By His Rules
By: J. A. Rock | Other books by J. A. Rock
Published By: Loose Id LLC
Published: Jan 10, 2012
ISBN # 9781611187663
Published By: Loose Id LLC
Published: Jan 10, 2012
ISBN # 9781611187663
Word Count: 68,152
Price: $6.99 $5.24 (after rebate)
Available in: Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Reader, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc), Mobipocket (.mobi), Epub
By His Rules by J. A. Rock - Romance>GLBT>GayGenre: BDSM LGBT with Domestic Discipline
Aiden Cole can be anything men want—naughty schoolboy, palace slave, virgin twink, or slutty secretary. He’s a gifted actor with a gorgeous body who gives legendary head. Aiden could have his pick of any Top in the local leather bar, but is drawn to Scott Runge—a cruel, sexy Dom who pushes Aiden to his limits, allowing Aiden to experience the excitement and danger of the BDSM lifestyle to a degree he never has before. But when Scott goes too far, injuring Aiden, Aiden withdraws from the BDSM scene completely. Until he meets Keaton Hughes.
Keaton’s looking for something he can’t find in any dungeon: A domestic discipline relationship, in which he can provide his partner with guidance, support, and loving discipline. When Keaton takes Aiden in after Aiden’s traumatic encounter with Scott, he vows not to pursue any sort of relationship with the troubled sub. But as Aiden struggles to overcome the damage Scott has done and get his life back on track, Keaton’s rules might be just what he needs.
Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: BDSM theme and content, dubious consent, male/male sexual practices, violence.
Reader Rating: 3.8 (35 Ratings)
Excerpt:When Hera let him out in the parking lot behind the bar the next morning, Aiden thought seriously about getting into his car and driving away—out of town, out of state, heck, maybe even to Canada. He could start somewhere new, somewhere no one would know what a fuckup he was.
Instead he drove to Keaton’s.
Keaton wasn’t home from his morning class yet, so Aiden parked across the street and waited in his car, chewing his nails and trying to will his growling stomach silent. He studied the house. Its exterior was clean, tidy, relaxed. Like Keaton.
Aiden tensed as Keaton’s Solara turned into the driveway. He waited until Keaton was in the garage before making his way slowly up the drive.
Keaton flashed him a grin. “I thought you’d bailed on me. Was the guest room that disappointing?”
Aiden blushed. “I lost the garage code. I didn’t want to wake you up, so I slept at Hera’s.”
He felt Keaton studying him, taking in his disheveled appearance. He knew he stank of alcohol, smoke, and sweat, and wished he’d showered at Hera’s.
“You can always wake me. I’m a light sleeper anyway.”
“Yeah, me too.” Aiden swallowed.
Keaton held out a hand. “Come on in.”
It felt natural to take Keaton’s hand; Aiden did it without even realizing. But the electric jolt that shot through him when he did made him pull away. Keaton let him go, not seeming to notice or mind. Aiden followed Keaton inside.
“Hungry? I’m gonna make a couple of sandwiches.”
Aiden didn’t feel like eating, but guilt over last night made him say, “Sure.”
They ate in silence. Keaton didn’t press Aiden for details about where he’d been and why, just talked about his morning class. The sandwich was good, and it helped Aiden’s headache. But almost immediately after he’d finished, he felt sick. He excused himself to the bathroom and threw up.
He showered, which made him feel a little better. He was exhausted and decided to take a nap. He lay down on the huge, soft guest bed and pulled the covers up to his chin. The comforter smelled freshly laundered, and the pillows were plump and downy. He was asleep in minutes.
He dreamed he heard footsteps pounding up the stairs. The door flew open, and Scott stormed into the room. He grabbed Aiden’s hair, trying to drag him out of the bed. Aiden fought and shouted, kicking off the covers. Scott raised his other hand to strike Aiden. Suddenly Scott disappeared.
There was a weight on the bed beside Aiden. The covers were once more drawn up to his chin. He tried to open his eyes to see if Scott was still there. A hand smoothed his hair. Aiden whimpered and went still under the touch. He couldn’t tell if he was asleep or awake.
