“You’re sure you want me to come? I know this isn’t exactly like a job interview but…” I didn’t know how to phrase it without sounding mean, but how many job interviews did you bring your boyfriend to, much less your Dom and Daddy?
Bryan threw himself down on the couch, looking frustrated. “You didn’t hear him. I want the internship, but he said applicants had to be able to explain why they wanted to work in a practice that handled more unique relationships. Well, ours is unique, but if I have to tell him, then you have to be there.”
“I’m not saying I won’t be there for you, B, but I just want to make sure you know what you’re doing. You want this, right?” I still wasn’t sure it was a good idea. When he’d come back from class last month talking about this crazy guest lecturer they had, I was glad he’d found the guy interesting. When it turned into a possible internship, I’d been excited—until I’d heard about the fine print.
He gave me a confused look. “I do, but it’s…I…I have to talk about it—with a stranger. This is the perfect opportunity though. As long as I don’t give myself a heart attack or something.”
The guest speaker had come back a week or so later to discuss a new position in his practice. Part file clerk/errand boy and part internship, Bryan would learn a lot. If the guy’s clients were anywhere close to as unique as the hypothetical cases he’d talked about in class, I knew it would be a good chance for Bryan to become more comfortable with himself.
I just wasn’t sure if Bryan could do it, and I wasn’t sure I should push him.
Explaining our relationship to someone wasn’t as scary to me as it was to Bryan, but I didn’t like the idea of sharing things with a stranger. We were still awkward when we were talking about stuff with Kevin and Jeremy, and they seemed weirder than we were.
Not that we’d learned much more about what they were into.
After the initial discussion, they’d both backed off. We still hung out a lot and studied together. Jeremy had even helped get my new business off the ground, but it was clear they weren’t ready to open up yet. If they hadn’t overheard Bryan and me, we probably wouldn’t have shared either, so we didn’t blame them.
Bryan took a deep breath and looked up at me, a serious expression on his face. “Do you think it’s a bad idea?”
“No.” I knew that right away. “I just don’t want to push you into something you’re not ready for. You said yourself that there are a lot of seniors going for the internship, even though they might not have the exact background the guy is looking for. I don’t want you to stress yourself out sharing things you’re uncomfortable with then still not get it.”
So maybe I was overprotective.
Bryan had filled out the initial application and even answered some hypothetical questions well enough that he’d gotten a call back for the in-person interview, but that was when he’d started to panic. We’d been going around in circles for the past week, and we hadn’t made any progress. I felt like a failure but I wasn’t sure what would be best.
I pushed off the counter I’d been leaning on and walked over to the couch to sit down beside him. Pulling him into my arms, I tipped us over until he was lying on top of me, laughing. “Much better. I love this couch.”
He squirmed around until he was comfortable then gave me a kiss. “Me too. Lots of room to cuddle with you.”
That was another thing Kevin and Jeremy had helped us with—furniture. They’d gone with us almost every weekend to hunt for things for the apartment. It was turning out better than I’d hoped. Jeremy had a good eye for bargains and was able to plan things out well, so our place looked homey and not like the typical first apartment mess. Some of the guys I’d had study sessions with lived in hovels that looked like they were furnished with stuff from the dump. And not the good reinvented stuff you see online.
“All right, here’s what we’re going to do.” Now I had Bryan’s complete attention. “We’re going to head over there and talk to the guy. If he thinks it’s weird I’m there, then it will be your call. I can hang out in the car or we can leave. I haven’t met him, so I don’t have an opinion. I will support whatever you want. If you’re not comfortable, then we leave.”
Bryan leaned down and gave me a quick, tender kiss. “Then we come home and have playtime?”
“Yes. Regular schedule after we get back. Playtime and booktime, then later we’ll have dinner and study.” It had taken us a while to get settled into a new routine, but we’d finally found what would work for us at school. Tuesdays and Thursdays were lighter days for us, so those were days he was little in the afternoons. On the weekends, it was more lifestyle. He was in his cock cage a lot and was even little most weekends, depending on what the plans were.
We had dinner and watched movies with Kevin and Jeremy quite a bit, so we had to plan our time, but it was working out pretty well. With Thanksgiving break coming up, we’d have to figure out that schedule soon.
I was voting for his mom’s house, but my parents were starting to make noise again about having dinner with them. Hmm, homemade dinner with someone who understood us and loved us or dinner out at a restaurant or with an overpriced caterer with people who’d go crazy if they knew our real plans? It was such a hard decision.
