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Lips are for Biting

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Nigel met Adam in a history class. There was no real reason for either of them to be taking a history class, given their respective majors, but American universities always had weird requirements.

There were several dozen other students in their lecture hall, but Nigel noticed Adam right away. He sat close to the front and wore too many sweater vests, and kept his curly hair cut short enough for Nigel to be sad about it. All things considered, he was exactly Nigel’s type. Nigel liked awkward men with uncertain smiles, men who were just small enough for Nigel to feel big, men whose hair looked perfect for wrapping Nigel’s fingers through.

Nigel did a lot of staring those first few weeks. That was how long it took for him to show up early enough to snatch one of the seats next to Adam and introduce himself.

Adam liked Nigel. He always seemed to genuinely want to talk to Adam, which was refreshing, and he didn’t seem to mind if Adam got a little overexcited or went on a tangent. He was also a very attractive man. Adam had considered flirting, but he was admittedly not very good at that. Instead, he talked, which he was good at, and Nigel listened, and by the time finals came around, Adam was fairly certain they were friends.

Finals were a stressful time for anyone, but Adam handled stress a bit differently than most people did. Generally, he spent all his free time in the morning studying, and all his free time in the evening at the club, and was very grateful that his father paid for his housing and he didn’t have to find time to work in all of that.

“So are you doing anything tonight?” Nigel asked him as they gathered their books after their last real class period of the semester.

“I’m going out,” Adam said. He had gone out every night this week. He was probably going to go out the rest of them, too, until he could get the soreness to last longer than a night or two. Adam healed much too easily.

Nigel’s brows went up briefly. “Oh yeah?” Adam wasn’t one to be particularly social, at least not from what Nigel had garnered from class. “Who with?”

“By myself,” Adam answered, shouldering his bag and taking his time to adjust the straps to lay comfortably. “I like going out by myself.”

Well, at least Nigel that gotten that right.

"Anywhere good?" It was rare he didn't just outright ask someone out, but something about Adam made Nigel feel… fuck if he knew how he made him feel. It stuttered his usual swanky confidence and that was as irritating as it was a welcome challenge.

"The club."

"You have a club?"

"It's not my club," Adam shrugged, leading the way up the stairs to the door of the lecture hall. "Just a club I go to."

"You always go alone?"

“Yes.”

That was a relief, even if Adam’s stilted answers left Nigel a little off-kilter. Adam had two modes: excited and eager rambling, and ‘nearly impossible to get a goddamn answer from.’ “Clubbing by yourself can’t be that fun.”

Adam’s hand tightened on his bag, his brow furrowing. “It would be more fun with a partner,” he admitted, “but I have friends there. I don’t have to be alone if I don’t want to be. Sometimes it’s nice to sit and people-watch, though.”

The class spilled out into the hallway. Nigel grabbed for Adam’s sleeve before he could be swept away in the crowd, releasing him almost immediately so he didn’t feel crowded. “I could come with you?” he offered.

Adam looked him up and down. Nigel was very attractive, enough to feature in more than one fantasy when Adam was alone in his apartment. He was also big. Not huge, but broad-shouldered, strongly muscled. He had nice hands. Adam wanted Nigel to use those hands on him. “Okay,” he decided. “I’ll text you my address, it’s not far from my apartment.”

Shit, alright. Nigel blinked, shrugged, nodded. He wasn't nervous so much as… he didn't know where he stood with Adam. His one word answers could be just as enthusiastic as his endless verbosity but it depended on the topic.

But Nigel knew enough of Adam now, at least, that if he didn't want something he'd make that very damn clear. Whatever doubts Nigel may have had about Adam's desire to actually go clubbing with him were eased by that thought at least.

"Yeah alright. What should I wear?"

"Some pants."

Pants. Of course. Nigel watched Adam raise a hand in a half-wave before heading off and stood dumbly for a while.

Something about that boy had Nigel's entire being want to rise up to the challenge of keeping his company. He was odd, awkward, inarticulate at times and a fucking orator at others. And goddamn those doe-eyes had Nigel weak at the knees.

Pants he could do. Pants were a start.

