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Chapter 11


Chris spotted him right away when he first stepped into the bar. He turned at the noise of the door and his gaze caught on Karl’s, completely unreadable, before he turned back to talking out the scene with J. J. Karl took up a spot near the back, behind the video village of cameras and out of the flow of traffic, hoping that no one would tell him to go away. The bar was not that big to begin with, and it was even smaller with all their equipment piled into it.

Karl didn't even know why he was there. He wasn’t required for the scene at all. In fact, he wasn’t required at all today on the lot, and certainly not required at this bar that was twenty minutes down the road from the lot. He’d popped in to watch like they sometimes did during another actor’s scenes on the lot when they weren’t needed elsewhere. He was well aware that it was unusual for someone to show up to watch a scene when the shooting was done on location - but Chris hadn’t responded to any of his texts or calls for the last two days and Karl couldn’t keep sitting idly at home going crazy thinking about what Chris was thinking about. And with Chris dressed up in his leather jacket and smirk, he wasn’t going anywhere unless someone told him to leave.

J. J. eventually called for places and Chris, Zoe, and the other ‘cadets’ took their spots. It was interesting watching Chris turn his charm on Zoe. It wasn’t quite like Chris in real life – he was a little more cocky and assertive as Kirk, not quite the goofy, charming guy he usually was – but it was close enough to feel real. It probably looked great on J. J.’s monitor but it didn’t sit right with Karl. He knew they were only acting, that Zoe had a submissive and Chris would never act that way towards her in real life. He just didn’t like seeing Chris flirt with other people, no matter the situation.

With a shock Karl realized he was jealous of Zoe, and feeling completely possessive over Chris. He’d never expected to have that reaction – in fact, he’d always thought it was complete bullshit the way tops in Hollywood expected their subs to stop acting whenever they were collared. It was a minority group of collared subs that continued acting, which Karl had always thought was a senseless waste. What top couldn’t tell the difference between someone acting onscreen and being truly unfaithful? And who just demanded their submissive give up their career just because they’d been collared?

And yet here he was, irrationally jealous of a friend whom he knew had a committed collared sub and who would never betray his trust by hitting on his submissive. He should leave and let them work, stop watching so he could maintain some peace of mind and not torture himself with thoughts he didn’t want, but he couldn’t seem to walk away.

It was a relief when they finally moved on to the fight scenes with the other cadets. Chris looked fucking amazing while fighting. His shoulders were strong and broad while he blocked the blows from Cupcake and the other cadets, his hips and legs shifting his stance to duck and throw punches. He was strong and graceful, and there was a certain beauty in seeing him go from talking thoughtfully with J.J. to being the cocky bastard provoking a fight and getting his ass kicked. Karl had to admit that he winced every time one of the other guys laid hands on Chris or took a swing at him, though.

Chris had snuck glances at him periodically during his takes with Zoe but didn’t seem to pay any attention to Karl during the fight scene, too busy focusing on his choreography. While setting up for his scene with Bruce, though, Chris caught his gaze – and it was a heated, hungry gaze that had no place in the scene he was about to shoot.

His eyes lingered on Karl long enough for Karl to feel his body respond – fists clenching from the need to touch, posture straightening against the wall he was leaning on, gaze sharpening on his target. Then Chris licked his lips, a deliberate swipe of tongue that Karl tracked with his eyes, and turned back to Bruce. He widened the slouch of his legs under the table, and when it came time to give his lines his voice was pitched just the barest bit lower than normal.

Chris had the silly tissues stuck up his nose, but it didn’t even matter. Karl got hard from imagining what else that tongue could do. From imagining Chris with come and blood smeared on that pretty mouth, licking it off for Karl. Imagining that when he kissed Chris he would taste bitter with the tang of salt and iron – and Chris knew it. His mouth had a satisfied twist that he’d gotten under Karl’s skin.

Karl bit his tongue and made himself relax back against the wall. This wasn’t the time or place, and Chris needed to focus. He couldn’t relax, though. Chris kept glancing back at him at every opportunity, not even trying to hide it, and some of the crew were starting to look back at Karl, too. And it was impossible to hide Karl’s own responses with Chris draped over the table looking like fuckable bruise porn. Especially licking his lips while glancing over at Karl every other second.

“Cut!” J. J. yelled. “Chris, can you stop oozing sex all over my scene just long enough for me to get it in the can? If you wouldn’t mind, you know, we’d like to wrap this up and move on, yeah?”

J. J. looked pointedly back at Karl and Karl wanted the floor to open up under him in mortification. He nodded tightly and made his way quietly through the maze of lights, cables, people and boxes to the back of the bar. He stepped outside and took a deep breath. He had to get control of himself. Chris could parade in front of him naked and it shouldn't matter. He was a top, goddammit, and he was supposed to be able to control himself.

He pulled the pack of Marlboro’s and lighter out of his back pocket and sighed. He'd stopped years ago when he’d collared Natalie, but he may as well admit that he’d started again. It was either try and focus everything on the smoke on his tongue and the burn of the cherry in the dark, or pace like a maniac while his mind whirled through images of Chris on his knees in front of him. Or Chris wearing his collar with a lead attached. Or Chris licking Karl's come off his lips with that hot swipe of tongue.

Christ. His fingers tapped a tense rhythm on his thigh, and the distraction of another smoke wasn't working.

"You still smoking that shit?" Chris stepped casually out into the alley, eyeing Karl's Marlboro Light critically. He still had his stage blood on, but at least he didn’t have the tissues up his nose anymore.

He was absolutely the last person Karl wanted to see. Especially in this alley with no one else around as he pulled his pack of American Spirits out of his back pocket.

"Doesn't J.J. have you redoing that scene again?" Karl had counted on the endless retakes to give himself at least a while out here alone to cool off.

"Nah, he called print on that after two more takes. Didn't take as long as usual, but you've been out here a while." Chris bent his head and lit up. "You know that shit's got rat poison in it, right?" Chris pointed, the pristine tobacco cigarette dangling from between his lips an uppity dig at Karl's choice.

"Fuck you, Pine. It's what they had." And just like that the tension was back.

Chris took a slow drag, eyes locked on Karl's, the dim light casting a shadow across his face that outlined his nose and the smirk on his lips. "Fuck me, huh? Yeah, unfortunately there isn’t any of that going on here.”

Karl had a sudden urge to wipe that smirk off Chris' face that was so strong that he actually took a step towards him before he realized what he was doing. He deliberately lent back against his part of the wall.

"Don't push me, boy," he said in a low voice. "You've got no right to provoke a top you don't plan to get involved with." He meant to turn around and leave, to leave Chris alone entirely, but he couldn’t pull his gaze away from the brilliant blue of Chris' eyes in the glare of the streetlight.

"Who says I don't plan to get involved with you?" The smirk was gone, replaced with open desire as he looked Karl up and down. "And what gives you the right to come sniffing around like some alpha male if you aren't gonna do anything about it?"

Karl took a last, long drag on his Marlboro, the space between them taut with sizzling energy. Chris barely seemed to breathe, cigarette forgotten between his fingers as he watched Karl exhale. Karl dropped the butt and snuffed it out with his heel and stepped over to Chris, reaching out to grab his short hair and jerk his head back to expose his neck. He bent to brush his lips across Chris' throat, and Chris' indrawn breath above his ear sent a thrill through him.

Chris smelled like cologne and warm leather, and Karl had to taste him. The soft skin just under his jaw was salty and warm, and Chris' pulse jumped under his tongue. Breath dragged through his throat as Karl bit and sucked lightly, just enough to bring pink to the surface, for long enough that Chris's breathing sped up and he had to be feeling the strain of his head being forced back. Chris whined a little, and Karl moved his mouth to his ear and bit sharply.

"Is this what you wanted, Chris?" He whispered.

"Yes, Sir." Chris' reply a breathy moan that went straight to Karl's cock. He pulled back, rubbing his cheek against Chris' in a bright rasp of stubble, to swipe his tongue over Chris' bottom lip, biting at it before pulling back.

The pupils in Chris' eyes were blown so wide there was barely any blue left, and he was sucking on his lip like he could taste the bite Karl had left there. "Say it again, boy," he growled, one hand tightening in Chris' hair and the other sliding possessively down the leather of his jacket to grip his hip.

"Please kiss me, sir." He looked so, so good with his mouth begging and his head tilted just right, and Karl did.

He licked inside, fucked Chris wide open with deep swipes of his tongue. He bit and sucked, and Chris tasted like tobacco and gum. Karl relaxed his hand in his hair, slid down to cup the back of his head so Karl could hold him like he wanted, while he slid the other hand up under Chris' jacket and t-shirt. His skin was warm and firm, and the muscles of his back flexed under his palm as Chris thrust against his hips.

Chris whined sharply against Karl’s mouth and thrust again against him, his arms coming up frantic and urgent around Karl’s shoulders to drag himself closer to Karl’s mouth.

“Easy, boy,” Karl whispered, pulling Chris to him more firmly with the hand on his back and licking deeper. Chris slowly settled down and opened up under his grip. It was sweet and thrilling, and after a time Karl realized that he has a hand under Chris' thigh pulling his leg around Karl's hip, and the other hand holding him steady while he devoured him.

But they were still in public, and Karl shouldn't be doing this. It took every ounce of his control to take his hands off Chris' body and place his palms on the wall behind Chris. He pushed away from Chris', but Chris lent forward to follow his mouth and Karl just couldn’t break the kiss. His lips lingered even after he was no longer touching Chris anywhere else, just nibbling on Chris’ lower lip.

He didn't want to stop at this, goddamnit. The desire to push Chris to the ground and open him up was coursing through him like his body might do it anyway even without his permission. The soft little moans and the way Chris went pliant beneath him just added fuel to the fire.

Karl made himself focus, think - he needed to turn around and leave right now. With a growl he bit hard at Chris' bottom lip. Chris gave a breathy little gasp and jerked back.

"Oh God, Karl." Chris looked wrecked and needy, and Karl had made him look like that. Karl stepped back before he could change his mind, but Chris followed him. He dropped to his knees gracefully in front of Karl, and before Karl could do anything to stop him, leaned forward on his hands and rubbed his cheek across the front of Karl's trousers.

He groaned out, “Oh fuck” without meaning to. Chris looked up, nose rubbing up the ridge of Karl's cock, and god, he looked perfect on his knees for Karl.

Slowly, obscenely deliberate, Chris licked up the curve of his cock pressed against the zipper of his trousers, the press of his tongue through the fabric making Karl hiss. Chris went for Karl's zipper with his teeth and Karl realized he intended to unzip him and blow him right there in the alley. For one heartstopping moment Karl thought he might let Chris do it, might finally get that talented tongue on him. But then his sense kicked in and he grabbed Chris' hair and pulled him away.

Chris' mouth was open and he was panting, shaking his head a little like he wanted to get loose from Karl's grasp and go back to his cock.

"Stop it, Chris," Karl commanded. Chris fell still and looked up at him. "What are you doing?"

A flash of hurt crossed his face, then turned to frustration. "Throwing myself at you in a way you can't possibly miss, since apparently subtle doesn't work with you."

“This has been you being subtle this whole time?” Karl asked, and couldn’t keep the incredulity from edging into his voice.

“Yes, for all the good it did me. I may as well have just thrown myself at your feet on day one, it may have gone better. What did you think I was doing?”

“Being confusing as hell,” Karl said, giddy hope bleeding into his voice despite his continued need to guard his heart. Chris opened his mouth to speak but Karl pushed on. “Listen to me, Chris. I can’t be casual with you, not anymore. What I want is my collar on your neck, nothing short of that.”

Chris’ mouth slowly closed as his eyes widened.

Karl let go of Chris’ hair so he could slide his hand down to cup Chris’ jaw and rub his thumb over Chris’ cheek. “Exactly. You need to understand that it’s that serious for me before you make any more decisions.”

“I know you’re the possessive type, and that you don’t fuck around.” Chris said. “I’ve known that from the beginning. It’s why I didn’t throw myself at your feet on day one. I’m ready for that.”

Karl’s breath caught. Chris looked eager and hopeful and it took everything Karl had not to just take him back to his place. “Obviously we need to talk about this, but this is not the time and you can’t just make this kind of decision on impulse. Just know that if you come back to me wanting to sub for me everything we do would be leading up to that. If you want it. I mean, it wouldn’t happen right away, you’d have time to decide if it would work for you, and if Natalie is someone you could love too because I won’t do anything that doesn’t include her. But I’m done with casual with you.”

“I’m not being impulsive,” Chris said.

He reached up to grab Karl’s hand, but Karl stepped back out of the way, letting his hand drop from Chris’ face. Karl’s self control was strained to its limit and if Chris touched him it would all be over. He’d take him home and claim him, good intentions be damned, and Karl didn’t want it to happen like that.

“You need to go back to work and I need to go home and talk to my submissive,” Karl said as gently as he could. “I’m leaving in a few hours to fly home for a short leave, but when I come back we are talking about this. Okay?”

Chris’ hand fell to his thigh and he looked more uncertain than he had earlier. “All right.”

“I’ll see you soon,” Karl said. “Don’t do anything stupid while I’m gone.”

Chris rolled his eyes, but it was halfhearted. Karl made himself turn around and leave. He knew he shouldn't leave Chris like this, needing and vulnerable to the next top that came around. Every instinct he had was screaming at him to make Chris submit and make him his, and then take him home and care for him. He texted Zoe while he was walking back to his car.

Hey, look out for Chris. We just sort of talked and he may not be completely focused.

Her response was prompt, and Karl thought she’d probably been watching the back door since Chris walked out.

Everything go ok?

Nothing’s resolved, but I told him how I feel. I think it went ok but he’s likely to be a bit worked up. I’m leaving tonight for home, watch him while I’m gone?

Sure thing. Be safe, and Merry Christmas.

Thanks. You too.

Later, looking out the airplane window with the lights of the city spread out and falling away from him in a brilliant patchwork, the enormity of what had just happened with Chris hit him. Collaring Chris so soon would be a very emotional thing to do, and he was being every bit as impulsive as he’d cautioned Chris not to be. He was the plan-everything-out type. He’d known Natalie for over a year before putting a training collar on her, and had spent months developing their relationship further before proposing marriage. He’d known Chris for mere months by comparison and he didn’t know what the hell had gotten into him to even be thinking seriously about this. But the alternative – not even trying – was even worse than being impulsive. Karl turned his head into the pillow and tried to sleep.


Note: I stole a few things from Thalialunacy: the Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and American Spirits cigarettes, the Frat Boy comment, and the “My mom’s not here, I do what I want!” line. Much love to her for all the inspiration over the years.

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Click on the story tag for the other chapters.

Chapter 10


Karl stepped out onto Bruce’s back patio and stopped to take in the panorama of lights and hills falling away from the railing. It was classic Hollywood Hills beauty. He found Bruce over in the corner with Anton and the assistant director, and went over to say hello.

“Karl!” Bruce, ever the gracious host, greeted him like a long lost brother, not someone he’d seen two days ago at work. “Welcome to my house. Did you get something to drink?”

Karl held up his eggnog. “This is good stuff. I don’t usually go in for it, but it tastes great.”

“Oh, it is,” Bruce assured him. “Amy made enough for an army, so drink up. There’s literally no way we could drink the leftovers ourselves. That shit better be gone by the end of the night. It’s lethal, though. You didn’t drive, did you?”

“No, cab. You’ve got a hell of a view here. Your morning coffee must be amazing.”

“The sad thing is I don’t really see anything for about two hours after I wake up, so the morning view is pretty much lost on me,” Bruce said, and Karl laughed.

“I see you invited Anton, even though he schooled you so badly you shouldn’t even think of playing chess ever again.”

Bruce scowled and said, “Hey, he’s a cheating little bastard and one of these days I’ll figure out how he does it.”

Karl grinned and stage whispered, “He’s just smarter than you and you can’t stand it.”

“Like hell he is. He’s an upstart little whippersnapper of a sub and I will have my victory.” He grinned at Karl. “Amy says the mental exercise is good for my decrepit old mind.”

“Smart woman.”

“Well, make yourself at home, seriously. Let me know if you need anything.”

Karl wondered off to say hi to the others, and maybe see if he could find Chris. He spotted him across the room with Zach and Zoe, but by the time he’d made his way over there, after being stopped and hugged on or back-slapped by at least three people, he was gone.

“Hey, guys,” Karl said when he finally made it over. “Merry Christmas.”

“Merry Christmas to you, too,” Zoe said, and reached out to hug him. “How are you doing?”

Karl shrugged awkwardly. ‘I can’t think about anything other than Chris and collaring him and how I probably screwed everything up’ didn’t seem like good party conversation. “I’m fine. How’s Chris?”

Zoe narrowed her eyes at him like she could see right through his deflection. “The little coward ran off when he saw you coming,” she said.

Zach snorted. “What do you expect? He’s upset and he feels spurned. You can’t expect him to be eager to have that conversation right here.”

Karl sighed. “You’re right. It’s just I called him earlier and he didn’t answer my call so what am I supposed to do?”

“Just give him some time,” Zach said. “Let me see what I can do to get him to talk to you. Just don’t expect a miracle.”

“I’m not, I just want to apologize. ” Karl said, then finished lamely, “I haven’t really figured out what else to say.”

“The truth is a good start,” Zach said, with enough aggression in his voice to tell Karl that Chris had filled him in on his side of the story.

Karl opened his mouth to defend himself when Zoe squeezed Zach’s arm in warning and cut in before Karl could speak. “An apology is a good place to start. Just make sure he’s okay and knows you care about him and arrange another time and place to work it all out if you’re not sure what to say.”

Zach pursed his lips but held his silence, and Karl nodded. “Wise council.”

Chris avoided Karl all night, though. Any time Karl got near him he eased away, keeping it casual enough most people probably didn’t notice - all he had to do was turn on the smile and most people were charmed enough to not notice he’d just run off in the middle of their conversation. Halfway through the night Karl was frustrated and drinking more of the eggnog than he should.

He finally managed to corner Chris in Bruce’s music room where he was playing a guitar and singing, drunkenly off key, with Bruce and a couple of other people. Chris faltered when he saw Karl leaning in the doorway, then studiously looked everywhere other than at Karl for the rest of the song.

“Behold, the Mighty Kirk in all his glory,” Karl joked when he finished up. Chris frowned and Karl wished he could take back the stupid comment. He sat down on the couch beside Bruce and tried to think of something else to say to lighten the mood.

