"Are you going to be good for me tonight, pet?"
Ross Evans closed his eyes very tightly and tried not to squirm within his restraints. There wasn't far for him to go within them anyway. Leather padding cushioned every inside surface of the heavy wooden stocks. The material pushed back against Ross' skin if he so much as swallowed, let alone gave in to the temptation to wriggle. The texture of the leather, not to mention the scent of it, completely surrounded him, making his head spin with an extra jolt of desire every time he took a breath.
"I asked you a question," Harry prompted.
Ross tilted back his head, attempting to look up at his master. It wasn't just his usual desire to keep his gaze lowered and display his submission that made it so difficult for him to meet Harry's eyes right then. The back of Ross' head pressed uncomfortably against the upper half of the stocks as he did his best to stare up at Harry.
Harry looked so bloody serious, with his arms folded across his chest. He was still wearing the same clothes he'd worn to work that day, but as Ross watched, Harry loosened his tie and shrugged aside the jacket.
Casually tossing one-half of a very expensive black suit across the top of the steel-barred cage in the opposite corner of the room, Harry turned back to him. "Well?"
Ross followed his master with his eyes, completely fascinated by every movement Harry made, as he rolled back his shirt sleeves, exposing strong, muscular forearms decorated with a fine coating of dark, wiry hairs.
"I'll do my best, sir. I want you to be pleased with me," Ross whispered.
"And do you think you'll succeed in that endeavor?" Harry asked as he pulled off his tie, tossed it aside and undid the top button of his shirt.
Ross drew in a slow, somewhat shaky, breath. "Yes, sir. Touch wood."
Harry raised one dark eyebrow at him as he leaned back and rested one hip against the edge of their spanking bench.
"You know, for luck, sir," Ross babbled, unable to let the silence linger. "Everybody needs luck, right?"
Bent at the waist, with his head and wrists locked into a set of stocks, which had already proved to be completely inescapable during several very enjoyable evenings, Ross certainly felt as if he needed every scrap of luck he could get.
"Go on then."
Ross blinked at him. "Sir?"
"If you think luck will help you tonight, touch wood."