---

"Fuck me," Nigel blinked several times at the building Adam had directed him to. The kid was in the lobby, and when he saw Nigel he made his way out. "You live here?"

Adam looked back at the building with a confused expression. He’d traded his sweater vest for loose, lightweight jacket, and his slacks for a pair of soft, faded jeans. Nigel had never seen him dressed so casually.

“Yes…?” Adam finally said, “My dad rented me an apartment when I came out here for college. He thought it would be better than the dorms because I can be particular about my living situation. This way.”

Nigel trailed Adam down the street. Adam seemed to be almost in a rush, picking up speed the further they walked.

“Hey, slow down a bit!” Nigel snagged Adam’s hand, pulling him back a few steps. When he caught up, Adam looked… Ecstatic, was the only word for it.

“We have to get there early,” Adam explained, “it can get very crowded and loud when it gets late.”

Nigel had always thought that was kind of the point to clubbing, but he didn’t argue. Couldn’t speak at all, actually, when Adam shifted his hand in Nigel’s until they were properly intertwined.

The club looked like an old apartment building. Nigel would never have noticed it at all if Adam hadn’t come to a complete stop at the steps. Inside, there was a desk, a man, and a door.

Avery was manning the desk tonight. This was good, Avery had more patience with Adam than some of the others did. Adam slid over a few bills for himself and Nigel, since his father had always told him he should try and pay for dates, and he was hoping this would turn out to be a date.

Avery took the bills with a smile. “Red today, Adam?”

Adam nodded. “Blue, red, and yellow, please. And just white for Nigel, for now. He hasn’t been before.”

Avery handed over four paper wristbands. Adam handed Nigel one and wrapped the other three around his wrist.

Nigel was… confused. He’d seen clubs that offered wristbands for people who couldn’t drink, but never any that had offered a rainbow of options. He opened his mouth to ask Adam what they were for…

And immediately closed it, because Adam was handing his jacket over to the man behind the desk, and he had not been wearing a shirt underneath.

“You can go on through,” the man said, indicating the door.

"Should I -" Nigel had his own jacket off his shoulders, caught between staring with entirely unsuppressed desire at Adam and trying to wrap his mind around what the hell was going on.

"Up to you, mate," desk guy said. "No mandatory clothing requirements for whites."

"For wh- oh. Right." Wristband.

Nigel wriggled out of his jacket but opted to keep his own shirt on. Whatever this place was, it wasn't a fucking nightclub.

In front of him, Adam looked like a kid at Christmas. Nigel had never seen him so wired, not even when news had come down that they'd found water on Mars and Adam hadn't shut up about it for a week straight. Adam grinned at him, bright eyes and white teeth, and went to the door.

Nigel followed.

Inside, there was music, but nothing to dance to. A pulse of a beat, the occasional tune over the top but the music was clearly not the point of this place.

"Jesus fucking Christ."

Nigel wasn't sure if an entire convention of bikers could rival the amount of leather in this room. Straps, collars, flaps, chaps pants, shorts, something he supposed was underwear if someone who had never seen a proper pair had been asked to make some. This wasn't a nightclub, it was a fucking sex club.

"Adam!"

The young man turned but a reluctance was there that tugged at something in Nigel's chest. He'd have to examine it later, much later, and consult a bottle of whiskey as he did.

"Adam is this a fucking sex club?"

“No,” Adam said. His eyes skittered away from Nigel’s, worse than they usually did. Generally, Adam could keep his gaze on Nigel’s chin or his forehead, but now Nigel could see a shyness creeping in, wariness.

Nigel looked from Adam to some of the people in the room and oh shit there were roped-off sections and open doors he wasn’t ready to think very hard about. He turned back to Adam. “No?”

“Sexual contact is permitted but the primary focus of the club is kink.”

“Kink is a sex thing, Adam.”

Out of all things, that was what brought a flush of color back to Adam’s face. Bright indignation, defensive posture. “It is not,” Adam told him sternly. “It can be, and I don’t know anyone here who doesn’t incorporate kink into their sexual relationships, but it’s about… About…” Here he paused, biting his lip. “About release,” he finally decided, “and intimacy, and a lot of things but not just sex.”

