Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sunday's Safe Word Shelf: Rawlings Men by Kim Dare

The Rawlings men have always had a close association with the police force. Those who don't become police men themselves have always flocked towards related professions. The family is full of forensic psychologists, scene of crime officers and police advisors.

And as for those rare Rawlings men who have no interest in maintaining law and order - they can still appreciate a man in uniform, and a finely crafted pair of handcuffs!

A series of eight Male/Male BDSM novellas, following men from the same extended family. While they can be read as stand alone titles, they are best read in order as part of the series.

Handcuffs and Leather #1
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 he feels about him. But fate wouldn’t be that cruel to him—would it?

Handcuffs and Glory Holes #2
Police Sergeant Conrad Rawlings likes glory holes. As a dominant who’s never learned how to feel casual about even the most fleeting hook up, he’s learned to cherish the complete anonymity they provide. Still, when he hears a cubicle door open as he leaves the back room of a club, he can’t quite help looking over his shoulder.

Submissive Willis Evans doesn’t know why his master ordered him to make sure the stranger from the glory hole sees his face before he leaves the club, but he knows the price for disobedience. Willis does as he’s told. The moment their eyes meet, he can’t help but hope he’ll be allowed to see the other man again.

They are going to meet again, but it won’t be under conditions either of them could predict. Willis’ master has a plan—one which could easily break them both.

Handcuffs and Headlocks #3
Undercover police officer Ed Rawlings isn’t just good at his job—he’s bloody fantastic at it. But there is such a thing as being too good at playing pretend. When reality refuses to come back, even when he’s off duty, something has to change for the hyperactive submissive. Could a no nonsense master be exactly who he needs to help him make those changes?

Derby FitzGerald doesn’t do pretend. Losing track of reality when you’re teaching martial arts would be bound to get very painful, very quickly. But maybe there’s such a thing as taking life too seriously too. Could a confused cop be precisely the right person to remind him of that?

Handcuffs and Trouble #4
As the newest constable in the station, Trent Rawlings isn’t entirely surprised to find himself being hazed by the other cops. Determined not to make any more of a fool of himself than is absolutely necessary, he’s merely biding his time and going through the motions until he gets to the punch line. It has to be a hazing. If it’s not, he’s in real trouble.

Kieran Osmond doesn’t know what the hell the little fool thinks he’s doing, stumbling into the middle of an undercover operation. All Kieran knows is that he has to rescue the younger man before he gets them both killed. Luckily for them both, Trent seems to be good at obeying orders and following a more dominant man’s lead. He may even be too good at it for Kieran’s peace of mind.

Maybe Trent isn’t the only man who’s in trouble...

Handcuffs and Spreader Bars #5
Harland Rawlings might have chosen to be a scene of crime officer rather than a “proper” policeman like so many of the men in his family, but that doesn’t mean he can’t hold his own with any cop who comes his way. Any evidence belongs to him until he says otherwise, and if a sergeant manages to roll around in evidence while tackling a suspect, then that man belongs to him until Harland has finished with him.

Detective Sergeant Alasdair Grant doesn’t have good luck with men. He resigned himself to that fact after his ex turned out to be the worst kind of sadist, so he’s not best pleased when being processed by Harland gets him hot and hard and he has no way to hide it. When Harland offers to fetch a spreader bar if he doesn’t stop wriggling, he knows the other man is merely laughing at his expense. There’s no way the scene of crime officer could know how much he’d like it if he did.

Harland can’t work out why Alasdair keeps blowing hot and cold, flirting one minute and running away the next. All he knows is that for some reason, even after the other man stopped being evidence, Harland can’t stop thinking of Alasdair as belonging to him…

Handcuffs and Ball Gags #6
Police constable Andrew Rawlings is used to getting heckled while trying to maintain law and order at environmental protests. He’s not so keen on the guy shouting the insults being his flat mate, Ben. A protest is no place for a well mannered school teacher, even if the guy is built like an ox. That’s why Andrew expressly forbade Ben from attending it, and Andrew isn’t used to his commands being disobeyed.

Ben has had enough of being bossed around by his best friend. He’s a grown man. If he wants to protest against the new motorway, he will. And, if Andy Rawlings doesn’t like it, well, he’ll just have to step up to the plate and start playing the dominant role full time, not just whenever it suits him.

Nudity, spanking and ball gags—the punishment for civil disobedience has never been so much fun.

Handcuffs and Megabytes #7
Mike Shane’s an old fashioned kind of cop. To his mind, police work should be all about pounding the pavements, interrogating suspects and following leads. It should not involve hours spent sitting at a desk staring at a computer screen. When he’s seconded to a computer crimes task force, he’s dreading spending all his time surrounded by computers and computer geeks.

Carl Rawlings is no geek. With a body full of tattoos and piercings, along with a new found interest in anything and everything kinky, he’s not your average cop—or your average computer expert either. Immediately drawn to the other man’s old school style of dominance, he quickly decides that teaching Mike all about the new program he’s developed won’t be so bad after all, but who knows what Mike may teach him in return?

Handcuffs and Pretty Things #8
Almost every man in the Rawlings family is a cop. Almost. Dane Rawlings likes the finer things in life. As a successful antiques dealer, imposing law and order upon society isn’t one of his main concerns. But that doesn’t mean he can’t appreciate the appeal of a man with handcuffs.

Ross O’Sullivan has worked with lots of Rawlings men, none of them prepared him for Dane. When he’s asked to babysit a Rawlings outside a suspected arson attack, he expects his charge to be tall, dark and handsome. A petite, delicate and pretty Rawlings comes as a shock, and it’s not the only shock Dane has in store for him.

Rawlings Men
This volume contains the first four stories in the series:
Handcuffs and Leather #1
Handcuffs and Glory Holes #2
Handcuffs and Headlocks #3
Handcuffs and Trouble #4

Rawlings Men Vol 2
This volume contains the first four stories in the series:
Handcuffs and Spreader Bars #5
Handcuffs and Ball Gags #6
Handcuffs and Megabytes #7
Handcuffs and Pretty Things #8

Handcuffs and Leather #1
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


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?”

Hadley nodded.

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.

Handcuffs and Glory Holes #2
The door leading into the back room of the club creaked open. It was the cue Willis Evans had been listening for, for over twenty minutes. As the sound of footsteps crossing the tiles floated into his cubicle, Willis lowered himself to his knees. The floor in the pokey little space was much the same as he’d always found it—cold, hard and far from clean.

The partition wall shuddered as the door into the neighboring cubicle was pulled closed behind its new occupant. Willis took a deep breath and let it out very slowly when he heard the lock on the other man’s door slide into place.

All his attention focused in on the hole between the adjoining spaces. A few seconds passed, and a foil wrapper was offered through it. Willis stared at it for a moment, as if he’d never seen a condom before. Finally, his brain kicked into gear. He took the packet from the man on the other side of the glory hole.

It was nice of the guy to offer him the choice, but a second’s consideration had Willis slipping it into the back pocket of his jeans. No point wasting it on a blow job when there might be someone who’d be willing to use it for something more than that later.

Fabric rustled. Willis turned his gaze back to the hole linking his world with the other man’s. The edges of the opening might have been rough when it was first cut, but at some point some practical-minded visitor to the club had covered the perimeter with masking tape. The DIY job had been pristine when Willis had first visited the cubicle, several months ago. The strips were peeling away now, battered by constant friction.

Past the circular frame created by the remaining partition, Willis watched strong hands reach for a button up fly.

The lighting was dim, full of shadows, but as Willis stared through the hole, he could have sworn a spotlight shone on the other man’s crotch, as if it was highlighting a personal little peep show, being put on just for him.

The top button slipped through the denim, then another. The hands that unfastened the other guy’s fly were big, masculine—a working man’s hands.

More buttons were quickly undone, it wasn’t long before Willis knew his first ‘date’ for the evening was going commando. Pushing back the denim, the other man exposed a long, thick shaft, already half hard with expectation.

The guy wrapped his fist around his cock, stroking himself three or four times before finally offering his cock up to the hole. He was tall, the hole was only just high enough to accommodate him.

Licking his lips, trying to work some moisture in a mouth left dry by unaccountable nerves, Willis leaned forward and took the tip of the offered cock into his mouth. There was no reason to be anxious. It was just a blow job—he should have been able to do that in his sleep by now.

Willis closed his eyes as simple instinct encouraged him to suckle gently around the head of the other man’s cock while it rested snugly inside his mouth. He took a little bit more of the shaft between his lips, dipping his head toward the hole in the partition.

Just a blow job…

A tiny satisfied sigh drifted through the partition and, as easily as that, something inside Willis settled. The pleasure in the soft little sound soothed a part of him that had been neglected for far too long. It was just a blow job—just a chance to feel another man’s pleasure and know he was the guy who made the other man feel that good. As Willis felt all his concerns about the wider world begin to fade gradually away, there was no just about it.

Swirling his tongue around the tip of the other man’s cock, Willis formed his lips into a neat seal around his shaft. The only important thing right then was the man before him and it didn’t matter if he was on the other side of a wall. And it didn’t matter if he was a stranger rather than the kind of master that Willis would have sold his soul for the privilege of kneeling before either.

The shaft filling his mouth stiffened further and Willis felt himself fall helplessly into the moment. Before. After. For the first time in far too long, everything but the present stopped mattering to him.

As reality started to slip away, Willis helped it along, chasing it from his mind, desperate to live in a world where everything really was as simple as a hard cock and a willing mouth, if only for a few minutes.

Sucking more greedily around the stranger’s shaft, Willis dipped his head further forward, trying to take more and more of the other man’s erection, until his forehead nudged against the partition. A slight change of angle, allowed him to slide his mouth a little further down the shaft. The head of the other man’s cock slipped into his throat as his lips kissed the base of his date’s cock, where it nestled between neatly-trimmed dark curls.

