Christmas is a time for goodwill to all, but Collars and Cuffs co-owner Thomas Williams receives an unexpected gift that chills him to the bone. A Dom from another Manchester club asks Thomas for his help rescuing an abused submissive, Peter Nicholson. Thomas takes in the young man as a favor to a friend, offering space and time to heal, but he makes it clear he’s never had a sub and doesn’t want one.
Peter finds Thomas’s home calm and peaceful, but his past has left him unwilling to trust another Dom. When Thomas doesn’t behave as Peter expects, Peter’s nightmares begin to fade, and he decides he’d like to learn more about D/s life. A well-known trainer of submissives, Thomas begins to teach Peter, but as the new submissive opens up to him, Thomas finds he cares more for Peter than he should. Just as he decides it’s time to find a permanent Dom for Peter, they discover Peter’s tormentor is still very much a threat. With their lives in danger, Thomas can’t deny his feelings for Peter any longer. The question now becomes, can Peter make it out of the lions’ den alive, so that Thomas can tell his boy that he loves him?
“PETER’S definitely not here, Sir,” murmured David. Steven straightened.
“You’re sure? You’ve looked everywhere?” He heard every word, in spite of the music booming through the speakers. Everyone was talking, laughing, dancing….
David dipped his head once. “And I also overheard Christian talking. I might have misunderstood, but I’m sure he said something about Peter being in a cage tonight.”
Steven went still. “You’re sure he said ‘cage’?”
David nodded, his eyes wide. “He didn’t really mean Peter is in a cage… did he? I mean, he shouldn’t be in the cage if his master isn’t present.” Steven’s heart swelled. David remembered everything he was taught. Not for the first time, Steven thought how proud he was to have David as his submissive.
“Listen to me, boy.” He cupped David’s chin, lifting it so the sub was forced to look at him directly. “Curtis Rogers is not a Dom, all right? He has no right to call himself Peter’s master. And we are going to get Peter away from him so he can learn what it means to be a submissive, if that’s what he wants.”
David’s gaze never wavered. He nodded slowly, swallowing.
“Then I need your help.”
David composed himself quickly. “What do you need me to do, Sir?”
Steven gave him a quick grin and kissed his cheek. “Good boy.” David’s blush was delightful. “I need you to keep a lookout for me. I’m going to find Curtis’s car keys, because hopefully there will also be a set of house keys attached.” His grin widened as David inhaled sharply. “Come on, then. Let’s go to the parking bay.”
Dom and sub made their way through the throng of partygoers toward the back of the club, where the boys who did the valet parking were sprawled on chairs, drinking Cokes. The back door was open, despite the chill winter’s air: the boys were smoking. Steven turned to look at the wall behind him and saw a board with many hooks laden with keys, all neatly labeled.
“Right,” he whispered to David, “you go strike up a conversation. Keep them talking for about five minutes, then meet me outside the club. Okay?” David nodded and headed for the three boys. Steven hurried to the board and searched rapidly through the myriad bunches of keys until at last he spied Curtis’s name. With a triumphant smirk he grabbed the set of keys and cast a darting glance toward his sub. David was chatting animatedly with the boys, who were laughing and joking with him. Good boy. Steven glanced at his watch. Ten thirty. Plenty of time to get to Curtis’s house, grab Peter, take him to Thomas, and then get back here to replace the keys. At least he knew Curtis would be staying put until midnight. The sub auction wasn’t due to happen until just before twelve.
Abruptly, Steven’s heart began to race. Okay, so maybe what he was about to do was slightly illegal. Hell, who was he kidding? It was damned illegal, but he kept telling himself the end justified the means. Peter couldn’t stay with that brute a second longer. He needed rescuing.
THE house was virtually in darkness.
“Shouldn’t we be worried about an alarm, Sir?” David peered out anxiously through the car window.
Steven shook his head. “He’s not likely to have set the alarm if Peter is inside, is he?” Well, Steven fervently hoped the alarm wasn’t set. “Come on, let’s have a look around.”
As silently as possible, the two men got out of the car and walked up to the house. The only light visible came from a lamp softly glowing in the large front window and the wall light next to the front door. Steven peered at the window. No sign of Peter. Then he reasoned: As if Curtis would leave Peter where he could be seen. He motioned to David to follow him, and they took the path that led along the side of the house until they arrived at the huge expanse of a garden. Steven glanced at the windows again. A faint light shone from deeper within the house. He took out his phone and activated its flashlight function to examine the lock on the back door. After glancing down at the keys in his hand, he let out a quiet whoop of triumph.
“We’re going in.”
Stealthily, they crept inside. They found themselves in a large kitchen filled with shiny appliances and black marble work surfaces. “Head for the light,” he whispered and went toward the open kitchen door. The light came from a room off the small hallway.
“Master? Christian? Is that you? Who’s there?”
Steven stiffened at the sound of Peter’s voice, which quavered. He edged his way carefully into the room… and stopped.
In the corner sat a cage about four feet high and three feet wide. Peter raised his head from his curled-up position on the floor of the cage. His wrist and leg restraints were connected by chains to a thick loop of steel suspended from the roof of the cage, allowing him little movement. A bottle of water sat beside him. He wore a thin pair of sweatpants and an equally thin T-shirt. His feet were bare.
Peter’s eyes grew round as he saw the two men approach the cage.
“I-I remember you,” he whispered, his gaze alighting on Steven. He glanced at David, who smiled kindly at him. Instantly, Peter froze. “You have to leave! He could be back any second!”
Steven gave the small room a cursory glance. A set of keys hung from a nail on the wall… ones just about the right size to be the keys for Peter’s restraints. He grabbed them and opened the cage door. It wasn’t locked: no need—Peter wasn’t going anywhere. Clumsily, Steven fumbled with the restraints, his hands shaking.
“You’re coming with us,” he said firmly. Peter shook his head, aghast.
“I can’t! I can’t leave my master!”
“Boy, I don’t have time to wait. We need to get you out of here now.”
Peter trembled violently. “You don’t understand,” he whispered. “I can’t leave him—he won’t let me. He’s my master. He would beat me if I tried to leave.”
“Then we’re going to get out of here before he comes back.” Steven stared at Peter. “Will you come with me?” Stubbornly, Peter shook his head. “Then I will just have to carry you out.” Peter howled in protest as Steven pulled him gently from the cage and then hefted him up over his shoulder. At five feet eleven and with well-defined musculature, thanks to his hours spent in the local gym, Steven had no problem carrying the slight sub. All the fight promptly went out of Peter, and he sagged against Steven, a deadweight.
David led the way out of the house and locked the door behind them.
“Sir, if you want to go in the back with Peter, I can drive, as long as you give me directions.”
Steven gave his sub a fond look. “That’s okay, David. I’ll strap Peter into the front seat, and then I’ll drop you outside the club. Can you get the keys back to the parking board?” David nodded. “We’ll wait outside for you. Then we’ll take Peter here to Master Thomas’s house. Once Peter is safe, you and I can go home. You did really well, David. As a reward, you’re sleeping in my bed tonight… when we eventually get to sleep, that is.”
David beamed with pride, and his sharp intake of breath and happy grin spoke volumes.
Steven chuckled. He’d always planned on fucking the boy tonight—nothing like letting the New Year in with a bang—but he wanted to go to sleep with his submissive in his arms. And judging by the contented expression on David’s face, his sub wanted that too.
First things first, however. While David was returning the keys to their rightful position, Steven would ring Thomas. Better warn the man they were on their way—with a houseguest for him.