Rough Canvas
Chapter Seven

 Joey W. Hill

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When they came out of the water at last, it was an effort not to stagger. Thomas' knees were quivering, whereas Marcus looked as if he could run a marathon. In the interest of trying to appear as if he wasn't shaken to the core, Thomas mentioned Ben's offer as he slogged out of the surf.
"Sounds like a plan." Marcus picked up a towel when they reached their spot, pressed it against Thomas' back. "Stand still."
There was a different tone when it was a Master's order, a tone that snapped at Thomas' attention like the end of a whip, tightening up everything inside. Despite being drained literally moments before, his cock stirred weakly. Marcus put his hand on his shoulder, his fingers casually resting on the base of Thomas' throat.
Thomas swallowed against his touch as the towel rubbed between his shoulder blades, down over his ass, Marcus squeezing firmly, briskly, coming around the front to do the same to Thomas' chest and belly. Then his hair, letting the terry cloth momentarily blind him before Marcus pulled it away, dropped a kiss on his shoulder.
"You'll do, pet. Lie down on the towel and take a short nap. I'll massage those kinks out of your shoulders."
Thomas didn't need a second invitation. Marcus' touch was often demanding. But when all that strength was channeled into being gentle and firm, stroking over Thomas'shoulders, digging into the muscles, down across the wide plane of his back, sweeping circles, kneading, then going to the dip of his lower back, eliciting a grunt...
"Like that, do you?"
"You always gave one hell of a massage."
"Mmmm. You've always had one hell of a body. You've had an injury here. Like you've tied the muscle into a knot."
"Yeah. Fell off a ladder. Damn step moved."
Marcus didn't laugh. Just kept kneading that area. Thomas wasn't going to tell Marcus he'd been working on something at two in the morning because he couldn't bear to lie on a mattress and imagine Marcus right next to him, hearing his even breath.
They'd only lived together officially for a handful of months, and he'd felt like a grieving widower.
A grieving widower who couldn't share his grief with anyone, not even the person whom he had to treat as if he were dead, no longer part of his life. Thomas squeezed his eyes shut, not wanting to go there. He needed to turn off a little while, wanted to just focus on Marcus' hands on him.
Instead, he sat up, latched onto Marcus' wrist. "How many?" he asked, his jaw set.
Marcus' eyes narrowed. "I know you're not asking what I think you're asking."
"I have the right to know." Not because Thomas had a claim on him, but because of the way he felt about him. Not that he could or would say that.
Marcus studied him, his expression moving between anger and something else.
"Two. I've gone to the clubs, but there've only been two men I've fucked in the time you've been gone. One of them wasn't exactly...mine. He's a friend and belongs to a Mistress, who is another friend of mine. It was a one-shot deal, unusual circumstances, because he's straight. We shared him. The man I was talking with on the phone. They're married."
Thomas nodded, though he felt like he'd swallowed one of the spiny balls from a sweet gum tree. Marcus had gone to the clubs. Often? Occasionally? A hell of a lot could go on in fetish clubs. He could have been blown every other night.
"It's eating you, isn't it?" Those green eyes saw far too much. "You're thinking of all the things you saw when I took you to those types of places, how turned on you got.
When I took you home and fucked you, you couldn't get enough."
"Stop it." Thomas shook his head, reached over to the cooler to withdraw a beer, but Marcus laid a hand on his thigh, arresting him in mid motion. Thomas stared at the long fingers lying on the tense line of muscle, close to his groin.
"You were irresistible," Marcus said in a low voice. "Too shy to ask me to do any of it to you. But it mesmerized you to see others treated that way. Restrained, on public display before total strangers. A Master taking up a whip and leaving red marks on fine skin." He ran his knuckles down the center of Thomas' chest and Thomas swallowed, forced himself to remain still, though he wanted to scramble away from the truth of it.
"Who was the other guy know."
"Some poor, unfortunate - or perhaps he considered himself lucky - complete stranger. It was a month after I was certain you weren't coming back." There was a faint hardening in Marcus' gaze. "I took him to a private dungeon room and fucked him within an inch of his life. Slapped him over a bench, rammed my cock in him six or seven times, flogged him until he had to use his safe word. Then I kissed every welt so he was begging for more."
Thomas closed his eyes, his jaw flexing. His hands clenched into fists on the towel.
"You son of a bitch." When he began to jerk away, Marcus caught his arm, held him there with a fierce grip and an even fiercer look.
