A Place of Safety ~ Chapter 2: Clubbing

Dominic hoped that the mistake over the Glasgow IT upgrade was far enough in the past for it not to count against him in his annual appraisal. Certainly Mr Merrow had not uttered one further word of reproach after that unpleasant interview in which Dominic’s failings had been clearly pointed out to him. There had been a number of additional meetings to discuss the project but they had all been conducted in a friendly way with Mr Merrow going so far as to praise the final proposals and to comment favourably on the speed with which Dominic had been able to revise the original model.

The appraisal interview was scheduled for eleven o’clock in the morning and Dominic found he couldn’t settle to the simplest task as he waited for his appointment. In the end, he found himself compulsively rereading the self assessment form, over which he had expended so much thought, convincing himself that his own judgements were seriously flawed. By the time he was summoned into Mr Merrow’s office he was certain that he would be told he’d failed to meet the objectives set for his first year in post.

He was expecting to face the boss across his desk but instead he was guided to the conference table and the two men sat down side by side. Mr Merrow opened the discussion by thanking him for his thoughtful contribution to the appraisal process and then took him through all he had achieved in his first year. There was plenty of praise for his technical skills, competence and ability to work unsupervised. His record keeping and report writing were judged to be flawless. Mr Merrow was particularly impressed by the speed with which Dominic had grasped the essentials of the job and by his vision for future IT provision within the company.  When it came to areas for improvement there wasn’t a great deal to discuss. However, Mr Merrow decided to deal as tactfully as possible with the one area in which he felt Dominic could make further progress.

“I would still like to see you make more of an effort to listen to others and cater for their needs,” he admonished.

“What do you mean?” asked Dominic, somewhat defensively.

“Well, let me give you an example. The other day I overheard you reacting very dismissively to a colleague who asked for help with a spreadsheet he was working on.”

Dominic responded with anger. “It’s not my job to teach people how to use the software. There are training courses for that. The company doesn’t pay me to…”

“The company pays you to act as a facilitator, Mr McAvinchey. Job descriptions prescribe only the basic minimum of the role. We expect employees here to help one another and not stand on their dignity.” Mr Merrow tempered the severity of his comments with a laugh. “I’m not paid to clear paper jams but that doesn’t mean that I don’t do my bit to wage war on the photocopier.”

Dominic had been about to defend his position more robustly but his argumentative words died on his lips as he remembered seeing Mr Merrow helping a flustered secretary to clear a paper jam and complete an urgent print run. His capitulation was marked by a blush which spread across his cheeks and down his neck.  He didn’t take correction well and he especially disliked feeling in the wrong with Mr Merrow.

“Sorry, sir,” he managed to say, hanging his head so that his thick, dark hair fell across his eyes. “I do take your point and I will try to be more aware of the needs of others, more willing to help out when I can.”

“Thank you, Dominic. How about we summarise that commitment by making team working one of your objectives for next year?”

Mr Merrow completed the appraiser’s section of the form, reading his comments aloud to Dominic as he worked. When he finished he signed and dated the document and invited Dominic to do the same. Then he picked up the phone to ask his secretary to come and make copies for each of them before the original was placed in Dominic’s file.

“How did it go?” enquired Sarah when Dominic returned from the boss’s office.

“I’m not sure,” said Dominic, sitting down heavily and dropping his paperwork on the desk.

“Well, did you get a pay rise?”

 “Yes, I did.”

“Congratulations. It definitely went all right, then.”

“Oh, and I got a small bonus as well.”

“Wow, that’s virtually unheard of in your first year.”

“Is it really? I didn’t think he was very pleased with me. He certainly had one or two things to say about… well, about my interpersonal skills, or rather my lack of them.” Dominic laughed to cover his embarrassment.

Sarah didn’t laugh. She looked hard at Dominic and spoke to him firmly. “It sounds to me as though you heard one negative comment and you’ve ignored all the good things that were mentioned. What did Mr Merrow say he was pleased with? Think about it and tell me.”

