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I've Traveled All this Way for Something

Chapter Text

Buster's first owner was a woman. She'd known he was gay; it was why she bought him. "I want you for one reason," she said, once she'd claimed him. They were in the display room just off the main auction room and Buster was on his knees, his wrists bound behind his back and his auction number still visible on his hip. He'd just been sold and it didn't matter that she was a woman; just knowing she owned him had him so hard it hurt. "I entertain a lot and I like to have someone I can have on hand for my gay friends. Does that sound good to you?"

It sounded fucking awesome, but Buster knew better than say so. "If it sounds good to you, Mistress, that is enough for this boy."

"Oh no no no," she said with a laugh. "First person, please. Call me Ma'am or, when it's more appropriate, Ms. Fowler. And I know they teach you to say the right things, but, right now, I want honesty."

"Then yes, Ma'am, that sounds good to me."

"Hmmmm...I'm not sure. You don't sound very sincere."

Which is how, even before they'd left the Establishment, Buster found himself begging his new owner to lend him to her friends. This, he thought, was totally worth the three months of hard training he'd gone through before his sale.

* * *

His second owner was a businessman who wanted Buster to serve as both his personal assistant and as his model. To most of Mr. Koffman's business associates, Buster was just a very polite young man who had an uncanny knack for knowing what his boss wanted. To a select few, Buster was the boy they passed around meetings--using his mouth as they talked about tech futures, or fucking him one right after another over the boardroom table when they needed a break. And then, when Koffman took a little time away from the office, Buster would find himself bound in complicated positions while Koffman sketched him.

He'd only been with Ms. Fowler for a year, but it was two years and a half years before he left Koffman's service.

"You can come back to me, you know." Koffman said as they drove to the New York branch of the Establishment. "When you're done...doing this." He gestured at Buster, who was down on his knees on the floor of the limo. "You're good enough to be more than just a PA. I can find some real work for you."

As flattered as Buster was, there was no way he was going to commit to something. "Thank you for your offer, Master," he said. "I'm not sure what I'll want when I'm through."

"That's a polite way of saying no, but you're probably right." He reached down, slid his fingers into Buster's hair and said, "I'd hate to have you around and not be able to do this."

When he tugged on Buster's hair, Buster leaned forward, his mouth already open.

* * *

Buster was used to being dressed in normal clothes and used to sitting in chairs, so his interview with the Establishment's personnel department started off smoothly. "Here's your portfolio," Ms. Ross said. "Mr. Koffman added a very generous bonus, so you're doing quite well."

Quite well was putting it mildly. With the bonus, Buster had over a million and a half dollars sitting in the bank gathering interest. "I'll want to change my investments before my next sale," he said after a quick look at the numbers. It was strange how, after watching Koffman and his people move money all over the world, a million and a half seemed trivial.

"You're considering another sale?" When Buster nodded, she pulled out another set of paperwork, and began reviewing it with him.

The review went well; Buster didn't feel the need to make any changes so it was the same one-year contract he had with Koffman. His first three contracts had been six months each, but Koffman had asked for a year after the first six months and Buster was glad he'd agreed.

"Are you sure?" Ms. Ross asked him. "A year's a long time with a new owner."

"I'm sure," Buster said even though he wasn't. Or at least he wasn't sure why he wanted a year. He liked the stability he had with Koffman, but if he really wanted stability, wouldn't he just walk out of the Establishment and into the job waiting for him? I'm sure, he told himself.

Once the terms had been set, Ms. Ross smiled at him. "Time to sign, Buster," she said.

"Yes, Ma'am." Buster stood and knelt. He kissed her fingers when she handed him the pen and then signed away his freedom for at least another year.

* * *

After a six weeks refresher course with a trainer who thought Koffman had been way too indulgent with Buster, Buster was more than ready to be owned by a person and not the Establishment itself. Toward the end of this last contract, Buster had thought about trying to get hired to work in one of the branch clubs, but now he thought it wouldn't be personal enough.

When he tried to explain that to Mistress Allyson, his trainer, she laughed at him. "You don't know what personal is."

He thought he did a pretty good job of keeping his face properly blank, but she laughed again and smacked his hip with her riding crop. "You haven't let either of your owners anywhere near you. You could be so fucking good if you belonged to someone who could get inside that head of yours."

Even though he knew he should let her words roll off him, he couldn't help squaring his shoulders back. "I've been good, Mistress Allyson. I've been what my owners wanted me to be."

"True, but neither of them have wanted...." She sighed. "They wanted a perfect Establishment slave--attractive, well-trained, correct--and you just happened to be the one they chose. What are you going to do when your owner wants you? When they figure you out and give you what you want."

"It's not about...."

"You really believe that, don't you?" She stared down at him for a long moment and then stepped back, the moment clearly over.

"Down," she snapped smacking him again. "Present your ass and make it look better this time." Another hard smack. "C'mon, boy, you call that good? Arch your fucking back and get those knees further apart. You're a fucking sex slave, not some glorified secretary, so look like one."

Chapter Text

The Fall Auction in New York City is an evening event, so Buster has a whole day to second-guess himself. It doesn't matter that this is his third time or that he's been to half a dozen auctions as a spectator; he's still nervous as all fuck. This is when you start to think that you've made a giant mistake, that maybe you should have quit while you were ahead and just taken the money and maybe Koffman's offer of a real job.

You could be so fucking good if you belonged to someone who could get inside that head of yours.

Buster isn't a romantic. When asked, provided he feels like being honest, he says he's in it for the money and the sex. He likes being a slave, likes being owned, likes being used and hurt. He had never bent over that boardroom table gritting his teeth and thinking about the money; he'd meant every word of it when he begged for more. If he hadn't found the Establishment, he would have kept looking for a boyfriend who could give him at least part of what he wanted. But he had found the Establishment, had learned what he needed to know and now he can be owned, can be used and hurt and fucked, in a safe environment. Getting paid for it just makes it better.

Although a lot of his fellow Establishment slaves don't like to think of it that way, Buster's never had any trouble admitting that he's high priced prostitute. Once upon a time, he wanted to play baseball in the big leagues. If he'd been better at it, if he'd made it, he'd have been well paid for his time and expertise. Buster isn't really sure that this is any different. He's a major league slave, he thinks with a little smile.

What are you going to do when your owner wants you?

With a shake of his head, he dismisses Mistress Allyson's voice from his head. He's not looking for Master Right. Really, he's not.

He has a lot to do between now and this evening, although it would be a lot more accurate to say he has to let other people do a lot to him between now and this evening. Getting ready to be auctioned off involves a lot of hurrying up and waiting, even though Buster doesn't need nearly as much attention as some of other slaves. He's too butch to be completely shaved; the attendant does his face and a little manscaping but that's all. The girl next to him isn't so lucky; Buster winces as her attendant starts smoothing wax over the girl's long, tan legs.

About two hours before they're put on display, the slaves are given a light lunch and allowed to rest. There are always a couple of people who actually manage to nap, but mostly everyone lounges around and speculates about where they'll end up next.

"I hope a woman buys me," the boy next to Buster says. He's new but he's doing a good job of hiding his nervousness. "I mean, I'm bi, but a mistress would be nice."

"Mistresses are mean," the leggy blonde girl says. "Meaner than men."

"Mine wasn't bad," Buster says. "But then again, she didn't want me for herself."

"Was she blind?" the girl says with a laugh.

Buster rolls his eyes. Before he'd come to the Establishment, he'd taken the word of people who told him he was gorgeous. Now, surrounded by beautiful people, he knows he's not anything special. The blonde girl is spectacular and the boy who wants a Mistress has beautiful dark skin and the high cheekbones of a male model. Buster's here because he looks like the boy next door--clean-cut and handsome.

"I was entertainment for her gay friends," he says. "It was kind of exciting because you never got used to one person."

"Weren't you Mr. Koffman's boy?" another girl asks.

She's as pale as Buster but she's short and curvy and covered with bright tattoos. "Lauren, right? You were with Mr. Jansen?"

"For a year," she says with a nod. "I remember you from that New Year's party year before last. How long were you in that sling anyway?"

"I don't really remember," he says, smiling. That had been one hell of a party. "Everything got a little blurry after that one couple double-teamed me."

"Oh hey," a boy across the room says. He's a burly bear of a guy who's only a boy because they're all boys and girls, not men and women. "I was at that party."

"Oh yeah," Buster says with a grin. "I do remember you. You were the first guy who fucked me once they put me in the sling." It had been good, he remembers. Sex with another slave isn't always, but the bear had really put his back into it. "This guy has some serious stamina," Buster says to the room at large.

"It's Mark," the guy says.

"Good to meet you," Buster says with a laugh that's echoed by several of the slaves in the room. "Again, I mean."

They continue to chat about past owners and scenes they've been in and it's weird because it's not weird. After four years, this is normal. Not for the first time, Buster wonders how he'll deal with life outside the Establishment. He dismisses the thought with a mental shrug. He's only twenty-six; he's got plenty of time left.

The last hour before they go on display isn't easy. By the time Mistress Allyson inspects Buster, he's clean--inside and out--and already slick with lube. She smacks him on the hip with her riding crop and runs him through a set of the more humiliating positions every Establishment slave is taught. He hasn't been allowed to come for the last four days, and by the time she's done with him, he's hard and just a little desperate.

"Up on your feet," she says and then, when he's standing there, hands behind his back, she runs a finger down his chest from the hollow of his throat. "I don't need to put a ring on you, do I?" she asks when she reaches his dick. "You'll stay hard without one, won't you? You'll be a good boy; you won't come out there, will you?"

"I'll be good, Mistress Allyson."

The slaves being auctioned off are set up in the showroom on low, wide, pedestals. Mistress Allyson waits until Buster's kneeling on his and then walks around him. "Hmmmm...present for me, that's a good boy." His eyes are closed, but he can tell when she takes the paddle from its hook on the side of the pedestal.

"You're a little too pale," she says and then, without any other warning, she gives him five swift spanks with the paddle. "Better, but still...." By the time she's satisfied with the way his ass looks, she's smacked him fifteen times. She didn't hit him very hard, just enough to hurt, just enough to keep him from being entirely comfortable when he kneels back with his ass resting on his heels. Just enough to remind him of his place.

She fusses with him a little more--tousling his hair until she's satisfied with the way he looks and playing with his nipples until they're sensitive. "Mouth," she says at one point and pushes two of her fingers into his open mouth. He licks and sucks at them while she just looks at him curiously and God, it's such an obvious trick, but he's suddenly desperate to see her expression change.

"What are you?" she murmurs as she pulls her fingers out of his mouth. They're still resting against his lips when he says, "A slave, Mistress."

She smiles and when she steps back, it feels perfectly natural to go down until his forehead's touching the pedestal. With one last caress of the back of his neck, she turns and walks away.

She did her job well; Buster's still in headspace when an attendant comes up and puts the iPad Air that contains Buster's file on the pedestal behind him and uses a greasepaint marker to ink his lot number on his hip. Buster stays in headspace through that last moment when everything seems to go still and silent. He can't get out of it now and he doesn't want to. By the end of the night, he'll be owned again, because he's a slave and slaves exist to be owned. He'll belong.

Then the doors open and suddenly the room's full of people.

The buyers have an hour to look over the merchandise before the bidding starts, but they've already seen files and photos and, in some cases, even video footage of the slaves being auctioned this season. They already know that Buster's served as a PA to the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, that he's a certified massage therapist and a fairly good cook. They know that even though he's got a fairly high pain threshold, he can be punished by strapping or caning his inner thighs. They know he likes being gangbanged and they've seen some of Koffman's sketches of him in rope bondage. They know he gets along with other slaves and that he likes playing with control freaks. They know he's good with dogs but really awkward around children.

They probably know stuff about him he doesn't even know, but right now, that's okay. He's just a slave; he doesn't need to know anything except how to be pleasing.

He's first inspected by a well dressed, forty-something couple. They put him down on all fours and then the woman holds his chin and watches his face as the man beats him with the paddle. It hurts, but Buster knows better than to act like it's worse than it is. "What does it take to make you cry, I wonder?" she murmurs. Her tone makes it clear it's a rhetorical question, which is good because the honest answer is "more than you can do here?" The buyers can inspect the slaves and they can even play with them, but no one can be seriously hurt or forced to come.

The snap of a rubber glove is all the warning he gets before the man shoves a couple fingers into him. He's not gentle, but even as Buster's breath hitches in his throat, he shifts his knees apart just a little and arches his back. "I think he's a bit of a slut," the woman says.

"I could live with that," the man says, his voice dry. He twists his fingers hard. "Be nice to hear him beg himself hoarse."

"Mmmmm...." The woman's picked up the iPad in its embossed leather folder and is busy reading. "He's pretty gay, though. Not sure there's a whole lot in it for me."

As they walk away, Buster wonders what belonging to a man and a woman would be like. Maybe if she had a boy too, or a girl, like Ms. Fowler did, it might work, especially if she really did want to see him cry. He's not sure what it would be like, belonging to a real sadist. Even though he's been marketed as a masochist, neither of his former owners were all that serious about hurting him.

He recognizes the next buyer--a Brit who worked with Mr. Koffman on a couple of deals. The man talks to Buster about the market, asking a lot of rapid-fire questions. Then, without missing a beat, he snaps, "arms behind your back, boy."

One of the toys set out for the buyers' use is a set of silver clamps; Buster hisses a little when the man clamps them onto his nipples. "Here," the man says, bringing the chain up to Buster's mouth. Buster grips it between his teeth and then whimpers a little when the man pulls a glove on and starts stroking Buster's dick.

"Tilt your head back. That's right, boy, keep that chain taut." It hurts; Buster bites down hard on the chain and closes his eyes. It's not long before he's running the stats of his favorite ball players through his head as he tries not to come.

Fortunately the man stops before Buster's too close. Buster gasps loudly when the clamps come off, and then, all of a sudden the man is asking him about football--"oh, excuse me, I mean soccer."

By the time the Brit leaves to inspect another slave, Buster's nipples still hurt like hell and he's wondering how quickly he'd learn the nuances of the English Premier League if the man were to buy him. The whole conversation was a bit of a jolt, though, reminding Buster that there's a whole world out there that has no idea the Establishment even exists. Just like that, he's seeing the room and the whole event through the eyes of an outsider; how can he just kneel here and let total strangers hurt him and shove their fingers up his ass and play with him like this?

He closes his eyes, his face hot while he feels humiliation wash over him like a wave. That woman was right, he thinks--he's a slut.

"Open your eyes."

The speaker is looking at him with big blue eyes. Buster's been stared at a lot, been under pretty intense scrutiny, but there's something wild and a little unsettling about the way this man looks at him. "Where were you just now?" the man asks. "What were you thinking?"

Buster has no idea why he gives the man the truth, why he speaks in first person. "A buyer just said I'm a slut, Sir," he says. "I was thinking that she was right."

The man nods. "Why?"

Stalling for time now, Buster looks him over; he's blond with curly hair and a close cropped beard. He's handsome or maybe he's not; Buster's not really sure. He's tall, probably taller than Buster, but he's thinner and he's wearing jeans and a plaid shirt. As Buster stares at him, trying to figure him out, the man's eyes narrow a little.

"Because," Buster says. "This boy is just kneeling here letting people play with him, Sir." What was he thinking, staring that long at a buyer?

"Well, that's kind of the point, isn't it? Anyway, you waited a little too long to answer," the man says. His voice is mild, but Buster still feels the rebuke.

"This boy apologizes, Sir," he says, bowing his head.

The man moves behind Buster and Buster hears him pick something up. Buster expects to be bent over for a quick beating, but instead, he feels a strap land across his shoulders. It hurts, but it's the unexpected location that makes Buster grunt a little in surprise. He handles the next four blows a little better, but the pain's just unusual enough to leave him wanting more.

For a long moment after, nothing happens. Then the man's fingers are sliding into Buster's hair and he's tugging Buster's head back hard. Buster moans a little and tries to concentrate. "The real question, Buster, is what kind of slut are you?" He tugs even harder and Buster arches his back. "Answer."

"Whatever kind of slut you want this boy to be, Sir."

"Well that's a textbook answer."

Of course it is. But even as Buster thinks that, he says, "please."

"Please what?"

"I...I mean it."

"Yeah," the man says after a moment. "I think you do." He lets go of Buster's hair and then, just like that, he's gone.

Two more buyers, both men, look Buster over, but though he says all the right things and reacts all the right ways, he's still trying to figure the blond guy out. What the fuck just happened?

The soft chime of a bell sounds and the buyers head toward the door. A little surprised that it's already been an hour, Buster tries to spot the blond guy without turning his head. Since Buster's pedestal is facing the door, he sees the guy as he leave the room. It's just his luck he gets caught looking when the guy turns and looks right back at him.

When slaves drew numbers to determine the order they're to go on the block; Buster pulled number four. It's not a bad slot to have, he thinks now. This year there are thirteen slaves up for auction, so by the time they get to Buster everyone will already be into the spirit of things, but not bored. Honestly, Buster's not sure how you can be bored at a slave auction, but he's seen it happen.

The Fall Auction in New York is one of the Establishment's marquee events; it's heavily attended by club members, even though most of them can't afford to actually buy a slave. This year's Auctioneer is a veteran; he warms the audience up with amusing asides between lots, but once there's a slave on the block he's all business.

The leggy blonde--Ashley--turns out to be a pony girl. She's up just before Buster, so he's able to watch from the wings as her trainer put her through her paces. She can't really run on stage, of course, but her dressage poses are excellent and she's even more beautiful in her black leather pony tack. Neither of Buster's owners were much for the races, but Buster kind of hopes his next one is into it. He'd like to see Ashley run.

She goes for a lot of money to a woman buyer. Hopefully, Buster thinks, as she's led away by her trainer, her new Mistress won't be too mean.

"Lot Four," the Auctioneer says and an attendant gives Buster a nudge.

They use the term block, but there isn't actually a block on the stage. Instead, there's a circle defined by a strong spotlight. Buster can't see the audience, but they can see him as he does a simple three-sixty turn and then stands, feet slightly spread, hands behind his back.

"Buster," the Auctioneer says, "is a talented slave who comes with excellent references." He rattles off some of Buster's skills and reminds the audience that Buster's signed a contract for a full year. Buster knows that turns some people off, but owners who have been with the Establishment for a while have a good idea of what they're looking for and don't want to bother with short term contracts.

"Buster's most recent trainer is Mistress Allyson, one of our top trainers." The Auctioneer steps back as Mistress Allyson moves into the circle of light with Buster.

"Don't disappointment me," she murmurs as she puts her hand on Buster's shoulder.

Buster's pretty sure he blushes through the whole thing as she snaps orders at him. He doesn't even try for the kind of grace Ashley managed; it's not one of his strengths. Instead, Mistress Allyson shows off his body and the way he reacts as she orders him to assume one position after another. She's tiny, almost a foot shorter than Buster and thin; the contrast between them and the way she puts a big strong man through his paces is undoubtedly striking. If it wasn't already clear from his file, everyone in the room now knows he's a true sub.

She lets the whole audience see what that couple earlier saw--Buster on his hands and knees facing them while she beats him. She hits him a little harder than that man did, though, using a strap instead of a paddle. It doesn't hurt enough to make him yell or cry, but his breath is rough and shaky by the time she's done.

"Kneel up, there's a good boy," Once he's kneeling back on his feels, she crouches down behind. "Don't even think about coming," she says softly as she reaches around. So, of course, all he can think of as she starts to stroke his dick with her black rubber gloved hand is how much he wants to, needs to, come. She's good, she gets him close, close enough that he doesn't care what he looks like as he squirms and twists in her arms. She doesn't go the extra minute it would take to get him off, of course. Better to leave the audience--and Buster--wanting more.

Buster's incredibly grateful when she gives him a moment to recover while she confers with the Auctioneer. Any notion he might have had that this would be easier because he's been through it two times before is gone. He wants nothing more than to make his trainer proud of him and show all these people that he's good, that he's worth buying. What did she call him--the perfect Establishment slave? No one's perfect, of course, but Buster's trying get get as close as he can.

"On your feet," Mistress Allyson says when she turns back to him. "And reach up." Buster stands up and grabs a bar suspended from the ceiling. Another circle of light appears, highlighting Mistress Allyson as she stands behind Buster, a short single tail whip in her hand.

She's not going at him with anything close to her full strength, but each stripe she lays down still hurts. At first Buster holds back, not wanting to look too easy, but after four blows, he's crying out loudly enough for the audience to hear him. Again, she takes him the edge without letting him go over; he can come from a beating, she tells the audience, but they'll have to buy him if they want to see that.

Finally, she puts him on his knees again. "You were very good," she says quietly as one of the attendants comes forward. "I'm proud of you."

Slaves are not allowed to know who bids on them or how much they go for. Unless his new owner tells him, Buster won't know his sale price until his year is over. So, before the lights go up so the Auctioneer can see the bidders, the attendant blindfolds him and then puts foam ear plugs in his ears. All Buster can hear as the bidding begins is the rapid beat of his own heart. He bites his lower lip, a nervous habit he's never been able to break.

The bidding seems to go on forever. Buster's got a pretty good sense of time, and he tries to count the seconds out, but he's too wound up to do it with any real accuracy. Finally, however, the attendant is helping him to his feet and leading him off the stage.

Once the blindfold and earplugs are removed, Buster's led back to the display room. Another attendant offers him a light blanket and a bottle of water. Two of the slaves who went on before him are stretching out and Ashley's being helped out of her tack. Buster wraps the blanket around his shoulders and sips a little water before sitting cross-legged on his pedestal. He looks down at his hands as he replays the auction in his head. He can't help thinking of the blond buyer, wondering if he's bidding on some other slave right now. Buster's doubts the guy made even a token bid on him; it's not like Buster made a very first good impression.

It shouldn't matter, but for some reason, it does.

"Buster."

"Mistress Allyson," he says, his head snapping up

Mistress Allyson reaches out and rests a hand on his shoulder. "Easy," she says and then doesn't say anything more. It's more comforting that it should be, more comfort than Buster should need, but he'll take it.

"Thank you, Mistress Allyson," he says after a moment.

"For what?"

"For making me look as good as possible out there, Ma'am."

"It wasn't difficult. Now hush and rest up."

"Yes, Mistress Allyson."

Her grip tightens a little when the chime finally sounds and then she's stepping back while he kneels up again. This time, he keeps his head bowed and his eyes closed--he's not supposed to look up until his new owner tells him to.

"Buster," Mistress Allyson says, just before she steps away. "Remember what I told you."

There's a pause and then he hears soft conversations all around him. After minute or so, he hears someone stop in front of him.

"Look up and open your eyes." The blond guy laughs a little when Buster stares at him in shock. "Really? You're surprised?"

"Um...yeah," Buster says and then winces, because really, what is it about this guy? "Yes, Master."

But all the guy says is, "Do you need help getting down from there?"

"No, Master."

"Not technically," the guy says. When Buster stares at him in confusion he shakes his head. "Never mind. Hop down. I don't want to do a whole thing, so here, put this stuff on and we'll go." He puts a stack of clothing on the pedestal and then stands back to give Buster room.

Buster gives up and just goes with it, pulling on pair of soft, slightly worn jeans that fit perfectly. There's also a plain t-shirt, a dark blue hoodie with a vaguely familiar logo and a pair of low-top black Converse.

"C'mon," the guy says. "Explanations can wait until we're in the air."

They slip out a side entrance; apparently Buster's new owner doesn't care about the after party. Buster's unsettled enough to be grateful for it; it's been a long day and he wants to know what his situation is going to be. He's a little surprised when a plain black town car pulls up; most owners go for limos.

Since there's no way Buster can kneel on the floor of the car, he settles into the back seat next to the guy. He can't help wondering why his new Master is in such a hurry. Ms. Fowler lived in Boston, but after buying Buster, she'd spent the weekend in New York playing at the club and getting to know Buster a little.

Maybe Buster's new Master can't stay away from his business for very long.

It's dark enough in the car that Buster can look at the blond man out of the corner of his eye without being obvious. The guy is good looking, Buster decides, or at least he is right now, in the dim light of nighttime New York. His clothes are are confusing, though. Buster's learned that a lot of really wealthy people don't care about how they look, but still, almost everyone dresses up for Auctions.

He wishes he'd had a chance to look at the guy's feet. His new Master has a bit of a Texas twang; if he's wearing cowboy boots, that might explain the casual clothes. A lot of oil and cattlemen tend go out of their way to look like just folks.

Dallas or Houston? Maybe a huge spread in the middle of nowhere? So far, Buster's owners have been based on the East Coast; it'll be interesting to be owned by someone who's country, even of he's not a fellow Southerner.

It's late enough that they reach the airport in good time. Buster's tired and still a little confused about his sale, but he stays awake and alert while they drive to one of the smaller, private hangers. As soon as the car rolls to a stop and before Buster can hop out and get the door for him, his Master gets out of the car. With a mental shrug, Buster follows him across the hanger to the waiting Gulfstream.

It's nice inside, but Buster's not about to be intimidated by a private plane, so he just looks around to see if there's any obvious place for him to kneel once they reach altitude.

"Sit," the blond guy says, pointing to a seat. Once Buster's sitting, the guy sits in the seat opposite him. "I know it's been a long day, so let me just tell you what you need to know."

Buster would really like to be on his knees for this, But his Master told him to sit, so he stays put.

"First of all, I'm not your Master. I'm his right hand man, and I'm an employee, not a slave. My name's Hunter, but call me Sir."

"Yes, Sir."

So, Buster's new owner is a guy who trusts the head of his household to buy slaves for him. Great. Buster's probably gonna be a party favor again, otherwise his owner would have picked him out himself. He's a little surprised at how disappointed he is. He liked that role when he was with Ms. Fowler and God knows, Mr. Koffman hadn't hesitated to hand him around. But he can't help remembering what Mistress Allyson said. In that context his sale doesn't make sense; how can this be someone who wants him for himself? Unless there's an owner but he allows Hunter--is that a first name or a last?--to have a slave of his own.

That would be interesting, belonging to one person while serving someone else.

"Go ahead and ask and don't worry. You won't get punished for anything you say right now."

"May this boy...."

"Oh God, do they still teach you guys to talk like that all the time? I mean, I get it in the showroom, but here?" Hunter puts his hand over his face. "Sorry, it's just...look, we're based in California, okay? Just talk like a normal person."

"Yes, Sir. What will my duties be?"

"Oh that's easy. You told me yourself back before you even went up on the block." Hunter smiles a slightly predatory smile. "You'll be whatever kind of slut your Master wants you to be."

Buster swallows hard. "Yes...yes, Sir."

"This is kind of different for us," Hunter says. "Everyone's taking a risk here. Me, because I chose you on the advice of someone I trust. Your Master, who is taking you sight unseen. And you...well, you put yourself on the block to be sold, now didn't you?"

"Yes, Sir."

"Why?" Hunter gives him a look. "Buster?" he adds before Buster can say anything. "Either tell me the truth, or tell me it's none of my business. Which, to be honest, it isn't."

"I don't...I don't entirely know, Sir." He pauses, because right now, it's the truth. "But the money doesn't hurt."

Hunter laughs. "You're quite the investment, it's true. Establishment slaves tend to be worth it, though."

Buster's not sure what to make of that, so he moves on to the next obvious question. "Does Master have a lot of slaves?"

"No, just you right now."

Buster tries to hide his surprise. He thinks about what Hunter said about risks. His new Master must trust Hunter a lot, if Buster's going to be his only slave. And it's pretty obvious he won't be a PA or fulfill some other non-sexual role. Still, who the hell buys a sex slave sight unseen?

"We have a cook, a housekeeper, a gardener, a maid and a driver," Hunter is saying. "They're all Establishment hires. We usually charter planes and, of course, when we're entertaining, we hire staff."

Buster nods. Ms. Fowler's ladies maid was a slave, but the rest of her staff was made up of Establishment hires. Buster was Mr. Koffman's only slave, but Koffman was a bachelor who lived in a condo; he didn't have live in staff. Most Establishment members who actually have live in help hire through the Establishment. It's not all that hard to find people willing to deal with naked sex slaves running around the house in exchange for excellent wages and benefits.

"Is he married, Sir?"

Hunter laughs. "No and not likely to be. He's about as out as you can be without making an announcement."

Although Buster really wants to know who his new Master is, he knows Hunter's not telling him for a reason. Someone famous or someone who's just really rich?

"Is Master going to give me rules, or is that up to you?"

"Both. Right now, you don't need to worry about rules, though. They can wait until you've had a chance to rest. You won't even meet him until tomorrow afternoon." Hunter leans back and looks at him with that same intense stare from earlier. "Anything else?"

Buster tries to come up with something else to ask, but he's got a feeling that he's not going to learn anything very important. There's no point annoying Hunter with unnecessary questions.

"No, Sir. Thank you."

"You hungry? I didn't go in for a fully catered flight, but there are some sandwiches and snacks and so on."

Apparently someone made a run to a real deli; the sandwiches are really good. Buster surprises himself by eating an entire pastrami sandwich and half a chicken salad one, along with a bag of chips and a bottle of water. Hunter doesn't say anything, probably because he eats as much as Buster does.

"Go ahead and sleep if you want to," Hunter says once they're finished. He pulls out an iPad and starts reading something and Buster feels like he can finally relax. Hunter's attention is more than a little intense, even though Buster gets the feeling Hunter likes him well enough. Still, the whole thing is a little weird and Buster gives up trying to figure it out.

He's owned again and right now, that's enough, he thinks as he slides down into sleep.

Chapter Text

The first thing Buster hears when he wakes up is the sound of dog toenails on the floor. Blinking, he sits up, trying to figure out where the hell he is. And why there's a dog in his room.

New Master, he thinks. New house somewhere near Napa. They got in really late and Buster can barely recall the drive from the tiny airstrip to the house. So, he's in a bed he vaguely remembers falling into and there's a dog in the room with him. No, he realizes as he looks around--two dogs. Bulldogs, he thinks.

"Well shit," a voice says. "This isn't how it was supposed to go down."

The man in the doorway is slim and short with hair that reaches his shoulders; he looks really young until Buster looks at him a little more closely and mentally adds a few years. Older than Buster, but not by a whole lot. He's dressed in a pair of skinny jeans and faded t-shirt with "San Francisco" written on it in a 70s style font. Hipster chic, Buster thinks.

Like Hunter, he's not classically handsome but, right now, he's smiling broadly and there's something compelling about him. He look familiar too; not like Buster's met him, more like he's some kind of public figure.

And oh fuck, he's also Buster's new Master and here's Buster sitting in bed staring at him like an idiot. Buster slides out of the bed as gracefully as he can--which isn't very graceful to be honest. Kneeling, he puts his head to the floor and waits.

A wet dog nose nudges his arm and then one of them is trying to lick his face. "Dude, they think they're down there to play with them," Buster's master says with a little huff of laughter.

Did Buster's new Master just call him "dude?" Either this is a really fucked up dream or some sort of super casual California thing.

"Kneel up," the man says and now his voice is firm.

As Buster obeys, his mind clicks into gear, putting the logo on his hoodie from last night together with man's face. Tim Lincecum...one of the current generation of tech billionaires. Holy crap, Buster's been bought by one of the richest men in the world. He didn't even know Lincecum was a member of the Establishment, let alone that he bought slaves.

Clearly Buster's face isn't as blank as he wants it to be; Lincecum smiles at him. "Yeah, that's me. And you're you. And this is really not how I intended to meet you."

He still hasn't asked a question or said anyone Buster can respond to, so Buster remains silent. Lincecum stares at him for a long moment and then nods. "Hunter has a good eye," he says and Buster can't help blushing.

"Okay, there's a bathroom down the hall so you can shower or whatever. Hunter will come collect you in a little while and we'll try this whole introduction thing again."

"Yes, Master," Buster murmurs.

Lincecum smiles a little and then snaps his fingers. "C'mon you two. You can get to know him better later."

As Lincecum and the dogs head on down the hall, Buster takes a deep breath. Maybe he's only been purchased twice before this but he's heard all kinds of stories, and still, this has got to be one of the weirder first days a slave has ever had. What the hell is Lincecum going to be like--the casual guy with the cute dogs or the Master who seems to be perfectly comfortable giving orders?

The bathroom is small, but stocked with everything he might need, which makes it easier to get in and then out again in a hurry. In addition to the things still in packages for Buster, someone else's toiletries are in the shower and on the counter, but whoever they are, they're good about not taking all the space.

He can't help sighing when he comes back to the room--his clothes from last night are still on the floor. Tired or not, he should have folded them up neatly. So far, this whole thing feels like Buster's done nothing but make one bad impression after another.

The bedroom is big, but sparsely decorated and it doesn't have a door. The only furniture is the plain single bed Buster slept in and a bedside table with one--empty--drawer. There are two closets; one is small and also empty; there aren't even hangers in it. The other looks bigger, but it's locked. Toys, Buster thinks. It's got to have toys in it.

The bed is sturdy and has restraint points on it and there are heavy eye bolts set in the wall and a big ring hanging from the ceiling on a length of sturdy chain. Plenty of room to swing a whip, Buster thinks as he makes the bed. Plenty of places to tie a boy up or chain him to the bed for the night.

Swallowing hard, he folds the clothes and puts them in a neat stack on the foot of the bed. When he got up earlier, he didn't notice the thick square of carpet next to the bed, but now, as he goes down on his knees, he's grateful it's there. As he kneels there in the classic pose--back straight, sitting back on his heels, knees spread with his hands resting on his thighs--he keeps glancing up at the ring hanging from the ceiling.

By the time Hunter appears in the door, Buster's half hard just thinking about all the things an inventive owner could do with that ring.

"Sir," he says, but before he can go down, Hunter holds up a hand.

"You don't need to greet me that way," he says. "Kneeling will do."

"Yes, Sir."

"Is that it--kneeling? That's got you worked up, I mean."

"That's part of it, Sir." And of course, because Hunter's staring at him while he kneels there naked, Buster gets even harder.

"What's the other part?"

Wishing he'd just said "yes" Buster looks down at the carpet under his knees.

"Look at me when you answer."

"Yes, Sir." It's hard to meet Hunter's eyes, but Buster manages it. "The ring in the ceiling, Sir. And the attachment points. I was thinking about them, Sir."

Hunter just nods, like he expected the answer. "As you've obviously guessed, this is where you sleep. You'll use the bathroom down the hall; if there's anything specific you want--a certain type of shampoo or that kind of thing, you'll get a chance to make a list."

"Thank you, Sir."

"Someone will show you around later, but now, Mr. Lincecum wants to see you."

Buster waits while Hunter stares down at him for a long moment. Even though he's looking at the carpet again, he can almost feel the intensity of Hunter's regard. "C'mon then. You're to walk unless someone tells you otherwise."

"Yes, Sir. Thank you, Sir."

"Such manners."

There's nothing to say to that, so Buster just gets to his feet and waits for Hunter to lead him out of the room.

The house, at least what Buster sees of it, is pretty big, but does his best to memorize the route they're taking. He's got pretty good spatial sense; hopefully it won't take him long to orient himself. Eventually they end up on a terrace just outside a dining room. It's mid-afternoon and the sun is shining, drenching the the terrace and the long rows of grapevines just past it with warm golden light. It looks like something showcased in Architectural Digest; hell, for all Buster knows, maybe it was. Bet they didn't show the slave's room, he thinks as he waits to be told what to do.

Lincecum is sitting at a table set for two. "I think Sandy decided this is your welcome home lunch or something," he says to Hunter. "This quiche is fucking awesome and there's some of that Pinot you like."

Once Hunter's settled into his seat, Lincecum turns and gestures to Buster. "Over there," he says, pointing to a spot on the terrace in front of the table. "Let me get a look at you."

Buster's not sure if they want a pose or anything, so he just stands there with his hands at his sides. Don't anticipate this early, he tells himself. And sure enough, Hunter clears his throat. "Hands behind your back like they're bound," he says. "Feet a little apart."

"Yes, Sir."

"Nice," Lincecum says. "Like I told him earlier, you have a good eye." He pauses to drink some wine. "I read his file, but I can't remember...can I pierce him?"

"He has to agree to it," Hunter says. "Ears are okay but nothing else visible and nothing with a really heavy gauge. And no ink."

"Well that's too bad," Lincecum says. "I know nipple rings aren't all that in any more, but I'll have to think about it."

Buster's not sure if he'll sign off on getting pierced, but God, it's fucking hot to stand here while they talk about him like he's just a thing.

"Good thing I'm not insecure," Lincecum says, looking right at Buster's dick. "Now turn around."

"Yes Master."

"Huh," Lincecum says, once Buster's back is turned to them. "He's pretty pale."

"They don't go in for tanning much in New York," Hunter says.

"True," Lincecum says. "It's cool though. I like the way those stripes show up. Single tail?"

"Yeah, during the auction. The way he took it was what finally decided it for me."

Buster blinks in surprise, because really? He remembers how he felt, hurting and just on the verge of coming. How he wanted to make Mistress Allyson proud and how he offered himself up to the audience--if you buy me, you can have this; I can be this for you.

Now he knows that it worked. And, more importantly, that the sight of him, in pain and desperate, convinced Hunter to buy him for Lincecum. It seems that, after four years in the system, Buster's finally owned by a sadist.

"All right," Lincecum says, breaking the silence. "Come over here and kneel down next to me."

There's a pad near Lincecum's chair; it matches the cushions on the chairs, which, Buster thinks, is a bit much. But, like the carpet in his room, he's glad it's there. Some owners don't seem to care if their slaves kneel on bare floors.

He kneels in the standard position, waiting while Lincecum looks him over.

"He's not pretty," Lincecum says. "But he's very handsome. Very butch...I like it. It's a nice change."

"That was my thought."

"I like that position, by the way," Lincecum says. "Keep kneeling that way."

"Yes, Master."

"Now, here's how it works around here. And, right now, don't bother with that 'yes Master' thing. It just slows things down." Lincecum nods toward Hunter. "Hunter's not your master, but treat any order from him like it came from me. Unless you've been told otherwise or are unable to, you go to your knees when one of us comes into the room. Don't bother with obeisance though, unless you've fucked something up.

"You're not exactly household staff. Even though you're my personal slave, they're my employees, so don't get the idea that you're better than them or above helping them out. Most of the time, though, you'll be with me." He pauses and Buster nods his head, wondering what he'll be doing when he's with Lincecum.

"What else for now...oh right, I'm 'Master' and 'Mr. Lincecum' in public, and he's 'Sir' and 'Mr. Pence,' in public. At some point, you'll meet my PA, Angel. He's also 'Sir' or "Mr. Pagan.' As far as the household staff, I'm sure you'll all work it out."

Hopefully smoothly, Buster thinks. He likes to think he's easy to get along with and he doesn't care too much about where he is in the pecking order.

"I think Hunter told you not to bother with the whole formal voice thing. I might ask for it now and then, but assume I want you to use 'I' and 'me.'"

It's good to have rules again, Buster thinks, even if they're really basic. After the weird beginning this morning, it helps that things are a little more normal now.

"Okay, one more thing for now. I don't like brats. There's nothing in your file to suggest you play those kinds of games, but if you fuck up just to get punished or try to play Hunter and me against one another or mess with the smooth running of this household or any of that shit, I promise you, you won't like the results. Tell me you understand that."

"I do, Master. I...."

"You what?"

Buster's face is hot and he wonders what it is about this situation, these two men, that makes him want to explain himself. Or no, that's not right. It's just that he wants to say things he usually leaves unsaid.

"I want to be good for you, Master."

Lincecum raises an eyebrow and looks over at Hunter. "Told you so," Hunter says. Buster's not sure what he means, but Lincecum just nods.

"Yeah, you did." Lincecum turns his attention back to Buster. "You better be very good for me."

Lincecum's eyes are hazel, Buster notices, and, like Hunter, it feels like Lincecum can see more than most people. Buster bites his lower lip and finds himself leaning toward Lincecum. It's not much of a lean, but as soon as Buster realizes what he's doing, he straightens his shoulders and settles back into position.

"Buster, I said good, not perfect." It's an echo of what Mistress Allyson said, but it still doesn't make sense to Buster. Obviously no one's perfect, but to be a good slave, you need to get as close to perfect as you can. Hopefully he doesn't look as confused as he feels.

"All right then," Lincecum says and the moment, such as it was, is clearly over. "Let's do this thing." He turns and takes something off the table--a metal collar with rolled edges and a ring in the front. It's plain, and the metal has been buffed to a matte finish, so it's not even shiny. It's obviously well made and Buster can't take his eyes off it.

"I make the same offer to every slave I buy," Lincecum says. "Right now, if you want, you can opt out of this contract without any repercussions. You'll keep your portion of the sale price and you can leave the Establishment or go back and let them hire you or put you on the block again."

Buster's never heard of anyone offering an out. Once the hammer goes down, the sale is final, or at least that's what he thought. He actually turns the idea over in his head, because this is already different than either of his last two situations. First Hunter, and now Lincecum, seem to want more from Buster than anyone ever has and it's all a little unsettling.

"Thank you, Master, but I don't want that." It feels weird to say that; Buster doesn't even like saying he wants something let alone that he doesn't want something.

"So you want this?" Lincecum holds up the collar.

"Yes, Master," Buster says. "Please allow me to wear your collar, Master." Again, it's what he's supposed to say and again, he means it. He hopes some of his sincerity shows on his face.

The collar is heavier than it looks--a comfortable, solid weight around his neck. He'll become used to it, he knows, but he won't be able to forget it's there, won't forget that taking it off requires the key on Lincecum's key ring. Lincecum doesn't make any kind of formal statement, but he rests his hand on the back of Buster's neck after he's done with the lock. It's far more intimate than any words; Buster takes a deep breath and lets it out again. This, he thinks. This.

"Thank you, Master."

Lincecum strokes the back of his neck and Buster allows himself to lean into the touch, just a little.

After a moment or two, Lincecum sits back in his chair. "Okay, Hunter. Get him over the table."

Buster hardly has time to blink before Hunter's pulling him to his feet and dragging him around to the other side of the table. "Down," he says, pushing hard on Buster's back. Hunter's stronger than he looks and the casual manhandling is almost shocking. Buster's breath catches in his throat as his chest hits the top of the table.

"Use your belt," Lincecum says.

Buster's been hit with just about everything under the sun and he's liked most of it, but belts.... God, there's nothing like the sound of a belt being pulled through belt loops when you know someone's about to beat you with it. As soon as he hears it, he moves his feet apart a little, bracing himself as well as he can.

"Arms crossed on the table in front of you," Lincecum says. As Buster obeys, a little confused, Lincecum continues. "Rest your chin on them and don't close your eyes. I want you here for this. I want you to look at me.

"Yes...." Before he can finish, Hunter slams the belt down on his ass and yeah, Buster has a high tolerance for pain, but without any warm up, it hurts like fuck. "Yes, Master."

"Good boy," Lincecum says. "But be quiet now. Or, no," he adds with a slight smile. "You can make all the noise you want, just don't say anything."

What happened to Buster back during the auction--that one couple and then Mistress Allyson beating him in front of everyone--was nothing compared to this. Hunter's not holding back; the belt is landing hard and fast as he works his way down from the top of Buster's ass. After about ten blows, Buster starts panting and it takes real effort to keep his eyes open. Lincecum's leaning forward, like whatever he sees on Buster's face is fascinating.

"Do you like it?"

Buster remembers just in time that he's not supposed to say anything. He nods instead, his eyes wide as he tries to convey just how much he likes it. For all that it happened so fast, Hunter was careful when he positioned Buster over the table. Buster's chest and stomach are resting on the tabletop, but his dick isn't shoved up against the wrought iron and right now, that's a damn good thing.

The pain keeps building and by the time Hunter's belt lands on the underside of Buster's ass, Buster can't keep from groaning with each blow. Without being able to close his eyes, he can't really sink into it, can't really let his awareness narrow down like it usually does. Maybe that's why it hurts more than he thinks it should. Maybe that's why he feels so fucking exposed.

"Does it hurt?" Lincecum's totally into it, staring at Buster avidly.

Buster nods again.

"Do you want him to stop?"

Right now, Buster doesn't care that it's not up to him. He shakes his head; no, no, no. It fucking hurts, God it hurts so much, and it's so good and his Master's obviously getting off on it and no, Buster doesn't want it to ever stop. Then the belt reaches his thighs and he's right on the edge of tears, his vision blurry and his chest tight.

"Jesus, Hunter," Lincecum says, his gaze never leaving Buster's face. "Put your fucking back into it."

Buster doesn't really want to cry in front of his brand new Master, not from something as simple as this beating, but then Hunter slams the belt down and oh God, he's strong. Buster's close, so fucking close, but he's still fighting it, still not sure he can let go this soon.

"He won't stop until I tell him to," Lincecum says. "We can do this all afternoon if that's what it takes to get what I want." He reaches across the table and rests his hand on the side of Buster's face. "Be good for me," he says. "Let me see how much it hurts."

The next blow lands on the underside of his ass again and the next one and the one after that are all in the same spot. Buster's mouth opens as he frantically sucks in air and then, just like that, the tears are rolling down his face. It's fatigue and stress, he tells himself, but that doesn't keep him from crying with deep hitching sobs that make his whole body shake. It feels a little like coming,

"That's it, Buster," Lincecum says. "That's a good boy." He rest his hand on the side of Buster's face, his thumb pressing against Buster's lips. "Open up for me."

When he pushes his thumb into Buster's mouth, it's almost a relief to have something else to concentrate on. Hunter's still beating him and it still hurts like fuck as Buster sucks on Lincecum's thumb and God, he's so fucking grateful. Grateful and desperate to give his Master whatever he wants; he pushes his mouth down over Lincecum's thumb as much as he can and sucks hard, wishing it was Lincecum's cock instead.

He's not sure how long he stays like that, how long the beating goes on--long enough for Buster to worry about coming without permission. Finally, after what could be minutes or hours, Lincecum pulls his thumb out of Buster's mouth. "Enough, Hunter."

It takes another minute or two before Buster's suddenly aware of his surroundings again. Behind him, he can hear Hunter's harsh breathing and Lincecum's still staring at him.

"You know how you said I could do this all afternoon?" Hunter asks.

"Yeah," Lincecum says with a grin.

"I really fucking could, just to listen to him cry."

"Wait 'til you see it close up." Lincecum rubs his thumb over Buster's damp cheek. "That was good, Buster. You were good for me."

Buster isn't sure what to think, how to feel, but he knows what he's supposed to say. He stares at Lincecum, begging with his eyes until Lincecum nods. "Go ahead."

"Master," he says, his voice shaky. "Master, thank you." He can't turn around, but he says, "and you, Sir. Thank you."

Lincecum pets his face again and Buster can't help turning his head a little until he can kiss Lincecum's fingers. "Good boy," Lincecum says, sounding a little surprised. "Hunter? Take him back to his room and let him rest."

He has to lean on Hunter a little to get to his room; the endorphins have kicked in and Buster feels like he's drunk and high at the same time. "Sorry, Sir," he says as Hunter guides him to the bed.

"It's okay," Hunter says. He pats Buster on the back. "I'll be right back; don't pass out on me."

Buster isn't going to pass out, but he's pretty floaty when Hunter comes back. "I'm putting a bottle of water here for you," Hunter says. "Now lift your head for a minute." He clips something to the ring on Buster's collar--a heavy chain that gets clipped to one of the hooks on the bed frame.

"Okay," Hunter says. "You need to listen to me, Buster. You with me?"

"Yes, Sir," Buster says, a little annoyed because fine, he's on an endorphin high, but he's perfectly capable of listening to someone and understanding them.

Hunter pats him on the back again and then stands up. "There's one more rule you need to know about."

"Sir?"

"Don't even think about touching yourself or getting off without permission."

He's out the door while Buster's still saying, "yes, Sir," but Buster doesn't care, because he's suddenly, painfully aware of his dick. That bastard, he thinks. Hunter waited to tell him that on purpose, he's sure of it. Buster stayed hard through the pain and the emotional release and the endorphin rush and now it's all he can do not to hump the bed. He wants to come; no, what he really wants is for someone to fuck him and then let him come.

What makes it worse is that knowing he can't come, knowing someone has that much control over him, is a huge fucking turn on. His Master took what he wanted and then had Buster chained to the bed without letting him get off. And Lincecum can do that because Buster's Lincecum's collared slave, bought and paid for.

It's not that Buster's never felt owned before and it's not that he's never gotten off on the feeling before, but it feels different, more intense than usual. He's suddenly sure Lincecum knows what Buster's going through; that Lincecum wants him to feel exactly what he's feeling.

That's bullshit, Buster thinks. I'm totally fucked up on endorphins. I'm imagining things.

Chapter Text

Buster dozes off for a while; when he wakes up, there's still light outside, but it's fading. Sitting up carefully, he winces; he's sore, but he'll be able to sit for a while if he needs to. When he runs his hand over his ass and his thighs, he can feel the beginning of welts, but not broken skin. Still, he's been here for less than twelve hours and he's already bruised up. With a smile, he pushes on one of them again. Mistress Allyson beat him a lot during his six weeks with her, but she was his trainer, not his owner.

As he reaches for the bottle of water on the nightstand, the chain attached to his collar clinks. He can't help wondering it was Hunter or Lincecum's idea to chain him to the bed or if it's standard procedure in this household. Not that it matters, but he can't help hoping it's the latter. Oh sure, they're careful--Buster can unclip the chain if there's an emergency--but it's the idea that's important here. He doesn't want to think about the punishment he'd receive if he unclipped the chain for anything less than a fire or an earthquake.

Buster was hoping for a chance to do some stretching out, but the chain's too short, so he settles on the bed on his stomach and tries to rest. He's hungry, but not starving; if no one comes to get him soon, his real problem is going to be boredom. He wonders how much downtime he'll have and what he'll be allowed to do. People tend to be surprised at how boring life can be when you're a sex slave and Buster's a little worried about it. He's used to working hard; the only real downtime he had with Mr. Koffman was when Koffman was sketching him. He kind of doubts that's going to happen here.

He can't help wondering just what will happen here and who he'll be serving. Hunter's obviously more than a mere employee and if this afternoon was any indication, he's just as much of a sadist as Lincecum is. Are they lovers? Is that why neither of them did anything more than beat him? Or is Lincecum just waiting, maybe until he thinks Buster's earned the right to serve him that way? Will they share him sometimes? Is he....

He catches a glimpse of movement out of the corner of his eye just as someone clears their throat. He's even less graceful that earlier as he gets out of bed, but he hits the floor pretty fast.

"Oh hey, you don't have to kneel for me."

The girl in the doorway is a short brunette, who looks to be about the same age as Buster. She's wearing a pair of khaki shorts and a white short sleeve shirt that shows off her very buff arms. She looks like she can probably lift a lot more than than Buster can.

"I'm Ellie," she says, stepping into the room.

"Buster," he says as she unclips the chain from his collar. "Nice to meet you."

"You guys are always so polite," she says with a smile. "You need to use the bathroom?"

"No, I'm good."

"Okay. I'm supposed to show you around and make sure you get something to eat."

She doesn't mention clothes, so Buster gets to his feet and follows her out of the room like it's no big deal. He's used to being naked around people, but it's always a little difficult dealing with staff you don't know.

It turns out that Ellie's the housemaid. "My sister works at the Establishment in the city," she tells Buster. "And I worked there before I came here. So what goes on here isn't too weird for me." She turns to him and gives him a rueful smile. "Of course, you're new, so it's gonna be a little strange at first."

"Yeah, for me too."

"I bet."

The house is huge, even bigger than he thought earlier. "You clean this all by yourself?"

"It's not so bad," she says. "Mr. Lincecum doesn't use most of it and Ms. Parker...she's the housekeeper, right? She does a lot too. We bring people in to do heavy cleaning every three months or after big parties."

"If I have a chance to help you, I will."

"Thanks." She looks a little surprised and Buster can't help wondering about his predecessor--pretty and not inclined to make good with the staff.

By the time they've finished the tour, Buster's a little overwhelmed, but he's sure he can find his way around. Even if Ellie hadn't told him, it would be obvious that most of the house is unused. There's a big game room with a huge TV and pool table that looks like it gets use; the furniture was obviously chosen more for comfort than style. The dining room he went through earlier is the smaller of two dining rooms and it's also a lot less formal. She shows him where Lincecum and Hunter's suites are, as well as their office, but they don't go inside.

Buster's own room is in the back of the house. Ellie's room is just down the hall; they share the bathroom. "Ms. Parker and Ms. Mendez, the cook, are together. They live in one of the old guest cottages and Mr. Thompson lives in one of the other ones--he's the gardener. Brad, Mr. Lincecum's driver, has a room over the old stables; it's a garage now."

"How old is this house?"

"Over a hundred years old. Well, parts of it; they added a lot more in the Twenties and then again in the Eighties. Mr. Lincecum made some changes too, mostly updating a lot of stuff." Ellie smiles at him. "It's a really cool place to live; I'll show you the gym next time you have some time off. It's in the third guest cottage. I mean, you work out, right?"

"Yeah," Buster says. "When I can."

She bites her lip and tries not smile.

"What?"

"Oh just...I don't think you'd want to bench press right now."

"Huh? Oh you mean with my butt the way it is? I could, but no, I'd really rather not."

"You'll be able to use the pool if you swim," she says. "Tyler swam a lot. He was Mr. Lincecum's last boy."

Buster just nods. He wants to ask all kinds of questions about Tyler, but he's not sure what she's allowed to tell him. Fortunately, they reach the kitchen and the chance passes.

"Ellie, you know better. He can't come in here without pants or shorts or something," a tall, butch looking woman says.

"I'm sorry, Ma'am," Buster says. "I don't have any clothes yet."

"I just did a load of our laundry," Ellie says. "I think Brad had some shorts in there."

Buster's only allowed in the kitchen after Ellie's found a pair of baggy workout shorts for him. Buster's grateful; if he has to wear something, at least it's something comfortable.

"You won't get in trouble," Ms. Mendez says. "My kitchen, my rules."

"Thank you, Ma'am," Buster says.

She sits him down at a big table and feeds him leftover quiche and a salad. "Mr. Pence said you can cook?" She sounds skeptical.

"Some," Buster says, shifting a little as he tries to get comfortable. "My last owner didn't have a live in cook so I took some classes and then started cooking for him when he didn't order out. Nothing really fancy, but if you ever need help...."

"I really only need help when there's a party or something and you'll be busy then. But thanks."

Buster bites his lip and tries to pay attention to his lunch as he tries to figure out what kind of busy he'll be at Lincecum's parties.

Ellie disappears to deal with more laundry, but Buster gets a chance to meet the housekeeper. Ms. Parker is as butch as her partner, but a little more standoffish. Buster's polite, but he doesn't try to pour on the charm. Hopefully he'll manage to get on her good side at some point. He's just finished putting his dishes in the dishwasher when Hunter shows up in the doorway. Buster doesn't take the shorts off, but he goes to his knees.

"Is dinner still in a half hour?" Ms. Mendez asks. "Because it's lamb and I don't want it to get overcooked or dried out."

"Lamb?" Hunter asks. "That thing you do with lamb chops? I'm make sure dinner's in a half hour."

"Good," She shoots a glance at Buster. "Don't get too distracted, then."

Hunter laughs. "You hear that, Buster? Come on and try not to be too distracting."

For a moment, Buster wants to ask if that means he should leave the shorts on, but it's way too soon to make jokes, even deadpan ones. "Yes, Sir."

Once they're in the hall, Buster pauses and pulls the shorts off. "Just leave them by the door for Ellie. We'll have clothes for you soon."

"Thank you, Sir."

Lincecum is sprawled out on one of the big couches in the game room. One of the dogs is on his lap and the other is on the couch next to him. "Ellie showed you around?" he says as Buster goes to his knees just inside the door.

"Yes, Master."

"Good. You play anything?" Lincecum gestures to the stack of gaming equipment in front of the huge TV.

"Not in a long time, Master." Buster tries to think about either of his former owners gaming and no, he just can't imagine it.

"We'll have to do something about that. I get tired of playing this guy all the time."

"Tired of me kicking your ass," Hunter says.

"Ignore him," Lincecum says.

Before Buster can figure out how to reply, Hunter laughs. "You're confusing the boy."

"He'll get used to us," Lincecum says. "Eventually. For now...Hunter, take the kids out for me."

"You've got twenty-five minutes before dinner," Hunter says. He snaps his fingers and the dogs scamper across the floor toward him.

"Seriously, Sandy's the real boss around here."

Lincecum stares at Buster for a moment. "In the top drawer of that cabinet," he says, pointing to a sleek Art Deco cabinet. "There're some toys in that to drawer. Bring me the purple buttplug and lube, if there is some in there."

Some toys is putting it mildly, the top drawer has a bunch of different plugs and dildos made out of all kinds of materials. Fun, Buster thinks as he moves a rippled glass dildo to get to the purple butt plug. If the beating earlier wasn't enough of an indication that Lincecum doesn't intend to start off slow, the plug would be; it's...big

Lincecum crooks his finger. "Now, over my lap...no, straddle me."

"Yes, Master."

Buster feels huge as he settles on the sofa with his knees on either side of Lincecum's hips. He's got at least forty pounds and two or three inches on Lincecum, but if the size difference bothers his Master, he doesn't show it. He tips his head back and looks at Buster for a long moment before reaching around to rest his hands on Buster's ass. As Lincecum's fingers move over the welts, Buster catches his breath. Between Lincecum's proximity and the feel of his hands on Buster's sore skin, Buster's fully hard in no time.

"When was the last time you came?"

"Four days ago, Master."

"Oh yeah, they like you going into the auction a little hungry, don't they?"

"Yes, Master."

"Okay, hands behind your back, yeah, like that," Lincecum says. As Lincecum slicks up his fingers, Buster slides his knees a little further apart. "God, you want it bad."

Buster's not sure how to react, but his face goes red Lincecum's fingers are sliding between his cheeks. Maybe it's only been four days, but Buster feels like it's been weeks as Lincecum starts teasing him. He bites his lower lip, but the moment he closes his eyes, Lincecum stops. "No," he says. "Look at me."

"Yes, Master."

"Unless I tell you not to, I want you to look at me when I'm playing with you."

"Yes," Buster says, his voice trailing off as Lincecum rubs a slick finger over his hole. "Yes, Master."

"A little sensitive, aren't you?"

Lincecum does it again and then again, and Buster catches his breath. "Yes, Master."

"I'd ask if you want more, but I know what your answer would be." Lincecum pauses to put more lube on his fingers and then he starts slowly pressing one finger into Buster. "We're gonna have to break you of that habit. I don't need to be reassured." He twists his finger and then Buster feels him pushing another finger in. "I know that it's up to me."

Pausing, Lincecum reaches up and takes hold of the ring of Buster's collar. "After all, I own you; I can do whatever I want with you. Can't I Buster?"

"Yes, Master."

Another twist of twist of Lincecum's fingers has Buster biting his lip again. Between Lincecum's grip on his collar and the feeling of Lincecum's fingers opening him up, Buster's far more worked up than he should be at this point.

"You like knowing that, don't you? You get off on being owned, don't you?"

It's not any kind of revelation to Buster or, for that matter, to Lincecum. After all, Establishment files are pretty detailed and this is one of Buster's major kinks. It's probably one of the main reasons he was accepted by the Establishment in the first place. "Yes, Master," he says, squirming a little as Lincecum's fingers move inside him.

"And me," Lincecum says. "I like owning boys, especially when they're sluts like you are." He laughs as Buster's face gets red. Again. Someday, hopefully soon, he'll stop blushing.

"How did you put it to Hunter? Any kind of slut I want you to be?"

Even as Buster's opening his mouth to reply, Lincecum spreads his legs a little, forcing Buster's legs further apart. "Yes, Master."

"A little wider, there's a good boy." Lincecum pulls his fingers out. As he lubes up the plug, he keeps his eyes on Buster's face. "You want this?" he asks as when he's done and is pressing the plug up against Buster's hole.

Buster gulps; the plug is big and, for all that his teasing, Lincecum didn't do a whole lot of prep. "Please, Master," he says. "Yes, please."

"No more words now," Lincecum says. "But don't hide from me, you understand?" When Buster nods, Lincecum grabs his collar again. "Good boy."

It hurts going in; of course it does, Buster thinks. Lincecum's taking it slow, so Buster feels each slick, smooth inch as the plug moves into him. There's a point where Buster's sure he can't do this, can't take more. It's too big, he thinks, breath catching in his throat. He's not ready for this....

"Hurts?" Lincecum asks, pausing at what feels like the widest part of the plug.

Buster nods, forcing himself to meet Lincecum's eyes.

"But you're gonna take it anyway," Lincecum says with a little smile. "Because I want you to. Come on, Buster, be a good boy. Open up for me."

Yes, Buster thinks. Yes. He takes a rough, shuddering breath and then another as Lincecum keeps pushing. It hurts but it's good and it's what his Master wants so Buster wants it too. Never mind that everything he's feeling is probably showing on his face, he couldn't look away if he wanted to. Lincecum pushes hard and Buster groans as the plug moves all the way in. It doesn't hurt as much now, but he's incredibly aware of it nonetheless.

"Mmmmm, yeah," Lincecum says. He glances down and smiles a little. "Something tells me you liked that." Buster's face goes red again because of course he's rock hard. But why, he wonders, is he still blushing? He should be used to this--people putting toys inside of him, people seeing him react to being played with. But now, he wants to squirm and look away.

"Okay, down on the floor," Lincecum says with a sharp slap to Buster's ass. "On your knees in front of me."

When Lincecum stands up and reaches for the fly of his jeans, Buster leans forward a little, mouth half open. It's one of the standard poses and, like so many of them, it always gets to Buster. His first trainer made him beg every time he learned a new pose and even now, all Buster can think is, please use me, please use my mouth, please Master....

"Not this time," Lincecum says. "Back on your hands."

Please, Master, come all over me, Buster thinks as he leans back, hands on the floor behind him. Normally he'd tilt his head back, offering his body from knees to neck, but now he keeps his eyes on Lincecum's face. Well, mostly; he sneaks a quick glance at Lincecum's cock. Average size, cut, dark and already slick at the head...nice. Lincecum's hands are nice too, Buster thinks, watching as Lincecum's long fingers wrap around his dick.

"I know you're a slut for it," Lincecum says. "But my face is up here."

Buster opens his mouth to apologize and remembers just in time that he's not supposed to speak. It's strange though. It's one thing that Lincecum wants to see Buster when he's hurting or turned on or both, but him letting Buster see him like this is something else. It's good though, to know that he's been pleasing, that Lincecum's turned on enough to want to get off.

It doesn't take long; another moment or so and Lincecum closes his eyes and comes all over Buster. Buster waits until Lincecum's opened his eyes again before he licks his lips clean. He feels used and it's perfect; his dick is throbbing, but he almost hopes Lincecum doesn't let him come. Not that he's likely to, what with Buster disobeying an order back there. His mood plummets; yeah, Lincecum got off, but he can't be happy with Buster right now.

"Kneel up," Lincecum says. Buster waits until Lincecum finishes zipping up before he goes down into obeisance, forehead on the carpeted floor. "Well then, what the hell am I supposed to do with you? Because I can totally understand you being curious." He pauses and when he speaks again, his voice is hard. "But you're not here to be curious."

Buster winces, because, God what a stupid, newbie mistake. He could have looked without Lincecum noticing or he could have just not looked because, hopefully, he'll see his Master's dick up close and personal at some point soon. He should have waited.

"Tim...oh hey, what did he do?"

Oh great, now Hunter's going to know too. Given that Hunter was the one to pick Buster out, Buster hates to reflect badly on him, if for no other reason than not wanting to get punished twice.

"Checked my dick out when I was jackin' it."

"Are we punishing people for that these days? Because, if we are, I'm in big trouble."

Well that answers one question. It brings up a host of others but, Buster shoves them aside; he needs to pay attention here.

"Since he's supposed to be looking me in the eyes, yes, we are."

Actually, Buster thinks, all Lincecum said "look at me" but there's no way he's going to bring that up. He's not stupid; he knew what Lincecum meant at the time.

"You want to think how to deal with him over during dinner?"

"Yeah." Lincecum snaps his fingers. "Up, boy. Come with us."

Just as they reach the small dining room, the cook wheels a cart up to the door. "Thanks, Sandy," Hunter says. "Buster will take it from here."

"We're gonna have to get him an apron or something," Lincecum says as Buster carefully sets dinner out. "He's good at this, but he's also kinda messy right now. No," he says, turning to Buster. "Hunter will open the wine. He's weird about that. Come kneel next to me."

Once again, there's a thick pad for Buster to kneel on. He settles down and gets as comfortable as he can under the circumstances, which, between the butt plug and the fact that he's covered in dried come, isn't very comfortable. After his late lunch, he's not particularly hungry, but the food smells amazing and he kind of hopes Lincecum is into hand feeding his slaves.

Lincecum and Hunter talk about some obscure classic British bike Lincecum is thinking about buying and then move on to some game for the PS4 Buster's never heard of. He pays close attention, though, hoping he'll be able to go online and look stuff up at some point. The thought brings him up short because there's nothing that says they have to give him any kind of internet access. He's allowed to contact his current trainer any time he wants to and he's supposed to be able to talk to his family on a regular basis but that's it. Yeah, he thinks, because it's not like he hasn't spent the last four years avoiding his family.

"I just hope they do something about pitching during the off-season," Lincecum says, jerking Buster's attention back to the conversation. "That's what killed us this year."

"Well, that and the DL," Hunter says. "No fucking depth on the bench and then we lose our best power bat and our lead off hitter. And don't even talk to me about second base."

"Well, I think Panik's doing fine at second."

The Giants, Buster thinks. Makes sense given the Silicon Valley connection. All though, come to think of it, he's not sure where Lincecum's based. Silicon Valley? San Francisco?

"Too little, too late," Hunter says.

"I was thinking about getting a little more involved," Lincecum says. "Where involved means money."

"What, you're gonna sponsor replays or something?"

Lincecum laughs and Buster looks down at the floor, trying not to join him. Of course the movement catches Lincecum's eyes. "You a fan?"

"Yes, Master."

"Let me guess," Hunter says. "The Braves."

"Yes, Sir."

"Because that wasn't an easy guess," Lincecum says. "So, what's your thought on replays?" When Buster hesitates, Lincecum reaches down and rests a hand on his shoulder. "You won't get in trouble in this house for an opinion on baseball even if you're in favor of the DH."

Buster shakes his head. "I'm not, Master. And I think, if they're really concerned with getting the play right, the replay system shouldn't be so clumsy."

"So you don't think there should be a set number of challenges?" Hunter asks.

"No, Sir. If they want to speed up the game, people need to stop stepping out of the box all the time. And praying on the mound."

"Boy's not stupid," Hunter says.

"I don't mind the pace," Lincecum says. "You want fast, watch basketball or hockey. I mean, look at football with the endless replays. You like football?"

"Yes, Master." Buster thinks about mentioning the fantasy league, but no, that's slave stuff. "My first owner liked the Patriots."

"I'm sorry," Hunter says and then laughs.

"Look who's talking," Lincecum says. "America's team, my ass."

"Hey, don't be hatin' on Dallas." Hunter pauses to drink some wine. "You really want give the Giants some money? Why not just see if you can become a partner?"

"Yeah, because I make such a good partner. I want to give them some money, not own part of the team."

"You could just buy the stadium rights from AT&T." For all that they've been joking around, Hunter sounds dead serious. And why not? Lincecum can afford it.

"Too splashy, no pun intended. I'm gonna have Angel talk to their people, see what we can throw together."

"We should go to Spring Training next year," Hunter says.

"Yeah, we should. Talk to Angel and make sure it gets onto the calendar."

Buster wonders what it would be like, to be that close to the game. What it would be like to see all the hopefuls trying to make the roster he once dreamed of making. Lincecum's hand goes a little tight on his shoulder and Buster braces himself for a question. Is his aborted college career as a ball player mentioned in his file? Lincecum doesn't say anything, though.

As the conversation moves on to some friends of Lincecum's who are getting married, Buster relaxes a little. Lincecum doesn't seem like the type to look for some huge Tragic Backstory that led his poor boy into this life. And it's not like Buster's background is all that tragic. Even if he hadn't gotten hurt as a sophomore, he'd never really been good enough to make it to the big leagues. Going to Spring Training might be weird, but then again, Buster can watch the Braves without getting too mopey about how he once pitched to Jason Hayward back in high school.

Besides, it would be different being there with his Master.

Lincecum's hand moves across Buster's shoulder to rest on the back of his neck, right against the collar. Buster shivers, all thought of baseball vanishing. Just like that, he suddenly very aware of the plug that's still inside him. "Is that a spot?" Lincecum asks. "The back of your neck?"

"Yes, Master."

"Where else?" Hunter asks.

"Five," Lincecum says. "Tell us five of your hot spots. I mean besides, you know, the obvious ones like your prostate and your nipples."

"Yes, Master." Buster pauses to figure out how to answer. No one's ever asked him before and he can't help wondering what Linecum's going to do with the information. Well no, he's pretty sure he knows that. "The small of my back, my palms, the insides of my ankles, my scalp if someone's pulling my hair, and my earlobes."

"You should have seen him when I got my fingers into his hair," Hunter says.

"Yeah?" Lincecum's hand leaves Buster's neck and just as Buster's expecting Lincecum to pull his hair, he pinches Buster's earlobe instead. Buster doesn't quite whimper, or maybe he does, just a little.

"Okay, yeah." Lincecum does it again. "I want to pierce them."

And of course, Buster's thought about it; it's in his file. But still....

"Tell us what you're thinking," Lincecum says.

"That I'd look silly, Master." And God, he really wishes they'd stop asking him shit like that. And that he'd stop being so...transparent.

"He is pretty butch," Hunter says.

"And he can't look butch with earrings?" Lincecum pinches his ear again.

"Are you sure? Take at least twenty-four hours and then, if you still want to do it, ask him again."

"Who's in charge here again?" Lincecum sounds genuinely annoyed and Buster goes very still. While it's important for him to learn just how they work together, this is pretty awkward.

"Sorry," Hunter says. "I just...."

"I do actually think things through, you know," Lincecum says. He looks down at Buster. "I want to do your ears and your nipples; give me an answer in the morning."

"Yes, Master."

"And it's not all or nothing; if you only want one and not the other, tell me."

"Yes, Master."

Lincecum and Hunter eat in silence for a while and it's not as uncomfortable as Buster feared it would be. "Here, you've gotta taste this," Lincecum says. He's holding a small piece of lamb in his fingers. "I don't know if there are gonna be leftovers in the kitchen or not."

Buster's careful--lips instead of teeth--as he takes the lamb out of Lincecum's fingers. It is good, really good; he should remember to tell Ms. Mendez that. Once he's done chewing, he leans in a little and licks Lincecum's fingers clean. "Thank you, Master."

"He's very correct," Lincecum says and for some reason, Buster's not sure Lincecum thinks that's a good thing.

"I told you that, too," Hunter says. If he's annoyed with Lincecum for snapping at him, it doesn't show in his voice.

"So you did."

Lincecum feeds Buster a couple more pieces of lamb and then leans back in his chair and looks down at him. "You have a half hour to shower, get something to eat and then get ready for bed. Hunter will be along to...tuck you in." He gets up and sighs. "I was going to play with you some more tonight, but now I won't. I can't."

Buster hates it when he's punished like this; it's one thing to be denied, but knowing that his own mistake means his Master's doing without is awful. And maybe it's in his file or maybe Lincecum just guessed, but he clearly knows that this is a real punishment.

"I'm sorry, Master," he says, going down into obeisance again.

"For what?"

"Disobedience, Master," Buster says. "For taking my eyes off your face."

"I didn't actually tell you to keep looking at my face."

So Lincecum does remember that. Of course he does, Buster thinks. Before he can figure out what to say, Lincecum continues. "But that's what I meant, of course, and you knew it."

"Yes, Master."

"Okay, go."

Buster gets to his feet, bows and then leaves the room. Fuck fuck fuck...he's belonged to Lincecum for what, just about twenty-four hours and he's already fucked up enough to be punished. Great.

Showering feels good--he was getting pretty itchy by the end of dinner--but he knows better than to take the plug out. The shorts he wore earlier are on his bed; he pulls them on and heads toward the kitchen. There's only one person in it; a guy about Buster's age and size. "I think I'm wearing your shorts," Buster says.

"Yeah, I'm Brad." He doesn't offer his hand and Buster doesn't either.

"Buster."

"Right." Brand gestures at the fridge. "There's always sandwich stuff in there. If there's leftovers we can eat, they're in the tupperware with the red lids."

"Thanks," Buster says. He makes himself a ham sandwich and joins Brad at the table. Keeping an eye on the clock, he eats quickly. Looking up at one point, he catches Brad staring at him.

"I dunno how you do it."

"Do what?"

"The whole slave thing."

Buster shrugs, although it's an odd question from an Establishment hire. "The money's good and I'm kinky. I'm getting paid to do stuff I'd do for free. And it's safe."

"Not that safe. You don't have a word or anything."

"No," Buster says. "But he can't do any permanent damage or anything that scars me for life. "

"Yeah, I know that, but...."

"But?"

"It's just, I'm new here and it's my first job through the Establishment, so, sorry if I'm asking dumb questions." Brad ducks his head a little and doesn't look at Buster.

"It's okay."

"Aren't you, like, scared?"

"Yeah," Buster says with a smile. "But it's a good scared. Someone I know compared it to a roller coaster. Or...Master rides motorcycles, right? It's like riding fast on a dangerous road, only you're a passenger."

"And you get your ass beat a lot."

"True, but I like getting my ass beat, so that's not exactly a downside." Buster glances at the clock again. "Look, I'm not being rude, but if I don't get back to my room pretty soon, I'm not going to have time to brush my teeth and stuff."

"You have a...what, a bed time?"

"Sort of," Buster says as he quickly puts his dishes in the dishwasher. "I'm in trouble, so I'm sleeping by myself tonight. Mr. Pence is going to come down and check on me." He turns and looks at Brad, whose eyes are wide, probably at the idea of Buster being in trouble. Buster can't help wondering what he'd think if he knew about the butt plug.

"I really don't mind answering questions, because I know this is pretty damn weird at first. So next time I have some free time and you're around, it's okay to ask."

"Thanks. Oh hey, keep the shorts if you need them."

Buster thinks he's got a couple minutes to spare when he's done in the bathroom, so he settles on his knees by the bed and tries to get himself back into the right headspace. As always, looking at his situation through a stranger's eyes makes him feel weird. He's a grown man, with money in the bank and skills that would enable him to walk into a good job and here he is kneeling on the floor waiting for someone to come and put him to bed.

Also, he thinks as he tries not to squirm, he's got a big damn butt plug stuffed up his ass. Because that's not weird at all. But if it is weird, then he is too because now that he's kneeling here with nothing to think about but the plug, he's already getting hard again. I'm in trouble, he tells himself. They're not going to let him get off tonight, but his dick doesn't care.

When Hunter shows up, Buster wants to put his head down again, but no, he's already admitted the mistake and had his punishment handed down. Still....

"I'm very sorry, Sir."

"I know," Hunter says. "Get the blanket off the bed and put the pillow in the closet."

So he'll also be sleeping on the floor. "Yes, Sir."

"You can sleep on the carpet," Hunter says as he crouches down next to the bed. "Now come a little closer...that's it." He clips the chain from earlier to Buster's collar and then attaches it to one of the bed's legs. "Now," he says, giving Buster a sharp slap on the arm. "Get that ass in the air."

"Yes, Sir."

Hunter doesn't just pull the plug out in one go. He teases Buster, all but fucking him with it for several minutes. By the time he finally pulls it out, Buster's panting and hard as a rock. Again. Hunter doesn't tell him to move, so he stays down. Hunter's right behind him and Buster almost jumps out of his skin when Hunter runs a hand up the inside of his thigh.

"He likes you," Hunter says. "He's got all kinds of things planned to do to you." He presses against Buster's thigh and Buster spreads his legs a little more. They stay like that for a long moment, Hunter's hand still on his thigh, and all Buster can think about is what he must look like.

You're a fucking sex slave...so look like one.

Hunter doesn't tell Buster to move, even when he gets to his feet and heads out the door. "Ellie will come and unchain you in time for breakfast," he says. "What happens after that is up to Tim."

"Yes, Sir."

"After I leave, count to one thousand and then you can break position. Oh, and Buster?"

