When I checked on him at lunch, he'd been pressed back against the headboard of the bed, curled into a fetal position and wrapped tightly in a blanket. He was panicking. His mind was a chaotic tumble of images that joined and overlaid the open door with the caning of the night before, and then the bright flare of muzzle-flash. He couldn't think of anything but the door, and the imagined consequences of his inability to control his thoughts terrified him.
I told Reyes I didn't feel well -- "possibly food poisoning, don't expect me tomorrow" -- and went home. I stripped off my coat and tie without thinking on my way to Krycek. He returned to consciousness just as I arrived at his side.
Alex saw me and cringed in despair. "I'm sorry, Master, I'm sorry," he whimpered.
I climbed onto the bed and pulled him into my arms without care for his injuries, turning as I gathered him up so that I sat with my back against the headboard and he sat in my lap facing to my right. Keeping him bundled in the blanket, I made soothing noises and rocked him while he shook. Alex tried frantically to keep his mind blank, but it's more than a little difficult to think nothing. He kept getting distracted by his fears.
Shifting him aside and pulling up my knee to support his back, I turned his face deeper into my shoulder and blocked his peripheral vision with my hand so he could no longer see the door at all.
"Alex," I said softly, "I want you to concentrate on what you can sense right now. Don't say anything, just concentrate. What does the blanket feel like?" I paused after each of my questions. "Are you warm or cold? What do you smell? What do you hear? What else do you feel?"
His mind stopped racing as he focused on his senses. His anxiety slowly eased and he uncurled a little, breathing more deeply.
"Close your eyes," I said. When he did, I asked again what he could hear, smell, and feel. I picked up a bit of cheese from the nightstand and waited.
He relaxed further, cataloging scents and sounds. I closed my eyes for a moment and breathed with him. We could hear the faint whirr of the heat pump outside the living room and the regular ticking of the bathroom clock. A pigeon cooed suddenly at the window.
The flat odor of the Epsom salts lingered in Alex's hair, overlaying the light, sticky musk of his sweat.
I put the piece of cheese to his lips. "Open."
He parted his lips for me to press the morsel in.
"Taste," I commanded.
He chewed slowly, covering his tongue with the flavor. I nudged him into a more comfortable position. His temple rested against me, and I could feel the muscle working as he chewed.
I presented a piece of apple next, so the tartness could clear his palate. When he'd fully tasted that and swallowed, I tipped his chin up and kissed him.
He whimpered in confusion. Hadn't he thought of escape? Wasn't I going to punish him?
I drew back. "Yes, you thought of it, but it was an impulse, not an intention. You never actually made a decision to leave. Even without being chained and without me here, you followed the rules. Besides, you practically punished yourself."
He shook his head. "It was too hard, Master. I came too close to screwing up."
"It will be easier in the future," I promised.
I stroked the hollow of his throat tenderly and traced his skin down into the vee of the blanket folded across his chest. I folded the top layer open and pulled the bottom layer aside to expose more of his chest. I touched the bare skin there tenderly and took his mouth in another warm kiss.
Alex responded hesitantly, anxiety falling aside as I explored him with my mouth and hand. He moaned into my mouth when I gently pinched a nipple. I tugged a little harder and felt him squirm in response. He started to grow aroused.
I continued kissing him, adding brief forays to his neck and ears while my hand drifted outside the blanket down to his crotch. Finding an edge of the blanket, I worked between the folds and gathers to find his naked cock. It was full, almost fully distended in arousal. I stroked it gently while he made tiny, desperate noises.
I pulled my mouth away from his and released him long enough to reach for the lube in the nightstand and squeeze a dollop onto my hand before tucking it back under the blanket to grasp his cock again.
I licked his upper lip before I spoke.
"We're going for positive reinforcement today. I won't hurt you for wrong answers, but I'll reward you for right ones. And this will be good practice for the next time you encounter temptation. I want you to repeat the rules over and over again until I decide to let you come."
Krycek moaned, ending on a strained whimper.
"But first, what am I?" I asked.
"The master," Alex responded.
"What are you?"
"I don't know, sir. Slave? Toy doll?"
