“I was nearly named Jean-Luc, so if you think a Number One joke is going to embarrass me, you’re sadly mistaken.” Some people needed better pickup lines.
Besides, it was spelled differently too.
My father had tried to save me; it just hadn’t worked.
I’d have been nicer if I hadn’t seen the dickhead brush off anyone who wasn’t up to his standard. The asshole who thought a clever put-down was a good pickup line rolled his eyes and walked away mumbling about how some people couldn’t take a joke.
“That’s so cool.” The quiet voice next to me was filled with alcohol-induced awe, and I had to fight the urge to smile as I turned on the stool.
“His pickup line, my put-down, or my name?”
The cutie next to me nodded, his wide eyes blinking behind his glasses. “Yes.”
Since that seemed to mean all of the above, I smiled. “Thanks.”
The half-finished oversized fruity drink seemed to have given him liquid courage because he gave me a wide smile in return. “You’re welcome. Was that really a pickup line? Why weren’t you named Jean-Luc? Was he just awkward? I’m awkward, but I wouldn’t make fun of your name.”
I was pretty sure the drunk cutie would’ve never said anything like that if he’d been sober, but luckily for me, in the half-hour I’d been waiting for my date, I was pretty sure he was on his second drink. “Yeah, some guys insult you first and then follow it up with a compliment just to fuck with you. I don’t play those kinds of games.”
He was still sober enough that my explanation made some sense because he nodded seriously, and I could see him thinking about it. As he slowly processed, I decided to keep going. He was funny and politely curious, two things I found captivating. “My father put his foot down on the name. We aren’t even French. So I got to be Ryker instead and thankfully spelled with a Y too.”
The cutie beamed. “It would’ve been wonderful, though. He had such a strong presence, but he was caring and compassionate.”
If he hadn’t already radiated submission, that would’ve been like a neon sign going off over his head. I wasn’t sure if he was conscious of the signals he was sending or not, but I’d always believed that honesty was the best policy, so I didn’t filter my response. “I agree. I think more Doms and more people in general should strive to be like that.”
My sweet new friend’s mouth dropped open.
After a moment, he reached for his drink and took another long sip. Just when I was getting ready to point out how quickly he was drinking, he set it down. “Um, what games do you like to play?”
Blinking a few times, he elaborated a bit. “You said before you didn’t play games like the name guy.”
Ah, that made more sense.
Everything in his expression and just the way he was leaning toward me said he wanted an honest answer, so I gave him a gentle but still flirty smile. “I’m a Daddy Dom, so the games I play depend on what my boy wants. I might play toys with him or I might give him a spanking if that’s what he needs.”
That had the cutie taking another sip.
When he set it down again, he swallowed and studied my face. “Are spankings games?”
It wasn’t what I’d been expecting, which had me smiling wider.
“They can be. It depends on the Daddy and the boy. I hope my boy would love being bent over my lap and having his bottom spanked.”
Eyes widening like that was the most interesting idea he’d ever heard, he surprised me again by reaching out and poking my arm. “You’re real.”
And he was very drunk.
Reaching out, I poked his arm in return. “So are you.”
I just didn’t usually run into curious subs sitting by themselves at bars…and I was willing to bet he didn’t usually run into Daddies that often either. But we were both definitely real.
That had laughter pouring out of him. He found something about it so funny that he almost slipped off the stool. As he continued to giggle, he managed to right himself before I caught his arm. “I thought he was real.”
That set off another cascade of laughter.
“Doms don’t do that.” Clearly, he’d only met boring Doms.
When he finally relaxed, he smiled at his drink. “Best drink ever.”
When it looked like he was getting ready to order another just to see how interesting his alcohol-induced fantasy would get, I spoke up again. “What kind of games would you play with your Dom, little one?”
That had him nodding toward his drink.
“Yes. Yes. Fantasy Daddy needs to know what to say.” His questionable logic had me wondering how many drinks he’d had before I’d sat down.
“That’s right, little one.” My own questionable logic was because I knew I wasn’t going to hurt the cute sub, so I had to keep him talking to Fantasy Daddy.
