Matthew Tailor hurried toward the door leading out of his employee chalet, determined not to be late for the daily staff meeting on today of all days. He jerked open the door, letting brilliant summer sunshine pour into the small, Spartan space, but he only took one more step before coming to a complete stop on the threshold. It was that or trip over the naked man kneeling on his doorstep.
Matthew peered down at an expanse of sun-kissed skin, at lean lines of muscle and scruffy blond hair. "Drew?"
The kneeling man tilted back his head, revealing his face and confirming Matthew's guess.
Several strands of hair fell into Drew's eyes, but he didn't lift a hand to push them away. As Matthew's gaze moved slowly down Drew's body, he realized why.
The other man's wrists were bound with leather, his cuffs connected to one another by a substantial silver chain. They probably made fidgeting uncomfortable, but as Matthew dragged his attention away from both leather and skin, he realized that Drew's hands remained positioned together, palms up, for another reason. A letter rested neatly across both his hands like some sort of sacrificial offering to the gods.
Matthew looked quickly from the envelope marked with the hotel's insignia to Drew's face. His friend's grin told him almost everything he needed to know. Snatching up the letter, Matthew tore it open and scanned its contents.
"I got it..." he whispered, more to himself than to Drew. "I bloody got it!"
Several seconds passed before he was able to look away from the letter confirming his promotion and focus in on his friend. He'd imagined Drew in chains at his feet on a pretty regular basis ever since they'd met. But there were several very good reasons why the other man hadn't ended up there in reality.
Matthew frowned slightly as he tried to remember what those reasons were, and why it was a bad idea to get a massive hard-on right then.
"Not that I don't appreciate knowing about this as soon as possible," he said, as soon as he could trust himself to say the right thing. "But why the hell are you kneeling at my feet?"
"I'm your slave."
Matthew looked both ways down the row of small chalets occupied by the staff of Pendragon Hotel. It wasn't likely that anything two men could do together would raise eyebrows at that particular resort but, as luck would have it, there wasn't anyone around to witness Drew's complete descent into insanity except Matthew himself.
"Drew, have you been drinking?"
Drew's features morphed into a slow, sleepy grin. "Nope. I'm your slave."
"Yeah, you mentioned that." For the first time, Matthew took in a few extra details regarding his friend's attire. The white vest and denim cut-offs that comprised the usual staff uniform were conspicuously absent. A tiny leather thong was all that took their place.
Matthew took a step back to get a better look at his friend, from a different angle. Correction, the thong wasn't the only additional item Drew wore. He also sported leather ankle cuffs, although they didn't appear to be connected together the same way his wrist cuffs were.
A horrible thought suddenly occurred to Matthew. His attention dashed from his apparent letter of promotion to his friend's face and back again. "If this is all some sort of stupid joke," he warned.
Drew blinked. No man should be able to look like a porn star and like a kicked puppy at the same time. "I wouldn't do that to you!"
Matthew sighed and irritably rubbed at the back of his neck, before sliding his hand up over the short prickly hairs that covered his head. "Stand up, will you? You're giving me a crick in the neck."
"Your wish is my command." Drew unfolded himself up to his full height. His feet were bare, but he still stood a good couple of inches taller than Matthew in his trainers.
Automatically squaring his shoulders and making the most of what height he had, Matthew studied Drew incredulously.
"Do you remember Mike? He worked here for a few weeks at the start of last summer." Drew asked, out of nowhere.
"Yes," Matthew allowed, as patiently as he could.
"Remember when he spent a week dressed like this just after Tony got promoted to head bartender?" Drew went on.
"He lost a bet with him or something, didn't he?" Matthew said, his irritation at the sheer randomness of the conversation already seeping into his voice.
Drew shook his head.
Matthew didn't move. He didn't even breathe as the facts slowly slotted into place inside his mind. In any other hotel, the other staff would just get a man a drink, or possibly a cake, when he received a big promotion. Here, they got him a--
"No." It was Matthew's turn to shake his head now.
Drew just smiled. "How may I serve you, sir?"
"No." It was the only word Matthew had room for inside his head. "No." It was worth saying a third time, especially since Drew didn't seem to have heard the first two utterances of it. "There is no way in hell you're pretending to be my slave for a week."
