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Between Sixes

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Sexy Dom Viktor

Close up of sexy Dom Viktor

 

(1) You ever do something that you’re absolutely certain is a terrible idea from the very beginning? Yuri couldn’t be more certain that the screaming whisper in his head telling him that this was exactly what he was doing was completely right as he shook the steady, warm hand extended out from brilliant Caribbean Sea eyes, aqua blue with specks of green, beneath a shimmering fringe of platinum hair and above the most charming smile ever to be put upon the face of a man with his own clammy, weak hand, his eyes wild with his faltering attempts to present himself with just the barest hint of dignity. It didn’t go well. Though, that really shouldn’t have been a surprise at that point. He wasn’t sure of why exactly this was a terrible idea, but he felt the certainty of his pending destruction straight through his bones into the deepest reaches of the universe they were created from.

Maybe it was because half of his pathetic grasps at dignity were thwarted by the skin-tight, snow white breeches hugging the sublime ass of the man whose hand he’d been shaking for far too long now. He should let go. He doesn’t. He continued assaulting the man with what had to be the worst handshake he’s ever experienced as Yuri contemplated that perhaps it was the knee-high, black leather boots and the dressage whip just long enough to reach from his hand to his ankle hovering just inches away from them. That whip striking the calf of those leather boots had been taunting him with a sound that went straight to his cock with every crack over the past hour as he followed the owner of the sublime ass on a tour of the exquisite stables. The whip had built from just the occasional accidental swing tapping against his boot as he held it casually in his hand as they walked to something that seemed much more… purposeful.

Maybe it was the way the offer of employment extended in that handshake in no way matched up to the stumbling, clipped, absolutely idiotic answers he had given to every single question asked of him right up to and including his very name which had only come out of his mouth after a pause so lengthy the owner of the sublime ass had said, “Forgotten it, have we? It said on your application that it’s Yuri Katsuki?” which he had answered with a slow nod of his head before words finally tumbled out. “Ye-yes. Katsuki- I mean- Yes. Yuri Katsuki. That’s, uh, me.” That had been the critical moment when this had gone from a relatively basic interview which would have given him only minimal nerves over the most basic questions required to ask someone if they know how to throw food and water to a horse and clean up their shit to possibly the most humiliating experience of his life. Maybe second. Or, more likely, that critical moment had come when the man rode up looking every bit of a prince in shining armor to greet him from the back of an elegantly fine-boned, yet still sturdy, dappled gray warmblood, Dutch, if he wanted to judge by the refined head, in a crimson polo shirt that hugged his trim waist and stretched over his broad chest and exposed the thick, but not too much, muscle wrapping his arms down to his gentle hands cueing his fifteen hundred pound horse to stop with all the balance and lightness of a ballerina with a tiny squeeze of his fingers and smiling so brilliantly the man looked like he ate diamonds for breakfast.  

Every question past that first had spiraled him further into this hell-sauna of anxiety and mortification. He’d only been on one interview before in his life, but he had to think that questions about his favorite places to hang out and his personal hobbies were well outside the scope of typical interviews. He was absolutely certain that, “How many lovers of yours will I have to make security passes for on a weekly average?” was not something that was included in your typical interview though he maybe had a valid reason for asking as he would be living on the premises. The twitch of a smile on the man’s face when he blurted out a horrified, “None!” made him doubt the validity of that question’s inclusion.

Or maybe it was because even though his mind had wisely decided to jump ship and abandon him there with his stupid expression and still shaking the hand of the most gorgeous man on the planet, Viktor Nikiforov, the owner of the stable and the sublime ass, had not stopped shaking his hand either. An interview is supposed to go both ways. The employer has to make sure that the employee was a suitable, competent person for the position, and the candidate was supposed to make sure they would be comfortable working there and that the position wouldn’t cause them undue stress. As he thanked the man profusely for the offer and accepted it with an agreement to move into the small cottage behind the stable on Sunday and begin work the week after through yet another mess of words, he knew that they had both failed spectacularly in their tasks.

“It was such a pleasure to meet you, Yuri. I look forward to working with you.” He finally released his hand with a smile that was almost a smirk as they stood by the gated exit.

“Thank you, sir! I look forward to serving you!” He bowed and wished he could go all the way down to bury his head in the dirt as the man gave a chuckle that said he in no way missed the second way that could be interpreted.

“Please,” he placed his finger under his chin as he rose back up from his bow lifting his eyes to meet his, “call me Viktor. At least when we’re in public.” He gave him a heart-stopping wink then turned on his heel and walked away with a hard crack of the whip on fine Italian leather as a parting gift.

Yuri had no choice but to watch him and his sublime ass until he disappeared from view into the stables. Finally released from the encounter, he turned around and blushed through every inch of his body as the security guard sitting in the box by the gate raised his eyebrows and smirked as he pushed the button to open the gate.

This was, without a doubt, a terrible idea.  

Chapter Text

(2) “This is a horrible idea,” he reassured himself as he drove his rusted, red beater of a car from the early nineties that looked like a flattened rectangle on wheels through the wrought iron gates. The security guard had opened it and given him his code to access it himself only after checking his id and the paperwork he had on him at least ten times. This was clearly not the same security guard from yesterday who would likely not have forgotten his humiliation that easily. Just the fact that there was a security guard stationed there twenty-four seven was enough to convince him that he in no way belonged there even working as a stable caretaker. The presence of a security guard made sense. The cheapest horse in here was worth about as much as a luxury car with many closer to the cost of a luxury house on the coast. Plus, the lure of prize money also lured plans of sabotage, and Viktor Nikiforov wore the biggest target by far of anyone competing on the circuit today. Yuri’s presence, however, made absolutely no sense as evidenced by the security guard’s searching for any reason not to open the gate to him. 

Had he known that this was Nikiforov’s stable he wouldn’t have even applied. The sparse craigslist ad he had replied to in no way indicated… this. Maybe the fact that an actual living wage on top of free room and board was being offered should have clued him in to something being way off here, but the lure of an actual living wage on top of room and board assured that he didn’t look that Trojan horse in the mouth. His last job had offered a small “converted apartment” in the hayloft that paid him a “weekly stipend” rather than an actual salary. The stipend was roughly enough to pay for groceries and gas and a bit of toothpaste, and that was about it. And when that job had ended suddenly with no savings in the bank, he had found himself up shit creek without a paddle.

His car rattled horribly with the weakened engine mounts he'd been warned about months ago getting closer to dropping his engine right on the tree-lined cobblestone road with every length of gray stone he gained. He drove past acres upon acres of pastures filled with once peaceful horses lined in white, flex rail fencing with curved corners. Viktor had taken such care and expense to make sure his horses were protected yet here he was disturbing their peace and rattling their nerves with his mere presence. He'd managed to avoid this on the interview by parking his car outside the gate, but now his comings and goings would be marked with the snorting horses in the pastures that were on guard and assessing him to see if this monster would strike. He turned at the hill that overlooked the expansive stables covered in off-white stone blocks to take the second path that led to his misguided destination.

He pulled up to the small yellow cottage that he would be living in, and the final blow of, this is a horrible, terrible, certain to end in disaster idea struck him over the head with the sight of Viktor Nikiforov waiting at the front door again in those cruel white breeches and boots and a sapphire blue polo. His car limped to a stop in the driveway, and Viktor stepped forward to greet him with his hand extended for some ungodly reason and a smile that flickered with his eyes being drawn between himself and the car he drove up in.

Viktor clasped his hand and smiled brightly. “Welcome, Yuri! I’m so excited that you’re here. I hope you’re just as excited to be here.”

“Uh, yeah.” Their hands bobbed stupidly up and down.

“Great! I’ll help you unload your things and get settled in, Yuri.”

“That’s really not necessary!” He finally jerked his hand away to wave his hands violently in front of him as his voice squeaked into the cracking found on pubescent teenage boys. “I can do it myself!”

“Nonsense, Yuri. The job will go faster with two of us, yes?”

“Ye-yeah. But it’s okay! Really! I don’t mind it taking longer! I’ll do it myself, please!” Dear god no.

“Ah, but Yuri, teamwork is so important to me. I like to establish with my employees early on that any job they can do as a team is highly encouraged as it’s almost always done more efficiently that way.”

With no way out, he squeaked his acceptance to Viktor’s approving nod then cringed as the man opened the door to his backseat and grabbed two of the trash bags he had shoved his clothes in with only a slight hesitation of his hand. He turned back around with his beaming smile intact and headed for the front door. Yuri peered into his car with the open sleeping bag and pillow splayed over the backseat and the messy stack of books on the floor next to it with scattered bags of junk food in various stages of being consumed filling the rest. It looked exactly like what it was: someone’s temporary home. He grabbed the sleeping bag and pillow and his bag of toiletries and the remaining bag of clothing and followed him in. He paused at the door to remove his shoes just as Viktor was coming back out from what must be the bedroom.

“Ah! I’m sorry.” Viktor glanced sheepishly down at his boots on the hardwood floors. “You’re Japanese. I should have guessed that this would be rude, but these are so hard to take off and put on, and we’re going in and out and…” The helpless look on his face as he trailed off changed his aura in an instant from one of domineering confidence to something closer to a child seeking forgiveness of innocent sins.

His shoulders dropped just a little away from his ears as he gave him a small smile. “No, it’s okay. You’re right it’s kind of a pain when you’re going in and out like this. It’s just a habit for me.” He slipped the shoe back on that was hanging halfway off his foot and stepped into the house. He had to admit that it felt as wrong as a wool sweater two sizes too small, but the smile that returned to Viktor’s face made the discomfort a little more bearable.

He followed Viktor back to the room he had placed the bags in. On the white dresser was a large bouquet of pink peonies, coral and apricot ranunculus, red and yellow poppies, and little white fluffs of baby’s breath filling in the spaces next to an equally large gift basket that looked to be full of ridiculously expensive gourmet foods. The rest of the room had been fitted with an elegant but cozy décor. Soft white bedding and a dove gray blanket folded across the foot of the large bed and taupe shiplap walls gave it an inviting softness. A yellow and gray paisley wingback chair tucked into a nook created by two large, open windows jutting out at an angle overlooked a garden of wildflowers and rustic country flowers as well as the back pastures with horses grazing contentedly on the lush grass of spring. He took a deep breath of the fresh air ruffling the white curtains and even with his eyes closed, he would have been able to picture the scene perfectly with every single note playing clearly through the scent.

When he opened his eyes again, a blush touched his face as he saw Viktor staring at him with a bit of a silly grin on his.

“Are the accommodations to your liking?”

“Uh, yeah, um. It’s great. Thank you.” He shifted the load in his arms that he still hadn’t set down as he had no idea where to put it that wouldn’t make its outofplaceness painfully obvious.

Viktor walked over to the closet and opened the door. “Would here work, Yuri? I don’t think you’ll be needing a sleeping bag anytime soon unless you’re fond of camping.” His tone shifted ever so slightly from his smirking lilt that seemed to be the default to one that was just a shade darker, a bit more insistent.

“Ah, no. I mean, yes. The closet works.” He placed the bag of clothes next to the dresser where Viktor had set the other two then shuffled over and dumped the sleeping bag and now superfluous pillow onto the closet floor.

They made another trip out with Viktor grabbing the books from the floor and stacking them neatly on the seat while Yuri hurriedly shoved the bags of junk food into his arms with his face blushing hard as Viktor watched him. He couldn’t tell if his expression was one of judgment or concern with how little it expanded beyond interest. One of the bags of Cheetos on the top of his mound tumbled off. Viktor grabbed it and set it back on top of the pile with his mouth open like he was about to speak, but then shut it firmly. He was probably second-guessing his desire to say, ‘you know, you’d be a little less tubby if you laid off these snacks and ate some real food instead.’ He’d be right of course. He had gotten a bit out of shape since his last job ended and he had no way to purchase or cook real food. It’d been three months since he started living in this car and while he held back most of the bulk his body would have loved to cling to with daily trips to the gym to shower and work out his stress, his lack of any sort of real nutrition had softened him past anything you could call ‘defined’.

Viktor shifted back out of the car and repositioned himself to grab the tower of books he had stacked on the seat. He took them all in one go making those perfectly toned arms ripple around the deep stack. Was he trying to show off? Whether he was trying to or not, he certainly was as he walked into the house with that sublime ass tightened even more to brace against the weight. Yuri followed him with his far less impressive armload of snacks braced against his soft stomach. He deposited them on the kitchen counter while Viktor brought the books back to the bedroom. Yuri was going to have a roommate here, and his stuff was already claiming parts of the living room with a large flat screen tv, gaming console, and a copy of ‘The King and the Rider’ on the coffee table. Looked good so far. Only a vast movie collection to add to that list. No dirty clothes or other... weirdness.

He grabbed the few pairs of shoes left in his car and deposited them on the shoe rack at the front door then headed back into the bedroom where Viktor was carefully placing the books on the bookshelf after inspecting each cover. He was so absorbed in his task he didn’t notice Yuri come into the room and stop just inside the doorway. Yuri recoiled at the invasion of privacy before curiosity took over and made him just watch quietly. And really, is a book collection really such a private thing? Yes. Nothing could be more revealing about a soul than what they chose to fill it with. Why was Viktor so interested in his? He grabbed the next book and ran his fingertips over the cover as he read it then smiled and placed it on what looked to be a random spot on the shelf. The next one he flipped through casually, stopping at a few points to read a little deeper then placed that one in another random location as well. What are you doing? You can’t just put them in wherever you feel like! There has to be an order! His body tensed more and more as Viktor kept loading the books onto the shelves in completely random locations. His hand paused as he reached for one of the last books in the stack then he flushed at his ears and the back of his neck as he picked it up and read the cover intently. What was so interesting about this- oh no. Viktor turned to the nightstand and opened the drawer to deposit the book he had entirely forgotten he possessed. ‘The Gay Man’s Bible to Self-Love and Mind-Blowing Sex.’ Part self-help primer, part how-to according to the back cover, his old coach had given him this when he came out to her for both practicality and the utter delight she had at watching his face turn sixty shades of red. How could it have been in that stack of books? He hadn’t seen it in years, and it certainly wasn’t there when he moved his stuff into the car. Viktor had reached deeply under the front seat to grab some books that had gotten shoved under there. Oh god. It must have been stuck under there this whole time until Viktor unearthed it. Is jumping in his car and leaving never to return an option here?

Viktor turned back around and blushed hard upon spotting him. “Yuri! I’m… I’m so sorry. I really didn’t mean to… All of this actually.” He locked eyes on him with a deflated expression. “I thought I was just being helpful and getting to know each other a little and I didn’t realize I was… invading your personal life so much. I thought you were refusing my help because you didn’t want to be impolite, and I didn’t think about the fact that you might have had specific reasons for refusing, and I wanted to apologize at the car, but I didn’t know if it would be better just to pretend like I didn’t know or to apologize and well, you know which one I chose. And again, here, I didn’t mean to invade your privacy. I was just curious as to the type of books you read and, again, trying to be helpful. I’m very sorry, Yuri.”

His hands tightened at his sides as his mortification boiled over into anger. “You should be sorry! What kind of a monster puts books on a shelf with absolutely no order?”

“Excuse me?”

“I was watching you. You put the fiction and non-fiction all mixed up together, and some of them are just lying in stacks, and I know there’s no way that could be alphabetized with how little you looked back and forth between the covers as you put them in place. And… and I am gay, but that book is not mine! Well, it’s mine, but I didn’t buy it! Someone gave it to me, and I completely forgot I even had it as I haven’t touched it in years! And I haven’t even read it! And I thought I lost it somewhere, but apparently, you found it and…” With his rant run out his anger subsided to let mortification resume its natural lead.

“Hold on. You seem to be very mistaken about something, Yuri.” He grabbed the last few books and shoved them into his disorder on the shelves. “Okay come here, Yuri.”

He walked over to the shelf and stood next to Viktor. The books had been arranged by color, and the neat stacks lying on their sides helped to create bookends where the books would have otherwise flopped over. It wasn’t clean and logical, but it was… pretty. With its own unique order.

“I’m no monster, Yuri Katsuki. I won’t stand for such false accusations.” That insistent tone had returned as he gazed down at him.

He pushed his glasses back up that had slipped down his nose. “I… I apologize.”

“Apology accepted.” Right back into that smirk that ran straight through his voice up to his eyes, with only a slight pause on his lips. “Those open spaces I left are perfect for filling in with your photos of friends and family and knickknacks and such. Those little things you collect throughout your life that don’t fit anywhere else but here.”

“I don’t collect things. And I don’t have any framed pictures or anything like that.”

“Really? How do you collect nothing throughout a life? How do you see the people who are far away from you? Or does everyone important to you live close by?”

“There’s no one close by, but I have pictures on my phone. I don’t need to get them printed.”

“When’s the last time you looked at them?”

“Huh?”

“Where’s the confusion? That seems like a pretty straightforward question to me.”

“Umm… I don’t know.”

“More than a year?”

“Yeah. I see the new ones they send me on occasion, but I guess I don’t really look back at them.”

“That’s what I figured. Most of us never do. That’s why the framed ones are needed to be there to remind us even when our lives get too busy to look back. You should consider getting some of your favorites printed.”

“Maybe.”

“Is there anything else that needs to come in? Anything in the trunk?”

“No. This is it.”

“This. Everything you own is what we carried in in two trips.” Viktor looked around the room in shocked wonder.

“Yeah, this is it.”

A frown crinkled his face for a moment before his bright smile flashed back on. “Well then, I guess now we have time to go for a ride, yes? What level are you at and what style of riding do you do? I have plenty of horses that should suit you.”

“I don’t ride.” His voice dropped in every area where a voice can be measured.

Confusion settled on his face. “Yes, you do.”

“No. I’m certain that I don’t.” His hands tightened again.

Viktor gestured to the books. “But… ‘Rider Biomechanics.’ ‘For the Good of the Horse.’ ‘For the Good of the Rider.’ ‘Ride With Your Mind,’” he listed off titles from the shelves. “Shall I go on?”

“Those are old. I don’t read them anymore.”

“You don’t carry anything through your life but the clothes on your back and old books that you don’t read on a subject you don’t do?”

“I don’t ride, Viktor. I’m a little tired. Can I have some time to settle in, please?”

“Right. Of course.” His toe kicked lightly at the honey-colored wood floors as he glanced down. He looked back up, and his domineering confidence resumed its natural place. “We agreed that you were starting next Monday. Is that correct, Yuri?”

“I can start tomorrow if you want.”

“I thought you wanted time to settle in, Yuri.”

“I’ll be settled by tomorrow.”

“Okay then. Tomorrow it is. Come meet me in my office at six am, and I’ll go over the procedures with you, Yuri.”

“I’ll be there.” Six am. The worst part of his job.

They stared each other down in an awkward silence before Viktor cleared his throat. “Right. Six am. I’ll see you then, Yuri. Please let me know if there’s anything you need. I’d like you to feel comfortable here. Enjoy the rest of your day, Yuri.” He nodded once firmly and turned for the door.

“Viktor?” he heard himself call out as he turned to watch him go.

He stopped and turned back. “Yes?”

“You… you use my name a lot. When you’re speaking.”

A bit of that warm smile returned to his face. “Oh. That’s because I wanted to make sure you remembered it this time. It’s too beautiful to let it be forgotten.”

Chapter Text

He spent the rest of the afternoon unloading his clothes into the dresser and washing the dirty ones in the luxuriously convenient washer and dryer in the closet in the hallway and putting the empty snack wrappers in the trash and the full ones tucked into a cabinet. With nothing left to do to settle in, he went to the bookshelf and stared at it for far too long before selecting a spy novel and flopping onto the bed with it. He read a few pages, but something in him felt restless. He considered going to the gym, but with payday still at least week out, if he was lucky, he had to moderate his gas consumption. A run around the property seemed nice, but Viktor was likely out there, and he didn’t feel like running into him just now. He looked over at the gift basket that had a nest of temptingly blushed pears along with various chocolates and crackers and other things he couldn’t yet identify. Was he hungry? Yeah. Sorta. Hungry, but not for food. His eyes fell over to the nightstand. He opened the drawer and pulled out the book which had yet to be opened but was thoroughly tattered from being shoved somewhere and forgotten. ‘The Gay Man’s Bible to Self-Love and Mind-Blowing Sex.’ God, just the title alone was enough to induce a week of cringing. Who writes this cheesy shit? Apparently, someone named Christophe Giacometti. Yeah, sounds like the name of someone who would be a sex expert.

He didn’t need a book on loving himself or whatever trite, feel-good angle the author wanted to take there, but while mind-blowing sex sounded rather hyperbolic, at least it was a topic of interest. Or it would have been had he not been a twenty-four-year-old virgin whose closest thing to a sexual experience would be when he kissed a boy when he was thirteen by the pool as test to see if he really was gay which had only led to more confusion when the kiss was awful, and so he determined that he was not. It wasn’t until he was eighteen that he finally settled on, ‘Yeah, I guess I really am gay, and first kisses suck.’ That was the last forward progression in his sexual life. I’m gay, and first kisses suck. What a great summary. So perfectly lacking of anything you could call real insight into this world of which billions of people strived to know as much as possible. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to know. It had just gotten pushed to the back burner with his awkward shyness making it a difficult world to break into and far more pressing matters in his life to attend to. Well, he had a bit of time now. Might as well try to learn something. He opened the first of the pages of the slim volume that were curled up in the top corner from being shoved up against something for god knows how long and cracked open the musty pages releasing a shower of dust that had been trapped inside.

Congratulations! You’re gay! Really? Trying a little hard here, aren’t we? Or at least I’m assuming so as you’ve picked up this oh-so-very helpful manual for those who are. Maybe you’re just curious and looking for some information on the fulfilling sex life of a gay man in which case, welcome! I hope my little manual here will satisfy that curiosity. Now granted, this is all from my experiences and research, and the one thing you can be certain of is that everyone’s experiences will be different, but I have poured as much care as I can into making this a good jumping off point for people who can then fill in their own details along the way.

The first thing you should know about gay sex is that it’s almost never a smooth introduction for the newly awakened gay into this richly fulfilling world. So, gays are like little chicks hatching from an egg or something? Straight sex can be an awkward delve into the waters as well, but at least they have the support of an entire culture approving of their actions as the most natural thing in the world. For many gays, it just doesn’t happen like that. So, that marks our first detour from the world of sex into the world of gay sex. It typically has a lot more baggage to carry. How gay men carry this is, of course, a personal matter, but again, to give you that starting off point, let's categorize it somewhat.

  1. “I’m gay, bitches!” This category is the one I fall into. We’re here. We’re queer. Get used to it. It’s this group of gays who screamed that slogan at the top of their lungs from the depths of their sequined booty shorts. A war cry against all that tries to shame and silence them for being who they are, they’ll shove it in your face so hard you have no choice but to embrace it or run in horror. They’re bold. They reject your social standards for what it means to be a man. They talk about their incredibly gay sex lives with gusto. (See what I mean about this being my category?) The upsides? These are the champions of the gay community making us known, forcing social agendas to open and accept us, making us impossible to just shove away in some dusty closet and keep books like these from the shelves. The downsides? Being gay tends to be their main identity. “What are you doing this weekend?” “Being gay.” “What’s your favorite book?” “The Gay Man’s Bible” (Why thank you!) “What are your dreams for the future?” “To be gayer.” It can be hard to get to know them as just a person for their lovers, friends, and themselves. My advice if you’re in this category? Don’t forget that you’re a person first and a gay person second. Definitely not this one.
  2. The closeted gay. Oh, this category just makes my heart ache. These are the ones who have chosen to hide their gay identity. How deeply they hide it depends on the person, but it can range from “I’m just not telling anyone” to “I hate the gays so much! Abominations all of them!” This deep end of the spectrum goes past any advice I’m capable of giving, and I wish them much soul-searching, but these are the ones that are the most dangerous. These are usually the ones who’ve made the intro into being gay so rough for many of us. While I doubt any readers would recognize themselves here, if by chance you’ve picked up this book to throw it in the bonfire and it just so happened to fall open to this page, and you recognize yourself in this deep end of the spectrum, get help, please. For our sake and yours. Life’s too short to spend with so much hate. For those that are on the lighter end of the spectrum, how are you navigating this world between your “real life” and your “gay life”? Are all of your lovers forced into some form of denial as well to appease your need to hide? Do you simply not have any lovers and stick to just casual hookups that can leave one feeling a bit empty without that connection? Do you just completely neglect this part of yourself and leave yourself feeling unfulfilled and living only half a life? There are no upsides. Denial of one’s self in any form is poison to a fulfilling and happy life. You don’t have to start screaming it ala category one (unless you want to), but you should consider at least opening up the truth of a major part of your identity. He wasn’t in the closet. His family knew, and he wouldn’t deny any questions about it so why does this last part feel… so close to home?
  3. The party gay. Who’s got time to be serious? Life’s meant to be enjoyed. They’re all about loving being gay. They don’t scream quite as loud as category one, but they are there in the second line, living it up and drinking it down. Friends with most due to their enthusiastic nature and willingness to lead the group to the best of times, they make being gay seem like such a joy. They make straights sigh with a wisp of envy that they can’t be so wildly fabulous. The upsides? They shine such a happy light on this world. They make us seen as not just easy to accept, but people to make your best friend and go shopping with. The downsides? Life is inevitably going to get tough sometimes, and without that shimmering bubble, their life force fades. Connections built at parties and over glasses of champagne can be too weak to hold the real stuff. My advice is to make sure you have something substantial in your life that you can rely on and make sure you nurture it too. If you don’t, you might look back when you need it and find it withered.
  4. The married couple. One of them is quiet and down to earth. One of them is fabulous. Both of them are always down for a morning of antiquing followed by brunch. They have dogs or their beautiful adopted/surrogate children that they attend to with a devotion unlike you’ve ever seen. They’re just your normal, average couple living their lives with just a little more flair. The upsides? When you see this couple cooing over their beloved dog or fighting to get their children access to the best of life, it’s hard to see them as anything other than love. The downsides? They can cling to that “ideal married couple” image just a little too hard. Their flaws get reflected out to every other gay couple, and they know it. Bless you, gentlemen, for trying so hard for the sake of all of us, but please keep in mind that you don’t have to be perfect. Acceptance based on a false image isn’t acceptance at all.
  5. The “I’m not like other gays.” Their identity isn’t all about being gay nor do they deny it. They just live their lives either quietly surprising their friends and colleagues with their gayness or having them shout “I knew it!” when he casually introduces his boyfriend depending on how gay he appears to them. The upsides? They’re often well-rounded people with many hobbies and interests. They make being gay look so… normal. Like it’s just one of those variations of life that has no real bearing on who a person is any more than their name or age or gender or eye color, but still helps define them all the same. The downsides? It can be a little lonely here. You’re not fully in either community, and those who really relate to you and who you relate to yourself are rare. There’s a sense of alienation from both as you’re right on the line. My advice? You don’t need to relate to everyone, but seek out at least one deep and meaningful connection that makes you feel understood.

Of course, this list shouldn’t be used to shove everyone into a neat little box, nor is it exhaustive, but I think most of you will find some connection with at least one of them. You might notice that there’s no mention of drag queens or twinks or bears. Those will come in later, but how you relate to being gay is I think more important than-

(3) A door shut and someone walked in. He tucked the book back into the nightstand and went to investigate. A young man with caramel skin and deep brown eyes and black hair was just slipping off his shoes. He gave him the friendliest smile he’s ever seen on a person’s face as he waved.

“You must be Yuri! Viktor told me you’d be coming in today. I’m Phichit. It’s so nice to meet you!” He stuck his hand out with his smile getting even wider. Geez, he can practically see the sunshine spewing from his mouth.

He grasped his hand and tried to return the smile equally but knew he could never match that level of friendliness. Though, something about him did make his smile quite easy to find. “Yeah, that’s me. Yuri. It’s nice to meet you too. So, I guess we’re going to be living together, huh?”

“Yeah! I’m so happy! You look so normal.”

Yuri laughed. “Normal? Was your last roommate not normal?”

“He never smiled. Not once. I swear to god. I lived with him for two years here. Not one smile. It was creepy. I mean, he was a good worker and very neat and quiet, but I was a little afraid he was going to murder me in my sleep for no reason other than he got bored.”

He laughed again. “Well, I promise I won’t be murdering you in your sleep because I’m bored. Maybe if you wake me up a single second before five forty-five am, but not because I’m bored.”

Phichit laughed with far more enthusiasm than his joke deserved. “Not a morning person I take it?”

“God no. What would it take to inspire homicidal tendencies in you just so I know what to be on guard for?”

Phichit put his finger to his chin while he thought. “My hamsters. Don’t mess with my hamsters.”

“You have hamsters?! Cute! Can I see?”

Phichit tossed his arm around his shoulders and led him to his bedroom. “Yuri, this is the start of a beautiful friendship. As long as I remember that five forty-five am rule that is.”

“Yeah, that’d be a terrible way to end this.” 

They played with the hamsters on the floor of the living room forming a circle with their feet pressed together so the three gold, silver, and bronze colored hamsters could run around a little more freely with both of them on the eye out for escapees. They chatted and got to know each other better, and his first impression of this kind, happy boy only deepened further. Phichit seemed to be delighted as well to have someone to help keep his mischievous charges in check and a roommate who most likely wouldn’t murder him in his sleep.

“Viktor said I’d like you, but I wasn’t too sure as he also said that about the last guy. Though he did seem much more insistent this time. I’m so glad that he was right. I’m thrilled you’re my new roommate. We should have a party to celebrate!”

“A party?”

“Yeah, with the other guys who work here. This is the only cottage on this end of the stable, but there’s a cluster of a few more on the west end. I’m not sure if you saw that yet. They’re all really great. There’s Mila and Emil who live together, but they’re not dating at all with Emil being oh so very gay and Leo and Georgi who are the other set of roomies. I’ll text them to come over! I’m sure they’d love to meet you.”

“Oh. Um… I’m a little tired tonight…”

“Oh, right. You just moved in. Of course, you’re tired. Sorry. I didn’t even think about that. Next weekend then? Then we can plan a real party. I mean, you’ll meet them before then obviously, but you probably won’t have much of a chance to get to know each other yet.”

“Uh, yeah. Next weekend should be fine.” He tried to show real enthusiasm for Phichit’s sake, but it was a tough act to put up.

Phichit’s smile dampened just a bit as he read his lack of enthusiasm. “Do you not want to? That’s fine too.”

“No, no. It sounds great! A party. I’ll admit that I don’t go to many parties, but I’d love to get to know you all so it sounds like it’d be a lot of fun!” That was a blatant lie, but when you have a choice between lying and kicking a puppy, what’s one to do but smile and lie through their teeth?

“Okay, great! I’ll text them now to give them a heads up. Can you do double duty on watch for a second?”

“Sure thing.” He picked up one of the little fuzz balls and brought it up to his face to give little scritches on his tiny chubby cheek. The distinct shutter click of a phone camera sounded, and he looked up just to hear it close again on what must be the stupidest expression he’s ever made. He's certain his mouth was hanging open at the very least.

“You’re so adorable! Let’s get one together so I can post about my new bestest roomie.” He gathered up the other two hamsters and handed one over to him then came next to him and held the phone out at arm’s length with the third hamster between their faces. “Smile!”

Yuri sucks at smiling on cue. Phichit learned this after what was supposed to be a simple selfie snap turned into a fifteen-minute photo shoot trying to get just one photo that wasn't Phichit looking adorable as all hell and Yuri with a stupidly slacking face that looked like he didn't even understand the concept of a camera.

“Oh, I know. Just hold still, Yuri.” Phichit held his camera out and held his hamster up into frame then gave Yuri a kiss on the cheek as the shutter snapped. Phichit grinned and held up the phone for him to inspect. The photo had Phichit with his adorable scrunched up kissing face and Yuri’s eyes wide with surprise and a hint of a blush and a smile. “See? Perfect.”

“Yea-yeah.” He gave a small smile. “It’s cute.”

Phichit beamed. “I’m so glad you think so. I was taking a bit of a risk there. Let’s try another now that you know how to smile.” He held the camera out again and this time managed to capture them with their heads pressed together and surrounded by hamsters and that same blushing smile still on Yuri’s face. He posted them to his social media accounts and then spent the next hour setting up Yuri’s own accounts and teaching him how to use them after spending the twenty minutes before that gasping in horror that they didn’t already exist. With his ‘internet presence’ now loaded up with pictures of him and Phichit and his family in Japan already somehow connected to Phichit and chatting with him like they were old friends and horrifyingly sending old pictures of him to have a lifetime supply for posting to something he called “Throwback Thursdays,” Phichit’s reality seemed comfortably back in place while Yuri’s was left reeling.

“I don’t know about you, but I’m getting hungry. What do you say to pizza and a movie?” Phichit asked.

“Uh, I’m not all that hungry right now. I’ve got a gift basket though from Viktor that we can share if you want. It looked like there was some good stuff in there.” Plus, it’s free.

Phichit’s eyes widened just a little. “Viktor gave you a gift basket?”

“Yeah. I kinda thought it was a welcome to the team type thing? Is that not something he usually does?”

“Um, not that I know of.” His mouth formed into a little pout that twisted to the side as he thought. “But, yeah! Let’s do that. Do you have a preference for movies?”

“Whatever you like is fine with me. Why don’t you put it on and I’ll grab the food?”

