Title: Cutting Cords (Book of Leather #6)
Author: Morticia Knight
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Release Date: May 23rd 2017
Liam yearns for Master Neal’s harsh touch, but Neal fears that a part-time Master can’t give a full-time sub everything he needs.
Liam’s world crumbled after the unexpected death of his Master. Prone to panic attacks and other social anxiety, Liam doesn’t believe he’ll ever find another Master who would be willing to take on such a challenged sub full-time. Too distraught to go back to Club Consequence where he met the man he thought he’d be with forever, he decides to give Kiss of Leather a try.
After doing a piercing gig at Kiss of Leather, Master Neal signs up to become a member. On the night he performs a demo as the final step to being accepted, he meets a sub who brings out his protective urge and makes his heart come alive. Neal isn’t scared off by Liam’s anxiety or social awkwardness. On the contrary, he finds the sub to be refreshingly honest and endearing.
They try out a scene to see if they’ll click, and their connection is everything they’d both hoped it could be. However, the road to love and a Total Power Exchange isn’t an easy one. Neal still hasn’t discovered all there is to know about Liam’s traumatic upbringing, and he’s not sure if he’d ultimately be the right Master for Liam.
Both men are forced to face the truth about love, life and what it means to share it with another person. But before Liam can start over with Neal, he’ll have to cut the cords to his past and trust that Neal will be there to catch him when he does.
Chuck eased himself back into the booth on the opposite end and Neal couldn’t miss his and Jordan’s compassionate expressions as they observed Liam. Damn. Neal rubbed his chest. He’d love to wrap his arms around Liam and hold him close, but something told him he’d have to hold back on touch until he knew more. Talk about unexpected. All he’d hoped for when he’d begun his day was to do well at his demonstration. This might be the bigger prize right here, though.
“I’m ready to order as soon as everyone else is,” Jordan interjected.
“Yeah, let me take a look at this.” Neal picked up the menu again, while Jordan turned to Chuck and asked him about his day. He glanced at Liam, who was doing an excellent impression of a statue. “Liam? Any of these selections grab you?”
Liam briefly twisted his hands together before stilling them. “No thank you, Sir.”
Initially, Liam’s response puzzled him. But he searched his mind to see if he could latch on to what had just passed through Liam’s. “Do you mean that nothing appeals to you because you’re not hungry?”
Liam visibly swallowed. “I’d prefer a soda, please. Uh, please, Sir.”
Hmm. The indirect answer concerned him. He’d file it away for later.
“Okay. A soda it is.” Neal smiled at him. “Hey, would you be cool with dropping club protocol for now? I mean, you’re here as a guest, we just met, and I was thinking we could get to know each other a little before I have to leave.”
“Yes, Sir. That’s cool and I’ll do my best.”
“Of course you will, I can tell.”
Liam peered up tentatively, as if verifying he wouldn’t get in trouble for lifting his gaze. “Really? You think I am?”
“Sure. We have a deal?”
Liam smiled, but quickly covered his mouth. He pressed his lips together before dropping his hand in his lap. “Yes, Sir. A deal. When are you leaving?” Liam lowered his head until his chin practically hit his chest. “I’m sorry. That’s none of my business.”
Neal curled his fingers to keep from reaching out and touching him. “It’s all good. We’re just chatting, right? Ask me whatever you want. Anything.”
Liam looked up, his soft brown eyes so enticing that Neal imagined staring into them, the pupils blown wide with desire as they made love. He adjusted himself on the leather seat.
“Okay.” Liam licked his lips and Neal resisted a groan. “When are you leaving?”
Neal couldn’t help but chuckle. “In about forty-five minutes. I have to fill out my new member paperwork.”
“All right. Do you have any other piercings besides the ones in your face?”
Besides how abrupt it had been, it also wasn’t what he’d expected to hear. At the same time, he preferred Liam’s direct query to the same ol’ pleasantries or other bullshit he typically waded through in the beginning of getting to know a sub. “Yeah. Quite a few. There’s this one that you may not have noticed.” Neal stuck out his tongue to show off the barbell stud inserted in the middle. He grinned at Liam’s reaction. He seemed surprised, but the flush to his cheeks indicated that he was likely imagining what it might feel like working his cock.