Drew tilted his head to one side. "Why not?"
Because I've spent the last year trying like hell not to want you to be my slave for real!
"Sir?" Drew prompted.
"Don't call me sir!"
"Would you prefer master?"
Matthew ground his teeth together. "I would prefer you to stop acting like an idiot, go back to your chalet, change into your normal clothes and pretend this whole stupid thing never happened," he bit out.
"I'm very sorry, sir, but it's not in my power to do that."
Matthew raised an eyebrow. Folding his arms across his chest, he glared at his friend. Drew took no notice of any of it.
Huffing his annoyance, Matthew once more looked both ways along the path running past the chalets. They were still alone. "I thought you were supposed to obey me?"
Drew lifted both his chained hands and pushed his hair out of his eyes. "Yes, but not that kind of order, master."
"If you're the one deciding what kind of orders I can and can't give then who's the real--"
The word submissive danced on Matthew's tongue, begging to be said. Replacing it with dominant wouldn't have been too difficult. Swapping anything else into its place made him feel like a liar.
"Slave," he finally finished, lamely.
Drew leaned casually against wall of the chalet, all long tanned limbs and easy good nature.
Matthew's frown deepened as he bit back the urge to tell the other man to stand up straight and present himself properly. It wasn't his place to issue corrections like that, he reminded him, for what had to be the thousandth time. He wasn't Drew's dom.
"Maybe it's best if you think of me like a genie in a bottle," Drew drawled.
"What?" Matthew pushed images of rubbing any part of Drew out of his head as firmly as he could, but it was too late. He was already as hard as a rock.
"You know, like in the kids' cartoon," Drew went on. "I'll obey your commands and fulfill your wishes, but there are rules and there are limits."
Matthew couldn't think of a single thing to say. He'd imagined explaining real kink, and what made it different from the games some of the guys who worked at the hotel played with each other, to Drew a hundred times or more. He'd never once considered the possibility of Drew trying to explain it to him.
"There's this safe word thing. If I say red, you have to listen. And you don't get to order me to jump off cliffs or anything like that. But you can order me to fetch and carry and do all the boring bits of your new job." Drew paused for a moment, as if considering something very carefully. "Or you could order me to crawl under your desk and suck you off while you do the boring bits of your new job--that would work, too."
Drew pushed himself away from the chalet wall and stood up straight, without any order being required. "I know you've never fooled around with any of the guys who work here, but you are gay, right? Hell, scratch that, you're a guy. You do know what a blow job is?"
Matthew opened and closed his mouth, but suddenly his mind was full of the images he'd been trying not to dwell on for what felt like several lifetimes, and no amount of mental shoving could get rid of them.
Drew on his knees with his lips wrapped around his cock... Drew head down, arse up on one of the narrow staff beds, begging to be screwed until he passed out... Drew draped over his knee so Matthew could bring his hand down hard and fast on his arse and--
"Okay, so this week obviously isn't going to go the way I expected..." Drew murmured. His eyes narrowed. He studied Matthew as if he really believed that Matthew was the one who'd lost his mind.
Matthew still found himself to be entirely incapable of making words happen. Unwilling to do another impersonation of a goldfish, he kept his mouth closed and simply stared.
"We'll start with the basics, sir," Drew announced. "A blow job is a really good thing! If you'll let me into your chalet, I'll show you how good it can be--that'll be much easier than trying to explain it. An orgasm paints a thousand words and all that!"
Drew's slow, sleepy smile never faltered. Somehow, he managed to wear his slave outfit like it was the scruffy surfer attire he wore on his time off. He put his hand on the door handle.
"I know what a blow job is." A sheer build-up of offended pride forced the words out of Matthew's mouth.
"That's fantastic, sir," Drew said. "But, of course, it still couldn't hurt to have a little refresher course, right?"
"Drew," Matthew warned. That particular tone of voice was usually capable of bringing the most unruly member of staff or drunken guest into line.
Drew just smiled serenely down at him as if he hadn't even noticed it. "Yes, sir?"
Matthew took a deep breath and let it out very slowly. "This is not going to happen."
