To Seek and to Find
Tamryn Eradani © 2018
All Rights Reserved
“So,” Kyle says. He slinks into Jenny’s office, glad he wore his stretchy jeans when he pulls a chair out from the table and turns it around so he can straddle it. Even with the give in his jeans, they still pull tight across his quads.
Jenny doesn’t glance up from her computer.
“Remember that time I introduced you and Charlotte?” Kyle asks, undeterred by her obvious disinterest in him. He and Jenny have been best friends for what seems like forever, and they both work from their apartments—Jenny does photography, Kyle does graphic design—and if she didn’t want to be bothered, then she would’ve closed her office door.
As it is, she’d left it wide open, and Kyle is happy to take advantage.
At the mention of Charlotte’s name, Jenny looks up, a smile on her face. They’ve been together for five years, but her expression always softens whenever Charlotte’s mentioned as though they’ve only been dating for a few weeks. Kyle thinks it’s sickeningly cute. He hopes one day someone will look like that when his name is brought up.
Jenny registers the rest of what Kyle’s said and her smile is replaced with something more guarded, suspicious. “Last time you opened with that, we almost wound up in jail.”
“Exaggeration,” Kyle says.
“The time before that you made me go bungee jumping with you.”
“That was awesome.” There’s nothing like the rush of adrenaline as he plummeted toward the earth. Then, right when he thought his harness was going to fail and he would splat, it caught him with a jerk of reassurance. Kyle had loved it. Jenny…not so much.
“I’m afraid of heights.”
“Which meant you were incredibly brave on top of being a good friend.” Kyle needs to get to the point. He’s on a break from his work because all shades of red now look the same to him, but he has a project to finish before the day is over. “This is a favor that’ll benefit us both.”
Jenny continues to look skeptical.
“I want you tie me up,” he says.
Kyle and Jenny have been roommates, have worked together, and have scened together throughout their long and storied friendship. They’ve never slept together, because Kyle’s bisexual, and while Jenny enjoys men on an aesthetic basis, she prefers sex with women.
They frequent the same club, Enchanting Encounters. Jenny does rope demos and occasionally ties up a close friend, but she isn’t as involved with the casual scene as Kyle. She’s been pulling away since she met Charlotte, going mostly to keep Kyle company or catch up with their friends there.
Kyle, on the other hand, is still searching for someone who wants him for more than a couple of sessions a month. He wants a Dom who wants him back and so far, he hasn’t had any luck. He’s hoping his luck is about to change.
Jenny abandons even the pretense of working. “Is this about the new guy?”
He grins. “Who else?”
Kyle spends a lot of time at Enchanting Encounters. Working from home means he’s able to set his own schedule, which allows him to sleep in after a night of play or take an early afternoon if that’s what works better with his partner’s schedule.
Sometimes, he’ll go to the club to have a drink or chat with his friends, but more often he’s there with the intent to pick-up or because he’s part of a demo.
Last week, things got interesting, because there was a new guy.
The BDSM world is a small one, and Kyle has known most of the people at Enchanting Encounters for years now. Someone will bring a friend sometimes or someone will move into the area or move away, but it doesn’t happen often, which means it’s always exciting when there’s a new face.
Unfortunately, it also means there’s a lot of competition for the man’s attention, and Kyle needs a battle plan.
The first time Kyle saw New Guy it was a normal Friday night and he had a drink in hand as he did a sweep of the bar to see if anyone caught his eye. He hadn’t come in with a particular scene in mind. Some nights, that made it easier to find a partner while other nights it made it more difficult.
That Friday had been a difficult night. Since he wasn’t sure what he wanted, no one popped out at him. If he wanted a good spanking, then Renee was his go-to, but he wasn’t feeling it. Same with a bit of bondage and a pegging, which is what Alexa would give him. Dylan was strutting around in his full leather gear, but Kyle wasn’t in the mood to have to work and Dylan always makes him work.
