The slip of their mouths over one another, the intoxicating slide of tongue against tongue, the catch of stubble on the soft swell of a lip--
Peter arched his back, pulling his head away with an effort. "Pax!" he gasped. "I yield, have mercy!"
Above him, arms framing Peter's head on the pillow, Parker's handsome face creased with laughter. "You know, if you want a break you can just ask."
"I don't want one. But I'm afraid I rather need one. If you keep that up, I'm in serious danger of making like Vesuvius and my whole head popping off."
Parker, flopping down onto the bed next to Peter, made a thoughtful hum. He was rumpled, jacket abandoned and sleeves rolled up though still safely ensconced in his waistcoat and trousers. Peter wondered how anyone could look so debauched while still wearing so many layers.
"I think I'd risk it," Parker mused, "if I didn't have to face Bunter afterwards."
"Oh, you'd stand no chance. Not only have you murdered me, but you made a dreadful mess doing it. No, he'd have your eyes, I'm afraid. And I would hate that - they're lovely eyes."
They were, too - deep and dark and serious, with a tendency to crinkle when Parker laughed. Peter showed his appreciation for them with a kiss to each lid, borne with patient tolerance. Peter was just about to lean in for another kiss when suddenly Parker broke out into an enormous, jaw-cracking yawn.
"Why, grandmother! What charming molars you have. No, don't stop on my account. They say you can identify a body from its teeth - keep this up and I shall be able to name your hulking tombstones by sight. Individually. Good Lord, Charles, am I really so dull?"
"Sorry," Parker said, when he was master of his own mouth once more. "I was up late last night with this Battersea case."
Peter winced sympathetically. "And up again with the lark, I bet. You should have said - we'll go to sleep this instant."
He went to roll off the bed but strong arms pulled him back. "Don't be daft. It's not even nine o'clock."
"But if you're tired..." Peter began, but Parker took decisive action, kissing him so thoroughly that the matter was firmly closed.
Finally, they broke apart, breathless and giddy. Peter rolled onto his back, grinning, arms behind his head. He threw one leg over Parker's in a casually proprietorial gesture.
"I was thinking we might try something else tonight," he said, apparently to the ceiling. "Something new."
Parker, running his fingers up and down Peter's inseam, did not look up.
"Now who's the dull one? I knew you'd get tired of me eventually," he said dolefully. "You've spoiled your appetite. All those fancy foreign women, and now plain old English fare's too stale for you."
"Too stale?" Peter repeated, horrified. "Never! I happen to like your stale English love-making. I always know what to expect."
Parker bit him, and was gratified to note that he hadn't expected that, at any rate. The ensuing tussle distracted them both rather from the issue at hand, and it wasn't until Peter had gained the advantage, pinning Parker's wrists to the pillow with long, strong hands, that he was able to get the conversation back on track.
"I was saying - don't wriggle, old man, you haven't the leverage - I was saying, shall we try something new tonight?"
Parker blew at his hair where it had fallen over his brow. The impromptu wrestling match had brought a flush of colour into his cheeks, the sweet pinkness of him rather undermining the glare he was levelling in Peter's direction.
"What kind of thing?"
Peter made a show of thinking, as if he didn't have the answer ready. "I always like it when you take charge," he said slowly. "Tell me what you want and so on. But I thought tonight perhaps we might... swap roles?"
"You want to take charge?"
The note of surprise was not unwarranted. Ever since they'd fallen into bed with one another for the first time a few months ago, they'd each shown a marked preference on those instances when they were playing with power dynamics as to which role they tended to take.
Not that every encounter played with those dynamics, of course - for the most part they simply enjoyed themselves, and each other, with no particular goal beyond their shared pleasure. But when things took a turn in that direction, it was obvious who was tying whom to the bedframe.
It would have been ridiculous to feel nervous about the suggestion, so Peter refused to.
"Only if you want," he said, with easy lightness.
Parker's smile softened. "Alright then. Lift up a bit, I'm getting sore. That's better. What kind of thing did you have in mind?"
"Oh, nothing in particular. That is," he went on, seeing Parker's thoroughly unconvinced expression, "I have a couple of things, but I don't mind if you'd rather not."
"Can you please just take it as a given that I rather would, and I'll tell you if I change my mind?"
Peter gave a breathy laugh. "Right. In that case. I'd like to tell you what to do. Exactly what to do, I mean. I want..." He took a steadying breath, eyes fixed on point just over Parker's shoulder. "I want you to obey me," he said, determined.
"I can do that."
"I mean, I do think you'll enjoy it, I'm not just saying it because it's something I'd like to try out for myself - I wouldn't suggest it if I didn't feel fairly certain you'd--"
"Peter. I said yes. I'm yours to command."
