A Well Kept Man 2: Armani Weekend, Saturday

by Mice

WK2: Armani Weekend
Chapter 2: Saturday

(Disclaimers in Chapter 1)

PARKER MERIDIEN HOTEL
ROOM 1246
NEW YORK CITY
EARLY SATURDAY MORNING

Byers woke slowly, and stretched with a quiet yawn. The first thing he noticed was the warmth of Doggett's body next to him, and he smiled. It had been years since he'd woken next to anyone. He missed it, but didn't want to think about getting used to the feeling; after all, it would only be for the weekend. Still, there was no harm in enjoying it while he had it. Shifting his weight, he rolled to wrap an arm around the sleeping man, but paused in his motion for a moment when he saw the leather restraint still buckled around his wrist.

How had he gotten so lucky, he wondered. It had been years since he'd had so much as a date, yet somehow he'd found himself in a situation where his fantasies were being made real. It confused and frightened him. Nothing good ever seemed to come into his life without something miserable balancing it out. He worried that he wouldn't be able to hold onto this. No one had ever wanted him for very long except Langly, and that was impossible due to their circumstances.

He thought about what had happened last night at the club. His life had always been an exercise in denial and he had never imagined he could or would let himself go so far in such a public situation. He couldn't believe he'd let anyone touch him the way Doggett and Brentali had in front of anyone else, much less five strangers. Three of whom, he remembered with great embarrassment, were having orgasms over his public wantonness. He blushed, knowing there was nothing to be done about it now.

What made it truly frightening, in his mind, was how much he'd loved it all. What he'd done was so against his nature; allowing himself to be exposed and vulnerable -- to be sexual -- in a public place and in front of anyone other than the person he was having sex with scared the hell out of him. What had made it so compelling? He shook as he thought about it.

With a sigh, he tucked his body up against Doggett's back, his arm around the man's chest, looking for comfort. It felt good. Doggett smelled good -- warm skin and a hint of sweat and just plain maleness -- and Byers buried his face in his Master's shoulder for a moment, breathing him in. Doggett was undisturbed by Byers' movement, snoring softly.

The leather restraints around his wrists still felt good. Their presence was reassuring, though in a way Byers was only beginning to recognize. He wondered what he would become if he allowed himself to follow this path, to follow the disturbing desires that filled him and drove him forward. He'd let a man he didn't even know touch him in very intimate, sexual ways, and it had never been his habit to pick up strangers. Doggett's presence had been reassuring, but his own abandon to the danger and the sensuality left a cold feeling in the pit of his stomach. Had he been right to trust Doggett's judgment about Brentali? Had he been right to even want such a thing?

He'd only had two relationships with other men that had been even vaguely similar to this. Neither had lasted for more than three months, and he'd known each of them for quite some time before he'd agreed to anything sexual, much less the bondage aspects of it, though he knew he'd wanted that. Shyness and fear had held him back on so many levels. His ex had entirely refused his requests, and in fact had been quite disgusted by them. She'd told him that no 'real man' would let anyone treat him that way; god forbid that he actually wanted such things. Her rejection had been crushing, and it had been the last time he'd ever asked anyone.

Byers tightened his arm around Doggett's chest, wondering if the man would think he was good enough. He'd already been taken far beyond the limits he'd had with the other men who had topped him. All the things Doggett had done with him yesterday were unmapped territory in his soul. Every step was a challenge to him. He feared he might not be able to keep up, or that his inexperience would disappoint Doggett so much that he'd be rejected again. Only keeping an emotional distance could buffer the pain of another rejection like that.

With his previous tops, everything had been private. There was never anyone else watching, much less participating. He'd been tied to a bed or a chair, and sometimes had been spanked or given a light flogging before he'd been fucked or sucked, but that was the sum total of his experience. It had taught him that he liked being bound, liked intense sensation and a certain amount of mild pain. He knew that Doggett had many years more experience than either of the men who'd topped him before, and he was learning that there was much more to the entire scene than he'd imagined. The possibilities weighed heavily on his mind.

Doggett weighed heavily on his mind as well. The agent came across as tough, prickly, and rather gruff when he was working. When Doggett had approached him the first time, he'd been surprised. His own quick agreement to the unexpected proposal had surprised him as well. He hadn't been sure how things would go, but the man had driven him to ecstasy. He'd been left feeling awkward, uncertain, and fascinated, knowing only that he wanted more of what he'd been given. Doggett was strong and powerful and handsome -- hell, he was so damned hot -- and Byers didn't understand what the man saw in him. It was obvious Doggett could get guys like the Marine or the military groupies anytime he wanted, and as many as he wanted, so why on earth would he want someone like him?

It certainly couldn't have anything to do with experience, because Byers didn't think he had any that qualified. It wasn't about willingness or obedience either, as Doggett seemed quite used to subs who knew their place and were well behaved. It wasn't about looks; Byers knew he was distressingly ordinary and unimpressive. It didn't seem to leave anything but some inexplicable hormonal reaction, really. He wasn't quite ready to rule out alien influence or government mind control just yet either.

The more he thought about the whole thing, the shakier and more uncertain he felt. Last night had been so good, so intense. The experience was burned into his soul; he didn't think he'd ever be able to forget the night if he tried, and he didn't want to try. He'd learned more about himself than he'd thought possible in those few hours. His reaction to the sub on the cross had been nothing short of a revelation of needs and desires he didn't understand, and it shook him to his bones.

What had happened with Doggett and Brentali had been even more visceral; his overwhelming desire to have Doggett fuck him in front of the man left him trembling in the morning light. The vehemence of his feelings chilled him to the core. Worse yet, he could still feel a ghost of that desire creeping up his spine. Had he really wanted that? Would he really have asked it, had he been able to speak? He was afraid to answer his own questions. If he let himself have an experience like that again, he was terrified he might lose himself so deeply in that sensual space that he might never come back.

Byers' shaking was what finally woke Doggett. He groaned and rolled over, wrapping his arms around the slender man. Byers burrowed into Doggett's arms, needing the shelter and security more than he'd ever realized.

"Johnny? What's wrong?" Doggett's voice was sleepy, but incredibly gentle. He stroked Byers' hair with one hand, holding him close with the other.

Byers snuggled closer, letting Doggett hold him. "I've been thinking about last night," he said quietly, "about what happened. About how I felt when it was all happening, and how I'm feeling right now. It's... I'm confused, Jack. I don't understand what's going on in my head."

"It can be that way for a while after an intense scene, and I know that for you, last night was really intense. It's okay. You'll be just fine. Come here." Doggett raised Byers' face and kissed him softly.

Despite the morning breath, Doggett's kiss was a soothing reassurance. Doggett's confidence wrapped around Byers and allowed him to feel a little of his own. Maybe things would be all right if he just talked about what was happening inside him.

"You did so well last night, Johnny. I was really proud of you."

Byers sighed. "But you don't know what was going on in my head while all that was happening."

Doggett ran the backs of his fingers over Byers' cheek. "Do you want to tell me?"

Byers' breath caught. He wasn't sure if he dared. His inability to trust raised its head again like some unsettled serpent.

Doggett sighed. He knew Byers would have to talk about it if he was going to be able to deal with everything. "It's safe to tell me. I promise that whatever it is, it's all right to talk about it."

Byers struggled with himself for a moment, swallowing uncomfortably. "I felt so strange," he said, "when I realized that all those men were watching us, and then I realized that I didn't care. I mean, I didn't care then. Now I'm... now I feel really embarrassed. It's not... I'm not like that, Jack. I'm not an exhibitionist. I don't like people seeing my body. I..." Byers slipped into silence.

Doggett held him tighter. "There's nothin' wrong with your body, John. You really are a handsome guy, even though I know you don't believe that. Your shyness is another issue, but don't you believe for a minute that you're not a good looking man. You just wait until you see yourself in that Armani this afternoon. You'll believe me then." Doggett smiled. "And what you did with me and Sergio last night is nothin' to be ashamed of. I was so proud of you. You were so goddamned hot I couldn't believe it."

"But those men --"

"Were loving every minute of it. But if being in front of other guys like that makes you nervous, Johnny, we never have to do that again. It's your choice, your limits."

Byers closed his eyes and pressed his face into Doggett's chest. "But I don't understand, Jack. I'm so embarrassed, but I... I liked it. I loved it. I wanted it to be just like that while it was happening. Why do I feel this way now? Why did I want --" He stopped suddenly.

"What did you want, Johnny?"

Byers took a deep breath. "When Sergio... when he asked you to fuck me in front of him..." He paused for a moment and took another deep breath, then let it out. "When... god, Jack, I wanted you to do it. I wanted you to fuck me. I wanted you to show him I was yours."

Doggett sighed and rubbed Byers' back. "Even if you had asked, even if you begged, I wouldn't have done it. I wanted to, so much, but I would never have done it." Byers could hear the ache and the desire in Doggett's voice. "It wasn't something we agreed to, John, and this is so new to you. If you're embarrassed by what did happen in front of the guys in that room, you'd never have forgiven me for going that far. No matter how much you might have wanted it in the heat of it all, it would have hurt you when you came down from the high you were feeling, and I won't do that to you. That's why we set limits in the first place." Doggett was emphatic, his voice insistent but so gentle.

Byers hadn't realized until that moment just how emotionally raw he still was. He broke down, weeping. Doggett had said exactly what he'd needed to hear. It was a reassurance that he'd been safe all along, safe from himself, no matter what he'd been feeling during and after the experience.

Doggett held him, rocking him gently in his arms. "It's okay," he whispered, "you're okay. What you felt was okay, Johnny. It's natural to want that when you're in that state. It's why you negotiate first, when you're still rational. It's why you need to be with someone you can trust, who won't push your limits or abuse you. It's why you need space to come down afterwards, like we've got right now."

"I was so out of control," Byers said, struggling with his tears. "I think I would have done anything. I'm not like that, I'm just not like that!"

"I know, I know." Doggett brushed his cheek in Byers' hair, just holding him and rocking him. "I wouldn't have let anything happen that I knew you didn't want. It all turned out okay. You're safe, and nothing happened that you didn't want. Focus on that, okay?"

"I'm scared, Jack. I felt so damned good. I was floating, it was so good. It was like I wasn't even in my body anymore. Your body," Byers choked back a sob, "your body and these cuffs, they're all that kept me together after we got back last night. I'm scared because I want it so much. I want to feel like that again, and it terrifies me."

Doggett shifted his weight and rolled so that he was partly on top of Byers, still holding him tight in his arms.

"It's okay to be scared, Johnny. Nothing's gonna hurt you, I promise. You can feel like that again, but we'll go slow, okay? Just you and me. We'll make it so you feel good like that again, and we won't push you any further than you're ready to go. It's okay to back off a little after you've pushed yourself so far. You need to give yourself some breathing space, let yourself get used to things." He kissed Byers' forehead. "As you get used to it, you'll be able to do more. You'll be able to take things further. It's so overwhelming and frightening right now because it's all new. With time, you'll know what to expect and you won't feel like this afterwards anymore. You'll get more confident."

The weight of Doggett's body felt right to Byers. "Yeah, like this," he whispered, already starting to calm down. "I need this. It's helping."

Doggett had been right. So much had been stirred up inside him that it was hard to sort through. He wasn't sure he would want to do much of anything today but just spend time being close to Doggett and working on screwing his head back on properly. He felt... clingy. He was used to feeling nervous, anxious, and paranoid. Those feelings were old and faithful companions. This one was uncomfortable, but he was fairly sure it wouldn't last more than a few hours. And maybe next time, as his Master had said, his reaction wouldn't be so intense.

"I'm right here for as long as you need me," Doggett said.

"I still want those things," Byers said. "I mean, I do, but I don't." He looked up at Doggett. "I do, but not yet, I guess is what I'm trying to say."

"Which things are you talking about, though? Being fucked in front of Sergio? Being played with in front of other people? Being up on that cross that you were so fascinated with last night? Something else?" There was a mix of compassion and curiosity in Doggett's voice. "Knowing this stuff will help me know what you want and how to treat you," he said.

Byers closed his eyes, blushing. "All of it. All of that, and other things... I want you to push me over the edge, Jack. I want you to..." He took a deep breath. "I want you," he whispered. "I just... I just want to be able to feel like that again. I've never felt like that before. I've never been able to lose myself like that, and it felt so good. But I'm afraid I'll fall in and never come back. Why the hell does it have to scare me so much?"

"Because you're looking into the abyss, Johnny," Doggett said. "You're seeing some of the things you've been hiding from yourself your whole life. You don't have to worry about coming back, though. You always will. Learning that what you want isn't what you thought it was can be a hell of a shock to your system. This is part of you. It would scare the hell out of anybody to learn that they're not what they thought they were." Doggett rolled some of his weight off Byers, and the bearded man shifted with him, not wanting to lose the body contact.

"Don't let go," Byers said. Doggett held him closer.

"I know you think you're not like that, that maybe that you shouldn't want or like what you had last night," Doggett continued. "But there's a part of you that really is that, too. Part of you is a little bit exhibitionistic, part of you does want to be watched, does want to be touched by more than one person. Part of you wants to be pushed past your limits. And that's okay. Those are the parts of you that loved what you felt, that want to feel that way again. As you learn more about those parts of yourself, you'll be more confident about knowing what they want, how they react, how far they're willing to go -- and what things will be safe to do. It'll all fall together someday and in the end, it'll just be you; everything you are now, and everything you want to be."

"And when is that supposed to happen?" Byers said, brushing away the remaining traces of his tears.

Doggett chuckled. "I don't know. It's not like there's some calendar you can check it against. It ain't like that. It happens as it happens, and it's different for everybody. You're a pretty shy, quiet guy, and it may take you a long time to get through it all. But maybe you're a hell of a lot braver than you think, and it won't take that long at all. There's no way to tell. You just gotta live it."

Byers sighed, nodding. "Story of my life," he said.

Byers finally stopped shaking, but wasn't sure he was ready to get out of bed and face the day yet. Doggett stayed under the covers, holding him for another few moments. "What do you want to do today, Johnny?" he asked.

"I'm not sure yet," Byers said. "I'm hungry, though."

"Do you think a soak in the Jacuzzi might help you feel a little steadier?" Doggett asked.

Byers thought for a moment, then smiled. "Yeah. I think it might. But I don't want to get up just yet."

"Well, I'm gonna have to in a couple of minutes, 'cuz I've gotta piss like a racehorse," Doggett said, chuckling. He squeezed Byers close. "Those wrist restraints, do you want 'em off yet?"

Byers nodded. "I think I can cope with that."

Doggett rolled Byers on top of him. "Gimme your hands."

Bracing himself on the bed with one arm, Byers leaned up slightly and let Doggett remove first one, then the other. Doggett tossed them onto the bedside stand. Taking Byers' face in both hands, he pulled him in for a kiss, and Byers slid his tongue into Doggett's mouth. The kiss was soft and deep, and both of them moaned as it went on. Byers was tempted to ask if Doggett would fuck him before they got up, but realized he genuinely wasn't ready for it yet. Long moments later, they came up for air.

"Up," Doggett said, patting Byers' ass. "And don't nail me in the bladder when you do it."

Byers laughed. "Just what I need to start the day, getting you pissed off."

Doggett snorted. "Right now, it'd be more like gettin' yourself pissed on."

Byers made a face. "Ewwww."

Doggett laughed. "Okay, that's one kink we can rule out." Byers could only blush in response.

Byers rolled off Doggett, and Doggett got out of bed, hurrying to the bathroom. After he relieved himself, he started running water into the big Jacuzzi tub for Byers. Taking a few moments to brush his teeth and shave as the water ran, he considered their morning options.

He had to call Brentali and let him know how Byers was doing. He'd do that while Byers soaked. He needed a shower as well, but maybe Byers would want to shower with him after he was out of the tub. By that time, the man might be feeling up to being touched and played with a little under the hot, running water. Doggett didn't want anything elaborate, but he wanted to indulge himself a little. Perhaps Byers would be up to being sucked. It would be an offer rather than an order; he wouldn't be upset if Byers refused. Doggett knew his sub still needed time to sort himself out, but it would be a good way to start the day if the offer was accepted.

They'd have to do something about breakfast, but he really didn't want to decide that until he discussed it with Byers. They could do that after the shower.

Byers came into the bathroom and slid his arms around Doggett's waist, resting his bearded chin on his Master's shoulder. Doggett enjoyed the feeling, enjoyed the closeness.

"You doin' okay?" Doggett asked.

Byers smiled. "Wondered if you'd fallen in. I need to use the bathroom."

Doggett finished rinsing the shaving cream from his face. "Yeah, okay. I just had to finish shaving. It's all yours."

"Thanks." Byers kissed Doggett's shoulder and let him go. Doggett left the man to his morning routine.

Returning to the bedroom, Doggett wrapped himself in a robe and tied the belt, then settled down in the living room with his cell phone. He dialed Brentali's number.

"Pronto."

Doggett smiled. "Hey Sergio."

"Ah, John! How are you this morning, and how is your delectable young friend?"

"I'm fine, thanks. Johnny seems to be doing okay. Still kinda shaky, but I think we both expected that, yeah?"

"Yes, yes," Brentali said. "He did have that look about him last night. Did he manage to sleep?"

"Yeah. Took a while for him to settle enough, though."

Brentali chuckled. "I assume you had to give him satisfaction before that happened, eh?"

Doggett laughed. "What, you think I'm gonna tell you?"

"You always have before." Brentali's voice was smug and amused.

"Lyin' sack," Doggett said. "You just want to hear all the gory details so you can whack off while I tell you."

Brentali snorted. "You have such doubts about my noble motives, John. I just want to know that your new boy is properly cared for."

"Want him for yourself is more like it."

"Perhaps. Or at least to watch."

Doggett chuckled. "Yeah, I knew that was comin'."

"John, I wish to ask you something." Brentali's voice was slightly hesitant.

"What's that?"

"Last night..."

"What about it?" Doggett was curious now.

Brentali hesitated. "How long have you known your Mr. Byers, John?"

"Met him about a year ago. He and his pals, they've done some work for me in that time."

"Yes, so you said, but -- forgive me for being indelicate -- how long have you known him?"

Doggett blinked. "About a month. Why? What's this about, Sergio?"

Doggett could hear Brentali taking a deep breath before he spoke. "Last night, John, when he was in distress, you said something to him. It gave me pause."

"What was that?" Doggett was truly puzzled now.

