Neal growled in frustration and tried to twist his body, but the ropes holding his wrists and ankles to the Burke’s bed only gave him so much room to work with, and it really wasn’t enough.
“Dammit, Peter, I can’t; do you know what she’ll do to me?”
Walking around to the side of the bed and sitting so he was next to Neal’s hip, Peter smiled down at the other man. Playing with a rubber band in one hand, Peter reached out with the other to rub a palm over Neal’s stomach, enjoying the twitch of muscle under his palm.
“Of course I do. But what you need to keep in mind is what I’ll do to you if you continue to hold out on me. I know she made banana bread while I was at the office this morning. The bananas are gone, and I can smell it. All you have to do is tell me where she hid it, and this will stop. Really, the power is in your hands, Neal.”
Twisting at his wrists, Neal tried to slip the ropes, but damn Peter and his perfectionism; bastard had probably been an Eagle Scout or something for how good he was at knot-tying. “Peter, let’s look at this as rational adults. We can do that can’t we? Your lovely, wonderful, talented wife made banana bread for us to have with dinner tonight. Would you really want to ruin her plans?” Neal gulped as he watched Peter get up again and move so that he was straddling Neal’s hips, the fabric of Peter’s pants and shirt tickling against his bare skin. Leaning forward so he was nose to nose with the bound man, hands planted to either side of Neal’s chest, Peter smiled a wicked sort of smile.
“Absolutely. Now tell me where the bread is, Neal, before I make you.”
Neal took a moment, and thought. If he gave up the location of the bread to Peter, he was going to be in trouble with El when she got home. If he didn’t, he’d be safe from El, but what would Peter do to him in the meantime? Maybe if he could compromise…hold out for awhile so that she could see he’d tried, and make Peter happy by telling him all at the same time. Everyone would win. He’d been beaten, stabbed, jumped off of 3-story buildings...he could do this. Steeling himself, Neal made his decision.
Peter sat up again, and shook his head sadly. “On your own head be it, Mr. Caffrey.”
Picking up the rubber band he’d been fiddling with earlier, Peter stretched it between his thumb and forefinger, and rested his hand against Neal’s ribs so that the bottom half of the band was flush against his skin.
“Sure you won’t reconsider?”
Neal just shook his head no, and squeezed his eyes shut. Reaching forward, Peter grasped the strip of rubber between his fingers and pulled it as far up from the other man’s skin as he could and waited a moment. When he could see Neal’s muscles almost start to relax, he let go, sending the band to snap downwards to thwack against his victim.
Neal’s eyes popped open, and he barely stopped the undignified squawk that had tried to escape from his lips. Craning his neck, he could look down planes of his own chest to see the quickly pinkening line starting to form on his pale skin as Peter moved his hand down a bit, and grasped the bottom part of the rubber band again and pulled up, then released. Hissing, Neal closed his eyes again, and tried to think of other things as Peter continued down one side of his ribs and up the other. Da Vinci…Monet…Kandinsky…ow, dammit!
Jolting, Neal popped his eyes open again and glared at Peter, who only smiled back serenely, and moved the rubber band from Neal’s right nipple over to his left. Watching as Neal’s body tensed in anticipation of the pain, Peter pulled the band up tight, and just when he thought Neal might actually twitch, he let the band back down gently without releasing it.
“You know, Neal, we don’t have to do this. You could just tell me where it is, I can go get it, come back and untie you. I’d even share it with you, if you wanted.”
“Nuh uh,” Neal started twisting at his wrists again, “I’m not telling. And even if I did, I would not share in your ill-gotten gains. I’d be in enough trouble already.”
Peter shrugged. “Suit yourself. Now you have a choice, Neal. I can either go ahead and snap this over your nipple like I was going to, or I can go down to your feet. Which do you think would hurt more?”
Bright blue eyes widened in dismay, and Peter had his answer and was moving before Neal could even form an answer.