Bryan perked up. “And a bath?”
“Of course, it’s Thursday. Now let’s go so we can get back and have fun. I might have a surprise for you.”
I laughed at his excitement. “Not going to tell you yet. You have to wait until we get back.”
“Is it a toy surprise or a toy surprise?” He looked like he wasn’t sure if he wanted it to be a naughty toy or something tamer.
I grinned, lifting my head up to give him a quick kiss. “Not going to tell.”
He frowned at me but climbed off and reached down to pull me up. “Let’s go so we can get back.”
Smiling, we headed out the door. When we got to the car, I decided the best way to keep him from worrying about the conversation with the therapist would be to give him something else to worry over. “So, have you talked to your mom about Thanksgiving?”
Bryan leaned back in the seat and nodded. “Yes. She wants us to come back for the whole week. She understands if we can’t. I told her I wasn’t sure about your work schedule or if you had any in-person meetings. You said something about that, but I couldn’t find anything on your calendar. She went on and on about how proud of you she was with the new business.”
I didn’t know what to say to that; it was still weird sometimes to have a parental figure who didn’t think you were a waste of time. “I might have forgotten to write it down. Sorry. I have that meeting with the author’s group on Monday but that’s it.” Thanks to Jeremy’s help with my website, my bookkeeping business was taking off. I had several students who owned their own businesses as clients and I was starting to pick up some local small businesses as well.
Last week, I’d been contacted by a local writers’ club that wanted me to show them some easy ways to keep track of expenses. It might not get me any clients but it seemed like a good networking opportunity, so I’d said yes.
“That’s right. I knew there was something. So I’ll tell her we’ll come down Tuesday and stay for a couple of days? Are your parents still talking about having dinner at that restaurant?” He frowned and shook his head. “That sounds like it would suck.”
I had to agree.
Not only would the food probably be terrible, so would the company. “They’re having people over, probably clients and neighbors, but before my mom could corner me into agreeing to go, she got called off to some kind of household emergency so I was saved. If we’ve already made plans with your mom, then it isn’t lying when I tell her we can’t.”
I wasn’t sure if I could get out of everything though. “We might have to take the long way back and stop in for lunch with them or something, drinks maybe.”
He nodded. “That makes sense. They haven’t seen you in months.”
Bryan tried to make it sound like they missed me, but they just wanted to make sure I was still alive so they could tell their friends what I was up to. “It’ll just be another interrogation—you up for it?”
“Of course.” He looked at me like I was ridiculous. “Last time didn’t go too bad. You did a great job of turning things around on them. It’ll be fine.”
I wished I was as confident as he was about it. They made me crazy. Lying and shading the truth worked before, but I was always afraid something would go wrong. I didn’t mind their disappointment and anger, but I didn’t want it aimed at Bryan. Reaching over, I squeezed his leg. “You’re right.”
“Of course I am.” Bryan grinned and moved to hold my hand. “Oh, Mom said she ordered a cheesecake from the bakery for Thanksgiving. I know it’s not traditional, but they make a fabulous one. It’s only a few times a year, but Mom’s been getting them since I can remember.”
“If it’s anything like the other stuff we got, it sounds great.” We needed to get another box of pastries to bring back with us. Now that we had a real kitchen, there was more space to store them. “Hey, do you think those pastries freeze? Like on that cooking show we saw the other day.”
Bryan laughed. “Aren’t you Susie Homemaker? Or should I call you Daddy Homemaker from now on?”
“If you’re itching for a spanking, maybe.” I frowned and gave his leg a little squeeze. “If you don’t want to figure out a way to keep them longer then I—”
“No, you win. Those chocolate croissant things fresh for weeks…I could get used to that.” He smiled and leaned over to start playing with the air conditioner. “Mom might know.”
“I’ll call her and ask later before I forget. If she thinks it will work, we’ll need to clean out the freezer before we go.” If it came down to keeping cheap microwave pizzas or having room for heaven, I’d pick heaven.
“Good idea.” He looked like he was going to say something else, but when he glanced up from fiddling with the buttons, he froze.
When we’d driven to the office before—just for a practice run because Bryan wanted to be sure we could find the building—I thought it had taken longer. Evidently, Bryan did too because he looked around confused like he hadn’t realized how quickly the trip had gone.
“You sure this is what you want?” I was turning into some kind of overprotective parent, but I couldn’t help it. The idea of this going bad and the doctor even inadvertently hurting him made me nuts. It had to be because I didn’t know him and this was completely out of my control. Control freak much?
