“Whoa, what do you think you’re doing with that?” Ray exclaimed, slightly startled.
Fraser considered the rope in his hands with a puzzled frown. “I thought you had explicitly uttered the wish that I show you some knots… did I misunderstand you?”
“Uh, no, but… you want to show me—on me?” Ray’s voice rose a little.
Fraser looked as if Ray was being deliberately difficult.
“How else do you propose I show you?”
Ray came up blank.
“Some piece of furniture, maybe?”
The sigh was long-suffering. “How am I supposed to teach you to tie a suspect’s hands with a piece of rope if I demonstrated it on the leg of a table? If you’d rather we didn’t do this—”
“No. I—fine, do me.” Ray thought this was more about a dare than his actual thirst for knowledge—after all, Ray was always carrying a pair of cuffs. He had only commented on Fraser’s use of the lanyard— Fraser had then decided that a question must involve some kind of desire to know it from firsthand experience.
“I could begin with a knot that you will be able to loosen for yourself,” Fraser suggested.
“Why would I tie a suspect with a knot the guy could work free?”
“Well, think of the Brooklyn case. Had you—”
“Had I been able to fake a knot we wouldn’t have ended up in that mess and Dewey wouldn’t have had to release us. Okay, I get it.”
Fraser smiled. He loved it when Ray gave in. Ray swallowed a good-natured sigh.
“Hold out your hands,” Fraser ordered.
Gamely, Ray held out his hands in front of him like some convict pleading guilty.
Expertly, Fraser took the rope in half and placed it over Ray’s hands. He pulled it around once and then again, carefully placing one line of rope next to the other.
Ray watched Fraser’s hands. The rope was soft, almost silky, and he hadn’t expected that. It looked rough, like some kind of nylon and Ray had been braced for the burn. But it wasn’t. It slid over his wrists like a second skin.
Fraser slung the rope around his hands again. Ray had his doubts if that would make a good handcuff; he had almost of space between his hands.
“It’s important that you leave a bit of space,” Fraser murmured as if he had read Ray’s thoughts. “Because I will tighten the rope—” He crossed the ends of the rope above Ray’s wrists and moved them underneath again. Suddenly, he pulled the roped tight and Ray felt it slide across his skin, drawing his arms together. He exhaled abruptly, surprised by the tight heat that prickled over his skin.
Fraser brought the ends of the rope above Ray’s wrists again and paused.
“Regularly, I would fasten this with a different knot. For now I will do one that you can undo on your own… with a bit of dexterity.”
The knot looked awfully complicated and Ray wasn’t sure if he could reproduce it.
“There,” Fraser said with a small smile at his handiwork.
Ray tried to spread his arms, to no avail. His hands were well and truly bound. There was the tiniest slither of space between the rope and his skin and the rope moved against his hands as Ray struggled in vain.
The feeling of the rope against his skin caused his heartbeat to quicken.
“Okay, I—” Ray took a quick breath. “How do I work it loose?”
“You simply have to pull on the correct end.”
Suddenly, it was important that Ray got the rope off as quickly as he could. He shifted his hands, trying to catch a bit of the rope and all the while the rope rubbed against his skin in a maddening whisper.
“Ha!” Ray exclaimed triumphantly when he managed to grab one of the ends. He tugged as good as his bound hands allowed him, but nothing happened.
“It’s the wrong one,” Fraser said quietly, a touch of humor in his voice, and Ray swallowed the angry retort that he was aware of that.
Ray’s slender fingers flexed and turned until he could grab the other end. He pulled and the hyper-complicated knot came loose, just like that. Slowly, Ray shook the rope off his hands. His mouth was dry.
“You can practice on me now,” Fraser said, holding out his hands.
Carefully, Ray picked up the rope. He let the length of it glide through his fingers. It smelled faintly of freshly cut straw. He wrapped it once around his hand and balled a fist. A shiver slithered down his spine and Ray quickly released his hold again.
It wasn’t hard to remember how Fraser had wrapped the rope around his own hands. Fraser was calm and his hands were still. Ray reveled in the feeling of the rope as it slipped through his fingers while he bound Fraser’s hands.
Ray struggled a little with the knot.
“No, put the bite through the loop first,” Fraser explained. Ray nodded and followed through and then he released his grip and took a step back.