Dominic did think about it. He hadn’t really registered his boss’s words of praise at the time but he was able to recall most of the conversation verbatim and he answered Sarah’s question honestly. “He said my IT skills were exceptional and that I had a clear vision for future development within the company. He praised the accuracy of my budget forecasts and the precision of my report writing. He was pleased with my management of the upgrade to the Glasgow office, even if I did mess things up to start with. And he said I had to be more tolerant and helpful towards others. He said I wasn’t a team player and…”

“Whoa, stop right there. Did he actually say you weren’t a team player… in so many words?”

“Well, not exactly. But that’s what was implied; that’s what he meant.”

“Is that your copy of the performance appraisal form?” asked Sarah, pointing at the papers on Dominic’s desk.

Dominic nodded and picked up the pages, holding them protectively against his body.

“Right. You and I are going out to lunch to celebrate your pay rise and I’m going to go through that document with you line by line. Remember, I work in Human Resources. I know how to interpret appraisal records.”

Dominic looked a trifle uncertain and Sarah spoke more gently. “Look, Dominic, your appraisal is confidential. If you don’t want to show me, that’s fine. But if you’ve got a pay rise and a bonus, then you’ve had a good year. Trust me on that. In the present economic climate, even the directors have had to earn their pay rises this year. I just don’t think you realise how well you’ve done. You’re such a perfectionist that you ignore all your achievements and focus solely on the mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes but it takes an intelligent and talented man to learn from his mistakes and move on. I just want to help you understand what a good first impression you’ve made at Semdar. It’s your call but I’m treating you to lunch no matter what.”

“Thanks, Sarah. I don’t mind showing you my appraisal summary, really I don’t. You just took me by surprise a bit. I’m not a one for sharing things about myself. Perhaps I’d be a better team player if I could learn to share more with other people.”

“Well you can begin by sharing lunch with me. How about the sandwich bar? We haven’t really got time to go anywhere else now.”

The sandwich bar was just round the corner from the office and was popular at lunchtime with city workers, most of whom purchased a snack to take out. Dominic and Sarah found a tall table by the window and climbed up on stools to eat their generously filled sandwiches and drink a cup of coffee.

“You should have let me pay for lunch,” said Dominic. “I’m the one with the pay rise.”

“I told you; it’s my treat. But if you want to start spending your bonus, you can buy me dinner tomorrow night before the concert. We can eat at the Barbican.”

“Is there a decent restaurant there?”

“Well, there’s a posh restaurant upstairs but I like the cafeteria. The food’s good and you can sit outside. I love the water and the fountains and the view of St Giles’ Church.”

“We’ll go wherever you like. I’m so grateful to you for getting the tickets. I’ve been really looking forward to the concert. Do you know, I’ve never been to the Barbican. I’ve been a year in London and never got around to checking the programme or booking seats. I suppose it’s because I’ve had no one to go with and it’s not so much fun going out on your own.”

“Well, now you’ve got someone to go out with,” Sarah laughed.

Dominic suddenly had a dreadful thought. He’d assumed that the outing to the concert sprang from their shared love of music. Now he wondered whether Sarah viewed it as a date. He cursed his lack of social awareness. He was quite unable to judge whether she regarded him as a potential partner or just a congenial work colleague. He decided that he would have to make his situation clear to her in order to prevent embarrassment in the future. Luckily an opportunity arose more quickly than he expected when Sarah asked about his plans for that evening.

“Actually, I’ve got a date,” he replied. Sarah looked momentarily disconcerted and Dominic suspected that his fears were well founded. “I’m going out with Chris… you know, the caretaker in our building. He’s a nice guy. We’ve been out for a drink after work once or twice and tonight he’s taking me to a private club. It should be fun.”

If Sarah was disappointed, she hid it well. “Does Chris like classical music?” she asked. “I could have booked a ticket for him too.”

“No, it’s not his thing at all. I haven’t even told him we’re going to the concert tomorrow. He wouldn’t be interested.”

“So, perhaps, you and I could go to hear more music if you enjoy tomorrow’s concert,” she suggested, resigning herself to the thought that things would go no further with Dominic. How her friends would laugh if they knew!  She’d not only fallen for the new guy whom they would brand a computer geek, but he’d turned out to be gay. Wasn’t it always the way? If the nice ones weren’t already taken, then they were batting for the other side.

