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Bonds of Friendship 3

cutting deep

Summary: Time to find out what is going on with Daniel, but Paul's not there.
Usual grovelling thanks to Gary, Joy and Fabi for alpha, beta and the omega readings *g*. Not to mention cheerleading, and the ever-present kicks when I need them.

A few weeks after the installation of the playroom and Daniel's mask was well and truly up. And though both Jack and Paul knew it, they were still no closer to finding out the truth behind the lie. He made no noises about what was bothering him, did his best to hide it in fact. The first weekend that the playroom was in operation, he had worked with both men, pushing Jack to find his limits, not letting Paul think...

As he'd explained to Jack, he hadn't wanted to take it out of the playroom and into the bedroom, yet mealtimes were structured and he even picked out their clothes for them. Even though he wasn't saying anything, wasn't overtly allowing his dominant side to show, his actions told them that he was torn between stopping it at the door and continuing it 24/7. Knowing that he needed to do things his way, they quietly acquiesced, aware of the storm brewing but unable to figure out what else to do to help. When he was ready, he'd tell them, they were sure. They hoped.

After the weekend, he'd seemed to calm a little, as if being totally dominant for the weekend had allowed him to regain at least some of his control. So, they'd said nothing, unwilling to stir up bad memories or to release the storm inside him before it was ready to break. But still, it was there and they were worried.

Paul wondered whether he should apply for the job as a victim's advocate or not. The chances were that he would end up needing Daniel to take control more and more if he got it. Jack, however, explained that if he didn't apply, Daniel would be furious with him. It would be as if he didn't trust Daniel to take care of his needs or, more to the point, didn't trust Daniel to keep control. So on the Monday following the inaugural weekend, he slipped out of his office at lunchtime and strolled down the street to visit the organisation he was interested in working for. There he met up with the head of it - quite unexpectedly, but beneficially, as he was able to go out to lunch with him, giving him the chance to explain why he was interested and what he could do for them. He would still have to apply, but ended up quietly confidant that he would get the job. One thing it would mean he would have to do, would be to go away for a few weeks to do a short course in victim support. He was sure that the guys would support him through it, that wasn't even an issue. When he mentioned his meeting over the dinner table, the others were delighted.

Night-times were intriguing for Jack as he never knew how Daniel would react. He still slept in the middle, having grown used to that position, but he no longer insisted on them laying with their heads on his chest in his usual protective manner. Though Jack didn't fail to notice that he always seemed to relax a little more and sleep that much sooner if they did it. Seeing as they'd grown used to sleeping like that, it wasn't a problem for them. Only when Jack's back was sore did he not sleep like that, though he always made sure he was in contact with Daniel's body at some point. A small part of Jack wondered if Daniel liked the security of being in-between them. Looking at it from a different perspective from Jack's normal one, that of the one being comforted, he could see that it could look like that. Perhaps it was a bit of both.

When Daniel was in his study and Paul was at work at the office, Jack would work on his pottery when he felt like it, but the rest of the time, he was doing a bit of research of his own.

His mother was a child psychologist and he racked his brains to remember the book titles on the shelves of her consulting room. She'd fostered some troubled teens as he was growing up, helping them in her own inimitable style. She gave them somewhere safe, somewhere they wouldn't be hassled. Funnily enough, she gave them somewhere that they didn't have to face whatever had brought them to her, unlike when they were in the therapy sessions. They could talk if they wanted - and they nearly all wanted to in the end - but she never pushed them. Just gave them a haven, food in their stomachs, clothes on their backs and a shoulder to cry on if required. All of this gave Jack a little understanding, but, he knew, it wasn't enough. Using the phone in his pottery workshop, he'd called his mother after a few days of thinking and asked her for a book that would help him spot some signs, any hint or clue as to what was going on with Daniel. Having bought the recommended book, he looked for signs of drug use, alcoholism and anything else he could think of that would be likely. When he did finally find out what was going on however, it came as a shock.

The calm continued for a while, and somehow, Daniel seemed to be getting over what was bothering him. He was happy again, laughing with the guys, playing with them both in the playroom and ordinary games such as Scrabble. Jack couldn't help thinking that he still looked a little haunted, as if he was keeping a secret from them, but then, it could have just been his overactive imagination. After all, when Daniel had those times that he needed to lose control, they only lasted that short while, being dealt with and then they were over. Perhaps that was it. He'd got over it. Jack could only hope.

When Paul came home with the news that he'd got the job he'd been trying for, Daniel had swung him around and then taken both men out for a celebratory dinner. That following weekend, he and Paul went to spend part of the Saturday in the playroom, Jack deciding that he would sit it out.


"So, pet, what shall I do with you?" Daniel purred as they entered the playroom. He was in a good mood and his voice reflected it. Paul couldn't help smiling back at him.

"Anything you want," he answered, his own voice equally seductive.

"Good answer," Daniel teased. "So, shall I tie you to the table? Or the paddling bench?"

He looked into Paul's eyes and realised straight away that he wanted this to be fun, with the emphasis on humour rather than the other sort of fun they had.

"No, I think you should be manacled."

Paul shuddered at those words and walked silently, but eagerly to the thickly-padded metal cuffs that dangled from the wall. Daniel adjusted the chains so that Paul could stand comfortably but his arms were raised. Daniel stood on a small stool and then efficiently secured him. Then he knelt down and clipped Paul's ankle bands to hooks near his feet, his legs slightly apart. Naked as he was, Paul felt extremely exposed but turned on.

Smothering a grin, Daniel got some things off the shelf making Paul shiver.

"Dan!" he squeaked, nearly making Daniel lose his composure.

"Hush!" He tried to scold him but it wasn't working.

"Dan, please! You wouldn't!"

"Oh, I would," came the attempt at menacing, but for once, Daniel was failing miserably at it. Normally, he could make the others shiver at his voice, he had the ability to at once make them feel totally loved and yet scared shitless. But now, he was making Paul laugh in horror and he hadn't even started.


"Nuh huh. My parents were definitely married. They were strange," he added, "but I'm no bastard."


Then Daniel started, drawing his long peacock feather down Paul's stomach and then up and under his arms. Paul was horrendously ticklish at his armpits and he writhed around as much as the manacles would allow. Despite the torture, he was laughing out loud.

Daniel was giggling too, as he tenderly brushed the edge of the feather over as many ticklish bits of Paul as he could find. However, when he drew it up Paul's thigh and through his legs, brushing over the skin behind his balls, over them and then down his soft dick (any excitement before being tied up had gone the moment he saw the feather), the atmosphere changed. Usually, Daniel's use of the feather wasn't to tickle, but to soothe and now he pressed it just that little bit harder allowing Paul to feel the softness yet losing the tickling. His cock started to harden and grow, Daniel drawing the feather up and down the thickening shaft. All of a sudden, the air became electric.

"Daniel, please," came the whisper.

The words shook Daniel out of his fascination. He had taken to staring at Paul's cock as it grew, as if it was the first time that he had seen it. All he could think of was, 'I'm doing that', and for once, he was astounded.

"You love me," he whispered in awe.

"God, yes. Love you so much," Paul affirmed, as if he hadn't said it a thousand times before. He continued, murmuring 'I love you, I love you,' over and over again.

Daniel's eyes pricked with tears and he reacted in the only way he knew how, dropping to his knees and hungrily swallowing Paul's cock, taking short, snuffling breaths through his nose, running his hands up and down Paul's thighs and almost frantically urging him to come and come now.

Paul looked down and gasped when he saw the sight of Daniel on his knees. He'd been in that position on countless occasions, each time treating him with love and respect, making Paul feel like he was the centre of Daniel's universe. But this time, it was desperate, passionate with a capital P, and somehow it was new.

He came. Unsurprisingly it didn't take him long and he poured down Daniel's throat, giving him everything that he had. When it was over, Daniel reluctantly let his cock fall and Paul had to fight back a moan of disappointment. Daniel looked up, his blue eyes sparkling and filled with wonder.

He unclipped Paul's ankles, then slowly, he got up, never taking his eyes from Paul's. Paul's field of vision narrowed to Daniel's eyes and nothing else. He felt the heat of Daniel's bare chest against his, felt first his left, then his right wrist becoming unbound. He still didn't look away, just wrapped his arms around Daniel's neck, lifting one of his legs and then his other around Daniel's waist and leaning back against the wall. He felt Daniel's rock-hard cock as it ground into his groin but still he stared into Daniel's eyes. Daniel seemed unable to look elsewhere, too, his body taking over control, his powerful arms and legs holding Paul up as his hips thrust hard against his lover. Only when Daniel's eyes involuntarily shut as he started to come was the spell broken. Paul felt the hot fluid as it spurted against his stomach and dipped his head until it rested on Daniel's shoulder. The silence was also broken, loud grunts of pleasure coming from Daniel until he, too, had nothing left to give.

Paul was left unable to speak, unsure of what he could say without spoiling what had been one of the shorter, yet most intense scenes they'd had between them. Daniel solved that for him by kissing him hard, his tongue thrusting inside Paul's mouth as if laying claim to it. All Paul could do was kiss him back whenever he was able, letting Daniel know that possession was as much a two-way street as the exchange of trust. He owned Daniel, just as Daniel owned him.

Finally, they broke apart as if by mutual consent, but neither wanted to move. In the end, Paul whispered, "You'd better put me down before you hurt yourself," getting him one of Daniel's patented shy smiles in reply. Carefully, Daniel let him stand on the ground, but he still held him close.

"I love you," Daniel whispered. "So much, Paul."

"I know that," came the sighed answer. "I've always known it."

When they emerged from the cellar, they found Jack lying on the large sofa and watching a hockey match, not that they were surprised. Daniel opened the fridge and grabbed some beers, including the brand that he actually liked, and then headed into the living room.

"Who's winning?" he asked.

"Does it matter?" Jack replied, sitting up quickly and taking the beer from Daniel.

"Probably not. Is it good?"

"No one's been stretchered off yet, but it's pretty lively," came the glib answer.


Before Jack could settle back, Daniel sat on the sofa next to him and half-lay, half-sat, pulling Jack back to lie in-between his legs and hugging him close. Paul lifted Jack's feet and sat at the other end of the sofa, then placed Jack's feet on his lap, grinning maniacally.

"Why's he looking like that?" Jack asked of Daniel warily.

"Um, 'cause he just got his brains sucked out of his dick?" Daniel offered.

Jack shrugged. "Yeah, I look pretty dumb when you do that to me too," he replied. "But there's something about..."

Before he could finish his sentence, Paul placed the ice-cold bottle on the bottom of one of Jack's feet. The next sound to come out of Jack's mouth sounded more like that of a thirteen year-old arachnophobic girl who'd just had a funnel web spider dangled in front of her face, than that of a fifty year-old 'been there, shot that' Air Force colonel.

"YOU BASTARD!" Jack howled, trying to retain some shred of dignity.

Paul sniggered. "Nope," he answered, then looked Daniel directly in the eye as he continued, "my parents were most definitely married."

