Dark Angel, Max/Alec, forced to submit to her authority.

"Do it," she directed, the flicking the end of the whip impatiently.

"You can't be serious," he said, lip trembling a bit because hell if she didn't look serious.

She ran her tongue across her lower lip, left a smooth glide of moisture on the plump flesh there. Alec couldn't seem to tear his gaze away from her lips – so beautiful, like everything about her tonight, from her dark curly hair to the black leather vest, form fitting black leggings to the ridiculously high-heeled boots she wore. She'd bitched like a pro when Logan had sent them to masquerade as patrons for the S&M club, but in the end she'd done it. And damn if it didn't look like she was getting off on the whole thing. Initially, Alec was the one who'd leered and laughed and waggled his eyebrows at her, but now he thought she'd taken the whole dominatrix thing a little too much too heart.

She stepped closer to him, the street light outside her run down apartment reflected in her large dark eyes. The world narrowed to the space between them, to the white puffs of her breath and the sudden tension that squeezed his stomach and kicked his heart rate up.

"I want you to," she said simply, raising a perfectly sculpted eyebrow and regarding him with quiet disdain.

He swallowed. This was … unexpected. He was tempted to laugh off her command and accuse her of some bitchy hormonal thing but ever since they'd walked into that club this evening the dynamics between them had been weird. Noticeably. Max walked taller, swayed those curvy hips more, cast an appraising eye on the other men and Alec in particular. At first he thought that the tight dark t-shirt and leather jacket he was wearing were turning her on. Now … well, now he honestly didn't know what to think.

Outraged refusals clamored up his throat and nearly burst out, but if Manticore had taught him one thing, it was self restraint. He clamped down hard on his instinctive reaction and just looked at her. She lifted her chin and stared back, proud, unafraid and unapologetic.

"Do you know what you're asking me?" His voice was hoarse.

"I know," she said, eyes so wide and dark that he felt, for a moment, like he was drowning in them.

The relationship between the two of them had started out rocky, to say the least. But ever since she'd confessed about Ben she hadn't seemed unreasonable any more. Something had settled between them, a sort of tentative respect that hadn't been there before.

He lowered himself slowly to his knees, feeling the rain-damp concrete wet his jeans. He looked up at her imperious face, her expression hidden in shadows, and swallowed again. Then, slowly, he bent to place his hands on the concrete sidewalk and lowered his head until he was a mere inch from the shiny patent leather toes of Max's right boot. Heart thundering in his chest and embarrassment heating his neck, he closed his eyes and licked her boot in slow, long stripes.

The patent leather was smooth and plastic under his tongue, with a faint taste of oil. He closed his eyes and tried not to think about whether anyone else could see them. It was 3 am and as far as he knew no one else was out … but there was always the possibility that someone could be watching them from inside one of the other apartments on the block. When he put aside thoughts of embarrassment he discovered something surprising: his dick was ragingly hard.

Well, now, this was a kink he never knew he had.

He felt Max's eyes on him, dark and wide and quiet. He wondered what she was thinking, if she loathed him or if he was doing what she wanted … she said nothing, and he continued licking for an endless tease of a moment.

Then, heart thundering, he began kissing his way up her shin to her knee and thigh, onward and upward across her hip until his mouth was on the leather covering flat belly and his arms were wrapped around her ass, resting on the small of her back. He heard her surprised intake of breath, but he didn't look at her, couldn't bear it if there was condemnation in her gaze. He turned his cheek to rest against her navel, his breath ghosting outward in humid puffs, moistening the leather around his face. He was trembling, he realized suddenly, body jerking in little shudders from his shoulders to his toes. He felt Max go rigid beneath him, felt her breath still for a moment, as she seemed to take in the situation.

Her fingers tangled in his hair, long nails scraping his scalp lightly, and she murmured, "Good boy, Alec. Good boy."

Something dark and twisted in his gut released and he surged up from his knees, driving her backward against the damp brick wall of the apartment building. She gave a little cry of surprise as the two of them came to a halt, bodies pressed together and faces so very close. Her hand was still in his hair. For a long moment they just stared into one another's eyes. Then she twisted her hand, tugging a hank of hair just hard enough to be uncomfortable, not painful.

"Did I give you permission to do that?" Her voice was silk and bourbon.

He gave a little grin that was too shaky to be called a smirk. "No, ma'am."

She released him, shoved him back by the shoulders. He staggered a couple of steps. She pointed toward the doorway to her apartment. "Then you have to make it up to me, now don't you, soldier?"

Arousal pumped fresh through his veins. He tried not to smile as he ducked his head and said softly, "Yes, ma'am."

"Com'on," she said, throwing a smoldering look over one shoulder, and entering the building.

He followed.