A Well Kept Man 2: Armani Weekend, Friday

by Mice

Well Kept 2: Armani Weekend
Chapter 1: Friday
Author: Mice
Email: justusmice@yahoo.com
Category: Doggett/Byers
Rating: NC-17, mild consensual bdsm kinks Summary: Doggett takes Byers to NYC to buy a suit and have a weekend on the town. Smut, angst, and complications ensue.
Archive: Basement, Lone Slasher, Countermeasures, XFMU, LGM Fanfic Bunker, Glass Onion, all others ask.
Feedback: Feed me, Seymour!
Website: Mice's Hole in the Wall -- http://www.squidge.org/~surrealarts/mice.html Spoilers: Do they even have those anymore? JTS does NOT exist. Disclaimer: We deserve 'em more than CC does. They still belong to him, though. Author's Notes: NYC beta and Doggett dialect coaching provided by Amazon X. Kinky stuff supervised by Mistress Lady Kate. Rae gave General Beta From Hell, and in such a wonderful way. Thanks to Colonel M for passing Doggett's Marine 'tude. In the XF universe, people have enough trouble. September 11 never happened here. The Manhattan skyline is as it was before that date. This is AU for the XF universe. Mulder wasn't dead when he got back, and he's medically retired from the FBI now. Scully was never pregnant.

ARMANI EXCHANGE
51ST STREET AND 5TH AVENUE, NEW YORK CITY FRIDAY, LATE MORNING

Byers was nervous. Not the paranoid nervous he got when he was out funky poaching, nor the nervous of working a dangerous hack, nor even the nervous he got when he was horny and didn't want people to notice. No, this was the nervous of doing something he'd never done before. It wasn't a bad nervous, just slightly unsettling. He stared up at the building before him.

"You comin' in or what," Doggett asked.

They hadn't really had the chance to see each other for anything but coffee or lunch since the month before, when they had their first intimate encounter. Both had been eager to get together again, and Doggett had suggested the weekend in New York, as he'd made a few promises to Byers before. The first thing on Doggett's agenda was buying Byers a new suit. Despite Doggett's promise, it had never been anything Byers had actually expected to happen, given the expense, but there they were.

Byers was wearing one of his better suits -- dark blue wool -- but it was definitely more Sears bargain basement than something suitable for a weekend on the town. His hands were in his pockets and he felt uneasy.

Doggett opened the door and held it for him, motioning with his head. "C'mon. We got an appointment."

Byers sighed, then passed through the door, and Doggett followed him in. "Somethin' wrong, Johnny?"

"I feel vastly under-dressed." Byers blushed. He looked around at all the impeccably dressed men in the store, sporting outrageously expensive suits with fine silk ties in subtle but powerfully masculine color combinations. Doggett was one of them. He wished he measured up to the standard being set for him. He felt rather like a poor relation, standing next to the rugged, handsome FBI agent.

"Well, that's why we're here. We're gonna take care of that. By the time we get to the show Sunday night, you're gonna look spectacular. Not that you don't look good right now," Doggett said, grinning. He ran the tips of his fingers down Byers' back. "But you're gonna look hot in your new suit." He rested his hand in the small of Byers' back and guided him into the building.

The touch sent an almost imperceptible tremor down Byers' spine. He wasn't given to displays of physical affection in public, particularly not with other men. The touch was small and intimate, but it was as much about their power game as it was about the physical contact itself. He knew that Doggett was laying subtle claim to him, letting him know who was in charge. He savored the discreet eroticism of it.

Doggett gave Byers a faint smile. Byers knew that Doggett was well aware of what he was doing to him. It was apparent that Doggett had plans for their first night in the City. He'd been slowly teasing Byers over the course of the day, and this was just the latest in a series of fairly subtle games. Byers wondered where it would all end up, hoping it would be as good as the first time.

A tall, elegantly handsome dark haired man, probably in his early 50s, approached them. "Ah, John, it's good to see you again!" His voice was faintly accented, with an Italian flavor to it.

"Sergio, how you been?" Doggett took the man's outstretched hand and shook it firmly. With a look to Byers, he said, "Johnny, this is Sergio Brentali, the sales manager. Sergio, John Byers."

Brentali looked Byers up and down with a practiced eye. "Quite well, thank you. And this is the gentleman who will be fitted today?"

Doggett nodded. "First time," he said.

Brentali smiled. "Well, Mr. Byers, I trust we can make this a delightful experience for you. A man's first Armani should be a memorable event." He turned to Doggett. "I know just the colors for him. Let's bring him to the fitting area, shall we?"

Doggett's hand returned to the small of Byers' back, directing him as the two followed Brentali to the large, mirrored room just off the sales floor. Byers looked around nervously. There was a couch, several chairs, and a round dias in the center of the room, like a small stage.

"Have a seat, John," Brentali said, motioning to the couch. He snapped his fingers and a young man appeared. "Ernesto, bring Mr. Doggett his espresso please. What will Mr. Byers be having?" The question was directed to Doggett.

"Cappuccino with cinnamon," Doggett said, easing back into the cushions of the couch. He'd apparently been paying far closer attention to him than Byers expected. Ernesto nodded and disappeared.

An older man entered the room, his fingers covered with chalk. He had a tape measure draped over his neck, and a note pad in his pocket. He looked at Byers. "Come up to the dias, sir." He waved Byers up to stand in the center of the small raised area. Byers moved quietly in front of the man, who moved his body with firm hands to stand straight, then quickly measured him in all dimensions. It was over in moments, and the tailor stepped down, consulted with Brentali in whispers for a moment, then vanished.

"Come sit down, Johnny," Doggett said. He patted the couch cushion beside him. As Byers approached, Ernesto returned and handed Doggett an espresso and Byers a cappuccino. He vanished once again, not saying a word.

Byers took his place on the couch next to Doggett. "What's next?" he asked.

"The tailor's gonna get you some suits to try on. He'll bring back some shirts and stuff too, to go with them. I'll pick the colors and style I like on you. It'll be okay. Have some of that coffee." Doggett sipped his own espresso. "It's damn good here. All Italian stuff."

Byers nodded and sipped his cappuccino. It really was good. The cinnamon had been handled lightly, just enough without being either too delicate or overpowering. He closed his eyes and inhaled, taking in the sharp, rich scent. The small cup was warm between his hands, steadying some of his nervousness. The sales manager seemed to know Doggett fairly well, from what he could tell by their talk. He wondered exactly how well.

Brentali sat on the arm of the couch next to Doggett. "So how long are you in town, John? It's been a while."

"Just for the weekend," Doggett replied, sipping his espresso. "Gonna get some fancy food, catch a show, have a little fun on the town."

"Ah." Brentali smiled. "Which show will you be seeing? There are some very good ones playing right now."

"Just Cabaret. Old, but a decent musical."

Brentali nodded. "A fine choice. Predictable, but good. Just like you." He flashed Doggett a wicked grin.

"You wish you knew how good I was, Sergio." Doggett grinned back. He trailed the tips of his fingers slowly along the inseam of Byers' pants, pausing at his knee. Byers shivered. "And you know I'm not as predictable as you claim."

"What, have you gotten better since last time I saw you in action?" Brentali looked down at Doggett under lowered lids, a knowing smirk on his lips. He looked over at Byers, who shrank uneasily into the couch under the sharp, assessing gaze. "And you're right. This one's not your usual type at all. Rather more delicate and bookish than I'd have expected."

Byers blushed. This was verging into 'too much information' territory. Then again, information was his life. Over the past month, Byers had discovered that John Doggett kept his most private preferences and practices very close to his chest. He was aware that Doggett was a member of a BDSM club in New York, and one in D.C., whose memberships were not listed in any computer he had been able to hack. It wasn't something he'd been about to ask Langly's help for. The club's reputations, however, were spotless. Brentali was probably a member as well, he guessed.

"Rather handsome, though," Brentali continued, "in a 'librarian next door' sort of way. He'll look exquisite in a double breasted two and four."

Doggett nodded, eyeing Byers and continuing to sip his espresso. "That's why I brought him to you." His fingers slid back up from Byers' knee toward his crotch along the seam of his pants, then moved away.

The touch was light as a sable brush, and Byers quickly raised his cappuccino to his lips, hoping the cup and his hands concealed his deepening blush. He doubted anything was going to conceal what was happening in his pants, though. His heart was beating fast, and his breath quickened. He hadn't thought Doggett would tease him like this in such a public place, under the eyes of a man he didn't know. It felt both dangerous and subtly erotic, and he knew this was the effect Doggett was driving for. The sharp boundaries of his shyness kept him in line, and the erotic undertone kept him on the edge of arousal. He hoped he'd be able to calm himself before he had to try the suits on and let the tailor mark the pants for adjustments.

"You always did know how to make a guy look his best--" Doggett chuckled, a low rumble in his chest, "-- under any circumstances."

"Charcoal grey, I think," Brentali said softly, now staring at Byers with open admiration. Byers felt like a moth pinned to a velvet covered specimen board. If Brentali leaned closer, he was sure he'd start sweating. "It would complement those magnificent blue eyes. With a chalk white pinstripe for slight contrast. The color and lines of the suit will accentuate the slim hips and waist." Brentali motioned with one hand, sketching a thin, elegant shape in the air. "Burgundy for the shirt and tie. It would be an understated elegance, and I think he'll look delectable in that style."

Doggett set his empty espresso cup on the tiny end table near the couch. Byers continued sipping his cappuccino, knowing that if he drank it too quickly, the caffeine rush would only make him jitter, and that was the last thing he needed right now. He wouldn't embarrass himself, or Doggett, in front of this man. He knew his social skills left something to be desired, but he also knew that Doggett expected him to be quiet and composed here. His uneasiness had to remain as private as possible, as did his arousal at the two men's interest.

"Your color choices are right on, but don't go gettin' any ideas, there, Sergio. You know I don't share." Doggett placed a hand possessively on Byers' knee.

Byers closed his eyes and focused on the touch, using it to calm himself as much as he could. He was relieved by Doggett reasserting his claim on him, but he had to admit that the two men's vying interests were flattering. After a moment, he looked back up at the them.

Brentali sighed, but there was a smile on his face. "Some things never change, do they John?"

Doggett opened his mouth to answer, but remained silent as the tailor returned carrying several suits, and a pile of other clothing with him. He set them down on the dias and motioned to Byers. A moment later, Ernesto reappeared. Byers set his empty cappuccino cup down and approached the dias.

"Frederick," Brentali said, "show us the color range you've brought."

"Of course, sir," the tailor replied. "Up here, Mr. Byers," he said quietly, once again placing Byers where he wanted him on the raised platform. When Byers stilled, he held up each of the four suits he'd brought, each in a differing shade of charcoal grey, with chalk white pinstripes.

Doggett and Brentali sat on the couch now, side by side. "Ernesto," Brentali said, "please bring Mr. Doggett another espresso."

Ernesto vanished quickly, and Doggett and Brentali watched as the tailor held the suits up near Byers' face so the two men could consider the colors against his skin tone.

"Oh, oh, that one," Brentali said, indicating a fairly dark hue with a slight bluish undertone. There was a subtle note of arousal in his voice. "See how it accentuates those eyes, makes them appear bluer. Wouldn't you agree, John?"

Doggett nodded. "You always did have the best eye for color I ever met, Sergio."

The tailor handed the suit to Byers.

"Go try that one on, Johnny," Doggett said. "Take the burgundy shirt and tie with you." He shooed Byers off the dias, and the tailor led the bearded man into one of the dressing rooms, carrying several items from the stack of other clothing with him.

Brentali leaned to Doggett's ear, speaking quietly and privately. "He seems rather well behaved, despite his... skittishness, and quite delightfully shy. Where on earth did you find him?"

Ernesto returned, handed Doggett his espresso, and vanished as silently as he'd arrived.

"Friend of a friend," Doggett said. "He and a couple of his pals do a little research for me from time to time. They're damn good. They can find just about anything if they've got a good reason for it."

"A research maven? Intelligent as well as handsome; how unusual. Is he obedient?"

"Likes to struggle a little, but only enough to make things interesting. He likes it too much to actually disobey."

Brentali arched an eyebrow. "Are you sure you don't want to trade him for something more your type? I know a very muscular young Marine who's much more your usual style."

Doggett shook his head. "Why, because Johnny's your type? You old letch." He laughed quietly. "Nah. Nobody owns him. No contract to trade you, no matter how much you whine." Byers would never forgive him if he even considered such a thing, though teasing Brentali amused him. It wasn't often he had the upper hand where the suave Italian was concerned. "Besides, he doesn't trust people very easy, and he doesn't know you. Wouldn't be willing to play with a stranger, and I won't do that to him."

"Your consideration is commendable, John. I've always appreciated your grace as a Dom. But if you bring him to the club for a scene while you're in town, I'd love to watch. I imagine he's quite the sensitive type, very sensual under that demure exterior. He rather reminds me of a young colt." He sighed. "Such lovely, delicate skin. I'll wager he burns like redhead, poor thing. At any rate, you must let me know." He laid a hand on Doggett's shoulder and squeezed.

Doggett chuckled again. "No scenes this time. I'm still breaking him in. If I bring him to the club, it'll be strictly to watch."

The tailor emerged from the dressing area, leading Byers back to the dias. Doggett's breath caught at the sight. Brentali sighed, and held one thin hand over his mouth.

"Oh, my," Brentali whispered, eyes alight. "He does clean up well. That atrocious thing he was wearing when you brought him in concealed so much. Are you sure you're not willing to share?"

"Shit, no," Doggett muttered, excited. "You think I'm gonna share that? I'm no fool." He was already imagining what he wanted to do to Byers when he got him back to the hotel after dinner the next day -- and it involved leather wrist restraints, that fancy suit, and Byers' hot mouth around his shaft. He had to deliberately shake off the fantasy in order to concentrate on business.

Byers stood, shifting as the men watched him with predatory expressions. Doggett watched him looking at himself in the mirrors around the room. Byers appeared very pleased with himself. Doggett couldn't blame him. The burgundy brought out the color in his skin, making him look rather less like he spent most of his life indoors, and the grey of the suit drew attention to his eyes, making them seem more intensely blue than usual. The jacket's cut gave the illusion of a broader chest and shoulders, and a more slender waist and hips. Doggett tried to ignore the effect it was having on him.

"I'm willing to make you a serious offer if you ever get tired of him," Brentali muttered into Doggett's ear.

Doggett shook his head and pinned a hard gaze on his old friend. "He's my new toy; I ain't hardly had time to enjoy him yet. Back off, Sergio." The dicker and tease was part of the game, but he found himself feeling very possessive of Byers, and the tone of his voice betrayed him. The hacker was his, and while it wasn't entirely true that he never shared, it was certainly far too early for anything of the sort. Brentali was pushing just a bit too hard for his taste at the moment.

Brentali nodded. "Of course, John. You know I have the greatest respect for you." The reply was polite and friendly, but the heat remained in his eyes.

Doggett couldn't fault him for it; he felt that same heat himself. He'd been right when he guessed that Byers would turn heads. Brentali was a man of exacting tastes who preferred shy, slender, intellectual types. If he hadn't sat up and taken notice, Doggett would have checked his pulse and called an ambulance.

Byers looked back at Doggett, who made a circular motion with his finger. Byers turned slowly, letting Doggett and Brentali see him from all angles, finally returning to face front. The look in Brentali's eyes was a mix of jealousy and desire, leaving Byers feeling pleased yet almost naked at the stranger's scrutiny. Doggett's gaze was possessive, and he nodded to the tailor.

"Please hold still for a few moments, Mr. Byers," the tailor said. With practiced, skillful hands, he tugged at the cloth, tightening here and there, making obscure marks in chalk that Byers knew would be transformed into perfectly fitting seams in the pants and jacket. The man's touch was at once intimate and professionally distant, distracting but stimulating in his heightened state of sensitivity.

Considering the reaction he was getting from Doggett and Brentali, he couldn't wait to try the suit on when it fit properly. Byers thought he'd never looked so good in his life, and couldn't wait to see himself in the suit when it was properly tailored. He felt a rush of power and excitement within the vulnerable space he inhabited. He could feel the heat of Doggett and Brentali's eyes on him, the breathless depth of their interest, and the subtle sexual tension between the two as they sat on the couch playing their own power game. The silk against his skin added to the sensuality of the moment, and he could feel the pace of his heart pick up again. The power of the vulnerability and exposure he felt as they watched him, wanting him, was intense and arousing. He hoped the jacket would preserve his modesty to some extent.

"Please remove the jacket, Mr. Byers," the tailor said. So much for his modesty. Byers swallowed and took off the jacket, draping it over one arm so the men could see the waistline of the pants as the tailor marked them. His pants were slightly loose, but not quite enough to conceal his arousal. He took a deep breath as Doggett and Brentali's eyes focused on his crotch, both of them attempting to hide their own reactions to him.

"Will this be suitable, Mr. Brentali?" the tailor asked as he finished.