When he woke, it was late afternoon. He went downstairs. No sign of Keaton at first, but then Aiden heard him clear his throat in the den. Aiden wandered the house, restless and anxious. He wished he could make himself settle down and read or watch TV. He walked around the house, looking at the paintings on the walls. Some were Keaton’s; others were by artists Aiden didn’t know.
By dinnertime, Aiden was stressed and irritable. “I’m going to the store to get some stuff for dinner,” Keaton said. “You’re welcome to come.”
“No, thanks,” Aiden muttered.
Keaton left, and Aiden considered hitting the bars again, but he didn’t have the energy. How was it possible to be exhausted and restless at the same time? He suddenly resented Keaton for leaving—and for refusing to have sex with him. Sex would definitely calm Aiden down, distract him from the mess in his mind.
He was too hot. He took off his sweatshirt and threw it on the couch, pleased with how it detracted from the room’s tidiness. He lay on the couch and turned on the TV, and watched two episodes of some stupid sitcom. When Keaton came home, Aiden didn’t return his greeting.
“Anything good on?” Keaton asked, entering the living room.
“No,” Aiden said. “A bunch of shit.” He tossed the remote as hard as he dared. It lodged between the cushion and the arm on the other end of the couch.
“Something bothering you?” Keaton asked.
“Nothing you want to discuss?”
“I just want some fucking time alone, if that’s all right.” He held his breath, waiting to see how Keaton would react.
Keaton just nodded. “Sure.” He left the room and busied himself in the kitchen.
Aiden seethed his way through another episode of the sitcom. A movie came on that he used to like, but tonight found irredeemably boring. He thought about Keaton in the next room—Keaton’s eyes, Keaton’s hands, Keaton’s ass… He wondered what that ass looked like bare. He wondered what Keaton’s cock looked like. Thick? Long? Cut? He rolled over, ran a hand over the front of his pants. Decided that, even if he hated Keaton, it was bad manners as a guest to jack off on his host’s couch.
He slid off the couch and went into the kitchen, where Keaton was putting groceries away. “Need help?” he muttered.
Keaton glanced at him. “I’m almost done.”
“What are your plans for tonight?”
“I was going to shut myself in the studio for a couple of hours. You?”
Aiden shrugged. “I might go out again.”
“You don’t go out much?” Aiden asked.
“Once in a while,” Keaton said. “I’m kind of a homebody.”
“I’d never seen you at Obey before that one night.”
“I’ve only been a couple of times. It’s not really my scene.”
“What is your scene?”
Keaton seemed unfazed by Aiden’s prying. “Hard to explain. Not clubs.”
“But you are a top?”
“Yes. I’m just not into chains and leather and toys.”
“So what are you into?”
“Submission,” Keaton said simply.
Aiden didn’t understand this man. All at once, it seemed that every nerve in him was alive and whipping back and forth; he didn’t want to sit or stand or lie down. He didn’t particularly want to exist. “Scott was into that too.”
“I don’t think Scott’s and my definitions of submission are the same.”
“He said I had to stop thinking about what I want and do what he wants, no matter what.”
Keaton put a couple of boxes of pasta into the cupboard. “I don’t think what a sub wants and what a dom wants have to be—or should be—mutually exclusive.”
“If a sub didn’t cooperate with you, what would you do?”
“I’d try to find out the reason for the sub’s resistance. I make it clear at the beginning of a relationship what my expectations are, and what the consequences are for not meeting those expectations. Sometimes a sub will accept the consequences in the abstract, as part of a discussion, but when he actually finds himself facing them, he gets anxious and fights.”
“And that’s when the fun begins,” Aiden said softly, almost to himself.
“What do you mean?” Keaton sounded curious.
Aiden swallowed. “Do you think it’s hot, when they fight you? When they’re scared?”
“No,” Keaton said quietly. “That might be fun in play, as long as both parties are into the fantasy. But I don’t really play games.”
“Neither did Scott.”