"You don't like blow jobs, sir?"
"What? Of course I like--" Matthew shook his head at himself. "That's not the point. And I told you not to call me sir!"
"Sorry, master. You know, if you liked, you could spank me for forgetting that..."
Matthew closed his eyes and rubbed his hand down his face. He remained silent for several seconds, while he lined up an appropriate response inside his head. "I am not your master. You are not my slave. I'm not going to spank you. You're not going to suck me off. This ends right here, right now. Understand?"
Matthew ground his teeth together. If he couldn't reason with Drew, his next best option was to ignore him. Perhaps it wasn't the most mature way to deal with the situation, but while every moment made it harder for him to keep thinking with his brain rather than his cock, it was the best he could come up with.
Matthew turned his back on his friend and strode toward the main building of the hotel, sure that Drew would soon get bored and wander off if given no encouragement.
Drew's bare feet made no sound, but as they reached the more populated parts of the hotel complex it was easy for Matthew to tell from the guest's stares that Drew was hot on his heels. Hot being the operative word.
Matthew really hoped they were all too busy staring at the other man to notice that his cut-off jeans were more than a little bit tighter over his crotch than they should have been.
Halfway across the hotel foyer, Matthew stopped for a moment and rubbed his hand over his head, trying to remember what the hell he was supposed to be doing that day. He jolted forward as someone, and he could easily guess who, walked into his back.
"Sorry about that, sir. You might want to give a little signal before any rapid changes of direction until I get the hang of this."
Matthew repeated the advice over and over inside his head. He kept the silent litany going as he slipped into the back of the staff meeting just in time to accept the congratulations of his colleagues and receive his new employee ID, complete with the words Assistant Shift Manager emblazed beneath his name.
Everyone grinned at Drew; quite a few people complimented him on his wardrobe. Matthew dodged any comments directed to him regarding Drew as politely as he could until he was finally able to escape the crowd and make his way to his new desk.
Diving into his new duties should have been enough to make it easy to forget about the near naked man lurking one pace behind him, but it didn't. Being ignored should have driven Drew away before a single hour had passed, but no. Apparently, Drew was quite capable of being a stubborn little sod when he wanted to be. Half a day spent following in the footsteps of a man determined to ignore his existence didn't seem to have fazed him at all.
By two o'clock that afternoon, Matthew was still waiting for all the things that should have happened hours ago to actually occur. As he made his way to the burger stand at the westward edge of the hotel complex, he mentally cursed Drew, and everyone else he could think of for good measure.
The fact that his erection seemed to be as persistent as his would-be slave really wasn't helping his mood.
The lunchtime rush had already eaten; Matthew was able to walk right up to the counter. The server grinned at him as if he...as if he had a damn near naked slave tagging along behind him. Matthew forced a professional smile.
Matthew stared vacantly at the man flipping burgers. "Excuse me?"
"On the promotion."
Matthew stared down at his name tag. "Thanks," he said, with all the good grace he could muster. "I'll have a burger with everything and a side of fries and a Coke."
A movement to his right caught his attention. Ignoring Drew was one thing. Letting a man he was responsible for, albeit unwillingly, starve was quite another. "Make that two of everything, please."
The guy put it all on a tray. He'd have been able to do that a lot quicker if he hadn't been quite so busy staring at Drew--at a man who was, in some weird way, Matthew's property.
Matthew pointedly cleared his throat and handed over his staff pass card to be swiped. The guy tore his eyes away from Drew for a second, only to go back to staring the moment he'd handed Matthew's card back to him.
It wasn't his place to reprimand the guy for staring. If Drew really had belonged to him then--
Then he wouldn't have been wandering around in public to be gawked at anyway.
Suddenly, Drew stepped forward and neatly scooped up the tray of food before Matthew had a chance to do it himself.
Apparently, not the least bit hindered by his chained wrists, he easily balanced the tray. "May I know where you prefer to sit, sir?"
Unwilling to fight for the tray while the burger flipper was still watching them, Matthew waved toward an empty table overlooking the beach.
