Khakis, sandals and a long-sleeved white tee, and those incredible dark eyes locking with mine as the car stopped, eclipsed everything else in the park. His suggestive smile went straight to my dick. The guy on the path beside the car was built, and even the smoke billowing from between his lips didn’t deter my appetite for the cut of his abdomen under his tight top, the way the white contrasted with his dark skin, or the round, neat swell of his ass.
Beside me in the car, Carl scowled at the red light through the windshield. “You’re cruising him!”
“Oh fuck, please. I’m looking out the window.”
“But you think he’s hot.”
The park, and the stud, slid away on my right while Carl pulled through the intersection.
“So? So do you.” The pathetic little statement squished itself out through my teeth. I hated when he was right, when his anger was justified.
He jerked the car violently around the corner. “I wouldn’t say so to my boyfriend, though, Paul.” Tires squealed as he hammered the gas.
I gripped the door handle and pursed my lips. “No. You’d come back here later, when I’m sleeping, and fuck him in some dark alley.”
“Shithead.” He braked hard, and the tire jumped the curb outside my building.
I opened the door then thrust one foot out and looked back at him. “You coming up?”
He threw the car into park then slammed his way out and up to the apartment where a few minutes later he shoved me against the closing door. His lips, hard and demanding on my mouth, weren’t offering romance or pleasure. He wasn’t offering anything, only taking exactly what he wanted.
I don’t know if you could ever have called what Carl and I did together ‘making love’. I knew lately the barely concealed violence behind his every touch was getting to be too much, even for my tastes. After the guy-in-the-park argument, he’d dispensed with hiding the aggression altogether. I had to steam the ache out of my back for hours in a hot bath once he’d left.
I vowed, as I sat on the fire escape later and rubbed liniment onto my chafed wrists, I was never letting him in the door again.
A month ago, smoke and the taste of ash and cancer would have kept me company out here. Tonight, not even starlight struggled through the city smog and overcast sky. The sounds of traffic drifted up from the street. I listened to the city’s song for a while, wondering when it had replaced birdsong in my mind as comfort music. It was comforting, though. It filled the void that got bigger every time Carl—
“Shit.” I needed a smoke. Instead, I twisted the lid back on the tube of cream and leaned my head on the rail. My wrists stung. I’d told him the restraints were too tight, and he’d laughed. I should never have invited him up. Not when he was mad. There was nothing left. He was violent and angry and dangerous, and one of these days he was really going to hurt me. I wouldn’t be able to stop him.
“Idiot.” I tangled my fingers in my hair, tried again to convince myself. I needed to get rid of him. So why did I listen so hard for the door, for his knock? Why did I sit out there waiting for him to come back, flowers in hand, and tell me how sorry he was?
I shifted, maneuvering for a more relaxing position on the hard metal step. My ribs complained. There would be bruises. I’d have to call my friend Brian and beg off the swim practice tomorrow. I wasn’t interested in fielding the looks or coming up with another plausible excuse.
The knock came just as the breeze picked up, carrying the shrill wail of a siren down the alley. I scrabbled inside then slammed the window down. Drops of rain plopped against the glass, and in a moment, a torrent flooded the streets. I fully expected to find Carl on the other side of the door.
“Hey.” Brian stood there, hands stuffed in his pockets. “I saw Carl’s car. It’s gone now.”
I clenched my teeth around disappointment I shouldn’t feel. “Yeah. He left.”
I backed away from the entrance, leaving it open. Brian shambled in, closing the door in his wake. I had my back to him, so when he grabbed my arm, I jumped and jerked away.
“You put something on that?” he asked, lifting my wrist to show the redness.
“What do you want, Bri?”
A heavy sigh tickled the back of my neck.
“You coming to the pool tomorrow?” He said it like he already knew the answer, so I didn’t bother responding. “Let me see.”
“What?” I skidded off to one side at that, putting the table between us. “See what?”
“The bruises. How bad?” He just assumed they were there. No question other than how bad.
“Not…” I shook my head, swallowed. He’d never asked that before. “He’s probably going to be back soon. You should—”
Someone knocked. For a second, we both turned to the sound, neither of us moving.
“What’s he going to do?” Brian asked.
“Nothing! He’ll apologize. Hang out a bit. Then he’ll go home.”
“Why do you let him do this?”
“Oh, please.” I stalked around the table, keeping him on the other side, then reached for the door handle. “Like you’ve never had a bit of rough sex in your life. That Denis guy—”
“Never made me feel like I should be making excuses for him.”
