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Phillip Scott, the new CBMC administrator, has an instant attraction to Danny and when he needs a place to convalesce, offers his own home. Small quarters bring their emotions to the front quickly and things heat up.
Danny's past rockets back in to his life, shaking their rocky foundation. Something needs to give. Will their choices solidify their relationship, or destroy what they've built?
About Corbin's Bend:
Welcome to Corbin's Bend, the first equity-cooperative housing development just for spankofiles. Thirty thousand acres in the mountains above Denver sits your dream come true. With 1000 home sites, several restaurants, a club house, theater, pool, and many other amenities, you will find yourself at home.
Corbin's Bend is the setting for a group of spanking romance novellas set in, where else? Corbin's Bend, Colorado. A fictitious housing cooperative, Corbin's Bend is unique in that everyone living there is into spanking, whether that be erotically or through domestic discipline. Just imagine, a place where nobody has to hide their particular spanking lifestyle.
While reading any series in order is nice, Corbin's Bend books can be read as stand-alones as well.
“Beep, Beep, Beep�” Danny’s arm shot out to fumble for the alarm clock on his nightstand.
The noise was louder, longer, and more insistent this time. What the�? He forced his eyes open and then he remembered. There was no nightstand anymore, and he was the one responsible for the horrendous noise. His head lay on the horn. He jerked up, and fumbled in his pocket for his phone, which was also beeping incessantly. Six-thirty a.m. Danny yawned and popped his seat back out of its reclined position. Every muscle in his body screamed in agony. If I had thought for a second, he thought to himself ruefully, that I would one day find myself living in my car, I would have bought something roomier than a VW Beetle.
Turning the key in the ignition, he glanced in the rearview mirror before pulling out of the long empty lot beside the restaurant supply warehouse where he worked. He didn’t have to be at work for hours, but he needed to move his car before the farmers and fisherman started showing up with their daily haul, or before his boss Tony showed up, and realized that he was currently, for all intents and purposes, living in his car outside the warehouse.
At just before seven on a Friday morning, Boulder was still a bustling city. Long lines of traffic lined up the highway exits as people began their daily commutes. Luckily for Danny, he didn’t have far to go. He had this homeless thing down to a fine-tuned routine. It probably didn’t hurt that he had been homeless for all of six days now, had the same full-time job he had had for several years now, and had plenty of money in the bank. What he didn’t have was a plan. At least, not one that went beyond six this evening, when he got done with work for the day.
Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, Danny turned into the lot at his gym, thankful that he had kept up his membership, even though he hadn’t been working out regularly these days. That small mercy was the only thing affording him a hot shower these days, and assuring that he didn’t stumble into work looking as if he slept in his car. Grabbing a backpack out of the backseat, he shoved a clean uniform into it, and locked up his car. He had always been more of an evening workout person, but sleeping in until nine before racing into work was a luxury he didn’t have right now. A quick run on the track and a few reps around the gym would kill just enough time. He would clean up in the locker room and grab a quick breakfast and coffee at the caf� across the street before clocking in for the day.
As soon as his feet hit the track, Danny woke up. Running had always made him feel alive and free. It was the one thing that cleared his mind, and gave him focus and peace over whatever problem he was facing at any given time. This time was no different. Well, maybe a little. The peace and focus were there, but a solution evaded him. It wasn’t because he didn’t have options. He did. The only option he cared for however, was the nonexistent one. The one that had him going back in time and erasing every decision that had led up to this point.
Danny knew he could easily get his own apartment, or even crash with a friend. Both ideas exhausted him. He wanted to go home to his family, put his feet up on the couch and watch a ballgame with his dad. Eat his mom’s famous lasagna and wrestle with his younger brother Davis. Roll his eyes as his little sister yammered endlessly about who was dating who and who was wearing what. The memories rolled together, tightening his chest, and wetting his eyes. Such little things he had taken for granted all his life. Would he ever get to do any of them again? The way things had gone down, it seemed highly unlikely at this point.
