The Fear of Surrender (The Hampton Road Club 3)
Master Thomas sees a submissive man aching for surrender if only Linus can be convinced not to fear The Hampton Road Club.
Linus never wants to return to Hampton Road after being attacked by a Master there. Even though he aches for the attention of Master Thomas -the one who he’d originally wanted - he isn’t sure he can ever trust another Master not to abuse him again.
Thomas is furious with himself for not protecting the beautiful young submissive whose company he’d enjoyed on a few occasions. He’s relieved that there have been some recent changes to help protect the submissive men who offer themselves at the sadomasochism club. It’s about time to bring the club into the progressive age of the 1920’s. Now that the new rules are in place, perhaps he can woo Linus into giving him a chance.
As Thomas goes out of his way to be kind to him, Linus wonders if he’s misjudged the Master. He’s still not sure if there’s a future for them. What if he never wants to surrender to another man? When he allows Thomas to teach him the joys of Dominance and submission, Linus discovers that he not only wants to surrender, he wants to be claimed permanently. If only Thomas’ old life doesn’t come back to haunt them and destroy their chance of being together forever.
If You Had Never Heard of BDSM Before…
Thanks for having me here today Helena! I’d say that one of the things I’ve enjoyed about writing The Hampton Road Club series, is that not only is it M/M BDSM - a particular fave of mine – but it’s set in the 1920’s. Now I love the roaring twenties, but there’s more to writing this series than that. Many of the characters in the books – particularly the young ones – haven’t the slightest clue that such a thing as sadomasochism exists as a sexual practice. Nor have they ever heard of bondage and toys, and they most certainly have never considered what it would be like to surrender themselves to a Master. It’s all a big unknown – there aren’t any books or films to enlighten these men. They have to discover it for themselves or hopefully meet others who are likeminded.
The men who indulge in their darker desires at The Hampton Road Club have to be extremely careful. Not only because they are gay, but because any type of activities that are what would be considered BDSM in contemporary times - would’ve been labeled a perversion that would cause any adherents to be treated in an institution or arrested and incarcerated. I’ve read news articles from that era where castration was used as a way of discouraging so-called ‘deviant’ behavior. I had to bear all of those issues in mind while writing this series.
Linus, the young submissive in The Fear of Surrender, only discovers that such a thing exists when he meets an older man at a speakeasy who had hired him as his companion for the evening. Linus doesn’t sell his body, but does accompany men to the pansy clubs as their date for the night and occasionally performs some sexual favors. Ned, his gentleman for the evening, takes him to The Hampton Road Club and suggests that he might find what he really needs there. He encourages Linus to find a man who really cares about him and who can fulfill his needs.
In Book 2 of The Hampton Road Club, The Rules of Love, Linus has a bad run in with a Master who mistreats him. Right when he thought he really had found what he was looking for, the club becomes sullied for him. Even the beautiful Master Thomas who he’d played with a few times and had begun to fall for no longer seems safe. As The Fear of Surrender begins, Thomas is hopeful that he might get another chance with Linus and is willing to do whatever it takes to win him over. In this scene, Linus considers giving Thomas that chance.
Excerpt from The Fear of Surrender (The Hampton Road Club 3):
Linus stared at his hand in Thomas’. He tried to remember if they’d held hands the three times they’d been alone. The times Linus had allowed Thomas to touch him, had wanted it.
But I still want it.
He squeezed Thomas’ fingers. It was all so confused in his head. Before the whole Preston disaster, Linus had been sure Thomas had wished for him to be his gentleman friend. Of course, Linus had also been very excited about all the activities he knew Thomas would desire from him. Then there had been the anticipation over the new ones he figured Thomas would eventually reveal.
They hadn’t held hands—not really. Not the way they were doing at the moment. It had been more like Thomas’ grip around Linus’ wrist the one time he’d tied his hands together in front of him. He’d bent Linus over a large padded ottoman then placed a blindfold over his eyes. He’d asked if Linus he’d ever worn one before. When he’d replied honestly that he hadn’t, Thomas had gently explained that it would help heighten the sensations of what he felt. It was also a way for them to build trust with each other. Then he’d asked Linus if it was okay to use it on him.
