Authors: Ivory Quinn
Copyright © 2014 Ivory Quinn
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My thanks first and foremost to Kristin
Elyon for the amazing cover. It’s absolutely perfect and I’m so grateful.
Secondly to my beta readers, Addison, Jojo and Cloey – you guys are the bomb!
A special shout out to Kelly Barry for being my number one cheerleader on Facebook – every day I log in to find that she’s singing my praises from the rooftops and it never fails to make me smile. Your support is humbling.
To all the new friends I’ve made in the last year – your stories are amazing, inspiring, heart-warming and heart-breaking all at once. The value of Darkness Falls can never be measured in words or royalties, because the true value is in the people that have graced my life since reading it. Stick around and we’ll hold hands for the next chapter <3
For my amazing readers.
This book was never meant to be,
but it was born in your hearts and you
its cause until I could feel
words singing in my soul.
This one’s for you.
“Do you want to tell me about this?” Blue flinched as the paper slid across the desk towards him. He didn’t need to glance at the lurid headline to know what the story was. He still couldn’t believe he’d snapped and smashed up that guy’s placard.
“I’m sorry, Master.” He said softly, respectfully. “It won’t happen again.”
“I’m not angry with you.” Cal sighed, taking a seat at the desk opposite him. “I’m worried about you. You’ve never lost control before and they’ve been parading out there for weeks. What made you snap?”
That dick had called Noelle a whore.
“He was shouting a lot of stuff. I was tired and I’d been drinking.” It wasn’t a lie. “I don’t really know what happened. I just flipped.”
“Well at least you didn’t punch him. The last thing you need is a conviction for assault.” Cal leaned back and studied him carefully. Blue had the distinct and uncomfortable impression that Cal knew he was holding back. Sometimes it was like the Master could read minds. “Blue, whatever it is you’ve got going on, I hope you’ll talk to me about it eventually. If you can’t right now, I understand, but you need to get it together. Noelle needs you.”
“Why?” His heart stopped. “Is she ill? Did she try-“
“Sean broke up with her.” Cal cut short his concerns. “
She’s dealing with the break up relatively well but with the whole MTV thing starting next week, she needs support and you’re the one best placed to provide it to her.”
“What?” It was just too much to process. At the knowledge that Sean had broken up with her, it was like a firework had gone off inside his chest, crashing around in his ribcage and spar
king off all sorts of emotions; fierce joy for him, sadness for her, hurt that she hadn’t told him, hope that this might finally be his time...all of them paled in comparison to the roaring of his internal Master that he had to protect what was his. And she was his. She just didn’t know it yet.
“Blue!” A broad smile lit up Noelle’s face when she opened her front door to find him standing on her step. “What are you doing here? I didn’t know you were coming.”
All the carefully rehearsed things he’d intended to say dribbled out of his brain and he blurted out the first words that came to him. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Oh.” Her face crumpled and he moved without stopping to think, gathering her up in his arms and embracing her fiercely.
“What happened, Little Monkey?” He asked gently, rocking her as she tried to get control of herself.
“It’s a long story.” Her voice was muffled against his chest but he couldn’t bring himself to let go yet. “You’d better come in. I’m still getting the odd journalist turning up for photographs.”
“Sure.” He reluctantly released her and followed her into her house. She was staying in her old home while her new one was built just outside
the city. “How’s the new place coming along?” He asked distractedly. He wished she wasn’t moving. He loved this place and he knew she’d made arrangements to sign it over to the church when she left. It was just so her. It was full of comfort and memories and the little pieces that made up her warm personality. It was everything he’d never had growing up.
“Really well.” She gestured to the sofa and made her way into the kitchen, presumably to put the kettle on. “It’ll be ready next week, they think.” She continued when she returned, taking a seat opposite him on the sofa. “There was some last minute issue with the carpets I ordered, so they aren’t laid yet. The bed is arriving on Monday and the kitchen is already installed, so I’m planning to move in by Friday. I can buy the rest of the furniture and so on when I’m in and have a proper feel for the space.”
“What about all your things from here?” He asked. “Aren’t you taking any of it?”
