If It Fornicates, page 13
“I know you want to,” Spencer said. “But can you?”
Nick met Spencer’s gaze. Did Spencer really think Nick would sacrifice him for his job again? Sex with people whose names he cared nothing about? Walk out on him again for cash? Funny, he’d always thought this kind of shit would surface when he ended up in a relationship – that somebody would insist he quit, an ultimatum thrown out in a game of emotional blackmail. He’d often thought about it and decided that nobody would control him like that. There would be no negotiations about how he paid his way and put food on his table. He was a rentboy, and anyone who felt the need to question his choice of employment could show themselves to the door.
He’d just never have anticipated that it would be him who’d question it first.
Spencer squeezed his hands again. “Look, it’s early. I need to get to the office, and you need sleep.” His eyebrow arched slightly, as if warning Nick not to argue with him about that last bit. “Do you think we can talk about it this evening? After we’ve both had a chance to give it some thought? Then we can make an informed decision. Together.”
Nick nodded, gut churning with nerves. “Okay. We’ll talk this evening.”
He let Spencer slip away and listened while he showered and got dressed. Spencer was right; it was too early to try to hash this out. The only time Nick was ever up at five in the fucking morning was if he was still up.
Spencer came out of the bedroom in his suit and with an old-fashioned leather briefcase under one arm. “I’ll see you tonight, then?”
“Yeah. Just text me.” Nick nodded towards the front door. “I’ll leave with you. See if I can grab a couple more hours of sleep at home.”
“Sounds good.” Spencer kissed him before he opened the door and let them both out.
They went their separate ways, and when Nick shuffled through his own front door, fatigue was catching up to him. His limbs were heavy, his eyes scratchy. Sleep was even more appealing now than it had been when he’d been lying next to Spencer. And no wonder. It was after six in the morning.
He stripped down and grabbed a quick shower. Funny how the hot water highlighted all the stiffness in his neck and shoulders, but didn’t bother to relieve it for him. Maybe he’d have to get a massage from Spencer this evening. Those incredible hands always seemed to help.
Except that was part of the problem. Spencer was amazing. He was submissive, he listened, he massaged, he cooked, he did everything Nick could ever ask of a boyfriend, and that was making Nick’s life hell.
He towelled off and then got into bed. The warm water, not to mention the early hour, had made him even more tired, and by all rights, he should have fallen asleep immediately.
But of course, he didn’t. He was physically and mentally exhausted, he was warm and comfortable, and now he was fucking wide awake.
He’d spent every night with Spencer since the last time he’d worked a full night at Market Garden, which meant this was the first time he’d slept here – tried to sleep here – since he’d brought Spencer into his flat. Into this bed. Into him, for that matter.
Closing his eyes didn’t bring him any closer to drifting off, it just brought the other night back to the forefront of his mind. Hadn’t they come here to negotiate chastity play and look at some toys? And yet somehow they’d ended up naked in bed with Nick coming unglued with Spencer’s cock inside him.
He scrubbed a hand over his face and let out a sharp breath.
What the hell was happening to him? Okay, so he’d finally admitted to himself he was in love with Spencer. And maybe that explained why he couldn’t mesh with the Market Garden scene anymore when being a Dom-for-hire had been so easy for him in the past.
But his own flat was different. Spencer’s presence was still here, still charging the air with a current that teased the hairs on the back of Nick’s neck. His bed was no longer the place he came to sleep off a long night. It was the place where That Had Happened.
He didn’t regret it. Not letting Spencer fuck him, not letting himself fall in love with Spencer. He just had no idea what to do with the aftermath. Then again, he wouldn’t have to worry about sleeping here if he quit Market Garden, because he wouldn’t be able to pay for the damn place anymore. And if he did quit, then what? Take a job at Tesco? Let customers bully him and figuratively fuck him up the arse?
It’s making me fucking miserable.
Your job or ... this?
