Forest is absent-minded, oblivious and so adorable, Dominant Quarry Light can’t help but to fall for him.
Quarry Light grew up tough—with a name like his, he didn’t have any other choice. Being a Dom came naturally to him, so when he got the chance to co-own a BDSM club with his friends, he leaped on the opportunity. If he thought he’d be able to find his soulmate sub easier, well, that was a side benefit.
The only problem is, that benefit had never appeared, and after having his heart and hopes crushed twice, Quar has decided he’ll stick to just scening with a sub now and then.
Fate has other things in mind, namely in the form of one Forest Tilden.
Forest is absent-minded, oblivious and so adorable, Quar can’t help but ask for his number after he stops to help the poor guy. Forest’s car picked the right day to bite it. He’s going to get more than a little mechanical advice from Quar. Together, they might get the future they both long for.
Bailey Bradford 2018
Heads n Tails was packed. Forest was glad. He wouldn’t draw much notice with so many people around. This was his first foray into a BDSM club and he didn’t want to screw it up. As it was, he’d almost changed his mind about coming in, but since his car had decided to crap out on him in the parking lot, it’d seemed like fate was sending him a message to proceed with his plan.
Not that he’d ever been a believer in fate before then, and he probably wouldn’t put any faith in it after tonight, either.
He stood with his back to a wall. All the tables were taken, but he’d found himself a spot where he didn’t think he’d be in anyone’s way.
And he could see all of the open area of the club. He tried not to stare at anyone.
It was hard not to gawk, though. There were men and women naked or close to it here and there. Lots of leather, not just on the Doms and Dommes. He spotted a sub wearing white leather chaps and a thong kneeling by his Dom.
Forest was wearing sort of tight jeans and a Rogue One T-shirt. Not the height of fashion, but it was what he was comfortable in. As nervous as he was tonight, he needed whatever comfort he could find.
BDSM was something he felt pulled to as a sub. He’d fantasized about being put over a Dom’s knees and being spanked ever since he’d accidentally discovered his older brother’s porn stash. Of course, Mick’s porn had been straight BDSM stuff, but Forest had no problem using his imagination to fix that.
And he’d seen online BDSM porn, and read about it—the real versions, not the porn-fantasy kind. Forest had done his research on the subject before he’d decided to dive into the scene. He’d thought that had prepared him, but he was nervous now that he was at Heads n Tails.
A sub cried out and Forest jerked his head toward the sound. He watched as a Dom spanked the sub with a paddle. A half-dozen or so people were moving closer to observe the pair. Forest assumed there was nothing wrong with him doing the same. He left his spot against the wall and walked a few steps closer.
“Like what you see?” someone rumbled from behind Forest.
Forest jolted and spun around to find himself nose to chest with a man wearing black leather. “Uh.”
“Answer me, boy.”
All the articles Forest had read on BDSM, all the advice he’d studied for newcomers, vanished right out of his head.
“You need to learn some manners, boy,” the man said as he reached for Forest. “Bet a whip can teach you those.”
“A-a w-whip?” Forest started to shake, and not with excitement. “I d-don’t—”
“That’s for me to decide—”
“J.D., back off.” The voice delivering that order sent a shiver down Forest’s spine.
He turned toward the Dom and sub he’d been watching a moment earlier, and found the owner of that magnificent voice staring at him. Oh, dang. He’s handsome! Not model-perfect, but rough-hewn and masculine.
“Quar, I saw him first,” J.D. snapped.
“He’s not a prize, J.D. I’m sure if this gentleman wants your attention, he’ll say so,” Quar—what kind of name is that?—replied. “No terrifying unwilling subs, you know the rules, and if you can’t follow them, you also know where the door is.”
“Think you’re hot shit because you’re one of the owners,” J.D. muttered. “You ain’t even a cold turd. You don’t control me.”
Forest bit the inside of his cheek and wondered if he should make a run for the door Quar had mentioned. He took a step back so he could keep an eye on both men.
“No, but I do control what happens in my club,” Quar countered. “And if we’re playing a game of I saw him first, what’s he driving?”
J.D. scowled. “What’re you talking about? I’ve been watching him in here.”
“Okay. Then I saw him first. I was in the parking lot when he pulled up. Following your logic, I’d have first dibs.” Quar gestured at Forest. “But again, that would be up to…” He arched an eyebrow at Forest.
“Forest, sir,” Forest mumbled. The ‘sir’ slipped out before he could think about it.
“It’d be up to Forest who he wanted to talk to or do anything else with,” Quar said with a nod to Forest. “I could be wrong, but from observing you, Forest, I’m guessing this is your first time at a BDSM club?”
“Yes, sir, it is,” Forest replied. “Um. I don’t know the rules.” He darted a glance at J.D. then back at Quar. “I just wanted to check it out.”
Quar nodded. “And would you like to have J.D. show you around? I hate to put you on the spot, but you’ll have to be upfront with him.”
“I’m fucking standing right here,” J.D. snarled. “Stop talking like I’m not here!”
Forest hated confrontations. He gulped as he slid a foot away from J.D., which put him closer to Quar. Both men waited on him to answer. An uncomfortable knot born of anxiety grew in Forest’s gut. He wished Quar would speak up for him. Forest was certain Quar knew his answer.
But Quar only nodded again when Forest dared to look him in the eyes.
Then Forest felt it—a warm touch to his hip. He knew it was Quar, unless J.D. had grown stretchy arms. That press of fingers gave Forest the strength he needed to speak. “I-I don’t want to hang out with you, J.D.”
J.D.’s expression darkened. “You—”
Quar stepped around Forest, putting himself in between him and J.D. “The sub has the power, J.D. Respect that or leave and don’t come back.”
J.D. said something Forest couldn’t quite make out before stomping away like a pissed-off toddler.
“I’ll have to have one of the other owners speak with him about our rules,” Quar said as he looked at Forest. “I’m Quar, well, Quarry Light, by the way. Odd name, I know, but my parents are quirky. I’ve got two brothers with odd names, too—Slate and Coal. Contrary to how it may seem, our parents do actually love us.”
Forest laughed as the knot in his belly dissipated. “Forest Tilden. Are they interested in mining or rocks?”
Quar’s smile warmed Forest all the way down to his toes. “Protested mining practices, and yeah, both are geologists. Good call.”
The praise made Forest want to preen, but he didn’t.
“So, I really was in the parking lot when you pulled up,” Quar said. “And I heard the mini-explosion under your hood. Saw the smoke, too. I noticed you seemed hesitant to come in. Most of us here are decent people. You don’t have to be afraid to check things out, but if you’d like, I can give you a tour and answer any questions you might have.”
“Oh, wow, sir—” And there it was again, that ‘sir’ slipping out before Forest could censor it. “I almost didn’t come inside. If the car hadn’t done that sputtering thing, along with the smoke, I probably would have left. But…” You can do this, Forest. Ask for what you want. “I’d like to have a tour. I have questions, but I don’t know if I’ll have the guts to ask them.”
“I hope that you will. You don’t need to be afraid of doing something wrong. You’re here to learn.” Quar smiled, which enhanced his rugged features. Forest liked the fine lines at the outer edges of his eyes, the stretch of his lips, the jut of his chin. “Why don’t you tell me what interests you about BDSM?”