Disclaimer: Not Mine

Pairing: Quatre/Trowa
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: POV, Yaoi (doh), AU, light bondage, piercings, ummm... I think that's it.

Author's Notes: Written for windsorblue, she was looking for Trowa in ripped jeans lusting for Quatre in formal wear or couture suit. Ties and bondage a bonus!

Summary: Quatre spots a stray he wouldn't mind following him home to keep.

Naked Ties
by Merith

The first time I saw him, he was sitting on the fake brick wall surrounding the fountain outside Nieman Marcus. His elbows rested on his knees with a small plastic bag from one of the music stores dangling on long fingers. I had stopped to stare, and didn't realize I'd stopped breathing as well.

"C'mon, Quatre." Duo tugged on my sleeve. "The mall's going to close in an hour and I'd like to get the monkey suit business out of the way."

"I'll be right there," I mumbled, wishing the boy would look up. He was leaning forward, and sat as though nothing was happening around him, indifferent and uninterested. I wondered what he was thinking, wondered if he waited for someone, and wondered if he'd talk to me if I approached him.

"You don't want to get mixed up in that," Duo told me in a low voice. Friend or no, I frowned, ready to defend the unknown teen. "Just look at him, Quat. He's-" Duo's lips gave one of those funny jerks as he thought of a more refined word to use. "-from the streets."

In a quick glance, it was evident there was truth in what Duo said, but ...teenagers had a habit of dressing as they wanted in spite of parental wishes. "How can you be sure?" I asked anyway.

"It's in his attitude," Duo said. He bumped my shoulder as one of his ways to say what he couldn't voice. "I was there, remember? That kid looks cute, but probably has triple your experience." Duo had already turned away, his hand gripping my arm. "Besides, he's too young for you."

I snorted at the thought as I allowed him to pull me away and steer me toward the Brooks Brothers outlet. Duo's comment was a valid one as the boy appeared to be at least high school age, if not college, and I was surely six or seven years his senior. I hadn't enjoyed my teen years, and had little patience for most teenage dramatics.

But I couldn't help one last look. The boy's Levi's were worn to the brink of rags; the hole in one knee was unraveling and, even with amazingly long legs, his jeans were longer - its cuffs had become frayed. His tee shirt stretched tautly over his chest, flattening the pocket and hinting at a nipple ring beneath.

Just as I entered the store, he looked up and caught my eye. Between one step and the next, a connection was made, and I knew he felt it too. A second more and I would have shaken off Duo and found out all I could about this boy. But he turned away, and I knew it was too much to hope he'd still be there when we were through; I was sure he'd be gone.

And he was.

The next time I spotted him, he was leaning against the wall of some kind of corporate building downtown. I was driving in the far lane on the opposite side of the street, and nearly caused an accident when I hit the brakes. I had to talk with him - had to at least find out his name.

I turned right at the corner, found a lot to circle around in and headed back toward his direction. At the light, waiting for the green, I could see him. Denim and cotton were his style, and even from this distance, I could tell he wore the same pair of Levi's he had on at the mall. Seeing him again, I wondered how I thought I could ever push him out of my mind.

The late afternoon sun was aimed at an angle, gleaming off the tan stucco building. He seemed edgy, watching everyone who passed. The main door to the office building opened; his attention became riveted on a man exiting from it. The man stopped in front of him and they spoke for a moment before the boy shoved off from the wall. The light turned green, and the car behind me honked.

The boy slipped an arm about the man's waist, while I turned and drove by them. It hurt when the man held the boy's face and kissed him. I watched until they entered the parking garage and disappeared from sight.

I didn't know him, but wanted to. He was much younger than I was, though we weren't so far apart that it would cause talk. Logically I knew he was still too young for more than casual dalliances, but I hungered for more.

He kept me awake into early morning. Jerking off, I had no name to call out for. Instead, I constructed his image as he would appear beneath me, his lean legs lifted high and wrapped around my waist. He would be tight, I knew, and he'd make low sounds at each thrust. He would kiss as no other had for me, his mouth cool and fresh. I came wondering if I would run into him again, and if the next time I'd have the chance to find out his name.

For a political fundraiser, I escorted an old family friend. Not that Relena needed an escort, but there were times when she was fun to be around, and no one was better to debate point and counterpoint on current policies. The black tie affair was held on the top floor of a hotel, and politicos from all over the state would be in attendance.

Relena looked splendid in her red gown, and if I were so inclined, nothing would have kept me from touching and kissing her bared shoulders. Waiting for the elevator in the lobby and watching in amusement as she ignored the looks and often coveted glances, the wish of being another orientation crossed my mind.

"Really, Quatre, if Osbourne had run for the congressional seat, he would have won and we wouldn't be in this mess today," Relena insisted.

"You can't blame him for retiring." The elevator doors slid open and a press of people was already inside from the garage levels. "Harlan's in office now, and it's to our benefit to support the man," I continued, lowering my voice as we entered the car.

She let out a very unladylike snort. "Harlan's an ass, and the only support he'll get from me is a contribution to his retirement fund."

"Relena!" I laughed even though I protested. "He has been very good for the Covenant Bill ... "

"Only parts of it, Quatre. Don't let the man snow you."

The elevator stopped a few floors shy of our destination. "If it lets the bill pass into ... " I began and felt a tap on my shoulder.

"Excuse me," a low voice tenor had asked, and the boy of my dreams brushed by, exiting the elevator car.

Shocked silent, I let the doors almost slide shut before slapping a hand over one to stop them. I took a step into the hall, and watched his Levi covered rear as his long-legged stride increased the distance between us. He didn't look back.

"Quatre?" Relena was holding my arm. "Is something wrong? Do you know that man?"

The opportunity had passed, and obligations kept me from running after him. "No, nothing's wrong. I thought he was someone I'd met before." Disappointment burned, and I tried to pick up again where the banter had dropped, but the varying shades and tones of his voice rang in my head, distracting me from thinking clearly.

I had to see him again.

