Point of Contact

Part Fifteen



Many thanks to T Verano for her wonderful beta reading.


The club was bigger than he'd thought it would be and Blair knew he was only seeing a small part of it. He felt exhilaration mounting, tempered by a feeling of peace.

No need to hide. Not here.

And Jim was always in sight, never turning to check that Blair was where he was supposed to be, which Blair appreciated, but always close enough that Blair could have halted him with a word or a touch.

He didn't want Jim to stop, though. He wanted to go deeper into this place, right to the heart of it.

For now, he'd settle for this; the main room, large enough that the people in it -- fifty, sixty? -- had space to move and see. A bar curved across one corner of the room, with the expected display of bottles and glasses against a mirrored wall -- but like the room in the house Jim had taken him to, a second look was needed to appreciate the true picture.

Blair noted the metal rings attached at varying heights in the wooden façade of the bar and felt a stab of excitement as a sub went to kneel beside one of the rings. A leash was attached to his collar, the dangling end of it held in his cupped hands. The woman he was with took the leash and clipped it casually to the ring, most of her attention on the man standing beside her, her pretty face animated as she talked to him. Blair watched, feeling a pang of sympathy for the ignored, kneeling man, wondering how he'd deal with it if Jim did that to him. He was getting used to being the focus of Jim's attention. Then he realized that the woman had placed herself so that every time she moved, the hem of her skirt brushed the sub's arm.

And every time it did, the sub shivered.

Blair dragged his gaze away, and quickened his step to catch up to Jim, who was talking to Simon, his grin visible as he turned his head to reply to something Simon had said. Jim was leading Blair across a tiled area in the middle of the carpeted room; the black tiles cool against Blair's bare feet but not slippery. At the center of the tiles was a circular dais, about twenty feet in diameter, raised enough off the ground that a set of three steps was set into one side of it. A wooden pole was set in the center of the dais, an emphatic statement of intent in a splash of light. Blair didn't have to ask, or wonder, what it was for -- he knew -- but his skin flushed hot as if he was up there, stripped and bound and waiting to be -- to be --

Jim's head turned and Blair met Jim's gaze, knowing that his face was showing everything he was feeling. The room around him, with its comfortable chairs and sturdy tables surrounding the tiled area, and deep, secluded booths around the walls, faded to background.

Nothing left but Jim, who was smiling now, the corners of his mouth tilted just enough to give it away.

Jim beckoned Blair closer -- one step, two; three would get him bumping into Jim and Jim couldn't want that, so Blair stopped. He was maybe supposed to lower his eyes, the way the guy kneeling was, but he couldn't look away from Jim's face, not without a direct order.

Jim shook his head and crooked his finger again. "No. Here," he said and Blair took the third step and stopped, an inch away from Jim, no more, breathing in the smell of an expensive suit and the clean body wearing it.

"That's better." Jim took a casual, easy, half-step back and tapped his finger under the point of Blair's chin. "Keep looking at me."

Easiest order to obey ever. Blair watched the shapes Jim's mouth made and then translated them into words, deafened by the rush of blood in his ears and the thrum-thud of his heartbeat.

"Ask me in a year and I might put you up there."

"I don't want --" Belatedly, he remembered that he wasn't supposed to speak, and that hadn't been a question.

Jim drew a 'one' in the air and widened his eyes in mock-sympathy. "You just think you don't." Jim slanted his eyes at the whipping post and frowned. "Though, I'll be honest, I'm not sure I'll say yes even in a year's time." He looked back at Blair. "And to save you another punishment stroke, because I just know you want to ask why, I'll tell you."

"Why?" Blair said with a desperate honesty because he'd said the word so loudly in his head that it felt as if he had said it and besides, he wanted to be --

"For that, I should cancel the first stroke," Jim told him, which made Blair feel transparent, and it was wrong to feel disappointed at the idea of not getting punished, and worse to get a kick out of Jim giving him a disapproving frown, but Blair couldn't help it. Off to the side, a waiting Simon muttered something, shook his head, and wandered away. Around them, people passed, ignoring them for the most part, playing out their own fantasies, their own games.

And Blair stood, the air tickling his butt through his ripped jeans, the collar snug around his neck. Jim's collar. On him. How he hadn't come right then, right there, when Jim had fastened it on him, was a mystery, because Blair really didn't think his self-control was his strongest point.

"I'll say no because I don't like the idea of anyone but me seeing you that way -- most of the subs who end up there are a matched pair; they like being shown off and their Doms like doing the showing -- and because, that aside…" Jim grinned. "I've never done it in public and I'll need to practice. I'm not sure a year's long enough."

"Who on?" Blair said. He tried to keep his voice low but was unable to prevent it from rising with indignation. "It'd better be me!"

Jim mouthed 'three' at him and turned and walked away. Blair would have bet money on Jim's face still being decorated with a grin.

