Rethinking Fate Prologue


“You ask him. You’re the one who’s curious.” Bryan’s whispered voice held an edge of panic, but since it was Kevin egging him on, I thought that was to be expected.

“But you’re the one who’s little, so you should ask.” Kevin seemed to be trying to convince Bryan that his logic was sound, but there was obviously some debate over that.

“This isn’t my idea. I don’t even know why I’m listening to you.” Bryan’s voice was clearly stressed but since he seemed more likely to hit Kevin than pass out, I didn’t step in. “You’re a nuisance, and I’m going to tell Jeremy you’re driving me crazy.”

Kevin just giggled. “Good, I haven’t been spanked in days.”

Bryan groaned. “I don’t need to know that.”

Kevin giggled again.

“Let’s just go.” Evidently whatever Kevin was trying to talk Bryan into wasn’t sounding like such a good idea anymore.

But Kevin was persistent.

“You’re going to feel ridiculous if you chicken out now.” There was a pause, and I knew more than likely Kevin had hugged his still-nervous friend. “Besides, it’s just a question, it’s not like you have to do anything.”

“But what if he thinks it’s stupid or too personal?” Bryan’s voice dipped quieter, but I heard his nerves even more clearly.

“Then he’ll politely tell us that, but the chances of that are slim. We’re not asking about him, just about it in general.”

Now they both had me curious.

Bryan sometimes stayed late at the end of the day and came in to talk to me about things because it generally took him a while to work up to it. He wasn’t technically my patient anymore, but he needed someone to talk to occasionally. Bryan was so much more confident about what he wanted and who he was than when I’d first met him, but sometimes his worries still got the best of him.

Kevin, on the other hand, loved dragging him out of his shell.

Sometimes they were an odd match for best friends, but they complemented each other perfectly. Each didn’t judge the other; they even helped bring out each other’s best qualities.

“This is stupid.” Bryan sighed.

Evidently Kevin had won.

I turned back to my desk, pretending to focus on the blank paperwork in front of me as a knock sounded and Kevin’s head popped around the door. He gave me an innocent smile that I’d very early on learned was completely fake. “Do you have a moment?”

“Of course.” Sometimes keeping a neutral expression around them was entirely too difficult.

“Great.” As he stepped into the room, I saw that he had a death grip on Bryan’s hand and was visibly dragging him into the room. But since I’d seen Bryan stand up to his overbearing best friend before, I wasn’t worried for him—Kevin’s health was clearly in jeopardy, however.

Bryan looked like he wanted to deck him.

“What can I do for you gentlemen?” I waited with a neutral smile while Bryan opened his mouth several times, nothing coming out.

Since I was patient and we’d done this dance before, I was skilled at waiting—Kevin, however, was not.

He sighed dramatically and jerked on Bryan’s hand. Bryan huffed and shoved him with his shoulder, but since it had worked exactly as Kevin had intended and pushed him out of his panic, I couldn’t complain. Kevin shot me another innocent expression I didn’t buy at all. “Bryan has a question.”

“Bryan does?” I let one eyebrow rise, and Bryan finally chuckled.

“He’s got your number.” Taking a deep breath, Bryan finally pushed through his nerves. “We want to know what it’s like when…littles get together to…um…play and stuff.”

Kevin nodded enthusiastically. “He won’t let me see him play, but I think it would be a good idea if he had other littles he could have like playdates with and be able to talk to. The BDSM meetings are fun, but he’s the only little.”

Bryan groaned, but he didn’t stop Kevin’s verbal charge into the issue.

“Does Bryan actually want to meet other littles or do you want him to meet other littles?” Bryan’s quiet laughter and Kevin’s grin said they both realized it was a reasonable question.

“Both.” Kevin beamed. “He’s just shy about saying anything, but he said it last night.”

Bryan gave him a dirty look. “Only because that drink had a lot more alcohol in it than you said it did.”

Kevin waved it off. “You worry too much.”

I pretended not to hear the drinking part and focused on their actual question. “Well, do you have specific questions about what happens?”

Kevin nodded excitedly but rolled his eyes when Bryan cleared his throat. “But he won’t let me ask. So just the general stuff will be fine.”

They were absolutely hilarious.

Trying to decide how much I could share without making Bryan nervous, I thought quickly. “Well then, how about I start by saying that it depends on the group.”

Over the years, I’d done my best to find the right balance between sharing with my patients so they could be comfortable and not crossing any ethical lines, but Kevin and Bryan always made it hard. Bryan especially, from the first time I’d met him.

