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Red in Tooth and Claw

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Jim was fascinated by how transfixed Sebastian was with his body as he washed him... and then he found his own fascination downright disconcerting. Why should I care? he thought, rankled. So he has good taste and recognises beauty...

Oh... perfect is it? Glad you can see that, my dear....

And then... Jim got to see just what Seb wanted to do with his perfection when he turned his tongue on him.

Desperately he tried not to close his eyes - it was too beautiful to watch Sebastian at work. His cock in his soldier's mouth, he luxuriated in the sensation and leaned slowly against the shower wall. When he started caressing his balls as well, Jim finally closed his eyes, breathing deeply.

God... you must ALWAYS do this, Tiger, he thought in a daze.

When he heard Sebastian's whispered request to turn around, Jim stared down at him.

 

"Since you asked so nicely," he purred, and turned under the spray. He threw his head back, revelling in the water pouring down his face and his shoulders. And he waited for Sebastian to continue his amazing work...

 

 

~

Hmm... he seemed to be doing something right, and it was a heady feeling how Jim bathed in the attention and admiration as much as in the blast of the water. And Christ, Sebastian would never get used to the little shock that always singed through him, when these dark eyes opened and met his own... in which Jim, before he turned around, might have seen the hint of a smile - but hopefully not Sebastian's sudden desire to dig his nails into his beautiful arse, push its owner face first against the tiled wall, pressing against him and...

Oh, to see how long that aloofness would last…

But for the moment it seemed the wiser choice to stay on his knees. The reverent ministrations continued thoroughly: the back of Jim's thighs, his calves... feet... exceedingly handsome arse... While he was finally getting back up, Sebastian's fingers trailed lightly along the enticing shadowed crack between his cheeks, like a fleeting naughty afterthought.

Where was he? Ah yes – his back... Long lean muscles, luxuriously stretching under his hand, the subtle small dips between the vertebrae...

Sebastian realised he'd inched ever closer - his hands were now on Jim's shoulders, growing still. Water was sloshing over them both. He dipped his head slightly, breathing on the wet, warm skin between Jim's neck and shoulder, then his lips lightly touched it - not quite so forward as a kiss, followed as it was by a brief nip of his teeth.

 

“Finished,” he breathed into Jim's ear, and then stepped back.

 

He felt the dressing on his back hanging on by one last sodden strip of tape, so he reached over his shoulder and plucked it off. Then he leaned out of the shower to throw it into the bin.

 

~

What Sebastian couldn't see was Jim's blissful face as his hands swept up and over his feet and legs and thighs...

What Sebastian couldn't see was Jim squeezing his eyes shut to suppress a shiver when Sebastian's fingers trailed along the crack of his arse...

What Sebastian couldn't see was Jim's eyes flying open when he felt Sebastian lean close to him, and felt his breath on his shoulder... or when he bit his lip as Sebastian whispered to him.

And of course he couldn't see inside Jim's head... where Jim was idly imagining turning around and kissing Sebastian - not frenzied and hungry like he had been, but languorously... a slow, wet kiss that felt like it could last for days...

Jim's eyes widened at the audacity of this thought, the abject absurdity. Then he heard the telltale giggle of the little voice.

 

(You could, you know...) the voice said rather innocently.

 

That would never happen... he thought, aiming at being bored by the thought, and failing.

 

The little voice huffed in response, and withdrew. Jim wasn't sure if he should be worried... this traitorous part of him had been uncharacteristically quiet since it started issuing warnings...

Then Jim realized Seb was halfway out of the shower, tossing out the bandage from his back.

 

"Ah yes... your wound..." he said, welcoming the distraction. "Let me see it..."

 

He turned off the water, and stepped out. He took the towel Sebastian handed him, dried off and then gestured at him to turn around. Jim made murmuring sounds of appraisal and approval, as he examined the M, then cleaned and bandaged it.

"The doctor let me know the healing was coming along..." he said, and gestured at Sebastian to sit on the lid of the toilet. "And oh, that you didn't want the type of care that would lessen scarring?" he asked innocently, and then sat on Sebastian's lap, straddling him.

He wound his fingers through Sebastian's hair, and pulled back gently. "I'm pleased you want my signature to stay on permanent display...." he remarked, then furrowed his brow.

"Less pleased about breaking the cardinal rule..." he tapped Sebastian's chest. "You know I can't let that slide..."

He sighed, and ran his tongue along Sebastian's collarbone and back again. "Just what -" he whispered, nibbling it, "are we going to do with you? So very good and yet..." Jim tsked. "…so in need of discipline..."

His lips and teeth made their way along Sebastian's jaw. Well... he wasn't about to indulge in the ridiculous fantasy of kissing as though they were romantic leads in a film, but... that didn't mean he couldn't expand his repertoire slightly. He was enjoying bending his own rules far more than he should - especially when he saw the effect on Sebastian, whose responses were so delicious...

"What do you think would be appropriate under the circumstances?" he whispered against Sebastian's throat, making him shiver. Jim smiled to himself in response, and pressed a kiss into the tender skin under his jaw.

 

 

~

The way they were sitting now, with Jim straddling him, was quite a fetching position, and not just because they were at eye level for a change. Although that was nice too...

When Jim had examined the ‘artwork’ on his back, sounding quite pleased, there it had been again: that absurd little flicker of pride in Sebastian. Some part of him still realised how bloody ridiculous that was. As if it were a personal accomplishment to be 'healing nicely' (i.e. scarring beautifully).

What a special level of fucked up it was to revel in the pain (newly revived by being shoved against the desk) washing over him like a fucking benediction.

And to feel content and so much safer under the hands that had inflicted the mutilation than those that had offered to lessen it. He made a low noise of agreement in his throat, when Jim mentioned the medical report from yesterday.

 

“So much for doctor-patient confidentiality, huh?” he murmured. But the corner of his mouth curled in amusement and he didn't even pretend to be offended - because sitting astride him now was the only man who had ever really seen through the hidden and murky depths of Sebastian Moran… seemingly as easily as through a pitcher of water.

“Did you think I would?” It was unfathomable – just the thought of the doctor gluing and glossing over the cuts from his knife – the mark of ownership, proof of purchase… which somehow, not quite 48 hours old, already felt like a defining part of him. The good doctor might as well have offered to amputate his trigger finger. And whether or not Jim had expected this outcome, the possessive little fucker was definitely pleased with it…

Not so pleased that he’d let Sebastian’s transgression slide, though – imagine, coming before Jim. What was to be done about it?

... the terrible things we did... The terrible things we'll do...

Jim's eyes were pools of darkness, brimming with vicious glee... and something bordering on tenderness. Sebastian's eyes closed, as his neck was bared by the grip slowly pulling his head back. He nearly groaned in bliss when he felt Jim's lips, tongue, teeth along his jaw, and on his throat... promising. threatening… arousing…

Fuck, focus! He thought of Jim’s question, in a daze. Did he have any suggestions?

GOD, anything. Everything...

He could write him a list, if Jim gave him note paper… But then - with Jim hell-bent on punishing his crime, every single suggestion might be crossed off it by the end of the night.

“It would be presumptuous of me to say what’s appropriate…” Sebastian felt his pulse hammering against the slight pressure of teeth still on his neck.

(When exactly had his hands slipped around Jim, locking behind his back?) “…Sir.”

Anything.

Everything...

Just make me fucking feel it.

 

 

~

Jim was luxuriating in the look on Sebastian's face, as much as he had been in his touch in the shower – his soldier appeared so exquisitely in awe of Jim, so euphoric at his attention... that he didn't care if it was positive or negative attention as long as it was consistently there.

