Sid. Drummer for The Underdogs. Secretly yearning for pain and submission.
Asher. AKA Stan. Stalker. More than meets the eye.
It’s hard to find good hookups while on tour. Sid wants pain, humiliation, and the kind of sex that isn’t easy to get from one-night stands. So for now, he’s given up, settled for an online Dom to get his rocks off, and focused on his band instead. The Underdogs are getting increasingly popular, but there is one fan who has followed Sid since before he even joined the band, and he’s driving Sid mad! Rich, spoiled hipster brat looking for the bad boy experience. If he knew what Sid was really into, he would run for the hills.
Asher is convinced that Sid is The One, his One True Love, his endgame. Years ago, Asher lost his virginity to Sid, and from that moment on, he knew it was meant to be. They had a spark, that honest connection that couldn’t be faked. The members of Sid’s band call him a stalker, but all he wants is to offer Sid his love. When Sid finally chokes out what he wants, Asher is more than ready to unleash it on him.
But the last time Sid was out as gay and submissive, he got badly burnt when his former band kicked him out, and the doors to many opportunities slammed in his face. Asher wants the whole world to know that he’s dating Sid. Problem is, Sid would much rather keep the relationship as pain-with-benefits.
Themes: rock band, alternative lifestyles, tattoos, BDSM, commitment, family issues, coming out, life on tour, friends with benefits become something more, first love, stalking, fanboy
Genre: Contemporary M/M Rocker Romance
Heat level: Scorching hot, explicit BDSM scenes
Length: ~90,000 words (Can be read as standalone, HEA)
The concert ended with a bright explosion of sparks falling from above them like glittering confetti. Sweaty, with his heart still beating to the rhythm of the last song, Sid was free to smile in a way he never allowed himself otherwise—widely, for everyone to see. On stage, he was in his element. No future and no past mattered when he unleashed his wild energy on the drums, playing songs he knew so well. Like Groundhog’s Day in the best of ways, as if each concert was a bubble out of time and space.
So very much alike yet always different.
This time, everything about the concert was different in one way or another. After years of paying for his food by doing odd jobs by day and playing by night, after months of making a modest living from gigs at small venues, suddenly he was performing in front of an audience of several thousand, at one of the biggest events of its kind. Boomfest was their biggest stage, with the biggest speakers, and the organizers had even offered to enrich the show with special effects. It was unbelievable. For once, Sid could taste success at the tip of his tongue.
He felt like laughing, smiling, and even grabbing the hands of the audience. His snarky self retreated into the shadows, leaving Sid free to get drunk on the attention of the crowd that stretched far beyond what he would have called a good-sized venue just months before. He’d arrived, and all the people who’d thrown obstacles under his feet, who didn’t believe in him, or thought he wasn’t worthy of achieving success could go fuck themselves, because there he was—performing at one of the largest festivals in the country. And people fucking loved it.
Even Dusk, their leader, didn’t have to fake his joy. To the never-ending clapping and cheering from the audience, he bent over his guitar and played a quick solo tune, letting his hair flow in wild waves down his back.
As the heart and soul of The Underdogs, Dusk had been a pain to work with when mopey and whining, so it was a relief that he got back together with his boyfriend Lolly, and was once more the volcano of energy their oldest fans had fallen in love with. Dusk and Lolly’s relationship had become a social media phenomenon that catapulted the band out of obscurity, and Sid would take success in whatever form it came. Lastly, and to that Sid would admit only if threatened with a knife against the throat, Lolly, the pink-haired bundle of silliness, was actually kinda fun to be around. He always found opportunity where Sid could only manage scepticism.
Mage, bass player, and manager extraordinaire, turned to Sid with a wild grin that seemed almost predatory when coupled with the way his long dreadlocks partially untangled from the bundle he’d tied them into before the gig. He nodded at Sid, mouthing for him to get up.