The only person who drew his interest was TJ, Kyle’s favorite bartender, and while TJ flirts with anyone who seems receptive, he doesn’t have sex with club members. It’s a shame, but Kyle can respect his choice.
Kyle was considering a second drink when his eyes landed on someone at the far end of the bar. New Guy was, well, new, which immediately made him interesting. What kept his attention was the expression on the guy’s face as he talked with Lou.
The guy was completely captivated even though Kyle knows from personal experience that Lou isn’t the most interesting person to talk to. Lou’s gorgeous, especially when he has red welts against his almost inhumanly pale skin, but he’s not the most thrilling conversationalist.
Still, New Guy leaned in like nothing in the world could pull him away.
Part of the reason Kyle scenes is he loves having the full attention of another person on him. If New Guy can be that intense during a conversation, then Kyle wants to find out what he’s like in a scene.
He didn’t look away from Lou once, didn’t give Kyle a chance to catch his eye, and Kyle eventually had to move on. He didn’t go home with anyone Friday night. A couple of people approached him, but he turned them down. New Guy was the only person on his mind, and it wouldn’t be fair to anyone he scened with.
Anyway, Kyle didn’t have a chance to talk to New Guy on Friday night, but he’s determined to change that. The guy is attractive and he has the kind of focus Kyle craves.
“You’re not the only one asking about him,” Jenny says.
Kyle shrugs. “He’ll want me once he sees me.”
“Modest. So, what’s your big plan, do a bunch of demos until he wanders over to see one?”
That’s exactly his plan.
Jenny groans. “Are you serious?”
“It’s a good plan! I’m hot, I’m an incredible sub. And while I’m waiting for him to notice me, I’ll be doing scenes I like. Plus, Wanda’s been after me to do some more demos. I’m good for business.” Kyle doesn’t bother holding back his smirk.
Jenny reaches across her table to shove his face away. “You’re terrible.”
“But you’re going to help me.”
Jenny sighs. “Because you got me and Charlotte together? That won’t work as leverage forever.”
“You’re going to help me because you just got a new order of rope in, and you know I look gorgeous in lavender.”
“Ugh. Fine. I’ll do a demo with you. But you’ll let me tie you up for a photoshoot. Unpaid.”
Kyle doesn’t bother to hold back his grin as he says, “Deal.”
“I’ll hang you upside down,” Jenny threatens.
It’s an idle threat. She likes to suspend him, but usually not upside down.
“You’re the best,” Kyle tells her. He stands up, smacks a kiss to her cheek, and leaves to finish the rest of his project. He needs to be on top of his work this week or he won’t have the time to hang around the club and put Project: Notice Me into effect.
It takes two weeks for Kyle and Jenny to get around to their scene. It feels like an interminable wait to Kyle, but they’re both busy, and Jenny is a meticulous planner. She’s tying him up because they’re friends, but she’ll do it well because she takes pride in her work.
Kyle can’t fault her for a good work ethic even if patience isn’t one of his better qualities.
“I saw people are using bamboo poles in their bondage,” Jenny says when Kyle meets her at Enchanting Encounters.
Jenny’s in black leggings and an oversized white T-shirt which slips off one shoulder to show off her pink bra strap and the outward edges of one of her tattoos. When she does demos like this, she keeps her outfits plain so the focus is on her model and the art she creates rather than herself. If she was here to be social then she’d be wearing something more colorful and daring.
“You’re trying something new with an audience?”
It’s a surprise, because Jenny doesn’t like to be anything but her best in front of a crowd and doing something new always runs the risk of doing something wrong. Or, more likely in her case, doing something that isn’t perfectly pleasing to the eye.
Jenny is all about aesthetics.
“Of course not,” Jenny says. “I might try it for our private shoot, though.”
She raises her eyebrows at his easy acquiescence and pushes further. “Will you dye your hair?”
He’s never dyed his hair in his life, not when all his friends bleached theirs in high school and not when some of his fellow subs were experimenting with cotton candy pinks and cherry slushie reds to try to draw attention to them.
