master eb's spirit

Exclusive first chapter from ty dehner's holiday themed novel
now available worldwide for Amazon Kindle and in print

Christmas Eve

This has happened before

Many times, in fact, as this night seems to bring out the mystical dimensions of our human minds. Most never share their actual experience, but those around the subjects of this night's events notice a change in their friend or relation. There is a learning that these souls go through as they are given a chance to shift their lives, catch up or make amends to something they have done in their past. They begin their nighttime journey, skeptics of what they are witnessing, convinced that they are in a dream. As day breaks, these individuals have gone through a life-changing event where they become firm believers of their new destiny, vowing to change and build the best life they can.

This night was one of those nights, as it was Christmas Eve once again. Being that it is London, it is cold, dark, damp and actually snowing to provide a bit of festive atmosphere for the holiday season. Being it is December, darkness falls in London in the afternoon this time of year. It makes the cloudy day even more dreary as people go about their business, preparing for their holiday, gathering gifts and food as they wind down their evening.

Layers of clouds lay over the huge metropolitan city of millions. The clouds are thick in three layers, with the stars going unseen high above, with the lowest clouds laying like angel hair on a Christmas mantel display. The city lights glow under the soft puffs that lay like a blanket on the capital.

North of the great Big Ben that pokes through the blanket of winter, is a small deserted street in Soho where the falling snow floats lazily under the streetlamps that line the cobblestone. The sound of heavy boots is heard making their way down Great Chapel Street. As he steps into the glow of the streetlamp, Ebenezer Scrooge's clothing has a shine to it. Part of it is because of the snow melting as it settles on his shoulders, but it also shines as he is in full leather. Leather that a gay leatherman wears, a leatherman that is confident and in control of his world.

With his hands tucked into the pockets of his classic motorcycle-style leather jacket, the brass zippers reflect the light as he passes under their glow. The always immaculate Wesco boots he wears have become coated in the grime that snow brings with it, the salt from the road crew and the general dirt that lives on the street. These boots were custom made for this leatherman, known as Master Eb in the community. The master purposely wore these boots this night as the waffle soles provide extra grip on the small patches of ice developing as the temperature falls below zero (Celsius).

Yes, Eb was a leatherman; he was proud of what he had built of his life as he would spend another Christmas Eve in his local pub before returning home, then sleep until the bells of Christmas rang in the morning. It was fucking cold on this night, but he knew he would find warmth in the pub he was headed to.

It was indeed a spirited night, as it was dark because of the lowering cloud cover, turning to fog. Making his way down the cobblestones, the fog seemed to be enveloping the leatherman as the familiar tones of the Great Bell in the Elizabeth Tower echo in the distance. This provides Master Eb some comfort, for no matter the time or weather, that sounds reminds him that he is home, no place else he would want to be.

With the fog lightly floating down the small street, it starts to surround the leatherman and he makes his way with a purpose to his favorite pub. Eb doesn’t really notice the growing fog around him as his moist breath creates a temporary little cloud of its own before his face. Eb has a handsome face, with a tight dark goatee with flecks of gray, his blue eyes dart around checking out the buildings he walks past every weekend night as he makes his way to the pub. Under his leather Muir cap, his salt and pepper hair is cropped closely, with his neatly trimmed eyebrows sitting at the edge of his leather cap. The heavy leather he wears hides his well-toned body, as he regularly works out in his home gym.

The fog increases around the man without his notice, his boots clomping on the damp pavement. As he moves forward his shadow falls upon the flats that line the street, the shadow glides towards and away from him. As the Master passes one of the doorways, his shadow cast his silhouette, but behind the silhouette there is the shadow of an arm reaching for him, some chain hanging from the steel shackle that is locked on the wrist of this shadow. Moving forward, Eb’s shadow shrinks and in the next plane of light, it is only the leatherman’s dark shadow on the flat window.

Not paying attention to the shadow that he casts, Eb makes a turn on Noel Street as he is now heading west towards Hanover Square. The small shops along the street have multi-coloured Christmas lights in the windows, some of the upper-level windows have trappings of the festive holiday season. Eb doesn’t take in this festive atmosphere, focused on cutting through the bitter cold of London and placing his leather-covered ass on his stool in his pub.

Once again his shadow is cast on the walls of the small kabob shop that is closed for the night. There is another shadow of a head this time, with a steel collar and chain hanging from the collar. The head casts a shadow in the shape of a dog head as it seems to follow the leatherman, with Eb maintaining his movement forward. Knowing this route well, Eb looks up at the right moment to see the small wooden sign for his destination pub, The Regents Boot.

