Summary: Ethan wants something, and he'll get it. He never pays if he can make somebody else pay instead.
Prompt: kink_bingo caning
Warnings: Heavy kink.
Notes: Pre-series. Set in the same storyline as "Blackmail", but no context required.
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. I claim no ownership and am making no money.
"I need something."
Rupert did not look up from The Obscurantist's Spellbook, but he could see Ethan perfectly well in the corner of his eye, lounging in the doorway of their bedroom. He'd been absent how many days? Nearly a week. Diedre said he'd showed up for half an hour yesterday, to change and steal five quid from her dresser.
So Rupert did not look up, but instead said casually, "Smokes are on my desk."
Ethan helped himself. The packet rustled, and a match flared. Rupert heard Ethan inhale. The door creaked shut and latched. Rupert continued resolutely not looking up. He had a right to sulk.
"Need something rather more... involved. From you."
Rupert looked up at that. Ethan had a hip leaned against Rupert's desk. He was turning over the papers scattered across it. Blue cigarette smoke curled from his nose, and his gaze was fixed on the papers, not on Rupert. "Oh really? Me?"
"Even you. There's a group of people I've been working on. A couple of dabblers, a man and a woman, and this girl they have hanging on. They've been dabbling in sex-magic."
"Bully for them."
Rupert turned his attention back to his book. Ethan advanced and flung himself across the unmade bed. Rupert steadfastly refused to look at him again.
"They'd like to perform a bit of an orgy thing. Enhanced by a casting. Needs five."
Rupert blew out an exasperated breath. "What do we need them for? We've got six."
"They're short two. And they've got something I want. The cult ritual book I've been telling you about, the Sleeper cult."
Rupert grunted, and turned a page. Ethan had been going on about it for weeks now. This was an enthusiasm that had burned hot, fanned by half-incoherent accounts Rupert judged unreliable. But Ethan would hear none of it. He was certain he'd discovered a hidden jewel, exposed a mystery cult that had been worth the mystery, back when Caesar had banned it. Rupert had explained in vain that most of these cults had been means of separating bored and credulous Romans from their gold, but Ethan insisted there was something to it.
"So we've got an incentive. Besides the usual fun of a night of shagging."
Rupert's hands tightened on the book. The expression on Ethan's face was one in other circumstances Rupert might have found suggestive. Ethan liked group sex rather better than he did. He liked having Ethan all to himself. When he could have him, which was less and less often. Rupert didn't like to complain, didn't like to demand, but he'd begun to worry. He hid it as best he could behind a glare.
"You mean you have an incentive."
Ethan inhaled, then let smoke stream from his lips slowly. "And what pleases me pleases you, yes, my little Ripper? I've volunteered you as the focus."
Rupert closed the spellbook. Ethan would be giving him no peace tonight. "Volunteered me. What the fuck is a focus?"
Ethan waved the cigarette in the air, vaguely. Ash fluttered to the bedspread. "Channel. For the sexual energy."
Rupert bit the side of his finger. He didn't know of any orgy spells that worked that way. Ethan wasn't meeting his eye. "You know what spell they're using?"
Ethan sat up and made a show of tapping ash into the dish on the nightstand. "Yes. Perfectly bland. Typical. You should have the most fun of all of us."
"Take Randall. He likes that sort of thing." Rupert opened his book again.
"Randall isn't as reliable as you are."
"No. Not interested."
"Ah. Right, then."
Ethan kicked off his boots and pulled his feet up onto the bed. He rested his chin on a knee and contemplated Rupert. Rupert attempted to focus on the cloaking spell, which was in Sanskrit, not Latin. His Sanskrit was rudimentary at best, and he needed to concentrate to remember what he could of the writing system. Ethan leaned to the nightstand and set the cigarette down, then returned to his still watchfulness. Rupert flicked his glance up to Ethan, then back down to the book. Ethan's hand interposed itself, over the page, fingers spread wide. Dark red shirt-cuff, silver rings on the fingers. He closed the book, and took it from Rupert, gently. Then he removed Rupert's glasses. Equally gently, a hand under his jaw, tipping his face up. Rupert sighed, and closed his eyes, and opened his mouth under the kiss. This was what he'd been hoping for. Ethan, near him, touching him. Tobacco and wine and the faint tang of magic in Ethan's mouth, smoke in his hair and on his shirt. And women's perfume on his shirt collar, but Rupert had learned to ask no questions about that. Kiss, and suck Ethan's earlobe the way he liked, and rest his hands on Ethan's tense shoulders, rub his thumbs over the wiry muscle.
Ethan rubbed a hand over Rupert's unshaven chin. "What are you doing here?"
"Goatee. Thought it would look--"
Ethan shut his mouth with a kiss. Like yours, Rupert did not say.
