Double the Heat Brewed by The Asylum-Part Four


Happy TGIF!

I actually scheduled this in advance just so I could say that! lol I hope everyone had a great week and gets a chance to sit back and relax this weekend. This is a longer one, so I resisted the urge to post it early. <g>

So pour yourself some of your favourite beverage.

And enjoy!


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


Perfect nights sometimes led to damn painful mornings. Not the best start to the grand opening of The Roughhouse Cafe if Matt couldn’t pull himself together. But the ache in his ass and thighs, throbbing in the lightly forming bruises on his butt and stinging along his shoulders under the shower spray, had a smile tugging at his lips. Even if he ended up moving a bit funny today, it was so freakin’ worth it.

Stepping onto the heated-tiled floors, Matt eyed the full-length mirror across from the showers, humming to himself as he turned side to side to admire the marks that would soon be hidden. Usually he only gave them a quick glance—no way would Curtis get the satisfaction of being right about why the mirror would get the most use—but today he needed them, and the memories to ground him.

Remind him of exactly what he was capable of.

Taking three dicks at a time?

A dark red blush spilled over his cheeks as he met his own eyes. Yeah...that was part of it. For the longest time he’d avoided even thinking about sex. Then he’d met Lawson and Curtis and the rest was kinky history. Not that he obsessed about it as much as Jamie did—dude was gonna hurt himself if he didn’t calm down his permanent hard-on.

“Dude, don’t think about his dick.” Mumbling to himself, Matt returned to the bedroom, already empty even though he’d gotten up earlier than usual. Towel wrapped around his waist, he snorted at the pile of sheets on the dresser.

All the blankets were piled up on the floor, telling him Reed had started the task of changing it, and likely got distracted before heading down to workout with Curtis in the gym. If it wasn’t done before Lawson came back in from whatever he was doing in his office, their Dom would finish it himself.

Which is unacceptable.

Grabbing a pair of boxers, Matt put them on so he wouldn’t have to worry about the towel falling off while he was putting on the sheets. Another thing he appreciated about his Doms was not having that damn ‘no clothing in the bedroom’ rule.

He was a lot more comfortable being naked than he’d been when he first got here, but doing chores in the buff? Definitely not his thing.

With the bed all nice and neat, Reed’s yellow duck slippers tucked away in the closet, and the used sheets in the washer—with a text sent to Reed to remind him to put them in the dryer when he came up—Matt got dressed. He’d debated what to wear for the past week, wanting to set the vibe for the place from Day One. Welcoming, but still a bit classy. Somewhere people could expect quality, but not be afraid to come in after working all day at one of the many local construction sites.

White dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up, along with a black vest and slacks, seemed to fit the bill. His black apron would protect the expensive clothes from spills, and a few buttons undone would keep it looking kinda casual...except for the collar around his neck, but there was nothing he could do about that.

I love my collar. I need it, but…

Shaking his head, he continued his assessment of himself. His hair didn’t need much fussing with, now that he’d had it trimmed into an easy style. A last glance at the dresser mirror had him ducking his head, a bit embarrassed that...Reed might have a point.

He looked like he could be a barista featured in a magazine.

That’s not a bad thing.

No, but it felt weird to be...this confident when staring at his own reflection. Usually, he got that when Lawson looked at him. The knowledge that what his husband saw in him was special. In Lawson’s eyes, he could believe he was handsome. Strong. Capable.

It had taken him a long time to be able to see it in himself.

Speaking of my husband…

It was way too early for Lawson to be diving into all that paperwork. Matt had brought his first cup of coffee before jumping in the shower, but he hated the idea of Lawson trying to cram in extra work so he could stay at the cafe all day. As much as Matt loved the idea of him being there, he had to let his Dom know he could handle things. That he didn’t need him putting aside his own responsibilities, or trying to take on more.

Because Lawson would if he thought Matt was struggling.

But I won’t be. I’ve got this.

Nodding to himself, Matt headed to Lawson’s office, slipping past the partially open door. He blinked as Lawson looked up from where he was cleaning his gun.

One that had been locked away for months.

“All ready?” Lawson used a rag to wipe off his hands, rising from his chair and smiling as he looked Matt over. “This outfit was a very good choice. Your customers will appreciate the effort you put in.”

