An Affair From the Past

by Ally and l_greytree

 

 

Ethan moaned as he lounged in the large marble tub with warm, sandalwood scented water relaxing his body. That did not help to ease the worry that was plaguing his mind; Max had skipped lunch that day. Lunch! It was sacrilege! He wondered what could possibly have been so important that his dark lover hadn't partaken in their usual noontime activities. His cock ached because of the lack of release and Ethan fought the urge to stroke it. Only Max was allowed the privilege of his release.

The blond sighed, having soaked in the tub long enough. Max was waiting for him in the room. The older man had ordered Ethan to take the luxurious bath and then to come into the room once he was finished. Ethan did not question the order; as usual, he trusted his lover implicitly.

So why did it bother Ethan so much that Max had not told him where he had gone for lunch?

After getting out of the bathtub, Ethan dried himself with the luxurious towels Analisa always kept well supplied in the bathroom. Feeling refreshed, he walked slowly into the master bedroom which he found to be illuminated throughout with candles. The soft aroma of sandalwood, much like his bath, accentuated the air.

Ethan spotted his boyfriend Max by the glass door overlooking the balcony and his breath hitched. Max was standing sideways and wearing a navy blue robe, which open in the front to reveal a magnificent chest and sleek abdomen. Ethan's gaze moved down the dark, tanned body, and came to rest on the other man's very impressive organ. It was a thing of beauty and every time Ethan caught sight of Max's cock, it made him want to get down on his knees and worship it. He licked his lips and walked towards Max, trying to hide what he was thinking, or at least he attempted that; for Max could read Ethan like a book.

"All this for me?" he asked his lover. A lopsided grin appeared on his handsome face as he indicated the lavish arrangements in the room.

Maxmillian turned slightly, raised an eyebrow elegantly and gave Ethan a knowing look which seemed to ask, 'For whom else would this be?' His lips curled into a mysterious smile and he slowly licked his lips. "You seemed…distracted at dinner," Maxmillian replied coolly, "and I thought this might help you relax." He paused and eyed the bed pointedly before continuing, "…and refocus. Lie on the bed face down."

Ethan didn't have to be told twice about getting on the bed. He did so with a flourish; lying face down and wiggling his ass enticingly for his dark haired lover. "How could I not be distracted, Max," the blond murmured and tipped his head sideways to look at Max's gorgeous body. "You left me hanging out to dry at lunch today. Do you know how horny I was?"

"Hanging out to dry," Maxmillian repeated as he sat down on the edge of the bed and drizzled sandalwood massage oil on Ethan's back in a lazy S-curve pattern. "…Such an interesting use of the English language, Ethan." He paused and his gaze slid down the curve of Ethan's ass. "Did you know sandalwood oil is considered an aphrodisiac in some cultures?"

Ethan sighed and sank further into the mattress. Max's hand on his back felt luxurious, just like everything about Max. "No, I didn't know, but I've no doubt that you'll enlighten me." Ethan's voice was relaxed as was his body under Max's expert hands. He loved it when his lover did things like this for him.

"Sandalwood oil is thought to aid in respiratory and skin ailments, meditation, relaxation and spiritual growth," Max explained. "It's also supposed to be a potent aphrodisiac. I guess we can test that theory tonight." He used his strong fingers to knead the tension out of Ethan's back. His hands glided over the soft supple skin and worked the firm, toned muscles beneath it. "I was negotiating a contract during lunch," he continued as he focused his attention on Ethan's trapezius muscles. "The client is a famous model, Parker Álvarez de Borbon y de Toledo. You probably know him as just Parker Álvarez. He's an old friend."

Ethan purred softly and felt like melting under Max's expert handling. He cracked one eye open at the mention of the model. He recognized the name and who wouldn't; Parker Álvarez was considered the hottest male model. Some referred to him as a walking orgasm. "Yeah, I've heard of him," he said in a soft voice, almost losing himself in the massage. He frowned, however, at Max's last revelation. "An old friend, Max?"

"Yes," Maxmillian replied as he shifted to Ethan's deltoid muscles. "He's the only son of my Spanish professor in college. The family traces its lineage back to Spanish and Italian nobility." His fingers worked deeply into the posterior and lateral heads of the muscle and loosened the tension Ethan had been holding there. "You know Parker is openly gay and recently he informed the right-wing and religious conservatives the error of their ways."

Ethan chuckled. He'd seen Parker in interviews where he was blatantly open about his sexuality. "And I take it they didn't like that Parker had told them that," he surmised.

"Some of the radical elements took umbrage at Parker's remarks and have been sending death threats," Maxmillian said. He leaned forward and placed a soft kiss on the vertebra at the base of Ethan's neck. His tongue slid down the blond's spine, savoring the unique taste of his lover's skin, until he reached the middle of the back. Max then resumed massaging the lat muscles.

"Parker's going to be here in Las Vegas for the GQ event and we're going to be handling his personal security. I'm going to be, that is."

Ethan's relaxed mood faded. He lifted his head to look back at his lover. "Wait, did you just say you were handling his personal security?" He asked incredulously. Max rarely, if ever, took on an assignment anymore.

Maxmillian pushed Ethan's body down into the bed and then slid his hands back upward to work on the trapezius muscles again. "Yes," he replied evenly. "Professor Álvarez was also one of my mentors in college and I've always been close to his family." He frowned noticing that Ethan was tense again and increased the amount of pressure he was using to knead the blond's back. "He called me yesterday to express concerns over his son's safety. I assured him that Parker would be well protected during his stay in Las Vegas and that I would be personally responsible for his security."

Ethan shrugged. He was not sure if he liked the idea of Max personally taking care of Parker. It wasn't that he didn't trust Max; he just didn't trust that Parker would behave around Max. Ethan had read stories about Parker's sexual escapades and rather exuberant lifestyle. Sometimes Ethan's old insecurities resurfaced and he thought that if given the chance, Max could find someone that could fill his needs much better than Ethan could.

After a moment he pushed those silly fears aside and blamed it all on not having gotten off during lunch. Instead he asked, "When will he be in Vegas?"

"This coming weekend," Max replied as he glided his knuckles down the sides of Ethan's spine. His fingers then started kneading Ethan's lower back. Most people accumulated stress in that area and Ethan was no exception. "Friday night is the fashion show and Saturday is the photo shoot. I'll be meeting him at McCarran Friday morning; he's flying in from Belize."

Ethan was stunned, "This weekend, but Max..." Friday was the anniversary of when they had first spent the night together. Every year they always celebrated in the same hotel room at the Bellagio; every year they reenacted that night. Ethan always loved doing that for it showed him a side of Max he rarely showed anyone else.

It seemed, however, that this assignment was important. Max took friendship seriously and this was a big favor for an old friend. "Never mind, Max," he said, sinking down on the bed and pushing his selfishness away. "Will you need back up?" he asked softly and let his lover's hands relax him again.

"I thought we could move our celebration to the following weekend," Max said in a deep husky voice as he continued to work Ethan's lower back and glutes, sensing Ethan's displeasure. "I made reservations for the two of us in Aspen. Imagine my fucking you on the deck of a suite in the majestic shadows of the Rockies."

Ethan shivered under Max's touch and words; although the thought of Aspen sounded appealing, it wouldn't have the same meaning as their stay at the Bellagio. He didn't tell Max this however, instead he smiled blissfully and let Max's fingers work their magic. "Hmm, whatever you say, Max..." he added breathily and succumbed to Max's every touch.

A slight frown appeared on Maxmillian's face. He could tell Ethan wasn't pleased and that bothered him slightly. He, too, would have preferred their usual celebration at the Bellagio. However he also felt a strong loyalty towards his old professor and mentor; this was a man Maxmillian had looked up to as he was developing his professional life. The circumstances being what they were, he felt it inappropriate to decline or assign another agent.

He also wondered if something else wasn't bothering Ethan. He decided not to mention that Parker had been infatuated with Max for a long time. There was really no point in saying anything. Max hadn't been interested in pursuing a serious or romantic relationship with Parker then and he wasn't interested now. Telling Ethan would just upset the blond and there was no reason to do so.

