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Primum non nocere

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First and foremost, Jonathan Fanshawe is a creature of habit. New situations are made threatening by the number of pitfalls they might contain, social or otherwise, no matter how apparently trivial or pedestrian the circumstance. Preparation—rigorous and careful—is the only way that he feels quite assured of himself. One must have a plan.

Then again, it’s never quite simple planning for what one hasn’t experienced before. Much less when one isn’t quite sure what’s going to happen. No matter. Jonathan has spent years, now, feigning confidence and authority, and it’s a well-practiced act. There are simple things that he can do.

The first question is what he wants the final state of this particular encounter to be. Does he want to elicit an apology from his companion, a permanent change in behaviour? Perhaps he just wants to startle them a little. Perhaps he’s proving something to himself.

It’s not made any easier by the fact that Jonathan is angry. Not so angry that he can’t conduct himself with professionalism, but it’s difficult to ignore the simmering resentment under his skin when he thinks of that smug little smile, the audacity of him. Mordechai Lukas. All quiet aggression and cocksure self-assurance, all pride. Jonathan could break him if he wanted to, he’s sure enough of that. He could bring Mordechai crumbling to pieces at his feet.

But—perhaps he doesn’t quite want that. He’s not a brute, after all. He is nothing like Mordechai Lukas, and he sees no reason to use muscle to get his point across. Perhaps Mordechai imagines that his size makes him in some way invulnerable to anything that Jonathan could dream up. Perhaps Mordechai thinks that Jonathan is too careful a physician to wish to cause him any serious pain. Well. He’s been gifted an opportunity, carte blanche to prove Mordechai wrong, and he intends to make proper use of it.

Jonathan doesn’t like to hold grudges, as a rule. It can’t be helped sometimes. At least this will be appropriately cathartic.

As he does with any visit he packs his tools carefully into his leather bag, selecting what he thinks he might need and putting on his coat, his gloves, his hat, stepping into the carriage that waits outside his surgery for the long ride to Moorland House. Under normal circumstances Jonathan might prefer to do this in his surgery, to call Mordechai to heel and make him wait, but there’s a distinct appeal to the idea of coming to Mordechai’s house and tearing him apart on his own turf.

Metaphorically speaking. Obviously.

Moorland House is as quiet and desolate as ever, silent save for his footsteps as he walks up the stairs to the room that serves as Mordechai’s office. Before he can knock at the door it opens, and there he is, as huge and broad as ever, down to his shirtsleeves with the sleeves rolled to the elbow.

“Doctor Fanshawe,” he greets, affably enough, and Jonathan gives him a curt nod.

“Mr Lukas.”

“Do come in.”

“Thank you.”

Courtesy, that’s the idea. There’s no need to be impolite. Jonathan has no intention of shouting or throwing his weight around, of causing a scene to try and intimidate Mordechai. No, composure, that’s what he needs. He sets his bag down on Mordechai’s desk, watching him close the office door and amble over.

“Would you like a drink?”

“No, thank you.” Jonathan is tempted, actually, but a clear head seems like a better companion to what he has planned than a glass of port or brandy. Mordechai shrugs and goes to pour himself a finger or two of what looks like cognac.

“Well, I will. Unless you’ve any objections?” There’s something almost mischievous in his eyes as he looks up, and Jonathan fights to keep his face quite implacable while he considers his position. This is the opening offensive, then, the opportunity to set out the rules of engagement between them. They’ve corresponded enough on the subject while Mordechai’s shoulder heals from his last bout, but it’s quite different to suddenly be confronted with the issue face to face.

“If you feel inclined to steady your nerves, Mr Lukas, I won’t stop you,” he says coolly, shrugging off his coat and draping it over the back of a chair, his hat swiftly following it. The gloves, for now, stay in place, and Jonathan watches Mordechai’s lips twitch in apparent amusement. What matters more to him, a drink or his pride? He opts for the drink—perhaps feeling that to back down would be more of a blow to his pride regardless—and Jonathan watches the way his throat works as he takes a sip.

Mordechai Lukas is not an unattractive man. That is, unfortunately, an objective fact from where Jonathan is standing. His size makes him imposing but he’s deceptively fine-featured, sharp-eyed, his dark hair (increasingly streaked with white these days) carefully combed and tied back with a ribbon. His beard is thoroughly unorthodox by the standards of society, but it’s neatly trimmed too. Mordechai is a man that chooses to take care of himself, even if he spends half of his time down in the dust of the fighting ring, flecked with blood and saliva and sweat. Granted, his looks are a little more rugged than Jonah’s or Barnabas’, but Jonathan can appreciate them. Everything in its place.

“Quite finished?” he asks coolly once the cognac has disappeared, and Mordechai smiles with shining lips, setting the glass down.

