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on December 17, 2006 at 3:37:21 am



Author: NA8

Fandom: X-Files

Pairing(s): Fox Mulder/Walter Skinner

Warnings: BDSM

Spoilers: none

Summary: Mulder's need for ever more extreme thrills make him seek out the ultimate game player in DC - a mysterious top who is legendary on the BDSM scene, but Mulder must pay a high price to get what he wants.


Nominated Category:

Best LoveSlave!Fic: Acted - TV & Movies


Chapter 1: The Contract


"A truth, still apparent, though disregarded, that

things move violently to their place, but calmly in

their place. To put it another way, everything has

its right home, the region that suits it, and, unless

forcibly restrained, will move thither by a kind of

homing instinct."

J. Winterson

"Art and Lies"


Part One: The Contract


Mulder sat at the dark, oak table, his casual, relaxed posture belying his sensation of nervous anticipation. He wanted to appear calm, collected, in control of himself - in other words, an attractive proposition, not a wimpy basket-case.


The room was tastefully furnished - just a table, and 6 chairs. No easy chairs, just the dining variety. There were some prints on the wall - nothing erotic - all so very sophisticated, and impeccably stylish. It was what he'd come to expect. He straightened in his chair, and flicked at his tie. An enormous mirror obscured the whole of one wall. He wasn't stupid - he knew that he was being spied on through it. Spied on, evaluated, judged. Mulder couldn't help himself - he began to fidget. This was a big moment - he really didn't want to fuck it up.


Six years. Six years he'd been playing this game, and he was good at it. Damn good. They wouldn't find anyone better. He wouldn't find anyone better. If He was looking for the best sub in DC to play with, He need look no further. Mulder was here, and Mulder was that sub. No false pride - he was good, and he knew it.


"Mr. Mulder." The voice rang out - sounding tinny over the microphone. Deep, dark, chillingly sensual. Mulder swallowed, and tried not to appear gauche by looking startled. He was a player, and a good one. He had every right to be here, in one of the most exclusive private clubs in DC, attending a meeting set up for him by the best players in the city. A meeting where he finally got a chance to present his case to Him.


"You've gone to a great deal of trouble to track me down, Mr. Mulder. I'd like to know why." The voice was smooth, but the inquiry hid a hint of steel behind the polite façade.


"Thank you for agreeing to see me, sir," he said, his tone carefully respectful.


There was a pause.


"Mr. Mulder, you've been pursuing me for over a year. In the end, it just seemed easier to see you in person than to keep evading you."


"You've been evading me…? Why, sir?" Mulder frowned.


"Etiquette, Mr. Mulder. I've been aware of your presence on the scene - who could fail to be? You've played with every top in the city."


"There haven't been any complaints, have there?" Mulder asked, his voice holding a hint of challenge.


"No. None. Except for the short-lived nature of your devotion…you have a tendency to consume your tops, and then move onto the next, Mr. Mulder." The voice sounded almost amused.


"I didn't find any of them…interesting enough to stay with." Mulder shrugged.


"And what makes you think that I'll live up to your exacting standards?" The voice snapped.


Mulder hesitated. This wasn't going the way he'd planned.


"I don't have exacting standards…I just…" He hesitated. How could he explain it? He'd been playing in this city for years, progressing from eager-eyed newbie, to experienced old hand, and the thrill was so transitory. "I need more," he whispered. "After each session I get the high, but it's becoming harder to reach, harder to sustain. I'm well trained - you'll find me exciting to play with."


"The excitement isn't in question. The training is," the voice answered dryly. Mulder stared directly into the mirror, wishing he could see the man behind it. "Explain to me why I should bother with you?"


"You're legendary. Everyone knows of your existence, but hardly anyone knows who you are. You're the best player there is…"


"And you think that you deserve only the best?" The voice challenged.


"Yes. No! I just meant…that I need something." Mulder's voice faded. He couldn't begin to put his needs into words, to explain the vast, gaping chasm he needed to fill.


"You speak a lot about yourself, and your needs," the voice mused.


"I'd address myself to you and your needs if you took me on," Mulder said hastily. "I'm a player, sir. I know how to please. If you accept me as your sub, sir, I'd do my best to please you, and I'd make you happy. Very happy." He glanced into the mirror with just a slight inclination of his head - a challenge, a promise, a hint of what could follow if this man would just say "yes." He didn't.


"No, Mr. Mulder. You'd do your best to please yourself, and insofar as that pleased me, I'm sure I'd be very satisfied. Beyond that, I'd be left, as you clearly are, with a feeling of emptiness. Your offer is…unacceptable."


Mulder sat down, feeling as if he'd been punched in the gut. "Please, sir…give me a chance," he whispered.


"No." The voice was surprisingly kind. "You shouldn't have come here, Mr. Mulder. If I'd been interested in you, I'd have selected you myself, and you could have spared yourself this…humiliation."


"Oh, haven't you heard? I'm a masochist. I thrive on humiliation," Mulder spat bitterly. There was a sound of a dry laugh from the microphone.


"Masochism," the voice said. "Would you like the dictionary definition?" There was a pause - Mulder assumed it was a rhetorical question. "Masochism. Noun. 1. Psychiatry, an abnormal condition in which pleasure, especially sexual pleasure, is derived from pain or from humiliation, domination etc, by another person."


Mulder closed his eyes, and saw himself hanging from a set of manacles, his body criss-crossed with the lines of his last master's whip. He re-lived the pain, the humiliation, the sheer breath-taking pleasure of both, and his cock responded by hardening almost immediately.


"Does that describe you, Mr. Mulder? Do you view yourself as abnormal?" The voice asked, in an almost gentle tone.


"No." Mulder snapped abruptly. "I know what I am, and I've come to terms with that."


"Really? Shall I continue? 2. Psychoanalysis. The directing towards oneself of any destructive tendencies." Like coming here today, perhaps?" the voice commented, in a dry tone. "Is that what you do in your everyday life, Mr. Mulder? Do you court death and pain? Do you embrace your own suffering all too readily?"


Mulder opened his mouth, and saw himself in a hundred different scenarios - jumping from trains, escaping bomb blasts, chasing after his lost sister - finding her - being rejected by her. He closed his mouth, and nodded, burying his face in his hands.


"3. A tendency to take pleasure from one's own suffering - which, I think, is what you're doing right now," the voice laughed. "Mr. Mulder, let's start again from the beginning. Tell me your experiences, honestly. Tell me what led you from your first sado-masochistic experience to my door, and then I'll tell you whether I'm prepared to change my mind."


Mulder sat up, his whole body shaking. He felt known - he felt as if this man knew and understood him, and it scared him. It reminded him of…


"Phoebe," he whispered. "An old girlfriend - I met her when I was 18. She used to tie me up…and she was cruel to me. I found it…arousing."


"Good. Continue," the voice ordered.


"She did some great head fucks. She'd flirt with other guys to make me jealous - sometimes she liked watching me fight them, physically. I always won…except once." He broke off, stared into space.


"What happened?"


"She went off with the other guy. Spent the night with him - slept with him." Mulder clenched his fists. "The message went home loud and clear. I had to be the best, the strongest, to keep her. She was the prize, the top, and I was nothing. I existed just to serve her."


"Did you find that arousing?"


Mulder sighed. "Yeah. Oh god, yeah. I hated it though. I couldn't handle the insecurity. We broke up. I had some regular girlfriends for a while, and then I started working in DC. I…I couldn't forget Phoebe, so I found the BDSM scene. I only played with women at first…and then one day, the woman I was with gave me to this guy - made me suck his dick. It was supposed to be the ultimate humiliation…but I found myself enjoying it. Men are harder, stronger…the domination is so much more…total. I need to give myself up to that. I'm a strong person. I need to be owned by someone stronger," Mulder whispered. "After that, I sought out men. I've never viewed myself as homosexual, but I like being dominated by men."


"I see." The voice was thoughtful.


"I feel…out of control," Mulder continued. "That's what the appeal of this is to me. I can't control myself, or my life. There are things that have happened to me that are…well let's just say that I've diced with death for the sheer thrill of it on more than one occasion. I haven't decided whether I want to live. Every day I wake up wondering whether today's the day I'll die. It's an ongoing decision. I haven't chosen life. It's just what's happened. By default. Death might come the same way. With sex…with BDSM sex, someone else takes that decision away from me. They control me…and for a few hours I have some respite from that decision. I can't make it. I'm not free to. I belong to them." Mulder stood up, and glanced at the mirror, bitterly. "Well thanks for seeing me. Even if the favor wasn't returned," he said, "and for making me spill my guts. I hope it amused you."


"It was…fascinating," the voice intoned. "You interest me enough to make me reconsider."


Mulder stopped on his way to the door, and stiffened, then turned back, his heart beating too quickly inside his chest. "You'll have me? You'll take me as your sub?" He asked.


"No," the voice said in a low, quiet tone. Mulder's whole body slumped. "I wouldn't consider taking you as a sub, Mr. Mulder. That wouldn't suit me, and it's hardly worked for you so far - as is evident. I will consider taking you as my slave though."


"What?" Mulder strode over to the mirror.


"You know what I mean, Mr. Mulder. You've been on the scene for several years," the voice chided softly. "I don't want to have you as a twice a week fuck. That wouldn't interest me, and it won't do you any good either. If you sincerely wish to play with me, then it would have to be a more…permanent arrangement - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."


"What about my work?" Mulder asked incredulously.


"I don't have a problem with you continuing to work - as long as you keep me briefed on everything you do. You would live with me though - I have special slave quarters - and you'd have a pager. I expect you to be available to me whenever I wish to make use of you - and in whatever way I wish to make use of you, from presenting your ass for a whipping, to fetching the groceries."


"That might interfere with my job," Mulder murmured, wishing that his cock wasn't rock hard inside his pants.


"You would have to ensure it didn't." The voice sounded unconcerned. "I prefer my slaves to have something interesting to talk about at the end of the day. I require my slave to be presentable, well groomed, polite, intelligent, educated, charming, and amusing. It's not an easy lifestyle, Mr. Mulder. There's no question of my slave sitting back and waiting for me to do all the hard work. I expect to be kept entertained, sexually satisfied, and generally looked after. You'll be my valet, chef and housekeeper - all on an unpaid basis - in addition to keeping my bed warmed."


"Sounds like a tough job," Mulder commented.


There was a dry laugh. "It has its compensations. You should think carefully about it before submitting yourself to any such agreement though. Sit down at the table, Mr. Mulder. I'll have my terms brought in, and then you can decide whether or not they're acceptable to you."


Mulder did as he was told, wordlessly, his mouth dry. He was stunned by this turn of events. He thought he had known, when he first came here, what he was letting himself in for. He would charm this top top, this super-dom, and then he'd get what he needed, when he needed it - on his terms. Not anybody else's. He didn't like the way this was going at all…and yet…and yet his body was quivering with arousal at the thought of being so comprehensively owned. It was the kind of relationship he'd had with Phoebe, only without either of them ever specifying as much.


The door opened, and a servant walked in. He was holding a piece of paper, which he placed in front of Mulder. Then he brought over a silver pen and an inkstand, together with a blotter, and placed them by Mulder's right hand. He left the room without speaking.


Mulder looked down on the neatly typed parchment, and read:


Slave Contract.


1. The slave agrees to obey and submit completely to his Master in all ways. There are no boundaries of place, time, or situation in which the slave may willfully refuse to obey the directive of his Master.

2. The slave also agrees that, once entered into the Slavery Contract, his body belongs to his Master, to be used as seen fit.

3. All of the slave's possessions likewise belong to his Master, including all assets, finances, and material goods, to do with as He sees fit.

4. The slave agrees to please his Master to the best of his ability, in that he now exists solely for the pleasure of his Master.

5. The slave understands that all that he has, and all that he does, shall now move from right to privilege, granted only as He wishes, and only to the extent that He finds useful.


I have read and fully understand this Slavery Contract in its entirety. I agree to give everything I own to my Master, and further accept His claim of ownership over my physical body, heart, soul, and mind. I understand that I will be commanded and trained and punished as a slave, and I promise to be true and to fulfil the pleasures and desires of my Master, and serve Him to the best of my abilities. I understand that I cannot withdraw from this Slavery Contract.




"Absolutely not." Mulder put down the pen, got up, and walked furiously over to the mirror. "You must be insane. I don't even know you - I haven't even met you. This is ridiculous."


"Fair enough," the voice said smoothly. "It's been interesting meeting you, Mr. Mulder. Please close the door on your way out."


"Fuck you." Mulder kicked the wall angrily. "My possessions? My heart, my soul…?" he floundered breathlessly.


"I suspect that neither your heart, nor your soul, are areas that disturb you very much, Mr. Mulder. The part that caused you anxiety was, I suspect, your 'mind'."


"It doesn't matter. You can't really own another person. It's crazy." Mulder thumped his head against the mirror, and stood there for a moment in anguish, leaning his head and forearms on that brightly polished surface. He needed this. He really needed this. Only he, and, he suspected, the man behind the mirror, knew just how much that contract turned him on. It was the ultimate thrill - to live in a state of constant submission. He knew his own nature all too well - he only ever feigned his submission during sex play, in order to get off on it. He wouldn't be able to do that under the conditions laid out in the contract. This was the Real Thing. It scared him. It excited him. A claustrophobic part of himself was already chafing under the idea of the restriction, even as his cock throbbed in anticipation of such ownership. Mulder looked up, into his own eyes, into the eyes of the man behind the mirror.


"What about you?" He whispered at last, hardly believing that he was seriously continuing this conversation. "I see a lot in this contract about my obligations - what about yours?" He waved his arm at the piece of paper.


"Good question." The voice sounded as if it were smiling.


The door opened, and the servant came back in. He laid another sheet of paper on the table, and stepped quietly away again. Mulder returned to the table cautiously, curiously, hating himself for being so interested in this whole process. He had no intention of signing. He couldn't. And yet…


Master Contract.


1. I accept this slave into my loving care and protection as his Master.

2. I will provide the physical and emotional necessities of life for my slave, and he will know my love as I choose for him to know it.

3. I will use my slave's body as I wish, such usage to be limited only by my responsibility not to damage either his physical or mental being.

4. I shall establish a clearly understood set of rules for my slave, and I shall enforce them in a firm but responsible manner. These rules will be for his protection as well as his discipline, and will - to the best of my ability - foresee every eventuality and control the most minute aspect of his behavior.

5. Within the self-imposed limitations above, I undertake to train and discipline my slave in a manner calculated to guide him toward a perfection of obedient submission that I know he can never achieve. In doing so, it will be my goal to reward his efforts by dispensing the punishment he requires and deserves.

6. I shall endeavor to provide for my slave's necessities of life, even in the event that I should die or otherwise be rendered incapable of caring for him.


I have read and fully understand this Master Contract in its entirety. I agree to accept this slave as my property, body and possessions, and to care for him to the best of my ability. I shall provide for his security and well-being and command him, train him, and punish him as a slave. I understand the responsibility implicit in this arrangement, and agree that no harm shall come to the slave as long as he is mine. I further understand that I can withdraw from this Contract at any time.




Mulder closed his eyes and leaned his head back, then opened them, and gazed at the plain, white ceiling, but he found no answers there. This Contract spoke to some need, deep inside him. The Master's contract spoke of caring, of punishing… of protecting him. The use of the word security echoed in his mind. He didn't feel secure, or loved, or cared for. He felt adrift. He wanted peace - would this contract give him that?


"I see you get to end the contract whenever you like, but I don't," he commented bitterly.


"There will be times you might be tempted to act in haste - and repent at leisure," the voice replied.


"That's a saying usually used about marriage, not slave contracts," Mulder murmured ironically.


More dry laughter. "If you're wondering whether there's a difference, trust me, there is. A significant one. However…" The voice was thoughtful. "I have no wish to keep an unwilling slave. If you wished to break our Contract, I'd listen to your arguments and treat them seriously - although I'd probably refuse your request. I have no legally binding hold over you - the laws of this land would uphold your freedom, except in regard to your property of course, which would be signed over to me. I might return it to you at my own discretion, if I terminated our contract. It is doubtful that I would do so if you chose to leave. In addition - if you decide to leave without my permission, then I wouldn't accept you back. I also suspect that you'd have to find a new playground. Nobody in this city would play with another man's property without his permission - and it's unlikely that I'd give such permission."


"Dammit this is absurd! Surely you can see that!" Mulder pounded his fist on the table. "This is about sex, not everyday life. I cannot…I will not…give myself up to this."


"No. I'm sorry. You won't ever find what you're looking for, Mr. Mulder, precisely because of that fact."


"I'm not looking to become someone's slave!" Mulder protested.


"No. I agree. However, in so doing, you might discover what you are looking for." The voice had a tone to it that implied a shrug.


"Don't I even get to see what I'm letting myself in for?" Mulder questioned. "You've had a chance to inspect the goods - what about me?"


"I think not. If you choose not to sign the contract, then I'd prefer for my identity to remain a secret. You came looking for me, remember. I don't have any obligation towards you."


"What about negotiation?" Mulder asked despairingly. He always negotiated prior to playing. He and his prospective partner would talk about what sexual practices they enjoyed, and how far the top could go. He was so adept at them that he could talk easily on subjects some people might find highly embarrassing. It was standard safe practice on the scene - for good reason.


"There is no negotiation. There's just the Contract," came the reply. "If you're my slave, I own you. There's no discussion about it. You have to learn to trust…and submit."


"So, safe-words wouldn't be an option then?" Mulder asked, making a face.


"That's right, Mr. Mulder. They wouldn’t," the voice replied dryly.


Mulder paced around the room, thinking furiously. Shit, this man could be anyone - hell, it could even be that cigarette smoking bastard. Not that it would matter if he were. Mulder would just walk out, and not come back, if that were the case. So what if he couldn't play in this city again - at least he'd keep his integrity. And what, truthfully, was the point of playing here again? He'd been through every top, and yes, he'd consumed them, as this man had so accurately pointed out. He felt as if was spinning out of control, seeking ever more dangerous risks, more intense thrills…and this…this was the ultimate risk, the ultimate trip into the unknown, the ultimate thrill. If he signed this piece of paper, anything could happen to him. During a sex game he wouldn't have any control, or the buffer zone of a safe-word. He'd be totally, completely, at the mercy of his Master. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week… Shit, but this man reminded him of Phoebe. He seemed to have gotten into his head - he knew exactly the way to scare him and excite him, at one and the same time.


"Yes," he whispered. There was a silence. "I said, the answer is yes, damn you!" He roared.


"The pen is on the table," the voice replied implacably, clearly unimpressed by this display of temper.


Mulder went over to the table, and sat down. He picked up the pen, and closed his eyes. He saw Scully's face in his mind's eye. She was frowning at him, yelling at him, asking him how the hell he could do something this stupid. He saw Skinner, standing over him, shouting at him - asking him why he'd risk his career over something so crazy. He opened his eyes again, trying to shut out their faces, their voices, their concern. How could he ever explain this to them? All he could hope was that this man he was giving his life over to was benign, and that somehow he'd keep him back from the brink of the dark abyss he walked.


Mulder placed the tip of the pen to the paper - and signed his life away.


Chapter 2: Five Gold Rings

Mulder paced the room, anxiously chewing on a set of fingernails already bitten to the quick. It had been a week since he last stood here, a week during which he had done everything he had been instructed to do. He had complained that a week was too short a time to put his affairs in order, and arrange for his personal finances to be transferred into his Master's numbered accounts as he had been instructed, but his new owner had been adamant.


"You should also view it as a cooling off period," his Master had said, his voice echoing around the room, and straight into Mulder's soul, sounding tinny, and distorted through the microphone. "When you come back here next week, if you've done everything as instructed, and if you still wish to proceed, then, and only then, I'll sign the Master contract. In your presence. After that - there's no going back."


Mulder leaned against the wall, and tried to keep still. "No going back…no going back…" the words reverberated around his skull. He wished, profoundly, that this was all over. That his Master had claimed him, tied him up, dragged him back to his lair, and then at least he'd know whether he'd done a Good Thing, or a Very Bad Thing. All this waiting was making him insane. He'd been like a cat on a hot tin roof all week, driving Scully crazy, alternately fidgeting and sitting in a state of slumped lethargy. He hadn't been able to write up the two reports sitting on his desk - he'd just stared into space instead, rolling his new status around in his head. Fox Mulder - slave. Possession. Owned. Even Skinner had noticed his strange behavior and had asked him if something was wrong. Looking into his boss's concerned dark eyes, he'd wished for a moment that he did have someone he could confide in, someone who could save him from the consequences of his actions. He was paying the price for not trusting easily. In the end he'd brushed Skinner's inquiry off brusquely, and Scully hadn't even dared broach the subject of what was up with him. He was glad for that much at least. Soon it would all be over.


He knew he was being a fool, but all the same he couldn't stop his head-long plunge into this unknown realm. He didn't own much, so he didn't care about the money. His father had left everything to his mother in his will, despite their divorce - maybe as some kind of recompense, maybe to punish his only son - Mulder didn't know. He had never understood his father. When his mother died, Mulder assumed he might end up a relatively wealthy man, but he wasn't at this moment in time. All he was giving up to his Master was a few thousand dollars. It didn't seem too high a price to pay for…for what? Peace? Mulder leaned his head back against the wall, and bounced it there - once, twice, three times, hating himself for the need, and berating himself for his stupid hope that he would find what he sought in this arrangement. That didn't stop him hoping all the same. He wondered idly what his owner looked like. It didn't matter, but he was still curious. He wasn't looking for love - he was looking to be saved from himself.


"Mr. Mulder. I'm sorry to have kept you waiting." The voice rang out, breaking into his reverie, surprising him. Mulder jumped. He'd forgotten how deep and seductive that voice was, how it made his cock jump to know he was being addressed by his Master.


"Do you apologize to all your slaves?" Mulder asked, raising an ironic eyebrow.


That dry laugh rang out. "You're not. Yet. When I sign my part of the contract it will be a done deal. Until then…"


"I'd like to get it over with," Mulder interrupted, his nerves frayed, and jangling.


"I take it you haven't changed your mind then?" His Master inquired.


"No." Mulder took a deep breath. "You got into my head and found some part of me I didn't even know existed. I've been walking around with a hard-on all week because of you," he said accusingly, his tone almost bitter.


"My apologies for knowing my trade so well," the voice said softly, almost in commiseration. "Is the paperwork done?"


"Yes." Mulder laid his briefcase on the table, opened it, withdrew a file and held it up. "Here it is. The sum total of my life - for what it's worth. And here's where you reveal this was all just a giant set-up to fleece me, and you take the money and run." Mulder tensed, almost expecting that to happen.


"Don't be stupid," the voice chided. "You arranged this meeting through James Eckhart and J.M. Lucas, both high profile players with good reputations. Do you doubt their integrity?"


"No. Maybe they might want to teach the pushy sub a lesson though," Mulder commented wryly.


"There are other ways to do that," the voice reminded him. "And you won't be any kind of sub for much longer."


The door opened and Mulder held his breath - but it was only the servant, who retrieved the file from him, and exited again.


"Your personal possessions?" His Master asked.


"In my car." Mulder shrugged.


"The lease on your apartment?"


"Put in the name of the company you gave me. Your company?" Mulder inquired, curious, wondering what line of work this man was in. He was ignored.


"The keys?"


"Right here." Mulder held them up, then, with a deep inhalation of breath, he put them on the table and backed away again.


"This seems to be in order. Go back over to the table." Mulder felt himself chafing at the peremptory command, then caught himself and shook his head. Better get used to it…


The servant had left a big white envelope on the table, with one word on it : Fox. Mulder suppressed a grimace.


"Is there a problem?" His Master asked.


"My name." Mulder shrugged. "I don't like it."


"That's a shame. I've decided that will be your slave name," his Master told him, in an amused tone.


"What?" Mulder turned and glared at the mirror.


"A slave must have a slave name - bestowed upon him by his Master. Yours will be Fox." His Master said in a tone that brooked no contradiction.


Mulder tried anyway. "Why Fox? That's my real name!" He protested.


"Exactly," the voice replied. "Open the envelope while I check through these documents you've provided."


Mulder stood there, quivering, hating being this much at a disadvantage, but finding it arousing at the same time. Finally, he slipped a finger under the flap of the envelope, and tipped the contents onto the table. Five gold rings, of varying sizes, slid out.


The largest was a collar - wrought from real gold, thin and light, with his name inscribed on it in beautiful lettering, together with a tiny, perfect engraving of a fox.


"It's thin enough to be worn under a shirt and tie. I expect you to wear it at all times - day and night," his Master said softly.


Mulder swallowed, and ran his fingers over the smooth, cool metal. "It's beautiful," he whispered, a lump rising in his throat. Considerable care and attention had gone into making this collar - and he knew, without fastening it around his neck, that it would fit him perfectly. His long fingers moved over the other rings. One was mid-sized, but the other three were much smaller - two of them were identical. The third was slightly bigger, and much thicker.