Pulling back, Willis ran his tongue along the vein on the underside of the shaft. Before the tip of the other man’s cock could slip from between his lips, he bowed his head again. Pre-cum begin to leak, hot and salty, onto his tongue, making him all the more desperate to satisfy the other man.

Something about the stranger called to him. It made him hope the other guy would be pleased with him, in a way Willis had thought he’d given up daydreaming about a long time ago.

Willis closed his eyes very tight. Reality wasn’t important right then. The truth surrounding his life didn’t matter. While he knelt there in the shadows, he was free to pretend the world was any way he chose to imagine it being. No one could even catch sight of his expression and guess what he was doing. And he couldn’t be whipped for it, if no one knew.


Willis couldn’t hold back a responding whimper as the word crept through the wall. Blinking his eyes open, he looked up at the battered partition, as if there was really some chance he’d see a dominant there, pleasure in his eyes and praise falling from his lips.

“That’s right…” The other man coaxed, his voice rough with pleasure.

Willis moaned his reply around the guy’s shaft, doubling his efforts to beg the other man’s orgasm out of him. A movement high above his head caught his attention.

Fingers curled over the top of the wall. The other man rocked his hips, making the most of the leverage his strong grip on the partition could grant him. He fed his shaft into Willis’ mouth again, moving faster with each thrust as he raced toward the edge of pleasure. A glance down and Willis saw the toes of a very well polished pair of boots poke under the barrier.

It wasn’t enough. Closing his eyes, Willis pictured the wall disintegrating between them. He imagined one of those wonderfully powerful hands sliding into his hair, holding him in place. Even without the other man’s fingers tangling in the messy blond strands, Willis stilled, willingly giving up all control to the other man, as he let him take his mouth however he pleased.

As the shaft thrust deep between his lips, Willis licked and suckled around it, praying for another word of praise. The stranger’s rhythm faltered. Willis sucked harder, his cheeks hollowing out as his lips tingled with friction.

The man buried himself inside Willis’ mouth as he came, spilling across his tongue almost faster than he could take. Willis swallowed rapidly, determined not to miss a drop, and for once it had nothing to do with fear of being punished.

He wanted so badly to make it perfect. Even if there was no way the guy would see if he failed or succeeded, even if there was no reason why the hell he’d even care how a casual blow job from a faceless, nameless stranger ended. Just for a few seconds, Willis wanted to believe he was good enough to make it perfect for another man.

The guy’s hips stilled, but he didn’t immediately pull away. Even if it hadn’t been perfect, at least the orgasm had been good enough to take his breath away. Willis heard the other man drawing in deep lungfuls of air as he recovered. Willis stayed pressed up against the barrier between them, letting him soften gently in his mouth, suckling tenderly around his cock, drawing out the moment for as long as he could.

“Good boy.”

Before Willis even had time to relish the words, the other man pulled away, his shaft quickly disappearing back through the glory hole. Willis sat back on his heels. He couldn’t remember the last time kneeling in that gloomy little space had left him hard. Pressing the heel of his palm against his straining fly, he quickly wished away his erection before anyone could notice it and set about reminding him that wasn’t supposed to be there for his own pleasure.

When he heard the other man unlock the door into the adjacent space, Willis remembered that his job wasn’t quite finished. Scrambling quickly to his feet, he managed to open his own cubicle just in time. The guy already had the door leading into the club half open, but he looked over his shoulder as Willis stared across at him.

It wasn’t a crowded room, but their eyes did meet across it. The other man was older than Willis and darker. He was taller and broader across the shoulders too.

The larger man smiled slightly. Willis found himself smiling back, somewhat shy now that he was face to face with the man he’d just gone down on. The guy didn’t say anything before he left.

As the door closed behind him, Willis leaned his temple against the cubicle door. He barely had a moment to close his eyes and memorize the smile before the door into the club swung open again.

Phil, one of the doms who worked for Willis’ master, stood in the doorway. Willis waited for a command, to see if he was going to be ordered back into the cubicle, or if his master had other plans for him now.

“Out,” Phil ordered with a jerk of his head. He grabbed hold of Willis’ arm as he led him through the main rooms of the club. Pain shot through his shoulder, as the dominant half dragged him into another, rather different, back room on the other side of the building.

His master, Marshall, sat on a high backed chair at the far end of the room. Phil pushed Willis forward until he stumbled and fell to the floor at his master’s feet.

”Rawlings just left,” Phil reported.

Willis pulled himself up onto his knees, settling his hands behind his back, presenting himself the way he’d been trained, as the other men spoke over his head.

“You made sure he got a good look at you?” Marshall asked, as he turned his attention to Willis.

Keeping his eyes on the carpet in front of his master’s feet, Willis nodded.

“He’ll recognize you if he sees you again?”

Willis nodded again. “Yes, sir.” He tightened his hands into fists behind his back, praying his master wouldn’t guess how his heart rate kicked up a notch at the idea of being allowed to see the other man again.

Handcuffs and Headlocks #3
“Any questions?”

Ed Rawlings leaned slightly to his left, bringing his lips to within whispering distance of his friend’s ear. “Think he’ll hit me if I ask him if he’s gay?”

Kieran made an unimpressed noise in the back of his throat. “I think he’s going to hit you whatever you do.”

Ed smiled to himself as he turned his complete attention back to the…Damn, what the hell had the inspector said he was? Ed vaguely remembered something about the force hiring a martial arts expert to give them a refresher course on self defense techniques. There’d been fliers posted around the station about it for weeks, and a lecture from senior officers on just how much boring paperwork would be thrown at those cops—Yes, Ed Rawlings, I’m talking about you—who tried to get out of attending the damn thing.

Ed bit back a chuckle. The inspector would have saved himself a whole lot of time and trouble if he’d just had the sense to mention that their tutor was going to be hot as hell. The guy currently pacing along the line of suddenly nervous looking coppers was definitely welcome to beat up Ed any time he wanted.

A big muscular body pressed against him, holding him down in all the right places sounded like a bloody good time in his book. And if the display the instructor had conducted with his assistant was anything to go by, their new expert… Duncan… Darcy… Dominic… Demetri…Whatever…

The guy obviously had no qualms about getting up close and personal with another man. Ed’s smile broadened. He hadn’t contorted into most of the positions the younger man threw his assistant into, with most of his ex-boyfriends—not even that really flexible yoga instructor he’d met while he was pretending to be a drug dealer last year.

The instructor turned around and walked back down the line of men. His mouth was moving, there were probably words coming out of it. Ed made a half-hearted attempt to focus on the actual syllables, but it was so much more fun to wonder how those lips would feel covering his, or wrapped around his cock, or whispering demanding little orders into his ear.

Ed rocked slightly back and forth on his heels as he tried to keep his building energy in check and failed. Kieran sent him a disapproving look out of the corner of his eye. Ed ignored him in favor of running his gaze over the instructor’s body again. The guy had to live in the gym.

Turning away from his students for a few seconds, the instructor called his assistant across the room, providing Ed with the perfect chance to check out a very nice arse. The bright red track bottoms should have clashed horribly with the grubby blue mats that covered the floor, but the guy looked perfectly at home there, as if he was born to spend his days pinning people to the scuffed surface.

The assistant had to be half a foot taller than the instructor. He still ended up flat on his back after a few brief seconds.

The shorter man pressed his would-be rival down against the mat. His hands wrapped tightly around the assistant’s wrists, black skin encircling white. The idea of his own wrists replacing the assistant’s limbs dropped straight to Ed’s cock. He started to harden behind the scant privacy of his own track bottoms.

His last undercover assignment had kept him cooped up inside all summer. He was even paler than the prone assistant. The contrasting skin tones would be even more beautiful, if he could somehow wrangle his way into the taller man’s place. Ed rocked on his heels again, before bouncing forward onto his toes, barely able to stay quietly in one place for another second.

“You’re going to get whipped if you’re not careful…” Kieran muttered under his breath, a tiny smile creeping through his normally serious demeanor.

Ed bit back a chuckle. “Only if I’m really lucky, and he turns out to be kinky as well as gay.”

The instructor launched himself up off the floor and helped his assistant to his feet. He looked across at them as the muffled laughter seemed to catch his attention. His eyes met Ed’s gaze. Pissed off was a very good look on the man.

Ed’s grin stayed in place, while Kieran quickly reverted to his usual stone faced expression next to him.

“Congratulations, Rawlings, you just volunteered to take part in the next set of demonstrations. Front and center. Move!”

Ed stepped swiftly out of the line to stand in front of the instructor. He was a few inches taller than the other man, and more than a few years older than him, too. Not that he was under the impression that either of those facts were going to make the slightest bit of difference to what was about to happen next.

He might have been blessed with the typical Rawlings build, wide across the shoulders and naturally strong with it, but the other man looked like one of those strange people who thought working yourself half to death in the gym every single day was a pleasant way to spend a life. Physically, there was no contest, and Ed had the distinct impression that an ability to talk himself out of any trouble he got himself into while undercover probably wasn’t going to help him in this particular situation either. He tried what was generally considered a charming smile.

The instructor didn’t smile back.

Straight or serious? And how to find out which?

The shorter man grabbed Ed by the shoulders and spun him around so he faced the other men.

Words happened again, something about the best way to take a man from behind. Ed didn’t laugh—but only because he made damn sure he didn’t meet Kieran’s eyes.

You can take me any way you like, darling.

Ed bit his lip to keep the words back as he felt the heat of the other man’s body soak through his clothes and caress his skin. If the guy wanted to tug down his track bottoms and bend him over right there in front of all the other cops, he’d have been more than happy to accommodate him.

That last assignment really had gone on for a very long time. A man could only play it straight and be on his best behavior for so long.