"Yes, Sir?"

"Next time we punish you, it'll be a lot worse."

"Yes, Sir. Thank you, Sir."

By the time Buster's done counting, he's all over the place mentally. If he'd been good maybe he would be in Lincecum's bedroom in this position right now, begging his Master to use him. Or maybe he'd just be down on the floor like this while Lincecum looked at him. Maybe they'd beat him again or both use him at the same time.

But no, he fucked up, so instead, he's here--hard and desperate and alone.

He stretches a little, rolling his shoulders and doing a couple of quick sit ups--it helps and it doesn't, because each time he moves, the chain clinks, reminding him of his place. Once he's settled down on the carpet, he tries to relax. Twenty-four hours ago he was on a plane, on his way to meet his new owner.

And now that he has? Now that he's been in this house for a day? He's incredibly unsettled. Lincecum is a weird mix of casual, geeky, gamer dude and strict master and Buster still doesn't know what to make of him. And Hunter...he still can't figure out what's going on there. They're lovers, at least some of the time, but Lincecum's toppy even with Hunter. Buster's met enough switches in his day not to make assumptions, but he finds it hard to imagine Hunter on his knees.

Now that he thinks about it, though, he didn't know what to make of Ms. Fowler during his first days with her. Same with Mr. Koffman. Buster takes a deep breath and lets it out. He learned what his place was in both those households and he went on to be a good slave with nothing but praise for his behavior and a bonus at the end of each contract even though he'd been punished more than once.

Early days, he tells himself. And for all he knows, that might be literal. He has no idea what time breakfast is, so he pulls the blanket over himself, pillows his head on his arm and slows his breathing.

Fuck, he thinks, just as he's about to drop off. Lincecum wants to have him pierced. Why the hell didn't he just put "nothing visible" or "nothing at all" in his file? If he agrees to having his ears pierced, will he look ridiculous? He thinks about what Lincecum said about being butch with pierced ears, but still, it doesn't fit with Buster's type, with the whole all American, boy next door look.

Can you feel earrings after a while? Because if he always knew they were there, it would be like the collar, another reminder of what he is. And what about nipple rings? Supposedly they make you more sensitive but would they look stupid on him? Sophie, Ms. Fowler's girl, had pierced nipples. And a pierced clit too, but he never got close enough to see that. She liked them and so, Buster remembers, did Ms. Fowler. And maybe that's enough of a reason to do it.

Buster falls asleep without making up his mind.

Chapter Text

It's early and Buster's only been awake for a few minutes when Ellie walks into his room. "You've got about ten minutes before breakfast, and then after that, you're supposed to take breakfast in for Mr. Lincecum and Mr. Pence," she says. "There are clothes in the bathroom for you." She unclips his chain. "You okay?"

"A little stiff, but that's all."

The clothes turn out to be a pair of plain black pants and a long black apron without a bib. Someone, he thinks as he gets dressed, has a sense of humor. He looks like a waiter in a bistro, only without the white or black shirt. And, since he hasn't got come all over him like he did last night, he's probably okay to serve breakfast.

First he has to get through his own breakfast. The whole staff is in the room and, fortunately, everyone's more concerned with food than anything else. He meets Mr. Thompson, the gardener and they exchange a few words. Thompson's an older guy and Buster gets the impression that nothing at all would phase him.

Breakfast itself is good--eggs, bacon, potatoes and scones. Buster doesn't get to try the scones though; as soon as they're out of the oven, Ms. Mendez is loading up the serving cart with covered plates, a basket of scones, a big carafe of coffee and the rest of the breakfast things. She glances at the clock and then nods at Buster.

"Go ahead and set up breakfast; Mr, Pence will be down soon."

Her timing turns out be good; Buster's just set everything up when Hunter comes into the dining room. He pauses and looks Buster over as Buster goes to his knees.

"That works."

Assuming he means the clothes, Buster ducks his head and says, "thank you, Sir."

"Tim will wander down at some point, but until he does, come kneel by me."

After Hunter's eaten in silence for a while, he finally glances down at Buster. "So, you need some things."

"Sir?"

"A phone, for one. And a MacBook, or are you a Windows guy?"

"I've used both, Sir."

"Good. I'll get you set up later today. As for the schedule, here's how it works. If you don't actually eat with us--which is, by the way, a privilege you haven't earned yet--you'll usually have breakfast and dinner before we do. Lunch before or after, depending on the day's schedule. Unless we're doing a whole thing, we don't consider being fed from the table to be a real meal."

Well thank God for that; being hand-fed is hot, but it's a slow process. Most people get bored with it. "Yes, Sir."

"As for downtime, normally, you'll get at least a couple of hours, usually a fair amount more, very occasionally less. During your downtime you can work out or mess around online or help the staff or nap or whatever. We're not much into communications restrictions; you can have as much contact with the rest of the world as you want, but only during downtime unless you really need to talk to Allyson or your family.

All of this is fairly standard, so Buster just bows his head and says, "Thank you, Sir."

"Like I said, you can help the staff if you want to, but there's one thing to remember--they don't have any privileges when it comes to you. Strictly hands off and it works both ways." He sounds kind of emphatic about it; Buster wonders if there have been problems with boys in the past. It's just as well though, from what Buster's seen and heard, slaves and hired household staff getting involved is usually a bad idea.

"Tim's still trying to figure out...."

"Everything," Lincecum says from the doorway. He's wearing a pair of baggy sweats and plain white t-shirt and his hair still a little tangled. "Right now, Tim wants to figure out coffee."

Buster gets to his feet and pours Lincecum a cup of coffee and takes the cover off his breakfast plate. "You look like a waiter at a breakfast place on Castro. I like it," Lincecum says, patting Buster's ass. "Down," he adds, pointing to the kneeling pad near his chair.

"No shoes, no shirt, but plenty of service," Hunter says with a snicker. Lincecum snorts and they eat in silence for a while.

"Here, have some of this," Lincecum says after a moment. As he feeds Buster a piece of scone, he says, "what haven't I figured out yet?"

"What he's going to wear."

Lincecum feeds Buster more of the scone. "I wish we could keep him naked, but that really doesn't work when he's serving food. Also, once it starts getting cool, that's going to be a problem." He looks down at Buster as Buster takes another piece of scone from his fingers.

"What he's got on works for meals; I really do like the waiter look. The rest of the time...jeans but no shirts for now," he finally says. "A couple white button downs in case he goes into town with us and for later when it gets cooler. Oh and t-shirts so he can do stuff outside. Shoes and socks--whatever seems right--but only outside the house. We'll worry about what he wears in the city later."

In Northern California, Buster remembers, "the city" means San Francisco. He's never been to San Francisco, not even to the Establishment's club there. It's supposed to be one of the nicer ones; he can't wait to see it. Provided, of course, that Lincecum is into public play.

"Tight jeans?"

"Find a brand that shows off his ass or have some altered or something. Not too tight though and not skinny; he needs to be able to kneel in them." He pauses while Buster licks crumbs off his fingers. "Button fly."

Oh good, Buster thinks. It's a lot easier to go commando in button fly jeans.

"Speaking of his ass, want me to get him a couple jocks? Maybe black?"

"Mmmm, yeah. He'll sleep naked unless I say otherwise." Lincecum reaches out and pinches Buster's earlobe, smiling a little when Buster squirms. "What did you decide, by the way?"

"Both, please, Master," Buster says, and it's weird, how easy the decision turned out to be. "Ears and nipples."

"Okay," Lincecum says with a big smile that makes Buster realize just how attractive he can be. "Once he's got some clothes, take him to that place in Sonoma."

"I could do it this afternoon. There's the stuff he wore on the flight here."

"Okay, but just his ears this afternoon." Lincecum runs his hand down Buster's chest. When he reaches one of Buster's nipples, he pinches it hard. Buster's breath catches and then he moans softly when Lincecum does it again. "I want to play with these this morning."

Buster puts his hands behind his back and arches his back just a little.

"Yeah," Lincecum says. "Stay like that."

He alternates playing with Buster's nipples and eating until he's finished with breakfast. Buster does his best to keep still through the whole thing, but he doesn't keep quiet. By the time Lincecum leans back in his chair Buster's face is hot because he's been down here on the floor whimpering while Lincecum plays with him.

"Okay. I've got a couple phone calls to make. Hunter, take him down to the game room and put him on the wall, would ya?" He pinches Buster's nipple again, grinning when Buster gasps. "Go ahead and start without me."

"Don't forget to call the office in...."

"Seattle to talk about the delays on the project."

"Try not to make anyone cry." Hunter pauses and then grins. "Aside from Buster here."

"I was gonna say...."

Once they reach the game room and Buster's stripped, Hunter puts cuffs on his ankles and wrists. They're nice--heavy padded leather in a sort of dark ox-blood color. "Black's a timeless fucking classic, but gets boring after a while, doesn't it?"

Buster can't help smiling, even as he turns his wrist, enjoying the feeling of being cuffed again. "After four years, it's nice to see something that's not black, Sir."

"Four years and two owners. I think that makes you a veteran," Hunter says. "Now come over here, against the wall...that's right, now raise your arms...."

Just like that, Buster finds himself cuffed to heavy rings set into the wall. His legs are spread a little, but he's still standing and able to rest all of his weight on his feet. His arms are cuffed above his head, but Hunter's careful and checks to make sure they're not taking any of his weight.

To Buster's surprise, Hunter steps back once he's made sure Buster's securely in place. He doesn't do anything, just stands and stares at Buster for a long time. Forced by the house rules to meet Hunter's gaze, Buster finds himself becoming more and more aware of just how vulnerable he is. He wants to duck his head, wants to close his eyes, but aside from blinking when he needs to, he can't look away.

"You don't like it, do you?"

"Sir?"

"Having to look at us."

"We're trained to think it's disrespectful, Sir."

Hunter snorts. "You're also trained to give very diplomatic non-answers to questions you don't want to answer."

It's totally true, but since Hunter didn't actually ask a question or give an order, Buster remains silent. They stay like that for a moment--Buster bound to the wall and Hunter looking him over--and then finally Hunter takes a step forward. Resting a hand on Buster's chest, he leaves it there for a long moment before trailing a finger down Buster's body. His touch, when he reaches Buster's dick, is very gentle, but Buster still has to fight the urge to shove his hips forward to get more.

"Is it the bondage? Or the scrutiny? Or what Tim was doing earlier? Maybe anticipation?" He's staring at Buster the way he did before the auction; blue eyes a little wide, like he's trying to see as much of Buster as he can. Buster wonders if he'll get used to it. Maybe he'll get used to Hunter asking him just what has him turned on, too. For now though, he's getting a little tired of the questions.

"All of it, Sir."

"Not coming in, what is it, five days? That probably has something to do with it."

"That too, Sir."

"Is that the first sign of a dry sense of humor? No, don't bother to answer."

Even though Hunter's hand is right there, it comes as a shock when he wraps his fingers around Buster's dick and strokes it hard. Buster groans and just barely remembers to keep his eyes open. "Are you like this when it's been a few hours instead of five days?"

"If I've been played with, then yes, Sir," Buster says.

"So, you were right. About being a slut, I mean."

Right now, as his face goes hot, Buster really wishes he had kept his damn mouth shut back in New York. Again, it's not a question, so Buster doesn't reply. Not that it matters, with Hunter staring at him.

"You might want to think about acting like one."

"I...." Buster knows he should answer this time, but he doesn't have the words. Fortunately, his hesitation gives him an out. "I'm sorry, Sir."

Hunter's mouth crooks up like he knows exactly what Buster's doing. Buster waits for him to say something, to call him on it or even explain, but Hunter just jerks him a couple more times before letting go.

"We could make it six days," Hunter says. "Or two weeks...a month."

"Yes, Sir," Buster says, his voice a little shaky. "You could."

"Would you like it if we did?" Lincecum says as he walks into the room. He's changed into jeans and an ugly checked shirt that looks like something one of Buster's cousins would wear, and he's got a riding crop in his hand.

"Seattle's gonna call me back," he says to Hunter. "Dave was in a meeting."

"He's...."

"Stalling, yeah, I know. We'll deal with it later." He flicks the crop at Buster, the tip hitting one of Buster's nipples with painful accuracy. Buster catches his breath but doesn't move.

"So," Lincecum says. "Answer my question."

"If it was what you wanted, Master, then yes, I would like it."

"Jesus," Hunter mutters. "Another stock answer."

"No," Linccum says. "He meant that, didn't you, Buster?"

For a moment, Buster's seriously annoyed. Maybe he's dodged some of their questions, but he hasn't lied. He's meant everything he's said. Hell, he's said more than he's really wanted to.

"Yes, Master," he says, hoping he's keeping his irritation to himself.

Apparently he is, because Lincecum just nods. "Of course," he says. "If we deprived you for a whole month, we'd have to lock this up to keep you from losing it in the middle of the night." He flicks the crop again, this time the tip of it lands on the shaft of Buster's dick.

It hurts like fuck; Buster yelps and has to force himself to keep looking at Lincecum's face. Lincecum's staring at him the way he did yesterday, his gaze intent and even a little greedy. "Maybe you'll be able to get his nipples done today after all. I think I want to play with this instead."

He smacks Buster's dick again and then a third time. You forget, Buster thinks, just how much it hurts. He can't keep from making noise and he's twisting in the cuffs by the time Lincecum's hit him five times.

"When he was on the block," Hunter says. "Allyson said he could come just from being hurt."

"Yeah, I saw that in his file." Lincecum flicks the crop again, smiling as Buster cries out. "Can you? From this kind of pain?"

"Yes, Master," Buster manages to say before Lincecum lands another swift smack. "Oh...oh God...."

"I think he likes it," Hunter says. "Don't you, boy?"

"Yes...yes, Sir."

"Do you want to come like this?" Lincecum asks, smacking Buster's dick again. "And do not tell me it's up to me; I fucking know that."

"Please," Buster gasps. "Please, Master."

The crop flicks out again; Lincecum's not hitting him quite as hard as he did at first, but he doesn't have to. Buster's sensitive enough now that each blow is agonizing. He's grateful for the cuffs; is his hands weren't bound, he'd be tempted to cover his dick up.

His eyes are starting to water now, and in spite of being bound to the wall, he can't stop twisting. He's not trying to avoid the crop, well, not exactly. Every time Lincecum hits him, the pain makes him turn away, but then he's forcing himself to turn back, to give Lincecum a target. It's fucking painful and so, so fucking perfect.

"Please, Master," he says, clenching his fists as he tries to concentrate. "Oh God...please!"

"There we go," Hunter says, staring at Buster just as avidly as Lincecum is.

Before Buster can try and figure that out, Lincecum pushes the tip of the riding crop right up under Buster's chin. "I don't have to let you," he says. "I could stop right now, leave you with a sore dick and no relief."

"Yes...yes, Master."

"Why can I do that?"

Buster takes a deep but shaky breath and lets it out. "Because you own me, Master. Because I'm...I'm your slave."

"You know it and I know it," Lincecum says. He pulls the crop back and smacks Buster's cheek with the leather tip. It's hard enough to sting and close enough to Buster's eyes that he closes them reflexively. If Lincecum does that too many more times, Buster knows he'll come with or without permission.

"So don't you ever tell me something's up to me, is that clear? You're not here to tell me the fucking obvious, is that clear?"

"Yes, Master," Buster manages to say. He doesn't even know what to think right now; all he can do is concentrate on Lincecum's face.

"Try to remember it," Lincecum says, landing another blow on Buster's cheek.

"Yes, Master," Buster says, his voice choked and breathless.

"Five more," Lincecum says. "Five more and then, on number six, you can come."

Before Buster can acknowledge the order, Lincecum smacks his cheek again. The next blow lands on the underside of his arm. It stings and the pain is even more shocking because he didn't expect it. Another blow, this one to the other arm and even though Buster was expecting this one, he lets out a harsh groan.

Three, he thinks. Three more.

The crop moves down now and Buster's braced for another blow to his dick. Instead, Lincecum lands numbers four and five high on Buster's hip. Buster may not know what Lincecum's full strength is, but he's hitting Buster pretty damn hard; both blows hurt like hell. No matter where Lincecum hits him next, he'll be able to come.

"You want another one?"

"Please...please, please, Master!"

"Where?"

The words "wherever you want" are on the tip of Buster's tongue and damn Lincecum for making him have to think right now. He's not sure if he's allowed say that so he doesn't. But he can't say anything else, can't say what he wants, so he ends up staring at Lincecum almost helplessly.

Buster's so caught up in what's going on in his head; he barely hears Hunter say, "Tim, you're pushing...."

"I know," Lincecum says. "Anywhere?" he asks, looking right at Buster.

"Yes...please, Master," Buster says, not caring if he sounds as relieved as he is. "Anywhere...please...."

Lincecum takes half a step back and Buster braces himself. He's still forcing himself to look at Lincecum's face, so he doesn't even see the crop move.

It lands on high on the inside of his thigh; right where he's most sensitive. Even as he lets out a loud, strangled yell, he comes so hard his knees give out. His mind goes completely blank, leaving him with nothing to do but feel as it goes on and on, rolling over him like an all-encompassing wave.

After what seems like forever, he's vaguely aware of someone pressed up against him. He's got to open his eyes, he thinks. He's got to look at his Master because that's the house rule, but when he finally does manage it, he sees Hunter's face only inches from his own.

"You back?" Hunter says just as Buster realizes Hunter's holding him up, keeping him from putting too much weight on his wrists.

"Next time," he hears Lincecum say. "You might want to use suspension cuffs."

"You think?"

"'m back, Sir," Buster mumbles. Get it together, he tells himself. He gets his weight back onto his own feet and nods at Hunter. "Thank you, Sir."

Hunter waits a minute and then steps back, leaving Buster looking at Lincecum. "Master," Buster says. "Thank you...oh God...thank you so much, Master."

When Lincecum steps up until he's almost as close as Hunter was, Buster leans his head forward a little. He's not even sure why or what he wants, but then Lincecum reaches up and rests a hand on the back of his neck and yes, that's what Buster wanted.

"You were good," Lincecum says.

"Thank you, Master." But even as Buster says it, he remembers not being able to answer Lincecum's question earlier. "I didn't," he begins.

"Shhhh," Lincecum says. Moving his hand from Buster's neck, he rests a couple of fingers against Buster's mouth. "Early days...it's okay."

Buster's not so sure, but he's not about to contradict Lincecum, certainly not after such an awesome orgasm. The spot on his inner thigh still hurts and his dick is sore and the heat on his cheek is, for once, not due to embarrassment. It feels fucking fantastic, but he's acutely aware that it's also very one sided.

He can't say anything though, not with Lincecum's fingers pressed against his mouth like this. So he kisses Lincecum's fingers instead. A careful press of his lips against warm skin, it's the way he would kiss someone's hand or shoe or a cane. He did the same thing yesterday, he remembers. He wants to do more, wants to offer up...well, whatever Lincecum wants.

But Lincecum just pats his cheek gently and looks over at Hunter. "Take him down," he says.

As Hutner unclips the cuffs from the rings on the wall, Buster realizes that not only is he a mess, but he messed up Hunter when Hunter had to hold him up. "I'm sorry, Sir," he says, once Hunter's released him.

"For what?" Hunter asks as Buster goes down on his knees.

Behind Hunter, Lincecum laughs. "Dude, you've got come all over you."

"Oh, that. It's my own fault for not using suspension cuffs on him." He turns to look down at Buster. "Do you usually lose it so much you can't stand?"

"Sometimes, Sir. When...." God he's tired of having to meet their eyes at the time. He wants to duck his head as he says the next words, but he can't. "When it happens because someone is hurting me, it can be a little overwhelming, Sir."

"Make a note of that," Lincecum says. "And, you know, I think that's the most I've heard him say at once. Well aside talking about baseball."

Buster bites his lower lip, because he's not here to talk. Or at least not here to explain himself all the damn time. He's here to serve his Master.

"Please, Master," he says. "May I...."

"Not yet," Lincecum says and is he going to keep anticipating Buster's questions like this?. "But Hunter here...." He rests a hand on Hunter's shoulder. "Does he owe you anything for getting come all over your clothes?"

It's weird, because it's a joking sort of a question, but there's something underneath it, almost like Lincecum's giving an order without really saying anything. Or fuck, maybe Buster's imagining things. He still hasn't figured them out and he probably won't for a while.

"Kneel up over there," Hunter says, pointing to a spot in front of the big sofa. "Don't bother getting to your feet."

Buster's face feels like it's on fire; crawling always makes him feel huge and clumsy. Neither of them laugh at him though. In fact, they're not really paying any attention; Hunter's undressing and Lincecum is...digging around in the couch?

"There it is," Lincecum says, holding up the bottle of lube from yesterday. "Fucking couch eats everything." He tosses it to Hunter.

This has to be the weirdest household any slave's ever been a part of.

"Present," Hunter snaps.

Buster's response is automatic; he bends over, forehead to the floor, with his knees spread and his back arched. His mental response is equally automatic--it's like he can hear himself begging for it like he did in training. Please fuck me, please use me, please please please....

"Jesus fucking Christ," Hunter says as he crouches down behind Buster. "You'd have to be fucking dead to not want some of that."

"Kinda looks like a slut, doesn't he?"

"Do you, Buster?"

Buster's just had an amazing orgasm, he's still sore and riding a bit of an endorphin rush, but still that doesn't explain why he opens his mouth and says, "I sure hope so, Sir."

Both men laugh, but it's not cruel laughter; they're not making fun of him at all. Buster still wishes he could just sink into the floor or take his words back or maybe both. What the hell was he thinking?

"If you even think of apologizing," Lincecum says. He doesn't finish the threat, but it's enough to make Buster close his mouth on the apology he was about to utter. "I want a fucking slave, you know? Not a robot."

Before Buster can figure out how to respond, Hunter presses two slick fingers into him. It burns a little, but Buster just spreads his legs a further apart. It's a bit soon for him to get it up again, but still, right now, rough sex sounds like the best idea ever.

He closes his eyes, wanting to concentrate on Hunter. He needs to learn how Hunter fucks, what he likes; a slave is supposed to be able to anticipate and move just the right way. At least, he thinks, the house rule can't apply when he's staring at the floor. He waits to be told to look up or to go up on all fours, but no one says anything.

Hunter doesn't bother with much in the way of prep, but he's generous with the lube so it's not too bad when he pushes in hard. He starts up right away too, setting up a quick rhythm. A couple of quick strokes and Buster starts rocking back to meet him, shivering a little at the way it sounds. He's not going to come from this, but he still likes the way it feels--just a little painful after coming so recently--and he likes hearing the slap of skin against skin.

"Stop it," Hunter snaps. "Quit moving."

And fine, Buster likes this too, likes being down on the floor getting fucked by someone who's just using him to get off. He bites his lip against a moan when Hunter grabs his hips and slams into him harder and faster.

"Dude," Lincecum says. "You look like a fucking jack rabbit."

"Fuck...you." Hunter says as Buster bites his lip again, this time to keep from laughing. Because it does kind of feel that way.

"Yeah no," Lincecum says. "That's what we have Buster for, right, boy?"

"Yes, Master."

"You like it, don't you?" Lincecum asks.

Oh God, questions again.

"Being used? Yes...Yes, Master."

"Do you...fuck...you two mind?" Hunter shoves into Buster and then stops moving. "Trying to fuck him, here."

"Then why'd you stop?" There's that hard edge to Lincecum's voice again; Buster doesn't think its a coincidence that Hunter's fingers dig into Buster's hips a little harder. But he also starts moving again, fucking Buster with that same quick, rough motion.

Maybe, Buster thinks as he tries to concentrate on Hunter and not on the dynamic between the two men. Maybe he was wrong about not getting it up again. Hunter's not even hitting his prostate with each stroke, but that doesn't matter. Buster's getting fucked, being used, and it's good, good enough to get his dick interested again. His breath speeds up and he arches his back a little more.

"Yeah...like that... fuck, oh...fuck!" Hunter slams into him one more time and then he's coming, his grip on Buster's hip so tight Buster's sure he'll have bruises.

"Nice," Lincecum says after a second.

"Yeah, he is." Hunter's still breathless as he pulls out and damnit, Buster doesn't know if there are towels in the room or not. Next downtime, he'll have to check. And make sure the lube isn't down between the couch cushions again.

"Stay down," Lincecum says. "Hunter..."

"Yeah," Hunter says.

Behind him, Buster can hear Hunter moving around--maybe mopping up with his shirt--and then he sees his feet as he walks past Buster. It sounds like he's settling on the couch and then Buster can hear the slick sound of skin on skin.

Oh God, he thinks. He's here on the floor, still exposed and open after being fucked, while he listens to Hunter jack Lincecum off. He feels dirty, good for only this, like the slut he called himself, like the slut they want him to be. There's come sliding down his thigh and his dick hurts as he gets harder; it's all so fucking perfect that he can't help whining a little in the back of his throat.

"Mmmm...yeah," Lincecum says. "Hands and knees, boy...look at me."

His Master's leaning against Hunter while Hunter jerks him off, but he's staring right at Buster. As Buster forces himself to meet Lincecum's eyes, he feels stripped bare. He's suddenly aware of the collar around his neck and the sting of the marks Lincecum left with his crop.

Lincecum doesn't say anything as he stares at Buster. Buster makes that noise again, that little whimper he can't always hold back, and Lincecum smiles at him before his eyes drift shut. Buster wants to look down, wants to see Hunter's hand on Lincecum's dick, but he knows better.

So instead, he watches Lincecum's face, even though it's weird to watch Lincecum as closely as Lincecum's been watching him. He shouldn't being doing this, shouldn't be seeing his Master look that vulnerable. He wants to drop his gaze, but he's stuck watching as Lincecum grits his teeth and then throws his head back against Hunter's shoulder and comes with a rough groan.

"Get over here," Hunter says.

"Yes, Sir," Buster says, tearing his eyes away from Lincecum's face.

"Yeah. Cleanup on aisle three," Lincecum says, as Buster crawls toward them. His voice soft and a little slurred, and he's smiling.

Buster fights back a laugh, because seriously? But then he's kneeling up and bending over Lincecum's lap and it's not funny. He knows a lot of people would think this was gross, but, as he starts carefully licking Lincecum's cock and Hunter's hand clean, he feels good...useful. And yes, turned on.

"Hard again?" Lincecum asks, as Buster kneels up. "God, you're easy."

"Yes, Master."

"You wanna get off again?"

Buster opens his mouth and then swallows what he was about to say. House rule, he thinks. House rule. But he can still answer correctly; he doesn't have to say that it's up to Linecum. "If it would please you, Master."

"Rules lawyer," Hunter says with a laugh. "But, as usual, I think he means it."

"And if it would please me to leave you hanging again?"

"Then, please Master, make me wait."

"I'm beginning to think that the best way to punish him is to let him come," Lincecum says.

Before Buster can help it, he shakes his head. It's only one, brief shake, but dammit, where is his fucking control?

"No?" Hunter says. "Your file says there are places to hit you if we really want to punish you."

They both look at him and if it's bad being stared at by one of them, being under the scrutiny of both is almost impossible. He should just nod and agree with what Hunter said, because yes, cane hard him on the inner thighs or his palms and he will be extremely sorry for whatever he did. He can't though, because for all he knows, this is in his file too. Well, and because, as hard as it is to be truthful, he won't lie to them.

"Tell me I displeased you," he says, his voice barely audible, even to himself. "If you want to punish me, Master, tell me I disappointed you."

"Yes," Lincecum says with a nod. "I can see that." He smiles down at Buster. "You haven't disappointed me today."

"Thank you, Master."

"So, the fact that I'm not going to allow you to come right now is not a punishment. It's because I'm your master and I don't want you to come."

"Yes, Master. Thank you, Master."

They look at one another for a long moment and then Lincecum turns to Hunter. "So, how was he?"

Buster lowers his eyes. They might be talking about him, but they're not playing with him and he's more than a little unsettled by the events of the last few minutes. What on earth possessed him? Sure, Lincecum probably had it figured out already, but still, Buster didn't have to say it.

"As good as could be expected. I mean, I didn't let him do anything, so it's kind of hard to judge." He pauses. "Thanks, by the way. For letting me use him like that."

"Any time," Lincecum says and then laughs. "Within reason."

As Hunter laughs too Buster's stuck trying to figure them out again, because he didn't get the impression that Lincecum was letting Hunter use him so much as he was telling Hunter to use him. Who does he ask, he wonders, to find out how long they've been together.

"Okay," Lincecum says. "I think it's time to make Dave and the rest in Seattle cry." He nudges Buster with the toe of his shoe and Buster looks up. "Go shower and take a little downtime. After we're done bullying people, Hunter needs to call and make an appointment to get you pierced."

"Yes, Master."

"I need to get him set up with a computer and a phone and all the rest too," Hunter says. "Buster, take an hour and then...did Ellie show you where the office is?"

"Yes, Sir."

"Come up in an hour then. If that's okay with you, Tim?"

"Yeah, that's cool."

* * *

"What happened to you?" Ellie asks when Buster tracks her down after his shower. She's sweeping the dining room and seems perfectly happy handing her broom to him.

"You really want to know?" he asks as he sweeps.

"Not in general, just, what did he use on your face?"

Buster pauses and reaches up. "Riding crop," he says. "It's a little bit welted up." From the way it looked after his shower, he knows it'll be pretty impressive in a day or two. He can't help worrying about what people will think when he goes into the piercing parlor or tattoo place or wherever Hunter is supposed to take him later.

"Yeah, a little bit." She watches as he takes the dustpan from her and finishes up the last of the sweeping. "Thanks, by the way."

"No problem. I've got some time and I wanted to ask you a couple things, so what else do you need to do this hour?"

"More sweeping and some cleaning up out there," she says, pointing to the terrace. "It's easier to sweep, but if you want to do it, I'm not gonna talk you out of it. I'll even answer your questions, if I can."

"I just need to know where the extra towels are. I should have asked earlier."

"Oh you mean the cleanup towels? What?" she adds as he laughs.

"Just something Master said," he says. "You kind of had to be there."

"He can be pretty funny. But anyway, I'll show you the right linen closet."

"Thanks."

He sweeps in silence for a while.

"What?" When he looks at her, Ellie rolls her eyes. "You obviously want to ask me about more than towels."

"Um...where's the extra lube?" he asks.

She laughs. "All over the house. Now that you're here, I mean. I'll be finding little bottles of it all over the place. But the extra's in the game room and I think there's a lot down in the basement."

Buster pauses. "You didn't show me the basement."

"Yeah, because I don't have a key most of the time." She looks at him. "And because it's not my place to take you down there."

So, there is a play room. Buster had been pretty sure that the game room, even with the rings on the wall, wasn't the only place Lincecum played in. Still, he can't help wondering what the basement is like. And when he'll see it.

"Okay," he says. "Thanks." He sweeps his way across the terrace floor while she wipes down the table and chairs. "Okay, this is a little more personal. Not about you, but...."

"Just ask," she says, but she's smiling when he glances over at her.

"How long has Mr. Pence been with Master?"

"Years. Ms. Parker told me they met in college. Before Mr. Linecum dropped out, I mean."

Right, Buster thinks. He needs to do more research but he does remember that Lincecum dropped out after a year at MIT because he was bored or something. The guy's a genius, after all.

"I don't know how long they've been together," Ellie's saying. "I mean like they are, you know? But I think it's been almost as long."

"Yeah, I think so too."

She looks at him like she's the one wanting to ask a difficult question. But when she does, it comes as a surprise. "Did it hurt?" Then, before he can answer she shakes her head. "Wow, dumb question or what?"

"Yeah, it did," he says and he can't help smiling. "I liked it, if that isn't obvious."

"Okay then," she says with a little laugh.

* * *

When Buster kneels in the doorway of the office an hour later, he has to force himself not to look around too obviously. It's another room like the game room, big and furnished more for comfort than style. Lincecum's desk is kind of generically modern--nicer than IKEA but not by much. Hunter's desk is a massive Victorian looking thing that's a pretty valuable antique, if it's real.

"Oh hey," Hunter says. "C'mon in."

Buster sneaks a quick glance at Lincecum, but he's not even sure his Master knows he's in the room. Lincecum is banging on his keyboard, his face set in a scowl; Buster can't help feeling sorry for Dave in Seattle or whoever Lincecum is going off on.

"Ignore him," Hunter says. Like yesterday, it's just the kind of eye-rolling thing a friend says about another friend, so Buster nods and stands in front of Hunter's desk.

"Jesus," Hunter says, looking him over. "You look like you're a school boy waiting for a caning. Kinda distracting, honestly."

"Kinky," Lincecum says without looking up.

"Not in this house."

Lincecum snorts, but keeps slamming his fingers down on the keyboard.

"Sit," Hunter says, pointing to a chair next to his desk.

"Okay, this is for you." He pushes a MacBook Pro in Buster's direction. "Unless there's anything you need a fifteen inch for?"

"No, thank you, Sir. That will do just fine."

"Okay. And here's your phone. Like I said earlier, no computer time, internet use, phone calls or texting unless you're on downtime or you've been given permission. The computer goes on the upper shelf of your closet when you're not using it, but you can use the phone for music and whatever after you've been dismissed for the night."

"House rule," Lincecum says. "Also, no gaming, movies or TV shows except during downtime or when you're with us. Music is fine, weather apps and shit like that are fine, using your phone as an alarm clock or flash like or whatever is fine, but no games, not even solitaire."

Buster is dying to ask why, but he just bows his head. "Yes Master."

"Same goes for reading," Hunter says, handing Buster a slim Kindle. "I can't think why you'd need an iPad unless you'd rather have one instead of the MacBook, but I think it's a pain in the ass to read stuff on a phone or a laptop. Again, though, same rules. Reading's okay during downtime or when we say so, but not after you've been sent to bed."

Now Buster gets it. No gaming, no TV, no reading, no fooling around on the internet--nothing to distract him or provide any kind of mental escape, especially when he's done for the night. That he's allowed music is interesting. Either they don't consider that an escape or they're not willing to be completely draconian.

"Yes, Sir." He says, and, like the weight of his collar, he feels the familiar, reassuring, sense of ownership and control. His Master might be a little unorthodox in some ways, but he clearly views Buster as a slave. He wants Buster to feel like a slave and that, Buster thinks, is a good thing.

"Finally," Hunter says, holding up a very thin wallet. "You won't be doing much driving, but we'll make some time for you to study for a driver's test and then make a DMV appointment for you in a couple weeks. Are you registered to vote in Georgia or New York?"

"Georgia, Sir."

"Okay, have your absentee ballot sent here if you're going to vote." He hands Buster the wallet. "The Visa and the Amex are tied to the house account, use them to buy music, books and that kind of thing. And, of course, if we send you shopping for something."

"Yes, Sir." Buster can't touch his own money while he's collared, but in return, his owner is expected to provide everything he needs.

"If you need cash, we'll give it to you." Hunter pauses. "Anything I've forgotten?"

It takes Buster a minute to realize Hunter's talking to him and not to Lincecum. "Aside from needing to change my address on the insurance paperwork, no, Sir."

"Right. You can do that once you've set your machine up. In fact, why don't you use the extra desk...."

As he gestures at a smaller desk set up against one wall, Lincecum interrupts him. "No. There's got to be a lap desk around here somewhere."

"I thought that was him," Hunter says.

"You know what I mean. He can sit on the floor." He points to a spot next to his desk. "Unless you can't work like that."

"I can, Master."

Which is how Buster ends up setting up his computer and phone while sitting cross-legged on the floor next to his Master's desk. He can do this kind of thing in his sleep, so mostly he thinks about what Hunter said about him being a lap desk. He's only been used as furniture a few times, usually at parties, but he likes the idea.

As always, it takes longer than he thinks it should to get everything set up the way he likes it. When he finally looks up from his screen, Lincecum is looking down at him. "I've never seen someone do...well, anything on a new computer without swearing. You're not real, are you?"

"Just trained that way, Master."

"Sometimes I think I should have most of my employees trained at the Establishment."

"How'd that work out for you, Buster?" Hunter looks up from his own computer.

Buster blinks; doesn't Hunter know not to ask about Buster's last situation? "Sir, I...."

"No, no," Hunter says. "I'm not asking for details, just how it was for you, being a slave but also an employee."

Lincecum glances over at Hunter before saying, "you don't have to answer that."

Well, fuck. Buster thinks about that moment in the showroom when he wondered what it would be like being owned by a married couple. Like this, probably. Fortunately, there is an out.

"Would you like me to answer, Master?" He hates going over Hunter's head like this, but Hunter's the one who put him in this situation in the first place.

"Point to the boy," Hunter says, sounding more amused than annoyed.

"Yeah well, we can play tennis all morning," Lincecum says. "Answer if you want to."

And that, Buster thinks, is what he gets for being a little too cute.

"It was complicated, Master. Sir." Buster takes a moment to gather his thoughts, because, it turns out, he wants to talk about this. At least a little. "I had to spend a lot of time in the office pretending I wasn't a slave. I was still serving my Master, but...." He's not sure he can explain how it was, acting like he wasn't owned.

"It was different than going out with an owner in public," he says. "There wasn't the secret in plain sight aspect to it."

"He'd forget, wouldn't he? That you were a slave." Lincecum.

Buster stares at him in surprise, partly because Lincecum has to know there's no way Buster can answer that and partly because he's right. Buster feels a little conflicted because Mr. Koffman did so much for him and really was a good master. But, yes, once it turned out that Buster was good at his office job, Koffman tended to treat him as just another employee, at least during the day.

Buster puts his computer aside and quickly goes down into obeisance, forehead to the floor.

"What have you done?" Lincecum sound genuinely curious.

At the same time, Hunter says, "Tim, he can't...."

"I won't answer your question, Master." Never mind that Lincecum had gone over the line, never mind that he put Buster between a rock and a hard place, Buster's still a slave who won't do what his Master told him to. "Please punish me."

Lincecum doesn't even hesitate. "Kneel up and present your palms," he says, digging around in his desk. By the time Buster's in position, palms up--please hurt me, please punish me--Lincecum's got a ruler in his hand. "Five strokes, left hand," he says.

It stings, but Lincecum's not hitting him very hard at all. He didn't tell Buster to count, so Buster waits until he's done before he says, "thank you, Master."

Lincecum looks down at him for a long moment and then turns back to his work. Not sure what to do, Buster flexes his hand a little and then goes back to his computer sets up his accounts--Amazon, iTunes and PayPal--and deals with his various address changes.

With no other instructions, he settles down to study for the driver's test--and seriously, he thinks, this is the life of a sex slave. Smacked around half an hour ago, bored now.

"Hey, Tim?"

"Hmmm?"

"Since I can't take him into town, you want me to call...whatever her name is. The one who knows about the Establishment?"

"Huh? Why can't you...?"

Hunter sounds just this side of annoyed. "Look at his face."

Lincecum turns away from his computer and reaches down to grab Buster's chin. "Oh, yeah." He rubs his thumb across the welt. "How's it feel?"

"Still stings, Master."

"I'll bet." Lincecum pats his cheek hard, just this side of a slap.

Buster catches his breath and leans into Lincecum's touch. They sit like that for a minute. "I'm not disappointed in you," Lincencum says quietly.

It takes Buster a moment to figure it out. "Thank you, Master," he says, turning his head to kiss Lincecum's palm.

"Hunter, be somewhere else, okay? Oh, and see if you can get the piercer to come over maybe after her shop closes or whatever."

"Yeah, all right."

Buster resists the urge to watch as Hunter leaves the room. "I know we're confusing," Lincecum says. "In fact, if you ever figure us out, let me know." He presses his thumb again Buster's mouth before Buster has time to figure out a reply. "It's okay, you don't have to say anything."

As Lincecum rubs his thumb over Buster's mouth, he says, "I have a problem here. I mean, here you are and I can't make up my mind. I have so many things I want to do to you."

This is where Buster might say, "Whatever you want, Master." Instead, he looks up at Lincecum and waits.

"Stay there." While Buster obeys, Linceum moves some things around on his desk. "Okay," he says, wheeling his chair back. "Bend over the desk."

The smooth desktop is cool against Buster's chest as he settles down over it. "You have a great ass," Lincecum says, running his hand over it. "But your thighs are gorgeous too." He pushes on the inside of Buster's thigh and Buster spreads his legs. "And sensitive."

"Yes, Master," Buster says and then yelps when Lincecum pinches him right on the welt from earlier.

"Someday I'll play with them to see what you can take, but now...."

He rummages around in a side drawer and then rests his hand on the small of Buster's back. Buster shudders as Lincecum's thumb traces circles against Buster's skin. "And here," Lincecum says. "I'm going to play here too, but for now, give me your wrists."

The cuffs he puts on Buster's wrists are similar to the ones used yesterday, padded and heavy. Buster twists his wrist just a little, a bad habit he's never been able to break himself of. He just likes the feel of bondage--leather or metal or rope.

"Do that again," Lincecum says, and this time, he's holding the cuff, pressing it tighter against Buster's wrist. "Just about everything you do gives me more ideas." He doesn't say anything more as he clips the cuffs together, but Buster can't help wondering what new idea Lincecum just had.

There's more rummaging in the drawer and then Buster feels Lincecum's slick fingers move down the crack of his ass. Unlike yesterday, Lincecum takes his time and uses a lot of lube. By the time he presses a finger into Buster, Buster's more than ready for it. Still, Lincecum keeps the tease up as Buster tries not to squirm too much.

"Spread a little wider," Lincecum murmurs as he slowly pushes a second finger in.

"Yes...yes, Master." Buster wonders what he looks like, legs spread wide and his ass slick with lube. Fuckable, he thinks. Hopefully fuckable.

But Lincecum doesn't seem to be in too much of a hurry to fuck Buster. He works Buster over with two fingers, twisting them and then pulling all the way out before doing it all over again. Then, after a long moment or two, he's going in with three fingers and Buster can feel the stretch. He's ready, he thinks. He's more than ready for Lincecum's cock.

He doesn't get it. LIncecum fucks him with three fingers, spreading them wide and then pressing in deep. Buster manages, just barely, not to squirm, but he's whimpering again--soft, little desperate noises. Each time Lincecum pauses, Buster thinks, now, oh please now.

When Buster feels four fingers move into him, he catches his breath. Maybe Lincecum has something else in mind. Talk about not starting out easy; Buster spreads his legs even wider as he tries to slow his breathing and relax.

"I'm saving that for later," Lincecum says. "I mean, if you're thinking about fisting. And I wouldn't do it over a desk. Well...not the first time."

"Yes, Master."

Any relaxation Buster might have achieved a moment ago vanishes as Lincecum slowly fucks him with his fingers. There's no sense of urgency; Lincecum fingers him like they have all day for it. Buster doesn't want to whine as much as he is, but God, it's so good, he can't help it. He clenches his fists.

"Close? Never mind answering; just tell me when you're on the edge."

Lincecum's voice is cool and a little detached; if playing with Buster is turning him on, he's hiding it well. Buster's not doing so good on that front, as Lincecum keeps working him over, he starts squirming. His dick's still sore from earlier, and it hurts as he moves on the desktop, but that's just makes it better. Lincecum's thumb is rubbing against the rim of his hole and, fuck, that always gets to Buster. He tries to think of something else, but all he can think about is Lincecum's hands, how good those long, gorgeous, fingers feel inside him.

Buster fights it as long as he can, but finally he shudders hard and tenses up, his teeth gritted. "C...close...Master."

Lincecum pauses, like he's waiting for something, and then Buster thinks he hears his Master sigh. "All right then," Lincecum says, stepping back. "Stay like that," he adds.

As Lincecum leaves the room, Buster tries to pull himself together. It's not easy because all he can think is that someone might see him like this--spread out over Lincecum's desk, legs spread and breathing hard. He's so ready for it, open and slick and aching, but he's pretty sure no one's going to give him what he wants.

It's not about what he wants, he reminds himself. Not about what he wants.. It's about what his Master wants. So why does Buster have the strange feeling that he didn't give Lincecum what he wanted? Or maybe he's imagining it. It's not like he can ask; if he's wrong he looks insecure, like he needs reassurance. Wait and watch, he thinks. It's been two days, even if it feels like it"s been a lot longer.

By the time Lincecum comes back into the room, Buster's got it together, more or less. That doesn't keep him from moaning loudly as Lincecum pushes a butt plug into him. From the feel of it, it's that big purple one again, but it doesn't hurt as much as it goes in as it did before. Still, when Lincecum slaps his ass and says, "On your knees in front of me," Buster can really feel it.

Lincecum's sitting in his chair, staring down at Buster with a thoughtful expression. Buster looks back at him and finally says, "May I serve you, Master? Please?"

"Do you think you've earned the right?"

Oh shit. Because seriously, this is not Buster's fucking decision to make. He's not the fucking Master here. He tries to look at himself through Lincecum's eyes. Less than two days, he's fucked up twice and he's still stalling in moments like this. "No, Master," he says and it's hard to meet Lincecum's eyes.

"Why?"

Oh for fuck's sake! What the hell is Buster supposed to say now? "Because you've had to punish me twice already, Master." That's not all of it, but it's all Buster can say.

"There is that," Lincecum says. "But in this house, punishment is over when it's over. Now give me your mouth."

Thank God, Buster thinks as he leans forward, his mouth open. And then he's thinking, please please please....

Buster hasn't had a cock in his mouth for weeks;, he moans a little and slides his mouth down before Lincecum even moves. "Yeah," Lincecum says. "Show me what you can do, boy."

Any confusion in Buster's mind fades as he pulls back a little and runs his tongue over the head. He keeps doing that, sliding his mouth down a little further each time. He can hear Lincecum's breathing pick up and yes, this is good, so good.

When he's finally taken in all of Lincecum's dick, he swallows hard around the head. "Fuck," Lincecum groans. He reaches down and slides his fingers into Buster's hair. Buster waits for Lincecum to push or pull, but all he does it twist his fingers hard. It hurts and Buster groans around Lincecum's dick. As he pulls out, Lincecum lets up a little only to tug hard again as Buster goes back down.

At first, Buster thinks Lincecum's trying to control the pace, but when he stops moving, Lincecum twists his hand again. "No," he says. "You wanna blow me?"

"Mmmm hmmm...."

"Then don't let me stop you."

If Buster thought it was good before, it's so much better when he's pulling against Lincecum's grip. It hurts each time he goes down and before long, he's moaning each time Lincecum's dick nudges the back of his throat.

"Yeah," Lincecum says. "Oh yeah...good..such a good cocksucking slut." He tugs at Buster's hair hard. "Aren't you?"

"Mmmm hmmm." It's not exactly easy to convey enthusiasm while you've got your mouth full, but Buster pulls against Lincecum's grip and goes back down hard. Any worries that he's a disappointment go right out of his mind; he knows what Lincecum wants and Buster wants to give it to him. He's on his knees serving his Master and yes, this is where he belongs.

He almost loses himself in it; he's not sure how long he's been down here, but his scalp hurts and his throat is getting sore when Lincecum suddenly pushes down on his head. With a groan, Buster goes down so fast he almost chokes. Somewhere in the back of his head, he's worried that he's not showing his Master much in the way of finesse. Then Lincecum's hips buck up hard and Buster stops worrying and swallows hard as Lincecum comes with a soft grunt.

This, Buster thinks as Lincecum's hand slides down the back of his head to rest on his collar, pressing it against his neck. This.

"Thank you," he says, his voice still a little shaky. Lincecum's pushing him down gently and Buster rests his head on Lincecum's thigh. "Thank you, Master."

"You're thanking me?"

"For letting me serve you." He kind of winces a little because it's a stock answer right out of his training, but Lincecum just strokes the back of his neck.

"You were good," Lincecum says. "You were...that's what I want, Buster."

Buster smiles against Lincecum's thigh and lets his shoulders relax for a moment. Lincecum keeps petting the back of his neck and his collar and they sit there like that for a long moment. Finally, Lincecum slides his hand into Buster's hair and tugs him up and back, until Buster's looking up at him.

"I want to see you come now," Lincecum says. He lets go of Buster's hair and tucks his dick back in his shorts. As he's zipping up his jeans, he says, "Get up and let me uncuff you." Once he's removed the cuffs from Buster's wrists, he tosses them aside. "There should be some towels over there under the printer."

There are and as Buster brings one back over to Lincecum's desk, he wonders if there's a better place to keep towels here, or if he should just make sure to keep putting them there. Who stocks the paper, he wonders. He hasn't seen a secretary and while Lincecum mentioned his PA, Buster hasn't met him. He still doesn't know if Lincecum actually works out of this house, but he said something about taking a break, so maybe the occasional phone call and email is his idea of a break.

Making sure to meet Lincecum's eyes, Buster goes down on his knees. "Get your hand wet," Lincecum says, leaning back in his chair. "And then go for it."

Buster isn't sure if Lincecum wants a show or not, so he licks his hand quickly but with a lot of visible tongue. He knows how to make this look good and sure enough, Lincecum watches him closely. It's a little more difficult when he's actually got his hand on his dick, because he's not sure how much of a show Lincecum wants. Also, his dick's still sore from earlier.

"Do it hard and fast," Lincecum says. "Make it hurt."

"Yes, Master," Buster says. He closes his hand tightly around the shaft of his cock and starts jerking off. It hurts, all right; Buster bites his lip and forces himself to keep his eyes on Lincecum's face.

"Stop," Lincecum says. Buster's close and he stares up at Lincecum, his eyes wide. "Who decides? Who is it up to, whether you come now or not?"

"You, Master."

"Do it."

That's all it takes, all it ever takes. Never mind that he came a couple hours ago, it still hits him hard as he comes with a loud moan. Even as he's panting through the aftershocks, he's trying to focus. Eyes open, he tells himself. Look at Master. Get it together.

"Thank you, Master."

Lincecum's got an odd look on his face. Buster doesn't have him down yet, so he has no idea if Lincecum's amused or curious, or both.

"You can enjoy it, you know."

"Master? I did." It was an orgasm, he wants to say. Of course he enjoyed it.

"For what, half a second? I told you, I don't want a robot. It's okay to keep your eyes closed for a little while after you come. It's okay to feel it."

"Yes, Master."

There's that sound again. Lincecum's face doesn't give Buster any clue as to whether the quiet sigh was disappointment or just breathing. Buster wishes he could look away; he doesn't want Lincecum to see what he's thinking. He's not a fucking robot; he's a well-trained slave. Honestly, sometimes you'd think Lincecum was looking for a subby boyfriend and not a slave he paid good money for.

Apparently, Buster's keeping his face in order for once in this household, Lincecum just nods. "Mop up and get back to...what were you doing?"

"Studying for the driver's test, Master."

"I'd say don't bother because they don't usually test if you already have a license, but I've got a feeling you'd just do it in your downtime."

Buster can't help smiling. "Just wired that way, Master."

"Yeah," Lincecum says with a laugh. "I noticed. Go on then."

It's a little difficult to concentrate on the rules of the road with a big damn butt plug stuffed up his ass, but Buster's concentrated on far more complicated things in this condition.

Lincecum lets him take it out before sending him off to eat lunch with the staff. Brad stares at Buster's cheek before ducking his head, but no one else reacts much. Ellie makes a point of thanking him for his help, which seems a bit excessive, but Ms. Parker gives him a bit of a smile. It's a start, Buster thinks.

He brings lunch up for Lincecum and Hunter and then kneels next to Lincecum while Lincecum feeds him the occasional grape and talks to Hunter about whatever is going on in Seattle. It's complicated--Buster gets the gist of the situation but he has no idea what the actual project is. He should learn, he thinks. Or maybe he shouldn't. It's not like he needs to know that kind of thing any more.

He waits to be upset about that, because when you look at it, this is kind of a demotion. He's not though because this is what he signed on for. He can't help remembering what Lincecum said about Koffman forgetting that Buster was a slave. Lincecum may be casual and even a little weird but he likes reminding Buster that he's the Master and Buster's the slave.

When Lincecum hands down the next grape, Buster kisses his fingers after taking it. Lincecum doesn't miss a beat in his conversation, but he pinches Buster's earlobe. Buster squirms and smiles just a little.

"Oh hey," Hunter says as they finish up lunch. "Chloe, the girl from the piercing place. She said she could come out around four, before she goes in to work."

"Good. Buster? Come by the office at three-thirty. You can have downtime until then."

"Thank you, Master."

Buster clears off the lunch dishes and then asks if there's anything he can do in the kitchen. He ends mopping the floor and doing some general cleaning while Ms. Mendez does the shopping. He's still got a couple hours left, so he wanders around the house a little, stocking the game room with towels and digging the lube out of the couch. Again, he thinks with a smile.

He finds the stairs to the basement, but there's a locked door at the bottom of them. He takes the hint and leaves the door alone. He also leaves the closed bedroom doors alone. Finally, he heads back to his room. He needs to ask someone, Hunter probably, if he can get some clothes to work out in. For now, he just does some stretches; he really doesn't want to try actual yoga while naked.

After a some time spent buying music, he lies on the bed, listening to Darius Rucker and just letting himself drift. He's got a lot to think about, but right now, he needs to stop thinking. He's here in this house and that's that. It is what it is, he thinks and can't help smiling at the cliche.

The dogs are in the office when he steps inside; they come over to join them the minute he goes to his knees. "The lighter one is Cy," Lincecum says. "The other one is Kayo." He waves his hand. "Might as well take the time to get to know them. Little fuckers keep messing with my plans for you."

Buster stays on his knees and lets them sniff at his hands. Once they're used to him, he pets them and rubs bellies and plays with their ears.

"You're doing that on your knees?" Hunter pauses in the doorway and then carefully eases around Buster and the dogs to get into the room. "Isn't that taking things a bit too far?"

"As long as I'm naked, it's the easiest way to keep them from stepping on...things I don't want them to step on, Sir."

"Good point."

"No fucking kidding," Lincecum says. "Cy's always putting his back paws on my junk when I let him up on my lap."

Buster can't help laughing because...because it's funny and what dogs do and also, Lincecum said he didn't want a robot.

Hunter leans against his desk. "Now see, if I had the talent your last owner had, I'd sketch you like that."

"Naked with dogs, Sir?"

"Laughing. Dogs optional, although it is quite a sight."

"Very sexy, Sir," Buster says, his voice dry.

Lincecum laughs. "And here I wanted to get you all worked up before the piercer got here."

"Oh please," Hunter says. "Let him play with the kids. It'll take all of what? Two minutes to get him worked up?"

Buster's face feels hot again, but he doesn't say anything.

Hunter was right, of course. By the time Hunter brings Chloe into the game room,the dogs have been banished to their outdoor run and Lincecum's bent Buster over the sofa for a brief, almost perfunctory spanking.

Lincecum uses a paddle and it's just like the paddling Buster got from Mistress Allyson before the auction. There's no emotion in it, no real desire on Lincecum's part to either get off or see Buster suffer. Lincecum wants Buster to look a certain way and that's that. Buster almost regrets finding that sort of casual disinterest hot--because what is it with him and being treated like a thing?--but he does.

Chloe is a cute girl with elaborate tattoos and plugs in her earlobes. She doesn't even blink an eye at the sight of Buster, naked and hard, kneeling on the coffee table.

"Is this a good spot?" Lincecum asks after the introductions--which don't include Buster--have been made. "Or do you need him higher?"

"No this is good. He just needs to sit on the edge of the table so I can do his ears...."

She raises an eyebrow at the way he bites his lip as the needle goes into his earlobe. "That can't possibly hurt too much."

"I don't think it hurts at all," Lincecum says with a little laugh. "He's just sensitive there."

"Well, don't mess with his earlobes until they've healed." Chloe steps back and looks at Buster. "Speaking of messing with him, look like you have been." Reaching out, she brushes a thumb across one of his nipples. Buster grits his teeth and tries not to squirm.

"Can you still pierce him or will it be too much?"

"Oh, I can. It'll hurt, but again, if you don't mess with them after, they'll heal."

"He's got plenty of other things I can mess with," Lincecum says. "Go ahead."

"Okay," she says, speaking to Buster for the first time. "Lie down while I get my tray ready and wash up again."

It seems like it takes forever for her to get ready, but finally, she's leaning over him. The cold pinch of the forceps on Buster's nipple hurts a little, but when the needle goes in....

"Oh God," he gasps.

"Does it hurt?" Lincecum's looking at him with that intent expression.

"It's...." Buster has to take a deep breath. "It hurts, but it's...it's....it's just good, Master. Really...good." It's better than good; it's fucking amazing--just pure, perfect pain.

"You want me to finish this?" Chloe asks. "Because if I don't it'll be easier to do play piercings."

For a minute, Buster's afraid Linceum is going to ask him what he wants. "But if you do it, I'll still be able to stick needles in him?"

"As long as you're very careful, yes."

"Then yeah, go ahead."

Buster gets through it without squirming, but he's panting hard by the time she's screwing on the end of the second barbell.

"Thank you, Ma'am," he says as she pulls her gloves off.

"He's sweet," she says to Lincecum.

"You want him to thank you a little more personally?"

"Oh...you mean like that? I don't know."

As she glances down at Buster, Lincecum shakes his head. "It's up to you not him, but, Buster, are you okay with it?"

Buster knows Lincecum's only asking for Chloe's benefit, but still there's only one answer. "Yes, Master." Chloe still looks intrigued but unsure, so Buster smiles up at her. "Please, Ma'am, if you'd like."

"Then yes," Chloe says, a big smile on her face. "I've met a lot of Establishment people and I've been curious, but I've never...." She looks around and then moves over to sit in a big comfortable chair.

"Buster...." Lincecum gestures toward Chloe.

"Yes, Master."

Chloe's expression is half nervous and half intrigued when Buster kneels in front of her. "May I use my mouth, Ma'am?"

When she nods, Buster reaches up and carefully unzips her jeans. She's got tattoos on her stomach--two skeletal hands with lush red roses spilling out of them. The lowest rose is a small one right on the top of her mound. Wow, Buster thinks as he eases her jeans and underwear off her legs. It's gorgeous but damn, it had to hurt like fuck.

She spreads her legs and, leaning in, he presses a kiss to the lowest rose. As he goes lower, he's glad to see she's already wet; he'd been a little worried they'd pressured her into this. But she just sighs happily as he slowly licks his way down and then back up again. He's not sure how sensitive she is, but when he carefully flicks her clit with his tongue, she puts her hand on his head and pushes a little.

"It's okay to pull his hair," Hunter says, and God, are he and Lincecum watching him the way they usually do?

As soon as Chloe starts tugging on his hair, Buster licks harder. It's easier, pleasing women; he's not so turned on he can't pay attention and follow her clues. She likes it fast and a little rough, when he cautiously uses his teeth, she shoves him down hard. Please, Buster thinks. Please let me serve...please let me make you come.

By the time she pulls his hair hard and yells her way through her orgasm, one of her legs is over his shoulder. He likes that, likes the way she's pinning him in place. He knows better than to stop even though she's already come; he just backs off and moves a little lower. She's really wet now and he can feel his face getting slick as he licks the entrance of her cunt.

"Fuck," she groans. "Get back up...." Not that she needs to say anything, the way she's yanking on his hair. Did he really think he wasn't going to be turned on by this? Why does he always forget that he gets totally caught up in getting pleasing whoever he on his knees for, male or female?

She smacks him on the shoulder when he brings his hand up and tries to slide his fingers into her. Okay, no penetration, he thinks, and concentrates on her clit. Finally after two more loud orgasms, she shudders. "Enough," she gasps, pulling her fingers out of his hair.

As Buster kneels back, she looks down at him. But when she speaks, it's to Lincecum. "Are they all like that? Because damn...I'm not sure you even need to pay me after that."

"Consider it your tip," Lincecum says with a laugh.

Buster stays on his knees while Chloe pulls up her jeans and gathers her equipment. "Here's a care sheet," she tells Lincecum. "Go easy until he's healed up. I mean it."

"I will, I promise," he says.

"Can I...." She glances at Buster and, when Lincecum nods, crouches next to him. "That was awesome," she says, patting him on the cheek.

"Thank you, Ma'am," he says and turns to kiss her palm.

While Hunter escorts her out, Lincecum stands in front of Buster. Buster's not sure if he should look up not; he doesn't know what he'll see on Lincecum's face if he does. It's never happened to him but he's heard stories of gay masters being upset when their slaves served women and seemed to enjoy it. He's also heard of masters needing to reasset their dominance after seeing their slave with someone else.

Instead, as usual, Lincecum has questions. "Did you like doing that?"

Buster looks up at him. "Yes, Master."

So, of course, Lincecum says, "why?"

"Because I was serving, Master. Both you and Ms. Chloe." Buster could stop there; it's the correct answer and it's true. "And because I could make her feel good."

"You certainly seem to like doing that."

Thankfully it's not a question, because Buster might be tempted to say "well duh."

Lincecum reaches out with his foot and gently nudges Buster's hard-on with the toe of his shoe. "Should I do something about this?"

Before he can stop himself, Buster shakes his head. "Three times in one day seems bit excessive, Master." Well that was fucking stupid, he thinks.

Lincecum just laughs. "Now see that's what I want." He nudges Buster's dick again. "And you're right, of course. Three times in one day is excessive. Go wash up and do whatever before dinner."

As Buster showers, he keeps thinking about what Lincecum said. He wants Buster to say stupid shit? It's fucking weird because, Lincecum seems to like owning Buster, but he doesn't want Buster to act like a slave. What the hell?

After his shower, he stares at himself in the mirror, trying to be objective. No, he decides. He doesn't look good with the plain silver rings Chloe put in his ears. He looks like he's trying too hard...a jock trying to look cool. He likes the barbells in his nipples through; the metal pushed through flesh looks pretty hot in a way his ears don't.

Oh well, hopefully his Master likes the way he looks.

Apparently Lincecum is working his way through Game of Thrones, because, after dinner, he settles down in front of the huge TV in the game room. Buster's down on the floor next to the sofa, within reach of Lincecum. It's only the third episode of season one, but Buster has no idea what the hell is going on. It doesn't help that Lincecum keeps playing with the back of his neck, tracing random patterns on Buster's skin with his fingers and pressing Buster's collar against his neck.

Hunter's with them, but he's reading something and only occasionally looks at the screen. "Hunter has no taste," Lincecum says.

"I don't hate it, I just...it's okay. What about you, Buster?"

"I'm completely confused, Sir."

"You'll catch on." Lincecum says and then slides his fingers into Buster's hair. Buster gasps when he tugs on it and Hunter laughs.

"Because that's gonna help." Hunter puts his IPad aside and watches them for a while. "Tim, you mind if I...."

"No, go ahead."

Hunter's dick is a bit more of a challenge than Lincecum's was, but Buster's blown bigger guys. He gets a good chance to learn what Hunter likes--lots of tongue on the head--because Hunter's in no hurry to come. It's good, even if Buster's jaw is already a little sore; this is the third time today he's been on his knees while someone uses his mouth. It's not the kind of pain he gets off on, but he likes the idea of it.

"Jesus fucking Christ," Hunter pants. "His goddamn mouth...."

"Yeah, he's pretty good at sucking dick."

"You're a cock slut, aren't you, boy?"

"Mmmm...hmmm." Because yeah, maybe his face is red, but they're right.

Hunter reaches down and grabs a handful of Buster's hair, pulling him up and off his dick. "Tell me."

"I am, Sir," Buster says, looking up at Hunter as he pulls against Hunter's grip. "I'm a cocksucking slut." Hunter doesn't let him go back down; he's looking down at Buster like he's waiting for something. "Please," Buster says, and God he sounds way too needy. But he can't help it; right now, this all he wants. "Please, please let me...please let me suck your dick...please, Sir."

Buster's come twice today, but that doesn't matter; all it would take would be a word and he'd come right now, begging for it with Hunter's hand in his hair. He's watching Hunter closely, so he sees it when Hunter looks over at Lincecum.

"Close enough?"

"For now," Lincecum says.

Buster has about a second to be totally confused before Hunter's shoving him down hard. "Hold still, slut," he growls. Buster draws a quick breath and then he's relaxing his jaw and throat as Hunter fucks his mouth. "Fucking take it...that's a good boy...oh fuck!"

Although he manages not to gag, Buster's eyes are tearing up when Hunter slumps back into his chair after coming. As Hunter stares at him, breathing hard, Buster brings his hand up to his face and wipes his chin. Then, keeping his eyes on Hunter's face, he licks his hand clean.

"Jesus fucking Christ."

"Bet he's hard again," Lincecum says.

"I'd say that's a sucker bet," Hunter says. "But...."

Buster can't help his little snort of amusement and Hunter grins down at him. "It's okay to laugh when I make stupid jokes."

"Yeah well," Lincecum says. "He doesn't have to laugh if they're not, you know, funny. He's not here to give you that kind of ego boo."

"No, he's got better uses," Hunter says, reaching down to press his thumb against Buster's mouth. Buster kisses it and then opens his mouth when Hunter pushes. "His fucking mouth should be illegal," Hunter says as Buster starts sucking his thumb. "You want another go?"

"Nah, I'm good." Lincecum leans back on the sofa. "Course I've gotta watch the last ten minutes of this episode again because you two distracted me."

"I could spoil you so hard...."

Why, Buster wonders as Hunter pulls his thumb out of Buster's mouth. Why aren't they married? Because they might as well be, only.... Well, maybe Lincecum's too toppy, he thinks. And so's Hunter even though Lincecum's his boss.

If you ever figure us out, let me know.

Later that night, as he listens to recorded rain and tries to wind down, Buster thinks about what Hunter and Lincecum said, back there when Buster was begging. Close enough for what? he wonders. More and more he's getting the sense that they're waiting for him to do something. Is it the begging? All they have to do is tell him to do that. Hell, all they have to do is tell him to do anything and he will. Why are they waiting for...whatever it is that they're waiting for?

Chapter Text

It takes another four days before Lincecum looks at Buster during breakfast and sighs. "Okay fine," he says sounding almost like a sullen teenager.

"Master?"

Buster's settled into the routine pretty well, although he still gets that feeling that he's missing something. Lincecum likes having him around, though, even when he's not actively playing with Buster or using him. Buster still finds both Lincecum and Hunter a little casual and even odd at times, but what Lincecum said early on is evident--Lincecum likes owning him.

Before coming here, Buster hadn't even realized how touch-starved he'd been. Even when Lincecum's totally caught up in whichever Game of Thrones episode they're watching, he likes to touch Buster--usually the back of Buster's neck or his hair. Buster would feel more like a pet if it weren't for Cy and Kayo; as it is, he still wants to purr at times. Hunter's different. He's nowhere near as touchy as Lincecum; when he puts his hands on Buster, it's almost always sexual.

And God, there's a lot that. They play with him every day and some days more than once. Buster's got bruises on top of bruises and he's learned that Lincecum is surprisingly strong and that Hunter likes pinching. It would be perfect if Buster weren't so sure he wasn't measuring up somehow. It's just...Lincecum hasn't even fucked him yet. He hasn't seen the inside of either of their bedrooms nor has he been taken down to the basement. Still, it's only been a week--not enough time to have figured things out.

Like right now, for instance. He has no idea what his Master's so grumpy about.

"Go ahead," Lincecum says to Hunter. "Say 'I told you so.'"

"What are we talking about? Because I could say that about so many things."

"Fuck, Buster could say 'I told you so'. I mean, if he could bring himself to be that disrespectful."

"Oh," Hunter says. "His ears. I should point out that I just suggested waiting. Buster was the one worried about how it would look."

"Yeah well, it looks...." Lincecum pauses and looks down at Buster. "Give me your honest opinion."

"I...." Buster hesitates for a moment. "I look like a former twink trying to stay young, Master."

"Well put," Hunter says. "Although, were you ever a twink?"

"Once," Buster says, having learned that the occasional dry remark goes over well "For about ten minutes when I was fifteen, Sir."

Both Hunter and Lincecum laugh and then Lincecum sighs. "Take them out today," he says. "And just...does he have to do anything different?"

"How the fuck should I know? You want me to call Chloe?"

"Nah, Buster can call her later."

"Yes, Master."

"Here," Lincecum says. "Have some melon."

That's another thing Lincecum likes to do. He won't feed the dogs from the table, but Buster's gotten used eating from Lincecum's hand. It's nice and not just because Ms. Mendez is such a good cook. Buster's still very careful when he takes the food--what was it Lincecum said? Very correct. But Lincecum hasn't said it again, so Buster tries to be respectful, even when he'd like to suck on Lincecum's fingers a little longer than he should.

"It's fucking gorgeous out there," Lincecum says. "You've gotta love this place in the fall. Buster, go throw some different clothes on and come with me while I walk the kids."

Buster has clothes now--well fitted jeans that do, indeed, show off his ass, plain white button down shirts, plain white t-shirts and a couple pair of low top chucks. He's also got four black jocks that look really good on him, but he hasn't been told to wear them yet. Today, as he goes out to join Lincecum, he's wearing jeans and a t-shirt. With the weather as nice as it's been, he's still usually naked inside the house; it's weird to wear a shirt.

The property is huge and that doesn't even include the acres of grapes on one side and the acres of fruit trees on the other. "I could make more money with nothing but grapes, but the valley's ecosystem isn't as diverse as it should be. And who wants to cut down sixty year old trees?"

"It reminds me of home," Buster says. He's been doing that a lot; saying personal stuff. He would really rather not because that's not what he's here for, but something about Lincecum, and Hunter too, makes him forget himself. "I mean the trees, Master."

"Lots of peaches?"

"Mostly pecans, Master, and some peaches. And peanut fields, of course."

"Oh right, I always forget about the peanuts. So it's all rural where you grew up?"

"Yes, Master."

Since that one morning when he went over the line asking about Mr. Koffman, Lincecum hasn't asked anything too personal. Buster keeps waiting for it, because both Linceum and Hunter are so casual. But now, Lincecum just nods.

"All strip malls where I grew up," he says. "Pretty much the opposite of rural."

They walk in silence for a while until Lincecum pulls a ratty tennis ball out of his hoodie pocket and tosses it across the vast expanse of back lawn. He looks like a kid, Buster thinks as Kayo trots back to Lincecum with the ball. Never mind that Lincecum's a few years older than Buster, right now he looks like a teenager with no thought in world but playing with his dogs.

When he turns and offers Buster the damp tennis ball with a wide grin on his face, Buster smiles back. It's not much, as moments go, but Lincecum nods like Buster's done something good. Buster's not sure what to make of it, so he just throws the ball.

The whole thing is a little weird, walking the dogs together like this. Again it feels like Lincecum wants Buster to be something closer to a boyfriend than a slave. At least until, once the dogs are back in their run, Lincecum shoves Buster to his knees and uses his mouth with almost brutal efficiency.

Even if he's still not quite what they want him to be, they sure like his mouth, Buster thinks right after lunch. He's on his knees, blowing Hunter, while Hunter leans back in his chair and stares down at him. It makes Buster feel weird and oddly self conscious, but it's hot too, especially when Hunter starts calling him a slut and a cocksucker.

Yeah, Buster thinks as Hunter shoves into his mouth hard and comes. Yeah, he's a cocksucker and a damn good one too. Slaves aren't supposed to feel smug, but sometimes it's hard not to be.

* * *

He'd thought it might be weird talking to Chloe, but it's not. She's certainly not surprised when Buster tells her why he called.

"Yeah, it isn't really you, is it?"

"It's not something I would have done on my own."

"Okay then, just keep the holes clean and keep using the salt water rinse. They'll heal up pretty fast."

"Thanks."

He hears her take a nervous sounding breath. "Um...." she says. "The other day...he didn't make you do something you don't like, did he?"

"No, not at all. Not that it matters, but I liked it." It's his turn to pause. "I was kind of worried that you felt a little pressured, that maybe you weren't comfortable with it."

"Oh, that's sweet of you, but no. Like I said, I've always been...you know, a little curious. I just worried because I thought you were gay."

Story of his life, Buster thinks. People familiar with, but not connected directly to, the Establishment always have questions and, probably because he looks approachable, he gets asked. He really doesn't mind; he had a lot of questions back at the beginning too.

"Being submissive is in the job description," he says. "So, yeah, I'm mostly gay, but being on my knees in front of you, trying to make you feel good, was hot."

"Pretty hot from here too," she says with a little laugh.

"If you got a job with the Establishment itself, there are usually perks--when we're being trained we have to practice on the staff."

"What would I do in an actual club?"

"It's not just the clubs or the slave network. They offer a lot of other services too. You never know--they might need a really good part-time piercer who can deal with it the way you do."

"Huh...might not be a bad gig."

"Let me give you my e-mail address; just in case you're interested."

* * *

That night at dinner, Ms. Parker looks at him. "You look better without them."

"I don't know," Ellie says. "I kind of liked them."

"Thanks," Buster says. As much as Buster agrees with everyone who said the earrings were a mistake, he's a little tired of being told he looked bad.

"That was the kind of thing Tyler could pull off," Mr. Thompson says. "No offense, Buster, but he was a very pretty boy."

Buster's not sure if he's complimenting Buster's predecessor, but something about Thompson's tone of voice says he's not.

"That's okay. No one's going to accuse me of being pretty."

"You have good bones, though," Ms. Parker says. "You'll still be very handsome when you're fifty."

Buster's fade goes bright red and he can feel the blush halfway down his chest. Funny how one compliment can embarrass him even more than when his Master or Hunter calls him a slut.

"Don't tease him, hon," Ms. Mendez says.

The evening follows the pattern set in the last few days, only instead of watching TV after dinner, Lincecum and Hunter play the MLB game on the PS4. The graphics are really kind of weird; the players look human and then they don't.

"What?" Hunter says, pausing the game and looking over at Buster.

"It's creepy, Sir."

"Yeah," Lincecum says as they all look at the game Verlander frozen in place on the mound. "They're pretty deep in uncanny valley territory. Ever since they really got into reproducing body types and actually mapping some of the players' body language it's been a little freaky."

For a long moment, he stares off into space, and it's like he's forgotten anyone's in the room. Buster glances over at Hunter but Hunter just shrugs, like this is normal.

"At least he doesn't wear his pants as tight as the real Verlander," Hunter says after a moment of silence.

"Thank God for small favors, Sir."

"Him and Zeets," Lincecum says with a laugh and a shake of his head. He looks like he's shaking off water after swimming.

What was that about, Buster wonders.

"Yeah, but Zito rocked the high socks." Hunter sighs. "You don't see that much any more." He pauses and glances at Lincecum. "Anything?"

"Not sure. Cool problem, though."

"Yeah." Hunter turns back to Buster. "You wanna try this?"

Buster's been watching them play for about an hour and while he thinks he's got the general idea, he knows he's nowhere near as good as they are. "I'd just slow you down, Sir."

"I give it another week or so of him watching us play," Lincecum says. "Then he'll be kicking our asses."

"Politely," Hunter says.

"And very respectfully, Sir."

He's not here to be funny but it's still nice to be able to joke and have them laugh. "Why don't you get your respectful ass over here," Lincecum says.

"What the fuck? You asshole, I'm ahead by four runs, so, what, all of a sudden you've got the urge to play with him?"

"Dude," Lincecum says as Buster kneels in front of him. "It's not fucking real time. The game's not going anywhere."

"Yeah, well, neither is Buster."

"Oh he's going somewhere all right," Lincecum says. "Over my lap. Hunter, dig out that paddle...the short one."

This time when Lincecum paddles Buster, he's serious about it. He starts slow and gradually ramps it up until Buster's so into it he's pushing up to meet each blow from the paddle. It should be easier with his face to the couch like this, but he finds himself wondering if they're watching him the way they always do. Probably, he thinks.

Just as he raises his ass for a blow, Lincecum pauses.

"I don't know why, but I'm getting the feeling he likes this," Hunter says.

"Yeah?" Lincecum sets the paddle aside and runs a hand over Buster's ass. Buster's skin is already hot and the cool touch of Lincecum's fingers feels good. "You like this, Buster?"

"Yeah...um, yes...yes, Master."

For a long moment Lincecum doesn't do anything and Buster's afraid he's about to be punished for his lapse. Finally, Lincecum says, "Do you want more?"

"Please," Buster says, grateful for the chance to beg. "Please...please, Master."

"Why?"

For a minute, Buster wants to slam his fist into the sofa in frustration. Is it too much to ask....

Telling himself to get it together, he takes a deep but shaky breath and tries to give his Master what he wants. "It hurts... please, want to hurt for you, Master. Please."