“I’m sure Kirk had many moments of drunken revelry,” Bruce commented dryly. “He was far too much of a toppy playboy to have sat quietly with Spock in the Officer’s Lounge every night, fraternization be damned.”

“Shatner would never have stood for that,” Chris said, laughing.

Karl wanted to simultaneously hug Bruce for the save, and be irritated at him for having made Chris laugh when he couldn’t.

“Worlds may change, galaxies disintegrate - but a submissive always remains a submissive,” Chris said, quoting Kirk and mimicking Shatner’s voice dead on,with just enough extra-suave Kirk eyebrow to make everyone in the room laugh. Chris beamed, pleased with himself for the audience reaction.

“Oh, we still have a playboy in the role, just a subby one now ,” Bruce said. He grinned and winked at Chris and Karl irrationally wanted to punch him for the leer.

“You know, they have certain standards they have to keep up for the role,” Chris joked back.

“What, in all of Los Angeles they couldn’t find anyone toppy or playboy enough that they had to go with a sub?” Karl asked, knowing he was stepping over the razor edge of appropriate behavior and still somehow not being able to stop himself.

“Hey, a sub can play a top,” Chris said. His voice dropped just a bit, his posture straightened and broadened so he took up more space. His gaze met Karl’s and it had all the defiant challenge that a top would have in that instance. “What the hell do you think I’ve been doing all these months?”

It was a perfect Kirk persona and it was wrong, wrong, wrong on Chris, who should be soft and open and yielding to Karl. Chris’ challenge sparked through Karl, and the evening and weekend’s frustrations coalesced into the overwhelming desire to bring Chris to his knees.

He sat forward and rested his elbows on his knees, locking his gaze with Chris’. “You’ve been acting, but that’s not who you are.” He bit back on the ‘I want to see who you really are’ that also wanted to come out.

“Yeah, well, all acting comes from within,” Chris said, squaring his shoulders even more and looking like he might put aside the guitar and stand.

Karl gazed steadily at Chris while he imagined what Chris might do if Karl touched him right then. He let the desire fill him as he imagined the way Chris’ mouth might drop open if Karl touched his bottom lip or the way he might bend his head for Karl if he touched the back of his neck. He let the toppy headspace fill him up and change his posture and energy the way it did before he started a scene. “So does submission,” Karl said quietly.

Chris licked his lower lip as if he were anticipating Karl acting on his words. His bold posture was gone; now he set aside the guitar and smoothed his palms down his thighs, looking like he might actually slide off the chair onto his knees.

Karl stood, glass forgotten in his hand as Chris’ mouth actually did drop open as he looked up at Karl. His gaze was heated, hungry, and Karl wanted to kiss him until he’d forgotten his No Kissing rule completely.

Bruce shifting on the couch behind him brought crashing back home the awareness that there were others in the room and they were essentially in public. “Excuse me, I’ve got to find the loo,” he muttered and fled the room.

Bruce found him a short time later, leaning against the mailbox out front, just finishing up a request call for a cab. “What are you doing, Karl?”

Karl sighed and fished his lighter and pack from his jacket pocket. He hadn’t thought much about it when slipping them in his pocket on the way out, but he was glad to have them now. He lit up and exhaled, then said, “I don’t really know anymore. I was just being helpful to a friend, but that seems to have backfired.”

Bruce snorted. “No shit. That boy wants you in ways that aren’t friendly at all.”

“What he wants is a good time.”

“Bullshit. He almost went to his knees for you in there just because you looked at him. I haven’t seen anyone that far gone in a long while, and it isn’t casual. So what are you doing? Because you can’t keep running away from him.”

Karl flicked ash from his cigarette and watched it float away on the light breeze. “No, it isn’t casual anymore. That’s the problem. He likes our relationship how it is and I want my collar on his neck and that-“ He broke off, unsure how to adequately express the enormity of that statement and how he felt about it.

“Have you really talked to him about it?”

“No. I was supposed to be trying to do that tonight but he’s avoiding me. But what’s the point, really? Would he even really want to settle down?”

“That’s a question only he can answer,” Bruce pointed out. “Be careful thinking you know everything he’s thinking and what he’ll do. He deserves the chance to hear your side and answer that for himself.”

Karl nodded. It was a fair point.

“What does Natalie think about all this?”

“She’s supportive, but really, how would it even work? He lives here, I live there, I have kids and would he even want that?” He broke off and took another drag, trying to get his racing pulse back under control.

“It’s a lot to think about, yeah,” Bruce said sympathetically. “I’ve never had two subs before, never really wanted to, but I do know it complicates things a lot. Especially this situation. And Chris doesn’t strike me as an easy sub. He’ll require a lot of effort.”

“I never did either, before now,” Karl said. “Frankly, it’s terrifying. What if I can’t handle both of them, give them both what they need? Where the hell would we live? Just because he’s attracted to me doesn’t mean he wants any of this.”

Bruce laughed a bit in commiseration. “How do you know he isn’t thinking all the same stuff?”

After a pause Karl said, “Well, I don’t really. I’m just pretty sure he isn’t.”

“You know what they say about assumptions,” Bruce said, a touch of his usual humor returning. “Just talk to him.”

“Jesus, I know already. I’m trying.” After a pause Karl said, "I want him, Bruce. I want to be able to touch him whenever I want to. I want to introduce him to my kids and wife and see how he does. I want him at night, at home after work, the three of us. I want my collar around his neck. I know it will be difficult, but I can’t think of anything else lately and I can’t just ignore it. I haven’t been this way since I met Natalie."

Bruce chuckled at him. "You really are a hopeless romantic. Just be careful, okay?”

Karl heard the ‘don’t screw it up’ loud and clear. “Yeah, alright.”

“Call me if you need anything,” Bruce said, clapping him on his back as Chris’ cab pulled up. “Take it easy tonight.”

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Chapter 9

“Do you drink anything besides PBR?” Karl asked, grabbing a bottle of water from Chris’ fridge. He cracked it open and lent against the counter, watching as Chris wolfed down a couple of slices of pizza and his own water.

He shrugged. “I like it, it’s what I buy. Why is it a thing everybody finds so amusing?”

“Nothing, frat boy,” Karl murmured, grinning. “So, how was shooting in Bakersfield?”

“Eh, another round of hotels and driving and shooting in weird locations. Like last time, only this time I had to be up at like two in the morning for a five am call time.” He made an adorable yucky face that would have rivaled Karl’s boys. “Though it was cool to be able to film outside again, I haven’t done that in a long time. Bakersfield is pretty in the dawn light, and I got to imagine being Kirk out on the lonely road pondering my future,” he said, pretending to rev a motorcycle and making throaty noises.

“Sounds like a good time. Shooting went well?”

“Yeah, everything went pretty smoothly. I managed to find someone to Dom me the third night out, so I had pretty good focus and energy the whole time.”

Karl paused with his water bottle halfway to his mouth. “Oh? Who was that?”

“A chick I met at dinner the night before. She was real chill, kinda like you. We didn’t do anything too crazy, but she had a good vibe so I was able to go down pretty well.” He grinned over at Karl. “You’re right, you know. I do better when I’m more consistent with finding a partner.”

Karl took a swallow of water to cover his sudden irritation. It should make him happy to hear that Chris was looking out for his needs better since he’d lectured him on it enough, but strangely it didn’t. Instead, he suddenly had a knot between his shoulder blades that didn’t ease out when he rolled his shoulders. “I’m glad you were able to keep focused on filming like you needed to,” he said, which was true enough.

“She did this thing with her tongue-“ he cut off and waggled his eyebrows.

Karl had to force his hand to relax so he didn’t crush his bottle. He set it carefully to the side, nodding as if he cared about this chick that had apparently done things to Chris he never had.

“Anyway, a good time was had by all, and J. J. hasn’t bitched at me in weeks about keeping focused so I’m happy. It was a good trip.”

“That’s good,” Karl said inanely when he couldn’t find anything else to say. “Eat your pizza.”

Chris rolled his eyes, but finished up the rest. He looked relaxed and eager, full of positive energy from the road trip but not this side of manic like he got if he’d gone weeks without being taken down. Karl had no reason to get his hackles raised over another Dom being with Chris; their agreement was specifically not exclusive. The thing was, Chris had been coming to him more and more over the last few weeks since they shot in Fairfield. Lately they saw each other every weekend and usually once in the middle of the week, and for the most part Karl was pretty sure Chris didn’t have time to see anyone else in between. At some point he’d started thinking he was the only Dom in Chris’ life and he’d really liked it; hearing otherwise was like a slap in the face, even though it was never an assumption he’d had a right to make.

He headed over to Chris’ living room so he could get some space. He took a few deep breaths and shook his hands out to release the tension, and when he was ready he looked over Chris’ set-up. The brown and black leather floggers were out again, along a blindfold, and the blue hemp rope. Chris had asked for Shibari bondage several times since that first evening. He really did seem to enjoy it once he got over his initial anxiety with it.

Chris finished tidying up the kitchen and followed Karl in, pulling his shirt up over his head and dropping it on the couch.

“Blindfold is new,” Karl commented.

Chris nodded. “I haven’t done that in a long time, bondage with a blindfold. I used to like it, the way not being able to see heightened the anticipation so much, made it so much better. I wanted to try it with you, see if I still felt that way. Since I know I can trust you.”

Karl blinked. It never failed to amaze him when Chris said stuff like that. He never quite knew how to respond. “Sure, we can try it,” he said, smiling.

Chris smiled back, the genuine, eye-crinkling smile that so rarely came out in public but which made Karl’s stomach dip every time Chris directed it at him. Right about then he’d do anything Chris asked for.

Chris stripped out of the rest of his clothes – he’d long since lost any shyness he may have had about being naked in front of Karl, even though they didn’t always strip completely for everything – and knelt on the pillow by the couch.

“Start with the bondage?” Karl asked, holding up the rope. When Chris nodded Karl brought it and the blindfold over and sat on the couch so they were closer to eye level. “How do you want to do it?”

“In back so you can bend me over the couch and whip me, Sir,” Chris said.

Karl had to use all his control not to get hard at the request. He cleared his throat. “Blindfold now or later?”

“Now please, Sir.”

Karl leaned forward and slipped it over Chris’ head, running his thumbs along the bottom edge and the elastic to make sure it was positioned correctly, trying not to linger on Chris’ face. “Comfortable? Do you feel okay?”

“Yes, Sir, I’m fine.”

“Tell me right away if it’s too much, I’ll take it off.”

Chris smiled an amused half smile. “I know you will, that’s why I’m doing it with you and not someone else. Despite popular opinion I’m not a complete dumbass in this arena.”

“Don’t get cocky now. We don’t have to do anything at all tonight.”

Chris wiped the smile off his face and said quickly, “No, Sir.”

“Very good,” Karl murmured. If Chris were his he’d punish him for his smart mouth by gagging him, but he wasn’t. It was hard lately to hold back on the impulse to go that extra step and truly claim Chris in the ways he wanted to, especially when he said things like that that implied more trust than Karl thought he really meant.

Karl moved around behind Chris and positioned his hands how he wanted them – bent at the elbow and each hand grasping the opposite forearm – and began the process of building a shoulder harness that would also hold his arms where Karl had placed them. As always, the rope and the feel of Chris’ skin calmed him, letting that satisfying feeling of control bloom in his mind and wind through his chest and body.

When he was satisfied it was secure he rested his palms on Chris’ shoulders. “Not too much? You doing ok with the blindfold?”

“I’m good, Sir,” Chris said, and his voice had that ever-so-slight slur that meant he was starting to go down. “It’s good, like I remember it. Just feeling the rope, feeling contained right here where you put me, how you want me.” He flexed against the rope, feeling it’s boundaries against his skin and body the way submissives did when they were enjoying their bondage and were trying to sharpen the feeling. “Makes me feel like I’m yours. Want to feel like this all the time.”

The words hit him like a punch to the gut and the desire to bite and mark Chris’ neck slammed into him. “Oh, damn,” Karl muttered, and lent forward so his forehead rested between Chris’ shoulder blades. The words echoed in his head - I’m yours, all the time. His hands flexed on Chris’ shoulders and he wanted to push Chris down and make him beg Karl to claim him. His hands shook with the effort of keeping himself from that.

He wanted that, he wanted it more than anything right now, more than he’d even really let himself know, and to hear Chris say it right there where Karl could act on it and do anything he wanted to Chris made him feel like the bottom had just dropped out of his world. Did Chris really mean it? Was he just half-drunk on endorphins and saying whatever felt like the right thing to say to keep the scene going how he wanted it to? He didn’t know Chris’ motives and couldn’t trust himself to act correctly without all the information he needed, not with his own need to dominate surging within him.

“Baseball,” Karl said, the word coming out shaky. He started untying the knots he’d just finished, his movements turning a little frantic when he couldn’t get them undone fast enough.

Chris turned his head a little, though he couldn’t see, and said in a confused voice, “What?”

“Baseball,” Karl said. “I have to stop.” He pulled the last knot free and pulled the blindfold off Chris and slid back away across the floor a few feet. He got his phone out of his pocket and dialed Zoe’s number.

“What’s wrong,” Chris said, face full of concern as he turned around and crawled across the floor to Karl, reaching out to touch his knee.

“Don’t,” Karl said, a little sharper than he’d intended. He put his hand out to stop Chris from touching him just as Zoe picked up.

“Hey, Karl, how’s it going?”

“Are you available to come to Chris’ house right now? It’s urgent.”

“Yeah, Zach and I are actually at dinner not too far away,” Zoe said, her voice turning serious. “We can be there in fifteen.”

“What the hell’s going on? What’s wrong,” Chris asked, his expression half way to panicked.

“Come right now,” Karl said and thumbed the call off. “I’m fine, Chris. I’m not hurt, it’s fine.”

“Like hell it is. I tell you I’m having a good time and you suddenly lose it? What the fuck, man?”

“Is that all you meant, that you were having a good time?”

“What?” Confusion washed across his face.

“You heard me. Answer the question.”

“Of course I was having a good time. You’re the one who safeworded, not me.”

Karl lent forward and grabbed Chris by the back of the head and caught Chris’ gaze in a hard stare. “You said it made you want to be mine all the time. Did you mean it? Tell me the truth, Chris, or I swear to God-“ he cut himself off and loosened his hand where it had tightened too hard on Chris’ head.

A look of comprehension dawned on Chris’ face. “Is that what this is about? I tell you, finally, that I like the relationship we have and you wig out like this?”

The problem was they didn’t have a relationship. They were fuck buddies – without the fucking - and he had just realized he was in love with Chris, full on head over heels, and fuck buddies wasn’t good enough. Karl took a sharp, hard breath and then another, willing his hands to stop shaking. “Are you hurt at all? Are you okay mentally? I mean, not still in subspace or anything.”

“No, you knocked me out of that pretty good. I’m not in subspace, I’m not hurt, I just don’t understand what the fuck is going on with you.”

Karl let Chris go and stood up, pulling his shoes on by the front door. “I just need a minute. Come get me if you need anything. Seriously.” He saw Chris’ pack of cigarettes and lighter that were sitting on the front hall table and swiped them as he went outside.

He lit up and took a deep drag. He hadn’t smoked in years, but the calming nicotine rush hadn’t changed in all that time. He paced a tight circle by the door, then another, trying to get his breathing to slow and his stomach to stop feeling like it was on a roller coaster ride. It didn’t work. By the time he saw lights coming up the road he was on his second cigarette and was if anything feeling worse. He headed down the front walk to meet them in the driveway.

“Is someone hurt,” Zach asked, opening the door and getting out before Zoe even had the car fully in park.

“Chris is inside. He’s not hurt, he’s fine. Go check on him though.”

Zoe got out and came around the car to him. “Karl, what’s wrong? You look like shit, don’t tell me you’re fine.”

“I-“ Karl started, but then didn’t know what to say. ‘I’m in love with Chris and he doesn’t love me back’ seemed so incredibly stupid and he suddenly felt like a complete asshole for losing his shit so thoroughly. Instead, he just muttered, “Jesus,” and took another drag.

“I didn’t even know you smoked,” Zoe said. She plucked the cigarette from his fingers and dropped it on the grass, snubbing it out.

“I don’t,” Karl said helplessly. “Not anymore.”

“Honey, what’s wrong?” Her voice was soft and sympathetic, not judgmental, and he sort of broke.

“I think I fell in love with him, and I just realized it, and I can’t keep doing this halfway thing anymore when he doesn’t feel the same way.” He slumped back against the car, leaning his head back so he could stare at the unfeeling sky and not have to see her face.

“You just realized it?”

“He said I make him feel good and like he wants to be mine all the time and I want him, Zoe. I want my collar on his neck and I want him to be mine every second of every day, for real. None of this scene shit twice a week and then he just goes on his way like nothing happened. He said that and I realized I can’t do that anymore-“ He cut himself off. He was breathing too harshly and was mortified to find his eyes were stinging. He lent forward and put his hands on his knees and just breathed.

Moments later Zoe rubbed a firm hand over his shoulders. “I know how you feel, I feel the same about Zach. I wanted to tie him down for a week when I first realized I was in love with him. I want to throttle all the people who have to touch him for work. It’s hard sometimes, dealing with it.” She paused, then asked delicately, “Why do you think he doesn’t feel the same way?”

“Because he said he likes our relationship the way it is,” Karl said miserably.

“Oh.” Zoe rubbed his back for a while and Karl found himself relaxing by increments. “This isn’t really my place, but you really need to talk to him about this. I think you may be misunderstanding him.”

Karl laughed, but it was short and harsh. “Not much to misunderstand there.”

“You know trust is hard for him. Even if he hasn’t told you I know you’ve picked up on it, you’re too good a Dom not to have seen it. Just talk to him and give him some time to sort it out.”

Karl rubbed a hand over his face. “I know, I will. Just not tonight. I can’t deal with that right now.”

Zoe nodded. “Does Natalie know?”

Karl stuffed his hands into his pockets. “Yeah. She’s encouraged me to do what feels right, but this is more than just helping out a friend or having a summer fling. This could change everything and I don’t really know how to dump that on his lap without him freaking out.”

Zoe’s mouth twisted wryly. “He’s not the only one freaking out, to be fair.”

