Author's Note: Hi everyone! I have finally posted the first three chapters of my novel online, and I desperately need your help in getting it noticed by a publisher! If you would like to read and support my novel, then please view my profile for details on how to vote for it. If everyone who has this account on Author Alert were to click "back the book", there's a good chance it would end up on the editor's desk for consideration!

In the mean-time, here is a bit of smutty fic to say a massive thank you! for your continuing enthusiasm and support.

Much love,
B xxx

Warnings: M rated for a reason, contains light bondage and scenes of a sexually explicit nature.

Love on a Leash

Ed pulled his pants up over his hips and snatched his shirt off the hanger. He was going to be late again, and it was all Roy's fault. He shot a glare at the man still sprawled in their bed, watching him get ready for work with sleepy, sated eyes. 'You need to get up soon,' he pointed out. 'If you don't turn up at the office on time, Hawkeye will castrate you.'

Roy grimaced, nestling deeper into the quilt and letting out a gusty sigh. 'I don't want to go.'

'Fucker,' Ed grouched. 'At least you don't have to be in until nine. I'm meant to be at the labs –' He glanced at the clock and swore. 'in fifteen minutes. Won't make it even if I run.' He did up his shirt and rummaged around for socks, tugging them on before grabbing a hair-band and comb, ruthlessly dragging his damp hair into a ponytail.

'Worth it though,' Roy said, and Ed could hear the smirk in his voice. It was no use arguing. Not even the incredibly brief and cold shower he had suffered through ten minutes ago had shaken away the happy hum of sex that lingered in his muscles. If he had a choice, he would forget about work and crawl back in bed next to Roy, but he was not the only one who had other demands on their time today.

Ed glanced over his shoulder as Roy stretched and the sheets shifted, revealing a temping view of pale skin and toned muscle. It was enough to make Ed's stomach tighten with desire, and he rolled his eyes, grabbing Roy's jacket and pitching it into the older man's face. 'Come on, General: up.'

'I don't know if I can again so soon,' Roy murmured, pushing the jacket aside with a smirk and shimmying his hand down to vanish beneath the sheet slung around his waist, 'but if you insist, Love... .'

'Shut it, old man,' Ed warned, letting out a yelp as Roy lunged forward, snatching his wrist and dragging him down to the mattress. Instantly, Roy's heavy weight settled over him, pinning him in place. The sheet rested between them, but it did nothing to hide that Roy was half-hard again already, and Ed's body twitched eagerly in response as he tried to keep his face impassive.

'Old?' Roy breathed, rubbing the tip of his nose down Ed's before brushing the lightest kiss against his lips. The wet flash of his tongue teased Ed's pout, and he fought to keep the moan inside. It was not fair that, even after almost three years together, Roy could still do this to him. Vicious attraction had always formed the foundations of their relationship, and it never faded away. Hot, hard lust was the bedrock for the tenderness they had come to share, and Ed was happy to be its victim as Roy's mouth moved down to his throat, teeth scraping against his pulse as Ed arched into him with a rough growl.

Roy lifted his head, and Ed opened his eyes to see him glance at the clock. 'Hmmm, I guess I'll have to wait until tonight to prove that I can keep up with you,' Roy murmured, pressing his hips meaningfully against Ed's hardening length and laughing as Ed snarled.

'Fucking bastard. You were never –'

'You're going to be late,' Roy reminded him, cutting off his protest with a deep kiss that short-circuited Ed's brain and left him dazed and horny as hell. 'Tonight, I promise, unless I'm late this morning and Hawkeye makes it impossible for me to please you ever again.' Ed stifled a whimper as Roy rolled off him and got to his feet, holding out a hand and pulling Ed off the bed before nuzzling at his temple. 'Get to work,' he urged. 'I'll see you later.'

'Like I'm going to be able to concentrate now, ' Ed groused, smothering a smile as Roy smirked and strutted naked to the bathroom.

Ed should have known that living together would come with its own challenges. He just had not realised that getting to work on time would be one of them. With a sigh, he set about straightening his clothes, listening to the sounds of Roy in the shower as he picked up his keys and started looking for his shoes.

It was not perfect, what they had, and he knew that was something they could both admit. The two of them were stubborn and used to getting their way, and when things went wrong they fought their way out, even if that meant they were at war with each other. It was a volatile relationship, as likely to flare into an argument as it was to burn up in passion but, to everyone's surprise, it worked.

Glancing under the bed, Ed frowned, shooting another glare at the clock and swearing as he picked up the pace of his search. Roy was always bitching at him for leaving his shoes in the middle of the floor, so where had the git hidden them? They were not tucked in a corner or nudged out of the way, and Ed's gaze fell on the wardrobe.

