On the Clock (A Market Garden Novel)
This title is part of the Market Garden universe.
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When Blake Raleigh’s favorite rentboys retire from Market Garden, they’re sure their friend Jason will be a perfect replacement. Though Tristan and Jared are a tough act to follow, Blake returns to London to test out their recommendation.
Jason is right on the money. Negotiations turn him on. Getting paid turns him on. The higher the stakes, the hotter things get. Each trip to London is more expensive than the last, and the webcam sessions don’t run cheap, but Jason is well worth the sticker shock.
The more time they spend together, the more Blake wants, and not just sex and transactions. But Jason’s been burned before by men who thought they were in love with him, and he’s not making that mistake again. When the lines between personal and professional start to blur, it’s going to take more than money, jewelry, and sports cars to keep Jason from clocking out and walking away.
This title comes with no special warnings.
Caution: The following details may be considered spoilerish.
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Blake Raleigh had been to Market Garden more times than he could count. Enough that the smoking hot security guards knew his face. They seemed to, anyway—every time he walked in, he got a slight nod and a wink from the one with the military cut.
Usually, he strolled on past them into the lounge filled with the gorgeous rentboys this place was famous for. The guards may have been easy on the eyes, but the prostitutes? Jesus fuck.
Tonight, though, he stopped inside the door and gestured at the cute guard, a silent “I have a question.” At least it wasn’t super loud in here—it couldn’t be if the guys wanted to seduce their johns and relieve them of a few hundred dollars. Or pounds. Whatever.
“Hey,” Blake said. “Could you possibly help me find somebody?”
The guard smiled, combining flirtation and sympathy into a single expression. “Well, I can try.” American? Interesting. “If you’re after the two you usually leave with . . .” He shook his head.
“No, not those two.” And what a pity. Tristan and Jared were just . . . shiver. “They told me to ask for Jason.”
“Oh.” The guard squinted as he scanned the dimly lit room. “I’m not sure if he’s here tonight. He’s not always— Oh, there he is.” He gestured toward the bar.
At first, Blake’s gaze went straight to the enormous Hispanic bartender. Holy shit. Was it mandatory for every employee in this place to be that fuckable? Maybe he should hit up the bartender if he didn’t have any luck with Jason.
He shook himself and shifted his gaze to the guy leaning against the other side of the bar, chatting with the massive bartender. He was hard to see from here, but what Blake could see, he liked. Tall. Lanky. Oh God—he was another stripper, wasn’t he? The way he leaned against the bar like a bored cat reminded Blake of both Tristan and Jared, and those two had certainly danced for money a few times in their lives.
Blake still wasn’t completely sure what had convinced the pair that Jason would be the perfect match for him now that they’d retired from the world’s oldest trade, but as he stared at that lean torso and ridiculously toned ass covered in painted-on leather, well, he was intrigued. And he’d had enough rest on the plane to make the most of whatever other assets this Jason had.
“Word of warning from one Yank to another.” The guard drew close enough that he could murmur in Blake’s ear. “Frank won’t forgive you if you make that one quit, too.”
“Nobody regrets them quitting more than I do, believe me.” Blake kept his eyes on Jason, but the guard’s proximity also revved up his hormones. That figured. After nonstop work for weeks, a long flight, and endless fantasies about returning to Market Garden, he was a borderline sexual basket case and ready for anything—especially this mysterious Jason.
“I’ll be keeping an eye on you.” The guard stepped back, and it was lucky he did, because both the voice and the suggestion—okay, mostly the suggestion—made all Blake’s remaining blood rush south. He certainly wouldn’t mind being watched by this guy, who could bring a couple of his strong-jawed friends if he’d like.
Blake took a deep breath and composed himself. Judging by that hint of a smile, the guard knew he’d rattled Blake’s cage.
“You know,” Blake said, “if I weren’t so curious about why the boys thought I should see Jason, I’d ask you when your shift ends.”
“I’m usually the last man standing in here.” Another wink and a grin, but the guard stepped back. “That said, if things don’t work out over there . . .” He didn’t break eye contact.
“I could leave you my number?”
“You’d have to pass the boss test first.” The guard pointed to the back somewhere. “Also, there’s your window of opportunity. I’ve been told Jason is worth it.” The emphasis on the last two words seemed to hold a hidden meaning.
“Well then.” Blake gave him a nod of thanks and approached the bar.
He was still a good five steps away when Jason turned around, and suddenly Blake was pretty sure he wouldn’t be chasing down the security guard after all.
Jason wasn’t as small and slight as Tristan or Jared, but he wasn’t big like the security guard or the bartender either. He was probably built like a runner, or maybe a swimmer with shoulders like that, but Blake was too busy staring at those razor-sharp cheekbones and impossibly blue eyes to notice. It wasn’t just the color—Jason had the eyes of a hunter. He was definitely not the type to passively wait for johns to come to him. He also didn’t look at things—he looked into them.
And that included Blake, who was standing right in the crosshairs of Jason’s unflinching gaze.
Abruptly, though, Jason gave a polite nod, murmured, “Pardon me,” and started past Blake.
Wait. Wait, where are you going?
But the words apparently hadn’t come out, because Jason kept walking, and Blake’s tongue was still glued to the roof of his mouth. Shit!
Suddenly remembering he had feet, he hurried after. “Wait!”
Jason turned around. Once again, his gaze locked right on Blake, whose Ivy-League vocabulary dwindled to one or two syllables of “Um . . . uh . . .”
Blake cleared his throat. “I, uh . . .”
The rentboy cocked his head, eyes narrowing slightly, and Blake had the strange feeling of being read whether he liked it or not. That other guy—Tristan? Hell, he couldn’t even remember his own name right then—had had that same look, as if he were scrutinizing every blink and nuance, but Jason’s was far more intense.
Amusement quirked Jason’s slim lips. “Can I help you?”
“Yeah, uh . . .” Blake ran a hand through his hair because he didn’t know what else to do with himself, and what the fuck? Since when did a prostitute—or anyone for that matter—reduce him to a stuttering idiot like this? “I was, uh, referred to you.”
“A referral?” Jason glanced in the direction he’d been headed, but then faced Blake fully. “From . . .?”
“Tristan and Jared.”
The rentboy nodded. “Personal question?”
“Which one did you prefer? Jared or Tristan?”