Karl huffed a laugh. “That’s true. God, I feel like such an idiot right now.”

“Don’t. You know scenes can be intense, and even more so when there are deep feelings involved. Why do you think we spend so much time negotiating and discussing safe words and limits and stuff? We talk about protecting the submissive a lot, but dominants need just as much care.” She bumped his shoulder lightly. “You know all that, you’re just overwhelmed.”

“Ain’t that the truth,” Karl muttered.

“Look, if you can’t deal with him tonight I’ll go get your stuff and bring it out - if you promise to talk to him at the party tomorrow. Can’t leave my boy hanging for too long.”

“I will,” Karl said, and he jabbed her lightly with his elbow. “And he’s not your boy.”

“Hmm, touche,” Zoe murmured, and walked off to the house.

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Chapter 8


“I’m glad you just wanted to stay in tonight,” Karl said, handing Chris a beer and flopping back down on the couch with his own bottle and laying his head back. “I’m totally beat.”

“Getting too old to handle the schedule?” Chris teased.

Karl turned his head to glare over at him. “Don’t pull that, I know you’re just as tired as I am.”

Chris laughed ruefully. “I must be getting old, too, if a little make believe has me worn out after a few months.”

“This is not an easy life, by any means. Don’t let them fool you.” Karl said, and Chris hummed a bit. “Anyway, fourteen hour days spent doing anything will wear a person out.”

“It has been crazy lately. I do like how things are going, though. It was absolutely amazing to start working with Nimoy, wasn’t it? He and Zach are so much alike, the fans are going to go crazy with that!”

Karl smiled, remembering the silence that had fallen when Nimoy had come on set, and the absolute reverent eagerness everyone had displayed, including J. J. “It was surreal. I’ve been watching Trek since I was a kid and Mr. Spock always seemed so larger than life. In a weird way Leonard is too, even though he seems like a nice guy. I cannot believe we get to spend the next few months working with him. It’s like every actor’s dream, to work with someone they idolized growing up, and it’s actually real for us.”

Chris grinned over at him. “It’s utterly stupid that they pay us to get to do this job, isn’t it? I mean, I know I complain sometimes, but seriously, we are so lucky compared to what we could be doing.”

“I know, it’s why I keep doing it. Being part of movie magic is amazing. I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”

Chris rolled his eyes. “You are the sappiest geek I’ve ever met.”

Karl shoved at him good naturedly, then considered his next words carefully. It may be intrusive, but he decided to ask anyway since they were sharing and all. “You seem to be pretty positive about work lately. Things must be going well for you personally?”

Chris tapped his fingers for a moment before answering. “I’m doing alright. The Gaila scene went well and so did our away shooting. Thanks for your help.”

“Any time,” Karl said.

Chris eyed him. “You actually mean that, don’t you? I didn’t think you were the type to step outside of your marriage.”

“Yes, I mean that. Otherwise I wouldn’t have said it. And we aren’t completely monogamous. Mostly, but not completely.”

“Really? You don’t strike me as the type.”

Karl quirked an eyebrow. “Why is that?”

“Dunno, just don’t.” Chris looked away and shrugged one shoulder. “I guess you just seem like a one sub kinda guy.”

Karl considered how to answer that before deciding on the truth. He’d brought up the topic after all, and Chris hadn’t completely cut it off. “I’ve had one other submissive before, sort of separate from my marriage with Natalie. He and I were together for some months while I was away filming, but Natalie did visit and was also involved with him. It’s rare for us, but it has happened.”

“So Natalie was okay with you being with him?”

“Of course she was. I talked to her about it first, I’d never just start something with another submissive without her consent.” The other penny dropped, and Karl saw what Chris was talking around. “She knows about you, too, you know. We talked about you before anything happened that night and she was fully in support of me helping you out.”

Chris looked a little relieved, and Karl wondered if he’d been worrying about that.

“We should call her sometime, let you talk and get to know her a little,” Karl said. “I think you’d like her.”

“Yeah, all right,” Chris said. ”We can do that sometime.”

Karl took a sip of his beer to cover his smile. Chris looked about as eager for that conversation as he did about going to the dentist . He might need a little time to get used to the idea of talking to Karl’s submissive, so Karl let him off the hook by changing the subject.

Several hours and beers later Chris was sprawled across the couch laughing his ass off while he attempted to tell Karl the story of how Zach had once tried to make homemade tomato soup but the blender had exploded and coated the ceiling in red. It had come out all garbled, though, and Karl couldn’t understand half of it because Chris had gotten sidetracked on how amazing grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato and fresh spinach were and hadn’t quite finished the story.

He hiccupped a last couple of laughs and then rolled over onto his back to look up at Karl, his legs dangling over the armrest. “Anyway. You didn’t think that was very funny.”

“I still haven’t figured out exactly what went on, but I think it’s hilarious that you obviously find it funny.”

“You’re a good guy, Karl.”

“Thanks,” Karl said, curious to see where Chris would go with that.

“Why would you want me and Natalie to talk?”

“Because you’re my friend, and I generally want the people I like to get along. Also, if I’m going to Dom you some more I’d like you to know her at least a little.”

“That’s fair,” Chris said softly.

“Am I going to Dom you some more?”

Chris’ reply was slow. “Maybe.”

“Why maybe?”

“It feels weird, like I’m somehow getting in between you two or something.” He reached up and grabbed Karl’s left hand, bringing it in front of his face and tracing the outline of the heart on his ring finger. “I don’t get involved with married people.”

“You aren’t getting in between us,” Karl said. At least, not in the way Karl actually wanted him in between them. “That’s why I want you to know her a bit, so you can be comfortable. I don’t like getting involved with people who aren’t comfortable with me.”

Chris snorted softly. “It’s not you I’m worried about.”

Karl turned his wrist so he could squeeze Chris’ fingers. “Do you trust me?”

Chris fell still and looked up at him. “Yeah.”

“Then let me know when you’re ready to talk to her. It’ll be fine.”

“Promise?” Chris whispered.

“Promise,” Karl said, letting go of Chris’ hand before he did something unforgiveable like lace their fingers together.

Chris tucked one hand under his head and seemed to stare out into space a little before saying, “Well, we might as well get it over with. Call her up.”

Karl chuckled. “Great attitude there, buddy.” But he went and got the laptop and sat back down beside Chris, who was sitting up and straightening out his hair and shirt. Not that it did him any good; he still looked tired and drunk and obviously anxious. Karl squeezed his knee before booting up the machine and program.

“Karl!” Natalie grinned at him through the screen and he grinned back. “I wasn’t expecting you tonight, weren’t you and Chris hanging out?”

“Hey, love. Yes, we are.” Karl turned the laptop so she could see Chris, who waved awkwardly at her. “I thought it might be nice to finally introduce you.”

“It’s good to meet you, Chris,” Natalie said. “Karl talks about you all the time, I feel like I know you a bit already.”

Chris eyed him sideways and Karl had to work not to squirm in embarrassment.

“Karl talks about you a lot, too,” Chris said, then put a hand up and stage whispered, “You’ve got him wrapped around your little finger. I’m pretty sure you could get him to dance naked in the middle of Medical if you asked him to.”

Natalie grinned wickedly. “Oh, that’s no secret. It gets used to great effect, trust me.”

Karl groaned and dropped his head back on the couch. This was a bad idea already.


~~~


“We don’t really do much bondage,” Chris said out of nowhere.

Karl looked over to where Chris was sprawled out on the other end of the sofa, watching the game. “I didn’t think it was something you much wanted to do,” he said. “You’ve only ever brought over the leather cuffs.”

Chris shrugged faux-casually. “That’s usually as far as I go, but I wanted to try rope bondage sometime. I brought some with me this weekend.”

Karl raised an eyebrow. This was the first time Chris had asked to introduce something new to their evenings together without Karl prompting, and it pleased Karl that he had. Especially since the way Chris was studiously avoiding his gaze meant this was something that had made him nervous in the past, and probably still did at least a bit. “I like Shibari, too. What did you have in mind?”

“Something lighter to start off with,” Chris said to his lap. “Maybe just the hands?”

Karl considered this. “I think you’d look great with your arms tied behind back. Have you done that before? Would that be too much?”

“Yeah, I’ve done that. I like it.” He paused, then said quickly, “We can do it.”

Karl smiled. “Now?” When Chris nodded he said, “Get the rope and your kneeling pillow.”

Chris hustled over to his bag fast enough that Karl was pretty sure he’d been thinking about this for a while now. Karl liked the idea of Chris fanaticizing about Karl tying him up for hours or days before getting the nerve up to ask. It made him feel warm that Chris had felt like he could ask.

Chris brought him a medium length of blue rope and Karl ran it through his hands. Hemp, very soft, very well broken in. Possibly something Chris had had a long time. He pointed to the floor in front of him and Chris dropped the pillow and knelt down.

“Tell me what makes you nervous about bondage.”

Chris’ eyes cut to the side quickly before he looked back up at Karl. He shrugged a little. “I don’t know, just the immobility?” Karl waited quietly and Chris eventually added, “I just worry about getting out.”

“Why didn’t you also bring me your safety shears?” Karl asked gently. “I know you have them, I’ve seen them in your bag.”

Chris’ gaze cut away again, and when he didn’t answer after long moments Karl reached out and turned his chin back to face Karl.

“We don’t have to do anything you aren’t comfortable with. Even if you want to at some later point, if you’re too anxious about it right now we can wait. But you have to talk to me, otherwise I could make a bad choice and hurt us both.”

Chris fidgeted for a few moments before saying in a hoarse voice, “I had a Dom ignore my safeword while I was bound. Full body Shibari immobilization. I couldn’t get out until he let me out.”

Fury rose in Karl and it took all of his self control to not let it show on his face. The idea that anyone would violate their submissive in that way – would violate Chris in that way – made him angry beyond words. He took a couple of deep breaths until he was sure he could control his voice.

“Listen to me, Chris. I will always respect your safeword and never knowingly do anything to harm you. Never. You are safe with me, but I will understand if you don’t feel that way at any point. Just talk to me.”

“I know I am,” Chris said, and his gaze was direct enough that Karl believed him. “I wouldn’t have brought the rope if I didn’t feel safe. It’s just… hard, sometimes, to get past that.”

“I understand,” Karl said, and reached out to squeeze Chris’ shoulder. “Thank you for telling me. I can tell it was hard, and I appreciate you doing it.”

Chris nodded and smiled a bit. He looked a little tense still but he’d lost that anxious look. Karl slid his hand around the back of his neck so he could massage some of the tension out of his neck, and he was gratified when Chris seemed to instantly relax and tip his head forward at the touch.

“We don’t have to do it today. Anything you want is fine.”

After a while Chris said, “I want to. I’ve wanted to try it with you for weeks now. Just maybe not anything extensive.”

“Sure. We can do your wrists and forearms only if that’s a good place to start. Hands in front or behind?”

“Behind,” Chris said after a pause.

“Tell me your safeword,” Karl said. He hadn’t made Chris recite his safeword at the start of an evening for weeks, but he felt it would help Chris be more comfortable.

“Baseball,” Chris said promptly, and he smiled a little. Karl smiled back.

“Anything I need to avoid?”

Chris fidgeted, but didn’t look away when he said, “Just nothing harsh right now.”

“Works for me,” Karl said and squeezed Chris’ neck. He hadn’t ever done anything harsh with Chris, but he figured the request had more to do with this past Dom than with himself. “Turn a little bit,” he said, directing Chris to turn to the side so he could get up and get the scissors. He put them to the side so Chris could see them and then knelt behind him.

Chris put his hands behind his back, crossed at the wrist and palms open. Karl ran his palms down Chris’ arms, squeezing gently just above the wrists. He untied the knot in the rope keeping it neatly coiled together and found the black stitching that indicated the center of the rope.

He squeezed Chris’ crossed wrists again before saying, “Still sure about this?”

“Yes, Sir,” Chris said, softly but confidently, and Karl couldn’t help the smile that broke out across his face.

He positioned Chris’ hands how he wanted and began the process of binding them together, the blue a beautiful contrast to Chris’ golden skin. The rope felt good, smooth through his grip as he pulled it over and around and through, and Chris’ palms remained open and relaxed. Welcome toppy headspace welled up and pushed out the previous anger. He checked the tightness of the rope, satisfied it wasn’t too constrictive and happy with the knot and the look of the rope winding up Chris’ forearms.

“That isn’t too tight, is it?”

“No, Sir. It’s good,” Chris said after flexing against the rope to test it.

Karl stood and squeezed back around to sit on the couch. Chris looked alert, not exactly anxious but not as relaxed as Karl would have liked, either. “Want to just kneel for me for a bit, get used to the rope again? We can just watch a bit of TV.”

“Okay,” Chris said, settling back on his heels and shifting a bit so he could see the screen better.

After long minutes Chris still hadn’t relaxed any further, so Karl reached out and pulled him closer so he could rest his shoulder against the couch and lay his head on Karl’s knee. “More comfortable?” When Chris nodded, Karl said, “We don’t have to do anything else unless or until you want to. Just relax.” Karl rubbed his palm through Chris’ hair, scratching lightly with his nails. He smiled when that last bit of tension went out of Chris, and settled in for a relaxing night.

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Chapter 7

“Alright folks,” J.J. called from behind the camera. “We’re set up, positions please!”

Karl and Chris took their place beside the little green computer screen. When J. J. called action Karl tried to keep up his serious doctor face while he did his wave-the-scanner-around-Kirk’s-head routine like he’d been doing all day while they ran up and down one fake hallway after another.

“We have to stop the ship,” Chris said, grabbing Karl’s face and pulling him close so fast Karl lost his balance and stumbled into him, hands coming up to Chris’ waist to catch himself while his eyes caught on Chris’ bright blue gaze right before they bumped noses.

“Oh god, sorry!” Karl said before hastily backing up and out of Chris’ space and turning to J. J. “Sorry about that!” This was the third time the scene had been botched for stupid reasons and Karl really, really wanted to move on so he could get away from Chris.

“It’s all right. You just want my big hands all over you,” Chris said, lightly slapping his prosthetic hand against Karl’s face.

Karl batted him away, trying hard not to stare him down and say, ‘No, what I really want are my hands on you, fingering you open so I can fuck you.’ Instead, he just rolled his eyes and said, “Size jokes? Are we still twelve?”

The thing was, it was starting to get to him. They were filming the scenes where Bones snuck Kirk onboard the Enterprise and then went tearing through the halls after Kirk. Apparently this required he touch Chris constantly to jab him with hypos, and ‘take readings’ of his allergic reactions, and put his hand over Chris’ when he started absently picking at the prosthetic hands for the tenth time. Chris had started the day by handing him a Lamil’s coffee with a wink, doctored exactly how he liked it, and then had been in his personal space since they’d stepped on set. Karl had intended to keep things professional but as distant as he could so as not to make Chris feel uncomfortable. Instead, he practically got a lapful of bouncing Chris Pine that wouldn’t leave him alone, and he still wasn’t sure how he should be dealing with it. He was relieved when J. J. was happy with the next take and Karl was told to disappear until he was called back for shooting the next scene.

“Hey, ready to jab me some more?” Chris asked, throwing his arm around Karl’s shoulders as they both approached the Medical Bay set again.

Karl had hoped that the break apart – Chris to get his fake hands removed, Karl in his trailer Skyping with his family and trying to forget all about Chris – would have lessened the tension, but it didn’t. Chris was grinning just as eagerly as before and Karl had placed his hand on Chris’ back to draw him in closer without even thinking about it.

“I think we’re done with the jabbing for today,” Karl said, before pulling away and ushering Chris onto the set before him so he could get some space.

When J. J. called for places Chris and Karl took theirs outside the Medical bay doors. Chris hooked his arm over Karl’s shoulders again. He was warm and close enough for Karl to smell his cologne, and it felt alarmingly natural to wrap his arm around his waist to pull him close.

“You can jab me anytime you like,” Chris said, squeezing Karl’s shoulders a little. His voice was pitched low and warm, and Karl got half hard right as J. J. called action.

It threw him off for the rest of the take, though he managed not to botch it. The day didn’t get any better, but why should he have thought it would? The whole scene with Bones half carrying a drugged Kirk into Medical meant Chris was literally hanging off him for the next few hours, warm and pliable while Karl manhandled him around. Karl was relieved beyond words when J. J. finally let them go for the day, only to be cornered by Chris on his way out.

“Want to grab a drink tonight?”

Karl paused, surprised by the question. Chris hadn’t called him for days after Karl stopped pestering him for updates on how he was feeling after their time together, and Karl had assumed he hadn’t had much interest in keeping up the relationship.

Chris’ face fell a bit and he hastily said, “We don’t have to if you’ve got plans or something. No biggie.”

Karl was still a little hard from having his hands all over Chris. The last thing he needed was to complicate things even further with alcohol and bro time. He cleared his throat. “No, I’d like to, it’s just that tonight’s not a good night. Uh, rain check?”

“Yeah, sure. We’ll talk later or something.”

He waved and walked off. His expression had been cheerful, but Karl thought there may have been some lingering disappointment. It made him a little hopeful there may actually be some sort of a relationship in the future.


~~~


Things got better after that. They did get that drink, and though it was awkward at first pretty soon they fell back into a comfortable pattern. The next time Chris came to him as a submissive was while they were filming on an away location, at the Budweiser plant in Fairfield.

The ride up was tedious, but made better with Chris’ company to laugh at his stupid jokes. They were on the road for almost seven hours, the longest time they’d spent together in close proximity, and they’d talked about everything from Chris’ highschool dream of playing pro baseball to what made their Kirk and McCoy different from Shatner and Kelly’s.

They’d hauled their luggage up to their hotel rooms when Chris paused at his door, right next to Karl’s. “Want to come over? We’ve got a couple of hours before turning in.”

“Let me dump my stuff and I’ll be over.”

Chris opened the door right after Karl knocked. He had a cigarette dangling from his lip. “I’m about to light one up outside. Coming out?”

Karl shrugged and followed Chris onto the tiny balcony that overlooked the parking lot. At least it had two chairs. “Fancy digs they have us holed up in.”

Chris lit up, then blew smoke away from Karl. “Brad Pitt we are not, my friend. We’re lucky they hired up for the job at all.”

Karl snorted. Truth was truth, though. He made a decent living, but he’d never been a real movie star. “Have you seen the way the paps follow him around? Not sure I’d be up to that.”