“Yeah, sounds good.” He collected his hamsters to put them away, still seeming to be thinking over something.

He went into his bedroom and grabbed the heavy basket and paused at the bouquet of flowers. If a gift basket wasn’t his standard dealings, the flowers most certainly weren’t either. He decided not to ask Phichit’s confirmation of this and closed the door behind him. He set the basket down on the coffee table as Phichit was rummaging in the kitchen.

“Do you drink wine, Yuri?”

“Not very often, but yeah.”

“Red or white?”

“Um, whatever you want.”

“I have both open. Just tell me which one you want.”

He eyed the ripe pears. “White. Thanks.”

“Is there chocolate in there?”

“Yeah, lots of it.”

“Awesome.” Phichit came back out with his beaming smile leading the way and a glass of white and a glass of red in his hands. He handed the white over to Yuri and took a sip of his own to bury the surprise on his face as he spotted the basket. He gulped his sip down and pressed the glass to his chest. “Wow. That’s huge. You must have really impressed him on your interview.”

“I so very highly doubt that.” He took a sip of his wine then set it down to start tearing off the clear cellophane. “I honestly have no idea how I even got the job. I was such a wreck.”

“Really?” Phichit grabbed the remote and sat down next to him.

“Yeah,” he laughed, “I got so flustered, I couldn’t even tell him my name. He had to tell me. And that was the high point.”

“Was it the eyes or the ass?” He had the same smile, but his voice had a funny little glitch when trying to match it.

“No! Neither! It- It wasn’t like that at all!”

“No? You’d be the only one then. It was the eyes for me, but I was at least able to remember my name.”

Yuri sighed. “The ass.”

Phichit nodded. “He does have a nice ass. I should ask him what his exercise routine is.”

“Why? Yours is already more than fine.”

Phichit’s eyes widened along with a startled smile.

“Uh, I mean… I didn’t really mean to say that.”

“Oh. That’s disappointing.”

“No! I mean. It’s-it’s a nice ass. I just didn’t mean to say it.”

“Don’t be such a tease telling someone they have a nice ass and then trying to back out of it. That’s just playing cruel games.” He smiled and took another drink.

“Okay, yeah. You’re right. You have a very nice ass, and nothing needs to be done to it.”

“Well… I wouldn’t quite say nothing… I can think of a few things that could be done…” He winked, and as Yuri choked on his blush, he grabbed a box of chocolates and popped one into his mouth. “Mmm… so good. Want one?”

“Uhm… I think I’m gonna start with the pears.” He grabbed one from the basket and bit right into the rosy blush that gave way to a creamy center flooded with juice that dripped down his chin and into the hand he lifted to catch it. The fresh, sweet taste seeped over his tongue, and his eyes rolled back as he moaned. “So good. Oh my god, that may be the best thing I’ve ever eaten other than katsudon. I’m such a mess. Sorry.” He tried to slurp up the juice before it dripped onto his shirt but that didn’t work out so well for him as most things tend to go.

Phichit’s eyes were fixed on him with an intensity that made him blush as he looked over.

“No, no. It’s okay, Yuri. I’ll, uh, get you a napkin.” He got up and went to the kitchen, coming back a moment later with a roll of paper towels and the bottles of wine, flipping off the lights as he went except for a small lamp next to Yuri that he left on so they wouldn’t stumble through the dark. He gave him a sweetened smirk. “I didn’t know if you were going to need more than one.”

“Probably. These are insanely good. You should have one.” He took another bite of the best thing he’s eaten in years. “So good.”

“No, I think I’ll save them for you.” He popped another chocolate into his mouth and picked up the remote with his eyes staying rather intent on him. “Have you seen ‘The King and The Rider’ yet?”

“Nope.”

“It’s my favorite. I think you’ll like it.” He grabbed the coffee table and dragged it closer so they wouldn’t have to reach for the food and drinks making them both have to lift their legs and sit sideways on the couch. “Mind if I use you as a pillow? It’s a little awkward trying to sit up like this.”

“Um, no that’s fine. I’m still kinda a mess though.”

“I don’t mind. Really.” He nestled into the space between Yuri’s legs and the couch and leaned against his arm.

“Better?”

“Yeah, thanks. You make a great pillow.”

He bit his lip. “Yeah, I should work out more and lay off the junk food.”

“No! That’s not what I meant! Not at all! I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean for you to take that like that at all. You’re so hot, Yuri. I just meant that you’re comfortable. It feels really easy being close to you.”

“Uhm… did you just say…”

“That you’re hot? Yeah. I did. And I meant it. I won’t be as cruel as you were.” He smiled and nudged his side with his elbow.

“Right. Um. Movie?”

“Yeah. So, I’ll do my best to stay quiet, but I apologize if I start saying the lines with the actors.”

He laughed. “It must really be your favorite. How many times have you seen it?”

“Oh god. It can’t be counted. I could recite this entire thing from memory.”

“Ah, I’m looking forward to it then if it comes with such a high recommendation.”

Phichit smiled brightly and hit play. He gave up on his promise about fifteen minutes into the movie and started muttering the lines under his breath which slowly gave way to full on mimicking of the actor’s facial expressions and gestures as the wine bottles and the food disappeared into their now bloated bellies. Yuri couldn’t help but laugh as Phichit became more animated, and his antics became a part of the movie itself making it so much better than the original. Not that the original was bad, but Phichit was just sweet and adorable the whole way through making his version utterly charming. At some point, Yuri’s arm ended up around Phichit and Phichit had his head rested against his chest as they munched on the chocolates perched on Yuri’s stomach and stupidly polished off the wine. The last song of the movie played out, and Phichit stretched back across him, looking up at the ceiling, his fists thrust into the sky as he sighed.

“Such a good movie! I love it so much!” He dropped his hands back down and turned to look up at him. “Tell me you loved it.”  

Yuri smiled. “I liked the movie, but I loved your version of the movie. It made it so much better.”

Phichit looked up at him with a creased expression. “I’m not sure if I’m pleased with that answer or not. I mean, I love that you loved my acting, but you only liked the movie?”

“I loved the movie. I was just trying to say I loved watching it with you adding to it even more.”

“Oh. That is a much better answer. That… that is a swoon-worthy answer.”

He laughed. “Swoon-worthy? Nothing I say could ever be called that.” He rummaged for a chocolate, bumping into Phichit’s hand on the way. “Oh, sorry. I think there’s only one left. You take it.”

“No, no. You take it.”

“Are you sure?”

“Absolutely.”

Yuri would normally protest a little harder, but the chocolate was too good to pass up. He popped it into his mouth and bit through the shell into the luscious center.

“On second thought…”

Yuri learned that second kisses were absolutely nothing like first kisses. First kisses tasted like chlorine and someone else’s spit and felt like live fish in your mouth flopping as they searched for a way into your throat. Second kisses tasted of the thousands of flavors buried within a chocolate. Berries and vanilla and toasted almonds. Second kisses had hands clutching gently and surprise. Second kisses felt like a gentle caress and a question and an answer of more. He liked second kisses, and if he had enough sense, he would have asked for it to be a little longer when Phichit pulled back to smile. Turns out though that third kisses are also pretty nice and last a little longer and taste a whole lot like sunshine and smiles.

“Um, I’m really glad I met you.” Phichit gave him a hesitant smile. “I really like you, if you can’t tell.”

“Yeah, uh, I think I got that.” He blinked with his wide eyes for a moment to process what had just happened then looked down and smiled, brushing his cheek with his hand. “I really like you too.” Something about him had just felt easy right from the start, and their kiss only brought that feeling deeper. He felt… comfortable. He gave him a gentle kiss and smiled. “We should go to bed though. Early morning.”

“Yeah,” Phichit nodded, “you’re right, sadly.”

They got up and climbed over the coffee table leaving their mess for tomorrow. Phichit blushed and waved as he turned to his room. Yuri went to his, barely having enough sense to turn on his alarm before his mind shut down and he passed out until the wicked crack of dawn.

Chapter Text

(4) The blinding sun dropped Yuri’s stomach like a rock. “Oh no. Oh god no. Please no.” He scrambled for his phone and his glasses and confirmed that his life was going exactly as expected with the time reading eleven fourteen am. “Fuck.” His heart joined his stomach as he flew out of bed and threw his clothes on and sprinted to the door. He slipped his boots on and flung open the door, slamming it shut behind him as he tore down the gravel pathway leading to the stable. He raced straight into Viktor’s office without stopping to knock and of course, (why wouldn’t he be?) he was on the phone. Viktor jolted in surprise, and Yuri dropped to his knees and started bowing so hard and so fast as he prayed he would knock himself out just to get a little relief from his nightmare of a life.

“Uh… I’m going to have to call you back.” He tapped off the phone and watched for a moment as Yuri repeatedly dropped his forehead to the ground. “So, what is this, Yuri?”

“I’m so, so, so, so, so sorry! I swear I set my alarm, and I don’t know why it didn’t go off, and I am so incredibly sorry!”

“Yeah, I’m getting that you’re sorry, but what is this?” He swirled his hand in the direction of Yuri’s prostrations. 

“Um, it’s called dogeza. It’s something we do in Japan when we couldn’t possibly be sorrier, and really it’s not done much anymore which I think makes it show just how sorry you really are when you do it, and I’m so sorry!”

“I see. Well, perhaps in the future a little less wine and kissing in the evenings will help you get out of bed in the mornings.” His voice regained that darker tone only this time far less subtly.

Yuri froze up on his knees, staring at Viktor with yet another stunned, wide-eyed expression. “Um… How- how did…”

“How did I know? Your new roommate loves sharing on social media and doesn’t seem to mind that I’m on his list too. I’m glad you two are getting along so well.” He sounded anything but glad.

“Oh my god. I knew about the photo of him kissing my cheek, but he shared photos of the other kisses too?”

He sat back in his chair. “Other kisses? I was referring to the one with him kissing your cheek. There were other kisses as well?”

His face heated to five thousand degrees. “Um…”

“I see.” The darkened look on his face bored a hole straight through his chest. “Well, you certainly wasted no time.”

“No! It’s not like that at all! He just kissed me! That’s it! We didn’t- I haven’t even- Nothing happened!”

He held his hand up. “I don’t want to know about the details of your sex life with Phichit. I have no official policy against it, so I’m not going to stop you from doing what pleases you.” He ran his index finger over the back of the gold horse statue next to his laptop. “I want you to be happy here, Yuri.” He looked back up at him, and the gentle look in his eyes knocked the wind out of him.

“I- I don’t have a sex life with Phichit! It was just a kiss! I wasn’t expecting him to do that!”

Viktor’s expression hardened as he sat up in his seat and leaned onto his elbows. “Did he do something that you weren’t okay with? Do I need to address this with him?”

“No! I- I didn’t mind the kiss! Don’t- I’m not trying to say he did something wrong just that…”

“Just that what, Yuri?”

“Just that… I’m so sorry!” Because things weren’t quite ‘Yuri’s life’ enough already, he burst into tears and started sobbing on his knees, not hiding his face at all.

“Yuri!” Viktor jumped up and ran over to him then froze just in front of him with his hand stuck in the air like he was second guessing an impulse to use it to comfort him.

“I’m so sorry, Viktor!” His words sputtered through his tears, and he lifted his arm to wipe his face across it.

“What exactly are you sorry for?”

“For being late. For- For… For I don’t know, but I’m so sorry!”

Viktor stood back studying him. “How can you be sorry for something that you don’t even know what it is?”

“I don’t know, but I am! Please…”

“Please what? What is it that you’d like me to do? Forgive you?”

He shook his head. “Punish me.” He looked up in time to see Viktor’s composed expression fall apart. “Punish me, Viktor. I need to make it up to you.”

“Make what up to me?” His voice was breathy, cautious.

“Every- Everything.”

“Being late?”

Yuri nodded.

“Interrupting my phone call?”

He nodded again.

“Kissing Phichit?”

His head gave a slight jerk as he looked down at his hands clenched on his knees.

“What else?”

Fresh tears started from his eyes as he looked up at him. “Everything.”

Viktor stepped closer and bent down to lift his chin with his fingers. “What else is there to forgive, Yuri?”

“All of it.” His voice trembled. “All of it. I’m so sorry. Everything. I’m so sorry for everything.”

Viktor stared at him with his intensity bringing more tears to the surface. “You’re quite a sight like this, you know.”

“Sor- Sorry.” He moved to wipe his face across his arm, but Viktor grabbed it to stop him.

“I didn’t say it was a bad sight.” They stayed watching each other with Yuri’s heart pounding hard while Viktor thought over his next move.

Viktor stood back up to study him again with his index finger pressed to his lips and his elbow resting on his folded arm. “Okay, Yuri. I’ll punish you.”

Relief pulsed through his veins as he bowed his head. “Thank you.” He looked up to watch him as he decided on his punishment feeling utterly helpless to his whims knowing he’d accept whatever it was he decided on.

Viktor handed him a tissue. “Wipe your face, and join me for lunch.”

He clutched the tissue in his fist and studied it for a moment before he looked back up. “Huh?”

“There are some things we need to go over if you really want me to punish you. If you just want a slap on the wrist, you can consider this an official warning of which you get three before you’re terminated.”

“What- what do you mean by really punish me?”

“That’s what needs to be discussed. How badly do you need this, Yuri? Will the warning suffice or are you joining me to discuss how far to take this?” He offered his hand.

Yuri stared at it then carefully tested its strength as he slowly pulled himself to his feet. Viktor held steady with a slight smile at Yuri’s first hesitant grasp, and he couldn’t make sense of whether that smile was predatory or soothing. Viktor handed him another tissue before letting his hand drop and walking past him to the door. “Come with me, Yuri.”

He hesitated just a moment before following him, quickly dabbing at the tears on his face.

(5) Viktor walked without looking back to see if he was following up to the house that sat high on its peak overlooking the stables below nestled in the hills that rolled out of the Smoky Mountains like they’d been carried by the fog to wash over the land their sinuous, rippling texture. Castle was the only appropriate word to describe the building Viktor led him to. With a stone front and turrets and the swooping roofs of ancient Russian castles, the house looked like it had been plucked straight from the hands of a long-dead Czar without care for his potential wrath. Viktor opened the door and gave him an amused smile as Yuri froze, staring up at the towering building from several feet back.

“Forgive my father.” He gestured vaguely to the building and its contents that lay beyond the door. “I’ve inherited his dramatics in both house and personality. Though, I don’t think mine are quite as bad as his. Come in, Yuri.” He noted Yuri’s continued hesitation. “I assure you, it’s safe. I only want to speak to you and have you fill out some forms.”

“Uh, okay.” He stepped into the towering white foyer slathered in gold swirls and marble statues of naked men and women and removed his boots.

Viktor gave him a crooked smile and strode into the house with his boots clicking across the wooden floors made of large, honey-colored squares lined with thick bands of deeper toffee around the edges. “This way.” He hooked his finger and led him to a room with espresso wood walls and beams arching over drops of crystal strung up in chandeliers. Tapestries hung over a gilded fireplace alongside oil paintings of historical figures. An arched window covering most of the back wall sat behind an ornately carved mahogany desk and leather wingback chairs flanking a lush fern bathed in light giving a breath of fresh green in the overwhelming space. “Sit, Yuri.” He gestured to the chair across the desk from him that was a burnished sienna leather with two carved lion heads on the top posts. Viktor sat down at the rolling wingback behind the desk and opened his laptop. “Give me just a few minutes here.” He clicked a few buttons and printed out several sheets of paper then grabbed the top one and looked at it and frowned. He grabbed a pen and started writing in some new lines. After a moment of consideration for the rest of the top page, he handed over the stack of papers. “Please fill these out for me. The top one is a guide for which activities you’re comfortable having me do to you. Start by marking that one with a zero in the space next to the activity if it’s is a hard no for you; you will not do it with me under any circumstances. A one if you might allow it under the right conditions which we will discuss. A two if you think you might enjoy it or will tolerate it. A three if it’s something you deeply desire or have a strong interest in.”

His eyes jumped first to the sections that had things like ‘anal plugs’ and ‘anal fisting’ and ‘anal sex’ down to ‘dildos’ and ‘swinging.’ His eyes widened as he read over the page. “What is this?”

“You said you wanted to be punished; I need to know what exactly you mean by that.”

“I- I don’t know how I want you to punish me. I… didn’t think I’d have to tell you what…”

“Oh, don’t worry. I will decide how to punish you. This is just to help guide me in the right direction and make sure I don’t go too far and do anything severely damaging to you.”

He looked back to the page down to where Viktor had written in his own activities including ‘Horseback riding – jumping, Horseback riding – on the flat, Horseback riding – on a lunge.’ He picked up the pen and wrote a zero next to jumping and on the flat and started the first curve of the zero for ‘on a lunge’ then glanced up to Viktor who was watching him with casual interest that hardly felt casual at all with the sheer power of his beauty. His pen flicked down in a straight line drawing the one with his eyes still locked on Viktor. He looked back at the page, and that solitary, wobbly line started to make his head spin. He looked back to the top of the page that had another section labeled ‘Torture’ which began with ‘beating’ through various other forms and tools and locations. His heart thudded wildly in his chest, and he had no idea how to interpret that, whether it was the cool clench of fear or… something warmer.

“Don’t think too hard on it. It’s not set in stone. We can always adjust it as needed. These are just your limits and desires for right now. And if you’re ever uncomfortable with an activity either before we start or during, you’ll be free to end it.”

“What… I don’t even know. I haven’t… anything.”

“Are you a virgin, Yuri?”

He ducked his head and blushed.

“That’s not really an answer. If you want me to punish you, you have to be willing to communicate with me. I’m willing to punish you, not abuse you, and without your honesty, the line between those is too blurry for me to proceed.”

He looked back up with heat burning the tops of his cheeks and ears. “Yes. I’m a virgin.”

“In every sense of the word or do you have some experiences?”

“Um. Two kisses. Or three I guess. One when I was thirteen and then two last night. That’s it.”

“Thank you for your honesty. That’s a little surprising, but I can work with that. Give that back to me. It needs some more editing.” He slid the paper back, and Viktor started scratching out sections of the paper then looked it over carefully and drew a few more lines through other scattered items and wrote in a few more items. With a final glance over the page, he slid the paper back across the desk. “Don’t worry about the parts I crossed out. Those don’t apply in our situation just yet.”

He looked over the list that had most of the sexual items crossed out, though, a few tamer ones remained. “Would- would I be… naked for these?”

“If you note, I did add a few more items at the bottom including your comfort level with full nudity. Mark it as you desire. If you mark it as a zero or a one, all of these would be done with you only stripped down to your underwear except for the cold shower and self-pleasuring, both of which would require full nudity for obvious reasons. And as you can see there, you can choose your comfort level with having me observe them or not.” He gestured to the page where the options for either alone or being watched written in next to it in his own hand.

His heartbeat flooded into his throat as he wrote a three next to ‘being watched’ and a two next to ‘unobserved’ for both the shower and pleasuring himself. He looked back up, and Viktor made no change in his casual interest expression. He added a three next to the nudity question then started reading over the list and tried marking down the most accurate numbers he could going off nothing but his imagination through a list that was far more extensive and included items way beyond anything his imagination had ever even considered. His pen hesitated next to ‘electrical stimulation.’

“If you don’t know what something is, ask.”

“This?” He tapped at the word, and Viktor leaned over slightly to read it.

“Ah, that would be an electrical current applied to your body with various strengths from mild tingles up to sharp zaps or deep pulses. The sensation could be described as anywhere from ticklish to pleasurable to painful. The intensity would be modulated according to your comfort level as is true for all of these. The location will vary though you can always set limits on where if you mark it as a one so we remember to discuss them. I’ll be avoiding any direct contact with your asshole or genitals for all of these, however, so if that’s your only limit, feel free to mark it as you wish.”

His blush hardened again. “What- why…”

“Why would I avoid those areas?”

He nodded.

“Because you have no experience there, and I don’t want your first experience of someone else touching you to be something potentially unpleasant. I don’t have non-exclusive sexual relationships of that nature, so I’m not willing to offer that first pleasant experience until you have a better idea of what it is that you want.”

“Until?... You mean if I… If I figure out what I want… You’d be willing to…” He trailed off and looked at Viktor for help who only looked placidly back waiting for him to continue. “You’d be willing to… have sex… with me?”

“If I am what it is that you want exclusively, then yes.”

“Why?”

Viktor’s eyes creased as he jerked back slightly. “Why not? I find you extremely attractive as well as interesting. You’re definitely the most exciting person I’ve come across in… ever.”

“Liar.” His lip curled as his voice hardened and he shoved the papers away from him. “I may be a virgin, but I’m not stupid. What kind of a game are you playing here?”

Viktor’s eyes widened in surprise then his face softened with a satisfied smile. “I’m not playing any games. You are. You’re the one who asked me to punish you, and I agreed and am only trying to define what that will mean for both of us so that we don’t come away from this worse than when we started. This scenario is quite unusual for me. I typically don’t work with such restrictions and with partners who have so much to hide, but I love a challenge, and you’ve given me quite a fascinating one, so I’m willing to push my comfort zone here.”

“You’re comfortable with whipping people and various forms of torture and public sex?”

“Don’t take everything on that list as my own personal limit. I include things that I may not be comfortable with, but which the other person might be because if there’s too much of a disconnect on either end, the relationship just won’t work. But, the things you listed, yes. I am comfortable with those.” He leaned across the desk, his glimmering blue eyes crystalizing. “Two things, Yuri. I am no monster, and I will never lie to you.”

He sat captured in that gaze for a minute before he reached for the list again and continued filling it out. He handed it over to Viktor with trembling hands to look over while he began filling in the rest of the pages which consisted of personality and aptitude tests along with a very long list of questions about things like ‘what skill would you like to master?’ and ‘what is the most annoying habit other people have?’ “Do I have to answer all of these?”

“You don’t have to do anything. If you don’t though, I won’t have enough information to feel comfortable with proceeding. I’m going to be messing with your mind, Yuri. I need to know what’s in it and how it works before I start poking around in it.”

“Messing with my mind? That seems dangerous.”

“It is, but people do it to each other all the time. Do you think that every interaction you have doesn’t have some effect on your mind? Every time a teacher scolded you, they were messing with your mind. Every bit of guidance your parents gave you reshaped your personality. Every time someone was nice to you or mean to you altered your perceptions of this world and yourself. Every flickering look from a stranger that you noticed altered how you think others view you. Just about everything you are now is a result of people messing with your mind with both of you having very little conscious awareness of it. I’m just aware that I’m doing it and I may push it to extremes so I’d like to be sure that I’m shaping it in the best way possible for you. In the same way that I wouldn’t take a Shetland pony and try to make a Grand Prix jumper out of him, I wouldn’t want to take who you are and try for something that’s just impossible and possibly damaging.”

He studied the questions again that probed deeply into his life and who he was. How did he make something like that sound so comforting? How did he make being punished sound like such a relief? How did a man whose hobbies included beating people feel so reassuring? What the hell was so twisted in both of them that made this discussion come about as though it were the normal process of starting a new job? His eyes caught on one question. ‘What is your biggest source of shame?’ Fat, hot tears collected in his eyes, and he looked up. “Do I have to answer every single one?”

“Which one are you stuck on?” He leaned over to see where Yuri pointed. “Ah. That one. The whole reason we’re here.” He pressed his index finger to his lips as he thought. “Okay. You can leave that one blank for now. I’ll proceed with much more caution than you may like though until I know that answer.”

“You think I’d want less caution than what these lists are indicating you intend to deliver?”

“You may be surprised by how much less caution you truly desire. Come on. I’ll get us some lunch while you fill those out.” He handed him another tissue then stood up and walked away again without checking to see if he was following.

He gathered the papers and the pen and jogged to catch up to him in the kitchen where Viktor gestured to a table next to a wide window overlooking the stables. He sat at the antique, toasted almond colored table in the kitchen that was a blend between high tech gourmet with shiny black modern appliances and old world with a massive brick wood-fired oven dominating the wall opposite the window. He scratched at the paper with his pen while Viktor commanded the kitchen.

“Do you mind if I put on some music, Yuri?”

“No.”

“What kind of music do you like?”

“It- it depends.”

“On?”

“My mood. What I’m doing.”

Viktor smiled and pressed a button on a remote to begin playing some gentle piano music which he hummed quietly to while he worked. Yuri turned back to his task and started filling in the answer to, ‘What takes up too much of your time?’ which was ‘thinking’. He was about half-way finished when Viktor set a plate in front of him of pasta carbonara alongside a crisp salad and a small glass of white wine with a beaming smile.

“Enjoy.”

“Tha- thank you. This looks delicious.” He finished the salad in record time with his stomach now rumbling from skipping breakfast, and the energy drain of unusual conversations and tears then started picking at the pasta, trying to slow himself back down. After a few bites, he put his fork down on the plate.

Viktor put down his fork and frowned. “Do you not like it?”

“No! It’s very good! It’s just… a little rich for me.”

“You haven’t eaten anything yet I’m guessing with your rush out here?”

“Yes.”

“And you intend to do manual labor the rest of the day, and you’re trying to do that off of a single salad and a few bites of pasta?”

“Umm… I guess so? I mean, it’s not like I need the food.” He bit the inside of his lip.

Viktor pursed his lips. “Do you have an eating disorder?”

“No. I don’t typically live solely on junk food like you saw. When I can, I try to eat much healthier.”

“That’s not the question I asked. How often do you eat the bare minimum while pushing yourself physically?”

“As often as I need to. My body likes to hold onto extra weight as you probably noticed. I’m not usually this out of shape. I promise I’ll make every effort to keep myself healthy and get back to where I should be.”

“I see. Eat the food, Yuri. You still have a lot of work to do today. You need fuel for that if you are to perform at your best. You do want to do your best for me, right?”

“Yes! Absolutely! I just… look at me.” He gestured to the bulge of fat hanging over his waistband. “I really don’t need it.”

“Eat what I served you, Yuri. Unless of course, you don’t trust me to be acting in your best interests, in which case, do as you like.” He picked up his fork again and resumed eating, watching him carefully from the other side of the table. 

He picked up his fork and took a bite with his heart racing and a bit of sickness starting in his stomach. He kept his eyes on his plate and took another bite with a slight tremor in his hand.

“Very good, Yuri. This won’t work if you don’t trust me. And you need to eat three meals a day regardless of anything else especially if your job requires physical labor. That’s just common sense.” He took a sip of wine and gave a surprisingly sweet smile.

He nodded and tried to get the rest of the food down past his nerves trying to hold it back. Viktor finished before him and waited patiently for him to clear his plate. He finally scraped up the last bite and put his fork down with a sigh.

“Thank you. It was very delicious.”

“You’re welcome. Do you have issues eating in front of people?”

“Um. Occasionally. It depends.”

“On?”

“My- my weight. Them sometimes. You… you’re perfect, and I’m…”

“Where does that come from?”

“I don’t know. I guess I was pretty chubby as a kid, and I got picked on by this one guy a lot for it. Sometimes by the other kids too, but Nishigori really liked making jokes about it. He still does.”

“Still?”

“We’re friends. He married my friend Yuko, and now we’re pretty close.”

“But he still picks on you the same as he did when you were kids?”

“Only sometimes. They’re in Japan, so I don’t see them really. Just on video chat.”

“I see. Yuri, on your chart you marked a two for degradation based on your weight. Why?”

“Well, I guess because I’m used to it. It wouldn’t bother me that much.”

He sighed and grabbed the paper that had his numbers listed all over it. “You’re really making this a challenge for me.”

“Sorry.”

“Don’t apologize for that. You’re being honest to the best you’re capable of, but I don’t think I’ve encountered anyone who knows themselves so little before. I’ve never once suggested that someone change their responses to these, but here… You should have marked this one a zero.” He tapped the paper over the word ‘weight.’ “Just telling you that goes way outside of normal here, but I truly can’t believe that you’d genuinely be okay with me insulting you based on your weight after what I just saw and what you just told me.”

“I wouldn’t like it, but I’m used to tolerating it, so I wrote a two.”

“Yuri, it’s not just what you can endure, it’s what’s going to damage you if you are forced to endure it. You could probably endure almost all of these as you’ve not marked any health issues, but a good portion of them might leave lasting physical or psychological damage if you did. That is what I’m trying to avoid here. I want to punish you, not abuse you. My ultimate goal is to make you better than you are now. Here.” He handed the paper back. “Look it over again, and this time think carefully on what effects the activity might have on you if you were to endure it.”

He looked down at the paper with the section titled ‘degradation’ and crossed out all of the two’s listed there and wrote zeros except for ‘sexual humiliation’ which he wrote a shaky three next to. “Um… I didn’t know if this one applies based on what you said earlier, but it wasn’t crossed out so…”

“It wasn’t crossed out. Keep going. Look over all of them.”

He nodded and went back to the list adjusting a few numbers up and down as he went. He handed the paper back, and Viktor looked it over with a smile.

“Very good, Yuri. This looks much more accurate to the picture I’m getting of you, but I’m going to treat all of these numbers as one less than what they are until I get to know you better. Keep going.” He gestured to the rest of the papers he still had to fill out.

“Aren’t I keeping you from your work?”

“Do you know my schedule better than I do?”

“No. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to overstep.”  

He smiled again. God, that thing is blinding. “Thank you for the apology, Yuri.”

He turned to the papers and spent the next hour or so filling them out while Viktor typed at his laptop which he had pulled in from the office. Some of the questions were funny, and some made him search deeply for answers while others felt like he had no answer to give at all. Those were the hardest. Every time he failed to answer them with anything resembling a real answer, he felt like he was disappointing Viktor which felt oddly intense for how little he knew him. Finally, he answered the last question, and he sighed with relief and handed the papers over.

Viktor smiled. “Thank you, Yuri. Do you have any questions for me before we complete the last steps?”

“Um… yes.” He cringed as his heartbeat thudded through his head. “You… you said you’d be willing to… Um, willing to…” He glanced up to where Viktor was waiting with a patient smile then stared back at the table. “You said… about my first time, and you… were willing to…”

“Are you trying to ask me if I meant what I said when I said I was willing to fuck you?”

He nodded.

“Of course, I meant it. I told you already that I’d never lie to you.”

“What… how would I… ask?” He picked at the nail of his thumb.

“Just tell me I’m the one you want to do that with whenever you’re ready to.”

“What… what would it be like?”

“Gentle. Caring. As close to an ideal first time as I can get it, though, your feelings toward me will affect how close I can get to that.”

He cringed. “So, it’d be like… a favor.”

“It’d be like everything else I’m doing here. Something that I want to do with you because it brings me pleasure and enjoyment to do so.”

He lifted his head to peek at him with his face turned away in a cringe. “You could enjoy having sex with me?”

Viktor’s smile slipped to the side into a seductive smirk. “I would very much enjoy it.”

His breath picked up into small heaving pulses as he considered the truth of this statement.

“Anything else?”

“What do you get out of this? I mean, you said you liked it, but why?”

He gave a pleased smile. “That is an excellent question. And very little hesitation too. I’m proud of you, Yuri.” Satisfaction pricked at Yuri’s heart. “I enjoy the depth of connection it brings. In order to do it well, you have to focus on your partner and learn as much as you can about them. The stakes are higher, so laziness and inattention can’t be tolerated. I prefer having the deepest bond possible with someone, and this is something that allows me to find that.”

“How do you plan to… train me?”

Viktor smiled again bringing another sting of satisfaction. “That was phrased very insightfully. Exactly what you said. I intend to train you. I’m obviously familiar with that. Some of the techniques I will use come directly with my experience with horses. I will first give a clear command so there is no room for misunderstanding with the expectation that it will be followed with only that gentle touch. If it’s not, then I ‘show the whip’ so to speak, giving a slight tap to remind of its presence. In most cases for humans, this is a verbal warning. If that isn’t heeded, then a firmer correction will be applied with a slight sting. If this is still ignored, a firm smack will be used to remind of the pain of disobedience. If that isn’t effective, any further steps tend to only go toward abuse and away from learning, so I step back and reevaluate my methods and what it is that I’m asking and where you’re at to measure out a better method of gaining compliance. Praise and rewards are also used and are my preferred method of modifying behavior. The fundamental principles are the same; the actual application sometimes varies from humans to animals based on the difference in understanding and ability to consent. For example, sometimes with people, I will skip a few steps as I have a higher expectation of their learning capacity. Also, I am far gentler with my animals than I typically am with people.” His smile darkened ever so slightly.

He swallowed down a thrill of energy that he couldn’t identify the meaning of.

“Anything else, Yuri?”

He shook his head.

He slid one last paper back to him. “This is a contract for you to sign. It covers a lot of things that aren’t currently applicable but might be in the future. I also added a clause that states that I never used my position as your boss to coerce you into any of this. I’d like you to sign that one directly below it as long as you feel it is a true statement as well as at the bottom after looking it over. This isn’t legally binding in any way, but it does have some limited protection for me as it states clearly that you were fully informed of and consented to our activities.”

He nodded and signed his name in the two locations along with the date and handed it back.

“Excellent. Now, safe words. I’d like you to choose a word which is easy for you to remember as the word you can use to stop any activity at any time.”

“What about ‘stop’ or ‘no’?”

“Those are valid options. They’re not ideal as you might say them and not really mean them. I am more than happy to go with them though if that would make you feel comfortable.”