"You called him... well, you called him something I have only ever heard you call Barbara, before the divorce. When did you become so attached to this young man that you're calling him 'babe'? Is this a serious relationship for you?"

Doggett sat in stunned silence.

A few moments later, Brentali spoke again. "John?"

Doggett shook himself out of it. "I... Are you sure you heard right?"

"Quite so, John. Are you all right?"

Doggett thought for a moment. He didn't remember saying it. He certainly wasn't close enough to Byers that he would call him that. "You musta heard wrong, Sergio. That's not possible. I hardly know the guy yet. We've only played once before this weekend." He knew didn't have that depth of feeling for Byers. But the inexplicable attraction he felt... No.

Brentali sighed. "My friend, I do know what I heard. I found it... quite curious. I know you don't attach yourself to other men easily, and I wondered if you had perhaps found someone at last. But if this makes you uncomfortable, I'll drop it. Have you and your boy had breakfast yet?"

"Ah, no, we haven't." Doggett was grateful for the change of subject. He didn't want to think about what Brentali had said, or its possible implications.

"Then why don't you join me in about an hour?"

"Can we make it about an hour and a half? Johnny's taking a soak in the Jacuzzi," Doggett said. "I don't want to have to drag him out too soon."

Brentali's voice was cheerful. "Certainly." He laughed. "That exquisite specimen of yours is in the bath and you're on the phone with me? Such heedless neglect. At any rate, I'll expect you to join me at Sarabeths' West then. I think it would be good for your boy to get to know me as Sergio, rather than seeing me only as an authority. It'll be my treat, all right?"

"That might be good for him. But about the treat, are you sure?"

"Oh, yes. Absolutely. Are we agreed?"

"Sure, Sergio. Thanks. I'll look forward to it."

"Ciao, then!"

Doggett smiled. "Ciao."

He set the phone down and went back into the bedroom. He could hear the jets of the Jacuzzi running, and he went to the door of the bathroom to check on Byers.

Byers lay in the tub, his head resting on the back ledge, eyes closed. His face was relaxed and calm, peaceful. It looked good on him, Doggett thought. Much better than the stress he'd seen when they were still in bed together, Byers trying to cope with his fears. He liked seeing the shy, quiet man like this and stood for several minutes in the doorway just watching him affectionately.

Doggett wondered why Byers' trust was so important to him, why he felt so possessive toward the man. He barely knew him. Other bottoms had come and gone through his life, usually quickly and without fuss. Byers had always struck him as a little odd, as did his friends, but attractive nonetheless. Brentali had been right when he'd said Doggett didn't get attached to other men easily. He had sex with them, not intimate relationships. He didn't know why this would change, particularly for a man like Byers. Doggett had always thought that if he ever felt that sort of closeness with another man, it would have been more like the type he usually played with; strong, athletic, much more conventionally handsome. It would have been someone military, or in law enforcement, he thought. Someone whose experiences had been not unlike his own, whose experience in the scene was akin to his own.

Byers was a thin, wiry man, with an intellectual and emotional intensity and a soft air of gentleness that Doggett found appealing, but that gentleness was never anything he'd sought out in his -- what -- toys? Personal amusements? Pets? Most of the men he'd been with had certainly never been his lovers. Byers was quiet and shy, and obviously inexperienced in the scene, though he did seem to have clear concepts of his own boundaries and some of what he wanted.

He doubted Byers had ever been anywhere near the military in his life before he'd been immersed in the conspiracies that threaded through both their existences. Yet there was a well disguised solidity to him just under the surface. He knew, as if by instinct, that there was courage somewhere in Byers, a core of something strong and resilient. There had to be, if Byers was willing to face and act on the same desires that seemed to terrify him so. Doggett suspected that once the man broke through the fears holding him back -- and he was fairly certain it would happen at some point -- he would be a seriously intense player. The thought set Doggett's heart racing.

When Byers dropped his guard, opened himself to his own needs, his sensuality burned brightly. Doggett knew that this was part of what appealed to him about the shy man. Perhaps he was caught by the dichotomy that Byers presented; the enigmatic everyday formality of the quiet man in the suit, and the wild, desperate abandon of the bound submissive who had been writhing in his arms last night. Byers might not have ever been military, but there was a sense of discipline and honor in him that Doggett had rarely seen matched elsewhere. Did this add to his unexpected and deepening attraction?

The mystery of it gnawed at him. Doggett liked solutions and neat packages, order and sensible explanations. Byers was neat, orderly, and sensible, but at the same time, he was none of those things. The paradox of the man was magnetic. Doggett went to sit at the edge of the tub.

As he sat, Byers opened his eyes. He smiled up at Doggett.

"Would you like to join me?" Byers asked. He held a hand up to Doggett.

Doggett grinned and shed his robe. It pooled on the floor at his feet. "Yeah. Sounds good." He stepped into the big tub, sliding down to lie beside Byers, his back to a row of jets. Byers turned to face him, his back to the jets on the other side.

The heat of the moving water felt good on his body, but better when Byers' body met his, face to face. They slid their arms around each other, Doggett savoring the smoothness of Byers' hot, wet skin against his own. He kissed Byers gently.

"What took you so long?" Byers asked.

Doggett chuckled. "I had to call Sergio. I promised him last night I'd let him know how you were doing. He asked us to meet him for breakfast."

A whisper of anxiety crossed Byers' face for a moment, but vanished in his clear blue eyes. "That sounds good," he said. "I'm getting really hungry."

"We have a little time before we have to be anywhere." Doggett caressed Byers' body with his hands, and slid against him, buoyed up by the hot water.

Byers rumbled his appreciation quietly in Doggett's ear, almost purring. "I'm glad." He kissed Doggett's ear and nibbled at the soft skin behind it.

"Are you sure you want to go there? I didn't think you'd be up for anything so soon after last night," Doggett said.

Byers sighed and held Doggett tight to his body. "I just feel like I need to be close like this right now. Maybe a little something more, but nothing too intense."

Doggett nodded. "I'd like to suck you," he said, running his hand up Byers' thigh until he came to his balls. He cupped them gently and caressed them, then stroked Byers' shaft slowly.

"Mmmmmmmm. Yeah, please. I'd like that." Byers' eyes closed, his face softening in pleasure.

Doggett shifted his body until he was holding Byers' hips in his arms, raising him partly out of the water. Bending down, he started kissing and licking Byers' stiffening cock as the water pounded against them both.

Byers moaned, arching his back, then slid his arms up over his head. Even when pleasure was freely offered to him, it seemed he needed the vulnerability of that exposure. His chest rose out of the water, and Doggett took in the sight of his sub's wet, slender body moving sensually under his ministrations. He lowered his head and took Byers' rod into his mouth, licking and sucking. Sliding his hands up Byers' back, he savored the softness of the man's skin.

Byers felt good in his mouth, his length growing and thickening with excitement as Doggett sucked. Both of them groaned and sighed at the sensations, and Byers shivered as Doggett's strong hands massaged his back and sides.

Doggett would have teased the man verbally, but he was in no mood to talk. He sucked and licked and nipped at Byers' flesh, making the bearded man writhe and whimper under him. Dipping his head to take Byers in again, he tasted the salty liquid leaking from the slit in the head of his sub's swollen shaft. He loved the sound of Byers voice as he cried out wordlessly in pleasure.

Doggett's own rod was hard now as well, and he shifted his body so that one of the water jets struck it as he moved. He shuddered at the intensity of it, nearly coming from the sensation, but held himself back. For a moment, he gave up Byers' dick and slid his body up along the other man's, taking his mouth in a deep, hard kiss. Byers groaned and wrapped his arms around Doggett, thrusting against him, their cocks rubbing hard against each other. The water jets and the feel of Byers' body against his own were driving Doggett toward a quick orgasm.

He tried to slide back down, but Byers was panting, lost in the sensation, and wouldn't release him.

"Let go, Johnny," he said, gasping with the force of his desire.

Byers loosened his grip, and Doggett slid down his body, leaving a trail of nips and kisses as he moved back to the man's stiff, hot shaft. He sucked Byers hard, using his tongue everywhere along the man's length, caressing Byers' balls with an empty hand. With a shout, Byers arched his back and he came, thrusting wildly, Doggett sucking deep and swallowing his musky, salt come. Doggett's own release came quickly under the force of the water jets, and he slid up Byers' body again as he stretched and thrust against him, shaking and trembling.

The men held each other, breathing heavily, unable to speak. Doggett lay cradled in Byers' arms, eyes closed, his head on his sub's shoulder as they panted together. They lay there unmoving for several minutes, each finding solace in the other's embrace.

Finally, still a bit breathless, Doggett said, "I think we need a shower."

Byers nodded. He stroked one wet hand over Doggett's cheek, then tilted the man's face up and kissed him softly. It sent a shiver through him. "Thank you," he whispered, his lips still against Doggett's.

Doggett reached up and turned off the jets, then got out of the tub, leaving Byers to pull the drain. After a moment, he had the water in the shower adjusted to a comfortable temperature, and stepped in. Byers joined him, and they held each other under the falling water. After a few minutes, Doggett handed Byers the soap.

"Do my back for me," he said. He handed Byers a washcloth.

Byers soaped the cloth and scrubbed Doggett's back, pleased with the opportunity. It allowed him time to admire Doggett's solid, athletic build, revealed in light and running water; something he hadn't had a chance to do before. The feel of the man's muscles under his hands was sensual and grounding. Byers loved the way Doggett looked nude, and let his soapy hands stray down his Master's back to his waist, then to his firm, tight ass.

"That's good, Johnny," Doggett said, his voice deep and rumbling with pleasure. Byers wondered what it would be like to enter the man, pressed against his back, hips striking that ass as he thrust into him. The chance of that, he realized, was about equivalent to that of being struck by a meteor while sitting on a bench in Central Park. Still, the thought stirred him and his stubborn prick rose. Once he finished scrubbing Doggett's back, he wrapped himself around the man's body, pressing himself close. He rested his cheek on his Master's broad back and sighed.

Doggett took the washcloth from him. "Okay, turn around and I'll do yours."

Byers let go reluctantly, getting in one more press of his hips against Doggett's ass, and turned as he'd been told. Doggett's large, strong hands felt good on his body, and Byers closed his eyes to let himself feel it without any visual distractions. He hadn't been touched so much in the last year as he had in just the past day. He feared that after the weekend, when they both went back to their daily lives, he would be left craving physical contact without recourse. In the midst of his warmth and the stirring in his groin, Byers wondered if he should withdraw, not let himself become too attached to his body's needs. He was well practiced in the art of self-denial.

But his body refused to shut itself off, refused to let go of the sensation of Doggett's hands rubbing the nubbly cloth over his back, down his waist, over his ass. He groaned quietly as he braced himself against the wall of the shower stall with his hands to let Doggett rub harder, getting deep into his muscles. It was too good to back away from, too much to deny. He didn't want to, even knowing that going without the contact after the weekend would be hard for him. He knew the emptiness of missing another person's touch far too intimately, but understood that he had to deal with it if he was going to let himself enjoy the weekend. This was why he'd come -- to be touched, to be fucked, to be given some taste of his fantasies.

"Where are you, Johnny?" Doggett asked, his voice concerned.

"Hmm? Oh, sorry. Just thinking."

"Seems like you do an awful lot of that." Doggett's hands caressed his shoulders and down his arms.

Byers nodded. "I worry too much."

"Why doesn't this surprise me?"

Doggett's arms slipped around him, broad hands soaping his chest then his stomach, and Byers leaned back into his Master's muscular body. It felt good. Everything about this felt good. Leaning against Doggett was like leaning into a secure wall of strength; being wrapped in his arms, like being surrounded by an emotional fortress. Byers felt absurdly safe there.

He knew it was absurd, because he never felt safe anywhere; all safety was relative, all security an illusion. For all he knew, there could be hidden cameras in the suite. The first thing he'd done when they arrived and unpacked was pitch the room's Gideon Bible down the closest laundry chute he could find in the hallway. They were all bugged, he knew. Susanne had convinced him of that the day his eyes had been opened to the conspiracies, back in 1989. Byers never left one unmolested in any hotel room he ever stayed in. Doggett had stared at him, shaking his head in astonishment, but hadn't asked about it.

"You feel so good," Byers whispered, not caring whether or not Doggett actually heard him.

Doggett chuckled. "It's not a one-way street." He held Byers tightly, pressing his own hardness against his sub's ass, as Byers had pressed into him earlier. If they had more time and he knew Byers was ready for it, he'd have happily taken the man then and there. The memory of the tight heat of Byers' ass around his rod was delicious and far too tempting, but it would wait. He ran a soapy hand over Byers' genitals, appreciating the heat and hardness, then slowly released him to let him rinse.

Byers shuddered and sighed, turning his trim body into the water. He looked up at Doggett with longing in his eyes, and something else. Doggett wasn't sure what that something was, but it had echoes of the sadness that Byers carried with him constantly. He wished he knew what he could do to take that look away and replace it with something a little less haunted.

He watched as Byers washed his hair, appreciating the slender man's movements, the lines and arcs of his body under the running water. He honestly didn't understand why Byers seemed to think he wasn't a decent looking guy. Byers was no gym bunny -- most guys really weren't -- but he was in damned good shape for a guy who spent most of his life parked in front of a computer. Doggett had heard rumors from Mulder about some of the Gunmen's 'funky poaching' expeditions, and guessed that it must be part of the reason Byers looked so good. It didn't explain Frohike, but then, what did?

When Byers finished rinsing down, Doggett swatted his ass gently. "Out of the way. I need to finish up. You go get dressed. Wear something casual, okay?"

Byers smiled ruefully and nodded. "As you wish."

"You look good in it," Doggett called out as Byers dripped his way across the bathroom for a towel.

"I feel weird in it," Byers griped.

"You're already weird. Wear normal clothes long enough and you'll get over feeling weird about it. Nobody'll ever be able to tell you're peculiar unless you start talkin' about Teletubbies and mind control."

Byers snorted as he dried himself. "The government starts early. Cradle to grave, Jack, cradle to grave."

"You're paranoid."

"You already knew that. It doesn't mean I'm wrong."

Doggett laughed. "Sorry, Johnny. You're gonna have to prove that Teletubby thing to me with more than just a couple of screen captures and an alleged translation of their 'dialogue.'"

"You wouldn't say that if you had any idea what they're really telling the children of America."

"What, do you guys drop acid and watch it to translate it or something? It's a goddamn British show."

Byers shook his head. "Langly volunteered for that job. It wasn't my idea. And Great Britain's in on the whole thing anyway. Don't think for an instant they're not. They've been pissed at us ever since we won our independence."

Doggett turned off the water. "You believe that hippie throwback partner of yours about something as bizarre as that? When he's frying, for god's sake? What's next? Back masking in Elvis records? Disney drug rings?"

Byers grinned. "Another of Langly's pet projects. There's no way Elvis is dead. And they don't call it 'The Magic Kingdom' for nothing. We have indisputable proof that Mickey's been huffing helium and getting strung out on crack for over 50 years."

"Oh, come on. Jesus, Johnny, Mickey's not even real."

"That doesn't mean that Disney isn't at the center of a huge media conspiracy." Byers paused dramatically, then laughed. "I had you going there, didn't I?"

Doggett groaned and grabbed a towel, giving it a lightning quick twist, and snapping out at Byers. The bearded man dodged the snap and stuck his tongue out at Doggett, then laughed again. Doggett roared and charged Byers, who yelped and ran for the bedroom. Doggett caught him and tackled him, tossing the slight man down on the bed and pinning him with his body.

"You don't think you're gonna get away with that, do you?" Doggett asked, laughing.

Byers laughed breathlessly, then yipped when Doggett bent down, biting his neck and sucking.

"We just took a shower!" Byers objected. "If you keep this up, we'll need another one. And we have to meet Sergio for breakfast."

Breathless, Doggett kissed Byers hard and fast, then rolled off him, stood, and started drying himself off.

"You got me all wet again." Byers had a very silly fake pout on his face.

Doggett snorted. "Tough. Go dry off again."

"Killjoy."

"Hey, remember who's supposed to be in charge around here." Doggett tossed his damp towel at Byers. "If you're too lazy to go into the bathroom and get a dry one, use this."

Byers stood and dried himself again with Doggett's towel. Doggett grinned and started dressing.

SARABETH'S WEST
MORNING

"Do you think he'll be there yet? We're a little early," Byers said, looking around the restaurant.

Doggett chuckled. "Sergio's always early. Look, he's over there."

Doggett pointed off toward a corner table, where Byers saw Brentali waving at them. Putting a hand on the small of Byers' back, Doggett guided him toward the table.

"Ah, buongiorno, gentlemen," Brentali said. "Please, please, have a seat." He motioned to the chairs opposite him. The men sat, and Brentali grinned at them. "So how are you this morning, Mr. Byers? Shall I call you Mr. Byers?"

"Um, John is fine," Byers said, "and I'm... I'm doing much better, thank you."

"Please, call me Sergio," Brentali said.

Byers nodded. "Okay."

Brentali waved down a server, and menus were brought to the table. "I would like a ristretto," Brentali said, "and my guests..."

"I'll have an espresso," Doggett said. "A cappuccino with cinnamon for him." He motioned to Byers, who nodded.

The server nodded and headed for the coffee bar.

"So, I have two Johns across the table from me," Brentali said. "This poses something of a dilemma." He chuckled.

Doggett and Byers looked at each other and shrugged.

"I think we'll be able to figure it out," Doggett said.

"Of course, my friend, of course," Brentali said, nodding.

"How are you this morning, Sergio," Byers asked. He wasn't sure how to approach a conversation with the man. He'd never been in a situation like this before.

Brentali smiled kindly. "I'm well, John, thank you. I must say, it was quite a pleasure to spend time with you last night. I hope we shall have the opportunity again sometime."

Byers blushed. Doggett slipped a hand onto Byers' thigh and squeezed gently. "I... it was a unique experience for me, Sergio." Byers looked down at the table, then back up at Brentali. "I didn't have a chance to thank you last night. I don't know what'll happen later, though. That's up to Jack." He looked over at Doggett. Resting his hand on Doggett's in his lap, he offered him a tiny, shy smile.

Brentali raised an eyebrow but said nothing.

"We'll see what happens," Doggett said. "Right now, breakfast is a more immediate concern for me. I'm starving."

"You were never one for skipping meals," Brentali said. "I don't know how you stay in such fine shape."

"What do you want, Johnny?" Doggett asked.

