Can the magic Whip and Nicky found at the Gay Riders’ Carnivale continue when they return to their regular lives?
With the Gay Riders’ Carnivale over, Whip brings Nicky home with him to his converted warehouse condo in Ottawa with the hopes that what they started at the Carnivale will grow into something they can both live with forever.
All is going well, the two of them learning more about each other and playing hard between Whip’s returning to work as an EMT and Nicky finding a job at a coffee shop.
When Nicky’s former master, the abusive Dirk, steps back into Nicky’s life, it threatens their very lives.
Can Whip and Nicky survive both real life and Dirk?
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Whip attached his new saddlebags to the bike and made sure he’d stowed all his stuff. The fact that Nicky only had a pair of jeans spare and a couple of T-shirts because Whip had bought him a few things over the weekend was criminal.
They were about to leave for home, though, a brand new relationship that had started so hot and heavy here at the Carnivale, and he didn’t want to mar it with thoughts of the asshole who’d been Nicky’s so-called master. He was going to focus on the good, which Nicky was. He was why this year’s Carnivale had been the best ever.READ MORE
Whip did up the straps and grabbed his helmet, plus the extra, which he handed over to Nicky. “You ready to come home with me?”
“Yes. God, yes. Please, Sir.” Huge blue eyes looked up at him from above a large fading bruise. “I swear you won’t regret me.”
“I know I won’t.” He cupped Nicky’s cheek, then put the helmet on his pup’s head and grinned wildly. “We have a four-hour ride back to Ottawa. Make sure you hold on tight.”
“I won’t let go, I swear.”
He took a kiss, sucking on Nicky’s tongue for a moment. “That’s to tide us over until we’re home.”
Then he straddled his ride, waiting for Nicky to get on behind him. It took a second to adjust to the weight, to get his balance, but the sensation when Nicky’s hands slipped around him was just right.
He started his bike and eased off the brake, moving slowly until he’d wound his way out of the parking lot and onto the road. From there, he opened her up and let her rip. It felt great, having Nicky clinging to him, plastered to his back.
They headed east, zipping down the highway, traveling toward home, and the whole scenario made him a breathless. He couldn’t remember if he’d made the bed or picked his underwear off the floor before he’d left the house four days ago. He supposed it didn’t matter. He wasn’t the neatest biker in the bunch, and Nicky would have to deal with that.
They hit rain about three-quarters of the way home, the squall bad enough that he pulled off, heading for the neon lights of a diner. He was hungry anyway, and he knew Nicky needed more of a break than a gas pit stop.
He stopped the bike, put down the kick-stand, and waited for Nicky to get off before joining him. They ran together to the diner, shaking off when they got there, and took off their helmets, shucked their jackets.
“You doing okay, baby?” Whip didn’t know how well Nicky traveled and getting caught up in the rain was nasty no matter how experienced you were.
“Yeah. Yeah, totally. That was exciting, huh? All the lightning.”
Whip laughed and nodded. “Yeah. Might have been a little more fun from the loft windows at home, but yeah.”
“You can sit anywhere, guys. I’ll be by with coffee and menus in a second.” The waitress gave them a smile and hurried on to deliver the plates of food she was carrying.
“That looked good,” Whip noted as he led them to a booth with hooks on the side where they could hang their wet leather jackets.
“Totally. Loft windows, huh? That would be so cool, watching a storm.” Nicky was buzzing, bouncing and young and alive and interested.
This was how it was supposed to be for Nicky. The world was supposed to be full of promise, exciting. As was his relationship with his Dom. Whip was glad he’d found Nicky when he had. Doubly glad, really. He was happy Nicky wasn’t with the asshole anymore just on its own. The fact that Whip had fallen in love too, made it awesome.
“Wait until I tie you to the St. Andrew’s cross that faces it.” His playroom was very well equipped and, while he might choose to start more slowly with Nicky, he definitely wanted to work up to using all the equipment at some point.
Nicky blinked up, the sudden rush of arousal showing in his cheeks.
Whip grinned, his own leathers going from a little tight due to having his hog between his legs and Nicky’s body pressed against him to fairly tight at the images his own words had brought forward.
“Let’s figure out what we want to eat before we get too distracted,” he suggested.
“I want the roast beef and mashed potatoes, if that’s okay with you. It smelled like heaven on a plate as it went by.”
“Yeah, yeah. That’s cool. I’m getting the blue light special. I love a good diner meatloaf. And this one comes with the mashed potatoes too. And green beans. And a vanilla milkshake to drink.” Whip’s stomach growled. He hadn’t realized how hungry he was until they’d started talking about food.
“Oh… Oh, that sounds good too…” Nicky grinned at him. “I’m sorry. I feel like… Like life is starting again.”
