Bound: Forget Me Knot


Thank you and congrats to cover artist
Shobana Appavu
for taking 8th place in the Rainbow Awards
 (best of illustrated covers)
for Bound: Forget Me Knot
 
The Romance ReviewReleased on September 24, 2012 from Dreamspinner Press, Bound: Forget Me Knot is my second novel and quite a departure from the first.









Set in my home state of Michigan, in one of my favorite places, a science fiction convention, Bound: Forget Me Knot, is a story about growing up and finding your way home, even though you've never been there before.  

Jason is a college kid with a rocky past. His mother died of complications due to diabetes when he was seventeen, leaving him to go live with the father he's never met, a man who never wanted children. Sensitive, artistic, intelligent, and submissive to the core, Jason just wants someone to be proud of him, someone to care about him. 

Henry doesn't come to Michigan looking for love. He isn't looking for a full time submissive, either. But who could resist playing with someone like Jason?  Determined to at least give Jason the time of his life for one weekend--and teach him a few things about BDSM so he doesn't get hurt later--Henry takes Jason under his wing and up to his room. What he doesn't count on is Jason capturing his heart.

Reviews 
M/M Good Book Reviews 5 Hearts
Sinfully Sexy Books  4.5 Stars
Jessewave 4 Stars
Long and Short Reviews 5 Stars

and
Amazon (as both Kindle and paperback)


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I was inspired to write Jason and Henry's story while sitting in the dealer's room at Penguicon last year. Kitty-corner to us was a man selling leather goods. Mostly banal stuff--steampunk gear and Renn Fest costuming--but there were a few collars and cuffs as well. Hey, sci fi fans are an overall kinky bunch, though some of us more so than others.

Across the room, I saw this cute little fanboy. Now, let me explain, by "little fanboy", I mean 20-something (but I'm kinda old, so you know, anything under 25 is a little fanboy to me). He was wearing a fishnet shirt and his nipple rings were plain as day and he was just so... well, I'm sure adorable wasn't the vibe he was going for, but I'm a 40-something who was goth back before it was goth, so to me he was adorable. 

I put those two images--those two characters--together in my head, and voila. A novel about kinky BDSM sex set at a science fiction convention.

could somebody please tell me why 99.9% of the BDSM images on 123rf
are either of a) a hot woman tied up, or b) a hot woman tying up another hot woman?
Where are all the hot men!?

One of the things that comes up in Bound is the difference between BDSM and abuse. It's not a major theme, but Jason's best friend Kendra firmly believes that no good can come of Jason and Henry's relationship. It would have been easy to write her as over the top, but thankfully, I had a great conversation with someone in my critique group who has many of the same issues as Kendra--and is also an intelligent and thoughtful woman. She helped me make Kendra more human, for which I'm extremely grateful.

It's easy for an outsider looking in to think there's abuse in a D/s relationship--especially one that goes as far as Jason's and Henry's (Henry isn't looking for D/s, he's looking for Total Power Exchange, a Master/slave relationship. Obviously this is still the United States, slavery has to be consensual, but still, it's a fairly extreme relationship to live with 24/7.)

http://www.bdsmtrainingacademy.com/the-difference-between-bdsm-and-abuse/




....

And here's one of my absolute favorite scenes. Henry and Jason have committed to a weekend of fun and Henry is determined to leave a lasting impression on Jason...



