Handcuffs and Leather [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Kim Dare
eBook Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Romance
eBook Description: Rawlings Men Series Book One All Constable Hadley wants to do is put the last few weeks behind him. As if being taken hostage wasn't bad enough, he's had to deal with all the stupid publicity that's surrounded him ever since. And the fact that he hasn't slept since that night isn't helping him feel any better about the world, either. The last thing Hadley needs is a shrink wandering around inside his head trying to dig up all his dirty little secrets. When he finds out he's being sent to Dr. Rawlings--the man he's had a crush on for months--Hadley knows his life has finally hit rock bottom. The only thing that could make things worse for Hadley would be Dr. Rawlings finding out how Hadley feels about him. But fate wouldn't be that cruel to him--would it?
eBook Publisher: Resplendence Publishing, LLC, Published: 2010, 2010
Fictionwise Release Date: June 2010
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108 Reader Ratings:
Just imagine him naked... Talk about the single worst piece of advice anyone had ever given a guy.
Constable Joe Hadley held back a sigh and did his best not to gawp like a teenage boy who couldn't sit opposite a grown man without making a compete pillock out of himself.
Dr. Rawlings gazed back at him across the desk--tall, dark and as perfect as ever.
Shifting uncomfortably in his chair, Hadley renewed his attempts not to stare. It wasn't easy. And it wasn't fair either. Psychiatrists weren't supposed to look like that.
They were supposed to be...well, Hadley wasn't entirely sure, but surely any man who spent all his time sitting behind a desk digging through other people's minds should be... Shorter? Skinnier? Generally far less like the guy Hadley had been fantasizing about ever since he'd realized that gay porn was a damn sight more interesting than the straight kind?
And now that he'd started picturing the man stark bullock naked, he couldn't stop. The mental image wasn't making him the least bit less nervous. It was starting to make him hard.
Hadley cleared his throat. "Can we just get this over with?"
The other man's lips twitched. Hadley had seen that smile creep out when Rawlings was at the police station consulting on a case. Except, back at the station, there were always a dozen other police officers in the room, and Hadley had some chance of blending into the background.
In the station, the feeling that his every reaction was being studied and dissected by the other man was obviously paranoia. In the psychiatrist's office, it was hard to believe the idea was anything other than perfectly accurate.
"That's good, Hadley," Rawlings said, his voice slow and rich with amusement. "This sort of session is always far easier when everyone's enthusiastic about it, right from the start."
Hadley wasn't going to blush. He was twenty-five years old, a serving police officer and lots of other things that meant he certainly wasn't the sort of man who blushed like a little girl when confronted by a little bit of gentle sarcasm--even if it was drawled by the same voice he often imagined ordering him down onto his knees...
The constable felt the heat rush to his cheeks regardless of all the very logical things he told his blood supply. "I'm not traumatized," he blurted out, suddenly desperate to just get it all over with as quickly as possible.
Rawlings raised an eyebrow at him. Well, Dr. Rawlings could cheerfully go to hell, because it was the truth. And no man was going to make him squirm like a naughty schoolboy called into the headmaster's office just for telling the truth.
Hadley folded his arms as he leaned back in the deeply upholstered chair and crossed his ankles. A second later, he leaned forward, clasping his hands together as he rested his elbows on his knees.
"I'm not traumatized," he repeated, slightly more calmly. "I don't need a shrink." When Dr. Rawlings said nothing, Hadley had no choice but to push on. "And, since I'm sure there are a great many people who really do need your help, I don't want to waste any more of your time than I already have."
"That makes sense," Rawlings agreed.
Hadley managed a nervous smile. "So, if you'll just show me the inkblots or tick the box that says I'm not psychotic then we could--"
"We could just get this over with?" Rawlings cut in.
Hadley leaned back in his chair once more. Not sure what else to say or do, he fell completely still and silent.
After a few seconds, Rawlings nodded to himself, as if that was what he'd been waiting for ever since Hadley arrived at his office. "Tell me what happened."
Hadley was pretty sure it was supposed to sound like an invitation to share his deepest darkest secrets with a trained professional. Somehow his brain turned it into an order, a command to do as the other man said or accept the consequences when he was turned over Rawlings' knee.
"Doesn't it say it all in there?" Hadley asked, nodding toward the folder resting on the other man's desk. The fact that he was now picturing being spanked by the nude image of the other man really wasn't improving his ability to concentrate. It was far more fun to wonder if he'd be able to feel the other man's erection sliding across his abs every time he rocked with the force of a blow to his upturned arse.
"Tell me in your own words."
