Sampson is too tall to be anything but awkward outside, but in the Velvet Glove he shines, confident in his ability as a top. When he meets Alain, it breaks Sampson's heart. Alain has been without a top, and any kind of touch, for too long. Can Sampson prove himself and win Alain's heart?
Originally published on The Turn of the Screw, and in the print book Velvet Glove, Volume 2
Sampson ducked in through the doors and looked around.
It wasn't early, but it wasn't late yet either and he knew the real crowds showed up after nine and really got into it closer to midnight. At least that's how it worked anywhere else he'd been and it looked like the Glove might be the same. There were people on the dance floor, others at tables eating or drinking or just talking, still others at the bar, but the place wasn't anywhere near packed.
He caught himself ducking his head and he straightened up, made sure he didn't hunch his shoulders. He was just so much taller than everyone else.
Well everyone looked like they were having a good time, so he slowly made his way toward the bar. He'd have that drink of his and then go check out the playrooms. He might be awkward and clumsy in social situations, but once he had a whip in his hand and found his groove? He did all right for himself.
A brightly colored swirl of energy came zipping across the floor toward him, all laughter and multi-colored hair and dancing eyes. "Sampson! Welcome! I'm Kestrel, Lionel and Brandon are my assistants, they arranged your membership. I'm so glad to meet you in person. How can I help get you settled, lovely?"
"Oh. Hi. Nice to um, meet you, Kestrel. You've ah, heard of me? You guys um, really go all ah, out to make a guy feel welcome. I." He thrust out his hand. "Hi."
"Hello." His hand was taken and squeezed. "And of course we do! We want our guests to feel at home. Now, tell me, what can I do for you? Would you like a tour? A drink? Supper? All of the above?"
"Oh. Yes. Yes, it um, all sounds lovely." And as overwhelming as the place seemed, it was very nice to have someone take his hand and help him out.
"Oh, excellent. Now I'm supervising a collaring party in a quarter-hour, but I know I saw..." Dark eyes lit around the room, then widened. "Oh, yes. I did. Alain? Alain-darling? I need you!"
A sharp-featured man turned, black hair tousled and shining. Thin and graceful, dressed in deep black, Alain headed toward them, finally ending at Kestrel's elbow. "Yes, Kes?"
"Alain, love. This? Is Sampson. He's new and he needs someone who knows everyone and everything and, my beauty, you know everyone. Take care of him tonight?"
Beautiful green eyes looked him up and down, a soft smile covering the thin face. "Oh, of course."
He fought his blush and his initial thoughts that this very pretty man couldn't possibly really want to spend the evening with him and held out his hand. "Hi. Um. I'm Sampson."
"I'm Alain." The man's hand was soft, dry, cool. "It's nice to meet you."