The Only Way to Dream Chapter 1

Chapter 1

“Did you know there are people who dress up like puppies and have…people who take care of them?” When the only response from Leon was silence, quickly followed by a thud, I looked up from my laptop. “Why are you on the floor?”

Leon wasn’t the most coordinated guy I’d ever met, but the way he was looking at me gave me the distinct impression it was my fault. He just sat sprawled out in front of his office chair, shaking his head as he said, “What are you looking at?”

I glanced down at my computer excitedly. “I found a website that has a huge list of kinks and fetishes and lifestyle…things. Did you know there’s a word for someone who has a thing for giants? I think they mean like really big people, but it might have something to do with sci-fi books.”

When I looked back up, Leon was still there shaking his head. “Do not read me that list. Got it?”

Leon kept saying he was open-minded, but his opening seemed to have limits.

“Yes.” But I rolled my eyes and went back to studying the list.

Leon was silent for several seconds, but it wouldn’t last. He always gave in. He said it was because I was a nuisance and insane, but I knew it was because I was interesting and fun. “You’re not going to do something stupid like go look for someone to be your…owner…master…whatever the hell you call the human in that relationship, are you?”

“First of all, it’s pretend. Both people are human.” I wasn’t sure if he was joking or not, but I wanted to make that clear.

Sometimes when he got frustrated his humor got very dry and it was hard to decipher. “And it looks very interesting. The people who are in charge are called handlers. There are all kinds of pictures. You get to wear costumes and to be petted and to run around. This looks very interesting.”

The pups were very excited, and in some cases, very naked.

I approved of both.

Leon was watching me like he thought I was getting ready to fly and he was very skeptical of how safe it would be. “I understand you wanting to explore things and figure out who you are, but this is not like figuring out which guys on campus to flirt with.”

It kind of was.

“You worry too much. This stuff comes with rules and everything.” There were so many fascinating things in the world. How would I know if I liked it or not unless I tried it?

Leon groaned and looked up like he was praying. “Save me from curious people with no common sense.”

I had a feeling he was talking about me.

According to my family, God didn’t take prayers from sinners, so he probably wouldn’t listen, but I didn’t know if I should point that out to Leon or not. Probably not. He had very firm ideas about everything, and he’d lectured me for an hour the only time I’d mentioned religion and being gay.

I wasn’t sure his belief in an open, loving god was true or not, but I wasn’t particularly worried about it at the moment. When I hadn’t been struck by lightning after leaving the church, or after the first time I’d fooled around with a guy, I decided I’d figure myself out first and God second.

That plan still seemed best, although figuring out myself was taking longer than I’d expected. Who knew there were so many fascinating ways for one guy to like another?

I’d managed to sneak onto the internet quite a few times when I’d been living at home. My parents were too distracted with ten kids to keep track of the one who remembered to be quiet and stay out of trouble…or the type of trouble they’d hear about later.

A few searches had made it easy to understand that I was gay, not mentally ill, no matter what my parents might’ve thought. I’d honestly thought that was the end of my self-discovery. However, once I’d escaped and was in college, a whole new world had started to unfold.

“I’m not sure what common sense has to do with this.” I went back to studying the page when he groaned again.

I’d spent my freshman year figuring out how to flirt and how real people outside of the church I’d grown up in interacted. Now that I was a sophomore, it was time to figure out the rest. I could flirt and I could reasonably guess who was gay and who was straight, so now, on to BDSM.

It was fascinating, no matter what Leon seemed to think.

We’d been roommates since freshman year, but I wouldn’t exactly call us friends. I got on his nerves and he sounded a bit like my mother when she was convinced she was right. But he was a good teacher about real-world stuff, so I didn’t mind, even though I’d been surprised when he’d agreed to be my roommate this year too.

Leon had just rolled his eyes and said yes because I needed a keeper or we were either going to end up on an episode of Jerry Springer or some prime-time news program after they found my body. I was voting for Jerry Springer because that looked like fun.

He hadn’t thought my response was funny.

