Hanging Out (Takeover/Twisted Wishes Fic)

Two short, connected fics with characters from both Takeover and Twisted Wishes.

Hanging Out

(Takeover/Twisted Wishes Fic)
Anna Zabo

It had been years since Zavier Demos had stepped into this house, and it had changed a little. It was still immense—a mansion really. But out here in Western PA, you didn’t need to be a billionaire to afford a huge house surrounded by a ton of land.

You just had to be reasonably well off, which Lyle Cunningham was.

But, as Zavier walked down the stairs into the basement, there were things that didn’t change, like the sight of Eli Ovadia’s long back nor the fact that he had a man groaning at his feet.

Well, not quite at his feet. The man with dark hair tipped blond at the ends was suspended quite beautifully in a harness of red rope lovingly wrapped and knotted around his body. They were both clothed, and the bound man was blindfolded, with an expression that flitted from agony to ecstasy.

The man moaned again, and Eli caressed his cheek. “Is that a yes, then?”

A little shudder. “I hate it.” Everything about the bound man indicated otherwise.

“That’s not an answer to my question.” Deep smooth voice, the same as Zavier remembered it. “And you do not.”

A laugh that was more of a sob. “Yes. And okay, I don’t hate it. But it’s… a lot.” The last words were quiet and full of emotion.

“I know.” Eli paused. “We have company.”

So Eli had heard Zavier descend the stairs after all.

“Anyone we know?” The man in ropes flexed a little, which in turn had him rocking ever so slightly

Eli finally turned and met Zavier’s gaze, and there was something new, something different: A joyful, relaxed smile. “Yes, though you two have never been introduced.”

A grunt from the man in ropes.

“You’ve changed,” Zavier said, because it because it was true.

That got him a laugh from Eli, one he’d not heard before. Too care-free. “It’s very nice to see you again, too.”

Zavier took the outstretched hand and found himself pulled into a quick hug, also a rare thing. “It is good to see you, Eli.” When the separated, he took a better look at the man and the harness Eli had tied. “This is exquisite work. And you ought to introduce me to your friend.”

“My husband,” Eli murmured. “And thank you. We’ve been working up to suspension.”

Shock zipped through Zavier. “You got married?”

Ah, there was the eyebrow raise and the look Zavier remembered so well. He’d found his own scathing look based on the one Eli gave him now. “Says the man with a ring on his own finger.”

He had to give Eli that, so he shrugged. “You were always a hopeless romantic.”

“And you were not at all.”

“Tax purposes, Eli.”

“Is that what you kids are calling fucking and flogging these days?”

The laugh ripped out of Zavier. Fucking Eli Ovadia. “Okay, maybe you haven’t changed.”

Eli flashed a brilliant smile. “Oh, I have. But in all the good ways.”

“Damn.” The man—Eli’s husband—wiggled in his ropes. “I know that voice. But I can’t place it.”

“Mmmhmm. You do.” Eli’s smile slipped into a little evil grin, on Zavier also remembered. He brushed his fingers through the man’s hair. “Lyle said he might visit.” To Zavier, he said. “This is my husband, Justin White. And he’s rather a fan.”

Justin twisted in the bindings. “What… Eli, am I going to want to kill you later?”

“Yes, but in the best possible way.” The look in Eli’s eyes was soft and—happy. That was good. Very good. About damn time.

Zavier stepped closer to Justin. “May I take a closer look?”

“If Justin approves.”

Justin tried to shrug and only ended up rocking himself. “Eli trusts you.”

There were a precious few people Zavier trusted, and Eli was one, so he understood that implicit transfer. He touched the rope, being careful not to stray beyond that. “This is masterful, Eli. I know someone who’d love to see this.” He corrected himself. “Several someones, actually.” Ray would be intrigued, enough so that Zavier was already calculating what he’d need to know to replicate this. Adrian and Dom, though—this was exactly their kink.

“How long are you in town?”

“Today and tomorrow. We leave after the concert.”

“Concert?” Justin’s whole body twisted. “Holy shit,” he whispered.

Eli chuckled, and it was downright evil. “Maybe, if Justin is amenable, we can give your friends a demo.”

“Husband,” Zavier said. “One of them, anyway.” He studied where the rope crossed Justin’s torso, both capturing and supporting his body. “And I’m sure they’d love that, assuming Justin agrees.”

“Holy shit,” he whispered again, then cleared his throat. “Eli?”

“Yes love?”

“I’m gonna kill you.”

“Is that a yes to a demo?”

 Justin sighed and went limp in the ropes. “Fucking hell.” A pause. “Yeah. I’ll let you tie me up again in front of my absolute favorite band in the word.”

Eli had the most smug look in the world, and Zavier bumped him with his arm. “You really are an evil bastard, you know.”

“Takes one to know one, Zavier.”

Justin snorted. “Can one of you evil bastards untie me so I can be properly embarrassed to hell and back?”

