Today, I’m welcoming Thianna Durston to the blog. I’ve been a guest of her Coming Soon Sunday feature with my last two releases, and I’m very pleased that I’m getting the chance to return the favour. The other reason I’m rather excited about having Thianna here is because the book she’s talking about, Making His Stand, has a BDSM setting. Books like that fascinate me, because I have absolutely no reference points for the lifestyle, so each book is a bit like cracking open a door into the unknown for me to peek through.
So, welcome Thianna… take it away!
If he makes a misstep, he could lose everything. If that happens, running may be his only recourse.
I write books in all sorts of genres: contemporary, paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy, metaphysical… one of my faves is BDSM. I think it’s most likely because I’ve been in the BDSM lifestyle for 20 years now. (Wow, that makes me sound old. Whenever can you date something in decades? Eek!) Not that I’m in the scene, because I hate the scene. It’s too ‘showy’ for me and a lot more about ‘one person’s rules, rules all.” That said, I do enjoy writing about characters who live the lifestyle outside the scene while still being involved in it to some extent.
Elan Isle is a private island where all the adults are kinky to some extent. They also get to run and enjoy a summer-long renaissance faire – which I’ll admit sounds fun but would probably tire me out. I’d prefer to stay to the less populous parts of the island. Ooh what a brainy dom could do with a leather belt, a pair of trees, and a few hours’ time? But wait, I digress….
In James & Alec, we see two ends of the spectrum. Alec has been in the lifestyle for almost as long as I have – though he’s far more happy in the scene – and James is a newbie. I hope you enjoy their tale…
Making His Stand
James Kaden-Scott’s method of coping with fear is escape and when his father tries to force him to do something that could kill him, he takes a job on Elan Isle as their accountant. While he knows the town is kinky, he has no idea what that means. Until the day he arrives.
Alec Rowland has been in the BDSM lifestyle for seventeen years and loves it. For the first time in his life, he craves having a sub of his own. From the moment he meets James, he feels a pull toward him. When James asks him to teach him about kink, he’s thrilled.
Between having his eyes opened to the kink world and trying to find his footing on Elan Isle, James finds himself torn between the old him and the new. When his worst fears come calling, history says to run, but for the first time in his life, he has something… someone to fight for. But those fears are strong, and some of them are real. If he makes a misstep, he could lose everything. If that happens, running may be his only recourse.
Excerpt from Making his Stand by Thianna Durston
ALEC LOOKED at the full pantry and rubbed his stomach. It seemed a bit incongruous that now that he had a full larder of food, he didn’t want to cook. Perhaps he’d go down to the cafeteria and see what Chef Michaelo had cooked up. If he was lucky, he’d get a few moments to ask if Slate wanted to hook up as well.
While his and Slate’s kinks didn’t align, they had still enjoyed each other over the winter as the only two single gay males there. There were two other gay males who had bought into Elan Isle, but as far as Alec knew, they were both Doms and neither had actually moved in yet. While Slate wouldn’t allow CBT or anal fisting—two of Alec’s favorite kinks—he loved a good rough fuck and Alec was happy to plow his ass.
Figuring he’d invite Slate over that night for some barbecue and a fuck off the back porch, Alec closed the door to his pantry and headed to put the barbecue together. He had just barely stepped out of the back door when he heard an anxious male voice call out, “Zippo! Zippo, come to daddy. Come on, Zippo. Please.”
Zippo sounded like a strange name for a child, but if one of the children had entered the adult zone, he or she needed to be rousted instantly. He glanced around and movement caught his eye. A tail waved from between the tall grasses between the trees. And while it was wagging, it wasn’t moving one way or another.
Alec strode over and looked down at the cutest dog he’d ever seen. Zippo, as he assumed the dog was, couldn’t be bigger than three or four pounds. He wagged up at Alec and lifted one of his paws as though it hurt. He wobbled and instantly put it back down. Wondering why he wobbled, Alec looked closer. The dog only had three full legs. “Hey, boy,” he crooned and Zippo wagged his tail again. Talk about a good natured dog. He slowly reached forward and patted Zippo’s head. When it appeared the little guy wasn’t in the mood to bite, he wrapped his hand around his chest and picked him up.
“Over here,” he called. “I think I have Zippo.”
“Zippo!” The word came right before a tall, thin man broke through the trees, his entire face one of anxiety and worry. When he spotted Alec with Zippo, relief entered the most gorgeous brown eyes Alec had ever seen. “Oh thank you,” the man gushed and he rushed forward and gingerly lifted the chihuahua out of his arms. “Are you okay?” he asked the little dog.
“He seems to be favoring his front right paw,” Alec offered. “Why don’t you have a seat on my back porch and you can check him out.”
Nodding almost absentmindedly, the stranger walked over to Alec’s porch and sat down. In his hand was a leash attached to a halter. The first thing he did before checking Zippo’s paw was attach the halter. He gingerly turned the dog upside down and looked at his paw. “Oh, he’s got a sticker of some sort. I’m sorry to bother you, but do you have any tweezers?” Once again, those stunning brown eyes looked up at him.