Jack wasn't sure why they both laughed out loud when he replied with a loud, "HAH!"

"So, what did you guys get up to?" he asked a few minutes later, when Paul had ceased tickling his feet with the bottle.

"Told you," Daniel replied.

"Come on, you just did that?"

"No, he attacked me with the feather."

"He's done that before."

"Not when my hands have been up in the manacles, he hasn't."

Jack burst out laughing. "Serves you right. Oh, don't tell me, he got the pits."

"He is the pits!" Paul snorted. "I couldn't fight back!"

"Why do you think I waited till he was in the manacles?" Daniel put in, laughing at Paul's falsely indignant face.

Jack twisted a little and dropped a kiss on Daniel's face.


They settled back to watch the final session of the match and Jack allowed himself a smile. He hadn't seen Daniel looking so relaxed in many weeks and he was bound and determined to make the most of it. He knew that they had a month before Paul started his new job, which would result in him being away in LA from Monday to Friday for six weeks at the beginning whilst he trained. The three hadn't been separated for more than a few days at a time in over three years, so this gap should be interesting. Jack wondered how Daniel would react. He knew that he'd keep his displeasure to himself, even Jack wouldn't be happy about Paul not being there, but Daniel hated it when they were apart for a single night, let alone four or five a week for six weeks. Jack put that down to the fact that they'd been forcibly separated when they worked at the SGC and Pentagon; he knew how hard that had been on them and how they'd both hated every single moment away from each other.

But for now, he was making the most of it. All he had to do was remind himself not to let down his guard so that when the time came, he wouldn't be taken by surprise.

The weeks passed smoothly towards Paul's starting his new job. Daniel seemed happy, Paul was nervous but excited about the change in his life and Jack's pottery was going well. Daniel hadn't shown any further sign of being upset, so Jack now hoped that whatever it was had truly passed.

His own needs and desires, however, were confusing him. Daniel had been so right to point out that he was more interested in trying new things than he had admitted, and had been pretty close to the money in figuring out his reasons for it. However, he wasn't spot on.

Jack hadn't liked being tied up because of what had happened to him in prison, that was true; but with Daniel's, and Paul's help, he truly had got over it. Jack spent a lot of time ruminating on his reluctance to ask for what he wanted to try and came to a startling conclusion. Part of it was fear - that was okay, he could cope with that idea. He liked what he knew and that wasn't such a bad thing. He also knew that whatever he feared, he could face with the help of the guys. He figured that Paul had no such fear of the unknown, at least where sex was concerned. He had fixed likes and dislikes and wouldn't even negotiate with Daniel about some things, but again, that was cool.

Jack's other - and main - reason surprised the hell out of him. And he didn't like it, either. Who would have thought that a sub in a triad would be a prude? But that was the only thing that made sense. He was reluctant to try out some of the more exotic ideas that Daniel had because he thought that it was almost beneath him. Having realised this, Jack decided he wanted to get over that idea, and fast. He was almost horrified at his attitude. So, how to go about it? Daniel had said he could ask for anything and that he would never judge him, but Jack still felt awkward about it. He'd have to be sneaky.


On the Sunday that Paul was leaving (he was going to LA the afternoon before the course started to settle in and find his way around), Jack woke up with a plan. The others were still asleep and he spent some time looking at them with a small, contented smile on his face. Daniel was holding Paul possessively and Paul looked very relaxed in his customary position. Though Jack didn't doubt that Daniel would complain a bit about the amount of drool that had pooled on his chest.

Fighting back a laugh, he wriggled out of bed and made his way to the bathroom. In there, he took a leak, cleaned his teeth and then entered the shower. With an exciting day in mind, he switched the head of the shower to a different attachment and got himself ready for Daniel's pleasure.

By the time he'd finished, Paul had woken up and entered the bathroom. Jack kissed him good morning and then encouraged him to get ready.

"Do you think that Daniel has something in mind?" Paul asked as he put some toothpaste on his brush.

"Not really," Jack answered with a grin, "but I do."

"Oh? Taking over from him?" Paul teased.

"Nuh huh, but I'm going to ask him to do some stuff today."

Paul was surprised. "You are? What?"

"Wait and see."

Jack had no intention of asking straight out for anything, but he wasn't going to say that to Paul. Instead, he was going to rely on Daniel's knowledge of him to get what he wanted.


To soften the shock, Jack made coffee before waking Daniel up, then he gently roused him.

Daniel grunted as his eyes slowly opened, then he took the coffee gratefully before starting to come round. Slowly, he focussed and was surprised to see Jack in front of him, dressed purely in a pair of jeans and his bondage gear.


"I think I need..." Jack started.

Daniel nodded and smiled, putting his hand on Jack's arm in answer.

"Whatever you need, Jack. However you need it. Let me wake up and then you can tell me what you want to do."

"Thank you."

"No, thank you, Jack," came the gentle reply. Then Daniel asked, "What of Paul?"

"He's ready, too," Jack informed him. "I think he would like a bit of a send-off."

Daniel laughed a little, then nodded again.

"Okay. Go make some breakfast for us all. I think you two should have a good meal. You're going to need all the strength you can get. Me too."

"Not a problem. The works?"

"Absolutely. I'm a growing lad," Daniel teased.

Jack grinned, poked Daniel in the stomach and agreed with him before beating a hasty retreat.


Little was said over the meal as Daniel ran some ideas through his head. Jack was acting a little differently than normal - he had always had to be pushed into a scene in the past; not that he didn't want it, but Jack had never wanted to ask for it, as if asking would embarrass him. With that thought in his mind, Daniel came to a similar realisation as Jack as to his reluctance and he was surprised. If Jack was embarrassed or awkward, then his coming to Daniel like this in the morning meant that he was trying to ask now, but without words. Well-versed in Jackspeak - whether his words or his body language - Daniel analysed the implications. Whatever was going on in Jack's mind, he had obviously come to terms with it, but probably wasn't prepared to voice it yet. And knowing Jack, he was asking Daniel to push him again to help him continue to deal with it. So he'd have to do something with Jack that he'd never done before.

He was no longer worried about stirring up old hurts for Jack. They'd talked at length about the horrors inflicted on him and over the years together, Jack had grown more and more confident that he could separate those bad times from the good times that he now had. He'd also convinced Daniel that he could do anything and that he'd tell him if it was too much. Daniel also knew that they were strong enough that if the nightmares returned, they could deal with it.

So what? Just what would he do with him? He could do anything with Paul - that man had no shame whatsoever, he thought, fighting down a threatening smirk as he thought it. The trouble was, Daniel didn't want to use the paddle on Jack. Hell, he didn't want to use it on Paul, but he did because he knew Paul needed it. No, he'd have to pick up on one of Jack's known kinks and run with it. The biggest one was exhibitionism, and Daniel knew it. They wouldn't have the time to go into town to one of the clubs, and being Sunday morning, he couldn't be sure that the crowd he could more or less trust around Jack would be there anyway. So, it would have to be at home.

A wicked idea crossed his mind and as soon as he finished his meal, he put the idea into practise.

"Clear up and go downstairs," he ordered. "I shall join you shortly."

With that, he left them and retreated to the bedroom for a while. In there, he removed his shirt, then his jeans and boxers, took out of the bedside table drawer his favourite soft leather cock ring and slipped it on, willing himself not to get hard at the thought of what was to come. He couldn't stop grinning though as his idea was going to cover two things. One, it would get Jack going like nothing else and two, it would give Paul a great going away present. He put his jeans back on, carefully buttoning them up and trying to miss any stray pubic hairs in the process, then when he heard the others finishing off in the kitchen, he left the bedroom, went into the living room and collected some equipment, then he followed them down.


"What do you think he's got in mind?" Paul whispered to Jack as they entered the playroom.

"I have no idea, but it'll be worth it, I'm sure," Jack replied.

Both were dressed the same, in jeans, no underwear, no socks and no top. The playroom was warm, the central heating having been switched on as winter was upon them now, so they weren't cold. Paul had his body jewellery in and Jack was wearing his earring. Jack was pleased with his earring, it was almost an act of rebellion against his past and he wore it with pride. He hadn't been tempted to try piercing anything else - yet. However, he knew that if Daniel asked him to, he'd probably agree. Maybe he'd surprise him one day...

He was shaken out of his thoughts by Daniel's arrival and when he saw what Daniel had in his hands, he let loose a shiver.

Without a word, Daniel set up a tripod, then placed their digital video camera on it. Both men were curious, but neither asked what Daniel had in mind. When Daniel was convinced that the set-up was right, he placed Jack in a certain position, then he spoke.

"Take your jeans off, Jack."

As he spoke, he looked into the viewfinder and Jack realised that he was going to be filmed. Swallowing harshly, he did as he was told, unbuttoning his jeans, taking his time as he did it. When the buttons were undone, he pushed them down and his semi-hard cock stood proud as he stepped out of the legs.

"Very nice, Jack," Daniel praised. "Very nice indeed. Paul, go to Jack. Jack, take Paul's jeans off him."

Again, he filmed as Jack did as he was told, making the most of it and letting his face brush against Paul's cock as it sprung out from the jeans, kneeling down and pulling the fabric off Paul's legs.

"You're a natural, Jack," Daniel teased. "You should be in the movies."

He let the filming continue automatically, walked over to the men and helped Jack stand up. Then he placed rings on them both before kneeling in front of them and sucking them both to hardness. When they reached it, he stopped and stood up, looking them both up and down hungrily and making them both shiver as his eyes raked their bodies.

"We're making Paul a going away present," he finally said. "When you're in your hotel room at night, you will switch this on," he nodded over to the camera, "and you'll watch it to the end. Just in case anyone should decide to come on to you, it will remind you of where and to whom you belong."

Paul nodded, holding his breath at the thought of watching them all on film. He missed the dangerous smile that crept over Daniel's face so his next words took him by surprise.

"And if whoever comes on to you won't take no for an answer, you show him the film. Show him that you are mine and that if he persists, I'll come down to LA and put him off going after anyone else, ever."

Again, Paul shuddered when he heard those words. Daniel wasn't the jealous type - Paul could see whomever he wanted, go to dinner with people, go out for drinks and so on... that was never a problem. But Daniel was possessive of his men. They did nothing without his say so and more to the point, no one did anything to them without Daniel's permission. And that was never granted. Paul didn't miss the meaning in Daniel's words either. Daniel wasn't worried that Paul would look elsewhere, but he was worried that someone would look at him. It was typical of Daniel to think like that.

Before Paul could think any further, Daniel broke the silence that had descended and ordered Jack to the paddling bench.

Jack's eyes opened in shock, but Daniel just returned to the camera and followed him as he moved to it. Satisfied that the picture would be clear, Daniel started directing them.

"Jack, kneel on the bottom bench then drape yourself over the top. Reach back, open up your ass, show it off to us."

Already hard, Jack was uncomfortably so now. He pushed his cock against the edge of the upper part of the bench, almost as if he could 'accidentally' get off that way. So engrossed was he in his devious plan that he missed Daniel silently padding up towards him and yelled out loud when he felt Daniel's hand slam down on his exposed ass.

