Danny: “So Orion’s story is next.”
Z: (my head screamed YES, but that wasn’t the original order of the story) Um, no. Why?
Danny: His story is next.
Z: … No, actually Xander’s—
Danny: Orion gets a happy ending, so who is it? Marcus? Although what about Hunter? (she completely ignored my attempts at denials) Marcus? It’s Marcus, right? But Hunter…
Z: … (the plot bunny threw a lightning bolt at my head) Damn you!
Danny: Why not—
Z: Don’t say it. I know…
Danny: (LOL) Orion does need a village just ask Xander.
Z: (growled & pouted)
Then I did what was destined to be and wrote Securedand Free.
And that’s how my story priority order changed, and how Orion got his happily ever after in book two of Entwined Dreams.
I want to share some excerpts from Lockand Key as well as Secured and Free. I think this will help remind you where his path took him.
This first snippet is when meet Orion in Chapter 2 of Lock and Key (Entwined Dreams #1). Since the main character, Zack Davis is 18 years old I show him dipping his toes into the BDSM pond. Chapter 2 is a BDSM 101 class and basic demonstration.
Excerpt of Lock and Key:
Once the chuckles and laughter died down, Jason continued. “As you can see, we are pretty relaxed here. Still, Orion and I have talked about what we’ll do tonight. We both worked out the expectations of this scene. He’s shared with me his limits, and I’ve shared mine.”
A murmur raced through the crowd.
Jason grinned. “Ah, I see. You don’t think someone in the Dominant role has limits or should explain those to the sub?”
No one said anything.
Orion shrugged and said, “I wanted more intensity with the impact play than Master Jason was willing to give me. He told me his limits, and I need to respect them or find a new play partner.”
Zack understood that kind of raw had-to-have-it need.
Jason nodded. “Neither partner should be forced into a place they’re not comfortable in. I’m not saying limits shouldn’t be pushed and boundaries can’t be adjusted, but there’s a process… a negotiation for that.”
Orion frowned but didn’t say more.
Later on, in Book #1 we find out Orion’s need for rougher play had gotten out of hand.
Excerpt from Lock and Key:
There was a brief silence, which Tony broke. “I want to continue discussing abuse versus discipline.” Everyone glanced around them until all gazes fell on Orion Gordon.
Zack had never played much with the researcher because he couldn’t meet Orion’s need for pain. Though they’d had plenty of discussions about the progress being made in cancer research.
Fuck, no. Zack did recall he’d noticed Orion with more than one blackened eye; the guy had said it was a work-related injury. Shit! Today the guy sported two black eyes, a swollen cheek, and a split lip. How had he missed the way Orion flinched when someone made quick movements around him?
Orion shrugged but wouldn’t meet anyone’s stare. “I don’t see the big deal. They’re mostly the same thing.”
What? He couldn’t be serious. Zack had to say something.
“Discipline is what a submissive submits to in order to learn, grow, make atonement, or find subspace. Abuse is nonconsensual and serves no purpose other than to vent anger or torment another in a non-agreed-upon way.”
When Orion didn’t look at Zack, he continued, “Even if you agreed to discipline, you didn’t agree to the willful disregard of your personal welfare.”
There was silence until someone across the room said, “Safe, sane, and consensual, right?”
“Or RACK.” Zack threw the term out there.
Someone new asked, “What’s RACK?”
Joey Junior cleared his throat and got everyone’s attention. “Risk-Awareness and Consensual Kink. Nothing is completely safe. Driving a car isn’t completely safe, but we have seat belts and airbags. It’s about being aware of the risks and trying to minimize the potential issues.”
Tony asked, “I never understood why consensual kink instead of sane?”
“Well, think about it. Do you want someone not in the lifestyle telling you what sane is? Because I’d bet their definition is different than ours. If I give consent to explore breath play, I don’t want someone telling me that I’m insane. That’s between me and my Master.” Joey Junior glanced around the group.
Many gazes drifted back to the man who had everyone’s worry.
Orion peered up with a glint of defiance. “What if the play was consensual?”
“Was it?” Zack doubted Orion had given consent.
Orion folded his arms and pressed his lips together, which reopened his lip.
Xander, Orion’s best friend, pulled a tissue from his pocket and dabbed at the blood.
Orion grabbed the tissue and snarled, “Don’t. I’ve got this.”
Zack shook his head. “I find it difficult to imagine a contract or a discussion between a Master and sub, or even a slave, requesting consent to beat someone in the face.”
Tears sprang to Orion’s eyes, and he glanced away from the group.
Zack surveyed the other subs. Shit. Entwined was meant as a safe haven, but it happened even here. He’d never wanted anyone to experience the betrayal and violation he had. “Is this something that happens frequently?”