Hadley pulled his attention back to the file. He had a pretty good idea what it said. It was all bollocks, of course, but he'd repeated it so often it should have been easy to rattle off the same stupid story all over again.
"It wasn't like that." The words were out before he could do anything about them.
"Then tell me what it was like," the older man invited.
"Is there any chance you'll tell the Chief Constable I can go back to my regular duties if I don't?" Hadley knew the answer before the question hit the air, but he didn't seem at all able to control the words that left his lips right then. He was far too on edge, too exhausted after not sleeping for a month, too sick of it all to control his tongue.
"No chance at all," Rawlings confirmed.
Hadley sighed and looked back to the file once more. "It says I was taken hostage."
"Well, I wasn't," Hadley shook his head. "I mean, I was, but it wasn't the way it sounds in there."
It had never occurred to Hadley that calm, patient answers could be so infuriating.
The doctor parted his lips. Hadley didn't wait to hear the same question repeated yet again. Tell him what happened...
"A call came in from a farmer about three suspicious looking men trespassing on his land."
"So you went to check it out--on your own?"
Hadley shrugged, sure it was only his over active imagination that made Rawlings sound as if he disapproved. "Half the force was down with the flu. There wasn't anyone else. The old man sounded really freaked out."
Rawlings held a pen in his hand. Hadley watched the doctor twist it between his fingers. "And what did you find there?" the older man prompted after a little while.
"Three idiots who were planning to..." Hadley sighed and rubbed at his temple with his knuckle, as if that might finally allow his brain to make sense of it all. "Damned if I still don't know what they'd have actually done if I hadn't turned up--they said they were going to rob a security van as it drove down the road running through the farm to deliver cash to the bank in town."
Rawlings nodded for him to keep going.
"Except there was no delivery. There was no van. There were just three very stoned idiots sitting around in some old barn."
"That was where you found them?"
Rawlings didn't say anything for a long time. Hadley couldn't think of anything to say either. His mind was back on the sight that had first greeted him when he looked into the barn. Two guys, neither of them much older than himself, getting high between the hay bales.
"That's where I found two of them," he admitted eventually. "The third guy found me--or at least he found the back of my head with metal bar. I passed out."
"And when you came around?" Rawlings asked.
"I was still in the barn." The constable intended the words to come out strong and matter of fact, somehow, they emerged as a whisper.
Hadley shook his head.
Rawlings seemed to be giving him time to think it all through. Hadley could have done without that sort of kindness. He'd already had more than enough time to replay that moment when he blinked open his eyes and believed he was somewhere else, with a different sort of man.
That second when he'd stared blearily around the barn, his wrists tugging at unexpected bonds. That instant when the feel of the ropes wrapped tight around him made him catch his breath and pleasure rush to his cock. It had been almost indistinguishable from those fantasies he was never quite able to control as his hand worked faster and faster around his shaft. And he'd loved it.
Clearing his throat, Hadley folded his arms across his chest and stared down at his wrists. There was nothing wrapped around them but his watchstrap. He looked away in disgust. His gaze met the doctor's. Concern filled the older man's eyes, as if he thought his client was having some sort of horrible flashback.
Suddenly, Hadley couldn't stand it any longer. He was sick of it. Sick of feeling guilty for things that hadn't happened, sick of damn near wishing something terrible had happened because then at least--
"Hadley?" The word was very gentle. That just made it worse.
"These aren't master criminals we're talking about," Hadley snapped. "This isn't some stupid Hollywood blockbuster. The mafia isn't conducting a campaign of bloody terror against law enforcement. They were just idiots who panicked when a copper walked in on them."
"And what?" Hadley demanded.
Rawlings' fingers tightened around the pen. Hadley couldn't blame him for getting pissed off with his hedging, but it wasn't as if he could tell the guy the truth either.
"They tied you up," Rawlings prompted.
It was petty to feel pleased with himself for making the man admit that it was all in the damn notes, and he'd already read them. Hadley studied him carefully, wondering if he could convince him to just go through the file while he sat there and agreed with it all. He nodded. "Yes."
Rawlings stared silently across at him, as if he thought that would make Hadley continue with his account of that night. Hadley stared back at him.
"With what?" the other man asked eventually.
Hadley frowned. He'd gone through the whole story a dozen times. That wasn't the question that came next. "Does it matter?"
"Does talking about the details make you uncomfortable?"
Hadley shrugged again, unable to keep the nervous little gesture back. "Rope. They took a police officer hostage and they were so stoned out of their minds it didn't even occur to them to use my handcuffs on me." He looked down at his wrists, helplessly imagining how the rope might have looked around his skin. They'd tied his hands behind his back. He hadn't even caught a glimpse. He was still stuck with silly little daydreams.
