My eyes cracked open when the evening sun filtered through the blinds, and I felt the cold spot next to me in bed. That spot had been occupied by Trent Sylvan, my very naked best friend, when I’d fallen asleep. I kept the sad sigh of frustration to myself. This was what we’d agreed to when we accepted that a relationship between the two of us would never work. Post-sex snuggles were no longer in the cards. Well, maybe extended post-sex snuggles were no longer in the cards, because Trent never left me before I fell asleep.
No matter what I said and no matter how well my brain understood that we weren’t still in a relationship, I missed it. At least, I missed it with him. We’d been a thing so fleetingly that we hadn’t even told our closest friends. To everyone we knew, we were still and only ever had been best friends. Hell, I was pretty sure no one in Kingston Springs even knew I was bisexual. Why would they when I didn’t bring guys around?
Then again, why would I bring guys around when I’d already met the perfect man? I had no reason to bring a guy around when I knew I’d never find another man like Trent. I had to accept that best friends with benefits would have to do, at least until he found his Mr. Right and not just Mr. Right Now. Unfortunately for me, I was Mr. Right Now. It would happen eventually. He was too good a guy to stay single forever. The thought sat heavy in my stomach and I struggled to brush it away.
The delicious tenderness in my ass that only came after being fucked long and hard reminded me of why I was in bed to begin with. And the feeling reminded me again that there was only one man who could make me feel so thoroughly used that I didn’t want to move for hours.
The one man I couldn’t have.
I knew we needed different things out of a relationship. It didn’t matter how off the charts our sexual chemistry was or how deep our friendship ran; I wasn’t submissive, and Trent needed a submissive.
On paper, our relationship should have worked beautifully. I was a puppy, and Trent was a Dom. In practice it wasn’t so simple. Even as a pup, I wasn’t submissive. In that headspace, I liked knowing someone was there to make sure I remembered to take a drink or help me keep track of time, but I didn’t like being spanked or doing tricks for a Master. Outside of puppy space, I couldn’t stand someone—even my best friend—keeping tabs on me or trying to set a schedule for me.
Trent thrived on control—he needed it to be truly happy. It took less than a month to figure out that we couldn’t be what the other needed long term. In order to preserve our friendship, we agreed to not date.
I hadn’t told Trent how painful the split was for me, and I didn’t plan on it. Two years later, it sometimes still hit me hard that I couldn’t make it work with my dream man. The last time I’d ghosted him for a couple days—no small task when we lived together and worked in the same office—was because I’d seen him flirting with someone at the bar and it had nearly ripped my heart out. Jealousy at seeing him with someone else turned me into a green-eyed monster, and I didn’t like it.
Despite confusing both my brain and heart, despite knowing what we were doing was making it harder to separate my best friend from the love of my life, we still fell into bed together. Boyfriends or not, once we’d learned how good we were together in bed, our sexual chemistry couldn’t be ignored. I usually fell asleep faster and slept better after a round of sex with Trent than I did with anyone else, but he always slid out of bed before I woke up. If I really analyzed his motives, I would have to admit it was likely his way of trying not to confuse me. While logically I appreciated it, I still hated it. I missed waking up warm and cozy and wrapped tightly in his arms.
A clattering in the kitchen brought me out of my thoughts. My heart pounded in shock for a moment before I realized it was probably Trent making dinner for us. I had plans to go to DASH, the BDSM club in Nashville, and Trent had a late shift at work. We both needed to eat before we left, and Trent would make sure we both got food.
There were still times he’d go to DASH with me as my handler when I wasn’t in the mood to play with someone else, but usually we tried to avoid going to the club at the same time. Seeing your best friend nearly naked, or in my case watching my best friend punishing a naughty sub, wasn’t something we preferred to see on a regular basis. Our schedules at work usually aided in our ability to avoid each other fairly well.
I dressed quickly, doing my best to ignore the tenderness in my ass, before heading to the kitchen. Trent greeted me with a big grin and his sexy as sin wire-rimmed glasses. “Hey, sleepyhead.”
Pretending to be unaffected by Trent was getting harder and harder as time passed. Part of me had even begun to wonder if I could find some modicum of submission in me. Would a little submission be enough for him? I shook my head to clear the thoughts. “First of all, haven’t I told you not to wear your ‘please fuck me’ glasses when I don’t have time to drag you back to bed? And second, how long have I been asleep?”