Max slid his hands lower and started massaging Ethan's firm round globes. "I think I owe you a second helping of dessert since I missed lunch," he said in a half-growl half-whisper. "Do you want vanilla or chocolate?" Maxmillian paused momentarily then caught Ethan's emerald eyes with an intense smoldering gaze of fiery sapphire blue. "Choose wisely."

Ethan sighed with pleasure since Max's hands were right where he wanted them. He licked his lips thinking about dessert and how he could use his mouth on Max. "Hmm, vanilla or chocolate... gee Max, that's tough." His face was lit with amusement though. He held Max's intense gaze and his cock ached between his legs because of how stiff it was. "How about… chocolate!"

"A sinfully delicious choice, Ethan," Maxmillian replied in a deep sensual voice. He rose gracefully, like a sleek, powerful cat, and retrieved a dark brown silk scarf from the nightstand. Carefully he used it to cover Ethan's eyes. "I'll be right back," he continued and ran his fingers through Ethan's golden blond hair. "I'm going to get something from the stove. Think of what I'm going to do to you when I get back."

Ethan gasped as his vision was obscured. He took heed of Max's words and conjured up images of exactly what Max would do to him. Of course, every time he did things like that, reality far outweighed his expectations. It always did with Max.

*~*~*~*

Ethan squirmed in his seat and winced. He was at work catching up on last minute paperwork before he met with his client in a few hours. He hoped the soreness in his ass would fade by then. The previous night Max had been quite inventive, and thorough, with the chocolate. Their love making lasted well into the early hours of the morning. The blond didn't think he would look at chocolate quite the same way again.

Ethan sighed, however, as he was sure the reason for such a fantastic love making session had to do with Max's current Elite Poole assignment. Ethan didn't mind that Max had to watch over someone he knew. What bothered Ethan was that the individual was none other than Parker Álvarez. Ethan had loosely followed Parker's career. How could he not; Parker was quite famous. All the Paparazzi followed him and his scandalous lifestyle. Ethan couldn't deny the interest; Parker exuded sex appeal that both men and women clamored for.

It troubled Ethan that Max would be so close to Parker and, confronted with that sensuality, Max might not be able to resist. After all, Max was sexual power and nothing turned Max on more than to make someone submit to his power. Max would consider Parker a challenge.

Ethan had to trust, however, that Max viewed Ethan as much more than a sexual conquest; that Ethan was a lover and a partner; that it was not worth having an affair, risking all that they had strived so hard to build together.

*~*~*~*

Friday morning Max was at McCarran airport. Normally he would have sent Giuliani or James to meet with the client, but Parker was a special case. Max remembered Parker as a teenager; he'd been exuberant and at that early age exuding a sensuality that belied his years. Max had known better than to get involved with Parker, however, and had spurned his advances. That had been years ago but Max had kept up to date with Parker's career since he had been platonically fond of the young man. The private Bombardier Lear jet landed on the runway and Max waited for Parker to make his appearance at the secured terminal.

Parker watched as the plane approached the terminal. A lazy sensual smile appeared on his lips as he saw a familiar figure waiting behind the glass doors. Maxmillian Poole. Parker had desired Maxmillian since the first moment he'd set his eyes on his father's student. Tall, dark, regal, incredibly handsome, and possessing the most startling blue eyes Parker had ever seen.

Parker had dressed seductively but with a conservative flair just for Maxmillian. First impressions were everything and this one was the most important one of the weekend for Parker. His intention was to seduce Maxmillian Poole. He'd decided on dark olive green tailored pants, an oversized white dress shirt, tucked in and bloused perfectly, black leather belt and cowboy boots. He'd left his hair loose so the auburn locks cascaded sensually down his back and swayed enticingly with every step.

It seemed to take forever for airport personnel to attach the heavy duty ladder to the airplane but finally Parker and his staff were able to disembark. As soon as he stepped on the ladder, he smiled seductively and gracefully descended to the tarmac. There were probably some photographers in the concourse and Parker made sure his every step exuded confidence and eroticism.

Once Parker was inside the terminal Max slowly took off his sunglasses and tucked them carefully into the front breast pocket of his navy Armani suit. Now he had an unobstructed view of Parker and he was rather surprised at how much the young man changed all these years that they had not seen each other. Parker had always radiated confidence but now there was an edge of sexuality about him that made it all the more powerful. Max could see why Parker was good at what he did.

He took the last remaining steps, closing the gap between him and Parker, and smiled at his client. "Welcome to Las Vegas, Parker," Max said, extending his hand in greeting to the young man.

"Thank you, Maxmillian," Parker replied in silky voice. He accepted the extended hand but then pulled the other man into an embrace. "It's good to see you again," he said as he pressed his slender body against Max's strong form.

"I see you haven't lost your touch," Max murmured against the young man's lips as he noticed the lights flashing behind them. He kept his composure, though, and very smoothly pried Parker's form off of him.

A sly smile graced Parker's features and he took a half step back. The movement caused his hair to sway gracefully and graze Maxmillian's hand. "Like fine wine, I only improve with age," he replied huskily and then gave Max an appreciative look. He let his cocoa colored eyes linger on the dark haired man's lips and slowly licked his own, "As do you, I see."

Max smirked, retrieved his sunglasses and put them on slowly; they hid the expressiveness of his eyes from Parker. Max had all but forgotten just how alluring the young man was and how assertive he could be. He would go after what he wanted and usually get it. Except Parker never got Max no matter how much the young man had tried. There had been one time, however, when Parker had gotten close to Max... much too close. Max frowned slightly, pushed those dangerous thoughts aside and concentrated on the present situation.

Max motioned with his hand for Parker to walk with him. "Your accommodations at the Venetian have been arranged and I have looked over the venues. We anticipate no problems there as the hotel has the best security available. The most vulnerable spots are when we leave the airport and the routes between venues," Max explained as they walked through the airport and out to where Dominic was waiting with the town car.

Parker nodded and gave Max a sensual smile. "I appreciate the extra effort you've put into taking care of me, Maxmillian," Parker said. He then turned and deliberately leaned forward to whisper very close to Max's ear, "Do you like having your picture taken with me?"

Max's expression was unreadable; the shades hid the unpleasantness he was experiencing at being photographed. He was a private man and pictures of him made public could compromise that. "You always liked publicity, Parker, but I do not," he said in a deep voice, placed his hand at the small of Parker's back and led him outside the airport.

Parker shuddered feeling Maxmillian's hand on his body. He slowed down just enough so that his lithe form was closer to his dark haired companion and Maxmillian almost had to push him forward. He gave the cameras an enigmatic, sultry smile as they walked out in a seeming embrace. "Being in front of the cameras turns me on," Parker again whispered huskily in Maxmillian's ear. "It energizes me, invigorates me and sends shivers of lust down my spine."

"Insatiable as ever, are you not, Parker?" Max murmured while holding the intimate pose only long enough to have his say. Leave it to Parker to twist things to his advantage. However, Max did have to admit that the young man was made for this. Parker had magnetism that shined through for the cameras; in a way, just as Ethan shone under Max's expert touch.

Thoughts of his lover strengthened Maxmillian's resolve to move swiftly out of the airport and away from the cameras. Dominic was waiting with the door to the car open and Max ushered Parker into the town car. They sped off leaving the paparazzi behind. Much as he knew Ethan trusted him not to do anything inappropriate, there was always that small sliver of doubt that could arise and mar their perfect relationship. For Max, Ethan was a treasure far above all others.

*~*~*~*

Ethan thought his face would crack if he kept smiling at the woman. His client was none other than Ritzy Lavouche. She was a legend in her own right, an American version of Sophia Loren. She was one of Las Vegas oldest showgirls and Ethan had the task of providing Elite Poole services to her that afternoon and evening. Ms. Lavouche was scheduled to do a couple of guest appearances that day and normally there was no need for security. Today there was a big shiny rock hanging around her neck. It was a very rare Cartier Gemstone on loan from the jeweler and Ms. Lavouche was part of an ad campaign promoting the jewelry. The blond was listening as Ms. Lavouche, or 'Ritz' recanted tales of her rather scandalous younger years.