Was that some trick question to get him to rat on a colleague? Or was Jason starting a profile on him? Both? “Tough question. They’re, well, they were really hot. And Jared started out sweet and playful, with Tristan more in control, but that changed over time, so . . . No, hard to answer.” Short of telling him exactly what he’d liked about those encounters, that should be enough. “I liked them both, maybe in different ways. It worked.”
Jason nodded again. “Another question, less personal?”
“All right. Strange progression, but all right.”
Tapping his wrist, Jason asked, “Do you have the time?”
Blake pushed back his cuff to check his watch, which he’d apparently forgotten to set to local time. “Shit. You’re five hours behind, so it’s—”
“No worries.” Jason grinned. “So you’re that john.” He measured him again, top to toe, and back. “You do come recommended.”
“Oh, good.” Blake took a deep breath. “You do, too. I guess this is the weirdest blind date ever.”
Jason laughed. “Guess so. Well, let me get us a booth.” He turned, and it was one of those sharp, on-a-dime kind of stage turns that left Blake staring at his ass for a moment before following. The booths were all taken, at least until Jason locked eyes with a lone rentboy nursing a cola. Jason jerked his head to the side and the other rentboy picked up his drink and stood. They exchanged a look that told Blake the other guy wasn't offended . . . and that Jason would likely make this up to him later.
As the other rentboy vanished in the crowd. Jason sat down, collecting his long limbs around him. “I’ll have a virgin mojito.”
Blake hesitated, then remembered that this place didn’t have table service. “Right. I’ll get us something to drink.”
Jason smiled, dipped his chin, and Blake swore the guy stopped just short of saying “Good boy.”
What the hell? He was used to cocky motherfuckers like Tristan—and Lord, he’d loved the mind games Tristan had played—but Jason was creeping into dominant territory. Effectively, it seemed, since Blake was already halfway to the bar.
This was going to be an interesting evening, wasn’t it?
He stared blankly at the gorgeous beast of a bartender. Raoul, according to the little name tag. “Um . . .”
Raoul glanced past him and chuckled. “A virgin mojito and . . .?”
“Uh.” Okay, so he knew Jason’s habits, apparently. Of course he did. Why wouldn’t he? “Right. Yeah. And a . . . um . . .” Blake had intended to get a drink for himself too, right? A strong one? Except he was already having trouble stringing words together, so maybe booze was a bad idea. After all, he was jet-lagged off his ass. Yeah, that’s what it was. He didn’t have his game face on because of the jet lag.
Raoul inclined his head. “Another drink?”
“Right. Uh.” Blake cleared his throat. “I’ll stick with a Coke for now.”
The bartender’s eyebrow flicked up. “So one virgin mojito and one virgin rum and Coke.”
Blake bristled. Virgin? What the— Okay, fine, so that’s technically what he’d ordered, but he had the oddest feeling that this guy was laughing at him. This toned, tanned guy with a sexy accent and a wicked smile was laughing at him.
Blake shook himself again and tried to be casual while Raoul poured the virgin drinks. As often as he came in here, he shouldn’t have been quite so off-balance every time he made eye contact with someone hot. On the other hand, he hadn’t been laid in far too long—there was no time when he was home, so his business trips were really his only opportunity unless he wanted to fall asleep in the middle of putting on a condom.
He scanned the room. Most of the johns weren’t much different from him. He was pretty sure he’d been in meetings with some of them. In fact, he was pretty sure he remembered that guy in the gray suit huddled up in the corner with a cute twink. The twink reminded him of Jared a bit, but it was the other guy who had Blake’s attention. He was almost certain he’d remember the gray suit’s name if the man were kneeling at his feet with his mouth around—
“Hey.” The bartender’s gruff voice startled him. When Blake turned, the guy chuckled and pushed two glasses in his direction. “Enjoy your night.” That wink. Fuck. It was like everyone in this building was trained to push his buttons. It wouldn’t have surprised him if the damn janitor had been schooled in the ways of seduction and mind-fuckery.
Blake paid, collected the drinks, and returned to the booth. Jason lounged the way Tristan often had—arm slung across the back of the bench, his face the very picture of ennui as he played on his phone. When Blake set the drinks down, Jason’s eyes flicked up, and the boredom evaporated. The hunter was back. Oh dear God, the hunter was definitely back.
“So, what are you into?” Jason took a sip from his mojito.
“Watching. Being watched. I’m generally versatile, depending on the mood and the partner.”
“Well, depends on the mood and partners.” Blake tapped the base of his glass with two fingers. “I’m open to a lot of things as long as there’s power play involved.”
Jason grinned. “I’m with you on that.”
“You’re supposed to.” Jason craned his neck toward the guard. “You and Brandon were chatty.”
You noticed. Blake glanced at the guard—Brandon, apparently. “Always seems to happen when I run into another American.”
“Ah, right. Are you from the same area?”
“Hard to say. He’s picking up an accent from you Brits, so . . .”
Jason laughed. “Well, still. A frame of reference in a foreign country and culture. Two nations divided by a common language and all that.”
“Nice Shaw reference.”
“I try.” Jason shrugged. “And Brandon is hot. Did I see you checking out Raoul too?”
“Hard not to.”
“It is.” He nodded at the bartender. “You might click with him. Brandon, on the other hand, is very much a Dom.”
“I didn’t know he worked here. I mean, as a—”
“He used to. Then he got his hands on the boss, and the rest is history.” Jason smiled at him. “Raoul’s mostly a Dom and a top, too, though he’s much switchier than Brandon. That what you’re into?”
“I like a bit of power, but I’m not into pain.”
Jason’s grin would’ve fucked with Blake’s blood pressure if it hadn’t already been screwed up. He leaned closer, laying one arm on the table in that neutral space between their drinks. “I can see why Jared and Tristan referred you to me, then.”
“Is that right?”
“Mm-hmm.” Jason’s eyes flicked toward the table. Toward his own arm, specifically, and when he met Blake’s gaze again, he lifted his arm and reached all the way across. He trailed his fingertips along the side of Blake’s hand, a finger catching on his cuff, then his watch. “They said you’d come looking for me. To be honest, I was starting to wonder if you would.”
