Love 'em, but don't own 'em.

"Magnus, did you break your phone again?" Alec closed the door behind him and entered the silent apartment. It had been unlocked when he arrived which should have meant someone was home, but he'd called and texted Magnus that morning to confirm he was coming over without getting an answer. He wasn't worried, his warlock boyfriend was unreachable more often than he liked because of his line of work and could certainly handle himself. But if their plans had changed he could have at least called, or sent a fire message, or something. "Magnus!"

Alec grabbed a water out of the fridge and listened. He heard nothing, which was odd. It was the middle of the day, usually there was a truck rumbling by outside or kids on the sidewalk. Chairman Meow would generally rouse himself to greet Alec when he arrived. They'd become very close, which exasperated Magnus to no end. The feline and his owner were nowhere in sight, however.

He set his keys and phone on the counter and slipped his shoes off, then padded down the hallway to the bedroom. If he was going to have to wait, he'd make himself comfortable. Alec had been keeping a drawer stocked with variations on his standard functional grey and black wardrobe. Magnus had tried to supplement it with a few more colorful articles, which were always stuffed back into his cavernous closet and never mentioned or seen again.

The weather was starting to turn nippy outside, and Alec had his mind on a particularly comfy oversized sweater he had been keeping here despite Magnus's protests. The door was ajar, and he pushed it open with the half-formed hope that Magnus might be napping and that he could join him. The sight that greeted him froze him in his tracks, sweater forgotten.

The floor to ceiling windows normally made the bedroom quite bright on a sunny day like today, despite the layers of fliers and book pages Magnus papered his windows with for privacy, but now the heavy blackout curtains were drawn shut. In the dim grey, Alec instantly registered that he wasn't in their bedroom – er – Magnus's bedroom, or at least not the bedroom he was used to. He'd seen many permutations of furnishings, but the room had never been empty. The ubiquitous piles of clothes, the desk, the art on the walls were all gone. The bed still sat in the middle of the room, looking like an ostentatious rock in a desert. Against the wall was a tall and narrow chest of drawers, not even big enough to hold all of Magnus's socks. Beside it was a polished wooden frame, as large as a man and shaped like an X.

That was all he took in, all there was in the room to take in, before something silky dropped over his eyes and his vision went black.

Alec's Shadowhunter instincts raced to catch his brain up. Someone slightly taller had come up behind him, virtually in silence, catching him when he was thrown off by the makeover of the bedroom. He smelled sugar, and sandalwood, and an indescribable scent was was almost as intimate to him as his own.

"Magnus," he breathed, testing the scenario by turning his head slightly. The blindfold stayed neatly in place, secured by a firm knot he could feel at the back of his skull. "What's going on?"

"Nothing at all." Alec could hear the smile in Magnus's voice, purring in his ear and guiding him across the room toward the chest of drawers. Alec moved slowly, his gut tighten. He had never played this before, and he didn't know where it was going, which set his nerves on edge.

"Really? It looks like you did some remodeling. And now I can't even check the place out?" The room wasn't exactly what he thought of as Magnus's taste. Which meant there was a greater purpose, and one he wanted to figure out as soon as possible. Being blindfolded certainly wasn't his favorite thing in the world.

"Not yet, sweet." The voice moved around in front of Alec. He was having a difficult time following the sound. Now that he wasn't processing visual stimuli, he knew there was definitely something different in the noise of the apartment. It was like they'd had been magicked to the quiet countryside, there was no sound at all from the city outside. It made everything inside sound overly amplified, and the silence between sounds felt heavy and damp. He shook his head like he could dislodge the noise of the car horns and sirens and corner store radios.

The hands on his chest, pulling up his shirt, brought his attention back. "Wait – seriously, what's going on? I can't see anything. I can't hear anything." He shivered slightly when Magnus's fingers brushed his ribs and paused there.

"You noticed the soundproofing?" Magnus sounded pleased. "Clever boy. I'll have to reward you for that. What would you like?"

Alec took a minute to consider. His every nerve was alight, his senses were in overdrive, in confusion and excitement and a touch of suspicion. "Let me see you."

"That's against the rules," Magnus said.

"Then how can I be sure it's you?" Alec said.

