Ricochet Chapter Ten


The cast and crew had bought a huge chocolate birthday cake as a surprise for Karl – and he did look genuinely surprised; Matt didn’t think he was acting it.


“I’ve never been on such a friendly set,” Karl said, coming over to talk as Matt ate his slice of the cake.


“Really? I’ve only done a handful of other shows, so I guess I’ve got nothing to compare it with.”


“Trust me, they aren’t all like this. You guys have been so welcoming. I think it’s largely down to Daniel – as the lead, he sets the tone for the entire set, doesn’t he?”


Karl cast Daniel a wistful look, and Matt felt sorry for him. “What other shows have you done?” Matt asked, deliberately changing the subject. “I remember seeing you in that adaptation of A Tale of Two Switches a couple of years ago.”


“You saw that? It was pretty low budget, but I was proud of it.”


“I loved it, and I thought you made an awesome Nathaniel.”


“Thanks, Matt. Sadly, I’ve also been in some real crap – one has to pay the bills, after all.” Karl made a face. “Before this, I was in a show that only made it to six episodes before it was cancelled – and rightly so.”


“Bad, huh?”


“Worse – boring.” Karl grinned. “It was a sort of sci-fi thing – a dystopian vision of a universe in which nobody identifies as dom or sub. It was called Otherworld.” He traced his hand through the air like a title appearing across an imaginary screen.


Matt grinned. “Ooh – sounds kind of kinky.”


“You’d think so, wouldn’t you? But instead of going for the kinky angle, which might have been fun, they tried to do it as a sort of serious, high-minded exploration of how such a society would work.”


“And how would it work?” Matt frowned. “Are they all switches?”


“Nope.” Karl shook his head. “Most people don’t identify as dom, sub, or switch, and the minority who do have to keep quiet about it and meet up in special clubs.”


“So it’s kind of like an inversion of how things work in our world? But who collars who, then?” Matt asked, confused.


“Nobody collars anyone – that’s the point.”


“So, when a couple get serious about each other…?”


“They move in together.”


“That’s it?” Matt tried to get his head around that. “Do they even have weddings?”


“Yes – but they use rings instead of a wedding collar and belt.”


“So – who puts the ring on who? I don’t get this.” Matt wailed.


Karl grinned. “They each put rings on each other.”


“Oh. Okay. So, there are no big collaring scenes? I love collaring scenes.”


“No collarings, no leashes, no wedding belts – no dynamics at all.”


“No sharing a plate?” Matt asked. When couples in a romantic relationship became serious, they often started sharing a plate, with the dom hand-feeding the sub. Karl shook his head, and Matt thought about it for a moment. “So, if they can’t do any of those things – what was this show actually about?” he asked eventually.


Karl laughed. “Like I said, it only ran for six episodes and then it was cancelled. What shows have you done?”


“Not much – mostly little roles in crappy soaps. This is my first big break.”


“Ah, crappy soaps – I remember them well. I was once in one about a dom addicted to kink houses.”


Matt gave a guilty laugh. “Kink houses? Really?” He took a large mouthful of cake and munched on it studiously, hoping he didn’t look like someone with a secret fascination for kink houses.


Karl glanced across the room to where Rick was standing. “Is Rick doing okay?” he asked quietly. “Only he’s usually the life and soul of the party, but he’s been kind of grumpy the past few days.”


“He’s trying to be good,” Matt said, around his mouthful of cake. Rick did look grumpy. He was standing by himself, his hands thrust deep into his pockets, looking bored. Usually, he’d be the center of attention, and there would be a large group of people around him, hanging onto his every word while he performed outrageously to his audience.


“Then I guess that’s taking its toll,” Karl observed.


At that moment, Rick turned abruptly and stalked off in the direction of his trailer.


“I hope he’s okay,” Matt murmured. “He’s been through a lot lately.”


“Yeah – I saw the news – and the magazine articles.” Karl raised a meaningful eyebrow.


“Oh, please! Don’t believe anything you read in those. I went over to Rick’s place to cheer him up – I took some wine, and we ended up falling asleep on his sofa after watching an episode of Collar Crime.”


“So there’s nothing going on between you two?”


“What? No!” Matt laughed. “If you’d been here longer you’d know that me and Rick – we’re combustible. We argue all the time, and we have nothing in common. There’s no attraction there, and besides, Rick likes to play the field, and I…” He paused, unsure how to finish that sentence.


“You’re looking for a big romance?” Karl prompted gently.


“No!” Matt protested. “I mean, everyone’s looking for love – except Rick, obviously – but no, I’m realistic about that. I’m simply looking for a compatible dom to share my life with.”


“A compatible dom? Karl grinned. “You make it sound more like a job interview than finding a life partner.”


“It’d be easier if you could find someone that way,” Matt said. “You know, put an ad in the paper, interview a few people, find someone suitable and settle down with them.”


“I can’t believe a cute sub like you has any problems meeting someone.”


Matt flushed, thinking of all the doms who’d dumped him. “Maybe I don’t date the right kind of doms,” he muttered.


“Or maybe you want a dom to charge into your life and sweep you off your feet.”


Matt gazed at him suspiciously. Was he wrong about Karl’s thing for Daniel? Was Karl hitting on him instead?


“Maybe.” Matt shrugged. “To be honest, I don’t believe in all that romantic crap. I love it in the movies but in real life the best you can hope for is to find someone you’re reasonably compatible with who doesn’t drive you nuts.”


“Well, maybe – or maybe you have to be open to the possibility of it happening. You’re not likely to have a big, romantic love affair if you’re too sensible to believe they even exist.”


Matt glanced up sharply to find himself looking into Karl’s shrewd, dark eyes. No, Karl wasn’t hitting on him – he was just a very perceptive dom who knew how to read a sub. Maybe there was some hope for him with Daniel after all.


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