He’s kept his natural black hair his entire life and as much as he loves Jenny, he won’t alter it for her.
“Maybe a wig then,” Jenny says.
Kyle pouts as he slings an arm around her shoulders, only a bit of a reach since she forewent her heels tonight. “Aren’t I beautiful just the way I am?”
She smacks his ass. “Get ready and meet me in the show room when you’re done.”
The show room is exactly that, a big room which can be converted to show off different aspects of BDSM. It’s large enough to hold several demos at a time, but tonight Kyle and Jenny are the only show on the schedule.
The room is as familiar to him as the play rooms, though those are generally reserved for the scene partners or, in some cases, small invited parties. In the show room, anyone is invited to wander down from the bar and watch.
It’s like a karaoke night except with less public humiliation. Well, depending on the scene.
Kyle showered before heading over to the club, which means all he needs to do now is strip out of his jeans and T-shirt and put them in his locker. He puts his shoes on top of his folded clothes and stuffs his socks inside his shoes so he won’t lose them.
The only thing he leaves on is his briefs, plain and black so they won’t distract from Jenny’s rope work.
He checks himself in front of the mirror to make sure he looks presentable. He skims a hand down his chest and frowns as he pats his abs. He needs to make sure he goes to the gym three, if not four, times a week if he wants to keep his definition up. There are people out there to impress, and he needs to look his best.
Next, he runs his hands through his hair to mess it up. It’s long enough for someone to grip it if they work hard enough, but it isn’t floppy and it doesn’t fall into his eyes. He only tried that look briefly because it was a pain in the ass to have to constantly flip his hair out of his eyes.
Right now, his eyes are bright, excited for what’s about to happen, and his cheeks are already flushed.
Tonight will be a good night.
By the time he wanders into the show room, a crowd has gathered. Jenny and Kyle teaming up is enough to draw a good number of people, and for those who didn’t know this was happening tonight, word must have spread fast downstairs because he sees plenty of people with partially drunk drinks in hand as if they’d been pulled away from whatever’s going on upstairs.
Kyle grins at Renee, waves to Alexa, and winks at a cute guy he’s seen around, but hasn’t gotten to know yet. The guy blushes but he doesn’t break eye contact and his chest puffs up like he’s pleased Kyle’s noticed him.
Kyle allows his gaze to linger, because if one little wink is enough to pull this kind of reaction then he wants to see what he can do with a bit more effort.
“Quit flirting,” Jenny says, voice low enough just for Kyle’s ears. “You’re mine now.”
All the air whooshes out of Kyle’s body, and he has to lean into Jenny so she’ll steady him. It catches him off-guard every time his best friend makes the switch from easygoing friend to commanding Domme.
His body’s still loose, still relaxed, but he ducks his head in deference, his way of signaling he’s ready, and that she has all his focus until she ends the scene.
“Good,” she says, and the word stirs something warm in him. “Lie down.”
She motions to the padded platform that’s been set up at the bottom of the small well. Kyle walks down three stairs to reach it, the purpose being that people can gather around the edges of the stairs and look down to see everything Jenny’s doing without being in Jenny’s way or each other’s.
“On your back,” Jenny says.
Kyle lies down and blinks against the sharpness of the overhead lights.
“Can someone dim those?” Jenny asks, pointing to the lights. “Or turn them so they’re not right in his face?”
A moment later, the light fixtures tilt so Kyle can look up without being blinded. Jenny joins him in the well, and the platform puts him at waist level for her so she can work with ease.
She runs a hand through his hair, smiling as he pushes into the touch.
“You good?” she asks.
With someone else, he’d add a cheeky comment but not with Jenny. Jenny doesn’t like to work to bring a sub down. She’ll work for her sub, and Kyle will fight anyone who says otherwise, but she doesn’t want to struggle with them. She wants them to go down because they trust her.