Yanking open the door, he got on his knees and started to rummage through the junk in its base. Roy had far too many boots, and there were one or two ties that had slithered down to nest like silken snakes in the bottom. A shirt that had fallen off its hanger to rest amidst the debris: a flag of surrender, creased beyond repair, but it was another few seconds before Ed's questing hand found his smaller shoes slung towards the back.

He dragged them out, scowling as something fell to the floor with a sibilant sound. At first, he thought it was a couple of belts tangled together, but when he bent to pick them up he realised that one was made of cool, silver chain with a leather tip, and the other was far too small to fit around anyone's waist.

Ed blinked at what was in his hands, holding it between thumb and forefinger as he tried to work it out. It looked like a leash, but Roy had never had a dog, so why did he have a collar? A suspicion crept through Ed like smoke, but his mind stuttered with doubt, trying to think of an alternative. There had to be some kind of reasonable, non-kinky explanation.

A sound in the doorway made him turn to see Roy standing at the threshold, a towel wrapped around his waist and his hair spiked in all directions, but it was the expression on his face that made Ed raise his eyebrows. Roy went to a lot of trouble not to let his emotions surface, but now his eyes were wide with surprise and his brow wrinkled in consternation. His gaze shifted to Ed, but it was guarded, like he was waiting to see how he would react.

The silence dragged on; Ed had forgotten all about work. He was too focussed on the thing in his hand and the deafening conflict of emotions that were storming through his head, none of them happiness. 'Why do you have a collar and leash in the bottom of the wardrobe?' he asked at last, letting his voice dip with angry confusion as he watched Roy's face for any clues.

If anything, he looked embarrassed, and Ed clenched his jaw as he waited for Roy to start explaining. 'It's been there for a while,' he said, approaching Ed like he was a wild animal, unpredictable and dangerous. 'I bought it because one of my previous partners expressed an interest in that kind of thing.' He shrugged, his shoulders tense as he watched Ed's face. 'We broke up before we got a chance to use it.'

Ed blinked, wondering if Roy was lying, but why would he do that? They might fight a lot, but they could normally manage honesty, and Roy had no reason to stop that now, did he? Glancing back at the collar in his hand, Ed scowled, his mind whirling questions he could not even begin to voice. Instead, he settled for, 'Why did you keep it?'

'I didn't, not deliberately.' Roy took it from Ed's grasp, pitching it out into the hall. 'I just threw it in there and forgot about it, that's all.' He circled Ed's wrist flesh wrist with his fingers, tugging him around to face him and giving him a faintly baffled look. 'Are you okay?'

Ed – did not know how he felt. It felt stupid to get annoyed over something from a relationship that was clearly long dead, but lingering uncertainty nagged at the back of Ed's mind, scraping across his consciousness like claws down a blackboard. He knew Roy had more past lovers than Ed had fingers, skin and steel, but most of the time he tried to forget about them.

He attempted to ignore the fact that the things he and Roy did together, adventurous as they were sometimes, were all something Roy had done before with someone else. Yet, whenever the thought of Roy's previous lovers arose Ed was left feeling wretched, low and jealous, petty and angry for no good reason. Most of the time he had it under control, hidden away out of sight and out of mind, but finding that collar had stirred it all up again, giving life to insecurities that Ed thought had faded long ago.

'I'm fine,' he replied, trying to paste a smile on his face as he turned away and shoved his feet in his shoes. 'I'll see you tonight, and throw that stupid thing away.' He hurried down the stairs before Roy could say anything else, grabbing his coat and nudging his way out of the front door. He could apologise for being a spazz later, but right now the need to be out was almost overwhelming, and he sucked in a deep breath of the cool spring air with something like relief.

'Freak,' he muttered to himself, although he was not sure who he meant: Roy, the nameless ex of himself. With a huff, Ed set off down the street , listening to a distant clock tower chime half-eight. He was so late now that there was no point in rushing, and he forced himself to try and sort through his thoughts as he headed for the labs. The truth was, his anger was more a shield than anything else. Roy knew him too well to really believe the leash had offended his sensibilities or even shocked him beyond that first jarring moment of What the fuck?

A big part of him, which he hated, was afraid: not of the lead, but of what it could represent. He and Roy had tried out a lot of stuff together, but nothing approaching bondage – no gags, no restraints, nothing. Control was hallowed ground for the both of them, and giving it up on any level had never been suggested. What if Roy decided that was what he wanted? Could Ed do that for him? Could he enjoy it, or would it be something he had to endure?

Ed snorted in disbelief. That was ridiculous. If Roy asked and Ed said no, that would be the end of it; he would never put pressure on Ed to do anything he did not want. It was just that Roy's reputation had a tendency to haunt Ed at the worst moments. Domestic bliss was not something most people associated with the name "Mustang", and Ed knew that he was far from Roy's only option. There would always be someone to fill his side of the bed if Roy ended things, and that idea sat like rot in Ed's stomach.