"And let me tell you, dahrling, I had the longest legs in the line," Ritzy said with a smirk and then waved to a man in a tuxedo before continuing, "Doesn't he look like John Forsythe in his Blake Carrington days? Oh… dahrling, I miss the drama of the eighties." She gave Ethan a glorious smile then leaned in to whisper in the blond's ear. "Remember that other actor on Dynasty…the dark haired boy? He was just deelissshiousss. I enjoyed wrapping my legs around him."

Ethan's cheeks flushed in both embarrassment and dismay. The last thing he needed was a mental picture of this woman with her legs wrapped around anyone. Not that she was unattractive; he just didn't want to think about that right now.

A large flat screen television played in the background of the lobby of the Venetian and the midday news were reporting on a break in at a large laundry facility that catered to the grand Las Vegas hotels. It alleged several uniforms were taken and some cash. Police assumed it to be vandalism. Ethan half heard this as Ms. Lavouche continued with tales of her wild days which seemed considerable and unending.

"Then there was that actor from Dallas," Ritzy continued while placing a bejeweled hand on Ethan's shoulder. "…Another dark haired man. Now he was worth all the trouble I caused for shaggin' him; his wife got a bit upset. You know how these things go. But, let me tell you, dahrling, he had equipment like I hadn't seen in ages and he sure knew how to use it. What a package! There was this one time backstage, just before I was supposed to do a big number…do you know how difficult it is to dance, and I mean really dance, dahrling, after getting it good...Ooooo…"

Ritzy stopped for a moment to sign an autograph for a portly man and his two little daughters and then waved to a group of teenagers on the other side of the room. "I have a thing for dark haired men, dahrling, although you just might tempt me to change my mind." She added sliding her long fingers down Ethan's arm and letting her hand fall to Ethan's hip.

Ethan's green eyes widened considerably and he squirmed in his seat. All he was able to do was offer a smile to the woman. Ms. Lavouche was quite a character but the blond was more than happy that he was not 'her type'. Although, Ethan mused rather fondly, their tastes ran parallel, for tall, dark, handsome men. Those thoughts brought longing in Ethan; he wanted to be with Max right now. Once again they missed their 'Lunch.'

"Then there was this other time, dahrling, when I was banging the music director, the choreographer, the producer, and one of the big financiers and none of them knew the others were eating at the Ritz too," Ritzy continued and her hand slid down Ethan's leg towards his groin. "And they say showgirls can't juggle…."

'And Max calls me a slut,' Ethan mused and looked at his cup of coffee before taking a sip and very discreetly keeping Ritzy's hand from going further up his leg.

"One time I had-oh my god! Look at the teevee, dahrling. It's Parker Álvarez! I could tell you some stories about him; he's the sexiest little doll. Too bad he's gay. And…oh my god, dahrling, I'm going to faint. Look at the man with him."

At first Ethan tried to ignore the 'teevee' altogether. He was trying to keep Ritzy from adding him to her long lists of conquests. The mention of Parker, however, raised Ethan's hackles and he couldn't help looking at the screen. He frowned at the images and, indeed, at the man next to Parker... it was Max!

Ritzy's other hand went to her heart as though she was in pain. "I'm going to die. Look at them together. They're obviously involved. Who could resist Álvarez and that hair, those lips, that body? Who could resist the other one too? My heart is going to explode; it's beating so fast. Don't they make such a cute couple, dahrling?"

The blond didn't care for Ritzy's assumption of Max and Parker's involvement and he really didn't care to know how irresistible the little auburn haired trollop was. All Ethan cared about was that Parker was wrapped around his boyfriend. It took effort not to get up from his chair and rush out of the lobby in search of Max. "He's mine," Ethan muttered under his breath as his cheeks grew flushed with anger.

"So I have an idea, dahrling," Ritzy said turning and giving Ethan a conspiratorial look. "How about I call my promoter and see if he can get us tickets to that fashion show tonight? What do you think? Doesn't that just sound fabulous?"

She paused for a moment and gave Ethan a sly look. "I wouldn't mind getting in between Álvarez and his man and you might get lucky too. After all you're such a good looking boy and you've been working so hard…"

Ethan's mood lifted a little but only just so. "Yes, Ritzy 'dahling'," the blond said with a smirk, "I think it's an excellent idea we attend the fashion show. Who knows, maybe someone will get between those two men...." 'But only to pry them apart,' Ethan mused with determination, 'because there's no way in hell anyone is taking my Max!'

*~*~*~*

Lights. Cameras. Sex. That's what fashion shows, such as this one, were made of. Max had already secured the area and was now waiting for the show to begin. He sat on the plush sofa in Parker's dressing room and watched the slender young man as he dressed in the first outfit for the show. Parker's long lean legs peeked through the large kimono robe and the deep rich colors of the fabric accentuated his skin. Max frowned, wondering why he was paying attention to such details. He was there to provide a service, to guard Parker, not to admire the man's physique.

"Do you like what you see?" Parker asked in a seductive voice as he walked over towards Max. He'd sent his assistants scurrying with requests for sparkling water and fresh exotic fruits so that he could have a few minutes alone with Maxmillian before they returned and continued getting him ready. Parker gave the dark haired man a smoldering look and gracefully sat down in his lap. "It could be yours…if you want it…"

Max's expression was closed as he gazed at Parker lounging quite sinfully in his lap. "That is quite generous of you, Parker," he murmured; his voice was soft despite the steely edge in his tone. He was there to do a job; to make certain Parker was safe, not to ward off the alluring young mans advances. The dark haired man placed his large, tanned hands on Parker's sinewy hips and then lifted the young man off his lap. "However, I must regretfully decline your offer."

"Mmm," Parker murmured huskily. He scooted his hips back where they were and leaned his head closer to Maxmillian's. "I'm pleased that you feel regret…because that means you really want to." He shifted his hips again so his backside rubbed Max's cock. "I know you want to; I know you want to feel my body underneath yours; I know you want to feel me respond to you, to your hands, to your every touch." After that he rose gracefully and gave the dark haired man a smoldering look. "I can wait until later tonight…"

Max watched Parker's every move and inwardly cursed his choice of words. He was being polite to Parker with his refusal and the fact that the young man took it as a means to continue was not something Max had expected... or had he... He frowned as he realized that he had refused Parker in a way that still left some options open. Max wondered if subconsciously that had been his intention.

Parker's numerous assistants returned with several bottles of San Pellegrino and trays filled with prepared strawberries, grapes, kiwis, pineapple, and mango. While his assistants finished the preparations for the show, he sensually ate small bites while letting his most seductive, enticing glances fall on Maxmillian. When all the preparations were complete, Parker, Max and two assistants went just off stage.

Parker wasn't stupid. He knew someone might try to shoot him so he'd studied the stage and altered his steps just enough so that no one would have a clear shot at him for more than a split second. He knew Max was responsible for security but it couldn't hurt for him to be careful as well. Parker had always been one to watch out for his own ass.

The lights flared, the music started and the preliminary speeches were made. Parker waited for his turn; he had the lead as well as most of the important walks. This was the part that he liked the best. Walking in front of the audience; the attention focused on him; showing his body and whatever clothes the designers selected to adulating fans; the glare from the lights; the flash from the cameras; the music and the applause reverberating through the hall; Parker found it all incredibly erotic.

The fact that Maxmillian Poole would be near him for this show made tonight that much more delectable. He stood at the curtain with Max, listening to the music and the announcer, ready for the first walk. He took a small step towards Max as if to whisper something in the dark haired man's ear. Instead he grazed his lips along the strong line of Maxmillian's neck before giving the earlobe a quick, gentle nip.

"I'll be thinking of you out there," he whispered in a sultry voice. "I'll be walking for you; showing off my body for you; I'll be imagining what it feels like to have your strong body between my legs as I walk." With that he heard his name and the roar of the crowd, pulled away from Maxmillian but gave him an intense look filled with erotic promise, and headed onto the stage with his usual intoxicatingly sensual, seductive walk.

