Chapter 1 (The Playroom)
Sitting on the edge of my bed, I stared at the phone in my hand. My fingers twitched as if they were preparing to dial, but I did nothing. Just like I’d done for days. Nothing. Diddlysquat. Fuck all. Because I was a coward.
Is it cowardly to want to protect your boy?
An ache developed in my jaw as I ground my teeth together. The sound of Ferron moving around in the bathroom reminded me of the reason I’d pulled out my phone in the first place—ten minutes ago. I scratched at my bristly cheek and eyed the door that Ferron had closed.
Could I tell him that I needed to talk to the police? Did I want to breach the wall Ferron was hiding behind? Of course you do!
He’d been hurt so badly. How much more would he be able to take?
You’ve told him that he’s strong. You need to believe it.
I groaned at the voice of reason. Ferron was strong. It was me doing the avoiding thing—again.
For the third night in a row, Ferron had slept for shit. He’d tossed and turned, releasing tiny whimpers in his sleep that no amount of soothing had seemed to help. If I wanted to help him then I was going to have to face what was coming. My stomach quivered at the thought of what that meant for both of us. The steps we’d taken up to now were nothing compared to what the future might bring.
If I was right, and Wren had been taken while he’d been looking for Ferron, Ferron would never forgive himself. I’d kept the possibility a secret from him. Would he forgive me for that?
His easy acceptance of the security team I’d put in place was one thing, but I wasn’t so sure about this. Not with the revelations Nix and Phil had piled on us days earlier continuing to weigh heavily on both of us, overshadowing the joy I felt at Ferron being in my arms, and in my bed.
The developing closeness between us had been affected by the sorrow, which refused to abate after everything that had been revealed, and neither of us seemed to know what to do next. Along with the sorrow came anger, anger that I’d tried to vent on the punchbag in Nathan’s home gym with little success. Talking to him had helped a little, but he already had a lot on his plate, what with the ongoing work in the Flamingo Bar and restaurant. Although I’d burdened him with what I’d found out, I’d not talked to him about Ferron’s continued silence after Nix’s visit.
Should I talk to Mark? Was it overstepping?
Ever since the security team’s visit, Ferron and I had eaten, worked, watched TV and sort of slept, but there’d been no talk of next steps. With each passing day, my hope of Ferron broaching the subject disappeared that little bit more. He’d remained mute. In fact, he’d hardly spoken at all unless it was to do with work.
Therein lay my problem, I was finding it more and more difficult to assess whether I should push when all I wanted to do was protect him from further hurt. From what would surely happen the second he chose to open Pandora’s Box.
There were only a handful of us that knew the full story, and I wasn’t convinced that we knew it all, but talking to the police would change that. Maybe not immediately, but long-term it would. Was that why Ferron wasn’t talking? Was he worried about the effect it would have on him? On us? On me?
Seeing no easy answer, I got up, my fingers gripping the phone like a lifeline as I walked over to the bathroom door and opened it. I walked in to be met by a wall of steam making it difficult to see Ferron behind the frosted glass. This morning was the first time in days that I’d not come in to give him a shower. Had he noticed?
My head had been all over the place, what with the lack of sleep and the uncertainty that had held my stomach in a grip of panic that I hadn’t been able to explain when I’d awoken. That’s when Ferron had got out of bed and I hadn’t followed.
At the sight of his drooping shoulders and head hung low in the shower, I silently placed my phone next to the sink as I stripped off my pyjama bottoms.
Ferron remained still, the glass preventing me from being able to read his expression. I exhaled a shaky breath and stepped into the shower easily big enough for two. Hot and steamy air bathed my naked body as I quickly shut the door behind me.
Water sluiced down over Ferron’s naked, flushed skin, causing the fine hairs that covered his body to stick to his skin. My pulse skipped happily at the sight he made, all slippery and wet. My fingers tingled as I reached for the washcloth he had clenched tightly in his fingers. “Daddy will do it.”
“I’m nearly done,” he whined. His eyes fired an accusation at me, an adorable pout appearing a second later. He blinked water out of his eyes as he tilted his head back to stare at me.
“I’m sorry, little man, I had a lot on my mind this morning.” I gently rubbed the soapy cloth over his upper body and down his arms in gentle circular motions. His eyelashes fluttered closed as he released a small moan.
His cock, which had been flaccid between his legs, plumped, but his hands remained at his sides as I continued to wash him. The routine was as familiar to him as it was to me. No matter how many times I did it, the sense of wonder at being allowed to care for him in this way never wore off. I treasured the gift he gave me, honouring the trust that it took to be vulnerable in this way after everything that had happened to him.
My fingers brushed over one of the raised areas of skin I’d memorised. For every scar that I’d found my heart had bled. I’d worked hard to try and replace them with something positive, something that showed how much I treasured him.
The planned next steps for our relationship had been dampened by the security team’s visit, the chart on the wall remaining unchanged. But over the last few days, I’d noticed Ferron getting bolder, his actions speaking for him. And as I finished washing his thighs, but avoided touching his firm cock, he huffed out a breath before turning around.
I firmed my lips to stop the smile from appearing.
His body quivered as I took the time to soap the cloth before continuing to wash his back and buttocks. He became still as I knelt behind him. The air of anticipation between us made the heat in the shower somehow feel electrified.
The steamy air seemed to become trapped in my chest as I waited for his pert bottom to tip up towards me. I dropped the cloth, grabbing the liquid soap instead to pour a liberal amount onto one of my palms as his legs inched apart. After placing the bottle down, I rubbed my hands together to create a lather. If I was reading Ferron right, his whole body was trembling with excitement.
To make sure, I waited for another signal which would tell me that he wanted what was about to happen. I exhaled shakily as his hips tilted up invitingly. Needing no further prompting, I used my slick hands to slowly massage the firm globes of his backside. I kneaded the flesh before tugging gently to spread his cheeks apart to reveal his pale pucker. It clenched twice as his feet moved restlessly on the tiles. Was it too much?
I was about to stop, but then he lay his forehead against the tiled wall as he braced with his arms. Oh fuck!
If it wasn’t for the hot water, I was sure that I’d be covered in sweat. The desire to eat him in big greedy bites, warred with the need to take care of him. My fingers shook with the desire to tighten my grip on his slick flesh. Instead, I slowly leant in and swiped the flat of my tongue down his crease, but not quite as far as his pucker. And then I pulled back.
“Ohhhhhh!” he moaned, his backside moving closer to my face.
Okay, okay, he likes that.