“No.” Her eyes hardened. “All the furniture and clothes and useful items are going to the charity shop. Everything personal is going into storage until I decide what to do with it. It’s just stuff,
Blue, stuff from my old life. It’s not me any more. I want to start afresh.”
“Fair enough.” He wasn’t sure he agreed, but he wasn’t going to argue with her right then.
Anyway that was enough of the small talk. He could see she was hurting and knew she wouldn’t want to bring it up herself. “So what happened? Why did he leave you?”
She sighed. “A lot of reasons. He was struggling with my job and he was really un
happy about the whole MTV thing. He got scared when those idiots started picketing everywhere too, even when I told him Cal was protecting us and taking them to court, but the last straw was Thomas.”
“Thomas?” Blue knew that she and Thomas had visited the Manor together a few months
previously and spoken to Cal privately in his study. Thomas hadn’t been back to the Manor since.
“Yeah...he and I...it’s hard to explain. When Sean tried to make me choose, I couldn’t turn my back on Thomas. He needs me. Sean didn’t.”
“Thomas needs you?” Certain he was missing the glaring elephant in the room, Blue shook his head. “You’re going to have to start at the beginning.”
“Have you seen him recently?” She asked and he shook his head again.
“Not since he came to the Manor a few months ago.”
Twisting in her chair, Noelle called out to the kitchen. “Thomas, is the coffee almost ready?”
“Coming, Mistress!” Came back the faint reply and Blue’s jaw dropped.
Noelle touched a finger to her lips with a smile as the kitchen door opened and Thomas backed through it, carefully carrying a tray. “Set it on the table, Thomas.”
“Yes Mistress.” The young man carefully laid out the mugs, cream and sugar, moving with a grace Blue had never seen in him before. Usually he was jittery and wired, craving his next fix of pain, but he
re he was laying out tea spoons without the slightest shake to his hands.
“Thomas, tell Master Blue when was the last time you were in my play room.” Noelle commanded softly and Thomas straightened up.
“It has been five weeks, Mistress, Master Blue.” His voice was calm and serene.
“Five weeks?” Blue stared, his mouth hanging open. “How?”
Thomas glanced at Noelle for help and she smiled. “It’s okay Thomas; you can go back to the kitchen. I’ll explain.”
“Thank you Mistress.” Smiling, he scampered back to the kitchen. Actually scampered.
One of the richest young men in the country was scampering around Noelle’s house.
“What did you do to him?” Blue felt absolutely poleaxed.
“I gave him what he needed.” She shrugged. “I put him in chastity.”
?” Blue was floored. Thomas’ kink was pain. This came from totally out of left field.
“All this time he’s been going to the Manor, everyone was so focused on easing the immediate problem that no-one actually looked at what was going on behind it.
” She explained. “Thomas is submissive, through and through. The way he feels more comfortable sitting at my feet instead of on the chair, the way he’s always so quiet and respectful and eager to please...I started to wonder if there was another answer. I couldn’t continue to beat him the way that I was. The human body just isn’t designed to withstand that kind of punishment. Putting him into chastity totally redirected his focus. He’s almost completely forgotten his craving for pain in favour of his craving to serve and to please.” A small smile twisted her lips. “He’s so consumed with the status of his cock that there’s no room for anything else.”
“That’s genius.” Blue couldn’t believe that none of them had thought of it before. Thomas’ need had been so palpable that they’d just given him what he paid for without asking too many questions.
“Thank you.” She said modestly. “Unfortunately, service is a full time thing. It’s not something I could expect him to do in fortnightly sessions.”
“So you went to Cal and he let you take Thomas off the books.” Blue guessed.
“Not quite. In return for having a full time keyholder, Thomas tithes to me. The Manor takes a percentage of that.”
“Clever.” Blue approved. Tithing wasn’t something you heard of often in the British kink scene, but it was common in Australia and the US where there were small communes or houses run by one or several masters. “So Sean objected to
your new role in Thomas’ life?”
