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Masks and Merry Hours

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“Are you nervous?”

Kurt turned away from the monotony of the Ohio countryside speeding by outside his window, toward the much more pleasing view of Blaine’s profile. Blaine glanced away from the road just long enough to toss a smile in Kurt’s direction.

“Maybe a little,” Kurt admitted. “But mostly excited. It feels good to get away from everything for a while. No homework, no glee club . . .”

“No fifth graders who think ‘fuck with the substitute’ is the best game ever . . .”

“No Rachel, no Finn . . .”

“Nobody we know at all within a ninety mile radius . . .”

“Oh, God, that’s the best part,” Kurt said. He turned his attention back to the empty fields and bare-limbed trees they were cruising past. “No expectations.”

Outside the window a herd of cows went by, munching winter hay in the shadow of a tall silo. He wrinkled his nose at the smell that was inescapable even at sixty miles an hour. He turned back again to Blaine, who was drumming his fingers on the steering wheel in time with the Oasis on the radio. “Are you?” he asked.

“Hmmm?”

“Nervous.”

Blaine chuckled and glanced away from the road again. “To spend three days alone with you in Columbus? Not a chance. Except in the good way.”

“The good way?”

“The what-does-he-have-in-store-for-me-now way.”

“Maybe I don’t have anything in store for you. Maybe it’s going to be a completely vanilla boyfriends weekend.” Kurt was teasing, but Blaine gave him a quick, searching look.

“You know it would be okay, right? If that’s what you need? We don’t have to go out. We could just stay in the hotel, order room service. I’d be fine with that.”

“Excuse me, but we’re not driving all the way to Columbus to do things we could do in your apartment in Lima for free. I’m the one who found the damn club. Of course I want to go out. I packed one entire bag just with special going-out equipment.”

“Oh, thank God,” Blaine breathed with palpable relief.

“Don’t ever play poker,” Kurt told him wryly.

“So what’s in the special bag?”

“That’s for me to know and for you to spend the next eighty miles driving yourself crazy imagining.”

“You really are an evil genius.”

Kurt turned back to the window and smiled at yet another passing herd of cattle. “Yes I am.”

The trip was a kind of reward, for both of them really, but Kurt always thought of rewards as being more for Blaine than for himself. After all, Blaine was his reward every day. Blaine would have argued the same about Kurt, of course, and had. And in truth, the first semester of school had presented unique challenges for each of them.  Even with Tuesday nights, being apart was hard after the long, free summer. Dr. Fletcher had been replaced with a new permanent teacher, so Blaine was back to moving from school to school, filling in wherever he was needed. Sometimes that was McKinley, of course, but without Dr. Fletcher’s tiny office the best they could do was steal lunch and maybe some heavy making out in the back of Kurt’s Navigator.

So the trip was a reward, for surviving, and also their Christmas present to each other. Kurt had suggested a weekend away from Lima before he’d even found out about the club, but that had certainly clinched the deal and the location. Bond, it was called, a no-alcohol dance club that, while not officially “gay,” had a reputation as a sort of hang-out for non-traditional pairings. Gay friendly, at least according to the 127 Yelp reviews, each of which Kurt had read word-for-word, and while certainly not a sex club, a place that tolerated expressions of dominance and submission that would probably be too risqué for the open street. Perfect for Blaine, whose longing for more public dominance was always tempered by his fear of being seen and judged by people they knew. When Kurt showed him the club’s web site, his face had gone the shade of red that Kurt had learned meant Blaine was the perfect ratio of apprehensive to excited.

It was that same color as they walked through the lobby of what was by far the fanciest hotel Kurt had ever been in. Blaine had been responsible for the hotel part of the Christmas present and he watched Kurt closely as they crossed the skylit atrium toward the elevators. For Blaine’s benefit, Kurt stared around him in appreciative awe. It really was impressive, of course, and he loved Blaine for choosing it, but in all honesty his attention was much more focused on the small black bag that rested on top of all the others on the luggage cart the bellboy pulled along beside them. The bag contained his parts of the Christmas present, and he felt like he’d been waiting an eternity to spring his surprises on Blaine. He couldn’t contain his excitement; he didn’t want to. He slipped his hand into Blaine’s before they even reached the relative privacy of the elevator. Blaine smiled up at him and squeezed his fingers. If the bellboy had any reaction to their display, he was too well-trained to show it. Which was good, because Kurt had no intention of letting go.

When they reached their room, though, he had no choice. Blaine had to help unload the luggage and tip the bellboy, which gave Kurt just enough time to appreciate the size and appointments of the mini-suite before trapping Blaine against the door the moment it closed behind the young man. He couldn’t even bring himself to care who might hear the thump as Blaine’s body connected with the wood. He was much too busy with the kissing. Blaine hadn’t been the only one affected by eighty miles of thinking about the special bag.

Blaine wrapped his arms tight around Kurt’s shoulders and pulled him as close as he could, moaning into the kiss. Kurt’s tongue found his and teased against it, in and out, until Blaine was panting into his mouth, chasing it every time it retreated. Kurt flirted with the idea of fucking him right here and now – his cock loved the idea - but then Blaine took the decision out of his hands. With a sound that was half whimper, half growl, Blaine broke off their kiss and spun Kurt around so that he was the one up against the door. He shoved Kurt’s coat off his shoulders, pulled back just long enough to shed his own, then fell to his knees and attacked Kurt’s fly like its very existence offended him to the core. Kurt’s cock barely had time to feel the air before it was swallowed down into the desperate heat of Blaine’s mouth. Blaine’s usual blow job finesse was nowhere to be seen, but Kurt couldn’t bring himself to care. His head thumped back against the door as Blaine sucked like his life depended on it. One of Kurt’s hands found the doorknob, the other Blaine’s hair, and he held on for dear life as Blaine dragged the orgasm from him, zero to a hundred in thirty seconds. Possibly less, possibly a new record, was the last thought Kurt had before he cried out and gave Blaine what he wanted, pumping hot and wet deep in Blaine’s greedy throat.