"Did they hurt you?"
Hadley looked back to the file. "Don't you think it would say in there if they did?"
"I think this," Rawlings said, resting his hand on top of the file, "is a record of what you said happened. The question still stands. Did they hurt you?"
Rawlings stared back at him, his eyes unreadable.
"You don't believe me," Hadley realized.
"I don't believe you've ever told anyone the whole truth about what happened that night," Rawlings said.
"So it's your job to go poking around inside my head until you find out all the dirty little details?" Hadley snapped. "That's your idea of fun?"
"That's my idea of doing my job."
Unable to sit still under the other man's scrutiny, Hadley got to his feet and started to pace around the room.
"Some things are cliches for a reason."
Hadley looked over his shoulder.
"Bottling things up rarely helps."
Hadley turned away from the older man once more. His pacing soon took him to the window. Resting his hands on the sill, he stared down into the car park.
"You really want to know about all the little details that aren't in the file?" Hadley bit out, knowing he was acting crazy at the worst possible time. Having a crush on the shrink that consulted with the force was embarrassing enough. Being sent to the man for therapy after such a stupid bloody cock-up of a night was nothing short of humiliating.
"Yes. I want to know."
"Fine," Hadley spat out. "Details. They went out for pizza. They were high and they got the munchies, so in the middle of their genius plan for an armed robbery, they went out for pizza. But I don't like pizza, so the guy offered to call in for a McDonalds on the way back. He picked up a kid's meal because he liked the toy they were giving away free with it. He asked me if I minded him keeping it. He played with the sodding thing for half the night."
Rawlings' lips twitched slightly as Hadley looked over his shoulder and caught his eye.
"And now I'm supposed to sit here and tell you how terrible it was. It wasn't terrible. It wasn't traumatic. It was annoying. It was stupid. It was a hell of a waste of police time, and I had the mother of all headaches the next day, but that's it."
Hadley turned and sat on the windowsill. "I'm not crazy, but it's a small wonder after all the bloody idiots telling me how brave I was, bringing them all in. They don't get it. They think I'm being modest. You want to know how I made my magnificent arrest? Fine--here it is. It got cold. It started to rain. They got hungry again. I told them if they untied me, I'd drive them somewhere nice and warm and dry, and I'd get them something to eat. They undid the rope and got in the back of the damn patrol car! I drove them back to the station and introduced them to the nice custody sergeant. That's it!"
He saw something like appreciation in the other man's eyes. He didn't tell him to stop being modest. He didn't tell him that the papers were going to love the story and the force could use some good PR right then the way the Chief Constable had either.
For just a few seconds, the whole stupid situation seemed survivable. Hadley took a deep breath and managed to calm his voice. "I'm not traumatized. I'm not in denial. I don't need a shrink. I'm fine. Can I go now?"
The constable sighed as he turned away from him and leaned his shoulder against the frame as he looked out of the window once more. There was a pretty little park opposite the psychiatrist's office. It looked so peaceful, so innocent. As his thoughts swirled inside his head, he'd have given almost anything to be there rather than in that room.
"How are you sleeping?"
Hadley opened his mouth, he closed his mouth. As he looked over his shoulder, his eyes locked with the older man's. He knew it was a mistake as soon as their gazes met.
The constable looked away, but he didn't bother to tell the familiar lie that was already rushing to his lips. "That has nothing to do with this," he said instead.
"Nightmares?" Rawlings asked.
"No." The word came out far more forcefully than he intended. "No," he repeated with strained calm. "No nightmares."
"Dreams, then?" Rawlings suggested.
Hadley pushed his hands into his pockets. "It's nothing. Everyone gets strange dreams sometimes, right? It's no big deal."
"Sometimes the brain can process things in a roundabout way."
Except he'd had similar dreams, long before that night. The only differences now were that the dream was always the same, it was more intense, it had a touch too much reality about it, and it came every single bloody night.
"Tell me about it."
Hadley stared blindly at the little bit of parkland. One solid night's sleep. If he could just get a few hours where his brain would quit and let him forget about it all.
"There's nothing you can tell me that I haven't heard a thousand times before."
Hadley shook his head. "It's just a dream," he said again. His eyes dropped closed for the briefest second. The images that had kept him awake ever since that night rushed back as easily as ever.
"It starts the same way that call started," Hadley whispered, suddenly unable to keep the words back. One night's sleep. If Rawlings could get rid of the dreams, then it would be worth the embarrassment.
The other man said nothing.
With his eyes closed, Hadley found it was easier to pretend he wasn't actually saying anything out loud to another person. He was just getting the ideas out of his head before they actually drove him so crazy he really would need to be in the psychiatrist's office.