"Tonight is your turn. I'm going to use you, pet. Drive you crazy. Give you pain and pleasure so you don't know which is which. Don't deny that's what you want, because your hard-on is saying something different." His gaze shifted down, then back up, pinning Thomas in place. "I'm going to do what I've always wanted to do, what you've always wanted me to do. Make you surrender to me utterly."
"But I'm here for a week..."
"It doesn't have anything to do with time, pet. It has to do with accepting what is, no matter what happens. Lie back down on your stomach. Now."
When Marcus had Dominated him before, often in the harsh light of day Thomas had rationalized it as a game, role-playing he'd "allowed". But since their separation, he'd recognized that for the lie it was. Thomas found himself lying down again, despite the resentment burning in his gut. That inexplicable emotional compulsion to obey Marcus' commands didn't care about his wounded feelings. His cock sure as hell didn't care.
All those different times, watching the things Marcus had described, Thomas had sensed something in Marcus, waiting. Something in him had wanted to beg for his Master to take command, do more, though he had no idea what "more" was. Whatever it was, he knew he was afraid of wanting it. But that didn't stop him from wanting it so much.
Marcus' hands smoothed over the muscles that had re-knotted in his back. As Marcus leaned forward so the ends of his hair grazed the back of Thomas' shoulders, Thomas felt his breath there. "After I give you all that pain tonight," his lips brushed Thomas' skin, making his fingers convulse on the sand, "I'm going to kiss every one of your welts, soothe everything I've torn apart and put it all back together again." His last scrap of sanity warned Thomas he should back out of this. They had so much shit tearing up the ground between them, and there seemed no way to make it smooth. Thomas wondered if his passive acquiescence was just a way of stumbling blindly down a road they'd never taken this far to see if a solution would present itself.
Marcus massaged his body in silence for about ten more minutes, until Thomas was both more relaxed and more aroused again. Then his lover stretched out on the towel next to him, apparently prepared to take his own nap.
As Marcus lay on his back in the sun, his sunglasses shaded his eyes, one lean strong arm relaxed over his head. His other palm rested on his abdomen, just above the waistband of that sinfully low-riding suit, drawing Thomas' eyes to the impressive mound triangulated between his thighs. Even at rest it was able to make saliva clog his throat.
"We've always played on the edges, you and me," Marcus said, his eyes hidden, his voice neutral. "It's time for you to understand what me being your Master means. My Will becoming the air moving in and out of your lungs, the blood pumping through your body. You've submitted to me, your heart yearning to be my slave, but you haven't taken that final step. When you do, the chains you've wrapped around your internal organs to squeeze the life out of them might just fall away." A few minutes later the merciless bastard succumbed to a doze, leaving Thomas like a tightly strung wire next to him.
Eventually Thomas sat, knees drawn up, one arm linked over them. He got a beer and opened it, took a swig. Watching the volleyball players, he listened to the wind and surf.
He also watched over the man next to him. Jesus, even Marcus' inhumanly, perfectly styled jet-black hair was drying in an attractive windblown look, despite the saltwater content that should have made it like bedraggled seaweed.
As Thomas rocked the half-empty beer between his fingers, he thought of Marcus touching that faceless slave, kissing away his hurts. Ramming his cock in his ass.
On second thought, Marcus really could use a rinse.
* * * * *
Fortunately the coffeehouse Andrew and Ben recommended was on the ground level of a yacht club with showers. Andrew was a member.
"You had to douse me with Bud Light? There was bottled water in the cooler, for Chrissakes. Or a good quality wine, at least. I smelled like a college frat punk. Or a mill worker on Friday night."
Thomas grinned without repentance as Marcus returned to their table with damp, newly washed hair and the acid comment. Glancing down as the waitress set a cup in front of him, he thought he was probably the first person who'd ordered plain black coffee since the place opened.
It was delivered in a mug the size of a soup bowl. If he drank all of it, he was sure he'd be bouncing off the walls, and his nerves didn't need any more jangling. Though the dumping of his beer had helped relieve some of the tension, and this relaxed atmosphere was a simple pleasure, he still saw the anticipation of the impending evening simmering behind Marcus' eyes.
Marcus' hands settled on his shoulders, a double-edged reassurance. "Ben, Andrew? I have to go down the street and pick up some things. Would you mind looking after Thomas for about thirty minutes?" He ruffled Thomas' hair, rested his hand on his nape as he straightened. "How's the coffee?"