Maxmillian prided himself of having a strong amount of self control. It was evident in all aspects of his life. Even his control over Ethan was tantamount; he had molded the blond to fit quite perfectly into his life. There had been rare instances when that control had been severely tested. Once long ago Parker had crossed the boundaries of their friendship and pushed Max's control to the brink. The next instance, and the one that changed the course of his life, was when he met Ethan. The blond shattered Max's control like nothing else ever had and it happened whenever they made love. Of course Max had always hidden this fact rather easily from Ethan.

Now his control was being tested again by Parker and Max inwardly chastised himself for letting the young man have some effect on him. He took notice of Parker with every sensuous step the auburn haired man took down the runway. The thoughts of having Parker writhing beneath him faded quickly, however, since Parker was not, and had never been, someone who could spark the fire within Max. No matter how sexy and enthralling Parker was.

No, the one that made Max's body burn with desire was in fact attending the fashion show. Ethan was standing next to Ritzy Lavouche in the front row. Max frowned, wondering why Ethan and his client were there. As far as Max was aware, the fashion show had not been in Ms. Lavouche's schedule. His sapphire gaze locked with Ethan's and Max saw the blond blanche. Max would have to deal with Ethan later; for now Max had an assignment to finish, guarding Parker.

*~*~*~*

Ethan gulped and tried not to fidget where he stood. He had thought that attending the fashion show would put his insecurities to rest but that had not been the case. Instead he found that Parker, in the flesh, literally, was cause for concern. The man was simply beautiful and enigmatic. It made Ethan feel like the small town boy he had grown up as. There was just no way that Max could resist the allure of a man such as Parker. Heck, even Ethan found him hard to resist. It was only due to the fact that Parker wasn't Ethan's type; tall, dark and Max. Ethan felt an ache in his chest. What if Max did leave him for Parker? Ethan had seen the footage on the television of Max and Parker and he had to grudgingly admit they did look good together. It was a blend of power and sex and it was enough to make Ethan wallow in despair. Almost.

The one thing that Ethan knew for certain was that, if worse came to worse, he would fight for Max. Max belonged to Ethan; in plain and simple terms, Ethan had sacrificed too much of himself to let Max slip from his fingers. He would be damned if he would let Max go now.

Those thoughts, however, did not ease the sudden lurch in Ethan's stomach when he caught sight of Max backstage and their eyes met. Max was no doubt wondering why Ethan was there with Ritzy and her wandering hands. Max was undoubtedly putting two and two together and coming up with trouble. "Shit," Ethan muttered under his breath and knew full well what had just hit the fan.

*~*~*~*

Parker let out a sigh that was half seductive and half filled with relief now that the show was over. Although tension usually brought out the best in him; it made him more sensual and sexually aggressive on stage. Perhaps he should have his life threatened and Maxmillian Poole as his security guard more often. He smiled and licked his lips at that thought. After tonight he hoped to have Maxmillian Poole…period. He gave Max a sultry smile as his assistants removed the last outfit and helped him don sleek, tailored gray trousers, an oversized white button down shirt with thin red vertical stripes, and black leather shoes and belt.

"Ready to get back to the room?" Parker asked Max in a seductive whisper as they left the dressing room. "I want to…"

"Parker, dahrling!" Ritzy screamed and launched herself towards the auburn haired man. After the fashion show, she had insisted that they hunt down Parker. Ethan hadn't been convinced because security was tight due to threats on Parker's life and he wasn't sure he was ready to face Max just yet. Ritzy was determined; she somehow managed to navigate her way past all security until they were barely twenty feet away from Parker Álvarez's dressing room when the pair emerged.

Hearing his name and seeing movement from one side, caused Parker to still and then glide behind Maxmillian with his arm surreptitiously grazing around the other man's waist long enough so that his touch would linger in Maxmillian's mind. The woman approaching him was familiar but he couldn't quite place her or recall her name. Having been drawn by the woman's shriek, several event security guards were also approaching.

Max stilled the approaching guards with a wave of his hand as Ms. Lavouche closed the distance to stand in front of Max and Parker. "Ms. Lavouche, it is quite a surprise to see you here, and most unexpected." However, as Max spoke his gaze was not directed at the glamorous woman but the blond behind her. Max knew that Ethan would have to answer for such a transgression and breach in security protocol. His sapphire eyes bore into Ethan; their look held one meaning: 'You will have to answer to me, Ethan.'

Ethan was sweating and rightly so. He had dreaded this moment ever since his gaze locked with Max's during the show. Although Ethan wouldn't have minded the punishments Max would frequently mete out, Ethan knew this time things would not be so easy. He had broken a rule to be sure and he knew he would pay dearly later. However that didn't bother him as much as the lingering touch of Parker Álvarez on Max's body. It made the blond see red.

"Ritzy, it's good to see you," Parker said in a warm seductive voice as he took a half step forward so his shoulder was pressed against Max's back. As soon as he heard Maxmillian mention the woman's last name, he remembered who she was…an amusing, vivacious, ex-showgirl who had refused to retire quietly as some rich man's plaything.

However, Parker was more interested in what he was sensing between Maxmillian and Ritzy's security guard, a young, good looking all-American blond. Max had momentarily tensed and then glared at the young man in anger. The blond, on the other hand, exuded both apprehension and anger. Despite being with Ritzy Lavouche, he seemed focused on Max. A sly smile graced Parker's face and he resumed speaking in a sensual purr, "What have you been up to, Ritzy, you delicious, naughty little creature?" He then turned his gaze over to the blond while sliding his arm up to Maxmillian's shoulder and added, "And who's this with you? Your new boyfriend?"

"I must dissuade you on that aspect, Parker," Max intervened. His gaze shuttered as he averted his eyes from Ethan to focus on Parker behind him. "This is Ethan Winter. He's an Elite Poole agent." His gaze, which returned to Ethan, was filled with contained fury. "He works for me."

'And your lover!' Ethan thought and hoped that his hard stare on both men would alert them of this rather important fact. He then merely smiled at Parker and gave a slight nod in greeting.

"Oh, he's an employee of yours, Max," Parker said in a soft drawl and extended a hand toward Ethan. The movement pressed him even closer to Max. It was obvious to Parker that this Ethan had designs on Maxmillian and he decided it was, perhaps, time to have some fun. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Ethan…So Ritzy, what have you been up to? I bet you've been having a grand time with Ethan here; it's no wonder he looks tired."

"Oh, you don't know the half of it dahrling," Ritzy replied and opened her arms with dramatic flair. "Well, actually, you, of all people, could probably guess." She gave both Parker and Max a conspiratorial wink. "Ethan's been able to keep up so far…"

Ethan seethed and if this scene were an animated cartoon there would be steam coming out of his ears. 'Tell him what I am to you, Max!' Ethan seemed to say with a look. His eyes on Max were filled with an intense possession seldom found there. This was about what belonged to Ethan and that was Max. Unfortunately Max had trained him too well in the art of politeness and so he held his tongue.

"Yes, I am certain Ethan has kept Ms. Lavouche well protected. He's one of the best Elite Poole has to offer. He will of course give me a full debriefing once he is done taking care of Ms. Lavouche." Max for his part returned Ethan's gaze with one of his own that promised they would indeed have words about Ethan's attendance at the fashion show.

"He most certainly has, Maxmillian, dahrling," Ritzy chimed in and wrapped a long, slender, bejeweled arm around Ethan's waist. "He's been simply mahvehlous. Why, he's just like that star Leonardo whatever. Now he was a real…" Ritzy stopped and used a sigh to finish her sentence. "Be still my heart. Maxmillian, you must allow me to keep Ethan for a few days longer."

"I agree, Maxmillian," Parker chimed in and then leaned in even close to whisper against Maxmillian's ear, "They look so cute together." Even though Parker resisted the temptation to lick the edge of Max's ear with the tip of his tongue, he knew that Max would feel those lips and his entire sensual body pressed against him.

Max's composure was great even in the face of such temptation. Simply looking at Ethan squelched any thoughts of anyone else. His gaze became hidden behind thick dark lashes but Ethan knew what was behind the mighty Mr. Poole. Ethan had made it his life to know Max - all of him.