“Am I keeping you waiting?”

“You are.”

“Oh, well, my apologies. What would you have me do, Doctor?” And isn’t that the question. Jonathan crosses the room to undo the buckles on his bag, raising an unimpressed eyebrow at Mordechai.

“You could start by undressing. I don’t think we’ll have much use for your clothes.”

He doesn’t expect Mordechai to be the least bit self-conscious about being nude, but there’s something pleasant about remaining quite fully-clothed while Mordechai unbuttons his shirt and undoes his trousers, tossing them to the side in a pile. Jonathan tuts, shaking his head. “No, no, that won’t do. Fold them.”

Mordechai shoots him another look out of the corner of his eye but, perhaps surprisingly, he obeys, retrieving his clothes and folding them neatly before returning to the centre of the room. It’s a good-sized room. Much of it is dominated by the heavy desk, of course, by the bookshelves that line the walls. Dark wood on the floor, panelling on the walls, stone moulded over the fireplace. Jonathan nods towards the fire next, dragging his eyes over Mordechai’s muscled shoulders, the hair on his chest, the gentle curve of his stomach. “We’ll need a little more heat, I think.”

“Certainly.” The hair on Mordechai’s arms and his legs glows like silver thread as he goes to stoke the fire, prodding the coals and throwing another log on, blowing gently until it smoulders, catches, and starts to burn. “Anything else?”

“No,” Jonathan leans back against the desk and rubs his gloved fingers together thoughtfully. “I’ll have you on your knees, now.”

The advantage of having Mordechai nude is that there’s no disguising the rather gratifying twitch between his legs when Jonathan says that. Curious. Jonathan wonders what Mordechai thinks is in store for him. A few heavy blows, perhaps. A rough fuck. Jonathan can’t deny that the thought has occurred—he has seen Mordechai on the receiving end of such treatment, though rarely, and usually only due to a lost bet. Here he is now, though, of his own volition, settling on his knees on the wooden floor.

The funny thing is how clearly Mordechai practices the behaviour he preaches to Jonah, to Barnabas. His back is quite straight, eyes forward, shoulders back. It’s rather lovely, in its way. Jonathan reaches into his bag to retrieve a black strip of cloth, wandering over to tie it around Mordechai’s eyes without ceremony. It’s fascinating looking down at him like this, how easily Mordechai bends to his touch when Jonathan grips his jaw in a gloved hand and makes him lift his head so he can look at him properly. Is he always so biddable under these circumstances? Or is he just biding his time to see what Jonathan will do to him?

“Let’s go over the basics once more,” Jonathan says finally, and Mordechai sighs, his first sign of irritation thus far.

“There’s no need.”

Jonathan smiles faintly, increasing the pressure against Mordechai’s jaw until he can see the first flickers of discomfort in his expression. “It’s for your benefit, Mr Lukas. I know at your age the memory can get hazy.”

“Age does breed experience,” Mordechai replies smoothly—too smoothly—and Jonathan gives him a thoughtful hum. After all, Mordechai won’t be able to see the scepticism on his face.

“I’m not at all interested in your experience. I want to see if I can teach an old dog new tricks.”

“Oh?” Mordechai chuckles, a little huff of breath against Jonathan’s leather clad fingers. “Which tricks?”

“Respect. Obedience. Humility.” Jonathan releases Mordechai’s jaw to give his cheek a cursory pat, a shade too gentle to be considered a slap, certainly much too forceful to be a caress. “The basics, Mr Lukas.”

“Very well.” Mordechai rolls his shoulders back, adjusting his weight slightly. “I’m to do as you bid me, to the best of my ability. Defiance will be met with discipline. If I wish to call an end to this, I can—” he crosses the fingers of his left hand pointedly in the signal they’d agreed upon, “and otherwise, you’ll continue.”

“That’s right. We’ll make a lapdog of you yet,” Jonathan says dryly, and Mordechai tilts his head slightly.

“Is this the metaphor du jour, Doctor?”

“Perhaps it is.” It’s fitting, in Jonathan’s opinion. Mordechai is a beast. He’s a creature of impulse, much as he might try to pretend otherwise. He’s a wolf dressed up in sheep’s clothing, and Jonathan intends to bring him to heel. “For now, I think I’ll rid myself of your interjections. I’m not at all interested in your opinion.”

If he’d expected coldness to be a difficult act to pull off, he’s rapidly proving himself wrong. Perhaps he’d only hoped it would be difficult, that pity might creep in at the door, even for a man such as Mordechai Lukas. Well, more fool him—it seems the most natural thing in the world to be clinical and callous, reaching to his bag again to pull out a leather-wrapped ring attached to two wide straps, a buckle at one end. The ring goes between Mordechai’s teeth, the straps buckled behind his head, and Jonathan looks down with some satisfaction at Mordechai’s lips stretched wide around the gag, the way his throat works as he tries to swallow the saliva already pooling at his lower lip.

