"Bloody hell--leave the man be. If he doesn't want a blowjob, there's no rule that says he has to have one!" The front legs of Sloan's chair slammed into the floorboards as he stopped balancing precariously on the back legs of the fine mahogany antique and suddenly leant forward to rest his elbow on the green baize. "Now, are you in or not?"
While everyone else's attention seemed to turn back to the poker game, Carl Jenkins glanced down at the submissive kneeling at his feet. Shaking his head, he offered the rather confused looking sub an apologetic smile. "Nothing personal."
The guy silently crawled away, towards the next dominant sitting around the table and quickly set to work. Within seconds Mike's fly was unzipped, and the sub had his lips wrapped around his third cock of the evening.
As the bets were placed, Carl barely looked at his own cards before he folded. His mind wasn't on the game right then. He mentally rolled his eyes at himself as he stared at the tiny stack of poker chips that remained before him.
He supposed he should be used to placing his bets blind. There was only one thing he'd ever managed to think about on any of their regular poker nights, and it was never the sodding cards.
As he took a sip of his beer, Carl glanced, as subtly as possible, towards Sloan. The older man's attention was all focussed on his cards. His hair was longer than it had been when Carl had first met him a few months before. The ragged blond strands fell forward into Sloan's eyes as he studied the game, sharp blue eyes quickly taking in every detail.
He increased the stakes, pushing several extra stacks of chips into the pot. Carl's eyes followed his every movement with as much rapt attention as they always did. Sloan had wonderful hands, strong and confident. It was so easy to imagine those hands--
Quickly shutting down that line of thought, he tore his attention away from Sloan and all the amazing things he could so easily picture the other guy's hands doing.
Out of the corner of his eye, Carl noticed that Mike had finished enjoying the sub's mouth and had folded out of the game too. Pushing back his chair, the other dominant left the room. A hint of a Christmas tune floated into the room from somewhere else in the club as the door was opened.
Another snippet of a carol informed Carl of Mike's return a few minutes later, just as Sloan scooped up his winnings. The moment the last chip was cleared from the centre of the table, half a dozen Christmas crackers were tossed down in their place.
Carl kept his attention on Sloan as the older man raised an eyebrow and glanced from the crackers to Mike and back again. He didn't need to actually say anything. His expression alone was enough to let everyone know he wasn't in the mood for stupidity.
Apparently far too pleased with his latest scheme to take the hint, Mike turned his seat around and straddled it, still grinning from ear to ear.
"Very festive?" Ryan offered, somewhat warily, from the other end of the oval table.
"Wait 'til you pull one!" Mike said, eyes sparkling with someone's future misfortune.
"What happens then?" Todd asked from the seat next to him, leaning back in his chair a little, as if one of the garishly coloured tubes might leap up and attack him at any moment.
"Then the lucky winner has to do the dare inside."
Carl's gaze reluctantly settled on the crackers, wondering what chance he had of getting out of pulling one of the damn things. He could guess what sort of dares they would contain if Mike had written them. At best, it would be painful and humiliating.
At worst... Carl glanced across to Sloan. He didn't want to think about his worst case scenario right then. It would be far too much like tempting fate.
"Carl, you're first," Mike announced.
"Why Carl?" Sloan cut in, before Carl could scrape two words together.
"Because he never does a damn dare!" Mike protested. He turned to Carl. "What's wrong, sweetheart? Scared of a little Christmas cracker?"
Bloody terrified would have been closer to the mark, but Carl reached out and picked up one anyway. There wasn't much else he could do. Any dominant worth his salt would rise to that kind of bait. If he backed down, he knew he might as well just skip straight to that worst case scenario anyway.
Sloan held out a hand to pull it with him.