It was only then that Sid truly felt the weight of attention on him. Behind his set of drums he felt protected, safe in the back, providing his bandmates with the rhythmic structure that allowed them to shine in the high-beam light. He rose on legs that felt way too soft, but Sid Maron showed no fear—ever—and he joined his friends at the front of the stage, where blurry faces gained individuality and words screamed out from below sounded less like noise and more like Underdogs chanted over and over.
His heart thumped, constricting deep in Sid’s chest, but he smiled when Mage pulled him in, for a moment feeling like more than just the drummer of a hot new band. He was a part of something. Part of a movement. He could maybe, possibly, go down in history as a member of a band that became mainstream, not only despite but because some of its members were queer. Though right now, his bare chest shone with sweat and his brain was empty from the shock of being catapulted from tiny clubs to an open-air venue packed with thousands.
All the blood, sweat, and tears he’d shed over the years—worth it.
He wished Dawn, Dusk’s brother, and their fourth, unofficial member, wasn’t so shy and could join them at the front of the stage, finally recognized for the brilliant songs he wrote for The Underdogs. But when Sid glanced to the black panels at the side of the stage, he did see Dawn standing in the shadow, only inches away from the glow of spotlights. With his usually pale cheeks now the color of raspberry juice, black hair flowing from under the baseball cap he hardly ever took off, he was smiling—not just with his lips. His entire body relaxed in an expression of relief and joy.
As silly as Sid considered the whimsical name choices made by Dusk and Dawn’s hippy parents, they ended up describing both guys pretty well. Dusk was the king of nightlife, always up for a party, Dawn—a pretty glint of sunshine only shyly peeking from behind the horizon.
Sid grinned at the audience once more, and when Dusk lightly threw his pick at the front row, Sid followed his lead by tossing his sticks toward someone’s outstretched hands. But there was no more time to parade on the stage like peacocks. Mage discreetly ushered them away from the spotlight, no doubt keeping track of time in a way neither Dusk nor Sid would.
The next band needed the space, and Sid wasn’t opposed to getting some well-earned rest after the storm that this short gig had been. By the time he entered the busy backstage area, watching Mage and Dusk pull Dawn into a group hug worthy of six-graders, Sid felt an ache enter his shoulders, and he leaned against a large speaker as adrenaline drained out of him.
Shirtless, sweaty, and with lungs that demanded more air, he didn’t mind the few thirsty glances he got one bit. Dawn handed him a bottle of cold water with a side of compliments about his performance. He really was a sweet kid, even if Sid liked to tease him about his innocence.
Tonight, all that mattered was their triumphant ascent into the public eye.
He took out a cigarette, but before he could use the lighter, someone offered him the flame. Sid frowned when he glanced into the too-familiar brown eyes, which were as persistent as the dusky shadow of hair growing back on the shaved sides of Asher’s head and his equally dark five o’clock shadow.
He wore chinos, a designer leather jacket, and his hair—dyed silver—was tied into a topknot. It would have been too easy to see him as yet another of those snotty hipster types who frequented alternative music festivals, but Sid knew the bastard too well for that. The unexpected closeness had Sid inhaling the smoky air and staring at the harmoniously handsome face behind the flame. Asher’s brown gaze kept him in place, intense as if the guy knew of all the secrets hidden deep in Sid’s heart, as if he knew that Sid was tired, or that he’d had a serious case of stage fright just before they played their set.
Asher AKA Stan always looked like that—smiling smugly no matter what insults Sid hauled at him, always lurking somewhere close, ready to crowd Sid with his broad chest and strong arms. Not that Sid ever allowed Asher to touch him, but it had come close all-too-many times.
And then there was that one time they never spoke about. The one-night stand turned weekend-stand that started this whole madness in the first place. AKA Sid’s Biggest Mistake.
Sid wanted to ask what the hell Asher was doing backstage, but the sight of the press pass on a lanyard at the front of his chest wrestled that question out of Sid’s repertoire.
So he took his time and inhaled more smoke, just to blow it straight into Asher’s pretty-boy face.