“Destin, you were the guy who decided that the first club you should explore was that weird dive bar on the other side of town.” When I just shrugged, he huffed and stood, giving me a stern stare. “You could have gotten killed or mugged or—”

“You worry too much.” It was probably a nice thing that he paid attention to me, but he needed to take a deep breath or he’d get an ulcer or something. “It turned out fine. They were very nice to me.”

“Because you looked like a virgin sacrifice being offered up to the motorcycle gods.” Leon seemed very serious, but they hadn’t been that bad.

“The guys were attentive and excited to meet me, but no one took liberties.” Well, they hadn’t taken too many—just enough to make things interesting.

Thankfully, they’d been very interested in watching the waiter who was being teased by his Dom or boyfriend or something. When I made it clear I wasn’t going to sleep with anyone and wasn’t interested in blowing them in the bathroom, they went back to watching what seemed to be the nightly floor show.

It was fascinating, but I’d decided it wasn’t my scene, so I’d only gone back a few times. Clubs and things were fun too, but when guys realized I was serious about not going home with any of them, they quickly found someone else to dance with. It was frustrating but not unexpected.

Leon had warned me—loudly and emphatically—that I was setting myself up for problems going to a place like that, but I had no desire to meet a guy at the library. I wanted interesting and fun, not Harry Potter. Leon still didn’t understand that.

“You’re going to get mugged or worse if you keep going out to sketchy places.” Leon turned back to his desk, leaving me free to sigh and roll my eyes.

He sounded like my mother.

Just a bit more controlling and he actually paid attention to what I was doing.

“I’ve stopped for the most part. That should make you happy.” He was very hard to please.

He whirled around. “You’ve only stopped because you’re leading on older men. Two of them.”

I was going to have to start keeping some things to myself.

“I’m not leading either of them on.” I fully planned on putting out once I figured out which one I wanted to date. “And they’re not that much older.”

He made them sound like they were eighty. I wasn’t sure how old either guy technically was, but they were crazy sexy. I evidently had a thing for older men. I loved discovering new things about myself. But I just wished it would all come a little faster.

Being able to press a button or fill out some questions on an app that would tell me everything about myself would be nice. But so far, the only ones I’d found online were just for fun and terribly inaccurate. Being a virgin didn’t make me some kind of old-fashioned nun. It meant I was picky and still figuring out what I wanted.

If I rushed, how would I know if I was the romantic type and wanted rose petals and soft music or if I was the dirty rap songs and floggers type?

These were issues that had to be taken very seriously.

Which was how I’d come to be flirting with two different older men. Understanding that I liked older men didn’t tell me if I was the type to date the sexy cop who seemed really sweet or if I was the type to date the dirty mechanic with a wicked smile.

Decisions were hard.

“They’ve both got to be over forty.” Leon’s expression said that was criminal or possibly fell into the same category as the puppy play did.

“But that’s what I like about them.” They made me feel tingly and warm when they smiled at me, so I could only imagine how I would feel if they touched me.

“You’re insane. And you’re going to end up on the wrong side of some weird love triangle while I’m trying to explain to the host of some late-night murder show how you got mixed up with two killers.” Leon’s imagination had to be more fruitful than mine; he was just using it for worrying instead of sexy things like I was.

He was clearly an underachiever.

“It’s not going to turn out to be some weird love triangle. That only happens in books.” Right?

I’d only seen love triangles in books and some of the odd TV shows I’d found since starting college. Getting caught up on years of entertainment was hard, but I’d done some incredible binge-watching marathons, so I was now familiar with most of the teen dramas and cartoons everyone else seemed to have watched.

The soap operas seemed like more trouble than they’re worth, and I’d gotten good at rolling my eyes and saying that reality shows were rigged. When you were disdainful, no one realized that you grew up in what was basically a cult and had no idea what they were talking about.

Maybe it wasn’t nice, but it was helpful.

Cartoons were more fun anyway. Who wanted to watch some idiot pick drunk women to date or fight over who got to stay on an island and starve?

People were weird if that was entertainment.

“If we end up murdered because you were greedy and got into some kind of fucked-up ménage, I will haunt you for the rest of your existence. No corner of heaven will be safe.” The way his eyes narrowed said he was serious, but I was pretty sure you weren’t supposed to go after people in heaven.