The white of the rope looked good on Fraser’s skin, the broad wrapping around his wrists strong enough to hold him, and Fraser’s fingers looked even more beautiful enhanced this way.
With long practiced ease, Fraser reached for the end of the rope and tugged.
Ray hadn’t known he was going to ask this until the words were already out of his mouth.
“Show me another one.”
Fraser’s look was steady when he looked at Ray and finally, he nodded.
He walked around him and stopped when he was directly behind Ray’s back. Automatically, Ray raised his head a little, staring straight ahead.
“Put your hands behind your back,” Fraser said clearly and for a second Ray could see him say the same thing to a perp.
Ray didn’t know why he did it so slowly, but he took his time moving his hands where Fraser wanted them.
“I’m doing another two column tie,” Fraser explained and started wrapping the rope around his arms.
Now that Fraser wasn’t watching, Ray allowed his eyes to close, to focus only on how this felt. It was strangely exhilarating.
“You really don’t need so many passes,” Fraser told him as he moved the rope yet another time around his hands, and Ray could only distinguish from the way it felt against his skin that Fraser must’ve wrapped half of his forearms. “This is just to show you that you can do this with less mobility on the part of the prisoner.”
Ray swallowed. He was the prisoner at the moment and the rope clasped his arms. If he concentrated solely on his arms he could make out every single pass that Fraser had made with the rope.
His lips parted involuntarily as Fraser pulled the rope taut. He took a frantic breath through his nose, hoping that Fraser hadn’t heard his excited breathing.
“I’m going to use the same knot as before,” Fraser’s matter-of-fact voice pulled Ray out of his sensory overload.
“Uh, yeah, sure…” Ray mumbled, feeling his face heat.
Fraser’s hands touched Ray’s bound hands, testing the knot. Satisfied, he stepped back.
“I’m done. You can now try to work it loose.”
The strain against his shoulders made Ray very aware of how vulnerable he had let himself become. He struggled, but without actually seeing the end of the rope it was exceptionally difficult to catch it.
“You’re doing really well,” Fraser murmured appreciatively.
Ray flushed, not even sure why he was embarrassed.
Fraser came around to face him again. He leaned back, resting his lower back against the kitchen counter while he watched Ray struggle.
The accelerated heartbeat was a dull pounding in Ray’s head. Wriggling his hands only made the rope rub against his skin over and over again. Carefully, he parted his lips to breathe through his mouth, hoping his excited breathing would be less noticeable.
He looked up, feeling Fraser’s close scrutiny, and found him staring back at him with a frown between his brows. Fraser’s eyes took him in slowly and he stepped closer.
“Are you scared, Ray?” he asked in a neutral tone.
Ray made the mistake of looking him in the eye then and it wasn’t that easy to lie when you had to meet those intelligent, honest eyes. He hesitated for a split second and then he cleared his throat. “…no… no, ‘m not,” he mumbled and his eyes broke contact, coming to rest on one of the shiny buttons on Fraser’s serge.
A whisper of rope grazed his fingers as he strained and twisted them to reach for the end. Almost. He really had to get out of this or he would embarrass himself beyond belief in front of Fraser. He supposed he could ask him to release him… but that seemed like cheating and Ray bit his lip in determination.
Fraser resumed his spot behind Ray and a shiver tumbled through Ray as he felt warm fingers right on his bound wrists.
“It’s a hemp rope,” he heard Fraser say and his voiced sounded gentle against Ray’s ear. “Treated the right way it’s softer and more durable than regular nylon rope. It absorbs the body oil each time it is used, making it softer.”
Softly, Fraser’s fingers brushed against the rope and Ray had to close his eyes and swallow hard to keep from groaning. God, Fraser had no idea what a sick partner he had—hell, Ray hadn’t known that he got off on stuff like this.
The end of the rope tickled when Fraser pushed it into Ray’s straining fingers. Tugging awkwardly, Ray felt the knot come loose. With strong, sure moves Fraser removed the rope, layer for layer.
Catching his breath, Ray took a few deep breaths, trying to get the pounding of his blood reined back in.