Unbothered, Asher waved off the smoke, stepping so close he could try kissing Sid if he wanted. His eyes shone like two topazes set in the modelesque face, and his teeth—so perfect any dental company would have been proud to have him as their spokesperson—glinted like a predator’s. Why someone this good-looking and well-connected would get so hung up on a scarecrow like Sid was anyone’s guess. Big fan of tattoos? Maybe—Sid was covered in them. Maybe he just wanted to repeat the bad boy experience Sid had given him last time, but no matter how hard Sid tried to get rid of the unwanted fan, for the past few years he hadn’t managed to get his point across. No matter how disrespectful he was being, Asher always found a way to turn it all around in his head and come back with a smile, as if nothing had happened.
“Sid, you were incredible. You played with such intensity. I thought you were an amazing musician before, but this right now? Wow,” Asher said so quickly, it sounded as if someone fast-forwarded his speech. Frizz danced around his tidy hair as he leaned closer, and—Sid could not believe the audacity—Asher skirted his fingers down Sid’s naked chest, leaving behind a trail of unwanted heat. Asher even dared let them linger on the key hanging off Sid’s neck as a pendant. “Fuck… I just want to show you how much I appreciate your art.”
Did Sid want fans? Sure. Hell yes, even. But Asher obviously wanted to be more than that, and he’d made it explicitly clear at least as many times as Sid had made it clear that nothing would ever happen between them again.
“The fuck? What did I tell you about touching me?” Sid barked and grabbed Asher’s wrist. Sid was a bit confused with all this. Any other musician he knew would have loved to have a hot fan cherishing the ground they walked on, someone who’d spread their legs on command, seduced by the aura of the rock star, but Sid felt as if he was allergic to this kind of admiration. In fact, Stan’s efforts annoyed Sid so much he could barely rein in his aggression to avoid physical confrontation. A worshipper who would gladly suck Sid’s toes if asked was the last thing he wanted. His cravings were much more peculiar, and a guy like Asher could never satisfy them.
“You hardly ever get together with people. I’m just being helpful,” Asher said, showing off his movie-star teeth in a grin. “Come on, Sid, let me get you a beer. For old-times’ sake.”
Sid shook his head and calmed himself down with more smoke. At least they were in a public space, so Asher wouldn’t pull any of his touchy-feely stunts.
“So you can spike my drink, psycho?” He pressed on Asher’s chest when he noticed the bastard had sneakily gotten closer. There was a reason the guy got nicknamed ‘Stan’, and Sid wasn’t gonna end up drugged and kidnapped. Nothing sincere hid behind the facade of a harmless rich boy in fashionable yet somewhat edgy clothes.
Sid didn’t trust him, even though—and maybe precisely because—Asher never seemed angered by the continuous rejections, always retaining a soft smile, no matter what kind of verbal abuse Sid unleashed on him. He simply wouldn’t take no for an answer.
They were equally tall, but in comparison to Sid’s skinny self Asher was big, as if he did weightlifting and gymnastics training every single day, and Sid didn’t want to be alone with him in case Asher finally snapped.
Mage’s hand cut through the too-narrow space between them and grabbed Asher’s hand. “Hey, Stan, could we talk about that latest social media campaign you did? I talked it through with Dawn, and we figured we could use your help,” he said loudly enough to make it all far less private.
With his waist-long dreadlocks, tattoos, and silvery piercings glinting against his brown skin, Mage didn’t look much more professional than Sid with his red mohawk and ink. But he had a way of taking control of the situation that he must have learned back at the prestigious private school he used to attend before rebelling against his parents and joining a band.
Asher blinked, the weird grin disappearing from his face as if Mage’s approach had pulled him out of an erotic dream. That was Sid’s cue to run.
His bandmates knew very well that Sid considered his oldest fan/stalker a nuisance, but it was generally treated as a big joke, because what was Sid to do? Admit that he felt uncomfortable and threatened? Never. Sid Maron was a volatile badass with a hair-trigger temper, ready to take on guys twice his size in bar fights. He wasn’t scared of a fan who wanted to get into his pants, no matter how persistent. Or at least that was what he’d rather people thought of him. All the skulls, hellfire, and even the Riders of the Apocalypse inked onto his skin were there to drive that point home.