"If you're thinking it looks like a wedding ring, that's because it is," his Master chuckled softly. "Like the collar, you'll wear it constantly. You'll be punished if I ever see you without either of these symbols of my ownership."


"I understand, Master," Mulder replied, bowing his head towards the mirror, thinking that he wouldn't want to be seen without them. They were both so exquisite. The wedding ring was simple, plain gold - shiny and new. Inside, his name was engraved again. F-O-X. Never had his own name looked so beautiful. "Thank you, Master," he whispered.


"Society has its own way of recognizing commitment. It's important that nobody should think that you're available. You aren't," the voice said firmly.


"No, Master." Mulder inclined his head again. "And this?" He held up the mid-sized ring, with a questioning, faintly amused eyebrow.


"You don't need me to tell you what that's for," his Master chided.


"And do I have to wear this all the time too?" Mulder asked.


"Unless I remove it myself, or give you permission to do so, yes," his Master replied. Mulder fingered the cock ring.


"I've never seen one in pure gold before." He shook his head. The cock ring was also engraved with his name, in the same ornate lettering. "And these?" Mulder played with smallest rings.


"I like my slaves to be decorated," his Master said, his tone smooth, like honey. "Are you pierced anywhere?"


Mulder swallowed hard. Nipple rings. "No, Master." He felt his cock hardening even more inside his pants.


"We'll soon remedy that," his Master chuckled. "If I think it suits you, then I might consider other methods of decorating you - tattooing, maybe branding."


"Branding?" Mulder echoed faintly.


"If it pleases me, yes. These rings are all symbols of my ownership," his Master said, his voice almost caressing him. Mulder nodded - wondering how the hell he was going to explain the wedding ring to Scully. "In a moment I'm going to put the wedding ring, and the collar on you. Nobody but me can take them off you," his Master told him firmly. "If you remove them, then I'll punish you - harshly. The day I remove those symbols of my possession, is the day you are free to leave my service. Do you understand that?"


"Yes, Master." Mulder bowed his head in awe.


"Good. I'll put my cock ring on you later - in the privacy of your new home. Have you thought about this carefully, Fox? This is your last chance. Withdraw now, and I won't speak of this to anyone. You'll be free to go. If you proceed, then you'll belong to me - body and soul. There's no turning back after that."


"I understand. I want…I want to belong to you, Master," Mulder said, fingering the collar, and the little picture of the fox.


A deep sigh echoed through the microphone, and reverberated around the room. Mulder looked up in alarm.


"Very well," his Master said in a low tone. "Lie face down on the floor, Fox, and close your eyes. I'll come and join you - then you can kiss my feet, and offer yourself up to me for collaring."


Mulder did as he was told. He was wearing a tee shirt and jeans, so it would be easy enough for his Master to fasten the collar around his neck. Mulder shivered in anticipation, his whole body quivering with the need, the desire, to be this man's property, and to accept the tokens of his ownership. He laid his face against the carpet, and closed his eyes, stretching his body out, offering himself up.


It took all Mulder's willpower not to look up as the door opened. He felt his stomach churn and clench, and he bit down on his bottom lip to stop it from trembling. His cock throbbed so much that it hurt. This was better than any game. Better and worse. Certainly more intense. Mulder held his breath as he heard footsteps, and they stopped next to his head. A boot nudged at his hand, and he shuffled forward, and pressed his lips against the shiny surface. He opened his eyes, and slowly raised them - seeing a pair of long, black boots. His eyes continued their slow scrutiny - up a pair of long, long legs, encased in black moleskin pants, over a thick black belt, with a classic, understated, shiny silver buckle, over a pair of slim hips, and a neat trim waist. His gaze lingered on the promising bulge in the pants, then moved on up over a broad expanse of chest, encased in a smooth, silky black shirt, up to a wide neck, and a firm jaw, over the contours of a handsome face, a pair of glasses, and behind them a set of dark, fathomless eyes…


"Oh, fuck." Mulder put his head down on the carpet, and banged it. His whole body felt limp and useless, and his entire past flashed before his eyes. "You set me up," he croaked.


Skinner didn't move.


"No. You did that all by yourself," he replied.


"Eckhart and Lucas. They contacted you. They told you I was heading for a fall. You just went along with it - to see how far I'd go. Oh, fuck. Is my career over? Is that what all this is about? An FBI agent entering into a contract of slavery with an unknown man. How fucking stupid is that?"


"Very, I'd have said. I could have been anyone. You're in a very compromising position," Skinner mused. His boot nudged Mulder's chin, forcing Mulder to look up into those stern, dark eyes.


"I know. I've been an idiot. You caught me. What can I say? Don't ask me why though. You know why. I told you why…" Mulder's voice trailed off, his heart beating so fast that he thought it would explode. How had this happened? To be caught, seen, exposed in this way? At the exact moment when he thought he'd found something, someone who'd force him back from the edge of the abyss, he found instead that he'd been tipped headlong into the dark. Mulder could have wept.


"Yes. I know why." Skinner shrugged.


Mulder lay there, still prostate at Skinner's feet. He couldn't move - he felt as if his entire body had been turned to jelly.


"You went to such a lot of trouble to expose me for the fool I am." Mulder looked up at his boss through long, dark eyelashes. "The five gold rings were a nice touch." He glanced over at them regretfully. "Of course, I feel kind of cheated about the calling birds, french hens, and turtle doves, to say nothing of the partridge and pear tree, but I suppose that's too much for a guy to expect from his new Master, huh?"


A small smile played around the edge of Skinner's lips, and he leaned over, put a big hand in Mulder's hair, and pulled his head back. Mulder gulped, as he found himself looking straight into those dark eyes.


"Fox - what makes you think this isn't for real?" Skinner asked him.


"Are you kidding? Uh…ow…" Mulder felt as if his hair was going to be pulled out by the roots. "The fact that you're my boss? That we work together? I mean, this has to be a set-up…right?"


"Wrong." Skinner smiled.


Mulder stared at him fascinated by the sight. He realised that he'd never seen his boss smile before - if this man was his boss. In these clothes, smiling, he exuded a completely different air - as if he was someone else. His teeth were straight, and white…all the better to eat me with…Mulder started to shake.


"I'm sorry, all this has been a shock," he whispered.


"I'm sure it has. I did try to spare you. As I said last week - I've evaded you for as long as I could, but you started to get too close. You've always been an excellent investigator, and it was only a matter of time before you found me. In the end, I thought it might be easier to try and dissuade you, without revealing my identity."


"It's for real?" Mulder gaped. "You really are Him?" He asked, stunned.


"Oh yes." Skinner shook him slightly. "And you really are persistent," he said.


"So why this?" Mulder gestured around the room wildly, taking in the rings, and the contracts lying on the table. "Why the charade? Why the whole ownership deal? The contracts? What the hell did you want with my money? Were you trying to teach me a lesson?"


"No." Skinner looked down on him. "I listened to your story, and I evaluated you very carefully, as I would any prospective slave. The deal still stands. You're mine. Signed and sealed." Skinner held up the Slave Contract Mulder had signed the previous week. "I told you if you wanted to pull out of it you could, but you kept pushing on. Now it's too late." Skinner let go of Mulder's hair, and strode over to the table. He picked up the Master's contract, and with a flourish of his hand, he signed it. Then he returned to where Mulder lay, boneless on the floor, and dropped the piece of paper on Mulder's head.


Mulder gazed at the piece of paper as it wafted under his nose. He read it, and remembered why he had wanted it, then looked up at Skinner again. His boss, his owner, was holding the beautiful gold collar between his large fingers.


"On your knees," Skinner ordered.


"I think…I might have changed my mind," Mulder muttered, trying desperately to obey, wishing his muscles would do as he told them.


"Why? Because it's me? I'm still offering everything I offered before," Skinner said firmly.


"But we can't... I mean what about work?"


"You'll be my slave - at work, at home, everywhere. Subject to my command, under my direct ownership. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Nothing has changed." Skinner told him.


"But what about…?" Mulder flushed. He had a sudden vision of Skinner's big arms closing around his naked body, of the other man thrusting into him, overpowering, devouring…and he let out an involuntary moan.


"Sex?" Skinner gave another of those truly wicked grins. "I told you - you're mine, boy. I'll use you when and where I like, as often as I like, or as little. You," he ran a finger down Mulder's forehead, over his nose, and then rested it lightly on Mulder's lips, "belong to me. Body, heart, mind and soul." He slipped the finger inside Mulder's mouth, and Mulder couldn’t stop himself sucking on it. Skinner laughed. "I rest my case," he said, withdrawing the finger.


Mulder finally managed to make it to a kneeling position. He bowed his head, a thousand thoughts running through his mind, but at the end of the day nothing changed any of it. He still wanted this - maybe, deep inside, he wanted it even more now. Skinner was everything he'd ever had wet dreams about. He didn't know how it could work at the FBI, but he knew he had gone too far to stop it. This rollercoaster that he had set in motion wouldn’t let him off until the ride was over. And somehow, Mulder had the feeling that the ride was a long, long way from being over.


Mulder placed his hands behind his back, and pulled his trembling limbs into some semblance of a submissive pose.

"Okay," he said quietly. "You're right. I'm yours." He looked up into Skinner's calm eyes. The big man nodded, and opened up the hinge on the collar, then slid it around Mulder's throat. Mulder felt the cold metal caress him, gently warming itself on his flesh. It felt familiar - as if it had always been there. As if it belonged there. Skinner's eyes never left his as those big fingers adjusted the collar, and then snapped it shut. Done. A look passed between them, of ownership, of submission, of an understanding that went deep into their souls.


"Your hand," Skinner ordered.


Mulder presented his left hand, and Skinner took it. He caressed his thumb down Mulder's ring finger, then firmly slid the wedding ring into place.


"Til death us do…" Mulder muttered. Skinner put a finger over his mouth, to shut him up.


Mulder hung there, limply, his hand still held in one of Skinner's big paws. The moment stretched into an eternity. Brown eyes and hazel ones were locked as the commitment was made between them, and the contract sealed.


Then Skinner laughed out loud, ending the moment. "Get up, slave," he ordered.


"Yes, Master." Mulder scrambled to his feet quickly. All the blood raced to his head, and he swayed for a moment, wondering what the hell had just happened.


Skinner walked briskly over to the door. He called the servant back in, and handed him the two contracts. "See that these are witnessed, and a copy placed in the vault, and then return them to me," he commanded. The servant nodded, and hurried to do his bidding. Mulder could understand the hurry. The Skinner he knew at work had always commanded his respect, and, occasionally, even his fear. However, this Skinner, this Master Skinner, was even more impressive. He lived this role utterly and completely. His body exuded a fierce grace, moving with the tightly controlled, muscled beauty of the panther. Mulder wondered how he had never seen it before. This was a man he could worship, and kneel before. This was a Master he could truly serve.


Skinner turned back to him. "Take the other rings - and keep them safe. I won't be very tolerant if they get lost. Go to your car, and drive to the Viva Tower. Here's a garage permit. It's in your name." Skinner handed Mulder the card. "Wait for me there," Skinner instructed.


"Yes, sir." Mulder did as he was told, collecting his briefcase, and scurrying from the room.




Mulder glanced at all his worldly goods in the back of his car. His computer, a couple of suitcases full of his clothing, several boxes of books. He would never, in a million years, have predicted that they'd all of them be moving in with Skinner.


He drove slowly through the city, his body still shivering slightly from the shock of the recent events. What kind of a Master would Skinner be, he wondered? Kind? Cruel? Strict? Loving? What would he require of Mulder? And would it be more than Mulder could give?


Mulder stopped the car, and considered turning around and heading to Alexandria, to the safety of his own apartment, and his old life, then remembered that it was too late for that. He couldn't, even if he wanted to. Skinner had the keys, he owned the lease - hell, he could even have sublet it by now.


Mulder laid his head on the steering wheel, feeling trapped, scared, and aroused at one and the same time. Skinner…He thought of how good the other man had looked in his dark clothes, the shiny boots. He remembered that broad chest, the muscular arms, and the sheer power in the big man's body. Power that he would use to subdue Mulder. Skinner now had the right to whip him, fuck him, and do whatever he wanted to him, whenever he wanted to do it. Mulder glanced despairingly at the bright lights, shining in the dark city.


He put his hand up to his neck, and traced the feel of the collar, light but implacable, against his flesh. It would always be there, reminding him of who and what he was, and who he belonged to. As he put his hand back down, he was startled by the flash of the gold ring in the dark.


"How come, Mulder - how come that the very thing you want to run away from, is the exact same thing you want to run to?" He asked himself. Then he laughed out loud. "No choice," he muttered, shaking his head. "You don't have any more choices. You don't belong to you any more. You belong to him."


Mulder started the car again, and resumed his journey into the unknown.


Chapter 3: A Room with a View

Mulder's new Master kept him waiting in the parking garage beneath the Viva Tower in Crystal City for over an hour. At first, Mulder sat in the car, his legs jiggling up and down, in nervous anticipation. Was Skinner going to take him straight up to his apartment and fuck him senseless? Maybe he would dive straight into a "scene." Or was he going to take a crop to Mulder's butt and try and instill some obedience in him from the outset? Mulder shivered, his cock in a more or less permanent state of arousal. In fact, his nerves were screaming from the sensory overload. He wanted this. He wanted this so badly it scared him. Finally Mulder got out of the car and did a few laps of the garage, trying to distract himself. By the time Skinner drew up in a sleek, black saloon, his erstwhile slave was a wreck.


Skinner shot him a cool glance, and it was only through sheer effort of will that Mulder's knees didn't give way.


"Follow me." Skinner beckoned with his head, and Mulder hesitated. Skinner turned, one eyebrow raised. "This is one of the first orders I've given you since taking you as my property - are you intending to disobey me already?" He inquired. Mulder shook his head, and hurried to catch up with the big man.


"I was just wondering about my stuff, that's all, sir," Mulder said, waving his hand at the packed contents of his car.


"Leave it. First I'll show you around, then you can get settled in," Skinner told him tersely. Mulder nodded, his throat dry. Signing those contracts had changed something fundamental between him and his boss. He didn't feel like he was with Assistant Director Walter Skinner of the FBI - he felt like a slave, trailing along behind his new and utterly formidable Master.


Skinner stepped into the elevator and Mulder followed him. When the doors had closed behind them, Skinner handed Mulder a smart card.


"This is a special key - it takes the elevator up to the 18th floor."


"The 18th? But your apartment is on the 17th floor, sir," Mulder said, surprised.


"Yes, it is, but your slave quarters are on the 18th floor. Nobody else has an elevator pass to that level except me, the apartment block's security, and now you."


"Right." Mulder swallowed. "I, uh, didn't know."


"There's a lot you don't know about me." Skinner treated him to another of those wildly sexual grins.


"That's becoming evident. Master," Mulder observed dryly, rolling his tongue around the word 'master', his normally flippant personality struggling to re-assert itself. Skinner threw out a big fist, and thumped the stop button on the elevator. Mulder jumped. Suddenly his new Master was looming over him, his large body forcing Mulder back against the wall.


"Let's get one thing clear," Skinner told his slave. "This is a completely different arrangement to that which existed between us before. What was acceptable to me as your colleague, and supervisor, is not acceptable to me as your Master. Your behavior towards me, both here, and in the office, will change, as of now."


"Change?" Mulder echoed faintly, wanting desperately to reach out and hold onto the big man for support, to be folded into a pair of strong arms, and reassured. He despised himself for his weakness.


"That's right. Now, you already know me, and have a certain way of dealing with me, so you're going to have to unlearn those bad habits." Skinner smiled, and then did something completely unexpected. He took Mulder's left hand in his own, and raised it to his lips, caressing the wedding ring with his fingers. "It might be painful - initially at least - but in the long term you'll feel much better for it," Skinner told his slave. He kissed Mulder's ring finger, his dark eyes never leaving his slave's face. "You belong to me now," he said in a low, throaty undertone that made Mulder's hard cock scream for release, "and I don't want you to ever forget it. Every minute, of every day, I want you to know that you're mine. You're not free, Fox, you belong to someone outside yourself. It's a new way of thinking, and it'll take you a while to get used to it, but we'll get there. Eventually. With perseverance."


Mulder looked at him for several minutes, drinking in the authority and dark power of those brown eyes, and the seductive promise of Skinner's words, then he nodded. "Yes, sir," he managed to croak.


"Good." Skinner stepped back, and pressed the button on the elevator again.


The elevator doors swished open a few minutes later, and Mulder found himself on the threshold of a large, comfortable living room. It was impeccably decorated and furnished. There was a wooden floor in golden honey hues, and cream walls, with subtly tasteful lighting on the walls. Two couches and several armchairs took up the center of the room, and a large fireplace with a soft rug in front of it dominated one wall. Skinner put a hand on Mulder's shoulder, and ushered him out of the elevator.


"This way." His Master walked down a corridor, and opened the door to a small, tidy room, containing a narrow single bed, a desk, and a closet. "This is your room. You can arrange your possessions however you like." Skinner shrugged. "I don't care how you keep your room but I do care how you keep the rest of this apartment - and the one beneath it."


"Yes, sir." Mulder nodded, thinking it looked like a monk's cell.


"The bell…" Skinner pointed with his head to a box in the corner of the ceiling, "is to summon you. Whenever you hear it, you'll come downstairs to address yourself to whatever I need."


"Yes, Master." Mulder murmured, wondering what it would be like to be on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to have to rush to his Master's every summons.


"Follow me." Skinner showed him an en-suite bathroom - equipped with a shower, and toilet. "The shower has a special nozzle." Skinner pointed to it. "Use it," he told Mulder, with a firm nod of his head. Mulder flushed slightly, and nodded back. He knew what the nozzle was for - although he'd never used one. "I like my slaves to be clean for me. If you show yourself incapable of keeping yourself that way, then I'm sure a few weeks of enforced enemas will help you learn." Skinner turned on his heel, and left the bathroom. Mulder stood there for a moment, taking several deep breaths and counting to ten to distract himself, before following the big man.


Skinner walked further down the corridor, then paused outside a large, oak-paneled door. He removed a key from his pocket, placed it in the lock, turned it, and opened the door, ushering Mulder inside in front of him. Mulder paused… they were standing on the threshold of a huge room, with massive windows forming two of the outside walls.


"It's like being at the top of the Empire State Building," Mulder breathed, going over to one of the huge windows, and looking down onto the street.


"It's hardly that high," Skinner snorted. "I own the entire 18th floor, Fox. There's nobody above this level, and nobody overlooks this room."


"It's like…flying." Mulder gazed, awe-struck, at the city spread around him, its twinkling lights reflected from all sides. The dark night outside pressed in, surrounding them with both blackness and starlight. The windows were so clear that it was as if he was standing outside, utterly enveloped by the night. He felt the warmth of Skinner's body, standing behind him, and the whisper of Skinner's breath on the back of his neck, making his hair stand on end.


"It's beautiful," Mulder whispered.


"Look up," Skinner suggested.


Mulder did so, and took a sharp intake of breath: the central section of the ceiling was made of thick glass too, and there, framed perfectly in one of the windows, was a fragile crescent moon.


They looked at it in silence for a moment, then Skinner turned, strode over to the other side of the room, and snapped the lights on.


"Welcome to my Playroom, slave," he murmured.


Mulder looked around in stunned silence. There was a sumptuous red carpet covering half the floor - the other half was in more functional linoleum, but he barely noticed the d�cor. The entire room was a fetishist's dream come true. There were spanking horses, sets of chains, interesting pulleys and ropes hanging from the wall and ceiling, and a padded upright whipping post in the shape of a cross. One entire wall was made up of cupboards.


"May I?" Mulder placed a hand on one of the cupboard doors.


"Go ahead." Skinner shrugged, a wide, amused smile on his lips.


Mulder opened the door, and his heart skipped several beats: the cupboard was neatly arranged, scrupulously clean - and it contained several thousand dollars worth of the most exquisite bondage and discipline equipment that Mulder had ever seen. There was a row of leather crops, in varying sizes. Several floggers hung from a rack, ranging from the light suede variety, which Mulder knew barely hurt, and could reduce a man to sheer sensory bliss in the hands of a skilled top, to the heavy rubber variety which would have you whimpering in pain within seconds, and caused heavy bruising that lasted for days.


There were paddles, canes, straps, long whips, short whips, bullwhips, and every single instrument of discipline you could think of. Mulder pulled open a drawer and discovered nipple clamps, cock rings, sets of fur-lined manacles, butt plugs, ball gags…so many instruments of torture, of pleasure, that it was like a kid being let loose in a candy store. Mulder found it impossible to resist the urge to reach out, and touch the beautiful array.


"Ow!" He jumped, more in surprise than pain, as his hand was slapped firmly away.


"You can look, but you must never, ever, touch without my permission," Skinner told him. "It'll be your responsibility to clean the toys after a session, under my supervision of course. You will not be given a key to this room. You will only come in here in my presence, or at my command. Understood?"


"Yes, sir." Mulder whispered, still awe-struck. "Jeez…what's that?" He pointed to what looked like a set of loosely tied twigs.


"A birch." Skinner reached out a big hand and massaged the back of Mulder's neck, proprietarily. "Do you like the idea of being birched, Fox?" He asked, his voice low and deep in Mulder's ear. "It's an interesting sensation - and very safe. You can use the birch over most parts of the body. It's light, and scratches, like several tiny, biting little stings. It's nothing like the heavier instruments. It has its own completely unique sensation." Skinner spoke like a true connoisseur, and Mulder would have been happy for his Master to rip his clothes off and treat him to a demonstration there and then. Skinner laughed out loud, as if guessing Mulder's thoughts.


Mulder continued his examination of the cupboards. He saw a set of satin blindfolds, and a sumptuous silk shirt out of the corner of his eye, and was intrigued. Skinner's taste seemed to range from the purely functional, to the deeply erotic and sensual. Further inspection revealed another cupboard filled completely with costumes, boots, and other accessories. It was like finding Aladdin's cave, Mulder thought to himself.


"I think I could spend all day in here, just looking," he told his Master with a deeply satisfied sigh.


Skinner grinned. "You'll be spending several of your days in here, and your nights, don't worry," he replied. "You'll come to be grateful - when you're lying naked, and suspended in mid-air for hour after hour, that there are so many windows. It gives the sensation of floating," Skinner observed. "You're at the top of the world, surrounded by sky, and nobody can see your bare, tormented flesh but you, and your Master." Skinner's lean, powerful, muscular body was framed by one dark window, and the subtle lighting in the Playroom bathed and caressed his bald head. For a brief moment, Mulder was sure he'd died and gone to heaven.


"You have to earn your playtime though," Skinner told him. "This place is designed for fun - although I won't balk at using its facilities for punishment sessions as well, which I'm sure, knowing you as I do, that you'll require."


Mulder made a face, which Skinner ignored as he opened a door leading to a massive en-suite bathroom, containing the largest bath Mulder had ever seen in his life. A cursory look around revealed large quantities of lotions and oils, and a sizeable stash of condoms and lubricant. Skinner took a tube of lubricant and a handful of condoms and placed them in his pocket, ignoring Mulder's look of wide-eyed, hopeful curiosity. Then they both stepped back out into the Playroom.


"All this…here, all this time, and I never knew," Mulder whispered. "How long have you been in the Lifestyle, sir?"


"Personal questions won't be permitted at this early stage in your slavery," Skinner snapped, as he ushered Mulder out of the Playroom, and locked the door behind him. "In time, maybe, you'll earn the right to know, but for now, you have a lot to learn and focus on, and my past is irrelevant."


Mulder begged to differ, although he didn't say as much. It seemed incredible to him that Skinner had been living in this place, with all this amazing equipment, and he had never known it - but then again, why should he? Skinner's stern, brisk demeanor at work, could be passed off as purely a necessity of his job. His boss had always been more than a one dimensional bureaucrat though. Mulder had always sensed there was far more than that to the big man - but he would never have guessed about this. On the other hand, who would have guessed about his own alternate lifestyle? Mulder's profiling mind longed to understand his new Master, to know him and understand him - to get a handle on him so that he could start to…control him? To manipulate him in order to get what he wanted? Mulder clenched his fists tightly - Skinner had already pointed out to him that he had an unfortunate tendency to consume his tops. Was he trying to do the same here? Was he trying to reduce his own fear at being under someone else's control by familiarizing himself with them and their methods? Wouldn't that lead straight to the contempt and emptiness that he had felt so often before? Didn't he in fact need the fear in order to get the high?


Mulder found Skinner had stopped in the corridor and was waiting for him, his dark eyes seeming to see straight to the heart of Mulder's internal struggle. Mulder managed a wan smile, and Skinner turned and continued down the corridor. At the end, there was a set of stairs.