"How, indeed?"

Alec frowned. He knew it was Magnus. He sounded like him and smelled like him and this seemed like just the kind of game he would play, slow and frustrating. After centuries of immortality, Magnus could be very patient.

"Kiss me." Magnus hovered over him. At this range, Alec could feel the heat of him. He stepped forward, and their legs and hips and chests and lips pressed together. He closed his eyes beneath the blindfold. He had spent hours learning the valleys and peaks of Magnus's body, of his face and mouth. He was calmed and excited by the touch and taste of him. This was real. Unfamiliar, but real.

Magnus pulled away first. "We will begin the show momentarily. You are my lucky audience volunteer."

"You're not about to pull a rabbit our of a hat, or saw me in half, are you?"

"Silence! No. Although I should warn you, Alexander, I am keeping track, and you will pay for that." Alec tried not to laugh. There was a new nervous tickle in his throat. The threat didn't sound idle.

"I can see you're still skeptical. So let me explain. First, the scenario. We are in a completely contained environment. The door you entered through is gone. The wall behind the curtains is solid. We're also completely soundproofed. Only I, infinitely powerful and fabulous warlock that I am, can release us. Now for the rules. I know how you love rules, Alexander. These ones are simple.

"I am in charge, and you will obey me without question. Your good behavior will be rewarded, and your disobedience will be punished appropriately." Magnus paused. The playfulness was gone from his voice. "While you are under my control, you will give up your responsibility to protect yourself. I will decide what you physically and mentally can or cannot withstand. You will not protest." The tickle became a bubble in Alec's throat. His hands were beginning to curl at his sides. He was still stuck on the first part of the speech. Trapped. "In the absolute extreme, the safe word is 'starlight.' Do you understand the rules, Alexander?"

Alec was unable to speak. A thunderbolt had struck him as Magnus relayed his rules. This was the natural conclusion he should have seen when he opened his mouth in the heat of a passionate moment and decided to ask Magnus – Magnus – to help expand his sexual horizons. It was as dangerously foolish as a green Shadowhunter asking Jace for sparring lessons.

"Magnus, I don't think-" He felt his heart racing, and he knew that at such close range Magnus could easily pick up the signs that he was amped up.

"Are you afraid, Alexander?" The teasing undertone was back.

"No." Yes. Maybe. Alec knew he changed around Magnus, that he became less rational and more self-conscious. When Magnus said his name it made his pulse quicken and his thoughts scatter. To not know himself or how to control himself was maddening and unnerving. But to be removed from control, to give it up...he'd never done that willingly.

"You're afraid of letting go." Magnus had moved behind him again. He wrapped his arms around Alec's waist. "I will keep you safe. I will always keep you safe." There was an intensity in his voice that overtook the playfulness. The words sunk into Alec and he believed them.

Alec nodded, wary but firm. "I trust you."

Magnus faintly laughed. "Good." He pulled his arms away, making Alec twinge for their absence, but as he drew back he ran his nails over the ridges of Alec's abs, raising goosebumps and leaving slightly stinging trails of flesh in their wake. "Remove the rest of your clothes, Alexander. Now."

Alec felt a little silly, fumbling with the top button of his pants. The blindfold was extremely disorienting. When he didn't move quick enough, Magnus pinched his nipple, which made him cry out, more in surprise than in pain.

"That sounded a lot like a protest," Magnus tsked, pinching the other side. Alec held his tongue, a rude comment barely suppressed. "Now, where to begin..." Magnus's fingers danced over him, inspecting his arms, his neck, his stomach, his thighs. There was familiar pull behind Alec's navel. He felt Magnus's eyes on him, even if he couldn't see them, and it excited him.

Magnus took both of his hands and backed him up until he knew he was pressed to the wooden X against the wall. Alec was equally nervous and bemused when Magnus raised his arms and slipped ties around his wrists. They were the same soft and strong silk as his blindfold.

It caught him off guard when Magnus began vigorously running his hands down Alec's shoulders and over his chest. It wasn't unpleasant, like an energetic massage. It vibrated through him, making his skin and his blood hum. His inhale turned into a hiss when Magnus slapped his pec.