Jim wanted to crow with delight - he had him where he wanted him. He wasn't going to go traipsing off with other men or women, not if he wanted to continue with Jim - which clearly he did.

So, the problems of a few days ago had ceased to be problems - there was a new order now, and it was run by yours truly, His Royal Highness, the King, the True Queen, AKA Jim Fucking Moriarty.

And his empire was powerful and sprawling, and his employees were legion, and he was feared across the land, and his adoring court was one man and one man alone - Sebastian Moran.

Who demurred when asked what punishment would be suitable, and deferred to Jim's judgement - even after having visited his savage little room…

Who seemed very excited indeed to find out what said punishment would be…

Whose arms had somehow moved around Jim's waist without him noticing…

Was he actually getting used to... human contact?? He blinked - it had always been so disturbing to him, unless delivering pain or death. He considered this for a moment, then snaked his arms around the back of Sebastian's neck, and leaned closer.

 

"I'll tell you what we're going to do..." he said in a hushed, conspiratorial voice. "At the time of my choosing, you'll go without an orgasm, for as long as I see fit. And yes, it's terribly generous of me to disclose this to you in advance..." he said graciously.

He stepped away from Sebastian. "But it won't be tonight... or will it?" he shrugged with a delighted look on his face. "Oh! This is a fun game... now come along, darling. I'm starving..." he purred, and left the room. "Your dressing gown is in the closet," he called back. "Should you wish it."

 

 

~

With their arms around each other, to an unwitting voyeur they would have appeared - well, not quite like boss and bodyguard with a special arrangement, but more like infatuated lovers falling deeply into an intimate conversation. Well, the conversation part was true… and the topic was of an intimate nature…

There was a soft huff from Sebastian, barely audible, when Jim disclosed the punishment he'd decided on.

 

“Your wisdom and soundness of judgement is unsurpassed, Sir,” Sebastian purred back, with such a show of deference it could only be a tease. Yes, he enjoyed laying it on a bit thick, but one could not accuse Jim of being unreasonable… at least, not all the time. “The punishment seems highly appropriate considering the nature of the crime.”

He could already tell it would be a fun punishment for Jim to administer– whereas to Sebastian it sounded disconcerting… strangely delicious… and obviously highly frustrating...

But really, he thought, how hard could it be?

...

After all, it only meant observing Rule number 1 for a… somewhat extended period of time, right?

If you messed up, botched something you were required to be good at, you didn't whine about the consequences - you trained until you got better. Very familiar concept.

Then Jim got up gracefully, reminding darling he was starving, and left the room.

“Right away,” murmured Sebastian with a small grin. “I'll peel you an apple, love.”

He’d even carve it into bite-sized pieces and feed it to him by hand, if that’s what he wanted….

Only then did it register what else Jim had said. Sebastian's grin widened and he just had to peek into the wardrobe – where he found a dressing gown – luxurious, plush and black like Jim's, only with tiger print trimmings that nearly looked like the real deal.

He was not going to gasp in delight, and he would not get any ideas of what this could mean...

In the end he went downstairs naked. As he picked up his boxer briefs from the living room floor, the smitten grin remained.

He found Jim in the kitchen opening a bottle of wine. He was nearly fully clothed again, but with a fresh shirt that had not had buttons ripped off it by an overzealous soldier.

Sebastian opened the fridge and perused the contents.

“Any cravings? Special desires? he asked, already closing his hands on a packet of steaks.

 

~

Jim looked back at Sebastian in surprise, as if he had asked him if he'd rather have dinner on the Moon or on Mars...

 

"If I ever have something specific in mind, trust me, you'll know about it..." he said, sounding distracted. As indeed he was, by the appearance of a naked Tiger in his kitchen. Was he going to be cooking naked, too? Jim didn't have any issues with that, he just hoped his favourite bits remained safe. Jim decided to sit at the kitchen island with his laptop, to observe.

It was strange to be back in the kitchen with Sebastian... very strange. The reason being, Jim realized slowly and with growing horror... it was only his second visit, but he was starting to feel like a permanent fixture... and Jim liked having him here.

HIs face scrunched up in annoyance as he stared at his screen. Stupid. He was being so stupid. And sentimental. And - what the fuck was he supposed to do with - what was he now, a permanent guest? A future roommate? Jim felt himself cringing.

 

(Honey,) the little voice crooned, (Don't you understand you can do whatever you desire? As if anything you do could be clichéd or commonplace… you silly goose!)

 

Don’t call me that. And why didn't you say all this sooner and save me the aggravation? Jim thought snappishly, then sipped his wine. Sebbie darling was in for a bit of a surprise...

 

 

~

Well, if Jim didn't voice any predilections, he'd have to eat whatever Sebastian put in front of him. The beauty of the miraculously replenishing Chez Moriarty fridge was that it contained only food of the highest quality - so to throw together a decent meal was easy. It sufficed to simply not ruin the ingredients.

 

“Nice choice of dressing gown, by the way. Beautiful tiger trimmings...”

Sebastian, chopping vegetables, briefly looked over his shoulder at Jim, who had taken up residence at the kitchen island. “You should get some ermine on yours.”

After throwing on some olive oil and seasonings, the vegetables were popped into the oven and Sebastian went into the living room to pick up all the glass from the carpet. Once it was safely deposited into the kitchen bin, he moved on to heating the frying pan for the steaks.

“Sorry to keep asking... Rare? Medium?”

He had no idea how Jim liked his steak. The little savage could be quite fastidious… he might not want everything he sank his teeth into dripping with blood…?

 

 

~

Jim didn't look up from his laptop. "Medium rare," he mumbled. He looked over his plans for tomorrow, and Sebastian was indeed on bodyguard detail for him again.

"Will you be bored playing bodyguard?" he asked abruptly. "As we discussed, you'll also be given assassin jobs, and teams of men will report to you for various purposes... and I may send you out for exciting errands, as needed. But is protecting my body going to be dull for you? It's not all shooting sprees and ice cream, Sebastian," he said, as though he was chiding him.

He tilted his head, considering. "Ermine... very clever, Tiger... I'll speak to my tailor about it. While you're getting your measurements done."

Jim almost laughed at Sebastian's look of shock. "Oh, darling... those suits are fine for low-level mafiosos... but I think we can do better, hmm? And since I'm the one who'll be looking at you, I'd like to see something a little more flattering. And more reflective of the organization you work for... I'll make an appointment for this week," he muttered, returning to his laptop.

Suddenly the smell of meat wafted under his nose. He breathed in deeply, keenly aware of his empty stomach. "How much longer?" he said absent-mindedly, and sipped his wine.

 

 

~

“My what?” Sebastian shot around. He'd probably misheard, with the fierce crackling and sizzling when he turned the steaks. No, he obviously hadn't... Tailor. Measurements.

“You know… I can wear anything and look dashing… uniform… jeans and a frayed t-Shirt… briefs and oven mitts… or even nothing at all.” he grinned, and then shrugged. “Fine, if you say so... “

This was clearly not a topic to argue about with the epitome of fashion sense…

As to the question of whether he found his bodyguard duties dull, he had looked up at Jim, quite astonished. And also amused, because it sounded like it was Jim's concern, or downright duty as a boss to not bore his employees...

Well, in that book of Sun Tzu's on Jim's nightstand, one characterisation of warfare through a soldier's eyes, was definitely not to be found: 'Hours or days of utter boredom, interspersed with moments of acute terror.'

There was a lot of truth to that, although for Sebastian Moran it had been more like 'moments of feeling acutely alive, heightened by the danger of being bored to death in between'.

