Home > Snuggled (The D #5)

Snuggled (The D #5)
Author: Charity Parkerson

 

 

Introduction

 

 

Finley isn’t looking for a new Little. Grayson isn’t giving him a choice.

A year ago, Finley lost the most precious thing to him: his Little. Since then, he’s moved over a thousand miles away, set up a new practice, and is trying to start over. He had accepted his life would be quiet from now on. Then Silas stepped in and now Finley can’t stop going to the lavish invite-only parties and staying all night. It has nothing to do with the flowing alcohol or blatant debauchery. He’s there for one reason: Grayson.

Grayson has been going to Silas’ parties for over a year. He likes the freedom of being himself in a crowd. Grayson doesn’t have that luxury in other aspects of his life. Even though men attempt to catch his attention at the wild gatherings, Grayson hasn’t been interested in anyone until now. Unfortunately, Finley doesn’t feel the same.

Despite giving Grayson his constant attention, Finley has no intention of replacing the man he lost and vowed to love forever. But life doesn’t care about his plans, and neither does Grayson.

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

At only three years old, Grayson had lost his parents. Not only had his adult brother been the only person left to take Grayson, but Jacob was also the person who Grayson’s parents had named to be his godfather. Jacob, being a famous actor on a very popular sitcom being filmed in New Orleans, had reluctantly accepted his role. It had always been Jacob’s position that as long as Grayson had a roof, clothing, and went to school, his responsibility was met. He had possessed an extreme get-him-to-eighteen mentality. To be fair, Jacob had only been nineteen when he found himself in charge of a three-year-old. But Jacob had continued living his life while Grayson had been horribly neglected. It wasn’t something Grayson had realized at the time. He had thought everyone lived as he did: completely alone.

Grayson had been too young at the time to remember his parents for long, and no one had been around to discourage him from an attachment to his favorite blanket that had quickly lost his mother’s scent. When he started school, he was never bullied—since Jacob ensured Grayson had the best of all material things—but he didn’t have friends either. The cycle of neglect and deep loneliness continued. Grayson had been lost to the background.

At twelve, Grayson had stuffed his blankie in his backpack and taken a streetcar to the mall to pick out his Halloween costume alone, as he did every year. While inspecting all the popular themes for the year, Grayson kept returning to two: a plush dinosaur costume and a giant baby. Both costumes seemed way out of his age, but they came in his size. Grayson had bought both.

When Halloween rolled around, Grayson had nervously donned the dinosaur costume and slipped from the house. He prayed every step he wouldn’t see anyone he knew. The first doorbell he rang, Grayson wondered if he would puke. He felt like a baby in an outfit most kids his age would die before they wore. Then the door had opened and a woman—who Grayson imagined would be his mother’s age—looked at him. A bright smile lit her face. She squealed in delight. For fifteen minutes, she had gushed over Grayson’s costume. Then, after learning Grayson was alone, she had left her husband to hand out candy while she accompanied Grayson from door to door. It was the first time in memory Grayson had anyone’s attention. Now, at twenty, Grayson was who he was. That night had changed him, or perhaps it had simply shown him who he was. Either way, Grayson was here: Silas’ party.

He had attended his first event over a year ago and hadn’t stopped since. Silas D was a rich man who seemingly had nothing better to do than look out for people like Grayson. People with kinks. Even if Grayson had never really gotten to explore those kinks, he was well aware he was different. Three weeks ago, Grayson had gone from being a party guest to becoming a house guest when Silas’ husband, Benji, took pity on Grayson and asked him to move in. Grayson was more grateful than he could articulate. Even though Grayson had received the remainder of his parents’ estate at eighteen, Jacob had also practically marched Grayson from his home, his obligation completed. For the past two years, Grayson had struggled at being an adult. He wasn’t poor. It wasn’t as if Jacob had kicked him into homelessness. Grayson just wasn’t very good at being an adult. The only time he felt like himself was at Silas’ parties. Every other day, he wore a mask. Living with Silas meant freedom. He got to be himself every day, and no one batted an eye.

Still, Grayson was an anxiety-ridden mess from years of neglect. He watched Benji with Silas, and he wanted that for himself. His heart ached with a desperate need to be snuggled and kissed. To be more than accepted but to be loved as himself. Because of Benji and Silas, Grayson knew there were people out there who might want him as is. The problem was, there was only one person Grayson was interested in, and Grayson didn’t think Finley wanted anything more than to be friends.

Finley had eighteen years on Grayson. Grayson didn’t give a shit about any of that nonsense. Finley’s dark red hair and light green eyes, combined with his sexy Scottish accent, always made Grayson blush. To be fair, Grayson always blushed. Did he mention he was a mess? Finley also had this wide chest that looked perfect to sleep on and a cuddly-looking body. Jesus, he made Grayson dream. Nights like tonight, where they sat side by side, Finley’s closeness made Grayson burn.

Finley had shown up for a few minutes over a month ago for one of Silas’ parties. For the two parties since, Finley had stayed the whole night in the play area with Grayson. They colored together and talked some. Never about anything important, but it was nice. Finley smelled like expensive cologne. His scent always beckoned Grayson closer. Still, Grayson hadn’t gotten the nerve to start a conversation. He always responded to Finley’s questions and listened while Finley spoke, but Grayson didn’t know what to say to someone like Finley. He was a neurologist and super smart. Grayson was just Grayson. He had never been special.

“I’ve been wanting to ask you something.”

At Finley’s admission, Grayson scooted closer, even though he couldn’t seem to meet Finley’s stare tonight. He kept coloring in his coloring book, hoping his move gave Finley the hint he was listening. Grayson was always listening. He just didn’t have much to say.

Thankfully, Finley took the nudge. “I was wondering if you’d possibly want to do something with me outside these parties… like go to lunch?”

At the question, Grayson found the courage to meet Finley’s stare. As always, when their eyes met, Grayson felt like a different person. It was a bit addictive. “Okay.”

A sweet smile touched Finley’s lips. “Good. I guess I should get your address or phone number so we can make plans.”

“I live here.”

Finley blinked. “You do?”

Grayson’s nervousness returned at Finley’s open surprise. He must look like such a loser compared to the men Finley interacted with daily. Grayson went back to coloring so the hood of his bunny pajamas would hide his face. He could feel his cheeks heating. Anxious tears pressed at the backs of his eyes. He hadn’t liked anyone at all in a long time. Not like Finley. Grayson hadn’t bothered with letting any crushes grow because he was different. He had to keep his secrets. Most people wouldn’t accept him for himself.

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