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Submissive Angel: A BDSM Romance Novella, Page 1

Joey W. Hill




  Summary

  Snowflakes don’t make any sound. Like a first kiss…

  PART ONE: When Robert finds Ange bleeding in an alley, he employs him in his vintage toy store as an act of charity. Months later, as Christmas approaches, he still has many unanswered questions about Ange, but one thing is clear. The eccentric young dancer is determined to offer his thanks—and himself—to teach a brokenhearted Master how to open his heart to love again.

  PART TWO: Yet even as Robert embraces Ange’s eager submission to him, the mystery of Ange remains. Something nearly destroyed him and his ability to cope in the outside world. Robert resolves he will find out the truth. Ange brought light to Robert’s life again; as a true Master, Robert will make sure the power of their bond heals them both.

  AUTHOR’S NOTE: Part One of Submissive Angel was released in 2012 in an anthology. This Story Witch Press re-release edition includes Part One (unchanged except for some polishing/minor tweaks), and a lengthy new novella, Part Two, where readers find out what happened after Robert at last claimed Ange for his own, and what fateful events brought the two of them together.

  Submissive Angel

  A BDSM Romance Novella

  Joey W. Hill

  Contents

  Acknowledgments

  Part I

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Part II

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Afterword

  Ready for More?

  About the Author

  Also by Joey W. Hill

  Submissive Angel

  A BDSM Romance Novella

  Copyright © 2012 / 2020 Joey W. Hill

  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

  Cover design by Scott Hill

  Editor (Part One): Sarah Frantz

  Originally published in part December 2012 by Riptide Publishing, PO Box 6652, Hillsborough, NJ 08844.

  SWP Digital & Print Edition publication December 2020 by Story Witch Press, 452 Mattamushkeet Drive, Little River, SC 29566.

  This book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission from the publisher, Story Witch Press, 452 Mattamushkeet Drive, Little River, SC 29566.

  Warning: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. No part of this book may be scanned, uploaded or distributed via the Internet or any other means, electronic or print, without the publisher’s permission. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000. (http://www.fbi.gov/ipr/). Please purchase only authorized electronic or print editions and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted material. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

  This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.

  The publisher and author(s) acknowledge the trademark status and trademark ownership of all trademarks, service marks and word marks mentioned in this book.

  The following material contains graphic sexual content meant for mature readers. Reader discretion is advised.

  Digital ISBN: 978-1-951544-12-6

  Print ISBN: 978-1-951544-13-3

  Acknowledgments

  My great thanks to Sarah Frantz, who did a superlative job editing the Part One version of Submissive Angel. She reminded this veteran author of a vitally important lesson—no matter how many stories you write, you can always learn to write a better one. Especially if you remain open to feedback from people who truly want you to do so!

  A special thanks to my readers, whose enjoyment of Robert and Ange’s initial story led me to take a second journey with them and answer the questions the original shorter novella didn’t give us the chance to explore.

  One additional note: In Part Two, you’ll meet a character named Charlie. While the character and his situation in the story is 99% fictional, he was directly inspired by my high school world history teacher. At that time, I already loved a well-told story with strong characters, but he deepened and expanded that love. So many of my characters and storylines have been affected by the way he taught history. Because he devoted an entire block of his curriculum to art history, he is also responsible for the love of art so often reflected in my books.

  This teacher was the first gay man I ever met (knowingly, of course), and I credit that experience with broadening how I view love–as something that should be celebrated in all its wonderful forms.

  Part One

  Chapter One

  Snowflakes don’t make any sound. Like a first kiss. That must be why they feel the same against your skin.

  Robert stared up at the thickly falling snow illuminated by the Victorian-style streetlight, the iron pole wrapped in a garland and red velvet bow. Earlier today, he hadn’t thought to test Ange’s assertion, but at this late hour, with no foot traffic and the storefronts cloaked in hushed silence, he found himself listening to the snow. Comparing how it felt, falling on his upturned face, to all the kisses he’d had in his life. As well as the kisses he might want in the future.

  Even though they’re silent, you can still hear something. The way you can hear somebody holding their breath.

  It made sense that one of Ange’s quirky observations would cross his mind right now. He’d collected a lot of them since the boy had started working for him nearly six months ago. After all, he’d made a hell of an impression, applying for the job while flat on his ass in garbage and bleeding profusely.

  On that sticky June night, Robert had heard a noise behind the dumpster in the alley next to his vintage toy shop. Setting aside the trash he’d been taking out, he picked up the baseball bat he kept inside the back door. Not one of his 1920s Louisville sluggers, just a made-in-China piece of crap, but still solid wood. When he peered around the steel container and saw a blood trail on the cobblestones, he followed it to a pair of legs in ripped jeans.