And yet he was so, so thankful that Mage always tried to step in between him and Asher without being asked to. For once the band had a good reason to stay civil with Asher. While the bastard could easily be dismissed as yet another spoiled brat, he really did have a media presence—through The Q-Detective, a gossip site he owned, and as a writer for a music magazine—and that could prove invaluable to the band. It had been Asher’s doing in the first place that put them in the spotlight when he’d published a photograph of Dusk and Lolly, causing an avalanche of interest.
Dawn approached them too, squeezing the water in his hands as if it were his lifeline in the crowd of strangers. At least after continuous run-ins with Asher during the four years since The Underdogs had started playing together, Dawn was able to speak to the man every now and then.
“Y-yes,” Dawn muttered, keeping his gaze low. “With Dusk and Lolly reunited, we’ll need to work out a new…marketing plan?” His voice became all too quiet by the end of the sentence, but Sid was still appreciative of the team effort to get Asher off his back. There was no denying that Asher had a hand in forging their current commercial success, and that was yet another bitter pill for Sid to swallow.
Sid nodded quickly and patted Asher’s shoulder, just to show that he was in fact not afraid of the fucker. “Great stuff. I’ll leave you to it. I need a few drinks in me to cool off after the gig.”
He walked off without waiting for an answer, and not looking over his shoulder despite Asher’s gaze burning holes in his naked back. There. Asher could watch him, but he couldn’t touch.
He stormed past Dusk, who was already surrounded by members of the press, and dove into the crowd, for once wishing his mohawk wasn’t so tall. It felt as if he was a little shark followed by hunters with harpoons and so easily spotted due to the dorsal fin sticking out of the smooth surface of the ocean.
His senses felt overloaded, body too hot now that the sweat had evaporated.
The fact that Asher made him feel this way made rage overflow in Sid, and as soon as he slipped out into a corridor, he slammed his fist against the flimsy plasterboard wall time and time again. Could he not get a drink in peace on the night of their big break?
“Stop wrecking the place!” someone with a red lanyard yelled from afar, prompting Sid to turn into another corridor and get out of the woman’s sight. He sped up, walking past several people until the passage spat him out of the indoor labyrinth into an alley between other large tents, which resonated with music coming from one of the three stages at the festival.
When had it gotten dark? Away from the high-beam lights, the air was murky despite this being otherwise such a pleasant day. Sid stared at the cars, his fists clenching when he realized that he’d let Asher chase him off to this sad, lonely place where he couldn’t even get himself a beer. But if he went back to the backstage area, bumping into the psycho and his puppy dog eyes again would be inevitable. Sid hated the subservient, overjoyed way Asher looked at him. In his dreams, he sometimes gouged them out, dealing with his problem once and for all. Too bad he couldn’t possibly do so in real life.
With his slavish dedication, Asher personified everything Sid didn’t want in a partner, and Sid didn’t want to go there with him even when his balls ached for release on the road. He had a port of call for when he became restless, but for that he needed to be farther away from people. He zigzagged through the sea of tents, stopped a few times for autographs and photos, which managed to lift his mood, but the goal was the far off parking lot for staff and artists, where he sat on the hood of someone’s car in the dark and opened his phone.
His skin prickled with a mixture of disgust and need, resulting in the kind of restlessness that could only be eased in one way.
The band playing a set after theirs wasn’t that great, but he was glad for that bit of noise as he slowly leaned back, resting his head against the windshield.
[Hey. You there, Master?] Sid texted Executioner, nervously tapping the side of the phone. He needed to drift away from the memory of Asher’s intense brown eyes. He hadn’t even noticed when he’d lost his cigarette, and now missed the smoke.