My carefully planned life was being changed. I didn't need a relationship, not even the casual lover kind. But in this boy, this young man - I felt he could change that in an instant.

I wasn't sure what it was about him that haunted my nights and my days had me craning my neck on the lookout for him as I drove through the city. Though I hadn't seen him again, it didn't stop me from trying. Every memory of him was reviewed in absolute detail, and I determined my obsession had to have come from the shared look, the one that showed how aware of me he'd been.

I thought of the boy constantly to the point of daydreaming about him during meetings and long conference calls. I'd taken to hanging out in the mall and cruising that corporate office building in the hopes of seeing him again. It was frightening to see how much he'd taken over my life, and I didn't even know the color of his eyes.

Some of the questions that surfaced in my late night contemplation, I wasn't sure I wanted to know the answers. Though I did want to know if he was in a relationship, what he had been doing at the hotel, and if the boy's past held more than a grain of truth from what Duo hinted at. He couldn't be as wonderful as I was making him out to be, although I hoped he was.

On a day about three weeks from the first sighting, lunchtime found me at a busy McDonalds across town from where I worked. Waiting in the queue, I scanned the reading-impaired simplified menu and listened to my associate rant through the cell. I should have used the drive-thru, but that line seemed impossibly longer than the one I stood in. Besides, I disliked eating while driving, and my food would have long since gone cold by the time I got back to the office.

"Wufei, it'll be fine. We'll have plenty of time to work it out when I get there." I attempted to pacify him. "I'll look over the contract and make notes while I eat. Then we can discuss them before the meeting."

A hand touched my arm. "You're up next." It was the same voice that was laced throughout my recent dreams.

I spun around. Denim and cotton, a waterfall of hair over his face, he stood directly behind me. Snapping the cell shut on whatever Wufei was saying, I shoved the phone in my case. Even though I knew my mouth was open, and I probably looked very foolish, I could only stare. It was he. By the slightest hint of a smile, he seemed amused.

"Can I buy you lunch?" I offered in a hurry, grabbing the sleeve of his denim jacket as though he'd vanish on me again.

His eyes flicked to the counter and back to my face. "Do you always buy strangers lunch?"

"But you're not!" I nearly shouted. "I mean, but I've seen you before."

"Excuse me, but could you order or get the hell out of the way? I'm in a hurry here," an impatient young woman said from behind the boy.

I looked from her to the order-taker frowning at us before turning back to the teenager. "Come on, let me treat you to a steak or something," I told him, pulling him from the line and toward the doors.

"What if I wanted a burger?" he asked, though he didn't protest as I dragged him from the restaurant.

"Then you can order one." I had to smile; I wanted to laugh. Here he was, and he was mine for a time. "Whatever you want, you can have."

We were nearly to my car, and I pushed the unlock button on its remote, still reeling with my luck. At the car's fender, he jerked his sleeve from my hand and grabbed it. Startled, I looked up at him.

"I'm not dressed to go somewhere nice," he said.

"I don't care. No one will bother you," I reassured him. At a few places I frequented often enough, I knew no one would dare say anything negative about my companion's choice of clothing.

He gave me a considering look. "But I care."

That stopped me. I flipped the key ring around my finger, thinking. "I'm sorry. I should have asked instead of assuming you'd like to go with me."

"But I would like to," he said with a squeeze to my hand. "Just no place fancy."

I nodded. "All right. Get in." He let go and I waited until he had the door open and started to sit before I went to my side. "I know just the place."

He dug out a pair of cheap sunglasses from one of his pockets, slipped them on, and nodded without saying a word.

He sat at my kitchen table with his back against the wall, watching me. I hadn't stopped talking from the moment we left the parking lot - a little about everything and a lot about nothing. If I hadn't known better, I'd swear Duo had taken possession of me. But the young man I was making lunch for didn't seem to mind.

Almost immediately upon entering the house, I'd tossed down my case, loosened my tie and laid my suit coat over the back of the sofa. Though I'd offered to take his jacket from him, he declined and kept it on. Once in the kitchen, I rolled up my shirtsleeves, waved him to a chair and poured a drink. It was only then that I realized I had no hamburger to make; the substitute was acceptable to him, and I built salads from scratch while the chicken I'd prepared a few days ago defrosted in the microwave.

"Do you have to wear glasses?"

His question caught me off-guard, and I nearly knocked over the bowl of lettuce. I raised a hand to touch the frames; I'd forgotten I'd had them on.

"You weren't wearing them before at the mall," he said. In one hand, he held one of the napkin rings and made it weave in and out of his fingers.

"No," I answered, bringing the small meal to the table. "I have a bit of astigmatism, and usually only wear them when I have to do a lot of reading." Setting his plate down, I glanced up to catch him studying me. "I was supposed to be doing a lot of reading."

"You look good in them," he told me, blushing and no longer looking at me. At least I think he was blushing.

To put him back at ease, I held up two different bottles, and asked, "Ranch or Italian?" He took the ranch.

For the moment, I stopped trying to make conversation. He hadn't done much to contribute, though I thought it had more to do with my monopolizing nervous chatter than reluctance or inability on his part. In the quiet that followed, I kept glancing up at him, believing at any moment he'd be gone and my alarm would go off - just another dream. He would catch me at every look, pause in either chewing, cutting or drinking as though he waited for me to make the next move. The feeling that I walked on the edge of a blade, one so sharp it'd rend me asunder, settled in. I ate determined not to look at him again until I was through.

"This is good." His voice broke through the soft clink of flatware on china.

"Thank you." I smiled, hoping he'd continue. He didn't, and only sat, watching me. Water sloshed out of my glass when I brought it to my lips. I saw his eyes drop to the spill on my shirt. "Do you attend school in the city?"

His fork hit his plate and bounced off onto the floor. "No." He didn't say anything more, simply leaned over, picked up his fork and wiped it with his napkin.

"I can get you a new ... " I started to offer, but he was already using it. He was eating faster now than he had before, almost shoveling it into his mouth. I wanted to reach over and still his hand. "What do your parents do?"