Matt stared at the gun. Ran his tongue over his teeth as he tore his gaze away and glared at his husband. “Why is that out? Don’t fucking tell me Rhodey’s got you playing hit-man again, because that’s some bullshit. Bad enough he recruited Keiran and Dallas. And he’s trying that shit with Danny, which is fucked up.”

Shaking his head, Lawson put a hand on his shoulder. “I am not now—nor have I ever been—a hit-man, Matt. And...Danny? Of course he’s not involved in anything. You don’t need to worry about him.”

“If I worried about everyone here, I wouldn’t get any fucking sleep.” Matt mentally counted the curses Lawson let slide, hoping his Dom wasn’t keeping tabs. Not while they were having a conversation about this. “You’re the one I’m worried about.”

“And you have no reason to be.” Lawson went back to his desk, putting the gun in the top drawer with the cleaning supplies and locking it. Then he returned, his hand curving around the back of Matt's neck, fingers putting just enough pressure to keep him from turning his head. “Look at me. I will not keep anything I do from you again. I have a meeting tonight and I will be armed for my own protection, but all I'll be there for is a consultation.”

Eyes narrowing, Matt studied Lawson’s face. “If you need protection, then it’s not just a bunch of Wall Street suits you’ll be dealing with.”

“They can be dangerous in their own way, but no. It’s an associate of Vani’s who’s taking down a rather large corporation involved in money laundering. Technically an ally, but I haven’t worked with him before and I’m no fool.” Lawson sighed when Matt pulled away. Brought his hand up to brush a few strands of black hair away from his own face. “I need to help where I can, Matt. Vani’s worked with Rhodey to circumvent several of my father’s plots against me.”

“So now you fucking owe her forever?”

“No, not forever. But this is something I’m good at.”

“Damn it, I hate this.” Matt laced his fingers behind his neck, pacing away from his Dom. His husband, who he really wanted to stay right here, behind the gates of The Asylum where he’d be safe. But that wasn’t realistic. His husband wasn’t the type of man to hide out indefinitely. They’d talked about that before. How it would be like letting his father win.

Still, there has to be some way to lower the risk.

Swallowing, he met Lawson’s eyes. “Don’t go alone. All the bad shit that’s happened, you were alone or distracted. Tell Rhodey to come with you. Or, hell, even Noah.” He made a face at the thought. Fine, the man was more pleasant since the road trip, but he got under Lawson’s skin with little effort and Matt fucking hated that, too. “Maybe...Dallas? He’s good at all the business stuff too, right?”

“He is.” Lawson caught Matt’s wrist, tugging his hands apart and drawing him close. “And he’s well trained and connected. Would it make you feel better if I asked him to join me?”

“It would make me feel better if you weren’t going at all.” Matt put his hand on Lawson’s chest, over his heart, closing his eyes so he could focus on the steady beat. Then he nodded. “But, yeah. It helps.” Brow furrowing, he opened his eyes to look up at Lawson. “Were you planning on going without telling me?”

No hesitation, Lawson shook his head. “No. But I didn’t want it to dampen your excitement for today. I hope it still hasn’t. I was making sure everything was ready for me to leave after the cafe closes because my only focus will be on what you’ve accomplished. I’m damn proud of you, my boy.”

Despite the heaviness of the conversation, Matt smiled a bit at that. “Is it selfish that I like being more important than the bad guys?”

“Not at all.” Lawson pressed a kiss to his forehead. “I’m almost done here, then I’ll come with you to open the cafe. Let you put me to work.”

“Uh, yeah, no, sir.” Matt took a step back, blowing out a breath before forcing himself to voice the thoughts he’d had earlier. “You’ll be worn out if you stay at the cafe all day, then do this ‘consult’ after. I really want you to get things all set up with Dallas. Be all sharp and shit, you know? Maybe bring a bigger gun?”

Lawson’s lips quirked. “Which one would you recommend?”

Guns were not in Matt’s wheelhouse outside of video games. And he’d rather keep it that way. So he shrugged. “I don’t know...something that will remind people not to fuck with you.” He smoothed his hand over the lapel of Lawson’s suit jacket, the material he’d ironed to perfection soft under his fingertips. “I’m gonna go bring some coffee down to Stephan. Meet you in the bar?”

“Yes. And I will stay for at least a couple cups of coffee, but then I’ll meet with Dallas and brief him on everything.” Lawson’s hand curved under Matt’s jaw. “One of these days, I'll bring you to one of my consultations. Put your mind at ease.”