One moment Ed was standing on the mat, trying to work out exactly how many weeks had passed since he’d last got laid. The next second he was on his knees, with the instructor’s arm wrapped painfully around his throat, cutting off his air supply. Apparently, no one had ever told the younger man that nice guys didn’t do breath play on the first date.

Ed’s hands clawed at the stronger man’s arm, scrabbling at the immovable band of muscle around his neck. His feet kicked out uselessly against the mats. The world started to go dark around the edges. All the blood that couldn’t get to his brain seemed to think his cock was the next best alternative.

As the other man’s voice continued in the distance, no doubt explaining exactly why this was such a brilliant way to incapacitate anyone who didn’t pay due attention in class, Ed just got harder and harder. Pre-cum started to leak onto the inside of his boxers.

The arm around his throat relaxed just enough to let him drag one, gasping breath into his lungs before tightening again. The instructor obviously knew what he was doing, except right then it was impossible for Ed to think of him as a boring martial arts instructor. It was much more fun to picture him as a dominant in a club, far hotter to think of himself as a bratty sub who’d somehow caught the attention of a serious master than it was to be a cop right then.

Ed let the idea grow inside his head, expanding to fill every bit of his mind as he fought for another breath. The man he’d been a moment before started to fade away, until he no longer existed in any real sense of the word.

He was Eddie Smith—novice sub. Clueless, naive, maybe even a virgin. He’d heard about the club… No, he’d seen someone mention it on the net—that was more like it. As easily as the idea slipped into his mind, Ed Rawlings stopped being someone who could barely manage his e-mails.

Eddie Smith was a true computer geek, much better at text speak than face to face conversations. And he’d only been in the leather club a few seconds when he suddenly found his every right snatched away from him.

Eddie Smith belonged to his master now and everything in the world was a privilege that another stronger man could grant or deny him on a whim. Even his next breath was something he’d have to earn, and the fact he had millions in the bank from all those clever little programming jobs didn’t mean a damn thing.

His nameless, faceless—yes, that was right—his anonymous hooded master, allowed him one more breath. The scent of leather filled Ed’s senses as the fantasy took true hold of him. Eyes closed, he let the vague memory of the cops watching him morph into a crowd of leather clad men—men Eddie Smith’s new master might well decide to share him with before the end of the night. Track suits and training shorts became chaps, jock straps and chastity belts.

As suddenly as he’d been captured, Eddie was released, pushed forward to collapse, gasping as he hit the mat. Air rushed into his lungs, cold and harsh, making his head spin even faster. Ed and Eddie Smith swirled together inside his head as he pushed at the padded floor a little, but his arms didn’t seem inclined to lever him upright.

All things considered, the mat was quite comfortable. Ed decided to stay where he was for a little while. Eddie Smith wouldn’t get up until his master gave him permission anyway, not without getting a whipping for his cheek. In those moments, Eddie’s fear kept him on the floor just as much as anything that had ever been part of Ed Rawlings.

“Damn, Derby, you didn’t actually kill him, did you?”

Derby! That was it. Ed had known it was something like that. Eddie faded a little from his mind as he was pulled back to the here and now. Derby FitzGerald, champion something or other…boxing…judo…kickboxing…some weird thing he’d never heard of and didn’t have a clue how to pronounce…whatever. He could so easily be a world champion dominant if he wanted to.

Please, God, just let him be gay…

“He’ll be fine,” Derby said, and promptly turned his attention to the other cops and started issuing orders, pairing them up to practice the techniques he’d just demonstrated.

Ed stayed where he was, Eddie still lingering in the corners of his mind. His ragged breaths slowly steadied, even as his erection pressed even more enthusiastically into the mat beneath him.

“On your feet, Rawlings. Let’s see how much attention you were paying.”

Ed dragged himself upright, half because the instructor ordered it, and half because Eddie wanted to see what the dominant might want to do with him next. The part Ed had cast himself into warred with the real him as his own name called him out of the fantasy while the character he’d allowed to take up residence inside his brain refused to leave him completely. Shaking his head, Ed made a halfhearted attempt to click back into the regular world.

Instructor or master, the guy was obviously still pissed off with him. Ed barely reached his full height before he ended up crashing back onto the mat. The air rushed out of his lungs again. Before he could draw in another breath, Derby was on top of him, pinning him down.

“If you’d spent more time listening and less time giggling like a little girl, you might know how to stay on your feet.”

Trapped under a perfectly muscled body, Ed felt a delicious shiver run down his spine as another burst of adrenaline shot through his veins. He looked up into the other man’s eyes, but it was impossible to make out an expression in the black depths. As his vision cleared, the club scenario faded a little more.

Handcuffs and Trouble #4
He’ll fill you in when you get there.

Trent Rawlings would have felt a hell of a lot better about being told that, if any of the men who kept ordering him from pillar to post had bothered to mention exactly where the final ‘there’ might be, or if he’d received at least a general description of the ‘he’ who’d eventually be willing to do the bloody filling in.

The duty sergeant had told him that Inspector Jarvis would fill him in when he got to the incident room. The inspector had merely ordered him into plain clothes and said that Sergeant Thomas would tell him what was going on when he reached the address Jarvis had hurriedly scribbled on a piece of paper. But Sergeant Thomas hadn’t even bothered to give him a clue who he was supposed to be looking for next.

Hunching his shoulders, Trent kept his head down as he fought his way through the crowd of people crammed into the old warehouse. It didn’t do any good. Everyone was still staring at him. That was the thing about being the only person in the place who looked even vaguely normal. Somehow, when everyone else was tie-dyed a million different clashing colors, it was the guy in the inconspicuous black jacket who ended up looking like the pillock. That just wasn’t fair!

It was a hazing thing, Trent told himself. It had to be. He was the new guy in the station, and they were winding him up, sending him running around in circles looking for the police equivalent of glass hammers and sky hooks. It was a hazing. All he had to do was go through the motions, and laugh along with everyone else when he finally stumbled on the punch line and everything would be fine.

Heat and noise pressed in on him from all sides making his head spin and his stomach turn. Everybody was shouting and laughing, damn near everyone seemed either drunk or high. The thumping music seemed to get even louder as he forced his way deeper into the mass of gyrating bodies.

The constable only just held back a curse as a drunken raver’s elbow connected sharply with his ribs. The guy reeked of cheap cider and weed. The stench hung in the air even after the man stumbled off, purple Mohawk quickly disappearing into the chaos. It was almost as bad as the cloud of whiskey vapors that had surrounded Sergeant Thomas as the older man yelled at Trent for being late and thrust directions to the warehouse into his hand.

Definitely a hazing.

“You lost, kid?” someone shouted over the blaring music.

Trent might not have been sure exactly where he was heading or who he was looking for, but he’d cheerfully be damned before he answered to being called a kid. He was nineteen years old and a serving police officer. He wasn’t a kid. He pushed on, trying his best not to get crushed as he searched for anyone who looked even vaguely familiar in the throng.

A huge, meaty hand landed on his shoulder and spun him around. In any other situation, Trent was pretty sure the guy standing in front of him would have looked ridiculous. Men built like mountains should look silly in orange camouflage and purple paisley. It was practically a law of nature. Except the guy also had an extremely non-silly looking flick knife in his hand, and quite a few friends with him.

“I said—you lost?” He didn’t sound the least bit like the kind of guy who got involved in hazing new constables into the local station.

Trent looked from him to the knife and back to the small portion of the man’s face visible between the sunglasses, bandana and beard. The cutting edge was currently folded back into the handle, but the chances of it staying that way seemed to be getting more remote by the second.

Right on cue, the guy flicked his wrist, and the blade swung out.

“He’s with me,” someone cut in from behind Trent.

The mountain hesitated.

Trent looked over his shoulder. The guy didn’t look any more like the kind of man who’d be able to fill him in on what the hell he was supposed to be doing there than anyone else in the chaos.

He wore the same jumble of clashing clothes as all the others. The multi-colored theme had even spread to his spiky hair, dying it all sorts of weird and wonderful colors. Even his eyes were a bizarre shade of violet. Yet, in spite of all that, there was something ever so very slightly familiar about him.

Or maybe Trent just wished there was. There couldn’t be many men on the planet who could still appear hot as hell when it looked like a rainbow had thrown up all over them.

Trent tried to pull a few brain cells together. “I—”

The guy stepped past Trent without a word.

The mountain seemed to know him. He quickly stumbled back out of the newcomer’s way. The flick knife was hurriedly un-flicked and pushed into the giant pocket as he, and the men with him, disappeared into the confusion.

Before Trent had any chance to try and work out what the hell was going on, a strong hand was wrapped around his wrist, and he was being dragged through the crowd in the opposite direction of the mountain.

“What the hell—?” The rest of the question died on Trent’s tongue as he was pushed against the rough wooden planks that covered the far wall of the dilapidated, old building.

Bright purple eyes glared down at him. Trent stared back up at the other man, unable to breathe let alone speak.

“Hey, Ossy!”

An angry look passed over the taller man’s face. A moment later, his lips covered Trent’s. The constable opened his mouth. Part of him was sure he did that because he intended to protest. Before he had a chance, a slick, confident tongue slid into his mouth. Any idea that the kiss wasn’t exactly what Trent wanted died in that moment.

Every time the guy thrust his tongue past his lips, the sensation dropped straight to Trent’s cock. His hips instinctively rocked forward, pressing his crotch against the stranger’s body as he found himself imagining what it would be like if the larger man was thrusting his cock into his arse, instead. Without any concrete knowledge to build on in that area, all he could do was feel sure it would be bloody marvelous.

Some part of Trent that still had a tenuous grasp on the real world heard laughter and jokes about someone called Ossy being too busy to answer them right then. Then, the sounds of the outside world faded away completely. There was nothing to distract Trent from the kiss until, against all logic and reason, the other man pulled away from him.

