The new David & Gun book, Letting Go, is slowly coming together. The first draft is almost complete, although there's still a lot of polish needed here and there. It's hard to say when it will be finished, since I seem to be spending endless amounts of time tweaking a few passages, but I'm reasonably confident it will be ready some time in the fall, so I thought I'd give you a little sneak peek at a chapter.
This is the first scene I wrote for the new book, although it's currently positioned as the second chapter. In my draft, this sequence is titled “Meet Master Robert”:
“This was a good idea, getting out of the house today,” David said as he smiled at Gun across the table. They were both hungrier than usual on this Sunday morning, having skipped dinner the night before to enjoy some time in bed together. They had just returned from Cambodia a few days ago. Tom was away visiting his parents, and Chang was holed up in his room with Den, so Gun had suggested they go out for brunch. It had been a while since they ate out, and David thought it was a pleasant change.
“Sometimes I think we spend too much time holed up in our place,” Gun said, returning David's smile.
“I suppose, but I'm not complaining.” David's smile turned to a grin, thinking of what they did last night.
Gun seemed to know what David was thinking and chuckled. “I meant in the early evenings and weekend days. We should go out a little more, don't you think?”
David shrugged and said, “Maybe, but you know I'm not much of a party person.”
“It doesn't have to be parties. I'm not much for them either, but maybe we should go out to dinner more, see movies or something.”
“Well,” David answered, “you're the one who is usually pressed for time. If you can make the time, so can I.”
Gun nodded in agreement. “Yes, it seems to be piling up at work again, but that won't last long. I'll make sure to free up some time, for you and the boys. When is Tom coming back?”
“He should be home tomorrow morning. He starts work on Tuesday.”
“I wish he would let me pay for a plane ticket. It's an awful waste of time taking the bus.”
“He doesn't want to take advantage,” David chided. “You should be happy he's so conscientious.”
“I guess,” Gun answered with a nod. “Are you sure about this job?”
“Seems worth a shot,” David replied. In his search for a suitable career for Tom, David had sought out an old friend who worked for the United Nations in Bangkok. His friend worked for the health organization, but David thought he might know someone in UNESCO, the cultural body that oversaw World Heritage Sites. He did, and agreed to introduce David to him. The man's name was Phillipe, from France, and David was hoping to just pick his brain for ways Tom could make a good living but still enjoy his love of ancient history. Much to David's surprise, Phillipe suggested Tom might be a good candidate for an internship at the Bangkok UNESCO office, where he could learn about the management of World Heritage Sites and be exposed to several businesses involved in that. They had internships available for Thais, but had problems filling them.
It seemed worth looking into, and Tom agreed to go in for the interview. He got the internship easily and was quite excited by it. David's friend had warned them that the politics and bureaucracy of the UN organization could be tedious, but both David and Tom thought it was worth a try. Gun was a bit more doubtful, having his own experiences with the politics and bureaucracy of his family business.
Their food was delivered and so the two men turned their attention to their meal. After a while, David spotted a couple, a Thai man with a westerner, across the crowded restaurant, but there were occupied tables between the other couple and David, so he couldn't get a clear view of either of them. There was something familiar about the Thai man. The western man appeared to be older than David. It was a distraction all through the meal. Every time some customers shifted, he couldn't help checking for a better view, trying to place the Thai man.
As the people from the last table blocking his view stood to leave, David froze. He suddenly recognized the young man at the other table. It was Ben. His hair was cut very short, in a sort of military fashion with almost shaved sides, but it was definitely him. It had been more than two years since their disastrous encounter, but David was sure it was him. His mind raced with the bitter memories. Then he noticed the western man looking in his direction, and it looked like he was getting up to come over. Ben stood to follow him.
As they got closer, David could see a thin leather strap around Ben's neck. Fear turned to shock when David realized what it was. The black strap had a little padlock hanging from it in the hollow of Ben's neck. To the average person, it was probably just an edgy choice of jewelry, but David knew what it really meant. Ben was a collared submissive. He was dressed in a sleeveless black v-neck shirt with tight black jeans. It was the favored outfit of Bangkok rent boys. David was sure Ben was no whore. The clothes were probably picked out by his master to humiliate the young man. Been looked cowed and kept his eyes on his feet the whole time. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, thought David.
“Gun! It is you! I thought I recognized you,” the westerner said. He spoke with a British accent. It wasn't a posh London accent, but David couldn't place it.
“Hello, Robert, I didn't know you were back in Bangkok,” Gun answered coolly.
“Back almost a year now. Couldn't keep away,” the man, Robert, answered jovially.
“Um, hello to you too, Ben,” Gun said.
“Oh, you know this poor excuse for a slave?”
“Yes, although the last time we met, Ben was being a very rude young man.”
“Aye, he was a wild one, all right. Didn't know his place at all, but you know I like a challenge. Had to switch to the paddle because my hand was getting sore. You know how hard it is when they actually like getting smacked.” Robert winked at Gun.
David couldn't suppress a smirk at the thought of Ben getting spanked and paddled regularly. Karma's a bitch, ain't it baby.
David's thoughts were interrupted by Robert's hand on his neck, pulling down his shirt to get a better look at his tattoo. David stiffened and bristled.
“Oh, isn't he used to getting touched by his master's friends?” Robert asked Gun in a rather patronizing fashion.
“Not without permission. What happened Robert? You used to be such a stickler for manners.” Gun's voice was positively frosty.
“Right you are! I do apologize to you, Gun, sir,” and then he turned to David, “and to you too, sub.”
Robert had switched to a rather posh accent, which made his apology sound even more patronizing. And being addressed as a sub by this man felt insulting. Nobody referred to David as 'sub' except Gun.
Robert turned back to Gun and said, “May I have a look at your boy, Gun? He's not your usual type.”
Gun let his lips curl up just a little. “It's not my permission you need, Robert, it's David's. I never collared my subs, and David is no boy.”
“But he bears your mark. I remember that prissy seal of yours.”
“Yes, he does. We committed our selves to each other almost two years ago. I've moved past playing games with boys, Robert. I've found something much, much better.” Gun fixed his eyes on David and smiled.
Robert straightened up and puffed out his chest. He was a burly man, but not fat. It was all muscle. “Well, I'm very happy for you Gun, for both of you.” It didn't sound very sincere, but David relaxed a little anyway. “But, you know, Gun,” Robert continued, “I would toss this worthless pussy boy aside in a second if you agreed to wear my collar again.”
“There's only one person whose collar I would wear,” Gun answered, still looking directly at David, who was busy absorbing what Robert had just said about collars.
Robert looked between David and Gun, and then grinned. “Now that's true love.” His tone sounded mocking to David.
Robert turned to leave but, Ben shot him a quick glance before lowering his eyes back to his shoes. The Englishman let out an exasperated sigh. “Speak.”
“Gun,” Ben spoke hesitantly, “and David, I want to apologize for what I did. It was very bad. Master Robert is teaching me to be a better person.”
Gun raised an eyebrow at David, who had both his up in surprise. “Well, thank you, Ben. If you've found what you're looking for with Robert, then I'm happy for you. Good luck.”
Robert gave Ben a little push and they left.
David crossed his arms across his chest and fixed Gun with his best stern look. He wasn't budging until he got some answers. “Collar?” was all he said.
Gun smiled. “Not here. I'll tell you everything, I promise. But somewhere more private, like home.”
There's more, of course, but this should be enough for now. Letting Go should most likely be ready for release in the fall of 2012.