Byers picked up a menu. He scanned it while the other men examined their own. "Oh, I think I'll have the Eggs Benedict," he said. "Some bacon."

Doggett nodded as the server returned with their coffee.

"Are you ready to order?" she asked. She looked down at Doggett's hand on Byers' leg. Her eyes darkened and she glanced away from the men, frowning.

Byers blushed, embarrassed.

Brentali saw the exchange. "Yes," he said. "I would like the mushroom omelet with the Italian sausage. John?" He looked to Doggett. Byers sipped his cappuccino to cover his uneasiness.

"Scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast. He'll have the Eggs Benedict with bacon." Doggett's hand caressed Byers' thigh. He picked up his espresso and sipped it.

"Will that be all, gentlemen?" Her tone wasn't quite as friendly as it had been.

"For the moment, yes," Brentali said, stiffening. He gave the server a disapproving look.

Doggett looked over, seeing Brentali react. He looked up at her. "Do you have a problem with something?" he asked, glaring at her.

The woman blushed. "Ah, n-no sir," she stammered, backing away and hurrying for the kitchen to place their order.

Doggett looked over at Byers, who was still blushing, his face partly hidden by his cappuccino cup.

"Johnny, are you okay?" Doggett asked softly.

Byers sighed. "I'll be all right," he said, miserable. He looked up at Doggett. "I knew there were reasons I stayed in the closet."

Doggett put an arm around Byers' shoulder. "She won't give us any more shit." Byers was sure of that, but uncomfortable at Doggett's public gesture.

"I'm very sorry," Brentali said. "I come here often, and have never had trouble before. I'll speak to the manager if you like."

Doggett shook his head. "I suspect she'll think twice before she does something like that again, Sergio. No real need."

Brentali nodded. "You're probably right about that, my friend." He looked over at Byers. "So, John," he asked, "what is it that you do? John says that you are a researcher of some sort?"

Byers smiled, and chuckled quietly. "In a manner of speaking. I'm an investigative journalist, really."

"Oh? This is fascinating. For whom do you write?"

Byers looked over at Doggett, then back at Brentali. "Actually, my associates and I publish a small paper ourselves. It's called 'The Lone Gunman.' We investigate governmental and corporate crimes against the public."

Brentali's brow wrinkled. "I've never heard of this publication. Do you have much circulation?"

"A little over two thousand subscribers," Byers replied.

"Some of their stories are a little... uh... different," Doggett said quietly.

"Is this available on the newsstand," Brentali asked, "or by subscription only?"

Byers nodded. "Some newsstands carry us. There's one in Times Square that does. Our circulation isn't large, but it's international."

Brentali smiled. "This is impressive. I should find a copy. How often do you publish?"

"Once a week," Byers said. "Thursdays."

"And John," Sergio looked to Doggett, "what have you been up to? I have not seen you often since you moved to Washington. How is the FBI treating you?"

Doggett hesitated for a moment, then looked down at the table. "I got assigned to a different division. It's pretty small, really obscure. They call it the X Files. I end up working on some really weird shit, Sergio. Stuff you wouldn't believe. Hell, you wouldn't want to believe some of this stuff." He snorted, looking back up at Brentali. "Actually, Johnny's paper publishes stuff about some of the cases that have come up in the division over the years."

Brentali looked intrigued. "I know you mentioned you were working with your old friend, Monica Reyes, but you were rather reluctant to discuss your cases. From the sound of it, you must be dealing with truly strange and unusual things, my friend."

"I chase ghosts, Sergio. And aliens. And a lot of even stranger stuff than that."

Brentali raised his eyebrows in surprise. "Stranger than ghosts and aliens? Why would the FBI have an interest in such things to begin with? Are these ghosts and aliens engaging in federal offenses?" He chuckled.

Doggett cringed. "Sometimes, yeah, weird as that sounds."

Brentali shook his head. "And how did such a fine man as yourself get put in such an... unusual position?"

"I originally got assigned to a missing persons case on the Special Agent in charge of the division." Doggett sighed. "We finally found him, but things got really complicated, and I ended up working there. It's been frustrating, but some of it's fascinating."

"Jack and Agent Reyes, and Agents Mulder and Scully, who were originally with the division, have cracked some vital cases," Byers said. "My associates and I have been able to help with some of these investigations." He smiled, pleased.

"So you work as a consultant for the FBI, as well as publishing a paper?" Sergio asked.

Byers shook his head. "Not officially. Our methods are... "

"Questionable," Doggett finished. Byers shot him a look.

"That's not entirely fair," Byers said. "I think 'unconventional' would be more accurate."

Brentali looked at them, skeptical. "This sounds quite complicated."

Doggett and Byers nodded in unison.

"You might say that," Doggett said with a snort.

"Too complicated for breakfast," Byers said.

Sergio chuckled. "I shall take your word for it, John."

They looked up as the server arrived with their food. She placed plates before each of the men. "Enjoy your breakfasts, gentlemen," she said, eyeing Doggett nervously.

Doggett and Byers turned their attention to breakfast. "This doesn't look too bad," Byers said, trying a bite.

Doggett grunted and nodded, too busy eating to respond.

"John," Sergio said to Byers, "may I ask you a question?"

Byers looked up from his plate. "I guess that depends on the question," he said, nervous.

Sergio nodded. "It's all right, you don't have to answer if you don't wish to. I was wondering how you felt about last night. You seem to be a rather reserved man, and I simply wish to be certain that you don't regret your visit to the club, or our... interaction."

Doggett looked up, watching Byers.

Byers shifted slightly in his seat. "I... well, no. I don't regret it. It was... " Byers blushed again and smiled shyly, looking at Brentali. "It was intense. Overwhelming, really. I had a little trouble afterwards, when I was coming down. I've never had an experience like that, and I guess I had to come to terms with what it might mean about me, about who and what I am."

Brentali nodded. "Yes, this is common with people who have little experience in the scene. But you are doing well now, you said?"

Byers looked down at his plate. "Yeah. I'm still not quite my usual self, I think, but I'll be okay. I guess I'm just feeling a little... off, still." He looked over at Doggett.

"We talked last night, and this morning," Doggett said. "Everything'll be fine. Johnny's got some pretty strong boundaries and he thinks things over a lot. He's the type that gets through that stuff and comes out okay on the other side." Doggett's eyes met Byers', and they gazed at each other for a few minutes.

Brentali watched, silent, sipping his ristretto.

Byers thought he was holding up well, considering the direction of the conversation. All in all, it seemed that their visit to the club had been a positive experience, if not the most comfortable situation in the world. But you couldn't push the envelope if you never did anything outside its confines.

Doggett reached out and caressed Byers' cheek with the backs of his fingers, and Byers closed his eyes, leaning slightly into the touch. "You're doin' great, Johnny." Doggett said, smiling softly. He sighed and went back to his food.

"Was it anything like you thought it might be?" Brentali asked.

Byers shrugged. "I honestly didn't know what to expect."

"Were you able to enjoy yourself?" Brentali took a bite of his sausage and eggs.

Byers nodded. "Yes," he said very quietly. "Thank you. I don't think I'll ever forget it."

Brentali smiled at him. "It was a great pleasure for me. You seem like a fine young man."

Byers smiled, eyes lowered, but lit with delight.

"You keep that up, it'll go to his head," Doggett said, grinning.

Brentali laughed. "Ah, but which one?"

Byers blushed and covered his face with one hand. "Please, not in public."

"My apologies, John. I don't know you well enough yet for such teasing in a place like this," Brentali said. "I shall not do so again, you have my word."

"I do better with that sort of thing in private," Byers said. "I'm used to it from the guys I work with, and a few other friends, so it's really not an issue, but this is... it just feels a little awkward."

Byers glanced around the room, wondering if anyone had overheard any of the conversation. It wasn't the sort of thing he was used to talking about at all, much less in a restaurant where anyone might overhear. The server's unfriendliness had left him feeling uneasy to begin with, and the overt teasing didn't help. He looked to Doggett, taking the hand that was still in his lap, seeking reassurance. Doggett's hand squeezed his for a moment, and Doggett met his eyes again briefly.

He wanted breakfast to be over. It wasn't that talking to Brentali bothered Byers, he was still just feeling a little too sensitive to be in public. He thought he really needed another hour or so of quiet and privacy before he'd feel completely solid again.

"Excuse me, I need to use the restroom," Byers said. He rose from the table to look for the bathroom, where he could have some privacy for a few minutes. He needed to get his bearings back, alone.

Doggett and Brentali watched him go.

"I'm sorry, John. I didn't mean to upset him," Brentali said. "Are you going to go after him?"

Doggett shook his head. "No, I think he just needs a little space for a few minutes. He'll be fine. He's tougher than he seems. There's something really solid in him."

"He is a very sensitive soul," Brentali said. "Very shy, as you told me."

"Yeah." Doggett was still watching in the direction Byers had gone.

"It seems to me that, whatever you may think, something in you has taken very much to this young man. You don't act this way around your usual boys, John. I think he is more than that to you, more than just a new toy. You are very gentle with him -- very protective. More possessive than I have seen you in a long time."

"I don't know," Doggett said, looking back at Brentali. "He's just... he's different, Sergio. I don't know why." Brentali was right, at least to some extent. Doggett did feel more protective of Byers than he'd felt about the other men he'd been with. Byers was as emotionally together as any of them, though less experienced. Doggett had trained and played with a few subs who'd had as little experience as Byers. He didn't feel that Byers needed gentler treatment than anyone else. The slender man's fragility was more illusion than reality.

"He's an appealing young man, John." Brentali reached out and took Doggett's hand for a moment. Doggett accepted the gesture. "He has a seriousness about him. There is something very intense in him. Perhaps this is what is calling to you. The other men you play with, they are often serious players, but they are not serious men. This is about more than just playing for you; I can feel that. I see it in your eyes, and the way you look when you're with him. You have him call you Jack. This letting someone call you a special name is not your usual habit at all." Brentali drew his hand back. "And I know you have been lonely since your son's death and your divorce. That was such a difficult, painful time for you."

Doggett shook his head. "I've had company enough since then. You know that."

Brentali sighed. "Company perhaps, but no one who has been worthy of you, I think. There was no spark in them, nothing to hold your interest. It is no surprise that they never stayed long. Such men are like swallows, John. They come for a season and are gone."

"Why are you all on about this, Sergio?" Doggett asked. "This isn't like you."

Brentali smiled, a rueful expression on his face. "Because I have not seen you like this before. We've been friends for many years, John; sometimes more than that." Brentali's smile softened, and a knowing look passed over his face. "I know you better than you think. Is it so unreasonable to care about a dear friend when something so unusual seems to be happening to him? I envy you, John. Your Mr. Byers, he strikes me as a good man."

Doggett nodded. "He is. I don't really know him all that well yet, but I've seen some of the things he's gotten himself into. He puts his ass on the line in ways you can't begin to understand. What he does, it's a hell of a lot more than just bein' some journalist." Doggett couldn't help the tone of admiration creeping into his voice. He gazed off in the direction Byers had gone. "Johnny's got more guts than you could ever imagine, looking at him. Sometimes you'd think he and his buds are real flakes, but they've risked their lives to find the truth." He looked back at Brentali. "Yeah. He's a good man."

Brentali looked up and motioned with his head. "He's returning now. He looks rather better."

Doggett turned toward Byers and smiled as he approached. "You okay?"

Byers nodded. He sat and took another sip of his cappuccino, finishing it. "Could I have another of these?" he asked. The few minutes of privacy had really helped him get himself together again. He felt like he could face the day now.

"Of course," Brentali said. He waved the server over. "Another cappuccino with cinnamon for my guest. I would like another ristretto. John, would you like another espresso?"

Doggett nodded. "Yeah, thanks."

"Yes, sir." The woman nodded and returned to the coffee bar.

"And what will you gentlemen be doing today, other than coming to pick up the suit?" Brentali asked.

Doggett looked to Byers. "Did you have anything in mind for today? We'll be doing a snazzy dinner tonight, but do you feel up to doing anything else?"

Byers tilted his head. "You know, I've always wanted to go visit the Statue of Liberty."

Doggett smiled. "I think we can handle that. I hear the ferry ride's nice too. Good view of the city. I think you'll like that. Could be some long lines though."

"That's okay," Byers said. "It looks like it's going to be a beautiful day. As long as the sunscreen holds out, I should be fine."

"You should certainly be able to make the tour and return in time to get your suit," Brentali said. "I look forward to seeing you in it. I'm certain you'll look quite fabulous." He grinned at Byers.

Byers grinned back, looking at Brentali with lowered eyes. He was looking forward to it as well, though he didn't want to say so. He remembered how he'd felt yesterday, with Doggett and Brentali watching him try the suit on. They were doing a milder version of their territorial dance around him this morning, but he had to admit, it felt good.

"He will," Doggett said, his voice low with arousal. He touched Byers' shoulder. "I can't wait." The expression in Doggett's eyes as he gazed at Byers was all the bearded man needed to know. There was want there. It felt good to be so wanted.

The amount of attention Byers had been getting since he'd arrived in the City with Doggett yesterday was heady and exciting. Brentali had expressed an interest in playing with him again, more than once. He'd been surprised by it, but hoped that at some point -- though not this weekend -- Doggett would consider it. Byers thought he might be able to go a little further next time. It ran through him, electric and stimulating. He enjoyed Brentali's attention, but wanted Doggett to claim him in front of the man. Doggett's words last night, insisting that Byers was his, had been searing in their sensuality. He wanted to feel it again; wanted to feel it even more deeply.

Byers shivered minutely at the thought of Doggett taking him in front of Brentali. He was beginning to get an idea of how much the other Dom wanted him. Letting Doggett tease Brentali with his body, feeling Doggett take him while the other Dom watched, was a fantasy that had burrowed into him, snaking into his bones. He finished eating his breakfast, trying to conceal his arousal at the thought.

Their coffee arrived as he finished, and he took his cappuccino and sipped as Doggett and Brentali made small talk. They caught up with Brentali's more mundane activities since last time Doggett had seen him. Byers knew there had to be more beneath the surface that the two wanted to discuss, but understood that this was not the place for such a private conversation. He was curious about what Brentali did at the club, how he treated his subs, and what kinds of things the man liked, but it wasn't his place, or an appropriate time to ask.

Doggett finished eating and wiped his hands on his napkin. "I gotta wash up. I'll be back in a minute."

Byers nodded.

"I'll see you shortly," Brentali said.

As Doggett walked away, Brentali turned to Byers. Byers looked over at him, curious.

"John," Brentali said, "I have enjoyed our conversation. I must leave for work when we're done here, but I wanted to speak to you for a moment privately."

"About?"

Brentali smiled. "I mean no insult to my old friend John, but if at any time you might find yourself looking for another Dom, I would be most pleased to have you." He pulled a card out of his breast pocket and handed it to Byers. "I do not ask you to make some secret of this. John obviously knows of my interest in you. But I would be quite delighted if you would stay in touch after you return home."

Byers took the card and looked at it. He took out his wallet and slid the card inside. "Thank you, Sergio," he said. "I have no idea what's going to happen between me and Jack, though I'd like to have more than just this weekend with him." Byers sighed, wistful. "I do appreciate your offer, though, and I'd definitely like to stay in touch."

"It never hurts to ask. I think we might be quite good together. I find that I like you very much. I hope that whatever time you spend with John is good for both of you. There is a great deal he can teach you. He is a fine man, very honorable." There was no subterfuge in Brentali's face. Byers didn't see any hint of ulterior motive in his expression, nor hear it in his tone of voice. There was interest, to be sure, but it seemed the sentiment was genuine.

Byers smiled, blushing. He handed Brentali a card of his own before slipping his wallet back into his pocket. It was cheerfully accepted. Byers was struck by Brentali's classically handsome Mediterranean features, his dignity, and the older man's dark, passionate eyes. Doggett was equally handsome to Byers, though his was a rougher, more athletic aesthetic. He thought of his Master's sculpted, muscular body as they showered that morning, of how he felt touching Doggett so intimately, and knew what he wanted.

Yet, Byers wanted to get to know Brentali better as well. The man intrigued him. His suave manners and the way he held himself gave Byers the impression of keen intelligence and worldly wisdom. The two Doms manifested different kinds of grace and strength. It was the difference between a nobleman and a warrior, Byers thought. Brentali seemed the kind of man who might be a medieval Venetian merchantprince, while Doggett was well suited to facing the most difficult physical challenges. Both would demand discipline and obedience; both contained a powerful, magnetic sensuality. He felt the appeal of the power they wielded, and was attracted to both men for their different kinds of strength and authority.

"I don't know what the future holds, Sergio, but I'm very flattered."

Doggett returned to his seat a moment later. "You about ready?" he asked Brentali.

"Yes, I really must be going to work now. It was most enjoyable having breakfast with you both. I shall see you this afternoon at the shop." Brentali stood and offered his hand to Doggett, then Byers. "Have a fine day, gentlemen."

"Thanks, Sergio," Doggett said. "You too. And thanks for breakfast. The food was good, even if the service left a little to be desired."

"Thank you, Sergio," Byers echoed. "For breakfast, and for last night."

Brentali flashed a brilliant smile at Byers. "A pleasure, John. I shall see you this afternoon. Ciao, gentlemen." He turned his attention to the bill.

Doggett put an arm around Byers' shoulders. "C'mon, Johnny. Let's see about gettin' you a visit with the Lady."

LIBERTY ISLAND
NOON

"I never imagined she'd be this magnificent up close," Byers said, his voice hushed. He and Doggett stood outside the massive pedestal building, staring upward at the Statue of Liberty. Byers had a look of awe in his eyes. " She's... in a way, she's the personification of a dream to me. She's what it's all about, why I do what I do."

Doggett nodded. "Yeah. She's had that effect on me, too. But you know, all the years I lived in the City, I never came to visit her. I always thought of it as a tourist thing, you know?" He looked over at Byers. "I'm glad you wanted to come, Johnny. She reminds me of what I fought so hard for over the years."

Byers sighed and looked at Doggett, a shadow in his eyes. He pushed his hands into the pockets of his jeans. "I hope someday the dream she symbolizes can truly manifest. The shadows in the shadows, they make her promise a lie for too many people." He shook his head sadly. "Here she stands, looking out to sea, and all around her the truth lies scattered, ruined in the dust. The lies and the deceit and the false promises seem to grow in it like crabgrass." There was a harsh sadness in Byers' voice.

"Do you regret coming?" Doggett asked.

"No. I'm glad I came. She just makes me think."