He knew he was being stupid, but what if it was the last straw? What if Roy wanted something and Ed refused and that was the end of what they had together? A stiff breeze blew past, sweeping his hair back from his face and whistling in his ears, mocking him. He wanted to believe that what they had was stronger than that, he did believe it, but doubt was an insidious thing, trickling through him and breaking every crack of uncertainty into a chasm.

'Why would anyone want to do that, anyway?' Ed muttered to himself, turning onto the main street and weaving through the commuter crowd. Roy had said it was his ex-partner's kink, not his, but it still left Ed feeling baffled. Even if his pride did not whimper at the thought of handing himself over like that, he could not see the appeal. What was the attraction?

What would it be like? a deeper voice murmured in the shadows of his mind, and Ed swallowed tightly, torn between the snarl of his pride and the whisper of his curiosity.

'Sir, are you all right?'

Ed blinked, looking at Amy, his lab-assistant. She was watching him with a faintly worried expression, two cups of coffee from the bistro across the street steaming in her hands, and he tried not to blush as he realised he had been standing in front of the steps leading up to the lab like an idiot. 'I'm fine,' he replied, wincing as she tipped her arm a fraction, mindful of the coffee, to look pointedly at her watch. 'Come on, let's get to work.'

He was determined not to think about the leash or Roy or all his lingering paranoia, and it worked for a while. It was easy to lose himself in alchemy, his default sanctuary, and the morning passed in a rush of experiments and arrays. Lunch was a sandwich at his desk that Ed barely remembered, and the next time he truly looked at the clock, the hands were hanging precipitously over four in the afternoon.

That one action of checking the time was the breaking point for his concentration. The day had flown past, but now every minute dragged, and he found himself prowling restlessly around his office. There was no point in starting another phase of the experiment or he would be here all night, and every time he tried to settle to some paperwork his mind returned to that morning and the collar like a noose in his hands.

Talking to Roy about it would probably have been the sensible thing to do, rather than running away, but Ed did not even know where to start. For fuck's sake, he could not quite work out whether he was repulsed or intrigued by the idea, and how could he put forward any kind of argument when he was hovering between the two?

'Stupid,' he whispered, getting up from his chair and reaching for his coat. He should go home and wait for Roy, then he could apologise for being a freak and forget all about it. It was not like Roy had even suggested that Ed wear the damn thing. He had made it very clear that it was not purchased with the two of them in mind, but a relic from a previous affair, so what the hell was Ed's problem? Why was this whole deal bothering him so much? What was he afraid of: that he would be unable to hand himself over like that if Roy asked, or that he would enjoy it if he had the guts to try?

With a shake of his head, Ed flicked off the desk lamp and left the brooding space of his office behind. His assistant was sitting at her desk in the next room, pencils tucked in her hair as she scribbled her way furiously through some new results. He almost felt bad for leaving her here, but he was no good to anyone in his current state of anxious, angry confusion. 'Hey, Amy, I'm heading home. I'm not feeling so great.'

She gave him a disbelieving look, but bid him goodnight anyway, saying nothing condemning as he slipped out of the door and headed down the halls towards the outside world. He was lucky; some lab assistants were tyrants, but Amy knew when to cut him some slack. Besides, he had worked hard today – most of the time.

It was a short walk back home and, by the time he slipped through the front door, Ed had managed to shake off most of his lingering doubts. The lead had nothing to do with him, and Roy would have thrown it away by now. He could stop worrying that there was something left unsaid and untried, some need of Roy's that he was not fulfilling, and things could get back to normal.

Stifling the strange flicker of disappointment that curved through him, Ed sniffed at his shirt sleeve, wrinkling his nose at the chemical tang of alchemy that lingered in the fabric. It would be haunting his hair, too, and he did not want to spend the rest of the evening being harassed by a permanent reminder of work. It would probably be a while before Roy got home, which meant there was at least time for another shower.

He trotted up the stairs, stripping out of his clothes and ducking into the bedroom to grab his leather pants and a vest. They might raise a few eyebrows in the lab, but after years of wearing the tough trousers, Ed found himself turning back to them when he was at home. They were comfortable and resilient and, besides, Roy was never shy to show his appreciation for the form-fitting material.

Cool tiles kissed Ed's right foot as he padded into the bathroom, dumping clean clothes on the floor before flicking on the taps. It took a few moments for the water to warm up, but as soon as Ed stepped under the spray, he gave a soft moan of appreciation. It was as if all the stupid, pointless tension of the day was circling the drain, washed away like ink from his skin. It was difficult to move, and it was only when the water started to lose some of its warmth that Ed grudgingly emerged, letting the vapour ghost around him as he reached for a towel. It did not take long to dry himself off, and he let his hair hang damp around his shoulders as he pulled on his leather pants, leaving the fly undone.