His entire body trembled when an answer appeared alongside his master’s profile photo in a black latex mask. The fact that it was so expressionless in the picture never failed to coax arousal out of Sid.
[Speaking to me uninvited, slave? Who do you think you are?]
Sid had to take a deep breath to answer him even online. Imagining this man in the mask, in his dungeon, with all the implements for causing pain had Sid’s blood pumping faster. They’d never actually met in real life, but that was for the better now. Safer.
[I’m so sorry, Master. But I need your skill tonight. I need all the cruelty you can give.]
[Useless slut. What is it this time? Are the bruises gone already?] Executioner asked, referring to their last conversation, which resulted with extensive play and an entire package of clothes pegs attached to Sid’s body. If only the Executioner were there to cause the pain instead of Sid having to dole it out himself.
[They are, Master. I need more. I will bend over for you, and you will see just how much I can take. I want you to make me black and blue.] Sid’s breath was hitching, but the excitement growing in his bloodstream was the release he needed.
[No. You don’t deserve my cock. You’re an attention whore who keeps speaking to me out of turn,] Executioner responded with the cruelty Sid craved. Executioner was often unavailable, and many of their kinks didn’t actually align, but he was the best Sid could have in terms of relief.
[I’m sorry, Master. I submit to your punishment for my actions. I stretch out my arms for any kind of beating you want to mete out.] Oh how badly Sid missed real caning. But this would have to do for now. He was on fucking tour. How else was he to find someone who wasn’t a psycho?
A photo appeared on the screen, and Sid actually whimpered when he saw Executioner’s stiff dick on the screen, followed by a string of words.
[You can’t have this. You can’t have anything up your ass until you complete your punishment. Take a knife and make six cuts on your side, under the ribs. Show me the pictures, slave.]
Sid swallowed, feeling as if the crazy world around him was grinding to a halt. The music faded away, the smell of spilled beer evaporated, and the darkness of the parking lot became thicker, making the screen of his phone the center of his universe.
He imagined the blood trailing down his skin, the pain the cuts would cause. A risky thing to do. But then again, he’d be in control, alone with the blades. He wouldn’t need to worry if Executioner was a psycho killer. Wasn’t that why he’d given up real-life relationships for the time being?
A hand squeezed on his thigh. Sid yelped, dropping his phone in panic. For half a second, he imagined that it was Executioner reaching out through the device to grab him, but no.
It was Asher with his award-worthy smile and the ridiculous haircut.
“There you are. It took me ages to find you,” he said and offered Sid a can of Pabst.
“Maybe because you weren’t supposed to find me at all?” Sid pushed at Asher’s chest. He was a cornered animal, caught wounded, and he would lash out if he felt trapped.
Asher rolled his eyes. “Oh, come on! If you want to be out of the public eye for a sec, we could have a drink in my car.”
Sid ignored him and reached down for his phone to at least apologize to Executioner, but the screen was cracked, and only a glitchy light appeared on it. “No! For fuck’s sake!” He turned to Asher and pushed him again. “Enough! I’ve had enough! You can never exhaust me to the point that we have sex again, because we will never be compatible, Ash! You can never give me what I want, so piss off.”
Something flashed in Asher’s attentive brown eyes, and he took half a step closer, crowding Sid against the hood of the car as the music beyond the backstage area carried on into a hypnotic chorus. “What do you want?”
Sid pressed on Asher’s solar plexus with one finger to keep him at a distance, and unflinchingly kept up the eye contact. Enough was enough. It was about time to scare his sweet-yet-psycho fanboy. “I want to hurt, Ash. I want pain, handcuffs, gags, and electric shocks. I want to feel birch hitting my skin, and for my nipples to be pierced over and over again. I want to be called names and fucked so hard I can’t stop myself from crying. Do you finally get the point?” He didn’t even care he was raising his voice. “Our sex was…cute. I guess. And I’m happy you liked it so much that you’re standing here after all those years, but I’m not looking for a lap dog. We will never be a good fit. Understood? Go find yourself a dick to suck and leave me alone!”