A little bit of Trent’s brain vaguely recalled that he should be really pissed off about something. Then he remembered that he was on duty, and probably wasn’t allowed to kiss really hot men whenever the hell he wanted. If he couldn’t bring himself to be mad at the man in front of him, at Ossy, it was easy to be angry with the sheer unfairness of not being allowed to try for another kiss.

He pushed the larger man away from him as hard as he could. “What the—?”

Ossy swayed back all of an inch, before he leaned back into Trent again. His head dipped once more, but not to kiss him.

“Buy a clue before you get us both killed!” he bit out.

“Wh—what?” Trent managed.

“If this is your idea of working undercover…” Ossy snarled.

Trent looked up at him, eyes opening wide with shock as he finally put one and one together and came up with something other than eleven.

“The serg—”

A hand covered his mouth, stealing away all his protests.

Trent closed his mouth behind the other man’s palm. It wasn’t his fault that he was there. The sergeant had said that… As Ossy glared down at him, Trent felt all his excuses fade away. The older man obviously wasn’t in the mood to hear them.

“Here’s what you’re going to do,” Ossy whispered. “You’re going to follow my lead. You’re going to do exactly as I tell you, and you’re going to agree with everything I say. Understand?”

Trent nodded.

Ossy took his hand away from Trent’s mouth. “Look over my shoulder, how many people are watching us?”

Trent did as he was told. “Lots,” he managed to say.

Ossy just glared down at him as if he was only holding on to his temper by the skin of his teeth, and that kind of fuzzy answer wasn’t helping.

“Twenty, maybe twenty five?” Trent hazarded.

“Does one of them have a black tattoo around his left eye?”

Trent nodded.

Ossy cursed, fluently and inventively, his lips apparently moving entirely on automatic while completely unrelated wheels turned inside his head and he started to come up with some sort of plan of action.

He had gorgeous lips. Trent watched them moving, completely mesmerized. His cock was already in love with those lips, even if they hadn’t been properly introduced to each other yet. His shaft tried to stiffen further at the worst possible moment.

“We’re going to put on a show for them,” the other man announced.
Trent automatically nodded. Without another word, the guy dropped to his knees in front of him.

“What the hell!”

Trent’s hands moved to his fly, in a fumbling attempt to stop the other man undoing his zip. Strong fingers wrapped around his wrists and impatiently shoved his hands out of the way. Ossy glared up at him, as if daring him to try that again.

Trent’s hands remained at his sides when Ossy released them. He found himself frozen in place as his fly was pulled down and his boxers pushed aside. Reaching past the cotton, Ossy’s hand wrapped around Trent’s shaft and deftly guided the stiffening length out from the tangle of material.

The constable gasped at the first touch of the other man’s hand, at the first touch of any man’s hand other than his own.

He whimpered as Ossy stroked his cock, confident fingers wrapping tightly around his erection as more and more blood raced to his shaft. Trent’s hands scrabbled at the wooden wall behind him as his knees threatened to give way.

Ossy glanced up for a second. Then, as if in slow motion, he leaned forward. Trent stared helplessly down at him as the other man’s mouth opened. His tongue crept out to sweep across his bottom lip, it brushed against the tip of Trent’s cock as he took the head into his mouth.

Trent’s eyes fell closed, but the image of the other man on his knees still filled his mind, apparently already imprinted on the inside of his eyelids, forever.

He felt the other man’s breath brush against the base of his shaft as Ossy leaned in closer, taking more and more of his cock into his mouth.

This wasn’t the way things happened in the real world. This was how life worked when he was alone in the shower with his own hand wrapped around his cock. In real life, strangers didn’t jump him out of nowhere and demand to give him fantastic blow jobs. In reality, his time with other men involved a lot of blushing and stammering.

It wasn’t a hazing. It had to be a daydream—a wonderful stolen moment in the middle of a busy shift. Any moment now, the duty sergeant was going to yell at him for not paying attention during a briefing, and it would all be over. He’d refocus on the world around him and find out that he was surrounded by a dozen other uniformed officers rather than fluorescent ravers.

Trent heard someone whimper pathetically at the prospect of not being able to finish what had been started. The sound was so loud it had to have come from one of them. And that meant it had to have been him, because Trent sure as hell couldn’t imagine a man like Ossy making that weak, mewing little noise in the back of his throat.

Splinters from the rough boards bit at Trent’s fingers as he raked his nails along them. They felt real. Desperate to reach out and tangle his fingers in the other man’s hair, it took every scrap of control he could summon, to resist the temptation.

If he pushed his luck too far, the guy might stop. And he couldn’t stop. If there was one thing Trent was sure of, it was that the other man should never stop. His head dropped back, banging against the wooden planks as Ossy’s tongue flicked against the tip of his cock, teasing the most sensitive part, again and again.

The world was a beautiful new place right then, full of sensations that Trent had never known about. Wet heat seemed to rush from his cock and shoot straight up his spine, gathering more and more fervor along the way, until it was able to make his brain melt and fireworks explode behind his eyes.

Embarrassingly quickly, he found himself helplessly tumbling over the edge. Fresh ecstasy rushed through him as he came hard into the other man’s mouth.

Ossy’s lips moved around him as he swallowed his cum. Trent stared down at the other man’s bowed head, still frozen in place. If he tried to move, his knees would buckle. He had no doubt about that. It was far better for him to stay still and not make more of a fool of himself than was absolutely necessary.

As he started to soften, Ossy tidied him up and tucked him away without a word. He was on his feet before Trent could even blink and focus in on the world around him properly.

“I…” he managed.

Ossy glared down at him, apparently still as pissed off and serious as ever.

“You didn’t say you were bringing a friend,” someone called out from behind the larger man.

“Exactly as I say,” Ossy whispered to him, as he turned away. Over his shoulder, Trent saw the crowd who had been milling around a little way away from him all staring fixedly in his direction.

They had all been watching them when… Trent suddenly forgot how to breathe.

“Looks like a cop,” one of the voyeurs growled.

“Probably because he is a cop,” Ossy said, all his anger suddenly vanishing, allowing his voice to turn calm and confident.

Everyone started shouting. All except Trent’s knight in tie-dyed armor. Ossy remained very still, very composed as if not the least concerned by any of it.

“A probationary constable to be exact,” Ossy went on. “You know the fantastic thing about really young cops?”

The quietly spoken words caught everyone’s attention. The rest of the rabble fell silent. Trent listened along with them, his brain only really processing the fact that the man who just went down on him thought he was fantastic.

Ossy’s lips twisted into a slow, and not particularly humorous smile as he glanced to Trent. “They’re like really expensive carpets. Lay ‘em right the first time and you can walk all over them for the next twenty years.”

For a few seconds, no one said anything. A dozen pairs of eyes darted from Trent to Ossy and back again. Slowly, then with increasing enthusiasm, the laughter began to fill the air once more.

Trent felt the heat rush to his cheeks. Fantastic…

“I told you I could get you all the details of where that annoying little police investigation was going, didn’t I? My pet constable here’s going to tell us everything we want to know. Isn’t that right, sweetheart?” He caught hold of Trent’s chin and made him look up and meet his eyes.

While Ossy stared down at him, there was only one thing Trent could say: “Yes, sir.”

The others laughed even more when the honorific slipped out, but unless Trent was very much mistaken about the emotion that flashed through Ossy’s gaze, there was a part of the older man that really liked being called that, and it had nothing to do with Trent respecting the rank of a superior officer.

Handcuffs and Spreader Bars #5
“How do you feel about spreader bars?” Harland Rawlings asked, his voice completely level and not betraying the slightest trace of emotion.

For several long seconds the room was entirely silent. Harland was even able to hear the faint sound of his white scene of crime officer’s suit rustling as he tilted his head back to look up at the man looming over him.

Detective Sergeant Alasdair Grant frowned down at him in confusion. “What?”

Whichever way a man looked at it, it was supremely unfair that the guy could even make bewilderment appear hot as hell. Harland held back a sigh. “If you don’t quit wriggling, I’m going to fetch a spreader bar from my locker,” he informed the sergeant. “If I have to resort to fastening it around your ankles in order to keep you still, you’re going to be stuck here for the rest of the day.”

Rising from where he’d knelt at Alasdair’s feet to collect a sample from the blood smear on the policeman’s trouser leg, Harland stood up straight. That brought them to almost exactly the same height.

“I’ve already stood here half the damn day!” the sergeant complained, more than a hint of a Scottish accent creeping into his voice along with a good dose of barely repressed agitation.

“Well, if you insist on rolling around in evidence…” Harland muttered, turning away from him to file the latest sample in his case, alongside all the others he’d already taken.

“How much longer is this going to take?” Alasdair demanded.

“It’ll take as long as it takes.” It was the answer Harland always gave cops when they tried to rush him. And, Alasdair Grant was just another cop. Harland reminded himself of that one more time, just to be on the safe side, as he picked up another swab.

“I have a job to do.”

“So do I,” Harland snapped, as he glanced over his shoulder. “And my job is to collect the evidence—you know, all that neat stuff that you’re going to rely on if the case ever gets to court.”

Alasdair’s eyes narrowed as he glared across the tiny office at him. He seemed to be about to say something else, but Harland had already heard more than enough. The cop wasn’t the only man there who’d had a long day. Turning back to face Alasdair, Harland folded his arms across his chest and returned the sergeant’s frown with interest, well aware that his features were far more suited to frowning than the other man’s would ever be.

Stunning hazel eyes and neatly styled brown hair might be good for a lot of things, but glowering wasn’t one of them. Still, Alasdair tilted up his chin as their eyes met and it was obvious he was doing his best with what he had. It was equally clear that he wasn’t some novice little constable to be intimidated by a glare from an older man. When he offered another man his submission it wouldn’t be from a place of weakness…

Harland pushed that thought out of his head as quickly as possible. “Let’s get something straight,” he said. “Until I clear the scene, all the evidence in it belongs to me and, right now, you’re nothing more or less than evidence. Understand?”