Even for soldiers in an elite unit like the Regiment, huge chunks of life on duty consisted of waiting, waiting, and then… more waiting.

At base, in camps, around helicopter hangars, in a sniper's hide, in Lying-Up Points and Observation Posts…

For enemy movement, for intel to arrive, for situations to unfold, for the sun to go down,

for decisions from the head shed, for a high value target to show up, for the order to Go!

Waiting, waiting, waiting, for what could be minutes, or hours, or days…

 

“Don't worry,” Sebastian said dryly, “I can handle dull." He smiled. “But believe me, this – is not. Any of it.” He realised just how true that was - working for Jim Moriarty, working with him was like being on a constant mission, and it was many things, but never dull. Least of all the assignments to bodyguard detail – which in each week's schedule stood out as glowing dates in Sebastian's mind. They meant he got to be near Jim. Watch him. Make sure he was safe. It didn't matter if it required him to stand around looking menacing, maim people, eat ice cream or physically wrangle a gun from the volatile little fucker's hands when he was about to shoot members of the public on a whim.

Not that he would say any of this aloud. He just pointed out one other thing, with a knife in his hand. “And I don't 'play' bodyguard.” Then he cut a few slices of bread from a fresh loaf.

“Five minutes,” he announced. For someone who didn't seem to care a whole lot about what he ate, Jim was sweetly impatient. Sebastian pulled the grilled vegetables out of the oven, heaped them onto two plates, and after another couple of minutes added the steaks. As he carried everything over to the kitchen island with a smile he nodded at the bottle of wine.

"I'll have a glass of this too, thank you."

 

~

Right. Offer the guest some wine, Jim thought - normally, he wouldn’t care, but... hmm. Interesting.

 

“OH, by all means,” he said in faux gracious voice, and snatched up the empty glass he had forgotten to fill. He poured and pushed the glass towards Sebastian’s plate.

Then he eyed his own plate - it looked and smelled delicious. This was infinitely superior to heating something in the microwave himself.

He thought of Sebastian’s reaction to his questions. His soldier clearly liked working for him, and did not in any way think of being his bodyguard as ‘babysitting’ as some did, or dull, or beneath his skill set. By his voice and facial expression, Jim understood then - this was not just work, not just a job for him - an image came to mind of Sebastian on his knees, swearing fealty with his body. And what they did with their bodies wasn’t just fucking to him, either.

In fact, the two things - work and sex - had the same significance for Sebastian. They gave him a sense of purpose and higher calling - and that purpose and higher calling was Jim.

“Oh, I think this will work out just fine, darling...” Jim said, sounding mildly pleased. He held up his glass. “Let’s drink to it…” he purred, enjoying the look of surprise on Sebastian’s face.

 

 

~

To Sebastian it was a breathtaking thrill to see Jim exasperated, even furious - especially combined with the threat - promise - chance that Jim might take it out on him...

It was a very different, but equally delicious kick to catch Jim look genuinely surprised… or pleased. As he did now. It happened a lot less often than it was part of an act, and Sebastian was getting quite adept in telling the two apart.

Sitting down, Sebastian found himself wondering when might have been the last time that anyone had cooked something for Jim – not at a business meeting or a restaurant, not someone paid to do so, but… just like this? Probably as long ago as anyone had bought something for Sebastian resembling a present.

Ohh good grief, Moran... Seriously?! Getting all soppy and dewy-eyed about... what? Two poor lost souls, wandering the cold wide world until they find each other? A smile tugged at the corners of Sebastian's mouth as he wrenched his eyes away from Jim's. No soul there, scarred or otherwise, Jim would surely point out…

Sebastian raised his glass as well and clinked it against Jim's.

 

“Yes, I think it will,” he replied, his voice not quite as smooth as Jim's silky purr. And whatever was inside him that had been chafing against the question, about what this between them even was - it seemed to have settled a bit - after all, Jim's gift was hinting at an answer.

‘This’ involved adrenaline rushes, and it involved a purpose (requiring his favourite tactical weapon, which had appeared in a black box on his bed) …

mindblowing sex (with a nice dressing gown for in between) …

and in a satisfyingly fucked up way… a place where he belonged (with a reminder carved into his back by a bloody knife).

Yes, there was nothing there he couldn't drink to… Sebastian drained his glass and nodded, cutting into his steak.

“Seriously, job's fine...” he smiled and, chewing the delicious first bite of meat, his eyes narrowed in bliss “… and R&R is out of this world.”

Even with a punishment hanging over his head. Especially with that. Christ, when the fuck had he started appreciating rules and consequences?!

The answer was sitting right across the table, neat and tidy - his hair, slightly askew, the only remaining sign of the fray they'd just been in.

 

 

~

Jim fastidiously ate his steak and grilled vegetables, marvelling at how strange it was to be enjoying food on a regular basis... for two days now.

Was this an unnecessary indulgence? he worried. Was this going to make him soft, or even fat? Jim nearly choked on his wine, but instead just swallowed hard.

He dabbed his lips with a linen napkin. Well. He would just have to use his state-of-the-art gym more frequently. He eyed Sebastian's muscles. Show-off. Wouldn't hurt to do some weight-lifting too, he thought with irritation. Maybe hire a hot ex-military trainer, and see how Sebastian reacts to it? he thought with amusement.

 

"Just fine?" he asked archly. "I'll try to keep it entertaining for you..."

Yes, he had used the exact words 'just fine' himself not a moment ago... he kept himself from giggling by sipping his wine, but there was certainly a sly smile tucked behind his glass.

"R&R... Restraints and Railing?" he asked innocently, but his eyes flashed with desire. "Eat plenty of protein, Tiger... You're going to need your strength..."

 

 

~

Hmhmm,” Sebastian confirmed, mouth full. He looked up at Jim and into the gleaming predatory gaze fixed on him like on a tasty dessert. Jesus bloody Christ – just one lewd remark from Jim and Sebastian's mind went off into the dirtiest fantasies like a flash. So he tried to at least look virtuous, but his eyes sparkled.

“Don't know if it's wise to binge on protein... when I might not be allowed to lose any.” He nearly laughed, but did his best to still look suitably daunted by the prospect. And of course, continued to polish off everything on his plate.

When they'd both finished, Sebastian took the plates away and came back with a bowl of fruit which he plonked down between them. He selected a peach and devoured half of it in one bite, juice dripping over his fingers.

“Still after that elusive Employer of the Year award, aren't you?” he said, gently teasing. “But come on, if I'd say the job's so great it doesn't even feel like work, you'd be griping that it's not supposed to feel like a holiday, and you'd have to reconsider my workload... right?”

Sometimes it simply didn't matter what you said to Jim, you could only be wrong... which by now amused Sebastian more than it annoyed him. It was simply an endearing trait of Jim's you had to take in your stride…

 

 

~

"Attempting to predict my reactions now, Tiger?" Jim asked, feeling the mix of amusement and irritation that Sebastian often inspired in him. "Others have tried and failed. I promise you - it's more difficult than you might think. But you're certainly welcome to try."

Jim studied the fruit bowl - Tiger might not mind getting soaked with juice, but he certainly didn't intend to. He selected the cherries, which were firm and ripe and a vicious shade of red.

He bit into one, turned it and bit the remaining red flesh, plucking out the pit from between his lips. A drop of red nectar fell onto his lips, and he licked it away... then proceeded to the next cherry.

While he ate, he considered - was Sebastian not taking his looming punishment particularly seriously? He studied him, plucking a cherry in his mouth and raising an eyebrow.

