by FF Calliope


I wrote this in answer to a challenge on the ROG List, and thought I'd share it here also. Hope you enjoy. :)

Okay, here's my contribution to the "Water" challenge. Many thanks to Ann for the Beta-read.

This is my first attempt at writing from a male POV, and of course it had to be a sex scene. Sigh. I know how that plumbing works from the outside, but from the inside? Pure guesswork!

Legalities: Methos and the whole Highlander concept aren't mine, I just like to play with them. I don't make money off of this, yadda yadda yadda.

Warning: This is an ADULT piece In fact, it's pure SWP. If you are under 18 years of age, or if you don't like to read explicit sexual content, or are squeamish about BDSM, hit that delete key now.

Word to the OFC phobes: Dreaded OFC approaching. Red alert! Red alert!

Note on Characterization: This piece is written with the assumption that Methos is an experienced player in the BDSM scene. I didn't take time to give the history on how he got involved, etc., just wrote as if that were a given.

copyright July, 1997

"Interesting fashion statement," Methos commented.

The woman looked over at him without turning her head, her blue eyes slanting sideways, and a hint of a smile touched the corner of her lips. Perched on a barstool at Joe's, she sat facing the stage, leaning back against the bar as she listened to the music. The group playing was good; they'd had drawn quite a crowd. He wouldn't have noticed this particular woman, except that the only available seat in the house was the one next to her.

"You mean this?" she asked, running a fingertip over the wide band of black leather that circled her throat. Methos watched, momentarily distracted by the sensuality of the caress.

"Yes, that." His voice deepened with a note of command, causing her to look at him more closely. Not quite as mild-mannered as I appear, am I? he thought, then asked, "Who owns you?"

Her smile widened, and the woman shifted her position so that she faced him. No doubt she was well aware of how this made her short skirt hike up higher on her thigh; his pulse quickened, but he didn't give her the satisfaction of looking. "I'm not owned. I bought this myself."

Methos raised his eyebrows. Did she just wear it because she liked the way the thing looked on her? Anyone familiar with the leather scene knew that slaves didn't buy their own collars, so either she was a beginner, or not into it at all. Pity . . . He hadn't come here looking for a playmate, but the unexpected opportunity rather turned him on.

The woman's expression changed, and her tone mocked him. "Another traditionalist hung up on the rules? You don't look old enough to be so . . . rigid." With a shrug, she turned her attention back to the stage.

That was a mistake, he thought, his eyes narrowing. Challenging a Dom can get you into trouble, girl, don't you know that? Especially one who's in the mood to take you up on it. Leaning closer, he whispered into her ear, "Oh, I can be very . . . rigid."

He was rewarded by the little shiver that went through her. Methos grinned to himself. Not everyone who broke the rules did so out of ignorance; perhaps she wasn't just a wannabe after all. One way to find out. He moved closer, getting into her comfort zone enough to intimidate, and hooked a finger under her collar to give it a sharp tug.

"You have five minutes to tell me your limits and your preferences. If you don't want to play, say no, and I'll walk away."

For a moment, he thought she wasn't going to answer. Methos shivered as her tongue flicked out to lick her lips in a nervous gesture before she turned her head towards him, this time with her eyes were lowered, as though she were already submitting. If nothing else, she had the right instincts. He couldn't help but watch her moist lips move as she answered, "I - I don't even know you. Being a masochist doesn't mean I have a death wish, and being submissive doesn't make me stupid. Why should I trust a total stranger?"

"That wasn't a no, and it isn't your turn to ask the questions. I'll tell you when it is. Better hurry, the clock is ticking."

The muscles of her throat worked against his finger as she swallowed hard. He clenched it a little tighter around the collar, tugging again, reinforcing his command of her until, in a softer voice, she told him what he wanted to know. "Bondage, pain, submission. I love being dominated." As if he couldn't tell, he thought, the corners of his eyes crinkling in amusement. She went on, stumbling over the words. "No humiliation. I don't get into that. No scat or water sports. Light bruises or welts are fine, but nothing that lasts more than a few days. I like anything that plays with my senses, gets me out of my head and into my body. I need a slow build-up before I can take heavy pain, but once you get me there, I love it. No drawing blood, and, of course, condoms are a must."

"Good girl," he murmured, already considering the possibilities. Methos rubbed his finger from side to side, massaging her neck, until the flutter of her pulse sent a such a rush of heat through him that he had to stop. "Anything else I should know? What about a safeword?"

She was breathing faster now, and the pronounced rise and fall of her breasts drew his attention. They were full, sagging a little, and he imagined how it would feel to squeeze that soft, pliant flesh around his cock. It took an effort of will to keep his own breathing steady. Fortunately, her voice distracted him from the potent images that flooded his imagination.