Eyes going wide, lips parted, Matt didn’t know what to say at first. “You will? But…” Some of the tension that had built up between his shoulder blades eased away. “That would actually help a lot. I keep picturing a scene out of The Godfather and it scares the shit out of me.”

“Then you'll be very bored when you see the reality, I promise.” Lawson claimed a long, slow kiss, his hand sliding down Matt’s back to his ass. A bit of pressure had Matt hissing against his Dom’s lips as the ache from the bruises spread. “You’ve used up your ‘free pass’ for the day.”

A reminder of who held the control, but also a clear signal that nothing Matt had said would be held against him. Nodding his understanding, Matt brought his fingers up to toy with the links on his collar, which held both Lawson and Curtis’s tags.

“I have something for you. Curtis thought it would be fitting for me to give it to you by myself, since I wasn't here when he put on your first one.” Reaching over to his desk, Lawson picked up a small, long black box.

Opening it, he revealed a black and silver beaded necklace, which had a silver charm on the end. A skull with a helmet, a lot like one from Matt's favorite video game, Doom Eternal. By the clasp, there were two small tags, each with Lawson and Curtis’s names on them.

“This is a day collar. I know your collar makes you self-conscious sometimes when you’re out in public. I want you to have something that will be a comfort, but not reveal more than you want to share with anyone.” Lawson smiled softly when Matt took the collar to get a closer look. “It fits nicely with your own personal style.”

“I love it.” Matt ran his thumb over the beads. Then grinned as he lifted his gaze. “Thank fuck it’s not gold with diamonds or any of that silly shit.”

Brow lifted, Lawson picked up his paddle from the desk, nudging his chin for Matt to brace his hands on the surface. “You seem to need a reminder of what it means before I put it on you.”

There was no point in pretending that wasn’t exactly what he’d been hoping for. Laying the collar on the desk, Matt got in position. Inhaled slowly, wincing as the paddle connected with his ass.

A clean slate.

After a talk he wished he never had to have with his husband again, felt good to be able to work through even the unpleasant shit. Come out on the other side, knowing what they had was strong enough to survive anything.

“I’m sorry for all the swearing, sir.” Matt looked over his shoulder. “Thank you for correcting me.”

“It's my pleasure.” When he straightened, Lawson undid his collar, kissing the back of his neck before putting the new one on. “Forgiven. Now how does that feel?”

The weight of the collar was different, but the meaning was there. It also had something clicking in his head that hadn’t really before, even when Lawson added his tag to his other collar. Lawson putting it on him before he started his day just felt…

So fucking right.

“Perfect, sir.” Matt leaned in for another kiss. “Like I can face just about anything.”

“You always could, my boy." Lawson gave the collar a light tug, deepening the kiss and leaving him breathless. "Now go before I decide I don't care if you prove it to the world."

Once he left the loft, Matt took the steps two at a time, which he usually only did when he was trying to keep up with Reed—or had until the surgery, but his co-sub was starting to pick up the pace again. Excitement pulsed through his veins and he wasn’t in the mood for the decorum of a service sub. If someone threw a ball right now, he might beat Danny chasing after it.

The bar was empty, the scent of lemon cleaner from Wren scrubbing everything down still lingering in the air. After putting on some coffee, Matt slipped into the galley to fix up a tray of fruit, and the bagels Keiran had made the night before, along with the strawberry jam and cream cheese Stephan liked to pile on. Adding a carafe of coffee once there was enough to fill it, and two mugs, Matt gave the tray a quick once over to make sure it was up to his standards.

Stephan might be a ‘prisoner’ or some shit, but he was still a Dom.

And a service sub will service.

Laughing at himself for being weird, Matt headed through the gym, the thumps from the punching bags in the workout room echoing through the wide space, telling him Curtis and Reed were still at it. He went through the security door, heading down to the new lower level.

A splash in the pool, followed by another, had him stopping short.

“Koda, now you’re showing off!” Kirby’s bright laughter rang out. “There’s no way I can doggy paddle better than you can.”

There was a deeper laugh, this one from Stephan, who tread water within arm’s reach of the sub. He floated back, but not far. “You can, Drew. But I’d like you to try the strokes I showed you. Come toward me, I’ll be right here if you struggle.”


Panting a little, Kirby flailed his arms, his bright red hair falling over his eyes, but he somehow made it to Stephan, wrapping his arms around the Dom’s shoulders and hanging on for dear life.