He halted, his hand half raised to his mouth. "Hopefully nothing." His lips twitched with a minute movement. I opened my mouth and closed it when he dropped his gaze and forked another mouthful. "They've been dead for years."

"Oh, I-I'm so sorry," I stammered and stopped as he waved his fork at me.

"Don't. I'm not." He chewed his food slowly, watching me. "Just chill. They've been gone for most my life. I don't even remember them."

His eyes were green, and they were fixed on me. "Is that why you sleep with -" I clamped my lips shut, my face flamed. He set his fork down, and I could do nothing to stop him if he decided to leave. "I-I didn't mean ... "

"I do what I have to do." His tone held no malice, no anger. "I'm not a hooker, though I accept money for my services." He brushed the hair from his face and put his elbows on the table, his hands clasped together. "Most of the time I deliver stuff for people I know. Usually for a friend of mine who runs her own business." He shrugged. "Some packages for certain people I don't want to know what's in them. Sometimes it's only a message." His eyes bored into me. "Sometimes I sell my time to lonely men who only want a pretty face to talk with."

"Is that what you think I am?" I wet my lips. "A lonely ...man?"

Instead of answering, he stood and stepped around the table to pick up my hand, pulling me to my feet. "Where do you want to do this?" he asked, his long fingers sliding up my arms even as he leaned closer.

"This?" I managed. His touch was fire and my skin like paper. His lips pressed against my neck and my eyes closed; it was suddenly hard to breathe.

"This," he answered between kisses over my throat and on my chin. I felt a tug at my waist, faintly heard a zipper being undone. "You didn't have to feed me," he whispered. "I would have done you for nothing." His hand was cool on my dick, and I moaned reaching for him.

Words and actions slammed together and even as I returned his kisses, thrusting my hips in time to his strokes, I knew it had to end. Pushing on his shoulders, stepping back and turning my face away from his wonderfully talented mouth, I demanded he stop. It surprised me he did so suddenly.

"That's not what I want from you," I told him, half bent over, still clinging to his shoulders. His fingers still wrapped around my dick.

"Isn't it?" he asked softly, giving another stroke.

I grabbed his hand and forced it away. "No," I said firmly. "I mean. I do - but not this way."

He stared at me for several long minutes. "Fine." His voice was soft, his tone dispassionate. "I need to go anyway. Got a package to deliver." He turned from me abruptly, shoving his hands into his pockets and striding for the front door.

"Wait!" I called, hurrying forward, fly still undone and my dick hanging out. "You never told me your name."

When he turned back he was smiling. But it was cold, and I took a step back. "I don't have one."

"Everyone has a name." He was walking toward the door again, ignoring me. "At least let me give you a lift back to the city."

"No, I can walk." He nodded to the couch. "Your phone's ringing." The door was opened and he stopped on the step. "Thanks for lunch." And he was gone, the door closed behind him.

My phone rang and I ignored it. I should have grabbed my keys and gone after him. But his voice was so cold, and his look even colder.

Wrapping my arms around my waist, I continued to stare at the door, waiting for him to come back, and knowing he wasn't.

The next few days passed in a blur, sleep nearly nonexistent between erotic dreams and chilling nightmares. I'd only thought he had been my obsession before. Falling into a doze at work, lost in a fantasy where I hadn't stopped him, I came to with a start - my hand pumping a very stiff erection with one of the marketing directors at my door. I thought I was going insane and had no one to turn to.

Wufei refused to talk to me after I had hung up on him and left him to fend for himself at the meeting. He did well, and we hadn't lost the business. But I'd disturbed his sensibilities, and had no valid excuse for my actions. Weak and dishonorable were not attributes he tolerated.

Duo was ready to commit me after three early morning calls in a row, only to not say anything after he picked up. I took to unhooking the phone and putting it in a drawer before going to bed. If I needed to make a call, I could always use the one downstairs, or find my cell. But by then, I'd be awake and aware of what I was doing, and not just reacting to a dream I could never vocalize.

On the fifth day after I'd last seen him, I was running later than normal, having turned off the alarm sometime during the night. I rushed out the door and tripped over a lanky body sprawled on my front step.

He opened his eyes and I could only lay there, legs on the step, ass on the lawn. For a moment I thought I was having another walking hallucination. After he spoke, I knew I was.

"Can I stay with you?"

He was asleep in the guest bed, and it was all I could do to keep from crawling under the covers with him. I'd already been to peek on him three times, and it wasn't even noon. But he was in my house, sleeping in ...well, my bed if not the one I slept in. He looked so boyish, so innocent with his face turned toward the window and the sheet draped half on, half off of him.

The only explanation he offered was, "I couldn't be where I was staying any more." I let it drop, believing that he'd tell me more when he was ready.

When he came inside and removed his canvas duster, I had the idea he wore all the clothing he owned. The faded gray-green coat was large and ratty; its many pockets bulged with what I could only assume were all of the boy's possessions. My jaw ached as I struggled to keep from saying something, from shouting out the unfairness of the world at large. Instead, I showed him where he could wash up, and went to make him something to eat.

I made us both eggs, and this time as he watched me cook, he stood at the counter buttering toast. His hands held my fascination. Long fingered and thin, I wondered if he'd ever played a piano or a flute or did something that would stretch those fingers and make them work. Unable to help myself, I took one of his hands in mine. The palms were callused enough to indicate he used them in work; his knuckles rough enough to show he punched hard as well. I touched a swelled joint wondering if that was why he had to leave where he'd been staying.

Between the two of us, we emptied a pot of coffee. The boy ate steadily, giving me the impression it'd been awhile since his last meal. When I set a glass of milk in front of him, he drank it without stopping. I wasn't surprised when he said he hadn't had any in some time.

"I've been doing some thinking," he said finally, toying with his fork the remaining bites of egg. "My name is Trowa."

"Trowa," I more croaked than said, the constriction in my throat made it hard to speak. "Thank you." Too simple for what I wanted to say, but I believed he understood. Watching him hide a yawn, I offered, "I'll show you to a room you can use. Sleep, and we'll talk more, later."