"Mr. Winter has other pressing engagements to attend." Max's voice was quiet but sure. "To serve is his motto. Don't you agree, Ethan?" There was a slight intonation to the blond's name, a tinge of ownership that could not be denied.

Ethan responded to that voice however much he tried not to. It couldn't be helped; he had always been like that ever since he and Max had met. It was the voice of Ethan's one and only true Master. "Of that you can be sure, Mr. Poole," Ethan said. His gaze was an open book, one which only Max could read perfectly.

A sly grin appeared on Parker's face. While Maxmillian had been almost unreadable; Ethan Winter was not. 'So Maxmillian is helping himself to the help,' he thought. 'He's cute; I'd do him…once.' The revelation that his dark haired security guard might be physically involved with someone else didn't bother Parker; he still had every intention of seducing Maxmillian Poole. "Shall we go back to the room, Maxmillian?" Parker asked in a seductive whisper as though the interchange between the other two men had not occurred. "I'd like to eat something and then go to bed."

Ethan watched as Max turned away from him and Ritzy. The expression on the darker man's face let Ethan know they would be settling this later. He didn't mind that Max would have words with him and perhaps more. What bothered Ethan was the look on Parker's face and the way in which the man had been practically ravaging Max with his eyes. 'Come back to me, Max.' Ethan thought at Max's retreating back and almost forgot the reason he was there in the first place. Ritzy Lavouche. The woman was practically dragging him by the arm and gushing about how Parker could use a lesson or two about wrapping his legs around Max, and how she would be glad to fit Parker in.

*~*~*~*

Jake Cole stared at the developing pictures in the darkroom. Parker Álvarez was more than just the man he'd photographed this evening. He was Jake's passion, his obsession. From the first time he'd photographed the elfin faced, auburn haired man, Jake had fallen head over heels in lust, in love, in something.

He sighed looking over the pictures he'd just developed. Knowing he was too shy to ever approach someone as famous, as attractive, and as desired as Parker Álvarez, Jake contented himself with photographing the young man. In his mind each photograph was homage to Parker's beauty. Each one was a representation of the relationship Jake wished to form with the young man. At least his employer, GQ Magazine, saw fit to select him every time Parker was to be photographed.

After gazing longingly at the close-ups of Parker for about half an hour, Jake reviewed the shots that had Parker in perspective. The young man blossomed in front of and compared to the crowd. Jake sighed and was about to put them away to dry when one of the last pictures caught his eye. Parker was radiant but a shadow against a wall caught Jake's eye.

After waiting ten minutes to finish developing the film, Jake studied the shadow. It appeared to be a man with a gun. Narrowing his eyes, he traced the angle of the shadow back to a side area that was mostly hidden. Threats had been made against Parker Álvarez's life; Jake felt his chest tighten and his breathing speed up.

He reached for the phone and called Las Vegas PD. The operator stated they would send a detective to his hotel room immediately. Jake thanked them and proceeded to finish developing all the pictures with that area. He found what he was looking for in two of them. One picture had a thin balding man looking towards the stage at Parker, while the other had the same man holding a rifle, barely visible, next to his leg. Jake's hands were trembling as he answered the door and spoke to the detective. As he was doing so, Jake decided that he would look out for Parker, his secret love, as well.

*~*~*~*

Parker sighed as he looked over the room service menu. It was sophisticated, elegant, and not very Spanish. He didn't want Filet Mignon, Lobster Tails, or anything French; this evening he was craving some Paella a la Valenciana and some Maxmillian Poole. The latter was seated in a luxurious leather lounge chair with his feet resting on the matching ottoman. Parker frowned and chewed on his lower lip. Maxmillian continued to resist him and he was not pleased. Moving gracefully to stand in front of Max he looked at the dark haired man pensively as he ran his fingertips along the edge of the menu. "Would you like me to order you the Chicken Pontalba or the Coq au Vin? I hear chicken dishes are the chef's specialties," he asked in a sultry voice.

Max's gaze on Parker was veiled behind thick dark lashes. After Parker's entourage had been dismissed, he had secured the suite before finally sitting down. Now it was only Parker and Max in the room. Max knew it was unwise to be alone with the young man but it could not be helped at this point. "No, thank you, Parker. I will not dine tonight." His voice was a deep murmur. All the while he had been watching Parker, he had taken care not to encourage the young man's advances.

"You're hungry for something else, aren't you?" Parker replied and sat in Max's lap in one fluid graceful motion as he started to unbutton his shirt. "I can give you whatever you want, Maxmillian…Whatever you want."

"That's quite a generous offer, Parker," Max's stiffened slightly under the weight of Parker's slender body on his lap. His hands rested on the plush arms of the chair, his brow marring slightly. "But I already have what I want."

"And I can be more," Parker whispered softly as he leaned his head forward to bring their lips almost together. "My body burns to feel your touch. Can you feel it?" He slowly rocked his hips against Max and let his body undulate sensually. "I was made for you; made for your hands to caress, made for your lips to taste, made for your powerful cock to claim. I know you feel it too. I'll be everything you want…submit to your every whim…with no resistance…your willing slave."

Parker's tongue darted out to lick Max's full lips and he gave the dark haired man a smoldering look before standing up. "Think about it. I'm going to order some room service then take a shower. You can join me. You can explore my body under the cascading water."

Max followed Parker to the other room with his gaze; he was frowning. Parker would pursue the matter until he got what he wanted. It would only be a passing fancy though; Max knew he was a challenge for Parker, the one that 'got away' as Ethan would put it. Thinking about Ethan brought a pang of longing in Max. The dark haired man easily imagined emerald eyes falling closed as Ethan gave in to whatever Max demanded of him. Max could hear Ethan's voice in his mind, begging, pleading for Max to take ownership of him completely. It made Max's body stir and ache for the blond. Tonight they should have been together celebrating the first night they'd spent together; the night that Max decided to let Ethan into his life... and to keep him there ever since.

He heard Parker speaking to someone on the phone. The young man's voice washed over Max and only the tone carried but not the conversation. The dark haired man had to admit that Parker was quite a captivating, sensual creature. If only... no, he would let Parker be; there was no sense in opening a door that was never meant to be opened.

Parker frowned as he hung up the telephone. He was really craving Paella a la Valenciana and, instead of ordering something else, he'd asked the concierge to see if the chef could make him some. The concierge had politely agreed to inquire and then call him back. Parker then sauntered towards the bathroom and turned on the shower. Carefully positioning himself so that Maxmillian could see him in the mirror, he slowly, deliberately and sensually stripped off his clothes; his fingertips caressing his body with every move and his dark, chocolate colored eyes giving Max a smoldering look every time those sapphire eyes met his.

Max did not look away, instead holding Parker's smoldering eyes with his own. It was a battle of wills; Max was not about to let Parker get to him. He knew that Parker had an audience with Max. The dark haired man watched as Parker undressed and indeed appreciated the man as aesthetically pleasing.

When he was completely undressed, Parker gave Maxmillian an enticing look in the mirror and licked his lips before entering the shower. Knowing Max could still see him because of all the mirrors, Parker purposefully left both the door to the bathroom and the shower open as he stepped underneath the water and allowed it to drench his body and his hair.

There was something to be said about mirrors. Max had a full, unadulterated view of Parker in the shower. The water cascaded down the young man's body, hugged every curve and caressed every sinewy line. When Parker turned, his backside was bared to Max. Those firm buttocks teased Max to grasp them in his hands, to spread them and find what treasure lay in between. Parker's hair danced with the water; it flowed down the young man's back with the strands caught in liquid and light.

Yes, Parker was sin incarnate and had circumstances been different between them, Max could see how what was offered would be his for the taking. That was, however, something that Max didn't want and didn't need.

Parker took a long leisurely shower; his body relaxing under the hot water which seemed to wash away all the mundane distractions of the day. He pondered Maxmillian's continued resistance to his advances but decided then he wasn't finished seducing the man…yet This was the only man who had ever refused him and Parker wasn't about to let that happen again.

