Niles looks at himself in the full-length mirror and tries to remember it's not his first time doing this. He and Gavin have been easing into it, making use of his days off from the office to chip away at the hard wall Niles erected between himself and his needs. It's something of a weekly routine now, unless one of them isn't in the proper mood, but he's never felt adrift as he does now.
It's alright, he repeats silently, recalling words of encouragement from his partner to help him ease into his role. Gavin doesn't know he took the day off; Niles isn't sure he even has permission to touch their toys alone, but he wants - needs - to show Gavin this isn't something he's simply tolerating out of a desire to please. He picks up a leather collar, the color a pastel blue, and locks it around his neck to complete his set.
Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Niles consciously lowers his shoulders before he exits the bedroom and descends into the kitchen. Walking is less trouble now that it used to be when Gavin first started training him to wear plugs, but it still causes him to step more stiffly than he would otherwise, particularly on the stairs.
The kitchen is more his element, even though he feels exposed and displaced, an attraction in the wrong wing of a museum. It offers what he needs: plenty of distractions, starting with the lightly caramelized peaches that are now cooling on the counter, resting on a thin aluminum sheet.
On the counter, additional ingredients are laid out: brown sugar, vanilla extract, fresh nutmeg, ground cinnamon and roasted pecans. Behind all that is the prize Niles had saved up for, bought in secret and kept hidden from Gavin until tonight. He might think to hide it again, considering the salty price of the single bottle of wheated bourbon.
Gavin will appreciate your devotion. Niles remembers a fight from two years ago, the time Gavin stormed off because Niles gone and spent hundreds of dollars on a gift - money that could go elsewhere, should go elsewhere. He doesn't want to upset his partner's financial anxiety again, even though they've stabilized greatly since that incident.
Niles tries not to let his gaze linger on his padded leather cuffs as he reaches for the refrigerator door, opening it to retrieve a chilled stainless-steel mixing bowl and whisk from the top shelf, followed by a container of heavy cream. He's always preferred to whip cream by hand, the way Amanda taught him when he was young.
Niles whisks the cream with a fast and steady hand, helping it rise until it's time to add the brown sugar, which he folds in gently. Next are the spices - a sprinkle of cinnamon and freshly ground nutmeg, and finally half a teaspoon of vanilla extract. He beats the finalized mixture until the cream is forming beautiful soft peaks, pointed at the end when he pulls the whisk up.
The finished cream goes back into the refrigerator to chill while Niles cleans, rinsing dishes and wiping down the counters and table without letting water splash onto his customized cuffs. He has been practicing for this day. Once the kitchen is clean, he sets out a single elaborate crystal dessert glass and pours a minuscule splash of bourbon into it to aerate.
Niles checks his phone for the first time in hours - there's a message from Gavin asking if he wants anything from the store, thankfully received only three minutes ago. He replies immediately that he can’t think of anything they need, then tries to calculate how far Gavin must be. The store is usually used in reference to a small market not far from the house, ten or fifteen minutes by car. That means Niles has some time to spare before he needs to complete preparations.
It's time he uses to double-check everything: the caramelization of the peaches, the consistency and flavor of the whip, the lasagna he prepared this morning and stored in the fridge, the position of his thin cushion by the front door. The sight of it reminds Niles of what he looks like, what he's doing here, and the thought alone makes him shiver. It’s exactly what he’s attempting to avoid by making himself busy; the awareness of the sensations on his lower body, the silicone keeping him both aroused and somewhat at bay.
Eight minutes later, having moved his lasagna into the oven to bake and then wiped down the table a second time for good measure, Niles gently places the peaches into the dessert glass and spoons in the whip, topping it with strategically placed pecans for the visual effect. He considers pouring Gavin a proper glass of bourbon on the side, but settles for leaving it empty on the table, between the peaches and the bottle, just waiting. There’s no use in wasting good alcohol if Gavin’s mood doesn’t fit it.
Niles debates setting candles out on the table, but he ultimately decides to leave the lights on instead. Gavin doesn't so much enjoy the classic romantic atmosphere as relent to it for Niles's own sake, not unless it’s a special date – God knows he’s tried to make Gavin consider his own birthday a special date, but it never works.
With everything else ready to go, Niles kneels on the soft blue cushion and bites back a moan when the toy moves inside him. He’s now facing the front door, in the line of sight of anyone who walks inside without being directly in the way of the passage so as to avoid disturbances.
Beside the cushion is a chain, bright silver, with different clasps he can attach to his restraints, and a matching leash. Niles would have chosen one and worn it from the start if he did not think Gavin would enjoy deciding that, having the final say to assert his dominance.
