I’ve been scrolling through my current Works in Progress, to see what I might be able to share with you.
Worship is my first foray into BDSM and a slant on the Master/slave theme. It’s non-paranormal, contemporary and involves a lot of fighting and *ahem* other things.
Waking up in a strange, empty room, with no memories and no name, is only the start of Ayden’s nightmare. Alone, kidnapped and confused, falling in love is unexpected. Facing a fight of strength and free will is bad enough, but lust, respect and love are worse.
Can Ayden tame his emotions or will love be his undoing?
A marching band paraded across his forehead, the first time he cracked his eyes open into the darkness. There was no first thought, no clear memory of a last thought; only darkness within his mind and vision.
Then a beam of light swept across his field of sight and he realised it wasn’t complete darkness. There was a black hue, ever so faintly see through. For a moment, he panicked that he was bleeding and the black he saw was congealed blood. But it was the wrong colour and, as he lifted his hand only to find it confined with a thick, strong strap of some kind, he realised that it was probably a blindfold.
Though that thought gave him a moment of relief, the fact that he didn’t know where he was, why he was strapped to a surface or who he was, made him panic.
Swallowing, he parted his lips and found them free of the binding across his eyes, which allowed his relief to soar a little higher. “Hello?” he called, his voice croaking as though he’d never used it before. He sounded…strange. Older, so not a teenager, and hoarse, which could either be because of his confinement or a natural gruffness to his voice. He couldn’t tell. He couldn’t remember anything about himself.
“Hello? Is there anyone there?” he called again, but there was no answer.
For a few minutes, he lay there, wondering what the hell was happening and what he’d done to get himself into this situation. But since he didn’t know who he was or what he’d been doing before ending up here, he had no way of knowing if he was responsible for this, if he’d been kidnapped while on holiday or if this was some bizarre situation he’d volunteered for. Anything was possible.
“Who are you?” He shouted, hoping someone would be close by to hear him. Someone had to have put him here, to tie his wrists and cover his eyes. “Who am I?” he asked in a much softer, quieter tone.
Despair began to set in, as minutes passed without answer. Then desperation and finally, full out fear.
Had he been captured by a serial killer? How did he even know what a serial killer was? Surely that meant he had memories, right? And if not a serial killer, was he being held by some crazed lunatic, who maybe knew him or had been watching him from afar? Was he really that interesting?
“Your name is Ayden,” a small voice replied, eventually.
He turned his head on instinct, but it didn’t move the binding over his eyes. “Ayden?” he repeated, wondering why that name didn’t ring a bell or spark off any memories. “Why am I here?” he asked, hoping this person was willing to answer his questions. “I don’t remember anything. Who am I? Why am I here? Who are you?”
The person cleared their throat and footsteps sounded on a solid floor. Perhaps concrete?
“Wait!” he called, panicked that they were going to leave him here, completely vulnerable. “Please! Just tell me…” he pleaded.
Then a hand touched his with a callused finger that trailed up his wrist to the binding there. “Your name is Ayden Langston. I’m Kinsey Leroux and I’m sorry; it was never supposed to wipe your memory. Not completely,” the voice answered. It was masculine, with a gruffness that rivalled his own. It was much more natural and, shockingly, the first thing that came to mind was a recognition that the voice was sexy.
Ayden twisted in the binding, coming to the realisation that he was either under the influence of some aphrodisiac or was gay and had a penchant for strong, rough voices. “And,” He stalled to lick his dry lips. “why am I here?” he asked again, since that was the one question the man hadn’t answered.
“You were given to me,” he replied, that rough fingertip drifting up his bare arm, over his chest and finally up his chin to his bottom lip. The touch began as a light caress, before turning into a probing push against his front teeth.
Instinctively, he opened his mouth, hoping to avoid any damage if the man became more insistent. Not understanding what was happening or why, Ayden’s only choice was to cling to the only information he had. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he had survival instincts that demanded he present himself as a person. To make sure his captor knew he was a living, breathing human, who felt and hurt and could be reasoned with. His best chance at escape or answers was to comply as much as he could bear.
The finger pushed gently into his mouth, tracing a scrape of a fingernail over his tongue, before turning and pressing the pad to the back of his front teeth. The nail cut into the roof of his mouth, but Ayden didn’t protest.
“I suppose it would be only fair to explain,” the man, Kinsey, said, all of a sudden.