“Well welcome to Columbus,” Kurt laughed.  He was still dizzily trying to catch his breath when he realized that Blaine was upright again, crowding him against the door, pushing hard against him and burying his face in Kurt’s neck with a hungry moan that resonated up into Kurt’s skull. Kurt had enough presence of mind to shove his leg between Blaine’s, giving him something to grind against. Blaine moaned again and rutted in earnest, making rough, stuttering circles around Kurt’s thigh.

“God, I want you so much. I could come just from this,” Blaine breathed against Kurt’s skin.

“But you won’t, will you?”

Blaine didn’t speak, but he didn’t stop grinding either. Kurt felt Blaine’s head shake a no against his neck; he didn’t seem to be able to bring himself to say it out loud. He wrapped his arms around Blaine’s back and held him tight. They had plenty of time. Three whole days. He let Blaine torture himself against his leg until he couldn’t stand it any longer and the thrusts slowed, then stopped altogether. Then he stroked Blaine’s face and kissed him and told him how wonderful he was while Blaine struggled to control the need raging through his body. Eventually, Blaine stopped twitching and gasping and he opened his eyes and gave Kurt the look that Kurt could never get enough of. The one that somehow begged and thanked at the same time. The look that told Kurt more than words ever could that he, too, was wonderful. Kurt grinned, and Blaine managed a wobbly smile of his own as Kurt pushed him in the direction of the luggage.

Even post-orgasm, Kurt was, honestly, as eager as Blaine, but he forced himself to take his time, moving slowly, unpacking his clothes and toiletries while Blaine did the same. It didn’t help that Blaine made some kind of needy noise every time their bodies touched in even the most casual of ways. There were a few stolen kisses and less-than-casual touches, but they eventually managed to get all the clothes hung up or put away and all the bags emptied, except the special one, which Kurt left on the coffee table in the sitting area. He loved to watch Blaine’s eyes drift toward it every time he passed.

It sat there through their much-too-expensive-but-Blaine-insisted room service dinner, and through the shower they took together in the gleaming tiled bathroom, where Blaine finally got up the nerve to ask Kurt if he was ever going to open it and put him out of his misery. Kurt punished him for his impatience by edging him, twice, with a soapy hand whose slick slide made Blaine’s eyes roll back in his head. That did the trick, and after the shower Blaine didn’t bring up the bag again. He knelt meekly by the bed as instructed while Kurt got dressed up for the club. Well, as meekly as he could with a raging hard-on that did a little dance every time Kurt so much as glanced in his direction.

Kurt took longer to get dressed than he normally would have. Excitement was winding him tight as a spring and concentrating on the details of dress helped him keep under control. That and, well, he knew how much Blaine loved anticipation. And true to form, Blaine never took his eyes off Kurt as he flitted around the room. He didn’t move at all from his place on the floor by the bed, but by the time Kurt had buttoned the last button on his jacquard waistcoat (which was much too splendid to be called merely a vest) and tied careful bowknots on his shining black shoes, Blaine was watching him with eyes that had gone as soft with submission as his dick was hard. When Kurt finally turned his attention in Blaine’s direction, he could see tiny frissons of shuddering in seemingly random places under Blaine’s skin, like his excitement was a living thing trying to find an opening to explode out of his body. He looked so beautiful, naked there on the floor that it almost seemed a shame to dress him up to go out. Almost.

They stared at each other for a long moment, drawing strength from each other like they always did when they were about to embark on unexplored territory. Then, when the corners of Blaine’s mouth twitched in the tiniest of almost smiles, Kurt finally turned and went to the coffee table to pick up the special bag.

Blaine watched him go and come back; he never even glanced away from Kurt, but still he jumped in surprise when Kurt dropped the bag from waist height so that it thumped to the floor right in front of Blaine’s folded knees.

“Do you remember the first time I did that? With the dictionary in your office?” Kurt asked.

“You know I’ll never forget that,” Blaine answered.

“How scared we were?”

Blaine grinned. “Look how far we’ve come.”

Kurt knelt and took Blaine’s hands in his, staring deep into his beautiful eyes. “Remember what we talked about that day? Trust and honesty?”

Blaine nodded.

“I need you to remember that tonight. Because we’ve never done anything like this. In public like this. I want us both to be able to relax and have fun so I need you to trust me and I need to be able to trust you too. There are things I want to do –”

“You know I always want you to follow your instincts.”

Kurt gripped Blaine’s hands tighter. “But I honestly have no idea how it’s going to feel to be there with you, really obviously as your dominant, with people watching us. So if I’m going to follow my instincts I need to know that you’ll tell me if you’re uncomfortable with anything. That you’ll safeword, no matter what. That having people watching won’t make you . . . stop listening to yourself.”

“Kurt. The only person that I care about is you. No matter where we are, just you.” He let go of one of Kurt’s hands and reached across the special bag to cup Kurt’s cheek. His eyes were dark and intense; Kurt could feel the sincerity in them. “I am so excited for this. I can’t wait to see what it does for you, being there and letting other people see you in all your dominant glory –”

Kurt couldn’t help laughing. “Give me a break. Dominant glory . . .”