Doggett put a hand on Byers' arm. "Seems like everything makes you think."

Byers made a soft, rueful sound and turned his eyes to his feet. "'The unexamined life is not worth living,' Plato said. Yeah. Everything makes me think." He looked back up at the statue, gestured high, to her head. "While we were up there in her crown, looking out over the City, I felt it, Jack. I felt what it must have been like when this was a new nation, and the people had hope, and the ideals of liberty hadn't been sold for a few pieces of silver. What the immigrants a hundred years ago must have felt, seeing her for the first time, coming here looking for that dream." He looked into Doggett's eyes. "Sometimes my life gets so buried in the conspiracies and the disinformation and the obfuscation that I lose sight of it all. Sometimes it's hard to live in the midst of all my disillusionment."

"I know what you mean," Doggett said. "I think we've all got busted dreams and," he looked up at the weathered green copper of the Lady, "tarnished icons. Some of us just see it more clearly than others. You and me, we had our eyes opened, and what we've seen burns."

"When the French brought her here, President Cleveland said, 'We will not forget that Liberty has here made her home; nor shall her chosen altar be neglected.' So much for the altar of liberty," Byers said, bitter.

"I know you're not giving up," Doggett said. "That's not in you."

Byers looked back at Doggett, a faint, wry smile bending his lips. "No, you're right. I know I sound angry and bitter, and I am, but the truth is I still have faith. Faith in individuals, anyway. It never seems to matter how much gets thrown at me, there's always some spark of it, hidden down deep."

Doggett nodded, looking back up at the statue. "I took an oath when I joined the Marines, to defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. These days it seems like there are a whole hell of a lot more domestic enemies than I ever imagined. It seems like they're everywhere."

"We're both doing what we can, Jack," Byers said. "We're both looking for the truth. We're trying to expose the men who want to destroy the dream, whatever their purposes. I watched Mulder for years, worked with him on all kinds of unimaginable weirdness, and sometimes I think that once you strip away the outer appearances, the only real differences between us were the gun and the badge."

Doggett looked to Byers again. "You and the guys, you work without a net. You don't have a budget or backup or the protection that Mulder had -- that I have. Sometimes I think that's the most amazing thing about you. Nobody pays you to do this stuff. Most of the time, if you got caught at it, the least that might happen is you'd end up in prison. How the hell do you live with that all the time?"

Byers thought for a few moments. "The guys and I, we do this because we can't do anything else. We have a responsibility that we can't fulfill any other way. Working inside the government would tie our hands and prevent us from investigating a lot of the things we look into. But it's not... it's not really a case of the ends justifying the means. I worry about that a lot, because I know it might look that way sometimes. We do what we need to, but there are lines we just don't cross. The men we investigate, they have no lines, no uncrossable boundaries. Nothing seems forbidden to them. There's nothing they wouldn't stoop to. I wonder sometimes if there's anything they haven't done in their desire for power and control over us all."

"You ever afraid?" Doggett asked.

Byers eyed him solemnly. "Always."

Doggett nodded, regarding Byers silently. His companion been very quiet since breakfast, and silent as they'd stood in the crown. He'd watched Byers as he looked out over the city, lost in thought, an inscrutable look on his face.

Byers began walking slowly around the base of the statue, quiet, an intense sadness reflected on his face and in his posture. Doggett moved to catch up with him.

"What if it wasn't like this," Doggett said, "if the conspiracies and the corruption and all the weird-assed shit we've dealt with didn't exist. What would you do?"

Byers shook his head. "I don't know. I'm not sure I can even imagine it anymore. Once, I thought I knew, but that dream's gone. My life is too different, and I'm not the man who could have lived like that anymore."

Doggett's hand went to Byers' back, making soft contact as they walked. "I'm not talking about reality, Johnny. I'm just curious. Being who you are now, what would you want if you could walk away from it all today? If you could be anything, do anything you wanted? Would you keep doin' the paper? Would you still live with the guys? Would you go somewhere else, do something else?"

Byers sighed. "I don't think I could ever leave the guys. I might not live under the same roof with them, but they're the best friends I've ever had. They're closer to me than my own family ever was. They accept me for what I am, and that's been rare in my life. No, I wouldn't leave them. But I don't know what I'd do. I guess I'd try to find someone to love, someone who loved me; settle down somewhere." He thought of Langly, and closed his eyes for a moment. A fantasy was all it could ever be, and he knew it.

"Maybe... maybe I'd be a writer. Maybe I'd go back to college and get a Masters or a Doctorate and teach. Maybe I'd code for a living. Maybe I'd be a research librarian or an archivist. I haven't thought about it much, really. There's been no reason to." Byers looked at Doggett.

"I don't know," Doggett said. "Those sound like good things to want. Basic stuff. A quiet life, somebody to love that loves you back. Makes perfect sense to me."

"What about you?" Byers asked.

Doggett chuckled. "You probably won't believe this, but I think I'd be doin' pretty much what I'm doin' right now. Even if the conspiracies vanished tomorrow, there would still be plain old crooks around that needed catching. I don't think we're ever gonna run out of bad guys."

Byers smiled and snorted. "You're probably right."

They continued walking, heading for the ferry dock. "You getting hungry?" Doggett asked.

Byers nodded. "Food sounds good. Not here though."

"Shit no. National Park food? Stuff would gag a starving rat."

Byers smiled, more with his eyes than his mouth. "What did you have in mind?"

"I know a real good deli," Doggett said. "Best damned Reubens around."

"That sounds like it has potential," Byers said.

"Cheesecake afterwards, at Junior's? The Grand Central Station kiosk?"

Byers' eyes lit up. "Why aren't we there already?"

"Because you haven't got your ass on board the boat." Doggett chuckled as they approached the boarding area. They boarded together, Doggett's hand still at Byers' back. "You wanna sit somewhere, or hang out on the deck?"

"I think I'd like to stand on the deck and watch the water," Byers said. "It'll be cooler there with the wind coming over the water than in the passenger cabin."

Doggett nodded. The weather had taken a turn toward the typical sticky humidity of a New York summer, and the breeze would feel good. Byers found a convenient place near the bow, and leaned on the railing. Doggett leaned next to him.

Byers was quiet as the boat loaded, looking out at the City's skyline, lost in thought. All around them, tourists watched the water and the skyline. Most of them took photos and chattered loudly.

Doggett decided not to disturb Byers, falling into his own silence. He thought Byers seemed a little more withdrawn since breakfast, but figured that the man was still just working through last night in his head. As the passenger ferry pulled away from the island, Byers looked up at him.

"Tell me about Sergio," Byers said.

"You seem to be pretty interested in him," Doggett said.

Byers sighed. "Well, sort of, yes. I think he's more interested in me, really."

"Yeah. He is."

"At breakfast, while you were away, he gave me his card. Wanted me to stay in touch with him." Byers blushed a little. "He said if I was ever looking for another Dom, I should look him up."

Doggett chuckled. "Doesn't surprise me, the way he's been acting around you."

"What do you think of him?" Byers asked. "Really."

"He's an old friend," Doggett said. "I've known him for years. He knew me before I was married. He sorta showed me the ropes when I started getting interested in playing like this."

Byers lifted an eyebrow and spoke softly. "Were you and he..."

Doggett didn't answer the unfinished question. "If you ever did end up with him, I know he'd be good to you. He'd treat you right, teach you a lot. Sergio's a decent guy. I've always been able to trust him."

Byers paused, thinking about it, then nodded. "I'll keep that in mind."

Doggett slipped behind Byers, sliding his arms around him as the bearded man leaned on the railing. Resting his chin on Byers' shoulder, he said, "As long as you remember I'm not done with you yet."

Byers leaned his cheek into Doggett's hair and chuckled. "I should hope not. The weekend's not even over yet. You can't dump me until I get the Armani."

"And dinner," Doggett said. "And the show. Don't forget the show."

"Oh, god, how could I forget the show?" Byers said in mock horror.

"Goof," Doggett said, sliding his body closer to the man in his arms.

Byers shifted slightly. "Are you sure we should be doing this in public?"

"Everybody's too busy lookin' at the view to bother lookin' at us, Johnny. It's okay here." He raised his head and nuzzled Byers' ear, breathing into it gently and running the tip of his tongue along its edge.

A delicate shiver ran through Byers' body and he sighed. "I'm not used to this," he said. "It feels good, Jack, but it doesn't feel safe, if you know what I mean. Especially after that waitress at breakfast. I just think we should be a little more circumspect."

Doggett nodded. He didn't want to push Byers' boundaries for something minor like this, at least not today. "Okay," he said, loosening his arms and stepping back to the railing. He turned his head to look at Byers. "But sometimes, you really are more paranoid than you need to be."

"No matter how paranoid you are, you're not paranoid enough," Byers said. "I prefer to keep things more private. You never know who's watching. Or what."

"What actually happened there, anyway?" Doggett asked. "I just saw you and Sergio getting upset, and figured she must have had some kinda reaction to us."

Byers nodded. "She saw your hand in my lap, saw you rubbing my thigh, and gave me a rather dirty look before she turned away. It really wasn't much, but I've already got more than enough people out there who'd just as soon kill me as look at me. I don't like giving anybody more reasons." He sighed.

"I understand. But there are times and places where it should be okay for us to just be who we are. I don't talk about it at work or anything, but I'm not hiding very much when I'm on my own time. Like I said, Monica knows."

"Did your ex?" Byers asked.

Doggett was surprised at the question. "No."

"Were you... seeing anyone while you were married to her?"

Doggett looked down into the water. "Not until after Luke died. Things were pretty strained after that. We tried to work it out, but it wasn't happening, so I started going back to the club. I'd been with guys before we married, but afterwards, no. Not until things started falling apart, anyway. She thought I was seeing Monica because we were working together on the case, and she'd be around the house, but it wasn't true. I didn't start seeing her until after Barb and I split."

"I'm sorry," Byers said. "That wasn't any of my business. I had no right to ask you that."

"It's okay," Doggett told him. "It surprised me, but it didn't bother me. We don't know each other too well yet. I guess this is just part of that."

"We'll be pulling into the dock again in just a minute," Byers said, looking up.

Doggett looked up with him. "We'll get a cab when we get out of here. The deli's gonna be crowded, but the food's worth it." He straightened up and rested a hand on Byers' back again. "Come on."

ARMANI EXCHANGE
AFTERNOON

"Ah, so good to see you again," Brentali said. "Did your visit go well?"

Doggett and Byers looked at each other. "Yeah," Doggett said. "It was a good morning for it."

Brentali stood before Byers, laying a hand on his shoulder. "Your suit is ready for the final fitting, and I must say, I'm very much looking forward to seeing it on you, John," he said, a purr in his voice.

Byers could feel the purr slide down his spine. It caught his breath, and even if he'd had his eyes closed, he would have felt Brentali's gaze as it swept up and down his body. Standing between the two Doms was like walking through a high voltage field. He felt the hair on his body rise.

"So let's get on with it," Doggett said.

Byers felt Doggett move closer, hand sliding along his waist in response to Brentali's touch. The two men might be old friends, but Doggett's territorialism was expressing itself loudly. Brentali stepped back with a smile and led the way to the fitting room. Doggett's hand slid softly across Byers' ass before the contact was gone, and they followed Brentali. Byers closed his eyes and took a deep breath as they walked, trying to settle himself. The sexual tension between the three of them vibrated around him.

He could almost feel himself between them, naked, their hands on him, their mouths hot and sweet, their bare bodies caressing his -- he pushed the thought from his mind and blinked, focusing. As they entered the fitting room, Brentali called on Ernesto, who had been there yesterday.

"Espresso for Mr. Doggett, and cappuccino with cinnamon for Mr. Byers," Brentali said.

"Yes, sir," the young man replied, and scurried off to bring coffee.

"John," Brentali said, waving Byers up to him, "come here, please." Byers followed him. "Frederick!" Brentali said.

The tailor appeared from between a set of racks in the back of the room. "Yes, Mr. Brentali?"

"Mr. Byers has returned for his final fitting."

"Oh, yes sir." The tailor smiled. "Please, come with me," he said, motioning to Byers. He disappeared into the racks again for a moment, then reappeared with the suit, and several other items of clothing. A moment later, he led Byers back into the dressing rooms.

"He told me you talked to him at breakfast," Doggett said, settling into the couch.

Brentali nodded. "I knew he would. I told him he should do so."

"You know I don't mind you talkin' to him, or even seeing him," Doggett said, "but I don't want you trying to take him away from me."

Brentali nodded as Ernesto returned with the coffee, placing the cups on the small table next to the couch. The clerk vanished as quickly as he'd come.

"Have I ever done such a thing to you?" Brentali asked, looking over at Doggett.

Doggett shook his head. "No."

"You know I am trustworthy, John. And I don't believe he would come to me at this time even if I wanted to make such an attempt. I simply offered him choices for later." Brentali seated himself next to Doggett on the couch. "You yourself have so often said that you rarely see the same man for very long."

"I know." Doggett sat looking at Brentali for a moment. "But I don't think I've ever had a guy that you were this interested in before." He grinned and sipped at his espresso.

Brentali laughed. "This is also true," he said. "Besides, he is too shy to wander from Dom to Dom looking for perfection. I think he will be with you for a while, unless you dismiss him. Or at least that he would seek your permission before he moved on to someone else."

Doggett pondered Brentali's words as he drank his coffee. He nodded. "Yeah, he probably would."

Both men were distracted as the tailor led Byers out to the dias. Doggett's eyes widened, and he heard Brentali's sharp but quiet inhalation. Byers was stunning. The suit flattered the man's body, giving an illusion of broader shoulders tapering down to his slender waist and hips. The grey of the suit and the deep burgundy of the shirt and tie brought out the color of his skin and eyes. Byers was looking at himself in the wall of mirrors, a broad, pleased smile on his face.

"Mmmm..." Doggett rumbled a quiet sound of appreciation. Byers seemed to be standing taller than he had been before, the slight slouch gone, shoulders back, head high. The difference was amazing. Doggett felt a stirring in his pants, and his chest tightened as he looked at his sub. "Damn," he said quietly, "he looks good."

"Oh, yes, my friend," Brentali whispered.

Doggett grinned. "Put a bow on him and I'll take him just like that."

Brentali chuckled. "You must pay for the suit and the other clothing first, John. But yes, I do agree. I should like to take him myself."

"Can't wait to unwrap that package," Doggett said. He could see the flush of arousal on Brentali's skin and in his dilated pupils. He raised his voice slightly. "Turn around for us, Johnny."

Byers looked over at them, still smiling, and did as Doggett instructed.

"Are you sure you don't want to share?" Brentali asked, his voice wistful but low with lust.

Doggett looked at him and snorted. "Not even in your dreams, Sergio. He's mine tonight." He turned his eyes back to Byers, who was moving slowly in a circle on the dias.

"We should check the seams and the fit," Brentali suggested, rising from the couch. Doggett rose to follow him.

"You look damned good, Johnny," Doggett said as they stepped onto the dias.

Byers' broad smile brightened. "This is great," he said, excited. "I don't think I've ever looked this good in my life."

"Remove the jacket, please," Brentali said. "Let's see how the cut lies on you."

Byers unbuttoned the jacket and handed it to the tailor. Brentali bent to examine the seams, tugging here and there. Byers looked down at him, looking slightly embarrassed as Brentali's hands moved on his legs and his waist, wakening an erection. Doggett noticed Byers' condition, and it only served to stimulate him more. He wanted to drag Byers back to their room that instant and do terrible things to him.

"This is a fine job, Frederick," Brentali said. "Excellent, as always." Brentali's fingers slid up the side of Byers' hip as he stood to face the tailor.

"Thank you, sir," the tailor said. "Will that be all?"

Brentali nodded. "Yes, go to the dressing room and wait a moment for Mr. Byers to return, then get the merchandise ready for the sale. Thank you."

The tailor left for the dressing room, leaving the three men alone in the fitting room.

Doggett placed a hand in the center of Byers' chest, taking in the sensual feel of the burgundy silk under his palm. With a slow, gentle stroke, his hand slid to Byers' waist. The cloth was soft, and Byers gasped quietly at the touch. He moved a step closer and bent to Byers' ear. "I should take you right here," he whispered.

Byers' eyes closed and he swallowed, breath quickening, his fast pulse pounding visibly at his throat.

"I bet you'd love to have Sergio watch, wouldn't you."

Byers whimpered.

Brentali looked at Doggett. "You shouldn't tease him so," he said. "But I must tell you, the effect is delicious." Brentali touched Byers behind his other ear, then slipped his fingers down the younger man's neck to the line of the shirt's collar.

Byers shivered and gasped. Brentali's fingers moved over Byers' collar, then down over the silk on his chest, ghosting over a nipple on their way to his hip. Byers moaned quietly, trembling.

"Go change, then come sit down and have your cappuccino, Johnny," Doggett said. "Don't forget to bring the suit and stuff with you." He moved his hand from Byers' waist up to his chest again and pinched his other nipple before he stood back.

Byers whimpered again, then sighed as both men's hands left his body. He opened his eyes and looked at the men standing in front of him. "Yes, Sir," he whispered to Doggett, his voice unsteady. Doggett could see the heat in Byers' eyes.

Doggett and Brentali moved back to the couch as Byers hurried to the dressing room.

"You have such style," Brentali said.

Doggett grinned. "I learned from the best." He picked up his espresso again and sipped.

Brentali chuckled and pulled a pad from his breast pocket. Taking a pen, he wrote up an invoice. "It's gratifying to see you play him like a fine instrument."

Doggett took another sip at his espresso, silent. The look in Byers' eyes and the sound of his voice were still running hot in Doggett's veins. He wanted nothing more than to get the man back to their room and see that look again, where he could do something about it. His fantasy of Byers in the Armani was close now.

"Here is your total, John," Brentali said, handing Doggett the invoice.

Doggett looked at it and nodded. He pulled out his wallet and handed Brentali two credit cards. "The suit on this one," he said, indicating one of them, "and the rest of the stuff on this."

Brentali took the cards and rose, moving to the door of the fitting room. He called Ernesto, and the clerk arrived quickly. "Please take Mr. Doggett's cards. Use this one for this charge, and the other for the rest of the items."

"Yes, sir," the clerk replied, and vanished again.

"He shall return shortly with your receipts for your signature," Brentali said.

Doggett nodded. "Right."

Byers approached from the dressing room, the suit bagged on a hanger slung over his shoulder, a box under his other arm. The tailor followed him after a moment, then left the room.