That was the difference. He asked.
A thread of nervousness ran under his skin. He’d never lied to Thomas, but he might’ve made it seem that he was more experienced than he really was. He’d been so attracted to him that when Thomas had first approached him at the club and asked if he liked to be spanked, he’d blurted out that he did. Thomas had also wondered if he wanted to be tied up and he’d nodded vigorously, scared but excited at the same time.
‘Words please. You know what to do.’
But he hadn’t. He didn’t. Instead, he’d played along so that Thomas wouldn’t choose another boy. When he eventually did choose another boy, Linus had already believed that he was the only one who held Thomas’ interest. Was that still the case? Or would there be others Thomas would go around with while he was also seeing him. If so, maybe he shouldn’t accept Thomas’ offer after all.
His hand felt so nice, so warm. It made it seem as if he wasn’t all alone, far away from his mother and father and all his brothers and sisters. It was even better than that because with Thomas, he had all the attention. So he had to know for sure. Because if he was going to be with Thomas, he really did want all the attention on him.
“If I give it a try, give it a chance—will it only be you and me?”
Thomas furrowed his brow. “Are you asking if I’ll be with any other men while we’re getting to know one another?”
Linus nodded, then remembered. “Yes.”
“I’m going to assume that you don’t want to go to the club, correct?”
Maybe Thomas would take back the offer. He squeezed Linus’ hand.
“Don’t. This is important to me so I want to do it right, give us a fair shake. I’ll still be going to the club—”
“Oh.” He dropped his chin and tried to pull away. Tears stung at the backs of his eyes. Thomas held on to him, gripping him tighter.
“You didn’t let me finish. I’m a board member and there are some important meetings coming up regarding rules to make the club safer. I need to be at the club for those. Plus, that’s where my friends are. You are more than welcome to come with me at any time, but that’s not something I expect. I just want to be honest with you about where I’ll be. However, I promise I won’t be with any other man either there or anywhere else while you and I figure this out. Agreed?”
Linus relaxed and looked up at Thomas, giving him a small smile. “Agreed.”
Thomas smiled back. “Good. That’s going to be one way where I can gain your trust.” Thomas regarded him as if he wasn’t sure what to do with him next. “I tell you what. I’d like to take you to dinner tomorrow night. I’ll pick you up at seven o’clock at the guesthouse and we can go from there. Sound good?”
“You mean like a speakeasy?” The last thing Linus ever wanted to do again was go to another one of those places.
Thomas patted their joined hands with his other one. “No. I want to take you to a nice, respectable Italian restaurant I know of in Pasadena called Del Rio’s. Do you like Italian food?”
“Um, I don’t know. There was an Italian family that lived a couple farms over, but we hardly ever saw them and I never ate any of their food.”
Thomas appeared to be holding back a smile, maybe a smirk—Linus couldn’t tell.
“Well then, I suppose this would be a good way for you to find out if you do. I’ll see you at seven o’clock.”
Thomas gently unlaced their fingers and it hit Linus that everything had just been decided. He usually preferred that, but it was all so fast. He’d be alone with Thomas in the car again. It was okay, at least he thought it was, but…
Thomas paused from where he’d been about to swing a leg over the bench. “What is it?”
“Where’s the restaurant?”
“It’s on Colorado, near Fair Oaks Ave. Why?”
“Oh, um, I could save you the trouble and just meet you there instead. At seven o’clock, you know, like you said.” He swallowed hard.
Thomas relaxed back on the bench. “You don’t want me to drive you?”
“It’s not that…” He squirmed. It wasn’t fair not to be honest with Thomas if he expected Thomas to be honest with him. If things progressed with them, he’d eventually have to confess that he’d misled him back at the club as well. “Okay. It is that. But I don’t want you to be mad at me. I just um, I need to get to know you better. That’s all.”
“I’m not mad, Linus. Thank you for telling me the truth—that’s going to be very important in order for us to have a chance together.” Thomas rubbed a hand across his beautiful golden hair that Linus loved. The gesture was in seeming contemplation over Linus’ statement. “All right. If that’s what you need to do. May I ask how you’d be getting there?”
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