“That’s better,” he says softly. “Now I don’t have to worry about that insolent mouth of yours.” Or his teeth, more to the point, and Jonathan demonstrates that point by pressing his fingers through the hole made by the gag, feeling at Mordechai’s molars, over the sharp point of his incisors. “If I were a better man I might do the decent thing for us all and de-fang you here,” he murmurs. “I’ve pliers in my bag.”

Impromptu dentistry isn’t, as it happens, what he has planned for tonight. Mordechai doesn’t know that. Jonathan can see the way he tenses, clearly trying to decide if Jonathan is making idle threats or not. It’s hard to tell. They’re not familiar with each other, after all. Mordechai has had a glimpse into Jonathan’s more sadistic impulses—and Jonathan is still ashamed to admit that they exist, let alone that he might act upon them, but that can’t be helped now—but no insight into how deeply they run. Besides, Mordechai has insulted him, more than once. And Mordechai’s pride is at stake here, too. If he cries mercy after a few mere minutes he’ll be far more wounded by shame than by anything Jonathan is willing to do to him, and they both know it. Mordechai’s pride is his greatest weakness, his greatest defence, and Jonathan intends to make the most of it.

“It seems to me,” he remarks thoughtfully, pressing two fingers down against Mordechai’s tongue and watching saliva spill over his lips and his chin, “that you think yourself untouchable. You might bend to Jonah’s will now and again, but you take your recompense out of his hide, and nobody else really dares cross you. Even Giovanni only taunts you from time to time.” And privately Jonathan suspects that that particular dynamic has far deeper roots than any of the rest of them will ever really be aware of. “You’ve cast yourself in the role of a would-be king. But the truth is, Mr Lukas, you’re nothing but a beast. I will tame you, I will hurt you, and I will leave you humbled and obedient.”

Not a threat. Just a prediction of things to come. Mordechai makes a soft noise—acknowledgement, perhaps, or just scepticism—and Jonathan presses his fingers further back until they brush the wet back of Mordechai’s throat and he convulses, spluttering and gagging, throat working around Jonathan’s fingers before he withdraws them.

“Pity,” he sighs. “Isn’t that just typical of you. You’ll force yourself down Jonah’s throat, or Barnabas’, but you can’t take the same treatment yourself.”

There’s a definite furrow to Mordechai’s brow, now, under the blindfold. Good. Jonathan pulls his hand from Mordechai’s mouth and wipes his spit-slick fingers by dragging them through his hair, giving a hard tug to wrench his head backwards and revelling in the grunt he gets for his efforts. Mordechai is hardening, cock thickening against his thigh, and Jonathan extends one boot to kick Mordechai’s legs apart and nudge his cock gently, applying a consistent pressure. “Well, now. It seems you respond well to being debased, at least.”

That noise from Mordechai is definitely a laugh. Jonathan turns it into a groan swiftly enough, pressing the toe of his boot hard against the underside of Mordechai’s cock to push it flat to his stomach, feeling the studs against his boot. “Is this the source of all that arrogance of yours?” Jonathan asks, flexing his ankle to see Mordechai’s lips twitch, the way he swallows thickly, throat working where Jonathan still has his head pulled back. “Funny. It’s hardly that large a thing to have you quite so pleased with yourself.”

He lets go of Mordechai’s hair only to slap him across the face, snapping his head to the side and pulling his foot back with a noise of quiet scorn. Mordechai’s cock bobs when he releases it, flushed and hard now, and as Mordechai returns his head to its previous position Jonathan can see a similar flush in his cheeks. Curious. Mordechai’s bent towards sadism is well-documented on Jonah’s neck and his thighs and his buttocks. Apparently when Mordechai had gloated about taking a hit as well as he gave one, he hadn’t been exaggerating. Jonathan isn’t really sure if he’s disappointed or pleased about it.

Not that it matters.

“Lean forward,” he directs. “Elbows on the ground, if you please.” The position tips Mordechai’s hips up, presumably leaving him in no doubt about which area Jonathan intends to target next, and Jonathan gives him a moment to adjust his weight properly so he’s comfortable enough to remain there for a little while, pulling a little vial of oil from his bag and slicking his fingers. He retrieves Mordechai’s empty glass from the desk too, setting it on the floor between Mordechai’s legs and watching as he tilts his head, clearly curious about the little thunk the heavy crystal makes as it meets the wooden floor.