“I’m serious.” And Blaine was smiling but Kurt could tell he was, indeed, very serious. “I’m so excited I feel like I could explode at any minute.” His fingers stroked a quick caress along Kurt’s jaw then he took his hand again. “I’m going to get to see a side of you that I’ve never seen before. And every time that happens it completely takes my breath away. Plus it’s insanely hot. So I promise. Completely. I will safeword if I have to no matter who’s looking, even if I have to . . .  climb the DJ’s table and shout it into the microphone I will do it. So relax and show off your willing submissive in any way you want. Seriously.” A twinkle danced in his golden eyes. “Please do that. I really, really want you to do that.”

His smile and his certainty drove out the last of Kurt’s apprehension. With a deep breath he said, “Well, then I guess it’s time to open the special bag.”

“Thank God,” Blaine said fervently.

Kurt dropped Blaine’s hands and picked up the bag, climbing to his feet to set it on the dresser behind him. He unzipped it with a flourish, then turned back to Blaine. “Stand up,” he ordered and of course Blaine complied. Turning again to the bag, Kurt reached in and shuffled things around randomly, just letting the sound wind Blaine up. And it worked. When he faced Blaine again with one small item in each hand, Blaine’s cock, which had softened a little during their talk, was full mast again, proudly offering itself for Kurt’s amusement. Convenient, actually. He held up the heavy silver ring in his right hand.

“Do you know what this is?”

“A cock ring?” Blaine’s voice was high and thin.

Kurt shook his head. Confusion knotted Blaine’s brow so Kurt held it closer, in the palm of his hand so Blaine could see as he pushed the ring open on its hinge.

“It’s a testicle cuff,” he said when Blaine still looked confused. “It goes around your balls. It won’t be very tight, but it’s heavy. You’ll feel it every time you move.”

Blaine’s tongue peeked out to wet his lips. He stared at the cuff, then back at Kurt, then down at the cuff again. But he didn’t speak, so Kurt held up the item in his left hand, letting it dangle from its filigreed silver chain. Blaine watched the slim piece of metal swing in front of it as if hypnotized by its motion.

“It’s the key,” Kurt told him. “It’s a hex key, so it doesn’t really look like a key. I’ll show you.” Movingly slowly, Kurt wrapped a hand around Blaine’s balls, pulling them down as gently as he could. He positioned the cuff around the top of the sac, pushed it closed, and tightened the lock with the silver key.

Blaine took a deep breath, then exhaled long and slow through parted lips. “It’s good,” he said at last. “Strange, but good.”

More good than strange, Kurt thought, if the sudden glistening at the tip of Blaine’s cock was any indication. It certainly looked good. It looked gorgeous, stretching Blaine’s balls just a little bit down and away from his body. He was pretty sure that in Blaine’s needy state it would be just the kind of teasing torment he craved. And it was hot as hell besides.

He slipped the chain that held the key over his head and positioned it carefully in the vee of his waistcoat.

“You’re going to wear it?” Blaine asked in a tight voice.

“Of course I am. I designed this whole outfit around it. And there’s more.”

Blaine watched with avid eyes as Kurt turned to rummage in the bag again. This time he fished out another chain, heavier than the key necklace, with a loop of leather at one end and metal clip at the other.

“Is that a leash?” Blaine asked, his voice pitching to an octave usually on reached by Kurt.

“Don’t worry,” Kurt smiled. “I could clip it here,” he touched a tiny metal anchor ring on the front of the cuff, “but this isn’t that kind of club. You should probably start preparing yourself, though, for when I’m old enough for those clubs.” He wiggled his eyebrows at Blaine, who blanched.

“Thank God I have four years to decide if I want that to be an empty threat or not.”

“But that doesn’t mean I’m not using this tonight,” Kurt teased. He set the leash back on the dresser but he didn’t return to the bag. Instead he pulled open the mirrored closet doors and rummaged among his own clothes for the things he’d brought for Blaine.

He found the rust-red jeans first, the ones Blaine had worn when they’d first met. They were Kurt’s favorite. And not at all by coincidence. They were also the tightest ones Blaine owned. He tossed them at Blaine, who caught them neatly but winced when he saw which pair he was holding.

“No underwear?” he asked tentatively.

“Did I give you underwear?”

“No, but . . .”

“But . . . ?”

Blaine held the jeans up by the waist, staring at them like they might bite him. “These are just . . . I’m not sure how I’m going to get everything to fit.” He waved a hand to indicate his still happily erect cock and the heavy cuff encircling his balls, which definitely hung much lower than normal now.

“Take your time. I’m sure if we wait long enough that’ll go down eventually.”

Blaine’s mouth twisted into an almost pout but he sighed resignedly, stepped into the jeans and began to work them up his legs.

It took a few minutes, but in the end he managed to stuff everything inside and get the zipper up. He was still hard, of course, Kurt had known that forcing him to put the pants on despite his state would only turn him on more. Once closed, the jeans only accentuated Blaine’s erection and his hips twitched in tiny rocking motions that Kurt was pretty sure were totally involuntary.  They really needed to get moving. Watching Blaine struggle to cope with the prison his dick had just been confined in made Kurt desperate to get his boy on a dance floor for some serious grinding.

He dove into the closet once more and emerged with a shirt.

“That’s not mine,” Blaine said when Kurt held it up for him.

“Yes it is. I made it for you.”

“You . . . really?”

“I found the pattern on a web site.” Kurt smiled at Blaine’s obvious surprise. “I had to special order the fabric.”

“It’s beautiful,” Blaine said, barely louder than a whisper.

The shirt was black, made mostly of a very fine, see-through mesh. It had been an absolute bitch to sew, but Kurt had been determined. The mesh was broken in two places by wide bands of opaque black that when worn, should just cover Blaine’s nipples and his belly button. And on the long sleeves were two more bands that lined up with the ones on the bodice. As gratified as he was by the way Blaine was staring at it like it was wonderful, Kurt really needed to see how he’d react to wearing it.

