The B (in BDSM) is for Béchamel

by time_to_occur

Tags: #consensual_kink #dom:male #m/m #real_life_hypnosis #realistic #wholesome #men_who_go_to_therapy #toxic_masculinity

Roman was used to being the Top Dog, but then he meets Quinn, a Head Chef. When exploring his kinky side with Quinn, Roman discovers something unexpected about himself that turns him on and challenges his worldview, pressing on difficult questions about what it means to be a man.

A love letter to the Montreal kink scene! Thanks to Noam de Pluma for his help editing. 

SYNOPSIS: Roman was used to being the Top Dog, but then he meets Quinn, a Head Chef. When Roman starts exploring his kinky side with Quinn through hypnosis, he discovers something unexpected about himself that both turns him on and challenges his worldview while pressing on some difficult questions about what it means to be a man. 
A door prize changed Roman Chandler’s life. 
The hotel ballroom that Roman found himself sitting in was all cut crystal light fixtures and expensive, ornate bad taste. Its one redeeming feature was a live moss wall in the shape of a map of Montreal, with the major arteries and boulevards labelled in raised metal letters, the moss growing among them. 
Roman Chandler, vice-president of Investor Relations at RHO Investments and Jake Corrigan, his assistant VP, were eating on their company's dime, seeking a venue for their boss's retirement party. The retiree was the ‘H' in RHO — Oscar Hendricks, and he was the last of the founders to leave. Roman wanted to write this place off, too, with its dated interior design, but frankly, he thought that the old man would love the kitsch. The food would clinch it. They would be tasting from the menu extensively.
The two men were dressed in fashionable suits, their ties casually loosened. They had known each other for a long time — had met during university and had dated for two years afterwards. They had applied to their current company at the same time and climbed the ladder together, with Roman consistently edging Jake out by just a little when it came to promotions, but always recommending his "best man for the job" whenever an opportunity arose. If Jake resented being Roman's assistant, Roman wasn't aware of it. It felt like the natural order of things, as it had been in their romantic relationship: Roman on top, and Jake switching versatilely between taking Ro’s orders and taking charge of what Ro told him to when he was needed.   
A waiter deposited two plates with a single ravioli each, covered in sauce with spring onions artfully arranged on top. 
Jake immediately took a bite.
"Fuck, this white sauce is orgasmic," Jake said, rolling back his eyes into his head and placing his fork on his plate.
Roman rolled his eyes for a very different reason. Jakey had a flair for the dramatic and loved a good dick joke. He smiled. "That's the usual way of things, Jakey, but how's the chef's Béchamel?"
"Try some and see, Ro. I think this is the place."
Roman gathered a little bit of everything onto his fork and lifted it to his mouth. He rolled the morsel around on his tongue, savouring it before swallowing. Sure enough, Jake was right: the food was delicious.
So, they chose that hotel for the retirement party. The pair met and shook hands with the chef, arranged a crowd-pleasing menu within their allocated budget, and went off to handle other aspects of the party. At the time, Roman barely looked twice at the chef — he was just the help. Talented help, and a cute little blond, to be sure, but Roman was in a rush that day. Immediately upon meeting him, Roman forgot his name, trusting Jake to have that part of the arrangements handled.  
By the night of the party, Roman was certain that everything was in place and that he and his people could handle any last-minute issues that might arise. Now came the calm before the storm. He bought Jake and himself some top-shelf whiskey and toasted their work. "Great work, man. You helped get everything just right."
"Hey, you told me what to do and I did it," said Jake, taking a sip of the whiskey. "Mmm. I think it's peaty? Is that a thing? Peaty and smoky?"
Roman laughed indulgently. "Yes, Jakey. You need a real man to teach you how to sip whiskey?"
Jake fluttered his eyelashes at him. "Oh, yes, please, Daddy!"
"You had your chance," said Roman with a wink, raising his glass to clink it against Jake’s as they shared a laugh. 
"And so did you," said Jake when he had finished laughing. "Oh — there’s Mr. Hendricks. Better get gladhanding."
Roman finished his whiskey and clapped Jake on the shoulder. "Right. In case I forget to tell you again, good job with all this, Jake."
"Thanks, Ro."
The party was a big success. Hendricks loved the hotel’s kitschy décor, and he was downright weepy through most of the proceedings. Roman didn’t understand how someone could love work enough to cry over finally being able to stop. Roman couldn’t wait to retire. He had always looked up to Hendricks, but there was something uncomfortable about watching the tears stream down his face as he accepted the plaque that Jake had made for him to thank him for his years of service. It was hard to reconcile the hard-hitting businessman that Roman knew with this sodden mess of an old man. 
Leaving Jake to handle the feelings, Roman made his rounds and chatted with the rest of the partners. Then, the raffle came. Roman won a door prize that he had been the one to arrange. Someone missed the memo that his name wasn't meant to be in the draw. The prize? Admission to a cooking class with the hotel's chef, Quinn Bailey. 
Quinn Bailey was a slender, blond, five-foot-nothing Head Chef who had been in charge of his own kitchen for the last five years, which he had spent working at the in-house restaurant of one of Montreal’s finest hotels — the very same hotel where he met Roman. If he had known that Roman thought of him as five-foot-nothing, he would have been quick to insist that five feet and four inches was hardly five-foot-nothing, and even quicker to insist, nay, *prove* — as he did upon many later occasions — that his slightly short stature did not hold him back from being at the top of his profession, and *being the top* in other spheres of his life. But that discovery would come later for Roman.
The first time that Roman remembered learning Quinn's name was on the certificate for the cooking class that he had won at the party. The Chef was teaching about the five French "mother" sauces: Béchamel, Velouté, Espagnole, Hollandaise and Tomato. Roman turned up to the workshop alone, unlike, it seemed, every other person. As everyone else in the workshop paired off around the tiny stations, Quinn waved Roman up to the front. 
"The class is full. I would pair you with another group, but placing three around those stations is a recipe for disaster and the human elbow is sharper than it looks. You're with me."
"Yes, Chef," said Roman cheekily, having seen an episode or two (or five, or six) of Chopped, Top Chef, and Gordon Ramsay. 
Quinn raised an eyebrow, the ghost of a smirk on his lips, but then turned to the rest of the class without further comment. 
"All right, folks, so the five sauces that you'll learn to make today — and take home with you — form the basis of many more complex dishes in French cuisine. This is a fundamentals course, but I will teach you a thing or two about how to season these sauces further for different purposes..."
Roman admired the firm but patient way that Quinn took the workshop in hand. He had a real stage presence to him that Roman enjoyed watching. Being paired with the teacher was a nightmare scenario under normal circumstances, but while Quinn was direct and confident, occasionally even abrupt, Roman still felt respected. Quinn was clearly used to running a kitchen on a tight schedule, and his comments were all toward bettering the process, never denigrating the students. Quinn also made sure that Roman was the one to actually perform the steps to making the sauces. 
While the rest of the workshop attendees reduced and stirred their sauces, or measured out various ingredients, Quinn made conversation with Roman, keeping vigilant watch over the class all the while. At first, Roman was guarded, but soon Quinn had him smiling.
"We'll make a saucier out of you yet, Roman," said Quinn, collecting a spoonful of Roman's Béchamel and allowing it to cool for a moment before tasting it. He curled his tongue around the spoon and smirked before putting it aside. "You can come to work under me in my kitchen."
Roman quirked an eyebrow. The comment was clearly meant as joking encouragement, but there was *something* about the way Quinn said the words. He answered in kind. "Well, as much as I've enjoyed all the whipping and whisking, I have to admit that I only came because of the company door prize."
"You seem like an attentive student and you take instruction well," said Quinn. "I'd be happy to teach you more of the ropes."
This continued throughout the afternoon. Roman took every opportunity to show off his wit, and Quinn met him witticism for witticism. 
After the workshop, Roman passed through the hotel lobby, which had a view of the wide entrance to the hotel bar. His gaze fell on Quinn, still wearing the white shirt he had worn below his apron, the throat open now, his face now more open, too. He was talking animatedly with the bartender, maybe telling a story. Appearing to feel Roman's gaze on him, Quinn turned his head and locked eyes with him. He tilted his head curiously and smirked, then gave a little wave. 
Roman waved back and nodded. The little twink clearly wanted him, and frankly Roman was into it. Quinn’s ass definitely looked as tasty as his cooking. Roman wondered if he should go ask for his number, but just then he got a call from Jake and left the hotel bar to take it. 
The next time that Roman saw Quinn, the smaller man...*disambiguated* quite a few things for him. 
That winter, their company sponsored the city's *Nuit Blanche*. There were simultaneous events of all sorts going on all across the city. The metros stayed open all night, and revellers moved from place to place, participating in silent and not-so-silent discos, pop-up arcades, artistic performances, and any number of other activities. It was meant to chase away the winter blues and draw people out of isolation. Jake, convinced that the overworked vice-president needed to cut loose, invited him to the city's *Nuit des Gémissements*, a night where local performers demonstrated their erotic skills in the form of cabaret and burlesque performances, including the occasional rope scene.  
At the venue, there were no stages. Instead, audience members walked from room to room to watch different scenes and performers. There were maybe ten rooms or so. Every half hour or so, the performers changed. 