Niles's heart pounds against the inside of his chest. Despite his best efforts to create a delightful experience, Gavin may still be upset that he planned this without permission, angry that Niles deliberately hid things from him to orchestrate this surprise. There's no telling what will happen when his partner arrives, but he tries to remember that Gavin isn’t like that. Not anymore.
His mind races for distractions in the silent living room. Music. Niles knows he doesn't have enough time to stand and select a record now, but he should have set the mood with a smooth tune in the background. Without the proper atmosphere, he looks rather ridiculous in this pastel bondage getup, a white cock ring highlighting his front and a hint of blue between his cheeks as the handle of the plug stands out against his skin. He's aware that he's too tall and angular to kneel gracefully; he looks completely inadequate as a submissive, but he hopes - he hopes Gavin will acknowledge the effort.
Counting the seconds seems to be the most effective way to avoid his still mounting anxiety, and so Niles whispers the numbers to himself as he listens intently for Gavin's car. When he hears it, even in the distance, his posture straightens and his eyes hone in on the doorknob. The sound grows closer and louder until it stops, and Niles has to swallow the excess saliva he's had building up from the anticipation.
He loses count when his cock shows revived interest, but Niles knows to ignore it. He keeps his hands flat and rested on his thighs, patient as can be. He wants to move, to meet Gavin at the door, but the desire to be good and follow through with his plan is greater. The doorknob turns, and Niles lowers his gaze in deference.
It's frustrating that he can't see Gavin's face. The door creaks as it opens, and Niles makes a mental note to spray WD-40 on the hinges in the morning. He can't hear any reaction, but he watches Gavin's boots when they stop at the entrance. One, two, three seconds pass, and they move again without a word from the man who wears them. Niles resists the urge to slump forward, already wondering what he did wrong, his anxiety suddenly overwhelming. He doesn't remember having this much trouble drawing air into his lungs.
Gavin's behind him now, somewhere past the living room and into the dining area, and Niles tries to imagine what he's doing. He hears the scrape of glass against the wooden table and he wonders if that’s the bottle - it must be - and if Gavin knows what it is, how much it costs, what lengths Niles went to in order to make this night special.
It's the nervous energy that makes Niles shift his weight slightly. He'd forgotten all about the plug for the briefest of moments, so the movement draws a surprised gasp from his lips. He immediately tenses.
"Shit." Gavin's voice is barely audible, the way he sounds when he's impressed and taken off guard. A wave of relief washes over Niles with such intensity that he could cry, but he's not that easily moved to tears. There are footsteps behind him once more, Gavin approaching, and Niles closes his eyes. A hand rests on his head, warm and comforting. "You're so fucking perfect, Niles."
Perfect is a word Gavin doesn't use lightly. Fear dissipating quickly, it’s replaced with joy and pride at his success. He responds by pushing his head into Gavin's palm and tilting his head up until their eyes meet.
"Look at you, waiting for me at the door, spolin' me rotten." Gavin has that beautiful crooked smile on his face, stroking down the side of Niles’s face as he moves down onto one knee. "You made me dessert before dinner?"
"I prepared lasagna this morning; it is in the oven. I thought you might enjoy a serving of peaches before it - birthdays are a 'cheat day', yes?" Niles's throat feels simultaneously too wet and too dry. Gavin now cups his jaw, trailing heat where they touch, and Niles is forced to swallow down a plea. Today is not for him.
"Fuck. What'd I do to get so lucky?" It's not the kind of question that requires an answer. Niles feels heat rising to his cheeks at the praise, the same as it does whenever Gavin gets this way. He's sure even his ears must be pink.
"If I may," he starts, eyes lingering on Gavin's lips, "you should eat your peaches. Despite the lower temperatures today, the whip may melt over time."
"Hah, there you are." Gavin's words are tinged with laughter, and Niles indulges him with a hidden smile. He knows this isn't the proper behavior many people expect from their submissives, but Niles can't let his hard work go to waste. It makes Gavin pull away, but none of his visual cues show disappointment.
Niles has to look up when his partner stands, and it thrills him to be in this position. He's always been the taller one, always imposing and hard-lined as he towers above partners and friends. Now, down here on the floor, he can leave all expectations behind and simply enjoy being useful.
"Come to the table and pour me a glass." Gavin steps away as he gives the order, already walking towards his seat. He sits and pushes further away from the table than is usually necessary, and Niles knows where he's been invited to sit.
Standing slowly on unsteady legs as the plug shifts inside him and presses briefly against his prostate, Niles picks the cushion up from the floor. This is what he'd hoped for, and it means spending quite a while on his knees - not that he would ever complain.