“The Doms online were scary, but a Daddy has to be sweet because that’s not a scary word.” The earnest expression he was wearing gave me the impression Fantasy Daddy should’ve known that.
I wasn’t sure what exactly scary meant, but I took a stab at it. “They went too fast and growled out orders?”
His face lit up, and he seemed relieved that his new imaginary friend knew what he was talking about. But it left me wondering if his imaginary friends were usually confused when he drank too much.
Dropping his voice, his expression got conspiratorial. “Don’t forget the man with the whip and clamps.”
Oh wow, some Dom had definitely misread this cutie.
“No, you need a Daddy to give you cuddles and spankings, and maybe to buy you some toys.” I wasn’t sure what kind of little he would be, but the idea didn’t scare him.
There’d definitely been a miscommunication there somewhere. But that idiot’s loss was going to be my gain.
My cutie pushed his glasses up his nose. “What kind of toys, the fun kind or the scary kind?”
Did scary mean adult or something he associated with pain?
“There are lots of fun kinds of toys.” I leaned closer and gave him a wicked smile as I whispered. “Some fun ones are just naughtier.”
Those cute owl eyes blinked at me from behind his glasses, and his shocked whisper seemed scandalized. “Are they really fun? Movies aren’t real, you know.”
Yeah, porn definitely wasn’t real, but not in the ways I thought he was imagining.
Resisting the urge to touch him, I nodded. “Yes, cutie. I think the right Daddy could find a lot of things that you’d like.”
He simply needed to start with a gentler touch and a softer approach.
“You think so? How do I know?” Was he asking me if I was believable or how his imaginary Daddy was so knowledgeable?
“You read about it.” It was a reasonable guess, but his solemn nod said he was so drunk I wasn’t sure he’d remember me tomorrow.
Before I could figure out what to do next, he looked back to his drink and sighed. “Oh dear, it’s almost gone.”
“Sir, can I have another?” His cheerful call as he cut me off had one of the bartenders turning to us.
As the guy walked over, I shook my head to try to tell him to ignore my new curious friend.
“Can I have another umbrella with this one? I lost the other one.” As my cutie started to search under his glass, presumably for the AWOL umbrella, I caught the bartender’s eye.
“How many has he had?” When all I got was a skeptical glare, I snorted. “He’s drunk as a skunk. I’m trying to figure out how to get him home.”
Cutie gave a dramatic sigh. “I have an app.”
He aimed his puppy dog eyes at the bartender. “I was up stood. No. Stood up.”
Then he aimed that sorrowful look at his cup. “I think that means I deserve another umbrella.”
Right as the bartender was going to agree, my cutie turned to me. “But if you were real, you would’ve been a wonderful reward for being stood up three times.”
By the same man?
As he went back to searching for his missing umbrella, I leaned against the bar with my elbows on the counter. “He thinks I’m imaginary.”
The bartender’s eyes widened. “Oh.”
He studied my new friend for a moment. “He’s on his second.”
A woman working behind the bar reached around him to grab a glass. “Nope, that’s at least three because I gave him one when you were on break, and he started out with beer over at table nine in the corner. He’s the one I told you to watch.”
He shot her a glare. “No, you said to watch the nerd on the end who looked like he could be a crier, and that guy left twenty minutes ago.”
They obviously needed to get their descriptions down better.
The male bartender continued. “This one’s a dance on the tables and talk to imaginary people drunk.” She rolled her eyes at his words and walked off as he scoffed. “Newbie.”
He went back to studying me before nodding to himself. “Use his phone right here to get him a ride home and if you let me take a pic of your license, I’ll let you walk him out to the car.”
“Deal.” Digging out my wallet, I dropped some cash on the counter to pay for my Coke and handed over my ID. “I think I’m going to need a paper umbrella.”
The guy snorted but seemed to agree because I got one back along with my license. “Thanks.”
Twirling it in front of my cutie, I teased it just out of reach. “Show me your app to call a ride and I’ll give you the umbrella.”
“Oh.” My drunk boy immediately made the trade.
Sliding his phone to me, he seemed to operate the password by rote as his gaze followed the umbrella. As he started to reach for it, I shook my head. “Not until you show Daddy the app.”