The crowd was focused on the performers. From time to time, Roman caught bits of awkward small talk as people navigated the fact that they were at a kinky performance show and had run into neighbours, co-workers, or friends. A few people were cuddled up to each other, arms around waists, shoulders and necks as they looked upon the different scenes together. Mostly, people seemed to be using the performances as an excuse to avoid eye contact with each other. It felt uptight and uncomfortable. But people also stuck around, as though inverting these social norms together held its own charm.  
To Roman, it felt festive and illicit, to be up all night with strangers, watching these deeply intimate and erotic performances. Jake, on the other hand, seemed completely at home, and Roman realized that in the time since they had dated, his good friend had definitely been exploring new hobbies heretofore undiscussed. Roman tried to strike up a conversation a time or two, but the venue was too loud to hold a conversation without shouting, and his throat felt raw after a few attempts. 
So, Roman watched. 
Jake had told him that the unofficial after-party, held at another location, was much wilder — most forms of BDSM were still illegal, after all, especially the ones that could leave you with bruises. The performers seemed to know exactly which edges to skirt — this was their art. What might have been floggers or whips in another context became feathers and artful caresses. It all still felt excitingly forbidden, but also palatable to the city's arts programming bodies. 
Some performances felt especially original. An Indigenous rigger tied his rope bunny into a circular frame, turning her into a living dreamcatcher — or maybe she was a nightmare caught inside of it. Meanwhile, in another room, a pair of performers dressed as *clowns* were teasing a clearly-humiliated sub who was dressed like Elvira. In a quiet room tucked away in the corner, a hypnotist was demonstrating how she had remapped her hypnotee's erogenous zones, turning the sweet woman's earlobes into one of her most sensitive spots.
That last performance stuck with him. Roman paid special attention to the woman in trance, imagining what it must be like. He told himself that he was imagining what it would be like to do that to someone else, but his mind kept returning to the sensations she must be feeling. It was hot to think of such a mundane part of a person being transformed to give such pleasure. Roman wasn’t the type to let someone take control like that, not in the least, but everyone liked feeling good, right? He told himself that it wasn’t about the control, it was about the physical sensations. 
After a few hours of watching performers cycle in and out, Jake was still going strong, excitedly checking the schedule on his phone. For Roman, even the most beautiful scenes began to blur together into a sort of sameness, and he found himself yawning and leaning against a pillar in one of the more crowded rooms near the venue entrance. 
It was when Roman's sleepy eyes began to blink closed more often than they opened that Quinn walked in, and Roman was instantly awake. This Quinn was different from the Head Chef that Roman had met before. Mostly, he was wearing a great deal less clothing, despite the winter chill outside. He was also leading a muscular, broad-set man at least a foot taller than him on a leash through the crowd. The tall, dark-haired man was wearing what Roman thought was called a bulldog harness, which was where the leash attached, and black jeans tucked into motorcycle boots. Quinn wore a white cropped shirt that terminated above his navel with leather suspenders over top, attached to a pair of leather shorts. 
Roman was captivated. He watched the pair pick their way confidently through the crowd, but did not want to be spotted gawking. Suddenly, he felt a little reluctant to be seen there. A warm sense of dread had settled into his chest. His throat felt dry and his cheeks felt flushed and sweaty with weariness. But, he wanted to play it cool and didn't want to come across as some gawking vanilla person who was here to watch the freaks, so to speak. 
It was then that Jake came up to Roman excitedly, clutching his phone triumphantly. "Guess who scored us invitations to the afterparty?"
Jake put his hands on his hips when Roman failed to look sufficiently excited, and followed Roman's look. He whistled appreciatively as he took in the big sub. "Wow, that dude is built...and look at that short little twink leading him around!"
"That's the chef from Hendricks' retirement party," said Roman, eyeing Quinn appreciatively. "Remember, I won that door prize? He taught me how to make a white sauce — uh, that Béchamel you liked so much."
"Oh, *did* he now? Dish, Ro."
"Well, I —"
Quinn's eyes had settled on Roman, and he was leading the tall man toward him, smiling. Roman stopped mid-sentence and Jake fell silent beside him. Roman watched the room take on a sharp relief, the colours seeming more saturated and intense. Everything had taken on a hyperreal quality. 
Quinn gave a little wave as he approached. "Hey, it's my favourite student."
Roman smiled back, covering his surprise with confidence. "Hey. That's a nice leash you have there."
Quinn gave the leash a bit of a tug. "This is Rex."
Roman nodded to the large man. Rex nodded back. Then, Roman turned to Jake, who stood looking like the cat who got the cream, and who just might be up for *more* cream if the conditions were right. "This is Jake — you've met once before."
Jake tilted forward at the waist and thrust a hand toward Quinn. "Hi, Quinn. Your white sauce is *divine*."
Roman felt his ears warm as Quinn laughed and tried to catch his eye again. Roman let him this time, and the look that passed between them excited him. He wanted Quinn fiercely, in that moment, and was about to pursue that line of discussion when Quinn glanced up at Rex, then back to Roman and Jake. "Well, I promised Rex that I would show him around his first *Nuit des Gémissements*. See you later?"
"Sure — enjoy the performances," said Roman, affecting a casual air despite his hard-on. "Will you be at the afterparty?"
Quinn's eyebrows raised a little higher. "We will be. Is that your kind of scene?"
Roman shrugged, not knowing much about the afterparty except that Jake had invitations for them. He wanted to say something that would keep Quinn interested. "Maybe you'll get to know me better."
Quinn smiled and tugged Rex's leash. The two of them walked away, those leather shorts hugging his ass to advertise just how round and full the cheeks were. 
Jake threw an arm around Roman's shoulders. "And here I thought I'd have some convincing to do to get you to go to a kink party!"
A kink party. Roman just kept watching Quinn walk away, the tall man trailing behind the Head Chef looking just as horny as Roman felt, but somehow shy, for all his size and muscle. The big sub looked happy. Roman found himself wondering how that came about, a big masc guy like that letting that happen to himself.
"You know me — I love an adventure," said Roman a tad absently, his sarcasm coming off flat in his distraction. 
As the official event wound down, Roman began to think about the fact that he had agreed to go to a kinky afterparty. One that, it seemed, would have Quinn there, the hot little twink who wasn’t at all what Roman had expected. His initial reading of him had been "bratty bottom", but it was clear in hindsight that Quinn had a dominant edge to him. 
Normally, that would have been a dealbreaker for Roman. He was used to being in control at all times, in all spheres of his life, but Quinn had already wormed his way into his jerk-off fantasies. Ro wasn’t sure whether he wanted to ruin that fantasy image by witnessing more of Quinn’s dominant side, which he found oddly off-putting and uncomfortable to think about. Also, it was really late and Roman normally kept to a pretty standard eleven o’clock bedtime. 
Jake was eyeing him like he could read his mind, and Roman didn't want to give him the satisfaction of backing out now. And so, it was pure spite that brought Roman and Quinn back together again — thankfully, not for each other.
"You don't *have* to go to the afterparty, Ro. I can see it's past your bedtime," said Jake generously, but not without a hint of condescension. At least, that's what Roman heard.
He decided then and there that he was getting the Chef's number. Roman smirked. "I think I can handle it. How did you get an invitation, again, Jakey?"
"I asked around. You know I have my ways," Jake grinned, passing a hand theatrically in front of his face as he curled it like someone closing a paper fan. 
"You’re secretly quite the kinky fucker, aren’t you?" said Roman, eyebrow raised.
"Wouldn’t you like to know?"  
The afterparty took place at a hidden dungeon on a small side street near Old Montreal, about a half-hour walk from the *Nuit des Gémissements* venue. As they entered, the person at the desk asked for their names on the guest list. 
Jake responded without hesitation, "Béchamel and Firecracker."
Roman was about to say something about those *names*, but the greeter continued talking about what was going to happen next, so he just rolled his eyes instead. Since they were new to the dungeon, there was a short introduction to dungeon protocols and consent practices, along with a tour of the facilities. The greeter gestured toward the bar area, which had scattered café tables and a few couches. Adjacent to this was a curtained-off area with a hand-lettered sign that read "Aftercare". 
Roman and Jake sat down at a café table next to the main stage. A few other people were sitting around, looking comfortable and chilled out. On-stage stood a tall woman, made taller still by her stiletto heels. She wore a dark purple corset under a sash that said "Mme Cuire 2019", which translated to "Miss Leather 2019". Her side shave haircut had geometric patterns dyed into it, and her lips were a deep, poison green. She held a microphone and was checking her phone for the time. Finally, she seemed to judge it time to speak. 
"Hello, lovelies. I’m your host for this easy sleazy little afterparty. My name is Miss Echidna, but I will also accept ‘Goddess’. I see old friends and new faces out there today. If this is your first time here, go ahead and raise a paw for me!" 
Miss Echidna peered out into the crowd, seeming to take a mental count of the new people. There weren’t many, which made sense, given that the crowd was probably mostly made up of performers from the other venue. Roman, his hand still raised, felt his face burn as Echidna gave him a wink. For all that he was used to being put on the spot, this felt different somehow. Maybe it was the way that Echidna looked like she wanted to devour him. 
"Welcome, virgins! In case this is your first time at any dungeon, period, let me lay down some ground rules for you. First, and perhaps most importantly: the universal safe word is ‘red’. Red like the colour of an ass after a good spanking. If your play partner says red, you stop what you’re doing. If our dungeon monitors hear ‘red’, they’ll also check in with you. They’re the ones wearing red LED armbands. From time to time, you might see them poking their head in to make sure everything’s all right. Don’t worry — just enjoy showing off for them." 