"Have a seat," Doggett said, indicating the space next to him on the couch.

Byers put the suit and box down on the arm of the couch and sat. He looked at the cappuccino cup. "May I?"

Doggett passed it over to him. Brentali returned and sat on a chair near them.

"You look really good in that, Johnny," Doggett said. "I want you to wear it at dinner tonight."

"Of course," Byers said, nodding as he held the cup to his lips. He looked like he'd collected himself again while he was changing back into the jeans and shirt he'd chosen for the day. Doggett noticed Byers was watching him and Brentali over the rim of his cup, his clear blue eyes curious and alert.

"Do you like it?" Doggett asked.

Byers smiled as he set the cup on its saucer. "Yeah. It looks really good. I was amazed."

"You weren't the only one," Doggett said softly.

"You wear it well," Brentali said, a slight note of regret in his voice. "Will I be seeing you again before you leave?"

"I'm not sure," Doggett said. "Probably not, though. Tomorrow's pretty full, and we're leaving for D.C. early Monday because I've gotta be back at work that morning."

Brentali leaned back in his chair. "Should you bring him to the City with you next time you visit, you must let me know ahead of time. We should set aside some time to visit. Perhaps you will come to my house."

Doggett looked over at Byers, who seemed surprised. "If I bring him again, I'll let you know."

Byers' face flushed slightly, but his expression didn't change. Doggett could hear his breathing quicken again, though, and knew the quiet man wanted that visit. A lot depended on how the rest of the weekend went. And on what happened after they both got home. He watched for a few minutes as Byers turned his attention back to his cappuccino, focusing on the coffee.

The clerk returned with Doggett's receipts. Doggett signed them, and took his copies and his cards back.

"Well," Doggett said, setting his empty cup down and rising from the couch, "we've gotta be goin' and I know you have work to do. Thanks for everything, Sergio. It was really good seeing you again." He reached out and shook Brentali's hand, and the Italian gave Doggett a quick kiss on either cheek.

"You should not be so long between visits, John. The journey up here isn't so far. You still have friends here, you know."

Doggett smiled, genuine affection in his eyes. "I know, Sergio. The job takes me all over the place, though, and it's hard to make plans, or to get away. I'll try to do better. You say hi to Mac and Artie for me, would you? Tell 'em I'm sorry I missed 'em this trip."

"Of course, of course." Brentali turned to Byers. "And I hope I shall see you again, John. You know how to contact me." He held a hand out to Byers.

"I hope so too, Sergio," Byers said, shaking Brentali's hand, a shy smile on his face. "I'll be in touch."

"Yes," Brentali whispered. His fingers trailed slowly across Byers' palm as their hands parted.

"Come on, Johnny," Doggett said. "Grab your suit and stuff." His hand found the small of Byers' back again as they walked away.

"Oh, John --" Brentali laid a hand on Doggett's shoulder. Byers didn't notice, continuing out the door without him.

Byers walked down the street for a few blocks when his attention was caught by a shout, and an armed man running down the street toward him. Jumping back, Byers pressed himself into the wall of the building behind him as the sidewalk cleared. Two officers with drawn guns ran in pursuit of the man, shouting at him to stop. People dropped to the sidewalk as a shot was fired, and Byers ducked into a doorway.

Nervous, Byers looked around for Doggett. Not seeing him nearby, Byers scanned the street for the tall, handsome man. He saw no one even vaguely resembling him. Two more shots rang through the air, and he heard screams. Looking around quickly, close to panic, Byers realized they must have been separated in the confusion. The only logical thing to do was get back to the hotel as fast as he could and wait for Doggett there. He hoped everything would be all right. He ducked and ran.


When Doggett finished talking to Brentali, he looked up. Byers was missing.

"Damn," he said. "Johnny must have wandered off when we were talking."

"I'm sure he is nearby, John," Brentali said. "It's unlikely that he would leave without your permission, unless he did not realize you were not with him."

"Well shit," Doggett said. "I gotta go find him."

"He will probably return to the hotel if you are unable to locate him. John is an intelligent man."

Doggett nodded. "Yeah. That would figure. I gotta go."

He walked out into the street and heard shots not far away. Looking for the source of the sound, he scanned the street quickly. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw two uniformed officers pursuing a man down the street. He turned and ran to intercept the fleeing perp.

"FBI! Freeze!" he shouted. The running man looked at him and fired. Doggett abruptly shifted his trajectory, though he knew the man had fired wide of him. He had to be stopped before he killed a bystander.

The two officers had seen him and heard him shout. One pointed in an arc along the street, indicating where Doggett should move, and he sprinted in that direction. Another shot, and the three converged, trapping the perp along a wall in front of Rockefeller Plaza. As the man tried to take aim at one of the cops, Doggett body-slammed him into the stone. They fell in a breathless heap on the sidewalk.

The runner struggled, wild-eyed and far stronger than he should have been. Doggett did his best to keep him pinned, wrestling the perp for his gun. Seconds later, the two officers dashed up. One held a gun on them while the other threw himself into the fray to help Doggett disarm the man.

Once the perp was disarmed and cuffed, Doggett was immersed in explanations of his presence. He started filling out paperwork, and giving a statement as soon as he was able to catch his breath. The cops' radios rattled with static and reports. With at least half a dozen shots fired, several civilians were down, and there were ambulances on the way. General descriptions of the shooter's victims came over the radios several minutes later, and Doggett's heart stopped.

"...male Caucasian, probably mid-thirty's, blue eyes, dark hair, beard..."

"Oh, Jesus. Johnny." Doggett's eyes widened. His stomach knotted.

"What's up?" one of the cops asked him.

"I'm in town with a friend -- that could be him." He looked around for the nearest ambulance.

"Oh, man. Go check it out. Take this." The cop handed him a card. "We'll have you finish the paperwork later."

Doggett ran down the street, looking for one of the medics. He waved his bureau ID to get close enough to the ambulance to find an EMT. "FBI," Doggett said. "Somewhere you got a guy, mid-thirty's, blue eyes, beard -- where is he?"

"Over there," the EMT said, pointing a few yards down the sidewalk. Two other medics were bent over a body on the pavement, obscuring Doggett's view. Doggett hurried to them, breathless.

The man on the sidewalk was covered with blood, his face partly concealed by an oxygen mask. "Guys, please, let me take a look at him. I got a friend gone missin' in the crowd. This might be him."

"Who are you?" the blond medic asked. He grabbed a syringe as the other medic inserted a saturate saline IV into the man's arm.

Doggett was breathless, panting. "FBI. Please, just let me take a look." He flashed his badge and ID at the man.

"Move your arm, Phil," the medic said. The other EMT shifted slightly, allowing a better view of the fallen man's face.

Doggett leaned in closer, half panicked.

It wasn't Byers. He took a deep breath and let it out. "Thank god. It's not him. Sorry to bother you."

After Doggett's heart stopped slamming into his ribs, he spent most of the next hour filling out paperwork. He was relieved that he hadn't brought his gun, figuring he'd have had to fire it, and then he'd have been there all night. Lost in the bustle of the work, he forgot the time. Eventually, he looked down at his watch. With a start, he realized that Byers was probably back at the hotel, freaking out, wondering where he was.

He ran for a cab.

PARKER MERIDIEN HOTEL
ROOM 1246
MID-AFTERNOON

Byers paced the living room of the hotel suite, close to panic. He'd been waiting for Doggett for almost an hour and a half, and his cell phone was turned off or maybe the battery was dead, so Byers had been unable to raise him. What the hell had happened, and why had Doggett been gone so long? Had he gotten involved in the police pursuit? That would be about par for the man's personality. Compulsive law enforcement behavior definitely had its down side.

His paranoid imagination saw Doggett bleeding somewhere, wounded. Byers shuddered. He went to the phone stand and pulled out the yellow pages, flipping to the hospital section. As he reached for the phone, the doorknob rattled.

Byers jerked around at the sound.

"Johnny?" Doggett's voice was urgent.

Byers hurried to Doggett, reaching out to touch his arm. "Jack, are you okay?" he asked, breathless. "What happened? Where were you?" Doggett took him into his arms, and held him close. Byers returned the embrace. "I've been going crazy worrying about you. I couldn't get you on your cell. I was just about to start calling emergency rooms. What the hell was going on?"

Doggett took a slow, deliberate breath. He loosened his grip on Byers and pushed him gently toward the couch. "I need to sit down," he said. He pulled his phone from his belt. "Damn, the battery's drained," he said.

"What happened?" Byers said again, sitting and pulling Doggett down next to him.

Doggett looked at him. "Sergio stopped me to ask me a question when we were leaving. When I turned around, you were gone. I walked out into the street to look for you and the next thing I knew, I was in the middle of a fuckin' firefight."

"Well, why did it take you so long to get here?" Byers was worried and angry.

"I went after the perp."

Byers glared at Doggett. "You what? There were people shooting out there! What the hell were you thinking? Did you have your gun with you?" he shouted.

"Uh, no." Doggett looked sheepish. "I didn't think about it until after it was all over. I just ran to help out."

Byers closed his eyes and counted to ten, then spoke slowly, not wanting to shout again. "You went after a guy with a gun, unarmed."

"Yeah."

"And he was shooting at people."

"Yep."

"Jack, that was incredibly stupid of you."

Doggett shook his head. "It's what I do, Johnny. You know that."

Byers sighed and took Doggett's hand. "You're not on duty, Jack. This isn't even your jurisdiction."

Doggett nodded. "I know. I just reacted. I was a cop here for years; it was instinct."

"It was dangerous."

"Everything's dangerous. Breathing's dangerous. Who knows what you could be inhalin'?"

Byers' lips twisted into an ironic smile. "I think that's my line."

"Johnny," Doggett said, subdued, "they had some civilians down on the street. I had no idea where you were, or what happened to you." He swallowed, forehead wrinkling. "One of 'em... one of 'em answered your description. At first, I thought he might be you and I had to find out. Guy was shot up pretty bad. I was worried."

Byers closed his eyes. "Oh, damn. I'm sorry." He looked back up at Doggett, concerned. "I had no idea. Are... are you okay?"

"Yeah. Yeah, I am. But just be here for a while, okay?" Doggett said softly. He pulled Byers into his arms and buried his face in Byers' hair, holding him tight.

Byers inhaled deeply, letting his breath out slow. He settled his back into Doggett's broad chest and pulled his legs up onto the couch. "I'm here, Jack. I'm fine." He could feel Doggett's breath, warm in his hair. The feeling was comforting and relaxing, and he hoped that Doggett was feeling some of that sensation as well. Doggett's arms around him reminded him of the morning, when Doggett had held him in the shower. He wanted to lose himself in his Master's strength again, knowing the sensation of safety was a lie.

They sat curled together, silent, for almost an hour. Neither of them moved, except to shift their weight from time to time.

Doggett held Byers, face hidden in his sub's hair, breathing in the scent of him. It was soothing to just sit with the man in his arms. Byers was paranoid and a little twitchy, but once they'd settled into each other, he had been a steady, firm presence. The warmth of Byers' body was comforting after the scare he'd had. Doggett appreciated it, though he recognized the sharp, acrid hint of lingering fear in Byers' scent.

Eventually, he trailed his lips down to Byers' ear, kissing it softly. "I want you," he whispered.

Byers' arms tightened around his, one hand taking his wrist. "What do you want, Jack?" His voice was quiet and thoughtful.

"Nothing fancy. No toys. Just you." Doggett needed to give his relief at finding Byers safe a physical outlet, and release his anxiety. He shifted on the couch, turning Byers' head with one hand, and their lips met, soft and gentle. Doggett ran the tip of his tongue along Byers' lips, and the man's mouth opened, accepting the warm, wet flesh. They sighed together.

"Bedroom?" Byers asked.

"No, here. I don't want to move. I want you here."

Byers turned his body to him. After a second soft kiss, he began unbuttoning Doggett's shirt. Doggett's hands slid over Byers' body, caressing his back and shoulders as Byers opened his shirt and leaned in to kiss his throat.

Doggett felt Byers' lips on him, beard tickling, his tongue running along the line of his collarbone as Byers' hands roamed over his chest. Tension seeped out of Doggett's body as Byers moved, kissing and stroking his ribs. He reached to Byers' waist and tugged the shirt from his pants, then pulled it up over Byers' head. Byers let him pull it off, then went back to his silent kisses.

"Get up for a second," he told Byers. As his sub shifted and stood, he slid the length of his body onto the couch. "Come here," he said, pulling Byers down on top of him. Their bare chests met, arms around each other, and he closed his eyes and sighed at the feel of Byers' weight on him. It was comforting and solid. He wanted the man more for reassurance than for heat and desire.

Sliding his hands down Byers' back, he cupped the slim, firm ass in his hands and pulled him down against his groin. The feel of Byers' hardening cock against his body, their legs intertwined, sparked his own erection and he pressed up slow and hard into Byers' hips. They kissed again, harder and deeper this time, groaning. Byers thrust down into him, and Doggett's body answered, hungry.

After long minutes of slow writhing together, Doggett reached between them to unbutton Byers' jeans. With a quick motion, he pulled the zipper down, then tugged them down over Byers' hips to his thighs. "Take 'em off," he panted.

Byers kicked off his sneakers and pulled his jeans and boxers off. Before he tossed them aside, he reached into one pocket and pulled out a condom and a small tube of lube. He handed them to Doggett, pulled his socks off, and lowered himself back onto Doggett's body, his knees on either side of Doggett's hips. Doggett dropped the condom and lube onto the rug next to the couch and pulled Byers' mouth to his with both hands, kissing him and stealing his breath entirely.

Byers broke the kiss, leaning back to breathe heavily. He tugged at Doggett's fly, opening it, then slid Doggett's jeans down far enough to expose his hard, thick rod. Before Doggett could say anything, Byers' fist was around him, stroking him. He moaned, deep and urgent. Reaching up, he stroked Byers' chest, then ran his hands down the man's sides to his hips. Searching fingers caressed Byers' ass, spreading his cheeks.

"Jack," Byers whispered, his eyes closing. He moved up Doggett's body, still stroking him, letting Doggett reach down to play with the soft, puckered skin of his entrance.

"Want to fuck you, Johnny," Doggett gasped. His hips bucked up into Byers' body.

Byers was panting. "Yes." He reached down and grabbed the condom, opening the packet, then lubed Doggett's shaft. With a slow, steady stroke, Byers rolled the condom onto him. Doggett let him spread more lube on his aching dick, then held his hand up for some of the lube. Byers squeezed some out onto his fingers, then leaned forward to let Doggett slide a finger into him. He groaned as Doggett penetrated him.

Doggett felt a cool thread of liquid drip onto his stomach from Byers' cock. Byers' eyes were closed, an enraptured expression on his face. Doggett was surprised by how ready his sub was, so he slid two more fingers into him.

"Ohhhhhhhh, god Jack, yes. Fuck me." Byers' voice was heavy with need.

Doggett pulled his sub's hips over his own, then guided the man down and let Byers slowly impale himself on his thick, swollen shaft. He grunted as Byers slid down his length and took him in. Byers groaned, deep and throaty.

"Please, Jack." Byers was trembling. He spoke through gritted teeth. "I want it hard. Take me hard."

Doggett's heart skipped a beat at the intensity of Byers' request, and he dug his fingers into the man's hips and thrust up, striking deep into Byers' body. They both cried out, wordless, reveling in the feeling.

After a few strokes, they fell into a hard, fast rhythm. Byers rode Doggett, eyes closed, moaning, tossing his head as Doggett drove into him.

"God, Johnny, so good--" Doggett grunted again as he thrust hard into Byers. He was gasping, his senses overwhelmed by the tight heat of Byers' ass squeezing and stroking him. Pulling Byers down to his chest, he wrapped his arms around him and kissed the groaning, bucking man. Tongues entwining, their teeth clicked together as their mouths moved urgently. Byers' arms tucked under Doggett's body and he could feel the man's fingers digging into his shoulder muscles. Byers' hands were stronger than he'd realized, but the discomfort was far outpaced by the intense pleasure of fucking the man, and he moaned into Byers' mouth.

Doggett could feel Byers' body tensing, and knew he was close to coming. He grabbed Byers' hips and slammed into him twice, three times, as Byers shuddered and shouted, spraying come between them, biting down on his shoulder.

"Aaaaaah!" The sudden pain pushed Doggett over the edge. He kept bucking into Byers, thrusting into the man's tight core with all his strength, shouting as he spasmed and came. His thrusts slowed as he panted and gasped. Byers' body was limp, slumped on top of him, panting equally hard.

"God, Jack," Byers gasped, "oh, god."

They clung together on the couch, catching their breath, bodies still joined. Doggett kissed Byers' neck, sucking the soft flesh gently.

"Need to move," Byers panted, "back hurts."

"Shit, sorry," Doggett said, releasing him from his awkward position. Byers sat up and stretched his lower back, still impaled on Doggett's softening cock.

Byers let Doggett slide out of him, then stretched the length of his body out over Doggett's own. He sighed as he settled down again, and Doggett wrapped his arms around him. They rested for a few minutes.

"We're gonna need a shower," Doggett said. He ran his fingers over Byers' cheek. "God, you're so good."

Byers kissed him softly. "I really needed that," he said. "Thanks."

"Me too," Doggett said. "Feeling better?"

Byers nodded. "Yeah. You?"

"Uh huh." Doggett rubbed his shoulders where Byers had grabbed and bitten him. "I think I'm gonna have bruises."

"Oh, damn. I'm sorry, Jack." Byers gave him an embarrassed look. "I didn't mean to do that. I was a little out of it there."

Doggett nodded. "It happens. At least it'll be under my shirt where nobody'll see it."

"Let's go get cleaned up," Byers said. He rose from the couch, offering Doggett a hand up.

Doggett took Byers' hand and got up as well, pulling his clothes off. His shirt was a mess, semen spattering the front on one side. His jeans had survived intact, at least. He pulled the condom off and tossed it as they entered the bathroom. Byers was starting the water, leaning into the shower stall. Doggett could see the beginning of bruises on Byers' hips where he'd held him.

"Looks like both of us are gonna have some sore spots, Johnny." He ran his hand over the still-red fingerprints on Byers' hips. "Sorry about that."

Byers looked down at the bruised spots and sighed. "At least they won't keep me from sitting down," he said with a soft snort.

