The convertible was red, a sleek scream of it, overtaking Jim's truck in a squeal of tires and an impudent wiggle of tail lights.
He'd never worked Traffic, but the asshole driving too fast on wet roads, top down, for God's sake, needed stopping. Jim turned on his lights and was almost disappointed when the car pulled over obediently on a dark side street, tree-lined and quiet.
Four in the morning and his jaw was aching from too many smothered yawns. The stakeout with Brown had been frustratingly uneventful and their relief had showed up late. Jim wanted to wash the taste of coffee from his mouth and stretch out on his bed, sprawl out, after hours perched on a wooden chair staring down at a window through a 'scope he didn't need to use. He had a headache from compensating for the blurred edges of the magnified vision. He would've taken great pleasure in boring Sandburg's socks off by telling him about it in great detail, but the kid was sleeping over at Sam's, presumably the sleep of the well-mauled, all passion spent, and the urge to be vindictive would fade with his headache.
He got out of his car and walked over to the convertible. "Detective Ellison," he said, flashing his badge. "Sir, I'm going to have to ask you to --"
The man turned his head and smiled lazily up at him, his hands on the wheel. "Was I speeding?"
Jim opened his mouth and reconsidered. He'd been overtaken, sure, but he hadn't been going all that fast, aware of his fatigue. "No."
Okay, that, definitely. Sort of.
"Ooh." The man's mouth pursed in a mocking, charming pout. "I was a bad boy, huh?" He tapped the steering wheel with long fingers, the nails neatly trimmed. "Guess I'll just have to take my punishment like a man, officer."
"It's detective," Jim corrected him, his voice stony to match the rock-hard quality of his cock. What the fuck? The guy trotted out a few fake flirtatious lines -- Jim could see the recent mark where a wedding ring had been, and this didn't look like a man shy of taking what he wanted, didn't look like a man in the closet -- and he got a boner? What the hell for?
He got a careless shrug back. If his senses could be trusted -- and right now he wasn't sure they could -- the guy really didn't feel any agitation or concern about getting pulled over.
Now, that was suspicious.
"I'm on my way to the airport to catch the redeye," the man offered when the silence had gone taffy-stretched thin. "Running a little late. So write me a ticket if you really feel you have to, and --"
"No." Jim could smell him, expensive cologne, clean skin, a whiff of arousal… and over it all, something else, pure male. He wanted to see that skin, taste it, dirty it up with spit and scratches and spunk. "No, I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to get out of the car."
Blue eyes met his, a hint of surprise showing and a growing interest, tempered by caution. "Why?"
"Your behavior is giving me probable cause…" His voice trailed off. He'd said those words once to Sandburg and then thrown him against a wall, his hands fisted in fabric, knuckles digging into skin. He didn't think this man would bend to his will with the same startled submission, or fight back a moment later, feisty and infuriated.
No. He'd resist, make Jim work for the victory of having that body pressed up against his, strong and solid. And then he'd relax, smile with all that assurance on display, inviting, challenging.
Want me? Take me. Just don't crease my shirt when you push your hands inside to find muscles to touch, nipples to thumb harder, pinch bright, lick cool.
"My behavior, Detective Ellison? It's been exemplary." That smile again. "Well, since you pulled me over, anyway. But if you want me --" The tiniest of pauses and then he continued smoothly, "If you want me to get out of the car, then sure. No problem."
"You're not wearing a seatbelt," Jim discovered, with some satisfaction.
"I took it off after I pulled over," the man countered smoothly.
Jim ran back a series of images in his head and found one that matched the movements the man would've needed to make to unfasten a belt and let it slide through his hand, every inch of it under his control.
"Is that so." Jim held out his hand. "License, please."
Karl Mayer. The picture was flattering, the smile small, secretive.
"Mr. Mayer, I'm going to let you off with a --" He paused, words of dismissal, absolution dying away as he sniffed once, twice. "What the hell?"