Chris laughed. “Has Zach never sent you any of the pap photos of us? He loves to send me the ones where they get me going for coffee at ass-o’clock and critique my ‘look.’ As if anyone has a look before they’ve fully woken up.”

“Yeah, rocking the white tee-shirt every morning isn’t a choice or anything. Not at all.”

“Hey, don’t you start. I get enough of that from Zach and my mom, thanks.”

Karl smiled and slouched down in his chair, angling his body so he could stretch his legs out. He bumped his foot against Chris’. “You antsy or something? This is your third in an hour.”

Chris exhaled and tapped his ash over the railing, shrugging a little. “Long car ride. And it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve been with anyone.”

Karl stilled. They’d talked about everything under the sun since they’d started talking again – except this. He was keeping his voice casual, but now that Karl was looking he could see the tension in Chris’ jaw. He’d spent the whole ride up relishing Chris’ company yet trying not to cross whatever shifting line Chris had about getting too personal. He hadn’t noticed the tension because he’d done his best to keep his eyes off Chris as much as possible; lingering gazes only served to frustrate his libido.

“Unable to find anyone?” Karl asked quietly.

“We’ve been busy. I hadn’t really felt like hitting the scene, you know? Mostly just crashed at home.”

Karl winced at the idea of a needy Chris sprawled out on the couch, too exhausted to go out and find what he needed. “I wish you’d called. I told you I’d help you out when you needed it.”

Chris looked over at him through narrowed eyes while he pulled on his cig then blew it out slowly. “I didn’t want to impose. We’ve all been shooting those long Bridge shots, you’ve been tired too.”

“It’s not an imposition when you’ve been invited. Besides, you know your shot list is heavier than mine is anyway. I would have done it for you.” He sat up in his chair and scooted it back as far as it would go, and moved the little table between them out of the way. “Come here,” he said, motioning for Chris to kneel in front of him.

Chris regarded him for a long moment before slowly stubbing out his cigarette and then coming to kneel in front of Karl. Karl reached out and traced the faint frowning crease between Chris’ brows.

“You’re no good to anyone if you’re a worn out mess. You have to take care of yourself. This is just as important as eating and sleeping.” Chris snorted softly and Karl wrapped his hand around the back of Chris’ neck and squeezed the tense muscles there. Chris groaned and dropped his head forward so Karl could dig his fingers in better. “You see what I mean.”

“Yeah,” Chris said in a voice already drowsy. “You offering something tonight or just teasing?”

“If I tease you you’ll know it,” Karl said. “Of course I’m offering. What do you need?”

Chris shook his head and pushed back into Karl’s hand. “I don’t know, just something to put me to sleep.”

Karl stilled his hand. “Look at me, Chris.” Chris looked up, expression halfway to relaxed but suddenly a little wary. “Anything you don’t want tonight?”

“Nothing too extreme. I just want to go to sleep and sleep for a week. Maybe just a spanking?”

“If that’s what you want that’s what we’ll do. What’s your safeword?”

Chris raised a wry eyebrow. “I think I can handle a spanking.”

Karl squeezed his neck hard. “You’ll use it if you need it no matter how light our activity, or I won’t Dom you. Understood?”

“Yes,” Chris said quickly.

“Yes what?”

“Yes, Sir,” Chris said.

“Very good,” Karl said, stroking his thumb soothingly up the back of his neck. “Now what is it?”

“Baseball.”

“Go inside and strip and kneel on the bed.”

Chris scrambled up to comply and Karl got up to search in the bathroom for a little travel bottle of lotion. When he came out Chris was kneeling nicely at the foot of the bed with his palms on his thighs, knees apart. His gaze caught on the bottle and widened a little. No doubt he thought Karl intended something sexual with the lotion, and he smothered a smile at the thought. He walked around to the headboard and Chris twisted around to look back at him.

“No one gave you permission to move,” Karl said, his voice sliding into that deeper, firmer Dominant register with the words.

Chris turned back around quickly. “Sorry, Sir,” he said quickly.

It felt good to feel the powerful headspace settling in. It was sometimes hard for him to get there while Skyping with Natalie because of the physical distance. Having a submissive kneeling for him in the flesh was a luxury he intended to enjoy.

He piled the pillows together against the headboard then kicked off his shoes and settled down on the bed sitting up against the pillows. “Come here, Chris.”

Chris turned and crawled up the bed to him, and god that was a gorgeous sight Karl would never forget: broad, muscled shoulders, narrow hips, cock half hard, and gaze locked on Karl’s. It almost made him decide to use the lotion sexually after all. Except, the erection was probably just an automatic reaction to the anticipation of getting spanked.

He sighed and patted his thigh. “Over my lap.”Chris settled down over his thighs, round ass in the air and his face buried in his crossed arms. Luckily the bed was wide enough for him to fit. Karl ran his hand up Chris’ back to the back of his head and pushed gently until Chris turned his head. “I want to see your face.”

He wanted to be able to gauge Chris’ reactions, but also on a purely selfish level he wanted the pleasure of watching Chris go down. When Chris’ eyes slid shut Karl tapped his cheek.

“Open your eyes. I want you looking at me the whole time until I tell you otherwise. Understood?”

“Understood, Sir,” Chris said quietly. The crease was still there and Karl wondered if direct eye contact was unusual for him.

Karl stroked Chris from nape to waist a few times until his muscles relaxed a little. He settled his hand over Chris’ right butt cheek. “You will count them, and then thank me for each one. Ready?”

Chris nodded and Karl landed the first blow, moderately hard, and then paused.

“One. Thank you, Sir,” Chris said.

His eyes had widened a bit and his butt tensed, but he relaxed quickly. Karl hit the other cheek, and smiled at Chris when he counted and thanked Karl promptly. Chris smiled back just a little bit.

Karl settled into a rhythm, steady enough to build tension but with enough time for Chris to count and thank him. Chris was right, he was exhausted and it didn’t take long before all the tension had drained right out of him and his gaze, though steady throughout, had gone a little unfocused. When the crease had completely disappeared from his brow Karl paused.

“Feeling good, Chris?”

“Yeah, it’s good, Sir,” Chris said, and his words were soft around the edges.

Karl patted Chris’ thigh. “Lift up and lie down on a pillow up here.” He helped Chris up and got his head settled on a pillow up at the head of the bed, making sure to turn back the sheets first. He squirted a good amount of lotion into his hand then rubbed his hands together to warm it before placing his hands on Chris’ shoulders and digging his thumbs into the muscles.

“A massage? When you pulled out the lotion I thought…” He trailed off and Karl grinned.

“You know what they say about assumptions.” Chris hummed, then groaned loudly when Karl hit a particularly tight knot. Karl put both thumbs on the spot, enjoying the positively orgasmic face Chris made as Karl worked him over. “We’ll have you feeling good for tomorrow.”

“Man, you can come over and do this any time you want,” Chris slurred, then stretched and burrowed his face further into the pillow.

Karl moved down his back, Chris moaning the whole way but gradually growing quieter until Karl thought he was about half asleep by the time he hit his waist.

“How are you?” Karl whispered.

“I’m great. Thanks, Karl,” Chris whispered back, eyes shut, lashes a golden smudge across his cheek in the soft light.

Karl hadn’t given Chris permission to let go of protocol, but it didn’t matter. He was happy to see Chris sated and comfortable, and he had the satisfaction of a job well done. He climbed off the bed and pulled the sheet across Chris. “Call me if you need anything,” he said, and at Chris’ nod he pulled on his shoes and let himself out.


Karl slid into the booth next to Chris the morning after at breakfast in the hotel restaurant. “How you feeling?”

“Fantastic,” Chris said, shoving a huge chunk of sausage patty into his mouth. “Slept like the fucking dead.”

Karl rolled his eyes, but smiled privately to himself. He was happy to see Chris looked back to his normal self. “I told you to call me when you needed to,” he said, and stole a sip of Chris’ coffee while he waited for the waiter to make his way over.

“I guess you weren’t just saying the polite thing, huh?”

Karl lent his arms on the table and looked over at Chris. “No, I wasn’t. I wouldn’t mess around like that. I like seeing you relaxed and happy, and I’m happy to help you get there.”

Chris paused and looked at Karl like he was re-evaluating him. “Okay.”

“So stop being a dumbass and acting like I’m going to suddenly whip out a locking collar and demand you kneel at my bed for the rest of your life if you knock on my door. There are no strings attached.”

Chris ducked his head and grinned and shoved a piece of toast into his mouth. “Yeah, okay. I got it,” he said around his mouthful of food, spraying a few crumbs.

Karl reached up and knocked him lightly on the back of the head before laying his arm across the back of the booth. “Manners, Christopher. What would your mom say.”

“My mom’s not here, I do what I want,” he declared, and Karl laughed.

pslasher: (Default)
Click on the story tag for the other chapters.

Chapter 6

Chris was back the next night. He dumped a large duffel bag down inside the door and took off his shoes. “I brought the good stuff, man.”

“Excellent.” Karl picked up the bag then nodded towards the kitchen. “You want anything to eat or drink?”

“Nah, I ate before I came, and I’ve got some chilled water and juice in the bag for later.”

Karl nodded. He had all that in his own fridge just in case Chris forgot anything, but he appreciated someone who came prepared. “I’ve got us set up here in the living room, if that’s okay with you.” He figured it would be comfortable enough, without being as intimate as the bedroom.

“I’m cool with that, yeah.”

Karl dropped the bag beside a card table he’d set up off to one side. It had a sheet over it covering the items he’d laid out for use tonight, but he pushed it aside a bit to give some space on the table. “Want to show me what you’ve got?”

Chris came over and ran a hand along the edge of the table, ruffling the sheet but not removing it. “Hiding things from me?”

Karl nodded to the blindfold sitting out on top. “I was wondering if you’d consent to being blindfolded. I can tell you everything I’ll do before I do it - or not, if you want a little mystery.”

Chris picked up the blindfold, expression blank as he turned it over in his hands a couple of times, stroking the smooth silk and tugging at the elastic strap.

“You can think about it for a minute if you want, show me your stuff.”

Chris nodded and carefully set the blindfold back down where it was. He knelt and unzipped the bag. He pulled out a soft leather flogger and handed it up to Karl. “I like this for a warm-up.”

It was soft, probably deerskin, and excellent quality. Karl set it on the table, making sure the tails didn’t tangle. Chris pulled out a few others, handing them up to Karl. A heavier leather flogger with stiffer tails, a black flogger with braided tails ending in little knots, and a stiff leather strap. He held on to that one for a moment, testing it against his palm and flexing it a little. It was something that was absolutely meant to hurt. He looked down at Chris, still kneeling at his feet and looking up. His eyes were electric blue in the dim light and just a little bit wary. Karl wanted to reach out and touch, to run his hand through Chris’ hair and comfort him, but he didn’t.

Instead, he flexed the strap the little bit it would bend and said, “Looking for a lot of pain tonight?”

“Yes.”

He had known Chris would be, and his own setup reflected that. It just felt a little more real to hold the implements in his hands and to hear Chris say it. It felt good having a submissive at his feet waiting for the beginning. He’d taken every chance he could get with Natalie while he was home, but already he missed her. This thing with Chris was far from the open, trusting, loving relationship he had with his wife, but Karl had to admit that he wanted it anyway.

“I’ll give it to you then,” Karl said, and his voice slid down into that lower, sterner register it took on when he was dominating someone. Heat flared in Chris’ eyes, and Karl felt an answering flare in his own belly. “Anything else in the bag?”

Chris hesitated a second, eyes on Karl’s almost like they were locked, before saying, “Just my aftercare stuff.”

“Pull it out,” Karl said. “You can put it on the table. I want to see it.”

Chris pulled out bottles of water and orange juice and a folded fluffy blanket. He stood and put them on the table beside the sheet, which Karl pulled back just a little so Chris could see the first aid kit he’d laid out earlier. Chris smiled a little when he saw it, but it looked nervous.

“Do you have any questions, or anything you want to add?” Karl tried to keep the question gentle and neutral. When Chris just shook his head, he asked, “Underwear on or off?” He could be more effective on naked skin, but he didn’t know how modest Chris was about these things.

“Off,” Chris said, and his voice was a bit hoarse.

“Blindfold?”

Chris hesitated, his gaze searching Karl’s face silently for a long moment before he said quietly, “Yes.”

Karl couldn’t help the smile that crossed his face. He’d been hoping Chris would agree, though he hadn’t been sure he would. “Then when you’re ready you can undress and kneel,” Karl said, pointing to the large pillow in the middle of the room.

Chris pulled off his shirt, shoes and socks, and jeans easily before hesitating at his pants. He looked sideways at the covered table, tapped his finger against it a few times, and then took a fortifying breath before quickly skimming them off and dropping them on top of the rest of the clothes beside the table. He then walked quickly over to the pillow and knelt facing Karl, knees apart and palms flat on his thighs. Karl had the lamps on a low setting, enough light so he could see but not enough to be harsh. Chris’ pale skin glowed in the light, muscles standing out in shadow, especially his tense shoulders. He had a muscular chest, and nipples that were pert enough to easily be clamped, but Karl turned away before he could see any more.

Karl picked up the blindfold and walked over to Chris. He kept his eyes to Chris’ face, even though he wanted desperately to look lower. “Do you want to know, or not?”

Chris hesitated and bit his lower lip, his gaze dropping a little.

Karl squatted down on his heels in front of Chris and caught his eye. “I won’t hurt you, okay?” When Chris nodded a little Karl said, “I won’t do anything you don’t want me to. If you aren’t ready to let me have that much control it’s fine, just let me know. I’m here for you tonight, that’s it. You’re my mate, like you said, and it isn’t going to hurt my feelings if you don’t want to do something.”

Chris laughed a little, and it sounded a little manic. “Yeah, I know, I don’t know why I’m so nervous about this. It isn’t like I haven’t done all this and more with a complete stranger.”

“It’s because you’re naked and about to get your ass whipped,” Karl said. At Chris’ rueful snort Karl let himself grin. “If you were blasé about it I’d be a little concerned for you.”

Chris shifted on the pillow, widening his stance a little and rolling his shoulders a little and visibly relaxing. “I don’t want to know. Just do it.”

Karl smiled again, couldn’t help the delight at the trust Chris was placing in him. Chris smiled back, a bare echo of his normal sunny grin, but it was better than the previous tension. “Tell me your safeword.”

“Baseball.”

“And when you want me to slow down?”

“Yellow. And Blue for ‘no more of that.’”

Karl nodded. “You will use them, even if you feel like you aren’t done for the night. Do you understand?”

“Yes.” Karl raised an expectant eyebrow and Chris added, “Sir. Yes, Sir.”

“Very good.” He let approval suffuse his voice and was gratified when a little more of the tension drained out of Chris’ shoulders. He may not be getting the kind of relationship he really wanted from Chris, but he would jump at the chance to offer what comfort he could tonight. It had been hard these last few weeks being unable to help a friend that was so obviously struggling. “Are you ready?”

Chris nodded and reached out for the blindfold, but Karl pulled it out of reach. “Hands behind your back, Chris.” Chris folded his arms behind his back and Karl said, “Good. You’ll leave them like that until I say otherwise.”

“Yes, Sir.”

It felt amazing to hear Chris say that, but Karl suppressed the grin that wanted to break out. It wouldn’t be fitting for the mood he was trying to evoke, but he let that enjoyment settle into him and heighten his anticipation for the coming events. “Close your eyes.”

Chris did, his eyelashes a darker sweep against his cheek that fluttered with eye movement that belied his nerves. Karl gently lowered the blindfold over his forehead and settled it around his head, smoothing the elastic into place and settling the mask snugly over his nose to block out the light. “Comfortable?”

“Yes, sir.”

The tension was back, but it was different this time. Not the discomfort of someone afraid of being turned down, but instead the alertness of someone using all their remaining senses to figure out what was coming next. Karl loved that moment, the held breath before the first lash stroke, the building anticipation before the release. It looked beautiful on Chris.

Karl stood and went to the table and pulled off the sheet, then turned around and looked back at his submissive. Chris had his head turned to Karl, tipped just a little bit like he was listening for clues about what was coming next. Karl turned and carefully folded the sheet and tucked it to the side, then picked up Chris’ soft leather flogger. That would be a good place to start.

He walked back to Chris, who had tipped his head back a little as if he could look up at Karl. Karl walked slowly around Chris and trailed the lashes around his shoulders, noting the goosebumps that broke out across his skin. He came back around the front and held the flogger horizontally in both hands and brought it close enough to brush Chris’ bottom lip gently. Chris started a bit then tipped his head up inquisitively.

“Kiss the whip, Chris.”

Chris’ forehead creased like he’d frowned, but he lent forward and kissed the light brown leather-wrapped handle. Karl had always liked that particular touch when starting an impact scene, just that little bit of reverence towards what was about to happen.

Karl gave the flogger an experimental few swings, then reached out and ran his finger lightly down Chris’ left shoulder. “Chin up, Chris. Don’t move.” When Chris was in place he swung, tails giving a light smacking sound as they hit the line he’d traced. Chris jumped minutely but held. Karl did it again, just a little heavier, and Chris didn’t so much as twitch. Karl traced a line down his right shoulder and when he hit there Chris again didn’t move. Karl smiled at the discipline he was showing; he looked forward to breaking it down later on.

He tipped Chris’ chin up a bit more with the end of the flogger then swung for his chest, landing the tails across his pecks a bit harder yet. His nipples tightened up under the stimulation and Karl considered them. He hit them a few more times to see them tighten up even further, then decided he’d clamp them later after he was done with the front and moving on to his back.

He swung again, hitting firmly for several times in a row. The skin pinked up a bit, but Karl wasn’t worried. This flogger was gentle enough not to mark even the most tender skin. He swung some more, enjoying the way Chris’ shoulders tensed lightly with each blow then relaxed minutely, each time a bit looser than before. After a bit Chris’ breath evened out a bit, a good sign that he was relaxing. Karl thought that would be a good time to introduce something new.

He went to the table and picked up a little set of nipple clamps, then came back to kneel before Chris, who was still tracking Karl’s movement with his head. He ran a finger across Chris’ pink skin and enjoyed the way he subtly leant into the touch, then asked, “Doing okay?”

“I’m fine, Sir,” Chris said.

“Need anything?”