The memory of last weekend flashed before him, and his stomach rolled. He had lost so much, for so little. Danny would have given anything to change the past, but he knew it was time to move on, accept the way things were and make a plan. He couldn’t go on living in his car forever.
An apartment was a good plan. While he had several friends who would let him crash for a while if he asked, there was no one he could really imagine living with on a permanent basis. All of his friends were either married and starting families, or partying like it was 1999 and they lived in Las Vegas. Danny loved a good party, but not every damn night.
Besides that, there was no one on the planet who he wanted to explain his current situation to. If he told any of his friends he needed a place to crash, no less than a hundred questions would follow. Everyone who knew Danny at all knew how close he was to his family. After all, he was twenty-three, a college graduate with a degree in culinary arts, and a steady job with no debt to speak of, and he lived at home by choice. Or he had anyway. Now he lived in his tiny car, showered at the gym, and ate all his meals at the caf� near his work.
Speaking of meals, Danny thought as his stomach growled. He rounded the track one last time, picking up speed as he pushed thoughts of family, friends, and apartment hunting out of his mind. One last lap, and he would skip the weight room today. Coffee was a priority over muscles at this point. Six nights of sleeping in the front seat of the beetle in an alley was wearing on him. A hot shower and a greasy breakfast, and a gallon of hot black coffee sounded much more appealing than a room full of bodybuilders that smelled of cheap cologne and gym shoes.
Twenty minutes later, he was showered, shaved and dressed in his work uniform that he would wear to make deliveries later, and seated in his usual booth at the diner with a steaming hot cup of coffee in front of him.
Alice, his favorite waitress was working that morning. After ordering an egg white omelet with feta, spinach, and mushrooms, Danny downed his coffee in two large gulps and handed the cup back to Alice who looked at him with furrowed brows. “Keep it hot, and keep it coming,” he told her with a wink.
He had spent over an hour at the gym, and still had an hour and a half to kill before he made it to the warehouse. Getting an early start was tempting, but if he did that Tony would know something was up. Danny was not known for being a morning person.
Even Alice seemed to know that little tidbit about him, if the suspicious glances she was throwing over her shoulder were any indication. He may have been coming in five times a week for over a year, but it wasn’t generally before nine-thirty, and he usually got his coffee to go, taking it with him while he made his morning deliveries. Danny was sure that his now daily visits before 9 a.m. for a full breakfast were beginning to raise questions. Good thing Alice didn’t know he was usually here for dinner too. Maybe it was time to change it up a bit. He did know every restaurant owner within a two-hundred-mile radius.
Alice delivered his breakfast, throwing in a side of bacon for good measure, and Danny smiled up at her expectantly. “Trying to butter me up for a bigger tip, Alice? Don’t I always treat you well? You don’t have to bribe me. Although,” he said with as a smile as he bit into a thick slice of perfectly crisped bacon, “I do appreciate it.”
“Ha!” Alice smirked before lowering herself into the booth across from him, and topping off his coffee mug. “The only thing I am trying to butter you up for is details. You’ve been in here by 8:30 every day, and I want to know what’s up! Spill it, Mister.”
Danny leaned back against the seat and smiled at her, amused. Alice was fifty if she was a day, and he would be highly offended if he didn’t already know that she was like this with all her regulars. She was well known for having a big mouth, but she got away with it because she had an even bigger heart. He knew instinctively that Alice would be a good person to talk to and for a moment he considered doing just that. With so many conflicting feelings and jumbled thoughts bouncing around in his head, he could use a good sounding board.
He opened his mouth to speak, thinking that maybe he could give her details into his current situation without having to give details about how he got there. Those were words he wasn’t quite ready to say out loud yet.
Sensing a good story, Alice leaned towards him conspiratorially and cracked her ever present gum loudly. Before he could say a word, the bell above the door jingled, signaling a new customer. They both turned towards the door at the same time and Danny’s heart sank when he saw the broad shouldered young cop saunter in with a smile. He was not ready to deal with this right now. Not today. His panic must have been plain on his face because Alice quickly poured coffee into his to-go mug, and stood. She smoothed her apron with a smile as she walked towards Simon, all smiles and business while she motioned over her shoulder at Danny to sneak through the back exit. He didn’t need to be told twice. He left a twenty on the table for Alice and walked towards the back of the diner where the kitchen and restrooms were, with his head down.
