Still angry, Kael got into his unobtrusive dark blue car parked down the street from the London Clinic, and grabbed the wheel so tightly that his knuckles turned white. Angel pulled his earbuds out and switched off his iPod, turning to him with a smile that quickly disappeared, due, Kael assumed, to the look on his face.
“How’d it go, Daddy?” Angel asked, his tone doubtful.
Kael took a deep breath to stop himself from raising his voice. It wasn’t Angel’s fault; it was Conran’s. “I was asked a lot of personal questions by a woman with a mustache. How do you think it went?”
“Oh no,” Angel said on a groan. “Tell me you didn’t mention it.”
Kael turned to look at his boy. “The mustache? Of course I did. You know me. I shouldn’t have, she was only doing her job, but it’s too late now.” Acknowledging his mistake was one thing. Remorse was another, and of that he had none.
“Actually, Daddy, that’s really good.”
Kael reached out and ran his hand tenderly over Angel’s head. The boy’d had his long blond hair cut short, making his delicate face and stunning silver-gray eyes look even more beautiful. He also looked more like a young man and less like a boy, though he was still extremely slender. “What’s good?”
“You knew you shouldn’t have said anything about it. That you did is another matter, but you’re improving your social skills all the time.” Angel smiled, placing a hand on Kael’s thigh. “Should I drive? Sometimes it’s not a good idea to drive when you’re upset.”
Angel always managed to say confrontational things in the most diplomatic way possible, making it hard to take offense. “I’m fine.” Kael fastened his seat belt and pulled into the relatively light London traffic.
“I have to go and see her tomorrow, Daddy. Too bad we couldn’t have gone together,” Angel said. “Anyway, how come I have to go at all?”
“Dr. Reynolds is the official SIS shrink. She sees everyone at some point. I’ve just never shown up for an appointment before.”
“So how come you went today?”
Kael turned onto Euston Road. “Because Stephen fucking Conran has put my job on hold until my assessment is completed. I’m going to kill him, or at least seriously injure him.”
When he drove onto the Strand underpass, Angel said, “Oh, Daddy, no. This is a bad idea.”
“What is?” Kael asked.
“You’re heading for Legoland.” Kael smiled at his boy’s using the intelligence community’s nickname for MI6 headquarters. The building looked like it could be made of giant Legos. “Daddy, when most people say, I could kill that person, they don’t really mean it. You often do. Let’s go home. Everything will be fine.”
“Who’s your Master?” Kael often said those words when Angel questioned him. Though he had to admit, his boy only questioned him when he was about to make a really bad choice. In all other matters, Angel obeyed his Daddy without question and sought out Kael’s advice whenever he was unsure of anything.
“You are, Sir. You’ll always be my Master.”
“Then don’t question me. I want to speak to Conran.”
“No, you want to hit Mr. Conran, and it’s not a good idea, Daddy. You should only cause him pain when he’s in the dungeon and it’s consensual.”
Ever the voice of reason, that was his boy. Kael pulled up to the curb near 85 Albert Embankment and looked at the SIS building gleaming in the afternoon sun. His career with MI6 had been a source of great pride and satisfaction over the last twelve years, but sometimes, dealing with his handler and others in authority within the agency made him want to turn rogue. But Angel was right, and vengeance was a dish best served cold. “All right, sweetheart.” He drew back into traffic and headed home. “I’m hungry. What are you going to make for dinner?”
Angel’s sigh of relief filled the car before he said, “I found a great new recipe for mac and cheese. And of course I’ll make lots of vegetables to go with it. How does that sound, Daddy?”
“Excellent.” Kael smiled. Macaroni cheese was his boy’s favorite food. But the truth was, Kael was sick of it.
* * * *
A glass of whisky made Kael feel much better, but he wasn’t ready yet to get over his displeasure at Conran. In the kitchen Angel poured the macaroni cheese into a baking dish, sprinkled more cheese on top, and bent to put it in the oven. Standing upright, he smiled at Kael, that jubilant, wide smile he always had when he was happy with something he’d done.
“You’ll like this, Daddy. It’s mac and cheese elevated to a near gourmet level. I used four cheeses, Gruyère, white cheddar, a little mozzarella.” He said mozzarella
in an exaggerated Italian accent. “And some brie to make it really creamy.”
“Sounds delicious. Strip!”
Angel paused for a split second, but only because he was taken by surprise. “Yes, Sir.”
Kael sat on a stool at the counter watching while Angel removed his clothes swiftly, placing each item neatly on a kitchen chair. Naked at last, he stood to attention, hands neatly folded at his tailbone, feet slightly apart, chin up, and eyes lowered, shoulders squared. The ruby studs in Angel’s nipples gleamed in the light. The boy’s long, lean body was beautiful, making Kael’s cock stretch with desire.
“Perfect,” Kael said and watched a tiny smile twitch Angel’s mouth. In the nearly two years they had been together, Angel never tired of being praised. It built his self-esteem and made him a better boy. Kael had always known that if you want to make a boy a better slave, you approve of and encourage him every time he meets your expectations. Some Doms were into criticism and there was a place for that, but not in everyday interactions with your sub.
“What veg did you make?”
“A big salad. It’s in the fridge with all your favorites in it, mange tout, romaine lettuce, and radishes,” he said with a grin. “Because Daddy likes things hot! No tomatoes because Daddy only likes them cooked.”
“Good boy,” Kael approved, happy that Angel knew him so well. “How long will the macaroni cheese take?”
“One hour, Daddy, to get the top all crispy and golden.” Angel licked his lips. “I can taste it already.”
