Ties That Bind: You Belong To Me

You Belong To Me
Keira Marcos
Ties That Bind
Series Order
: 3
Pairing: McShep (many other secondary pairings)
: Romance, BDSM
: NC-17
Word Count
: 25, 500

Warnings: Graphic male/male sex, anal play, BDSM, violence, and exhibitionism (does any of that really make you not want to read it?). Evil!Carter, Marine!John

Summary: John and Rodney make time to see both of their families before they leave for Atlantis.

Author’s Notes

This story was inspired by the works Coming Home and General & Dr. Sheppard by Xanthe. While this is not a story in the world she created, I did use her BDSM/Dynamic theme with her permission. I want to thank her sincerely for her generiosity and her contributions to this fandom and several others that I read. I highly recommend that you read EVERYTHING she’s ever written. SEE THE SERIES PAGE FOR FULL AUTHOR NOTES. I RECOMMEND YOU READ THEM!

* * * *

Rodney had a lot of money. He’d worked in private and government research in Canada and in the United States since he’d graduated with his first degree. Mostly it sat in a bank account and he bought cool things that he liked. He’d been thinking about buying a house so he could live off base—something he hadn’t done since his divorce from Sam. The main reason he hadn’t was mostly because buying a house for just himself sort of meant he was giving up having another Dom in his life.

Granted, he’d paid for Sam’s house but it had been bought and remodeled to suit her exactly. He’d catered to every wish when it had come to the home they would share and put it in her name without blinking an eye. He didn’t even really regret that part—she’d certainly wish she didn’t have a house worth a couple of million dollars when it came time to pay property taxes on it.

He smirked at the idea and then schooled his expression when John raised an eyebrow in question. The point was, was that he had a lot of money so he always dressed very well, ate well, and traveled first class. He’d never, however, traveled on a private jet. As they got settled in the Learjet that would take them to Vancouver, he decided to never fly commercial again in his life.

They were in the air within minutes and as soon as the pilot let them know they were free to move around the cabin, John unbuckled both of their seat belts and stood. He walked to the front of the plane, had a hushed conversation with the two men in the front and generally made himself a nuisance in the way only another pilot can. Then he closed the double doors that secluded the cabin from the cockpit and came back to him.

Rodney watched him as he moved to a counter and pulled out a pristine white sheet and an unopened tube of lube from the top drawer. His stomach jumped in anticipation but he didn’t move. John would tell him exactly what he wanted him to do as soon as he was ready for him.

John came back to him then, and dropped his supplies in the seat he’d been sitting in. “Strip for me.”

Rodney stood immediately and started taking off his clothes. John took his shirt and pants without a word and turned to drape them over the two seats on the other side of the plane. He took off his own clothes while he was there—leaving his shoes, socks, boxers, and t-shirt on the floor in a pile while putting his pants and shirt with Rodney’s.

John walked back to him ran his hand down his chest and over his stomach. He rubbed his thumb over the de Sade mark and Rodney moaned a little. “You’re not allowed to get all stressed and freaked out about this trip. I’ll take care of everything, I promise.”

Rodney nodded his agreement and made a little humming sound when John’s already hard cock brushed over his thigh. “How do you want me?”

John brushed their mouths together and then stepped back. He picked up the sheet, spread it over the leather of Rodney’s seat, and then pushed a button on the small control panel in the arm of the chair. The seat tilted back a little and shifted, then a padded platform slid out from underneath it and elevated to the perfect position for just about anything. Rodney’s own cock twitched in response.

“Sit for me.”

Rodney slid into the seat and John pushed another button. The arms of the chair extended and covered stirrups slid out and into place. He relaxed back completely in the chair as John hooked his fingers around one ankle and put his foot into the stirrup. In the few shorts days they’d been together, he’d learned than John liked to place him exactly as he wanted so he didn’t follow suit with the other foot but waited until John put it into place. The position left him completely open—his legs spread wider than he’d normally do on his own. The muscles in the back of his thighs burned just enough to be pleasant.

John hummed his approval and situated himself on the platform. He pressed one hand flat against Rodney’s stomach. “You’re so fucking hot like this, Rodney. I don’t… God… it’s amazing.”

McKay couldn’t say his word—his throat was full of all the needy emotions that he couldn’t make himself express. John leaned in and kissed the center of his chest before moving to the left to suck one pink nipple until it popped hard for him. Rodney stayed as still as possible as his whole body started to hum with the pleasure of simply being owned. He hadn’t felt like this in years—well before Sam and her pretty but shallow bondage games.

Teeth grazed over his skin and clenched on muscle—sending a hot thrill over his whole body. Goosebumps spread over his thighs and arms. John’s hands stilled on his hips and gripped as he flicked his tongue over the tip of McKay’s cock. Rodney relaxed under the hold—understanding that was all the restraint he was going to get in their current situation. John would never risk full out bondage in a situation as if they were in on the plane.