“Here,” he held it out and Blaine took it carefully, holding it between his fingers as if it might break.

“It’s so soft.” Delicately, Blaine pulled it over his head and pushed his arms through the sleeves. “Oh . . .” he breathed as it settled tight around his torso.

“The bands have elastic in them. The web site said it would feel like –”

“Bondage,” Blaine finished for him. He was staring at Kurt with absolute awe. “It feels like it’s holding me.” He closed his eyes, just to feel it, and when he opened them he smiled and slipped a hand behind Kurt’s neck, pulling him close for a kiss. “I can’t believe you made this for me.”

“It’s thin,” Kurt said, “so when we’re not going out to show you off you can wear it under a shirt – to work maybe, if you need it.”

Blaine’s hand caressed the back of Kurt’s neck. “You made it for me,” he said again.

“I make a lot of things,” Kurt demurred. He had expected Blaine to love it but he hadn’t expected the force of his reaction. “It wasn’t really that hard. I mean I had to get special needles for the fabric, and it wanted to pucker like you wouldn’t believe . . .”

Blaine kissed him again, and Kurt allowed it. But he pulled away sooner than Blaine would have liked, if the way he chased after Kurt’s lips was any indication. “We have to get moving. I’m ready to show you off.”

Kurt produced socks and shoes for Blaine, then held his leather jacket while Blaine struggled to bend far enough in the tight jeans to get them on.

“Cuff?” Blaine asked, as Kurt helped him into the jacket.

Kurt shook his head. “Cuffs, tonight.”

“Cuffs?”

Back to the special bag, from which Kurt now pulled the wide bondage cuffs he’d gotten Blaine for his birthday. He secured them to Blaine’s wrists while Blaine just stared at him wide-eyed. Then with a wicked smile he retrieved a clip from the bag. He could see the snap it made as it bound the cuffs together echo in Blaine’s eyes with the realization that he was going out like this, cuffed, and even more; his mouth dropped open when Kurt picked up the leash he’d obviously forgotten and attached its smaller clip to the one holding Blaine’s wrists together.

Blaine closed his eyes, and it was Kurt’s turn to hold him with a firm hand to the back of his head, fingers stroking through soft curls as Blaine trembled on the other end of the leash.

It was pushing things, certainly, but it wasn’t unheard of or even inappropriate for a submissive to wear a leash in public. On a Friday night in a city like Columbus, Kurt suspected nobody would even notice. But it was a lot, for them, for Blaine, another in a long line of firsts.

Kurt stepped closer, touched his lips to Blaine’s ear, and whispered, “I’ve never seen anyone look as hot as you do right now.”

Blaine didn’t open his eyes, but he huffed something that might have been a laugh. “Not even Ryan Gosling in that scene with Emma Stone where he takes his shirt off?”

“Not even him.”

Blaine’s eyes opened, and he smiled to find Kurt’s face so close. He pressed his forehead to Kurt’s and took a deep breath. “Okay,” he said, stepping back and pulling so that the leash tugged in Kurt’s hand. “Lead the way.”

Kurt circled his wrist so that the leash wrapped around it, reeling Blaine toward him again. He could see Blaine’s apprehension giving way to excitement as he felt the pull, and surrendered to it, until he was close enough for Kurt to kiss with one hot plunge deep into Blaine’s mouth. They stood that way for a long moment, connected only by their lips and the leash between them, then Kurt broke the kiss and smiled. “Oh, I plan to.”

* * *

The club was a crazy cacophony of sounds and lights, music and people. The bass beat met them before they got through the door, picking up and accentuating the excited hammering of Kurt’s heart. He had to suppress the desire to skip and bounce his way through the entry, past the coat check, where he unlocked Blaine’s wrists just long enough to remove his jacket then snapped the leash right back in place. He may have felt like a six-year-old at Disneyland, but he didn’t want to look like one. Not to the crowd that filled the tables and dance floor, and certainly not to Blaine, who had been slipping in and out of an entirely new kind of headspace ever since they walked out the main doors of the hotel and climbed into a waiting cab. He’d buried his face in Kurt’s neck as Kurt buckled his seatbelt for him, and his flush was apparent even in the dark when Kurt moved away to settle into his own seat. He rode most of the way with his eyes closed, gripping Kurt’s hand with both of his bound ones, even though the cabbie barely seemed to notice him and was certainly unfazed by his helplessness.

Kurt had watched him carefully, but finally understood that this was Blaine preparing. His breathing was slow and controlled, despite the trembling that had started when the leash went on and never quite stopped. His hand may have been tight enough around Kurt’s to be almost painful, but his shoulders were down, relaxed, and his jaw was soft. It was as if he was concentrating very hard, praying, Kurt would have thought, if Blaine was a person who prayed. Reaching inside himself to find the Blaine who was ready to be led around a public place at the end of his dominant’s leash. When the cab stopped and he opened his eyes, he had that look again, the begging but thankful look. That was familiar, at least, and Kurt breathed a sigh of relief to see it.

Kurt used the leash to keep the space between them short as they moved into the club, so that their shoulders brushed with each step. He stood tall and straight and did his best to exude confidence, for Blaine’s sake as much as for his own. But he couldn’t help bouncing a little as he led Blaine to an unoccupied stretch of wall space near the bar where they could get their bearings.

There were people everywhere. Mostly couples, and Kurt could see as they passed table after table that no one was being shy about public expressions. It was all appropriate, of course, but the clothes were more risqué than he would have ever seen in Lima and there was a sense of relaxation, despite the rushing music, of people being themselves freely and openly. Many subs were on their knees instead of sitting at the tables, and Blaine was definitely not the only one leashed to his dominant. There was a bar, even though no alcohol was sold, and a spotlit dance floor, and in one corner a little huddle of alcoves, with walls between them, creating semi-private spaces whose uses were easily imagined.

