An excerpt from Dolphin Dreams

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Several days later, Martin is caught in a thunderstorm with a failed boat engine. The dolphins tow his boat into a hidden cave for shelter from the storm, but Martin hits his head on the way into the cave. He feels dizzy and sick as he unloads the boat, and realises that he's concussed. When two strange men appear, he assumes he's hallucinating. This follows on directly from the second excerpt:

"You do like men, then?"

"Mmm." He rested his head against the man's chest. "Still feel sick. Think it's seasickness as well, though."

"That must have been a rough ride at the end."

"Don't want to think about it."

He heard a quiet chuckle, then, "No, I don't suppose you do."

"Found the torch, George," he heard the other man say. Patrick, George had called him. "And the bastard's got more chocolate in this cupboard!"

"Leave it," George snapped. "That will be part of his emergency supplies, and he might just need it if the storm lasts long. Forget your stomach for once; you don't need it."

"But how often do we get choc--"

"Patrick!" George's voice was a whipcrack.

Martin jumped and winced. George's arms tightened around him again. "Sorry. Didn't mean to shout in your ear."

"There's some food left from lunch," Martin said. "And tea." If he was concussed, he shouldn't be eating or drinking, just in case. But cold and dehydration were a more immediate worry than any chance of undergoing surgery in the near future. And he felt cold now, even with George holding him.

"All right," George soothed. Then more loudly, "Bring his lunch box and the tea flask."

"Was doing that."

"You are cold," George said to him. "Look, I'm going to let go long enough to get that blanket."

He would have nodded, but remembered in time. Instead he just opened his eyes. It wasn't as bad as he'd expected. "Don't feel as sick," he reported.

"Good. The seasickness is probably wearing off." George released him, picked up the blanket, and wrapped it around him.

He hadn't been all that cold, not yet, but the warmth of the blanket around him felt good. So did George's arms around him, holding him steady. He risked looking around and found that a few minutes of being on dry land had made a big difference in how ill he felt. "Who are you?"

"You haven't guessed?" George asked.

"If he hasn't realised, then it's no wonder you scared him when you came on to him, George." Patrick crouched down in front of him and handed him a cup of tea. "Here, it's still hot."

He took the cup and found the tea still warm enough to be comforting. The nausea had receded enough that he could sip slowly at the sweet, warm drink. After a few mouthfuls, he tried again. "Where did you come from?" If they had a way out of this cave that didn't involve going on the open water, he should take advantage of it.

"We brought you here," George said. Someone stroked Martin's head, very gently. "I thought you realised that. I'm sorry. You said we were the best date you'd had in ages, so I assumed you'd still feel the same way. That's why we thought you were just playing hard to get."

Martin looked out across the water in the cave. Definitely no dolphins. And he didn't believe that they'd have just abandoned him, not after the trouble they'd gone to in getting him to shelter.

Even through his dizziness, he understood why his subconscious had insisted that the men couldn't be real. There was only one way for them to be here. "Now I _know_ I'm hallucinating. I'm sitting here talking to figments of my imagination, because I'm too fucking out of it to tell the difference between dreams and reality."

"We're what you dream of?" George asked.

"Yes," he said with utter honesty.

Not one but two handsome men, men who wanted him but were prepared to wait, men who were dominant but secure enough to put his needs first. Conjured up by his imagination from the company he'd kept this last week, the company he'd already recognised as better for him than Barry had been.

"I wish Barry was like you," he added, then winced inwardly as he heard himself. He sounded drunk, slurred speech _and_ self-pity. It was embarrassing even if his only audience was a figment of his imagination.


"Boyfriend. Ex-boyfriend. Very, very ex, bastard."

"Dump you?" Patrick asked.

"No." He'd have been less angry if that had been Barry's reaction. "Told me he was quite willing to carry on, as long as I didn't carry on about him being married." It spilled out of him now, the remaining anger and hurt that Simon hadn't managed to bleed off, that the holiday had soothed for a little while but not removed. "I find out that I'm his mistress, and he turns around and tells me that he's willing to let me carry on as long as I'm properly discreet! As if I should be grateful!" And then there was the last, most bitter thing, because it showed just what Barry was -- a selfish bastard concerned only with himself. "He thinks that because I'm a sub I'll tolerate being treated like dirt out of bed."

"So you told him where to go." George cuddled him. "Any regrets?"

The anger surging through him overrode the nausea, and he sat upright to look straight into George's eyes. "Only that I ever got involved with him in the first place. And that you're only my subconscious telling me what it is I thought I'd found in him -- a dom with manners." He wanted to be controlled, yes. Even treated roughly sometimes. But only by someone who understood that it was with his permission, that he was not simply a convenient toy. "Barry never understood that it's about partnership."

Then the fit of passion drained, leaving him exhausted. He slumped down again.

"You need to rest," George said. "Lie down."

"Shouldn't. Need to stay alert."

"We'll look after you."

He let himself be persuaded to lie down, a warm body either side of him, the blanket over him. Even if he was still hallucinating, he was reasonably sure that he hadn't imagined getting out of the boat and bringing the blanket with him, so he should be warm enough. And so long as he was warm enough in reality, he was content to enjoy the dream. It felt good to rest his head on George's shoulder, put his arm across that broad chest. At least this dream was pleasant. "Pity I'm going home tomorrow. Even if this was real, it's only a week's holiday, and I won't be able to get back here even for a weekend break for a while."

"We'll wait for you to come back," George said. "You never did tell us your name, you know."

"Martin." And then he fell asleep.

excerpt 1 | excerpt 2 | excerpt 3 | erotic excerpt

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