Reaching his destination, Eb scoffs at the single strand from Christmas lights that hang over the weathered sign, positioned right above the riveted metal door that allows entry into the pub. A small clump of snow drops from the top of the sign as a gust of wind makes the sign sway slightly. The snow plops on the right shoulder of Eb’s leather jacket, splashing him as the snow is slushy. Without turning his head, Eb’s blue eyes look over at the slush on his fine leather, a scowl growing on his face. Pulling his left gloved hand out of his pocket, Eb slides the slush off his shoulder, then quickly grabs the door handle, pushing in and entering the pub.

The stairway leads deep inside and below the street level as the door closes behind him. Red lights provide the stairs with illumination as Eb makes his way down. There is the sound of music, men singing holiday tunes in a lively, festive style, getting louder as the leatherman arrives at another door, wooden this time, with the pub behind it. Hearing the festive tune, Eb groans, not appreciating the holiday spirit. Closing his eyes to provide himself the strength to enter the pub, Eb has done this many times, focusing on his pleasure of the fine beverage he will drink to warm his soul this cold night. Eb takes hold of the door handle with his gloved hand, turning it and entering the pub.

Coming through the door, Eb takes in the familiar sight of his home pub. The men and a few women are in a festive mood this Christmas Eve enjoying their singing in harmony, while hoisting their drinks as the tune ends. Many patrons are dressed in their finest fetish of leather, rubber, uniforms, and sports gear.
Upon entering Master Eb notices a fine young man that wears a heavy leather harness on his well-defined chest, his pierced nipples reflect the light from the ceiling. Smiling at Master Eb, the young man with a shaved head and septum ring asks for the five-pound cover charge.

A bit annoyed, Eb is prepared, as he pulls out a fiver from his leather jacket, quickly handing it to the doorman. As his hand pulls back, Master Eb swipes across the chest of the dark-skinned man, which elicits a jerk and a meeting of their eyes. Seeing no hesitation from the man, the leatherman moves his gloved hand back to the man’s tit, slightly squeezing it. Wincing with the light pain, Eb asks, “You’re new here, aren’t you?”

Gritting his teeth, the man in the harness responds, “No Sir, I’ve been coming here for a long time. I know you are an established leather Master, though.”

A bit embarrassed for not noticing this man during his other visits, Eb brushes it off as he is a busy man and can’t be bothered to remember every little leather shit he encounters. Master Eb squeezes the tit in his grip very tightly to prove his power as the man hisses through his teeth, his eyes closing. Just as Eb is getting into causing the pain in this young man, the door opens and two men in rubber enter the pub.
Quickly releasing the boy’s tit from his grip, Eb steps back then starts to make his way to the bar.

“Perhaps I can visit with you later Sir?” asks the boy. Eb just waves his hand as he proceeds away, not even looking back at the man he was just toying with.

As Master Eb makes his way into the pub, the crowd quiets, as they recognize the established leather master who comes to the pub several times a week and holds court from his favorite stool. As he proceeds to the bar, the people part, no one making eye contact with him, most just want to avoid connection with this man.

Arriving at the bar, Eb places his hands on the brass rail while waiting for the barman. Ordering his usual bitter, the leatherman leaves a five-pence coin without acknowledging the barkeep, who smiles as Eb turns away. This barkeep is used to serving the leatherman who is known to be notoriously cheap. Taking the coin the barman puts it in the register and moves on to the next customer.

Eb scans the pub to see what might pique his interest this Christmas Eve. He scoffs at the festive lights and trimmings that the owners have decorated the pub with. Seeing nothing of interest, he moves to his favorite spot where he spends the long hours into the early morning. This coming morning will be Christmas, but it is just another morning for Eb.

Once the leatherman arrives at his well-worn barstool that sits in a small alcove next to a ledge that runs along a wall opposite the bar, Eb plants his leather-covered ass, taking a sip of his bitter, with his right foot settling on the stool rung. As Eb removes his Muir cap, placing it on the ledge next to him, he scans the pub as the singing has been replaced by music from the electronic jute box, currently playing Elton John’s Step into Christmas.