"Good boy," Lincecum says and starts spanking him again. Pretty soon, Buster squirming--half trying to get more and half trying to get away. His dick's rubbing against the soft fabric of Lincecum's worn khakis and he can feel the hard bulge of Lincecum's hard-on pressing up against his stomach.

It hurts and it's good and Buster wants more. He wants...oh God, he wants Lincecum to fuck him. He wants to be hurt and taken hard, wants to give it up and give in and just feel. Yes, he wants to serve his Master, wants to be hurt because Lincecum's getting off on it, but mostly, he just...wants.

Not about me, he tells himself. Not what I want....

Another sharp flurry of blows from the paddle brings him back into the moment. Lincecum is pushing him the way he and Hunter pushed that first afternoon. Buster's throat feels thick and he can feel the tears welling up in his eyes. He's close, not just to crying but to coming; he's not sure which will happen first if Lincecum keeps beating him.

"Master," he says, his voice rough and shaky. "Cl...close...."

"Take five more," Lincecum says.

"Yes...Master...."

Buster makes it through two really hard blows before he starts crying. Yes, he thinks again as he surrenders to the pain. Yes. He stops moving and relaxes over Lincecum's lap. All he can do now is take it; it's all he wants to do.

"Oh yeah," Lincecum murmurs. "Can you take more for me without losing it? Be honest."

"Not sure...how much more...but yes...please, Master."

"Another five, then."

As the paddle lands on Buster's ass, Lincecum reaches up with his other hand and rests it on the back of Buster's neck. "Yours...." Buster chokes out.

"Yeah, you are." Lincecum presses the collar into the back of Buster's neck and brings the paddle down hard. Each of the next few blows pushes Buster closer to the edge, but he can do this. He can be good and give his Master what he wants.

For just a moment, when Lincecum stops, Buster waits for the next blow. Instead, Lincecum runs his hand over Buster's ass again. It's comforting and, as he gulps a couple of times and sniffles, Buster's okay with being comforted.

"Okay," Lincecum says, giving Buster's ass a sharp slap. It hurts more than it should and Buster resigns himself to another night spent sleeping on his stomach. "On your knees."

Buster's always wished he could cry without making such a fucking mess of it, but Lincecum looks like he doesn't even notice, let alone care.

"Thank you," Buster says. "Thank you, Master." He leans in a little and when Lincecum just looks down at him, Buster bends his head down and kisses Lincecum's fingers.

"Good boy," Lincecum says, patting Buster's face. He smiles down at Buster but he doesn't say anything else. The moment stretches out and this time Buster almost asks if something's wrong.

Instead, he says, "Please Master, may I serve you?"

"Hey Hunter, c'mon over here."

No, Buster thinks. He doesn't want to watch Hunter get Lincecum off, he wants to do it himself. Stop it, he tells himself. He doesn't even know what Lincecum has planned and anyway if that's how Lincecum wants to get off....

"Stay there," Lincecum says to Buster. "You can close your eyes, but keep your mouth open."

Oh fuck yeah, he thinks a a few minutes after as first Lincecum, then Hunter come on his face and chest. He licks his lips off and reaches up to deal with his eyes. When he can open them, he looks up to see both men smiling at him. At least he doesn't have to worry about how he looked after crying.

"Master. Sir. Thank you."

Buster ends up sleeping on his side; Lincecum didn't let him come and even after a shower, he's still pretty wound up. Sometimes he wonders about himself; how can someone get off on not being allowed to get off? How can he like being controlled like this?

Who cares, he thinks, reaching back to run a hand over his ass. Tonight was great; the only thing that would have made it better was if Lincecum had fucked him. But no, he's not going to worry about that right now. As he slows his breath and settles down into sleep he remembers how he felt when they came all over him. Used and dirty and slutty and...and really fucking good.

* * *

The problem with the night before, Buster thinks as he pulls on his black pants, is there's always a morning after. And now, on top of being really sore, he gets to go down to the kitchen and find out just how blasé the staff really is.

"Don't mind me," he says, after helping himself to scrambled eggs and a piece of toast. "I'm gonna be standing up this morning."

The older three just nod and turn back to their breakfast, while Ellie smiles a little.

"Why?" Brad says.

"He got his ass beat last night, duh," Ellie says.

"Oh," Brad says, staring at Buster, his eyes wide. When Buster looks back at him, Brad's suddenly very interested in his plate. Buster turns his attention toward his own food and resolves to have a conversation with Brad as soon as possible.

As usual, Hunter comes down to breakfast before Lincecum. "Little sore, are you?" he asks as Buster very carefully goes down on his knees.

"Yes, Sir."

Hunter laughs a little and starts eating. "Last night," he says after a minute. "When Tim looked like he wasn't all there...."

"Yes, Sir?"

"He does that. He was thinking, probably about how to solve the uncanny valley problem." He pauses and butters a slice of toast. "I just wanted you to know what was up because it can happen whenever. He can be in the middle of flogging someone and then he'll just...stop and think. Sometimes it's just a few seconds, sometimes it's longer. And, occasionally, he'll just up and head to the office."

"Thank you for explaining, Sir."

Hunter just nods and turns his attention to his iPad. Buster shifts a little on his knees and does his best to ignore his ass as he thinks about what Hunter just said. Buster's read a little about Lincecum, enough to learn that most journalists, even the ones with tech backgrounds, have no real idea of what he does. Nothing splashy, nothing that will be presented to the public in a flurry of media attention. There will be a problem no one can figure out and then, suddenly, Lincecum's got a group working on the solution. The phrases "unorthodox approach" and "one man think tank" get thrown around and one article in Wired flat out called him a freak.

Buster has to fight a smile as Lincecum strolls into the dining room, looking rumbled, confused and pretty much like anything but the genius he apparently is. "Oh yeah," Lincecum says after his first drink of coffee. "That's the stuff...."

When he's a little more awake, he starts feeding Buster pieces of bacon. Buster uses the grease left on Lincecum's fingers as an excuse to lick and suck them a little longer than he usually does. If Lincecum notices, he doesn't say anything.

Buster's not sure if it's the uncanny valley problem or something else, but Lincecum gives him the whole morning off. Buster tidies up the game room a little--Lincecum left the paddle on the floor and Buster's glad one of the dogs didn't decide to chew on it-- and then changes his sheets.

Okay, he thinks, leaving the laundry room. Time to deal with Brad before he freaks the poor guy out too much. At least, he thinks as he shoves his bare feet into a pair of chucks, he's allowed to be completely dressed when he goes outside. There's a little bit of chill in the air that wasn't there yesterday and Buster wonders if the weather in Northern California changes all at once or if it's gradual.

Ellie told him Brad also did a lot of stuff on the grounds to help out Thompson, so Buster's not surprised to see him hanging out by the pool trimming some bushes and keeping an eye on couple of robot things as they clean the pool.

"Is that one solar powered?" Buster asks, staring at the skimmer moving across the top of the water. "Because that's really cool."

"Yeah," Brad says. He turns to glance at Buster out of the corner of his eye and then seems to relax when he realizes Buster's dressed. "Mr. Lincecum got it a couple weeks ago."

"Too bad there aren't two of them; you could race them."

Brad gives him a weird look. "Did someone tell you I do remote control stuff?"

"No. Really? Like cars and planes?"

"Yeah, it's mostly a hobby, but a friend of mine sells some of them on eBay for me.."

"My sister and I had a couple planes we used to play with. Cheap stuff, but it was fun." When Brad gives him a look, Buster laughs. "We have families."

"Yeah, I just...." Brad shakes his head. "Do they know?"

"No," Buster says. "I allowed to be in contact with them but, aside from Sam, my sister, me coming out didn't go over all that well. So, we talk occasionally, but it's not a big deal that I don't visit."

"That's rough."

"Yeah well, it's not like I made much of an effort. Someday, when I'm done with this or I take a break between owners, I'll go back and see if we can patch it up a little." He didn't intend to talk about this, but if it makes him seem like a real person, maybe the rest of the conversation will go easier.

"Sorry about this morning." Brad says after a minute.

"I get that it's strange."

"Um...yeah. I mean, it's one thing to know about it, but another to see it. It's weird to think that they can beat you so hard you can't sit."

"Oh I could've sat down if I really needed to, but I knew was going to be on my knees during breakfast so it was easier not to."

"All the way through breakfast? You must be really flexible."

"I do yoga to stay in shape but kneeling's like any other position you spend time in, you get used to it."

"And getting hurt? You get used to that too?"

"Yes and no." Buster stares at the solar powered robot. "I can take a lot of pain just in general--more than most people. But eventually it hurts and sometimes it hurts a lot."

"And you like it."

"Wouldn't be here if I didn't."

"But...look, I went through the orientation and read the stuff before I signed on. I know it's more than just getting your ass beat."

"Yeah," Buster says. "And that's what really bugs you."

"Is it that obvious?"

"No, but that's what freaks most people out. And it's the hardest thing to explain, you know?"

Brad puts the hedge trimmers down and looks at Buster. "Can you?"

"I don't know. It's...I like making people happy, but, obviously, it's more than that. I mean, I usually say I'm wired that way because..." Buster runs his hands through his hair and tries to decide what to say. It's not like he hasn't been thinking about this lately. "Well, I am. I guess the best way to put it is I get off on being controlled."

"So, you just do anything they tell you to do?"

"I have to, aside from the stuff that falls under the damage clause."

"But you don't even get to pick who you...end up with, right?"

As always it sounds insane when someone actually makes him think about it. "Right," Buster says. "I didn't even know who bought me until I met Master my first afternoon here."

"Seriously?!"

"Yeah. Mr. Pence was the one who bid on me. I thought he was my new Master until we were up in the plane. And he didn't tell me who he bought me for."

"What do you do if you don't like them? Not just Mr. Lincecum, but anyone who...who buys you?"

Buster doesn't want to laugh or even condescend, so he takes a deep breath before answering. "It isn't about liking. It's not about love either. It's about knowing where my place is.

"I mean, I could have a boyfriend and be constantly negotiating things and trying to figure how the whole thing works, or I could be here. There's no negotiation--they know what they want and I"ve been trained to give it to them."

"And you get off on it."

"Not always. Last night I got my ass beat, like, really hard. And they both got off and I didn't."

"That's not very fair."

"I'm a slave," Buster says. "It's not supposed to be fair. They get to be selfish and I...like I said, I'm here to give them what they want."

"And that's okay with you? Like they can just say 'no' and you're all...." Brad's voice trails off.

"And I'm all, 'yes Master'? Yeah, that's pretty much it."

"Doesn't that kinda suck for you?"

"At times, but like I said, it's not supposed to be fair." He looks over at Brad and tries not to sound too smug. "I've been doing this for over four years now. Two and a half months of initial training, a year with my first owner, two and a half with my second owner and some training in between. If it sucked too much, I wouldn't still be doing it."

Brad's silent for a long moment. "I kinda thought that you'd be, well, sorry, but I thought you'd be weak."

"Yeah, we get that."

"But really, you're kinda hardcore, aren't you?"

"I guess," Buster says. No one's ever put it that way before, but he has to admit that It's a bit of an ego-boo. "I mean, you could say I do sex in difficult mode."

"The final boss battle must be a bitch."

Buster stares at him and then starts laughing. "But the loot," he says. "Is pretty sweet."

They both laugh for a moment. "We good?" Buster asks.

"Yeah," Brad says. "I'm probably still gonna be a little...."

"Spooked?"

"Yeah that, for a while. But I'll try to be less obvious about it." He bends over and pick up his hedge trimmers. "You wanna come by and see the remote stuff some time? Um...I'm not hitting on you or anything."

"I know," Buster says. "And yeah, I'd like to see how you do it. And maybe talk about bikes."

"You ride?"

"No, but I'm curious."

"Because he collects them?"

"Yeah. I could bore you for hours talking about antique furniture, but I won't."

"Thanks for that."

* * *

Lincecum's still preoccupied at lunch; he doesn't feed Buster anything and barely answers Hunter when Hunter tries to talk to him. Buster stays in place by Lincecum's chair and tries to keep from zoning out. The trick is to chill without actually losing track of where you are. Mindful not-quite meditation, his yoga instructor called it. Buster suspects you don't hear that from non-Establishment yoga teachers. Or maybe you do. It's not like he did yoga before.

Which reminds him....

"Sir," he says to Hunter while cleaning up the lunch dishes. "Would it be possible for me to get some clothes to work out in?"

"That's the first thing you ask for?" Lincecum blinks and looks at Buster in surprise. Buster stares back, a little confused. It's not like it's a stupid request. "Of course you can," Lincecum says before Hunter can answer.

"Go online and get what you need," Hunter says. "Just for downtime."

"Unless I like the way he looks in them." Lincecum says.

"Well, yeah."

"Thank you, Master, Sir."

"I need to call Angel," Lincecum says.

"I thought you were taking a break."

"I'm not going to lead the project," Lincecum says. "We just need to get one started."

"Then fine. That means no 48 hour all-nighters, right?" When Lincecum just snorts, Hunter glares at him. "I fucking mean it, Timmy. You're gonna burn yourself out until one day you wake up and it's gone."

"Jesus, Hunter...."

Fortunately, Buster's got the dishes loaded onto the cart, because this is fucking awkward. Of course, he can't leave just yet, but he wheels the cart to the doorway and then goes down in his knees.

"Go ahead," Hunter says. "And then go to your room and wait for me."

"Yes, Sir."

As Buster wheels the cart out of the dining room, he hears Hunter say, "At least let me and Angel do most of this."

He doesn't hear Lincecum's reply, which is probably just as well.

"You look a little confused," Ms. Mendez says as he load the dishes in the dishwasher. "Everything all right."

"I think so? Near as I can tell, Master's had an idea that needs working on."

"Oh," she says. "I need to bake some cookies."

Buster blinks. "That's a thing?"

"He says cookies help him concentrate." She smiles. "It's not like he, or Mr. Pence for that matter, need to watch their weight."

"If your cookies are as good as everything else you make, I'm gonna have to watch my weight."

"You boys are always watching your weight. Worse than teen-aged girls."

"Yeah, but at least I don't spill glitter nail polish all over my floor."

She's still laughing as he heads back to his room.

There's a routine for this, he thinks. And that makes him feel a little better. If there's a routine, then there's a place for him in that routine. Even if it just means he won't get much attention for a while.

He's been kneeling by the bed for about twenty minutes when Hunter shows up in the doorway. "So," he says as he comes into the room and sits on the bed. "As you've probably guessed, we're gearing up for a...thing, I guess you'd call it. I'll try not to let it turn into too much of a deal, but it might get a little chaotic around here for a while."

"I'm sorry, Sir."

"For something in particular? Or was that just general commiseration?"

"If I hadn't mentioned the game looking weird last night...."

"Well, to be honest, you're right. Thing is, eventually he'd use something that doesn't work as well as he thinks it should, try to do something and not be able to, and he'd want to fix it." Hunter pauses and then looks at Buster. "What?"

"I'm sorry, Sir. It's not my place...."

Leaning down, Hunter grabs the ring of Buster's collar and yanks it hard. "Your place is where we say it is, boy. Now answer my question; tell me what you were worried about just now."

Keeping his eyes on Hunter's forearm, Buster says, "You don't seem very happy about Master having...about this being a thing."

The minute Hunter lets go of his collar, Buster shoulders tense as he fights the urge to put his forehead on the floor. What the fuck was he thinking? He's never belonged to a couple before, but he knows damn well he's not supposed to say shit like that. If they'd just let him keep his head down, if they'd just stop asking him leading questions, if...if they'd just let him be a fucking slave.

"You won't get in trouble for an opinion we ask you for."

"Thank you, Sir," Buster says, his voice very carefully neutral. He should get in trouble, he thinks. He's not here to share his opinions.

"Also, you're right," Hunter says, like that makes a difference. "I'm not happy about it. Tim gets really fucking focused and honestly? Kind of obsessed. He'll say he's going to sit back and let everyone else do the work, but, in spite of the way it looks, the idea doesn't spring forth fully grown from his head. We'll set up a project and then he'll keep coming up with different avenues they need to approach. Like I said, chaos."

"Yes, Sir."

"I can usually judge how long it's gonna take and, this time at least, we're lucky. If I sit on him and Angel sits on him, he should be able to back off and let it go in a couple weeks, maybe less. I think we can keep things here too. Eventually we'll head to the city, but not for another month and then, hopefully, not for work."

"Yes, Sir."

"This, me talking to you about this, makes you uncomfortable."

"I'm sorry, Sir. It's never been my place to know things like this."

Hunter sighs and once again, Buster wants to apologize. What was Mistress Allyson thinking, recommending him to Hunter? He's not the right slave for this situation. In fact, he doesn't think there is a right slave for this situation. Maybe he could do this if he knew what they wanted from him.

"Well it is now," Hunter finally says.

"Yes, Sir."

There's a long moment of silence and then Hunter says, "Give it a couple hours and then come up to the office. Oh, and tell Parker that Angel's gonna be here for a couple weeks."

Ms. Parker is helping Ellie hang sheets out behind the house. "We're all about a lower carbon footprint," Ellie says as Buster joins them. "Plus they smell good after hanging out here."

"Here, let me," Buster says, reaching for a sheet. "Ma'am, Mr Pence asked me to tell you that Mr. Pagan will be staying for a couple weeks."

"Oh good." Parker smiles broadly. "Did Mr. Pence say when he was getting in?"

"No, Ma'am. But at lunch, Mr. Lincecum mentioned calling him."

"That means he'll be here before dinner. He's usually in the city."

"I've got a couple hours," Buster says to Ellie. "If you need help getting a room ready."

"It's actually a suite," Ellie says a little later as she unlocks a door on the second floor. The bedroom is big and furnished with much nicer furniture than the office or game room. There's desk set up near the big picture window and the view is spectacular. As Buster pulls back the drapes and then opens the windows up, he wonders how much work he'd get done while looking out across the orchard to the foothills.

"What?" Ellie asks as they make the bed. "You keep looking at the headboard."

"Um...I'm checking for eye bolts, actually."

"What like on Mr. Lincecum's bed?" Before Buster has to admit that he hasn't seen his Master's bed yet, Ellie shakes her head. "Mr. Pagan's not kinky. He usually has a girlfriend but we only see her at...you know, straight parties."

She means normal, of course, but Buster appreciates her coming up with a different phrase.

"Don't say anything," Ellie adds with a wicked grin. "But Parker has like the biggest crush on him."

"Seriously?"

"Yeah. I can't really blame her. I mean...well, you'll see. He's really fucking hot."

By the time they're done, everything's clean, dust free and nothing smells like cleaning products, even the bathroom.

"You're good," Buster says, as Ellie looks around.

"Thanks. I worked for a service in the city, and then Em, my sister, got her job at the Establishment and...here I am."

"What's Em do?"

"Bartender. Like a real one, not one of those flashy, touristy people who shake martinis for five minutes." Ellie laughs. "Or that's how she puts it."

"I know what she means, though."

* * *

"Oh good, you put jeans on," Hunter says as Buster kneels in the office doorway. "I forget to mention it. I mean, Angel's cool with the whole Establishment thing, but...."

"Ms. Parker told me, Sir."

She'd caught him coming back from helping Ellie and promised to take the blame if he got in trouble. Right now, he'd prefer being naked but he's glad Parker was right.

"Angel finds the whole slave thing silly," Lincecum says. "Now get over here, Buster, and blow me."

Lincecum doesn't want anything fancy; he just grabs Buster's hair and drags him down. Anyone would do, Buster thinks, but by the time he's done, he has to reach down and adjust himself.

"Sir?" Buster says, turning on his knees to look over at Hunter. "Would you like...."

"Oh for fuck's sake," Hunter snaps. "What would you you like? You wanna blow me, then get over here and get your mouth on my dick."

"Yes, Sir," Buster says automatically, because when all else fails, he's got protocol to fall back on.

"Dude," Lincecum says at the same time.

Buster's busy crawling across the floor, so he doesn't catch any unspoken exchange, but when he kneels up in front of Hunter, he can hear the clack of keyboard keys behind him.

Hunter's staring down at Buster and Buster can't help biting his lip as he stares back. What the hell kind of an order was that? What do they want from him? Before he can overthink it, he reaches up and undoes Hunter's jeans. He'll think about it later, try to think past that sick feeling in his stomach brought on by Hunter's tone of voice.

He gets no feedback or guidance at all, Hunter just slumps back in his desk chair and looks down at him. Well fine, Buster thinks. He uses everything he's learned about Hunter in the past week and drags it out until his jaw hurts and he can taste the bitter salt of pre-come every time his tongue slides over the head of Hunter's dick. Yeah, he thinks. I wanna blow you. I wanna blow you so good you'll forget your own fucking name.

Finally, Hunter knots his fingers in Buster's hair and pushes him down. "Yeah...that's what I want...c'mon, boy...be a slut for me...there's a good slave...." Buster has a moment to grab a quick breath and then he's swallowing hard as Hunter comes down his throat.

"Better," Hunter gasps as Buster carefully licks his dick clean. He usually doesn't wait for Buster to tuck him back in, but now he just leans back, still breathing hard as Buster zips up his jeans.

"Well," someone says from the doorway. Buster turns as he wipes off his chin and...wow. His Master is good looking in a quirky way and you could say the same thing for Hunter, but this guy--Pagan, he assumes--is just flat out hot. He'd go for a lot on the block, Buster thinks.

"My timing could have been a little better," Pagan says as he comes into the room. He's got an accent--Puerto Rican maybe? "Hey boss, Hunter."

"Angel," Lincecum says, getting up from his desk. They exchange a quick handshake and then a bro hug that makes Buster think, no, he's not in New York any more. After Hunter hugs Pagan too, he gestures down at Buster.

"This is Buster."

"Sir," Buster says bowing his head.

"Hey," Pagan says. He turns to Lincecum. "You went a little more butch this time. How much did he set you back?"

Buster keeps his gaze on the floor in front of him. Pagan apparently knows not to talk to Buster, but he doesn't seem to realize there are questions you don't ask in front of a slave.

"It wasn't company money," Hunter says/

"I hope not," Pagan says. "You spend company money at the Establishment, you better get a girl."

"You don't even like slaves."

"Yeah, but if I have to look at one blowing you...."

"Can we please fucking focus here?" Lincecum snaps. "Buster, be somewhere else."

"You'll serve dinner at the usual time," Hunter says.

"Yes, Sir."

Buster prefers to think things over when he's done for the day, so he deliberately pushes aside his concerns about the scene in the office. He helps Ellie bring the sheets in and then swims for a while. It's late enough that he doesn't have to worry about getting burned, but he wonders if a pair of trunks would count as workout gear.

Swimming is good; Buster's been slacking off more than he should when it comes to working out. He can feel it a little in his thighs as he swims hard, but at least he's not thinking about anything.

* * *

Lincecum doesn't feed Buster at dinner; the meal passes in a blur of names as the three men try to decide on a project team. Buster can't help remembering the way he got passed around to some of Koffman's guys. Will Lincecum's team be the same? Well not entirely the same; he hears several female names. Koffman had women working him, but only a few and he never loaned Buster to any of them or had him serve them.

"Remember," Hunter says as Buster cleans off the dishes. "No working after dinner."

"Since when?" Pagan asks.

"Since this project," Lincecum says. "Hunter's turning into my mom."

"Good for him," Pagan says.

"I'm not some fucking fragile flower," Lincecum says. Then he sighs. "But you're probably right."

"Make a note of that, would you?" Hunter says to Pagan.

"Ha ha," Lincecum says as Buster bites back a smile. "C'mon guys. If you won't let me work, let's go shoot some pool."

As Buster gets ready to wheel the cart out, he glances over at Lincecum. "Master?"

"Yeah, come join us after you get all that to the kitchen."

"Stay dressed," Hunter adds.

"Guys, you don't have to...." Pagan starts to say.

"Stay dressed," Lincecum says.

Buster's afraid it's going to be awkward, but he ends up making drinks and kneeling next to Hunter or Lincecum when they're not at the pool table. He's not all that surprised that all three of them are fairly good at it; he could probably take Hunter, but not Lincecum and certainly not Pagan.

Lincecum plays with the back of Buster's neck the way he usually does and, when Buster tries to keep the squirming to a minimum, he slides a hand into Buster's hair and twists hard. "Don't," Lincecum says quietly. "If I don't want you reacting, I won't do it."

"Yes, Master," Buster says. "I'm sorry, Master."

"How does someone that polite make it in this household?" Pagan is leaning against the pool table looking at them.

"Buster, you wanna get that?" Lincecum asks.

"Training, Sir." Buster says, keeping his head down.

"Lots and lots of training," Hunter says.

"They're not worth it, you know," Pagan says.

Lincecum sighs. "Look, I get that you're making a joke, but you're kind of putting him into a no-win situation."

"Yeah, okay," Pagan says. "Sorry, boss."

At least, Buster thinks, Pagan knows enough not to apologize to him. As Hunter and Pagan go back to their game, Lincecum slides his fingers in Buster's hair again. As he pulls Buster's head back, he leans in until his mouth is right by Buster's ear.

"I'm going to be busy for the next couple of days," Lincecum says softly. "Before that happens, I want to hurt you. A lot. More than last night."

Buster catches his breath. "Yes...yes, Master."

"Give me a number," Lincecum says. "Between one and seven."

"Five, Master," Buster says. He's not sure what he's getting himself into, but it really doesn't matter.

"Good boy. Now go to your room and wait for me. On your knees, arms in box position."

"Yes, Master."

Box position isn't that difficult, but it's not the way Buster usually kneels. He folds his arms behind his back and then grips each arm just below the elbows and tries to get comfortable. After about two minutes, he's promising himself that he'll work out more, or at least do more stretching. He should probably work on holding some of the more common positions, too. He's been slacking off, partly because his new Master is so casual.

He can't see his phone, of course, so he has no idea how long it's been when Lincecum finally shows up in the doorway. "Okay, that's hot." He steps in front of Buster and looks down at him. "Can't wait until your nipples heal up."

When Buster bites his lower lip, Lincecum looks curious. "You looking forward to it, too?"

"Yes, Master."

"So you actually like nipple play?"

Buster hopes he doesn't look as confused as he feels, because honestly, is there a slave out there who doesn't? "Yes, Master."

"And not just because I like it?"

What the hell kind of a question is that? "No, Master. I've always liked it."

"Huh...."

The words "what am I doing wrong" are stuck in Buster's throat. He can't ask without looking needy. And anyway, if he's doing something wrong, why don't they tell him?

"So," Lincecum says, briskly. "Here's the thing. I know damn well that Hunter's been down here telling you that he and Angel will be able to hold me back and not let me work too hard, but that's bullshit. One, I'm the boss, and two, they'll get caught up in the project too."

"Yes, Master," Buster says.

"So you'll have a lot of time off, but have your phone with you. I know slaves are always on call, but right now, I'm gonna want you when I want you and not when you're scheduled to come up to the office or whatever."

"Yes, Master."

"And don't worry it, if you come in sweaty or just out of the pool, it's okay." Before Buster can acknowledge the order, Lincecum steps back a pace. "Now stand up and grab the ring."

Buster's not exactly stiff, but his shoulders ache a little when he reaches up and takes hold of the ring hanging from the ceiling. He arches his back a little as he tries to find his balance and that helps some. The ring was clearly positioned with him in mind; he can hold onto it and keep his feet flat, but only if his feet are fairly close together. If Lincecum makes him spread his legs, he'll be up on the balls of his feet or even his toes.

"Little stiff?" Lincecum asks and Jesus, does nothing escape him?

"Yes, Master. I'm sorry, Master."

"What the hell for?" Lincecum moves behind him and Buster can hear him unlocking the toy closet.

"For being a little out of shape, Master."

"Oh for God's sake, I don't care as long as it doesn't affect what I do with you. In fact, it's given me an idea for something I can do to once we're done and have more time." He moves around to stand in front of Buster again. "One through seven was about the order things hang in the closet, right to left. This was number five. Lucky you."

He holds up a thin rattan cane.

"Now, I could lay some stripes down on top of those welts on your ass, or I could work on your thighs and calves. It's up to you."

Oh fuck...what does he do now? He doesn't know Lincecum well enough to know which he'd prefer. He bites his lip and does his best not to look away from Lincecum's face as he tries to decide.

"Or you could sleep on the floor with no blanket for a week," Lincecum says when Buster doesn't answer soon enough. "Not to mention that I'd be really fucking annoyed and disappointed."

"Thighs and calves, please, Master." Buster says quickly. It's not much of a choice really. Either option will make it hard to move and kneel properly, and both will hurt, so in the end, he goes for the one that won't hamper his ability to wear pants as much. if he's not with Lincecum, he can always wear shorts.

"Don't make me drag it out of you next time."

"Yes, Master. I'm sorry, Master."

It seems that Buster isn't in too much trouble; Lincecum steps around behind him without saying anything.

"Buster, do you have a safeword?"

Just like that, Buster's breath catches deep in his throat. "N...no, Master."

"Why?"

"Because I'm a slave, Master." Buster pauses. "Your slave, Master."

"A real slave."

"Yes, Master." There's no way Lincecum can know what Buster's been thinking--how it seems like Lincecum wants a boyfriend--is there?

Buster doesn't have time to speculate much more; Lincecum starts in on the back of his left thigh with the cane. He's just flicking the cane--brisk, light blows that are more ticklish than anything. Buster's thigh is tingling a little when Lincecum moves on to the other one, but that's all.

It builds, slowly, but steadily--the next set still tickles, but it stings just a little too. Lincecum's sticking to the upper part of the backs of Buster's thighs; by the time he starts the third set, Buster's skin is warm and he's beginning to really feel each blow. When Lincecum pauses, Buster takes a deep breath because it's going to start being actively painful from here on out.

Instead, Lincecum starts working on the backs of his calves. He's just as careful as he was with Buster's thighs--he sticks to the big muscle, avoiding the backs of Buster's knees and his ankles. Safety first, Buster thinks with a smile.

"How does it feel?" Lincecum asks, stepping back after he's finished the third set on Buster's calves.

"Like a sunburn, Master." Buster knows from experience that he'll be uncomfortable even if Lincecum stops here. Not that there's a chance of that, he thinks as Lincecum starts up on his thighs again.

The burn gets worse as Lincecum goes through one more round on Buster's thighs and calves. "Okay, boy," Lincecum says with a laugh. "Warm-up's over."

"Yes, Master." Buster takes a deep breath and shifts a little on his feet as he tries to get as stable as possible.

"You want to hurt for me, Buster?"

"Please," Buster says, meaning every word of it. "Please, please, Master."

"Please what?"

"Please...let me, please Master. Please let me hurt for you."

"You don't have to count."

That's all the warning Buster gets before Lincecum lays the cane down across both his thighs. He does it fast, Buster's still gasping after the first blow when the next one lands. It stings like fuck and then it stings like fuck and then it stings like fuck again.

Still, it's not too bad when Lincecum pauses. Buster gasped a couple times and he's breathing hard, but he hasn't shouted yet. It's not that he's trying to be stoic, just that he's too well trained to make noise before it really hurts.

He tries to keep count the next time and while it's a little easier because Lincecum's slowed down, he's also hitting Buster harder. "Fuck," Buster grunts on what he thinks is the fourth blow.

"Hurts, doesn't it?" Lincecum asks as the cane lands again.

"Yes!" Buster sucks in a quick breath. "Yes, Master."

"Good." Lincecum brings the cane down again. "You want more, don't you?"

"Please," Buster says. "Master....please!"

Lincecum pauses again and then, just as Buster's catching his breath, the cane lands on one of his calves. He grunts because fuck, that hurts. Lincecum does it again and then again, the cane landing with with force on Buster's already stinging skin. It doesn't get any better when Lincecum switches sides.

Buster's lost count and he's not even sure where the next blows will land when he finally yells. Lincecum's working on his thighs again, laying down stripe after stripe; Buster's shaking by the time Lincecum stops.

"More?" Lincecum asks as he taps the tip of the cane lightly on one of Buster's calves. "Or do you want me to stop?"

Everything in Buster's head is telling him to beg Lincecum to stop. "More," he gasps. "Please, Master."

"I wouldn't have stopped anyway," Lincecum says with a laugh. He sounds like he's having the time of his life and all Buster can think is yes...yes more...yes for you...yes and yes and yes.

"Thank....oh fuck! Thank you...Master."

After that, Buster can't think, let alone talk. Each time the cane lands it leaves a line of fire behind and even as Buster yells, the next one lands. It almost hurts too much to cry; Buster's eyes are watering, but he's too busy yelling to sob. When the cane lands in just the right spot on Buster's calf, it forces him to let go; he clings to the ring and screams. There's nothing else, nothing but the pain, and he can't take it...he can't take it...he can't take it....

Only he can because he has to and because...because it's suddenly perfect. It hasn't stopped hurting--still hurts like fuck--but now each stripe sets off sparks in his mind. He won't come from it; it's too overwhelming for that, but the pain is brilliant and sharp edged and it's all he knows, all he wants.

He's so gone on it that he's shocked when the next blow never lands. "Wha...." His voice is hoarse and he's been gripping the ring so tightly, his knuckles hurt.

"Good boy," Lincecum says. "Such a good boy...just stay here a little longer, okay?"

"Yes..." Buster trails off into a choked gasp as Lincecum presses right up against him, his jeans rough against Buster's thighs. "Yes, Master."

He gasps again when Lincecum reaches around and wraps his hand around Buster's dick. Buster had been so caught up in the pain that he hadn't really thought about just how hard he was, how fucking turned on. Now, however, he can't help but feel it and he has to clench his teeth to keep from shoving his dick into Lincecum's grasp.

"You want to come?"

"Yes...please, Master. Please please...."

"That's what I want, Buster. C'mon boy, tell me what you want. Beg for it."

Right now, Buster doesn't care that it's not supposed to be about him. His whole body is still humming with pain and endorphins, and his Master told him he was good and wants to hear him beg.

"Please, Master," Buster says. "Please...let me come...please, Master."

Lincecum starts stroking his dick slowly. "You sure you want it?"

"Please...oh God, please...make me...please make me come...please, Master!"

"Good boy," Lincecum murmurs. "Keep begging, let me hear you."

Buster's voice is already hoarse from screaming, but he doesn't care that it hurts as he begs and begs and begs, the words falling out like they'd been ready to be said for days now. He's probably incoherent--"please" and "Master" and "make me" are about the only words he can even think of. He's close, so close, but he wants this moment to go on, wants to hang from this ring hurting and begging and giving his Master what he wants.

"Good," Lincecum finally says. "You're such a good boy...such a good slave." He twists his hand and strokes Buster's dick hard and fast. "Do it, boy. Come for me."

Buster comes with a wordless yell and his knees, which he'd locked during the caning, finally give. He manages to keep holding on to the ring, but only because Lincecum's bearing some of his weight. They stand like that for a moment, and then Buster gets his feet under him again.

"Please, Master," he says. "Please let me go down."

He's not even sure if Lincecum knows what he means, but Lincecum just steps away and says, "Yes."

Letting go of the ring is hard, Buster's fingers are cramped and stiff and his shoulders hurt. But he does it and then turns to face Lincecum without stumbling. "Thank you," he says as he goes to his knees. He keeps going down until his forehead is resting on the white rubber toe of Lincecum's chucks. "Thank you, Master. Thank you so much."

"Good boy," Lincecum says and Buster knows Lincecum's looking at him with that look he gets.

"Please, Master. Please, let me serve."

"Is that what you want?"

And maybe he's been slow, but Buster's finally seeing the pattern here. This is, however, a horrible time for a revelation so he tucks it in the back of his head to think about later. "Yes, Master. Please."

"Kneel up then and give me your mouth."

For once, Buster's almost glad Lincecum isn't going to fuck him. He could take it and he might even like it, but the idea still makes him wince.

"Not gonna take much," Lincecum mutters as he grabs Buster's hair and drags Buster down over his dick. He's right; Buster sucks hard, but he doesn't have time to take it all before Lincecum's groaning and coming into his mouth.

After Lincecum's zipped up again, he reaches down and runs his hand through Buster's hair. "Okay, I need you to get up on the bed. Can you move?"

"Yes, Master."

Buster's just gotten settled when he hears Lincecum rummaging around in the toy closet. Buster could turn his head and see the contents of the closet, but he doesn't. Mostly because right now, he doesn't care. He's floaty and relaxed and he's just going to lie here for a while and....

He's surprised when the bed dips a little. "Master?"

"Shh...let me look." Lincecum rests a hand on the middle of Buster's back and then, after a moment, says, "no blood, no broken skin." He sounds pleased with himself and he should be; Buster's not sure how many blows he took, but it was a lot. It would have been easy for one or more of those blows to break his skin.

One of the things Establishment slaves learn early on is that aftercare isn't always going to happen, unless ignoring it would lead to real, physical damage. Buster's been told over and over again that this isn't playing, that it isn't kink the way it's taught in books and online and in the leather community. He's been fairly lucky in that regard, but he knows how to handle himself if, for example, Lincecum were to just get up and walk out of the room after making sure Buster wasn't bleeding.

Lincecum doesn't get up. Instead, Buster feels something cool across the skin of his thigh. It's got a fresh green scent--aloe gel, he thinks. It's also a little numbing--probably the kind with lidocaine in it. It feels fucking awesome and maybe Lincecum doesn't have to do this, but he is doing it and Buster appreciates it.

"Thank you, Master."

"Thank you for not sounding too surprised," Lincecum says with a little laugh.

"Just grateful, Master," Buster says. His voice is rough and a little slurred; hopefully Lincecum can tell he's sincere.

Lying here while Lincecum takes care of him, it's hard to imagine that Lincecum's displeased or disappointed that Buster's not measuring up. Buster's beginning to understand what it is that Lincecum and Hunter want from him, but he's still not ready to process it. He's not really ready--or even able--to process much at all except for the cool strokes of Lincecum's hand across his skin.

"You with me?" Lincecum says, once he's done with Buster's legs.

"Yes, Master."

"Okay. First of all, do you want me to ask someone to come sit with you?"

"No, Master. Once you leave, I'd rather be alone."

"All right. I'll see if anyone's still up in the kitchen and make sure they bring you some water and something to eat if you need it later." He leans over clips the chain to Buster's collar. "Tonight, you have permission to unclip this yourself if you need to for whatever reason."

"Thank you, Master."

"You don't have to serve breakfast tomorrow; I'll make sure Ellie doesn't wake you up." Lincecum presses Buster's collar against the back of his neck. It's been a little over a week, but already Buster's learned to love that little gesture. "Finally, your phone's got my number on it. If you need anything...."

"Thank you, Master, but I'll be fine."

Lincecum sighs a little. "I know you can take care of yourself and, honestly, I'm glad you can. But you don't always have to. Not in this household. If you need me, call me."

"Yes, Master. Thank you, Master."

Lincecum leans down and Buster can feel his Master's hair brushing his shoulder. "You're gorgeous when you're screaming," Lincecum says and then kisses the back of Buster's neck, right below to the collar.

To Buster's surprise, he finds himself fighting back tears. He doesn't give in and cry; he just won't. He's cried in front of Lincecum before, but this is different. "Master," he murmurs--not a question, just a response to the gesture.

Lincecum's standing in the doorway before he speaks. "Here's the thing you need to remember once you figure it out. Just because you ask doesn't mean I'm going to say yes."

He's gone before Buster can say anything, but Buster waits until he's sure Lincecum is out of earshot before he lets the tears come. He's not even thinking of Lincecum's last words or of anything really. It's just so...so....

There's so much going on inside his head, he's grateful and confused and aching and still a little floaty and...undone, he thinks. Lincecum gave him an awesome scene and it was wonderful, fucking perfect, and he was fine until the moment Lincecum kissed him. And now? Now he's come undone.

Buster doesn't cry for long, but when he's done, he feels better. He's tired, exhausted really, but before he drifts off, he fumbles for his phone. He's pretty good at waking up on time, but tonight, he really needs to set the alarm. He might have had the crap beat out of him, but that's no excuse to lie around in bed in the morning and let someone else pick up the slack.

He's half asleep when he hears someone moving around in the room. "Sorry," Ellie murmurs. "You okay?"

"Yeah," Buster says, and it's true. He is okay now. "Pretty good, really."

"I brought you some water, a peanut butter sandwich and some ibuprofen. Oh, and Mr. Lincecum says you can use the aloe gel when you need to."

"Thanks," Buster says. "I mean it, Ellie. Thanks."

"No problem," she says. "You need anything else?"

When Buster shakes his head, she leaves the room and turns the light off in the hall. Buster takes the ibuprofen and drinks a little water, but he's not hungry yet, so he just starts up his rain app and settles down to think.

They want him to ask for what he wants. He's not sure what to make of that because it goes against all his training. He understands being made to beg and he loves doing it, but to flat out ask for something he wants? What kind of slave does that?

That is what they want, though. He feels kind of stupid because honestly, he should have figured it out earlier. But still, he thinks he can be excused a little because that's just not how things are supposed to work. He gets that Lincecum and Hunter are causal and unorthodox, but is this set up so Lincecum gets to be arbitrary? So he can say "no" to Buster? He does that anyway.

So what the hell is Buster going to do now? Because of course he wants things. He wants Lincecum to fuck him. He wants more scenes like tonight. He wants both of them at the same time. He wants...he wants all kind of things. But that's not the point. The point is serving. The point is submitting, giving yourself over to someone else's desires.

Sure, it's not supposed to be fucking awful. He's not supposed to hate it, and honestly, he never has. He's been bored at times and he's done things he wouldn't have done if he'd had his way, but he's never hated it. He knows he's a little extreme at times, but he really does like being controlled. He likes knowing his place, likes that it's not about him. That it's not about what he fucking wants.

He remembers saying that, or starting to say that, to Mistress Allyson.

You really believe that, don't you?

Of course he does. Isn't he supposed to?

Chapter Text

The next day doesn't give Buster any chances to test his theory. He wakes up in time to eat breakfast, but he's in so much pain that he doesn't have much of an appetite. He manages to get a couple pieces of toast down, but only because he doesn't want to take more Motrin on an empty stomach.

As he's getting ready to wheel the breakfast cart out to the dining room, Brad glances at him.

"Boss battle?"

"Yeah," Buster says with a slight smile. "I think I leveled." Funny, Buster thinks, but true.

When Hunter comes down to breakfast and sees Buster, he frowns. "Jesus fucking Christ, didn't Tim tell you to take the morning off?" Then, as Buster starts to kneel, he adds, "Don't. Just don't."

"Master only said I didn't have to serve breakfast," Buster says, hoping he doesn't sound too defensive.

Hunter pinches the bridge of his nose. "So of course, here you are." He sits down and drinks some coffee. "Okay, come over here, drop your pants and let me take a look."

Sliding his pants down is pretty uncomfortable, but Buster does it without making a sound. "Wow," Hunter says. "That's impressive." When he slaps Buster's thigh hard, Buster yelps more out of surprise than pain.

"You're a good boy, Buster, and I appreciate your dedication, but I'm gonna make this an actual order: do not serve lunch or dinner today. Do not serve any meal tomorrow. Do not help anywhere around the house or yard either today or tomorrow. Do you hear me?"

"Yes, Sir."

Hunter stands up and presses against Buster's back the same way Lincecum did last night. When Buster groans and squirms a little, Hunter reaches around and grabs Buster's hip, pulling him even closer. "Did you like screaming for him last night?" he murmurs, his mouth right against Buster's ear.

"Yes, Sir."

It's true; Buster liked it and he likes what's happening now, how it's almost an echo of last night.

"Good, because you'll do it a lot more."

"Thank you, Sir." Buster takes a deep breath. "I...I would like that, Sir." Hopefully he doesn't sound too forced.

He can feel Hunter's quick huff of laughter against his neck. "It's a start." Stepping back, he adds, "Now go get some fucking rest, okay? Oh, and just carry your pants, no need to put them back on."

"Yes, Sir."

The day is incredibly boring; Buster can't do anything but lie on the bed on his stomach. He fools around with his fantasy football team and catches up on some post-season baseball--he doesn't have a favorite team in the race, but still, it's October baseball.

Ellie keeps bringing him food and when she shows up with dinner, she settles down cross-legged next to the bed.

"I heard you last night," she says, looking down at her hands.

"Just me screaming or all of it?" It's weird, but he finds himself hoping she didn't hear him begging.

"I headed for the kitchen when you started screaming."

"Shit, I'm sorry. I wish I had some way to remind Master that your bedroom is just down the hall."

"I'm pretty sure he doesn't care. I mean that's why they pay me the big money, right?" She shrugs. "I got used to it with Tyler. It's kind of like seeing you naked; I guess there's bound to be an adjustment period when it's someone new."

"How long have you been here?"

"Over a year. They hired me at the same time Mr. Lincecum bought Tyler." She glances up at him. "You know you're just dying to ask, so...."

This isn't the first time she's said that and Buster wonders if he's really that transparent, even to the staff. "I get the feeling you guys--the staff, I mean--didn't like him."

"We didn't. He never did more than he had to. So yeah, he'd serve food the way you do, but he didn't even bother putting the dishes in the dishwasher after."

"Seriously? I mean, we have to get along, right?"

"He didn't think so." She pauses, frowning a little. "With you...well, it's obvious you're really well-trained and you probably went for a lot, but you don't act like that makes you better than us."

"That's because you guys are employees and I'm not."

"You are, though."

"Technically and legally, yes. But I'm trained not to look at it that way. The money...yeah, I know it's there waiting for me, but most of the time, I don't even think about it." He pauses, trying to find the right words.

"This is an illusion, you know? The whole system depends on everyone playing their parts. We--you and me and Master--have to act like this is reality. Like it's perfectly normal for you to just shrug and go hang out in the kitchen while he beats me until I scream. If he'd done too much more, I'd have begged him to stop. They tell you guys to ignore that, don't they?"

"Yeah. And, eventually, you learn. So, we're part of the illusion, right?"

He nods. "Different slaves look at it differently, but it's easier to remember my place if I act like I'm the low man on the totem pole."

"What if your owner has more than one slave?"

"It's usually pretty obvious who's got seniority. My first owner had a girl; she was called a ladies maid, but she was the one Mistress slept with and played with. And she'd been with Mistress for two years at that point."

"What did you do for your Mistress?"

"She loaned me out a lot and she had a lot of parties where I was...you know, part of the entertainment."

"That must have been weird, never knowing who you were going to be with or what they were like."

"Yeah, but it was kind of exciting too. I learned a lot and there was a lot of variety, a lot of different guys." None of them, he thinks, anything like Lincecum or Hunter. "Does Master give a lot of parties? I mean Establishment parties. Did he loan Tyler out much?"

"He throws a big party every once in a while--maybe four, five times a year. There are tons of kinky people in the tech business and he knows other people from the Establishment. And people, I mean kinky friends, visit, but they usually bring their own slaves. He let other people play with Tyler, but never handed him over for, like, a weekend out of the house."

"Thanks," Buster says. "It takes a while, figuring out how things work." Not that he has his new Master figured out. Not by a long shot.

"Well, if it helps, we like you."

* * *

It's the middle of the night and Buster's sound asleep when someone puts their hand on his shoulder. "Get that ass in the air," The person--Hunter--says.

As Buster mumbles something that hopefully sounds like "yes, Sir," he struggles out from under the sheet and gets to his knees. He's still half-asleep, but he's been trained for situations like this and the pain helps him wake up. He really feels it when he goes down onto his elbows and spreads his legs and it hurts even more when Hunter gets on the bed behind him. Still, even he hears Hunter uncapping the lube, Buster's already getting hard.

Hunter bother with much prep but Buster doesn't care; he moans and spreads his legs a little wider as Hunter presses into him. "Does it hurt?" Hunter asks when he's all the way in, his thighs pressing up against Buster's.

"Yes, Sir," Buster says, his voice still thick with sleep. "Hurts...hurts a lot."

"Mmmm, yeah." Hunter takes him slow, his hands on Buster's hips. When he tugs a little, Buster starts moving with him. "Yeah...that's right...that's a good boy."

All day, Buster's felt the pain simmering in the back of his mind, under his skin. All day he's been edgy, trying not to think about how good it would feel if he could only come. So maybe it's not so surprising that he really has to work to to keep from going over the edge. He can do it, but before long, he's digging his fingers into the sheets and making little, embarrassing, whimpering noises.

"Close already?" Hunter asks, sounding a bit breathless. "Is it getting fucked? Or the pain?"

"Hurts," Buster says. He grits his teeth and tries to do better. "Close because it hurts...and getting fucked...and you using me because you can...Sir." It's more about himself than he wants to give away, but right now, he has no defenses left.

"Yeah." Hunter reaches down and grabs the back of Buster's collar. He doesn't tug on it too hard, but the pressure of the metal against Buster's neck makes Buster whimper all over again. "You pretend to be...so fucking controlled...." Hunter trails off and fucks Buster silently for a few moments. "But...you're a slut aren't you? Fucking want it all the time...don't you?"

"Yes," Buster groans and it's easier now, in the dark of his room, in the middle of the night, to let go. "Lemme...please please please...lemme be a slut for you...please, Sir...please use me."

Hunter growls and moves his hand to Buster's back, right between his shoulder blades. He pushes until Buster's down as far as he can go, cheek on the bed, weight resting on one shoulder. Hunter's fucking him hard now, hard and fast, and it's all Buster can do to hang on.

"Fuck...oh fuck...." Hunter's fingers are digging into Buster's hip and into his back and his thighs are rubbing against Buster's; it hurts and it's good. Or good because it hurts; Buster's never sure. "Wanna be used...boy?"

"Please...please, Sir. Please use me...please please please."

Buster whines when Hunter pulls out. Hunter's still gripping his hip, but he takes his hand off Buster's back and Buster can hear the slick slide of skin on skin as Hunter starts jacking off behind him.

"Please," Buster says and he's lost in it now, lost in the way it feels to beg. "Please please, Sir. All over me...use me...come on me, please. Please, Sir!"

Groaning something Buster can't really understand, Hunter comes all over Buster's ass and thighs. It's so fucking good; Buster could probably come right now if Hunter told him to. In the back of his mind he thinks about begging for it, about asking for what he wants. But he can feel come sliding down his ass cheek and maybe he doesn't want to come. Maybe he wants to be spread out on this bed like a slut, maybe he just wants to feel this way--used and dirty and like the slave he is. Maybe, and he's not sure he'll ever be able to explain this to Lincecum and Hunter, maybe he wants to want.

Buster holds position until Hunter sits back. Even as Buster moves, though, Hunter pats his ass. "Don't. I'll get my own towel. Just relax."

Buster's not surprised that Hunter knows what he was planning on doing, but he doesn't like the way they're coddling him. It's not that he doesn't appreciate their concern, but he's not weak; he can do he's supposed to do..

"Buster," Hunter says, once he's tossed the towel aside. Buster can see him, but the light from the hall is too dim to see his expression. "Don't wash up until morning."

"Yes, Sir."

And that, Buster thinks a few minute later as he tries to get comfortable, just makes the whole thing better. Yes, he still hurts and now he's itchy and dirty. It's two-thirty in the morning and he's so fucking turned on and this...this is what he signed up for.

* * *

The next day is about as boring as the day before, except that Buster's feeling better and his workout clothes have arrived. Having shorts makes a difference; he's able to wander around the grounds with some degree of comfort. it's getting cooler and Buster wishes he could go for a run because the weather's perfect for it. When Buster's phone rings just before lunch, the sky is overcast and it's a little breezy.

Lincecum's waiting for him in Buster's room. He doesn't want much, just a quick handjob. It's the kind of thing he could have done for himself, but, Buster thinks as he licks come off his fingers, why should he? He's got Buster for that.

Buster waits until Lincecum's zipped up, before he says anything. "If you don't mind me asking, Master, how is the project going?"

"It's fucking frustrating. You ever have something just on the tip of your tongue but you can't quite remember the word?" When Buster nods, Lincecum sighs. "It's like that. It fucking sucks."

Lincecum reaches down and rubs his thumb over Buster's mouth. "Why, are you bored?"

"No, Master," Buster says, hoping his irritation doesn't show. "I was just curious."

"This helps," Lincecum says, and it sounds a little like an apology. He smiles down at Buster as he pushes his thumb into Buster's mouth. "You're good for my stress levels." Buster sighs happily around Lincecum's thumb and then runs his tongue over it.

"Do you want to come, boy?"

Lincecum's thumb is still in Buster's mouth and so all he he'd have to do is nod. It'll make his Master happy, Buster tells himself. Lincecum, for whatever reason, wants Buster to...well, want things. After a brief second, Buster nods and stares up at Lincecum, his eyes wide. Please, he thinks.

"Okay," Lincecum says. "At some point this afternoon, I'm going to call you and you're going to get on your knees wherever you are and come for me."

Roughly three and a half hours later, Buster's kneeling in his bedroom answering his phone.

"You hard?"

"Yes, Master." Buster pauses briefly and then says, "I have been, on and off, ever since you said you'd call me, Master."

"Good, because you have a minute. Starting now."

All Buster has to do, once he's got his hand wrapped around his cock, is squirm just a little and think of the past two days. He's been hurt and used and his Master's told him he's a good boy more than once and....

He shudders hard and comes with a loud groan. "Thank you," he says, even though he's still a little breathless. "Thank you, Master."

"Thirty seconds," Lincecum says with a laugh. "Guess you were ready."

"Yes, Master." Buster hesitates again. "The last two days...."

"Yes?"

"It's been good...serving you and Mr. Pence." It sounds stupid and rehearsed, but he can't say "God, the last few days have been fucking awesome." And he really doesn't want to; all he wants to do is try to get it across that he's liked it. Also, it's weird trying to do this on the phone. "Thank you," he adds before Lincecum can say anything. "Thank you, Master."

There's a brief moment of silence during which Buster's sure he sounded like a fucking idiot. "You're a good boy," Lincecum says. When he speaks again, his tone is brisk--the moment, such as it was, is over. "I want you to serve breakfast tomorrow, if you can. I'd offer you a choice, but you would just show up, wouldn't you?"

"I'm afraid so, Master."

Lincecum laughs. "I figured. Okay, I'm done with you for now."

Buster sighs as he puts his phone back on the nightstand. He's not sure Lincecum understood what Buster was trying to say and all Buster can hope is that his Master didn't think Buster was asking for praise.

* * *

Breakfast goes the way it usually does, but by lunch time, Lincecum. Pagan and Hunter are in the bigger, more formal dining room using the table as a conference table. Buster brings in sandwiches and cookies, along with coffee for Hunter, Red Bull for Pagan and Mountain Dew for Lincecum.

He expected to be sent from the room, but he gets lucky when Lincecum snaps his fingers and points to the cushion on the floor by his chair. Yes, it's kind of boring to listen to conference calls and project strategy but Lincecum keeps pausing to feed Buster pieces of cookie. Buster could get cookies in the kitchen--in fact, he has for the last couple days because apparently Ms. Mendez thinks feeding him will help him heal faster or something. Still, it's not anything like getting fed from his Master's hand. Plus, they're chocolate chip, which means he gets the occasional chance to lick chocolate off Lincecum's fingers.

The next two weeks follow roughly the same pattern. Buster serves meals and sometimes he stays and sometimes he's dismissed. Neither Lincecum nor Hunter spend much time with him; mostly he gets them off at odd hours of the day and night and, if he's lucky, they let him jerk off. Usually they're too rushed to hurt him much. His legs stay sore for a few days and then it's just a matter of the bruises fading.

Buster misses the pain. It's like it was back in college, when he met his first top. They only played a few times and after that, Buster remembers lying in bed pinching himself until he bruised. It wasn't the same, but he can't even do that here. On the other hand, he's a real slave now, not someone just playing around.

As soon as he feels up to it, he starts working out. The gym in the former guest cottage is really nice; Buster appreciates the big screen TV because he's not very good at doing yoga on his own. Moving from yoga to working on his positions is incredibly familiar and he doesn't even think about where he is.

He's working on offering his wrists--kneeling with his wrists up and crossed like they're tied that way--one day when he hears Ellie say, "ooops, sorry."

Looking up, he sees her in the mirror and breaks position. At least, he thinks, he's got shorts on. "It's okay, c'mon in."

"Okay."

She's wearing shorts and a crop top and wow.... "Damn," he says. "You're fucking ripped."

"Thanks. My dad boxed a little and he works in a gym now. I don't box, but I lift. I like being strong."

"Remind me to never piss you off."

She laughs and then gestures at him. "Sorry, I...."

At the same time, he says, "Sorry...."

"No it's okay," she says.

"I could do this in my room, but I like to have a mirror."

"Do you practice to look good?" She sounds more curious than anything; he doubts she's going to think he's too vain.

"That and so I can hold the position if I need to."

"So that one was what, 'tie me up?'"

"Yeah. It's called 'wrists' or 'present wrists.' They don't always tie you up in that position, so it's kind of an 'I'm yours' thing too."

"Huh. What...." She ducks her head. "I shouldn't ask."

"No, it's cool." When she looks a little skeptical he smiles at her. "Really, I've done a lot of explaining to people; I don't mind."

"I was mostly curious about what else there is. I mean, I've seen some of them and you really don't need to show me the...."

"Naked ones?"

"Yeah, those."

"You've seen the standard kneel, right?" When she nods, he kneels and puts his hands behind his back, wrists crossed at the small of his back. "This is one of the alternate kneels. It's what you do when you're told to present your chest. I mean, if you're a boy."

"It's what, the 'show us your tits' pose for a girl?"

"Pretty much. Girls are supposed to arch their back more than a boy does; if I do it, it's usually so they can play with my nipples."

"Right," she says with a laugh. She settles down on the mat, sitting cross-legged.

"This one's along the same line," Buster says, putting his hands behind his head. "This version's called a kneeling inspect because 'inspect' is normally done standing up with your legs spread a little like you're getting patted down."

"More like a prisoner kind of thing?"

"Yeah. Interrogation scenes sometimes start that way."

"Does that mean what I think it means?"

"Yeah, probably."

"Huh."

He waits and when she doesn't say anything more, he brings his arms down behind his back. He pulls his shoulders back and gets his elbows as close to each other as he can.

"Ow," Ellie says. "Is that another boobie pose?"

"It can be, but mostly it's a bondage pose. You get tied up like this or put in long leather gloves that hook together."

"Again, ow."

"It's easier when you're tied up, but yeah, it's a strain." He changes position until his palms are pressed together behind his back. "It's kind of like the reverse prayer pose in yoga."

"You're like, seriously flexible."

"Yeah, you have to be; that's why most of us do yoga." He moves his arms into box position. "Not only do you have to be flexible, you have to be able to transition from one position to the next and make it look as good and as easy as you can."

He goes back into the standard kneel and then goes into the wrist position and from there to inspect and then to present chest and then reaches down and grips his ankles. And yeah, he's showing off a little but he's mostly looking at the mirror to see if it's as smooth as he can get it.

"Kinky yoga," she says. "You're good at it."

"I'm adequate. I'm too big to be really graceful so I just have to make it look effortless."

"It really is a job isn't it?" she asks while he settles back into the standard kneel. "Like, it's not just getting hurt or being into D/s."

"Actually the whole thing really does boil down to D/s. If I was more about the pain, just the S/M side, I'd be working in one of the clubs. To do this...I mean, here I am working out for a couple house just so I can stay on my knees longer. You have to be pretty damn subby." He pauses. "There are owners out there who don't care about the formal dominance thing as much as the sadism, but still, they're owners and not people with kinky partners."

"The other night, when you were talking about the illusion--you've thought about this a lot, haven't you?"

"You have to. Even if you just do short contracts, it's still 24/7. Still a big chunk of your life."

"The Establishment," she says. "It's not just a job. It's a career."

"Yeah," he says with a laugh. "It really is."

* * *

He's in the kitchen two weeks after the project started, mopping the floor and talking about football with Ms. Mendez when his phone rings.

"Come up to the game room," Lincecum says. "And I'm gonna ask you what you want, so think about it."

Great, Buster thinks. What, he wonders, should he ask for? What would make his Master happy? For that matter, what does Buster want right now?

Everything, he thinks. Anything.

Both Lincecum and Hunter are waiting for him--each in their usual places--and suddenly, Buster knows exactly what he wants.

Before he can kneel in the doorway, Lincecum points to the middle of the floor. "So?" he asks once Buster's on his knees.

"Please, Master, Sir." Buster swallows hard and forces himself to look Lincecum in the eye. "I want...please, I want you to take me. Both of you at the same time. Please Master, please."

"Oh really? That's kind of ambiguous, don't you think? Be more specific."

Buster wants Lincecum to fuck him, but, he really doesn't want his first time with his Master to involve that kind of DP. "Please, Master, my mouth and my ass. Please?" Then, because he remembers what Hunter said about acting like a slut, he leans forward until he's on his hands and knees. "Please, Sir. Please, please, please...Master, please fuck me...use me...please take me like a slut...like a slave...please, Master, please."

It's even harder to keep his eyes on Lincecum's face as he begs; Buster can feel his own face heat up and he bites his lower lip and tries to keep it together. He knows how to make this position look good, so he concentrates on dipping his spine and spreading his knees a little further. "Please, Master, please," he says, tilting his head up and leaving his mouth open a little when he's done speaking.

"Now," Hunter says, "we're getting somewhere."

"How do you want it, boy?" Lincecum says.

"Hard, please, Master. Hard and rough and...please please, make it hurt."

Lincecum leans back and unbuttons his jeans. Once he's got his dick out, he jacks it slowly. "This what you want?"

"Yes, Master. Please, Master."

"Then get that mouth over here," Lincecum says with a snap of his fingers.

As Buster crawls the few feet to the couch, he can hear the rustle of Hunter undressing behind him. "Please," Buster says, leaning forward.

Lincecum lets him get close before grabbing his hair. He uses it to hold Buster in place while he slaps him on the cheek with his dick. Buster whimpers as he does it again and then again, and God that's good; he's loved it ever since he first saw it in porn back in high school. Behind him, Hunter goes to his knees and presses up against Buster, his dick nudging Buster's ass.

"You want this too, boy?"

"Yes, Sir, please, Sir."

"How about this?" Lincecum asks, holding his dick just out of Buster's reach.

"Please, Master, please let me suck it."

"Well, since you asked so nicely...." Lincecum pulls him down and slowly pushes his dick into Buster's mouth.

"What do you think?" Hunter says. "Lube or not?"

"He wants it to hurt, don't you, Buster?"

"Mmmm hmmm."

"I think he just tried to say that spit's okay."

"Sounded like that to me, too."

Buster hears Hunter spitting into his hand and he takes as deep a breath as possible when he feels the head of Hunter's dick press against his hole. It's hard to relax with Lincecum already fucking his mouth, but he does his best; it helps that Hunter doesn't just shove his way in. Still, it hurts plenty as Hunter moves, steady and slow and Jesus fucking Christ, Buster knew he was big, but this...goddamn. It's all Buster can do to keep still, to keep at least some of his attention on Lincecum's dick when all he can feel is the stretch and burn.

Buster groans around Lincecum's cock when Hunter's finally all the way in. "Think he likes it?" Lincecum asks.

"Nah," Hunter says. "I don't think it hurts enough yet, right, Buster?"

All Buster can manage is another muffled moan, but he's pretty sure the way he presses back against Hunter is enough of an answer. For just a moment, they're all still and then Lincecum's hand tightens in Buster's hair and Hunter pulls back.

It's all the warning Buster gets before they're both moving. They fuck like they've done this hundreds of times before, like they know what the other is going to do. It's exactly what Buster begged for, hard and rough, and it's both of them. It's been a while since Buster's taken two guys at once; he almost forgot how good it can be.

Hunter's fucking him hard now and it hurts in just the right way and Buster moans around Lincecum's cock as it pushes into the back of his throat. He's got to get past what he's feeling and pay attention to Master and Sir, because it would be all too easy to just let them do all the work. With another groan, he concentrates on picking up their rhythm.

When Hunter leans forward and grabs Buster's hair, it's exactly what Buster needs. Hunter's pulling Buster back on his dick and then shoving him forward onto Lincecum's dick. Buster doesn't have to move his head so he just sucks hard, swallowing each time Lincecum's cock goes deep and pretty soon he can hear Lincecum moaning. Behind him, Hunter's swearing--"fuck" and "oh God" and "take it." It's so good and it gets better when Lincecum reaches down and rests his hand on Buster's collar, pressing it against the side of Buster's neck.

Yes, Buster thinks. He can feel it happen, that moment when he gives up, gives in, gives over control. He's just here in this moment, just here for his Master, and he shivers and lets his whole body go loose and pliant and easy.

"That's it," Lincecum pants. "That's what I...that's my boy."

Buster moans and tries to do just a little better, tries to use his tongue in just the right place, tries to meet Hunter's thrusts just a little harder. This is where he wants to be, where he is supposed to be, where he needs to be. He's louder now, his moans might be muffled by Lincecum's cock, but he wants them to know what they're doing to him, how good it is to serve.

"Such...fucking slut...Jesus...wanna feel him come...'kay, Timmy?"

"Yeah...yeah, do that for us, Buster."

Even as Buster comes with another muffled groan, he's concentrating on the cock in his mouth and the one up his ass. It's not easy--in fact learning how was one of the hardest parts of Buster's training--but Lincecum and Hunter make it a little easier by holding him still while he comes. For you, Buster thinks as he gives it up. All for you.

He's still shuddering through the aftershocks when Hunter starts fucking him again. Buster's always been sensitive afterwards, so it hurts and keeps on hurting once Hunter really puts his back into it. He's fucking Buster harder than he was and Lincecum's riding Buster's mouth harder and Buster's...Buster is good, he's useful, he's serving and he's where he belongs.

"Yeah," Hunter growls as he lets go of Buster's hair and grabs his hips. "Oh yeah...oh fuck yeah...."

"Yeah, c'mon babe...lemme see...."

Hunter's grip goes even tighter, his fingers digging into Buster's skin, as he comes with a loud shout. Even as he slumps down over Buster's back, Lincecum grabs Buster's hair and pushes into his mouth hard. Buster swallows and then swallows again as Lincecum comes; he doesn't--won't--gag but when Lincecum finally pulls away, there are tears in Buster's eyes.

"So good," Lincecum says. "Such a good cocksucker...aren't you, boy?"

"Try...try to be, Master."

"Yeah?" Lincecum looks over Buster's head. "Sit back and put him on your lap."

Buster's not exactly small, but he's still relaxed; Hunter pulls him up and back easily. "Gonna fuck you like this someday," he says.

"Please, Sir," Buster says.

"You two look good like that." Lincecum slides down off the couch and kneels in front of them. "You love this, don't you, Buster? Love being owned...love being a slave."

"Yes, Master," Buster says and God, he hopes Lincecum knows he means it. "I...I really do, Master."

"You're getting there," Lincecum says and then, before Buster can figure out what he means, Lincecum hooks his fingers into the ring at the front of Buster's collar. "We'll get you there."

Lincecum tugs at the collar and Buster leans forward. "Please," he says, not entirely sure what he's asking for. "I want," he says.

"What?"

"To be good, Master. To be what you want." He starts to say more but then goes silent.

"What else?"

"I mean it, Master," Buster says. "I know it sounds like I'm just....I'm not just saying it...." He's losing it, dropping out of headspace; he's thinking again and he stares at Licnecum almost helplessly. He wants to duck his head, to look away and take refuge in the formalities.

Except...except he also wants Lincecum to kiss him.

"It's all right," Lincecum says and that's wrong, it's all wrong. His Master shouldn't have to reassure him, Buster shouldn't need that, but right now, he does.

Lincecum tugs harder on Buster's collar and and Buster leans closer to him. "Master," he murmurs.

"Yeah," Lincecum says. "I am."

For just a second, as Lincecum presses his lips against Buster's mouth, the kiss is oddly chaste and even a little sweet. Then, when Lincecum's teeth close on Buster's lower lip, it goes from sweet to rough in a matter of seconds. Lincecum is still tugging on Buster's collar and then his tongue is pressing into Buster's mouth and all Buster can do is take it and hope Hunter keeps holding him in place.

Lincecum kisses like he means it, like he knows he owns Buster and wants Buster to know it too. Yes, Buster thinks as he moans into Lincecum's mouth. Yes, he thinks again. He's going down again, falling back into headspace like he never left it. Lincecum's teeth are nipping at Buster's lip again and it hurts just enough to be perfect.

When Lincecum finally pulls back, Buster's breathing like he just ran a mile and he's pretty sure he could get it up again if they told him too. He's pretty sure he would do just about anything if they told him to.

"Save any of that for me?" Hunter asks.

"Oh yeah," Lincecum says. He presses closer to Buster and kneels up so he can kiss Hunter over Buster's shoulder and....

Holy fuck, that's hot. Buster can't see anything other than Lincecum's chest, but he can hear them. Buster's been with two men before, but there's something different about being right in the middle of a moment this intimate. He turns his head and leans against Lincecum's chest with a soft sigh.

* * *

It's happening, he thinks that night as he reflects back on the day. You don't fall in love because it's not about love, but when you're trained to please an owner, it's all too easy to become devoted. It's part of it; he's supposed to be desperate to please a Master or Mistress and he's getting there with Lincecum. And with Hunter too, to a certain extent.

Only, he is and he isn't. He's not going down as often as he should. Now that he thinks about it, it happens when he doesn't have to meet their eyes--like when Lincecum had Buster over his lap, or when he was caning him. Tonight...tonight was good and it was so easy to just slide on in to the right headspace, but when Lincecum wanted him to talk, he felt like he had to think before every word.

How the hell, he thinks, is he supposed to get down into headspace when they keep making him think?

* * *

Everyone at breakfast is more relaxed than they have been the past couple of weeks. Instead of tech talk, the conversation centers on baseball and what kind of sponsorship deal Lincecum can work out with the Giants.

"Nothing with the logo," Lincecum says. He holds a piece of cinnamon roll down for Buster and stays silent while Buster eats it and then licks his fingers off. "Good boy," he murmurs before turning his attention back to Hunter and Pagan. "No branding."

"You're fucking unreal," Hunter says.

"It's not like we sell anything to the public," Pagan says.

"Neither does Oracle," Hunter replies. "I mean they do, but the A's and Raiders don't play at J dot Co."

"Yeah, but we're a fucking think tank," Lincecum says. "Look, let's find out what they want and then figure out what to name it."

Lincecum holds down another piece of cinnamon roll. "Look up," he says quietly. Buster meets his Master's eyes while he eats and then licks off Lincecum's fingers. He draws it out, sucking and even nibbling a little.

Leaning down, Lincecum speaks right into Buster's ear. "It's almost like you want something else in your mouth." Buster nods and slides his tongue between Linecum's fingers. "You little slut," Lincecum says as he slowly pulls his fingers out of Buster's mouth.

It should be ridiculous--Lincecum calling Buster a "little" anything--but Buster's face gets hot and he has to fight to keep his eyes up. Hes been called a slut by one person or another for years now, but it's hard to take when he's looking someone in the eyes while they say it.

Oh duh, he thinks. Neither of Buster's prior owners went in for humiliation much, although he's been with people who like it, and, of course, he got a pretty steady diet of it from all his trainers. But this is different. This is his Master.

The slap takes him completely by surprise. "Don't," Lincecum snaps. "Go somewhere else."

"Yes, Master," Buster says as he goes down into obeisance. "I'm sorry, Master."

"What am I supposed to do with him?"

And that, Buster thinks as he scowls at the floor, isn't cool. After telling Pagan off for putting Buster on the spot, Lincecum's talking punishment with Pagan in the room. Buster's beginning to wonder if sometimes Lincecum just forgets that everyone around him isn't his sub.

"I'll deal with it later," Hunter says and something in his tone of voice makes Buster think Hunter's not happy with Lincecum either.

Hunter comes into the kitchen while Buster's loading the dishwasher. Well fuck, Buster thinks as he goes to his knees and then further down, head to the tile floor. Talking punishment in front of Pagan is one thing; doing it in front of the staff is something else. They're used to it. And right now, the only people around are Ms. Mendez and Ms. Parker. He's pretty sure they won't be bothered by it.

Buster...well, he's another story. He always feels awful during punishment and having it happen in front of other people makes it worse.

"What did you do?" Pence asks.

"I didn't pay complete attention to my Master, Sir."

"Why?"

"I was thinking, Sir." And then, because he knows the question is coming, he takes a deep breath. "I thought I realized why Master wants me to meet his eyes."

"Well," Hunter says. "That's kind of ironic, isn't it? Tell me."

"I think it's about humiliation, Sir."

"Huh...how's it working?"

"Very well, Sir."

There's a pause and then Hunter snaps his fingers. "Follow me. Don't walk."

"Yes, Sir," Buster says.

As he crawls out of the kitchen, he hears Ms. Mendez say something about lunch to Ms. Parker.

He keeps his eyes on the floor in front of him, only glancing up to see which direction Hunter is going as they leave the kitchen. As Buster expected, Hunter leads him toward the back of the house until they reach Buster's room. As soon as Buster crawls through the door, he goes down into obeisance again.

"Where's your computer? In the closet?"

"Yes, Sir."

"Get it for me and give me your phone."

Once Hunter has Buster's laptop and his phone, he stands there looking at Buster. "Okay, here's the deal. You are in trouble, but not too much. I mean, Tim's kind of pissed off because he wanted to play with you again, but other than that, I'm inclined to to be somewhat generous."

Buster bites his lip and waits.

"You can leave your room to use the bathroom. You can have lunch and dinner, but you will go to the kitchen, get something and come back and eat here. Alone. No hanging out and braiding one another's hair with Ellie. Do not use the bed at all. When you go to sleep, don't use a pillow or a blanket. You shower in the morning, right?"

"Yes, Sir," Buster says.

He's got a pretty good idea what's coming next, so it's not a surprise when Hunter says, "Cold water only."

"Yes, Sir." He waits to see if there's anything more, but Hunter's silent. Buster bows his head. "Thank you, Sir."

Buster's been through this before and he supposes he's lucky because at least Hunter didn't say he couldn't sleep on the carpet. Cold showers are a pretty common punishment--they don't hurt, don't leave marks and don't do any damage. And they suck.

So does sitting around with absolutely nothing to do. Right now, Buster really doesn't want to think about anything, because, to be honest, he's had enough of thinking for a while. Look where thinking got him. He was right, though. Lincecum wants to humiliate him. Buster's not entirely sure how he feels about that. He's not ashamed of who he is and he's not ashamed of being a slave, but humiliation is different than being ashamed.

Stop thinking about it, he tells himself. Just stop. Think about whether it's going to be the Pirates or the Cardinals. Think about whether it's going to be Kansas City or Baltimore. Think about how the fuck Dallas beat Seattle.

No really, he wonders as he lies on his back and stares right up at the ring set in the ceiling. How the goddamn hell did Dallas win that game?

* * *

Cold showers are awful. Cold showers after you've slept on the floor without a pillow or a blanket are really fucking awful. Especially if you did a lot of sleeping. Buster's always been good at grabbing sleep when he could; he spent a lot of yesterday napping and was still able to sleep surprisingly soundly all night.

Only now, as he heads for the kitchen, he's stiff and fucking freezing. Even worse, he feels horrible about screwing up and annoying his Master. He's not sure where his head is otherwise; mostly he just wants to apologize and not get in trouble again.

"You'll need to eat fast," Ms. Mendez says when he reaches the kitchen.

"It's all right; I'll eat later," Buster says and helps her load breakfast on to the cart.

To Buster's surprise, Lincecum comes down to breakfast first. As usual, he obviously just rolled out of bed, and, as usual, he gulps down half a cup of coffee before paying attention to anything. His hair's tousled and, not for the first time, Buster wants to run his fingers through it.

"Well," Lincecum finally says.

"I"m sorry, Master," Buster says, looking up to meet Lincecum's eyes.

"I know," Lincecum says as he rests a hand on Buster's face.

Buster keeps his eyes on Lincecum's face as he turns his head just enough to kiss Lincecum's palm. "I want...Master, I just want to be good for you." Maybe if he says it enough they'll start to believe him.

"I know," Lincecum says again.

After a long moment, Lincecum slides his hand around to the back of Buster's neck. Buster shivers when he presses the collar against the back of Buster's neck. "Jesus," Lincecum says. "You're fucking freezing."

"That too, Master."

Lincecum smiles and plays with the back of Buster's neck a little more. "Still," he finally says. "You're really cold. Didn't you have any coffee with breakfast this morning?"

"No, Master. I didn't have breakfast at all."

"Wait, what? Did Hunter tell you to do without breakfast?"