Doggett pushed Byers into the shower and followed him in. They had marked each other. It hadn't been intentional, but there it was; tangible evidence of their sex and the intensity of their joining. Semen would wash away, but the bruises would linger for days. Doggett wondered how long Byers would linger in his life. He picked up the soap and started washing Byers' back.

"You gonna be okay to go to dinner tonight?" Doggett asked.

Byers nodded. "Yeah. When are the reservations for?"

"Seven thirty," Doggett said. "Rainbow Grill."

"Rockefeller Plaza?" Byers sounded impressed.

"Yeah. It's got a great view of the city. You'll like it."

"Sounds interesting. How's the food?"

"Top notch stuff," Doggett said. "Turn around, let me get your front."

Byers turned and Doggett soaped Byers' chest and stomach. His lathered hands trailed gently over Byers' cock and balls, soft and sensual.

"Mmmmm," Byers growled. "Don't get me started again."

Doggett grinned. "And why not?"

Byers laughed. "Because you're gonna kill me with all this sex. I need to work up to it, not start out running a marathon like this."

"But what a great way to go," Doggett said, smiling. He handed Byers the soap. "Your turn. And don't lie to me. You love this."

Byers blushed, smiling. "Yeah, I do. I can't believe what you do to me." He washed Doggett's body, then slipped his arms around him.

Doggett felt Byers' hands slide over his back, then slip down along the curve of his ass, coming to rest where his thighs met his hips. Doggett returned the embrace and kissed Byers, their wet bodies sliding together sensually. Despite his protests, Byers seemed starved for contact, almost insatiable in his desire to touch and be touched. It didn't fit with the image he'd had of Byers, the shy, guarded hacker in the suit, formal almost to the point of absurdity.

"You're so different like this," Doggett said. "Most of the time when I've seen you, you just seem distant, like you want everything at arm's length. Why are you like this now? It seems like you can't get enough of this."

Byers looked up at him. "I'm not really sure," he said. "It's hard for me to be like this. Sometimes I think I shouldn't be. A lot of times I just feel safer if I don't let people close. But..." Byers hesitated. He looked down, leaning into Doggett's chest.

Doggett held him closer as they stood under the falling water. "But what?"

"But I need this. I hate doing without it."

"But you don't trust anybody enough to let them this close," Doggett said.

Byers nodded.

"And you don't trust me, but you let me get close to you anyway."

"It doesn't make any sense, does it?" Byers said.

"You're tryin' something that's really hard for you," Doggett said, rubbing Byers' back. "It takes time. I'm not gonna hurt you, Johnny. I got no reason to. I like you."

Byers nodded. "But I'm not really your type, either."

"No, but it doesn't matter. You're different, but in a good way. You're interesting. You're a decent guy. I'm enjoying being with you. And you're a hell of a hot fuck."

Byers chuckled. He looked up into Doggett's eyes. "You're pretty damned hot yourself." Byers' fingers trailed across Doggett's hips and ass, gentle and sensual.

"Come on, let's get out of the shower," Doggett said. He kissed Byers again and turned off the water. They stepped out onto the mat and dried each other off.

"What now?" Byers asked.

Doggett took his wrist and led him into the bedroom. "I think I just want to lie down for a while." He sat on the bed and pulled Byers down next to him. "Come lie with me. We can talk some more if you like, or we can just be quiet."

Byers nodded and they lay together on top of the covers, naked, holding each other. Byers rested his head on Doggett's shoulder, his body partly covering Doggett's. He closed his eyes, and Doggett lay there for a while, watching him, running his fingers idly through Byers' hair. It was soft and slightly damp.

Doggett was still a little shaken by the thought that Byers could have been shot in the street earlier, and his temporary case of mistaken identity. He sighed quietly, trailing his fingers over Byers' shoulder blade. The man's soft, pale skin felt good under his fingertips. There was something very right about being here with him.

Doggett's shoulder was sore where Byers bit him. He rubbed the spot absently.

"Let me do that," Byers said. "I'm sorry. I didn't intend to bite." He kneaded Doggett's shoulder gently with one hand.

"It's okay," Doggett said. "It felt good. Made me come hard."

"I think I was a little occupied right then."

Doggett laughed. "Oh yeah. I could keep you occupied for a long time, Johnny." He rolled on top of Byers, arms wrapped around him, hands holding his shoulders. He leaned in and bit at Byers' neck.

"Uhhhh," Byers moaned. "You really are trying to kill me, aren't you?"

"It could take hours," Doggett said. "Days. Weeks, even."

They both laughed.

"We should give it a try," Doggett said, with a wink.

Byers looked at him. "You're a very bad man, trying to murder your obedient servant like that."

"You'll die with a smile on your face."

"I would, at that." Byers smiled and relaxed. "Thanks."

"For what?" Doggett asked.

"For trying to understand. For being good to me." There was a lonely ache in Byers' voice.

Doggett brushed Byers' face with his hand. "Most people don't, I guess?"

"They find out what I do, how I live, and most of them treat me like I'm insane." Byers looked away, sadness in his eyes. "I bet Sergio will too, if he looks up a copy of the paper."

"I don't know, Johnny. It's possible, but I think he likes you well enough to give you the benefit of the doubt."

"Yeah, right. What the hell does he see in me, anyway?"

Doggett chuckled. "Aside from that sweet ass of yours, you mean?" He ran a hand over Byers' ass and squeezed gently. "Probably some of the same stuff I do. Intelligence, steadiness, passion, your willingness to take risks. And I know how he responds to shy guys; you hit all his buttons, I guarantee you that. There's lots of good things about you. You care about stuff, and it shows."

Byers blushed again, embarrassed.

"You're also awful hot when you blush," Doggett said with a grin.

"Right," Byers said, utterly unconvinced.

Doggett shook his head. "You need to learn how to take a compliment. Don't gimme that shit. Smile at me and say, 'thank you, Sir.'"

Byers laughed and looked back up into Doggett's eyes. "Thank you, Sir." He still didn't sound convinced, but Doggett wasn't going to push it. Byers' small, shy smile made his heart beat faster.

Doggett suddenly realized why Byers effected him the way he did, why everything about this seemed so intense. The other men he'd been with over the years had been playing games in the most base sense. They were full of bluster, taking absurd pride in their careful pretenses of submission. What bravery they might have had was largely bravado and over-done attitude, like the Marine at the club the night before. They were willing to take physical risks, but very few were willing to stretch themselves emotionally. They weren't willing to admit that they were ever truly afraid, much less discuss the things that frightened them. It seemed the only things they discussed were limits and scenes and what toys they wanted to use. Doggett had been playing surface games with shallow men for years; men who cared more for appearances and costumes and the perfect set of stripes on their backs than for genuine honesty and emotion.

Byers might be fearful and paranoid, but he was honest about it. He had a hard time with trust, but he understood that and was trying to get through it. The "trust" Doggett had gotten from the other men in his life had been a sham -- a trust that only went as far as the game did. Byers was striving for something far deeper, far outside the games of dominance and submission. Doggett saw that Byers wanted to give him the same kind of trust he gave the other Gunmen; a trust that meant he was willing to put his life in Doggett's hands, and to risk his own life for him. What Byers offered, hesitant and afraid, was both a treasure and a terrible burden. Once given and accepted, even if they never played together again, that trust could never be broken. Like Langly and Frohike, Doggett would be a friend closer than family.

The understanding hit like klieg lights on a moonless night, blinding. Doggett wondered if he was ready for a trust and a friendship like that, yet he wanted it, more than he could say. He hoped he'd be able to offer Byers that same gift. He wondered if he was sane. Was wanting something so deep from another man entirely rational? He needed time to think.

The sound of Byers' voice was in his ear, but what he'd said hadn't registered.

"Hmm?" Doggett said. "I'm sorry, I was thinking."

"I was wondering when you'd want to get ready for dinner."

Rolling over, Doggett looked at the clock and blinked. It was already six o'clock. "Damn, where did the time go? When did I get back here?"

"About two thirty," Byers said. "We spent a lot of time talking. And doing other things."

"I guess." He rolled onto Byers and held him close for a minute, then got up. "We should probably start getting ready now. I gotta pull my suit out, and then I need to make sure you're dressed right. I had some plans for the evening, if you're up to it."

Byers sat on the edge of the bed, curious. "Like what?"

Doggett reached into the bedside drawer and pulled out the leather cock and ball harness from the previous night. "Like this," he said. "I want you to wear this again."

Byers eyes widened, and he took a deep breath. "Oh, yes," he said quietly, his response a low moan. His shaft rose as Doggett watched.

"You really like that, don't you?" Doggett watched Byers' reaction carefully.

Byers nodded and swallowed. He licked his lips. "Yes," he whispered. His upper body was flushing, and his nipples rose.

It took all Doggett's self control to keep from pinning Byers to the bed and fucking him again. "Come here," he ordered. His own rod was rising in response to Byers' arousal. It had to wait.

"Yes, Sir." Byers rose and stood before Doggett, his hands clasped behind his back, legs slightly spread.

"Good," Doggett said. "You're a very good boy, Johnny." He knelt before Byers and began to bind his sub into the harness.

"Thank you, Sir," Byers whispered, eyes half closed. His face was nearly glowing with delight as Doggett fastened and tightened the black straps around him. He was trembling slightly by the time Doggett finished.

Doggett took in Byers' arousal, his half closed eyes, the look on his face. "Perfect," he said. "You're such a slut for this. Stay there like that until I bring you your clothes."

"Yes, Sir," Byers answered.

"And bend your knees a little. I don't want you passing out on me." Doggett ran a hand over Byers' bound balls and up his stiff dick.

Byers grunted at the touch, shifting his weight slightly as he'd been told. "Yes, Sir."

Doggett pulled his suit from the closet and started dressing, his eyes on Byers. His own suit was a darker grey than the one Byers wore, and his shirt and tie were a deep, sapphire blue. In his imagination, he could already see Byers in the Armani, kneeling, hands bound behind his back. He could feel Byers' mouth on his rod, sucking him deep. The thought sent a flush of heat through him. The simplicity of the fantasy surprised him, but it had caught his imagination the first time he'd taken Byers, and hadn't let go. The fact that Byers loved sucking dick and did it extremely well only added to the image's appeal. It would keep him focused through dinner, and Doggett knew the anticipation would only build.

Doggett quickly finished dressing, then brought the suit and new clothes to Byers. He opened the box and took out the burgundy silk boxers, the new socks, the burgundy shirt and tie. He laid them on the bed and got Byers' new shoes from the closet where they'd been put yesterday. Taking the Armani from its bag, he laid that on the bed as well. The color matching was flawless.

"Get dressed," Doggett ordered Byers.

"Yes, Sir." Byers started slipping on the silk, sighing as it slid across his skin. The texture of the soft cloth glowed in the light. Doggett sat on the bed and watched, approving.

As Byers finished up, he slipped the tie around his neck.

"Come here. I'll tie that."

Byers looked over at Doggett, the cloth in both hands. "Yes, Sir," he replied, and moved to stand before his Master.

"You may not be wearing a collar," Doggett said, looking Byers in the eyes, "but I can claim you just as well with this." He took the tie in his hands and slowly tied a full Windsor at Byers' throat. "You're mine, John. Tonight, you belong to me." Doggett's voice was commanding, seductive. He knew Byers wouldn't be able to resist his words, or the sound of his voice.

Byers shook as Doggett spoke, and Doggett could hear the slender man's heart hammering. His sub's blue eyes were dark with desire and a need to please.

"Your body belongs to me. I can give or withhold your pleasure as I see fit. You're mine to take as I will. I can fuck you until you scream, or I can leave you frustrated. You will not question me. Tonight, you exist for my pleasure until I release you from your bondage with my word and my kiss. Do you understand?" Doggett gently adjusted the finished knot at Byers' throat.

"Yes, Sir," Byers whispered, panting.

Doggett put his arms around Byers and kissed him, then looked him in the eyes once more. "John Byers, you are mine."

RAINBOW GRILL
30 ROCKEFELLER PLAZA
65TH FLOOR

"We'll have the Scampi."

Byers watched as Doggett ordered for them. He hadn't been asked what he wanted. Tonight, he hadn't expected to be asked. Shrimp Scampi sounded wonderful, and he had no intention of complaining. As far as Byers was concerned, life was just about perfect.

He sipped at the white wine his Master had ordered. It was exquisite, and he knew it had to be hideously expensive, like everything else in this place. Byers wondered how Doggett could afford this. He knew what Doggett's annual salary was, and this -- the suit, the club, the hotel, the food, the show -- wasn't the sort of thing he could do very often, if he could do it at all. The question would wait, though. It wasn't his place to ask. Not tonight; not here.

They had been seated near a window, and the view of the south end of Manhattan was incredible. The skyline was beautiful in the early evening light. Doggett looked magnificent in the dark suit and deep sapphire blue ensemble he wore. He knew that his own new suit looked just as good on him, and the feeling was deeply satisfying. The harness that was wrapped tight around his cock and balls was deliciously stimulating. Byers was happy to be in a place like this, as Doggett's companion. If he weren't so hungry, he'd be even happier to be back at the hotel, enjoying whatever erotic delights Doggett had planned for him.

"The food here's great, Johnny. You're in for a real treat," Doggett said, his face light and relaxed. He was smiling. Byers thought he looked particularly handsome that way. So often he'd only seen Doggett in the midst of a case, stressed or angry.

"The Shrimp Scampi sounds great, Sir." He took another sip of his wine. "The whole weekend has been incredible so far. How often do you do this?" Byers asked. He thought it might be a more subtle way to ask about what he really wanted to know.

"Once a year, maybe twice," Doggett said. "Usually I get a new suit for myself once a year when I come and do the weekend, but this year, I really wanted you to have it." Doggett's voice gentled and deepened. "You look incredible, Johnny. You stand taller when you're wearing that. You look like you're proud of yourself. It's a good thing to see."

"Thank you, Sir." Byers smiled, blushing, and lowered his eyes to the table as the salads and antipasti arrived. The waiter was fast and efficient, and Byers almost didn't notice his presence.

Doggett grinned at him. "I can't help thinking about what I want to do to you when we get back from dinner," he rumbled, quiet. Doggett's eyes gleamed with arousal, and Byers held his breath as he tried to will his cock not to leap in his lap. He didn't succeed.

Byers waited for Doggett to begin eating before he picked up his fork and began taking samples of the antipasti onto his own plate. After tasting his salad and a few of the delicious tidbits, he looked back up at Doggett. "What did you have in mind?" he asked, trying to put as much seduction as he could into the quiet question.

Doggett chuckled. "If I told you, it wouldn't be a surprise anymore, would it?"

"Well, not technically," Byers said. "But I'm sure the sensations would still be surprising."

"Tell me, Johnny, did you ever have an urge to be a lawyer?" Doggett smiled, amused.

Byers and Doggett nibbled salad and antipasti and sipped at their wine as they talked. Byers laughed. "No. Just a bureaucrat."

Doggett tilted his head and gave Byers a strange look. "Now there's one you don't hear every day."

"I got better," Byers said. "Besides," he continued, "I know you have two degrees in Public Administration. Tell me how that's not supposed to be bureaucratic. Uh, Sir." Byers grinned.

"Don't forget that I own you tonight," Doggett said, his voice low and dangerously sensual. "I may just decide to leave out some things that I know you'll like, you keep talkin' like that." There was a look of distinct and devastating intent on his face.

Byers leaned back in his chair and swallowed nervously. "Yes, Sir," he said. His pulse raced, wishing Doggett's hands were on him, wanting the man's mouth on his. Even though he knew it was an idle threat at this point, he didn't want to take a chance on stepping over any lines, as he had at lunch on Friday.

Doggett smiled at Byers and they ate quietly, digging into the Scampi when it arrived.

Doggett's dominance satisfied something deep in Byers. The way Doggett had claimed him with his words and his kiss before they left for dinner stirred Byers in more than just a physical way. It was as though Doggett had known and understood what he needed to hear, what made him feel wanted and secure. Their time together pushed at the boundaries of Byers' paranoia. He wondered again what it would feel like to be able to trust Doggett as he trusted his two dearest friends. Would Doggett understand how deep and significant such an act would be? The man threw the word around as though it had little genuine meaning for him.

For Byers, trust was a matter of life and death. Trusting the wrong person could kill him. Opening himself that way was a far greater vulnerability than being naked, or giving himself sexually. It wasn't even so much that giving his trust meant he was willing to risk himself; he'd done so willingly for total strangers on more than one occasion. Trust, for Byers, was a matter of willingness to put his life and safety into the hands of another. It was a willingness to let the one he trusted see the truth of his pain and the suffering that had been part of his life for so long. Trust was a willingness to give the trusted one everything that he was, and still believe that he would not be deliberately hurt or abandoned.

Byers didn't even truly trust Mulder or Scully, though he'd known them for years. Their positions and the risks of their work meant that betrayal always stood on the edge of the shadows. Though Mulder was medically retired now, his insatiable curiosity and his obsessions kept him too close to the shadows for comfort. Mulder was, in fact, the last person Byers would want to call if he needed to be bailed out of jail; he had no guarantees that Mulder wouldn't be distracted by something five minutes later and leave him there for a week.

Byers could almost trust Jimmy now, knowing that the golden retriever of a man would never deliberately hurt a friend in any way. Doggett's work, though, was like Scully's -- how could he ever be sure that the conspirators wouldn't turn Doggett into something... not human?

Then again, how did he know that Frohike or Langly wouldn't come home some day as shells of themselves, harboring something evil? Would their eyes be awash with the black oil, or their bodies filled with something even more insidious and deadly? He shuddered.

Doggett's face flashed concern. "Johnny, are you all right?"

Byers nodded. "I'm just thinking, Sir. Like I said, I worry too much." He looked up and met Doggett's ice blue eyes. They carried a dark hint of worry. Did the man genuinely care about him? Was he more to Doggett than just a convenient, fuckable body? Considering what Doggett had said of his history with other men, it was hard to tell. Byers rarely saw honest concern in anyone's eyes when they looked at him. It had gotten to the point where he simply didn't expect to see it any more.

Doggett's hand slid across the table and he took Byers' hand. "Try to let it go for a while, okay? We can talk later, if you want." Doggett's grip was warm and solid. Byers squeezed and slid his hand away, unwilling to let anyone see something resembling public affection or a display of reassurance. The waitress at breakfast had convinced him that the closet was still the safest place.

"I know this afternoon was pretty stressful for both of us," Doggett continued. "This is what my life is like. I know yours really isn't that much different."