"Don't you dare come," he warned.

"Sorry, Daniel. I won't, I promise."

"Make sure you don't."

Daniel stood back and returned to the camera. Switching it off for a moment, he removed it from the tripod and then walked up close to Jack and switched it back on again.

"Paul. Get on your knees."

As Paul complied, Daniel focussed on Jack's ass, grinning to himself when he knew he would get a good shot.

"Rim him."

Jack let out a low groan. There he was, on his knees, holding his ass open for what seemed like the world to see and now this? How was he supposed to hold off? Ring or no ring, he was so going to come soon.

Daniel couldn't help feeling like he wanted to drop the camera and just grab Jack and fuck him hard, but he steeled himself and kept control. Jack wouldn't be the one getting fucked this morning, but he wouldn't be going totally unmolested either. Deciding that Jack had had enough, Daniel ordered Paul to stop.

"Stay on your knees," he added. "You don't stand up unless I let you."

Paul shuffled back on his knees away from Jack so that Daniel could have access to him, then watched intently at the scene in front of him.

The camera was back on the tripod and Daniel went to one of the shelves, took down a wider plug than he'd used before on Jack, lubed it up and pushed it inside him slowly. The satisfied groan that Jack let out told Daniel that he'd read him right, that he wanted this more than anything.

"You can let go of your ass now, Jack," Daniel said when it was in. He smiled as he watched Jack wriggle his ass a bit as he let the plug find the most comfortable position. "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine."


Paul was still on his knees, unable to take his eyes off the men. Daniel moved around and in front of Jack's face, seeing that Jack was more relaxed now that he was able to place his hands on the higher part of the bench.

"Undo me, Jack," Daniel started, but he stepped back when Jack put his hands on the top fly button. "With your mouth. Put your hands back on the bench and leave them there."

With difficulty, Jack complied and did his best to undo Daniel as quickly as he could, wanting to stop and take Daniel into his mouth when the hard cock fell out and hit him on the face.

"Good, well done," came the praise when he was finished. Then Daniel called, "Paul, come here and remove my jeans. Stay on your knees. Crawl to me."

Paul did as he was told, grateful that Daniel had put down a thickly padded vinyl flooring. There was something so hot about crawling over the floor, something that he couldn't put his finger on, but he knew that he liked it. He soon had Daniel's jeans off him and awaited his next instruction.

Daniel knew that they were running out of time. Sure, he had a huge memory card in his camera, but even that was limited. If Paul was going to get the 'come shot' in his present, he'd have to move things on.

"Paul, go and lie on the table, face down."

Paul eagerly did as he was told and put his hands and feet in position. Daniel helped Jack up and then moved to Paul's side.

"Help me, Jack," he ordered and the two of them soon had him tied up. Daniel undid the catches that held the top of the table in place and moved him into an X shape, raising the height a little at his head. "Stand here, Jack," Daniel instructed and placed Jack right next to Paul's face. Firmly, he grasped Paul's head and pulled it back. "Take it, Paul," he whispered, and Paul hungrily took Jack's cock into his mouth. Daniel moved behind Paul, lubed himself up and pushed inside him.

Jack felt Paul moan with pleasure and looked over at Daniel, getting a wink from his lover and a small nod. He knew what Daniel meant and started to move. Seeing Daniel loosen his cock ring, he took the cue and did the same for his own, sure that he was enough in control not to come straight away. They worked together, fucking Paul, top and bottom, taking Paul's mind off the events to come that afternoon and generally enjoying the hell out of themselves.

Jack came first, the movement of his hips making the plug roll against his prostate and pushing him over the edge. Watching him come pushed Daniel and soon the two were panting hard and slipping out of Paul.


"I won't leave you hanging," Daniel puffed. "Jack, help me undo him."

They swiftly re-locked the table in place, undid him and then flipped him onto his back. With his eyes screwed tight shut, Paul didn't know which one was going down on him and he didn't rightly care. All he cared about was the fact that there was a hot, wet mouth on his dick, the ring was loosened and he was so going to come now...

When he opened his eyes, he saw Jack wiping his mouth with the back of his hand and Daniel putting the camera back on the tripod, apparently switched off. That meant... oh boy, he couldn't wait to watch it that night.

Daniel leaned down and kissed Paul hard, then he turned to Jack and did the same to him.

"Get cleaned up," he ordered. "I've got something to do."

"Uh, Daniel, what about the plug?" Jack asked.

"Leave it in, Jack. I've got plans for you."

Daniel heard the whispered 'oh fuck' as he picked up his jeans and slung them on quickly, but he ignored it. He collected the camera and walked out of the cellar, trying not to laugh out loud at Jack's reaction. There was one thing he had to do right then, and it couldn't wait. After that, he'd have a bit more fun at the guys' expense, but not till then.

He walked into his study, booted up his laptop, switched on the video program and then started to watch the action as he burned a CD. Despite having just come, he was soon getting turned on again. This was a brilliant plan, he thought to himself. Absolutely brilliant. Another idea struck him and he grinned. It would be so cool.


"I thought that Daniel wasn't supposed to be a sadist," Jack muttered as he made his way cautiously up the stairs. He wasn't used to moving around with a plug up his ass and it wasn't overly comfortable.

"You'll get used to it," Paul comforted. "In fact, you'll hate it when it's not there."

Jack shrugged. They waited in the kitchen for Daniel, speaking quietly and listening for him.

"I guess. So, what did you think of his idea?"

Paul moaned. "It was incredible. All I could think of was that I'll be able to watch it tonight. Tomorrow night. Tuesday night..." He started to laugh and melted into Jack's arms as he was pulled close to him.

"We're going to miss you, too," Jack admitted. "It's going to be weird."

"It's only till Friday," Paul reminded him. "I'll be coming home directly from the course on Friday night."

"Then going back on Sunday."

"I know. It's only for six weeks, though."

"Sure. Ach, I'm not really complaining, Paul. We don't want you to feel bad about going, we do understand, you know. It's just we wish the course could have been held here, that's all."

"Me too. Never mind," he sighed. "I'll make it up to you when I come home."

"How will you do that?"

In answer, Paul pulled him into a long deep kiss.

"Will that do for a start?"

"Oh yeah. You make sure you do a lot of that. In fact, you should do it again, just to remind me. I'm getting old, I forget easily."

"Old, doddery..."

Daniel's voice broke their conversation and they looked at him sheepishly. He moved swiftly across the kitchen floor and put his arms around both men, hugging them close. They started kissing, three pairs of lips homing in on each other, six arms and hands moving over their bodies.

They stayed like that for a while, taking comfort in the contact, loving the touch of skin on skin, till, by mutual unspoken consent, they broke away.

"I need your laptop, Paul," Daniel finally said.


"Yeah. Just need to make sure that the CD's going to work, that's all."

"Okay. I'll go get it."

Paul left them and went to retrieve the computer and Jack whispered, "Is that really all, Danny?"

"I don't know what you mean," Daniel replied innocently.


Paul was soon back with the laptop in hand and he passed it over.

"Why don't you guys go relax in the living room?" Daniel suggested. "I'll be with you soon."


The time until it was nearly the moment for Paul to leave was spent quietly, with Jack and Daniel taking it in turns to hold and kiss Paul, making sure that he was left in no doubt that they both would miss him equally. That he would miss them wasn't in doubt, either.

After lunch, Paul sighed and moved to the bedroom to pack. The others went to help him, Daniel making sure that he had his laptop in its case, Jack fetching his razor and toothbrush and a spare tube of toothpaste... that sort of thing. Paul packed his clothes efficiently, being an expert in packing quickly from his Air Force days. Then he went to get changed, as travelling in jeans alone would not be a good idea. As soon as he'd removed his jeans to put on some underwear, however, Daniel stood behind him and Paul knew that he was in some sort of trouble.

"Bend over and put your hands on the bed, Paul," he instructed.

He did as he was told and soon found out why. Daniel had brought some things up from the playroom, the first being a long, thin plug which was inserted in him smoothly.

"Stand back upright."

Again, he did as he was told, unquestioning but surprised. His eyes opened in shock when he saw what Daniel had waiting for him.

"Dan?" he squeaked.

"Not interested?" Daniel purred. "Oh dear, that's such a shame. I don't care though, you're going to wear it."

Despite Paul's apparent shock, Daniel knew that he'd really enjoy it. So, he picked up the Devil's rings - a rather nasty silver multi-ring device in which the first and largest one, was slipped behind Paul's balls, and then his penis was pushed through a further four which graduated down in size, a fifth and the smallest one sitting over the tip and not allowing any 'expansion'. He could pee out of it, could wash himself too, but that was it. Daniel then picked up a very long, thin silver chain and attached it to the nipple ring that Paul was still wearing, then his navel ring, then down and to a small clasp at the top of the ring behind his balls then down and through his legs to the plug and attached it to the clasp on the base of that. From top to bottom, he was connected, chained up. Paul knew that it was just a symbolic chaining, that the fine chain was so thin that any serious amount of pressure could snap it, but it was extraordinarily reassuring for him. He couldn't go into the classroom - or even on the plane with his collar and other bands on. Well, he could, but it wouldn't really have been appropriate. This way, Daniel was still staking his claim to Paul's body even though they'd be many miles apart. Wistfully, Paul wished that he could have been claimed like this when he'd lived in DC.

"You wear this to the hotel," Daniel instructed. "You will wear it at all times, except for when you're in the bathroom or watching the CD. Before you go to bed each night, you call me. I'll be with you when you watch it, when you jerk off to it. You'll tell me what you're thinking, how you're feeling, when you're coming..."

Paul winced as his cock started to grow despite the rings, but soon willed the damned thing to go back to sleep.

"We'll listen to you on the speaker," Daniel continued the tease. "We'll be naked, in bed, maybe I'll fuck Jack just as I fucked you. Maybe I'll make him suck me. Maybe I'll jerk off over him. I won't tell you, you'll have to imagine it. Then, when you come home on Friday, your first action will be to get naked. The only thing you will wear will be what you have on now. You will wear that to your classes, Paul. If the lecture gets boring, I want you to twist your pierced nipple. In fact, I want you to do that. Every hour, on the hour, throughout the day."

"Dan... please," Paul pleaded, thinking that if Daniel didn't stop right now, he'd get hard despite everything and probably rupture something.

"Promise me, Paul."

"I promise. I won't take it off. I'll call every night."

"Guys, he has to get ready," Jack warned as he noticed the time passing.

Daniel stepped back and watched every move Paul made, as if it would be the last time that he'd see him. When he was done, Jack and Daniel quickly threw some clothes on, Jack directed to wear only his leather jacket on top of his bare skin, no socks, just his boots. A flashback to his mother warning him to wear clean underwear when he went out just in case of an accident nearly had Jack laughing out loud, but he held off. Daniel wasn't in the mood to laugh with him, and he knew it.