"No Master," Buster says and then bites his lip. "I wanted...."

Lincecum gives him a moment and then says, "You wanted?"

Sure his face is beet red, Buster takes a deep breath. "I wanted to wait until you fed me, Master."

Jesus, he sounds like a fucking idiot. What makes it worse was that he only just now realized why he didn't want to eat in the kitchen.

"Oh," Lincecum says, a broad smile on his face. His hand goes tight on the back of Buster's neck.

By the time Pagan comes down for breakfast, Buster's kneeling between Lincecum's legs while Lincecum feeds him bacon and coffee cake and sips of coffee.

"Angel, go charm Parker into giving you breakfast wherever you want it, okay?"

A minute or two later he sends Hunter away as well.

"Beg for me," Lincecum says once he's fed Buster enough to constitute a real breakfast. "Beg for something you want."

Just like the other night, Buster suddenly knows what he wants. "Please, Master," he says. As always it's hard to meet Lincecum's gaze; Buster bites his lip and tries again. "Please, Master, please fuck me. Please."

God but he wants it so fucking bad. Lincecum's staring down at him with a slightly curious expression and Buster remembers what Lincecum said about not always getting what he asks for.

"Please," he says and then tries to figure out how to ask. He knows not to bargain--he has nothing to bargain with--and he knows not to brag about how good he can make it. "Please, Master, I want...I'm yours. Please fuck me, please...please please please."

"Need it pretty bad, don't you, boy?"

"I do, Master. I really really do. Please." And if Lincecum wants to humiliate Buster, this is working pretty damn well. He'd be fine if he were looking down or if he could put his head to the floor, but he can't; he has to look up at his Master while he begs for it. Buster's been hard ever since Lincecum fed him that first piece of coffee cake, but now he's so fucking turned on it hurts.

"Please, Master...please please fuck me."

"What would you do for it?"

What the hell kind of question is that? It's so unexpected and, yet again, Buster's startled into truth. "I'm your slave," he says. "Master, there's not anything...I can't give you more, Master. You already have it." Great. He sounds completely stupid--again--and more than a little confused.

Lincecum gives him an odd little smile. "Really?" Then before Buster can work up the nerve to ask what he means, Lincecum presses his fingers against Buster's mouth. "Ellie showed you where my bedroom is?" Buster nods. "Once you're done cleaning up after lunch, come up and kneel by the door."

Buster nods again and kisses Lincecum's fingers.

"Now, clean up here and go to your room. I think Hunter wanted you this morning."

"Yes, Master. Thank you, Master."

By the time Hunter shows up in Buster's room, Buster's talked himself down a little. It's stupid to be so nervous; it's not a fucking date. It's just...can't anything be normal with Lincecum? Can't he just fucking tell Buster what he wants? He keeps dropping hints and Buster's still pretty confused about the whole thing. So it's not getting fucked he's worried about--he's a trained Establishment slave and he knows he's a damn good lay. It's that Lincecum hinted, yet again, that there's something Buster's missing or not doing or not being, and to be honest, Buster's kind of tired of it.

Today, at least, Hunter tells Buster exactly what he wants. He cuffs Buster's hands behind his back and then uses Buster's mouth. He takes his time about it, too; by the time he finally comes, Buster's jaw and throat are sore and Hunter's breathing like he's just run a marathon.

"Such a good cocksucker," Hunter says as he finally slides his fingers out of Buster's hair. Buster's scalp aches, but not so much he'll have a headache. "Seriously, you have the prettiest mouth." He pauses. "What?"

Buster keeps smiling. "It's just that I don't get called pretty often, Sir. Or...ever really."

"I know a big butch guy--a slave--who's taller then me and bigger than you and he's got one of the prettiest mouths I've ever seen on a man. Seriously, that boy's mouth was made for sucking dick. You'll see when you meet him."

"Are we going into the city soon, Sir?"

"Eventually, but you'll meet Brandon and...." He pauses and laughs a little. "I'm kinda tempted to keep it secret just to see your face when they show up. Which they will in a week or so. Now that we're just about done getting things rolling down in La Jolla, we'll have a chance to entertain.

"But now," he says, sitting back on the bed. "Get up here and straddle me."

Once Buster's in place, Hunter reaches out and grabs his biceps, pulling him in close. "Tim and I...we share everything."

Even as Buster's thinking that, well, duh, he knew that, Hunter leans in and kisses him. It's different than being kissed by Lincecum; Hunter kisses like he wants to figure Buster out, like he's mentally cataloging everything that makes Buster moan. After a moment, he pulls back. "Kiss me back," he says, his mouth moving against Buster's lips.

Now it's Buster's turn to try to figure Hunter out, but he's not so analytical that the kiss doesn't get to him. Hunter likes tongue on tongue and that's good, really good. By the time Hunter ends the kiss, there's a slick patch of skin on Buster's lower belly from where his dick's leaked against it.

"I'd make you come, but I've been asked not to."

Buster's willing to bet it would be more like told not to, but he'll probably understand his own position in this household long before he understands what's up with his Master and Hunter. It's interesting though, Lincecum not wanting Buster to come until later. Does he want Buster desperate?

"Yes, Sir," Buster says, pushing the thought aside. "Thank you, Sir."

"For what, not letting you get off?"

"For letting me serve you."

Hunter gives him that look, like he's not sure he believes Buster or not. More and more, Buster's wondering what Tyler and the boys before him were like. Buster's known slaves who stick to the script when they don't know what else to say--hell, he's done it himself. But, from the very beginning, he's given Hunter and Lincecum the truth. It's frustrating when they act like they don't believe him even when he's pushing past his comfort zone.

Buster showers--hot water this time, thank God--before lunch. He thinks about doing a little bit of prep, but Lincecum didn't tell him too and Buster doesn't want to make any assumptions. It shouldn't be a big deal, he thinks as he pulls on a pair of black pants and ties the apron around his waist. Only it is, because for whatever reason Lincecum waited instead of just bending Buster over that first afternoon.

Okay, no. Buster's not sure of his reasons but what Lincecum is doing--waiting until Buster asked for it--is obvious. It keeps coming back to them wanting him to want things. And it's not like he doesn't want things. He does; he wants lots of things. But he's not supposed to say that because they're not supposed to deal with his wants, just theirs.

He's also not supposed to think as much as he is. He's supposed to be what they want, do what they want, and not fucking think all the goddamn time.

He's gotten himself into a better mood by the time he serves lunch. It's just Lincecum and Hunter; Pagan left a little while after breakfast. As if they want to make up for lost time, Hunter and Lincecum both feed Buster, making him crawl from one side of the table to the other. They're not doing what some people do--making him go so fast he looks clumsy--but they both keep their fingers in his mouth far longer than necessary.

"I told him he had a pretty mouth," Hunter says.

"Likes to use it, too." Lincecum slides his fingers out of Buster's mouth.

"You look good on your hands and knees," Hunter says as Buster crawls over to him.

"Thank you, Sir."

"Huh," Lincecum says, leaning back in his chair and looking at Buster. "You think he'd make a good puppy? Or maybe put him on his feet in a harness--make him a pony."

Buster's never done either and while he think he could maybe do the puppy thing, ponies train long and hard before they can race. Also, while he's got the height for it, he's too stocky.

"You should have seen the pony girl that went on the block just before Buster. She had gorgeous lines; very stylish." Hunter keeps his fingers in Buster's mouth. "You thinking of starting up a stable?"

"Nah, too much bother. And, let's be real, Buster's not pony material," Lincecum says with a laugh. "And I've already got puppies. A human puppy would just be weird."

Thank God for that, Buster thinks.

"Was that relief I just saw?" Hunter asks as he pulls his fingers out of Buster's mouth.

"I would try very hard, Sir," Buster says, because of course Hunter noticed. They notice everything, it seems. "But honestly, I don't think I'd be a very good puppy. I'm not all that cute."

"I don't know about that," Lincecum says. "You're awfully cute when you're confused."

Wow, how the hell is he supposed to respond to that. Taking a deep breath, he goes for humor. "Like right now, Master?"

"Point to the boy," Hunter says and Lincecum laughs.

Just before Buster takes the dishes out, a sudden thought occurs to him. "Master?"

"Yeah?"

"Do you want me to wait for you naked?"

Buster's been wearing jeans in the house and not just because of Pagan. It's getting cool enough that he's going to have to ask to be allowed to wear shirts.

"Not exactly," Lincecum says. "I haven't had a chance to see you in one of those jocks yet."

 

"Yes, Master," Buster says.

A short while later, as Buster heads toward Lincecum's bedroom, he passes Ellie in the hall.

"Lookin' good," she says.

"Shut up," he mutters while she laughs.

He didn't expect to find a friend, he thinks as he goes to his knees outside Lincecum's door. He'd been friendly enough with Sophie, but they'd never really clicked or even spent much time together. The same had been true for Ms. Fowler's staff. But he likes Ellie and hopes she stays with his Master for a while, at least through the end of his contract.

Taking a deep breath, he kneels next to Lincecum's door and resigns himself to waiting. It's cool, but he's comfortable enough; since no one is watching, he can shift position a little. Like all slaves, he can kneel for quite a while without moving very much at all, but it's better if he moves from time to time. Mostly, though, he tries not to think about anything important. Mindful, not-quite-meditation.

It only sort of works. He's nervous, which is fucking ridiculous. It's not a first fucking date, he tells himself. It's not fucking prom. And thank God for that, Buster thinks. He remembers kneeling on his stupid plastic prom king crown while he blew Jeff Conners after they dropped their dates off. Jeff pulled Buster's hair and damn near choked him and then didn't even get Buster off. At the time, it was the best sex Buster ever had.

He's come a long way from that night in Leesburg and he wonders what his high school self would think of where Buster is now. Actually no, he knows. This is one of his jerk off fantasies come to life--Buster's a slave waiting on his knees for his Master to fuck him. Of course, he Lincecum isn't exactly the big burly Master Buster used to dream of, but Buster's getting what he always wanted to get. He's where he wanted to be.

It's the perfect thing to be thinking about when he hears footsteps behind him.

"Well," Lincecum says. "I wish it were still summer and we could have you running around like this all the time. Because, damn."

Buster knows that his ass is one of his better features, but Lincecum's words still make him blush.

"Lemme see more; show me that ass."

"Yes, Master," Buster says.

As he goes down, head to the floor, legs spread, he remembers Mistress Allyson.

C'mon, boy, you call that good? Arch your fucking back and get those knees further apart. You're a fucking sex slave, not some glorified secretary, so look like one.

So look like one, he thinks. Look like the slut you said you were when Hunter looked you over in the showroom. He adjusts his position and tries to narrow his focus.

"Looks like you want something, boy."

"Yes, Master. Please, Master, fuck me."

He feels the toe of Lincecum's shoe nudge the inside of his thigh. "Show me," Lincecum says. "Spread for me."

Buster can feel it a little in his thighs and his face is hot when he thinks about what he must look like. Like what? A slut? Like he wants it? Without thinking about it, he squirms just a little because, yeah, he does want it.

"That's my boy," Lincecum says. Buster hears the door open. "C'mon, then."

Lincecum's room is big and airy, at least what Buster can see of it from his knees. Mostly his attention is on the bed; when he reaches it, he kneels next to one side and waits. The first thing he hears is a chain clinking and then Lincecum's leaning down to clip a chain to Buster's collar.

"Who do you belong to?"

"You, Master." Buster looks up at Lincecum. "I'm yours, all yours, Master."

"My boy."

"Yes, Master."

Lincecum grins down at him. "And if I feel like playing with my boy?"

Buster takes a deep breath. "Please, Master...I want to be played with."

"Give me your wrists," Lincecum says. "Nice," he adds when Buster holds his wrists up. The cuffs he locks onto Buster's wrists are just like the ones in the game room--heavy, ox-blood colored leather. "You're ridiculously well trained."

There's no answer for that; Buster flexes his wrists just a little, testing the cuffs. They feel good, a solid, comfortable pressure on his wrists.

"Too tight?"

"No, Master. Not at all. I just like...I like knowing they're there."

"Really?" Lincecum's hands close around one of Buster's wrists, pressing the cuff hard against his skin. When Buster catches his breath, Lincecum smiles. "Oh yeah," he says. "That's nice." He stands looking down at Buster and even though Buster's looking right into his eyes, Buster can feel himself move a little closer to headspace.

"C'mon then," Lincecum says, stepping back. "Up on the bed. Yeah, get in the middle...face down and ass up for now."

At least, Buster thinks as he gets settled, he won't have to keep meeting Lincecum's eyes. He shouldn't be thinking that way, but he wants to go down, wants to be good and give it up for his Master and it's easier this way.

"I really like this," Lincecum says, running a finger down one of the straps of Buster's jock. "Unless we tell you otherwise, start wearing one under your clothes. I want to be able to pull your jeans down and see this." He smacks Buster's ass--a quick, sharp slap.

"Yes, Master."

"A little wider for me," Lincecum says, slapping Buster's inner thigh. "Yeah like that." He rests a hand on Buster's ass. "Your ass...you're made to be fucked, weren't you?"

Yet again, Buster's not sure how to answer. "I'm glad you like what you see, Master." He pauses and then laughs a little. "Since it's yours and all."

"Yeah?"

"Yes, Master. All yours." Buster squirms a little. "Yours to use, Master."

"You like that. Being used." Lincecum runs his hand over Buster's ass and then down one of his thighs.

"Yes, Master. Please, Master, please use me."

"Mmmm...how? Because I like the way this looks," he slaps Buster's ass again, harder this time. "I could just jack off all over it."

"Please Master," Buster says and if he didn't want to be fucked so bad, he beg for that. "Fuck me. Please...want it so much."

"Do you?" Buster can hear Lincecum doing something behind and then there's a cool trickle of lube down the crack of his ass. "Do you?"

"Yes, Master. Please please...I need it. Need it from you," Master." He needs it and he's needed it ever since he woke up in this house. Being fucked by Hunter is great, but Lincecum is Buster's Master and Buster wants it from his Master. "Please, Master."

When Lincecum slides his fingers between Buster's cheeks, Buster slides his knees a little further apart. "God," Lincecum says. "You look like a fucking slut."

"I am," Buster says and yeah, he's sliding down now. "Your slut, Master. Yours...I want it from you, please, Master."

"Good boy," Lincecum says. "Enough talking for now, though you can make as much noise as you want."

Lincecum's touch is light as he rubs a finger over the slick skin behind Buster's balls. With a shiver, Buster waits for him to do more, but Lincecum just keeps rubbing him in that one spot and before long Buster's squirming. He tells himself to relax, to settle in, because it's obvious Lincecum is going to take his time, but how can he relax when Lincecum is winding him up?

"So easy...." Lincecum murmurs and now that Buster's supposed to be quiet, he wants to beg for more, for anything. Instead, he whimpers softly as Lincecum drips more lube on him. Finally, he feels Lincecum's finger teasing his hole and before he can stop himself, he pushes into Lincecum's touch.

"That's it," Lincecum says. "That's it...." He doesn't do anything more, though; all Buster can feel is the smooth slide of his finger. "I don't have to fuck you. I could do this all afternoon." He moves back down, closing his hand around Buster's balls. "I could play here too," he says. Buster whimpers again as Lincecum tugs a little; Lincecum's not hurting him, but the threat is there.

"Maybe I will sometime...hurt you a little. You like that, boy?"

"Mmmm hmmm," Buster murmurs into the pillow, hoping it doesn't count as talking.

"Huh. Maybe someday I'll find something you don't like." Lincecum tugs a little harder this time; Buster squirms and then does it again when Lincecum lets go. With a chuckle, Lincecum presses a finger into Buster. Before Buster can even react, Lincecum's pulling back again.

Lincecum keeps up the tease, his finger moving in and out, slow and easy. Buster remembers the other day when Lincecum had Buster over his desk. He'll go crazy, he thinks. If Lincecum doesn't do more soon...Buster's not sure what he'll do.

Take it, he thinks with a low moan. If his Master wants to spend all afternoon teasing him, Buster has to stay here on this bed and take it, no matter what he wants. When Lincecum slides his finger back in, Buster moans again and pushes back.

"I could tell you to stop moving, too," Lincecum says. "But no, I like watching you try to get more."

Buster whimpers and moves back again. Of course, he's trying to get more; he fucking wants more. He needs more.

When Lincecum finally slides two fingers in, Buster whines in the back of his throat. Lincecum's thumb is rubbing right where his fingers are going in and Buster feels hot all over--and God, he's got to get it under control here. But then Lincecum twists his fingers and, when Buster moans and pushes back, Lincecum laughs.

"God you want it bad...." Lincecum pauses and Buster feels the cool splash of lube--like he's not incredibly slick already. Lube or not, he feels it when Lincecum suddenly pushes another finger in hard. "Oh yeah...."

Buster can't help whimpering in protest when Lincecum suddenly pulls his fingers out and sits back. He doesn't care how he looks, doesn't care how he sounds as he whimpers again. He wants...he wants.

"Roll over," Lincecum says. "Hands above your head."

Buster knows he's not graceful, but he feels even more clumsy than usual as he rolls over. He's shaky and breathing hard, and when he quickly looks himself over...he's a fucking wreck. His chest is flushed and his jock is sticky and clings damply to his dick. Hopefully, he thinks as he stretches his arms up, Lincecum likes what he sees.

When Lincecum clips the cuffs to the headboard, he pulls the chain tight--tight enough that Buster's chest is arched just a little.

"Why didn't he draw you like this?" Lincecum says, as he sits down. When Buster gives him a curious look, Lincecum gestures at him. "Chained to a bed looking all fuckable and desperate."

Buster opens his mouth and then closes it quickly.

"Tell me."

Even though he doesn't want to say it, the words are right there. "Too messy, Master," he says, wishing he could duck his head.

"Every once in a while, you let me see you." Before Buster can answer, or even think of what the hell to say, Lincecum slaps his hip. "Never mind." He reaches into his drawer and pulls out something metal....

Fuck, Buster thinks, his eyes going wide as Lincecum flips open a mean looking switchblade. He signed off on careful knifeplay--nothing that would leave even faint scars on his arms--but he wasn't expecting it now.

"The funny thing is, you look scared--which, by the way is a good look on you--but you're still hard," Lincecum says with a grin. "It's okay," he adds. "I'm not using it on you. Not tonight."

The knife must be pretty sharp; it cuts through the straps and the waistband of Buster's jock without Lincecum having to put much effort into it. Buster's training holds; he stays perfectly still until Lincecum closes the knife and puts it aside.

"I know what your contract says," Lincecum says as he pulls the pieces of the jock off Buster. "But tell me how you really feel about knives."

"It's pretty much like you said, Master. They scare me but they're hot."

"You into fear play?"

"Not that much, Master." When that's clearly not enough, Buster takes a deep breath. "I trust you, Master. You and anyone else from the Establishment. With you, knife play would be scary but safe. So would threatening me with something I know is going to hurt a lot. But, real fear? Like actual danger? No, Master, that's not a turn on."

"Good to know." Lincecum rests a hand on Buster's thigh. "You're a good boy, Buster."

"Thank you, Master," Buster says. He bites his bottom lip because that's all he wants right now--to be a good boy.

"Now," Lincecum says, slapping Buster's thigh. "Get those legs up and out of the way."

It would be a lot easier if Buster could just grab his legs behind the knee, but Buster still manages to bring his knees up. The hours spent stretching and doing yoga paid off, he thinks. Of course, it might be physically easy but he can feel the blush flare on his cheeks as he forces himself to meet Lincecum's eyes. Please, he thinks staring up at Lincecum. Please please please....

"So," Lincecum says, with a little bit of smirk. "What was it you wanted?" Then, before Buster can even open his mouth to answer, he says, "yeah, I'm kind of an asshole."

"If you say so, Master," Buster says, fighting a smirk of his own. Then he clears his throat. "I want...please, Master. Please fuck me."

"Why?"

And wow, Buster thinks. Lincecum really is an asshole. He pushes past his anger and tries to come up with an answer. It's right there and he blurts it out before he can talk himself out of it.

"Because you're my Master. Because you own me and I need you to fuck me...please, Master." Then, when Lincecum raises an eyebrow and leans back to look Buster over, Buster opens his mouth and lets rest of it spill out. "Please Master, please. I've wanted it...needed it ever since you collared me. I know you don't have to...you don't ever have to, but please please, Master. I'm yours...please fuck me."

He's almost there, would be there if he could just close his eyes.

"I hope I live up to the hype," Lincecum mutters. Buster hears him doing something with the lube, hopefully slicking his dick up, but Buster learned his lesson earlier. He keeps his eyes on Lincecum's face.

"Please, Master...."

"Okay," Lincecum says. He leans forward and presses his fingers to Buster's mouth. "That's enough for now."

Please, Buster thinks as he kisses Lincecum's fingers. Please.

Lincecum slides a hand behind Buster's knee and holds him like that. "Mine," he says and then--finally--Buster feels Lincecum's cock moving into him. It doesn't hurt at all as Lincecum pushes in with one smooth, easy motion. And it shouldn't really mean anything; Buster's been doing this long enough to know that sex is about a lot more than someone's dick up your ass.

But none of that matters, because Buster's Master is fucking him.

"Oh yeah," Lincecum says. "You're mine, aren't you, boy?"

Buster nods.

"Mmmmm...yeah...." Lincecum looks down at Buster. When he moves, it's slow and deliberate, like he's planning on taking all afternoon. Buster loves it like that and he would really like to just close his eyes and sink into it, to do nothing but feel without being on display like this.

It's even more disconcerting because Lincecum is watching him with that half curious, half amused look he gets, like it's not affecting him at all. We'll see about that, Buster thinks. He can't move his hips at all, but he clenches tight around Lincecum's cock and then does it again when Lincecum catches his breath.

"God, you really do want it, you slut," Lincecum says. He sounds almost affectionate, but before Buster can think about that too much, Lincecum starts moving a little faster. He looks a little less detached, but he's still staring at down at Buster. And yeah, Buster's stretched out, naked and chained to the bed by the cuffs and his collar, but it's Lincecum's gaze that's really pinning him in place. It's Lincecum's gaze that's making him feel utterly exposed.

Lincecum fucks him steady but not too fast, not to hard. He's fucking Buster like he wants it to last, like he wants to take his time with Buster's body. It's intense--almost more intense than it would be if Lincecum was just slamming into Buster hard--and right now, it's all Buster wants.

"C'mon boy, get those legs around me," Lincecum says as he lets go of Buster's leg. Buster wraps his legs around Lincecum's waist and yeah, the angle's perfect. "Oh yeah...fuck yeah, look at you," Lincecum says.

Buster stares back up at him. Never mind that Buster can't close his eyes, he's starting to go down. Some of what he's feeling must show in his face, because Lincecum takes a deep, shaky breath and says, "tell me."

"Yours," Buster say. "Master...I'm yours...."

"Yeah...my boy...mine!" Lincecum pauses and stares down at Buster for a long moment. "Mine."

"Yours, Master," Buster says again. "Yours."

When Lincecum starts up again, there's nothing slow or easy about it. He's fucking Buster hard now and each rough thrust is fucking perfect. It's so good and Buster's so gone on it; all of a sudden, he's right on the edge of coming. Reaching up, he grabs the chain clipped to his cuffs and just holds on.

"Tell me again," Lincecum says.

"Yours....oh God, Master, I'm yours...all yours." Buster takes a deep breath, stares up at Lincecum and lets go. "Your slave," he says, because he is. He belongs to Lincecum and nothing matter but that. Oh he wants to come, but he won't because that's not what his Master wants.

Lincecum bends down and kisses Buster hard, his teeth tugging at Buster's lower lip. "Mine," he murmurs, his lips right against Buster's. "You're...mine," he says again. With one last rough thrust, he comes hard, groaning against Buster's mouth.

When Lincecum slumps down on Buster's chest, Buster feels oddly tender. Even though Buster's still hard and aching, he wishes he could wrap his arms around Lincecum. "Yours," he says quietly.

"Mmmmm...." Lincecum presses a kiss to Buster's cheek. "Such a good boy."

Buster can feel it in his thighs when Lincecum finally moves back and lets Buster put his legs down. He'll be sore later, but right now, he couldn't care less. He's not even thinking about his dick all that much until Lincecum reaches down and strokes it.

"Oh God," Buster groans. He bites his lip hard and tries not to just shove up into Lincecum's hand.

"Hold off for another minute," Lincecum says. Reaching up, he unclips the chain attached to Buster's cuffs. "Roll over on your side."

Rolling over isn't easy, but once Buster manages it, Lincecum spoons up against his back. "Jesus, you're warm," he says. "Hot, even." Before Buster can figure out how to reply, Lincecum's hand closes over his dick again. "You want it?"

"Please," Buster says. "Yes Master, I want it. Please, Master, please."

"I don't have to let you."

"You don't Master...I'm yours...all yours. If you...if you don't want me to come, I won't."

Lincecum strokes him a couple more times and pretty soon, Buster's whimpering again, rough little noises that catch in his throat. "Please," he finally says. "Please Master, please...."

"Please what?"

"Please let me come, Master. Please!"

"Yeah," Lincecum says. "Do it for me." He twists his hand and bites down hard on Buster's shoulder.

Coming after holding off so long almost hurts, but it's so fucking good; Buster feels like he's going to shake apart as he comes with a hoarse shout. Lincecum's got him, though. He holds on to Buster while Buster shudders through the aftershocks and for once, Buster doesn't care about anything but what he's feeling.

"Yeah, that's my boy." Lincecum kisses the bite mark on Buster's shoulder. "Don't...don't do anything. Just stay here."

"Yes, Master," Buster mumbles. "Thank you, Master...thank you."

"I like the way you fall apart," Lincecum says and kisses Buster's shoulder again.

Buster's not sure how long they stay like that before he starts to slide down into sleep. He shouldn't, not like this, but when he moves just a little, Lincecum's arms hold him still. "It's okay," Lincecum says. "It's okay."

"Master," Buster says softly.

As he drifts off to sleep, Buster can hear rain through the open window.

Chapter Text

"So," Lincecum says at breakfast the next morning. He pauses to feed Buster a piece of muffin. "Looks like we're having company again."

When he woke up in Lincecum's bed after sleeping for about an hour yesterday, Lincecum was sitting at his desk across the room. Buster was pretty annoyed with himself for dropping off like that, but even as he slid out of bed and went to his knees, Lincecum just smiled at him. "You're unreal," he said. "You even look good when you're asleep." He sent Buster on his way after that and the rest of Buster's day was pretty normal. This morning, that strange tenderness from yesterday afternoon is most gone; at least he doesn't feel like hugging his Master. He wants to be close though and he leans against Lincecum's leg a little.

"You heard from...." Hunter trails off.

"What?" Lincecum says.

"I was thinking that maybe we'd keep the boy there in the dark," Hunter says with a laugh. "I want to see his face when they show up."

"Dude, you're such a dick."

Lincecum feeds Buster another piece of muffin and says. "Are you curious yet?"

"Yes, Master," Buster says once he's finished eating. "Will I be that surprised?"

"Depends. Do you know who Madison Bumgarner is?"

Buster stares up at Lincecum in shock. "The Giants ace?" And yeah, Buster is surprised. He doesn't know much about Bumgarner except that he's a really good lefty and Buster kind of hates it when he pitches against the Braves. And, last Buster saw, he kind of looks like a hillbilly. "I wouldn't have guessed he was a member, Master."

"Yeah, I guess he met someone right after he came up. We met him at the club a couple years ago. He's fun."

"When you can understand him," Hunter says. "His accent's way thicker than yours, Buster."

"He hasn't worked on getting rid of it the way Buster has."

It's true, but Buster can't help feeling that Lincecum laughing at him a little. He feels better when Lincecum adds, "Or you, for that matter. Brandon sounds way more Texas than you do."

"That's because Brandon is from some hick town near Nacogdoches."

"Whatever," Lincecum says. "Thing is Bum and Brandon don't really give a fuck how they sound."

"I like the way Brandon sounds." Hunter grins. "Specially when he yells."

Lincecum hands down another piece of muffin. "Your file says you play well with others."

"Also that he doesn't run with scissors," Hunter says.

"I try not to, Sir." Buster says, his voice dry. "And I like to think I play well with others, Master."

"I'm looking forward to seeing that."

Buster remembers what Hunter said about Brandon--taller than Hunter and bigger than Buster. Who, he wonders, will get to top? He hopes there won't be wrestling involved; it's all too common to pit a pair of slaves against each other and he's never been very good at it.

"So when?" Hunter asks.

"Tuesday," Tim says.

To Buster's surprise, he has to actually think about what day it is--Friday. He likes not having a schedule. Or maybe it's more like he likes getting attention whenever Lincecum or Hunter feel like it, instead of whenever it can be fit into a fifty, sixty or even seventy hour work week.

"Mention it to Parker, would you, boy?"

"Yes, Sir."

It's still raining after breakfast. Once's Buster's passed on his message to Ms. Parker and dealt with the breakfast dishes, he tracks down the dogs. They're hanging out in the game room but when he snaps his fingers, they get up and follow him. Once they realize he's taking them outside, they almost trip him, they're so excited.

He grabs a tennis ball from the bag in the laundry room and once they get outside, he lets the dogs run around for a while before he starts throwing it. He's done this a lot lately, but not in the rain. He likes it though; he's missed the rain more than he thought he would. And God, but he's missed space like this, missed being somewhere other than a city.

By the time they're done, Buster's a mess--wet and covered with mud from the waist down. The dogs aren't that much better, but Buster brings them back into the house through the laundry room, so it won't be too bad. To his surprise, Lincecum is waiting for them in the laundry room with towels in his hands. He goes down on his knees and lets the dogs run into his arms. While Buster watches, it turns into a puppy pile until Lincecum's almost as wet and messy as Buster.

Finally, however, the dogs get surprisingly clean. There are towels everywhere and Lincecum leans in the doorway and watches as Buster loads up the washing machine. "I like what you do for fun on a rainy day."

"Not a romantic as a long walk, but I had a good time, Master."

"Yeah, it looked like it. Of course, now we need to change."

"Just like a porno, Master." Buster starts kicking off his shoes. "We're all muddy, what can we possibly do about it?"

"That's a trick question," Lincecum says with a big smile. "Because the answer is always sex."

Kind of like my life, Buster thinks as he continues to undress. The answer is always sex. Once he's down to his jock Lincecum holds up a hand. "You can stop there.'

"Yes, Master."

"C'mon," Lincecum says.

Instead of going up to Lincecum's room, though, Lincecum stops at Buster's room. Buster, on his knees just inside the door, watches as Lincecum strips down to his boxers and then sits on the bed. "C'mon," he says again, patting his lap. "Over my lap."

Once Buster's in place, Lincecum runs a hand over his ass. "I've got plans for you later," he says. "So for now...."

Lincecum may not look particularly strong, but you wouldn't know it from the way he spanks Buster. Each slap stings and then, as Lincecum keeps it up, Buster can feel his skin getting hot.

"I like the way you're fitting in," Lincecum says, like they're just having a simple conversation. "Here in the house, I mean. And the kids love you." He delivers a brisk flurry of spanks. "They're pretty good judges of character."

"I like them, Master," Buster says and then catches his breath as Lincecum slaps the underside of his ass.

"This can't possibly hurt that much." Lincecum keeps spanking him hard and fast.

"Stings, Master."

"My hand too," Lincecum says with a laugh. He doesn't stop spanking Buster though. He's doing it too fast for Buster to move with each spank, so Buster just lifts his ass a little more. "You like that?"

"Yes, Master," Buster says.

"Why?" Lincecum pauses and strokes Buster's ass after asking.

"It's...it's close, Master," Buster says after a moment. "Intimate."

"Huh...you like it to be personal, don't you?"

"Yes, Master. That's why...." Buster takes a deep breath. Don't overthink it, he tells himself. "That's why I do this, Master."

"This? Why you're a slave, you mean?"

"Instead of working in a club, yes, Master."

"Huh," Lincecum says again. "But not too personal."

"Master?" Buster hates sounding confused and he really wishes it didn't happen so damn often here. But this is an echo of what Mistress Allyson said to him and he didn't get it then either. He's given himself--his autonomy, his freedom--to his Master. What more does Lincecum want? How more personal can it get?

"Think about it," Lincecum says and starts spanking Buster again.

Buster murmurs, "Yes, Master."

What the fuck, he thinks. What the fuck?

Lincecum doesn't spank him much longer; after another few minutes he gives Buster a push. Buster's used to this kind of thing; he rolls off Lincecum's lap and is on his knees as fast as possible. When he looks up, Lincecum is smiling an odd little half-smile and for a moment Buster really wants to ask Lincecum what he really wants from Buster.

But no, if his Master wanted to tell Buster that, he already would have.

Buster does his best to concentrate on the now. He leans forward and licks his lips. "Please, Master," he says. "Please let me serve you." He knows he sounds like he's falling back on the script, but the script is there for a reason. He wants to do this, wants to give Lincecum his hands or his mouth or whatever Lincecum needs to get off. Well, he thinks suddenly, why not put it that way?

"Please," he says again. "Let me get you off, Master."

"Yeah, that's a good boy," Lincecum says. "Gimme that mouth of yours."

Okay then, the script only more casual. The California script, he thinks when a mental smile as he reaches for Lincecum's shorts.

* * *

Maybe it's disobeying an order, but for the rest of the day Buster does his best not not to think about what Lincecum says. He remembers what Ellie said--how he's obviously thought a lot about being a slave and the Establishment as a whole. He has. He's put a hell of a lot of thought into this whole thing and honestly, sometimes he'd really like to stop. The thing is, Lincecum wants Buster to think about it and that's really what Buster doesn't understand. What good will it do? How will it make Buster a better slave? Buster's actually of the opinion that it won't because of the headspace problem; the whole point is to not think and just give.

Way to not think about it.

Buster spends the early afternoon sitting on the floor next to Lincecum's desk. He's allowed to use his phone, but he can't do anything too complicated because Lincecum keeps reaching down to play with the back of his neck and his ears and his hair. It's kind of like being his Master's personal fidget toy, but Buster likes it. It is, he thinks, personal.

"You're pretty flexible, right?" Lincecum asks later, as Buster clears off the dinner dishes.

"I like to think so, Master," Buster says.

"He does yoga," Hunter says at the same time.

"They all do yoga," Lincecum says. "Right?"

"Most of us, Master."

"Good," Lincecum says with a big grin. "That just makes this better. Join us in the game room when you're done in the kitchen."

"Yes, Master."

Lincecum and Hunter are both sprawled on the couch when Buster kneels just inside the doorway of the game room. "Strip down to your jock and come over here."

"What is it with gay men and our jock fetish?" Hunter says with a laugh.

"Women like men in jocks too, Sir," Buster says.

"Really? I guess I've just never asked."

"Oh come on," Lincecum says. "An ass like Buster's? Even straight men and lesbians would love that view."

Buster can feel his ears getting warm as he kneels down in front of the couch, but he forgets about the compliment as soon as he sees the big leather collar in Lincecum's hands. It's not lined and the edges aren't finished; in Lincecum's long slender fingers, it looks heavy and almost brutal.

"Let's see if this goes on over your collar," Lincecum says even as Buster leans forward, arms behind his back and head up to expose his neck.

"What was it you said on the phone the night you bought him?" Lincecum buckles the collar around Buster's neck and though it presses Buster's metal collar against his neck in a couple places, it fits well enough. It's got rings all the way around it and Buster wonders what they're going to clip to it that they can't clip to the single ring on his regular collar.

"I said a lot of things," Hunter says. Even though he wouldn't dream of asking, Buster really wishes he knew what those thing were. He knows Hunter liked what he saw of Buster on the block, but he can't help remembering how he reacted to Hunter in the showroom. How sure he was that he'd totally fucked it up.

"You told me he was ridiculously attractive."

"Oh that." Hunter laughs. "He is, of course, but aren't they all?"

"Dude, I'm trying to give you a compliment on your good taste and Buster a compliment on his...I dunno, good bones or genes or something."

"Oh. Okay then." Hunter takes something off the couch next to him--a big pair of metal cuffs attached to heavy chains. Buster's eyes get wide and he starts to bring his wrists up.

"Don't bother," Hunter says. "We want you over there."

The big ottoman near the TV is usually piled with gaming equipment, but someone's done a hasty job of clearing it off; most of the extra controls and random cords are piled up on the floor. For a brief, stupid, moment Buster wishes they'd told him earlier. He could have stowed all that stuff somewhere safe. Jesus, he thinks. Keep your fucking head in the game.

"Okay, kneel up on it," Hunter says. "Give me your wrists separately."

The cuffs are iron and so are the chains attached to them; they're fucking heavy and Buster smiles a little as he turns his wrists in them as much as possible, which isn't much.

"Bet he's hard," Lincecum says from the couch.

"Sucker's bet." Reaching down Hunter presses his hand against the front of Buster's jock. He pushes just a little harder and smiles as Buster fights to stay still. "Yeah, thought so."

"It's the bondage, isn't it?"

"Yes, Master. And...and not knowing what comes next."

"Antici...." Lincecum begins.

"Wait for it," Hunter mutters.

"You're such a fucking geek," Lincecum says. "Get him in place already. We haven't even tried the new FIFA game yet."

"Oh fuck, you always kick my ass at those. Can't we play something else? Buster, hands behind your back, okay?"

"Yes, Sir."

"Jesus, Hunter, stop whining." Lincecum says.

"Okay, turn a little...no, the other way, until you're facing the room. Now make fists and put your knuckles together."

All Buster can think about is he way he was showing off to Ellie the other day; somehow he thinks this isn't going to be as easy. "Yeah, keep them like that," Hunter says as he leans behind Buster. When he clips the chains to the back of the collar, he barely leaves any slack

"Okay," Lincecum says. "Here's what I want you to do--kneel up so your back's straight and keep your fists pressed together. Now stay that way."

"Yes, Master."

Once he and Hunter have their controllers and have settled in, Lincecum glances over at Buster. "Keep your head up, boy. When I look at you, I want to see your face."

"Yes, Master."

It's probably one of the simplest stress positions Buster's ever been in, but he can already tell how effective it is. Sure, he can relax a little and let the chains pick up the slack, but the cuffs and chains are heavy enough that they'll pull the collar back against his neck. Buster hooks his index fingers together to keep his hands from slipping and takes a deep breath. This is going to be a very long evening.

For a while he's able to concentrate on Lincecum and Hunter as they play. By now, he's used to them ignoring him while they game and he's used to knowing how the game is going based on what they say to each other. As he watches them while they nudge each other and trash talk, he thinks about how they could be any guys. Just a couple of buddies or even boyfriends playing a video game. if you were looking at them straight on, without being able to see Buster, you wouldn't even know there was a naked guy--a naked slave--in the room with them.

He tries to keep track of time but the game's mostly crowd noises and before long, Buster has no idea how long he's been kneeling here. He's feeling it a little in his biceps, but it's not too bad, yet. At least he's not up on his toes too.

Every once in a while, Lincecum or Hunter look up at him. It's funny, he thinks. They don't look at all alike, but when they're hurting him they both look at him the same way--curious, intent and just a little amused. There's no real cruelty; neither of them are mean. Well no, they want to see him hurting--they like to see him suffer--but there's no real malice in it, no anger. They're sadists and Buster's a masochist and that's just the way it is.

"What do you think," Hunter says after a while. He tosses his controller down and heads toward the mini-fridge behind the bar. "Strappdo next?"

"Gimme a Dew while you're up." Lincecum waits until Hunter brings the sodas back before he answers Hunter's question.

"I thought about doing that tonight, but I wanted to be able to see his face. Maybe next time, we can hogtie him. Put him up on the coffee table and make him keep his head up."

"Cleaning off the ottoman was enough work." Hunter gestures at the clutter on the coffee table--magazines and games and coasters. "I don't even want to think about dealing with all this crap."

"Yeah, but next time we won't be springing it on him." Lincecum looks right at Buster. "We could make him do the cleaning up."

They're both looking at him now and as much as Buster wants to keep still, he's reached the point where he simply has to move. He rolls his shoulders a little and then lets the chains and the collar take the weight of his wrists for a minute. Then he's back to the way he started out, holding up his wrists without any support.

"That's pretty," Lincecum says with a little smirk, before picking up his controller.

The sounds of the game, both the crowd noises and the back and forth between Lincecum and Hunter, aren't enough to distract Buster anymore. He can feel the burn starting in his biceps and shoulders and he knows it's just going to get worse from here on out. Taking a deep breath, he tries to settle in, tries to rise above the discomfort. He's done this before. He can do it again.

He's still telling himself that...later. He's completely lost all sense of time, all sense of anything that isn't the heavy weight of the iron locked around his wrists. He can feel it up and down his arms, in his shoulders and now, across his chest as well. He's trying to keep to some sort of rhythm, trying to count based on his breathing. Breathe in, hold, breathe out, hold, repeat. When he's done fifty sets, he lets the collar take the weight for five sets. It works, but only for a while.

Each time he has to take the weight off the collar and onto his wrists again, it gets harder and harder. But when he finally gives up and just lets his wrists hang off the chain, both the leather collar and his regular collar bite into his throat. He's not choking, not exactly, but he feels like he is, and the raw edges of the leather hurt like fuck against the sensitive skin of his neck. Gritting his teeth, he brings his wrists up again.

"How're you doing over there?"

Buster blinks and tries to focus on Lincecum. How the hell is he supposed to answer that? "It...I'm hurting, Master."

"Good." Lincecum turns his attention back to his controller and the game.

Good, Buster thinks, staring at the back of the couch over Lincecum's shoulder. He can do this. He's being good and he can do this. He can do this, he thinks as he starts counting breaths again.

Some unknown time later, he's a lot less sure about that. His whole upper body aches and even his thighs hurt because he's so tense. His wrists are shaking and the front of his neck is raw from the collar rubbing against it. He's slick with sweat and while his eyes are still open, he's not really seeing anything. It hurts...he hurts and God, he wants to be good, wants to do what his Master told him to do, but he doesn't know if he can. He's got to, though. He's a slave, not someone just in it for the spankings; if his Master wants him to suffer then he'll kneel here and fucking suffer.

Buster blinks and tries to focus on Lincecum. Almost as soon as he does, Lincecum put his controller down and looks back at him. He looks pleased, or at least Buster thinks he does. For you, Buster thinks as he lets the collar take the weight of his wrists for a moment. Because you own me.

That thought gets him through for another long while. Or at least it feels like a long time; it feels like fucking hours but for all Buster knows, it could have been ten minutes. All he knows is that he's about to reach the end of his ability to take this. He wants to--God, if it was just about wanting to, he could do this all night. But he can't because it's about his body too and his body has just about had enough. A little more, he tells himself. He'll take it a little longer before he starts begging.

A little longer, he thinks again. Just a little longer, but no...he can't. He can't do this any more; he just can't. He grits his teeth to keep from begging and tries to convince himself that he can do this, at least a little longer. Just a little....

"Buster? Open your eyes." Lincecum is standing right in front of him when Buster forces his eyes open. His lashes are sticky--maybe with tears, maybe with sweat--but he manages to look at Lincecum. "Tell me," Lincecum says. "Tell me what it's like."

"Hurts," Buster says. "I want to....Master....wanna be good. Please...trying so hard...please Master...." He's not making any sense, but just saying something--anything--is a huge effort. Everything is a huge fucking effort. "Master....I...." Buster grits his teeth again. He won't fail. He can't.

"Trying to," he finally says and now he is crying. "Master...for you...wanna...for you....please."

Lincecum tilts his head a little and looks at Buster for a long moment. God only knows what he sees; Buster's dimly aware that he's a fucking mess but right now he really doesn't care. All he cares about is not failing his Master. "For you," he says again. "Master....."

"Shhhhh," Lincecum says. "It's all right, boy. It's all right."

Buster's attention is focused both on keeping position and on Lincecum; he doesn't even notice Hunter until Hunter's sitting on the ottoman next to him. When he hears Hunter unclipping the chains from the collar, Buster doesn't move for a second. It's like he's forgotten how.

"It's okay," Hunter says. Buster feels Hunter's hands under his wrists; he holds Buster's wrists up, taking the weight of the cuffs and the chains.

"Put your hands down," Lincecum says. "It's all right...."

Only it's not, Buster bites back a sharp cry of pain as his shoulders move. He knows he'll be okay, know there's no real damage, but fuck, it hurts.

"I've got you," Hunter says, while Lincecum unbuckles the collar from around Buster's neck. "Lean on me."

It's more like collapsing than leaning. Buster's whole fucking body hurts and he feels weak as a kitten as he falls into Hunter's arms. Hunter props him up while Lincecum leans down behind Buster and unlocks the cuffs.

"Thank you," Buster mumbles. "Master...Sir...."

"You were good," Lincecum says. He crouches in front of Buster and rests a hand on Buster's face. Rubbing his thumb against the tear tracks under Buster's eye, he says, "You're a very good boy, Buster."

Buster lets out a long, shaky breath and leans against Hunter.

"Can you get him up the stairs?" Lincecum asks after a moment.

"Dunno," Hunter says. "Buster, can you help me out a little here?"

Somehow--Buster's not really sure how it happens--Lincecum and Hunter get him up the stairs and into the bathroom in Lincecum's suite.

"In you go," Hunter says, helping Buster into the big jacuzzi. The hot water feels like heaven and maybe Buster should be paying more attention to his Master and Hunter, but he just leans back and lets the jets massage him.

He's still half out of it when Lincecum settles in next to him. "You with me?"

"Mmmm...yes, Master."

"Gotta make a decision here." Lincecum slides an arm around him and pulls him in close. "There's some really excellent wine down in the kitchen. Or you can have a couple beers. Or if you'd rather, there's weed." Somehow that last doesn't surprise Buster at all. "Or, we can take you to bed and make you feel good that way."

"Bed," Buster says. "Please Master...can't serve you if I've had anything." Even as out of it as Buster is, he's not going to forget one of the Establishment's cardinal rules.

"Why did I know he was gonna say that?" Hunter says.

"Because we just watched him kneel there in fucking pain for hours because I told him to."

Hours, Buster thinks with a little thrill of pride.

"Yeah, but he has to do that," Hunter says.

Lincecum sighs. "Hey Buster?"

"Master?"

"How come you didn't ask me to take the cuffs off you?"

Buster knows why Lincecum's asking him, but he still thinks it's a stupid question. "Because you wanted me to see me to go through that, Master."

"I don't even know why I bothered to offer him anything," Lincecum says with a little laugh.

They're careful and patient with him; even though Buster doesn't need help washing up, he accepts it. Maybe he's being selfish but it feels good to be taken care of like this.

By the time Hunter helps him out of the tub, Buster feels a lot better. He'll be stiff as fuck in the morning, but right now, he can do what he's supposed to do; he can serve.

Not that either of them want him to do any of the actual work. Hunter lies down and pulls Buster into his arms, kissing him until Buster's breathless and panting. "Spread for me," Lincecum says from behind him. When Buster does, Lincecum uses his fingers and a whole lot of lube to get Buster ready.

"Do you want it?" Hunter asks Buster, his lips moving against Buster's mouth. "Do you want him to fuck you?"

"Please," Buster says and it's so easy. He just opens his mouth and lets the words come out--"please" and "fuck me" and "Master" and "Sir" and "want"--until Hunter kisses him silent. He still begs without words, moaning and pushing back into Lincecum's touch like the slut they want him to be. Like the slut he is.

Lincecum fucks him while Hunter kisses him and holds him in place. Buster wants to make it good for both of them, but when he tries to move, Lincecum bites his shoulder and tells him to stop. "Let us have you," he says.

All Buster can do is take it and it's good, so fucking good. They don't owe him anything; even after what he just went through, they could have just sent him to bed. But if this is a reward? Well, Buster's fine with that, especially when Hunter grips his hips tightly and rubs off on him while Lincecum fucks Buster hard.

They don't even make him wait. As soon as Buster starts whimper and squirm, Lincecum bites his shoulder and says, "come for me, boy." Buster gives it up with a loud groan and then relaxes against Hunter. He stays like that, easy and pliant between the two of them, until both of them finally come.

Afterwards, they still won't let him do anything, or even move much. Hunter's the one who gets a towel out and once he's tidied up, he gets back in bed. Buster's still relaxed enough that he just lies there and lets them move him around until he's lying with his head on Lincecum's shoulder. Lincecum holds him close while Hunter spoons behind him and before long, Buster falls asleep between the two of them.

* * *

Hunter's gone when Buster wakes up. Lincecum's curled up tight, almost like a cat, and he's so far under the covers that Buster can only see the top of his head. That explains why his hair's always a mess in the morning, Buster thinks with a smile.

Buster's smile vanishes the moment he tries to move. He feels like he was run over. Repeatedly. By a herd of fucking elephants. In spite of his determination to not wake his Master up, he can't help groaning softly as he tries to sit up.

"Hot shower," Lincecum mumbles. "Take a long one. There's Motrin and shit in there and some...I dunno...muscle stuff I take for headaches. Or some weed." He rolls over, curls up again and goes back to sleep.

The shower helps; Buster sets the shower heads to pulse and stands under them for a long time. Best shower ever, he thinks as the hot water pummels his back and shoulders. He feels vaguely human when he finally steps out and stretches.

Buster didn't even know that Lincecum suffered from headaches, but there's a bottle of Flexeril in the medicine cabinet along with one of Vicodin and the usual over the counter pain meds. Neither prescription is all that recent and both bottles are over half full, so apparently Lincecum's headaches are bad but infrequent. Buster's half tempted to take something heavier, but he doesn't want to be out of commission for the day, so he takes a hefty dose of Motrin and leaves it at that.

Lincecum's mentioned dope twice now, but Buster has no idea where it is and he wouldn't smoke it anyway. Lincecum must not smoke very much; Buster's never smelled it on him or Hunter and he's never smelled it anywhere in the house.

"C'mere and gimme a blow job," Lincecum says when Buster comes out of the bathroom. "No wait...call down and tell someone to bring breakfast up. Then you can blow me."

When Buster joins Lincecum on the bed, Lincecum lifts the covers. "It's fucking freezing. Get under here," he says. "And do it slow."

Buster's always loved giving head like this; he settles in under the blankets and slowly kisses his way down and back up the shaft of Lincecum's dick before he slides his mouth down over the head. Lincecum pets his head and shoulders and lets Buster settle into an easy, slow pace. It's a bit of a strain on Buster's shoulders, but he's got his Master's cock in his mouth and above him Lincecum moaning happily and that's more than enough for Buster.

By the time Lincecum comes, Buster's shoulders are sore and he's hard. "Good boy," Lincecum murmurs. He tugs on Buster's hair until Buster slides up. "I know you're trained and all that," Lincecum says once they're face to face. "But your mouth is fucking obscene."

"Thank you, Master."

"Now go bring breakfast in."

There are two plates loaded with food and a nice big breakfast tray on the cart. Buster sets up the tray with a plate for Lincecum and is about to pour coffee, when Lincecum pats the bed. "Up here."

He still feeds Buster, but this time he uses a fork as well as his fingers and he shares his coffee. It's kind of messy; Ms. Mendez made waffles and Lincecum likes lots of butter and syrup. But it's fun too and between the two of them, they eat almost all of the food on the cart and all of the coffee.

"So," Lincecum says. He's leaning back against a big pile of pillows and drinking his coffee while he watches Buster load the dishes back on the cart. "Talk to me about last night."

Buster goes over everything that happened last night and...oh fuck. He puts the last plate on the cart and then kneels next to bed and puts his head on the floor.

"The hell? You didn't do anything wrong."

"You had to tell me to open my eyes last night, Master."

"Shit. I should have told you that you didn't have to keep them open. Don't worry about it. You were concentrating pretty hard and I don't expect you to be superhuman." He looks down at Buster for a long moment before finally saying, "Get back up here and talk to me."

"Yes Master." Buster settles on the foot of the bed, sitting cross-legged. And yeah, his thighs are sore too. "What do you want to know, Master?"

"Did you like it?" After taking a sip of his coffee, Lincecum smiles at Buster. "Take your time."

Well thank God for that, Buster thinks, because that's one hell of a question. Did he like it? Any answer might have consequences, but Buster waves that thought aside. Since the beginning, he's given them honesty, even when he didn't intend to, and there's no reason to stop that now.

"I don't know if like is the right word, Master," he finally says. "It's not...." He sighs because there's honesty and then there's stuff you're not supposed to say.

"It's okay," Lincecum says. "You won't get in trouble; I'm not gonna hold anything you say against you."

"It's not what I would necessarily ask for, Master," he says. "But it was...you wanted it and I'm your slave. I'm here to give you want you want."

"And that's why you held position for so long?"

"Yes, Master." Buster takes a deep breath. "I wanted to make you proud of me. I wanted to...Master, it always comes back to wanting to be good for you."

"Last night, you were very very good," Lincecum says. "You impressed the hell out of us, to be honest."

Buster bows his head. He wasn't fishing for praise, but it's still good to hear. "Thank you, Master."

"Are you still sore?"

"Some, Master. The shower helped and I took some Motrin."

"Oh fuck...I offered you my pain pills didn't I? That was fucking stupid; sorry about that."

"I wouldn't have taken any, Master."

"I know. And believe me, I know the rules. I don't play when I'm recovering from a headache and never when I'm stoned."

Buster thinks about the medication--pain pills and muscle relaxants. "Are they tension headaches, Master?"

"Yeah. I don't get them very often, but when I do they're pretty bad."

"I give a pretty good massage, Master."

"Oh right...one more thing I saw in your file. Is there anything that isn't in there?"

"I wouldn't know, Master," Buster says with a little smile. "They don't let us read them."

"Do they ever? Like maybe when you're finally done with all this?"

"I don't know that I'd want to, Master. I think, when I'm done...."

"When you're done, you'll be done with it all?"

"Maybe, Master."

"And maybe we're moving into complicated territory." Lincecum gives Buster a sheepish smile. "Sorry about that.

"Let's get back to you being sore. We don't have a sauna--although come to think of it, we should. But anyway, there's another big jacuzzi tub down the hall in the...I dunno what they call it. The big kinky suite? It's the one we give to Bum; ask Ellie. You can use that tub for the next couple of days. And if it's not too cold out, there's the hot tub out by the pool."

"Thank you, Master."

"I mean it," Lincecum says. "If you're sore, do something about it, okay?"

"Yes, Master."

* * *

Buster had no intention of using either the hot tub or the jacuzzi in the guest room, but by the time the afternoon rolls around, he's in a fair amount of pain. He's heading toward the right guest suite--Ellie calls it the green suite--when Hunter catches up with him.

"Tim said he told you to soak, right?" When Buster nods, Hunter jerks his head. "Come do it with me."

Hunter's room is darker than Lincecum's and the furniture is a mix of antiques and modern pieces that shouldn't work together, but do. "Tim is living proof that not all gay men have taste. I think he'd still shop at Ikea and Target if he could. As it is, he hires designers," Hunter says when he catches Buster looking around. "I just buy shit I like and hope it works."

The bathroom is just as big as Lincecum's and just as nice. "When we were first getting started, we splurged and went to this resort once. We swore we'd have jacuzzi type tubs when we could afford them."

"I can't blame you, Sir," Buster says. "This is really nice," he adds once they're both settled in the big tub.

"You looked good last night," Hunter says after a moment. "I like you in heavy chains. I mean leather's pretty, especially the stuff Tim buys, but iron makes it pretty clear you're not going anywhere." He leans back and looks at Buster. "We've got this big, ridiculous looking, iron bed down in the basement; it's like something out of a old San Francisco whorehouse. I want to put you on it, load you up with chains until you can't move and fuck the hell out of you."

Buster bites his lip. "That would be...I'd like that, Sir."

"Yeah? Or I could wait until Bum gets here. Chain you up and then we could all fuck the hell out of you." Hunter grins at him. "I dunno if four guys counts as a gangbang or not, but hey, Bum and Brandon are young enough to get it up twice in one night, so it could more like six guys. You ever have more than six?"

"Yes, Sir." And then, because he's pretty sure Hunter's going to ask, Buster says, "There was this one party...I think it was maybe ten or eleven guys, but some of them had me more than once."

"Jesus, seriously?" Hunter asks. "What was it like toward the end of the night? Did you cry?"

"Yes, Sir," Buster says, biting his lip again. Hunter's looking him with that look Buster's getting used to and Buster can feel his face get hot.

"Did you beg them to stop? Has anyone ever pushed you that far?"

"They didn't just fuck me that night," Buster says. "They hurt me, too. So yes, Sir. I begged them to stop. And they gagged me and kept going."

"Was it good?"

"Very, very good, Sir." Buster's not about to explain that he'd had fantasies about being gangbanged since he was fourteen and that one night had actually been better than his fantasies by a lot

"We can make that happen when we go into the city later this year. Maybe make you beg for it." Hunter glances down at Buster's hardon. "I get the feeling you like the idea."

"Yes, Sir. I do."

Hunter keeps looking at him and then after a moment he asks, "How hard do you want to be pushed?"

Another stupid fucking question. "As far as you and Master want to push me, Sir."

"You know how we feel about answers like that.".

Buster bows his head. "I'm sorry, Sir. I just don't know...yes, I want to pushed hard. I can't really say how hard because...it's so subjective, Sir." For one stupid minute Buster has the urge to say that he doesn't want it to be up to him. That's why he's a slave, for God's sake.

"Fair enough." Hunter leans back and closes his eyes. "Gonna find out one day just how far we can go with you."

"Please, Sir, I would like that."

And it's true, but as Buster tries to relax, he can't help feeling as frustrated as he was during this morning's conversation with Lincecum. What the fuck, he thinks, is their deal? They bought a slave; why can't they just let Buster be that slave?

Hunter doesn't say anything else and by the time they climb out of the tub, Buster's head is in the right place again. This, he thinks as Hunter drags him into the shower, shoves him up against the wall and fucks him hard and fast without letting him come. This is what he's here for.

That evening they eat pizza and watch Game 3 of the NLCS. Buster would rather see the Cardinals in the World Series than the Pirates and Lincecum and Hunter feel the same way. "Who do you like in the AL?" Lincecum asks him. "Orioles or Kansas City?"

"I kind of like Kansas City, Master. But not enough to root for an AL team."

"If your NL bias had been in your file, I'd have bought you sight unseen," Hunter says.

Buster ducks his head and reaches for another piece of pizza. It's the first time he's actually had a meal with them that didn't involve Lincecum hand-feeding him, but even if Hunter's comment didn't remind him that he's a slave, the fact that he's chained to the sofa would. Yours, he thinks and leans his head against Lincecum's leg.

"Good boy," Lincecum murmurs as he reaches down to play with the back of Buster's neck.

Pittsburgh is beating the crap out of the Cardinals--it's 7-2 in the fourth inning--when Lincecum tugs on Buster's chain. Buster's neck is still a little raw from the leather collar and the discomfort shouldn't be hot, but it's a reminder of last night's scene. Buster bites his lip and looks up at Lincecum. "Master?"

"Strip down."

"All the way, Master?" Buster asks as he unbuttons his shirt.

"Nah, leave the jock on."

"Because you're not predictable at all," Hunter says.

"Me? So what am I about to do to him?"

Buster keeps taking his jeans off but he shoots a quick glance at Hunter.

"Put him over your lap and play with him while you watch the rest of this blowout."

"Just for that, I should so something completely different." Lincecum pats his lap. "Up, Buster."

"Yes, Master."

"Hunter get me something out of the cabinet, would you? You choose."

"Which drawer?

Lincecum runs a hand over Buster's ass. "Top one and the third."

The top drawer means a dildo or a plug, but Buster's not sure about the third drawer until Hunter pulls out a stiff looking leather strap. Taking a deep breath, Buster squirms into a slightly better position.

"Nice," Lincecum says. He slaps Buster's thigh and Buster spreads his legs. "Now where is....?" Lincecum's reaching for something or doing something to the couch; it takes Buster a moment to figure out what's going on.

"Master? I put the lube away."

"It's not on the table," Lincecum says. "Oh, you mean away away?"

"Yes, Master." Buster laughs just a little because only in this household.

Fortunately Lincecum laughs along with him as Hunter rummages around in the top drawer of the cabinet.

"Should we tell him to just leave some in the couch where it belongs?" Hunter asks as he settles on the couch near Buster's head. In addition to the thick strap and the lube, he's holding the rippled glass dildo Buster noticed the first time he looked in the cabinet. It looks bigger than Buster remembers.

"Nah. Feel free to clean up, Buster." Lincecum smacks Buster's ass. "I like it...the toy putting the toys away."

"Yes, Master," Buster says.

"You like that? Being a toy?" Hunter reaches down and strokes Buster's back.

"Yes, Sir."

"Toys, don't talk," Lincecum says, smacking Buster's ass again. "Speaking of talking, Hunter, mute the TV. Because listening to Harold Reynolds is like a major turn off."

Buster wishes he could thank Lincecum, because he totally agrees. Then he takes a deep breath and lets it out; it's time to get serious. The lube Lincecum drips on him is cold, but when Buster shivers it's more anticipation than because of the temperature. When Lincecum slides a finger between his cheeks, Buster shivers again and spreads his legs a little wider.

"You cold, boy?" Lincecum says.

"Dude, you told him not to talk," Hunter says even as Buster shakes his head.

"That's good enough," Lincecum says. "I seem to remember that our boy here isn't all that fond of temperature play."

"Bet we could make him get off on it."

"Probably," Lincecum says. "That'd be a dick thing to do, though."

"Yeah, but you can be a real dick."

Dick move or not, they could do it, Buster thinks as Lincecum rubs more lube over his hole. He's gotten off on things he doesn't like before. Sometimes he wonders what it says about him that all it takes is a top wanting something for Buster to be desperate to give it to them. No, that's not true. He wasn't like that with casual tops and doesn't think he would be like that if he walked away from the Establishment tomorrow. It's different with a Master.

He's jolted out of his thoughts when Lincecum slides a couple fingers into him. Lincecum hasn't told him to be still, so Buster moves up into Lincecum's touch just a little.

"Yeah," Lincecum murmurs. "That's all it takes, isn't it? To make you want it?"

"Oh please," Hunter says. "He wants it all the fucking time." Since Buster can't reply, he squirms again. "See?"

"Yeah," Lincecum says as he presses another finger in. "I think you're right." He twists his fingers and Buster whimpers. "I don't need to do much to get you ready, do I?"

Buster shakes his head and lifts his ass a little. Please, he thinks as Lincecum pulls his fingers out. Please.

"Whoa," Hunter says. "Did you see that? Why don't we have a Cutch?"

"Damn, what is it...nine to two now?"

Although Buster wants to turn his head to see what's going on, he manages to behave. He can always watch the highlights later. He also doesn't wriggle his ass to get Lincecum's attention, although he wants to do that too.

After a moment, Lincecum pats Buster ass again. Buster's half braced to be strapped, but then he feels the cool, smooth head of the glass dildo pressing against him. Lincecum's in no hurry to actually fuck him with it, though. He keeps teasing Buster--pushing the dildo into him just a little before pulling it out again.

"Maybe he wants it all the time," Lincecum says as Buster pushes back to get more of the dildo. "But right now, I'm getting the feeling he really wants it." Buster can't agree or beg like he wants to, so he just squirms some more.

"Want me to...?"

"Yeah."

The sudden slap of the strap on Buster's upper back makes him yelp; he yelps again when Lincecum pushes the dildo in hard. Buster remembers Hunter strapping him like that back in the showroom in New York, how it had been a shock. It's less of a shock once Hunter starts landing blow after blow, but it's different than getting his ass beat--different and good.

Hunter's got a nice, brisk rhythm going, but Lincecum has gone back to teasing Buster with the dildo. Each shallow thrust leaves Buster wanting more, but when he tries to push back against the dildo, Lincecum presses a hand to the small of Buster's back.

"Let us do this to you," he says.

Yes, Buster thinks. He takes a deep breath and lets it out. Yes, please Master.

The strap is landing on Buster's back hard and fast now, and God, if Lincecum would just fuck him it would be perfect. Or maybe it's perfect the way it is now, with Buster so completely off balance. He can't anticipate anything; he yells in surprise when Lincecum pushes the dildo all the way into him. It's big and unyielding and Buster can feel the ripples on it as Lincecum starts really fucking him with it, nice and slow and easy. At the same time, Hunter stops beating him. Buster makes a stupid little noise of protest and Lincecum laughs.

"You want something, boy?"

Even as Buster nods frantically, Lincecum stops, leaving the dildo buried deep inside Buster's ass. When Hunter starts beating him again, Buster moans low and loud. He wants more, needs more, but they aren't going to give it to him and he can't beg or even move.

Hunter beats him good and hard for a little while and when he stops again, Lincecum starts fucking him again. He's not holding Buster in place now, but Buster tries to be still anyway.

"You can move now," Lincecum says, pulling the dildo back. "C'mon, boy, show me how much you want it."

It's not all that easy to really move in this position, but Buster does his best. He knows he looks desperate as he tries to fuck himself on the dildo, but while the thought makes him blush, he doesn't stop moving.

"You want me to beat you?" Hunter asks. Buster nods even though he knows Lincecum will stop fucking him.

"I don't think that's all he wants, is it Buster?" Before Buster can nod again, Lincecum pushes the dildo all the way in and stops. "Okay. Open your mouth and beg for it, boy."

"Please please please," Buster says and it's like the words are tumbling out of his mouth almost faster than he can say them. "Please please, Master...please Sir...please fuck me...please hurt me...please."

"Holy crap," Hunter says, as Buster keeps begging. "Shut up, Buster. Adams just hit a fucking grand slam."

It's clear both Hunter and Lincecum's attentions are on the TV now and even if Hunter hadn't said anything Buster would know better than to keep begging. Fuck you, Matt Adams, he thinks. And fuck your fucking timing. At least they don't turn the volume up.

It's still a few moments before Lincecum twists the dildo. "Pitching change," he says. "Start begging again, Buster."

"Please," Buster says. It seems the pause wasn't nearly the buzzkill he thought it was; as soon as he starts begging he's all but forgotten the ball game. "Please hurt me...fuck me...please, Master. Please, Sir."

"Go ahead," Lincecum says.

Hunter starts beating Buster but not as hard as he was earlier. It still stings, though; Buster's back is hot and sensitive. That doesn't stop him from wanting more. "Please," he says. "Please, Sir...harder."

"No, I'm good," Hunter says.

"And you say I'm a dick?" Lincecum says with a laugh.

"You are...oh hey, game's back on."

They both leave Buster alone to concentrate on the game and the only good thing about it is that they still don't turn the sound back on. Buster tries squirming a little, but Lincecum slaps him sharply on the ass. "Quit it," he says. "Save it for commercial breaks."

Buster's not sure if they care about the game, or if they're just fucking with him. Could be both, of course. It's really fucking frustrating, but more and more, he feels like he's the toy Lincecum called him earlier. Why shouldn't they watch a ballgame and play with him in between innings? Why should they care that each time the start beating him or fucking him--or both--it winds him up just a little tighter?

"Ad break," Lincecum says.

Buster has no idea what inning it is, but he also doesn't really care at this point. "Please," he says. "Oh God, please, Master...please, sir...."

They both do him this time; each blow from the strap and each thrust of the dildo is hard and perfect. Buster's hurting now and it's so fucking good that he whines in protest when they stop.

"Jesus fucking Christ," Hunter says after several minutes. "This is fucking crazy!"

"Poor Buster," Lincecum says. He pats Buster's ass. "We've got free baseball."

Extra innings? Seriously? Buster thinks. The Pirates blew a lead like that? It must have been the grand slam that shifted the momentum. But then Lincecum's moving the dildo again and it's hard and it hurts, but Buster still opens his mouth and starts begging.

Hunter beats him really fucking hard through the next ad break. Buster's almost glad when the game comes back on, not because it hurts, but because he's getting dangerously close to coming. He's pretty sure they won't let that happen until the game is over and maybe not even then.

"C'mon...just hit the ball somewhere," Lincecum mutters at one point.

"Anywhere," Hunter says. He reaches down and tangles his hand in Buster's hair. "Oh Jesus, why'd you swing at that?"

Lincecum's digging his fingers into Buster's thigh now and they're both leaning forward. It's a bizarre way to experience a game, but Buster's pretty sure the Cards are in position to break the tie with a walk-off run. Hopefully, he thinks, they will. He also hopes he won't get dumped on the floor if that happens.

"Yes!" Hunter says, twisting his hand hard. Buster tries not to squirm, but then Lincecum smacks him on the ass.

"Walk-off run off a sac fly in the thirteenth," Lincecum says. "In case you were curious."

Buster's not sure if he's supposed to be talking at this point and even if it was okay, he doesn't think "thank God it's over" would be the right thing to say.

"Well that was exciting," Hunter says. "What are we gonna do with the boy here?"

"Do you feel any need to watch the post-game stuff?"

"That is not what I feel the need for," Hunter says dryly. "I've been beating him on and off for what, a couple of hours now? I kinda wanna come."

"Yeah, me too." Lincecum slaps Buster's ass hard. "Down on your knees boy, and keep that dildo up your ass, okay?"

Getting off the couch and onto his knees is easy enough, but once Buster's on his knees, he has to reach between his legs to keep the dildo in place. Apparently, that gives Lincecum an idea.

"Fuck yourself with it," he says as he unzips his jeans. "Do it good and hard."

Buster's already sore and it hurts like fuck once he starts fucking himself with the dildo. He's not sure if he supposed to speak right not, but he knows he sounds desperate even without words.

"Damn, he looks good" Hunter says. "You gonna have him blow you?"

"Nah, I thought we'd just jerk off on him." Then, when Buster bites his lip and leans forward, Lincecum laughs. "I think he wants it. That right, Buster?"

"Please," Buster says, his voice rough. He's close as it is and he's really feeling the strain of fucking himself without coming. "Please, Master...please, Sir."

It doesn't take long. About a minute or two after they stand up and start jacking off, Hunter comes all over Buster's face. Buster's eyes are closed and he's still licking his lips when Lincecum groans.

"You fucking slut," he mutters and Buster feels each pulse as Lincecum comes on his chest. "You like that?" Lincecum asks, his voice still a little shaky.

"Yes, Master. Thank you, Master...thank you, Sir." Buster takes a deep breath. "Please," he says, even though it feels wrong to ask. "Please Master...please let me come. Please?"

"Nope," Lincecum says. "You can stop with the dildo, though."

By the time Buster settles into bed, he aches all over, both from everything they did to him tonight as well as from the scene the night before. He's also itchy because Hunter only let him wash his face before chaining him to the bed. And, even though it's been over an hour since they stopped playing with him, he's horny enough that it would only take a simple command to make him come.

It's just about perfect, he thinks as he slides into sleep.

Chapter Text

Buster has met a few famous people--mostly actors and politicians--during his time in the Establishment and the one thing he's noticed is that, up close and personal, people tend to look smaller than they do on TV.

Madison Bumgarner is not one of those people.

Buster's kneeling in the gameroom and the place gets a lot smaller once Bumgarner and his boy come into the room. Jesus fucking Christ, Buster thinks, they're both huge.

Size aside, Bumgarner looks like any other Southerner--Lee's, a checked shirt, worn boots and a kind of tacky belt buckle. He's even wearing a Ducks Unlimited camo baseball cap. If you didn't know who he was, he'd look like just another long-haired good ol' boy.

"And that," Lincecum says. "Is Buster."

Buster bows his head as Hunter says, "You want a drink or something?"

"I'll take a beer," Bumgarner says and yeah, Hunter was right. Bumgarner's accent is pretty thick. He looks Buster over before turning and smiling at Lincecum. "Nice."

"We think so," Lincecum says. "Buster...beers for all of us."

Once everyone has their beers, Lincecum turns to Bumgarner. "Bum, is Brandon sleeping with you or with the boy here?"

"Your house, your rules," Bumgarner says.

"Cool. Buster go help Brandon with their stuff. When's dinner?"

"An hour, Master."

"You need him before that?" Hunter asks Bumgarner.

"Yeah, just for a second. Get over here, boy." As Bumgarner pulls something out of his pocket, Brandon goes to his knees. "You want this?"

"Yes, Master." Brandon puts his hands behind his back and then leans forward, head bowed a little. "Please, Master."

The chain Bumgarner locks around Brandon's neck looks like it's iron or maybe steel and there's a big ring on the front. Once it's locked on, Brandon looks up at Bumgarner and smiles just a little. "Better," Bumgarner says, resting his hand on Brandon's face.

"Thank you, Master," Brandon murmurs. He turns his head and kisses Bumgarner's palm. They stay like that for just a moment and then Bumgarner slaps Brandon's face hard enough that Buster can hear it from the doorway.

"Go on. Y'all can get acquainted."

"Yes, Master," Brandon says. In spite of the slight patch of pink on his cheek above his beard, he's still smiling as he gets to his feet.

"So," Hunter says as Buster and Brandon leave the room. "Did you see last night's game?"

"That fucking game...."

"We don't have too much," Brandon says once they're in the hall. He's not dressed in full on country mode--just a snug black t-shirt and jeans--although he is wearing a pair of cowboy boots that look just as lived in as Bumgarner's.

"Okay," Buster says. "Sorry if you're used to sleeping with your Master."

"Nah, it's okay. I do most nights at home, but that's because he's on the road so much."

"That must be weird." Buster pauses in the hall and looks at the luggage by the front door. "Your Master keeps his toys in a shotgun case?" At least Buster hopes it's got toys in it and not an actual gun.

"Yeah," Brandon says as he picks up the case and a backpack. "He's such a fucking hick."

Buster glances quickly at Brandon as he picks up the only other bag--an olive drab duffle bag.

"What?" Brandon says, heading for the stairs. "It's true. I love the man, but sometimes he makes me look like a city boy."

"How long have you been with him?" Buster asks, because seriously, who says that?

"Four years," Brandon says. "It's the stupidest fucking story," he adds with a laugh.

"He bought you four years ago?" Four years is a really long time to be with the same owner; maybe that's why Brandon says he loves his Master. Maybe after that long it's inevitable.

"No, I kinda tried to kick him out of a bar four years ago." Brandon glances at Buster and grins. "You know, I get that look a lot when I tell this story."

They've reached the guest suite and as Buster watches, Brandon drops the backpack just inside the door. "That's my stuff," he says. "Here, I'll take his bag."

As Buster watches, Brandon unpacks Bumgarner's clothes and then heads into the bathroom. He might be big, but he moves quickly and quietly and it's obvious he's acted as a valet before.

"So," Brandon says, once he's done in the bathroom. He opens the gun case and pulls out an impressive looking single tail. "You want the story?" he asks as he coils it carefully and puts it on the top of the dresser. The whip is followed by a couple neat bundles of rope.

"I've gotta admit I'm a little confused. I mean, you're Establishment, right?"

"Yeah," Brandon says. He looks around and then nods. "Okay, good here. Let's go down to your room and I'll explain."

Earlier in the day, Buster had set up a foam pad on the floor of his room and as they walk in the door he gestures at it. "I'll take the floor."

"Oh hey, you don't have to do that."

"It's okay." Buster pauses and watches Brandon pull stuff out of his backpack. "So, you threw him out of a bar?"

"I didn't actually toss him," Brandon says. "I was a bouncer at The Hole in the Wall. It's a leather bar...well, actually it's a total dive down south of Market in the city. He showed up at the bar with a couple of other guys and, well, it's 2010, right? I had no clue who they were and he really didn't look like he was twenty-one."

"Was he?"

"Just, but only because it was after midnight. I was still checking his ID when the guys with him called the bartender over. Long story short, Pat Burrell and Aubrey Huff were taking him on a bar crawl to celebrate his birthday and they wanted to see what happened when they dragged him to a leather bar."

"That's how you met?" Buster frowns a little. "So you're a member, and not really a slave?"

"No, I'm a slave. I've got the training and the contract and all," Brandon says, as he sits down on the bed. Bending over, he starts pulling his boots off. "It's complicated," he continues, his voice a little muffled. "We saw each other for a while and then he joined the Establishment and we went to the club a couple times and it was...well you know. All your fantasies rolled into one."

"Yeah," Buster says. "Right out of porn, only better."

"Uh huh. I met a few slaves and all I could think was how that was how good they were and how...it's so much more than even lifestyle D/s, you know? And I wanted to be like that, be that good, for him. So I went through the whole screening process and then the training after I got accepted."

"Oh," Buster says, feeling stupid. "You never went on the block."