I said nothing, but I didn’t open the door, either.
“Denis never did anything we didn’t agree on beforehand, Paul,” he said, suggesting, too accurately, that maybe Carl crossed that particular line.
“Not having this conversation, Brian. I’m going to let him in, and you’re going to leave.”
Brian shook his head, his jaw tight, his eyes blazing, but I yanked the door open before he could say anything. Carl’s smile flashed bright, momentarily blinding my good sense, like it always did. Brian glared at him as he squeezed past, and for one split second, the expressions on both of their faces made the growing storm outside seem tame. Then Brian had gone, and Carl was filling the tiny apartment with his presence.
“What the fuck did he want?” Carl asked, shoving Paul’s chest and sending him sprawling backward against the hallway wall.
Paul stared at him, mouth an O, hazel eyes wide as if he had something to hide. Well, Carl would soon get it out of him if he did. No way was he letting Paul bullshit him with tales of Brian popping round to check if they were going swimming. Fucking swimming! If he ever found out it was more than that, he’d—
“He came round to ask about swimming.” Paul straightened up, darting his eyes toward the front door.
“Swimming. Right. And you expect me to believe that, do you? Get in there.” Carl pointed in the direction of the bedroom—his heart thudding dully—and bunched his fists.
Paul moved off the wall. He walked into the room, waiting just inside the doorway. “I… Carl, I’m not—”
“Not what? Not in the mood? Not telling the truth again?” Carl smirked, trailing his fingers down Paul’s cheek. “You know you’re in the mood. Now get on the bed.”
Paul did as asked, his movements sluggish, and he winced once or twice when settling back onto the mattress.
“What’s the matter, Paul?” Carl stood at the foot of the bed studying the man he enjoyed tormenting. Paul enjoyed it too, he was sure of that. He just needed a little encouragement to admit it, that was all.
Carl strode to the wardrobe. He pulled out a hanger holding Paul’s belts then selected a wide leather one for maximum pleasure-pain. At the side of the bed, he held Paul’s wrists together with one large hand so he could wind the thick belt around them. He secured the buckle, and Paul stared up at him, the pain from his already chafed wrists apparent.
“You know pain is part of the game, so quit complaining inside that damn head of yours,” Carl said. “Accept it, and you’ll enjoy it more. I’ve told you this before.” He hauled Paul up the mattress, closer to the headboard, and reached to the bedside cabinet for a silk scarf. After looping it through the tiny gap between Paul’s wrists, he threaded one end of the scarf around the iron bed strut and tied it to the other. “And as I’ve also told you before, you can transcend the pain if you put your mind to it. You’ve never yet reached that heightened state, have you?” He shook his head and rifled in the drawer for the lube. “Shit, you’re missing out.”
Carl dropped the tube on the bed, straddling Paul while gripping the neck of his T-shirt. He ripped it down the middle. Chest exposed, Paul lay still and unresponsive—save for watching Carl as though he hated him.
I wonder if he does?
Carl shrugged, not giving a shit either way, and moved down Paul’s body, popping open his jeans button and tugging at the zipper. He yanked the jeans away then tossed them to the floor to get at the boxers he’d repeatedly asked Paul not to wear.
“Why do you keep defying me?” Carl mused.
Paul didn’t answer.
“If you don’t answer, I’ll get pissed, and when I get pissed, you know what happens, don’t you?”
Paul nodded. “I, uh, I forgot.”
“You forgot. Right. Okay.”
Carl got off the bed. He returned to the wardrobe to pull out a whippet-thin black belt. He spun then lunged toward the bed and raised his arm. The belt cracked across Paul’s chest, and his torso rose, arm muscles bulging, neck tendons corded, pressing against the skin. Paul dropped back down to the mattress, and damn, that man never uttered a fucking word.
He’ll regret that.
“You won’t forget again, will you?” Carl climbed on the bed. He kneeled between Paul’s legs and took out his own cock. He settled his lover’s ass on his thighs.
Paul shook his head, and Carl had the fleeting thought of whether it was a response to his question or his way of saying he didn’t want Carl doing what he was about to.
Doesn’t matter what he means. He should have obeyed. Now, he can put up and shut the fuck up.
He lubed his dick and, without priming the hole, spread Paul’s ass cleft and settled his cock tip against that pucker he loved so much. He glanced up. Paul widened his eyes, and he bit his lower lip.
“You like this, huh, Paul? Yeah, you do.”