“I’ve belonged to several groups over the years, from very organized events to just friends hanging out, and each one is different. There are several groups within a few hours of here that meet on a regular basis, but there’s one here in town that meets monthly. It’s basically just a group of pups, handlers, boys, and daddies—and the occasional mommy—that meet. You’ll find the pups in their personas playing together. The littles will either be sitting with their daddies or in groups playing.”

I tried to think about what Bryan’s biggest fears would be.

“You’ll find some in diapers and some without, but it doesn’t make any difference for the littles or other people. There are a variety of personalities. At this event specifically, everyone is reasonably well covered, that’s usually more of an issue with the pups, but there’s no nudity outside of someone being changed in the bathrooms.” I had to fight off a smile as Bryan’s eyes widened.

Kevin was just about jumping up and down, he was so excited. “That sounds perfect for you!”

Bryan seemed a bit overwhelmed and just looked between the two of us. “Um.”

Kevin didn’t lose his grin, but he tightened his hold on Bryan’s hand and turned to run his other hand over Bryan’s head. “You could have so much fun.”

“I don’t…um…” It was all going too fast for Bryan, and I watched him take a deep breath. “I’ll think about it.”

I was glad he was trying, but I didn’t want Kevin’s enthusiasm and excitement to push him into something he wasn’t ready for. “Does it sound fun in an abstract sort of way? There is no right or wrong answer. Everyone handles groups and events differently. Some people never go to any kind of meeting, and their time as a little or pup is always private.” I gave Kevin a quick, firm glance. “There is nothing wrong with that.”

Bryan smiled as I focused on Kevin but nodded. “I don’t know.”

“That is a reasonable answer.” I found myself willing him to relax. “You need to talk to Maddox and see what his opinion is, and then really think about what would make you happy.”

Bryan gave me another nod and shifted from one foot to the other. “Um, thank you for answering our questions.”

“Always.” I smiled and stood as Bryan started dragging them toward the door. “Feel free to talk to me about anything, Bryan.”

He wasn’t really my patient anymore, but there was still a boundary between us that he’d never crossed. I understood, but sometimes it was hard when I wanted so badly just to give him a hug and tell him it would be all right.

As they reached the door, I glanced at Kevin. “Give us a moment, please.”

Kevin seemed to be worried that I thought he was pushing Bryan because he sighed. “It really was his idea…”

I smiled. “You’re not in trouble.”

Still looking skeptical, Kevin headed toward the front of the office. Bryan looked more nervous than I’d intended, so I reached out and rested a hand on his shoulder. “Don’t worry. I just wanted to remind you that while I approve of Kevin’s enthusiastic acceptance of the lifestyle, you need to take things at your own pace.”

Bryan smiled and glanced out toward where he knew Kevin would be waiting. Not wanting to keep them, I continued. “Also, some people find being little around strangers easier, but others find it easier to step slowly into being little in a semi-public setting by being little around friends first. I know that Kevin’s excitement might make you nervous, but he has good intentions. He wants you to be happy.”

“And he’s curious.”

I couldn’t hide my grin. “You’re right.”

“Thank you, Dr. Sheppard.” His smile seemed more relaxed and I could feel the strain in his body releasing.

“Any time, Bryan, and I mean that. I understand where you’re coming from.” Just the small reminder about my role in the lifestyle had him blushing, but he nodded.

I released his shoulder as he stepped away while giving me a stilted wave. I knew he was relieved to have escaped, but I also knew that he’d continue to roll the discussion around in his head. Eventually, he’d come back to it, either when he was ready or when he was tired of Kevin bringing it up.

With them, it could go either way.

Rethinking Fate by MA Innes - Gay Romance Ebook Cover
Now what? Dr. Miles Sheppard has been focusing one goal for so long nothing else mattered, including his personal life. Unfortunately, now that he’s crossed the finish line, he’s lost. Gaining his doctorate should have been the hard part of his career, but figuring out what to do next might drive him crazy.

Now what? Sean’s been watching the sexy doctor for months. But when the quiet cutie dozes off in the middle of the crowded bar, it might be time to step in and actually talk to him. Sean’s not shy, but he knows he’s not the most traditional man. It will take more than a sweet temperament and an understanding smile to accept the unconventional relationship Sean is looking for.

When an exhausted doctor meets a bartender who’s more than meets the eye, they’re set for a match made in heaven…as long as heaven includes binkies and bedtime stories.

Story Contains: M/m Sexual Content, BDSM elements, Spankings, and Age Play

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