Asher sucked in a big gulp of air, his eyes transfixed on Sid’s as if he were attempting to set him on fire with his gaze alone. A light breeze swept over their faces, but when Sid expected Asher to pull away, to get lost once he found out what a freak show Sid was, Asher abruptly grabbed Sid’s wrist and yanked it. Sid’s lungs emptied from the shock as Asher twisted both Sid’s hands and forced him to lie back on the hood, leaning closer and pressing down on Sid with his weight.
“Pain? Like that?”
Sid froze, lost for words. Still rattled after that brief conversation with Executioner, he couldn’t get his mind to work right. Asher had never acted this way before. Never. He’d been pushy, eager for Sid’s company, but always looking for ways to please and to endear himself to Sid, no matter how misguided what he did was.
Only being under him made Sid realize just how much Asher had truly grown in the years since their fling. He wasn’t that kid Sid gave a pity fuck to years ago. The usual instinctual urge to keep his distance from Asher was confused by the change in attitude.
“I…um…stop it. This isn’t your thing.” Right? If anything, Asher had always wanted to smother Sid with love, not fuck him raw.
Asher breathed loudly through his mouth and licked the rim of his lips, pinning Sid to the hood with his weight as he leaned closer. “You don’t know what my thing is.”
Sid wouldn’t even blink, for once not rushing to push Asher away or tell him to stop. He couldn’t say he knew the man on top of him. The man twisting his wrist until he mewled was not the polite, smiley guy who chased Sid like a puppy. Maybe this was Asher’s evil twin brother or something, because Asher had never dared push Sid into anything, let alone hurt him. And now, this new dominant energy came as a shock, confusing Sid into silence.
Sid’s wrists ached, a ridge running along the hood dug into his skinny back, and Asher’s scent—fresh and citrusy—overwhelmed Sid’s senses just before soft lips met his. Why was Sid letting Asher do this? Was he really this starved for a dominant man? Probably. The itch inside of him was a constant, distracting presence, and finding a safe partner on tour, as someone who wanted to keep their sexual interests private while being in the public eye, was a nightmare.
The waves of physical pain from his twisted arm mixed into one sensation with the heat of Asher’s hungry kiss, and Sid wasn’t even sure who he was dealing with anymore. This was madness.
Asher’s firm body stretched over his, and their groins met as the mind-bending kiss continued, becoming hotter and more aggressive by the second. It wasn’t even Asher’s erection poking him that caused Sid to wake from the stupor. It was when his own body awakened that he knew it was time to end whatever fuckery was going on. He’d meant to scare Asher off, not encourage him.
Sid found the inner strength to squirm away, and he almost fell once he rolled off the hood of the car. He took a few more steps back for good measure, looking at Asher in a different light. Even Asher’s stance seemed to have changed.
“This… You have no idea. This is so wrong. What are you even doing?” And yet the force of Asher’s kiss still throbbed on Sid’s lips, and the taste—rich and masculine—was nothing like the boy whose virginity Sid had taken seven years back.
He retreated, backing away toward the backstage area while keeping his gaze on Asher’s tall form, on his strong shoulders and veiny hands that had kept him still with so much proficiency. Unexpected proficiency.
“You can’t possibly want to tell me that this is your thing all of a sudden? It’s not like you.” Sid crossed his arms on his chest but couldn’t stop assessing Asher from a new perspective. What if this was Asher’s thing? What if Asher was able to give Sid what he yearned for? Sid wouldn’t have to even work for it, because Asher was right in front of him, eager to jump his bones.
Asher casually approached Sid, his gait light like a cat’s about to pounce on. “What is like me? It’s not like you’ve taken your time to get to know me. I can tie you up if you want. And I can put you over my knee and spank you until your ass is bright red. Try me, slut.”
Just hearing an attractive man say these words to him in real life, even if it was Asher of all people, made blood pump harder in Sid’s veins. Startled and overwhelmed, Sid did the one thing he was more than good at.
He turned and ran.