Nick closed his eyes and sighed. Yes, he was miserable. Miserable, confused, completely fucking fucked in the head. But it wasn’t Spencer. God, no, it wasn’t Spencer at all. Maybe he was the catalyst, the thing that had shifted Nick’s world so far off its axis he didn’t know which way was up, but he wasn’t negotiable. His place in Nick’s tilted, screwed-up world wasn’t up for discussion.
Which scared the fuck out of Nick. Absolutely terrified him.
Well, being the reason you’re losing sleep and coming apart at the seams is one of those things I won’t let you ask me to do.
He shifted on his too-big, too-empty bed, resisting the irrational urge to reach for Spencer’s arm. Spencer wasn’t here, but that didn’t mean he was gone. Yet.
Just get some sleep. Too tired to think.
Right. Sleep now, then think, then talk to Spencer tonight. And maybe sort this out.
Except he was too wound-up to sleep. There was a simple solution for that, one he’d used time and again to relax when insomnia decided to kick in.
Jerk off in the place where Spencer and I fucked like that?
Evidently his body didn’t object to the idea. His cock was already hardening just thinking about the last time he’d been here, when he’d been on top of Spencer, who’d been lying right here, just like this. Oh, what the hell.
He wrapped his fingers around his cock and stroked slowly as his erection thickened in his hand. He shifted a little to get comfortable, and the futon gave a quiet, familiar creak, one he’d heard thousands of times but this time sounded like one night in particular. So he moved again. The tiny creak echoed in the otherwise quiet flat, and sharpened the images in his mind. Spencer on his back. Brow furrowing, abs trembling with the effort of not moving and not thrusting, wrists straining against the leather cuffs, gripping the chain because Nick had told him to.
Nick bit his lower lip and arched his back, fucking his own fist as the bed squeaked again. It had been loud last time, hadn’t it? The whole frame protesting their rapid, violent motions as Nick tried to get Spencer as deep inside him as he could? He didn’t remember. All he’d heard then, all he could recall, was Spencer’s breathing. The quiet grinding and rattling of the chain between the cuffs. His own heart pounding. The sounds of the two of them kissing. Flesh hitting flesh.
And then he’d come, and he came this time too, toes curling and back arching as his semen hit his stomach just like it had landed on Spencer’s the other night.
All too quickly, it was over. One last aftershock rippled through him, and his body sank back to the bed, which offered one final, muted creak.
We have got to fuck like that again.
The thought startled him, but post-orgasm lethargy was already settling in. He had just enough left in him to fumble for a tissue, clean himself off, and then slip back in between the warm sheets.
He desperately wanted and needed to sleep, but in spite of the hour and the blissful fatigue following his orgasm, he still couldn’t. His brain just wouldn’t stop. He kept thinking about Spencer. Not just sex with him. Just ... Spencer. About how much he couldn’t stop thinking about him when he was supposed to be focusing on the men who were paying him for sex and domination.
As long as I have him, I can’t give them what they need.
Cold water slid through his veins as the epiphany took shape.
There were finances to think of, and his need for independence. And he wasn’t ashamed of what he did. Not by any means. But the more he thought about his job and his relationship, the more incongruous those thing
But ... bills. Independence. Fuck, he was too tired to think.
His body finally won over his brain, and sleep closed in, but not before one last thought crossed his exhausted mind:
I can be Spencer’s boyfriend. I can be a rentboy.
I can’t be both.
Okay, so he was nervous when his phone buzzed with Spencer’s text.
I’ll be home in 25 minutes. Meet you there?
He confirmed, then spent the next five minutes or so fretting over what to wear. Jeans, then, and a black T-shirt from one of the many weird internet sites, featuring Pinhead from Hellraiser. He’d always considered the whole series nothing but an allusion to gay BDSM, and wearing this particular T-shirt was something of an insider joke.
