Chapter 4 - A Matter of Trust

Feeling he left both Indiscreet and the new system in Bull’s capable hands, Bear left the club burned out. He returned only when his belly clutched with need and his loneliness left him on the razor’s edge of sanity. He would do a scene with one of the club’s submissives who had yet to find a Master or was not ready to take up the life on a twenty-four seven basis. He took care of the sub and himself with the minimum of attention that good aftercare allowed, and then he left.

Bear banged his fist on the molding in frustration. It took three and a half years for the image of the beige speckled cinderblock walls in the basement morgue not to haunt his every waking hour. He could not forget the others who would have to look down at the frozen remains of their loved ones in drawer sixty-seven. It would forever remain emblazoned on his eyelids as he slept. Antonio’s many barely-healed scars, coupled with the new ones, made what was once the face of a dark Botticelli angel into a grotesque mask of Carnivàle.

They caught the fucker, a pimp, and New York State tried, convicted, and sentenced him to life without parole. Yet, something in Bear had died with Antonio. He had not loved Antonio. Antonio hurt Bear’s pride by leaving, but Bear’s overzealous conscience did not let it lie with that. Maybe if I had reached out, tried to talk to the boy, assured him of his safety with me until he found his legs and knew what he wanted and where he was going…

Bear’s fists squeezed tight and there was a bit of moisture about his eyes. His whole body was tense.

The interviews were difficult. Every one brought back memories of Antonio’s death. Why do I continue to do this?Bear asked himself.

The selection process is akin to beating my head against a brick wall.

continue because it will feel so g

d shrugged hard an

y’s young sub and all of the others who Reed sent to him to interview since he began an active search six months ago, three years after Antonio’s demise. Each boy was lacking

had compromised its inherent integrity. Donald had compromised his own and Antonio’s integrity, and that is why, despite Antonio’s duplicity, he still mourned Antonio’s death. Deep down, where no one but he could see, he put a good portion of the blame

carefully abo

have the fortitude to be mine, owned, body and soul, yet still think independently, able to amaze a room with his wit and intelligence. He would possess a personal demeanor c

le…not likely. Hell, bloody pigs would be pi

chuckle at his own

desired was as unlikely as finding a 1

t. The man who was incapable of trusting any

e interview process, he had more than lost his patience with Reed. Just