“Oh my.” Liam moved closer, leaning in as he studied Neal’s face. He pointed to the ring in his nose. “What’s this one called?”
“It’s a septum piercing. These are snake bites.” Neal touched the small rings adorning each side of his bottom lip. “Eyebrow.” He angled his head so Liam could see his ears closer, “Discs, cartilage, nipples, and I should probably show you the others in a more private setting, although I doubt anyone would mind.” Neal grinned again as he faced Liam.
Which means…? “Are you agreeing to be with me in a more private setting?”
“Yes, Sir. I am.”
“Rad. Aren’t I the lucky one?”
Liam smiled, his lips remaining firmly closed, and Neal reached the conclusion that something about his teeth made Liam self-conscious. Might start with that in our first scene.
The server arrived at that moment and they placed their orders. Neal checked with Liam to find out what he wanted to drink, then conveyed it to the house sub. As they all settled in, the conversation took on a more relaxed vibe, with the exception of Liam, who remained largely silent. He didn’t appear upset, perhaps only nervous. Wish I could see inside that head of his. But he did follow whatever everyone said with clear interest, his demeanor suggesting that he was working extra hard to pay attention.
Right as the plates were being cleared, Neal checked his cell. He hadn’t noticed Gavin come in, but truthfully, his attention had been captured almost exclusively by Liam the entire time. Five of seven. As much as he hated to, he needed to excuse himself. Right as he was about to make his goodbyes, Chuck’s phone went off.
“Sorry, I didn’t put it on vibrate.” He fished it out from beneath the table, and Neal presumed he’d had it in his pocket. “I have to take this, it’s Stone.”
Jordan nodded. “Go on. I’ll be here.”
Neal had no idea who Stone was, but he was obviously someone important. Liam appeared worried. Jordan regarded Liam with a smile.
“I’m sure it’s fine. If he has to go, I can give you a ride back.” Jordan turned to Neal. “That’s Chuck’s boss, and a fine Dom, I might add.” Jordan winked.
Liam squirmed in his seat. “Okay.”
Liam seemed tense once more and Neal tried to figure out what the issue could be. He knows I’m leaving soon. Master Jordan is familiar to him, so I don’t think that should be a problem… Is it?
He couldn’t stand seeing Liam worried. “Liam? Were you hoping to stay longer?”
Liam gazed up at him and Neal could swear it was with admiration. “You said you had to leave soon anyway.”
Neal had already determined that he’d work with Liam on answering questions directly. “Just to finish up the paperwork, then I’m free.” Neal plucked at his goatee. “I have an idea. If you’re interested, we could go grab some coffee and dessert after I’m finished. I’d love to take you up on your offer to scene with me, but I’m too wrecked. Then I could give you a ride home afterward. How does that sound?”
“I like coffee.”
“Right on. Then it’s a date?”
“Yes, Sir. It’s a date.” Liam gave him another close-mouthed smile. His expression fell and he abruptly glanced in Jordan’s direction. “I… Where will you be?”
“I’ll be right here until Master Neal is finished. I won’t leave you alone.”
“I’m being a problem, aren’t I?”
Jordan shook his head. “No, Liam. You’re not. If Chuck needs to leave, I wouldn’t mind waiting for Gavin to be through so I can chill with him. If Chuck stays, he can hang out with us. It’s all good.”
Liam sighed, his relief obvious. “Thank you.”
Author Morticia Knight spends most of her nights writing about men loving men forever after. If there happens to be some friendly bondage or floggings involved, she doesn’t begrudge her characters whatever their filthy little heart’s desire. Even though she’s been crafting her naughty tales for more years than she’d like to share – her adventures as a published author began in 2011. Since then, she’s been fortunate enough to have several books on bestseller lists along with three series’ titles receiving recognition in the Rainbow Book Awards.
Once upon a time she was the lead singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She currently resides on the northern Oregon coast and when she’s not fantasizing about hot men she takes walks along the ocean and annoys the local Karaoke bar patrons.