A shadow of dismay and alarm darkened the smooth façade and paradoxically revealed its flaws. The man was older than Jim had first thought, a little shopworn maybe, a little tired. A lot guilty. Mayer knew what he was carrying, he fucking knew.
"Forget that." Jim stepped back, his gun in his hand, its weight familiar, comforting. "Out of the car, lean against it, spread 'em."
"Is this a seduction or the prelude to a strip search?"
Mayer moved slowly, carefully, his naturally fluid strength harnessed by the need to placate, not to provoke. He didn't have an edge to him, though; too long behind a desk, thinking a game of golf was a workout and a drink with a client didn't count. Jim wasn't threatened by him physically.
Then he watched Mayer's hands spread out on the glossy hood of the car and saw the way his pants tightened across his ass as he bent over, all grace and submission, pulling the power out of Jim's hands, disarming him.
"It's neither," Jim told him, as soon as he'd worked up enough saliva to be able to speak in a normal voice. "It's a standard weapon search."
"Oh. Well, I don't have any… apart from something you'd need surgery to remove."
He ran his hands over Mayer's body the way he'd been trained to, feeling the heat of his skin strike up at him through the suit. Kneeling, his gun tucked away, he forced the exploratory stroke up the inside of each thigh to stay light and end well before the promising bulge of the man's balls, a loose enough sway to them to make him wonder if the man was bare under the pants. This close -- his face inches away from Mayer's ass for God's sake -- the lemon-spice of Mayer's cologne was lost in the riper, earthier musk of the dark and hidden places of his body. Mayer was aroused. Apprehensive, yes, but arrogant enough for that fear for the future to be pushed aside in favor of an appreciation of the now.
"Why are you --uhn -- doing this?"
His hand had slipped. His word against Mayer's if the man complained. His slipping, groping, grasping fingers had found hardness, just as he'd known they would. No time to gauge size; it was enough to know that this fucked-up spark Jim felt had struck both ways.
Jim stood, still so close to that bent, posed body. "You know why."
Mayer chuckled, rich and deep. "Well, yes, I suppose --"
"You've got drugs in the car," Jim said, ruthlessly interrupting an assumption that wasn't false, exactly, but wasn't all of it, either.
Mayer's head turned, a startled jerk that had Jim's hand on his gun a moment later. "What?"
He risked a zone and turned his senses onto Mayer, all of them, and said it again. "There are drugs in the car."
"If there are -- and I'm admitting nothing -- they're not mine and I know nothing about them."
Truth. But still…
Jim cuffed him, liking the way Mayer leaned back against him, pliant and promising and hating himself for liking it. Then he popped the trunk, lifted the carpet, found the coke. It hadn't been hidden very well; the carpet had bulged and one corner of it was curled up like a beckoning finger, incongruous in a car this new and shiny. Interesting.
"Fuck," Mayer said tiredly when Jim held up the small bag. Too small, really, to be profitable; too much to be for personal use. Again, interesting. "I can explain --"
"You have the right to remain --"
"I don't want to be silent! Let me explain --"
"Silent," Jim finished and then paused, the words sticking in his throat. He knew the drugs weren't Mayer's. Knew there was more to it than Mayer's words implied, but his senses and hell, yes, his gut, told him that Mayer wasn't guilty.
Mayer turned and met his gaze. "Let me," he said softly. "And I'll let you."
"Let me, what?"
Mayer's assurance was still there, a thick, glossy layer of it, begging to be peeled away, scuffed away, rubbed and scrubbed to nothing, exposing him, but it was being used to appeal, not impress. Mayer was a supplicant, standing; a tall, good-looking man in an expensive suit, driving a classy car, and ready and willing to whore himself out for a chance to sidestep the shit he'd walked into.
The repetition of the words was grating unbearably on Jim at the same time as it was exciting him. Let. It meant so much. Allow. Permit. Without let or hindrance.