"Are you enjoying yourself setting a bad example for Amy here?" Simon inquired when they arrived at the booth he was sitting in. Blair exchanged a cautious smile with the woman kneeling at Simon's feet, a lot of her dark skin on show above the waist, small, high breasts pushed up by a tight black leather waistcoat, worn over nothing but skin. It was fastened with a zipper, drawn up to a point level with her nipples and her long legs were encased in more black leather, and knee-high boots. She looked both demure and sexy; in that outfit, the second was easy enough, but Blair gave her points for managing the first.

"Blair's misbehaving, not me," Jim replied. He sat opposite Simon on the semi-circular bench and pointed at the floor without looking at Blair. The booth was separated from the ones on either side of it by high wooden partitions, inset with clouded glass panels. The table and bench seat didn't fill the booth; there was a space about two feet wide running across the front of it where a sub could kneel without being in the way of anyone passing by. Jim glanced at the kneeling woman with way too much approval in his eyes to suit Blair. "Maybe Amy will be a good influence on him."

Going down on his knees had never been easier. He tried to keep his descent controlled but it felt as if his legs were snow, melting in the sun, leaving him unbalanced. Blair mirrored Amy's position and found himself staring at nothing more exciting than the central pillar supporting the tabletop.

"Well, if he is, that would be your fault," Simon pointed out. "Or did you forget who's in charge?"

Blair squirmed, feeling uneasy. He didn't know Simon well enough to be able to judge how serious he was; all he had to go on was voice tone, and Simon sure as hell sounded as if he meant it.

Jim reached for the bottle of white wine in a cooler on the table and poured himself and Simon a glass. "No, and I won't. Now stop nagging and tell me what happened with that plumber you hired. Rhonda said he left your apartment an inch deep in water? She was kidding, right?"

Blair relaxed, reassured both by the affection coloring the words and the brief, gentle press of Jim's shoe against his knee. He tuned out the conversation overhead and managed, in a series of small shifts, to enlarge his view until it encompassed some of the room, as well as Amy.

She was worth looking at it, he decided, admiring the heavy fall of her dark hair and the delicate prettiness of her features. She knelt without fidgeting, her breathing slow and deep, and her attention on Simon.

And she was aroused. Inexperienced he might be, but it was pouring off her, unmistakable. Her lips were parted, her pupils dilated, her nipples hard, but it was more than that. If Simon peeled off those tight pants she was wearing, and spread her legs, Blair knew that she'd be open and wet, waiting for the thrust of Simon's tongue, his fingers, his cock.

He choked back a sound that she should have been making and wasn't; a hungry, imploring murmur, and felt his cock harden. He didn't want Amy -- or Simon -- but he wanted to be like her, filled with a controlled, patient need.

Right now, he just felt confused, directionless. The collar around his neck, the bite mark Jim had put on his skin -- he knew they were there, he could feel them, but his hands were behind his back and he couldn't touch the collar as he wanted to, and Jim wasn't doing anything.

Just talking. To Simon. About remodeling Simon's ancient bathroom.

It had to be a test, right? To see how good he was at waiting. Well, he could wait. In fact, kneeling like this, in the warm, dimly lit room, wasn't much different from meditating, legs crossed, with the candle flames painting patterns of light and heat on his face. He closed his eyes, blocking out Amy, and -- oh, my God, what was that?

The flat, crisp sound of a hand on flesh cut through the hum of conversations and Blair's head jerked around as he tracked the sound to its source. A man, young, early twenties, maybe, ash-blond hair falling forward to hide his face, was over an older man's knee and getting his ass well and truly spanked. Three hard slaps with a bare hand and then the man, his short hair white, a startling contrast to his tanned face, switched to using a wooden paddle. Blair held his breath as the paddle swept through the air and felt his own body react when it landed, feeling a surge of heat and a sympathetic wince.

"Blair?" His name, spoken from an inch away, had Blair's attention returning to his immediate surroundings. He turned his head and met Jim's mildly exasperated eyes. "You can look, but don't stare."

He blinked. "Huh?"

"Four," Jim said, with a sigh for punctuation from him, and a deep chuckle from Simon. The sub being spanked cried out and Blair couldn't help glancing over at him until the disapproval radiating off Jim brought his head around again.

Oops.

"I'm going to leave you two alone," Simon told Jim. "If you want my advice, gag him soon, or he's going to reach double figures before you get him in a room." He gestured to Amy, who rose, giving Blair a look that blended sympathy with a hint of an eye roll.

So he'd fucked this up already and he couldn't even apologize, not without deepening the resigned expression on Jim's face. Blair scrambled frantically for some way to make the snowball rolling downhill stop and settled for locking himself into a complete, tense stillness, his eyes lowered, his breath hitching with misery.

Jim's hand smoothed Blair's hair back and then tugged a lock of it sharply. "Okay, time-out. Come up here and sit beside me. And you can talk."

"Is that allowed?" Blair asked and then saw Jim's frown. "Umm, you know what, let's pretend I just did what you told me, huh?"

"It would make a nice change," Jim said dryly.