Echidna paused and took a sip of water. "Next thing, my darling newbies: do not interfere with anyone else’s scene without express permission. You can watch but don’t get in the way, and no touching without consent. If you need help with scene negotiations, you can ask one of our dungeon monitors, or check out our posters about SSC, RACK, PRICK, and all the other pervy acronyms we kinksters have come up with for healthy negotiation around the space..."  
The host went on with a few more rules (no messy play that night, no fucking outside of the side rooms), but Roman couldn’t completely follow at this hour. He was tired, but there was still a thrumming undercurrent of nervous energy running through his body and he knew that he wouldn’t be able to sleep for hours. He felt distracted by thoughts of Quinn, walking around with that big, muscled man. How could a guy Quinn’s size dominate someone so powerful? 
As Miss Leather 2019 finished up the introduction to the dungeon and its rules, she stepped off the stage with careful, deliberate movements on her towering heels, stopping in front of Roman and Jake’s table and raising a hand in the air. "Okay, new people, gather around here and we’ll take a tour of the space together." 
Roman felt his face flush at being singled out that way. It felt as though he was losing face, even though he knew there was no shame in being new. He wanted other people to view him as competent and knowledgeable, even though in this context he was neither. He nodded to Miss Echidna, who smiled back at him. Then, he rose to his feet. Jake followed.  
Jake immediately offered a hand to the host. "Hiii, Miss Echidna. They call me Béchamel." 
*‘They don’t,’* thought Roman, slightly annoyed at his friend for drawing more attention to them, but also grateful not to stand there in awkward silence. *‘What a joke.’*
"And this here is Firecracker," finished Jake, indicating Roman, who immediately offered his own hand.
"Pleasure to meet you both," said Miss Echidna, grasping his hand firmly, the tips of her nails tickling his wrist. "You make quite the pair."
Roman would have said something more, but the other newbies had gathered around by then, so Miss Echidna began the tour. The dungeon felt cozy, but walking through revealed just how massive it was. 
There were four themed rooms — a medieval torture dungeon, a gothic vampire lair, a hippie love nest full of brightly coloured pillows and blankets, and a futuristic medical examination room — in addition to the main play area. 
The main area had spanking benches, massage tables, several flogging posts and St. Andrew's Crosses, beams and anchor points from which people were suspended in complex rope ties, and what looked like a human-sized cage. Echidna pointed out her favourite spanking bench. She also indicated the showers and bathrooms as they passed.
The medieval room had a suit of armour, decorative weaponry, an iron maiden, and a bed with a set of stocks built into it. Nobody was in the stocks right then, but Roman thought they wouldn’t be empty for long. A couple was inspecting them, seeming to be making sure that they knew how the locking mechanism worked. Roman imagined what it would be like to be immobilized in a device like that, and a frisson of something like fear ran up his spine. It might be nice to have someone else in stocks like that, though. 
The gothic vampire room had stone statues, a throne-like chair with restraints on the armrests, and a black sawhorse-like bench, with raised platforms on either side for a person’s knees, the whole of it upholstered in dark red. It also had a huge canopy bed with black curtains. There was a trio of people who looked like goth vampires to Roman holding down a third and tickling them. Roman couldn't imagine being held down and made helpless like that, trusting others enough to give up that much control.
The medical room was all gleaming stainless steel surfaces, examination tables with stirrups, strange-looking equipment, and what looked to Roman like a Sybian machine. There was a pretty young thing strapped down to one of the tables, legs spread in the stirrups. An illicit accidental glance at their inner folds, opened up wide with a speculum, made Roman blush. 
The hippie love nest was full of writhing bodies. The floor looked like it was basically lined with mattresses, and Roman could see lubricant and condoms on every available solid surface. It was lit with colourful stained glass lamps, with equally colourful blankets hanging from the ceiling. It was tacky but felt like a literal come-as-you-are space. Maybe that was what made it seem so comfortable — you had nothing to prove in there.
When the tour ended, Roman wandered around a bit more. All around him, so many sensual scenes were in progress that he didn’t know where to look. Roman finally spotted Quinn, he was releasing Rex from a hogtie. Rex looked like his brain had just about been switched off — there was a big, dopey grin on his face that made Roman want to smile, too. Quinn was drawing the silky ropes across Rex's back and ass as he coiled them up to place delicately in a large cloth bag. Quinn glanced up to see Roman watching and smiled. He waved Roman closer as he trailed his hands on Rex's sides and abdomen. Jake pushed him forward gently and stayed back at the small cafe tables near the bar.
"I've got to take care of Rex here for a bit, but I want to chat with you, if that's all right. Oh, by the way, here, you can call me Sashimi. That's my scene name. And you?"
"Firecracker, apparently," grumbled Roman. "But...Sashimi?"
"Heh, one of my old play partners nicknamed me that because I like it raw. Give me some time to care for Rex and we can talk more...either about my sushi consumption habits or anything else you'd like."
Rex gave a friendly smile as he glanced up at Roman from the mat on the floor that his face was still sort of pressed into. Damn, the big man looked comfortable like that. Just like the people in the hippie love nest, Rex looked like he didn't have anything to prove, either. 
Pulling his eyes away, Roman nodded to Quinn. He was glad he was such a confident fucking stud. The party was an alien space, but he still had what it took to navigate it, and he would make sure Quinn knew it. "Sure. Come find me when you're ready."
Roman and Jake watched a good number of people lounging and playing together. The atmosphere was relaxed and celebratory. Many had just finished the one night of performances each year where they could show the vanilla-but-curious people of the city what they were about. Roman figured that a good number of them were probably exhibitionists, which likely made the whole thing all that much more exciting. 
The more that Roman watched, the more curious he was to try something, anything, but he felt a rare uncertainty about what to do. The only people he knew there were Jake and Quinn. Roman knew for sure that he had no intention of wading into the HR nightmare of fucking around with his former boyfriend turned assistant, so that was off the table. When Jake asked if Roman would be all right alone at the café tables so that he could go cruising and find someone to play with, Roman was almost relieved. There was less pressure to act, and more freedom to watch. So, he told Jake to have fun. 
The tables sat opposite the entrance, and a few minutes after Jake went off, Roman watched Quinn come in from outside. He was wearing a long black coat that covered his outfit entirely. The man almost looked like he could have been coming into any bar or club, except for his bare legs in the winter cold. Jake waited for Rex to enter behind him, but Rex was nowhere to be seen. 
Quinn handed his coat over at the entrance, tucked the ticket into his *very short* leather shorts, and then gave Roman a small wave and walked over as if he were coming to meet him at a real café. Fuck, the chef was cute. Quinn looked pleasantly buzzed, but Roman couldn't smell anything on him. He also knew from Echidna’s introduction that most people here preferred not to mix alcohol, drugs, and play, since it impaired the ability to meaningfully consent.
"I took Rex home and tucked him into bed. Poor guy was really tuckered out after all the excitement of the performances and our little rope scene. Some people, you hogtie them and their brains just melt out of their ears," said Quinn with a satisfied smile. 
Roman was *very* intrigued by that thought, but he just nodded coolly. "That was good of you — to see him home."
"I take my responsibilities as a Dom very seriously," said Quinn theatrically. "And he doesn't live so far. How are you enjoying your night, Firecracker?"
"It's not what I expected," said Roman honestly. "People seem kind and caring."
Quinn seemed thoughtful. "Well, it is play, after all. After the scene is done, you have to think about the players."
"Everyone seems to be really chilled out," observed Roman, staring at a couple cuddling on a nearby divan. He then glanced back at Quinn, whose eyes were already on him, curious and attentive. "How long have you the scene?"
"About six years. Ever since I moved to Montreal," said Quinn. "And you?"
"About an hour and a half," said Roman. "I've never been to a kink party before. I’m dominant and a top, but I’ve never done much kink play beyond some slightly rough sex. What's it like being dominant and kinky?"
Quinn crossed his arms for a moment, looking thoughtful. "Well, there's no one way of being a Dom, to be clear. I like seeing what effect I have on people when I take charge. And I get off on seeing them want me to be in control."
Roman nodded. "I can understand that. And you like to hogtie people?"
Quinn grinned. "Oh yes. I have a few favourite kinks. Hogties are a very effective way of getting certain people into subspace — or rope space, as some bunnies call it. Like I said, Rex's brain just kind of…melts out of his ears. It blisses him out. Delightful."
"Rex looked comfortable. I wish I knew how to relax like that," Roman said with a sigh. "But like I said, while I don’t know that much about kink yet, I’m dominant in the bedroom. Maybe I can find a submissive who can help me relax like that."
"Oh?" Quinn folded his hands together and leaned his chin onto his fists. "Maybe I could teach you a bit about being a Dom. Mentor you, teach you about the kinks I know. Maybe we can play together and you can see what you like. The best Doms know what it's like from both sides."
Thinking that Quinn was offering him a chance at that ass, Roman grinned. "Well now, that's a kind offer, Quinn. Maybe you can show me a thing or two."
Quinn tilted his head to one side in a way that made Roman feel...*scrutinized*. "Pass me your phone, Firecracker."