The first thing Jason noticed when he stepped into Henry’s room was the number of toys laid out on Henry’s bed. Amongst them were the bearskin flogger, the paddle, a couple of canes, and the single-tail whip. That last one scared him to death.
But it was the man himself who really made Jason’s heart race. Henry had changed out of his dieselpunk outfit into all leather. All black. The shirt reminded Jason of a cop’s uniform shirt, with short sleeves, silver buttons, and breast pockets. He even had on a black leather tie and a pair of motorcycle gloves. The black leather uniform pants were formfitting, and the boots were tall and thick soled.
Jason’s cock pressed against his jeans.
“Strip,” Henry said instead of the more customary greeting of “hello.”
Jason didn’t mind. He hoped getting out of his clothes was the first step toward getting laid—getting off—and eagerly unbuttoned his shirt while Henry watched him with keen interest.
Henry took his seat in the chair that stood in the middle of the room, and leaned back. “Have you been a good boy today, or have you been jerking off behind my back?”
“No, Sir. I mean… yes, Sir. I… no, I haven’t touched myself, Sir.” Heat tinted his cheeks pink.
Henry looked amused. “How would I know if you’d jerked off?”
Jason blinked, trying not to feel hurt and hoping Henry was just testing him. He wanted Henry to trust him too. “You wouldn’t know it, Sir.” He peeled off his shirt and folded it neatly. “But I would.”
“And?”
“And my dick belongs to you, Sir. Master.”
“How does that make you feel, boy?”
Shit, this was a test, just not the kind Jason had thought at first. Henry was making him talk. “I feel good, Sir.” He finished undressing and stood in front of his Master wearing nothing but the collar the other man had put around his neck that morning.
“Good, huh?” Henry ran his leather-covered fingers lightly over Jason’s hips, his thighs, and back up again, over his chest. The gloves were smooth. Soft. Henry rubbed his thumbs over Jason’s bruised nipples until they were throbbing, standing at attention—until his cock ached. Until Jason was whimpering. “Why does it make you feel good to belong to me, boy?”
Jason swallowed hard. He could barely think straight and Henry wanted him to answer a question like that? “I… it just… I like it when you say you’re proud of me. I want to please you so much. I like it when you take control. Yesterday you told me you wanted me to be myself, to just be whoever I am, and I’m trying so hard to do that. Only I don’t know who I am. You’re… I’m figuring it out, but only because of you.”
“No, boy. I’m just helping you see yourself better, that’s all. I’m not so special.”
“Yes you are. If… if it weren’t for you, I’d be terrified. More terrified than I am already.”
“Why are you scared?”
“Because I feel like a total freak for wanting this stuff. Only when I’m with you… when I’m with you it’s not scary and I don’t feel like a freak. With you it all feels right.”
“Damn.”
Jason looked at him, wondering if he’d said something wrong, but Henry smiled. It wasn’t his usual lopsided smirk, it was different. It made Jason’s pulse race.
“Kneel,” Henry said, and Jason slid obediently to his knees. “I’d like to hear what you did with yourself today.”
He shrugged. “I caught up with friends, mostly.”
“Did you have fun?”
“Yeah. I mean yes, Sir.”
Henry chuckled. “I don’t stand on that much protocol, boy. You don’t have to end every sentence with ‘Sir’.” He leaned back in the chair and invited Jason to tell him everything he’d done since they parted company earlier in the day.
Jason decided not to mention Kendra’s visit. “There are people here I only get to see a few times a year. I ran into a couple of them in the con suite, and we hung out for a while, just talking. Then I went down to the boardroom and caught a couple of episodes of Utena. It’s an anime show. Probably my favorite one,” he admitted sheepishly. Terry hated anime. Or, more to the point, he hated the anime Jason liked, and constantly rode him about wanting to watch Japanese school girls.
If Henry thought anything of it however, it didn’t show on his face. “You do anything else?” he asked.
“I went to the art show and walked around.” Jason kept telling himself that “next year” he’d hang some of his own work, but somehow “next year” never came. He didn’t have enough time to paint, anyway—even when he did, his dad did nothing but bitch about the mess. The smell. How expensive oil paints were and how Jason had better things to spend his money on. “How was your day?” he asked, wanting to divert Henry from the subject of art.
Henry blinked, as if surprised by the question, but then he smiled again, that same quiet, happy smile. “Pretty good. We did about six hundred in sales—that isn’t great, but for our first year here it’s not bad, either. It usually takes a couple of years for people to get to know you.” He shrugged. “I took a couple of commissions for the lady who does the corsetry work you saw in my booth. I got a chance to talk to the corset lady here too.”
“She’s really good.”
Henry quirked an eyebrow in Jason’s direction. “Might like to see you in one of her creations.”
Jason blinked. But then he shrugged. He would wear anything Henry asked him to if meant getting to see him again.