He nodded and rose from his seat to follow me. I stifled the impulse to chatter, to tell him about the house and what my plans for it were. Reminding myself that there would be time enough for those types of discussion later, that the boy - Trowa was here by his own choice, and would remain here for some time to come. At least, I hoped he would.

I put him in the guestroom next to my own, showed him the restroom, offered the use of a shower and told him where to find towels. He yawned again and said he only wanted to sleep, and stripped as I stood there. Throwing his clothes on top of his duster, the pile grew to a small mound until he was left in boxers. With a mumbled "good night," he crawled between the sheets and was out before I could respond.

His clothes held a distinctly unpleasant odor. Thinking that he'd sleep for more than a couple of hours, I scooped up the small pile and left. The first load in the washer, I settled back on the couch to work. No one at the office was surprised when I called to say I'd be working from home for the day. Wufei had even called back, telling me to take a couple of days off and get my head together - but only after the meeting the next morning.

In the midst of responding to email, dallying with a new proposal, attending the wash and checking in on Trowa, I fell asleep myself.

Erotic dreams had become the norm, and sleeping location hadn't changed that. This dream was good. Warm skin under my hands, hair threaded through my fingers and the boy's very talented mouth over my dick. I moaned and murmured his name, unwilling to stop the thrusting of my hips. Craving the pleasure of release, but wanting the feeling to last, I tugged on Trowa's hair. He leaned over me, rising up to meet my mouth with his.

Lips parted in a deep kiss, I arched my back, pressing my length against him. Smooth skin provided little friction, and as though he knew what I wanted, his hand slipped between us, circling my dick. His tongue slipped into my mouth, grazed my teeth and slid against mine. The knobs on his tongue made me shiver, recalling how deliciously wonderful they'd felt against my shaft.

This dream had details I never had before.

I stopped moving and opened my eyes; Trowa stared back at me. My hand had a death grip on a cheek of his ass, pressing him closer to me. His hair was woven between my fingers. He lay on top of me as I sprawled on the couch, head on its arm. I let out a shaky breath and eased up on my holds.

"Your tongue is pierced?" I asked only to break the stilled silence.

He nodded and slid it out for my inspection. Three golden lumps in a small triangle formation beckoned me. I ran my palm over his back instead, and moved my gaze up to his eyes.

"You don't have to do this," I told him softly.

"But you want me to." He stroked my dick with the pad of his thumb, and I hissed in the attempt to keep from thrusting into him again.

"Yes, I want you," I said, brushing his hair from his face. "But I don't want to use you. You don't have to ...repay me for anything."

"And if I want you, too? If I want to do this - not to repay you, but to show you... " He stopped speaking and closed his eyes.

"Trowa?" I asked and his hand let go of my dick. He started to rise, and I embraced him, held him against me. "Trowa, what did you want to show me?" I asked softly.

"Nothing," he murmured against my neck. "I had thought ...but it's not right."

I stroked the back of his neck with my fingertips, and placed a kiss at his temple. He must have taken a shower; his hair smelled of shampoo and his skin of soap. "What's not right is my taking advantage of the situation you're in at the moment," I told him quietly. His hand found its way around my waist and his palm was warm on my back. "I want nothing more than to continue what we were doing, to do more than that. But we should talk first, get to know one another." He nodded, and I felt his lips on my skin.

"There is so much I'd like to share with you," I said keeping my voice low and continuing to run my fingers through his hair, along his neck. "You do understand why, don't you?"

He rose up, meeting my eyes. The uncertainty and fear he let me see tightened the band around my heart and reminded me for all his experience, he was still young. "Yeah," he said slowly. "How long will that take?"

I almost smiled, his tone reminiscent of a child on a long road trip. "As long as it needs to." I pulled him down and kissed him. "This is nice, this kissing and holding you."

The vulnerability disappeared from his eyes and his lips lifted on one side. "This is allowed then?" he asked as though clarifying the rules of a game. I narrowed my eyes at him, but nodded. "Good." He settled back on my chest, leaving me to wonder what he was planning. "Where are my clothes?"

It took me a moment, but Trowa was dressed only in his boxers. I had thought it part of the dream. "I washed them," I told him. "The last load should be done by now if you want to get dressed."

He shook his head. "I think I'll stay this way- for now."

My hands stilled in the petting of his body. Trowa, naked, for most of the day. Craning my neck, I peered down at him. "You are evil, you know." He only smiled, but a light flashed in his eyes and I knew I was in for more surprises.

I was bent over sorting flatware into the dishwasher when he asked. Though I had been expecting a similar question, it still surprised me. Taking a moment longer to drop the soap pellet into its tray, I started the dishwasher and straightened.

"Why don't we move this to the other room. It might turn out to be a long story." I dried my hands and watched him shrug with a feinted causal indifference.

He settled on the far end of the couch. Though a pair of jeans was now pulled snug around his hips, he remained shirtless, and my eyes were drawn to his lean, but toned, chest. A hand laid on his thigh, and its fingers plucked and smoothed out the frayed edges of the slash over his knee.

"When I was younger," I began watching his hands work at the unraveled denim. "I knew I was different from most boys. But it wasn't until I was fourteen I knew why." My eyes flicked up to catch him watching me. He gave a slight nod in understanding.

"My father and I never got along much, and after I told him of my big discovery, we were always fighting." I grinned from the memory. "By the time I was sixteen, I'd ran away from home five times. Each time, though, I'd never gotten far before someone found me, and brought me back home. The last time was a successful attempt." Shifting on the couch, I tried to make myself a bit more comfortable.

"A weekend school trip had been the perfect opportunity; Dad believed I was with my class visiting some historical site, and the school was under the impression a last minute change in plans had occurred to keep me from going. I had money in my pocket, a backpack with a couple changes of clothes and time to disappear.