“Well, I’m . . .” Blake gulped. “I’m not always in town. Business. I live—”
“In America, I know.” Jason’s grin turned playful. His fingertip traced the edge of the gold Rolex, dangerously close to running across the skin of Blake’s wrist. “But I’ve been intrigued. They told me a lot about you.”
“Did they, now?” Blake watched Jason’s fingers, watched goose bumps rising on his arm as if his skin were trying its damnedest to close that minute distance. “All good things, I hope?”
“Well.” Something in Jason’s tone prompted Blake to lift his gaze, and when their eyes met, the blue-eyed rentboy said, “They said you’re a high roller.”
“Isn’t everyone who comes in here?”
“Some more than others. But as they say, you get what you pay for.” Jason’s fingers left the watch and slid onto the back of Blake’s hand. “And as far as I’m concerned, if a man is willing to pay, I’m definitely willing to play.”
Blake’s body temperature was soaring now, and it wasn’t only from the warm fingertips currently exploring the grooves and contours of his hand. “So you’re saying you’re expensive?”
Jason laughed, the sound soft and mischievous at the same time. “Let’s just say that if they sold me in a department store, I’d be in the ‘if you have to ask, you can’t afford it’ section.”
Oh dear sweet mother of God. Blake’s pulse was out of control. How many men had taken out second mortgages, sold their cars, and lived on ramen noodles to pay whatever price Jason commanded? Money wasn’t an issue for Blake, but damn, sitting across from Jason now while that scorching point of contact drove him insane, he was already cataloguing assets that could be, if the situation warranted, jettisoned.
“So that brings us to the next question.” Jason drew swirls on the back of Blake’s hand because, hell, Blake wasn’t already losing his mind. “What are you looking for tonight?”
Blake swallowed. “Well, um . . .”
Get it together, Raleigh. This is a business negotiation. This is what you do. Close the fucking deal without getting screwed. Err, without getting fucked. Err . . . crap.
He took a deep breath and pushed his shoulders back, channeling the professional side of him that had earned the money that would be going into Jason’s wallet tonight. “You ever driven a Lamborghini?”
Jason squirmed. “Not yet.”
“I have one.” Blake grinned. “Had two for a while, but now I have one.”
“Yeah?” Jason held his gaze, and Blake wondered how close the guy was to licking his chops.
Blake turned his hand over and, with a single fingertip, teased the soft skin on the inside of Jason’s wrist. “Car like that fetches a lot of money. A lot.”
“Yeah, it does.” Jason shifted, as if he were trying not to squirm again, but failing miserably.
What’s that, Jason? Is that a button of yours?
Blake leaned closer, mirroring Jason’s advance from earlier. “So you can imagine that you’d want to be very careful where you invest your money with a car like that. Make sure it’s exactly the right model.” He drew his nail along the side Jason’s hand, and was rewarded with a subtle gasp and some goose bumps. “Make sure the seats are good and comfortable. High-quality leather. Smooth transmission.” He grinned. “Right?”
Jason’s Adam’s apple jumped. He didn’t speak, but nodded slightly.
“So I’m sure you understand”—Blake slid his hand free and laid it over the top of Jason’s—“the necessity of a test drive.”
Jason’s eyes met his, and from his wide pupils to his parted lips, the deal was most definitely struck. “Are you here with your own car?”
“What about this: you’ll take me to your hotel, and if you like what you’re getting in the car, I’ll join you in your room and you pay full price.”
Blake was definitely too interested to haggle about the specifics. Jason struck him as exactly the kind of rentboy to get him over his jet lag and rev his engine, as it were. Settling on anything less was out of the question. “Deal. Let me text the driver.” He fished the cell phone from his pocket and told the driver to be at the curb.
Jason half finished his mojito, and they got up and headed toward the exit. The guard—Brandon—gave them a good-natured I told you so smile, and then they were in the alley behind Market Garden.
The driver pulled up, and Blake didn’t wait for him to open the door—he simply held it for Jason and then slid in beside him. “Back to the hotel, please.”
Jason raised the privacy screen before he turned to face him. Then he took Blake’s hand and pushed it against his stomach, right above the belt buckle, and lifted his hips up to make the invitation doubly clear.
Blake couldn’t decide where to touch him first, how far Jason would let him go and how to make the most of the maybe ten minutes they had until they arrived at the hotel. They were brushing, Jason’s legs wide open, and Blake slid his hand over the very hard cock straining against those leather pants. Long and thick too, and, mingled with the scent of the leather—he couldn’t wait to see it, taste it, feel every inch of it.
“No clothes off.” Jason’s eyes were heavy-lidded, but focused. “No orgasm.”
“You’re too much in control for that to happen after a little touching.”
Jason grinned and grabbed his tie. “Not so sure about you.” He pulled the tie knot a bit tighter. “Italian silk?”
“Milan, I reckon.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever met a man who can analyze a tie while he’s that hard.”
Jason tugged the tie, drawing Blake to him. “Wait till you see what I can do when I’m naked.”
Oh fuck . . .
Jason groaned, his lips nearly touching Blake’s, and Blake realized that he’d squeezed Jason’s cock harder. And obviously Jason liked it, so he did it again, which brought a string of profanity from Jason’s lips. Before Blake could comment—maybe ask how colorful his vocabulary would get when he was naked—Jason kissed him.
Well. That answered the question of whether Jason was okay with kissing on the mouth. Some of the rentboys weren’t, but Jason was . . .
Holy . . .
None of them kissed like he did. None of them. Maybe he was only making sure the test drive was good and impressive, or maybe he really was that turned on, but all the maybes and the possibilities added up to Blake nearly falling to pieces on the limo seat. Jason walked that fine line between aggressive and overbearing, inching just close enough to the latter to be hot as hell. He kept a firm grip on Blake’s tie, as if he knew exactly how much of a turn-on that was, and demanded access to Blake’s mouth. All the while, he rubbed his hard-on against Blake’s palm, as if to remind him that his hand was still on top of the clothed erection that would be his entertainment for the evening.
Jason’s palm warmed the inside of Blake’s thigh, his body heat radiating through Blake’s trousers as if they weren’t even there.
Panic rippled through Blake.
No clothes off? No orgasms?
He opened his eyes and looked past Jason at their surroundings beyond the heavily tinted windows. They were still a few minutes away from the hotel. Still a few minutes away from moving their negotiations into the lobby, the lift, the room, the bed.