Alasdair’s jaw clenched. Harland watched the pulse race under the faint shadow cast by the other guy’s afternoon stubble. That was pretty much the only kind of free movement the sergeant was permitted at that moment. His arms were required to be held slightly away from his body, his legs had to remain parted in order not to smear the evidence still clinging to his suit.

It took far more effort than Harland would ever have been willing to admit, for him to turn his head and look away from the image of Alasdair so gloriously helpless. He glared at all the samples he’d taken as if they had done something to personally offend him. It had to be him.

It had to be Alasdair bloody Grant. Of all the cops who could have tumbled in heaven only knew what while trying to arrest a suspect, it had to be him. It had to be the one man Harland had been itching to get his hands, and quite a few of his more interesting toys, on ever since the guy transferred down to the station.

Harland held back another pissed off sigh. If he could have told himself the other man was straight, or at least closeted, it would have been one thing. But no, Alasdair was out and proud, he just wasn’t interested.

No, Harland’s habitual frown deepened further than ever, that explanation didn’t feel right either. Alasdair didn’t seem uninterested, just… Harland shook his head slightly. He was damned if he knew what Alasdair was.

Picking up another swab, he ran it over the stain on the sergeant’s shoulder with far more attention focused on the task than it actually required. This wasn’t the kind of touch he had in mind while he daydreamed through the more boring moments of his day, and his thoughts inevitably turned to wondering if the sergeant gave good head or not. He certainly had the mouth for it. Strong and firm, with just a tiny hint of fullness in the bottom lip.

“You have a spreader bar in your locker?”

Harland replayed what he’d said to Alasdair inside his head. Hell, he really had said that, hadn’t he? Holding back a dozen different curses, he raised an eyebrow at the other man, as if to say ‘doesn’t everyone?’

Alasdair held his gaze for a moment, before looking pointedly away as if thoroughly disgusted.

Great, Harland thought to himself. That was all he needed. First he had to forget he was already closer to forty than thirty, and develop some sort of stupid teenage crush on the other man. And now the guy probably thought he was some sort of perverted nymphomaniac. That was going to do wonders for his chances with him!

Sealing the evidence bag, Harland reached for another swab. It wasn’t as if he’d ever seemed likely to get that blow job, but still it had been nice to think of the other man all tied up and ready to do whatever a more dominant man demanded of him. Believing there was at least a tiny chance of Alasdair being kinky enough to enjoy that had been fun.

As he continued his work, Harland was acutely aware of the other man’s gaze following his movements, as if the cop wanted to make sure he wasn’t getting up to anything he shouldn’t while he swabbed and sampled his way over his body.

Finally all the surface work was done and the guy had dispensed with his blood stained tie before any of the scene of crime officers had turned up. Harland’s next move was clear. He reached for the top button of Alasdair’s shirt, careful to keep his expression completely neutral and all his movements professional.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

Harland met the other man’s eyes. There were a dozen different colors dancing in the hazel depths, but there was also a hell of a lot of anger waltzing with the greens and golds.

Harland glanced down at his own hands for a moment, and at the latex gloves that covered them. “You’re wearing the evidence,” he reminded Alasdair, his voice completely devoid of emotion. “I’ll need to take it back to the lab to be properly—”

“I’m old enough to dress and undress myself,” the sergeant snapped.

That much was true. The guy couldn’t have been much younger than Harland was himself. Alasdair was undoubtedly old enough to do lots of things. Dress. Undress. Screw. Suck. Whimper. Beg.

Alasdair was mature enough to know what he was doing. Experienced enough that he’d know what he’d be getting himself into with another man. And he was old enough that Harland wouldn’t have to worry about feeling like a cradle snatcher when he—

Mentally rolling his eyes at himself, Harland forced his mind back onto the job. “You’re hands are covered in blood.”

Alasdair lifted his forearms and studied his palms. They were indeed covered with all the same streaks and stains that Harland had photographed when he first started processing him. It was clear no argument could be made. Alasdair lowered his arms with obvious reluctance.

Harland reached for the top button of Alasdair’s shirt once more.

The little bit of plastic slid neatly through the cotton hole. One by one, the others followed. The pale blue fabric fell aside revealing some stunning lines of muscle.

Harland quickly turned his attention to the cuffs of the sergeant’s shirt. Those buttons offered no more resistance than the others. Stepping behind Alasdair, Harland carefully helped him out of the stained fabric and set it aside with all due attention to detail and conscientious consideration for any evidence that might be on it.

What Harland was very careful not to do, was stare in admiration at the half naked man before him.

He was a professional—a professional who had a reputation for doing a bloody good job and not taking flack from any cop that might carelessly contaminate his crime scene. He was not going to let that status slide just because Alasdair obviously hadn’t been slacking off in the gym.

So he had a few muscles. Harland wasn’t a teenage boy who’d just realized that he preferred to flick through magazine full of pictures of naked, muscular men rather than silicon enhanced women. He could do this.

Since the white coverall he wore was doing a sterling job of hiding his flourishing erection, Harland was even reasonably confident he could do it without Alasdair realizing how closely he resembled the actors in his favorite porn downloads.

Turning back to the sergeant, Harland calmly reached for the black leather belt buckled around the other man’s waist.

Alasdair immediately put a hand out to stop him. “I’ll—”

“Stay still!” Harland snapped.

“Isn’t there someone else who could do this?” the sergeant asked, his hand still in the way.


“I can’t be the top priority here.” Alasdair’s words almost blurred together as he seemed to rush to get them all out in one fell swoop. “There’s a victim and a—”

“The victim is in with victim support. Willis won’t even let Conrad in with her until he’s calmed her down a bit, and one of my female colleagues will be collecting the evidence from her anyway. As for the sadistic bastard you decided to roll around in the evidence with, he’s at the hospital. He’s not my problem. You are. Deal with it.”


“Hands by your sides!”

The order worked in a way that Harland was sure a polite request never could have. The rumors Harland had heard about the sergeant being in the military before he joined the police were entirely believable as he obediently snapped his hands to his sides.

Soldier. Harland repeated to himself. That rush to obey made him a soldier, not a submissive. Pushing any leather-clad ideas firmly out of his head, Harland deftly undid the other man’s fly, as if he wasn’t the least interested in what may lay behind it.

In that second, as the back of his hand brushed against the other man’s crotch, interested stopped being the appropriate word.

Fascinated was far more like it. In that moment, he stopped doubting if he was reading the other man right. It was impossible to doubt that his desire was returned.

Suddenly, Harland Rawlings, the one scene of crime officer who could be guaranteed to take his work one-hundred-percent seriously and never break from his solemn expression, smiled.

Handcuffs and Ball Gags #6
“Save our woodland! Stop the road!”

The chant went on and on, around and around. It was enough to give the whole world and its lover one hell of a headache, but Constable Andrew Rawlings stood stubbornly firm at his post—smack bang between the protesters and the workmen about to start clearing the old oaks away for the new motorway.

It should have been impossible to pick out one single voice from the chaos, but Andrew’s hand tightened into a fist at his side as a well educated tone cut through all the others as if they were merely whispers.

“What’s wrong, Andy? Nothing to say now?”

Andrew pointedly kept his back to the protesters and pretended not to have heard.

“Come on, constable! Give me another order!”

Harris, the cop immediately to Andrew’s right, leaned slightly toward him. “You want me to go give him a clip around the ear when we take him in, tell him to shut the hell up?”

“No,” Andrew bit out.

“It’s not like he hasn’t got it coming,” the other man pointed out. “He’s been a right cheeky sod ever since we got here.”

“He’s also my bloody flatmate,” Andrew snapped.

Rocking forward onto the toes of his shoes, Andrew could just about make out Ben’s reflection in one of the riot van windows. He looked big and tough, broad shouldered enough to take on the whole world. Appearances were deceptive. If the little fool managed to get through this without getting literally bloody it would be a miracle.

“Show us your truncheon, constable!”

Andrew held back a sigh as he rolled his eyes heavenward. Turning around, he let his eyes travel all the way along the rows of hard-core protesters, serious environmental activists and troublemakers looking for a fight.

Ben really didn’t have any idea what sort of trouble he’d landed himself in this time. His nice, sensible parka coat made him stand out like a sore thumb among the scruffy rabble. His neatly styled brown hair did nothing to help him blend in with all the dreadlocks.

“I told him not to come to the protest,” Andrew muttered to Constable Harris.

“Doesn’t look like he listened.”

“He never does,” Andrew admitted. “Bloody teachers. He always thinks he knows best—thinks he can get away with treating me like one of the kids in the class.”

Harris cleared his throat. “So, when you say he’s your flatmate…”

Andrew glanced toward him, joined the dots and shook his head. “We share a flat, not a bed.”

The other cop seemed to relax. “Not that I’d have a problem with it if were…I mean…I’m not…”

Andrew half smiled. “Harris, when you’re in a hole, the appropriate thing to do is to stop digging.” He met the suddenly nervous looking man’s eyes and chuckled in spite of it all. “Ben’s the one who’s into the whole gay pride thing. I don’t really care what anyone thinks about my sex life…” He trailed off, all his attention homing in on the protesters.

All hell was about to break loose. Andrew could feel it in the air. It was all about to hit the fan, and Ben was going to get stuck in the middle of it with nothing but that bloody stupid banner he was waving for protection.

“Silly little fool,” Andrew whispered to himself. He’d obviously thought it was going to be one of those peaceful little demos he was so fond of attending. “Doesn’t have a bloody clue…”

Barely a second had passed before the first bottle was thrown at the workmen.

Andrew mumbled a curse under his breath. Ben wouldn’t like that. He didn’t approve of littering. Unfortunately, he was just about naive enough to give the thrower a right dressing down as if he was no different to the nine year olds in his class.