Blair sat with his back to the room and gave Jim an apologetic look. "I'm not doing it on purpose. It's just --"

"Everything's distracting and you're curious and wound-up," Jim interrupted. "I know. It's a lot to take in." He ran his fingers over Blair's collar. "Seeing you with this on isn't all that easy for me to deal with."

"You want to take it off?" Blair couldn't stop the disappointment he felt from showing in his voice.

"No. But I'd like to take off everything else you're wearing." Unexpectedly, Jim leaned in and kissed him, his hand firm on the back of Blair's head, holding him in place. Released from the need to stay still and silent, Blair wrapped his arms around Jim and kissed him back enthusiastically, losing himself in the hot, slick slide of Jim's mouth over his. "I could do that," Jim said a moment later. He hooked a finger in Blair's collar and played with it for a moment, moving the collar from side to side slowly. Blair shivered, the hairs rising on the back of his neck. "Strip you, bend you over this table and take you. We'd get a few disapproving looks -- and some interested ones -- but no one would interfere."

"So why don't you?" Blair asked, safe in the knowledge that Jim wouldn't, and getting a tingle low down because, hey, he just might. He kept his hands on Jim as he waited for an answer, because who knew how long this time-out would last. The sharp, clear line of Jim's jaw was smooth under his fingers and Blair licked along the path his fingers had taken, tasting nothing but skin. He reached Jim's ear and licked that, too, then grinned when Jim jerked away and released his hold on Blair's collar.

"Blair. Behave."

"I'd sooner misbehave," Blair muttered. "I get your attention then."

An enlightened look passed over Jim's face. "So that's it."

"No. I just --"

"Blair, you were kneeling at my feet, wearing my collar, and dressed -- oh, just come here." Jim grabbed Blair and hauled him onto his lap, maneuvering a protesting Blair until Blair was kneeling facing him, straddling Jim's thighs, his arms around Jim's neck for balance.

Okay, he could get used to this. The table was far enough away that it wasn't digging into his back, but close enough to lean back against if he wanted.

He didn't. What Blair wanted was to move as close to Jim as he could get and grind down on the hard thrust of Jim's erection until Jim relented and rescinded the 'Blair doesn't get to come because Jim's a sadist' rule. Jim's hands were clamped onto his hips, though, holding him in place, so that wasn't really an option. Blair licked his dry lips and waited.

One of Jim's hands moved, finding the bare skin of Bair's ass under the torn flap of denim and caressing it. "Dressed like this," Jim finished. "And you were hard and flushed and aching. I could tell. Simon could tell. Hell, anyone looking at you could --"

"I get it," Blair said tightly. He groaned and tried to ignore the way Jim was drawing the back of his fingers over sensitized skin and then scratching at it lightly enough to tease.

"No, you don't." Jim sounded certain of that. "I was talking to Simon, sure, but it doesn't mean I wasn't aware of every breath you took, every sound you made that you thought I couldn't hear, every time you moved when you should have been staying where I'd fucking put you." The pinch Blair's ass got was a sharply welcome bite of pain. "That's going to bruise," Jim said conversationally.

"You're fucking killing me here."

"Because you're turned on and I'm not doing anything but make you hotter?" Jim shook his head slowly, a familiar glint of amusement present in his eyes. "You think that's suffering? Oh, Blair. This is nothing."

"Then show me what is."

"I was," Jim said. "You just got impatient." He tapped at the side of Blair's chin with a fingertip until Blair was looking out at the room. The sub who'd been paddled was now on his knees, his hands tied behind his back with a thin strip of leather. He was being very industrious in demonstrating his contrition from what Blair could tell.

"See?" Jim said close to Blair's ear. "I could tell you to do that to me. Slide down to your knees and suck me. I can have your mouth on me any time I want in here and don't think I don't want it right the hell now, because I do."

Blair turned his head back. "Then tell me. I'll do it."

"You wouldn't get to come."

"I'll still do it."

"Why?"

Blair paused, derailing the rhythm of the conversation to give himself time to consider. "Why? Because I like doing it."

"Why?" Jim pushed him with the word, and forced Blair to think deeper.

"I get a kick out of it. Being on my knees for you. I -- sucking you -- yeah, it's always good, but when I do it that way, it's just --" He shook his head, impatient with his inarticulateness.

"What about when I'm kneeling over you, fucking your face?" Jim asked, his eyes bright with interest. "Not as hot? Better? Turn off?"

Blair felt his body remember Jim doing that once, the feeling of being used, taken, the way he'd had to trust Jim not to choke him.

The way he'd choked himself, straining every muscle to lift his head and get more of Jim's cock in his mouth, his tongue busy, avid, his own cock jerking --

"Oh, God. That's hot, too. Jim, there's nothing, nothing you do that I don't like. You know what, I don't care what we do or how we do it, just don't --"

"Don't what, Blair?" Jim drew his hands down the sides of Blair's face, capturing it between his palms.

"Don't stop," Blair whispered, not caring that he was begging.