"Turn around again, Johnny," Doggett ordered.

Byers took a deep breath and turned in a slow circle where he stood. He knew the two men were looking at more than just the suit. He caught a glimpse of himself from the side in one of the mirrors, only to see his erection standing out slightly from that angle. He blushed but did his best to keep a straight face and continue standing tall as he finished his turn. He could feel the pulse pounding in his throat from his embarrassment.

"Excellent, Frederick," Brentali said. "You may take him back to the dressing room and begin work on the tailoring when Mr. Byers is dressed again."

"Yes, sir," the tailor replied, and once again led Byers to the dressing area. Byers could still feel the men's eyes on him. It excited him, and he smiled in satisfaction once his back was to them.

Brentali sighed and shook his head. "I hope you'll at least bring him along to the club this evening for a few drinks and some dinner. He moves a little awkwardly sometimes, but he looks very trainable."

"And I suppose you wanna be the guy to train him in the social graces, eh, Sergio?" Doggett laughed.

"Well, if you ever require my assistance--"

Doggett grinned. "Oh, no. I got this one totally in hand, pal. But I might bring him by the club for a drink later, just so you can stare at him some more."

Brentali laughed and shook his head. "John, you're a cruel, cruel man."

"That's why they love me," Doggett said, smirking.

Both shifted their attention as Byers returned, now clad in his old blue suit. He stopped and stood near Doggett to one side of the couch. Doggett and Brentali stood, and Doggett placed a hand on Byers' shoulder, emphasizing his possession to Brentali. "So when do we come by to pick it up?" Doggett asked.

"Tomorrow afternoon, after 3 p.m.," Brentali said. "We'll do the final fitting then. Shirt, tie, socks and all the other necessary accoutrements will be waiting with it." The two shook hands. "Good to see you again, John. I look forward to seeing you again soon."

Doggett nodded. "Soon enough." He looked to Byers. "Let's go get you some shoes to go with that thing," he said, squeezing Byers' shoulder.

CAFE WONG FU'S
NOON

Doggett brought Byers to a Chinese place, and they sat in a secluded booth near the back. The clientele was largely Asian, which bode well for the food. With a quiet sigh, Byers settled into the padded bench seat and let himself relax. Doggett slid in next to him where they could both watch the door. The waiter brought tea and menus.

Byers looked at Doggett. Doggett gazed back.

"You can pour for us," he said.

Byers righted the tiny, thick ceramic cups and poured the oolong, setting Doggett's cup before him gently. He paused, waiting for Doggett to drink first. Doggett looked through the menu for several minutes before he picked up the cup. Sipping, he nodded. Byers took his own cup and sipped, then sighed happily.

"What do you want?" Doggett asked.

Byers looked through the menu. Most of the items looked good. He thought for a few moments. "Ginger beef, I think."

Doggett nodded. The waiter returned, and Doggett ordered, getting crispy duck for himself. Once they were alone again, he looked over at Byers.

"Sergio wanted you bad," he said.

"I was getting that impression," Byers said quietly.

"Offered to trade me a Marine for you." There was enthusiasm in Doggett's voice.

Byers blinked. "What? You're kidding, aren't you?"

"I never kid about that kinda deal, Johnny." Doggett smiled slightly, trying not to laugh.

"Well, you said no, right?"

Doggett didn't reply.

Byers' eyes got bigger with the lengthening silence. "Right?" he asked again, anxious. He leaned toward Doggett.

Doggett chuckled. "Well, maybe I'd'a considered it if he offered me two of 'em."

Byers snorted. "Jack!"

"You don't honestly believe I'd swap you over to some guy you don't know, do ya?"

Byers closed his eyes and took a breath. "I hope you wouldn't offer to trade me to anyone. This isn't that kind of arrangement." He looked back at Doggett, who was still chuckling silently.

"I know. But I had you goin', didn't I?" One hand under the table, he traced his fingers along the edge of Byers' kneecap.

"Feels good," Byers whispered.

Doggett's fingers strayed higher, moving up Byers' thigh. "I bet this'll feel even better."

Byers sat still, feeling the fingers steal higher along the inside of his thigh. They didn't stop in a safe place though, but continued until they found his dick lying soft in his lap. It didn't stay that way under Doggett's hand. He had to work to control his breathing.

"What do you--" Byers whispered sharply.

Doggett silenced him with a glance. He sat sipping tea as though nothing was happening. With one last tip, he drained his cup, then sat it on the table.

"Pour me another cup of tea."

"Yes, Sir." Byers picked up the pot, but it was a struggle to keep his hands steady with Doggett's fingers caressing and teasing him. He managed not to spill the hot liquid, then set the pot down quickly.

Doggett was tracing agonizingly slow lines up and down the length of his hardening cock. He didn't remove his hand from Byers' lap when the waiter came to set the dishes of food down, but thanked the man and picked up a pair of chopsticks with his free hand and began his meal, dipping the duck tidbits delicately into the plum sauce.

Byers squirmed.

"You gonna eat?" His hand moved up Byers' shaft and pinched the head with a firm but gentle squeeze, then slid back down toward his balls. Byers suppressed a whimper. "You really should. You're gonna need your strength for later."

Byers tried to collect himself, but it wasn't working. He picked up his chopsticks and started on his ginger beef, but after getting a couple of slices to his mouth, his concentration was so shot that a piece of onion went sailing across the booth to fall into the seat opposite them. He watched in dismay as it hit with a wet 'thup.'

Doggett frowned. "Really, Johnny, you're being very sloppy." He slid Byers' zipper down. "Just relax and quit throwin' your food around." He picked up his tea and sipped again, finishing his second small cup. "Another cup?" He held the cup out to Byers, and slid his fingers inside the open fly of his pants.

Byers managed to pour without mishap, but wasn't able to control the chopsticks enough to get another bite. Doggett's fingers were sliding along bare, hot flesh now, and he braced his back against the seat, head leaning into the cushioning, hands gripping the edge of the seat. He spread his legs to allow Doggett easier access to him, hating himself for loving it so much.

"You okay, Johnny?" Doggett looked him the eyes, a smile on his face. "Here, let me help you out a little." He picked up some of the ginger beef and held it to Byers' lips.

Byers gratefully opened his mouth and let Doggett feed him, his Master's other hand now stroking him softly. "Thank you, Sir," he said, quiet and subdued. The beef was tender and perfectly done, as much a delight to his tongue as Doggett's hand was to his cock.

Byers watched Doggett smile he watched him. He could feel his face softening into pleasure as he became more and more aroused. They looked into each other's eyes for a moment, sharing the heat and intimacy of Doggett's tease. Byers bit his lower lip, closing his eyes for a moment, then turning his face to look back at Doggett. He could see the pleasure on Doggett's face as he held the hot silk of Byers' erection in his hand. Byers tried to control the sound of his deepening breath and the tiny, helpless movements of his hips, but couldn't. He could see that Doggett was aroused as well, but the man seemed in perfect control of himself. On one level, he envied that control while on another, deeper level, he loved the loss of his own.

Byers took a deep breath, trying to focus, but the hand caressing his shaft dominated his attention. Doggett continued to feed him and stroke him languidly, he didn't know how long, until he was close to orgasm. He had no idea if he could keep himself still, keep from calling out if he came, but mercifully -- or perhaps not so mercifully -- Doggett's hand left his cock and zipped his pants up. One soft stroke through the cloth, and Doggett had both hands on the table again.

Byers was painfully hard, his balls tight and aching, not sure whether he should be miserably frustrated or eternally grateful for not being compelled to have a public orgasm in a crowded restaurant at lunch. He decided on a combination of both, taking slow, deep breaths to quell the pressure in his body. Doggett offered him another bite of the delicately spiced beef, and he took it gratefully.

It wasn't long before he was able to manage his own chopsticks again, and he finished his lunch quickly. They lingered over tea and iced lychee for dessert.

"So what are we doing this afternoon," Byers asked.

"I thought we'd go by the hotel so we can get changed into something a little less stiff than these suits, and we could go take a walk in Central Park. Maybe I'll take you through the Guggenheim. Unless you'd like The Cloisters more."

Byers smiled. "Tough choice. But you know I'm more comfortable in a suit than anything else, Jack."

"Yeah, but taking a walk in the park in a suit? In the summer? Come on, Johnny, loosen up a little. I know what I want you to wear anyway."

"Oh. In that case, I think I can be flexible." Byers nibbled a lychee, playing with the fleshy texture of the fruit in his mouth.

Doggett grinned. "I figured." He watched Byers thoughtfully.

Byers took a lychee on the end of his spoon and began licking and sucking it in a terribly suggestive way. If Doggett could tease him, he could certainly return the favor.

Byers watched Doggett watching his tongue moving on the rounded shape. Doggett's eyes widened, and Byers felt a surge of pleasure at being able to tweak the man just a bit.

"If you don't stop doin' that right now, Johnny," Doggett growled, "I won't be responsible when your pants are around your ankles and you're leaned over this table with my dick in your ass." There was a definite hint in his Master's tone that suggested he had pushed things almost too far.

Byers sucked the lychee into his mouth and swallowed it quickly. That wasn't quite the kind of scene he wanted to participate in. Tables, yes. Pants around his ankles, even better. But not during lunch rush at a Chinese restaurant. "Sorry, Sir." He tried to put enough contrition into his voice, but wasn't sure he was succeeding. He smothered a chuckle, squelching the smile that almost curved his lips.

Doggett snorted. "Yeah, I bet. You're just beggin' to get your ass spanked when we get back to the hotel, aren't you?"

"No, Sir. Not at all." He shook his head emphatically. It was a lie, and both of them knew it.

Doggett glowered at Byers, obviously thinking evil thoughts. The waiter brought them the check. Taking the small leather folder, Doggett handed it to Byers. "You're handling this one."

Byers blinked. Doggett had assured him that the weekend would be paid for. He hadn't brought much in cash, and there was less than fifty dollars in his checking account. There was never much more than that, really; he and the guys were almost always broke. He took the bill in his hand and looked. Nearly twenty five dollars. The duck had been pricey. He took a deep breath. With a suitable tip, that would be all but about three dollars of what he had on him. This wasn't quite the result he'd hoped for from his tease, but it was ample proof that he'd blown his advantage. He'd have to be far more subtle the next time he tried playing games with his Master. Silently, he pulled his wallet from his pocket and paid the waiter. He hoped this would be the only punishment he received.

"Keep the change," Doggett told the man. Byers looked up at him and swallowed, his face wrinkled with anxiety. "Come on," Doggett said, "we're going back to the hotel." He rose, and Byers got up and followed him.

Doggett hailed a cab and they returned to the hotel in silence. Neither of them was going to discuss the situation where anyone would overhear. It was a mercy, as far as Byers was concerned. He wondered what would happen when they arrived.

PARKER MERIDIEN HOTEL
ROOM 1246
EARLY AFTERNOON

The elevator carried them to the 12th floor, and Doggett led him to their room. It was a large, comfortable suite with a king sized bed, a dining area and living space, and a lavishly appointed bathroom. They had already unpacked their suitcases into the dresser and closet provided.

Doggett pointed to the couch. "Sit down," he ordered.

Byers obeyed, seating himself quickly and fixing his attention on the man who stood over him.

"You know why I had to do that." Doggett crossed his arms as he looked down at his contrite companion.

"Yes, Sir." Byers nodded.

"You tell me why I did that."

"I was out of line, Sir. I challenged your authority."

Doggett nodded. "And you understand the seriousness of that challenge, and why I couldn't let it pass."

"Yes, Sir," Byers said, his voice quiet. There was no hint of his earlier tease. The nature of the punishment had been something of a shock, but it hadn't been outside their negotiated boundaries.

"You got any cash left after that stunt?"

Byers looked down at the floor. "No, Sir."

"Then don't make me do that again. Next time, you'll be washin' dishes."

"Yes, Sir."

Doggett pulled out his wallet and held out a fifty to Byers. "This is for emergencies. You never know what might happen, and I won't have you here broke if you need to get a cab or somethin' and I'm not with you."

"Thank you, Sir." Byers reached out gingerly and accepted the bill. He put it in his wallet and waited.

"C'mere." Doggett said, warmth returning to his voice as he motioned for Byers to rise and approach him.

Byers got to his feet, wondering what would come next. He took a step toward Doggett. His Master's hands slid around his waist, surprisingly gentle under the circumstances. Doggett drew him into a silken embrace, then lowered his lips to Byers' mouth. He responded gratefully, closing his eyes and wrapping his arms around the man's broad shoulders. The agent slid his hands down and caressed the curves of Byers' ass, bringing him close and pressing his hips into Byers' groin. Byers drew a sharp breath as Doggett's tongue opened his lips. He let the warm, wet tongue caress his own, relinquishing control completely.

It was a deep, satisfying kiss.

"Let's get ready to go to the park," Doggett said softly, still holding Byers close. Byers nodded, though he would far rather that they spent time together there in the room for a while first. After the way Doggett had been teasing him earlier, he wanted the body contact, wanted restraints, wanted Doggett's hands on his sides, back, and chest. He wanted slaps, caresses, arousal, and release. He wouldn't ask. He knew that it wouldn't be granted. Not yet.

Doggett released him and they entered the bedroom. "Get undressed," Doggett said. He loosened his tie, and Doggett watched. "Slow, so I can enjoy it."

"Yes, Sir." He drew out his motions, moving smoothly. Doggett nodded his approval as Byers unbuttoned his shirt, languid and deliberate. Byers began to warm to the idea, knowing he was being given a chance to be the tease again, but under orders this time, kept to his proper place.

He took advantage of the situation, watching his Master's eyes as they moved over his body appreciatively. He revealed his skin a little at a time, sliding his fingers over himself, gratified as Doggett's pupils dilated and he began to breathe more quickly. His own breath quickened as he exposed more of himself to the man's hungry gaze, dropping his tie on the bed, opening his shirt, removing it, and slipping his t-shirt over his head with a slow, sinuous movement.

"Stay still, just like that," Doggett ordered softly, as Byers' arms were extended over his head to pull the tshirt all the way off, feet slightly apart. His face, which had been briefly covered by the t-shirt, had again been revealed, hair tousled, but his arms were still tangled in the cloth. Doggett approached him and ran his fingers delicately over Byers' flesh. "Don't move," he whispered into Byers' ear.

The feel of his Master's fingers, the soft pads of their tips, and the short nails, the hiss of warm breath in his ear, raised goosebumps on his skin and he shivered. His nipples stiffened, an erection growing in his pants. He held himself motionless, accepting the powerful touch, arms restrained, crossed above his head by his twisted shirt. Doggett moved his elbows apart so that he was in an open, exposed position. Byers kept them where they had been set, and Doggett placed a soft kiss on his mouth, then trailed his lips and the tip of his tongue down Byers' throat, along his adam's apple, and down to the hollow where his throat met the top of his ribcage.

Byers sighed. "Please," he breathed.

Doggett's mouth moved slowly, heated breath on his skin, following the line of his clavicle to the juncture of muscles at the top of his shoulder. A kiss, a nip, and his Master's mouth moved on. Byers moaned quietly, letting go of any expectation and control.

Doggett felt Byers' submission, felt the eager compliance and the keen response to his mouth's ministrations. He held Byers' waist in his hands, bracing him against the slightly awkward, unbalanced position in which he'd stopped the man's striptease. For this, no restraints were necessary. His word was bondage enough. Byers would not move until Doggett moved him, with hand or voice. He reveled in the power of it, aroused by his sub's arousal and his control over the slender man. His obedience was heady, like dark, smoky bourbon.

Trailing his tongue down Byers' chest, he kissed one peaked nipple. Byers gave a shallow gasp. Doggett nipped, and Byers groaned, his head rolling back, eyes closing. He sucked the other nipple hard and Byers groaned again, louder.

"You're so hot, Johnny," Doggett told him, his voice smooth as black silk. "When you obey, you get rewarded." He slid his hands down to Byers' belt and unbuckled it. "You know that's what you really want. You want me to touch you. You want me to strip you. You want me to hold you down and fuck you." He took a deep breath as he saw Byers react physically to his words; breath quickening, the pulse point at his throat throbbing, his swollen shaft rising under the cloth of his pants. He could hear Byers' heart pounding as he opened the man's fly and slid his pants and boxers down his hips, along his legs to his ankles.

Released from its shelter, Byers' cock was purple, twitching with his fast pulse. Doggett inhaled, savoring the musk of his arousal, then nuzzled the soft, wiry curls of his pubic hair.

"Ohhhhhhh..." The sound of need in Byers' voice shot through him. The sight and scent of the man went straight to his own shaft. He pulled Byers' shoes off one at a time, then slid off the socks, followed quickly by the pants and boxers. He tossed them aside, then stood, bracing Byers' hips with his hands as he gazed at the shy man's nudity, arms tangled above his head in his white t-shirt.

