Understanding

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"Welcome back, Master. Is everything alright?"

Smiling, Orion stepped into the room and calmly strode over to the group relaxing on a sofa to his left. Some of them were wearing leather similar to his own outfit, but some went further, while others had normal clothing on.

"Yes, Ariana. I just had to take care of something." He said as he got behind the mini bar and filled the orders he'd left. Most of the rooms on the second floor were devoted to slightly more physical partiers. They paid extra for his attention, but that was all he was willing to give. Everyone knew, whether they got the information straight from his mouth, or more likely, the gossips, that he didn't show physical affections to anyone but his sub. Unfortunately, everyone also knew that he didn't have one right then, so his room was far more full than before he'd let his last one go.

Jake had been sweet... and manipulative. He'd used Orion's popularity to increase his own, then cheated behind his back.

Hmph. Cheating with a dominant doesn't work. I remember the marks I make on my subs, and the ones I don't.

His heart shoved aside that memory and gave a hard jerk at the new image burned into his brain from just twenty minutes ago as it came to his mind.

Zachary...

He'd looked so vulnerable and tired lying in his bed. Even though he was too skinny and honestly clueless, Orion just couldn't help himself when he remembered he had put his collar in the nightstand drawer for safe keeping.

Damn. He doesn't even know what it means and I still did it. While he was asleep, no less!

"Mm, Master. Is that dreamy look for me?"

No, it's for my Za--- darn it. He's not yours, Orion.

Forcing himself not to shake his head, Orion gave the woman a dazzling smile and winked. "Secret, love."

He walked around the side of the bar to deliver their drinks when the woman leaned forward as he leaned over to set the tray down on the glass coffee table near them. "I wouldn't mind being your secret."

Forcing another smile, Orion sat down, allowing the woman to slide into his lap as her friends scooted closer. He enjoyed their conversation and did his best to be a good host, but at the same time he kept his hands to himself. When that group left another quickly replaced them. Being males, the new group was a little easier to relax with, but at the same time he had to be on his guard. They were much more brazen than the women and by the time they finally left around three, Orion was exhausted.

He punched out, and after checking on George at the front, he retired to his personal room. It was a relief to finally shut and lock his door, but seeing Zachary still asleep, tucked beneath his comforter, was amazing. He walked over after silently taking off his shoes, Orion slid onto the side of the bed beside Zachary, then carefully reached over to stroke his soft hair.

I'm glad you stayed.

Grinning to himself, Orion ran his thumb over Zachary's cheek bone slowly, then moved it down to his pale lips.

Some good rest and a lot more food and you'll be as good as new.

Zachary awoke to the calming sound of water raining down in the bathroom. The door was cracked, a small streak of light piercing through the dim room. He remained with his head against the pillow until the water was shut off. He had a feeling it was Orion, since he said he was the only person besides his boss that had a key, but Zachary was still uneasy. Once he saw the man he'd be able to go back to sleep...

That wasn't the case, because when he saw Orion, the man wasn't wearing a towel like he thought he might be. Sure he had one, but it was busy drying his hair, not hiding anything it normally would. Zach's mouth felt drier than the desert as he stared, eventually getting Orion's attention as the man's hands slowly came to a stop in his hair. He gave a proud smile and Zachary felt his face light up with heat.

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