“Just more of the same,” Chris said with a small smile.

Karl hmmmed and reached out to pinch Chris’ right nipple between his fingers and place the clamp on. He tightened it and Chris hissed in a breath, his stomach jumping enough for Karl to see it out of the corner of his eye.

“Comfortable?”

“Yes, Sir. I can take more though.”

“Is that so?” Karl smiled at Chris’ eager nod, but all he said was, “We’ll see.” He fully intended to give Chris more, but only after he’d warmed him up a bit and was ready to push a bit.

He put the other clamp on, tightening to equal tension, then tweaked it a bit just to see Chris exhale heavily through his nose. Either he was used to much heavier play, or he was holding back on his responses. Karl intended to find out.

He stood and walked around behind Chris, trailing the soft tails over his shoulder as he went and observing the neat way he had each hand grasping the forearm of the other arm behind his back. “Hands on your thighs, Chris.”

Chris let go, shook his hands out briefly, then did as he was told. He was beautifully built, and Karl let himself look. He was broad through the shoulders, all the hours in the gym sculpting his shoulders and back and trimming his waist. He had a nice ass, muscular but with enough padding that Karl would enjoy marking it up. He wanted to mark Chris all up his back, neat lines of welts that would be sensitive when Karl touched him. Maybe he could do that one day.

Karl reached out and traced a line from one shoulder blade to the next, then flicked the tails across the area with enough snap to make them sting the little bit that they could. Chris made a soft little noise in his throat and Karl did it again a few more times before dropping lower on his back to make that area pink as well. He even put some strokes across the soles of Chris’ feet, which made him curl his toes up and flex his thighs and butt muscles so Karl figured he’d found a tender spot. He whipped there a few more times until Chris looked tense enough to start squirming, but he didn’t.

Karl went around to his front and tapped on the clamps to see if he could startle Chris. He didn’t jump, though. “Very good, Chris,” Karl said approvingly.

There were just enough of Chris’ cheeks to see that he was blushing a little when he said, “Thank you, Sir.”

“Do you want more?”

“Yes, sir. Please.”

“Ask me for what you want.”

Chris bit his lip. They had already discussed what Chris wanted, it was superfluous for Karl to make him ask. He didn’t know if begging would be too close to humiliation for Chris to enjoy it, but Karl wanted to hear him say it; it had always been deeply satisfying to hear his sub to beg. Also, he wanted Chris’ participation, felt like it would enhance the experience for him.

The moment stretched out until Karl didn’t think he would, and when he spoke his voice was very soft.

“Please whip me with something stronger, Sir.” His cheeks were very pink below the mask and Karl had to stop himself from reaching out and running a thumb along that hot skin. He didn’t know what it had cost Chris to say those words, but he greatly appreciated it.

“Very good, Christopher,” Karl said, the full name slipping out before he’d even realized he meant to say it. He paused, waiting to see if Chris would balk at that, but instead his nostrils flared on a strong exhale and shifted his hips sharply and Karl looked down before he could stop himself. To his delight Chris was getting hard, thick cock standing halfway. He was cut, like most Americans. Karl wanted to see what else he’d respond to.

“Please, Sir, please,” Chris whispered, briefly clenching his hands into fists on his thighs before flattening them back out to a proper position.

“Since you asked so nicely,” Karl growled, and went to get the next flogger. He picked the heavy leather one with the wide, flat tails and gave a few experimental swings before swinging at the couch cushion a few times. It had good weight and balance; Chris owned nice implements.

He crossed back and planted his feet squarely behind Chris before swinging and hitting across the shoulders. Chris exhaled heavily and Karl did it again, this time angling the blow from the other direction. It was definitely a stronger sensation from the deerskin flogger but Chris just held still and took it quietly. Karl’s grin turned a little feral and he hit a little harder, timed his blows a little faster together. Slowly his shoulders reddened, and Chris went from his muscles tensing with every blow to the reactions slowing a bit. He was loosening up, warming up, and Karl himself was breathing a little harder from the exertion. He trailed off with a few lighter blows before stopping and crossing around to Chris’ front.

He’d bowed his head just a little and his mouth was open and panting.

“You’re doing very well, Chris,” Karl said. “How do you feel?”

“Great, Sir. That feels fantastic.”

Karl reached out and tightened one of the nipple clamps a bit more. “How is that? It isn’t too much sensation at once?”

Chris rolled his shoulders, probably to feel the pull on the clamp. “No, Sir. I can take more.”

Karl chuckled and tightened the other clamp. That seemed to be Chris’ motto, but he wasn’t going to just throw him in the deep end on the tightest setting. Besides, the result was better if there was a bit of a journey first.

“I’m going to move you now. Are you ok to walk with the blindfold on if I help you, or do you want to see?”

“I can walk if you help me.”

“Okay, go ahead and stand, I’ve got you,” Karl said, grasping Chris’ elbow and steadying him as he rose. “Step back off the pillow.”

Chris stepped back and Karl led him carefully over to the second kneeling pillow he had set out in front of the couch.

“Okay, bend forward until you touch the cushion,” Karl said, helping Chris get his hands onto the edge of the couch. “Now kneel.”

Karl guided Chris down until he was settled in front of the couch, then placed a hand on the back of his neck and bent him down until he was laying chest down on the couch, head turned to one side. He used the end of the flogger to nudge Chris’ knees apart so he was more stable.

“Hands behind your back, Chris, like you had before.”

Chris complied, each hand grasping the forearm of the opposite arm. He made a gorgeous picture, spread out and waiting for Karl’s whip, each hand clutching the other arm with nerves or anticipation. Karl reached out to trace a finger down one butt cheek, then hesitated. That might be too intimate. Instead, he trailed the flogger over the area before pulling back and swinging.

The tails swished through the air and made a satisfying thud on impact. Chris flinched a little, his buttock tensing before slowly relaxing. Karl swung and hit the other cheek, and Chris did the same again. Karl swung harder, layering strokes back and forth from the top of his butt down to his mid thigh. When Chris finally gasped a hard breath Karl focused on the sensitive area between butt and thigh until Chris’ breath was coming hard.

Karl backed off, dropping down to whip lightly at the soles of his feet, causing Chris to whine in surprise and curl his toes. Karl did it some more, then climbed back up his thighs to his butt. The skin there was nice and red, likely very sensitive but Chris didn’t protest when Karl swiped a few stinging swats across with the very end of the tails. He reached forward and placed a hand in the middle of Chris’ back and pressed firmly to push the nipple clamps hard against the cushion.

“How does it feel?”

“Stings. Hurts really good.” His voice was husky and his words a touch slower than normal. His hands had relaxed their tight grip even though he kept his position.

Karl ran his hand up and down Chris’ back a few times to encourage him to relax. Chris arched up into the touch like a cat and Karl reached up to knead the muscles of his neck and shoulders a bit. Chris groaned a little and seemed to melt into the couch and Karl smiled in satisfaction. Chris wouldn’t be so relaxed in a minute, but he was happy to see his work having the intended effect.

He went and got the large bowl of ice water and the last flogger, the black knotted one, and knelt behind Chris. At the bottom of the bowl there was a knife, black metal with an engraved handle and a dull blade that Nat had given him years ago. He always carried it with him when he traveled because it reminded him of her and the times he’d used it on her. It was a comfort item. He was glad he had it now. He pulled it out and dried it off with the cloth he’d also brought over, then wrapped the cloth around the handle to shield his hand from the ice cold metal.

Karl placed the tip of the knife at the top of Chris’ right cheek and pressed into the flesh until it likely felt that Karl had pierced the skin. Chris tensed again, this time whipcord tight. He’d probably been expecting an icecube, not a sharp blade. A cold knife always felt sharper than it was, and Karl was counting on Chris wondering how far Karl would take him.

“Do you trust me?”

Chris opened his mouth but nothing came out except a sharp pant. Karl wanted to take the knife away and watch the skin at that spot turn red, to lick the red skin and see if Chris responded to that. He kept up the pressure but did reach out and rub Chris’ calf with his other hand, massaging the muscle and offering whatever comfort Chris might take from the touch.

“When you said you were up for almost any kind of pain I immediately thought of edge play. I love the way it makes Nat feel and I thought you might like it too. I love hurting my submissive when they can take it. I think you can take it, Chris. I think you need it like you need air and I want to give it to you tonight. I want to see you submit to me and take it because you trust me to get you there, but that’s your choice.”

Chris exhaled in one long, shuddery breath and nodded.

“Say it, Chris. Tell me what you want.”

“I want the edge of your knife on my skin. I trust you.”

Warmth bloomed in Karl’s chest. He knew he was pushing the edge of Chris’ comfort, he was pretty sure Chris didn’t normally beg. He just had a feeling this would do the trick, and he really loved hearing it.

“Since you asked so nicely,” he murmured, and dragged the tip of the knife down Chris’ cheek, but not hard enough to scratch. It left a faint red line all the way down his round cheek until Karl hit the thigh crease. He lifted up and rubbed the flat of the knife over the line, layering another sensation over the sting.

He looked up at Chris’ hands, which were gripping the other forearm firmly but not as tightly as before. He was biting his lip but didn’t look too stressed out. Karl fleetingly wished Chris wasn’t blindfolded so he could read his expression better, but he trusted Chris to safeword out if needed. He rubbed Chris’ leg again and Chris relaxed enough for Karl to feel good about proceeding.

He placed the knife at the right edge of Chris’ thigh, right at the sensitive crease of the thigh, and dragged it across the crease. Chris took a deep breath and flexed back into the knife minutely before restraining himself and Karl grinned. This was definitely going to be fun. He moved across to the other thigh crease - deliberately not pressing the tip of the knife gently into his scrotum, which was right there and would have really put him on his toes – and ran the knife across in the same way. He drew the knife down the left cheek so he had a matching line there.

Chris hissed, his brow furrowed and his hands clenched. It likely felt like Karl had sliced him right open but he held still and let Karl do whatever he wanted. He ran a fingertip lightly down the line just to hear Chris hiss again. Chris’ trust made him feel a thousand feet tall.

He made other lines alongside the first, drawing sharp breaths from Chris but nothing more. Either he had been conditioned by someone not to make noise, or he was holding back for some other reason. Either way Karl didn’t like it; he wanted the immense satisfaction of every last one of Chris’ noises. He dipped the knife in the water again, holding the blade under while he ran his fingers over the lines he’d left. When it was cold he brought it up to skin without drying it off, drawing it horizontally across. Water dripped down from the knife and down the curve of his ass. As sensitive as his skin was it probably felt like blood dripping down.

Chris didn’t even make a noise. Karl knelt up and leaned over Chris’ back to press his palm to the back of Chris’ neck and rest his forearm and elbow down Chris’ back, pressing him down into the couch while being careful to maintain the same pressure with the knife. “Give in, Chris. I want to hear how much it hurts. I want to hear you enjoy it.”

Chris let out a shuttery moan. “Hurts…. A lot. Feels like you cut me, but I know you didn’t. I like how it feels… do it again please.”

Karl sat back and dipped the knife again and drew it dripping wet across the other cheek. “What makes you think I didn’t cut you? No one will see it under your underwear.”

Chris sucked in a breath. “You wouldn’t.”

Karl moved lower, creating crisscrossing lines. “You’re mine right now, to do with as I please. If I want to cut you I will.” Karl wouldn’t ever break the skin on a submissive without negotiating that first and being prepared for handling blood, but that was irrelevant. Fear could be part of edge play, even dull blade edge play. He’d never pushed the fear aspect with Natalie, she was more interested in the play of sensations, but he was really enjoying seeing Chris’ reactions and felt a keen interest in pushing him as far as he could go.

Chris whined and arched his back, flexing his ass like he was asking for more.

Karl took the knife away from skin and dipped it in the water again. “Ask me to cut you again.”Chris was breathing heavily and shifting his hips, and Karl was surprised to realize he was hard and thrusting against the couch cushion. Karl pinched him on the hip to get his attention. “Ask me.”

Chris jerked and his hips stilled. “Cut me again, please, Sir.” His voice wavered a bit, but was slow and thick with subspace enjoyment so Karl felt comfortable he hadn’t pushed too far.

He drew more lines down both sides of Chris’ ass until Chris was breathing heavy and deep and Karl thought he’d plateaued out a bit and was feeling everything as one wash of sensation. He hardly even moved when Karl drew a finger down his marked skin.

“How are you feeling, Chris?”

“Amazing, Sir,” Chris slurred. His muscles were all relaxed against the couch and the crease in his brow was long gone.

“How much more do you want tonight?”

Chris paused, then said, “A bit of the strap and then I’m done.”

“Whatever you want,” Karl murmured. He urged Chris to lean back on his heels so he could get at the nipple clamps. He rubbed a thumb over one and Chris hummed low in his throat. “I’m going to take these off first. Ready?”

Chris nodded and Karl quickly loosened the left one and removed it. Chris’ mouth dropped open on a loud groan as Karl rubbed his palm over the area and then removed the other clamp. Chris’ groans turned into a whine as he tensed and writhed a bit.

“Hurts, doesn’t it?” Karl asked, rubbing his palms over the nipples.

“Like a bitch,” Chris gasped.

“Good.” Karl moved back around behind Chris. “Bend over again. Time for the strap.”

Chris bent and Karl swung, landing a solid blow at the top of his still wet ass cheeks. Chris yelled out and Karl grinned. His wet skin would make the pain of the strap a little bit more acute than it otherwise would be, and it was already layered on top of the pain from Karl’s knife. Add in the hurt from removing the nipple clamps and it would be a lot of pain to take all at once, but if Chris was as masochistic as he said it should send him under nice and deep. He landed two more blows, each below the first so he had three nice strap marks layered over the fading pink from the knife. The knife marks would be gone in a half hour, but the strap marks would last. Chris would still feel them while sitting or bending during his filming the next day, which was probably exactly what he had been looking for.

Chris was breathing in deep, shuttery breaths and his hands were so relaxed that he looked about to lose his grip altogether.

“Good, Chris, very good,” Karl said, guiding Chris to relax his hands and bring them down to his sides. “Do you want to sit on the couch or stay here?”

Chris’ voice was hoarse when he said, “Stay here a minute. Will hurt to sit.”

“You can lay down on the couch if you like.” Chris seemed to consider that before nodding. “Are you ready to take off the blindfold now?”

When Chris nodded again Karl reached up and gently pulled it off. Chris blinked a couple of times before looking at Karl. He smiled a bit and Karl smiled back, happy to see that Chris seemed relaxed and soft around the edges from subspace.

“Let me know when you’re ready to move up there,” Karl said softly. Chris nodded, and Karl hovered helpfully by while Chris climbed up onto the couch and curled up on his side. Karl tucked a pillow under his head then went and grabbed the aftercare supplies Chris had brought. Karl laid the warm blanket over him, smoothing it out and rubbing his shoulder and arm a bit while he settled in. “Ready for some juice?”

Chris nodded again and Karl opened the orange juice and held the straw to his lips so Chris could have some while not getting up. He drank thirstily.

“Want some crackers or anything?”

Chris shook his head, then said, “Just talk to me a little.”

Karl set the juice down and rubbed his shoulder again when it looked like he was shivering a little. “You did so well tonight, I really enjoyed the way you finally submitted to me. It looked like you had a lot of pent up energy to get rid of, I’m glad I could do that for you.” A ghost of a smile passed over Chris’ face and his eyes drifted closed, so Karl kept on nattering on softly.“I was so pleased that you seemed to enjoy the knife play, I hope it wasn’t too intense for a first time with me as your Dom. We can do this again if you want. If you can’t find anyone else to top you and you really need it.”

“Okay,” Chris murmured so softly Karl thought he was about ready to fall asleep.

“Drink a little more,” Karl said. He fed Chris the rest of the juice and rubbed his shoulder for a long time until Chris stirred and sat up, wincing as his butt hit the cushion.

“I’m feeling pretty good, I’m going to head home.”

Karl frowned. “So soon? I mean, I thought you might stay the night and chill. I bought stuff for breakfast.”

Chris shook his head. “Nah, I’m good. I like to end up in my own bed after a big night like this.”

“Well at least let me look you over before you go. How do you feel?”

Chris stood, rolling his shoulders and stretching his arms out. “I feel great. It hurts in the good way and I’m thoroughly worn out. I’m ready to sleep, actually.”

The pink across his shoulders had faded, and when Karl touched the area lightly Chris didn’t flinch in pain or anything. He still had the neat stripes down his butt from the strap, but the skin wasn’t broken or visibly bruised. He’d wanted to evaluate them in the morning again, but that might not be an option. Karl motioned for Chris to turn so he could look at his nipples and he did, Karl smiled inwardly when he modestly pulled the blanket in front of himself. His nipples looked fine as well, no redness or bruising to be concerned about.

“Seriously, I don’t mind if you stay, it’s no trouble at all,” Karl said again, a little dismayed at the thought of Chris driving home to an empty house where there was no one to look after him. He’d just assumed he’d stay, which was clearly an oversight on his part.

“Thanks for the offer, but I’ll catch you at work,” Chris said, moving over to his pile of clothes.

“Okay,” Karl said slowly before going into the kitchen to get himself some water and give Chris some privacy for dressing. He still didn’t like it, but Chris was alert and seemed stable and Karl didn’t think he should press the issue. Chris did this all the time, after all. He knew what he could handle. He came back out when he heard Chris starting to pack his bag.

“Text or call me when you get home. And you’ll call me tomorrow morning,” Karl said, putting a little authority into the request.

“All right,” Chris said distractedly, bending over to get the floggers by the couch.

“I’m serious. If you need anything you let me know, okay?”

“I will,” Chris said seriously enough that Karl felt comfortable he would comply.

Karl walked him to the door and watched him walk out to his car, relieved to see he was moving normally. Chris waved to him cheerfully before getting in and driving off. Karl tidied up the living room a bit while he waited for Chris to let him know he’d gotten home. He felt drained himself and just wanted to go to bed, but there was no way he was going to risk missing it if Chris didn’t check in. Eventually the text came.

I’m home.

Karl waited, but nothing else came. Should he ask again if Chris was okay, or was that just being clingy? He’d never really had a submissive just run off like that; they’d always spent a couple of hours after just hanging out and unwinding. He actually really missed that quiet time with Chris. That would have been a time to bond a bit, but maybe Chris didn’t want that. He guessed he’d keep it to the point like Chris was.