They both laughed, and set about doing just that.

Justin focused on bundling the lengths of rope Eli had set him to putting away. It kept him from staring at the man on the floor next to him, also winding rope into bundles, because if he thought about it too hard, his brain would end up as tangled as these ropes wanted to be.

Domino Grinder was sitting next to him, humming along to some tune Justin didn’t know, and running red rope through his fingers. The very same rope that Eli had used to tie Justin up and hang him from the ceiling of Master Lyle’s basement for the pleasure of Justin’s favorite band, Twisted Wishes.

He was still coming to grips with the fact that Eli—his own husband—knew Zavier Demos and hadn’t told Justin, even when he’d played the new album. Even after he’d pointed out how hot Zavier and Ray Van Zeller were together.

Somehow, though, the anger he expected didn’t want to bubble up. Instead, a weird giddiness pinged his nerves and he fought the urge to giggle.

“Are you all right?”

Domino’s—Dom’s—question jarred Justin from his thoughts, and he did look over then—only to be reminded that this man was his idol. Out of makeup, Dom looked like his geeky co-workers, though the sheer number of tattoos on his arms gave away his identity. “Yeah. Mostly. I’m…” He struggled to find the right words.

“Still in subspace?”

Justin shook his head. “Na. Don’t fall that far in when Eli’s in teaching mode. It’s—well—you. And the band. And—everything.” He finished looping a length of rope, tied it off, then set it into Eli’s bag of rope.

There was a blush on Dom’s cheeks, something that he’d seen a lot tonight, but not in any of the videos or concert footage. “Are you mad at him for not telling you? I mean…” he gestured to himself, then up—since everyone else was up in the great room.

He rolled that question around in his head while winding another piece of rope. “No. I keep thinking I should be, but no. I’m glad he held onto that secret to surprise me. He knew I’d love that, because he knows me. If he’d told me earlier, I’d have thought about you all too much, or maybe pestered him about you. Or maybe told him I was too freaked out to meet you, I don’t know. Meeting you like this was better.”

“That’s a lot of trust, to know he’d keep good secrets and tell you the ones he should.” Dom studied the rope in his hands. “But I guess you’d have to have that kind of understanding to do this.” He held up a length of rope.

Yes and no and yes. “We play hard with pain, and that takes trust too. Not going beyond either of our limits, and all that. But yeah, for bondage for us, there’s a lot more trust needed on both sides, but it’s not…” He trailed off. “Do you know anything about Eli?”

Dom shook his head. “Only that he’s a friend of Zav’s, which means he’s more or less family.”

Huh. Did that go both ways? Was he somehow family, too? That thought was too big, so he shoved it away.  “Eli letting anyone close to him is an act of trust. For me too, it turns out.” He dropped another bundle of rope into the bag, then took the one Dom held out. “We—I—screwed up early in our relationship because bad shit had happened when I’d been tied up, and I didn’t tell him, then had a panic attack and ran from him. For weeks.” The memory still lurked, despite therapy, Eli’s understanding, and the years of marriage, twinging in his mind, but he let the ache of it go. “Bondage, when it’s just the two of us, is more intense than anything else we do, because it scrapes us both raw and pushes against all of that.” There really wasn’t much rope left to coil. “But teaching is easy. It’s light and fun, and the trust we need there isn’t scary deep.

Dom nodded slowly. “Yeah, okay. That makes sense. Teaching is removed from the way you are in private. There’s a layer between, protecting you from what was and what could have been.”

 Exactly. It wasn’t as real, the demos. “Yeah, I guess it’s like being some other version of me and him. More of a show for others than intimacy for us.”

The laugh that came from Dom had just a hint of deprecation. “Oh, that I understand.”

Maybe he did. Justin had read the interviews with Domino about Domino, and a few more after his non-stage persona was uncovered.

“I can’t think it’s the same as playing on stage, though.”

Dom got a thoughtful look. “Not the same, but I can see how it would be similar.” He rubbed his hands on his jeans. “I don’t think I could do that, though. I mean, be tied up by Adrian when other people were around. Probably because that is our private lives. The rock stuff is all in public, and everyone knows who he is.”

“Domino Grinder’s boy toy.”

Dom let out a sharp laugh. “See? That’s just it. He’s not, but we play those roles well enough.”

“Everyone has a public and private life.” Justin shoved the last of the rope into the bag, zipped it up and stood. Without thinking, he offered his hand to Dom. “Everyone has masks and costumes.”

Dom clasped his hand around Justin’s, and rose. “Should we go see whose wearing what upstairs?”

Justin grinned. “Bet someone’s not wearing something.”

He laughed. “I was going for metaphor. I’m almost afraid to go up, now.”

“Eh, I could be wrong, you know.”

The both climbed the stairs out of the basement, and in the great room, Justin discovered he was, in fact, correct.