“So, it should be something I likely wouldn’t say when you’re beating me?” That sentence fell from his lips far more casually than he would have ever guessed it could have two hours ago.

“Exactly.”

“Katsudon.”

“Katsudon. Foreign word, harder but not terribly difficult. Okay, that works for me. Katsudon. What is that?”

“It’s a dish my mom used to make me when I was a kid.”

He smiled. “Comfort food. That’s a good choice then. It’s likely your favorite then, yes?”

He nodded.

“What was that flinch for?”

“What?”

“Before you nodded. You flinched. Why does something that should be a warm thought for you cause you to flinch?”

“Um, well, I haven’t had it in a long time, but that’s probably for the best. It’s very fattening.”

“How long is a long time?”

“Um, about five years or so.”

“Wow. That is a long time. Is that how long it’s been since you’ve been home?”

He nodded.

“Why so long since your last visit?”

“Japan is really far away, and it costs a lot to get there.”

“I see. Why don’t you try to make katsudon yourself?”

“I did try a few times, but I can’t. I mess it up.”

Viktor’s lips stretched into a straight line. “I see. So, a few last things. I’d like you to get a blood test for any infectious diseases. I know we won’t be doing any activities truly requiring that yet and you’re a virgin, but I’d like to have that out of the way in case things do progress that way, and you could have something that wasn’t contracted through sex. For your own peace of mind, you should know that I get myself tested every three months. I’ll email my most recent results to you. As I said before, I don’t have penetrative sex with anyone I’m not in an exclusive relationship with and there’s no one I am currently dating, so I don’t expect any significant risk for changes in my status. I do frequently engage in oral sex with partners who have been tested within the last six months without exception. I’d like you to get tested now and at least every six months should this continue that long as well as use condoms for any penetrative sex you may have with anyone else. Fair enough?”

He nodded.

“Good. Get an appointment scheduled today.” He sent him a text with an address and a phone number. “This is the place I’ve used, and they’re usually very prompt. Have them email me the results. If they can get you in today, even better.”

“I, uh… I don’t have…”

“Money, yes?”

He nodded again.

“Don’t be afraid to ask me for what you need. I’d rather not have to fill in the blanks myself all the time. Wait here.” He got up and went back to his office then came back and slid a check for a thousand dollars in front of him along with a credit card. “Here. A signing bonus. But I don’t want you to use that for the test. Put the test on my card.”

“But-”

Viktor held up his hand. “Time to go over the rules. If I give you an order, I expect you to follow it. If you have an exceptional reason not to or some information that I might not have that might affect the order, you may present it to me by saying, ‘Viktor, I believe I have information that will be useful to you. May I share it?’ to which I will either consent or deny. Do you have something you’d like to present to me regarding that order?”

He sucked in a deep breath. “No.”

“Excellent. Moving on. From the hours of six am to six pm every day except Sunday, you’re mine.”

“Huh? Aren’t I already? Those are the hours we agreed to, right?”

“You weren’t listening very well, Yuri. Your duties have changed. I’ll find someone else to cover the cleaning and feeding you were supposed to do. You are my new personal assistant. You’re my personal groom and errand boy. You’ll do whatever it is that I want from you during the hours that you’re mine. After that, you’re free to do as you wish. Go fuck your roommate senseless if it pleases you. If you decide to lose your virginity to him or whoever else and ask me to then expand your limits, that’s an option you may choose, but here,” he leaned in closer from behind him, his breath leading the words shivering down his neck, “here you’re mine, and my wish is always your command.”

A blush spread through him from head to toe. “Ye-Yes, sir.”

“Ah-ah. You don’t get to call me Sir yet. Not until you’ve told me what it is that you really want punishment for. Until then, this is just playing games.”

“Okay.”

“Yes, Viktor.”

“Yes, Viktor.”

“Better. Don’t wait too long to decide on what it is you really want, Yuri. I’ve never much cared for games. I find real sports much more satisfying.” His lip curled around the purr in his voice as his finger dragged a shivering trail over the back of his neck. He came around to the side and looked down. “For your first duty, you’re going to prepare to make our lunch tomorrow. This favorite food of yours, katsudon, are the ingredients hard to find?”

“No. They’re pretty basic. There’s only one that you might need to go to an Asian grocery store for.”

“Perfect.” He handed him a set of keys. “Take my car and go to the store and pick them up putting the cost on the credit card along with any gas if you need to fill up. On the way, hopefully, you’ll be able to get that blood draw in.”

“But, Viktor-”

“Are you already forgetting the first rule?”

“No.”

“No, what?”

“No, Viktor.” He stared at the table flecked with age into various tones. “Viktor, I believe I have some information that will be useful to you. May I share it?”

“Yes.”

“I don’t know how to make it. I’ll mess it up.”

“How is that information I didn’t already have? You already told me you believed you’ll mess it up. Tread carefully with that one, Yuri. If you waste my time too much with it, I’ll remove it as an option for you.”

“Yes, Viktor.”

“Good. Come here, Yuri.” He backed up a few feet and pointed at the ground in front of him. “Kneel here.”

He got up and knelt down on the hard tiles keeping his eyes fixed on them as he settled back on his heels.

Viktor reached a hand out and lifted his chin to meet his eyes and pressed the other against his back to straighten it. “Here. Like this. Every morning except Sundays you are expected to be in my office at six at am on your knees just like this. You don’t need to knock. Just enter quietly and kneel down. If by chance I have a visitor in there, stand in the corner quietly until they leave and then kneel. Understood?”

He nodded.

“Words, Yuri. Practice speaking to me.”

“Yes, Viktor.”

“Better. This is an important one, listen carefully. If you’re ever late again, even by a minute, I’ll relieve you from your position as my personal groom, and you’ll return to your regular duties. Is that understood?”

“Yes, Viktor.”

“Good, Yuri.” He smiled and pressed his hand against his cheek making a hitch in his breath. “I really hope you keep that one. I’d hate for this to end prematurely.”

“Yes, Viktor. I will do my best.”

“Excellent. If you do decide to end this, you may at any time and return to your regular duties. Just tell me if that’s ever the case. Or, just show up late.”

“Yes, Viktor.”

“In exchange for your service and submission to me, we will spend the final hour of our time together satisfying that need of yours to be punished. How exactly that will play out is to be determined and adjusted as we go by me. Does this sound acceptable to you?”

“Yes, Viktor.” He bit his lip and Viktor tugged it back out with his thumb as he looked down at him with a gentle smile. “Thank you, Viktor.”

He gave that brilliant smile again. “Very good, Yuri. Never hesitate to share your thoughts or questions with me as long as they’re not to argue against my orders. As I said before, my overall goal is to improve you.” He leaned over to bring their faces closer, his hand still under his chin. “I have to see exactly what it is I’m trying to free before I can find the right keys to unlock your cage.”  

 

 

ViktorxYuri

Chapter Text

The wheels of the shopping cart clattered injudiciously over every bump in the floor scattering out at random trying to run from the abuse, but the rod nailing them in place gave them no choice but to face the next assault. A cotton ball was still taped to his arm for no real reason other than he hadn’t yet gotten around to removing it with all of the other thoughts giving him far more concern than a little fluff of cotton. What the hell had he gotten himself into? This was a terrible idea. He should just quit now before the pain that was only lurking behind him and now loomed over his head as a promise hit and destroyed him irreparably. That was Viktor’s whole intent. To change him. To make him someone else. And he had no qualms about using the force necessary to beat that change into him if necessary. Viktor would get his way if he laid himself down before him. That was no question. The only question was why he was here listening to god-awful music under fluorescent lighting instead of running far far away? The only answer he had was another question. Are you really that attached to your current self?

He picked up the package of pork cutlets evenly sliced to perfection just waiting for him to fuck up into an irreparable mess. “Sorry,” he whispered as he stuck the package in the cart. This was the unlucky pig whose life would be wasted under his hands.

He gathered the rest of the ingredients and stopped back at Viktor’s house using the keys he’d been given to let himself in and put the groceries away as he’d been instructed. He then sat at the table and opened the laptop and logged into the account Viktor had set up for him to research how to make katsudon. It was a pointless exercise. It wasn’t the first time he’d done this, and it’d come to the very expected results of a spectacular mess. Only this time he didn’t have any choice but to do pointless tasks to achieve disastrous results. Of course, you have a choice. Viktor made that perfectly clear. He shushed the voice away to stay in the fantasy that made this bearable as he clicked on another video.

The steady thud of Viktor’s boots across the wooden floor drew his gaze, but he wasn’t sure if it was acceptable to watch him like that while ignoring his assigned task. He decided to err on the side of caution and quickly looked back at the screen before he came into view around the corner.

“Excellent. You’re back and doing as I said. That’s very good, Yuri.” He stroked a gentle finger down the back of his neck as he gave him that bright smile that sent a conspicuous shiver through him. “What kind of progress do you feel you’ve made in your learning?”

“Um… Not very much.”

He withdrew his hand and frowned. “No? That’s disappointing. I was hoping for better from you.”

The stab of pain he felt was wildly out of proportion to that tiny loss of his warmth. “I mean I have been learning! I just don’t feel like I’ll actually be able to do what I learned.”

“Oh? Why not?”

“Because I’ll mess it up. Just knowing what to do won’t prevent that.”

“How many times have you tried to make this?”

“Um. Maybe two or three?”

“That’s it? Two or three times and you’ve determined that you’re a complete failure at it and will never be able to successfully apply anything you’ve learned?”

“Yeah… I guess so.”

“Is that how you answer yes or no questions?”

“No, Viktor. I mean. Yes, Viktor. Is the answer to your first question.” He cringed and stared at those flecked tones on the table again.

“Better. The answer I mean, not the fatalistic view you have of yourself. Close the laptop and come with me.” He turned away as he closed the lid and got up to follow.

He led them through the maze of historical artifacts he lived in down an endless winding staircase to a black door with carved flourishes and a large brass lock. He slipped the key in, and it opened with a soft clunk. He walked in then held the door open for him and closed it as he stepped through. 

A blood red fabric dripped in a soft arc over the ceiling and gathered in soft pleats pulling back up at the center above a crystal chandelier. Black and gray damask wallpaper covered the largest wall across from the door with crimson walls flanking it and turning the corner to stand in front of it creating passageways on either side between the red and wallpapered walls. A red velvet tufted sofa ran along the center of the damask wall. A smoke-colored wooden chair made of interlocking ribs forming a cradle for the seat which then crossed below it and inverted their bend to create a second smaller ribcage for the base held a large black rubber spike looking thing sticking straight up in the center of the seat and had a riding crop laid across the arms. It sat off in a crimson corner next to a rack that ran along one of the short red walls that had rows from the floor to the ceiling filled with various whips and paddles and chains and feathers and fur and more implements than he could name or even describe in some cases. A huge wooden X stood against the other red wall. And flanking the chandelier in the middle of the room below the blood spilled fabric were two tables: one an X just like the upright one but laying flat and the other, rectangular, solid hickory wood, and a padded leather top, had anchors of twisted iron lashed in x’s over solid rings to hold them in place running every few inches around the edge. Pale wooden planks nailed with dark iron rivets buried flush against the wood ran under his feet.

Yuri’s heart gave a wild buck at the sound of the lock being latched again that sounded much louder than it had a right to. This was a horrible idea. What if Viktor was a psychopath? How would he even know if he should trust him? He just met him. Found him through some ad on craigslist. I’m going to be brutally murdered. Sorry, mom.

“You’re going to be fine, Yuri. I won’t do anything we haven’t already discussed.”

“Yeah, what we discussed is already pretty concerning.” He glanced at the wooden paddles that had spikes implanted into them.

He laughed, a bright, surprised laugh, and looked at him with a bit of puzzlement as Yuri glanced over. “That was rather bold of you.”

“I’m sorry, Viktor. I didn’t mean to say that.”

“Why are you sorry?”

“Um… because… I don’t know really. I’m sorry, Viktor.”

“I told you to share your thoughts with me. You should never apologize for following an order. I’m very proud of you for saying what’s on your mind. I don’t know what movies you’ve seen about this, but I like interacting with my subs. I don’t want to turn you into a blank robot.”

He flinched. “You have more like me?”

He smiled wider. “Oh, is that jealousy already? We haven’t even played yet.” He leaned in and touched the lightest kiss to his neck and dropped his voice to a low whisper. “There’s no one like you, Yuri.”

He gasped as a violent shudder ran through him.

Viktor pressed his hand against his low back and kept his voice low. “Take off everything except your underwear and put it in the basket by the door.” He gestured to the black wicker basket perched on a small table.

“Yes, Viktor.”

He walked over to the basket while Viktor went to sit on the padded table and watch him. Yuri’s skin flushed hotly as he unbuttoned his jeans and let them fall to the floor, stumbling as his foot caught in one of the legs. Viktor jumped up to catch him even though he had already caught himself against the wall.

“I’m sorry, Viktor.” He cringed, but Viktor just sat back down and waved his hand for him to continue. He pulled his socks off as well then folded his pants neatly and placed them in the bottom of the basket and placed the socks on top. He took off his glasses and set them in the corner of the basket. His hands started shaking as they gripped the back of his shirt. He turned to face the wall, but Viktor made a displeased growl.

“Face me, Yuri.”

“Ye-yes, Viktor.” He turned back and clenched his eyes shut as he yanked the shirt off over his head. He folded it and placed it in the basket then turned back to Viktor with his eyes on the rivets below him.

“Come here, Yuri. Stand in front of me with your feet spread apart and your hands behind your head.”

He shuffled toward him.

“Stop. Go back and try again. This time make sure you’re looking at me and walk to me like you’re proud of being mine. Shoulders back, chin up.”

He went back to the basket and crossed the floor again, forcing his eyes up and his back straight. It felt like he was resisting chains clamped around his neck yanking him down to do so, but he made his shaky way there the best he could hoping it would be enough. He stopped and laced his fingers behind his head and opened his stance, keeping his eyes on Viktor’s that now held just a hint of blue flame.

“Very good, Yuri.”

He stood up and started walking around him, his eyes penetrating every inch. His hand brushed gently down his arm and over his chest and down to the soft flab covering his stomach. He flinched as Viktor caressed his stomach with both hands, but he just moved on to drag his palms up his chest again and across his other arm. He disappeared behind him, but his hands bored deep into his body through the feather-light touches down his back. He dropped down to wrap his hands around his thick thigh and down his calf then moved to the other leg to do the same. He stood back up and circled him again, this time selecting pieces of him to lay down gently sucking kisses that left red marks behind. Viktor admired each one with a satisfied smile before moving on to the next. 

He finished leaving a multitude of kisses over his low back and thighs then stood up and grasped one hand over the front of his throat forcing his chin up higher and pressed the other against his stomach which now also held his marks. His lips burned against the back of his neck and lingered there while Yuri’s breath and heart raced to see which would give out and kill him first.

“You’re beautiful, Yuri.” Viktor’s voice purred low in his ear. “So beautiful.” His thumb ran shivers along the side of his neck.

“You- you don’t mean that.”

He stepped back and let the cold air take his place. “You dare to accuse me of lying to you?” His voice lashed against him. “I know I still have to earn your trust, but I would have hoped you’d give me enough credit to not insult me at least.”

“I- I didn’t mean to insult you! I’m so sorry, Viktor! I just… I didn’t… How could you… mean it?”

He came back into view in front of him and grabbed his hands, pulling them back down. “I forgive you, but don’t ever accuse me of lying to you again unless you have actual evidence to prove your case or you will regret it.”

“Yes, Viktor.”

He smiled and placed his hand against his cheek. “Good, Yuri. I’m glad you understand me. I know you’re still getting to know me as I am getting to know you, but one thing I promise you will find to be true about me is that I won’t go easy on you. So, if you hear me telling you something kind or gentle, you can bet your life on it being the deepest truth I can give you. Understood?”

“Ye-Yes, Viktor.”

“Very good.” He let go of his hands. “Kneel.”

Yuri dropped to his knees and sat back on his heels looking up to his clear blue eyes, straightening his back as he’d done thousands of times before. At least this part was easy.

Viktor smiled. “I’ve always admired the way the Japanese hold themselves with such respect during their everyday lives, but I’ve never seen it in person. Getting a chance to see it in you is quite remarkable. I’ve seen plenty of people kneel before me, but none have ever done it quite like you.”

A rush of tingling heat brought his words swelling into his chest. “Th-thank you, Viktor.”

He smiled and gave a slight nod. “Lay down on that table on your stomach.” He gestured to the padded table he had been sitting on and walked to the wall of tools while he obeyed his order.

He wriggled on the cool table to adjust himself and to have something to do with the nerves that choked him while Viktor gathered whatever it was he intended to hurt him with. He returned a moment later and laid out a row of tools on the X table next to them and removed one of the magenta silk scarves from around his neck.

“In addition to your safe word of katsudon, we’re also going to use a backup of the color system. I’ll check in with you regularly and ask you, ‘Color?’ If everything is good and you’re feeling okay to continue, say green. If you need me to back off or we need to change something, tell me yellow. If you need to stop right now, tell me red. You can also tell me these colors anytime you need to and I’ll respond to them. If you say yellow, I’ll stop and ask what we need to change to make everything good for you again. If you say red, it will act like your safe word and we’ll stop immediately. Do you understand?”

“Yes, Viktor.”

“What does green mean?”

“Everything is fine. Keep going.”

“Good. Yellow?”

“Slow down, or something’s wrong.”

“Good. And red?”

“Stop.”

“Excellent. And you’ll use these words anytime you feel that you need them. That is a direct order. Do you understand?”

“Yes, Viktor.”

“And what is your safe word again?”

“Katsudon.”

“Very good.”

“I’m going to tie you to the table at your wrists and your feet. Color?”

“Green.”

“Give me your hand.”

He slid his hand away from his side where it had been clamped under his thigh and offered it to him while tasting the metallic tinge of blood rising at the back of his throat. He grasped it firmly but gently and pulled it up over his head to the corner of the table. The silk scarf lashed around his wrist and held it in a firm embrace as Viktor tied it to the table taking the tension up until there was a gentle connection between his body and the table. A tiny smile formed on Yuri's face as he realized it was the perfect tension of communication held through an ideal rein on a responsive horse. Viktor moved to the other side and bound his right hand to the table as well and evening out the pressure on his body, he lashed his legs to the corners of the table. Yuri tested out the strength of the silk, playing with that soothingly steady tension that gave him just enough elasticity to breathe but still held him firm in Viktor’s skilled hands.

Viktor's voice held his dark smirk. “Try all you want. You’re not getting free until I release you.” Yuri in no way doubted the truth of what he said. He was now Viktor’s for him to shape him as he pleased, and he had no idea what that shaping process would bring him. If his current life was any indication of what he should expect, the nerves rising bile in his stomach were more than justified. Viktor stood back and watched him for a moment while his chest pressed against the table hard with his deep breaths trying to keep himself calm. “Color?”

He turned his face to the side and rested his cheek on the table, watching Viktor for a moment to gauge his mood before responding. “Green.”

“Are you sure? You hesitated.”

“I’m sure. Green.”

“How are you feeling right now being restrained like that?”

Yuri bit his lip as he thought. How does he feel? It should be a simple question to answer, but nothing in his body made sense right now. “Um… embarrassed… uh… scared..." His voice lowered to a bare whimper. “Um… a little… um… turned on.” He squirmed on the table as if he could run away from the blue eyes watching him without so much as a hint of surprise.

“Very good, Yuri.” Viktor’s voice trilled into his pleased purr as his finger stroked down his neck. “Thank you for being so honest.” He turned to the table behind him and selected a small golden tool that looked like a western spur with spikes shooting off in every direction from the tiny wheel. “I’m going to start slowly with this and gradually increase the pressure so I can gauge your pain tolerance. Color?” He flicked the wheel with his thumb sending it spinning around its axis.

“Green.”

He rolled the spikes gently across his lower back making neat little rows of pricking pressure in the hollow base of his back, increasing the pressure with every pass. They started to draw little dotted lines of pain on his skin, but not bad.

“Color?”

“Green.” He answered easily, his body relaxing a little bit deeper onto the table.

He pressed harder on the next pass and again harder on the following. The pain made him flinch ever so slightly, and Viktor called out, “Color?”

“Green.”

He moved the wheel up along the side of his spine, and a soft moan escaped Yuri's lips before he could stop it.

Viktor chuckled. “You like it?”

“Um, yes, Viktor.”

The next pass up his back was decidedly more painful than the last, and he squirmed under its touch, pulling against the silk as he gasped.

“Color?”

“Green.”

“Do you still like it?”

“Um… it… it hurts, but… yeah- yes, Viktor.”

“Good, Yuri.” His voice purred low as he ran another sharp pass alongside his spine harder than the last.

He cried out as he writhed on the table, pressing his hardening cock against it then gasped and pressed his lips tight as if he could take back the sound. Oh god. Why did he have to go and get that turned on now? It’s not supposed to be like that. Pain is supposed to make you want to run away, not beg for more. And his voice… oh god. He whimpered as the thought alone made his cock harden further, and he impulsively pressed it harder against the table trying to contain it or get some relief or-

He moved to the other side of his spine and rolled the spikes up his back again, his pressure deepening more along with his voice. “So good, Yuri. I love it when you give me such honest responses. You look so pretty when you writhe like that.”

His body heated to scorching and he turned his face away to whimper out, “Yellow.”

Viktor pulled back. “What’s wrong?”

“I… um… I’m getting… too close to…” He whimpered again in lieu of the words he couldn’t bring himself to say.

“Getting too close to what, Yuri? You have to talk to me.”

He whined again as he tried to form the words until the pressure exploded. “To coming! I’m going to come damn it!”

Viktor chuckled. “Well, I typically would make you wait longer, but considering that it’s your first time and you have some extenuating circumstances, I’ll allow it. Come as many times as you please. Thank you for telling me, Yuri. That was very good. Exactly what I want you to do.”

He gasped. “You mean… this… what I’m feeling… is normal?”

“For a masochist, yes. Some people only take the punishment because it pleases their Dom, but some people take the punishment because they enjoy it. You’re the second.”

“Their- their dom?”

“Their Dominant. Master. Sir. It goes by a lot of names which have some different meanings attached to each one, but overall, it’s what I am to you. I dominate you, hence, Dom.”

“I… I see. So, what am I to you?” He turned his face back so he could watch him as he responded.

He smiled and cupped his hand around the side of his neck. “You’re my submissive.” He leaned down and kissed his cheek and then ran his thumb over the spot he kissed as he pulled back.

His heart skipped a beat as the heat from Viktor’s touch thundered through his body.

“Are you ready to continue?”

“Um… my… my underwear. If I...”

“Ah, right. I’ll leave that one up to you. You can just cum in them, and I’ll get you a fresh pair after, or I’ll take them off.”

“Take- um, take them off. Please, Viktor?”

“Oh, Yuri,” he reclaimed the side of his neck with his warm touch, “you asked so nicely without me even having to prompt you. I’m so pleased to hear you speak to me that way so naturally.” He leaned closer again, moving his hand just enough to get his lips against the skin below his ear. “You’re so beautiful when you plead like that.”

He whimpered again as his voice reached places he hadn’t known a voice could reach.

“Easy, Yuri. Give me just a minute to get you out of the rest of your clothes before you ruin them.”

He released his legs from the silk and Yuri felt strangely loose in his body without the tension holding him in place. He wanted it back. It felt safe within Viktor’s grasp. He removed his boxers in one smooth motion then untied the silks on his hands as well. Yuri whined in confusion as he had thought he was going to retie him again.

“It’s okay. I’ll tie you back up. Don’t worry. Turn over, Yuri. I want to see you.”

(6) Heat boiled in his veins, and his body shook as he obeyed, flipping onto his back and revealing his cock proudly holding his shame on display. He knew his face was as red as it could be, and he looked away from him over to the enormous X standing next to him.

“Look at me, Yuri.”

He closed his eyes as he turned his head back, and his chest pulsed through his thick breath. He opened his eyes to an expression on Viktor’s face that he could only describe as dangerous. He looked ravenous, as though he would take him down on the spot and devour all of him.

“Oh, look at you.” His starving smile widened as he prepared to strike. “You’re such a dirty boy already and you hardly even know what that means.”

He cried out as his cock pulsed hard, squeezing drips of precum onto his stomach. He slapped his hands over his mouth.

Viktor grasped his knee and yanked his thigh open exposing the tender inside and cracked a quick, stinging hand against it as he growled. “You don’t hide anything from me. You haven’t gotten that yet? Honesty does not include hiding things from me.”

He pulled his hands back and cried out again with a gasp. “Yes, Viktor! I’m sorry, Viktor!” He stared up at the red fabric on the ceiling that felt like it was smothering him between it and the heat in his body as his cock twitched fast and hard dripping more fluid down its length. 

“You’re forgiven, Yuri.” He moved down to the ankle of the leg he held and started tying it back to the table. “I knew you’d want less restraint than I offered. I had no intention of pushing you this far today, but you’re such a dirty boy and you begged for it so sweetly, I just couldn’t resist.” He pulled his other leg out making him feel even more exposed and began his work there too.

“You- you like it when I beg?”

He smiled and caressed his inner thigh, stopping just short of where he desperately wanted him to go. “Taking note of the things I like? So good, Yuri.” He stood back up from where he’d dipped down to secure the silk and leaned in over him, inches from his face. “Yes, I love it when you beg. The sweeter you beg, the more it turns me on.”

He made a noise that was something between a whine and a growl as his hand impulsively clutched Viktor’s shirt over his tight abs then dropped it with horror when he realized what he’d done.

Viktor’s eyebrows raised over his smile. “Oh? Having a hard time controlling your dirty, lustful desires for me?”

“Ye-yes, Viktor. I’m so sorry. I- I didn’t mean to touch you.”

“Yes, good, Yuri. You should apologize. You didn’t ask first. Remember what I said about asking for what you need?”

“Yes, Viktor.”

“Do you need to touch me?”

He nodded. “Ye-yes, Viktor.”

“Ask nicely.”

“Please, Viktor, please can I… can I touch you? Please?”

“What would you like to touch?”

He gulped. “Your- your stomach. Your chest. Your arms. Your thighs.” He squirmed on the table and wanted to look away, but he held his eyes on Viktor. “Your… your cock.” His voice squeaked as he forced this last word out.

“Excellent, Yuri. I appreciate how detailed you were when really the answer was everything, wasn’t it?”

He nodded. “Yes, Viktor.”

“Okay, Yuri. You’ve been so good; I’ll give you a bit of a reward. You don’t get everything yet; you still have to work a little harder to earn that, but you can touch my upper body.”

He untucked his black polo shirt from his white breeches and grasped the back with one hand to pull it over his head in one smooth motion. He stepped closer to the table where he could reach out and run his fingertips gently over the bulges in his abs he’d seen hinted at before when the fabric of his shirt strained against him as he moved. Pressing the palm of his hand against him, he sighed as he reached for him with his other hand as well and held his sculpted body firmly between them.

“You’re a lot bolder than I imagined you’d be.”

He looked up from his study of the valley of his hip leading to the thick veins running down below his waistband. “Is it okay?”

He pressed his hand against his cheek and smiled. “Yes, it’s okay. Thank you for asking.”

He sat up so he could reach higher and stroke his hands over his chest, his fingertips seeking out the perfect, pink nipples that stood out against his porcelain skin. They budded below his touch, and he paused before grasping them gently and running the pads of his fingers around them. Viktor’s breath hitched a moment then evened back out as he looked down at him with a smile. He grew a little bolder, pinching them gently and running his thumbs over the tips. A light flush started across Viktor’s quickening chest. He made a note of the response then moved over to his shoulders and down his muscled arms. God, what would it feel like to have them wrapped tight around him? Either a warm hug or their bodies pressed tight and rocking together… The thoughts rushed to his face and his cock making it gush yet again.

“What were you thinking just now?”

He dropped his hands and pulled back. “Um. I was thinking about… your arms. Your arms around me in, um, a hug and… in… sex.” He dropped his eyes back down and stared at Viktor’s smooth, strong hand.

He slipped his finger under his chin and lifted it back up, dropping his face so close to his he could taste his sweet breath. “Do you want to have sex with me?”

“Um… Yes, Viktor, I want it but… but also no.”

“Why not?”

“I’m… I don’t want it… like this.”

“How do you want it?”

“Feeling like… like you want it too.”

He smiled and brushed his hand over his neck. “Good, Yuri. I’m glad you were so honest with both of us. You’re starting to get a little better at knowing yourself. Let me tell you something about me though.” He moved back to lift his chin again and leaned in to whisper in his ear. “I do want to fuck you. I’ve wanted it since I laid eyes on you.” He pulled back and let out a soft sigh. “But you can’t feel the truth of that yet, can you?”

“No, Viktor.”

He dropped his hands and stood back up after leaving a gentle kiss on his cheek. “That’s okay. That’s what I’m here for. To help you uncover truths. Lay back down.”

He dropped back to the table, and Viktor took up his body again with the tension of his silks. He left his shirt lying on the table next to his tools as he picked up a riding crop. He smacked it against his boot and grinned when Yuri jumped. He gave a few more smacks as he walked around him, searching for the spot he wanted to inflict his damage on. He stopped at his calf and brushed the leather popper from his ankle up along the inside of his leg and electricity shot along his nerves like he’d just been tazed. He gasped as his body jerked off the table as much as the silks would allow him, and his cock clenched hard. Viktor cracked his inner thigh with a sharp slap of his hand as the whip left his body. He ground against the table seeking friction for his aching cock, but of course, there was nothing but the easy slip of air.

“Ah, yes, it’s a little harder to make yourself come like this, isn’t it? Nothing to touch you where you so desperately want it. I wonder…” The crop dragged from the far side of his stomach over to Viktor and up his side, just missing the head of his pulsing cock. “How far does my touch go in you? How much will you let me in?” He leaned over and took his nipple in his teeth, biting hard enough to send pain and pleasure surging through him and wrapping around his cock like a stroking hand. Viktor followed the connection with his flicking tongue then pulled back and smacked the crop against the side of his stomach just above his hip.

He bucked his hips up seeking more of his touch, and Viktor gave that hungry smile as he moved to his other side. He grabbed his knee to roll it out, exposing more of the sensitive skin inside. The crop touched down in a neat row from just below where it joined his body down to his knee, repeating it harder down the second line.

“Can I touch all of you from one tiny part as I do with my horses? Can you feel what I’m telling you through your whole body as they do from one little touch of my hand?” He brushed his fingertips along that stinging line he just drew and his body started trembling under his leaking cock. “I want to see you perform for me. Show me how good you are. Show me how well you obey.”

His hands moved over his body alternating smooth caresses with stinging smacks. Punctuating his unpredictable rhythm were the sharp cracks of the crop over every bit of him except for the place he wanted his touch the most. His cries came without restraint as he writhed through the fire he held himself in, unwilling to leave the stable Viktor put him in even if it would claim his life. His burning touch licked through him giving him unfettered access to his deepest desires.

“You’re doing so well, Yuri, writhing so beautifully for me like this. I think you want more, though, don’t you?”

“Ah! Yes, Viktor! Yes! Please! Please, please give me more! Please, Viktor!”

“So sweet, Yuri.” He put the crop down and picked up a thick handle with a wide fringe of thin leather straps fluttering dangerously in his grip. “So honest with me about your dirty desires. I had no idea a virgin could be so thoroughly sullied before he’s even tasted of sin.”

Lust had consumed his barrier and words fell from his lips onto Viktor’s table. “I know what sin feels like!”

“Do you now? I know you’ve never felt the touch of passion so what sins do you know of?” The leather straps danced above his burning skin teasing with their certain venom.

“Pain! Incompetence!” He stilled on the table, his chest heaving as he locked his eyes on Viktor. “Death.”

“You need to feel the pain of punishment for those, don’t you? Before you can let yourself feel pleasure, you need to feel real pain.”

“Yes, Vi- Viktor.”

“I’m going to give that to you. Color?”

“Green.”

The leather drew up then cracked down over his chest, flaring its bite over the expanse of his skin. He hissed in pain just before the leather struck again over the same heated spot. He lost track of Viktor’s movements and the sinking teeth of the biting strips as he dropped into the darkness of pure sensation and found himself floating weightless, carried by Viktor’s steady, smooth stride. His body gave way and he joined with Viktor’s movement, Viktor’s rhythm, Viktor’s confident strength and let him carry him wherever he desired. Bounding, sultry pleasure filled him to the brim as Viktor’s voice reached in to caress him yet again.

“That’s it, my Yuri. You’re doing so well for me. I’m so proud of you. You look so beautiful like this. I can see my touch all over you and it looks so pretty on you.” His force began increasing with every lash throwing a fresh heated wave of pain over him that slowly sank further into pleasure. “Come on, Yuri. Let go. You’ve paid for your sins today. Now I want to see what pleasure looks like on you. Show me what I’ve done to you. Show me how beautiful you are with my touch shaping you. Show me that I can reach all of you. Come for me, Yuri.” His voice trembled with excitement as his blows picked up a fevered pace. “Come on, Yuri. Just a little bit more. Come for me.”

His heels dug into the table as he thrust into the hand that existed in his stroking words alone, his body writhing hard on the table as the pleasure peaked and spilled over him. Arms and legs thrashed against the silk as pleasure with the force of a thousand galloping horses trampled over the person who existed there before sent by Viktor’s hands to reshape him into something that pleased him better. His cum spilled over his stomach, and Viktor’s tongue chased it off his tender skin before it could drip to the table.

