Today I am so pleased to welcome J.A. Rock to Joyfully Jay. J.A. has come to share an exclusive excerpt connected to the re-release of her book By His Rules. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!


A few years ago, I was tossing around ideas for a By His Rules sequel. It was a project that ultimately fell by the wayside, but I did sketch out some scenes that might go in the sequel. So I’m sharing one of those today. By His Rules is the story of two men, Aiden and Keaton, who start a domestic discipline relationship, in which Keaton has the power to punish Aiden for real life infractions—not as part of a kinky game. But Aiden makes it clear that he would like to play kinky games on occasion, in addition to the DD arrangement—something the two men are starting to explore by the end of the book. In this scene from the phantom sequel, they try out canes. Hope you enjoy!


Keaton placed the long, narrow wooden box on the bed and turned to face Aiden. “Now, six is the number of strokes traditionally associated with the cane. But you’re going to take ten for me tonight. Understood?”

“Yes, sir.” Aiden stood with his hands clasped behind his back, dick already hard under his jeans. He didn’t have much experience with canes, and even though he knew Keaton wouldn’t go past what he could take, he felt some pressure to handle this well. After all, he’d been telling Keaton for months that he was ready for rougher play.

“I’m going to use the thinnest one.” Keaton drew a long, crook-handle rattan cane from the box and plied it. “It’s very whippy. Designed to sting.” He whacked the end of it lightly against his own hand. Aiden’s ass clenched. “And it really does.”

Aiden took a deep breath. “I’d imagine, sir.”

“You know you can ask me to stop at any time. Right?” Aiden nodded, dropping his gaze to the floor. “And young man?”

Aiden started, looking directly into Keaton’s eyes.

“If you want to stop, I expect you to say so.”

Aiden nodded again.

“Tell me you understand that.”

“Yes, sir. I understand.”

“Very good.”

Aiden was having a hard time swallowing. All he could do was stare at that cane in Keaton’s hand and feel his cock pulse as it stretched the front of his underwear.

“Take your pants down, please.”

Aiden’s hands were steady as he obeyed, but the frantic pounding of his heart made him rush a little.

“All the way off,” Keaton said, watching him.

Aiden kicked his pants away.

“Underwear too.”

It was often more embarrassing when Keaton took down his pants and underwear for him. Sometimes Aiden felt a rush of power when he undressed himself in front of Keaton, knowing his body turned Keaton on, knowing he got to control how quickly or how slowly to reveal himself to his partner.

But tonight, nothing could have made him feel more submissive than taking down his briefs while Keaton stood there with the cane in his hands, waiting.

He looked at Keaton once his underwear was off. There wasn’t a hint of amusement on Keaton’s face. He looked stern and impassive, and the absence of his usual good natured smile sent a delicious shiver through Aiden. He dropped his gaze and clasped his hands behind his back once more.

Keaton stepped to the side. “Bend over the bed please. Legs hip width apart, back straight. Ass out.”

Aiden walked to the bed and bent over. He spread his legs, aware that his balls were exposed, and suddenly terrified of what would happen if the cane hit them.

He tried to breathe. Keaton knew what he was doing.

“Ass out,” Keaton repeated, his voice slightly sharper.

Jesus. Aiden was going to come before they even got started. He dipped his back and thrust his ass toward Keaton. He kept his palms flat on the bedspread and his face turned to one side.

Keaton’s hand on the small of his back made him jump. Keaton stroked up Aiden’s back, then down again.

“I’d like your hands behind your back, please. Grab your left wrist with your right hand.”

Aiden put his arms behind his back, letting his torso sink into the mattress. It was harder to balance in this position. He widened his stance slightly and grasped his wrist with the opposite hand.

“Other right,” Keaton said.

Shit. Had he really…? He was too turned on to tell his right from his left. He switched hands.

Keaton clicked his tongue. “You need to learn to follow directions.” He sounded amused. “Spread the fingers of your left hand.”

Aiden did, tensing.

Keaton rapped the end of the cane sharply across Aiden’s palm.

Aiden’s shoulders shook, and he teared up without understanding why. It stung, yes, but the pain was completely manageable.

He realized this was exactly the way he felt about disciplinary spankings.

It wasn’t the pain that provided the emotional release during a punishment. It was where his mind was. It was knowing he’d made a mistake and disappointed himself—not Keaton. Keaton didn’t get disappointed with him, at least not outwardly. But Aiden judged himself harshly, and there was something so powerful about trusting Keaton enough to correct him, knowing that he would feel forgiven afterward. That he’d feel better.

This wasn’t discipline; this was a game. But it felt like discipline. And that made it all the more exciting.

Keaton ran his palm down Aiden’s back again. He seemed to be waiting for something from Aiden.

“I’m sorry, Sir,” Aiden said.