His finger was removed from Ayden’s mouth, allowing him to close it. After that, there was silence for what felt like an hour, then the scrape of metal against concrete. At least, he thought that was what it might have been. And, if so, he had another piece of the puzzle. He could tell the difference and knew what metal against concrete sounded like. That was good. That was something solid to hold onto, reminding Ayden that he had a life, that he had memories. Even if he couldn’t remember them just yet.
“Ayden, listen closely, because I will only tell you this once,” Kinsey began, sounding calm and patient, for the moment. A creak was closely followed by a second clear of his throat. “Last night at midnight, you opened an app on your phone – Grindr – and accepted a date with a man called Leander. Unbeknownst to you, Leander is deep in the human trafficking world and was sent to fulfil an order for some prominent clients,” he revealed.
Ayden’s head spun, as he tried to imagine how bad his situation was, now that he knew he had been close to a human trafficker. Had he gone on that date? Was that why he was now here?
“To your credit, when he and his guards tried to subdue you, you fought back. Either by a stroke of luck or perhaps on purpose, you killed one of his guards,” Kinsey explained, a note of fondness and approval drifting into his tone. “You became a liability. You were too dangerous to be sold off as a slave and it would take too much effort to retrain you for prostitution. There was no question of letting you return to your life, so they brought you to me.”
“And what are you going to do to me?” he asked, not caring about anything beyond that, right now. He had a feeling he was in enough trouble – being stupid enough to meet a stranger, getting caught by slavers and killing a guy, whether on purpose or by accident.
Kinsey chuckled and the chair creaked again. “That is the question, isn’t it?” he replied, so calm that it made Ayden’s teeth itch. “I can sell you on to someone who will have no trouble taming you, regardless of how much you fight. Or I could keep you for my own interests. You’re attractive enough to make that prospect appealing. You’re also strong, capable of fighting off one of Leander’s guards and getting the best of him. So, that leaves me with a dilemma,” he explained, at length.
Ayden took a deep breath and let it out slowly, thinking over those words. He wasn’t sure where that left him; that voice calling him attractive made him feel uncomfortable and a little turned on, which only amped up his discomfort. But being considered strong and capable meant that he might be used for something else. Something much more physical than just a kept lover. He wasn’t sure whether to be relieved or terrified.
Tugging at the bindings to his wrist, he tested to see if he could feel whatever it was that was holding him down.
“I wouldn’t bother,” Kinsey said, sounding pretty bored now. “That’s cotton velvet holding you down; the strongest and most durable velvet there is. I didn’t want to risk burns from rope and handcuffs are just a little too passé. Anything else and you might risk doing more damage than I feel like repairing.” Feet shuffled for a moment, then something caressed his cheek.
“I think we’ll have to spend some time together, before I decide what to do with you. Figure out whether you’re as strong as your bindings,” he suggested, with a hint of humour. “If you’re soft on the inside, we’ll soon find out. You’ll only be good for one thing, if that’s the case. If not, we’ll see how your time here passes. You may end up being more use than I first thought,” he claimed, only for a scrape and a sigh to assault Ayden’s sensitive hearing.
The scraping continued haltingly, before hands cupped his face. “I’m going to take your blindfold off, but not the ties around your wrists or ankles. I’ll leave you down here for a while, with a light on, to let your eyes adjust,” Kinsey explained, as though he was doing Ayden a kindness.
“I have to use the bathroom,” he said, hoping that would let him get the restraints off for a minute.
Instead, a hand cupped his already half-hard dick and squeezed. “No, you don’t. If you lie again, I’ll untie you. And you won’t like what happens after that,” he warned, his voice low and more gritty than before. Regardless, he gave Ayden’s dick another squeeze and hummed. “I see you could be interesting in the bedroom. Is it the bondage or the vulnerability getting you hot?”
It was neither, but he wasn’t going to admit that. If he was honest, the whole situation was kind of hot. It brought a flash of what he hoped were dreams or thoughts, in which a stranger accosted him on the way home and they had outrageous sex in a semi-public place, only for it to end with a break in the ‘scene’ and the ‘stranger’ to be his boyfriend.
That wasn’t happening here. In fact, Ayden didn’t even know if he had a boyfriend. Probably not, if he’d been browsing Grindr, which he assumed had to be a dating app of some sort.