"Nope, private sale," Brandon says with a grin. "But it's the standard deal; my share's put away and my contract isn't full of exceptions and hard limits. I don't have a safeword any more than you do."

Buster knows it happens; there was a girl in his initial training class who did the same thing. He didn't really get it then and he doesn't now. "Why? I mean why not just do 24/7 at home?"

"Like I said, that kind of kink isn't enough. Not for us." Brandon pulls his shirt off. "We love each other but we're not boyfriends and we're not married. He's my Master and I'm his slave."

Brandon might be big, but he's in good shape; he looks like he works out even more than Buster does. But what really catches Buster's eyes are the scars. It looks like Bumgarner likes knives and beating his boy's back raw.

"Jesus," Buster says. "Your contract allows him to mark you up like that?"

"Yeah. That's one of the advantages; he's not ruining my looks for my next Master."

"Some owners would think that was a plus, not a minus."

"Oh that's not the real minus." Brandon unzips his jeans and pulls them down. "I don't think this would do anything for my sale price."

"Holy shit!" Buster takes a step forward before pulling up short.

"It's okay; you can touch it."

The brand isn't huge, maybe a couple of inches, and it's very neatly done; the interlocked MB is clearly visible. "He used an iron?" Buster asks as he runs a finger over the raised mark. He's seen brands before, but almost all of the were decorative body mods done with cauterizers or even lasers.

"Yeah," Brandon says, his voice soft. When Buster looks up at him, he's looking into the distance with a little smile. "Hurt like fuck," he says after a second. "It wasn't like a beating or even when he uses a knife or his fists. Just one moment of fucking awful pain."

Like getting pierced, Buster thinks, remembering that one moment of perfect pain when Claire put the needle into his nipple. Only more so.

"What if..." Buster begins as he steps back to let Brandon finish undressing.

"We split up?" Brandon shrugs. "I dunno. It's been four years and I'm on my third contract with him. Our families and the team thinks we're boyfriends; hell, Sandoval is always saying we need to get married. Maybe it won't work out eventually, but I'm not going to act like a breakup is inevitable, you know?"

Buster nods. As he watches Brandon finish undressing, he thinks about what Brandon said and how he looked when Bumgarner put the collar on him. Brandon's an Establishment slave and that's all that matters, even if Buster doesn't understand his reasons. It's not like Buster understands all of his own reasons, after all.

Still, Buster wonders how it works when you and your owner are actually in love.

"You need anything?" he asks.

"That depends," Brandon gives him a look. "How soon do you want to get up close and personal?" He digs in his backpack and pulls out a medium sized black butt plug. "It's easier if someone else puts it in, you know?"

This kind of thing, at least, is familiar. "Yeah, no problem," Buster says.

"If he's watching, I've gotta do it myself," Brandon says. "Otherwise, he doesn't care as long as I'm wearing it when he wants me to." He finishes undressing and then grabs the plug. "Lemme go wash up...."

Dinner in the gameroom means that Buster doesn't have to dress in his waiter's get up, but Lincecum keeps the room warm enough that Buster doesn't have to wear a shirt. He should probably put on a clean pair of jeans though.

"Nice view," Brandon says. Buster turns around, his jeans in hand, and Brandon grins at him. "I like the jock."

"Everyone likes the jock," Buster says with a laugh. "They may never let me wear anything else again." He pulls his jeans on and then gets the lube out of the nightstand drawer. "You okay with Probe?"

"Sure." Brandon walks over to the bed and bends down, hands on the mattress.

"Speaking of nice views," Buster says as Brandon spreads his legs. It's true; Brandon's got a great ass and seriously nice thighs. Buster's not very toppy at all and he's not a sadist either, but he'd kind of like to see someone work Brandon over.

Brandon squirms a little when Buster cautiously starts slicking him up. "Don't need to be that careful," he says with a little laugh.

"Really?" Buster drips lube on his fingers and pushes two into Brandon. With a groan, Brandon spreads his legs a little more and arches his back. He's certainly a credit to his training, Buster thinks as he starts twisting his fingers.

"Oh yeah," Brandon says. Buster smiles a little and steps it up a little; going in with three fingers. "Mmmmm...."

A moment later, Buster pats Brandon's ass. "You good?"

"Keep that up," Brandon says with a breathless little laugh. "And I'll be better than good." Leaving one hand to bear his weight, he grabs the plug off the bed and hands it back to Buster. Once Buster's got it slick and presses it up against Brandon's hole, Brandon moans a little and pushes back.

"Okay," Buster says a moment later. He pats Brandon's ass again and then steps back. "There you go."

Brandon squirms again and then stands up. "Playing with you is gonna be fun," he says as he turns around. He's hard now and Buster's eyes get wide.

"You too," he says while Brandon pulls on a clean pair of jeans. "I hope they let you fuck me."

When they show up in the kitchen to get dinner, Buster's not surprised to learn that Brandon's popular with the staff--he gets hugs from the women and a slap on the back from Mr. Thompson. So far, Brandon's no different from any other slave Buster's known and Buster needs to start thinking of him that way.

"Oh God," Bumgarner says when Buster sets up dinner on the bar. "Sandy made carnitas, didn't she? How are you guys not fat?"

"Tim is incapable of gaining weight," Hunter says as he starts putting a burrito together. "I'm careful and the boy here works out."

"If you ask nicely," Tim says. "I'm sure Sandy would give your boy the recipe."

So Brandon cooks too. Buster wonders what else Brandon does aside from sex; it's not like Bumgarner needs a staff. He's also curious about what Brandon does with his time during the baseball season. It can't be easy to belong to someone who's one the road all the time, especially someone who doesn't merit an entourage.

"Just get meat," Linecum says once everyone aside from Buster has their food. "And come sit by me.

"So, for the pre-game," Hunter says, grabbing the remote. "Fox? ESPN? MLB?"

"They all mostly suck," Bumgarner says. "So whoever."

Hunter chooses Fox, but when Bumgarner starts breaking down the matchup between Liriano and Miller, no one pays any attention to the TV. Buster's riveted; it's not easy to keep his head down, let Lincecum feed him and stay out of the conversation when he really wants to ask all kinds of questions.

It's weird in a way, because of course listening to Bumgarner reminds Buster of his own ambitions and, never mind the limitations of skill, Buster wonders if would have been able to keep this much detailed knowledge in his head. It's not just hitting the ball or throwing the ball well, it's remembering how often Andrew McCutchen swings at fastballs in a two and two count.

"Dude, I don't know how you do it," Tim says, echoing Buster's thoughts. "People who say athletes are stupid have never really talked to one."

"Nah, we're all a buncha dumbfucks," Bumgarner says with a grin. "Most of us anyway. Get us away from baseball and we don't know what to talk about."

Buster glances over at Brandon and something about Brandon's carefully blank expression makes Buster think he's holding back a laugh. Although Buster would be happy to have a Master who talked about nothing but baseball, he doubts Bumgarner's as stuck on one topic as he pretends to be.

"Hey, I've got a question," Hunter says, gesturing at the TV where the game is just about to start. "Do you ever get sick of having to look serious during really bad versions of the National Anthem?"

"All the damn time," Bumgarner says. "It's best when they don't even try, ya know? Or when it's instrumental; we get Metallica once a year and they're pretty awesome."

The game turns out to be one of those oddly boring games in which the pitching isn't all that good but the offense is dead so it doesn't matter. Buster's not all that surprised when, around the fifth inning, Hunter leans back in his chair. "Tim, you mind if...."

"Nah," Tim says. He runs his fingers down the back of Buster's neck one more time. "Go on."

"You want two of 'em?" When Hunter nods, Bumgarner slaps Brandon's shoulder and then gives him a rough shove.

"Well," Hunter says once they're both kneeling in front of him. "Isn't this nice?" He looks at the two of them for a minute. "Yeah, okay. Buster, get your mouth on my dick. Brandon, kneel up so I can reach you...."

Buster's not sure what's going on above him, but it isn't long before Brandon starts moaning. "Does that hurt?" Hunter asks. Buster can picture the look on his face perfectly; he wonders what Brandon makes of it. Bumgarner doesn't seem like he'd be as detached as Lincecum and Hunter can be at times.

"Yes...yes, Sir," Brandon gasps.

"Good."

Hunter's attention seems to be mostly on Brandon; he hasn't got his hand in Buster's hair like he usually does and his hips aren't moving at all. Buster settles in to give Hunter the kind of long, leisurely blow job Hunter likes when he has the time. Maybe it shouldn't be hot, because Hunter's not really paying any attention to Buster, but it is.

As Brandon gets even louder, Buster remembers Hunter saying how much he liked it when Brandon yelled. He's getting there now and Buster wishes he could see what Hunter's doing. Whatever it is, it's pretty effective.

"Jesus Christ," Bumgarner says. "I'm tryin' to watch a fucking ballgame here. Someone put a gag in that boy's mouth."

"Buster...."

There are quite a few gags in the second drawer of the toy cabinet; Buster grabs a short, thick penis gag, mostly because it'll really muffle the noise Brandon's making but also because Buster kind of likes penis gags.

"Go on," Hunter says. "Put it on him,"

Brandon's torso is covered with red marks; near as Buster can tell, Hunter's been pinching him. That explains the noise. As Buster has cause to know, Hunter can get pretty vicious with his fingers.

"No wait," Lincecum says. "Since it's a commercial break and all, I want to see them kiss."

When Bumgarner doesn't raise an objection, Buster leans in and presses his mouth against Brandon's. He's not sure how it's going to go, but then Hunter does something and Brandon makes a startled little noise. Buster kisses him hard to keep him quiet and, okay yeah, Brandon's moaning into his mouth and that's really good.

"That," Lincecum says. "Is more interesting than this fucking game. How about we finish watching it and then watch the boys?"

"Yeah," Bumgarner says. "That works."

The Cardinals win, but Buster's back between Hunter's legs and doesn't see the end of the game. "Just keep me up," Hunter tells him, so Buster's spends the last couple innings nuzzling and licking and stroking Hunter's dick and balls. He gets a little lost in it, enough that he's actually surprised when Hunter tugs on his hair.

"Oh yeah," Hunter says. "You fucking love dick, don't you, boy?"

"Yes, Sir," Buster says. "I really do." And God, he hopes he sounds sincere because more and more he wants them to know he means it when he says things like that. He wants them to know that he'd.... "I'd stay down there for hours if you let me, Sir."

"Maybe someday, I will," Hunter says with a smile.

"For now," Lincecum says. "Clean off the coffee table and put some pillows up on it. I don't want to have to worry about your knees."

As Buster deals with the table, he can hear Lincecum and Bumgarner talking quietly. He doesn't know Bumgarner at all, but if Lincecum's involved, whatever they're coming up with has a good chance to be complicated. And good, he thinks with a little smile.

"First off," Bumgarner says. "Y'all need to strip down."

"Just down to your jock, Buster," Hunter says, pretty much right on schedule.

"You put that thing in on your own, boy?" Bumgarner says once Brandon's naked and standing next to him. "Or did you have help?"

"I had help, Master."

"It's only fair you should return the favor," Lincecum says. He's standing near the toy cabinet and he says, "heads up" before tossing a butt plug--the big purple one--at Brandon. "Get that ass in the air, Buster."

Once Buster's in position, Brandon behind him, Bumgarner says, "Take your time."

"Oh wait, if he's gonna take his time...hands and knees Buster. Head up."

Sure enough, when Buster shifts position, Lincecum is crouched down right in front of him. "Bum? Before you go, I want to see you fucking lay into him."

"Before I go, I want to lay into him."

Buster bites his lip and Lincecum smiles. "Scared?" he asks.

Just as Buster's about to answer, he feels Brandon's wet fingers sliding down the crack of his ass. "A little, Master," he says after catching his breath.

"You should be," Lincecum says. "Bum's really mean."

Reaching up, he presses his hand against the back of Buster's neck and leaves it there while Brandon slowly--God, so fucking slowly--opens Buster up. He keeps it up long after Buster's ready and before long, Buster's squirming and breathing in short panting gasps. He can feel the blush spread across his face as he looks into Lincecum's eyes and suddenly he knows what Lincecum wants.

"Please," Buster whispers.

"Please what?"

Behind him, Brandon pauses with three of his fingers inside Buster. "Please let him put it in me, Master. Please."

"Why?"

Buster's face gets hotter and he wishes he could close his eyes; it shouldn't be this hard to beg. "Because," he says and then falters. "Because I'm a slut."

"And you want it all the time, don't you?" Lincecum asks. His voice is quiet, like there's no one else in the room.

"All the time, Master." Buster takes a deep shuddering breath. "Because I'm a slave," he says and all he can do is hope Lincecum understands what he's trying to say.

"My slave," Lincecum says. He looks up over Buster's shoulder. "Brandon, would you?"

As Brandon slowly pushes the plug into Buster, Linceum leans forward and kisses Buster hard. Yes, Buster thinks. Just...this.

"Someday," Lincecum says a moment later. "I'm going to kiss you while you're screaming."

"Please, Master. Please."

Lincecum smiles at Buster and sits back on his heels, and suddenly Buster's aware of the rest of the room. "Okay then," Lincecum says. "Up on the table, you two."

"On your knees, facing each other, nice and close," Bumgarner adds.

"Here's how this is going to work," Lincecum says once Brandon and Buster are pressed up against each other. "You guys need to be more entertaining than that game."

Brandon turns his head to look at Bumgarner at the same time Buster glances at Lincecum. Before either of them can ask for directions, Lincecum waves a hand. "We don't care, do whatever."

"Except maybe come," Hunter says.

"Yeah, no coming," Bumgarner says. "That's up to us."

In the silence that follows, Brandon and Buster look at each other. Brandon, Buster notices, has nice eyes. And Hunter was right about his mouth. In fact....

Buster reaches up, cups Brandon's face and pulls him down into a kiss. He's just as hesitant as he was earlier; it's always like this with another slave before you know who's going to be topping. Someone has to, of course. Most owners don't want to watch their slaves have vanilla sex.

Brandon's equally cautious as he kisses Buster back. Okay fine, Buster thinks and bites Brandon's lip. Brandon catches his breath, but doesn't bite back, so Buster bites him again before kissing him deeply. Grabbing Brandon's biceps, he pushes him back, kissing him all the time.

There are two tricks to topping a fellow slave when you're not a top or a masochist--remembering that you're entertaining your owner and doing the kinds of things that you like someone doing to you. With that in mind, Buster keeps pushing Brandon until Brandon's forced to put his hands on the table to support himself.

Brandon's arched under Buster now and Buster kisses him for a few more minutes, pausing now and then to bite Brandon's lower lip. It's good, but it's going to get boring for their audience so he finally pulls back a little. Brandon opens his eyes and Buster raises his eyebrows a little--is this all right? Brandon's nod is brief and shallow but Buster gets the message--go ahead.

After after biting Brandon's red, swollen mouth one more time, Buster moves down a little, biting Brandon hard right under his jaw. He sucks up a mark and moves slowly down Brandon's neck and torso, leaving a trail of hickeys as he goes. Brandon's gasping under him and when he squirms, his dick leaves slick patches on Buster's hip.

One of Brandon's nipples is already a little red when Buster presses a quick kiss to it. Hunter must have been pinching it earlier; good, Buster thinks just before he bites it hard.

"Fuck..." Brandon grunts. Buster does it again, tugging with his teeth this time. He's missed nipple play and this might be a weird way to make up for it, but if the way Brandon's moving under him is any indication, he likes it. Buster smiles against Brandon's skin and bites down again. By the time he's done, Brandon's shuddering hard and groaning almost constantly. You can have hundreds of toys, Buster thinks with another smile, but sometimes all you need are your teeth.

Buster finally sits back on his heels to look Brandon over--he's flushed from his cheeks down to his chest and Buster can already tell that his nipple's gonna be sore for days. He looks good and when Buster glances quickly at the sofa, both Lincecum and Bumgarner seem to be enjoying the view.

When he reaches the pale skin just below Brandon's hip, Brandon's brand is right there. Buster wonders if the skin is sensitive under it, but he knows better than to bite it. So he just slides his tongue over the scarring and bites just below it. Brandon yelps and yeah, Buster thinks. Let's hear that again.

"Oh God...oh fuck...ow fuck!"

"You must be bruising him up good," Bumgarner says. "You want him to stop, boy?"

"No! No...please, Master."

"So it hurts a lot?" Hunter asks.

"Like...like fuck, Sir."

It's not something Buster would say, but he can hear Hunter laugh.

He's going to break the skin if he keeps this up and Buster's not sure that's okay, so he moves over a little and starts biting and sucking again. Brandon's moving in a way Buster knows all too well--it hurts and you instinctively want to get away, but you also want to move into the pain. Buster brings his hands up to cup Brandon's ass, digging his fingers in and holding Bandon still.

"Now that's pretty," Bumgarner drawls. "Good thing the light's good in here." Buster's not sure what to make of that but he can't exactly look up right now.

Brandon's starting to sound almost desperate now and there's no way Buster wants to force him to come. There's hurting someone and then there's getting him into trouble, and Buster's pretty sure the tables will be turned at least once while Bumgarner and Brandon are here.

When he lifts his head and looks at Brandon's hip he can't help but be impressed; he left a hell of a bruise. "Move back," Lincecum says. "I want to see."

"Yes, Master," Buster murmurs. As he sits back, Bumgarner holds up his phone and takes a picture. Oh, Buster thinks. That's why Bumgarner was talking about the light. Even as Buster watches, Brandon turns and looks at Bumgarner. Even though he's breathing with deep shuddering gasps, he's smiling--a big genuine looking smile.

"Did you like that, Buster?" Lincecum asks.

"Yes, Master," Buster says after a second's thought. "Did you, Master?" And wow, he hadn't intended on saying that.

He's braced for a reprimand, but to his surprise, Lincecum grins. "Yeah, I did."

"Of course you're not done yet," Hunter says. He leans back in his chair and looks at Buster and Brandon.

"The question is," Lincecum says. "Does Brandon get a turn or do we let Buster keep going?" He glances at Bumgarner.

"You had enough, Brandon?"

"No, Master."

"Course you'd say that if you were about to pass out."

Brandon smiles again. "Yeah, Master, I would."

"Go ahead, Buster." Lincecum gestures toward Brandon.

Buster looks Brandon over; he's still leaning back on his hands and he looks like he could stay like that for a while. Of course he can--he's an Establishment slave, after all. Brandon's dick is hard and dark and slick and Buster kind of wants to suck it, but no, not yet. Instead, he looks right right at Brandon, opens his mouth and runs his tongue over his teeth before bending down.

"Oh fuck...fuck," Brandon mutters.

Buster grips Brandon's hips and kisses the base of his dick. Taking a deep breath, he nips at the shaft--a quick little bite that will sting more than anything. Above him, Brandon's making these little noises, like he's holding his breath as long as he can before finally breathing. He has to know Buster won't hurt him too much, but then again, even an Establishment slave has a hard time being rational when someone's biting their fucking dick.

After each little bite, Buster licks the spot before moving up just a little. Brandon's leaking steadily by the time Buster reaches the head of his dick and Buster can hear him suck in a deep breath, but instead of biting, Buster just runs his tongue over the head.

"God...fuck...fuck...." Brandon gasps as Buster keeps licking.

"Hey Buster," Lincecum says. "Multiple choice time."

Buster raises his head. "Yes, Master?" All he can think is how much he really doesn't want a choice here.

"You want to suck it or ride it? Or do you want him to take over?"

Think fast, Buster tells himself. It's a pretty easy choice, though. His Master wanted to be entertained and the longer this goes on, the better.

"Please Master," he says, settling back into his standard kneeling position. "I want...I want him to take over." He glances quickly at Bumgarner. "If you please, Sir?"

"Well he sure has pretty manners."

"That's East Coast training for you," Hunter says.

"Go on, Brandon."

Once Brandon's on his knees again, he rolls his shoulders and takes a deep breath. He lets it out through pursed lips as he looks Buster over. Buster gives him a rueful smile and just manages to keep himself from shrugging a little.

"Do we still have to face each other, Master?"

"Nah," Bumgarner says. "Do whatever...I mean, no one gets to come yet, but other than that, just make it look good."

"Thank you, Master." Bandon turns to Buster. "Turn and face the couch, okay?"

"Yeah," Buster says. As he moves, he wonders if Brandon knows about the way Lincecum likes his boys to keep their eyes open. Or maybe it's just Buster. That was something Buster hadn't considered until now; maybe he'll be able to ask Brandon.

"Wait," Hunter says. "If you're planning on sitting behind him, you're going to run out room. Besides if you have to pause to move the table, that gives everyone a minute to cool down."

People in pornos, Buster thinks with a smile as he helps move the table, don't stop and move furniture. Hunter was right though; Brandon looks a lot calmer by the time Buster kneels in front of the couch.

"On my lap," Brandon says in his ear. He's kneeling behind Buster and he puts his hands on Buster's hips. "Straddle me," he adds, his voice still a soft whisper. "Like I'm fucking you."

Just how big is he, Buster wonders as he settles on Brandon's lap. It's an odd feeling; Buster's not used to being the smaller guy in a situation like this. Brandon's hands are tight on Buster's hips and his dick is pressed up against the crack of Buster's ass. For a minute, Buster really wishes he'd asked for a chance to ride Brandon. Maybe--hopefully--they'll be told to do that once Brandon's done doing whatever he plans on doing.

Brandon runs his hands up Buster's sides. "Arms up, hands behind my head."

The position leaves Buster stretched out and on display. "Jesus fucking Christ," Lincecum says. "Bum, you got room on your phone for this?"

"Hell yeah." Bumgarner lifts up his phone. "Y'all go ahead, don't mind me."

"Can I?" Brandon asks, as he runs his hands back down Buster's chest. He pauses at Buster's nipples, his fingertips resting right above them.

"If you're gentle," Buster says. "And don't tug on the rings at all."

"Oh, I'll be gentle."

True to his words, Brandon keeps his touch light as he brushes his fingers up and down across Buster's nipples. It's good, but within seconds it's also fucking frustrating. Buster wants more and he knows he can't have it, but he still can't keep from squirming just a little.

By the time Brandon's fingers move further down Buster's chest, Buster's breathing's unsteady and he keeps biting his bottom lip. Lincecum's staring at him like he always does, and all Buster can think is, please like what you see.

Brandon's nails are short, but Buster can still feel it as Brandon starts dragging them along Buster's torso. Brandon's going just hard enough that it doesn't tickle, but again, it's too gentle to hurt. It's oddly hot and it doesn't help that between working Brandon over and being on display like this, Buster's turned on enough to be really sensitive. Before long, he's squirming again and knowing that his ass is right up against Brandon's dick isn't helping.

It gets worse when Brandon starts licking the back of Buster's neck above and then below Buster's collar. Only it's not worse, not really, because Buster's feeling increasingly desperate and he likes feeling that way even when he'd give anything to get off right now. He doesn't even try to hide how he's feeling from Lincecum and he can tell from Lincecum's slight smile that his Master is getting off on it.

When Brandon reaches the insides of Buster's thighs, Buster groans and spread his legs a little wider. Brandon's pinching him now, but it's nothing like the way Hunter pinches. Instead it's a series of quick little pinches. Brandon's still using his nails and each pinch stings just a little and, because he's not sticking to any pattern, each one is a little surprising.

As another little pinch makes Buster catch his breath, he wonders if this is what Brandon likes or if he's just doing the opposite of what Buster did to mix things up a little. Buster knows better than to judge anyone's kinks based on how they look, but so far what he's seen of Bumgarner has indicated he's pretty rough with Brandon.

Behind him, Brandon's breathing harder and Buster has to keep from smiling. Brandon might be teasing Buster in all the right way, but he's also got a squirming boy on his lap. But Buster's moment of smugness is brief; he lets out a hoarse cry when Brandon's hand is suddenly pressed up against the front of Buster's jock.

Buster's already lost any shred of dignity he had going into this, so he arches up and tries to shove his dick against the light pressure of Brandon's hand. It doesn't work; Brandon pulls his hand away.

"God," Buster groans when Brandon does it again. "Fuck...." He tries to stay still, but then Brandon starts rubbing his dick, Buster ends up moving into his touch again.

It's not enough to make Buster come, at least not yet, but it's driving him fucking crazy. For once, though, he doesn't want to look away from Lincecum. This headspace isn't about submitting to Brandon, it's about giving his Master exactly what he wants. Never mind that Brandon's not actively hurting Buster; Buster's suffering and that's what Lincecum wants to see.

And he is suffering; Brandon's got him so fucking wound up, but every time Buster tries to get a little more, Brandon won't let him. Brandon's biting the back of his neck now, but it's more a scrape of teeth than a real bite. Buster wants--he needs--more. All it would take would be one hard stroke from Brandon's hand or maybe just a sudden shock of real pain and Buster would be right there, right on the very edge.

Buster apparently looks and sounds pretty desperate, because Lincecum smiles at him. Buster knows what else Lincecum wants from him, so he opens his mouth. "Please...please, Master...please...."

"Oh that's nice," Bumgarner says. "He's real pretty when he begs."

"Yeah, we like it," Lincecum says. "What exactly are you begging for, Buster?"

"Master...please I don't...." But no, that isn't right; Buster can't say that. He has to want something. Or does he? "Don't know, Master," he says. "Please...I want to come...but I wanna...be like this for you...please, Master."

"See, the thing is," Hunter says, his voice calm like he's talking about the weather. "Our boy here likes it when we make him wait or don't let him come at all. But he's also greedy little slut who wants to come."

What their boy wants is to be told what to do, Buster thinks. He stares at Lincecum--tell me what you want and I'll want it...just tell me and I'll give it to you.

"What do you think, Bum?" Lincecum asks. "You're the guest, after all. Buster, I want you to focus on him now."

Buster looks at Bumgarner and it's no easier than looking at Lincecum, but Buster doesn't try to hide his desperation.

"Brandon, keep him on edge like that while I think about it. And get that jock out of the way, wouldya?"

"Yes Master," Brandon says. Reaching down, he shoves Buster's jock down around his thighs and Buster wonders about how he must look. But no, the answer to that, at least, is easy; he looks like a slut.

When he bites his lip yet again--it's actually a little sore and probably swollen too--Bumgarner grins at him.

"Okay yeah, get that mouth over here on my dick," he says, his hands already dealing with his belt buckle. "Brandon, do whatever you want to keep him desperate. Well anything except fuck him."

"Yes, Master. Buster, stay on your hands and knees, okay?"

As Buster crawls forward to kneel at Bumgarner's feet, he suddenly remembers one point during the game when Bumgarner said, "He's gonna try get a curve in here, but Martin's gonna take it for a ball" and been right. Buster's about to blow one of the best lefties in all of fucking baseball. How is this even his life?

Then he's staring at Bumgarner's cock and all he can think is, goddamn. He's blown bigger guys, or maybe he hasn't, but right now he wants it so bad he doesn't care about the size. Glancing up at Bumgarner, he licks his lips and then presses a quick, light kiss to the head.

Buster's mapping out the shaft with his lips, a gentler version of what he was doing to Brandon, when he feels Brandon's hand on the inside of his thigh. He spreads his legs and licks his way back up Bumgarner's dick. A deep breath and then he's sliding his mouth down over the head.

"I could watch him suck cock for hours," Hunter says. "He's such a slut for it."

"Mmmmm...hmmmm..." Buster hums. Bumgarner's hips jerk a little, so Buster goes down further and hums again. He's not sure if it's the sound or the feel, but it doesn't really matter; Buster's already so wound up, already so into it, that he's humming almost for himself.

Just as he pulls back up for the first time, he feels Brandon's fingers brush the base of the plug. Buster braces himself, takes a deep breath and goes back down again as Brandon slowly pulls the plug out of him. It leaves him feeling empty and a little desperate, so the noise he makes as he takes Bumgarner's cock deep is more a whine than a hum. He doesn't choke though; he thinks he could take all of it this time, but Bumgarner seems inclined to be patient and so Buster pulls back up again.

This time, as he licks around the head, Bumgarner reaches down, slides his hand under Buster's jaw and pulls Buster's head up. "Hunter's right, ain't he?"

"Yes," Buster says looking up to meet Bumgarner's gaze. "Yes, Sir. Please...Sir, let me suck your cock. Please let me make it good for you. Please, Sir?"

Bumgarner's hand goes tight on Buster's jaw--tight enough to hurt. "Damn well better."

"Yes, Sir. Please Sir." Buster bites his lower lip again, more for effect this time, and leans forward, straining against Bumgarner's grip.

"Do it."

Buster goes all the way down and for the first time in a long time, has to work not to choke. He manages it and instead, hums before slowly pulling back up. Maybe he's showing off just a little, he thinks as he swirls his tongue around the head, but he wants to be good; he wants to impress Bumgarner and make Lincecum and Hunter proud of him.

He's settled into a slow easy rhythm when he feels Brandon's big hands on his ass. And here comes the distraction, Buster thinks, bracing himself for it. It's almost easier sucking cock when someone's fucking you because at least then you know what to expect and usually there's a rhythm to it.

As ready as he thinks he is, he's still a little surprised when Brandon spreads him open. Concentrate, he tells himself even as he's trying to figure out what's about to happen. He's about halfway down Bumgarner's cock when he feels a quick huff of warm breath between his cheeks. Oh God, he thinks. Oh fuck. At least Brandon warned him.

Warning or not it's still a shock when Brandon's tongue flicks against him every so lightly. Buster swallows around Bumgarner's cock and tries not to think about what's happening to him. He's a trained slave; he can suck cock without stopping even when he's coming. He can do this.

He can, but it's a struggle. He hasn't been rimmed in a long long time and it doesn't help that he's still sensitive and and wound up after Brandon spent all that time playing with him. Brandon's going just as easy now as he was earlier; he's careful and almost delicate about it, which is a fucking strange thing to think about someone who's working their tongue up your ass.

The next time Bumgarner's dick hits the back of Buster's throat, Buster whimpers instead of humming. Bumgarner's hips are moving just a little now and Buster takes that as a sign to go faster. It's surprisingly easy; Buster's mouth is good and slick now and he's used to the thick length of Bumgarner's cock.

"Yeah," Bumgarner says, his voice a low rumble. He reaches down and rests a hand on the side of Buster's face, thumb pressing against Buster's cheek. "Boy's got a mouth on him."

"Good thing," Lincecum says with a laugh. "Since he's dealing with that monster of yours."

Bumgarner laughs and starts moving his hips a little more. Just as Buster adjusts, just as he starts moving his head faster, just as he thinks he's got it under control, Brandon's tongue starts pressing inside him. There's nothing delicate about it now, Brandon's licking into him hard and fast and Buster might be so turned on that anything would do, but he can still tell just how good Brandon is at this.

"Jesus," Hunter says, just as Buster starts to squirm a little. Buster can't exactly look over to see his expression, but he sounds a little less detached than earlier. "Your boy's really into it."

"Not that it matters," Bumgarner says and Buster can hear the strain in his voice as he tries to sound normal. "But yeah...filthy fucker loves it."

Buster's trying to keep his concentration where it belongs--on Bumgarner's dick--but for a moment all he can think about is that Lincecum is watching him. Buster hopes he looks like a total slut, hopes that Licnecum likes what he's seeing. Bumgarner's hand at the back of Buster's head now, pushing him down while Buster moans and tries not to completely fall apart.

"Fuck...fuck fuck," Bumgarner mumbles. He pushes Buster down a little harder and that's warning enough; Buster catches a quick breath and then he's swallowing hard as Bumgarner comes down his throat.

Before Buster has a chance to catch his breath, let alone lick Bumgarner's dick clean, Bumgarner pushes him away. Gotta remember he's sensitive after, Buster thinks vaguely. Mostly though, he's thinking about Brandon's mouth. Now that he doesn't have to concentrate on Bumgarner, Buster's all too aware of just how turned on he is.

It's too much work to keep up on his hands, he all but collapses onto his elbows putting his face on the floor right by Bumgarner's boots. He's dripping wet where Brandon's mouth is working him over and the scrape of Brandon's beard against the sensitive skin on his ass is almost too much. Buster doesn't care, though; he slides his knees apart a little more and presses back against Brandon's mouth. It's good--so fucking good--and Buster could come from this alone.

He's just opening his mouth to beg for permission, when Brandon stops. Instead of words, Buster let's out this frustrated whine that sounds both ridiculous and loud in the quiet of the room. His face red, Buster decides he's going to beg anyway, but before he can get the words out, Bumgarner clears his throat.

"Y'all want my boy? Or yours? Or both."

"Hunter? How about we have Brandon suck you off while I fuck him. If that's okay with you, Bum?"

It's funny how careful Lincecum is to check in with Bumgarner, Buster thinks. He's used to hearing his Master run roughshod over everyone around him, but Lincecum's really making an effort now that there's an actual guest in the house.

"Yeah. Go on, Brandon." Bumgarner nudges Buster with the toe of his boot. "Does he have to stay down here?

Before he can finish his sentence, Lincecum says, "No, do whatever you want with him."

"Sit up now," Bumgarner says. "Head on my knee."

As Buster obeys, Lincecum and Hunter join Brandon on the floor. Before long, they're all settled into place--Brandon with his head in Hunter's lap while Lincecum pushes into him with one hard thrust. It looks good, Buster thinks. Of course he's never seen Hunter and Lincecum together like this, and watching makes it even more obvious just how in tune they are with each other.

When Bumgarner reaches down and starts playing with Buster's hair, Buster settles in and tries to calm down. He's not as wound up, not as fucking desperate, as he was earlier, but it wouldn't take much to get him there again. He wonders if he'll get the chance to come tonight or if he blew it earlier by not flat out begging to come.

He was telling the truth, though and it seems like Hunter at least, understand how it works for Buster. Well, up to a point. They still don't get that Buster really doesn't want a choice; they don't understand how much he needs to be told what to do. He's still too aware all the time, too on edge to...to be a good slave. And God, he thinks as he watches Lincecum and Hunter use Brandon, that's all he wants--to be a good slave.

What's it like for Brandon, Buster wonders. He must have known, even before his training, what Bumgarner wanted and what he was like. For a minute, Buster's a little jealous, but then he thinks about how it's felt every time he's been on the block, like walking on a high wire with only a thin safety net. No, he's not jealous of Brandon because Brandon hasn't known that and doesn't know what it's like to take that risk.

* * *

Much later, once they've both been chained up for the night, Brandon lies on his side looking down at Buster. "You okay?" he asks.

Buster laughs. "As okay as I can be." Brandon was allowed to come while Lincecum was fucking him, but Buster still hasn't come. He's doing pretty well, but it's not as easy to deal with as usual when there's someone hot and talented in the room with him.

"You think they'd have let you if you asked?"

"Depends," Buster says. "Let's say it's a good thing I get off on orgasm control."

"Yeah, I know what you mean what with Master being on the road so much."

"How does that work?" Buster remembers something Brandon said earlier. "The team knows?"

"The team knows Master's gay," Brandon says. "And they all think I'm his boyfriend. I mean, no one talks about it much, but sometimes I go to games with the wives and girlfriends."

"That must be weird."

"It can be. I mean, once a couple of them accepted me, they've all been really sweet." Brandon smiles a little. "And the one advantage is I usually go to games he pitches which means he's really fucking horny after and he likes putting me back in my place."

"But that's at home?"

"Not always. I join the team on the road sometimes. Usually if they're playing in a city with a club, I meet him there. That's always a lot of fun." He shakes his head a little; Buster can hear the chain clipped to his collar move. "But it's weird sometimes...Master's sponsor at the club was Matt Cain."

"Seriously?" Buster blinks. He remembers Cain primarily for the perfect game he threw in what Buster remembers as a disappointing year for the Giants. Of course, he thinks, 2012 was an even year and they'd had injury problems as well. "I should know better; you just can't judge people by the way they look."

"It wouldn't be so weird if he was a top, but he's not; his wife's a Domme and a pretty mean one. She's nice to me though; she's why people are so cool about Master and me. But still I think it's a little awkward for Master even though he's pretty good at compartmentalizing. Ballplayers have to be."

"God, they're not the only ones," Buster says. "I had this moment, earlier, where I suddenly realized who I was blowing."

"But you came from New York. I mean that's where your last Master was, right? You must have met tons of famous people there."

"Not as many as you'd think. We didn't go to the club a lot and when we did it was mostly business people and a few politicians." Buster sighs. "And when I did meet a genuine celebrity it was the most embarrassing moments of my whole fucking life."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah. You listen to country, right?"

"No, he likes minimalist jazz...of course we listen to country."

"I grew up, sort of, with Luke Bryan."

"Seriously?"

"Like I said, sort of. He's ten years older than me but Leesburg's a wide spot in the road; everyone knows everyone. I was still a kid when he went to Nashville but he came home a lot so we recognize each other."

"So of course he shows up...in New York? Or were you at a different club?"

"New York. He was on tour and it was just my luck that we were at the club that night. I came face to face with him bringing some drinks back from the bar and I swear to God my first thought was 'thank God I'm not naked', which...well you know; we're not supposed to worry about that kind of thing."

"Yeah, but it's kind of understandable."

"I guess. He recognized me right away and he thought it was fucking hilarious. He came back with me and asked Mr. Koffman if he could borrow me. Told him he knew me from back home and of course Mr. Koffman said yes. He never minded loaning me out and so there I was."

"You gotta admit it's kinda funny. I mean what are the odds?" Brandon says with a little laugh. "Was he any good?"

"Clothespins. Dozens and dozens of fucking clothespins," Buster says with a shiver. "And clamps. He put a zipper on my dick and then pulled it off when he was fucking me."

"Holy shit. That sounds great."

"I screamed so much," Buster says. "That part was awesome. But all the time I was really unsettled...it's not supposed to...I dunno, maybe merge is the right word?"

"What do you mean?"

"The past and this. Home and this." Buster sits up and looks at Brandon. "Are you in contact with your family?"

"Yeah. We're not super close but I call now and then. They try to pretend I'm not with anyone, but that makes it easier to explain why I don't come home for the holidays. I just say I want to be with Master and Mom changes the subject. I get a lot of 'I don't understand but I love you.' You?"

"My sister rarely. I don't talk to my parents, like at all. Long story short, I came out, there was the typical fight with my dad yelling and my mom crying and...." Buster shrugs. "I don't talk to them."

"I'm sorry," Brandon says.

"I might go back someday, but...." Buster's voice trails off and he lies down on his back. "Sorry for being depressing."

"Isn't unusual, though. We're usually...I dunno, outsiders?"

"True."

Brandon's quiet for a little while and when he speaks again his voice is more amused than thoughtful. "We have one of your pictures," he says. "Or I mean one of the pictures of you."

"Huh? Oh, the sketches." Buster can feel his face heat up a little.

"Yeah, Master bought it at one of the charity auctions. He likes rope bondage, of course."

"Of course?"

"You thought I was being disrespectful when I called him a hick, but he really is. Well no, I'm a hick. You were a hick." Buster can't help raising an eyebrow at that, but it's true.

"Master," Brandon continues. "Is a fucking hillbilly. He actually owns a farm up in the ass end of North Carolina. So he went from roping cows to roping furniture to roping me."

"Seriously? Like a horse?"

"Well that's mostly joking around and he does it in the club. But he really prefers rope over cuffs and he's learned how to do rope bondage. Mostly basic stuff though; nothing as fancy as your old Master used to do.

"But the reason I brought it up was that it was kinda weird seeing you in person and...you know, all worked up." He pauses and Buster hears him take in a quick breath. "Um, that was okay, right? What I did?"

"Aside from being incredibly frustrating, it was great. Hope you didn't mind the biting."

"Hell no, I love biting. I might have bit you, only I wanted to do something different."

"They seemed to like the show, so that's all that really matters."

"Yeah well, helps if you like it too."

"True." Before Buster can say anything more, he yawns. That sets Brandon off and after saying goodnight, they both settle down to sleep.

Chapter Text

The routine the next morning is the same as usual, except that Brandon slips out of the kitchen about twenty minutes before Buster's supposed to serve breakfast. "Gotta wake Master up," he says.

"Let me guess how," Buster says dryly.

"Nah, not always." Brandon pauses and then grins. "But most mornings."

After breakfast, Lincecum takes Bumgarner out to look at his latest bike while Hunter heads up to the office.

"What do you do with your time when your Master is gone?" Buster asks as he and Brandon head outside with Cy and Kayo. It's overcast, but not raining and, as usual, the dogs are acting like they've never been outside in their lives. "I mean I have a fair amount of down time, but you have whole weeks."

"I do all the house stuff; it's only a condo and it's not huge or anything. Master would pay for someone to come in and clean, but why?" Brandon says with a shrug. "I work out, of course, and study."

"Study what?"

"Um...psych, actually."

"Really? Do you take online classes?"

"Yeah, through Cal. Berkeley, you know?" he adds when Buster looks confused. "It's through the extension program. I don't know what I'm gonna do next fall though; I've pretty much taken everything I can. See if one of the other universities have something different or maybe take some tech classes."

"Just to keep busy?"

"Well that and...look, as much as we both want me to, I'm not going to be his contracted slave forever. Depending on where we settle down, I was thinking of going into counseling."

"Why that?"

"Because I grew up in a town where your choices were to get a shit job, cook meth or leave, and if we end up back on that farm in the ass-end of North Carolina, we'll be in the same kind of place." Brandon puts his hands in the pockets of his jacket and stares off over what's left of the grapevines after the harvest. "I got out, got to the city without ending up on the streets, but I did some pretty stupid stuff."

"Makes sense."

"What about you? Do you have plans?"

"I'm not really sure," Buster says. He feels a little foolish because Brandon seems to have it all figured out. Then again, Brandon has a partner. Yes, he's a slave, but he can make those kinds of plans because he know who he wants to be with for the rest of his life. He knows where he'll be.

"If I leave the Establishment after this contract, I could probably go back to New York and work for Mr. Koffman."

"Wouldn't that be weird? I mean, would he expect you to be his, I dunno, sub or something?"

It's funny, Buster thinks, the way Brandon says "sub" with the same kind of dismissive tone all Establishment slaves use about the scene people.

"I doubt it. I wouldn't take the job if it came with those kinds of strings. But I'm not sure I want to work on Wall Street. Most of those guys are assholes and I'm pretty sure it would be a lot harder to deal with them if I wasn't a slave." Buster shrugs. "Maybe go back to college. I did a couple years at FSU before I got hurt and lost my scholarship."

"Hurt? What did you play...no, baseball, right?"

"Um, yeah. How did you...?"

"You were hanging on Master's every word last night. I figured you knew the game."

"I was thinking about what it would be like to have a Master who actually played in the majors," Buster glances over at him. "You probably know the game pretty well."

"Mostly by osmosis." Brandon says with a little laugh. "Football was my sport in high school. My dad was the coach but even if he hadn't been, I'd have played. I've been almost this big since tenth grade. I only really got into baseball once I met Master."

After a minute, Buster looks over at Brandon. "Really, though," he says. "I don't have a plan. I just...this is what I'm doing right now and it's what I want to be doing."

"That's cool though. You're really fucking good at it."

"Yeah well...." Buster shrugs again and pulls a tennis ball out of his hoodie. "Thanks."

* * *

Bumgarner, Lincecum and Hunter all go out for lunch. Before they go, Brandon stands in the hall with Bumgarner going over a list.

"What was that?" Buster asks after they leave.

"Wine," Brandon says. "Mr. Lincecum said they were going to hit a couple of wineries and maybe a microbrewery. Master actually does drink wine now and then, but I buy all of it. Between the list and Mr. Pence, he won't buy something bad just because it's expensive."

"I should probably learn something about wine from Mr. Pence while I'm here," Buster says as they head toward the game room. "It's a nice thing to have on your file."

"Oh yeah, I hadn't thought about it like that," Brandon says with a laugh. "God knows what's in my file. 'Able to kick guys out of leather bars' or 'can make a ridiculously complicated, over-priced, coffee drinks.'"

"Starbucks?"

"Nah, this indie place in the Haight. I made coffee during the day and then cleaned at night. The cleaning part was under the table. Mostly cash, but dope too."

"You smoke?"

"Not anymore. Even back then I used most of it to pay the rent."

"You dealt?" Buster asks, hoping he doesn't sound too disapproving.

"Nah, just gave it to my roommate instead of money. I think he and the landlady smoked most of it. It was that kind of place." Brandon glances over at him. "Like I said. I did some stupid stuff."

"Instead of going home whenever I could," Buster says. "I spent my off time down in Miami going to gay bars. Since I was doing kink with dudes I didn't know, I guess you could say I did some stupid stuff."

"So how did you find the Establishment? A Finder?"

"Yeah. He was a guy I played with a few times...he met me in a back room, actually." Buster does his usual check the couch cushions to see if any lube bottles ended up down there again. "I kind of had a reputation, you know? I was that one guy everyone tries to get to safeword because he never ever has."

"Jesus. That's not just stupid; it's dangerous."

"Yeah, that's what Derek--the Finder--said. I played with him a couple times and then he was...well not my boyfriend, but my top for a while. I stayed with him once the cast came off and I was doing all my PT. We got to know each other and after that, it's the typical story. He thought I could do it, took me to the club and it went on from there."

"Here," Brandon says. "Lemme help you with that table."

"Thanks, it weighs a fucking ton."

"I was the only one in my training class doing the private sale thing," Brandon says once the coffee table is back in place. "Just as well; when I passed the screening, they said I could go up on the block, but I kind of think they were being nice or something."

Buster stares at him. "They're not nice," he says. "If they say you'd sell, they mean it."

"I dunno. I'm not the most attractive guy now and I was pretty homely back then. And it's not like I'm graceful or anything."

Buster looks him over; Brandon's wearing another snug black t-shirt and a pair of jeans that show him off well. His beard's neat and he obviously knows what to do with his hair. Hunter was right about his mouth and having seen him naked...yeah, Buster could see him on the block.

"You're not bad at all," he says and then winces because, way to give a compliment. "God, I'm sorry...."

"No, you're right," Brandon says with what sounds like a genuine laugh. "I mean, most people would think you were being rude, but c'mon, Establishment slaves are a whole different level of hot. I think I got in because of the pain tolerance and my size."

"You'd go for good money. I mean you would have before he branded you."

"Thanks," Brandon says, and if he's being sarcastic, Buster can't tell.

* * *

It's mid afternoon before Hunter, Lincecum and Bumgarner return. While Brandon and Madison talk about wine, Buster tries to discreetly look Lincecum and Hunter over. If they drank, he thinks, it wasn't much.

"I know what you're doing," Hunter says with a smile. "We'll be good to go later."

"I'll only be good to go if I have a nap," Lincecum says. "Unlike the large people, I'm kind of feeling it." He smiles at Buster. "I'd tell you to come tuck me in, but then I'd want you to get naked. And anyway, we have plans for you tonight."

"Yes, Master."

"I don't need a nap, but naked sounds good," Bumgarner says. "Brandon, come upstairs with me."

"Sir," Buster says to Hunter while Brandon follows Bumgarner up the stairs. "May I ask a question?"

 

"Sure."

"Master's mentioned weed a couple times...."

"And you want to know how often and why you don't smell it."

"Yes, Sir."

"Grab some iced tea from the kitchen and bring it up to my room; I want to soak for a while."

Once they're both settled in the tub, Hunter leans back and takes a deep breath. "God I love this thing; I'd fucking work from here if I could."

"I don't know if you could do that, Sir," Buster says with a smile. "But I could."

"Yeah well not right now, you greedy slut," Hunter says, nudging Buster's calf with his foot. "Later."

Buster bites his lip. He wasn't really offering...or maybe he was. Hunter's amused, so that's something. "Yes, Sir."

"Tim," Hunter says a few minute later. "Tim likes getting stoned but he's also a little paranoid about killing off brain cells. That's why he doesn't drink much either. When he does use, it's edibles; he doesn't like smoking, especially if he's got a headache."

"And you, Sir?"

"I'll get stoned with him now and then." Hunter gives him a rather direct look. "Like I said earlier, I know why you're asking."

"I know I come off as kind of serious, Sir," Buster says. "But I know the difference between the written rules and the way things really work. If I'm not restrained and can call time out if I think it's getting dangerous, I'll play with someone who's had a couple of beers or glasses of wine. Or is a little stoned."

"Nice to know you trust us, but would you really call time out?"

Buster wants to protest and say of course he would, but Hunter's not stupid and he's certainly not unobservant. "I never have, either informally like that, or an actual formal complaint." Then, before Hunter can say anything, Buster continues. "I haven't because I've never had to, Sir. I like to think I would, but I was just telling Brandon earlier that even before I joined the Establishment, I didn't use my safeword. That's probably in my file."

"It might be," Hunter says. "But I haven't read that part of it because I think it's irrelevant and intrusive." When Buster stares at him in surprise, Hunter shrugs. "As long as the counselors and shrinks say you can do this, that's good enough for me. You've got a lot of experience, really good references from your former owners and trainers, and I thought you'd be the right boy for Tim. And," he pauses and slides his foot along Buster's calf again. "You're also the kind of boy like. That's all I need to know."

"Oh," Buster says, unsure of how he feels about that.

"I probably should have told you sooner. You don't need to share personal stuff just because you think we already know it."

"Thank you, Sir," Buster says, bowing his head.

"Anyway," Hunter says. "Tim doesn't like to play when he's fucked up. If he wants anything, it's just to lie back and let someone else do the work. And these days most of the times he uses for his headaches. He'll want a massage and someone to sit and talk with him until he falls asleep."

"He mentioned that, the massage part at least. I really do like giving them, Sir." Buster leans back and tries to relax. It's good to know that he can operate within the unwritten rules in Lincecum's household and it's good to know that Hunter doesn't know every last little thing about him.

On the other hand, Hunter didn't say whether Lincecum had read all of Buster's file or not. Buster's pretty sure he has; there was a moment back the first time they talked about baseball when Buster thought Lincecum knew about his aborted baseball career. It's weird because Buster just assumes everyone knows everything about him, but for some reason it bothers him that Lincecum does. Maybe because Hunter doesn't. Or maybe because Buster already feels like Lincecum knows too much, sees too much.

* * *

The playroom down in the basement is pretty big, which shouldn't be surprising given the size of the house. It's not all black and dark wood, which also shouldn't be surprising given Lincecum's taste. Instead, there's exposed brick and cream colored plaster, and the furniture is all light colored wood and the dark ox-blood leather Lincecum likes. It's nice, Buster thinks as he goes to his knees near the doorway and looks around a little. Not typical, but then Lincecum's not your typical Master either.

Buster doesn't get to see the room in any real detail, though. After his initial glance around, everyone crowds in close around him; all Buster can see is denim covered legs and all he can remember is Hunter talking about chaining him to a bed for everyone to fuck.

That doesn't mean they're going to do that tonight or even at all, he thinks as he looks up to meet Lincecum's eyes. That's the point; they can do whatever they want.

"Please, Master," he says before he can stop himself.

"Please what?" Lincecum asks with a smile.

"It doesn't matter, Master," Buster says. "I want...I just want, Master. Please." And God, way to behave in front of guests, but it doesn't matter, because Buster means it. All he can hope, as he stares up at Lincecum, is that his Master realizes how sincere Buster is.

"Anything," Lincecum says. It's not a question, but Buster nods. Lincecum's still smiling down at him and Buster leans toward him.

"Well, ain't he sweet," Bumgarner drawls. It should be jarring, because Buster thinks maybe he and Lincecum were having a moment, but mostly it makes Buster want to laugh. He's from the South, after all; he knows when someone's playing up an accent for affect. Brandon may say his Master's a hillbilly, and maybe he is, but not all hillbillies are dumbfucks.

And it's just as well; Buster would really rather not have a moment with Lincecum in front of other people. That he wants something like that, something where they connect like they have on and off over the last few weeks, is something he'd really not like to think about right now. Not while four men stand looking down at him while he kneels on the floor.

"He really is," Lincecum says. Reaching down, he runs a finger over the edge of Buster's earlobe, laughing when Buster shivers. "I'm sure he doesn't think so, but he also thinks he isn't pretty."

Because I'm not, Buster thinks.

"Establishment training tends to do one of two things to good looking people," Hunter says. "It either convinces them they're fucking gorgeous or that they're just average and got in on something other than their looks."

Buster's more than a little tempted to look up and see what Brandon makes of that, but Brandon's just a step back behind Bumgarner.

"I wouldn't know anyone who thought that way," Bumgarner says dryly and a second later, Buster hears a sharp slap. Brandon doesn't say anything, but his bare toes flex just a little. It's an interesting tell, a little more subtle than Buster's lip biting.

"We're getting a little far afield here," Lincecum says as he pinches Buster's earlobe. "I thought we were going to spend an evening using my aggressively not pretty slave."

"You up for a little use, Buster?" Hunter nudges Buster's knee with the toe of his boot.

Every once in a while Buster has the ridiculous urge to say what he's really thinking, which, right now, would be: is that a stupid question or what?

Instead, he looks down at the front of his jeans. "Apparently, Sir, I am."

Bumgarner laughs and Buster hears a sort of choked off snort that has to be Brandon. "I like him," Bumgarner says. "Mind if I...?"

"Anything you like," Lincecum says.

Bumgarner kicks at the inside of Buster's thigh. It's more a nudge than a kick really, but there's some force behind it; Buster spreads his knees wider and looks up at Bumgarner. He's not scared, but damn, Bumgarner's fucking intimidating. He knows it too, if the smug smile on his face is any indication.

"Eyes down," Bumgarner says. It's just an order, not a reprimand. Bumgarner clearly knows how it works around here and he didn't have any problem with Buster looking him in the eyes last night, but Buster still feels like he should apologize. He takes a deep breath instead, watching as Bumgarner steps forward a little and presses the toe of his boot against Buster's hard on.

The pressure he exerts is slight at first, but he keeps pressing harder until Buster has to resist the urge to just give in and rub up against it. After not being allowed to come last night, it doesn't take long before he's feeling just a little desperate.

"You like boots, boy?"

"Yes, Sir," Buster says, looking down at Bumgarner's boot. Worn, but well-tended; he wonders how many pairs Bumgarner has and he wonders if Brandon takes care of them. Mostly, though, he wonders if Bumgarner's going to want to see Buster's mouth on them.

"Good because you're gonna get real up close to them." Bumgarner laughs. "But not in the way you probably think. Go on and strip down." He pauses again. "Well, down to the jock; gotta make it look good for Tim and Hunter here."

"Yes, Sir," Buster says. Even as he's stripping, even on the verge of what looks to be a major scene, he's making a mental note to order more jocks.

"It's actually pretty simple, but here's how it's going to go," Hunter says. Buster looks up right away; hopefully the house rules trump Bumgarner's earlier order.

Before he can continue, Lincecum laughs. "It's kind of the same thing we do every night, Pinky. We get to do what we want and you get to take it. The only difference is, you have permission to come as many times as you like. Don't even bother to ask, okay?"

"Yes, Master."

"You don't have to meet our eyes, either. Not that you'll have much of a chance, but don't worry about it."

"Yes, Master," Buster says, trying not to sound too relieved.

"Oh one more thing," Hunter says. "House rule: when you come through that door, you strip down to your jock and unless we tell you otherwise, you don't put anything on until you leave here, okay?"

"Yes, Sir."

As Buster folds his jeans and puts them right by the door, Brandon pulls his clothes off too. Once he's left them with Buster's jeans, he follows Bumgarner across the room.

"C'mere, Buster" Bumgarner says over his shoulder.

He's got his foot up on a sturdy looking chair and without even looking at Buster when Buster crawls over to join them, he says, "Get him lubed up, will ya, Brandon?"

"Yes, Master. Buster, you wanna get in position?"

In this case, apparently, it really is just about getting Buster slick; Brandon doesn't bother to stretch him out or anything. He does pat Buster on the ass a little when he's done, but then he's stepping back, leaving Buster on his knees and elbows with his ass in the air.

Buster stays like that for what feels like forever, but it feels good. He's in the right space now, ready to take whatever they want to give him. Eager, even.

"See," Bumgarner says. "We kinda want to fuck you a lot, but it's gonna be a little easier if we get you nice and ready first. So get over here."

Bumgarner's foot is still up on the chair and Buster's eyes go wide a little. He's seen dildo harnesses for women, of course, and he's seen straps and harnesses designed to hold a dildo on someone's thigh, but he's never seen one designed for a boot before. When Bumgarner puts his foot on the floor right in front of Buster, he sees that the black dildo jutting up from Bumgarner's is on the small size.

Even as he's thinking that he'll still feel it, Bumgarner says, "You need to get it nice and wet first, of course."

"Yes, Sir," Buster says, licking his lips. When he thought about getting his mouth on Bumgarner's boot, he had no idea it was going to be like this. With one last quick lick of his lips, Buster bends over and slides his mouth down over the smooth silicon of the dildo.

He can smell leather and dust and the whole thing is so fucking hot--Jesus, he must look totally obscene right now--that he moans around the dildo as he takes the last of it in. He pulls back up fast and then goes down again; he doesn't have to worry about finesse and he's not sure how much time they're going to give him.

"Fucking slut," Hunter says. "Put something dick-shaped in his mouth and he just can't help himself."

Buster moans again and squirms just a little. It's not entirely for effect; this is starting to get to him. He's also feeling an echo of what he felt last night. Please like what you see, he thinks. Please, Master.

All too soon, Bumgarner says, "Enough. I want to see it up your ass."

"Damn," Hunter mutters as Buster kneels up. "I've gotta get one of those."

"Yeah," Lincecum says. "I'm going to want to see that again."

"It's not gonna look as good on those chucks you wear all the time," Bumgarner says. "Buster, get up here and straddle the chair. Hang on to the back of it if you need to."

"Fuck you," Lincecum says with a laugh. "I have boots; they just aren't shitkickers."

As soon as Buster's straddling the chair, Bumgarner puts his foot up on the seat of the chair. "Go on, boy."

Buster can feel his face heating up as he reaches back and positions the dildo. It seems bigger than it is; he can take it, but without any prep, he really feels it as he carefully slides down on it.

"No need to be shy," Bumgarner says, rocking his foot up. "Yeah, like that, boy," he adds as Buster moves faster. "Gotta get you all nice and easy for us."

Hopefully us means all of them, Buster thinks. Bumgarner's boot presses against Buster's ass each time Buster takes the dildo all the way in, and between the sensation and the awareness of what he's doing, of what he must look like, he's falling into headspace fast.

Finally, Bumgarner reaches out and presses down on his shoulder. "Stay down," he says. "Tim, Hunter, you guys wanna hurt him now and fuck him later, or the other way around?"

"How about we have Brandon fuck him and then we can go from there?" Lincecum says. "I want to see them together."

Bumgarner gives Buster a rough shake. "Up and off, boy."

"And down on the floor," Hunter adds. "Present that ass and make it look good."

He's barely in position when Brandon settles in behind him. "No need to go easy on him, boy," Lincecum says.

"Yes, Sir," Brandon murmurs. "Thank you, Sir."

Brandon's big hands clamping down on Buster's skin is all the warning Buster gets before Brandon's pushing into him hard. It hurts but it's good too, and Buster moans and rocks back for more. It doesn't take long before they've settled into a hard rhythm; Brandon's hips are smacking into Buster's ass and it's loud, like good, hard sex is supposed to be.

"Oh yeah," Lincecum says as Buster starts groaning. "Totally worth watching."

"I dunno," Bumgarner says. "Could be better...Brandon, put your fucking back into it."

"Yes, Master," Brandon gasps. Buster thought Brandon was going all out already, but no, apparently he was holding back just a little.

Buster spreads his leg wider and shifts his hips just a little as Brandon fucks him even harder, and that's it. Brandon's cock is getting him, there, right there. "God...oh God...oh fuck, yeah." It's rough and hard and so damn good, and what makes it even better is knowing that the night's just getting started. Buster grits his teeth and tries to keep up the pace. He could come right now, he has permission, but he wants to wait.

Brandon, it turns out, has some serious stamina, but he's not unaffected by what they're doing. Before too much longer, he's groaning as loudly as Buster is and his fingers are digging into Buster's hips even harder. Bruises, Buster thinks. He hopes he has bruises on top of bruises by the time the night is through. Just the thought pushes him closer and finally, it's too much. Buster could hold off if he was ordered to, but he doesn't have to. With one last hard shove back against Brandon, Buster yells wordlessly and comes hard.

"Fuck," Brandon gasps as Buster struggles not to collapse. "Oh fuck...Master, please...please, let me....."

"No," Bumgarner says. "Just keep fucking him."

"God," Buster moans against his arm. "Jesus fucking...fuck...." He's sensitive now and maybe Brandon's close, but he hasn't slowed down.

"Please," Brandon says a few moments later. "Please...God, please Master...please."

He sounds good begging, Buster thinks even as Bumgarner says, "Yeah, do it."

Brandon shoves into Buster two more times and then comes with a loud grunt. He's breathing hard, but though he kind of leans over Buster, he manages not to put any weight on Buster's back. "Thank you, Master," he says. Then, as he sits back after carefully pulling out, he pats Buster's ass. "Thanks."

"You too," Buster says with a little laugh. You sure as fuck can't fault Brandon's manners.

"Yeah," Hunter says. "Nice to know he really does play well with others."

"Looks good doing it too," Lincecum says. "You're both good boys."

Buster stays in place as he and Brandon murmur their thanks. He's got his bearings back and can hold himself up easily now and he loves the way he feels like an absolute slut. Yet again, he hopes Lincecum likes what he sees.

"Bum?" Lincecum says. "You want a shot?"

"Kind of," Bumgarner says as he nudges Buster with the toe of his boot. "Get up, boy. I want you up on the cross."

Bumgarner doesn't just want Buster on the big freestanding St. Andrew's cross, he wants him seriously bound to it. He uses the attached suspension cuffs for Buster's wrists, but he uses rope for the rest of it--coils of rope binding Buster's forearms and biceps, chest and waist, thighs and ankles to the cross. By the time he's done, Buster can barely move.

He wouldn't have taken Bumgarner for a traditionalist, but before he starts in on Buster, he comes around to the back of the cross and holds something up to Buster's mouth. It's braided like a whip, but it's short and has a big knot on one end. As Buster presses his lips to the knot, he breathes in deep, taking in the familiar scent of well-cared for leather. "Please, Sir," he says. "Please hurt me."

"You can pretty much count on that," Bumgarner says. He looks at Buster for a moment and nods before reaching back and slapping Buster's face hard.

Buster's face is still stinging but he tries to ignore it and brace himself for what's coming. He doesn't know if there's any metal in the knot, so he has no idea how much it's going to hurt--a lot or a whole fucking lot. Also, for one absurd moment, he wonders if Bumgarner beats people left-handed or right-handed. He'll have to ask Brandon later.

The first blow--nice and solid to Buster's ass--brings him back to the moment. With what Bumgarner's using, there's no way to start off really lightly, but even if there was, Buster gets the feeling that Bumgarner wouldn't bother with warm up. Each blow lands hard on the heels of the one before it in a series of good, heavy, thuds right on Buster's ass.

It doesn't even hurt at first, or rather, it does, but it's an easy hurt to bear--kind of like a deep tissue massage. Slowly though, as the knot lands on places it's landed on before, Buster really starts to feel it. Thud after thud after thud until Buster's getting those bruises on top of bruises he wanted earlier.

When he finally reaches the point where it really hurts--when he's started to groan loudly--he can't move away from it. All he can do is be here, on this cross, and take blow after blow after fucking blow. It gets even worse when Bumgarner chooses to focus on one part on Buster's right cheek. The knot lands over and over, and before long, that one spot is a throbbing point of pain.

"And that," Hunter says with a laugh. "Is how you know he's a control pitcher."

"Oh I got some heat in my arm too," Bumgarner says and Buster's pretty sure he's reaching back to put a little extra on it as the next blow lands. "That's about ninety-two miles per hour...and that's probably ninety three...and I'm gonna give you one more boy." Buster braces himself and then yells as the knot slams down hard. "That's about ninety-five...."

Thank God he never reaches a hundred, Buster thinks as he lets himself relax. It still hurts and it'll hurt more tomorrow and the next day when the deep bruises start to surface. And the night's not over yet. Buster bites his lip and wonders what's next.

"Y'all mind if I fuck him now?" Bumgarner asks. He presses his fingers into the big bruise and Buster yelps in surprise.

"Not at all," Lincecum says. "Do you want to leave him up there or bend him over something? Or whatever. Your call."

A short time later, Buster's on his back on the big, ridiculous iron bed Hunter mentioned a while back. Bumgarner's used nothing but rope this time; Buster's on his back tied so his thighs are against his chest and his ankles are in the air. He's been tied in stranger positions, but this one leaves him incredibly vulnerable. His legs are spread wide enough so that his inner thighs are easily accessible and of course his ass and his dick and balls are right out there. Before he tied Buster up, Bumgarner pulled the jock off him, so he doesn't even have that to cover him up just a little. Even though he should be used being exposed like this, Buster finds himself straining against the rope, trying to close his legs just a little.

"You look good like this," Bumgarner drawls, running a hand down Buster's thigh. "All tied up and helpless. Very fuckable." He slaps Buster's ass, right on the place where Buster's skin is drawn tight over the bruise. "You want me to fuck you, boy?" he asks as Buster sucks in a harsh breath.

"Yes, Sir. Please, Sir," Buster says, meaning every word of it. "Please let me serve you, Sir." he winces a little because it's the rote kind of answer he knows Lincecum and Hunter don't always believe, but damnit, Bumgarner's a guest and Buster wants to be a credit to his training.

Bumgarner moves into Buster slow and easy at first; like he's got all night. Which, Buster thinks, he does. He keeps to that same slow, steady pace while Buster strains against the ropes again, this time wanted to move with Bumgarner.

"Just gotta take it, boy," Bumgarner says. He pauses and rests his hand against the rope wrapped just below Buster's knee. "Nothin' you can do about it."

"Yes, Sir," Buster says. As Bumgarner starts fucking him again, a little harder and faster now, Buster takes in a deep breath and lets it out. If Bumgarner wanted him to move, he wouldn't have tied him up.

Just lie here and let him use you, Buster tells himself. It's what Buster's here for after all. To be hurt and fucked and tied up and used. Just like that, he relaxes into the bondage. "Yes, Sir," he says again, his voice soft this time.

He manages to stay in that headspace for a while, but when Bumgarner really gets into it, when he's finally fucking Buster hard, it starts to hurt and Buster finds himself tensing against the bondage again. Bumgarner's hip is smacking against the big bruise on Buster's ass; it's like getting hit there all over again. It's not enough to make Buster cry, but he's moaning louder now. He's hard again too, although he's not likely to come for a while.

"You feelin' it boy?"

"Yes...yes, sir," Buster groans. "Hurts...where you beat me...sir...."

"And you love it...don't you?"

"Of course he does," Lincecum says with a laugh. "He's such a fucking slut for it."

"Yes, Master...oh god...yes, Sir...."

"Don't want me to stop?" Bumgarner says doing just that. When Buster looks up at him, Bumgarner's face is tense, like it's not easy for him to hold off.

"Please...please don't stop," Buster says. "Please, Sir...please fuck me...please."

Bumgarner makes him beg a little while longer before finally taking a deep breath. When he starts fucking Buster, he's going all out and fuck it's good, being tied up like this, tied up and having to take it. Buster doesn't stop begging, even as Bumgarner fucks him so hard the bed shudders.

"That's right...take it...beg for it, slut...fuck...oh fuck fuck fuck..." Bumgarner snarls and then shoves into Buster one more time before he comes. It's almost enough to set Buster off but he bites his lip hard and holds back.

"Goddamn," Bumgarner says, sitting back on his heels. "He's a damn good fuck."

"Yeah," Lincecum says with a laugh. "We think so."

They leave Buster tied like that while Brandon gets Bumgarner a towel and a bottle of water. Hunter and Lincecum are taking something over, but Buster can't hear them. He suspects they're deciding what happens next and who's going to go first.

"You want me to untie him?" Bumgarner asks. He's put his jeans on and is standing next to the bed. When Buster glances up at him, he leans down and runs his hands over the ropes and Buster's skin. "He's good to go for a while if you want me to leave him here."

"Yeah," Lincecum says. "Leave him like that." He walks out of Buster's view and when he comes back, he's got a slim, whippy looking cane in his hand. It's a lot like the one he used on Buster that night in Buster's room and Buster catches his breath.

"We haven't heard you scream yet," Lincecum says. "And you want to scream for us, don't you Buster."

"Yes, Master," Buster says. It's not like he was going to say anything but that, but he means it when he looks up at Lincecum and says, "Please let me hurt for you. Please make me scream, Master."

Lincecum rests the cane against Buster's mouth. "Yeah," he says as Buster kisses it. "I think I can do that."

Last time Lincecum used this kind of cane on Buster, he gave Buster plenty of warm up. As soon as the cane hits the inside of Buster's thigh like a line of fucking fire, it's clear that Lincecum's not bothering to be nice. In a way, he doesn't have to be--Buster's body is already humming with endorphins. But he also doesn't have to be nice because...because he's Buster's master and nice isn't part of the job description.

As Lincecum works his way up Buster's thigh, Buster soon realizes that endorphins are only going to help so much. It's not just that each stripe Lincecum lays down with the cane hurts--though they do--its the way that Lincecum's placing those stripes. The tip of the cane is landing on the sensitive insides of Buster's thighs and God, in his last two households this was punishment. Lincecum has to know that, but when he turns to work on Buster's other leg, he looks pleased; not like someone punishing a slave.

Buster manages to keep count in his head, even when he starts yelling. Six, he thinks. Lincecum's laying down six stripes on each of Buster's legs. Six, Buster tells himself. He just has to make it through six. And then six more. And then...

Then he loses track when the cane lands on an earlier stripe. It's like Lincecum's shredding his skin, like he's laying him open right down to the bone. It's fucking awful and it's fucking brilliant and Buster strains against the ropes holding him in place and screams. He keeps on screaming as Lincecum keeps caning him; he's so far gone on it that he can't tell if he wants Lincecum to stop or if he wants more.

Buster's lost track of not only the count but time; it feels like he's been tied down here forever in pain and screaming. There's nothing but the fall of Lincecum's cane, like red hot metal, like ice cold metal, like a fucking lightning strike. When the next one doesn't come, Buster still screams, a choked off noise that fades when he realizes Lincecum's done. He's still fighting the ropes though; he's still hurting and in the back of his mind, he thinks he can get away from the pain somehow.

He's finally calmed down a little, finally catching his breath, when Lincecum steps into his line of sight. "That was good," he says. "It was fucking awesome and you're a very good boy, Buster." He puts his hand on the inside of Buster's knee. "Now I want one more thing from you."

"Yes, Master," Buster says. His throat is raw and his breath is still a little shaky, and he wants...he wants whatever Lincecum wants. "Please, Master...anything...anything for you...please...."

"Well, this is for you too," Lincecum says. "I want you to come for me, Buster." As he speaks, he runs his hand down the inside of Buster's thigh.

Lincecum's not pressing down too much, but suddenly, Buster realizes that he's been hard through the whole beating. He doesn't have to look up into Lincecum's eyes, but as he comes, he does anyway.

"Yours," he murmurs when he's come back down from an incredible orgasm. "Yours, Master."

"Yeah, you are." Licnecum squeezes Buster's thigh, making Buster hiss. "You're not done yet, you know."

"I know, Master." Buster can't see Hunter and for all he knows, maybe Bumgarner's ready for another round. He's not sure how much more he can actually take, but he remembers Hunter saying he wanted to see how far they could push Buster. So far tonight, they've all stopped before he'd reached his limits, but, there's nothing to say they'll keep being so careful.

"Bum," Hunter says. "You want to get him out of the ropes or should I just use scissors?"

"Nah, I got it." The knife Bumgarner pulls out of his bag is big and as soon as Buster sees it all the can think about are the marks on Brandon. It's a good thing his contract doesn't allow anything but minor scarring because right now, if one of them wanted to cut him, he'd beg for it.

"Don't worry," Bumgarner says as he starts slicing the rope off Buster. "I'd never use this on someone else's boy."

It's not easy to lie flat; in addition to the way the skin on his thighs feels like it's burning, he's a little stiff. He manages though and in good time, too. Sitting up is even harder, but he's able to do that as well. When he looks up, Hunter's standing there staring down at him.

"Sir?" Buster says.

"I could have left you there," Hunter says. "I could have used this on your thighs." He holds up a flogger; a big stiff one made out of heavy leather. "I wonder what you'd have done."

Buster's not sure if that's a rhetorical question or not, but he answers anyway. "Screamed more, Sir."

"I can always tie him up again, if you want," Bumgarner says. "He does sound good when he screams."

"Oh I think I can get him back there again," Hunter says. "I want you back up on that cross, Buster."

"Yes, Sir," Buster says. Taking a deep breath he slides off the bed onto his hands and knees. Hunter didn't tell him to crawl, but it's a hell of a lot easier right now than walking would be. Standing up when he reaches the cross isn't easy; the room tilts a little when Buster stands up, but rights itself once he's blinked a couple times.

"I'm not going to use cuffs or rope or anything," Hunter says. "You can reach up and hold onto the grip on the suspension cuffs, but that's all."

"Yes, Sir." Buster reaches up for the grip right away. At least the cross is at a slight angle; he can lean against it, let it take a little of his weight. He has a feeling that's going to be important pretty soon.

It turns out he wasn't exactly right about that. Like Lincecum, Hunter doesn't have to bother with warm up, but unlike Lincecum, he does. He's put the heavy flogger away from something softer and lighter which he uses on Buster's upper back. He's working briskly, though; Buster's back warms up pretty quickly.

It's good to have a little bit of a break, though. Buster uses the time to settle his breathing and get himself back down into headspace. It's so much easier when he doesn't have to look them in the eye, although, oddly enough, a couple times tonight he's wanted to. But now, he can stare at the wall in front of him and focus on nothing but the slap of leather on his back--no questions, no worries that he's missing something, no thinking.

By the time Hunter starts in with something heavier, Buster's more than ready for it. The thud feels good against his back and he flexes his shoulders a little, arching his back out. He can hear Hunter laugh and the next blow is substantially harder. Buster groans, but doesn't move.

Hunter's good when it comes to keeping to a rhythm; even when he starts really putting his strength into it, Buster knows when the blows are coming. It's starting to hurt now, an aching thud that's more like what Bumgarner did to him and less like Lincecum's caning. Somehing thuddy is easier to bear than something that stings, but Buster's been hurt a lot tonight and before long, he's really feeling it.

The switch in location comes out of nowhere; Buster's shout when Hunter's next blow lands right on his ass is more out of surprise than pain. The next shout and the one after, however, are because it fucking hurts when the tips of the flogger start landing on the bruises Bumgarner laid down with his whip thing.

Even though he was half expecting it, Buster still screams when the flogger lands on his thighs. Hunter's deliberately letting the tips wrap around so they land on the inside of Buster's thighs. Right on top of the stripes left by Lincecum's cane. He does it again and again while Buster just tries to hang on.

It's actually a relief when Hunter starts in on Buster's upper back again. It still hurts--and starts to hurt even more as Hunter really leans in to it--but it's nowhere near as bad as his ass or his thighs. The more Hunter lays into him, though, the less Buster cares about comparisons. It hurts--he hurts--and it's starting to turn into one big blur of pain. When Hunter moves back down again, Buster starts screaming the minute the flogger hits his ass. He's past the stage where endorphins can help him; all he knows now is the pain.

And still...it's good. It's agony and he's twisting away from the blows before turning back into them and God, it hurts and it hurts and it hurts...and he's a good boy. He's taking all this, because he has to, because this is who he is and if his Master wants him to be here hurting like this, then he'll fucking hurt like this.

Only, after a little more, he can't. When Hunter starts in on his thighs again, Buster can't take it. He has to, he tries to tell himself. It doesn't matter that he can barely hold on to the cuffs. It doesn't matter that he's got to keep his knees locked so he doesn't slide down the cross to the floor. He has to take it because what he wants doesn't matter, because he can't make them stop. Way in the back of his head he knows none of this will do any damage, knows that they can do a hell of a lot more without pushing the limits of his contract. He doesn't want it and he can't take it, can't bear it, and they don't have to stop.

Buster wants to clench his jaw against the words building up in his mind, in his throat, but he can't because each blow is pulling a scream out of him. Don't, he tells himself. Don't beg them to stop, don't beg them to stop, don't....

"Please!" he yells. "Please...Sir...please, Master, please!"