The drive to the airport was nearly silent. Inside it, Daniel defiantly held Paul by the hand as they walked him up to his check-in desk. When his flight was called, they hugged him and told him to call the minute he arrived at the hotel. Without looking back, Paul marched off.

Daniel watched him until he disappeared from sight, then he made sure his cellphone was on, put his hand on Jack's shoulder and steered him back to the car park.

Instead of taking Jack home, Daniel drove to one of their favourite private clubs. Before they got out of the car, Daniel handed Jack a bag. He opened it and saw his collar and wrist bands. Without needing to ask, he put them on, then followed Daniel to the anonymous-looking door.

The doorman greeted them warmly, enquired after Paul, checked their jackets for them and then let them in. It was quiet, mainly because it was only mid-afternoon, but there was still a quiet buzz. Jack was again only in his jeans and those present eyed him greedily, looking at the hard muscles in his arms and stomach. With some obvious scarring, he looked dangerous. More so when Daniel retrieved a dog leash from his jeans pocket and clipped it onto the collar. Instead of looking like he was submissive, it looked like he needed to be kept under control.

"Do not look at them," Daniel ordered. "Do not speak unless I give you permission."

Jack blinked in reply and then dipped his head so that he could look at the floor. A tug on the collar told him to walk and he followed Daniel to the bar. Daniel ordered a couple of orange juices, his choice assuring Jack that whatever happened, he was going to be in control that day. Rather than taking him to a quiet table as they would usually do, Daniel remained at the bar. Jack stood to his side as ordered and Daniel sat on a tall barstool.

As he chatted to the barman, Daniel ran his hands over Jack's body, down between his legs and over his crotch, never looking at what he was doing, but most definitely aware of the effect. Jack hardened as Daniel knew he would, but he made no sound and his face gave nothing away. Even though he was looking at the floor, Jack was more than aware of the many pairs of eyes on him and that thought made him even harder. This was like his exhibitionist kink but on steroids. Daniel continued his conversation and Jack focussed on Daniel's voice, finding it almost hypnotic. Daniel was complaining about Paul being away, talking about the weather, the local baseball team, and just when Jack was thinking of shutting his brain off, he heard, "Jack? Oh, I'm going to take him to the back room and fuck him." It was so casually said that it shocked Jack a little, even though it wouldn't be the first time that had happened. Daniel had his hand on Jack's cock as he said it and felt it jerk at the words. Again, without looking at Jack, he squeezed his cock in a warning. Come at your peril.

Jack willed himself to calm down, thinking of all of the things that usually deflated him faster than a popped balloon, but nothing seemed to be working. Only when he felt a second hand on his ass did he manage to regain some sort of control. Mainly because he knew that it wasn't Daniel's.

Daniel saw the interloper and moved quickly. Before the stranger knew what had happened, he found himself face down on the bar, Daniel holding an empty beer glass in one hand - the man's head being held down with the other.

"Did I give you permission to touch him?" Daniel snarled, sounding positively murderous.

"No," the man gasped. "I'm sorry."

"You will be. Nobody touches my pet. Nobody. Understand?"

"Yes! I'm sorry!" he echoed. "I didn't mean anything by it." He was scared shitless and it was showing by the lack of colour in his face and the dilated pupils as he stared wildly at his assailant. Jack was scared, too, as though he'd seen Daniel's possessive side before, he'd never seen him this angry. Taking a chance, he put his hand on Daniel's arm.

"He's not worth it," he whispered. "Please, Daniel. For me?"

His face still registering his anger, Daniel looked at Jack and then nodded slowly. "Nobody touches you," he whispered.

"I know. You keep me safe."

Jack used all of his Daniel-management skills and managed to get him to back off. The other man ran for the door.

"I don't mind people looking," Daniel finally said, "I don't mind them dreaming about you, fantasising about you. But I cannot take anyone touching you."

"I know," Jack reiterated.

A sudden memory helped Jack understand this. Alec Chase. How Daniel had threatened to kill him for not taking no for an answer. How Jack had been afraid that if a more dominant master tried to take him away, he might not be strong enough to resist him, even though he didn't want to leave Daniel. Daniel had finally accepted that Jack not only had no intention of leaving him, it would kill him to go. So Daniel was afraid for Jack - and that fear turned to anger.

Shaking a little from using all of his self-control to refrain from beating the other man to a pulp for having the temerity to so much as touch Jack, Daniel sat back on his seat. This time, he pulled Jack close and wrapped one of his arms around him.

"I apologise for speaking out of turn," Jack whispered. "I didn't mean to break your rules. If you wish to punish me, I won't complain. And, er, well, I'll shut up now...?"

Daniel looked into Jack's eyes and couldn't help but burst out laughing.

"I think I can let it ride, Jack. Just this once. I know you spoke only to protect me. Let me calm down a bit and then I'll give you a treat, shall I?"

Jack only answered with a smile, and then he looked at the floor again, allowing Daniel to regain his control.

The barman, seeing his cue, offered Daniel a refill and then changed the subject, acting as if nothing had happened. The others in the club stayed at a respectful distance, but still watched the two men like hawks.

Daniel's hands were wandering again and in-between conversation topics with the barman, Daniel started to kiss Jack's neck and shoulders, started twisting his nipples and running his hand over Jack's ass and groin. This time, however, Jack had better control, listening as he was not to Daniel's voice, but the other people in the bar. No way would he let that happen again.

He realised that things were about to change when Daniel slid off the barstool and picked up the leash again, leading Jack to the back room where he knew that he'd get his wish. Some others followed them at a distance, feeling that they would get a good show soon.

Inside the room, Daniel pulled on the leash and drew Jack in for a long and deep kiss, running his hands over Jack's body and then undoing his jeans and exposing his cock for all to see. Long and thin, it was inviting for the watchers, either to be fucked by or to suck, but they knew from Daniel's actions in the bar that they would not be getting any of it.

A few of them undid their own trousers and lazily started to jerk off, others waiting till the action started. Daniel undid the belt on his own jeans and removed it, confusing Jack, but he wasn't questioned. Jack knew that whatever Daniel wanted that afternoon, he'd give it to him willingly.

Out of a pocket Daniel brought a small tube of lube. He set it down on a small table that was nearby and smiled at Jack knowingly.

Then he pulled Jack's jeans down, halfway to his knees, told Jack to face the wall, put his hands on it and then bend over. Jack did as he was told and shut his eyes. He could feel the gazes of the dozen or so men that had followed them in as they burned his ass. Daniel pulled out the plug and put it into a small plastic bag before putting it down next to the lube. Jack didn't know whether to be relieved or disappointed. His mind was soon taken elsewhere, however.

Daniel folded his leather belt in two and flicked it over first Jack's right buttock, then his left. Not overly hard, but enough to leave a mark and certainly enough to make a noise. The watchers were impressed when Jack made no sound or movement.

"Good, pet," Daniel whispered, standing behind him and rubbing his hands over the landing zones. "Do you want more?"

Jack wasn't sure, but he nodded in what he hoped was a 'just one or two more, please' way.

This time, Daniel stood back and with the skill worthy of Indiana Jones, let the tip of the belt fly across his ass, the long leather strap making a very noisy crack in the air, but only just impacting with Jack's skin. Jack was impressed. A few more of those slaps and Daniel decided that it was enough. Jack wasn't used to this and he didn't like doing it much anyway. He stood close behind him again and this time used his belt in a different way. Wrapping it around the top of Jack's jeans, he did it up, effectively binding Jack's legs together. Then, without taking break, he covered his cock with lube and pushed inside his lover.

Jack pushed back, the muscles in his arms rippling as he took the pounding that Daniel gave him. He heard the slap of skin on skin, thought it was just him and Daniel but then he realised it was the others. Dipping his head between his arms, he was able to see that in his limited field of vision, one guy was jerking off, another had pushed another to his knees and was being sucked off and yet another couple were doing it doggy style, just so they both could watch Daniel fucking Jack.

His cock was hard, he wanted to come, but he knew he would not yet be allowed to. Using every mind-control technique he knew and inventing a couple of new ones on the spot, somehow, he held off.

Daniel didn't, he pushed and pushed until he came, roaring out loud as he emptied his balls into Jack. When it was over, he reluctantly pulled out of him, grabbed Jack and held him for a moment, then turned him to face the others. Some had come, some hadn't, still enjoying looking at what was in front of them. Daniel looked at a fresh-faced young man and pointed at him.

"Come here," he ordered.

His erection bobbing and rubbing up and down the teeth of his flies, the young man awkwardly moved closer.


One word, no threat in it, but the man did as he was told nonetheless.

"Kneel there."

Daniel pointed to a position about eighteen inches in front of Jack. Then he whispered an instruction to Jack who smiled evilly and complied.

The others watched intently as Jack's hand snaked slowly to his cock and then followed the movement as he jerked off, building up his speed gradually, but making sure that he was aiming at the man. The man knelt, his mouth open in surprise, part of him wondering whether he should run for it or not, the other part of him getting more and more turned on by the moment. He copied Jack's actions, beating himself off in time to Jack's rhythm, and when Jack started to come and the semen hit him in the face and chest, he poured over his own hand and stomach.

"Very pretty," said Daniel. "Very pretty indeed."

Daniel bent down and undid his belt from around Jack's legs and started to pull the jeans back up again. He stopped for a moment, taking Jack's spent cock in his mouth and cleaning it up with his tongue before finishing dressing him.

Ignoring the man on the floor, Daniel picked up their things from the table and led Jack out of the room and directly to pick up their jackets. When there, Daniel unhooked the leash, put the things in his jacket pockets and then took Jack by the hand and led him to the car.

They looked at each other when they shut the door and grinned.

"That's the only way anyone gets to share you," Daniel murmured. "When I say. How I say. And never directly."

"I like your style, Doctor Jackson," Jack retorted.

"Why thank you, Colonel O'Neill. Now, I think we should go home, don't you?"

"I couldn't agree more."

Paul opened up his laptop with trepidation. He'd called the guys as soon as he'd arrived but Daniel had told him to wait until bedtime before following his previous instructions. Glad to be out of the damned Devil's rings, he pressed the power button and waited for it to boot up. When it finally got there, he burst out laughing.

Daniel had taken a still from the video, one of him face down being fucked both ends, and turned it into a wallpaper for his desktop. On it were the words, "Lest ye forget!"

Still laughing, he called up the guys and opened up the CD drawer.

Daniel lasted three weeks into Paul's training before the separation and Jack's new-found enlightenment got to him. Oh, he was enjoying the fact that during the week, he and Jack spent time recording many things for Paul to take back to LA with him. The weirdest of all had been a video of Jack having his navel pierced. They hadn't shown Paul the piercing over the weekend, using many and varied techniques to distract his attention from it, but when he'd eagerly put on the CD that they'd given him on the Sunday, Paul had been very surprised to say the least. And turned on for reasons he couldn't fathom.