“No answer?” Kinsey chuckled and leaned down so close that Ayden could feel a hot breath on his face. “Well, we’ll soon loosen you up a little. Give it time, gorgeous. We’ll get to know each other real well, soon enough,” he promised, letting his fingers drift up the length of his dick and press ever so lightly on the sensitive head. He hummed again, in what Ayden guessed was approval or interest, before retracting his hand. In a flash of light, the velvet covering his eyes was removed and Ayden had to squeeze his eyes shut to protect them.
“I can control the dimmer switch from my phone, so I’ll turn it down now, then put it back up in an hour,” he explained, while Ayden waited for the spots to disappear from his sight. “I figure you’ll be fine to untie in about six hours. See you then, gorgeous.”
Footsteps announced his departure and, as ridiculous as it seemed, Ayden trusted him to stick to his word. He squinted as he peeked an eye open and found that the lights had been dimmed, as promised, allowing him to open his eyes fully. Above him, plastered to the ceiling, was a mirror.
So this was him.
Pretty tall, by the looks of it. His ankles hung over the end of the table, strapped down with a thick velvet band that he assumed he could probably remove if his hands were free. His feet were bare, but clean, so he didn’t think he’d been running anywhere; at least nowhere that got him muddy, wet or cut his feet. That was one thing.
He wore dark jeans, possibly black or navy, that looked comfortably worn but not ripped or dirty. Ayden counted it a bonus that he was even wearing clothes at all, after all the threats. He let his eyes rake up the image above him, to his well worn but smart t-shirt, with a band logo on it that he didn’t recognise. Not a surprise, since he couldn’t remember much. A silver buckle peeked out between his t-shirt and jeans, suggesting that his jeans needed a belt to keep them up. Did that mean they were well worn and loose or just a half size or size too small?
He seemed skinny and, as his eyes drifted up to his face, young! Ayden leaned forward and frowned at the face staring back at him. He looked really, really young. Maybe late teens, despite his belief that his deep voice meant he was older.
There were no lines or crows feet on his face, which was a little pale but contrasted nicely with his dark hair and almost black eyes. God, he looked like some well put together college student. Was he a campus hooker or something, to be so well dressed and hooking up with men on Grindr? Or was it more of a ‘I-have-a-date-and-need-to-look-good‘ kind of put together?
Would Kinsey know the truth? Would he know how old Ayden really was? He guessed his Grindr profile, if he had one, probably wasn’t that reliable. He might be one of those stupid people who put a younger or older age on the profile, to suit a certain type of guy, only to find that it worked against him in a situation like this. Was anything about his profile real? Would it tell him anything, even if he did get his hands on his phone?
Phone. Did he have a phone? Had he used the app on the computer? No, Kinsey had specifically said an app on his phone. So he did have a phone. Which meant he had a lifeline and names of people he could call, though he couldn’t remember them, if he could only get his hands on it.
Banging his head against, what he could now see was, the metal table he lay on, Ayden stared at his reflection. “What made us so desperate for sex that we got ourselves in this situation?” he asked, not expecting an answer.
“I believe your boyfriend just broke up with you,” Kinsey’s voice replied, out of nowhere.
“You’re still here?” he asked, angling his head as far as he could, to take in the room. His previous guess of concrete was right, as was the metal scraping. A metal foldaway chair was in the corner of the empty room. All that lay in here was the table he lay on, almost like a morgue slab. There was nothing else but the mirror in sight.
“Surveillance cameras in all rooms, with microphones.”
That wasn’t much of a surprise. It seemed like Kinsey was a big deal. He knew human traffickers, kept a basement room with concrete and a morgue slab table, with no visible door or window in sight.
Yeah, he was definitely in trouble.
About the Author
Elaine White is the author of multi-genre romance, covering everything from paranormal, crime and contemporary. Growing up in a small town and fighting cancer in her early teens taught her that life is short and dreams should be pursued. Living vicariously through her independent, and often hellion characters, she lives comfortably at home with a pack of wolves cleverly disguised as one standard poodle.
The Winner of two Watty Awards – Collector’s Dream (An Unpredictable Life) and Hidden Gem (Faithfully) – and an Honourable Mention in 2016’s Rainbow Awards (A Royal Craving) she has explored the worlds of multiple genres, but remains a romantic at heart. A self-professed geek, Elaine has fallen in love with reading and writing LGBT romance, offering diversity in both genre and character within her stories.
You can keep in touch with Elaine on the following sites: