Love in Chains Ch. 04byNephylim©
Unsurprisingly Nye felt better the next morning as it was the first morning in days he was free of drugs, not that he knew that of course. Without the dampening fog of drugs the pain was sharper but he soon forgot it because Adam was in top form. He was attentive, complimentary and charming. This was what had attracted Nye in the first place and he found himself falling all over again, despite the pain and the nagging sensation that this was wrong, all wrong.
After breakfast they went on a drive through the lakes and had lunch at a very exclusive restaurant. Nye was feeling more relaxed and happy than he had for weeks. The hours of driving, encased by the soft leather of Adam's very expensive sports car and the feeling of the wind through his hair had lifted his spirits and wiped away all the doubts that had been haunting him.
As they were sipping coffee Nye became aware of Adam watching him with a strange expression on his face. He began to feel uneasy.
"Yes there is. Why are you looking at me like that? Have I done something to upset you?"
"Upset me? What could you possibly have done to upset me?"
"I don't know it's just..." Adam smiled, his smile lighting up his whole face.
"Nye... I wish I could tell you how beautiful you are, how special, how much you mean to me, but there are no words, nothing special enough to convey the depth of my feeling.
Nye's eyes widened and his lips gaped. "I..."
"No... don't say anything, not yet. There's something I want to say to you, to ask of you." Nye's stomach dropped. There was something wrong... something terribly wrong. Adam's face was so stern, so serious. Was he going to say that it was over? Was it because of last night? He knew he had been a baby, he had doubted and he had been a precious brat. Had he made Adam change his mind, to stop loving him? He couldn't bear it if he had.
"Adam, I know I was a baby last night... I was stupid... I... I'm sorry..."
"Nye... you have nothing to be sorry for. There is nothing wrong. Please just listen to me. Believe it or not this is hard for me. I have never done this before."
"Done what?" Nye's voice was tiny, forced out through a tight, constricted throat. His eyes were wide and Adam's heart jumped. He was just so fucking beautiful, so sweet.
"Look, I'm getting you wound up and upset and that is the last thing I ever intended. So I am just going to say this. I love you Nye. I love you more than I have ever loved anyone and I..." He licked dry lips and put his hand into his pocket putting something on the table and sliding it over towards Nye. "I want you to have this."
Nye looked at the object, puzzled. It was a silver ring, not a finger ring, more like a keyring and from it hung a charm. It was made of gold in the form of two capital letter 'A's intertwined, encrusted with gems which Nye suspected were diamonds. He reached out for it and stared hard at it.
"I... don't understand."
"It's us. A for Adam and A for Aneurin."
"Yeah... I got that but why? Why a keyring?"
Adam smiled and ducked his head, looking coy. "It's so you can have somewhere to keep these." He slid more objects over the counter. Four keys. Nye raised his head a puzzled frown on his face.
Adam touched each of the keys in turn and named them, pushing them closed to Nye one by one as he did so. "The Club, the dungeon, the car and...." his fingers lingered over the last one before he slid it over to join the others, "the flat."
He looked up sharply but Nye's face was still blank. Suddenly he grinned.
"Do you still not understand?" Nye shook his head. "I'm giving them to you Nye, all of them... not just the keys. You've become part of me and I want you to be part of my life, my partner in every sense."
Nye's mouth fell open as the full impact of Adam's words hit him. "You.., you mean... are you sure? Are you really sure?"
"I've never been more sure of anything in my life. I love you and I want you to be with me forever, part of my life. I want you to be more than just a lover, more than just another in a long line of pretty boys who have pleased me for a time and then moved on. I'm not asking you to marry me... that's not my style and maybe it will never come to that but... I am making a commitment to you, more than I ever have to anyone before.
"Will you move in with me? Help me run The Club? Be my partner not just my lover?"
"Yes... yes of course I will."
Adam shook his head. "Before you say yes there are some things you need to understand first. This is a two way commitment. You can't just step in and help me manage The Club... first you have to learn, that means starting at the bottom. You're going to have to work hard. I will expect you to spend time behind the bar, getting to know the staff, the clients and..." he paused and bit his lip, looking so uncertain that Nye's heart dropped.
"You're going to have to spent time in the dungeon. If you are going to help me run it you are going to have to experience it, all of it." He grasped Nye's stunned hands and stared deeply into his eyes. "I want to train you, properly, so that you will be able to take a full active role in it all. That kind of thing does not come with knowledge, only with experience. I swear to you that what happened last time will never happen again. I will take better care for you than I do of myself."
Nye stared at him, waiting for the fear, the doubt, the misgivings... but they never came. They were overwhelmed by the fact that Adam, the man he loved with all his heart was offering him more than he could ever have hoped for, have even imagined.
"Yes Adam... of course I understand that I have to start at the bottom and be trained. I would never have expected to be handed it all on a plate. I will work hard I swear it. I will make you proud. You won't regret this."
"And... and you're okay with the dungeon?"
"I... I won't lie to you. It's not my favourite place. It scares me and I... the things... but I love you Adam. I know how important it is to you and I know that it is an important part of the business and that I need to gain the respect of the staff and clients so..." He tilted his head back, sticking out his chin. "I'll do whatever it takes. I'd do anything for you... even getting to like the dungeon."
Adam leaned forwards and stroked his cheek. "Nye you are the most incredible person I have ever met. I didn't think it was possible to love you more... but I was wrong."
Nye had never been happier. He felt that his heart was going to burst and all the doubts and fears he had been harbouring for the last few days vanished. They were no more... there was nothing more... nothing that was important in his life but Adam.
But Adam was frowning again. "There is one more thing."
"I have my own... commitments and obligations. No one comes to this business automatically in charge, in control. Everyone has to learn from the bottom up, just like you are... even me. I was once exactly where you are now, except that I wasn't in love with the man who trained me... my Master. That relationship is a special one, a lifelong one. You can't go through with this kind of training without forming some kind of connection with the trainer.
"I don't have to ask his permission to train you. I have never submitted to anyone to that extent. But I would like to have his blessing. I want you to meet him, to be approved by him."
"Of course Adam. I want to meet your friends, to be accepted by them."
Adam looked uncomfortable. "Not 'approved of' Nye, 'approved by'."
Nye was confused. "What do you mean?"
"Lian was the one who trained me. He taught me all the things that I am teaching you. He approved me as a trainer and ... although technically I don't have to have his seal of approval on anyone I train for them to be accepted I want you to be special. There is... sometimes trainers develop a deeper relationship with those they train... they become... more than just master and slave, trainer and trainee. In those cases it is traditional to have the trainer approve the coupling."
"That's fine. I... I want to be approved, to have our relationship recognised in whatever way it can be. Don't you understand I would do anything for you? I love you."
"Even if it means..." He paused looking down and Nye started to feel uncomfortable.
"Means what? What are you thinking about?"
"The kind of 'approval' I'm thinking of is... not what you are thinking. He would have to... test you."
"Test me? What kind of test?" Adam looked up and Nye saw the truth in his eyes. "Oh."
"You don't have to Nye. Like I said I'm not obligated and this is not a condition. This is just something I want for myself, for us. I want our relationship to be properly marked, recognised in my world."
"Adam... I said anything and I mean it. If this is what it takes to make you happy... bring it on."
The way that Adam's face lit up swept away any doubts or fears that Nye might have had. When Adam got up out of his seat and drew him into his arms, kissing him right there and then in the middle of the restaurant, with every eye in the house on them, some disapproving but many envious, Nye thought he was going to faint, his heart was so full and so light.
After lunch they drove back to London and all the way they talked and made plans. Adam had never seen Nye to excited, so bright and open and Nye had never seen Adam so relaxed and openly affectionate.
Not one to let the grass grow under his feet Adam took Nye straight to his house to collect his belongings. Whatever could not be easily fitted into the car, which was a lot considering the car was a typical sports car, was packed into boxes.
Lee came in as they were finishing.
"Hey Nye. I've been worried. Where the hell have you been? Everyone's looking for you."
"Mir's rung like a hundred times and Kane's been round..."
"Yeah... he's looking good man, I mean really good. He's all tanned and buffed from surfing and his accent's gone all cute again since he went to the states."