"Fine." Thomas lifted a shoulder. "I don't need a sitter. You know, I have been out in public before. Where are you going?" And why aren't you taking me with you? Gods, was he getting that possessive?
"Hmm." When Marcus signaled, the waitress practically leaped to his side, his obvious sexual preference notwithstanding. "Please take this toxic waste away and bring my friend a chamomile tea." He bent again before Thomas could snarl at him, met him eye for eye. "Your stomach's already upset. You're not going to get out of this by poisoning yourself."
"I can walk away anytime. I don't have to do anything."
"You're exactly right. But you're not walking, are you?" Marcus brushed his lips over his, just a passing caress that had Thomas torn between a self-conscious hunching of his shoulders and a wrenching in his gut for more of that mouth. "You keep your ass in this chair and I'll be back soon. It'll be worth the wait."
He straightened again, nodded to Ben and Andrew and headed for the door.
Thomas reached for coffee that wasn't there anymore, scowled as he glanced over his shoulder to watch Marcus walk out the door. Along with every other person with a pulse in the cafe.
"Someday he is going to get old and ugly."
"Let's hope so," Andrew observed. "Too many of us who look like that, don't. Get old, that is."
Thomas turned his attention back to his two companions. Ben had his arm casually hooked on the back of Andrew's chair as he leaned back. Demonstrating the ease of lovers who'd been with each other long enough that the close proximity was as simple as breathing. Thomas took a swallow of the tea the waitress brought him to cover the burning ache that thought created. Jesus, he couldn't do this. He was having enough problems just being around Marcus, and he hadn't completed a full twenty-four hours yet.
"How long have you two been together?"
Thomas poked the tea bag deeper into the cup with Ben's unused straw and swirled it around, hoping to get a flavor closer to the strength of coffee. "We're... not really. I mean, we used to be, but it's not that way anymore." Trying to assume a nonchalant attitude, he shrugged. "I'm up for the week to do some work at Marcus' place. That's all."
Thomas took another swallow of his tea. Damn if it wasn't settling his stomach down. Sure as hell he couldn't drink it around Rory, though. It would kick off a whole new set of homo jokes.
He was usually the nurturing one. Marcus knew how to dress him up, handle certain things, but Thomas had added warm, more personal accents to his penthouse.
Made Marcus get off the phone at least by one in the morning and get a decent night's sleep. He'd liked cooking Marcus breakfast before he went to the gallery. For some odd reason, Marcus always seemed disproportionately gratified and fascinated by the domestic touches, as if they moved something inside him.
It came so easily to Thomas, the desire to take care of Marcus, even though Marcus seemed the last person in the world who needed someone to do so. Maybe that was why it felt so...good, the way Marcus reacted to it. Now Thomas sourly wondered if he'd mistaken gratitude for suppressed amusement, a sophisticated lover's fascination with the provincial quirks of his bedmate.
Jesus, was there anything he wasn't going to question about every moment they'd had?
He looked up to find Andrew studying him with narrowed eyes and Ben grinning from ear to ear. "What?"
"I'm willing to bet everything you just said was technically, factually correct, and all of it was total bullshit. We've been together fifteen years." Ben glanced over at Andrew with obvious fondness in his gaze. "And it's been tough. Particularly the first years, when you're still dealing with issues of individual identity, just like most couples. Pride. Then there's family, God help us all."
"Where are you from? There's mint julep in your voice." Andrew handed him the slice of lemon from the sweet tea he'd ordered and Thomas accepted it with relief, squeezing it liberally into the tea.
"North Carolina. My family runs a hardware store down there."
"It's good to know the giants haven't driven them all out of business," Ben put in.
"He says that, but try to get him out of Home Depot in under three hours. He'd live there if they let him," Andrew teased.
"We live in a pretty rural area. That's where the small stores can still make it. And if we don't have it, there's a bigger chain store about an hour or so away."
"You grew up there? In the sticks? That couldn't have been easy. How did you get here?"
"He means how in the hell did you and Marcus ever run into each other?"
"I'm an artist." It had been a while since Thomas had said that, and it was like taking a clean breath of fresh air. He paused a moment, feeling it. "I had a teacher in high school that sent some of my work to friends in New York. When I graduated, they encouraged me to come up and enter an art school there. I started showing my work in a small co-op. That's where I ran into Marcus. He runs a gallery."