And Jason’s hand was slowly—and not very subtly—sliding higher.
Yeah, Jason was controlled enough to keep himself from coming or tearing off some clothing, but Blake’s certainty about his own control was waning rapidly as Jason’s fingertips traced the inseam of his trousers.
Jason ran his whole hand over Blake’s clothed cock and balls. Blake groaned, and he couldn’t help breaking the kiss as he did. He couldn’t concentrate on things like kissing and being kissed and being halfway decent at kissing when those slender fingers were running along every inch of his uncomfortably hard dick.
“Jared and Tristan weren’t lying,” Jason whispered.
“Yeah?” Blake panted. “What . . . what did they say?”
“They raved about you.” Jason’s lips grazed Blake’s at the same time his fingertips traced the head of Blake’s cock through his fly. “They were certainly”—he squeezed Blake firmly enough to make him gasp—“fans.”
“Oh yes.” Jason’s smile was audible. “So far, it’s all true.”
Blake was too turned on to worry a great deal about whether the prostitutes of Market Garden had their own forum where they rated johns. “Such as?”
“Well, what do you think?”
Blake squirmed. “Good personal hygiene?”
Jason rolled his eyes. “That’s a low bottom line.”
“I was trying for self-deprecating.”
“You must be the only guy out there who can be self-deprecating while he’s this hard.” He grinned at Blake, baring all teeth. “It doesn’t really suit you.”
Yeah. Jason was most definitely rattling his cage, and rattling it thoroughly. But it was hard to care with Jason this close, and them both being this turned on. “G-good taste in music?”
“That was one.” Jason sinuously, fluidly pushed against Blake’s hand. “Any other guesses?”
Jason grinned and nodded. “But we already ticked that off the list. They mentioned your good taste in watches. Actually, your good taste generally.” Jason kissed him again, as if to drive home every meaning of the word taste, and it made Blake desperate to feel those lips around his cock. But—no clothes off, and no orgasm. He sure as hell hoped he’d last longer than it would take them to reach his hotel.
Blake broke the kiss and kissed Jason’s neck, caught a whiff of aftershave or shower gel—whatever it was exactly, it made Jason smell delicious. He couldn’t wait to get him into bed and get down and dirty with him.
The car pulled up outside the hotel, and Blake separated from Jason, reluctantly. No need to scandalize the driver with particulars. The man had probably seen worse, but Blake didn’t quite know where the lines of sexual harassment in the workplace started in the UK. “Nearly there.”
Jason sat up. At some point, he’d let Blake’s tie go, and Blake pushed a finger into the space between throat and the knot to loosen it again.
“So, how did you like the test drive?” Jason adjusted himself in his pants.
“I think we’d better go in my office and discuss price.”
Jason’s grin was toothy, almost sharky. “You’re already sold, I think.” He touched Blake’s knee. “Pricing seems like a bit of a formality at this point, yes?”
“Mm-hmm. But unless you’re going to let me drive the Lamborghini off the lot for free . . .”
Jason shivered. “Pity you don’t have that car with you. There’s a fantasy or two you could fulfill for me, and I wouldn’t charge you a dime.”
Blake arched an eyebrow, and suddenly wondered if there was a place to rent a Lambo in London. Or, hell, buy one. He’d buy it, fulfill any fantasy Jason wanted, and then sell it at a loss and still come out ahead.
Just thinking about that made his cock harder. Thank God he’d worn a jacket. As if walking across an upper-crust hotel lobby with a rentboy on his arm didn’t scream “I’m going to exchange money for sex” even without the prominent hard-on in his pants.
Some nights, he was a little uncomfortable with that, and carefully avoided eye contact with the employees on his way to the elevator. But though he didn’t look at them tonight as he and Jason made their way across the expansive, ornate lobby, it wasn’t out of embarrassment. No, Blake was simply a man on a mission. A man on his way into a negotiation for something hotter, faster, and quite possibly more dangerous than that candy-apple red sports car parked at home in his garage.
As they waited for the elevator—the same one he’d ridden with Tristan and Jared a few times—his heart shifted into overdrive. He didn’t give a flying fuck how much this night ended up costing him. The money was there, and the sex was going to be worth it. He could feel it.
The elevator doors opened, and Blake stepped inside with Jason. Pulse pounding, he silently begged the doors to shut quickly. Someone needed to be pinned to the wall with a hand over their dick. Blake didn’t care if that meant him or Jason, as long as it happened soon. Like within the next few seconds. Like fucking now. His fingers curled at his sides.
Come on, come on . . .
“I assume you have plenty of lube,” Jason said quietly.
Blake’s mind suddenly lit up with every possible way the two of them could use lube—fucking, being fucked, handjobs, crazy arrangements ripped right from the director’s cut of the Kama Sutra—and he shivered. Jason laughed softly. Bastard.
Finally, the fucking doors started to close. Blake breathed slowly, evenly. Waiting. Ready to grab Jason and—
A hand shot between the closing doors.
“Bloody hell.” A man in a suit chuckled as he stepped in with them. “Nearly missed that one, didn’t I?”
“We held it just for you,” Jason said so cheerfully the man probably didn’t detect the sarcasm.
Evidently not, since the intruder laughed and pressed the button for the floor below the penthouse. Right below Blake’s floor. Goddammit.
The doors closed, and no one stopped them this time. Blake kept his gaze fixed on the numbers as the elevator lurched upward. He didn’t recall the elevators in this hotel being quite so slow. Then again, the traffic from Market Garden to here had been unusually light—evidently the gods favored no one in this town.
The elevator halted at the other man’s floor, and he murmured, “Cheers,” on his way out. Blake stabbed the Close Doors button with his thumb, and whispered, “Thank God,” when they obeyed.
“Impatient?” Jason asked with a grin as they continued up to the penthouse. “I do like when my clients are enthusiastic.”
“I don’t think that’ll be a problem.” Blake moistened his lips, which were suddenly dry. “But if this thing goes any slower, I might have to get your price for elevator sex.”
Jason slid his hand over Blake’s ass and stood up on his toes enough to whisper in his ear, “If this thing goes any slower, elevator sex will be free.” Though his tone was calm, there was a hungry undercurrent that made Blake’s heart race. Didn’t matter if it was an act or not—the thought of Jason itching for it like he was made his palms sweat.
