The Gift of Strength Read Online M.A. Innes

Categories Genre: BDSM, Erotic, M-M Romance Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 76
Estimated words: 72494 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 362(@200wpm)___ 290(@250wpm)___ 242(@300wpm)

Payton’s finally found a job that he loves, coworkers who aren’t bad-crazy, and space from his family…so taking a chance on anything that might mess with his newfound order is out of the question.

Keeping the status quo going is his primary goal in life and not even the handsome baker with the crazy family is going to change his mind. Well, hopefully, because the baker down the street is sweet, built, and naughtier than Payton could ever imagine.

Benjamin Xavier Becker —aka the baker’s son—realized young that the only way to keep his sanity was to set firm boundaries with his family and not tell them anything about his personal life.

Everything from the name he actually prefers to his passion for being a Handler is off-limits to his crazy parents, but he’s come to realize he should’ve set the bar higher. Sanity isn’t enough any longer. He’s just not sure how to change that until a cautious man with a blush on his cheeks and a wag in his step comes into his life and gives him the push he’s been waiting for.

Sometimes strength comes from within and sometimes it comes from the most unexpected places.

Author’s Let’s just say one of these cuties really likes praise, is curious about tails, and is falling for the baker down the street who has an interesting secret. Check out the author’s site for more details.

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************

Chapter 1

The Baker’s Son

They were back.

How those crazy old ladies always knew when the store was empty was beyond me. I’d honestly started wondering if they had the shop under surveillance. It was a stupid thought but it was the only somewhat logical option I could come up with. There were only so many times it could happen before it wasn’t an accident.

“Hello.” Their overly cheerful voices grated on my nerves as they called out in unison, but that was mostly because I knew how devious they were…and how nosy.

Last week they’d started asking my parents about my hobbies.


That was the last thing I needed.

Luckily, my father thought they were all senile. Every time they came in, he’d just start muttering under his breath as he wandered off and left someone else to deal with them. It was rude but they hadn’t helped their case any when one of them asked him why he was so stodgy and judgmental.

He’d taken it better than I’d expected until she’d questioned his sanity and seemed to indicate his penis must be small because he wasn’t a happy person. The logic in that argument had stumped me and I was still trying to take apart the insult, but it’d been the last straw, so now I was relegated to crazy old lady duty.

However, since that seemed to have been their goal, I wasn’t sure I should be rewarding their bad behavior.

“What can I do for you lovely ladies?” I, at least, was more professional than my father. “Are you in a pastry mood or were you looking for some bread today?”

It was late enough in the day that the selection was thin but they usually came for gossip, not food.




They all started talking at once and using every variation of my name they’d ever heard my parents use. I managed a smile and focused on the ringleader, even though I wanted to start throwing rolls at my parents for starting this mess. “Mrs. Jenkins, it seems like you’re all bright and cheerful today.”

And the biggest pain in my ass.

But since she’d probably take that as permission to grope my ass again, I kept that thought to myself.

And I stayed safely behind the counter.

She and her friends twittered like little birds as they leered, but thankfully she was the only speaker as they quieted down. “Good morning, Ben. We were just stopping by to pick up a treat for our card game tonight. What would you recommend?”

Hmm, she was entirely too appropriate.

Something was very wrong but I tried not to look too suspicious because that would just make her ask more questions. I knew that because we’d lived that sitcom moment before. “How about some cookies? They’re delicious and small enough to justify eating as many as you want while you play.”

That got eager nods and actually let us have a professional conversation for long enough that I thought I was safe.

I should’ve known better.

As I started gathering up a variety of cookies, the ringleader smiled too sweetly. “Ben, we were wondering if you knew any artists or models. We’ve met some lovely people through an art class we’re taking.”

I was a smart man.

I was a great baker.

I was a patient-as-fuck son.

I was a badass Dom.

But I couldn’t see where the trouble was coming from in the seemingly innocent inquiry. I wasn’t sure if that made me stupid or paranoid, but I wasn’t going to take any chances because the last time they’d come in, they’d asked what I thought about poly relationships and if I was more open-minded than my father.

Fuck if I was going to get myself in another mess like that again.

There’d been no right answer to that disaster of a discussion.

“I haven’t thought much about artists. I appreciate their creations but I think I’m too practical for anything like that.” They seemed to have forgotten how much artistry went into the pastries and even the cookies, so I didn’t even look in that direction as I moved over to the register.

Whatever was going on with the art class, I knew I didn’t want to get involved.

My response had a sea of frustrated-looking faces staring back at me with matching frowns, but Mrs. Jenkins tried to play it off. “They can be very refreshing, though, and they have the most interesting personalities. You know, there’s a nice young man who seems like someone you’d really get along with. We were—”

Oh, that didn’t sound good.

Thankfully, the bell over the door chimed before I had to figure out how to respond or what was weird about the guy in their art class, but as everyone looked over, I realized another can of worms had just popped open.


Amanda and Payton.

She was unpredictable and he was…he was the cutest man I’d ever met.

“Something smells good. Good morning, ladies.” For some reason, no matter what Amanda said, those dirty old women twittered like she’d said my ass was hot.