Tied Up With A Bow

by Jane Davitt

Many thanks to Wesleysgirl for beta reading this story.

Jim flinched away from another Santa ringing a bell, this one's suit a particularly garish red. His senses felt assaulted this time of the year; the ever-present music, carols jingling discordantly and drained of anything like the emotion they'd aroused in him as a child; the choking, cloying stink of cloves and cinnamon sprayed into the air -- even Blair had wrinkled his nose in that one store, his eyes watering as much as Jim's -- and the dazzle-bright of lights.

But the Santa suits were the worst, for some reason Jim couldn't quite pin down. There was something about that much red in one place that had him hovering on the edge of a zone and Blair wasn't always there to snap him out of it. He'd taken to walking along with his head down, studying the puddles and the sidewalk until he reached the safety of his truck and, soon after, the haven of the loft.

Blair had shrugged when Jim suggested that maybe this year they should decorate with just the few cards they both received and one sprig of mistletoe just for the hell of it. "Fine by me," he said. "Hanukkah's over, so I'll celebrate with you as much or as little as you like. Anthropologist here; I can blend in with any culture."

"Just don't take notes on how I make the eggnog," Jim warned him. "It's a secret family recipe and Grandma Ellison would rise from her grave if I shared it."

"Oh, please. It's rum. Lots and lots of rum. Joel was staggering after just two glasses last year."

"It might be rum," Jim conceded. "And now I have to kill you. It's a shame, but what can I do when the family recipe is at stake?"

And the subsequent assault on Blair's ribs as he was tickled into squirming, gasping submission, had ended very nicely, thank you, even if Jim was certain his grandmother wouldn't approve of anything he'd done to Blair once he'd stripped him down and begun to apologize the best way he could for being a sadist with fingers like fucking steel, Jim; look at the bruises.

Jim had looked and found a few faint, already fading marks that he'd kissed better. They'd been on Blair's sides and Blair had complained that Jim's stubble had scraped him, which meant more kisses lower down. That had led to more scratching, and more movement in a southerly direction, until his mouth had brushed against something hard and hot and solid and Blair's complaints had become breathless incoherencies, punctuated with 'please' and pleas as Jim had abandoned kissing in favor of licking and sucking and very gentle biting.

Knowing Blair was probably at home and waiting for more of the same, or a variation on the theme, gave Jim the strength to avert his eyes from Mr. Ho-ho-ho, and he made it back to the loft without suffering more than the warning tightness across his forehead that signaled an approaching headache. Maybe a hot bath would help, or Blair's hands, gentle, firm, massaging the back of his neck… yeah.

Feeling better already, lost in anticipatory daydreams, it wasn't until he emerged from the lift that the noise level coming from behind the loft door really registered.

The loft was full of people, none of whom Jim recognized, except for the three women and one man Blair had once dated; those he picked out within thirty seconds of walking in, and all of them were within ten feet of Blair and way, way too close to the solitary sprig of mistletoe dangling jauntily from a rafter.

Rainier people, not cops, with the kind of dips and chips you'd expect people like that to have scattered all over his tables and counters in lopsided, homemade pottery dishes. Jim sniffed the air suspiciously -- that had better be herbal tea from a teabag, not some weird junk with magic mushrooms ground up in it. And who the hell drank tea at a party?

He eyed the overflowing coat rack and hung his jacket in its usual place after removing four other coats from the hook and dumping them unceremoniously on the floor. Because he wasn't entirely a jerk, he made sure they were more or less out of the way of any passing feet. Then he pushed his way through the crowd, doling out tight smiles and barely perceptible nods of greeting, and wondering what would happen if he pulled out his gun and fired a warning shot. Not that anyone would hear a gunshot over the music and the even louder racket of thirty or forty people all talking at the same time.

Conversation, it wasn't. For that, at least half of them had to be listening, right?

He got a beer from the fridge -- the last cold one -- beating out a skinny guy with a stud in his nose who'd been reaching for it. The man met his warning glare with a limpid smile and a purse of his lips that might have been a blown kiss. Jim, partially revived by that first, perfect swallow, returned it with a curled lip snarl and watched with some satisfaction as the man took a startled step backward and collided with a woman with hair spray-painted in red and green stripes who, once jostled, staggered forward to bump someone else's elbow…

Jim had always enjoyed lining up dominoes and then flicking the first one.