Grabbing the vest, he headed back for the bedroom, only hesitating when a glimmer of silver caught his eye. Ed scowled down at the leash, still lying where Roy had thrown it that morning. Ed had been too focussed on getting clean to notice it before, but now it winked at him, and he growled to himself as all the tumultuous emotions from the day reared their heads once more. What was it still doing here? The state of the house suggested a certain element of haste to Roy's departure this morning, maybe he had just forgotten, but that seemed like a pretty weak excuse. Was he trying to tell Ed something?

Something uncomfortable coiled in Ed's stomach, and he bent down to pick up the offending item, turning it over in his hands as he examined it more closely. There were no cracks in the leather collar, and the metal clip fastening was still stiff. The links of the chain clinked against each other, and Ed carried it through to the bedroom to get a better look. It was well-made. The metal was polished and smooth, with no harsh edges or loose joins to pinch tender parts and spoil the moment. Nothing in the lead's appearance suggested it had ever been put to use, but Ed's stomach still writhed and twisted itself in knots.

Most of his life he had battled against fear, and the end result was that Ed could stare down anything, even the damn Gate, but now he was half-paralysed by the thing in his hands and the gaping hole in his knowledge. He was so used to knowing the answer to everything, but the leash summoned up too many questions that he could not lay to rest, and he swallowed nervously as he brushed his thumb back and forth along the leather, trying to find some element of understanding the the mystery in his palms.

The basic concept was easy enough to grasp. Someone wore the collar and their partner had the leash, but that simple action was loaded with the kind of symbolism that made Ed cringe. It was surrender, not just of the body but the mind. Unquestioning loyalty, devotion and obedience – just like a dog. He may as well never have another independent thought, and how could that appeal to anyone? How could a person want to turn their lover into nothing but a pet?

He fiddled with the fastening that held the collar in a neat little circle; it felt like he was missing something, some key point that would unlock the whole puzzle. As a while, people were not happy to hand over their freedom to another, but he had heard talk about this kind of thing since he was a kid. Soldiers discussed the strangest things in the military canteen, and Ed had always got the vague impression that light bondage was a straightforward kind of foreplay, commonplace and no cause for any kind of shock. There must be something enjoyable about it, something that he was failing to grasp, because otherwise why would people do it?

Beneath his fingers, the clip snapped open, and the collar rasped against his palm as it unfurled. The leather was a little stiff, but there were no harsh edges or anything that might chafe or scratch at the skin. It did not seem like pain was meant to play any part in the situation, so what then? Was it about the captivity and being at the mercy of another?

Ed lifted one eyebrow. That did not seem likely. One scrappy collar was not going to be enough to keep anyone of reasonable strength contained, let alone him. Even without his alchemy, it would probably break if he exerted enough force on the lead. Now he came to think about it, the whole thing was so physically harmless that it was almost laughable, so what the hell was the point of it?

Looking over his shoulder at the empty doorway, Ed bit his lip. If he did not get to grips with this, then it was going to drive him crazy. Ed hated feeling stupid and oblivious, and a prickle of irritation raced across his skin as he glared at the object in his palms. He could not hope to comprehend something he had never experienced, and lack of knowledge bred fear. There was no way he would stay a victim to his confusion forever.

'For fuck's sake,' he hissed to himself, flicking his damp hair back over his shoulders and shoving the collar around his throat, snapping the fastening shut before he could think twice. Ed glanced towards the mirror, lifting up his chin to bet a better look as he tried to soothe his twisting thoughts and anxieties.

It felt like nothing special. The leather sat against his skin, growing warm with his body heat. Droplets of water still dewed his throat, and one shifted down across the hide, making the matte black shine briefly with its track. There was enough space to fit one finger between the leather and his neck, and the feeble weight of the chain barely dragged it out of position.

Ed shifted closer to the mirror, catching at the swinging tendril of silver links and wrapping it around his Automail hand. It was brighter that the steel there, more decorative than functional, and an experimental tug told him he could rip the whole thing apart without too much effort. Imprisonment was not the purpose of this thing, so what...?

A noise at the doorway made him jerk, and his eyes darted up the mirror to see Roy's reflection in the glass. Clumsy excuses lined up in his throat, but they died on Ed's tongue as he took in the sight of the man behind him. The sound that had caught his attention had been something like a choked off gasp, but Ed did not think it had been about surprise. Roy's lips were parted, and his eyes were intensely dark as he stared with something like wonder. The top button of his shirt was undone beneath his open uniform jacket, and Ed could see the hard, fast beat of his pulse in the hollow of his throat, telling its own story of desire.

Something fluttered in Ed's stomach, and he swallowed tightly, trying to work out why Roy stayed on the threshold like he was glued in place. Normally if Ed did anything inviting, Roy would prowl into the room like a predator eyeing up dinner. Now, it was only the flush in his cheeks and the deep, uneven whisper of his breathing that showed Ed he was more than a statue. That, he realised, and the growing bulge straining the fabric of Roy's trousers.