“Well, it is in a lot of ways and you should never apologize for enjoying the things life has to offer. Tell you what, you get the beef, I’ll get the meatloaf and we can share. You’ll have to get your own milkshake, though, unless you’re good with vanilla. I don’t like any other flavor.”
“No?” Nicky’s blue eyes danced. “Just vanilla?”
“When it comes to milkshakes, yes. It’s my one food weirdness. Otherwise, I’ll eat pretty much anything you set in front of me. As you may have noticed at the Carnivale.”
“Good to know. Vanilla master,” Nicky whispered.
Whip had to laugh at that, the sound bursting out of him. “As long as it doesn’t give you any ideas that I’m going to go easy on your ass, you can call me vanilla.”
“I think I want a strawberry shake. Or coffee. Ooh. They have salted caramel.” Nicky looked like a kid in his first candy store. Whip was willing to bet good money that Dirk had always chosen Nicky’s meals for him, and he’d add a side wager that he’d never chosen anything fun or exciting for Nicky—only the basics.
“Now see, I like salted caramel. But not in my milkshake.”
The waitress arrived at their table and he ordered for Nicky, getting him a salted caramel milkshake to go with the roast beef. He figured they could have coffee with their desserts. And, given the number of pies he could see listed on the board over the counter up front, they were definitely going to have dessert. The only question was how he was supposed to narrow it down to one?
Nicky watched him the entire time, like he might disappear any moment, like this was only a dream.
He turned his attention back to Nicky after he’d ordered, stretching and letting his foot touch Nicky’s. One day Nicky would be confident of his place in Whip’s life, but he hoped he was always this pup’s dream.
“So, uh, do you think I’ll be able to find work close by?” Nicky asked. “I know I have to pull my own weight, help with rent and stuff.”
Whip would have been happy to have Nicky helping around the loft with cooking and cleaning in place of contributing financially, but he knew it was important to Nicky to be earning, for his pride’s sake, so Whip didn’t say anything to discourage Nicky’s plans. Besides, Nicky might feel better if he actually had money of his own coming in, just in case. From what Whip understood, he’d been beholden to Dirk for absolutely everything, and that was a shitty place to be when the man who was your master and provider was such an asshole. Was an abuser.
“There’s a bunch of restaurants downtown and I’m always seeing help wanted signs, so I imagine you’ll find something you like fairly quickly. And I can wait on rent until you have something.” He didn’t want Nicky grabbing the first shitty position he found, just to have a job.
“Cool. I’m good at cleaning and stuff, too. I’m a laundry whiz.” Nicky stretched out the ‘zed’ sound.
“Oh yeah? I’m not a fan of laundry, so you could have that job around the house. We can divide the work and financial contributions so that we’re both happy in what we’re contributing and feeling like we’re doing our share. That work for you?”
“Of course. I’m good at taking care of things, at paying attention.”
He’d bet Nicky was. That was how abused people survived.
He reached out and grabbed Nicky’s hand, curling his fingers around Nicky’s. “You’re going to be a great help to have around the house. You know that’s not why I’m bringing you home, though, right?” He wasn’t looking for a maid—he was looking for a pup of his own. He was looking for Nicky.
“I know,” Nicky insisted. “You’re bringing me home because we have this big thing. It’s new and a little shaky, but it’s real.”
He beamed at Nicky for nailing it on the head. “You really do pay attention. And you’re smart, too.”
And that was enough, wasn’t it? Nicky tried. That was all any master had a right to ask of their sub. Effort. Whip approved.
“You do, and I notice you doing it.” That was important too, Whip knew, that Nicky didn’t feel invisible. And it was another reason not to exchange doing all the grunt work at the loft instead of rent. He didn’t want Nicky stuck with it all. “I’d like to make my room our room, but if you need some space of your own, there is a spare room and I won’t kick you out for using it.”
“I guess we’ll have to figure out what’s right, huh? I mean, you’re pretty good at telling what you want.”
Whip chuckled at that. “That’s kind of in the Dom job description. I’m more concerned that you tell me what you want and need. I won’t take advantage of you.”
“Me either. I’m not a bitch, no matter what anyone says.” Nicky raised his chin.
“I know you’re not. I know who you are better than that asshole you’d taken up with. I’m not going to let anyone hurt you like that again.” Dirk had treated Nicky like dirt and made him believe that was what the lifestyle was, that that was what Nicky deserved. Now Nicky knew better.
And if Nicky slipped, then Whip would drag him right back up.
Their milkshakes arrived. “Your meals will be along shortly, boys,” the waitress told them as she headed off again.