There was a moment's pause. Then;
"There's a little more," Peter said hesitantly.
He slipped off his seat straddling Parker's hips, scooting over the expanse of his outrageously large mattress to reach the bedside table. A moment's rummaging and then, from a locked bottom drawer and with a tell-tale flush creeping out of his shirt-collar, he pulled out a tangle of brown leather.
Parker's eyes widened. "Oh," he said. "I see."
Peter dropped the tangle on the bed, rather like a cat delivering a mouse, before sitting back with well-feigned indifference. Parker kissed him on the cheek. Not that well-feigned, apparently.
"Well, we've used cuffs before," he said, fishing a pair out of the tangle. "I don't mind giving them a go."
The other item took him a moment to parse. He turned it over in his hands, working out the strap, and raised an eyebrow at Peter when he realised what it was.
"It should fit you, I think," Peter said, not quite certain.
"Only one way to find out."
The gag was a simple over-the-mouth affair, curved at the bottom to fit snugly under Parker's jaw. When he held it up to test the fit, it covered the entire lower half of his face, making him think, with a small, supressed shiver, of a muzzle. The leather was creamy and soft, dipping down just below his nose to allow him room to breathe, and even as he held it against his face, Parker felt wave of something unfamiliar and intoxicating wash over him.
He reached back to buckle the mask behind his head, but Peter took his hand, stopping him.
"Can... Can I?"
There was a flourish of heat in Peter's eyes as he looked at him. Parker had been about to ask if this was it, if they were starting now in earnest, but the look in those grey eyes was all the answer he needed. Mutely, he nodded, turning his head to present the fastening.
The strap pulled tight, hugging the mask close against Parker's face. And there, again, that wave of feeling - a lurching, almost dizzy sensation. He took a breath, hearing the rush of it against the leather.
"Is that comfortable?" came Peter's voice behind him.
He couldn't speak. Of course he couldn't speak, he'd known that. But the mask held his jaw gently closed, a quiet but absolute refusal to give way. He nodded quickly, swallowing hard.
Peter moved round to sit beside him, looking into his face with a flicker of concern. "Are you sure it's alright?"
Another nod, even quicker, earning him a laugh and a fond kiss on the side of the nose.
"You look..." Peter started, trailing off as his eyes over Parker's face. "Oh, Charles," he sighed.
Parker looked at at cuffs, questioning, but Peter shook his head.
"Not yet. Stand up for me?"
He did so, and when he turned to face the bed again he found Peter sitting on the edge of the mattress, looking up at him with an unreadable expression. The bedroom was silent save for the soft tick of a clock, the sound of traffic outside barely filtering in past the heavy curtains. Parker waited.
"Take off your clothes."
Peter's voice was soft, its familiar huskiness deepening as it always did during sex. Parker thought about it as he unbuttoned his waistcoat - and then decided that actually, he didn't want to think about anything right now. And besides, he hadn't been told to think about anything. And wasn't that the point?
So, instead, he concentrated on his task. Waistcoat, then shirt, each folded neatly over the back of a chair. Socks next, and trousers. When he started unbuttoning his underwear, a movement caught his eye. He looked up to see Peter leaning forwards, watching him with a steady, unblinking gaze. His lips had parted slightly, that and the colour in his cheeks the only indication that the sight was having any effect on him.
Slowly, Parker slipped his underwear off his shoulders, pulling his arms free. On the bed, Peter gave a small sigh. Peter always liked seeing his chest and arms, the thought sending a thrill of simple pride through him. He pulled the underwear off his legs, dropping it on top of the trousers, and turned to face his audience.
He felt no discomfort, he noticed, in a dim, disattached sort of way. He might have expected to, standing naked in front of someone who was so obviously staring at him. But the gentle pressure of the mask against his mouth reminded him that this was not about him. Peter wanted to look, so he would let him look.
Peter stood, picking up the cuffs to dangle from one long finger. He didn't seem to be in any hurry. He ran his hand over Parker's chest, curling his fingers into the dark hair, tracing the shape of his pectoral muscles, the line of his collarbone, the dip at the base of his throat. Parker simply stood, breathing in the smell of leather and verbena.
"I'm going to put the cuffs on you," said Peter, matter of fact.
Parker didn't nod, because it wasn't a question. He kept his eyes front as Peter stepped away out of sight, moving behind him. Leather cinched tight around first one wrist then, pulling both arms loosely behind him, the other. Peter lingered for a moment, head resting against the square breadth of his shoulders. His breath was cool against the overheated skin, and when he stroked a hand over the curve of Parker's arse, a wave of goosebumps crested over him.
"If you need my attention, you can click your fingers. Do it now."