“Let me show you another one.” Fraser’s voice was quiet and Ray bit his lip hard enough to hurt wishing he had it in him to say ‘no’. Mutely, he nodded. It felt more like an acknowledgement of defeat than an expression of choice.
“Please, sit down, Ray.”
Bewildered, Ray looked at Fraser, but his face was gentle and calm with the faint trace of a smile and Ray knew he could trust him… just like always. Still, it was strange to be sitting on his own living room floor watching Fraser pull another piece of rope out of his pocket.
Ray’s heart was in his mouth as he waited. He had his hands slung around his knees and a tiny spark of excitement fluttered nervously around his gut not quite sure what Fraser had in mind.
With a measured step, Fraser sank down on one knee next to him and took his right arm gently away from his knee. He pulled it down until it was next to his ankle and Ray could taste his pulse on his tongue.
Once, he let the rope glide fully through his fingers before he took it in half again. With a weird tingle of disappointment, Ray wished he was wearing fewer clothes when Fraser began to wrap the rope around his ankle and wrist.
He tried to concentrate on what Fraser was doing, but the truth was that he didn’t really care how he did it. He was unable to prevent the hitch in his breath when the rope pulled tight again. It took every ounce of willpower not to tug on the rope when Fraser moved back again. It was like teasing himself… feeling the rope rest against his skin, but not yet sure if he was well and truly bound.
With efficient movements, Fraser repeated the same wrapping with Ray’s other arm and leg. Ray hardly dared to breathe. Finally, Fraser stood up and moved a little back to sit down in one of the kitchen chairs, dangling his hands between his legs.
Now, Ray pulled on the ropes. Of course, they didn’t give. He hadn’t expected them to. It was—exhilarating, this feeling of immobility. He couldn’t sit up because his hands were fastened to his ankles and he couldn’t move his legs for the same reason. Heat flowed slowly over his chest and face— he could feel it.
Fraser didn’t say anything and Ray produced a soft sound in the back of his throat. Powerlessly, Ray wriggled his fingers, flexing them, grinding against the rope. He wanted to bend down to reach for the end of the rope with his lips, but he knew that he wouldn’t be able to reach that far.
Straining, he managed to catch the end, but barely. Licking his lip, Ray flexed his fingers, pulling on it. The angle was awkward, but he managed a slight tug. Nothing happened and Ray frowned at it.
His gaze flicked up, meeting Fraser’s, and his voice was rusty when he asked, “Was it the wrong one?”
Fraser looked at him in silence. He opened his mouth and for a second Ray could make out the crooked tooth at the corner. In a gush of air, Fraser exhaled. “No.”
Puzzled, Ray pointed out the obvious. “But it didn’t come loose.”
Blue eyes searched Ray’s gaze. “No, it didn’t.”
Ray struggled in his bonds, wanting his hands free to express his confusion, but his hands stayed where they were. His blood felt thick and sluggish and Ray had to clear his throat before he was able to speak.
“It’s not the same knot,” Ray concluded and Fraser almost smiled.
“You’re right, it isn’t. I closed it with an overhand knot; it’s not possible for you to loosen it.”
Ray swallowed and swallowed again because there didn’t seem enough spit in his mouth to talk with. It felt like fear, but Ray knew that he wasn’t in any danger, he knew that Fraser would release him the moment he voiced any discomfort. So why the rapid pulse, why the quickened breathing—why the arousal, Ray asked himself as he felt himself harden inside of his jeans.
He hadn’t wanted Fraser to see him like this, vulnerable, exposed… helplessly turned on. But Fraser was looking at him as if he had known already or at least since this game started. And he didn’t seem upset by it. Rather… intrigued.
Taking a shuddering breath, Ray opened his mouth to speak Fraser’s name. It came out more in a moan and Fraser answered his unarticulated question by settling on the floor in front of him.
“Do you want me to release you?” Fraser asked, looking for the first time unsure of himself. Blushing, Ray shook his head and Fraser looked the tiniest bit relieved, maybe happy that he had read him correctly.
Enticingly, Fraser bit his lip. “Do you want me to touch you?” he murmured, his lips almost close enough to touch the corner of Ray’s mouth.
Ray sucked in a desperate breath. “Yeah,” he breathed. “God, yeah.”