He took another sip from his beer and then, the bottle swinging from his fingers, he went to confront Blair, who had seen him come in, oh, yes, he had, but who had cravenly ducked behind two blondes Jim thought of as the Heavenly Twins, even though they were just friends and not related. Leggy, brainy, stacked; they'd have been perfect girlfriends if they'd ever agree to split up, but they always double-dated. Before Jim and Blair had gotten tired of flirting with each other and moved to something a little less frustrating, like fucking every chance they got, and necking like goddamned teenagers, they'd taken the girls out on a date.

Disaster. The one Jim had his eye on wanted Blair, and the one Blair was drooling over had a thing for authority figures. Jim supposed he qualified, but he liked to think he had more to offer than a crew-cut and a gun. The evening had ended in a sticky morass of silences and brittle smiles, and a thwarted, horny Blair hadn't spoken to Jim for two endless hours before going to bed.

Then, an hour later, just as Jim had been dropping off into a restless, grumpy sleep, Blair had started to giggle and Jim had relaxed, smiling, too, because, yeah, it had been funny, in a 'never again' kind of way.

Using Susan and Sarah as human shields now was just low, though.

Jim extracted Blair from the crowd by the simple method of grabbing Blair's elbow as he passed him and not letting go as he walked toward the balcony door, flung open to let in some cooler, if damp, air. The rain, pattering down in a determinedly persistent way, meant that they had the balcony to themselves. Jim kicked the door closed and put himself between Blair and the only way of escape.

"Hi, Jim."

"Blair," Jim said, matching banalities. He sucked down another mouthful of beer and stared hard at Blair, looking for enough contrition that he could justify manhandling him into the darkest corner of the balcony for a welcome home kiss. Not that Blair could buy complete absolution with his tongue, no way, but Jim was willing to let him try. Sadly, the only expression Blair's face was wearing was one of mild irritation.

"Is there a problem?" Blair went on. "Because, you know, Jim, you were kinda rude back there."

"Rude? I was rude?" Jim gave a hollow laugh. "Correct me if I'm wrong, Chief, but isn't that my home filled with your friends I just walked through? Your noisy as hell friends, dripping dip all over my fucking floor, hanging their coats on my hook, and --"

Partway through his tirade he heard how petulant he sounded and wanted to stop, but he continued instead, the momentum taking him to a place he really didn't want to be, with Blair's eyes brimful of disappointment and hurt.

"I thought by now it was our place," Blair said when Jim dried up and was looking past Blair's shoulders at the distant glitter of moonlight on the water, hating himself. "And I thought that when you said I could host this year's departmental party here, you meant it. Sorry for assuming you were serious about something you said when we were fucking. I won't make that mistake again."

That jolted Jim out of his guilt. "I said that?" He shook his head. "No way."

Blair closed his eyes and recited, "'Sure, what the hell, invite the whole freaking university, just get your ass over here, will you? My dick's freezing and I want to put it somewhere hot.'"

Jim contemplated hurling himself over the balcony, but there was a slim chance that he would survive so he decided against it. "Blair, I'm --"

"Sorry. Yeah. You'd better be." Blair's eyes darkened dangerously. "I'm not going to argue about this while we -- we Jim, have guests, but if you don't get in there and be charming until we kick the last one of them out, I'll be leaving with the twins."

Jim opened his mouth, caught Blair's stony glare, and nodded meekly.

The next two hours were hell; unadulterated, undiluted torture. Who knew being charming was so difficult? But he smiled and listened -- no one was interested in anything he had to say anyway -- and he only came close to breaking when the guy who'd had designs on his beer asked him if he and Blair ever did threesomes.

That guy had been the first one to leave and the fact that he walked through the door under his own steam rather than propelled by Jim's boot was due more to a warning glare from Blair than anything else. Jim was somewhat consoled by the fact that once he'd gone, other people began to drift toward the door, too. Although the empty food bowls and drained wine bottles might have had something to do with it.

By nine, the loft was empty, and without a word Jim began to clean up the mess, assisted by an equally silent Blair. It wasn't an entirely unfriendly silence; Blair seemed to be over the worst of his anger and Jim felt that he'd more than made up for earlier so his conscience was reasonably clear. They just didn't seem to have anything to say to each other.

When the last dish had been dried, with the ones belonging to Blair's co-workers neatly stacked in a box, and the last crumb swept up, the last sticky ring wiped away, Jim folded his arms across his chest and met Blair's eyes. "For the record, next year you do this someplace else, okay?"

"If I'm even here," Blair snapped back.

