Adam Levine So, this image was part of my prompt for my Love is Always Write story. The other part was: “I’d love to hear the story about this man, and why he has so many tattoos. Are they from creating memories with his lover? Does he have a lover? I’d love to hear a bit about his story, and how he ended up posing for this picture. Who’s hands are hiding the rest of him from view?

(I’d love to see turtleshell bondage in this, but no pain, or a slave-master type relationship…maybe coworkers to friends to lovers or something like that?) ”

I took some liberties with the prompt, as one does, but I’m pretty pleased with how it came out. You have to join Goodreads and then the m/m group in order to read it, but it is free. To whet your appetite…

His name wasn’t Feral. It couldn’t be. That wasn’t the sort of name that you gave to a child. That was a name someone earned. How he’d earned it, Levi could well imagine.

Levi was a long way from his high rise, from his flat screen, from his douche nozzle friends and the Occupiers who seemed to think anyone gave a shit about them. Silly fools who still believed they lived in any kind of democracy. Perhaps Levi had sold his soul for his place in boardrooms and silk bedrooms, but while money couldn’t buy happiness, it could buy a pretty good facsimile.

Or so he’d thought.

The streets grew darker, seemed slicker in this part of town, as if rain came down and stuck in the gutters. Oil slick. Sweaty. Grime so porous that it never let go.

Levi watched skeletons of buildings, burned out hovels and boarded up future sites of something fabulous and expensive. But for now, the streets belonged to another kind of one percent. A lower percent that only seemed to exist at night.

Levi didn’t have to tell the driver where to go or where to stop. He never even told him to show up. The driver, and by extension, Feral, just knew when it was time for a visit.

Or maybe Feral was only controlling Levi and everyone else simply executed his orders.

Any and all could be true. It didn’t much matter.

The black car stopped. Out of habit, Levi offered the man a tip and received a sneer for his trouble.

Levi let himself out of the car and looked up at the old familiar building. In daylight it should’ve been green and red with strange markings that were Hindi? Kanji? Cyrillic? They could’ve been in Aramaic for all Levi knew.

Every night when he was summoned, he tried to catch the address, tried to recall the building. But he could never find it on his own.

Fat, warm droplets of rain pounded his head and spilled like runny eggs down his face and the back of his neck. He ran forward to the imposing red door. It opened for him as it always did, like it was left unlocked. On a street where even demons feared to tread, leaving an unlocked door was unthinkable. Yet once Levi was inside, he felt no fear.

There were no other residents in the building other than a few rats that clicked and skittered between the walls. Feral lived on the fifth floor regardless.

Patchouli wafted down the stairs as Levi walked up to meet the source. The scent reminded him of the first time he’d met Feral.

Levi was at one of those tiresome clubs that his friends always dragged him to. They well knew that he was gay and yet carried on as if he were supposed find something charming in their misogyny and mistreatment of women. In their minds being gay meant that he should hate women. There was a big difference between a lack of sexual interest and hate, but that was too fine a line for coked-up bond traders to make.

He went along for the free drinks, free drugs, and free blowjobs they all eventually wound up giving him. All-in-all it had seemed satisfying enough. Until that night.

In spite of his long, platinum blond hair and almost unnatural thinness and height, Feral somehow managed to occupy the shadows. Such ethereal beauty seemed more likely to be a ghost or a hallucination, but before long Feral focused on him.

His eyes were black like they were all pupil. He wore long, dark purple robes that night and smiled curiously when Levi sat beside him at the dark corner of the bar.

Somehow Feral’s low, whispery voice penetrated the shouted conversations and booming bass of the club. Smoke wreathed him in a halo. Even now Levi couldn’t remember agreeing to leave and yet he’d found himself here in this mysterious building, being led by the hand to the top floor.

The boards creaked under Levi’s feet, bringing him back to the present. All the doors in the building were closed save one. Light flickered, unsteady and warm.

Before him on the ground were a cushion, a small basket filled with untreated hemp rope, and a single candle.

Feral never gave orders. He never gave ultimatums. He simply laid a task out for Levi to complete.

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