He wished he'd brought a camera, but knew that there could never be photos. That kind of evidence could compromise both of them. He drank in the tone of Byers' skin in the early afternoon light through the bedroom window, the curve of his body as it arched from hips and hard shaft upward to trapped arms, the tilt of his head, the sensual open lips and closed eyes. He moved away from Byers for a moment, watching to make sure the man's balance was steady, then shed his own clothes quickly. A moment later, he had a hand on Byers' waist again, the other caressing his own hard rod.

Doggett's breathing roughened as he watched Byers, listened to the soft sound of flesh on flesh as he stroked himself. Byers opened his eyes to watch, and Doggett stared at his sub's exposed body, the satiny head of his own thick cock jerking in a sharp tempo. Doggett could see that Byers wanted to move, but was restraining himself. The want in Byers' eyes was astonishing and deep.

"You love this, don't you?" Doggett said. His low baritone was rough and harsh, his breath coming fast. "You love to see me jerking off, knowing you're what turns me on. Let me tell you, Johnny, you do turn me on. Seein' you like this, all hard and hot and wanting it so much, knowing you can't have it unless I give it to you, that turns me on. That gives me a rush."

Doggett jerked himself faster, enjoying the look of lust and want on Byers' face. "Get on your knees," he ordered. Byers slipped to the floor, mouth open, obviously hoping to suck him. The hacker kept his tired, shaking arms above his head, and Doggett took his wrists in his empty hand, pressing them down behind Byers' neck. Byers sighed with relief as the stress in his arms was eased. He looked up at Doggett, then licked his lips and opened his mouth again, begging silently.

Doggett pulled out a condom packet from the bedside drawer and contemplated it briefly, but didn't open it. He set it down on the stand. Byers still didn't trust him enough to do anything without latex, but from the glaze in the man's eyes, he'd have to be reminded of it.

"No, Johnny, you don't get to suck me yet. You don't get to do anything except kneel there. Don't try to move." He stroked himself hard a few times, then squeezed, and rubbed the head of his cock on Byers' beard, leaving a thick, clear thread of pre-come along his furry chin, glistening just under his lower lip. He moaned at the feel of it, and Byers whimpered, fighting to keep still, obviously resisting with all his power the urge to lick the liquid, and Doggett's head that whispered a torment along his lip, without permission.

Doggett toed Byers' knees wide apart, stroking himself hard again, and watched as the man's throbbing shaft was exposed to his full view. "You're beautiful, Johnny," he gasped, "god." Taking Byers' hair in one hand, he stroked his balls then pumped his shaft hard and fast as he slid the head of it under Byers' chin. The sensation of the soft edge of Byers' beard and the slight prickle of stubble just behind it sent him over the edge, and he shot hot come all over Byers' neck, shoulders and chest. With a shout and a shudder, he kept jerking, kept coming, and the creamy liquid spattered Byers' chest and started dripping down his abdomen.

They cried out together, Doggett grunting through gritted teeth as his orgasm shook his body. Byers was moaning, desperate with desire.

The sticky wet heat of his Master's come on his body, and the musky male scent of it was pushing Byers near the brink. He closed his eyes, hoping that Doggett would let him suck his cock clean, but nothing happened. He opened his eyes again, and looked up at his Master.

"Sir?" he panted.

"Go take a shower," Doggett said, still breathing heavily. He released Byers' hair with a caress. "You don't get to taste my come, and you don't get to make yourself come either. Just clean up and I want you right back. I'll have your clothes ready for you when you're done."

Byers slumped, stifling a groan. "Yes, Sir," he said, his voice barely controlled. "Thank you, Sir." This had been much more exquisitely cruel than the tease at the restaurant. The edge was delicious, and far too close, but he wouldn't disobey the command. He had no desire to discover what other punishments Doggett might have in his arsenal for such a blatant violation.

Gratefully, he pulled the t-shirt off his arms and stretched carefully, moving so he wouldn't stiffen up and ache later. He stood, still hard and agonizingly close to orgasm, and entered the bathroom. He turned on the water and adjusted the temperature, then stepped into the shower, sighing.

For a few moments, he let the hard needles of water beat into his shoulders, relaxing his tight muscles. The stimulation of the falling water would have been enough to take him over the edge if he stood under it in the right place, but orders were orders, and he simply soaped himself and washed Doggett's come off his body. His erection was fading, but slowly, and he rubbed his face with the palms of his hands, letting the water pound into his hair.

At least the walk in the park might take his mind off the intense teases he'd been subjected to today. He decided he was more in the mood for The Cloisters than the Guggenheim. The intricacy and jeweled complexity of medieval art housed in replicas of French monastery cloisters might be more soothing than the modern art collection of the great white spiral building.

He returned to the bedroom, his hips still wrapped in the white hotel towel. Doggett had laid out clothes for him. Faded blue jeans, a polo shirt in royal blue, boxers, socks and sneakers. He never felt quite right dressed in clothes like that, though he owned them. He'd been wearing suits since he was just a kid. They felt natural, safe. These clothes always felt too informal and revealing, not just of his body, but of things within him that he preferred to guard carefully. He knew it was irrational, but he felt that clothes like these opened a sort of window into him, allowing an unintentional glimpse at something slightly too vulnerable and real. Standing by the bed, he waited for Doggett's permission to dress.

Doggett was already clothed, also in faded jeans, with a dark green t-shirt. "Drop the towel and come here," he said.

Byers hoped he wasn't in for another tease so soon. Not that they weren't incredibly sensual, but the frustration level was getting hard to withstand. He let the towel slide from his hips, leaving him nude, and walked over to stand before his Master.

Doggett picked up a tube off the dresser and opened it. "Sunscreen," he said. "You won't be any fun if you get all burnt up." Byers looked over at the short sleeved shirt he was to wear, and extended a hand for a squirt of the cream. "Just your face. I'll do the rest," Doggett said. He put a small dab in Byers' palm, then began applying cream to the slender man's body.

Byers enjoyed the feeling of the sunscreen being massaged and stroked into his skin. Doggett's hands were firm, gentle, and thorough, from the base of his beard and the back of his neck to halfway down his torso, and along his arms to the tips of his fingers. This, combined with the massage of the water in the shower, was soothing and restful. He sighed happily, smiling. It was sensual without being overtly erotic, and allowed him his submissive space without a need for Doggett to be aggressive or dominant in a showy way. In that moment it was exactly what he needed.

"Don't forget your ears," Doggett said.

"Yes, Sir." Byers smeared a little sunscreen on them and rubbed it in until the cream disappeared. It was apparent that he'd been forgiven for his earlier disobedience, and he was glad.

Doggett examined Byers, running a hand along his skin, looking for missed spots. Not finding any, he nodded, satisfied. "You can get dressed now."

He sat on the bed, watching Byers put the clothing on. The royal blue of the shirt deepened the clear blue of Byers' eyes. He wasn't especially handsome by ordinary standards, but Byers' eyes were one of his best features, and Doggett liked them. They were expressive eyes; usually thoughtful and a bit solemn, reflecting the man's nature, but he'd also seen sparks of humor and mischief in them. He found that he enjoyed seeing that in Byers.

The faded jeans revealed the curves of Byers' ass, almost always hidden under the man's ever-present suit jacket. Byers' posture revealed some discomfort with the clothing, but he looked good with the shirt hugging his chest and abdomen and the jeans tracing the thin lines of his hips and legs. Normally Doggett would have found Byers a little too thin, a little too short, a little too shy -- and a lot too paranoid. He wasn't sure he understood his attraction to the hacker, which had grown since their first encounter. It wasn't just the man's reactions and responses to the game, though those would be reason enough to play with him when he was available. There was more to it than that.

Maybe it was the spark of dry wit that Byers let show from time to time, or his keen intelligence. Perhaps it was those beautiful eyes, or the softness of the man's hair and beard. Then again, it might have been a simple unconscious desire for some variety. Whatever it was, he let himself enjoy it as he watched Byers finish dressing. He looked forward to their first night together.

"Does it please you, Sir?" Byers asked when he had transferred his wallet from his suit pocket to the front pocket of his jeans.

Doggett nodded. "Yeah. You look real good." He held out a hand to Byers. "C'mere."

Byers approached, taking the proffered hand. Doggett stood and pulled Byers close, wrapping his arms around him. Byers returned the hug, and they stood for a few moments in silence, holding each other, enjoying each other's touch. With a quiet breath, Doggett released the man and stepped back.

"Did you decide where you wanted to go after the park?"

Byers nodded. "I'm in the mood for The Cloisters, I think."

"Sounds good to me. It's okay to call me Jack for the rest of the afternoon. I think I want to walk in the park and do The Cloisters without having to keep up the game. After that, we'll see."

Byers nodded. "Thanks, Jack. Anything else we need to do before we leave?"

"Your shoulders okay?"

"Yeah. The shower, and the massage when you put on the sunscreen took out all the knots."

"Good. Let's go, then."

CENTRAL PARK
MID-AFTERNOON

The park was bright in the afternoon sun. The day was hot but hadn't yet reached the full oppressiveness of New York's humid summer suffocation. A light breeze played through the trees. It was actually very good weather, and Doggett was enjoying himself immensely. Byers was wearing sunglasses, his eyes more used to indoor lighting. They looked good on him, Doggett thought. Actually, a lot of things looked good on Byers, though he doubted the younger man would believe it.

"You doin' okay with the weekend so far?" Doggett asked.

Byers smiled. "I think your teasing is going to be the death of me," he said.

Doggett laughed. "You don't look like you're anywhere near dropping dead, Johnny. Don't even try to tell me you don't like it. Not when you beg so well."

Byers blushed, still smiling. "Okay, so I like it. I'm still looking forward to getting some relief tonight." He looked at Doggett as they walked. "I mean, there will be some relief tonight, won't there?"

"Well, it was on my agenda at some point."

"You're a hard man, Jack," Byers said, his eyes alight. He looked down at Doggett's crotch.

Doggett laughed. "That's why you want it so much."

"I do, I do," Byers said quietly, grinning. "You're just not giving it to me. Cock tease."

"You wouldn't say that if I had you on your knees, boy."

Byers snorted. "I wouldn't have to, would I? You'd be demonstrating."

"Byers, anybody ever tell you you're a wise-ass?"

"Frohike, constantly, though he tends to use it on Langly more often."

Doggett smiled. For some reason, it seemed like the casual clothing brought out a somewhat more relaxed attitude in Byers. He seemed less guarded, perhaps a little less anxious, though it was obvious he felt somewhat uncomfortable without his suit.

"Well, wise-ass, you may find yourself dressed like this a little more often. It seems to be doing you some good. It's like I can see more of what you're really like this way."

Anxiety flashed in Byers' eyes, but he covered it quickly. "That's part of the reason I don't wear clothes like these very often. I don't want people to see me like this."

Doggett blinked, confused. "Why not? You look good like this."

"I feel... almost naked sometimes. Like people can look right through me. I don't care for it much." Byers looked away. "I feel safer in a suit. Like I can be invisible."

Doggett reached out and grasped Byers' shoulder, stopping. Byers stopped with him at the touch. "Johnny, are you afraid of me?"

Byers shook his head. "No more than I'm afraid of everyone else."

"Do you think I'm gonna hurt you if I learn too much about you?" There was concern in his voice, his head tilted as he looked at the man. The last thing he wanted was for Byers to think he would hurt him.

Byers hesitated. "Don't take this wrong, but I don't know yet. You haven't so far. But it wouldn't be the first time someone has." He sighed, the solemnity returning to his face. Doggett realized that part of what he'd been seeing in Byers' eyes every time he looked at him was a well-disguised sadness. He wondered what had caused it, what had made it such a deep part of the quiet man.

"Do you actually trust anybody, John? Really trust them?"

"Frohike," Byers said, "Langly. I'm learning to trust Jimmy, but he's not a duplicitous person by nature."

"Not Mulder or Scully?" Doggett raised an eyebrow in surprise.

Byers looked down at the path as a jogger passed them. "To some extent. They get into such dangerous situations, though, and we never know if one of them is going to come back someday and not... not be themselves anymore." He shook his head and looked back up at Doggett. "You've heard about the shapeshifters. About the clones."

"That's a load of horse shit."

"No," Byers said. "I've seen convincing evidence. And while I may not always be able to trust whether or not Mulder or Scully are themselves, I do believe what they say about most of their cases. And you -- those supersoldiers you talk about. Are they a load of horse shit too?" His eyes were guarded, accusatory.

Doggett sighed. "I'm not sure what the hell they are." He'd lost enough sleep worrying about it.

"But you don't doubt they exist."

"I've seen 'em with my own eyes. Seen shit I couldn't possibly believe otherwise. I've been picked up and tossed by one of those things."

Byers nodded. "And Agent Scully and Mulder have both had similar experiences with the shapeshifters and the clones, Jack. I've seen a sample of that acid green clone blood. I won't pretend to know if they're aliens or not, but I do believe they exist."

Doggett nodded, sighing. "Okay, you got me there. It's just hard to believe that stuff when I haven't seen it myself."

"And it's hard for me to let go of the paranoia that keeps me alive, Jack." Byers put his hand on Doggett's as it rested on his shoulder. "That's why it's hard for me to trust anyone. That's why it's hard for me to trust you, though I mean no offense."

"But you still let me do this stuff to you."

A wry smile bent Byers' lips. "Agent Scully trusts you. Mulder may not trust you, but he does respect you. For my purposes, their trust and respect are a high recommendation. And you told me the truth about your screening tests, about being clean. You've been honest with me about your relationship with Agent Reyes. That's a start."

"Why would I lie to you?" Doggett asked. He'd known Byers would check on the things he told him. Lying would have been worse than useless, and he didn't care to lie to the men he took to bed anyway. The vulnerability inherent in the situation was too deep for lies. It needed trust, or at least the potential for it.

Byers just looked at him.

"Yeah. Right. Too many guys do."

"Besides," Byers said, "that night, I knew the guys were going to be home in a few hours, and that you needed the information they were bringing. The likelihood of you hurting me under those circumstances was very low."

Doggett snorted at Byers' blatant cynicism. "So, after all our talking about this, why are you here if you don't trust me?"

Byers blushed, turning his face away. "Because I want to trust you. Because I enjoyed what we had and what you did to me, and I want more of it. Because you showed me you had fairly clear boundaries, and through our later talks, I saw that you could respect mine. Because sometimes I need someone -- just like you do -- and you're the closest thing I have right now to someone I can trust." He chuckled and grinned, looking back up at Doggett. "And besides, you offered me this all expenses paid trip to New York. How could I say no?"

Doggett grinned back at Byers, then squeezed his shoulder. "I guess that's fair. Under the circumstances, I can live with earning your trust." He looked around quickly and, not seeing anyone paying any attention to them, placed a brief but gentle kiss on Byers' neck. "At least I'll be having a good time while I do it."

The two men walked again, following the path deeper into the shade of the trees.

"I got a question for you, Johnny," Doggett said.

Byers looked up at him. "And?"

"You ever been to a club in the scene?"

Byers shook his head. "No. I've never had anyone to go with, and I didn't feel like it would be a good idea to go alone. Langly goes with Skinner sometimes, though."

"Would you like to? There's a private club here I go to when I'm in town. We could have dinner there, a drink or two. Maybe watch a scene if you're interested." He watched Byers carefully to gauge his response.

Byers' brow wrinkled, a look of confusion on his face. "Does this involve me being on a leash or anything?"

Doggett laughed. "No, not unless that's how you want to go there."

Byers shook his head in a vigorous no. "I don't think so!"

"Sometimes guys bring their subs dressed up like that, or in leather body harnesses, or stuff like that, but for the most part, people just dress fairly normal." Doggett smiled. "You can wear your suit if you like, since you feel most comfortable in that. But understand that you'll be seeing some stuff you're not used to seeing in public, okay?"

"Are people going to touch me?"

"Do you want them to?"

Byers stopped, surprised by the question. "I... you know, I'm not sure. I never really thought about it." He took a few hurried steps to catch up with Doggett, who had continued walking.

"Nobody will touch you without my permission," Doggett said. "So if you don't want to be touched, just tell me. I won't let anybody mess with you. You're mine, and they'll know it."

"Is your friend Brentali going to be there?" Byers asked, curious.

Doggett nodded. "Yeah, he asked me to come by tonight. Wanted me to bring you. Why, were you curious about him?" He watched Byers, noting the man's breathing had sped up slightly. "You want him to touch you?"

The question flustered Byers. He blushed. "I think... I mean, I could see he was interested in me earlier today. You told me that he..." Byers trailed off into silence.

"He wants you," Doggett agreed. "How do you feel about that? Did that turn you on?"

Byers nodded silently.

"You can let him touch you without it having to be anything else, you know," Doggett said. "I could make sure he would only touch you where you wanted to be touched. Nothing extreme. He wouldn't be grabbing your package, or sticking his hands under your clothes." The idea intrigued Doggett. It could make the game more fun, having another top to play off of. Watching Byers tremble under another man's touch might leave him feeling territorial, but when he finally got Byers back to their room, asserting his dominance and claiming his sub would be all that much sweeter. His voice deepened, arousal in his eyes. "But if you wanted, I could let him run his hands along your ass. You'd be safe. I'd draw the lines for him that you wanted drawn."