He called out a ‘thank you’ to their waitress and dove in, loving that the shake was thick enough he really had to suck. That was his favorite thing about milkshakes, the thickness, needing to suck and suck before the liquid would flow up the straw.
Nicky used his straw as a spoon, scooping bites out, licking the straw clean. Whip groaned as he watched, his cock reacting immediately to his sexy, oral pup. He could sit there and watch Nicky eat the entire shake just like that.
“You want a bite?” Nicky asked when he noticed Whip staring.
“Nope.” He wanted to watch Nicky use his tongue.
“‘Kay.” Nicky scooped up another bite, lapping at the straw. Little tease.
Whip groaned softly. He could get used to this. He wanted to. That was the plan. His mind babbled a little to distract himself from pouncing Nicky. He didn’t think diner management would approve. They’d been spoiled at the Carnivale, where finding a couple of guys making out in the middle of everything wasn’t that unusual.
Still, anticipation was a lovely thing and it would make the last leg of the trip amazing. He could already imagine what it would feel like, to be fully hard, the bike vibrating along his cock and balls, Nicky pressed up tight against him, firm cock digging into his back as if Nicky were drilling to China.
The waitress came back with their meals and it smelled amazing. Like real food after a long weekend of eating from food trucks. Not that this was actually homemade, but it came damn close.
“Damn, I think we might have to put this place on a perma-stop any time we head out in this direction.” It was only an hour from Ottawa, so it was always either right at the beginning or right at the end of his trip, and those weren’t ideal stopping times. Looked like the storm had done them a favor.
“It’s…wow. Wow.” Nicky waited for him to start, before digging in happily.
It was delicious and he almost forgot to share with Nicky. He did remember when he was through nearly half of his second piece of meatloaf, so he cut off the edge and gave the rest to Nicky, along with a few green beans. “You have to taste it—it’s delicious.”
“Thank you. I saved you roast beast.” Nicky chuckled. “This is our first restaurant.”
“It is. I bet we have many more together.” There were lots of different restaurants downtown near where he lived. They’d have their pick and he was sure they’d soon have favorites they would enjoy together. At the same time, he was anticipating having home-cooked meals with his very own pup.
He took the roast beef from Nicky’s plate, and they dug into each other’s meals. He thought maybe he liked his meatloaf a little bit better, but it was splitting hairs really, because the beef was delicious.
“Oh, the meatloaf is great. I think you made the best choice,” Nicky told him.
“Your roast beef is really good too, though.” He appreciated Nicky’s instincts. His pup was all about loving on his Dom and treating him right. Good thing Nicky had him now to offer the same care and attention right back. “The only question left is, are we going to get one dessert to share, or two?”
“If you’re willing to share, that’s good with me. I ate a lot.”
“You feel like a rhubarb pie? I haven’t had one of those in ages.” He knew it was an acquired taste, but he’d learned to love them as a kid, visiting his grandparents, and he hadn’t seen it on a menu in… Maybe he’d never seen it on a menu.
“I’ve never tried, but sure, why not?”
That was his pup, eager to learn, to try. He didn’t understand how a Dom could squander such eagerness.
“It’s a little sour, but if you like sour candy, I bet you enjoy this. We’ll get it à la mode—it doesn’t need the ice cream, but that way if you don’t like it, you still have something sweet to eat.”
“That works for me, Sir.”
When their waitress came to clear their plates, he ordered dessert and coffees for both of them. “We need to stay alert for the rest of our ride. It looks like the rain’s stopping, but the road is still wet.”
“How can I help?” Nicky asked, eager as always to do his part.
“Stay alert, cling and move with me.” Whip had this, but it would be easier if he and Nicky moved as one, which was where the clinging to him came in.
“I can do that, no problem.”
“I know. You’ve been doing it all along. You’re a good rider.” He’d enjoyed the trip so far, despite the deluge.
Nicky pinked a bit and Whip knew Nicky was thinking of a completely different kind of riding. It made him chuckle and nod.
“Yes, you’re good at that kind of riding, too.”
“I hope so. I try.” Nicky winked.
“No, pup, in this case you don’t try—you do.” He was still grinning at himself when their pie and java arrived. The pie looked like his grandmother’s. He hoped the coffee wasn’t like hers, though. She made a horrible cup of joe. He wasn’t sure if it was the weak coffee, the cheap coffee, or her utter lack of concern. He wasn’t sure that mattered one way or the other.
He took a sip of the hot drink, finding it good enough that he only had to put a bit of milk into it. “It’s decent road coffee. I have an espresso machine at home. Kind of a birthday-Christmas-every other holiday gift all combined into one for myself a couple years ago.” The thing had cost a small fortune and felt like the biggest kind of indulgence.
