It was entirely possible that bringing Reid to a wedding slash collaring ceremony might not have been the best idea.
However, in my defense, he’d asked me about it when I’d been exhausted after pulling a double shift, and all I’d wanted was to play with my toys. He’d been trying to be nice and had made me dinner with wine and everything, and my guilt had made me answer honestly when he’d asked what I had planned for the week.
“Nolan, a very interesting…gentleman just asked me what I thought about public displays of punishments in control-based relationships.” Reid’s eyes were just a little too wide as he handed me my drink.
Clearly, sending him to the reception table by himself hadn’t been the best idea. I was on a winning streak this week. “Was he taking a survey or coming on to you?”
As I sipped what seemed to be punch someone had spiked, Reid froze and cocked his head. “I don’t know.”
“Then it was a survey. It’s obvious when they’re interested.” And no matter how good-looking Reid was, he didn’t radiate an invitation to flirt with him.
Unlike the human groom, Trip.
He could breathe and make half the people around him blush.
I knew that firsthand.
I thought Reid would be happy with my answer, but he actually frowned. “Wait. I’m worth flirting with.”
How was I supposed to answer that?
“Well, they can kind of tell when you’re interested, and I’m betting you weren’t radiating interest.” That didn’t help.
“I’m not interested in anyone else.”
That was what he wanted to add but didn’t.
To say our conversation about my needs hadn’t gone over well would be an understatement. I’d gotten a lot of long stares and icy sighs—but not much in the way of real communication. “Finding someone attractive or even flirting a bit doesn’t have to lead to anything. It can just be fun.”
And make you so horny you couldn’t function…but Reid never understood the joy of edging or denial or anything remotely close to BDSM.
Reid nodded, taking a sip of his drink, probably trying to decide how to respond as he drank the sweet liquid that I was guessing was deceptively good. It was probably going to pack a punch. “I’ve never seen flirting that way. It seems like it should lead to something, but I understand that’s not how you see it.”
That’d been another hard part of the conversation for Reid. The idea that I could enjoy watching Trip and Maverick flirt and do crazy stuff with each other, even while it made me nervous and embarrassed, was completely foreign to him.
I’d honestly expected him to break up with me before we’d even gotten halfway through my explanation, but he’d stuck it out. At the end, he’d just asked a few questions and then said that he was sure we could make everything work.
That made one of us.
But I’d always been the more nervous one between the two of us, so maybe that shouldn’t have surprised me. His confidence was one of the things that drew me to him to begin with, but sometimes it was hard to relate to. How were we going to stay together if he couldn’t even understand flirting just to get turned on?
I still thought he’d be a natural Dom if he let himself relax and explore it, but even hinting at that had seemed to rock him to his core. Which had been an odd reaction, really, but I wasn’t going to press him on it just yet.
I’d do it eventually, but we had bigger problems to tackle first…like how he was going to react when I found my Daddy.
Oddly enough, once he’d realized I wanted to find a Daddy who wasn’t human, he’d been more accepting of the idea. But the fact that we hadn’t made love or even fooled around since the big conversation made me nervous.
It would’ve been easier if I’d known why. However, that would’ve involved more questions than I was ready to ask at that point—because he might actually answer them. Avoiding bad news was easier than confronting it head on, so I was working up the nerve to tackle that aspect at a later date.
A lot later.
There were too many reasons why he could’ve pulled away physically, and I wasn’t sure which. My best guesses were that either knowing I was little made him see me differently or he was simply worried about what would happen going forward and needed some space.
Either way, I was confused and uncomfortable, but I didn’t know how to fix things between us. Going backward wasn’t an option, but would finding my Daddy fix my relationship with Reid? Every time I thought about the stalemate we seemed to be in, I went around in circles between breaking up and jumping in headfirst.
And since breaking up would suck—well, it looked like I needed to find a Daddy.
But how would Reid see it?
That question brought me back to our original conversation. Flirting.
“I like how you see things.” Most of the time. “I like that you’re very focused on our relationship. Your seriousness is something that drew me to you.”
Part of him seemed to like my response because I saw pleasure flash through his eyes, but then he went back to studying me. “But I’m not serious enough in the way you need.”
That hadn’t exactly been what I was aiming for, but before I could point that out, I noticed Maverick and someone who seemed to be a friend of his walking toward us. When it became clear I was their target, I looked around, searching unsuccessfully for Trip.
He wouldn’t be a lot of help reining Maverick in, but at least together they were predictable. I had no idea what Maverick would say on his own.
The way Reid stiffened said he was thinking something similar.
“Nolan.” Maverick walked up to us, looking sexy in his outfit with his tentacles beautifully displayed, but I did my best to pretend not to notice either of the guys in that way.
That definitely wouldn’t help my problems with Reid.
Before I could find the words to greet him, he continued. “Humans seem to appreciate structured introductions at social gatherings, so I would like to make known to you a former colleague with the human name Edward.”