"We could do that?" Byers asked. His eyes had widened slightly, and the catch in his breath was more noticeable. "You seemed pretty territorial this morning."

"From what I could tell, that was part of what was gettin' you excited, wasn't it?"

Byers lowered his eyes. "Well." He swallowed, though his mouth was dry. "Actually, yeah, it was," he admitted.

"So would you like that? To go to the club tonight? Maybe let Sergio play with you a little?"

The bearded man considered for a few moments. "You'll make sure it stays safe for me?" There was a twinge of skepticism in his voice.

"Of course," Doggett reassured him. "That's part of my job. I won't let anybody do anything to you that you don't want."

"How should I act while we're there?" Byers asked. Doggett smiled.

"Like you would while we're playing," Doggett explained. "You bring me stuff if I want it, be where I want you to be, stay where I put you, come when I call you, treat me like you have been today. I might play with you if I'm in the mood for it, like earlier today. I think you'd enjoy watching a public scene or two. It doesn't actually get to fucking most of the time, but there might be nudity, and the scenes usually include bondage and discipline. Nobody interrupts a scene except the dungeon master, you don't touch anybody or anything belonging to anybody else without permission, and the other Doms can't touch you or tell you what to do unless they have my permission."

Byers looked excited. Doggett could see the quickness of his pulse at his throat. Byers was flushed and looked aroused from earlier in the day, a hardness starting in his jeans. The bearded man nodded. "That seems pretty straightforward."

"You? Straight?" Doggett asked, grinning broadly. "Not even in your dreams."

Byers laughed. "And how would you know what I dream about?"

"I know what turns you on," Doggett said, leaning into Byers' ear as they walked, his voice low and sultry. "I know how to make you come hard. And I know that everybody dreams about things that make 'em come. I also know that a woman wearing a strap-on ain't the same as having a man's hot, hard rod up your ass."

"That's true, about the dreams," Byers said. Doggett watched the shiver slide down his spine. "But just remember, you don't know everything about me."

Doggett grinned evilly. "Give me time, Johnny. Give me time."

Byers smiled shyly, blushing hard.

Doggett looked down at his bulge, smiling. "Damn, you look good in those."

Byers kept walking, shifting to try to adjust himself without reaching down his pants and grabbing himself publicly, like some baseball player. Doggett chuckled, leaving the shy man to his silence while he performed his uncomfortable shimmy. He amused himself by thinking about bending Byers over a park bench and sliding into his tight ass.

"Laugh while you can, monkey boy," Byers grumbled.

Doggett raised an eyebrow. "Monkey boy?"

Byers shifted his waistband, finally achieving some comfort. He looked at Doggett. "Oh, you don't -- sorry. I'm being a geek again. It's a 'Buckaroo Banzai' movie quote." He sighed.

"Weird-assed tacky movie with John Lithgow?" Doggett asked, slightly confused.

Byers blinked. "You've seen it?"

"Long time ago, but I didn't remember much about it except for a buncha aliens all named John."

"I wonder if this makes us both Lectroids from Planet Ten," Byers said, chuckling.

Doggett snorted. "I got no idea what you just said, but I think I want the answer to be no."

"Good choice," Byers said. "I'd rather be Professor Hikita anyway."

"You're weird."

Byers laughed. "And you just noticed?"

Doggett shook his head. He decided that if he hung around with this man too much, he'd probably have to adjust to things far stranger than Mulder's theories. But then, maybe that wouldn't be such an awful thing. He was pretty sure if he'd gotten the joke, it would have been funny.

They walked through the park for over an hour, stopping occasionally to sit on a bench and watch the people moving by. With time, Byers seemed to get slightly less uncomfortable in the casual clothes he wore. Doggett bought them fresh pretzels from a cart, still hot and chewy. They sat again, a flock of hopeful pigeons at their feet.

Byers nibbled the pretzel, then looked over at Doggett. "How much does Agent Reyes know about what you do?" he asked.

"She knows I'm with guys sometimes. I told you that."

"I mean, does she know what you do when you're with men?"

Doggett shook his head. "No. It's not something she needs to know. Just like the FBI doesn't need to know that I take men to bed with me."

"Does she know about our arrangement?" Byers asked.

"She knows I'm seein' somebody, but she doesn't know who. Most of the time, I don't see the same guy for very long. She doesn't ask. Never really met one I wanted to have stay with me. Not for too long, anyway." Doggett sighed. "I've tried, but most guys, they're just not the staying type."

Byers nodded, looking thoughtful. A ghost of regret passed his face and vanished quickly. "But you've known Agent Reyes for a long time. Have you and she..."

"Well, yeah, but that's different. We don't do anything like this. We're... I guess we're just good friends who sleep together sometimes." He shrugged, then looked away from Byers, watching the people pass by. "Ever since Luke... since the divorce... now and then, you know. We've been there for each other. She sees other guys sometimes, but nobody seems to stay with her, either. I dunno why. She's a good woman. Deserves somebody who would just be hers, you know? Sure as hell not that jerk, Follmer, though." He looked back, seeing sympathy in Byers' eyes.

"I could check him out for you, if you'd like. If there's any dirt on him, I'd find it."

Doggett shook his head. "Not now. Not yet, anyway. He's a jerk, but he's not messing with her career or anything. If she says he's givin' her a hard time, then yeah, I'll ask."

"Okay," Byers said, nodding. He took another bite of the pretzel.

Doggett watched Byers for a few moments, eating his own pretzel as he thought. After he swallowed, he asked, "Why have you been alone for so long, Johnny? A guy like you, I'd expect you'd have a partner."

It was Byers' turn to sigh. "I... I guess a lot of it is that it's hard for me to meet people. I don't get out much for things other than work. I don't go out to the bars, and I'm just not public about... well... as you said, the FBI doesn't need to know you sleep with other men. I don't feel like my private life is anyone else's business. Only the guys know, really. And Skinner. And you."

"You're worried about blackmail?"

Byers snorted. "Some. I'm more worried about ending up involved with someone that turned out to be involved in one of the conspiracies. It's less about blackmail than about being used against my friends, or even getting killed by someone who fooled me into trusting him. The work we do, it's too important for me to take personal risks like that." The sadness in Byers' eyes deepened for a moment, then vanished behind the calm mask of his usual expression.

Byers seemed lost in thought. Doggett wondered what he was thinking. Byers shook his head after a moment and looked back at Doggett. "For me, it's never really been about the usual things. The few people I've been with over the years have generally thought I was just too strange. I was married once, for about a year, back around 1993. Her name was Doreen."

Byers hung his head, speaking quietly, and Doggett thought he looked like he was carrying the entire planet on his shoulders. "She thought some of the things I wanted were... too kinky. She couldn't stand the guys, and didn't like the risks I took with the paper and our investigations. Once, after a particularly rough mission, I came home pretty badly beaten up, and she threw me out. Said she was sick of my kinks and she wasn't willing to see me come home in a body bag for some 'stupid ghost chase.' I don't know. Maybe by then she was just looking for an excuse. She filed for divorce the next day. I ended up living with the guys." The slight man obviously still felt some regret.

"Frohike said you had a thing for some woman named Susanne." Doggett wanted to reach out to Byers, to take him in his arms and offer him some comfort, but the place was too public. He'd have to make sure to spend time with him that night outside the game, and make sure the man knew he was wanted. Byers would never want pity from anyone, but knowing he was wanted, just as he was, might help.

Byers nodded. "I did. I guess I still do. But there's no possible way it could ever have worked out for us." He took a deep breath, obviously extremely uncomfortable. He was nearly inaudible when he said, "She was killed in Las Vegas, back in '99."

The pain in Byers' eyes was raw. Doggett laid a hand on his arm. "I'm sorry," he said. "I didn't know. Sounds like things have been pretty lousy for you. I didn't mean to bring up bad memories."

"No," Byers replied. "I need to move on. I've spent too much time clinging to the past, wishing for things that can never be."

"I know how hard that can be," Doggett said, quiet. He thought again of Luke and Barbara, then sighed. "You gotta take what you can find, what comes your way. Live in that." He slid his hand down Byers' arm and took his hand. The fingers were long and slender, delicate but strong. Doggett squeezed his hand, and Byers squeezed back, then let go.

"Thanks," the hacker whispered. The sadness hadn't left his voice.

"Let's get off our asses and head over to The Cloisters," Doggett suggested.

Byers nodded. "Sounds like a good idea."

THE CLOISTERS
FORT TRYON PARK
LATE AFTERNOON

Byers had been wandering with Doggett through the four acre museum complex for over two hours, his head spinning with the visual overload. After walking through the extensive cloister gardens, they had examined paintings, jewels, scrolls, and incanabulae. Doggett found himself fascinated by the collection of statuary and metalwork, while Byers admired the justly famous unicorn tapestries.

A selection of ivory carvings had caught Byers' eye. He was quickly drawn to one particularly spectacular piece; an intricate cross of walrus ivory encased in a well lighted glass display. He tugged Doggett's sleeve and pulled him over to view the cross with him.

"Look at this," Byers said, his voice excited and reverent. "I read a book about this one years ago. The Cloisters Cross, probably made at a monastery at Bury St. Edmunds in England. There was a really fascinating mystery surrounding this cross."

Doggett looked at the cross, then over at Byers. "A whole book? About this thing?" He pointed at the artifact, then leaned down to examine the details through the glass. He'd been to The Cloisters a number of times before, but hadn't been particularly interested in most of the wood and ivory altar items. The gold and silver work attracted him more. It was a very finely carved piece, to be sure, but the slender, two-foot tall cross didn't really do anything for him.

"Yes, it was titled 'King of the Confessors' and written by the curator who acquired the piece for the museum. It was fascinating. Lots of downright bizarre personalities among the art collectors, the dealers, and the museum curators he worked with." Byers grinned with an almost boyish enthusiasm and leaned in to study the cross closely. It showed magnificently carved biblical scenes, and was engraved with texts all over its surface. "There were questions about the provenance of the piece, the translations of its engravings, and its authenticity. Lots of cloak and dagger circumstances. Some of these inscriptions are diatribes against the Jews for killing Christ -- very nasty stuff, entirely typical of the attitudes of the Church in the 12th century. It was a fun book."

"Look at this," he whispered, gesturing at the carvings. "None of this stuff was pegged on. Each section was carved as a single piece. I never thought I'd have a chance to see it in person. The walrus ivory the artist used for it is much more delicate than elephant ivory. The workmanship is amazing. Isn't it exquisitely made?"

Doggett didn't answer the rhetorical question, instead watching the expression of concentration and delight on Byers' face. This was the first genuinely unguarded moment he'd ever seen in the younger man, outside the intensity of sexual release. In his interest, Byers was relaxed and happy, smiling to himself, eyes alight with fascination. His excitement brought a smile to Doggett's face as well, and he watched Byers examine the artifact for quite some time. People walked by, looking at the cross and the other items in the gallery, but Byers was almost oblivious to their presence.

"Johnny, " Doggett finally said, "there's a lot of this place left to see. We should be moving along."

Byers looked up, startled. "Oh, sorry. You're right, we should, shouldn't we?"

"It's okay. I just want to make sure we're in time for dinner later." He grinned.

PARKER MERIDIEN HOTEL
ROOM 1246
EARLY EVENING

Byers sat on the bed, shifting nervously. "Are you sure this is going to be safe? What if..." the younger man swallowed uneasily, "what if somebody one of us knows sees us there?"

Doggett shook his head and chuckled. "I already know most of the guys there, Johnny. A lot of the other guys in that place are just as concerned about being outed as either of us. If they're actually there in the club, it's because they do this too. The membership screening is pretty thorough, and it's exclusive. Members and their personal guests only. Members are responsible for their guest's behavior, so nobody brings anybody in that they don't think is gonna follow the rules, and the rules include confidentiality."

"Your friend Brentali doesn't look like the sort who's worried about being outed."

Nodding, Doggett said, "He doesn't care if anybody knows he's queer, never has, but he's way more careful about letting folks know he's into these kinds of games. He's as discreet as anybody else there, believe me. I've been a member for years, and never had trouble with being outed, okay?"

Byers sighed and nodded, but his eyes still carried the weight of uncertainty. It was a remarkable contrast to the man who had eagerly thrown himself into appreciating the ivory carving at The Cloisters that afternoon, Doggett thought. He wished he could see Byers that way more often, relaxed and smiling. The guy had a great smile and didn't use it nearly often enough.

"What would you like me to wear tonight, Sir?" Byers asked.

Doggett thought for a moment. "One of your suits is fine, but the brown one doesn't do anything for you. I don't like it much. You can wear the grey one. I got a question, though."

"Yes, Sir?"

"You can't afford the good suits, but you always have these silk ties. What's with that?"

Byers sighed. "They're the only nice things I can afford for myself. They remind me I haven't actually taken a vow of poverty." He gave Doggett a wry smile.

Doggett chuckled. "Makes sense, I guess."

Byers nodded and went to get the suit from his closet. Spreading it on the bed, he got undressed down to his boxers. When he reached for his undershirt, Doggett stopped him.

"No undershirt tonight. Take off the boxers, Johnny, and lie down on your back." He gestured to the bed.

Byers looked up, puzzled, but nodded. "Yes, Sir." He removed his boxers, lay on the bed and waited for instructions. A tingle of excitement stirred in his stomach, and his breath quickened. Perhaps his Master would have a little sympathy for the teasing he'd endured during the day, and take some pleasure in him before they left. Then again, it didn't seem too likely.

Doggett took Byers' wrists and brought them up over his head, then laid them crossed together on the bed. Byers stayed as he was positioned, and Doggett's hands spread his ankles as well. "Like that, Johnny. Stay like that until I tell you you can move." The agent's light blue eyes raked over Byers' body, drinking him in.

"Yes, Sir," Byers breathed, excited, waiting for the touches that must surely come next. He could feel his dick beginning to stir, and saw Doggett watching him intently. It was almost a physical touch, the way his Master looked at him.

He watched Doggett's hand descend, his Master's fingers curling to caress his face. The first soft touch sent a shudder through his body.

"Yes," Doggett whispered. He felt Byers' shudder, savoring its subtlety, and watched the man's shaft begin to rise slowly and hesitantly. He was so sensitive, so easily aroused, and it pleased Doggett greatly. It felt good to have someone respond so quickly, so intensely to his touch. His fingers slid down Byers' cheek, over his throat, down his chest and abdomen, into the slender man's pubic hair.

Byers' body arched into the touch and he moaned, closing his eyes. His cock stiffened further, growing and getting darker. A bolt of hot desire flashed up Doggett's spine and he barely managed to keep himself from gasping. He slid his fingertips up Byers' hardening shaft, feeling the man's heat. He could feel his mouth going dry, and licked his lips. This would be sweet, and he was sure Byers would like it.

Reaching to the bedside table, he opened the drawer and withdrew a small leather device. It was chill from sitting all day in the air conditioned room.

Byers opened his eyes, wondering where Doggett's hand had gone.

"Eyes closed," Doggett snapped, not letting Byers see what was in his fingers. The hacker shut his eyes again, sighing quietly. Doggett's empty hand went to Byers' balls and caressed them gently. They were pleasantly heavy in his hand, filling his palm. He pulled carefully, stretching the man's sac slightly.

"Ahhh..." Byers moaned softly at the sensation, wanting more. It was a struggle not to move, not to take Doggett's hand, pull it to his hardness, and make him stroke it. He wanted to come so badly, and being teased yet again was an incredibly erotic torture.

Doggett shook out the leather harness, and its components fell into place, black loops and tiny rings and clips arranged in a familiar pattern. He took it in both hands and began to fasten the cold leather and metal around Byers' balls, slipping one small strap between them and tightening it, then fastening a loop around the base of his cock.

Byers gasped loudly at the cold touch, eyes clenched shut, his shaft gone to granite from the stimulation. He could feel the bondage device being fitted around him, pulling and separating his balls, fitting snug at the root of his member, its loops being wrapped around his length to the ridge of his head. It was exquisite, and he groaned deep at the incredible feeling. Doggett's fingers moved, and there was a small click, then the weight of what he imagined was a small lock at the base of his cock to keep the thing secured.

He was so hard and so aroused at the feeling of his genitals being bound that it was all he could do to keep from coming right then. The cool sensation was rapidly giving way to his body's heat, and he knew it must be leather and metal that bound him; tight enough to be exciting and stimulating, loose enough that it wouldn't interfere with his circulation or cause any damage, even if he wore it for the duration of the evening. He'd never felt anything so good before.

Byers' gasp and sudden physical response to the bondage ran through Doggett's body, electric and burning. His own rod hardened quickly, and he ran a hand along it through his pants. He needed to get dressed too, which would require him to undress first, and he decided that he would take advantage of this, teasing Byers further.