He moved up to claim his neck with a kiss and his hand and smiled warmly down at him as his body began to still. “You taste so delicious, Yuri, and you look so gorgeous right now. My god, just so insanely beautiful. How are you feeling?”

“I, um… incredible... Thank you, Viktor.”

He winced. “Oh, Yuri. You’re so sweet. So good. Just… I knew you’d be good, but I had no idea just how good. You made me feel so amazing.”

“I didn’t even touch you.”

“You didn’t have to, my darling. You let me touch you without holding me back, and that was more than enough.”

“I… really?” He swallowed hard trying to calm his breath and his heart.

“You want to see what effect you had on me?”

“Please. Yes, Viktor. Please show me.”

He climbed onto the table straddling him on his knees and hovering over his still pulsing cock. He undid his breeches and reached into them. “Color?”

“Green. Please green.”

Viktor gave a light laugh and stroked his finger over his cheekbone as he pulled his hard, leaking cock from inside those sinfully tight breeches. He let go to let him get a good look while his precum dripped onto him, making his oversensitive cock jerk with each drop. “You want to see exactly how close you got me?”

“Yes, Viktor! Please! Please show me. Please?” He gave him a soft smile and pleading eyes, and Viktor groaned as he began to stroke himself.

His hand wrapped tightly around his cock that filled it with his thick girth and stroked along his overwhelming length, spreading his precum down his now glistening shaft.

“You’re so big.” His eyes widened as he took in the sight of his head darkened to a deep wine color with his arousal sliding in and out of his foreskin.

“Does that frighten you or turn you on?” His voice was breathy as he moved his hand faster.

“Both.”

His face twisted with pleasure and he gasped. “Color?”

“Green.” His eyes fixed hard on the sight above him.

He fell onto his free hand, silver hair flowing down over his face gaping with pleasure as he gasped and covered Yuri’s cock with his cum. Cries of pleasure filled his voice and Yuri wanted nothing more than to hear them again as Viktor quieted and released himself to brace his trembling body on both arms letting the last few drops fall freely onto him. Viktor closed his eyes for a moment as he let his body still then he looked at him and smiled. “You did that. You made me feel that good by being so good for me. I’m so proud of you. You did amazing and you made me feel so incredible.” He carefully leaned down, keeping his body still hovering over his to kiss the front of his throat. “I’m going to untie you now. Do you want me to clean you up or would you rather do it yourself?”

“What- what would you use to clean me?”

“Oh!” He chuckled in surprise and sat back. “You’re already thinking such kinky thoughts. I’ll use a towel this time. We can consider other options once your limits have been lifted.”

“Please clean me, Viktor.”

He gave a little shake of his head as he smiled and brushed his hand along his cheek. “One session and already pushing so hard against your limits. I’m very excited to see how you grow, Yuri.” He carefully stepped off the table and returned with himself already cleaned up and fully dressed with a damp towel in his hand. He pressed it gingerly against his reddened skin and swiped it over him. He had heated the towel, so it was comfortable and his hands were unfortunately quick and effective. Just that one little, indirect touch of his hand through the towel had him already longing for more, but Viktor was done and already untying his hands. He helped him off the table and led him over to another room tucked into the passageway between the half wall holding his rack of tools and the long damask wall at the back of the room.

(7) The bathroom was covered in jade tiles with pearl inlays in rich swirls. An array of products sat on a shelf between the sink and a gold-framed mirror. A porcelain tub filled the middle of the room, and off in the far corner he led him to was an enormous round pillow as big as a king size mattress and as soft as a cloud that Viktor helped him settle into. It had been covered with a white silk sheet that felt luxurious against his skin.

“Wait right here.” He left and took one of the bottles of lotion from above the sink then returned, climbing in next to him and holding him in his arms against his side. “Are you still feeling okay?” He brushed his bangs out of the way to kiss his forehead.

He nodded. “Yes, Viktor. I feel so good. I’ve… I didn’t even know a person could feel like this.” He took advantage of the closeness to snuggle a little deeper and rest his head on the broad muscle of his chest then realized he hadn’t asked and jerked back. “I’m sorry, Viktor! I didn’t mean-”

“Shh… It’s okay. Here you’re free to take what you need. You don’t have to ask here.”

“Thank you, Viktor.” He snuggled back into him, and Viktor wrapped his arms tighter around him. He sighed and breathed into his comforting pressure holding him safely next to him.

Viktor rested quietly next to him except for brief little kisses over his face and sweet words whispered in his ear. That feeling of blinding sensation and powerful motion he had in the other room settled here into an easy bliss. Viktor pumped some lotion into his hand and nudged him gently onto his back. Yuri whined at being removed from him but settled where Viktor had put him as he already had his warm hands smoothing the lotion in over his tender skin which wasn’t quite as relaxing as being so close to him was, but was still a welcomed version of his touch.

“What are you putting on me?”

“Liniment. It will help your skin recover faster.”

He smiled. “Is it the same one you use on your horses?”

“No,” he laughed, “this is a super expensive formula crafted just for me for human skin, thank you very much.”

“Oh, watch out. Rich boy’s flaunting his wealth here.” His words came out slightly slurred with his mouth lacking the proper energy to form them neatly. “Are you trying to show off for me?” He smirked and poked at his chest.

Viktor blinked at him then burst out laughing and grabbed his hand to kiss it. “You have so much hiding in there.” He turned his hand over and smoothed it open to kiss his palm, lingering there with his eyes closed before giving his hand a gentle squeeze and pulling back. His eyes darkened as they searched him intently. “I so look forward to uncovering it all.” He brought his hand back up to kiss his knuckles before releasing it and continuing his task. “But to answer your question, I may be trying to impress you just a little.”

He hummed and nodded. “You’ve got that seriously mixed up.”

“No. I’m confident in what I’m doing here.” A playful little snarl flashed on his face as he grabbed his hips and flipped him over. His hands started in over his back and Yuri conceded his loss as he relaxed onto his arms. His body already felt like melted butter, but Viktor’s hands sought out any remaining connection to even the slightest tension and severed it neatly replacing it with his own elastic connection.

“Why do I feel like this?” With his words muffled and mumbled through the pillow and his haze, he wasn’t certain if they had enough clarity, but Viktor responded instantly.

“Endorphins. Like a runner’s high. When your body is in pain, it releases them, and I just flooded you with them.”

“I’ve had plenty of pain, and I’ve never felt like this. And runner’s high, I’ve felt that too, but this is different.”

“You’re right. It is different. This is pain connected to pleasure. It’s not just unexpected pain that induces fear of significant injury or death or is generally an unpleasant surprise. That kind of pain is unwelcomed for just about everyone. But for people like you, when there’s pain in a setting where you can trust that you won’t be severely injured and is based on a sexual tone, that fear is replaced with sexual pleasure. You get both the pain-killing endorphins and the chemicals released during sexual pleasure giving you quite a potent mix.”

“So, that was chemistry. You performed chemistry on my brain.” He lifted his head and propped onto his elbows to look back at Viktor who was watching him with a strange mix of amusement and that dangerous look from earlier on his face.

“You, Yuri Katsuki, you are everything.”

“Everything what? What’s that mean?”

“Something there’s no point in explaining to you because if I have to explain it, that means you won’t understand it. Once you can understand it, I won’t need to explain it.” He glanced over at the little antique clock on a white table holding fluffy towels. “It’s six o’clock.” His voice dropped back into his firm professionalism. “You’re free.” He looked back at him with his face wiped clean of expression.

You’re free. He’d survived Viktor’s murder basement with nothing but some tender skin and bruises and feeling the absolute best he’s ever felt. You’re free. Viktor kept his promise that he was no monster even as he beat him raw. You’re free. He could go and do as he pleased. Watch more movies and cuddle with Phichit on the couch. Nice and easy and comfortable. You’re free.

“What’s wrong, Yuri? What do you need?”

“A- a few more minutes. Please?”

A warm smile broke through his mask, though only a small one. “Take all the minutes you want.”

He opened his arms, and Viktor laid down next to him and pulled him in to wrap tightly around each other. Yuri rested his head on the pillow of Viktor’s arm and held on tight. “Technically, I owe you several more hours.”

“That’s right. You do. I’m going to collect on them on Friday evening though. With interest.”

“Hey! That doesn’t seem fair that you can make me wait to pay you back but then charge interest for the delay.”

“No, the first five and a half hours you owed right from the start. The interest is the punishment.” His voice lowered to a soft snarl that sent a fresh thrill through the cloud he was floating in.

“You might want to consider something else for the punishment. As far as I know, I’m not supposed to want it.” His eyes widened and he slapped his hand over his mouth, the words he couldn’t believe he uttered snapping him most of the way out of the haze. “I- I didn’t…”

Viktor was watching him, his eyes searching then he relaxed into a smile. “Yes, punishing masochists is always a challenge. But I have my methods. Maybe we just won’t call that part a punishment and just say it’s what you owe me for testing my patience.”

“Fair enough. Five hours late on your first day is a pretty big mistake. Do I get to know what’s happening on Friday?”

“A party. You’re going to be my date.”

He snapped right out of the rest of that cloud-like haze and jolted up out of Viktor’s arms, sitting fully upright. He pressed his hands over his naked cock senselessly though he had no sense left in general. “You can’t be- Why? Why me? You must have an encyclopedia of a little black book. Why me?”

He propped himself up on his elbow and stroked his hand down Yuri’s thigh. “Why not you? I go to parties like this quite regularly, but I’ve never brought a date. Who I choose as my date reflects on me and my reputation, and I’ve never found anyone suitable enough before. I know you’re new at this, but I’m certain you’re exactly who I want to bring.”

“That answer makes even less sense than the original explanation.”

Viktor smiled and sat up further. “That right there is what I’m looking for. That in someone who submits so naturally like you do. Who puts on a show so full of passion. Who kneels so gorgeously at my feet… Breathtaking.”

Breathtaking. That word describing him in any way made even less sense than his offer of employment did. What exactly is he playing here? Only way to find out is to keep playing the game. “I, uh, don’t have anything to wear.”

“That’s not a problem. I’ll have something for you on Friday.”

“How many extra hours do I owe you?”

“I’ll be taking the entire time off on Friday evening, so you’ll be mine from six am on Friday until six pm the following day.”

“That’s more than double.”

“I think it’s rather generous considering what you’re making me endure.” What the hell does that mean? He was late, sure, but he could hardly be that put out by a few hours when he wasn’t even planned to start until the week after.

“Fine then. I guess I’ll see you tomorrow morning.” He started to climb off the pillow, but Viktor put his hand on his knee.

“Stay right there. I’ll get your clothes.”

“Why? I’m capable of getting them.”

“Yes, but you’re clearly no longer comfortable with me seeing you naked, and yet you were just about to parade around in front of me to get them. Just wait.” He got up and disappeared into his room of torture returning a moment later with his things. “I’ll wait in the other room while you get dressed.”

He slipped his glasses on and nodded. Viktor left, and he stuffed his now shivering body into his clothes that had grown cold the moment he pulled away from him. “I’m done.”

Viktor stepped back in a moment later and stopped at the cabinet under the sink and pulled out a bottle. He walked over to him and turned the bottle about in his hands, studying it carefully. He looked back up after a moment with his firm professionalism on. “Are you comfortable wearing women’s lingerie in front of strangers? It wasn’t on the list.”

“For the party?” His heart started to race.

He nodded in one quick jerk.

“Then put me in whatever you want. It’s your time.” He tightened his fists to hold down the shaking.

“That’s not the way this works, Yuri. I’m only willing to push you in areas you’re comfortable being pushed in. Are you comfortable with it?”

“Two.”

He gave his firm nod again. “Fine then. This party isn’t like any other you may have been to. You’ll be exposed to many acts of public sex and possibly traumatic scenes of pain inflicted on willing participants. Are you comfortable with attending?”

“Two.”

“Fine.” He paused and glanced at the bottle in his hands then brought his hard, blue eyes up on him. “What are you thinking right now, Yuri?”

“I think that it’s past six, so I’m not required to share that with you.”

Several emotions passed lightly over his face behind his controlled mask. A flickering smile. A twist of confusion. A flash of anger. A wince. “Yes. You’re right. It’s past six.”

“Can you show me the way out?”

He jerked a quick shake of his head. “Anything you need.”

He led him to a door at the back of the bathroom that led into a short hallway with an old-fashioned elevator with wrought iron gates. It only looked old though. A simple press of a button closed the doors and brought them up to another short hallway just outside of the foyer he’d walked into in his quest to make this the stupidest thing he’s ever done. Viktor looked over the bottle again as they stood at the front door then handed him the same sleek, black bottle with a raised ‘V’ in white with flourishing swirls around it that he had used on him in the jade room below. “Here. This will help your skin recover. Use it at least once a day.”

“Thanks for the suggestion.”

He opened his mouth to speak then closed it with a small smile and a strange look in his eyes. “Have a good night, Yuri. Call me if you need anything.”

“Good night, Viktor.” He left into the cool spring evening and walked down the hill to the path leading to his cottage. He tried to make sense of all that had happened, but all he knew was that he knew nothing. He didn’t know what to trust or what to think or what to feel or what to do or if he should be there tomorrow at six am on his knees. He was still contemplating this one as he reached the cornflower blue door. He walked in and Phichit was sitting cross-legged on the kitchen counter, his face glued to his phone.

He jumped down, his phone in hand, and came dashing over to throw them into a hug. “Yuri!”

“Ow, ow.” He hissed as his sudden assault dug into his tender flesh.

He jumped back. “I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to hurt you! I was just so worried about you! You were gone, and you didn’t have your car, so I knew you couldn’t have gone far, but I had no idea where you were because there’s nothing really within walking distance to be gone to for that long. I stopped in at lunch, and you weren’t here, and then I got back, and you were still gone, and I just got worried.”

He twisted his face with confusion. “What do you mean? I was at work like I was supposed to be. Well, I was five hours late for work, but I eventually made it there.”

“Wait, what? I thought you started next Monday. And I would have seen you there. We’re working together, remember?” He took a tiny step back as he tried to piece together the situation.

“Oh, yeah, I was supposed to start next Monday, but Viktor and I agreed I would start today when he was here yesterday.”

“Oh my god! I’m so sorry! I knew you weren’t awake, but I thought you were starting next week, and I remembered the threat, so I didn’t want to wake you.”

“Don’t worry. It’s fine. Viktor and I worked it out.”

“Was he mad?”

“Um… I… don’t know.”

“You don’t know? Did you get in trouble?”

“Uh… No. Not really.”

“Well, that’s good at least. Viktor was here yesterday?”

“Yeah, he insisted on helping me move in even though I tried to tell him I didn’t really have a lot to move.”

His head pulled back as his eyes widened. “Really.”

“Uh, yeah. I thought it was a little strange too. I thought maybe he was just trying to show he was a nice boss.”

“Uh… yeah. He’s a good boss. Not really that friendly though. I mean, he smiles and says hi to people, but not usually much beyond that. Oh, sorry. I attacked you at the front door. Come in. I ordered a pizza. Want some?”

“Does it have anchovies or pineapple on it?”

“God no.”

He smiled. “Then sure. Thanks. Are we going to watch another movie?”

Phichit gave his bright smile. “Yeah, I’d love to if you want to.”

“Yeah, a movie with you sounds great right now.”

His head dipped a little as a light blush passed over his skin. “There’s a sequel to the one we watched yesterday.” He brightened with his suggestion.

“Yeah, that sounds perfect.”

“Yes! Best roomie ever!” He thrust his fist into the sky then typed out something on his phone quickly. “Come talk to me while we wait for the pizza. I ordered it about twenty minutes ago so it should be here soon.” He reached for the hand that had the lotion bottle to drag him along then stopped and pulled back. “What’s that?”

“Oh, uh, just some lotion. I had, um, left it in my car yesterday.” He pulled up the bottle and stared at it for a second with a subtle frown.

“Oh. Sorry for being nosey.”

“It’s fine. Let me put it away, and I’ll be right there.” He went into his room and tucked it into the drawer next to The Gay Man’s Bible in his nightstand. He joined Phichit who was already sitting in the middle of the couch, their mess from yesterday cleaned up, but the remaining food from the gift basket was spread out on the coffee table along with more wine and clean glasses.

“Want some?” He held out a bottle.

“Sure, just one glass though. I think that was a big reason I didn’t hear my alarm in the morning.”

“Yeah, sorry. I didn’t mean to encourage you there.”

“No, it’s not your fault. I accepted all too willingly.” He smiled and climbed over the table to sit next to him. He took the glass Phichit poured and took a sip.

“So, if you were at work though, why didn’t I see you?”

“Oh, um, Viktor changed my position. He said he needed a personal groom and, uh, offered me the job.”

“Oh, really? Wow. I thought he hired you because we were short-handed with the new horses he brought in. And he’s never had a groom before except at shows when Georgi grooms for him.”

“Yeah, he said something about hiring someone else for that? Um, I’m not too sure really what his plans are.”

“Huh. Strange.” His face scrunched with thought as he took a sip of wine then brightened back into a smile. “Well, congratulations! Being his groom must be better than shoveling horse shit.”

“I don’t know yet. I’ve never minded cleaning up after the horses. It’s rather relaxing, and you’re free to just think.”

“True. At least they smell better than every other farm animal out there.”

The doorbell rang, and Phichit jumped up to answer it. He came back a moment later with the pizza after waving a friendly goodbye to the driver. He set the box down on the table then went to grab plates.

“So, how does the driver get past security?”

“Oh, you just have to call down to them and tell them you’re expecting them. Same as anybody you want to get in here. They check IDs for personal visits, but as long as the names match what you’ve said, they let them in and out.”

“I see.”

Phichit sat down and handed him a plate with a slice of pizza on it. “Hey, Yuri, um, were you okay with me kissing you yesterday? I didn’t really mean to go after you so soon, but I was a little tipsy, and you were a lot irresistible.”

He smiled. “Yeah. It was sweet.”

He beamed. “Yeah, it was really sweet. I’m glad you’re okay with it. Um, do you mind if I use you as a pillow again?”

He sat back against the armrest and opened his legs and his arms to let Phichit settle in between them using his torso as a back rest. He sucked in another wince of pain as he made contact with Viktor’s touch.

“Sorry!” He started to get up, but Yuri wrapped his free arm around him to keep him in place.

“You’re fine.”

Phichit looked up at him with his eyebrows drawn together. “Why are you in pain? I didn’t think I landed on you that hard either time.”

“Um, I’m just a little bruised... I tripped when I was running down to Viktor’s office.”

“Oh, are you okay? Can I get you anything?”

“I’m fine.”

“If you’re hurt I shouldn’t be lying on you.”

“I’m fine, Phichit. Let’s just watch the movie.” His voice snapped a little harder than he intended making him flinch back. “I’m sorry. It’s been a bit of a rough day.” He put a smile on. “I’m fine. Really. Just lay back.”

He nodded and gently laid back against him and started the movie. They ate and drank their one glass of wine each and munched on some of the caramel popcorn still left from the gift basket after their pizza. Phichit was fairly quiet through this movie, only making the occasional commentary of little trivia bits along the way. Every time he moved or wriggled against him, Phichit’s touch lit the shadow of Viktor’s lurking in his body.

***

Turn over, Yuri

Chapter Text

(8) His body ached as he lay in bed staring at the phone in his hand reading 5:50 am. Ten minutes to brush his teeth, put clothes on and make it to Viktor’s office to fall to his knees at his feet. Or not. His heart banged around in his chest as he tried to decide making it hard to hear his thoughts. The minute ticked over. Nine minutes.

He raced around the back of the stable to the office on the side of the building then paused at the door to catch his breath and recheck the time. 5:59 am. One minute. The knob heated under his hand and the minute gave way. He clicked the door open. Viktor looked up with a tiny tug at the side of his mouth as Yuri dropped to his knees. He sat heaving, his eyes following Viktor as he stood up and walked around his desk. Viktor stood in front of him, just watching. He reached out to caress his cheek and slide his hand down to hold around his neck.

“My beautiful Yuri.” His eyes softened as his voice gentled. “You look so perfect like this.” Perfect? He was pretty sure his hair was sticking up all over and his glasses that were fogging in the warm office after being chilled in the cool morning air were sliding down his nose from the sheen of sweat he had covering him, and that’s not even mentioning the gut he could feel spilling over his jeans or the cheeks that gave chipmunks a run for their money. And his? He was about to argue the point when he realized that A. arguing wasn’t allowed and B. technically as it was within the sunlit hours between sixes, he was right. He was right… His. For now at least. Viktor leaned down and brought his lips to within an inch of his, his eyes holding him captive. “I wasn’t sure you’d be here on time.”

He let out a soft gasp. “I wasn’t either.”

“Thank you for giving me another day with you.” He brought his lips closer, turning at the last moment to land his kiss on his cheek. He held his warm, soft lips against him, his eyelashes fluttering against his forehead.

“You’re- you’re welcome?”

Viktor smiled and released his kiss. “Yes, that sounds like a decent response.”

“Decent?”

“Is there something wrong with decent?”

“No, Viktor, but… I want to do better than decent.”

His eyes sparked with his blue flame. “Oh, Yuri,” he closed his eyes for a moment like he was savoring something delectable, “Yuri, you’re so good. Those may be the sweetest words I’ve ever heard.” He smiled and tipped Yuri’s chin up to trail kisses along his neck. “What do you think you could say that would please both of us more?” His lips brushed over his neck as he spoke.

“What about… thank you for offering me you for another day.”

“Offering me? Do I give you myself?”

"Yes, Viktor. I think you do.”

His lips stilled on his neck, his hot breath moving faster over his skin.

“You- you wanted me to take all of you yesterday. You didn’t want me to hold you at a distance. You wanted to know how far your touch reaches.”

He pulled back to watch him, a fluttering tension flowing through him. “Yuri… that was perfect.” His voice was thick in his throat. “So good.”

“It’s not good.”

“Why do you think that?”

“You shouldn’t offer me you. I- I’m not… I’m not…” He clenched his eyes and his fists as he tried to find words for the churning sickness buried inside him. “I’ll consume you.” He locked his eyes on him trying to convey his sincerity in words which only struck him with their truth after they tumbled from his lips.

His breath caught. “What if that’s exactly what I want?”

“Please don’t. Please don’t want that.”

“Are you telling me what I should or should not want?”

“No, Viktor. I’m trying to warn you. Please don’t want that. I’ll destroy you.” He closed his eyes and dropped his head back down. How did Viktor keep drawing out these words from him? Words he wanted to keep buried.

He sat back and narrowed his eyes as he lifted his chin back up so he’d meet his eyes again. “I’ve never had a sub dare to think of themselves as powerful enough to destroy me.”

“It’s not a power. Not at all. It’s a power to be competent enough to preserve a life. It’s a weakness to destroy one. You said you did this to feel a connection. You want to feel the power of perfect harmony flowing through your hands without a barrier between you. Like what you feel on your horses.”

“Yes.” His voice had the same energetic breathlessness he had in his room of pain yesterday.

“If- if you take up a connection with me… That harmony is destruction. That’s what I offer. You don’t want to feel that in your hands. It’s awful.” Hot tears slipped down his cheeks, and he wanted to wipe them away, but he sat frozen where Viktor had put him instead.

Viktor gathered him in his arms and sat his perfect white breeches right on the dirty cement floor and pulled him into his lap. His arms wrapped tight around him, and deep sobs started to loosen. “I want it, Yuri. But you already know that. You’re so good at figuring out what exactly it is that I want. You listen so carefully, and you’re quite smart to have figured that out at all, let alone so quickly. You’re the only one that’s ever understood so perfectly what it is that I want, yet you’re also the only one bold enough to tell me that I couldn’t possibly want that.”

“You wanted- you wanted honesty.”

“I do. I’m not mad at you at all. I’m proud of you for being so honest. But I asked you for something that would please both of us more, and you gave me something that pleases me greatly and makes you suffer.” A small breath of laughter huffed over his face. “A true masochist.” He pressed a kiss to his forehead. “Yuri, you are to give all of your worries about keeping us safe to me. It’s my job to protect us. That is a direct order.”

“Viktor, I have,” he sucked in a few breaths trying to slow his tears and Viktor brushed his hand over his face to help him, “I have some information that may be useful to you. May,” he flinched and pressed his face harder against Viktor’s chest, “may I share it?”

“Yes, Yuri.”

“I,” he looked up at Viktor who removed his glasses and smoothed his hand over his face wiping away more tears, “I can’t. I can’t share it. I’m sorry. I tried and…”

“Is the information that you want to share that I don’t have all of the information?”

“Yes,” he breathed in relief. “Yes, Viktor.”

“I already know that, Yuri. I’ve known from the start that there’s something you’re hiding. I also know you’re not ready to share it. These are both fine with me for now. My order still stands. You’re giving me all of the responsibility to keep us safe. Is that understood?”

“Yes, Viktor.”

“Very good, Yuri.” He pressed his thumb over his lips as he dropped down to touch a kiss just to the side of his mouth.

“I’m sorry.” He sniffed against his trembling lips trying to stop his tears.

“It’s okay. I don’t mind.”

“I’m wasting your time.”

He gasped as Viktor shoved him roughly away from him, holding his shoulders at arm’s length. “We’ve been over this.” His voice darkened. “I hate having to repeat myself. The only thing you need to worry about is if I say it’s okay or not.”

“I’m sorry, Viktor. But… I’m not trying to argue. I’m trying to understand. You said you wanted my honest thoughts. I do think that I’m wasting your time.”

“I do want to hear your honest thoughts, but sometimes they require punishment because they don’t serve us and I need to eliminate them. I can understand why that might be confusing, so I’ll try to clarify it. Share everything. You may be punished for some of it because they need to go, but they need to be exposed to be punished. If you leave them buried inside you, they’ll keep hurting you far longer and worse than I will. Expose everything, and I’ll deal with it as I see fit. Some of it will hurt, but you knew that. That’s exactly what you want.”

“Yes, Viktor. I understand now. Thank you. I’m sorry for thinking that... I’m wasting your time.”

“Come here.” He pulled him back in and held him tight again. “I forgive you. You’re worth all of my time. You’re so good, and you make me so happy. I love it when you need me.”

He sniffled and pressed himself tighter to Viktor, his touch from last night aching pleasantly as he pressed harder still.

“That’s it, Yuri. Take what you need. I want to give it to you.” His body flushed warm at Viktor’s words. “My beautiful Yuri.” His thumb stroked along his bottom lip, tugging it open slightly as he kissed the top of his head.

His tongue flicked against the pad of Viktor’s thumb then froze when his breath hitched. When he didn’t pull away or reprimand him, he tasted him again then wrapped his lips around his thumb and sucked lightly. He released his thumb to grab his hand and press kisses over his palm. Watching Viktor’s breath rise, he slipped his thumb more fully in his mouth and sucked hard to the end then pulled it back in.

Viktor let out a shuddering breath. “You need to pleasure me?”

He nodded, Viktor’s thumb still in his mouth. He pulled it out with a gasp remembering. “I’m sorry! I mean, yes, Viktor.”

“Thank you for correcting yourself. It’s not my thumb that you want.”

Warmth flooded his cheeks. “No, Viktor. I want… your cock. I need to make you feel good. Please, may I?”

He shook his head with a tight, but warm, smile. “You love pushing limits, don’t you? Yours. Mine.” He pushed his thumb all the way into his mouth and watched as Yuri’s eyes fluttered closed and his cheeks hollowed as he sucked hard pulling him back out slowly. “That will have to do for now. It’s not time for more yet.” His damp thumb pressed against Yuri’s cheek as he held his face between his hands. “Did you eat anything this morning?”

“No, Viktor.”

“Why not? I thought I told you that you need to eat three meals a day. It wasn’t an order, but I would hope you’d listen to basic good advice.”

“I couldn’t. I didn’t have time.”

His hands fell away and rested on his thighs. “Too much wine and kissing again?”

“No, Viktor! We had some wine but only one glass, and we didn’t kiss. We only cuddled.”

His cheek twitched just below his eye that looked almost like a flash of a wince. “So why couldn’t you get up early enough to eat breakfast before you came to work?”

“I can barely wake up that early as it is. I can’t sleep well at night. I’ve never been able to fall asleep before midnight, and that’s the absolute earliest. It’s usually closer to one or two. But it’s fine. I’m used to it.”

“Yuri, are you aware there’s a difference between fine and used to it? Because I’m not so certain that you are.”

“You’re probably right. I don’t know anything in my life I can’t label with, ‘It’s fine. I’m used to it.’”

He winced quite clearly this time. “I’m sorry. That was insensitive of me, wasn’t it? I’m aware that your life hasn’t been cushy. Mine has been obviously, and I missed seeing that as being a way to adapt to your circumstances. Please forgive me.” He bowed his head slightly.

“You’re apologizing to me? I didn’t think this worked like that.”

He looked back up. “I’ve apologized to you before and I will again. I’m not perfect and try as I might, I won’t be able to prevent every mistake. You should never follow someone who can’t admit it when they’re wrong. That’s the most dangerous type of person to follow.”

“How can you bear the responsibility of someone’s life while being so aware of your ability to make mistakes? What if you hurt them? Does that thought ever cross your mind?”

“Of course, it does. Especially for me. I do actively hurt the people who put their trust in me, and I have to walk a very fine line between doing it for their benefit and pushing too far and harming them in ways I didn’t intend. It’s that concentration on that line that gives me the satisfaction I need. I’m like you; I like pushing my limits.”

“Have you ever made a mistake that hurt someone past that line?”

“Yes. I misplaced a stroke of the flogger, the tool I used on you yesterday, and the tails wrapped around his shoulder which increases their force and sliced open his skin leaving scars. It was when I was just good enough with it to start pushing my limits, but not quite skilled enough to prevent that.”

“Did you feel bad about that?”

“Absolutely terrible. I was sick over it for months.”

“You didn’t hesitate to use it on me at all. How could you be so comfortable with it after that?”

“I learned from my mistakes. I don’t push my limits so quickly anymore. I make sure that I can make it do exactly what I want it to do every time before I try for more. I make sure I have all of the information I can to prevent mistakes like that.”

“I don’t mean how do you prevent it now; I mean how did you trust yourself to pick it up again?”

“I was scared at first, but I picked it up anyway and pushed myself little by little relying on both my better education and the simple fact that I knew I had no desire to hurt anyone like that. It’s balancing on the line that’s satisfying, not holding back from it or falling to the other side. I trust myself to hold on to that. Have I answered you satisfactorily? Do you forgive me?”

“I’m sorry! I wasn’t questioning you and your ability. I was trying to understand how. How you could pick it up again.”

“That’s something you still can’t understand even though I answered it as clearly as I could, isn’t it?”

“Yes, Viktor. But, I do forgive you.” He smiled. “It really wasn’t necessary to apologize to me though. It was hardly an offense.”

“How much force do you use in an ideal communication with a horse?”

“Nothing more than a guiding touch.”

“You answered that far too easily for someone who doesn’t ride.” A light smirk fell onto his face. “But you’re right. If I want you to respond to a gentle touch, all of them have to matter. I can’t tell you to ignore some and respond to others. That’s unfair and confusing.”

“Did he forgive you?”

“Yes,” he smiled. “We’re still good friends, and he likes the scars thankfully. I was never able to do another scene with him though.”

“Scene?”

“What we did yesterday in the playroom. It’s called a scene. It was too much for me at first to try it with him again, and by the time I felt confident enough to we had decided that we made much better friends without the play.”

He nodded.

“That you understand.”

“Yes, Viktor.” He nodded then smiled. “No, Viktor. I don’t understand how you call something so brutal ‘play.’”

He chuckled and poked at his unbruised side making him squirm. “You had fun. It’s not gentle and innocent, but it’s still play.”

“Grown-up play.”

“Very. How are you feeling today?”

“Okay. A little sore, but not bad.”

“Stand up. Take off your shirt.”

He obeyed, flinching as the shirt pulled over his head.

Viktor stood up and took the shirt from him. “Unbutton your jeans. Let them fall to the floor and stand for inspection with your hands behind your head, your feet apart. This is the stance you’ll take any time I tell you to stand for inspection. I’ll specify the level of undress I want from you beforehand. Understood?”

“Yes, Viktor.” He brought his hands to his jeans and let them fall to the floor and put his hands behind his head.

Viktor nudged his elbows back further and pushed his chest out then tapped under his chin to make him lift it. “Like this. Every time.” He stood back to look over his damage. “What do you think of the bruises?”

“I haven’t really looked at them yet, but last night they were a little uncomfortable, but here now you were pressing into them, and it felt… good.”

“When exactly were they uncomfortable last night?”

“When Phichit was laying on them.”

The corner of his mouth tugged into a smile. “They look lovely on you.” His hand caressed his chest down to his stomach and around to his back pulling him in close. “You look beautiful, Yuri.” He kissed his neck then stepped back. “Put your clothes back on.” He obeyed with Viktor cleaning off his glasses on his shirt before handing them over. “I can’t change your hours, but I can readjust my schedule to make sure you get fed properly. You can plan on having breakfast and lunch with me the days you’re here. I’m a bit limited on what I can do about your sleeping as it falls outside of my hours, but I’ll look into it. Have you always had that issue?”

“Yes, Viktor.”