He could easily pass as a horror movie fan. Sadistic demons dragging innocent souls to Hell, and all that. It fit the mood. It also reminded him of raging hard-ons he’d had as a young teenager with all the chains and leather and intimidation going on in those movies. He’d wanted to be one of the demons so bad, which had probably been one of the earlier clues that he wouldn’t quite turn out like most other people.
He slid into a leather jacket and left his flat. After a couple of Tube changes and a few minutes on foot, he reached Spencer’s door. Spencer opened on the first ring, having clearly just arrived home himself. He let Nick pass into the house and locked up behind them.
The kiss hello in the hallway was quick and light, unsettlingly so; Nick knew they had things they needed to discuss, but there was too much space in that kiss. Too much distance.
Spencer gestured towards the kitchen. “Tea?”
Nick settled on the couch in the living room, folded his hands in his lap and felt ridiculous, listening to the water boil and Spencer busying himself in the kitchen. But a couple minutes later, he was glad to be able to hold something in his hands when Spencer joined him on the couch.
“How was your day?”
“Mostly caught up on sleep.” Mostly. And missed you. And banged my head against the fucking wall. I’m just no fucking good like this. “You?”
“Well, the usual thing. Met Percy for lunch. He told me all the dirt.”
“Dirt? That partner arsehole been babbling?”
“Yeah. Apparently it’s bigger news than the budget for the Christmas party.”
Nick scoffed, then softened. “Sorry about that.”
“It’s okay. I was expecting it. That does make a difference.”
Anticipating the blow, the pain. Spencer was good at rolling with the punches, and that was something Nick envied like hell.
“You really need to get out of that job,” Nick said. “Or that firm at least.”
Spencer looked right at Nick. “Just like you.”
Oh. Damn. There was that. “I know. God, I know. But ... my mortgage and tuition fees ...” Nick exhaled hard. “I still have to make a fucking living, but being with you and being a prostitute, it’s ...”
“I am okay with what you do,” Spencer said. “But we’ve discussed this. I’m okay with you being a rentboy, but I’m not okay with you being unhappy.” He placed the mug down, then half turned to Nick. “I was thinking about all of this pretty much the whole day today. Can I ... well. I need you to hear me out. Completely. And it’s important to me that you give it an open mind, okay?”
In light of some of their recent conversations, that sounded bad. It definitely made his hackles rise. “Okay.”
“Thank you.” Spencer smiled, but didn’t reach out to touch him. “I was thinking you could move in with me. I have a lot of space; it wouldn’t get crowded. And when I’m on a case, I’m working long hours anyway, so you’ll have all the peace and quiet you could possibly need for studying. Everything else – I’d cover that. It’s no big deal for me, I’m making good money. It would give you time to finish your studies and find out what you want without having to deal with needy bastards who drain you and make you miserable.”
Nick squirmed under the weight of what Spencer was suggesting. “You want ... you want me to quit the Garden and come live with you?”
Spencer watched him for a moment, maybe trying to gauge if Nick was surprised or hostile. “I’d like it if you did. It’s your decision, of course.”
Damn you for playing the perfect submissive card right now ...
Nick pinched the bridge of his nose and exhaled. “I’d be ... you’d ...” Restlessness finally got the best of him, and he stood. He stepped around the coffee table and paced back and forth as Spencer watched him silently.
Nick swallowed. “I’d be completely dependent on you. For years. Until I get chartered and can practice.”
“Not necessarily,” Spencer said. “There’s nothing that says you can’t work or contribute. Just –”
“Just not whoring myself out.” The comment came out more sharply than Nick intended, and Spencer winced, dropping his gaze. Nick exhaled. “I’m sorry. I ... I’m just not sure about this.”
“You said the job is making you miserable.”
“A lot of people’s jobs make them miserable.”
Their eyes met. Spencer didn’t have to say it.
A lot of people’s jobs don’t involve having sex with other people.
He stopped pacing, folding his arms loosely across his chest. “You’re probably right about that part. I can’t do that job anymore. Not like I used to, anyway.”
“And if you quit,” Spencer said softly, “what would you do?”