Jim closed his eyes and counted to three, which was as far as he could get before the words just had to be said. "Okay, now you're the one who needs to apologize, Blair."

"I don't think so."

"I do." Jim gestured around him. "Look, Blair, I might have said you could do this, but that was, what, a month ago? And it's been a busy month. You didn't mention it again, you sure as hell didn't warn me this morning, and you can fucking look at me when I'm yelling at you, okay?"

"You're not yelling," Blair said, his voice curiously flat and stifled. "You're just -- you sound -- oh, fuck, not now -- " He started to back away, his face screwed up in concentration, talking fast, tripping over words and feet. "Look, I'm sorry, really sorry, and you're right, totally, completely -- you were an asshole when you came in, but you had a right to be, and I guilt tripped you into --" The door of his old room closed behind him and Blair's voice floated out. "Into being nice and I'm sorry about Justin hitting on you -- us -- and I never told him about us, I swear and I -- God --"

Jim didn't bother knocking and Blair's room had never had a lock. He knew what Blair was doing and it wasn't anything he should be doing in the middle of the worst argument they'd had in months. He walked into Blair's bedroom and watched Blair moan and scramble back across the bed, his zipper halfway down, his hand wedged inside it.

"You can't think I wouldn't have noticed you jerking off, even if the door was closed," he said after a moment when Blair's deer in the headlights expression showed no signs of fading. "Anyone would be able to hear you."

"I wasn't going to jerk off," Blair muttered, his face flushed. "I was going to smack some sense into it until it went down."


"Stupid dick." Blair was looking down when he said it so Jim didn't take offense. "Think you walking in did the trick, though."

"I hope that's not going to happen often, or it's going to play hell with our sex life." Jim leaned against the doorframe and then sighed and walked over to the bed. Blair made room for him to sit down and in the process zipped his pants up again which didn't improve Jim's mood.

"You got hard because I was yelling at you?" Jim asked. He kept his voice mild with an effort. "I can't say I've noticed that reaction before."

"Whole new and very recent development," Blair said, addressing his words to a mask on the wall. "And it's not like you yell at me often."

Jim picked at a loose thread on the bedcover. "So, earlier, outside on the balcony…?"

"No." Blair swallowed. "I was just mad at you then. Not a twitch, not a flicker. But just, in there -- oh, man."

"Huh." Jim considered that. "Okay."

"That's it?" Blair said as Jim got up.

"What do you want me to say?"

"I don't know! You could jump me and we could take care of the problem -- and it's back, like you didn't know -- and get on with the make-up sex."

"We haven't made up yet," Jim pointed out. "I suffered for two freaking hours at your party; how're you going to make that up to me?"

"Sex," Blair said confidently. "Man, that's like the universal panacea."

Jim remained by the bed but didn't sit back down again. Something was telling him that there was more to this conversation than the two of them working their way to a truce. He studied Blair. Aroused, yeah; hell, that was obvious. Blair's erection was visible from space and he was lying sprawled out in a way that drew Jim's gaze right to the spot marked X-rated.

But nervous, too, despite the surface bravado, and if there was one area of his life Blair was usually easy with, it was sex.

"Sex," Jim said contemplatively. "Are we talking anything goes, here?"


"Nothing off-limits?"

"Absolutely nothing." Blair frowned. "Well, almost nothing, but I like to think I know you well enough to be able to say 'nothing' and know you're not going to ask for something that --"

"Relax, Chief." Jim waved Blair to silence. "I'm not going to be asking you for anything." Before Blair's face could crumple into a disappointed, thwarted pout, he added, "I want you to tell me what you want me to do to you. I'm not saying I will, but I want to know, and anytime it's come up, you've always lied."

"They weren't lies!" Blair protested.

"They weren't the whole truth, either," Jim said and made his voice implacable and stern, just to see… oh, yeah. Blair liked that. He watched Blair's hand hover over the straining bulge in his jeans and kept his grin internal.

"I tell you, put myself out there, and you might still say no?" Blair didn't look happy about that.

"I might. Or I might say yes." Not a chance he'd say no. If it got Blair hot -- hotter -- Jim was going to try it, at least once. Like Blair, he was reasonably certain that he was on safe ground; Blair wasn't going to ask for anything too extreme; it just wasn't his style. "You'll just have to trust me."

