Four ~ Diamond
Midnight & Black Moon was packed full despite it being a Tuesday night.
“Are they having dollar shots for leather daddies with a twink on their arm tonight?” I asked Micah, seated at the small round table across from me. He sniggered into his gin fizz, his dark eyes staying obediently downcast even though men were cruising our table like mako sharks circling a wounded tuna. The man was a wonderful sub and an even better friend. Twenty years my senior, he’d been instrumental in leading me to discovering my true self, as well as keeping me alive when I’d hit the streets of Colchester so many years ago.
“When aren’t they?” He glanced up to find me smiling softly at him. “James sends his best.”
I nodded, the mental picture of Micah’s massive husband appearing in my mind’s eye. James had stolen Micah from me several years ago. There had been some hard feelings at first, but even a possessive prick like me could see that the two men were perfect for each other. So, I’d attended the wedding, shook hands, and tried to only see them when I was in a bad place or unless I was in need of counsel, as I was tonight. Micah was one of only four people who knew who I was, where I’d come from, and what I’d suffered.
“Tell him I thank him for our time alone,” I said, my gaze roaming the crowd, eager to find the right man to take home.
“You know that working out whatever it is that’s brought you here on a sub isn’t proper procedure.” My sight moved torpidly from the men trying to catch our eye to my friend. He lifted his glass to take a sip. I toyed with mine, swirling the two fingers of Snow Queen. “What happened?”
I lifted the tumbler to my lips, inhaled the vodka, then tipped the glass. The burn was smooth as silk as it coated my throat and empty stomach. Several minutes passed. A server refilled my glass. Cardi B’s latest played. Micah sat quietly, enjoying his drink, his attention drifting from me, to his drink, then to his phone.
“He took off his mask,” I replied, then tossed back what remained of my vodka.
“I am sorry, David.””
“This too shall pass.”
I held up my tumbler to get the attention of the slim young man in the skintight black leather shorts who was our server. That’s when I spied Amber. He was the center of attention at one of the shadowy back tables by the men’s rooms. Four men were seated with him, all salivating over the sweet young thing.
“Filthy fucking pigs,” I snarled, slammed my glass to the table, and stood. Micah’s deep brown eyes flared at the sudden move. He rose as well, then touched my forearm. My gaze flew to where his fingertips rested on me, then darted to his face.
“Whatever you’re about to do, don’t,” he said after leaning close to whisper beside my ear. I gently shook free. His plump lips pulled into a frown. “David… you’re not in the proper headspace.”
“Neither is he,” I replied, then pushed around our server. Micah followed behind me; his presence felt, even appreciated, but not needed. This wasn’t me moving in to stake a claim. Amber wasn’t my pup. It was just me…well, I wasn’t sure what the fuck I was doing. Still, I did it, walked up to the table, my sight locked on Amber. He saw me coming, those beautiful ivy-colored eyes going round when I shoved past another server.
“Diamond,” Amber’s lips silently mouthed. Two of the four men drooling over him bristled up, aggression clouding the air. Amber shot to his feet, wiggled past his admirers, and smiled meekly at me. “What are you doing here?” He yelled to be heard over Cardi.
“What the hell are you doing here?” Micah arrived at my side right as I latched onto Amber’s wrist. I saw the look of shock and disgust on my friend’s face. “He’s not mine,” I snapped at Micah, then pulled Amber out of the club. He came along with no resistance, no shouting or jerking to pull away. To be honest, there was little pulling at all on my part, and by the time we hit the sidewalk it was Amber tugging me along. When we’d put about half a block between us and Midnight & Black Moon, I released him. He shrunk in on himself, easing back a few steps to rest his thin ass against the grimy brick wall of a nail salon. “What the hell were you trying to do in there?”
His sneakers suddenly seemed to be interesting. “I was just having a beer, talking up some guys.” He gaze left his Chucks to find me pacing back and forth like a tiger in a trap. “What were you doing there? I thought you had a bad night last night and were going to nap and meditate today.”
“You’re not close to old enough to question me about my behavior,” I snapped, unable to get this unwarranted madness cleared out of my head. What the fuck was I really doing here? Amber wasn’t a total babe in the woods. He’d worked at Gems for two years. Two years of selling himself to men who had no concern about him at all. Men who were only slaking their own needs with no care about how he felt. Men who didn’t cherish him as I did.
What the actual holy fuck, Diamond?
“Maybe he’s not old enough, but I am. You’re acting like a fool, David.” Micah’s cool, deep voice jerked me from the pit I’d fallen into. Amber’s gaze narrowed when Micah stepped between Amber and me, his hands balling into fists. “Send this boy home. We’ll find someone to help you through this, someone with experience.”
