Lock And Key by Z. Allora
Rejected. Heartbroken. Devastated.
Zack Davis wanted to serve only one man, Andrew Nikeman. He was denied because Andrew thought he was too young and because their brothers were together. So Zack crushed his submissive tendencies and focused on being the perfect Dom, giving every sub he played with something he couldn’t have.
After years of denying his submissive side, Entwined’s charity auction “Are you Dom Enough to be a sub?” gives Zack an excuse to get a little of what he’s always craved.
Andrew doesn’t know when his infatuation turned into more, but it kills him to see Zack with a constant parade of submissives. He’d refused to jeopardize his brother’s relationship or become Zack’s regret; however, Zack isn’t a kid anymore, and his brother’s relationship is unbreakable. Now Zack’s popularity and success as a Dom might ruin Andrew’s dreams of collaring him, but he can’t wait any longer to confess his feelings or he risks losing the man he loves forever.
eBook: ebook from Dreamspinner
Paperback: Paperback from Dreamspinner Press
I want to thank the folks of Diverse Reader for hosting part 5 of the 11-part of the Lock and Key blog tour. I wrote a prequel to Lock and Key. I wanted to show how Zack comes to terms with his need for BDSM. Accepting who we are is always a unique journey with many twists and turns. (Part 4 is at http://www.elisarolle.com
Zack’s little brother collapsed onto the couch and whined for the umpteenth time, “Zack, I miss Dusty.”
It had only been a few days since their mother forbid Zack and Jordon to see Dusty, but there was no way they weren’t going to visit their older brother! Their mother’s homophobic rampage wouldn’t drive a wedge between them. “Come on.”
“Where to?” Jordon was off the couch and stuffing his feet into sneakers.
Zack tilted his head and gave him a big-eyed stare hoping to communicate his plan.
Jordon mouthed “ohhhh” and then called out to the kitchen, “Ma, Zack and I are going out to get something to eat.”
“Okay, good. I’ll be back from choir practice by nine.” She continued ironing her white blouse. “Drive safe and wear your seatbelts.”
Zack drove through a drive thru and grabbed dinner so the excuse wasn’t a lie. They wolfed down burgers and fries on the way over to Dusty’s apartment.
Jordon stopped slurping his soda to point out, “His car’s not here.”
“We’ll wait.” He collected the trash and tossed it in the dumpster.
Jordon tossed his empty cup. “Let’s stand over there so we don’t miss him.”
“Doubt that would happen, but sure.” Zack followed his little brother and leaned against the building.
“I wish I had my phone,” Jordon voiced his very thought.
“He’s here.” Zack pointed to Dusty pulling into his parking spot.
The kid’s face lit up and he took off at a run. As soon as Dusty stepped out of the car, Jordon launched himself and hugged their oldest brother tight.
Zack couldn’t help but to smile. He’d missed Dusty too. “Geez, Jordon.”
Dusty chuckled and set Jordon back onto his feet. He glanced at the man standing next to him. “Justin, these are my brothers. This is Zack, and you know Jordon.”
“Hey.” Justin and Zack shook hands.
Zack could see the appeal in Dusty’s choice of boyfriend. Justin was handsome in a pretty way. Now if only Justin had an older dominant brother, who knew how to use a crop, Zack would be set!
Justin turned toward Jordon and said, “Nice to see you again.”
Jordon wiped his eyes and gave Justin the once over. He elbowed Zack. “See! I was right. Justin is the guy from the police station. I knew it was you from the picture in the gossip magazine, even though most of your face was hidden by Dusty’s big head. Are you a cop or something?”
Justin shook his head. “Nope. I just help them out when they ask.”
Jordon grinned big and gushed, “I loved your kilt in the picture. Those fishnets were snaztastic. I need a pair...” Jordon leaned forward to give Justin a quick awkward hug and because the kid didn’t seem to know when to stop talking, he asked, “Are you Dusty’s boyfriend now?”
Justin glanced over at Dusty for guidance. Oh, hell!
Dusty opened his mouth to reply, but missed his chance to speak.
The silence lasted too long and Jordon filled it. “Yeah, well, I’m impressed. Dusty, you’ve got great taste in guys.”
Zack tried not to laugh. So much for Dusty’s official coming out. Jordon simply accepted it and moved on.
Jordon held up his hand to be high fived but Zack ignored the imp. Why couldn’t his little brother get this wasn’t about Dusty’s taste in guys, but the fact he’d chosen a guy?
Zack ambled over, and let Dusty pull him in for a brotherly hug. “Yes, Justin is my boyfriend.” Dusty released Zack, and kissed Justin’s painted fingertips. “You guys okay with that?”
“Of course, why wouldn’t we be?” Zack spoke for both of them, because Jordon kept circle dancing while singing, “It’s raining men. Hallelujah!”
“Before Jordon breaks out into Cher, tell me, is it bad at home? Does Mom know you’re here?” Dusty couldn’t help but make all questions sound like an interrogation.
Jordon’s dance stopped mid-down pour. He stared at Dusty with an expression that deemed him insane. “Do we look stupid? Of course, Loony Toons doesn’t know.”
Zack elbowed him. “Hey, don’t talk about her like that.”