"So telling you a fantasy is like my punishment for making you be nice?" Blair asked dubiously. "That doesn't seem fair. After all, you were the one who --"

"In about a minute, you're going to have convinced yourself I'm the villain again, aren’t you?" Jim chewed his lip in thought and then launched himself at Blair in a smooth dive, capturing his wrists and pinning them over Blair's head to the bed. Blair squirmed wildly under him, his body arching up, panting for breath.

"Jim, what the hell?"

Jim grinned down at him and bent his head until his mouth was almost touching Blair's. "Tell me."


He ran the tip of his tongue over Blair's mutinously closed-tight lips and got a tiny quiver in response. "You'll never get it unless you ask, babe. And if you think I'd let you ask someone else, you don't know me as well as you say you do."

"Possessive asshole."

"You got that right. Which is why Justin's lucky he got to leave in one piece."

"You wouldn't have laid a finger on him just for asking, and we both know it," Blair said. He arched up again, this time doing it slowly, his erection nudging Jim's stomach. "Still turns me on to hear you say it, though."

"God, you are one fucked-up, kinky guy," Jim said with a grin. "Now tell me before I start guessing."

"Yeah, I've probably given you enough clues, haven't I?" Blair tilted his chin and kissed Jim, his mouth warm and spicy from a chili dip Jim had been able to smell across the loft. The remnants on Blair's lips imparted a not unpleasant tingle to his own. "I'd really, really get off on you spanking me. Cuffed," he added, when Jim didn't reply, his thoughts chaotic. "Or tied to something. Or over your knee. Nothing too out there; just your hand, and you want me to call you 'Daddy' and I'm so gone, seriously, and don't tell me I've been a bad boy, because I don't need that, either, just a plain, simple --"

"Blair --" He'd been trying to interrupt him but the words had gotten stuck in his throat. "Blair -- I don't think -- God, I don't think I can do that."

"What?" Blair looked stunned and his face was scarlet now. "Oh, that's just -- Jim, I just told you something I've never told anyone and you're blowing me off? Thanks for nothing."

Jim rolled off Blair and lay beside him on the narrow bed. "I'm sorry. I thought -- hell, I don't know what I thought. Some role playing maybe, you as a suspect, me as a cop --

"That counts as role play? I don't think so."

"Shut up, Blair. And I'd have made an effort, but that -- Blair, you want me to hurt you and I don't think I could." Visions of red swam in front of his eyes. "And red just isn't my favorite color right now."

"What? Oh, the Santa costumes, right." Blair sounded less annoyed now which was something, Jim supposed. "It wouldn't be hurting me, Jim."

"Yes, it would." Jim felt the muscle in his jaw jump and tried to stay relaxed before they started arguing again. "I hit you and it'll hurt. I do it gently and I might as well not bother. You want it to hurt, dammit."

Blair turned and propped himself up on one elbow. His hand ran over Jim's chest in a coaxing, reassuring caress. "I guess I do. Put like that, I'm wondering why I want it, but I know I do. Guess this is the part where you call me a freak, huh?"

"No." Jim didn't have to think about that. "I've seen freaks and you're not one of them. And I know you're not asking for anything dangerous and the most it'd leave you with is a sore ass and a couple of bruises, but I still can't get past even that. Not when it's you."

"You bite me," Blair said, reasonably enough. He pulled up his T-shirt. "See?"

Jim stared at the mark he'd made on Blair's chest and remembered how it'd felt to make it. He'd had Blair's cock deep in him, riding him as Blair drove up into him in slow, languid strokes. He'd been a sweating, trembling mess, snarling at Blair to just fuck him, and Blair's hands had held him still and made him take it. He'd writhed through every maddening thrust, half loving it, but he'd wanted Blair to move and he'd bent over and set his teeth in Blair's flesh, sucking and biting until the skin had bloomed and softened, hot and wet, and Blair had cried out.

He'd gotten fucked then. Gotten his ass hammered, in fact, and he'd been so wrung-out afterwards that he hadn't gotten around to asking Blair if he'd minded being used as a chew-toy; there didn't seem much point, not when he knew the answer. He'd just drifted off to sleep, a dopey grin on his face and his arm around Blair.

"That's different," he said shortly.


"Heat of the moment."

"You spank me and there'll be plenty of heat," Blair promised him.

Jim made an effort to talk about how he felt. With Blair's hand feathering absentminded patterns across his chest and moving down gradually, it wasn't as difficult as he'd expected. Blair's room was dark and smelled strongly of him; Jim felt both like a visitor and as if he belonged here, which made no sense, but nothing about his relationship with Blair did, so it didn't really matter.