"It starts the same," he said again. "But it's nothing like that night. They aren't high. They aren't silly little men who have no idea what they're doing."
Silence filled the office once more. Hadley swallowed rapidly before forcing himself to continue.
"The men in the dream don't fumble about trying to remember how their scout master taught them how to tie knots. They're used to tying men up. And they don't ask me if the bonds are too tight--I don't get to complain about being uncomfortable when I'm with them. They don't ask my opinion. They don't ask my permission. They do whatever the hell they like with me and..." And I love every minute of it.
Eyes closed very tight, he tried not to imagine how pathetic he had to sound to the other man. Desperate to be able to wake up one morning and actually feel as if he'd slept rather than tossed and turned pulling against the bonds that he wished were there, he forced himself to go on, even when his throat closed up around each word.
"It's nothing like it was with them. There are orders and rules. And if I don't do as they say, there are punishments. They screw me. Whip me. And at the end of it all they just walk away without a word." Hadley managed to force out a pathetic little chuckle. "I had the good fortune to be kidnapped by men who meant me no harm in the world, and all I can do is dream about how much more interesting my time with them would have been if they'd been sadists."
He wrenched open his eyes, stopping himself just short of admitting that the man he'd been picturing in every single dream wasn't a cop or a criminal. Rawlings didn't need to know he was the star of all the dreams to make them go away.
The older man said nothing for a long time. Hadley stood there for several minutes before he finally turned his attention away from the window and looked across the room at him. His expression was unreadable.
"So..." Hadley cleared his throat.
"I think," Rawlings said very slowly. "That it would be best if you left now."
Dr. Michael Rawlings watched the younger man's expression flicker. For a second, a nervous little smile fluttered around his lips. Then it was gone. A few seconds passed. A frown crept across his forehead, beneath the messy blond fringe.
"I don't understand." The younger man looked to the clock on the wall for guidance.
The hour-long session wasn't up. Rawlings didn't need to follow the younger man's gaze to know that.
"It's only half past." Hadley's tone of voice made it clear he was talking to himself more than anyone else--a policeman putting together the evidence and trying to work out the most likely explanation for a situation that didn't make sense to him.
"Yes, I realize that." To Rawlings' eternal relief, the words came out calm and level. "I still think it would be best if you left now, and that I transferred your case to another the member of the practice."
Yes, Rawlings silently repeated to himself. The younger man had to leave now, before the situation became even more complicated than it already was, before he went from what was on the borderline of acceptable psychiatric practice to full out unethical.
"What?" Hadley just stared across the room at him, confusion filling in his eyes.
"One of my colleagues will conduct the rest of your counseling sessions. If you stop at the desk on your way out, the appointment secretary will schedule something for you."
Hadley just kept staring at him. Unable to rise from his chair, all Rawlings could do was stare back.
Rawlings turned his attention to the other man's coat, where he'd tossed it over the back of a chair by the door. Hadley followed his gaze. Striding quickly across the room, he snatched up his jacket. A second later, the door slammed closed behind him, and Rawlings was alone in his office.
Bowing his head over his desk for a moment, Rawlings tried to think of another term for the session--bar an almighty cock-up. He found a few words that fitted and muttered them under his breath.
Leaning back in his chair he looked down at the ink that covered his right palm--they just didn't make pens as strong as they used to. Either that, or he suddenly had far less control of his reactions than he grown accustomed to over the years. He shook his head as he placed the snapped biro on the desk and pressed the heel of his other hand to his tenting fly. Of course, it was the pen makers who had the problem...
All his worries about the younger man as he watched Hadley withdraw further and further into himself since the hostage-taking lined themselves up inside his head. All the hours he'd spent imagining what might have happened to him presented themselves likewise for his inspection. All the wrangling to make sure the constable saw someone he could talk to about it fell in place beside them. And now this was what it finally came down to.
Rawlings closed his eyes for a moment, and for the first time since he'd heard what happened to Hadley, he didn't see what he'd been afraid might have taken place that night. He saw the fantasy Hadley had described to him in every perfect detail.
The need in his voice, the submission in every line of his body, and all of it in the middle of a session where a psychiatrist would deserve to be struck off for doing anything in response.
Rawlings forced his eyes open as he stood up. As he ran his palm under the tap in the little bathroom off his office, he couldn't stop the other man's words rolling around and around inside his head. His own thoughts chased after them, tangling around them.
It wasn't wishful thinking. It wasn't malpractice. Hadley wasn't a patient in need of help coming to terms with a violent horror. He was a submissive in need of something completely different.
As soon as he was vaguely presentable, Rawlings went out to the desk to check when Hadley would be returning for his session with one of the other members of the practice.