"This is the back way down to my apartment. You can either use the elevator and knock on my door, like any other guest, or you can use the stairs. You have free run of both apartments, but the key to only one." Skinner said, jogging down the two flights of stairs, Mulder at his heels. The top level of the 17th floor apartment contained two large bedrooms, one with an en-suite bathroom, containing another huge bath. Another flight of stairs took them down into the living area of the apartment that Mulder had visited before.


"This will be an important room for you." Skinner opened a door and Mulder surveyed the laundry room with a sinking heart. "You'll keep all my clothes laundered. You'll arrange for anything requiring specialist cleaning to receive it." Skinner gave his slave a firm look, as if doubting Mulder's capabilities in these areas. "You'll iron all my shirts." Mulder's heart sank even further as he remembered Skinner's taste for the most crisply ironed apparel. His usual rush job with the iron was clearly not going to be adequate.


"You want me to spend my entire life ironing?" He grouched, reasoning that would be all he'd have time for each evening after work.


Skinner fixed him with a dark stare. "Did I not make myself clear when I outlined the terms for your slavery?" He asked. "I seem to remember telling you that you would be my valet, and housekeeper. Maybe you're misunderstanding something here, Fox. You're my slave. You'll address yourself to my needs and my pleasures, to making my life run as smoothly as possible. The sooner you get your head around that concept, the easier it'll be for you - and the more rewarding trips to the Playroom we'll make. Understood?"


Mulder swallowed down his resentment and nodded.


"Good. Now, I suspect you're a disaster in the kitchen, yes?" Skinner raised an eyebrow.


Mulder sighed. "Cooking isn't exactly my strong point," he agreed


"Fine. There's a list of my favorite restaurants by the phone. Most of them do take-out." Skinner walked briskly back to the kitchen, and showed Mulder where everything was. "Eat whenever you're hungry - and make sure that we don't run out of basics, like bread and milk. There's cash for groceries in this pot. I expect you to take good care of yourself," Skinner looked at Mulder intently. "You swim and run?"


"Yes." Mulder nodded.


"Good. You'll continue to do that. I might arrange some special training for you," Skinner mused. "Now - I want you to get your stuff from the car, and settle yourself into your room. Later on, I'll inspect what you brought with you."


"Inspect?" Mulder echoed, with a frown.


"Your taste in ties is frankly atrocious. I'm sure we can dispose with most of them. I'll take you shopping and buy you the sort of clothes it would please me to see my slave wearing," Skinner informed him.


Mulder closed his eyes, and leaned back against the wall, seeing every little part of himself being chipped away, piece by piece. He opened them again, to find Skinner standing close to him. "At first, it will be hard," Skinner whispered, his voice caressing Mulder's ear. "I'll make allowances for that. You're not trained as a slave - and you need a firm hand." Mulder's hard cock twitched at those words, and he longed to give it some release. Skinner seemed to guess his thoughts. His hand brushed against the front of Mulder's pants.


"Another thing," Skinner whispered in Mulder's ear. "This…" he touched Mulder's cock lightly through his jeans, "...is mine. It belongs to me. You can only come when I give you permission from now on - so no jerking off in your bedroom, or the bathroom. I'll know. Trust me, I always know."


Mulder felt as if he was no longer breathing - this turned him on more than anything in his life had ever done before. "Yes, Master," he managed to gasp.


Skinner smiled. "I've found," he said, his fingers still lightly caressing Mulder's bulging cock, "that the hardest lesson for a new slave to learn is that his own pleasure is irrelevant. For that reason - this," he squeezed Mulder's cock hard, "won't be getting any release for quite some time. Pleasure is earned, and trust me, the rewards are worthwhile." Skinner's lips were so close to Mulder's face that he could feel them brushing against his skin and thought that, permission or not, he'd come then and there. "However, for now, you'll address yourself to my pleasure - and I'll make sure you're well used," Skinner said in that deep, sibilant, tone.


"Yes, Master." Mulder moved his face, wanting to find those lips with his own, but Skinner caught his shoulders, and pressed him back against the wall.


"You want to be kissed?" He put a finger on Mulder's lips. Mulder nodded, his eyes wide. "Well, those have to be earned too," Skinner told him. He caressed Mulder's bottom lip with his index finger, wet his skin with Mulder's saliva, then wiped the moisture off down the side of Mulder's cheek. Mulder swallowed, mesmerized. "Go and retrieve the contents of your car," Skinner told him, drawing back and getting down to business again. "Then shower, and come back down here for me to do a proper inspection."


Mulder scurried to obey. He couldn't remember ever being so turned on his life. Everything Skinner said, everything Skinner did, spoke to some deep need inside him. He felt as if his very soul was being petted and caressed, and his body was so aroused it made him want to scream.


Mulder sorted out his meager possessions, realizing as he did so that none of them belonged to him any more - they were merely granted to him by his Master. Now he understood why Skinner was spoken of in hushed whispers on the scene in DC. No wonder the man was legendary. He played this game better, with more sophistication, than any other player Mulder had ever known. Somehow he seemed to see inside Mulder, and to know that keeping him permanently on the brink like this, denying him his freedom, filling his life with tasks of menial devotion, dangling that fantasy room in front of him like a carrot…all of it worked. All of it made Mulder hotter than he'd even been in his life. He glanced down at his poor, stiff cock, so tightly confined in his jeans, wondering when it would ever get its release.


Mulder took his shower, carefully avoiding his cock as he soaped himself. He examined the nozzle attachment on the shower head, and inserted it cautiously into his rectum. The sensation was curiously pleasing, as the warm water filled him then flooded out again. Mulder repeated the process several times, making sure that he was clean for his master. His whole body shivered in anticipation at the thought of Skinner taking him, bending him over, fucking him. His fantasies were those of domination - he was used to that, although it had taken him a long time to come to terms with that side of himself. Skinner…he could still barely get over the shock of discovering who his owner was. Could this bizarre arrangement ever work? He wondered what the week ahead would bring. He had booked himself a week's vacation from work on his Master's instruction, and he guessed that Skinner had done the same. What would happen to him in that time? What would Skinner do to him? Could Mulder ever truly accept the mastery of another man? And just how painful would it be finding out? He stood for a long time under that warm water, soothing himself after the momentous events of the day, then he dried himself, dressed, and walked down the stairs to where Skinner was seated in his living room.


"Good. I was beginning to wonder where you were. Another five minutes and I'd have summoned you with the bell." Skinner held out a leg. Mulder looked at it questioningly for a moment, before realizing that he was supposed to pull Skinner's boots off for him. He knelt down in front of his master, and pressed his lips against the shiny surface of the boots, his hands caressing Skinner's long, lean legs through the leather. He removed the footwear, and then knelt beside his master again, awaiting further instruction.


"I think it's time…" Skinner cleared his throat, and looked down into his slave's willing, hazel eyes, "...to examine my property, don't you?"


"If it pleases you, Master." Mulder nodded, his stomach doing a wild flip.


"It does please me. Stand up, and get undressed."


Skinner leaned back on the couch, and watched the other man thoughtfully as Mulder pulled his tee shirt over his head. He sucked his stomach in, wanting to impress, and Skinner shook his head.


"Fox - you're lean enough," he murmured. "Now your pants."


Mulder took a deep breath, and shucked them off. He wasn't wearing any underwear, and his hard cock immediately stood to attention. Skinner didn't say anything. He just surveyed his new slave, looking him over, from top to bottom, up and down, then down and up, with excruciating slowness until Mulder was thoroughly unnerved. Didn't his Master like what he was seeing? Mulder couldn't believe that this was happening, that he was standing here, in the middle of this room, having his naked body inspected by his boss. He would never, in a million years, have predicted that such a scenario would happen, and yet, now that it had…it felt so right.


"All right. Turn around." Skinner waved his hand in a circular motion, and Mulder did as he was told, presenting his ass to his Master, and clutching his buttocks together tightly, as the tension got to him. "Relax." Mulder heard Skinner get up, and then his bottom was grasped firmly in a pair of big hands. "Hmmm…" Skinner mused, kneading the flesh. Mulder's cock begged him for permission to come, and his mind firmly refused it. He wondered if this was a prelude to his Master having sex with him, and started to shake.


"What's this about?" Skinner's warm body pressed even closer behind him. "My slave is trembling - is he scared of me?"


"No, Master," Mulder replied. Skinner crossed his arms over Mulder's chest, and pulled him back against his smooth, sleek moleskin pants, and cool silk shirt.


"The truth. You'll never be punished for being honest," Skinner whispered in Mulder's ear.


Mulder took a deep breath. "I'm…scared of this, of us. How will this work? What about my job? Your job? The X Files. I can't give those up. I can't get my head around all this. Me, standing here as your fucking slave of all things, and, you, you being what you are, what I least expected you to be…and seeing me like this, exposed. I don't know what you're thinking, I don't know who you are…I thought I knew, but I don't any more…"


"Ssh." Skinner's lips nuzzled against Mulder's ear. "I told you when I took you as my slave that I wouldn't make you give up your job. On the contrary. It makes you more interesting to me. As to who I am - I'm your Master. That's all you need to know." Mulder felt himself melting back into that warm, strong body, surrendering himself to Skinner's embrace. The heat of Skinner's body stilled his trembling, and he felt calmer. "You mustn't worry about things you have no control over. You made your decision, and now that moment has past. Your choice has been made. There's only one thing you need to worry about from now on. Do you know what that is?"


Mulder swallowed, and nodded. "Pleasing you, Master."


"That's right. Now, I'll ask you again - are you afraid of me?" Those arms held him tight, too tight to evade the question.


"Yes." Mulder bit on his lip. "I don't know what you'll want of me, Master, and I don't know what you'll do to me. I'm worried that I won't please you, or that you'll harm me."


"Good." Skinner's teeth nipped at Mulder's earlobe. "That's good, slave. I think a healthy dose of fear is good for a slave, but you know I won't harm you. I might occasionally hurt you, but that's what you want anyway." He gave a low chuckle. "I won't ever harm you though. You'll have to trust me to know the difference. Better now?" Mulder realized that he had stopped shaking, and nodded, then wished he hadn't as Skinner released him. He wanted to stay in that warm, safe embrace forever.


Skinner turned him around again, and traced his hands over Mulder's chest. One finger lazily caressed a nipple, and Mulder moaned, and glanced up at the ceiling. His cock was leaking badly. Skinner ran his hand down over Mulder's flat stomach, and then over his long, hard cock. Mulder bit down on his lip, concentrating for all his worth on not coming. Skinner's hand grasped his balls, firmly, and held them, joggling them with his thumb.


"Am I… acceptable to you, Master?" Mulder asked.


"You're a bit skinny, and you need more definition in places, but you'll do." Skinner laughed, and gave Mulder's rump a resounding slap. He sat down on the couch again, and patted his knee. "Come here, Fox. Over my knee," he instructed. Mulder eyed him warily, wondering if he was about to experience his first spanking.


"Why, Master? What are you going to do?" He blurted, then immediately regretted the question. Skinner's expression darkened, and he pointed insistently at his lap.


"It's not a dialogue, slave, just do it," he ordered. Mulder nodded, and knelt down cautiously beside his Master, and then laid awkwardly over his knee. Skinner adjusted his position, and then ran his hands lovingly over Mulder's butt. "Relax." Skinner instructed. He continued the rubbing motion for several minutes, until Mulder started to loosen up, his body losing its tension. Then the caress stopped, and Mulder felt his buttocks pried apart. He looked around in alarm, and saw Skinner lubing up his fingers. "I need to see how tight you are," Skinner told him, and Mulder immediately tensed up. "I said, relax." Skinner gave his buttocks a sharp slap, and Mulder had to consciously open up his anus to his Master's probing fingers. "You're tighter than I would have thought. You've had anal sex haven't you?" Skinner asked.


"Yes, Master…but…" Mulder hesitated.


"Go on." Skinner's finger pushed deeper inside him, and Mulder gasped, enjoying the sensation despite himself.


"I found it too uncomfortable, Master, so I didn't request this kind of attention very often…although…" Mulder trailed off, flushing bright red.


"Although the idea of it really turns you on, and you love the way it makes you feel dominated," Skinner finished for him.


"Yes, Master." Mulder agreed, gasping again, as another finger entered his ass.


"Well, it was uncomfortable because you're tight, you're tight because you won't relax, and you won't relax because you never really submit, do you, Fox? You've never really given in, have you?" Skinner stroked Mulder's buttocks with his free hand, and Mulder nodded, feeling wretched. "We'll work on that," Skinner said cheerfully. "I'm skilled in using plugs, and you'll be pleased to know that I can keep an erection for a long time without much stimulation. In fact, we'll start work on stretching you tonight," he told his slave in a matter-of-fact tone, as if discussing the weather. "Okay." He slapped Mulder's butt again. "You can stand up." Mulder slid off Skinner's lap and back into a kneeling position, and Skinner handed him the lube and condoms he had picked up earlier.


"Keeping yourself lubed up is your responsibility," he told his slave. "I won't do it in future. And remember that you must make yourself available for my use at any time, and in any place. I suggest you make sure you're always lubricated if you want to avoid the discomfort of a dry fuck." Mulder nodded, and took the lube. "Ditto condoms - your responsibility." Skinner gazed at his slave's still hard cock. "Hmm, what does it take to dampen that down?" He asked.


Mulder gave a cheeky grin. "I usually find ejaculation works, Master," he suggested.


"Good try." Skinner laughed. "But don't plan on coming any time in the next few days, Fox. I told you - your own pleasure has to be earned. However, I do want to put my cock ring on you, and I can't do that while you're standing to attention like this…I have an idea." He took hold of Mulder by the shoulder, marched him to the bathroom, turned on the shower, adjusted the temperature to cold, and thrust Mulder underneath it.


"Ow, ow, ow!!!" Mulder hopped around under the freezing spray.


"Stand still." Skinner commanded, and Mulder did as he was told, shivering dramatically to make his point. Skinner ignored him. After several minutes, Mulder's cock was still managing to hover at half-mast. Skinner glanced at his watch. "I'm impressed," he commented. Mulder gave a weak, apologetic smile. After several more minutes, the offending penis finally shriveled up and was pointing back towards the ground. Skinner turned the shower off, and handed Mulder a towel. "I'm going to retrieve an accessory that might come in useful. Run me my bath while you're in here. Then come back downstairs so I can put your ring on you." He glanced meaningfully at Mulder's cock, and Mulder shivered and nodded.


He dried himself, then smeared lube on his fingers, and inserted them into his anus - Skinner's command on that subject echoing resoundingly through his mind. He resolved to lube himself whenever he used the bathroom. Mulder stared dreamily into space as his fingers caressed deep inside his body. He loved the feeling of being fucked, but the pain was usually too intense for him to bear. Skinner was right - Mulder only paid lip service to his submission. He was never truly open, he never truly accepted a top into his body, without resistance. Now he belonged to someone who intended to break down that resistance. It scared him - and aroused him. He wondered what time it was - late he thought, certainly well after midnight. He was exhausted after the day's events, yet still on a high. He wondered whether Skinner would fuck him tonight. A part of him wanted to get it over with, but another part was just so tired, he wasn't sure he could cope with it. Living on the edge, with the strain of constantly wondering when it would happen, was unnerving him.


Mulder returned to the living room, fished the cock ring out of his jeans pocket, and went to kneel before his Master. Skinner slid the ring over first one testicle, then the other, before taking Mulder's cock in his hand. It immediately started to stiffen. Skinner raised his eyebrows despairingly, and Mulder shrugged helplessly.


"Is it my fault if my Master is so damn hot?" He asked.


"Flattery - it sometimes works." Skinner grinned, then brought the back of his hand down with a firm slap on Mulder's hardening member. Mulder yelped. "And sometimes not," Skinner said, taking advantage of the moment to slide his slave's cock firmly into place inside the ring. Mulder's cock started to harden again, and was painfully constricted by the metal. "That's better," Skinner commented approvingly. He picked up a smooth butt plug, that was lying on the coffee table. Mulder guessed that this was the object his Master had gone to retrieve.


"Over my knee again." Skinner pointed, and Mulder obeyed swiftly this time. Skinner held Mulder's buttocks open with one hand, and Mulder felt the cool, hard edge of the butt plug as the tip was inserted inside him. He tensed up immediately. Skinner sighed. "You're really going to have to learn to open yourself up to me," he admonished.


"I'm trying, Master," Mulder muttered.


"Not hard enough. This is tiny - my cock is much bigger, trust me." Skinner stroked his hapless slave until Mulder relaxed, and then he swiftly rammed the butt plug home. "You'll have to grip it with your muscles or it'll slide out," Skinner instructed, "and that's unacceptable. You'll wear it until I remove it."


"Just like everything else," Mulder muttered. Skinner laughed, and slapped his upturned buttocks.


"Careful, slave. Smart remarks might get you into trouble," he warned, returning Mulder to the floor. Mulder got up, feeling the butt plug inside him. It was a strange sensation, but the plug was slender, and not more than vaguely uncomfortable.


"Is my bath ready?" Skinner asked.


"I would think so, Master."


Skinner got up, and Mulder hesitated. "Master…" He bit on his lip.


"Well?" Skinner asked.


"Um…the other rings…?" Mulder quaked.


"Ah, you're worried about the piercing." Skinner reached out a gentle hand, and caressed Mulder's damp neck. "Don't be. It'll be a beautiful ceremony. I'll make sure it's an experience you remember for a very long time indeed." He gently kissed Mulder's eyelashes, then his nose. "I can't wait to decorate these beauties." He tweaked Mulder's nipples firmly, squeezing them between thumb and forefinger, and Mulder gasped, his cock biting into the unfamiliar, cool metal of the ring as it hardened again. "But it will have to wait. We have other things to do first…and there are other ways to mark you." Skinner gave a mysterious smile, and, with one last tweak of Mulder's nipples, strode upstairs to the bathroom. Mulder picked up his clothes and followed him, uncomfortably aware of the butt plug inside him. He had to clench his buttocks tightly around it to keep it in place.


"Don't get dressed," Skinner instructed. "I like seeing my slave's naked body, and as for the bath - it needs oil in it, and it's too hot," he said after putting a finger in to test it. Mulder nodded, and turned on the cold water, then dropped some scented oil from a bottle into the water.


"Now, undress me," Skinner commanded.


Mulder's heart thudded, as he approached his Master. He couldn't wait to touch that body, and worship his new owner. He had always been a good sub, but he had never felt like this before. The desire to please his Master was overwhelming. He stepped forward, and with shaking fingers undid the buttons on Skinner's shirt, then smoothed it carefully open. His fingers tangled in Skinner's chest hair, and lingered on the big man's nipples. Skinner smiled down at him indulgently. Thus encouraged, Mulder pressed his face against Skinner's chest, and licked him, and Skinner's hand came up and caressed his slave's thick hair. Mulder undid the solid silver buckle on Skinner's belt, and pulled it out of the other man's pants, then he moved on to the buttons, and finally he smoothed the soft, moleskin fabric down Skinner's long legs. He ended up kneeling at his Master's feet, where he helped him step out from the pants, and then removed his Master's socks. He finished by kissing each toe on those perfect golden feet. Skinner laughed.


"You know some pretty tricks, but it'll take more than that," he said.


Mulder nodded. "I know. I can give more."


"Not more - you have to give me it all. Give me everything," Skinner whispered, running his hands over his slave's face. Mulder nodded, enraptured by the words.


"I will. I can. I'll learn. I want to…so much," he whispered, knowing it was true. He reached out almost reverentially, and placed his thumbs under the waistband of Skinner's black silk boxer shorts, lowering them carefully over the other man's semi-erect cock, and easing them down to his ankles. Skinner stepped out of them, and Mulder sat back on his heels and worshipped wordlessly at his Master's shrine. Skinner's cock was beautiful. There was no other word to describe it. Thick, full, long, powerful, clean honey-toned flesh…Mulder couldn't resist burying his face in the other man's groin, and gently tonguing that resplendent cock, taking it into his warm mouth. Skinner sighed, and stroked Mulder's hair softly, then withdrew.


"You're doing very well, slave," the big man murmured, and Mulder felt a curious sense of joy at the praise. "Kneel down in the corner of the room, and await further instruction."


Mulder did as he was told, and watched as his Master stepped into the bath, his magnificent body settling into the warm water with a sigh. Skinner closed his eyes, and was still. Minutes passed, and Mulder feasted his eyes on his Master, devouring him with his gaze. Skinner's strength, even while resting, was so appealing. Mulder's gaze lingered on the other man's broad chest and hard pecs, the wiry chest hair, and firm, no-nonsense jawline.


Mulder longed to have further proof of the man's ownership, to feel the condition of his slavery even more intensely than at this moment, kneeling here, waiting. He longed to be used, to have Skinner take him, make love to him, overwhelm him with his energy, his power, and his hard muscled body. Mulder couldn't believe that he was kneeling here, butt naked, in this agony of anticipation, waiting for his Master to notice him. It would have made a pretty hot scene, but it was real. This was his life from now on. He tried to get his head around that fact, but the throbbing in his captive cock tormented and distracted him. He had a mental image of himself, kneeling here, wearing three of his Master's rings. He glanced down at them - the collar, the wedding ring, the cock ring, and closed his eyes, imagining what the piercing would feel like, and loving the idea of wearing the final two symbols of slavery that his Master had given to him. Here at last was the escape, the release from everyday life that he had sought for so long, but would it, could it, last? Could he give up everything to Skinner as he had promised, and would his Master love him, and protect him, in the way Mulder craved?


After about twenty minutes of silent devotion on Mulder's part, Skinner sat up.


"Wash me," he commanded.


Mulder scurried to obey. He picked up the soap, and ran it lovingly over his Master's body, delighting in being able to touch the other man. Then he used a washcloth to firmly remove the soap, stealing little kisses along Skinner's shoulders as he worked. His Master smiled tolerantly, amused by his slave's devotion. Finally Skinner stood up, and Mulder dried him down, and then wrapped him in his robe.


"Next time, see that it's warmed," Skinner instructed.


"Yes, Master," Mulder bowed his head, and followed as Skinner went to his bedroom.


"Come here." Skinner pointed to the floor, seating himself on the bed. Mulder scurried over and knelt between his Master's legs. "You've done very well this evening. I know all this is new to you - but you'll learn," Skinner told him, caressing his face softly. "I think you've earned your kiss." He dipped his head down, and claimed Mulder with his mouth, his hard lips opening Mulder's, his tongue thrusting into Mulder's open mouth, tasting him. Mulder surrendered to the embrace, hanging helplessly between his Master's legs, holding onto his knees as the world spun around him. Skinner's kiss was an embrace, a promise, a caress and an act of domination, all rolled into one. Finally, after a thorough exploration of his slave's mouth, Skinner released him.


"Thank you, Master," Mulder gasped.


"You're welcome." Skinner ruffled Mulder's hair. "Now, let me outline a few more rules, Fox. I expect to be woken every weekday morning at 6 am, and every weekend morning at 9 am, with a cup of coffee, my newspaper, and a blow job."


Mulder's eyes widened, then he grinned, and nodded. "I think I can manage that, Master," he said cheerfully.


"I'm sure you can," Skinner commented dryly. "After coffee, I'll apply a little discipline - as much or little as I think you need to remind you of your status in this household." Mulder's cock rocketed into the air at that news. "We have a week to get you settled in. By the time we return to work, hopefully you'll be halfway trained. I expect there will be new trials and tribulations to face then, but we'll deal with them as they arise. That's all you need to know for now," Skinner said. He sat back and gazed at Mulder speculatively. "Now, I think want to feel my new slave's talented mouth again. Open my robe, and suck me."


Mulder did as he was told, eagerly swallowing Skinner's hardening dick. It felt magnificent in his mouth - his master's cock, hard and strong, tasting of Him, smelling of Him.


"Hands behind your back," Skinner instructed, leaning back with a contented sigh. "I want you to devote yourself to your task using only your mouth." Mulder did as instructed, enjoying the semi- bondage of holding his hands behind his back. He gave himself up to his devotion with his usual single-minded attention to detail, devouring Skinner's cock with his experienced tongue. He felt when Skinner was on the verge of coming, and looked up at his Master for further orders. Skinner made a small gesture with his eyes, and Mulder continued his enjoyable task to its conclusion, swallowing his Master's come gratefully. "Good, very good." Skinner stroked Mulder's hair as Mulder cleaned up his spent cock with gentle laps of his tongue. "Now, it's been a long day. I think it's time you were in bed."


Mulder got up eagerly, and started to climb onto the bed, but Skinner laughed, and shook his head. "Your bed, slave. You have to earn the right to sleep with me."


Mulder's heart sank. "Doesn't Master want to…?"