The Vice-President in charge of Investor Relations finally woke up around noon, bleary-eyed but in his own bed. Then, Roman stared at Quinn's number off and on for a good hour. Roman stared at it as he washed his face and shaved in his luxurious bathroom, with its two sinks, large tub, and separate shower with multiple shower heads, from rainfall to two little jets to tickle his ass. He stared at it as he boiled himself some eggs and made some tea. He stared at it as he got himself dressed. He had revealed too much to Quinn by the end of the night before. Vulnerability wasn't his vibe. 
After Quinn had given Roman his number, they talked some more and Quinn explained his three favourite ways of altering a person's headspace: ropes, pain, and hypnosis. To his current morning-after embarrassment, Roman had expressed enthusiastic interest in all three and had agreed to let Quinn show him what it felt like from the sub side. He told himself that he had gotten caught up in the moment.
It was around one in the afternoon that the texts from Jake began coming in. 
*'Yooo, did the Head Chef give you head? Or did he go all Top Chef on you?'*
Roman rolled his eyes and did not respond, but the texts kept coming.
*'Bet you were eager to taste his white sauce again, weren't you, buddy?'*
*'hope you didn't skimp on the heavy cream lol'*
*'I, for one, had a lovely time, thank you for asking.'*
Finally, Roman texted Jake back.
*'He gave me his number but I'm still deciding if I want to message. Anyway, you know I'm a total Dom Top.'*
Jake's response was less obnoxious than Roman had feared it would be, after all that nonsense about sauce and cream. 
*'right. well. don't overthink it, man'*
*'just say hi and tell him you liked last night'*
*'I mean, if you did like it'*
Roman smiled, thinking back.
*'We just talked, nothing more. But he's cute, right?'* 
It took some more cajoling and teasing from Jake, but in the end, Roman sent Quinn a message asking to meet up. 
Quinn offered to cook for him. Roman figured that you didn't turn that kind of offer down from a professional chef. Seeing how Quinn behaved with Rex at the afterparty and how he had acted at the cooking workshop before that had Roman intrigued. If Roman was honest, he was probably also thinking with his dick. Quinn had as good as promised a kinky fuck.
No surprise, then, that their beautifully plated meal consisted of foods that the chef jokingly referred to as aphrodisiacs: an appetizer of chilled oysters, followed by fresh figs with sharp, aged cheddar, an entree of asparagus and sashimi and tataki beef, and finally, strawberries and chocolate for dessert. 
They got to know each other further — Roman talked about his work with the investment firm, and about how his wild ex and best friend Jake had convinced him to go to the *Nuit des Gémissements*. Quinn, for his part, told Roman about the zero-waste meal program initiative that he had started at the hotel and his volunteer work. At some point, Roman offered to put Quinn in touch with the person in charge of sponsorships and charitable donations at his company to see what they could do for him. 
Finally, they cleared the plates and started talking about what Roman had come here for. 
"So," said Quinn, sitting down on his couch and gesturing for Roman to do the same. "You liked watching me with Rex last night?"
Roman let out a laugh, taking a seat next to Quinn. He felt nervous, but it was just two Doms sharing knowledge. Skill-sharing. And he might get to tap that hot twink ass as a bonus. "Well, yes. But I already told you that."
"I like to hear you admit it. It's so delightful when one of you vanilla guys has a kinky little awakening like that. Like, it's one thing to see it in porn, and something totally different to have it unfold in front of your own eyes, isn't it?" 
Quinn was grinning mischievously, and Roman thought he was trying to provoke a reaction and get him to blush or something. Roman grinned back confidently. "Yeah, you're right. It was a trip. I'd love to do something like that, get some hands-on experience."
"I'm delighted to hear that, Roman. To me, kink scenes are a sort of space apart from the rest of the world, where some of the usual social rules are suspended," said Quinn, drawing nearer on the couch. "You got Echidna’s talk at the dungeon, I’m sure, so the one thing I’ll add before we talk about the scene is that I use the traffic light system. If ‘red’ is stop, yellow is ‘slow down and talk’ and green means ‘go’. Easy, right?"
Roman nodded. He covered his desire to fidget by stretching his back and arms a little. "Easy enough. It’s a good system. Hard to forget."
"Okay, down to brass tacks. First, a little checklist. I’m on PrEP and I got tested last week," Quinn said, counting off on his fingers."
"Yep, I’m on PrEP. Tested, uh...last month."
"Great. I love a man who pays attention to his sexual health," said Quinn, somehow managing to be simultaneously teasing and sincere. That was a trick Roman would have to learn. "Okay, now, what are some of your limits?"
Roman crossed his arms, his expression cocky, with one eyebrow raised and a tight little grin on his lips. "I can handle anything that you dish out."
"Nope, wrong answer," said Quinn, shaking his head. "Think about the question. There are definitely things you don’t want me to do to you. For example, here are a few of mine: no permanent injuries, no scat, and no smoking. As a chef, my sense of smell is very sensitive, and those scents I can’t stand."
Roman thought about it. "Well...I don’t want your dick up my ass. I’m a Top. And I’m a Dom like you."
"And?" asked Quinn encouragingly.
" any of this likely to come up?" said Roman, scratching the back of his head.
"Maybe not, but it’s good to practice talking about it."
"Makes sense. I guess no permanent injuries either, over here, and...nothing that’ll show on my face or neck. I do a lot of client-facing work."
"Great, that’s a good start. If anything comes up that I’m not sure about, I either won’t do it or we can talk about it," said Quinn. "Now then...tonight..." He checked the clock. "Rope is a whole other thing. I'll show you a single-column tie and how to handle your rope some other time. Tonight I'm going to hypnotize you. Within the limits we've discussed, I'm going to let your subconscious guide the experience by asking you questions. We might both discover some interests of yours that we don't expect. It's a fun way to see what we might experiment with in the future."
"And once I know what it's like as a, uh, did you call it a hypnotee?" asked Roman.
"Subject, hypnotee, trancee — all good words," said Quinn, nodding.  
"Yeah. Once I know what that's like, if I find it interesting, you'll show me how to hypnotize someone else?"
"If that's what you want," said Quinn. "The other thing I want to do tonight is make you cum while you're deep in trance for me. No bottoming for you, big boy, even if you're letting me take charge for a while."
"Just to demonstrate things," said Roman firmly. "Like I said, I'm a Dom for sure. But an orgasm sounds fucking great."
"Of course," said Quinn. "You can trust me to respect your boundaries, Firecracker."
"Roman's fine," Roman responded. "That scene name — Jakey's got a silly sense of humour."
"Okay, Roman. Why don't you lie back for me on my bed, big boy?" Quinn's voice had taken on a different timbre, a sort of lilting, soothing quality. He adjusted the pillows on the king-sized mattress to leave Roman comfortably propped up. 
Roman did as Quinn asked, crossing his arms in front of his chest and waiting, feeling a bit awkward. Quinn's latest nickname for him, "big boy", felt a little strange. He wasn't sure if he liked it or not. It didn't seem especially dominant. Roman decided that it would be worth being called a boy to get at that sweet ass. He'd wanted Quinn ever since that workshop. 
Quinn spoke and Roman did his best to follow along sincerely, even though he felt a little bit silly. "…And take another nice, deep breath for me. Hold it for just a moment, and then exhale as much stress and tension as you can. Let your body relax into the mattress, feeling so good. Keep breathing just like that, relaxing for me now."
To Roman's surprise, he did already feel more relaxed from those breaths. He found himself thinking that it was sort of like guided meditation. 
"Very good. Another deep breath — and now I want you to relax the muscles in and around your eyes as much as you can. You may have to squeeze them shut to get at some of the more stubborn muscles. We carry so much tension around our eyes."
Roman squeezed his eyes shut and then released them, trying to give his sincere best to the experience. Quinn kept speaking to him about his eyes, how he might find that they got so relaxed that he didn't want to open them anymore — that they both knew that he could if he wanted to, but why would he? 
"We both know that's not why you're here," said Quinn playfully. He kept speaking in those soothing tones, varying up his inflection so that Roman was continually drawn back to his words. He never hurried, but Roman was never left alone in silence for too long. "After all, you did ask me to hypnotize you, so we both want this. That's very good. Ultimately, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. I'm just helping you ask your mind to do these things for you. And you trust in my words and my voice to guide you. You know that I'll take very good care of you, don't you, Roman?"
It took Roman a moment to answer. His thoughts felt calm and slow. He moistened his lips. "Yes, Quinn."
"Very good. I love to see you falling so deep into trance like this that you can barely speak. But you know that you'll always be able to speak up if there's anything that you need to tell me, that you'll be able to answer all my questions and use the traffic lights. Right?"
"Yes," said Roman, and adjusted himself on the bed. It felt good to answer, good to let Quinn do this to him. So far, he was enjoying hypnosis way more than he had expected. But he wasn't that deep into trance, as far as he could tell. He was just going along with what Quinn said. Still, he was surprised to be feeling anything at all. 
"Good. Now just keep listening to my words and my voice, and let me guide you into a very pleasurable state of trance, going deeper and deeper all the time — I love to see how your eyes move on their own under your eyelids. That's a sign to me that you're going nice and deep for me."
It was only then that Roman noticed his eyes were moving around, and he smiled a little to discover it. Maybe there was something to this after all. He let out another deep breath, feeling his body relax further. It would be great to have a bottom relax like this for him. Would probably make it a lot easier to fit his big tool inside of them. 
