When his good friend Julius dies unexpectedly, Marcus finds himself saddled with a new submissive–Charlie. But Charlie comes with a history, and a whole host of issues and problems that Marcus has never really dealt with. Marcus knows he loves Charlie, and Charlie loves him, but he’ll have to set aside his old theories about BDSM and relearn the ropes, so to speak, if he wants to be the Dom Charlie needs him to be.
It’s been a month since Marcus’ good friend Julius has died. While Marcus still grieves for the loss of his friend, his life has become incredibly complicated. Julius left the care of his submissive, Charlie, to Marcus. Marcus loves Charlie, but his life is busy and complicated and he never wanted a live-in sub, particular as Marcus is quite set in his own ways and Charlie is delicate. Charlie had come a long way forward from where Julius had found him and Marcus didn’t want to mess any of that up. Can Marcus and Charlie make this work?
I was surprised by just how much I enjoyed this story. In my opinion, the author did an amazing job with it. Charlie had been rescued by Julius from slavery and so Charlie’s past was incredibly checkered and I found Charlie to be a deeply interesting and complex character. I really liked how Marcus knew and understood so much about Charlie’s past – so the pace of the story could be kept at a good clip, without massive amounts of info-dumpling to explain everything to the reader. This history, however, understandably made Marcus reluctant, not certain of how to handle Charlie best while still loving him and wanting do to what was right. I found this gave the whole story a bit of a darker tone than I had originally expected. Charlie craves the pain, needs his limits seriously pushed and this is a very fine line to walk, between what is too much and how much Charlie needs in his submission.
While I personally really really enjoyed this story, there’s quite a few hot buttons that might not appeal to other readers. Charlie’s sex slave history – though it’s not gone into in detail and as much as possible is laid out in a positive manner, it’s present and very integral to Charlie and his needs. Also the level of pain and submission Charlie needs probably won’t appeal to lighter readers, or those new/unknowing to M/M BDSM style stories. All that said, I thought it was tastefully written and strongly emotional. I enjoyed how the author progressed Charlie and Marcus’ relationship without glorying anything from the negative past but also showing me as the reader why Marcus pushed Charlie. I felt the love and need from both characters and this helped me enjoy the slightly harder, darker sex the two men enjoyed together.
Not a short story that will appeal to everyone’s tastes, I however loved this and would strongly recommend it to those who like the envelope pushed just a little. While I didn’t think there was anything outrageous in the storyline, this isn’t a light, fluffy tale and I think sometimes that’s exactly what I want to read. A brilliant short story and an author I will certainly be checking out again.