“Peter, now hold on a moment…you really don’t need to do that. Just come back up here and talk with me a moment…” The man was almost babbling, and Peter had to work hard to repress a grin as he caught hold of the foot Neal was trying very hard to keep away from him. He stretched the rubber band to fit down over the top of Neal’s toes, and rolled it down so that it was situated just over the instep of Neal’s left foot. “No, I think I can hear you just fine from here; especially when I do this...”
Peter plucked elastic band and let it go, then gave in and grinned. It wasn’t everyday you heard Neal Caffrey actually yelp.
“Please, Peter, be reasonable…ack!”
Giving Neal a moment to recover from the second snap, Peter casually dug out a rubber band ball from his pocket, very similar to the one he had on his desk at work, and peeled a few of the bands off before setting the ball back down on the bed between Neal’s feet. Slipping another band over Neal’s left foot, and a couple over his right, Peter gave Neal a few moments to contemplate his predicament.
“Now Neal,” reaching up with both hands, and pulling back on a band from each foot and letting go, Peter let the sound of the other man’s hiss of pain quiet before he continued. “I don’t know why you do this to yourself.” Snap. “It could be over so easily, and it’s really all up to you. You just need to tell me where the bread is.” Snap.
Peter spent the next few minutes plucking at rubber bands like he was playing a harp, and watching Neal get squirmier and squirmier until the bound man actually whimpered. He stopped, moving back to the head of the bed to pick up a glass of water with a straw from the bedside table, holding it for Neal to take a few sips, sweeping a lock of sweaty hair back from Neal’s forehead when he was done. “Come on. We both know you’re a strong-willed annoying bastard, Neal. But you need to keep something in mind that’s very important.”
Rolling his eyes up to look at Peter, Neal tried to look as pathetic as he possibly could. “And what’s that?”
Leaning down to plant a kiss on the tip of the other man’s nose, Peter smiled at him. “I’m just as stubborn as you are, twice as patient, and I want that bread. Not to mention the fact that it’s only around 2pm right now. El’s event doesn’t end ‘til 4, and she likely won’t make it back before 5. That’s about 3 hours before she’s back. Are you really going to choose suffering like this for that long when you could just tell me what I want to know?”
Neal was about to open his mouth when Peter placed a finger against his lips.
“Before you answer, I want you to just remember that I’ve been relatively benevolent until now.” At Neal’s incredulous expression, Peter smirked, and looked meaningfully down at Neal’s crotch. “There are other parts of you that are just as sensitive as your feet if not more so, and just as easy to get a rubber band around.”
Peter wasn’t sure he had ever seen Neal’s eyes get so very wide before, but oh was he enjoying it. Removing his finger from Neal’s lips, he caressed down the side of Neal’s face, smiling as the ex-con tilted his head into the touch, and mumbled something quietly.
“I didn’t quite catch that, Neal. What did you say?”
“She hid it in the dryer. Figured you wouldn’t start laundry let alone remember to switch it if you had, so it was safe. Also, I hate you and you’re a very bad man.”
Chuckling, Peter moved to start untying Neal’s ankles, gently massaging at the imprints the ropes had left behind. Carefully removing the rubber bands from Neal’s feet, Peter moved up and untied Neal’s wrists, rubbing again at the marks the ropes had left as he freed each in turn. Lifting Neal’s hands up, Peter leaned forward and placed a kiss on the inside of each wrist, and gave Neal’s hands a squeeze. “Want to go have some banana bread?”
Sighing in resignation, but smiling, Neal nodded, moving with Peter to the edge of the bed to get up.
“I’m already going to be in trouble. In for a penny, right?”
Grinning, Peter ruffled the other man’s hair and handed him the bathrobe he had picked up and slung an arm around Neal’s shoulders once the robe was on and the belt tied.
“So, the dryer, huh?”
As they headed out of the bedroom, Neal could only hope that Elizabeth would be merciful…though he doubted it.