“Okay,” Nigel said, holding up his hands, “Okay, I get it, I’m sorry.” Despite his panic, Nigel felt a flash of guilt. Adam had gone from sheer, vivid excitement, to a wary and almost scared anger.

It was not how Nigel had wanted to spend a first date- not that it was really a date, rather than Nigel tagging along on Adam’s night out- but he’d be damned if he killed this for Adam. He could worry about his potential heart attack later. “Okay,” He repeated gently, “what do you want to do while we’re here? Do you want to.. To watch someone… do stuff?”

"I like watching," Adam nodded. "But today you'll have to watch, your wristband won't let you do anything else. It's good to watch for the first time, to see what arouses you and what you find frightening and which people seem approachable."

Nigel nodded again, pushing his hands into his pockets and affecting as casual a pose as he possibly could, given the circumstances.

"Will you watch with me?" He asked, feeling his shoulders loosen from the tension his own worry had brought on when Adam smiled again.

"No, but you can watch me."

"Watch - watch you?" Nigel wasn't sure he'd ever felt more conflicted between the head on his shoulders and the one on his cock. Jesus. "Do you want me to watch you?" He ventured.

Adam nodded. “I find you sexually appealing,” he admitted, “I assume you feel the same about me, because you came here with me. It would be good for you to see what I like, then you can decide if you’re okay with it. And if you are, you can learn how to do it for me.”

“And if I don’t like it?” Nigel asked hesitantly.

“Boundaries are important in any relationship,” Adam said, sounding as if he was reciting something from memory, “If you don’t like it, I would still want to pursue a romantic and sexual relationship with you. But you would have to be okay with me coming here because I would not be willing to give this up.”

Well, that decided Nigel. Even if Adam’s kink was supposedly ‘non-sexual,’ the idea of Adam needing to go to something else for something Nigel wasn’t giving him was nauseating. “Alright, Adam. Tell me what you like.”

“That would take a very long time,” Adam said, holding up his arm. He pointed to each of his wristbands in turn. “To summarize, though, blue means I enjoy submission, red means I enjoy pain, and yellow means I am available to play with people if they ask. There’s more to it, of course, and I would be happy to explain it to you later. For now, though, it’s better to get involved early, before it gets too crowded.”

Submission, Nigel understood. ‘Pain’ made him more than a little wary. Adam, however, was somehow still ticking all his boxes just by existing. Nigel nodded slowly.

That seemed enough for Adam for the moment, because he grinned and led the way further into the room, tilting over some of the ropes as though looking for something.

What Nigel noticed immediately was how much more relaxed Adam was here. His shoulders never once went up to his ears, he didn't slouch, he didn't try to hide behind his hair. Adam was absolutely radiant here. Him being shirtless definitely didn't help.

Nigel followed obediently, noting how many people greeted Adam by name, threw out a teasing comment, brought a smile to the young man's lips. Whatever else this was, this was safety for Adam. Nigel shoved his hands deeper into his pockets and resisted asking where they were going, or what Adam was looking for. Turned out, he didn't even have to.

"Adam." The voice carried, a stern and harsh tone that immediately made Nigel tense and simultaneously eased every muscle in Adam's body to laxity. "I told you not to come back you stubborn boy."

Nigel turned as Adam did, expecting some Mad Max muscle man. It was difficult to keep the surprise off his face when the guy stepped forward, though.

Early forties, maybe, with thick hair on his chest and a very soft, very prominent belly. He was imposing, sure, but hardly enough to warrant his tone. He was wearing glasses for fucks sake.

"You told me not to come back until I got my quiz results so you could give me my grade's equivalent of lashes," Adam pointed out, stepping closer to the man. His head barely reached the guy's sternum. "I got twenty-seven, sir."

"Didja now?" And this time was entirely different. Nigel damn near got whiplash. "Three wrong huh?"

"Not wrong," Adam countered, "insufficiently explained."

"Are you arguing with me?"

"Yes," Adam grinned.

The man reached out to grip Adam’s chin, tilting his head up until they were as close to eye contact as Adam ever got. “Twenty-seven is plenty, Adam. You won’t coax more out of me. If anything, I’ll start taking them away.”