Daniel was still inflicting his torture by remote control, leaving Paul to go to LA in a different set-up each week, but Paul was enjoying the hell out of it. Every time his cock twitched, he thought of Daniel. Every time the clock reached the top of the hour and he was awake, his nipple got squeezed and he thought of the guys. Every night, he undressed, removed whatever device was around his cock, switched on the laptop, inserted the CD and phoned them. Every night, he gave a running commentary on what he was doing and every night, he heard groans and moans and the noise of skin touching skin. He wasn't sure if they were having sex or they were pretending to - though one of the videos the guys had made for him was of them making out when he was on the phone to them. This one had sound, so he heard his voice in the background and saw them together, but he had to watch and jerk off and do a running commentary over it... that second week had been a cause for laughter before bed.

Even though Daniel was managing and genuinely glad about Jack, the darkness descended again. He knew what he had to do to control it, though, and this time, he'd give in and do it.


Jack gave thanks that he had been taught to follow people secretly and silently as he made his way down the cellar stairs behind Daniel. He knew that no matter what he saw, he had to stay out of the way and let Daniel do it. If he didn't, he might kiss goodbye the only chance he had to solve this.

Through a gap in the door, he saw Daniel deliberately walking to the toy shelf and get something down. Then Daniel sat on the paddling bench, his bottom on the highest point, his bare feet resting on the lowest. Something glistened in the light and Jack nearly gave himself away with a gasp. It was Daniel's knife. The one he used to 'tease' the guys into thinking that he could hurt them, the one that he'd threatened Alec with and scared him away. Daniel seemed to be staring at it, as if trying to make a decision.

Jack was torn. If he stepped in too soon, he'd never figure it out. If he left it too late... the consequences weren't possible to contemplate.

Finally, Daniel seemed to come to whatever decision he had made and moved the knife, slowly but deliberately down the side of his arm. Jack was relieved to see that he was keeping away from any major arteries or veins. This wasn't a suicide attempt, then, of that Jack was sure. He knew that if Daniel really did want to kill himself, he'd manage it in a far more efficient and timely manner than this. A memory of one of the kids fostered by his mother came to the fore and Jack actually smiled a little. He now knew what he was dealing with and knowing it was half the battle.

He waited until Daniel's face told him that the pain was starting to kick in, that the initial endorphin rush was wearing off. Daniel was about to stand up, maybe to come to the bathroom next-door and wash the blade. Now Jack walked in.

In as quiet and as non-judgemental a voice as he could muster, he asked, "Do you feel better now?"

Daniel dropped the knife in shock and sat back on the bench with a thump.


"I asked, do you feel better now?"

Daniel analysed Jack's tone of voice quickly and realised that Jack didn't sound afraid or pissed off as he might have done.

"A bit," he admitted.

Nodding, Jack moved over to the first aid kit they kept in the playroom and took it to Daniel's side.

"Not being funny, pal, but if you get more blood on the floor and we miss it when we clear up, it's going to scare the crap out of Paul."

Not letting Daniel argue, he took Daniel's cut arm and gently and matter-of-factly cleaned it up, put on an antibiotic cream and then some sticking plaster. But not before he'd dropped a kiss on the cut.

"Mom always said that a cut that was kissed got better quickly," he told him.

Daniel nodded, there wasn't anything else he could say or do. He'd been afraid of the guys finding this out, but he hadn't really known how they'd react. It could have frightened Jack and when Jack was scared, he lashed out worse than Daniel did. He was afraid that Paul would think that it was something that he'd done to make him cut himself.

"How long have you been cutting yourself, Danny?" Jack asked softly.

It took him a while, but eventually, Daniel answered. "Since the court case."

"So, what, since you were twelve?"

"I guess."

"You don't do it much now, do you?"


"Good. Look, I understand this better than you think and I don't think you're a freak or anything, so don't go all defensive, right?"

Daniel again looked at him in shock and then nodded.

"Right. Now, you're patched up, let's get this cleaned up and then we'll talk, okay?"


"I know. Me, talk..." Jack teased softly. "But I really need to know what's going on in there, Danny," he added, pointing to Daniel's head. "I can't help you if I don't."

"You can't help me."

"Says who?" Jack's blustering tone actually made Daniel snort out a small laugh.

"Okay then. Don't say I didn't warn you though."

"Consider me duly warned. Now, shift your ass and let's clean up, eh?"


"Where do you want to talk?" Jack asked as they emerged from the cellar. Daniel just shrugged sullenly in return. "Drink?"

"I guess."

Jack nearly laughed. His almost forty year-old lover had seemed to regress to being a teenager again. An awkward teenager at that. Nearly laughed, but didn't. This wasn't the time for humour. Daniel's defences were up again and Jack knew he'd have to break them down and quickly. He led him into the living room, poured them both a large Scotch and then sat on the sofa, indicating that Daniel should sit next to him. Wrapping his arm around Daniel's shoulder, he hugged him tightly.

"I need you to listen to me and listen to me good, Daniel. I love you. I will always love you. Paul feels the same way. No matter that you feel the need to do this, we won't stop loving you. We won't judge you. We won't desert you. Whatever you need to help you, however you need it, we'll be there for you."

"Don't tell Paul, please," Daniel begged.

"I won't. And I agree that you won't want to tell him until his course is over or else he'll want to leave it and come home, but you must tell him."


Jack looked him in the eye and asked, "Do you think that Paul trusts you to take care of him? Body and soul?"

"I know it."

"Then why don't you trust him to do the same for you?"

"It's not that, it's..."

"You didn't tell us because you didn't think we'd get it, or you thought we'd get upset, or you thought that we'd think it would be because we'd done something to you?"

Daniel nodded.

"Excuses, Daniel. Trust is a two-way street. You taught me that lesson - it was a hard lesson to learn. Probably the hardest. But I did it. I learned to let go, to let you take over for me. I've even learned to ask for what I want, haven't I?" At Daniel's half-hearted agreement, he added, "I know that one took me the longest to learn, but to be honest, it was only a few weeks ago did I even realise what was holding me back. As soon as I did, I asked."

"I'm sorry."

"Don't be sorry, Daniel. There's nothing to be sorry for. You're just being you, trying to keep the dark side to yourself to look after us. But you have to realise that you hurt us more that way."

"Yeah, I know, I'm sor..." He broke off and Jack squeezed him briefly in reassurance.

"So, tell me. How did it all start?"

Daniel stared into his drink and then drank almost the whole lot in one go, letting it burn him and relishing the pain. Jack waited in silence, knowing that Daniel would eventually speak.

"During the court case," he finally said, his voice breaking in reaction to the alcoholic burn. He sipped a bit more and cleared his throat, still staring into the glass. "I felt like I wasn't getting my story across, I was so damned... frustrated!" He slammed the remainder of his drink and then poured himself some more. Jack said nothing, he just stroked Daniel's back softly. "I felt like I was losing control. It was hurting me, Jack. Here." He pointed to his heart and all Jack could do was nod. "So I needed to take back that control. The only one that could hurt me would be me. Sounds dumb, eh?"

Now Jack spoke. "No, Daniel. It makes sense. It's maybe a little misguided, but it's perfectly logical. Were you with your new foster family? The good ones?"

"Not quite. It wasn't long after that I met them."

"Pity you didn't have them then, eh?"

"Maybe. I don't know if it would have stopped me."

They stopped talking for a moment and drank some more, then Jack gently prompted Daniel to continue.

"Go on. Tell me."

"I did it by accident at first," he said, his voice only just audible. "Knocked my arm and made it bleed. I just sat there, watching the blood come out. In the back of my mind, it was like watching him leave me, like the... poison that he'd left inside of me was going. The cut was small and it soon dried up, so I went to my pencil case and found my compasses. I sat back on my bed and scratched my arm. It wasn't deep, didn't even make it bleed then, but knowing that it was me that was causing the hurt made it feel good."

He looked at Jack to see if he would find any sort of condemnation there, but all he saw was a sad smile.

"I get that, Daniel. Trust me, I really do get that."

Daniel nodded, then he continued. "I managed to persuade one of the women at the home I was in that I wanted to build a model. She thought it would be a good idea to take my mind off the case, you know?" He didn't wait for an answer this time, he just continued. "So, she took me out shopping and I chose a balsa wood aeroplane."

"Good choice," Jack teased kindly.

"Thought you'd approve."

"What sort was it?"

"A Gypsy Moth."

"Ah. One of the old biplanes. Simple enough build design but really good to fly."

"You've flown a Moth?"

"No, but something similar. I loved it."

Daniel smiled, knowing that Jack was trying to get him to talk yet to forget the feelings of the time. If only it was that simple. He continued, sure that he had to finish or else he'd never explain it.

"I bought a couple of those cheap craft knives, you know, small, light... sharp. Then I pretended I needed to go into the drug store for some shampoo or something and I bought some band-aids. I knew I'd have to hide any cuts."

"Sounds so premeditated," Jack couldn't help from saying.

"I know. It was."

"Of course. Sorry, go on."

"The next day I was back in court and I felt more confident. Like I had taken back control from him. I looked over the courtroom floor and saw him sitting there, looking at me with such hatred. All I could do was smile at him. It wasn't a nice smile, and he suddenly looked afraid. I did that. I scared him. And all it had taken was a little cut on my arm.

"When it was all over, I stopped cutting myself for a while. Then they said they'd found me the perfect home. I'd heard that one before. The last time. You see, up till then, the foster families had always been short-term ones, emergency placings until they found a long-term one for me. They'd been okay - I didn't get close to them or anything, but they'd treated me kindly. I'd gone into his household thinking that they'd be the same. So I was pretty freaked at the idea of going into another home.

"They really were the perfect family for me. They were kind, intelligent, they had two kids of a similar age to me. I never knew hurt there, Jack, not once. But it took me an age to trust them. Not once did they push me though, they knew what had happened to me and they understood. Sometimes, I'd feel so alone. It wasn't their fault, it was mine, I wasn't allowing myself to believe that they'd take care of me. So when I had one of my dark moods, I'd take myself off to my room and cut myself. Each time I did it, I felt like I was taking back what had been taken from me. I watched as the blood left me and projected the image of each dark mood into it, so it was like I was washing it out of me."

He turned to look at Jack again and this time saw his eyes filled with tears of sympathy for the child that Daniel had been. They both took a break from the memories and drank some more whisky, letting the story so far settle in their minds before Daniel would be ready to continue. Feeling a bit drunk, Daniel allowed Jack to wrap his arms around him and they lay together on the sofa, with Daniel, for once, resting his head on Jack's chest, taking the comfort offered and drawing on his strength.

"My foster mother, Mim, er, Miriam saw me doing it one day. I'd been in a real funk for a few days and I hadn't wanted to cut myself, knowing in my head that I shouldn't do it. In the end the darkness overtook me and I knew I had no choice. I wasn't thinking straight and I left my door open a bit. I don't know, maybe I wanted her to see me do it. Anyway, she did and her initial reaction was to burst into tears and run away from me. I thought that she wouldn't want me there anymore and I started to pack. I didn't have a great deal of stuff and it all went into one suitcase and a box for books. When I was putting the books away, Gil, my foster father who was a paediatrician came in. He wondered what I was doing, so I remember looking him in the eye and saying that I'd be going now."