 

"As far as you're concerned... the Employer of the Year award goes to me…" he said loftily. "Since no employer in your past or future will ever be able to make you come so hard, my darling... and if you think not coming around me will be a cakewalk, well... I'll just have to ask you after how easy it is." His eyes flashed with amusement.

Then he popped the stem into his mouth. After a few focused moments, he pulled out a knotted cherry stem, held it up to observe it, then threw it at Sebastian.

 

 

~

Sebastian couldn't tear his eyes away from the spectacle of Jim's lips and teeth, the tip of his tongue delicately swiping away the blood-red droplets. Then he blinked.

"Did you just...? " Sebastian stared at the little cherry stem, re-emerging between Jim's teeth, neatly tied into a knot. "Quite the tongue on you, boss…" (Which was what he was usually accused of...)

Holy fuck - it looked like he should indeed re-evaluate what he would be ... uhm... up against during his punishment. Sebastian was so in awe he didn't duck quickly enough, and had to shake the little stem out of his hair, grinning.

"I appreciate a challenge. And yes, previous employers certainly were no match, Sir,” he conceded, while starting on a second peach. Although the army had definitely tried to fuck him over... "As to future ones... who knows?” he added vaguely.

Of course he knew. How could there be anyone else... ever. Employer or not...

Who could do to him... what Jim did...

What Sebastian let him do...

He shifted slightly on his chair and, peeling a banana, he carried on with his dessert. His eyes on Jim’s, he slowly ran his tongue around one end of the fruit. Granted, not quite on the same scale as the trick with the cherry stem, but he imagined it was enthralling to watch nonetheless. He then took the show a bit further and continued with his head leaning back, gradually... giving the most beautiful (and slightly obscene) view of the muscles of his neck and throat while fellating a piece of fruit.

 

 

~

Appreciating a challenge... Jaysus, these soldier types were gluttons for punishment... Or was that SAS men? Jim was distracted by Sebastian's comment about future employers - a wave of jealousy flooded through him. There would be no future employers, he wanted to shout. He wanted to choke him, threaten him with a gun, explain to him yet again that he belonged to Jim now, and to stop saying stupid things.

He did not follow through on these impulses, but he was not happy. He stared at him with narrowed eyes. But then an impromptu show with a banana started that Jim didn't want to miss due to his violent fantasies...

He leaned back in his chair, crossing his arms. "Beautiful work, Sebastian... I'll be sure to enjoy your skills later. Now if you're quite done... I have some work to do." He rose, and made to move past him. Then he straddled him, throwing him against the back of the chair, and leaning forward until they were tipping slightly. He grasped Sebastian by the neck.

"Clearly, I was speaking about the future hypothetically, darling..." he said pleasantly. Jim pushed closer to his face, eyes glinting. His hand began to squeeze. "I have no idea what you were doing, Sebastian. But I didn't care for it... not one lick."

Jim's eyes burned into him, and he moved even closer and squeezed his throat more. "Do you want to leave one day? I have to admit, I'm disappointed, Tiger..." he hissed. His hand loosened slightly, and he kissed him hard and hungrily.

 

 

~

Looking back up after swallowing the last piece of fruit, Sebastian barely had a chance to catch the dangerous light in Jim's eyes, when he was pounced and straddled. His whole body tensed under the jolt of pain through his back and only good reflexes prevented them from tipping over backwards. His right hand moved to break the grip around his throat. But what had been an ingrained instinct until three days ago, tripped, slid sideways and turned into something else - that felt not one bit less natural.

Drowning in two eyes, black with rage, caressed by a smooth and dangerously sweet voice, Sebastian felt exhilarated, and unbelievably turned on.

Could he picture himself leaving one day??

"How could I... " he rasped. His neck muscles tensed with a last instinctive resistance, then relaxed gradually... surrendering to the grip, arching into it... "And if you ever want me to..."

Jim's hand on his throat tightened a bit more, hard enough to make breathing impossible, and also unerringly finding the pulse of the big arteries on either side... The edges of Sebastian's vision became blurry, and still.... he didn't fight.

And if you ever want me to...

I'd rather you kill me.

The blood pounded in his ears, pulse hammering against Jim's hand. His own lay lightly on Jim's wrist, more as if to keep it there than to remove it. When Jim slightly loosened his grip and leaned forward, Sebastian welcomed the kiss - as fiercely as the air suddenly rushing back into his lungs.

 

 

~

Kissing Sebastian appeared to be quickly becoming a regular fixture in Jim's life...

whereas just a few days ago, this would have caused him great concern and arguments with himself, it was starting to feel different - as in... the thought of not seeing him tomorrow, or the next day... not being able to feel Sebastian's lips against his... wasn't a pleasurable thought.

In fact, sometime in the next week, his soldier would be busy heading a team for the first time... and what would that day feel like, not seeing him, he pondered as his lips devoured Sebastian's. His hand moved to the back of his neck - the other one tightened on Sebastian's shoulder.

Could he insist that Sebastian stay at Jim's that evening? At that point, it would cease to be a work assignment... which was not acceptable...

unless...

bodyguarding became... a live-in position...

 

(Now you're getting it... good boy...) the little voice whispered.

 

Fuck's sake... I'm not a dog! he snapped.

 

(Nooo, you're a sweet little kitten, aren't you? Want to purr and rub yourself all over him, don't you...) the little voice murmured. (Now pay attention to your Sebbie... and I'll take care of everything...)

 

Jim rolled his eyes, but found himself pressing against Sebastian's body, secretly enjoying the contact.

I'm not a fucking kitten, he thought, gritting his teeth. Jesus Christ, Moriarty...

 

He broke off from the kiss, and stared at him, eyes blazing. "No, I don't want you to," he snapped. "Your place is here." He pushed off against him, and stood up. "Now where was I before you started showing off your special skills? Ah yes, work."

With that, he turned and wandered towards the living room.

"Join me if you wish," he called back. "Or entertain yourself. Plenty of bananas here..."

He smiled slyly as he walked out.

 

 

~

Sebastian, still slightly panting and dizzy, stared up at Jim.

Your place is here.

The words entwined themselves with the lingering sensation of the heated kiss and Jim's body plastered against his. And for this moment in time, they were all the truth he needed.

He started to say something when Jim stood up, but had to clear his throat with two gulps of wine from his glass, and could merely watch Jim sauntering off to the living room.

A bit later Sebastian joined him, after he had rummaged through the drawers of the kitchen island until he found what he was looking for. He ensconced himself on a sofa, legs tucked underneath him. While Jim from behind his laptop plucked and spun the intricate virtual strands of his web, Sebastian threaded a very simple and mundane needle and started sewing buttons back on his shirt.

A ridiculously domestic scene, that would surely drive one of them demented in no time.

Stifling a smile and with eyes on his work, Sebastian thought about another realisation that had come with the backlash of oxygen surging into every last one of his brain cells.

There was no point in fretting.

Your place is here.

This - being the decree from the most unbalanced and changeable individual he had ever met - might well have the shelf life of a container of yoghurt. But that was the point - with Jim the truth of the moment was all that you could ever count on.

That was as good as it could ever get, and so - it was good enough for Sebastian.

And why the hell shouldn't it be. It was a lot more than he'd ever had. It was more than he ever even bloody wanted. From anyone he'd shared a bed with – ever.

It had always been the most sure-fire way to have Sebastian Moran grab his belongings and leave.

And now...?! I'd rather you kill me...

“Fuck's sake!” he muttered under his breath, as he stabbed the needle into the pad of his thumb.