" sounds like you're back in the sticks, based on what you said." Andrew frowned. "Did it not work out?"
Thomas lifted a shoulder. "My family needed me. Health issues, death in the family."
No, it didn't work out... I'm an artist... The words mocked him, as did the memory of the store's paint display. Why don't you do a nice mural, show them what you can do with color? You're so good with color... I remember when he painted a princess on a unicorn on the wall of Celeste's bedroom when he was eleven. Everyone thought it came from one of those stencil packets...
What was his mother doing now? Sitting in church, praying, lighting candles for his endangered soul while he sat here enjoying a day at the beach? Was Celeste trying to put on a brave face and counting the minutes until she could go back to school as Rory rolled around in his perpetual cloud of bitterness? Watching his friends hoot and holler their way down the road on Friday nights in their souped-up cars, while their mother went to bed holding their father's picture?
The forested surroundings of the Berkshires and the dotting of farmhouses he'd seen as they headed to the beach and the city had reminded him somewhat of home.
But North Carolina was more open, the country area
When Thomas kept the woodstove going in the winter in the shop, the men would congregate in the morning, drinking the complimentary black coffee, analyzing weather, hunting, fishing... It was a life he'd never fit with, but it didn't mean he wasn't a part of it, the blood of that world running through his veins, giving him his foundation.
"No," he said at last. "It didn't work out."
Fortunately, Ben was intuitive enough to change the subject. They spent the next half hour talking about their respective businesses. Before starting their fitness operation, Ben had been a lawyer and Andrew ran a restaurant. Being with them was calming as well as painful, watching the casual touches, the intimacy of two men who knew they had a present and a future as well as a past.
"It's not easy, Thomas." Andrew broke the thread of the conversation mid-sentence.
He either had his own dose of intuition or, as Marcus had pointed out before, Thomas' expression was just too transparent. "It isn't easy for any couple to figure it out, gay or straight. Everything can sometimes work against you. Particularly family. Forget that
'let no man put asunder' bullshit. Even hetero couples know that's wedding day crap when it comes to family and friends."
He leaned forward. "They may call it well-meaning meddling, concern, whatever, but lots of time people in your life, the people you really love, will work to tear you apart. You'll even help sometimes, being your own worst enemy. But the two of us decided a long time ago love isn't given frivolously." He glanced at Ben. "If you're given the gift of it, you fight to keep it, on all fronts. Don't think it was a mistake or not meant to be. That kind of thing isn't a mistake, and it's too rare to fuck up. Okay?" Thomas considered his half-empty cup of tea. "Sometimes I just don't know why he's with me."
"Maybe he needs a compass."
Thomas looked up, surprised. Andrew shrugged. "A man looks at the person he loves, he sees his compass. A man can command all the physical aspects of his world, but if his soul is lost, doesn't mean much. Maybe when you look at him, you see beyond the fantastic looks to what's real, his soul. And maybe that's what he needs from you."
Ben nodded. "You aren't like that sleaze who was trying to snake in today. You can tell you're a family guy."
"And what does Marcus seem like?"
Andrew grinned, discarding the serious tone. "You tell us, kid. You're the one who looks at him like he's the entire universe." Then his gaze shifted, and Thomas knew the subject of their conversation was back.
Even so, his nerves rippled in excitement when a pair of hands slid over his shoulders, cupped. He inhaled Marcus' rich scent, which was an answer all in itself.
"Miss me?"
"Were you gone?" Thomas glanced up at him indifferently as Ben chuckled. "You know, I could have pulled weeds out of the parking lot and boiled them. It would have been a hell of a lot cheaper than this crap."
Marcus shifted his attention to the other two. "I should have mentioned if he gets cranky, you can take him to the McDonald's down the street to buy him some cookies and let him roll around in that vat of colored plastic balls." Thomas bared his teeth at him. Marcus slid into the vacant chair and handed him a shopping bag. "Here, go put this on. You'll need to be dressed a little differently for the plans we have tonight."
The way Marcus' eyes lingered on Thomas gave him the terrifying vision of some leather and chains combination and Marcus requiring him to step out of the coffeehouse adorned in it. Well, he didn't have to do it. Didn't have to do anything.