He eased his dick inside, smug that Paul’s cock hardened and bobbed. Usually, he took his time, stretching Paul slowly, but now? Seeing Brian here had pissed him off. Knowing Paul didn’t care enough about his rules to even remember them was worse. Paul was going to take it how it came. Fuck the burn.
Carl began a swift rhythm, short, sharp thrusts that turned him on so much he almost came right then. Seeing Paul bound and at his mercy always did that. No one else had ever made him feel the way this man did. He worked harder, faster, and his bollocks tautened as release came too close.
“Come,” he said through clenched teeth. “Come, Paul.”
Carl closed his eyes and spewed cum, the rush of orgasm heady, almost too much to handle. He pumped again and again, releasing all he had to give, then slowed and opened his eyes. Paul’s stomach remained dry, and his cock had started to soften right along with Carl’s.
“You didn’t come.” Statement, not a question.
Paul shook his head.
Carl pulled out then got off the bed. In the bathroom, he washed his cock with irate, soapy strokes. The asshole. He returned to the bedroom to glare at his disrespectful lover. “Why didn’t you come?”
Paul closed his eyes for a moment. Once he opened them again, he stared at Carl with…defiance?
“You’ve fucked me off, you know that?” He smacked a fist into Paul’s gut. Paul’s knees rose, and a muffled “Oomph!” came out from between partially open lips.
“I’m going to leave you there like that for a while. All tied up. I’ll take your keys and come back when I think you deserve to be released. You got that?”
Carl left the apartment, anger blazing a trail through his chest. He swallowed bile and got into his car, intent on hitting a bar or two and seeing where the night took him. He’d see to Paul another time, maybe tomorrow, catch him unawares, teach him a lesson. No way was he going to put up with that crap. He called the shots, not Paul.
He drove to town, bringing the car to a screeching halt in a side street. Out on the sidewalk, he slammed the door and clicked the lock button on his key fob. The rain had stopped, thank God, and he walked to the town proper. Throbbing beats filtered from the pubs he passed, but Dewer’s and The Anchor didn’t appeal. No, he was headed for Jilly’s Club, the place where like-minded people got trashed and went home to fuck and strive for sexual peaks they’d never reached before.
His cock hardened at the thought.
Once there, he approached the head of the line, ignoring the straggle of drunkards waiting patiently to get in. The bouncer nodded at him and opened the door, and Carl breezed inside like he owned the joint. At the bar, impatience ripped through him, and he rapped on the wooden surface. A barmaid studied him, eyes narrowed, her glare telling him she thought of him as a cocksucker.
She’s got that right.
He smirked and waited for her to give in and serve him. She did.
Carl paid her then walked off sipping from his beer bottle, searching out a potential guy for what he had in mind. He spotted him in the corner, the man already too drunk to stand straight, all spiked-up hair and muscles. Not Carl’s usual fare, but it didn’t matter what a one-night stand looked like. Carl neared him, watched as the guy stood straighter and puffed out his chest.
Placing his bottle on a nearby table, Carl asked, “You want something?” He glanced down at his crotch then back to the man’s.
“Yeah. Come on.” Carl jerked his head in the direction of the club’s rear and walked away, confident the man would follow.
When he reached the back fire escape door, he leaned against it, pleased that his next fuck arrived at his side. Carl surveyed the area. No one paid them any attention, so he pushed down on the metal bar. The door swung open, and Carl stepped outside, beckoning the man to follow.
“You like it outside?” Spiked Hair asked.
“Yeah. Shut the door and come with me.”
Carl walked close to the building, knowing exactly where the security cameras were from the last time he’d done this. He strode along the wet backstreet then turned down a side alley, smiling to himself upon hearing heavy pursuing footsteps. He stopped halfway behind some large refuse bins and waited.
“Here?” his companion asked.
“Yeah, here.” Carl nodded. “Lean up against the wall. I like it there. Face it.”
Spiked Hair did, and despite the dimness, Carl made out that tight ass and thick thighs. He reached out a hand to grip the man’s hair.
“You like it rough?” Carl asked, pulling Spiked Hair’s head back.
“Good.” Carl slipped his free hand inside his jacket pocket then brought out a knife. He raised it. Eased the blade in the space between the man’s neck and the wall, and drew it across his skin in a quick, sharp movement. “As rough as that?” he whispered, holding the man’s weight as he sagged and struggled to speak. “Fucking prick.”
Carl stepped back, let the man go, and watched him fall to the ground. Anger assuaged, he left the alley, peering down at his clothes when he passed under a streetlight. Not a speck of blood that he could see.
Damn, he was getting good at this shit.