"It'd been the first time I'd used public transportation, and the first time I'd ever been on a Greyhound bus." I smiled with a twist and Trowa snorted. "I was robbed that first night in some backwater town down south, and couldn't afford a sandwich let alone another bus fare." I didn't tell him of the busted lip, the punch to the stomach or the knock on the head I'd taken. It'd happened almost ten years before and didn't add anything to the story.

"I spent the night curled up on a bench in the station, having no where else to go. The station manager kicked me out in the morning and a lady took pity on me and bought me breakfast. It'd been the first time I'd ever gone hungry for more than a couple of hours. The woman also pointed me in the direction of a band of nomads. Said they might need the help of a 'young lad like yourself'."

"Nomads?" Trowa asked in curiosity. "Like gypsies?"

I shook my head. "No, they weren't Roma. They were nomads, a tribal family from Saudi Arabia." Trowa nodded his understanding, and I dropped my gaze to the couch cushion between us. "I found them with no problem, and the band leader accepted me into their group." I fell silent for a moment. "My first real sexual encounter happened while I traveled with them." Looking up with a slight smile, I added, "But then, there were a lot of firsts in the three months I was there. I learned what working hard truly meant and how to cook. It was while I was with them, that I learned how to accept myself and that by accepting who and what I was, others would come to accept me as well."

Trowa's eyes were dark and unreadable. "What does that have to do with why you've ..." he shrugged, and I guessed he wasn't sure exactly how to phrase the question to expression what he wanted to know.

"Because it was that experience that lead me to my best friend, and it is through him talking about his experiences that I have an inkling of understanding what you've been through," I told him softly.

"Oh." He stared at me for several minutes in silence and then nodded once. "I didn't grow up on the streets, you know," he started softly, and I slid closer to him.

"I lived with my older sister and our guardian up until a couple years ago." He let me pull him against my side and hold him. "It was okay, fun sometimes, but after the old man died, and it was just Cathy and me," his shoulder lifted against my arm, "things changed. She hated everything I did, my friends, who I was. I just couldn't handle her shit any more and split."

He turned his head and pressed his lips against my cheek. "That's pretty much it. I really thought I could get a normal type job, flipping burgers or something. But you have to have an address and a social security card. I was sure Cathy would have filed a report on me and didn't want to be tracked down." Trowa shifted, and pulled his legs up on the couch. "I never did anything I didn't want to do." He looked at me and I nodded, remembering how he'd walked out of my house.

"Wanting to wait, it's cool." He smiled and my kiss was pure impulse. "When you're ready, just let me know." Even as I kissed him again, pulling him close, I thought he'd just said my lines.

Leaving him in the morning was one of the hardest things I had to do in a long time. But, if the meeting went well, I planned to take immediate leave for an indefinite time. One of the benefits of being the owner's son - I wasn't going to lose my job, and even if I did, my stock portfolio and accumulated assets would keep me living comfortably for a very long time. Dad would have to agree, but I knew if I explained the situation, he would be the first one pushing me out the door. For all his ruthlessness in the business world, Dad was the biggest romantic I knew.

Trowa had risen before me. Coffee was made, and he offered to fix me an egg. I sat at the table, protesting that he didn't have to make breakfast, but he placed his fingers over my mouth, told me to shut up and let him do something for me for a change. When I nodded under his hand, he replaced his fingers with his lips and said I was a good boy before going back to the stove.

I didn't know if I should have been more insulted or amused, and settled for watching him instead. Trowa was long and lean, though not more than an inch or two taller than I. At a glance, I could see the sort of man he'd turn out to be as soon as he filled out some. Compact strength in hidden muscle, his chest would widen without the bulk - unless he became a bodybuilder. A gradually thickening ring ran through the center of each nipple like twin doorknockers with fancy knots on the bottom of each loop.

As I suspected he would do, he wore only one garment - this time a pair of loose shorts with no underwear. I hadn't washed those, and wondered if they had been shoved into one of the many pockets of his coat. The shorts were old and worn, like most of the clothing I'd seen him in, and the elastic in the waistband was shot. They rode low on his hips, giving me glimpses of both the russet tufts of hair peeking upward toward his navel and the diamond beginning to the crevice of his rear.

The protuberant angle of his hipbones drew me. I stood in front of him before I even knew I'd risen and he looked at me in question. My thumbs ghosted over them, pushing at his shorts to dip lower along its lines. He held still, barely breathing. I dropped to my knees, sliding my arms around his hips, and pressing my cheek to the nestling of curls showing. His hand touched my hair, fingering it softly.

"Your eggs are going to burn."

I laughed, and kissed each hipbone, and as I rose, his belly, his nipples and his mouth. "I think I'm falling in love with you."

Trowa's eyes widened, but his face relaxed, and he smiled. "I know I am with you."

Breakfast did consist of overcooked eggs, and cold toast. I was running late again, but I didn't want to leave. Eating was near impossible with me watching him watch me. Emptying the cash in my wallet out on the table, and handing Trowa the spare key, I told him to call a taxi, and to go buy whatever he needed - clothes, personal care items, new shorts. He looked from the money to me and didn't say a word, but nodded.

When I left, he followed me to the door, handed me my case and gave me a kiss. "Have a good day at work, dear," he said. He was smiling, so I took it for the joke it could have been. Watching him lean against the doorframe as I backed out of the drive, I prayed he'd be there when I got home.

The meeting went well, though it lasted longer than expected. The contract was signed, and my part was done. After spending a couple of hours turning over my pending cases to different associates, and packing a few personal items I didn't want left for more than a couple of days, I went to visit my father.

Watching him from the doorway to his office, it seemed a lifetime ago that we were nearly enemies. As sons and fathers often do, we would fight, disagreeing on nearly everything from music to politics. It wasn't until my second year in college that he'd come to know me and treat me more as an equal. Ever since, those old hurts with many painful words exchanged were put to rest.

He waved me into his office, and began wrapping up his call. I'd no more taken a seat, than he disconnected and turned to me.

"You look like hell, boy." His voice was gruff, but not critical, and I'd long ago come to realize his frowns weren't necessarily bad omens.

"You've looked better yourself, old man," I volleyed back.