"Go on, pet." Marcus nudged his foot under the table, his lips held firmly together as if suppressing a smile. Thomas reflected that he really did need to cultivate a better poker face. "We need to get going soon. It's dark already." Thomas rose and left them for the privacy of the yacht club locker rooms. The white opaque bag at least felt like it held something resembling clothing, but there was a smaller paper bag inside of it that made a crumpling noise. When he closed the door of a private bathing room with sink and mirror, he opened the main bag to find a pair of black jeans in his correct size and a short sleeved heavy cotton tee in a royal blue.
In the brown paper bag was a full harness that would collar the cock and balls, and then run up the back of the ass with adjustable strap and ring for positioning a plug. So of course there was a plug and lubricant. He fished in the bag, found a note.
Put this on. Tighten it so the plug will stay deep in your ass and you'll feel the harness on your cock and balls with every step. No underwear. Put a condom on with the harness. You'll be hard enough, I'm sure.
Under the tee was a pair of loafers and socks. All of the clothes were top quality men's wear that Thomas would never have bought for himself, but they were simple, clean styles he liked. He fingered the soft fabric, saw another note.
Still thinking? Am I your Master or not? Put the harness and clothes on and don't make me wait. And tuck the shirt in. I want to see your ass.
This week. Marcus was his Master for this week. It gave Thomas the courage to strip off his cut off jean shorts and T-shirt that had been suitable for the yacht club coffee shop. The bag also held a razor, aftershave and other toiletries to clean up.
Marcus had left no message on them, because the message was clear. It made Thomas flush despite the fact he was alone.
Marcus preferred him to keep his genital area shaved, which made him think of the first time Marcus' fine hand had cupped his smoothly shaven balls. The nerves had felt so exposed, sensitive to every stimulation. Jesus, he was getting harder by the minute, just looking at the things Marcus had bought for him. He was being prepared, and rising along with the anxiety was a hungry ache.
Thomas couldn't deny his Master. Wouldn't. And Marcus knew it.
* * * * *
He'd been worried about the plug. He didn't want to walk funny and give it away, mortifying himself. But the thinness made it more of a probe, and the snug fit of the jeans kept the harness firmly in place, keeping the stimulation right where he was sure Marcus wanted it. When tightened properly, the harness cut a bit, but it was supple and lined, so an adjustment on his now cleanly shaved groin took care of that.
He'd shaved his face too, washed his hair, put on the aftershave cologne. All in all, he admitted he cleaned up well. He typically didn't think about whether or not he was handsome, except when he was with Marcus. Marcus had ways of making him feel...well, like he looked pretty damn good. Good enough to make Marcus want to take a bite.
Nodding at himself in the mirror, Thomas collected the bag of toiletries and beach clothes, and reached for the door. He had to stifle a groan at the tightening and stimulating restraint of the cock ring, the probe, the feel of the straps running along his hips. Bound, restrained. A slave to his Master's desire. A slave to his own. Marcus brought forth in him what no other man could. This unquenchable desire to belong, to submit.
When they'd argued earlier, Marcus had cruelly but accurately pointed out that Thomas was uncomfortable facing the truth of that. But when Marcus was his mirror, it was as if the only two things Thomas had ever wanted were to create his art and serve Marcus' pleasure.
He kept telling himself he couldn't lose himself in this, but hell, damn it all, sure he could. Because after a week it was likely all over. No, not "likely". It fucking was. Who wouldn't take a week offered in heaven before they had to descend back to a life sentence in Purgatory?
Stepping out of the bathroom, Thomas returned to the coffee shop, self-conscious enough to almost blush when Andrew let out a low wolf whistle, turning heads. Ben elbowed him, gave him an affectionate smack on the back of his head as Marcus turned in his chair and let his eyes settle on Thomas.
Thomas was hyperaware of the leisurely track his gaze took, strolling up his body, his green eyes going from warm to slow burn as he crossed his groin, slid up to his face.
Thomas forced himself to maintain an easy pace. He didn't want to think about how obvious his erection probably was, compressed as it was in the snug jeans and straightened behind the folds of the tucked in shirt.
"Have a seat, pet." Marcus pushed out the chair next to him with a foot.
Of course he was going to make him sit there and suffer, when all he wanted to do was taste Marcus' mouth, his skin, feel the smooth layers of muscle under his palms.
Thomas sat, feeling the plug settle itself more deeply, keeping his cock in ramrod stiff mode.