More glass bottles rained down from the nice blue spring sky. Stones joined them. So did other random items. Anything that could be picked up and tossed through the air was a suitable weapon now. Whatever travelled far enough to land at the workmen’s feet in one piece was quickly snatched up and pitched back.

Most of them had better arms than the protesters. Suddenly the sky was full of makeshift ammo, the air jam-packed with angry shouts.

Trying to keep his eye on Ben and the apparent ringleaders at the same time, hoping like hell that neither ran headlong into the other, Andrew didn’t have much attention to spare for any instructions that might come down the chain of command. The first he knew of the order to advance on the protesters and clear the way for the workmen before things got any worse, was all the other cops stepping forward around him.

The protesters retreated. Andrew noticed a flash of heavy metal chains. He saw the padlocks snap into place. That was all the encouragement his cock needed to harden behind his fly. Ben in bondage. Well, wasn’t that just bloody brilliant? As if he didn’t have enough trouble keeping that image out of his head at the best of times.

Andrew stormed forward, hoping to get there in time to arrest Ben before his friend got his own padlocks fastened. Of course, he was too late. As Andrew came to an abrupt halt in front of the other man, Ben was already wrapped in chains, restrained to one of the old oak trees he was so keen to protect.

He glared up at Andrew from his seat at the base of the old gnarled trunk, his eyes militant and sparkling with pleasure. Grabbing hold of the other man’s coat, Andrew pulled him as far up and forward as the chains would allow and brought his lips to Ben’s ear. “This isn’t a game. You’re going to get hurt.”

He relaxed his hold just enough to look the other man in the eye.

“Save our woodland! Stop the road!”

Andrew took several steps back. It was that or do something both of them would end up regretting, like throttling the little fool, or worse, kissing him.

Bolt cutters were brought out. The men wielding them were soon making their way down the lines of thugs and idiots, freeing both at the same time. Other cops left, dragging protesters away to the waiting vans but Andrew stayed put, never going more than six strides away from Ben’s side.

The moment his friend was released, Andrew caught hold of his arm and dragged him out of the worst of the confusion. “You’re lucky I was here,” he began.

“Have you read him his rights, constable?” Sergeant Jefferies called out. He’d found an overturned crate to stand on and his eyes were darting through the crowd, checking on a dozen different constables every minute.

Damn! Andrew ground his teeth together hard enough to make his jaw ache, but there was no avoiding it. “You have the right to remain silent, but it may harm your defense if you do not mention when questioned something you later rely on in court,” he muttered.

The sergeant’s attention moved elsewhere.

Ben parted his lips.

“You have a right to remain silent,” Andrew repeated. “Use it.”

“There’s no need to get snippy,” Ben chided.

Tightening his hold on his friend’s arm, Andrew hauled him across to one of the police vans waiting to transport all the protesters to the station. Glancing into the first one, he stopped short. There was no way in hell Ben could go in there. Knowing him, he’d start pointing out the spelling mistakes on all the sociopath’s tattoos. Pulling Ben back before he could clamber in, Andrew found a quieter van full of less psychotic looking guys.

He’d barely shoved Ben inside it, when all hell broke loose behind him.

“Stay there.”

Ben raised an eyebrow at him.

“I mean it,” Andrew warned, already turning back to the panic.

It seemed to take several lifetimes before everything was under control, six extra men were in handcuffs, and Andrew was able to turn his attention back to the van. Except it wasn’t there. None of the vans were. Ben was apparently already on his way back to the station.

Andrew turned his eyes up to the sky, but no one seemed to be willing to look down on a hard put-upon flatmate and help him out right then. Ben was all alone and the only one who could get him out of this mess was Andrew.

As soon as he could get back to the station, Andrew headed straight to the custody cells, only to be redirected to interview room three. A peek through the glazed panel in the door informed him that Ben was alone in there. Finally, something had gone his way!

Yanking the door open, Andrew stormed in and slammed it behind him.

“Have you lost your mind?”

Ben looked up from the battered interview table, apparently not the least impressed.

“Well?” Andrew demanded.

“No. Not last time I checked,” Ben said, folding his hands neatly on the table in front of him. The gesture might have looked prim and feminine if it hadn’t been for the fact he was built like an ox. “Have you?”

Andrew stormed forward and leaned over the table. “What’s your school going to say when they find out you’ve been arrested?” he demanded.

The door swung opened behind him. Apparently, Inspector Blake was just in time to catch that last question. “Wait a minute,” he ordered, in the voice of a man who’d worked far too many double shifts to leave anything to doubt. “You’re still in school? How old are you?”

Ben’s eyes met Andrew’s. The cheeky little bugger smiled. “I like him.”

“Shut up,” Andrew snapped, before turning his attention to Blake. “He’s a teacher, not a pupil. He’s thirty years old and more than old enough to be interviewed on his own.” He glared at his friend over his shoulder. “And the headmaster is going to have him strung up if he has an arrest on his record.”

“Mr. Thomas knows I was there,” Ben cut in, his tone still perfectly polite. “The children helped me make the banners. We’re doing a project on environmental issues this term. He thinks it’s a great way to get them more interested.”

Andrew glared down at him. The guy knew how it set his teeth on edge when he went all teacher-y on him. He was half sure that’s why he did it so often.

“Will he think you’re setting a good example for the children when you’re on the news tonight throwing glass bottles at the police?” the inspector asked, looking down at the notes in his file.

“He won’t see that, because it didn’t happen. Our part of the protest didn’t throw anything,” Ben corrected, in that same teacher-y tone.

Andrew sighed, knowing that Ben was already starting to weave his spell over his superior. Within a few minutes, Inspector Blake would no doubt be calling Ben ‘sir’ and apologizing for not handing in his homework on time when he was seven.

“You may also wish to note that ours was also the only section of the protest whose banners were all both spelled and punctuated correctly,” Ben went on, now well into his stride. “Why don’t you take a seat, and we’ll see if we can’t get this misunderstanding all straightened out.”

Inspector Blake, a man who Andrew had personally seen take down a knife wielding junkie twice his size without even blinking, obediently sat down opposite Ben.

Ben glanced across at the piece of paper where he was writing his notes. “No wonder you can’t tell who did what from those. Your handwriting is appalling!”

Andrew ran his hand down over his face and retreated to the corner of the interview room. Slouching against the wall he glared at his friend. It didn’t take Ben long to have the whole world singing from his school hymn sheet. Inspector Blake was soon agreeing that Ben should obviously be released without charge.

Unless Andrew was very much mistaken, when the inspector left the room, he was simply glad he hadn’t been ordered to write out I will not be silly and try to arrest my teacher five hundred times.

Ben leaned back in his chair and raised an eyebrow at Andrew as they were once more left alone together.

Lifting his hands, Andrew clapped very slowly, several times. “Very impressive.”

His friend said nothing.

“Now,” Andrew went on. “If you can convince me that trick would have worked on a whole protest full of idiots scrambling for a fight then perhaps I wouldn’t think you’re such a bloody pillock.”

“I’ve been to lots of protests,” Ben began.

“And I’ve never tried to stop you from going to any of them before,” Andrew cut in. “Doesn’t that tell you something? I ordered you not to go to this one for a reason!”

“Good for you,” Ben muttered, folding his arms across his chest.

“Why didn’t you do as you were told?” Andrew demanded, returning to his previous position of leaning over the table. His hands were curled so tightly into fists, his knuckles were white before they even met the cheap laminate.

Ben looked from Andrew’s fists to his face and back again. “I would have thought the reason was obvious.”

“Not to me.”

Suddenly, Ben was on his feet and leaning over the table, too. Their noses were barely more than a few inches apart. Their eyes locked, and Andrew saw all the anger he felt reflected back at him with interest.

“I didn’t do as you command, Andy,” Ben bit out, each word enunciated very carefully, “because you’re not my master!”

Handcuffs and Megabytes #7
“What do you think?”

“I think,” Mike Shane said, as he slowly took in the view before him, “that I must have done something really bad in a previous life.” Another sweep of the chaos visible through the glass partition separating the computer crimes task force from the hallway, proved his first analysis of the situation to be correct. “I’m in hell.”

Alasdair Grant chuckled. Mike gave him a dirty look out of the corner of his eye, but that just made the other man laugh all the more.

“I’m not sure what I’m dreading more,” Mike muttered. “Being surrounded by computers all day, or having to deal with all the damn computer geeks!”

“Hey, we’re not all bad!”

Mike looked over his shoulder. Leather. That first detail hit him so hard, it was several seconds before any other facts about the man leaning against the wall a few yards down the corridor registered in his mind.

The guy had to be wearing the tightest pair of leather trousers ever created. He must have melted himself down and bloody well poured himself into them. They clung to him like a first skin, but whatever effort it had taken to squirm and wriggle them on that morning, it had definitely been worth it.

Very slowly, Mike dragged his eyes up the other man’s body, over a tight black vest and brightly tattooed arms, until he reached the bluest pair of eyes he’d ever seen—eyes that, for some reason beyond his comprehension, someone had framed by heavy black lines.

Mike frowned. He pulled back his focus. Other features registered. Spiky black hair. An over abundance of silver jewelry hanging from more piercings than any person should be allowed to inflict on themselves. A heavy silver chain encircled his neck, fastened in place by a padlock. A pair of smiling lips, complete with what looked suspiciously like black tinted lipstick, finished off the look.

Mike’s frown deepened. “What the hell—?”

The goth stepped forward and closed the gap between them, only to completely ignore Mike in favor of extending his hand towards Alasdair. He had tattoos across his knuckles too. Those on his right hand spelt out l-o-s-t.

“It’s great to see you again,” the boy said.

“Hi Carl,” Alasdair said, with a nod.

Mike looked from the perfectly sane looking police officer standing to one side of him, to the vampire wannabe on the other, then back again. “You know him?”