Part of him wanted to take the collar off, to drag it away and cast it aside, but he was locked in place. How could he move when Roy was looking at him like that: practically setting him on fire with his gaze and sparking ribbons of need that whispered across Ed's skin and wove through his blood like hot velvet?

His body moved of its own accord, tipping his head to the side and exposing the column of his throat. Ed was still facing the mirror, and he saw the effect of the unspoken invitation on Roy. His knuckles, white around the door frame as if he were trying to anchor himself in place, relaxed, and his hand fell helplessly to his side. He crossed the room in three quick strides, the sleeves of his jacket rasping against Ed's skin as Roy wrapped his arms around him, pulling Ed back against his chest.

'Why are you wearing that?' It was a hoarse question, and Ed shivered with a mixture of apprehension and excitement at the animal sound of the words in Roy's throat. Some of his uncertainty must have shown on his face, because he watched Roy's reflection, seeing him close his eyes as the whisper of a deep, indrawn breath brushed against Ed's cheek. 'You look– there – there aren't words for how good you look, Ed,' Roy managed, his fingers reaching up to stroke along the line of black leather that encircled Ed's throat. 'But you don't have to do this for me.'

Ed expected to feel relieved, like he was being let off the hook, and he was surprised at the surge of disappointment that washed through him. For all the protests of his confused thoughts, a large part of Ed was curious. He wanted to know more, to tear apart the tangled mystery until he finally had the answers and Ed knew that, when exploring the theory failed to solve a problem, the next step was to immerse himself in experimentation.

Swallowing convulsively, he unwrapped the chain from his hand, ignoring the sharp stab of anxiety that lanced through his stomach as he held out the end of the leash for Roy to take. It was a simple enough act, but it spoke volumes, and Ed forced himself not to clench his teeth as he waited for Roy to react. He could see the questions and doubts lining up in Roy's mind, banking the hard surge of desire, and Ed let out a sigh as he murmured, 'I want to see what it's like.' There was no way to stop the blush from slamming into his face as he said it, and he lifted his chin, wearing it like a medal as he added, 'Please?'

Roy hesitated for a moment before he took the leather loop from Ed's grasp. It was a slow move, and Roy's eyes never left Ed's face. Ed knew he was looking for any suggestion of dislike as, testingly, he slipped his hand up the chain until it was a few inches from the collar and gave a very gentle tug.

If it had been anyone else, Ed would have pulled back and fought against the restraints. Even now, his instincts were hissing at him to try and get away, but the steadily growing heat in the pit of his stomach was deeper and more primal, stoked higher by Roy's proximity. Ed could smell the spice of his skin and feel the warmth of him even through his clothes, and it was that intangible lure that made him step forward rather than offer any resistance.

Roy's lips brushed over Ed's mouth, a tentative caress that sent arcs of lightening along Ed's nerves. He could feel the snarling tension of Roy's want in the taut muscles of his chest and the steel hardness between his legs, but the desire was held back. It was as if Roy was waiting for the moment when Ed would withdraw, and defiance prickled down Ed's spine. He did not back down from anything once he started, not if he had a choice.

Embers of desire began to glow brighter, stoked by Roy's tenderness and the flicker of his clever hands over Ed's skin. More and more, Ed's reservations were lost beneath a rising tide of need. It did not matter what accessories they used, sex was still the same at its core: passionate and perfect, and Roy would never let it become something that Ed did not enjoy.

He flicked his tongue across Roy's bottom lip, scraping his teeth over the soft flesh in a challenge that Roy was helpless to ignore. A moan rumbled between them, and Ed's breath caught as the cool chain brushed against his chest, teasing at his nipples. It was not deliberate, but the leash was looped around Roy's right hand, making the chain twitch as he skimmed his fingers down Ed's side to grip his hips, holding him close as the kiss became a claim.

Ed tipped his head back, revelling in the carnal simplicity as his mind was soothed to silence and muffled by want. Every inch of his flesh felt like it was crying out for Roy's touch. He arched closer, rubbing against Roy like a cat and gasping at the friction. Roy broke away, dragging his lips along Ed's jaw and down his throat, pausing to lap along the line of the collar and bite at the soft flesh there.

'Ah!' Ed gasped, hips jerking in response as Roy sucked on the sensitive spot. It bordered on the point of too much good to bear, leaving him helpless and shaking. Normally Ed forced Roy back before he could leave a mark but, while the leash around his neck did not physically stop him, it was a reminder that he was supposed to be giving Roy the control, and a hot flutter of fearful excitement coursed through Ed's body as he forced himself still, only moving to tip his head to the side and give Roy better access.

Any doubts Ed had were eradicated when he heard Roy's soft whimper of happy pleasure, and Ed swallowed back an answering sound as he reached out, skimming his palms over Roy's chest and fiddling with the buttons on his shirt. Temporary obedience was one thing, but there was no fucking way he could stand there and be passive. He wanted to touch and taste, give and take, and he was not going to deprive himself of that.