There was a tablecloth, and Marcus and Thomas had the corner. When Thomas sat, Marcus slid a hand onto his knee, exerting some pressure so Thomas knew he wanted his knees splayed, increasing the tension and the angle of the -
Holy Christ. Thomas' teeth snapped together as the probe started to vibrate silently, as well as the base ring on the harness. Jesus... He clenched his teeth, trying to hear what Ben and Andrew were saying. It wasn't the type of stimulation that would make him come, not for an excruciatingly long time. But it made it impossible to think coherently about anything.
He dropped his hand below the table. It landed on top of Marcus', gripped hard.
Marcus' thumb stroked the side of his smallest finger, just a teasing caress.
Ten minutes. Marcus put him through ten minutes of conversation that Thomas was barely able to follow, let alone contribute to intelligently, and the bastard made him actually participate. Not huge long syllables, but having to say yes or no had the complexity of a physics equation. Finally, as Marcus began to make their goodbyes, the vibration stopped. Thomas noticed Marcus withdraw his hand from the pocket of his pants where he obviously held the remote.
Thomas managed a courteous farewell and followed Marcus' lead to the door.
When he held the door for Thomas to precede him, Marcus' hand grazed the dip in his back, his fingers brushing the top of his buttocks. As sensitized as Thomas was at this point, it was like receiving a hard electric jolt.
"You let me know if anything starts to hurt." Marcus unlocked the passenger side door of the Maserati for him at their street parking place. "I want you stirred up, not in pain. You understand?"
Thomas nodded, his eyes on Marcus' mouth as he took the passenger seat. He wished they were home, at the cottage in the woods, in that soft darkness like the first night, just the two of them.
But another part of him wanted to be right here, particularly when Marcus leaned in and brushed his lips. Just a taste, even as Thomas strained for more, a stroke of his tongue. Marcus' hand rested on his shoulder, a brief hold to keep it short.
When Marcus pulled away, it was like he was magnetized, for Thomas followed him, trying to reestablish the connection, too hungry to exercise control. Slamming his hand down to pin Marcus' wrist on the frame of the door, Thomas caught his Master's other hand and pressed it to his groin in the shadows of the car. He nearly groaned in gratitude as Marcus flexed his hand under his grip, pressed the heel of his hand against Thomas' engorged cock.
"Let go of me, pet."
Marcus wasn't trying to pull away, but was ordering Thomas to remove his touch, drawing the line. Making himself let go wasn't easy, not when his thighs were trembling with the need to thrust into that touch, insist.
"Are you going to be bad for me tonight? Make me really punish you, teach you what being a slave is all about?"
Marcus' voice was a husky growl. With the coffee shop left behind, the heat was now turned up. He'd shed the cloak of the courteous lover who'd always let his less experienced leman take cautious steps. His Dominant side was far more out front and less restrained. But tonight Thomas didn't want caution. Maybe not ever again, not when it came to Marcus taking him over.
Raising his gaze, Thomas locked it with Marcus'. "If that's what it takes to get my Master to fuck me. Any part of me. Whatever pleases him. That's what I want." When he reached up, he wasn't at all surprised that Marcus intercepted him, gripping his wrist. He pulled back but Marcus held firm, strength pitted against strength until Thomas subsided, his gaze still on his Master's, burning with a need to fight...and submit both.
"Take off the shirt and put your hands behind you, on the outside of the seat on either side."
No gentleness, just hard command.
Thomas obeyed, pulling off the T-shirt, watching Marcus' gaze course over his bare chest, down to the substantial bulge of his cock. When he put his hands behind him as directed, Marcus closed the door, went around to the driver's side and slid in, one leg stretching out under the wheel before he turned, reaching into the back.
The rattling of paper told Thomas Marcus hadn't brought in all his purchases. He wondered if there was a limit to the amount of blood his cock could contain as Marcus wrapped one of his wrists firmly in a Velour cuff then the other, snapping them together with a strong hasp behind the seat. It was enough of a reach that it put a strain on Thomas' shoulders, thrust out his upper body so when Marcus straightened it was easy to reach over, run his hand down Thomas' chest, play with his sensitive nipples.
"God." Thomas swallowed as sensation shot straight down to his lap, an arrow of testosterone-charged adrenaline.