He kissed his way along Rupert's jaw. He unbuttoned Rupert's shirt and pushed it off. Rupert laid his hands on Ethan's shirt buttons, but Ethan shook his head. Instead he reached into the nightstand and came out with the collar. Ethan held it up and asked the question with his eyebrows.
The kisses had melted him, and Rupert was ready for it, and willing. He knelt up on the bed, wrists crossed behind his back the way they'd seen that boy at the club kneel. Ethan had liked the sight, so Rupert had silently copied it, and been rewarded. He was rewarded now by another kiss, and by the thrill of yielding, voluntarily handing himself over.
Ethan buckled the collar around Rupert's neck and pulled it snug. Rupert closed his eyes. It made him dizzy with arousal and need, every time. All the more so now, after days without his Ethan, days going without satisfaction.
"So pretty," Ethan said. His fingers stroked Rupert's neck over the collar. Pretty, Rupert felt, was not the word for him, not even when Ethan dressed him up and smudged kohl around his eyes. His face was too harsh. But if Ethan liked it--
More kisses, insistent ones now. They felt different, harder, more thrilling than affectionate. Rupert kept his hands behind his back and did his best to yield. Ethan's hands were everywhere, on his shoulders, his arse, his chest.
"Been days. Days since you've been home."
Ethan laughed. "You obeyed that? I expected you to be up Randall's skinny arse before the door shut behind me. He was begging for it."
"You said I wasn't allowed. Anyway, he and Thomas were at it with Diedre. I had to--"
"Sit and watch, all hot and bothered and sulking, like you are now."
Ethan's hand slid down over the fly of Rupert's jeans. He squeezed. Rupert had watched, yes. Randall's slim body kneeling over Diedre, Diedre's head flung back in abandon, Thomas's hands braced on the blades of Randall's hips while he moved. Rupert hadn't enjoyed it. He'd been sober and frustrated and disgusted by Thomas's grunts. He'd retreated to his room, clamped his headphones over his ears, and listened to Tommy for the thousandth time. He'd wondered what the way really was. Not the Watchers. Not that scene in the living room. Maybe this, just him and Ethan, alone in the room. But Ethan never seemed to have these doubts.
"Poor obedient Ripper," he was saying. "Well. I'll make it up to you. Strip. Oh yes, there is it, that magnificent prick. Hold out your hands."
Ethan put the handcuffs on him and tightened them. The sound of the handcuffs clicking shut was another thing that made Rupert dizzy, the sight of metal and the feeling of it around his wrists. The helplessness. No choice any more. Ethan would do whatever he wanted now. Rupert could no longer fight it. Ethan pushed them one click tighter. He liked seeing the bruising around Rupert's wrists after these nights, liking showing off his handiwork. The others didn't understand at all. Diedre gave him pitying glances whenever she saw him after one of these sessions. Philip was contemptuous; Thomas indifferent. And Randall, Randall would put up with it being done to him if it meant he was the center of attention.
Rupert would be the center of attention tonight. Ethan's attention.
Ethan reached under the bed and came up with the chain. He clipped it to the cuffs, then stood on the bed to attach it to the ceiling. The hook in the ceiling Ethan had made Rupert install, the chain he had sent Rupert to buy. Ethan pulled the chain up another few links, so that Rupert's arms were stretched up.
Then he lit a cigarette and sat back against the headboard. Rupert watched him as if watching a snake. Ethan had used a lit cigarette on him once before. He hadn't liked it. Ethan might do it again now. Ethan could do whatever he wanted. Rupert could only wait, and let his terror rise.
Ethan leaned forward, cigarette in his fingers. Rupert moaned and flinched away. Ethan laughed and put the cigarette between Rupert's lips. Rupert inhaled, blew smoke out through his nose, but did not relax until he saw the cigarette stubbed out in the tray. The secret he would tell no one was the flash of disappointment he felt when Ethan backed away from something. Though perhaps Ethan knew it anyway. He rarely granted Rupert a reprieve.
And this was not one of those occasions. Ethan got off the bed for a moment and came back with the rattan. He laid it across the pillows. Rupert swallowed. He wanted it. Ethan knew this. He feared it. Ethan knew this as well. Ethan smiled slowly, and rolled up his sleeves.
"How would you like to come tonight?"
Rupert studied Ethan's face, trying to guess what he would prefer, but the casual smile told him nothing. Rupert flicked his eyes to the cane.
"Oh, you'll taste that first, Ripper love. I know what you need."
He reached into the drawer again, and pulled out something new: a scrap of black silk. A makeshift blindfold. He wound it around Rupert's head, tied it tight, tugged it carefully wide, so Rupert could see nothing.
"Stop thinking," Ethan said, in Rupert's ear. "You're a body now. A vessel that I will fill with pain and pleasure." Rupert swallowed. He recognized the words of one of Ethan's more intense sex spells, and wondered if he'd be hung over in the morning. But Ethan went silent. His hands were still on Rupert, flickering everywhere, returning again and again to the collar, tugging at it, twisting it until Rupert wondered if he meant to choke him. Then he slid his attention further down, to Rupert's backside.