Once he finished, Parker turned the water off and stepped out of the shower. Still dripping wet, he gave Max a smoldering look in the mirror as toweled his hair and then slipped into one of the hotel's big fluffy white bathrobes.

"The shower was hot," he said in a sultry voice as he left the bathroom and approached the chair where Max was sitting. "And…wet…" His robe falling seductively, he straddled Max's legs and then gracefully sat down in the dark haired man's lap. "I bet you would have enjoyed it."

Max tried his best not to scowl at Parker and his blatant advances. "I'm certain you enjoyed it enough for both of us." He narrowed his gaze at Parker but not before his eyes raked over the lithe form once. This time he did touch Parker. His hands rested on the young man's hips and felt that the skin was still moist and warm from the shower.

A slight shiver went down Parker's spine as he felt Maxmillian's hands on his body. "It would have been better if you had joined me," he murmured huskily then leaned forward to press his lips and body against Max's. His tongue licked and caressed the other man's full lips and then pushed inward, demanding entrance.

Max frowned at Parker's assertiveness, at his persistence to plunge into Max's mouth. He intertwined his fingers through Parker's damp hair but only to gently tug at it and move Parker back. "Why do you pursue something which you will never have, Parker?"

"Why do you keep denying that which you really want, Maxmillian?" Parker replied and again pulled close to the other man. He rocked his hips forward and rubbed their cocks together as he continued. "You know you want this; your body wants what I can give it. Even if only--" Parker was interrupted by a knock on the door.

"Room service," a voice from the other side yelled.

Parker frowned at the intrusion but then he gave Max a perplexed look as he remembered something. "I never ordered--" The sound of the door unlocking electronically was heard followed by the turning of the handle. "Maxmillian, the door!"

Max tensed before he stood up and unceremoniously dumped Parker from his lap. The young man landed with a dull thud to the floor. He took out his gun and was glad to have the advantage of the door still being latched. He didn't move from the spot and kept tabs on Parker. All this happened a split second before a body shoved against the door and a shot was fired from outside. The bullet ricocheted close to Parker and Max.

"Stay low," he hissed to Parker while he crouched low atop the young man.

Parker gasped as he heard the shot. Someone was actually shooting at him! Parker frowned. He hadn't thought the extremists would really follow through on their threats. He quickly rolled out from underneath Max and ducked into one of the closets with his wardrobe. "I'm safe here," he whispered and started rummaging through one of his bags.

Max glared at Parker as the young man left Max's side. Parker needed to stay by Max; it was the only way to protect him, the only way for Max to keep him safe. His lips were set in a thin line as another shot whizzed by dangerously close. Max fired his gun then and hit the assailant on the forearm.

Parker retrieved the handgun he always carried from his duffel bag. Most people didn't know he had one. After the second shot was fired at them, he peered cautiously out of the closet and quickly shot at the retreating forearm which Max had already struck. His bullet grazed the top of the man's hand causing him to swear loudly and drop the gun. The impact of the gun hitting the floor caused it to fire and the stray bullet shattered a Tiffany-style lampshade.

Max muttered a curse under his breath. Where the hell did Parker get a weapon? Things were getting out of control. That was something which Max detested and Parker was the main culprit. Max heard footsteps echoing outside the suite and then there was silence.

He picked up his cell phone, speed dialed the police, and informed them of the situation. No, he hadn't seen the suspect; he'd been inside trying to keep Parker in one piece. The police would be there soon but Max doubted they would catch whoever it was that shot at them.

Finally Max rounded on Parker without hiding his displeasure at the course of action the young man had taken. "What did you think you were doing?" he asked. His voice was unnaturally calm and his gaze cool.

"Helping to defend myself," Parker replied while giving Maxmillian an intense look. He didn't like the tone Max had just used with him and the expression on the other man's face. "…And trying to put a bullet in that asshole."

"That's quite interesting, Parker" Max said with a hint of sarcasm. "I thought I had been hired to do that particular job. Or was I mistaken?" He took the gun from Parker and set the safety. "I should not have to tell you what utter foolishness you just caused and the danger you put yourself in." His voice was hard as steel and his body was tense with the adrenaline that still coursed through it.

"You were hired to do this particular job," Parker snapped turning Maxmillian's same words around. "But I am not a fool who is going to just sit back helplessly while someone tries to kill me. I refuse to be a vulnerable, passive victim. Tell me what foolishness I caused. I don't see any. You stopped him from continuing his attack and I got him to drop his gun. We both got the job done and with some luck the police will track him down or get something off the gun."

Max took Parker's arm and shook him once. "What harm did you cause?" He asked in a low voice. "Do you see that lamp that's shattered on the floor? Picture that being the pieces of your skull. It is not a matter of just shooting someone or of being a victim, Parker. It's about being a professional. I am here to protect you and how am I supposed to do that when you see fit to take matters into your own hands."

"That was an accident," Parker replied and yanked his arm free. He refused to give in to the other man. "It was secondary to the man dropping his gun and not being able to use his gun anymore. Why are you trying to discredit what I did? You did the bulk of the work but I helped and no one got hurt."

"That is not the issue here," Max replied, eyes narrowing dangerous. "You were to keep safe, not get involved. So many things could have gone wrong here, Parker. You became a loose canon and such behavior is unacceptable."

"A loose canon? Hardly?" Parker replied with anger now leeching into his voice. "I kept myself safe as you can clearly see but if you think I'm not going to get involved in my personal safety, you're wrong. I'm--" A knock on the door interrupted Parker followed by the announcement that it was the police and hotel security.

"You better get that. I'll get dressed," Parker said in a somewhat more subdued tone of voice. He put the gun back in his duffel bag and set about finding some clothes. At this point he didn't care if Maxmillian or the police were looking, interesting, or whatever.

Max's gaze followed Parker briefly before he went to answer the door. After a short conversation verifying that it was indeed police and hotel security, Max stowed his weapon back in its holster. He spoke with them in a cool and collected manner and described in detail what had transpired. Of course, he did not mention that before the attack Parker had been naked on his lap. The police searched for evidence, took the gun on the floor, tagged it and dusted it for fingerprints. They informed Max that they would run the prints and compare them to the LVPD and FBI's NCIC database.

After about an hour an officer informed everyone that a hotel uniform was found outside in the hotel dumpster and it was also one that had been taken in the laundry robbery the night before. The two crimes might be related and further investigation was needed.

An officer was left outside Parker's hotel suite but Max doubted the perpetrator would make another attempt that night. He suspected the individual would try again the next day at the photo shoot or when everyone's guard was down. Parker had been unpredictable; Max had not liked that uncertainty because so many things could have gone wrong. As for the young man himself, Max deal with him tomorrow, when tempers were not flaring.

*~*~*~*

As always Parker smiled enticingly at the photographer and the entire retinue of assistants, producers and various other people associated with the shoot. This was despite the fact that he just wanted to incinerate anyone and everyone that came within ten feet of him. He hadn't slept well and he found the whole situation with Maxmillian and a lunatic would-be assassin completely unacceptable. He and Max had mostly ignored each other that morning. Thank goodness for espresso, lots of it, and Eggs Benedict with scallions otherwise he would not be fit for polite company or any company.

Parker remembered the photographer, a fellow named Jake, from photo shoots and shows over the past few years. Jake seemed to capture Parker's sensual essence better than anyone else and he'd been thinking of asking Jake to do some work in Bora Bora for his personal portfolio. Parker made a mental note to ask the man when they were done.

Max stood nonchalantly out of everyone's way but close enough to Parker to keep an eye on him. The dark haired man watched anyone that entered with a cloud of suspicion because of last night's debacle at the hotel suite. He was irritable, but as the consummate professional, it didn't show. However, those who walked by him felt it and were smart enough to keep out of his way. The photo shoot was on a closed set. This was a relief to Max as it made it easier to protect Parker; the question remained who would protect Parker from himself?

It took Parker a little longer to focus so they started shooting later than scheduled. Parker didn't care; he was in a bad mood. He'd surreptitiously scoped out the area to see if there were any convenient hiding spots. Not finding any obvious ones, he'd stopped since he didn't want Max to see that he was taking care of himself. He just didn't understand why Max wanted him to be helpless; Parker was never like that.