No one would answer until Sam said, “On occasion. Even with all the members being vetted, a couple Doms who don’t understand power exchange make it through.”
“What happens?” Jesus! Zack dug his fingernails into the chair, but he kept his voice even.
“Usually word gets out, and no one will scene with them, so they vanish.”
“Who did this to you, Orion?” Zack demanded, but the guy stubbornly refused to speak. Well, fuck no. Not happening again.
“Do you want that to happen to someone else? Do you want this guy to hook up with Xander? Or anyone else?” Zack wanted to wring the guy’s neck for protecting someone who needed his ass kicked.
“You know I like it rough.” Orion’s admission dared those around him to say something about it.
“There’s a difference between rough and out of control. A Dom should never be out of control. No one should be abused under the guise of BDSM play.”
Xander said, “Orion, don’t make me. You should say who, or I will.” He stroked his friend’s hair.
Orion pressed his lips together into a frown, but ultimately, he coughed up the name. “Dom Henry.”
“That fucking bastard,” one of the subs three seats away from Zack yelled out. “I’d like to explain the difference between discipline and abuse to him.”
Which brings us to the first chapter of Secured and Free. A few months have passed. Orion’s trust has so shaken he can’t even do a light scene.
Chapter 1 Excerpt Secured and Free:
“Cancer!” Orion couldn’t breathe.
Stop! Stop! Can’t be tied!
Everything needed to cease. Squeezing his eyes shut, he called out, “Cancer!”
The ropes vanished from around his wrists as if they had never been there.
It was no good. What kind of submissive was he if surrender was beyond him?
No! Trust. Can’t. No!
Zack spoke to him, but Orion couldn’t piece together the meaning of his words.
Andrew’s deep dominant voice cut through the building terror.
“Orion, I’m wrapping a blanket around you, and then I’m moving us to the platform.”
Blanket. Yes. Hide. No more.
Flat on his back, Orion burrowed into the warmth, hoping it might protect him.
Stupid. Idiot. I’m good for nothing. I can’t even—
Wanting it all to stop, he pressed closer to the body generating heat. The scene ended like it had too often in the recent past. There was a time Orion would have cut out his tongue rather than use a safeword. But now he used the word to make everything end before anything could even start.
“You’re with us. I’m lying next to you.” Zack’s words comforted him. Orion held on as Zack wrapped his arm lightly around Orion’s middle. Andrew stroked his hair. “You’re safe, Orion. Just breathe. Draw air in through your nose and out through your mouth. Inhale and exhale nice and slow.”
“Easy. In through your nose and out through your mouth,” Andrew instructed again.
Failed. Again. Don’t deserve to be held and petted. Can’t even breathe right.
The weight of disappointment threatened to bury him further in the abyss. Everything he believed about himself was... a lie. He focused all his energy on catching some air. Following these simple directions was the least he could do.
Inhale. Exhale. Even breaths. There. He had his respiration under control. His heart would slow eventually.
How many times had he been in one of these back rooms of Entwined? Probably countless times since he’d joined the BDSM club right after college. This room was like all the other nonthemed rooms. It was white with a padded platform for various activities. A supply cabinet stood in the corner to assist a Dom who needed to purchase something. Eyehooks decorated the walls at various heights, and it also contained a sofa, a chair, a bench, towels, blankets, and a fridge with water and juice. It had just about everything a Dom or a submissive required to live out their BDSM dreams.
Blinking to clear his vision, Orion muttered, “I thought I’d be able to handle straightforward bondage.”
Damn it. How things had changed. In the past, he’d never sought to play with either of these two men because they weren’t willing to give him the harsh treatment he needed.
Now, look at him. Had they even gotten a chance to secure the first knot on the rope before he called an end to the scene?
Was he that damaged?
Entwined Dreams: Secured and Free Blurb
An abusive Dom robbed Orion Gordon of his love of BDSM, destroying his confidence and leaving him unsure he’ll ever find peace through submission to another. Still, deep inside, his longing continues.
Marcus Sadir loves Hunter Dixon, yet can’t be the one thing Hunter truly desires: a sub to control. And Hunter can’t find satisfaction in the sadistic aspects of the BDSM lifestyle, while Marcus thrives on inflicting and sharing pain. When Marcus convinces Hunter they should find a third on a permanent basis, they discover Orion might be the key to bridging their differences and joining them on a deeper level.
But they must help Orion move past his trauma enough for him to enjoy new facets of BDSM and kink again. Their journey toward becoming whole—together—won’t be without challenges. Can Orion trust enough to try again?