“Sorry, my contacts are bothering me. Besides, I figured they could help Curious get all horny before going to the club.” He winked. “You never know, you may meet a sexy guy that checks all your boxes.”
I rolled my eyes. The only man for me was Trent. Going to DASH had never been about finding a man, whether he accepted it or not. “You’re seriously messed up. And don’t call me Curious. Jesus, when you do that, you make my dick all confused.”
Curious was the name I’d chosen for myself when I’d first gotten into puppy play over five years earlier. It might have been unconventional to choose my own puppy name, but I’d known that the odds of me finding a handler that could accept I didn’t want to submit were slim. When I sank into that headspace all I wanted was to not think for a while. I’d jumped into puppy play after discovering a book about it. The first thing I thought of to describe myself was curious, and with that, Curious was born.
Trent let out a full belly laugh that had me chuckling as well. When he finally stopped, he slid a bowl of spaghetti and a side salad toward me. “Eat—you need your energy for tonight. You won’t be able to give some poor unsuspecting Master a run for his money if you don’t have food in you.”
I ate a few bites of spaghetti before I spoke up. “Not looking for a Master. And I’m just going to chill tonight. No scene play for me. I may hit up the littles’ room, find that super-soft beanbag thing and people watch, for all I know.”
Trent snorted. “Logan, you can’t sit down for more than five minutes without going stir-crazy.”
I can when there’s a certain cute little who likes to cuddle. I wasn’t willing to tell Trent that. He was convinced I needed someone less controlling than him but still more kinky than vanilla. Aiden, the sweet little who I’d been meeting up with more often than not in recent months, was about as far from a Dom as someone could get. He wanted a Daddy to take control. I couldn’t do that. I was too damn distractible to be a decent Daddy for anyone, but especially someone as sweet as Aiden. We’d met at the club earlier in the year, shortly after I’d sworn off all relationships, male and female. Our almost-relationship, paired with the sex Trent and I shared, is what had kept me from looking for another relationship. That was for the best anyway—every one I’d had ended in disaster.
Aiden and I had made it a point to not allow our relationship to develop into anything more than some frotting or a hand job, usually in one of the BDSM club’s private rooms. But we texted frequently between meetups. A strong friendship had formed between the two of us, and yes, even sexual attraction was there too. I’d already learned my lesson about letting sexual attraction and friendship morph into a relationship with someone I couldn’t meet the needs of. I wasn’t going there again.
When Aiden was diapered and in his little headspace and I was in my puppy gear, I could cuddle with him for hours and never get antsy. I couldn’t even do that with Trent unless I was falling asleep. The only time I ever got restless around Aiden was if someone I didn’t have a good feeling about tried to engage with him.
Just the thought of seeing Aiden again had me ready to rush through dinner.
I must have made a face because when I blinked up, Trent had his eyes squinted, examining me closely. “What’s that look about?”
I shoved a bite of food into my mouth. “What look?”
“Don’t talk with your mouth full.”
I forced myself to swallow, but I flipped him off at the same time. “You’re not my Dom—you can’t tell me what to do.”
“If I were your Dom, you’d never be able to sit down. Now, why did you get that dopey smile on your face?”
I wiggled slightly in my seat. He wasn’t even my Dom and I was hardly able to sit after he fucked me earlier in the evening. I had no desire to have him—or anyone else—redden my ass. Then I remembered Aiden and his cute smile. Too bad Trent wasn’t looking for a little. If I allowed myself to go down that rabbit hole, he ticked every box Aiden was looking for despite Trent being too stubborn to realize it. My best friend had the potential to snuggle the hell out of someone like Aiden. Trent still swore he was the big bad Dom type, but I could see the super-soft teddy bear lurking right below the surface. The older he got, the more apparent it became to me. He wasn’t playing as hard at the club from what I’d heard. Actually, the last munch I went to I’d overheard a few of the Doms saying that Trent hadn’t had more than a spanking scene in over a year.
But it would be weird to introduce Trent to Aiden—the man I’d accepted I loved despite not being able to do anything about it, and the man who had quickly become an important person in my life. I wasn’t ready to say I had feelings for Aiden, but I knew if we spent more time together feelings could easily develop.
It was all sorts of fucked up and, selfishly, I didn’t think I was strong enough to survive the two of them together.