Dominic’s enthusiastic response broke through Sarah’s reverie. “Yes, please. It’s great to work with someone who enjoys the same music as me. I’m up for a concert whenever you want to go. I’ve been so looking forward to the Bach violin concertos.”

There was no doubting Dominic’s excitement and Sarah contented herself with the knowledge that she was providing a night out for a rather solitary young man. A solitary but good looking young man who was proving to be a very pleasant companion, now that they were getting to know one another better.

“Right,” she said briskly, pushing her empty plate to one side, along with her hopes for a romantic relationship, “let’s have a look at that paperwork of yours.”

Back at his desk for the afternoon, Dominic mentally reran his appraisal interview with the benefit of Sarah’s helpful interpretation of the summary document. He was finally beginning to realise that the meeting had gone very well and that Mr Merrow had been really pleased with him. He’d been too nervous at the time to absorb all the good things he’d been told but with hindsight he began to appreciate the time his boss had spent chatting to him, identifying all his achievements and suggesting helpful objectives for the following year. He glowed with pleasure at the thought of Mr Merrow’s approval.

Suddenly he couldn’t wait to tell his mother the good news and wished he could ring from the office, but he didn’t want to risk being overheard by colleagues. His mother would want to hear everything that Mr Merrow had said, including the details of his pay rise and bonus. He would have to wait until he had some privacy. Then he remembered that he could tell Chris that evening. It was good to have someone to tell, someone to share his news with; it made such a difference not having to go home and sit all alone in his flat.

Chris had told him to bring something informal to wear to the club that evening. It wasn’t the sort of place where you could turn up in a suit straight from the office. It had been on the tip of his tongue to ask what sort of a club they were going to but he decided that the information wouldn’t be of much help in deciding what to wear. He had so little experience of clubbing that he really had no idea what might be appropriate dress and his choices were very limited anyway. His casual wear consisted solely of jeans and tee shirts so he picked out a well cut pair of jeans and ironed his best, indeed his only, designer tee shirt. He brought this change of clothes into work folded neatly in a small rucksack.

When everyone had left the office at the end of the day Dominic went to the washroom and changed out of his office attire into his casual gear. Then, unsure what to do with his suit, shirt and tie he folded them as best he could and stuffed them into the rucksack which he slung over his shoulder. When Chris arrived in the office to collect his date he objected at once to the presence of luggage. “What’ve you got there, mate? You can’t go out carrying a rucksack.”

“I’ve got my suit in here. I need it for work in the morning.”

“Don’t be ridiculous. You can’t go around carrying that. Give it here; I’ll lock it in the caretaker’s store. You can come and collect it in the morning and change before you come up to the office.” Without waiting for a reply, Chris took the rucksack out of his hands and turned to take it to the storeroom. Dominic was left feeling rather foolish but in no position to argue. At least, he reflected, Chris had made no negative comment about his outfit which he judged must be acceptable, especially as Chris was wearing his customary black clothing, topped with a black leather jacket.  There was something about the way he dressed and the way he moved which always made him look powerful and authoritative. Dominic watched his retreating back admiringly, taking a moment to marvel that he was going out for the evening to a private club with such a good looking and masterful man. He wondered how the evening might end and took advantage of Chris’s brief absence to check that he’d slipped condoms into his back pocket.

The tube journey took them outside the central zone and when they emerged from the station Dominic was surprised to find they were in a rather run down residential suburb. It wasn’t the sort of area he was expecting but he followed Chris without comment until they came to a row of shops which included a newsagent’s, a launderette, a traditional barber’s shop and a bookmaker’s. He was surprised when Chris stopped between the barber’s shop and the bookmaker’s and rang the bell beside a rather scuffed black door which Dominic would not otherwise have noticed. Chris leaned close to the entry phone and, after he’d given his name, the door was buzzed open allowing him to lead his guest up a narrow flight of wooden steps.