The cushion gets set down first, carefully as to please Gavin, before Niles turns to pick up the bourbon and pour a glass for his partner. He knows Gavin will want to taste this one neat, and the air isn't hot enough to tarnish the flavor. They’re also building the habit of having Niles taste drinks before Gavin enjoys them and, because his partner does not believe in letting alcohol breathe, Niles immediately looks at him for permission to proceed.
Niles only sips, allowing a small amount of liquid to coat his tongue before swallowing. It's strong, stronger than most of what he's used to ordering for himself, but that should suit Gavin just fine. Niles sets the drink down on the table.
"I believe you will enjoy it. Is there anything else I can do for you?" That comes out sounding less submissive and more like Niles is a waiter, but Gavin's eyes are still warm and dark with desire. It must not be such a terrible mistake.
Gavin answers the question first with his hands, resting one on Niles's hip and slowly sliding it down to the curve of his ass. He squeezes and Niles holds his breath, one hand attempting to use the table for support. A click of Gavin's tongue stops that right away.
“You can turn around and show me what else is going on here,” Gavin finally says, and Niles feels that same hand deliver a light and playful slap to the softest part of his backside. He obeys immediately and faces away from Gavin, arching just enough to improve the visual experience. His face burns with need and embarrassment, a delicious mixture that is only intensified when he feels a new pressure against the handle base of the plug. “Wore the whole set, didn’t you? A pity we don’t have a cock ring in this pretty blue, that’d be fucking fantastic. Might order one just for you, kitten.”
Niles does try to reply, but Gavin rocks the plug inside him and presses one of the buttons along the handle to make it vibrate, so all that comes out is a broken moan. He can’t compose himself when Gavin just keeps moving the toy, pulling it out just enough for Niles to feel the stretch before pushing it against his prostate, causing him to nearly lose his footing.
“Be careful, Niles. I don’t want you getting hurt before we even try this dessert you made.” It’s with that and a laugh that Gavin releases him, and Niles is thanking him before he can know why – for his thoughtfulness or for his mercy, one of the two. The toy’s vibration function is still active, but the sensation is dulled without the pressure to angle it correctly, which Niles is additionally grateful for. “Go on, kitten, you know where I want you.”
That’s all the permission he needs to slide under the table, settling between Gavin’s spread legs while using the cushion to guard his knees from the tile. There’s a scrape of metal on wood somewhere above him, the sound of Gavin picking up his spoon just as Niles drags his zipper down and pulls both pants and underwear out of his way.
Niles’s mouth is watering again, more so at the sight of the half-hard cock now exposed to him. Silver clinks against crystal and he leans forward to run his lips over the underside of the shaft and back up to the tip, where he finally opens his mouth to taste, to lick at the pink tip peeking out from Gavin’s foreskin. He knows the rules by now: no hands, no touching himself, but he’s allowed a moment of fun before being required to settle and submit entirely.
In leaning forward to take Gavin into his mouth, Niles causes the plug to move again. He shudders and moans, closing his lips around the head and slowly sinking down. There’s a soft groan from above, but it might be nothing more than Gavin enjoying his dessert, so Niles closes his eyes and rests his head on Gavin’s upper thigh for support. The hardest part of this is always holding still, keeping himself from the drive to give pleasure by licking and sucking Gavin to completion.
“There you go,” comes the praise, and Niles breathes slowly through his nose as he focuses on the feeling it causes. His body is now fully aroused, locked between the plug and the white silicone around his cock, but what matters here is making Gavin happy. He can do that; he gains confidence when he feels the cock in his mouth harden and fill. “Must look so fucking sweet down there.”
It’s not a surprise when one of Gavin’s hands moves into his hair, gently massaging his scalp until Niles feels almost sleepy. There isn’t much sound from the table other than the occasional soft clink or drag of glass on wood, so he imagines Gavin is savoring his treat slowly. That’s alright. The oven is on a timer, they won’t burn dinner.
Niles doesn’t know how much time passes, only that he’s woken from his daze by Gavin guiding him back and off his now erect cock. A small, inquisitive sound passes his lips, prefacing a question that is never voiced. Gavin’s hand retreats and then sneaks back under the table, a small scoop of cream on the tip of his index and middle fingers.
“You’ve worked so hard, kitten. Figured you deserved a little treat, hm? Go on.”
It’s the pet name that always gets him in the end. Niles exhales shakily and licks Gavin’s fingers, takes them into his mouth and sucks until the sweetness is gone. He’s disappointed when they, too, retreat.
“You made extra cream, yeah? You always do.”
“Good boy. After I finish my drink, I’ll feed you some more.”
That’s all the permission he needs. Niles scoots forward and takes Gavin’s cock back into his mouth, closes his eyes, and allows the gentle embrace of subspace to take him under.