"I don't plan on doing that." Jim lifted his chin, an arrogant tilt to it, and Blair stared down at him. "Kiss me. Make it good. Show me you're sorry for being so disobedient."

He wasn't. It had got him from being ignored on his knees, to being kissed and close to Jim; he really couldn't regret it. But he leaned in and kissed Jim anyway, feathering kisses across the thin, well-shaped lips, coaxing them open and being so perfectly well-behaved that he really deserved a reward.

An orgasm would be nice.

"Good boy," Jim told him. "Now we've got that cleared up, get back on your knees. I'm going to help you with your disobedience problem."

"What?" Blair blinked at him, puzzled and on the hurt side. "I don't get it."

"Time-out's over, Blair," Jim said. "And I've really got to train you better than this if we're going to come here often. Let's try that again, and this time you're going to acknowledge a direct order with 'Yes, Jim' and then obey it without hesitation or further comment."

"Why can't we just keep doing this?" Blair knew he was close to whining but he really wanted to know.

"Because you just told me what gets you hot, and necking like a normal isn't it." Jim snapped his fingers and then pointed at the floor. "Knees. Now."

Blair felt the words speak themselves, drawn out of him by Jim's uncompromising stare. "Yes, Jim."

He made sure he was kneeling properly, his back to the room, his eyes lowered, and his hands, still warm from Jim's skin, locked behind his back.

"You can look at me," Jim said. "For now, anyway."

Blair glanced up just as Jim turned away and pressed a button on the back wall. Jim smiled at him without answering Blair's unspoken question and within a few moments a young woman came to their table, a serving tray tucked under one arm. "Yes, sir?"

"Jenny." Jim's face softened into a welcoming smile. "I thought you'd gone to Boston?"

"I went. I'm back." She grinned, and tossed a long tail of auburn hair over one shoulder. "So, did you miss me?"

"Sweetheart." Jim pulled a face. "Are you kidding me? I cried into my pillow every night for --"

"A week?"

"At least."

Blair snorted and then wished he hadn't. Jim didn't look at him, but Jenny did, a curious, then dismissive stare.

"Someone's new," she remarked.

"You have no idea," Jim said. It sounded heartfelt. "I'll need a gag, standard fitting, medium, a pair of cuffs -- Velcro fasteners, not a key -- and a blindfold."

"Coming right up," Jenny said lightly. "And Sam's installed some new cages since you were here last."

Cages? Blair contemplated that idea and decided he didn't like it. He didn't like Jenny, either, but that was for different reasons. She left, moving with entirely too much alacrity and efficiency, and Blair met Jim's gaze.

"You need to stop treating this like a game," Jim said, the warning clear in his voice. "You're starting to piss me off."

Blair retained enough presence of mind not to answer, but really, what could he have said? He wasn't playing; he was just --

"You're not ready for this, are you?" Jim said a little more gently. "We should go. Just wait and try this again in a few months --"

No.

Blair took advantage of Jim's shift in position as he began to stand and bent over, keeping his hands behind his back. His lips brushed Jim's shoe, tasting polished, expensive leather, and Jim froze. Blair stropped the side of his face against Jim's calf, and mouthed a wordless plea through the layer of material separating him from Jim's skin.

"God, Blair --"

Desperate to change the indecision in Jim's words to something that would keep them both here, Blair knelt up again and put all of his unspoken thoughts into a single beseeching look.

Jim sighed and sat back down. "You know you're going to pay for all this, right? You have to know there are consequences coming your way." The corner of his eyes creased as he grinned. "Oh, I get it. You think it's going to be fun. Little bit of spanking, one hell of a lot of sex…" He shook his head. "I don't think you're going to enjoy being punished as much as you think you are, but guess what? I am."

Blair narrowed his eyes, feeling a quiver of unease at the threat, and Jim's grin widened. It only faded when Jenny returned, her tray laden with everything Jim had requested, with a black leather paddle perched on top.

"I didn't ask for that," Jim said mildly. He flicked at it with one finger. "Not that I don't applaud your initiative, but…"

"Simon sent it," Jenny said. "And he told me to tell you that he'd be happy to watch you use it and maybe give you a few tips."

"Right," Jim drawled skeptically, his eyebrows high. "I'm sure he did."

"Well, maybe I'm giving you the gist of it." Jenny tapped her fingers on the paddle. "Want me to take it back?"

Jim smiled at her, his earlier friendliness muted. "Yes. If I'd wanted it, I'd have asked for it. And make sure the room I reserved is ready, please. I'll need it soon."

"It's ready," Jenny assured him. "And it's yours indefinitely, Mistress Sam said. I know you only wanted two hours, but there's no time limit."

"Thank you," Jim said. Blair watched Jim's fist clench in his lap, hidden from Jenny by the tabletop. "That's all, Jenny."

She nodded, her ebullience subdued, and left, the paddle dangling from her hand.

Blair bit back his questions, all of which could wait, and eyed the neatly arranged items on the tray.