He slipped the buttons of Roy's shirt free and moved his palms beneath the wings of fabric, curling them to scratch lightly at Roy's skin. Tense muscles shivered at his touch, rippling as Ed drew lazy circles, losing himself in the simple rush of sensation.

Roy's palms skimmed down Ed's bare sides and traced the waistband of his leather pants. The fly was still undone, and his knees almost buckled as Roy's fingers dipped inside the vee, brushing against hard flesh and setting off fireworks in Ed's brain.

Roy's tongue was in Ed's mouth before the breathless snarl of need had a chance to escape, stroking his own and teasing him into the dance they knew so well. The taste of him was pure and addictive, and Ed let himself be lost to it as his clumsy fingers tugged Roy's shirt free of his pants, allowing him to rub his thumbs over the jut of hip bones and press himself hard against the pulsing ridge between Roy's legs.

The leather collar pulled at his neck, and Ed blinked at the reminder of its presence. He had almost forgotten he was wearing it, but now the chain tightened as Roy broke the kiss with a wet sound, licking his lips before stepping back towards the bed. It was not a tight, demanding yank, but a suggestion; not an order but a choice. Even now, Roy was asking for Ed's cooperation, rather than taking it for granted.

Roy watched him with eyes gone to black. Pale cheeks were flushed bright, and he was breathing hard between parted lips still swollen from Ed's attention. Roy had said that he looked good, but clearly the man had not caught his own reflection in the mirror. Every nuance of his appearance was grabbing Ed's attention, speaking to him without words, and he did not need the gentle tautness of the leash to encourage him to close the distance in a prowl.

He might be collared, but he was not tame, and Ed wondered if that was part of why Roy was so turned on. This morning he had said that the leash was not one of his kinks, but his body was telling a different story, and Ed was helpless to do anything but respond to Roy's blatant desire in kind. His flesh was humming along to Roy's tune of need, keening for his touch, and the lead did nothing to dampen those flames. In fact, Ed was beginning to suspect that its presence added an extra edge to his passion.

'You can take it off if you want,' Roy croaked, running a finger along the collar as soon as Ed was in reach. It was a light touch, but it sparked along the edge of the leather, and Ed exposed his throat again in brief appreciation before shaking his head and pressing his palms to Roy's chest.

'I want you,' Ed husked, shoving the jacket and shirt off of Roy's shoulders and pressing himself to that broad expanse of warm skin, 'and you're over-dressed.'

Roy's deep laugh was a warm, familiar sound, and Ed grinned into his chest as he felt Roy loosen the cuffs of the shirt, freeing himself from the shackling cotton. The fabric fell to the floor with a whispering rush, and Ed hummed happily as Roy's hands drifted down his back, caressing the ridge of his spine before going lower and cupping his leather-clad backside, pressing him into the grind of Roy's hips.

The friction was like dynamite, and Ed made a choked noise, licking at Roy's exposed throat and biting at at the ridge of his collar bone. 'Fuckin' tease,' he whispered, shivering as the skin-warmed links of the chain rasped over his bare chest.

'Who, me?' Roy asked, his false innocence undermined by the sexy hush in his voice as he kissed Ed again, nudging him back towards the mattress and following him down until he was astride Ed's hips: a hot, heavy weight above the centre of Ed's world. 'When you look like this, can you blame me for wanting to take my time?'

'Yes.' Ed's answer was hissed between gritted teeth as Roy kissed his way downwards, lingering on Ed's nipples before moving on to nudge at the open fly of Ed's pants. He could feel Roy's grin against his skin as Ed tangled his fingers in thick, dark hair, arching helplessly and making a high, needy noise. He had never been good at lying still while Roy tormented him, and now his body shifted and wriggled, desperate to get off his back and start taking some of what he wanted, but that was not the game they were playing, and the anticipation was only sending hotter, harder surges of desire through Ed's veins.

The scrape of teeth over leather was a hard-edged sensation, enough to make Ed's hips buck helplessly and he snarled when he felt Roy withdraw. Only the clink of Roy undoing his belt held back Ed's complaint, and he propped himself on his elbows as he watched Roy dispose of shoes, socks and the last of his clothing. It was a glorious sight, and Ed's tongue darted out to wet his lips. Roy's eyes followed the motion as if magnetised, his erection twitching beneath Ed's appreciative gaze, and Ed wondered if Roy could read the heady mixture of urges and memories that were parading themselves across his mind.

He knew just what that tasted like, the hot steel weight of it against his tongue, and the thought of taking Roy in his mouth should not have such a powerful effect on him. He could feel the fire flaring beneath his skin, dancing along sensitive nerves, and when Roy picked up the leash once more and gave a tiny pull, Ed shifted, moving willingly to his hands and knees on the mattress as he nosed the dark curls between Roy's thighs before parting his lips and skimming his tongue down Roy's length.