"Now, next, we're going to send you even deeper into trance. I'm going to pick up your arm and show you just how nice and loose and relaxed it is, loose and limp, and every time that I drop it, you'll sink twice as deep into trance for me…"
It was at this point that Roman lost track of things for a while. He vaguely remembered opening his eyes for Quinn and coming out of trance just a little bit before being put back under. Quinn had called it fractionation. There had been some other stuff, too…but it didn't seem important to worry about. When he came to awareness again, it was because Quinn had asked him a direct question. 
"Do you like being in a deep trance for me, Roman?"
 An answer came to his lips easily. It was as though another part of him was answering. "Yes…yes…very much…"
Roman wasn't sure what he would have said if he wasn't so deeply entranced. He didn't mind, though. Whatever part of his mind this was — probably his subconscious, based on what Quinn had told him about hypnosis — it was right. He realized then that he had a semi, and Quinn could probably see it. He grinned guilelessly. 
"Does it arouse you to be deep in trance for me? Remember, you can always answer my questions, and you can always use the traffic lights if there's something you don't want to do."
"Arousing…yes…" murmured Roman, an expression of open lust on his face as he chewed on his lip a little. 
"What is it that you like about being in trance so far?" said Quinn gently, almost tentatively.
"Relaxing…feels good…my body feels good…" said Roman, his hands moving from his thighs to his lower stomach, massaging a little before stilling. "Feels good to listen to you."
"It feels sexually good, right?"
"Yes…want to touch myself…" said Roman, blushing a little. 
"It feels sexually good to let me take over for a while as you go deep into trance for me?"
"That's good. I'm so happy to hear it. Good boy. Is it okay if I call you ‘boy'?"
"Feels…funny…but I like it…" His subconscious was more honest than Roman might have liked, but he still felt safe and didn't want to use the safewords. 
"That's my good boy. Do you still want to touch yourself?"
"Yes, please…" said Roman, a small part of him confused about how he seemed to be almost asking for permission. 
"Touch yourself as much as you want, Roman. Let's keep talking while you do that. I want to know about the things that you like. Is it okay for us to keep talking?"
"It's okay…" sighed Roman as he reached into his underwear and began to toy with his dick, rubbing the head and the slit of his urethra. "I like this…"
"That's wonderful. You're being such a good boy for me. So deep in trance for me, so relaxed and ready to let your subconscious take the reins for a while. But never so deep that you can't come back up if you need to."
Roman nodded and palmed his dick. It had firmed up completely, and he stroked himself slowly. His mind didn't want to miss anything that Quinn was saying. 
"Now, then, there's something I want to ask you about. Only answer if you want to, understood? Good…very good. Can you tell me about your desire to be a dominant top? Have you ever tried on any other roles?"
It took so long for Roman to answer that Quinn started to reassure him again that he didn't have to answer if he didn't want to. But then, Roman spoke. "Never tried…can't let go…have to be in charge. Big…strong…vice-president. Can't be weak."
Quinn made a low, reassuring noise. "Aww, good boy. Thank you for answering me. You've made me very happy. It looks like you're making yourself very happy too. Feels good to be deep in trance…" He paused for a moment. "It must be so tiring to always be in control. Is it tiring, my good boy?"
"Yes…exhausting to always be in charge, always making the decisions and dealing with the fuck-ups…" 
"I bet it would feel so good to let go, just like this, and let someone else take control for a while, wouldn't it?"
"Yes…" sighed Roman. "Feels so good to be in trance. Good to let go." 
"It takes a lot of bravery and strength to let go for someone else for a while and try something new. I'm proud that you let me take you down into trance today, my good boy. I think that you'll find that being submissive and bottoming both also take a lot of bravery and strength. Being vulnerable is a sign of strength. Do you understand that, my good boy?"
Roman stayed quiet again for a long moment. "Bottoms have to be brave not to run when they see a dick like mine."
"Heh…that's right, big boy. They have to trust that they won't come to any harm, just like you trust me to take care of you while you're deep in trance like this. And just like being in trance, it feels good to let go and let someone else take charge of other experiences. It's not a weakness."
"Not a weakness…"
"That's right. Deep in trance with me, trusting my words and my voice, knowing that if anything happens, you can always let me know and come immediately out of trance…Of course, you never have to do anything that you don't want to, but it sounds to me like you might like to try on some new roles, big boy. Is that right? "
"…yes," admitted Roman. Down in trance, he could admit that he was deeply curious about these other positions and roles, but he would look ridiculous as a bottom, wouldn't he? He was huge, muscular and beefy, with a cock that belonged in porn. At least, that's what his partners said. He liked being a man’s man. Being hypermasculine was part of his whole deal, and masculine guys didn’t take it up the least, he didn’t. 
"That's very good. You're being so good for me. Keep stroking yourself. I want you to think about other roles that you might like to try while you stroke. Feeling safe and comfortable, knowing that you can trust my words…You're trying something new right now with hypnosis…does it feel good?"
"Feels so good…" moaned Roman, getting closer as he kept stroking his dick, his hand moving faster and faster, his pre-cum spurting into his underwear. "Fuck, it feels good…"
"Think about what it would mean for you to try other new things. It's safe to think about it, there's no danger. You get to decide what you want to do. I want you to open yourself up to the possibilities…It's like trying a new food. You don't have to try it again if you don't like it."
"Mmmph…" moaned Roman, his lips pressed together. His balls were drawing up. 
"I want you to slow down for a little while, big boy. I have one more subject to discuss with you before you can cum yourself out of trance for me."
Roman slowed his strokes, squirming and reaching up a hand beneath his dress shirt to tease his left nipple. "F-fuck…so close…"
"Slow down for me, my good boy. Every stroke of your cock brings you deeper and deeper into trance for me," said Quinn firmly. "Feeling so good, but not ready to cum yet. I'll let you know when it's time."
"…yes," breathed Roman, doing his best to listen. 
"Now then, I want you to remember how deep in trance you are right now, arousal and all. I want you to recognize how deeply entranced you are and how good it feels. That's because I want you to be able to return to this state. Whenever I say the words, ‘B is for Béchamel', so long as it's safe and appropriate to do so, you'll fall into a deep, deep trance for me, just like this one. It'll be so pleasurable and so easy to do. And each time that I say, ‘B is for Béchamel', so long as it's still safe and appropriate, you'll sink even deeper. Do you understand?"
"Yes…please…want to cum…"
"Good boy," said Quinn, then repeated his instructions a few more times to cement them in Roman's brain. "Now then, start stroking yourself again. I want you to cum for me on the count of three. When you cum, you'll be completely awake and completely aware of what we've talked about. You'll cum yourself awake for me. Understand?"
"Yes!" breathed Roman. Just a few swift strokes had brought him back to full hardness again, and his balls were churning with cum. 
"Good, very good. You've made me so happy. Now then, stroke yourself. One — feeling so good, so horny, so ready to cum. Two — waking up just a little, able to flutter your eyelids, fully aware of where you are and what's happened, and…Three! Cum for me now and wake up, Roman!"
"Ahh— *FUCK!*" Roman's eyes flew open as he came. His entire body seized as the sensation overtook him, his toes curling as his spine lit up with pleasure, his hips arching upwards. His cum splashed inside of his underwear, coating his hand, dick, balls and pelvis with his spend. He writhed through the aftershocks, shuddering with the pleasure of it. 
When he finally stopped, he looked to Quinn, who was grinning broadly at him. "Welcome back, Roman. How was it?"
Roman blushed. "Fuck. That was…fuck, I don't even know."
"Take your time. Here, have some water," said Quinn, handing him a glass with a metal straw. "You went under very easily and you seemed to enjoy it."
Roman was quiet, reflecting on what he had said while in trance with his inhibitions lowered. Doing what Quinn had told him to do felt amazing, but he didn't know how to reconcile it with his image of himself as a total dominant Top. He was the top dog in all his business dealings. Even among his friends and lovers, he was usually the one who actually knew where he wanted to eat and what movie he wanted to watch on Netflix. It didn't make any sense for someone like him to want to be submissive.
Except Quinn had been right when he said it was tiring to be the one who was always in charge. Letting Quinn take the lead had felt like such a relief. He was finally able to relax. Hell, he was pretty sure his blood pressure was down and that tension he usually felt in his gut had likewise disappeared. 
Had Quinn made him want this? Had Quinn made it feel good? He thought he remembered everything that they talked about, but maybe Quinn had made him forget something important. Could you turn someone out that way? 
Quinn rested a hand on Roman's arm. "Hey. You can talk to me about it, whatever it is you're thinking about. Sometimes after a kink scene, you might have some confusing feelings. That's what aftercare is for. I'm here with you, Roman." 
Roman drew his arm closer into himself, crossing it over his chest. "Thanks. I'm fine, though."
Quinn tilted his head to look at him. "Are you sure? Some things came up while you were under that seemed a little intense. Like, maybe some beliefs around what it means to be a man, and some toxic masculinity? That stuff you were saying about being a big strong guy and bottoming? Subbing?"
Roman sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "Listen, I know it's bullshit. But it's the way I grew up, okay? Hard enough on my dad when he realized that I wasn't straight. At least I could be the…" He bit back his next word. "At least I could still be the one in charge."
Quinn smiled gently and laid a gentle hand on Roman's shoulder. "Am I okay to touch you?"
Roman felt ashamed at what he had said. There was a gnawing pit in his stomach and an itchy tingling in the corners of his eyes. He hadn't expected any of this to come up. 
