Trust, a Hammer story
by Sean Michael
||Erotic Contemporary Romance
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Submissive Kerry has returned from Florida, broke, broken-hearted, and defeated after his master kicked him out. Lucky for him, private detective and old friend Frank finds him and drags him back to the Hammer where he gets a job washing dishes. He's doing the best he can when Top Bellamy sees him and is utterly charmed. Bellamy can tell Kerry's got trust issues, and he takes it slowly, befriending Kerry first, but he's determined to show Kerry that not all Doms are bad.
As the men fall in love, will they be able to overcome Kerry's past, or will Kerry find himself unable to trust?
"Kerry Daniels? Kerry, is that you, son?"
Kerry looked up, shocked at the sound of his name. He'd been in the park for almost two weeks, and no one had recognized him.
Frank Harrod, the former cop. Damn.
"That is you." Frank came to stand next to him. "Kerry, what are you doing out here?"
"Sleeping. What are you up to?" God, this was embarrassing.
"I'm headed to the Hammer to meet my lover." Frank frowned at him. "Why are you sleeping in the park, son?"
"No worries. Just tired." And cold. Dirty. Totally fucked and homeless, but that was the story of the times. "Your lover? Really? Who?" He patted the bench beside him.
Frank sat. "His name is Gordon. He's a good man. Where is yours?" Frank asked pointedly. Kerry had never known the man to pussy foot around.
"We moved to Miami. He... There was a girl. Now there's a baby. I..." Kerry shrugged. "I came home."
His little Ford had made it to Yuma and he'd had to sell it for scrap. He'd used that money to get to the coast, but... Yeah.
He was never going to belong to anyone. Not ever again.
Frank's eyes went wide, his nostrils flared. "He moved you away from everyone you knew and then threw you over for a girl?" Frank's fists creaked.
"It's okay. I'm making it." He'd swept floors in a diner yesterday for a burger, and it wasn't freezing out here. It was hard to get a job without a phone or anything.
"Tell you what, Kerry. I'm headed down to meet Gordon at the club. You come with me."
"No. No, I couldn't." He couldn't afford it.
"My treat and don't bother to argue." Frank stood. "Come on."
"Frank, I can't..."
"Of course you can. You get up and you come with me. You know I'm not going anywhere until you do."
"I'm going to be okay." He took Frank's hand. "Really."
Frank only grunted. "I'm more inclined to believe that if I've put a hot meal in your belly."
He almost shook his head, but he was hungry, tired, and a little scared, so he'd take it. "Okay, for you."
"Good boy." Frank tucked him under one arm and, god, the man was so warm.
"I'm not a boy." He pulled away, even though he didn't want to. "I'm not, okay?" Never again. He was never depending on anyone again.
"Okay. Come here, Kerry. Your lips are blue." Frank tugged him close again. "I want you to meet Gordon." Frank's hand moved up and down along his arm; it wasn't sexual or anything, just warm.
"I can't believe you're a member of the Hammer now." Frank hadn't been... subby.
"Gordon's the member. I've always been welcome there, though."
"You have. It's a good place."
"They're good men." They were almost there, and Frank nodded to the doorman and led him right in.
"Most of them are, yes."
"Yeah, your former master not included." Frank hugged him close as the warmth of the club hit them. Then Frank's voice got louder as they went straight to the bar. "Xavier? Xavier, man, look who I found! You remember Kerry? He worked here before?"
"Oh my." Xavier's eyes went wide.
A man at the bar stood and waved them closer. "A beer for Frank and something hot for his friend, please, Xavier."
He looked away from Xavier, who had to remember him younger, in better shape.
"Kerry's had a rough couple of months; I told him I'd buy him supper," Frank told the standing man.
"The club does an amazing steak. Shall we get a table?"
Frank nodded, kissed the man's cheek. "Sounds great, babe."
The place looked good -- it hadn't changed much, the space still warm, cozy. Friendly. He sighed softly, hoping no one noticed him.
