'Twas the Night – short story
part of the O Come All Ye Kinky anthology
Regency-set BDSM M/M erotic romance
eBook Release date: 12/3/2012
Print Release date: 12/3/2012
Word count: 10,000 (89,000 total)
Page count: 317
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Now Available at:
Barnes & Noble Nook
Percival Owens yearns for the nights when he can kneel before his lover, even though no self-respecting gentleman willingly submits to another. Michael wants his first Christmas with Percy to be perfect, but is frustrated by Percy's inability to ask for what he wants. The gift Michael offers Percy-and that Percy offers in return-is the best Percy could ever hope to receive: his will to submit.
20% of all proceeds from O Come All Ye Kinky will be donated to the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom.
Christmas is a time of love and joy, and the New Year is a time of renewal. But they are also times of stress and strife, family drama, pressure and heartache-a potent mix of high expectations and conflicted emotions. Add in power exchange relationships, kinky gift swaps, and unconventional love in a sometimes unforgiving world, and you have a formula for a sizzling anthology of stories that tug at your heart.
From Ava March's forbidden Regency love among men, to Katie Porter's scorching hot contemporary tale of two women discovering holiday happiness, everyone will find a favorite here. Pervertible toys abound: Lambda Literary Award finalist L.A. Witt's candy cane, Jane Davitt's wrapping paper and tape, and Alexa Snow's Christmas candles all please and delight. Newcomer Elyan Smith and fan favorite Kim Dare both celebrate New Year's Eve with romantic flair and kinky fireworks, while bestselling author Joey W. Hill's poignant story of love lost and regained will lead you home.
Note: 'Twas the Night contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: BDSM theme and content, including bondage and spanking, and male/male sexual practices.
© Ava March
Once Percy sat, Michael asked, "Would you care for a drink? I had the kitchen make some wassail before they departed this morning."
At Percy's nod, he got to his feet and crossed to the console table.
Hands clasped over the leather bag on his lap, Percy glanced about the study, to the evergreen on the mantle, the holly sprigs on the corner of his desk, the punch bowl on the console table. "You're one for the holiday?"
He needn't sound so surprised. "Yes," Michael said, handing Percy a half-full glass.
"Did you spend the day with family?"
Instead of taking up his spot on the couch, he leaned a hip against the edge of his desk. "No. They're up in Cumbria. Wasn't of a mind to travel this year. I took dinner at the club since the kitchen had the day free." And then he had spent the rest of the evening alone, waiting for Percy.
Percy nodded once, then took another sip of the spiced punch. A little nervous wiggle in the chair. A fleeting glance to Michael. A glance full of stark, desperate need.
Michael couldn't keep the command from his lips a moment longer.
"Stand up, Percival."
Glass clinked as Percy set the tumbler on the side table. He carefully put his gift on the floor, then stood. Hands at his sides, eyes downcast.
"Remove your clothes."
The only sounds that broke the silence were the swoosh of fabric and Percy's quick breaths. There wasn't one fumble, not one rushed tug at a stubborn button. His ink-stained fingertips made efficient work of removing his coat, waistcoat, and cravat. He whisked his shirt over his head, ran a hand over his short light brown hair to smooth it, then pushed his trousers down his legs.
After folding the garments and placing them on the chair, he turned to Michael, eyes once again downcast and arms at his sides.
The light from the candles flickered across his pale skin, his erection jutting eagerly from between his legs. Michael resisted the urge to reach out and wrap a hand around that beautiful prick, to coax a whimper from Percy's throat, and instead simply took pleasure from the sight before him.
At a good five inches below Michael's own six feet, Percy's body was compact and softened to the perfect degree, with just a bit of extra flesh on his frame. Not so much as to cause a protruding belly, but just enough so he wasn't all hard muscle. The fire crackled in the hearth. Michael waited. Waited until the rhythm of Percy's chest slowed, until his breaths turned even, the ragged quickness gone. Until the line of his shoulders finally relaxed.