Roman nodded and Quinn began to rub circles on the ball of his shoulder and his trapezius muscle. Quinn's voice remained soothing and kind.
 "Lots of dudes have been there. I believe what I said though, about trying new things, and about how hard that is, how brave you are for giving hypnosis a shot with me. It's fucking hard to be vulnerable in a world that just wants you to…be hard. To grow a thick skin. That says you have to be femme to get fucked, that that's the passive role." 
Roman was frowning thoughtfully, and Quinn winked at him. "As Montreal's number one power bottom chef, let me tell you that there's nothing passive about taking a dick like yours. That takes skill and practice."
There was silence for a moment before Roman smiled at Quinn and offered him a hand to pull him up onto the bed. Quinn cuddled up to him, stroking his hair and back soothingly. Eventually, Roman looked at Quinn and gave a theatrical sigh. 
"Welp, guess I have something new to talk to my therapist about."
Before Roman left Quinn's place, Quinn brought out a container of leftovers from their dinner and thrust it into his hands. The small man told Roman to take his time and think things over. Quinn said that he'd be around if Roman ever decided he wanted to play more or just needed mentorship, no pressure whatsoever. 
It was a few months before Roman reached out to Quinn again. It was a total mindfuck to discover that he might like being submissive and he also found himself busy at work. He talked the situation over with his therapist at almost every session.
It was difficult to actually verbalize the problem. It was a feeling that Roman couldn’t name — mostly, submitting felt wrong for him to want in some fundamental way. He knew that it shouldn’t feel wrong, and he *did* want it, but the inchoate sensation persisted. Eventually, Roman came to simply call it shame. 
When Roman felt as though the exploration might fundamentally change who he was, his therapist helped him put the stakes in perspective. Nothing was stopping him from trying things out and deciding that it wasn’t for him. When Roman spoke about how he thought others might think less of him or treat him like a laughingstock, the therapist reminded him that he was in control of who he shared that part of himself with. Honestly, most of the time, he felt like a bit of an asshole for buying into what Quinn had called toxic masculinity for so long. 
Slowly, tentatively, he came to allow himself to want it. Eventually, he also found the time to talk to Jake about it. It was Jake that finally convinced him.
"Man, Ro, not going to lie, that sitch sounds really fucking hot," said Jake dreamily, stirring his London Fog as they sat on a rooftop terrace in a private booth, surrounded by green bushes, a trellis of young grapes over their heads. "Also didn't realize that you thought of bottoming as like…less manly. Fuck you for that."
Roman shook his head. "It's internalized shit, Jakey. I didn't realize I thought that until my subconscious said it and then I was thinking about how I grew up…and fuck. Quinn's right. Toxic masculinity does a fucking number on you."
Jake nodded sympathetically. "Fuck the patriarchy. Fuck it right in the ass— no, wait, it definitely doesn't deserve how good that would feel."
Roman grinned despite himself. Jake's shenanigans somehow made it way easier to talk about this stuff, because at least he was never the most ridiculous person in the room. "I've been dreaming about the session I had with Quinn. Ever since." 
Jake put a hand to his mouth. "He shows up in your dreams?"
Roman took a sip of his americano. "It felt fucking amazing. But I also…Shit. It made me feel humiliated to want those things he talked about. Calling me a good boy and all that shit. But it also felt good to be humiliated, a little."
"I mean, you used to call *me* your boy," said Jake with a grin. "You saying you thought I was weak or something? Less of a man?"
"No!" said Roman, eyes wide, waving his hands a little. "Fuck no, Jakey. It's just…It's always been *fine* for *other* people. I just thought I was too much of a Top for that stuff, not that I had like…a real problem with it. I just thought it wasn't me."
Jake nodded. "It's cool, Ro. I get it. Like you said, that internalized stuff does a number on you. So, are you going to see Quinn again?"
"Fuck. I want to," said Roman honestly. He was also thinking of the fact that he hadn’t resolved these issues yet. He wondered if it was too much to ask of Quinn. 
"Then do! He knows your hangups about this and he still said to talk to him any time you wanted, right? Sounds like he’s not expecting you to have completely fixed your shit." 
Roman nodded with increasing confidence and got out his phone to text. "All right. I'm going to do it."
"Yeah! *Carpe* that fucking *Diem*, Ro."
The penthouse apartment seemed a little lonely to Roman that week. Too quiet, too sterile and modern. He had texted Quinn on Thursday and then immediately started to doubt the decision. It was early Monday morning now, and he still hadn't heard back. He was getting ready for work after his morning swim. He still smelled faintly of the saltwater infinity pool despite his shower. He didn't mind — Jake had told him it smelled good with his natural musk. 
As he dressed, his mind fixated on Quinn. Maybe Quinn had just been being nice to the relative stranger in his house when had said to text. Roman almost texted again to say never mind, that it wasn't for him. But even that felt like weakness. It was a double-bind — backing out now felt almost as bad as the idea of exploring his submissive side. Except that he had been thinking about what that would be like non-stop, and he had never cum harder. So, he waited. 
A part of him hated being made to wait. He was Roman Chandler. No one made him wait. Another part, the kind that had read lots of kinky stories in the intervening months on the Internet, was kind of into the idea of waiting for his…his *Dom* to decide to give him attention. The truth was, he was afraid that Quinn would decide that he was too much trouble and reject him. He felt extremely vulnerable, and the feeling came to him as an ache in his chest and stomach.
The message came when Roman was on his lunch break, and Roman had to stop himself from fumbling with his phone to read it. He took a deep breath and read the message.
*‘Glad to hear from you. Big food festival on the weekend & Thur—Sunday are my busiest days. Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. You free tonight, big boy?'*
Roman didn't hold back and let himself enjoy the shiver of pleasure that ran up his spine when he read those words. Relief flooded his body. He felt his cheeks flush warmly. 
*‘Yeah, I'm free. You want to see my place?'*
*‘Sounds good. I'll bring some toys.'*
That last message was signed with the smiling imp and chef emojis. 
It was a long wait from lunch. Roman cut out from work early. As he was leaving, Jake, who was on the phone in the adjacent office, took one look at the expression on his face and gave a big smirk. Roman stopped in at the barber's, got a trim, and then went home to make sure that his apartment was ready. He felt a flustered excitement in the pit of his stomach that was foreign to him. The last time that he remembered feeling it was when Quinn hypnotized him. 
They had arranged to meet at seven. Quinn arrived at five minutes past the hour, carrying a small black duffel bag. As he came inside, he looked Roman up and down appraisingly. "Hi, stud."
"Hi, Sashimi," said Roman, unsure what to call Quinn. Just his first name felt as though it would sound strange on his tongue. 
"Aww, you remembered how much I like it raw," said Quinn playfully. He slipped off his shoes and his jacket. He hung the coat in the closet without being prompted, then turned back to Roman. "So…can I give you a hug?"
Roman hesitated for a fraction of a second before nodding. Quinn took a step forward and slipped his arms beneath Roman's. The Chef gave a solid hug. The top of Quinn's head barely touched Roman's clavicle. Returning the hug, Roman marvelled at the fact that this little creature had managed to take such total control over him the last time that they had played, making him feel so good and submissive. It was amazing how much dominance was concealed inside that small frame and innocent-seeming face. Roman felt downright protective of him now — Quinn seemed so small and delicate.
The Chef did not seem small and delicate for long. After they finished hugging, Quinn sat down with Roman on his fancy leather couch and had Roman lay his head in Quinn's crotch, pressing the side of his cheek into his erection. Quinn stroked his smartly-cut hair as they discussed what they would be doing tonight. 
"You know how they call me Sashimi? Well, tonight, I'm inviting you to taste my Omakase — my tasting menu. You loved hypnosis, so that's definitely on the menu. I'd love to see how your dick feels as I fuck you while you're deeply entranced. I also want to spank you a little, to see how you handle pain. At the end of the night, maybe I can show you what Rex was feeling. Let your brains melt out of your ears with a hogtie. What do you think, big boy?"
"I…I trust you with my limits. And I know the safewords," said Roman, face still pressed into Quinn's hard dick. He felt so fucking humiliated with that dick in his face, and he loved it. The shame might come later, but right now, he was Quinn’s sub. 
"That's *right*," said Quinn with an exaggerated tone of praise, as though he were a puppy that had performed a trick. He pressed his dick upwards into Roman's face. "Very good, Roman. You know you can use them any time. But I know you'll do your best to handle what I give you, won't you?"
"Yes, Sashimi," said Roman. His tone of voice — just a little bit obsequious and definitely not the confident one that he usually used — was new to him. He hated it, but it felt right that he should give Quinn his respect. 
"How about, ‘yes, Sir', for next time, okay, boy?" said Quinn, scratching Roman's scalp gently, raising goosebumps on Roman's neck and shoulders. 
"Yes, Sir."
And then the fun *really* started. 
Roman was half-expecting the implements that Quinn pulled from his duffel bag to be from his kitchen, but the only one that came remotely close was the first toy Quinn took out: a wooden paddle that looked like it could have started life as a fancy cutting board. Peering into the duffel, Roman saw that what was left was some coils of black rope, some dark fabric, a big tube of lubricant, some leather straps, and a bottle of Advil. Quinn looked up at him, gave him a wink, and zipped the bag shut again. 
