“Don’t address my companion without my permission.”

Misha choked.  Emil squeezed his hand in warning.

The doorman glanced from one of them, to the other.  “He’s yours?”  He sounded doubtful.

Emil’s hand slid up Misha’s arm and closed around the back of his neck.  “He’s mine.”

At the same time he spoke, he gave a small squeeze.  Sensation shot down Misha’s spine.  He was powerless to control the small shiver that wracked his shoulders.  His cock hardened against his leathers.  Mortified, he pressed his lips together.

The doorman arched an eyebrow.  “Interesting.”  He turned his attention back to Kidwell.  “So you’re, what?  The chaperone?”

Kidwell’s eyes shot to Emil.  “Apparently.”

Emil’s hand tightened around the back of Misha’s neck.  “I don’t need a chaperone.”

The doorman studied them a moment longer.  “Of course not.”  He stepped aside so they could pass.  “A word of advice: keep an eye on your boy.  Baby looks good enough to eat.”

Misha stiffened.  Emil inclined his head.  “I’ll keep that in mind.”  He hustled Misha through the door and into the black marble foyer without as much as a backward glance at Kidwell.

Misha should have felt some smug satisfaction at that, but he couldn’t quite manage it.  Emil’s hand, still gripping the back of his neck, was doing strange things to his body.  He was more than halfway hard, a fact his tight leathers did nothing to hide.  Anger rode low in his gut.  Emil never touched him like this in public.  It was all he could do not to tear himself away.

It was as if Emil knew what he was thinking, because he abruptly steered them towards a small door.  Kidwell started to follow.  Emil’s voice brought him up short.

“Give us a minute.”

Misha’s stomach leaped, but before he could protest, Emil yanked open the door and shoved him through.

It was a coatroom, by the looks of it.  Emil finally released him to shut the door.  Head spinning, Misha put a few solid steps between them.  “Start talking.”

Emil turned around.  He raised his hands.  “Calm down.”

“Calm down?”  Misha flexed his fingers.  “What the fuck was that?  I’m yours?”  His stomach was spinning now, too.  The anger had been eclipsed by something else, something far more pleasant and infinitely more dangerous.

Emil crossed his arms.  “Have you ever been to a place like this before?”

Misha recoiled.  “Fuck no.”

Emil’s expression tightened.  “There are rules here.  Expectations.  The second we go back out there, you’re going to be out of your depth.”

Misha crossed his arms, too, and tried to look more confident than he felt.  “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Emil took a step forward.  On reflex, Misha stepped back.

Emil took another step.  “It means you’re skittish.”  He prowled towards Misha, eyes never leaving his face.  “The kind of skittish someone gets when they’re dying to fuck.”

Misha forgot to breathe.  “You’re full of shit.”

Emil was still moving forward.  “Please.  I can smell it on you.  But more importantly, so will everybody else.  I’ve been to places like this, Puzzle.  Trust me when I say what you’re feeling is only going to get worse.”

Misha backed up.  “Stop.”

Emil’s voice dropped.  “You think it’s bad now?  We haven’t even left the fucking foyer yet.  What are you going to do when we’re surrounded by naked bodies, when you can’t take a breath without tasting booze and sweat and sex?”

Misha’s cock went rock hard.

“That’s the appeal of places like this,” Emil murmured.  His eyes gleamed in the dim light.  “They make it easy to get lost, to forget about who you’re supposed to be.  What you should or shouldn’t do.”  His eyes dropped to Misha’s mouth.  “What you should or shouldn’t want.”

“Stop,” Misha whispered.

Emil took another step closer.  “Face it, Misha.  You’re a predator’s wet fucking dream.”

Misha’s back came up against a coatrack.  He let out a small, bitter laugh.  “So you’re going to protect me, is that it?”

Emil’s face hardened.  “No one will touch what’s mine.”

He’d never seen this side of Emil.  Misha swallowed, swallowed again.  “I’m not yours.”

Emil’s knuckles dusted his jaw.  “Tonight you are.”

Back to Thicker Than Water
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