Helplessly, his fingers moved in the restricting grasp of the rope. He couldn’t do anything; neither put Fraser’s hands where he wanted them, nor keep them from touching him where they wanted. Ray gulped as Fraser’s fingers trailed up the inseam of his jeans. His leg twitched, but that only tugged on his hands.
“Frase…” he murmured.
Deliberately, Fraser moved between Ray’s legs and he reached out, right in the space between his bound hands, in the V of his legs, to open the buttons on his jeans.
Ray moaned as the pressure of the jeans on his erection lessened. There was no way Fraser could get the jeans off of him in that position and Fraser didn’t seem particularly upset about that. Instead, his fingers brushed softly along Ray’s cock, stroking over the cotton of his underwear and Ray breathed frantically through his nose in an effort to keep quiet.
His hands were straining against the bonds, his fingers were itching to press Fraser’s hand close, to make him take Ray’s dick in his hand, but Ray’s hands stayed where they were and he was at Fraser’s mercy.
The rope was snug around his wrists and he moved his hands around simply to feel it rubbing against his skin.
Fraser’s fingers were maddening. Caressing his straining erection in one moment only to skitter away in the next to stroke the soft skin of his stomach or down again to trail his fingertips along the inside of Ray’s leg.
Softly, Ray whimpered and flexed his finger, futilely.
“You’re beautiful,” Fraser whispered and Ray could only spread his legs further to show Fraser what he wanted—what he needed.
Fraser gasped quietly at the display and then stood up. Bereft, Ray stared up at him. A private smile flitted over Fraser’s lips when he noticed his lost expression.
A gentle kiss was pressed against the shell of his ear and then Fraser knelt down behind him. And then Ray understood. Sneakily, Fraser reached underneath Ray’s arm and rubbed his fingers gently against the elastic of Ray’s boxer briefs.
Ray’s shuddering breath sounded like a sob and then he began babbling. “Fraser—touch me, you gotta… c’mon…”
He fought against his bonds, needing his hands free, but only managed to run himself out of breath. Gasping, Ray surrendered again. His slender fingers twitched, unused to prolonged immobility.
Stealthily, Fraser’s fingers dipped below the waistband, barely brushing Ray’s heated erection. A long moan was drawn from Ray’s throat. “Do me, do me, do me,” he murmured with a sense of breathless urgency.
Fraser’s voice was amused when it reached Ray’s ear. “There is a word that you say if you want someone to do something for you.”
Fraser couldn’t be serious? Ray pulled on the bonds again; his hands ached with the desire to force Fraser’s hand on his cock.
“Dammit!” Ray snarled and he could feel the brush of Fraser’s hair as he shook his head.
“The ropes will hold, Ray,” Fraser promised him. “And you won’t be able to release yourself. I can do this all night.”
A shiver wrecked him because he believed Fraser. What was even more disturbing was that the option wasn’t even all that off-putting.
Ray groaned and swallowed thickly. “Please,” he breathed.
Slowly, Fraser’s fingers closed around his cock. It was a close fit and Fraser couldn’t move his hand very much. But Ray didn’t need much. He was too hyped and he was wired too tightly.
“Please,” he repeated, feeling his body go lax as he gave up the struggle.
Fraser’s grip tightened and Ray wanted to sob with gratitude. So close—and it was too much— “Please, Frase, please… god… I need…ahhh!” Ray’s body strained against the force of his climax. The pull on the ropes was a bright imprint on his skin.
Gasping, Ray let his head fall forward. He felt the soft brush of Fraser’s lips on his neck and he heard him murmur softly.
Fraser moved to the side and undid the knots with nimble fingers. Gently, he removed the rope, freeing Ray’s limbs again.
Ray finally reached out then and pulled him close for an almost shy kiss.
He took in Fraser’s flushed face and his deep blue eyes and the small happy smile and he intertwined their fingers.
“It’s already late…” he said, trying not to blush. “You could stay.”
Arousal made Fraser even more beautiful.
“Yes…” Fraser breathed.
Ray extricated himself from the floor and tugged on Fraser’s hand to pull him up. “Then let’s go to bed…” Ray glanced at the ropes lying innocently on the floor. “And better take the ropes with you.”
Fraser’s eyes darkened a shade and he snatched up the ropes before he followed Ray into the bedroom.