They headed for a corner table, the man who had to be Frank's Gordon leading the way. "You need the facilities, Kerry?"
Kerry nodded. "Yeah. Yeah, I need to wash up, huh?"
Frank winked. "Couldn't hurt. You want your steak medium?"
"Medium well, please."
"You got it."
"Thank you." He walked to the bathroom, head down. He was filthy; he knew it. He'd been sneaking into the McDonalds to wash in the sink.
He'd forgotten just how big and classy the bathrooms were here. There were even two little shower stalls at the far end.
He was debating using one when the door opened and a sweet looking twink with a wide smile poked his head around. "Are you Kerry?"
"Yes. Yeah. Hey."
"Hi, I'm Happy." The guy came in, carrying a fluffy robe and a small basket with bottles in it. "This is for you."
"For me?" His hands started to shake.
"Xavier said it was to say welcome back."
"Oh. I... Thank you." Of course it was. No one wanted him there, stinking. He'd clean his clothes in the shower and wring them dry.
"You want some help? I'd be happy to wash your back for you or take your things to be washed."
"No. No, I'm fine. Thank you, Happy?" He smiled at the nod. "I used to work here, a long time ago."
"Oh, really? I bet you've got some stories."
"It was in the beginning. We all had a lot to learn."
"I'd love to hear about it some day. If it wouldn't be too much trouble, of course!"
"Sure. We can visit." Like he'd be invited back. Although, maybe... Maybe Xavier needed a dishwasher...
"Cool!" Happy hung the robe over the radiator. "It'll be nice and warm when you're done." And then he handed over the basket with soaps and shampoos and there was even a pair of slippers in it.
"Thank you." He managed a smile, wanting to get into the shower before he burst into tears.
Happy gave him a grin and then headed off, pert little ass and all.
Kerry grabbed the soap and headed into the shower, covering his face with his hands as he sobbed. No one ever mentioned what happened to silly little twinks when the men they loved decided they weren't worth loving anymore.
Kerry is emotionally scarred and, not only wary, resistant to developing another relationship with a Master or Dom. Bellamy has been around long enough to see the real Kerry and he fervently wishes Kerry would let himself go and love. Kerry feels for Bellamy but he cannot forget what happened before and how his Master abandoned him after so many years. He is trying to create a new life where he relies solely on himself and is never forced to rely on another. Especially a Master as he knows his tendency is to succumb to temptation as he is very much a submissive. Bellamy very carefully makes his way into Kerry's heart until Kerry has to make some critical choices. Has Kerry healed enough to allow himself a second chance at love or will fear win?
Trust is a very sweet story without any real bite. A damaged Kerry is engaging because, although he does feel sorry for himself at times, he never wallows in it or uses it as an excuse not to move on. He is driven, purposeful, and humble about what happened. In my mind he was doing exactly the right thing, assuring himself that, from here on out, he could make it on his own. Of course, the parallel to a housewife is very clear and it was interesting to see the "abandoned" after so many years and dedication in this type of relationship.
Bellamy was truly a Dom with a heart of gold. The pace he took things, even though it frustrated him, was exactly right. This is fiction but Bel certainly was a fantasy type Dom who knows what to say, how to say it, and what to do nearly at all times. Yes he doubts himself but ultimately that doubt is won over by his love for Kerry.
The sex is the usual for Sean Michael, which means good scenes but some of the trademark words (e.g. "mine") but I did like the scene in the club toward the end, hot exhibitionism. Not usually a kink for me but here it felt like validation for Kerry and Bellamy in some way. I did think Kerry was a little naive for being 35 years old, which slightly dampened the story as I could not imagine someone being that age and not seeing what happens to relationships at times. While I felt bad for him part of me felt like he had several years to change the relationship and become his own person. Of course that could be me reacting out of my own space because I think many of us are so leery of being dependent on another in this day and age of divorce rates!
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