First Time (The Eternal Dungeon: Rebirth #3)
One man seeks to heal from abuse. The other man dreams of abusing. Now they're in love. As the Eternal Dungeon's chief torturer and newest member strive to find a middle ground, their lovemaking forces Layle Smith to return in his mind to an older dungeon he had long abandoned. In that dungeon lies a helpless prisoner . . . yet perhaps the prisoner is not quite so helpless as he appears. More
"Layle was the High Seeker. He ought to be able to penetrate behind this wall of love to find the fear that must still lie behind it. The fear remained within Elsdon; there could be no doubt of that, given his background and the mind-sick manner in which Layle had initially handled Elsdon's declarations of love. Yet Elsdon seemed to have succeeded, by sheer force of his will, in driving back that fear and imprisoning it so that it could not be of harm. . . . Just as Layle had imprisoned his own dark desire seventeen years before. And now Elsdon had opened the cell where that desire lay bound. "
One man seeks to heal from abuse. The other man dreams of abusing. Now they're in love.
As the Eternal Dungeon's chief torturer and the dungeon's newest member strive to find a middle ground on which they can meet, their lovemaking forces Layle Smith to return in his mind to an older dungeon he had long abandoned. In that dungeon lies a helpless prisoner . . . yet perhaps the prisoner is not quite so helpless as he appears.
This suspenseful novelette (miniature novel) can be read on its own or as the third story in the "Rebirth" volume of The Eternal Dungeon, an award-winning speculative fiction series set in a nineteenth-century prison where the psychologists wield whips. Friendship, family, gay love, and rebellion are intertwining plotlines in the series.
"This story subverts heaps of slash clichés – who writes about people losing their erections, triggering their partners, or taking time out to solve equipment problems? But I didn't even notice all that good stuff because I was having far too good a time enjoying the hot first-time-ness and power dynamics." —Yingtai/Justine (Amazon customer review)
Elsdon smiled and took Layle's hands in his. "Love, I want part of you to be here, with me. If giving me orders helps to keep you halfway in this world, I'll be happy to obey you."
The very word "obey" sent a flame of desire through him so keen that it was a moment before he could speak. Then he said, his voice more husky, "If I should do anything that makes you uncomfortable—"
"I'll tell you. Or more likely, you'll sense it. Stop worrying, love."
He took a step forward to stand chest-to-chest with the young Seeker. He could feel now the warm hardness under Elsdon's trousers, and he wondered that Elsdon could maintain his desire through such a conversation as they had just held. Tightening his grip slightly, he said in a low voice, "I want you to do as I tell you. If you begin to be hurt or disturbed by what I'm doing, you're to say so, but otherwise you're to remain silent. Do you understand?"
Elsdon nodded, apparently undisturbed by Layle's peremptory tone. Schoolmasters, thought Layle. In what followed, he must try to act as much as possible like a schoolmaster. Certainly he must not do anything that would seem fatherly.
He had been working in his profession for twenty years, yet he had never done anything as difficult as this: to try to shape his own dreamings in such a way that they did not call up another man's dark memories. He was trying to imagine abuse at the same time he was trying to keep his love-mate from remembering abuse; he could have cried at the absurdity of it. What the bloody blades was Elsdon doing here? Why couldn't the youth have fallen in love with a kind, gentle love-mate who would have given him what he needed to heal from his father's woundings?
He was strongly tempted to set his own dreamings aside and concentrate his mind solely on giving Elsdon pleasure. But it would be a very naive virgin indeed who failed to notice that his partner felt no desire, and Elsdon was not the sort of man to take without giving. That was one of the things that bound them.
Layle's desire lay within the cell; the door stood open, unlocked by Elsdon, but the desire remained chained to the wall. Layle took a deep breath and brought his hammer down in the first strike to break the chain.
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