"I've used red for 'stop' and yellow for 'slow down', but as often as not, I forget about safewords, or just can't bring myself to use one for fear of failing to please. I have to be able to trust you not to take advantage of that. Can I?" Her eyes raised to look into his, and in them he read uncertainty mixed with yearning. She wanted him, without a doubt, but that didn't mean she'd risk her life for a good time. That's the best part, he thought: convincing you to put your life in my hands, allowing me do whatever I wish with it. Methos felt his jeans become uncomfortably tight as a familiar stirring awakened in his groin. Control. His favorite aphrodisiac.

"What do you want me to say? Yes, you can trust me? I might be lying." Her eyes lowered once more. She wasn't quite ready to give in, but he didn't think she'd need a lot of convincing. "I'm a good friend of Joe's; do you know him?"

"I - I've met him before. Seems like a nice guy."

"He'll vouch for me."

She hesitated a moment, then nodded her head. "All right. Let me talk to him."

Methos looked up at Joe, who was at the other end of the bar, bobbing his head in time to the music as he polished a shot glass. Catching his eye, Methos gestured, and his friend wandered over to lean across the bar. "Hey, Adam, I see you've met -- " He stopped in mid-sentence, his gaze flicking down to where the Immortal's finger was hooked under the woman's collar. Joe's eyebrows raised. "What's up?"

The obvious answer was "Me", but Methos kept that to himself, instead saying, "Your friend's worried I might be an ax-murderer. Wants to know whether she can trust me."

"Trust?" Joe scratched his chin, and Methos could think of a number of wise-cracks that must be going through that grey head. Methos glared at him until he relented, grinning faintly as he turned to the woman. "He's a pain in the ass, but I've never found any bodies in his closet. Believe me, I've looked. That good enough?"

She studied Joe's face for a moment, weighing his answer. At last she smiled. "It'll do. Thanks, Joe."

"No problem." With a wink, he pushed himself up and moved away.

"I - I don't usually do this." She was still nervous, despite Joe's reassurance. "I prefer to take time getting to know someone first."

"That's a wise practice. All you have to do is say no, slave, and I'll walk away." He knew damned well that she would do nothing of the sort. Her instincts were too powerful, and he knew exactly how to play them.

She hesitated again, then finally said, "You're manipulating me. You know how to push my buttons to get me to do what you want, against my better judgement. But you know what? I'm crazy enough to do it anyway."

Methos was startled. Well, well. A slave with brains. This got more interesting by the moment. His finger was still hooked in her collar, so he used it to pull her closer, making the angle just uncomfortable enough to remind her who was in charge. "I won't hurt you. At least, not in any way that you don't want me to."

She gave him a crooked little smile that made his heart jump in his chest. Her fear, combined with her submission, was as irresistible as a siren's song. "Like you said... you could be lying."

"Is that a no?"

She shook her head. "Just acknowledging my own stupidity. Shall we?"

It was true. Submitting to a total stranger was indeed stupid, even one who'd been vouched for. He could have reassured her, but Methos suspected that the fear turned her on as much as the power did him. Standing, he released his hold on her collar. "Let's go."

Methos let her into his flat, pausing to close and lock the door behind them. When he turned, he found her kneeling, head bowed in a posture of submission. Not bad. When she capitulated, she didn't do it halfway. He let her stay there long enough to make her nervous, toying with her a bit, then finally said, "Why are your clothes still on?"

The woman blushed. Quickly, she stood and stripped out of them, until she wore nothing but her collar. Methos smiled to himself, his eyes moving over her. Good. She knew better than to protest the unfairness of his question.

"While you are here, you will call me Master or Sir. You will answer to 'slave.' Got that?"

"Yes, Sir."

She was shaking. Well, nerves were to be expected, considering the circumstances. He'd go easy on her tonight, and if the chemistry was right maybe they could take it further some other time. Gently, he slid a hand under her long blond hair to pull her close, holding her naked body until she calmed down. Methos kept his own clothes on, for now, to reinforce his dominance of her, knowing that the contrast would heighten her sense of vulnerability. It wasn't only her body that he wanted to strip bare. Finding the fastening to her collar, he undid it and slipped it off.

"While you're here, you belong to me. You'll wear no one else's collar, not even one you bought for yourself."

She nodded uncertainly. Tossing the studded bit of leather down into the pile of her clothes, he asked, "Who do you belong to?"

"To - to you, Sir."

"Very good, slave."