They started with the spanking. Quinn suggested it as a warm-up to get Roman in a submissive mood. He hefted that wooden paddle in one hand and dangled a blindfold in the other. "All right, now, big boy. Let's go to the bedroom. Wouldn't want your knees getting sore on that uncarpeted hardwood, and I didn't bring any kneepads this time."
Every step toward the bedroom had Roman wondering what it would be like to be hit with that paddle. He trusted Quinn to know what he was doing, but that thing looked enormously heavy and unforgiving. Time, and his hallway, seemed to stretch out as he imagined the pain of it. Like getting spanked with a two-by-four. When they reached the bedroom, Quinn pointed to the mattress. "I want you bare-ass on all fours on that mattress now, boy."
Nothing was stopping Roman from refusing. Quinn couldn't do a thing to force him onto that bed if he didn't want to go. But Quinn's words from all those months ago seemed to echo through his brain. *'But that's not why you're here, is it?'* He was here to submit. Further, it was important to Roman's ego that he not lose face. So, he took off his underwear and got on all fours, his ass pushed back prominently.
Quinn walked around the edge of the bed, trailing a hand across one meaty, muscular cheek, which caused Roman to shiver. He came face to face with Roman and dangled the blindfold again. "You won't know what's coming after I put this on. You like that idea, boy?"
Roman felt a tremor of lust run up his abdomen. "Yes, Sir."
Quinn secured the blindfold behind his ears and then gave his head a gentle pat. Then, he walked back around the bed. There was a loud thwacking sound as Quinn hit the big paddle against his palm a few times. Then, he came and rubbed the wood of the paddle against Roman's ass cheeks. He could feel the grain of it, and every spot where the different planks had been artfully joined. *Fuck.* This was going to hurt.
Quinn must have been aligning his hit because he gave a few light taps of the board against Roman's ass, then paused. "All right. Here it comes, big boy. Take the pain for me. Be a good sub."
Roman clenched his ass muscles in anticipation of the first spank. Any second now, his ass would explode in fiery, stinging pain. He heard a few more thwacks of that wooden paddle and the sound made him squirm. And then Quinn made contact with his ass, and Roman gritted his teeth, flinching and waiting for the pain to bloom…!
But it didn't.
Confused, Roman raised his head, even though he couldn't see anything beneath the expertly-tied blindfold. Then, the next impact came and Roman realized that Quinn was using his hands. It stung a little, but Quinn was only giving little taps of increasing strength to start. The chef had faked him out, making him think that he was going to use that big hunk of wood when all he was doing was using his hands! Roman let out a sigh of relief while also internally feeling the slightest irritation at being fucked with that way. He was being tested.
His relief didn't last for long. Quinn was warming his ass nicely, and the spanking was getting increasingly intense. It *stung*, but Roman could take it. He wanted to take it for Quinn. 
"Good boy," said Quinn, pausing to feel up Roman's sensitized ass. After a few seconds, he resumed, spanking harder. 
Roman began to moan with each hit, unable to hold back any longer. When Quinn hit just the right spot, it made his balls quiver with the force of the impact. Roman's new Dom kept increasing the intensity of the blows little by little so that he acclimatized. He found that he could take increasingly solid hits as the session went on. 
"I'm proud of you. You took every hit like a born pain slut," said Quinn when he finally stopped. He kept massaging Roman's ass, and Roman kept pushing his cheeks up into Quinn's hands. They were burning, but Quinn's hands soothed all that away, making them feel sensitive and good. It was almost as sensitive as his cock, which had drooled a puddle underneath him in the meantime. 
Quinn took off Roman's blindfold and pushed his head down so that he was looking between his legs at the damp spot. "Look at what a delightful fucking mess you made, boy."
Roman didn't have an answer to that, but Quinn just ruffled his hair and laughed. "It's great that you enjoyed yourself. I'm not near finished with you, though."
Roman looked up at Quinn with hungry eyes, his big frame trembling a little with anticipation. 
"Ready for me to hypnotize you again, big boy? Ready to fall deep into trance for me?"
The big sub nodded without hesitation and arranged himself on the bed. This was what he had been looking forward to, and he knew that he could stop any time. It was freeing to have the safe words. It made him willing to go further, take more risks. 
"That's right. You already know just what to do," said Quinn soothingly, lying next to him on the bed. "Now, I know it's been a little while. All the same, I bet that your body still remembers the feeling of being deep in trance for me, doesn't it, big boy?"
Roman nodded, already changing the pace of his breathing. He had dreamed about what it felt like to be in trance for Quinn. He wanted nothing more than to return to that state. "Yes, Sir."
"Good…I love to see those nice deep breaths. Just relaxing and listening to my words…Remembering that when I say the words, ‘B is for Béchamel,' your body starts to return to that deep state of trance. Every time I say them, you fall deeper and deeper into trance for me…"
Roman felt his body relax into Quinn's voice. His limbs felt loose and heavy. His eyes were already getting less tense, even without prompting. Quinn was right. Even though it had been months, he had loved the experience so much that his body still remembered. 
"Letting my words guide you, trusting me to give you a very pleasurable experience in trance," said Quinn firmly but gently, that little lilt returning to his voice, never boring, always easy to listen to for further instructions. 
This time, Roman sank deep *fast*. It was probably because he remembered how good it felt the first time, and how eager he was to return to that state. It wasn't long before his eyes were tightly shut and wouldn't open. Quinn kept deepening the trance all the same, bringing him up and down, making sure his whole body did what Quinn said, felt what Quinn told it to feel. 
After reinforcing his trance trigger so that it would be even more effective next time, Quinn added in some more post-hypnotic suggestions. Roman drifted in and out, knowing he was still taking in everything that Quinn said, but allowing himself to just *be*, sort of lying there floating in trance. 
"…and when I and only I say the word ‘pinned', the body part that I am touching becomes stuck in place. You won't be able to move it until I say so unless it's no longer safe and appropriate for you to be pinned…Nod for me if you understand…Good boy. Good sub. Feeling so good, so deeply entranced…"
Eventually, Quinn made sure that he had Roman's full attention again. "Roman? Are you still with me, big boy?"
Roman nodded and managed to mumble. "Yes, Sir."
"Very good. I love how deep in trance you are for me. Now then, I want you to stay in trance, just like last time, but open your eyes. You'll be able to move your body as normal, but you'll still be deep in trance, still listening to my words, still feeling the pleasure of obeying my voice."
Roman let out a little moan and felt Quinn stroke his cock, which made him moan louder. 
"Open your eyes for me, Roman, open your eyes for me, my deeply hypnotized sub," said Quinn firmly. 
And Roman did. He licked his lips and looked up at Quinn, who was kneeling beside him. He could see that Quinn's smaller cock was just as hard as his own. He bucked his hips a little in his excitement. Then, Quinn climbed between his legs and pushed their erections together. 
"Big boy is the perfect nickname for you, isn't it? Such a nice big cock. I bet you're used to taking charge with it, aren't you?"
Roman nodded, moaning and thrusting against Quinn's cock, rubbing up against him and seeking stimulation. 
"Not this time, though. You've decided to submit to me tonight. I'm in charge of this cock and I get to decide where it goes," said Quinn. "It doesn't matter if you top or bottom. You're still my sub, doing what I say."
Roman squirmed and nodded. "Yes, Sir." The words felt forbidden and delicious on his tongue. 
"I love to hear those words from your lips. Such a big, strong man, at the beck and call of such a small little twink. Tell me, Roman, what did you think when you first saw me in my leather shorts?"
Roman's voice was quiet with embarrassment, but his dick jumped in excitement. "Thought you were a hot little twink that I could dominate and fuck."
"I am a hot little twink," said Quinn, rubbing their dicks together. "At least you got that part right. But my subs do as I say. What would you say if I told you I was going to stick my twink dick up your ass, big boy?"
Roman moaned with excitement and a little trepidation. He *wanted* it, but he also had trouble admitting it out loud. 
"You don't even have the words, do you? But that's okay, big boy. You can just listen to mine instead. I'm not going to fuck your ass tonight. I am going to play with it, though," said Quinn. He reached for the lube that Roman had put out on his nightstand in preparation for tonight. "First, I'm going to play with that hole of yours, show you just how good it can feel. Then, I'm going to take my pleasure by riding your cock. If you're good, I'll let you come at the end with my finger in your ass."
Roman had taken a finger or two, just to see what it was like, but he had never done any more than that. He had lost interest in playing with it himself quickly and hadn't asked any partners to play with it. There hadn't seemed to be much point when he was a total Top. 
"Push your ass toward me and raise your hips," said Quinn, coating his fingers generously in lube. 
Roman did as he was told. Quinn had warmed the lube between his hands a little, but it was still cooler than the heat radiating from his hole. So, that first touch felt cold and sensitive. He jumped a little. First, all Quinn did was rub that finger back and forth across the entrance. The sensitive nerve endings concentrated there felt amazing. Roman moaned but tried to stay still. Quinn soon moved onto pressing a single finger into his ass. Roman's velvety channel clung to it, and Roman was grateful that Quinn's nails were short and well-shaped. His ass clenched and he groaned. The sensation of fullness was uncomfortable. Roman squirmed a little, which Quinn seemed to notice. 
"Remember, you can let me know if there's anything, Roman. Stay in that waking trance for me, so relaxed, so receptive to my words and my voice. Letting yourself relax, including these muscles here. It feels good to have me play with it, so intimate and gentle. I'm here to make you feel good."