For the first time that day, Drew led the way rather than nipping at Matthew's heels. The moment Matthew's gaze fell on the other man's exposed buttocks, and the tiny back of the thong nestled between them, he almost gave in, dropped to his knees and thumped the floor at the sheer injustice of it all.
If it wasn't illegal for a man to tempt someone this much, it bloody well should have been.
Drew's heart raced faster and faster as he walked across the near deserted seating area, but he kept his steps slow and languid. Concentrating on the heat of the paving beneath his bare feet as if everything depended on him knowing the exact temperature of each bit of ground he walked across, he managed to remain outwardly calm.
He could hear Matthew behind him. He was muttering to himself again, his words hushed and barely distinguishable. It was a cute little habit of his that Drew had been aware of for a little while, and one that Matthew had been indulging in more and more frequently throughout the morning.
Reaching the table, Drew set the tray down and dutifully began to unwrap his new master's food for him, eager to take advantage of any possible opportunity to serve. He completed his task just as Matthew joined him alongside the weather-worn wooden picnic table.
Matthew threw one muscular leg over the bench attached to the table and immediately picked up the burger and fries that was still wrapped. It was hard to tell if he was still being bloody minded or if he simply hadn't realized Drew was trying to serve.
Kneeling alongside the bench as near to Matthew's feet as he could get, Drew settled down to wait for an order to be issued--or at least for Matthew to pass him his share of the food.
Matthew jerked back as if a rattlesnake had tried to slither up his leg. Drew stared up at him in genuine confusion.
"What are you doing down there?" Matthew demanded, in a more natural pitch.
"Is there some way I can serve you, sir?" Drew inquired, mildly. His mouth watered at the possibility that Matthew might actually break down and accept the blow job he'd been trying to give him all day. The chance that he might actually be allowed to please his friend made the breath catch in his throat.
Matthew glared as if he'd been insulted. "Get up. Sit on the damn seat."
Drew obeyed. His knees were killing him after so long spent in such an unaccustomed position. True, kneeling for Matthew pressed all the right subby buttons for him, but Drew realized now that he really should have thought ahead and added knee pads to his outfit.
Gladly taking the opportunity to stretch his legs, Drew mirrored Matthew's pose perfectly, spreading his legs to straddling the bench and face his friend.
Matthew's gaze slid down Drew's body in a slow caress, making his skin prickle, all the way from his collarbones to his navel. Beyond that point, a word like prickling didn't do the sensations justice. Adrenaline pounded through Drew's veins, and Matthew hadn't even touched him with anything more than his eyes.
Drew's cock strained against the front of his tiny thong. Matthew couldn't be oblivious to that. Hell, pretty much everyone he'd walked past that day must have known he'd been on the edge of coming the whole time!
"Eat your food." Matthew pointedly turned his face away from Drew, but he couldn't turn his body without it being obvious that he had something to hide. Something like the fact Drew wasn't the only one sporting one hell of a hard-on.
Drew smiled. "You know, I wasn't joking about the blow job, sir,"
Matthew bit down on his burger, far harder than he needed to.
Drew absentmindedly ate a little of his own food, but his gaze never left his friend. "You know you deserve it, right?"
It was unfortunate that Matthew just happened to be taking a sip of his drink at that particular moment. Drew rubbed the other man's back until he stopped coughing. "That time, I was actually talking about your new job, not my lips wrapped around your cock."
Matthew glared at him as he brushed the back of his hand across his mouth.
"You worked bloody hard to get that promotion," Drew admitted.
"You're just about the only guy here who never lets a hot visitor distract you or any of the staff for that matter."
For some reason, that observation made Matthew blush. Drew stared at the color on his cheeks, quietly fascinated. Matthew rubbed a hand over his close cropped hair in a familiar gesture that Drew had been dying to copy for months. His palms itched with the need to know what the tiny little spikes of hair would feel like against his skin.
"So," Drew pressed on, determinedly. "No one's going to think any the less of you because you blow off some steam with a willing slave."
The blush vanished. Every muscle in Matthew's body tensed--and he had more than his fair share of them.
Drew's hands immediately declared their willingness to exchange permission to stroke Matthew's hair, for authorization to stroke Matthew everywhere else. Either to try to reduce his stress, or just for the sheer joy of touching him, Drew was very flexible on that point.
