Tony (aka Robyn)
“I don’t care if he’s an alien or has the most boring kink on the planet. The snark will stop.” Skyler’s stern words ripped through the room, bringing everyone to a standstill.
I’d seen the explosion coming, but I’d thought it would take something worse than Loki ironically calling me riffraff to set Skyler off.
However, as his eyes narrowed and he leaned toward the counter, everyone in the store sucked in a breath. “The only one that gets to insult my customers is me.”
He was fucking serious.
This place got weirder and weirder.
Eventually, I was going to move out to the suburbs where everyone hid their kinks like they had when I’d been living in the country. But since it seemed like the city had to do everything differently, I waited to see what would happen.
Loki—I really wished I could remember his real name—stepped back as his eyes widened.
His voice dropped the flirty edge it usually carried. I hated to admit it, but I liked the soft, warm tone of his natural voice. “He’s wearing a suit, Skyler. An expensive one. He fucking knows I was just messing with him.”
I had… and I looked damned good, too. There was no way his comment had been anything but teasing… and maybe an awkward attempt to apologize? So in this situation, I was on the side of the trickster god, not the high-heeled drama queen.
When said drama queen turned to me, I wasn’t sure how to defuse the situation. There was a reason I didn’t date dramatic anything. I was too boring for that and I knew it. Of course, I forgot that rule every few years, which was how I’d ended up having one too many drinks and going home with the snarky god wannabe.
When Skyler started tapping his foot, I realized I was done with drama for the day.
Maybe for the century.
First politicians and now Loki and Skyler.
I needed a drink, and it was only ten in the morning.
Raising one eyebrow, I crossed my arms over my chest and waited silently until he stopped the annoying, noisy gesture. I might not be the most aggressive Dom, but I wasn’t going to take that much sass from someone who I wasn’t working for or sleeping with.
He must’ve realized he’d crossed the line because he huffed but straightened, and the insanity filling his eyes faded. “I apologize. That was unseemly.”
“Thank you.” Something about the exchange had Loki going bug-eyed, but I stayed focused on Skyler.
He was clearly the more dangerous predator.
“I’m finding the constant snark and…” He waved his hand between us, searching for the word. “Whatever there is between you two frustrating.”
Clearly I was going to have to move… because it was either that or admit to the snarky trickster god that I couldn’t remember his name, but that I was sorry the one-night stand we’d endured had been so tragically bad.
I’d never gotten in bed with anyone and not managed to make them orgasm.
I’d even managed to get the first girl I’d ever slept with off and I’d been an idiot teenager trying to figure out his sexuality.
Loki’s it’s not you, it’s me speech hadn’t made me feel any better about the whole situation, but he’d seemed sincere in the moment. However, after seeing him in his natural form, full of snark and drama, I was starting to question what I remembered from that night.
Maybe it had been me?
Yep, I was going to move.
There were a few cute small towns within driving distance; it’d be okay. But for now, I had to handle Skyler. “That is understandable. This is your place of business. You get to set the rules and appropriate behaviors, but there are limits to that.”
When he nodded and I was confident I’d made myself clear, I glanced toward the overly complicated coffee machine on the counter. “I’ll get my order to go, please. I should probably work at home today. How much do I owe you?”
Yep, the peace of working from home was looking better and better.
Unfortunately, Loki sighed. “No, I’m leaving.”
He waved his hand and took another step back from the counter. “I’ll just… never mind.”
The situation had gotten completely out of hand, and it was Skyler’s fault. His wide eyes said he knew it, but the panic in them said he had no idea how to fix it. “Shit.”
Not sure if it was my responsibility to handle the situation or not, I was surprisingly grateful when the new barista took that moment to sigh and step up to the plate. “Loki?”
The slightly sad-looking god stopped but still looked ready to bolt. “Yes, Remy?”
Politeness seemed to be the only thing keeping Loki in place, and it was surprisingly sweet.
Remy swallowed, looking like he was mentally preparing for battle as he figured out what to say. “Tony does look very nice in his suit, but I think telling him that would’ve been a better way to handle it. Why don’t you go sit down with Tony and see if you can figure out why he’s so dressed up? Then we can all gossip about it.”
Waving Loki toward the small table where I usually parked myself to work, he smiled softly. “Don’t tell Skyler, but I’ll bring you a cookie.”
Skyler huffed and stormed off toward his office, probably glad to escape.