Jim drew the tray toward him and began to sort through the contents without commenting. When each item had been examined with a casual thoroughness, he fingered the blindfold and glanced down at Blair, his expression serious again.

"You can't control yourself the way you need to," Jim said. "I'm going to take away your choices for a while and let you get a feel for this place on a different level. You'll be able to hear and smell. That might not sound like much when you can't see or touch, but trust me, it's enough. And your hands might be bound, but your skin's got its own way of communicating." Jim pursed his lips. "The shirt can come off now, I think." Blair, his mouth dry, reached up to unbutton it, but Jim stopped him. "No -- I'll do it. Stand up."

Blair stood and let Jim undress him, his heart hammering and his skin already tingling. Jim smiled to himself when Blair moaned at the pinch his nipple got when Jim had finished, but left it at that.

"You're going to need a way to tell me if there's a problem," Jim said. "Gagged, you can still make noise if you have to, but just in case I don't hear you -- which isn't going to happen -- if you want the gag off to tell me something, or you feel faint or disorientated -- that can happen -- I'll always be here, watching, so just shake your head, okay? I'll know if there's something wrong."

Blair nodded. He couldn't see himself needing to do any of that, but he appreciated Jim giving him more than one option to end what was about to happen.

"I won't leave you. I won't ever be farther away than I am now," Jim went on, "and when I think you've got to where you need to be, I'm going to take you to a room, still blindfolded, gagged and cuffed." Blair thought about the trust he'd have to have in Jim to make that walk and felt his breathing quicken. "Then the gag will come off and you're going to tell me what you've wanted all these years, and then…" He dragged the side of his thumbnail across Blair's nipple; a stinging slash of pain that left an afterimage burned into Blair's flesh.

"Then I'm going to give it to you, Blair. All of it." Jim smiled into Blair's silence. "All of me."

He pointed at the floor and Blair went to his knees again and let Jim take away his sight, his voice, and his hands, in return for everything he'd ever wanted.

It seemed like a fair exchange.

***

Jim kept touching him for the first few minutes. They didn't feel like reassuring touches to Blair, breathing fast and shallow around the gag, his cock throbbing every time he tugged at the cuffs. They felt possessive and proprietary and were distracting as hell.

Jim must've realized that because he stopped, making an amused sound at the back of his throat that Blair hoped wasn't directed at him.

"I can't keep my hands off you," Jim confided easily. "You have no idea what you do to me when you're like this."

Blair moaned past the gag in a futile attempt to convey a message he wasn't sure a thousand words would be enough for. The shorthand seemed to work, though; Jim's final touch was a slow drag of his fingertips over the denim covering Blair's erection. He traced the shape of it, which, like any overt act by an observer, altered what was being observed, and then, from the creak of leather, Blair guessed he'd settled back on the bench seat.

"Or maybe you do," Jim finished.

Yeah. Maybe he did.

Blair wondered what he looked like and who was staring at him besides Jim. Logic told him that not many people had been watching them. The table was tucked away and people were busy. He'd been kneeling, sure, but fully dressed and untouched, anything Jim said to him spoken too quietly to be overheard; as attractions went he was one step above the bar snacks.

But that wasn't the case now. Bare to the waist, wearing some basic, classic accessories… people might be looking now. Looking at him. Seeing him.

Was he aroused or terrified? He couldn't be sure. Like pleasure and pain, they could produce the same physical response in him.

He heard Jim shift position and realized how quickly his body had focused on the remaining senses left open for him to use. He could hear Jim breathing, and the whisper of fabric as he crossed his legs; the tip and spill of wine as Jim drank from his glass.

The glass was set back down (a double clink as if Jim had been clumsy, a scrape as if he'd pushed it farther away) and then Jim started to talk to him, his voice casual, as if he was discussing nothing more important than the weather.

"You're kneeling better now, do you know that? Before… it's hard to explain, but you didn't look right. Your hands were placed correctly; your back was straight -- you've got that whole thing you do when you look down and your hair falls forward and then you lift your head slowly -- I love that.

"But you were being so fucking careful and anxious…" Jim sighed and Blair could swear that he felt the air stir as if Jim's hand was brushing through it, an inch away from Blair's chest. "Now you're doing it without thinking. Your hands can't be anywhere but where they are, and the cuffs keep your back arched for me. You have no choice. No options. I'm not sure you like that, not entirely, but it still turns you on."

Jim pinched Blair's left nipple. "This one. This is the one I want pierced."

Blair tilted his head back and stared blindly up, as if he could see through the thick muffle of fabric to Jim's face, which he pictured as smiling and intent because he knew how Jim looked like that and he liked it. He was making a keening noise and he could hear in his head how he meant it to sound, even as his ears relayed a strangled, muted wail emerging past the gag. God, the gag… his tongue kept exploring it with tentative pushes and licks. There was something about being silenced that was exhilarating, because for him it was really the ultimate surrender. He'd let Jim take away his voice. He'd never let anyone do that before; it had cost him bruises in the playground, girlfriends when he'd been older, but he'd always spoken up when he'd felt the need to.