“It’s fine.” Keaton’s voice was low and soothing.

Aiden took a deep breath. It was fine.

Keaton squeezed the fingers of Aiden’s throbbing left hand, a quick, reassuring gesture.

“You look beautiful like this. I’m going to want to do this every night.”

Aiden laughed. “Ow.”

He heard the answering smile in Keaton’s voice. “Don’t think I’m joking. You should see yourself, Aiden.”

The use of his name made Aiden feel strange. In a game like this, they were “Sir” and “young man,” or “boy.” Aiden knew Keaton meant this, and while he didn’t fully understand what about the picture he made appealed so much to Keaton, it filled him with a sense of wonder that he could please Keaton with something as simple as bending over a bed.

Keaton moved his hand to Aiden’s ass, and Aiden flinched a little. “You can ask me to stop. But unless you ask me, I’ll expect you to hold this position. Breaking position earns you an extra stroke. I won’t tolerate any excuses there.”

“Yes, sir.” Aiden never had trouble holding position. He was well-trained, and he’d been good at remaining still and quiet even before Scott.

Keaton ran his fingertips over Aiden’s skin as he spoke, raising goosebumps. “When I’m done striping your ass with this cane, I’m going to fuck you. You’re going to feel me push up against all these places that are still burning.” He ran his palm down each of Aiden’s thighs. “And I’ll want to hear how it feels.”

“Yes, sir.”

Aiden thought about bringing his hips closer to the bed and trying to rub his dick against the bedspread. He wondered what Keaton would do.

He stopped himself.

He was going to obey.

Ten strokes would be over quickly, and then Keaton would be inside him.

Keaton took his hand away and stepped back. He placed the cane against Aiden’s ass. Aiden tensed and then forced himself to relax. Keaton tapped him several times with the cane, warning or aiming, Aiden wasn’t sure.

There was a slight whoosh, a surprisingly soft snap, and Aiden turned his face into the bedspread to keep from crying out.

How could it hurt that much?

How could something that light and tiny and quiet sting so fucking much?

The stroke had fallen on the crest of his buttocks, but the pain radiated quickly downward.

He didn’t move. And didn’t breathe for a few seconds. Finally he forced himself to inhale and meet the pain head on.

He was allowed to make noise; Keaton never got upset about that. But Aiden wanted to take this quietly. He turned his face outward again, gulped, and tried to relax.

The cane struck the lower curve of his ass.

He went up on his toes. He couldn’t help it. His feet were flat on the floor a second later, and he hoped Keaton wouldn’t count that as a breach of position, because Aiden didn’t know how the hell he was going to take the next eight strokes, let alone an extra.

He closed his eyes and squeezed his right wrist, trying to give himself a sensation to concentrate on besides the bite of the cane.

The cane fell at the top of his ass again, just below the first stripe. Number four came almost immediately after, on the lower curve just above the second stripe.

Keaton was alternating, working his way toward the center of Aiden’s ass.

Aiden didn’t know if the realization made things better or worse. Now he could anticipate where the strokes would land, but there was nothing he could do to prevent or prepare for them.

They were all identical in force. They were precise too, never crossing old territory, and landing evenly across both cheeks.

Where had Keaton learned to do this?

Stroke five had Aiden with a mouthful of bedspread, biting down. What had he done all those times Scott had whipped him? Scott had broken skin. Scott had made him bleed. And Aiden had been able to lose himself in the pain. He’d needed that level of pain.

Why couldn’t he lose himself in this?

Because the cane wasn’t like a whip, or a strap. It was a pesky, stinging bastard that concentrated the pain into such a fine line that Aiden wanted to whirl around, grab it, and snap it in half.

Stroke six drove Aiden forward against the bed. It took all his willpower to right himself and thrust his aching ass out again.

He was still hard. Damn it all, some part of him fucking loved this.

Stroke seven overlapped one of the earlier strokes, and Aiden moved before he even had time to think, standing straight up and putting both hands over his ass and rubbing. He was struggling for breath, struggling not to cry, and for a few seconds he really didn’t care about Keaton’s orders, he only cared about getting the pain down to manageable proportions.

“Are we stopping?” Keaton asked. There was no judgment in his tone. It was a genuine question. But Aiden burned with shame hearing it.

He shook his head quickly. “No, sir.”

“Are you sure?”

He nodded, forcing his hands away from his ass.

“Look at me.”

Aiden turned. He was less than enthusiastic about bringing his gaze up to meet Keaton’s. But Keaton’s expression was calm.

“Aiden? Do you want to stop?”

His name again. Aiden closed his eyes. Made himself open them. “No. I’m sorry. Please, I want to keep going.”