Methos continued to hold her for a few moments, letting the steady beat of his heart and the undemanding comfort of his arms work their magic. When she softened against him, he knew it was time to go on. His heart began to beat faster in anticipation. Methos stepped back and wound her hair around his fist, then used it to push her down to her knees, muscles clenching as he forced her into the position he wanted. With his other hand, he flicked open the buttons of his jeans. This is what you want, isn't it, he thought, his fist tightening to guide her face to his groin. Her moan answered his unspoken question. Methos felt its vibration through the cotton of his boxer shorts as he rubbed the hardness of his erection across her mouth.

The slave inhaled deeply and burrowed closer, a soft, tempting package of female flesh. The ragged tone of her breathing sent a little current of power charging through him. Soft lips opened, and she took him between them, soaking the barrier of fabric as she sucked, her hands catching hold of his hips for balance. Methos closed his eyes, letting the exquisite sensations grab hold of him. He thrust forward slowly, increasing the friction and the heat, but before it could go too far, he pushed her away. We've got all night, he reminded himself. Using her hair like a handle, he drew her to her feet, then led her into the bathroom.

It was a hot night, and they were both perspiring, so he filled the large bathtub with cool water, ordering her to get inside. Her nipples stiffened as she sat down in it, water rippling around her and beading along her smooth skin. The tension in his groin grew as he watched her, not because she was particularly beautiful - she wasn't - but because her vulnerability was so utterly delicious. For a moment, he was distracted as he contemplated all the ways he could torture those hard little nipples. Then the woman looked up at him, and he slowly peeled off his clothes.

Methos joined her in the tub. It was more than big enough to hold both of them, but he sat close to her and picked up her hand, placing a bar of soap in it. "Bathe me."

Her slender fingers curled around the soap. He let go of it, and leaned back against the edge of the tub, like a prince, stretching his long arms out to either side so that she had easy access to him. The cool water took the edge off of his arousal, which was just as well. He needed to stay in control if this was going to be any good for either of them.

Slowly, the woman rubbed the soap between her palms, building up a lather, then set it down and placed her hands on his chest. Methos let his head fall back, and his eyes half-closed as she caressed him in gentle circles, washing the day's sweat and dust away. She was tentative, at first, but her natural sensuality soon surfaced. Little lines creased along the corners of his eyes as he watched her growing fascination with the shapes and textures of his body. She'd have sold for a good price a few hundred years ago, he thought idly. A thumb brushed across one of his nipples, sending a burst of sensation directly down to his groin so that he couldn't help but shudder visibly. Apparently pleased with this result, she did it again, and at the same time leaned close so that her wet skin slid against his. Methos shut his eyes all the way, content, for now, to let her tease him.

As he had hoped, she began to relax, her touch becoming less tentative. Her fingers were stronger than they looked, digging into his muscles, massaging away tension he hadn't even known was there. Growing bolder, she leaned over him and arched her back so that her breasts rubbed across the top of his thighs, and he caught his breath when they briefly pressed against his cock. The image of them wrapped around it returned; he reached down to make it reality, but their warmth moved away before he could. The cool temperature of the water surrounded him instead, little waves making his erection bob slightly. What was she up to? he wondered. When something hot encircled one of his toes, he opened his eyes to see her sucking it into her mouth. The vision of those moist, knowing lips made his balls tighten.

"I said, bathe me," he growled. "Did I give you permission to do more?"

She eased his toe out of her mouth and looked down, penitent. "No, Sir. I'm sorry."

"It seems you neglected a spot."

Her cheeks flushed; she knew exactly the spot he meant. Quickly, she retrieved the soap to work up some more lather, then set it aside and stroked her hands in between his thighs. His fingers tightened their grip on the edge of the tub as slippery palms cupped his balls, gently washing them. Methos bit back a groan. His cock twitched, belying his silent self-control, and he saw the ghost of a smile cross her face before she hid her satisfaction. She washed all around the one place that most wanted her attentions, teasing him as much as she dared; just as he was ready to grab her wrist and guide her to his shaft, she anticipated him, at last curling her fingers around it and stroking, her hands slick from the soap. With a surge of muscle, he thrust up into her grasp.

Testing me, are you? Two can play that game, he thought, an evil little smile crossing his face. He'd show her what real teasing was all about. Taking charge once again, Methos lifted her hands away from him and guided her into a reclining position, leaning her back against the side of the tub. The urgency pulsing through his groin was so intense that he almost couldn't stand. Should've made the water colder, he thought, amused, as he rinsed the soap away, at the same time taking advantage of its coolness to get himself under control.

"Don't move," he ordered, and got out, leaving her alone in the tub while he dried himself. The heat of her gaze followed his every movement. Methos tossed the towel aside, opened a drawer, and noted with satisfaction how her eyes widened when he pulled out a razor and some shaving cream. He grinned, showing his teeth.