And now… now he couldn't.

"Ssh," Jim murmured. "You'll love it, you know you will. And it won't hurt much."

That wasn't why he was wailing, and something told Blair that Jim knew that.

"We can get it done right here in the club," Jim went on. "Lisa would do it; she's very good. Quick, gentle. Not tonight, of course. I don't want any part of you off-limits tonight. Later in the week, maybe. Would you like that, Blair?"

He nodded, already feeling the weight there, the constant reminder that the piercing would be, and Jim pinched him again, leaving a sweet throb of pain as a reward.

Jim's hand cupped Blair's chin. "Kneel up. I want your mouth."

Blair swayed forward, his captured hands making the simple move more problematic, and rose.

"Oh, yes," Jim said approvingly. "Much better."

Being kissed through a gag was weirdly arousing and very frustrating. Jim didn't seem to care that Blair couldn't kiss him back, but Blair minded it a lot more than he would have expected to. He missed the taste of Jim in his mouth and the thrust of Jim's tongue against his. Jim's finger traced around the damp gag, his breath warm against Blair's face.

"I don't think I'll do this to you often. Silence and you just don't go together well, but you need to learn --" Jim sighed. "God, you need to learn so much."

He sounded regretful enough to have Blair's heart lurch wildly. He made a guess as to where Jim's face was and leaned forward, trying to get Jim to kiss him again, because he needed the contact right then.

"You're supposed to stay still," Jim reminded him.

Blair closed his eyes behind the blindfold and tried not to hate himself for failing Jim again.

"Kneel back. I won't touch you again; I'm distracting you, aren't I?" There was a hint of remorse in Jim's voice now. "Sorry."

Blair settled back, his ass snug against his heels and ankles.

"I'll want you to tell me what this felt like later, so think about that, but mostly just get to know the place."

Blair nodded an acknowledgment, took a deep breath, and did as he was told.

This wasn't all that difficult. He began with his own body, cataloging its current state. Bite mark, cock, pinched nipple; all throbbing gently, persistently, an endless feedback loop that was keeping his arousal alive.

Not that it was in any danger of dying.

Jim had taken pains to ensure that none of Blair's hair was caught or pulled uncomfortably tight by the blindfold and that the gag and cuffs weren't more than he could deal with -- which they weren't; they were making him feel all kinds of things, but they weren't hurting him.

The carpet was soft enough that kneeling on it wearing jeans wasn't a problem, although he was sure that he was getting pins and needles again.

Fine. He wasn't panicking, which was good, and he trusted Jim not to abandon him.

He took a series of slow, careful breaths and tried to identify anything in particular. The club smelled pleasantly neutral; the air wasn't perfumed or smoky or reeking of cleaner. It was spiced faintly with a generalized food smell; Jim had told him that the food served here was excellent but that subs weren't permitted to use the chairs so it wasn't somewhere he'd be eating with Blair.

"I can't say that the idea of hand-feeding you doesn't have its appeal, but to be honest, if we're eating together, I'd prefer that you were across the table from me, not underneath it," Jim had told him earlier and then grinned. "Though that's definitely got possibilities."

"If you want a blow job for dessert, you just have to say," Blair had countered, feeling reckless, even if the idea of doing that in public dried his mouth with nerves.

"Is that so?" Jim's grin had turned sultry as he slowly pushed a single finger past Blair's lips. "How about a demonstration of today's special right now?"

Jim hadn't come; just sprawled out on the couch and let Blair lap and mouth him until he was hard, and then pushed Blair away just as he was getting into a rhythm.

"Huh? Don't you want to --?" Blair wiped his mouth and gestured down. "You look like you do."

Jim palmed his spit-wet dick casually and gave it a couple of hard, fast jerks before taking his hand away. "I would, but you're enjoying it too much and I don't want you to come, remember?"

"What? I'm not!" Blair protested and then realized that he'd been close and he'd been rubbing against the side of the couch, in search of just enough friction. "Oh, fuck."

Jim sighed and stared up at the loft roof. "Why don't you just get us both a beer, hmm?"

Blair took his thoughts away from that memory. Focus. Here and now. What could he hear? People talking, sure; scraps of conversation imperfectly understood from the tables nearby; fragments from people walking past.

And then the background noise faltered before it swelled to a pleasantly excited murmur. Blair turned his head instinctively toward the stage behind him as a rattle of chains was followed by the crack of a whip, not against skin, but air, as if someone was experimenting with an unfamiliar tool.

Blair shuddered with need and fear, and felt his skin prickle with goose bumps. His nipples were pebble-hard and his cock -- God, if he arched up just a bit and rubbed against the taut denim covering it, he'd come, he knew he would.

Holding still took all he had and he was panting around the gag, his chest heaving and his fists clenched. The cuffs rubbed against his inner wrists, where the blood beat fast under the thin, soft skin, and he flexed his fingers and then doubled them into fists again, needing the focus.