It was incredible. He couldn't get loose, an anxious feeling, and Marcus was taking his full pleasure with it, not asking his opinion or anything else, just fondling him like he was his, with a stern set to his mouth and a hard lust in his eyes that made Thomas' body into a tight rubber band of reaction about to snap. Marcus touched his navel, traced the indentation. The heel of his hand was so close, but his Master paid no attention to his suffering cock.
Marcus had closed his door and the Maserati's windows were dark tinted. People were walking along the sidewalk within feet of the car, and Thomas could clearly see them, a disconcerting effect, but he couldn't deny the powerful arousal of it as well.
Marcus reached behind the seat again and this time came back with a dark black strap with a buckle. He placed it against Thomas' throat, nudging up his chin impatiently then buckling it in the back, around the metal bar beneath the headrest, so Thomas couldn't lift his head away from it.
It couldn't help but make him remember the waist chain that had been his "collar" before their relationship went to hell. This was a generic collar, no personalized lock that said "Mine", no adornment. An unspoken barb whose pain was somewhat eased by the new surge of response as Marcus put it in place. Thomas tried to strain, feeling suddenly restive.
"I don't... I think..."
"You don't think. You respond. Fight all you want. It will just make me harder." Then Marcus bent his head and pressed his lips to Thomas' bare sternum, coursing over to his left nipple to lick. Nip.
At the stimulus, Thomas arched even further into the uncomfortable angle, his fingers fisting against the bonds, pulling against a metal clasp that would not give.
Marcus' temple brushed him, just the hint of the silk of his hair.
"Please...your hair."
"What, dearest?" Marcus murmured it, tilting his head so his green eyes, that sinful mouth, were so close, just beyond his reach. "Beg your Master."
"I want to feel your hair...on my skin. Take it down." He swallowed as Marcus waited, uncompromising. Damn it. "Please take it down, Master." Marcus had it queued back. After a long, harrowing pause, he reached up and pulled the band loose so that when he turned his attention back to Thomas' nipple, the shoulder-length strands brushed his bare skin. Thomas closed his eyes. There was a physical component - Lord God was there ever - when Marcus made love to him, but then there were times like this, when it was beyond the intensity of an orgasm, where every muscle was rigid, tuned to Marcus' every touch or kiss.
It was like Thomas was in the rapture of Heaven and torture of Hell at once, too stretched between the two to do anything other than stay in this fixed point in space. In the moment.
That said, if Marcus touched his dick Thomas was going to go off like a geyser.
Now he knew why Marcus had required he put on a condom with the harness. Or at least one of the reasons, the other reasons still part of the murky possibilities planned for the evening.
Marcus' tongue was damp and firm, and Thomas' legs were jerking, his hips fucking air. Leisurely, Marcus moved to the other nipple, and Thomas cried out at the very first contact. "Jesus!" He bucked off the seat. Then the vibration started up in his ass and around his cock again. It shot a current of reaction through him and then stopped in a blink, a hair before he would have come if it hadn't been for the secure fit of the harness.
"I have your attention?" Marcus' breath was hellfire hot on his skin.
"Yes. Shit, yes."
"Good." He lifted his head, lips moist from what he'd been doing. Thomas licked his own lips in reaction. "What do you want, Thomas?"
"To serve you." The words came out of that void he couldn't face on his own, that Marcus had opened in him. He was falling deeper into it than he'd known he could go.
The words were the first thing that came to his mind before he could analyze or be spooked by them.
Marcus sat back in his seat, put the key in the ignition and turned the engine over.
Laying his hand on Thomas' thigh, he let one long finger stroke to a hairsbreadth below his genitals. "I plan to do a lot of things to you tonight. If you can't handle something, you say 'stop'." Not 'please don't'. Stop is the only word that will change things."
"What? No safe word like 'shoe' or 'New Jersey'?" Thomas tried to sound offhanded, even as he remained hyper-cognizant of the fact Marcus had all the control, while Thomas' arms and throat were restrained, his chest bare.
"No. If you're going to stop me, you're going to have to say it directly." When he was with Marcus before, Thomas didn't know whether to be afraid or ashamed of his desire to be topped. He hadn't had the courage to embrace it except with tentative, easily backtracked steps. Tonight he'd stepped all the way in, and Marcus had shut the door behind him.
To get back out he'd have to go through his Master. Looking at the way Marcus was eyeing his body, Thomas knew there was no way in hell Marcus was going to step out of the way.
Unless Thomas said stop. The hardest word for Thomas to say to Marcus, and he was sure Marcus damn well knew it.