But the elevator got its shit together and didn’t make Jason put his money where his mouth was—as it were—and, at last, let them out on their floor. Blake rested a hand on the small of Jason’s back and guided him down the hall, and they stopped in front of Blake’s door.
So help me God, if my key doesn’t work, I will set this entire place on fire.
But the key worked.
And the door opened.
And Jason was in Blake’s room.
Blake managed to hang out the Do Not Disturb sign and then closed the door. Jason walked a few steps into the center of the room, and quickly scanned it before his gaze returned to Blake.
Blake pulled his tie loose, took it off, and tossed it onto the chair in the corner near the foot of the bed. “Now the money talk.”
Jason stepped closer—again a movement right from a stage, somewhat exaggerated but elegant. “Money, and terms and conditions.”
Blake licked his lips. “What’s the starting bid?”
“Hmm.” Jason ran a finger along Blake’s lips, then moved so close that Blake felt his breath on his face. “I like your cuff links.”
“No, you don’t understand. I’ll take the cuff links as payment.”
They were eighteen-karat gold and had been with him for so long he barely remembered when he’d bought them. “Interesting choice. Why those and not cash?”
“They’re expensive and personal.” Jason grinned. “I got the feeling I might want to take a keepsake from you.”
“Like a stuffed animal head on the wall.”
“Well, one head will be getting mounted and stuffed.” He delivered it so masterfully in that understated British way that Blake nearly missed the joke.
He cleared his throat. “I see why you and Tristan get along.” Blake thumbed one of the cuff links. “Same bizarre sense of humor.”
At that, Jason laughed. “We do have a few things in common, yes.” He watched Blake playing with the cuff links. “So are those on the table? Or do you prefer cash to bartering?”
“That depends.” Blake slid one of the cuff links free and held it up. Turning it between his fingers while Jason stared at it like a raven enraptured, he said, “What does a pair of eighteen-karat-gold cuff links get me?”
“I guess that depends.” Jason licked his lips and met Blake’s gaze. “What do you want?”
“I asked first.” Blake set the cuff link on the nightstand and started to take off the other one. “You opened the bids. Seems only fair you should tell me what we’re haggling over.”
The cuff link came free, and Jason again watched Blake turn it between his fingers.
“Maybe,” Blake said, deliberately making a slow gesture of setting the cuff link beside the first, “I should leave these right here.” The gold made a subtle clink as he set it down. “And we’ll . . . start. See how things go.”
Jason eyed him dubiously. “We should agree on a price beforehand.”
“Mm-hmm. But we’re dealing in currency that doesn’t have a set exchange rate.” Blake shrugged out of his jacket. “So why don’t we do what comes naturally, and when one of us decides the cuff links have been earned, they’re yours.”
Jason pursed his lips. “How do we know when it’s reached a fair price?”
Blake tossed his jacket over the chair on top of his tie. “We’ll negotiate it when we get there. When you think you’ve earned them, say so, and I’ll tell you if I agree. If I think you’ve earned them, I’ll say so.”
Jason hesitated, but then the most mouthwatering grin pulled at his lips. “I think I like the sound of this game.” He started unbuckling his belt.
They took off their clothes, and when Blake faced him, both of them completely naked now, he had to fight the urge to just hand over the cuff links. The sight of that gorgeous body was easily worth a couple grand. If Jason really did moonlight as a stripper, it was a wonder he didn’t own half of London. Royals and all.
Lean muscles. Smooth skin. Not a single tattoo. Blake could have stared at that body happily for the whole night and not get bored, but he was quite unbearably horny. Still, he wanted to draw out this first encounter. After the way Jason had played it, it was time for some payback. “I think you should get on the bed.”
“And you?” Jason was already stepping to the side of the bed, then settled there, on his back when Blake didn’t give more specific orders.
“I’ll be right here.”
He neared the bed, picked up the bottle of lube, and handed it to Jason, aware that his cock was pointing at Jason’s face and it wouldn’t take a lot . . .
Jason’s eyes were on his groin, and he very slowly lifted his gaze to Blake’s face. “You are a bit of a voyeur. They said.”
“I don’t get the impression you’re shocked or turned off.”
“Ah. No.” Jason uncapped the lube and warmed it in his hands, then ran a slick hand along his cock. As hard and hot as he must’ve been, Blake was surprised the lube didn’t turn to vapor on contact. “I do like attention.”
He squeezed himself, then let his legs fall open, and ran his hand downward, slick fingers traveling past his balls. Blake’s cock jumped when Jason pushed two fingers inside, deep enough he had to have really felt it. Jason closed his eyes and groaned.
Jason liked attention, and Blake wanted to give him lots and lots and lots of attention, but this was . . . wow. The way he fucked himself with his hand. The way he bit his lip and screwed his eyes shut.
“This will . . .” Jason exhaled and managed to open his eyes a little. “This will feel even better when it’s your cock instead.”
“We’ll get there.” If I don’t have heart failure first. “But before we do, I . . .” What were we talking about? “I want to watch. You.”
“This is supposed to be me getting you off.” Jason started stroking himself with his other hand, and moaned softly. “Not me . . . not . . .”
“Oh, you’re doing quite all right.” Blake was out of breath even though he wasn’t doing a damned thing. “I like what I see.” He swept his tongue across his lips. “And I fully intend to fuck you tonight.”
Jason grinned. “If the price is right?”
“We’ll get to that. I’m not in any rush.” His body begged to differ—the sight of Jason stroking and fingering himself was torture of the sweetest kind. It took every shred of restraint Blake had—and there wasn’t much—to not put on a condom, push Jason’s hand out of the way, and fuck him until they both came. He wasn’t going to hurry. He probably wouldn’t survive if he hurried.
“If I do this much longer,” Jason slurred, “I’m gonna—”
“I know.” Blake ran a hand over Jason’s powerful thigh. “I’m counting on it.”
Jason bit his lip, muffling a groan.
“You’re fucking beautiful like that, you know. Fucking . . .” He ran out of words. Then breath. Then thoughts. He was mesmerized, gazing at Jason like Jason had gazed at the cuff links. Somehow, he managed to whisper, “I want to see you come.”
