An excerpt from Yule

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Julian placed his hands under Karl’s elbows, drew him to his feet, and stood back to face him. He looked his lover squarely in the eye. “This happens with your consent or not at all. I give you my word that I will not take you past the point you can endure. If I think that you’re in any serious pain, I’ll stop. If you say the word ‘Yule’ at any point, then I’ll stop. A session this intense is new for you, but most of the pain will come from the suspension, not from anything I’m doing. Alan is here in case anything goes wrong.” He held out his hands to Karl. Jangling nerves made it hard to stop his fingers from shaking. Deliberately, he slowed his breathing, pulled the early stages of a meditation exercise into his mind, let himself relax into the frame of mind that he needed. He was open to Karl now, nothing concealed, open to whatever Karl chose to see.

“Will you do this with me?”

Karl placed his hands palm down onto Julian’s and met his gaze with calm confidence. “I will.”

Elation soared within Julian, giving him an instant erection. Trust was the biggest turn-on of them all. Nudity was good, porn was great, but nothing beat a living, breathing human being willing to entrust themselves totally to your hands. His breathing, slipping beyond his control, was fast and shallow as he reached behind the armchair for his toy bag.

“Peter, draw the curtains. Alan, check the hooks are strong enough.”

And that was something else he loved, the fact that they would all obey his orders once a session began. It wasn’t that he had any great desire to throw his weight around, simply that he loved it when he was in control of things and they were flowing smoothly.

He heard the curtains as they moved easily on the rail. Anywhere else, the old floral print design with its pink cabbage roses would have been too much, but here, it felt right. He watched Karl, as Karl in turn watched Alan.

The old centre post supported the ceiling, and from it, like the upraised arms of a man, stretched two diagonals, the whole forming the rune Algiz. At the top of the diagonal braces were two ancient iron hooks, probably once used by a butcher before the days of the Rose and Crown. Alan stood on a footstool, hooked his fingers around one of them, and stepped down to let it take his full weight.

“Solid as a rock.” He followed up with the other one. “That’s good too.”

The test was purely for form’s sake. They’d both gone over the hooks yesterday, but it never hurt to be sure.

“Karl,” Julian said, gesturing to the support, “this is the rune Algiz. It represents connection with the gods, the ability to awake to higher things and to channel energy. This is the tree to which you will be bound.”

Apprehension? Perhaps just a touch. Karl’s breathing had quickened a little, and his right hand fidgeted by his side. That was good -- a little tension, but no visible fear.

Julian toyed with two equally good alternatives. To command Karl to strip, or to undress him himself… Hmm. He’d need to push Karl down further than usual, get him past the pain once it started to kick in.


Smoothly and quickly, Karl obeyed him. No striptease today; Julian hadn’t ordered that. Nimble fingers undid buttons, pulled off the light green shirt, and made to drop it on the floor.

“Fold it. Place it on the piano.”

He looked good; there was no doubting that. Karl had a strong, muscular torso that practically screamed ‘athlete’. Teaching several classes a day at a gym kept him at the peak of fitness and probably broke the hearts of at least half a dozen women who wished he wasn’t gay. Sorry, ladies, he’s mine, all mine.

Karl undid the zip of his trousers, and Julian watched carefully.

“Don’t touch yourself.”

Karl’s hands moved quickly away from his cock and involved themselves in pulling down his trousers. Once the trousers were removed, he folded them carefully and turned towards the piano.

“Throw them into the corner.”

Karl hesitated for the briefest of moments, then did as instructed. His trousers landed in a crumpled heap near the door. He hooked his fingers into the waistband of his underpants and started to draw them down slowly. Too slowly for Julian’s frame of mind -- Karl could play at striptease some other day.

Julian snapped his fingers in impatience, and Karl responded immediately by completing the task properly. No erection yet, but there would be. Oh, yes, there would be. And he’d let Karl hang there and wait, wait until he was desperate for release. And then, maybe, he’d allow Karl to come. Maybe.

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