Mayer's tongue stroked across thin, well shaped lips and left them wet to Jim's sight. "Anything," he said, still softly, making the word four words, each syllable distinct, dragged out. The final one was a guh, throat-caught and guttural, the sound a man made coming, his breath torn from him as his climax had been, out of his control, his body overriding his mind for a split-second, endless moment.
The sound resonated in Jim's ears, burrowed deep. He wanted to make Mayer say it again, wanted to hear him make more sounds just like it, sounds that weren't words, no matter how much they aspired to be.
And then Mayer frowned, a beautiful frown, a careful furrowing of his forehead and he spoiled the fantasy --
"Unless it leaves marks. Those I wouldn't be able to explain away." Smile, complicit, nudging. "You understand me?"
-- and made it real, so that for a moment Jim couldn't breathe, couldn't do anything but ride out the sucker punch of this being a possibility, a genuine offer.
Sense returned, with a seasoning of disgust, aimed at both of them. "You're married." Betrayers, both; his job, Mayer's marriage; they made a good pair.
"Of course." Mayer brought his cuffed hands out to the side, as best he could, and craned his head, staring down at his bare ring finger. "Oops. It's in my pocket, though."
"You screw around on your wife a lot?"
Mayer grimaced sadly. "I never want to. I love her. But when something comes up… well, life's short. It has to be someone very special. But they're never quite as special as I think they will be. Just new." He smiled. "I've already fucked someone this trip, so you wouldn't count. I'll do what I always do and make a resolution to be faithful on the plane, so until I board, I'm all yours."
"I could arrest you for so many things right now…" Jim began, his words heated, tight with anger.
"I could probably add a few you might have missed, but we both know you won't."
Stick with what he knew was safe. "You have the right to remain --"
"There's a motel two blocks back that way. Take an hour. Two. However long you want. Whatever you want. I'll catch a later flight."
"Whatever I want…"
Mayer studied him with caution shadowing his eyes, as if he was already regretting his wholesale permission to plunder. "Yes. You'll never see me again; I'll forget you before I've finished my first drink on board the plane." He smiled ruefully before Jim could take offense at that. "I won't want to -- but I'll try. And I can promise I'll forget your name and what you look like."
"What I look like…" Jim tilted his head. "Have you noticed --?"
"Yes." Mayer looked thoughtful. "Adultery's a sin, but masturbation?"
"Pretty sure that is, too."
Mayer's teeth showed in a grin. "I won't be going to heaven, then." His smile faded. "Are you going to let me tell you how I think those drugs got there?"
"No." Jim stepped closer, and let the buzz of fatigue, the dreamlike hush of the night, and the insistent throb and ache of his arousal take him out of his life, out of step with who he was.
He needed a break. A space of time when he wasn't what he was. He needed to go off-duty.
"No," he repeated. "I'm going to let you tell me exactly what your limits are and then I'm going to explain to you how much I don't care if they interfere with something I want to do." Mayer's eyes widened in shock and then his face softened with relief as he glimpsed an exit from the nightmare.
"Two hours," Jim said, because he needed the limit to plan. "And they start when you get naked."
Mayer didn't speak, but then, he hadn't been asked a question.
"We go in my truck."
Mayer moved his wrists so that the cuffs clinked gently, a subtle question, and Jim shook his head. "They stay on until I decide they're in my way."
They would look good on Mayer when he was naked, Jim supposed, but they looked even better now, incongruous, even obscene, against the quiet elegance of the man.
He put the coke in his pocket, Mayer's suitcase in the truck, and locked the convertible, for all the good that would do if someone came along and wanted it. The rain was heavier now, and he put the top up. No sense in making it easy for a thief or in ruining good leather.
Mayer's hair was rain dark and he was shivering but he stayed where he was until Jim slid his hand under his elbow and guided him over to the truck, Mayer stumbling once but moving quickly, eagerly.