“After what she said, she’s dead to me.” Jordon’s voice took on a seriousness Zack had never heard before.
Zack could no longer meet Dusty’s eyes. Damn, he needed to spin this in a more positive way. “Hey, it’s okay—”
“No! It’s not okay! She’s our mother. Parents aren’t supposed to turn their backs on their kids.” Jordon’s eyes welled up, and he sniffed signaling he was about three seconds away from tears.
Fuck! Zack wanted to say something but no pearls of wisdom came. He reached out, and squeezed Jordon’s shoulder.
Justin cleared his throat, and said, “Sometimes, people take time to adjust.”
Jordon shook his head, and sniffed. “She’s not going to change, and I can’t expect her to. If people can’t accept who you are, they don’t get a say in your life. I can’t be responsible for her faulty values.”
Was this Jordon?
Justin said, “That’s very mature of you.”
The compliment seemed to change Jordon’s channel. He spared Justin a quick smile then said, “Oh, yeah, Dust, my third therapist is really good.”
Dusty’s eyes widened. “You’re on number three? But you’ve only had three appointments.”
“Yeah, but you said I could change if I wanted to, and I did.” Jordon shrugged. “The first one didn’t like me. Hard to believe, I know.”
Zack snorted. “No, not really.”
Jordon growled. “Shut up, Zack. And the second one’s office smelled funny like old soup, and feet.” Drawing a quick breath, Jordon plowed on. “But this one is great. I can tell. This therapist had interesting art on the walls.”
“Um, well, art’s not the best way to judge a therapist.” Dusty pointed out the obvious.
Jordon waved him off. “Yes, it is. Art preference identifies who someone is as a person, and what he or she values. Stupid hotel art tells me the person is lazy, but wants to look like they know something about paintings. Unique, interesting pieces suggests the person took the time to find something that called to them.”
“Art doesn’t talk.” Zack tapped Jordon in the back of the head.
“Hey!” Jordon scrunched his face. “Not my fault you’re just too dopey to speak the language.”
Dusty grabbed onto Jordon preventing his retaliation whap. “Enough. I think it’s terrific, as long as you’re comfortable with him.”
“It’s a her, and she’s very nice.” Jordon glared at Zack.
“As long as you’re willing to work with her, I think that’s great,” Justin said.
Dusty nodded. “Absolutely. Jordon, I’m glad you’ve found someone you’re comfortable with. You had a good session?”
Jordon’s voice cracked. “Yeah, we talked about accepting who I am, and how I can only control my opinion, and no one else’s.”
Well, fuck! That said it all. It wasn’t that Zack didn’t accept who he was… he did. But since he couldn’t manage anyone else’s reaction to his desires, he’d simply avoided giving them the chance to judge him. It wasn’t their business. Plus if he were silent, people would move past him like they always did without ever really seeing him or his twisted needs. No, according to the forums he’d lurked on, his needs weren’t twisted— just not average!
Justin’s voice brought Zack out of his head, and back to the conversation. “Sounds like you’ve found a therapist who fits your personality.” Damn, Justin was good with Jordon.
“Yeah, I did.” Jordon nodded and changed gears. “Zack and me, we’re still going to hang out with you. I don’t care. If mom doesn’t like it, she can go—”
“Hey,” Zack interrupted the kid’s rant.
Jordon threw his hands out in front of him. “I know, I can’t control her or her feelings, but I can hate them. I have the right to hate prejudice, ignorance, and stupidity. It doesn’t matter if she’s related to me. Wrong is wrong.”
Time for an intervention and hopefully prevent a meltdown. Zack said, “You’re right. No one’s saying you’re wrong. Orientation or identity isn’t something anyone else should weigh in on.”
“It’s not something that can be controlled either.” Jordon stared at each other them and practically dared someone to disagree with him.
Justin chimed in, “Correct. We are who we are, and have a right to be who we are. We can share that information if, and when we chose.”
The quiet seemed to cause tension to mount again.
Zack shoulder-bumped Jordon, and said to Dusty, “We should go, but we’ll see you soon.” He turned to Justin and said, “It’s good to meet you.”
Justin smiled. “You too.”
Zack cracked a grin and teased, “Don’t take any of his shit.”
Jordon knocked Zack out of the way. “Dusty’s too smart to give you any shit. I can tell he really likes you. So, are you two going to get married?”
“Um…” Justin blushed a deep red.
Zack saved Justin from finding words. “Jordy, you want hot chocolate?”
Wow, talk about brotherly sacrifice! The kid would bounce off the walls with a chocolate high for the rest of the night.
Dusty mouthed, “Thank you.”
“Oh my God! Of course! Let’s go. Do you guys want to come?” Jordon appeared to plot out the most direct path back to their car.
Dusty waved him off. “Nah, you guys go. Call me from a landline if you need me. I’ll see you soon.”
Zack was dragged to the car by a determined little brother who had on chocolate goggles.
“I’m happy for Dusty,” Jordon said.
“Me too.” Dusty was finally living his life and that made Zack happy. He deserved it. But a piece of Zack wondered when he would get to start living his.
Part 6 will be at https://pdsinger.com
Please follow the rest of the blog tour. You can find the schedule at http://zallora.blogspot.com.