Good. Call me tomorrow.

Ok

Karl sighed and got ready for bed, but wasn’t really surprised when he slept fitfully all night.

pslasher: (Default)
Click on the story tag for the other chapters.

Chapter 5

The doorbell rang promptly at seven thirty, as expected, and Karl opened the door to find Chris. He was slouched on the jam, wearing his typical white tee shirt, black jeans, and converse combo. He straightened up quickly when the door opened.

“Hey, man, come on in,” Karl said. He’d been a little surprised when Chris had asked earlier in the day to come over and talk. They still weren’t friendly like things had been before the incident, but Chris had eventually loosened up and talked to him more. Frankly, Karl was more relieved than anything that Chris had wanted to talk. He couldn’t shake the feelings he had for Chris and the tension was really starting to wear on him.

Chris came inside, toed off his shoes then stood awkwardly by the door with his hands in his pockets, looking everywhere but at Karl. Karl laughed a little to himself; he’d never seen Chris look so nervous.

“Want a beer or anything? I bought PBR for you.”

Chris laughed a little, but it didn’t really sound that humorous. “Sure. Might be a good idea.”

He followed Karl to the kitchen, where he pulled a couple of beers out of the fridge and handed one over. “Table or couch?”

“Table,” Chris said, and they settled down on opposite sides. Chris took a giant swig then lent forward with his elbows on the table and looked directly at Karl. “I need to ask a favor.”

“Anything you need,” Karl said, with a little bit of a knot forming in the pit of his stomach. This didn’t sound like the casual reconciliation he’d been hoping for.

“I need you to top me.”

Karl sat back a little in his chair, his eyebrows coming up. That wasn’t what he had expected at all. He was pretty sure Chris had gotten mostly over being pissed at him, if he was ever pissed at all, because he’d started talking to Karl again, but he hadn’t really expected Chris to ever approach him with that request again based on his response the last time. “Why?”

"Work is…” He trailed off, his gaze dropping to his beer as he turned it round and round in his grasp. “Ultimately it's just me up there in front of the camera, telling a story with my body. I have to have control of my body to do that well, have to be able to express what I need to on demand. I don't have control right now, I feel like I'm about to come out of my skin all the time. I haven't played in weeks and I need to be taken down."

"I know that, Chris." Karl had been noticing for days that Chris was lacking the physical control needed to subtly bring the character to life. He’d wished he could have been able to support him more, like when they first started shooting, but hadn’t felt comfortable offering.

"You do?"

"Yes, I do. You’re restless on set and have trouble sometimes with keeping control of your portrayal of the character. Any decent top could see that you need to be taken in hand. I meant why me?"

"Because I trust you not to screw me over. I'm shooting the Gaila scene with Rachel in two days and I can't afford to have any marks that won't be covered by my underwear. Means I can't just pick someone up like I usually do."

Karl raised a skeptical eyebrow. “You trust me? You got pretty upset the last time we talked about this and it didn’t go the way you wanted.”

Chris looked away, expression turning guilty. “I’m sorry about that. You’re right, it was immature.”

“I didn’t mean it that way, just… I don’t know what you were thinking to make you respond that way.”

Chris shrugged in a way that was probably supposed to be casual, but Karl knew him well enough to see the tension anyway. “It’s pretty embarrassing getting shot down, you know.”

Embarrassment, then, not being upset about not being able to be with Karl. Karl nodded a little. It was good to know.

“Look, I know you understand how important it is that I not go in there looking like a submissive acting like a top, that I not have any marks on the skin showing at all. I can’t trust anyone else to get me down where I need to go and not fuck it up.”

“What makes you think I can do that?” It was a legitimate question. He knew Chris fairly well, but they had never played together at all and Karl had never directly seen him play with anyone else, either. Karl liked to start slow, get to know his submissive and how they responded before going heavy. He generally took ‘slower than slow, lighter than light’ to heart with new submissives. Chris needed heavy right now, but Karl still didn’t know how to properly gauge his needs and responses.

“Because I trust you.” At Karl’s gesture to continue he sighed and slouched back in his chair. “Because you aren’t a jerk, you care about your friends and try to make everyone happy and comfortable.”

“That doesn’t mean we have a compatible dynamic, though. I want to know why you think we do. Or are you just desperate? Have you not tried to find anyone you can be steady with?”

“I tried with a few that I liked in the past, but nothing worked out.”

“How is it possible that Chris Pine, handsome movie star, couldn’t find someone to top him on a regular basis?”

Chris shrugged in discomfort. “Scheduling conflicts, incompatibility, whatever. It just didn’t work out.”

Karl let it go; Chris clearly didn’t want to talk about. “Also, I’m not a jerk? That’s a pretty low standard there. Jesus, Chris. I mean, there are several tops we work with that could help you out. Bruce would be great. Or Janice in makeup if you wanted someone you didn’t have to act opposite. You get along with her really well. Why me?” He didn’t know quite why he was pushing the issue, except something in him wanted Chris to actually want him, not to be the default choice.

Chris picked at his fingernail, staring at it intently. “I think we have chemistry, that’s all. That will help get me where I need to go.” Chris sighed and ran his hands through his hair. "Look, I know you are cuffed," he broke off and waved at the tattoo on Karl's left hand that stood in for the typical wrist cuff of Tops who were in a committed relationship. "Or whatever. I know you don't sleep around but it doesn't have to be like that. No sex, just some pain and domination."

"You know, submission and pain can be just as intimate as sex."

"Doesn't have to be," Chris shrugged. "Nothing that would get you in trouble with Natalie."

As if Karl would ever lay hands on another submissive, sexual or otherwise, without Natalie's consent. "Look, you're the leading man in this film. It wouldn't be professional for us to be involved."

"This coming from the top who collared the submissive he met while filming?"

"That was different." At Chris' incredulous eyebrow he pushed on. "It was different. We didn't date until after filming wrapped."

"Date. Right. You’d require us to date, wouldn’t you."

Karl’s eyebrows furrowed. Would Chris really find that so distasteful? He wanted to ask, but held himself back. Chris was slumped miserably in front of him, his leg jumping and his eyes looking increasingly wild. Did it really matter why Chris had picked him? He was very obviously in need, Karl wanted to start something with him, and as Chris had already pointed out he didn’t leave his friends hanging.

“No, I wouldn’t require us to date for me to help you out. I’ll do it. Look at me, Chris.” Chris looked up quickly, his expression turning eager. “I’ll need you to be honest with me.”

“Of course.”

“I’m serious. No games, no stroking my ego by saying what you think I want to hear. If I’m going to do what you need, then I need the truth.”

Chris nodded somberly.

“I don’t have any implements with me, I wasn’t expecting to do this while I was out here. You’ll have to bring your toy bag. I assume you didn’t bring anything tonight?”

“No. I didn’t really think you’d say yes.”

“Why not?”

“Because I was a jerk before.”

Karl sighed. “Well, it might be better to have some time to prepare. We can negotiate tonight and you can come over tomorrow. Did you want to come over, or do it at your place?”

“Here is good. It’ll be good to get out of the house for a while.”

Karl nodded. “Fine. So, tell me what you want from tomorrow.”

“So, hard limits are total sensory deprivation or total immobility. I’ll do bondage of hands or feet but not both together, and I won’t do a blindfold with hand bondage. Also no humiliation, drawing blood, breath play, or upside down suspension. Nothing with a real threat of bodily harm.”

“Anything else?”

“Obviously no visible marks, but we discussed that. No permanent marks anywhere of any kind.”

Karl nodded. “Soft limits?”

“Caning. Service type things, like shining boots. I mean, if you really want that I can, it just doesn’t do anything for me and it’s not what I’m looking for tomorrow.” Chris narrowed his eyes a bit. “Kissing.”

Karl quirked an eyebrow and Chris looked at him a little belligerently, as if he was daring Karl to say something about it. Karl merely shrugged and said, “So what do you want, then?”

“I’m pretty masochistic, so anything in that department will get me down pretty reliably. I love impact, thud and sting both. I’ve got some floggers and things I can bring that work great for me.”

“That leaves an awful lot left. What about clamps, knife play, role play, electricity, consent play?”

“No consent play, but the rest are okay. I mean, if you use a violet wand, and don’t break the skin with the knife I’ll be fine. I’m good with common stuff.”

Karl snorted a bit; famous last words. Except, he thought he might understand Chris well enough to guess pretty accurately. Trust seemed to be a big issue with him, and as long as he had some control of the situation he was ok to try most things. Karl had a strong desire to see what he’d be like with total lack of control, if he’d trust Karl to take him there – God he’d be gorgeous strung out and begging and completely uncertain of what was coming next…

He wouldn’t, though. He wouldn’t violate Chris’ trust, and besides, it wouldn’t do anything to help Chris right now. He’d stick to what Chris was comfortable with.

“I can do all that. Anything else you want to add?”

Chris hesitated, then said, “Don’t worry about me getting attached or anything, I’m not going to bother you with developing feelings. I just need some help right now.”

Karl nodded. So that was that then. Karl was just a convenient body. It was fine, though. He’d never gotten involved with anyone without there being at least some sort of romantic attachment, but he could do it. Chris was his friend, and he was needed. “All right, so let’s discuss aftercare.”

pslasher: (Default)
Hey all, I've been alerted to some LJ concerns that I thought I'd pass along.  According to [personal profile] twistedchick : Briefly, SUP. the Russian group that owns LJ, has moved the physical servers that LJ information is on to Russia. Nobody who writes on LJ is now covered by the First Amendment, or any other US law governing freedom of expression. Your information -- all of it -- is under the direct supervision of the Russian government.

http://twistedchick.dreamwidth.org/4141297.html
http://siderea.livejournal.com/1330106.html
http://siderea.livejournal.com/1330197.html

There are reports of certain LJs being deleted for political reasons, though I'm not sure if that's been verified or not.  Lots of people are deleting their LJs and moving to Dreamwidth.  I'm not sure what I'll do with my LJ (like I need something else to worry about?), but I thought others should know.

pslasher: (Default)

Title: A Kiss That You Want With Your Whole Life


Fandom: Star Trek AOS RPS

Relationships: Chris Pine/Karl Urban, Karl Urban/Natalie Urban

Characters: Chris Pine, Karl Urban, Natalie Urban, Zoe Saldana, Zach Quinto, Bruce Greenwood

Rating: Explicit

Length: 34,669

Contains: no spoilers, polyamory, Alternate Universe – BDSM, knife play, spanking, angst

Summary: Karl goes to work in the biggest role of his life, and winds up faced with the biggest choice of his life.



Author’s Note: For Thalialunacy. This story wouldn’t exist without you, bb.  Title is from the poetry of Rumi.
This story is not really finished and polished, so some parts are rough.  I left this story at a point where I could consider it the end of part one of a series, or just an unfinished WIP.  I thought a lot about whether to post it - it isn't finished and I don't want to disappoint readers because I may never come back to it.  But I love it and am damn proud of it, and I was encouraged by a friend to post it so I will.  Just know that it's got a major cliffhanger!
Read more... )

Read more... )

 

 

Chapter 1

 


Chris Pine caught him after the first read through, as he was gathering up his script and water bottle from his spot at the long table. "Hey Karl, you want to take a look around at the sets? Have you gotten a chance to see anything yet?"

"No, not yet. They kept me pretty busy with wardrobe and stuff yesterday. I'd love to."

"Oh man, you're gonna love the bridge!" Chris grinned at him, excited and eager and Karl couldn’t help but grin back. He'd been looking forward to this for months, and being able to share that excitement with a cast mate was inspiring.

The bridge set was large and spacious, but nowhere near being finished. It was mostly plywood with sawdust piled in the corners of the floor, just a rough suggestion of consoles. The change in elevation of the floor was marked off with an in-adequate looking 2x4 handrail. Karl could already visualize being on the finished deck fighting Nero and struggling to save Earth.

"That's going to be the viewscreen over there," Chris waved at the large wall with a huge cut-out across from them, and stepped into a space in the middle of the empty floor, holding his arms out. "And this right here is going to be my chair."

"You know Bruce and Zach get a shot at that chair before you, right?" Karl dropped his script by the door and walked along the curve of consoles to his right, one possibility after another for the finished set flickering through his mind.

"Yeah, well, the Enterprise is my baby,” he replied, all but patting the temporary railing in front of him. “They're just holding her for me."

Karl snorted. “Just because you’re the interloper who steals command from Spock doesn’t make it rightfully yours.”

“To the victor go the spoils,” Chris replied nonchalantly, gazing around with such a look of contentment on his face that Karl had to laugh.

The excitement of the cast and crew over making the film was palpable during the read-through, and the eagerness with which everyone had devoted to reading their lines and hashing out scenes earlier in the day was contagious. Karl hadn't been this excited over a film since Rings. He didn't think anything would compare to that experience, but Trek was promising to be a similar experience already.

“It is Kirk’s destiny to command the Enterprise,” Karl finally conceded.

Chris turned around and beamed at him, and Karl marveled at the way his blue eyes crinkled and his grin seemed to pull answering energy from Karl. “Come on, let me show you Medical! And Nero’s ship!”

Medical was more complete than the bridge. The flooring, walls, beds and nurses station were all in place, though none of the set dressings were put out yet. Karl ran his hands along the top of the nurse’s desk as he walked past, taking everything in. This is where Bones would be spending a lot of his time, a place that was central to who Bones was as a person. Karl got goosbumps with the anticipation of bringing Bones to life again, and suddenly he understood Chris’ earlier exuberance.

“And Dr. Puri is just holding Medical for me,” he said to Chris. Chris grinned at him, and Karl knew he understood.

They lingered for a while discussing Bones and Kirk and Trek in general. Chris razzed him good-naturedly for being a geek and Karl bumped his shoulder into Chris’ in retaliation.

By the time Chris was done dragging him through the whole lot Karl was ready to collapse. “Look, you want to get some dinner? I’m starving, and it doesn’t look like J.J. is going to need anything else from us today.”

Chris rubbed his stomach absently. “Yeah, I guess. Hey!” He brightend up. “We could swing by the In-N-Out a few blocks from here. Wanna see if the others are interested?”

“Sure.” Karl was eager to get to know everyone better. A day full of discussion over the script was a great start, but half of them already knew each other so Karl had a lot of catching up to do.

Chris managed to round up Zach, Zoe, John and Anton and they all caravanned down the road, Chris leading them deftly through traffic to the drive-through. Karl hadn’t eaten at In-N-Out for ages and a burger and strawberry shake sound good. They ordered and then crowded in around one of the outdoor tables, jostling for room. The sun had started to set, casting golden Magic Hour beams across the table, and the air was a cooler, more comfortable temperature.

“I haven’t had a double double in ages. You just can’t get this in New Zealand,” Karl says, stuffing a few fries into his mouth.

“You Kiwi’s just have no concept of good food," Chris said around a mouthful, waving his burger under Karl's nose.

Karl shoved him playfully. “We aren’t all a bunch of sheep herders out in the middle of nowhere, you know. We have takeaway.”

"So Karl, you live in New Zealand, right?" Zoe asked from where she was perched in Zach’s lap feeding him fries. "How do you like the States?"

"I always enjoy visiting. In fact, I'm here so much I keep an apartment for shooting." He smiled wistfully. "I do miss my family, though. It's just not home without Natalie and the boys."

"Aww." Zoe bent to brush her lips across Zach's hair. "It must be hard to be away from her so much."

"Yeah. You have no idea how hard it is to assert your dominance over the phone."

Zoe laughed. "I do, in fact. The few times Zach has gone to New York without me were a trial."

"Oh, God, spare us your toppy commiseration." Karl looked over to see Chris making an adorable yucky face at Anton.

"So the great Kirk is a sub, huh?"

"You know it," Chris bragged. "Chris Pine can do anything."

"You mean 'will do anything that breathes’," John said, throwing a fry across the table at Chris.

"Screw you, Cho. We don't all have a gorgeous dominant to go home to."

They laughed, and Chris winked at Karl before biting into his burger. “Hey, Karl, you play basketball?”

“Sure, every now and again.”

“You should come over sometime. We could shoot some hoops, read lines. Whatever.”

Karl smiled. “Yeah, I’d like that.”

**

Karl leaned up against the door, looking across the large room to where Chris, John and Zach were practicing their fight scenes. He’d finished up with a wardrobe fitting and wandered around the set space a bit, getting his bearings and enjoying peeking at the Bridge set, which was coming along quickly. He’d stumbled across the empty lot which had a corner converted into gym space, and stayed to watch Chris sparing with a man Karl didn’t know, and supervised by Tony, the stunt coordinator.

Chris and the other man were in the middle of the room, Chris holding a football helmet and swinging it at the other man, which then devolved into a fist fight. Chris frowned as he fought, hesitating on a few moves and swinging too wide on a few others.

“Chris, you’ve got to pay attention or you’ll get Matt across the face for real with that helmet!” Tony called out. Chris and the other man, presumably Matt, broke apart panting and wiping at their sweaty brows. “Okay, done for the day, boys. Good job with your training, everyone, you’ve learned well. Let me know if you have any further questions before shooting starts on these scenes.”

They nodded and trudged across the room to the bench with their stuff, Chris waving at Karl. He grabbed his bag and a towel, wiping his face as he came over.

“I guess Starfleet Academy training is over,” Karl said as Chris gulped at his water.

“Yeah, unfortunately. I couldn’t seem to get anything right today, I hope I can get it together before shooting starts.” He was still sort of breathless, flushed and his hair was sticking up all over the place.

Chris seemed naturally athletic so Karl had been a little surprised to see him off his rhythm the whole time he’d been watching. “I’m sure you’ll be fine. Tony said earlier in the week you did great, right?”

Chris shrugged noncommittally.

“Want to read lines or something tonight? Get your mind off it.”

Chris shrugged again. “Sure, follow me over?”

Karl stepped back from the door. “Lead the way.”

It was a short drive to Chris’ place. Or, short for LA traffic, anyway. They were after the major rush hour, so it wasn’t long before they had pulled up and were jogging up the stairs to his front door.

“Make yourself at home,” Chris said, toeing off his shoes at the front door and waving Karl towards the kitchen. “There’s beer in the fridge. I’m hitting the shower, be out in a few.”