"How is he?" Nye was surprised by the effect that the mention of Kane's name had on him. Before he had met Adam he had been sure that he would be spending the rest of his life with Kane. But since they were at different universities they hadn't really seen that much of each other and Nye was lonely and then Adam had come along and... His last meeting with Kane had not gone well. He'd hated Adam at first sight and Nye was sure it was only because he was jealous.
Kane had tried to convince him that Adam was using him; that he was a bad man with unhealthy designs on a kid... and because Nye was harbouring the same suspicions he fought him harder than he should have. Hard words were exchanged and Kane had thrown a drink in his face before he stormed off. Nye smiled to himself. That was Kane all over... impulsive and uninhibited.
"I told you... he's good."
"And he was looking for me?"
"Yeah...he said he'd been talking to your sister and was worried about you."
"Talking to my sister? To Mir?" Oh god... she wouldn't have told him... surely she wouldn't... she couldn't... "Did he tell you what she said?"
Lee gave him and odd look but shook his head. "No, only that she was worried about you."
"You should go round." Lee looked around and saw the boxes for the first time. "What are you doing?"
"What? Since when?"
Nye grinned. "Since this morning when Adam asked me to move in with him."
"Nye... are you sure about this? I mean it's... he's..."
"Don't worry Lee. I'm working now. I'll pay my half of the rent until you find someone else to share with."
"Don't worry about that. There's always someone looking for a place but... Hell... I'm going to miss you Nye."
Nye felt a pang which could have been doubt and could have been fear, and could have been something else. He impulsively hugged Lee.
"I'm going to miss you too. Thank you... for everything. You should come visit The Club some time. I'll buy you a drink or two."
"Yes, why don't you? Nye never has any friends over; it would be good for him to have someone familiar round now and again." Lee jumped startled as Adam came out of the bedroom carrying a box. "Let me know when you're free and I'll make arrangements with the door so there's no problem getting in."
"Oh... Okay. Yeah... sure... sure, of course I will."
"We'll pick up the rest of the boxes as soon as we can, if that's okay."
"Of course. Whatever man."
"Come on Nye. We have a lot to do this afternoon and I've just had a call from The Club. There's a staffing problem so tonight's the night for your first shift. Nothing like jumping in at the deep end."
Lee saw Nye's eyes widen slightly and the look of discomfort that he immediately disguised, and he wondered.
Nye embraced Lee again, more hesitantly now that Adam was there. "Come soon Lee. Maybe... maybe you could... Maybe Kane could come..."
"I'll be there for sure and... I'll see what I can do about Kane."
There was a strange sense of something ending as Nye walked out of the door for the last time... a childhood, a life phase, a period of innocence.
He was very quiet in the car and for once Adam showed rare understanding and left him to his thoughts.
They didn't really have time to unpack much because almost as soon as they got back to the apartment the phone rang calling Adam to The Club.
"You may as well come with me. It will be quiet now and you can have a chance to meet everyone and go over the ropes before it gets busy."
Nye's stomach dropped and it must have shown on his face because Adam took him tenderly into his arms and kissed him. "Don't worry babe, you're going to be fine. I'll make sure that it is clearly known who you are, that you are mine and are to be treated in the same way that they would treat me. That will keep the clients at bay and as for the staff... they are all half in love with you already so..."
"I've never worked in a bar before."
"It's not hard. There are plenty of staff on tonight and it's Sunday so it won't be busy. You'll do fine."
"I'll do my best."
"I know you will."
There were only half a dozen customers in The Club when they arrived. All the cages were empty and the music was piped and low. Nye already knew most of the people behind the bar and smiled nervously when they were approached by Jon, the bar manager.
"Adam's told me the news Nye, congratulations." He kissed Nye's cheek and smiled at him
"Um... thanks." He responded hesitantly.
"Adam, Mr Johanssen is waiting in your office. We've tried to explain the problem but he won't speak to anyone but you."
Adam sighed and shook his head. "Don't worry. I'll handle it. Take care of Nye. I've told you the score."
"Yes sir. We'll take good care of him."
Adam kissed Nye and then he was gone leaving him feeling lost and out of his depth.
"Don't look so scared. You've been downstairs... working behind the bar is nothing compared to that."