Jack hugged him and continued to reassure him by dropping kisses on his head and stroking his arm.

"What did he say to that?" he asked.

"He laughed, actually. Said I had a lot to learn if I thought they'd give up on me just like that."

"Good for him."

"Yeah. You'd have liked him, Jack. He was a really decent guy. Anyway, he said that Mim apologised for running out on me like that but that she'd been upset for me, not with me. She'd be up later to talk to me but in the meantime, he wanted to chat. I was still very wary about guys, at least being alone with a father figure, as you can imagine, so he stayed by the door, giving me space. But after a few minutes, he asked if he could look at the cuts - purely from a doctor's perspective as he didn't want them to be infected. I was so scared, Jack. So fucking scared."

"I'll bet. What did you do?"

"I let him."

"Wow. I always knew you had guts, that proves it."

Daniel placed a kiss on Jack's chest and continued his story.

"He could tell that I was afraid, though, so he asked if he could call one of my foster sibs in to keep me company. I wasn't sure that I wanted them to know about the cuts, but it was easier to face them knowing that than to be alone, so I allowed it. The fact that he asked what I wanted to do, helped. Tzufit, my sister, came in. I think he'd briefed her not to freak out and to be fair, she didn't. She sat on the bed next to me and took my right hand in hers while Gil checked out the cuts on my left arm."

"Only your left arm?"

"And my thighs," Daniel shrugged, then he tilted his head up and grinned a little. "Right-handed, remember?"

"Of course. Go on, tell me."

"Okay, long story a little shorter, Mim knew someone that she thought would be able to help me out. A shrink, but she was good. She told me that she wasn't going to try to 'cure' me as the chances were I'd only stop as and when I wanted to stop. She gave me coping strategies, coupled with a 'reward system'."

That memory brought a smile to Daniel's face so Jack wondered what it was.

"Oh, it was pretty simple. If I went a week without cutting myself, I'd get a token from my parents."

Jack didn't say anything about the dropping of the word 'foster' as he knew how much Daniel had loved them.

"When I'd collected four tokens, they'd buy me a book."

"Ah. Bribery. That's usually good for kids," Jack laughed.

"Yeah. It didn't always work, and when things were bad at school, sometimes it could take me three or four months to earn a book. If I went the four weeks straight, however, Mim would always get me a more expensive book. I wasn't punished for cutting myself, I was just rewarded for not doing it."

"How did your brother and sister react to this?"

"They were cool. If I looked like I was having a dark mood, they'd do what they could to cheer me up. Ben would take me running and that would help. He'd push me to run as hard and as far as I could go and I didn't usually want to cut myself after that. Didn't have the energy," he added with a laugh.

"I get that, Danny. Boy, do I get that. What was the longest you went without cutting yourself?"

"Until they died, it was four months. That was near the end, too. It took me a long time to get that far."

"Four months was good though, eh?"

"Yeah." All of a sudden, Daniel's voice dropped and Jack realised why. After that, he was alone again for a while.

"How much of a mess were you until you got together with Fai?"

"You don't want to know. Let's just say I was mentally and physically screwed up. My shrink was good though, she knew I needed something positive so she went to the education board, basically told them that I was bored shitless at school, could do the entrance exams to college with my eyes shut and that their best hope to stop me being locked up for life would be to send me there. They couldn't see what else to do with me so, after all the usual preliminary stuff, I ended up in Harvard a couple of months later at the beginning of the next school year. A short while after, I met Fai. I can't tell you what a difference he made to me. I'm convinced it was his willingness to let me be in total control that helped me stop the worst of it. Only on really bad days did I do it."

"Did he find out?"

"Eventually. He freaked a bit, but then he calmed down, told me to stay put and that if I wasn't home when he got back he'd send out everyone on campus to go find me and he'd tell them why, so I stayed."

"Were you scared?"

"Terrified. When he got back, I was a mess. I cut myself so badly that I still have the scar."

"That one on your inner thigh?"


"I thought that was some kid's tree climbing accident scar or something."

"Yeah, well, now you know. Fai saw me when he got back and went nuts. He took my knife from me and tried to throw it away but I went berserk. In the end, he grabbed me and held me so close I nearly passed out from anoxia. He pleaded with me not to do it, apologised for freaking to start with and said he'd gone to the library and that he'd got out some literature on self-mutilation to help me. I scolded him, told him not to call it that, that if he must use some clinical term, it was self-injury not mutilation. I prefer the term 'cutting' - it's less divisive, I think. I also pointed out that three years of seeing a decent shrink hadn't helped, so what help he thought a couple of leaflets and books from the library would be I didn't know."


"You could say that. So, he did what he was good at. Sat me down, made me tell him what was going on... but I couldn't tell him why I'd started it. I just said that some shit had happened and it all got too much. He knew better than to push me."

"I push you."

"You do. But now I'm nearly forty, I was sixteen then. Even you wouldn't have been able to push me back then. You've seen how I can lose my temper, Jack. I've had years of learning to control my emotions, especially my negative ones. Then I'd fly off the handle at the slightest thing. It was Fai who helped me there - and that took endless patience on his part. The guy was a saint."

"Ah, the Blessed Faisal, I'll call up the Pope and get him beatified."

Daniel poked Jack in the stomach.

"Very funny."

"Yeah, I thought so. What happened when you guys split up?"

"I went nuts again. This time I was really destructive though. I slept with whoever I could get - male or female, I didn't care. I cut myself, drank, smoked pot... it's a wonder I survived. Mercifully that was only for a few months. I started at Oxford, fell in with a good crowd and somehow, it all seemed to go away. For three years, it was like none of it had ever happened. I stopped having nightmares, I stopped cutting myself... at first I was still a slut but when I got together with Gareth that stopped, too. I was pretty down when he and I were forced to split up because of circumstance and cut myself again, though not too badly, when I went to Chicago. It was just once in a while, when things got on top of me."

"And when you joined the SGC?"

"When I was on Abydos, I stopped. It was a hard enough life, but the difficulties were honest ones. Making sure we had enough food, water and shelter, that sort of thing. I was happy, Jack. And very busy. I was also in a position of great responsibility, needing to take care of people, people that looked up to me. It was only when I got back..."

His voice broke again and this time Jack felt his chest dampen as a silent tear dropped from Daniel's face.

"You cut yourself then? I don't remember... oh God, those times you said you'd scratched yourself on the locker and so on. I was afraid that you were being picked on." Jack didn't mention the series of what Daniel had said were 'scratches' he'd seen on Daniel's body after the Hathor episode. At the time, Jack had thought that it was the result of Hathor's long nails, but now he wasn't so sure. But bringing that subject up wouldn't be a good idea, not unless Daniel wanted to talk about it.

"I told you I wasn't, Jack."

"I know, but... I should've..."

"How, Jack? How could you have known? I didn't let you see it."

"You're too damned good at hiding that, Daniel. Promise me that you won't hide it. I promise that I won't freak out, I won't insist on you going to a shrink or anything, but you must let me know when you're in the position of needing to hurt yourself. If I can't talk you out of it, let me at least be there to make sure you don't slip and do yourself a more permanent injury."

"Jack, I know what I'm doing. I'm not suicidal. I should know. I have been suicidal."

"I know, I was there," Jack muttered darkly.

"Yeah, sorry, I shouldn't have reminded you."

"Nah, that's okay. This is all about getting things out into the open. Anyway, I know you know what you're doing, Danny, but accidents happen. If you must do it behind closed doors, at least let me know that you're going to do it so I can be there if you need me. And if there's anything I can do to help those moods go before they get to you..."

"Jack, this is never going to go away for good. It's like giving up smoking. You never really do, you just go an extra day since you had your last one."

"I get that. Have you cut yourself since we got together? I mean, apart from today."

"When it was just Paul and me, yes. There were a few times, when we hadn't seen each other for a while and things were spiralling out of control at work, then I cut myself. Since you joined us, it was easier on me, because I could be in control a lot more. Only really when Sam was being a bitch did I do it a few times. Not big cuts, just enough to help me hold on. Same when you were in hospital. There were times when I thought I was going to go insane. Again, it wasn't much, just... I know, imagine you've got one of those blood blisters. You've caught yourself and all of a sudden, you have this small, throbbing pain that just won't go away."

"Been there, cursed at that particular scenario."

"Well, imagine how good it feels when you stick a pin in it and burst it. For a moment, it hurts like hell, then the throbbing stops, the pressure goes..."

"I get it. A quick release valve, eh?"

"Exactly. Rather than lose it, it was quicker and less painful for me to just cut myself."

"Funnily enough, I do understand, Danny."

Daniel moved, hauled himself up and then poured another drink. Jack joined him and soon the two were lying back down together, this time face-to-face.

"How is it you haven't freaked, Jack?"

"Ah. Seen it all before, Daniel. You see, when I was a kid, we used to foster kids like you. Some in far worse states than you, too. Mom would bring them home - God knows we never knew who'd be there when we got home from school - and she'd work on them in only the way Mom could. My dad didn't have a lot to do with them, but then he didn't have a lot to do with us, either. He wasn't a bad father, just a cop - a very busy and overworked cop. In his eyes, he'd go out, earn the money, take care of us that way. It was up to Mom to do the caring, cuddly bit." At Daniel's expression, he added, "He did love us, Danny. Providing a good home, a safe and nurturing home was his way of showing it. You've got to remember, that his ancestors had come over to escape the famine in Ireland. It was a family trait that the man of the house needed to be the provider - a matter of pride if you like."

"I understand, Jack. The feeling of security is as important as being hugged. It's better to get both, though."

"True. And we did. Just it was Mom that did the hugging. I do remember Dad reading to us sometimes, usually on a Sunday after Mass."

"I'll bet that was good."

"Oh yeah, we loved that. Anyway, I'm getting side-tracked. One day, there was this girl. She was about thirteen, I think. This would have been at the end of the sixties, by the way, just to put it into context for you. She'd been taken from her parents aged nine, we weren't sure if she was kidnapped or possibly her parents had sold her. It happens."

"I know. I also know what I'd like to do to those bastards."

"Stand in line, Daniel. I'm sure you can guess what happened to her. Anyway, Dad was one of the cops that arrested the pimp that controlled her and a bunch of other youngsters. They were all messed up, mentally as well as physically. All drug addicts, all totally lost. When she got out of hospital, Mom, being the hospital's child psychologist, arranged to bring her to us. They'd weaned her off the drugs, but psychologically, she was still looking for a crutch. She cut herself bad, Daniel. Real bad. We were shocked, but Mom had worked with other kids who did it and she didn't hold with the more, er, traditional ways of dealing with kids like her. In some people's eyes, she should have been punished when she did it. In others, she should have been put in a straitjacket till she got over it."

The look in Daniel's eyes told Jack that his own psychiatrist had obviously fought off similar suggestions, even though it was ten years later that it happened. He gave Daniel a hug and continued.