Sheppard nuzzled his balls and then sucked one into his mouth for a thorough tongue bath. Rodney lifted his hands over his head and clenched on the back of the seat as he arched against the hands that held him. “Fuck, John.”

“I’m going to,” John promised, his breath warm and wet against McKay’s balls. “You know how much I like to fuck this pretty little hole.”

Rodney shivered a little as John moved again and flicked his tongue over his clenching asshole. “Jesus. Jesus.”

John laughed a little and settled into lick and tongue fuck his sub’s ass. He didn’t do this often for subs—in fact hadn’t done it for a sub since Jared but he enjoyed it with Rodney. His body squirming under his hands, his hole clenching and relaxing as he worked his tongue into that hot, smooth tunnel.

He sent one hand out questing to find the lube. He had to use both to get the safety seal off and open it. John lifted his head and glanced Rodney over. He was sprawled in the chair, his thighs shaking, his cock leaking on his stomach—hard and dark red with arousal. The flight was really too short for a lot of play and he wanted Rodney to have time to settle down afterward before they landed.

He lubed them both up quickly and shifted so he could push his cock right in. Rodney clenched down on the invasion with a sigh of pleasure and John laughed. “Slut.”

“Your slut,” Rodney murmured, his words slightly slurred with pleasure. “I love your big cock, John.”

“I can tell,” John responded with a little grin. “You want to sit on it and take a ride?”

Rodney’s eyes widened and he nodded fast.

John pulled out somewhat reluctantly and carefully took Rodney’s feet out of the stirrups, which he pushed back into the chair. In less than a minute, they’d traded places and Rodney was settling on his lap—taking his in cock like it was his due and reward. John spread his legs and Rodney leaned back, using his hands on John’s knees to brace himself.

The position was fantastic and John made the most of his free hands by pinching Rodney’s nipples viciously and then scraping his nails down the sub’s thighs as Rodney worked his cock expertly. Finally, he wrapped one calloused hand around McKay’s dick and started to jerk in time to the movement of Rodney’s body.

“I want you to come on me,” John murmured.

“Now?” Rodney asked his eyes falling shut.

“When you’re done—you ride my cock until you can’t take anymore and then come on me. I’ll come when you do. No little orgasms to tide you over, though. You only get one, Rodney, so make it count.”

McKay slowed his pace, marginally and took a deep breath as he wiggled down onto John’s cock with intent. They both knew that they didn’t have an infinite amount of time to play but he would wring out every second he could. He slid all the way down until they were snug ass to groin and then ground his hips in a little circle taking John so deep that they both groaned aloud. When John’s breath started to hitch, he lifted slightly and then slid back down as slowly as he could.

“Fuck that’s good,” John muttered.

“More?” Rodney questioned softly. “Just like that?”

“Yeah, Christ, yeah.” John clenched his hand on Rodney’s cock.

Rodney rocked forward and used the back of the seat to brace himself and by the time John started to thrust up against him—they were both covered in sweat and groaning loudly. Rodney settled hard in John’s lap and came in a rush of hot cum all over John’s fingers.

John groaned and arched under him—his cock jerking against the vice of his sub’s ass as he came hard. He huffed out a breath and pulled McKay down with his dry hand to kiss him. Rodney moaned softly against his mouth.

“You please me so much,” John murmured against his lips. He relaxed back in the chair and sighed. “And thanks—I think I was the only pilot on the planet who wasn’t a member of the Mile High Club.”

Rodney sputtered and sat back in John’s lap. “You’re welcome.”

* * * * –

Their plane was directed to a private hangar once they landed and John had the GPS system turned on by the time Rodney was completely settled. The address for the hotel had already been programmed so John took a few minutes to input the Miller’s address and a few restaurants he’d researched on the Internet before they’d left the mountain.

By the time they reached the hotel—they’d both started to glare at the chipper little device. John pulled up to the front and turned to McKay. “You know—I really don’t want my computer to talk to me. Star Trek underestimated how annoying it is.”

“Agreed,” Rodney muttered and stabbed the off button the GPS screen. “Completely agreed.”

The doorman was directing a bellhop their way by the time John rounded the car to get McKay’s door and both men kept their distance until John offered the keys to the uniformed valet that appeared at their side almost as if by magic.

In the lobby, a woman dressed in a black leather skirt and a white silk blouse was waiting on them with a black envelope in hand. “Good evening, Colonel Sheppard, Dr. McKay. I am Daphne Demarc. Welcome to the Loden. We are pleased to have you both with us—even for such a short stay.”

John inclined his head. “Madame Demarc.”

“I trust the car met with your approval?”

“It’s beautiful—like flying on the ground,” John murmured as they were neatly guided towards the elevators. “Does my father come here a great deal?”