Once he was in front of the camera, he started to feel better. This was his element; this brought out his best. Parker once again wrapped himself in a blanket of erotic sensuality; every move, every smile, every expression was exquisite and filled with a promise of licentious pleasure.

After the first set, Parker unobtrusively eyed his surroundings again to make sure there was nothing out of the ordinary. No sense taking any chances even though he knew he had the best security money could buy. He did notice that Jake moved a little awkwardly and had to hide a smirk. It seemed his photographer was affected by him. Although the man was doing his best to hide it, there was a rather large bulge in his pants. Parker wondered if it was difficult to snap pictures in that condition.

So far nothing had hindered the shoot, but Max was not about to become lax in his task. He silently brooded as he watched the events and the people moving about, setting lighting and props for Parker. He supposed that he should be in a foul mood; he had spent the night without Ethan and missed both his lover's company and body. He grimaced because such thoughts would lead to aggravation if Ethan was not there to appease his ache.

Max instead focused more intently on the shoot and suddenly something made him frown. One of the lighting crewmen was moving rather oddly, as if he was in some pain. In fact Max didn't recall seeing the man earlier. Where the Hell did he come from? Max stiffened; his instincts were ringing alarm bells. The man was much too close to Parker for Max's piece of mind.

As Jake picked up his favorite camera, and was about to advise the crew that he was ready, his gaze fell on one of the lighting techs. Jake recognized him immediately. It was the man he'd photographed the night before. The man with a gun pointed at the stage. At Parker. Suddenly the man's gaze turned and he and Jake locked eyes. In that instant Jake knew and the man realized that Jake knew.

"No," Jake screamed, dropped the camera, lunged toward the stage and watched, almost as if in slow motion, as the man pulled a gun with his left hand.

Max took out his gun and aimed at the assailant. "Get down!" he shouted to the staff. People started running for cover and screaming. Max could not shoot the man yet; he had to wait for a clear shot. Then he got his chance.

Parker saw the assailant aiming a gun at him and, knowing that backing up was dangerous, shifted laterally as fast as he could. He heard Maxmillian yell and decided not to get down because he didn't want to lose the ability to move. As people were scrambling everywhere, he heard a single gunshot followed by a second gunshot and then suddenly the wind was forcibly knocked out of him.

Parker landed on the ground hard and let out a string of curses in Spanish. He was pinned underneath a large, solid muscular body. "Get off of me," he managed to say in English through gritted teeth before noticing that something wet was dripping on his arm and shoulder. Jake was on top of him, unconscious, and bleeding from a head wound. "Bloody hell," Parker muttered and tried to figure out why his photographer had run into the line of fire instead of getting out of the way.

Max glared at the gunman. This had gone on far enough. He pulled the trigger; the bullet hit the man on the knee and impeded the man's escape. There was a howl of pain as the shooter fell to the ground with his knee shattered. Max ignored that and quickly moved to pin him to the ground. Immediately he had the assailant restrained before he stood up. With the threat neutralized, Max checked on Parker.

"Parker?" He called out; his voice was deceptively calm and small beads of sweat were the only indication that he had been in action.

"Mierda, I'm over here," Parker yelled, "Underneath Jake. Can you call an ambulance, Maxmillian?" Parker had decided not to move because he didn't want to further aggravate Jake's injury and he did have a rather large "shield" with the other man on top of him.

Max seethed, his gaze settling on Parker like a blue unleashed storm. It irked him that Parker wasn't letting Max do his job properly. He didn't bother arguing the point and instead picked up the phone to dial 911. He knelt beside the slumped form, assessed the injuries to the larger man and gave the information to the dispatcher.

"Parker, are you injured?" he asked gravelly and checked the young man for wounds or injuries.

"I have a headache from being tackled and hitting the floor really hard with my head and I definitely need more caffeine but otherwise I'm fine," Parker quipped and then looked at Maxmillian pensively before taking off his shirt and using it to try and staunch Jake's bleeding. "What the fuck was he doing? I was fine and out of the way."

Max frowned and his mouth set in a thin line. "Apparently Mr. Cole decided photography should not be his only line of work." He looked at Parker briefly before looking back down to Cole who still remained unconscious. "He wanted to be your bodyguard as well."

*~*~*~*

Ethan stood outside on the balcony and looked out into the luminous landscape that encompassed Sin City. They were home. He and Max were spending a quiet Saturday night together. The last two days had proven to be a rollercoaster both action-wise and emotionally.

After the photo shoot with Parker, Max had returned to the condo tense and furious. He'd had a long and involved talk with the police about the man they'd captured. There hadn't been a conspiracy to kill Parker after all. It was merely a rabid fan discontent with Parker when the young man spurned his advances and he'd used the controversy with the right wings zealots to shift the blame. He had entered the studio the Friday night after the attack in the hotel and had hidden in the elevator shaft. Now he would be convicted on stalking charges as well as assault with a deadly weapon.

Ethan had been there at the condo when Max arrived and looked at the dark haired man nervously. Max simply simmered down and recanted the whole ordeal of that afternoon. Ethan was waiting for Max to begin chastising him about Friday night and about his being at the show with Ritzy. That hadn't happened. In fact Max had calmed down and proceeded to get undressed. He even went so far as to say they would be showering together. Max then left the room and Ethan heard the shower running.

Now the blond closed his eyes; Max had not said anything else about Parker and Ethan was not sure he wanted to ask. He didn't want to know if something had happened between them. Ethan's old insecurities resurfaced and he valiantly tried to push them away. Would Max leave then? Use the excuse of the fashion show as the last straw? Ethan shivered and took a few deeps breaths. He certainly hoped not. He just couldn't bear to lose Max; his heart would not take the loss.

Maxmillian stepped out onto the balcony and his lips curved into a faint smile as he observed Ethan looking out at the city. Max was wearing just his dark robe, cinched at the waist, and he had a bottle of ylang ylang massage oil in his hand. "When I see you like this, Ethan," he murmured huskily as he wrapped his arms around his lover, "It makes me want to wrap my arms around you and hold you forever." He pulled Ethan close to him and continued, "It also makes me want to fuck you right here."

Ethan closed his eyes and leaned in against Max. A shivery thrill coursed through him. He didn't want Max to see his doubts and the conflicting emotions that swirled within him. His body responded, though, to the dark haired man's. "I would like that very much," he whispered and hoped his voice would not betray him.

"I'm quite certain you would," Maxmillian continued; his voice a deep low rumble. "However, I have other plans for you tonight." He pressed the bottle of oil into one of Ethan's hands then ran his fingers up and down the blond's sides. "You will go to the bathroom…it should be quite steamy by now…strip, and rub this oil all over your body…slowly. I want you rock hard and waiting for me. You may also want to prepare yourself with the oil; I've been denied the use of what's mine for two days and I intend to make up for the lost time."

Green eyes snapped open at Max's command and Ethan nodded. He licked his lips as he thought of how Max would use him that night. Taking the bottle, he entered the room and although not looking back, he felt Max' eyes on him. His cock twitched and he hurried to the bathroom. He began to undress, not caring where his clothes landed, and almost tripped over one leg of his pants.

By the time his underwear came off, Ethan was panting. He started coating his skin with the oil which made his mind calm a little even as his body stirred with lust. Max was there and wanted him. Ethan had to think positive and keep the doubts at bay. The scent of the oil assaulted his nose; he closed his eyes and imagined that it was Max rubbing the oil all over his body. The little fantasy worked. His erection rose even more as he thought of Max's strong and muscular form behind him while Max's hands moved sinuously along the planes of his body. Ethan moaned; he was getting completely turned on and hard just like Max request. He took more oil, spread it on his tight hole, and prepared it for Max.

Maxmillian spent a few minutes staring out at the Las Vegas lights just as Ethan had been doing. He took a deep breath and then headed for the bathroom. Smirking when he saw the blond's glistening body and burgeoning arousal, he eyed Ethan appreciatively and murmured, "So wanton…so beautiful…and all mine." Max retrieved a pair of handcuff from one of the drawers and locked them around his lover's wrists. "Go into the shower," he ordered briskly, "And slip your hands over the shower head. There's a chain there…I'll fasten it when you're in position."

