recently, finding even washing his hair was a battle. His arm had taken a long time to heal, and he struggled with even basic motor skills.
“I’ll go home before I make a bigger idiot of myself.” He loved his friends, but suddenly their concern was too much. It pressed down on him, and he needed to get away.
“I’ll run you home,” Tony said, looking over to Leo to check if it was all right.
“It’s okay, I can get the bus.” Jordan hadn’t been able to drive since the assault. A blow to the head had left him with intermittent seizures in the early stages, and he was banned from driving for a year.
“I’ll drive Mr. Jordan home.”
Jordan turned to look at the unknown speaker. He was young and slim, maybe Leo’s age, maybe younger, with a shock of dark hair that looked as if he’d stuck his finger in an electrical socket
“Thanks, but I’m okay.”
“Sorted,” Marchant said with satisfaction. “Jordan, this is Rhys. He’s new to the club. Thank you, Rhys.”