For a wonder, Roman felt his muscles relax a little, and Quinn felt around until he landed on what Roman could only assume was his prostate. It was so sensitive — too sensitive. It felt good, but it was too much! He gave a pained moan. "Y-yellow." 
Quinn eased up and added more lube, pulling his finger most of the way out and giving Roman a moment to adjust. "I'm so glad you used your words, Roman. Very good. We'll go at your pace. Just let me know when you feel ready and I'll continue."
Roman took a few deep breaths, feeling his whole clench a little. He deliberately relaxed it as Quinn kept murmuring in soothing tones to him. Soon, Roman nodded. He felt hot pressure in his face. He must have been so red. "Please, Sir, please play with my ass some more."
"Of course, big boy," purred Quinn, and continued his ministrations. Soon, Roman could feel something building inside of him. It was such an oversensitive feeling, like he wanted to move, do something, like all his muscles were getting ready to jump out of his skin. When Quinn added a second finger, he nearly came right then and there. Quinn chuckled at him. "Aww, my big sub is so sensitive. But I need that cock to stay nice and hard for me so I can have my fun, so let's continue this later."
Pulling his fingers out, Quinn rose from the bed. "Now then, sub, I want you to keep telling yourself the words, ‘B is for Béchamel', and keep yourself deeply entranced for me. I'll be right back."
Roman began to murmur that strange mantra, feeling his body growing heavier and more relaxed. He heard the water running in his en suite, then Quinn returned about a minute later. He must have been washing his hands. 
Once he was back, Quinn touched each of Roman's limbs in turn, wrists and ankles. "Pinned," he said simply as he touched each one, and Roman was. He couldn't move any of those parts of his body. He writhed delectably, but they never moved. 
When he had finished pinning Roman down, Quinn paused to admire the view. "I love watching a big guy like you squirm so helplessly, knowing that your own mind is helping me do this to you because you find it just as hot as I do. Keep it up, big boy."
So Roman did, squirming as Quinn lubed up Roman's thick cock and then climbed atop it. Soon, Quinn was riding him, bouncing up and down as he fucked himself with Roman's cock. "You like being my fucktoy, Roman? That's what you are right now, all pinned down like this. My living dildo." 
The big sub flushed but nodded. He fucking loved this. It felt liberating to let someone else be in charge. He was finally getting what he had wanted from the start — Quinn’s ass — but he couldn’t properly say that he was topping, not really. Quinn was in charge, and he knew exactly how to ride him. He was being used for his Sir’s pleasure. 
He felt his orgasm growing closer and closer as Quinn concentrated on fucking himself on his big pole. Quinn's eyes screwed shut tightly and he began to pant a little. "Fuck, yeah, love that big sub dick in my hole! Good boy, Roman, just deep in trance for me, getting fucked…" Then, suddenly, Quinn bore down and he was squirting his load all over Roman's chest. Quinn bit his lip and kept riding. "Fuck yes, this dick!"
If Quinn had continued, Roman could have cum, but he soon pulled off. "I want to see you wearing both of our loads, boy. Just feeling your pleasure mount, more and more, with every breath you inhale while at the same time, with every exhale, you deepen that trance again for me. Good boy, just breathing in, breathing in the scent of my cum and feeling better and better, and then breathing out, relaxing deeper and deeper." 
Roman could feel his arousal mounting, feeling the pressure in his balls getting more and more intense as they drew up toward his cock. He wanted to cum so badly. The scent of his Dom's cum was driving him wild. "Nnnng…fuck…"
"Good boy. Listening to my words…When I stick my finger in your ass and press on your prostate, you're going to cum harder than you've ever cum before. Knowing that my words are true, knowing you can trust me to help you have a very good time. Eager for my finger to touch that prostate, so eager to cum, so eager to be my good boy, listening to everything that I say."
Roman's body shook against his hypnotic restraints, all four limbs still pinned solidly to the bed by just his own mind. He watched as Quinn lubed up his fingers and he thrust his big cock into the air, unable to get any further stimulation without Quinn's help. "Please…please, Sir…"
"Good boy, wanting to cum for me, knowing that it's going to feel so amazing to cum because I've told you to. Even the waiting is pleasurable because I've asked you to," said Quinn, pressing his fingers into Roman's hole. It quivered around them again, opening more easily this time. He was so turned on and so deeply enthralled. 
Then, all at once, Quinn thrust two fingers in and jabbed his prostate. Roman came with a loud cry, his cum shooting directly up into the air before raining back down on them both, on his chest, on his groin, in his hair and in his mouth. It was the best orgasm that he could remember. He kept coming for another good ten seconds — it felt *interminable* in the best possible fucking way. It felt so good. Then, he collapsed on the bed. 
Quinn climbed atop him, pressing the sticky fluids between them and licking at Roman's neck. Then, Quinn brought him back out of trance. "Slowly coming out of trance now, slowly coming awake at your own pace as I count up from zero…"
By the end of that bit of fun, Roman was clearly exhausted. Quinn tousled Roman's hair affectionately. "Looks like your brain is already just about melted out of your ears, sub. Don't worry. So long as we're both enjoying ourselves, you and I will have plenty of time on other days to truss you up and let the ropes do their magic. But for now, I think it's time for me to take care of you."
First, Quinn made Roman drink some water and eat a snack. Then, he led Roman into the shower. The hot water sluiced off the sweat, saliva, and semen. The diminutive Dom soaped up Roman's body carefully, whispering soothing words to him all the while. 
"I'm so proud of you. You gave it your all tonight. I'm lucky you won that door prize. The moment you walked into my class, I knew that I wanted to see that handsome face of yours blush as I teased you," he said, rubbing soothing circles with a washcloth across Roman's back. "I was surprised at what we discovered in that brain of yours. Not as surprised as you, though. Most people aren't completely Dominant or completely submissive, you know. I don't think you are either. But I'm so, so grateful that you have trusted me with your submission. Honoured, in fact."
Roman stayed silent at first, lost in the feeling of being taken care of, but he smiled and turned toward Quinn. "I'm grateful, too. I don't think I would have let someone my size hypnotize me, even for a demonstration of how I could use it on others."
Quinn gave him a wink. "I love big guys like you. You know what they say about being big and falling hard."
Roman smiled. "Yeah, well, I have something big and hard for you whenever you want it, Sir."
"That's my good boy," said Quinn, goosing him with the washcloth between his cheeks.  
*Nuit Blanche* had come around again, and with it, the *Nuit des Gémissements*.
The next set of performers was laying out the equipment for their scenes. The venue was crowded — just as crowded as last year. There were always plenty of people looking to add some sprinkles to their vanilla existence, even if it was just for one night out of the year. The *Nuit des Gémissements* festivities were all about that. With the normal order of things suspended, people could suspend each other, or if rope bondage wasn't their thing, whatever other kink they wanted to develop a performance around.
Jake Corrigan was waiting for one performance in particular. The crowd was too loud to distinguish much of anything of the conversations around him. He knew that there *was* music playing, but couldn't hear the melody. The performance time slots were running about ten minutes late. As they began, Jake watched with interest. They were each unique, each a different, special dynamic, a relationship of trust, vulnerability and care. He understood more of that now than he had last year.
With so much to distract him, Jake couldn't have said why he turned when he did, but a figure moving through the throng caught his attention when he did. It was Roman that Jake spotted first. He was wearing a thick collar at his throat, the black metal hardware attached to a simple black jute rope that led him through the crowd. The person holding the leash was a familiar short little five-foot-nothing blond, wearing thigh-high black boots and tight leather short shorts, his long hair tied back in a high ponytail, his shirt a short black crop-top with cap shoulders made of a stretchy material. 
Roman, on the other hand, wore a bulldog harness that matched his collar, a black posing pouch, and little else except sensible leather work shoes. He was carrying a duffel bag. It had been a while since Jake had seen him naked, and he looked bulkier — more built. Maybe Quinn had him hitting up the gym with a different routine these days. Jake wasn't afraid to admit that his best friend looked like a fucking snack.   
Jake waved to Quinn and Roman. Roman immediately blushed with humiliation at the sight of his good friend, but Quinn just kept coming, a smile on his face. "Hi, Jake."
"Hey, Quinn. Hey, Ro," said Jake, pulling first Quinn and then Roman into a hug. "Ready for your big debut, Firecracker?"
Roman flushed further and opened his mouth briefly before closing it. Behind him, the performances continued. Their turn was coming up soon. 
Quinn tugged gently on the leash. "Big boy is practicing some protocol training. Good boy. You may speak."
"We've been working on some things I think you'll like," said Roman, still looking red in the cheeks. 
"It's amazing how far the two of you have come with that hypnosis stuff. I can't wait to see what you've cooked up," said Jake sincerely. 
"Roman's a very enthusiastic subject," said Quinn, reaching up to give Roman a pat on the head. "Tonight, he's going to have a hands-free orgasm inside that pouch. And only the three of us are going to know about it." 
"Nice! So you're cooking up some more of your famous white sauce," said Jake with a grin, poking Roman in one big firm pec.
"Yes, I finally made a saucier out of you after all, didn't I, big boy?" said the chef, giving that rope a little tug. 
Roman nodded obediently, cheeks red. 
For all that Roman blushed with embarrassment, Jake thought that he looked happy. 

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