The cook, who knew him from his deliveries, didn’t say a word as he strode through the kitchen as if he was there on business. He just gave Danny a smile and wave before turning his attention back to the pot of soup he was stirring. Once outside, he leaned against the back door of the building and caught his breath. Bless Alice. Now he would have no choice but to explain�either that or find a new diner to get his coffee from every morning. He had snuck out the back door when a cop came in�alarm bells must have been going off in her head, but she had kept her cool. It was more than he could say for himself. He was covered in a cold sweat and breathing heavily. His hands shook and his heart felt as if it had dropped to his feet.
Despite what it might look like to Alice, he wasn’t running from the police. Just from Simon. His occupation was simply a coincidence. Or maybe it wasn’t. If Simon didn’t look so hot in his uniform, Danny wouldn’t be in his current situation. If Simon wasn’t such a damn flirt, and if Danny himself hadn’t been caught up in a weak moment after a few drinks, he would have done what he had always done, and pretended he was normal. When he noticed the young cop flirting with him after his shift, he certainly wouldn’t have flirted back. He would have laughed it off, and acted slightly offended before assuring the young man that his gaydar was broken, and Danny was straight.
But the tequila shots had gone straight to his head, and Danny had in a weak moment decided that he was tired of pretending to be something he wasn’t. When Simon had leaned forward and whispered in his ear, Danny had caved. He smelled so good, and Danny had a weakness for authority figures. Especially ones in uniform. Danny had kissed him, right there on the street outside the bar. In daylight. In plain view of whoever happened to be walking by. He didn’t know who had outed him to his parents, or to his priest for that matter, but it was a moot point. The next morning after Mass the three of them had cornered him. The fight that followed was an epic one, and one he didn’t want to re-live, even in his memory.
Father James had tempered it down in church, waxing poetic about desires and urges and repentance, but once they were home it had gotten ugly. Shame burned Danny’s cheeks as he remembered his father’s words and the look on his mother’s face. When cornered like that, he had immediately gone on the defensive, and to his horror confessed to things he had never said out loud. Things he wasn’t even sure were true. He had just been stunned to find out his parents were so hateful and close-minded. They weren’t normally that way. Just apparently, when it came to him. Threats had been made, and things had been said, and the next thing he knew he was out on the streets for fighting for a lifestyle he wasn’t even sure he wanted to live. If he could go back in time, and do that night all over again, he wouldn’t have taken even a single tequila shot. He would have laughed Simon off and rejected his advances, and he never would have spoken to his parents the way he did.
A horn sounded on the main road, and Danny realized with horror that he was still leaned up against the back wall outside the diner, and his eyes were full of unshed tears. He expelled the breath he had been holding and pushed off the building quickly. He didn’t want to chance that Alice would come looking for him. This was a story he wasn’t ready to tell.
Not sure what else to do, he headed up the street to the warehouse. Sure Tony would razz him about coming in early, but he wouldn’t ask questions if it was just a one-time thing.
True to form, Tony greeted him with a strange look and an easy smile. He glanced at the clock as Danny entered, but he didn’t say a word about the time.
“Hey, Danno!” Tony said, slapping the back of one of the farmers heartily as he took the box the man was holding. “Enzo was just telling me that Giovanni’s is looking for a new chef! You ready to give up this delivery gig and put your talents to use?”
Danny threw back his head and laughed. “You firing me, Tony? Because unless you are, I’m not looking.” He knew Tony would never fire him, but his boss was forever going to razz him about living up to his potential and putting his degree to good use. He always had a potential new job for Danny to look into, but Danny never took him up on it. “I told you, Tony, you’re stuck with me. The kitchen is too high stress. I get the best of both worlds here. My job is easy, the hours are good, no stress, and I’ve got an in at every good restaurant within a day’s drive. Too many perks in this job to consider giving it up.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah.” Tony dismissed him with a wave. “One of these days, I will fire you, and then what will you do? You’ll have no choice but to open your own restaurant, and I’ll be your first customer. If you’re real nice to me, maybe I’ll give you a good discount on the food too, eh?”