"Make use of you? No," Skinner said firmly. "I'll decide when and where. Until then, you'll just have to wait, slave-boy." Skinner stood up, and clicked his fingers at the door. "Remember, the cock ring stays in place - as does the butt plug. All night." Skinner told him, a fierce look in his dark eyes. Mulder swallowed, and nodded. "Fox - I'll expect my wake up call at 9 am," his Master reminded him, his expression softening, and a smile creasing out the severity from his features. Mulder basked in the warmth of that smile for a moment, and then fled.


It felt strange going to bed in his new room. Mulder lay on his back, thinking over the day's events. As a player, he knew that he had finally met his match. Skinner's refusal to sleep with him filled him with awe. The man was playing him like a musical instrument, denying him his pleasure, keeping him always on the edge. Nothing could have turned Mulder on more than being told "no" at this point. By being refused his Master's bed, he now wanted nothing more than to sleep in it. Whereas he had been apprehensive about anal sex, now he longed to welcome Skinner's beautiful cock into his body. The waiting, the wrong-footing, kept him permanently aroused. Mulder couldn't ignore his poor, aching cock any more. The cock ring kept him almost permanently erect, and he wasn't used to the feel of it digging into his flesh. Right now, he just wanted to come - as soon as possible. The fact that his Master had forbidden him to remove the ring was like a red rag to a bull; Mulder thrived on such rebellions. He went into the bathroom, and wrapped a cold wash cloth around his cock, until it was flaccid, then he took off the ring, and within seconds he was fully erect. He lay on his bed, jerking himself off, wriggling to maximise the sensation of the butt plug inside him, poor substitute though it was for his Master's cock. He soon tasted his sweet release, coming harder than he could ever remember in his life before, then he cleaned himself up, and put the cock ring back on. Skinner wouldn’t know. How could he?


Mulder returned to bed, smiling to himself. He would use this situation to get what he wanted, but still retain his own control. Skinner couldn't stop him doing what he liked in the privacy of his own bedroom. Mulder had no intention of submitting beyond the level that gave him his own pleasure - maybe his new Master had met his match too.


Feeling pleased with himself, he closed his eyes, and thought longingly of the contents of that Playroom, with its vast, wide windows looking out onto a world that couldn't look back in. Soon…soon…soon…


Chapter 4: A Marked Man

Mulder heard the alarm clock beep, and rolled over, ignoring it. The beeping didn't go away, so, with a sigh, he turned back, and opened his eyes…then sat up straight, suddenly remembering where he was, and, more importantly, what he was, and to whom.


The clock told him it was 8.30, and Mulder was amazed that he had slept so well. Usually his nights were trials of insomnia, which was partly why he slept on the couch - at least that way he could flick through the TV when he couldn't get back to sleep. Of course, his unusually long slumber could probably be explained by the fact that he had been exhausted by the events of the previous day. Mulder felt a thrill deep in his stomach as he remembered everything that had happened to him over the past 24 hours. The gold rings, nearly passing out on finding that Skinner was his new owner, being brought here, that fantasy Playroom down the corridor, kneeling naked before his Master, being caressed by him, fondled by him…kissed by him. Mulder didn't usually kiss his tops, nor did he expect them to kiss him. This was different though - this was someone who had known him for years, unlike the usual ships that pass in the night scenario that had been the more usual pattern of his sexual relationships. This was…this was more like it had been with Phoebe. Mulder bit down on his lip. That had ended badly - would the same problems occur this time, in this…could he honestly call it a relationship?


Mulder got up, and noticed that the butt plug had fallen out in the middle of the night. He retrieved it and washed it, then took a shower, making sure he cleaned himself thoroughly, inside and out, wondering whether Skinner would put him out of his misery today, and use him in the way he wanted to be used. Afterwards he lubed himself up, and carefully inserted the plug again. Skinner wouldn't know, and anyway, how could Mulder be expected to keep the damn thing in when he was asleep?


He glanced at the clock again. 8:50. Mulder scrambled into his sweatpants and a tee-shirt, and ran downstairs, barefoot, trying not to make too much noise. Skinner's newspaper was sitting outside the door. He retrieved it, made a cup of coffee for himself, and drank it, flicking through the newspaper. Then he made a coffee for Skinner, and took it up to his Master's bedroom. It was 9:05, but Mulder reasoned that a few minutes here or there wouldn't make much difference. Skinner was asleep, his large, muscled arms splayed out on the bed. Mulder put the coffee and paper on the nightstand, and looked down on his sleeping Master for a long moment. Without his glasses, lying fast asleep, unguarded, Skinner seemed strangely different - somehow innocent, and much younger. Mulder gazed at him curiously, suddenly appreciating how much of Skinner's power lay not in his magnificent physique, but in the depths of those dark eyes, and the power of that rich, deep voice, that could send shivers up his spine. Mulder tingled all over in anticipation.


He quickly removed his clothing, and slid under the bedclothes. It was warm and dark underneath, and smelled of his Master - it was a good smell; musky, and masculine, but inviting and arousing too. Mulder's cock was hard before he even located Skinner's. He got comfortable, curled up beside Skinner's groin, then gently flicked a tongue over his Master's sleeping cock, reasoning that Skinner would probably wake with a shriek of surprise if he went straight in for some deep-throating without any foreplay first. He heard Skinner shift, and mumble something, then the big man's hand appeared by Mulder's head and stroked his hair softly, and he heard little murmured words of encouragement. Duly encouraged, Mulder took the rapidly hardening cock in his mouth and swallowed it. He was good at oral sex - as a sub, it had been one of the main ways he had served his various tops, as he had rarely allowed them to penetrate him anally, after a couple of painful experiences.


Mulder sucked Skinner's cock gently, then squeezed the tip between his tongue, and the roof of his mouth. Skinner's hand increased its stroking motion on Mulder's hair so he guessed the big man was enjoying this move. Mulder took even more of the cock in his mouth - Skinner was so big that he hoped he could bring him off quickly, or he'd have a sore jaw all day. Luckily, Skinner was happy to oblige, and a few minutes of hard, but entirely pleasurable work on Mulder's part, brought the desired result. Mulder swallowed Skinner's come, then cleaned the other man up, before wriggling up the bed, and poking his head out of the top of the sheets.


"Good morning, Master." He grinned. "I trust it is a good morning." He licked his lips pointedly, tasting Skinner's come on them.


Skinner shook his head, and gave a deep laugh. "Yes, slave - a very good morning. Thank you." He sat up, picked up his coffee, sipped it, and glanced at the clock. "However, when I say 9, I mean 9. Not 8:58, or 9:05. Understood?" He asked.


Mulder pouted. "Sorry, Master," he muttered, privately thinking Skinner was making a big fuss about nothing.


"And next time - wear slippers, or socks when you're running around first thing in the morning. Your feet are freezing."


"Yes, Master," Mulder murmured, feeling somewhat crushed.


"And as for this newspaper." Skinner held it up with a frown. "It isn't ironed."


"What?" Mulder gasped.


Skinner grinned. "Just kidding. Your wake up call wasn't bad for a first attempt." Skinner tousled his hair affectionately. "One of your problems is bending the rules, Fox, just a little bit here and there, thinking it doesn't matter - but it does. I expect to be obeyed to the letter. The sooner you understand that, the easier it'll be for you."


"Yes, Master." Mulder made a face. "Being a slave isn't easy, Master," he muttered mournfully.


Skinner laughed, and reached out a big arm to pull Mulder close against his naked chest. "I know," Skinner told his slave with a theatrical sigh.


"You do?" Mulder looked up in surprise.


"Of course." Skinner's eyes looked different without his glasses - closer, naked, more intense. "Everybody is owned by someone - we're all slaves to something."


Mulder's mouth opened in surprise. "Who owns you?" He asked. Who would dare…? He thought.


"I have a very demanding, very beautiful mistress," Skinner replied.


A woman? Skinner had a woman? Of course he did. Why did Mulder think that he would be attractive to a man like Skinner? To someone this big, strong, attractive, and self-assured. No, Skinner had just taken him as a slave to amuse himself and get all that damn ironing of his done. He didn't feel anything more for him than that. Mulder felt a stabbing wave of the most intense jealousy deep in his gut. He was appalled by himself - how had he gotten to feel this strongly in less than 24 hours? There was such a vulnerability for him in this situation. If it hadn't been Skinner, someone he already knew, and, if he was honest, liked and respected, then maybe he wouldn't be feeling like this. Mulder sat up, unable to control his emotions, knowing they were splayed across his face as obvious as if he had said them out loud. He had felt like this with Phoebe, and he could see the whole thing happening again. He was right never to get involved, never to have more than a few one night stands and safe, twice a week visits with a series of faceless tops. It hurt too much to be devoted to someone, and have that devotion thrown back in your face.


Skinner was gazing at him intently.


"Who is she? Where does she live? How often do you see her?" Mulder demanded.


"She's called Wanda, and I see her every day," Skinner replied calmly, unfazed by the interrogation and the tone it was delivered in. "She has big green eyes, and long, elegant limbs. She's the most beautiful creature in the world, and she lives here. In fact, I believe you're sitting next to her right now."


"What?" Mulder frowned. Skinner pulled up the sheet, and Mulder found himself looking down into a pair of sparkling emerald eyes.


"Wanda." Skinner patted his thigh, and an exquisite cat emerged from under the bedclothes. She treated Mulder to a disdainful look, then padded onto Skinner's lap, and settled there with a contented purr. Mulder hated her on sight. Skinner rubbed her behind her ears, and Mulder glared. You will not be jealous of a cat…you will not be jealous of a cat…he repeated to himself, trying to get a grip. Skinner sighed, and pulled Mulder's head onto his chest, then rubbed him behind the ears too.


"So, the little green eyed devil plays with your heart," he whispered.


Mulder nodded, wretchedly, and arched his back, leaning into Skinner's caress. "I'm sorry, Master," he whispered.


"Don't ever be ashamed of your feelings - just be honest about them," Skinner told him firmly. "I want to know how you're feeling. I'm not a mind reader - I need to know what goes on inside your convoluted brain, slave."


Mulder moved his head, and gazed at the cat. She was very beautiful, with soft, creamy-colored short fur. "Is she a special breed, Master?" He asked.


"Yes - she's a Burmese." Skinner carried on rubbing both his pets.


"Wanda - that's a pretty name."


"I named her after the character in Venus in Furs. I am Severin to her capricious majesty." Skinner gave a rumbling laugh. Mulder glanced up at him, a question in his eyes. "Haven't you read that book?" Skinner asked in surprise. Mulder shook his head. "Well then you must!" Skinner said firmly. "I'll give it to you to take to your room and I expect you to read it. How about The Story of O, and The Torture Garden? They're all classics of the genre, Fox."


"I've heard of them, but haven't read them. I suppose I'm not very well read on these matters, Master." Mulder made a face, privately thinking that he'd learned all he needed to know from the top shelf of the video store.


"Your education has been woefully lacking," Skinner lamented. "You will read all of them, and I want you to tell me how you felt after each one. Which aroused you, and why. What in particular worked for you, and what scenes raised strong emotions."


"Yes, Master," Mulder agreed. It didn't exactly sound like a chore. "I did flick through something by the Marquis de Sade, once." He heard Skinner make a grunting sound, and looked up. "He wasn't on your list, Master."


"Read him, if you want." Skinner shrugged.


"You don't like his writing? I'm surprised." Mulder's eyes were alight with curiosity. "In many ways I suppose I view myself as a masochist…" Mulder began hesitantly. "Does Master not view himself as a sadist?"


"No. Oh no." Skinner smiled, and traced a finger lovingly down his slave's face, and over his lips. "Not a sadist, no - I'm a sensualist, Fox." He said the word sensualist in such a deep, sexy tone that Mulder's cock leapt in response. He gazed at his Master thoughtfully, then settled his head back on Skinner's chest. "There are many great erotic poems, and novels." Skinner continued to play with Mulder's ears as he talked. "I'll introduce you to some of them, Fox. I expect my slave to be interested in more than flying saucers, and chasing after monsters. It's very easy to become totally focused on one area of your life, and neglect the many other sides of your personality. It happened to me once, and cost me dear. I won't allow it to happen again."


Mulder's ears pricked up at that. "What happened, Master?" He asked, holding his breath.


Skinner smiled and shook his head. "I told you yesterday - personal questions are not permitted at this stage of your slavery."


Mulder fought down a wave of curiosity and irritation. He wanted to know what kind of man his new Master was, damn it! He wanted to reconcile the strict, no-nonsense bureaucrat he had always known Skinner to be, with the relaxed, inventive, and devastatingly attractive sensualist he had already found his Master to be.


Mulder watched out of the corner of his eye as Skinner read his paper, and finished his coffee. The agent's cock hardened even more as he remembered what had been promised after coffee. Finally, Skinner put the paper to one side, and glanced down on his slave. "I see that you remember what I told you last night about our morning routine." He looked pointedly at Mulder's cock which was straining prettily within its gold ring.


"Yes, sir." Mulder held his breath. He liked being spanked - but he had always decided when, where, what implement, and how many strokes before. There had been negotiation, and safe words - Mulder had, basically, always been in control. This was different. This time, his Master would decide, and Mulder would have no choice but to submit, to fully relinquish all control. The idea of it excited him, even as much as he feared it.


"Kneel beside the bed," Skinner commanded, and Mulder scrambled to do his bidding, dislodging the sleeping Wanda in his haste. She shot him a look of utter disgust, and left the bedroom with her tail held high in the air in jaunty protest. "Every morning, you'll present yourself to me for discipline," Skinner informed his slave. "When you do you'll be humble, and contrite - or I'll certainly make you so during your punishment. I would therefore advise you to present yourself without attitude."


"Yes, Master." Mulder muttered, his whole body tingling in anticipation.


"Shoulders straight," Skinner ordered. "Hands behind your back, head down." Mulder did as commanded. "Knees wider - that's right, display your pretty cock for me. Good. This is the pose I'll expect to you to assume prior to punishment, or whenever you're being scolded."


"Yes, Master." Mulder nodded, wide-eyed.


Skinner continued. "Sometimes I'll punish you for misdeeds and disobedience the previous day, but even if your behavior has been exemplary, you will be spanked every morning. This is to enforce in your mind the knowledge that you are subject to my will, that your position in this household is one of slave, and that you may be punished solely for my pleasure - for no other reason than that it pleases me to tan my slave's naked ass. I find it's a very successful method for focusing a slave's mind on his duties for the rest of the day, and most particularly on his status."


"Yes, Master." Mulder bit down on his lip, seriously aroused by the idea.


"On this occasion though, we have some real issues to address, don't we?" Skinner placed a finger under Mulder's chin and lifted it up, so that the younger man was gazing at him. Mulder's eyes widened. "M…master?" he stammered. "I've tried to do everything you asked, I…"


"You've disobeyed a direct order," Skinner said firmly.


Mulder racked his brains. "I don't remember, Master."


"Then let me refresh your memory," Skinner told him curtly. "Last night, I told you not to remove your cock ring, and gave you strict instructions not to come without my permission. You disobeyed me."


Mulder sat back on his heels, his open mouth in surprise. How could Skinner have known what Mulder got up to in the privacy of his bedroom? "I didn't!" He blurted.


Skinner looked at him steadily for a long time, until Mulder began to blush, and couldn't hold that stare any more. "The punishment for lying is considerably more than for disobedience," Skinner told him. "Now, I'll ask you again - did you jerk off last night?"


Mulder considered bluffing it out, then gave in with a sigh. "Yes, Master." He flushed bright red, and dropped his gaze, unable to meet Skinner's eyes.


"And you removed your cock ring, which I specifically told you was to stay in place until such time as I chose to remove it." Skinner continued the interrogation in a cool, thorough manner.


"Yes, Master." Mulder bowed his head, feeling a sense of awed anticipation. His first taste of discipline at his new Master's hands, and he was guilty of so many offenses! His butt ached already.


"Do you have anything else to confess?" Skinner asked.


"No, Master." Mulder shook his head, his stomach turning to jelly. Wasn't this bad enough as it was?


"Wrong answer." Skinner gripped his chin firmly, and raised his head again so that Mulder was looking into those strong, merciless dark eyes once more. "That's two lies," Skinner said.


Mulder remembered the butt plug, too late. "The plug fell out, Master. Please, I didn't do that on purpose," he said desperately.


Skinner shook his head. "The first thing you should have done was tell me what had happened. I would have been lenient with you if you had done that. Instead, you've just made things worse."


Much to his surprise, Mulder found that he was shaking. "How did you know, Master?" He whispered.


"It's virtually impossible to hold that particular butt plug in place while you sleep - it's too slender and not the right shape." Skinner shrugged, giving a wry, wicked grin. "I wanted to see how honest you are - I can see that's another area we're going to have to work on. Tonight, I'll see that the plug is chained in place."


"Yes, Master." Mulder looked at Skinner miserably, waiting to hear his sentence.


Skinner gazed at him speculatively for a moment. "I was going to just use my hand, to get to know the feel of my new slave, and observe his reactions, but I see we have some serious work to do here, so I'm clearly going to have to be more severe than I intended. I will not allow disobedience or deceit to go unpunished - that's a lesson that you might as well learn early in your slavery, to save yourself considerable discomfort later on. I want you to go up to your bedroom, and bring me your hairbrush," Skinner ordered.


Mulder bit on his lip, his stomach quaking. His hairbrush had a flat, tortoiseshell back, and he was sure it would pack a deadly smack. He got up, and walked towards the door.


"Fox." Skinner called him back. "Take your clothing with you." The big man gestured at the sweatpants and tee shirt strewn on the floor. "For this next week, whenever we are alone together at home, you will be naked," Skinner said firmly. "I enjoy looking at my naked slave, and your lack of clothing will also help you to focus your mind on what you have become. I want there to be no doubt in your mind that you are owned, subject to your Master's will and whim. When this lesson is learned, you'll be allowed to wear clothing more often, at my discretion of course."


"Yes, Master." Mulder picked up the clothes, and carried them back up to his bedroom. He was surprised to find that he was still shaking. This was getting serious. Every nerve-ending in his body screamed his arousal at the same time as making him tremble in worry about his own helpless lack of control. He was now scared stiff about the spanking, and berated himself every step of the way for trying to lie his way out of his predicament.


Mulder dumped the clothes on his bed, and picked up the hairbrush, already hating the innocuous object. How the hell had Skinner known? Did he have eyes in the back of that bald skull of his? And how the hell was Mulder going to manipulate his Master if he was always going to be one step ahead? He had a sudden idea, and glanced up at the ceiling. He saw the box housing the bell in one corner, and got on the chair, and fiddled around with it, checking it for a hidden camera. He couldn't see anything, but it was the only explanation for Skinner's prescience that he could think of. He was busily examining it when it let out a loud chime that sent Mulder falling off the chair and onto the carpet in surprise. He realized that his Master was sitting awaiting his return, and cursed himself once again for knowing how to unerringly get into trouble. He grabbed the brush and ran back down to Skinner's bedroom, jumping the steps two at a time.


The big man glared at him. "What did you do? Go out and buy a less painful one?" He demanded. "When I send you on an errand, I expect you to come straight back, not dawdle."


"Sorry, Master," Mulder gulped, still none the wiser on whether Skinner had just guessed about him jerking off, or really did have a camera installed in his bedroom. He handed Skinner the hairbrush, noticing as he did so that his Master had placed several pillows on his lap.


"Present it properly!" Skinner ordered, and Mulder knelt down, assumed the kneeling position he had been taught earlier, head down, shoulders back, and held the hairbrush out. There was a long pause during which Mulder was dying to look up, but he restrained himself. Finally, the hairbrush was taken out of his hands, and he immediately placed them behind his back as he had been instructed.


"This will do very well I think." Skinner slapped the hairbrush against his hand a couple of times, making a resounding smacking sound. Mulder closed his eyes, feeling giddy. "All right - over my lap." Skinner pointed, and Mulder arranged his long body on top of the pillows. Skinner pulled him into place. "I'd make sure you're comfortable if I were you," Skinner commented dryly. "You're going to be there for quite some time." Mulder wriggled into a position where he could breathe easily. His butt was pushed up as if it were an offering - he felt as if it were sky high, with all those pillows under his thighs. Finally, he was still - feeling cushioned and warm, lying face down on the bed, across his Master's legs. He felt Skinner's hand on his butt, and tensed, but no blows were forthcoming. Instead, Skinner stroked his buttocks, kneading them, and occasionally pinching them. Mulder started to relax. Skinner took hold of the end of the butt plug, and pulled it out, placing it on the nightstand. Mulder relaxed even more without the need to keep the object clenched so tightly between his butt cheeks.


"I'm going to save the hairbrush for after I've given you a good hand spanking," Skinner told him, in a low, sexy growl. "I enjoy feeling a slave squirm under my hand - I wouldn't want to deprive myself of that pleasure. Open your legs." Mulder obeyed, feeling exposed, his hole open and gaping. "Wider." Skinner's fingers dipped into his lubed opening, and Mulder gasped. "Relax." Skinner stroked him, soothing him, and finally Mulder gave in, allowing the probing. Then, with two fingers still inside his slave, Skinner gave Mulder's buttocks a light tap with his other hand, then another. He continued with the taps, covering Mulder's whole bottom, until it began to glow a light pink. "Good…this is a good color for you," he observed. Mulder made a face into the pillow he was resting on. His bottom felt deliciously warm, and he was all too aware of those two fingers still inside him. The taps morphed into harder, heavier slaps, and Mulder started to wriggle - increasing the stimulation of those two fingers probing his anus. The slaps picked up in pace and with them went Mulder's squirming body.


"Master…" he panted, wanting some relief from the endless slaps, twisting against those fingers, every lunge from him causing them to thrust deeper inside him.


"Yes, slave?"


"Please…Master…" he begged. He didn't really want it to stop, but at the same time, he was both aroused and worried by the fact that he couldn't stop it if he had wanted to. The slaps were harder and faster now, and Mulder's cock was straining for release. He started to move his hips, to rub his cock against the pillows.


"Remember, slave - you're forbidden to come," Skinner told him.


"Yes, Master…" Mulder gasped, as the smacks got harder, making him howl and wriggle so much that he almost fell off the pillows he was rested on.


"Keep still," Skinner commanded. He withdrew his fingers and pressed down on Mulder's waist to keep him very firmly in place. Now his hand covered every inch of Mulder's flaming bottom, hitting home with a series of resounding loud slaps until Mulder was crying out loud, sure that he couldn't bear the intensity any more. Then, suddenly, without warning, it stopped.


"Now for the brush," Skinner informed him.


Mulder tensed up, expecting a stinging slap from the hated object, but instead, Skinner ran the cold, smooth, tortoiseshell surface over his burning buttocks, cooling them. Then he began to tap, just as he had before, working into a rhythm that was light, and comfortable. Mulder's muscles turned to jelly as he lay there, accepting the caressing strokes. Then suddenly, without warning, the rhythm changed, and a powerful slap reigned down on his reddened flesh.


"OW!" He cried out. This was far worse than anything that had gone before - this was real punishment.


"This…" Skinner brought the brush down hard on his lower buttocks, drawing another anguished sob from his hapless slave, "is for disobeying me by removing the cock ring." He slapped down two hard strokes in succession, making Mulder squeal and squirm fruitlessly under his big hand. It was no use - Mulder was like a butterfly pinned to a board, his body pressed into the pillows by Skinner's superior strength. "And this…" Two more viciously stinging blows descended on Mulder's quivering, unprotected flesh. "Is for lying to me about jerking off." The slaps for lying came fast and furious, making that point very clear. Mulder was surprised to find tears running down his cheeks.


"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry…" he gasped. "Ow! I won't lie again."


"Good. These are for the other lie - about the butt plug." Skinner delivered several more stinging blows until Mulder felt as if his whole butt was on fire. He gave up his incessant squirming, and just lay there, moaning and sobbing into his pillow. "These…" Skinner brought the hairbrush down smartly on the top of Mulder's thighs, and Mulder almost jumped out of his skin, "Are for jerking off."


"You just punished me for jerking off!" Mulder protested. His protest was met by swats of even more force.


"No, I punished you for lying about it. This is for the disobedience," Skinner told him, raining several more blows down on the tops of Mulder's thighs in swift succession. Mulder's sobbing started in earnest as the spanking continued. His tortured butt felt as if it had been blistered from waist to knee.


"Please, please, please…" he moaned incoherently, the tears streaming down his cheeks. Then he was aware that the slaps were softer, dissipating into little taps, and finally they stopped altogether. Skinner wound down by repeating the warm up, his probing fingers entered between Mulder's twin globes of reddened flesh, his other hand gently slapping and tapping the tortured buttocks, finally ending by stroking them softly. Then Skinner dipped his head, and licked the hot skin, teasing it with his teeth, giving a series of gentle bites, before finishing with that part of Mulder's anatomy, and withdrawing his fingers.