Dominic followed his companion cautiously. The stairwell was narrow and poorly lit; there was no banister and there were some unpleasant stains on the walls. At the top of the stairs a second door carried a sign saying Taurus Club with a small illustration of a bull. Chris knocked before opening this door and walking straight in. A seated doorman greeted him by name and invited him to sign Dominic in as a guest. While Chris was completing the formalities, Dominic had time to gaze around and take stock of his surroundings.

The seedy entrance had given no clue to this clean and comfortable interior. They were standing in a large room which seemed to cover the entire first floor above the barber’s shop. The front windows were blacked out and most of the room was bathed in rather subdued electric lighting. Along one wall stood a well stocked bar where most of the men were gathered, but there were also small tables where some couples were seated to talk in greater privacy. There was a general atmosphere of conviviality in the club and Dominic began to relax despite his amazement at the way some of the men were dressed.

Although inexperienced, Dominic wasn’t totally naive. The preponderance of leather, the straps and chains enveloping naked torsos, to say nothing of the collars being worn by some of the clientele left him in no doubt about the nature of the club. The only real question in his mind was how they had managed to travel to the venue dressed so conspicuously but it wasn’t a question he was minded to ask of the men Chris introduced to him. They all proved friendly and welcoming, asking Dominic a series of unintrusive questions which got him talking, although he never ventured a step from his companion’s side.

As the evening wore on, the club members began to drift away from the bar to take seats around the tables. Chris steered Dominic in the direction of an empty table quite close to a small raised stage which was suddenly bathed in light as a series of spotlights were turned on.  Dominic was initially expecting a cabaret act but he rapidly reassessed the situation when he looked more closely at the equipment at the back of the stage. He could see a padded bench with a number of canes and whips lying on top of it and, against the wall, a wooden St Andrew’s cross with manacles hanging loosely from all four arms. As he began to speculate about the nature of the entertainment in store, one of the collared subs was led to the cross and his wrists and ankles were carefully secured in the manacles by two of the men Dominic had been conversing with earlier.

The chatter in the club only died down when a third man in tight leather trousers and an upper body harness strode confidently onto the stage carrying a suede flogger. He walked up behind the shackled figure and ran his fingers through the young man’s hair, brushing back the strands which had fallen across his sweaty face. Then he ran a hand slowly across the young man’s naked back, all the while whispering to him words of endearment or encouragement. Dominic couldn’t hear what was said but the tenor of the monologue was unmistakable as the young man responded with a look of total trust. As the dom ran his fingers possessively under the exposed black waistband bearing the Calvin Klein legend, he leaned closer to ask one final question which elicited a confident nod. He then stepped back and shook out the strands of the flogger before swinging it expertly to connect squarely with the young man’s shoulder blades.

Dominic had watched the scene unfold with rapt attention, aware of nothing but the young man being immobilised before him. As the manacles closed around slender wrists and ankles, Dominic’s breathing quickened and he was conscious of his stomach muscles contracting with a mixture of apprehension and excitement. He avidly watched the sub’s slight movement as he leaned into the reassuring hand before bracing himself for the flogging. The caresses followed by lashes both confused and aroused Dominic and, as the young man writhed in his manacles, Dominic focused on his reactions with an intensity which made him feel totally at one with the punished sub.

Chris spared a passing glance for the castigation taking place on the stage in front of him.  The suede strands of the flogger were falling lightly across the young man’s back, barely marking him. His writhing and groaning were hardly justified in view of the very slight pinkness developing across his shoulders. The evening’s entertainment on stage was clearly going to be lightweight but Chris’s interest lay elsewhere. All his attention was focused on Dominic, allowing none of the young man’s reactions to escape his notice.  He saw how Dominic was totally caught up in the scene being enacted in front of him. He noted the quickened breathing, the pulse which jumped in Dominic’s neck and the slight flush which spread across his cheeks. Chris decided that the time was right to take advantage of Dominic’s obvious excitement. When the flogging ended and the sub was released from his manacles, Chris drew Dominic’s attention to the time.

“I’d better get going then,” Dominic responded at once. “I don’t want to miss my last train home.”

