Caden's Dilemma

an excerpt



Chapter One

Second Thursday in January

On Thursdays Caden Donovan had breakfast at his brother-in-law's house. This morning Danny, his brother, didn't wait long before he began to nag.

"Why don't you admit that you don't like the work?" Danny Donovan made his brother a cup of coffee. "I know you studied at John Jay but a degree in criminal justice doesn't prepare you for the boredom of the actual job."

"Who said I didn't like police work?" Caden poured a little half and half into his coffee. Caden had just graduated from the Trenton Police Academy.

"Admit it—you don't like it any more now than you did when you began at the academy. The physical training was easy for you, but on the job, the paperwork is mind-numbing. Traffic stops and accident reports are not your thing. It will be three years before you can become a detective and even then the salary is for shit."

"That's true, but what am I going to do for a living? I have no skills except for what I learned in the service and online from John Jay, and I don't want to go back to school again. Unlike you, I was never that interested." Caden sipped his coffee slowly. It was hot.

Danny cradled his mug of tea in his hands. "The John Jay College of Criminal Justice doesn't only train police officers. Security firms hire their graduates all the time. Just because you got your degree there doesn't mean you have to be a cop." Danny sat down at the kitchen table.

Gary Sayer, Danny's husband and Dom, came into the room. Danny got up from the kitchen chair and began to fix Gary and Caden breakfast.

"It's time to admit you're being a stubborn son of a bitch and take the job Bear Drummond offered you as his Director of Security at Indiscreet. He definitely wants you or he wouldn't have made you the offer the night you first met." Gary joined them at the table.

"The new building opens in eight weeks and they still haven't found someone suitable to serve as Director of Security. Brian said both Bull and Reed are pulling their hair out." Danny slipped two cheese, onion and mushroom omelets on plates for Gary and Caden, then went back to the stove. Danny turned to Caden. "You have all the qualifications for the job. You have a concealed carry permit for New Jersey. Your service experience in Iraq and Afghanistan shows you can lead men and the additional training at John Jay and the police academy give you an edge. You already passed the extensive background check and went through Bull's training with all of the implements. This is the perfect job for you." Danny sat down with his own omelet and passed a rasher of bacon and a plate of toast and home fries around the table.

"Along with a six figure salary, generous medical and pension benefits through Bear's real estate company, employment at Indiscreet comes with full membership in the club. Bear and Reed would give you a refund for the membership fees you already paid. This position can't go to an old cop looking to supplement their pension. It has to go to someone who can supervise twenty or more people and doesn't shy away from the fact that the club and its membership are gay and practitioners of BDSM. Isn't that right, Sir?"

Gary held out his cup and Danny poured him some more coffee. He looked at Caden. "It's a good deal and you are uniquely qualified for the position. If you want to move on from Indiscreet eventually and start your own security firm, the experience would be invaluable. Even if you go somewhere else, the reference would come from Bear's real estate office so it wouldn't hurt your resume."

"How bad a place can it be to work? You arranged a job for me there." Danny looked at Caden in triumph, feeling that he closed the deal.

"Caden, it would be the perfect job for you. I know it and so do you. You're just being stubborn." Danny scolded.

* * *

It wasn't as if Caden hadn't asked around. He spoke one afternoon to Bull Raleigh and his sub Jamie about the job at Indiscreet when they went with him, Danny and Gary for lunch in Lambertsville. Caden had teased Bull, "There ain't nobody here but us chickens so you can talk turkey."

"Seriously, I know you're loyal to Bear and Reed but what is it like working for them?" Caden was, as usual, peeling the label off a bottle of beer.

"When Jamie and I were getting together we created havoc at the club. The subs and their Masters helped us through a real bad time. Without them we wouldn't have the loving D/s relationship we enjoy. I can't think of three better guys to have my back than Bear, Reed and Cisco." Caden knew that Bull was a hard-ass and had been a captain in the Marines. As Bull was also former military his recommendation weighed heavily in Indiscreet's favor.

Gary felt the same way about the club and its membership. "Just look at the way they took care of your brother, who was a service sub. Bear supervised his contract negotiations and told me point blank that I couldn't be with Danny while hiding in the closet. They found me a new lawyer, Jake Cohen, also a member, and Jake and Bear hooked me up with a new agent, Sam Stein himself from Stein Ltd. in New York." Caden frowned, remembering the trouble his brother-in-law had with that shyster Marty Garber; the man who hurt his brother.

"Sam and Jake got the money Marty stole from me back in my pocket. If it wasn't for Bear steering me their way, Marty's other clients and I would still be getting robbed blind and the son of a bitch wouldn't be doing time at the state prison in Trenton right now." Gary's face turned hard.

"The best part of that is once he serves his sentence in a federal prison for embezzlement, fiduciary misconduct and larceny charges, he comes to Trenton to face charges of aggravated assault and the attempted murder of Danny. We wouldn't have gotten Danny back safely if it wasn't for the help of our friends from Indiscreet." The conversation continued around Caden. It had given him a lot to think about.

Over the month he'd stayed with Danny and Gary, Caden met the entire "sub club" as they called themselves and their Masters, finding that he liked all of them. Even more telling; the matches made at the club were ones where the subs loved their Masters and the Masters their subs which, in the D/s world was high praise indeed for the club and its membership. Brian, Jim, Greg, Jamie and Danny were generally found together at ten in the morning for tea and muffins in Indiscreet's kitchen, or one of their homes. They were all educated men and worked for a living despite, in some cases, their Master's great wealth.

Caden saw firsthand how the sub club rallied around Danny when he needed them and they rallied around Caden as an extension of their respect for Danny. Caden even lived in a house on Bear Drummond's property. The subs at Indiscreet were of the highest caliber.

From what the subs said, Greg Harris had, at one time or another, counseled all of the subs including his own brother and some of their Masters. Indiscreet certainly took care of their own.

He had his paid membership, but that left him strapped for cash while he attended the Police Academy. Now without even spending any time on the job, he knew he would hate the work. The refund of his membership fee was a large incentive.

Sitting at one of their regular Friday night dinners last week, Reed explained how they vetted the members and employees at Indiscreet. "We have three security firms who do extensive background checks. If there is a red flag, we send out a private investigator to look into the matter. That would fall under the purview of the new Director of Security. Plus two current club members have to vouch for a potential member before he can even fill out an application. You had Gary and Tom Martino. Even Brian was checked out before he came in the door and he was Bear's sub."

In that same conversation Bear said, "This job is important. We need the membership to know that both their identities and proclivities will be protected at all costs. We can't afford a security breach. That would decimate the membership. Because we are able to keep our member's secrets, we remain viable and continue to grow."

After Caden joined Indiscreet, he knew he didn't just want to play. He wanted a sub of his own. When he looked at the salaries of the Trenton Police Department and the amount of time it took to get promoted, he was thrice the fool for burning through his savings by going to the academy before he found out what the job really entailed. He usually wasn't that pigheaded or stupid. Danny and Gary thought it was PTSD.