Keaton studied him for a long moment. “No. I guess he didn’t.” Keaton got himself a glass of water and handed Aiden one too, even though Aiden hadn’t asked. Keaton drank, then set the glass down and said, “I believe in a mutually fulfilling D/s partnership. I don’t believe a dominant partner has the right to harm or frighten a sub. Submission is about trust.”
Aiden’s throat suddenly felt tight. “I think I’m gonna go for a walk.”
“Want some company?”
Aiden shook his head.
“Remember the garage code?”
Aiden managed a small smile. “Yeah.”
Aiden left the house and started walking, not caring where he went. The sky was dark, the moon clouded over, and Aiden ignored the lit windows of the houses he passed, the families watching TV, eating a late dinner, or trying to get the kids to bed. A dog barked at him from a fenced yard. He felt completely alone, like he could disappear and it wouldn’t change a thing about the universe. Keaton would probably be glad. He’s probably regretting that he ever asked me to stay with him.
Submission is about trust.
Yeah, but it’s also about doing what someone else wants. And I’m not into that anymore. From now on, I’ll do whatever the hell I want.
He kicked a stone down a drain and tried not to think about Keaton’s smile, Keaton’s hand in his.
* * * *
Keaton had a hard time concentrating on his work. He knew it wasn’t really his place to worry about Aiden. Aiden was an adult, perfectly capable of making his own decisions.
Except that Keaton had known more than a few adults who had trouble making their own decisions, who longed for guidance and security. Boundaries. Aiden, obviously an intelligent young man, was lost right now. Scott Runge had harmed Aiden physically and psychologically, and it would be a while before Aiden felt safe again. In the meantime, the boy was letting his health—and his attitude—go to hell.
Keaton had yet to see Aiden eat anything that could be called a meal, and he was fairly certain Aiden had thrown up what little of his lunch he’d eaten. When Keaton had sat on the bed beside Aiden this afternoon, trying to ease the boy through his nightmare, he’d been struck by how small Aiden looked in the large bed, the covers kicked askew—painfully thin, huddled in the center of the bed in a T-shirt and underwear, his ribs jutting as he drew quick, shallow breaths.
If somebody didn’t look out for the kid, he could end up in real danger.
Keaton toyed with the idea he’d been trying to keep at bay. On one hand, it seemed that the last thing Aiden needed was another D/s relationship with someone he didn’t know well, didn’t trust. But the type of relationship Keaton had in mind would be very different from what Aiden had had with Scott. Keaton had no intention of taking advantage of the boy, of harming or frightening him.
It’s not a good idea, Keaton warned himself. He barely knew Aiden, after all. But there was something about him—underneath Aiden’s skittishness, his defensive sullenness, was a beautiful, intelligent, talented young man. Keaton longed to get to know him better.
He heard the front door open. Aiden had barely been gone ten minutes. Keaton forced himself not to go downstairs, to let Aiden have time to himself. Even though I don’t think that’s what he really wants. Aiden needed to know that what he asked for would be respected—he’d said he wanted alone time. He had a right to privacy, without Keaton watching and worrying over him.
The TV went on, the volume far too loud. Keaton smiled, recognizing he was being baited. Yes, it was possible that Aiden Cole would benefit from some discipline. But Keaton had no intention of rushing things or pressuring the boy. He painted for another half hour, turning up his music to counter the TV’s volume, which decreased when it drew no reaction from Keaton. When he finally went downstairs, Aiden lay on the couch, staring at the ceiling. The TV had been muted.
“I have an idea,” Keaton said.
“What?” Aiden muttered.
“I’m a member of an all-night gym in Frankfort. What do you say we head over there for a little while?”
Aiden sat up. “Really?”
Keaton almost laughed at the boy’s wide-eyed eagerness. “Really.”
“I’d like that. A lot.”
“Then that’s what we’ll do. There are a couple of rules though.” He watched Aiden carefully to see how he reacted to this statement. Aiden sat up straighter, looked directly at Keaton, and waited. “The first is that the workout lasts no more than an hour.” Keaton assumed anyone with Aiden’s eating issues was a candidate for exercise addiction as well. “The second is that, when we’re done, I buy you a protein shake from the smoothie bar, and you drink the whole thing.”