Bryan nodded but grabbed on to my hand again with a death grip. “I can tell him about us, right? You don’t mind? Because I won’t do it if it makes you uncomfortable.”
I wasn’t sure if he wanted me to say it would or wouldn’t, but I was trying to guess what he needed from me and I was floundering. “The not knowing and possibly not being able to protect you makes me…worried. I’m not saying no. You can tell him or anyone whatever you feel comfortable sharing. I’ll always support you on that.”
He looked over at me and smiled. “I love you.”
“Love you too, nut.”
He gave me his best frustrated frown, but the laughter in his eyes gave him away. “I’m not nuts.”
“We’re about to head into a therapist’s office so you can tell him about our age-play and BDSM lifestyle. You’ll probably also have to tell him that your mother knows too.”
He laughed and nodded. “You’re terrible. And I’m not mentioning my mother. That part sounds crazy. The rest just makes us colorful.”
I pretended to dust something off my lap. “The rainbow has exploded all over us but it seems to have landed in the shapes of floggers, cock cages, and binkies.”
He frowned and started shaking his head. “You cannot say things like that in there, or he will think we’re lunatics. We’re aiming for open-minded and understanding, not insane. Remember, I’m trying to get a job…not get committed.”
I was still laughing when we got out of the car. “You don’t think he’ll appreciate my sense of humor?”
Bryan couldn’t seem to decide if I was teasing or not. He gave me a slightly freaked out look and threw his hands up in the air. “I’m sunk. I’ll either freeze or he’ll assume we’re crazy.” Then he glanced over at me with a skeptical expression. “You’re just trying to make me leave you in the car, aren’t you?”
I gave him my best innocent look, cocking my head. “Me? Would I do that?”
“I don’t know, but it seems likely right now.” He was still frowning at me as we walked into the lobby of the building.
Deliberately making the guy think we were nuts wasn’t the plan, but distracting Bryan was and it worked. He was still mumbling under his breath about me making him nuts as we walked up to the receptionist’s desk.
She was a mature woman who reminded me a lot of Bryan’s mother. Her smile was warm and open and even Bryan’s frustrated glances at me didn’t faze her. I just gave an innocent look that she didn’t seem to buy and said hello.
Bryan seemed to shake off my teasing. He straightened his shoulders, giving her a confident smile. “Hello, my name is Bryan and I have an appointment with Dr. Sheppard for the internship.”
She gave him an understanding smile and looked toward a door. “Dr. Sheppard is in a meeting, but he’ll be with you in just a few minutes. You can have a seat and I’ll let him know you’re here as soon as he’s free.”
“Thank you.” Bryan smiled and turned toward the chairs.
Following him, doing my best to show him I could behave, I sat down beside him. Trying to find something else to use to distract him, I leaned back in the chair and whispered low. “Were there any other errands we needed to run while we were at your mom’s house?”
It took him a minute to get it, but soon his eyes widened and he glanced quickly over at the receptionist. He gave me a look clearly trying to make me behave. “No. Not that I can think of.”
“I had some ideas. I’ll show you later.” I hadn’t found anything online. However, the mental images had his mind so distracted he didn’t even shift when the door to the doctor’s office opened. I was focused on Bryan, so it took us both by surprise when we heard a familiar voice.
“Thanks, Dr. Sheppard. We’ll see you next week.” The cheerful voice was one we heard almost daily.
Our heads moved so fast we probably looked ridiculous—but in our defense, it was surprising. Walking out of Dr. Sheppard’s door were Kevin and Jeremy. They shook the man’s hand, who I was assuming was Dr. Sheppard, and turned to walk toward the receptionist.
You could see the exact moment they noticed us. They both froze, and we all had that Oh-shit-what-do-I-do? moment. Dr. Sheppard cleared his throat and looked at us all. “Is there a problem, gentlemen?”
He was either the king of understatement or it was one of those shrink questions because I thought it was obvious. Kevin must have too. Just as he opened his mouth, Jeremy covered his mouth with his hand. “Don’t even say it.”
Kevin’s grin was peeking out around Jeremy’s hand and he elbowed Jeremy. Dr. Sheppard gave us all a calm, almost curious look and thoughts seemed to race across his face, but I couldn’t tell what he was thinking. “Would you gentleman like to come inside my office, or shall we pretend you didn’t see each other?”