For Real (Spires Universe)

And now he smiled at me. All teeth. The way only people who hadn’t learned self-consciousness
knew how to smile.

And verily the Lord beheld Adam, who He had fashioned in His image, and thought to Himself, 'I had better give him some appendages for the separating of eggs,' and thus He gave man two hands for that purpose, and lo, eggs were separated, and it was good.

A soft pulse of desire went through me, not for sex or pain or humiliation or some other release, but for this, this quiet closeness. Someone to hold in the dark.

But I suppose it comes down to whether you think dominance and submission are about acts or about people.

But that was the strange comfort of long-standing friendship—ribbons of familiarity and old love woven through your life.

He was gorgeous yesterday, kneeling and burnished and kind of a fantasy. And he’s still gorgeous this morning, rumpled and tired and real.

I couldn’t believe that lack of fear. It gave me vertigo, as though he was the edge of a cliff and I
couldn’t bear the view.

I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m supposed to be. Or how I find out.

I don’t see stars, but I see the spaces between them, and all there is . . . is him.

I had no idea it would be like this. That having someone on their knees for you would make you so vulnerable.

I hated myself, and the part of me that was cowardly wished for a simple solution: an exchange of pain for forgiveness. But life didn’t work that way, and fucking up was forever.

I just don’t fucking know, okay? I’ve never known. My entire life is just me pretending—not very well—that I have a clue what I’m doing. But I don’t. I just don’t. I don’t have . . . like . . . a dream or a goal, and I don’t know how to get one, or what’s wrong with me that I don’t.

I’m starting to think you should always push your luck. No, you can deal with. Don’t know is the most frightening thing of all.

I stared at him. At this too-thin, too-sincere boy. This person.
Because I knew what he meant. I understood exactly. And I’d felt it too, that interior certainty. But over the years, I’d let all the fervour fade. I’d stopped believing in it, somehow. I’d let it become something I did, not something I was.

It’s not something you can put your finger on, like height (though he’s taller than me) or strength (though he’s stronger than me), but there’s something there. This power. Like being ordinary is just a mask he wears.

I want to give him everything, and the things I can't give, I want him to take.

Kink crowds are the same the world over. The good ones are already taken, the hot ones only talk to each other, and everyone else is desperate.

No, you can deal with. Don’t know is the most frightening thing of all.

one of the less well-advertised secrets of group sex was how often it came down to logistics.

Pain was simply an inevitability of living, and I had to learn how to trust him with his own, as I trusted him with mine.

Perhaps a stranger would look at Toby and see little more than a skinny postadolescent with a shockingly bad haircut. But he was my boyfriend, my dom, my fragile prince, and he was nothing less than beautiful to me.

That’s sort of what love is, I guess. A perpetual state of semideranged partiality.

The future is terrifying because it's full of stuff, not because it's empty.

Then we’ll be lost together, and we’ll figure it out together. Whatever that means. Whatever it takes. I’m with you, and I’ll be with you for as long as you want me.

There’s risk inherent in most things that matter.

The terrible powerlessness of being unable to do anything except wait for mercy you couldn't earn and didn't deserve.

This isn’t submission.” “Isn’t it?” “No.” He looks up at me, tired as well, but he’s never looked more beautiful to me than in this moment, strong and open and unafraid like when he surrenders his body. “It’s love.

Though I’ve honestly been hoping there comes a point in your life when you stop worrying about what your parents think.

What do I do?"
There was nothing but love in him as he told me, "You suffer for me.

Whatever magnet drew us once was broken now. It had left me simply spinning, a compass without a lodestone.