“You don’t want to be going back to Charing Cross at this hour. It’s much easier to get to my house from here. Come and spend the night with me and we can go into the office together in the morning.”

Offered the chance to go home with Chris, Dominic began to have second thoughts, but the prospect of finding his way back to Charing Cross on his own late at night was equally unnerving. He toyed with the idea of asking Chris to escort him back to the station but quickly dismissed the notion as unreasonable.

While Dominic was still weighing up his options, Chris interrupted his thoughts with a decisive instruction. “Come on. We’re going back to my place. The bed’s made up in the guest bedroom and I’ve got a spare toothbrush and razor. You’ll have a comfortable night and a good breakfast. I’m not taking no for an answer.”

Put like that Dominic found his resistance crumbling, although mention of the guest bedroom also played a part in removing his doubts. Given that he had half hoped, half expected, the evening to end in sex, he berated himself for his timidity. On the other hand, he reasoned, things might take a romantic turn when they got to Chris’s house and he might still end up in Chris’s bed. Dominic resolved to relax, go with the flow, and enjoy whatever the rest of the evening had in store for him.

When they reached Chris’s house, they went straight into the kitchen and Chris drew out a chair from the pine table and invited Dominic to sit down while he made a pot of coffee. Dominic couldn’t help but notice when Chris opened the fridge that it was as poorly stocked as his own, containing very little beyond a carton of milk. “Do you cook much for yourself?” he asked, curious as to whether all single men were as careless of domestic niceties as he was himself.

“If you were to check my wheelie bin you’d find it full of take away packaging,” Chris admitted with a laugh. “It’s not easy to shop at the supermarket when you’re travelling home from work on the tube. And I usually get back pretty late.”

“Don’t you ever drive into work? It would be a fast journey home at night?”

“What? In my Z4? You must be joking. The caretaker doesn’t get a space in the underground car park and I’m not leaving that baby on the street. Would you like to see her?”

Without waiting for an answer Chris unlocked the kitchen door which led straight into the garage and turned on the light to reveal a gleaming black roadster with its hardtop retracted. The elongated bonnet and the open top gave it the classic sports car look and, despite his professed ignorance of cars, Dominic was drawn to the Z4, admiring its aerodynamic lines. “Oh, it’s beautiful,” he breathed. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen one up close before.”

Chris opened the driver’s door. “Get in,” he invited. “Take an even closer look.”

Dominic had to crouch down to get into the low slung vehicle but, once seated, he had more than enough room to stretch his long legs and adjust to the driving position which was much less upright than he was used to. He ran his hands experimentally round the small steering wheel and tried to imagine what it would be like to drive this elegant and powerful car on the open road. Chris must have read his mind. “One day I might let you take her for a spin,” he offered.

Dominic didn’t miss the implication that Chris was expecting the two of them to be together in the future.  That pleased him even more than the prospect of driving the Z4. “I don’t know whether I’d be brave enough to give it a go,” he confessed. “I’d be frightened of crashing. Just how powerful is this car?”

“Well, it has a 3 litre engine. Does nought to sixty in 4.8 seconds. I told you; it goes like shit off a stick.”

“You did, but I wasn’t sure whether or not you were kidding me. I certainly wasn’t expecting you to have a car like this.”

“Bit out of my class, eh?”

“No… no… I didn’t mean that. It’s just… Well, they’re so expensive, even second hand and this one hasn’t got a high mileage.”

“It’s my baby, the ultimate boy’s toy. What else would I spend my money on? And I’m just as happy polishing it as I am driving it which helps to keep the mileage down.”

“So, your way of relaxing is to spend time in the garage polishing your car,” Dominic laughed.

“Oh, you’ve no idea of the fun I have in this garage,” replied Chris, his eyes glittering with suppressed excitement. “If you like this car, wait until you see my playroom.” He opened the driver’s door and waited for Dominic to get out, helping him upright with a supporting hand under his elbow. He then guided Dominic to the back of the garage where an open tread staircase led up to a small landing with a single door leading off it. Pausing to pick up a key which hung out of sight on a hook behind one of the lower treads, Chris ascended the stairs, closely followed by Dominic.