Jim watched him climb into the truck, knowing Mayer didn't like seeming awkward and clumsy, but not offering to help. He stared without guilt at Mayer's ass, his mind busy. Then he got in and drew Mayer's head down until it was resting in his lap.
"You want me to suck you?"
He threaded his fingers through the wet, soft hair. "You don't have to ask what I want; I'll tell you. And no, I don't. I just don't want you visible."
The man's breath was warm against his thigh and groin. "I'm not wearing my seat belt, detective."
"I'll deal with that infraction later," Jim said, not really meaning it in the sense it sounded -- going to spank your naughty ass for being a bad boy, just wasn't his deal -- but curious, wondering… Mayer stirred, his wet hair rubbing against Jim's leg, cat-like, relaxed, untroubled by the threat, close to purring.
Maybe he'd do it anyway. Pleasure from pain; nice trick to learn through observation. Or maybe Mayer was faking it, being what he thought Jim wanted him to be. That was annoying, but once they were in the room, he'd know just what Mayer felt; the man would have nowhere to hide.
They drove to the motel in a perfect silence and Mayer waited equally quietly, his face averted, cuffed hands hidden, while Jim dealt with a yawning manager, surly and indifferent.
The room was all Jim expected it would be. His lip curled and his skin crawled in an atavistic reaction to the layered smells of too many fleeting, furtive occupants. The rooms to either side were empty. Good.
Mayer stood by the bed and smiled at him, his confidence returning; Jim didn't suppose it ever left him for long. "Well, this is nicely sordid."
"You think you deserve better?" Jim got up in his face without touching him with anything but his breath. "Drug dealer, whore, adulterer, and you think you deserve clean sheets, room service, a fucking chocolate on the pillow?"
"No… but as I'm only guilty of the last one --the second is stretching it a little, don't you think -- maybe I could get a drink?" He nodded at the suitcase Jim had brought into the room. "Scotch in there, if you want some. I always bring my own when I travel."
"No." Blurred with alcohol he wouldn't trust himself. Fuck, he wasn't safe now. "Strip."
"In these?" Mayer turned so that Jim could see the cuffs. "I'm not a contortionist."
"Ask me to take them off."
"Take them off," Mayer said obligingly, the casual, offhand tone making it pretty fucking clear that he didn't expect to get what he'd asked for.
"You can do better than that."
"Yeah, I can," Mayer agreed. "I can say 'please', I can do it on my knees; hell, I'll lick your boots if you want it, but you've got to tell me."
"You don't strike me as a man lacking in imagination," Jim said coldly. "And I'm not into games like that."
Mayer's lips pursed up. "Pity. They're easy."
"Yeah, well…" Jim let his words trail off. The sleaze of the room was getting to him, dousing the brief flare of lust. Sanity was returning. Fuck, what was he doing?
Mayer sighed. "Don't."
"Have second thoughts. Get the fucking cuffs off me for long enough for me to get undressed and then I can guarantee you'll stop thinking for a while."
Jim supposed that he would at that, but the prospect wasn't as appealing as it might have been.
He tilted his head and gave Mayer some serious consideration. Lawyer. Sleazy as the room, with a contrastingly respectable tilt to the front of his pants. Desperate. There had to be something he could do with that combination, something that would let him meet Blair's worshipful blue-eyed greeting in the morning -- hell, in a few hours -- without feeling like screaming at the kid that he wasn't a hero, wasn't even a good cop, and where did he get this idea that Sentinel meant saint because it really fucking didn't, and he could tell Sandburg some stories…
He took off the cuffs and said with a cool, threatening simplicity, "Naked. Now."
And when Mayer had stripped bare, even removing his Rolex, his dick needing just a touch, a firm jack, to get it all the way up, he sat him down in a chair and cuffed his hands behind him, threading the cuffs through the struts of the chair back.
"Spread your legs. Wider. Yeah, that'll do."