More than one pair of eyes turned to watch them as they passed, but Kurt expected that. He’d spotted a few same-sex couples on the dance floor, but the overwhelming majority were straight, and he and Blaine were unique in more ways than just that.

When they reached the wall Kurt pushed Blaine gently against it and crowded into him, shielding him from the press of people. “Are you okay?” he almost shouted over the clamor of music and voices.

“People are looking at us,” Blaine said, but he didn’t seem to be upset about it. He didn’t seem to know how he felt about it.

“Of course they are. You put every other sub in here to shame.”

Blaine smiled, a soft, loose lifting of lips.

Kurt grinned back. “Do you want something to drink or should we dance first?”

Blaine’s smile didn’t go away, but something tightened around his eyes.

“What?” Kurt asked him.

Blaine hesitated, but when Kurt arched an eyebrow at him he spoke so softly that just inches away Kurt could barely hear him. “I don’t want to have to make choices right now.”

Kurt stared at him and really, really wished he could read minds. Because Blaine’s statement could be interpreted more than one way and to ask him for clarification would be pushing him to do what he just said he didn’t want to do. But safewording was a choice, wasn’t it? Blaine had promised he would if he needed to and Kurt had promised to trust that but this was a totally new situation.

Blaine held Kurt’s gaze, though, as he stared, and finally Kurt said, “No choices. I can do that. I just need to know you’re okay.”

“I’m okay.” It was too quiet to hear, but Blaine’s lips shaped the words clearly.

“Okay.” Kurt smiled at him, trying his best to look strong and certain. “Then here we go.” He let the leash play out a little bit, so there’d be more space between them, then turned and walked confidently toward the dance floor, pulling Blaine along two paces behind.

More people looked – they were walking through the center of the room after all – but Kurt held his head high and kept moving. He didn’t care why they were looking. He loved being the center of attention and he knew that what he’d told Blaine was true – there wasn’t a submissive in the place who could hold a candle to the man at the end of his leash. Let them stare. They were probably all ready to puke with envy.

They muscled through dancing couples, found a little space to call their own, and Kurt pulled Blaine close, even though the song was fast. With a hand low on Blaine’s back he guided their hips in a kind of half-tempo roll, challenging Blaine with his eyes to join the fun, show off, give the people around them something to see.

Dancing was the right choice. At first Blaine was stiff, but he kept his eyes glued to Kurt and slowly Kurt’s excitement seemed to touch something inside of him. His body unbent, and the faraway look began to focus more than it had since they’d left the hotel. When Kurt dropped the leash so he could wrap both arms around Blaine’s waist, Blaine lifted his hands over Kurt’s head so that his arms rested on Kurt’s shoulders and the leash trailed down his back, the leather loop bumping against his ass. Kurt didn’t care. He had Blaine in his arms in public on a crowded dance floor. The whole place could have gone up in flames and Kurt was pretty sure he wouldn’t even notice.

The music changed to a slower song and Kurt pulled Blaine tighter against his body with not a single thought for what anyone around them might think. It was an amazing kind of freedom; it made Kurt feel lighter than air, dizzy with the possibilities. Under his hands he could feel that Blaine wasn’t trembling anymore. The close hold had to be awkward for his arms, but he didn’t ask to be unbound. Instead he nuzzled closer, burying his nose in the crook of Kurt’s neck and inhaling the scent there. Emboldened, Kurt pushed one leg forward and teased his thigh against Blaine’s crotch. He thrilled to feel Blaine still mostly hard, and getting harder. They swayed in a circle, slow enough that Kurt could make sure his leg brushed against Blaine’s erection with every move. Everyone around them was wrapped up in their own partners; no one looked, no one cared what he and Blaine were doing. The music pulsed in time with Kurt’s heartbeat and the little thrusts they made against each other and Kurt never wanted to move. He wanted to live here, right on this spot in the middle of this crowd of people who couldn’t be bothered to be shocked that he was groping his much older and decidedly also male boyfriend right in front of them. He hadn’t expected to discover heaven in Columbus, but he wasn’t about to question it.

They rocked and swayed through one more song, and Kurt teased Blaine until he was breathless, panting against Kurt’s neck. Then Kurt decided it was time for a break. He tossed his head in the direction of the bar and Blaine obediently lifted his hands free so Kurt could take the leash.

He felt the difference almost immediately, from his first step toward the bar. Blaine was moving with him now. It was subtle but there. They were together, moving as one, Kurt could almost feel Blaine inside him, like he was seeing through both Blaine’s eyes and his own at the same time. He’d felt it before, but always when they were alone, in that moment when Blaine finally let go and stopped struggling, in those moment Kurt had felt the awareness, sharp and bright, that he was acting for both of them, giving and receiving at the same time. But never like this, out, with people. When he sidestepped a dancing couple or a protruding table, Blaine moved at the same instant, with him, like a flocking bird, and Kurt wanted to shout with elation because nobody had a submissive like this. He was the one Blaine gave this to, the only person who would ever get to feel the power of Blaine’s confidence and trust. And he’d proven worthy of it, once again. They weren’t even touching, or looking at each other, but Kurt could feel it through the leash as they moved. Together.

And then it was gone. Blaine froze with a gasp and the leash pulled tight before Kurt realized. He turned to find Blaine for the first time that night not looking at him, but past him, into the crowd.

“What is it?” he asked.

“Blaine? Oh my God, what are the odds?”