"That was for the rabbit joke. I told you I was keeping score." Alec fought the tightening of his hands into fists again. He suddenly questioned how much he was going to enjoy this.

"And now, your reward for being such a clever boy." Magnus didn't return to the rubdown, but instead was lightly raking Alec's shoulders and neck with his nails in slow swoops. Initially it almost tickled, and slowly the sensation became intoxicating. Alec's whole body relaxed until he was fighting the desire to slump into the ties on his wrists and let them support him. The hum in his chest started to come out as a purr, and the louder he got, the more insistent the pressure from Magnus's fingers became. He pushed into it.

A cool wave swept him as Magnus pulled away. He gave a small whine, then ripped into a scream when teeth sank into his collarbone. Alec wrenched against his ties, which only made Magnus clamp down harder.

In a rush he was lightheaded and fully aroused. Magnus was murmuring to him but it was a moment before he could focus on what he was saying. He was dizzily distracted by the trail of nips and kisses down his body.

"Alec, Alec Alec." Magnus repeated his name reverently, over and over as he worked. Alec paused to marvel, as he had so many times, that this gorgeous man who had done and seen so much could love him. And he loved him back, fiercely and passionately. It was how he'd ended up tied up there, in fact. He knew this wasn't what he'd had in mind, that he had never dreamed this scenario, but Magnus was like the magnetic pull of the tide, and he was swept along, more caught up in the motion than concerned with the destination.

Magnus's hot breath on Alec's erection had him teetering on the brink, but he moved lower and spread Alec's legs until he could tie them to the bottom corners of the X. Alec was significantly less distressed to be losing two more limbs. This wasn't as bad as he'd anticipated.

When his legs were bound, Alec knew where he hoped Magnus would focus his attention. He squirmed in place, trying to sense where he was. The was a sliding sound to his right, one of the chest drawers opening.

"Magnus?" Alec hadn't put any thought into what might have been stored out of sight, but he'd seen enough weapons and instruments of torture to give him pause about going further with half of his senses constrained.

There was that disappointed tsk again. "Alec, Alec." There was a soft tap against the side of his face, not fingers, but leather. Once, twice, then a third time that stung and made him jerk his head sideways, snapping it against the frame and hurting worse than anything. Alec willed his blindfold to peel back, and thought the sheer force of his will might make it happen. Magnus was laughing, caressing his neck with a hard stick with a leather tip – a riding crop he realized with rising feeling.

Another hard slap against the bruise on his collarbone made Alec grit his teeth. "Did that hurt?" Magnus hit the same spot again. Alec closed his eyes behind the blindfold. "Did it? Answer me."

"Of course not."

"Sass." Magnus buried the crop into Alec's thigh, hard enough to raise a slight welt. Alec had a high pain tolerance from years of conditioning, so even that wasn't more than a nuisance, but now his instinct to fight back was fully aroused.

Alec rooted his feet, clenched his jaw, and hardened himself against the blows to his thighs and abdomen. He spared a moment to think that Magnus had some skill at this. He was hitting the same spots over and over, without coming close to breaking skin. His technique had been honed over some time.

"Do you want to hit me back?" Alec gasped to feel Magnus pressed against him. At some point Magnus had undressed as well. His bare legs pressed between Alec's, and he laid a hand on his face. "You want to fight." Magnus kissed him hard, wrapping his arms around Alec's neck and grabbing fistfuls of his hair. It went on forever, until Alec could no longer remember what he'd been so strung up about. Baiting him was part of it. Magnus would never hurt him. And Alec didn't need to really let him win, he just had to go as far as Magnus was willing to go.

"Give up," Magnus whispered. Alec was panting, his head reeling. His every impulse was crossed. Magnus had gone away again and he wanted him back, wanted his hands on him, even if they were rough.

As soon as Alec opened his mouth to ask, there he was. He kissed each of Alec's nipples. While they were still wet, he pinched each of them in a hard metal clamp. Alec writhed and heard the tinkling of a chain an instant before Magnus began to tug on it, pulling against the clips. With his other hand, Magnus raked the inside of Alec's thighs. A groan slipped past Alec's lips, earning him another rake on the opposite side.

