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Hesitant Heart (The Hampton Road Club 1)
M/M BDSM Historical (1920’s)
Sam is a naïve young man who arrives in Hollywood to escape his brutal father. When the older, sophisticated Aaron rescues him, Sam discovers what it means to fully surrender himself to another.
Eighteen year-old Sam Cunningham is used to living with lots of secrets. He’s had to hide his true nature his entire life or else incur the wrath of his strict and abusive father. When he’s faced with a horrible ultimatum, he flees to Hollywood where he hopes he can escape the fate his father has planned for him.
Aaron Rubenstein is a wealthy and sophisticated man who loses himself in painting portraits of bound men to help stave off his loneliness and despair. Unable to find a lasting connection with anyone, he’s had to resort to paying lovers not only for their affections, but to be allowed to indulge in his darker passions. Aaron’s only respite is his nights at the Hampton Road sadomasochism club where he’s a respected Dominant.
Naïve and inexperienced in the ways men can please one another, Sam takes a job at a bathhouse where he first glimpses a beautiful older man. Aaron notices the sweet towel boy watching him with interest every time he patronizes the Temple of Eros bathhouse. A traumatic incident for the innocent towel boy triggers Aaron’s protective tendencies and he’s compelled to rescue the gentle Sam from the clutches of the Temple’s manager.
They embark on a journey together that teaches them both things about themselves that they never knew. As their bond deepens and Sam is trained for his first night at the Hampton Road Club, an unknown danger lurks. Will Sam’s father find him and destroy both men’s chance for true happiness together? Or will Aaron protect his boy and keep him for always?
Reader Advisory: This book contains a scene of branding.
Totally Bound: https://www.totallybound.com/hesitant-heart
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hesitant-Heart-Hampton-Road-Club-ebook/dp/B00ORUOTD8/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415160797&sr=1-3&keywords=morticia+knight
Gathering his street clothes then placing them in his locker, Sam was startled when David shoved him against the wooden doors of the compartments. David was a little taller than Sam’s five-and-a-half feet and built huskier. He glowered, standing within inches of Sam in a threatening stance, feet apart, hands braced against the lockers on either side of Sam’s head.
“You sure like to act all high and mighty, Smith. What are you hiding? Huh?”
Sam narrowed his eyes, pressing his lips together, refusing to let David know he was afraid. He hated bullies. His father was a first class bully and David had no right to treat him like that. Sam had never even been a little bit mean to him.
“Hey, you lazy, useless boys! What’s going on in here?”
Bob Larsen, the manager, stormed into the room and grabbed David by the collar of his shirt, yanking him back as he did. David howled in protest.
“Well? I asked you both a question.”
His boss had barked out the words, his face reddening, his lips twisted in a menacing snarl.
“Sorry, sir.” David’s tone had miraculously changed into one of sweetness and compliance. “I should have come to you first, but Smith had me so upset by what he said, I couldn’t help myself.”
“What? I never—”
“Quiet!” Bob loosened his hold on David. “What’d he say?”
David glanced at him sideways and Sam didn’t miss the gleam of satisfaction in his eyes.
“Sam was telling me how he was too good to go with the men to the private rooms and that if he ever did, he would keep all the money anyway.”
“He’s lying, Mr Larsen. I never said—”
A stinging slap across his face knocked his head to the side. He covered his injured cheek with one hand, refusing to give in to the urge to cry. It had been a while since he’d been hit in the face and after leaving home, he’d hoped it would never happen again. He chanced a peek at Mr Larsen.
“Don’t you sass me, you little street urchin.” Mr Larsen growled. “Now listen, Smith, that fella who’s been eyeing you is in the main steam room with Saul Liebowitz, the regular. If you don’t get him to take you to one of the private rooms today, I don’t ever want to see you in here again. And since you don’t want your pride hurt by taking money to let him fuck you, for your first time you can give the whole ten bucks to me. Got it?”
Sam’s eyes went wide. He was terrified. Confused. How could the beautiful man fuck him? It reminded him of some of the things Louis had told him on the ride down the coast that had also been confusing. He knew what that word meant. It was how his cousin Andrew had gotten the neighbor girl Molly pregnant when they were both only sixteen. They’d had what his father had said was a ‘shotgun wedding’. Sam didn’t remember seeing any shotguns when they got married, so he figured his father must have been mistaken. The memory was upsetting to him for another reason, but he didn’t have time to worry about it right then. He had other more immediate problems.
Mr Larsen grabbed him roughly by his upper arm and dragged him toward the exit of the changing area.
“Here’s some fresh towels. Now get in there and do your goddamned job.”
His legs shook so much, he wasn’t sure he could walk on them. He gulped in air, his breath coming in short pants as he carried the neatly folded towels in front of him as if they were a sacrificial offering. He’d thought he’d loved his job, but not anymore. The terror in him was so sharp that any of the good parts of it had been wiped away.
As he approached the closed door of the room that contained the man he’d fantasized would want him for more than sex, he caught a sob in his throat. He would take whatever wages he still had and leave town first thing. Louis had been right. Hollywood was a very bad place. Men didn’t love one another because they wanted to love. They only did it for the right price.
He bumped the latch down with his elbow, a practiced move that he’d used since his first day working at the bathhouse. Trembling, he crept inside, his eyes cast down. His cheeks flushed from within and not from the high temperature. The heat was oppressive. He was certain it was no different than usual, but Sam couldn’t seem to catch his breath.
“Ah, splendid. Our favorite towel boy is here.”
Without looking, Sam recognized the voice of the older man. Saul? That’s what Mr Larsen had said.
“That he is. Young man, would you bring us some fresh towels please?”
He didn’t feel right. He wasn’t sure if it was the steam, the heat, his nerves or everything all mixed up together. Even though his feet seemed as if they were made of giant rocks, Sam forced himself to go in the direction of the two men, go toward the strong gentle voice of the man he was supposed to give himself to.
With his gaze still cast down, the first thing he saw was the feet of the beautiful man. There was a fine layer of hair covering the top of them, dark and alluring against the man’s ivory skin. He tracked the path of the hair up the long legs that were lean, yet sculpted. Sam inhaled sharply at the sight of his full sac, the magnificent view of his manhood.
It was then that he raised his eyes and locked them for the first time with the man of his fantasies. There was a kindness in his expression, the barest hint of a smile. Sam swayed. Right as the room fell away, he saw the look on the man’s face change to one of fear.
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