I shook my head to clear the thoughts because, thankfully, it didn’t matter. Trent still tried to go for the brats, even if they were all wrong for him. Sure, he wanted more of a lifestyle relationship, but he’d shut down the idea of being Daddy. The last time we’d talked about it he’d told me it was because all the boys looking for a Daddy at DASH associated him with discipline, so it didn’t matter anyway. He was so oblivious.
It didn’t change the fact that I could see the giant teddy bear who would snuggle a sweet sub to death. I didn’t like going to bed at a certain time, and I didn’t want to have to check in with him multiple times a day. I also didn’t like punishments. Trent needed someone who craved the love, doting attention, and punishments he loved to give and I wasn’t that person.
But where would that leave me?
Yup, I was a selfish asshole.
“Logan…” Trent’s tone had taken a hard edge that made me squirm again. Dammit, he was a good Dom.
He only got growly like that when I wasn’t paying attention. Shit, he’d asked me a question. What was it? I replayed the conversation we’d been having. Friends with benefits, sexy times, awkward to introduce them, funny smile. Oh! “It wasn’t a dopey smile!”
Trent raised an eyebrow at me and inclined his head. “Really?”
“Really. I was just thinking of a… friend.”
The disbelieving look Trent gave me said I probably wouldn’t be able to avoid the question forever, but I didn’t know if I was ready to share Aiden with him yet either. Aiden and I had something special. Almost as special as the decades-long friendship and bond that Trent and I shared, only ours was much newer. I shoved a bite of salad in my mouth in the hope of deterring Trent from asking more questions.
He shook his head at me but changed the subject. “Okay, well, I need to get to work. Finish eating, then have a good night at the club. Promise me you’ll text me when you get home? I’ll worry about you otherwise.”
The lump I felt in the back of my throat was easier to ignore when I swallowed the bite in my mouth. It wasn’t so easy to ignore when I spoke. “Promise. I’ll even text you when I get there.”
The promise made Trent relax. I might not have been a submissive, but I liked making him smile. Knowing I’d done something to put that smile on his face made me happy. He deserved all the happiness in the world. He kissed the top of my head on his way to the steps. “I need a shower before work. Have a good night. And Logan?” He waited until I looked up. “Please remember to text me when you get home.”
I nodded. He’d worry about me all night if I didn’t.
“Have fun. Love you.”
“Love you too.” The words were so automatic by that point it felt weird if we left each other without saying them. The habit had started sometime in our late teens or early twenties. I’d been in the Marines, and as we said goodbye, we’d say it when we hung up the phone. I’d not felt romantic love for him at the time, but over the years those feelings had changed. Now it was so ingrained in us we didn’t think about it. Well, I thought about it, and the words always made my heart race a little. I absolutely loved Trent Sylvan, and I knew without a doubt I always would.
When I was done with dinner, I packed up my bag. I didn’t plan on jumping into a scene and a mosh wasn’t scheduled for the night, so instead of my sexy harness and leather jock, I grabbed a pair of well-fitting sweats, a snug T-shirt, and my show tail. I wasn’t going to be putting a plug in—even my smaller one would be uncomfortable after Trent had fucked me so well. I had a number of leather jocks that would allow me to attach my tail directly to them. But I decided to go more simplistic—and more comfortable—and chose a leather belt instead. Not that Trent would believe me, but a hookup at the BDSM club was not what I was looking for.
Until Trent met his forever guy—whether he knew it or not—I was his. All I wanted to do was curl up with Aiden while he played and gave me belly rubs.
On my way out of my room, I grabbed a package of teething cookies from the box I kept hidden in my closet. It would be too hard to explain to Trent why a box of teething cookies had suddenly appeared in our kitchen, but Aiden had let it slip that he liked them one evening while we were having dinner and since then I never went to the club without a package of them. The smile Aiden gave me each time I handed them over made it totally worth the extra few bucks I spent at the grocery store every once in a while. He’d shared a packet with me and, while they weren’t terrible, I definitely didn’t enjoy them the way he did. Seriously, just give me a real cookie and I’d be happy. Then again, the little graham cracker dog bones Trent bought for me from time to time probably had the same effect on me. I chuckled at the thought as I tossed my bag into the passenger’s side of my truck.
There was something about knowing Aiden would be little at the club without me around that always made my stomach uneasy, so I made sure to be at least ten minutes earlier than we’d planned on. As long as I’d known him, he was the most punctual person on the planet, making it far easier for me to plan my arrival time.