That seemed to be against the whole idea, but who was I to criticize?


“Fucked-up ménage?” Like ménage à trois? “That’s a thing?”

Why hadn’t I been told that was a real thing?

Leon rolled his eyes. “You know about puppy play but not about threesomes?”


“That’s just in porn or at something like an orgy. That was on one of those lists of things people don’t really do in real relationships.” My research into sex had been a bit of a rabbit trail, just following things I found interesting, but had I missed something that fascinating?

I clearly needed more research time devoted to sexual relationships and less to cartoons.

Leon was starting to look uncomfortable, like when I’d asked him if rimming was really a thing or just in porn. That hadn’t been on my list. “You mean like fundamentalist communities where the man has more than one wife?”

That didn’t seem like fun.

With my luck, I’d end up stuck doing dishes in a prairie dress for all eternity.

Leon groaned, but he shook his head and started squirming like he had to pee, so I knew he’d eventually answer. “No, not like that. Like Bob, Sue, and Sally all like each other, so Bob doesn’t pick just one, they all date each other.”

Porn was starting to look more and more like real life, no matter what people said.

Real life just had better dialogue.

“But what if Bob wants to date the sexy cop who pulled him over and the gruff mechanic that sold him a car?” Leon actually cracked a smile at my question, but he nodded.

The fact that I’d met both of them on the same day was making me rethink my skepticism about fate…and seeing them over and over around town after that was only feeding into my acceptance of fate. Leon just thought I was nuts and needed to date someone boring.

“Yep, that’s a thing too.” He seemed very resigned as he explained it, but it wasn’t my fault I didn’t know all this. “There are probably a lot of articles online about it somewhere, but it’s supposed to be this dating thing that’s been there all along, but now people are being more open about it.”

I must have appeared too interested because he gave me another dirty look.

And not the good kind of dirty.

“That doesn’t mean it’s safe or a good idea, so get that look off your face.”


“It’s mostly just with people into all that BDSM crap you like to read about, so the chances of either of those men being into that are slim to none. You’re going to end up with a black eye or heartache or both.” Leon was passionate enough that he might be right, but neither of them looked violent or terribly vanilla to me.

Was there a good way to ask that?

“How do I know if they’re kinky or not?” Leon didn’t seem to like that question because his face started losing color.

“We’re going to end up on TV.” Then he stared up at the ceiling again.

He had a lot of faith that God was paying attention to my sex life.

Looking back down at my computer, I opened the document where I kept research notes and questions and added in one about legitimate ménages in real life. Then one about bringing up BDSM in casual conversations.

Could you ask a guy you were flirting with what his opinion on tail butt plugs was?

Unfortunately, I knew the answer just by thinking about what Leon would say.


But how was I supposed to know if I couldn’t ask?

I thought back to one of the articles I’d read that talked about finding people in your area who were into BDSM. At the time I hadn’t been ready to meet anyone like that in real life, but now I wasn’t so sure. Didn’t scientists say the best research was hands-on?

Local people couldn’t be too weird, right?

Aside from a few people who seemed to be exploring their individuality a little more than most, the average person I ran into on the street seemed very boring. Could one of them be into something fun and kinky?

I opened some new windows on my computer and started looking through the different social media accounts I’d opened since starting college. Most were boring, but there were a few that were fun. One site had a ton of pups and littles and another had groups where people talked about all kinds of things.

Oh, jackpot.

There were groups about people being in relationships with more than one other person and even a local group about BDSM. I couldn’t tell much about the groups, but I asked to join several and even answered a ton of questions from the local meet-up group. Before I could join, they wanted to know a variety of things about me, so I did my best to give thorough answers.

I had a feeling one- or two-word responses would not get me an invitation.

“What are you doing? You look guilty.” Leon didn’t seem to really want me to answer that question because he refused to come over and look when I just gave him a grin.

“Nothing. Just responding to messages.” Kind of.