“What are you doing while you’re awake that late?”

“Random things to try to get myself tired enough to pass out or lying in bed thinking. I try to avoid that though because that’s always when I sleep the worst.”

“Your thoughts are that disturbing to you.”

“Yes, Viktor.”

He nodded. “I find you beautiful and so sexy exactly as you are, but you’d be more comfortable with a more toned body, correct?”

“Yes, Viktor.”

“Then in the mornings, I’d like you to come dressed for a workout. Don’t worry about bringing a change of clothes tomorrow because I’ll have something I want you to wear to work every day.”

“Yes, Viktor.”

“Come then. Let’s get started.” He walked out of the office and led him up the hill to his house once again.

He slipped off his boots in the foyer and followed Viktor into the kitchen.

“Here. Eat this.” He handed him a banana. “I’ll feed you a proper breakfast after the workout, but having a little energy in you now will allow you to work harder.”

“I’m not really hungry.”

“On your knees.” His voice dropped low, menacing.

He dropped to his knees and placed his hands on them, the banana still in one fist.

“You disappointed me, Yuri.”

“I’m-”

“Ah. You don’t get to apologize yet. You knew you were supposed to obey my order. Stay there.” He left the kitchen, his boots striding hard across the floor, his disappointment driving deeper with every step away from him.

Pain struck his chest, but it was nothing like Viktor’s pain from his touch. This was an empty pain of loss that brought tears to his eyes, not the rich pain of his touch that bathed him in sensation. How did he feel such a loss from him just walking away? His touch had barbs. As soon as he let him in, it hooked in and yanked holes in his flesh when it was removed. What was he going to do when his touch was gone for good? Would Viktor detach himself carefully or would he just walk away and leave him torn open as he did now? This was absolutely a horrible idea. One day and he was already on the brink of destruction. Exactly as he had promised.

After endless minutes he couldn’t count with the pain distorting his perception, Viktor’s stride echoed off the empty spaces in his enormous house though softer than before. He stopped behind him. “I’m willing to hear you now.”

He placed his hands on the floor and bowed halfway to the ground. “I’m sorry, Viktor. I didn’t mean to disrespect you, and I will strive not to let it happen again. Please forgive me.”

“What did you feel when I was gone?”

“It hurt.”

“The kind of hurt you like?”

He shook his head. “No, Viktor. Not at all. I hated it. I don’t want to feel it again. I hate disappointing you.”

He stepped around in front of him dressed in shorts and sneakers with nothing else and his clear face washed relief over him. “I forgive you, Yuri. Stand up and eat the banana.”

(9) He stood up, and Viktor dropped to his knees. He looked up at him expectantly while Yuri watched him trying to figure out what he was doing before he realized that what Viktor was doing was something for him to worry about. He only had to follow his order. He cracked open the peel and Viktor unbuttoned Yuri's jeans and let them fall. He sucked in a quick breath then took a bite of the banana and Viktor’s lips went to his bruises on his inner thigh sucking a wet kiss there just hard enough to send the warm touch of his pain spreading out through his core. His knees went weak. He held himself upright the best he could as he took another bite and Viktor’s hand drifted up his other thigh as he sought out a new location for his kiss higher on his thigh. His cock started filling quickly, and he squirmed as he whimpered, but Viktor just sat waiting for him, his ocean blue eyes soft. Yuri swallowed hard and took another bite sending Viktor’s fingers snaking up under the leg of his boxers to the crest of his hip. His thumb stroked over the sensitive skin in the valley between his leg, and his torso and Yuri started quivering. Viktor’s lips sucked over his tender skin on his thighs and over his stomach as Yuri obeyed him. He got to the last bite, and Viktor’s hands moved to the top of his waistband, reaching in and tugging them down just a bit. He licked along the crease of his thigh while Yuri chewed, just narrowly missing his fully hardened cock as he tugged the boxers the rest of the way down. Exposed to the air and Viktor’s eyes, Yuri gasped as his core clenched hard and sent drips of precum onto Viktor’s shoulder. Viktor glanced at it then looked up and smiled.

“Jerk yourself off onto my face.”

“What?” He gasped, and he pulled his hips back slightly to restrain himself from the impulse that washed over him telling him to shove his cock straight into Viktor’s slightly parted lips. “I’m sorry, Viktor! I didn’t mean to question you! I was just surprised.”

“I know. Go ahead.”

He still didn’t understand and wanted to ask him if he was sure this was something he was supposed to do, but Viktor gave him an order, and his only job was to follow it. He switched the peel to his left hand and took himself in his right.

Viktor took the peel from him and tossed it onto the counter then twined his fingers with his and tugged his hand to his mouth for a kiss to the back of it. “Show me how you like it best.” He moved Yuri’s hand onto his shoulder then let go and held onto his ass to help support him as his knees trembled.

Yuri moved his hand up to his mouth and started working up some spit to use as lube.

Viktor stole his hand away. “You need spit?”

“Y-yes, Viktor.”

“Ask me for what you need.”

“Oh god.” He doubled over at the strange mix of confusion, heat, embarrassment, and overwhelming desire punched through his gut. “V-Viktor, can I ple- please have some spit?”

Viktor put Yuri’s hand back to his cock as he rose up higher on his knees and let a thick stream of saliva fall from his mouth onto his aching cock. Yuri cried out and grasped Viktor’s shoulder as he worked his saliva over his cock. His eyes screwed shut as he formed a circle with his fingers and worked the warm, slick fluid over the sensitive skin below his foreskin. He ran his thumb over the head then forced his eyes back open, so he could relish the sight of Viktor on his knees, mouth open, waiting for him to cover him with his cum. The sight was too much, and with a few more heavy strokes down his length, he was coming straight into that open mouth and over his cheek and down his chin onto his chest.

“Oh god! Vi-Viktor!” He cried out and moved his hand from his shoulder to the back of his head fingering the soft strands for a second before weaving his fingers into them and gripping hard. He milked the last few drops over his pink tongue then held himself as still as he could through his trembling.

Viktor watched him for a moment, cum glistening on his face and over his tongue before he swallowed it then licked his lips to get as much from the rest of his face as he could. He stood up and gripped Yuri’s hair as he had done. “Clean me up.”

“With- with what?”

“Anything you have available to you at this moment.”

He considered the shirt still on his body but then he wouldn’t have it to wear. A strand of cum dripped from his chin onto his chest and ran down to his nipple. His tongue flicked out and licked straight over the tip of his nipple before he could consider his actions. Viktor gasped but made no move to stop him. He looked up to watch him as his tongue worked over his budding nipple then up the soft curve of his pec. His chest pulsed harder under his tongue. He stood up on his toes and gently tugged Viktor down to reach him. Taking his time, he worked his tongue and open kisses over him to clean every drop of his cum from his face.

“Have you ever tasted your own cum before?”

“No, Viktor.”

“What do you think?”

“Um… I’m not sure I’d like it on its own, but on you…” He moaned and closed his eyes as he bathed his tongue over Viktor’s soft cheek and finished with a kiss. “It’s so good.” His voice lowered to a soft whisper. His tongue slid closer to his tantalizing mouth, just reaching the corner.

Viktor’s breath sped up as he grabbed his hand and held it against the side of his clean cheek. Yuri paused then took a careful taste of his lips. They parted slightly with Viktor’s soft gasp, and he slipped his tongue just barely inside his mouth, tasting the edges of that slick, hot inside. Viktor sighed and turned his head into their hands, pulling his mouth slightly away.

“I already got that part, Yuri.” His voice was soft as his closed eyes scrunched with the effort of restraint. What exactly he was trying to hold back wasn’t clear. A scolding or… a desire. He turned as he pulled their hands from his face and kissed the center of Yuri’s palm. “Am I clean?”

He pulled back a little to check. “Yes, Viktor.”

“Excellent. Pull your underwear up but take your pants off and come with me.”

He smiled a little to himself as he obeyed.

“What’s so amusing, Yuri?”

“Um, that your commands… they’re always a little strange, yet you say them with such certainty as if it were the most normal thing in the world.”

The tops of his cheeks crinkled warmly below his eyes. “I guess you’re right. I can see how this is still rather strange to you.”

He folded his pants over his arm and followed Viktor through his maze that he knew every turn of. “Can- am I allowed to ask why you had me do that?”

“You can always ask questions if you need to, even with my orders as long as they’re respectful and not just a way to argue. But to answer this one, it’s because food has gotten twisted in your mind to being something that causes you distress. I’m reconnecting it to pleasure as it should be.”

“What if I get turned on now every time I eat a banana?”

He laughed as he opened the door to a room in the back of the house on the upper floor. “That’s certainly a risk here. I’m not a psychologist so some things may have unintended consequences. I think eliminating the distress of going through the rest of your life feeling sick when trying to eat in front of others is worth the risk of an awkward encounter with a banana or two, but if that happens and is too distressing for you, I’ll find a way to correct it. Fair enough?”

“Yes, Viktor.”

They stepped into a room where narrow windows, arched on top and set in a gently curved wall, stretched from the floor to just below the ceiling and softened the light of the bright day through translucent cream curtains and brought it into a room where worn, burnt oak flooring, dark chocolate walls and ornately carved pillars lent the other half of a deep contrast but without the harshness found in stark black and white. Inky turned posts of a solid four-poster bed reached up towards a blush chandelier dripping down to join it in the center of the space.

Viktor walked over to a large dresser matching the frame of the bed holding a small collection of exotic decorations including an elephant made of teak wood and formed with joined flourishes around empty spaces allowing you to look straight into and through the beast and a line of Russian nesting dolls along with various other items looking like they’d been collected from around the world. A stuffed peacock sat on a shelf overlooking the collection, it’s rich plumage flowing down the wall. A few pieces of art hung on the walls, but overall there was nothing that looked particularly personal until he spotted the bookshelf covering the interior wall arranged exactly as he’d done to his bookshelf at the cottage only with more various aesthetic objects filling the spaces as he’d suggested for him to do. Only one framed picture sat on the very top shelf. He wanted to go closer to see what it was a picture of but he erred on the side of caution and stayed where he was.

“Take off your shirt.” Viktor turned back around from the dresser with a measuring tape and a pair of shorts and a shirt in his hand. He took his shirt from him and tossed it on the bed then started taking measurements of his body over every surface and typing them into his phone. He paused on occasion to smile and kiss whatever part he was working on.

Yuri tried to keep himself contained, reminding himself that it was all calculated to manipulate him into feeling how Viktor determined he should feel. He couldn’t mean any of this the way he was taking it. He was just weak and pathetic and lonely and letting his imagination load the situation with meaning Viktor hadn’t put there. This was all just a business deal for him regardless of how intimate the contents were. Whatever joy he extracted from this process could be had with anyone who met his minimum standards. He just happened to be the one filling the role of servant to his needs. He didn’t mean the way his eyelashes fluttered as his lips pressed gently on his bruised inner thigh. He didn’t mean the tender confidence in his hands running down his back as anything other than a way to convince him to trust him. He certainly didn’t mean the sigh as he pulled back from a kiss to the soft flab on his stomach as anything other than a sound to conceal his revulsion. Men who look like Viktor; men who have status like Viktor; men who have talent like Viktor; and certainly, men who have all three don’t go for plain, flabby, boring guys like him. That’s just a law of the universe written and sealed with the kiss he pulled away from. It had been so subtle when it happened, and he didn’t even know he was going for a kiss himself, but now that the flood of chemicals had settled, he was able to see it for what it was. A kiss denied.

Viktor stood up from his position on his knees and studied him as he rested his hand against Yuri’s neck. “What’s wrong, Yuri?” He didn’t mean the way his voice melted into deep concern when he said that.

“Nothing’s wrong, Viktor.”

“That’s not true, but I’m not certain if you’re aware of that lie or not. You’re locking me out. Why?” He didn’t mean that wince of pain in his voice as anything other than a guilt trip.

“I’m not locking you out. I’m here obeying your orders.”

“That’s not what I mean. Your responses are dulled. My touch isn’t reaching you like it was just a few minutes ago. What were you just thinking about?” His order lacked his usual authoritative command and sounded like a genuine question. He wasn’t sure if that meant it was still an order or not but he guessed his original order to share his thoughts still stood.

He studied the full, heart-shaped lips his tongue had tasted for a brief moment and were now ruthlessly out of reach then looked up to meet his eyes with a glare. “You pulled back.”

He cocked his head in confusion. “I pulled back when? I was just on my knees kissing you.”

“In the kitchen. I… I went to- to kiss you, and you pulled back.”

A tiny melancholic smile turned the corner of his mouth. “You are sensitive. I tried to be as gentle as I could. I apologize for hurting you, Yuri. That wasn’t my intent.”

“You’re okay with me cumming on your face and licking it off but not a kiss?”

“Yes. That’s exactly right.”

“I don’t understand.”

“I have limits too.” His voice rasped soft and low as he twirled a piece of Yuri’s hair between his fingers. “Some things push me past my control.”

He can’t control a kiss, but he can control everything else they did? That didn’t make sense, but the question seemed too rude to ask. “So, a kiss for you is what number?”

“A kiss from you would be a one.” His lips closed over his neck then he sighed and moved to a new spot to touch it with another burning kiss.

“From me? Why would you say that specifically?”

His kiss moved higher just below his ear making him tilt his head away to give him access. “We have different limits for different people. For you, kissing Phichit might be a three, but kissing the woman who bags your groceries would likely be a zero, yes?”

“Oh. That makes sense. So, what would you rate a kiss from someone other than me?”

“Why are you concerned about other people when we’re the only two here?” His breath rushed over his ear as he took the lobe in his mouth and sucked with a gentle bite as he released it. “Are you planning on having other people kiss me?”

He shuddered, and his head turned instinctively toward him seeking his lips. They paused within a breath of each other. He shook his head at the rush of anger to hold it down. Was Viktor right before? Was that jealousy? Was that a question he was supposed to answer or not? Caution for Viktor was erring on the side of saying something while caution for him was to keep his mouth shut. “No, Viktor. Never. I would never… want that.” He fought down the urge to grab him and hold him in his arms. “When is it something you’d do with me?”

“When it’s not a question.”

How can a kiss be a question? He considered asking that aloud, but the look in Viktor’s eyes made him stop.

“What is a kiss from me for you? It wasn’t on the list, but I think I need to know now.”

His breath hitched. “Um…” He considered the burn fluttering in his chest and up his throat that spread further when Viktor’s hand went to his low back. He gulped. “Three.”

His chin dipped ever so slightly. “Can you wait?”

“Wait for what?”

“For me.”

He reached out for Viktor, his fingertips resting gently on his smooth skin, his trembling mostly contained before his palm rested tenderly on his cheek. His thumb brushed over his lips. “Yes, Viktor.”

He smiled gently. “Thank you.” He held his hand still as he turned his face to kiss the palm of his hand then moved his hands down to his waist. “God, Yuri, your limits... It’s not a line that I’m walking. It’s a blazing wire wrapped tight around me and getting tighter by the second.” His hands gripped him harder as his expression tightened into his blue flame. “Do you have any idea how badly I want to throw you down on that bed and suck your cock until you’re just a writhing, whimpering mess as a thank you? How have you made it to twenty-four looking like you do without losing your virginity on the way?”

“Am I supposed to answer the first question or the second?”

“Just the second. The first was rhetorical. I already know you have no fucking clue.”

“Um, I don’t know really. It just wasn’t a priority I guess.”

“It wasn’t a priority? You do want to have sex, right?”

“Yes!” He fought the urge to slap his hand over his mouth at how pathetically eager that was.

Viktor chuckled. “Good. I was just making sure. Is it something special for you? Your first time that is. Is it something you’re saving for the right person?”

“Umm… I guess so? I don’t know really. I haven’t thought about that much. But yeah, I guess that would be true. I don’t want to do it with the wrong person. It’s a memory that stays with you for a long time, right?”

“Yes. Most people would never forget it. Make sure you wait, Yuri.” He smiled and brought his hands back up to clasp gently around his face. “Save it until you’re sure it’s the right person.”

“I thought you wanted me to lose my limits sooner rather than later.”

“Yes, that’s what I want for selfish reasons, but what I want for you is to wait until you’re ready and it’s the right person.”

“Is that an order?”

“Only between our sixes, it is. Between yours, it’s just my wish for you to be happy.”

“Yes, Viktor.”

He smiled and stepped back. “Here. Put these on.” He handed him the shorts and his shirt. “I don’t have any sneakers that will fit you right now. Do you want to go back to your house to get some or will your boots suffice for our workout for today?”

He looked up as he balanced on one leg as he stepped into the shorts. “I can wear my boots.”

“Good.”

He looked at the shirt Viktor had handed him then back at his own on the bed. “Um, may I ask why you’re having me wear this one instead of mine?”

“You’re going to get sweaty and will need to change. I thought you’d prefer to wear your own shirt the rest of the day.” He cocked his head and smiled as he studied his reaction. “Did I assume incorrectly? Would you rather wear mine the rest of the day?”

“No, Viktor. I don’t want to get it dirty.”

He took the shirt from the bed and swapped them in his hands. “Change of orders. Wear this one for now. Keep mine.”

“But- I-” He bit his lip and scrunched his face. “Yes, Viktor.”

“Very good, Yuri. I’m pleased you fought that impulse to argue.” He leaned in to kiss his cheek, lingering for just a moment. “Let’s go.” He headed out of the bedroom with Yuri following behind. He turned to look back at him. “I already did my workout today, so you’ll forgive me if I’m a little slow.”

“Yes, Viktor.” Thank god. Maybe this will only be horribly embarrassing instead of completely embarrassing. He was already dreading tomorrow when he intended to do this fully refreshed.

Viktor laughed. “That wasn’t an order. That was making conversation. I'm sorry for being unclear.”

He smiled slightly. “You’re forgiven. Also, thank you for the shirt,” his smile fell away as he thought, “and for the gift basket and flowers. I realized just now I hadn’t thanked you for those yet.”

He smiled, but it didn’t look entirely pleased. “You’re very welcome. I’m glad you and Phichit are enjoying the food.” The expression he glimpsed on Viktor’s face just before he turned back made him curse this whole social media thing.

(10) Viktor led him to the woods that picked up at the back of his castle and to a clear dirt path winding through it. He clapped his hands with a smile. “Okay, we’re just going to warm up with an easy jog then when you hear the beep on my phone take off into a sprint and race me as hard as you can. When it beeps again, we go back to a walk then repeat until you hear the three beeps signaling the end. Simple enough, yes?”

“Yes, Viktor.” Right. Like he’s going to be able to keep up with him.

He tapped at his phone then stuck it in the armband he had put on when back in his room. “Okay, ready?”

“Yes, Viktor.”

“Good. Let’s go.”

He took off with his long legs carrying him to an easy lead within a few strides. Yuri did his best but with extra weight and boots, this “easy warmup” felt a whole lot like the actual workout as he tried to keep up. His body ached more than usual with the bruises all over him but soon enough his body accepted the cold burn of his lungs and the fire in his thighs and calves, and it eased into a steady stride. The first beep sounded, and he was left in Viktor’s dust. Irritation at his weakness drove his legs harder, and he at least held their gap by the time another beep sounded, and they went back to a walk. He stumbled the first few steps and Viktor reached his hand back to steady him.

“Thanks.” He tried to straighten himself under his heaving lungs.

“You’re not doing too bad. A little slow, but I expected worse.”

He couldn’t stop the glare he gave at Viktor’s chipper smile.

He laughed. “Oh, don’t give me that look. You know it’s true. With your age, you should be able to outrun me especially when I’m going easy.”

“Not when you have legs like a gazelle, and I’ve just got these thick stumpy things.”

His face hardened as he looked over. “Yuri, you are not to talk about yourself that way.”

“Yes, Viktor.”

He nodded. “Good. I love your legs. Your thighs especially. So delicious. I might just make a meal out of them one of these days.”

He chuckled. “So, you lured me out into the woods and then revealed your cannibalistic desires? That’s nice. I’m not concerned at all.”

Laughing, he paused to kiss his cheek. “I didn’t mean that literally. I meant that your thighs and chocolate sauce and my tongue might get very well acquainted soon.” His phone beeped interrupting the smirk that followed his wink.

Viktor took off again, and Yuri pushed himself to keep up. The ache in his body spread warm pleasure through him at the memory of how it got there along with thoughts of Viktor’s promises for more. What did he intend to do tonight? He sought out Viktor and found him shockingly right next to him. Viktor seemed just as surprised and he started pushing harder just as the next beep sounded. By the third sprint, Yuri was starting to pull ahead, and Viktor was looking frustrated. By the time the triple beeps sounded, Yuri was solidly winning all of their bouts. He looked back at Viktor heaving and braced on his knees with a triumphant grin.

Viktor looked up, a reluctant smile on his face. “You… you have good stamina. And you’re a lot more competitive than I would have thought.”

“Yeah, the end is usually easier for me than the start.”

“I’m the opposite. I have good speed in the beginning, but endurance has never been my strong suit. Looks like this will be an excellent match. We’ll both push each other in our weak points. Come on. Steady jog back home.” He turned back around and this time keeping up was easy.

They arrived back at the castle and Viktor led him to a park next to the woods that had an old metal playground set up, the kind you don’t really see much anymore with most of them being replaced with plastic. This at least had a thick covering of trees to block out the sun so their skin wouldn’t be scalded at least.

Yuri cocked his head. “A playground?”

“Yes. It’s a good workout. I’ll show you.”

He walked over to the monkey bars and jumped up to grab the side of it holding his body out in a perfectly straight line horizontal to the ground as he pulled himself up and brought his chin over the bar. He repeated the pull up without letting his body waver from that flat plane. His skin was flushed red, and sweat dripped down his body across his bare rippling abs before dripping off into the shredded black rubber covering the ground. Yuri’s eyes were focused on every undulating drop, and he didn’t notice Viktor watching him until his sweetly smug voice called out.

“Like what you see?”

He turned redder than Viktor was at being caught, but his demanded answer still stuttered out. “Ye-yes, Viktor.”

“Come join me.”

He jumped to grab the bar next to him and tried to hold his body out, but all he managed was a pathetic wave as his body collapsed right back to hanging straight down from the bar.

“You don’t have to go all the way right now. Just hold yourself firm and lift as much as you can while still holding it through the pull-up.” He dropped back to the ground with a huff and came over to guide his body into the proper placement. “Hold your abs in hard. Those have to be as strong as possible.” He poked at his belly until he sucked it hard enough to satisfy him. “Good. Now pull yourself up.”

He managed five pull-ups before his abs gave out and he fell back into a straight line, the weight of his body jerking hard on his arms. He let go and dropped to the ground. “Wow. That’s tough.”

“Yeah. You did great though. When I started, I was only able to do one. Though I was only fourteen.” He grinned and poked lightly at his side.

“You’ve been working out here that long?”

“Yeah, this has been here since I was a kid. I started using it to work out just because it was here and I was used to playing on it. This is just playing with a focus and a goal.”

“Is that still playing then?”

“If it’s fun, why not call it play? Come on. Next exercise.”

He joined him through various holds, pulls, dips, and balances on the equipment and managed to surprise both himself and Viktor with how much his softened body was able to keep up though it was still far from anything impressive. They moved to a stack of platforms that Viktor jumped onto and back down squatting low on every landing. He took a few off the stack to let him try it, and after a few jumps, he discovered just how scary it got when fatigue starts setting in. He froze on the ground with his shaking legs then looked over to Viktor.

“Uh, how do you balance pushing yourself and not biting it?”

“Just find your limit. It’s okay on this one not to push your limit too hard. I don’t want you getting injured. It’s probably right about now for you if the stack is looking intimidating.”

They did a few more leg exercises, various squats, and lunges and stretched themselves out then Viktor wiped the sweat from his forehead and looked over with a grin. “Come on. Now that I have a partner, I wanna try something.” Taking his hand and tugging him along, he dragged him back over to a high bar and stopped below it. “Come here. Climb on.” He opened his arms wide.

“Climb on? As in… climb on you?”

“Yes.” He took his hand and pulled his arms up around his neck then slid his hands down to his thighs and picked him up to wrap around his waist.

His cock twitched in great interest at being pressed so close to such a sweaty, shirtless, rippling Viktor, and he prayed Viktor wouldn’t notice. The soft smirk in his eyes when he looked at him assuaged him that at least that aspect of his life was still going quite normally. Viktor looked up to spot the bar and made the little jump necessary to reach it. His arms began lifting them smoothly up to the top of the bar making every muscle in his body flex against his and ran a rolling pressure down his cock pressed between them. It hardened distinctly, and Viktor’s smirk grew wider as he looked over the top of the bar between them. He kissed his cheek at the top then lowered himself slowly and back up again keeping his eyes fixed on him with his gentle smile on his face. How was he smiling through this? It took Yuri all the strength in his body to hold himself onto such a slippery surface. He had no idea how Viktor was returning to the top for a third time with all of his weight on him and after this being the end of his second workout for the day. He was inhuman. He eased back down then dropped to the ground.

“Wow. That’s tough. I’m going to be very sore tomorrow.” He wrapped his arms around his waist to help hold them together. “I think I overdid it a little trying to impress you.” He laughed lightly and tipped his head to the side to kiss his neck.

“I don’t understand this whole ‘trying to impress’ me thing.”

“What do you mean you don’t understand it? I want to impress you. I like the look in your eyes when I do.”

“Um… you like the completely manic expressions I make when you overwhelm me?”

He laughed again and moved to a new spot on his neck. “I do like those; they’re cute, but I wasn’t referring to those. I was referring to that little spark in your eyes when your breath hitches almost imperceptibly, and just one side of your mouth melts ever so slightly down into a crooked little smile. That look is rarer than you think and I do have to try to put it there. You are anything but easy, Yuri. You challenge me in every way.” He tipped his head to the other side and pressed a long lingering kiss to the dip between his neck and his collarbone. “Thank you.”

He put him down slowly letting his cock get a nice long drag against his hard body. Yuri grabbed his arms to steady himself as he heaved forward when his feet hit the ground. Viktor waited until he stabilized then turned and walked toward the house. He paused for only a second before he realized he was expected to follow and he jogged to catch up. Viktor glanced back with a smile.

He led him back into his bedroom and through the door next to the bookshelf into a bathroom almost the exact inverse of the one in the basement with pearlescent tiles lining every surface and swirls of jade running through them. Viktor led him to the expansive shower that held a long line of fancy bottles on a shelf built into the long wall and a wide teak bench and turned the water on. “You did so well for me; I’ll watch as you clean yourself up and pleasure yourself.” He glanced down at the bulge in his shorts. “Apparently your stamina applies to many areas.”

He wasn’t sure if he was supposed to reply, but it somehow seemed appropriate. “Thank you, Viktor.” The smile on his face told him that at least those instincts were correct. He returned the smile albeit with an embarrassed blush as he pulled his shirt over his head then paused staring at it in his hands and his lip held between his teeth as he thought. “Did- did I… do well enough to have you… join me?”

“Oh, Yuri.” He slowly shook his head in a crooked line. “Yuri, so good. You’re so wonderful.” He stepped forward and knelt down to remove Yuri’s shorts. “Yes, zolotse, you did so well, and you asked so sweetly, so yes, I’ll join you.” He pulled off his boxers and stepped him out of them then tossed them to the side then stood up to remove his own clothes.

Yuri drank in the sight before him. Viktor’s skin was still slightly pink and wet from his efforts, his muscles swollen and quivering slightly. His thick cock hung heavy over his sculpted legs under a trimmed patch of silver hair. Yuri instinctively licked his lips and gulped as the image of it hardening and sliding down his throat flashed in his mind.

Viktor raised his hand to comb through his hair and pushed it back a little, posing for him with a satisfied grin. “You like what you see?”

“Yes, Viktor. Very- very much.”

He turned around and popped his ass toward him, his arms stretched up and placed behind his head, widening his shoulders and back and emphasizing the way they cut sharp lines to his waist before softening over the treacherous curves of his low back and ass. “But you’re a fan of this view, aren’t you?”

“I’m a fan of all of them. There’s nothing on you that isn’t perfection.” His jaw hung slightly open with the weight of Viktor’s image dragging him down.

“Yuri! You little charmer. See? We get some of that nervous stuttering out of the way, and you’re smooth as silk. Come on.” He took his hand and tugged him into the shower.

If he thought Viktor naked after a workout was perfection, Viktor in the shower was enough to make him want to drop to his knees and thank the force in the universe that put this sight before him. He realized that whatever force it was could be summed up with Viktor’s actions pulling him to right here and found himself sinking to his knees at his feet before his self-consciousness could stop him.

“What is this, Yuri? Are you… mocking me?”

(11) “No, Viktor.” He leaned forward to kiss the tops of his feet. “I just… had to. Thank you.” He looked back up and blinked against the water bouncing in his eyes.

“My god, Yuri. Are you trying to ruin me?” His eyes burned as he grabbed his hand and pulled him back to his feet. He took a sponge from the shelf and lathered it with the same intoxicating scent of his lotion. Pinning him back against the cold tiles, he ran the rich lather over his own abs. It flowed into the hollow line where his abs ended and his thigh began and dripped down his leg. Viktor grabbed Yuri’s hand and put it to his own cock then lowered himself down a little to line up his abs to his cock. “Here. Fuck yourself on me.” He rolled his hips into him and paused just before making contact with his cock, his body trembling. “Color?”

“Green.” All the blood in his body rushed to his cock, and his cry echoed through the hollow space as Viktor pressed into him and slid his rippled abs down the length of his cock. He slid his body along him as his kisses bit over his chest with nips of pain to send his pleasure soaring. He thrust into the creamy lather, rich and heavy with slick lotions and his head pressed back against the wall as his hips pressed tighter to Viktor and his gasping cries flowed without restraint. Viktor laced his fingers into his free hand and pressed their hands onto the wall behind him, his body rolling along the underside of his cock. Water droplets fell from the soaked fringe of hair hanging over his eyes and landed on his full, parted lips. Yuri ached as he held himself back from his desire to taste him. Viktor leaned in closer and the droplets running off of him began to fall onto Yuri’s waiting lips. Seizing Yuri’s neck and pulling them closer, his breath trembled as his shiver sent a rush of Viktor’s rain over his face. The droplets ran inside his mouth, and he closed his eyes to swallow them slowly. His lips parted again and sparked with the slightest brush of Viktor’s lips as their eyes locked on each other, his heavy breath rolling in waves into his mouth and over his tongue. Viktor made a tiny sound almost like a whimper in the back of his throat as he closed his eyes and pressed his forehead against his, pulling his lips back again. The hollow knife of loss slashed through his pleasure, but Viktor’s own expression of pain when he opened his eyes to watch him again hurt even worse. He needed to make him feel good. It was his own fault that Viktor was now hurting because he didn’t understand how a kiss could be a question or how to make it not be one. He was supposed to be the one hurting here. Not Viktor.

He glanced down to see Viktor’s hardened cock, and he had to fight the impulse to take him in his hand. He bit his lip and pressed his head harder into the wall and thrust his cock faster against him. “You- you too. Please, Viktor. Please use me.” Saying those words peaked his pleasure enough to rush over the gaping holes and fill the wounds. “Please, please use me. I need you to.”

“You first, zolotse. Come for me.” His face buried against his neck with his gently sucking kisses. “Come for me, my sweet Yuri.”

He pressed himself a little tighter and thrust faster to obey his rumbling voice and splashed against those perfect abs with his body trembling hard as he came, his head falling forward onto Viktor’s shoulder. Viktor let him ride out the last of his orgasm then flipped him around and pinned his arms up over his head, one hand crossed over the other, and held them in place with one hand as he used the other to grab his hips back toward him and lather his inner thighs. “My turn.” His voice growled at his ear. “Cross your legs.”

He stepped one foot over the other and Viktor yanked him back harder making his back arch and his ass tip up toward him. Was he planning on fucking him? The question made his cock jump back to attention. Why did the thought of Viktor deciding that for him bring such a rush of relief? His cock throbbed painfully even though he just came, screaming to him just how much the idea of Viktor taking him and using him for his pleasure any way he wanted turned him on. Viktor slid his cock between his thighs, moaning as he slipped in slowly then dragged out even slower. The pang of regret he felt when he realized that Viktor would never make that decision for him faded as Viktor’s rasping voice whispered next to his ear.

“You feel so good, Yuri. Squeeze your thighs a little tighter for me. I want to feel how badly you want me.” He pressed them tighter, and Viktor sighed. “Yes, that’s it, Yuri. You feel so incredible.”

“Please use me, Viktor. Please use me. I want to make you feel good. Please do whatever you need to feel the best.” He pressed back toward him even more, dropping his body against his arms still pinned to the wall and stretching the front of his body.

“Does it turn you on to say that?”

He whimpered and nodded. “Yes, Viktor.”

His thrusts picked up the pace, and his hips began slapping against him. Yuri tightened further and moaned as Viktor’s cock ran over his bruises sending his pain to spread into his body and wrap around his cock. Viktor sucked a deep, bruising kiss into his shoulder, biting down as he thrust against him relentlessly.

“Ah! Viktor! That feels so good!”

“You like being used for my pleasure? You like being my little slut?”

He cried out as Viktor’s words struck through him again. “Yes! Yes, Viktor! Please! Please use me!”