Crouching down on the floor beside her, he dunked a hand into the tub to pull the plug. While the water gurgled its way down the pipe, Methos gave the can of shaving cream a shake, then squirted some onto his fingers. He could see that she was breathing more heavily, and her breath caught in a little gasp when he said, "Open your legs, slave."

The woman shuddered. Then her legs moved apart - the tub was plenty wide enough - until the delicate folds of her sex were revealed to him. Like most slaves, she kept herself shaved, but she must not have expected to "play" with anyone tonight, for there was a faint bristle of stubble over her pubic mound. He'd soon take care of that.

Methos waited as the tub drained, letting her feel the impact of being so completely exposed to him. Then he slowly brought his fingers down, building the anticipation to a peak before he dabbed the shaving cream onto the hood of skin that hid her clit.

"Ah!" she cried out. Her body arched sharply before she could stop herself, and he grinned. Liked that, did she? Good. His fingertips brushed over her, spreading the cream around, evoking a little moan that spoke volumes. Lesson number one in teasing, he thought, and withdrew his touch to pick up the razor.

"It's very sharp," he told her, showing her the edge of the steel blade. "You're going to have to be still. Can you do that?" She hesitated, obviously not at all sure that she could, but finally nodded her head. "Take a deep breath," he urged. "Relax . . . again . . . good." Methos watched her, carefully judging when she had regained enough control before touching the cold metal to her skin. He saw the muscles in her arms tense, but her hips didn't move. "Very good," he encouraged, and carefully drew the blade over her, leaving behind a smooth, pink patch. "Very good, slave."

This, he thought, must be the mortal equivalent of having a sword to your throat. She couldn't possibly be more vulnerable. Methos remembered how Mac's katana felt against his slender neck, and imagined that she felt something similar with his razor moving over her most private, sensitive places. Of course, there was the added benefit of all the nerve endings in this area, making hers more than just a mental and emotional arousal. It was the combination of those things with the purely physical aspect of his teasing little touches, plus the necessity that she remain completely still, that brought sweet, oily liquid oozing along the seam of her entrance. Oh, yes, she'd beg before the night was through. He couldn't wait to hear it.

She was quite expressive; both face and body communicated every sensation, every need that he inspired. Methos approved. The best submissives were like that, hiding nothing from the top, letting every response be known. Not only was it gratifying, but it also helped him to gauge her state of mind, to make sure he didn't push her too far - or not far enough. Glancing up at her face now and then, he moved the razor in short, delicate strokes, denuding her of stubble, the fingers of his other hand parting the folds of her sex so that he could get every last spot. Her clit swelled visibly. He imagined rolling it around on his tongue, sucking at that juicy little tidbit, and had to pause for a moment to still a sudden tremor in his hands. The slightest touch to that sensitive nerve-bundle drew such a strong reaction that he took care to avoid it while the blade was against her skin, knowing that she might not be able to control her body's response, and not wanting to hurt her if she couldn't help but twitch.

Damn, but it was fun toying with her. He hadn't indulged himself this way in a long time. Sex with Alexa was more spiritual than carnal, and after her death so much had happened -- looking after that bloody Boy Scout, getting involved with the Watchers and Jakob Galati and sorting out the aftermath of that particular cock-up, dealing with the nightmare of Kronos and the other Horsemen, not to mention Keane -- hell, his life was a bloody roller coaster. No wonder he'd practically dragged this slave home by the hair. There was no guarantee that he'd have control over the rest of his life anytime soon, but at least he had it here.

Methos took his time about shaving her, taking a fiendish pleasure in driving her slowly insane. The contrast of the hard metal with her oh-so-delicate flesh fascinated him, so symbolic of the strength of his will against the yielding softness of her submission. The age-old concept of yin and yang, he thought. When at last he was satisfied, Methos turned on the tap to wash out the razor, then cupped one large hand, using it as a ladle to rinse away the last few traces of shaving cream from her sex. The first splash of water hit her clit, making her hips twitch enticingly.

"Stand," he ordered her, and reached for a fresh towel. A bit shaky, the woman braced a hand against the wall to steady herself as she rose to her feet, holding still for him while he patted her skin dry. Methos continued to tease her, applying the cloth with light pressure between her thighs, and rubbing it over her erect nipples until the friction made her whimper under her breath.

One fingertip at the small of her back was all it took to guide her into the bedroom. She responded to him well. When Methos withdrew the fingertip, she stopped, standing before a wooden post that stretched from floor to ceiling. Eyebolts protruded from it here and there, making its purpose obvious. Leaving her there, he went to his closet and selected several items from a chest that was tucked into the back corner. These he dumped onto the bed, except for a pair of leather wrist-restraints which he carried over to her.