“It seems to me that you suffer from an excess of pride,” Jonathan says curtly as he drops to one knee so he can press one finger between Mordechai’s cheeks, rubbing back and forth until he relaxes a little. There’ll be plenty of time for pain later but in this particular regard he’s inclined towards proper preparation. Besides which, it gives him time to lay out his opinions clearly. “You conduct yourself with little regard for courtesy, nor for the opinions of others. You display a distinct callousness and lack of care towards those you consider your subordinates which, quite evidently, includes more or less everybody. Such an excess deserves correcting.”

Jonathan’s index finger slides into Mordechai up to the first knuckles and he lets out a satisfying huff of air at the intrusion, clearly torn between arching into it or pulling away, toes curling a little. There’s a steady stream of saliva coming from his lips, now, and Jonathan has no doubt that the gag is getting rather uncomfortable. Well, so be it. He does glance at Mordechai’s hands where they’re flat to the floor, but his fingers are uncrossed—instead his hands are balled into fists, white-knuckled as Jonathan pulls his finger out a little and presses it back in, stretching Mordechai around one, and then two.

No more than that. Two is more than enough to locate the little bump on Mordechai’s inner walls and make him gasp, the sound wet and ragged with his lips held open. He all but bucks against Jonathan who tuts and withdraws his hand to smack him hard on one thigh. “Behave,” he snaps, reaching forwards with his other hand to grasp the ribbon in Mordechai’s hair and untying it deftly. “Have you no self-control? You will be still, sir, or I will put you in the stable with your horses until you have learned some manners.”

The ribbon is black, silken, long enough that Jonathan has no trouble tying it in a neat, tight little band around the base of Mordechai’s testicles and his cock. He doesn’t imagine that Mordechai will orgasm from this treatment but it’s good to remove that risk entirely—and besides, it looks rather attractive. Jonathan surveys his handiwork with some satisfaction, lips quirking into a grin now that he can’t be seen.

“Goodness. Perhaps these are the problem,” he says a little more cheerfully, rolling Mordechai’s balls in one gloved palm. “I suppose when one has a dog or a horse with too much spirit, one removes these. I think that might just work on you.” He squeezes, perhaps just a shade too roughly, and Mordechai lets out another long groan, a distinctly aggrieved tone to it this time. It’s lovely. “Yes, I think so,” Jonathan murmurs. “We’ll have to empty them first, mind you.”

He grants Mordechai one long stroke, largely to ensure that he’s still very much aroused, leaking at the tip. His moans pitch up a little higher when Jonathan rubs his fingers around the slit of Mordechai’s cock, trembling as he clearly does his best not to buck or arch too far again. He can be trained, then. Good. Jonathan withdraws, slicking his fingers again and pressing two back into Mordechai, nudging the glass into a better position with his free hand.

“I don’t suppose you’ve ever had this done to you before, have you?” he asks casually, finding the right spot inside Mordechai and circling it mercilessly with firm pressure, watching the way Mordechai’s head drops between his shoulders and his knees slide a little further apart. “That wasn’t a rhetorical question, Mr Lukas,” he prompts, nodding with satisfaction when Mordechai shakes his head, his now-loose hair falling into his face. “Mm. Well. Suffice to say I certainly don’t need to make you finish to achieve the desired effect; in fact, I’d prefer not to. You don’t deserve it.”

This is, regrettably, one of the areas in which Jonathan is lacking practical experience of his own, but the effects are easy enough to observe. Mordechai reacts to this considerably more stoically than Barnabas does, though Jonathan does for a moment feel rather wistful as he considers the way Barnabas gasps and pleads and begs, writhing like an eel on the bed until Jonathan pins him down with a hand to the back of his neck and makes him be still. If he took the gag from Mordechai now, would he beg? Jonathan doubts it. They’re not there yet.

Still, as he rubs firmly over Mordechai’s prostate, Mordechai’s cock twitches and jerks, starting to leak a steady stream into the glass that Jonathan has positioned. Whilst he isn’t half as loud as Barnabas Mordechai still sounds downright startled, panting and gasping as if he’s not quite sure what is happening to him. Which, if Barnabas’ feedback is anything to go by, is really par for the course. Barnabas has told him it feels almost like a release but not quite, a strange and oversensitive emptying with not quite enough pressure to go over the edge, certainly not with his cock bound. Mordechai’s shoulders and the back of his neck are flushed now, and Jonathan smiles as his moans pitch up again, a slightly desperate edge to them as the liquid in the glass creeps up and up the sides.

“I wonder if you expected me to fuck you,” he muses aloud, forced to speak a little more loudly than normal so as to be heard above Mordechai’s groans and gasps. “I could, I suppose. But I don’t need to impale you on a cock to show you who’s in charge, Mr Lukas; I should think that that is quite apparent now.” The flow of liquid from Mordechai’s cock is faltering now, drips rather than a steady stream, and his groans sound distinctly wetter. Perhaps Jonathan’s coaxed a few involuntary tears from him. The thought is violently, unexpectedly arousing, and Jonathan swallows hard, forced to take a moment to collect himself while he withdraws his hand from within Mordechai.