  He was confronted with a shock of dirty white-gold hair atop a long, lean form in a thin T-shirt. Someone had worked the guy over—his nose was bleeding all over the fabric. But he was holding the broken skyhook Robert had reluctantly tossed after he’d knocked it off a shelf. It was a jockey on a horse, perched on the top of a stand. When it sat on a table, the counterweight ball made the horse rock, so it looked like it was running.

  In Victorian times, people couldn’t get enough of toys that used the law of gravity to do what seemed impossible, magical, and his modern-day patrons were no different. He had a whole shelf of balance toys from that era.

  At Robert’s appearance, the kid, mid-twenties maybe, had held up the toy as if he didn’t have one eye swelling shut, a busted lip, and what was definitely a broken nose. Robert had done a couple tours in Afghanistan. Between that and boxing at the local gym for his daily workout, he was very familiar with the look.

  “I fixed it, sir,” the young man said earnestly. And he had. He’d hinged the arm back in place on the jockey’s side, and fixed the snapped stand using tape he’d probably fished out of the trash. “It’s temporary, but I can solder the stand and re-attach the arm with wood glue. No one will even know it was broken. I’m good at fixing things people don’t think to fix.”

  Robert squatted on his haunches. Putting his fingers on the man’s
jaw to hold him still, he took a closer look at the damage. At his touch, his unsolicited applicant went quite still, except for a significant quiver that hit Robert in the gut, particularly when he lowered lashes as white-gold as his hair.

  “What’s your name?”

  “Ange.” Ange pronounced it in the French manner, so that the an sounded like own and the ge a soft ssh, like a mother’s gentle reproof.

  “French for angel.” Robert tried for a smile but failed. The harm to Ange’s face must have been done with more than one pair of fists. Looking at the guileless eyes and sensitive mouth, he knew this kid had done nothing to warrant it except be what he was. “Come on. I’ll drive you to the hospital.”

  “I’m okay. I don’t need a hospital. I need a job. Sir.” Ange held up the toy. “Since the North Pole layoffs, things have been rough. I’m just glad I found you before the other elves did.”

  Robert’s lips twisted. Funny bastard. Odd fellow, obviously all in his head. Until he looked at Robert and said Sir. Then he was a hundred percent there.

  “You have a lot of metal toys, trains, things where gears get stuck. I can unjam them. I can dust everything, keep it all looking good. Everyone hates to dust. You don’t have to pay me much. A cot in a back room and enough to buy my lunch. Don’t pay me at all until you’re sure I’m worth a salary.”

  Robert put a quelling hand over his. The boy had slim, elegant fingers, like a pianist. Thank goodness whoever had beaten on him hadn’t noticed that. The knuckles were scraped, though. Ange had fought back. That, and the stubborn jut of his jaw, told Robert he’d gone down fighting. It sent a twinge to his groin, because he liked a sub with fire. Jesus.

  “We’ll talk about that later. Hospital first.”

  “I don’t—”

  “You’re going.” Robert gave him a hard look. “Got it?”

  He wasn’t sure what made him test those waters. For Chrissakes, he’d almost said You’re going because I said so. The vibe Ange put out was so strong he couldn’t resist it. He’d hung up the paddle, hadn’t taken on a new sub since...since everything had shut down. But apparently his desire to take charge, exert control, figure out the right combination to win willing surrender, wasn’t as dead as he thought. And it was coming back to life with an injured homeless man. How desperate was that?

  Then the kid delivered a sucker punch in return, making it even worse. Like a switch flipped, the green eyes skittered down to Robert’s chest, focused on his dark blue bowtie. “Yes, sir,” he muttered.

  Robert gave his jaw a reproving tap. “What was that?”

  “Yes, sir,” Ange said more respectfully, with a quick glance up. When his fingers slipped out from under Robert’s and caressed his wrist with a shy touch, a spark flickered, reminding Robert what it was to want.

  That touch dared him to be a Master once more.

  He’d gotten Ange fixed up, given him a fair wage and a cot in the back room. Crazy as risking all that was, he’d never dared taking his other feelings any further than they had gone that first night. Losing parents within seven months of each other had a way of shutting down body, mind, and soul. Everything became too tentative to deal with the aggressive joy of D/s play, which, when done with the right person, risked everything for the potential of gaining everything. For the past two years he’d been frozen in a fragile state of grief and loss. But during the last six months, he’d started to thaw.

  Coming back to the present, Robert lowered his gaze from the snow-filled firmament to the city skyline. In the backdrop, he could see the lights of downtown Charlotte skyscrapers, but in this little SoHo-esque section, except for the Christmas lights edging the eaves of the buildings, the galleries, trendy cafés, and various stores were all dark. Well, almost all of them. His vintage toy store was lit up like the nativity star. The six Christmas trees placed at various spots inside the main showroom threw their illumination out onto the sidewalk, clouds of color against pristine snow drifts.