Nye looked up sharply and saw such understanding in Jon's eyes he caught his breath. "I..."
"Look Nye... you're a nice kid... a good kid and what you're doing with someone like Adam I'll never know but that's your business. Just remember you have friends here. Okay?"
"I... er yeah... thanks." He was confused, surprised by strange expression and what seemed to be a deeper meaning Jon was trying to convey with his words but he was lost.
Jon smiled gently. "Come on. I'll introduce you to the staff and get you started with mixing cocktails and finding your way around behind the bar."
Nye didn't see Adam again until late that evening. He hadn't missed him... he'd been too busy. Surprisingly he had enjoyed himself enormously. He was a quick learner with an easy manner, sharp mind and dextrous fingers who took to juggling bottles with as much ease and aplomb as calculating bills and memorising names and prices. Above all he was pleasant and polite and all this, added to his stunning looks and natural charm very quickly made him a favourite of staff and customers alike.
Before the end of his shift he had made new friends, mastered new skills and had acquired a level of self confidence he had never had before. He had surprised himself by how easily he had fitted in and how quickly the cheeky banter that he had so admired from the staff, poured from his lips once he had overcome his initial shyness. He was, after all a crafter of words, and this was just a new application to an old skill.
The first time he noticed Adam it was almost one in the morning and the bar was beginning to empty at last. Adam was speaking to Jon and, when he caught Nye's eye he waved and beckoned him over. Nye was exhausted but bouncing, buoyed by the excitement of his evening.
Adam directed him to come out from behind the bar and put his arm around his waist as he rested his head on Adam's shoulder.
"Jon tells me you've done an amazing job."
Nye grinned at Jon and literally glowed. "I did my best."
"He's a natural Adam. More than that he's a charmer. Had the staff and the customers eating out of his hand."
"That's what I like to hear." He ruffled Nye's hair. "Tired hun?"
"Ready for home?"
"Come on then. He won't be working tomorrow Jon, we're having a visitor."
Jon raised his eyebrow and Nye's ears perked up. A visitor?
Was it his imagination or was there a strange flatness to Adam's tone? And why did Jon's eyes go wide? Surely he was stifling a frown.
"Do you want me to make arrangements?"
"Not tomorrow... the day after."
"Keep it clear all day although it will probably be just the afternoon."
"Anyone particular you want on?"
"Lucas, Ben... and yourself if you're willing."
"Of course." He glanced at Nye. "I'll... take care of it."
On the way home Adam was strangely silent and Nye bore it as long as he could. "Is something wrong?"
"Wrong? What do you mean?"
"You're very quiet and it sounded as if you were not entirely happy about Lian coming tomorrow. Isn't that what you wanted?"
"Yes... yes it is but..."
Suddenly Adam grinned. "Don't worry about it hun. It's just that I had forgotten what a bastard he could be until I spoke to him. He's a complete twat but don't hold that against him. His personality might be skewed but he's the best."
"O...kay. I'll try to remember that."
"You have to hun. He's powerful in my world. He could cause a lot of trouble for me if we don't keep him sweet."
"Then I'll certainly remember it. I won't let you down."
By then they had pulled up outside the flat and Adam turned to him and gave him a long look that made him shiver. It was the most open and most loving look he had ever received. "I know you won't."
As soon as they were inside the door Adam took Nye into his arms and kissed him. Taken by surprise Nye responded pressing himself against his lover, returning the kiss with fervour. His blood was still hot from the excitement of the evening and he was breathless by the time Adam broke the kiss. He was laughing.
"Slow down there. Isn't it me who is supposed to be the eager one? Last night..."
"Last night I was a silly child. I know you're right... you're always right. I love you Adam and I would do anything for you. I'm so grateful for everything you've done for me and I want to show you that over and over and over."
Adam's face lit up then darkened. He gently disentangled Nye's arms and pushed him away. "Maybe you should save your energy for tomorrow."
Nye frowned "For Lian?"
"He... he's not happy with me. He thinks I've spoiled you, that I've not been hard enough on you. He doesn't realise. I'm sure that when he meets you he'll see that he's wrong but he's... unpredictable. I want you to be on your best form... I want you to impress him so that he can see what I see... the true glory of you."