“Keep dreaming, Tony, that’s never going to happen. Besides, what makes you think you would be my supplier anyway?”
His boss glared at him good-naturedly. “Go on, now, get out of here. Since you’re here early, may as well make yourself useful and help me get the truck loaded up. You’ve got the Corbin’s Bend beat this morning.”
Corbin’s Bend. That was enough to turn a shitty morning good again. His boss didn’t get it, but the route to the gated spankophile community an hour outside of Boulder was Danny’s favorite to make deliveries to. Danny didn’t really buy into their strange belief system, but he did find it oddly intriguing. And the people there were ones he considered friends, restaurant owners and customers alike. They lived life on their terms, and passed no judgment as long as you offered them the same courtesy. If only the rest of the world would follow suit.
Fiddling through his shoulder bag, Phillip chuckled at what he found. “A chocolate bar. From who knows when,” he murmured, pulling it out and tossing it in the trash. He hadn’t used this bag since his last position, but now that the Corbin’s Bend Medical Clinic was open for business, he fully intended to put across the appearance of a man totally in charge. Not that it was difficult. It was a part of him that revved naturally, like a well-tuned engine. “Speaking of which,” he murmured, shoving his notes and folders into the bag and closing it. Reaching over, he grabbed his travel mug, already filled with coffee, and headed to his garage, where his fully restored 1968 Porsche 912 sat waiting for him. Beside it, in his two-car garage, was his boring car, the one he drove to conferences and important business meetings. But every once in a while, he just had to pull his baby out of the garage. And today was the day.
After hitting the button to open his garage door, he quickly got into the car, tossing his bag on the passenger seat even as he turned the key and revved the engine a little. Phillip supposed the car stuck out in this little community in the mountains above Denver, but considering everyone here stuck out from normal society, he wasn’t prepared to care. Getting the job as administrator of this new clinic had been a godsend after losing his last position due to small-minded people. Being gay was a unique classification that was too broad. Among other gay men, he appeared conservative with his three-piece suits, hair always kept neat and short, and his shined shoes. Among the gay-hating men, he was all sorts of things, among them names that made him grimace. Add in people who didn’t understand what it meant to be a spanko and desirous of a domestic discipline relationship, and the last few months before he moved to Colorado had been a living hell. “Closed minded idiots,” he grunted as he eased his car out of the garage.
Shaking off the clouded memory of his last job, he hit the button that shut down the garage door and smoothly pulled out onto Verison Drive. Having what was at most a thirty-minute commute, and that wouldn’t be until winter, was a wonderful thing. As he didn’t need to be in his office until nine, he moved slowly through the streets in town. The moment he hit the highway, he opened her up, quickly hitting sixty-five in seconds.
With it being autumn, the air had a delicious cool snap in it that made him grin as he tore down the highway, quickly passing the clinic. There wouldn’t be many more days like this where he could drive this car before he switched to his other�safer�vehicle. From what some of the locals said, snow was right around the corner. And he looked forward to it. Having the world covered in a blanket of white would make up for the fact the fall colors weren’t striking. Having lived in Vermont all his life, he was used to amazing colors in the fall.
Thirty minutes down the road, he slowed down and turned around, his slight melancholy that had hit him when he awoke having dissipated. Pushing his foot down on the gas, he quickly got back up to speed and headed to work. A smile crossed his lips at the thought of where he worked now. “Brent was a genius,” he murmured, thinking of the founder of the place. A whole community where spanking and domestic discipline were not only accepted but expected, had been a bit of a shock when he first heard about it. But now, having lived here for six weeks, Phillip wished he’d known about this place years ago.