“Good. I must say you’ve expressed a rather more prodigious quantity than I’d have expected,” he remarks, patting Mordechai’s thigh and watching him shudder, still breathing hard as he recovers from the onslaught of sensation. He’s taking it quite well, all things considered. Jonathan is almost impressed. He reaches down to retrieve the glass, eyeing the liquid within with some distaste before walking around to Mordechai’s front and nudging his chin with the toe of his boot.

“Straighten up, Mr Lukas, if you please,” he prompts coolly, watching Mordechai shift and push himself upright on shaking arms. The blindfold is a little damp now, and there are sweat-damp strands of hair sticking to Mordechai’s forehead. His breathing settles after a moment or two and Jonathan draws his fingers over Mordechai’s cheek thoughtfully, rubbing against his beard. “Well? Are you feeling a little more humble?” he asks, waiting for a nod or a shake of the head and receiving neither—just blank, obstinate silence as Mordechai collects himself.

“Stubborn,” Jonathan sighs. “Very well.” He places the lip of the glass against Mordechai’s lip, more as a warning than anything else, watching the way Mordechai tenses all over as he clearly works out what’s about to happen. His fingers remain uncrossed, and so after a second’s pause Jonathan tips the glass against the ring of the gag, pouring Mordechai’s spend over his tongue and down his throat and watching his expression crease with genuine disgust.

“Oh, don’t look so put-upon. It’s hardly as if you haven’t inflicted that upon plenty of others,” Jonathan tuts, setting the glass back on the desk and using his thumb to collect a stray dribble from the corner of Mordechai’s mouth, pressing it back against his tongue. “Hm. Would you like something to take the taste away?” Mordechai nods decisively and Jonathan smiles, stroking his hair back from his forehead. “Alright, then. Hands behind your back.”

The little drinks tray in Mordechai’s office is a collection of cut-glass decanters with a silver ice-bucket in the centre obviously kept well-stocked by his array of silent servants. When Jonathan looks inside there are still some intact ice-cubes clinking gently in the pool of meltwater. He uses tongs to extract one, returning to Mordechai to place it on his tongue. He starts at the cold but Jonathan hushes him, smiling. “That ought to do. You’ll have to keep it on your tongue, mind you.” And, just as with the saliva, as the ice cube melts it pools in his mouth, trickling in frigid little trails down Mordechai’s neck and his chest and making him whimper with discomfort. “Good boy,” Jonathan purrs.

It’s rather too easy to slip into this role. He ought, perhaps, to be worried by that. But it’s hard to worry when he’s transfixed by Mordechai’s throat as he tries to swallow what little of the water he can, hands clenching and unclenching at his sides, twitching towards his still-flushed cock. Insatiable, clearly. That’s strangely flattering.

Jonathan, for his part, is quite determined not to be made to feel more cordially towards Mordechai simply because he’s submitting to this treatment, but—well, as satisfying as it is to inflict such discomfort on him, remembering the many times he’s done such things to Jonah, it’s hard for Jonathan not to at least appreciate that he’s been quite pliant thus far. The way he tilts his head to follow Jonathan’s movements across the room as he pours himself a glass of water is strangely endearing, and Jonathan sips his drink slowly, considering his next move until the icecube has melted to nothing in Mordechai’s mouth and the trails of water on his chest are drying in the firelight.

One of the many advantages of Mordechai’s house is the presence of those servants, taciturn but easily called-upon. Jonathan knocks on the doorframe to ask quietly for a bowl of hot water, a towel and some soap, waiting until it’s brought before he turns back to Mordechai, who is listening with naked curiosity.

“I’m going to take the gag off, now,” Jonathan says finally, and he doesn’t think he imagines the look of relief on Mordechai’s face as he undoes the buckle, pulling the ring from between his teeth to let Mordechai work his no-doubt aching jaw, licking his lips. “Thoughts, Mr Lukas?”

“You are—” Mordechai hesitates, works his jaw a moment longer, tries again, “you’re taking to this better than I’d anticipated.”

“Well. More fool you for underestimating me,” Jonathan replies, patting Mordechai’s cheek. “Back to your elbows, now.”

“What next? Do you mean to bathe me?” Mordechai asks incredulously, and Jonathan rolls his eyes.

“If I wanted you to know that, do you imagine I’d have gone to the trouble of blindfolding you? Do as you’re told.”