Viktor’s satisfied purr over the sounds of their slapping flesh trilled down his body. “Such a good little slut you are. My sweet, dirty, virgin slut.” His hand on his stomach snaked up to grab his nipple and pinched hard. “Listen to those filthy cries. You’re not even being touched yet you sound like I’m fucking you blind. I didn’t even know such a thing existed. A virgin slut.” He tweaked his nipple harder sending drops of precum dripping from his cock. “If you sound like this without even knowing what real pleasure feels like, I can’t wait to see how delectably filthy you become when you finally feel it for real.” He moved over to his other nipple to touch it with his pain there too as he kissed up the center of his spine. “You know, I’m not going to be able to hear that sweet voice of yours without also hearing these obscene cries behind it anymore. Every time you say, ‘Yes, Viktor,’ so perfectly sweet, I’m going to hear this voice right here behind it begging me to use you.”

Het let out a loud whimper as his body collapsed down into Viktor’s support. “Please, Viktor! Please use me as much as you want. I want to make you feel so good. I love being your slut.” He cried out again as his own words joined Viktor’s to stroke through his core and make his cock pulse with pleasure. “I’m… I’m going to come again. Is it okay?”

“Oh, and there’s that perfect sweetness again. So filthy and so sweet. Just perfect, Yuri.” He released his right hand and laced his fingers through his left still pressed to the tiles now heated under their touch. “Go ahead. Show me how much you like being my slut.”

He whimpered and clamped down his thighs more as his hand came to stroke along his cock. He looked down to see Viktor’s cock thrusting between his thighs and whined as he held back the urge to come right then. He wanted to see Viktor come first. He kept up his fast strokes over his cock even though his body begged him to either ease up or release already and listened as Viktor’s voice broke apart at his ear as his cock spilled between his thighs. Finally satisfied that he could bring him pleasure that can’t be faked, he let himself go, coming even harder than the first time.

They finished in the shower with Viktor whispering sweet words in his ear as he washed Yuri’s body and refusing to let him return the favor. Instead, he sat him on the bench to watch, and drool, as he washed himself thoroughly.

Yuri had no idea that a t-shirt could ever feel good in a way that was anything other than comfortable, but as he slipped Viktor’s soft gray t-shirt over his damp body, he wished he could wear nothing but this ever again. It smelled like Viktor and felt like his touch and the fact that Viktor had just known that he wouldn’t want to give it back made his heart surge in a wild leap. He buried his nose into the collar to take in the scent fully as Viktor had his back turned then blushed when he looked up to see him wink in the mirror facing him. Viktor brought over a pair of his own skimpy black underwear and slipped it on him then sat back a little and nodded approvingly even though his ass was squeezing out at the sides. They finished dressing and after Viktor made him eat some eggs and toast, walked to the stables with Viktor putting his hand on his low back near the house and then dropping it as they approached the first pastures and his professional demeanor resumed the lead. It was a little disconcerting how easily Viktor could assume different roles. Which one was the real him?

(12) “Viktor?”

“Yes, Yuri?”

“Before you called me something and I didn’t know what it was.”

“Zolotse?”

“Yes. I thought my English was pretty good, but I don’t know that word.”

“Your English is excellent. You don’t know that word because it’s not English. It’s Russian.”

“Oh. What does it mean?”

He looked over and smiled. “It means ‘my gold.’ It’s a cutesy version of it though so it would be more accurate to say, ‘my little piece of gold,’ or ‘my gold nugget.’ I prefer to think of it though as just a more affectionate version of ‘my gold’ because ‘gold nugget’ just sounds funny to me.”

“Oh.” Not ‘oh’. That explained what the word meant, but only brought up a new question of why he used it. Probably just one more way to bind him so his actions would affect him the way he intended.

They walked down the brick aisle between pale wood stalls and a few horses stretching their necks over the open fronts to investigate the newcomer. The whole interior was painted a creamy white giving it a clean but still warm feel. Viktor opened the door to the tack room and held it open for him. Walls of saddles hung neatly on one side and bridles perfectly hung with the reins crossed and looped within the throat latches on the other. Wooden cabinets took up the other ends, and a few comfy chairs and a bench sat in the middle of the room.

“I assume you know how to tack up and groom?”

“Yes, Viktor.”

“Excellent. These are Toska’s saddles. You’ll find his bridles under his name over there.” He gestured to the wall then moved to the next saddles in line. “These are Bytiye’s.”

He leaned closer to study the strange spelling on the plaque to try to memorize the strange word.

“Question?”

“No, Viktor. Not really. I was just trying to memorize it. Is this another Russian word?”

“Yes. Both of them are, and neither of them translates well. Toska is an ache of the soul. A yearning with nothing to yearn for. It has a few layers of meaning, but that’s the simplest explanation. Bytiye is almost the opposite. It’s an elevated state of existence, a meaningful, enriched existence.”

“That’s very poetic.”

He laughed. “I am Russian. Poetry and drama are in the blood. We’re raised on the arts, so it tends to come up in a lot of things we do.” Huh. He hadn’t seen that in him. He tended to be rather serious though beating someone with whips for pleasure might fall into the ‘dramatic’ category.

“How do I say it? Bytiye?” The word that flowed so luxuriously from Viktor’s lips got mangled on his.

He shook his head. “No, it has to be more in the throat. Russian has hard, clear constants and deeply emphasized vowels. You can’t mumble your way through it as you can in English. Push hard on the vowels in your throat and make the B and T clear but the emphasis is on the ‘ye’ at the end.”

“By-ti-ye?”

“Closer. The first by is not actually two letters. It’s a B with a soft sign. Which is something added to a letter that softens it. In this case, it gives it a bit of a y sound, but it’s not separate from the B. Think of it more as ‘buh-ti-yay’ with a little more guttural sound.”

“Buh-tiye.”

“Yes, better. Keep trying. It will take some practice to get it right.”

“Why did you pick a name that’s so difficult for English speakers to pronounce? Don’t the announcers get it wrong?”

“They butcher it. Absolutely mangled beyond recognition. As for why, I like the way it sounds for me, and I like the meaning. I don’t care if no one else can say it.”

“It does sound nice when you say it.”

He smiled and took his hand to squeeze it briefly. “Thank you.”

“And Toska? Is that right?”

“Close. The S is different than it is in English. The tongue moves further back in the mouth so instead of right behind the teeth, it’s more in the middle with a hollower S sound.” He stretched his lips apart so he could see where his tongue was as he emphasized the breathy, almost whistling S. “And it’s the O like in ‘not,’ but a little softer, almost an ‘ah’ sound but that has to come off of a hard, clear T.”  

He curled his tongue strangely in his mouth to reproduce the strange S, and a whistley sh sound came out instead.

“That’s actually a very nice sha. It’s another letter in the Russian alphabet.” He played with the sound in his mouth to figure out how to describe it, and his silly facial expressions made them both giggle. “Widen your tongue in your mouth. It comes back but doesn’t curl much. It’s flatter.”

He tried the sound again stretching his tongue across his mouth, and while it felt strange, he managed a sound that to him sounded more like Viktor’s.

“Yes! You got it!” He beamed warmly, and his praise made his heart squeeze tight. “Try it with the rest now.”

“Toska.” The word felt funny, but at least it was a little more natural than Bytiye.

“Excellent, Yuri!” He glanced behind him to the open door then kissed his cheek. “You’re a very quick learner.”

He smiled and dipped his chin. “Thank you.”

“Now this one, Avos, has the same S like in Toska, but even further back and breathier. It has a soft sign after it so think of it as an even softer S. The O is the same and a long A. Avos.” He dragged out the name so he could hear the sounds. “Try it.”

“Avos.”

“Move your tongue even further back, and here it can curl just a little to reach.”

He tried the name again to Viktor’s beaming praise even though he knew it was still very mangled compared to his. “What does that one mean?”

“Hmm… like a blind faith in luck. Trusting that good things will come along.”

He nodded with his lips pursed. “A very foreign word.” He glanced at the saddle rack which had no label. “There’s no name?”

“No, this is my spare saddle. I just got him a few weeks ago, so I haven’t gotten his own saddle made yet. I’m still not sure if he’s going to work out or not. He’s young and a bit of an asshole actually.”

He laughed then covered his mouth to shut it down.

“It’s okay. You can laugh at my jokes. I’m not always serious.”

“I just wouldn’t have expected you to describe a horse as an asshole.”

“Really? You’ve never come across one that you’ve muttered ‘asshole’ under your breath at least once every time you worked with him?”

“Well yes, Viktor, but I guess I didn’t expect you to describe him like that.”

“Well, he is. A huge asshole actually. He’s got a rebellious streak a mile wide, and I don’t have much patience for that. I love an interesting challenge, but he’s just defiant for the sheer joy of being defiant. The whole rebel without a cause thing has never appealed to me, and I’ve found those never really break fully. That’s why I named him that. His rider will just have to trust that they’ll get through it together through sheer luck. I doubt he’s dressage material with that rebelliousness which is a shame because he’s one of the best movers I’ve seen, but he’s also got a powerful jump, so he should make a decent show jumper. He could make a nice eventer if he can gain enough obedience for that dressage portion. He’s bold so he might be able to make up for a lackluster dressage performance on the courses. I have yet to gallop him full out, but he’s got plenty under me so he should have some impressive speed. So far, he’s been pretty clean over jumps which is a bit surprising with how much he fights me to them. He’s just a lot of horse, and he knows it. Do you know how to lunge?”

“Yes, Viktor.”

“Excellent. Toska and Bytiye don’t need lunging, but after you tack Avos, I’d like you to lunge him for twenty minutes in side reins. Don’t rein him in too tight because he’ll throw a fit. Just enough to get him in a long frame.”

“Vi-Viktor… I believe I have some information that will be useful to you. May I share it?”

“No.”

He whimpered in his struggle to obey against his screaming heart.

“I already know what you want to tell me. You want to tell me that you can’t do it, yes?”

“Yes, Viktor.”

“And that has nothing to do with you being scared of the horse.”

“Yes, Viktor.”

“Then my order stands, and I don’t need to hear anything else on it.”     

Yuri bit his lip and battled himself for Viktor’s desired obedience. He finally whimpered out his answer, “Yes, Viktor,” as he fought the urge to cry.

“Thank you, Yuri. I’ll help you. Don’t worry. It will be okay. I promise.” He took his chin in his hand and lifted it back up as he stroked his thumb over his cheek. “Trust me.”

He sucked in a breath and tried to push his tears further aside. “Yes, Viktor.”

He stepped in close to whisper down his neck, his hand gripping his waist. “That sounded positively sinful. I didn’t even have to imagine those filthy cries behind that one. They were right there as you put aside your own fears to have faith in me. You’re so good. My perfect virgin slut.”

He gasped then choked back his cry as his distress was wound with a thread of pleasure. It shut down his ability to process anything other than the dizzying heat pouring from the man next to him.

“Shh… Just relax and let it settle. Don’t run from it.” He squeezed his waist tighter and brought his other hand up to press on the bruises over his chest.

The steady heat of his pain calmed the storm inside him.

“There you go, Yuri. Just let my touch in. You don’t need to worry. I’m here, and it’s my responsibility to keep us all safe. Not yours.”

He sighed and nodded. “Thank you, Viktor.”

“Thank you for trusting me. I’ll only have you watch today.” He kissed his temple then stepped back. “Better?”

“Yes, Viktor.”

“Okay then. Let’s get to work. I jump on Tuesdays and Thursdays and do dressage Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Saturdays are reserved for teaching, but I ride my three in the mornings just for fun, usually trail riding or playing games. Grab Toska’s tack.”

He picked up the tan jumping saddle and found the matching bridle under his name on the wall and joined Viktor where he stood at the cabinets, hooking the saddle and pad over his forearm and tossing the bridle over his shoulder.

“Everyone here has their own cabinet. This is mine. You’ll find their brush boxes labeled. For the training horses, you’ll have to learn their matching owners to find the right names here. I’ll send you an email with that information this evening.” He opened the cabinet with a gold nameplate reading ‘Viktor Nikiforov.’ “Grab his brush box and follow me.” He selected the shorter crop from the ones hanging on the door and turned for the door.

He found the burgundy box with Toska’s name on it and closed the door and followed him out.

“You should always find the horse you’re looking for in the stall.” Viktor looked back over his shoulder as Yuri tried to keep up with his long stride. “They hold the morning shift in until lunch when they all come in and the afternoon horses are left in and the morning ones let out. If you can’t find the right horse in the stall, someone likely made a mistake. Notify me right away and look for them in the pastures. Feel free to ask for help from someone else to locate them if you need it.”

“Yes, Viktor.”

He stopped at a stall with the same gray warmblood he had ridden up on to meet him and smiled warmly as he stroked the horse’s nose who greeted him with deep, quivering sniffs. He held his head and gave him some kisses on his nose and Toska bobbed his head and snorted in his face. Viktor laughed and kissed him again as he scratched along the base of his mane. “Hey, boy. I’m not going to be tacking you up for our rides anymore. I have Yuri here who’s going to do it, and he’s so sweet, I’m sure you two will get along great. I trust him, so you don’t have to worry.” He kissed him again and stepped back to wave him over. “Come say hi. You can put the saddle on the rack.”

He unfolded the saddle rack that hung flush to the wall and stuck the post in the hole to hold it up and placed the saddle on it taking great care not to damage it. He hung the bridle on the gold arch next to it then looked around for somewhere good to put the brush box down.

“On the floor is fine. It’s just a brush box.”

He set the box down and joined Viktor to hold out his hand for Toska to approve. He blew his warm breath over his open palm as he took tentative huffs of his strange scent. He ran his lips over his hand seeking the tasty treats often found in such places.

“Sorry, boy. I don’t have anything on me.”

Viktor reached into a box hanging on the wall and pulled out a round cookie and handed it to him. “Feel free to spoil them all rotten.” He smiled. “Just make sure they remember their manners.”

“Yes, Viktor.” He smiled as Toska took the cookie from his hand with the gentlest touch of his lips over his palm then chewed delightedly, tossing his head.

Viktor pulled out another cookie and handed it to him. “That’s my good boy. So sweet to my Yuri. You make sure you keep your best manners for him. I don’t want him thinking I don’t know how to control my horses.” The sing-song cooing of his voice as he chatted with his horse was as startling as it was endearing. The simple fact that he chatted with his horse exactly as he liked to do twisted his heart into unrecognizable knots. The silly, heart-shaped grin on his face as he stroked Toska’s neck and babbled more nonsense to him brought back that strange innocence he had glimpsed when he’d apologized for walking on his floor with boots. Viktor looked over at him with that grin still in place but softened as he studied him. “What’s that look for, Yuri? You think I don’t enjoy being with my horses?”

“No, Viktor. That’s not it.”

“Or maybe you think I’m a cold, heartless monster incapable of love.” His goofy grin slid into his amused smirk.

“No, Viktor. You’re just… cute.”

He gave a surprised laugh. “You hear that, Toska? He thinks I’m cute. Am I blushing? What should I say?” He looked at him expectantly. “Come on, buddy, I don’t know what to say when cute boys think I’m cute. Don’t leave me hanging out here to embarrass myself in front of the cutest boy I’ve ever seen. That’s just cruel.” Toska snorted in his face again, and Viktor laughed and scrubbed his forehead with his fingers as he wrapped the other around his muzzle. “Jerk.” He kissed his nose.

He couldn’t stop himself from laughing and covered his mouth feeling the heat pouring off his cheeks. Viktor had said much nicer and dirtier things, but somehow ‘cute’ hit him in ways those hadn’t. Maybe because it seemed a little more… possible.

Viktor studied him with a gentle smile and his horse’s head buried in his arms as he rested his head against his forehead. “What do you think, Toska? Is he the cutest boy you’ve ever seen? He must be.”

Toska pulled his head free from his arms and came to Yuri to check if he’d gathered more treats for him while he waited.

Viktor scoffed. “Toska! Betrayer! I thought we were family! You’ve wounded me.” He clutched his heart with a pained look. “This is a mortal wound you’ve inflicted. Betrayed by my loyal steed. I’ve already got enough competition, you jerk.” He sighed. “That’s what I get I guess for talking up the cute boy before I’ve staked my claim.”

He giggled. “I thought you did stake your claim. We are in your hours, right?”

Viktor smiled. “That’s right. The cute boy is all mine. You hear that Toska? He’s mine. Find your own cute boy.”

Yuri laughed. “I think he’s just interested in the treats.”

“That is so true.” He reached into the bucket and Toska abandoned Yuri to poke at Viktor’s shoulder eagerly. “You cookie whore. You’ll love anyone who touches this box. I used to feel so special that you always greeted me so nicely, but you just do it for the cookies. I mean, I knew that, but I hate having it pointed out so clearly with your fickleness.” He held the treat just out of reach, and Toska grew impatient and stretched his neck out, flapping his lips to try to grab it. “Ah-ah. You know better.” He put the treat back in the box and Toska huffed at him. “Don’t sass me. You know the rules.” He waited until Toska relaxed then pulled out the treat again and teased him with it until he was certain that he wouldn’t try grabbing it again. “There’s my good boy.” He handed him the treat slowly, making sure Toska was still obeying as he should. “Good boy.” He scratched his neck as Toska chewed happily. “Alright, I think you’ve gotten spoiled enough. Time to work. Put him in the crossties and tack him up.”

“Yes, Viktor.” He took the leather lead from the door. “Do you put the chain over his nose?”

“No. He doesn’t need it. Avos does though.”

He clipped the lead to the ring on the bottom of his halter and opened the door to bring him into the crossties. He clipped the elastic cords hanging on the wooden beams to either side of his halter and took off the lead then grabbed the rubber curry comb and started lifting the dirt and loose hair in vigorous circles. It drifted in a cloud around him and settled on Viktor’s shirt and he cringed at the realization that he’d have to wash it and take away Viktor’s scent.

“What’s wrong, Yuri?”

“Um, just that… I realized I’m going to have to wash your shirt.” He pressed his lips together and leaned harder onto the curry comb as Toska stretched his neck into it to tell him he was getting a good spot.

“Yes, that’s generally how these things work. What’s the issue?”

“That um… that it smells like you, and if I wash it… it won’t.”

“You like the way I smell that much?” His voice regained that breathy, cautious tone he had the other day as he took a step toward him away from the stall he had been leaning against.

“Yes, Viktor. I thought… you had… caught me?”

“Yes, but finding it pleasant is entirely different from regretting even the idea of it being gone.”

“Oh. Yeah, I guess I can see how that might be… different.” He moved to Toska’s other side and luckily away from Viktor’s intense stare. He brushed Toska’s mane to the other side of his neck and started the brisk massage again with Toska groaning his delight.

Viktor stepped around to the same side with a smile. “He likes you.”

He smiled and moved to his shoulder pressing deeper through the muscle and easing over the bony parts. “I like him too. So… earlier you said something to Toska,” he pronounced the name slowly, trying to replicate the way Viktor had to his approving nod, “about how you won’t be tacking him up anymore. You didn’t have a groom before?”

“No. I’ve used grooms at shows just to help keep things running smoothly, but I limit the number of horses I take so I can do it all myself here.”

“Oh. Why?”

“Same reason I like doing what I do with you. It builds a connection. I can inspect them for any injuries and get a sense of their mood for the day and generally just play with them and bond. Just hopping on and riding is so impersonal to me.” He poked at Toska’s lip that was hanging loosely from his relaxation making Toska twitch it a bit without losing his relaxed state. Viktor smiled and scratched underneath his cheeks.

“Then why… why are you having me do it?”

“You needed it.” His voice was unusually soft.

A confused ache rushed through him. He gave up something he likes doing for him? “Won’t… won’t you miss that connection?”

“Maybe. It’s too soon to say yet.”

He stretched up on his toes to reach Toska’s tall back better. “What would make you not miss it?”

“If I can use that time to build a stronger connection. I love my horses more than I can express, but I know they don’t really feel the same for me. They might appear to, but their eagerness to see me is for the treats I offer; not me. As long as their needs are being met, they’re equally happy with anyone who’s providing that. I’m sure you’ve seen that any time a new horse comes in how quickly they adjust. I’ve raised Toska since he was a baby, but if I sold him, he’d just go to his new owner and in a day or so be poking at his shoulder for treats.”

“How do you know they’re really okay? Maybe they just have no choice but to get used to it. Maybe they really do miss home, but life keeps going on anyway so they do too. Maybe every time he poked at that new guy’s shoulder, he would feel a small pain wishing it was yours.” He tossed the curry back into the box and grabbed the hard brush to work over his body again this time with short flicks of the stiff bristles.

“It’s fine. I’m used to it. Yes?”

“Yes, Viktor.”

Viktor watched him intently as he flicked even more dust and hair onto Viktor’s t-shirt. “I never considered that.”

“Can I ask you a question?”

“Of course. You don’t need to ask first.”

He nodded. “Okay, if you groom all of the horses you ride, how do you look spotless and wear white breeches?” He wiped away some hair that was tickling his face and the smudge of dirt across his forearm told him there was likely one across his cheek now too.

Viktor laughed and brushed at his face to clear it then used his thumb to wipe away the dirt from his cheek. He leaned in to whisper and the thrill of his sudden closeness swept down his spine. “Blood magic.”

Yuri wriggled with the energy flowing through him with a small laugh. “I don’t doubt it.”   

He finished brushing Toska and put his saddle and bridle on still not learning Viktor’s real secret, though, blood magic seemed the most likely explanation. Yuri took the reins over Toska’s head and led him to the arena passing a few people who watched him with interest along the way. One tiny blonde-haired kid scowled deeply at him as he passed. He looked to Viktor confused as to what he’d done to inspire such wrath, but Viktor just laughed.

“Oh, ignore him. He’s just a little punk. He does that to everyone. He’s Avos’s human counterpart. He’s a newbie here too, but he is quite loyal to his horse despite his nasty attitude. He comes in every morning before school just to play with him. If it weren’t for that, I would have kicked him out already.”

“Really? What has he done?”

“Nothing too major. Just his personality which you saw. It’s very disruptive. He’s spoiled, and his mother is so indulgent I’m afraid it’s a permanent fixture of his personality at this point.”

Yuri smiled. “You mean you can’t train him?”

Viktor laughed. “Have you ever ridden a horse you just don’t get along with? You know how to ride, and you know how to make a horse behave, but the personalities just clash, and it’s nothing but frustration and butting heads?”

“Yes, Viktor.”

“That’s him and me. Training isn’t just a formula or a push-button thing. There’s chemistry involved, and the slightest off balance can cause an explosive reaction. Plus, I’m very limited on how much I can do with him. I wonder… One second.” He ducked back into the tack room and came back with a helmet. They started forward again and walked out through the wall of light covering the arched opening at the end of the aisle, squinting into the bright sun. “When you used to ride, what style of riding did you do?”

Yuri cringed. Viktor had of course successfully peeled away that layer, and now he was required to answer questions he didn’t want to answer. “Eventing mostly.”

His eyebrows flicked up. “Eventing. Seems bold for you. What level were you at when you stopped?”

“Um, it depended on the horses I was riding. Most of them were intermediate and under, but I had a few competing at advanced.”

Viktor stopped dead and turned back making Yuri skid to a halt but Toska had almost seemed to anticipate it and paused next to him. “Yuri. You’re capable of riding at the highest levels, and you don’t ride?”

“No, Viktor. I don’t ride.”

“How long ago was this? Did I ever ride against you?”

“No, Viktor. I didn’t do any starred events, and I was in the Midwest. I didn’t come to the east coast until last year. That’s when I stopped riding.”

“None of this was on your resume.”

Yuri bit his lip as he watched him to determine how mad he was. He could easily fire him for the lies he had filled in that time period with. “No, Viktor.”

“I asked about your experiences with horses, and you said not a lot beyond grooming and cleaning. You lied to me.” His mouth pulled down in obvious displeasure.

“Yes, Viktor.”

“How much of your resume was a lie?”

“All of it except the last position I was in.”

“So, you weren’t just riding as a hobby. You were a professional rider.”

It wasn’t really a question, but he answered as if it were. “Yes, Viktor.”

“You know most people lie on resumes to inflate their experience, not deflate it.”

“I didn’t want to answer any questions on it.”

“Is this the only lie I’ll ever have to hear from you?”

“Yes, Viktor.”

Viktor nodded and started forward again toward the outdoor arena. “Back when you rode, if I put you on Toska, could you do a four star with him?”

He didn’t even want him to apologize?

“I don’t know. Maybe.”

“Why weren’t you my competitor, Yuri? Before you quit.”

“I didn’t do the more hyped up shows where you compete. I didn’t like the pressure.” He tried to open the latch to the gate, but he couldn’t figure it out.

Viktor revealed the right knob to lift up on, and the gate swung open smoothly. They walked onto the pale-yellow footing that was one of those new fibers specially designed for optimum traction and ease on the joints. The enormous arena was lined with that same white flex-rail as the pastures, though this one was taller to discourage horses from seeing it as just another huge fence they were supposed to jump. The arena had an elaborate course set up that had clearly been professionally designed to match the stable and the land it sat on. The blocks used to create a fake stone wall were the same white stone as the stable had. A set of standards had the rolling, fog covered hills at daybreak painted on them and soft gray and green banded poles stretched between them. Another set of standards looked like two Russian nesting dolls of the same size standing guard over a line of smaller ones sweeping down to the smallest one in the middle and holding up the double set of red and white poles painted in a classic Russian design over the tiny dolls. Another jump was supported on two turrets that looked like they could have been plucked straight off his castle with two more turrets behind those holding more poles to create a wide spread between them.

“I see. If you were capable of riding them though, surely the owners who hired you would have asked.”

“I specialized in training horses to new levels. As soon as they were solid enough for the owners to start asking that, I turned them over to someone else and began with someone new.” Yuri swung the gate closed, and it latched neatly all on its own.

“If you were training horses to the advanced level, then the answer to my four-star question should have been a definite yes, and you should have known that.” He studied him with narrowed eyes as they walked into the center of the arena. “The self-confidence is that low, huh? Even before you experienced whatever it was that made you quit.”

It sounded almost like something he was supposed to answer, but as it wasn’t actually a question, he kept his mouth closed as the breeze picked up around them.

Viktor studied him another moment then nodded and put his helmet on. “Give me a leg up.”

Yuri pulled down the stirrups on both sides then came back and took Viktor’s left shin in his hands. With a quick one, two, three from Yuri, they synchronized the move with Viktor jumping just as he tossed him up and held firm for just a moment for Viktor to land neatly in the saddle. He picked up his stirrups and reins and took Toska out at an easy trot. Yuri had received no further instructions, so he guessed that his only task now was to watch him as he rose and fell, his thighs and that sublime ass flexing neatly with every stride and his ass just barely brushing the supple English tan leather. With the matching perfectly patinaed boots and a deep teal polo, he looked like he was posing for a photo shoot for Horse Illustrated. It could have been Vogue with just how overwhelmingly gorgeous he was if he were doing everything wrong and posing in stupidly dangerous positions. Yuri was grateful that it wasn’t Vogue. Viktor exuded competence in everything he did, and that was the biggest turn-on of all. Fashionably sexy had nothing on the way Viktor’s every movement was performed with care and precision. Toska’s ravenous strides ate up the ground as Viktor moved him into an easy canter.

There was one other rider in the arena which Yuri only really noticed after she breezed him a little too closely trying to turn for the next jump. He startled and decided that the other side of the rail was probably the best place to watch from instead of still dumbstruck in the middle of the arena where Viktor left him. He scurried to the rail and slipped through the slats.

Viktor set up his first jump over spring green and white birch poles and sailed over the roughly four-foot fence as well as Yuri’s rationality yet again as he damn near drooled over the perfection and easy grace rolling through his body over the jump. This couldn’t possibly be what Viktor intended to pay him to do. Viktor’s light hands turned Toska to the next fence without any gaping of his mouth or straining against a noseband cranked down to prevent any attempts at escape from the pain of rough hands or any twisting of his neck so often seen on horses as riders yanked their heads around to the next fence. Instead, Viktor checked his stride to rock him back onto his hind end for an easier pivot and held the inside rein steady to give him the cue and support as he pushed and supported through his outside leg to help push his body through the turn, keeping his weight perfectly balanced to make himself an easy load to carry. Toska moved into the space between the pressures Viktor created and found a clear path to the next jump even through the sharp turn. As Yuri watched him take the course, he could see exactly what it was that Viktor enjoyed and appreciated. Toska wasn’t always perfect and sometimes the rhythm would be lost or a take-off slightly misjudged, but no matter what forces they encountered or how difficult a question Viktor asked of him, his energy always went to finding a way to be where Viktor’s pressures put him. He didn’t mind the challenge of imperfection or fighting outside forces as long as they were fighting them together.

That observation was driven home as he watched him work Avos who spent every stride finding a way to fight against him. More effort went to escaping the pressure placed on him than it did to the jumps which he took with a shocking amount of ease for how terrible the setups always were. If that raw talent could be polished, he’d be explosive. As it stood though, Viktor had to keep him over much easier fences than he could rightfully take just due to that personality glitch.

(13) Viktor trotted over, his face pink over his cheeks from his fight with a three-quarter ton animal over fences. And that was after two strenuous workouts. He still looked like perfection though, and Yuri had no response to give but unadulterated awe.

“What do you think of him?”

Yuri smiled. “He’s an asshole.”

Viktor laughed. “Yeah. A complete asshole.” He patted his red chestnut neck affectionately. “Have you ever ridden any like him?”

“Worse.”

“Really.” He tilted his head and smiled. “Successfully?”

“My ass didn’t hit the ground too many times if that’s what you’re asking.”

“Did you take any medals on them?”

“A few.”

“Did you like riding them?”

His heart quivered as he spotted the set up for where Viktor’s line was taking them. “Yes, Viktor.”

“Did you prefer them?”

He bit his lip and nodded. “Yes, Viktor.”

“Why?”

“I liked…” He took a deep breath and held it until his lungs burned and let it out as he spoke. “I liked that I could work with them when no one else could. The more difficult, the more riders they had tossed, the more I liked them.” He pressed his lips together to hold back the tears that threatened his eyes.

Viktor watched him blink hard against his tears then kicked his feet free of the stirrups and jumped down. “Come here, Yuri.”

His tears welled up higher as he stepped through the slats and into the ring.

Viktor pulled off his helmet and raked his fingers through his dampened hair. “Define one for me. For riding on a lunge. What conditions need to be met?”

Yuri stared at the gleaming red horse behind Viktor he had every intention of putting him on while calculating how fast and how far he could run before their raging fires joined.

***

 Questions

Chapter Text

(14) “I need an answer, Yuri.”

He couldn’t run. He couldn’t move at all held between Viktor’s will and his own. His caged body found just enough room to turn his eyes to Viktor’s as he struggled to find his answer. Fought to find the ‘yes’ he was looking for through the panicked ‘no’ screaming inside him because his only hope for escape was with Viktor’s help. What would make his body unlock enough for Viktor to grasp? “That… that I have no control.”

“How difficult is this for you if I meet that condition?”

“I’d rather you do every item on that list, even the ones I marked zero and the ones you crossed out, than do this.”

“Why did you mark it a one then?”

“Because you wanted me to.” His tears spilled down his cheeks, his breath rising into the hands of panic that strangled it before it could reach him. 

Viktor looped the reins over his arm to free his hands and wiped them away. “I didn’t say a word.”

“You know body language speaks just as well.”

“Yes. I do know that. We speak to our horses just fine without words and hear them speak just as easily. That’s why I tried to sit as still as I could and make no expression.”

“Eyes say a lot," he gasped, fighting for the air to respond as Viktor wanted, "and they’re far less tamable.”

Viktor glanced around to make sure they were alone then stepped closer, holding one hand on his lower back and the other pressing into the bruises on his chest helping him gain control of his breath again. “You’re willing to push your hardest limit just because I desire it?”

“Yes, Viktor.”

Viktor closed his eyes and heaved over to rest his lips against his neck, pulling him in closer, and kissing gently between words. “Perfect, Yuri. I mean that in the absolute sense of the word. You deserve the biggest reward I can give you for this. What do you want? Anything. Tell me anything you want, and I’ll do it.” 

“I… I don’t know what I want.” His heart slammed into his chest seeking escape.

He brought his head up to watch him and leaned in, taking his neck in his hands. “Do you want me to kiss you?”

“No, Viktor.”

“No? I thought you desired that. I’m offering gladly. Why would you not want it?”

“Because it would hurt you. I don’t want to hurt you. Don’t offer me things that would.”

“It…” He closed his eyes and sighed. “You’re right. I wanted to tell you it wouldn’t, but I also promised never to lie to you. I will certainly make tonight special for you, but I want to do more to express my gratitude.” He smiled. “I’ve never encountered this before. I’ve never been at a loss for how to reward someone. I’ve never had anyone do something that blew past my typical rewards.” He thought a little longer, his hands back on his chest and low back holding him in his solid strength as his lips distracted on his neck. “I’ve thought of something, but I’d need your agreement for more hours with me.”

He gave a small, trembling laugh. “You want to reward me by asking for more time?”

Viktor brought his lips to the other side of his neck and tugged him closer. “I promise it will be worth it. I’d like to surprise you so I can’t give you any details, but if you trust me, I will make it worth it.”

“You won’t even tell me how many more hours you want or when?”

“No. You’re too smart for that. You’d figure out my plans if I start giving you details. I promise I’m worth your trust.”

“Yes, Viktor.”