Jason dug his teeth into his lower lip, and pumped his cock faster. The low groan reverberated off Blake’s nerve endings, especially the ones in his very hard and very neglected dick, and Jason shut his eyes even tighter. He said something Blake couldn’t understand, but he damn sure understood the strain behind the words. Jason was so deliciously close. Right there. Blake almost regretted he wasn’t balls-deep in him, feeling him clench around his dick, sharp, shallow breaths rushing past Blake’s skin, but this was nearly as good—he had the perfect view of Jason arching and squirming as his face, neck, and chest flushed.
“Just so you know,” Blake said, “the cuff links are yours.”
Immediately, Jason came.
Semen hit his taut stomach muscles, a few drops even landing on his pecs, and it was all Blake could do not to finish himself off and come all over Jason.
Gradually, Jason relaxed against the bed, and then opened his eyes. They were gleaming with satisfaction, and Blake was willing to bet it wasn’t only from the orgasm. Blake ran his fingers along Jason’s jaw, then turned away and got a small towel from the bathroom. When he returned, Jason was up on his elbows, smiling.
Wordlessly, Blake offered him the towel.
“Thanks.” Jason wiped himself down, dropped the towel, and lay back on the bed, stretched out in a clear invitation. “Once I’ve caught my breath a bit more, we could haggle for, oh I don’t know, perhaps some face mounting.” He grinned.
“How much will that set me back?”
“I’ll make you a deal.” Jason scooted over. “Join me?”
Blake couldn’t not take the invitation, and rolled onto his side to face Jason, studying his features, willing his hormones under control. Maybe he should have simply fucked him, or jerked off, but he was enjoying their game of control too much. Jason didn’t seem to mind losing—or giving him what he wanted, more likely. “Anything particular you were imagining, with your eyes closed?”
“No. Just find it easier to concentrate that way.” Jason inched closer, and kissed him, a languid kiss that did nothing to rein in Blake’s horniness. “Still need to see what you look like when you get off. Preferably close up.”
“And what will that cost me?”
Jason trailed a finger down the center of Blake’s chest. “Depends.”
“On how much work it takes for me to get you off.”
“Can’t really negotiate that upfront, can we?”
“Hmm, I don’t know.” That finger drifted alongside Blake’s cock—not quite touching it, but almost. “I’ll bet it won’t take much work.”
“Is that a challenge?”
Jason’s shoulder lifted in a half shrug. “Maybe. But I think you like games and control.” His finger continued down between Blake’s legs, and Blake could barely breathe as Jason drew light, lazy circles over that hypersensitive flesh. “And I have a game in mind.”
“What . . . what kind of game?”
“Well, usually I’d get more money for more work.” Jason leaned in, and his lips brushed Blake’s neck as gently as his fingertip teased Blake’s balls. “But in this case, if it takes that much work to make you come, then I’m not very good at my job, am I?” More fingers—two? three? ten?—materialized on Blake’s skin. “So the quicker I get you off, the better I am. And therefore”—his lips curved against Blake’s throat—“it should cost more.”
Blake closed his eyes. He struggled to make sense of what Jason had said and what it all meant, but it was nearly impossible with those soft kisses and those maddening fingers. “So I . . . so the longer it takes me to come, the less it costs me?”
“Mm-hmm.” Jason nipped below Blake’s ear. “More to the point, the faster I can get you off, the more it costs you.”
Jesus. He already had a tenuous grasp on anything resembling control, and now there was a price tag attached to it. On one hand, fuck it, he could afford any asking price. On the other, it could be fun to make Jason work for it. Assuming Blake could hold out that long, and he wasn’t so sure of that. “What’s the baseline?”
Jason’s fingers drifted upward, sliding along the underside of Blake’s cock. “Hmm, I don’t know. What seems fair?”
“Oh God.” Blake couldn’t crunch numbers. Not now. “I don’t . . . fuck, I don’t know.”
Jason lifted his hand away from Blake’s dick, which should have helped but only made the problem worse.
Where did you go? Why aren’t you touching me? Wait, where are you going?
Jason pushed himself up and moved on top of Blake. “If I can get you off in the first minute, five thousand pounds.”
“Five thousand—” Blake almost choked. “Are you serious?”
Jason grinned. “You don’t think it’s worth it?”
For an orgasm? Right now? Under Jason? Oh hell yes it was worth it.
Jason went on. “Every minute after, a thousand drops off.”
“You’re that confident you can get me off in under five minutes, eh?”
Jason dragged his thumbnail around Blake’s nipple, sending a shudder through him. “Oh, I think it’s a safe bet.”
Fuck. Holy fuck.
The businessman in Blake should’ve been weighing all the options, running cost/benefit analyses, and printing up spreadsheets in his head.
That businessman, however, was no match for a hard-on and a seriously hot prostitute.
Blake grabbed his watch off the nightstand. “You’re on the clock.”
“Well, I will be in a moment.” Jason flashed another wicked grin. Then he leaned over to the nightstand and ripped a condom packet open, then reached behind and under himself and rolled it onto Blake’s cock. All without breaking eye contact. “You’ll want to take the time.”
Blake glanced at the watch, then put it on the nightstand because Jesus, fuck, Jason was lowering himself onto his cock with one smooth movement, easily taking all of him. And he obviously loved it, which was yet another turn-on, especially since it was written all over the way his face blanked and his eyes closed. He grabbed the headboard and used it for balance or leverage or both, and right when Blake thought he could breathe again, Jason was rolling his hips in what looked very much like a dancer’s move—sinuous and controlled, every muscle perfect under his skin.
Blake groaned—this was the kind of thing a man wanted to see before dying, though dying was the last thing on his mind. He tried to thrust up, and Jason ground back against him, allowing him only short, hard movements.
Any thought of keeping track jumped out of the window. All he could think of was losing himself in this, in that tight, tight ass, because holy hell, Jason really knew how to work it. This was simply beautiful, unspeakably hot—the sight of Jason riding him to earn five thousand pounds. It made him want to hold out for just a bit longer, say, a couple minutes, regardless of how that ass was riding his cock, and regardless of Jason’s moans as he moved faster and faster.
Blake was tempted to grab and topple him, pin him down and pound him as hard as possible—Jason would love it if Blake lost it like that. This was one sweet, controlled mind-fuck.
Jason released a sound that was half groan, half helpless whimper. “Jared was right about you. You feel . . .” He closed his eyes and let his head fall back, as if he too was lost in this, but he quickly seemed to remember himself. He looked down at Blake, fierce determination in his heavy-lidded eyes. “Stubborn too.”
