1907, twenty years into the zombie plague
Just as Reuben finally settles into the role of Copper, his master’s proud stallion, his life gets turned upside down by a revolution that has been long brewing in London. But the men who come for Erik at his home bring much more than havoc. They uncover lies that Erik has fed Reuben, and the truth creates a rift between them that might be impossible to cross.
Even if Reuben still wanted to be Erik’s pony, is it possible for them to be together if his master loses all power and property? With no harness to hold him, no bit to stop him from speaking, can Reuben still be what Erik wants? Does he have anything to offer as a man?
The relationship they have established gets shaken to its core, and on the run from Erik’s enemies, they will both have to find out if the bond they share will survive, or if it will break.
Genre: m/m dark erotic romance, BDSM
Length: ~77,000 words (book 3 in the trilogy)
Themes: class differences, slavery, steampunk, alternative lifestyle, alternative history, Victorian, master/servant, captivity, ponyplay, heavy kink, organized crime, violence, power play
Erotic content: explicit M/M erotic scenes (including ponyplay)
Reuben hated himself a little for still being so desperate to save Erik’s life after learning the truth about his kidnapping, but his love for Erik wasn’t something he could cut out of his heart without causing damage. He’d been beaten up not once, not twice in his life. He could take it. Erik on the other hand? He seemed so frail despite his body being harmoniously muscled. He might not even survive a harsh beating.
Beardy pulled the mittens on Reuben’s hands and fastened them so tightly Reuben could already feel that unpleasant throbbing in his flesh, but he would not complain. Erik stayed silent, watching Reuben from underneath the hair that stuck to his forehead with blood, but Eye patch took his boot off Erik’s head and kicked him just strongly enough to make him roll to all fours.
“Get up, Bluefinger. Show us how it’s done,” said Blake, taking a seat on the mattress where Erik had made love to Reuben just hours ago.
Reuben kept his arms close to his chest, but he didn’t hold his head high like he had yesterday. He couldn’t bring himself to look into Erik’s eyes, and his only hope was that the two of them could survive this somehow.
These men wanted to make a spectacle of him—violate the tender relationship he’d forged with Erik as his horse. They would never see Copper. They’d only see a cowardly man dressed up in a silly outfit and prancing around like one big joke.
Erik stumbled, but he managed to straighten his back, trembling slightly from the pain of it, because it couldn’t have been fear. Erik feared no one.
His eyes, the blue and the brown, focused on Reuben, and when Erik pushed the red-streaked hair out of his face, their gazes met for a brief moment when mocking sneers and comments melted into the background, leaving Reuben with his one and only master, the one he wanted to serve.
“Copper,” whispered Erik, licking blood from his teeth. “Head high. Foot,” he said, pointing at Reuben’s right leg. It rose, as if Erik had pulled it up by a string, and a faint smile passed across his master’s swollen features.
The intruders parted when Erik made Reuben walk around him, on an invisible longe line, only to command him to go into a trot. With no one actually touching him, the commands provided Reuben with the kind of peace he hadn’t known before. As a horse, he couldn’t understand what the men were saying about him. He wasn’t able to understand the context of their laughter. Copper knew only one thing—he was well trained and he wanted to obey the master who had taught him everything.
Beckoned by Erik’s gesture, he came closer and lowered his head when Erik pulled on the reins, and his sticky, metal-scented lips brushed over Reuben’s forehead.
“Run. When I tell you, run,” whispered Erik too quietly for anyone to overhear.