“Teach me,” Maverick whispered, eyes lowered.
Douglas inhaled shakily, overwhelmed by the trust Maverick was showing in him. Lifting his hands, he skimmed his middle fingers of each along Maverick’s skin from wrist to the end of his finger, receiving a tremble in return.
“It will be my pleasure.”
Reining in his libido because he knew what needed to be done first, he cupped Maverick’s chin with his forefinger and lifted his face to his. “Maverick, we have things to discuss before this can go any further.”
Maverick’s eyes were heavy-lidded, and it took everything in Douglas to keep from closing the gap. Douglas blinked a few times and frowned. “Sorry?”
“Please, call me Mav.”
Douglas licked his lips and pulled back, releasing Mav. “Okay. Mav, take a seat. We have things to talk about.”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
Maverick—Mav—stumbled over to the sofa opposite, which was much farther than Douglas wanted him to be, but a suitable distance to allow Douglas to think properly. When Mav sat, Douglas took a breath.
“Before we go any further, we need to decide what it is you want from this relationship. What do you like? What don’t you like? And safe words are a few questions.” Mav cleared his throat, but Douglas held up a hand. “Let me ask you one at a time, and you need to think before you answer. I will take whatever you say as truthful unless your body language says otherwise.” Mav nodded. “I think I have an idea, but tell me, what don’t you want?”
Mav gripped his own hands, rubbing the thumb of one over the back of the other as he contemplated Douglas’s question. “I don’t want to be hurt. Pain for me is just that, pain. I don’t have a high pain threshold, I don’t think.”
“I beg to differ.” When Mav raised his eyebrows in silent question, Douglas continued, “You manage to continue working when you have a migraine. Now, I’ve never suffered from them before, but I know they can be debilitating. If you have the strength to work through those, then your pain threshold is higher than you think.”
Mav tilted his head, and Douglas could see his brain whirling. “Regardless, though, I don’t like pain. I don’t find it sexy. I don’t find it arousing. I find it painful. It’s why I’ve shied away from BDSM in the past. I thought it was all about pain.”
Douglas narrowed his eyes. “What made you decide to research?”
Mav’s cheeks darkened until red stained his cheeks and neck. “After thinking about the massage and what you did, I was curious.” Douglas wasn’t sure if Mav was aware he was skimming his fingers across his own palms as he spoke, but the action heated Douglas’s blood.