He wasn't sure he could last through the whipping without crawling all over Jim and begging to be touched. Bound and gagged as he was, he thought he could still get his message across.

He tensed, waiting for that first stroke and wondering if the sub would cry out, the way he had done so often himself under the punishing beat of Jim's hand.

"Time to go," Jim said abruptly.

Blair shook his head violently. No. Jim's hand was at the fastening for the gag an instant later and Blair realized what he'd done just in time to move his head away before Jim could free his mouth.

"Blair?" Jim asked, his voice tightly controlled. "Help me out here, buddy. Are you calling a time-out?"

Blair shook his head and made the movement as brief and calm as he could.

"Just being disobedient?"

He had the sense not to answer that one, even if it meant he was ignoring a question.

"You," Jim said, exasperation harshening his voice, "are coming with me. Now. Get up."

Mortified and disappointed, both in himself and at the way Jim was acting, Blair struggled, unaided, to his feet. Jim put his hands on Blair's shoulders and turned him. The hands stayed in place and pushed Blair forward.

"Walk," Jim said into Blair's ear. "I won't let you fall or bump into anyone."

Even with that assurance and his own recollection of the layout of the room, Blair hesitated. Blindfolded, with the blood roaring in his ears, a tumult of emotions overloading his mind, it wasn't easy to trust Jim and step out confidently. He took a couple of small, shuffling paces and then froze as someone walked past him close enough that Blair's next breath was saturated with the man's cologne.

"Walk," Jim said, with a suspicion of a growl. "Or I’ll get a leash and make you crawl there."

Blair wished he had a voice so that he could tell Jim how much a suggestion like that wasn't helping. He leaned back against Jim, seeking something, he wasn't sure what, in the way of support, and Jim let go of him, moved back, and cracked his hand down hard on Blair's ass.

The shock of the slap was enough to propel Blair forward in a stumbling parody of walking; the resultant tingle and heat almost sent him to his knees.

With his teeth as gritted as Jim's probably were, and his cheeks scarlet, from the feel of it, he pulled himself together and began to walk in as straight a line as he could manage. If he knocked someone down, he just hoped it was Jenny and that she was carrying a full tray of drinks.

After ten steps, a hand came to rest on his shoulder and Jim, in silence, maneuvered him to what proved to be the edge of the room, as Blair heard a door being opened in front of him and felt a whisper of air on his face. Blair was hopelessly turned around by that point, so he wasn't sure which door Jim had led him to, but when it had closed behind him, the sub on the stage had taken two stripes from the whip and if he'd made a sound, it had been too faint to carry to Blair's ears over the continual, wind-rustled leaves murmur of comment from the audience.

What lay beyond the door was quiet and felt empty. Jim's hand tightened for a moment and then slipped away. "We're in a corridor," he said. "It's not far now. Show me you trust me to keep you safe."

Put like that… Blair swallowed and then began to walk at a normal pace, picturing the corridor in his mind's eye and himself walking down the center of it.

"You're headed toward a wall. More to your right.".

So much for his visualization technique. Blair adjusted his direction and kept going, making it around a corner and, with a quiet commentary from Jim about their surroundings, into an elevator. After a short trip down one, maybe two floors, with Jim standing in silence, close to him, they stepped out into what Blair assumed was another corridor. It didn't matter. He had accepted now that Jim wouldn't let him get hurt.

"Straight ahead of you, there's a door to the room we'll be using. Ten paces away, maybe" Jim said.

Easy. The ninth pace brought his nose into contact with the door, but Jim's hands were already on Blair's upper arms, holding him in place so that the bump wouldn't have popped a bubble.

He heard the tap of buttons -- another of the coded entry locks, he guessed -- and then the door opened and Jim's hand on the small of his back pushed him inside.

The door closed with a snick that sounded both promising and ominous. He stood a few feet away from it, trying to get an idea of where Jim was, and then found out when Jim's hands closed around his arms and slammed him back against the door, hard enough to hurt.

Fingers fumbled through his hair and the blindfold came off, followed a moment later by the spit-soaked gag. Blair blinked up into Jim's face, his eyes dazzled even by the subdued lighting in the room, his heart pounding.

"Do you know why I didn't let you stay and listen to that whipping?" Jim said. His eyes were dark, the pupils enlarged, the pale blue around them a shade deeper than usual, and his face was flushed. "Do you know why I wanted you out of there right then, and the hell with how scared you were?"

Blair shook his head, the focused fury of Jim's expression keeping him silent as effectively as the gag had done.

Jim put his hand on Blair's throat and pinned him against the door. Blair sucked in air and wished his hands were free, then glanced down and saw Jim work his belt open and his zipper down, freeing his cock.

Jim touched himself, his breath coming in short, harsh pants. The head of his cock was slicked and glossy and Blair wanted to taste it, wanted Jim to use it to bruise his lips, paint them wet. "Getting a clue yet?"