“I’ll be good, Sir,” Adam said hastily, but Nigel noted the smile hadn’t left his face.

The man released him, ruffling his hair and then peering over his shoulder at Nigel. Despite looking overwhelmingly like one of Nigel’s elementary school teachers, he managed to level Nigel with a stare that froze him in place. “New boyfriend, Adam?”

“He’s not my boyfriend,” Adam said, turning the full force of his beatific grin on Nigel. “I think he’d like to be, though. He hasn’t left yet. Nigel, this is Master Horace, But you don’t have to call him Master because you just have a white band. He’s going to beat me tonight. He promised.”

"Good way to weed out the weak ones," Horace said, snorting softly at Nigel's expression. "Throw em right in the deep end. Is there anything you do that isn't immediately overwhelming, Adam? Don't answer. Get in. Go on. I did promise."

He slapped Adam's bottom lightly when the boy damn near bounced past him to enter the room at his left. Nigel didn't move to follow just yet, still processing, still trying to process, anyway.

"First time?"

Nigel blinked, looked up at Horace - who hadn't entered the room yet either.

"No, no, I'm -"

"Really trying to save face," Horace's smile was teasing, but he didn't say more, didn't berate him for looking like a goddamn fish out of water in a kink club. "Go on and sit down, take time to return the blood flow to your head. He's a demanding kid but a good one, you be good to him."

Nigel didn't have time to open his mouth let alone actually say anything and followed numbly where Horace - fucking Horace? In a sex club?? - led him. Good thing, too, because he had no words upon entering either.

There had been bits of furniture throughout the club that Nigel hadn’t given much of his focus, but inside the room, there was nowhere else to look. A huge bed with black sheets dominated much of the room, but there was also a weird bench-looking thing, an intimidating wardrobe, a huge X-shaped frame against the wall, and what Nigel was pretty sure was a goddamn cage.

Thankfully, there was also a completely normal bench by the door, which Nigel collapsed into. Adam was hovering by the wardrobe, waiting impatiently for Horace, who shooed him off with a whispered command and then began rooting through the wardrobe. Nigel caught a glimpse of a row of paddles hanging on the door and dropped his gaze to his shoes.

“I’m supposed to ‘make sure my boy is okay,’” came Adam’s excited voice. His shoes stopped right in front of Nigel’s, and Nigel looked up at him, a much safer view than the rest of the room. “That was an order. Are you okay?”

“I’m okay,” Nigel said. It was not entirely a lie. Adam, as always, took his words at face value.

“Are you also my boy?” And there was a look Nigel didn’t often see on Adam’s face, playful and teasing. Nigel hadn’t thought Adam knew how to tease, but this club brought out something vibrant in him.

Nigel reached out and tapped Adam’s blue wristband. “Wouldn’t this make you my boy?”

Adam let out an honest-to-god giggle. Grown men were not supposed to be able to giggle like that. Adam had certainly never done it before. “Not yet,” he told Nigel, “but yes, that would usually be the case.”

“Adam!” Horace called across the room, “I’m not whipping you in your jeans. You were supposed to be stripping.”

Adam kept his eyes on Nigel's a moment more, before turning away and obediently moving his hands to work open his pants.

"I'm sorry, Sir, I was following your first order."

"At least you followed that one," came the amused reply. As Nigel watched Adam strip - as though he were in his one bedroom, comfortable as can be - Horace considered the implements he had to work with.

"Twenty-seven you said?"

"Yes, Sir."

"Well, it's already twenty-five," Horace told him, amused at the huff of displeasure from Adam. "You know what you did."

"I didn't do anything."

"It'll be twenty if you lie again, boy." The gaze Horace fixed on Adam seemed to quiet him, but Nigel noticed that there was no tension actually palpable in the room. It was like watching a play, actors coming and going on stage saying words and touching things, emotions on a page and not actually felt by them.

"You went to James," Horace continued, stepping up to Adam just as he shucked his underwear and stood to face him again. "After I explicitly told you not to, and asked him to play."