 

 

~

Jim once again found himself thinking of what had transpired with Sebastian instead of work. He sighed and rubbed his eyes. So tiresome... if he had known what it would be like to get involved with him, would he still have done it?

We’re not involved, he reminded himself. And then was forced to endure a highlight reel in his mind of them eating meals, jumping on each other, showering, sleeping...

His mouth tightened. He sighed again.

He looked up at Sebastian sewing buttons on their shirts. Jesus. He didn’t have the energy to tell him not to bother. What was another shirt to him? He had an endless supply in his wardrobe. He didn’t like having things that had been broken or stained. Hence the new desk in his office... new sheets in the bedroom... new carpet and sofa after their strawberry fiesta fuckfest all over the living room floor. Absentmindedly he shifted as he remembered the carpet burns on his back and arse.

Then he pictured the apartment, Sebastian-less. He shifted again. Dull. Boring. He had been right to start fucking him... Sebastian had proven to be delightful. So why would Jim want to deny himself pleasure? Why would he deny himself owning someone so lethal and beautiful??

And it wasn’t involvement, he reiterated to himself loftily. It was just... very convenient having a bodyguard here... who happened to be absolutely delectable to whip and fuck. Idly he began to imagine what it would be like to be fucked by him... pressed against the shower... shoved against a wall...

oh... god...

Sebastian cursed, and Jim almost jumped. He swallowed hard. Fuck’s sake, indeed...

He hesitated, then opened up the work schedule for the week.

 

(What do you think you’re doing?) the little voice demanded.

 

He ignored this. There had been some developments that required swift, decisive action. Hmm. He switched the day for Sebastian to head a team of men to tomorrow.

 

(This means no Sebastian tomorrow night...) the voice reminded him. (There’s already a tidal wave heading to the shore... You think this will stop it?)

 

Jim’s brow furrowed.

 

(Don’t worry, precious... I told you I’ll take care of everything... just follow my instructions to the letter…)

 

Jim’s hand hovered over the keyboard momentarily, and then he saved the changes.

 

“You’re heading a team tomorrow, Tiger!” he announced. “Won’t that be fun?”

He felt his eyes glitter as he began sending instructions. The plan was utter madness... he stifled a manic smile, and continued his work.

 

 

~

Nobody could claim to be able to truly read Jim Moriarty. But on a subconscious level Sebastian was developing quite fine antennae for the… seismic vibrations he sensed, even though most times he couldn't pinpoint their exact source. He sucked the drop of blood from his thumb and clipped off the end of the thread with his teeth. When he deposited his mended shirt on the armrest, from the other sofa there came a whirring of keyboard clicks and a cheerful announcement. Sebastian looked up.

 

“I’m... what? Wasn't the pick-up of that shipment to Brentford going to go down tomorrow?” The invisible waves from behind the laptop spiked, and he changed tack quickly to smooth them over. “Sure... heading a team will be fun.” Depending on the assignment, and the team of course. Jim's schemes could be anything between absolutely ingenious plans and seemingly crackpot ideas… and sometimes Sebastian still had to consciously tamp down on the reflex to question a superior's orders just by default. Because he also knew, everything always fell miraculously into place and worked out in the end.

“So, what's the plan?” And equally important: "Who am I working with?"

He'd already gathered some respect amongst the Moriarty ranks, but he was also very aware that in their eyes he was still pretty much the newcomer. Not that this fazed him.

 

 

~

"Well, isn't it wonderful that this, and all information you need, is sitting in your drafts folder?" Jim asked with a sharp smile. "Perhaps you should look it over, Tiger... if you'd like to use a laptop, you can find spare ones in the office. I believe you know the way..." Jim was already looking back at his screen.

What was this secret pleasure he took at the thought of Sebastian having access to his office... the one place he should be telling him to never step foot in again?

How did that make any sense?

It didn't... unless he... trusted him??

His brow furrowed. Strange thought. Trusting someone... to that degree. Not only giving them access to confidential information, but access to him... in the shower, in his bed... (in the living room) ... he'd never slept next to someone before. Now, he was looking forward to the unexpectedly deep sleep he'd enjoyed their first two nights...

He looked up from his laptop, pensively.

"If you have any questions, you can ask Steve. You'll be working with employees who we've worked with before... so no need to whip unseasoned rabble into shape this time around... just retrieve the package from its current location... and deliver it to its rightful location. And if anyone interferes, which is a real possibility, send a message. And make it a fun message, Tiger..." Jim's eyes lit up, and he found himself almost hoping things didn't go smoothly so he could see how Sebastian would respond.

 

 

~

Jim's snippy answer pointed out Sebastian's misconception that being invited to join him while he worked could possibly include talking about work... Sebastian rolled his eyes, while he got up to put his sewing material away.

“And isn't it strange,” he murmured, “how in prehistoric times, people in the same cave enjoyed an immediate form of communication… No technical gadgets back then, of course… So archaic.”

But the permission to venture into the study again elicited a tingly elated feeling, and with a smile on his face he left the room before it could be revoked. He tamped down on feeling a bit peeved about being referred to the orders in his draft folder, like any other employee.

You just did as you were told - no different from the army, huh?

Except that it was.

Of course, also in the Regiment, orders came from above, but the fine points of the mission were talked over. In what they called a Chinese parliament, every member of the team chipped in their thoughts, and details were adjusted and honed to perfection.

But with Jim it was inconceivable that any plan might not be the epitome of perfection – from everything Sebastian had seen, they always were. As for dealing with the petty details after the scheme was hatched, that was Sebastian's part, and Steve's, and the men they'd work with...

Sebastian stared at the screen of the laptop he'd just opened.

Password protected. Of course.

He had already taken a deep breath to shout out the question, but he could already see Jim rolling his eyes. He exhaled silently and settled down in the big leather chair, laptop on his knees.

He obviously was intended to use the thing, so...

With three attempts typing in stuff related to tigers (nope, too obvious) and two more strawberry-esque ones (nah, too romantic) he managed to lock himself out for several minutes. During which he stared up at the ceiling, contemplating the riddle.

They'd already played...

Ha!

He typed again and, bloody hell! - got locked out for five minutes. Then made a break for the balcony to jog his brain with a little nicotine flash...

Fuck, he knew he was close. When he returned, he stared at the latest password concoction, which looked like a very strange Irish name… until he added caps.

DoOrDie

The screen lit up.

Ten minutes later he had read everything in his drafts folder twice, committed it to memory, left two questions for Steve and knew he would have to talk things over with the men – seasoned bunch or not.

He closed the laptop and took it with him when he went back to the living room.

“Piece of cake.” Without specifying what exactly that applied to, he settled down on the sofa opposite Jim and drained the rest of wine from his glass.

 

 

~

While Sebastian was out of the living room, Jim focused on the series of steps required to make the diabolical plan happen. He chuckled to himself several times, then idly wondered how long it would take for his soldier to figure out the password. Did he make it too difficult? he wondered.

Nah - if he couldn't use his brain for something like this, then he was not the man Jim thought he was... the man Jim needed by his side.

He felt a charge move through him at the thought.

He never allowed himself to need anyone or anything... but - the thought of Sebastian taking on greater responsibility was surprisingly pleasant. Even comforting. And he was sure Steve would greatly appreciate having some of the weight taken off his shoulders.

When Sebastian returned to the room, Jim considered the 'piece of cake' comment for a moment.

 

"What's that?" he asked, "Are you demanding dessert? Or is that a term of endearment? Either way, highly inappropriate for an employer-employee relationship, Sebbie..."