Mulder lay there, stunned. He had never been so comprehensively, and yet so lovingly, erotically, punished in his entire life. It had been hard to bear, but paradoxically he was glad that Skinner had made him bear it. He was dimly coming to understand what Skinner meant when he called himself a sensualist.


"Lie there for a moment," Skinner told him, in a low, intense tone. His fingers continued to lightly stroke Mulder's hot flesh as Mulder sobbed his heart out. Skinner moved one hand to Mulder's sweaty hair, and stroked that as well as his butt.


"Hush, it's all over," he soothed. "Hush, hush, little slave. You've been well punished, and your Master is very pleased with you for taking it so bravely. It was a hard lesson, but I'm sure you've learned it well. Hush." He continued to talk in that low, soothing tone, until Mulder's sobs finally dissipated, and then the slave turned his head to gaze at his punished bottom over his shoulder.


"Is it blistered?" He asked tremulously.


Skinner shook his head, and laughed. "It just feels that way. It's certainly a nice color though," he winked.


Mulder winced as he caught sight of his bright red cheeks - but Skinner was right. The flesh was burning hot but entirely unmarked by lines. He was amazed. It felt so much worse than it looked!


"I like the way you look when you've been punished," Skinner mused. "I like seeing signs of my ownership imprinted on your flesh. I think that a permanent mark will be necessary eventually."


"B…branding?" Mulder asked fearfully, remembering what Skinner had mentioned previously.


"Hmmm." Skinner considered the matter thoughtfully. "I think branding would work. Maybe a tattoo as well. Two marks." He gently tickled Mulder's balls through his open legs. "Not yet though. Such a mark would be a sign of great commitment. I could only go ahead with it as part of a deeper level of understanding between us. It's far too early to think of such a marking."


Mulder's heart sank at that news. He didn't like the idea of experiencing the pain of a branding, but the idea of being permanently marked as his Master's property was curiously appealing. He wanted to be worthy of the brand, and worried that he wouldn't be able to convince Skinner that he was.


"I do like the idea of marking you as mine though - and also of forcing you to remember, in these early stages when you're still very prone to forgetting, that you are a slave," Skinner mused, his fingers resting lightly on Mulder's warm cheeks. "I think that I'll keep you marked for a while to help teach you that little lesson."


"Marked, Master?" Mulder asked, tremulously.


"With a crop - or a switch," Skinner said. Mulder's stomach flipped. Both those instruments hurt - big time. "A couple of welts should help you keep your condition in mind, don't you think?" Skinner asked.


"I don't know," Mulder replied, somewhat acerbically.


Skinner laughed out loud. "I do," he said, slapping Mulder's butt heartily. Mulder yelped.


Skinner picked up his paper again, and began reading it. Mulder gazed at him for a moment, then wriggled off the pillows, and slid up the bed, putting his head under the paper, and laying it on his Master's warm, furry chest. Skinner smiled, and looked down on his slave, then kissed his forehead gently. He put his arms around Mulder, and held him. Mulder lay there for a long time, still hiccuping occasionally, his butt throbbing. It felt so good to be held, and comforted. That had so often been lacking in his previous encounters with tops - not because they had not been willing, but because he had never let them. The endorphins kicked in, taking Mulder to some other plane. He was aware, dreamily, of his beating heart, of Skinner's beating heart, of the big man's chest hair scratching the side of his cheek, of the warmth of his Master's flesh, and the pleasing ache in his own buttocks. He sighed contentedly, and nestled closer. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Skinner pick up the hairbrush again, and he gave a little whimper, and held on to his Master's chest more tightly.


Skinner shook his head. "It's okay, little one. I'm just going to do this…" He placed the hairbrush gently against the side of Mulder's head and began to stroke it through his hair, smoothing it. It was such a beautiful sensation, that Mulder began to bliss out.


"Tell me…" Skinner murmured, his low tone not breaking the mood. "Who was the first person to spank you?"


"My mom." Mulder sighed. "She just used to smack the backs of my legs though, when I was small - nothing more than any other kid receives, and she never spanked me on my butt. It didn't scar me for life or anything. My father never disciplined me like that. He was never there for a start, and when he was… well let's just say that he had his own special ways of making his disapproval felt," Mulder trailed off. "I can't blame them for me being like this - corporal punishment really wasn't a big feature of our household. Hell, I think I was just born this way," he said, with a big grin. "Not that I think there's anything wrong with it, everyone's got their own fetish after all, just that it's a pain in the butt sometimes - literally." He grinned again.


"And as an adult? Who was the first person to spank you then?" Skinner asked.


"Phoebe. Only she…" Mulder hesitated. "It didn't feel safe. The first time she did it, I thought I'd die from the pain. I'd fantasized about it for years, but the reality was different - it hurt. In my jerk-off fantasies, it didn't - I just had the concept of pain, not the reality."


"Hmm, yes. The first time can be a shock - it doesn't sound as if your girlfriend handled it very sensitively," Skinner mused.


"She told me I was a wimp for crying, but it just brought up all these feelings. I wanted to be…" Mulder stopped, and buried his head in Skinner's chest, but that gentle stroking on his hair continued.


"Go on," Skinner's voice was soft, but insistent. "I told you - I want you to be honest."


Mulder nodded. "Loved," he whispered. "She made me feel weak, and useless. I came to believe her too - all the things she said about me not being strong enough to take it, and not being good enough to be with someone like her. It was kind of the way my dad used to make me feel. That whole sense of being a giant disappointment to everyone." Mulder glanced up, and caught Skinner in an unguarded moment. The expression on the other man's face took him by surprise. There was something akin to fury reflected in those dark eyes. "I'm sorry, you don't want to hear all this crap," Mulder apologized.


"On the contrary," Skinner replied, his expression quickly being replaced by the inscrutable mask he usually presented to his slave. "Continue," he commanded.


Mulder nodded. "After we split up, I just sought out the pain - there didn't seem any point wanting anything more. I suppose I pursued the pain - I craved it, and then I skipped out as soon as I received it. The catharsis was reached, and I was cut loose, adrift. It wasn't the fault of my partners though…" Mulder looked up into Skinner's dark eyes. "It was me. I didn't wanted to get close, to be obligated, or known, but this…" He hesitated again, and Skinner's big arms squeezed him encouragingly, "this is different," he mumbled into Skinner's chest, feeling a lump forming in his throat, and tears squeezing from his eyes. He knew the tears were partly the aftermath of such a thorough and skilled spanking, but he was angry with himself. Usually he could get out before this mood hit him, but this situation didn't allow him to do that. He was forced to stay, forced to accept the comfort he had so long told himself he didn't require, because with it came obligation, and affection, and with that he was soon disappointing the very people he most wanted to love him. He tried to rub the tears away surreptitiously, but Skinner reached out two gentle fingers and wiped them away for him.


"Forget everybody else. You belong to me now," Skinner told him, his tone so strict that Mulder looked up in surprise. "And I'm an exacting Master, Fox. I'll train you well, but it's a hard path."


"I know, Master." Mulder nodded. "I want it, Master," he added.


"Good. I'm starving - let's get breakfast."


Skinner sent Mulder on ahead, while he took a shower and got dressed. Mulder mooched around in the kitchen, finding some cereal and laying two bowls on the kitchen table. Skinner appeared a few minutes later, dressed in a pair of tight denim jeans that showed off his long legs, and a tight white tee shirt, that did the same for his chest. He smelled of soap and toothpaste, and Mulder's cock showed its appreciation - something that Skinner signally failed to notice.


"Does Master want me to feed the cat as well?" Mulder asked, glancing at Wanda who was winding her way around Skinner's legs in a none-too-subtle fashion.


"Absolutely not." Skinner looked shocked. He picked up the elegant cat, and lovingly kissed her behind the ears. "I will serve Wanda, just as you serve me. We all know our place in this world." He bestowed another kiss on Wanda's delicate little nose and Mulder sighed, suspecting he'd always come second to the damn cat.


"Of all the Masters, in all the world, I have to be owned by the one who goes gooey over a stupid cat," he muttered under his breath. He was immediately rewarded by a firm slap on his already sore butt.


"Ow!" he squealed.


"Then don't push me." Skinner frowned. "Now sit down, and eat." He took a seat himself, and watched as Mulder eased himself gingerly into his chair, wincing slightly as he did so.


"I've never eaten naked and collared before," Mulder said, glancing down ruefully at his ringed cock.


"Get used to it," Skinner told him, grinning.


After breakfast, Skinner piled a mound of shirts into Mulder's arms and commanded him to get ironing. He was under strict instructions to present the first results of his labors to his Master for his approval. Mulder slaved over that shirt for fully thirty minutes, doing his best with it, but his efforts were met by a raised eyebrow from his Master.


"Using steam might help," Skinner observed.


"Steam?" Mulder repeated blankly.


Skinner got up, took hold of his slave's ear, walked him back into the laundry room, and showed him how to add water to the iron.


"Steam." Skinner repeated firmly.


Mulder wondered at the miracles of the modern steam iron as he made a much more passable attempt at the shirt on his second go. Skinner still sent him back to put some extra effort into the collar but finally, after an hour, he had managed to iron one whole shirt to his Master's satisfaction. Skinner left him there for the remainder of the morning, and Mulder stared dreamily into space as he ironed on automatic pilot. He ran through that spanking again, his buttocks still throbbing pleasantly from the memory. Occasionally he picked up the shirt he was working on, and pressed it to his nose. He could just smell the faint scent of his Master, clinging to the fabric even after washing. Mulder inhaled - it was a clean, musky smell. He idled away a few minutes fantasizing about it being bottled in some way, for him to smell whenever he needed his fix. He was so spaced out that he barely noticed when Skinner returned to the laundry room.


"Fox." Skinner waved at him. "Hello? What were you thinking?" He asked, when Mulder finally looked at him.


"Oh, I was just wondering how the hell I came to be standing here, butt naked, next to an extremely hot object," Mulder said with a heartfelt sigh.


"Tell me that you're referring to me, and not the iron, and I might just let you out of here," Skinner said with a gleam in his eye.


"Oh, definitely you, Master," Mulder replied with a grin.


"Okay, get moving then. I think it's time I showed you some of the other facilities in this building." He held the door open, and Mulder sidled past him - but he wasn't quick enough to evade the slap that descended on his naked butt.


"That's for the lie you just told," Skinner grinned


"Aren't you ever going to let me get away with anything?" Mulder whined.


"No." Skinner handed Mulder his sweats, tee shirt, and sneakers, and then beckoned him to follow.


"Where are we going, Master?" Mulder asked, as Skinner pressed the button for the basement.


"There's a pool, and a gym in this apartment building. The 18th floor elevator card I gave you grants you access," Skinner said, as they got out of the elevator. He showed Mulder to a small pool, and a well-equipped gym.


"You'll swim every morning before waking me. 5:15 to 5.45, Skinner told his slave.


Mulder pouted. "That's very early, Master," he pointed out neutrally, not wanting to earn himself another swat.


"That's all right - you'll be having a lot of early nights so you'll be getting more than enough sleep." Skinner grinned. Mulder's heart sank. "We'll use the gym together on various occasions after work. You can spot me, and I'll make sure you're put through your paces - I want to work on building up some definition in your arms and legs - not much, just toning. For today though…" Skinner glanced at the empty pool. "It looks like we have the place to ourselves. Get undressed, and start swimming," he commanded.


Mulder stared at him. "I don't have my speedos, Master," he protested.


"I don't want you to wear them." Skinner grinned. "I want to see your red butt doing lengths in that pool. Now!" He snapped. Mulder jumped, and began to strip off his clothing. Skinner removed the cock ring, then beckoned with his head for Mulder to dive in.


Mulder gasped as the cold water made contact with his still warm backside, the chlorine stinging his sensitive flesh. He was desperately worried that someone would come in and see him, red ass up, but also enjoyed the sheer sensory delight of swimming naked, his cock hanging down, the water caressing his skin. Skinner watched him swim for half an hour, then beckoned Mulder out of the pool. They returned to the apartment, where Mulder was set about doing various menial tasks for the rest of the day, before Skinner called for take-out, and instructed Mulder to assume his submissive position for feeding.


"Whilst in this position you'll speak only when spoken to," Skinner told him. "Other than that you'll remain silent. Understood?"


Mulder nodded.


"Good. I'm going to outline some of the activities I have planned for the rest of this week, so that you can become accustomed to the idea of them in advance," Skinner informed him, as he spooned some food into Mulder's waiting mouth, then took a forkful himself and chewed it thoughtfully before continuing. "Training a completely obedient and submissive slave, who is also charming, intelligent, witty, cultured, thoughtful and can show initiative, is a long, hard process. I don't expect to complete it in a week - but I do expect to cover the basics. You should make the most of this week, Fox. It's unlikely that you'll receive this much time and attention once we return to work."


Mulder nodded, keeping his eyes low, waiting to be fed again. The food was delicious - Skinner clearly had great taste in restaurants.


"I have a small, private party planned for next Friday evening," Skinner informed him. Mulder looked up in surprise, then lowered his eyes again, as he had been commanded. "I will be inviting close personal friends - and will take the opportunity to show off my new slave. By then, I'll expect you to be walking to the leash, to entertain, and serve, and to submit publicly to whatever attention I wish to bestow upon you."


Mulder looked up again. "Publicly…?" he blurted, then bit down on his lip, aware that he wasn't allowed to speak.


"Publicly," Skinner repeated, allowing the transgression to pass with nothing more than a glare. "I should make one thing clear - you'll be displayed naked at the party. While I expect my friends to bring their subs, I'll specify that they should be clothed. You will be the only one without clothing. The whole point of the party is to show you off, after all," he grinned. Mulder felt a flush start at his neck, and flood up his face. "You're embarrassed by the idea?" Skinner asked.


Mulder nodded. "Yes, Master," he whispered. "Please don't make me do it."


"It's my wish," Skinner said firmly. "You'll obey."


"Yes, Master." Mulder bit down on his lip again.


"If you're not naked, how can I display the signs of my ownership?" Skinner told him. "On Friday, the only things you'll be wearing are my rings - all five of them."


Mulder looked up, the panic showing in his eyes.


"Don't worry." Skinner smiled, and caressed his slave's hair gently. "I'll pierce you towards the middle of the week. Probably on Wednesday or Thursday. It will be an important experience for you. Trust me."


"Will…does Master intend to do the piercing himself then?" Mulder faltered, surprised and aroused by that thought.


"Of course." Skinner nodded. "I'm fully proficient so you needn't worry. I wouldn't bring anyone else in - I don't want you to speak to anyone else between now and your return to work, even at the party. That way you can learn to focus entirely on me, and my demands, and it will reinforce the fact that your sole aim in life is to think of ways of pleasing me."


"Yes, Master," Mulder whispered, thinking of X Files, and bureaucratic procedure, and how very unlikely it was that when they returned to work he would be half as obedient as he was kneeling here, enjoying himself in this extended sex game. He had a feeling that he wasn't likely to please Skinner any more in their professional lives than he had before he had signed that slavery contract.


"Good. Next Saturday I'll take you out shopping," Skinner continued with the timetable, "to buy you clothes. Sunday will be spent preparing for our return to work, and discussing what will be expected of you. After that - we'll take it as it comes. Do you have any questions, Fox?" He lifted Mulder's chin so that Mulder was looking into his eyes.


"Only one, Master," Mulder said softly. "When will you fuck me?"


Skinner was silent for a long moment, looking down on his slave, and Mulder wondered whether he should have asked that question, but it had been preying on his mind. Skinner was keeping him in an almost permanent state of arousal, and not only was he refused his own release, but Skinner was also refusing to take any pleasure from using Mulder himself. Skinner studied him intently, then leaned forward, and drew Mulder's head close.


"Is that what you want, slave?" He hissed into Mulder's ear.


Mulder moaned, his cock hardening unbearably. "Yes, Master," he replied.


"It'll happen," Skinner stated, "when I'm good and ready, slave."


"Yes, Master…please, Master…will Master allow me to come?" Mulder requested.


"Now?" Skinner raised an eyebrow.


"Sometime soon," Mulder begged weakly.


"No, slave. It's another hard lesson for you to learn, but I've told you before - your own pleasure has to be earned. What's important is serving your Master." Skinner's gentle, continuous fondling belied his stern words. "Now, if you hadn't disobeyed me on this matter last night, I might have been more lenient on the subject today. As it is - I want to make very sure you don't have the opportunity to repeat last night's mistake. You clearly can't be trusted when left to your own devices." Skinner stood up. "I think it's time to reinforce a few of the lessons you've learned today. Follow me."


Mulder followed his Master upstairs, his heart beating as he realized they were going to the 18th floor apartment, and quickening even more when Skinner took the key from around his neck, opened the door to the Playroom, ushered him inside, and locked the door again behind them. He turned the lights on low, and the room was bathed in a warm, red glow. Skinner went over to one of the cupboards and pulled out a complicated leather contraption, then he went and sat down in a large, throne like chair, and beckoned Mulder over. Mulder was grasped between his Master's legs, and pulled close, then Skinner took hold of his cock and balls, and began fastening the contraption around them.


"This, in case you haven't figured it out, is a male chastity device. It'll prevent you from becoming erect - and you won't be able to touch your cock either, as it'll be encased in leather. There's a small opening here," Skinner demonstrated, "so you'll be able to use the bathroom, but I'm attaching this," he held up a tiny padlock, "to ensure that you can't get access to your cock."


"That's…cruel, Master," Mulder spluttered.


"You only have yourself to blame. If you'd kept your hands by your sides, and your mind on pleasing me, and not yourself, then this wouldn't be necessary. Hands behind your back - NOW!" Skinner ordered, as Mulder's fingers feebly protested the strapping on of the leather device. Mulder gave the other man a hard look, then, reluctantly, did as he was told. Skinner also fastened a thick leather bag over Mulder's balls. "For protection," he told Mulder, slapping them lightly.


"Protection from what?" Mulder asked in alarm.


"From my switch. It's time to mark you," Skinner informed him, his legs tightening around Mulder's body as the agent's knees started to fail him, toppling him forwards. "I'll raise a couple of welts on your backside. That should give you something else to think about apart from your cock while you're in bed tonight."


"Master." Mulder found himself sinking to his knees, and resting his chin in a gesture of supplication on Skinner's thigh. "Please don't punish me, Master," he whispered.


"It's not a punishment, little one." Skinner kissed Mulder's forehead gently. "It'll hurt a great deal - but by experiencing my switch marking your body as mine, and welcoming everything I choose to do to you, you'll come to truly understand the nature of your devotion." His lips trailed down, and covered those of his slave, and Mulder opened up his mouth, welcoming his Master's tongue inside him, relishing the taste of him, and the power of his kiss. When it was over, Skinner gently fondled his face again. "Do you understand, Fox?" he murmured softly. "This isn't to punish or correct you, merely to mark you as mine. It's purpose is less to make you endure pain, than to enforce your understanding of your slavery."


"Yes, Master." Mulder nodded. He felt his cock fighting a desperate battle with the leather that encased it - a battle it couldn't win. "I…I'm your slave Master," he said, finally giving in, and kissing his Master's knee. "Do whatever pleases you. I'm yours."


Skinner smiled down on him approvingly. "That's good - very good, Fox. I'll take very good care of you," he promised. Mulder nodded, and followed his Master over to the cupboard, watching from his kneeling, submissive position, while Skinner found the switch he wanted to use, and sliced it through the air a few times. Mulder's stomach clenched in fear and anticipation. Switches hurt, but the idea of bearing his Master's marks on his skin aroused him. He was once again torn between his fear and desire. Finally, Skinner was satisfied. He nodded Mulder to the spanking horse and bent him over it, but didn't tie him down.


"Knees wider, that's right." Skinner tapped his slave's knee with the switch, until Mulder was fully stretched and open. Now he understood why Skinner had protected his testicles - he could feel them exposed to the air between his open legs. "Push that ass up, so I can get a nice clean target. All right - as this is the first time, I'll just give you three strokes," Skinner said. "The marks will take 2 or 3 days to fade completely. I think though, that an ass like yours…" he fondled Mulder's exposed buttocks, "should be kept permanently marked. It's up to you to keep an eye on them. When they're gone, I want you to remind me that it's time to mark you again. Understood?"


"Yes, Master." Mulder agreed, staring face down at the floor.


"If you fail to inform me, and the marks fade, then I'll punish you. It's unlikely that I won't notice them this week, when you'll be mostly naked, but in a few weeks time, when you're out chasing after UFO's again and I'm busy with my own job, it's entirely likely that I might not notice. The penalty for not refreshing my memory will be severe. Is that clear?"


"Yes, Master," Mulder repeated, his buttocks twitching as Skinner sliced the switch through the air experimentally again.


"Just because I might not always see them every day, and they are invisible to anybody else, doesn't mean that they aren't important. The crucial thing is that you will be aware of them constantly, wherever you are. Marking is more for your instruction, and to focus your mind on your slavery, than for my enjoyment - although I'm sure I'll enjoy them too!"


Mulder shivered in anticipation, as Skinner took up position behind him, and rested the switch lightly on his backside. Mulder began to say a little prayer, moaning softly to himself. The switch was lifted, and there was a whoosh of cool air, before a line of pure fire was painted across his buttocks. Mulder let out a howl, and hopped up and down, holding onto the horse with both arms. "Again," Skinner said firmly, pressing his slave back down, and Mulder calmed himself, trying to prepare mentally for the next stroke. Another streak of lightning cut into his flesh and he wailed. "You're doing well, Fox. One more. You can stand it, little one. For me." Skinner's hand stroked Mulder's sweaty back, soothing him, and Mulder closed his eyes, awaiting the final stroke. It was as hard as the others, imprinting itself deep into his waiting, exposed bottom. Mulder gave a heartfelt whimper but he was secretly pleased by his ability to take the strokes. Skinner helped him to stand, and then his Master escorted him over to the cupboard and opened a door to reveal a full length mirror. Skinner put his arms around his slave, holding him tight against his chest, and turned Mulder's head so that he could look over his shoulder at his newly marked backside. Mulder surveyed the three distinct red welts with a sense of pride.


"I haven't broken the skin," Skinner informed him, his arms tight around Mulder's shoulders. "You look beautiful with my marks on your flesh," he breathed, his fingers spidering down Mulder's back to lightly touch the welts. Mulder smiled at his reflection, then up at his Master, and buried his face in the other man's shoulder.


"Thank you, Master," he whispered. Skinner smiled down on him tenderly, and held him for a few moments, then he disengaged, and walked Mulder over to the window. That side of the room wasn't lit, and for a disoriented moment, Mulder thought they were going to walk right out into the darkness. Instead, Skinner stopped him and placed his nose against the window.


"Stand there and think about being marked as my property, and what that means. Just reflect on those marks, think of nothing but them," Skinner said in a low, intense voice that made Mulder shiver. Skinner's fingers touched the welts again, more firmly this time, and Mulder winced. "I'll be right here, enjoying the view." Skinner gave a throaty little laugh, and Mulder heard him move away.


Mulder stood looking out onto the city beneath him, with its bright lights. This was the tallest apartment block around, and nobody overlooked the 18th floor, but even so, he felt exposed, standing naked in front of the window. It was impossible not to do as he had been instructed. His backside throbbed constantly, and it was all he could think about. He heard Skinner moving around the room, and he wondered at how comprehensively Skinner had outmaneuvered him during the course of this day. His Master had effectively provided him with a wonderland of sadomasochistic eroticism, as if he had seen into Mulder's secret soul, and dragged out even those fantasies he hadn't admitted to himself. A part of Mulder still wanted to fight, to manipulate, to force the pace, but another part of him just wanted to give in, and accept whatever new game Skinner came up with next. Mulder's cock ached inside its casing, throbbing in time to the ache in his sore backside. He fantasized about Skinner taking him, about Skinner piercing him, displaying him naked to his friends, branding him. He still feared it, but he was surprised by how much he wanted it all too.


Mulder was dimly aware of time passing, of the soreness in his buttocks subsiding, of a feeling of calm washing over him, as he stood there, presenting his naked, marked ass to the room. Finally Skinner came over to him again, and kissed the back of his neck.


"You're tired," his Master said, and Mulder was surprised to find that it was true. "We've just got one more thing to do, and then you'll go to bed." Skinner's hands ran up and down the outside of Mulder's arms, and his voice was seductive, and full of promise. He led Mulder back over to the large chair again, and sat down. Walking behind his Master reminded Mulder of something the big man had mentioned earlier.


"You said…that you'd train me to walk to the leash, Master," he began. Skinner nodded, beckoning his slave forward. "When will that be?" Mulder asked tentatively.