Roy was already fully hard, his flesh burgeoned and dark as Ed lost himself to what he was doing. Each moan and gasp from Roy seemed to stoke the fire in the pit of Ed's stomach, and every where that Roy's fingers touched was set alight. If Ed did not know better, he would think Roy was still wearing his gloves, because even the silken brush of skin against skin felt like too much to bear.

'Ah, Ed!' Roy breathed, his stomach muscles clenching as Ed swiped his tongue over Roy's tip before swallowing him back down again. 'Now who's being the tease?' The only answer Ed could give was a hum, and Roy's fingers tightened in his hair as he gave a loud groan. 'Brat.' Gentle caresses whispered down Ed's jaw, lingering to scratch lightly at his throbbing pulse before cupping his chin and easing him back.

Ed relinquished Roy with a wet sound, turning his head to scrape his teeth wickedly on the exposed, pale flesh of Roy's wrist and lick softly at the faint mark he left behind. Even here, the skin still tasted like salt and Roy, perfectly addictive, and Ed barely felt the mattress dip as Roy climbed back on the bed, nudging Ed down onto the pillows.

A sharp tug at his pants made him lift his hips, and Ed bit his lip as cool air whispered against his erection. Free from the confines of his clothes it lay hot and hard against his stomach, and his eyes rolled back in his head as Roy's fingers wrapped around him, stroking firmly up and down. The chain still hung from the collar, charting a serpentine silver path across Ed's body, and he could feel its cool touch shifting with every blind, barely restrained jolt of his body.

Abruptly, the metal moved with more purpose, and he blinked his eyes open to see Roy pulling it taut and laying it straight down Ed's chest. It was long enough to hang between his legs, and the line of the leash added a different level of intensity to what was happening – alien, but good in a way Ed had never expected. It chimed musically, following Roy's whim as he danced it lightly over Ed's skin.

In anyone else's hands it could have been mocking: Look what I have reduced you to, but Ed could felt the tenderness beneath Roy's desire. Ed might be the one in the leash – and maybe on the surface he was the one under someone else's control – but all of it, each ripple of the chain and every stroke of Roy's hands was for Ed's pleasure. That knowledge turned the air in his lungs into opium smoke, dragging him down into the dark clutches of need.

Every second was driving him closer to the brink of release, and his shaky control was beginning to fall apart as Roy dragged the chain over Ed's sensitive tip: a cool steel kiss that made hiss spine arch and his hips shift upwards. 'Roy...' he growled, his breath hitching at the last second as Roy's fingers shifted down between Ed's legs again and moved purposely further back. He could feel the wetness of lube and blinked in confusion. He must be further gone than he had thought, because he had not even noticed Roy lean across to the night-stand and get it, but the tube was capped on top of the sheets, and there was no denying the slick feel of Roy's touch as he pressed one finger gently in.

'So beautiful,' Roy husked as Ed writhed, wriggling his hips in a desperate effort to get more. Kisses brushed against his chest and stomach as Roy leaned in, whispering against his skin. It did not matter that Ed could not make out what Roy was saying; he could feel the weight of love and passion those words contained sinking through his flesh, and when another finger joined the first he cried out, trying to close the fractional distance between them and take what he wanted.

'Please! Fucking please!' Ed's breath caught on a whine as Roy withdrew, but it was wiped away by the moan of pure pleasure as Roy obeyed Ed without question, moving their hips closer before pushing his way steadily in. It was always the same, that moment of penetration, because no matter how far gone Roy was, he never grew clumsy at this. Nerves sang and sparked, building the fire into an inferno that ate at Ed's stomach, leaving him empty but for the heat. His hips jerked, instinctively shifting to better accommodate Roy, allowing him closer, deeper as meaningless words of encouragement fell from Ed's lips in stuttering gasps.

His fingers scrabbled at Roy's shoulders for a better grip as the room shifted, strong arms tightening around him and pulling him upright so he sat astride Roy's lap, still impaled on his length and being driven insane by the steady, maddening thrust of Roy's hips. It was one of their favourite positions, and Ed's voice purred in his throat as he curved his arms around Roy's neck and moved in harmony, shifting the rhythm into something faster, harder, more.

The leash was trapped between them, and Roy grabbed it near the collar, rasping it across Ed's skin as he dragged it free. The scrape of metal left Ed's nerves singing as it passed, and he shivered as the chain was draped over his shoulder to shimmy down his back in a want trail. The tip must have been brushing against Roy's thighs as they moved, providing a sensory counterpoint to the dance of their bodies, but Ed was too lost to notice anything but the storm building in his stomach.