Alasdair grinned. “Mike Shane, meet Carl Rawlings.”


Mike looked the other man up and down once more before focusing in on his face. He had the Rawlings build, strong and broad shouldered. If someone took the trouble to peer past the window dressing, perhaps there was some sort of facial family resemblance to all the other Rawlings men he knew, too. “You’re a cop?” he demanded incredulously.

Carl’s lips twisted into a smile. A hint of perfect white teeth appeared between the black lips. His eyes danced with humor. “What’s wrong, Mike? Never met a computer geek before?”

Carl stepped past him, showing off just how fantastic his arse looked encased in those trousers. Halfway down the corridor, he stopped and looked over his shoulder. He winked before disappearing into a side room. Mike stared after him, half in bemusement, half in something approaching horror. Suddenly he felt very, very old.

The guy couldn’t have been more than twenty-five at the most. That gave Mike a good twenty year head start on him. And he was dressed up like he was heading for a costume party. And the Rawlings guys had always struck him as being far more trouble than any man could ever be worth. And it was guys like Carl who gave men who wore leather a bad name and…

And Mike’s cock didn’t give a damn about any of that.

He continued to glare down the corridor after the guy.

And the silver chain that had been hanging around Carl’s neck could well be a collar. Even if Mike’s cock didn’t care about that, the rest of him bloody well did.

“Earth to Mike Shane. Are you receiving?”

Suddenly, his view along the hallway was rudely interrupted by Alasdair’s hand waving up and down in front of his face.

Mike spun around the face him. “What?”

“We’re up,” Alasdair said, nodding toward the office door at the other end of the corridor.

Mike’s frown deepened as brain cells fired back into life. Office. Assignments. Bloody annoying order to work with the computer crimes task force. “Yeah, right,” he muttered.

Following Alasdair into the office of the chief inspector in charge of the unit, Mike sat down in one of the seats facing the desk and dutifully looked as if he was paying attention. Meanwhile, his mind replayed every moment he’d spent with Carl Rawlings in the corridor.

It really had looked like a collar, but it was never possible to tell what was what with the gothic ones. It was all fashion and no substance with them. Any real dominant would have to be a fool to get involved with a boy like that. And Carl was little more than a boy in the non-kinky sense of the word too.

Mike held back a sigh as the chief inspector droned on about modern policing and the wonderful technological innovations that were going to drag the force kicking and screaming into the new decade. Mike had no intention of being dragged anywhere. If anyone was stupid enough to try to do it, they were going to quickly find out that he wasn’t the type to kick and scream. No, as far as he was concerned, dirty tactics and an elbow where it hurt most would be much more appropriate in that particular situation.

Alasdair and the inspector both stood up. Mike did the same. When the inspector held out a hand, Mike shook it. When Alasdair walked out of the office, Mike followed.

“Did you listen to a word he said?” Alasdair asked.

Mike held back a sigh. “Want to give me the highlights?”

Alasdair’s smile turned into a grin. “You’ve got Carl.”


“You’re going to be working with Carl Rawlings for the rest of the day,” Alasdair said. “Apparently, since we’re down here anyway, he’s going to show us the ropes and get us up to date on all the new software he’s developed for…” He trailed off as Mike let out a string of curses only to speak up again when Mike ran out of breath. “If you’re very nice to him he might show you all his piercings and get you up to date on his latest tattoos as well.”

Mike glared at him.

Alasdair had really come out of his shell since he started dating Harland Rawlings. Right then, Mike was pretty sure he preferred Alasdair in his shell.

“He’s in the third office on the left,” the other man informed him, humor still dancing in his voice.

“What about you?” Mike demanded.

“I get that particular pleasure later in the week. He’s all yours today.”

“Thanks,” Mike muttered, turning on his heel.

“And Mike?” Alasdair called after him.

Mike turned and glared back along the corridor. “What?”

“He’s bi.”

Not able to think of any answer that was either polite or which would be able to conceal how grateful at least part of him was to receive that particular bit of information, Mike said nothing as he pushed open the third door on his left and stormed inside.

Mike had barely gone two paces before he had to stop short. It was either that or stride straight into Carl. Big blue eyes blinked up at him as they opened very wide with shock but, even as Mike watched, the expression in them became more and more amused.

“Careful, sergeant. The room’s really not designed for stomping about in.”

Mike dragged his attention away from the other man’s eyes and looked around the…office seemed to be too big a word for it.

“What is this, a bloody broom cupboard?” Mike demanded.

“It’s not much, but its home,” Carl said with a lopsided little smile. He wasn’t stepping back. Hell, there wasn’t actually room for him to step back without crashing into one of the dozens of pieces of computer equipment that had been crammed in there.

“We’re both supposed to work in here?” Mike said, not quite able to conceal his dismay.

Carl chuckled. “I don’t mind being cozy if you don’t.”

“Well, I bloody well do!” Mike snapped.

Carl shrugged. “Suit yourself. But being pissy about it won’t actually make the room any bigger.” He retreated half a step and sat down in a luxurious high backed office chair. Spinning it around, he turned his attention to one of the computer screens as if Mike wasn’t even there. The little brat!

Mike slammed the door and glared around the cramped little space. There was only one other chair in there—a clapped out little thing that looked like it might well break if anyone Mike’s size were to try to sit on it.

“I don’t do intimidated.”

Mike frowned at the spikes of black hair just visible over the back of Carl’s chair. “What?”

“If you think looming around like that is going to make me feel intimidated, don’t bother. You’re really not that scary, and you’re sure as hell not getting my chair. You can stay standing for all I care.”

Mike absentmindedly cracked his knuckles as he lowered himself cautiously into the other chair. He wasn’t going to rise to the bait. He wasn’t going to stoop to the other man’s level either. Folding his arms across his chest he leaned back in the chair and silently counted to ten, then to twenty. He’d almost reached fifty and hadn’t succeeded in reigning in his annoyance in the slightest by the time Carl spoke.

“So, exactly how much of a Neanderthal are you?”

Mike glowered at him.

Carl grinned back. A little flash of metal in his mouth hinted that there was a piercing through his tongue. It was damn near impossible for Mike not to wonder where else he might be pierced, or how that particular piercing might feel against his cock.

“Come on, you can tell me,” the younger man coaxed, as he leaned forward in his chair. “Have you ever done anything more complicated than play solitaire on a computer, or should I be starting all the way back with how to switch the scary machine on?”

“You can start,” Mike said, unconsciously echoing his pose and bringing their faces within an inch of touching. “By learning some damn manners.”

Carl wrinkled his nose. “That doesn’t sound like much fun. Any other ideas about what we could do to pass the time?” He leaned forward another fraction. The silver chain around his neck caught the light as it swayed away from his skin.

Mike tensed, but he didn’t pull away. “Don’t you need someone’s permission before you start making offers like that?” he snapped.

Carl blinked at him. “I don’t think the chief inspector really needs to know what we get up to on our coffee breaks.”

Mike’s fingers caught hold of the silver chain. Twisting it, he tightened the links around Carl’s throat and pulled the boy to the edge of his seat. “Don’t play games with me. I don’t have the patience for any of that bull. In the world I come from, a mark like this means something. Do you have a master or not?”

Carl’s eyes opened very wide, showing off his eyeliner to perfection.

Mike’s knuckles were pressed tightly against the boy’s wind pipe. He felt the movement of the younger man’s Adam’s apple as Carl swallowed. Still, he had to give the guy credit. Carl held his ground well, all things considered.

“I know what it means to some guys,” Carl said. “But to me, it’s just a bit of silver jewelry.”

Mike let go of the chain and wiped his hands on his trousers, as if it had become something dirty the moment those words hit the air.

“Although, I haven’t ruled out that it could be more than a necklace at some point,” Carl mentioned casually, as he leaned back in his chair.

Mike’s eyes snapped up. Their gazes met. “What?”

“It just so happens that I’ve been doing some online research about the whole leather thing. Seems like it could be fun…”

Mike sat back in his own chair, putting enough distance between them so that he was able to run his eyes up and down the other man’s entire body. The boy was stunning, and he obviously knew it. But that didn’t change certain facts. “You’d be laughed out of any serious leather club in the city if you turned up dressed like that.” He didn’t bother to mention any of the things that all the guys in the club would want to do to him before they threw him out. It wasn’t as if the boy was ever going to actually turn up on the doorstep of one anyway.

Carl didn’t blush. He didn’t squirm in his seat like a nervous little kid. He laughed.

Mike’s frown deepened.

“I’m not talking about some stupid club,” Carl said. “I’m talking about here and now. Anyone with a brain could learn how to use the program I’m supposed to be teaching you about in half an hour and we’ve got the whole day. That gives us a hell of a lot of free time. So, I’ll ask again. Any ideas on how we could pass the time?”

Handcuffs and Pretty Things #8
“You really can’t resist the pretty lights can you, Sully?”

Ross O’Sullivan’s lips twisted into a small smile as he turned toward the sound of a familiar voice. The flashing blue lights from the half-dozen police cars and fire engines were turning the gloom of an early winter’s evening into a bizarre mockery of a fair ground. It was just a pity the air was filled with the scent of smoke rather than popcorn.

But still, Ross had to admit his friend was right—he’d been completely incapable of driving past the scene without stopping to find out what was going on. Detective Sergeant Mike Shane strode across to where Ross stood at the edge of the scene, soot streaked and looking none too happy with the world.

“What happened?” Ross asked, with a nod toward all the commotion.

“Suspected arson on some sort of antiques warehouse,” Mike said, rubbing at his forehead and adding more soot to it.

Ross glanced past his friend’s shoulder to the burnt out building. “Anyone hurt?”

Mike shook his head. “More by luck than judgment though. There were a couple of people inside when it went up.”

