Good morning, everyone!
So, last night an idea hit me and I couldn't stop until I got it down. Tibby and I have been playing with the idea of having some shorts like this on the blog to enjoy between books. Let's see how it goes!
This scene takes place after Stolen Justice (The Asylum Fight Club Book 9), so if you haven't read that yet, you might not know about some events hinted at, or characters mentioned. If you're all caught up, I think you'll have fun with it! <g>
The warmth of the sun shining over the bed through the small part in the curtains chased away the chill of waking up alone. In the hall there was laughter, then the sound of hushed voices, more serious tones. Danny frowned as he sat up, rubbing his hands over his eyes.
Today was the day Jacks was heading off to L.A. to discuss selling some of his designs to a few high-end brands that had shown interest since seeing his name in the credits of Danny and Jamie’s last music video. An amazing opportunity, but…
Everything was changing so fast.
Pushing out of bed, Danny stuffed his feet into the fluffy mouse slippers Shea had gotten him, padding to the door. His shin hit the edge of a heavy box and his eyes teared as he bit back a curse. He managed not to limp as he made his way to the kitchen, where Jacks was standing at the counter with Shea, gulping down coffee with one hand on the handle of his suitcase.
Goodbyes came in a rush, with sweet kisses that left Danny’s lips tingling long after Jacks hurried out to jump in the waiting cab. At the table, Danny poked at the yogurt and granola Shea served him, absently rubbing his hand over the center of his chest as his Dom gave him an expectant look.
Right. Eat. Don’t make him worry.
Danny brought the spoon to his mouth, stifling a sigh as his stomach gave an unhappy twinge. His appetite might not be much on a good day, but this was different. He already missed Jacks and his other Dom would be gone for weeks. Shea was taking on more security jobs as he helped Connor build up his client list.
And, with his and Jamie’s last album finished and ready for release, Danny was...starting to feel like he was floating aimlessly. After being kidnapped with Matt the things he used to do to fill his days weren’t safe anymore. More teachers had been brought in to the Arts Center, meaning he and Jamie didn’t have to be there quite so often. Jamie only went when Noah could go with him. Danny could join them, he’d gotten the offer a few times, but the one time he’d tried hadn’t gone very well.
One look at the dojo and everything came back to him. The pain of the knife cutting into his arm to take out the tracker that had made him feel so damn safe. The rough grip of the men who’d made it clear Danny’s only value was to keep Matt from escaping.
No dramatics, no terrifying overthinking situations in a way that he couldn’t help, but made things seem like they’d end in tragedy. He’d come very close to dying. To getting Matt killed.
The other man could’ve escaped if Danny hadn’t been there.
Like hell will I put anyone in that position ever again.
“Hey.” Setting down his coffee mug on the table, Shea held out his arm, pulling Danny onto his lap when he slid off his seat. His strong arms surrounded Danny, his solid chest the perfect place to tuck up against to hide away from unwelcome memories. The rhythmic motion of Shea’s hand up and down his back accompanied his deep, concerned tone. “Are you sure you’re going to be okay today? I could call Connor and have someone else—”
“No!” Danny lifted his head, his eyes wide. “No, sir. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to yell, but you can’t do that. Connor’s thinking of making you a partner in his new business. He won’t if you can’t put in the work and I won’t be the reason for that. Or for you being distracted and getting shot. I’m okay. Perfect even.” He rose up a bit, holding Shea’s gaze and flashing him a smile that would’ve made Jamie proud and the media go mad. “See?”
Shea gave him a level look as he smacked Danny’s thigh. “You’re a horrible liar, but nice try. Put away that fake shit before I get my belt out.”
Groaning, Danny lowered his forehead to Shea’s shoulder. “You can’t beat me for smiling, that’s a cruel and unusual punishment.”
“I absolutely can. Who makes the rules around here?” Shea’s tone was teasing now, meaning he probably wasn’t serious about the belt. He hugged Danny, then forced him to lift his head with two fingers under his jaw. “Eat a few more bites, then I’ll bring you to The Asylum. We’ll both feel better, knowing you're safe, and I’m sure something there will keep you distracted.”