He undressed swiftly, tossing his clothes in a bedside chair. He knew what he wanted to do now.

"Open your eyes, Johnny," he ordered.

Byers looked over at him, and his eyes widened. Doggett's strong, firm body was revealed before him, thick cock standing high and dark, his tight balls tantalizing to the sub. There was a long, thin silver chain around his neck, and a tiny key hung from it. He hoped against hope that Doggett's nudity and hardness meant that his Master would take him now, would enter him, ride him hard, give him release. His breathing was ragged, his erect member throbbing against the leather that bound it. "Sir," he whispered, then swallowed. "Please, Sir." His body shivered on the bed, but despite the depth of his temptation, he didn't change his position, keeping his arms and legs where they'd been placed.

Doggett walked the few paces to the bed slowly, his eyes locked with Byers' the whole time. Byers' whole body was flush now, his excitement palpable and thick in the air. Doggett knew his sub wanted to be fucked hard, but he wouldn't give Byers that pleasure until much later that night. The bearded man would be granted his orgasm under rather more elaborate conditions.

He reached out with one hand and took Byers' wrists. "Sit up," he said, pulling Byers' arms toward him.

Byers obeyed silently, his eyes still fixed on Doggett's, still as a bird before the gaze of a cobra.

Doggett tugged at his wrists, urging him to stand. He brought him forward a few steps. "Kneel," he said gently.

Byers sank to his knees, spreading them wide as he knew Doggett liked, still watching the tall man's eyes. His chest was heaving, breath coming hard and fast, not knowing what would happen next.

Doggett moved close to Byers and released his wrists. "Touch me."

Byers' eyes widened. He put a tentative hand out, pausing for only a second before he ran his fingers up the inside of Doggett's thigh from his knee. He watched Doggett's face intently, looking for any sign or instruction, allowing his fingers to stray to Doggett's balls, caressing and tickling, running them through the wiry hair. He hadn't been allowed to touch Doggett like this before. The feeling was compelling, exciting.

Doggett's cock twitched at Byers' soft touch. He reached down, taking Byers' head in one hand, and leaned it against his abdomen. The silky hair and beard felt good against his skin, and he shivered with pleasure. His eyes slid half closed as he watched Byers touch him. "That's good, Johnny," he whispered, "give me more." He could feel Byers smile against his skin at hearing his approval.

Byers' other hand ran up the back of Doggett's leg as he listened to his Master's heartbeat sounding in his body. The man's heart was racing, and Byers closed his eyes with a contented sigh, allowing himself to worship the body of the man he knelt before. He kissed Doggett's flat stomach gently, then ran the tip of his tongue from pubic bone to navel. One hand found Doggett's shaft and began stroking, slow and tight, while the other caressed the hard, defined curve of Doggett's ass. His Master moaned, pleased, and stroked his hair with trembling hands. Byers tightened his grip on the thick, hot dick, pumping more enthusiastically, and he squeezed Doggett's ass cheek.

Doggett's fingers tightened and fisted in Byers' hair. Taking a condom from the bedside stand, he ripped the packet open with his teeth and handed the condom to Byers. "Suck me," he growled, pushing Byers' face to his swollen, leaking rod.

Byers rolled the condom on with his mouth, then fell on him, starving, sucking hard and deep, holding both of Doggett's cheeks in his hands and kneading them, pulling him closer so he could suck more deeply. The feel of his Master's hot, thick flesh in his mouth and the scent of his arousal drove Byers to a frenzy after all the denial he'd suffered during the day. He felt the leather around his cock and balls holding him securely, and the sensation pushed him close, so close.

He growled as he sucked, and Doggett groaned loud, then pulled Byers back.

"Enough," Doggett said, his voice heavy and low.

Byers looked up in disbelief. "But --"

"No complaints!" Doggett barked. He pulled Byers to his feet, hands still wrapped in the man's short hair. Byers whimpered and stood quickly. Doggett pulled him to his body and kissed him fiercely, then released him and stepped back. "Get dressed," he said.

Byers was gasping from the kiss, shocked by the sudden end of their play. He could barely catch his breath to reply, "Yes, Sir."

Doggett regretted having to cut things short, but he'd been about to come, and that wasn't part of his predinner plans. He didn't want to wear himself out before he was ready to take Byers to bed for the night. He shared his sub's frustration, but would not let him see it. He discarded the condom and dressed quickly, then watched Byers finish dressing. There was a feral edge of lust in Byers' eyes, and he knew that their night at the club would be much more fun than he'd first thought. He couldn't wait.

PRIVATE CLUB
20TH FLOOR PENTHOUSE
UPPER EAST SIDE
EVENING

The elevator opened into a large room in what had been listed as a private apartment in the building's directory. This was, however, no ordinary apartment. The club was spacious, appointed in dark colors, and the west wall was a huge picture window overlooking the city and central park. It was still light enough out to appreciate the view. The air was filled with the scent of food, and there was dance music playing.

Byers stepped in, followed closely by Doggett. His eyes widened as he looked around. The place was crowded with men. Some were in street clothes. Some wore full leathers, while others wore nothing but body harnesses, chains, and collars. Many were multiply pierced or tattooed, or both. A few were crossdressed in black lace and leather bodices, impossibly tall spike heeled boots on their feet. Several wore matching bright red leather armbands across their left biceps.

The men weren't what Byers expected. In his rare ventures into the gay scene, he'd usually found himself surrounded by young hard-bodies; men who looked like they spent every free moment at the gym. Most had been as vain as they were brainless. It had always left Byers feeling ignored and unwanted because of his slenderness and his plain appearance. In his heart, he'd often wondered if a stupid lover would be better than none at all, but he'd always driven the thought away, knowing he didn't fit the desired ideal.

This club seemed as different from that scene as ocean and desert. There were men of every age, every size and body type. Most were Caucasian, though there were a good number of Asians, and a few black and Hispanic men as well. Even the casually dressed men were well appointed; much better attired than Byers' usual crowd. Yet again, he felt out of place. The very air of the place was intimidating, radiating wealth, or power, or both.

Some men were kissing each other, or openly caressing -- even groping -- each other. Some sat calmly at the feet of men that Byers assumed were their Masters. One tubby older white man wore nothing but a collar and a leash, lying curled at the feet of a big, immaculately dressed black man who sat in an equally large leather easy chair as he conversed with another man. Byers stared, astonished, around the room, but his attention was brought up short at the sound of a flogger striking flesh, and a following moan.

His head pivoted, and he focused on the dias across the room from him. Against the wall, a St. Andrews cross held a beautiful, buff young man; he was nude but for a leather collar, and bound hand and foot, facing into the room. His waist was secured to the center of the structure with a black leather strap, and his cock and balls were bound in a device similar to the one Byers wore, but much more elaborate and heavier. Weights hung from it, stretching the man's balls. His chest and thighs were striped with red marks, and his shaft was huge, hard, and visibly throbbing. Two men held floggers, each taking turns teasing, touching, and striking the bound man before them. Byers' body responded viscerally to the sight, the leather binding his cock reminding him of how close he was to such a position himself. His breath caught.

Doggett's hand fell on his shoulder and he startled. "You like that, don't you," Doggett said. It wasn't a question.

Byers blushed, not taking his eyes from the scene.

"It's okay," Doggett said. "It's safe here. This is why guys like us come here, Johnny. For things we need. For things we can't get anywhere else." Doggett ran his other hand down Byers' chest to his waist, soft and slow. "We come to watch," he said quietly, his lips brushing Byers' ear, his fingers brushing Byers' bound shaft, "and to play."

Byers shivered, and Doggett urged him gently forward into the room. He could barely tear his eyes from the scene on the dias as he stepped forward. The man's yelps and deep, primal moans caught in Byers' gut, compelling and fascinating him. He wished he was alone with Doggett, that he was bound on the cross, that Doggett was striking him, giving him that rich mix of pain and pleasure. His desire -- his lust for it -- frightened him as much as it excited him. He felt as though the temperature in the room had just shot up ten degrees.

"You really are gettin' turned on," Doggett said, pleased. Byers turned and saw the smile on Doggett's face. It was a dark, predatory smile, his Master's eyes hooded and burning. "Maybe we can do something about that later," he said, "after dinner."

Byers' heart skipped a beat and he swallowed, nodding. "Please, Sir," he said, barely audible over the sounds of the room.

Doggett guided him through the open space and around the corner to the left, where the music was loudest. There were tables and a bar here, with meals being served. Over in the corner near the massive picture window was a sizeable dance floor. There was no band, but there were men dancing together, bodies tangling in the dim light behind the area's drawn curtains.

Doggett chose a table and Byers held the chair for him. "Johnny," he said, "get me a shot of Tullamore Dew, 40 year, straight up. Get something for yourself too, then come sit with me."

"Yes, Sir," Byers nodded. He went to the bar, requesting the whiskey and ordering a gin and tonic for himself. Hurrying back to Doggett's table, he set his Master's drink carefully before him, resting on a small napkin.

Doggett nodded and motioned to the chair across the small table for Byers to sit. A moment later, a waiter appeared, attired in leather chaps, a leather thong, and a skin-tight stretch tank top. There was a bright red leather armband fastened around his left bicep. He handed a menu to Doggett as Byers looked him up and down appreciatively.

"Welcome back, Sarge," he said cheerfully. "It's good to see you again."

Doggett grinned up at the man. "Bill -- still working here, I see?"

"Can't beat the atmosphere and the fringe benefits, Sir," Bill said with a wink.

"Yeah, only the subs." Doggett chuckled and picked up the menu to see what was available. "What's on special tonight?"

Bill bowed slightly, the long blond tail of hair moving on his back. "We have fresh rainbow trout from the Catskills tonight, with a lemon and garlic butter sauce, that's just a delight. It's accompanied by fresh garden vegetables. New York steak with baked russet potato and Chesapeake Bay steamers is the other special this evening. Soup of the day is tomato basil."

Doggett looked over at Byers. "Two of the steaks," he said. Byers smiled.

The order was finished quickly and efficiently, and Bill smiled warmly at Byers then moved, smooth and elegant, past the bar into the kitchen.

"The red armband," Doggett said, "is how you tell the club personnel from the members. The Dungeon Masters wear one on both arms. Their word's law in here. Remember that."

"Yes, Sir."

Doggett had deliberately seated them so that they could both look off to the side to watch the scene that had so fascinated Byers. He watched as Byers stared openly at the three men on the dias. Each of the blows from the flogger drew a sharp, quiet inhalation from the bearded man, his eyes never leaving the scene. The bound sub's moans were making Byers squirm in his seat, and Doggett could almost hear him wishing he were on that cross.

The scene probably wouldn't go on much longer, as it was apparent the triad had been at it for some time before they'd arrived. One of the men was busy stroking and teasing the bound young man's rod as the other slowly drew the straps of the flogger across his chest. The actual blows were widely spaced, but the light, sensual touch of the leather and the ministration of the other man's hands had driven the sub on the cross into an ecstatic trance. Doggett knew it would only be a few minutes before the sub was released from the cross, then taken upstairs to one of the private rooms to be fucked by his Master and the other man.

Their salads arrived as the sub was being released. Byers barely noticed, still engrossed in watching the three men.

Doggett leaned across the small table toward his sub. "You want that, don't you, Johnny."

Byers startled and looked back at Doggett, an almost guilty expression on his face. He swallowed and took a deep breath.

"You want to be up there on that thing, don't you," Doggett said again.

Byers nodded, then shook his head vigorously, his voice nervous and uneasy. "Yes -- I mean no! No, Sir. Not here. Not... I couldn't bear to have anyone watch, Sir. Only you. Only if it was just you."

Doggett smiled softly at Byers' awkwardness. He understood his sub's fears, knew that it would be a long time, if ever, before the shy man would be ready to be displayed like that. "It's okay, Johnny. I didn't mean here, and I certainly didn't mean tonight. But it's good to know what you like, what some of your fantasies are." He reached out and placed a hand over Byers' trembling hand.

Byers closed his eyes and took a deep breath, trying to force himself to calmness. He'd never been in a situation like this before in his life. The leather bindings around his cock were tight and stimulating. They had been causing a feedback loop that was impossible to ignore since Doggett had placed them on him; his arousal made him more aware of the bindings, and the bindings kept him intensely aroused. It was a disorienting distraction he found himself loving. Dinner had barely started, and already he wanted to be back in the hotel room with his Master, bound and helpless before him, his back and chest and ass covered with stinging, stimulating stripes; legs open, body vulnerable for the taking. He craved Doggett's hands on him, Doggett's mouth on his throat, his Master's deepest penetration.

Doggett reached out and touched Byers' face. The slender man's half closed eyes had glazed over and he was obviously lost in a deeply erotic fantasy. His mouth was slightly open and panting, and he was flushed with desire. It was beautiful to see, but dinner was more on Doggett's mind at the moment than sex. This would be a long evening of waiting and desire for both of them, but he was sure the end result would be well worth it.

"Come back, Johnny," Doggett said. "You need to eat."

Byers blinked, then focused again. "Yes, Sir. I'm sorry, Sir."

"You didn't do anything wrong. Just stay with me for a while and eat your dinner, okay? I promise you'll get what you need when we get back to the hotel tonight."

Byers smiled and sighed, finally relaxing in his chair. Given this promise, he felt he could endure anything while he waited. "Thank you, Sir."

Doggett gave him a wicked grin. "Oh, don't thank me yet. The evening's just beginning."

Dinner was consumed with great pleasure. Without the scene on the dias to distract him, Byers was able to pay attention to his meal, and his Master. The steak and steamers were delicious and filling. He hadn't had a steak in ages, and his delight in the meal was immense.

After the meal, Doggett stood. "Come with me," he said, and led Byers to the restroom on the other side of the bar.

Inside, Doggett leaned Byers back against one of the sinks. He reached for Byers' fly.

"Here?" Byers asked, startled.

"We have to take the harness off you for about ten minutes. It's been almost two hours now and if we leave 'em on too long, they might cause some problems with restricted circulation. Just think of it as part of the game." Doggett pulled down Byers' zipper and slipped the man's hard dick and balls out.

The touch left Byers gasping. "What if... what if somebody sees this?"

Doggett leaned down, pulling the chain with the key from under his shirt. "Then they see it. It's a hell of a lot tamer than the stuff they see in here most nights." He opened the lock and unbound Byers' swollen flesh.

The loosening of the leather sent a pulse of sharp, dense sensation through Byers' cock and balls, and he closed his eyes and leaned his shoulders and head back against the mirror, moaning deeply, his hands gripping the edge of the sink hard. Doggett caressed him, working his erection to ensure that his sub's circulation was fine, and his equipment was still in good shape.

Byers was panting hard, unable to focus on anything but the intense pleasure he felt under Doggett's hands. The next thing he knew, the leather was fastened around him again, and his cock and balls were once again bound, locked, and tucked back into his pants. With the sensual pressure surrounding him again, he sighed and groaned.

Once he could get his breath back, he said, "That was ten minutes?"

Doggett laughed. "Yeah, and eight guys have been in and out of here in that time. Most of 'em didn't even bother to look." That wasn't entirely true. Two men had stopped to watch for a few minutes before slipping into one of the stalls to suck each other off, but Byers didn't need to know that. "Come on. Let's go see what's going on out on the main floor now."

The two men walked back out, skirting the dance floor, narrowly avoiding a dancer too close to the edge. Doggett found a seat near the dias, where a demonstration of creating rope body harnesses was taking place. He sat, then patted the arm of the large, plush leather chair. "Sit with me," he told Byers.

Byers sat on the arm of the chair, and Doggett's arm slid around his waist. It was warm and comfortable, and Doggett rested his hand on Byers' thigh. Byers looked down at his Master for a moment, but Doggett's attention was on the demonstration, so he leaned against the back of the chair, draping his arm around Doggett's shoulders, and began to watch as well.

The demo involved two heavyset men. One stood in the center of the dias, wearing only a pair of leather shorts, and the other wrapped the model in rope as he explained the techniques, the twists, and the knots being used. Several men had gathered on the dias to get a closer look at the process. Byers didn't find it as stimulating as the scene during dinner, but he thought the harness itself looked like it would feel good around his body. He wondered if Doggett had any experience with them.

As they watched, Doggett's hand slid down Byers' leg to the inside of his thigh, caressing slowly and gently. It felt good. Byers looked around quickly and didn't see anyone paying attention to them, so he opened his legs slightly to allow Doggett's hand closer to his crotch. Surrounded by such goings on, he felt as though Doggett's fingers tracing the shape of his balls -- while sensual and in his mind still forbidden in so public a place -- was almost unnoticeably mundane.

When a young, muscular, half dressed man stepped up to the chair and saluted Doggett, Byers startled and snapped his legs shut.

"Sir," the crew-cut young man said. He looked at Doggett with a smile, then passed his eyes over Byers with a look of pure scorn. A knot formed in Byers' stomach.

"What?" Doggett asked, annoyed. The look hadn't been lost on him.