Henry leaned closer and ran his fingertips over Jason’s cheek. Jason sighed and closed his eyes, inhaling the scent of the leather glove. He pressed a soft kiss to Henry’s palm like he had before. Then he turned his head and started sucking on one of Henry’s fingers, treating it the way he’d treat Henry’s cock if he had that in his mouth instead.
Henry chuckled softly at his efforts. “You want something, you have to ask for it, boy.”
“I… I know.”
Henry just smiled. “You ever wear a cock ring?”
Jason blushed bright, hot red.
“That a yes, boy?”
“Sort of.”
“Sort of?”
“I bought one about a year ago. I only tried to wear it once. I didn’t like it.” He could tell by the expression on Henry’s face that it didn’t matter. Henry was going to make him wear one now.
“What kind was it?” Henry asked anyway.
“Just a plain metal ring, Sir.”
Henry got up and went over to where his bags were packed up in the corner. A moment later he was back in his chair and told Jason to hold out his hands. The thing he dropped into them looked more like a leather harness than a ring. The tight woven leather sheath would cover half his penis—or at least Jason couldn’t imagine that part going anywhere else, because no way in hell he was letting anybody put his balls in that part of the contraption! There was another band of leather, much thinner, that he was pretty sure was supposed to go around his testicles. The last strap had several sturdy D rings on it and looked like it went around the whole package.
“You look nervous, boy.”
He nodded. Nervous was an understatement.
“Talk to me, Jason.”
At the sound of his name, Jason lifted his gaze to meet his Master’s—Henry’s—gaze. “I’ve never seen anything like that before, Sir.”
“Do you remember your safewords?”
He nodded.
Out loud, please.”
“Sorry, Sir. My safewords are ‘no’ and ‘slow down’.”
“All right.” Henry took the leather harness from him. “On your feet. Hands behind your back.”
Jason did as he was told.
As Henry strapped the leather harness into place around Jason’s cock and balls, he spoke, his tone gentle. “This is more of a chastity device than a cock ring—it won’t make it impossible for you to come, just damned difficult. Uncomfortable too, although you might get off on it.” He winked up at Jason. “Of course if you do get off without permission, what happens next won’t feel good. Clear?”
“Yes, Sir.”
“If we needed to make sure you wouldn’t come no matter what, I’d use something a little sturdier. There.” He sat back and surveyed Jason’s cock, an appreciative look on his face. That, if nothing else, made wearing the thing worth it. “How’s the fit?”
“All right, I think. It doesn’t hurt, it’s just… it feels a little weird, Sir.”
Henry nodded. “You’ll have to tell me if it gets uncomfortable at any point. The last thing I want to do is damage your dick.”
“Don’t you mean your dick, Sir?” Jason teased.
It earned him a swat directly to the organ in question. He winced even though Henry had only tapped him hard enough so that Jason could feel it, not hard enough to actually hurt. Henry clearly wasn’t angry, he was grinning too hard. “What have I said about lippy boys?” he asked.
“Lippy boys get gagged, Sir.”
“And are you saying by your backtalk that you want to be gagged?”
“No, Sir. I wouldn’t want to deprive you of the pleasure of my mouth, Sir. If you want it, that is.”
Henry glowered—although Jason didn’t miss the good humor twinkling in his gorgeous blue eyes. “On your knees, boy, and give me a good reason not to gag you.” His hand was already on his zipper, undoing his pants. He brought out his dick, and Jason went happily to work, taking it to the hilt in one swallow—but then teasing him mercilessly. Playfully. Since he didn’t have a time limit, he wasn’t in a rush and could pay plenty of attention to Henry’s balls before going back to his cock.
At last, Henry shot his load into the back of Jason’s throat; Jason swallowed every drop greedily, laving his tongue thoroughly over Henry’s shaft, not letting go until he was completely soft.
Jason, however, was left hornier than ever, even though there seemed little his cock could do about it. The straps of leather encasing him prevented a full erection. Henry was right, it was uncomfortable.
“All right,” Henry said as Jason tucked him back into his pants and zipped him back up, “you’ve earned a reprieve from the gag. For now. Get your ass over to the end of the bed and bend over.”
Jason hesitated. His ass was already sore.
Henry cupped his cheek and his tone softened. “Trust me, boy. I will never intentionally hurt you beyond what you can take. I will never damage you. I may draw blood tonight,” he cautioned. “I plan to use the single tail.”
Jason licked his lips nervously. The single tail scared him more than anything else Henry had shown him yesterday, even the hood.
Henry seemed to understand perfectly. “We’ll talk about it if we need to,” he promised. “But for right now, I want you to trust me enough to do as I say.”
 Jason swallowed down the lump of fear. “Yes, Master.” He got up and positioned himself on the end of the bed. Since Henry hadn’t said what he should do with his arms, he used them to cushion his forehead against the mattress.
“Spread your legs, boy.”
