Hi, please excuse possible mishaps, I’m all out of time…
“I think it’s about time we set a few boundaries…as I clearly cannae trust you. There’s only one way I’m going to be able to keep you out of trouble. My way. On my terms.”
A split-second decision, culled from instinct, Mac had fuck-all else to curtail the cannonball that was Joe Fitzgerald. Sagacity, logic, ration and reason? Rendered useless in the face of…that face, and the bloody brain residing behind it.
In that mind-boggling moment when his lips had crashed against Joe’s, it became obvious that all Mac’s options had been whittled to one. A fact that cut a swathe through an arsenal of meticulously honed tactics and tossed clinical efficiency to the wind, in favour of just…winging it. It was clear that securing control in this most singular of situations lay in utilizing the weapons Joe claimed to want—not enough of course, never that—Mac’s rival was too ruthless, all-consuming.
His lesser foes were the enemy within; the supplementary suppliers who’d secured Mac’s services. They’d have to be taken out too, in order to protect Joe from them. Scuppering career capsizing plots would be a piece of cake compared to that. F’fucksakes. Mac would have to retire after this. He’d never be able to look at himself in the mirror again after whoring himself out to win this war. For it was a war of wills they were engaged in; one he fully intended to win. Victory would ensue, whatever it cost him.
As it sank into this quicksand of insanity, a last gasp of rational thought argued that Mac was being paid to safeguard his client/career but he sure as hell wasnae selling himself. He wanted Joe, and Mac was having him. Despite his contract, not as a battle tactic to secure its fulfillment. If doing so—doing Joe—ensured his future along the way? Well, that would be…expedient. Killing two birds with one stone.
Quite how Mac made the step from said stone to standing over a naked Joe, bound to his bed, would have to be unravelled at a later date. It was impossible to wonder at the whys and wherefores while gazing at the extravagant gifts laid before him. Long lean limbs, carved from alabaster, gleaming in the shadowy alcove. Dusk was flirting with the day in the lazy light filtering through the casement window. Its languid caress made Joe’s skin look luminous, glowing ghostly pale on clotted cream sheets. What the fuck?
Parts of Mac forever suppressed—crushed by council estate conformity and his escape route from it—were unfurling faster than a fleeing Joe in hot pursuit of a fix. How the hell had he wreaked such havoc on Mac’s scrupulous self-possession? Mac might have ‘contained the situation’, in theory, but he couldnae command his own mind, let alone methods.
Nevertheless, Mac had assumed control of the uncontrollable, which was…more than anyone else could claim? F’chrissakes. He’d be arguing that my dad’s bigger than yours next. With himself. Bullshit.
‘Bare Facts’: Colonel John A. Gavin (Military Review, Volume 33).
A Commander… ‘must know how to employ his company tactically and utilize all weapons effectively’.
Mac’s Krav Maga blackbelt might come in useful for strapping Joe to a stable surface but his trusty blade, feet, and fists were bloody useless. Tactical expertise it was, then. In this most particular of battles the weapons best suited to purpose were, it seemed: Mac’s eyes, hips and arse.
It would be most unprofessional, nay criminal, not to utilize them to their utmost. Fuck, I want to take him here, now; ruin him for every fucking ‘friend’ on the other end of a phone. Mac couldnae recall ever wanting someone, rather than something, with such single-minded ferocity. Mebbe because he had not. Mac conducted his sex-life with much the efficiency of his job. Not a very edifying fact, but essential when self-preservation was paramount. He wasnae cruel in this, he selected his partners as carefully as his suits; they were cut from the same cloth. Men who craved precisely what Mac was tailored to provide.
Until now. He knew damn well that he was in grave danger of losing everything he valued. His reputation, first and foremost, which was everything in Mac’s world. His very life counted on it, to an extent. A loss less brutal than living with the fact he’d lost his bitterest battle of all, with himself…and yet, Joe had been correct. The part of Mac that thrilled to testi— besting his endurance levels was licking its lips in anticipation of this whole fucking fiasco. They were as bad as each other. Hell bent on self-destruction while calling it a triumph over Christ knows what. Adversity? Authority? Censure? Or the self they were so dead set on annihilating? ‘Mac’ had been carved from the icy knot of fear forever crouched in Kyle McCafferty’s guts.