He let out a breathless sigh when Stephan smoothed his hair away from his face. “I still suck at this, but at least I know I’m not gonna drown anymore.”

“And that’s the most important thing. Along with the fact that you’re enjoying yourself.” Stephan brushed a kiss over Kirby’s lips. “You should go take a shower, my boy. We wouldn’t want you to be late.”

Kirby sulked, holding on a bit tighter. “It’s not fair, you teasing me like this, then making me leave. You don’t even know how much longer you’re staying. Can’t you just—?”

Shaking his head, Stephan lifted Kirby out of the water, sitting him on the edge of the pool. “No. I won’t have you rush your first time, no matter how much I enjoy your company. And right now, your focus must be on your students. You said you loved your new class.”

“I do, the kids are great and it’s nice not just being a sub...I mean, a substitute anymore.” Kirby looked down at his hands, clasped on his knees. “But it doesn’t give me much time with you and I...want this, sir. I want to give you a reason to stay.”

What was it with Kirby and unavailable dudes? Matt fought the urge to curse under his breath, keeping in mind that Stephan was a merc and probably already knew he was there.

It’s not fucking fair.

A sweet guy like Kirby should be able to find a nice, stable Dom. One who would make him a priority and not leave him wondering if he had to keep looking. There was no way Kirby would ever be a sub like Avery, going along on jobs, deadly enough to deal with whatever mercs faced every day.

Matt liked Stephan, but if he was gonna be a merc instead of a shrink, he shouldn’t be messing with the sub at all.

He cleared his throat, bringing the tray to one of the tables by the pool. “I brought you some breakfast, sir.” His mood lightened a bit as Koda bounded out from the shallow side of the pool. He dodged the pup to keep his pants from getting soaked. “Did you want me to bring this little guy for a walk before I head over to the cafe?”

“No, that’s all right, Drew already took him out.” Stephan grabbed a towel for himself and one for Kirby before coming over, giving Matt a warm smile. “Congratulations on your grand opening. I’m sure the cafe will be a huge success.”

Damn it, why can’t the dude be a jerk? Be a lot easier to hate him.

Nodding his thanks, Matt turned his attention to Kirby. “So...what do you prefer being called? I didn’t know...well, I mean, everyone just calls you Kirby.”

Fidgeting with his towel, Kirby looked down at his feet. “My name is Andrew. I always used ‘Drew’, I like it better, but Kirby doesn’t bug me like it did when I was a kid. It’s my last name and...I was chubby. So a lot of people teased me because of the game character. Then when I started working out and just got kinda scrawny, it was...just because it sounds goofy. And I’m…” He made a vague gesture at himself.

And Matt could feel Stephan watching him closely for his reaction. Keeping his focus on Kirby—Drew, his name is Drew—Matt gave a firm nod. “I gotcha, man. It’ll be Drew from now on.” He cocked his head. “Does Lawson know?”

Drew chewed on his bottom lip. “Yeah, but I begged him to just let my friends call me whatever and I’m not gonna tell a Dom what to call me. He asked what I was more comfortable with, which know, not making it a big deal.” He gazed up at Stephan. “I love it that you call me ‘Drew’. It makes it it’s more me now.”

There had been more than swimming lessons going on between the two, but obviously not everything Drew wanted from the Dom. Which made Matt a bit pissed off again, so he excused himself as quickly as possible so he didn’t say something he’d regret.

Back upstairs in the bar, a cool breeze washed over him. His heart skipped a beat when he saw the door propped open. The door was never left open.

Palming his phone, ready to call for help if there was any trouble, he strode over to the door when he heard a familiar grunt just past it. Scowled when he stepped out to see Jamie, accepting a huge box from the delivery guy.

If I wait a few seconds, maybe the guy will be a kidnapper in disguise and just snatch him.

A very real possibility.

And I’d feel horrible if something actually happened to the dumbass.

Huffing out a breath, Matt went to grab the box from the other sub before he hurt himself. “Make sure the gate’s closed properly, I’ll watch your back.”

“Oh, thanks, man.” Jamie flashed him that annoying Hollywood smile, as though Matt might ask for his autograph any second. He paused by the gate as the delivery guy left, his smile fading. “Shit, that can’t be good.”

“You forgetting that people like trying to kill you? Nope, not good at all.” Matt put the box down by the door, then jogged over to Jamie’s side. “And don’t fucking swear.”