Drew stopped admiring the lines of muscle visible past Matthew's vest top. "What?"
"I'll think less of me," Matthew ground out. Apparently, his appetite deserted him at that point. His meal practically untouched, Matthew jerked to his feet and stormed off in the direction of the main hotel.
Drew spun around on the wooden bench so fast, he risked getting some serious splinters in his bare buttocks. Drew's legs were longer than Matthew's, and he wasn't embarrassed to be seen running around the hotel complex like a fool the way Matthew always seemed to be.
Drew caught up with him in the narrow walkway between the hotel's main building and a smaller structure that contained the massage suites. Catching hold of Matthew's arm, Drew jerked them both to a stop and made Matthew turn around to face him, whether he wanted to or not.
"Get off me!"
Drew stumbled back as Matthew snatched his arm out of his grip. Before he had a chance to steady himself, both Matthew's hands were gripping his biceps holding him upright. In that moment Drew had no doubt that Matthew had it in his power to make sure he didn't go anywhere ever again, and he loved it.
The next moment, Matthew pinned Drew to the wall. Standing right in front of him, with barely a paper-width of air between them, Matthew glared up at Drew, his breathing rapid, his eyes shining brightly with anger.
Matthew leaned forward, finally bringing their bodies together. Drew's erection rubbed against Matthew's equally hard shaft through their clothes. A spike of bliss burst through him. Moaning his pleasure, Drew automatically thrust his hips forward. After a day of being held at arm's length, any kind of contact with Matthew was heavenly.
"Don't." It was an order, not a plea. If Matthew was anywhere near as desperate to come as Drew was, he hid it very well beneath a covering of... Drew focused in. Unfortunately, it seemed to be hidden beneath stone cold fury.
That probably wasn't a good thing.
Drew stilled his hips. His inch or two of height advantage meant nothing right then. Strength was far more important, and Matthew had the lead on him there. And a will to dominate that overruled damn near everything else. Muscle meant nothing compared to that.
Drew closed his eyes. When he opened them a few seconds later, Matthew was still as hot as ever.
"Do you have any orders for me?" Drew whispered.
Matthew's eyes narrowed. He nodded slowly, as if he was coming to a decision, right there and then. "Yes."
Relief rushed through Drew as he realized he was finally getting through to the man he'd wanted to submit to for almost as long as he could remember. It was more luck than judgment that ensured he didn't come in his little leather thong with the sheer joy of it.
Matthew smiled. Then, of all the bloody stupid things to do, he stepped away.
Drew frowned. "What are you--?"
"It's not your place to question my decisions," Matthew cut in.
His frown not easing in the slightest, Drew nodded his acceptance of that fact--in theory, at least.
"You want orders?" Matthew asked. "Fine." He folded his arms across his chest. "You can start by collecting all the midday tallies from all the different activity centers. When you've done that, bring all the paperwork back into the staff offices, find an empty desk and enter them into the system."
Matthew's expression didn't falter. He was all business now, once more the guy who was determined to climb the hospitality career ladder so quickly the rungs might catch fire in his wake.
"You want me to do paperwork?" Drew checked.
"Yes. I've had enough of tripping over you all day. It's about time you buggered off and did something useful."
Drew stared at Matthew, completely speechless for a full minute. "There's nothing else you'd prefer me to do, sir?" He straightened up and was about to step away from the wall, he might even have been about to reach out and run his fingers down the other man's chest, heading straight for his fly, but Matthew's glare made him freeze.
"No. There is nothing else I want you to do. Maybe no one has ever told you that being hot and willing to screw anything that moves won't always be an effective substitute for hard work, but you can't kneel your way out of doing your fair share this time."
"You think I'm hot?" Drew asked, very willing to be pleased with that statement and discard the rest as nothing more than evidence of his friend's frustration.
The vein in Matthew's jaw throbbed visibly as he clenched his jaw very tight. "Go! Paperwork--now!"
Drew went. He hoped to feel the sharp sting of Matthew's hand on his arse, speeding him on his way. He let out a disappointed sigh as he stepped out of the other man's range. No such luck...