Ross nodded. His curiosity satisfied, he turned away before he ended up making himself even later than he already had. “Have fun. I’ll see you—”

“Actually, since you’re here—”

“And since I’m off duty,” Ross cut in.

Mike didn’t seem to hear him. “Do you owe any of the Rawlings guys a favor?”

Ross frowned as he turned back to the other man. “Why?”

“There was a Rawlings in the building when it went up.” Mike flicked through his notes. “A Mr. Dane Rawlings—never been on the force. I need someone to babysit him while we work out what the hell’s going on. If he wasn’t a Rawlings then I’d just take him in with the other guy who was in there, but…”

Ross nodded his understanding. No cop would have needed him to finish that particular sentence. There wasn’t one man in the force who’d want to explain to all the Rawlings guys why one of their relatives was in custody, unless he was at least one million percent certain the suspect he’d locked up was incredibly guilty.

Ross glanced over his shoulder toward his car. He really shouldn’t have stopped. The chances of getting to the auction now were even lower than Mike’s chances of surviving the night if anything happened to a Rawlings who was under his care.

Turning his eyes heavenward, Ross held back a sigh. “Okay, where is he?”

Mike grinned and pointed a little way further down the road, past the fire engines and most of the commotion to a quieter corner of the car park. “Thanks, mate.”

Ross pushed his hands into his coat pockets as he made his way through the madness. The winter air had a decided nip to it now the sun had gone down. The blaze might have counteracted that while it burned, but now it was just a soggy pile of ash, and there was nothing to fight off the chill.

Running his gaze over the men before him, Ross tried to spot a likely looking figure in the crowd. Dane Rawlings…no doubt the man would be built like a Great Dane too—just like all the other men in his family. There was only one guy who looked tall, dark and reasonably Rawlings-like. Ross strode toward him. The man apparently sensed his approach. He turned just as he reached his side.

Not bad, the part of Ross’ brain that was wired directly to his cock registered, wonder if he’s single…

“Dane Rawlings?” Ross asked, already taking his hand out of his pocket to shake hands with him.

The guy looked completely blank. “Um…No.”

Ross frowned.

Just then, he heard someone cleared their throat behind him. “Actually, that would be me.”

With his hand still half extended, Ross looked over his shoulder. His gaze fell on a pretty little soot-stained blond. Ross looked from him back to the man he’d first approached, then back again. “Dane Rawlings?” he repeated.

The blond nodded.

Ross opened his mouth and quickly closed it again before he could give in to the temptation to ask if the man was sure that really was who he was.

The guy smiled as he seemed to pluck the question out of Ross’ mind regardless of his silence. “I’m very sure.” He dipped his hand into the back pocket of his grubby suit trousers and extracted a wallet.

Ross automatically found himself stepping forward and inspecting the proffered ID, just as he would if he was on duty and the man before him was accused of a whole string of heinous crimes. It was only when he looked up and met the other man’s mirth filled eyes that he realized what he was actually doing. “Sorry, you’re just…”

“Not what you expected a Rawlings to look like?” Dane finished for him. The smile still hadn’t left his lips. “Yeah, I get that a lot.”

Ross handed back the ID. Clearing his throat he tried to work out what the hell he was supposed to say now. “Ross O’Sullivan,” he settled on, before the silence could become too long and uncomfortable.

“A pleasure to meet you, inspector.”

Ross’ hand wrapped around the small and surprisingly delicate hand offered to him. The guy was freezing. Snatching his hand back, Ross frowned at the pale pink shirt the other man was wearing. Neither that nor his tie were offering him the slightest protection against the cold.

Ross quickly slipped his jacket off and, without really thinking about what he was doing, wrapped it around the smaller man’s shoulders.

Dane blinked up at him, big blue eyes dancing with even more humor.

“You’re probably in shock,” Ross excused.

“Probably,” Dane agreed, pulling the garment a little more snugly around his shoulders. It swamped the little guy, making him look smaller and more fragile than ever. “Thank you. I’ll make sure all the soot is cleaned off before I return it.”

Retreating to the low wall he’d been sitting on when Ross first strode through the car park, Dane sat down, and nodded to the space next to him. “You were looking for me, inspector?”

Ross lowered himself to the make-shift seat, wondering just how big a hissy fit he’d be in for if he mentioned the term babysitting. “Mike said you were inside when the fire started?” he hedged.

Dane nodded. There was soot streaked across his face. His eyes looked very big, very blue amidst the dirt. “My coat’s still in there. It was a new one, too…” He looked down at the rest of his clothes.

Ross followed his gaze.

“I suppose this will have to go for rags as well,” Dane said, sadly, rubbing futilely at a tear on his trouser leg. He frowned for a second before shaking his head as if trying to clear it.

He looked up at Ross, blinked, cleared his throat and seemed to focus back in on the matter at hand. “I had a meeting with Brian Townsend. He’s the owner of the warehouse, deals in antiques—mostly eighteenth and nineteenth century furniture. He said he had some good stock just in and asked me to come here tonight to take a look.”

Ross nodded encouragingly.

“I didn’t set the fire.”

Ross frowned slightly, wondering if the guy had hit his head while running out of the burning building. “I never suggested that you did.”

Dane chuckled. “I may not be a cop, but I’ve spent my life surrounded by them. Every last one of you is a suspicious bastard at heart.” He paused for a second and smoothed out some of the creases in the oversized coat. “Guilty until proven innocent, isn’t that right?”

“Maybe, but I’m not on duty.” It was a bloody stupid thing to say. It was also completely irrelevant, but they were the only words in Ross’ head that didn’t have to do with wondering how the other man’s lips would look wrapped around his cock. The last thing the poor little sod needed was his babysitter hitting on him.

“An inspector at your age. And you’re attending a crime scene even when you’re not on duty. I know the signs. You’re the kind of cop who is always on the job. Quite a few of my cousins are the same.” Dane’s eyes sparkled as he turned slightly in his perch on the wall and looked up at Ross. “I’ll make you a deal, since you’re not on duty and can’t actually interrogate me officially, I’ll trade you question for question. I’ll even let you go first!”

Ross smiled slightly. It was hard not to when Dane was looking up at him with such easy enthusiasm for his new plan. There was a particularly dark smudge of something on his cheek. Ross pushed his hands deeper into his jeans pockets as he fought against the temptation to reach out and wipe it away.

A question… While most of his mind tried to work out how the Rawlings family had produced a man as cute and sweet as Dane, the suspicious bastard part of him, which the other man had so easily diagnosed, clicked into work mode.

“Do you know if Mr. Townsend is having any financial difficulties?”

“Yes,” Dane said, without the slightest hesitation. “He’s deeply in debt. It’s not an easy market for anyone and most of his stock is now worth half of what he paid for it. Meanwhile, may I point out, I have absolutely no financial incentive to turn firebug and am good enough at what I do to have a very healthy bank balance even in the midst of a recession. My turn.”

Ross nodded once, accepting that to be the case. He couldn’t help but raise his estimation of the other man a notch. A hell of a lot of cops he knew wouldn’t have been able to put their case better.

“How long have you been out?”

Ross’ smile froze. He met Dane’s gaze and held it, but his mind was a solid block of ice. He couldn’t think of a single thing to say.

“You might be able to pass as straight to a casual observer,” Dane said. ”But I’ll have you know there are certain advantages of being camp as hell.”

A burst of laughter escaped Ross. The other man’s expression was like bright sunlight on the previous night’s frost. Ross’ mind started to work again, even if a hell of a lot of his blood was suddenly finding its way to his cock rather than his brain. “Such as?” he asked.

“For one,” Dane informed him, very seriously. “It gives a man like me a really fantastic gaydar.”

“It does?” Ross prompted.

Dane nodded. A lock of smoke stained blond hair fell into his eyes. He unearthed a slightly sooty hand from the folds of Ross’ coat and brushed it back. “If you were straight, you wouldn’t be sitting half as close to me as you are,” he confided, dropping his voice very low, as if sharing a secret.

Ross leaned in to catch every word.

“And you’d have said the word ‘straight’, ‘girlfriend’, or ‘heterosexual’ at least three times by now, just in case the scary gay man tries to jump your bones and have his wicked way with you.”

Ross met Dane’s eyes for a moment. Even while he smiled at the other man’s antics, he couldn’t help but want to hit every straight man who’d ever carelessly hurt Dane’s feelings by acting that way around him.

“And you sure as hell wouldn’t have loaned me your coat—you’d have been far too worried you might catch something creepy when I gave it back.”

Ross straightened up, his expression turning serious. That wasn’t funny.

“Maybe something really contagious,” Dane went on. “Like a preference for tall, dark and dominant men. Or the ability to give a really amazing blow job.”

It was said with such a perfectly straight face it took Ross a moment to take in the actual words.

Ross shook his head at the other man, even as he smiled. Dane wasn’t his type. Part of his brain still remembered that. His cock didn’t give a damn what kind of man he’d made a habit of screwing in the past. It wanted Dane, and he was so hard, his shaft seemed to be damn near willing to tear its way through his jeans to get to him.

Author Bio:
Kim is a thirty year old bisexual submissive from Wales (UK). First published in 2008, she has since released almost 100 BDSM erotic romance titles ranging from short stories to full length novels. Having worked with a host of fantastic e-publishers, she has just moved into self publishing.

While she has occasionally ventured towards other pairings, Kim's first love is still, and probably always will be, Male/Male stories. But, no matter what the pairing, from paranormal to contemporary, and from the sweet to the intense, everything she writes will always feature three things - Kink, Love and a Happy Ending.


Handcuffs & Leather #1

Handcuffs & Glory Holes #2

Handcuffs & Headlocks #3

Handcuffs & Trouble #4

Handcuffs & Spreader Bars #5

Handcuffs & Ball Gags #6

Handcuffs & Megabytes #7

Handcuffs & Pretty Things #8

Rawlings Men

Rawlings Men Volume 2

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