"So Mom went to work on her. She told us how to deal with it, how not to get upset or angry or scared. She explained that it was Suzie's way of coping. Over a period of several months, she managed to get Suzie into school, persuading her to cut herself only at home if she really needed to do it, explaining that others wouldn't understand and that it would upset her more in the long run if they reacted badly. Suzie was streetsmart and could see what Mom was saying and somehow it got through to her. She didn't stop cutting herself, but she got it down to a more manageable level. By the time she was ready to go to a permanent foster home, she was coping much better. She still had issues, undoubtedly she's still got issues, but they weren't the be all and end all of her existence. Mom wouldn't let her go to another home until she had checked out the people herself. In the end, she found a pair of sisters living together to take her in. We would visit Suzie so that she wouldn't feel abandoned and Mom kept seeing her as a patient until she was old enough to see an adult specialist. Again, Mom recommended the one that she should see, not willing to just pass her on to someone convenient. Last time I saw Suzie I was on leave from the Academy. She was getting her life together. The sisters had given her the shelter and love that she needed and more to the point, they'd shown her that she didn't need to please others so she wouldn't be beaten up. She'd finally got some level of self-respect."

"Wow. Poor kid," Daniel sighed. "That must have been a living nightmare for her."

"I think it was. But she was made of stern stuff. It helped a bit. Anyway, do you see why you don't shock me?"

"Yeah, I do. I'd say I was glad, but then that would mean that I was glad that others had suffered before me."

"Why don't you think of it as others getting help before you, Daniel?"

"Always looking on the bright side, eh, Jack?"

"I try."

A silence fell and then Jack asked, "So, will you tell me if you feel this coming on again? Can you tell me what brought it on this time?"

"I will, and I can't," Daniel answered quietly. "I mean, I don't know what brings it on. It's just that sometimes, I feel like things are moving out of my control, even if there isn't always a logical explanation for it."

"So it wasn't because you have been spanking us?" Jack asked cautiously.

"I don't think so. I... I don't like hurting either of you, Jack. But I know that by inflicting a small amount of physical pain, I'm helping release mental pain, so it makes it a little easier. After all, I understand that better than most people."

"Of course you do. You do know you don't have to do it, don't you?"

"I guess. I think I was just feeling Paul's pain recently. I felt so helpless. He was dealing with something that made me very angry, Jack. I was murderous. Given the chance I wanted to go down to the jail and beat the crap out of those bastards, to make them see what it was like. I can't just ignore those feelings, Jack. It was like when we were at the SGC and we'd have to walk away from slavery and other abusive regimes."

"I know. I'd go home and get drunk," Jack admitted. "We all have our ways of coping, Daniel. The trouble is, you developed yours so early on that it's harder for you to stop it."

Again, a silence fell and then Daniel asked, "How am I going to tell Paul, Jack?"

Jack thought for a minute, and then he replied, "Wait until the course is over. Maybe he'll have heard something about it. Then, you come out and tell him. I'll be there with you if you want. I'll help you explain it. I know he's not going to accept it as easily as me, but that's only because he doesn't have my background. He may get angry with you for not telling him sooner. He may get upset. But whatever his reaction, he'll get over it, get over himself and then he'll be there for you. I have visions of him taking on a bit of a guilt trip, so we'll have to tread carefully. Explain how long this has been going on so that he knows that it's not his fault. Then we tell him that you've gone a long time since the last cut, eh? I mean, it's been what, nearly three years?"

"Yeah," Daniel replied, looking pleased with himself. "Yes, it has." Then he got a wicked grin. "I must be due a major book expedition."

Jack burst out laughing. "If that's what it takes, Daniel, I'll take you to town tomorrow."

In LA, Paul was miserable. Oh, he was enjoying the course that he was on. He'd learned a lot and worked hard to understand. He was more sure than ever that what he was doing was right. In his hotel room, he spent a lot of time thinking - about himself and his needs, about Daniel and Jack. He came to only a few conclusions.

He'd always been in a protective role. His job in the Air Force, even working for the SLDN was protective, and now his latest job would be to be there for those that had been victimised in many ways. Some would be in trouble from loan sharks, others would be victims of abuse from people they knew, some would be victims of the crimes of strangers. Others would just be needing advice, someone to talk to, to show them the way. His wasn't a representative legal role, but he would be able to attend interviews with the police alongside the victims, offering moral support and drawing on his own legal background to translate legalese into plain English, referring them to the right professional and so on. In other words, he could do something, no matter how limited. The organisation he was now working for was a non-profit one, with lawyers working pro bono, along with counsellors, psychiatrists and there was even a free clinic attached. All of the services denied to the poorer members of society were there and he felt good about it.

He knew that the pressures on him would likely increase and that he would rely on Daniel more and more to save him from depression and anxiety. The way he looked at it, it was a system that worked for him and in the long run, was less harmful than drinking, smoking or taking drugs. He also knew that not many others would understand that, even in what was purported to be the most enlightened city around. He was truly grateful that these days, he could walk hand-in-hand with Daniel and/or Jack, even if they tended to stick to the 'safer' Castro area to do that. It was liberating in itself. The upshot of this was, however, that he was going to need more of a routine with Daniel to help him through his work day.

Daniel's idea about putting the chastity devices on him had been a good one. Not that he needed reminding about to whom he belonged. It was just that it actually acted as a 'surrogate' for Daniel's presence. Maybe he'd talk to Daniel about making this a more permanent feature in their lives. Perhaps that would lessen his need for work at home.

He thought a lot about the two men and their pasts and knew that he felt helpless about them. He hadn't known them, would have been too young to help if he had, or, if he'd been with Jack during his torture, the chances were he'd have been tortured himself. Knowing this didn't help, however. His own, incredibly well-developed need to protect made him feel almost guilty for not being there in the past. For not protecting Daniel from that monster. For not rescuing Jack from Iraq. Perhaps that was why this job was so important to him now? Maybe he was projecting his need to protect two guys that no longer needed protecting onto the victims of today? It was possible, but, Paul informed himself, it didn't make his reasons for doing it less valid. In a way, it made them more valid. After all, he lived with two survivors of rape and torture. If he couldn't understand similar cases, who in hell's name could?

None of this helped him when he woke up alone, however, after a bad night, tossing and turning and looking for Daniel. Only the fact that he knew he was going to be doing good in the end helped him endure the separation. He scolded himself that he and Daniel had been apart a lot longer than this and that they'd both coped. It didn't really help, though.

Getting onto the plane on the penultimate Friday, Paul felt a little more relaxed. One more week and that was it. He wondered what would be on the CD that Daniel gave him this time. His cock stirred lazily at the thought, but nothing too painful. He was back in the rings this week, something that had filled him with horror when he'd first seen them but which he'd actually come to appreciate. His ass had also grown accustomed to having a plug inside it more or less permanently - apart from the obvious break. It wasn't a large or thick one, so it wasn't as if he was being stretched uncomfortably. Unlike Jack. Paul smothered a grin when he remembered the size of the plug that Daniel had used on Jack the previous weekend. Even Paul had baulked at it. But, to Paul's surprise, it had gone in easily enough. It turned out that Daniel had been stretching Jack over the past few weeks, and Paul wondered if Daniel had some ulterior motive. None of their weekend play had been anything that Jack hadn't done before and it was as if Daniel was lulling Jack into a false sense of security.

Paul quickly slipped into the routine of the weekend when he arrived home. There was no sub/dom play in the bedroom, and all 'proper' scenes were restricted to the playroom, but he and Jack were rarely allowed to wear much in the way of clothing for the entire weekend and Daniel was usually his gentle, but bossy self. If they went out at all, neither man was allowed to wear underwear, both had to wear as much of their bondage gear as Daniel thought they could get away with (depending on where they went) and often, Daniel made sure that they were only in leather, with no other material allowed to touch their skin. The thought that they had more going on out of the vision of other people was a real turn on.

Paul had noticed that Daniel seemed to be happier, more relaxed than before, and that pleased him. Maybe it was Jack's increased openness that was helping. The previous weekend, Paul had noticed that Daniel had a long, thin cut down his arm, but neither he nor Jack had seemed bothered by it, so Paul had said nothing. It wasn't as if Daniel hadn't scratched himself before. Paul remembered that there had been times in Daniel's past when he'd seemed to be particularly clumsy. At least he wasn't so distracted anymore.

He'd been greeted effusively when he'd returned home. The men had picked him up from the airport as they always did, saying little, but their eyes spoke volumes. But as soon as the front door had shut behind him, Paul had found himself immobilised. Daniel's powerful arms were wrapped around him from the front and Jack's from behind. Daniel's lips had found his straight away but Paul was distracted by Jack kissing his neck. He barely noticed his clothes being undone and only really found out when they broke away from him.

"Go get undressed," Daniel had finally given the order. "You know the rules. Meet us in the kitchen."

Dinner was on him. Literally. Daniel was obviously in one of his silly moods and Jack was egging him on. So the moment Paul had appeared, naked except for the bondage gear which he'd kept on, he found himself flat on his back, lying along the length of the thick, pine table with his hands and feet being loosely tied to the table legs. He was laughing out loud, unworried as to what Daniel had in mind and sure that whatever it was, it would be fun.

Daniel slipped the rings off and then removed the plug, unhooking the long chain from his body jewellery but leaving that in. Then the 'torture' started.

"It would seem that we have our 'dish of the day', Jack," Daniel said, trying not to laugh out loud.

"True. So, what are we starting with? Soup or the fish course?"

"Oh, I think the fish course."

"GUYS!" Paul squealed. "Why is it always me being tortured?"

"Because you look so damned cute like that," Jack answered, then he took the tub of tuna mayonnaise and dropped a spoonful on Paul's chest.


"You want some, Daniel?"

"Oh yeah. Right here, I think."

Paul craned his neck to see what was going on and looked in horror at Jack as he dropped another spoonful, this time on his belly. The next thing he knew, both men were bending over and licking it off.

"You want some, Paul?" Jack asked when he'd cleaned Paul's chest with his tongue.

"Is it the only way I'm going to eat tonight?"

"For now."

"Go on then."

Carefully, so as not to choke Paul, Jack fed him some of the creamy fish and couldn't help but notice that Paul smiled around the spoon.

"Hmm. Delicious. More?" he said after swallowing.

"I think we have enough here for another spoonful each," Jack agreed. He fed Paul another one and then returned to his body and split the remaining fish 50/50 between the other side of Paul's chest and his belly button. Paul groaned when Jack flipped the spoon so the bowl was able to be used to spread it, and he did. All over Paul's skin.

He writhed around as he felt their tongues lapping at him like a pair of cats with some spilt cream.

"Ready for the meat course?" Daniel purred when they finished.

"Sure," Jack replied, "let's clean him up a little first though."

With a cold, wet cloth, Jack swiped over Paul's chest and cleaned him, making Paul howl with the chill on his skin.

"You bastard!"

"Yup. But you still love me, right?" Jack teased.