Mordechai does, albeit with a little grumbling, and Jonathan retrieves a few more items from his bag before settling on his knees back between Mordechai’s legs. The first touch of the flat of a straight-razor against Mordechai’s thighs almost has him jolting halfway across the room and Jonathan laughs despite himself, waiting for him to settle back into position, his silence downright accusatory now.

“I can hardly geld you without shaving you first,” he replies sweetly, and Mordechai shudders.

“Still keeping up that facade, Doctor?” he mutters, clearly trying for nonchalance but not managing to entirely hide his nervousness.

“A facade, is it?” Jonathan smiles, wrapping his hand firmly around Mordechai’s cock to make him think twice before he jerks in place again. “If you like. At any rate I’d advise you to stay still, or the consequences might be quite unpleasant.”

The ribbon has to come off Mordechai’s cock to let Jonathan work, but he doesn’t expect Mordechai to orgasm from this, so that’s alright. At least the introductory stages might be quite pleasant for him regardless. Jonathan has soap with which to create a lather, a hot towel to open the pores and moisten the skin, and he takes his time in stroking a soaped hand over Mordechai’s cock, coaxing him back to full hardness again before he attempts to introduce the razor.

“Now, I think you’d better lie on your back, Mr Lukas,” Jonathan murmurs. “It’s a better angle that way, and I shouldn’t like to cut you before I mean to.”

He obeys—almost to Jonathan’s surprise—turning to lie on his back with his legs spread, feet braced against the floor, cock twitching against his belly as Jonathan takes it in hand again and moves it where he wants, dipping the razor in hot water before dragging it down the hair around his cock in sure, short strokes.

The razor has been carefully treated; the edge that Jonathan draws along Mordechai’s skin is sharp enough to cut the hair without too much risk of cutting Mordechai in the process. Jonathan has hands well-accustomed to surgery, albeit not often on subjects who are in a position to bolt or jerk or knock his hands off course. Luckily Mordechai seems cognizant enough of the threat to be quite, quite still, breathing shallowly as Jonathan continues his work.

It’s not just about literally holding Mordechai by the balls, although that is a part of it. It’s more that Jonathan knows that the hair will grow back prickling, itching, and the thought of Mordechai shifting uncomfortably for the next week or so, barely resisting the urge to scratch his groin, is simply too good to pass up. Not to mention the humiliation of having Mordechai on his back like this, belly-up, holding still to be shaved quite bare.

“I wonder if Jonah will appreciate this?” Jonathan asks, grinning at the pained look on Mordechai’s face.

“Doctor Fanshawe, this is quite perverse,” he replies softly.

“Too perverse for your tastes?”

“I didn’t say that.”

Jonathan chuckles despite himself, using the towel to clear away the last vestiges of lather to reveal Mordechai quite smooth, skin pinked by the heat. “I must say it does have its aesthetic considerations,” Jonathan adds, taking Mordechai in hand to stroke him lazily as he talks. “It makes you look quite monstrously large, in fact.”

“Flattering me now?”

“Hardly. Just considering the size of the trophy I intend to take from you.”

Mordechai shivers as Jonathan drags his thumb up his cock, pressing each little stud on his way. “I wonder if you could finish now, even if I were to let you.”

Mordechai grunts, perhaps not quite sure himself, but he moans most agreeably when Jonathan bends to drag his tongue over the body-warmed studs, sucking the head of Mordechai’s cock into his mouth just for a moment and hollowing his cheeks around it. “God—” Mordechai hisses, and Jonathan hums low in his chest, withdrawing and squeezing Mordechai’s now-smooth balls.

“Not quite, Mr Lukas. Back on your knees, now, I’m not finished with you yet.”

“Christ.” Mordechai maneuvers himself back around, arching his back a little and burying his face in the crook of one elbow. “How many other precursors to this supposed surgery are there?”

“Oh, this isn’t a precursor to surgery. This is just a- well, let’s say it’s another exercise in humility.” That’s all, really. There’s no rhyme or reason to it other than Jonathan’s desire to see how Mordechai responds to it. There’s another blade at his side, a penknife, and beside that a finger of root ginger that he sets to peeling with confident strokes, whittling a plug-like shape with a flared base. “You keep horses, don’t you, Mr Lukas?”

“I do,” Mordechai replies after a pause, sounding confused.

“Sell any?”

“Upon occasion.”

“Ah. Then you’ll be familiar with this.” Jonathan doesn’t waste time on explanations before he presses the plug into Mordechai, watching him stiffen with confusion and then gasp at the realisation, reaching back almost immediately. Jonathan grasps his wrist before he can, flattening one hand against the back of Mordechai’s neck and pinning his arm to the small of his back, applying enough pressure to make him cry out. “No. If you want an end to this, Mordechai, you know how to bring it to a close. Otherwise you will take your discipline like a man,” he snaps. Mordechai twitches and jerks beneath him, gasping raggedly as the ginger starts to work its magic. Its efficacy will only span a few minutes, barely more than ten, but that’ll be more than enough to feel like an eternity.