"When you're pierced." Skinner smiled. "The leash will be fastened to these." His fingers tweaked Mulder's nipples. Mulder opened his mouth wordlessly. "Ah, you assumed it would be attached to your collar." Skinner shook his head wryly. "No, Fox, my slave will be trained to walk to a leash attached to a much more intimate part of the anatomy. I find it helps focus a slave's mind minutely on his Master's slightest command if the pull is to this delicate little area." He rubbed Mulder's nipples again, and Mulder moaned, seeing himself in his mind's eye - naked, pierced, marked… His cock made another desperate bid for freedom, and was again constricted by the leather chastity device. Mulder whimpered in frustration, convinced that being constantly on the edge of arousal would drive him crazy.


"Here. Over my knee." Skinner patted his knee, and held up a butt plug. It was slightly larger than the one Mulder had worn the previous night. Mulder swallowed, and arranged himself over his Master's lap. Skinner stroked his back for a moment, then gently blew on his welted backside, dipping his head to lick the marks. This sent a wild heat through Mulder's body, and he let out a little cry. He felt Skinner's fingers push inside him, and tried to relax and open up.

"That's good. You've already improved on this," Skinner told him approvingly. "Keep open, there…" His fingers brushed Mulder's prostate, and Mulder writhed, a wave of ecstasy flooding through him. "Does that feel good?" Skinner asked. Mulder nodded, his throat dry. "Good. Now stay open for me." He removed his fingers, and Mulder felt the blunt nose of the butt plug gently inserted into his anus. It slid smoothly along the lubed passage, until it was fully inserted, wedging his butt cheeks apart. It wasn't painful - merely intrusive. Skinner set Mulder back on his feet, and attached a series of chains from the plug to the chastity device, securing it firmly in place.


"That won't fall out," Skinner told his slave approvingly. "Now, bed."


Mulder looked at him questioningly. "Doesn't Master want any personal attention." He knelt between Skinner's open legs, and gestured to his fly.


"Not tonight. You've had a busy day. Save that talented mouth of yours for my wake-up call." Skinner grinned, fondling Mulder's hair. "I'm delighted that you're thinking of ways to please me though." He bent to kiss his slave again, and Mulder opened up his mouth, savoring his reward. Then Skinner stood up. "Bed," he said firmly, delivering a light slap to Mulder's backside that made his slave yelp and scurry for the door.


Mulder lay face down on his bed, his mind and body both reeling from the day's events. He felt tired, and drained, and yet curiously happy. Suddenly he remembered his earlier worry about the camera that might be hidden in his room, and sat up, then yelped as his buttocks protested at being sat on. He got up cautiously, and searched the room, but found nothing. Mulder threw himself back on the bed, exhausted.


"I'll play along for now," he told nobody in particular, "but only because I'm enjoying myself. Well, maybe not the ironing, but the rest of it. I'll just figure out what game you're playing, then I'll start to manipulate things. I won't be this obedient forever," he muttered, his eyes closing.


Half asleep, he was almost sure that he heard a deep, rich laugh mocking his words.


Chapter 5: A Cat Called Wanda

Mulder woke up the following day to find his usual morning wood fighting against its leather prison. The prison won. Mulder sighed, and rolled over, only to yelp in surprise as his welted buttocks reminded them of their presence. For all that Skinner had avowed himself a sensualist, Mulder was of the opinion, at this moment in time, that his Master had some very definite sadistic tendencies as well. His fingers itched to touch his cock - if this went on much longer he'd have a bad case of blue balls. He glanced at his clock: 8:00. Yesterday Skinner had told him he was to complete his morning swim before waking his Master, but he couldn't very well go swimming wearing this leather chastity device - not unless he wanted to ruin it and somehow he thought Skinner wouldn't be very pleased if he did that. Of course, Skinner had said 5.15 to 5.45, which implied he only wanted Mulder to swim on a weekday before work, not at the weekend, or during vacations.


Mulder procrastinated for several minutes, then almost laughed out loud. You're a grown man worrying about whether to go for a swim, he chided, getting up and deciding to use the time to flick through Skinner's paper before waking his Master. Damn! He couldn't even take a shower, wearing this stupid device. Mulder used the bathroom and brushed his teeth. He was aware of the butt plug pressing deep inside his body, but he was becoming used to the sensation of having his body invaded in this way. Of course the one thing he really wanted to have inside him was his Master's delicious cock, but he was beginning to despair of Skinner ever bending him over and taking him. Mulder sighed - he wasn't sure what kind of a game his Master was playing with him, but he knew it was driving him crazy. Mulder paused and took a look in the mirror - his stomach did a flip as he studied the 3 welts on his bottom. It had hurt like hell receiving them, but he loved what they stood for, marking him as they did as his Master's property. Mulder fingered them carefully, closing his eyes and drinking in the sensation of being able to feel the slightly raised flesh, without seeing it. Even in the dark, he was marked as Skinner's slave. If his Master was so minded to reach for him at night, he would find his marks imprinted on Mulder's flesh, like Braille, signaling who this slave belonged to. The idea excited him, which was no good at all in his current caged condition.


Mulder wandered downstairs and retrieved the paper, then made himself a cup of coffee, and lay on Skinner's couch reading the sport's section. He kept a careful eye on the clock - he was determined that Skinner wouldn't find fault with his time-keeping this morning. Dead on the dot of 9 a.m., he opened the door to his Master's bedroom, coffee in one hand, newspaper clutched under his arm. He deposited both on the night-stand, then turned his attention to the bed. Skinner was still asleep, and for a moment Mulder felt a pang of regret at the huge empty space next to his Master. Damn, his Master's cock wasn't the only thing he wanted. He also wanted to sleep curled up in the big man's arms, to know that he was there all night, beside him. Instead…instead Skinner shared his bed with her.


Mulder glared at the emerald eyed cat who was fixing him with a look of pure hatred, defying him to disturb her cozy love nest with HIS Master. Mulder returned her look with one of such malice he was sure Skinner would have blistered his backside all morning if he'd been awake to see it. Mulder crept noiselessly over to the bed, plucked the sleepy Wanda from her circle of comfort, and threw her out of the bedroom door, ignoring her squawk of protest. He shut the door firmly behind her, and rubbed his hands together, smiling to himself. Then he disappeared under the sheets, and located his Master's beautiful drowsy cock, soon bringing it to a state of full wakefulness.


"How did you sleep?" Skinner asked, when Mulder emerged triumphantly several minutes later.


"Not bad." Mulder shrugged. Actually he'd slept like a log all night, but he wasn't going to tell Skinner that. "Considering I'm all trussed up with what feels like a stick of dynamite up my ass."


"Complaints?" Skinner raised an eyebrow.


Mulder looked into those stern dark eyes for a moment, then sighed, and laid his head on Skinner's chest. "No, Master," he mumbled.


"Good. Get up, and get your butt over my knee," Skinner told him. Mulder looked up in surprise - Skinner hadn't finished his coffee yet - in fact he'd barely taken a sip. "I want to examine you," Skinner explained, "and I want a surface to rest my newspaper on as well - the Sunday sections are so big aren't they?"


Mulder gave him a cool look, but just the idea of being "examined" was enough to make his cock ache, so he gave in, picked up a couple of pillows, and arranged himself over Skinner's lap. He felt his Master's hand gently caress his welted buttocks, and wriggled.


"Still!" Skinner ordered. Mulder bit on his lip, and did as he was told, submitting to his Master's thorough attention. Skinner didn't stop until he'd felt every single inch of those welts with his finger - or at least that was what it felt like to Mulder. Then his Master ordered him up, and undid the padlock on his chastity belt, before unbuckling the contraption and removing it. Mulder's cock immediately skyrocketed .


"Oh god," Mulder moaned, leaning his head forward and resting it on Skinner's shoulder. "You've got to let me come soon, Master."


"No, I don't have to let you come at all." Skinner grinned pushing him off. "Over my lap again, and I'll remove the butt plug." Mulder did as ordered, his heart sinking at his Master's comments about not letting him come at all. He had to! And soon - or Mulder would start climbing the walls. Skinner stripped Mulder of the plug quickly and efficiently, leaving him naked except for his rings. "Stay there." Skinner picked up his paper, and propped it up on Mulder's exposed backside. There was silence for a long time, then Skinner turned a page. Mulder lay there, seething inside. Here he was, stretched out, naked, like an offering, bearing his Master's marks, and all Skinner could do was read for god's sake! He started to fidget and was rewarded by a hard slap on his sore, welted buttocks.


"Ow!" He glanced up.


"Then stay still. You're going to be like that for an hour or more, so get used to it," Skinner told him.


Mulder glared at him. "I am not some kind of newspaper prop!" He snapped.


"No, you're my slave - and if one of the uses I want to put you to is propping up my newspaper, that's what I'll do. If I were you, I'd give some serious thought about whether you want to come any time at all in the next year, " Skinner warned ominously. "There's a direct correlation between service and reward in this household, Fox, and the sooner you understand that the better." So saying, he straightened out his paper, and continued reading. Mulder buried his face in the pillow and tried to caress his straining penis by a process of telekinesis. He had whole files on the technique, and was convinced that if he could just think hard enough, he could milk himself to orgasm before Skinner knew what was going on.


He was so sunk in this reverie that he jumped in surprise when Skinner broke into it an hour or so later.


"Where's Wanda?" He asked.


"Um, she went out as I came in." Mulder grinned into his pillow. One up to the slave, one down to the uppity cat.


"That's not like Wanda. What time did you get up?" Skinner asked conversationally.


"8. There's one thing I meant to ask you, Master." Mulder turned his head, and propped one hand under his chin. "Um, you told me I had to swim in the morning, but I couldn't wearing the, uh, thing." He pointed his head in the direction of the leather cage. "I decided you wouldn't want me to wake you to ask you what to do," he said, feeling sure he'd get some brownie points for that.


"Of course not. I intended you to start the swimming when we go back to work - and you don't have to do it on weekends," Skinner told him, taking a sip of coffee. "So - what did you do between 8 and 9?"


"Read the paper." Mulder shrugged.


"All right." Skinner folded the newspaper, and glanced at his slave. "Fox - I know that you're new to your condition, but I did hope that marking you last night might help focus your mind on your status. I have told you time and again since you arrived, that you'll be rewarded for addressing yourself to my needs, haven't I?"


"Yes, Master." Mulder looked confused. "Did I do something wrong?"


Skinner flicked his fingers at the floor beside the bed. "In position. Now!" He barked.


Mulder scrambled off the bed quickly, still wondering what he'd done. He swiftly got into position, knees open, arms behind his back, shoulders straight, head down.


"This morning, you were unsure whether to swim or not. That's fair enough - I didn't make myself clear, and you were right not to wake me. However, didn't you think how pleased I might be if you'd had the initiative to spend your free time ironing my shirts, for example? Or cooking breakfast?"


"No, Master. I'm sorry. I didn't think," Mulder muttered, cursing himself for his stupidity.


"I said I'd show leniency with you to begin with, but while I might not punish you, I'm hardly likely to reward you for continuing to be so preoccupied with your own needs," Skinner admonished.


"Does this mean…that I won't get to come today, Master?" Mulder whispered.


Skinner sighed. "Is your own pleasure all you think about?" He asked.


Mulder bit on his lip, aware that he'd made another mistake.


Skinner reached out and grasped his slave's chin. "Sometimes I think you don't even try," he said.


"I'm really sorry, Master. I'll do better in future, I promise," Mulder said contritely.


"Very well. Let's see if you do," Skinner told him firmly. "Now, into the shower - I think we'll apply your discipline wet, today."


Mulder scurried for the shower, his cock perking up at the very mention of "discipline." Skinner joined him, and turned on the water, then he handed Mulder a bar of soap.


"Wash me," he ordered.


Mulder jumped to the task eagerly. One of the things that had taken him by surprise in this scenario was how much he enjoyed both looking at, and touching, his Master's beautiful body. In the past, he hadn't given the physical appearance of his tops much thought - they existed merely to serve him, one way or another, mainly by administering the discipline he wanted them to deliver. He was used to sucking other men's cocks, and kneeling at their feet - he enjoyed the completely submissive feeling of being dominated by another man, but he didn't remember actually lusting after one as he did after Skinner. He suspected that his attraction to the big man had always been latent - he remembered many occasions when he had longed to feel Skinner's large arms around him, restraining him. Hell, he'd even engineered that very scenario at work on a couple of occasions, even if he hadn't been honest with himself about his motivation. Of course he'd always kept his other tops at arm's length, and that was impossible in this scenario. Mulder was shocked by how much he was falling under Skinner's spell, and a part of him was shouting to get out, before it was too late. Too late for what though, Mulder had no idea…


Mulder felt he more than made up for his earlier thoughtlessness in his attention to his Master's body during that shower. He soaped him thoroughly, delivered loving kisses to Skinner's collar bones, licked the water out of the dipping cleft where they joined, then gently circled each of his Master's nipples with the soap, and washed it off carefully with the spray. Skinner sighed, and leaned against the wall, as Mulder tenderly soaped his genitals, combing his Master's body hair through his fingers, then knelt to soap his legs, kissing his kneecaps, and inner thighs. Skinner's body was pleasing - there was no doubt about it. Mulder had never thought about what constituted an attractive male body before, but he had always been dimly aware that his own long limbs and tall stature attracted a few glances from both men and women. Skinner was a more typically masculine-looking man - his muscles were more clearly defined, and he was heavier, more thickset. Mulder loved the strength in those muscled limbs, and the feel of that smooth honey-toned flesh under his fingers. The trouble was, it was all too easy to worship a Master such as this. It took no effort at all. He finished his task, and was rewarded when Skinner pulled his naked body close and kissed him hard, the water streaming down their faces.


"Soap yourself." Skinner ordered, leaning back against the tiled wall, and watching as Mulder quickly and efficiently washed his own body, then turned back to his Master obediently, to await further instructions. "Put your hands against the wall," Skinner told him. "Butt out…more…that's good." Mulder did as instructed, feeling sure that he'd slip over as Skinner kicked his legs apart even further, opening his body up. He watched out of the corner of his eye, as Skinner picked up the soap, then he felt it being dipped into the crease between his buttocks, soaping him there. Skinner's finger slipped easily into his anus, and began moving in and out, over and over again. Mulder gasped, putting his head back, the water dripping continuously from the ends of his wet hair. His cock strained against the cock ring, but he knew it was useless asking for permission to come. Skinner's one finger was joined by another, and Mulder opened up beneath the relentless caress, welcoming them into his body. He pressed his ass back even further, opening himself as wide as he'd ever been, hoping to encourage his Master to take him. Skinner grabbed his hips, and pressed his cock against Mulder's buttocks. It felt hard, rampant, large…big enough to claim him, fill him completely…Mulder groaned, wanting that, wanting Him.


"Do you think you're ready to receive me?" Skinner asked in a low, throaty whisper.


"Yes, oh god, YES!" Mulder cried.


"Not yet." Skinner entered three fingers into Mulder's anus, caressing his prostate in a way that made the slave's cock leap. He finger-fucked Mulder comprehensively for several minutes. All Mulder could think about was those big, strong fingers, consuming him from the inside, making love to his body, claiming him. His mind felt as if it were filled with a blinding white light, and even without being able to come, his body was consumed by wave after wave of nerve-tingling pleasure. Finally, Skinner withdrew his fingers.


"Like that?" he growled.


"Y…yes, Master," Mulder panted.


"Good. Stay there. I think it's time to see to that discipline, don't you?" Skinner's hand rubbed over Mulder's bottom, gently. "Keep your hands against the wall - don't move them," his Master warned. "The penalty for moving them is severe - trust me."


"Yes, Master," Mulder moaned, keeping his palms flat on the surface of the tiles. Skinner continued to caress his ass, then without warning dropped a hard slap onto the side of his butt, swiftly followed by another. He avoided the welts, slapping between them, beneath them, or to the side of them, and Mulder's bottom got warmer and warmer. Then Skinner worked down lower, onto his thighs, slapping them soundly. Mulder hated being spanked there, and he half stood up with a yelp, then remembered, and stopped, one hand nearly in the air.


"Move it another inch and your ass is toast," Skinner warned, and Mulder placed the offending hand back down flat again, presenting his thighs once more as an easy target to his Master's insistent hand. It hurt, but it was a good hurt, Mulder thought to himself, as the endorphins ran amok through his body, taking him to a blissed-out plane of existence. Skinner's hand was harder now, cracking against his flesh, and Mulder started to sob, the water cascading down the side of his face, mingling with the few tears that were running down his cheeks. Now Skinner's hand slapped lightly against Mulder's welts, sending a sting of pain through Mulder's body that made him shiver, and his cock harden. He struggled to keep his hands on the tiles - he wanted to wriggle and scream and all he could do was hop from foot to foot, moaning incoherently.


"Oh god, Master…hurts, hurts…please…" he wept.


"Why are you being spanked, slave?" Skinner growled over the sound of the running water.


"For…for…not being more thoughtful of your pleasure, Master," Mulder whimpered. "Oh shit…please…oh god…."


"And will you resolve to do better in future?"


"Yes, Master! Ow! I promise! I promise!" Mulder cried, as Skinner's hand smacked down harder and harder on his red buttocks.


"And why else are you being disciplined?" Skinner asked.


"For…" Mulder wracked his brains, and then remembered. "Because it pleases you, Master! No other reason…" He panted.


"Good." Skinner chuckled. "It does please me, slave, to see your butt turn bright red, and to feel you squirm and wriggle under my hand, to hear you beg and to see how hard you try to obey me by standing in position. Now hold still - let's finish this off properly shall we?" So saying he applied a dozen of the hardest slaps to Mulder's punished backside, and it was all Mulder could do to keep his hands on the wall as those blistering blows rained down on his wet, glowing bottom.


Then the slaps grew softer, until they stopped altogether, and Skinner directed a spray of lukewarm water over Mulder's hot butt - if the water had been any colder Mulder was sure that his skin would have sizzled on contact. He leaned his forehead against the tiled wall, then felt Skinner stand close behind him, taking those warmed buttocks between his hands and kneading them softly. Mulder groaned, and gasped but kept in position as ordered. Skinner's fingers dipped casually into his anus as he kneaded, staying for a moment, then withdrawing. Mulder was so used to these intrusions now that he didn't tense up - in fact he pressed back, trying to force his Master's fingers onto that delicious spot inside him that Skinner had found earlier, and which caused him such pleasure. Skinner didn't oblige, the fingers entering and leaving too quickly, like the briefest kiss, leaving Mulder wanting more. His Master kissed the back of his neck as he kneaded, and Mulder could feel the other man's hard cock pressed against his sore buttocks. He wondered whether Skinner would part the warm flesh and enter swiftly inside him, pinning him to the shower wall, but after several minutes of petting, his Master stepped away and told him he could stand up.


Mulder's first action was simply to kneel, prostrate at his Master's feet, and kiss them over and over again, while muttering incoherent thanks. Skinner laughed, and allowed him his devotion, then pulled Mulder up, wiped his wet hair back from his face, and kissed his forehead. Mulder leaned limply against his Master's shoulder for a while, caressing the big man's taut, naked buttocks, and then he felt himself being pushed away, and the shower was finally snapped off.


"I'm sure we're clean enough by now," Skinner remarked dryly.


Mulder eagerly opened the cubicle, and plucked a large towel from the rail, holding it out for his Master as he emerged. He wrapped it around Skinner, and set to work drying him off. "Good. Very good." Skinner smiled. He caught hold of Mulder's face between his hands, and kissed the tip of his nose. "That's the sort of thinking that will earn you rewards, little one," he murmured. Mulder's heart jumped in his chest. There were so many rewards on offer here that he wasn't sure which he wanted most. He wanted to be able to come, to play in that fantasy Playroom, to be used by his Master, and welcome his cock into his body, to sleep in his Master's bed, and then there was also his Master's deep kisses, claiming his mouth with his tongue…the list was endless.


"Yes, Master," he whispered, feeling in that moment more a slave than he had done at any point before. He wanted to serve this man, he wanted to wash him, and dry him, and adore him. That was the easy part.


"Your attention puts me in mind of something else." Skinner grinned at him. "Dry yourself - then follow me."


Mulder did as instructed, and Skinner put on a bathrobe, and walked upstairs to the Playroom. Mulder felt a leap of anticipation as he saw where they were headed - then something occurred to him.


"Master, I, uh, haven't had a chance to…use the lube this morning," he murmured.


"That's all right, slave." Skinner smiled. "I won't be touching you. Just the opposite in fact." He grinned at Mulder's puzzlement, opened the door, and ushered Mulder into the room in front of him. He took his slave over to a large massage table, and brought out a box of oils from underneath. "I'm feeling stiff this morning - do you have any massage skills?" Skinner asked Mulder, who shook his head wordlessly. "Well, just improvise - we'll see how you get on."


Mulder nodded, feeling all too eager to begin smoothing those oils over his Master's naked flesh. While Skinner lay down on the black leather table, Mulder began to warm the oil in his hands, then he placed them tentatively on Skinner's shoulders.


"Harder," Skinner ordered, and Mulder set to work, his long fingers swiftly eating up the newly oiled skin beneath them. He probed into areas that felt tight beneath his fingers, doing his best to smooth out any kinks he found, and he was soon completely absorbed in his task. Skinner lay unmoving, and didn't protest when Mulder naughtily slipped his fingers between his Master's butt cheeks.


"Would you like to serve me there?" Skinner asked suddenly, making Mulder jump.


"Yes, Master," he answered, truthfully.


"With your cock?" Skinner demanded.


Mulder thought about it. "Yes, Master," he admitted, swallowing hard.


Skinner laughed. "Something else to put on your list of rewards to be earned then," he said.


"Yes, Master."


"Have you ever served a top by giving anal sex, Fox?" Skinner asked.


"No, Master." Mulder kissed the back of his Master's knees.


"Well, we'll have to correct that - one day," Skinner mused. "For now - you have my permission to worship me there - with your tongue."


Mulder had never rimmed anyone, but he had been ordered to, so he gently parted his Master's butt cheeks, and slipped his tongue tentatively inside. Skinner was clean, and smelled of soap and oil, and he soon responded to Mulder's attention by wriggling his butt in a most satisfying way. Mulder relaxed and started to enjoy himself, as he teased that puckered opening with his lips and tongue, pushing inside then pulling back, making his Master sigh. He worshipped his Master in this way for several minutes, enjoying the sensation of bringing such pleasure to the big man, to say nothing of the enjoyment of having those tautly muscled buttocks nestled against his cheeks. Finally Skinner let out a groan, and sat up quickly.


"I think," Skinner said, his huge erection pointing sky high, "that I require your urgent services, Fox." Mulder knelt obediently in front of him, and Skinner guided his cock into his slave's waiting mouth, thrusting in and out for only a couple of minutes before coming, his fingers fondling his slave's hair as he sucked.


"That's twice before breakfast." Skinner grinned.


"I'm very lucky, Master," Mulder replied.


Skinner gave a delighted laugh, and caressed the side of his slave's face. "You're doing wonderfully well, Fox. I'm very pleased with you," he said. "If you keep this up, then this afternoon I'll show you some of the delights of the Playroom." Mulder couldn't stop the grin splitting his face in two. "Go and look in the cupboards." Skinner pulled his robe back on. "And bring me the item you'd most like to play with."


Mulder scampered over and surveyed the contents of the cupboard like a kid eyeing candy. There was so much, he could hardly decide which to choose!


"Having problems, slave?" Skinner came up behind him.


"Yes, Master." Mulder bit on his lip. "I was intrigued by the birch you showed me when we first came here, but I'm not sure…I've already been spanked once today," he sighed.


"Fox, I can use the birch as punishment, or pleasure. Believe me - if you chose that, I'd make sure it gave you nothing more than the most deliciously nipping kisses," Skinner told him. "What else fascinates you, sweetheart?" He sounded like an indulgent lover, and Mulder looked up at him, with a beaming smile, relishing the moment. "The harness," he said. "I've been tied up before, but I've never been suspended in mid-air. I've always liked the idea of that."


"Then that's what you'll have." Skinner kissed him fondly. "Now, I think it's time for brunch. After that, you can spend a few hours doing the laundry. If you finish it all to my satisfaction then we'll play later - and I'll allow you to come." He brushed his fingers over Mulder's cock with a wry smile. Mulder felt a giddy sense of triumph at his Master's words, but they were dashed by his next sentence. "Here - this is a card for someone who'll give you massage tuition." Skinner handed him a piece of paper. "Phone him tomorrow and arrange it please, Fox. I expect you to become fully proficient."

Mulder took the card wordlessly. Hadn't his Master enjoyed his massage? Weren't his efforts good enough?


"And just in case the temptation is too much for you…" Skinner pulled another chastity device from the cupboard, and Mulder sighed. This one was smaller, but just as efficient, and Skinner didn't forget the padlock either. Feeling slightly deflated, Mulder returned to his room and left the massage tutor's card on his night-stand, before jogging down the stairs to the kitchen to eat.