“Oh, yeah? That’s wicked good, huh?”
“Yeah. It’s not even that difficult to use. I mean there are some complicated drinks out there, but for a simple espresso or latte, it’s easy and delicious. The more ingredients your coffee has in it, the more complicated it is to make, seems to be the rule of thumb.”
“If you show me what to do, I can make your coffee. Every day,” Nicky offered.
“I like the sound of that. I’ll teach you how to use it anyway so you can make your own. I especially need a good strong cup before work, you know? And I was spending a fortune on coffees at Timmies and the like. I figured if I didn’t drink coffee-shop coffee for a year, I’d be able to afford the expensive machine no problem. And I was right.”
“Oh, I bet. Working at a restaurant let me drink as much as I wanted. Coffee-wise, I mean.”
“That’s a neat perk—as long as the coffee is good.” Some places it wasn’t worth the hot water and you had to load it with sugar to make it drinkable. “Have you got any barista experience? There’s coffee shops on every other corner downtown.” Between Starbucks, Van Houtte, Second Cup and Tim Hortons, not to mention the little independent places, the core was lousy with coffee shops.
“No. No, I think I’d love doing that, though. I wonder if anyone trains.”
“I imagine they do. I mean most of the time it’s young people working in those places. Doesn’t hurt to apply, anyway, right?” Whip thought getting a job close to home would be optimal. He wouldn’t be worrying about Nicky’s commute that way.
The waitress returned with their pie and two spoons. “It was made fresh this morning, so it should be a good one.”
“Thanks.” Once she’d gone, he turned his attention back to Nicky. “Go ahead and try it.” He wanted to see Nicky’s reaction to the sour but delicious fruit.
Nicky took a small bite, then blinked. “That’s really unusual, huh? Neat.”
“Yeah. I like it a lot.” He took a piece for himself, humming at the sharp flavor tempered by the sugar and the crust. He didn’t need ice cream with it—he thought that would make it too sweet. But he was glad they’d gotten the scoop included with the pie as Nicky dug into it and took a large spoonful. His pup took another bite of the pie, too, making Whip smile.
“It’s good. You have the rest, though,” Nicky offered. “I’m full.”
“You sure?” He didn’t want Nicky only having a couple of bites out of some sense of, he didn’t know, pride or something.
“I ate an entire side of beef, Sir.”
Whip laughed, tickled to death. “That might be a bit of an exaggeration.”
“I look like an anaconda that swallowed a water buffalo. Look.” Nicky smoothed down his T-shirt.
Nicky did have a bulge and Whip laughed some more. “You need more meals like this.” Sure it had been a large meal, but not outrageously so. Nicky needed to have decent, regular meals and Whip would see to it that happened.
“I’m happy to be here with you, you know?”
“I know, baby. But while you’re with me, I want you to be more than subsisting—I want you thriving.”
Nicky offered him a grin, a nod and the lean cheeks turned pink. It was utterly charming.
“You deserve the best, pup.” And he was going to make sure Nicky got it. Food, loving, emotional support. Everything.
Nicky gave a half-shrug, right shoulder rising and falling. “I don’t know about that, but I’m glad you have me.”
“Well, I’m the master and I know about it. You deserve the best,” he insisted. He’d keep expressing that until Nicky knew it, believed it.
“Thank you. I swear, I’ll make you happy.”
“We’ll make each other happy.” He was pretty confident of that.
The waitress returned. “You boys need anything else?”
“No, we’re good, thank you. Stuffed.” Whip rubbed his belly.
“I’ve got your bill for you.” She put it down on the table. “You can pay me or up at the cash.”
Nicky bit his bottom lip as she left. “I swear I’ll have a job soon. I swear.”
“Nick.” He waited until Nicky met his eyes. “Stop stressing. It’s not going to break me to have to support you until you’re making money. Just relax.”
“I worry that you think I’m a mooch, and I’m not.” Nicky was so earnest.
“I am fully aware that you’re not a mooch.” He squeezed Nicky’s hands and looked into his face. “I know you’re going to contribute and be my partner.”
“Four days ago I was hiding in your room,” Nicky pointed out.
“That was a nice bit of fate, wasn’t it?” And Whip thanked whoever was responsible for looking out for gay bikers that they’d found each other.
“It feels a little like it could slip away.”
Whip shook his head. “We aren’t going to let it. We’re going to work at it, and stay together.” He got Nicky’s fear, though. They’d had a whirlwind courtship, hot and heavy from the start, but away from home, away from the regular stressors of life. They hadn’t been tested yet.
They hadn’t even slept in his bed together. There was only one way to fix all that, though. “Let’s go, pup. Let’s get home and make it real.”COLLAPSE