Most of the guys in the bar pay no attention to the fixture they have seen every weekend night for the past few years. Occasionally, one of the new guys checks out Master Eb as he wears his leathers well. His tall Wesco Boss boots are custom made for Eb, with tall shafts that his leather trousers are tucked into just below his knees. These boots are of the engineer style, with the buckle strap across the instep.
Eb's leather pants were custom-made for him in the United States by the old school leather makers Langlitz out of the Rose City of Portland. This pair of Rangers are made of soft, yet sturdy cowhide leather in all black. A throwback to the motorcycle riding pants of the 1940’s they are of peg fitting on his legs that slide into his boots with a blousing at his calves. Often they are referred to as breeches, Eb enjoys the authoritative look that these leathers provide him. Eb is proud of his locally made Lewis Leather Lightening jacket, keeping him warm on this cold night. The brass zippers got their work out on this night, as the leatherman pulled them all the way to his neck to keep the freezing air out. His hands are protected by a pair of lined Lewis Leather Eight-Ten leather gloves, which he wears even in the warm inn.

As Eb takes another drink of this beverage, a longtime acquaintance comes to this leatherman, slapping Eb on the shoulder causing Eb to spill a bit of his bitter.

“Merry Christmas, Ebenezer!” Fred states robustly with a hearty spirit.

Eb is not comfortable with Fred touching him, annoyed by the spilling of his drink with a little of it splashing on his leathers. Eb returns his bitter to the ledge, slightly turning his head to this burly man, looking at him coldly. Fred doesn’t care, he is used to the snarly nature of Ebenezer.  

Dressed in snug blue jeans that go over his heavy logger boots in black with red stitching on the soles, Fred is in the holiday spirit with a red and black flannel shirt, his leather jacket open to show his barrel chest with a black bush coming at the top below his neck. Fred is a few years younger than Eb, with a jet black beard that is bushy covering nearly all his face, with his glowing smile parting the whiskers. He keeps his hair in a close crop, making his face hairy and his head nearly bald.

Fred once again provides a seasonal greeting to Eb, his face showing his pleasure for this season. Master can’t be bothered, so he takes his gloved hand and unzips his leather jacket. Pulling his jacket open to reveal a basic black t-shirt with a statement in gold lettering that states what Ebenezer thinks of Christmas. The shirt reads:

Bah Humbug!

Seeing this shirt actually makes Fred chuckle, “Oh, come on Eb, it’s the holidays, time to be festive.  Even you must have a joyous Christmas memory!”

Eb snorts with annoyance at how happy Fred is.  Fred is much too open and happy for Eb’s taste.  Eb takes a drink from his bitter after taking it from the shelf. Seeing that his drink glass is not even half full, Fred offers, “Can I get you another beer?”

Eb waves that it isn’t needed. “I haven’t even finished this yet!”

Once again being turned down by Eb, Fred takes a drink from his bottle of beer, turning to look at the others in the pub. Seeing someone he knows, Fred waves heartily and lips “hello” and “love you” to the person in the distance. As the moment silence continues to be awkward, Fred leans on the ledge, placing his bottle on it. Then something comes to his mind that he has meant to speak with Eb about.

“Oh, before it gets late, I have a question for you, Eb.”

Eb leans back on his stool, crossing his arms as he can’t wait to hear what Fred wants to ask him.

Fred can see that he is working with a stone wall, but he continues anyway, “Would you be interested in a donation this Christmas to the Rainbow Family Center?”

“I can’t think why I would, but what the fuck is that?” Eb responds coldly.

“I’ve talked about it before.”

Eb interrupts, “Apparently when you talked about it I wasn’t listening.”

Fred closes his eyes, maintaining his cool as he truly wants to help this group. “The Center helps kids and families that are dealing with HIV.  Mostly it is Gay and Lesbian families.”

Eb pauses as Fred completes his sentence. Being silent for a moment gives Fred some hope, but it is dashed when Eb responds, “No, I think not.”

This doesn’t stop Fred, “Oh, come on Eb, it’s Christmas! These families deserve some joy in their lives at least one day this year.”

Eb doesn’t look at his friend, his arms still crossed, he spots a hot little fucker in leather chaps and a studded cod piece, wearing black army boots. With his attention on the guy in chaps, Eb speaks to Fred, “They should work harder if they are in need. I worked hard for what I have and don’t feel that I need to give handouts.”

Not wanting to sound desperate, Fred gives it another try, “Of course, you have. I’m not asking for a handout. Just a little holiday cheer and for you to be in the giving spirit this season!”

Eb turns his gaze to Fred, looks down at the statement in gold letters on his black shirt, and returns to Fred with a smile. His eyebrows arched.

Fred frowns, “I get it, can’t blame me for trying.”