"Upstairs," Michael said, calm and without a hint of command.
Percy turned on his heel. Michael pushed from the desk and grabbed the folded clothes.
He could have had Percy undress in the bedchamber, but then he'd have been denied the pleasure of following a naked Percy up the stairs, that generous round arse bouncing with each step he took.
Once they reached the bedchamber, Michael saw to lighting the candles and the fire in the hearth while Percy waited at the foot of the four-poster bed. Pulling a small key from his pocket, Michael dropped to his haunches and then unlocked the trunk next to the writing desk. He made to reach inside the trunk but stopped, hand hovering over a pair of leather cuffs.
It hadn't escaped his notice that Percy's reluctance to voice his preferences extended into the bedchamber. The man embodied the very definition of a compliant lover. That wasn't to imply Michel didn't enjoy his evenings with Percy—he most assuredly did, and Percy's reactions screamed he enjoyed them as well. But it was Christmas. And Percy had made him an open offer. Perhaps there was something Percy could give him that wouldn't cost the man even a halfpenny. A gift that could benefit them both.
He wiped the smile from his expression, then stood. Percy's gaze went to the writing desk, the surface clear of leather goods, dildos, and plugs, then to Michael's empty hands. Confusion filled his eyes.
Stopping before him, Michael let the smile touch his lips in an effort to reassure Percy. "Earlier you said that if there were anything you could do for me, I need simply ask. I've decided what I want. Call it a gift, if you will. I want your voice tonight."
A furrow crossed Percy's brow. "I don't understand."
"I want your voice. I won't do anything to you unless you ask for it." That furrow became heavier. "It's not difficult, I assure you. Shall I show you how it works?" He didn't wait for an answer. "Kiss me, Percy."
Without hesitation, Percy raised an arm, cupped Michael's jaw, and lifted onto his toes. Soft lips brushed across Michael's. He held back the impulse to deepen the kiss, to take control of it, and simply savored his first kiss from Percy. The first kiss Michael had not had to take. The chaste press of his lips, the light puff of his breath across Michael's cheek.
A flick of Percy's tongue, a short fleeting taste of the man's delicious mouth, then those lips were gone.
Michael cleared his throat, gathered his senses. "That's what I want from you tonight. The gift of your voice. I will do whatever you want. Bind you in any fashion you desire. To the bed, to a chair, tie you down on the floor. I'll redden your arse until you're sobbing for more, tears streaming down your cheeks, bugger you until you can barely sit tomorrow. Prepare you for my cock and then make you wait an hour for it. Anything. You just need to ask. So do you agree?"
The discomfort, the uncertainty was back, tightening Percy's shoulders, compressing those soft, sweet lips, convincing Michael that his instinct in this had been spot-on.
And so he held onto his patience and waited for Percy's answer.
"I loved the dynamic between Percy and Michael… The sexual tension between these guys is amazing and the scene where Percy finally gives voice to his desires is super hot. I really loved this one and thought it was very well done." - Joyfully Jay
“Ms March I loved your naughty Christmas night in 1820 - London.” – Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews
“I was engrossed in this story from the first page to the last. The scene they have is incredibly hot… And on top of that they have an obvious emotional connection which deserves a sweet HEA” – Rarely Dusty Books
“I couldn’t put the story down. It’s masterfully told and will warm up any winter evening.” – Mrs. Condit & Friends Reads Books
“I loved the initial hesitation and slow build-up of the story that ended with incredible sex scenes and a sense of a happily ever after. The story was perfectly paced and March’s writing is always captivating!” – Under the Covers Book Blog
“My lord! This is one sexy story. Michael and Percival are freaking-darn-hot-stuff together. Nice sentiments and a lovely, happy ending… I loved it.” – On Top Down Below Reviews
“Ava March writes such sexy and emotional stories. This one is well done.” – USA Today