Some small part of him hoped Keaton might be moved by his discomfort and go easy on him. After all, pain play wasn’t Keaton’s thing. He preferred taking care of Aiden, and right now Aiden was all about letting Keaton spoon feed him or whatever else Keaton wanted if he would just put down that damn cane.

“Then turn around and get back in position,” Keaton said firmly.

God. Aiden’s cock twitched at that tone. He turned around, lowered his torso onto the bed, put his arms behind his back, and pushed his ass out as far as it would go.

He did need this. He needed Keaton in charge and unfaltering and certain.

And he needed the pain.

“How many do you have left?” Keaton tapped his ass with the cane.

“Four,” Aiden said instantly. Three plus one extra.

“Count them.”

Stroke eight hit his ass dead center. “Eight,” Aiden said, his voice tight.

There was no more unmarked space on his ass, and he wondered frantically where the ninth stroke would land.

In the exact same place as the eighth. He let out a long, low moan into the bedspread. His balls pulled tight, and his dick throbbed like he was about to come. He forced himself to breathe, to maintain control, but the sting was creating a fire that made him want to beg Keaton to throw aside the cane and fuck him right now.

The tenth stroke whooshed through the air and hit the backs of his thighs. He yelped, and his whole body tensed, begging to be allowed to move, to escape. But he stayed still and let the pain wash over him.

One more.

He felt Keaton lay the cane diagonally across his ass, aiming, and he had just enough time to panic before the cane hit him exactly there, crossing all of the previous stripes.

Aiden’s knees went soft. Tears raced down his cheeks, collecting at his chin and dripping onto the bedspread. He was gripping his wrist so hard he could feel his pulse.

The pain rose in his throat, and for a second he almost felt nauseated. Then he breathed deeply and went limp.

There was nothing else he could do. He couldn’t move until Keaton gave him permission. He just had to rest there with his burning ass exposed, letting the pain roll through him in long, sharp waves.

“Stand up,” Keaton said after a moment.

Aiden did with great effort.

“Face me.”

Keaton’s expression was so different from the one he’d had moments ago. The sternness was gone, replaced by the warmth Aiden had clung to since he’d first met Keaton. He went willingly into Keaton’s arms and pressed his wet face against Keaton’s shirt.

Keaton rubbed his back, all the way down to his ass.

Aiden winced a little as Keaton’s palm moved over his welts, the touch brisk but affectionate.

“I am so proud of you,” Keaton whispered.

Aiden’s chest grew tight. He’d always been proud of the amount of pain he could take. But he’d rarely heard anyone else say they were proud of him for taking it.

He tightened his grip around Keaton’s waist and shuddered, holding back a sob.

Keaton guided him to the bed and helped him lie down. He stroked him between Aiden’s shoulder blades for a minute, and Aiden buried his face in the pillow, not wanting to see or speak.

“Be right back,” Keaton said.

Aiden drifted while Keaton was gone, images entering his mind and leaving too fast for him to track them. He wasn’t asleep, but he didn’t feel fully present in the room either.

Keaton returned and set a glass on the bedside table. “Have some water,” he ordered quietly.

Aiden shook his head.

Keaton placed a hand on his ass, very lightly, but the touch was enough to remind Aiden who was in charge. Aiden propped himself on his elbows and took the glass.


BHR_400X600Aiden Cole can be anything men want—naughty schoolboy, palace slave, virgin twink, or slutty secretary. He’s a gifted actor with a gorgeous body who gives legendary head. Aiden could have his pick of any Top in the local leather bar, but is drawn to Scott Runge—a cruel, sexy Dom who pushes Aiden to his limits, allowing Aiden to experience the excitement and danger of the BDSM lifestyle to a degree he never has before. But when Scott goes too far, injuring Aiden, Aiden withdraws from the scene completely. Until he meets Keaton Hughes.

Keaton’s looking for something he can’t find in any dungeon: A domestic discipline relationship, in which he can provide his partner with guidance, support, and loving discipline. When Keaton takes Aiden in after Aiden’s traumatic encounter with Scott, he vows not to pursue any sort of relationship with the troubled sub. But as Aiden struggles to overcome the damage Scott has done and get his life back on track, Keaton’s rules might be just what he needs.

Note: This is a revised and expanded second edition.

Warning: contains violence and dubcon.


J.A. Rock is the author or coauthor of over twenty LGBTQ romance, suspense, and horror novels, as well as an occasional contributor to HuffPo Queer Voices. J.A. has received Lambda Literary and INDIEFAB Award nominations for Minotaur, and The Subs Club received the 2016 National Leather Association-International Pauline Reage Novel Award. J.A. lives in Chicago with an extremely judgmental dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.


J.A. has brought a copy of By His Rules and a $10 Amazon gift card to give away to one lucky reader on her tour. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The tour winner will be drawn at 11:59 pm EST on September 17th.

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