Karl grabbed a Pabst Blue Ribbon, laughing to himself that Chris always had beer but almost never anything else in his fridge. The same pizza box and half a wrap from the deli up the street were still there from when they played ball five days ago. He kicked up his feet on the coffee table, turning on ESPN while he waited.

Chris’ hair was still wet when he came back out, but this time artfully messy. He was dressed nicely, dark skinny jeans and a polo that fit him snugly across the chest and biceps. He held up the cigarette he’d lit. “Do you mind?”

Karl shrugged. “Your house.” He didn’t smoke anymore, but it had never bothered him the way it did other people after they’d quit.

Chris dropped his script down on the coffee table and flopped down on the other end of the couch. “Can you believe JJ with this red script and all the secrecy and shit?”

“This is the biggest thing since Pirates of the Carribbean, people are going to be all over this. I can’t blame him.”

“Eh, people need to relax. It’s just a movie.”

“You really think the press won’t be on any tiny spoiler in a heartbeat? They’ll know about it in Korea a half hour after any journalist gets their hands on some little bit of info. He’s just taking precautions.” When Chris just thumped his head back on the couch and sighed Karl raised an eyebrow at him. “How about we get started. What do you want to work on?”

“We’re starting on the shuttle scenes together first, let’s do that.”

 

Karl tossed his script onto the coffee table and rubbed at his eyes. “I think our concentration is shot tonight. You’ve flubbed that line like eight times.”

The sound of Chris’ lighter was loud in the quiet of the apartment, followed by a quiet inhale. Karl eyed him.

“That’s like your fifth one in two hours.”

Chris huffed a little laugh and turned a bit to exhale away from Karl. “Yeah.”

“You’ve been forgetting lines all night, too. You must be tired.”

“Stop smoking so much, settle down, Chris, you need to try harder to concentrate, Chris. What are you, my mom?”

Karl frowned a bit. Chris wasn’t usually so curt. Or jumpy. His toe was tapping against the coffee table leg, and the hand holding his cigarette was tapping out a little pattern against the armrest, causing his smoke to dance and wave. “Well, I wasn’t going to say all that, but yeah. What’s up, man?”

Chris shrugged. “I’m just antsy I guess. Got a little energy to work off or something. I think I’m going out tonight.”

“Oh yeah? Anywhere in particular?”

“I really like this little club a few blocks from here, I’ve had some good luck there. You heading back home?”

Karl shrugged. “No real plans for the night.”

Chris nodded and tapped his ash into an ashtray on the end table. “Just gonna chill, cool. I’ll catch up with you on Monday then?”

Karl nodded slowly. He’d been kind of hoping Chris would invite him along. It would have been fun to get out of the apartment and get to know Chris better, but he wouldn’t impose. “Yeah, man. I hope you have a good time.”

 

~~~

 

Chris was dangling from wires in front of a green screen with John Cho when Karl saw him next. They’d been twisting and turning around while hanging upside down, buffetted by wind machines from below as they filmed falling off the drill platform.

“Cut!” JJ called from behind the camera. “Excellent job, Chris! Great focus today, good job on keeping everything safe and capturing all that pretty quickly.”

Chris and John were lowered to the ground, which Karl thought was a good thing because Chris looked red enough to pass out. He disappeared into costuming and Karl caught him later when he came out dressed in his ubiquitous jeans, white t-shirt, and converse.

“Hey! Great job on set today. I caught a bit of your wire work and you looked good up there. It’s going to look killer on screen.”

Chris smiled tiredly, but he looked pleased with himself. “I’m just glad it went well. That shit is hard! John passed out twice.”

“Jeez, that’s intense,” Karl said. “JJ said no one got hurt, that’s good. You feel like you got your groove back today?”

“Oh yeah, I just needed to rest up, unwind. You know how it goes. It was a good weekend. Hey, want to grab some dinner?”

Karl smiled. They could talk about their first day of shooting in a couple of weeks, get a little more into the characters before they started. Karl loved that Chris was so passionate about Kirk, it was a blast talking about the different ways they could play things out on camera. “Yeah, I could eat.”


~~~

“ Space is disease and danger wrapped in darkness,” Karl growled, doing his best to screw his face up into a scowl for the twentieth time that day.

“Cut!” JJ popped out from behind the monitor and wound his way past the cameras and lights to lean on the fake bulkhead beside them. “Chris, you’re fidgeting again, and your head showed up in the shot. Kirk isn’t supposed to be the insecure one here, it’s Bones.”

Chris nodded, seemingly avidly listening to JJ, but Karl thought he could sense a growing frustration underneath the bright smile and ‘whatever you say’ attitude. “I’m sorry, JJ, I’m just having a hard time channeling Kirk here. I’ll do better, I know we’re all just trying to get out of here.”

JJ pursed his lips, but merely said, “It’ll come together, we’ll just do one more,” before striding off and calling for a light reset.

“You doing ok?” Karl asked quietly. He could tell Chris wasn’t, he’d never seen him so messed up. He’d fumbled his lines multiple times, strayed into Karl’s shot several times, and yesterday it had taken him almost fifty takes to get the hit-his-head-on-the-bulkhead and “As you were, gentlemen,” scene right. Karl just didn’t know how else to ask; anything more blunt felt like rubbing Chris’ face in his mess.

Chris reached up to rub his eyes, but stopped at the last second before ruining his makeup. He thumped his head back on the headrest and let out a long, deep breath. “I’m fine. I just need a smoke break.” Karl snorted and Chris sighed again. “I mean, I’m having a crappy day, but nothing’s really wrong. It’s just a crappy day. I’m freaking restless is all.” He tapped his thumb against the armrest between them.

“Hey, relax,” Karl said, laying his hand on Chris’ wrist to still his movement. “Just take a couple of deep breaths.”

Chris frowned a little but closed his eyes and breathed, the second and third breaths coming a little slower than the first.

Karl wrapped his fingers around Chris’ wrist and squeezed gently. “You got this. We rehearsed these lines till you could say them in your sleep.” He bumped his shoulder against Chris’. “JJ’s already had, like, ten espressos today. He’s going to have a heart attack if we have to do this another five times.” Chris laughed, though it was quiet and tired sounding.

Karl rubbed his thumb across the back of Chris’ hand a few times before letting go and settling back into his own seat so they weren’t touching anymore. That was a bit of an intimate gesture, one that he normally wouldn’t make with a submissive he wasn’t flirting with or already intimately familiar with, but it had seemed like a natural thing to do. And Chris looked a little more relaxed, so Karl guessed it had been worth it.

“It’s Friday, anyway,” Karl said. “We’ll be off in an hour and then you’ve got a couple of days to relax.”

“Yeah, the party on Sunday is gonna be fun,” he said, smiling at Karl for the first time since they’d said hello that morning.

Karl ducked his head a little. The crew was hosting a party at a bar downtown to celebrate Karl, Zoe, and Bruce starting their shooting schedules. He waved his hand. “It’s just a reason to go out and drink.”

“Hell, yeah, it’s a good reason to go out and drink! I just gotta see if Zach can give me a ride.” At Karl’s inquiring glance he shrugged. “I hate taking cabs, they always recognize me and want to talk to me about this script they’re working on and if I can get someone to look at it, or whatever. And I plan to party hard so I can’t drive.”

“Ah. Smart of you. I’m on your way, I could swing by for you if you want.”

“You wouldn’t mind?”

Karl shrugged. He liked spending time with Chris, liked it a lot. “Nah, it’s nothing, don’t worry about it. What time do you want me to come by?”

“How about seven.” Chris grinned, a sweet, genuinely delighted smile that made Karl’s breath catch.

Shit. He might be enjoying his time with Chris a bit too much.

 

 

 

pslasher: (Default)
It’s Vividcon time again! I had another party again this year, though it was a little smaller than last year with way less food – I just ordered pizza this time. Having a baby means I have a lot less time for stuff like that. But I was excited to still have the party! I’m not linking each vid title to the vid post this year, instead click on the link for the vid show and if a download link is available you can get it there. Also, I watched Club Vivid and Premiers last. By the time I got to those shows I was pressed for time so I didn’t make as many notes for the vids I liked. I just didn’t have time to be as comprehensive as last time. There are lots more great vids shown than I’ve recorded here.

You can see all the vids shown at this year’s con, and all years, here: http://vividcon.info/
+Denotes vids shown at my party.
*Denotes vids that I’m really excited about
Read more... )
New Frontier by here’s luck | Firefly
Beautiful use of motion, good look at Mal and River through the series.


Auction: http://vividcon.info/vidshows/260/

/Boom, Bang, Bang by banbury | Fast and Furious movies
Nice use of clips of Brien fixing the car to the lyrics “You’re going to get it tonight.” Fun vid.


Wish You Were Here: http://vividcon.info/vidshows/269/

Touch the Sky by Llin | Multi fandom
Lovely look at girls doing things and having adventures. Great diversity also.

Our Version of Events by silly cleo | Pride and Rent
Very moving. I haven’t seen either movie but I should.

/Firework by happydork | The Gymnast
Beautifully edited, beautiful footage. I want to see this movie now.

Workin’ It by Broken Mnemonic | Magic Mike
Hot! Great editing for the action and dancing.

*Dance Apocalyptic by eruthros and thingswithwings | Multi
Fun multifandom vid. Interesting combo, dancing and the end of status quo/civilization.

+*Supernova Girl by shinyjenni | Multi
Ladies! Lots of fun.

+You Told the Drunks I Knew Karate by beccatoria | Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Awwwww! So cute and so much fun! Excellent vid for Finn and the three of them.


No Source? No Problem: http://vividcon.info/vidshows/267/

Bloody Shirt by unfinishedidea | Welcome to Night Vale
Woah, Night Vale is way more violent than I thought if this vid is a good representation!

The Scorpio Races by Tifa | The Scorpio Races
Beautiful footage and vid.

The Name of the Wind Trailer by jumboskittles | The Name of the Wind
Interesting fantasy story. This book is on my To Read list and I’d be interested to rewatch the vid after reading the book to see how the vidder did.

/Trailer for Drastically Redefining Protocol by Zoetrope | Merlin
Great trailer for rageprufrock’s story! I loved the use of RL paparazzi footage for the “fictional footage” of the story. And the newspaper and TV manips were brilliant!

Grisha Trilogy by CarolynOnUTube | The Grisha Trilogy
I’m very intrigued about the story now. Very sharp and beautiful vid.

Written By The Victors – Vid by zulu | Stargate Atlantis
An excellent vid for an amazing fic by Speranza, a fic I still occasionally re-read.

+The Marauders by fakescottishaccent | Harry Potter
I don’t really know anything about Marauder era HP, but this vid made me really curious about it.

Cinder: The Lunar Chronicles || The Future Will Destroy You (FAN-BOOK TRAILER) by Rinoa | The Lunar Chronicles
That looked really cool, and it’s a book I already want to read.

+“Ancillary Justice” book trailer by bironic | Imperial Radch trilogy (multi)
I can’t tell it it’s all footage from the same movie, it’s edited that seamlessly. It’s a book that’s already been picked by my book club to read and now I’m REALLY curious to view it again after reading the book.

+[FanVid]Good Omens by YunJi Jung | Good Omens
Cute vid for the book.


Keys to the Kingdom: http://vividcon.info/vidshows/263/

+After the day’s work is done by stardust rain | Marvel Cinematic Universe
Excellent Fury vid, looking at him running Shield and that power, as well as a bit about the Avengers. You don’t get too many vids about Director Fury.

Supremacy by rhoboat | James Bond
Excellent editing. I like that it focused on M and her time in power, and how she handled it.

Monster by awkwardlyary | Empire
I still haven’t seen Empire, but this vid was amazing.

Empty Nest by sweetestdrain | Kings
Another show that I keep seeing amazing vids for at Vividcon and I want to watch.

All the Rowboats by Jetpack Monkey | The Godfather
Interesting song choice for the Godfather, but it works well.


Express Yourself: http://vividcon.info/vidshows/271/

+Oh No! by AbsoluteDestiny | Purple Rain
Cool vid for the movie.


Persistence of Memory: http://vividcon.info/vidshows/268/

+King and Lionheart by violace | Pacific Rim
Lovely and moving.


Fandom Life: http://vividcon.info/vidshows/272/

+Happy by RealTDragon | Cosplay
So much fun!

+Wrong in All The Right Ways by Little Heaven | Duran Duran
This one made one of the ladies smile!

+Pressure by California Crew | Meta and Vidding
A vid about old school VCR vidding. It was really cool to see what the process used to be like.

/True Love by Molly & Sim | Sherlock BBC
I love this JohnLock vid! It’s so cute that they filmed themselves as John and Sherlock, and the vid was entertaining.


Challenge: Descent: http://vividcon.info/vidshows/261/

+Taiga by hollywoodgrrl | Interstellar
Beautiful editing, very emotional.

The Edge of Glory by jmtorres | Leverage
Fun!


Spoken Audio In Vids: http://vividcon.info/vidshows/262/

Dean “daddy’s blunt little instrument” [to Virginia] by Alina0405video | Supernatural
The Dean feels! Oh man, punch to the gut.

*Filmography 2013 by Gen Ip | Multi
Amazing editing of many of the movies of 2013.


Premiers: http://vividcon.info/vidshows/259/

+Blue Ridge Mountains by Trelkez | Star Wars

+Free by Butterfly | White Collar
OT3! I still don’t like how the show ended, but this makes it a little sweeter.

+Never Wake Me Up by Kitty/Winterevanesce | Multi
Kids and their dreams. <3

+Cool for the Summer by kiki_miserychic | Spy
Fun!

*+Pompeii by Milly | The Martian
Great epic song choice for the movie, a great vid.

Aphrodesiac by hollywoodgrrl | Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Nearly New: http://vividcon.info/vidshows/258/

Epic Loki is Epic by mranderson71 | Thor
Great choreography and song choice.

+Wasp Nest by Gwyneth | Marvel Cinematic Universe
Natasha and her strengths.


Lord King Bad: http://vividcon.info/vidshows/12/
Somehow I watched this whole show even though it was shown in 2006? They must have had it streaming for ‘history’ or something.

All My Myself by T. Jonesy | Star Trek TOS
Surprisingly touching and sad. Also, it’s sad there is no download link to it.


Club Vivid: http://vividcon.info/vidshows/257/

*+Star Work by Grammarwoman | Star Wars
Great vid for the ladies of Star Wars. Also a great dance vid.

+Raspberry Swirl by ohvienna | Outlander

+Ex’s and Oh’s by Roarkshop | Supernatural
All of Dean’s exes, including Sam lol. A fun vid.

+Pep Rally by Hollywoodgrrl | Game of Thrones
Unusual song choice, but it was a great Club Vivid vid.

+Say Hey (I Love You) by SDWolfpup | The Obamas
This has always been a favorite of mine.

+Wild One by sisabet | Channing Tatum
A fun look at his movies.

+Timber by bessyboo | Star Wars

+You Dropped a Bomb on Me by GhostTownExit | Dr. Strangelove/The Atomic Café
Picked randomly because my husband loves this song. He thought the choice of movies was interesting.

+Shatner of the Mount by Fall on Your Sword | Star Trek: William Shatner
Silly little vid that always makes me smile.

+Larger Than Life by Deejay and Mister Anderson | Pacific Rim
A fun song choice for the movie.

+It’s Tricky by bradcpu & milly | DC’s Legends of Tomorrow

 
pslasher: (Damon Elena Stefan)
Title: Love Is Not a Blessing

Fandom: Vampire Diaries TV

Relationships: Katherine Pierce/Damon Salvatore, Katherine Pierce/Stefan Salvatore, Emily Bennett & Katherine Pierce

Characters: Katherine Pierce, Damon Salvatore, Stefan Salvatore, Giuseppe Salvatore, Emily Bennett

Rating: General Audiences

Length: 10,602 words

Contains: mild spoilers

Summary: Katherine rises from the wreckage of war and tries to build a new life for herself.


Author’s Note: Un-beta’d. Title inspired by the song Heavy In Your Arms by Florence and the Machine [LJ / DW]. Contains references to, and sometimes dialog from, these episodes: S1E6 Lost Girls, S5E 500 Years of Solitude.

This is an abandoned WIP. My writing time is limited right now and this story grew into something that would need a lot of time to do well, but it’s not really what I want to be spending my time on right now. I love it a lot, though, and didn’t want to just delete it. I like to think I may come back and finish it at a later date, but that’s probably really just wishful thinking. In the meantime, someone else may enjoy it. You can read Chapter 1 as a standalone story of how Katherine and Emily meet.

Read more... )

Chapter 2: DW | LJ
pslasher: (Default)
Olderthannetfic posted a tumblr post a few weeks ago that was excellent, and also had some great follow-up comments:

http://pslasher.tumblr.com/post/134475979133/so-even-in-the-make-belive-world-people-cant-get

http://pslasher.tumblr.com/post/134475663243/so-even-in-the-make-belive-world-people-cant-get

I had ~thoughts about it all I think I want to put out there, but I wanted to put it here first for feedback if anyone is interested:

Fandom has very strong cultural taboos against monetizing fandom – for good reasons – and I think to some degree that is being transferred onto the OTW spending money on stuff not directly server related. OTW is a fannish product in the sense that fandom built it for fannish use (and here I include projects like Open Doors, Fanlore, Journal, and legal advocacy too, not just AO3), but it isn’t a fic or a vid. It’s a business. It’s hard to think of the OTW as a business that needs to function as a business, but it is. The reality is that very, very few of us have experience with non-profit Boards. I think that lack of a business background is very strongly affecting our opinions. This is not a Big Bang or gift exchange fest, or a single person (or even a team of a few people) running a single fandom archive. It’s not even the guys running animemusicvideos.org or vidders.net, and those are pretty large archives. It’s bigger than that.

I think there are things that the casual user doesn’t know about or doesn’t really think about when reading on the AO3: The OTW is registered as a non-profit business in the United States and pays yearly taxes. It raised $266,684 in the two membership drives in 2015, and likely at least a bit more from donations at other times of the year. It spent $165,513 in 2015 on AO3 server-type expenses – and that’s only the stuff directly needed to keep the archive up and running, there are other OTW expenses. The AO3 gets almost 50 million page views a week (and this number is from 2014 so it’s likely more by now). There are over 500 volunteers working for the Org, some a few hours a week, some basically as full-time jobs. It’s a business and needs to be treated as such if we want it to last a long time. In fact, it was deliberately set up as a non-profit business (http://astolat.livejournal.com/166326.html#cutid1) because that was the best chance for it to LAST and grow and thrive for decades and decades as it was passed from one hand to the next.