"Hands," he said, and she raised her hands to him. Methos buckled the leather cuffs around her small wrists and clipped them each to one of the eyebolts so that her arms were raised, rendering her helpless, completely at his mercy. She relaxed visibly. Some slaves were like that - less nervous when they were restrained. He noted that she pulled at the cuffs, testing their strength, and when they didn't budge, she let out a long sigh, half-smiling. Oh, don't worry, he thought. There's not a chance you'll get out of those.

Methos went back to the bed to gather the other toys, then returned and held them out for her to see, playing up the anticipation. A crop, a cane, a soft silk flogger, a single-tail, a heavy leather cat-o-nine, and a wooden paddle. He let her look them over for a few moments.

"Choose two. One for warm-up, one for the real fun. I may use one or two more, if I feel like it."

She licked her lips, in the same little nervous gesture he'd noticed at the bar. "The silk flog for warm-up," she said, "and the cat for the rest."

He raised an eyebrow. The cat, hmm? Some subs were afraid of the thing, probably because it was so damned big. She wasn't kidding about being a pain-slut. Methos laid the toys out on the bed so he wouldn't have to untangle anything or fish around for the one he wanted in the middle of the scene. Then he shook out the long, soft strands of the silk flogger and held the handle of it to her lips. The woman knew what was expected of her; tilting her head slightly, she pressed a kiss to the handle.

"Very good," he breathed. Clenching his fingers into her hair, he tugged her head back to kiss her for the first time. Her mouth opened eagerly beneath his, but he cut it short. Longer kisses had to be earned. Gently, he arranged her hair so that it hung down in front of her, leaving her back and shoulders bare. Then he moved to stand behind her.

The woman edged her feet apart, widening her stance, and he swung the flogger in a lazy arc, just testing the distance to be sure he wasn't too close or too far away. The silken strands brushed over her, so softly that he wasn't certain they'd touched her at all, until she leaned back towards him a little, silently begging for more. The corners of his eyes creased into a smile. Methos edged closer a couple of inches, then swung again, more firmly, and the flogger hissed across her back.

Enough teasing. He was ready to get down to business. Working the flogger rhythmically, he crisscrossed it back and forth, moving from her shoulders down over the curves of her behind, then back up, only to move down again, lower, flicking the ends against the more sensitive flesh of her upper thighs. This particular toy wasn't likely to cause any pain; it wasn't meant for that. Even a good, hard blow wouldn't sting more than a little. Rather, it was supposed to get her used to the feel of being struck, and to warm her up for the heavier play that would follow. Methos watched her pale skin gradually turn pink. Her breathing deepened as she let herself go with the sensations. Putting his weight behind it now, he increased the pace so that the flogger made little slapping sounds against her, and every once in a while a particularly hard snap would set the flesh of her ass jiggling. His smile deepened as she began to squirm. The muscles of her back shifted in rippling patterns as she pulled against the restraints, and she rose up onto her toes, legs tensing, spine arching slightly. Beautiful.

He took her as far as he could with the silk, then tossed it aside and moved in close, grabbing her hair again to tug her head up. "Are you all right?"

"Oh, yesssss," she breathed in response. Methos chuckled, then gave her another unsatisfyingly brief kiss before releasing her hair to go get the cat-o-nine from the bed. Again, he shook out the strands and held the handle up for her to kiss, this time just far enough away that she had to strain forward to reach it. That's right, he thought. Show me how much you want it. Her lips pressed fervently against the leather, and then she opened her mouth to take the thing inside, jaw muscles working, tongue stroking, showing him what she could do if he only gave her the chance. Little fingers of sensation tickled up the backs of his thighs, and his erection, which had softened somewhat, immediately throbbed back to life.

"Are you ready for this, slave?" he hissed, slowly easing the handle out from between those tempting lips. In his mind's eye he saw his own cock sliding between them and nearly groaned aloud at the image. When she nodded silently, he leaned close to whisper into her ear, "I can't hear you."

Her voice was deep with emotion, yet at the same time, sweetly hesitant. Barely louder than a whisper, she said simply, "Please."

Good enough for now. Methos touched a light kiss to her forehead, then moved to stand behind her, once again testing distance with a slow, easy swing. The slave shivered at the rush of air that fanned over her as the leather strands didn't quite connect. He moved in half a step and swung again.

She seemed startled by the first blow. They often were. Something about it was always a shock to the senses, and he loved watching the reaction it got - the way the head lifted and the body tensed, then relaxed into a fluid, easy acceptance. His abdominal muscles tightened. She'd probably react exactly the same way to the first thrust of his cock.

Methos went more carefully now, spacing the strikes apart, keeping them light at first until she was ready for more. Then he steadily increased the power he put behind them, reveling in his control over both himself and her. Pain for pleasure. Kronos had only understood pain for the sake of pain. But then, Kronos never was big on subtlety, and using pain to give pleasure was a subtle art, requiring patience and care.