Kurt didn’t recognize the voice that rang out over the throb of the music, not consciously, so he had no idea why his heart dropped through the floor at the same time that panic edged around Blaine’s eyes. He spun around and found himself face to face with a walking nightmare.

Kev. Fucking Kev whatever-his-name-was, the asshole jerk from the coffee shop who’d ruined their first date. Fucking Kev grinning like he’d just rediscovered his long-lost best friend. He was hurtling toward them; Kurt was sure he meant to scoop Blaine up in a hug and he had no idea what to do. He didn’t have time to think, he needed time to figure out what Blaine would want but there wasn’t time, Kev was almost on top of them . . .

Thankfully, the jerk pulled up short when he was close enough to see the whole picture – cuffs, leash – apparently in the months since their last meeting he’d managed to develop at least a basic sense of personal boundaries. For a moment he simply stared at them, taking it all in, drawing the obvious conclusions, and Kurt had to force down a fierce surge of possessiveness that made him long to step in front of Blaine, cut him off so that the other dom couldn’t even look at him. But he also very much didn’t want a repeat of last time, with the two of them sacrificing Blaine to their dominant pissing contest. So for a long moment while the activity of the club went on around them, oblivious, none of them moved.

Then Blaine, without speaking, took a single step, sideways, and back, putting himself behind Kurt, and in that moment the connection was back. Without looking Kurt knew that Blaine had lowered his eyes to the floor, the perfect submissive making an unmistakable statement.

Kev swept a hand through his perfect blond hair and closed the distance between them, but this time he kept his eyes on Kurt. When he got close enough he actually held out his hand. “It’s, um . . .”

“Kurt,” Kurt supplied. He shook Kev’s hand as quickly as he could. He really didn’t want to touch him, but he figured since he was the one with Blaine behind him, shackled and on a leash, he could afford to be magnanimous.

“Kurt, right.” Kev’s eyes swept up and down Kurt’s body, then over his shoulder to Blaine and back again. “Well, it looks like you’ve come a long way since the last time I saw you.”

Kurt couldn’t tell if he was sincere or not and he honestly didn’t care. He didn’t say anything in return, but Kev didn’t seem inclined to give up and go away.

“Do you mind if I say hello to him?” Kev asked, nodding in Blaine’s direction.

Kurt tried to hide his astonishment, but he was pretty sure he failed. “Blaine?” he said, without taking his eyes off the smirking dom in front of him.

“Yes master?” Blaine said in a voice so determinedly meek that Kurt had to bite the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing out loud. But Kev didn’t seem to find it funny at all. He apparently accepted the display at face value.

“Would you like to say hello to Kevin?”

Kurt would have sworn he could feel the exact moment Blaine raised his eyes to meet Kev’s. “It’s nice to see you again,” he said, still sounding, to Kurt, very not Blaine.

“You too, Blaine,” Kev said. “You definitely look better than you did the last time I saw you.”

“Thank you.” Blaine lowered his eyes again. Kurt couldn’t see it, but he knew when it happened, as clearly as if they’d planned it out beforehand.

He was seriously going to reward Blaine as soon as they got back to the hotel room.

But Kev was still standing in front of them, not moving away as he should be.

“Well, we should –” Kurt began.

“Why don’t we have a drink together?” Kev said unexpectedly.

Kurt glared at him. He didn’t want to spend any more time with this jerk than he had to. He didn’t want to make Blaine spend any more time than he had to. But there was a challenge hidden behind Kev’s handsome smile that poked at the insecurity Kurt kept hidden deep, deep inside him. He was sure Kev thought that this was all some sort of façade he could break again as easily as he had before.

“Blaine?” Kurt said.

“Master?”

Kurt turned to look at him. Blaine’s eyes were still lowered, but he peeked up from under his lashes just enough so that Kurt could see the conspiratorial sparkle in them. It was amazing how easily Blaine could make that insecurity disappear. He pulled his wallet out of his pocket and handed Blaine a twenty dollar bill. “Go get drinks. Coke for me. Water for yourself. And . . .” he looked over his shoulder at Kev.

“Coke, thanks,” Kev smirked.

“Coke for Kevin.” He unclipped the leash but left Blaine’s wrists bound together.

Blaine’s eyes widened in unspoken question, but Kurt just smiled at him, offering his own challenge. “Go,” he ordered.

“Yes master,” Blaine said, and he went.

“We’ll grab that empty table over there,” Kev called after him, but Blaine didn’t look back. Kev watched him go, ogling his ass, Kurt was sure, and it was only the undeniable fact that that ass belonged solely to him that kept Kurt from gouging Kev’s eyes out where he stood. That and the fact that he really wanted to see how far Blaine would go with this display of submission.

Kev headed straight for the table without looking back, leaving Kurt to follow.

“What is this about?” Kurt pulled out a chair and sat, dropping Blaine’s leash on the table between them. “You don’t want to have a drink with me.”

“Why do you say that?” Kev was all innocence.

“Because the last time you saw me you did everything you could to piss me off and make Blaine miserable.”

“Oh please. You were the only one making Blaine miserable that day.”

“Excuse me?!” Kurt exclaimed. His Blaine-inspired cool was quickly evaporating.

Kev leaned back in his chair, the relaxed opposite of Kurt. “First, I had no idea he was your soulmate that day. It certainly wasn’t obvious and neither of you told me.”

Kurt was slightly mollified by the fact that Kev took it for granted now, although he hadn’t been told and Blaine wasn’t wearing his usual cuff. Still he said skeptically, “So if you’d known you wouldn’t have acted the way you did?”

“Of course not.” The very idea seemed to offend Kev. “Only an asshole would go chasing after a bonded submissive.”

Kurt raised an eyebrow at him in pointed accusation.