Aiden looked uncertain and a little disgusted, but finally he nodded. “All right. I’ll pay for it, though.”
Keaton shook his head. “My treat.”
“No,” Keaton said firmly. He noted how quickly Aiden stilled. The boy’s muscles relaxed visibly, as though Keaton’s “no” had unburdened him somehow.
“Okay,” Aiden said, still looking at Keaton. Aiden wasn’t intimidated, wasn’t frightened. He accepted Keaton’s rules.
The drive to Frankfort took about twenty minutes. Keaton loved this gym for the drive as well as its insomniac-friendly hours. At two or three a.m., when his mind was wild and his body singing with energy, the dark, winding road to Frankfort was a comfort and an adventure. He loved the town of Frankfort at night—the historic brick buildings dark and vacant, the glow of streetlamps on Main Street…
Tonight he enjoyed the drive even more than usual, because Aiden was finally talking. The idea of working out seemed to have cheered him immensely, and he chatted happily with Keaton, cracking jokes and telling stories. At the gym, Keaton left Aiden in the weight room while he made use of the indoor track and lap pool. After an hour, he returned to the weight room to find Aiden diligently bench pressing what looked to Keaton like far too much weight for such a slight body.
“Let’s hit the showers, kid,” Keaton said.
“Just a few more.” Aiden strained to lift the bar.
“Uh-uh.” Keaton took the bar from him and set it back on the frame. “And what do you think you’re doing benching without a spotter?”
“He’s spotting me.” Aiden nodded at a good-looking, dark-haired man on the rowing machine, who was watching Aiden hungrily. “He’s been spotting me all night.”
“Very funny. That’s dangerous and foolish. Come on.”
Aiden followed Keaton to the locker room. Keaton stripped down to his underwear, keeping his back to Aiden. Watching Aiden at the bench press had produced uncomfortable evidence of his interest in the younger man. He wrapped a towel around his waist. Aiden, too, seemed shy. He removed his shirt, and Keaton tried not to hiss at the few pink welts and yellow bruises that hadn’t faded completely from his back and torso. Aiden slipped quickly into a shower stall and, a few seconds later, reached around the curtain to hang his pants and underwear on a hook.
Keaton showered, hating Scott Runge with a fury that made his head hurt. He closed his eyes, trying not to think about Aiden, naked, soaped up, just one stall over. He wished he could slip inside that stall with Aiden and rub soap into the boy’s pale skin, being careful not to press too hard on his bruises.
Cut it out, Hughes. He just came out of an abusive relationship. He tried to offer you sex in exchange for a place to stay. He doesn’t know what he wants right now.
Showered and dressed, they headed for the smoothie bar. Aiden looked increasingly apprehensive as they approached. “I’m really not hungry,” Aiden said.
“You didn’t eat dinner. You barely ate lunch. You can’t burn the kind of calories you burned tonight on that kind of a diet. Now what kind do you want?”
“It doesn’t matter.”
Keaton shot him a look.
“Really! I like anything.”
Keaton ordered him the Protein Powerhouse.
On the car ride home, they discussed a production Keaton had seen of one of Aiden’s favorite plays. Aiden grilled him about how the lead actor had approached the role—a role Aiden dreamed of playing one day. Keaton enjoyed the discussion so much that he didn’t have the heart to nag Aiden about drinking his shake until they were almost home.
“You’ve barely taken a sip.”
“Look what I did to the straw.” Aiden held up the cup, grinning sheepishly. He’d chewed the end of the green plastic straw completely flat. “I can’t drink out of it.”
“Then take the lid off.”
Aiden shifted in his seat. “I hate drinking out of Styrofoam cups. I can’t do it without a lid.”
Somebody does have a touch of brat in him, Keaton thought, smiling to himself. Maybe more than a touch.
When they got home, Keaton poured Aiden’s smoothie into a tall glass with a straw and set it on the table in front of him. “Drink,” Keaton said.
“Drink,” Keaton repeated in the same calm, certain tone.