"You said I couldn't have the whip," Adam mumbled, chewing his lip as his cheeks heated and his cock hardened and goddamn if Nigel wasn't fixed on that tiny motion like a fucking beacon. "So I asked him for the paddle. You didn't say I couldn't have the paddle."

The hand that snared in Adam's hair didn't seem to belong to the quiet, unassuming, pudgy guy Nigel had just met outside. It had moved with predator speed, and now tilted Adam's head back hard enough to draw a whine from him.

"I'll be clearer, next time," Horace told him softly, watching Adam squirm in pleasure, still smiling at him despite - despite everything. "Twenty. For being a brat."

The first twitch of disappointment pulled at Adam’s mouth, but he bit hard on his lower lip, restraining whatever noise of complaint he’d clearly been about to make. Horace released his hair, ruffling it away from his face. “He can be taught,” the man mused, nudging Adam towards the X-frame.

There were cuffs attached to each of the four ends of the frame. Adam didn’t appear to need them at all, from the way he braced himself expertly against it. Horace locked just the wrists in place, running a finger between Adam’s wrist and the cuffs to check the tightness.

“If you collapse, we’re done,” Horace warned. “If you bleed, we’re done.”

Bleed? Nigel bit back a curse, though what the fuck was still echoing in his head.

“If you complain about what I give you, no one here is going to touch you for a week. I’ll make sure of it.”

“Yes, Sir,” Adam replied, and Nigel didn’t think he imagined the thread of displeasure that ran through the response. He could see Horace rolling his eyes.

“Much as I’m sure it’d thrill you, twenty with a bullwhip is a bit too much if you want to leave with your skin intact. And I’m not cruel enough to disappoint you with a paddle when I know you’re craving a bite. So…”

Horace turned, his eyes on Nigel. He looked entirely too pleased with himself. Nigel resisted the urge to jump to attention. “Nigel. That’s a nice belt you’re wearing.”

Nigel looked down at his pants. He was, indeed, wearing a belt. The point didn’t click until he heard Adam let out a low moan. “Oh. Oh!”

Horace grinned. “Can I borrow it?”

Hands shaking, Nigel got to his feet, sliding the thick black leather from his belt loops and handing it over.

"I'd tell you you're a good boy if I didn't think you'd shit your pants over it," Horace told him blithely, far too amused watching Nigel so out of his element. He figured outside of here the man was a heartbreaker. Probably charming as hell, too. This would be good for him.

He snapped the belt between his hands as he returned to Adam again, taking his time to pretend to examine the leather in his hands.

"He's going to think about this every time you wear it now," he told Nigel, eyes on Adam as the younger boy squirmed. Nigel swallowed. Hell. He'd think about this every time he saw the damn belt again. For a moment more, Adam wriggled untouched. Then Horace set the loop of the belt between the dimples that curved above Adam's bottom.

"You know better than that. Show your boy what a good little thing you can be when you try."

"Yes, Sir."

Adam sounded broken already, and the sound went straight to Nigel's dick.

"Count them for me, nice and clear."

“Yes, Sir.”

There was a moment when everything was still. Quiet. Adam was motionless, his hands white-knuckled around the chains that held the cuffs in place. His whole body was a line of tension, up on his toes, just waiting.

And then the belt came down. The sound it made startled Nigel bad enough to jerk in his seat, but it was quickly outshone by the sound Adam made. Not quite a moan, not quite a whine. A long, aching sound. “One, Sir.”

Again, just as loud, leaving a stripe of red across Adam’s ass that Nigel would be seeing in his dreams. The tension left Adam’s body in a rush, now that he was getting what he wanted. His hands and shoulders loosened, his head dropped forward against the frame. “Two, Sir.”

Nigel stopped counting with him, letting his mind hone in on the sweet sounds the belt pulled from Adam every time it struck him instead.

In no normal world would Nigel get off on violence. You weren't meant to get hot thinking about beating someone up. Hell, this was the punishment he'd grown up with, something he far from fucking looked forward to let alone enjoyed.

But Adam -

"Six, Sir."

Adam looked like he was getting fucked rather than whipped. His body twisted and arched, seeking out the air behind him, his gorgeous ass already so dark and pink that Nigel could barely goddamn breathe. He rutted forward, too, against the cross, seeking friction for his untouched cock.