She was ready for that pain, eager even. With a precision that spoke of long practice, he chose his spots, avoiding the places that might cause real harm. Mortals were so fragile. A blow to the base of the spine could result in nerve-damage, or a pop just over the kidneys could start them bleeding internally. What an immortal might not even notice would mean life-long problems for a mortal. It was remarkable, he thought, that they would so willingly entrust their safety, their very life, to another.

Methos placed the heaviest blows to the less sensitive expanse of her shoulders and upper back. Even a light snap to her ass or inner thighs made her jump; a harder one set her dancing from one foot to another, pulling at the restraints. He couldn't help but grin as he played with her. Did she have any idea how graceful she was, how lovely the movements of her body became as she tensed and squirmed beneath his lash? Probably not. Methos imagined her beneath him, dancing, writhing in exactly the same manner, and his hand clenched around the handle of the cat.

Sweating, he picked up the pace, not giving her time to recover from one strike before the next fell. She'd said that with a proper warm- up she loved pain; he intended to test that. His heart pounded, sending a pulse through his cock in perfect time with the swinging of his arm. He was hard as stone now, aroused by this utter dominance, so that it became an exercise in will not to cut loose and really lay into her, but he rode that edge between control and abuse, never allowing himself to cross the line. The loud cracks of the cat against her body, the way she jerked and moaned, the heaving of her rib cage as she breathed harder, all combined to intoxicate him. Kronos was right about the power. It felt too good to ever give up, better than any drug, but you didn't have to kill anyone, or at least he didn't. Not when there was this.

Her scream made him back off, lightening the blows. Did that mean he'd gone too far? This was the problem in playing with someone you didn't know very well. A scream might mean, "oh, god, don't stop!" from one person, and "I can't take any more!" from another. Methos paused.

"Do you remember your safeword?" he prompted.

The woman nodded.

"Do you need to use it?"

She hesitated. Then, her tone barely audible, she answered, "Yellow."

Yellow meant slow down, not stop, but was she just saying that because she didn't want to displease him? Remembering her warning, he draped the cat over his shoulder and moved around in front of her, wanting to get a better idea of how she was doing. Her head hung down, so Methos took her chin between his thumb and forefinger, tipping it up, his other hand brushing her hair back until he could see her face. It was streaked with tears. She wasn't sobbing, though, and when her eyes opened to look into his she smiled.

His pulse trip hammered at the sight of those tears. Methos leaned down and flicked his tongue out to taste them, the salt flavor of her surrender trickling into his mouth. Needle-thin lines of pleasure spread out over every inch of his body, raising goosebumps and hardening his nipples, stinging him into a new level of sensitivity that made him painfully aware of the slightest touch. Keeping his lips a hair's-breadth away from her, he lapped at her cheekbone, her jaw, and asked, "More? Or is that enough?"

"Whatever pleases you, Sir," she whispered. Then she giggled. He smiled against her hot skin, recognizing her response to the endorphins released by the pain. She was as high as a kite, and the more she tried to stifle her giggles, the louder they got. Methos finally silenced them with a long, deep kiss that left her limp, pliant as clay, leaning against him and the post for support. She was so deliciously receptive that he couldn't resist the urge to stroke her sweat-slickened skin, feeling the little welts where he had marked her back and thighs. Each time he touched one, she wriggled in his arms and tried to rub her sex against the tantalizing ridge of his cock. Methos growled. Giving in to his hunger for just a moment, he savaged her mouth, thrusting his tongue deep inside, jaws working, bruising her with his passion. It was all he could do to pull away before taking her then and there.

"I think that's enough pain for you," he said hoarsely. Releasing his hold on her, he left her at the post while he put the toys away. Her frustrated little groan made his lips twitch with amusement; then she giggled again and nuzzled her face up and down the smooth wood of the post in a way that made him realize just how phallic the damned thing was. Most of her make-up had been sweated away, except for dark rings under her eyes, and fine strands of blond hair clung wetly to her face, but in spite of all that, he thought she looked good enough to eat. Now there was an idea . . . Leaving her for a moment, Methos went to the kitchen, calling over his shoulder, "Don't go away."

That produced another fit of giggles which followed him through the flat. Opening up the fridge, he let the blast of cold air chill his sweating body, taking the edge off his arousal, then got himself a beer and popped the top for a long, satisfying drink. Methos waited until his pulse rate was down to a more normal level before he got out a large plastic cup, filled it with ice cubes and water, and carried both back to the bedroom. Leaving the beer on the nightstand, he took the water to his slave. Long fingers combed her hair out of the way as he pressed the cup to her lips.