Kyle enjoys a bit of a struggle. He likes to see where the limits are and what his Dom will do to enforce them and how much leeway he has. He likes to push so he can feel someone push back, but that’s for personal play.
When he’s with Jenny, Kyle’s on his very best behavior, because they’re friends and she deserves him at his best. Especially on a night like tonight when she’s doing him a favor. He won’t be difficult for her.
There’s still the itch under his skin that makes him want to twitch or squirm, to move out of the position she arranges him in so she’ll use a firmer hand. She guides him where she wants him to be. Her touch is too light for what he likes and doesn’t linger long enough, but he reminds himself he’ll have rope soon.
Rope to hold him still, to hold him down, to keep him where he needs to be.
It isn’t his favorite, but he can work with it.
Jenny flicks his forehead. “Am I boring you?” she asks, eyes slightly narrowed.
Realizing his thoughts have wandered, Kyle shakes his head and says, “Sorry.”
He refocuses as Jenny bends down to retrieve her spool of rope. It’s lavender, as promised, and he hears a few murmurs of approval in the crowd. Kyle allows the sound to drift through him and it warms him, settles him.
It’s no secret he enjoys an audience and scening with Jenny means she’ll transform him into a masterpiece, framed for everyone to stare at and admire.
Heat flashes through him and it makes him gasp before the feeling settles low in his belly. He wants. When he and Jenny scene in private, he rarely grows hard, but it’s different when they’re in public. He wants to reach down and adjust himself, but he knows better than to disturb the picture Jenny’s creating.
“That’s better,” Jenny murmurs. She runs her hand through his hair again and tilts his head back so she can look at him.
He opens himself up to her gaze so she can see every thought passing through his head. He wants her to know he’s enjoying this, because it means she’s doing a good job. It’s a subtle check-in, but it’s one they both need so she can begin.
When Jenny lifts the end of her rope, the room seems to draw a collective breath, waiting to see what she’ll do with it.
She begins with Kyle’s waist. Kyle can’t see what she’s doing—he keeps her eyes on her face not her hands—but he can feel it. She loops the rope around once then does it again. Her fingers brush against his skin. She does something different, but a brief look from Jenny makes him stop trying to puzzle it out.
It’s not his job to anticipate her design. It’s not his job to see it. His job is to be it. He trembles, a small movement no one will see. It’s one Jenny can feel, though, and she pauses long enough to drag her knuckles against the taut skin of his stomach.
“You’re good,” she promises. “I’ve got you.”
He dips his head in a barely perceptible nod and she continues to wind her rope. She secures him with her rope and her touch and her words. He finds comfort in allowing her to work her design, in handing full trust over to her.
He doesn’t know how long she works on the waist piece, but he knows when she finishes it because the rope winds higher. The waist piece feels like a corset, maybe not as tight, but still tight enough to know it’s there. It’s Jenny’s way of saying I was here. I’m still here, even as she moves to the next section.
It’s a struggle to keep his eyes open when all he wants to do is sink into the spell she’s weaving, but he promised her his complete focus.
She leans over him as she loops the rope around the back of his neck twice, like a halter. It brings her closer and, more importantly, makes her the only thing he can see. There are no distractions, just the glint as the light catches her piercings and her hands, deft as they work.
When she moves to his arms, she slows down, her touch more careful, because she knows he isn’t the biggest fan of restraints unless he’s being restrained by a person.
It’s been several years now, but early in his kink days, he had a partner secure him to the headboard and leave the room. Kyle hadn’t been able to follow him, hadn’t been able to free himself, and the panic rose sharp and quick, and he’s never been able to shake the experience.
There’s no panic now. Jenny won’t leave him alone. Even when she’s finished tying him up she’ll stay at his side.
Her next design brings her close to him again and he turns his head to press a kiss to the back of her hand. She pauses, a smile of her own flickering across her features, before she returns to work.