"If I was doing that, I wouldn't be able to dial down. I'd know everything you were feeling, hear the smallest sound you made. The palm of my hand would be stinging from the first slap and burning by the third. If you started to cry I'd lose it, and if you said my name while I was doing it and it sounded even close to begging me to stop, I'd -- I don't know what I'd do."

"Wow." Blair pressed the softest of kisses against the corner of Jim's mouth. "If I tell you that you're way over-thinking this, would you be upset? Because you are, you know."

"I know."

"But if that's the way you feel, then you can't possibly think I'd push you, so don't give it another --"

"And I'd love it," Jim said before Blair launched into a speech. "God, I'd love it, but I feel as if I shouldn't love hurting you."

Blair's hand went still. "Uh… Jim? Loving it?"

Jim grabbed Blair's hand and brought it palm down on the proof of just how much the idea turned him on. Blair's fingers curled and squeezed instinctively and Jim bit back a moan.

"Oh, Jim." Blair sighed. "Why is nothing ever simple with you, man? I find out we share opposite sides of a kink and it should be rolling off a log time, but noooo, you have to go and get a freaking complex about it."

Jim didn't reply. What was there to say?

"We're going to make this work," Blair said, a scary determination in his voice.

"We don't have to --"

"What?" Blair's voice squeaked high with incredulity. "Jim, sex with you was good before; hell, you can make my toes curl from six miles away just by the way you say hello when you know it's me on the other end of the phone --"

"I can?" Jim felt a small, smug glow kick in.

"Every time," Blair assured him. "And just think what it'd be like after you'd spanked me. I'm not sure we'd survive, but it's how I want to go."

"Blair, don't…" Fuck, he sounded pitiful and Blair didn't want that from him right then -- which was fine; he could do strong and stern; pour it on, if it was what Blair wanted -- but he couldn't get past the conflicting emotions at the thought of a bound, naked Blair bent over his lap, or with his hands tethered to the railing next to Jim's bed -- God, yes. He swallowed hard, lights sparking in front of his eyes, caught up in a lust so all-encompassing he couldn't remember how to breathe, and somehow still managing to feel an equal weight of guilt.

"You're stuck, aren't you?" Blair murmured. He moved to straddle Jim, his hands warm where they rested against Jim's chest. "Like a pair of scales, perfectly balanced: guilt and want." Jim didn't bother agreeing with the obvious truth of that. "So we make the feeling guilty side lighter," Blair announced.

"How?" Jim asked. Blair nibbled at his lip, which looked cute, but painful. Jim could see the skin shred and peel in minute curls under the scrape of teeth. "Stop that."

"Huh? Oh. Sure." Blair smiled down at him. "We alter one of the variables," he said

"Run that by me in English, Chief."

"Would it bother you spanking someone else?"

"It never has before," he said unthinkingly. He watched Blair's eyes widen dramatically and winced, waiting for the explosion.

"You are unbelievable, you know that? You're just…. " Blair waved his hands around, semaphoring his frustration, and then brought them together decisively with an all too familiar crack of skin on skin. "Un-be-liev-able. Why didn't you tell me?"

"Why should I?" Jim retorted. "I didn't know you were into it and I was busy enjoying what we had."

"Which is good," Blair assured him. "Really, it is, Jim, honest."

"I know." Jim wriggled. "Get off if you're just going to sit there. You're heavy."

"Sorry." Blair dropped a penitent kiss on Jim's nose and slid to the side, snuggling up close enough that Jim didn't have any choice but to do the same. He breathed in the familiar scent of Blair's hair -- and some of the hair itself -- and tried not to let himself think about doing anything to Blair's ass but nailing it.

"So if it's just me you can't spank, then we fool you into thinking it isn't me."

"Yeah, that'll work," Jim said, layering the sarcasm on thickly. "Apart from the way that it wouldn't. Ever."

"No, wait, Jim, just listen to me here," Blair said, all soft, persuasive eagerness, and really, he might as well concede defeat right now, because he always gave in when Blair was like this and they both knew it.


"We'd both know it was a trick, but it's possible to know that and still fool yourself. You want this, so your brain's really invested in being cooperative, trust me. It just wants a certain degree of -- of plausible deniability."

"Talking like a politician really isn't the way to get me hot," Jim warned him, but despite himself he was starting to get a glimmering of where Blair was going with this.