Maverick seemed to be taking the situation seriously, so I found myself studying his friend Edward in a different light, wondering why he’d wanted an introduction. There was no way this was casual.
Edward’s coloring was similar to Maverick’s, but something about the stern expression on his face and the way he was watching me like I was his had my brain skidding to a halt. I didn’t even notice that he’d extended one tentacle out to shake my hand until Reid nudged me with his shoulder.
If anyone asked why I was so distracted, I was going to blame it on the punch.
Doing my best to look more normal, I mirrored Edward and wrapped my hand around his limb. “It’s nice to meet you, Edward.”
If my voice came out breathy, I wasn’t going to feel bad about it because all I’d wanted to do was moan as the little nubs on his tentacle stroked over me. Human hands just couldn’t compete with some things.
“Being introduced to you is highly desirable as well. Thank you.” The slow way he eased his limb away from me didn’t help my ability to think either. Especially when I realized he had to know what he was doing to me.
With a regular human I’d have been confused and sure that I was misreading his signals, but thankfully, he wasn’t human…and there was no way on Earth or off it that Maverick hadn’t told him what I was into.
They were an entire species with no subtlety whatsoever, and most of the time I liked that about them. But I just wasn’t sure how it would work when it came to Reid, and as Edward turned toward my stunned boyfriend, I knew things were about to get interesting.
We started off fine as Edward extended a limb toward Reid to shake hands with him, but instead of being reasonable, Reid took a step backward.
Before I could figure out how to salvage the situation and figure out what the fuck Reid was thinking, he attempted to fix it himself.
“It’s nice to meet you, and I’m not speciest, but I would prefer it if you didn’t touch me.”
But again, things didn’t go as I expected.
Edward just nodded and pulled his tentacle back. “Thank you for setting limits and explaining what would make you uncomfortable. What is your safeword, if you please?”
This just kept getting weirder and weirder.
Reid was finally speechless, and he just looked at me like the conversation had completely gotten away from him. So I did the only thing I could think of. “Red. We both use stoplight colors.”
Okay, maybe that hadn’t exactly been helpful.
“I do?” It was probably a good question from Reid, but my brain was still skipping around in circles.
“Why didn’t you shake his hand? That’s not a limit for you.” I probably could’ve worded that better, but I didn’t worry about it as Reid started to stutter.
“But he’ll…I’ll sound…” He couldn’t have sounded more offensive no matter what was going through his head, so I just scoffed.
“They appreciate honesty, and I’m confused and moving toward pissed, so just answer my question.” I was pretty sure my forcefulness shocked both of us, and that was probably why he answered.
Snorting and rolling his eyes, he gestured vaguely between us. “You almost came just by shaking his hand. I’m not going to touch him unless he buys me fucking dinner first.”
Oh, okay, maybe he had a point.
Maverick was watching us like we were a new reality TV show, but Edward just took it in stride. “Nolan is a highly receptive submissive whose needs are not being met. His body is searching for the caretaking dominant he will call Daddy and has found me to be highly compatible.”
He said it so matter-of-factly that it was hard to be embarrassed. Even when he overshared about my needs and Reid’s inattention to them. “You, however, are highly…conflicted. That may be because you know you are keeping your mate from achieving complete contentment in your relationship.”
Maverick had clearly been oversharing, but neither of them seemed to have any shame about it because the flirty alien nodded agreeingly. “The submissive partner in a relationship must feel secure and cared for to maintain low stress levels and proper hormonal stability.”
An unhappy sub’s emotions were all over the place?
Yeah, I could see that.
Reid couldn’t seem to decide how to handle it or what to say. Not that I could blame him. In his shoes I’d have either felt guilty or angry. Reid just straightened and looked a bit indignant, maybe. “His needs didn’t come to light until very recently, and I’ve taken steps to make sure he finds a Daddy to fulfill that part of himself.”
Well, he’d agreed to what I said I’d needed, so yeah, I could see how it could look that way to him. Maverick and Edward seemed to agree—albeit begrudgingly—because they nodded without looking overly pleased.
I was so distracted by Maverick and Edward, it wasn’t until Edward started to speak that I realized it was the first time Reid had talked about my needing a Daddy in such plain language. I wasn’t sure he’d even said the word Daddy before this moment.
Edward seemed to approve of his honesty, though. “Then you will be pleased to know I am prepared to take charge of his submissive needs and become his caretaker in an appropriate control-based relationship.”
My mouth dropped open, but the way Reid stepped forward to tackle the conversation said he wasn’t as flabbergasted as I was. “That is not your decision to make.”
But neither of them looked like it would be mine, so I just watched as Reid kept right on lecturing Edward. “I have to make sure the person who becomes his…caretaker will watch over him and give him the…well, give him what he needs as well as keep him safe.”
He was going to do what?
“He is very important to me and I take my responsibilities very seriously.”