“Why don’t you just back off, Mufasa! I’ll help him just fine!” Amber said as he stalked around Micah, pulling a sour look from the black man who towered over him just as I did. What a brazen little whelp he was. Like a stray chihuahua. Something inside my breast expanded just a bit watching him stare down a man half a foot taller, fifty pounds heavier, and thirty years his elder. “Why don’t you go find your own master?”
Micah gaped at the insolence. “Mufasa?!”
“You do sound like him,” I tossed out to try to defuse the situation. It didn’t help. There I stood on the curb, feeling like I’d been tossed into a blender. Amber took control of the situation by sliding his palm over mine then wiggling it to my side as if he were made to be there. He fit well there.
“I strongly suggest you take the babe home and not interact with anyone for a few days,” Micah said to me, although his gaze rested completely on the young man staking his claim. Which was funny as hell, yet endearing beyond words.
“We’ll take care of each other. Why don’t you return to the old folks’ home?” Amber flung that last one out. That was when I slid into the showdown, giving Amber a sharp look and a grunt of disapproval. His fiery green gaze flew to me. Some of the sass left him, then.
“You’re this close to having me rain down a fire on your ass that you’ll long remember, child!” Micah snarled.
“That’s enough, both of you. I’m in control of things here, Micah. Thank you for the drink. I’m going to take this saucy pug in hand.” Micah’s worried brow eased a bit, but just a bit. “Give James my best. Amber, apologize to my friend.”
His body stiffened, but he coughed out a sorry then fell silent, his fingers tightly meshed with mine.
“Whatever it is you’re doing, I hope it doesn’t bite you on the ass,” Micah said, threw a glower at Amber, and then thundered off into the night, disappearing into the smoke and steam of the city streets.
My grip on his hand tight, I tugged him away from the curb, into a small alleyway. Used hypos crunched under my boots. Amber didn’t balk or plead. He merely fell in step behind me, his eyes unreadable when we stopped, and I turned to look down at him.
“What were you hoping to do inside that bar other than get yourself into a situation that you couldn’t handle?” I asked, my fingers biting into his thin wrist.
His chin came up, green eyes snapping then, as if remembering the dynamic, he lowered his sight to his sneakers. Such a firebrand, he was.
“I was looking for someone to get me off.”
“Weren’t you with a client tonight?”
One corner of his mouth twitched. “Yeah, but I never get off with him. I was horny, so I went to the bar to find someone who could give me what I needed.”
“And what is it that you think you need, Pup?”
His gaze left the murky puddle beside his sneaker. “A master. A real master. One who knows what I need. One who understands the bond the collar represents. One who cares about me.”
I blinked stupidly, my hold on his lessening with each softly spoken word he uttered. “Don’t look at me as if I hold the answers, Amber. I don’t. I have absolutely nothing to give you.”
“I don’t believe that. You care! You care about me, the other guys, that old Micah dude!” He fired back. God above, he was a snarling little scrapper. Probably how he’d survived so long on his own. His cheek made me smile despite myself.
“Are you going to bite me on the ass, Pup?” I teased.
A tiny smirk played on his lips before he rose to his toes to put his mouth on mine. Over a hundred thousand stars burst to life inside me, firing off neurons that sparked and danced along my skin. Amber pressed closer, his lips parted, and I licked into his warm, wet mouth. I slid an arm around his lower back, moving him tighter as I sucked on his tongue. He tasted of beer and sweet sin.
Warning bells pealed in my head; the claxon like the tornado warnings I’d heard occasionally as a boy. Common sense would have had me running for cover in the basement, but there was no way Amber was walking down those stairs. We broke for air, both of us panting and hard, grasping at each other. This was a million shades of foolishness. Amber was the anti me, a playful pup with a need to please where I was an abused mongrel prone to biting without warning.
“It would only be a love bite,” he playfully replied, his words soft and warm over my lips. “Take me home, to your place. I need someone tonight. I want it to be you. Collar me.”
“You only think you want that.” Stepping back from this would have been smart, but the lingering taste of him on my tongue was stripping me of all reason.
“No. I know what I want. It’s you, it’s been you for years now. Please, be my master, even if just for tonight?” He strained against me, lips puffy, pupils blown, cock stiff as the slimy brick wall behind us.
There was no refusing him…
“Only for the night.” His whine of pleasure sliced into my chest and opened me up. I kissed him again, cinching him so close to me that his breath left his lungs with a rough huff. Micah was probably right. This was going to bite me on the ass like a rabid coon, but we’d worry over the consequences, and the teeth marks, in the morning.