"Pet," I corrected. "You are my pet. You belong to me, but I also take care of you. I won't pop your head off for no reason like a child does a doll. I own you; I feed you and provide for your needs; I punish you if you get out of line; I give treats and rewards for good behavior. Sounds pretty pet-like, doesn't it?"
"Yes, Master," he said cautiously.
"You know what else is nice about being a pet?" I dropped my voice. "A master cares for his pet. He doesn't just put it on a shelf and forget about it. He makes sure it has food and water. He nurtures it when it's sick and takes it to the vet if need be. He touches it and cuddles it and plays with it. Do you want to be touched and cuddled and nurtured?"
"Yes, Master," he said with more certainty.
I licked his mouth again, smiling when he opened in welcome. I let my slick fingers barely tickle his cock. "What's the first rule, pet?"
"Don't run," he said immediately.
I hummed approval and took him in my hand, but I didn't move along his length. "Don't run, what?"
"Don't run, Master."
I stroked the full length of his cock, stopping again at the top. "Next, pet?"
"Don't try to kill you, Master."
I stroked over him again, sliding my thumb over the head. "Keep going, pet."
"Show honest responses, Master, but endure if I must."
I stroked and squeezed as he spoke, stopping when he did. When he continued, so did I.
"Call you sir whenever I'm kneeling, Master.
"Always keep a respectful tone of voice, Master.
"Never get bossy or make demands, Master."
I paused when he did.
"Obey you always, Master. Don't defy you and don't fight you," he said in a rush. I rewarded him with two firm strokes -- then waited.
He got tense. "I'm sorry, Master, I don't remember the rest."
"Don't jerk off without permission," I said without moving.
"Don't jerk off without permission," he parroted, "Master."
I gave him a stroke and a squeeze. "And don't ever pull away from me."
"Never pull away from you, Master."
I stroked him firmly and ordered him to repeat them again.
The second time through was flawless. I pumped him steadily as he recited. He grew warm, but didn't stop his repetition while he opened the blanket. When he started the third set, I took advantage of the change, leaning down to cover his nipple with my mouth and biting gently.
Alex's hips surged, and he interrupted his litany to beg. "Please, Master, please."
"Keep going," I said.
His head fell back on my arm. He stammered for a moment, seeking where he'd left off, then started again from the beginning.
I nipped and sucked his sensitive peak until his recitation was punctuated by moans and exclamations. Still, he continued repeating the rules. He kept going even as I moved out from under him, laying him gently back on the bed, sliding my hand up and down his cock all the while. I spread his thighs and knelt between them. He gasped briefly before returning to his litany when I drizzled more lube on my hand and his cock. I lifted his hips and shuffled forward so his ass rested high on my thighs. He whimpered at the pressure on his welts but kept going, groping for and finding my knee to grasp.
Coincidentally, the next rule was about honest responses and endurance.
I switched hands, gripping his cock with my left and sliding my slippery right hand into his cleft and over his hole.
He cried out and made an interesting shimmy with his hips, twisting in a valiant attempt to move up and down simultaneously. I wanted my cock inside him. Having pants on made it easier to resist that temptation. I chose to wait.
I teased the soft rim of his asshole, going no further until he started brokenly reciting again. With each rule, he said "Master," and with each "Master," I went a little deeper in. At the end of the list, the knuckles of my other fingers were pressed against his body. I curled my finger against his prostate.
He cried out and arched.
I slid my finger out of him, letting my fingertip linger just inside the bud. I took my other hand off his cock.
"Put your hand on your cock," I ordered.
Slowly, he did so. I rewarded him by sliding smoothly inside and directly across his prostate. I rubbed it twice, making him shudder with pleasure, before drawing out again.
He started moving his hand -- awkwardly, because it was his off hand. Arousal intermingled with his shame like wine and bitter herbs.
"The rules?" I prompted.
I'd lost count of how many times he'd repeated the list. I added a little more lube to both of us and began working two fingers inside of him. He whimpered between sentences.
"Push out," I instructed.
He did, and opened his eyes in surprise as I slid easily all the way in.
"Close your eyes and keep going," I said. He obeyed.