“Are you going to behave?” Jonathan asks lowly, squeezing the back of Mordechai’s neck and pushing at his arm until he cries out again, sharp and desperate.

Yes! Yes, damn you, yes, I—oh, God—”

“Good boy.”

There’s an armchair by the window, close enough for Jonathan to stand and haul Mordechai by the arm with him, from recumbent on the floor to over Jonathan’s knee in a heartbeat, still twitching and arching as the ginger tingles and burns inside him. Jonathan smoothes his hand over Mordechai’s backside, feeling him clench with dread, and lets out a quiet, satisfied sigh.

“I’m sure I don’t need to indulge in much preamble. Suffice it to say that over the course of our acquaintance you’ve been quite remiss in showing me due respect, and I intend to correct that now. I don’t require you to count. You can beg if you like, though I assure you it will make no difference. Make all the noise you please, but I expect you to stay where you are and keep your hands on the floor, Mr Lukas, do I make myself quite clear?”

Yes,” Mordechai hisses desperately, and Jonathan gives his arse an appreciative squeeze.

“Very good. Let’s begin then.”

It’s another opportunity to be glad of the gloves, since they help to protect his palm against the sting that a flurry of sharp smacks would elicit. No good spanking Mordechai if he’s only going to hurt his hand in the process, after all, though in all fairness the strength of the smacks is quite irrelevant. Each strike makes Mordechai tense, thus intensifying the burn of the ginger, and the net effect is that his backside is barely pinked before he’s crying out with each smack, feet drumming a tattoo against the floorboards. He doesn’t cry, nor does he beg, but he howls as Jonathan directs his smacks to the sensitive skin of his upper thighs.

God. The satisfaction of this, of reducing the imposing, terrifying Mordechai Lukas to a man bent over his knee and close to tears over a simple spanking—Jonathan feels more than a little overcome with it. It’s made better still by the fact that even now, in pain and humiliated, Jonathan can still feel the hard, hot line of Mordechai’s cock against his leg, the way he’s all but rutting against his lap with each smack.

“Good Lord, Mr Lukas, and you call me perverse,” he scoffs. “Would you come from this, I wonder? Go on, if you think you can—it might be your only opportunity.” He rallies, ignoring the developing ache in his shoulder to continue applying the flat of his palm to Mordechai’s backside, admiring the handprints flushing white then red in his wake, the way Mordechai’s moans are distinctly tearful, more whimpers than groans at this point, the cry he makes as he shudders and arches and—yes, unmistakably, though sparsely—spills over Jonathan’s leg, jerking with each sobbing breath forced out of him.

Fuck,” Jonathan whispers, heartfelt and startled, feeling about as breathless as if he’d finished himself too. “Mordechai—”

Mordechai seems quite insensible, barely twitching as Jonathan removes the ginger and strokes a gloved hand down his spine until his breathing starts to settle and his sobs turn into whimpers, and then just pants, head hanging low.

“Mordechai,” Jonathan repeats quietly, and Mordechai tilts his head in acknowledgement though he doesn’t look up, tense over Jonathan’s knee. “On your knees, now, here—look at me,” Jonathan instructs, guiding Mordechai from his lap and between his legs, gripping his jaw firmly to make him look up at him.

Being tearful suits him—the blindfold is sodden now, and Jonathan can well imagine his red-rimmed eyes beneath. His expression is somewhere between utter, wretched humiliation and something close to mutiny, like he might try to strike Jonathan for what he’s put him through. Jonathan ignores that, stroking his hair and watching him implacably for a few moments. Perhaps he expect to be mocked further for being so thoroughly brought to his knees—and the thought is tempting—but Jonathan holds his tongue in favour of reaching for a glass to fill with water, setting it to Mordechai’s lips and tilting it until he drinks, his other hand cupped at the back of his neck.

“You’re rather lovely like this,” he murmurs while Mordechai’s mouth is full of water and he can’t retort. “You take this beautifully. Are you done for the night, Mr Lukas?”

Modrechai frowns as he removes the glass, flinching when Jonathan thumbs away a few tears from his cheeks before settling slowly into it, allowing Jonathan to pet him slowly.

“That depends on whether you intend to follow through on that surgery,” he croaks finally and Jonathan smiles. He’s oddly glad not to have quite broken Mordechai’s spirit.

“Not today, sir, no.”

“Perhaps another time.” Mordechai leans his forehead against Jonathan’s knee with a sigh, only leaning away when Jonathan goes to touch the knot of the blindfold. “No, I—no. Don’t. Please.”