"I could wear something belonging to someone else," Blair said. "Maybe a T-shirt of Simon's --"

"Hell, no." He was sweating. Was it hot in here? No, it was a cold sweat. Okay, so it was cold in here.

"You don't like Simon?" Blair asked, with an innocent flutter of his eyelashes.

Spanking Blair was starting to seem like a guilt-free good idea. "I love Simon like a brother. Better than a brother; you don't see me inviting Steven on fishing trips with us, do you?"

"But do you think he's hot?"

Brat. "I think Simon would feed me my dick if he thought I had designs on his. And I don't want you pretending to be someone you're not. I like having sex with you, dammit."

And now Blair was the one looking smug. "Okay. We keep the way I smell. I could maybe wear a wig?"

"No." He liked the idea of Blair's hair, sweat-damp curls sticking to sweat-damp skin. Or maybe tied back so he could wrap the thick tail of hair around his fingers and tug Blair's head back, making a pure, kissable curve out of his throat.

"Well, maybe --"

"Blindfold me," Jim said before Blair suggested going into drag or something similar.

"What?" He watched the idea sink in until it hit the solid core of need Blair's glib chatter was trying to hide. Blair was desperate to do this; he'd agree to anything, but Jim could tell that he was surprised. "Jim, that doesn't sound very practical. You've got to be able to see what you're doing, or you could --"

"Hurt you? I know." His voice was shaking and he got it under control. "But I won't." He ran his hand over the promised land of Blair's ass and patted it, with enough weight behind it to make Blair whimper and press closer. "Trust me?"

The word 'always' was muffled against his chest but he still heard it.

"Well, okay," he said softly. "Okay, then."


The blindfold's a smooth, dark strip of heavy silk. Jim could see through it if he tried and he thinks he might try at the end of this, if it feels safe, but for now he's happy to accept the darkness that makes this possible. Across his knee, Blair waits, his breath hitching, his bare, beautiful ass a tight bunch of muscle. Jim strokes it with his fingertips and traces each inch, learning it, placing it in position in the darkness.

When he hits it, he wants to be sure he's on target, and as long as Blair doesn't move -- and Blair won't, he can't -- he will be. Nothing else is acceptable.

"Relax," he murmurs, smoothing his palm over the taut, tense skin. "I won't do this until you do…" He eases Blair's thighs apart, just enough that he can tickle teasingly at the vulnerable bunched-up balls hidden between them. Blair's cock is half in the game, half scared limp. Jim can smell the worry and the anticipation and knows Blair's scared he won't like this; scared he'll lose a fantasy.

Blair doesn't need to be concerned; Jim's going to make this good for him.

He keeps talking, playing with the quiescent, quivering body lying so obediently still; running his nails, his knuckles, sometimes his tongue, though he can't hold that bow of his spine for long, over Blair's back and ass, and then straightening.

He places his palm, fingers spread, over Blair's ass, lightly presses down and says, "Blair?"

Blair answers, not with words, but with his body, arching his hips until Jim's palm is shaped by the jut of muscle under it, Blair's pushing up so firmly.

He draws back his hand and brings it down, the whisper of parting air a cool kiss before his hand finds skin and the heat strikes up.

Blair gives a surprised, shocked grunt and then moans, tense now with nothing but an aching need for more. Jim doesn't need to analyze everything his senses are telling him to know that; he can feel the impatient prod of Blair's erection, a sweet, succulent swell of flesh he wants to suck wet and drain dry. He's hungry for Blair tonight in a way he's never been before. When he's finished doing this, he's going to be all over Blair, his mouth finding new places to kiss, dark, secret places, musky and bitter, his tongue driving past muscle into Blair's ass. He's not sure he'll like that, not really, but he doesn’t like the idea that there's anything about Blair's body that's off-limits or unknown either. Tonight, Blair will let him do just about anything, and Jim intends to take advantage of that, storing up information, adding it to the hoard.

He'll only have to do it once to get the scent and taste locked in his senses, the same way he only needed that single slap to let him know Blair loves this.

Blair's protesting, greedy, plaintive murmur calls him back, and he shakes his head and concentrates on what he's doing. Blair was right. He'd wanted this and as Blair begins to sob, his fingers gripping Jim's leg tightly so that he won't reach back to shield the scorch and sizzle Jim's turned his skin into, he knows they'll do this again.

Oh, God, yes.

And when he tugs the blindfold away and stares down at skin the same vivid red as any Santa suit, burning bright in the shadowy room, he doesn't want to look away, no, not at all.

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