"What?" Hunter asks. "Are you asking me to stop?"

No, Buster thinks. No no no....

"Please," he says, his voice rough and low now. "I can't...please tie me up...so I don't...fall...wanna be good...but I can't anymore...I can't stand...I can't bear it...please...I can't...."

"He's going to hit you five more times," Lincecum says. "And you are going to stand there and take it."

It's enough--the pause and knowing how bad it's going to be is enough. Buster screams his way through all five blows, but he stays on his feet and he doesn't beg them to stop. He's leaning into the cross, only on his feet because he's managed--somehow--to keep hanging onto the cuffs, but he's still there and that's good enough.

The room is silent aside from Buster's harsh, loud breathing, but then Bumgarner says, "Damn." He sounds impressed and yeah, that helps, makes it even more worth it. Buster was good enough to impress another Master.

Now he just needs to know what his own Master thinks.

"Yeah," Lincecum says. "I have to agree." Then, even as Buster lets himself relax a little, Lincecum adds, "But we're not exactly done, are we boy?"

"No, Master," Buster says and how does it happen? How does he go from being so sure he can't take it to wanting more? He uncurls his fingers from the grips and grabs onto the cross itself. He's going to go down, but at least he's not falling, at least he waited until Hunter was done. When he slides down to his knees and turns to face Lincecum, he hopes it looks deliberate.

"Please, Master. Please use me."

"Even if it means beating you more?"

"Yes, Master," Buster says, swallowing hard.

"Well, lucky for you, it doesn't." Lincecum smiles widely. "Which isn't to say it won't hurt...."

I did that, Buster thinks. He's the one that put that big happy grin on his Master's face. "Please," he says, leaning toward Lincecum. "Please...for you...please."

"Good boy," Lincecum says. "Hunter, chain him to the bed."

Hunter's fantasy, Buster thinks as he starts the long crawl to the bed. He wonders if Bumgarner and Brandon are up for another round. If they are this is going to get rough.

The chains Hunter uses feel like they're even heavier than the ones Buster had to hold up the other night. Hunter attaches one to Buster's collar and then he loads on more--wrists, waist, thighs right above the knee, ankles. At least he uses leather cuffs and a leather belt; Buster won't hurt himself he has to struggle. Hunter even puts him over a wedge, so he doesn't have to hold himself up.

Even though it hurts to move Buster squirms a little, testing the chains and cuffs before he relaxes. The wedge is firm and warm under his chest and the thick part puts his ass in just the right place; he's as ready for what they're about to do as he can be. He hopes.

Behind him, he can hear Lincecum chuckle. "You'd think he was fighting it, but no, he just likes bondage that much."

"Yeah? Remind me to put Brandon in rope while we're here. He's such a fucking bondage slut, he'll struggle even when I use jute and he gets scratched all to hell."

"I'd like to see that," Hunter says and yeah, so would Buster.

"Now, though," Lincecum says. "Who's first?"

"Me," Hunter says firmly.

Buster catches his breath when Hunter settles on the bed behind him. He hurts--his back, his ass, his thighs--every time he moves and when Hunter rests a hand on his ass while lubing him up with the other, Buster bites back a moan. Not just Hunter got his fingers up Buster's ass, but because he's resting some weight on the big bruise Bumgarner gave Buster.

Hunter's still wearing his jeans, which makes it hurt even more when he moves between Buster's legs and the denim rubs up against the stripes on Buster's thighs. Even with all that, it's still good when Hunter's cock pushes inside him; Buster feels his own body trying to respond as Hunter fucks him slow and steady. It's too early to get it up again, though, and once Hunter speeds up, Bustar hasn't got anything to distract him from the feel of Hunter moving against him.

"Hurts?" Hunter asks when Buster starts moaning.

"Yes, Sir," Buster says. "Please," he adds. "Please don't stop."

"No chance of that," Hunter says. He's got his hands on Buster's hips, probably pressing his fingers into the bruises Brandon left, but Buster hurts in too many other places to tell.

Bruises on bruises. That's what he wanted, he thinks. And that's what he got, along with stripes and welts and God knows what else. And yes, he hurts--hurts so fucking much--but it's been so long since he's been pushed like this and never mind that he almost asked them to stop; he's so fucking grateful.

"Thank you," he gasps. "Thank you, Sir."

"Jesus," Hunter mutters, digging his fingers in. In spite of the pain and everything else, Buster finds himself straining against the bondage to move with Hunter. It's not easy and he doesn't get very far; Hunter positioned him carefully and those chains are heavy. And really, he doesn't need to move now; Hunter's fucking him good and hard now and Buster's just chained to the bed to be used and it's so fucking perfect.

"Fuck," Hunter says . "Fuck...goddamn...." He goes still, hips flush against Buster's ass, and comes muttering something Buster can't quite hear.

After a moment, as Hunter pulls back, he reaches out and presses down on Buster's ass. "Wow, he's gonna be a solid mass of bruises."

"Just another day on the job," Lincecum says, and Buster smiles a little and thinks, yeah.

They have Brandon fuck him next and this time Buster's glad he can't move. Brandon's naked, but that doesn't make all that much difference when his legs rub up against Buster's thighs. Also, it's the fourth time that night that someone's fucked him and it's starting to hurt. It would be easier to deal with if Hunter was still fucking him or his Master or even Bumgarner, but sometimes it's hard to give it up to another slave, to an equal. Buster feels like he should be able to say, "for fuck's sake, I'm sore. Cut it out," and have Brandon stop.

It's what the tops want to see, Buster tells himself. Hell for all he knows, Bumgarner is taking pictures again; Buster's sure they look good like this. But it fucking hurts and it doesn't seem to matter how Brandon moves. Or so Buster thinks until Brandon yelps and Buster hears the slap of what sounds like a strap on skin. Brandon slows down a little but his hips snap forward hard each time the strap smacks his ass.

Buster can't keep quiet now and he doesn't see any real reason to try. He's not yelling, but he's making noise--choked off moans and gasps that sound, and feel, like Brandon's fucking them right out of him. He's digging his fingers into the sheets under him and catching his breath every time he hears leather landing on Brandon's ass.

It feels like Brandon fucks him for hours and maybe he does--it's his second round, after all. Whoever's beating him is really laying it on, too. Brandon's not screaming or anything, but he's loud and when he finally starts begging to come, his voice breaks. Bumgarner tells him no more than once, but Brandon doesn't stop begging. Buster knows what it's like, how you get caught up in the begging as much as the fucking, but he kind of wishes Bumgarner would give in because, God, Brandon's still fucking him so hard. Too hard.

Finally Bumgarner says yes, and Buster can't help heaving a big sigh of relief when Brandon finally slumps over him. Brandon doesn't say anything but he presses a quick kiss to Buster's aching back. Brandon has to know how much Buster's hurting and it's nice of him to acknowledge it.

"You looked good," Bumgarner says, as Brandon moves off the bed. "Gonna look at those pictures a lot next season."

"Somewhere along the line I want to see Buster on top," Lincecum says. He sits on the bed near Buster's head and rests a hand on the back of Buster's collar. "You think you could do that, boy?"

Words, Buster thinks. He's got to answer. "Yes," he says and then has to pause and clear his throat. "Yes, Master."

"You're not done now," Lincecum says.

"Master," Buster says. 'You haven't...."

"Not yet. And Bum looks like he could go again."

No, Buster thinks. Not Bumgarner right after Brandon and Hunter. He can't...he just...he can't. "Yes, Master," he says as Lincecum stands up.

He's done this, and more, before. There were a lot more guys that one night he told Pence about, but they used his mouth too and they didn't hurt him as much as he's been hurt tonight. This is what he gets, he thinks as someone's hand lands, heavy and hard, on his ass. This is what he gets for bragging.

They don't even tell him who's fucking him. It's not like he can tell based on size at this point--he's too sore--but it feels like failure to not know if it's his Master back there. It's hard to even care as whoever it is pushes inside him. It hurts and it hurts and it hurts and....

Some unknown time later, while he's still being fucked hard and steady, he suddenly loses it, pulling at the cuffs and trying to get away, even though he knows he can't. He shouldn't fight it; he's here to be used but it's not good anymore. It's not hot and he doesn't want it any more, doesn't want to be here, doesn't want them to fuck him like this.

It's like he's not fighting at all. The man behind him doesn't stop and Buster knows he's not going to stop even as Buster struggles under him. And that should be hot; it's always fucking hot in his head. No safeword, no safety net; he's just a slave and they can do what they want and he can't say no. But it hurts and it's not hot and God he's going to beg any minute now.

Buster stops fighting because all he's doing is hurting himself more. He grits his teeth against the words, but they're collecting in his throat the way they did earlier and there's no out now. He can't beg to be bound, because he's already bound. All he can do is hold on. And then, he can't even do that.

"Please please please please...." He's saying it over and over before he's even aware that he's talking. "I can't...please please...please stop...stop...please stop." Once he's said it, once he's broken that rule, he says it over and over. "Please stop please stop please please please...."

"He's not going to stop," someone says. It's his Master, sitting on the bed with him again.

"Please...don't want...."

"Buster," Linceum says. "Are you a slave?"

Buster nods.

"Can you say no to me?"

Buster shakes his head. No, no he can't.

"I want this," Lincecum says, and that should be enough.

"Then...please," Buster says. "Want to be good...please Master...but I don't know...if I can."

"It's okay," Lincecum says. "Fight it if you need to, but it's not going to stop. He's going to keep fucking you"

Buster doesn't fight, though. Lincecum's right--it's not going to stop. Whoever's fucking him...Bumgarner? He'll keep going until he's done and what Buster wants doesn't matter. When he turns his head to look up at his Master, Lincecum is looking at him.

"I want this from you," Lincecum says. Reaching out, he rests a hand on the back of Buster's collar.

"Please," Buster mumbles, not even knowing what he's asking for. When Lincecum presses down a little, Buster feels the collar dig into his neck a little. With a soft, hiccuping sigh, he starts crying.

Buster's still crying when Bumgarner finally comes some unknown time later--could be minutes, could be hours. He keeps crying even after Bumgarner pulls out and gets off the bed. Buster hurts all over; he can't really pinpoint one hurt that's any worse that the rest. He just...hurts.

Lincecum gives him a quick pat on the shoulder and gets off the bed as well. Buster can vaguely hear people talking but he's too busy bracing himself for what's about to happen. One more person, he thinks. Just one more and it's his Master...he can do this. He has to do this.

But when Lincecum touches him, his hand is on the back of Buster's collar again. "They're gone," he says.

Buster blinks, his eyelashes still sticky with tears. He's not sure what's happening here; is Lincecum going to fuck him? While they're alone?

"Tell me something," Lincecum says. "Right now, tell me what you want."

Buster hurts so much and all he wants is for it to stop; just ask for that, he thinks. Ask to be sent to bed. Ask for some water and some meds and some sleep...ask some time alone. Ask to be allowed to regroup.

"Master," he says. "Please...want to be good." He sucks in a deep, shaky breath. "Good," he says again, not caring if he's making sense or not. "For you, Master."

"If I wanted to hurt you more? Cane you again? Flog you again? Fuck you?"

"Yes, Master," Buster says even as he shakes his head. "'m your slave."

"My very good slave," Lincecum says, stroking the back of Buster's neck.

"But I'm not...."

"Shhhhh...." Lincecum presses his fingers against Buster's mouth.

Buster almost argues, because he feels like maybe he could at least ask what's going on with them, but he's too worn out and anyway, Lincecum doesn't want him to talk right now. So he kisses Lincecum's fingers instead and then opens his mouth a little. Lincecum presses his fingers inside and Buster runs his tongue over them; he's hurting, but he can do this and more.

"Please," he mumbles around Lincecum's fingers. "Wanna suck you, Master. Please."

"Yeah?" Lincecum pulls his fingers out of Buster's mouth and just rests them against his lips.

"Mmmm hmmm...wanna be your cocksucking slut. Please?"

"That's a tough request to turn down. You're going to have to move a little, though. Still want it?"

"Crawl across the floor for it," Buster says.

"No need to be quite that extreme."

Lincecum ends up with his back against the headboard with Buster lying between his legs. "Do it slow," he says, as Buster runs his tongue over the head of Lincecum's dick. "Like Hunter likes it...make it last."

Of course, Buster thinks. It can't be too easy.

It might not be easy, but it's good. Lincecum keeps touching him--pulling his hair, stroking the back of his neck and digging his fingers into Buster's shoulders--like he wants Buster to remember just who he's blowing. Not that Buster's likely to forget, but it's good...grounding even. After everything that's happened tonight, he's where he wants to be. Where he belongs.

"Thank you, Master," he says at one point when he's working the head of Lincecum's dick over with his mouth and tongue.

"For what?"

"Tonight," Buster murmurs before going down again.

"How are you even real...no, slow down," Lincecum says.

Even lying on his stomach propped up on his elbows hurts, but it's not bad; Buster's able to ignore it and focus on his Master. He doesn't know how long he's been down here and he doesn't even care. All he cares about, all he knows is the weight and shape of Lincecum's dick in his mouth. And that is all he wants.

"Yeah, that's it," Lincecum says some unknown time later. His voice is rough and his dick's been leaking pre-come into Buster's mouth for a while now. "C'mon boy...go for it now."

"Mmmmm," Buster hums as he goes down and keeps going. As he's swallowing around the head, Lincecum grabs onto his hair and pulls hard. By now, Buster knows what that means and he pulls against Lincecum's grip, fighting to keep deep-throating his Master.

"Fuck," Lincecum groans. He shoves Buster's head down hard and then Buster's swallowing and swallowing as Lincecum comes.

Lincecum keeps his grip on Buster's hair, tugging until Buster's head is resting on Lincecum's thigh. "Relax for a while," he says.

It's...sweet, Buster thinks as Lincecum starts stroking the back of his neck and his collar. Sweet isn't exactly what he expects from Lincecum, but then again, maybe he should. Lincecum's done this a couple of times already and if he wants to take care of Buster right now Buster's just fine with that.

"You were good tonight," Lincecum says. Before Buster can respond, he adds, "Don't talk right now."

He plays with Buster's collar in silence for a while. "When Bum was fucking you that second time and you started struggling...that was better than any porno I've ever seen. And I like it when you cry, too. I know you fight it. I know you won't let yourself cry until you can't help it, and that's okay. It's good when you fall apart."

But that's not all he wants, Buster thinks. If it was, they'd let him.... No. He's not going to worry about that now. He's just going to lie here like his Master told him too.

"You see," Lincecum says. "I like it when you can't help yourself."

Lincecum doesn't say anything more after that. He just keeps petting Buster until Buster's almost asleep. There's no way, Buster thinks, that Lincecum wants him to fall asleep like this, so he squirms just a little and, sure enough, the pain wakes him up.

"I know what you're doing," Lincecum says, but he sounds more indulgent than annoyed. "Now listen to me, Buster. I want you to be 100% honest."

"Yes, Master."

Buster's braced for just about anything and it's a relief when Licecum says, "Can you make it up the stairs and down the hall to your room? Seriously." He laughs a little. "Because it's not like I can carry you."

"I'm not sure, Master," Buster says. He rolls over carefully, grunting as he puts his weight on his ass and thighs. "I'm really sorry, Master. I can walk, but I don't think I can do it on my own."

"Okay, gimme a sec. And stay here, okay? Roll on your stomach again if you need to."

Buster's wondering if he should have just asked to sleep down here, when he hears the clomp of boots on the stairs.

"You wanna lean on me and walk?" Brandon asks. "Or do you need me to carry you?"

"I think I can walk."

Bumgarner's with Brandon and he goes up the stairs behind them, one hand on Buster's back. He and Lincecum follow Brandon all the way to Buster's room.

"Sleep on the bed, not the floor," Lincecum says as Brandon helps Buster to the bed. "I know you're a good host, but don't. And you remember the drill, right? You can unclip your chain if you need to and you can call me or send Brandon up to get me, okay?"

"Yes, Master," Buster says. "Thank you, Master."

"Take care of him," Bumgarner says to Brandon. "And, if it's okay with Tim, you can serve breakfast tomorrow."

"Yeah, because Buster will be in a lot of trouble if I see him in the dining room tomorrow." He glances at Bumgarner, who grabs Brandon by the wrist and drags him out into the hall.

"You were good," Lincecum says. "You were, as they say, a credit to your training and to this household." It's more formality than Buster's used to from his Master, but when he looks up, Lincecum looks utterly sincere.

"Thank you, Master," Buster murmurs.

"Now," Lincecum says. "Let Brandon take care of you. I mean it, okay?" Before Buster can say anything, Lincecum clips the chain to Buster's collar. He tugs on it a little and then bends down and kisses the back of Buster's neck. "You're perfect when you cry."

Buster has a minute or two before Brandon comes back into the room. He spends the time thinking about Lincecum and wishing he'd been able to talk to him earlier. He could have asked what's missing; he even wanted to ask because he feels like they clicked tonight. Like he was the slave Lincecum wanted. It's more than losing control, although that does fit in with what Hunter's said--about Buster wanting it all the time. There's still something he doesn't get and he hates the feeling, because he's supposed to be able to tell what his Master wants.

With a sigh, Buster closes his eyes. He was just at the center of an amazing scene and he's worrying. Relax, he tells himself. Relax and think about how good tonight was. Because damn, it really was good.

"Hey," Brandon says. "I figured you probably aren't up for a shower?"

Just like that, Buster realizes that he's a fucking mess. A shower sounds perfect, but the shower in his bathroom isn't nearly big enough for two and he doesn't think he can make it on his own. "Tomorrow," he says.

"How about something close?" Brandon sits on the bed next to him. "If it won't hurt too much, I've got some wash clothes and a couple towels."

"It'll probably hurt, but yeah," Buster says. "That would be awesome."

Brandon's got more than cleaning Buster up on his mind. Once he's given Buster a pretty thorough sponge bath, he rests a hand on Buster's shoulder. "I'm going to put the overhead light on for a minute."

"Huh?"

"I need to look you over."

"I'm okay," Buster says. "You don't have to bother."

"Um, yeah, I do. And I'd want to even if it wasn't an order."

Brandon's fingers are gentle as he runs them over the stripes on Buster's thigh. "You're bleeding in a couple places," he says. "It's not bad though; it won't scar. I'm going to put some stuff on it."

"What stuff?"

"Some of that Neosporin pain cream. I'll try not to rub it in too hard."

Brandon's as good as his word; even though Buster feels his fingers, it's not too bad. "You're good at this."

"Thanks. Master doesn't get scraped up all that often, but I do, so I've been on the other end. And, I've done it for other slaves." He pauses. "Can you spread a little wider for me?"

"Huh? Oh right...."

Brandon's even more gentle as he slides his slick fingers up inside Buster's ass. It hurts though, and Brandon mutters "sorry" when Buster hisses.

"Nah," Buster says. "It's okay. Better'n doing it myself." Because he would have had to. The downside to getting ganbanged, he thinks.

"Are you hungry," Brandon asks when he's done. "I'm gonna wash up and then get you some water."

Buster knows he should eat, but he really doesn't want to. He asks for a sandwich and then picks at it when Brandon brings it in.

"That boot strap thing," Buster says. His voice is rough and a little slurred, but he's tired, not sleepy.

"Yeah, it's pretty awesome. I thought I had a boot kink before he got it, but now...."

"He's got lots of boots?"

"Yeah. All the shitkickers and then, thanks to your Master, he rides bikes. So he's got some pretty great biker boots too. When I'm in trouble, he won't let me take care of them."

"Yeah?"

 

"Yeah. He's big on restricting privileges, which...I guess a lot of owners are."

"Master goes in for cold showers and sleeping on the floor. Or maybe it's Mr. Pence. I'm not sure who decides what." Buster pauses. "I told him, Master I mean, that if he really wanted to punish me he should tell me I disappointed him. Which was kinda stupid, you know?"

"Yeah. I mean he could probably tell already."

"Huh?"

"Well that kind of goes for all of us, doesn't it? I mean they must screen for "eager to please" or something."

"I guess...." It's on the tip of Buster's tongue to talk about the whole thing with Lincecum, and, to a lesser degree, Hunter, but he bites the words back. Insead, he asks the other question he's wanted to ask ever since Brandon got here.

"What was Tyler like?"

Brandon snorts. "He was a dick. I don't know how he ended up on the block; maybe he was better at first or maybe it's just that he looked like a male model. I mean he was really fucking hot, and kinda knew it.

"And maybe I'm not being fair, because he wasn't so bad the first couple times our Masters got together. But later...look, I don't know what his actual deal was so I could be way off, but I think he wanted a free ride, you know what I mean?"

"Make his Master fall in love with him and be set up for life?" Buster's known slaves who hoped for that, even though they're all told over and over that that's not what being an Establishment slave is about.

"Yeah. And it wasn't gonna happen here." Brandon pauses. "Master said it was like he was phoning it in, you know? Saying all the right things...."

"Without meaning them. Fuck."

"What?"

"Just, they don't like it when I do that, say the right things. But I'm not phoning it in. I mean it." To Buster's surprise, he's almost crying again. "Sorry, I'm just tired and...."

"Strung out," Brandon says. "It's the endorphin crash." He reaches up and rests a hand on Buster's bicep. "You want me to go get your Master?"

"No," Buster says, although he kind of does. "Just...thanks, Brandon."

"No problem. I mean, I get so emotional, you have no idea. Although you probably will," he adds with a little laugh. "It'll probably be my turn in a couple days."

"Hope so," Buster says. "Because that was so fucking good." He's never sure how he can say that an hour after begging them to stop, but it's true.

"Yeah, it really was," Brandon says and pats Buster's arm.

Chapter Text

Buster sleeps through most of the next twenty-four hours. It always comes as a shock, just how tired he is after a major scene. It's trauma, he has to remind himself. Yes, he loved most of it, yes, he got off twice, but he also had the crap beat out of him and was fucked five different times in the space of an evening. You just don't get over that after one night of good sleep and a handful of Motrin, even if you think you should.

He still wakes up at seven the way he always does. Brandon fusses over him, checking the welts on his thighs, and bringing him breakfast and pain killers. It's actually kind of nice. There are times he misses having another slave in the household; when he was with Ms. Fowler, even though they weren't all that close, he and Sophie used to look after each other after big scenes like this.

After food, medication and more water, Buster falls back asleep, this time not waking up until late in the afternoon. He has five minutes alone and then Ellie pops in the room.

"They have you watching me?"

"On and off," she says. "Me and Brandon. He's such a sweetheart."

"He's a good guy," Buster says. He almost says Brandon's a credit to his training, but even Est. cleared staff don't always get how much of a compliment that is, especially when you consider Brandon's status. Buster wonders how they handle the contract renewal. Does Brandon have to go in for training in between each contract, or do he and Bumgarner just re-sign every year?

"Are things okay?" he asks, trying to focus on matters at hand.

"Like are we carrying on without you?" She's teasing--he can hear it in her voice--but he still sighs. "Seriously though, everything's good. Mr. Lincecum and Mr. Bumgarner went out for a ride and Mr. Pence has been up in the office most of the day. Oh and before they went on their ride, Mr. Lincecum and Mr. Bumgarner walked the dogs."

"Okay. Sorry, I just...."

"No, I get it. I don't think they're doing anything big tonight. There's another game on, so it's pizza again."

"Shit," Buster says. "I wanted to watch that one." Then he yawns widely. "Or maybe sleep through it."

"Probably sleep through it. You need anything more?" When he shakes his head, she pats his shoulder and takes off.

It's sometime after sunset when he next wakes up. He's not sure if someone saw him heading down the hall to the bathroom or what, but he's just about to clip the chain back on his collar when Lincecum comes into the room. Even though Buster has blanket permission to unchain himself today, he feels like he's been caught making a mistake.

"Don't apologize," Lincecum says. He takes the chain from Buster and plays with it as he talks. "Hunter was right; you look good all loaded with chains."

"Thank you, Master," Buster says. "I like the way they feel."

"I'll have to remember that," Lincecum says, looping the chain around Buster's wrist. When Buster tests it like he always does, Lincecum grips his wrist and the chain so tightly Buster can't turn his wrist.

Buster catches his breath and blushes because, God, he's so fucking easy--just this is getting him hard. He's supposed to be easy; they like him easy, he reminds himself. He's not sure what to do about it though; he's not going to pretend to be more turned on than he is.

"Yeah?" Lincecum asks, keeping his grip tight. When Buster bites his lip and nods, Lincecum says, "Cool. Now roll over onto your back."

It hurts a lot; not only have the bruises started to come up on his ass, his back still hurts and his thighs are bad enough to make him groan loudly as he moves. When he looks up, Lincecum's looking at him the way he always does.

"It hurts, Master," Buster murmurs, because maybe he needs to respond to that look more.

"I'll bet," Lincecum says with a little smile. He holds his hand up to Buster's mouth. "I could use lube, but this feels better. Get my palm wet."

At least, Buster thinks, it's his palm and not his fingers. Buster's not sure how he'd react if Lincecum wanted to fuck him. Take it, of course. Take it and probably yell a lot. He tries not to look too relieved as he licks Lincecum's palm.

Buster already half hard when Lincecum reaches down and gives his dick a couple of firm strokes and that's all it takes to get him all the way up.

"Tell me," Lincecum says. "What's got you going?"

Fuck. This again. It's so stupid, because Buster's pretty sure Lincecum knows damn well why Buster's getting worked up.

"The pain, Master," Buster says. "And your hand."

"Mmmm...." Lincecum starts stroking him again and before long, Buster's doing his best to keep from moving too much. "Yeah, no," Lincecum says. "Don't hold still. Don't make me do all the work here."

"Yes, Master," Buster says with a gasp as he starts thrusting up into Lincecum's grip. It hurts, but that just makes it better, of course. It's been this way all Buster's life, even before he really knew what sex was. How, he thinks, do vanilla people even manage?

He forces his attention back to Lincecum; if his Master noticed his lapse in concentration, he doesn't say anything. He just watches, barely moving his hand as Buster does most of the work for him. "Hurts?" Linececum asks.

"Yes, Master." It's not enough to make him cry, but.... "God," he groans. "Really does hurt...please, Master."

"Please stop?"

Buster shakes his head. "No...please don't stop...." It's not easy, reaching for the right words, but he tries. "Please...want you to...to like what you see. Wanna hurt for you, Master."

It all boils down to what it always boils down to: he wants to be a good slave. He's said that so many times and he knows Lincecum believes him, but saying the other things he's been thinking might make Lincecum happy.

"I do," Lincecum says with a twist of his hand. "I like what I see." He bends down then, until their lips are almost touching. "I want you to come for me now," he says and then kisses Buster hard. Buster gasps into his mouth and then comes all over Lincecum's hand and his own stomach.

A few minutes later, after Lincecum's given him a towel and checked his various bruises and stripes, he tells Buster to roll over again. "Better?"

"Yes, thank you, Master." And it really is better; coming always helps. He looks up at Lincecum. "What about you, Master? Can I...."

"Honestly, you have no idea how much I want to fuck you right now." Then as Buster takes a deep breath and starts getting up on his knees, Lincecum leans down and puts a hand on his lower back. "Don't. There's sadism and then there's...well, not abuse maybe, but I'm not quite that selfish." He sits down next to Buster, stroking his back. "It's okay. I'll, I dunno, come all over Brandon's face or something. I can wait to fuck you until these...." he reaches down and presses one of the bruises on Buster's ass. "Are really dark."

"Yes, Master," Buster murmurs as he squirms. Should he have acted like he wanted it more? No, Lincecum's not stupid; he'd know if Buster was bullshitting him.

Lincecum bends over and kisses the back of Buster's neck below the collar. "Get some more sleep."

"Yes, Master."

"Oh, by the way," Lincecum says when he reaches the door. "The Pirates won. I'll let you watch Game Seven tomorrow, even if you're still in here."

"Thank you, Master."

Huh, Buster thinks as he settles down again. The Pirates? Or the Cards? Also, he wonders if it will be like last year; with Kansas City coming in stale and over-rested the way Detroit did. Hopefully, he thinks. Another NL win would be nice.

* * *

He still hurts like hell in the morning when Ellie comes in to unchain him and Brandon.

"I'm supposed to tell you not to worry about breakfast, but your Master said you'd argue with me," Brandon says, when he sees how slowly Buster is moving, even after a shower.

Buster gives serious thought to lying down again and asking Brandon to bring him something to eat. "Master's right," he says. "I really would."

"What a surprise," Hunter says when he comes into the dining room. "All right, you can stay, but Brandon here can do the work. You settle down there and wait for Tim." He points at the kneeling pad near Lincecum's chair.

Lincecum's the last one down; as usual, he looks rumpled and half asleep. "Told you so," he says to Bumgarner. "I hope Brandon set all this up," he adds as he sits down.

"He did, Master." Buster says.

"Good. Did you eat yet?"

"A little, Master." And yeah, fine, this is why Buster's here instead of down in his bed. Maybe it's stupid, but Buster doesn't care, he wants it anyway. And maybe....

"Please," he says quietly once Linceum's had his first few gulps of coffee. Buster's face is red and he's acutely aware of everyone else in the room, but he keeps going. "Please Master, feed me?"

"Good boy," Lincecum says. He holds down a piece of muffin. As Buster takes it and then kisses his fingers, Linecum keeps looking down at him. "This is turning into kind of a thing for me," he says, feeding Buster another piece of muffin.

For me too, Buster thinks. He always liked hand-feeding in general, but with Lincecum, it's different. It's not even the symbolism, or not entirely, but it's an intimacy that feels very personal. Hunter doesn't feed him any more and if someone else offered, Buster would take it, but it wouldn't mean anything.

It doesn't even matter that for most of breakfast, Lincecum's casual about handing down food. He talks with Hunter and Bumgarner about last night's game and tonight's, and then recommends a nearby place when Bumgarner talks about wanting to go horseback riding.

"You really should look at some property while you're up here," Lincecum says.

"Nah. I like visiting you guys, but I've got the place back home. That's property enough for me."

"Well, you're always welcome, even if we're not here. If you wanted to keep a couple horses here with us, I know Thompson's got some experience looking after them."

"Maybe," Bumgarner says. "Depends...would you take up riding?"

"Bony ass like his?" Hunter says with a snort. "He'd be walking funny after an hour."

"You're such a dick." Lincecum laughs. "I love it when you suddenly come over all country. Like you'd be fine on a horse." Lincecum feeds Buster some ham and Buster fights a smile. Ever since Bumgarner and Brandon got here, Hunter's accent has gotten more noticeable.

"All my fault," Bumgarner says. "Once I've built a bigger place back home, you guys need to come visit."

"I'm not sure that's a good idea," Lincecum says. "It's bad enough when Hunter gets all Southern, but I like to understand what my slaves are saying, you know?"

Before he can over think it, Buster looks up at Lincecum. "Please, Master," he drawls, making his accent as broad as possible. "Can y'all hand down another piece of that ham?"

For a second there's silence and then someone starts choking. "Orange juice, Hunter says, coughing. "Right through my fucking nose." He's laughing though, and so are Bumgarner and Lincecum. Buster can even hear Brandon snicker.

Even when Lincecum finally stops laughing, he's still grinning that broad grin that takes up his entire face. "You can have the whole fucking ham," he says.

"He didn't use it right, you know," Hunter says. "Y'all can't be one person."

"Sometimes it can," Bumgarner says. "You Texans don't know shit."

"Wait, there's, like, rules?" Lincecum asks.

Hunter snorts. "This from the guy who just used 'there's' instead of 'there are' and put an unnecessary 'like' in the middle of a sentence."

"Whatever," Lincecum says. He slides off the chair to squat in front of Buster. "I know you probably think you're not here to be funny," he says quietly. "But I like it, okay?"

"Yes, Master." Buster doesn't even try to correct his lean when Lincecum reaches up to rest a hand on his face.

"How about instead of ham, I give you something you want?"

Just like that Buster knows what he wants, but he's not sure he can say it.

"What?" Lincecum says quietly.

"I can't Master...it's a house rule." Lincecum's eyes suddenly narrow and Buster tenses because he's pretty sure he knows what Lincecum's thinking. Buster almost wishes he could ask to be excused from always looking at them, but what he wants is a lot more simple.

"One night," he says quickly. "When I've healed up and I'm not so restless, please let me sleep at the foot of your bed. Please, Master?"

"That's what you want?"

"I don't want to upset the routine, Master," Buster says quietly. "I'm sorry."

"No, don't be," Lincecum says. "I'm not going to give you whatever you want every time you make me laugh, but this time, yeah." He rubs his thumb over Buster's cheek and Buster closes his eyes and smiles.

* * *

"You guys are sluts," Buster says later that morning as he watches Kayo paw at Brandon's jeans.

"They really are," Brandon says. "How're your thighs?"

"A mess," Buster says. He's wearing a soft pair of the track pants he does yoga in but it doesn't make much of a difference. "I probably should have stayed in bed."

"Yeah, probably, but I wouldn't either so I can't say much." He laughs a little. "One good thing about roadies--road trips, right? He can beat the crap out of me and I have time to recover without feeling bad about not being able to serve."

"And the pictures? That's a road trip thing?"

"Yeah, he takes them before he goes or he has me take them and send them to him." Brandon takes the tennis ball from Cy and tosses it as far as he can. "This one time last season...2013, I mean; it takes a little while to adjust. Anyway, I told him I'd do something really nice for his birthday if he'd let me go to the club and play with someone and record it. Obviously he knew what I was planning, but he didn't know that I asked Mr. Pence to help me."

"Really? How'd it go?"

"It was pretty awesome. I mean, he beat the holy hell out of me and made me beg until I was hoarse and didn't let me come, but Master sure liked it. And Mr. Pence didn't fuck me or have me blow him or anything. Master would have been okay with it if he had, especially since it was a friend of his, but it was, like, just him hurting me."

"He's pretty good at that," Buster says. "They're both good at it. It's nice being owned by a sadist. Finally."

"Wait, you've been in the Establishment how long? And you've never been owned by sadists?"

"A little over four years," Buster says. "Ms. Fowler, my first owner, liked to have a boy around the house, but she never really used me much. She had like this circle of gay friends, and...she was one of those rich people who likes to have the best of everything, right?"

"Yeah, I know what you mean."

"Her girl, Sophie, was amazing. Drop dead gorgeous, even by our standards, and very very good at just about everything. I learned a lot just from watching her about how to...well, how to be a slave. Obviously I had the full training, but It's like theory versus practice, you know?"

"I think it was different for me," Brandon says. "I needed the theory more than the practice."

"Well yeah." Buster stretches a little, trying to get comfortable. It doesn't really work. "So anyway, Ms. Fowler had friends who liked to play with me; they were Establishment guys who couldn't afford their own slaves. It was nice and I got hurt a lot, but none of them owned me."

He pauses to throw the ball, watching as the dogs go bounding across the lawn.

"With Mr. Koffman, it was about ownership. What he really wanted was service and, you know...." Buster feels his face go a little red. "Someone who looked good tied up. He'd hurt me a little and some of his friends would, but it was nothing like it is here."

"But you were with him a while, right? Master bought that picture of you over a year ago."

"Two and a half years."

"Why did you stay? I mean, you're a pretty serious masochist. There must be lots of guys who want someone as good as you."

"The work," Buster says. "I started doing a few things for him in the office and I was good at it and I kind of got caught up in it. The way money moves...actually it comes down to theory and practice again. I majored in Econ at FSU and I liked it. I liked baseball more and I like being a slave more, but for those couple of years, I was really into it."

Cy nudges at his legs and Buster winces a little as he bends down to take the ball. "The problem was, I spent so much time with him in the office and in front of people who didn't know about us or the Establishment, that I might have well been some sort of office romance or something. Sometimes it would be over an hour before he put my collar back on me once we got home."

"C'mon, that's enough," Brandon says to the dogs. "Have a heart; your buddy here needs a rest." As they walk back toward the house, he asks, "What did you wear in public?"

"A bracelet. One of those big herringbone chain things. It had a nice weight to it, but it wasn't the same. What do you wear?"

"A necklace. It's not heavy at all; no one even looks at it twice. It's the kind of chain you'd put a cross on, but it's actually got a Leo symbol on it. It's silly, but the girls--the wives and girlfriends, right? They think it's cute and they all sigh and say how it's sad we can't get married. Seriously, when they start up, I can never look at Mrs. Cain because we always end up laughing."

"Isn't it hard to go back and forth between public and private? It was for me."

"Games are about the only times I don't wear my collar. We can't go a lot of places together because everyone knows him and we don't want to make trouble. And when I'm out in public by myself I'm just another dude wearing a big heavy chain. It's San Francisco, you know? I could be kinky or just make weird fashion choices; no one cares."

"Makes sense," Buster says as they all troop into the laundry room. He leans against the wall while Brandon towels the dogs off.

"And trust me," Brandon says. "The minute the door closes I better be on my knees fast as possible or I'm in all kinds of trouble. And once I'm down there, he's really good at reminding me I'm a slave. Especially after he's pitched. Even though he sometimes gets fired up on the mound, he's pretty calm before starts. But when he's done, doesn't matter if it was a win or a loss, he's got energy to burn. The bigger the start, the more energy."

"So how was in 2013, after Game Two?"

"That was fucking crazy. They don't travel at night when there's an off day, so we had some time. But he wanted me to go with them to Detroit--as long as I looked like just another front office person there courtesy of the team, having me there wasn't a problem. So he couldn't hurt me too much because we had to sit in a fucking plane next morning. Instead he waited and worked me over good after the parade. Got a whole new set of scars that night."

Buster's a little surprised that he's not more jealous. Belonging to a ball player sounds like it's pretty good; all that and baseball too. But no, he thinks. Too much time alone without an owner. If he's going to be owned, he wants to be owned.

Really, he thinks as they reach his room, his current situation is very very good. He shouldn't worry so much when things are better here with his Master and Hunter than they've been anywhere else. It's just...he knows, and apparently they know too, that it could be better.

Yet again, he pushes down a little surge of annoyance. All Lincecum has to do is tell Buster what he wants and Buster will do it.

* * *

The Cardinals must have saved the best for last, because the game's pretty much over by the end of the third inning. The announcers keep talking about the Kansas City-Oakland wild card game, but it's pretty obvious that Pittsburgh is done. While Buster has a vague preference for the Cards simply because he likes their pitching, he feels bad for the Pirates and their fans.

Buster slept most of the afternoon but he watches the game with everyone else. It still hurts to sit, so he lies on his stomach, with his chin resting on his hands and watches that way. Lincecum's got him chained to the sofa and every once in a while he hands down one of the many appetizer type things--nibbly bits, Lincecum calls them--that made up dinner.

It's nice, although Buster feels a little jealous when they start handing Brandon around. Or more accurately, when he starts crawling back and forth across the room from one guy to the next. He gets slapped around some but mostly they use his mouth.

It comes as a surprise when, once the game's over, Lincecum smacks Buster on the ass and tells him to sit up on the sofa. It hurts, both the slap and sitting up, and Buster only understands it when Bumgarner says, "go take care of Buster, boy."

Buster's already naked; all he has to do when Brandon kneels up in front of him is spread his legs a little. It hurts--hell, just sitting here hurts--but it gets a lot better when Brandon leans forward and slides his mouth down over Buster's cock.

"Slow," Lincecum says. "Give him a good time." He gets up, pats Brandon's shoulder and settles down on the coffee table.

It puts him right in Buster's line of sight and it's weird how Buster both likes and dislikes having to look his Master in the eyes. He's getting used to it, he supposes; it feels increasingly normal. He still wants to lower his head or close his eyes, though.

He doesn't of course, even as Brandon starts picking up on Buster's tells and adjusts. Buster hasn't been blown in a while and of course Brandon gives fucking amazing head. After one careful scrape of his teeth gets a moan out of Buster, Brandon gets a little rough--sucking hard and using his teeth more.

"Good, isn't he?" Lincecum says.

"Yes, Master," Buster says. Brandon does something with his tongue and Buster squirms. It hurts and he gasps sharply.

"Too bad we didn't use a strap on his dick the other night," Bumgarner says. "He'd be hurting even more."

"Tim used a riding crop on it back when we first got him." Hunter laughs. "Fucking slut loved it."

"I could tell him to stop," Lincecum says, ignoring the conversation behind him. "Leave you hanging."

Buster nods, but, as much as he likes being told no, he also really wants to come. Tell him that, he thinks.

"Please, Master," he says. "Please let him keep going."

"Hmmmmm...."

Lincecum doesn't tell Brandon to stop though; he just watches intently as Brandon winds Buster up more. Buster wants to look like he's losing it, but he's not there yet. What was it Lincecum said--he likes it when Buster just can't help himself? Buster can't--won't--fake it.

God, all this fucking thinking.

Brandon, obviously, has no idea what Buster's going through; he just keeps working Buster over with his mouth and before long Buster really is starting to lose it. He does his best to keep his hips still, though; Brandon's been sucking cock all night and he's probably a little tired of people choking him.

Lincecum smirks at him a little, like he knows what Buster's doing, but, as Buster's breathless sighs turn into louder moans, Lincecum's smirk turns into a smile. "Brandon," he says and Buster braces himself for whatever's coming next. "Run your hands up his thighs."

"Oh fuck," Buster moans. He's not hurting quite as much as he was this morning, but it's still pretty bad. And maybe Brandon's been gentle while's he taking care of Buster, but right now, he knows he's supposed to be hurting Buster and he does. "Fuck...hurts, Master."

"Yeah," Lincecum says. "I can tell. Want me to tell him to stop?"

"Please, no," Buster says. "Please, Master. Hurts and I...I want it, please."

"Want what?"

"Want...want it to hurt...wanna come, please Master?"

"Not yet...well, it can keep hurting."

Buster bites his lip. He's trying to hold off, but Brandon's good and he's really digging his fingers into Buster's thighs now; before long, Buster's squirming and whimpering. He keeps his eyes open, keeps looking at Lincecum.

"Please...please Master...please...."

"Not yet."

"Don't even think of going easy on him, boy," Bumgarner says.

Brandon hums some kind of acknowledgment and lowers his head. He keeps going down until he's take Buster all the way in. As Brandon starts moving again Buster clenches his hands and stares at Lincecum. Normally, he'd be torn between wanting to come and wanting Lincecum to say no, but he's in pain and it would feel so fucking good....

"Stop," Lincecum says.

As Brandon pulls up with one last slide of his tongue over the head of Buster's dick, Buster moans and says, "Please...."

"Nope," Lincecum says cheerfully. He's smiling the way he does when he's pleased, so Buster takes in and lets out a long breath.

"Yes, Master," he says. "Thank you, Master." Reaching down he rests a hand on Brandon's shoulder for a minute before looking up at Bumgarner. "Thank you, Sir."

"Seriously," Bumgarner says. "His manners...."

"It's cute," Hunter says. "He's cute."

Buster thinks about what Brandon said about Tyler always saying the right thing. But I mean it, he thinks. It's not just fucking manners.

"Are you cute?" Lincecum asks.

The question comes as a surprise; Buster was probably frowning about the whole manners thing and Lincecum thought it was about what Hunter said. "Well, Master...apparently my mirror and Mr. Pence don't agree."

"Wow," Hunter says. "That was brilliant. Buster, are you cute?"

"Oh hey, no," Lincecum says. "Let's not maneuver him into a situation where he has to disagree with you."

"I wasn't planning on punishing him if he disagreed."

"Just drop it," Lincecum says.

Normally it's not all that awkward when Lincecum flat out gives Hunter an order, especially over something small like this. This time, probably because of Brandon and Bumgarner, it is. Buster's trying to think of a way to change the subject when Brandon sits back. He's had his hands on Buster's knees this whole time, but as he moves, he somehow brushes against Buster's thigh. it doesn't hurt much, but Buster sucks in a loud breath any way. He's sure everyone in the room will know what's up, but that's okay.

It works, Bumgarner calls Brandon over and then Hunter asks Bumgarner if the time off will help or hurt Kansas City. After giving Buster a look that indicates he knows exactly what Buster and Brandon did, Lincecum gets off the coffee table.

"You can lie down again," he says, slapping Buster hard on the thigh. It hurts a lot more than Brandon's brief touch and Buster hisses again

"Thank you, Master."

* * *

"Thanks," Buster says to Brandon once they're settled into bed. At some point in the evening while they were up in the game room, a second single bed showed up in Buster's room and he feels a lot better about the sleeping arrangements now. "For the distraction earlier."

"It's okay," Brandon says. "Your Master and Mr. Pence don't always...well, you know that."

"Yeah. I really can't figure them out, not entirely."

"You're not the only one," Brandon says. "I mean, your Master's a little pushy, but it's kind of obvious Mr. Pence is used to it, but how it works? I don't know."

"Ellie said they'd been together ever since college so I guess they've worked it out. I've never been with a couple before. I mean beyond an evening or something like that." He smiles a little remembering the Auction. "This one couple looked at me during my last Auction and I kind of wondered what it would be like."

"A gay couple?"

"No, a man and a woman. She pretty much said no right there--said there wasn't much in it for her."

"Like what, right in front of you?"

"Yeah. You're in a showroom and it's kind of like being in a gallery. Well, a galley full of interactive art, because anyone who's really interested in you tends to want to examine the merchandise up close and personal."

"Really?"

"You've never been to an Auction? Like not even down to LA for the Winter Auction? It's in January, so your Master wouldn't be at Spring Training yet." When Brandon shakes his head Buster tries to hide his surprise. "You should see if he's interested. It's pretty cool and there's always a party."

"We just figure if you weren't buying, why go?"

"Well, like I said, there's always a big party--they pull out all the stops. And lots of people like to watch the auctions even if they're not in the market for a slave. I really liked it the first time I went as a spectator. You only see so much of the process when you're being sold, so it was cool to see it from the buyer's side."

"Huh. I guess. It's never been relevant, you know? So I never thought about it much." Brandon rolls over on his side and looks at Buster. "What's it like, being on the block like that?"

"Scary," Buster says. "Hot in a strange way. Mostly, though, it's just weird."

"I bet. I don't know...they said I could do it, but I'm not sure."

"You have to be sure. Really really sure. Even though your first contract is only for a half a year, six months is a long time. My first time was almost like it was happening to someone else, you know? Like I was watching. Well, until my trainer started beating me. Kinda brought me back real quick."

"Wow, yeah. I know they beat you...what else do they do?"

"It depends on what your strengths are. Show you off, pretty much. This last time I got to see them show a pony girl...." He talks a little about the Auction and how the whole day went.

"So you didn't even know that Mr. Pence wasn't your Master?"

"Not at first. When he told me his name was Hunter I didn't even know if that was his first name or his last."

"Wow," Brandon says. He pauses. "I see what you mean about being hot in a weird way. I mean I know you were talking about the sale itself, but this whole situation you're in is kind of the fantasy, isn't it? Mysterious rich guy buys you and off you go in a private plane to his awesome house in the Napa Valley."

"Right out of a porn novel," Buster says with a laugh. "And then Cy and Kayo totally ruined the effect."

"Still," Brandon says after Buster's talked for a while about his first morning here. "I almost wish I'd done the whole thing. Or closer to it."

"Got sold to someone else?"

"No, but we talked about him buying me off the block." Brandon ducks his head. "My trainer said it wasn't a good idea. He was afraid someone would outbid Master. It's not like he had a whole lot of money at the time and he didn't want to dig into his signing bonus too much."

"See," Buster says. "They weren't being nice when they said you'd sell."

"I don't think I could have done it. Do people really freak out?"

"You know," Buster says. "I've heard it happens but I've never seen it or talked to anyone who has and I've met a lot of slaves. I think it's a scare tactic. Don't be that slave, don't embarrass your trainer or yourself."

"Huh, never thought of that."

"It helps. And so does all the training. You don't know what else to do, so you fall back on what you know."

"Does it ever feel weird to you?"

"What, being sold?"

"No, just...the automatic reaction to things. Like when you're down on your knees and elbows and someone puts their hand on your ass and you spread without even thinking about it." Brandon rolls onto his back and stares at the ceiling. "You know what I mean?"

"Yeah," Buster says. "For me the weird thing is how stuff isn't weird. Like that first afternoon. I mean we'd met less than a half hour earlier and there I was, stuffing a butt plug up your ass."

Brandon laughs. "Yeah, that too." He's quiet for a moment. "And then, you wonder about it, like what the hell am I doing because this is fucking crazy."

"It is," Buster says. "But it's a pretty amazing crazy."

"Yeah," Brandon says. "It is."

* * *

Buster’s allowed to take it easy for another couple of days. Bumgarner and Lincecum go on bike rides in the afternoon and while Lincecum isn’t the kind of guy you think of when you think of leather pants, Buster likes the way he looks in them. Bumgarner looks really good too, but when Buster mentions it as they head out to the guest cottage/gym one afternoon, Brandon shakes his head.

"He looks fine," he says. "But if I could buy him something, I’d get him some real leathers, because he’d look so good in chaps."

"Yeah, I can see that."

"I’m a little prejudiced," Brandon says with a smile. "I blame the guys at the Hole. You see a lot of asses, bare and otherwise, in chaps down there."

"That bar? You still go?"

"Yeah. I have permission to hang out there; usually I go down and watch away games with the guys. Most of them don’t know about the Establishment, but they all they know I’m his boy. And they’re cool about it. It’s not like anyone’s gonna out us."

"Does he ever go with you?"

"Every once in a while during the off season. In 2013, a couple days after the parade, we went to the Hole and he picked up the tab all night. They love him; he’s their guy, you know?"

"That’s kind of cool."

"It really is. I mean, we go to the Establishment a lot because we don’t have a whole dungeon in the basement, but I don’t like to go by myself. It’s not the same."

"I guess it wouldn’t be."

Brandon’s messing with the settings on one of the treadmills. “Um…can I ask you something?”

"Sure."

"Do you ever go anywhere by yourself?"

"Not very often," Buster says, feeling oddly defensive for some reason. "Before I was here, only to work out. I went to a regular gym in Boston and to the Establishment gym in New York. I did the cooking for Mr. Koffman, but we had groceries delivered. And I don’t need to leave the house here."

"Isn’t that kind of…I dunno, boring?"

Buster frowns a little as he looks at Brandon. He’s shirtless; not only can Buster see his scars, but his sweats are hanging off his hips enough to show part of his brand. All that and yet, it’s like Brandon really doesn’t get it.

"I’m a slave. If I need to go places, they’ll take me or send me."

"True," Brandon says, but he sounds a little bemused. He gets up on the treadmill and starts at a brisk walk.

With a sigh, Buster starts stretching out. He's still sore, but it's getting better. Hopefully they'll feel like playing after tonight's game.

It turns out they don't. In fact, it's a pretty quiet evening. Bumgarner's much more intent on the game than he was with the earlier games. He wants to be there, Buster thinks. It's not like he's grumpy or anything, but he's living each pitch from both Wainwright and Shields.

"I wish you were on the mound," Lincecum says.

"It's not an odd year," Bumgarner says with a roll of his eyes that suggests he doesn't really believe in the superstition. "Next year, though. We'll have Cainer back and with the second base problem settled, well, we'll give it our best shot."

"And, Good Lord willing," Hunter says. "Things'll work out."

"You know, you gotta play 'em one day at a time," Bumgarner says with a grin.

"Do they actually do that?" Lincecum asks. "Tell you what boring shit to say to reporters?"

Yes, Buster thinks. They tell you all the way back in college...high school if you're any good.

He keeps his head down while Bumgarner says what he was thinking. "Heard it all the way back in high school. Mostly from my agent; he told me what to say when I got drafted. Not like anyone could understand me You think I'm bad now...damnit, how'd he get Carpenter to swing at that?"

"You're recording this, right?"

"What, like for film? I don't need to; I'll see what Rags and Boch think I need to see. Me 'n' Pablo, we're not all that big on film and game plans set in stone." Bumgarner shrugs. "I guess I should start worrying about that kind of thing. I think the new kid is more into it."

Once the game is over, it feels later than it should, probably because Buster's still tired. He doesn't care though; he'd stay up all night to listen to Bumgarner break down Kansas City's win.

"Did you play in college or just high school, boy?" Bumgarner asks. "Don't have to answer, of course," he adds quickly.

"College, Sir," Buster says, because why not just get it out there so he can stop worrying about whether Lincecum knows or not. "Shortstop at FSU."

"Good program," is all Bumgarner says, but when he starts talking about the game again he directs most of his comments to Buster.

Lincecum seems to have no problem with Buster joining the conversation and suddenly an hour's passed in which Buster's learned more about baseball than he did in his whole freshman season. It should be bittersweet, but it's not. Maybe, he thinks with a smile, it's like learning about antique furniture from Ms. Fowler or wine from Hunter. One more thing for his file.

"It's like Christmas in October for Buster," Lincecum finally says.

"Yeah, I noticed," Bumgarner says with a laugh. "But shit, give me an audience and I'll just keep going."

"Well he's an audience....a captive audience even," Hutner says. "Buster, go thank the man."

Thanking Bumgarner involves giving him a long leisurely blowjob and then straddling his lap. As Buster rides him, Bumgarner leans back and lets Buster do most of the work. After a little while, Bumgarner digs his fingers into Buster's ass and Buster's bruises are at just the right stage--it hurts but it's a really good hurt.

"I think he likes you," Brandon says once they're settled in for the night. "What with the baseball thing and all."

"Sorry. It's just so interesting."

"Nothing to be sorry for. I don't think you'd do well with an owner like him, to be honest."

Even though he thought the same thing the other day, Buster narrows his eyes. Does Brandon think Buster couldn't do it? Before he can say anything, Brandon keeps talking. "Not that you wouldn't be good, but all that time alone would bore the hell out of you."

"Yeah," Buster says. "You're right."

But Brandon's not exactly right. It's not that Buster would be bored, not exactly; he has plenty of down time here. Like Brandon, he'd find things to do. He'd just be without direction. Phone sex and Skyping and whatever else Brandon and Bumgarner do wouldn't be the same as being with an owner. He wants--needs even--to be controlled more than that.

Later, after Brandon's asleep, Buster stares at the ceiling. Is it weird wanting what he wants? He's not...well, everyone tells you not to use "normal," but he's not. Not for the first time, he thinks that maybe he's too extreme, that he needs too much. It's ironic, given how much Lincecum and Hunter try to get him to say what he wants.

I want, Buster thinks. They have no idea how much I want. I want to be hurt and I want to be fucked and I want to suck cock and I want to be fucking used. I want to be owned and I want to serve. I want praise and I want to be good. I want to belong.

Brandon makes a funny little snuffling noise and Buster looks over in his direction. What about Brandon and Bumgarner? How can it even work when you're in love?

I just want to be a slave, he thinks.

* * *

The Cardinals win Game Two in a blowout. Bumgarner still talks baseball with Buster, but by the fifth inning, when it's already 10-0, Lincecum grabs Buster's collar and pulls him in close. Buster spends the rest of the game with his head in someone's lap; they even have him blowing Brandon at one point. By the end of the evening, Buster's jaw is sore and he's not thinking anything but "yes" and "this."

"Rest up," Hunter says as he chains Buster and Brandon up for the night. "You especially, Brandon. It's your turn tomorrow night."

"I'm looking forward to it, Sir."

"Do you have any idea what they're planning?" Buster asks once they're alone.

"Well, you saw me unpack the single tail, so he'll probably want to show off some," Brandon says with a chuckle. "Which...oh damn, poor me."

Buster laughs along with him. "Not enough room to use it at home?"

"Not at the condo. During the off season, though--when we're home in Hickory--he likes to string me up in the barn when there's no one around and beat the shit out of me. I gotta say I like belonging to a country strong sadist."

"Sounds like fun."

"It is. Not that being here isn't fun. Your Master and Mr. Pence can get really inventive."

"Yeah," Buster says with a smile. "They can."

* * *

"Okay Buster," Bumgarner says, the next evening. He hands Buster a medium sized canvas bag and steps back. "Have fun."

Brandon looks like he's caught in a huge spider web; Bumgarner's bound him to a big freestanding frame in the middle of the room and he used a lot of rope. Just looking at it makes Buster wince, because, as Bumgarner threatened the other night, it's raw jute.

The canvas bag is full of clothespins, dozens of them, and Buster looks at Bumgarner. "Anywhere, Sir?"

"Avoid his junk for now, but otherwise, go wild. Oh, and keep away from his nipples."

"Yes, Sir."

It's not always easy to put clothespins on someone who's in decent shape, but Buster manages somehow. He's able to place them where the ropes dig into Brandon's skin; he likes the way it looks with the clothespins following the path of the ropes.

"Do his butt and his legs if you can," Bumgarner says.

Buster leans in close as he starts putting clothespins on Brandon's ass. No one can see him and he's pretty sure he could say something without anyone hearing, but he's not looking to get either of them in trouble. So instead, he rests his hand on the small of Brandon's back and keeps positioning the clothespins. Some slaves like hurting other slaves, but Buster's pretty sure Brandon knows he's not like that.

Finally, Buster runs out of clothespins. He steps back and looks Brandon over--there are lines of clothespins down his sides and along the undersides of his arms and on his ass and thighs. He looks hot, Buster thinks.

"Nice work," Lincecum says as Buster steps back.

"Thank you, Master."

"How're you doing there, boy?" Bumgarner asks.

"Good, Master. It hurts."

"Okay Buster, you wanna get down there and blow him for a while? You can play with those clothespins if you want."

Buster's jaw is still a little sore from last night, but it's such a familiar discomfort that he hardly notices it. Brandon is already pretty worked up; when Buster really gets into it and starts running his hands over the clothespins on Brandon's thighs, Brandon starts to squirm.

If Bumgarner wanted Brandon to come, he'd have said something, so Buster gets him right to the edge and then keeps him there. Pretty soon Brandon's moving enough that Buster has to grab his hips to keep at least that part of him still. He's making noise too, little gasps and cut off moans that sound really good.

It's a good thing Buster's paying attention; he manages not to bite down or choke when someone puts a hand on his shoulder. "Enough," Bumgarner says.

"He looks good like that," Lincecum says as Buster moves out of the way. He and Hunter are settled in a pair of directors chairs; they're out of the way but they've got a good view. When Buster kneels at his Master's feet, Lincecum rests a hand on the back of his collar.

"Yeah, but the thing about clothespins is...is what, Brandon?"

"Is that they hurt more coming off than they do going on, Master."

"And they gotta come off, don't they?"

"Yes, Master." Brandon sucks in a deep breath. "Please take them off, Master?"

Bumgarner flicks one of the clothespins off and Brandon hisses a little. Buster knows the feeling--it hurts and you know it has to hurt, that, as Brandon said, they have to come off. Bumgarner's knocking them off randomly too, so the hurt isn't predictable. It could be worse for Brandon though; he could be blindfolded and not know which was coming off next. Even as Buster thinks that, he wonders if Lincecum or Hunter like blindfolds. Probably not, what with the eye contact thing and all.

Because of the clothespins, he's also thinking about that scene with Luke. As embarrassing as it had been at the beginning, he'd come away feeling just a little smug because Luke had been impressed with him and had even said something to Buster's Master about how good Buster was. Now, as he watches Bumgarner, he can't help thinking about Bumgarner's compliments and feeling the same thing. Taking a deep breath, Buster closes his eyes and tries to let it go. Slaves, he reminds himself, have no ego.

Lincecum's hand tightens a little on the back of Buster's neck and while it has to be because of the sigh, Buster bows his head a little. Yours, he thinks. Lincecum reacts by tugging at Buster's earlobe and, really, this is the best situation Buster's ever been in. Maybe he needs to stop worrying about it. With another sigh, he leans his head against Lincecum's leg. Yours.

"You hurting, boy?" Bumgarner asks Brandon a few moments later. The way Brandon's been catching his breath and even yelping as the clothespins come off makes it one of those rhetorical questions tops love to ask.

Brandon hesitates for a moment and then says, "Yes Master, thank you, Master."

Bumgarner laughs. "Yeah, you're on your best behavior, aren't you?"

As Brandon murmurs "yes, Master," Bumgarner turns and looks at Lincecum.

"Half the time, he'd ask me...." He glances back at Brandon. "Tell them what you'd ask me?"

"Sometimes," Brandon says, with a little bit of emphasis on the word. "I'd say 'what do you think, Master?'"

Buster keeps his face blank, but he can't help thinking, really?

"Yeah, but let's be fair here," Lincecum says. "He says that because you like it when he's bratty."

"Where's it say I've gotta be fair?" Bumgarner asks, but he's laughing. "It doesn't really matter. I'm gonna hurt him anyway."

"Please, Master." Brandon strains against the ropes holding him in place. "Please Master, please hurt me."

"Hmmmm...."

"Please, please...want you to hurt me." Brandon keeps twisting and even as Buster thinks that he looks good like that, he can't help wondering how Brandon can just ask like that. Like it's so easy. Like it's okay to ask for what you want with hardly any encouragement. Maybe it's easier because Bumgarner apparently likes brats. But no, Lincecum doesn't like brats and he still wants to know what Buster wants.

"Yeah?"

"Yes, please...it already hurts, Master. Please please, more?"

"Why should I?"

"Because you want to, Master," Brandon says. "I know that's the only reason, but please please, Master. I wanna take it for you...want to hurt for you, please, Master." He's still moving and Buster remembers what Bumgarner said about Brandon fighting bondage even when it hurts. He needs to remember to check Brandon for rope burn later.

"Also," Lincecum says. "Because you know you want to show off."

"And you know you want to see it." Even as he laughs, Bumgarner is bending over his gun case. When he stands back up, he's got the single tail in his hand.

Wow, Buster thinks. He's heard of this particular trick, but he's never seen anyone do it. If anyone could, he thinks, it would be Bumgarner.

"Watch this," Hunter says, somewhat unnecessarily as far as Buster's concerned.

Even though they're all expecting it, the sharp sound of the whip as Bumgarner cracks it in practice makes Lincecum jerk a little, while Buster catches his breath. Bumgarner's careful; he throws the whip out in practice several more times. "Kinda like a towel drill," he says. "Gotta do it to keep my arm in shape during the off season."

"Please. As often as possible, please, Master," Brandon says and Buster can see a little bit of a smile on his face. Brandon's so comfortable with Bumgarner. On one hand, Buster's a little envious; on the other hand Buster's pretty sure, if it were him, he'd get sloppy and way too casual.

"Fucking whore," Bumgarner says. "I swear, you're such a slut for it."

Just as Brandon takes in a breath to answer, Bumgarner flicks the whip out. "Ow!" Brandon yelps as one of the clothespins on his ass falls to the floor. Bumgarner follows up almost immediately and as more and more clothespins hit the floor, Brandon gets louder and louder.

"Well shit," Bumgarner says, once he's knocked over a dozen clothespins off Brandon's ass. Brandon's still bearing his own weight, but he's breathing hard and when Bumgarner steps back out of range, Brandon lets out a long breath.

"What's up?" Lincecum asks.

"Looks like I forgot something," Bumgarner says. "Mind if I borrow your boy again?"

"Sure," Lincecum says, pushing Buster a little.

"Forgot to put a buttplug in him," Bumgarner says. Buster's fairly sure he didn't forget anything; he's not sure if Bumgarner's giving Brandon a break or, more likely, letting the pressure of the last clothespins build up. Not that it's any of Buster's business.

"Over there," Lincecum says to Buster, gesturing toward a cabinet that looks a lot like the one in the game room.

"Pick a big one," Bumgarner says.

"Yes, Sir."

Big is, of course, relative, but the plug Buster pulls out is pretty large. Bumgarner looks it over as Buster brings it back. "Yeah, that'll do. Take your time putting it in...make him feel it."

Again, "take your time" could mean any number of things, but Buster chooses to do the prep slowly, working one finger and then two into Brandon with frequent pauses to add more lube. When he finally thinks Brandon's ready--mostly because Brandon is twisting in the ropes again and making these little whimpering noises--Buster slowly pushes the plug in. Bumgarner hasn't told him to do anything, so Buster takes it slow here too. Brandon gets a little louder and Buster's not surprised when he starts begging.

"Please...please, Master. Please let him...."

"Buster, pull a couple pins off his thighs, would ya? Then you can shove that thing in him."

"Yes, Sir."

Brandon's got marks from the pins and marks from Bumgarner's whip and Buster can even see some red patches under the ropes. It looks good and Brandon sounds good too; he lets out a harsh gasp when Buster tugs the pins off. He gasps again, louder this time, as Buster pushes the plug into him, but Bumgarner said shove and so Buster does. He kind of wishes he was the one up on the frame getting hurt, but no, there's no point in being greedy. This is Brandon's scene.

"Get back over here," Lincecum says. He puts his hand on the back of Buster's collar once Buster's kneeling next to him. "Hunter doesn't like singletails," he says quietly as Bumgarner takes a quick practice shot with the whip. "But I do. I might not be able to do the clothespin trick, but I can still beat the hell out of you."

"Please," Buster murmurs. "I'd like that, Master."

"Yeah?" Lincecum tugs on the collar a little, like he wants to make sure Buster knows it's there.

As Buster looks up, Bumgarner flicks the whip and Brandon yelps as another clothespin hits the floor. The next blow lands on Brandon's back; there aren't any clothespins there, but Buster knows it still hurts.

Bumgarner gets into a good rhythm after that, alternating between knocking clothespins off and landing the whip on Brandon's bare skin. Before long, Brandon's yelling each time the whip makes contact. When Bumgarner finally steps back, Brandon's chest is heaving.

"How many more pitches do you have in your arm?" Lincecum asks.

Bumgarner laughs. "I'm not a pitch count kinda guy," he says. "There's three more clothespins, boy," he adds. "You want them to come off?"

"Please, Master." Brandon's voice is rough and hoarse.

"It's gonna hurt."

"Yes, Master. Please please hurt me, Master." Brandon twists in the ropes.

Bumgarner is clearly putting his full strength behind the last three blows; as the last clothespin drops to the floor, Brandon throws his head back and yells so loud it echoes around the room. Buster can see what Hunter meant when he said he liked the way Brandon yells; he's not screaming, at least not yet, but there's no doubt Brandon's hurting.

"You think we're done with you, boy?" Bumgarner asks as he steps up behind Brandon.

"God, I hope not, Master."

"Jesus fucking Christ, you're such a greedy fucking slut." Bumgarner reaches up and slaps the back of Brandon's head hard.

"For you, Master." It's the right answer--the scripted answer--but Brandon sounds utterly sincere. Buster resists the urge to look up at Lincecum or Hunter to see what they makes of it.

"And anyone else who hurts you and fucks you," Bumgarner says with another hard slap.

"Because I'm yours and you like lending your slut out, Master."

Bumgarner hooks his fingers in the back of Brandons collar and tugs. "Damn right, boy." The affection in his voice is obvious. "And if I want Buster to fuck you?"

With a glance over at them, Brandon says, "please, Master. Please, Sirs."

 

"Go ahead," Lincecum says.

"But not like this," Bumgarner says. Reaching down, he pulls a big knife out of his boot. It must be pretty sharp because Bumgarner's able to cut Brandon free of the frame in no time. He'd put Brandon in a rope harness before he put him on the frame, so Brandon's still wrapped in rope when he slides to his knees in front of Bumgarner.

"Thank you, Master," he murmurs, bending down to kiss the toe of Bumgarner's boot.

After a quick look around the room, Bumgarner bends Brandon over the end of the bondage table and ropes him into place. "Fight it for me, boy," he says and then, after Brandon's squirmed some, he adds more rope, mostly where he's tied Brandon's legs to the table legs. "Yeah, that'll do it; he's not going anywhere."

"Go on, boy," Lincecum says, once Bumgarner pulls the plug out of Brandon.

"Give it to him good," Bumgarner adds.

It's been a while since Buster's been allowed to fuck someone. It's nice to feel like he can be a little selfish, he thinks as he pushes into Brandon. Although he shouldn't think that way; he should be thinking about making this look good.

He does his best--grabbing the ropes around Brandon's hips and fucking into him hard. Maybe the break while Bumgarner moved him from the frame to the table helped Brandon calm down a little, but it's not long before he's getting loud again. Buster can see him straining against the ropes as he tries to push back against Buster's thrusts.

"Yeah, no," Bumgarner says from right behind Buster. "You're not going anywhere, boy." He slaps Buster on the ass. "And you...let's see if we can get you to go just a little harder."

Before Buster can react to his words, Bumgarner smacks him on the ass with a paddle. He doesn't hit Buster all that hard, but since Buster's still a little bruised from the other night, it hurts plenty. Bumgarner keeps it up and it's easy enough to fall into a rhythm with him. It's good--the sting of the paddle on his ass, the way Brandon's tight and hot and slick around him--and pretty soon, Buster's biting his lip and trying to pay attention to what he's doing and not what he's feeling.

Just as he thinks he's got it, thinks he's hit the point where he can keep himself under control and keep going for while, Bumgarner stops paddling him. Buster can feel him moving in closer and he's not surprised when Bumgarner's slick fingers press into him. He doesn't give Buster much in the way of prep and Buster's fingers go tight around the rope when Bumgarner shoves in hard.

Being paddled is one thing, but trying to keep his head in the game is a lot harder when someone's fucking him. Bumgarner's pounding into him, pounding him into Brandon, and it isn't long before he's groaning almost as much as Brandon is.

"Couple of sluts," Bumgarner says. "Couple of fucking whores."

"Nah," Lincecum says. His voice comes as a shock, when Buster turns his head, Lincecum's standing next to the table watching them. He's got his usual amused, detached look on his face and Buster's a little surprised at how much he's gotten used to having Lincecum stare at him like that. It's even starting to be kind of hot, which is...something to think about later.

"After all," Lincecum says. "Whores get paid. Sluts give it away. Are you a slut, Buster?"

"Yes, Master." Bumgarner's stopped moving, leaving Buster pressed between him and Brandon. "And a slave."

"My slave."

"Yours, Master," Buster says and it doesn't matter that someone else's Master is fucking him or that he's fucking another slave. All Buster wants right now is to make Lincecum happy.

"Y'all mind?"

"Sorry, Bum," Lincecum says. "You do your thing."

"Bossy fucker," Bum mutters as he starts fucking Buster again. He's moving hard and faster now, and Buster's not desperate, not yet, at least, but damn, it's good. He kind of wants to lose himself in it, but he can't, so he digs his fingers into the ropes wrapped around Brandon's hips.

"You wanna come?" Bumgarner asks after another few minutes, his voice rough and low. "Buster?" Bumgarner asks.

"Yes," Buster says. "Please...please, Sir.

"Brandon?"

 

"Please please please, Master," Brandon says. "Please...please...want it, need it."

"Is this about what you want? What you need?" Bumgarner asks. He stops again, reaching around Buster to slap the back of Brandon's head. In spite of his words and the slap, Bumgarner doesn't sound all that upset.

"No, Master," Brandon says. "It's...it's what you want and need, Master."

"Damn right. Buster? Come whenever you want."

Even as Buster's stammering out his thanks, Bumgarner slams into him hard. He's slowed down, though, and it's hard and jolting and really, really good. Buster grits his teeth and tries to hang on for a couple of minutes, but Bumgarner's dick is hitting him in just the right spot.

"Fuck...oh fuck...." Buster mutters as he comes. "Thank...thank you, Sir."

"Mmmm...yeah," Bumgarner says. He digs his fingers into Buster's hips and just keeps slamming into him. Now that Buster's come, it hurts a little but Buster just braces himself as each hard thrust pushes him against Brandon.

After another minute or so, Bumgarner's fingers tighten on Buster's hips and then he's coming with a rough groan. As he slumps down on Buster's back, he pats Buster's hip. "Timmy, your boy's a good fuck."

"We think so," Lincecum says.

It's not like Buster did anything special--or really anything at all--but he still smiles a little against Brandon's back.

"Speaking of fucks," Bumgarner says, once he and Buster have stood back and tidied up. "You guys wanna?" He gestures at Brandon.

"That depends," Lincecum says. "Can we hurt him some more?"

"Is that a stupid question or what?" Bumgarner laughs. "Of course you can." He looks over at Buster. "Gimme another butt plug, would ya boy?"

As Buster gets another plug out of the cabinet, Lincecum turns to Hunter. "You first?" he asks and it sounds like a genuine question instead of a thinly disguised order.

"Sure," Hunter says, his hands going to his belt buckle. "Let's get some color on his ass, okay?"

"Please, Sir," Brandon says as Hunter steps up behind him, belt in hand. "Please hurt me, Sir."

"Yeah, you can pretty much count on that," Hunter says. "But let's get this in you first." He takes the plug Buster's already lubed up and pushes it into Brandon. "There you go," he says and pats Brandon on the ass before raising his belt.

Brandon's loud gasp sounds almost surprised when the belt comes down on his ass; Hunter's not going easy on him. As Lincecum and Bumgarner settle down in the director's chairs to watch, Hunter settles into a nice, brisk rhythm.

Buster's not a jealous person--jealous people don't exactly make good slaves--but he can't help wishing he was the one tied to the table getting his ass beat. It has nothing to do with that fact that Hunter's doing the beating and everything to do with the fact that Buster just wants a beating.

He's kneeling at Lincecum's feet again and he tries to imagine looking up and telling Lincecum that. No, even if this weren't Brandon's scene, he couldn't do that. If Lincecum were to ask him what he wanted, maybe. If Lincecum told him to beg, he would, of course.

With a mental shrug, Buster turns his attention back to Brandon and Hunter. Hunter's beating Brandon right over the rope and that can't be comfortable. Buster wonders if Mr. Koffman was ever even tempted to beat him once he'd tied him up. Buster's not even a sadist but he can see the appeal, especially as Brandon's ass gets redder and redder and Brandon gets louder and louder.

"Master," Brandon chokes out after Hunter's been beating him for a good long while. "Master...please...."

Whatever's going on, Hunter knows the drill. He steps back half a pace while Bumgarner gets up and then leans over the table to look Brandon in the face. "He gettin' you there?"

"Yes, Master," Brandon says. His voice is rough and his shoulders are shaking just a little. "Do you want me...."

"'Course I want you to. Man's hurting you, he should know it." Bumgarner straightens up and nods at Hunter. "We're good."

"Glad to hear it," Hunter says with a tight grin.

As he raises the belt again, Lincecum leans down. "Bum doesn't always let other people make Brandon cry," he says softly. " It's a thing of his. I don't know why. I fucking love it when someone, anyone, makes you cry."

"It doesn't matter who it is," Buster murmurs, not even sure Lincecum can hear him over the steady slap of Hunter's belt. "You're my Master...it's for you."

Lincecum catches his breath and then knots his fingers in Buster's hair and pulls his head sharply to the right before bending down a little closer. "It's all for me," he says and then bites Buster's earlobe hard.

"Ye...yes, Master," Buster gasps. Lincecum isn't holding back and God, it's like there's a fucking live current between Buster's earlobe and his dick. Never mind that Buster just came; his dick's doing its best to get hard again.

"Thank God we took the earrings out," Lincecum says. Buster's ear is hot and throbbing and he shivers as Lincecum runs his tongue along the outside edge of it. "So many things....."

Lincecum sits back up without finishing the sentence and, God, Buster hopes Lincecum's thinking of things he can do to Buster--to Buster's ears. With a low sigh, Buster leans his head against Lincecum's shin.

For a long moment all he hears is the hard slap of Hunter's belt on Brandon's ass, and then Brandon groans. "Oh God...oh fuck...." he says and then, after another harsh groan, he starts crying. He cries hard, and yeah, Buster knows that feeling, knows how sometimes the emotional release is a lot like coming.

"Yeah. Oh yeah," Bumgarner says. He's leaning on the table with a hand on Brandon's back. "Hurts, don't it?"

"Yes...yes, Master...hurts...God it...hurts...."

"So bad?" Bumgarner asks. "Or so good?"

Brandon's voice hitches, like he was trying to answer just as Hunter's belt landed on his ass. "Good...Master. Hurts good...." Then he's sobbing again, loud and rough, and Buster's pretty sure Brandon's not any prettier than Buster is when he cries.

Buster doesn't even need to see Hunter's face to know just how much Brandon's crying is affecting him. He's really leaning into it now and Buster knows just how hard Hunter can hit when he gets going. And just how long he can keep going if he puts his mind--and arm--to it.

"You gonna fuck him or just keep beating him?" Lincecum asks a few minutes later.

"That depends," Hunter says. "Have you guys got a plan?"

"I was gonna break out the lightsaber, if Bum's okay with that," Lincecum says. "I haven't used it in a while."

