“Shut up and enjoy yourself,” Rick said, his gray gaze hardening with an air of authority as we walked through the doors of eXposed.
The sound of heavy, thumping music and the sight of writhing bodies had me doing a double take. Where the fuck are we? As we stepped farther into the club, the heavy electronic music was replaced by the sounds of leather striking flesh. Pleasure-filled moans and groans filtered around me and set my teeth on edge. I should have asked more questions before blindly letting Rick talk me into this.
Only a few hours ago, I’d been sitting at home watching some rerun of a second-rate show I didn’t much care for. I’d become a homebody, not really caring if I got out and did anything anymore. However, when the phone call came in, Rick piqued my curiosity. In those moments, listening to him spin a debauchery-filled evening of fun, I wanted to go. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. I wanted to try something different.
But this wasn’t just different. This was a whole other stratosphere of unusual. Strobe lights bounced off of blacked-out windows, and people crammed the three bars that lined different walls of this club, which was broken down into sections. I should have known better the minute Rick showed up at my apartment dressed like Mad Max. He wore something he called a rugby half-harness and leather pants, along with a long black leather trench coat. I should have said no. I should have just closed the door and forgotten he’d even called. However, I felt compelled to follow him.
Excitement should have been pulsing through my veins standing in the middle of all this unrest, yet I felt vulnerable. Standing in the middle of the club, completely dressed, I was naked. Exposed to the manner in which these people lived and played. Patrons mingled in all states of dress. Some were unabashedly naked while others were covered in head-to-toe leather, including their heads. That can’t be comfortable.
Yet, what bothered me more was the fact that my best friend seemed unfazed by what he saw. And there was the little fact that he also appeared to fit in. How did I miss this? In the ten years I’d known him, he never divulged his predilection for depravity to me.
“What is this place, Rick?” I asked while making our way over to the bar. “You said we were going to a club. This isn’t a club, man. This is…” I glanced around, trying to find the right words to explain what I saw. “Sex.”
“You’re such a dud, Gavin.” He grinned, his gray eyes filled with mirth. “Loosen up. It’s not like you don’t have any say about what happens to you here. In fact, you have all the say.” Patting my shoulder, he lifted his other hand, signaling the bartender. “What do you want to drink?”
“Whiskey. Tons of it.”
“Sorry, buddy, no can do. If you happen to find someone you want to spend the evening with, you have to be sober enough to consent. You’re only allowed two drinks.”
Pfft, like that was going to happen. I didn’t partake or fantasize about having public sex or walking around naked with my junk swinging in the wind. Moreover, I never desired to see the goings on inside a sex club, which was what I assumed the place was—even if it did get my blood racing and made my groin tighten. It was the only logical explanation as to why there were scantily clad men parading around with no clothes on. Or those tied to wooden contraptions shouting through the pain of being whipped. Nope, this was definitely not my scene.
Yet, I was intrigued.
Deep in my subconscious, some hidden part of me told me to stay, to explore, and let go. From the corner of my eye, I watched a tall, muscular bartender make his way over to where we stood. Long raven hair fell over his shoulders, and his amber eyes gazed at me with a deep curiosity.
My mouth went dry.
My heart hammered.
With a square jaw, almond-shaped eyes, and full lips meant to be nibbled on, the man was beautiful, and completely out of my league. My gaze flickered back to his as he leaned against the bar and smirked. “What can I get you?” His voice was liquid velvet. Smooth and deep, it vibrated through my body.
“Top shelf whiskey and a Jack and Coke,” Rick answered for us. The bartender stood there a moment more, staring at me before turning away. “I think you have an admirer,” Rick said, elbowing me. “His name is Patrick. He’s a new Dom in the club, and he’s single.”
Picking up my drink when Patrick, the bartender, set it down in front of me, I smiled. “Thank you.” Placing the tumbler to my lips, the amber liquid filled my mouth. The whiskey was smooth, bold, and burned the whole way down. As the liquid hit my jittery stomach, warmth bloomed, taking root deep within my gut. Couple more of those and I’d be feeling really good. Too bad I could only have two.
“Remember, when looking for a Top, it’s okay to negotiate. Communication is the key. Once you do that, having fun is the easy part.” Rick grinned, squeezing the back of my neck. “And don’t worry, there is security surrounding this place. Nothing bad will happen to you.”
Because that would make me feel better how? Had people actually gotten hurt while, “playing?” God, I wanted to believe Rick was telling the truth. “Yeah, sure.”
“Are you planning on playing?” I snapped my attention to Patrick and opened my mouth then closed it just as quickly.
“He is, Patrick. He’s just new and a little shy,” my best friend answered, not giving me a chance to speak for myself. “He needs a strong hand and someone who isn’t afraid to show him the ropes.”
“Hmm…” Crossing his arms over his chest, Patrick bit his lip.