He did. A moment later, he felt something snug being fitted around his left ankle, then his right. Cuffs. Henry nudged his feet further apart, and… a spreader bar? Jason couldn’t see, but it sure felt like it.
“How do you feel?”
“Pretty helpless,” Jason admitted. His hands were still free, but there was no way he was going anywhere with his legs spread wide like they were. He couldn’t even crawl.
“Not half as helpless as you’d feel if I had real equipment here,” Henry told him.
Jason couldn’t help but smile, wondering what Henry’s play space looked like. His cock strained uncomfortably against the leather.
“How would you feel if I put on some music?”
“You mean I get a say in something?”
Henry’s hand came down hard on his ass, and Jason yelped. “No. I asked how you felt about it, boy.
Despite the stinging pain, Jason grinned. They both knew was being a smartass on purpose. “Music’s fine with me, Sir.” He got comfortable again while Henry left him to put something on. Jason was surprised when he heard some sort of string ensemble playing. Metallica? “That’s really cool.”
Henry chuckled. “Glad you approve. All right. I have one rule for tonight,” Henry told him as he sat down on the other bed. “You will not speak except to tell me to stop or slow down. Understand?”
Jason nibbled his lip. It seemed like an odd rule for someone who was always trying to get him to talk more. Maybe he’d been too flippant? But it was hard to believe Henry was annoyed by his occasional smartass remark. He smiled at them too. “Sir—Master—may I ask a question first?”
“You may.”
“What happens if I say ‘stop’?”
Henry frowned. “I thought we went over this. If you tell me to stop—if you’re serious and don’t just need me to slow down a minute—I’ll stop. ”
“No, I mean what happens after you stop.” Would Henry untie him, send him on his way, say they were through for the weekend? Forever?
Henry’s smile was warm. Understanding. It was kind. How could a man who left him black and blue be so kind?
“After I stop, we talk about what happened, why you needed me to stop or slow down. If you need some time to catch your breath or something to drink, I’ll give it to you. Then we’ll discuss whether or not we’re going to continue with what we’d been doing or try something else. Or if I’m just going to untie you and… and let you tell me if you want me fuck you or that I should just go straight to hell. Okay?”
“Yeah, okay.” He couldn’t imagine telling Henry to go to hell and actually getting away with it, but he understood the other man’s point. If he told Henry to stop, he would stop, and whatever they did next would be up to him. Jason took a breath. Let it out. He could do this. He wanted this. He wanted Henry to be the one to give it to him. “I’m ready, Master.”
“Good boy.” Henry stood and picked up the bearskin flogger. He trailed the tips over Jason’s back, lightly caressing his skin. “Such a very, very good boy,” he crooned.
Jason sighed, arching his back into the wonderful sensation.
Henry chuckled. “You won’t be making such happy little noises in a minute.”
Jason nodded. He knew that. It didn’t matter. He turned his face to the mattress, supporting his forehead on his arms, and enjoyed the soft caress of the leather while it lasted.
“I’m going to be working your back, not your ass,” Henry explained. “Although I’ve got a special treat for that, later on,” he promised. “Working a man’s back is a tricky, but I’ve had enough experience to know where not to hit. Both the flogger and the single tail are short enough that I’ll have good control over where they land. But I still need you to lie still.” He trailed his fingers lightly, lovingly, over Jason’s spine. “Remember. No talking. No begging. Nothing except your safewords.”
Jason nodded to acknowledge his understanding.
Just like the day before, Henry started out with slow, gentle strokes. He worked in time with the music, each stroke warming Jason’s skin. Jason sighed and felt himself sinking into the mattress, into pure bliss, even though he knew what was coming.
The first genuinely hard thud of leather against his left shoulder made him wince, almost cry out—but there was a new rule. No talking. Jason struggled to obey it, gritting his teeth. He let out only a small whimper when the next blow caught his right shoulder. Henry continued to alternate between his left and right sides, each stroke heavier, louder, more painful, than the last.
“You’re doing great, boy,” Henry told him softly. “But it’s going to get harder, not easier, from here on out. Do you want me to stop?”
Jason shook his head.
“Good boy.” Henry leaned over and pressed his lips to Jason’s shoulder.
Jason turned his head, hoping—yes! Henry met his lips, kissed them. He fisted his hands in Jason’s hair and pulled him into a better angle. His kiss was as brutal as the beating he had just given Jason’s back. Jason surrendered to it. When Henry released his mouth, Jason met his gaze. Henry’s expression was hard to read. Desire. Pride. Maybe… maybe something more? Jason’s heart pounded.

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I love this scene not just because...well, the obvious reasons (*G*), but I hope that readers can see, through Jason's eyes, that the two men are really making a connection.