In 1965, Loren was initiated into the mysteries of leather by a motorcyclist passing through his isolated Midwestern town. Twenty years later, he is owner of the town's gay bar, which serves as a leather bar after hours. He is a master, trained to control and discipline men.
If only he could convince other leathermen of this fact. Having given up hope of ever finding someone who will submit to him, Loren is forced to content himself with secret fantasies. Then he meets the perfect man for his fantasies: handsome, uniformed, full of confidence and strength. But Loren doesn't realize that Ken holds secrets which will initiate them both into a new mystery. . . .
Leather life in a rural town is explored in this series, which looks back on an earlier era. In a time and place where being gay is reason enough to be arrested, the leathermen of Mayhill struggle to keep their small community alive.
They had reached the landing when Ken attacked.
Loren was ready – he had been the one to drop the hint about the club boundaries, after all – but he still nearly broke his nose as Ken shoved him into the wall. Only Ken's hand, turning Loren's head at the last moment and shielding it from the impact of the cement blocks, prevented a disaster. The rest of Loren's body met the cement full on, like a VW smashing into a tanker.
Ken already had hold of his right wrist; in the next moment, it was twisted up behind his back. Loren gave a sharp gasp, and Ken's grip slackened somewhat.
Not a good start. Loren didn't want to spend the rest of this evening worrying that Ken would show him mercy every time he made a noise. He sent an obscenity in Ken's direction, and the arm was suddenly twisted tight again. Loren heard himself emit a whimper.
More discarding of his training. Well, he hoped all this evidence of his discomfort was helping Ken enjoy himself.
"Sir, you have the right to remain silent," said Ken, twisting the arm yet further to make his point. "Anything you say can and will be used against you . . ."
Good heavens – not just a polite sadist. A polite sadistic cop mauling his victim. How delightful. Loren tried to enjoy the word "sir" through the haze of pain, but it was difficult. He was coming quite close now to begging to be let go, and he was only one minute into the scene.
Either this was going to be the best scene of his year, or it was going to be the shortest.
"Let me go, copper!" he cried, trying to flail free of the grip. Uselessly; he might as well have been a fly trying to lift an elephant's foot off of him. "I ain't done nothing to nobody."
He hated talking in movie script language, but it was easier for a new sadist – the Ess could tell immediately when Loren slipped out of his role. Ken responded by placing his knee against the small of Loren's back. Loren's pelvis ground against the wall.
Shortest. This was definitely going to be the shortest scene of the year if Loren couldn't figure out a way to get Ken to ease off of him.
"I . . . don't have anything on me," he gasped. "You can search me if you like."
Ken didn't take the hint. Instead he slid his knee down and jammed it between Loren's legs, then began pushing upwards.
Oh, gods. Loren emitted a groan, and this time Ken didn't ease up. Instead he pulled Loren's arm down with a jerk – Loren only just managed to swallow a scream that would have reached all the way to the police headquarters. "Fuck you," he sobbed. "I'm innocent!" The tears were genuine, and he despised himself for them. Ems cried; Esses didn't.
"Of course you're innocent, sir," breathed Ken, leaning down to speak in Loren's ear. "So innocent that you ran from me the moment you saw me. I'm afraid I'm going to have to question you further to learn more about this 'innocence.'" He moved back slightly, and cold metal touched Loren's right wrist.
Oh, cripes. Handcuffs. Ken had been carrying handcuffs all this while, probably behind his back. And Loren hadn't noticed.
Suddenly Loren's pain was overcome by a wave of real, starkly cutting fear. How long had it been since he'd felt real handcuffs upon his wrists? That had been eleven years ago: a second arrest on the cruising grounds, a second offense that could send him to prison for sodomy. Twenty-four hours spent in the town jail, listening to the guards laugh as they told him what happened in the state prisons to faggots. Then, blessedly, release, as his dean made a squawk, claiming he'd sent Loren to the cruising grounds to do a sociological survey of societal inverts. Nothing worse followed than a lengthy lecture on the sort of public behavior the dean expected from members of his department.
Eleven years. The state prisons were just as bad now as they had been then, if not worse. A gay prisoner had been beaten to death last year.
If it was coming, it would come now. It came.
"Fuck me? Is that what you want, sir?" The voice was quiet, dark, and hot in his ear. Loren felt his own breath growing unsteady and he strove to focus himself. Elia. He would think of Elia. He couldn't think of all of Mayhill's gay community at once, but he would think of what it would mean for Elia if their customers started quietly disappearing, victims of entrapment.
He felt his strength return to him, the strength of a trained master. . . .
"Edgeplay in Mayhill 1: Negotiations" is available in Loren's Lashes Omnibus.
Dusk Peterson at GLBT Bookshelf.
Love in Dark Settings Press at GLBT Bookshelf.