The man was dressed in camo pants and combat boots, with dogtags on a chain around his neck. He looked hard and buff, and his shoulder was tattooed with the globe and anchor of the Marine Corps. "Sir! The Maestro requests the honor of your presence, Sergeant, Sir. And," the man looked at Byers disdainfully, "he wants you to bring your pussy boy with you." His voice dripped with contempt. Several men turned to look, and there was suddenly an air of tension in their corner of the room.

Doggett got to his feet, eyes blazing ice blue. He took Byers' wrist. "Come on," he said, then turned to the Marine. "Take me to him." Doggett's voice was low and dangerous, and Byers didn't like the sound of it. He could feel people's eyes following them as they moved. The sensation left him feeling cold and anxious.

The Marine turned and led them across the room to a seat near the door. Sergio Brentali sat in a comfortable recliner. "Your guests, Maestro," the young Marine said as they approached.

Brentali saw the anger in Doggett's face. "Is something wrong, John?"

"I seriously doubt that you gave this jackass instructions for me to bring my 'pussy boy' to see you," Doggett spat.

Brentali's eyes widened. He turned to the Marine. The young man went pale.

"No," Brentali said, horrified. "I absolutely did not."

"I take it this sorry excuse for a pile of dog shit isn't one of yours, even though you brought him. I know you train 'em way better than that. Your permission?" Doggett glared at the Marine, who had started leaning back away from him.

Brentali nodded. "He's yours," he said. "Do as you will with him within the club's rules. I borrowed him from Tracey for the evening. He looked far more your usual preference than your guest, and I thought he might amuse you. I see I was sadly mistaken."

Doggett turned and fixed his attention on the man, who shrank back. Sudden realization of the magnitude of his mistake glimmered in the Marine's brown eyes.

"Stand at attention!" Doggett bellowed. He generally didn't go for humiliation games, but the circumstances warranted a reaction that would guarantee the young man never repeated the mistake.

Aside from the dance music, the room went silent. The Marine snapped to attention, a look of pure terror on his face.

Byers suppressed a cringe at the shift of focus in the room. He didn't feel safe being at the center of such a brewing storm. All his alarms were going off. He wanted to hide behind the nearest large piece of furniture, but knew he had to remain silent and as dignified as possible, lest he cause further embarrassment.

"You mewling little puke! How dare you alter the words of The Maestro's message to me?" Doggett stalked the three paces to where the man stood, and leaned into his face. "The first fucking thing you learn in basic is to follow orders!"

"Yes, Sir!" the Marine said, swallowing.

"What did you say?" Doggett shouted. "I can't fucking hear you!"

"Sir, yes Sir!" the Marine shouted back.

"Louder!" Doggett shouted.

"Sir, yes Sir!" the Marine barked, louder this time.

"When you carry a message, you repeat precisely what your Master tells you to say. Do you understand?"

"Sir, yes Sir!"

"And what was that message, you pig sucking excuse for a bottom? I want to hear the exact words The Maestro sent for me!" Doggett was warming up to the Drill Instructor role now. He hadn't played it in quite some time, and the little worm really deserved public humiliation for what he'd done.

"Sir, I was instructed to invite you and your guest to meet with The Maestro!"

Doggett grabbed the man's dogtags. "That was not what I asked you! I asked you to give me The Maestro's message, not your worthless interpretation of it. Do you understand English, boy?"

Byers was trembling minutely with embarrassment, but surprised to discover that much of what he felt was actually excitement, arousal, and admiration for Doggett's handling of the situation.

"Sir, yes Sir! The Maestro said to tell you, 'The Maestro requests the honor of The Sergeant's presence, and that of his guest, for a drink and private conversation, Sir!'" The Marine was sweating now.

Doggett's nose was nearly in the other man's eyes as he bellowed. "And were the words 'pussy boy' anywhere in that message, ass wipe?"

Byers blushed bright red, thoroughly embarrassed. He swallowed and held his ground near Doggett's side.

"Sir, no Sir! They were not!"

"Louder, you runny little shit!"

"Sir, no Sir!" The Marine was trembling now. Doggett knew he was humiliating the arrogant little twat in front of some of the most important players in New York City, and the boy's chances of ever seeing the inside of this club again were shrinking with every word he shouted.

"You're a disgrace to that seal you wear on your shoulder, boy! You haven't got the discipline God gave a fucking squid!"

The Marine snapped his head back as though struck. Doggett grinned evilly, knowing that to imply the boy was worse than a sailor was about as insulting as one could get to a Marine.

"Sir, yes Sir!"

"What are you, you cunt?"

"A disgrace to the Corps, Sir!"

"And what else?" Doggett stepped forward again, closing the distance the young Marine had tried to open.

The Marine looked confused.

"Are you that motherfucking clueless?" Doggett screamed at him. "You are a disgrace to The Maestro, and a disgrace to whatever excuse for a Master might have attempted to train you!"

The Marine was bright red now, sweat rolling down his face and torso. "Sir, yes Sir! I'm a disgrace to the Maestro, Sir, and to my Master as well!"

"Who trained you?"

"Master Tracey, Sir!"

Doggett released the Marine's dogtags with a shove that knocked him off balance. "You never diss another man's sub! You never insult a guest at this club! And you never pull a stunt like that again!"

"Sir, yes Sir!"

"And now, you pansy assed wannabe, you're going to apologize to my sub!"

The Marine's eyes went wide, as did Byers'. Doggett turned and motioned Byers forward.

Hesitantly, Byers stepped up, regaining his composure.

Doggett turned his attention back to the Marine. "Look at this man," he commanded. The Marine raised his head and looked at Byers.

"What the hell do you think makes you better than him?" Doggett shouted. "Your job? Your workout routine? Your nonexistent dick? Your fucking lack of brains?"

The Marine stood silent, shaking.

"Answer me!"

The Marine remained silent.

"I said, answer me!" Doggett looked to Brentali. The Marine looked back and forth between them.

"Sir," the Marine said, quiet and hesitant, "I... he looks like a wimp, Sir."

"What did you say?" Doggett shouted. "I didn't hear you!"

The Marine swallowed, then shouted, "Sir! He looks like a wimp, Sir!"

Byers wished the floor would swallow him.

Doggett shoved the Marine to the floor. "Get on your knees in front of him, boy!"

"Sir, yes Sir!" The Marine crawled from where he'd been knocked to the ground to kneel in front of Byers.

"Who told you you could have an opinion?" Doggett shouted. "If The Maestro wants you to have an opinion, he'll give you one. Do I make myself clear?"

"Sir, yes Sir!" the kneeling Marine shouted.

Doggett put a hand on Byers' shoulder. "This man is a better human being than you could ever hope to be," he growled. "You should pray to God that someday you're as decent as he is. He's a fine man, and a good sub, and he knows how to behave in public, unlike you."

Byers blushed, taking in the reassuring warmth of Doggett's touch. Suddenly, this wasn't quite as awful as it had been a few seconds ago. His fear and anxiety had been transmuted to pride, reveling in Doggett's defense of him and his honor. He let the feeling wash over him, gratified, though slightly embarrassed at his Master's praise.

"Sir, yes Sir!" the Marine shouted again.

"Apologize to him, you worthless shit."

The Marine looked up at Byers. "Sir, I offer my sincerest apologies, Sir! Please, I beg you to forgive me for my insult, Sir!" The apology was offered at full volume.

Doggett looked at Byers, who nodded.

"And now, you're going to kiss his feet."

The Marine looked up at Doggett, astonished.

"His... his feet, Sir?" the Marine asked.

"You dare question me at a moment like this?" Doggett bellowed.

"Sir, no Sir!"

"Then do it!"

The Marine leaned down and quickly kissed Byers' left foot.

Byers watched, fascinated. He was almost able to ignore the bondage around his cock and balls for this. The feeling of having the man kneeling before him was stimulating in a way he'd never experienced before. It felt strange, but very, very good. He wondered if this was what it felt like to be a Dom.

"I want to see your tongue on his shoe!" Doggett shouted.

"Sir, yes Sir!" The Marine licked Byers' left foot slowly, several times, kissing it again, then did the same to his right foot.

Doggett turned to Brentali. "He's all yours, Maestro."

The room burst into applause.

The kneeling Marine looked up at Brentali, his eyes pleading.

Brentali shook his head. "You have been exceedingly disappointing, young man. I brought you here to impress the Sergeant. I thought perhaps he might be pleased with you and choose to play with you. But you have managed to disgrace yourself and me in a very public manner because you were judgmental and unable to keep your opinion to yourself."

He reached for his briefcase and opened it, pulling out a cell phone.

"Please, Sir," the Marine said, "please don't call him!" He crawled to Brentali's feet and curled himself around them, his body in a posture of abject submission.

He dialed, and waited a moment. "Yes -- Tracey? Sergio. I'm afraid I'll not be borrowing any of your toys anymore." He paused for a long moment.

"Please, Maestro! No!" The Marine's voice cracked as he pleaded.

"No, no, it won't do," Brentali continued. "No. He cannot carry the simplest message, Tracey. He utterly humiliated me in front of a dear old friend, and a room full of people. No, Tracey, I'm afraid not. No, and he won't be welcome back either."

Brentali ended the call and placed his phone back into the briefcase.

"Sir! Maestro! Please, Sir, let me have another chance!" The young man's face twisted and he choked back a sob. "Let me prove myself to you!"

"You do not deserve another chance, boy. The only thing you have managed to prove is what kind of useless, disgraceful scum you are."

The Marine clung to the cloth of Brentali's pants leg, begging loudly and groveling like a whipped dog. "Please, Maestro! Punish me! Beat me! Do anything to me, Sir! I'll do anything for another chance, Maestro!" He was weeping openly now, sniffling as his nose ran.

Brentali shook his head, his eyes cold with rage. "You are not worthy of my correction, boy. It is patently obvious that you are too stupid to learn even the simplest task. Your current behavior only insults me further."

"Sir!" the Marine wailed, "please! Another chance!"

"Get out of my sight," Brentali snapped, his voice low and glacial. Byers shuddered hearing it, and hoped he would never feel such anger turned on him by anyone. "Take your shirt and leave. You are not welcome to return to this club. Never show your face to me again." He dropped a $20 bill in front of the Marine. "Here's your cab fare."

"Sir, yes Sir!" the Marine shouted, his face etched with tears and misery. He did as he was told and was escorted into the elevator by one of the club's staff, and the crowd of men who had been watching dispersed again. The men doing the harness demonstration picked up where they'd left off.

Brentali sighed and turned to Doggett and Byers. "Now that that unpleasantness has been dealt with, please accept my deepest and most sincere apologies, both of you. Would you be so kind as to join me?"

Doggett nodded. "You handled it well, Sergio. I'm impressed. Gettin' in public licks at Tracey, too. That's class."

"It's good to have you back, John. No one does Drill Instructor like you. The military fetishists will be following you around all night." Brentali grinned. "Have you showed your Mr. Byers around the place yet?"

"Not yet. Was gonna do that after I'd let dinner settle a little."

"Well, perhaps this would be the time for it," Brentali said. He motioned for them to follow. "Your composure was elegant during that demonstration," he said to Byers. "You reacted well to a stressful situation."

"Thank you, Maestro," Byers said. He relaxed slightly, sighing in relief as Doggett ran a hand down his back. His restrained dick and balls were reminding him urgently of their needful agitation, and he was startled to realize how hot the whole situation had left him. Byers had been afraid of doing or saying something wrong, never having been witness to such a scene before. He was relieved that his reactions were considered appropriate. He also desperately wanted relief from the pressure in his pants.

They were interrupted by three young men in desert cammies. "Sergeant," the Asian said, with a salute. "Corporal Kimitaka. My associates, Privates Fitzpatrick and Szymborzski." The two others saluted as well.

Doggett looked at them and returned the young men's salutes. "What can I do for you, Corporal?"

"Sir, we... well, we wondered if you might consider joining us later this evening at our barracks. We haven't been inspected in quite some time, and I'm sure that some disciplinary action may be required." Kimitaka grinned.

Doggett smiled and chuckled. "I might consider it under other circumstances, Corporal, but I have other plans for the evening." He slid an arm around Byers, caressing his back, then pulling the bearded man closer to him in a possessive gesture.

Byers leaned into Doggett's body, enjoying the contact, relishing Doggett's attention and the assertion of his mastery. He allowed himself a small, ever so slightly smug smile and a contented sigh.

The Corporal raised an eyebrow and smiled. "The Sergeant's, ah, U.N. Advisor would be most welcome to come and... observe the proceedings if you wish. Perhaps he'd like to do a little inspecting himself?" Kimitaka winked at Byers. "We're not sure if we completely comply with U.N. weapons guidelines."

"Yes, Sir," Fitzpatrick added, eyes alight. "We might even need to be searched for contraband."

Szymborzski nodded eagerly.

"Full body cavity searches," Fitzpatrick continued.

"Absolutely, Sarge," Szymborzski said. "We could spit-shine your boots for you, too."

Doggett laughed. "I see," he said. "Let me see your boots, soldier."

The three straightened to attention. Doggett looked them up and down, and gave particular attention to the shine on their combat boots. They'd done a pretty good job, but he figured he could play with them a little, considering their invitation.

"Fitzpatrick," he barked, "what the hell is that scuff on your ankle?"

"Scuff, Sir?" The Private looked down at his boots.

"Keep your head up, boy! You move when I tell you to move!" Doggett's command wasn't at anywhere near the volume he'd used to address the young Marine a few minutes prior, but it was quite apparent that it excited the young fetishist.

"Sir, yes Sir!" Fitzpatrick responded.

"Drop and give me ten!" Doggett snapped.

Fitzpatrick nearly glowed with delight as he dropped to the floor and cheerfully counted off ten precise pushups. Byers watched, fascinated, as the others looked on with what seemed like a twinge of jealousy on their faces.

At ten, Fitzpatrick rose and stood at attention beside his companions.

Doggett nodded. "You goons are a sorry lot," he said with a smile. "You obviously need work on your technique. Unfortunately, I'm not assigned here."

With a sharp flick of his wrist, Corporal Kimitaka flipped a business card from his pocket into his fingers. "If the Sergeant would like?"

Doggett laughed. "Well, Corporal, maybe next time I'm TDY here, I can check in at your barracks and do a surprise inspection." He took the card from the man's fingers, examined it, and slid it into his wallet.

"Yes, Sir! Thank you, Sir!" Kimitaka responded. All three of the men were grinning broadly. "If the Advisor is with you at that time, he's more than welcome as well." The two Privates nodded enthusiastically.

"Very well," Doggett said. "Dismissed!"

The three headed for the bar, talking excitedly among themselves.

"Are you serious about that?" Byers asked. It had all seemed so casual.

Doggett smiled gently at Byers, pressing the man's waist to his body. "Who knows when I might end up out here alone sometime and want somebody to play with? You're not jealous are you?" Doggett placed a soft kiss on Byers' neck.

Byers thought for a moment. "No, I guess not," he said. It wasn't like their relationship was that close, he thought, though it seemed they were becoming friends. There wasn't anything to be jealous of, really, as they had been together exactly once in the entire time they'd known each other, until this weekend. He had nothing to lose, so long as Doggett was careful and didn't expose himself to anything communicable.

Brentali chuckled. "Would you like to see the club's facilities, Mr. Byers?"

Byers turned his head toward Brentali. "Oh, uh, yes, Maestro. Thank you."

"Come on, Johnny," Doggett said, guiding Byers toward a hallway. "There's a lot of stuff here. I'm sure you'll find some of it quite interesting."

In the hallway on either side, Brentali showed him a conference room and a quiet conversation room. The conversation room had a small group of men talking in it, though the larger conference room was empty and darkened. Its picture window shared the view of the city and Central Park that could be seen from the main room and the bar. It was beautiful with twilight coming on.

Ascending the stairs, there were several small private and semi-private rooms, some with beds, others with tile floors and tables designed to be easy to clean. Most were occupied, so he was only able to see two of them. A first aid room was here as well, unoccupied, but equipped with a note giving the name of the doctor on the premises for the night. There was a changing room, a linen and clothing check counter, a large public bathroom with showers and two sauna rooms, and two dungeons, one rather larger than the other. They were heavy with the scent of leather and sex, and to Byers' inexperienced eye, seemed quite fully equipped. Both were occupied by several couples and groups, and men watching in various states of undress or sexual activity.

Byers resisted a strong urge to ask permission to stay and watch the players, even though he felt that such voyeurism on his part was not entirely appropriate. The leather binding his genitals continued to remind him of its presence. He groaned softly, almost inaudibly. From the corner of his eye, he could see Doggett smile at the sound. His Master's hand drifted softly over his ass, and he took a sharp, aroused breath.

The stairs then led them up to the roof, where there was a large fenced off and finished area with hot tubs -- all of them occupied by groups of varying numbers. One contained an orgy in progress. There were also cafe tables and chairs, and lounge chairs for sunbathing, as well as a massage table, which miraculously seemed to be in use for its given purpose.