She finishes her design and steps back to look, but she keeps one hand on his shoulder, a point of contact for him to hold onto, a reminder that she isn’t leaving. Kyle drags his gaze up to meet hers and watches as she glances over what she’s done.
She nods to herself, pleased, and it makes Kyle puff up, proud, even though he didn’t do anything but lie here.
“Beautiful,” Jenny says, and he doesn’t know if she’s referring to him or her design or both. “Are you ready for people to come down?”
Kyle nods. This is his favorite part, when the audience is allowed down to see Jenny’s work up close. Some people only want to look, others want to ask Jenny questions, and some want to be closer to Kyle.
“Vets know the drill,” Jenny says, pitching her voice louder. Her hand stays on Kyle’s shoulder. “You can come down and look. You can even touch, but Kyle won’t talk to you or look at you. Any questions you have, you can ask me. Don’t be shy but don’t overstep.”
There’s a bit of a threat there at the end, and Kyle smiles at her standing guard over him. His protector.
He doesn’t look away from Jenny, even as he hears footsteps and the soft mutterings of the crowd. Jenny’s the one who did this to him, who drew everyone’s interest. Most of these people may be here for Kyle, but Kyle’s here for Jenny.
He shrugs his shoulder as best he can with his bindings, pushing into Jenny’s touch. She glances down at him, and he smiles. There’s nothing’s wrong; he just wants her to know he appreciates her. She shakes her head, but she also runs a hand through his hair so she can’t be too upset.
The first outside touch comes as a surprise, because Kyle had forgotten for a moment there were people besides him and Jenny in the room. Two fingers tap against his ankle, nowhere near any of the rope. It startles him, his body remaining still, his brain twitching instead.
The haze in his mind clears for a moment, the lights around him suddenly sharper as the world threatens to come back in full force. He doesn’t want it yet, but he doesn’t know how to make it stop.
Jenny runs her hand through his hair again, guiding him back down. She knows what he wants and knows how to make sure he has it. If she was anyone else, then he’d turn his head and try to press a kiss against her wrist in a thank-you. Maybe he’d even beg for a stronger hold in his hair.
But this is Jenny, his best friend, and they aren’t like that.
The hand on his ankle trails up to his knee.
Kyle’s legs aren’t bound, only his top half is, which means he could spread his legs if he wanted, and encourage the hand to reach higher.
“He’s good, isn’t he?” Jenny asks. “He doesn’t even need the rope to keep him still. He just looks too pretty in it for me not to tie him up.”
I’m good. Kyle’s restlessness settles into something more languid. I’m good and good means keeping still.
The hand climbs higher, anyway, until fingers play at the edge of his briefs. Everyone here knows better than to go farther. One of the rules when he plays with Jenny is that he can’t come during the scene—by her hands or anyone else’s.
Another set of hands find him, and Kyle tips his head back as a finger dips beneath the rope around his waist to test how tight it is. Or maybe they want to feel the indents of the rope on his skin. Jenny doesn’t tie him tight—this is decorative rather than restrictive—but there’s always a light impression of the rope when she unwinds him.
The marks never last long and in the moment, it disappoints him. Once he’s come back to himself, he doesn’t mind as much. As much as he loves Jenny, it isn’t her marks he wants to carry on him, soft impressions made by softer rope.
He longs for bruises that say I was here and maybe, one day, a collar which says He is mine.
But those are thoughts for another time, because Jenny can’t give him any of those things, and even if she could, he doesn’t want them from her.
More hands are on him now. Chilled fingers touch his shoulders, a callused finger taps his lip, the heel of someone’s hand drags against the strip of skin between the rope and his briefs.
No one but Jenny touches his hair.
There are voices, too. Pretty. Gorgeous. When Kyle’s face flushes he hears Responsive and He’s so good for you. He wants to close his eyes and sink into the praise. Instead, he wraps the words around him, allowing them to warm him from the inside out as he gazes up at Jenny.
She’s the one who made him pretty, the one who put him on display for everyone to see.