  Earlier in the day, they’d forecast over a half foot of snow, but no one had believed it until it started to fall. Charlotte rarely had snow in December, let alone several days before the holiday. Despite the late hour, on the walk here he’d seen people his age and older making snowmen, having snowball fights, laughing like kids. Couples kissing as snowflakes fell upon their hair, their clasped hands. Christmas spirit, all the hope and wonder of it, had infected everyone. Including him.

  There was only eight years’ difference in their ages, Ange nearing thirty, Robert on the north side of that decade, but Ange seemed so young. Not in the no-right-to-be-thinking-about-touching way, though. More like in the submissive-just-begging-for-a-Master way.

  It was close to midnight, a dangerous hour for a lonely man to be standing in the snow. Coming to the store in the middle of the night was outside their normal structure, leaving anything open to possibility, but Robert had made that conscious decision when he’d left his place, heading back to the store for no other reason than a desire to be where Ange was. When he crossed that street, opened the door, there’d be no turning back.

  Oh, fuck it. He was a childless, gay, nearly-forty-year-old man who wore a bow tie and suspenders and collected rare toys. All he needed was a cranky little dog to complete the stereotype, but he was allergic. What was holding him rooted to this spot was fear of loss, and he knew how irrational that was.

  Taking a breath, he crossed the street, pulling out his keys. When his heart started to beat faster, he had to stop a moment, close his eyes. He wanted to do this. He would do it. He couldn’t fight it anymore. He wanted to be alive.

  He’d told Ange to turn off all the trees except the small one in the display window when he went to bed. Robert didn’t want the more valuable cast iron collectibles to be seen from the outside. But Ange loved those trees. He’d keep them turned on twenty-four hours a day, would probably sleep underneath them every night if he could. However, since he took Robert’s orders very literally, if the lights were on, that meant he was still up.

  Robert didn’t like to think of a break-in happening while Ange was there alone, so he’d be more specific, tell Ange the trees should be turned off at closing. Even as he had that thought, he was inundated with images of more punitive, provocative ways to impress the lesson on his only employee.

  Unlocking and opening the front door, he also discovered Ange hadn’t turned on the security system. Again. He was so going to kick his narrow ass.

  Brad Paisley’s “Silent Night” was playing, part of the Christmas playlist Ange had created, mixing old and new favorites. It was a balance the customers and Robert enjoyed, though Robert had never considered himself a fan of holiday music. Hanging up his keys, he moved out of the shadows of the foyer into the archway of the main show room. Since he’d come at the store from an angle that didn’t give him a clear shot into the front display window, he hadn’t seen what he saw now. If he had, he would have crossed that street with no hesitation at all, because no man with a pulse could have resisted the scene before him.

  He and Ange had rearranged the main showroom so it looked like a late Victorian-era parlor at Christmas time, just waiting for the children to arrive and open packages. For Robert, it recalled the opening scene from the Nutcracker ballet, particularly with Ange dancing in the middle of it.

  Ange was in the middle of a fouetté. Tight, in-place turns that brought him up on the ball of his foot on each rotation, like a Turkish warrior dancing. He was wearing his bedtime pajamas of a thin white tank and gray sweatpants, the former displaying the layers of muscles on his arms and shoulders, the latter the flexing of his ass. He’d wrapped red ribbon around his wrists, splitting them into tails and using scissors to curl them so they fluttered as he danced. He had them on his ankles as well, with tiny bells. Now Robert realized why he heard a pleasing chime buried inside the Christmas music.

  It was like watching a male swan. That sense of restraint, the quivering desire to soar compressed in graceful movement that hinted at w
hat miracles would be possible if the bird’s wings weren’t clipped. If he had the confidence to soar.

  Until six months ago, Robert had forgotten that feeling, his heart bricked off to withstand the harsh realities of mortality. Now he felt a painful, final crack in the mortar as Ange finished the turn, his fingertips reaching toward the treetops, his leg a straight line behind him. When he went from that into a standing leap, as impressive as a Lipizzaner stallion, Robert’s heart began thumping erratically again.

  He pressed his fingers hard into the wood doorway, all the want and need he’d stored up pooling in his mouth and groin. Ange had landed, but his eyes were closed. As he tilted his head to the right, exposing the line from throat to shoulder, Robert had a vampire’s craving to sink his teeth into that pale column.

  Then Ange saw him. He straightened, chest heaving, eyes bright, uncertain. His hair was dark with sweat at his temples and nape. If Robert put his nose there, he’d inhale that sharp scent of exertion and Ange together.

  “Come with me.”

  He didn’t look to see if Ange was following. He knew he was, the same way he’d known Ange was waiting for him when he saw the tree lights still on. Hell, the boy had been waiting for months. He was a true submissive. As long as he could take care of Robert, he was happy, but that didn’t mean he didn’t burn the way Robert did. More than once he’d caught Ange giving him a look so hungry, it took everything in him not to pin him to the wall then and there. He’d gone home at night and masturbated like a fucking thirteen-year-old, imagining that taut, slick ass, feeling Ange’s mouth on him...hearing him call him Master.