True. There was a lot going on at the club with all the renovations. He gave Shea a genuine smile. “I’ve survived the roof caving in once, I can do it again.”
“Brat.” Shea chuckled, shifting Danny on his thigh and picking up his abandoned spoon. He fed Danny a few bites of his breakfast. “I mean it, little mouse. I know it’s stressful, between the move and all the new security measures. You had the album to distract you before. Say the word and I’ll stick around to keep your mind off things.”
Licking his lips, Danny shook his head. “I appreciate that, sir, but I’ll be all right, I promise. There’s plenty for me to do at the club. I need to learn how to do all the different jobs so I can be more useful. Maybe if I can master mixing drinks, I won’t have to serve tables.” He shuddered at the idea of trying to master dodging big handsy Doms and avoiding the nasty sub clique with a few members who seemed to be vying for Kelly’s old spot. Only...they were sneakier about it.
If he hadn’t learned his lesson the first time, he might’ve thought they were good guys. He’d gotten better at paying attention to the little things. The way they smiled to Reed’s face, then whispered about him the second he was out of earshot. The way Avery kept a wary eye on them when they were anywhere near Keiran. How Pike’s eyes narrowed whenever they tried to be ‘friendly’ with him, responding in a sugary sweet tone with comments that verged on threats that got him a warning look from Curtis.
Making a thoughtful sound, Shea fed Danny the last bite of yogurt—he’d been so lost in his thoughts, he couldn’t remember eating the rest. And his Dom had noticed. “I’ll talk to Lawson and make sure he doesn't have you working the floor.”
Bottom lip between his teeth, Danny furrowed his brow and stopped himself from telling his Dom ‘No’ again. The last thing he wanted was for Lawson to think he needed special treatment, but he couldn’t tell Shea that, he’d point out every instance where other core subs got it.
I’m not a core sub.
Shea wouldn’t agree. And even if he did, he wouldn’t care. His Dom had a habit of going against any kind of hierarchy in The Asylum, to the point that he’d ended up on the wrong side of the core Doms too often to count. Not as much as he used to, according to Jacks, but the only way to keep the peace was to avoid him getting in that position again.
Instead of starting a debate he knew he’d lose, Danny straddled Shea’s lap fully, brushing soft kisses down his Dom’s throat. The hum of approval urged him on, even though a glance up got him a look that said Shea knew he was trying to distract him.
Slipping his hands under Shea’s shirt, Danny trailed his fingertips over the sculpted muscles of his chest and abs, moving down to tug at his belt. He undid Shea’s jeans, biting back a smile when he took his Dom’s hard length in his hand.
It wasn’t often he initiated anything like this with either of his Doms, but when he did, he loved knowing he could get them as worked up as they did him.
Groaning, Shea curved his hand around the back of Danny’s neck, drawing him in for a long, deep kiss. He tasted like coffee and sugar, with a hint of mint, the heat of his mouth, the dip of his tongue adding a depth to the rich sweetness. Even after all this time, kissing this man was like the most addictive drug and Danny couldn’t get enough of it.
He stroked Shea slowly, enjoying the smoothness of his skin, the slick bead of precum gathering at the tip of his Dom’s dick making his mouth water. Running his thumb over it, he broke the kiss to lift his hand, flicking his tongue out to lick the saltiness from his skin.
Shea huffed out a laugh before claiming his lips again, then groaning against them. “You’re going to make me late, my boy.” He gave Danny a hooded look, sliding him off his lap, onto his knees. “And I don’t give a fuck.”
Eyes closed, Danny relaxed as Shea’s hand cupped the back of his head, guiding him down to take his length in deep. With his hands clasped at the base of his spine, all he had to do was let his Dom take what he wanted from him. Give pleasure, surrender control, and not think about anything else.
An insisted buzzing changed Shea’s groaning from pleasure to irritation. He drew back, tucking himself in his jeans as he stood, then went over to grab his phone off the counter.