Jamie snorted. “You’re one to talk. And believe me, I haven’t forgotten. I was just...really excited.” He scuffed his pricey sneakers on the pavement, wrapping his arms around himself. “I got you a surprise for your grand opening and I wasn’t sure it would get here in time.”

Well fuck, now I feel like a Grade-A asshole.

“That was cool of you, still need to be careful.” Matt did his best to give Jamie one of Lawson’s stern looks, which mustn’t have been very effective on his face, because it just had Jamie smiling at him. A real smile this time. He rolled his eyes. “This doesn’t mean I like you. Now what ‘can’t be good’?”

If not for living with Reed and being used to him hopping from topic to topic fast enough to make his head spin, Matt would’ve gotten annoyed at Jamie’s surprised look. Instead, he waited a few seconds for the guy to get back on track.

Frowning, Jamie nodded toward the far end of the street. “The gang’s hanging out on the corner. They’re not usually out this early and never on our street. Wanna sicc Danny on ‘em?”

Another eye roll, but Matt couldn’t tear his gaze away from the group, which seemed to be getting bigger, less than half a block from his cafe. Smoking enough to create a cloud he could see from here, beer bottles clinking even though it was barely 6am. The scene was too damn familiar.

Seven hours at one shitty job, coming home to check on Garet when he finished school, then off to another shitty job with barely enough time to sleep. After months of the same routine, Matt was exhausted, but he’d caught up on the rent. Managed to stop by the grocery store to pick up some of his brother’s favorites. Including a frozen pizza for supper.

He might even be able to take a day off.

Hefting up the grocery bags, Matt rounded the corner, cringing at the crash of shattering glass. Then the wild laughter that followed. He ran the rest of the way, staring at his brother, surrounded by older teens in ripped up jeans, some with shaved heads. Gang members he recognized from the neighborhood.

But what the hell were they doing here?

“Sorry, bro. My bad.” Garet jutted his chin toward the broken window. “I was playing catch with my new friends. I missed.”

One of the oldest teens, with cold green eyes and a fake smile, slung his arm around Garet’s shoulders. “No worries, we’ll help him make the money to replace it.”

“Like fuck you will. Garet, inside. Now.” He shoved the bags at his brother. “The rest of you, get out of here.”

Face blazing red, Garet stomped his foot. “You can’t make them leave. Don’t be an asshole, Matt! It was an accident.”

“It’s all right, little buddy. Listen to your big brother.” The guy with the fake smile stepped up to Matt’s side, his pleasant tone twisting Matt’s stomach. “See you around, my dude.”

No amount of talking to Garet got him to ditch his ‘new friends’. Not until they ended up crossing The Asylum. And letting Matt take the fall.

The gang had lost a lot of power over the years, but they weren’t willing to give up what they considered their territory. Not that the punks were actually doing anything at the moment. And they would probably take off the second Rhodey or his crew came out.

But for how long?

The gang intimidated a lot of the people around here. What if they started hanging around too much?

Will anyone even show up?

Nudging Jamie toward the front door of the bar, Matt waited for him to go in before picking up the box. Looked back just in time to see one of the gangsters wave.

His cafe was one more step in the direction of reclaiming the East Side of Anniston Falls for the residents. The gang couldn’t fight the members of The Asylum. But they didn’t have to. All they really had to do was make things really uncomfortable.

Wait for him to give up.

That’s never going to happen.

They’d almost ruined his brother’s life. Then almost ended it. They’d hurt other people he loved. And they wouldn’t stop until it cost them more than whatever sick pleasure they got out of holding this part of the city hostage.

The only way to do that was to stand his ground. Show the locals they didn’t have to be afraid anymore.

Or, at least, that was the plan.

He closed the door. Locked it for good measure.

“I think I might be the one who needs the big gun.”




  1. Can’t help giggling at Matt & Jamie “This doesn’t mean I like you.” 😂

  2. Uh oh. I'm curious to know what Jamie got Matt

  3. Got a little excited that Lawson is meeting with someone new 😉 Firdt thought "oh, a new guy!". And bring on the sub brigade to chase those gang members away #BeGoneThee

  4. I hope the gang doesn't screw this up for Matt.
    Matt and Jamie are too funny but I think they may be growing on each other lol
    I've always thought Law and Matt together is just the sweetest! They are the perfect couple.


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