He wants to look around and see if New Guy is in the crowd. Is the strong hand on his thigh New Guy? Is the soft voice that praises Kyle’s coloring him? Is he hanging back and just watching, too shy to approach Kyle?
Does he see Kyle as he is—an offering?
Kyle draws in a sharp breath before he plummets—down, down, down. The hands on him burn through his skin but it isn’t enough. He wants them to press harder, to dig until he can really feel it. He wants to beg them to touch him until it’s too much and he begs them to stop.
“Hey there,” Jenny says. Her hand is firm in his hair and she gives his head a shake as if he’s an errant puppy.
Kyle opens his eyes to see her leaning over him. When did his eyes close? Jenny doesn’t like him to close his eyes. He didn’t listen. He isn’t good. He—
“Hey,” Jenny says, insistent this time. “I’ve got you. You went pretty deep there, huh?”
Kyle blinks a few times, his eyelids heavy and dragging down. He glances around and sees everyone’s cleared out so it’s only him and Jenny here.
“Fuck,” he says, and his voice sounds like someone rubbed his throat with sandpaper.
“Hell of a compliment.” She smiles as if she can soften the roiling emotions inside him. “Are you good for me to untie you?”
He’s glad he doesn’t have to do anything but stay still as she undoes her work. Normally, this is one of his favorite parts of the night, watching as each coil comes undone, as Jenny undoes each knot with practiced hands.
On most nights, it feels like he’s emerging from a cocoon.
Tonight, though, he feels as if she’s untethering him. Will he float away as soon as the rope is gone?
This has never happened to him with Jenny before.
This is what happens when you think about other people while in a scene.
Guilt threatens to sour his mood, but Jenny’s hands stay gentle as she finishes unwinding the rope and if she isn’t angry with him then he shouldn’t be angry with himself. Or should he?
Jenny helps him sit up, and she stands between his legs as she pulls a plain white T-shirt over his head. It’s from a ten-pack bought at the store and once he finds the arm holes, Jenny helps him with his jeans. Both the shirt and the jeans have seen enough washes to make them soft. It’s a comfortable outfit but it certainly isn’t something he’d wear when he’s trying to pick up.
Lastly, Jenny fastens a yellow bracelet around his wrist. He stares dumbly at it even though this is a standard part of his post-demo routine. The yellow tells the bartender he’s not allowed anything with alcohol and it tells the other people at the club that he’s off-limits for the rest of the night.
Usually, Kyle doesn’t mind. He’ll float during a demo, float after it, and soak up praise and appreciation while he nurses a cranberry juice. Then he’ll go home and jerk off to the memories of the night.
He already knows that won’t cut it tonight.
He glances down at his bracelet. When he was a dumbass teenager, he’d try to scrub the X off the back of his hand which warned people off buying him drinks. He knows better than to slip off the bracelet, though. Wanda would be pissed at him, maybe even ban him for a week, and he’d deserve it.
He scratches at the skin under the bracelet and glares at the bright yellow. The bracelet is a beacon to everyone in the club so they can conspire against him and make sure he doesn’t get what he wants.
What he needs.
“Come on,” Jenny says as she tugs Kyle off the bench. “Let’s get you a drink.”
It’s part of his routine.
Routine is good, he reminds himself. I know exactly what I can have tonight, and it will have to be enough.
“You gonna buy it for me?” Kyle asks. He clings to Jenny’s hand more than he holds it as she leads him to the bar. He flutters his eyelashes at her, over the top, and is rewarded when she laughs.
“Your charms don’t work on me.” She dumps him onto a seat and flags TJ over. “Can you get him a cranberry juice?”
Kyle turns his attention to TJ and gives him an all-too-obvious once-over. His curls look especially good tonight. “TJ can get me anything he wants.”
TJ laughs as Jenny gives him her order, and Kyle knows TJ doesn’t mean anything by it, but it feels like he’s laughing at Kyle. Because Jenny and TJ are both immune to hi