Sorry I missed yesterday. Valentine’s day of all days. I thought I’d set it to go but apparently I didn’t. I’ve posted a little longer than before to make up for it. Yes, I will have a Max & Adam posting a little later. I’m running behind if you can’t tell. LOL!
* * * *
Some days all he could focus on were all the things he should’ve done differently. He’d turned to writing to pour out his sorrows and guilt and had found, to his surprise, that he was good at it. His first mystery book had been well received and his second novel had become a bestseller. Gay fiction with tortured characters apparently sold well.
All the thoughts of should haves and would haves spun around in his head as he tried to think of who would call him pretending to be Jeff. He doubted his sub had come back from the dead to torture him.
No suspects came to mind but the more he thought about it, the more he doubted he should be starting anything with Kit. The sweet man deserved someone with less baggage than him. They’d go on one date then Mase would set him free. After all, dumping the younger man before their first date would just add to Mase’s mystique—the opposite of what he was trying to accomplish. Let Kit learn what a total bastard Mase was and then go on his merry way, happy to escape such a domineering asshole.
* * * *
Kit slicked back his hair letting out a soft curse when the strands sprang back up into their usual riotous curls. He looked young. There was no way around it. He knew he’d get carded if he even thought to order alcohol.
“There’s no way he’s going to take me seriously,” he told his reflection. All the other subs he’d seen at the club were sleek and elegant with smooth, easy moves. While Kit might be slim, his limbs were all awkward and there was no way he could put the word grace anywhere near his name without bursting out laughing.
In his family he was known as ‘the klutz’. Hopefully, Mase wouldn’t notice until it was too late and he’d fallen for Kit’s charms. “Of which I have so many,” he muttered at his mirror image.
After throwing up his hands in defeat, he slipped on a pair of dress slacks and pulled on his favorite button up shirt. He decided to go for casual dressy. He didn’t want to be too fancy for the restaurant but he didn’t want Mase to think he didn’t give a damn either. Dating an older man required a fine line between trying to appear hot, but not looking inappropriate when they went out in public. Not that Kit had ever dated someone like Mase before. Hell he hadn’t done much more than a few rushed encounters in clubs and alleys. He’d almost dropped his phone when Mase had agreed to date him.
He hoped the Dom didn’t give up on Kit because he’d never been a sub. If things went according to plan, he wouldn’t stay inexperienced for long.
Stepping outside, he locked the door then headed for his little green Honda. He punched the directions to the restaurant into his phone as he walked since he had absolutely no idea how to find it. His sense of direction was poor on a good day. On a night where he was stressed over making a good impression, it was worse. The sound of someone calling his name had him jerking around. He scanned the areas on both sides of the streets.
No one was there.
Squinting against the dim glow of the streetlights, he still didn’t see anyone.
“Hello?” A sliver of fear spiked up and down his spine.
“Huh, must’ve imagined it.” Another quick look around didn’t reveal anyone nearby. Somehow not seeing someone made him even more nervous. The tingly feeling of being watched had him hurrying to his car.
Tossing his phone onto the passenger seat, he locked the car door, snapped on his seatbelt then started the engine. He’d figure out where he was supposed to go on the way.
* * * *
He was late.
Biting his lip, Kit rushed to find a parking spot. This was not how he hoped to make an impression on Mase. He didn’t need an Idiot’s Guide to pleasing Doms to know arriving late was not a good thing. As he approached the entrance, he hoped Mase hadn’t given up and left.
Kit had never eaten at this particular restaurant. It was a bit out of the way of his usual haunts and it appeared to be a bit more of a date-night place than the dives he usually ate at with his friends, even if he could afford better. The aroma upon entering the eatery was incredible. Walking into the lobby, he saw Mase—standing tall and handsome by the bar. Looking at Mase’s dress slacks and polo shirt, he was glad he’d dressed up a little. He’d do whatever it took to keep this man’s attention.
He didn’t know the proper way to greet the imposing figure before him so he went with his instinct. After walking over, he placed a soft kiss on Mase’s cheek. He wasn’t bold enough for a kiss on the lips, and he didn’t want to embarrass Mase if the Dom didn’t like public displays.
“Thank you for agreeing to have dinner with me. I’m sorry I’m late but I kinda got lost.” He didn’t want to mention that his phone had fallen to the floor as he’d pulled out of his driveway in a panic.
For a moment he shifted uncomfortably beneath the Dom’s regard, worried he’d be given a lecture. He silently reached the count of five before a reluctant smile crossed Mase’s rugged features. “You’re very welcome Kit, but next time, don’t be late.”
Kit blushed. Hopefully that meant the Dom would take him home. He remembered asking Mase if that meant he’d put out.
Mase held out his arm for Kit to take. “Let’s eat.”
The warm look in Mase’s eyes sent a shiver of pleasure down Kit’s spine. Hell, the man could scold him about anything as long as he looked at him like that. He slid his hand around the crook of Mase’s arm. The heat from the Dom’s skin spread through the fabric and warmed Kit’s cool fingers. Even inebriated, he’d been attracted to the other man. Now sober and feeling the warmth of Mase’s body beneath his fingers, Kit silently admitted to a complete and total case of lust.
The hostess gave Mase a fond smile and found them a secluded table. Any other time he’d have thought the staff were trying to hide two gay men, but the wink she flashed them before handing over their menus told him otherwise.
“Come here often?”
Mase nodded. “My cousin owns the place.”
“Ahh.” Well, that explained why Mase felt comfortable escorting him to his seat. “What’s good?”
“Everything.” Mase gave him a wide smile, setting Kit at ease. He’d always thought of Doms as hard-assed, scary men who spent their time stern-faced with a whip in hand. The man sitting across from him certainly appeared more approachable. He dipped his head to read the menu only to be interrupted by a hard angry voice.
“Mase! Corrupting innocent men again, I see. You should be ashamed to be seen in public.”
Kit looked up to find a tall blond glaring down at them, his face a mask of hate as he regarded Mase with contempt.
The Dom’s expression hardened and his eyes turned an icy blue. Kit hoped that look was never turned on him.
“Hello, Philip. I’d say it’s nice to see you again but it’s not. That’s why I have a restraining order against you.”
Philip turned to Kit. “Don’t fall for his lies. He’s already killed one man.”
A jolt of shock shot through Kit. He knew about Mase’s past but didn’t know people still blamed the Dom for his sub’s death. He instinctively trusted Mase…but he didn’t really know him. What if he was wrong?
Mase’s stern face didn’t show any emotion but Kit saw a tic jolt in his cheek, just a slight flinch. “Your cousin took his own life and despite your witch hunt, I was found not guilty.”