Kael enjoyed food, but he never thought about it unless he was absolutely starving. Angel, on the other hand, loved cooking and trying new foods. When the boy was hungry, he had a very hard time waiting to eat. Kael was still training him to wait, a necessary skill in a field operative, and Angel had improved. Glancing at the unopened yogurt waiting on the counter with a spoon, Kael knew Angel had intended to have a snack while the dinner cooked.
“Dungeon, now!” He smiled when Angel threw a surreptitious look at the yogurt before obeying.
At the door to the dungeon, Kael gripped Angel by his upper arms. “Look at me, boy.” He waited until Angel obeyed. “You have two choices.”
Surprise registered in Angel’s eyes at the same moment that he swallowed, apprehension clear in his face. He was never given choices in the dungeon except the option to use his safe words.
“Choice number one is—I give you a good flogging with the single tail just to show you what a good Master I am.”
Angel grinned, his sweet face as receptive as it always was. He’d had many floggings, and even when the pain had exceeded his capacity to manage it, he was brave and always worked his way through it, impressing Kael immensely.
“Choice number two is—no safe words. I take you to another level of trust, and you accept whatever I choose to do, knowing that we have only one hour and whatever I do to you—it will be over relatively soon.”
The smile fell from Angel’s face, replaced at first with a tinge of fear and then acceptance. The boy took a couple of long breaths before saying, “I choose number two, Daddy.”
“Because you think that’s what I want or because it’s what you want?” Kael asked, wanting Angel to be certain.
“Both,” Angel said with the same simple honesty he always employed.
“I won’t stop no matter how loudly you scream; that’s why I’m giving you a choice.”
For some time Kael had had this particular test in mind. It was the one thing Angel balked at every time Kael had tried it, and having only an hour’s window would give Angel the security of knowing that it could not go on too long. Also, knowing it would be traumatic for Angel, Kael was giving his boy some control over the situation by offering to allow him to refuse even if he didn’t know in advance what was coming.
Angel gazed up at him for a moment, then said, “I trust you, Daddy. Whatever you do, it’s always to make me a better boy.”
“You are a good boy, Angel. I’m proud of you. I love you, and that won’t change no matter what decision you make, so choose wisely.”
Kael looked deeply into Angel’s eyes. Yes, there was a little fear there, but the same trust his boy always had in him was there also. “I accept choice number two.”
“Right. In you go.”
In the dungeon Kael often liked to strip naked to work on a sub, but it put him at a psychological advantage when he was clothed and the sub was naked. He had worn dark jeans and a black shirt to visit the doctor. Now he stripped off his shirt but kept on his jeans and boots. The moment he locked the door and placed the key on the ledge above it, Angel dropped to his knees. With his shoulders on the floor and his arse in the air, he kissed his Master’s boots.
This wasn’t going to be a scene where Kael babied and encouraged Angel. While he enjoyed that at times, he was not in the mood, and with this particular test he must be perceived by Angel as utterly sure of himself—which he was. With Angel still attempting to hug his ankles, Kael broke free and strode across the dungeon to the shelf where he kept his assortment of leather hoods all stretched over Styrofoam heads to preserve their shape. Angel still had a fear of hoods and only tolerated well the loose pull-on hood with no laces that was open at the nose and mouth. He looked back at Angel to see the boy still on his knees by the door looking nervously at him as he fingered the hoods.
On the shelf beside the hoods was the new stainless-steel slave collar Kael had bought but not yet used. It had a heavy padlock that fastened at the back of the neck and a thick O-ring on the front for a leash. When he’d picked it out at Caged, his favorite fetish-wear shop in Voho, Angel had looked longingly at the beautiful, shiny collar but said nothing, knowing he would wear it eventually. Now the boy looked at him with relief when he saw the collar and not the hood in Kael’s hands.
When they got into a scene inside or outside of the dungeon, Angel had taken to calling him Sir or Master, keeping Daddy for everyday life, especially the gentle times when they made love in bed or cuddled on the couch while watching a movie. The boy was never embarrassed to call him Daddy, no matter who was present.
Kael snatched a condom from the package on the shelf, shoved it into his pocket, and with long, purposeful strides he approached his boy. “Stand up.”
Instantly Angel obeyed. Kael held up the collar and watched as a smile bloomed over Angel’s beautiful face. Kael locked the collar in place before tucking the key into his jeans pocket. The smooth stainless steel settled perfectly just above Angel’s collarbone, giving him the look of a beautiful slave boy from a palace in the distant past. Angel gazed up at him with the adoration he always displayed when looking at his Daddy, but Kael made only the briefest eye contact. He pushed the tip of his forefinger through the O-ring on the front of the collar and forcefully led Angel across the dungeon to the leather sling.
“Sir…” Angel began.
“Do not speak.”
Clamping his lips shut, Angel lowered his gaze.
With his hands on Angel’s shoulders, Kael positioned his boy until he was standing centered at the sling; then with both hands he pushed Angel firmly in the chest. Not expecting the move, Angel cried out as he fell backward, but when the sling caught him, cradling him perfectly, he smiled and then giggled. “That felt weird.”
Kael decided not to admonish the boy for speaking. He merely looked at him through narrowed eyes, and it was enough. The smile fell at once from Angel’s face, and he lowered his gaze again, knowing he had done wrong by speaking. Quickly Kael fetched a set of ankle cuffs. He secured Angel’s ankles to the chains above his shoulders, placing him in an uncomfortable and awkward position. The boy’s hands were still free, and he looked at Kael through his spread thighs, his expression telling Kael that this was nothing out of the ordinary.
He was right, this wasn’t, but it would soon get very difficult for him.