Time Out of Mind:Suncoast SocietyBy: Tymber Dalton
Doyle Turner’s a psychologist specializing in addiction recovery and is a professional sober companion. He’s also a recovering alcoholic with over twenty years of sobriety under his belt. And he’s a Dom in his personal life, which he hasn’t had much of lately.
Mevi Maynard not only tests Doyle’s infinite patience, the handsome rock star is testing his self-control, too. Mevi Maynard’s rock-bottom crash follows the discovery that his manager stole his fortune. Now, Mevi’s fresh out of rehab. But if he doesn’t want to file bankruptcy, he has to stay sober for the new tour, or he’s out of the band. But what he can’t admit to Doyle—and has never admitted to anyone—is that he’s gay.
One patient Dom. One stubborn rock star. Both are really stupid men, according to their friend Tilly. Can she help the men get out of their own way and see the light, and their love for each other, before it’s too late?
I hate LA.
Over the Pacific Ocean, a haze bled out toward the western horizon, blocking a clear view of it. It didn’t help any that the sun rising behind him struggled to make its way through wildfire smoke from the latest natural disaster.
As Doyle stood on Huntington Beach early that Thursday morning and worked through his usual tai chi form, he ignored everyone around him. He’d been living in LA for five years now, transplanted from Sarasota, looking for a new start.
Then again, that was the same reason a lot of people arrived in this town. Although he wasn’t interested in acting or being in front of a camera.
And, mostly, he was still looking.
Oh, for the most part, he had that new start professionally. He’d moved out here to work for a private addiction treatment facility as one of their counselors, until a lucky accidental encounter with the business manager of a Hollywood A-list actor ended up with him doing a four-month, all-expenses-paid stint as a private sober companion during their overseas movie shoot.
At twice the salary he would have made working for the facility full-time for a year. He still worked for the facility part-time when between private SC assignments, as he was now, short hiatuses that rarely lasted longer than a month.
He’d quickly found himself in great demand for his SC services. Someone with his particular training, as well as his unique… personality type, and his growing reputation for extreme discretion and carefully protected anonymity, meant he could practically write his own paychecks.
The bigger the star, the bigger the check.
Or, in some cases, the bigger the potential scandal, the bigger the check.
Frequently, studios’ insurance companies wouldn’t cover an actor who had a troubled history with substance abuse.
That’s where he came in. He was there to ensure the actor stayed clean and sober, made their call times, and didn’t get into trouble. He was their handler and silent shadow, allowed full access to everywhere on the set and off it that his client went. If they didn’t stick to that deal, their insurance could be pulled, it could void their contract, and possibly cost them a penalty.
It didn’t hurt that Doyle was a recovering alcoholic himself, even though he’d drunk his way into recovery by the time he was nineteen and hadn’t touched it since. He knew the drill. He understood.
It especially didn’t hurt that a majority of the celebrities he dealt with were, at heart, spoiled, narcissistic submissive little weenies who needed a calm, firm hand at the helm.
That’s where being a Dom came in handy.
* * * *
When Doyle finished, he walked back to his tiny rented apartment a few blocks from the beach. This was his little bit of zen before he started his day, and a rare treat to be able to get to the beach and not have to do it indoors while working somewhere on location.
The Pacific Ocean was nothing like the Gulf of Mexico, unfortunately. Even the water here was different, cold on the warmest of days. Couldn’t just jump in and paddle around and not freeze your balls off.
Or if you did, you had to worry if there was a great white waiting out there to take a test taste of your drumstick.
I wonder if sharks think people taste like chicken?
Born and raised in Florida, he’d always felt like a fish out of water here. It’d started out more feeling like an outsider, and he thought as he met people that would change.
He didn’t fit in with the social circles, he didn’t fit in even with his own peers, for the most part. He’d left his friends back in Florida, and while he kept in touch with them privately via Facebook and e-mail, most of them were kinky.
Now, he kept to himself and had made a couple of acquaintances in the local kinky community, but due to his work he had to keep an extremely low profile. It wouldn’t do to have his clients’ trust in him ruined.
He truly missed Florida, but after his divorce, he thought the opportunity to have a clean break would be even better if he’d made it a literal one and not just a metaphorical one. He’d made that decision after bumbling around a little and failing to find his focus, his center.
Not to mention a couple of short-lived relationships.
Plus the money had been damned good. He’d received the job lead at the rehab center from a former college buddy and had decided to go for it.
▶ Also By Tymber Dalton
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