Nigel wondered if he was losing his mind. Imagined writing to Darko back in Romania: School's school, you know, nothing new there. Finally got the balls to ask out that sexy as fuck kid I've told you about, went to a club. Nah, not techno, no, didn't dance much either. I spent the time sitting back watching another man paint twenty stripes across his ass with my belt. Why, what did you do on a first date?

Jesus.

“Adam.” Horace’s voice was stern, loud. It startled both of them. Somewhere along the line, Adam had stopped counting, just closed his eyes and took it, and Nigel had been too busy taking him in to notice.

“S-s-seventeen, Sir.” Adam’s voice was slurred. The last time someone had sounded like that in front of Nigel, they’d gotten wasted and fucked each other’s brains out. And here Adam was, lost to pain instead of pleasure. Or both, twisted up in some combination Nigel only barely understood. He thought he might want to understand it, though.”

Horace stilled. He ran his hand down Adam’s back, over the blister-red curve of his ass. Adam whined, his entire body arching from the touch.

“Do you need to stop?” Horace asked him. Adam sobbed and began to shake his head frantically.

“No, Sir,” he pleaded in a whine that went right through Nigel, “No, Sir, please.”

Nigel thought that if Adam had directed that plea at him, he would have gotten anything he wanted. Nigel thought he could even hurt him, now that he’d seen what it did to him.

Horace, on the other hand, had the makings of a frown on his face. “Stay with me,” he told Adam, “I’ll let you float all you want when we’re done, but I need you responsive. Do you understand?”

“Yes, Sir,” Adam murmured, up on his toes and braced once more. He didn’t stutter through the next three strikes, didn’t so much as hesitate to count.

Once they were over, though, and he’d stammered out his last ‘Sir,’ Adam dropped, his whole body limp against the frame.

"Shit," Nigel wasn't even aware he'd spoken aloud until Horace looked over at him, taking in the wide eyes, the flush of arousal, the bulge in Nigel's pants.

"He's alright," he said, setting the belt aside before moving to unlock Adam from the cross. He continued to speak, but Nigel didn't hear him, he just watched the way Adam turned to Horace and nuzzled. Like a goddamn cat. Absolutely pliant and sweet and lovely to the man who has just beaten his ass six ways from Sunday.

"I'm actually surprised he dropped so quick," Horace admitted, close enough to Nigel now that he couldn't ignore him. "Must be ‘cause of you."

"Me?"

"Adam," Horace said, in lieu of a direct answer, hoisting the young man closer before gently guiding him to lay on the bench next to Nigel. "Is a classic masochist. He gets off on any and every kind of pain. Physical, mental, hell, spiritual probably if he wasn't an atheist. Humiliation added to anything?" Horace clicked his fingers, watched as Adam groaned and shifted until his head was in Nigel's lap, nuzzling against him instead. "Gonner. So you watching him is what most likely dropped him faster than he usually would."

"What do you mean dropped?" Nigel asked, cursing when Adam rubbed his cheek against his cock and trying so shift away without hurting the boy next to him more than he already was.

"Subspace." Horace moved to the wardrobe again, but instead of another implement he took out a bottle of water, a folded light fleece blanket, and a plastic pot of something. "That moment in a scene when a sub transcends into their happy place. Dead to the world after that, floating in a haze of bliss so strong it's a goddamn drug."

He passed the water to Nigel, unfolded the blanket to cover Adam where he continued to press his body to the bench and to Nigel.

"Get him to drink that if you can. Tell me if he hasn't come around in half an hour. Rare that happens but -"

Nigel looked down at the boy in his lap, eyes closed, face pressed tight against Nigel’s stomach. He could see how it might be tempting to stay like that. Just gone. Safe and secure and content. “Half an hour. Got it.”

Horace clapped a hand on Nigel’s shoulder. “You’re going to be good at this.”

Nigel gave him a panicked look. “I haven’t… I didn’t even do anything.”

“Stuck around, didn’t you? Looked terrified half the time, but only when you were looking at me. When you had your eyes on him, that’s when you were really paying attention.”