Byers nodded. "That's true. I generally try to avoid people with guns, though." He thought back to the times he'd been held at gunpoint, knowing it was likely to happen again. "It's not my idea of a good way to spend a vacation."

"Mine either," Doggett said.

Byers quieted again, eating more of his dinner and focusing on the flavors to take his mind off his anxieties. It was delicious, and he'd seen desserts on other tables, so he knew he wanted to try to leave room for something. Actually, if he didn't count the afternoon's little 'adventure,' it had been a really good day. He was also very much looking forward to discovering what lay in Doggett's imagination for him when they returned to the hotel. They didn't have to be up the next morning, so he hoped whatever it was would be exquisitely lengthy and drawn out. He wanted very much to lose himself in the physical and set aside the worries that plagued him.

Much as he lived in it, Byers hated being anxious and paranoid. He really wished he could just stop and stand back from it, like Doggett seemed to. Then again, Doggett was a skeptic. Byers knew that Doggett wouldn't believe some of the situations he'd been in over the years. Hell, he'd been there and seen things with his own eyes that he barely believed. It really wasn't surprising that people thought he was crazy. When he got right down to it, he was probably just as much of a nut job as Mulder. Maybe more so. At least Mulder used to get paid for chasing ghosts and aliens. Byers did it out of some twisted sense of duty. There were days when he wondered if he had some deeply buried death wish hiding in him somewhere. Considering some of the stupid things he'd done over the years, he'd actually have to build a case against the argument.

He chuckled humorlessly at his private ironies. Better to think about the leather around his cock and balls. Sitting back, he let himself feel it. He watched Doggett eating and thought about the man's broad, strong shoulders. He could picture Doggett nude, his defined muscles rippling as he moved. If he half-closed his eyes, he could almost feel Doggett's mouth on him, feel his Master's hands gliding up his sides, leather restraints on his wrists. He wanted it badly. The harness held him snugly as his shaft stirred, and he rumbled a quiet, decadent sigh.

Doggett looked up and smiled. "Thinking about tonight?" he asked, keeping his voice low.

Byers smiled back and nodded. "Oh, yeah."

"Good. So am I." The smile broadened into a sly grin. "You're gonna be so sore tomorrow," he said.

Byers shivered, delighted. "I can't wait."

The waiter arrived again. "Would you gentlemen like dessert?" he asked. "We have a wide variety of delights for your palate. May I tell you about our specialties this evening?"

Doggett turned his grin on the waiter. "No, that's okay. Tiramisu and coffee for both of us, please."

"Certainly, sir. An excellent choice." The young man took their plates and spirited them away.

Byers closed his eyes and sighed happily. "That sounds really good," he said.

"The best you can imagine," Doggett said.

"I can imagine things a hell of a lot better than tiramisu right now," Byers said, giving Doggett a lascivious look.

Doggett laughed. "Yeah, and you can wait for 'em, too. Tempting as it might be to spread you right here, I'd kinda like to be able to come back again."

"Of course, Sir," Byers said. He bit his lip at the image Doggett had created in his mind. More threats to bend him over a table. He wondered if Doggett had a thing for sex in dining rooms, and hoped they would explore the thought more thoroughly in private at some later date.

The tiramisu and coffee arrived, just as delicious as Doggett had promised. Byers was convinced he could get high on the intensity of the perfectly balanced flavors. There was a strange, erotic undertone to the meal, and he wasn't sure if it was its decadent perfection or his own mood, but it warmed him to the core. By the time he finished, he felt he could almost float out of the restaurant; happy tongue, happy dick, happy stomach. He anticipated his body being even happier when they got back to the hotel.

PARKER MERIDIEN HOTEL
ROOM 1246
NIGHT

"Bring me the wrist restraints," Doggett said. His voice was rough and aggressive.

"Yes, Sir." Byers shivered with anticipation as he took them from the bedside drawer. The padded black leather was soft and sensual in his hands.

Doggett looked at him with dark, hooded eyes, and Byers could feel his Master's gaze burning into him. He handed the restraints to Doggett.

"Turn around."

Byers turned, and Doggett cuffed his wrists together, then turned him back to look in his eyes once again. Byers tugged against the restraints, heart beating hard and fast with his increasing arousal. His anticipation had been growing since they'd left the restaurant to return to the hotel, and he could tell that Doggett was excited.

"You should see yourself, Johnny. You wouldn't believe how hot you look like this," Doggett said. He took Byers by one elbow and led him to the closet door, which was adorned with a full-length mirror. Byers let himself be turned to face the mirror.

Doggett stood behind him; taller, older, far more muscular. His Master's light blue eyes were dark with heat and lust, and his hands were on Byers' shoulders, forcing him to face himself. The contrast of Doggett's deep sapphire shirt and dark grey suit against Byers' lighter suit and burgundy shirt was a study in hue and contrast.

Byers' eyes scanned his own face and body. He'd never seen himself aroused before, and it surprised him. His face was flushed, his expression soft and intense, lips slightly parted. The suit he wore revealed more of his body than the casual jeans and short sleeved shirt he'd worn earlier in the day, though he was wearing more, and covered much more completely. He realized in that moment that exposure had little to do with the amount of flesh one showed. Instead, it was the cut of the clothing, the way it lay on the body's curves and planes. Though he had never considered himself a handsome man, looking like this, dressed this way, he could almost understand what Doggett might see in him -- at least as a sexual object.

"Look at yourself," Doggett whispered. His hands slipped down Byers' arms from his shoulders, the followed the line of his waist to his hips.

Byers watched as he felt Doggett's hands moving on him, the pace of his breath increasing. He could hear Doggett's breath quickening in his ear.

"Do you see what I see when I look at you?" Doggett asked. He kissed Byers behind one ear, and Byers shivered, a cold silver wire burning down his spine into his bound cock and balls. Doggett's hands slid up Byers' chest, touching him light but firm, sensual without a trace of tickle.

Their eyes met in the mirror, and Byers froze, holding his breath. Doggett pressed Byers back against his chest, and he could feel Doggett's pounding heart through their contact. His Master's hardness met his bound hands, hot and throbbing as Doggett's arms wrapped around him, and he gasped for air, panting hard.

"Yeah, Johnny. You want that, don't you?" Doggett's voice lowered to a dangerous growl that rumbled through Byers' body. He pressed his hips closer, letting Byers touch.

Byers caressed Doggett's shaft with his fingers, panting. "Yes, Sir." He watched in the mirror as Doggett's eyes narrowed.

Doggett's hands moved down Byers' chest, slowly unbuttoning his jacket. When Doggett's fingers reached his waist, they curved down further, around Byers' hot, hard cock. Byers whimpered at the teasing touch and tried to arch into his Master's hands.

"Don't move," Doggett whispered in his ear. "Just watch yourself in the mirror." The hiss of Doggett's breath in his ear sent a shudder down Byers' back. He watched, though instinct demanded he close his eyes and concentrate on the physical sensations.

With a slow, torturously sensual movement, Doggett lowered Byers' zipper. Byers watched in heated fascination, panting, as his Master's hand slid into his pants. He could feel Doggett's warm fingers meeting the bound flesh of his leather-strapped shaft and balls.

The sound Byers heard coming from his own throat was half purr, half baritone groan. Doggett slowly slid Byers' hard member out of his pants. The image of his swollen cock and balls buckled and clipped into the leather harness, pulsing as it stood high and dark from his fly, made Byers' knees weak. It was the kind of image he looked for on the net when he allowed himself time to indulge his private fantasies.

"You are so beautiful, Johnny, so fuckable." Doggett traced a finger along Byers' throat, just barely touching his skin, and Byers shuddered.

He watched Doggett's face near his own, his Master's darkened eyes burning into him. Byers could feel the pounding of his own heart and Doggett's as they stood, bodies touching. Sliding his bound hands along Doggett's pants, he found the zipper and tried to open it.

"No," Doggett snapped, quiet. "You only get what I give you, when I'm ready to give it to you. You don't take. If you want something you ask, and I make the decisions." He slapped Byers' cock.

"Aaah!" Byers jerked back into Doggett's body, reeling from the intertwined pain and pleasure shooting through his body. "Yes, Sir," he panted, "I'm sorry, Sir." Doggett knew he liked the sensation, and hadn't slapped him hard enough to cause more pain than he could handle. Byers felt himself getting harder as he steadied his balance. He whimpered with need and frustration. If he felt this hot and horny so early in the game, he was certain he was in for a night he would remember for a long time to come.

"If you want cock, you have to beg for it, Johnny." Doggett's voice was stern.

Byers' knees turned to water at the words and the sound of his Master's voice, and he slumped back into Doggett's arms. "Please, Sir," he whispered.

"Please Sir, what?" Doggett asked.

Byers was panting, eyes half closed, still leaning against Doggett's chest. "I want to touch you, Sir. I want your cock. Please, let me touch you."

Doggett slid a hand behind him, and he could hear the zipper being pulled down. "I'm not sure you want it enough. That wasn't very convincing."

He could feel his Master moving behind him, pulling his hard shaft out of his pants. He wanted to touch, but kept his control. Byers' eyes closed and he let his head roll back onto Doggett's shoulder.

"Please, Sir," he let his want into his voice, "I need it, Sir. I want to feel you. I want your cock in my hands. Let me touch you, Sir. Let me please you."

Doggett chuckled in Byers' ear. "That's a little more convincing, but it's not good enough yet." Byers felt the head of Doggett's cock run along the tips of his fingers, the edges of his palms. It was hot and stiff and the skin was velvet soft. His fingers twitched and he ached to take it in his hands and stroke it.

Byers let out a frustrated moan. "It's so hot, Sir. I love what you're doing. Please, Sir --" Byers' voice cracked, "please, I want it so much."

Doggett ran the tip of his cock across Byers' motionless palm, slow and soft, as he slid two fingers across Byers' lips.

"Ahhh..." Byers lips parted and the tip of his tongue met Doggett's fingertips.

"That's sounding better, Johnny," Doggett said quietly. He slipped his fingers into Byers' mouth, and Byers licked them and began to suck. The slight salt of Doggett's skin tingled on Byers' tongue.

"Mmmmm..." Byers tilted his head down toward Doggett's hand, sucking the length of both fingers into his mouth.

Doggett's lips brushed Byers' left ear. "Look at yourself, Johnny. See how you look when you're sucking. Look at the expression on your face."

Heart racing, Byers struggled to open his eyes, then looked into the mirror. The raw need in his face shocked him, but he was too busy sliding his tongue along Doggett's fingers to react visibly.

Doggett slid his fingers from Byers' mouth.

"Ah --" Byers reached for them with his lips, but Doggett kept them moving. He watched as Doggett's hand slowly moved down his body, not touching him. His eyes widened as Doggett's fingers drew close to his cock. The wet fingertips met the head of his cock, spreading the growing drop of pre-come that had been gathering there, threatening to slide down his shaft. Byers groaned and bucked up against Doggett's fingers, but his Master pulled back, keeping only a feather soft touch at the throbbing, sensitive tip of his flesh.

Doggett traced tiny circles around the slit in the head of his shaft, and Byers wailed with frustration and pleasure. A hard pinch and Byers yelped. Doggett's hand moved away. Doggett touched the tips of his fingers with his tongue, tasting Byers' essence, and smiled.

"I know you want it," Doggett said. "You always want it. You're such a slut for my rod, Johnny. You want to touch it. You want to suck it. You want it up your ass. You make me so hot." Doggett sucked at Byers' neck, teeth and tongue moving roughly on him.

"Yes, Sir," Byers groaned. "I want it, I want all of it. Please, Sir..."

Doggett pulled his mouth away and put his hands on Byers' shoulders. He moved and turned Byers then shoved him to his knees. "I'll give you a little of what you want."

Byers found his nose nearly touching Doggett's hard, dark shaft. The scent of the man was hot, like burning musk. He took a deep breath, then looked up at his Master.

Doggett pulled a condom from his pocket, tore the packet open, and held it before Byers. "Put it on me."

Without a moment's hesitation, Byers took the proffered condom in his lips and began to position it on the tip of Doggett's thick rod. With lips and tongue, he slowly unrolled the condom, sliding it down the length of his Master's cock as Doggett hissed and moaned. Byers felt Doggett thrust forward, slow and strong, into his mouth as the condom unrolled under his tongue.

Once he was sure the condom was secure, Byers began sucking in earnest, licking and massaging his Master's hot length with lips and tongue. He moaned as Doggett thrust slowly into his mouth, taking him in deeper with each stroke.

As he caressed Doggett's cock with the length of his tongue, he noticed that he was positioned so that he could see what was happening in the mirror if he looked a bit off to one side. He wondered if Doggett had done this deliberately. Watching himself kneeling, wrists bound behind him, cock and balls bound and standing at attention before him, with Doggett's shaft in his mouth sent a bolt of incredible erotic fever through him. With a grunt, he opened himself and swallowed his Master's rod, his lips meeting Doggett's body.

Doggett groaned, loud and sustained, then took Byers' hair in his hands and started fucking his mouth deep and fast. "God, Johnny! Take it!" Doggett's balls slapped his chin, and he had to fight to cope with the swift, aggressive thrusts. After a few strokes, Doggett regained control of his body and slowed to a more comfortable speed and intensity.

Byers closed his eyes and gave Doggett's thick erection his absolute attention.

"Oh, yeah..." Doggett said, panting. "Suck it, Johnny, take it deep." Doggett thrust a few more times, then pulled back and Byers caught his breath, gasping. "You're so good, you feel so good," Doggett said softly, then thrust his cock into Byers' mouth again, deep, sliding down his throat. Doggett muttered, "Love to fuck you like this." Byers growled from low in his chest, sending his Master into another spasm of fast, deep thrusts.

Byers thought that if Doggett didn't withdraw soon, he'd come, but that was fine with him. He loved the way a shaft would throb in his mouth and throat when the moment of orgasm arrived, loved the frantic, uncontrolled sounds of someone coming because he gave them pleasure. There had been times when he'd come himself when he sucked another man, just from the sounds and the oral sensations.

He wished he had his hands to work with, and struggled with the restraints around his wrists, pulling at the leather. The struggle itself felt good, and the sight of it seemed to set Doggett off even more, his pace and intensity picking up.

"Nnngh, yeah. Oh, god, Johnny, fight it. Love it, oh god, love watching you like this, suck me..." Doggett's fingers tightened in his hair, and he pulled Byers' face closer as Byers suckled his Master's cock. He was running short on breath now, and squeezed, sucking deep and hard, pushing Doggett toward the edge as hard as he could.

After two or three deep, staccato grunts, Doggett spoke again, nearly incoherent. "God, uhh, take it Johnny..." He panted hard, driving into Byers' mouth with short, sharp thrusts, then roared as he came.

Byers backed off quickly, getting his Master's cock out of his throat, though Doggett was pulling at his hair. He needed air. After a few deep gasps, filling his lungs again and again, Byers sucked gently at the tip of Doggett's dick, enjoying the way the man was shuddering.

Doggett sank to his knees in front of Byers and took his face in his hands. He was still breathing hard, but Byers could see his eyes were barely open. "Love how you do that," Doggett said, panting. "So beautiful." He took Byers' mouth with his own, kissing him deeply, and Byers slid his tongue along Doggett's, feeling the soft, ticklish caress of tender flesh.

With a moan, Byers leaned forward slightly, his body begging silently for contact. His bound cock was throbbing hard, the pressure of the leather straps becoming almost painful with an erotic intensity he loved. He wanted to rub himself against Doggett's body, their cocks meeting, hot and slick. He wanted Doggett's hands on him, exploring his body through the silk he wore under his suit. Byers wanted to be touched everywhere with an intensity that made him shake. He struggled with the wrist restraints that kept his hands behind him, even as he wanted and needed the feeling of helplessness they brought.

As he struggled, Doggett wrapped his arms around him, enveloping him in warmth and strength. Edging closer, Doggett pulled their bodies together then rested his chin on Byers' shoulder. They both knelt, motionless, relishing the solid contact. Byers rubbed his cheek against Doggett's.

"Please, Sir," he whispered, "I want more."

"Don't worry, Johnny," Doggett said quietly, "we're nowhere near done yet." He ran his hands down Byers' back, stopping to caress his waist, then sliding them down to hold the curves of Byers' ass in his palms. "You were so good. You gave me just what I wanted."

Byers bit his lip and whimpered.

"Patience," Doggett said. He looked into Byers' eyes, intense. "I know you want what I have planned for you. I'll give you things you need. I'll push you over the edge."

Byers shook, his heart hammering. Everything that Doggett had done to him, done with him since their first time together, had been good. "What will you do, Sir?"

"Be patient. You'll see." Doggett stood, then slid his hands under Byers' arms and helped him stand. Byers' knees were slightly wobbly, but Doggett let him lean as they walked over to the bed. "Lie down and rest," Doggett said. "I've gotta do something. Just close your eyes and wait for me."

"Yes, Sir." Byers lay on the bed on his side and closed his eyes. He could hear Doggett moving around the room, getting things out, shuffling things around, opening and closing a door. There was the scratch of a match and a momentary scent of sulfur. He wondered what was happening, what kinds of things his Master had planned for him. Lying there not knowing what Doggett was doing filled him with anticipation.

There was silence for a few minutes, and Byers turned his head without opening his eyes, trying to locate Doggett in the room. He rolled slightly, turning his body for a more accurate idea of what was going on around him, but heard nothing. He hadn't been told not to move, simply to lie down, close his eyes, and wait for his Master. His cock was still hard, as the harness was tight enough to keep him from losing his erection, though some of the urgency of his arousal had faded. He felt good, but very curious.

The sound of Doggett's voice close to his ear startled him. "Now you get your reward for making me come like that." The bed shifted as Doggett leaned in and traced the tip of his tongue along the inner curve of Byers' ear.

Byers shivered and gasped as his Master backed away. He could feel Doggett untying his shoes, then slipping them off his feet. The socks went next, and Doggett's warm hands rubbed each foot for a moment. It was soothing and erotic at the same time. A shudder tingled its way up his body as Doggett's fingers traced the insides of his legs from ankles to the angles of his inner thighs, moving softly, almost tickling through the cloth. He writhed at the touch, groaning.

"Relax, Johnny," Doggett said. "Let yourself enjoy it." Byers felt Doggett's weight shift the mattress again, as the man positioned himself between Byers' legs. There was a ghost of presence near Byers' shaft, and then soft, warm breath surrounding it.