 

He managed to stifle a smirk as he kept working. "Or - if the assignment is such a cakewalk, I look forward to reading Steve's report - a little light reading before bed. I trust you won't be redesigning any more motorways or bridges, Tiger?"

 

 

~

“Damn, I should have ordered two...” Sebastian had glanced in the direction of the hallway, as if in this voice-command abiding flat the delivery of a piece of cake seemed entirely possible. Then he looked back at Jim with a faint grin. “And terms of endearment, good lord - outrageously inappropriate, compared to ... everything else." He cleared his throat.

"Piece of cake would be entirely inadequate, anyway," he mumbled while pulling his new laptop closer. Somewhere amidst the heap of his clothes beside him, his phone had chirped. Just one customised tone signalling the email account had been accessed. He opened it to see whether Steve had answered his questions, and he had.

“Of course, in the absence of Scheherazade herself, I'll be striving to provide the desired bedtime reading... It shall not feature wrecked London infrastructure, if the king disapproves." (Bold promise.)

“I trust the plan will unfold just as masterfully as it was laid...” Which it was - even from where he was standing, and probably not even seeing half of it.

What Sebastian was very aware of was that this would be his first time in Jim's employ that he'd not be acting either on his own or as part of a team, but as the head of one.

 

 

~

Jim found himself contemplating what it would be like to hear a term of endearment - much to his shock. He had not heard any such thing since he had been a small child, from his mother... but after she had died and guardianship of him had been given to his father, all he'd heard were disparaging names, as the blows fell against his face and body... and the names and violence had continued after he'd left home as an adolescent and made his way in the world amidst unsavoury types in the shadowy corners of Dublin and then London...

Abruptly he pulled himself from his thoughts - What the fuck.

Why was he thinking of the past...??

And why on this godless green earth was he imagining Sebastian's voice gruffly delivering sweet nothings? He shivered at the thought, despite himself.

 

Sebastian was staring at him now. "What?" Jim asked sharply, then scanned his razor-sharp memory for what had been said. "Yes. Masterfully laid plans, disapproving kings. Now if you're quite done with your prattle, Scheherazade..." Jim stood quickly, and walked up to Sebastian and tilted his head as he looked at him. His hand grasped Sebastian's cock through his pants, and slowly fondled it.

"The little room. Now." he growled, squeezing firmly before letting go and turning away.

Jim returned to his laptop, dismissing Sebastian from his attention.

 

 

~

Sebastian's radar scrambled to keep up with the quickly oscillating moods of his employer, going from testy to amused to pleased - playful – disinterested ... and back within a blink. The stygian eyes never failed to be somewhat disconcerting when they suddenly fixated him, because they never let on whether the changeable little fucker was about to grab you by the throat or by the balls, or slap you or kiss you.

Apparently it was... oh.

A short noise escaped Sebastian, as he tilted back his head, and barely managed to suppress his hips jerking - into the almost perfunctory grip, which felt less like seduction and more like taking inventory of property. And had the vexingly immediate attention of said property.

Sebastian half closed his eyes and let out a breath through his nose. Fucking hell Moran - isn't it possible to be a bit less... embarrassingly... obvious?

No. Not in the face of Jim, not in the face of being ordered upstairs.

Sebastian did as he was told. His skin twitched and tingled as he found himself back in the room, just in time remembering - 'you don't wear a stitch in here.'

Sebastian pulled off his underwear, so Jim wouldn't take a knife to it again.

And then he waited - the third time in this room, which was starting to feel eerily familiar.

The center of all things, where rules weren't questioned. Where, unfailingly, the sight of hooks on the ceiling the rows of implements on the wall and the big four poster bed had his heart rate accelerate and his brain gear down ...

 

 

~

After Sebastian left, Jim lazily fiddled around on his laptop for a bit, before heading to his bedroom. He removed his jacket and threw it in the hamper intended for the dry-cleaning pick-up. As he unknotted his tie in a fury, he didn't stop to think why he was suddenly feeling so cagey, so restless... only that the thought of Sebastian whispering to him made him want to unleash upon him... because how dare he make him feel something, anything, when that clearly wasn't allowed...

Was that not clear? Well, he would make it clear...

He looped the tie around his hand, picturing himself choking Sebastian with it, watching his face go red...

Panicking, he threw the tie into the wardrobe.Then stared at the tie, wild-eyed. And so what if he did choke him? Wasn't it clear by now that Sebastian would not resist?

God, he was perfect...

And Jim didn't want to do too much damage... was he even possible to scare off? he wondered, his heart racing at the thought.

Slowly he moved towards the door... and into the hallway... towards the room where Sebastian waited for him...

He did not want to scare him away...

He wanted to keep him in good condition...

But that in no way would stop him from making Sebastian bleed.

Jim threw open the door, and stood in the doorway, breathing - he reminded himself of something from a horror film at that moment.

Only... was he the monster?

Of course he was... he stepped into the room, and kicked the door shut behind him.

 

"It's been a couple of days, darling... I hope we haven't gotten complacent, Tiger?"

Jim stalked toward him. "I expect that even without restraints, you’ll be obedient, Sebastian..." He stared up at him and stroked his face.

"But you just look so pretty in chains, I can't resist..." he purred, and his hand tightened on his jaw. "Get over to the wall," he ordered, then kissed him hard.

Face up close to his, Jim gazed into his eyes and whispered, "What the fuck are you waiting for?"

 

 

~

Sebastian was still, listening to the beating of his own heart, and to the quiet sound of footsteps on the stairs, then the landing, then receding …

Focussing his attention and drawing it away from the interior of the room. He ignored the temptation to use the minutes stretched by silence, to sneak over to the collection of different restraints on display, or see what was inside all those cabinets and drawers – hell, if Jim ever ran out of projects, opening a shop for the darker side of sexual pleasures (free demonstrations included!) could tide him over for months …

But it felt like in here curiosity might prove just as calamitous for tigers as for any ordinary cat.

Or not. Maybe this was an opportunity freely given to snoop around, craftily designed to have Sebastian stew a bit in the cauldron of his own imagination running riot …

He kept still. Listening. The footsteps returned, and everything apart from the man now making his entry lost meaning and substance. Sebastian nearly expected to see him wreathed in fire and smoke, which had featured so prominently their first night.

And here they were again. Where they'd first met.

Really met.

There was a strange skip in reality when Jim stepped in front of him, lifted his hand and stroked his face.

Oh, they had touched before, just a short while ago, outside of this room. They had touched, they had fucked, they had showered and eaten meals together, they had slept in one bed, they had chatted and snarked at each other and worked together. Being with Jim was something that defied description, littered as it was with moods and mayhem and unpredictable trip wires -

but in here... things shifted into a strange pattern of intense... calm.

The world shrunk, slipping from chaos into a predestined order. Anything but predictable - Sebastian felt he could never see even as far as a few feet in front of him - and yet everything just fell into place. Where and how they were meant to be.

Here – was nothing but truth and consequences.

Here was the centre of the deep dark woods.

Here was where they belonged.

Here was where he belonged, and every whispered word from Jim spelled it out and sent a shiver of electricity through him. Just the mention of restraints had him go from half to fully hard, and that was even before the kiss, heated and rough.

Something flashed in Sebastian’s eyes when his own impatient snark from before was quoted back at him, with some relish it seemed. He slowly turned and walked over to the wall.

 

 

~

Jim stalked towards Sebastian, grabbing leather cuffs from the table as he did... he gestured at Sebastian to give him his hands. The cuffs were attached, and Jim held onto his wrists for a moment longer than was strictly necessary... before dropping them like hot coals.