I was starting to see why the shy Little barista wanted to become a lawyer. He was good at defusing situations, and once he got started, he didn’t look so shy.
“I…” I could tell Loki wasn’t sure what to do, and his gaze jumped between Remy and me, still looking like he was ready to bolt.
“Loki?” Remy’s question startled him again.
“Yes?” He’d stopped inching toward the door, though.
Remy smiled, looking a bit cheeky. “Please don’t make me write Loki on the cup again. What’s your name? Skyler keeps rolling his eyes when I ask.”
That actually had the trickster god laughing softly. “But Loki is the best name ever.”
Remy giggled, nodding. “That’s probably right, but I sound ridiculous always calling you that.”
Loki didn’t seem to agree with him, but he gave in. “Hunter.”
“Thank you, Hunter.” Then, to smooth things over and probably keep it fair, Remy turned to me. “And?”
Chuckling, I smiled. “Robyn. I chose Tony so no one could make Batman jokes.”
Those were always terrible.
“Oh, never.” Remy shook his head. “No jokes about the bat suit either… that’s reasonable as well.”
He glanced toward the back and dropped his voice. “Riffraff.”
As he giggled, enjoying the irony, he nodded toward the table. “Now you guys go and sit down. I’ll bring your stuff over in a minute.”
Taking in the order that was definitely not a suggestion, no matter how politely it was worded, I wanted to frown. But since he was right and we needed to clear the air, I nodded faintly and went over to the table.
I just wished I knew what needed to be said.
Loki… well, Hunter followed me quietly, with none of his usual teasing or snark.
It was a bit disconcerting.
But as I sat down, I did my best to project calm and professionalism. That was easier than trying to decide if I should flirt or call him bro and ask him to watch football.
Hunter lowered himself into the other chair, studying me for a moment before glancing down at my chest. “You’re more dressed up than usual.”
It wasn’t really a question, but it was a good jumping-off point, so I took it. “I work in statistics, analyzing numbers and data. I had a meeting with a local politician this morning. They seem to think wearing a suit makes you smarter.”
Hunter’s wince described my morning perfectly. “That sounds terrible. Sorry for making things more stressful.”
“You didn’t.” Waving my hand toward the back, I shook my head. “I understood the irony. I think Skyler’s not… well, you know. It’s not a problem.”
Were we good?
Could I leave?
I might’ve been a Dom but I wasn’t the sort to push myself where I wasn’t wanted, and I’d never craved verbal sparring. I was a Daddy, not an old-school Dom. I wanted to cuddle an upset sub or make a sweet Little laugh.
The closest I wanted to get to stressful was spanking a cheeky boy until he orgasmed.
Steering the conversation back to work, I gestured toward the monkey suit. “I’m fortunate I get to dress down most of the time but… politicians, you know.”
Hunter chuckled, nodding like he knew the type. “I did a party a few months ago for a local politician.”
My expression must’ve betrayed my confusion because Hunter flashed me a grin. “I own a party planning company. Right now we focus on dinner parties and things like fancy birthday celebrations, but we do bigger events depending on the time of year.”
“Ah, that makes sense.” Had he said that before? I had a vague memory of him saying his job was silly, but that was it.
I’d assumed that meant he was still low on the corporate ladder and embarrassed by it, but now I wasn’t sure if I’d missed anything else. Clearly I hadn’t asked enough questions… and I wasn’t sure if I should attempt to fix that now.
Did he even remember we’d met before?
Work was definitely easier to talk about, though, and I decided it might break the ice. “Do you have plans to expand? That has to be a career with a lot of different ways you could take your company. Have you done surveys of your customers? I could look—”
Someone cleared their throat next to us and I glanced up to find Remy shaking his head. “No. No numbers or papers or planning.”
Trying not to look guilty, I shrugged. “We were having a polite conversation.”
Remy snorted as Hunter giggled, a wonderfully innocent sound that had me glancing over at him. He tried to cut it off, but his eyes were dancing as he shrugged. “Sorry. It’s funny seeing you try to lie to Remy and it be so unbelievable.”
Rolling my eyes as the two men grinned, I waved my hand, brushing aside his point. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I enjoy finding out about other people’s businesses.”
Numbers were easier to talk about than people.
Dom did not mean slick and confident, no matter what people wanted to assume.
Remy shook his head as he set down our drinks. “I’ll be right back with the rest. But when I get back, I’d better overhear something more fun or I’ll sic the rest of these nosy bastards on you.”
