The Gift

The Gift by Kim Dare Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: The Gift by Kim Dare Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kim Dare
He was very kind to me."
    Charles nodded decisively. "You will not send the card. If you meet Parker again you will excuse yourself immediately.
    You will take every precaution to ensure you're never in a room alone with him. If you speak to him again you will inform me immediately."
    Nicky quickly nodded. "Yes, master." The submissive's stillness deserted him. He fidgeted with the seam on his jeans, unsure exactly what he did wrong. He could sense the anger bubbling inside Charles. Nicky forced his breaths to stay slow and even. He pushed the panic down inside him.
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    The Gift
    by Kim Dare
    Charles made him look up. "Tell me what you are thinking."
    "I..." Nicky didn't even know how to explain it. "I didn't mean anything by the card. It was just a thank you for being kind to me. But I know the deal you were working on with Mr Parker fell through. I thought if I put your name on the card it might look like you were trying to open some sort of line of communication and..." he trailed off. He had no business interfering in his master's business relationships. He shouldn't have interfered full stop.
    Charles stroked Nicky's cheek with his thumb. "Nicky—the deal fell through because he wanted you to be part of it."
    Nicky stared into his master's eyes for several seconds as what Charles meant sank in. He looked down, closing his eyes against the implications of his own actions.
    Charles tucked his fingers under Nicky's chin, telling him to lift his head. Nicky tried to keep his face down. Charles persisted and Nicky couldn't bring himself to disobey his master for more than a few moments. He looked up.
    Charles leaned back in his chair and tapped his knee.
    Nicky hesitated, unsure he deserved to be welcomed into his master's arms. But the chance of reassurance was too much to resist. Nicky slipped up onto his master's knee.
    Charles let him curl in close so he was wrapped completely in his master's strong embrace.
    Nicky hid his face in his master's shoulder. Charles stroked his hair back and kissed his temple. "Hush now, there's no harm done, is there?"
    Nicky wished he was so sure. "Master?"
    54
    The Gift
    by Kim Dare
    "Yes?"
    "If I made out a list of the other cards, would you..." If Charles checked them over he'd be able to send them out without worrying.
    "Of course."
    Nicky was silent for a long time. There was one more issue to deal with. "Am I allowed to know what the punishment will be?" He couldn't make the words more than a whisper.
    Charles seemed to think for a long time. The seconds passed by with him stroking Nicky's hair. "Tell me what he would have done to punish you."
    Nicky froze, even his breaths stalling. He wasn't supposed to think about how his former master exercised his dominance over him. He belonged to Charles now. Nicky glanced up at his master, wondering how Charles knew what he'd been thinking about. "He would have reopened negotiations for the deal," Nicky whispered.
    "And that is what you think I will do?"
    Nicky shook his head. "My master wouldn't make me do that."
    Charles looked into his eyes, judging the truth in his expression. Finally he found it and nodded his acceptance.
    "What punishment do you think I would choose?"
    Nicky thought about what caused all the problems to start with. "I would understand if my master thought the holiday was a bad influence on me and wished me to stop celebrating it."
    "A little drastic, don't you think?" Charles stroked his hair back again.
    55
    The Gift
    by Kim Dare
    Nicky glanced up at him. "I screwed up," he said with a shrug, knowing Charles could punish him however he saw fit.
    "You'll make the list out and I'll check through it. Each year from now on you will make a new list from scratch and I'll check it. If I find any name on the list I don't want you to send a card to, I'll cross it off and you'll write the list out from scratch again. Likewise if I decide to add a name in. You'll make out the list again and again until I am satisfied with

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