He snorted, staring at me intently. "Heard you and Chang got the Dowe contract."

"Yes, sir, we did." I smiled. It was going to be the ol' praise and pounce. "Signed and filed by three."

"That makes two big ones this quarter." He steepled his fingertips and began to rub them together. "I'm putting you on vacation leave, effective immediately."

I blinked. It wasn't what I expected, no matter how much I wanted it. "What about you, sir? You look like you could use a little R-n-R."

Dad shook his head. "It's not work..." he began.

"Neither is mine. What makes you so different that you can't take time off?" I leaned forward, matching him glare for glare.

"Work's what's saving my sanity," he said with a little more gruff than normal. "Your sister will cause me to enter Richard Young any day now."

Relaxing back in my chair, I hid a smile. "Still debating the wedding plans?"

He was pinching the bridge of his nose and groaning. "Quatre, if there's only one thing I am thankful for, it is that I do not have to go through this torture with you! After five girls, and more in the next few years, I'm never going to live through it." He stopped and peered intently at me from across the desk. "Unless your problem has to do with you... needing to get married?"

"No!" I choked out the word with a laugh. "No, I don't plan on marrying."

"Good." He sat back, and waited for me to continue.

"Yes, it is personal," I gave him.

After studying me in silence, he asked, "Are you serious about him?"

I nodded. "As much as I can be at this time."

We held another round of silence. While Dad knew my orientation - it had been one of the arguments we had when I was a teenager - he had never been faced with me in a relationship. It wasn't as though I'd had many boyfriends, or even lovers, but those I had, I kept separate from my family and work. Never before had I mentioned one to my father.

"It's about time," was all he said. He stood and, as I got to my feet, he came around the desk. "Now get your butt out of this office. You're on leave as of this moment." Giving me a hug, he said, "I catch you back here, consider yourself fired," and pulled away to glare.

"Yes, sir," I answered, giving him a hug back.

Trowa was playing the piano when I arrived home. It had taken me a moment to confirm that the music I heard wasn't from any recording. Tossing my case on the couch, I climbed the stairs to the loft.

Off the landing, a wide archway led to a large open area overlooking the living room and the dining room. It served as my music room, and I used it as the main gathering area for the occasional party. Sunlight flooded it from the multiple skylights dotting the ceiling.

I watched him play from the archway. Watched his shoulders move as an arm extended, watched his spine curve. Again, he was shirtless, and I was beginning to dread the day his seduction device would come to an end. The teen was beautiful, even if he was too thin.

His piece came to an end, and he turned on the bench. He knew I had been watching, if the twist to his lips was any indication. I moved into the room, coming closer to him.

"You play very well."

He ducked his head and a hand rose to rub the back of his neck. "I haven't in a long time. Hope you don't mind," he said, straddling the bench.

Taking a seat next to him, I shook my head. "Not at all. I wondered if you played an instrument." I looked him over and had to smile. "You've been shopping." He nodded as I ran a finger down the tie he wore. "It looks good on you. I like it."

"You should." He was smiling. "The tie is yours." Trowa's hand was lightly tracing the inseam of my thigh. "The jeans and hat are new, though." My eyes rose to the dark brown fedora. It seemed to add a dangerous air to him, to age him more in experience than years. With the naked tie, he looked more playful than a gangster.

"Didn't find a shirt?" I asked, my fingers touching his bare skin.

"I like the natural look better."

In looking him over again, I would agree. I brushed a thumb over a nipple, and he shivered. "Did these hurt?"

"Not really." His fingers were kneading the inside of my thigh. "The ones in my tongue were worse."

I looked up from where my hands were stroking his body. "Any other piercings?" I asked with a smile.

Trowa shook his head. "Thought about a couple others, but..." He shrugged even as I was leaning into him, planting a kiss on his chest just above where my thumb stroked. His hand squeezed, and I slid closer to him.

His nipple ring was oddly heavy in my mouth. For a moment, I wondered how one would feel pulling on my own flesh. I tugged the hoop with my teeth and felt more than heard him moan. A hand was in my hair pressing me closer still. The hand on my thigh rose, pulled on my shirt, and slipped up under to circle my waist. It was my turn to moan.

"Fuck," Trowa said, his voice low and urgent. He was leaning back, pulling me onto him and almost off the bench.

Letting go of his nipple, I moved my mouth over his chest; the tie I flipped over his shoulder to continue my oral exploration. Under my lips, I could feel his heart beating rapidly. I needed to stop or I wouldn't. Drawing a deep breath, and releasing it slowly, I laid my head on his chest and wrapped my arms around him.

"I should go change," I murmured without opening my eyes. He made some sort of noise in my hair, leaving me unsure if he agreed or not.

"Oh," Trowa said, pulling away and sitting upright. "There was a message for you on the machine." His voice seemed suddenly flat.

"A message?" I frowned wondering who and why someone would call my home on a working day and not my cell.

Trowa looked away, took off his hat and ran a hand through his hair. "Yeah. I thought maybe you might have called while I was out." He peered up at me, brushing at the nap on his hat. "I wasn't being nosy."

"Oh." I touched his arm quickly. "I didn't mean to imply you would. I should have called you to see how everything was, and I'm sorry I didn't." He smiled and set his hat in a jaunty angle. "Who was the message from?"

"A girl - Relena, I think she said, asked for you to meet her there instead of at the house." His expression went completely unreadable

"Damn, I forgot." I frowned and looked at my watch. It was too late to cancel, but I didn't want to leave. Giving Trowa a smile, I palmed his cheek. "Relena is my oldest friend, and since she doesn't enjoy dating, she has always asked me to escort her to necessary functions." The stiffened lines of his jaw relaxed under my hand.

"I forgot there was a charity event tonight." I kissed his lips, long and lingering. Breaking the kiss, I pulled away and added, "I can't cancel this late. If I had remembered this morning..." Trowa placed several fingers over my mouth.