The club didn’t allow electronic devices in the main play areas—privacy reasons—so I always made sure to have a paperback book with me when I went to hang out with Aiden. I spent a moment texting Trent to let him know I’d arrived safely, then dug my book out of my bag and settled in to read until Aiden inevitably knocked on my window. Ten minutes later, at exactly eight p.m., I heard his knock.
Aiden was contemplative as I exited my truck. “Why are you always early?”
I tried to give a casual shrug—I didn’t want him to start arriving earlier than me. “Trent made dinner tonight, so I was running a bit early.”
Aiden gave me a hard look like he didn’t quite believe me, but then he inclined his head toward the door. “Shall we?”
I grabbed my bag and stuffed my book inside. “Let’s go.” I was normally on the go, but after Trent had fucked me so well, I couldn’t wait to curl up and cuddle for the night. Maybe I could sink far enough into my puppy space that I’d be able to push thoughts of Trent out of my head for the evening. For whatever reason, they were invading my thoughts more often than normal. I planned on ignoring the part of my brain that swore I was cheating on him, telling me I shouldn’t be at the club without him despite us agreeing to give each other space at DASH. This was why it was a bad idea to mix pleasure with friendship. Trent and I worked hard to not let our sexual relationship be anything more than sex, but my brain still didn’t seem to get the memo. There was part of me that had fallen in love with my best friend back in high school and I just had to keep reminding myself that we wanted very different things out of a relationship.
Different, and what was beginning to feel impossible for either of us to find. Unfortunately, unmatched chemistry between the sheets and a lifelong friendship didn’t always mean we’d be compatible in base desires.
And now I had put myself in a bad mood to be entering the club.
Alice sat at the registration desk, just like always. As the mother of Master Zachary, DASH’s owner, Alice had been integrally involved since the inception. I couldn’t imagine sharing kinks with my parents, but Alice wasn’t like any other septuagenarian I’d met. She’d also been the receptionist since the day the club opened, and I was sure Dom And Sub Haven wouldn’t be the same without her. She gave us a bright smile, scanned our ID cards into the computer, and let us back into the club.
Aiden’s butt was rounder than normal, telling me he’d changed into a diaper before he’d left the house. Yes, I was inspecting his ass. It was a perfect bubble butt in just a pair of jeans, but when he put a diaper on it was rounder. With him walking toward the locker room in front of me, thoughts of Trent drifted away. The amplified bubble butt and his unstyled brown hair that flopped into his face paired well with his little side. Of course, the dark scruff on his face was decidedly not little and Ienjoyed teasing him about it.
We made our way to the changing room and Aiden began shimmying out of his fitted jeans and sweater to reveal a onesie with puppy prints all over it. For the first time, I was jealous of his attire.
Even jealous, my dick reacted to him. If I thought he was sexy in a onesie and a thick diaper, I could only imagine how Trent would react. Fuck, I was not going back down that track. I focused my brain power on his shirt. “Where’d you get that?”
Color filled his cheeks and he ducked his head. “Umm, someone I know online made it for me.”
“That’s so cool!” It was cute and bright and the aqua-colored paw prints matched my puppy gear perfectly. I forced myself to focus more on getting ready than his shirt, but it was hard. My puppy gloves, tail, knee pads, collar, and finally my hood went on and we were ready to go.
While I’d focused on getting myself ready, Aiden had clipped his binkie to his shirt and dug his favorite stuffed animal, Hedge, out of his bag. The old hedgehog looked kind of sad, and despite him insisting it was clean, its fur was matted. The last time I had teased him about it he’d insisted it wasn’t dirty but well loved.
I made sure to grab the cookies from my bag and pushed them into the pocket of my sweats before I got on the floor. We’d done this routine so many times in the past few months that it had become second nature to me. Aiden got his sippy cup from his bag, then picked my leash up and clipped it to the D-ring on my collar. “Come on, Curious. Let’s go.” He didn’t sound like the man I’d walked into the club with. His voice had softened and there was an excited tone that hadn’t been there before. I didn’t normally like a leash, but with Aiden it didn’t feel like a submissive act. With him, I was simply a little boy’s puppy, nothing more, nothing less.
As we made our way to the playroom, the few people at the club that evening smiled at us. We had to look like quite an odd pair—a little and his puppy strolling through the club with no Dom in sight. Even when I glanced up, I could see the fullness of Aiden’s diaper through his onesie. I got a few pats on my head from people I knew, but we were mainly left alone.