And I wasn’t feeling guilty, I was feeling wicked and excited. It really was too bad Leon didn’t have anywhere to go because I could have used a few minutes of privacy.

He sighed, making me feel like a kid who’d done something stupid. “Don’t sext people or send any pictures of your junk.”

“Why would I send someone a picture of my penis?” If porn had shown me anything, it was that cocks were more fun to play with in person. Why would I randomly send a still picture like that?

He groaned.

That wasn’t a good answer.

“I’m not explaining that. Just don’t do it.” Leon was going to make some frustrated teenager a very attentive father one day.

But I didn’t need it currently.

“Okay.” I wasn’t going to argue about something I wouldn’t do to begin with. I’d thought dick pics were something people just joked about, but clearly, I was wrong about that.

“Promise me.” He sat up and gave me a stern look. “No dirty selfies or home movies or anything else that involves taking pictures of yourself naked.”

It was like masturbation lecture all over again, but instead of being told I would go to hell if I touched my penis, Leon was losing it about the camera. People were insane. My hand hadn’t fallen off when I’d touched my dick, so would the world end if I took a picture of it?

Finally, I sighed when I realized he wouldn’t back down from the ridiculous rule. “Fine, I promise not to send pictures of my penis to anyone.”

“Good.” He looked like he was going to relax, but then he got stern again. “And stop calling it a penis. Dick. Cock. Use another word.”

He really had a lot of rules about talking about sex.

“It’s an accurate word.” And it seemed to make him squirm.

I’d never been allowed to use words like that before coming to college, so they weren’t always the first ones I thought of. The bonus was that Leon seemed very uncomfortable every time I used anatomically correct words.

I wasn’t sure why, but it was fun to drive him nuts, so I hadn’t questioned it.

“I don’t care if it’s accurate. No one talks like that.” Leon finally huffed and turned back to his desk. “Just don’t do anything stupid. Don’t talk to weird strangers about BDSM, and you should find someone your own age to get to know.”

I had a feeling that Leon’s picture was next to the definition of stick in the mud in the dictionary.

He didn’t seem to realize I hadn’t agreed to find someone my own age to date. I’d promised earlier not to do anything stupid, but I wasn’t going to promise to walk away from my guys. I might not know who I’d end up with, but I knew there could be something special with both men.

Unfortunately, just because they flirted with me didn’t mean they’d be willing to explore BDSM, and that was something I was starting to realize I wasn’t willing to compromise on. I didn’t know which parts really appealed to me, but there was so much out there that I couldn’t walk away from it.

“I’m not going to do anything stupid.” Meeting local people who participated in mutually interesting activities couldn’t be counted as talking to weird strangers. They were locals. “I’m going to dinner.”

He groaned. “I hate Mexican.”

But he was going to go because he didn’t think I should be let out on my own in public.

My sexy cop had been at the same restaurant for the past four weeks in a row and I wasn’t going to miss the chance to watch him laugh and throw food at his friends…and if I got to smile and flirt, that would be even better. “Tacos are calling my name. Let’s go.”

Well, tacos and a certain sexy cop.

The Only Way to Dream by MA Innes- Gay Romance Ebook Cover Synopsis:
Flirting with two fascinating men is fun for Destin, but he has to pick just one of the sweet guys if he wants to open up and share his secrets, doesn’t he?

Growing up in a unique environment hasn’t prepared Destin for college or the real world. Luckily, he knows how to throw himself into a project, whether it’s about learning to live in the dorms or the wonderful world of BDSM.

But it isn’t until he realizes that he might not have to choose between the sexy cop and the mechanic with the wicked smile that he realizes how much he still has to learn.

Avery and Ray have been flirting with the mysterious and mischievous Destin for weeks, but it isn’t until he starts to open up that they realize there’s more to the loveable flirt than meets the eye. But when getting to know Destin means dating each other as well, they start to realize how much is riding on their new relationship…everything.

Story Contains: M/M/m romantic content, age play (no ABDL), puppy play, spankings, an excitable sub who throws himself into every situation, a mechanic with a terrible sense of humor, and a cop who thinks they’re both uniquely perfect.
Buy on Amazon