As if to prove Horace’s point, Nigel looked back down at Adam. “He’s not even listening to us, is he?”

“That fucking kid barely listens to me when he’s here,” Horace said with a chuckle. After another pat to his shoulder, he left, closing the door behind him.

Nigel had the vague sense that this was something he could fuck up. All of it seemed like something he could fuck up, honestly, but Adam looked particularly vulnerable like this, so small and sweet. “Hey,” Nigel murmured, unscrewing the top of the water bottle, “Hey, darling. I need you to sit up a bit for me. Can you do that?”

Adam screwed up his eyes and fussed, almost childlike. After a moment he sighed and opened one eye, just enough to look at Nigel, though he hardly focused on him.

"Why?"

"Need you to drink some water for me."

Adam licked his lips and closed his eye again, shifting instead to stretch his full body out against the bench - and Nigel - with a sound so sweet it felt like a kick in the pants. When he was done he set his hands to the other side of Nigel's lap and crawled his knees forward to rest on all fours over him.

Nigel had never been so hard in his life.

He forced himself to concentrate, to set a hand against Adam's chin to hold him steady as he tipped the bottle against his lips. The last thing he needed was for Adam to choke when he'd been damn near ordered to bring him back to himself.

"There you go," Nigel told him, unsure if he was keeping up the damn commentary for himself or for Adam, who seemed just as far gone after half the bottle as he was before. "Well done."

"I did good," Adam preened, arching his back in another stretch before shifting to sit on his hip against Nigel, his back to the room so they could still somewhat face each other. Nigel reached to pull the blanket up Adam's shoulders again, from where he'd displaced it.

"I've never seen anything fucking like it," Nigel admitted.

“Mmm,” Adam said, which was probably a good sound. He pressed himself up against Nigel, tucking his face against Nigel’s shoulder. Hesitantly, Nigel wrapped an arm around his shoulders, holding the blanket up more securely. “Did you like it?” Adam whispered, his breath so soft and light against the curve of Nigel’s throat.

Nigel thought about it. The obvious answer was ‘yes,’ given the erection he’d been sporting since the first strike, but this didn’t seem to be a time for flippancy. This was important to Adam, clearly. Possibly the most important thing in his life, except maybe water on Mars. It deserved thought, it deserved consideration, it deserved…

Oh, who the fuck was he kidding? Nigel was so far fucking gone over Adam that he hadn’t turned tail and run the moment he realized Adam had taken him to a goddamn fetish club. He’d just watched somebody’s kindergarten teacher beat the shit out of Adam with Nigel’s own belt. A belt that he was never going to be able to wear in public again because it was now forever tied to Adam’s high, keening moans.

“Yeah,” Nigel said, rubbing gently at Adam’s shoulders, “Yeah, I liked it. Like it even more if you drank the rest of this, though.”

Adam pulled back far enough to give Nigel a vaguely grumpy look, but he drank the rest of the water.

---

They left the club only once Horace gave Adam the green light to go home. Considering how cruelly he'd struck Adam earlier, the way he checked the young man over made Nigel's jealousy kick into high gear.

He watched as Adam grumpily accepted the soothing cream against his raw bottom, watched as he answered Horace's questions, speaking as though they were friends, not partners in… this. Maybe they were. Hell. Didn't have to be mutually exclusive.

They walked slowly, now, dragging their feet against the pavement, hands loosely twined together. Nigel had immediately lit up when they'd left the club, hands trembling with all kinds of adrenaline, and for the first time Adam didn't comment on it.

By the time they got to Adam's place, Nigel felt a bit more clear headed. Adam looked exhausted beside him, but his smile hadn't gone away. Not since he'd met Nigel at the start of the night. That was something, right?

Nigel cleared his throat, pursing his lips before giving the apartment complex another once over.

"You're good to get upstairs?"

Adam nodded sleepily. “I’m fine. Master Horace is always too thorough when he checks me over, and I heal too fast. Some of the lines will bruise but a lot will be gone by morning.” He sounded more disappointed than Nigel would have been in his place, but Nigel was learning that that was just Adam.

Nigel hesitated, squeezing Adam’s hand lightly. “Was this a date?” He asked.