Apparently Buster's the only guy in the room who doesn't know what Lincecum's talking about because Bumgarner nods. "Yeah, that works for me. You wanna fuck him before or after?"

Hunter and Lincecum exchange glances. "After," Hunter says. "We can do him when it really hurts."

Lincecum's "lightsaber" turns out to be a good sized acrylic rod. It's clear green with a black handle--Buster can see why Lincecum calls it that. Unlike a cane, it's thick; it'll be thuddy and probably won't break the skin. It will, Buster knows from experience with heavy rods, leave serious bruises.

"If you're good," Lincecum says, holding it up so Buster can get a good look. "I'll use it on you some day."

"Seems like he's always good," Bumgarner says. "Does he ever get mouthy?"

"No," Lincecum says. "He's always this well-behaved."

Buster ducks his head a little, remembering Lincecum saying he didn't like brats. They may not always want stock answers, but Buster's not about to mouth off.

Once Lincecum steps up behind Brandon, thought, Buster looks back up. Lincecum starts up slow and deliberate, but he's hitting Brandon's ass hard. He's wearing a muscle shirt and Buster can't help staring at his arms. How the hell does he keeps in shape? You don't get arms like that just from beating someone, even if you do it a lot. And it's not like Lincecum works out unless he's either doing it in the middle of the night or is just taking a fairly short break from it.

With a little shake of his head, Buster tries to pay attention to what Lincecum is actually doing instead of staring at his arms like a fucking idiot. Of course, even if he weren't looking, it would be obvious what Lincecum was doing--hurting the fuck out of Brandon. Brandon's still crying, but he's also getting loud again and Buster's pretty sure he'll start screaming pretty soon.

And, sure enough, after another few moments during which Lincecum continues to beat him slow and steady, Brandon strains against the ropes and screams. As he keeps screaming--as Lincecum keeps beating him--Buster catches his breath. Listening to someone else scream is always so fucking weird. You've been there and you know you'll be there again and you even want to be there again, but you also can't help thinking, okay, that's enough.

He wonders if that's why they're all so gentle with each other. Oh some slaves are assholes, just like any other group of people, but Buster's never had bad or careless aftercare from a fellow slave. They've been there and they know how it is. They all know what it's like to want it even though it's so bad that you scream, so bad that you'll beg to be tied down so you can't try to stop them or get away. Brandon's fighting the ropes again and this time Buster doesn't think it's just because he likes being tied up. He wonders how far they'll push Brandon tonight. How much can Brandon take anyway?

From that thought, it's a quick leap to hoping like hell Lincecum will follow through and use that thing on Buster. Soon.

Masochists, Buster thinks with a mental smile, are weird.

Some time later, when Lincecum's finished beating him and then fucking him, Brandon reaches his limit.

"Please," he says, his voice raw. Hunter's fucking him now and he doesn't even slow down when Brandon speaks. "Please, oh God...please...I can't...please please...stop...please!"

"Shut the fuck up and let the man fuck you," Bumgarner growls. "And don't even think I'm gonna gag you this time. You can beg all you fucking want and it won't make no difference." He sounds mean, but not actually angry, although Buster gets the feeling that if Brandon were in the right position for it, Bumgarner would probably slap him. Instead, Bumgarner leans over and plants a hand on the middle of Brandon's back.

Buster bites his lip hard because all he can think is how fucking hot this is. Never mind that he didn't think it was hot when it happened to him; if someone asked right now if he wanted to be pushed past the point when he didn't think he could take more, he'd beg for it. It's use. It's being treated like a thing.

It's being a slave.

Brandon's crying again when Hunter finishes with him. "I wanna fuck you," Bumgarner says. "You gonna say you can't take it?"

"Please," Brandon says, drawing a deep shaky breath. "Want to...please...leave me tied...want to be good."

"Yeah no," Bumgarner says, pulling his knife out. "You stay in the harness, but you're gonna get on my lap and ride my dick."

"Yes...yes, Master." Brandon sounds determined but also a little scared, or maybe Buster's just reading that into his tone.

Once Brandon's free, he collapses onto the floor, lying in his side. He's breathing hard and Buster can see rope marks all over him. Sooner than Buster expected, Brandon gets up on his hands and knees and looks over at Bumgarner. "Master?"

Bumgarner's kneeling on the floor and he snaps his fingers. "Get over here, boy, and get up on my lap."

Buster's a little surprised when Bumgarner situates Brandon so that Brandon's back is to Bumgarner's chest. The reason becomes apparent when, once he's got Brandon situated, he looks over at Lincecum. "Mind if I borrow...."

Before he can even finish the sentence, Lincecum pushes a Buster's shoulder. "Go on, boy."

"You want him to suck your dick?" Bumgarner asks.

"Please," Brandon says. "Please...please Master. I know...haven't been good...but please please...."

"Yeah well," Bumgarner says. "I'm gonna be generous."

As Buster settles down on his hands and knees in front of them, he has to hide a smile. Bumgarner doesn't want to flat out praise Brandon, but he's obviously pleased with Brandon's performance. And he should be, Buster thinks. Brandon was really good tonight.

"Do whatever," Bumgarner says. "Just don't make him come."

That won't be easy; for obvious reasons, Brandon's pretty worked up. But, in essentially telling Buster to take it easy, Bumgarner's being generous here too. Buster runs his tongue over the head of Brandon's dick and waits for Bumgarner to set the pace.

Buster's not surprised when Bumgarner takes it slow; after all, he's already come once. Buster settles in to make it as good for Brandon as he can. It's not long before Brandon's twisting on Bumgarner's lap and it's hard to tell if he's just moving with Bumgarner or trying to get away or trying to get more of Buster's mouth.

"Please please please...Master...please...."

"Better not be asking me to stop, boy."

"Wanna be good," Brandon gasps. "Please...."

He keeps begging, his voice rough, but Bumgarner just laughs a little and doesn't stop fucking him.

Buster's jaw is sore by the time Bumgarner snarls out Brandon's name and comes. Brandon's crying again and Buster's not sure if it's fatigue, pain or just sheer emotion. Maybe some combination, Buster thinks as he carefully slides his mouth back down over Brandon's dick.

"Stop," Bumgarner says to Buster a moment later. He's still breathing hard and he's got his arms wrapped around Brandon's waist. "That's all," he adds.

"Yes Sir," Buster murmurs. He stays on his hands and knees as he makes his way back to Lincecum and Hunter. When Lincecum rests a hand on the back of his neck, Buster leans in and rests his head against Lincecum's knee.

"You wanna come for me?" Bumgarner says, his voice so low Buster can barely hear him.

"Please," Brandon says. "Please, Master...oh God, please."

"Think you've been good enough?"

"Up to you, Master," Brandon says. "Please...tried...tried so hard, Master. For you...always for you, Master."

"Because you're mine."

"Yours Master...all yours...only yours."

It's the kind of thing you hear all the time, the kind of thing you're taught to say, but Brandon sounds totally and utterly sincere. Four years will do that to you, Buster thinks.

Bumgarner makes Brandon wait, makes him beg more before he finally reaches around and gives Brandon's dick a rough stroke. "Come on boy, do it for me."

Brandon comes with a loud groan and Buster bites his lip. He came earlier, but watching Brandon and listening to him, makes Buster want it again. He looks down at the floor and frowns. Don't get greedy, he thinks.

"S'okay," Bumgarner's saying when Buster looks up again. Bumgarner's moved a little; he's sitting now holding Brandon on his lap. Brandon's clinging to him. Brandon's crying--deep, harsh sobs that shake his whole body. "It's okay."

"Love you," Brandon mumbles. "So much, Master."

"And that," Lincecum says quietly. "Is our cue to leave."

"Probably should have left a little earlier," Hunter says once they've climbed the stairs. "There's porn and then there's emotional porn."

"Yeah," Lincecum says. "Probably."

"Master?" Buster asks after a moment. He's been following them but it looks like they're headed upstairs. "Will Mr. Bumgarner need help with Brandon?"

"Nah," Lincecum says. "They'll stay down there for a while, and then Bum'll get Brandon up to his room. In fact, you should grab whatever you think he'll need to take care of Brandon and take it up there. Bum likes to do all the aftercare after a big scene."

"Yes, Master."

Lincecum glances back at him. "After that, you can head to your room."

Buster's settling in for the night when Lincecum shows up. "You were good tonight," he says, fidgeting with Buster's chain. "Nice to see you can be support too."

"Thank you, Master," Buster says.

Lincecum drags the end of the chain down Buster's chest from his neck to his navel. "Anyone ever beat you with one of these?"

"A chain, Master? No."

"Something tells me," Lincecum says as he runs the chain over Buster's hard on "That you like the idea."

"I really do, Master," Buster says. "Please," he adds. "Please, someday, Master?"

"Oh, I think you can count on it." Lincecum keeps coiling the chain until there's a pile of links right on top of Buster's dick. "You're so easy to hurt. Not that it's easy to make you scream, but you do love hurting, don't you?"

"Yes, Master," Buster says. "It's...being here with you and Mr. Pence, Master. I like always having bruises and marks." His face is hot, but Lincecum's smiling.

"If you ever notice that you're not bruised or marked up or hurting in some way, you need to let me know. I mean it, boy. Even if I've got a project going, mention it."

"Yes, Master," Buster says.

"You're a good boy," Lincecum says. Before Buster can answer, Lincecum reaches down and puts his hand on the chain. He slowly increases the pressure until the links are digging in to Buster's dick. Buster bites his lip and, after a few moments, squirms.

"I could make you come like this, couldn't I?"

"Yes, Master," Buster says. Then, because he knows Lincecum wants more--and just maybe because Buster really would like to come--he adds, "Please Master."

"Please what?"

"Please make me come, Master. Please?"

"Hmmm...."

"Please please, Master." Buster arches his hips, pressing up against the chain and Lincecum's hand. "Please please please...please wanna come...please, Master?"

Lincecum makes him beg for a few moments more--until Buster's really into it--before pulling his hand away. "Nope," he says with that big smile on his face. "Not tonight."

"Yes, Master," Buster says after drawing a deep shuddery breath.

"Good boy." Lincecum pulls the chain away. Once he's clipped it to Buster's collar, he bends down and kisses Buster hard, biting into Buster's lip. "You really were good tonight. I'm proud of you," he says and kisses Buster again.

"Thank you, Master," Buster murmurs.

After Lincecum's gone, Buster lies there, staring up at the ceiling. It's not easy to ignore his hard on, but it'll go away, eventually, and he tries to focus on what happened tonight.

It was good, he thinks. A good scene, a hot one. In fact, he kind of wishes they'd filmed some of it for Bumgarner. If he were Brandon, maybe he'd want his Master to have a copy of that to watch on the road.

But he's not Brandon and he can't even imagine being Brandon. Brandon said he gets emotional but it's still so fucking weird to hear someone say "I love you" like that. Sophie and Ms. Fowler were close and he never heard Sophie say it, even in the middle of a serious scene. He's pretty sure Sophie loved her Mistress. In fact, last Buster knew they were still together. Maybe Ms. Fowler loved Sophie, maybe she didn't. It would have been impossible to tell what with Ms. Fowler being the kind of person people tell WASP jokes about.

It's weird, because you wouldn't think Lincecum and Hunter were particularly emotional, at least not during scenes. But they're intense, oddly enough, he's starting to like it when they him look at him with that distant, amused gaze. He sometimes feels like he's a puzzle they want to solve and while it's not like he's all that hard to figure out, usually he gets the feeling that they mostly want to see what they can do to make him lose it.

Before Buster came here, he would have thought that he was easy, but apparently he's not. He's supposed to be...well, if not easy then at least uncomplicated. He's a slave; all he's supposed to do is whatever his owner wants. It's unsettling to realize that he can't figure out what they do want. Oh, he's seeing bits and pieces of it--they want him to need it and to be eager for it and he's working on that. But still, that's not all of it.

With a sigh, he lifts his head up and and then drops back down on the pillow. He's not exactly slamming his head, but he's so fucking frustrated. He's getting close and he knows he's pleasing both Lincecum and Hunter. But he hates not knowing everything they expect from him and watching Brandon and Bumgarner has, in some weird way, made it worse. Brandon knows what Bumgarner wants and he knows exactly how to give it to him and it makes him a better slave than Buster is.

No. No it doesn't, Buster tells himself. Because if you really look at it like that, Brandon's...Brandon's using a cheat code. Brandon's never had to figure anyone other than Bumgarner out and he wasn't even dumped in that situation the way Buster was...God, was it only four weeks ago? Fuck.

One month doesn't sound like a lot, but it's a twelfth of Buster's contract and he should know things by now. He did in his other situations. Then again, both times, he was told exactly what his place was and what was expected of him. He made mistakes, but he knew what his owners wanted.

Fine, he thinks. Maybe it makes him a lousy slave, but he's going to have to ask or he'll keep spending nights like this. Once Bumgarner and Brandon leave, he promises himself, he'll ask. I shouldn't have to, he thinks with a scowl before he takes a deep breath and rolls over. Grabbing his phone, he turns on the recorded rain, sets it for a half hour and does his best to fall asleep.

Chapter Text

Neither Bumgarner nor Brandon come down in the morning. When Buster takes a breakfast tray up to the guest suite, it's Bumgarner who answers his quiet knock and takes the tray. Buster doesn't even see Brandon at all.

Hunter and Lincecum are quiet through breakfast but Lincecum makes sure to feed Buster, handing down pieces of biscuit slathered in honey and butter. Buster can't help smiling as he licks Lincecum's fingers clean; honey's a pain in the ass but it sure tastes good on someone's skin.

"Why don't you put that mouth somewhere else," Lincecum says once he runs out of biscuit. He sounds a little breathless and his dick's pushing against the front of his sweats when he moves his chair back. "Slow...do it nice and easy."

By the time Lincecum comes--his fingers tangled in Buster's hair as he holds Buster's head down--Buster's hard and aching.

"Still a little worked up after last night?" Lincecum asks while Buster licks his lips. It's not like Lincecum can see his dick, but then again, he doesn't really need to.

"Yes, Master," Buster says. "But mostly from blowing you."

"Yeah, you love a good hard dick in your mouth, don't you?"

"Cocksucking slut," Hunter says at the same time.

"Yes, Master. Yes Sir."

"Wanna bring that mouth over here?"

"Please, Sir," Buster says. "Please let me suck your cock, Sir. Please?"

"I think he needs it," Lincecum says. He gives Buster's shoulder a shove. "Go on."

Once Buster's kneeling at his feet, Hunter grabs a handful of Buster's hair and holds him in place. "Want it?"

"Please," Buster says, pulling against Hunter's grasp. "Please please...want it, Sir. Need it...please, Sir." He's trying to sound sincere--hell, he is sincere--but he's afraid he sounds forced or fake. He's usually a lot more wound up before he loses it and starts talking about what he needs, but this is what they want to hear and they seem to want it sooner rather than later.

Hunter yanks his hair hard, tilting his head back, and Buster meets his blue eyes and keeps begging. "Please let me...please Sir," he says, the words spilling out of his mouth while Hunter just looks at him. Buster feels his face getting hot and his scalp hurts just the way he likes it as he leans forward. "Please...wanna suck you...please please, Sir."

"Yeah, okay," Hunter says. He reaches down and undoes his jeans. "Go for it."

The easy, relaxed feeling of the morning is completely gone; begging and the slow burn of humiliation in Buster's stomach has him so worked up that he has to force himself to go slow once he's got Hunter's dick in his mouth.

"Such a goddamn fucking slut," Hunter says. "Fucking crawled across the floor and begged for it."

"Looks good doing it, too." Lincecum's voice comes from closer than Buster expected. Buster's not exactly in a position to look around, but he can feel it when Lincecum steps up until he's standing right behind Buster.

"Feels even better," Hunter says and maybe he's trying to sound unaffected, but Buster can hear the strain in his voice.

"Mmmm...yeah?" Lincecum says and then he's leaning over Buster to kiss Hunter.

Hunter's grip on Buster's hair goes slack and, God, Buster feels so fucking used right now. He might have his mouth on Hunter's dick but as far as Hunter cares, he could be anyone. He moans and slides his mouth all the way down Hunter's cock as he listens to them kissing above him. This, he thinks, is his place. It's where he belongs.

"Nice," Lincecum says, once Hunter's come.

"Mmmm, yeah." Hunter nudges Buster's knee with the toe of his shoe. "We should use him like this--put him in the middle--more often."

"You want that, Buster?"

"Oh God, please," Buster says without thinking. "Want to be used by both of you...need it, please Master. Please, Sir. It's what I'm here for."

"Good boy." Lincecum reaches down and rests his hand on Buster's cheek. Buster leans into the touch for a moment and then turns his head and kisses Lincecum's palm. This, he thinks. This.

* * *

He doesn't see Brandon until mid afternoon; when he comes down to wash up before lunch, Brandon's sprawled on the extra bed in Buster's room, fast asleep and wow, his ass is a mass of bruises and lines where Hunter and Lincecum beat him right over the rope.

He's got whip marks on his back too, but it doesn't look like Bumgarner hit him hard enough to split skin. At least this time, Buster thinks, staring at the older scars. What does it feel like, being whipped that hard? Buster bites his lip and turns away. He's never been pushed that hard and he's not sure he could take it. But it's like last night; you can beg them to stop all you want but if they're not pushing past the limits of the contract, your own limits don't matter. He's willing to bet that when Bumgarner's got Brandon tied up in his barn and going to town on his back with that single tail, Brandon begs him to stop. He's also pretty sure Bumgarner keeps going.

After lunch, Lincecum gives him the afternoon off. "Hang out in your room and keep an eye on Brandon," he says. "You can read or watch a movie or whatever."

Buster wastes some time trying to write an email to his sister, but that goes nowhere fast. What the hell's he supposed to tell her? He supposes he should just say that he's in California now, working for someone else, but he's not really sure it matters. If Sam wants to know where he is, she can fucking write to him and ask, he thinks as he shuts down his laptop.

He's been reading the latest Jack Reacher book for about an hour when Brandon mumbles something.

"Don't roll over," Buster says, once it's clear Brandon's at least half awake.

"Fuck no," Brandon says, sounding like a pack a day smoker. "Why do we do this, anyway?"

"Because we're wired that way," Buster says with a little laugh. "You need anything?"

"Honestly? I could really use a beer or two right now. Or I dunno, you got a bottle of Jack around?"

"Afraid not," Buster says. He grabs the bottle of water off the nightstand and comes to crouch next to Brandon's bed. "Will water do?"

"Thanks."

"What else can I do?"

"I'm good." Brandon laughs. "I mean, for someone who had the crap beat of him." He finishes off the water and hands the bottle back to Buster. "Told you I got emotional."

"What's it like?" Buster asks before he can stop himself. "Sorry, never mind."

"What's what like?"

"Doing it when you're in love?"

Brandon looks at him for a long moment. "I could ask you the same question. How do you do it with just anyone? No, I mean, I know how you do it and why, but...." He shrugs. "I'm not sure which one of us has it harder, you know? I mean you don't get to choose, but I'm...he's my lover and he can still keep hurting me even after I say no."

"Yeah, sorry. It was a stupid fucking question, especially when you're all banged up."

"You can make up for it by going and seeing if there are any cookies or ice cream or something," Brandon says, looking at Buster with big, wide eyes.

"Not fair," Buster says with a smile. "Begging with your eyes is so much easier when you have brown eyes. Lemme go see what Ms. Mendez has."

When he comes back, he's got a plate of cookies and a glass of milk.

"Oh good, she remembered I like milk," Brandon says. "Cookies aren't any good without milk."

"Milk's good," Buster says. "So's tea."

"Only if it's sweet tea."

"Oh God. I haven't had sweet tea in fucking ages."

"Why not?" Brandon asks.

"Too much sugar."

"Yeah well...I just figure if Master didn't want a boy with a big fat ass, he wouldn't have asked me out in the first place, let alone collared me." Brandon sets the milk glass down on the floor and takes another cookie off the plate. "And anyway, you're fucking built. A little sweet tea now and then won't change that."

Brandon stays awake or another half hour or so and then, after Buster's checked him over and put some cream on the worst of the rope burns, he falls back asleep.

* * *

That night, Buster gets tied face down over the ottoman and they take turns teasing him during breaks in the game. It's even more frustrating than it was during the NLCS because they blindfold him but leave the sound on. It doesn't help much, he's too distracted by what they're doing to him to be able to visualize the game.

"Maybe next time we do this, we'll put earplugs in you too," Lincecum says as Hunter finishes using his strap on Buster's back.

Buster shivers. Sensory deprivation scares him just a little; at least with a blindfold on, he can hear them moving around. He can guess what comes next. Of course, that's what makes it appealing. "Please" he murmurs and Lincecum laughs and strokes his lower back.

Kansas City wins 1-2, but Buster's been so distracted that he doesn't even know how those runs were scored. His upper back is hot from Hunter's strap and is ass is just as hot because Bumgarner's been spanking him and, if that wasn't enough to make him desperate to come, every time Bumgarner let up, Lincecum fucked him slowly with the rippled glass dildo. It's all good, but he can't help hoping they'll fuck him. He could, he thinks, ask for it.

"Please," he says. "Please, Master, please Sirs...please fuck me." It's getting easier to ask, but he's still a little nervous. Or is it humiliation? Both?

"What if we all want to use your mouth?" Lincecum says.

That sounds just as good. "Please...please, Master."

"You slut," Hunter says. "Such a fucking slut."

"My slut," Lincecum says, tracing circles on the small of Buster's back.

"Yours, Master. Wanna be a slut for you...want to please you, please, Master. Fuck me, use my mouth, hurt me...whatever you want, Master." And Buster thought he was desperate earlier; all he can do is hope Lincecum wants something--anything--from him right now.

"Whatever I want? Well yeah," Lincecum says. "That's why I own you."

"Yes, Master," Buster says and suddenly, he hates that he can't see Lincecum's face.

"Now that we've settled that...guys, go ahead. Just don't let him come, okay? You hear that, Buster?"

"Yes, Master."

They untie him but leave the blindfold on. It's a little unsettling because he still kind of wishes he could see his Master's face, even though he knows just how Linccum is looking at him. And then he's got Bumgarner's dick up his ass and Hunter's cock in his mouth, and all he can do is concentrate and hope like hell he doesn't come.

Neither of them make easy for him; they fuck him hard and fast, each of Bumgarner's rough thrusts shoving Buster forward so he all but chokes on Hunter's cock. Buster doesn't even have to move; all he can do is let them take him because right now, that's all he's good for. But, he tells himself before he starts running through stats. But, he is good. He's a good boy, a good fuck, a good slave.

Buster's all but whining around Hunter's dick when, after some unknown amount of time, Bumgarner slams into him one more time. "Fuck...oh fuck...fucking take it," he growls as he comes.

Hunter lasts another moment or two, but then he pulls back, his cock sliding out of Buster's mouth. After tugging the blindfold off, he grabs Buster's hair and tugs hard "Want it?" Hunter asks as he jacks his dick with his other hand.

"Please, Sir...all over my face, Sir. Please please please...." Buster leans forward, closing his eyes and leaving his mouth open just a little as he stops begging. Right now, this is all he wants, never mind coming or being good or anything else. Mess me up. Use me.

"Yeah," Lincecum says. "Do it babe, all over his fucking face."

Hunter comes hot and wet on Buster's already hot face. A second or two later, when Hunter finally lets go of Buster's hair, Buster reaches up and gets the worst of it off his eyelids. Opening his eyes, he looks over at Lincecum and slowly licks his fingers off.

"How do you feel?" Lincecum asks. "Right now."

"Like a slave, Master," Buster says. "Like someone you can do anything to."

"Pretty much the definition of a slave, isn't it."

"Yes, Master." Buster licks his sticky lips. "Please, Master. Do anything to me."

"Get over here," Lincecum says and then glances at Hunter.

"C'mon, let's go get a beer and check in on Brandon," Hunter says as Buster crawls toward the sofa.

Buster totally ignores Bumgarner and Hunter as they deal with their clothes and leave the room. Kneeling at Lincecum's feet, he stares up at his Master. "Please...anything...please, Master." He means it; if Lincecum wants to get the ice cubes out, Buster will beg for it. If he wants to spend hours caning the insides of Buster's thighs, Buster will crawl across the floor with the cane in his mouth. "Please, Master," he says. "I want...I just want."

"Up here," Lincecum says. "Straddle me."

Once Buster's in position, Licnecum leans back and looks up at him. "That first afternoon here, when I had you on my lap like this, what did you really want?"

"To please you, Master."

Lincecum smiles a little ruefully. "Okay, let's try this again. What did you want me to do to you?" Even as he asks, he's running his hands down Buster's back to his ass. "What were you hoping I'd do instead of using that butt plug?"

"I was hoping you'd fuck me, Master," Buster says. "Please...I wanted it then and I want it now...always want it from you." He bites his lip and tries to keep his eyes open as Lincecum spreads his legs a little.

"Yeah, that's it. Spread for me, slut."

Lincecum undoes his jeans and then grabs Buster's ass again. "C'mere," he says. "Ride me." As Buster sinks down on Lincecum's cock, Lincecum grins up at him. "You're so good," he says. Buster's not sure what he's doing that's all that impressive, but as long as Lincecum thinks he's good, that's more than enough for Buster.

"Nice and slow," Lincecum says. He goes quiet after that, looking up at Buster as Buster moves slow, just like Lincecum wants it.

By the time Lincecum speaks again, he looks a lot less detached and a lot more turned on. Not as turned on as Buster though; Buster feels like he's biting a hole in his lip trying to keep from coming. Stats don't really work as well when he has to keep his eyes open.

"You want to come?"

Buster opens his mouth to beg for it because of course he wants to come. "Please," he says and shakes his head. "Wanna...."

Lincecum's hands go tight on his hips, holding him still. "You want to what?"

"Want to...want to go to bed aching for it, please, Master." And God, he's an idiot; even though Lincecum knows he likes being denied, Buster doesn't need to come out and say it like that.

"Is that what it's about?" Before Buster can answer, Lincecum smiles at him. "Shhhhh...just go back to riding me. Any way you like, just make it good, make me come, boy."

As wound up as Buster is, he can still think; he can still remember what Lincecum likes and how he fucks Buster when he's close to coming. It's a little different from this angle and suddenly Buster wishes he was on his hands and knees, pushing back against Lincecum's dick while Lincecum didn't move. Concentrate, damnit.

Apparently he's got it right; Lincecum's eyes close and he grits his teeth as Buster moves over him. "Yeah," Lincecum mutters. "Yeah...good boy...good boy...fuck yeah...." His grip goes tight on Buster hips, holding Buster still while Lincecum thrusts up into him and comes. "Fuck!"

When Lincecum leans back, eyes closed and a satisfied, almost sleepy smile on his face, Buster just stares at him. He did that; he made Lincecum look like that. It's not like he hasn't seen Lincecum come before, but he usually doesn't have much of a chance to look at him just after and it's.... It's a little unsettling, actually. Buster's a slave; he's the one who's supposed to be vulnerable. He can't help remembering the first time Lincecum fucked him and how he wanted to hold Lincecum after.

"I can hear you thinking," Lincecum says without opening his eyes."Wanna tell me?"

"Just glad I made you feel good, Master." Which is the truth, even if it's not the whole truth.

"Mmmm...you did." Lincecum opens his eyes and looks at him. "Go check on Brandon and then come up to my room. Don't shower first."

"Yes, Master. Thank you, Master."

Brandon's awake, but just barely. "Master looked in on me," he says with a big sleepy smile. "Let me jerk off."

"Best medicine ever," Buster says. "Will you be okay if I sleep somewhere else?"

"Yeah, I'm fine." He looks up at Buster. "Looks like you had a good night. Thanks, by the way."

"For what?"

"Taking care of Master tonight, since I couldn't."

"Yeah well," Buster says. "I fucking hated every minute of it."

Brandon snorts and then waves a hand at Buster. "Go do whatever it is you're supposed to be doing."

Lincecum's door is open but before Buster can kneel just inside the door, Lincecum gets up from the bed. "No, don't," he says, pointing to the middle of the room. "I want you over there...stay standing so I can look you over."

Buster stands in the middle of the room with his hands behind his back while Lincecum walks around him. "Such a filthy slut," he says. "You're a mess." Reaching up, he rubs his thumb against Buster's cheek. "Can't let you sleep up here like this. C'mon."

The shower is big and glass enclosed; Lincecum leans against the bathroom wall and watches as Buster turns the water on. "Leave the door open," he says. "And make it look good," he says. "Gimme some live fucking porn, boy."

"May I touch myself, Master?"

"Anywhere you like."

Buster take a quick moment to figure out how this is going to go and then he pumps some shampoo into his hands and runs them up over his face from chin to forehead, because he's got to get the come off his face right away. The trick to this kind of thing is to act like no one's watching you even as you put on a show, he thinks as he slides his fingers into his hair. Once he's reached his neck, he stretches, turning a little to the side. The other tricks are not worrying about getting clean and telling yourself that you're worth looking at. Buster might not think he's particularly gorgeous, but after serving as an artist's model for a couple of years, he knows he's got a good body.

The whole thing is a little clinical--every move calculated to look as good as possible. It's still a turn on though, partly because he's got to get it up and keep it up, and partly because he hasn't come in the last twenty-four hours. As he runs a hand down his chest, brushing one of his nipple rings with his fingers, he glances at Lincecum out of the corner of his eye. Lincecum's watching him closely, a little smile on his face and all Buster can think is: please like what you see. Because that's what this is about; Lincecum just came so this just a visual thing and not something overtly sexual.

By the time Buster's running his hands over his ass, he's hard as a rock and a little worried that even the lightest, most showy touch, will be too much. He slides his fingers down between his cheeks and shivers as his fingertips brush over his hole; yeah, he needs to be very careful, because fuck, that feels good.

Taking a deep breath, he puts one hand on the wall and leans forward so his head's hanging down a little and the water is pouring down his back. Careful, he thinks as he runs a hand down his chest, fingers following the rough trail of hair that leads down to his dick. Careful, he thinks as he wraps his fingers around his dick and starts stroking it. Careful.

He shoots another quick glance at Linecum, who's still looking at him coolly. Buster sighs and arches his back a little; the water's running down his back and over his ass now and that has to look good. He's not even sure if Lincecum wants more, but then it hits him. Lincecum might want porn, but Buster's pretty sure his idea of porn isn't the slow, easy show Buster's putting on right now.

Okay then, Buster thinks, tightening his grip about his dick. He's still not moving his hand all that fast, but he does pick up the pace. And, of course, the result is what he was afraid of--within a minute, he's breathing hard. There's one more thing he can do though; this time when he looks at Lincecum, he actually turns his head. He can't exactly meet Lincecum's gaze because he's still got to blink water out of his eyes, but as he strokes himself harder and faster, he knows that Lincecum can see that he's actually feeling it.

Feeling it is putting it mildly. After another minute or so, Buster's gritting his teeth and trying to hold on. He's close--really fucking close--and it's not just because he's been on edge for hours now. His Master's watching him and if the big smile on his face is any indication, he likes what he sees.

"Please," Buster murmurs. He's not even sure Lincecum can hear him over the sound of the shower, but he's louder the next time he says it and the time after that. "Please, Master...please...wanna look good for you." Hopefully he doesn't sound like he's asking for reassurance or a compliment, even though he kind of is.

"That's all you want?"

"No, Master...want to come too. Can't help wanting it, Master...please."

"I thought you wanted to wait." Lincecum tilts his head a little. "You said something about going to bed aching for it."

"Not sure my mind and body are...are on the same page, Master," Buster says. Which, wow, who says that when they're jerking off for their Master?

But Lincecum just laughs. "That's kind of what this is about, right? Mind over body?"

Buster's hand goes still for just a second as he stares at Lincecum. Because, yes, Lincecum's right, but, again, who has this conversation under these circumstances? Biting his lip, Buster starts jerking off again; hopefully Lincecum didn't notice his lapse.

Lincecum laughs and gives Buster that big wide grin, and Buster can't help smiling in return "Yeah, sometimes I open my mouth and words come out," Lincecum says. "Okay, enough. We've already wasted too much water. Go ahead and actually get clean and then come into the bedroom."

Getting clean takes a lot less time than showing off; it's only a couple of minutes before Buster's leaving the bathroom.

"Stop," Lincecum says. He's standing next to his dresser, naked with a pair of sweats in his hands. "Let's set up another house rule--when you're in this room, you don't walk."

"Yes, Master," Buster says as he drops to his hands and knees.

"Go over to the side of the bed and present that ass for me."

Lincecum makes Buster wait while he fusses around with something. When he finally crouches down behind Buster, Buster's not surprised to feel Licecum's fingers, slick with lube, move down the crack of his ass. Lincecum takes his time, of course, and before long, Buster's thighs are trembling as he tries not to push back into Lincecum's touch.

"Don't." Lincecum says, with a sharp slap to Buster's ass. "Don't hold back on me, boy."

"Yes, Master. I'm sorry, Master." Buster spreads his legs more and squirms.

"Better," Lincecum says. "But I mean it, Buster. I don't want you to fake it, but if you feel something, I want to know it. You're not a rich old lady's house boy or acting as someone's perfect model."

"Yes, Master," Buster says, trying not to sigh. He should know that by now.

"Good boy," Lincecum says. He doesn't sound the least bit upset and before Buster can think about it too much, Lincecum's rubbing his thumb right behind Buster's balls. Buster whimpers and goes down on one shoulder, his cheek on the carpet.

It seems like forever before Lincecum finally presses a finger in. Even then he takes it slow, teasing until Buster couldn't be still even if he wanted to be. His dick is hard and leaking and never mind that he said he wanted to wait. Fuck that; he wants to come right now.

"Please...please please please, Master....please." It's like he only knows those two words; they're all he can say as Lincecum pushes him closer and closer. He can't breathe steadily at all; he's panting hard by the time Lincecum finally pulls away. "Please...."

"It's okay," Lincecum murmurs. He runs a hand down Buster's back from his ass to his shoulders and back. "Shhhh...." As Lincecum keeps petting him, Buster takes a few shaky breaths before finally calming down. "You're a good boy," he adds.

Buser didn't expect to get fucked and he's not surprised when Lincecum pushes a butt plug into him. "Stay down," Lincecum says.

All Buster can think about as he listens to Lincecum wash his hands is what he looks like, here by the side of Lincecum's bed with his ass up and his legs spread. You're a fucking sex slave...so look like one. That's what he signed on for, it's what he was trained to do, but it seems like, somewhere along the line, during his time with his other owners, he got...sidetracked or something and now it's hard to get back to basics.

"You look good like that," Lincecum says. "Butt's a little pale though."

Oh God, Buster thinks. He barely able to hold off when Lincecum was fingering him. If Lincecum starts beating him or spanking him or something, he's not sure he'll make it. He still dips his spine a fraction more to get his ass into position and Lincecum chuckles. "Yeah, no. It can wait. Up."

Buster kneels up and shifts a little while he gets used to the butt plug. He's not sure if he's more relieved or disappointed that Lincecum's not going to beat him. He wants it, but not so much he'll beg for it; Buster hasn't come without permission for a long damn time and he doesn't want to start now.

"So here's my real problem with your request," Lincecum says. "I'd like to have you sleep on the floor at the foot of the bed now and then, but I usually let the kids in at night and trust me, they will pile on top of you. I like you and I like dogs, but I don't like you smelling like dog and I don't want to treat you like them. So...."

He takes a pillow from the head of the bed and tosses it at Buster. "I want you literally on the foot of the bed. Use that throw down there and you can get under the duvet if you need to."

"Yes, Master."

"But first...." Lincecum pulls a length of chain out from under the foot of the bed.

Of course, Buster thinks as he shifts postures and presents his neck and the collar. It would feel weird not to be chained up; even as he's climbing up onto the bed, he reaches up and strokes the chain below the clip. When he looks up, Lincecum's sitting on the edge of the bed watching him.

"Why?" Lincecum asks, repeating Buster's gesture in the air near his own chest.

For once the question doesn't bother Buster. "Because I'm owned," he says. "Because...." He remembers what he thought when he signed his contract earlier this year. "Because I signed away my freedom and you brought me, Master. Because I'm a possession."

"A possession worth every dollar I spent on it," Lincecum says with a smile.

They look at each other silently for a long moment and now's a good time. Now's the perfect time for Buster to slide off the bed, go to his knees and beg Lincecum to tell him exactly what he wants from Buster. He can't though. He doesn't. Lincecum's granted him a privilege and Buster appreciates it too much to ruin the moment.

He's not sure what shows on his face because Lincecum's brow creases a little, like he wants to ask Buster a question. Then he just smiles. "Wake me up with a blow job and then bring up breakfast. Sandy or Ellie can take care of Bum and Hunter." He settles back in bed and picks his iPad up off the nightstand.

"Yes, Master. Thank you, Master."

"Buster," Lincecum says, just as Buster's started slowing his breathing down the way he does every night as he tries to leave the day behind and sleep. "Are you going to bed aching for it?"

And yeah, Buster's aware of the butt plug, but that's a familiar distraction, something he can deal with. The moment Lincecum asks, though, Buster catches his breath because here he is--he's been teased all night without being allowed to come and he's chained up at his Master's feet with a butt plug stuffed up his ass.

"Yes, Master," he says. "I am. Thank you, Master."

Lincecum chuckles but doesn't say anything more, leaving Buster to lie there, half hard and wanting more.

* * *

"I could get used to this," Lincecum says as he takes his first sip of coffee. "I'm certainly more awake than I usually am first thing in the morning."

Fortunately he was awake enough to remember to tell Buster he could walk when he was bringing the tray into the bedroom. "If I give you stupid conflicting orders like that, you won't be punished for giving it your best guess."

Buster's sitting on the bed across from Linceum and he smiles. "We're trained to ask without making our owner look bad, Master."

"Of course you are." Lincecum holds out a piece of cinnamon roll and Buster eats it before carefully licking the icing off Lincecum's fingers. "I need to tell Sandy to keep making sticky stuff."

"Please do, Master." Buster presses a kiss to the tips of Lincecum's fingers.

"You ever have those disgusting Pillsbury orange rolls? I used to love those things."

"Me too, Master." Buster can help laughing a little. "I don't think Ms. Mendez would even let a Pillsbury tube through the kitchen door let alone into the fridge."

"Maybe you can sneak some in because honestly, I'd love to watch you licking that orange frosting off my fingers." He feeds Buster some bacon. "And I know it's a fucking cliche, but I can't wait to feed you sushi. You do like sushi, don't you?"

"Once I got over the fact that it looks like bait, I learned to like it, Master."

"You fish?" When Buster nods, Lincecum asks, "What about hunting?"

"A little, Master." The last time Buster went hunting was the same Thanksgiving weekend he finally got up the courage to come out. He tries to look like the question doesn't bother him, but he apparently doesn't do a good job at it.

"And I've just asked the wrong question." Lincecum reaches out and rests a hand on Buster's ankle. "I should know better. It's just...never mind." He rubs his thumb over Buster's anklebone and Buster takes a deep breath and lets it out. Lincecum doesn't have to apologize for, well, for anything, but Buster appreciates that he kind of did.

* * *

Once Buster's taken the tray to the kitchen and thanked Ellie for serving breakfast to Hunter and Bumgarner, he checks in on Brandon.

"Better?"

"Yeah," Brandon says. He's still lying on his stomach, and his ass is still a mass of bruises, but the rope burns look better. "You wanna walk the dogs?"

"Are you sure you're up for it?"

"I can only play so much Candy Crush," Brandon says, gesturing at his phone..

It's clear and sunny out. "I haven't figured out fall here," Buster says, watching as Cy runs around in circles.

"Early fall is the best time of year in San Francisco; it gets warm and sunny in September and October. I'm not sure about Napa, but I think it's the same." He stretches a little and winces. "I guess you got use to really visible signs back east."

"Fall's gorgeous in New England," Buster says. "But I could really do without all the snow in the winter."

"It's weird. Here, people talk about snow like it's a place. Like, 'we're going up to the snow this weekend.'" He glances at Buster. "They have a place up at Tahoe, you know."

"They do?" Buster thinks about it and smiles. "Let me guess...Master skies. No, snowboards."

"Yeah. He's tried to talk my Master into it, but it's against his contract."

"Against...okay that's weird. I mean when I think of something being against a contract, it's a slave contract I'm thinking of."

"At least we can't get traded for a middle infielder. Good thing too, because they were pretty desperate before the break. I can just see Sabean asking Master if they could trade me for, I dunno...Brandon Phillips or something."

"Bet you give better head."

Brandon laughs. "Yeah, but I can't turn a double play to save my life."

"What's his contract like? Your Master, I mean?"

"Really really team friendly." Brandon shakes his head. "I don't remember the exact figures but compared to Cain's it's ridiculous. Seriously, I think he made less than Vogelsong last year. He's only got a limited no-trade clause too; he can veto like six teams or something. Not that they're gonna trade him for anyone."

"I'd have asked for a lot more," Buster says. "I mean if I was his agent."

"Yeah me too, but back when he signed it, Master just said, 'the years are good so the money don't matter,'" Brandon says with a laugh. "He bought the condo, but other than that, I'm his one luxury item."

"Totally worth it," Buster says, remembering Lincecum saying the same thing about him.

"I like to think so," Brandon says. "I mean I'd do it for nothing if he asked, but I like it better this way, you know? With the contract and him buying me again each year."

"Really?"

"Yeah. I mean, look, I was a barista during the day and a bouncer at night. It's not like I was going to be anything but a kept boyfriend, with maybe him putting me through school. This way, it's all up front." He looks over at Buster. "The other night, your Master said we're not whores, but really...."

"We are," Buster says, finishing his sentence for him. "I always laugh at people who say it's not the same. I mean, not at Master the other night because that's part of the illusion, but other slaves who act like we're somehow better than other sex workers. It's stupid."

* * *

Brandon actually joins them in the game room that night. He lies on his stomach the same way Buster did last week, but instead of having Buster get him, and everyone else, off, things go a little differently.

"Fuck," Lincecum mutters, around the bottom of the fourth inning. "Dammit, I thought I got to it soon enough."

Buster's been sitting at Lincecum's feet and now he kneels up and looks at his Master. Lincecum's squinting a little and he looks oddly pale.

"Master?"

"Head?" Hunter says at the same time.

"Yeah," Lincecum says. "I took something earlier, but...." He sighs. "I shouldn't have come down to watch this."

"What do you need?" Hunter says, asking the question Buster wants to ask.

"You wanna go defrost a cookie for me?"

As Hunter gets up, Buster takes a deep breath and rests a hand on Lincecum's knee. "Master? Do you want me to work on your back?"

"Thanks, but not right now. It'd be too much." Lincecum pets Buster's cheek. "You're a good boy, but what I need now is to be seriously medicated and in a dark room. I'll probably want you in the morning though. I'll have Hunter come get you."

With one last pat of Buster's cheek, Lincecum gets to his feet. He's moving carefully and it's all Buster can do not to jump up and try to help him.

"Bum, he's yours for the night. Keep him up in your room if you want or lock him up downstairs after."

"Thanks," Bumgarner says. "You feel better, okay?"

"I've got him," Hunter says from the doorway. "C'mon, Timmy, let's get you upstairs."

Buster watches them until they leave the room before turning on his knees. "Sir?" Out of the corner of his eye he can see Brandon go up on his elbows and look at Bumgarner too.

"Right now, I just wanna watch the game." Bumgarner grins. "I'll come up with something to do with both of you later."

The rest of the game is worth watching. It's another close game, so close that no one scores until the 8th inning.

"Fuck," Bumgarner says as the Kansas City closer comes in. "Our bullpen is really fucking good, but these guys aren't bad at all."

"Not as much variety, Master," Brandon says. "Our guys are more versatile."

"True."

In the end, that one run turns out to be all the Royals need. "Damn," Bumgarner says. "You know how they always say it's gonna be a pitching duel and then it's totally not? They were right this time."

"I guess they get it right every now and then, Sir." Buster says with a smile. "I mean, they can't be wrong every single time, right?"

"You'd be surprised. They gave Detroit two check marks in the pitching category last year. Verlander was gonna roll us up and instead, Pablo went deep against him twice and Zeets got an RBI." Bumgarner gestures at the postgame wrap up. "Buncha fucking morons."

They watch for another little while, until Bumgarner's had enough. "Okay," he says, getting to his feet. "Buster, you wanna help Brandon?"

Buster's already crouching next to Brandon and it doesn't take that much to get Brandon to his feet. "I'm good," Brandon says. "Doing better."

"We'll have to do something about that," Bumgarner says. "C'mon boys, up to my room."

Brandon and Bumgarner walk right into the guest suite, but Buster goes down on his knees just inside the doorway. "Please, let me serve you. Please, Sir?"

"Yeah," Bumgarner says. "Grab a couple big towels from the bathroom and get on the bed."

"How's your ass, boy?" he asks Brandon while Buster goes into the bathroom.

"Hurts, Master."

"Gonna hurt more when I fuck you."

"Yes, Master. Please?"

"Good boy. Buster? On the bed, face down, ass up. Brandon, get him ready with your mouth."

Oh fuck, Buster thinks. Does Bumgarner know that Buster hasn't come since the other night? The last thing Buster wants to do is screw up, but if Brandon does the kind of rim job on him that he did last week, Buster's gonna come, permission or not.

"Wait, put a towel down first. I ain't sleepin' in a wet spot after."

Well that's reassuring, Buster thinks as he spreads a towel out.

Once, Buster's done, Bumgarner puts his hand between Buster's shoulderblades. "All the way down, boy."

"Yes, Sir."

Brandon's not as careful and slow as he was last week. He digs his fingers into Buster's cheeks, spreads him open and just fucking goes for it. Before long, Buster's squirming and even though he's panting hard, he feels like he's not getting enough air. Brandon's tongue is working him over and every few seconds, Buster feels the scrape of teeth and Brandon's beard is rough against the sensitive skin of his ass and....

"Fuck...oh fuck...oh God," Buster mumbles, his mouth still moving against the sheets after he's done talking. He can do this, he thinks, digging his fingers into the bedding; he can take this and not come.

A couple more minutes and Buster's not so sure about that. Brandon's still licking into him and when he pauses to catch his breath, Buster's so sensitive, he can feel each puff of warm air. When Brandon starts up again, Buster whines in the back of his throat and pushes back. Brandon just laughs--another quick huff of air--and licks Buster harder.

"Wanna come boy?"

"Please please please, Sir...oh God please...I want it so bad." Maybe it's just that it's been a couple of days since he came or maybe it's Brandon's tongue or maybe it's that Buster's been casually handed over to entertain a guest, but it's almost too much. Buster slides his hand up a little and clings to the ring on his collar. "Please please...please, Sir!"

Bumgarner reaches down, slides his fingers into Buster's hair and twists hard. "Yeah, c'mon and give it up, boy."

With a strangled sob, Buster comes so hard he can barely hold himself up. His thighs are shaking and he's a mess and it feels like he'd just melt away if it weren't for Bumgarner's hand in his hair and Brandon's hands on his ass.

"Thank you," he pants as soon as he can manage it. "Thank...thank you, Sir."

"You're not done, boy." Bumgarner twists his hand again and then sits back. "Brandon, you got enough in ya to fuck him?"

"Yes, Master. Please, Master, let me. Please?"

"Yeah, go ahead."

It hurts, but it's a good hurt. Buster's still sensitive after coming and Brandon's big, but all Buster can think is how he wants more. When he tries to move, Bumgarner slaps his hip. "Stop it...you already got yours."

"Yes, Sir," Buster says. "Sorry, Sir."

"Wait...hold up Brandon." Buster hears Bumgarner moving stuff around on the nightstand and then Bumgarner grabs Buster's hair and pulls his head up. "Open up."

He's got a big, serious looking gag in his hand--the kind with a plug that fits in your mouth--and he pushes it in as soon as Buster's lips part. "Right now," he says as he buckles the strap behind Buster's head. "You're only here because Brandon's been a good boy and I want to give him a treat."

"Thank you, Master," Brandon says. He's got his hands on Buster's hips and even as he speaks, he rubs his thumb lightly against Buster's skin. It's a way of checking in and Buster responds by sliding his knees just a little wider. He's good; they're good and it'll be okay.

"Now put your head down and just fucking take it."

To Buster's surprise, Brandon's still for a moment. It's only when he feels the bed dip down a little behind him that he realizes what's going on. Bumgarner's going to fuck Brandon and Buster really is nothing but a reward for Brandon. Oh sure, like Bumgarner said, Buster already got his, but right now, he's just being used. It's like the other morning, Buster thinks even as Brandon pushes into him hard. Like when he was blowing Hunter while Lincecum and Hunter kissed. In a way, it's even more degrading because Brandon's just another slave and Buster's only here so Bumgarner doesn't have to reach around.

It's good, because God knows Buster gets off on being used like a thing, but it's also weird. As much as Buster wants to serve, as much as he wants to be a good slave and take care of his Master's friend, he'd really rather be down the hall taking care of his Master. And yeah, he knows Lincecum's probably stoned or maybe even asleep by now and he knows that Hunter's there with him, but....

Buster bites down on the gag as Brandon starts moving. Bumgarner must really be giving it to Brandon because Brandon's pounding Buster good and hard. It hurts and it's great but God, Buster wishes it was Lincecum fucking him. Or even Hunter while Lincecum fucked Hunter--if that ever happens. There was that one night when Hunter held Buster while Lincecum fucked him and yeah, that was good.

Even though Bumgarner doesn't want Buster to do anything here, Buster tries to concentrate on what he's doing now and not what he wants to be doing. Keep your fucking head in the game, he tells himself. It's not about what Buster wants; it's about what Buster's Master wants. And right now, his Master wants him to serve Bumgarner. With a moan, Buster tries to stop thinking and just feel. All he has to do is stay here while they fuck him.

Because he's a slave, he thinks. Because he's here to serve.

Bumgarner makes Brandon beg for a very long time before he finally lets him come. The sound of Brandon's voice, still a little hoarse from the other night, really gets into Buster's head. Between that and the rough, brutal pace Bumgarner set, Buster's hard again by the time they're done with him.

"Jesus fucking Christ," Bumgarner says once he's caught his breath. "You're such a fucking slut." He slaps Buster's ass. "Get rid of that towel and tidy up while we're in the shower."

Brandon's heavy-eyed and yawning by the time Bumgarner all but walks him back to the bed. "You're sleeping with me," he says and then turns to look down at Buster. "I'd let you stay too, but since Tim might want you in the morning, you'll sleep down in your room tonight." Bending down, he unbuckles the gag, tossing it aside as Buster swallows and then works his jaw a little.

"Thank you, Sir," Buster says.

"Good boy. Now go get ready for bed; I'll be down in a little while."

But it's Hunter who comes through the door about five minutes after Buster's settled on his knees next to his bed. "Sir," Buster says, looking up at him. "Is Master feeling better?"

"He's asleep," Hunter says. "Up and into bed," he adds.

Once Buster's settled, Hunter sits on the bed. "When Ellie unchains you in the morning and you've washed up and done whatever you do in the morning, come up to Tim's suite right away. Don't worry about breakfast; I'll tell you what you need to do when you show up. He might be asleep or he might be hungry or he might want a backrub and a blow job."

"Yes, Sir."

"He should have gone to bed after he realized one was coming on," Hunter says with a scowl. "I know it's the World Series and he's got an analyst with a couple rings in the house, but fuck it, we could have recorded the damn game."

There's nothing Buster can say, so he stares down at the bit of chain Hunter's still fidgeting with.

"Sorry, it's just...." Hunter trails off and chuckles. "I was going to say he's pretty high maintenance, but I guess we all are, aren't we?"

"Sir?"

"Establishment members. Tops I mean." Hunter slides the chain between his fingers. "You don't have to answer that, of course. And if you want to, you can say anything."

Buster almost takes the easy way out, but no. "I think everyone is, in their own way, Sir. Not just Establishment people, but people in general."

"Most people think they're easy to get along with."

"They're usually the worst, Sir."

"I'd say you're being cynical but I used to have this impression that I was easygoing." Hunter laughs. "And maybe I am, seeing as I'm still with...." He pauses and gives Buster an odd look. "Speaking of easy, you're really easy to talk to."

"I'm not sure if I should apologize or say thank you, Sir."

"I meant it as a compliment," Hunter says. "Just remember that if we get away from the script, you don't have to respond. And if you do...like just now, you won't get in trouble for it."

"Yes, Sir. Thank you, Sir." It's odd, though, how Hunter seems to think he's got a script. Tops do, of course, but since it's all about them anyway, most of them don't think of it that way.

"Did you get to come tonight?"

"Yes, Sir. Mr. Bumgarner was generous."

"That just cracks me up--Mr. Bumgarner," Hunter says with a snort. "Sorry; I shouldn't laugh at your manners as much as I do. You're incredibly well-trained."

"Thank you, Sir," Buster says, hoping he doesn't come across as sarcastic.

"Anyway, obviously Bum came and he let you come and I assume he let Brandon come?" When Buster nods, Hunter sighs. "And I took care of Tim so he could sleep. So, it sounds like I'm the only guy here who didn't get off tonight." He's doing his best to sound annoyed, but he's smiling just a little.

"Please, Sir," Buster says, smiling back at him. "Please let me do something about that."

"What did you have in mind?"

Well fuck.

"That depends, Sir," Buster says, trying not to overthink it. "Do you want me to draw it out or do you want something fairly quick?"

"Somewhere along the line, I'll ask you to draw it out...maybe without letting you use your mouth. Tonight though, let's go for quick." He pauses a little. "Without using your mouth."

"Yes, Sir." Buster slides off the bed and kneels in front of Hunter. "Does not using my mouth mean no talking, Sir?"

"You're planning on talking to me?"

They both reach for Hunter's buckle at the same time and Hunter leans back and lets Buster deal with it.

I thought, Sir...." Buster pauses to lick the palm of his hand. "I thought you might want to hear what happened upstairs."

"Yeah, that works," Hunter says. "Look at me and not your hand."

"Yes, Sir."

Hunter's already hard when Buster wraps his hand around his dick. Once he's figured out the right rhythm, he licks his lips and starts talking.

"Mr. Bumgarner had Brandon use his mouth on me."

"Yeah? Brandon gives a hell of a blow job."

"It wasn't a blow job, Sir," Buster says. "They put me face down on the bed with my ass in the air and he ate me out--had his mouth, his tongue, all over my ass."

"Bet you loved that. Bet you shoved your ass back for more of it like the slut you are."

"I did, Sir," Buster says, his face hot as he keeps his eyes on Hunter's. "He was rough, so it hurt a little and, God, I wanted it so bad."

"Did you beg for it?"

"Yes, Sir. I...I grabbed the ring on my collar and said please over and over." He's not sure why he's sharing that detail, especially because he doesn't really know why he did it. "It was so fucking intense and Master didn't let me come last night and I just couldn't help begging."

"Yeah?" Hutner's hard and the head of his dick is slick with pre-come when Buster rubs his thumb over it. "Why?"

There's a safe answer and then there's the truth. "Because that woman back at the Auction was right, Sir. Because I'm a slut and Master handed me over to someone and I wanted to be a slut for him and I wanted to be a good slave, just like I do now and please please please, Sir, please come on me, please use me because I wanna be a slut for you..."

"Gonna use you all right, use your pretty mouth," Hunter growls. "Get it down there and act like the cocksucking slut you are."

Buster slides his mouth down Hunter's dick so hard and so fast he almost chokes and it doesn't get any easier when Hunter grabs his hair. He grips it hard, keeping Buster still while he thrusts up into Buster's mouth. Buster manages not to gag, but his eyes are watering by the time Hunter finally shoves up into his mouth and comes so hard some of it spills out of Buster's mouth.

Normally he'd be mortified, because, wow, what a newbie mistake, but when he thinks about how wrecked he must look with tears in his eyes and come on his lips, he looks up and waits for Hunter to open his eyes.

"Jesus fucking Christ," Hunter says, staring down at him. He takes a deep breath and reaches down to tuck his dick back into his shorts. As he zips up his pants, he smiles a little.

"You look pretty worked up for someone who came just a little while ago. What happened after Bum let you come?"

"He gagged me and fucked Brandon while Brandon was fucking me. He said I was a treat because Brandon had been good."

"God, no wonder you're so worked up. You must have loved being used like that."

"It was good, Sir." Buster almost says something about wishing he was with Lincecum and Hunter instead of Brandon and Bumgarner, but no. He's not about to say anything that even sounds vaguely like a complaint. And anyway, Hunter might take it as meaningless flattery.

"Do you want to come again?"

This would be so much easier if he could just say that it's up to Hunter or something like that, but no, they won't let him do that.

"Yes, Sir," he says and then gives Hunter a wry smile. "And no."

"One more reason to buy you."

"Really, Sir?"

"Yeah, I did read that part of your file. You might have noticed that Tim's kind of into that." He looks down at Buster for a long moment and just when Buster's sure he's going to ask Buster why he gets off on denial, he says, "Okay, back to bed with you."

"Yes, Sir," Buster says. Once Hunter's chained him to the bed, Buster smiles up at him. "Thank you, Sir."

When Hunter reaches the door, he turns and looks at Buster. With only the light in the hall behind him Buster can't see his face, but Hunter sounds affectionate as he says, "You are, you know."

"Sir?"

"A good slave."

"Thank you, Sir."

But all Buster can think as he listens to Hunter walk up the hall is, no. If he were a good slave, he'd know what he was missing. Maybe nothing. Maybe it's all in his head, because he can can feel things clicking between himself and Lincecum--and Hunter too, for that matter. A month in and he's already devoted enough to want to take care of his Master when he's not feeling well. That makes him a good slave, doesn't it?

But he still doesn't know why they keep asking things--personal things. And he doesn't know why they insist on him meeting their eyes and he just doesn't know.... Yeah, he's missing something all right. After Bumgarner and Brandon leave, he reminds himself. He'll ask then.

* * *

When Buster knocks softly at Lincecum's door the next morning, Hunter answers it.

"How is Master, Sir?"

Hunter gives Buster a tired smile. "He just ate the other half of that cookie. If you're okay with it, come on in and sit with him a while."

"Of course, Sir."

"He likes contact...careful contact. Just sit next to him and put your hand on his arm or something like that." Hunter pauses and then yawns so widely Buster has to clench his own jaw to keep from yawning too. "You had breakfast yet? Because he's not going to be able to feed you."

"I had enough for now," Buster says. "Thank you, Sir."

"Good boy," Hunter says. "Come get me if you need to."

"Hey," Lincecum says when Buster sits down on the edge of the bed. "You don't have to...."

"I want to, Master."

Lincecum looks up at him and even in the dim light, Buster can tell his eyes are barely open.

"Do you want to go back to sleep, Master?"

"Can't yet. In a bit maybe, but now I'm all slept out." He pats the bed next him. "Get comfortable. Oh hey, strip down to your jock first. Did Hunter mention that I like being touched? Skin on skin."

"Yes, Master."

Once Buster's settled in bed--sitting up against a pile of pillows--Linceum curls up next to him. "Here," he says, reaching for Buster's hand. "Just...yeah there." He sighs a little as Buster rests a hand in his shoulder. "You have great hands."

"When you feel a little better, I can work on your back and shoulders, Master."

"Mmmm...yeah. That's right, you do massages too."

"Licensed massage therapist in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Master. At least at one point. I think it's expired."

"For your first owner?"

"Yes, Master."

"Tell me something you can't do," Lincecum says, several minutes later.

"Dance," Buster says. "I'm terrible at it, Master."

"Terrible by whose standards?"

"Anyone with eyes, Master. I have no rhythm at all."

"White guy overbite and all?" Before Buster can answer, Lincecum reaches out and rests a hand on his thigh. "I'm all stoned and stuff...you don't have to be formal."

"Okay," Buster says, and wow, that feels weird.. "And yes, I do the overbite thing."

"Me too. Hunter though...make both of us look like Barish...whathisname...the Russian ballet guy."

"Baryshnikov?"

"Yeah, him...Hunter trips over the floor, never mind his own feet. Fucking funniest thing...." He laughs. "They train that out of you guys, right? Being clumsy."

"Yeah. And you don't stop, even when you're owned."

"What do you mean?" Lincecum's voice is slurred and slow, and his eyes are closed.

"That's why most of us do yoga or something like it. And I practice positions and postures."

"Huh...didn't know that. Been kinda slacking off...me, I mean. Should work out with you." He reaches out and pats Buster's thigh--a lazy motion. "You'd just hold back...make me feel better."

It takes Buster a minute to parse that, but when he does, he smiles a little, because yeah, you are trained to pander to your owner's ego. But honestly, he doesn't think Lincecum's ego needs any help.

"I wouldn't if you told me not to. May I ask...."

"Told you not to be all formal."

"Why do you work out so much?"

"'Cause I got beat up...couple times in high school. Took some karate, though I've forgotten most of it. Now...I still don't wanna be that geek, ya know?"

"Yeah," Buster says, because he was never that guy, but he saw what happened to skinny nerds. "Brandon told me you snowboard."

"Yeah...you?" Lincecum laughs again. "Prolly not...from Georgia. And your other owners...not winter sports types."

"You know...."

"Kinda," Lincecum says before Buster can finish his question. "Never met whatshername, but the more recent guy...met him at a thing a few years back. Before he had you...when he had that girl, the blonde. She was pretty."

"Natalie," Buster says. "She's gorgeous."

"Looks good tied up." Lincecum runs a hand down Buster's thigh. "You look better. No really. Can't argue with me."

"You told me not to be formal."

Lincecum giggles and for a minute, he looks like he's a teenager. It's a little weird, but Buster just strokes his shoulder.

"Mmmm...feels good."

"Would you like me to do more?" And just like that, Buster wants to do more. "Please?" he adds.

"You're sweet...." Lincecum says, looking up at Buster. "Kay...just kinda do what you just did, only all over. Know what I mean? Oh and formal is...yeah, okay now."

"Yes, Master." Buster tries to keep the amusement he's feeling out of his voice, but Lincecum grins up at him as he rolls over onto his back.

If he was working on Lincecum's back, Buster would straddle him, but given the size difference and Lincecum's lazy passivity, Buster decides not to loom over him. Instead, he sits next to his Master and runs his hand down from Linccum's shoulder to his arm, keeping his touch light enough to be gentle and, hopefully, firm enough not to tickle.

He takes his time on Lincecum's arm, tracing the cut of muscle but when he reaches Lincecum's hand, he pauses, thumb resting on the pressure point on the skin between Lincecum's thumb and forefinger.

"Doesn't work...not on me anyways." Buster brings Lincecum's hand up to his mouth and kisses the palm instead. "Mmmmm...you have the best mouth."

Buster thinks the best mouth is probably downstairs serving breakfast, but he smiles against Lincecum's palm before lowering his hand again. "Thank you, Master."

He's careful after he runs his hand back up Lincecum's arm to his shoulder. He wants to avoid any major hot spots, but he doesn't know where all of them are yet. And sure enough, when he rests his hand on Lincecum's shoulder and rubs his thumb over Lincecum's collarbone, Lincecum shivers hard.

"Sorry, Master."

"Nah...s'okay. Gonna want you to get me off."

As Buster runs his hand slowly down Lincecum's chest, he smiles. "I told Brandon last night that it's the best medicine, Master." Even so, Buster avoids Lincecum's nipples; he doesn't know how sensitve Linceucm is and he doesn't want to get him too wound up to early..

"Not always...there's a rebound sometimes," Lincecum says. "Oh hey careful...ticklish 'round my ribs."

Buster adds a little pressure when he reaches Lincecum's ribs and he must have gotten it right; Lincecum doesn't squirm. Lincecum's skin is smooth and warm and he doesn't have much in the way of body hair. And maybe Lincecum's not the only one who opens his mouth and lets the words come out, because, as he traces the slight cut of Linceucm's lower abs, Buster says, "They'd shave you...fuck. Sorry, Master," he says, his hand going still.

Just as Buster's about to back off and put his forehead down on the bed, Lincecum laughs. Reaching down, he rests his hand on top of Buster's. "If I was going on the block, you mean?"

"Yes, Master. I'm so sorry...."

"No," Lincecum says. He pauses and giggles again. "This is fucking awesome...assess me, would you?"

"Um...I can't really, Master. Too much depends on what you...what a candidate is like."

"Okay, say I'm...I dunno...super subby and kinda masochistic. Say I make the cut...how would I be trained?"

"I'm having a hard time even imagining it, Master," Buster says with a smile. "But they'd work on the usual stuff--deportment and all the other stuff everyone has to learn--and they'd try to teach you how not to be bored."

"Huh?"

"Master, you're always doing at least one thing, usually two. You're always thinking about the projects your people have going even while you game or ride your bike or whatever. One of the hardest things about being a slave isn't...getting hit or even going through a scene like the on the other night." Buster pauses; does he really want to talk about this? "It's doing nothing while you wait."

"Really? 'Cause yeah that'd be hard." Tim squeezes Buster's hand. "Why do you think I need someone to talk to right now...can't read or listen to music...or anything. I can't even think about business stuff...although I've had some good ideas now and then. When I'm fucked up, I mean."

Buster rubs Lincecum's hip with his thumb. "I'm sorry it's so bad, Master."

"Mmmm...me too. So anyway...what else?"

"Once you'd figured out not being bored or fidgety, they'd probably work really hard on the service stuff. You're not exactly pretty, but...."

"Say I'm exotic and you're sleeping...dunno, in the laundry room or something."

"Master?"

"Half Pinoy," Lincecum says. When Buster frowns a little, Lincecum gives him pained little smile. "Filipino," he says.

"Oh," Buster says. "I didn't know that word, but I know you're part Filipino, Master and, anyway, I wasn't going to say exotic. You've got good bones and someone with an interesting face can go for more than someone who's just pretty. And since you're not big and you said the hypothetical you was subby, you'd probably be marketed as a service slave. They'd shave you, but keep the long hair, maybe do a piercing or two if you okay'd it...."

"Like why...in case someone wants what... a slacker houseboy?"

"You'd be surprised, Master." Buster leans back a little and looks his Master over, feeling more and more uncomfortable by the minute. "Mid six figures...maybe higher depending on who else was on the block that day and how good your Trainer and the Auctioneer are."

Before Lincecum can answer, Buster takes a deep breath. "Please Master," he says. "This is...I never should have even looked at you that way." He can't go all the way down without pulling his hand out from under Lincecum's, so he just bows his head. "Please punish me...."

"No." Lincecum sounds more sure of himself and more present than he has for the whole conversation. "Let's make a deal here...anything either of us says when I'm fucked up doesn't count."

And that, Buster thinks with a flash of irritation, is impossible. What's more, Lincecum should know that. Just like Buster should know better than to look at his Master like he's an equal...like he's another slave. At normally he wouldn't, but with Lincecum looking all loose-limbed and relaxed like that, Buster made the mistake of looking at him the way he'd look at Brandon.

"Yes, Master," he says.

"And there goes the moment," Lincecum murmurs. Before Buster can apologize again, Lincecum squeezes his hand and tugs a little. "Go back to making me feel good."

"Please, Master," Buster says. "May I use my mouth? I'll go slow," he adds quickly.

"Yeah," Lincecum says. "And keep your hands on me too. You have no idea how fucking awesome touching is when you're stoned."

Actually, Buster does, but he's not about to be careless again. "Yes, Master."

He settles in between Lincecum's spread legs, keeping one hand on Lincecum's hip. Lincecum's only half hard, but Buster's fine with that; he nuzzles his cheek against Lincecum's dick and kisses the inside of his thigh. Lincecum shivers but doesn't act like it tickles, so Buster kisses his way down Lincecum's thigh and then up back up the other one. He takes it slow, pressing his lips against the smooth skin and keeping them there for a second or two before moving on.

Lincecum's hard by the time Buster reaches his dick again and he sighs a little as Buster kisses his way from the base to the head and back down again. Instead of sucking him right away, Buster licks Lincecum's dick--nice and slow and easy.

"Oh yeah, that's...that's good." Lincecum reaches down and pets Buster's hair and neck sort of aimlessly. Buster tries the same thing with his Master, touching him with slow easy strokes of his hands over the smooth skin of Lincecum's thighs.

"You ever top? Like...someone who's not a slave too?" Lincecum asks with a giggle. "I mean...can't imagine it, but...I know some of you boys do."

Buster raises his head a little and hopes he doesn't sound too worried. "I have, Master. Not with either of my owners, but their friends. If someone tells me they want me to do it...."

"Well, duh. And I'm not gonna tell you to do me or anything. Or Hunter. Only me...with him I mean. Not very often."

Even though it answers one of Buster questions about them, there's nothing he can say to that, so he just lowers his head and starts running his tongue up Linceum's dick. He wonders if Linceucm wants Buster to use his fingers, but no, probably not. Too bad, Buster thinks with a smile. Being touched and getting a blowjob are pretty good when you're stoned, but getting fingered is even better.

But Lincecum surprises him. "Hang on," he says, twisting around a little. A moment later, something hits Buster in the shoulder. "Sorry," Lincecum says as Buster picks up the bottle of lube. "Just your fingers...go easy, okay?"

"Yes, Master," Buster says with a smile.

He's generous with the lube and cautious as he slides his fingers down behind Lincecum's balls. Lincecum responds--spreading his legs and humming a little. "Mmmmm...that's nice."

Maybe, Buster thinks, remembering a thought he's had more than once. Maybe this is what vanilla people do. But no, it's not like he's going to forget that he's here to serve. It's almost impossible to think of Lincecum as his...partner? Boyfriend? Buster shakes his head and runs his tongue over the head of Lincecum's dick. No, he really can't see it. For one thing, even though he hasn't been here that long, he already can't imagine Lincecum without Hunter in his life.

"Yeah," Lincecum says. When Buster carefully presses a finger in, Lincecum squirms a little. "Just that," he says.

Buster hums agreement and slowly slides his mouth down over Lincecum's dick. He's going even slower than he does with Hunter, but he's using everything he's learned of what Lincecum likes. It seems to be working, if the way Lincecum's twisting and moaning.

"Gonna have to...remind you who's the top...'round here," Lincecum says with a little huff of laughter. "Not that you'd forget."

Lifting his head, Buster smiles a little as he replies. "I might not forget my place, Master, but I like being reminded of it anyway."

"I've noticed." Lincecum laughs again and pats Buster's shoulder. When Buster goes back down, taking Lincecum's dick all the way in with one, slow, easy glide of his mouth, Lincecum catches his breath. "You're such...fuck...a good boy."

Buster's caught up enough in making Lincecum feel good that he doesn't even think, no I'm not. He sucks just a little harder and crooks his finger, rubbing in just the right place.

"Fuck," Lincecum groans as he comes. "Oh fuck...."

When Buster raises his head and then sits up, Lincecum looks up at him with sleepy eyes. "Hunter's right...you're a cocksucking slut." He sounds oddly affectionate.

"Thank you, Master," Buster says with a smile.

"Towel," Lincecum says. "Go clean up and then...I'm sticky."

Lincecum's half asleep when Buster comes back from the bathroom. "You crawled, didn't you?"

"Yes, Master."

"Probably wouldn't have cared...."

"I would care, Master. It wouldn't feel right." Buster settles down on the bed with a warm wash cloth and a towel.

"Yeah, I figured," Lincecum says. He opens his eyes and looks at Buster while Buster cleans him up a little. "Earlier...bugged you when I asked you to...you know, look me over like that."

"Yes, Master. I'm not supposed to think of you that way."

"Two things," Lincecum says and then falls silent. Just as Buster thinks he's fallen asleep, he speaks again. "Don't like the idea of thought crimes."

Buster goes as far as taking that initial breath, before he closes his mouth again.

"What?" Lincecum asks and God, it's not fair. Buster's Master is stoned and he's still seeing more than Buster wants him to see Or maybe Buster's just being sloppy because Lincecum's stoned.

"I don't think of it as a thought crime, Master. It's...it's about me needing to be mindful." As always, Buster feels like an idiot trying to explain something like this to someone who hasn't gone through training.

"Huh...." There's a long silence again, during which Buster ditches the towels on the floor near the head of the bed where no one will trip over them.

"Do you want me to stay, Master?"

 

"Hmmmm? Yeah." Lincecum reaches out and rests a hand on Buster's arm. "Come back up here."

Once Buster's settled, Lincecum surprises the hell out of him, sliding down in the bed until his head rests on Buster's thigh. "Comfy," Lincecum says. "Put your hand on me again."

"Yes, Master." Buster rests his hand on Lincecum's shoulder.

"Second thing...I forgot it." Lincecum frowns. "Oh yeah...it's funny. Even if I was all subby, I'd never make it through."

"Honestly, Master, the thought of you being subby...."

"I know, right?"

They stay like that for a long time and finally Lincecum lets out a deep breath. "'Kay...gonna sleep now. Stay with me?" He makes a vague gesture. "Can use the iPad...got games on it."

"I'll stay Master."

"Good boy...." Lincecum pats Buster's thigh. "Never wanted Tyler to...do this for me."

Buster has no idea how to reply, but Lincecum just pats him again, curls up next to him and falls asleep. Like a cat, Buster thinks with a little smile.

Maybe it's strange, seeing his Master like this or when he looks so vulnerable during sex, but more and more, Buster's thinking it's a privilege. Comparing yourself with your owner's last slave is sort of frowned on, at least by the Trainers, but it happens all the time. Now, Buster wonders if Lincecum ever let himself be vulnerable at all around Tyler. And if he didn't, why is he letting Buster in like this?

* * *

Lincecum's headache, at least according to him, wasn't that bad.

"If that wasn't bad, Master," Buster says that evening while he works over Lincecum's shoulders and back. "I'd hate to see you go through a bad one."

"Didn't say it wasn't painful, just that I've had worse." Lincecum pauses and then laughs a little. "I'm not dead yet." He sounds like he's trying to do a British accent, but Buster has no idea why. Is it a quote he should recognize?

"Oh God," Lincecum says after a moment. "You've never seen any Monty Python, have you?"

"No, Master," Buster says.

"Jesus, you can't belong to a geek if you don't even speak the language. What else haven't you seen? Doctor Who? Battlestar Galactica? I mean, you must have seen some Star Trek at some point."

"One of the movies, Master," Buster says. "The one with Chris Pine."

"Seriously?" Lincecum twists under Buster and Buster sits back right away. "Once the Series is over," he says, grinning up at Buster. "We're going to educate you."

"I'm not really a science fiction kind of person," Master."

"Huh..." Lincecum rolls back over onto his stomach. If he minds being all but pinned to the bed by his own slave, he doesn't show it. In fact, he seems just as relaxed now as he did this morning when he was stoned. "Well, I won't force you, of course."

"I should have them write something in my next contract, Master."

"Hard limit," Lincecum says with a laugh. "Bad episodes of science fiction shows."

"But then I could be forced to watch bad episodes of shows like NCIS, Master."

"True. Of course with NCIS, even if the episode sucks, you still have Mark Harmon to look at. Dude sure works the silver fox look." Lincecum quiet except for a soft appreciative groan as Buster slowly runs an elbow down his spine. "Oh yeah," he murmurs. "You really are good."

"Thank you, Master."

By the time Buster's done with him, Lincecum's almost as relaxed as he was earlier when he was stoned.

"More, Master?"

"Nah...I'm good." Lincecum pauses. "I'm going to listen to the game tonight. Go get us some food and then stay up here with me."

It almost sounds like a request, not an order, but it doesn't matter; Buster doesn't want to be anywhere else.

"Yes, Master."

Buster hasn't listened to a ballgame in ages. It's nice, especially since he's sharing the moment with his Master. They both sprawl on the big bed and Lincecum feeds Buster sandwiches and chips and it's...it's intimate in a way Buster's not used to. The thought that maybe Lincecum wants or needs a submissive boyfriend and not a slave crosses Buster's mind again, but he's less certain of it. Lincecum should have someone someone like Brandon, someone who loves his Master, but still thinks of himself as a slave first.

"God, I'm so fucking spoiled," Lincecum says. The way it comes out of nowhere, right on the heels of Buster's thought, is a little odd, but then Lincecum speaks again. "These guys are okay. I mean they know their stuff, but they're not Jon and Dave or Kruk and Kuip."

"The Giants' broadcasters, Master?"

"Yeah. We're super lucky; our radio and TV guys are really good." He reaches out and runs his hand down Buster's shoulder. "You'll see next year."

When Buster says, "I'm looking forward to it," he means it.