“I added an extra room in the roof of the garage,” Chris explained as he unlocked the door and switched on the light to reveal a long narrow room with sloping ceilings on either side. “There was a lot of wasted space up here and the sloping roof was no problem for what I had in mind.”

There was no need for Chris to elaborate any further; Dominic took in at one glance the purpose of this upper room. Hanging from a series of hooks along one of the low walls was a selection of whips, canes, straps and floggers. Pushed up against the opposite wall was a padded spanking bench and in the centre of the room stood a long, narrow table with restraints dangling from its underside. However, Dominic’s gaze was drawn to the end of the room where a St Andrew’s Cross was fixed against the white painted wall which rose to the full height of the gable. He swallowed convulsively, not sure whether the sudden pounding of his heart was due to excitement or fear.

“You enjoyed the show at the club, didn’t you?” Chris asked, knowingly, as he ushered Dominic into his playroom. “Want to give it a try yourself?”

“No… I mean yes… the show was… er… interesting,” Dominic stuttered. “But I don’t know that I want to be on the receiving end myself.”

“Why not? Don’t tell me you weren’t turned on by the idea of being restrained. I was watching you and you can’t fool me. Come on, boy, live a little. I’m offering you the chance to enact your ultimate fantasy.” Chris propelled Dominic forward with a firm hand planted in the small of his back.

“Wait. No. I’m not sure.” Dominic came to a halt and Chris didn’t force him onward.

“What are you not sure about? Don’t you trust me?”

“I do. I do trust you but.. but I don’t want to be hurt.”

“I won’t hurt you. It’s just a game, a bit of fun. You need to relax, enjoy yourself, learn to engage in a bit of role play.”

Dominic was still hesitant so Chris went over to the hooks on the wall and selected a lightweight flogger with suede whipping tails. He pressed it into Dominic’s unwilling hand. “Feel this,” he urged. “It’s as light as a feather, designed to build sensation without causing discomfort. That’s all I’ll use on you.  If you don’t like it I’ll stop at once.” When Dominic still looked unconvinced, Chris played his trump card. “Look,” he offered, “if you just want to try out the restraints we won’t even use the flogger. You can strip to the waist and I’ll shackle your wrists and ankles to the frame. I think you’ll enjoy being bound and helpless. The idea of putting yourself at my mercy is a turn on for you, I know it is.”

Dominic didn’t attempt to deny it. He was in the process of discovering things about himself he’d hardly dared to acknowledge, secret desires which he found profoundly shameful. It was Chris’s masterful manner which had attracted him in the first place and the idea of being bound and subject to Chris’s will was arousing to the point of embarrassment. Too often Dominic had hung back for fear of making a fool of himself and missed out on the opportunities which others seized without a second thought. The idea of engaging in role play filled him with discomfiture, reawakening all the mortification of school drama lessons. But, he reasoned, there was no one there to laugh at his ham acting, it was late at night and he’d had a fair bit to drink. Chris was offering him an opportunity which might never come his way again. If he baulked at it he might spend the rest of his life regretting his failure to respond to the invitation.

“Okay, I’ll do it,” he announced suddenly, reaching to pull his tee shirt over his head in order to commit fully to his decision.

“Good boy,” said Chris approvingly, pulling Dominic towards him to take over the task of stripping the young man to the waist. With Dominic’s face hidden for a moment in his tee shirt, Chris permitted himself the pleasure of a delighted grin at the ease with which he had manoeuvred his companion into accepting restraints. He guided Dominic towards the wooden frame and lifted one wrist towards the leather strap which was attached by sturdy chains to the cross bar. As he buckled the strap firmly round Dominic’s wrist he was conscious of the young man’s trembling and his irregular breathing. “You’re alright, boy, calm down, you’re doing well,” he quietly reassured the young novice. As he walked behind Dominic, Chris ran a comforting hand across his naked back before lifting his other arm to secure it with the wrist strap, effectively immobilising his upper body.