He laughed. “And now I have to reward you for that too. You didn’t even ask me to give you a range. You’re killing me here, Yuri. So limited for what I can do while you’re making me want to give you more than I’ve ever even considered giving another. Come here.” He pulled him tight into his arms and just held him, breathing deeply. “I know you’re not able to feel what I’m trying to tell you right now because you’re so worried about my plans for you and that horse behind me, so let’s finish that and just know that you have made me happier than anyone ever has before.”

He sighed and relaxed into his hold. “Thank you, Viktor. That’s really all I need.”

Smiling, he turned to kiss his cheek. “Has anyone ever told you how perfectly sweet you are?”

“I think you might have mentioned it once or twice.”

He laughed. “I mean someone other than me.”

“My mom. Every once in a while, my sister.”

“It must be nice to have such a loving family.”

“Is yours not?”

He chuckled. “Of course, you’d take all of two seconds to get there. They’re not bad. We’re not super close though. But let’s not worry about me right now. I’m not going to ask for much today. I just want you to sit on him.”

“You’ll hold the reins?”

“Yes.” He kissed his cheek and released him to face Avos and start putting the reins back over his head.

“Wait! You said you’d hold them!”

He stopped with the reins halfway over his head. “I am. This is just if there’s an emergency, you have them there. As you can see, he’s not the safest of horses.”

“I’d rather fall. Please, Viktor. I don’t want them anywhere near me.”

“Alright, Yuri.” He handed him his helmet as he put the reins back over his forearm and stooped a little to hold his hands out below the stirrup. “Come on.”

He fumbled with the clasp on the helmet with his hands shaking too hard to close it. Viktor snapped it into place then held his hands out again. Yuri put his hands on the saddle then ducked his head onto his shoulder to stifle a sob.

Viktor’s voice sounded gently at his ear. “You’re so brave, Yuri. I know how hard this must be for you.”

“No, you don’t!” He twisted back to snap at him then buried his face in his shoulder again. His apology came muffled and mumbled through flesh and fabric. “I’m sorry, Viktor.”

“I forgive you. It’s okay, Yuri. You’re right that I don’t know exactly what this feels like for you. I was trying to say that I can see how much you’re pushing yourself to please me, and I appreciate that more than I can express. You’re so good. The best I’ve ever had. Come on, give me your leg.”

He buried his face deeper into his arm and bent his leg back at the knee, placing his shin in Viktor’s solid hands and tightening his grip on the saddle. Before he had any more chance to think about it, Viktor counted to three and tossed him up. He wasn’t sure if he did his part on instinct or if Viktor just lifted him enough to make up for the lack of a jump, but either way, he found himself landing heavy in the saddle and Avos immediately darted to the side at the rude mounting. Viktor regained control of him while Yuri just clung to the front of the saddle, his chest heaving in a panic and his eyes closed tight.

Viktor put his hand on his thigh. “You’re okay, Yuri. I’ve got him. I won’t let him hurt you.”

“That’s not what I’m worried about! Worry about him. If you have to choose between keeping me safe and keeping him safe, pick him.”

“I’m not going to do that.”

“Please, Viktor. If you want me to do this, at least do that much for me.”

“Yuri, I will never put the life of an animal above a human, and especially not you. I would like to honor your request there, but it goes against what I believe is right, so I’m not going to, and you’re going to do this anyway because it’s my order. Understood?”

“Ye- yes, Viktor.” He spat the words at him like they were the bitterest of medicines.

“Thank you, Yuri. Try to relax. You’re just sitting there for a few minutes today.” As he said that, Avos decided to plead guilty to his rebellious charges and started dancing in a circle around Viktor. “Woah, easy boy. Can you please not be an ass right now?” His voice dripped with honey as he made his plea and tightened the reins to pull Avos around into a tight circle around him, his nose to Viktor’s hip.

Yuri let go of his grip on the saddle to grab the leathers and cross the stirrups over the front of the saddle so the loose stirrups wouldn’t bang his sides. He settled a little deeper into the saddle, his thighs tightening to hold him in place as he drew his toes up to prevent his lower leg from swinging around and bashing his sides as well.

“Woah. Stand.” Viktor gave him a quick crack of his hand on his belly along with his deep, commanding tone to startle him back into good behavior. It worked for a few seconds before he got bored and started to dance again. Viktor held him tight to him and cracked him again into stillness. “Sorry, Yuri. Like I said, he really is an asshole.”

“This is no worse than being up here at all. Walk him forward if you want. He’ll probably be happier with that.”

“He would, but I promised just sitting.”

“Viktor, I’m not scared of the fucking horse. I’m sca-” His voice strangled his words off before he even realized what he’d started to say.

Viktor’s eyes narrowed as he studied him. “I’m really tempted to tell you to finish that sentence, but I won’t.” He walked forward with Avos settling next to him after a few steps. “We should adjust the stirrups so you can use them.”

“I don’t need them.”

“You just saw me ride this horse and you still say you don’t need them?”

“Yes, Viktor.”

“You’re really not afraid of the horse at all, are you?”

“No, Viktor.”

“And your only condition was that you have no control. Not even that I have the control. I could take his bridle off and turn him loose with you on his back, and that would be acceptable to you?”

“It would be no worse than this.” He struggled to find a rhythm with Avos’s sway with his body locked and shaking.

“Wow. I’ll be honest, I have no idea what to make of that one. I would most certainly not be okay with riding an insane horse bridleless. I could trot him right now, and you’d be just as fine as you are now?”

“Yes, Viktor.”

“Okay, I’ll do that then. Color?”

“Green.”

Viktor jogged forward making Avos break into a trot next to him. Yuri waited through the first bounces to feel that thrust with the inside hind to rise up into a posting trot, using his thighs alone to lift himself from the saddle with every stride and lower himself gently on the second beat. The pain from Viktor’s bruises lit up a rush of calm that soothed his throbbing heart as he submitted to its presence and washed the warmth of memories of their creation over him.

Viktor jogged backward so he could watch him with a smile. “You look amazing, Yuri. I’m very impressed. I’m not sure I can even do no stirrup work quite that well. My thighs aren’t as strong as yours. And you look so sexy on that horse. You’re making me rather jealous of Avos right now. I’d like to be the one between your thighs.”

Yuri choked a little and lost a stride, sitting a beat too long in the saddle and then had to wait for the next to throw himself back up.

Viktor grinned. “God, the sight you’d make riding me instead… you’d be so good at riding my cock. I’m so certain of it I promise you that’s going to be what I fantasize about the next time I touch myself.”

He buckled under the punch of pleasure hitting his gut then found his rhythm again. “You know you’re sending me rather mixed signals. Just earlier you were telling me to wait and now you’re trying to tempt me.”

“I don’t think it’s mixed at all.” His voice and his smile softened. “I told you to wait for the right person, but I’m hoping you’ll decide that person is me.” He slowed Avos back to a walk. “I want you, Yuri. All of you. And the second you can feel the truth of that, I want you to come running straight to me ignoring absolutely everything else just as you did when you first knelt before me.” He scratched Avos’s neck as he took Yuri’s hand in his and kissed the back of it. “How are you feeling up there?”

Um, dizzy and shaky. But… better than I would have guessed. The pain helped.”

“On your thighs?”

“Yes, Viktor.”

“Would you want more pain there?”

“Yes, Viktor. It… it calmed me and gave me something different to think about.”

“Excellent, Yuri.” He stroked his thumb over the back of his hand and looked up at him with soft eyes. “I have never seen anything more beautiful than you on that horse, and I have never said anything more honest, so I truly hope you believe me. I will never forget how you made me feel no matter what you choose so just know that you right where you are is something I’ll treasure the rest of my life.”

His lips turned into the smallest smile. “Are you going to frame it?”

“Yes! That is an excellent idea!” He bubbled with excitement as he pulled his phone out from the hidden pocket in his breeches and stood back a little to get Yuri in the frame. “Smile!”

“Oh god.”

“That upset, huh?”

“You’ve never seen me try to smile on cue.”

“Oh? That’s an easy fix. I need you to know something, Yuri. I truly, desperately need you to understand this. Can you do that for me?”

“I will try my best.”

“That’s all I ask. Yuri, you’ve just satisfied me more than anyone ever has. I’ve never felt this good from someone following an order before. I have no words to explain the depth of what you made me feel, so look at me and see it and tell me you understand.”

He watched his eyes, not his blue flame in them, but something warm dripping into his core and the same soft smile Viktor had slipped onto his face. “Yes, Viktor.”

Viktor brought the phone closer after studying the screen with a heavy warmth in his smile, and Yuri had to admit that it wasn’t a terrible picture. The quiet smile on his face hinted that its roots ran deep, and from the angle Viktor had chosen and pride straightening his posture, he looked pretty decent overall.

He pulled the phone back to look at the screen again. “My beautiful Yuri.” He tapped the phone a few times then tucked it back into his pocket. “You just needed a better cue. You can get down now.”

He kicked his right leg over Avos’s butt as he leaned onto his hands and jumped down in one smooth motion.

“How are you feeling?”

“Um. Dizzy and weak and shaky, but okay I think.”

“Okay, I want you to sit in the grass out here while I go get Bytiye.”

“Yes, Viktor.” He left to go sit in the grass as Viktor pulled the stirrups back into place and ran them up the leathers to hold them up off of Avos’s sides and led him away. He took off the helmet and combed his fingers through his hair that was sweaty from just a few minutes of riding. He flopped back into the grass and closed his eyes to wait for the swirling in his head to slow. He’d vowed to never get back on a horse again a year ago, and yet Viktor had cracked that right in two with his bare eyes. Was it the ass or the eyes? He had focused on his ass after one look in his eyes left him torn apart and begging for mercy as Viktor ravaged his soul. He’d wanted to run from it, but now here he was searching his eyes for anything he wanted and offering himself in chunks torn away from bone, still unsure as to whether he intended to devour them or stitch them together into a monster of his own making. Apparently, he had decided without too much thought on the matter that either one was fine with him.

A strong puff of breath tickled his neck, and he squealed and pulled away from it. He opened his eyes to see the copper sheen of Avos’s head glinting around a crooked star falling over one eye above a small white snip on his nose as he poked at him and flapped his lips against the collar of his shirt to see if it was something edible. He squealed quietly again as the tickle wriggled through him then sat up.

“Are you feeling well enough to let him graze next to you while you watch?” Viktor had a smile as he tucked his phone back into his pocket.

“Yes, Viktor.” He sat up further and took Avos’s leather lead who dropped his muzzle to the fresh grass and started searching out the best chunks to bite off.

“Very good.” He smiled again and turned Bytiye to the ring.

“Viktor?”

“Yes?”

“Is this really what you want me to be doing? I’m not questioning you, it’s just that you’re paying me, and I’ve done very little real work for you.”

“I’m certain that this is exactly what I want to pay you to do.” He picked up his helmet from next to Yuri and clipped it on.

“But-… Yes, Viktor.”

He smiled. “Thank you, Yuri. You’re doing so well for me.” His voice trilled sweetly as he took his hand and kissed it. He turned his gleaming gold horse to the arena, his creamy white tail brushing around Viktor with the breeze that picked up. Viktor went to the mounting block and swung onto the palomino thoroughbred and walked him out on a loose rein. He had a stride even longer than Toska’s and an absolutely massive shoulder formed with the perfect slope that screamed his suitability for anything demanding extension and power though he looked to be a little lazy in his step, dragging his hooves through the footing. He looked more like a pleasure horse than anything else with his head hanging low on the rein and that long, low step. Viktor took more time warming him up than he did with Toska and Avos. It looked like they were just peacefully enjoying the spring day, in no rush to get anywhere. 

Avos seemed to be in sync and was grazing contentedly next to Yuri as though he hadn’t just tried to take Viktor straight through two fences rather than over them, only popping up enough at the last moment to clear them with a foot to spare. Fresh grass had a mellowing effect on even the most challenging of horses. He reached his hand out and let Avos investigate it before he scratched the deep well between his massively round cheeks that horses had little way of scratching on their own without human assistance. Avos stopped grazing to lift his head and stretch his neck, craning it and twisting to try to guide his fingers to the right spot. He followed his lead, landing on a spot that made him grunt. Avos ran his lips lightly over his shoulder to return the favor before he went back to his grass.

Viktor moved into a trot and then a rolling canter without taking up the reins at all, letting Bytiye hang out looking as relaxed as he did at the walk. Then Viktor took up the reins, and that golden horse came to life, a blazing midsummer sun. He charged breathlessly at the first fence, and Yuri was afraid he wouldn’t make it over at all with how little he slowed in the approach, but at the last second, he rocked onto his hind end and launched over, barreling toward the next before Yuri even had time to gasp in relief that only a rail had come down with his haste. He tore around the course taking fences as though he didn’t even know they were there until Viktor pulled him to a stop straight in front of his thudding heart. Viktor dropped the reins, and the fire blew out, and his head dropped down while Viktor patted his neck.

“Good boy, Bytiye. Maybe next time though, don’t give me a damn heart attack before every fence.” He grinned. “He must have been showing off for you. He usually has a little more control, though not much.”

Yuri’s eyes were still huge as he answered breathlessly. “He’s a beast!”

“Yeah, he has speed, that’s for sure. Dressage is difficult with him because of that fire. But he’s not disobedient like Avos. He tries to obey. He’s just got a lot in him.”

“I’ll say. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a horse that fast on the course.”

“He was bred to be a racehorse and probably would have excelled there, but I claimed him so now he’s mine to refine that speed.”

“What level is he doing?”

“He just started at one stars last season and grabbed a few medals there. Gold eludes him though despite his color. He doesn’t jump very cleanly as you can see.” He glanced back at the three other poles resting on the ground instead of neatly in their cups. “Toska isn’t as fast, but he can outscore him any day of the week.”

“Toska can outscore every horse in the world any day of the week.” It wasn’t hyperbolic praise at all. Toska had won everything there is to win at the top levels with Viktor guiding him faultlessly to a trophy room bathed in Olympic and four-star gold.

He smiled. “Yeah. He’s been so good right from the start. He’s one of a kind.” His smile fell, but traces of it remained. “He’s reaching the end of his career though. This season. Maybe next if I’m lucky. It’s the worst part of all of this. You outlast them. I’ve spent over a decade competing with him and building our trust in each other, and there’s only a few short years of enjoying that seamless relationship before you have to turn him to pasture and start all over again with someone new.” He looked out to where he’d turned Toska out in the pasture rather than cruelly returning him to his stall on such a nice day. “Maybe I’ll just retire with him.”

Yuri gasped. “You can’t! You have so much time left still!”

“To do what? Win more medals I don’t really need? To start over how many times and only have the briefest moments of true harmony? And that’s assuming I even find that again at all. I’ve been through so many horses now trying to find another Toska and Bytiye’s the closest I’ve found, and you can see how far he is from that. He’ll be good, but he’ll never be Toska. I’ve achieved everything I can on him. Why not let it end with him too?”  

“You do more than win medals out there. You inspire people. You show them what true partnership with a horse looks like. Watching you ride… even on Bytiye and Avos… You’re what we should all be. Please keep showing the world. It’s still so far from reaching the bar you’re holding, but at least you’re making them try. If you drop it, there’s no one else who can hold it that high.”

“Wow. That’s quite a passionate response for someone who has no intention to even try to reach it.”

He shook his head. “Not for me. For every horse that has a rider who sees that true skill and partnership is what success requires and becomes better by trying to reach you.”

“You say I show the world, but you’re raising my view quite a lot.” He jumped down and smiled as he took Yuri’s throat in his hand and used his hold to expose his neck for a kiss as the vulnerable position sent his heart racing and his body trembling. Viktor pulled back with a warm smile in his eyes. “Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Those are certainly ones I’ll think over.”

They went back to the barn, and Viktor stayed with Bytiye to untack him while Yuri brought Avos to his stall. He scratched his forehead as he unclipped the lead. Turning around from closing the door, Phichit was there tossing his arms around him and kissing his cheek.

“Ah! Phichit! Not at work!” Yuri pushed him back then cringed at the hurt look on his face.

“I’m sorry. You’re right. I don’t know if Viktor would care that much, but it’s probably a bad idea. I was just excited to finally see you in here.”

“It’s okay. I’m sorry, but I have to get back. I was supposed to put Avos away and come right back.”

“You can’t stay and chat for even a minute? Mila was just here. I can introduce you guys.”

“I’m sorry. I really can’t.” He cringed again at the forced smile on Phichit’s face.

“Okay well, I don’t want you to get in trouble. Sorry.”

“Hey, what are we going to watch tonight?” He smiled.

Phichit’s proper smile came back into place, and his eyes lit up. “I don’t know. I’ll think about it while I’m shoveling horse shit. Preferences?”

“You have good taste in movies. I trust you.” He waved and walked off leaving Phichit smiling quite sweetly in his wake.

Viktor finally gave him something productive to do while he watched him ride a few more training horses with his dressage saddles and bridles and a bucket of water and saddle cleaning supplies. It was still utterly indulgent to sit in the grass watching Viktor ride and placidly scrubbing away dried sweat and dirt from leather, so the least he could do was a good job. He made sure to get under every flap and into every crevice then polished it all until the soft leather took on a lustrous sheen. Viktor came over with a bay warmblood to check his work.

He picked up a bridle and scrutinized it to every buckle. “Very well done, Yuri. You clearly took pride in your work.” He offered his bright smile which was more than welcome as the gift that it was. “Come on. Let’s put this stuff away. It’s lunch time.” He took a few of the bridles while Yuri gathered up two of the saddles, sliding the second onto his arm from the ground and a bump with his knee. He had to make another trip out to gather the rest while Viktor untacked his horse then they headed back up the hill. As soon as they were far enough away, Viktor wrapped his arm around him and held him close as they walked.

In the kitchen, Yuri stared helplessly at the ingredients spread before him for a minute then started hacking away while Viktor typed at his laptop. Twenty minutes later, he had two steaming bowls of hot mess. He placed the better of the two in front of Viktor along with a pair of chopsticks.

“Thank you, Yuri. This looks very good.”

“You’re- you’re welcome, but I’m certain it didn’t come out right. I’m sorry.”

“Well, good news for you is that I have no idea what right is supposed to taste like. Sit. Eat.” He gestured to the chair across from him and picked up his chopsticks as Yuri obeyed. He took a careful bite. “This is pretty decent actually. I expected worse with your claims.” He proceeded to make quick work of the bowl.

He poked at the sludge in front of him that looked nothing like what katsudon should look like and picked up a bite. It was dry, tasteless, the eggs tasted funny, and it was so far from his mom’s it was an insult to use the same name. “I’m sorry, Viktor. I really messed it up.”

“It tastes fine to me. It’s not great, but it’s easily edible.”

He shook his head. “It’s terrible. Katsudon is one of the best things you’ll ever eat when it’s right.”

“Well then, I look forward to when you get it right. This will be your standing order until it’s something you’re happy with.”

He looked up from stabbing at his mess. “What? Katsudon every day? Weren’t you trying to help me lose weight?”

“I am. Just keep the portion sizes reasonable, and I’ll make sure you work hard enough to burn enough calories along with a more modest breakfast.”

“Yes, Viktor.” A twinge of tears hit his eyes as he tried to take another bite. “I’ll need to go back to the grocery store. I only purchased enough for today. I can go now and be back before the lunch break is over.”

“No. You need to eat. You can go after you finish.”

“Yes, Viktor.” He tried to lift another bite to his mouth, but he couldn’t make it go past his lips.

Viktor picked up his bowl. “Come with me. Bring your food.”

(15) He followed his lead to a room layered in black marble with thin white veins and gold bands at the top frilling onto the edges of the ceiling. There were only a few small windows arched with the curve on top echoing the rooves of the castle and filled in with a crosshatch of barely translucent diamonds of blue, purple, and red. Soft lanterns along the walls let off a concentrated light that just barely gave enough light to see the stacks of plush couches spanning the room, each row raised up from the one behind it. A screen covered the wall opposite them. Viktor took off his boots then led him to the first row and sat down, resting against the pillows over the armrest and patted the spot next to him. Yuri sat down a few inches away from him, and he sighed and grabbed his waist to pull him down on top of him. Yuri wriggled until he was leaning back against him between his legs and Viktor smiled and kissed his cheek, picking up a remote from the table in front of them.

“What would you like to watch, Yuri?”

“Um, I don’t know. I’m fine with anything.”

“Okay.” Viktor dragged the word out suspiciously as he clicked on the screen and brought up Dora the Explorer from the menu and settled in to watch, taking a bite from his bowl.

“Um… do you usually watch this?”

“No. But you said you were fine with anything, so I picked the first thing I saw.” Dora asked his name, and Viktor responded. “I’m Viktor, and this is Yuri.”

Dora continued to stare at them.

“Um, I’m a Capricorn, and he’s a Sagittarius which is completely appropriate for him as he’s an amazing rider who looks like he was born on the back of a horse though, to be honest, I don’t really believe in zodiac signs.” He paused to stare back at Dora. “Seriously, what else do you want to know? Our blood types?”

“Great!” Dora said.

Yuri was giggling like crazy. “You’re so weird.”

Viktor lifted his eyebrows into a surprised smile. “Hey, you’re the one who said you’re fine with anything. I’m just going with what you said.”

“Fine. I’m okay with anything you would regularly watch.”

“Alright.” He clicked the tv over to a Russian show that looked to be some type of skit with a live audience. Viktor started chuckling as a man let another man go in front of him to buy one plum at the grocery store and then had to go back to get a sticker put on the plum to purchase it, and the first man had to wait, and the line grew longer through a series of disruptions to the purchase of this single plum with Viktor’s laugh getting louder through every one, finally erupting into a solid fit of laughter that made him hug Yuri tighter as another man approached the line of men who had been waiting through the ordeal carrying a lemon and asking them something which made the men all tackle him. Viktor calmed himself enough to speak. “Still fine with anything?” He lifted his bowl above Yuri’s head to take a bite.

“I didn’t realize you were a smart ass, but yes, Viktor. This is fine with me.”

He scoffed. “I am not a smart ass. I just did exactly as you said. You don’t even understand what’s happening though. How could you be fine with watching it?”

“I can get the gist of it pretty well, and maybe the more I hear Russian, the easier it will be to pronounce your horse’s names. And... I like your laugh.”

He smiled and kissed his cheek. “Do you want to learn Russian?”

“Um… yes, Viktor. It’s a pretty language.”

“Pretty? Most people don’t think of it as pretty. They find it scary and aggressive. Not pretty.”

“I think it’s pretty, but I haven’t really heard it much. Can you tell me something in Russian?”

“Yeah. Yeah, I can. I want you to look at me though.”

“Yes, Viktor.” He turned onto his side so he could look up at him.

Viktor stuck his chopsticks in his bowl to free his hand to rest it against Yuri’s face. *“Юрий, я не могу поверить, что мы встретились всего несколько дней назад, и ты уже заставляешь меня чувствовать с такой уверенностью, что ты тот, кого я искал всю свою жизнь. Я люблю твою улыбку. Я люблю твои глаза. Я люблю, как ты говоришь мое имя. Я люблю, как ты меня впустил и показал, что наши чувства взаимны, несмотря на то что ты сам чувствуешь боль и потерю. Я люблю тебя, Юрий, и я обещаю, что, если ты выберешь меня, я потрачу столько минут, сколько ты готов дать мне сделать тебя счастливым. Пожалуйста, выбери меня. Я прошу тебя.” Viktor kissed his forehead and then his cheek and then his cheek again, lingering with his eyes closed. “Did you get any of that?”

“Not a word other than my name. It was beautiful though.”

“I’m glad you think so. Understanding will come with time like everything else.”

“You’re not going to tell me what you said in English?”

“No. Now eat your food.” He kissed his forehead and pulled him back to relax on him again

Viktor kept him distracted enough with his laughter and translating the simple show for him to choke down the food he refused to call katsudon. With the show’s exaggerated comedy, it was fairly easy to understand what was going on and Viktor managed to get a few Russian words into his brain along with the food into his stomach. He seemed pleased with both.

Viktor took their empty bowls and set them on the table then wrapped his arms around him in the silence after the show switched off. “Thank you for lunch, Yuri. I know you don’t agree, but I liked it.”

“You’re- you’re welcome.” His voice was soft as he turned over to wrap his arms around Viktor as well, resting his face against his chest.

Viktor held him tighter and rested his cheek on his head. “This is dangerous. I want to fall asleep with you, not go back to work.”

Yuri made a little hum of agreement.

“I could stay here forever. You feel perfect in my arms.” Viktor squeezed him just a little tighter.

“You do too.”

He smiled and kissed his forehead. “Thank you, zolotse. Alas, we must get up.”

They managed to struggle to their feet, and Viktor zipped his boots back on and brought the bowls back to the kitchen where Yuri began to clean up.

“I have to get back to the stable. You can finish that and then go to the store and meet me back at the stable when you’re done.”

“Yes, Viktor.”

“And take your car this time.” He placed a set of keys in his hands that didn’t match to what he had just said.

“I have my keys back at my house.”

“No. These keys are the keys to your car.”

“Um… I’m confused.”

“There’s a car in the driveway that matches those keys. That’s your new car. The old one needs to be towed away before it kills you.”

“What?! You bought me a car?!”

“Yes.”

“Why?!”

“I believe I just told you why.”

“But, Viktor! I…” Crap. He has to find some way to fight this without arguing. “But a car is a permanent thing that would fall outside of your hours. I don’t think you can make me give up my own car and accept this when it would fall outside of your hours.”

“Okay, you’re going to be difficult about this. I should have guessed as much. Yes, outside of my hours, I can’t force you to drive your new car, but I can say that your old car is very disruptive to my horses, so if you’d like to continue using it, you will have to get it towed in and out of the premises.”

“May I have permission to drive it out once and then leave it parked outside of the gates?”

“No. I’m not going to let you park that hunk of metal for all of my clients to see as they come and go and there is no parking on the street for a few miles so you could park it a few miles away and walk back and forth every time. I will permit you to drive it out once if that is what you’d like to do. Or you could not be difficult and just accept the new car and not make me fear for your life driving around in that old one.”

“What do I say to Phichit? How do I explain where I got a new car from?”

“Say you bought it.”

“With what money?”

“Does he know your current financial status?”

“Well, no. But the kind of car I own kinda says a lot.”

“So, you were frugal and saved up until you could buy a new one, and or you financed it. This isn’t a difficult thing, Yuri. People buy new cars all the time especially when they have ones that are more likely to explode than not at any given moment. Don’t worry. I considered this and I didn’t purchase anything extravagant though I would have liked to.”

“You bought me a car! How is that anything other than extravagant?!”

“It’s not extravagant as it was needed.”

“When did I even have time to go out and buy a car?”

“Say I gave you permission this afternoon as you work during any hours a dealership would be open. Are you done with your tantrum? I’m getting bored. I don’t care how you explain it to Phichit. You needed a new car, and I bought you one. It’s that simple.”

“But I didn’t!... I didn’t ask for this! It’s too much, Viktor!” 

“Are you more worried that you don’t know how to explain it to Phichit or that you don’t know how to accept it?”

“I can’t accept it. It’s just too much. My old car is fine.”

“Yuri, do you need a new car? Ignore what’s happening now. If you were driving your car, would you at any point think, ‘I need a new car.’?”

“Well, yes, Viktor.”

“And weren’t my orders for you to ask me for anything you need?”

“Yes, Viktor.”

“So, then you should have asked me. But I’m not going to punish you for that because it’s too much to expect for where you’re at now.” He headed for the door then stopped and pressed his hand against the entryway, speaking without looking back. “As always, you’re free to end this any time you choose. Take the car. Don’t take the car. That’s up to you. But you can’t ask me to give you what you need and then slap away my offers to do just that. That’s not a game I’m willing to play.”

***

Chapter Text

Yuri clutched the keys in his fist staring at the shiny, new, sapphire Subaru Outback that they opened. At least it was a practical car. Something he could picture himself buying if it were used to the final step before the crushing lot. Was he really the one playing games with Viktor? It didn’t feel that way. How could he be the one playing games when he was doing nothing but following his orders? Still, a nagging thorn dug at his conscience. He hadn’t asked Phichit for a kiss and yet he felt guilty. He hadn’t asked Viktor for a car or to do anything but punish him for being late, but here he was feeling even guiltier for hurting him just because he didn’t want to accept something so extravagant. He hadn’t asked him to give him what he needed, just to punish him for an infraction he deserved punishment for. How is that asking him to fill his needs? 'Punish me, Viktor.' Three words that Viktor could have used any way he chose, and he used them to buy him a car and put him back on a horse. Why did he care so freaking much? He wasn’t anything worth caring about. He wasn’t even worth a second glance. Guys like Viktor don’t fall- No one said anything about that.

Basically, Viktor gave him a choice. Accept the car and continue or reject it and end this. He pushed the button on the remote and the car beeped open. He slid into the black leather driver’s seat reeking of new car smell that overpowered the more pleasing leather scent and spotted a business card lying on the passenger’s seat. ‘TJ’s Auto Towing. We buy junkers!’ He flipped it about in his hand then pulled out his phone.

***

He passed through the busy aisles full of horses being groomed in the crossties and people hanging around chatting, all watching him as he ducked under each elastic rope attached to the horses' halters. Apparently, new faces weren’t too common around here. Not all that surprising. A place like Viktor’s isn’t easy to find. Openings must be few and far between. After a little searching, he located Viktor standing with the angry blonde-haired kid who was just finishing tacking up his horse who had the most unique coat color he had ever seen in person. The horse had a buckskin base with the gold coat and black mane and tail and legs, but some mottled sections of black had seeped from his mane onto the base of his neck, down his shoulders, and over his hips with laced dapples looking almost like leopard spots with how much the black outline contrasted the gold covering his back and sides.

“Ah, Yuri! Glad you’re back. Meet Yuri.” Viktor smiled brightly and gestured to the kid next to him.

“What?! He stole my name?!” The angry little thing turned around to screech at him, his fists quaking at his sides.

“Considering he’s older than you, I’d say it’s you who stole his name.” Viktor chuckled.

“But I was here first! Fire him! I don’t need another Yuri around here! Especially not one who looks like such a piggy loser!”

“Call him names like that again, and you’ll be out of here, little Yuri.” All the humor dropped from Viktor’s voice as he used every inch of his imposing frame to back up his words, glaring down at him.

“Whatever. I don’t care. I can go to any stable I want to.”

“Any stable except this one. Once you leave, I won’t welcome you back so choose carefully. I’m sure you’ll do just fine at a second-rate stable so please, feel free to leave any time you wish.”

“Fine. Let’s just ride. It’s time for my lesson.” He growled in resignation.

“Not until you’ve apologized to him.”

“What?! You didn’t say anything about that!”

“I just did. Go ahead.” Viktor leaned back against the stall behind him and crossed his arms.

“Fine. Sorry.” He spat the words then looked at Viktor expectantly.

“Nicely.”

“Fiiiinnee.” He rolled his eyes and huffed out his last bit of defiance. “I’m sorry.”

“Better. Take Pantera and meet me in the outdoor.”

The angry Yuri took the reins over his horse’s head and turned him around. “Get out of my way.” He glared at Yuri.

“Sorry!” Yuri shuffled back to give him space to turn.

“Loser,” he whispered as he passed by.

“Sorry.” Viktor started following Pantera and Yuri far enough away for their conversation not to be heard.

“Avos’s human counterpart.”

Viktor laughed. “Assholes. The both of them. I’ve been tempted to put him on Avos one day just to see what would happen, but I have a feeling it would be a bloodbath.”

“Yeah, two dominant personalities don’t often get along well.”

“Little Yuri’s not dominant at all. He’s what we call a brat. There’s people who enjoy taming brats like that, but I am not one of them. Avos, on the other hand, I’m still not certain if he’s a brat or if he’s dominant and just hates submission. I guess we’ll see how he works with you.” Viktor caught the open gate to the outdoor and held it open for him. “Help me lower this line.” His finger traced a path through the jumps.

“Yes, Viktor. What are we setting them to?”

“Two nine to three and narrow the spreads.”

“Any specific fences you want which?”

“Use your best judgment.” Viktor watched the other Yuri warming up. “Little Yuri! Executive decision! I now know you well enough to call you Yura, as does everyone else here.”

“What?!” He screeched in indignation and spooked his horse making him take off galloping around the ring.

Yuri and Viktor looked over at each other to giggle at his karma.

Yura pulled his horse back to a walk and patted his neck to praise him for responding and ask forgiveness then trotted him back to glare at them. “You can’t do that! You can’t just change my name!”

“It’s not changing your name. It’s weird for me not to call you Yura at this point. As for everyone else, they know you well enough too. You make yourself quite unforgettable from the first moment they meet you.” 

They continued lowering each jump while Yura and Viktor argued across the open space of the arena.

“They’re not Russian! They can’t use Russian nicknames, and you can’t just decide to change my name!”

“I can, and I did. Don’t like it? Ride somewhere else. It’s too confusing to have two Yuris, and I’ve decided that he’s earned the right to be called Yuri by any way you wish to calculate it.”

“You can’t get away with this! I’ll tell my mom what you’re trying to do!”

Viktor laughed. “Did you really just threaten to call your mommy on me? I’m quaking. Fine. You want him to go by a nickname instead? You can call him Master Yuri.”