He snatched up a chair, and set it next to Sebastian. Then he snapped his fingers and Sebastian raised his arms. Shackles met chains and were clicked and locked into place.

Still standing on the chair, Jim looked down at Sebastian and took his face in his hands.

 

"It takes a certain level of intelligence to graduate Eton and be admitted to Oxford," he said pensively. "It's a good thing that intelligence didn't preclude you from making foolish, foolish decisions..."

He regarded Sebastian with an arched eyebrow. "Good thing for me, at least..." he murmured, and yanked his head back by the hair.

"As for you..." he said roughly. "You could be gallivanting all over town like you used to... drinking and screwing your brains out. Instead, here you are... at my mercy, naked and in chains... not knowing what I'll do to you, but knowing it will involve blood and pain..."

Jim gazed into his soldier's eyes. "What the fuck were you thinking?" he whispered. He pulled his head back further, and slowly licked his throat, before biting a tender spot under this jaw.

His face moved closer to Sebastian's. "You survived once... why ever would you return to the deep, dark woods, Sebastian?"

 

 

~

Of course Sebastian would obey orders even without the restraints, but he had grown literally quite attached to them. A reminder of the grip of Jim's hands when they were otherwise occupied, the restraints were the visible sign that he had given himself into them, a bond in more ways than one. Most of all, they allowed Sebastian's mind to fully let go, because they took away his ability to resist or fight, and they also spelled out the thrilling and slightly frightening possibility that things might get to a point where... he might need to.

No, intelligence had never hindered Sebastian to make crazy decisions, as Jim pointed out to him, cradling his face in his hands.

“Oh fuck, please - “Sebastian growled, “you're starting to sound like my fa-“

The rest was swallowed by a grunt as his head was yanked back. Breathing through his teeth he listened to the vivid description of, well... basically his previous life. Which sounded pathetically dull and bland, compared to Jim’s domain of the Deep Dark Woods.

“Where else could I go, now that I've found them?”

Now that Jim had shown them to him... How could he not come back?

When the mere sound of Jim's voice, promising blood and pain made his brain stall… when every touch of his hands or teeth had his body go tight and hot.

“And you won't kill me,” he whispered, “when you only just got me.”

Sebastian's eyes nearly watered as the hand in his hair gave another sharp twist, and he bared his teeth in a smile.

“And I already told you…” He looked up into Jim's eyes, and from this angle they were deep black holes in a ghostly pale face. “I wouldn't want you to be all alone out there...

 

 

~

Jim raised an eyebrow, and slowly stroked his soldier's cheekbones with the backs of his fingers.

 

"Do I look alone to you? There's always a Tiger about lately... leaving things stained and broken in his wake..." he muttered. "And telling me what I will and won't do? That's new..."

His hands trailed down to Sebastian's throat and curled around it, squeezing experimentally once, and then harder. "Because I only just got you?" he asked sweetly. "Well, let's take you for a spin!"

He hopped down from the chair, still gripping his throat. Then he gripped Sebastian's cock even harder.

"You know the rules..." he said cheerily. "Don't come unless I say to!"

He began to stroke rhythmically, squeezing his throat with the same pulsing motion.

"And if I don't say to... you don't!" he declared, stroking faster. "Oh, round and around and around we go... where we're headed... nobody knows," he whispered and leaned in to kiss Sebastian hungrily.

 

 

 

~

This time the grip on his neck avoided his carotid so Sebastian was left completely lucid. In a moment of easing pressure, a half-choked sound of distress escaped him - not so much from his breathing being cut off, but because of the feeling of helplessness from this gesture of sheer domination. Wrists, cock, throat – all were utterly in Jim's grip and control. Sebastian's body jerked in a completely subconscious reaction, and it became clear just how easy it would be for Jim to simply make him break the rules – if that's what he was going for.

And it did seem like that what was the little shit was going for...

There was a hint of fury mixed into Sebastian's groan as he was momentarily allowed a tiny bit of air, and it poured into his aggressive response into the kiss, which featured teeth even more than tongue.

 

 

~

Jim pulled back from the kiss and stopped stroking. "Alright, darling..." he hissed. "Feeling a little cagey, are we?"

He placed his fingers on Sebastian's forehead and pushed him back. Then he looked down at the hard cock in his hand, and released it.

"To be continued," he said, all innocence.

He headed for the cabinet, and rifled through the contents.

"What kind of day is it," he mused. "It's too soon to be whipped again, Tiger," he chided, as if rejecting a request. "So, it's not a bullwhip day... hmmm... nor is it a cane day. I wonder..."

He pulled out a black leather strap decorated with shiny steel grommets.

"Not as savage as a whip, but I'm feeling playful today. You like fun games, don't you, Tiger?"

He ran the strap down Sebastian's muscular back, and then smacked it hard against his arse.

"Ah yes," he said cheerfully. "The wonderful sound of discipline... I wonder if it will have any effect on recalcitrant Tiger. What do you think?"

He smacked the other cheek with a savage smack. Then he ran a finger slowly up Sebastian's cock.

"Well... somebody likes it," he purred.

 

 

~

Oh, thank fuck... Sebastian let out a breath of relief when Jim stopped doing what would have taken him to the brink… and over it too, no matter how much he fought it.

From under his lashes, his gaze followed Jim walking over to the cabinet - playful, aloof, fully clothed and fucking hell... This alone was enough to leave him hard and aching. The mere contrast of himself waiting here, naked, the soft chink of the chain above him as he shifted… the mere casual mention of a bullwhip… the running commentary on the endless possibilities as equipment was surveyed and chosen.

When he returned, Sebastian couldn't take his eyes off Jim's hands: in his left was the end of a metal studded leather strap, wound around it twice, for better grip; through his right, he pulled the strap, every inch of it slowly and deliberately... as though tenderly imparting an intimate message.

The first sharp crack licked across his arse like a stripe of shocking heat. The pain was not as vicious as from the cane, but flared through the welts bestowed on him just three nights ago, and still barely fading.

God... was that just three nights ago...? Jim was talking about discipline and unruly tigers, and Sebastian's brain already scrambled to keep up as his body and senses were hurled back into the insane intensity of it all...

In response to Jim’s cheery question on the effects of his disciplinary actions, he breathed, “Good… but-” The next stroke followed so quickly and so hard, that whatever Sebastian had been about to say was forgotten as he was pulled once again into the powerful dynamics of pain and lust and establishing dominance.

God, yes, remind me...

A feather light touch dragging along his cock elicited a soft groan. (Yes, somebody was very eager and responsive…)

 

"... Recalcitrant in what way exactly?” he panted.

 

 

~

Jim hid a smile, and moved his face closer to Sebastian’s with his expression neutral. “Really, Tiger… You’d like me to break it down for you?”

He breathed in his scent, and walked around him. “Or is this just another example of the overall attitude I’m referring to...?” He said in a soft, silky voice as he moved his hand along his back and arse. “You know, I’ve never had anyone in chains and at my mercy mouth off so much... I have never seen someone obey an order perfectly, and yet still manage to come off so... confrontational...”

The strap suddenly made contact with his right shoulder.

 

Crack

 

“So... defiant, down to the core...”

 

The strap unleashed against the left shoulder.

Crack

 

“Sometimes without even uttering a single snarky word! It’s quite impressive, darling...” he remarked, before running his tongue along the spots he had taken the strap to.

“And obviously I’m enjoying it on some level...” he confided in a whisper.

“But then, it does present a challenge, Sebastian. None of the usual rules apply to such a beast.”

Jim tsked at his soldier. He cracked the strap against the now-damp area of his upper back, enjoying the small gasp escaping from Sebastian’s lips.