Aiden’s face clouded. He took a few sips. Keaton brought up the play again, but Aiden no longer seemed interested in talking. He pushed the glass away, still more than two-thirds full. “I don’t feel well.”
“You’ll feel worse if you don’t get some nutrients in you.”
“You don’t know everything.” Aiden tipped the glass back and forth in his hand, watching the sludgy drink shift.
“I know it won’t hurt you to drink that.”
Aiden glowered. “I wish you’d mind your own business.”
“That’s hard for me.”
“No kidding.” Aiden took another sip, wincing. “No more,” he said, pushing it away.
“At least half.”
“Goddamn it!” Aiden picked up the glass and hurled it. It cracked into several large pieces on the kitchen floor, and chocolate-peanut-butter sludge coated the floor and the nearby wall.
For a second, Aiden looked horrified, as though he couldn’t believe what he’d done. Every muscle in his body tensed, and he stared at the floor. His breathing became shallow, and he closed his eyes.
First things first, thought Keaton. He’d worry about the mess later. He stepped behind Aiden’s chair and placed his hands on the boy’s shoulders. Aiden flinched, and Keaton ignored it. Keaton moved his thumbs firmly, slowly toward the base of Aiden’s neck, where he rubbed small circles, pressing deep into the knotted tissue. “Easy. You’re all right.”
He felt the boy tense, relax, tense, relax—like a flickering lightbulb. Then Aiden slid out of his chair and bolted upstairs. Keaton decided to give him a couple of minutes before he went after him. He knelt on the floor and picked up the large pieces of broken glass, then sopped up the smoothie with paper towels. He headed upstairs.
Aiden was gagging in the hall bathroom. Without knocking, Keaton opened the door and went in. Aiden was hunched over the toilet, bringing up strings of bile. Keaton hooked an arm around him, supporting him, and rubbed his back in slow, soothing circles. Even when there was nothing left to throw up, Aiden continued to gag and choke.
“That’s enough now,” Keaton said.
Aiden gagged again.
“Shh. Deep breath. You’re okay.” Keaton helped Aiden to the sink to rinse his mouth out, speaking soothingly to him. He wet a washcloth and wiped Aiden’s tear-streaked face. He felt how hard Aiden was trying to contain his sobs. “Let it out,” Keaton said. “It’s fine.” But Aiden tensed and fought harder for control. Keaton led him down the hall and into the guest room. He stripped the boy of his shirt and pants and got him into bed, pulling the covers over him. He sat on the edge of the bed, one hand on Aiden’s shoulder. “Breathe,” Keaton said.
Aiden choked, tears still flowing from his red, swollen eyes.
Keaton got up, intending to get the boy a glass of water, and was surprised when Aiden caught his wrist. “Don’t go,” he whispered.
Warmth flooded Keaton. He sat back down on the bed. “I was just going to get you some water.”
Keaton kicked off his shoes and got on the bed, propping himself up slightly with pillows. He shifted Aiden so the boy’s head rested in his lap. Aiden grabbed the fabric of Keaton’s pants with one hand as if to keep Keaton there. Keaton stroked Aiden’s hair, and after a few minutes, the boy quieted. His body stopped shaking, and some of the tension left his muscles. “That’s right,” Keaton said as Aiden drew a deep breath. “Good boy.”
“Don’t worry. Just rest.”
Aiden lifted his head from Keaton’s lap and wriggled until his thin frame was pressed against the length of Keaton’s body, his head on Keaton’s shoulder. He tipped his face up so that his lips were inches from Keaton’s. Then he leaned in, closed his eyes, and kissed Keaton.
The kiss was soft, brief, and chaste, but the contact jolted Keaton, and for an instant all he could think to do was pull Aiden against him and kiss him all night.
Instead he wound an arm around the boy, cradling him, and brushed his lips against his forehead. “Rest,” he repeated.
Aiden stroked Keaton’s chest through his shirt. “I should do something for you.”
Keaton caught his hand gently, lacing his fingers through Aiden’s. “Not right now,” Keaton said, rubbing Aiden’s knuckles with his thumb.
Aiden’s voice became very small. “Why don’t you want me? Am I really that bad now?”