The crop returned and trailed up his left leg, with Magnus's deft fingers slipping up his right. His skin prickled and more goosebumps rose. It was unnerving, the feverish heat making his body tremble and ache. The physical pain was nothing. His desire was crippling.

"Open your mouth." Alec's jaw fell slack without hesitation. The two invading fingers tasted salty – tasted like himself, he realized, mixed with Magnus. Alec closed his mouth and sucked, hesitantly at first. He couldn't have stopped himself, but he hadn't been given...permission? The thought jarred him, but he was given no time to dwell on it.

Magnus came over him again, his breath wet and warm, purring against Alec's neck. Alec swallowed and pulled his fingers in deeper. Magnus was wearing a ring, and he ran his tongue over the metal. His mouth hurt he was straining so hard towards Magnus, who was rumbling with pleasure so deeply it sent vibrations through Alec's chest. Then the clips began to tug again, the chain twisting in Magnus's free hand, harder than before. Alec hadn't thought his nipples could hurt, but Magnus made them hurt. One last hard twist made him bite down, not hard, but enough for Magnus to jerk his hand away. Drool slid down Alec's chin, and he tried to work his mouth into an apology but was beat to the punch by the sting of the crop against his thigh.

"That was not nice, Alexander," Magnus chastised, but there was a strong undercurrent of amusement in his voice. "I didn't want to have to gag you..." He trailed off.

"I'm sorry," Alec gasped, finding his voice, although it cracked.

"Not yet. You will be, though." Alec's whole body shivered. He heard Magnus return to the chest of drawers. He stretched his senses to feel what was coming.

The impact sucked the air from his lungs in a rush. His muscles tightened, and the next strike hurt considerably more because of it. Whatever Magnus's new toy was, it was heavy. Alec smelled leather and felt the stinging of multiple straps on the tail end of the thump. He pictured the weighty instruments used by religious zealots to flagellate themselves. It seemed quite appropriate, since he had prostrated himself, as it were, though on a very different kind of altar.

Alec grunted. There was no teasing in Magnus's hits. He was beating Alec. Alec was letting him. Adrenaline pumped into his veins, responding to the physical threat. The blows came hard and fast, making it difficult to breath. Had Alec really upset him, really hurt him when his teeth snapped together? The deeper Alec tried to breath the more constricted his chest and throat felt.

"Stop," Alec said, struggling to sound calm. "I can't breathe." He sensed Magnus hesitate and the rhythm broke, but he instantly redoubled with more force. His panic level flared. Was this still a game?

"If you couldn't breathe, you couldn't talk." Stone cold. That was not Magnus. Magnus was in character. What were those stupid rules?

Safe word! There was a safe word. There was...

"Magnus, stop." There was no flinch this time, but the rhythm switched, alternating heavy and light blows.

Alec hardly noticed. He was reaching into his mind, recalling everything Magnus has said to him. In the absolute extreme...Starlight!

Magnus whipped the flogger across Alec's chest ferociously, making him scream. His throat felt raw, but his chest loosened slightly. The cycle repeated – light, light, hard, hard. He screamed again.

Starlight. Starlight. Alec yelled louder and Magnus hit him harder. His chest burned, but he could breathe again. Magnus switched his hits to Alec's thighs, and the straps wrapped around his legs and stung his ass, making him yip. He almost wasn't sure he heard the chuckle over the sound of leather on his skin, but he had. Starlight. He couldn't get the words out, he just shouted. He couldn't rationalize it, but he didn't want it to stop. He liked it.

His arms were numb, he was panting and drooling, and yet he was still rock hard. His erection hadn't swooned at all, since Magnus had set to work on him. Every once in a while one of the lighter hits would drag across his crotch when it came away. Magnus did that now. With his mind fully focused on it, Alec almost couldn't hold on. He was weeping with desire, running wet down his own leg. He sucked his lip in, toes and fingers curling in an effort to control himself. That's when the next hit came across his chest, harder than all the others. Alec couldn't even shout through the pain. His body instantly tried to curl into itself despite his restraints. It was too much. The tiniest trickle of hot blood dripped down his side.