Byers felt overwhelmed by the amount of raw sexuality around him. He'd never had the nerve to enter a bath house, much less a club of this nature, public or private. He wasn't sure whether he was more aroused or intimidated by the situation, though his arousal was loud and insistent.

Doggett noted Byers' nervousness, and as Brentali rattled on about the club's amenities, he paused and nuzzled Byers' ear. "You doin' okay, Johnny?" he asked quietly. "Is this too much for you?" He knew the man was painfully shy, and it was quite possible that the experience was getting a bit too exotic for him.

"I'm okay, I think," Byers answered. "I was actually more nervous while you were giving that guy hell downstairs. But this is... very different than what I'm used to."

Doggett nodded and kissed Byers' ear. "Do you think you're still up for what we discussed this afternoon? Do you still want to try that?"

Byers turned his face to Doggett's and kissed him briefly. He nodded. "Yes. Thank you for asking, Sir."

"The same boundaries?" Doggett's body ached with desire for the slender man. His sub was doing so well, and he was proud of him. He only wished that Byers had more experience in the scene; he wanted to lead the younger man into the dungeon and give him a chance to be the man on the cross. Doggett did his best to ignore the heat in his own hardening rod. The image of Byers in such a position wasn't helping his composure at all.

Byers nodded again. They'd talked at some length on their way back from the park about what would be acceptable in terms of touch, exposure, and how public it could be. He felt some nervousness, but was reasonably comfortable with their agreement for the evening. He also knew that he could stop things at any time if he felt they were getting out of hand, and that Doggett would respect his limits and enforce them on Brentali if the man chose to play. Considering Brentali's earlier reaction to him, however, Byers was sure he would accept. The thought sent a sensual electric shimmer through his body.

"So, what do you think of our fine establishment?" Brentali asked, turning to the two men when they had once again reached the second floor. He smiled, eyes on Byers as he observed Doggett's enveloping posture, the Dom's arms wrapped around Byers from behind. Their mutual arousal was obvious. Brentali sighed.

Doggett and Byers straightened up again. "It's really quite impressive, Maestro," Byers said.

"John, would you and your guest join me in the quiet room downstairs for a while? We could talk, or..."

Doggett nodded. "Love to, Sergio." He traced his fingers softly along Byers' throat to the collar of his shirt as he released him, knowing Brentali was watching their every move carefully for some sign of what might happen next. The move had been calculated to tease the other Dom, even as it gave pleasure to his sub. He was looking forward to the look on Brentali's face when he realized what was being offered, however limited the scope. The Italian's expression shifted from polite, casual interest to one of dark hunger in a single liquid moment.

The hair on Doggett's skin rose at the man's sudden metamorphosis from host to rival for alpha status. The game was on.

The quiet room was still occupied by the same group of men who had been there when their tour started, but they entered anyway. The room was large enough to accommodate everyone with enough space to respect quiet conversation. Doggett had no plans for this game to get noisy.

Brentali sat in one of the large, plush chairs, and motioned for Doggett and Byers to sit.

Doggett nodded, then placed a hand on Byers' shoulder. "Hands behind your back," he said quietly. Brentali's eyes widened as Doggett pulled his cuffs from his pocket and snapped them around Byers' wrists.

Byers' breath caught, and his heart began beating wildly. It was really going to happen. He was excited and afraid at the same time. He wondered if he'd be able to go through with it.

When Doggett sat and pulled Byers down into his lap facing Brentali, the Italian's eyes glowed with hope, and the hunger in them intensified. Doggett spread Byers' knees open over his own legs, and made the sub lean back into his chest.

Byers rested his hands between Doggett's legs. His already hard cock was beginning to throb. The sigh he started turned into a quiet, needy groan.

Brentali pulled his chair much closer, until he was nearly knee to knee with Doggett. "What will you do?" he asked breathlessly.

"You'll see soon enough," Doggett said, a teasing grin on his face. He kissed Byers' cheek and let Byers lean his head back onto his shoulder, cradling the man gently. He ran his hands over the length of Byers' body, from the top of his shoulders down to his knees.

Byers arched into Doggett's moving hands, biting his lower lip. "Uhhhhh..." The sound was soft, breathless. His entire body was tingling where he'd been caressed.

Brentali's eyes were riveted on Byers. "Beautiful," he whispered. "So sensitive."

Doggett could see Brentali's body react to the scene he was staging. The man was hooked.

Brentali reached out with one hand, leaning forward, then pulled his hand back.

"Not yet," Doggett said. "Just watch."

Brentali grinned, delight on his face.

Doggett's hands went to the knot on Byers' tie and began to loosen it. Byers shifted his weight slightly and settled more easily into Doggett's lap, enjoying the fingers at his throat. Unknotting the tie, Doggett let the silk fall on either side of Byers' chest and began to slowly unfasten the buttons of Byers' white shirt, kissing his neck as he loosed the top two buttons.

All three of them were breathing more heavily now. Byers stretched his neck back to give Doggett more access, his mouth open in a quiet moan. The fear he felt only intensified the pleasure he experienced as he watched Brentali watching him. It gave a sharp, dangerous edge to his excitement.

He could see Brentali's growing interest as Doggett slowly, torturously unbuttoned his shirt and stroked his skin as it was revealed. The Italian's fingers were clenched into the arms of his chair, flexing as he strove to keep his hands still.

"Bello, bello," Brentali whispered.

"Do you like what you see, Sergio?" Doggett asked.

Brentali tore his eyes from Byers. "You cruel bastard," he said. "You know I do."

Byers' shirt was open to the middle of his chest now. He'd never felt so naked in his life. Between Doggett's maddening hands and the smoldering intensity of Brentali's eyes looking into his soul, he might as well have been nude in the middle of Times Square.

Doggett chuckled. "You'll be able to touch soon enough," he said.

He ran his open palm across Byers' smooth chest, gently caressing the bearded man's hard, peaked nipples. Byers gasped and arched into his hand. Doggett's rod leaped at Byers' motion, the bound man's hands unintentionally sliding against it, and they both moaned. He continued the motion down into his sub's shirt, caressing his stomach, sliding his fingers through his shallow navel, brushing his skin softly down to the waist of Byers' pants.

Quickly, he finished unbuttoning Byers' shirt, and pulled the tail out of his pants, spreading the shirt open so that Byers' chest and abdomen were fully exposed. Doggett slid the shirt and suit jacket back from Byers' shoulders, exposing them and restraining Byers' upper arms at the same time. With the shirt and jacket out of the way, both Doggett and Brentali could see how hard Byers was as his shaft twitched in his pants.

Teasing Brentali was fun, but Doggett's own excitement drove him on. He wished again that Byers was a more experienced player, because he wanted badly to carry this past their negotiated limits. He slid the tips of his fingers lightly along the line of Byers' cock. The slender man shuddered, biting his lip.

Despite his desires, Doggett knew he would not, could not push the issue. He had to allow Byers to build trust in him before their games could become more complicated and intense. If they continued to play together, Byers' trust would be essential. He was surprised by how much he wanted it. Bending over his sub's shoulder, he bit down gently where the man's throat met his clavicle, then sucked.

Byers moaned and gasped.

Brentali bit back a moan of his own. "Let me touch," he said. He was leaning close enough to catch the scent of Byers' arousal, and inhaled deeply, letting his breath out slowly.

"Soon," Doggett said again.

Through the building waves of sensation in his body, Byers realized the power he had at his disposal. Though he was restrained, his body spread over Doggett's and exposed to public view, he loved the feeling of having these two powerful, dominant men openly expressing their desire for him. Knowing that despite the appearance of helplessness, he could stop things at any time with the signal he'd arranged with Doggett, left him feeling a greater sense of control than he could have imagined when he fantasized about being in such a situation.

"John!"

Doggett could hear the desperate desire in Brentali's voice. It was time.

"If you want to touch, you'll follow my rules," Doggett said, asserting his control of the scene.

Brentali nodded, his eyes fixed on Byers' body. "Si, Si. What are your conditions?"

"You can only touch his exposed skin, Sergio. You can only use your hands and mouth. You don't touch him with the rest of your body. You don't go exploring off the map. You stop when I tell you to stop." Doggett reached out and touched Brentali's shoulder. "Do you agree?"

Brentali looked up at him, eyes greedy. "Oh, yes. Absolutely." He leaned closer to Byers and delicately touched his face with the tips of his fingers, running them along the slender man's cheekbone, then tracing the line of his beard. As his fingers moved, he ran his thumb along Byers' lips. "So soft," he whispered.

Byers shivered at Brentali's touch, opening his lips slightly as Brentali's thumb ran along them. "Suck, boy," Brentali said, his voice soft but demanding. The Dom started to slide his thumb into Byers' open mouth, but Doggett pulled his wrist back.

"No penetration of any kind," he said. "You let him lick if he wants to, but keep your fingers out of his mouth. And everything else." He knew Brentali was opening his game with a subtle attempt to gain control of the situation, but Doggett wasn't about to let him get away with it.

Brentali sighed and shook his head, visibly disappointed that his test of the limits had been spotted so quickly. "You were always a difficult man. So possessive." He grinned. "You have such a way of sucking the fun out of everything."

"I know how much you want him," Doggett said. "I don't think I'm depriving you of your fun at all. I think you're enjoying the hell out of yourself, and we both know this is better than just watching." His hands moved over Byers' body constantly as they bantered back and forth, pulling moans from the man as he squirmed in his lap. He reached down deliberately as Brentali watched, and squeezed Byers' cock, emphasizing his possession and authority.

Byers groaned and thrust into Doggett's hand.

Brentali slid to his knees between Byers and Doggett's legs, and leaned in, slipping his hands around Byers' waist and taking the sub's nipple in his mouth. He sucked hard and nipped, making Byers groan again, louder, then slid his tongue down the restrained man's body, leaving a trail of kisses to the waistband of his pants.

Doggett licked Byers' ear and whispered, "Are you okay with this?"

Byers, unable to form a verbal reply, just nodded. The two men's hands and mouths on his body were incredible but terrifying. He wanted this. He needed it. It scared the hell out of him. When Doggett had pulled Brentali back a moment before, he knew that his Master would keep to the set limits. It was a relief that allowed him to start to genuinely relax into the sensuality of the men's touches and explorations of his body. Under the fear, he knew he could so easily lose himself in this, push himself far beyond the point where he would regret his actions when he was done. It was good that his Master would keep him safe.

Doggett ran his nails up Byers' sides as Brentali bit at his stomach. Byers writhed between them, gasping and whimpering.

"No marks," Doggett said. "Don't leave any marks on him."

"Spoilsport," Brentali muttered.

Their voices were gruff with desire and the undercurrent of their rivalry. Byers' head rolled to the side as the two Doms competed to take their pleasure in him. Opening his eyes, he realized that the men who had been talking when they arrived had started watching them. One was stroking himself as he watched. Two of the others had started playing with each other.

Byers' embarrassment at becoming a public spectacle only drove him further into his arousal. Strangely enough, in his mind, this closed room and these five watching men didn't really seem to qualify as "public." The space was quiet except for the soft sound of voices, and his own harsh breathing as Doggett and Brentali pushed him further and further into mindless pleasure.

Doggett's attention was partly on Brentali, but the feel of Byers moving in his arms, his bound hands sliding against his rod as he squirmed and moaned, was incredibly erotic. The slender man was fiery with passion and almost feral in his response to their touches, their strokes, their wet, licking mouths. Byers radiated heat and intoxicating sensuality, a wildness growing in him that delighted Doggett. He held Byers tighter, resisting the almost overpowering urge to reach into his pants and pull out his bound dick and balls to play with.

Byers was only vaguely aware of his own moans and the way his hips were bucking into Doggett's hands caressing the inside of his thighs, touching his cock and balls as he floated in a delirium of erotic sensation. The leather binding his equipment was, however, sharply on his mind as it pressed into his hard, hot flesh. It was exquisite. The more aroused he became, the tighter the harness held him. It was bringing him to that edge of intensely sexual pain that he craved. It was, in a way, a better, lighter pain than the slaps he liked to feel against his erection. He realized he could take more of this, for a longer time.

"Aaaaaaaaah," he gasped, as Doggett pinched his nipples hard.

He shuddered as Brentali's fingers played him like a lute, the delicate finger tips finding the most sensitive spots on his exposed flesh and pressing, scratching, and pinching. "Maestro," Byers whispered.

Brentali grinned up at Doggett, then bent to kiss and suck Byers' throat, moaning in his own pleasure. Looking up, he said, "I want to see his cock. Take it out. Let me touch him."

Doggett shook his head. "No," he panted, though he wanted very much to do just that.

Brentali was leaning back now, caressing his own erection through his pants. After a moment, he unzipped his fly and pulled it out, stroking himself. "Let me take him. Let me fuck him in your arms, John."

"No," Doggett growled. The sight of Brentali on his knees, caressing his long shaft as he watched Byers writhe in Doggett's arms was powerfully erotic. If he hadn't agreed to Byers' limits, he would have been seriously tempted to let Brentali do it. The thought of watching Brentali fuck Byers, of feeling his sub writhe and buck in his arms under Brentali's body, was seriously turning him on.

"Then take him yourself and let me watch," Brentali begged. "Let me see you bury yourself in his ass. I want to watch you fuck him. Take him hard, John. You know you want him."

Byers' heart was pounding wildly, listening to Brentali's incredible requests. He could hear groans from the men across the room, and one shouted, coming as he watched. For a moment, he wanted Doggett to do it -- to strip his pants from him right there and fuck him while Brentali watched. He wanted Doggett to show the man who he really belonged to, wanted Doggett to take him, to thrust into him hard and deep and make him come. Nothing came out of his mouth but senseless moans, and he was grateful for the mercy because he knew that if he could speak, he would beg his Master to fuck him.

Byers also knew, deep in his gut, that if that happened, it would ruin everything. There would be no possibility of trust between them. His fantasy and the reality had to diverge here.

"No!" Doggett snapped. "He's mine. You know the rules, Sergio." Doggett held Byers tightly in his arms, pressing his hips into Byers' body, wishing he could turn Byers over the arm of the chair and take him. He was well aware of the other men's fascination with the scene, and he could see by the look in Brentali's eyes that the other Dom was close to orgasm. He'd push, and make Brentali come, just because he knew he could.

With a swift movement, he slid his arms around Byers' chest and lifted his body until they were both standing. Brentali's face was nearly in Byers' crotch once they were upright. Byers was gasping, his knees weak, his head lolling back on Doggett's shoulder. Brentali stroked himself harder and faster, moaning.

Doggett shoved the chair he'd been sitting in back slightly with the weight of his body. "Look at him, Sergio," Doggett growled. He buried his face in Byers' neck for a moment, biting down and sucking below the line of his collar. Byers shouted and bucked against him.

"Look at him. This man is mine." Doggett ran one hand down Byers' body, sliding it down to his crotch and cupping it. "His mouth is mine. His cock is mine. His ass is mine. "

Byers was panting, close to the edge, but not close enough. His Master's words sank into him, sending tremors through his body. He was in ecstasy, close to physical collapse.

"His body is mine," Doggett snapped. "Look how hot he is, Sergio. Look how ready he is. He'd do anything I told him right now. And I know what you like. He loves to suck cock. He'd suck your cock like an angel, Sergio, and he'd make you scream when you come, but he's mine."

Brentali grunted, squeezing and beating his shaft hard, then howled as he came, kneeling in front of Doggett and Byers. Gasping, he leaned forward on one hand, still holding himself with the other. His body shook, and he sank back against his chair to rest.

"Damn you, John. You really know how to mess with a man's head."

Doggett stood, embracing Byers tightly in his arms, both of them trembling. "And you love it," he said, triumph in his voice.

Brentali chuckled breathlessly and nodded.

"God," one of the men across the room muttered, gasping.

Doggett looked over at them and gave them a wry grin.

"Nice, Sarge," another of the men said.

Doggett nodded. Byers' knees gave out and he started to fall, but Doggett's hold on him was firm and strong. He moved Byers and settled him gently into the big leather chair they'd both occupied only moments before.

Kneeling next to Byers, he cradled his face in the palm of his hand. "You gonna be okay, Johnny?"

The next thing Doggett knew, Brentali was kneeling next to him, a careful hand on Byers' knee. "Is he all right?" The concern in his voice was obvious.

"Fine," Byers whispered. "I'm okay." He was still breathing hard, but starting to come down from the intense sexual high. He hadn't come, but he felt drained.

Doggett looked at Brentali. "I think this was just a little much for him," he said. "I should take him back to the hotel and put him to bed. He's never done anything like this before."

"He hasn't?" Brentali said.

"Very new to the scene," Doggett replied, caressing Byers' face and neck.

"He did extraordinarily well," Brentali said. "I'm quite impressed."

Doggett nodded, watching Byers carefully. "We'll see how he's doing tomorrow, when he's had some rest."

"You'll let me know, won't you?"