“What?!” He screeched again even louder than before but held the reins tight to keep his horse in check. “I will not call him that!”

“Then Yura it is. I’m so glad we’ve come to an agreement.” Viktor smiled sweetly. “Now, are you done, or are we going to spend the rest of your lesson time arguing, Yura?”

Yura glared at him quietly.

“I’ll assume that means you’re done. Trot him over the cavaletti.”  

Yura turned his horse around and picked up a trot over the low poles strung on x’s, spaced so he’d have to step over them with every stride.

“That was impressive.”

Viktor beamed. “Thank you. I know how to deal with him. I just hate dealing with him. He’s so exhausting.” He shook his head. “I can’t believe he actually threw a fit over being called Yura. It’s such a basic nickname. Any casual acquaintance in Russia would have called him that. He just likes finding things to be pissed at.”

He watched Viktor teach the rest of the afternoon while cleaning some more tack in a semi-excited state with thoughts of their promised evening riding on Viktor’s commanding voice. 

A gruff man with a fedora and old-school loose-fit tan breeches came in to take over the lessons who Viktor introduced as Yakov. He sat down in a folded director’s chair he carried with him outside the ring after a curt nod to Yuri and waited for his pupil to arrive. Viktor and Yuri headed back up the hill to the castle yet again.

“That’s my instructor. He’s a grumpy old man, but if you ever need help and you can’t find me, ask him. He doesn’t look it, but he’s a big softie and loves being able to share his wisdom.”

“Yes, Viktor.”

Viktor smiled. “How are you feeling about tonight?”

“Um, excited.”

“That’s good to hear.” He held the door open for him and waited for him to take off his shoes then took him into the elevator to go down. “Were you comfortable with everything that happened last night?”

“Yes, Viktor.”

“Excellent. Have you ever played with your ass when you were masturbating before?”

“What?”

“Do you need me to repeat the question?”

“Um, no. I… got it. Um. No. No, Viktor.”

“Well, tonight should be an interesting experience for you then.” They entered the jade bathroom, and Viktor directed him to the shower where he gave his orders to wash then left.

Yuri stripped his clothes off with his body shaking even harder than it would have if Viktor stayed. Left alone with his thoughts was always a dangerous place to be especially when he had something to worry about. Which was always. He scrubbed himself in the shower again with Viktor’s lusciously scented soap. What is that smell? He couldn’t identify it past something that smelled slightly like the stable with some hints of leather and sweet hay, and maybe some vanilla, but he knew there were other scents he just couldn’t identify. Whatever was in it, it was quickly becoming his favorite smell other than the actual stable and Viktor himself who somehow combined the comforting, homey scent of the stable with pure, unadulterated sex. Not that he ever smelled such a thing, but his imagination didn’t have to take that far of a leap to know he was right. 

He rinsed himself clean and stepped out of the shower, wrapping himself up in a towel from the small table that apparently had some type of heater in it as the towel was warm. He wasn’t sure what to do with it after he dried himself. Looking around, he decided just to throw it over the shower door. He made his way out into the torture room or playroom as Viktor had called it and found a small pillow on the floor where Viktor had placed him yesterday. He assumed that’s where he was supposed to be and knelt down, putting his hands on his knees and straightening his back to wait trembling in the warm room for Viktor’s return.

Viktor entered behind him, closing the door softly and securing the lock. His quiet footsteps came closer, and Yuri’s heart began to race. Viktor took the side of his neck in his hand and leaned down to kiss the other side, taking his time to savor him. He pulled back with a sigh and stroked a finger down his neck over the place he had just kissed.

“Are you ready?”

“Ye-yes, Vik-tor.”

“Are you nervous?” He stepped around to watch him for his response. His hair had been dried and he wore a soft gray t-shirt like the one he had given him before and loose black pants that rode low on his hips and revealed a patch of skin over his lower abs that made him want to lick kisses over it as Viktor leaned over to rest his hand on his cheek. He looked softer, more intimate but still as intimidating as ever. Maybe even more so as his look suggested an intimacy not shared with others.

“Yes, Viktor.”

Viktor took his hand and tugged him to his feet, wrapping his arms around him. “Is there anything you need to feel more comfortable?”

“No, Viktor. Yes, Viktor.” He wrapped his arms around him as well and buried his face into his shoulder. “Just this? For a minute.”

He tightened his grip. “Of course. Let me know when you’re ready.”

He relaxed into Viktor’s hold and felt the tension ease from his body. He still trembled from his nerves, but he didn’t feel so much like he had been shoved twisted into a cage with metal bars digging at his flesh. “Thank you. I’m okay now.”

He held him just another moment before he let go. “Get on the table lying on your back.”

(16) He climbed onto the padded leather top and flipped onto his back. Viktor looked him over, raking through every inch with his attentive, hungered gaze as he circled him, his breath spiking and his nerves twitching as though he were actually touching him. The distance charging the air around them and his eyes slightly darkened in the dim light thickened the air like the approach of a summer storm on the plains and the sky that darkened to a greenish tinge that warned of the impending ripping of the world around him.

Viktor moved to the end of the table. “Grab your knees and pull them up to your shoulders.”

His trembling hands moved to obey his order, gripping his knees hard in an attempt to stabilize himself, but that just sent the trembling deeper into his thighs as he spread himself wide to Viktor’s view. He couldn’t see Viktor staring at him unless he strained to, but his crushing embarrassment still burned his cheeks and drew tears to the edges of his eyes. He managed to hold his tears back by focusing on the center of the X standing on the side of the room.

“You’re so pretty, Yuri. You look so soft and fuckable.”

He whimpered and looked back at him, straining his head off the table to watch him.

“Truly. I want to bury myself right there,” Viktor dragged his nails along his thighs, scraping at the bruises and sending shivers of pleasure through him, “and feel your strong thighs wrapping around me and holding me in your softness and your heat and your pretty little hole as I turn it into a soaking, fucked out mess.” He slopped kisses over the tenderest skin on both sides where his thighs ended making his gut lurch with a desperate craving for a touch just a breath further than where he was.

The silk scarf he picked up fluttered over his skin as Viktor wrapped it around his knee. Replacing Yuri’s hand holding it up with his tension binding it to the table, he pulled tight, opening him even wider. He repeated the binding on the other side then balanced the tension on his body by wrapping another scarf around his hips and tying them down with just enough downward pressure towards the foot of the table to make him feel secure. “Are you comfortable?”

“Yes, Viktor.” He sighed as more tension melted from his body.

“Good. Start stroking yourself.”

He whimpered as he pressed his lips tight and took his cock in his hand which had already begun to harden with Viktor’s eyes and touch on him. Viktor watched him until he fully hardened then handed him a soft black leather strap with a gold buckle that attached before the end of the leather just like the buckles on a bridle designed not to rub against skin.

“Put this on at the base of your cock and tighten it until it feels tight but not uncomfortable.”

He tightened it and felt pressure against the edges of his cock as he tucked the leather into the keeper, his nerves lighting up into a tingly spark.

“Good. Keep stroking yourself.”

Fisting his cock, swollen more than it had ever been, had him already twisting inside Viktor’s silks, his breath growing heavy while Viktor’s intent stare ensured that the blushing heat in him was from more than just pleasure. Pressure built inside him until he started gasping to release just a little.

“You look so beautiful, Yuri. I love that color on you.”

“What- ah! Um, what color?”

“Red. My red. The blue and purple under it are nice too. I like all the colors you let me paint on you. You look like mine.”

He cried out in a trembling gasp at the rippling touch of Viktor’s voice and stroked himself faster trying to relieve the building pressure.

“Are you getting close?”

“I- um, yes, no... I’m not sure. It- Ah! It feels… different!”

Viktor picked up a dressage whip and dragged the long, thin cane against his body, over his thighs, over his stomach and his chest, and down his sides. A sharp sting sounded in his body just after the crack on his thigh which was immediately followed up by a series of bites up and down his thigh and then over to the next. He moved onto his stomach and chest, each crack of the whip sending his body skittering on the table as much as Viktor’s silks would allow.

“How about now?”

He whined and ground into the table with his hips bucking to meet his hand. “Yes, but still no. It feels… um harder to get there, but also- also a lot more intense.”

“Tell me when you feel like you’re about to come.”

“Yes, Viktor! Ah! Ngh! Ah-ha!” His voice broke apart as Viktor dropped down to lick his tongue over his nipple, flicking his tongue over it and pinching the other in his fingers, rolling and twisting it beneath his firm grip sending sharp zaps of pain and pleasure to his cock.

Viktor leaned over him to switch sides, bathing one with his pain and the other with his tongue. He came back to the first and slipped his arms in under him, pulling him into his mouth now sucking hard and sending the brightness of fresh pain in to focus him through the swirling mess of pleasure.

“Ah! Vik- Ah! Close! I’m close!”

Viktor pulled back. “Stop.”

He cried out his distress at obeying this order but released his swollen, throbbing cock anyway. He lay a twitching, craving mess on the table as Viktor picked up a set of rose gold chains linking what looked to be small clamps.

“These are nipple clamps. They’re exactly what they sound like. I’m going to apply them to your nipples and adjust the pressure until it’s at your limit. Tell me when that is. Color?”

“Green.”

He placed the clamps on one side, and then the other and they had a bit of a squeeze, but it was hardly noticeable through his cock still begging to be released. He began twisting a screw on both at the same time, and the pressure steadily increased until it could solidly be called pain. He had an impulse to tell him to stop but decided instead to just let him do as he wished and let him crush as much pain into his body as he could.

Viktor pulled his hands back. “Color?”

“Green.” His nipples ached with an almost numb type of pain. He was beginning to learn that there were different pains like there were different kisses. Some caused recoil. Some felt warm. Some brought calm. Some stung when the touch was too brief. Some opened a craving that ached to be filled. And some were questions buried too deep for answers.

“I’m impressed. You did so well for me as expected. We might have to try the clover clamps next time.” He smiled and brushed his hand along his cheek. “Are you ready to put on a show for me?”

“Um. Yes, Viktor.”

Viktor cracked open a bottle of lube and let it drip down his ass to run over his hole then took Yuri’s hand and slipped his finger into his hot mouth and sucked hard as he slipped it out, sucking it back in again before it reached the end, this time slathering it with his saliva. He pulled his next two fingers into his mouth, sucking hard as he held his eyes on his and coated them all with his hot slickness. He pulled his dripping fingers from his mouth and brought his hand down to his ass, guiding his finger to spread his saliva over his hole. He leaned over, putting his arm on the other side of him, so he was right above him watching his face as he guided Yuri's finger into himself. Yuri gasped in surprise then pressed his lips closed.

“No, Yuri. Show me. Always show me.” His scolding was as gentle as his expression. “I love your expressions.” He leaned down to kiss his throat. “You tell me so much with them. Don’t be silent.” He guided his hand back out of his hole then came back up to watch his face as he pushed it back in.

Yuri whined as the nerves around his finger lit up and stung his aching cock with more pleasure. He began panting lightly.

“Yes, that’s better, Yuri. Keep going with your finger, in and out.” He released the hold he had on his hand, but left it over the back of his, caressing it over the back and up his wrist then back down again. “How does it feel?”

“Um, a little… strange but um, I really like having, um, your spit… inside me.”

A slow smile spread across his face. “Yeah? How does it make you feel?”  

“Hot. Really hot. Want- wanting more.”

His grin widened. “You do look so hot.” He kissed his neck and up over his cheek. “You keep going. I’ll be right back.”

Yuri whined as he pulled away to go to a cabinet behind them to Viktor’s amused delight. He returned a moment later with some pillows and slipped them in under him to raise his upper body up. The chains on the nipple clamps slid down his body tugging a fresh wave of pain into him. He gasped as his cock responded with more demands not to be ignored. Viktor smirked as he hooked a finger in the chains and pulled downward until Yuri was crying out. He gave a few more deep pulls then released it and moved to his ass. Yuri collapsed back onto the pillows, his chest heaving as his body tried to process the pain that wasn’t pain and the pleasure that wasn’t pleasure.

“Watch, Yuri.”

He lifted his head back up to watch himself fuck his finger into his ass and Viktor as he watched the same scene with excitement pulsing in the vein at his throat, his eyes flickering between the show at his ass and the displays across his face. Viktor retook his hand and guided his second finger to his hole, leaning over to drip more saliva down the length of his fingers to pool at his ass. Viktor directed his second finger inside then paused his hand to let his body accept this new stretch. He turned to kiss the fresh marks he had laid down then drew his hand back out and pressed it in again slowly, repeating until Yuri picked up the motion on his own, biting his lip as his face screwed up with the stretch of his hole sending his nerves quivering in yet new directions.

“Try to spread your fingers apart gently. I want to see inside you.”

“Yes,” his head fell back with the deep moan, “yes, Viktor.”

He lifted his head back up to watch as he’d been ordered and locked eyes on Viktor as he spread his hole open, a deep blush of embarrassment rushing into the spaces between pain and pleasure, water swelling the already dense sand on a beach with each fresh wave. His breath pulsed deeply trying to sort the sensations as Viktor licked his lips and kept his eyes fixed on his hole as he spread himself further and further for Viktor’s pleasure. A burn started as he reached a new limit and paused until his body accepted that too then opened himself wider. His cock leaked onto his stomach, and Viktor’s eyes glanced up to make a note of it with a smile then watched his face for a moment before looking back to his gaping hole, swallowing hard. If it’s a show he wants, then that’s what he’s going to get. Viktor’s fingers stroked along the marks on his other thigh as he watched him stretch himself to his limit for his pleasure.

“God, you’re so fucking good, Yuri. Such a natural slut. You’d do anything no matter how dirty it is if I wanted it, wouldn’t you?”

“Ha! Yes! Yes, Viktor!” Viktor’s words made him find a new limit as they ripped apart the old one.

Viktor leaned over and dropped a river of saliva just above his gaping hole to let it flow in. He looked up to watch his face with a sexy smile on his. “My filthy virgin slut. So eager to be used for my pleasure. Would you put on a show for me in front of a crowd if I told you it would please me?”

“Yes, Viktor! Yes! Anything! Please use me to do anything that would make you feel good.”

“God, you’re such a fucking slut.” He rose up to whisper in his ear. “I fucking love it. My little virgin slut. He makes me feel so good. Do you want me to give you your first taste of a cock?”

“Please, please, please, Viktor. I want it so bad. I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’ll do my best to make you feel good.”

“I know you will, and that’s all you have to do, my gorgeous Yuri. You look so fucking hot right now. I’ve never seen anything I’ve ever wanted more.” He stroked his fingers down his cheek and over his neck. “Keep doing what you’re doing. I’ll be right back.” He left and picked up a curved purple dildo that was sitting on the cabinet then returned to the bottom of the table and spilled more lube over his ass. “Relax your fingers and curl them upward just a bit and stroke along that upper wall until you find a spot that feels different.”

He prodded about as Viktor said, but he couldn’t seem to locate what he was talking about.

“Having trouble?”

“Yes, Viktor.”

He retook his hand. “Here, curl your fingers a little more and let me move your hand.”

“Yes, Viktor.”

He relaxed his hand and Viktor began sliding it inside him, searching for something. Viktor watched his face as he narrowed in on a spot then thrust his fingers upward making his back arch off the pillows as colorful sparks lit in his eyes.

Viktor smiled. “There it is. Remember this spot. It’ll be your favorite. Stroke it a little on your own until you feel like you can locate it easily.”

Stroking more colors into his vision, he lost himself even more into this world inside him that Viktor was creating but tried to hold enough focus to follow his instructions. “What is that?”

“It’s your p-spot. Your prostate. It’s a small gland men have that feels absolutely amazing.”

“Do- do you do this too?”

“Yes, sometimes. I typically top, but I’ve topped from the bottom before too.”

“What- Ngh! What does that mean?”

“It means that I’d typically order you to take my cock, but ordering you to fuck me senseless is a possibility as well.”

“Ngh!” He whined as the images Viktor created layered behind the swirling colors in a fevered hallucination of unspeakable pleasure.

“Do you like the idea?”

“Yes, Viktor!”

He chuckled. “Such an eager slut. Be patient, zolotse.” He stuck the dildo in his mouth, sucking it into a dripping mess with his pink tongue lathing sloppy strokes along it then handed it to him. “Put this in and put the head of it right against that spot.”

“Yes, Viktor.” He pressed the head to his hole and slipped it in just enough for his walls to clamp down. He sucked back the breath of the bite.

“Just rest it there a minute. You’ll open back up if you relax.” He stroked his fingers over the new marks of pain to help him do just that, kissing lightly below the silks.

After a few seconds, he felt himself soften again, and he slipped the dildo the rest of the way in. He twisted it a bit until he got it seated against the right spot.

“Did you find it?”

“Yes, Viktor. I think so.”

“We’ll find out in a second. I’m going to turn it on and play with the settings. Tell me when I hit on any that feel particularly good.”

“Yes, Viktor.”

He switched on the dildo, and it came to life with a deep thrumming inside him that made him writhe with his gasping cries. “Looks like you did a good job. Don’t worry about telling me. Your response will tell me everything.” He cycled through the settings until he found one that made him respond the way he wanted then increased the intensity until Yuri felt like he was about to break apart then lowered it one click, leaving it vibrating hard for a few seconds then shutting off and coming back on to torment him again. “Color?”

“Gre- Ah!” The cycle came back on and cut off his ability to speak. He panted out the rest of the word as it backed off again. “Green.”

“Good. Since you won’t be able to speak, we’re going to use a physical signal as your safe word. Pinch my ass hard twice if you need me to back off and three times followed by a long pinch if you’re safewording and need to stop.”

“Like morse code?”

He laughed. “Yes, exactly that.”

“Does it mean-… Ah! Any-anything?”

“Well the two pinches would represent the letter I which works as a shorthand for, ‘I need less,’ and the three pinches followed by the long one is a V which is, ‘Viktor, you need to stop.’ You got those?”

“Two pinches is yellow, three followed by a long one is red.”

“Very good. And make sure they’re hard, so I don’t miss them. Don’t worry about hurting me. I prefer it on my ass, but anywhere on me you can reach is fine. Except my cock or balls, please unless you have no other option.” He laughed. “I’m not into pain.”

He couldn’t help laughing as well which cut off into whimpers with the vibrations rattling against his p-spot again. “I- I would have guessed differently.”

He climbed onto the table and straddled his chest on his knees, resting lightly on him, tugging gently on the clamps. His cock was already rock hard, straining through the fabric and brushing against his throat. He grabbed his hands and yanked his arms above his head. “Oh, I’m very much into your pain.” He leaned down to suck soft kisses onto the bare underside of each wrist then brought his hands down to rest on Viktor’s hips as he brought his own back up to hold around his neck. “Where are you okay with me cumming on you?”

“Anywhere.”

“Is there anywhere you’d most like it?”

His blush came back despite everything he had already exposed to him. He couldn’t help feeling the rush of embarrassment with every new layer ripped back. “Inside me, Viktor.” He spoke in a bare whisper as his blush heated his words away.

“My dirty little virgin slut wants me to cum down his throat for him to keep as his filthy little secret?” The hint of a smile warming his face as it always did when he said those words flooded them with affection.

“Yes. Yes, please, Viktor.”

“You want me to be the one to defile that pretty mouth of yours?”

“Please, Viktor.”

“Are you sure? That sweet mouth is the purest thing on you. Everything else on you begs for my touch shamelessly, but that mouth always begs as sweetly as an angel. You really want me to make it another filthy hole begging to be used for my pleasure?”

“Yes! Yes, Viktor. Please, Viktor. Please use me. Please let me feel you inside me.”

His smile widened as he slowly shook his head. “So sweet. You make sure you hold on to that sweetness even as I fuck it into a filthy, slutty mess. Can you do that for me?”

“Yes, Viktor. I’ll do anything you ask. Just, please. Please let me make you feel good.” He cried out as the vibrations came back on and wracked through his pleading body.   

“Just relax as much as you can. If you can keep your throat relaxed it helps keep your gag reflex calmer. Trying to swallow me down like you’re chugging beer can also help, and it feels amazing for me. I’m sorry, but I’m not the easiest option for your first time considering that I’m on the larger side.”

He chuckled. “Please, Viktor, let me taste your huge cock. I promise I’ll do my best not to let it overwhelm me.”

Viktor’s mouth gaped open in an indignant smile as he reached back behind him to tug on the chains. “Are you sassing me?” He pulled harder bit by bit, laughing as Yuri’s cries of pain started to slip from his lips. “I think my little virgin slut thinks it’s funny to sass me. Or maybe that was his way to ask me for more pain. Did you want some more punishment?”

“Yes! Ah! Yes, Viktor!” He twisted under him making his hold on the chains pull harder against his hotly aching nipples.

Viktor pulled a little harder then dropped the chain and dropped a kiss to his throat. “I don’t mind a little funishment as long as you don’t let it wreck your obedience.”

“Funishment?”

“Playfully disobeying or being disrespectful to get me to punish you for fun. It’s a bratty behavior so just be careful about going too far, but I do have a sense of humor even here.”

“How will I know if I’m going too far?”

“You never have to worry about that. I will always inform you of the limits as you reach them. Now, are you ready to taste my cock, my sassy little virgin slut?”

The vibrations made him whine and nod his head before he could answer properly. “Yes, Viktor. Please now?”

He rose up enough to slide his pants down below his ass. His freed cock dripped onto Yuri’s lips. He licked at the drop of precum, swiping it into his mouth to savor his first taste of Viktor.

Watching him with a smile, he stroked his cheek. “Do you like it?”

“Yes, Viktor,” he answered softly. “So much better than mine.”

“Go ahead. Take it all. You’ve more than earned it today. I’m so proud of you.” 

Parting his lips, he licked them then softly rested them against Viktor’s head, looking up at him as his tongue flicked out to gather more of his sweet taste. Hitching his breath at their first contact, Viktor smiled and stroked his thumb over his cheek. Yuri slipped more of his head into his mouth and swirled his tongue lightly over the tip, stopping to explore the ridge underneath that connected his skin. Viktor’s eyes closed for a moment as his chest pulsed deeper. They opened again, and he looked down at him, his eyes soft, warm, affectionate, doing unspeakable things on top of the already unspeakable sensations trying to claim his attention from down below. Nothing could have pulled his focus away from that look in Viktor's eyes directed at him. He opened wider to take more of him in, sliding his ridge and the sensitive skin below his foreskin slowly in and out of his mouth. He sucked gently as he pulled out then worked his tongue around his head again as he slid him back in. Viktor’s breath grew heavier, and his fingers moved to lace through his hair, but he held still, gently gripping him as he let him take him at his own pace.

He worked him in further then brought his trembling hand up to stroke his fingers lightly down the length, feeling his velvety skin below them. Tracing the veins and ridges, he opened further and slid him back along his tongue. Viktor’s hand tightened. Yuri's head swirled into a dizzying pleasure as everything in him joined at once. Moaning and pressed further until Viktor hit the back of his throat, mindless pleasure raced down to his overstimulated cock and hole.

“Yes, Yuri. So good. You feel so good. So incredible. Do you like the way my cock feels in your mouth? You don’t have to use words.”

He nodded and moaned, taking him deeper and hit his gag reflex. He held him there trying to stay relaxed as Viktor had instructed, breathing heavily.

Viktor stroked his hair. “Yes, exactly right. You’re making me feel so good.” His breathy voice backing up his words made a fresh swirl of pleasure roll through him. Viktor smiled and regripped his hair. “My perfect virgin slut.” He took Yuri’s hand and wrapped it around the base of his cock, sliding it back to pull his skin tight. “Hold here. I like feeling it tighten when I go in your throat.”

He moaned and pushed further until his reflex responded again. He tried to wait for it to calm, but he wanted to make Viktor feel good, so he started bobbing his head down his length.

Viktor tightened his grip to stop him as he started gagging. “Just wait. Wait until your body accepts me. I can wait too. Can you breathe?”

He nodded. He couldn’t breathe very well, but well enough and the lack of oxygen only heightened the dizzying pleasure.

“Good. You’re already making me feel so good. Just wait until you’re ready for more.”

He tried his best to follow his instructions, but with everything happening, waiting was the hardest thing to do. His body wanted to come so desperately, but it was held back and teetering on an edge with Viktor’s expert control. God, he needed to see Viktor lose control. He needed to see him fall apart by his touch. He needed Viktor to just let go and use him damn it. He swallowed him down as he pushed all the way until his lips met his hand then stopped, panting through his narrowed breath as he tried to hold back his body’s impulse to remove him from his throat. He kept swallowing him down as he found that helped him win his fight to keep him there and Viktor’s cries growing louder with each gulp egged him on.

“Oh god! Fuck, Yuri! Fuck that feels so good!” His head fell back as he panted and pulled hard at his hair. He lifted his head back to look down at him with a nasty smirk. “You fucking slut. God, what you’ll do to make me feel good. You want me to use you, yes?”

He nodded, his pleading eyes fixed on the blue flame burning hotter than ever in his, Viktor's body trembling with a dangerous excitement on the brink of losing control.

“You want me to make you my filthy little whore?”

He nodded again as a cry slipped out of his stuffed mouth.

Both of Viktor’s hands came to his head to grip his hair and angle his head up to open his throat further as he started to thrust in tiny strokes inside his mouth. Yuri alternated between trying to relax and swallowing when his body stupidly felt like rejecting his cock.

“How does my virgin slut like being used like this? Does it feel good?”

He nodded quickly, moaning as pleasure pressed against every inch of his body. Viktor began thrusting harder, and something triggered at the back of his throat making a deep shiver rock through him. Shaking cries rolled out of Viktor’s mouth between his thrusts as he gained speed and power and his body began to melt under his control. Finally giving up his restraint, Viktor fucked into his mouth. The pleasure inside him rose higher and higher. He had barely enough focus left to watch Viktor’s face and the deep flush over his cheeks and chest and shoulders as he shot his cum down his sloppy mouth spilling down his chest.

Viktor pulled out, and he swallowed the rest of his cum down and greedily licked his lips drawing an amused smile from Viktor as he reached down to crank up the power of the vibrations and turn them into a steady stream. He then removed the clamps which shockingly felt worse rather than better as blood forced its way back into his now painfully sensitive nipples. Viktor pulled his pants back up and moved to the side to watch him writhe on the table. His fingers pinched and rolled his nipples, dropping him further into the pleasure cracking through him. He distantly heard his cries screaming out of him as he finally exploded, every muscle in his body clenching hard as he came sending his cum shooting across his chest. Viktor watched the last twitches of pleasure play across his body then switched off the vibrator and carefully removed it and released the buckle on the cock ring without touching him then dropped down to lap the cum from his body. He writhed some more as he passed over his nipples though he felt so drained, he didn’t even know his body could still move.

Viktor untied him from his silks and held Yuri’s neck inside his hands. “You’re so wonderful, Yuri. You made me feel so incredibly good. Thank you so much, my beautiful Yuri. I’m so proud of you. How are you feeling?”

He nodded slowly.

Viktor laughed. “Okay, that was your last non-verbal answer. Back to using your pretty words. Did you hold on to your sweetness for me like I asked?”

“I don’t know, Viktor.” His words sounded like he was drunk. “You’ll have to tell me. Am I still sweet enough for you?”

He nodded and dropped down to gather him in his arms, burying his face into his chest. “The sweetest. So perfect, Yuri. Did I make you feel good?”   

“Uh, yeah. Yes, Viktor. That was… mind-blowing. I hope you know where you put it because I don’t.”

“Put what? Your mind?” Viktor looked up with a smile.

“Yes, Viktor.”

He chuckled. “Yeah, don’t worry. I’ve got it right here.” He touched his hand to his chest. “Right along with the rest of you.” He scooped him up into his arms and carried him into the jade room and placed him on the pillow, stopping to grab the lotion on the way. How he managed to do that while holding his weight after everything he’d done today was unknown to Yuri.

“You’re really strong. It’s so sexy.” He smiled and caressed his cheek as the swirling in his body settled into giddiness.

Viktor pulled him back into his arms to cuddle him as he laid down next to him. “I think you’re the sexiest person I’ve ever seen.” He kissed quickly all over him making him laugh and squeal with the tickling kisses.

He sighed as Viktor settled in to start massaging the lotion in over his fresh marks. “Why won’t you touch me?”

“What do you mean? I’m touching you right now.”

“I mean… where you set the limits. You said you didn’t want my first touch to be something potentially unpleasant, but you could touch me with your hands or… or your mouth and that wouldn’t be unpleasant at all, and then you’d be free to do what you want. It doesn’t have to be sex that I feel first.”

“I guess you’re not wrong there.”

“Sooo…?” He tugged at the hem of his shirt.

“I think maybe I limited us more than I needed to because I could sense what a force you’d have on me. I think I was very wise to do that.”

“Is that your gentle way of turning me down again?” He dropped his hand from his shirt.

“Yes.” He picked his hand back up and kissed it. “Don’t take that as me rejecting you. It’s not. It’s the exact opposite. It’s me admitting that controlling myself around you is exceptionally difficult. It’s me admitting that you have me so under your spell; I can’t handle what I normally can. I tried pushing our limits today, and I nearly lost it. You have no idea what that took for me to hold back from you just now.”

“What do you mean? You were inside me.”

“I mean,” he took his throat in his hand and leaned down until his face was inches away, “I want to make you mine. All of you. I can withstand you touching me easier than I can hold myself back when I touch you because the more of you I grab, the more I want to take. I want to make you mine, and I know that you would let me.” Sighing, he sat back and released his hold. “But it would be fake because this is all still just a game to you.”

“It’s not.”

“It is and don’t try to deny it. If it’s not a game, tell me. What are we really doing here?” He watched him as he struggled to answer, giving up the fight after a moment and lowering his eyes. Viktor lifted his chin back up to make him look at him again. “It’s okay. I’m still fine with the game. I know you need more time. Just don’t look so hurt when I hold back from giving you more of me when you held back first.”

“I’m sorry, Viktor.”

“You don’t need to apologize. I knew the situation going in. Don’t worry.” He smiled. “I want you to feel just as good as you’ve made me feel. Did you know that you were absolutely amazing tonight?” He tickled his sides to draw his laugh back out. “Seriously, that was the best blowjob I’ve ever had.”

“Li-” He slapped his hands over his mouth and looked over them with wide eyes.

Viktor laughed. “You look so cute like that, I’ll ignore the fact that you were about to call me a liar again. This time. But it truly was. You know what makes for the best blowjobs?”

“No, Viktor.”

“A desire to please that runs so deep you get pleasure off of the other person’s pleasure. Add in a touch of pride in yourself and your work, and it knocks it out of the park. That’s exactly what you just gave me alongside those sweet cinnamon eyes of yours asking if I was happy the entire way.”

"I don't really have pride though." 

"Yes, you do. You put so much effort and attention into what you're doing, and you get pleasure from doing a good job. Someone without pride just doesn't care. You care very much." 

"Yeah... I guess I do." 

Viktor smoothed away his creased thoughts on his face as he worked the lotion in over him again and brought him back to that elevated, giddy place of bliss. He was so good. How did a man so incredibly good have so much time for him? So much patience. So much generosity. So much care. His heart ached at receiving so much from him, and it kept hurting worse by the second until he couldn’t take any more.

“Viktor? Please, can I massage you too?” He spoke over his shoulder as he lay on his stomach while Viktor worked over the back of his leg.

“No. This is your time to recover after the demands I put on you and your body.”

“My time… what time is it?”

“Five fifty-five.” His voice twinged with sadness.

He nodded and settled back onto the pillow. Five minutes. He can hold on for five more minutes.

Viktor kissed the bottom of each foot and sat back. “Six o’clock. You’re free.”

“Perfect.” He sat up and turned around, lifting up the hem of Viktor’s shirt. “May I?”

He looked confused but lifted his arms. “Sure. I was going to give it to you anyway. Put it on.”

“Yes, Viktor.” He put it over his head and sniffed deeply as he put his arms though. He nearly moaned as the scent of Viktor, slightly sweaty and soaked with sex, penetrated his body again. Oh god. This shirt. He never wanted to take it off again.

He grinned. “It’s past six. You don’t have to speak to me like that.”

“Yes, Viktor. Your pants too.”

He laughed in surprise. “My pants? You want to steal everything from me? Fine.” He pretended to pout as he pulled them off and tossed them in his face. “Take them. Put those on too. It’ll be nicer than dirty stable jeans.”

“Yes, Viktor.” He slipped the pants on and climbed off the pillow to roll them up at the waist a bit and re-tie the drawstring. He couldn’t help noticing the slight dampness at the front, and it thrilled him to have it brushing over his bare cock. “Lay down.”

Viktor grinned and flopped onto the pillow on his back. “Like this?”

“Yes, Viktor. Do I have permission to touch everything?”

“Everything but my lips.”

“Thank you, Viktor. May I use your lotion?”

He smiled and nodded. “Do I have your permission to continue touching and kissing you as I have been?”

His blush swelled as he dipped his chin. “Yes, Viktor.”

He brushed his hand over his cheek. “Thank you.”

He straddled him and sat as lightly as he could on his hips as he pumped the lotion into his hands. He warmed it between them before running them over his chest and shoulders pressing deeply into the muscle.

Viktor moaned. “Oh, Yuri. That feels so good. Why are you doing this though? Don’t you want to go?”

“You worked hard today. You deserve some pampering too. And I don’t want to be anywhere but right here.”

***