A sharp, clear click. Peter hummed, satisfied. He pressed a kiss between his shoulder blades and moved once more to where Parker could see him. Once again, he ran his eyes over Parker's body, tongue darting out to wet his lips.
"Spread your legs."
It felt good to obey. His head swam with it, not giddy now but a deep, warm drunkenness that made everything soft and right around him. Peter's hand reached out to stroke his thigh, fingers digging in to the swell of muscle. Then it drifted, almost absent-mindedly, between his legs, where his balls felt tight and heavy, the sensation only growing as Peter rolled them gently in his palm.
He would have moaned, but his voice wasn't there when he reached for it. A gust of breath was all he could manage, staring down at Peter through heavy-lidded eyes.
Peter, seeing him looking, smiled. "I told you you'd like it," he said.
Slowly, Parker felt the tension bleeding out of him. Knots in his shoulders he hadn't even known were there started to loosen, the muscles in his forehead relaxing for what felt like the first time in months. Peter wrapped his hand around the hot weight of Parker's cock, easing back the foreskin to reveal the head, pink and wet with precum.
Parker melted. He was Peter's, he was all Peter's, there was nothing he wanted more--
No, more than that. There was nothing he wanted. There was nothing he needed, and nothing anyone needed of him. He would do whatever Peter told him to do, and only what he told him to do. He didn't have to think, or plan, or decide. He didn't have to choose. He could just obey. Just simple, easy, mindless obedience.
Eventually, Peter's voice swam once more up out of the blur. "Come here."
He followed, led to the edge of the bed and stopped with firm hands against his hips. Peter sat, spreading his legs wide.
Parker knelt. A hand on the back of his head, pulling him close. Then he was face-first in Peter's crotch, his cock straining against the fabric of his trousers, thrusting against Parker's face in slow, rhythmic motions. Long fingers stroked the back of his head, the tips cool against the nape of his neck, sound wafting down to him through the ether.
"That's it, good boy. Oh, Charles. Good boy, Charles..."
It was better than he'd imagined. He'd gone over the fantasy so many times it was practically dog-eared - Parker naked but for the gag and cuffs, kneeling at his feet, letting him take his pleasure. But the fantasy had nothing, absolutely nothing, on the reality.
Even now, mindlessly grinding himself against Parker's face, even this early in the evening, he knew it was going to be spectacular. It had taken almost nothing for Parker to slip into that soft, submissive state that Peter so often enjoyed, and the thrill at having so accurately predicted his lover's enjoyment had almost outshone the thrill of taking charge. Almost.
He'd have him from behind first, he thought, his face mashed into the pillows as Peter fucked into him. He loved the way Parker's strong, heavy thighs gave way to the generous swell of his arse - and there was a thought. Perhaps he could fuck himself on Parker's thighs, oil them up and slip his cock between them, digging his fingers into his flanks--
A sound stopped him in his tracks. He sat still, listening. The tick of the clock. The distant rattle of a taxi cab. A dog, somewhere, barking--
And then, there, again - soft and barely perceptible, but heart-achingly familiar. With a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach, Peter looked down at his crotch.
There, utterly at peace, his forehead unlined, habitual pockets of tension smoothed, was Parker, his head lolling against Peter's thigh, and quietly, unmistakably, snoring.
Peter pressed his lips together, trying not to laugh. Not that it would have made much difference - Parker didn't seem likely to wake for anything less than peals of Revelation thunder.
"Oh, my dear," he sighed, stroking his hair. "You sweet old thing."
As if in answer, Parker snuffled, nuzzling against Peter's leg. With great caution, Peter leant over and, as gently as he could, undid one of the cuffs. Parker's arms fell free, dead weights hanging at his sides. Then, with a gentle pull he started to get him into bed.
"Up you come, old boy. Come on. I know, I know," he clucked as Parker grumbled, eyes firmly closed.
Still, with a constant rumble of encouraging words, he managed to guide Parker up off the floor and onto the bed, whereupon Parker immediately clamped himself around Peter's torso like a large, hairy barnacle, and fell straight back to sleep.
"Shall I...?" Peter fiddled with the clasp of the gag, but Parker grunted, shifting unhappily. "Alright. Suit yourself. I suppose if you want it off later, you've got your hands free, at least."
A little inspired wriggling got them both under the covers - or rather, got the covers kicked out from underneath them and then kicked back up again. Then Peter lay there for a while, looking at the ceiling.
"At wish I'd at least had chance to take my trousers off," he said aloud. "Misery is the state of every soul overcome by friendship, indeed."
And he lay there, listening to Parker's snoring, poking at his indignation like a large and satisfying bruise, and all the while drifting on far larger, more satisfying currents of fondness, until finally, he too fell soundly asleep.