The sound of the dropped flogger hitting the ground didn't register until Alec felt Magnus's hands against him. They were so warm. They ran over each welt, each muscle, pressing just enough to ache. The lower he moved, the stronger the ache. Hands were followed by tongue and lips, and Magnus licked and kissed a hasty trail down Alec's front. And with no more foreplay, he swallowed him whole.

Alec's insides contracted and spasmed. His knees threatened to buckle, but Magnus's arms were iron, pinning him in place against the frame. Once more, Alec screamed. He emptied his lungs, emptied himself, pouring everything inside into the room. Magnus held on, absorbing it all.

When he was done, everything was silent and warm, hot even. His forehead was wet. With a flare of shame, he realized his cheeks were, too. Magnus was murmuring, but too low for Alec to hear. The sounds were pleasant and comforting, swirling and wrapping around him. Magnus hadn't moved his hands off Alec, even when he pulled away.

Alec felt the ties come off his feet but he wasn't feeling confident enough to move. Magnus held a finger to the cut where Alec was bleeding and the flow stopped. His fingers danced, so much more gentle than the ones that had beat him minutes before. Alec didn't know if he was using magic, but just his touch made him better. His energy was cycling wildly every few seconds, from jittery high to crashing low. When Magnus untied his arms, they fell uselessly to his sides for want of blood flow, and he half slumped, half fell into him.

With strong arms, Magnus lowered them both down on the floor, Alec with his head resting on Magnus's shoulder and their legs a jumble in front of them. With soft kisses, Magnus smoothed and dried his forehead and cheeks. There was the slightest tremor in Alec's hands, but he flattened them against Magnus's back and held him close while his body and mind slowly came back into his control. From somewhere, Magnus produced a blanket and wrapped them both in it. Then he slid the blindfold off Alec's eyes.

Immediately Alec locked gazes with him. There was an unfathomable depth to Magnus's eyes, but floating near the surface and clearer than usual were warring emotions of desire and concern. Alec used Magnus to steady his own gaze, matching the rising and falling of their breathing to calm his pounding heart.

"Kiss me," Magnus said. Not command, but not plead. Alec sat up and drank him in, locking his arms around his back and considering not letting go again. He dizzied them both before he let them come up for air. Alec's neck and shoulders were now crisscrossed with red nail scratches, and his neck was throbbing from multiple bites. Magnus's lips were red and swollen, now bearing visible teeth marks, and a dark line of blood welled up on his earlobe. His cats eyes crackled. Alec knew he was imagining the zip of static electricity dancing over the blanket.

Energy was surging through him now. Alec rolled onto his knees and tried to leverage his weight over Magnus to get him down. He was ready to go again, and it was clear his partner had some unmet needs, but Magnus stopped him with a hand.

"How to put this delicately...I don't think it's safe to carry on. There's a 50/50 chance that I do more than break one of your ribs-" Alec threw back the blanket and looked down in alarm. His eyes went wide at the sight of the dark red striped skin of his torso and a bruise that was already deep purple near the bottom his his ribcage. "Don't be alarmed, I've already fixed the rib. I got a little carried away, I'll admit." Alec gave him a dubious look. He cleared his throat. "Or you're likely to fall asleep on me. I expect your body will be catching up to your mind soon. Dr. Bane's recommendation is one or two healing iratzes and sleep for you."

Alec started to protest but Magnus held a hand over his mouth and swept his hair across his forehead with the other. "I already miss how obedient you were when you were tied up." Alec bit him gently and Magnus laughed and pulled him up to his feet. The energy almost immediately drained out of him. Magnus steadied him when he started to sway.

It was a few steps to the bed, and when they reached it Alec collapsed gratefully on top of Magnus. A heavy cloud was descending on him. He knew he should give himself an iratze, but all he could think was that his pants with his stele were too far away. Questions for Magnus rolled through his mind, like where he'd learned his technique, and who he'd practiced it on. He also imagined himself saying something clever about it being the best magic show he'd ever been in. But all he managed was:

"Stay here."

Never one to miss an opportunity for clever banter, Magnus said, "Is that an order?"

Alec held him firmly, his eyes already closed. "Yes."

Magnus gripped him back. "Always."

Alec was asleep before his smile faded, with the half formed thought that with great risk came the possibility of great reward.