Blair whimpered, forcing the sound past the constriction in his throat; internal, not external; Jim's grip on his throat wasn't that tight.

"Yeah," Jim said, sounding satisfied. "I guess you are."

He turned Blair so that he was facing the door, pressed up against it, and freed his wrists, if only momentarily. The cuffs hit the floor and Jim grabbed Blair's wrists and forced his hands over his head until his palms were kissing the wood of the door.

"Don't move."

Blair didn't know if shaking his head would still work as a red light but he wasn't going to risk it. He spread his fingers apart and bent his head forward submissively, as much as he could in this position.

Jim moaned and surged up against Blair's back, covering him, containing him. Blair felt Jim's erection nudge his ass, finding skin through the split, torn denim. The material of Jim's suit and the crisp cotton of his shirt scratched at his bare back, maddening, teasing. Jim's teeth worried at his earlobe and then nipped at it hard.

Blair cried out; not a protest, but a plea, and Jim made an exultant sound as if he'd been waiting to hear it. He moved back a little, and began to enlarge the tears in Blair's jeans with impatient tugs so that he could slip his hands inside them and cup Blair's bare ass.

"Wish I could fuck you with them on, but I want you naked too much for that," Jim said. "I'd do you up against this door if it wasn't your first time."

"Don't care," Blair ground out. Jim's nails were digging into his ass and he felt weighed down with desire, running syrup-thick through his body. "Fuck me here, God, do it, just do it, do me --"

"No." The single word cut through the litany of Blair's babble. "Some time, but not this time." Jim's mouth found a place on Blair's neck that made him shiver and kissed it, his tongue making patterns on the captured skin. "But we can stay here a while."

"And do what?" Blair asked.

Jim gave the denim one final, strong yank and Blair felt the once-tough material yield, the strength washed out of it by time. Apart from the central seam and the waistband it was attached to, his ass and the top of his thighs were no longer covered by his jeans. Jim gave another satisfied, contented hum and began to kiss his way down Blair's spine while his hands stroked and pinched and played with the flesh he'd exposed. By the time he was on his knees behind Blair, Blair was gasping out incoherencies and writhing against the indifferent door.

Then Jim hooked his fingers in the strip of material running down the crease of Blair's ass and pulled it far enough away that he could lick a broad, wet stripe along the reddened, chafed skin. The third time he did it, his tongue slipped deeper, flicking over tender, aching flesh, and Blair lost any vestige of control and reserve and hammered his fists against the door and sobbed, "Please --" until Jim stopped.

In the moments that followed, all that Blair could hear were his own choked attempts to get his breathing regulated enough to speak, even if he didn't know what he wanted to say. Jim knelt silently behind him, his hands no longer on Blair.

"Look at me," Jim said eventually.

Blair turned in a slow roll, exhausted by emotion, and felt the cool wood meet his back.

Jim smiled up at him, a measure of calm back in his eyes. "Tell me what you want."

Right then, Blair's needs were simple, so that was easy enough to do.

"Just let me come really, really soon. Later, maybe you could spank me, but…" He glanced idly around the room, taking in what he'd overlooked up until then, and his eyes widened. "God."

Jim stood. "Lots of possibilities," he said noncommittally, which was one way to describe the way the room was decorated and furnished. "But why don't we start with the bed?"

Blair began to walk toward it but Jim stopped him, catching at his arm. "No. I want to see you crawl there." Jim walked to the bed, leaving Blair standing by the door, and got on it after kicking off his shoes. He lay sprawled across it, still fully dressed, his cock thrusting out blatantly from the opened zipper. He looked rakish, debauched, like that, framed by the elegance of ivory sheets and high, fluffed pillows. He stared at Blair, his expression unreadable. "I want to see your ass move and I want to see you blush at how hard it gets you to do that while I'm watching."

If he thought about it even for a second, he wouldn't do it --

Blair went to his knees, fixed his gaze on Jim, and then crawled across the soft, thick carpet to the edge of the bed. It helped to see Jim's face go blank, a deliberate lack of reaction more telling than a smile or a frown.

The significance of the act; that Jim would ask it of him; that he would do it willingly, and what it said about their relationship that he could do it without a shred of shame, wasn't lost on him. The part of him he wanted Jim to silence with his hands, his mouth, his body, because he'd never been able to do it himself, was analyzing, observing, taking notes, but for the most part he was happy to simply accept and enjoy whatever was going to happen in this locked, private room.

He looked up at Jim, who'd rolled, at ease in a way Blair envied, to the edge of the bed and was staring down at him, propped up on an elbow.

"What do you want?" Jim repeated.

Something told Blair that what Jim wanted was a different answer.

"Just you," he said.

Still not right; Jim's expression didn't alter.

"I want to be yours."

Jim smiled, the grave, sweet smile Blair loved. "Ask for something you don't have."

"Fuck me?" His voice shook when he said it, but not from nerves. "Please?"

Jim nodded and patted the bed. "Better get your ass up here, then, hadn't you?"



Part Sixteen

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