“And it can be vexing, I’ll admit, darling... But you’re my beast now...”

His voice grew slightly hoarse, and uncharacteristically warm. Naturally this evoked a spark of fury, which he directed against Sebastian’s back.

 

“My majestic - “

 

crack

 

“Unruly– “

 

crack

 

Beast,” he whispered roughly.

 

The strap rang down against his flesh until his back was covered in horizontal red lines.

“God, Sebastian... you are fucking beautiful in stripes...” he said admiringly, and lashed hard against his arse.

 

 

~

There was the slightest hint of a smile on Sebastian's face. Yes, he'd been called that before – unruly, rebellious… a piece of work to keep in line.

And Jim liked that 'on some level'?

 

“Admit it,” he panted, “You wouldn't want it any other way… you’d be bored out of your beautiful fucking mind in a day...”

Sebastian broke off with a grunt, inadvertently pulling against the restraints and flinching under a particular vicious swipe of the strap. Which painted lines of fire across his skin as Jim laid into him, alternating with roughly whispered words. Both the lashes and the words were interweaving hypnotically, and Sebastian felt their bond tightening with a shiver.

A sudden nuance in Jim’s voice tingled through Sebastian - it felt like gravel on velvet, like a hand languorously brushing over fur. The next even harder blow did not erase that sensation, only deepening it.

Jim's eyes shone with lust and fury as he praised the beauty of Sebastian with his marks on him. He clearly enjoyed dealing out violence… and here was, perhaps for the first time, someone turned on by it, capable and eager of receiving it without breaking or grovelling.

Someone who pushed back.

“Yours,” Sebastian whispered.

And still something glowed in his eyes that begged the question whether the beast, although it had lain down at Jim's feet, would ever be fully tamed…

A beast, by nature compelled to rebel against rules like the bars of a cage… and yet, who wanted for the first time to rub himself against them, against the hand that held the keys...

yearning for them being thrown away.

 

 

~

Jim froze for a minute at Sebastian's whisper. It was so close to his daydream earlier of Sebastian whispering endearments to him. He shivered, eyes closing briefly. Then with renewed fury, he unleashed the strap against Sebastian's left thigh - naturally more sensitive than back or arse.

Sebastian indeed responded more intensely, sucking in his breath and groaning.

 

"I know," Jim soothed. "But it will be worth it, my stripy darling..."

He smiled, and lashed the other thigh.

Then he leaned against his back, and whispered in his ear, "And I know you're mine, Tiger... But if you think I'm going to affirm your little assumptions about me... you're going to be waiting a long fucking time..." he cooed, and like quicksilver wrapped the strap around his neck.

Then he strutted around Sebastian until he was facing him.

"My lovely Tiger on a leash," he purred, and kissed him teasingly - then again with tongue. His hand trailed down his chest and pelvis and once again grasped his cock.

"Ahh, yes... do you want me to do something about this?" he asked, feigning innocence and giving a gentle, fluttering squeeze.

 

 

~

Jim unerringly worked him into a state of raw hypersensitivity – skin hot and tender, nerves screaming – and Sebastian wanted to move away from and at the same time into full body contact. Every single stripe mark burned against the smooth cool fabric of Jim's shirt, and the slightly rougher one of his suit. Sebastian's groan was cut off by the strong leather strap suddenly winding around his throat, tightening a bit more as Jim moved around him. The pressure around his neck still allowed Sebastian to breathe, although with difficulty – and it also went straight to his groin.

God, yes, a collar and a leash – and for the moment he couldn't think of a more beautiful image than the one Jim painted for him. Fuck, subtle oxygen deprivation did the weirdest things to the brain (and his cock, well – obviously enjoyed the fucked-upness of the situation immensely).

The kiss was playful and messy... Jim's touch was teasing, following the direction Sebastian's blood seemed to take, going down, down... He nearly bucked into the hand lightly squeezing his cock.

The dark, joyfully gleaming eyes and the standing order gave Sebastian no reason to expect that permission to come would be given lightly, so he saved what little breath he had left. He shook his head slightly and the brief sound he made was unintelligible, but spoke volumes: no, he didn't want Jim to do something about that – he was desperately determined to stick to the Rules.

No matter how hard (heh) Jim would try to make it for him…

 

 

~

"No?" Jim asked, amused. He kept one hand on the 'leash' around Sebastian's neck; the other, grasping his cock, slowly, so slo-o-owww-ly, stroked up and then down.

"You don't want me to take care of it, Sebbie?" Jim murmured against his ear, his voice like warm melted chocolate.

Slowly he released his hold on the strap, letting it trail down his chest. Then he deftly wrapped it around his cock - once, twice, three times around. He pulled on it firmly, enjoying Sebastian's involuntary jerk forward, followed by a soft moan.

"Well. That's very surprising," he remarked. "But then - it's not really up to you what I do - is it. Maybe I want you to experience the intoxicating thrill and ecstasy," he whispered, licking his lips, and sliding his hand over the loops of the strap…

"Being wanked by your boss..." he said, his lips parting as his breath grew shallower.

"Being pleasured by Jim Moriarty," he hissed, his eyes half closed. “How many can say they've had this honour? And you're going to turn it down, Tiger?" he tsked, and then yanked on the strap hard. Jim looked down, seeing Sebastian's cock twitch and quiver. At Sebastian's sharp inhale, he chuckled. He leaned in to kiss him then began stroking harder and faster.

"I don't think so, darling..." he whispered, with a furious smile.

 

 

~

Sebastian knew he was fighting a lost battle if Jim kept at it like that...

His voice just increased the effect of his slowly stroking hand... - the things it said, the purr and the low pitch it sank to, the slight catch and breathiness betraying Jim's own arousal – it would soon melt Sebastian's brain, which was about to shut down anyway. He tilted his head back and screwed his eyes shut, moaning out a curse when the strap changed places.

It felt like being thrown into a pressure cooker: Jim cranked up the heat while keeping the lid on nice and tight - the strap acted like a makeshift cock ring. It made his balls ache, and his cock… Jesus fucking Christ... every languorous stroke, every touch and squeeze heightened sensation to the point where arousal was nearly akin to pain.

But if anything made Sebastian Moran dig in his heels and fight, it was being told he didn't stand a chance. So, while free will and self-control were cheerily taking their leave, somehow he still tried to distract himself, scrambling for anything that would help.

Like being called 'Sebbie'… (Seriously? That made him sound like a Tyrolese sheepdog, but then... he was on a leash wasn't he – god, not helping...)

Like the notion of what Jim might do, if it could easily be proven he wasn't able to follow the simplest of rules... which sent a sliver of anxiety sliding through his stomach, but was soon drowned out by the sensation of being completely, gloriously at Jim's mercy (not helping either) …

Torn between stubborn defiance and mindless sexual instinct need that had him rutting into Jim's hand for a moment, he gasped at the hard yank that tightened the strap even more, giving an agonising edge to the pleasure.

His head dropped slightly forward. He was panting so hard he was barely able to respond to the kiss.

I don't think so, darling...

The switchblade smile he looked at was furious, and Sebastian had no idea, if pleasure and ecstasy was what Jim was going for, or a test.

He realised it didn't matter one whit, because with Jim the objective might change in the blink of an eye. So, Sebastian might as well let himself be taken along for the ride and damn the consequences.

But he was stubborn by default - even chained up, whipped, and quickly losing control. He felt his cock literally throbbing in Jim's hand and against the band of black leather restraining it.

“Try me.” Sebastian's whisper melted into a deep, throaty groan, as Jim did just that...