"It's okay." Removing his hand, he leaned in, his lips brushing mine. "I'll be here when you come back." Abruptly, Trowa stood and pulled me to my feet. "C'mon, I'll even help you dress." By the flash of his eyes, I had the idea I was going to enjoy it.

He wasn't there when I came home.

The house was quiet, and dark, a hallway light the only exception. Though it wasn't quite midnight, I peeked in his room, thinking he might have gone to bed. It was empty. Enough of his things were scattered around to make me believe that he would be back. But I wondered where he was.

I tugged at my tie as I opened my bedroom door. The thought crossed my mind that I'd left the lights on at the same time I spotted him. And I could only stand at the door and stare.

Trowa sat sprawled in a high-back cushioned chair I rarely used. One leg dangled over a chair arm; the other had its foot planted on the floor. He still wore his hat, and my tie, but nothing else. The small reading lamp on the end table behind him barely lit the area. Peering at me over the top of the book in his hand, Trowa was showing that those long fingers of his could play more than a piano.

"Cinderella left the ball before midnight?" he asked in mock solicitousness. His eyes swept over me. "At least you didn't leave a slipper."

Dropping my hand from undoing my tie, I walked towards him slowly. "The prince didn't interest me." I came to a stop a few feet from the chair. "I see you've been keeping yourself entertained." Even as I watched, Trowa continued to lightly stroke his erection.

He grinned and shrugged off-handedly. "It passes the time." Holding up the hardback, he added, "And the book ain't bad neither."

"DH Lawrence," I read. Catching his eye, I raised a brow. "Women in Love? I would have thought you more of a JD Salinger reader."

"His stuff bores me," Trowa said with another shrug. "Tame - too naive compared to real life." He stopped stroking himself, and instead walked his fingers up his near hairless torso. His twisting and pulling on the hoop had me twitching pleasantly.

Whether it was only for me, or he was naturally unselfconscious, Trowa thought nothing of what he was doing or his state of dress - even if it was deliberate.

"And you are no innocent," I murmured reaching down to take his book.

He moved to stand up, taking the book from my hand and dropping it to the chair. "And you, sir, are no angel." His hand shot forward, and I was pulled forcefully against him by the grip on my lapel. "Did I tell you that seeing you in this get-up turns me on?" He began turning us, walking backward toward the bed.

Holding onto his hips as we shuffled, I glanced down, verifying what get-up I was in. "No, you hadn't."

"The first time I saw you in this tux, I wanted to jump you." He slid the tie from underneath my collar and took a step back. "I almost didn't let you go tonight. I wanted to keep you here for myself." When we reached the bed, he stopped and released his hold on me. "Now, I will keep you here, by any means."

I might have said his name aloud, but for the rush of blood in my ears and its thrumming through my veins, I couldn't hear anything else. He was warm to the touch, and suddenly I had to touch him all over. I leaned closer and the brim of his fedora clipped my head.

Through the short, quiet laugh, he leaned towards me even as he reached up and pulled his hat off. Our lips touched, and my eyes closed as his hat sailed out of sight. Mouths parted slightly, and I pulled him closer; felt his lean hard muscle even through my clothes; his erection twitched against my abdomen. His lips moved to kiss my chin, my jaw and my neck.

"Trowa." His name was a mere moan of breath. I couldn't stop what was happening. Not now. Not even if I wanted to, and I didn't. "Trowa," I groaned in a rush of breath. "Is this what you want?"

"I want you," he whispered against my neck. "Please don't turn me away again."

As though I had wanted to those other times. "No," I answered him before licking at his clavicle. "Not this time." His skin was damp under my hand, or maybe the anticipation made my palm slick.

His hands were pushing on my rear, driving his hips into mine. "Make love to me," he nosed aside my shirt collar and sucked softly. "Fuck me." His hips gave a rolling grind into mine. "Use me." He pulled back just far enough to look into my face. "I want you."

"Yes," I was saying, a hand reaching for his tie and pulling him back to me with it. "All of the above, and then some," I said and kissed him.

He sighed into the kiss, in relief or need, I wasn't sure and couldn't quite bring myself to care. A moment later, he was slipping away from my lips and out of my hands. Trowa dropped down on the bed. He looked up at me even as I felt the pull on my zipper.

"Trowa?" I asked, uncertain but willing to let him set the pace.

"Ever since that first time, I've wanted you like this..." A hand was in my pants, pulling my dick through the boxer's opening. Trowa's eyes flicked downward and back up. "...just like that," he whispered. His hand dropped away, and his head bent forward. His mouth swallowed me, and I couldn't be sure whose groan was louder.

My fingers were in his hair, clutching at his shoulders and urging him on. I moved closer as he pulled back; the mattress blocked my advance. He must have had this planned, for he rolled a gel slicked condom over my cock.

When he was done, he drew his legs up, his feet on the bed, sat back, letting go of me and forcing me to release my hold. Trowa tossed his hair off his face, watching me. I bent forward to kiss him over his knees, and suddenly realized what he'd been doing.

My tie was now a set of cloth handcuffs, and it was wrapped tight around his wrists.

I touched it instead, wanting to feel disturbed, but the instant rush told me differently. Lust and desire, hot, heavy and pulsing, thrust all else out. The back of Trowa's neck was in my grip, his mouth pressed to mine and I began to kneel on the bed beside him. Nights of dreaming about this, visualizing him laying under me, of me driving into him, I wanted him. I needed him.

Trowa pushed on my chest just enough to capture my attention. His eyes were wide and dark as I sat back watching him. He slid his legs through the loop his arms made, and held his ankles in his hands. "Like this," he whispered and rolled on his shoulders, drawing his legs up to his chest. He rocked slightly, and held himself still, exposed and posed. And he was beautiful.

My hands stroked the backs of his thighs; I looked down into his face and his eyes were closed. "This is what you want? This way?" Seeing him helpless looking - trussed up just for me - left me excited, appalled, and barely restrained.

He nodded, breathing hard and trembling. An eye opened. "I want to come just looking at you." He shifted slightly, and the back of his hand stroked the black matte of the tux. "I want to feel this."