Chris now felt confident about encircling Dominic’s waist with his arms and leaning closely against his back. Dominic shivered as he felt Chris’s warm breath on his cheek and Chris’s erection pressing against his bottom through the layers of fabric. He wondered if this was the prelude to sex and tried to relax against the warm body pressed against his but the older man slid one foot between Dominic’s legs and forced his feet apart. Unsure what was happening at first, Dominic did his best to cooperate when he finally realised Chris’s purpose and placed his feet close to the base of the cross frame. Chris then bent down to buckle each of the ankle straps, checking that they weren’t too tight by running a finger between the leather and Dominic’s flesh.

Then there was silence which Dominic found unnerving and he realised he was bracing himself for the first stroke of the flogger. When it wasn’t forthcoming he turned back to look questioningly at Chris who was standing behind him, an odd and rather alarming expression on his face.

“What’s happening?” Dominic enquired. “What are you going to do?”

“I don’t remember giving you permission to speak,” came the cold reply. “Turn round and face the wall. You can wait there and give some thought to what you’ve done to deserve a flogging. I’ll deal with you when I’m good and ready.” With that Chris turned and walked to the other end of the room. Dominic heard the door closing, the key turning in the lock and the sound of footsteps descending the staircase to the garage. He tugged at his wrist straps and made the chains rattle but there was insufficient slack for him to shift his position or escape his bonds.

Tiredness made it difficult for Dominic to think clearly. He was still aroused by the idea of being bound and he relished the physical sensation of being restrained.  On the other hand, he couldn’t help feeling a little anxious about being left alone in such a vulnerable position. He hoped Chris wouldn’t leave him for too long and he resolved to forgo the flogging when the older man returned. He assumed Chris’s uncharacteristic behaviour was all part of the role play but he found it disturbing, all the same. He felt confused, uncertain, uncomfortable and, above all, ready for bed.

His discomfort increased as time wore on. Dominic had no way of estimating how long he’d been left shackled to the St Andrew’s Cross but his limbs ached from immobility and his bladder was getting full to bursting. He’d been drinking beer throughout the evening and he reckoned that it had been at least a couple of hours since he’d last relieved himself. When he could stand the pain no longer he shouted hesitantly for Chris, feeling rather stupid that he was having to ask to go to the toilet. When his request produced no result he shouted louder and then louder, with increasing urgency and desperation. Gradually it was borne in on him that Chris wasn’t going to answer his call. Either he was deliberately ignoring it or he’d gone out, despite the lateness of the hour.

Dominic groaned out loud and shifted his weight from foot to foot, trying anything to distract himself from the pressure building in his groin. He got to the point of wondering whether his body would just give up the struggle and void itself but it seemed he still had control over his straining sphincter and would have to make a positive decision to relax in order to empty his bladder. But even having decided that he had no choice but to wet himself, his ingrained continence made it almost impossible for him urinate while clothed. It took a mighty act of will for him to release the first drops of urine into his underwear but then the relief was so intense that the dribble developed into a powerful flow which soon soaked through his underwear, ran first down one leg of his jeans and then the other before dripping onto his socks and trainers.

The relief was monumental but short lived and Dominic was soon overwhelmed by shame and physical discomfort as his piss cooled and the acrid smell filled his nostrils. Whereas he had been desperate for Chris to return, now he was deeply embarrassed and dreaded facing his host, having committed such an offensive act on his first visit to the house.  Yet there seemed a dreadful inevitability about Chris’s return. It was almost as though he had been waiting for Dominic to lose control and it was only when the young man was thoroughly humiliated that his step sounded on the wooden staircase. When the door opened Dominic’s face suffused with embarrassment and he began to offer a stumbling apology which was cut short when Chris crossed the room, put a hand under his chin and jerked his head round to bring them face to face.

“You filthy, stinking little pig,” he said in a tone which startled and terrified Dominic. “How dare you make a mess in my playroom? You need to be taught a lesson in control.”

Dominic looked round desperately to see where Chris had put the flogger but he seemed to be carrying something else in his hand, something rigid and metallic. Its cold touch slid slowly across Dominic’s chest, coming to rest against his nipple. Out of the corner of his eye he detected a small spark before his body arched in its shackles in convulsive response to the voltage passing between the two metal tips of a cattle prod.