“That bad?” Keaton repeated, confused.
“That ugly.” Aiden’s voice broke. He swiped his free hand over his eyes.
“God no,” Keaton said, brushing the hair back from Aiden’s forehead. “You’re so beautiful, Aiden.”
“Then why don’t you want me? I’m clean, if that’s what you’re worried about.”
“It’s not.” Keaton paused. “Do you want me?”
“Do you really want me, or do you just feel you owe me something? That I expect something from you?”
Aiden met his eyes. “I really want you.”
Keaton swallowed. He pulled Aiden closer, tucked the boy’s head under his chin. “I want you too,” he said softly. “But I think you need time to heal.”
“I’m fine,” Aiden insisted. “You can check if you want. Really.”
Keaton winced. “I don’t just mean physically.”
Aiden pulled away from Keaton. “Why does everyone think there’s something wrong with me?” he demanded. “I’m not fucking scarred for life. I knew what I was doing with Scott. Nothing happened that I didn’t ask for!”
“What do you mean when you say ‘ask for’? You actually requested he do what he did to you? Or you feel you deserved it?”
Aiden looked down. “I don’t know,” he muttered. “I said he could do whatever he wanted, and I’d take it. I said he could train me.”
“But when you told him no, that night…”
“He fucking did it anyway.” Aiden’s voice was full of bitter hurt and confusion. “But he had a right to. It was part of the agreement.”
“Look at me.” Keaton waited until he did. “Did you safe word?”
“Did you safe word?”
Aiden swallowed. “Yes.”
“Then he had absolutely no right to continue. None. Do you understand me?”
Aiden closed his eyes. “But he…”
“Look at me.”
Aiden opened his eyes. “I shouldn’t have been so… I was fighting him. On purpose. Usually I liked that kind of stuff. You know? Where I’d fight and he’d get pissed?”
“Did you want to have sex that night? Did you want him to hit you?”
“No. But I…I told him that I liked knowing he would, even if I didn’t want him to.”
“Did you like it that night?”
Aiden was silent for a moment. “No.”
“That’s why you safe worded. And that’s why Scott should have stopped.”
Aiden tried to roll away, but Keaton held on to him.
“Leave me alone,” Aiden snapped.
“Not a chance.” Keaton moved the pillows and stretched out alongside Aiden, spooning the boy against him. “We’re not going to do anything tonight but sleep,” he said. “You need it.”
“You don’t know what I need,” Aiden muttered. But he didn’t resist anymore, and he nestled a little bit closer to Keaton.
Keaton stroked his back until Aiden’s breathing evened out. “I think I have a pretty good idea,” he whispered to the sleeping boy.
© J.A. Rock, January 2012
All Rights Reserved
Reader Reviews (6)
Submitted By: fergie12 on Jan 25, 2014Sweet, loving story. Enjoyed it
Submitted By: Luce on Aug 4, 2013This is the first book that includes domestic discipline in it. I really liked about 80% of the story. Have to admit, though, that I skipped through all of Aiden's time as Scott's 'property'. Though the author tried to soften Scott's villany at the end, his treatment of Aiden read as actual physical, emotional and psychological abuse to me. Once that was over, though, the book was a good read.
Submitted By: ctalleger on Jan 22, 2013A first time author for me. I enjoyed the fact that this does get into an aspect of BDSM not normally explored. I enjoyed it, got my HEA ending and would recommend!!
Submitted By: mearias on Jan 10, 2013I'm not sure how true to BDSM life this is, but the relationship between Aiden and Keaton I enjoyed. I was taken by how much care there was between them. Not just love or lust, but caring. I very much recommend this book.
Submitted By: lily-dreams on Nov 29, 2012An enjoyable read I thought.
Submitted By: biteythingy on Aug 2, 2012There is a lot to like here, but it falls short a little in the psychological motivation and explanation of the characters for me. It's hard to review without spoilers so, I'll just say that having more explicit knowledge about why all three characters make the choices they make at the end would go a long way in making this more believable. For those who like HEA wrapped with a bow, this should be no problem, but the author worked to give this more depth than that, so I expected more.