I leaned over him, bracing myself on my left hand. My movement forced his thighs farther apart as I reached forward to take his nipple into my mouth.
He whimpered, choking out pertinent words but no longer able to string them into sentences. I lifted my mouth and told him to stop talking. The words stopped, but his noises continued rising as I suckled each nipple in turn and bumped his prostate with my fingers. The back of his hand brushed my belly as he pumped his cock, a strange blend of desire and reluctance mixing inside him. He was ashamed of his arousal, embarrassed to touch himself.
I put my face nearly level with his. "You are beautiful," I whispered. "Handsome. Perfect. Touching you is an honor so sacred I share it with no one but you."
His breath caught, eyes opening again in wonder.
I twisted my fingers inside him, and he thrust down onto them.
"Has no one ever told you what a treasure you are? How smart and clever and determined?"
He shook his head.
"If you weren't worth my time, I would have put you down the first night. But instead I kept you and taught you." I rubbed his prostate. "You learned quickly, because you're smart and you're a survivor. You adapt. And there's more I want you to learn."
I twisted my fingers.
I gently bit each peaked nipple to the accompaniment of his gasping cries. "Master, please," he begged.
I fucked him slowly with my fingers, following the speed of his hand while he pleaded. He finally let go of his shame enough to pick up the pace a little and immediately realized I was matching him. "Oh, God," he moaned.
Together, we sped up, and I concentrated on brushing his prostate not -- quite -- enough.
"Please, Master, please," he whined, straining with his thighs pressed tight against my hips.
I licked up the middle of his chest to the hollow of his throat and lapped up the drops of sweat gathered there. I nipped at his jaw, drove my fingers as far into him as they would go, and whispered, "Come."
He keened, pulsing muscles around my fingers, cock lunging against his fist, shoulders quivering rapidly on a carrier wave of his torso rising and falling. He ran out of air and kept shaking with orgasm, silent now. I pressed my fingers inside toward the root of his cock and made him gasp. I milked the last aftershocks out of his heaving body until he whimpered from over-stimulation. He lay utterly limp, shoulders on the bed and ass on my lap.
I wanted to rip open my pants and drive my cock into him. Patience. He was so close to where I wanted him to be. Instead I sat up and pulled my cock out of my open fly and masturbated where I knelt. I groped his thigh with one hand and jerked my cock with the other, relishing the view of his sated body still trying to catch its breath.
Orgasm rose without delay and rolled my spine like a cracking whip while I spurted and oozed, my semen falling among his on his belly.
Mine. Claimed and marked.
I leaned forward again and licked his neck while I caught my own breath, not caring for the cleanliness of my shirt. Leaning on one elbow, I caressed his shoulder then traced along his collarbone. Languorously I kissed him until the slickness between us started to make him itch. Alex continued to meet my kiss eagerly but shifted his body uncomfortably.
I rose up and scratched my belly briefly then did the same to his. I lifted him off my lap and scooted back so I could stand. Quickly, I washed my hands, stripped off my soiled shirt, and returned to the bedroom with a warm washcloth to clean my lethargic pet.
He stretched happily under the soft fabric. I rolled him toward the wall and pushed his knee up out of my way so I could gently clean everywhere lubricant had been spread.
He stayed where I left him while I shed the rest of my clothing and lay down against his back. He flinched a little when I rubbed against his stripes. I thought for a moment, weighing my urge to spoon behind him against his comfort and decided in his favor. I got back up.
"I'm sorry, Master," he said.
"I'm not going to punish you for involuntary reflexes, pet," I said patiently. "Straighten out and lie down prone."
He turned to lie the length of the bed instead of across it. I found the lidocaine where I'd left it, shook it, and sprayed his back. It was cool on the heat of the stripes.
"Thank you," he said with deep sincerity.
I lay on my back next to him and pulled him partway onto me, tucking his shoulder under my arm.
A nap seemed in order for both of us.
My old boss is coming back from maternity leave tomorrow. I'm not sure if she's going to be my boss again or if my small team gets to stay with the interim boss. Old boss has a credo of "Always look busy!" For which my writing porn may or may not qualify. Just so you know. *crosses fingers*