“You’d better believe it.” Blake grabbed on to Jason’s waist because he didn’t know what else to do with his hands. “With that much money on the—”
Jason did something with his hips. Tilted them? Fuck, Blake didn’t know. Whatever it was, it turned him inside out. His hands nearly slipped off Jason. His hips . . . moved. Somehow. His body may as well have had a mind of its own now. Fuck trying not to come. Fuck the money. Fuck the games. He needed to come.
“Oh my God,” Blake murmured. He tried to speak, but . . . fuck that too. Words, breath, brain. The tension in him swelled, and he’d already reached his breaking point, and if Jason kept moving like that, kept riding him like that, kept existing like that, Blake was going to skip right over his orgasm and go up in flames.
And then the tension gave. Blake didn’t make a sound. He couldn’t. All he could do was tremble and thrust, somehow hold on and let go at the same time, and in spite of Blake’s death grip on his hips, Jason kept riding him until he slurred, “S-stop.”
Jason eased down onto him, and stopped. For a moment, Blake didn’t move. He let the last few waves wash over him, and he thought he heard himself whispering curses, but, whatever. He felt amazing.
“Two minutes, forty-nine seconds.” Jason brushed a soft kiss across Blake’s lips. “Eleven more seconds, and you’d have saved yourself a thousand quid.”
“’S’okay.” Blake blinked his eyes open. “Totally worth it.”
They basked in the afterglow for a long time, and Blake actually dozed off for a little while. When he woke up, he thought Jason might’ve slipped out, but he was there, lying beside him and snoring softly.
Wasn’t that an adorable sight? Jason was absolutely smoking hot, and a demon in bed, but snoozing peacefully next to Blake, he was cute, too. Blake wasn’t sure if he wanted to watch him sleep, or wake the devil and go another round.
Jason was meticulously groomed—finger and toe nails were perfect, and where he wasn’t waxed, he’d had a very recent trim, without a hair out of place. Maybe that was all part of the stage persona, part of his professionalism, but he wore that persona with ease. Naturally. No jewelry or piercings anywhere that Blake had noticed, and no ink.
Maybe the time zones were messing with him, but he wasn’t tired enough to sleep again. He could always let Jason rest and recover while he went over some paperwork on his laptop.
Moving carefully to avoid disturbing Jason, he got out of bed and headed for the bathroom, then grabbed a shower. Half the reason he kept coming back to this hotel was because the water got properly hot and had a decent amount of pressure, which seemed rare as hell in the UK. He washed and then stood under the spray, willing the hot water to either get him going or put him to sleep—he didn’t mind.
The shower door opened, startling him.
Jason nudged him to the side, and a second later, hissed. “Trying to turn into a lobster?”
“Aiming for crayfish first, but lobster sounds good.”
Jason muttered something about “insolent Colonials” and pushed the lever further toward the blue.
Blake was about to fire back with an equally snarky retort, but the water suddenly went from blissfully hot to painfully lukewarm. “Jesus!” He jumped as far out of the way as he could and let Jason take the full brunt of it. “We won’t be cooking any crustaceans in this shower.”
Jason laughed as he moved farther under the water and let that tepid nonsense wash over him as if that were a civilized thing to do. “Water temperature aside, I hope the intrusion isn’t unwelcome.”
“Unwelcome?” Blake grinned and slid his arms around Jason’s wet torso, gritting his teeth against the way-too-cool water running down way-too-hot skin. “Hardly. Though we haven’t negotiated a price for the shower, so I assume it won’t be added to my tab.”
Jason quirked his lips, and then shrugged. “Well, we haven’t done anything in the shower, so I can’t really charge you, can I?”
“Not yet, no.”
“Indeed. Not yet. But we can change that.”
“Mm-hmm. We can.”
“What do you have in mind?”
Blake gazed down at Jason’s wet, lean body. What did he have in mind? Oh hell, what didn’t he have in mind? “It’s tough to negotiate upfront when all I want to do is kiss you and get carried away.”
Jason licked his lips. “I like the sound of that.”
“Mm-hmm. I’m sure you like the price of it, too.”
“I do.” Jason reached up and clasped his hands behind Blake’s neck. “Tell you what—kiss me for a thousand quid. When lube comes into play, we’ll renegotiate.”
“Deal.” Blake didn’t give Jason a chance to respond. Instead, he finally did what he’d desperately wanted to do in the elevator—he shoved him up against the wall and kissed him. Jason tensed, probably because of the cold tiles, but then shivered and pulled Blake closer. Goddamn, they were both hard already. Even with that obnoxious cool water hitting his skin.
A thousand pounds for this? Bargain.
Still kissing him, Blake pulled one of Jason’s hands free and pinned his wrist to the wall beside his head. Then the other. Jason whimpered into his kiss and ground his hard-on against Blake’s. Obviously he didn’t mind, and everything about this—the power, the knowledge that Jason could turn the tables at any moment—aroused Blake like nobody’s business.
“You should be aware,” he panted, “that I know a lot of things we can do without lube.”
“Good,” Jason breathed. “That’s what I’m counting on.”
Blake let Jason’s hands go and pushed the door open far enough that he could reach a towel, which he folded and dropped on the floor. Then he kissed Jason again until they were both gasping. He worked his way down, Jason’s pulse pounding underneath his lips as he placed sucking kisses on the side of his throat.
And farther down, tracing the collarbone to the sternum. A small detour to one of the hard nipples. Jason jumped and called out when Blake caught the stiff nub between his teeth and rolled it. Cursing, Jason pushed his cock toward Blake.
“Patience,” Blake murmured, and kissed his way farther down. One kiss at a time, he traced the contour of Jason’s stomach until he was on his knees. He let Jason rock forward, and he rubbed his face along the length of the hard cock, making Jason hiss again.
Jason took his cock in hand and pointed it at Blake’s lips. “You’ve wanted this for a long time, haven’t you?”
Blake smiled. “You got me.”
Jason cradled the back of Blake’s head in one hand, and steadied his cock with the other. As Jason came forward, Blake opened his lips, and took him eagerly into his mouth.
Leaning back against the wall of the shower, Jason gazed down at him, eyes hooded. “You think you can take it all?”