"Okay," Lincecum says when the game is over and the Cards have won. "Come shower with me."

He's touched his Master more in the last day than he has since he got here, Buster thinks as he washes Lincecum's back. It's great--better than great--belonging to a sadist, but he likes serving this way too. Lincecum and Hunter are always asking him what he wants...well, he wants everything.

Everything they want, he tells himself firmly.

"Okay," Lincecum says as he settles back in bed. He had Buster blow him in the shower, but he didn't let Buster get off. "I'm gonna sleep now. Go and check with Hunter--see if they want you for anything."

"Yes, Master."

"Oh wait. Tell Hunter that I don't want you too banged up and you don't get to come. I've got plans for tomorrow; good thing it's a travel day. Well...I don't have actual plans, but I'll come up with something as I fall asleep."

"Good-night, Master."

"Night."

Buster can't help smiling as he walks down the hall. Even as he's falling asleep, Lincecum's thinking about what he wants to do to Buster and that's a huge fucking turn on. Buster's not even sure what he hopes Lincecum will come up with. Anything, he thinks. Anything Master wants.

Chapter Text

The next afternoon, Buster finds out what Lincecum came up with just before he went to sleep the night before. What is Master wants, as near as Buster can tell, is to remind Buster that in some ways, Buster's just a thing. It should be jarring after the day before, but Buster feels almost comforted as Hunter throws a few towels down over the pool table and then ties Buster to it. Buster's blindfolded, gagged with a gag like the one Bumgarner used on him and, before leaving him alone, Hunter lubes him up and pushes the big purple butt plug up his ass.

Buster's got a pretty good idea of what's going to happen next and sure enough, after a half hour or so, someone pulls the plug out and fucks him. Buster thinks it's Hunter, but it really doesn't matter. What matters is what's happening, not who's doing it.

No one beats him, but over the--very long--course of the afternoon and early evening, they fuck him. They're gaming too; Buster can hear them trash talking over the sounds of the game and every once in a while someone sends Brandon to the kitchen for more drinks and snacks. They also let Brandon fuck him. Twice. Buster only knows it's Brandon because the tops stop gaming to watch and comment.

"Your boy's got some real stamina," Hunter says the second time.

"Yeah, once he gets going, he's good for the long haul," Bumgarner drawls.

If Buster could talk--if anyone asked him--he'd have to agree. He's already been fucked three times and each hard thrust from Brandon hurts in all the best ways. Buster bites down on the gag and reminds himself that he can't come. So far, he's been lucky and had enough time in between rounds to regain his control. But now...now it feels like Brandon's going to go all fucking night.

Lincecum said he was going to remind Buster of his place and that's exactly what he's done. Buster's a slave getting fucked by another slave for their Masters' entertainment and right now that's all he wants to be.

"Should I send Brandon down to the kitchen to get some Crisco?" Lincecum says some unknown time after Brandon's done with him.

"Stop trying to be old school," Hunter says.

"Hey, I'm over thirty."

Buster ignores their banter and flexes his fingers hard, digging into the towel under him. Brandon fucked him for what seemed like forever and now, apparently, his Master wants to fist him.

"Anyway," Hunter says as Buster tries to spread his legs a little wider, just to see if he can. "You could use regular lube. He's ready enough and he clearly wants it."

Buster's not so sure about that last part...no, who is he trying to fool here? Of course he wants it, even if it's going to hurt. He squirms again, even though the ropes tying him to the pool table don't really let him move too much.

"No," Lincecum says. "I told him early on it wouldn't be like this the first time."

Before Buster can do more than whine a little in disappointment, he feels Lincecum's hand on his lower back. Lincecum's hair brushes Buster's shoulder as he leans in to speak right in Buster's ear. "I'm gonna want to see your face," he murmurs. "I'm gonna want to hear you beg. I'll go so slow, so nice and easy that it won't hurt, but I'm going to wind you up so much, get you so frustrated, that you'll cry for me anyway."

Please, Buster thinks. Please...oh God, please.

"C'mon," Lincecum says in a more normal tone of voice as he stands up. "I want to play some Halo." He slaps Buster's ass once and Buster can hear him walk away.

"Dunno why," Bumgarner says. "You suck at it."

Later, hours later, after Buster's been fucked two more times, Lincecum tells Brandon to get Buster down to his room. "Get him off," Lincecum says, once Buster's untied and leaning on Brandon. "However you want...play with him if you feel like it."

Buster's still gagged and blindfolded, but he turns in Linccum's direction when Lincecum says his name. "You can come, but only when Brandon tells you too."

As Brandon says, "thank you, Sir," Buster nods. He's so far down that it makes perfect sense to let Brandon take over and lead him out the door and down the hall. He could easily reach up and take off the blindfold, but it doesn't really occur to him.

When they reach Buster's room, Buster goes right down on his knees, not caring that he's kneeling for another slave. It's so good, being in this kind of headspace. Lincecum never lets him shut everything out like this and he's missed it so much.

"Well, okay," Brandon says. "You had a pretty long day. You just wanna get off and go to bed?"

Buster bows his head a little--it's up to you. That's good too, not having to say what he wants. He wouldn't say it, wouldn't ask for anything, even if he wasn't gagged.

"Huh...." Brandon laughs a little. "God knows I can't fuck you again. Can't even use your mouth; I'm done for the night."

Buster hears him move, so he's prepared when Brandon grabs his arm and hauls him to his feet. "Guys used to think a big guy like me had to be a top." As he speaks, he pulls Buster across the room. "Most of it does nothing for me, but every once in a while, there would be a guy with a really nice ass...."

Brandon tugs on Buster's arm hard. He must have just sat down, because when he tugs one more time, Buster ends up sprawled across Brandon's lap.

"Cross your hands," Brandon says and he might not be a top, but he sure as fuck sounds bossy. "Wrists at the small of your back and get that ass in the air. C'mon, Dude, I'm doing you a favor here. Show me how much you want it."

Normally that "Dude" would have Buster laughing, but he's way too far gone to even notice. He slides his knees apart, raises his ass and whines in the back of his throat.

"Nice," Brandon says. He shifts a little and it's all the warning Buster gets before Brandon's hand slams down on to his ass.

There's no slow build up, no finesse--Brandon starts in hard and keeps going that way. It's good--it's fucking brilliant--and long before he would have expected, Buster's breath hitches in his throat and he goes limp over Brandon's lap, tears welling up in the corners of his eyes.

Brandon stops almost immediately. "Okay, good," he says, reaching for the buckle of the gag. "Hang on...just hang on."

"I'm sorry...." Buster begins to say as soon as the gag's come off.

"Shut up," Brandon says, his voice gentle. "Just...it's okay." He twists a little and tugs on Buster until Buster's half in his lap. "It's okay."

Leaning against Brandon's shoulder, Buster just lets go and cries. He doesn't even know why--Brandon certainly didn't hurt him enough to make him break down like this. All he knows is that he needs it and, apparently, Brandon understands. Not only is he letting Buster cling to him, he also hasn't removed the blindfold. It makes it a whole lot easier to cry like this, even though the thick felt against Buster's eyes is getting wet. It's safe and almost anonymous, and Buster cries harder.

He keeps waiting to stop crying; this has to be a reaction to being fucked so many times today. He hurts and he didn't get to come and Brandon's being so nice to him and....

He can't stop. He gulps in deep breaths and squeezes his eyes closed and tries to stop, but he can't. It's like there's this great big weight on his chest and you'd think all the crying would make it go away, but it just gets worse.

"I can't," Buster mumbles. "Can't stop...."

"Okay," Brandon says quietly. "I'm gonna take this off you now." He keeps one hand on Buster's back and reaches up to pull the blindfold off. "It's okay," he says.

Buster shakes his head because no, it's really not okay; he's not okay. "Can't stop...." he says again.

"Then don't," Brandon says. "Just cry until you don't need to cry any more." He pulls Buster a little closer and just keeps stroking Buster's back. "Just cry it out...."

It's not like that. The more Buster cries, the more freaked out he gets. The weight in his chest, that thick knot of tension, isn't going away. It's getting worse, even as he tries to stop crying.

"Are you really hurting?" Brandon asks as Buster keeps crying. "You got fucked a lot tonight."

"Hurts," Buster say. "But not because of that." He takes another deep breath and then another and finally, he's got it under control. Or at least a little; he's still shaky and, although it's lessened, that weight is still pressing on his chest.

"I just don't know what they want" he says and as soon as he says it, he has to swallow hard and blink. "I just...I don't know."

"You seem to be giving them what they want." Brandon strokes Buster's back and leans over to grab a towel off the nightstand. Buster takes it with a muttered thanks and tries to mop off his face.

"I can't get...I dunno, all the way there, you know?" And just like that, that weight is suddenly a big ball of anger. He slides off Brandon's lap and winces--he's sore and he's a sticky mess, but he still has to get off the bed and move. "Tonight was good, really good. I went down and it was like it's supposed to be."

"You seemed pretty far down that night down in the basement. And other times."

"That night in the basement, I didn't have to meet anyone's eyes." Buster scowls and keeps pacing. "Most of the time...I'm still thinking. Tonight I would have just let you guys do anything." He turns and looks at Brandon. "I even went down for you. Or at least I stayed down."

"And the difference was the blindfold? Not having to meet their eyes?"

"That was part of it. And no one asked me what I wanted." Buster takes deep breath, but the anger is still there. "But most of the time, they won't let me go down like that. They make me keep my eyes open and they keep asking me what I want. I can't give up and give in and give myself over because they won't fucking let me! How can I be a good slave when my Master keeps pulling me out of headspace? How can I be a good slave if they won't tell me what they want? I'm missing something and they won't tell me." He sucks in another deep breath and clenches his fists.

"How am I supposed to do this right when they don't?"

When he falls silent, Brandon just looks at him for a few moments. "You done?" he finally says.

Buster thinks it over and no, he doesn't think he's done, but he he's running out of words. "They just won't let me." He gestures--throwing his hands up a little. "Okay, yeah. I'm done. For now."

Brandon looks at him again and then shakes his head. "Did you even listen to yourself just now?"

It's not the sympathy Buster was expecting. Brandon sounds more exasperated than anything else.

"What do you mean?" Buster asks, scowling again.

"They're not doing it right? Your Master and Hunter are the reasons you can't submit as much as you think you should?"

"Yes!" Buster snaps.

"Okay, I know you don't think of me as a real slave...."

"What? I do too."

"No you don't. You're a lot nicer about it than most slaves and you don't condescend very much, but c'mon, be honest. You think of me as Master's boyfriend first and his slave second."

"No I," Buster begins. He pauses and thinks about it and, dammit, Brandon's right. "I'm sorry," he says, his anger derailed for a moment. "I shouldn't be so judgmental."

"It's okay," Brandon says. "I mean, you're kind of right, you know?" He shrugs. "But here's the thing...." Instead of finishing the sentence he sighs.

"What?"

"I like you, okay? I think you're really good at all this and you're a good guy, but right now? Right now, you're being an arrogant idiot."

"I said I was sorry...."

"No, not that. Think about what you said earlier--you basically said your Master isn't the kind of Master you want him to be. Because of him you think you can't be the right kind of slave, the kind you think you should be."

"I...um, I don't know if that's exactly what I said, but...."

"But what? Since when is it up to you to decide what kind of slave you're going to be? I might not be a real slave, but even I know that it's not about us and what we want."

"I never said it was." Buster hates how defensive he suddenly feels. "All I want is to be a good slave for my Master."

"By whose definition? Yours or his?" Brandon pauses. "I've heard you say that to him...how you want to be good. And I'm not saying that you don't mean it, just that you need to figure out what 'good' means here, in this house."

Blinking a little, Buster thinks about what Brandon just said. "I don't get it," he says, hating that he sounds as confused as he feels. "A good slave is...you know what a good slave is."

"It's not set in fucking stone," Brandon says. "We talked about it the other day--how you wouldn't be a good fit for Master. And, as much as they like using me when I'm here, I'm not their kind of boy."

"Am I?" Buster runs a hand through his hair. "I thought maybe I was but now, I don't know," he says before Brandon can answer. "I'm missing something...there's something they want from me and I don't know what it is."

"Have you asked...no, of course you haven't." Brandon sounds exasperated again.

"I'm supposed to figure out what they want," Buster says. "But since I can't, I was planning on asking." He takes a shaky breath and tries to keep from crying again. "I should know...I'm good at this. Or I was...fuck. I really don't want to think...it's too much and I can't. Not now." And wow, he's pretty incoherent, but Brandon nods and stands up.

"C'mon. Let's get you into the shower. It'll make you feel better."

Buster really didn't think there was enough room in the shower for both of them, but somehow Brandon manages to squeeze in with him. "Let me," Brandon says and he still sounds a little toppy. Buster's not in headspace, not at all, but it's still nice to let someone take care of him.

He keeps trying to not to think about what Brandon said; he's just not ready to process it yet. But he can't help it. Has he really been doing that? Really trying to fit his Master and Hunter into his own idea of what Establishment tops--owners--should be like? He's not sure. They're owners and they're part of the illusion and they're supposed to act a certain way. Aren't they?

Buster shakes his head--he really really doesn't want to try to figure this out now. "Dammit," he mutters.

"What?" Brandon asks. He's been washing Buster's back and now he stops, hand just above Buster's ass.

"Trying not to think," Buster says.

"Really?" Before Buster can answer, Brandon slides his hand around Buster's hip. "I got you."

"Yeah," Buster says. Leaning back against Brandon, he tries to relax.

Buster's sure Brandon's as good with his hands as he is with his mouth, but he doesn't get much of a chance to find out. By the time Brandon's hand presses against Buster's dick, Buster's already half hard. "C'mon," he mutters under his breath.

"Okay," Brandon says. He wraps his hand around Buster's dick and starts to jack him hard and fast. It's just what Buster needs, or least he thought it was until Brandon nuzzles his neck and bites down hard. And that...yeah, that's what Buster needs--that little shock of pain to get him out of his head.

"Fuck," he groans. "Oh fuck that's...." He wants to come, but he's not sure he can.

"It's okay," Brandon says. He obviously knows what's the problem is, because he adds, "Remember? Your Master said you could." He bites Buster's shoulder again and Buster groans and comes hard.

It's good--good enough that Buster has to lean on Brandon to keep from falling over. His mind is quiet and it stays that way while Brandon rinses him off and gets him back to his room. "Thank you," he murmurs as Brandon helps him into bed.

Buster's half asleep when Bumgarner shows up to lock them up. Blinking, he tries to get his shit together and get out of bed so he can kneel.

"Nah," Bumgarner says. "Stay where you are."

"Thank you, Sir," Buster says. There's something else he needs to say...oh right. "Brandon took very good care of me, Sir."

"He damn well better have," Bumgarner says as he clips the chain to Buster's collar.

"Mind if I put some rain on?" Buster says a few minutes later. Bumgarner's gone and Buster's still on the edge of sleep.

"Go ahead," Brandon says.

It helps, like it usually does, and Buster drifts off without thinking about much of anything.

He's not sure what time it is when he wakes up, but it's late. Brandon's breathing deeply and Buster's sure everyone else has gone to bed too. It's not like Buster can hear anything from down here, but somehow the house feels silent. Sure enough--it's 4:30 when Buster checks his phone.

As he rolls over and looks up at the ceiling, the whole conversation he had with Brandon comes back. Just like that, the weight settles in his chest again and it's even worse now, because Buster knows that Brandon was right. Buster's been angry at his Master, not because Lincecum is stepping over the line and being abusive, but because he isn't acting the way Buster thinks he should act.

God, he's been...he's been....

And just like that, he's fucking crying again. He buries his face in the pillow, but apparently he didn't do it fast enough.

"Hey," Brandon says, his voice rough with sleep. "You okay?"

"No," Buster says. "Sorry. I shouldn't be crying...." He takes a deep shaky breath. "I need you to...can you do something for me? Please?"

"Sure; what do you need?"

"Can you take breakfast in?" Buster blinks and, for the moment, manages to stop crying. Sitting up he reaches for the clip on his chain. It feels really wrong to unclip it, but he does it anyway; it's pretty much the least of his offenses right now.

"What're you doing?" Even in the dim light, Buster can see Brandon's frown. "You're not leaving, are you? They won't stop you even if you wait until morning. They can't."

"No," Buster says. "I'm not leaving. I need to go upstairs and...and...just take breakfast up, please?"

"Yeah, okay."

"Sorry I woke you up," Buster says as he gets out of bed.

"It's okay...I'll drop right off again." Brandon pauses. "Buster, it'll be okay."

Buster stands in the doorway and looks at Brandon. "Will it?"

Buster walks slowly through the dark quiet house until he reaches the door to Lincecum's suite. For a moment he thinks about knocking, but no. This isn't about needing aftercare; he can't interrupt his Master's sleep over it.

Going down on his knees just outside the door, he stares blankly down the hall. He wishes he was still downstairs in his bed, fast asleep and not thinking about this. But he can't just sleep until this goes away; he's got to be here, waiting for his Master to get up so he can beg to be punished. So he can tell Lincecum....

So he can say he's been a bad slave. Not naughty in a "oh please spank me" way, but bad as in not good. He's an embarrassment to his Master's household, his trainers, and the Establishment itself, and it's no one's fault but his.

Buster bites his lip and goes down, putting his head to the floor. He's got maybe three hours before someone gets up, but he can alternate between kneeling and obisience without getting tired or sore. But there's no mindful, not quite meditation to be had--no patient waiting to be done. Not tonight. He needs to be here--right here--and think about what he's done. How he's screwed everything up.

Right now you're being an arrogant idiot.

Brandon, Buster thinks, was putting it mildly.

God, he's been so fucking proud, so fucking impressed with himself. He bragged to both Brandon and Hunter about being the guy who never used a safeword. He remembers talking to Brad and how he liked being told he was hardcore, and yeah, it's not about him, and certainly not about how good he is, except that, in his head, it really is.

He's been a good slave for over four years now, as close to perfect as anyone can get. Neither of his prior owners ever had to punish him very much; during his last year in Mr. Koffman's service, Buster wasn't punished once. So maybe it's not surprising that he's got it in his head that he knows everything there is to know about being a slave. He's been so sure he knows how to do it right.

Biting his lip, Buster looks down at the carpet. He was so sure he knew it all that he thought he could assess his own Master, like he was a Trainer or a Finder or something like that. Even worse, he's had the fucking nerve to be mad at Lincecum and Hunter for not being up to Buster's own standards.

He can feel tears behind his eyes again and Jesus fucking Christ is he gonna fucking cry all fucking night? He kneels up and maybe Brandon was right about this too. Maybe he just needs to cry it out. Even as he lets the tears come, he keeps his hands on his thighs and his back straight, and fuck, he should have spent some of his free time using his fucking mind instead of practicing postures and positions he can do in his sleep.

When he thinks this latest round of crying is over, Buster wipes his eyes and takes a deep breath. He's not sure the tears helped all that much; all the crying in the world won't make up for the fact that he's fucking failed. The whole time he's been here, he's had Mistress Allyson's words about his posture in the back of his head. But she said other things too--when he'd said something about it not being about him, she'd asked if he really believed that. At the time, he'd been so sure he did believe it, so sure his only purpose as a slave was to please his Master.

Buster still thinks his only purpose is to serve, but now he has to deal with the fact that he hasn't been acting that way at all. Well no, he's been acting like he's here to serve, but only in certain ways and only if his Master asks for things that...things that are easy for Buster. And God, after all those years of being so fucking smug about being able to do anything, no matter how hard it was, it turns out he's that slave--the one who only wants to submit on his own terms.

God, Brandon's a better slave than he is, because he does things the hard way when he doesn't have to--Bumgarner would still want him even if he weren't an Establishment slave. And Buster had the nerve to think he's somehow a "real slave" and Brandon isn't?

It's getting to be too much; if he keeps thinking about it...well, right now he just can't. Instead, he bends down into obisience again, only this time he does try to let his mind go still. It's not easy, but this, at least, seems to be one difficult thing he's capable of.

Buster's not sure how long he's held position, but when he starts feeling it in his back, he kneels up again. Although he should be able to keep his mind quiet, something about changing position makes him start thinking again. He can't help thinking about all the ways he's been wrong--why didn't he ask what they wanted as soon as it became clear he didn't know? Yes, he's supposed to know what his Master wants but obviously he's not good enough to do that and that's not Lincecum's fault. Why did he think his Master was the one who didn't know what he wanted when it's pretty obvious Lincecum knows exactly what he wants?

Because, Buster thinks. Because he was...is too proud. Slaves aren't supposed to have any pride at all, and that's just one more thing Buster's screwed up. Dwelling on it gets to be too much again so Buster bends down and slows his breathing. He's able to calm down a little, able to think about nothing for some unknown time.

He spends the rest of the night going back and forth like that--kneeling and thinking about how much he's fucked it up until that gets to be too much and he puts his head down again. He cries a little more, even though he doesn't want to. It's just...it hurts. He's been so wrong about so much and he's scared because what if this turns out to be the same thing that happened back in college?

It sure feels a lot like that day when he sat outside Coach's office, waiting to be told what he already knew--he wasn't going to make the team next year. He'd played that one, last, meaningless, game anyway, only to get blown up at the plate. Maybe this time he'll just walk away instead. Spare himself the pain.

Fuck, he thinks and puts his head back to the floor again.

He's still down when, some unknown time later, he hears a door down the hall open and then close. Although Buster comes out of his half dozing state, he maintains his position.

"What the fuck?"

At least, Buster thinks, it's Hunter and not Bumgarner.

"What the hell are you doing up here?"

"Waiting for Master, Sir," Buster says. "I've...I deserve punishment."

"Well yeah, seeing as you're not where you belong. Kneel up and tell me what's going on." Buster obeys, but before he can figure out what to say, Hunter takes one look at him and swears again. "Fuck, this is something serious, isn't it?"

Swallowing hard, Buster nods. He's not sure he wants to talk about this with Hunter but, thankfully, Hunter just shakes his head.

"Save it for Tim," he says. As he opens Lincecum's door, Buster hears him mutter. "I was afraid this would...."

Hunter leaves the door open and even though Buster's gone back down into obisience again, he can hear Hunter.

"Tim. Fuck...c'mon, wake the fuck up, would you?" Lincecum must have said something, but Buster can't hear him. "Because we've got a problem," Hunter says. "It's Buster...he's out in the hall."

"Huh? What's he doing out there?" Lincecum's voice is thick and Buster winces because now, on top of everything else, it's his fault that his Master had to wake up early.

"I have no idea but he's pretty upset."

"Shit, I can't fucking deal before coffee. Tell him to...."

"No," Hunter says firmly. "You need to wake the fuck up. He's not one of the dogs, Timmy. You can't just put him off."

"Dude what the hell...okay, fine." Buster hears Lincecum moving around for a few moments. "Okay, Buster, get your ass in here," he calls out. "This better be really fucking important."

Buster glances up quickly before lowering his head and crawling into the room. Lincecum's sitting on the edge of the bed wrapped in a robe and Hunter's leaning against the wall near the head of the bed, his arms crossed.

There's a long moment of silence once Buster goes back down, forehead to the floor in front of the bed.

"What have you done?" Lincecum finally asks. "Kneel up and tell me."

Even though Buster's spent the last couple of hours dwelling on every last little mistake he's made, he doesn't know what to say when he looks up and meets Lincecum's eyes. He stares up at his Master helplessly, trying not to break into tears yet again.

"Buster." Lincecum's still frowning a little, but he sounds more concerned than annoyed. "Try to tell me what's wrong."

"Everything," Buster says. "Master, I've been...I am a terrible slave."

"What? No, you're not."

"You don't know," Buster says. "I...oh God, I've been so proud, Master...." Before Buster can finish, Lincecum shakes his head.

"I don't believe that bullshit about slaves not having any...."

"Shut up, Tim," Hunter says. "And let the man talk."

"Who the hell is in charge here?" Lincecum takes a deep breath. "Buster, there's nothing wrong with being proud of yourself. Not in this household."

"There is when it makes me think...when I think you're not...not a good Master."

"Huh?"

"I've been angry because I thought you were doing it wrong." Buster frowns; he hates that he's not explaining himself well at all. "The things...the way you do things, the way you want me to behave, makes it hard for me to...to submit. And instead of trying to do better, instead of asking you what you wanted, I've blamed you. You don't...fit my idea of what an owner should be, and so I started thinking that you're not a good owner. That you don't do things the right way."

"Shit," Lincecum mutters.

"I told you...."

"Don't start with me. I swear to God, Hunter...."

"No, you listen to me. I told you to stop messing with his head and you didn't pay attention and now...." Hunter throws his hands up. "Now here we are. Fuck it; I'm not cleaning up your mess this time. You're on your on your own."

Buster stays frozen in place as Hunter heads toward the door. "I mean it," Hunter says, his hand on the doorknob. "You fucked this up...you fix it."

The silence after Hunter leaves is absolute and almost oppressive. Buster tries to meet Lincecum's gaze, but Lincecum buries his head in his hands. "Fuck fuck fuck...."

It's awful and all Buster can think is that this is his fault too. "I'm sorry, Master," he says. "I'm so sorry...if I was a better slave...." And maybe it's awful, but things can, apparently, get worse; Buster feels tears gathering in the corners of his eyes and try as he might, he can't keep them from falling.

"I knew something was wrong...I knew you wanted something from me and I didn't know what it was. I was too proud to ask and...I thought I was so good, but really I'm not. I'm lazy and I want it to be...to be easy like it always has been."

"Stop," Lincecum says. "Just...stop talking for a minute."

Buster nods, even though Lincecum can't see him. He's still crying though and thank God Luncecum didn't ask him to stop that, because he's not sure he'll ever be able to stop.

"Okay," Lincecum says as he finally raises his head and looks at Buster. "I need to understand this. What you're saying is that I don't do things the way you're used to and that...what? Upset you?"

"It made me angry, Master. And...confused. Because I couldn't...." Buster's voice trails off as the last piece falls into place. "Because I couldn't control what was happening to me...fuck, I'm such a fucking failure."

"That's not your decision to make," Lincecum says firmly. He opens his mouth to continue and the pauses. "No, that's not right. Look, I get that you feel like you've failed. I'm not trying to...I dunno, invalidate your feelings or anything. But I never thought you were trying to control things."

"Not...it's...fuck." Buster takes a deep breath and lets it out. He does it again and then again and somehow he's able to stop crying and actually think. "I don't know if this is going to make sense, Master."

"Try me."

"I tell people that this...the Establishment and its brand of sex slavery. I say it's an illusion, that it has to be an illusion that we all sign off on or it won't work. And it is, but somewhere along the line, I got it In my head that there's only one way of doing things, only one script. And if I keep to that script and if everyone around me keeps to that script then I can never really be surprised or put off balance by what happens." Even as everything falls into place in his head, Buster feels adrift; he's not who he thought he was and he doesn't know how to handle that.

"It's safe. You're safe. Not because you trust any one person, but because you trust this...ideal. You trust the script."

Put that way it makes Buster's failure even more apparent, but Lincecum's right. "Yes, Master. And I'm...I'm good at that one script, but as soon as it changes, apparently, I don't know what to do."

"And you really really don't like not knowing what to do."

"I really don't Master. So...I blamed you. I...." Buster bites his lip. "I thought that it was your fault I couldn't go into headspace."

"You know what I'm hearing here?"

"That I'm a failure."

"No. That you think you're a failure because you're not the perfect slave. You've always been perfect, haven't you?"

"No, Master I haven't," Buster says. "But I've always thought I was as close as anyone can get."

"Right." Lincecum sighs. "Hunter should have kept his mouth shut, but maybe it's a good thing he didn't. He thought I was just messing with you, pushing you out of your comfort zone just for the hell of it."

Lincecum pauses and gives Buster an odd look. "You don't seem to be...I dunno, upset by that."

"It's your privilege, Master. I just...I forgot that."

"Okay, yeah, the script says I can do that, but I wasn't. Well no, I kinda was. But...fuck."

"Master," Buster says after it becomes obvious Lincecum isn't going to say more. "Master, you don't have to explain."

"I don't have to do anything," Lincecum says. "But...look, I think we need to talk. I know that part of what you call the illusion--and I like that analogy, by the way. Part of it is that, because I own you, we don't have to negotiate."

"Yes, Master."

"And we're all very smug about it, aren't we? I mean, I like Bum a lot; he's a good friend. And I think Brandon is a very very good boy. But sometimes, I find myself thinking that they're really just scene people."

"Brandon says he gets that a lot. I know I thought of him that way."

"I'm not surprised. I mean, we're both snobs, you and I." Lincecum's matter of fact tone takes Buster by surprise even though Lincecum's totally right.

"But really, the only difference is that they negotiated with each other, whereas you negotiated your initial contract with a trainer and a lawyer." Linceucm smiles a little ruefully. "Well, they're also head over heels in love, but never mind that. My point is--I think we should negotiate."

"I...I don't know...." And now Lincecum really is messing with Buster's head. "Master, I never have and...."

"No, you haven't. You just took whatever anyone dished out, didn't you? Even before you became part of the Establishment."

"Yes, Master."

"You don't want to negotiate, do you?"

"Not really, Master." Buster hates saying no, but what kind of slave negotiates with his Master? Fuck there he goes again, trying to define how a slave behaves. "But I can try."

"Okay, but before we go any further, I have a question for you. This isn't a question from a Master to a slave. This is Tim asking Buster: do you want to leave? You can walk away from all of this and I will make sure that every penny I spent on you ends up in your hands."

"No!" Buster blinks rapidly and fights not to cry again. "Please...please don't send me away. I know I haven't been a good slave, but I haven't...I'm not lying when I say I want to be good for you. Please...please give me a chance to be good."

"That's not what I asked, Buster." Lincecum's voice is gentle, but Buster thinks he can hear a strained, almost nervous note underneath.

"I know," Buster says. "But that's...." His voice trails off as he looks right into Lincecum's eyes. Taking a deep breath to calm himself down, he says, "That's what I answered, Tim."

Lincecum closes his eyes and lets out a long, deep breath. He sounds--and looks--relieved and Buster finally feels like a little of the weight is gone from his own chest. When Lincecum opens his eyes again, he's smiling. "All right," he says. "All right, we can start from there. Actually, we can start with coffee. Go get us some breakfast, will you?"

"Yes, Master."

No one in the kitchen says anything out the ordinary as Ms. Mendez fixes up a breakfast tray, but the way they're all glancing at him makes it clear everyone knows something is up. Great, Buster thinks. He's upset the whole fucking household.

"Here," Lincecum says, when Buster brings the tray in. He pats the bed next to him. "Sit up here with me."

Buster's not sure he deserves the privilege, but he just bows his head and joins Lincecum on the bed.

"You know," Lincecum says after drinking half a cup of coffee. "I'm not treating you like an equal or forgetting what you are when I do stuff like this."

"Yes Master."

"But it bugs you sometimes."

"Right now, it feels like I don't deserve the privilege, Master. Other times...I'm not sure that you want a slave instead of...a slave like me instead of someone like Brandon." Buster ducks his head a little. "And I know it's up to you, but...it's the script, I guess."

""Really? Because that's not what it is, like, at all," Lincecum says, holding out a piece of fruit. "It's about trusting you, in a way."

Buster takes his time licking Lincecum's fingers clean. "Master?"

"Dude, of all the slaves I've owned or even been around, you're the least likely to forget your place."

"Oh," Buster says. "I...try not to, Master. But, I feel like I have."

"Because you've been judging me and Hunter and thinking that you know better than us."

"Yes, Master. I'm sorry."

"I know you are," Lincecum says. He offers Buster some toast and smiles as Buster eats it. "And believe me, you'll be punished for it."

"Thank you, Master."

"But see, you're not a puppy or a really little kid. I can feed you like this and when I punish you, you'll still know why. Won't you?"

"Yes, Master." Buster takes a deep breath. "Please, Master, may I ask you something? So I don't make the same...so I know what you want."

"Yeah. And it's about time."

The words sting a little, but Buster knows he deserves a lot worse. He bows his head and tries to find the words. "Then, please Master, please tell me what I've missed. Please tell your boy what you want from him?"

"Hmmm...here's the thing. When Hunter brought you here, I just wanted a new boy. And then I watched you..do you really not think you're not a control freak?"

"It's not...I know I am, Master, but I didn't realize how much."

"See, I kind of like that about you. I like forcing you past that composure you try to hang on to, so that kind of control is okay. I like that it's a struggle for you to let go and cry or to admit you need it." Lincecum presses his thumb against Buster's lips and Buster opens his mouth. Lincecum watches as Buster runs his tongue over Lincecum's thumb.

"What I don't like is when you try to hide from me. And here's the thing I realized pretty early on, what I want from you is you."

Buster's not sure what to make of that; he remains silent even as Lincecum's pulls his thumb out of Buster's mouth.

"So, yes, I push you because I like doing that, but while it's entertaining enough to see how much someone like Brandon can take, there's something about you that makes me really want to push you as hard as I can.

"I get that it's easy to submit if you have your eyes closed," Lincecum pauses and smiles. "Or so I've been given to understand. And it's always nice when someone goes under, but I want you to be going under for me. And here's the thing: I can get you down even if you have your eyes open. I've done it when you've trusted me instead of fighting me."

God, that hurts, Buster thinks. "I'm so sorry, Master. I should have...."

"What, known from the beginning what I wanted when I didn't know myself? You're good--I mean fuck, you're incredible--but not that good."

"But I'm not incredible, Master. I should have figured out. I should have tried harder instead of blaming you and...oh fuck." He's tearing up again and it's not the kind of crying Lincecum wants to see.

"Sometimes," Lincecum says quietly as he holds out a napkin. "Weeks and even months go by when nothing works for me. When I'm trying to reach for an idea and it's not there. I wake up in the middle of the night sure that whatever freaky thing that makes me think the way I do is gone. And that freaky thing defines me, you know?"

Buster tries to mop his face off and listen to Lincecum at the same time, but he can't seem to stop crying.

"It's scary," Lincecum says. "Because when you lose, or think you've lost, who you are...what's left?"

"Yeah," Buster says softly. "I'm sorry...."

"Stop apologizing. I'm trying to say I understand." He gives Buster a long look and then carefully sets the breakfast tray on the other side of the bed. "C'mere," he says and pats his thigh.

He really shouldn't, Buster thinks even as he leans forward and puts his head on Lincecum's thigh. Lincecum strokes his shoulder as Buster curls up a little. "You ever read stories about slave training? Like porn I mean."

"Yeah...yes, Master."

"It's okay, don't bother being formal." Lincecum keeps stroking his shoulder. "There's always this thing about 'breaking' someone, you know? It's always, like, at the center of the story. And I think it's bullshit. No one needs to be fucking broken down before they can be a good slave." He pauses and runs his fingers through Buster's hair. "But, that's what happened tonight, right? Maybe you didn't exactly break, but you kinda had your assumptions about yourself shaken up, didn't you?"

"Yeah," Buster says after taking a deep breath. "More than shaken up, really. It's like...I used to think I was hot shit as a ballplayer, you know?" He has no idea why he's telling Lincecum this, but it's like the crying--he can't stop.

"It must have been hard, being told you weren't."

"I just keep thinking the same thing I thought back then...if I can't do this, what do I have?"

"If you had said you wanted to leave, I'd have offered to find you a job. Not with someone in the Establishment or directly working for me, but at one of our subsidiaries." Lincecum gives Buster's hair a gentle tug. "You have an incredible memory, you understand how money moves, you get along with people--managing geeks is like herding fucking cats, but you'd be really good at it. Hell," he adds with a little laugh. "It wouldn't take much for you to get certified as a massage therapist again. Or you could travel or learn a new trade; between what you already have and what I paid for you, it's not like you need to work for a while."

"I could," Buster says. "And maybe someday I will, but...I don't know if I can explain, but this is what I want to be doing. It's where I need to be right now."

"You hear about people who really have a vocation for it, but I've never really met one until now. And I think that's what's making this even harder for you." He tugs on Buster's hair again--a little harder this time--until Buster looks up at him. "Listen to me: you're fucking good at this. I know you won't make excuses and I like that about you, but you haven't really been given a chance to show how good you can be."

"That's what my trainer said," Buster says. It still feels a little disloyal to Ms. Fowler and Mr. Koffman, but Lincecum and Mistress Allyson are both right.

Lincecum releases his hold on Buster's hair and Buster settles back down. "We, me and Hunter, I mean. We know Allyson; she recommended you to Hunter."

"I got that impression," Buster says. "And...." He trails off and then looks up at Lincecum again. "I'm glad she did, Master."

"Yeah?" Lincecum looks relieved again. "Me too."

They're silent for a while and it's nice. Buster seems to be done crying, but he's not sure he wants to move. "You know," Lincecum finally says. "Negotiation's overrated. How about this--since you're my slave and I'm your Master, we try doing things my way?"

"And not my way?"

"And not your way."

"Please, Master. I would like that very much."

As soon as Buster's done speaking, Lincecum reaches down and grabs the ring on Buster's collar. "You are, aren't you? My slave?"

"Yes, Master," Buster says, looking up at him. "Yours."

"Good. Now that we've made that clear, I want you on your knees next to the bed."

"Yes, Master," Buster says as he moves off the bed into position on the floor.

"All right, let's do this formally." Lincecum turns on the bed so he's sitting on the edge right in front of Buster. "Tell me what you did wrong. "

Meeting his Master's eyes isn't easy, but it's not supposed to be easy. "This slave was proud and too stubborn, Master," he says, trying to get his head around formal voice again. "Your boy resented your rules and instead of trying to do as he was told, your slave got angry at you. Your boy thought his definition of a good slave was the only one. Your slave thought he got to decide how a slave should act in his Master's house."

"And who decides how a slave acts in this house?"

"You, Master."

"Go ahead," Lincecum says and Buster knows exactly what he means.

"Please, Master," he says. "Your slave deserves punishment."

"How?"

"However you wish, Master." Buster swallows hard but, to his surprise, he doesn't feel like crying. "Please, Master, punish your slave."

"Oh, you can count on that."

They look at one another silently for a long moment and Buster hopes Lincecum can read him, can tell just how sorry Buster is.

"I'm going to leave you alone," Lincecum finally says. "You'll spend the next two days downstairs in the basement. There's a mat down there you can sleep on and there's a bathroom you can use. You'll be chained up, and you are not to touch any of the furniture or the toys that are in reach. And, of course, your computer, phone and Kindle will stay up in your room. Ellie will bring your meals to you and you will make damn sure you thank her for the extra effort."

"Yes, Master. This slave thanks his Master." Buster's not sure what he was expecting but this is pretty harsh. Two days with absolutely nothing to do and no one to talk to, because he's pretty sure Ellie will have instructions to give him his food and go. Nothing to do, he thinks, but dwell on his mistakes.

"Don't thank me yet; I'm not done. At the end of the second day, I'm going to come down and beat you until I think you've had enough. It won't be fun; I can pretty much promise you won't enjoy it." Lincecum frowns. "And I'm not going to particularly enjoy it either."

No apologies are allowed in a situation like this. At least not yet. Buster just nods.

"Finally, there are cameras down there, but we're not going to activate them. I trust you."

"Your slave is grateful for his Master's trust."

"Formal voice is easier to believe when you're looking at me, but that's enough of it for now."

"Yes, Master." Buster opens his mouth to speak and decides not to.

"What?"

"Formal voice or not, Master, I mean every word of it. I am grateful for the punishment and for your trust."

Lincecum nods. "I know." He pauses for a moment. "And don't spend too much time down there second guessing yourself, okay? You deserve to be punished, but you're not a failure. You're just not perfect, which...welcome to the human race."

Buster can't help smiling just a little even though he knows damn well he'll spend time second guessing himself. "Thank you, Master."

"Now here," Lincecum says, holding down a piece of fruit. "That's the last time I feed you until your punishment is over."

Buster presses a kiss to the tips of Lincecum's fingers instead of licking them. "I'll miss that, Master."

"Yeah, me too."

It's still not time for an apology, so Buster kisses Lincecum's fingers again and tries to look as sorry as he feels.

"Okay, put your head down for now."

"Yes, Master."

Buster feels better now that he knows what his punishment is. It's rough, but not too horrible and it is, he thinks, fair.

It's only after Lincecum's finished breakfast and dressed that he nudges Buster with the toe of his shoe. "Up on your feet. You can take the tray down and then go to your room and grab a blanket. Hunter will be down shortly and you're to be on your knees next to the door to the basement, so don't hang around and chat with anyone."

"Yes, Master. Thank you, Master."

Buster's already in place by the door to the basement when it hits him--he hasn't seen Brandon since he left his room in the middle of the night. He's pretty sure Brandon and Bumgarner are going to head out after the Series is over and tonight's Game Six. If the Royals win, he might not see Brandon again. Hopefully he'll be able to track down Brandon's email or something. He'd hate to wait until Spring Training to thank Brandon for everything.

As soon as he hears footsteps in the hall, Buster goes down into obeisance.

"So," Hunter says. "Wanna tell me what you did?"

Buster's pretty sure Hunter knows, but that's not the point. "I've resented you and Master, Sir. I've been angry and proud--I thought I knew better than both of you. Please, Sir, I deserve punishment."

"Yeah, you do."

There's no way Buster can ask the question he wants to: does Hunter regret buying him? There is one question he can ask though.

"Please, Sir, may I ask something?"

"Go ahead."

"I asked Master what he wanted from me, what I'd missed. Please Sir, is there something you think I've missed? Something you want from me, Sir?"

"Me?" Hunter pauses. "Kneel up and look at me."

"Yes, Sir."

"I want you to make Tim happy."

Oh, Buster thinks. "So do I, Sir," he says. "And...."

"And what?"

"I want to please you too, Sir."

"Then stop thinking you know better than us."

"Yes, Sir."

"All right, let's get you situated."

The last time Buster was down in the basement, he was a little too busy to notice the bathroom that's tucked away behind a small door in the corner of the room. There's a mat just outside the bathroom door; Buster puts his blanket down and kneels on the mat.

"Okay," Hunter says, holding up a long length of chain. "This is long enough for you to use the bathroom. You don't take it off unless there's an emergency, understand?"

"Yes, Sir," Buster says, presenting his neck and collar. The chain is lighter than it looks; it'll be easy enough to move around without it dragging at his neck too much. "Thank you, Sir."

"See you tomorrow night," Hunter says.

Now what, Buster thinks as the door closes behind Hunter a few moments later.

The chain gives him plenty of room; Buster can pace if he wants to and there's enough slack for him to use the bathroom easily. The bathroom doesn't have a shower, but there's soap and a really generous pile of towels. That's enough for Buster right now; he washes his face and splashes cold water on his eyes and yeah, that helps.

Between all the crying and the lack of sleep, Buster's head is aching. It's not bad, but he's grateful for the bottles of Tylenol, Motrin and aspirin he finds in the medicine cabinet. There are plenty of other first aid supplies, including a full first aid kit in the cupboard under the sink. Once he's taken some Tylenol, Buster takes a moment to familiarize himself with the set up.

As he heads back to the mat, he pauses and lets a long breath out. He still has a place, he thinks. He still needs to know things like where the first-aid kit is in the dungeon. He'll have to look around more...or no. Later, when he's not in trouble, he'll ask if he can come back down here and look the place over. Oh sure, Lincecum didn't say he couldn't look around, but Buster's not about to turn into a rules lawyer now; he knows his Master doesn't want there to be any distractions.

And anyway, he's exhausted. Maybe he should be thinking about why he's down here, but God knows he'll have plenty of time to do that over the next couple of days. Right now, he needs to get some sleep. There's a bank of light switches near the bathroom; Buster leaves the light near the stairs on and then settles down on the mat. It's not all that soft, but it's better than the floor. It takes him a few minutes to get comfortable and then he's slowing down his breathing and settling into sleep.

The sound of someone moving around wakes him up. He blinks and opens his eyes just in time to see Ellie putting a plate and a bottle of water on the floor next to the mat. "Sorry," she says when he sits up. "I didn't mean to wake you up."

"It's okay."

"I wish I could stay and talk but...."

"It's okay," Buster says again. "I'm sorry you had to come all the way down here. Thank you."

"Huh? Don't be sorry. It's not like it's all that difficult." She gestures at the plate. "I'll pick that up when I bring dinner."

"Thank you," he says again and maybe Lincecum told him to thank her, but Buster would have done it on his own.

There's a tuna sandwich and some carrots on the plate. Someone told Ms. Mendez to make things as boring as possible though; it's just tuna and mayo. Normally she adds green onions, a little bit of dry mustard and some dill to her tuna salad, and if there are cut veggies, there's usually homemade hummus to dip them in.

Is this a routine thing? Did Tyler and whoever came before him get chained up down here when they fucked up? Or is this designed for Buster because Lincecum knows that not being able to serve is really difficult for Buster? Not being able to serve and knowing that Lincecum's disappointed in him. It's not exactly a unique response, though. Buster knows most slaves would feel the same way if they were punished like this.

Once Buster's finished lunch, he puts the plate aside. He can help remembering talking to Lincecum about his training and how he'd learned not to be bored. One more thing he's been smug about.

But is it smugness or pride? Is there really a difference between the two? Lincecum told him that it was okay to be proud of himself, but Buster's not sure how to do that without thinking about how good he is. That kind of thinking got him where he is now, after all. Still, Lincecum kept telling him he was good; maybe Buster should trust that his Master really thinks that.

There has to be some kind of balance between knowing that you're good at what you do and thinking you're so good at it that your way is the only right way to do things. Brandon said something about how Buster needed to figure out what "good" means here. Good...good means doing what his Master wants and doing it well. But what if your Master wants more than anyone's ever wanted?

"What are you going to do when your owner wantsyou?" Mistress Allyson had said.

That had to be part of the reason she'd recommended him to Hunter. Sure, he was the kind of boy she thought Lincecum and Hunter would like, but a good trainer--and she's the best Buster's had--doesn't just try to match a slave with an owner. They try to make sure the owner is...how did Brandon put it? A good fit for the slave.

She'd also asked what he'd do when someone figured him out and gave him what he wanted. But is that really what Lincecum's doing? He keeps asking Buster what Buster wants and it's weird how much Buster hates that question. He wants to be good for his Master, but being good includes telling Lincecum what he wants and he's still having a hard time wrapping his head around that.

Although, more than once Lincecum's gotten Buster so wound up that all he can say is that he just wants. And Lincecum's never made Buster narrow it down when Buster says that; in fact, Buster's pretty sure Lincecum's liked hearing it. It comes back to him losing his composure, back to him letting go. Seen in that context, it makes sense--Lincecum wants to push Buster past his comfort zone and making him admit to wanting something--anything--does just that.

Buster sighs. He's getting what he said he wanted--it's personal. He belongs to someone who wants him and honestly, he's not sure what to make of that.

Enough, he thinks. He can't do nothing but dwell on this for the next two days; he'll go nuts if he doesn't let it go for a while. During his training, he chose to think about baseball when he was learning how to wait. It's perfect for it, because there's just so much to think about when it comes to baseball--stats, games you've seen, games you've made up, games you've played.

But right now, baseball's not really all that safe. He's been making the comparisons between being a slave and being a ballplayer ever since he went down on his knees in the hallway in the middle of the night. And wow, one more thing that he's got to rethink, because it's pretty clear he's nowhere near as over the game as he thought he was.

Shut up, he tells himself. Stop thinking about yourself.

He manages, sort of. Rolling up his blanket for a pillow, he lies down on his back, closes his eyes and starts mentally investing his portfolio. He's kept up with the market a little since coming here, mostly keeping up with the tech side of things. LTech--which Buster thinks is a totally boring name for a company--isn't public, but Buster's always been partial to investing in tech.

It's easy enough to get lost in the numbers; Buster might not be able to see patterns in the market the way Mr. Koffman could, but he thinks he could learn the trick. Half of it's luck and money's the one thing he's been lucky with.

The problem with this whole punishment thing, Buster thinks some unknown time later, is that he has no idea how much time is passing. He dozed off a little and he thinks it's been at least a few hours since lunch but for all he knows, it could have been a half an hour. He's not too groggy, which means he didn't doze for too terribly long.

He is a little stiff, though. The chain's light enough for him to hold in one hand as he goes through a set of basic stretches. If he could dance he could practice chain dancing but he wasn't exaggerating when he joked with Lincecum about his lack of skills. White guy overbite and all, he thinks with a smile as he remembers what Lincecum said about dancing. No, he really can't see either Lincecum or Hunter dancing. Not Brandon either...well maybe a two step, but certainly nothing showy. He's way too butch, Buster thinks with a smile.

Yoga's pretty difficult when you've got a chain attached to your collar, so Buster settles down on the mat and does some crunches. He's finished and is lying on the mat staring at the ceiling when the door to the basement opens. It's Ellie, of course. Buster feels kind of stupid because he was hoping that maybe Hunter or even Lincecum would come down and check on him, but really, what's there to check on?

Dinner is a pretty basic salad with a grilled chicken breast and a couple of plain rolls. After he thanks Ellie and she takes off, Buster stares at his plate. It's kind of weird knowing that Lincecum, or more likely Hunter, actually went to Ms. Mendez and told her to make sure Buster got enough to eat but to make it as boring as possible.

Buster figures everyone in the house knows he's down here, even if they don't exactly know why he's in trouble, and he wonders again if this is standard punishment in Lincecum's household. He's never been punished like this before. The few times he got in trouble when he was with Ms. Fowler--usually because one of her friends said Buster had misbehaved--she just beat him really fucking hard. Mr. Koffman had to beat him a couple of times early on while Buster was still learning his way around the office.

Even during his initial training, though, he was never left alone like this. There are plenty of demeaning jobs to be found for trainees who don't learn their lessons quickly enough and Buster's very first trainer was also fond of the whole no hot water thing, but that's so standard it's almost a cliche. This, being left alone, might be standard for some owners and trainers, but it feels weirdly personal. Like Lincecum somehow knows that for all Buster's talk of learning not to be bored, leaving him alone like this is different. And maybe Buster's tired and a little emotional, but he hates knowing that while he's down here, in all kinds of trouble, someone else's slave is serving Buster's Master.

With a sigh, Buster turns his attention to his dinner. He's not mad at Brandon, not at all, and it's not like he doesn't trust Brandon, but it should be Buster up there. Well, it isn't, Buster tells himself. And it's no one's fault but Buster's, so maybe he needs to stop whining about it and eat his damn dinner.

He gets through the evening by very deliberately thinking about nothing but baseball, doing his best to strip the subject of emotion and just concentrate on the current postseason. It works, for the most part, and eventually Buster finds himself getting sleepy. He's always been able to sleep regardless of what's going on in his life, and even now, he closes his eyes, lets everything go and falls asleep.

It takes Buster a minute to figure out where he is when he first wakes up. He left one of the dimmer lights on last night but it's nothing like the morning light in his bedroom. Blinking, he sits up, looks around and thinks, "oh right." He's chained up in the basement with the rest of the sex toys. Normally the thought would be hot, a reminder that Buster's just one more thing his Master owns.

Only he's down here to be punished. As he wakes up, everything that happened yesterday and the night before hits him. Fuck fuck fuck....

He's just finished washing up when Ellie brings him breakfast. As she gathers up the dishes from the night before, she gives him a sympathetic look. "Hang in there," she says.

"Thank you," he says. "I don't suppose I can ask you anything."

"'Fraid not." She gives him an apologetic shrug. "Sorry."

"Don't be; you're not the one who's in trouble."

She pats him on the shoulder. "It'll be okay."

Maybe, Buster thinks, it will be. He made it through yesterday and that has to count for something.

Breakfast is scrambled eggs and a really good chicken apple sausage. Buster can't help smiling a little, boring food or not, Ms. Mendez isn't going to serve anything substandard. Still, Buster thinks like something's missing...oh, baked goods. That makes him think about eating from Lincecum's hand and Buster sighs.

He's never been handfed on a regular basis and he's been a little surprised at how much he likes it. His first trainer said it was all about reminding a slave that he's dependent on his owner for everything, but Buster's pretty sure that's not why Lincecum does it. Maybe it's as much about the intimacy for Lincecum as it is for Buster. As he finishes his breakfast, Buster wonders if he's going to have to earn that privilege all over again.

Enough, he thinks. He spent a good chunk of yesterday feeling sorry for himself and he's got to get past that. He knows what he did wrong and he's spent enough time dwelling on it. The real question is...what is he going to do about it?

Lincecum's offer is probably still open; Buster could leave. The moment he thinks about it though, he feels the same sick feeling in his gut he felt yesterday morning. No...don't make me leave. And that's stupid--Lincecum wasn't telling him to leave, just letting him know he could. Buster's not even sure why the idea of leaving--leaving here, leaving the Establishment--frightens him but it does.

Look at it objectively, he thinks. Lincecum was right; there are plenty of things Buster could do. There's no way he's going back to New York to work for Mr. Koffman, or to work for anyone really. If he's going to go into finance, he'll go back to school first. In fact, he could do that even if he weren't studying econ. Lincecum offered him a job too, but Buster's not sure he could do that either, even if he weren't working directly for Lincecum. The idea of working as a massage therapist, maybe here in California, is actually kind of appealing, as is the thought of traveling for a while. Being owned by Establishment members has given him a distorted view of how much money you have to have to be considered rich. He's got plenty of money; he could take plenty of time off and do whatever he wants.

He still finds himself shying away from any thought of leaving. What was it Lincecum said? That Buster has a vocation? Buster's not sure what to make of that, but it is true that he's doing what he wants to do. Of course, he's supposed to be doing what his Master wants him to do, but the ideal is that those things match up.

Do they? Here with Lincecum? Buster sighs and lies back down, staring up at the ceiling. What if you find someone who wants you for you? Well, he has. Someone who wants to push not just anyone but Buster himself. And the thing is: Buster's liked being pushed by Lincecum and Hunter. That night he held that stress position...that was good. And the night down here was amazing, much better than that one time he took on ten guys. It was...it was personal. His Master wants to use Buster, wants to share Buster.

So maybe he likes it being personal, even if it's scary letting his Master get in his head like that. Maybe he likes it because it's scary. And sure, Buster likes being objectified, likes being treated as a thing, but maybe, just maybe, he wants to be appreciated for who he is. Of course, if he wants to be appreciated for being Buster Posey, then he has to let Lincecum really see Buster Posey and not just...not just the perfect Establishment slave.

Buster's Master told Buster to trust him and maybe that's all Buster needs to do. Trust that Lincecum will be able to put him down into headspace, trust that Lincecum will take what he wants and give Buster what Buster wants. What Buster needs. He told both Brandon and Lincecum that this is where he wants to be right now--that being an Establishment slave is what he needs to be right now. Well, he thinks, time to prove it to his Master and Hunter. And maybe, just maybe, to himself too.

That's easier said than done, of course, but he's kind of tired of doing things the easy way. It hasn't always been easy being here--belonging to Lincecum--but it's been good for the most part. It could be better, Buster's sure of it. It will be better.

Now that he's determined to be not just a good slave, but the slave his Master wants, Buster wants to start right away. Instead, he's stuck down here for the rest of the day. And maybe that's not a bad thing, knowing he can't just slack off. Knowing that there really are consequences in this household.

He does some more stretches and then does his best to put everything aside and just think about baseball again. During the off season, he thinks, he'll try to learn everything he can about the Giants. He's never going to stop loving the Braves, but, he thinks with a smile, none of them have beat the crap out of him. And none of them own someone Buster's beginning to think of as a friend.

That's new too--a thought that makes Buster pause. What the hell has he been doing the last few years that's kept him from having any friends? He wishes he'd at least tried to be a little more friendly with Sophie, but so much of her attention was focused on their Mistress that she didn't seem to have much time for anyone else. And of course, Buster's Master--and Hunter--come first, but Buster likes thinks that Ellie, at least, is a friend. But Brandon's different and Buster really wants to try to keep in touch, to build a real friendship with another slave.

Lunch is another plain tuna sandwich. The similarity of the food and the inability to tell what time it is or even see outdoors would really mess with Buster's head if he had to spend too much more time down here. As punishments go, it's been pretty effective; Buster hopes like hell he won't fuck up enough to be put down here again.

Just a few hours, he tells himself. A few hours before Lincecum comes down and beats the crap out of him. He should be nervous, and maybe he is, a little. But he just wants to prove to Lincecum that he's sorry. Sorry for...well for everything he's done wrong or hasn't done at all.

In spite of everything, Buster manages to spend at least part of the afternoon dozing. It's not that he needs the sleep, at least right now. He'll need it later, though--if Lincecum beats him the way he promised, Buster probably won't get much sleep tonight.

It feels like he's napped for a few hours when he wakes up. Once he's used the bathroom and then washed up as best as he can he kneels in the middle of the mat. It's time to get into the right frame of mind for the last of his punishment. Just as he did two nights ago, he alternates between kneeling and going down into obeisance. While he kneels, he thinks about what he did wrong, how he thought he knew better than his Master, how he was too proud in the wrong way, how he didn't trust his Master, how he's been a lazy slave who wanted things to be easy.

Then, when he puts his head down, instead of trying to let his mind go blank the way he did the other night, he thinks about what he's going to do to be a better slave. Trust Master, he thinks. Try to be present at all times instead of withdrawing into himself and calling it headspace. He needs to do what Hunter wants as well--needs to make his Master happy. He wants to do all of that. Not just so he can tell himself he's a good slave, but it seems that the whole thing about it being personal goes both ways. He doesn't just want to make his Master happy--he wants to make Tim Lincecum happy.

He's on his knees when he hears the door to the basement open. Before Lincecum can come all the way into the room, Buster goes down--forehead to the mat. He stays that way even as he hears more than one set of footsteps. Is he about to get punished in front of the staff? He wouldn't have guessed that Lincecum was that much of a traditionalist, but apparently he takes major punishment seriously.

"Well?" Lincecum says.

Buster takes a deep breath and looks at the toes of Lincecum's boots. "This slave has been lazy, Master. This slave has resented your house rules, Master. This slave has thought it was up to him to decide how a slave should act, Master. This slave has thought he knew better than his Master."

"Not this slave," Lincecum says. "My slave."

"Yes, Master. Thank you, Master."

"Do you deserve to be punished more?" Lincecum sounds serious, and it helps in a weird way.

The right answer--the one Buster was taught--is that it's not up to him, but he's not about to make that mistake. "Yes, Master," Buster says. "Your slave thinks he deserves to be punished."

"So do I." Lincecum pauses for a long moment. "If there's anything else you want to say, don't use formal voice."

"Master," Buster says. "Please, if you think I deserve to be punished...I'm begging you for it."

"Good boy. Now kneel up."

"Yes, Master."

As Buster kneels up, he shoots a quick glance around the room. None of the staff are here, but Bumgarner and Hunter are standing back behind Lincecum, and Brandon's kneeling at Bumgarner's feet. Buster should have expected this--Hunter's one of his tops after all. And it's common for any other slaves in the house to watch a formal punishment; supposedly it encourages good behavior. Buster thinks that's more a part of the illusion than anything; it's not like Brandon needs this kind of encouragement. Still, knowing that their guests are going to see this is pretty embarrassing.

Even as he's thinking that, he's looking up at his Master. To Buster's surprise, Lincecum's actually dressed up a little for this--black skinny jeans and a dark green button up shirt. He's got his sleeves rolled up and maybe Buster's about take a beating, but for a moment all Buster can think is, God, he's hot.

Jesus, he thinks. Concentrate.

"Please, Master," he says, looking into Lincecum's eyes. "I'm so sorry, Master. Please punish me."

As Buster watches, Lincecum unbuckles his belt. It's thin and stiff looking, and it's going to hurt like fuck. Buster swallows hard and keeps looking up at Lincecum.

"Yeah," Lincecum says with a little smirk. "I dressed up just for you. Nice new belt and all."

And that, Buster thinks as he tries not to smile back, is just like Lincecum.

"Okay, up on the cross, facing out." Once Buster's in place, Lincecum looks him over. "You can hold onto the cuffs, but I'm not going to tie you up or cuff you."

"Yes, Master. Thank you, Master." Buster waits until Lincecum's folded his belt in half and then takes a deep breath. "Please Master, please punish me."

"No more words," Lincecum says. Stepping in closer he holds the folded up belt to Buster's mouth and then nods when Buster kisses it. "I'm not going to count or set a time limit; I'm just going to beat you until I think you've had enough."

Lincecum waits while Buster takes a deep breath and then lets it out before he brings the belt down hard on Buster's hip. Buster barely has time to gasp in pain before the belt lands again and then again and again. Lincecum's not holding back and his aim's perfect--the belt is moving down Buster's hip just close enough to his dick to keep Buster tensed in fear.

Under other circumstances, this could be hot, but Buster's too aware that it's punishment; even though his body's responding to the pain, he doesn't like it. And that response doesn't seem to make any difference to Lincecum. There's no teasing, no comments about how Buster's such a pain slut--there's nothing but Lincecum's steady regard as the belt lands again and again. And that hurts too. If this were a normal scene, Lincecum would be getting off on hurting Buster, but right now, it's pretty clear he's not.

Before long, Buster's thigh is covered with welts and he's groaning as Lincecum starts in on the other thigh. The belt lands again and again and God, it fucking hurts. Lincecum's not giving Buster any time to breathe and while he's keeping to a rhythm, it's so hard and fast that Buster can barely catch his breath between blows, let alone brace for the next one.

There's no reason to be stoic; Buster knows Lincecum won't stop regardless of how he reacts. When the belt hits Buster just above the knee, he yells and then yells again as it starts moving up his thigh again. Lincecum's beating him hard enough to raise almost immediate welts and when he starts landing the belt on those welts, it feels like he's beating the skin right off Buster's thighs.

Still, Buster's a little surprised when Lincecum stops and says, "Turn around." Buster barely has time to grab the cuffs again before he feels the belt landing on his back. It's not doubled over now and it's narrow and hard and hurts more than Hutner's strap. By the time Lincecum starts in on Buster's ass, Buster's back feels like it's on fire. Lincecum's still landing the blows hard and fast and it's not long before Buster's ass feels as bad as his back. Lincecum works his way down the backs of Buster's thighs and starts in on his calves and even though Buster's wired to take pain and like it, he doesn't like this at all.

Usually when Buster's taking a beating, it's happening because his top wants to hurt him. It makes it easier to bear and easier to get off on, because even if he's in serious pain, at least he knows he's serving. It's true Lincecum wants to hurt him now, but not for fun. Buster's dead certain that his Master isn't getting off on this and it's one more thing to feel bad about. If Buster was a better slave, his Master wouldn't have to punish him; instead, his Master would be enjoying this, would be doing it for fun.

When Buster starts crying, the pain is only part of it.

If Buster's tears have any effect on Lincecum, he doesn't show it. He just keeps beating Buster, laying down stripe after stripe, blow after blow, and Buster knows what Lincecum's arms look like, knows that Lincecum can do this all evening if he wants to. And, as the belt keeps landing, it really does feel like Lincecum's is taking all evening. Buster knows he deserves it, but, oh God it hurts.

Lincecum's reaction when Buster starts screaming is the same as it was when Buster started crying--he just keeps beating Buster. Screaming makes it easier to bear, at least for a little while. But all too soon having that release isn't enough. Buster's clinging to the cuffs with white-knuckled strength when he finally chokes out, "please...please, Master. I'm sorry...so sorry."

"You should be," Lincecum says. He sounds more matter of fact than angry and it just makes Buster feel worse.

"Sorry," he says again. Lincecum's working on his ass again and Buster's taken worse pain, but this hurts in more ways than one. Suddenly, it's all too much. "Please, Master...I...so sorry, please...." he gasps as he lets go of the cuffs and just barely manages to slide down the cross without falling over.

Even now, however, Buster's training holds; kneeling at the foot of the cross, he grabs the smooth wood and keeps his back stretched out. He's not sure if he can take much more, but right now, he wants to bear it, if only to prove that he's sorry, that he knows he was wrong and God....

"Master, I'm sorry," he says, as Lincecum's belt lands on his back again and again. "Please...I was wrong...so so sorry...please, Master."

"For what?" Lincecum asks as he finally--finally--stops.

"Thinking I was...better than you," Buster manages to get out.

"Try again," Lincecum says.

Buster shakes his head, blinking back tears as he tries figure it out. "Thinking...thinking I knew better than you, Master. Not trusting that you...knew what you were doing, Master."

"Good," Lincecum says. "It's not about one of us being better that the other. It's about me being your Master. It's about my definition of a good slave, not yours. It's about you trusting me."

"I do, Master," Buster says. "Please...may I...wanna see you, please, Master."

Instead of telling Buster to move, Lincecum walks around the cross and crouches down in front of Buster.

"Trust you, Master," Buster says and he means every word. "All I want is...please, I never lied when I said I wanted to be good for you, Master."

"I know," Lincecum says. "Do you remember telling me you signed away your freedom?"

"Yes, Master."

"Do you want it back?" Before Buster can answer, Lincecum puts a finger against Buster's lips. "Listen to me. I'm going to make that offer one more time and then it's off the table. Do you want to leave?"

"No," Buster says, shaking his head in case he's not being clear. "Please Master, want to be here; let me stay. Want to be your slave, please." He stares into Lincecum's eyes. "Not just a slave," he says. "Your slave."

"Does that mean I have you, Buster? Because I don't want anything less than you. I won't fucking accept anything less than all of you."

Buster's in so much pain that every single breath hurts, but he still feels like a weight's been lifted from both his shoulders and his mind. It's like something clicks and it all comes together. "That," he says, and he's surprised at how steady he sounds. "You've asked me what I want and that, Master, is what I want. I want to give you that...want to give you everything."

Lincecum looks at him for a long moment and then finally reaches out and presses his hand to Buster's cheek. "Bum?" he says, leaving his hand where it is as he glances over Buster's shoulder. "Mind if I borrow Brandon?"

Thank God, Buster thinks. He blinks and leans against the cross a little more; he's exhausted and in pain and he's not sure he can even make it as far as his bedroom. Hopefully Brandon won't mind half carrying him.

"Sure. You just need to get him up to his room?"

"No, up to mine." Lincecum rubs his thumb gently across Busters jaw line. "Can you make it that far with Brandon's help?"

Two sets of stairs. "Master I...I don't know."

"Between the three of us, we'll get him up there," Hunter says.

"One more thing," Lincecum says as he stands up and walks around the cross. "Turn around, Buster."

"Yes, Master."

Once Buster's kneeling at his feet, Lincecum looks at him. "Let's finish this off the right way."

Buster immediately goes down until his forehead is on the floor in front of Lincecum's boots. "Thank you, Master," he says. "Your slave understands that he was arrogant and lazy and he thanks his Master for his punishment."

Lincecum says nothing for a long moment, and Buster feels the full weight of his own words. He really is grateful and maybe that's fucked up, but he doesn't really care right now.

"You took it well," Lincecum says. "And now it's over and done with. Do you understand?"

"Yes Master," Buster says. He moves his head just a little until he can kiss the toe of Lincecum's boot. "Thank you, Master."

"All right," Lincecum says. "Let's get you upstairs."

It's much easier said than done, but finally, Brandon and Hunter maneuver Buster upstairs into Lincecum's bathroom. Buster clings to the edge of the sink for support while Brandon carefully cleans him up, but it's Lincecum who looks him over and puts antiseptic cream on the few places where his belt actually broke skin.

Lying down on Lincecum's big bed is the best thing ever, even if it feels weird to be here so soon after a major punishment. Buster tries not to worry about it as he settles on his side, but something must show on his face, because, once everyone else is gone, Lincecum sits cross-legged on the bed and says, "I meant it--your punishment is over and done with. You deserve to be where I want you to be. Well no, if you really want to be alone, I can have the guys take you back downstairs to your room."

"Thank you, Master, but I like this--I want to be here with you."

"Good, because I like having you here." Lincecum reaches out and rests his hand on Buster's cheek again and it feels so good to just lean into the touch without overthinking it.

"You didn't have to come up here the other night," Lincecum says. "I know you realized what you'd been doing and you must have talked to Brandon at least a little...." His voice trails off. "He didn't say anything at all and I didn't ask, by the way; I'm just guessing."

"It was...he spanked me and I started crying and couldn't stop." Buster hadn't intended to tell Lincecum this part, but he finds he doesn't mind. "And then it all kind of came out. I need to thank him."

Lincecum moves in a little closer and starts stroking Buster's hair. "I've never been into restricting contact--there's control and then there's...well, I think it's weird. Anyway, feel free to keep in touch with him whenever you're allowed to use your computer or your phone."

"Thank you, Master." Blinking, Buster tries to keep his eyes open, keep his gaze on Lincecum's face.

"House rule," Lincecum says. "When I'm petting you or taking care of you after a scene, it's okay to close your eyes or not look at me."

"Thank you, Master. And for taking care of me like this."

"Really? I got the feeling you liked to be alone after something major."

"I don't mind being alone, Master. But...you...." Buster pauses, does he want to explain this? "The things you do to me, the way I feel after you've hurt me...it's good to...being with you helps when I'm coming back up." He shakes his head a little. "Sorry, I'm not very good at explaining...."

"It's okay," Lincecum says before Buster can finish speaking. "You've spent two days alone and I just beat the fuck out of you; I don't expect you to be articulate." His hand moves lower, stroking Buster's neck and the collar. "And that means a lot--you wanting to be here after I've hurt you."

Now that Buster's finally still and starting to relax, he can feel the remnants of the endorphins in his system. They didn't help much during the beating--there's only so much brain chemistry can do, after all--but now he feels a little floaty. "For me too, Master," he says as his eyes drift closed.

"Mmmmm...."

They stay like that for a while, and while Buster probably could drift off, he doesn't want to. The last couple of days have been so emotionally draining and the last couple of hours have been both emotionally and physically exhausting; Buster wants, maybe even needs, grounding.

"You asleep?"

"No, Master. Just really relaxed."

"I started to say this earlier," Lincecum says and then, in spite of his words, he falls silent. Finally, a few minutes later, he says, "you didn't have to come to me. Two nights ago, I mean."

Buster's eyes fly open and he stares up at Lincecum. So much for being relaxed.

"Wait. I know you felt you had to, but still...you knew I'd have to punish you and you must have been able to guess it would be bad. I'm impressed." He strokes Buster's collar. "You're a good slave, Buster."

"Thank you, Master." Again, Buster isn't sure if he wants to explain, but after a moment, he decides he does. "It's not just following the rules, Master. I wanted you to know where...where my head was. And I needed to know what you wanted from me and...."

Lincecum rubs his thumb across the back of Buster's neck just above the collar, but doesn't prompt Buster.

"I needed to be punished, Master."

"Oh?"

"Realizing what I'd been doing...realizing I haven't been as good as I thought I was...you said it broke me, Master."

"I said it was like that, but okay."

"I needed to finish it, Master. It would...eat at me, is the best way to put it, I guess. Even if I changed my behavior, even if I fixed things...I would still know."

"But if I punish you it's closure?"

"Yes, Master." Buster frowns a little, because this has never occurred to him and he's not sure why. "I think that's maybe one of the things I like about being a slave. If you make a mistake, everyone acknowledges it, you take the consequences and then everyone moves on."

"I can see the appeal actually." Lincecum laughs a little. "Aside from the beating that is."

"The beating wasn't the worst of it, Master."

"No, I didn't think it would be." Lincecum's hand tightens on the back of Buster's neck. "You have another major fuck up and you'll be down there for more than two days."

"Yes, Master."

"And if you think I want something and you don't know what it is, you ask me, understand?"

"Yes, Master." Buster pauses and thinks about it. "Master? Sometimes you ask me what I want and...Master, you get me so wound up that I don't know what I want. I just...want." Leaning back into Lincecum's touch, Buster sighs. "Does that make any sense? Is it...is it all right, Master?"

"It's more than all right. I like it when you just want, as you put it. I told you, I like it when you can't help it, when you're so into it that all you care about is getting more."

Buster can feel his face go hot. "I like feeling that way, Master," he says. "It's a little scary, though."

"Because you're losing control?" When Buster nods, Lincecum smiles a little. "That's what I like about it. Not that it scares you, although that's a definite plus, but it's a challenge to get you there."

"Master? I've always thought I was pretty easy."

"Buster," Lincecum says with a laugh. "There is nothing easy about you." When Buster opens his mouth to speak, Lincecum shakes his head. "Don't apologize. There's a difference between easy and being a slut and anyway, easy kind of bores me. And we can't have that."

"Certainly not, Master." Buster tries to keep a straight face, but it's not easy.

"I'm not exactly bored right now, but...." Lincecum slides his hand around until his cupping Buster's jaw. When he rests his thumb against Buster's mouth, Buster kisses it and then opens his mouth a little.

"Please, Master," he says, his lips right up against Lincecum's skin.

"Just my thumb?" Lincecum asks as he presses his thumb between Buster's lips. Buster starts sucking and shakes his head. Please, he thinks, staring up at Lincecum. Please.

"You'll have to move."

There is that, but Buster doesn't care. Running his tongue over the pad of Lincecum's thumb, he nods.

"Okay, go for it." Lincecum pulls his thumb out of Buster's mouth.

Everything hurts and Buster hisses a little as he gets up onto his hands and knees. The weird thing is, it's kind of hot now. Not why he was punished, but now that he's not thinking about his mistakes, the pain is kind of good. Or maybe, he thinks with a smile, it's because he's about to have a dick in his mouth.

"What's so funny?"

Buster catches his breath again as he settles down between Lincecum's legs. "I think Mr. Pence is right, Master." Reaching up, he makes quick work of Lincecum's jeans, undoing the fly and pulling them and Lincecum's boxers down just enough.

"It happens once in a while," Lincecum says. "What's he right about this time?"

"About how I'm a cocksucking slut, Master."

"It is known," Lincecum says. He laughs a little at his own joke, but the laugh turns into a sharp gasp when Buster slides his mouth down over Lincecum's cock and just keeps going.

Lincecum didn't give him any instructions, so Buster settles in and slows down, using every single thing he's learned Lincecum likes and a few things Buster hasn't done to him before. Before long, Lincecum's breathing hard and his dick is leaking in Buster's mouth. And yeah, Buster really is a cocksucking slut, because this is so fucking good and just when he thinks it can't get better, Lincecum's hand lands heavy on the back of Buster's neck. He's not pushing Buster down, not yet at least, so Buster just hums happily and keeps on going.

By the time Lincecum grabs his hair, Buster honestly has no idea how long he's been down here. Long enough that he's really feeling it in his jaw, and he aches everywhere Lincecum's belt landed on him earlier. Long enough that while he notices all that, he doesn't really care because nothing matters but Lincecum's dick in his mouth.

The sharp twist of Lincecum's fingers bring Buster's attention back to the moment. Lincecum's tugging hard, pulling Buster's head up, and Buster knows what Lincecum wants here. It's what Buster wants too; he fights against Lincecum's grip in order to keep sucking Lincecum off. It's one more point of pain right now, but it's different--better--that the welts from earlier. Lincecum knows he's hurting Buster and he's getting off on hurting Buster, and maybe it's just hair pulling, but it feels a little like forgiveness.

Buster's going down hard and he almost chokes when Lincecum hips start moving. He goes still and lets Lincecum hold him in place while he fucks up into Buster's mouth. Lincecum's moaning now, but so is Buster because this is so fucking good and somewhere way in the back of his mind, he'd been afraid he'd screwed up so much that he'd never have this again. But he can have it and when Lincecum comes in a rush of bitter salt taste in Buster's mouth, all Buster can think is, thank God.

"Yours," he says when Lincecum finally lets go of his hair. "I'm yours, Master."

"Damn right," Lincecum gasps out. He's still breathing hard and when he reaches down to cup Buster's cheek, his hand is a little shaky. "All mine," he says and pets Buster's face before pushing him a little until Buster's head is resting on Lincecum's thigh. "My slave."

"Your slave, Master," Buster says.

"And does my slave want to get off? Because I know you're hard." Before Buster can answer, Lincecum laughs. "Never mind, I know the answer. Your dick wants to get off, but you want me to say no."

"Yes, Master."

"Well, maybe I'll get you all desperate and make you beg for it later. For now, though, just...just stay where you are."

"Yes, Master. Thank you, Master."

"You're a good boy, Buster. My good boy."

Lincecum falls silent after that. As his fingers move over the back of Buster's neck, stroking both collar and skin, Buster sighs deeply and lets himself relax.

This, he thinks.

This.

 

-end-