Eb raises his bitter in salute to Fred’s effort of trying to pry some money out of him. Fred takes a sip of his beer as the two are silent again.

As the two struggle to continue their discussion a lanky tall shaved head guy approaches Master Eb. As Eb is taking a sip of his bitter, he spots what has to be a young man in a neoprene puppy hood of black and red, wearing snug-fitting Adidas football trackies with a matching jacket and a pair of bright white Stan Smiths with red laces. Eb looks over this man standing before him, wondering what the hell has stepped into his little part of the pub. Fred leans on the ledge as he watches the tear down of this young man in front of the leatherman.

The leather master crosses his arms at this puppy standing before him, giving him a good glare. After seeing the man in leather reaction, the puppy boy pivots, leaving the two men to themselves. Fred smiles as he appreciates the young man's style exposing his submission as a dog in the community. But as Fred watches the dog boy make his way to another side of the pub, Fred's memory comes awake with thoughts about something involving his friend.

Turning to Eb with a concerned look, Fred is apologetic, “Oh shit, Eb, I’m so sorry.”

“Sorry about what?” asks Eb as he has no clue what Fred could be apologizing for, other than having the balls to ask him for money.

“I totally forgot that Jacob passed away two years ago, Christmas Eve.” Fred looks at his friend, wanting to touch him for comfort but knows that Eb wouldn’t appreciate that gesture.

Eb looks at Fred with a powerful stare, one that shows the leatherman’s disgust with Fred for bringing up such a thing. Coldly, Eb responds, “Yes, he did.”

Eb shows no emotion about the death of his boy, moving his gaze out to the patrons of the pub. Yes, Eb did care about Jacob as they were together for a long time, but that is the past for Eb. There is no reason to harp on the loss, as there are other slaves to find out there.

After another long moment of silence, Fred speaks,  “I’m surprised you are here this evening.  But I suppose you really didn’t want to be alone.”

Eb places the bitter back on the shelf, a bit annoyed that Fred has the need to discuss the death of Jacob. “I’ve been alone for a long time now. It is nothing new.”

Fred looks at Eb with a touch of pity for this man, “You shouldn’t be alone, Eb.”

Eb looks at Fred, now getting perturbed about Fred’s need to discuss his past slave, like it is any of his business. Eb snaps, “I’m not alone, am I?”

Fred sees that Eb is staring daggers at him, understanding Eb’s point and nods, stepping back a bit.  Fred takes a drink of his beer and looks around the bar.  Then a new thought comes to him. “Perhaps this Christmas you will have a Christmas miracle and find the boy that is meant to serve you.”

Eb chuckles at Fred’s quick pivot to another subject that is none of his business, as well as being very naive. But he’ll entertain Fred’s thought. “There might be a boy out there that can provide me what I need. One that will be rewarded by serving me.”

Fred nods, “Oh yes, I agree!”

As Eb looks back at him, Fred realizes that he is being toyed with.  Fred pauses for a moment then starts to be more serious. “Heaven knows Jacob was a boy like that.”

Fuck, this asshole just doesn’t stop, Eb thinks in his head. But the leather master does think back to his time with Jacob. “In the beginning he was, but over time he focused too much on what he wanted from me instead of what I required.”

Glad to have Eb actually sharing a thought, Fred makes a comment, “But you two were together for a long time.”

Eb nods, “Perhaps too long. He didn’t understand what a perfect boy was and began to want to be more into being a puppy. While cute, I require a man to submit to me, not someone wanting to be an animal.”
“It wasn’t perfect, but can it ever be?” asked Fred.

Eb looks at Fred, “Of course, I require perfection. Why should I have anything less in a slave? It takes confidence in oneself to take ownership of a slave. A potential slave should be confident in himself to submit to a man like me.”

Fred doesn’t agree with Eb’s notion of what a slave should be, “I honestly can’t see that ever happening. Though you did come close with Tim.”

Eb pauses and remembers his relationship with Tim. That was one slave that took the leather master’s heart, but Eb has never shared or discussed that relationship, having put it deep inside his soul. Eb continues the discussion about Jacob instead, “Jacob was a good boy at times, but it wouldn’t have lasted. That’s why it ran its course.”

Fred realizes that he shouldn’t have brought all this up, Eb is very opinionated in his ideas of a power exchange relationship, which is vastly different from most. “Sorry, I shouldn’t have brought up his memory tonight.”

“And yet you did.”, Eb curtly states as he stares down the man standing beside him with a judgment of making a mistake. Fred looks down at the floor, taking a step back turning his attention to the pub's interior.