Gleeful expressions filled the faces of the nosy bastards in question, and I knew he’d do it. “You’re going to be a very frightening lawyer one day.”
That got a beaming smile from the normally shy sub. “Thank you, Sir.”
As he turned and nearly danced back behind the counter to grab our pastries, I glanced over at Hunter to see him staring at me with wide eyes. “What?”
What could I have to apologize about now?
Remy’s sub status and the fact that he was going to law school were common knowledge. Hell, I was pretty sure someone had mentioned it on the news during a story about some of the local drama. Hunter was always chatty and listening when he was in the shop. It couldn’t be a surprise.
Hunter blinked at me.
This day was getting worse and worse.
“Is everything alright?” I wasn’t sure where the conversation had stumbled.
Did he think I’d insulted Remy somehow?
Dropping my voice so I wouldn’t be overheard, I glanced over at Remy quickly. “He hasn’t hidden the fact that he’s a bit nervous about not being aggressive enough at work. It’s not how he sees himself usually. It was a compliment.”
“No. I…” Hunter’s voice trailed off as he went back to staring at me again.
Realizing we weren’t going to make progress with this anytime soon, I reached for my coffee and leaned back as I took a sip. After a while, he blinked and followed my example. When we were both a bit more caffeinated, he finally came out of his stupor.
“I didn’t realize you were a Dom.”
Now I was the one blinking and staring.
“I am.” It was a terrible response, but it was all I had at the moment.
“What kind of Dom are you?” Just as the words came out of Hunter’s mouth, Remy walked up with my muffin and Hunter’s cookie.
He gave us beaming smiles as he set down our food. “That’s a much better topic.”
Looking terribly pleased with how well we’d followed directions, he almost floated through the air as he skipped back behind the counter. He might’ve decided that we’d been good enough to leave on our own, but our audience was still hanging on every word.
It felt like they knew something I didn’t… and I didn’t appreciate it.
Hunter was still obviously waiting for me to answer, but I wasn’t sure why he was so curious or why he looked so surprised.
Everyone in the place was either kinky or curious enough about kink that they wanted voyeuristic exposure to it. He couldn’t have thought I was completely vanilla.
I was never going to date again.
The occasional scene at some place like Bound & Controlled would be enough.
With that decision made, I took another sip and answered as I set the cup down, projecting calm. “I’m under the heading of caretaker Doms. I’m a Daddy.”
His mouth fell open.
Fuck it all.
That was not an unreasonable type of domination these days. Hell, there were all kinds of Littles online and even documentary-style shows about the lifestyle. It was nearly mainstream with all the coloring books and articles about embracing your inner child everywhere.
Not knowing what had gone wrong or why he was so surprised, I waited while I tried to decide if I was just going to escape with my muffin.
I needed to have breakfast before I started day drinking.
Would mimosas count as day drinking?
Just as I reached the point where I knew I had to say something, a nosy little old lady next to us sighed, drawing my attention.
As I turned and looked in her direction, knowing no one in here would give up, she sighed again. “He thought you were one of the lookie-loos and not in the lifestyle. The pool’s been about fifty-fifty on if you were vanilla or not. You’re hard to read and Skyler’s been refusing to give any hints. But Loki is a Little and I think you might’ve broken him.”
Now I was the one staring in shock.
He was a Little?
How had our night together gone so fucking badly then?
“But really, couldn’t you have waited until next Tuesday? I’d have won the pool.” Rolling her eyes, she went back to her tea, leaving the two of us staring at each other and me wondering how to fix this and if there was anything I needed to fix.
I was a Daddy and he was a Little… but now what?
Sometimes the only thing that will make a date better is dino nuggets and superheroes.
After one spectacularly disastrous date, all Robyn wants is to ignore the way he’s drawn to the confusing man who leaves him with more questions than answers. However, it seems that fate has other plans when the enigmatic cutie keeps popping up in unexpected places, leaving Robyn with one pressing question…what’s Loki’s real name?
When a first date doesn’t go quite as planned, sometimes a do-over is the next best thing.
There’s more than one reason Hunter is known as Loki at the local coffee shop, and it’s not just because of his love for his favorite cinematic universe. With teasing in his blood and drama as his middle name, Hunter has just one question… is Robyn as uptight as he seems or has Hunter finally met the Daddy of his dreams?
When a teasing flirt meets a confused Daddy, it’s going to take more than just a frustrated barista to bring them together.