Adam stared at him like he was a riddle, like there was only one right answer and he was afraid to get it wrong. “I want it to be a date. Do you want it to be a date?”

Nigel cleared his throat. “If it’s a date, shouldn’t I walk you to your front door and kiss you goodbye?”

A bright smile stole across Adam’s face. It wasn’t the vibrant ecstasy of the club, but a pleased, overwhelming joy nonetheless. It made Nigel ache to touch him. “Yes,” Adam decided, “Yes, you are definitely supposed to do that.”

He led Nigel into the building, into an elevator - Nigel’s apartment building barely had functioning stairs - and was practically vibrating by the time they reached his door, shifting from foot to foot like he wasn’t dead tired from being literally whipped.

Nigel wasn’t doing a great job keeping his own excitement in check; he felt like this was his first fucking date, not one in a series of rather a few. It felt different. This wasn’t a hook-up, for one thing, and for another… it was Adam. Adam was just something else.

“Thanks for the date,” Nigel said, the familiar smirk back on his lips now that there was space between him and the club. He stepped near enough that Adam grinned, and ducked to set his fingers under the kid’s chin to lift it. “You looked hot as hell tonight.” He told him honestly.

It started gentle. Nigel swore it did. He’d meant to give Adam a soft lingering kiss, one he’d think about maybe, remember when he woke up sore the next morning. But as soon as their lips touched it was hands and tugging fingers and desperately arching bodies. It was electric, and Adam tasted like absolute heaven.

“God fucking damn, Adam,” Nigel breathed, fond, before stepping closer and pushing Adam up against the door of his apartment.

The sound he made was bright and sharp, cutting through the quiet of the corridor and Nigel cursed himself, kicked himself for putting pressure on skin so recently made red. But then Adam surged forward again, up on his toes, arms wrapped tight around Nigel’s neck, and kissed him like it was the end of the goddamn world.

Nigel pushed him back again, pinning Adam between his body and the door, and Adam whined into Nigel’s mouth, needy and entirely too tempting. Nigel was never going to go. He was going to stay right here, kissing Adam, licking into his mouth, and quite possibly fucking him right up against that door.

But it was a first date. A first date, and Nigel had so much to think about, to consider. He wanted to make Adam feel the way he’d felt under Nigel’s belt. He wanted to draw those sounds from Adam, again and again, and if he didn’t leave right now it wasn’t going to be about Adam. It would just be about fierce and unwavering need, and that was great sometimes, but Nigel wanted to give Adam what he deserved.

He broke off in a series of soft kisses, despite Adam’s whimpers and attempts to draw him back in. “You,” he whispered against Adam’s cheek, “are entirely too tempting.”

“Good,” Adam said, without a hint of shame. Nigel laughed and shook his head.

“Next time,” he promised, with another kiss to Adam’s temple. “Next time, and I’ll be ready for you.”

Adam wore a pout that very nearly reigned Nigel back in, but he forced himself away. “You have my number,” Nigel said. “Call me if you need anything.”

“What if I want something,” Adam asked, and his chin tilted just so and Nigel had to close his eyes to restrain himself, forcing a slow breath out through his nose. He wanted it, he wanted it just as fucking bad but this was more than just a quick fuck, it had to be, it felt like it should be.

Somewhere in the back of his lizard brain, an idea wheedled against him, and Nigel set his hands on either side of Adam’s head, pressed against the door. When he leaned in it was just to feel the warmth of Adam’s cheek, the silky curls caught against his ear.

“Be a good boy,” Nigel whispered, “and wait,”

He felt more than heard the effect the words had on Adam. He stilled entirely, trembled, and then sighed out against Nigel pressing kitten-soft kisses to his neck.

“Okay,” Adam mumbled. “Okay I’ll be good.”

Nigel stared at the ceiling a moment to compose himself before pulling back, gently taking Adam’s face in his hands for one more chaste little kiss.

“I know you will. Good night, Adam.”

He watched the boy fumble with his keys, held up a hand when Adam waved his usual goodbye, and damn near collapsed in the corridor when Adam closed the door against him.

Adam goddamn fucking Raki would be the end of him.