LJ, DW, Tumblr, Twitter, FF.Net, Pinboard, Delicious, and Wattpad (and probably others I’m not even thinking of) are also businesses, and fandom mostly gets along or in the past has gotten along just fine on them. Yes, I realize fandom has its issues with each platform, but no one is throwing a fit when they spend money on business things. Obviously the endgame is different for the OTW (being dedicated to the preservation of fanworks, not the largest possible yearly financial statement), but OTW is still a business. If we’re willing to pay for the above services (and make no mistake, we are paying for them in some way even if the direct services are free – think advertizing, or them using/selling our information) why are we not willing to pay for fandom to create the spaces we live in?

This is not just growing pains for the Org/within the Org as it transfers from a small startup to a midsized non-profit, as others have suggested. These are also growing pains for fandom as we get used to the idea of fandom having a professional, established, somewhat centralized presence in the world. I’m not saying the OTW is THE ONLY WAY to do fandom, or the best way, or anything like that! But it is a growing presence online. This is a different way to look at fandom, and it will be unsettling for some. For some, even the very thought of the OTW “speaking for all of fandom” was unsettling from the beginning. We all resisted the commercialization of fandom through things like FanLib, and I believe that was a correct call on our part. But the OTW isn’t trying to directly monetize fanworks, simply to provide a structure and environment in which to keep fanworks safe. That is an important distinction, one which I think fandom will come to terms with over time.

We are sensitive to being exploited by commercial entities – think FanLib, LiveJournal, iMeem, and so on - but the OTW isn’t trying to exploit anyone, or run off with anyone’s money. It’s ok that the OTW is a business. It’s ok for us to acknowledge it as a business, that doesn’t threaten the gift culture that fandom thrives on. In fact, it supports it: volunteers don’t get paid (with a few exceptions), they give of their time so others may enjoy the AO3, Journal, Fanlore, ect… just like they would if they were running a Big Bang, or single fandom archive. The structure of the OTW is very different than that of a Big Bang, but people giving of their time to run them both is basically the same. The OTW spending money to keep itself working well and efficiently (even by paying people) doesn’t interfere with fan culture – it promotes it by making sure it lasts for longer than it does when we rely on the short lifespan and waxing and waning support of regular commercial ventures.

In the meantime we may have to put up with the court of public opinion which will have its outcry over things it doesn’t understand. And I include myself in the camp of not always understanding everything about this situation – but I am trying. I think we’re all building this new fannish experience and infrastructure together. We’re experiencing growing pains, but fandom is strong and we will get through this – as we always do.
pslasher: (Default)
Matty and Lady Oscar, the new OTW Board members, take office tomorrow! I'm excited for news/updates.

I did some reading yesterday and came across some interesting posts.

A post about Nonprofit Management 101 by sara that had a different viewpoint on the whole issue, particularly that the Elections Committee post was unprofessional. I hadn't thought about it that way, though I still am glad they did it. How else are we the public to know what the hell is going on? There was an interesting comment by synecdochic (one of the founders of DW, who knows her shit as far as I can tell) on what she would do first as a new Board member: survey every single Org volunteer and ask some difficult questions. I really like that, and would like to see that undertaken. https://sara.dreamwidth.org/534683.html

A post at Andrea Horbinski's DW on the 2011 Board elections: http://ahorbinski.dreamwidth.org/25871.html Interesting snippits below the cut:

Read more... )
pslasher: (Default)
SlashReport podcast is having an episode on the recent OTW issues. I think they may also be having an OTW staffer on, based on their tweets. They haven't recorded yet so you may still have time to ask them questions if you want: http://www.slashreport.com/wp/?page_id=10

Here are my questions for them:

1. Do you think we can get people to maintain enough interest in the OTW operations long enough to hold the Board responsible and effect change? (We won't get everyone who reads on the AO3 of course, but a larger portion then is currently informed) I have very high hopes for Matty and Lady Oscar, but they won't be around forever and some problems may take more than 3 years to fix. And there are more people involved in decision making/carrying out decisions than just the Board, some of whom may not cooperate with Matty and LO (just speaking theoretically here).

2. And if so, is having an active and informed membership going to do anything to make the OTW a better place long term? Can we the members effect change from the outside? People have been complaining about AO3 things for a while now. For example, the podficcers have been very vocal about their desire to have a unique podfic posting form because certain stats are completely different than from fic (file length, as opposed to word count). To be fair, that is likely a significant bit of code to undertake which is probably why it hasn’t happened – but it still hasn’t happened. But other things that are less difficult to do have been done. For example, the K-Pop, Korean Drama, Japanese Drama, and Jpop tags are things that those fans had asked for for years. Eventually those fans got their tags, proving that the Org will listen and respond at least sometimes. How do you think we the members can best effect big changes in the OTW?

What do you guys think of that?

And here is a links post/sort of write up I sent in, mostly because I kind of wanted to hash some things out in my own head.


Read more... )
pslasher: (Default)
HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS, THE OTW BOARD JUST ALL RESIGNED! Like, that is some epic fannish wank! So, links:

The Board elects to appoint Andrea back into office, even though the people don't want her. Andrea declines and the rest of the existing Board resign effective December 15 (this doesn't include the two new people that just got elected in!): http://transformativeworks.org/news/board-directors-update

The Elections Committee condemns this act: http://transformativeworks.org/news/board-appointment-last-place-candidate-empty-board-seat

The people, including OTW staffers in all different OTW positions, are furious (there are links to the chat where this all happened, you just have to read down for it): http://otwelections-unofficial.tumblr.com/


I actually think this will be a good thing for the OTW. We are rid of people who clearly aren't putting the Org's best interest first, and we have the best people possible already in place to start building a new and better Board who can actually serve the Org and the members. Still, I never expected it to go down like this.
pslasher: (Default)
I voted today, and it was very easy!! (I want a little "I Voted" digital sticker now!) If you're a member of the OTW you should have gotten an email today with a link to the ballot. If you didn't get an email and think you should have (you should have if you've donated $10.00 dollars or more to the OTW in the last year before October 6th and checked the "become an OTW member" box) check your spam box and then contact the elections committee at elections@transformativeworks.org. I've got voting info and my own opinions here, but you should do what you feel is right. Get out and vote! Help support the Org that makes things which touch all of our lives so deeply!

Also, svmadelyn is making a Google Group where OTW supporters can talk about OTW issues and hopefully be a positive force for change. I think this is amazing! I had thought about doing something like that, because I wanted that place to exist and because I believe all the people out there in fandom deserve to have our voices heard, but I just don't know if I have the time to dedicate. I plan to join the group though!
pslasher: (Default)
Guys, the OTW is holding its yearly election and it is SO IMPORTANT that you vote this year! This is the first contested election in four years, and it’s vital that we get some good, new people into office. Here are the candidates, and a list of questions that they were given the opportunity to answer.
Here is everything from this year’s election cycle, including the chat transcripts and voting instructions, with some simpler instructions here. There is a tumblr about the elections, otwelections-unofficial, which has reblogged some statements by the candidates and Nikisha Sanders that I found valuable and have reblogged at my own tumblr. You have to be a current member of the OTW (meaning you have to have donated at least $10.00 in the last year under your real name) to vote in the election. Even if you can’t vote, signal boosting the info will help spread the word.

There are two seats open for voting to be filled with this election. After the election there will be five Board members serving the Org. There will be at least one new person voted onto the Board this year, but two would be better because it would give them more voting power against the existing Board. That would give us a better chance for change, which is desperately needed. Andrea Horbinski is a current Board member who is campaigning for reelection. Here’s why I feel we shouldn’t reelect Andrea, and instead vote in new people:


1. There is currently a complete lack of transparency with everything the Board does, including what happens during board meetings, why they make the policy changes they do, and what they spend their time on. Supposedly they spend at least 40 hours a week on board work, but nobody knows exactly what they are doing because they aren’t publishing that info, and (based on the five new candidate’s statements) they aren’t available to anyone in the rest of the Org for help or questions (see point 2). As far as I can tell from Andrea’s statements, they have no interest in changing their level of transparency because in order to “safeguard” the Org the Board shouldn’t be taking about “anything relating to personnel decisions, the details of the finances, information that may leave the organization in a vulnerable position should it become public knowledge, and anything that the public doesn't have a compelling need to know” – which is apparently everything. That is a serious problem. While I don’t think the board should publicize private “Human Resources” type discussion (they shouldn’t really be having many of these discussions in the first place, see below), bank account type information, or the specifics of our internet safety details (whatever they do to keep our websites safe from hackers and other malicious types), almost everything else is need-to-know by its members, who pay for the Org to exist in the first place. Even if they choose to keep some stuff confidential from the voting public, the rest of the OTW volunteers and staffers (or at bare minimum the committee chairs) need to know what they are doing and why. Accountability is very important for anyone in a position of power, much less the people leading the entire Org.


2. It sounds as if the Board alternately isn’t doing the job they were elected to do or are overstepping the scope of their job. As Andrea is a current Board member who presumably is complicit in the following points (since I have no evidence to indicate otherwise I have to assume she agrees with the actions of the Board) I believe it’s best to vote her out and vote in new people who hopefully will do better.

a. Office Hours (a preset time where one or more Board members would be available to chat with anyone) are no longer being offered, and regular Board meetings are apparently frequently canceled due to not enough members showing up, or there being “nothing to discuss.”

b. It was a recurrent statement in the Q&A’s that the Board doesn’t answer emails or committee proposals in a timely manner, if at all. Some said there was often no indication at all the Board had even gotten their reports or proposals. This sounds like a complete failure to do the job, and is completely unacceptable.

c. It was also a recurrent statement that the Board blocks, sidelines, or attempts to change committee proposals (preventing them from doing their jobs or doing them in a timely manner), and frequently interferes with how the committee chairs go about doing their jobs. Several of the candidates said that the Board shouldn’t have any say in how the Chairs run their committee so long as the committee is functioning well and doing its job. I don’t know if I would go so far as to say the Board should have no involvement, but interference should not be the way things are routinely done. Interference includes the Board approving all staff changes to each committee (you can see all the committees here, and there are a lot, though some are more active than others http://transformativeworks.org/about/committee-descriptions ), and handling or raising “complaints against staffers” during the Board meetings – both are things we know the Board does. All of the new candidates said that due to their position of authority over everyone in the Org, Board should never handle complaints against a staff member and several candidates further stated that that if an outside party is needed to mediate it should be Volunteers & Recruiting (which handles volunteer “applications” and training) and that the committee chairs should handle routine staff changes, with Board oversite only when a chair asks for help or when a chair appears to be failing at their job. While I have no direct knowledge of the Board doing any of these things, if all the new candidates are saying the same thing I think we should listen to them.


3. There are significant and serious financial issues – there is no yearly budget, there is generally not a yearly accounting of how the OTW’s money is spent (and the one that exists is old and extremely vague), they spend money on in-person retreats ($18,000 last year) but have not produced any results from those retreats (nor do the retreats include a significant number of committee chairs to ensure general Org representation), and there are reports of the bills not being paid on time and the volunteers work being disrupted because of lack of necessary tools (multiple times over the last 2-3 years). Serious changes are needed, and all the new candidates advocate for this. I have no idea what Andrea’s viewpoint is on this since the Board doesn’t publish meeting info which would show us how she votes, and in the answer she did give she didn’t give any indication as to her personal opinion. (Though I will say her answers indicate the Board seems to have plans to become more financially responsible.)


4. Many of the new candidates mention multiple instances of abusive behavior by the Board towards volunteers at all levels (general volunteers, staffers, and committee chairs) – and most of the new candidates are new to the OTW within 2-3 years so this is an ongoing issue. Some of the new candidates say that people are frequently scared to speak out about things that they think are wrong or that could be improved or changed for fear of being “fired” from the Org or their positions. This is unacceptable.

a. During this election cycle Nikisha Sanders, who was one of the candidates, was removed from her OTW positions by the Board, despite protest from the elections committee and the other committees she worked on. Andrea, who was a sitting Board member at the time and who benefits from one of her competitors being removed, says, “I can't actually comment specifically on anything related to the matter you're referring to due to directors' legal duty to safeguard the organization. That said, I have in the past and will continue to abstain from votes in which I have a COI, and it is the expectation that other directors will do the same.” That statement was not given in the public announcement about Nikisha’s removal, it was given during one of the chats after a user asked specifically about it. Since likely very few of the AO3 membership will actually read those chat transcripts, this isn’t exactly widely public knowledge. The Board apparently saw no cause for concern that this conflict of interest could be construed as unethical behavior by one of its members. This is concerning to me. There are people (including Andrea’s fellow candidates and Nikisha herself) who are gravely concerned about the Board tampering with the elections process, and how far the Board will go with abuses of power. Initially I thought that maybe Nikisha wasn’t doing her job, which would be a reasonable cause for concern, since (as stated above) the Org’s finances are in terrible shape. However, we don’t know because no one outside of the Org was privy to any part of that decision making process. We have no way to know if Nikisha was following instructions as voted on by the majority of the Board members, or making decisions on her own. In this comment she gave on one of her DW posts on the matter, she basically said her authority was stripped by the Board for no good reason, not due to any fault of her own. She says, “the attitudes of some of the Board have increasingly shifted toward wanting Board to have complete and total control, without facing questions from staff or volunteers, over aspects of the org's management. The general approach I met with was "We have the money, why should you have any say?" along with being told that looking at the big picture for the org was no longer my job.” Based on everything I’ve seen (including the fact that Andrea initially answered VERY FEW of the Q&A questions, though it seems she has since gone back and answered more), I’m inclined to believe it. As I said before, accountability is vital for the Board, and if no one knows why they do what they do or has the power to change their behavior then there is no accountability. This has to change.

b. There is documentation that Andrea has been reprimanded for abusive behavior at least once and had to apologize publically for “losing her temper” with a volunteer. (It is reassuring to hear that her fellow Board members had the integrity to call her on her poor behavior) Generally I believe in giving people second chances and an opportunity to learn and grow, but this taken in light with all the other information means to me that Andrea shouldn’t be serving on our Board.


5. Several of the new candidates express particular interest in supporting the AO3’s growth and development, which is of great interest to me as a user. I love all of the OTW’s projects, but the AO3 is the one I use the vast majority of the time. I am increasingly frustrated with the AO3’s lack of development. The AO3 has been in beta for seven years and in recent years has made no visible progress towards fulfilling its roadmap, which itself is a drastic change (a negative change, if you ask me) from the 2010 Roadmap. The ability to host fanart was supposed to be “coming soon” in 2010, but hasn’t gone anywhere. From my understanding, the ability to directly host fanvids was one of the fundamental reasons for starting the AO3 (see the Fan Video Roadmap), and again there is no progress on this. I know from my time in the AO3 that there are plans to change the way fandoms and different Media Types are categorized at a basic coding level (in preparation for hosting multimedia content) through what was being called the Category Change when I was there, but news of that hasn’t been made public and I have no idea where in the process they are. I have no idea what effect Andrea has had on this lack of progress so it may be unfair to blame her for this, but I’d rather have Board members in office that have expressed specific interest in developing the AO3.


There are other issues that were brought up during the chats and Q & A’s, but these are the significant ones to me. Basically, I feel that anyone new would be an improvement, and I got very excited about many of our candidates. Here are the candidates I like, in the order I will be voting for them (and it was hard even to pick this order!):

Matty Bowers – I was very impressed with her statements, and think she will work well with a potentially hostile Board because she has experience taking dysfunctional committees and making them healthy and functional.
Aline Carrao – I am excited about her statements, and again I think she will work well with a potentially hostile Board.
Atiya Hakeem – I am super excited about her experience with the Category Change workgroup and hope that she would foster AO3 growth.
Alex Tischer – She also has mentioned wanting to focus more on AO3 development, which I love.
Katarina Harju – I love her background in bookkeeping, that is so needed right now.

I also want to say that OTW elections happen every year, and I sincerely hope that those from this group that don’t get elected come back next year so I can vote for them then!
pslasher: (Default)
I had a Vividcon viewing party at my house again this year and I thought it would be cool to make a list of all the vids I showed at the party, and the others that I really liked but didn't have time to show. It grew into a monster rec list - I don't know if I'll ever do a list this comprehensive again! But I think most of you may find at least a couple of interesting things to watch. If you love vids it’s worth the $40 yearly fee so you can stream everything (including some stuff that isn’t up online!) and get a DVD of some of the new vids.


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pslasher: (Default)
Last weekend I mainlined all of Sense8 on Netflix (I'm not sure if it's anywhere else?) and I LOVED it. Here's why I think you'd love it, too. I've tried not to spoil anything, but there are some well marked additional comments at the bottom of the post that are mildly spoilery.

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pslasher: (Vampire Diaries)
Title: The Infinity Between Us (Sharp With the Glitter of Memory)

Fandom: The Vampire Diaries (TV)
Relationships: Damon Salvatore & Stefan Salvatore
Characters:
Damon Salvatore, Stefan Salvatore, Giuseppe Salvatore, Mrs. Salvatore
Category: Gen
Rating: General
Length: 6,659 words
Contains: mild spoilers, canonical character death that occurs offscreen
Summary: Life changes you, and some things are irreversible.

Author’s Note: I stopped paying attention to cannon for my writing a while ago: my stories go AU during Season 3 and I don’t consider this series to be at all compliant with ‘current’ canon after Season 4, and I stopped incorporating flashbacks into my stories after Season 5. Therefore, my ‘Mrs. Salvatore’ is different than Lillian Salvatore as depicted in Season 6. In fact, I only discovered her existence in the series by accident just before posting this story, as I am currently way behind on TVD. I like the way I’ve written her and have no wish to catch up on months of show before posting, so consider yourself warned that she will likely be considerably OCC, starting with her name. Also, other characters may become OOC as I continue to write this series.

I’ve adjusted Damon’s birth date from 1839 to 1843 to make him closer in age to Stefan. I always thought of them being relatively close in age until I learned (again, while writing this) there was actually a larger age gap, but by then my impression of them was cemented. I don’t feel it has any bearing on the actual story the show presents, so I’ve decided to leave it.

Beta by [livejournal.com profile] scorpiod1.





 

 

 

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