“I might have had a few choice words for you though,” Kev went on, ignoring Kurt’s implication.

“Really?”

Kev chuckled indulgently. “You were in so far over your head. I mean, Blaine Anderson is the best submissive I’ve ever been with, and I’ve been with them all. He goes so deep even I couldn’t find the bottom. And there you were – well, it was obvious you’d never touched a man before. Poor Blaine was sitting there so desperate for you to just throw him a bone. You should probably be thanking me for finally goading you into some kind of display of dominance.”

“You did not . . .” But Kurt couldn’t finish the sentence. Because he sort of had.

Blaine arrived at their side at that exact moment, distracting them both. He had a glass of coke in each of his hobbled hands, and a bottle of water under his arm. Kurt grabbed the water, and Blaine set the drinks on the table then fished awkwardly in his pocket for Kurt’s change. Kurt was a little surprised he’d managed to fit anything in that pocket.

Then without saying a word, Blaine folded down as gracefully as a ballerina to kneel on the floor next to Kurt’s chair.

Oh, he was getting such a nice reward later.

“I meant what I said though,” Kev continued, still talking as if Blaine wasn’t even there. “He looks good. Better than I’ve ever seen him. You must have some hidden depth yourself.”

Kurt twisted the cap off the bottle of water and handed it down to Blaine, who took it with a quiet “Thank you, master.”

“Well I am his soulmate.”

Kev nodded, sipping at his coke and looking from Kurt to Blaine, evaluating. Like he was watching a pair of magicians, trying to figure out the trick. Kurt found it infuriating. As much fun as Blaine’s display was, Kurt wanted Kev out of their evening.

“Anyhow, I think we should –”

“Oh crap!” Kev interrupted Kurt’s attempt to extricate them. He looked past Kurt and his face lit up in recognition. “The guy I’m meeting just showed up. I guess that’s as far as this little reunion goes.” He pushed his chair back and stood up, leaving his coke on the table. “Nice to see you Blaine. Kurt.” And he was gone.

Kurt didn’t bother to turn around to see who he was meeting. “Well I like that. He can hijack our evening but the minute his friend shows up . . .”

Something touched his leg and he looked down to find Blaine’s chin on his thigh, and Blaine’s dark, avid eyes looking up at him. “I’m sure we can find something to do without him,” Blaine said, adding, with a little quirk of his lips, “master.”

Kurt smiled too, just for a fraction of a second before forcing his expression into mock severity. In one quick move he clipped the leash back onto Blaine’s wrists and stood, without any warning, but they were still in synch. Blaine was up right behind him, already moving as Kurt led him across the room toward the little warren of alcoves in the far corner. The first one was unoccupied and Kurt pulled Blaine into it, not even caring that they could be glimpsed from the dance floor, he just needed to get his mouth on his perfect and awesome boyfriend. Happily, Blaine had the same idea. He was pulling at Kurt’s shoulders before they even crossed the little threshold, turning him, fisting the silk waistcoat to drag Kurt into a hungry kiss. His tongue met Kurt’s more than halfway, demanding, and Kurt loved that Blaine could do this, could go from kneeling submissive to greedy boyfriend without questioning it. And that no matter how far Kurt took him into something new, he never, never lost his core sense of who he was, and who they were together.

“God I love you,” he said when Blaine finally released his mouth and addressed himself to Kurt’s neck instead. “You were so hot with that ‘yes master, thank you master.’ The look on his face!”

“What about you?” Blaine abandoned the trail he was kissing toward Kurt’s ear long enough to ask. “You looked . . . I was afraid you were going to cut his hands off if he so much as touched me,” he said before going back to work.

Kurt took Blaine’s face in his hands to stop him tonguing at his ear. “We really are perfect together, aren’t we?”

Blaine answered him with another searching kiss. Kurt closed his eyes and fell into it, stroking down Blaine’s neck and the long line of his back. Under his touch Blaine rocked forward and found the hard muscle of his thigh, grinding his growing erection against it.

They were alone and the music was pounding and Kurt couldn’t think of a reason not to let Blaine torture himself for as long as he could stand it. He opened his eyes to check and see if Blaine seemed just as okay with that . . . and found that they were not alone after all. Standing by the corner of the dance floor, certainly close enough to be able to see exactly what was going on, was Kev. He was listening to a man whose back was to Kurt. The man was talking to a third person, hidden from view by the wall of the alcove, but Kev was looking right at them.

Kurt’s fingers tightened in the small of Blaine’s back, stilling him.

“What’s wrong?” Blaine asked.

“He’s watching us.”

“What?”

“Don’t turn around.” Kurt said it without thinking. He wasn’t sure what he was thinking. He didn’t let go of Blaine. “It’s Kev. He’s standing in this one tiny spot where he can see us. He’s watching.”

“Kurt.” Blaine’s voice was serious enough that it drew Kurt’s eyes away from Kev and back to him. “Is this really happening or is this a Puck with pulley thing? Are you just trying to get me hot?”

“He’s really there,” Kurt said.

“Fuck.” But Blaine didn’t move. He rolled his hips, rocking himself hard into Kurt’s thigh, harder than he had to, so that the roll of his hips would be obvious to anyone. It was a show. For Kev. Or maybe for Kurt.

“What do you want to do?” Kurt asked breathlessly.

Blaine rolled his hips again. “I don’t want to make any choices, remember?” He was still blindingly hard, and pressed so close that Kurt could feel the ridge of the ball cuff against his leg.

It was permission, Kurt realized. Blaine was giving him permission to do whatever he wanted to do. And reminding him to trust that Blaine wouldn’t let him take it too far. Kurt’s belly tightened with excitement. Because he knew what he wanted to do.