"I'm taking the Fifth," Paul answered dryly.

Daniel attracted Paul's attention by placing a plate on the work surface nearest to Paul's head.

"Open wide, Paul," he said seductively and on opening his mouth, Paul had a hot dog sausage put into it. "Bite. I'll keep hold of it till you've finished," Daniel reassured.

Paul was suffering from mild hysteria. He had also noticed that Jack was up to something. He felt his semi-hard cock being stroked until it grew, then he felt something cold and clammy on it.

"W'mse doo'n?" he asked through the sausage.

Daniel screwed his face up a bit then his eyes opened with realisation.

"What's he doing? Oh, just getting our meat course ready, that's all."

Paul hurriedly finished the long sausage and groaned yet again. He lifted his head and saw his erect cock wrapped up in a few thin slices of ham. He let out a loud 'eep' when a pickle of some sort was dropped in two blobs, one on each ball.

"After you," Jack offered.

"No, after you," Daniel replied.


"Sounds good to me."

He made no more sound than a gasp when he saw them descend together, carefully taking the ham between their teeth on either side of him and then tugging at it. Much as he enjoyed a bit of food play, he'd never felt it this erotically before. Perhaps it was the way both men were working on him at the same time. It took every effort not to come when Daniel took one of his balls into his mouth and Jack took his cock in his mouth at the same time, ever so gently scraping the remainder of any ham off as he lifted his head again.

"Oh fuck," he muttered.

The men backed off and let him get back under control. Neither of them allowed themselves to think of their own erections which were currently threatening to open their flies without help.

"Dessert, I think," Daniel finally murmured. "Jack, get the cream."

"Oh fuck," Paul reiterated.

Daniel ignored him and brought out a bowl of strawberries and put it down near to Paul. Then he got something else out of the fridge and Paul heard some rustling and then a loud pop. Daniel poured a glass of champagne and picked up a strawberry by the husk and dipped it into the glass, then into the bowl of cream and then he rubbed it over Paul's lips and then lowered it into his mouth. Paul decided that this was the single most erotic strawberry that he'd ever eaten in his life. He gasped when he felt another one being squashed onto his thigh and then licked up. Another and yet another was ground into his body, more were fed to him and just before they ran out, Paul begged, "Dan, please, untie me."

In moments he was undone and helped to sit up, his legs draping down to the floor and he found the bowl of the few remaining strawberries.

"Guys, come here," he murmured.

They stood in front of him and watched happily as he repeated Daniel's actions. Taking two strawberries, one in each hand, he dipped them both in the champagne and cream and then fed them both at the same time. When they were gone, he picked up the now strawberry-flavoured drink and took a sip, then he offered the glass to the others. They took a drink and then he put the glass down.

Even though the atmosphere was still thick enough to be cut with a knife, none of the three wanted to end this by continuing and having sex, so reluctantly, they broke off.

"Go shower," Daniel whispered. "You can take your jewellery off if you want. Let's have a quiet weekend, shall we?"

"Sounds good."

Despite feeling sticky, Paul was reluctant to wash off the remaining strawberry juice. That had been by far and away the best welcome home he'd had yet. He smiled to himself as he sponged himself down, remembering the feelings that he had when tied to the table. It hadn't mattered that they didn't take it all the way, in fact, he was kind of glad. It made the whole event more intimate somehow. That didn't stop him wondering if Daniel really had anything planned for the weekend.


Out of the shower, he dressed quickly and then rejoined the guys in the living room, this time. They were already giggly from the champagne which they'd been drinking a lot of. Paul snorted in disgust when he noted that the bottle was nearly empty.

"Thanks for saving some for me, guys," he moped.

"Oh, you don't want this," Daniel replied. "It was going flat. Nothing worse than flat champagne. Go get another bottle from the fridge."

"You're spoiling us?" Paul asked suspiciously.

"It's the last week of your course," Daniel explained. "I guess I just wanted to celebrate it coming to a close."

"That's good enough for me, I'll go get the champagne!"

Paul scooted off and fetched a glass and the other bottle, excited by the prospect of spending a weekend celebrating for no real reason at all.


The evening and early night were more than amusing to the men. They drank the two bottles of champagne and finished off an already half-opened bottle of brandy and by the time the phoned-for pizza turned up a couple of hours into the night, they were more than halfway to being drunk. Jack staggered to the door to collect and pay for the pizza and returned a moment later to see a bit of a turn around. Paul was sitting on the sofa and for once, Daniel was on his lap, facing him, kneeling over his thighs. Jack saw that Paul's hands were happily settled on Daniel's ass and Daniel didn't seem to be complaining.

"Pizza's here, guys," he announced.

"Good. Gimme a slice," Paul insisted.

Jack put the super-sized pizza down on the coffee table and handed Paul the required slice.

"Thanks," came the distracted reply.

Paul took it, took a bite, then offered it to Daniel. Jack watched with a grin as the two men shared the slice, taking time to kiss in-between bites. He couldn't help but enjoy watching them, either. Much as he had missed Paul, he knew that Daniel had missed him more. He equated it to how he would feel about being separated from Daniel, so he understood just why Daniel was so happy that Paul's course was coming to an end. He also knew that Paul had missed Daniel the same way, so he just let them make the most of what time they had together before Paul had to fly back for that last week. Heaven only knew he'd had Daniel's sole attention for the best part of the last five weeks, and those weeks had been more than interesting for him.

He thought of the things that Daniel had done with him, taking him to the edge and beyond. The deliberate exhibitionism of that Sunday in the club was more than they'd done before. Up till then, Daniel had taken him into the room and just fucked him, uncaring as to whether they were watched or not, but there was no interaction with the voyeurs. This time, it had been as if Daniel had control over all of the men in the room. Jack shuddered as he remembered how powerful Daniel felt to him that day - it was sexy and scary at the same time. Daniel had proved yet again that he would protect Jack no matter what, so it made it easier and easier for Jack to let down his remaining barriers. He couldn't believe the toys that Daniel had used on him, the fact that he could take the largest plugs and dildos that they owned with ease made him actually quite proud. He wondered if he could take more? Would taking both the guys be as good as Paul had said it was for him? What about Daniel's fist? Could he take that? Would he want to take that? Did the fact that he was thinking about it mean he did want it and just wasn't sure of that yet?

Another thought struck him as he made his way through his third of the pizza. The guys were happily feeding each other, laughing, kissing and generally enjoying the hell out of themselves and Jack knew that he too was happy about it - watching them together always made him happy. Daniel's use of the camera had been inspired in Jack's view. Giving Jack - hell, giving them all the chance to act out their exhibitionist streaks and at the same time, pandering to their voyeuristic natures. They loved porn, just as many others did, but most commercially available porn was, frankly, boring. Watching themselves was way hotter.

There was one problem in this. With a single camera, it would take one of the three to operate it, or, if it was on the tripod, sections of the action were often missed. What would be better would be multiple shots. One thing that Jack knew about was high quality security film and how best to place cameras to view an entire room.


"Yeah?" Daniel replied, his word muted as his face was currently buried in Paul's neck.

"How do you feel about the camera and filming us?"

"It's hot," Paul answered. "Very hot. I love it."

"Me too," Daniel agreed. "Watching you guys... watching me do you guys turns me on so fucking fast. Who needs a little blue pill when you've got that, eh?"

Jack chuckled and then also agreed. "I feel the same way. So how do you guys feel about upgrading the system?"

That really got Daniel's attention and he looked directly at him.

"Jack? What do you have in mind?"

"Do you trust me to set something up?"

"Of course I do. Are you going to clue us in?"

"Let me work on it, eh? Just in case I can't get the stuff I'm thinking of at the moment."

Daniel shrugged. "Okay. Let me know when you're done."

"Will do," Jack replied, pleased but not surprised by Daniel's immediate acceptance. Their relationship was so different from the way it had been back on SG-1 when they often fought each other's ideas on principle, and now they tended to agree more or less right away.

Saturday started quietly. They'd woken up a bit hung over so they ate a very bland, light breakfast, drank lots of water and generally vegged until after lunchtime when they'd recovered. Needless to say Jack found a hockey game on the TV and he lay on the sofa to watch it. The others joined him but lay on the floor on a thick rug in front of the fire. Jack watched the game, but also kept an eye on them as they lost interest in the hockey and turned to each other for 'entertainment'.

They started by kissing slowly and softly, just barely touching lips, but soon Jack saw their tongues snaking out to meet each other, their hands moving and almost unconsciously undoing the other's clothes. Jack tried to ignore it and concentrate on the hockey, but it was more and more difficult as time went on. He even considered asking them to take it into the bedroom, but he couldn't bring himself to break the moment. A small part of his brain wondered if they'd even hear him anyway.

Of course, it wasn't too long before Jack forgot the TV entirely and concentrated on the men. Their shirts were gone, their jeans undone but they still weren't interested in taking it to its conclusion. They kept on kissing and touching, occasionally one or other's hand would reach down and take one or both cocks, stroking slowly for a few moments before letting go. Jack wondered how they'd end it and found himself getting hard as various scenarios ran through his mind. He ran his hand over his own covered cock, not wanting to come but needing to at least touch it.

A movement caught his attention and he noticed that Daniel was sliding along Paul's body, with the obvious aim of sucking Paul off. A tap on Daniel's head and a familiar twist of a finger from Paul had Daniel changing position and Jack gave in and undid his own flies. Jerking off to them sixty-nining was something he really enjoyed.

They kept the pace deliberately slow and so did Jack. He wondered if they knew he was watching, if this was planned or if it was just happening. Either way, it was incredibly hot. Jack vaguely noticed the yells of the commentators on the box as a goal was scored, but he couldn't say who'd scored it or what side they were on. Despite the noise of the crowd at the match, Jack could hear the heavy gasping breaths of his lovers as they worked each other to the point of no return. His hand's movements matched the rhythm of their bobbing heads and he spilt just as Paul started to pump down Daniel's throat. Daniel finally let Paul's cock fall out of his mouth and then started to slowly jerk his hips as a reminder to the sated Paul to get working again. Jack wanted to clean himself up but couldn't move, wouldn't interrupt them until Daniel eventually succumbed to Paul's talented tongue and came with a quiet grunt.

Picking some tissues from a box on the coffee table, Jack gave himself a cursory clean and did himself up. The others lay still for a few moments before doing likewise and then they returned to their previous position, lying on the rug and watching the remainder of the game, just as if nothing had happened.

When Daniel got up to go to the bathroom a bit later on, Paul stood and moved to Jack who was still lying on the sofa. Moments after, he was lying next to him, wrapped in Jack's arms but facing away, watching the television. Daniel returned a few minutes later and sat on one of the huge armchairs sideways, his long legs draped over the arm, his back and head resting against the other. The fact that nothing was being said was comforting to all three and they let the next few hours drift by restfully, not thinking, not planning, not playing.

At bedtime that night, the comfort remained, the three laying together, touching each other but just drifting off to sleep. It was the calm before the storm.