Somehow, the conversation had gotten completely out of hand. Edward’s entire body seemed to stiffen, and he looked indignant.
This was the part that offended him?
“I would be the perfect caretaker for your submissive human.” He seemed to think Reid was an idiot for not understanding that right off the bat. “Statistically, I would be far safer than any human in the same role. I would be incapable of placing him in a harmful situation or even providing corporal punishments if they made him unduly fearful.”
As that was skipping around in my head, Reid focused on other aspects. “Just because you won’t physically hurt him doesn’t mean you’re qualified to be his Daddy. He needs someone who can care for not just his physical needs but who can make him feel emotionally safe enough to submit.”
Had he been looking up information on Daddies and littles?
He sounded so confident now, so what was his issue with it?
Edward actually snorted. I couldn’t remember ever hearing that sound come from one of them. “He already feels emotionally safe enough. From the information I have gathered, Nolan understands our culture and the way we bond with humans who desire a domination-based relationship.”
“He is also highly aroused by our tentacles and data suggests that will only increase as caretaking becomes intimate.”
Did he mean something like diapers?
What kind of research had he been doing?
It was Reid’s turn to snort. “Just because tentacles turn him on doesn’t mean this is a good idea. Fuck. The damn things arouse nearly everyone these days, so it’s not helpful data.”
His tone made data sound like a cuss word, which was impressive, but even more curious was the rest of what he’d actually said. However, before I could figure out a way to jump into the conversation, Edward responded in a tone that said he wasn’t impressed with Reid.
“I am not interested in random humans’ hormonal reactions. The primary focus of my interest is Nolan.” Edward’s expression said that should’ve gone without saying. “Looking at the situation and his needs in a strictly logical manner, he would make an ideal mate.”
I glanced over at Maverick to see that nothing seemed to have surprised him, and it made me wonder what else they’d discussed.
“However, mates are not always logical, especially when human physiology and relationships are involved, so I am pleased to say that I do feel a curious pull toward him.”
“You do?” Reid seemed just as surprised as I was about that, but he handled it a bit differently than I would have. “Mates are a very serious commitment. Are you confident in your ability to be not only a good mate but a good Daddy as well? That’s what’s really important because he’s already got a mate, he just also needs a Daddy.”
I had a mate?
Reid saw himself as my mate?
How long had he seen us as that serious?
I had a thousand questions ping-ponging around in my mind, but they were still debating what I needed, so they stayed stuck in my head.
This was the weirdest wedding I’d ever been to.
Edward’s tentacles stiffened, giving him an indignant look. “I will be a highly accomplished Daddy. I have read extensively on the Daddy boy dynamics in a domination-based relationship as well as specific caretaking tasks such as diapering and bottle feeding.”
Looking around, I kept expecting everyone to be watching the weird debate they were having, but it seemed that at a wedding which had also been a collaring ceremony, we really didn’t stand out.
However, Edward’s next words kept pushing that limit. “I have also researched the different ways that pleasure can be administered should it be necessary for his happiness and physical contentment.”
Did the earth still open up and swallow people?
Where was a portal to another dimension when I needed it?
Instead of being shocked, Reid shrugged. “It will be necessary, so you have to be sure that you’ll be able to handle it.”
But Edward just stood straighter as he nodded. “I am very confident that I can handle his needs.”
I was never going to another wedding.
“Then I think we need to get to know each other more if you’re going to be in his life as his Daddy.” Reid glanced around and then back at Edward. “It looks like everything is starting to break up. Would you like to go get something to eat?”
I was just standing there looking like an idiot as they thanked Maverick for inviting them to the wedding and for the introductions. When they finally turned back to me, both men extended their…limbs, and Reid studied my face.
“Are you ready?”
As I took their hand and tentacle, I nodded because every other option just felt wrong. “Yes.”
Evidently I was.
It was time to go get to know the Daddy that Reid and Maverick had picked out for me.
I was going to get a Daddy.
Taking chances isn’t one of Nolan’s strong suits…and neither is going after what he wants. But when his new friendship with Trip and Maverick shows him the courage he didn’t realize he had, he knows it’s time to confront his slightly uptight boyfriend, Reid, and go after what he’s always wanted…a Daddy.
Reid realizes there’s no more dodging Nolan’s not-so-subtle hints about BDSM, but that doesn’t mean he knows what to do about it. As he looks at his sweet boyfriend, all he does know is that he’d do anything to make him happy…and anything to keep him safe. Even if that means finding Nolan a Daddy…a Tentacle Daddy.
When love and acceptance become a rock and a hard place, sometimes it takes a new perspective and a few tentacles to find the way forward.
Story Contains: MMM sexual content, BDSM elements, spankings, edging, a bit of lightning in fun places, and age play with a wonderfully confident Tentacle Daddy
**Author’s Note** While each story is about a different couple, the books in this series are best read in order.