No appointment had been made.
As he retraced his steps back to his office, Rawlings couldn't bring himself to be surprised. He shouldn't have thrown him out the moment the confession left his lips--he could only imagine what the younger man thought. Wandering over to the window that overlooked the car park, he sighed. He couldn't have kept him in there when he had no chance of maintaining any semblance of a professional distance from him, either.
Hadley's car was still there. Rawlings' eyes darted around the view, trying to catch a glimpse of him. There--in the park.
A second later, Rawlings was back at the appointment desk. Less than a minute after that, he was in the car park.
It was some twenty minutes before he finally saw Hadley walk out of the park, his head down, his hands pushed deep into his pockets.
Rawlings stayed exactly where he was, leaning against the boot of the constable's car, quietly ensuring there was no way in hell the guy could reverse out of his parking space without running him over.
The blood seemed to drain out of the younger man's face as Hadley spotted him. His steps faltered, but he pushed himself forward until he stood a yard or two in front of Rawlings, feet shoulder width apart, chin tilted back as if to say 'take your best shot'.
"You were right about one thing," Rawlings told him.
Hadley made no comment.
"You don't need a psychiatrist."
Nothing. Rawlings wasn't quite sure if the constable was still too shaken to speak or if he was going for the silent treatment.
"You need a master," he said.
Hadley opened his mouth. It was obvious he had his answer prepared long before he heard those last words. "You..." Hadley blinked as he quickly trailed off. "What?" A muscle in his jaw twitched as he obviously battled with his anger. "If there's a punch line coming, get to it."
"I don't joke about leather." Rawlings let that sink in for a little while.
Hadley looked away from him for a moment, when he looked back, he was studying him very carefully.
"You left without making your appointment." Rawlings held out the slip of paper the receptionist had printed out for him.
"Appointment," Hadley echoed, blankly.
"Dr. Stephenson. Ten o'clock tomorrow morning," Rawlings specified, still holding out the slip.
"You just said..." Hadley stepped forward and accepted the slip, but the movement seemed to be more about his body working on automatic pilot than him having any inclination to come closer to him. "Dr. Stephenson?"
"She's a good doctor, and she specializes in trauma counseling," Rawlings told him. "Keep the appointment."
"You just said there was nothing wrong with me," Hadley reminded him, eyes filled with confusion once more.
Rawlings stared down at the smaller man. If he walked away right then, he'd technically done nothing more than follow him to make sure he got the appointment. He smiled slightly. The chances of him walking away now, after all the months they'd spent hovering around the attraction between them were microscopic.
"If Dr. Stephenson agrees with my assessment, you have another appointment to add to your diary." Rawlings held out another piece of paper with a hand written address and time scrawled on it. "If she agrees that you're fine, come and see me this weekend."
Because if he didn't get a second opinion, there was no way he'd feel sure in his own mind, that he wasn't taking advantage of one of his patients. And, at the same time... "Because I've already told you my diagnosis. You don't need a psychiatrist. You need a master."
"You?" Hadley blurted out.
"You...?" He obviously had no idea how to finish the sentence.
Rawlings smiled slightly.
Hadley looked back at the address. "Your house?"
"Technically an annex off the main building that I used as an office when I was in private practice, but broadly speaking, yes."
Rawlings waited to see if there would be a verbal response. None was forthcoming. Hadley stared down at the piece of paper Rawlings had written his address on, as if it held all the secrets of the universe.
"It would be like I said?" Hadley blurted out. "Like...?"
"Like the dreams?" Rawlings' lips twitched into another smile. "Something like, but not exactly like."
Hadley took a deep breath. When their eyes met, Rawlings saw the need burning in them. Very slowly, Hadley nodded.
The younger man already had too much thrown at him to have any chance of processing it all at once. Rawlings forced himself to step past him and walk back to his office. It was the only way he could make sure the younger man would have plenty of time to deal with any second thoughts before he found himself in his first scene.
Hadley's hand was already on the car door when Rawlings gave in to the temptation to say just one more thing.
The younger man turned and looked over his shoulder.
"Bring your handcuffs."
Hadley's lips had already started to form a 'why?' when he stopped himself short, as if he'd just realized just how daft a question it was to ask under the circumstances. All credit to him, he bounced back quickly. "You don't have any of your own?"
Rawlings grinned. "Don't worry, sweetheart. I've got lots of toys for us to play with. But that doesn't mean the idea of having a policeman helpless in his own cuffs doesn't still amuse me."
Rawlings turned away without another word. That time, he didn't look back--not even when he felt Hadley's eyes tracing his progress all the way into the building.
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