After a large brunch, Skinner instructed Mulder to clear away, and finish doing the laundry he had begun the previous day.


"I'm going out for a couple of hours. Do not succumb to the temptation to go nosing around the apartment," he told his slave in a severe tone. Mulder nodded, feeling faintly aggrieved.


"Of course not, Master. I wouldn't dream of it," he answered. Skinner raised an eyebrow, and Mulder flushed. "Well, I won't now you've told me not to," he amended hastily.


Skinner grinned, and tousled his hair. "Good. If all that ironing is done by the time I get back, then we'll play," he promised.


Mulder nodded, and set about clearing away the brunch dishes with uncharacteristic enthusiasm. Soon Skinner would tie him up with that amazing equipment, do exotic and exquisitely pleasurable things to his naked, helpless body, and allow him to come! Mulder's cock twitched gratefully inside its casing, like a dog panting to be let off the leash. He did wonder where Skinner had gone, but he was too preoccupied to care much. He finished tidying up, and then turned, having the distinct feeling that he was being watched. There, sitting on top of the fridge staring at him, was Wanda.


"Cats…" Mulder told her, sweeping her down from her perch and depositing her on the floor, "are not allowed to sit on refrigerators. Nor…" he jumped into action as Wanda leapt on top of the kitchen work surface, "...are they allowed on any surface in the kitchen except the floor." He placed her back down by his feet again firmly. "Some of us know a cat's place, madam, and it isn't ruling the roost, like old toppy-toes seems to think. There's a new regime around here, Wanda baby, so you'd better get used to it." He glared at her to ram the point home, and then wandered off to the laundry room, ignoring the baleful look Wanda made at his retreating back.


Mulder tackled the laundry with a zeal bordering on the obsessive. He poured every ounce of his energy and sexual frustration into the chore, until he was as steamed up as the iron. Finally, he surveyed the array of smartly pressed shirts with satisfaction.


"I'm gonna come!" he proclaimed to nobody in particular, doing a little dance around the room, without a second thought for how bizarre a sight he must look, frolicking naked save for his chastity device, clutching an iron in one hand, and sporting a still glowing red bottom.


Mulder hung up some of the shirts, and then ran out of hangers. He laid the rest of the shirts carefully on all the available surfaces, and trotted upstairs to Skinner's bedroom to retrieve some more hangers, then ran back down again, whistling cheerfully to himself as he went. He sauntered into the laundry, and then stopped, his mouth open in dismay. The shirts - those shirts he had laid out, those newly ironed, crisp white shirts were covered in…pawprints.


A fleeing blur of cream and gold zoomed past his ankles, and he let out a cry of incoherent rage.


"Wanda! I'll damn well kill you!" he roared, torn between chasing after the cat and repairing the damage to the shirts. A cursory inspection revealed that the shirts were beyond help. Each one of them was decorated liberally with Wanda's dainty, delicate pawmarks. They would have to be washed and ironed again. Mulder could have wept. He stood there for a long time, feeling a wave of despairing anger. Every ounce of sexual frustration at being so permanently aroused, and yet denied any release, welled up inside him. He threw the shirts onto the floor and ran up the stairs to his room, pulled out his case, and threw his clothes into it. Then he realized that he didn't have any money, and worse than that, he was still fastened into his chastity belt. He had no choice but to wait until Skinner returned home before leaving. Fine. So be it. Mulder eased his legs into a pair of jeans, pulled on a tee shirt, and then walked back downstairs to sit in the front room, awaiting his Master's, no, make that ex-Master's return.


Mulder's mood worsened while he waited. He felt almost limp with the agony of his disappointment and a sensation of total and abject lethargy descended on him. What the hell had possessed him to sign that stupid contract in the first place? He was a grown man, of 37, being treated like nothing more than a…slave - his mind supplied the word for him dryly. Which of course, was exactly what he'd wanted.


Mulder buried his face in his hands, struggling with this side of his personality. Just what exactly had driven him to this? He could survive without it, couldn't he? Maybe he could re-negotiate with Skinner, ask his boss to consider taking him as his sub - a nice, easy, twice a week arrangement, that Mulder could end whenever he wanted. No obligation, no restriction, no effort. Just 2 nights a week spent in that fantasy wonderland upstairs.


Mulder jumped, startled out of his reverie by the sound of the front door closing, and Skinner walked into the room. His boss was wearing black jeans, a black tee shirt, and a plain black leather jacket. Mulder wished his throat hadn't dried up at the sight of him.


"What's this?" Skinner threw his keys down on the table, and glanced at Mulder's clothed body pointedly. "And this?" He nudged the case with his foot.


"I'm leaving. I've had enough. This is stupid, we can never make it work. It's crazy to think that you can be my Master, or me your slave. I'm a free man, not some unpaid maid!" Mulder exploded.


Skinner looked at him thoughtfully. "Go on," he said, shrugging the jacket off, and hanging it on the back of a chair. Mulder noticed that he had a parcel under one arm.


"I don't want to be subject to your every damn whim! I'm used to making my own decisions - hell, I'm a free spirit, Skinner, you know that. I don't respond well to restrictions like these. Damn it! I'm just not very good at following orders! I can't follow them at work - why the hell should it be any different here?" Mulder yelled.


"What brought all this on?" Skinner asked calmly, placing the parcel on the table, and pouring himself a glass of water.


"It doesn't matter! Don't you hear what I'm telling you? You don't own me, you don't possess me, you can't fucking well decide things for me," Mulder ranted desperately. "This whole situation is absurd. I know it was partly my fault for agreeing to it, and I know I signed that stupid contract, but it's over. You can't keep me here. I don't want to be kept. I need to get out…I need…oh fuck, I don't know what the hell I need!"


Skinner finished his water, and waited until Mulder had finished, his face impassive.


"Come with me," was all Skinner said, when the tirade was over. Mulder hesitated, hopping from foot to foot nervously, and biting on his lip. Skinner picked up the parcel, and began walking, then stopped, and turned back to Mulder. "It's a request, not an order," Skinner said softly. Mulder swallowed hard, then nodded, and followed the other man along the corridor and into a room he'd never been in before.


The room was a small study, with a big desk, and a couple of chairs. There were shelves all around the wall covered in books.


"Take a seat." Skinner gestured, placing the package on the desk, and seating himself in the big chair behind it. Mulder felt himself relaxing slightly. This set up - the desks, and chairs, reminded him of their more familiar surroundings at the Hoover building. He could cope with this. He noticed a pile of files on the desk, and nodded at them, braving a more civilized comment to show the other man that his hysteria had calmed.


"Bringing your work home, sir. That's dedication."


"It is homework, but it isn't anything to do with my job," Skinner waved a hand at the files. "Fox, you've asked my permission to be released from your contract. I'm refusing you that permission," he stated firmly. Mulder looked up, surprised to find that he was feeling simultaneously angry and relieved.


"You can't keep me here against my will," he replied mutinously.


"No, I can't, but someone else might have done just that," Skinner told him.


Mulder frowned. "What do you mean?" He demanded.


"I mean that you contracted to sell yourself into sexual slavery to someone you'd never even met. You didn't know it would be me, Fox. You could have been sold to someone who beat you senseless, fucked you, and kept you tied to the bed day and night with no thought for your well being. You arranged a week off work - you didn't know where you would be going, and I'll just bet that you didn't tell anyone else what you were planning on doing. Anything could have happened to you, Fox." Skinner's disapproval was clear, and Mulder shivered. He glanced down at his hands.


"This guy, I mean, you, he - you - had a reputation. I felt I'd be safe…" he whispered.


"Fox, you're on a mission to self-destruct. You have been since the day I first met you, and you will be until someone pulls you back from the edge. I intend to be that someone." Mulder looked up, surprised. "You're mine, Fox, whether you like it or not," Skinner told him firmly. "That's non-negotiable. I made that very clear to you before you signed that contract - there's no way out for you. However, I want a devoted slave, not a miserable one. If you have any problems with the way I treat you, you can tell me at any time. You have my express permission to do so - in fact, it's an order. I promise I will always listen to what you have to say - and if I don't agree with you I will tell you why. I told you before - your honesty is important to me. Now, I knew we'd have to have this conversation at some point. I'm a little surprised it's so soon, but not unduly concerned. Tell me what's bothering you." He leaned back in his chair, silent, and still, except for one finger that rubbed insistently against his thumb, in an almost hypnotic motion.


Mulder hesitated. All his anger and frustration seemed so petty and meaningless when pitted against this calm, eminently reasonable man. All his fury dissipated into nothing, and he felt his body lose its stiffness, and settle into a boneless mass of self loathing.


"I don't know where I stand with you," he said in a small voice. "I'm not used to this scenario. I thought you'd fuck me, but you haven't. I don't know what you want from me."


"This is all because I haven't stuck my cock up your ass?" Skinner asked in disbelief. "We've done just about every other sexual act, Fox."


"I know." Mulder shrugged, feeling two inches small.


"Fox. Look at me," Skinner said softly. Mulder raised his head slowly, afraid to meet the other man's eyes, but when he did he found them warm and compelling. "What else?" Skinner asked.


"You won't let me come!" Mulder knew it sounded stupid, even to his own ears, but Skinner's expression didn't change. He didn't snort in disbelief, or get up angrily. "I can't stand being constantly on the edge the whole time," he finished lamely.


"Is there anything else?" Skinner asked. Mulder bit on his lip, but he'd started, so he might as well go on making things worse.


"The massage. I thought you enjoyed it, but then you gave me that card and told me to learn how to do it properly. I wanted to please you," he faltered. "I have tried to please you, but I don't think I can. I'm just going to disappoint you like I did with the massage…oh fuck this!" He yelled, getting up angrily. "Why the hell am I apologizing? Let me just leave and we'll pretend it never happened. I don't need this. I can turn my back on it, bury myself in my work…"


"Until the next time." Skinner interrupted softly.


"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Mulder paced the study in a frenzy of emotion.


"That you can't bury this side of yourself forever. You try, and you fail. This situation will keep coming back," Skinner told him.


"What the hell do you know about it? You're just some fucking sadist. You don't know me, Skinner, and you sure as hell don't own me," Mulder yelled, wondering even as he did so, why he was losing it like this.


"Sit down." Skinner told him in a firm tone. Mulder clenched his fists at his side, and waged a silent battle with himself, until he remembered that Skinner had the key to the damn chastity device so unless he wanted to hack around his nether regions with a sharp knife, he had to co-operate. Mulder took a deep breath, and obeyed.


"All right." Skinner said softly, leaning back in his chair. "I wasn't going to tell you this, but I will. Fox, these files here, they aren't work, they're you."


"What?" Mulder looked at the assembled files in astonishment. "You've been spying on me?" He gasped, his usual knee jerk reaction after years of paranoia on the X Files.


"Hear me out." Skinner held up a hand. "I didn't want to take you on, Fox. When you started looking for me a year ago, I did everything I could to avoid you. I knew how difficult it would be at work, and apart from anything else, you do have a reputation on the scene. Let me finish." He glared at the other man as he opened his mouth to protest. "People all said that you were an attractive player, and a good one, you knew what you wanted, and you stated it clearly. There weren't any misunderstandings, and you didn't seem to be carrying around a lot of emotional baggage - although some of the people I spoke to weren't entirely sure on that last point. Everybody spoke of your tendency to want something more than they could offer. They all felt that they'd subtly disappointed you in some way, and the more perceptive ones told me that they thought you were spinning silently, and desperately, out of control. I worried that you would seek ever more extreme thrills, until you got yourself killed in the process. When I spoke to you last week, you confirmed that for me. I went into that first meeting expecting to tell you "no", to get you off my back once and for all without you finding out who I was, but you said something that changed all that for me. I knew I couldn't turn my back on you. I had to help you." Skinner paused, and leaned forward, resting his arms on his desk. "Fox, these files contain interviews with the people you've played with recently. As soon as I took you as my slave, I spoke to all of them, to find out what your fantasies are, and how you respond to various stimuli. From there, I worked out a plan for your training."


Mulder sat there with his mouth open, completely stunned. "I can see…" he observed finally, when he'd pulled himself together, "that you are as meticulous in your pleasure as you are in your work."


Skinner gave a wry laugh. "You could say that. Fox - why do you think I took you on? What do you think the appeal is to me in this situation?"


"Well…" Mulder thought about it. "I don't know. I assume you just like the power trip, the control, the available sexual services…" he trailed off.


"I do enjoy it, yes," Skinner mused, "but that wasn't why I got into all this. I'm not sharing all the details of the whys and wherefors at this point in time, but let me tell you this: a good top gets off on bringing pleasure to his sub, or slave, or whoever he's playing with. Not on inflicting pain, per se, or being a control freak, but on making his sub squirm, and tingle, and beg for it to stop, while all the time desperately wanting more. A good top is also safe," he emphasized the word. "Something you don't seem to care about, as you were prepared to sell yourself to a stranger. "


"It's not that." Mulder buried his head in his hands. "It's the thrill, sir. I need to be taken away from myself, and the danger of the unknown was so appealing," he sighed.


"So, I'm a disappointment." Skinner stated flatly.


Mulder's head jerked up. "No, sir. Hardly that. A revelation might be more accurate." He smiled weakly. "You're way out of the league, sir. I've never played with anyone like you. It's been…" he hesitated, then smiled again, "fantastic," he finished.


"And yet you want to leave?" Skinner pressed.


Mulder hesitated. "It's brought up some old fears," he admitted. "You can tell me to go any time you like, but I can't reject you." He bit on his lip, realizing he'd said the one word that gave his motivation away.


"Ah." Skinner smiled. "And you see my refusal to fuck you as a rejection too, don't you?" he said softly. Mulder nodded, gazing at his feet. "Fox, you've only been here for 2 days," Skinner pointed out.


"I know. I'm an idiot. You must hate me." Mulder shrugged. "I'm a huge disappointment. No staying power, huh?" He looked up, trying to smile.


"That's not true." Skinner shook his head. "Although I think you need someone to make sure you stay, which is why I've insisted on your slavery. I will fuck you though - didn't it ever occur to you that I was preparing you for that? Your previous experiences of anal sex have been painful. I'm not small - if I'd just plunged straight in, you'd have been hurt. Now, it still might be a little uncomfortable, but there's some pain you enjoy, and some that's just too much for you. You told me you didn't ask for anal sex from previous tops because it fell into the latter category."


Mulder leaned back, and ran a hand over his eyes. "The butt plugs…they weren't just a kind of humiliation, ownership thing," he murmured, hating himself for having been so dense.


"No." Skinner smiled fondly. "It was preparation."


"Damn, I'm an idiot." Mulder sighed.


"Yes, but you're my idiot." Skinner laughed.


Mulder looked up. "You'll keep me?" His heart was in his mouth as he realized just how much he wanted to stay.


"Of course," Skinner said firmly. "There's a lot to be done, Fox. Firstly, I'm going to take you all the way down with me. Think of it as diving. I'm going to take you right to the bottom of yourself - your heart, mind and soul, and we'll find out what's there. I'll be holding you all the way, but all the same it might hurt, and it will probably scare you. You'll have moments when you freak out, and want to run, but I won't let you. We'll face you together, then we'll swim back up together, so that you can breathe freely in the air again, liberated from the darkness, and constant pressure. You've given over your life to me - but you haven't yet learned to give up the control. Once you do, you'll find the journey easier. It's not a journey you can escape from though. You're committed to it. I won't let you go until we're done, and that won't be any time soon. Tell me what you think, Fox - tell me, honestly, what do you want?"


Skinner's dark eyed gaze transfixed Mulder where he sat.


"I…" he closed his eyes, and opened them again, to find Skinner still sitting there, waiting, his gaze never wavering. "I want to stay…Master," he whispered.


"Good." Skinner opened up the package on his desk, took out two picture frames, and placed them on his desk. They contained the contracts they had signed. Mulder's eyes flickered over both their signatures. He was so used to seeing them in the same place, on his work reports, but not like this; this was personal, and it felt good. It felt right.


"Let's view this as a reaffirmation of our vows." Skinner smiled. "I want you to keep both these on your night-stand. I want them to be the first thing you look at in the morning, and the last thing you look at when you go to bed. The way ahead is hard, but you can trust me to be by your side every step of the way."


"Yes, Master." Mulder nodded.


"And as for the issue about the massage - Fox I would have told you if I hadn't enjoyed your efforts. Wasn't my reaction evidence enough that I liked what you'd done?" Mulder shrugged, unwilling to cede the point. "Fox - you can't know everything without tuition. Clark Hammond - the man whose card I gave you - taught me massage! It's an important skill. I want you know all about the different oils, and how they can be used to treat different ailments. Your massage this morning was delicious - and Clark will teach you how to be even more skilled."


"Oh." Mulder bit on his lip, feeling stupid. It was all so reasonable that he didn't know why he had ever doubted his Master. He hated himself for so nearly screwing up the first thing in his life that had taken him outside himself, and given him some escape. He glanced up at Skinner.


"I screwed up," he admitted.


His Master shook his head. "Everyone makes mistakes, my slave," he murmured. "I might make a few myself during the course of your slavery. Please feel free to point them out to me if I do."


Mulder smiled, wondering if he'd dare. "Um, there's one thing I wanted to know, Master, while you're being so revealing," he said cautiously. "Do you have a camera in my bedroom?"


Skinner looked at him with a curious expression on his face. "A camera? Oh, I see!" he laughed out loud. "You're wondering how I knew about the cock ring and you jerking off!" He got up, went over to where his slave was seated, and put a finger under his chin, looking down on his property. "Do you think I need to spy on you?" He asked, in a deep, throaty voice, "when I know you so well?"


Mulder's eyes widened. "You guessed?" He asked. "How?"


"Fox, I'm not going to give away all my Master secrets to you," Skinner chided, tapping his slave firmly on the nose, "but as this is the first serious discussion we've had since your arrival, I'll give you this one for free. Don't expect any more in future. Before you went to bed I put the idea into your head - by denying you your pleasure, I made sure it was the only thing you could think about. You were new to your slavery - I didn't seriously suspect you to obey me at that point, and I made an educated guess that you wouldn't. In time you'll obey me because you want to, and because wanting to please me is the only thing on your mind. You won't wake up deciding whether to live or die any more, little one. Have you even thought about that since I brought you here?"


"No, Master." Mulder admitted, a slight lump welling up in his throat.


"Good." Skinner dipped his head and lightly kissed Mulder on the lips. "Now," he stood up straight, his eyes stern, and his demeanor brisk. "We have some issues to deal with."


"You're going to punish me for the way I spoke to you earlier." Mulder guessed, feeling his stomach churn anxiously.


"Yes, I am. If you'd come to me and talked about your concerns quietly, there would be no question of punishment, but I won't be ranted to. Did you do the tasks I set you earlier?"


Mulder's heart sank as he remembered that particular fiasco. "Yes, Master, I did," he murmured, "but then the cat," he spat that last word venomously, "decided to ruin all my hard work."


Skinner gazed at him curiously. "Show me," he commanded. Mulder led the way to the laundry room with a heavy heart. Skinner took one look at the ruined washing and shook his head, a smile tugging at his lips.


"Dear Wanda," he murmured. "You know, Fox, I don't think she likes you very much." He turned to Mulder, and frowned. "You're overdressed, slave," he commented.


"Yes, Master." Mulder scrambled to rid himself of his jeans and tee shirt, then knelt down in front of the other man, his body quivering slightly as he settled himself into the submissive position, wondering what was coming next.


"Is this what set off your mood?" Skinner asked. "Do you think I'm so unreasonable that I wouldn't recognize a catastrophe when I see it?" He smirked slightly at his pun, and Mulder sighed. Of all the Masters, in all the world, I have to be owned by one with a warped sense of humor…


"I'm sorry, Master. I just kept thinking about the Playroom, and what you'd promised," he explained. "I wanted it so much." Damn, but that sounded so lame.


"All right. Let me outline what's going to happen next," Skinner told him sternly. "In a minute, you are going to put these clothes back in the wash, then dry and iron them."


Mulder looked up, biting back his anger at being reduced once more to live-in maid. "Yes, Master," he managed to squeeze out from between gritted teeth.


Skinner smiled and shook his head, recognizing the effort that had gone into that little display of obedience. "After that, I'm going to take you up to the Playroom," he said.


Mulder's face creased into a smile. "Thank you, Master," he whispered, leaning forward to kiss Skinner's shoes, feeling guilty for his earlier petulance.


"However," Skinner continued. Mulder's heart did a flip. "This won't be all fun and games. I will use the harness, as you requested, but you're on probation - and I'll only allow you to come if I think you've been good enough. Understood?"


"Yes, Master." Mulder nodded, resolving that the other man wouldn't find any fault with him.


"In addition, I will use the item you requested for your pleasure, to administer punishment instead. I'll enjoy the irony." Skinner grinned.


"Master will birch me?" Mulder felt his cock hardening, as he gazed at the ground.


"Yes, Fox, Master will birch you - very hard indeed," Skinner told him in a cool, stern tone.


Mulder swallowed hard but he knew he deserved the punishment - even if he was shaking inside at the thought of it.


The first thing Mulder did upon being left on his own in the laundry room was to get down on his hands and knees, and check behind the washing machine. He found what he was looking for, dragged her out by the scruff of her neck, and held her up.


"All right, missy. You just bought me a whipping," he told Wanda, looking into her baleful green eyes. "So from now on - and watch my lips because I don't want there to be any doubts on the subject - this is war. Understood?" Wanda's tail twitched angrily, and Mulder nodded. "Yeah, you think he belongs to you, but he's mine, lady, so watch out." He opened the laundry door and deposited her on the floor outside, shutting it again with a flourish


Mulder spent the afternoon in an agony of anticipation. He longed to experience the joys of the Playroom, but he was growing more and more apprehensive about the birching. It didn't help that he'd never had any experience of that particular mode of punishment before. He didn't know what to expect. He finished his laundry tasks late in the afternoon, and then reported back to Skinner who was sitting at the kitchen table doing some paperwork, with Wanda wrapped around his shoulders, her plush fur enveloping the back of his bald head, like a ruff. Mulder stood there for a moment, examining the pair of them. It couldn't be comfortable for his Master, but Wanda was clearly enjoying herself as her purring could be heard from the other side of the room, and Skinner was gently stroking her tail as he worked, taking care not to dislodge her. Mulder shot his enemy a malicious smile, as he claimed her doting servant's attention away from her.


Mulder held his breath as Skinner examined his work, desperately hoping it wouldn't be found wanting. His Master seemed satisfied though, and told him to take a bath, and relax, before reporting to the Playroom. Skinner unlocked the padlock on the chastity device, and pulled it away from Mulder's cock, and then, before his almost inevitable erection could develop, Skinner whisked the gold ring away too. Mulder's cock sprang into immediate life once released from its bonds. "Careful." Skinner slapped it gently. "You don't have my permission to come yet - that has to be earned," he told his slave. Mulder inhaled deeply, a worried frown creasing his forehead."I said relax!" Skinner laughed, kissing his forehead. "Pleasure and pain - you'll taste both, Fox, but not more than you can handle of each."


Mulder nodded and scooted for the bathroom, his body starting to tingle in anticipation. When he'd finished, he climbed the stairs to the upper apartment, his stomach flipping inside.


The door was ajar when he got there, and he knocked on it. Skinner opened it a few seconds later, and Mulder stood still, transfixed. Skinner had changed into a pair of tight leather pants, and was bare-chested. He looked divine, with his powerful shoulders, and tautly muscled chest. Mulder couldn't wait to kneel at his feet. Skinner ushered him into the playroom, and Mulder noted that the harness was already set up, hanging from several pulleys in the center of the room, directly under the glass ceiling panels.


"I thought I told you to relax." Skinner frowned.


"I am, Master," Mulder lied, and received a swat on his butt for his deception.


"Then why are you shaking?" Skinner wrapped a big arm around Mulder's neck, and drew him close, stilling his trembling with the sheer warmth and reassurance of his body. Finally, Mulder's tremors faded, and Skinner drew back, his expression stern. "Hold our your hands," he ordered. Mulder did as instructed, and Skinner fastened a pair of furry cuffs onto his wrists, repeating the process with his ankles. Then he tied a wide, soft belt around Mulder's midriff.


"This will support your back," Skinner told his slave, as he worked. Mulder nodded - the belt was extremely comfortable, as were the cuffs. "Now - go to the cupboard and bring me the birch," Skinner commanded. Mulder swallowed hard, and did as he was told, picking up the instrument of punishment almost reverently, and carrying it back to where his Master stood, adjusting the hoist for the harness. Mulder kneeled at Skinner's feet in the submissive pose, eyes down, hands holding out the birch, his whole body a mass of wildly conflicting emotions. Anticipation warred with fear, which in turn threatened to be swamped by excitement, and arousal.