Blake didn’t glorify that with a verbal response. He wrapped his thumb and forefinger around the base of Jason’s cock, and took—with some effort—every inch of that impressive dick into his mouth. Jason pushed the limits of Blake’s gag reflex, but it was a well-trained reflex. Jason would have to work a lot harder than that to be too much for him.
Blake pulled back, sliding his lips all the way from the base back up to the head, then down again. Jason moaned, the sound barely carrying over the rush of the shower, and he kneaded Blake’s scalp with both hands. The combination of the oh my God, that feels good in the twitch of Jason’s fingers and the sting when Jason pulled his wet hair was amazing. Good thing Blake was already on his knees.
His strokes became shallower. He’d proved his point by deep-throating, and now he concentrated on the sensitive head, teasing with his lips and tongue instead of letting Jason fuck his mouth. That prompted even more kneading, and harder pulling that made Blake’s eyes water and his balls tighten.
“You’re . . . really good at that,” Jason moaned.
Blake ran his tongue around the head, grinning when Jason shuddered.
Then Jason tightened his grasp on Blake’s hair, stopping him. “I don’t care about the money. Just . . .” He jerked his thumb toward the bathroom door. “Bed. Fuck me.”
“Are you giving me orders?” Blake kept stroking Jason’s dick to keep him on edge. “Because that sounded an awful lot like an order.”
Jason’s head fell back against the wall. “Please?”
“Tell me how you want it.”
“I want it now.”
Blake’s hand stopped, but then he squeezed a bit. “That’s not what I asked, Jason. I asked how you want it.” He started stroking again, adding a twist to the movements. “You’ve already been on top. Tell me how you want me to fuck you.”
“I—” Jason gulped.
“Tell me, or I’ll keep teasing you.”
Jason muttered something that the shower swallowed, but it was probably along the lines of “you bastard.” Mouthy little fucker, but he was hot and hard, so Blake let it go.
“From behind. Over the bed.”
An image flashed through Blake’s mind. Oh yes, that position could definitely be arranged.
Blake released Jason’s cock and stood up carefully, trying not to slip and kill the mood. He turned off the water, and suddenly the shower fell silent except for Jason’s heavy breathing and Blake’s pounding heart.
Blake grabbed Jason’s jaw and tilted his head up so their eyes met. “Dry off. Then go in the bedroom and bend over the bed.”
Jason nodded as much as Blake’s grip would allow. It was amazing how quickly he could shift from feisty and power-hungry to this. God, he was a switch, wasn’t he? An effortless switch who could be a full-on Dom and a deliciously pliant sub in the same night? No wonder he could charge thousands for a single orgasm.
After a short kiss, Blake released Jason and gestured for him to go ahead. Jason obediently stepped out of the shower stall and grabbed one of the dry towels. He dried off, and then disappeared into the bedroom.
Though Blake was turned on as all hell, he took his sweet time. He wanted Jason to squirm. Let him stay there, bent over the bed and ready for him. Let him earn his thousand quid. After turning such lovely hot water to a tepid mess, Jason owed him that much.
Blake dried himself off as if he were about to slip into full business dress, then stepped out, and was greeted by that gorgeous backside, the long strong legs, and Jason bent deep over the mattress. Jason’s elbows supported him, and his forehead almost touched the sheet. His legs were spread enough to allow Blake all the access he could possibly want, and the lube was within reach to his right. And a condom.
Blake stood behind him, letting his cock brush Jason’s ass when he reached for the condom packet. He got himself sheathed quickly and slid two fingers into Jason’s crack, then pushed them inside. Jason had already lubed himself up, and he shuddered and groaned as Blake finger-fucked him.
Jason exhaled. “M-more.”
“We’re a bit impatient, aren’t we?”
“Pluralis majestatis? That’s fucking weird in the bedroom.”
“I was talking about you.”
“Oh really?” Jason craned his neck. “That’s a ‘you,’ not a ‘we.’”
“You are . . .” Blake pulled back and positioned himself, then thrust in. “Far too articulate for somebody so hot and bothered.”
Blake almost laughed, but a gasp got in the way.
He gripped Jason’s hips and began to thrust in earnest now—they both needed it, needed it urgently, from the sounds Jason was making—half strangled groans, half wordless pleading. They slammed together, over and over, Jason’s skin hot and gleaming, their movements perfectly timed. Jason was pushing back as much as he could in his position, and Blake focused on nailing that tight ass until they were both desperate. He was barely lucid enough to think of making either of them come, and then Jason was shifting, jerking himself off with a free hand while one elbow took all of his weight.
Blake leaned forward and rested his hands on the mattress, and then kissed the back of Jason’s shoulder. “Jesus Christ, I could do this all night.”
“Please do,” Jason moaned, his back arching beneath Blake’s chest.
“How much would that cost me?”
Jason’s arm moved faster as he worked at his own cock. “It’s . . . negotiable. Fuck . . .”
Blake grinned. He thrust harder, knocking a groan out of Jason. Another thrust threw him off-balance, and his arm collapsed under him, sending him down onto the mattress. And the sound he made . . . good God. Helpless. Turned on. Somewhere between a cry and a curse. There was no way this was an act now. And hell, if it was, then the man deserved an Oscar.
As Blake’s own orgasm closed in, he gritted his teeth. “I can see . . . I can see why a guy like you can charge so much for sex.”
Jason turned his head slightly. “Yeah? W-why’s that?”
“Because you’re”—Blake punctuated each word with a thrust—“worth . . . every . . . fucking . . . penny.”
Instantly, Jason was over the edge—he tightened around Blake to the point Blake almost couldn’t move, and slurred “don’t stop, don’t stop” as Blake kept right on fucking him until his own orgasm took over. Then Blake’s eyes rolled back, and he lost awareness of anything that wasn’t his climax, or Jason’s, or holy fuck this is incredible.
[H]eartwrenching and amazing and an absolute rollercoaster ride.
[F]antastic story that left me wanting more. Let’s just say that another visit to the Market Garden would not be frowned upon.
On the Clock was scorchingly hot and a captivating read. . . . As far as I’m concerned this series could go on indefinitely.
Witt and Voinov hit it out of the park with the 8th book in the Market Garden series.
[A]nother great story from the series, again with that perfect balance of sex and story, where the story is the main feature.