The coil of arousal tightened further in Ethan's belly as he complied with Max's order. He turned around and entered the massive shower stall with its luxurious six shower heads. He picked the largest one, wrapped the long cuff chain around the metal tube, and waited in anticipation for Maxmillian.

Max let the bathrobe glide off his shoulders and withdrew the riding crop he had been hiding in the folds. Holding it in one hand, he entered the shower and fastened Ethan's cuffed wrists above the shower head. As the warm water slid down both their bodies, Max drew the leather tip down Ethan's side, then around his knee, and back up the front. His eyes narrowed with lust at the sight of his deliciously submissive lover. There was no one he desired as much as Ethan Winter.

He circled Ethan's cock, lightly tapped the head, and then continued up the blond's torso. "Do you think you need to be punished, Ethan?" Max queried while pushing the crop underneath the young man's neck.

Ethan tensed with every pass of the riding crop on his wet golden body and he shivered with anticipation. His cock was hard and more than ready for Max to do what he willed with it. It took a few seconds for some blood to return to Ethan's brain and kick start his vocal cords again. "Pu-punished?" he asked with his own face mirroring Max's lust.

"Yes, punished," Max replied briskly and snapped his wrist to strike one Ethan's peaked nipples with the crop. "Do you think you have earned yourself some punishment, Ethan?"

Ethan flinched and moaned in pain but his cock twitched excitedly at the sudden burst in his nipple. The blond swallowed and his Adam's apple bobbed up and down nervously, since Ethan couldn't remember why he would need to be punished. Then it dawned on him and he inwardly groaned. "I was not supposed to be at the fashion show," he whispered and lowered his gaze submissively for Max.

"That's right," Maxmillian said and smacked Ethan's other nipple with the crop. "What else happened at the fashion show that should never have?"

"Shit!" Ethan exclaimed. The strike on his nipple was intensified with the water. He pulled on the chain and backed away from the crop but had nowhere to go. "I let Ritzy go backstage, which she wasn't supposed to do," he added breathlessly and shook his head to get the wet matted hair out of his face.

"How do you think I feel when one of my own agents causes a security breach while I'm working?" Maxmillian asked in a deep voice that was almost too quiet. He then took a half step back and whipped the crop across Ethan's ass.

Ethan groaned in pain and shame filled him. He knew better than anyone how displeased Max would be if Ethan showed up while Max was working. In retrospect Ethan knew how foolish he had been and all because he was jealous. "I'm sorry Max," the words were muffled by the water as Ethan, unable to face Max, lowered his chin to his chest.

Maxmillian smiled and, with his hand, caressed the mark left behind on Ethan's firm round globe. He then shifted his weight and rained several sharp blows on Ethan's delectable backside which soon became suffused with a rosy hue. Knowing that the oil would protect the skin as well as make each blow smart more, Maxmillian used greater force than he usually did; just enough force to make Ethan really feel it and to bring him just to the edge of pleasure.

"Max, please!" Ethan screamed. His body arched wantonly as every strike made droplets leak from his heated cock. The smacks on his ass sent delicious shivers down his spine taking him closer to ecstasy.

"Please, what, Ethan?" Max growled as he continued to strike his lover. Slowly he snaked one hand past his lover's writhing body to adjust the gold-plated lever. The temperature of the cascading water immediately became hotter.

Ethan moaned, the sound reverberating from deep within his chest. Wanting to entice his lover, he opened his eyes and looked over his shoulder at Max before licking his lips sensuously. "Please fuck me, Max," he husked deeply. "Own me."

"Soon…I want you to know that I own you," Max replied as he let the crop fall out of his hand and lined his own rock hard erection with Ethan's entrance. "And you will never have cause to doubt me." On the last emphasized word, Max thrust his entire length into his lover.

Ethan howled at the intense and immediate penetration; his whole body tensed as if an electrical current passed through him and Max's cock was the conduit. His head fell back on Max's shoulder and the blond closed his eyes. He hung on tightly to the chains that kept him in place and licked his lips before he uttered in a breathy voice: "Oh god, yes!"

Max didn't hesitate for an instant. All thoughts of the past few days were gone; his body thrummed with erotic pleasure and power as he started driving into Ethan. Each forceful thrust reinforced his claim on Ethan and demanded his surrender. Max dug his fingers into the blond's hips to steady the both of them as he moved. "Hold on to the shower head," he murmured into Ethan's ear. That was the only warning he gave his lover before lifting Ethan up by the hips and driving his cock in even deeper.

Ethan held on to the showerhead for dear life. He felt as though his heart had leapt to his throat while his breath was expulsed from him with every thrust. Max's impressive organ pummeled into Ethan; it conquered him as nothing else could. In that moment Ethan felt owned, claimed, and everything was right with the world. "Yes, Max..." he gasped, closed his eyes, and let his head fall forward as he took everything Max gave him.

Max continued pounding into his lover, bringing him ever closer to the edge, but not allowing him to fall into the depths of pleasure. Periodically changing the angle of his thrust, he made sure his cock slid over every inch of Ethan's tight inner passage as well as grazing Ethan's prostrate.

"Is this what you want, Ethan?" Max asked in a deep rumbling voice. "Does this satisfy you?"

The harder Max thrust, the harder it was for Ethan to speak and his groans soon filled the bathroom. Nevertheless, he pressed back his hips and took his lover deeper still. Max's voice made him shiver; his body was hypersensitive and throbbing and all he could do was respond with a nod.

Max thrust once into Ethan then held their bodies together with Ethan's feet still dangling a few inches off the ground. "I didn't hear you," he said in a deep controlled voice. "Are my questions not worthy of being answered?"

Ethan whimpered; his tears streaked down his face and were drowned with the hot water lapping his skin. He ached as he was held on the edge of pain and pleasure until he could not think rationally anymore. Trembling in Max's hold, his hips fought that control in order to take the dark haired man deeper inside. "They are," the blond answered at last, his voice wavering. "You more than satisfy me, Max." A sob hitched from Ethan's chest once he ceased speaking.

"Good," Maxmillian replied and started thrusting into Ethan's willing body once more. He shifted his hold and grasped Ethan's straining erection with one hand while still holding his lover up off the ground. His fingertips grazed the fat head and smeared the oozing pre-cum around even as it was washed away with the hot water.

"And you are all that I want," he continued while starting to stroke Ethan's cock deliberately.

Ethan wanted to touch Max; those words thrilled the blond. Everything was forgotten and the only thing that Ethan could think of, could feel, was Max, his lover, his Master. The blond felt conquered, owned, and to him that was the most wonderful feeling in the world. "I love you, Max," he said, keeping his eyes shut as he pushed back to meet Max's thrust.

As the water cascaded over them, Max tightened his hold on Ethan's arousal and slid his hand up and down the hard length at the same pace that his cock entered the tight velvety channel. He thrust faster and faster and stroked harder and harder until both were lost in a frenzy of fiery passion. "Come for me, Ethan," he ordered, "Come for me and show me that I'm all you need."

Ethan obeyed the command as naturally as breathing. His body tensing as his orgasm racked through him and a pearly stream streaked from his cock. He moaned and the sound echoed loudly in the large bathroom; the reverberations were intense, erotic and filled the room. He gave everything to Max, chanted the other man's name and let him know that, indeed, he was all that Ethan needed.

Hearing his name repeated over and over like a mantra spurred Max onward. He thrust faster even as Ethan's inner muscles clenched around his cock. Burning pleasure washed over him and he slammed into Ethan one more time before spilling deep inside his lover. Finally he set Ethan's body down and pulled the blond close to him as they both luxuriated in the aftermath of their lovemaking. For a few minutes the only sound was that of their breathing and of the water falling.

"Mine," Max murmured.

"Yours," Ethan answered, twisting his head and pressing his wet lips over Max's. He wanted to never let go. Eventually he had to, if only to breathe and get some of his strength back. After a while he whispered, "Are we okay, Max?"

"We always were, my love," Maxmillian replied holding Ethan close.

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