When Skinner was satisfied with his work, he turned back to his slave, but instead of taking the birch from him, he put a finger under Mulder's chin and pulled his face up to look him in the eye. Mulder shivered - Skinner's expression was stern, and determined.


"This will be a proper punishment birching, Fox," he told his kneeling slave.


Mulder swallowed, and nodded. "Yes, Master, I understand," he managed to croak.


"Punishment should teach a lesson - I want you to think about the lesson you should learn from this birching," Skinner informed him. "When I punish you, I want the reason for your suffering to be uppermost in your mind."


"Yes, Master," Mulder said, starting to tremble again.


Skinner stroked his hair, softly, soothing him. "It will be hard, little one, but you'll survive."


Mulder closed his eyes, and nodded, pinpricks of sweat breaking out on his body. Skinner took the birch from his hands, and laid it on a table to one side. "On your feet," he ordered, and Mulder scrambled to obey.


Skinner fastened Mulder's cuffs and belt onto the harness, and tested each link firmly, to make sure they were secure. When he was satisfied, he paused to give his slave a brief kiss of reassurance, before swinging a startled Mulder into mid-air. Mulder gave a squawk of surprise, then surrendered to the sensation. It was actually very comfortable - his body was supported, and he felt as if he were flying. He was suspended on his front, at waist height.


"I won't ever leave the room while you're in bondage," Skinner told him. "If you feel any distress, tell me. Immediately. It's important. Understood?"


Mulder nodded quickly, then held his breath as Skinner picked up the birch. Mulder tensed, but all Skinner did was run the bound twigs over his back, then through Mulder's open thighs, and over his cock and balls, before continuing down his legs. Mulder lost sight of his Master briefly, then he reappeared, brushing the birch twigs along the side of Mulder's torso. It was a light, scratchy feeling, but it didn't hurt. Skinner stopped in front of the bound man, and looked down on him.


"I think you should watch yourself being punished," he said, propping up a large, gilt-edged mirror on the 'throne' opposite Mulder's hanging body. Mulder looked at himself, soaring through the air like a bird, suspended on the harness. There was a curious kind of beauty in his bondage, Mulder thought. It gave him a chill of arousal to see himself trussed up like this, immobilized, at the mercy of his stern owner. He saw himself as Skinner saw him: a bound, naked man awaiting his Master's attention.


Skinner returned to his side, and continued brushing the birch along Mulder's naked limbs, scratching it lightly under his chest, and over his nipples, making Mulder gasp. Then the stroking stopped, and the birch connected lightly with his bottom. It didn't hurt - in fact it created a delicious nipping sensation over his skin. Mulder sighed. The birch connected again, up and down his buttocks and thighs, over his shoulders, and down to his feet. Mulder could see now why Skinner had told him that he could make the birch an instrument of pleasure. This light tickling was sensuous and erotic.


Without warning the pressure of the licks got harder. Now the twigs descended with greater speed and force on his naked flesh, making him gasp and cry out. Skinner ignored his wriggling, and continued to swing the birch down, confining his attention mainly to Mulder's exposed bottom, but occasionally applying it elsewhere, keeping Mulder on edge, not knowing where it would land next. The combined force of the twigs as they striped his bare backside made Mulder suddenly appreciate Skinner's warning that this was a punishment.


"It stings, Master!" He gasped.


"Yes, slave, it does." Skinner replied, applying the birch with more force. Mulder began to sob now, moving his body in the harness, desperate to escape the instrument of torture that he was sure was flailing the skin from his bones.


"Please, Master…it hurts…ow!…it hurts…" he whimpered desperately.


"It's a punishment, Fox - it will hurt even more before I'm through," Skinner informed him tersely. "Now, have you thought about the lesson you're being taught here?"


"No! Yes…I…ow!" Mulder panted.


"Well?" Skinner pressed.


"It's difficult to talk, Master, when you're…oh fuck!" Mulder yelped as the birch landed on his shoulders, and then again on his thighs, before returning to his already sore buttocks.


"I'm waiting." Skinner delivered another hard stripe on Mulder's bottom, wringing a sob from the helpless man. "What lesson will you learn from your punishment?" Skinner insisted, in a calm, inexorable tone.


Mulder knew the torture wouldn't stop until he came up with a satisfactory answer. "To…not to try and leave!" He gasped.


"No." Skinner slapped down a particularly hard stroke. "That's not what you're being taught here. Try again."


Mulder wracked his brain, trying desperately to think of the right answer. He watched himself being punished in the mirror, his tall, strong, ruthlessly efficient Master reducing him to a quivering, helpless morass of sensation. He felt his cock harden at the raw, sweaty beauty of the scene.


"Lesson…I'm thinking…ow! I said I'm thinking!" Mulder yelped as the birch bit into his flesh with a savage caress.


"Think faster," Skinner instructed. "It's not a very hard lesson, Fox, although I have a feeling it'll take more than this one punishment to drum it home."


Mulder thought back over the day's events and they all kaleidoscoped together in his mind, creating a series of jumbled images. He saw himself ironing, saw Wanda glowering at him from the fridge, saw himself seated in his jeans and tee shirt on the couch, mouthing off at his Master.


"I mustn't be disrespectful to you!" He gasped, pleased with himself. "I won't swear at you again, or throw a tantrum like I did today…I promise…aarrrgghhhh!" He screamed as the birch descended once more, with full force on his upturned, waiting buttocks.


"It would be nice if you could manage that," Skinner chuckled, "but I'm not exactly going to hold my breath. It's also not the lesson I want you to learn from this birching. Try again."


"I can't…Master, please!" Mulder begged, feeling sure he'd reached his limit, wanting only for the punishment to stop for just one second so that he could think but the birch continued its vicious work, unrelenting, and unyielding. Mulder remembered sitting in Skinner's small study, and hearing his Master talk about diving, or something…he felt like he was diving now, suspended here like this. Then Skinner had told him that…


"I have to talk to you, Master! I have to tell you what I'm thinking and feeling, especially when I'm upset. I have to be honest with you!" he cried out.


The nightmare stopped, and Mulder hung in mid-air, the sweat pouring off his body. Then Skinner was cradling his face between his hands, looking deep into Mulder's eyes.


"Good, well done, Fox," Skinner told him, kissing his forehead, then his lips, before softly nuzzling his hair. "You did well. I'm so proud of you, little one."


He continued whispering praise and endearments, until Mulder stopped panting, and became bathed in a glow of warmth. The endorphin high hit him, and he felt the dual joys of being made to endure hard physical punishment while being suspended like this in mid-air. It made the dreamy sensation of floating away that he always got from the endorphin rush all the more real and satisfying.


"Thank you, Master…thank you…" he babbled incoherently.


"For what?" Skinner asked, in an amused tone.


"For making me…go further than I thought I could…" Mulder sighed.


Skinner grinned, and smoothed Mulder's hair. "I'll take you further yet, little one," he promised in a deep, sexy growl. Mulder closed his eyes and savored the words, the intent going straight to his cock.


Skinner disappeared out of his field of vision, then returned a few seconds later with a cold, damp washcloth. He ran it gently over Mulder's hot skin, cooling the fevered flesh, pausing to lick at the light marks created by the birch, which were already fading.


"Now - I'm going to play with you," Skinner promised. "I'm going to take my pleasure from you slowly, little one, and you are going to submit to everything I want to do to you. At the end, if I'm satisfied, you can come - but not before. Come before I tell you, and I'll get my crop out of the cupboard and add to those welts that I gave you yesterday. Understand?"


Mulder nodded weakly, willing his rampant cock to calm down, and wait until it had permission to explode. Skinner adjusted Mulder's position, turning him onto his back, and reattaching him, checking the links to make sure his slave was secure.


"Comfortable?" he asked.


"Yes, Master." Mulder nodded, throwing his head back and gazing out of the window above him. It was starting to get dark, and the sky was a deep blue color. A flock of birds flew into his field of vision, turned, en masse, and disappeared again. This felt…so damn good!


Skinner brought over a small box of objects which Mulder craned his head to try and get a good look at. Skinner tapped his nose reprovingly.


"You'll soon become intimately acquainted with them, believe me," he chuckled.


He fastened Mulder's legs so that they were open wide, then stood between his outstretched thighs. Without warning, he entered one lubed finger into Mulder's ass. Mulder gasped, taken by surprise, then gasped again, as Skinner's hand stroked his thigh, feeling something soft, warm, soothing - fur. A glance down confirmed that Skinner was wearing a glove. His Master stroked him with that smooth, furry hand, while he continued to probe inside his prone slave's body with his finger, adding another, then a third, finding Mulder's prostate, making the captive man writhe in pleasure from both sensations.


"Ah, you like being stroked…like a cat…" Skinner murmured, running the glove up Mulder's chest, and down the side of his neck. Mulder moaned, and nuzzled into the embrace. Skinner continued with these dual caresses for several minutes, until Mulder thought he'd end up purring like a cat too. Then he jumped, startled, as a hot object landed on his thigh. He glanced down and saw the dildo resting on his skin.


"It’s filled with warm water," Skinner told him, parting the captive man's buttocks and sliding the slender dildo between his open cheeks. Mulder tensed, but it was a curiously comforting sensation, warming him inside. He relaxed, and Skinner moved the dildo within his body, sliding it back and forth up the lubed passage. Then he removed it, and Mulder let out a startled yelp as a cold object was placed on his thigh.


"Ice-water." Skinner grinned evilly.


"No…" Mulder twisted, but Skinner parted his buttocks and smoothly pushed the cold, lubed object into Mulder's waiting body. "Fuck!" Mulder wriggled, and squirmed but couldn't dislodge the freezing intruder. It wasn't big, and it didn't hurt, it was just so damn cold.


Skinner stoked his thigh again, fondling him until he quieted, then he teased the dildo in and out, making Mulder gasp with every cold lunge. The cold dildo was replaced once more by the warm one, and he relaxed again. Skinner alternated the two dildos for several long minutes, making Mulder alternately writhe, and bliss out. The bound man was aware of his cock growing harder and he groaned, wanting desperately to come. Skinner removed the cold dildo one final time, and took the tip of Mulder's cock between his thumb and forefinger, pinching firmly.


"Not yet," he ordered.


Mulder sighed. "Soon, Master, please…" he begged.


"Maybe," Skinner smiled, and began running his hands over Mulder's prone body. "It feels good having you here, helpless, at my mercy," he whispered, bending his head, and taking one of Mulder's nipples in his mouth. It was the first time Skinner had sucked him there, and Mulder nearly shot through the roof, as his nerve endings, sensitized by the birching and anal play, jangled and screeched in arousal.


"Hmmm, someone likes being sucked here." Skinner disengaged with a grin. "That's good - I'm glad these are such erogenous zones for you, slave, it'll make it doubly satisfying to pierce them." He pinched both nipples at the same time, jack-knifing Mulder's body into the air.


"Yes, Master." Mulder panted, trying desperately to stop himself coming.


"Time for a change of scenery, I think." Skinner flipped Mulder onto his front again, and arranged him into a kneeling position, tightening parts of the harness in places, so that Mulder's butt was completely exposed, his legs fastened wide apart, stretching his anus open, and displaying his most secret body parts to the world. "Look between your legs," Skinner commanded, and Mulder did as he was told, to see himself reflected back, the image in the mirror dominated by his ass, which was just about the only part of himself he could see from this position. He was completely exposed, and without dignity, just a butt floating in mid-air.


A movement distracted his attention, and he looked up to see Skinner unbuttoning his leather pants in front of him. He watched transfixed, as Skinner slid the leather down his long limbs, to reveal that he wasn't wearing any underwear. His large cock immediately stood up straight, thick and arousing. Mulder made a small whimpering sound as he surveyed the lean, powerful body of his nude Master.


Skinner stood in front of him, lifted Mulder's head to his chest and directed him to suck his nipples. Mulder enjoyed having the big man's arms enfolded around him as he worked, tickling the small nubs of flesh with his tongue, and scraping them gently with his teeth. He must have done something right, as his Master sighed, and leaned into the embrace, enjoying himself for several minutes, before he pushed Mulder away, moved down to his slave's buttocks, grasped them in his big hands, and rubbed his erect cock against them.


"Please, Master…" Mulder pushed back onto that cock, wanting to feel it inside him, to be taken in this most helpless and submissive of positions, overwhelmed, and completely dominated by the other man. Skinner just teased him, rubbing himself along Mulder's crease, but not entering.


"Do you want me, slave?" Skinner asked.


"Yes, Master…please, please…" Mulder begged.


"Not yet!" Skinner laughed, slapping his butt. Mulder felt his whole body go limp in despair at the constant wanting, and being denied. "I will take you, slave," Skinner continued in a low, sexy tone, "and I'll use you hard, and fast, but first I want you to think about how you can serve me. I'm going to leave you hanging here, your ass in the air, with this little beauty…" his finger circled Mulder's opening, "exposed and waiting. I want you to focus all your thoughts here, knowing that the only way you can serve me while you're in bondage, is with this…" His finger thrust into Mulder's body, sending a wave of pleasure through the prone man's body. "When I come back, I'll use you well. Until then, I want you to think of me entering you, of how it'll feel to serve me with this part of yourself, and of how you're going to welcome me and worship me here."


Skinner withdrew his finger, and Mulder heard him walk away. He relaxed into his bonds, and tried to do as he'd been instructed. It wasn't hard. His backside was so exposed that it was all he could think about - that and the fact that Skinner was going to put him out of his misery and take him. It made his cock ache with desire.


He wasn't sure how much time passed with him hanging there in that agony of longing, but finally he heard Skinner return. The big man trailed a line of kisses up Mulder's body, finally ending up at Mulder's head.


"I have a little task for you, Fox," Skinner said, nuzzling his erect cock against the side of Mulder's cheek. "I want you to put the condom on for me."


"How, Master?" Mulder blinked, looking at the unwrapped condom Skinner was holding, and his own tied, outstretched arms.


"With your lips, Fox, how else?" Skinner grinned, opening his slave's mouth with his finger, and placing the condom on his tongue. Mulder did his best, but the condom ended up as a soggy heap on the floor. "Hmm, try again." Skinner opened another one, and placed that in his slave's waiting mouth. Mulder tried once more to apply it to his Master's magnificent, erect cock. He did a little better this time, and Skinner helped him by guiding the condom into place with his fingers. "I can see that you're going to have to practice this. I want you to become fully proficient," Skinner ordered. "I'm going to give you a dildo and pack of condoms to take to your room - you can practice it until you can do it blindfolded - which you're very likely to be asked to do at some point," he chuckled.


He returned to Mulder's buttocks, patting them, and kneading the sore flesh with his hands, sending dizzy waves of pleasure/pain straight into Mulder's cock. Mulder felt Skinner's tongue on his spine, then lower, lapping at his buttocks, before they were parted and he felt the tip of his Master's cock nestle into his anus.


"Do you want more?" Skinner asked, and Mulder nodded, and tried to thrust back. "Slowly, I want to fill you inch, by slow inch, to claim you, and possess you, to make you mine," his Master told him in a low, silky voice. Mulder shivered, and tried not to tense up, as Skinner continued pushing steadily forward. Now he dimly appreciated why his Master had taken such trouble to prepare him. He felt stretched almost to capacity, his body trembling with the strain of taking his Master's large cock within the small ring of anal muscle. Skinner's slow progress was a kind of infinite agony, pushing him open, claiming him with that hard thickness, plunging deeper and deeper as if aiming for Mulder's very soul. Finally, it stopped, and Mulder could feel the warmth of his Master's body against his buttocks. He blinked several times, trying to adjust to the intrusion, to relax his aching muscles around it.


"How does that feel?" Skinner asked, and Mulder felt the other man's hands soothing his back.


"Good…" Mulder panted, "hurts a bit…but good."


"Your body will soon learn to accommodate me," Skinner murmured, stroking Mulder gently, not moving inside him. "I'll use you like this frequently - probably at least once a day, so the sooner you become accustomed to the feel of me inside you, the better." He adjusted his position, and Mulder grunted, gasping slightly as his body made sense of the new sensation. "You feel good, warm and tight - like a glove," Skinner said, continuing to stroke Mulder's buttocks and back softly. "I won't always take such care to arouse you though, slave. At times I'll expect you to serve me without any expectation of pleasure in return. I want you to think of a word…" Skinner moved slowly, steadily, back, the pressure inside Mulder's body decreasing as his Master's large cock withdrew to the tip, then slowly surged back in again. Skinner rocked against Mulder's helpless body, stretching him with his sheer size, and Mulder hung there, his eyes closed, consumed by the moment. "You can choose any word you like," Skinner continued, easing himself in and out again. "When I say that word, wherever we are, I want you to stop what you're doing, take down your pants, and without argument, or protest, either bend over the nearest surface, or get on your hands and knees, and present yourself for my use. There won't be any foreplay…" Mulder moaned, as his Master played skillfully with the erotic possibilities of his submission, creating a scenario in his mind's eye, of surrendering his will to his owner. "I'll use you, like the slave you are, and it'll be a hard, rough fuck." Skinner illustrated the point by thrusting his hips forward, pushing deep into Mulder's body, making him cry out, his body protesting the pain and welcoming the pleasure at one and the same time.


Mulder felt that slick cock pick up rhythm inside him, thrusting in and out, getting faster, sliding into what felt like the very depths of his bowels, and then back out again. He was lost in sea of eroticism. Skinner's voice, outlining his ultimate submissive fantasy was arousing his mind, while his body was being aroused by his Master's skilful hands stroking him, and that hard cock deep inside him, filling him, and brushing against his prostate, sending waves of pleasure/pain coursing through his body. Mulder loved the fact that Skinner was standing while he used him, that Mulder was situated at just the right height to devour his Master's cock deep inside his body. Mulder's own cock was leaking badly, hopelessly aroused by his plight. Skinner's voice seemed to seep into his soul, connecting with his darkest submissive fantasies, and igniting them.


"You're my property, mine to possess, and take, whenever I like…don't forget that," Skinner stated, thrusting hard and fast.


"I won't, Master…" Mulder moaned, arching his back. Skinner leaned forward, and Mulder felt himself covered by the big man's warm body, as it plunged back and forth into him.


"You feel so good, my dear, sweet, little slaveboy," Skinner growled, his teeth nipping Mulder's skin, his hands solid and reassuring as they petted him. "What's your word, Fox? Tell me the word to say whenever I wish to use you, to remind you what you are, and who you belong to." Skinner's thrusting reached a crescendo, and Mulder felt as if he'd blank out in a haze of sensation.


"Can I choose any word, Master?" He asked, the sweat dripping into his eyes, blinding him.


"Yes - whatever word you want."


Picking a word was the last thing on Mulder's mind, but he screamed the first thing that came into his head: "Wanda!"


He felt Skinner shudder to orgasm inside him, his body convulsing within Mulder's willing, waiting, wilting flesh. There was silence for a long moment, as Skinner lay panting against Mulder's back, his climax over. Mulder enjoyed the sensation of his Master softening inside him, holding him close, connected. After several silent minutes, the other man pulled out, and Mulder's anal muscles contracted gratefully. He felt sore, but utterly satisfied.


He watched Skinner dispose of the used condom, then his Master returned, and flipped him over onto his back.


"Wanda?" Skinner raised an eyebrow.


"Sorry, Master. It was the first thing that sprang to mind," Mulder replied with a cheeky grin. It was revenge, of sorts.


"Hmmm." Skinner eyed him suspiciously.


"Well, you did say I could have any word," Mulder added with a butter wouldn't melt expression.


Skinner gave a gruff laugh, and patted his slave's body affectionately. "Yes, Fox, I did, and you can. Wanda it is. Remember your choice - when I use it, I expect your response to be immediate, or I can promise you a long, hard retribution."


"Have I been good, Master?" Mulder asked him hopefully, painfully aware of his hard cock.


"Yes, little one, you've been more than good. You've been excellent." Skinner kissed him lovingly. "And for that - I'll let you come. Just wait a bit longer, until I give the word." He slathered his hand in lube, then grasped Mulder's cock firmly in his hand. Mulder let out a cry, and would have jumped six feet in the air if he had been able to. "Close your eyes," Skinner whispered, and Mulder did as commanded. He felt Skinner blowing softly onto his bare, sensitized skin, and shivered, thinking he would expire soon from an overdose of sensation.


"Do you like poetry, Fox?" Skinner asked, continuing to blow on his slave's naked body.


"What?" Mulder's opened his eyes in surprise.


"Close them." Skinner said, with a chuckle. "As you haven't read the classic novels, I'm also going to assume that you haven't read much erotic poetry either. I'm going to recite one of my favorites to you - close your eyes, and let yourself go. Let me bring you to climax, then wait until I say you can come. When you do, it'll be a moment you remember for the rest of your life."


Mulder opened his mouth to say something, but Skinner closed it with his index finger.


"Not a word!" He recited softly.


"The eyes speak in rivers,


the fingers in trees.


The body has a language all its own:The body has a language all its own:


this time we will send the interpreter home."this time we will send the interpreter home."


Mulder closed his eyes, wondering whether this could get any more surreal. First that exotic, masterfully delivered punishment, then the hot and cold play, before being fucked by his Master, in that slow, pounding way, his mind being made love to along with his body, and now poetry! Shit, Skinner wasn't just in another league, he was on a different planet. All that time spent looking for extra terrestrials and there was one right under my nose…Typical!


"I will open you


petal by petal


taking all the time in the world."


Mulder felt Skinner's warm, wet mouth descend on his nipples, and circle each one lazily. It felt almost comical, to be lying here suspended in space, while his Master recited poetry to him, and yet he didn't feel like giggling. His body was being caressed by an expert, and that rich, dark voice both soothed and aroused him - one more erotic weapon in the wide-ranging sensual armory his Master possessed.


"I will build with you a slow fire


stick by stick


and watch the color of your sunrise."


Skinner took Mulder's hard cock in his lubed hand, and milked it in a slick caress. Mulder teetered on the brink, holding on by the skin of his teeth.


"I will play with the wind of you,


cover your body with smiles and games,


promises and fantasies that disappear


without a trace."


Skinner's warm breath tickled his inner thigh, blowing across his balls, down to his feet, and back up again.


"I will stir your secret core,


witch's brew of potions and incantations,


and fell you simmering, rolling,


floating in my hand."


Mulder writhed, as Skinner's caress on his cock became harder and more insistent. He was floating, both literally and figuratively, suspended in mid-air, and drifting away on a haze of endorphins and sensation, which he had never experienced before in his entire life.


"I will fill you slowly up,


every crevice and curve,


watch feel hear smell taste you


growing full."


Skinner nibbled along Mulder's navel, and up his neck, sucking his nipples again, making Mulder scream out loud.


"And when every part of you is one,


when you are saturated, suspended,


water trembling over the brim,


I will ride with you over the falls


drown with you


disappear all boundaries


tumble over and over


and over and over


until there is only the spinning dizzy


dance beyond dancing


and the great wave crashing to bits


everything, leaving us


strewn with the seaweed


in the sand and the sun


to dry."


Skinner finished the poem, his slick hand reaching a crescendo as it pumped Mulder's cock.


"Any time you want, Fox," he whispered, his mouth descending on Mulder's, opening his lips and claiming a deep, powerful kiss. Mulder surrendered, his body giving in as he came in wave after wave of explosive orgasm. The sexual frustration of the past few days was swept aside as he came harder than he had ever done in his life before. He was dimly aware that it had been worth the wait, before a blinding white light flashed through his mind, overwhelming him, and causing him to black out for a second. When he came to, Skinner was washing him down with a damp cloth.


"That was impressive," his Master said, gesturing to the cloth. "All right, little one?" His tone was kind and concerned. Mulder managed a weak nod in reply. "Good, I'm going to untie you. Hold on." Skinner gently lowered him, then knelt down beside him and undid his cuffs. When he'd finished, Mulder slumped onto the floor, utterly and completely exhausted. Skinner chuckled, swung his slave up into his arms, and carried him over to the cushions that were piled up on the carpeted side of the room. He deposited the sated man on them, then sat down beside him, and gathered his slave up in his arms. Mulder lay with his head on his Master's lap, completely unable to move. His whole body seemed to have turned into liquid.


"Thank you, Master," he croaked, the sound of his own voice surprising him.


"You're welcome, slave." Skinner ran his large, blunt fingers through Mulder's damp hair.


Mulder studied his Master, committing to memory the face of the man who could reduce him to this boneless heap, taking in the dark eyes, and the sweep of wide jaw, the broad expanse of naked scalp, and the strong neck and shoulders.


"Permission to fall in love with you, Master," he murmured.


Skinner smiled, and smoothed Mulder's dark hair away from his eyes. "Permission granted, Fox," he said softly.

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