Doggett looked back at Brentali. "Yeah, Sergio. I will. Thanks."

"Let me help you get him back together," Brentali said.

"Okay." He handed Brentali the key to the handcuffs, then started buttoning Byers' shirt back up. He didn't do the top two buttons or put his tie back on.

Brentali handed the key and cuffs to Doggett. "I'll get him some water."

"Excellent idea," Doggett said. "Johnny, talk to me. How are you?"

"Floating," Byers said quietly, eyes half open. "Want you..."

"Later," Doggett said, smiling.

One of the men who'd been watching approached. "Sarge, is there anything else either of you needs?"

Doggett looked up for a moment. "Yeah, Jazz. Would you call us a cab?"

"Of course." Jazz pulled a cell phone from his pocket and dialed.

Brentali returned with a glass of water. "Here, Johnny," he said, holding it to Byers' lips.

Doggett stroked Byers' arms as Brentali helped the exhausted man drink. Jazz spoke with the dispatch as they tended Byers.

"Come on back to us, Johnny," Doggett said quietly.

Byers gradually felt himself becoming more centered in his body. He reached for the glass, but Brentali refused to let him hold it alone. Byers wondered why, then realized that his hand was shaking. He reached out with his other hand to steady himself, and Brentali let him take the glass when he saw that Byers would be steady enough to hold it in both hands.

"Talk to me, babe," Doggett said, squeezing Byers' shoulder.

Brentali turned and stared at Doggett, saying nothing.

"I'm feeling better," Byers said. "The fuzziness in my head is fading. I think I can focus again." He finished the water and handed the glass back to Brentali.

"The cab will be here in about five minutes," Jazz said. "They'll call me when it arrives."

"Thanks," Doggett said.

Byers looked down at himself. "I need to tuck in my shirt."

"I don't want you to try standing up just yet," Doggett said.

Byers looked around at the men gathered near him, then blushed scarlet. "Oh, dear," he whispered. The realization that he'd nearly had an orgasm in front of these strangers was starting to hit. His old feelings of shame and fear were screaming at him, but curiously, he also felt good. It was as though the embarrassment of the situation was but a candle to the brilliant light of the shared pleasure he'd experienced. He felt very odd and didn't know what to think.

Doggett reached out to Byers, offering the blushing man the shelter of his arms. Byers moved forward in the chair and buried himself in Doggett's embrace. "It's okay," Doggett whispered to him. "You were incredible. We'll be out of here in a few minutes, and everything will be all right."

Byers nodded silently into Doggett's shoulder. The other men left them alone, going back to their conversation.

"Do you need anything else?" Brentali asked. "Will you need help getting him down to the cab?"

Doggett didn't look up. "No, Sergio, but thanks. I think we'll be okay. I appreciate your help."

"Very well, then. I'll take my leave of you. Please, remember to call me tomorrow and let me know how he's doing."

"I will," Doggett said. He turned his face to Brentali without letting go of Byers. "Thanks."

A cell phone rang, and a moment later, Jazz said, "Your cab's here, Sarge."

Doggett nodded. "Thanks, Jazz."

He slid back from Byers slowly. "Do you think you're okay to get up?"

Byers closed his eyes for a moment, trying to judge the state of his body. "Yeah."

Doggett stood and offered Byers a hand. Byers hesitated for a moment, but took it and stood. He was very pleased to find that he wasn't wobbling.

"Let me tuck my shirt in."

Doggett nodded, and Byers stuffed the tail of his shirt back into his pants. It wasn't a very good job, but once he'd buttoned his jacket over it, he figured it was good enough for the short trip back to the hotel.

Doggett slid an arm around him. "Come on. Let's blow this joint."

Byers smiled. "I haven't forgotten your promise for tonight," he said.

Doggett laughed. "If you're up to it."

They headed for the door.

PARKER MERIDIEN HOTEL
ROOM 1246
NIGHT

Doggett flicked on the light as they entered the hotel suite. Byers had spent the ride back in the cab wrapped around him, jittering slightly and nibbling on his neck.

"I'm still buzzing," Byers said.

"I know. Do you want something to help you sleep?"

Byers shook his head. "I'm fine, just buzzing. I want you. Besides, you promised. After everything you've done to me today, I deserve a reward." He rubbed his still-stiff shaft with a quiet groan. "This thing you put on me is amazing," he said, his voice low and seductive.

Doggett sighed as he watched Byers. His hair was mussed, his jacket wrinkled, and the look on his face could make a eunuch come in his pants. "I thought you'd like it," Doggett said.

"Please, Jack." Byers put his arms around Doggett and kissed him hard and deep, his hands roaming over Doggett's body.

Doggett shook his head. "I'm not sure you're really up to it. I think you just think you are. You're exhausted, and you're still shaky. I don't want to take a chance on messin' you up."

Byers let go of Doggett with a snort and wandered into the bedroom, turning the light on in there. Doggett turned off the light in the main room after locking the door behind them, then followed Byers. He watched as Byers sat heavily on the bed, then slid down onto his back.

"Don't do this to me," Byers said, petulant. "I need a good fuck." Under other circumstances, Doggett would have been annoyed, but he knew Byers was in a much more emotionally fragile state than the younger man could understand. There would be time for explanations once they were in bed.

Doggett's lips twisted into a half frown. "I'm just worried about you. I think you pushed yourself too far at the club tonight. Maybe you don't feel it now, but you will by tomorrow. And I don't want to make things any more stressful for you."

Byers rolled to his side, then sat up again and began pulling his shoes off. Doggett could see he was still a little dizzy and unfocused. "I don't know," he said. "Maybe I did, but it felt... it felt good."

"Were you afraid?"

Byers nodded. "Yeah, but it was okay. If I listened to it all the time, I'd never do anything."

Doggett sat next to Byers and slid an arm around his shoulders as the smaller man pulled off his socks. "But sometimes it's there for a reason. You know that." He had to draw some boundaries for Byers, knowing that Byers wasn't able to draw them for himself again just yet.

Byers leaned into Doggett's shoulder. "Are you going to tie me up and fuck me, or should I just take this thing off?" he asked, sounding dejected. He rubbed his dick again. Looking back up at Doggett, he started unbuttoning the man's shirt.

Doggett nuzzled Byers' neck, thinking about it. After a moment, he said, "I'll give you what you need, John, but I won't tie you up tonight. Only the leather you're already wearing, unless you want to take that off now too. I think anything else would be too much for you right now. Seriously."

"I like this," Byers said, arousal still in his voice. "I can't believe how good it feels. You won't tie me up?"

Doggett shook his head.

Byers groaned. "Do you live to frustrate me or something?"

"I'm just looking out for you. You're still not yourself, here, Johnny."

"Please," Byers begged, his voice quiet and husky. "I want you. I need to have you in me. I've been going crazy all day. And I want to know what you think I need, Sergeant Dom, Sir."

Doggett kissed him gently and Byers clung to him, taking the kiss as though it were oxygen. Doggett backed off after a moment and said, "I think maybe you do need to be fucked, but nothing rough. You need to be held. You need to rest and let yourself come down from this properly. You need to talk, too. This stuff isn't just about what's happening with your body, Johnny; a lot of it shifts things around in your head, and it can leave you really vulnerable. You're gonna be experiencing some pretty intense emotional stuff for a while. But you gotta understand that I won't hurt you, John, or let you hurt yourself. Taking care of you afterwards is part of my job too."

"I'm fine, damn it. I want you to tie me up. I want you to fuck me." Byers insisted.

Doggett helped Byers undress, talking gently to him. "I know where you're at right now. I've been there myself. But I don't think you've ever had anything like this happen before, so you don't understand yet."

Byers shook his head, pulling his shirt and jacket off. "I'll be fine."

"Of course you will, but not in the next five minutes. You're feeling like something's not quite right, and like your body's vibrating, and your head's not quite connected to it, right? Like the planet's maybe not exactly on its axis?"

Byers looked at Doggett as the man unbuckled his belt. He took Doggett's hands in his own. "I... yeah." He nodded. "Yeah, I think that's where I am right now."

"It's okay," Doggett reassured him. "I'm right here. I know what to do to help you, but you've... Johnny, you have to just trust me on this, okay? Can you do that? You trusted me earlier."

Byers looked like he was about to burst into tears. Doggett took him in his arms and held him close. "You'll be fine. Honest. You're just gonna feel out of it and kind of confused for a while, that's all."

"Trust is so damned hard," Byers mumbled. He sounded lost and afraid.

"I know," Doggett said gently. "It's okay. All I ask is that you try. Will you do that?"

Byers nodded and pulled himself closer to Doggett. He was shaking now, not just vibrating a little as he had been earlier, and Doggett ran a hand through his hair, kissing him softly. Doggett knew it would be a rough night.

Byers took a deep breath. Doggett could see he was trying to steady himself, but it wasn't having much effect.

"Let's finish getting you undressed," Doggett said. "And we should take that harness off you, too."

"But it feels good," Byers said, not looking up from where his face was buried in Doggett's shoulder.

"I know, but it's not something you need right now. Your body needs some rest, and that would only keep stressing it. But I promise, I'll make you feel good. Just let me take care of you."

Byers sighed and nodded, then let go of Doggett to stand and slip his pants and boxers off. Doggett made Byers lie on his back, then opened the little lock that held the leather bindings together, and removed them slowly and gently. Byers' entire body shuddered as Doggett caressed his shaft and balls.

"Yes," Byers whispered.

Doggett stood.

"Don't stop," Byers begged, whining. "Please, don't tease me again. I can't take it anymore. This is... I feel too naked without it. I really need to be tied so that I don't lose the feeling."

Doggett turned down the covers of the large bed. "I'll be there again in just a sec. Let me get undressed. You get into bed. We'll talk about it in a minute."

Byers rolled over and slid himself under the covers, then watched as Doggett finished undressing. After a few moments, he closed his eyes and sighed.

Doggett tossed the leather harness into the bedside drawer and pulled out a small bottle of lube, a condom, and a pair of soft, padded leather wrist restraints.

Byers reached out as Doggett entered the bed with him, running a hand along his side. The contact seemed to steady him. "Please, Jack, please --"

"I'm right here. It's okay."

Doggett slid next to Byers, holding him for a moment, just watching him. Byers opened his eyes to find Doggett's eyes locked with his.

"I need this so much," Byers whispered. Doggett kissed him softly, and slid his hand down Byers' body. He showed Byers the wrist restraints. "Put them on me, please," Byers begged.

Doggett slipped the leather restraints around Byers' wrists and secured them, but didn't clip them together.

The slender man writhed, groaning. Doggett could tell he was still wired, still close to the edge he'd been riding most of the evening. "Why didn't you fasten them together?"

"I don't want to do anything too rough with you," Doggett said. "But maybe this'll be enough for you to stay in that space you need, without being too much for you right now."

Byers whined, but the leather did feel good around his wrists. Maybe it would work. It was soothing to have them on. The leather was soft, and they were fastened tight enough to feel right, but the padding protected his wrists from any damage, or from having his circulation cut off. "Fuck me, damn it." He slid his body against Doggett's, demanding and almost frantic.

Doggett pressed him back down on his back, then rolled a condom onto himself. He slicked his fingers and slid one into the man in his arms. He knew it wouldn't take much to bring Byers off. Byers groaned and arched into Doggett's hand.

"It's okay, it's okay," Doggett whispered to him. "Relax. Give me time to open you up so I won't hurt you."

A second finger, then a third slowly joined the first as Byers moved sensually next to him. The bearded man had moved beyond the realm of speech into eloquent bodily need.

Doggett slicked himself, and crawled onto Byers' body, bringing the man's knees up past his hips. Byers moaned, long and low. Doggett entered him slowly, groaning at the feeling, and Byers keened and pulled at Doggett's ass and thighs, trying to get him into his body deeper and faster. Doggett resisted Byers' urgings, and his own instincts, keeping a very slow, gentle pace as he planted himself in Byers to the root. He could feel his balls rub softly against Byers' ass.

"Give it to me," Byers moaned. "Please -- harder --" His voice faded into incoherent groans as Doggett thrust into him slow but hard.

"God," Doggett groaned. "Oh, god, Johnny." He hadn't realized how much he needed this as well. He held Byers tight, chest to chest, and kissed him deeply. They both moaned into each other's mouths as their slow, intensely erotic dance continued.

The fullness and friction of Doggett's slow movements in and out of his body pushed Byers beyond the end of his endurance, and he came quickly, bucking into Doggett's solid body on top of him. He cried out, incoherent. The weight and heat of his Master's body and the feel of the leather around his wrists was comforting, and he clung to Doggett's solidity, the only stability in his world in that moment.

Doggett kept to his slow, steady pace as Byers shuddered under him. "You feel so good," he whispered, panting, sucking Byers' ear. "God, you're good." He thrust deeper into the man beneath him, still slow but unable to resist responding to his body's own deepening need. His balls tightened, and he used all his strength to ride Byers, grunting and shouting as he came deep inside him.

He held Byers for a few moments, letting his weight rest on his sub. Byers moaned again and held him tight, his entire body trembling.

"Jack," Byers whispered. "My god." Doggett's weight felt good. It was as though the Dom's body was pressing him back into himself, the restraints at his wrists holding him together. He was light headed and floating from the orgasm, but no longer felt as though his brain was half a mile from his body. Despite his shaking limbs, he felt steadier than before they'd begun.

Byers felt tears start, but didn't bother to hold them back, though he wasn't sure why he was crying. He thought maybe it was his relief that brought them on. He felt like an immense buildup of pressure had left his body through his orgasm, and that the remainder was flowing away with his tears. There were no body-shaking sobs, merely the soft, silent running of warm salten liquid down his cheeks.

Doggett, still buried deep in Byers' body, raised his face and saw the tears. "How do you feel?" he asked quietly. Before Byers could answer, Doggett was wiping the tears away with his fingers.

"Better," Byers answered. "Steadier. Calmer."

Doggett nodded. "Good. Do you want me to move yet?"

Byers shook his head. "No, please stay here for a while. I need this. It feels good."

"All right."

Doggett kissed Byers, and he responded, gently this time. The sense of urgency was slowly being replaced with a feeling of peace and contentment. Byers could feel exhaustion settling in on him like a heavy blanket. He wanted to fall asleep like this, with Doggett in him, on him. Was this what trust felt like, he wondered. It had been so long he wasn't sure he'd recognize it when he found it.

Again, Doggett had kept a promise. But the physical things were easy, Byers knew. It was the emotional promises that were hard, and betrayals often took a long time to make themselves known. He wanted to trust Doggett, but knew he still had to keep a certain distance, even now. He had to wait and watch, had to let Doggett prove that he wouldn't betray him, wouldn't turn out to be on the wrong side of the lines of force and power that surrounded his life so tightly.

His paranoia and his desire for closeness warred within him. He sighed as Doggett held him, feeling cared for, but not knowing if his own emotions were trustworthy.

"Where are you, Johnny?" Doggett asked. "Talk to me."

"Just thinking."

"About what?"

Byers hesitated, but saw the concern in Doggett's eyes and decided to be truthful rather than evade his feelings. "Paranoia. Fear. Betrayal." He paused and took a breath. "Trust." He rubbed the leather restraints at his wrists.

Doggett nodded. "Thanks for not brushin' it off," he said, "not brushin' me off. I know none of this comes easy for you." He could see the exhaustion in Byers' face, and hoped it meant the man would sleep well and rest.

"I'm tired, though," Byers said.

"I know. Me too." He kissed Byers again before slowly and carefully withdrawing from his body. "You go ahead and stay here. I'll get some washcloths so we can get cleaned up."

"Thank you." Even Byers' voice sounded exhausted.

Doggett rose and went into the bathroom to toss the full condom and clean himself, returning with warm, wet washcloths for Byers. Byers was already half asleep, so Doggett washed him carefully, then tossed the cloths aside and climbed back into bed. Since Byers hadn't taken the restraints off his wrists, Doggett left them there. They'd do no harm if he slept in them. Settling himself in, he took Byers in his arms again, watching him silently as the slender man slipped into sleep.

It had been a good day. Things had gone so much better than he'd hoped. He thought about Byers for a long time, wondering what it would be like to have his trust. Like Mulder, Byers was a very wary man. His trust would never be given lightly. It seemed almost against his nature. He wondered what would have to happen before it was granted to him, and how he'd react if and when it finally occurred.

Their world was dangerous and frightening. Doggett knew that on some level, Byers had a deeper understanding of what must really be going on than he did. The hacker had been in the middle of it for so many years that, even though he was younger and sometimes seemed naive, he'd had more experience with the undercurrents than Doggett could hope to glimpse. There were secrets in Byers, Doggett knew; dangerous secrets. The overt silliness of some of the things he and his friends published sometimes seemed more of a ruse, a blind to fool the hidden powers into complacency. Doggett knew that Byers was too intelligent to believe everything the Gunmen published.

He drifted into sleep with Byers in his arms, and on his mind.

~~end chapter 1 of 4~~


If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to Mice