“Sure. Hold on and I’ll get them.” Alec went inside and up to the bathroom where he kept his first aid supplies. Who was the cutie? And was he a sub or a Dom? Kendrick hadn’t told him of another gay man moving in so there was every possibility he was straight. But a guy could hope. He opened the medicine cabinet and pulled out the tweezers and some hydrogen peroxide.
When he stepped out the door, Cute Guy was crooning to the little dog who was happily lolling in his arms. “Here we go.”
“Thanks.” Cute Guy took the tweezers and plucked a large sticker out of the poor dog’s paw. “He got his leg caught in the neck of the halter and he’s only got three good ones to begin with. So I unhooked it to get his leg free and he spotted some sort of critter and next thing I knew? He took off. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to find him. Are there any predatory animals that could harm him?” he added in a rush.
Alec sat down next to him and looked at the paw. There was a trickle of blood. “Here. Let me pour a little of this on there just in case.” He opened the peroxide bottle. While he poured a trickle of it over the cut, he said, “Are you new? I haven’t seen you before. I’m Alec Rowland. And I don’t think there are any dangerous animals here.”
“Oh, sorry. I always forget to introduce myself when I’m upset. I’m James. James Kaden-Scott.”
That was quite a name for the unassuming young man. Shaggy brown hair came to his shoulders and with the natural olive tone that adorned his skin, Alec assumed his family must have Greek or perhaps Turkish roots. “It’s nice to meet you, James. Which pod do you live in?”
James chuckled. “I don’t know. It’s the one right north of the office.”
“Oh.” Alec sat back once Zippo’s paw stopped foaming. “Let me get some water to rinse that off as you don’t want him licking it. He’ll puke all over the place.” If James was staying in the pod that came to mind, he was temporary. Shit. “So you aren’t a full-time Elan Township resident?” he asked as he came back out with a glass of water.
“Not yet,” James hedged. “I just took the job as the Elan Isle accountant. I kind of have to prove myself.”
That made Alec smile. “Kendrick’s a pretty good judge of character. If he hired you, I’m sure you’ll prove yourself just fine.” James glanced at him out of the corner of his eye and then looked away, a deep pink showing under that gorgeous skin. “Look. I’m going to ask something straight out. If you don’t feel like answering you don’t have to. I won’t be offended. Are you gay?”
James startled, his eyes widening. “How did you know?”
Relieved, Alec shook his head. “I wasn’t sure. I took a chance. I am too, if you’re wondering.”
With a soft smile, James shrugged. “I’ve never been out before. A couple times in college I went to gay bars, but was afraid my family would find out. Since I arrived here just a few hours ago, two people just knew. I’m trying to process that.”
“Most everyone here is pretty open. There are a couple of the workmen who seem the homophobic type, but I think they’re keeping that pretty much to themselves as Kendrick would send their asses packing if they made so much as a comment.” Alec leaned against one of the posts that ran along the porch and shrugged. “I think you’ll find that there’s acceptance here for who you are and not who you pretend to be.”
James turned Zippo over and held him as the dog cautiously put all three paws on the ground and then pulled to explore. He held the lead and let the little dog check out the wilds of Alec’s backyard. “I want to be out,” James said quietly. “I’ve wanted to be out for a long time. But I’m not sure how to be.”
“Then you’ve come to a great place. I’ll help you all I can and I’m sure Slate would love to help as well.”
“Slate?” James turned toward him. Was that disappointment in his eyes? “Your boyfriend?” There was definite disappointment in his voice. Time to disabuse him of any thought that Alec was taken. He was free, just like he’d always been.
“No. Not boyfriend. We’re not compatible. But he does make a mean cupcake. He’s a great guy. Fits the swishy stereotype—in fact he owns it. We’re both out and proud but we do it in two different ways. As a matter of fact, I was just about to go pay him a visit. Why don’t you come along? We can grab some dinner and you can meet him. I was planning on baptizing my barbecue… probably tomorrow,” he said, changing his plans. “Why don’t you and Zippo come up? I’ll invite Slate and you can just be yourself and ask whatever you like.”
A shy smile crossed James’s lips. It was a very nice look on him. “I’d like that. And you don’t mind Zippo coming along?”
“Definitely not. Something tells me Zippo will like barbecued steak.”
James laughed, a nice deep rumble that surprised Alec as his voice was more on the quiet side. “You can bet on that.”
With Zippo leading the way, they walked the gravel path down toward the cafeteria. When they reached the last pod, James turned toward his house. “I should probably put Zippo in my room. They don’t usually let dogs in food places.”
Alec looked toward the office just south of them. “I honestly don’t know. We’re not exactly like everyone else. I doubt a dog would be welcome in the kitchen just due to food laws, but in the dining room? I don’t see why not.” He winked. “After all, we have human puppies in there, so why not the canine variety.”
A blank expression crossed James’s face and his lips formed the words “Human puppies.” Damn. Perhaps James wasn’t kink aware at all.
About Thianna Durston
Thianna Durston is a writer by day and supernova by night. Or at least that’s what the faeries tell her. And who is she to deny those pesky cough lovely little creatures?
She lives in the Pacific Northwest, though her heart belongs elsewhere. In the meantime, until she can return to the place she calls home, she happily lives in a city that still thinks it’s a small town. Thankfully, it has given her muse lots of amusing places to start a story.
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