Surrender the Past


Sometimes the only way to move forward is to surrender the past.

Nick Coates is happy. He should be happy, right? He loves managing a gym, has good friends, and he’s never had a problem picking up men. This must be what happiness feels like, since he has no complaints. Maybe a few regrets, but everyone’s got regrets.

When his friend Lucy asks him to stage a “slave training” for one of her boys, he laughs it off. Nick can’t train a slave. His only attempt at playing that role ended with a long string of self-destructive acts (which probably should have killed him). Then again, Lucy’s never asked him a favor like this before. Maybe he’ll give it a shot. Just for a few days. A week. And as long as he’s doing it, he may as well call the only other person who might be able to help.

It’s been nine years. Surely after nine years they’ve grown up enough to have a conversation on the phone. In person. Naked. No, wait.

Bernie LaCroix never stopped thinking about Nick, gorgeous Nick, on his knees, surrendering everything to the moment. He’s also never forgiven himself for screwing it up so badly Nick refused to talk to him for the better part of a decade. The second he hears Nick’s voice everything in his brain vows not to do it all over again, and everything in his heart vows to do whatever it takes to get Nick back.

Internalized racism (not my lane, but here it is), internalized kink shame.