She drank greedily. Probably dehydrated, between the sweat and the crying, he realized, and let her have as much as she wanted before easing it away.

"Thanks," she said. The tip of her tongue flicked out to capture a stray drop from her lip. "It's hot in here."

You can say that again, he thought. "Yes, it is. How are your arms?"

"A little numb."

"Time for you to come down, then." Methos set the cup beside his beer, then unclipped her restraints from the eyebolts and removed the leather from around her wrists. She winced slightly as her muscles moved out of the long-held position. With the endorphins clouding her judgement, she probably didn't know how weak she was. It was up to him to take care of her. That was another thing he had learned that Kronos hadn't - power went hand-in-hand with responsibility. Gently, Methos helped her over to the bed and laid her down on her stomach, giving her a pillow which she hugged her arms around and snuggled her face into. Her skin was still quite red, with a few marks in particular standing out lividly. He hadn't gone past her limits, though - there was nothing that wouldn't fade after a few days.

"Let's see if I can't help you cool off," he said. Sitting down beside her, Methos dipped his long fingers into the cup and fished out an ice cube. She couldn't see what he was doing, so when he first touched it to her back, she shrieked aloud and nearly jumped off the bed. Methos stifled a laugh, and growled, "Be still, slave." Her muscles remained tense, but she obediently eased herself back down. When he touched the ice to her again, she flinched, but didn't move or cry out.

Her skin was hot to the touch, especially where he had reddened it the most. The ice cube melted rapidly as he used it to trace the pattern of marks upon her back. Tiny streams of water dribbled into the natural indentations of her body, or escaped down her sides to leave wet marks on the bedcovers. Slowly, she became accustomed to the cold strokes, and relaxed once again.

Not for long, he thought wickedly. Methos took his time about it, ignoring the growing numbness of his fingers as he worked his way down to the small of her back, getting another ice cube whenever the one he was using melted completely away. When at last he slid one up the round hill of an ass-cheek, she was breathing faster again. Time for lesson number two in teasing.

A nudge was all it took to get her to open her legs. The rich, musky scent of her arousal floated up to him; his nostrils flared, taking it in. Methos leaned back on one hand, and guided the chunk of ice along the crease between her soft cheeks, watching the melting water trickle down to torture her sex. Mesmerized, he followed the path of each glistening droplet of as it rolled over the delicate folds of skin and mingled with another kind of wetness. Her muscles jumped whenever one found a particularly sensitive spot. Inhaling through his mouth, he tasted her in the air, and could almost feel her throbbing against his tongue.

The ice disintegrated into nothing. He picked out another cube, using it to tease the backs of her thighs. The woman held herself still, as he'd commanded, but her fingers clutched the pillow so tightly that her knuckles turned white.

"D'you like that?" he asked, just managing to make his tone casual.

She answered with a breathless laugh that faded into a moan as he brushed the ice cube against the lips of her sex.

"What was that? Was that a yes?"

"Yes!" she gasped.

"Ah. Just checking." He moved the ice so that it barely grazed her clitoris. "You sure?"

"I -- oh, gods -- sure -- "

He didn't bother to suppress his laugh this time. She was hot, in more ways than one, this slave. "Get your knees under you. Don't move anything else."

Keeping her arms wrapped around the pillow, she squirmed up until she was on her knees, face pressed down, ass lifted high, her legs wide apart in blatant invitation. Methos' mouth watered. Good enough to eat, all right. Stretching out on his back, he slid under her until his face was just beneath her parted thighs. Then he placed the ice cube between his teeth and took hold of her hips, drawing her down to him.

The first contact with her sex evoked a loud gasp of pleasure. Methos dug his fingers into her soft curves, holding her still as he explored smooth, moist flesh with cold lips and tongue, manipulating the ice cube so that it caressed her now and then as well. She was so slick, her shaved sex utterly naked to him. He swallowed melting water that tasted of her, and the pressure in his groin grew more insistent, but he wasn't ready to give in to it. Parting the petals of skin away from her entrance, he pushed the ice cube into her. The woman tensed, trying desperately not to squirm when every instinct must be demanding that she grind down against him. The little ring of muscle around her entrance tightened, pushing the cube back out, and he used his tongue to push it back in . . . out . . . in . . . over and over until it melted to a sliver, then vanished altogether. Moaning now, he reached down to pull at his balls as he licked and teased her into a frenzy.

"Please," she begged, the word coming out in a desperate little squeak.

Methos curled his fingers around his cock and stroked slowly. He was panting, his chest rising and falling visibly with each breath. Easing her up so that she hovered over his mouth, he said, "Please what?"

"Please finish it!"

"You'll have to be more specific, slave." Torturing her still more, he pursed his lips and blew a stream of cool air onto her quivering flesh. His thumb rolled over the head of his cock, smearing little beads of pre-cum into a glossy coating, teasing himself as well, making the hard column pulse.