Kneading the flesh of his ass, I lowered my head and kissed him low on the inside of his thigh, his skin warm under my lips. Though he seemed still on the surface, a rippling passed through my fingertips, through the touch of my lips. Like an attacking beast, lust flared and I had just enough thought left to worry about his comfort. My questing fingers slipped with familiar ease. "Trowa?" I asked, stroking him gently.

"I was busy while you were gone," he told me, his eyes still closed. "Found some stu..." his words ended in a loud gasping moan.

Easing into him was more than I thought possible. I shuddered with the effort of restraint. He was as tight as I'd imagined. He was better than I'd hoped. My hands holding his hips steady, I rocked into him, snapping forward and pulling back.

Trowa's face was hidden behind his knees; the muted feel of his body through my slacks at each thrust added to the disconnection. It had to be another dream. But damn. The zipper teeth raked skin and caught hair; the pain minimal, I didn't stop - I couldn't stop.

Over in a moment it seemed, I was coming and my ears rang with the sounds of my own breathing and Trowa's soft cries. I held him to me, still inside his body as the thundering slowed in my chest and my vision returned to normal. A muscle in the back of my thigh cramped, and I sat back suddenly. I didn't want it to be over; stopping reality hadn't been a skill I'd mastered as yet.

I crawled up to lay next to Trowa. "Are you through with these now?" I asked, plucking at his restraint.

He nodded, his look soft as I helped him free his legs and release his hands. Strands of hair stuck to his face in sweaty clumps, and I pushed them away with my fingertips. Now completely malleable, Trowa at once seemed younger than even his looks made him appear. In kitten-like contentment, he curled his body about mine, his eyes sliding shut in sleepy pleasure.

"Bed," I directed quietly, nudging him up enough to pull blankets and sheets down.

Rising, I undressed where I stood, dropping the Armani tuxedo to the carpet. Trowa watched, his eyes heavy, but his lips smiling. I wondered if he was always this sedate, inclined to sleep. Though I knew so little about him, I doubted it to be the case. Leaving the lamp on, I slipped into bed beside him.

"Thank you," he said his fingers tracing a trail on the side of my face.

I turned towards him, an arm slid around his waist. "For what?" I asked softly, my eyes darting over his face.

"'doing it my way," he said, his voice thick in drowsiness. Trowa's hand dropped away to curl at his chest. "'knew you didn't want to."

"I don't want to use you. You deserve better than that."

An eye opened to glare at me. "'all use one 'nother," he was slurring, now. "wanted you."

Pushing his hair back, I pressed a kiss to his forehead. "I wanted you too. I still want you." His lips lifted briefly, and his eyes closed once again. He was asleep then, and I lay watching him, more awake and feeling alive as I'd never been before.

The sex we'd had wasn't something I had ever envisioned having. Not with him. Especially not the first time. Make love to me. Fuck me. Use me. he'd said. I'd used him; I'd fucked him. And the consuming lust I'd felt for him still tingled along every nerve, the need of him pulsed steadily. But for the moment, the urge had been sated enough.

I released Trowa reluctantly, and pulled the covers over the both of us. He let out a sigh, and drew closer to my side, his head on my pillow. I rolled on my back, and tucked my free hand behind my head, staring at the ceiling. As I stroked the small of his back, his words continued to swirl.

Having sex still clothed hadn't been part of my sexual experience before. But then, neither had bondage in any form. Just recalling the sight of Trowa, in his mock helplessness, my cock stirred. I had a feeling it would become more a staple than an exception.

As soon as he woke, I planned on making love to him, showing him through touch alone how I felt. He did deserve more than what I'd shown him, but as anxious as I'd been to love him, the sex without the bonds and clothes would still have been about sex, and not about emotion.

My eyes flicked down to watch him sleep some more, wondering when he'd wake. All of the above and then some. I could live happily with that.

"Another tie? Jesus, the guy only wears tee shirts and jeans. What's he going to do with all those ties?" Duo asked, his glance already moving away from the rack I'd stopped at.

I looked at him briefly, before going back to perusing the narrow swatches of silk. Duo hadn't been with me mentally the entire time we'd been in the store. I was certain his focus was on those waiting for us outside the food court - on a particular person waiting.

"I don't say anything about the socks you buy," I told him, holding my selection up to the light. Swirling electric blue on glossy black and offset by matted gray lines, I imagined how it would look against Trowa's skin. How it would highlight the twin rings. But I didn't miss the instant flush my words created.

Duo moved his hand clutching a new pair behind his thigh and out of my line of sight. "That's different."

Folding the tie carefully, I added it to the small collection of items I carried. "No it's not, but it is private." I smiled and jerked my head towards the checkout. "Let's get out of here and go find the guys."

He was sitting on a bench in a row of benches set before the hall leading to the food court. His elbows rested on his knees with a plastic bag from a bookstore dangling from his hand. I had stopped to stare, and Duo ran into my back.

"Hey," Trowa called softly. His companion looked up at him from the book he read, before glancing our way. The warm, pleasure of just looking at him infused me, and I knew my smile reflected it.

"Duo," his companion stood suddenly, his book forgotten at his side. I shot him a look hearing the vibrancy of his voice; it seems I wasn't the only one imbued with emotion.

Returning my attention back to Trowa, I handed him the small bag. "I picked something up for you." I thought my grin gave it way; he laughed softly before looking inside.

"Tie," I heard Duo muttering to Heero. In a rush, he added, "Don't ask. You don't wanna know."

I was watching Trowa, but could see the two move off towards the noise and the collective smell of food. Trowa's eyes flashed, and his lips curved into a wicked smile. He touched my hand, and we began walking, trailing a few feet behind Heero and Duo.

"I got you something too," he said handing me his bag. Trowa continued to look steadily ahead, as though whatever Heero was telling Duo held his rapt attention.

The minute twitching of his lips warned me, but I couldn't stop the choking laugh.

He'd bought me a Boy Scout guidebook. For knot tying.

Yeah, he was all of the above - and then some.


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