"Yes," Byers moaned quietly. He shifted his hips blindly toward the source of the breath, but Doggett's hands held him down by his hips.

"Relax," Doggett said again. "Don't move. Just let it happen."

When Doggett's soft warm lips kissed the tip of Byers' cock, he gasped, and Doggett held him down. A hot, wet tongue caressed his head, sliding gently along the slit. He moaned again, loudly, now hard as marble. The harness around him held him tight, amplifying every sensation.

"I love the way you taste, Johnny."

Byers spoke softly, pleading. "Please, Sir, suck me." He licked his lips, dick aching with need, his balls tight in their restraints.

"No, Johnny. Just this for right now. I have other plans for you."

He could feel Doggett move, then there was an arm behind his back, a hand supporting his head, and he was raised to a partial sitting position. A glass touched his lips and he sipped. The water was cool, with a tiny hint of lemon in it. Byers suddenly realized how dry his mouth had become, and drank eagerly. Held like this, the glass at his lips, he felt oddly out of place but cared for. There was an incredible feeling of gentleness to the situation, and the man who held him.

When the glass was taken from his lips, an odd image struck him. "Share water," he whispered to himself, remembering an old science fiction novel.

"Never thirst." Doggett's voice was soft, almost inaudible in his ear. Before Byers could say anything, Doggett's lips met his and they kissed. It was soft and passionate at the same time. When Doggett broke the kiss, Byers opened his eyes slightly and looked at his Master in the room's dim, flickering light.

"I never knew y --"

"Hush. Talk later. Keep your eyes closed, or would it be easier if I blindfolded you for a while?"

Byers closed his eyes. "Blindfold me, Sir," he said. It would remove the temptation for him to look until Doggett decided it was time for him to see again. Doggett eased him back onto the bed, got up, and returned a moment later. A softly lined blindfold that smelled of leather was placed over his eyes and fastened at the back of his head.

Doggett's hands were at his waist again, and he could feel his belt being unbuckled, his pants unbuttoned. There was a tug, and Byers raised his hips to let Doggett pull his pants down. The cloth slid down his legs and over his bare feet. He heard them hit the rug with a soft chuff. Warm hands trailed up his legs, teasing against the grain of the rough hair along the outside of his calves and thighs.

"Mmmmm..."

"How do you feel, Johnny?" Doggett's hands slid along his flesh, trailing to the sensitive insides of his thighs. A moment later, warm breath touched his skin, followed by Doggett's lips and tongue.

"Ohhhhhh," Byers panted, "oh, feels good, Sir." The weight of his body was on his arms and hands. He knew it would get uncomfortable if he stayed that way for long, but his Master's mouth on him was a sensual delight.

Doggett's mouth moved away from his legs, and Byers whimpered, until he felt a soft, wet tongue licking the tip of his cock again. He groaned softly and arched his hips upward.

"Little slut," Doggett said, his lips barely brushing where his tongue had just been. "You just can't wait, can you?"

Byers squirmed, raising a knee, and Doggett's hand slid down the back of his thigh to cup one cheek of his ass. "Love how this silk feels on you," Doggett growled, running his hand softly along the curve of Byers' ass through his boxers. Byers sighed at the caress, his body heated and aroused. Doggett's other hand slid down to join the first, lifting his hips gently then sliding up to his waist. With a swift, careful movement, Doggett pulled at the waistband of Byers' boxers and started sliding them off.

Byers cooperated, hoping Doggett would touch and kiss his bare skin as the soft, slippery fabric moved down his legs. Suddenly, without a word, Doggett flipped Byers over onto his stomach and finished pulling the boxers off.

"Uhh, yes!" Byers spread his legs. Doggett's hands were on his ass again, caressing his cheeks, running short, blunt fingernails over Byers' sensitive skin. It felt good. The next thing he knew, a pillow was being tucked under his hips, his bound shaft buried in the soft cool cushion. He gave a satisfied, horny sigh.

Byers heard a shuffling, then felt cool leather being buckled around his ankles. He gave a soft gasp and whimpered. Was Doggett going to spread him on the bed and tie him down? He hoped so.

Doggett's hands spread his legs further, stroking his inner thighs. Byers could hear Doggett's breathing speeding up. A few moments later, Doggett's fingers trailed along his tight balls, then tickled softly up the crack of his ass.

"Ahhhhh..." He was so hard, so ready for Doggett to fuck him. "Please, Sir," he moaned, "I want your cock in me."

Doggett chuckled. "We're nowhere near that yet, Johnny. There's so much more to come before I slide my rod into you. But I'm gonna love it when I'm ready to take you." Doggett's voice was low, almost a growl. He slid the tip of a finger over Byers' anus, pausing for a moment to push in gently without penetrating.

Byers whimpered and wriggled under Doggett. "Oh, god."

Before Byers knew what was happening, Doggett's mouth was on the curve of his ass, biting and sucking, and Byers moaned, deep and throaty. Doggett's fingers separated the mounds of muscle. He panted hard as Doggett's tongue slid along his skin and down between his cheeks to find the soft, sensitive skin of his opening.

Byers gasped. "Unh, unh, yeah, unh..." Doggett's tongue licked and prodded him, hot and wet and so soft. He tried to buck back into Doggett's mouth, but his Master had spread his legs too wide for him to get any leverage. He could feel Doggett's tongue dipping into him, penetrating him. His bound shaft was twitching hard. Though he was close to orgasm, the harness was so tight around his swollen dick now that he couldn't come. It was agonizing and blissful and he was falling hard into his most submissive space, losing himself to his Master's power.

Doggett raised his mouth. "You're beautiful, Johnny. I wish you could see yourself. You're so hot." He slid one finger into Byers' tight ass and Byers cried out, incoherent. Doggett worked his ass slowly with the finger, driving Byers wild with desire.

"Unh, god, more," Byers begged.

Doggett's finger slid out of him. There wasn't time for Byers to anticipate Doggett's next move before a stinging slap landed on his ass.

"Ahhh!"

Another slap landed, then another, and Byers' hips jerked. He wanted it, wanted the pain and the pleasure. "Yes, unh, yes..." He was gasping, Doggett's hands leaving burning places on his ass. Doggett slid his finger back into Byers.

Byers fought against the restraints around his wrists, struggling hard, shouting. He needed to move, needed to give in to the unbearable urge to pump his hips, to slam his hard shaft into something and fuck, to impale himself on his Master's rod and let the man take him until he screamed.

Suddenly, Doggett's full weight was on him, pressing down over his entire body, finger no longer in him. "Slow down, take it easy." The voice was quiet and soothing in his ear. The larger man's weight stilled him, and he gasped and panted, trying to catch his breath. "Hush, Johnny, hush."

Byers felt Doggett's kisses on his cheek and neck.

"Lie still for me, okay?"

Byers nodded, no longer struggling, but trying to catch his breath. His ass stung from Doggett's blows.

"I'm gonna stand you up. I want you to stay where I put you, and don't move from that position until I move you again. Do you understand?"

Byers nodded again. "Yes, Sir," he said, still panting. His head was swimming, and he felt like his whole body was vibrating, barely under his control. His body ached exquisitely with desire and frustration.

Doggett slipped his arms around Byers' chest and slid him back along the bed, then pulled him to a kneeling position. "Okay, step back. Be careful."

Byers slid one foot to the floor, then the other, his legs shaking. Doggett's arms were still around him, and he leaned back into his Master's body with a relieved sigh. He could feel Doggett's hot, hard rod against his ass and rubbed against it.

"Wait for that, Johnny. Just hold still." Doggett's hands slipped to his throat, loosening Byers' tie. He leaned his head back against Doggett's shoulder, letting himself feel his Master's fingers moving. When the tie was unknotted, Doggett began unbuttoning Byers' shirt, teasing Byers' skin with his fingertips as he loosed each button.

Byers' head rolled to one side, his cheek meeting the warm skin of Doggett's neck and jaw. He kissed his Master softly. "Please, Sir, I need to be fucked."

"I'll give it to you when I'm ready," Doggett said. His hands moved over Byers' naked chest, stroking and caressing him. Byers sighed happily, his cock aching as it twitched in its harness. Doggett played with his nipples, rolling them in his fingers, then squeezing and pinching them hard, pulling them sharply.

"Ahhhhhhhh..." Byers arched back against Doggett's chest, panting again, his head thrashing back and forth on Doggett's shoulder.

Doggett wrapped him tightly in his arms and pressed his hard rod against Byers' ass. "You want it bad, don't you?" he said. "You want me in you up to my balls."

Byers whimpered and nodded.

"You want me to fuck you until you can't feel anything but my hard rod slamming into you and my balls slapping on yours." Doggett was growling into his ear, thrusting up along the crack of Byers' ass.

"Yes Sir, oh god please, fuck me now, I want it so bad, want you, take me, fuck me..." Byers knew he was babbling, but didn't care.

Doggett's hand slid down his body, brushing softly over his stomach then caressing Byers' straining, throbbing shaft. The tips of his fingers stroked Byers' balls and Byers moaned.

"Please..."

"Not yet."

Byers groaned, disappointed and desperate.

"I'm gonna separate the restraints on you to take the rest of your clothes off. Don't move."

Byers nodded, saying nothing, still leaning back against Doggett's body. He could feel his Master's hands at his wrists and heard a clip open and close. His hands hung free behind him, but he didn't move them. Doggett took his shoulders and eased him forward slightly, then slid the suit jacket and the silk shirt down his arms and off his body. Tossing them aside, he let Byers lean on him again.

"Come with me." Doggett led him slowly across the room by his shoulder. He was startled when his back gently touched the cold, flat expanse of a door. "Hands above your head," Doggett ordered.

Byers raised his hands. Doggett took first one wrist, then the other, and clipped them to something so they were spread out over his head. With a gentle nudge, Doggett tapped at Byers' ankles with one foot. "Spread 'em."

Again, Byers complied, and the leather restraints around his ankles were similarly secured. He was bound, spread eagle, to the door. He tugged against the restraints, but they were tight and there was no give. He couldn't move. His heart raced with fear and anticipation.

"It's not the cross," Doggett said, "but it'll do. Prepare yourself, Johnny. You're about to have a taste of what you want."

Byers didn't think his dick could get any harder, but Doggett's words sent a cold thrill through his body. "Yes," he groaned. He could picture the man he'd seen on the cross yesterday, then saw himself there. He could still see the floggers striking in his mind's eye, hear the slap of leather on flesh.

"Hit me, Sir," he whispered. "I want to feel it."

Doggett's fingers touched his chest gently, and Byers flinched, expecting a sharp blow. "Uh..."

"You're not ready yet," Doggett said. "You need to be prepared for it." His Master's hands roamed sensually across his body, sometimes tickling, sometimes scratching. Byers could feel Doggett's fingernails scrape across his nipples, and groaned in response. Doggett's lips closed over one fleshy peak, sucking, then biting.

"Unnnh." Byers relaxed as much as he could into the bondage. He could feel the pull along his arms and into his shoulders as his wrists took some of his weight. Doggett was licking and nibbling his way down Byers' stomach. He felt helpless and vulnerable, knowing that Doggett could do anything to him and he'd be unable to resist. It was terrifying, but he was filled with a familiar sensual rush, like the one he'd felt the first time Doggett had tied Byers to his own bed. He could feel himself starting to float, dizzy in his arousal, knowing the best was coming. Unable to stay silent, he made small, animal sounds of fear and pleasure.

Doggett's hands moved over him, touching Byers everywhere. The tips of Doggett's fingers trailed, almost tickling, along Byers' arms and legs, along his sides, up his chest to his throat, even over his face. Byers moaned and tried to move, but couldn't, as Doggett's nails scratched him all over his chest and sides.

Soon, hands and fingers were joined by a new sensation. "This is the flogger, Johnny. Feel the strands move over you."

Byers panted and groaned as Doggett brushed them along his chest, slow and soft at first, then picking up speed and force a little at a time.

"You like how this feels, don't you?" Doggett asked. The strands began slapping at him gently, moving down his chest from just above his nipples.

"Yes Sir, please Sir, ahhhhhh..." He was slapped again, harder this time, along the center of his chest. "Oh, god." It was amazing. Byers groaned and begged for more as the blows got progressively harder. The flogger struck him solidly, thudding against his ribs, leaving a hot, stinging feeling behind. "Unh, yes, ahhh."

"You're gorgeous like this, Johnny. You should see yourself. You look so beautiful spread like this, your cock all hard, those stripes on your skin." Doggett's voice was low, filled with desire. He spaced the blows expertly, leaving every inch of Byers' chest stinging. "Makes me want to fuck you. Makes me want to take you right here, just like this."

"More, Sir, please..." Byers begged. He was lost in the sensations, craving the sting, and when Doggett switched the blows from his chest to his thighs, Byers moaned and grunted wordlessly. He wanted to feel the sting everywhere, wanted it along his back, over his ass, on the backs of his legs. "Please, Sir!"

"God, I love to hear you beg, Johnny." Another blow fell on Byers' chest. Doggett was rumbling and growling as he spoke. "You're mine. I'm gonna fuck you so deep when I'm done with you." He struck Byers again. Byers thought that if the harness around his cock and balls was looser, he could come from this sensation. He was throbbing hard in the leather, and could feel his shaft jumping with each new blow.

"Yes," Byers gasped. "God, yes." When no new blow hit, Byers was confused. "Please, Sir, please, again..."

Doggett's voice was close when he replied. "We're gonna turn you around now, Johnny. You're not ready to take too much of this at once."

"Want more," Byers groaned.

Doggett's mouth took his, and they kissed hard. Doggett's hands skimmed over Byers' stinging skin, but his hands -- it was fur, Byers realized. His Master was soothing his burning skin with an unimaginable softness. He was trembling as he groaned into Doggett's kiss. His Master caressed him with the fur until Byers lost track of everything but the softness on his flesh. The contrast and combination of pain and pleasure left him disoriented. In this state, Byers realized he'd been cast over the edge and into the abyss and never even noticed. Though he could hear and feel everything, he was connected to his body by the thinnest of threads. He was in heaven.

Doggett moved one hand, fiddling with the restraints, then Byers' hands were free. He broke the kiss, holding Byers' hands together with one of his own. He released Byers' ankles and turned him to face the door.

"Spread, Johnny." Byers held his hands and feet apart, leaning his chest into the door. The cool wood was soothing on his heated skin. He felt Doggett bind him again and back away.

Again he felt Doggett's mouth and teeth on him, his Master's hands and the scratch of his nails. The flogger played across his back, soft at first, then harder as Byers moaned and cried out, begging for more. Doggett moved the sharp blows from his back to the flesh of his ass, down to his thighs, and back up again, giving Byers pain and pleasure in an intensity he had only fantasized before.

"Please, more," he begged, his whole body burning with the erotic rush. "Harder, Sir."

Several more blows fell, then Doggett stopped again. Byers thought his Master had finished, but he wanted more. "Please, Sir, please don't stop."

He felt Doggett's cool hand on his burning ass. "I'm not quite done yet. You can take a little more here than on your chest. I'm going to use the belt on you."

Byers slumped slightly, whimpering, "Yes, yes, yes..."

The next blow was harder and much more focused than the flogger's strands, leaving a sharp line of fire across Byers' ass.

"Ahhhhh!" Byers was so far gone now that he was flying. He never wanted to go back. His body begged to live in this state of burning ecstasy. Another blow flamed across his ass, then a third and a fourth. "God, unh, more, oh god, please..."

"It's enough," Doggett whispered in his ear.

"No, please, oh god don't stop," Byers begged.

"You've had enough," Doggett said again, and the softness of the fur returned, soothing the fire in his muscles. "I'm going to take you now."

"Yes," Byers whimpered.

When Doggett released him from his bondage, ankles first, then wrists, Byers slumped, unable to stand. Doggett caught him, then carried him to the bed. His Master lay him down carefully. Byers could feel him loosening the straps of the harness.

"No," Byers whined. "Not yet."

"If I loosen it, you'll be able to come when I fuck you. It'll be intense," Doggett said. "It'll be the best thing you ever felt. After that, I'll take it off you. Your body needs to rest soon."

"More," Byers pleaded.

Doggett rolled Byers onto his stomach. There were slicked fingers at Byers' ass, then the tip of Doggett's thick shaft touching him. "Do you want me to fuck you?"

Byers groaned. "God, please, Sir."

"I bet you'd love to have Sergio watching this," Doggett said, pushing slow and hard into Byers' body. "Watching me take you, watching me claim you as mine."

"Ahhhhh! Yes, yes!" Byers shouted, "god, Sir, yes!" The thought of Brentali watching Doggett do this to him -- tease him, beat him, fuck him -- cracked Byers open, and he came, screaming.

Doggett's rod kept pumping into him, slowly and mercilessly. "You love it, don't you Johnny. You want to be my slut. You wish you could have this all the time, don't you?"

"Ahh, ahhh, oh god, yes Master, god..." Byers gasped, still coming, "fuck me Master, please!"

"Say it again," Doggett groaned, thrusting faster and harder. "Say it!"

"Please Master, god, fuck me Master!"

"Yes," Doggett shouted, slamming into Byers. "You're mine, Johnny, mine! Aaaaaah! Aaaah!"

Byers could feel Doggett coming inside him, plowing into him hard and fast, almost violent in his passion. They thrashed on the bed together, crying out, Byers in ecstatic flight, Doggett pumping him intensely in the throes of his own orgasm.

Finally, exhausted, Byers went limp. He was gasping hard, as though he'd been running for hours. Doggett slowed, then lay quiet on Byers' back, his chest heaving.

Sweaty, sore, and aching, but sated, Byers drifted. He was aware of Doggett slipping slowly and carefully out of him, leaving his ass sore. He was too exhausted to move as Doggett rolled him to his back and removed the harness from his cock and balls, gently massaging them to ease them.

Doggett left for a few minutes, and when he returned, he slipped the blindfold from Byers' eyes. Byers sighed, then blinked, letting the dim light in. Doggett's face was close in front of his. His Master's eyes were soft and gentle. Leaning in, he kissed Byers.

"Your service is over for the night," he whispered. "You are your own man."

Byers nodded, still unable to speak from exhaustion.

Doggett cleaned him, then helped him into bed, pulling the covers over him. "You were incredible," Doggett whispered. He traced Byers' jaw with his fingertips, soft and slow. "You have no idea how good you were."

A faint smile curved Byers' lips as he closed his eyes. He was asleep before Doggett slid into bed with him.

~~end chapter 2 of 4~~


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