“Hey…” Shea shot Danny an apologetic look before he began pacing the length of the kitchen. “Excuse me, what? That stupid fuck, if someone else doesn’t get to him first I’m going to— Yeah, I’m on my way, I’m just gonna drop Danny off at the club first. No, it’s all good. I’ll meet you there.”
Rubbing his hand over his mouth, Danny pushed to his feet, doing his best to look steady as he dashed to the bedroom to dress, even though his head was still fuzzy from slipping into the zone he craved. There was no time to feel sorry for himself over things being cut short. Shea obviously needed to get to work to handle some crisis. Maybe his client was being chased by a crazed fan. Or stuck in an elevator that was about to plunge down a dozen floors. Or hiding from a sniper. Or facing some kind of maneating beast.
The last is unlikely...
Danny frowned as he tugged on one of Shea’s big, black hoodies.
It wasn’t until they were in Shea’s work SUV that he finally learned what the problem was.
Which had his mouth hanging open. “Your client ran away from his security detail? But...why? That doesn’t make any sense. Does he have a death wish?”
Jaw ticking, Shea lifted his shoulders. “Fuck if I know. He’s the son of a senator who’s been getting a lot of negative attention lately. His mom’s the one who hired us. She’s going to lose her shit if we don’t find him soon.”
“I can imagine.” Danny inhaled slowly as Shea drew up to the gates of The Asylum. “You can just drop me off, I’ll be fine. Either Keiran or Avery will be watching the cameras while I go in so no one will have a chance to grab me.”
Rolling his neck, Shea seemed to take a moment to tamp down his aggravation before meeting Danny’s eyes. “I’ll be watching you go in.” He cupped Danny’s cheek, giving him a soft kiss. “I love you. And I’ll try not to be too late. I know I don’t need to say it, but stay here and be careful. If there’s anything, go to Jared, he’ll keep an eye out for you.”
“Yes, sir.” Danny rested his cheek against Shea’s palm, stealing a few more seconds of comfort to last him the day. He wouldn’t remind Shea that Jared was pulling a double shift at the clinic since Seth and Quint were both off on missions. No need to worry his Dom when he had enough on his plate already. “I love you, too. And I won’t go anywhere.”
“Good boy.” Shea sighed, pressing his lips to Danny’s forehead. He drew back and nodded toward the gate. “Go on, they’re buzzing you in.”
Another smile and a nod and Danny slipped out of the SUV, going through the gate, then waving at Shea when it closed behind him. His Dom didn’t drive away until he waved again from the front door.
Inside, the bar was quiet at first, sounds coming from the kitchen where Keiran was likely making all his breakfast pastries while Avery kept him company. No one was sitting at the bar yet, but someone was behind it. Bottles clinked as Pike placed them. He glanced over at Danny, grinning at him in greeting as he rose up on his tiptoes to get a bottle on one of the top shelves. He gripped the edge of a shelf to help himself reach, shoving the bottle into a space much too small for it.
Danny’s lips parted as he started to warn Pike to be careful.
Right before several bottles crashed down around him.
Hands over his face, Danny braced himself for what he knew he’d see when he moved them. His mind went over every single worst case scenario, but that didn’t stop him from moving forward. He could help Pike.
As long as the young man was still alive.
The rough sound of pain was somewhat comforting, though Danny’s throat tightened as he reached Pike’s side.
It looked like the other sub’s day wasn’t off to a good start either.
Not really comforting.
Things have to get better from here, right?
Don’t count on it.
Click for PART TWO
If you get a chance, leave a comment about what you think about Danny's day so far and what you think will happen next! Do you enjoy shorts like this? Are you excited for the next Asylum book? Share your thoughts on anything and everything about our guys, and any questions you have, and I'll pop in to answer ASAP. :)
I hope you're all having an awesome weekend!
Bianca Sommerland is the USA Today Bestselling author of The Dartmouth Cobras series. Tibby Armstrong is the author of the acclaimed Hollywood series. Together they've created the breathtaking and brutal world of The Asylum Fight Club. A place where men live and love by their fists, and ropes are for more than just the ring.