“Do you remember earlier, in the room, when you said you could come from this?” He pressed into Blaine’s cock, just so there’d be no question what this meant.

Blaine’s eyes went a little glazed at the pressure, but he nodded.

“Could you? Here? Knowing that he’s watching you?”

“I’m not sure,” Blaine said, but his eyes closed and a tremor shook his body.

Across the room, Kev stood still, staring.

“Let him see how desperate you are? How much you belong to me?” Kurt was warming to it now, fueled by Blaine’s reaction. He rocked his leg side to side over Blaine’s jutting erection, hard and fast, until Blaine moaned and dropped his head on Kurt’s shoulder, his fists tightening in the fabric of Kurt’s vest.

“Come now,” Kurt said, “and I’ll let you come as much as you want this weekend. However you want.”

“Oh fuck,” Blaine whispered into Kurt’s shoulder. He began to work his hips again, rutting in rhythm with Kurt’s rocking thigh.

“I’ll drag you back to that hotel and make you come over and over, until you’re dry, until it hurts, until you beg me to stop.”

“Jesus, fuck Kurt,” Blaine gasped, hips speeding up, pushing toward completion.

Kev’s eyes were locked on Kurt and, holding Blaine’s writhing body in his arms, he smiled, smiled for Kev and smiled for himself because he knew this was really for him. He needed this. Maybe it was wrong, but some part of Kurt, the part that would never forget the abject humiliation of that moment in the coffee shop, needed to show Kev just how much Blaine was his. And it was okay, it was okay to take what he needed as long as Blaine was getting what he needed too. That’s what Blaine had meant about choices. This was Kurt’s choice. A choice he was allowed to make.

“He’s looking at you right now, Blaine.” He slid his hands lower, over Blaine’s ass, pulling him, adding to the momentum. Blaine’s breath was hot on his shoulder; Kurt could feel it through his clothes.”

“Fuck, I’m going to come,” Blaine moaned.

“Do it. Let him watch you come. Just because I want you to.”

“Oh God, Kurt, fuck, fuck, Kurt.” Blaine’s hips slammed to a stop and he shuddered against Kurt with a long, low cry. Kurt kept his eyes on Kev, kept rocking his thigh against Blaine’s cock, pulling convulsion after convulsion from him, each accompanied by that same gasping cry. When he finally collapsed like dead weight against Kurt’s body, Kurt, still watching Kev, tossed his chin pointedly in the direction of the main part of the club. The dismissal was clear. Kev recovered himself enough to smile, sketched a little bow in their direction, grabbed the hand of the man he was with, and disappeared.

Blaine clung to him, boneless and satiated, while Kurt was himself ragingly hard, and feeling more than a little guilty now that the heat of the moment had passed. It was easy to tell himself that it was okay while it was going on, but had Blaine really wanted to . . .

“Oh. My. God.” Blaine panted. He lifted his head from Kurt’s shoulder and stared at him like he was a stranger, an alien stranger with three heads. But then his face broke into a grin that quickly bloomed into full-fledged laughter. He hung on Kurt as best he could with his hands still bound together, and laughed like Kurt had never heard him laugh before. Until he was breathless and gasping with it. Kurt joined him with a tentative chuckle, because he wasn’t sure if this was maybe hysteria.

“Did we really just do that?” Blaine asked, his eyes filling with laughter-induced tears.

Kurt reached for Blaine’s crotch and squeezed at the spreading dampness. “Apparently,” he said.

That set Blaine off again. He rolled away to lean against the wall of the alcove and laugh some more, until he was doubled over with it, tears escaping to slide down his cheeks. Kurt waited anxiously for Blaine to get himself under control so that he could decide whether this had been the best idea ever or the biggest mistake of his life.

But then Blaine rolled back and kissed him, a soft, happy, incandescent kiss that, despite the humor pulling at his lips, answered all Kurt’s unspoken questions.

“Well I hope that’s the last we see of him,” Kurt said emphatically when Blaine let him go.

“Really? The way he brings out the possessive dom in you? I’m thinking about paying him to just follow us around places.”

That, more than anything, told Kurt that everything was really okay.

“The problem now,” Kurt said as he unclipped the cuffs that bound Blaine’s hands, “is that we’ve got to get out of here and I’m not exactly . . . presentable.” He gestured down, and Blaine’s giggles returned when he took in Kurt’s turgid state.

“Oh, poor baby. You’re not used to walking around hard are you?”

“Are you making fun of me?”

“Well you just have hope it’s dark enough in here that no one notices because we’re leaving now. I want to get back to that hotel room and start having orgasms. And if you’re very, very lucky, I’ll let you have a couple too.”

Kurt scowled at him. “What I give I can take away you know.”

“Hey! That’s not fair!”

“You like it not fair.”

Blaine slipped a hand into Kurt’s and squeezed. “If it makes you feel any better, I have to walk out looking like I just came in my pants.” He pulled and Kurt reluctantly let himself be led out of the alcove. “Come on. You know I’ll make it worth your while.”

Kurt followed him through the club, which really was dark enough. They’d entered with a leash between them but they left hand in hand, Blaine joking and being his goofy self until Kurt couldn’t help laughing along. And both of those couples, both the bondage chic of the beginning of the night and the cuddling boyfriends of the end, were them. Kurt was pretty sure that was something Kev would never understand. Which was why, Kurt realized, Kev had never managed to find the bottom of Blaine’s submission. Because he’d never tried to find Blaine.

But Kurt had Blaine. All of Blaine. And not just in the come-in-this-bar-because-I-say-so way, but in the goose-your-boyfriend-when-he-climbs-into-the-cab way. Also in the hold-him-as-he-explodes-in-gales-of-laughter-again way. Which was really Kurt’s favorite way.