"Answer me." Ethan snapped it out, so that Rupert found himself blurting an answer.
"Mouth. Come in your mouth."
Silence. Rupert was almost frantic, worrying that he'd transgressed.
Then he felt Ethan's tongue on him. He was reduced to the places Ethan touched him. The bite of the cuffs into his wrists, where they were stretched up. The stroke and stretch of Ethan's fingers in his arse, caressing. Ethan's grip around the base of his cock, pulling his balls down, preventing him from coming. Most of all, Ethan's mouth around him, his tongue exploring. Rupert thrust into that mouth. Hot, wet, marvelous. Skilled. Taking him all the way up, all the way, almost there-- And it was gone.
"God, Ethan, more, five seconds more, I'm almost there."
"I said no. You'd like it if I left you here all night, wouldn't you."
Rupert swore at him.
"Ah. I know you. You would like it. Turned on, desperate, begging... The best time you ever had was the time I made you stay hard all day."
Ethan slipped out from in front of Rupert and off the bed. Rupert waited, straining to listen for any hint what might be coming. Footsteps, moving away? Then nothing.
"Ethan, damn you, don't leave me--"
The whistle, and Rupert had just recognized the sound when the cane hit. He cried out and yanked hard at his cuffs. He let his head drop down and breathed in gasps. Fire, fire across his backside, consuming his flesh. His mind. Every question he'd ever had.
"That's it," Ethan said. "That's right." And struck again. And kept on striking.
There was nothing but the pain now, the pain and Ethan's voice, praising him. The thing that happened inside him happened now, the thing he could never understand, the pain become pure light inside him, joy and transcendence and light. Ethan, his redeemer. He tried to say it, but the words came out wrong. Ethan asked him something, but he couldn't understand, couldn't answer, though he struggled to say yes to his lover, yes to whatever his lover wanted of him. Then Ethan was holding him, and kissing him, and wiping the tears from his face.
"Hush. Hush now," Ethan said. He wrapped a hand around Rupert's cock. "Amazing. As hard as you were before. Harder. You were born to be whipped, Ripper."
When Ethan went down on him again, took him all the way inside, Rupert gave himself over. No thought. No worries. No decisions to make, no burdens to carry, nothing to do but wait for what Ethan gave him. No choice but to take the pain, take the pleasure, no choice but to come in his master's mouth.
He lay with his head in Ethan's lap afterwards, exhausted and spent but still transported. Ethan stroked his hair. Rupert could not imagine feeling happier than he felt just then. He'd been cleansed, purified, exalted, transformed under the hand of his lover. He belonged to Ethan, and it felt good.
Ethan wiped the sweat from Rupert's forehead. "I envy you."
"It's so intense for you. Whatever it is that you feel when I whip you. So much more than anything I've felt."
Rupert wasn't sure what to say. He knew Ethan had tried to understand it. They'd tried switching, he and Ethan, just the once. Ethan had hated it, every second of it, though Rupert hadn't been able to bring himself to do any more than tie him up. The loss of control, such blessed relief to Rupert, had reduced Ethan to trembling misery.
Ethan went on. "Not that it isn't good for me too. I love seeing you struggle. Love making you cry."
"You're a bloody sadist," Rupert mumbled. "Simple as that."
"My cup runneth over," Rupert said, vaguely. Then he giggled.
"You know. Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me."
Ethan snorted. His hand stroked down Rupert's flank, to his sore backside, soft touches. Rupert sighed in satisfaction. He did love the afterglow. Ethan pressed at his stripes, then rubbed at them, soothing him.
Then Ethan sighed. "I wish..." He said nothing further.
Rupert shifted himself, settling so he could wrap his arms around Ethan's waist. Perhaps that was why Ethan chased after these orgy spells. Sex and magic might do for him what sex and pain did for Rupert. Rupert felt a twinge of guilt.
Before he could stop himself, he said, "Eth? I'll do it for you. With those people."
Ethan was silent for a moment. His hand continued to move in Rupert's hair. Then he said, "No, you're right. Randall would like it better."
"Can't trust him. He runs on at the mouth. Let me do it for you."
"No. I'm taking Randall. Don't fuss about it."
Randall would make a mess of it, he was sure. Spent too much of his life high. Didn't have the training to handle magic. "I owe you. Please let me."
Ethan sighed, then said, "If you insist. Saturday night. No orgasms between now and then or you'll muck it up. Goes for the both of us."
Ethan slipped himself out from under Rupert. He arranged the pillows under his head, and spread the blanket over him. He sat on the edge of the bed and pulled his boots back on. Ethan hadn't even undressed, had merely rolled up his sleeves to administer the whipping. He turned the light out and left the room. Rupert wondered where Ethan was off to, and if he should follow, but instead he let himself drift.