Reaching The Edge

Tales from The Edge

by L M Somerton

When you reach the edge, you can't avoid taking a leap of faith.

Joe Dexter leads a complicated life. In one world he is a consultant criminal psychologist—in another he runs The Edge, a successful corporate training company. He's also an active Dom in the London BDSM scene.

A social call to The Underground, a club owned by an old friend, turns into much more when Joe is introduced to a prospective sub. Falling hard for the boy's tumbling blonde curls, huge blue eyes and desperate need for protection, Joe carefully coaxes him out of his shell. By the end of an intense weekend, unbreakable bonds have been forged and Joe is well on the way to becoming Olly's Master.

Joe knows that there is trauma in Olly's past, but it is not until his professional and private lives collide that Joe discovers the truth. He knows he shouldn't have let Olly out of his sight but it's too late—Olly's old Master is back on the scene and he's not in the mood to forgive and forget.

With Olly's life on the line, Joe risks everything to save him. Has Joe found his perfect submissive only to lose him in a horrible twist of fate, or will love win the day? They've reached the edge and there's no avoiding a leap of faith.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of D/s, including chastity play, and references to past rape and current PTSD. There are also non-consensual plot elements with an aggressive former Master which include kidnapping, bondage and the forcible insertion of a butt plug.

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Excerpt:

"Alyson, I realise that I’m a clinical psychologist, but my specialism, as you well know, is criminal psychology. What on earth makes you think I can help this boy?"

"He’s not a boy, Joe, he’s a young man. He’s been through the kind of trauma that would turn most of us into gibbering wrecks, and survived, against all the odds. But I can’t get him to trust anyone enough that they can help him. He’s so closed down that he’s barely functioning."

"What exactly does that mean?"

"He looks after himself on a basic level. He eats. He keeps clean. He does housework. But he hasn’t been able to return to work and he has horrific nightmares. I don’t think he’s slept properly in months."

"What aren’t you telling me? There has to be something..."

"Just read his file. I’ll buy you dinner." The slightly wheedling tone grated on Joe’s nerves and he found himself agreeing just to get the annoying woman off the phone.

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"Fine. Send it over and I’ll take a look, but that’s it, Alyson. I’m not promising anything."

He could feel her triumph reverberating through the handset as he replaced the phone in its cradle. He’d known Alyson Bell for several years. She was well respected and, despite the fact that he didn’t like her all that much, he knew she was good at her job. She had referred patients to him in the past when the skills of her colleagues at the private clinic where she worked had been exhausted. He had no illusions about being the call of last resort. It was that very thing that intrigued him—the challenge of trying to help people whom everyone else had given up on.

It was Friday evening and he was looking forward to the first free weekend he’d had in nearly two months. He picked up the phone again and dialled his business partner and best friend.

"Heath. How’s it going?"

He smiled as he listened to Heath relay information about the week’s courses at The Edge, the corporate training company they ran together. He divided his time between his growing private practice and what was turning into a very successful business venture.

"I’ll be up next week as planned. Enjoy the weekend off." Joe tried not to sound too jealous.

Heath chuckled knowingly. "You don’t sound very sincere, my friend. What will you be getting up to?"

Joe was still trying to decide what to do with his own free time. "Not sure. Think I might put in an appearance at The Underground tonight."

He fiddled with a pen on the desk, then dropped it as Heath made a couple of very detailed suggestions as to what a night at The Underground might offer.

"It’s been so long since I played, I think I may have forgotten how to use one of those!"

A snort of disbelief sounded down the line, followed by a few caustic comments.

"I’m just going for a quiet drink and maybe a little innocent voyeurism. It won’t do the business any harm if I put in an appearance, anyway."

He held the phone away from his ear slightly and waited for the laughter to subside.

"Fine. Have your fun. I know that 'just watching' has never been my thing, but I’m fed up of all those doe-eyed submissives who just want to play for a night, then go back to their safe little worlds. I’m pushing thirty, Heath. I want something more and he has to be out there somewhere."

He tilted his chair back and smiled at the kinder words that followed.

"All right, all right! Twenty- eight isn’t thirty! Yes, I will have a good time. Yes, I will be careful and no, I will not be fucking telling you about it in the morning. Goodnight, Heath."

He began to tidy his office and prepare to leave, letting his mind wander back to the first time he and Heath had met. The Underground was an exclusive—and expensive—private club catering to London’s gay BDSM scene. Joe had been lounging against the main bar, craving a nice, soft merlot, whilst nursing a glass of something involving mango and apple that the barman had convinced him to try. He entirely understood the club’s ‘no alcohol’ policy but sometimes it was a pain in the taste buds.

Heath had drawn every eye in the place as he had strolled across the room, black leather clinging to long legs and a gorgeous arse, his body draped in a filmy silver-grey shirt. There’d been a few disappointed sighs as it had become obvious that this was not a new, tender submissive but a confident, young Dominant who would provide dangerous competition for all of them.

He’d ordered water with a twist of lime, glanced at Joe’s fruity concoction with a smirk and introduced himself. "Heath Anders. I need someone to teach me and I’m told you’re the best."

It had gone from there, and Joe had enjoyed every moment of showing his willing student what it meant to be submissive, and how to be the best possible Dominant. Friendship had led to partnership and the development of The Edge into something more than just a corporate training company. The Underground had provided them with a number of excellent clients and he was proud of the fact that they were making an active contribution to making their world safer and more respectful of others’ needs.

COLLAPSE
Reviews:on Inked Rainbow Reads:

When Joe meets Olly, sparks fly, wills are tested and ultimately, they each find what they were searching for - understanding and love. Poor Olly has been put through the ringer. I love his undying spirit - he's mischievous, but loyal, smart and loving. He allows Joe to truly care for him. He also is so much stronger than he appears. Although his previous Dom was an absolute brute and bastard, Olly's willingness to seek what he still craves is admirable.

Joe is always loving and kind with Olly. I love how he lets Olly be himself. Joe doesn't try to crush his spirit, just gather it on a tighter leash. This was a great start to the series.

on Joyfully Reviewed:

Beautifully done. Highly erotic and tastefully written. Reaching the Edge takes a fascinating look at the BDSM lifestyle and the men who relish that world. Joe is all Dom and an intelligent, successful businessman. Oliver is still dealing with a painful past, physical and mental trauma though he refuses to let it ruin his future. He’s sweet with an iron core. Reaching the Edge is a powerful, character driven story that resonates with heart and redemption. I Joyfully recommend Reaching the Edge. Simply stunning.


About the Author

LM lives in a small village in the English countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, cows and sheep. She started writing to fill time between jobs and is now firmly and unashamedly addicted.

She loves the English weather, especially the rain, and adores a thunderstorm. She loves good food, warm company and a crackling fire. She's fascinated by the psychology of relationships, especially between men, and her stories contain some subtle (and some not so subtle) leanings towards BDSM.

LM is winner of the National Leather Association’s Pauline Reage Award for best novel and the 2016 Golden Flogger Award for best BDSM novel in the LGBT category. She has received multiple Honorable Mentions in the Rainbow Awards and won the Action and Adventure category of Divine Magazine’s Book Awards in 2015.


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