He huffed as the bartender chuckled, but he obeyed. When the app was open, I pointed to the top saved address. “Is this your house?”
Cutie shook his head. “No, it’s my apartment. You should know that if you’re already in my head.”
God, he was adorable.
“Sorry.” I pointed to his glass. “It’s the alcohol.”
As I requested a ride for him, I glanced at the bartender. “We good?”
He nodded. “But I’m telling the guy at the door that you’re not riding with him. We’ve got a rep of keeping our patrons safe. Got it?”
I handed Cutie his phone, knowing it wouldn’t take long in this part of town for his ride to show up. “Come on. Let’s get you home.”
I could see him starting to pout. “You can keep your umbrella if you’re a good boy.”
Cutie sighed. “My Daddy is hard.”
Damned straight—just not in the way he seemed to mean.
And the snickers from the bartender said he got the unintentional joke too.
“Come on.” Standing up, I waited for him to follow me.
He was surprisingly steady on his feet, but not in any hurry to leave. “But I’m not done yet.”
He might not have been ready to go, but one raised brow had him obeying. “When did my brain get so bossy?”
The bartender snorted behind us, but I was focused on weaving my way through the crowd and keeping Cutie’s attention. “No one ever grabs my ass. Daddy, why don’t you do that?”
I turned to see him staring at a sexy couple who were making out with their hands all over each other.
“I’ll grab your ass tomorrow if you’re a good boy.” If he agreed to date me, I’d guarantee a few ass grabs.
That perked him right up, but I wasn’t going to ask how his imaginary friend could grab him anywhere.
When we finally got outside, I moved us to the side of the building where the guy at the door could keep an eye on us. “Give me your phone. Let’s see if the car is close.”
Cutie was focused on the umbrella again and passed the phone right over as soon as he opened it.
The bouncer chuckled and seemed to find Cutie’s childlike innocence endearing.
After checking the app, I added my number to his contacts and set an alarm for mid-morning, in case he had to be somewhere.
One quick look at the app said his ride was pulling up and I’d run out of time to get to know him more.
As a small compact pulled in front of the bar, I glanced at the bouncer.
He nodded toward the car. “That’s Charlie, he’s good.”
That endorsement of the young man with the blue hair had me relaxing. “Thanks.”
Stepping out of the car, the driver glanced between us, and I gestured toward Cutie. “Just him.”
I glanced over to Cutie and chuckled as he twirled the umbrella, nearly giggling.
“Is he going to get sick in my car?” It was a logical question, but one I could only guess at answering.
“I don’t think so. He’s just distracted.” Very easily distracted.
Blue-haired guy nodded. “Alright. I’ll get him home.”
“Thanks.” Stepping closer to Cutie, I pointed to the car.
“Time to go home. Hold your toy tight.” Cutie started to protest but was cut off by a yawn.
“Alright, Daddy.” Neither man blinked, but blue-haired guy’s eyes twinkled. As Cutie climbed in the car, he looked back at me, confused. “Aren’t you coming? You’re in my head.”
That got matching curious looks from the bouncer and the driver. I shrugged. “I’m imaginary.”
That shouldn’t have cleared anything up, but they nodded like it made perfect sense.
I turned back to Cutie. “You’re tired. You’ll see me tomorrow.” Hopefully.
“Oh good.” That answer had him settling back in the car and closing the door.
As the blue-haired guy hopped back in the driver’s seat, I turned to the bouncer. “I wasn’t the one who got him this drunk.”
“I know.” He tapped an earpiece. “You’d have been escorted out if you’d gotten him this drunk deliberately.”
“Good.” As the car pulled away, I started the countdown until his alarm would go off and couldn’t help but wonder if he’d actually call.
Sometimes being stood up is the best thing that can happen.
Two men sitting at a bar is supposed to be the setup for a joke, not the start of a perfect relationship. But when the confident Ryker and the curious Corey find themselves with more in common than just being stood up, sparks fly.
When a few too many umbrella drinks loosen Corey’s lips, his fascinating new friend is more than happy to answer all his questions and to help him take the first steps to understanding why Daddies are the best thing a shy sub could ever want.