Jonathan hesitates, surprised that that, of all things, is what has Mordechai begging—but he won’t deny him that. “Very well,” he replies. “How are you feeling?”

Tired. I feel like—like you’ve salted me like a ham and hung me up to dry to a husk.”

“Mm. Evocative,” Jonathan grimaces.

“I’ll be more eloquent later,” Mordechai huffs, looking up a little and leaning his cheek into Jonathan’s hand when it comes to stroke through his beard. “Did you enjoy yourself?” There’s another long silence and Mordechai sets his jaw, irritability creeping back into his face. “Doctor. You owe me that much, surely.”

“Alright, alright. Hush,” Jonathan sighs. “Yes, I enjoyed myself.”

“Well. Good. So did I, more or less—although I still don’t see why it was necessary to shave me.”

“You’ll see,” Jonathan smiles faintly. “I did consider threatening to brand you. Or to pierce your tongue.”

“And instead you threatened to castrate me.”

“And instead I brought you to tears with no more lasting effects than a sore jaw and a smacked bottom,” Jonathan replies with no small amount of smugness.

“Is that a comment on my fortitude?”

“No.” Jonathan shakes his head immediately. Having milked Mordechai to the point of near-emptiness and put him through a good deal of humiliation otherwise, he’s actually quite surprised that Mordechai bore it all as steadfastly as he did. “Merely a demonstration; welts and bruises aren’t as necessary as you might think for eliciting good behaviour.”

Mordechai’s brow furrows and he’s quiet at that, quiet enough that for a moment Jonathan wonders if he’s falling asleep kneeling between his legs. He’s just about to prompt him when Mordechai shifts his weight, nuzzling almost hesitantly into Jonathan’s knee.

“I’m not accustomed to—to this.”

“Behaviour?”

“Submission.”

“Ah.” There’s that treacherous flash of fondness again. Jonathan wants to loathe himself for it, but he can’t quite seem to manage it. He puts it down as a doctor caring for his patient and pushes his feelings aside, turning a little in the armchair to retrieve a cushion and putting it on the floor for Mordechai to kneel on rather than the wood. “Well. I suppose one can teach an old dog new tricks after all.”

“Very funny,” Mordechai mutters. “If you think this means I’ll be deferential when we’re in company—”

“I don’t,” Jonathan sighs, cutting him off with a shake of the head. “Though you could stand to be a little less rude.”

Mordechai scoffs, somehow managing to give Jonathan a sceptical look even with the blindfold on. “That’s not what this is about.”

Bastard. Perspicacious bastard. Jonathan indulges a moment of childishness in sticking his tongue out at Mordechai’s blindfolded face before nodding reluctant assent, giving Mordechai’s hair a little tug. “No, I suppose not.”

“You did nothing to me I didn’t allow.”

“I know that.” And he does. For all his talk of pressing at Mordechai’s boundaries there’s a reason Jonathan left his hands unbound, left him more or less free to stand and tear the blindfold off, to use his superior strength if the occasion called for it.

“That’s how it is with Jonah.”

Jonathan is silent, considering how it feels to see Mordechai arch and cry out and beg for him—and then, how it might feel to see Jonah do the same thing. “I know,” he sighs. “Never mind that. Come on—I’ve some lotion in my bag, let’s see about cleaning you up a little.”

“All that and you still don’t intend to fuck me?” Mordechai asks, amused. “Will you take anything from me at all? Since you have me obedient and inclined to serve you might as well make the most of it.” Jonathan purses his lips, considering. The idea has definite merit. And for all he might dislike much of Mordechai’s behaviour, there is no doubt a reason that Jonah and Barnabas repeatedly rush back to his side for nights of passion.

“Perhaps next time,” he says finally, turning to put his tools back in his bag. After he leaves he’ll have time to consider his own pleasure if he still feels the urge by then. The memory of Mordechai’s sounds, of the way he looks blindfolded and trembling, will linger for quite some time, and Jonathan isn’t in any hurry.

“Perhaps next time,” Mordechai echoes softly. Jonathan knows that as soon as he leaves Kent Mordechai will be back to his old self. Aggravating, arrogant, aggressive. For now, though, he seems almost affectionate, lingering close to Jonathan’s side while he stokes the fire and arranges blankets in a nest on the floor, curled close to his side whenever the opportunity arises. It’s not altogether unpleasant. Actually Jonathan feels quite revoltingly fond of him.

Lots to consider, clearly. Later. For now he tends to Mordechai’s reddened backside and his sore shoulder, lets him press close and speaks softly to him. It’s a relief for them both, he thinks, a return to his role as a doctor, at least until the next occasion they’re alone together.