He sat on the other chair, a yard or so away, adjusted the way his dick lay because his zipper was digging in, and stroked himself absently once or twice, enjoying the muted thrill from both the touch and the fact that he was doing in front of someone, a stranger.
"I'm puzzled," Mayer said after a moment. "What did you have in mind?"
He wanted to touch, taste, mark. Wanted to reduce the man to whimpers and leave him hard. Walk out without knowing what the man looked like when he came, because it didn't matter to him if Mayer did.
Wanted to make Mayer's mouth taste of darkness and secrets and come.
"I want to know what you'd do. I want you to tell me every single thing you could possibly see yourself doing to me, for me."
Mayer breathed in, sharp and startled, and Jim smiled. "Talk."
Mayer stared down at his dick and pursed his mouth in what looked like disappointment before meeting Jim's eyes. "Am I going to get to put any of this into practice?"
"Maybe." No. Maybe.
"Hmm. Would you like to know what I won't do, or would that just give you ideas?"
"I think I want to know," Jim said thoughtfully. "Yes, I think I would. And if you're planning to lie, I'd rethink that plan."
There was quizzical tilt to Mayer's smile. "Yeah. I would." Jim looked at his watch. "Getting late."
Mayer bit down on his lip and Jim let it fill his sight, that flush of red around the blunt pierce of white, playing with a zone as he'd once played with a knife off-duty, his fingers spread, the knife stabbing down, faster and faster. He pulled out of it in time to catch Mayer's first words, his face set in calmness.
"You -- this is difficult. Saying it. Doing it would be easier, but I suppose you know that and don't care. I talk for my job, and yes, if I wanted to seduce a woman, I'd talk then, but a man… you… no, I've never needed to. You can do so much with a look when you're both hard and you need -- Shit, this isn't what you want, is it? I'm sorry." Mayer -- Jim wouldn't let himself think of him as 'Karl' -- took a shaky breath. "What would I do? I'd undress for you. Slowly. I'd let you sit like that, if it got you off, and I'd let you tell me what to do, how to do it. I'd stand in front of you, close enough to touch if you wanted, and I'd unzip, unbutton, whatever, until I was naked. And then I'd let you look at me, as close as you wanted, where you wanted. I'd bend over for you, open up wide --"
"Yeah, I bet you would," Jim said. Mayer had talked himself hard now, his cock rigid, ruddy, shiny at the tip. "You like showing off, don't you?"
Mayer looked uncertain for a moment, jolted out of his own version of a zone, Jim guessed. Then he grinned. "I suppose I do."
"And you're right," Jim went on, having realized that Mayer needed an example to follow, a target to beat. "I would make you show me what you've got. Bend you over a chair, your hands on your ass, spreading yourself for me to see. Ever done that for real? No, I didn't think so. It's hard to do. You're off-balance and the chair digs into you. Your hands keep slipping because you're sweating from the humiliation, the exposure, and to keep your ass spread wide, the way you've been told, you have to scrabble with your nails, getting a grip on all that tender flesh, and that hurts too, but you're past caring as long as you don't let go, because you know what will happen if you do is going to be so much worse."
Mayer exhales, all sympathy. "When?"
"Hazing," Jim says briefly.
And he'd like that, wouldn't he? To be able to make Jim an equal, a brother. Or would it spoil it, dull the razor edge of debasement Mayer was splitting himself wide open upon? Jim shook his head. "Army."
Mayer muttered something about tax dollars at work and Jim bit back a justification he'd only come up with long after the event, about it being more cost-effective to weed out the weak sisters early, and kinder, too, in the long run.
It hadn't felt kind at the time.
"Okay, I'd do that," Mayer said. "For as long as I could. And I'd let you touch me."
"What with?" Jim countered and it was a game now, a ball smacked back and forth between them.
Mayer stretched as much as he could without breaking the position, splayed out, spread out, that Jim had put him in. "Oh." It was a thoughtful sound, not a surprised one, and there was no sense of Mayer being at all unsure of what Jim meant, something driven home by the slow, deliberate pass his tongue made over his bottom lip. "Would you do that to me?"