How he ached for all those eternal eyes promised; luring him in with a hunger as indiscriminate as it was insatiable. Satisfying that might prove the greatest challenge of Mac’s career…and the most gratifying on Earth.
Keeping Joe shackled to the bed until Monday wasnae a bad idea, just a bit inconvenient. Unless Mac intended to practise the missionary position for the next two days, which he sure as hell-no did not. A Joe on the precipice of pleasure was likely the point at which that egregious appetite was Mac’s most potent weapon. He’d turn holding Joe there into an art-form, if that would achieve their ends. Whatever it took, Mac intended to bring it to the table.
It wouldnae do to waste a hard-earned belt…
When Mac sank down onto the chair, he couldnae help but grin when he saw the expression on Joe’s face; which somehow pulled off both baffled and bereft. Those eyes would have swallowed Mac whole if he’d been standing beside the bed.
In truth, he just wanted to remove his boots without hopping about trying to tug them off, but Joe appeared to interpret it as a dastardly torture technique. Starring himself, tethered for fucknows how long, waiting for Mac to deign to…? Who knew? Fathoming that might take some time…
Far longer than a weekend…but that was beside the point. Christ, Mac would combust, he’d lost his mind holding out for this long. Five hours, or thereabouts? It felt like forever. After placing his boots beside the chair, Mac leaned back to drink in the luminous beauty of the man he intended to claim as his own…later.
Partly to prove he meant business, but mostly because his skin was screaming, Mac shrugged his shirt off as he stood up. Fuck. Joe’s entire expression transformed; from aghast to anticipatory in a heartbeat. Obsidian eyes gleaming as glassy as the surface of a moonlit lake. Pincushion lips parted to allow the tip of Joe’s tongue to flicker—unconsciously, it seemed—across the lower one.
Nevertheless…if you do want me… ” Mac paused, just as someone had in the bath: ‘Are you sure you don’t want to come. In?’ Before continuing, “To stay. Two conditions and I’ve made both more than clear. My Way. On my terms.”
Joe’s answer was every bit as unexpected as his earlier response. Despite being identical. Blind-sided at every turn, and the miscreant was now bound to his own bloody bed.
“Okay? That’s it? No ‘Meanie’ slurs?” Mac enquired, lifting a lofty brow.
“No. I want you…to stay. So, okay.”
Until I’ve got what I want…then you won’t know what’s hit you.
Mac heard the unspoken part as clearly as if Joe had uttered it aloud. The only uncertainty was whether Joe knew it had been heard and understood. Mac suspected not. A person as proficient at manipulation as Joe—coupled with the fact he’d grown accustomed to lackeys doing their utmost to please and appease him—was rarely called upon to question their own powers of persuasion.
Nevertheless, Mac had heard it. Joe remaining none the wiser would be fortuitous. Mac was forewarned and thus forearmed, which put him at an advantage. F’chrissakes…he wasnae Wallace planning the battle of Stirling Bridge. Mac had one incorrigible creature to conquer, not Longshanks and an entire army. Longshanks? Shortarse. Joe had that bastard beat by about three inches.
“Okay…” Mac confirmed, dragging in a deep breath. He was so tightly wound, something might snap.
If he managed to stick to his plan—battle tactics: if persisting in vainglorious allegories—it would be a bloody miracle. Reaching out, Mac finally allowed his fingers to alight upon the skin he’d scarce been able to refrain from touching for…ever, would do fine.
A soft noise sounded in Joe’s throat, so enchanting Mac almost abandoned his goddamn plan before it began and fell upon him like a wolf in a feeding frenzy. He did not.
Instead, Mac gritted his teeth and began trailing featherlight fingertips down the centre of Joe’s chest, ignoring the flames licking up his own arm as they skimmed cool porcelain. Joe shivered but bit down on his bottom lip; eyes flaring unfeasibly wide as he sucked in a sharp breath. When Mac’s torturous trail reached the dip of Joe’s belly button, he swirled a slow circle around it before ghosting along the trickle of hair leading to a prize too tempting to resist…and whipped his hand away.
A soft whimper slipped free but Joe didn’t protest, clearly determined to endure whatever was meted out…or wasn’t. In this, he was mistaken. A sucker-punch, at last.
Mac had no intention of stopping. He’d barely begun…