He dropped his head to Roy's shoulder, licking at sweat-salted skin and curling his fingers into Roy's flesh, hard enough to leave bruises. Their hips were coming together in rapid jerks, and all conscious thought had dissolved from Ed's mind. There were no questions, now, only the satisfaction of skin and sweat and heat as Roy's angle shifted inside him, and suddenly, the world went white.

Choked whimpers caught behind gritted teeth as Ed's body arched, shaken and battered by the force of his release. Roy's cry of pleasure as he tightened around him only added to the ecstasy, and Ed felt the jagged rhythm between them strain to breaking point as Roy buried himself with a final thrust, blooming deep inside him.

Ed let his head tip forward, hair sighing down around his face as he dragged in ragged breaths, letting his body shiver and shake in the lazy eddies of the aftermath. He could feel Roy's heart racing and the rasp of every slowing breath, but even though they were both slicked with sweat and worse, Ed could not think of a better place to be. Sex with Roy was always explosive, but that...

That was something different.

'Fuck,' Roy whispered, his voice sounding heavy with awe as he ran soft hands down Ed's spine. It was a relaxing touch, and Ed slumped bonelessly against Roy's chest, giving a grunt of discomfort as Roy eased out. The pain was a minor thing amidst the heavy-limbed, sated buzz that resonated through Ed's body, and the tender press of Roy's lips against his own wiped it away completely.

Ed knew that there was more to Roy's kisses than passion, had learned to hear the unspoken message behind each one, and he could practically taste Roy's enthusiastic gratitude as their tongues lapped against each other, more soothing than arousing now, but sexy as hell all the same.

Breathlessly, Ed broke away, giving a soft purr of comfortable happiness as Roy guided them both back down until they were stretched out on the bed again. Strong arms tucked Ed closer to Roy's side, and cool sheets settled over them both as Ed slung his leg possessively over Roy's hip before looking up into that dark blue gaze.

The bastard was trying not to smirk, but failing miserably, and Ed stifled an answering smile as Roy stretched lazily next to him, humming in satisfaction. 'That was incredible. Unexpected, but incredible,' he murmured, reaching out to run his finger along the collar, reverently letting his caress slip to graze over Ed's pulse. 'You didn't have to, you know.'

Ed wrinkled his nose, trying to hold back the yawn that wanted to swell in his chest. Sex always made him tired, and now the drowsy weight in his muscles was pulling at his mind. 'Wanted to,' he replied, and the wicked grin was irrepressible as he nudged Roy in the stomach. 'No fucking way it's not your kink, though, you could have just said... '

Roy nuzzled into Ed's hair, now a scruffy sex-tumbled mess about his shoulders, and pressed a kiss to his temple. 'I was telling the truth; it's never been my thing, but then I saw you standing there like –' He swallowed, shaking his head as if he did not have the words. 'It should be illegal, how good you look, and then with the collar as well....' His words disintegrated into a husky growl, and Ed laughed as Roy's strong arm curved around his back, fingers tangling in the chain that still hung there and giving it a meaningful tug before letting go again, and his voice went soft. 'What changed your mind? This morning –'

Ed ducked his head, trying not to flush as he remembered how he had reacted earlier. All that worrying and confusion, and it all seemed so pointless now he knew the truth of it.

Maybe some people revelled in that kind of foreplay because they liked giving themselves up to another person, but Ed had thought that was all there was to the leash: ownership and control. He had seen it in its most simple form and almost been afraid of it, but submission and dominance had not been the main forces at work in what he and Roy had just done; it had been about trust.

Yeah, he had put on the collar and handed over control to Roy, but it had not been that act in itself that had made the sex so blindingly intense. He knew, without even asking, that Roy would never abuse the power Ed had given him over his body – would share the control, rather than horde it – and that alone was one of the greatest aphrodisiacs in the world.

'I wanted to know why people like that kind of thing, and I was never going to get that unless I at least tried the damn thing on,' he said at last, bending his head forward as Roy swept gold hair aside and fumbled with the catch on the collar, releasing it with a faint "snick". The chain hissed over Ed's skin, making him tremble anew, and he watched Roy place it on the bedside table where it gleamed in the afternoon light. 'Then you walked in and -' He grinned. '– suddenly it didn't seem like such a bad idea.'

Roy chuckled, nudging the tip of Ed's nose with his own and settling down more fully into the pillows. They were both sticky with mess, but right now it was impossible to care. Ed lay in the circle of Roy's arms, warm and satisfied, watching the sun stream in through the window behind Roy's shoulder. It sent stars glinting off the metal leash, and he wondered how he could ever have seen it as something threatening.

He had always known that he and Roy had something good together, but it had taken putting on that collar and offering himself up to Roy to show him how much faith had grown between them. Desire might form the foundations of their love, and hard-earned respect made up the bricks, but, until now, Ed had never realised the strength of the trust that held it all together.

It was enough to make Ed believe that what they shared, as imperfect as it was, might just last the rest of their lives.

The End