“He agreed to try it in principle.” She sighed again, sadness in her eyes. “It made him uncomfortable having Thomas here at the weekends and sometimes in the evenings, but he tried. He just couldn’t accept that it wasn’t sexual. He came over early one night and found Thomas bathing me. He completely lost his rag and ended it, even when I tried to explain that it was just a service thing and not sexual at all. As far as he was concerned, I was naked and another man was laying hands on me and that was the last straw. He said that either Thomas went or he did.
” She tried to shrug it off but could not hide her hurt. “I had to choose Thomas. You’ve seen him now. I can’t let him go back to being the way he was.”
“Still...it wasn’t a decision anyone should be forced to make.” Blue felt terrible for her, despite his secret joy that they’d broken up.
She had, in essence, been forced to choose between her job and her partner.
“No, but as a lifestyle choice
, it’s something I feel more at peace with.” She glanced at the kitchen door. “Thomas satisfies needs I didn’t know I had...needs that our sessions at the Manor weren’t entirely meeting. He’s petitioned to move in with me when I go to the new house and I’m inclined to say yes.”
“In a relationship sense?”
“No, not at all.” She paused. “Well, sort of. If he is in chastity to me, it’s not exactly conducive to him going out and dating other women. But
know, Blue. You’re the one that taught me that sex and love are almost entirely separate entities. I can meet his needs without being his girlfriend. I don’t restrict him from going out. He knows he can ask to be released from his collar at any time if he happens to meet someone, but right now he’s happy where he is. There’s certainly nothing stopping me going out and getting a boyfriend.” She grimaced. “As long as it’s one that understands this time. I know poly relationships aren’t common, but there must be someone out there, right?”
He didn’t say it. “Have you discussed that with Thomas?”
“Yes.” She smirked. “Turns out he has
kinds of kinks, including cuckolding. Who knew?”
Blue just shook his head again. It was bewildering, the way she always seemed to land on her feet. Thomas couldn’t be more perfect for her. He would serve her and take care of her without feeling any jealousy if she chose to take a lover. Quite the opposite – he’d be happier if he was allowed to take part in some way. “I’m guessing Sean wasn’t on board with that?” He asked when the silence grew too long.
“Not at all, but then I wasn’t really either.” She admitted. “It feels a little exhibitionist and that’s really not me. Or at least it wasn’t.” She amended. “Not in that relationship. I was always too aware of Sean’s feelings. With a different partner, I’m sure I could be persuaded to let go.”
“I’d do it.” Blue offered, before he could help himself. “I’ve had some experience with that kind of scene and I know you both. I’ve
scened with you both.” He watched a rosy flush rise up her cheeks and it made him feel twenty feet tall. He knew she was remembering the way he’d owned her in his play room. Shifting to conceal the fact that he was getting hard, he continued his persuasion. “We’ve slept together before, so you don’t have to worry about the whole ‘first time with a stranger’ thing either.” He smiled. “And you
I can make you forget everything except what I’m doing to you.”
“Yeah, you’re kind of...uh...gifted in that department.” Still blushing, she sipped her coffee. “I’ll think about it. It’s too soon...after Sean, I mean.”
“I get it.” And he did. He’d think less of her if she was that emotionally elastic. “Just let me know when you’re ready.”
“I will.” She sighed and set her cup down on the coffee table. “You’re a good friend, Blue. I don’t know what I did to deserve you. I swear, I lead a charmed life. Do you know what they’re calling me in the red tops now?” A bitter smile twisted her lips. “The girl with the golden poon. It bothers me that they think all the men in my life are shallow enough to like me just because I’m good in bed.”
“It is a big part of why we love you.” He smirked and it had the required effect. She started laughing.
He stayed for a couple of hours before heading home to plan his line of attack. He wasn’t letting her get away this time. He was done with other men trying to ruin his girl.
A couple of days later, he called her after his morning session with a client.
“I was just wondering if you wanted to go out tonight?” He asked after the small talk. “I’ve got tickets to the theatre. I know it’s short notice and I can ask Storm if you’re busy, but-..”
“I’d love to!” She sounded delighted. “
It’s ages since I’ve been to the theatre. What show is it?”
“Um...” He picked up the program. “It’s called The Age of Grimm. The flyer says it’s a modern retelling of some of Grimm
’s fairy tales, incorporating dance and illusion.”