Half of their staff lived in Corbin’s Bend and finding out his first week there that their nurse practitioner was gay and one of the doctors was queer and out about it, had made him completely relieved. That none of the housing board had even batted an eyelash about it had been wonderful. Coming from a town that when they found out he was gay and a spanko, they had turned on him so quickly he felt like he had whiplash, he still found himself surprised when someone made a comment that made it obvious they knew his sexual orientation and it didn’t bother them a whit.
Looking up as he walked through the front doors of the clinic, he nodded toward Telly, their front desk receptionist. “Morning.”
Taking the stairs, he made his way to his office, deep in the heart of the small dome. To keep the clinic looking similar to the town, even though it was fifteen minutes away, the hospital had several hallways that jutted off the center, which was a dome, similar to the community center. Phillip had thought it strange at first, but quickly came to enjoy his office having a curved wall.
“Morning, Kate,” he said walking into his assistant’s office.
“Morning, Mr. Scott. Good timing. Dr. Devon wanted a few minutes this morning.”
“What time?” he asked, picking up a stack of papers from his inbox on her desk.
“Sometime before ten.”
“Call his office and tell them 9:30 will work.” As she picked up the phone, he walked through into his office, dropping the paperwork on his desk and his bag on a side table before sitting down and powering up his computer. Putting his to-go mug to his lips, he took a long drink of coffee. Time to start his day.
It only took fifteen minutes for them to load up the truck, and after Tony double checked all the invoices Danny was on his way. He couldn’t really explain it, but just knowing he was on his way to Corbin’s Bend made all the stress of the morning ease off his shoulders. Maybe if there was time, he would take his lunch there. He could get some sushi at The Ginger Paddle, or some BBQ at The Pit. If he lingered long enough at his deliveries and timed it right, he might see Jonathon and Benjamin or Josh, a relatively new resident. He needed to talk to someone, and he wasn’t ready to talk to anyone from home. He had always gotten the feeling from Jonathon that he wouldn’t be telling the man anything he didn’t already know.
The thought of being able to confide in his Corbin’s Bend friends eased Danny’s mind considerably as he made the hour long drive from Boulder to the private community he had come to know so well. It was Friday, and if he timed it right, he should be able to run into Jonathon and Brent during lunch time. Danny didn’t know Brent, Corbin’s Bend’s founder, well enough to confide in him, but he had nothing but respect and admiration for the man.
Even, Danny reasoned to himself, if he didn’t see Jonathon, there was a number of people he would see whom he might be willing to be open with. Laney from the Ginger Paddle, or Reiny from New Delhi Deli. Each of the restaurant owners held a special place in his heart.
His mind made up, Danny could hardly wait to get started on his deliveries. He made the last turn before the entrance to the community when his phone rang. The screen on his built in GPS lit up showing that it was his brother Davis calling. His heart caught in his throat. He stared at the screen in shock, not sure what to do. Did Davis know the truth about why he had left? The number flashed again and again as the phone continued to ring. Not knowing what to do, Danny just watched it. On one hand, he wasn’t supposed to take personal calls while driving, bluetooth or no. On the other hand, he missed his brother so much. What if it was an emergency? He leaned forward, finger extended to push the answer button, then stopped. If it was an emergency, Davis would leave a voicemail. If it wasn’t an emergency, and Davis was just calling to talk, or worse, to ask questions Danny wasn’t ready to deal with�Danny hit the end button. He would deal with this later.
Turning his attention back to the road, he looked up and swore profusely. Feet away from him, coming straight at him, in the wrong lane was an older beat up Honda Civic. He squinted out the window, unable to believe what he was seeing. The driver was asleep, or unconscious. Danny laid on his horn, hoping the noise would startle the driver awake. No such luck. There was no time left to make a decision. His large delivery truck would mow right over the little car. Bracing himself for impact, he hit the brakes and jerked the wheel as far right as it would go. His last conscious thought was the realization that he had reached Corbin’s Bend. “I hope they forgive me for this,” he said aloud as he closed his eyes and plowed right into the large Welcome sign at the community entrance. The last thing he remembered was the jolt as the truck turned over and feeling as though he was both flying through the air and into a mountain at the same time.