Nick shook his head. “I don’t know. I really don’t.”
“I’m offering you a chance to figure that out.”
“As long as I move in with you.”
Spencer jumped. “It’s not an ultimatum, Nick.”
“But what choice do I have?” Nick threw up his hands, not even sure why he was angry. “If I keep working there, it’s going to wear me down to nothing. If I quit, I can’t pay my living expenses, my tuition fees, my mortgage, and I have nowhere to go. Nowhere but ...” He sighed, the anger deflating as quickly as it had started. “Nowhere but here.”
Spencer rose. He approached Nick slowly, and he could probably see every muscle in Nick’s torso tensing. If he didn’t see it, then he damn sure felt it when he put a gentle hand on Nick’s shoulder. “I didn’t mean to upset you.”
“I know.” Nick rubbed his forehead just to give himself a reason not to look at Spencer. “And honestly? Part of me would love to live with you. Because then I’d be close to you. All the time.”
Spencer’s fingers pressed in gently. “But ...?”
Nick lowered his hand and made himself look up at Spencer. “But I don’t want to depend on you. I ... there isn’t much worse for a Dom than being dependent on someone else. Completely powerless.”
“Powerless?” Spencer shook his head slowly. “No. You wouldn’t be.”
“Yes, I would.” Nick swallowed hard. “Some of the guys at the Garden would kill for a sugar daddy. Me? The idea of living in your house, spending your money, eating your food, it’s ...” He shook his head again and lowered his gaze. “I know it sounds to you like you’re offering me a key. But to me, something like that feels more like a prison.”
Spencer winced. “People have shared responsibilities for, I don’t know, thousands of years. There are lots of people who make this kind of thing work – to have children or something.”
“Yeah, but then it’s necessary.” Nick raked a hand through his hair. “I can’t do it. I’m not going to sit here and wait for you to come home and then entertain you.”
Spencer recoiled. “It’s not like I’d be a client who’d expect you to ...”
“If you’re paying my way, that’s exactly what it would feel like. Shit, I almost ended up in something like that before. Though I can’t say I was quite so ... fucking involved.” Nick
“Yeah, but we have a good relationship. A good start, anyway. Something real that will likely do well if we give it more space and time and invest in it.” Spencer reached for Nick’s arm and squeezed gently before drawing his hand back. “I want you to be happy, not torn up like this. I want a partner, not a sex slave. And certainly not you in that role. I don’t think I’d do well making any demands on you.”
True. It seemed very much against Spencer’s character. But you only really got to know somebody when you lived with them for a while. Nick had learned the hard way in the past that living under the same roof could reveal even the most easy-going guy’s control freak side. But Spencer wouldn’t be like that, would he? He’d never be the type to try to control things. Control Nick. That just wasn’t him.
But taking that step was still an unsettling prospect for Nick. Right now, he could still walk away. Go part-time as a student, work a few jobs, hell, do the studying on the weekend or a couple evenings a week. Eventually, he’d get there.
“Your flat,” Spencer said. “You’re buying it, aren’t you?”
Nick nodded. “Yeah. Why?”
“You could rent it out. Then if things don’t work out here, with me, you’d still have that.” He held Nick’s gaze. “I don’t want you to be trapped here, Nick. This isn’t for my benefit.”
Nick allowed himself a small grin. “So you’d be getting nothing out of it.”
Spencer hesitated, eyeing Nick cautiously, but then he chuckled. “Well, I never said that. And ...” He hesitated again, this time breaking eye contact.
“What?” Nick asked.
Spencer took a deep breath. “I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what we talked about the other night. About my job.”
Spencer nodded. “And today, talking to Percy, that just kind of drove a few points home.” He met Nick’s eyes again. “I’m miserable too. I go to work every day, do all the tedious shit that would drive most people into a bottle, and all the while pretend I’m someone else. The only time I get to be who I am is here.” He cleared his throat, twice. “Especially when I’m here with you.”
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