"Please - Sir - " she faltered, her voice strangled, "Please fuck me."

Methos clenched his jaw against the surge of desire that spiked through him. Grabbing hold of the base of his cock, he squeezed it tightly until he was sure he could move without embarrassing himself, then he slid out from under her and opened the drawer of the nightstand. His fingers shook as he drew out a small foil packet, and at the sound of it crinkling open, the slave moaned hopefully. He wished these bloody things weren't necessary, but in the age of AIDS, he couldn't get away with just telling a woman he was sterile. For her peace of mind, he unrolled the condom onto his aching cock.

"I don't know," he said, moving to kneel behind her. "Have you earned it?"

The little wriggle of her behind was pure poetry. Byron himself couldn't have matched it. Methos watched, lips parted in silent appreciation, as he considered where he wanted to take her.

"That is for you to say, Sir," she answered, and he heard the tears of frustration in her voice. Someone had obviously trained her well.

He leaned over to kiss the curve of her hip. "Good answer."

"Please," she begged again. "Tell me what you want, I'll do anything."

Power. The feel of it flared through him like a bolt of quickening, demanding that he take what he wanted, take it now, no more teasing. The tight little bud of her asshole beckoned, but he would save that for another time. Some women didn't like anal, and he had pushed her far enough for their first encounter. Taking a handful of hair, he pulled her head up so that he could speak directly into her ear. "You've already done it."

Methos positioned himself, the blood roaring in his ears, pounding through his chest. The tip of his cock settled against her opening, and his balls tightened, drawing up, demanding that he let them release their load. Slow down, old man, he cautioned himself. The woman's legs started to tremble; her self-control slipped, and she pressed back towards him, seeking to deepen the contact. He ought to punish her for that, but Methos let it go. He'd tortured her - and himself - enough. The muscles of his ass tensed as he thrust slowly into her.

Snug, slick flesh encased him, and for once he was glad to have the condom there, dampening the sensations. Methos held still until he had command of himself once more, though the unconscious spasm of her inner muscles nearly undid him altogether. Through clenched teeth, he commanded, "Don't move."

The woman closed her eyes tightly and folded her lips around a wail of frustration, but somehow she found the willpower to obey him. Methos took a deep breath. Then he eased himself out until just the head remained inside her, and slowly slid back in as he exhaled. Ahhhh, yes. At last. Still gripping her hair in one fist, his other hand moved over her body, caressing, soothing. It wouldn't take much to push her beyond the point of no return, which was a damned good thing, because he wasn't going to last long. Methos tweaked her nipple, and pulled out to thrust in again, again, beginning a slow rhythm. His balls swung; when they tapped against her clit, she flinched hard, nearly sending him over the edge. Roughly, he raked his hand down from her nipple, over her belly, and cupped his palm around her mound so that the swollen little bud was trapped between the heel of his hand and the hard shaft of his cock as it moved inside her.

"Master!" she cried out, nearly incoherent. "Please!"

If he weren't so damned close himself, he would have made her beg a little first. Instead, he thrust deeper, holding nothing back, and snarled, "Come!"

Abandoning all control, she moved with him, her ass squirming against the clenched muscles of his belly, and almost immediately she erupted into an orgasm that tore scream after scream from her throat. Inner muscles tightened like a fist around his cock, and Methos growled deeply as he exploded, his seed pumping into the sheath of the condom. The room spun dizzily around him. He had to close his eyes as the spasms of her sex rippled up and down the length of his shaft, milking him for every last drop.

Gradually, the woman relaxed. Methos felt her clit pulsing against his palm, and when he rubbed it in a gentle circle she immediately tensed again, her orgasm returning to rack her body from head to toe. Delighted, he continued until she was whimpering softly, begging him to stop, then, chuckling, he reluctantly stilled his hand and just held it there as he eased his softening cock out of her.

The condom was slipping off. Methos let go of her hair, reaching down to hold it in place, and his other hand moved away from her sex to gently urge her back down onto her belly. Climbing off the bed, he somehow talked his legs into carrying him to the bathroom where he could dispose of the damned thing. When he returned, the slave lay on her side, curled up contentedly, already half-asleep.

In another day and age, he would have made her sleep at the foot of the bed. Not any more. Methos looked down at her as he finished off his bottle of beer, and considered making her bathe him again. They were both sweaty and sticky. What the hell, he thought, it can wait until tomorrow. Waking her long enough to get her under the sheets, Methos turned out the light and crawled in beside her. Soft curves snuggled against him. He had forgotten how sweet it could be to share his bed. With a long, contented sigh, he slung an arm around her, and drifted off to sleep.