"Do what?" He was going to make Mayer say it.
"Fuck my ass with your tongue."
Jim tilted his head back and studied the ceiling. Would he? He swallowed around the imagined taste of it, sharp, sexy, filthy, breathed in the raw musky smell, and felt the tip of his tongue go numb in anticipation of the struggle to wriggle and work its way past strong, tight muscle.
Too damn intimate.
"Then let's just put it on my won't do list."
Jim allowed his gaze to go back to Mayer. "If I'd said I would?"
"Then I'd have got my tongue as far up your ass as it would go and listened to you beg for just another inch deeper."
Jim laughed, which was a mistake because he sounded uneasy, even to his own ears. "Beg. I don't think so."
Mayer's eyes, blue and cool, narrowed. "You'd do it. You'd fucking love to, wouldn't you? Cuff me, order me about -- that's your job, that's normal. You didn't bring me here for normal. Stop wasting your time."
"It's my time to waste," Jim reminded him, striving for an equable, reasonable tone of voice.
Mayer's shoulder jerked up impatiently. "Fine. What would I do… I'd suck you. Let you come in my mouth. Swallow you. Let you come on my face, let you watch me lick it clean, let you feed it to me on your fingers --"
The monotone rush of words was simultaneously arousing and deflating. The images left Jim aching; the delivery left him hollow, cheated.
Mayer fell obediently silent, but there was rebellion in his eyes now, a growing scorn.
"You don't know what I want," Jim said.
"I know it's not this. You're not even touching me, and you want to touch me. You've put me out of reach, and the cuffs aren't to stop me going anywhere; they're to remind you not to hurt me." Mayer's mouth twisted. "You're a good cop, right? Wouldn't beat up a helpless man? And I told you not to mark me, and you're scared that you will. You're scared of a lot of things, isn't that right?"
Jim stood and walked over to Mayer, beautiful, arrogant, mouthy Mayer, stood with his groin inches away from that clever, cruel mouth and watched the lips part in readiness and the expectation of being filled.
Then he went to his knees, his hands clasped behind him, hands cuffing wrists and let the smooth damp head of Mayer's cock paint his face with a snail's trail, shiny and clear. Sucked and licked and bit gently, with Mayer's quiet words guiding him, until Mayer stopped talking, his body arching up in as much as his restraints allowed, his cock sheathing itself again and again in Jim's mouth until he came in a hard jerk, a splash and spurt.
Jim swallowed fluid, thick and choking -- yeah, he remembered it now, that taste, that feeling of being drowned, no air, no escape -- and wiped his face clean of spit and spilled come on Mayer's thigh. He hadn't climaxed. He was still fully dressed. He hadn't done anything but be in the right place to be fucked in the mouth.
His hands were hurting. Aching. Empty.
He knelt with his forehead against Mayer's thigh, high enough up that his cheek was tickled by the hair growing dark and fine on the man's balls, and listened to their blood move through their bodies in a rush and roar.
"I would do that for you." Mayer's voice was hoarse now, the way Jim thought his own would be if he tried to speak. "I would lie beside you on that disgusting bed with that godawful flowered cover and I would kneel between your legs and put my mouth on you and let you slide between my lips, slowly, so fucking slowly, until I couldn't wait any longer and I ate you like candy." He rubbed his leg against Jim's face. "I'm not patient, but if it made you look at me like you wanted to kill me if I didn't suck you, I'd learn."
Jim smiled against the warm skin he was using as a pillow and bit down gently. He liked being down here. Liked hearing Mayer talk to him in the soft lull of a fairy tale.
He had an hour left to stay on his knees and listen.
Maybe he'd uncuff Mayer for the last ten minutes or so and fuck him. Maybe he wouldn't.
Maybe he'd find out who hated Mayer enough to set him up, or maybe he'd just let Mayer handle that little job himself.
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