Demarc just smiled as the elevator doors closed. “His Jonah enjoys the property and there is a private club in town they both belong to. They visit with us several times a year. I can get you an invitation if you wish.”

John shook his head. “We won’t have time.”

“It’s a pity,” Demarc murmured and glanced only briefly at Rodney. “Congratulations on your new pairing, it’s always our honor to cater to the pleasure of a new couple.”

Rodney blushed and moved closer to John, which made him laugh softly. “Thank you, Madame.”

“Yes,” John pressed a kiss against McKay’s forehead. “Thank you.”

Demarc’s eyes were twinkling a little as she pulled a keycard from the envelope she carried and inserted it into a slot in the elevator. After it started moving, she handed the keycard over to John. “We have a full service chef service as you are aware. If you change your mind about the number of meals, you’ll be having with us—just let us know—no notice is required. Your personal chef team will be available to you twenty-four hours a day throughout your stay. The penthouse has a majordomo who will see to all of your needs during your stay and is only a call away at any time. We have three certified asexual massage therapists on staff if either of you have a need for a full body massage. The equipment in the room has been thoroughly sanitized since our last guest and we hold the highest standard with the Health Inspector General for our sanitization process.”

The doors opened out into a large marble-floored foyer that flowed into a large living space with a couch and a big screen TV. “There are three bedrooms in the penthouse—each is fully prepped and identical when it comes to amenities. All three are also sound proof but we have emergency medical call buttons in every room in case help is required.” She looked at Rodney when she said that and he only nodded. “We take the motto ‘safe, sane, and consensual’ very seriously at the Loden and we require that our guests do as well. If play gets rough and you need a medical doctor we have one on staff.”

John grimaced and wondered how much business their doctor got on a regular basis. “Thank you, Madame.”

“Jeffers, your chef for the evening will be around in an hour to prepare your meal unless you’d prefer a later time?”

“No, that’s perfect. I’m starving,” Rodney said as he watched the bellhop bring in their luggage. He held out his hand and made a grabby motion towards the computer case and the young man gamely handed it over.

John just laughed. “Just put our bags in the first room. Thank you.”

* * * *

The Miller’s lived in a nice house on the outskirts of Vancouver with a fenced yard and their dog was a total mutt. John pretty much loved the dog on sight but refrained (barely) from getting down on the ground to play with it as they closed the front gate and walked towards the front door.


“I haven’t spoken to her in a year,” Rodney admitted. “I just don’t know what to expect from her. I’m sure she wore out Google checking you out.”

“She wouldn’t find much,” John said. “Just family stuff.”

“It’ll be enough,” Rodney muttered. “At least she won’t think I’ve downgraded.”

John shook his head and laughed.

The door opened before they could knock and Rodney got hit at the knees with about 30 pounds of little kid. “Uncle Mer!”

Rodney grinned and plucked his niece off the ground. “Hey munchkin. How is my favorite girl?”

Madison Miller looped her arms around Rodney’s neck, her little fingers playing with the back of his collar. “Mama says I don’t have an Aunt Sam anymore.”

Rodney frowned. “Well, no. Aunt Sam and I had an argument and we are no longer married.”

Madison leaned in. “Good, she kind of sucked and I hated all of the stupid pink clothes she bought me.” She turned and looked right at John with bright blue, familiar eyes. “My mama says you’re the catch of the century.”

“That’s my Dad.”

She laughed and squirmed down. “Mama is in the kitchen making breakfast and Daddy took the day off so he could meet your new Dom. Come on.”

Rodney sighed as John pulled the door shut and they followed. “She’s a Top, right?”

“Yeah. Do her parents know?”

“Jeannie and Kaleb have been fussing over it for two years but I see the traits in her already. Sam disagreed with me on principal but Madison doesn’t have a submissive cell in her whole body.”

“No, agreed.” John shrugged out of his jacket. “O’Neill told me that Kaleb is kind of a hard ass.”

“No harder than you, really. He’s old fashioned and Jeannie’s pet status has always irritated the fuck out of me but that’s a choice they made together not one that he forced on her.”

“So he didn’t tell Sam that she needed to have you retrained?”

“Actually, I told her she needed a session at a pleasure house.” Kaleb Miller leaned on the doorframe and smiled. “She didn’t take it well.”

John laughed. “No, I don’t imagine she did.”

“Now,” Kaleb sighed. “I wasn’t aware until two days ago as to the reason why have you not visited my home since your separation from Carter, Rodney. Jean, come here and apologize to your brother for meddling in things that were none of your business and having an opinion about a situation you knew nothing about.”

Jeannie Miller appeared in the doorway with a shy smile and the same bright blue eyes John was sort of in love with. “Hey, Mer.”

“Jeannie.” Rodney frowned at her. “You don’t have to…”

“Oh yes she does,” Kaleb interjected. “She really does.”

“He’s right I do.” She took a deep breath and motioned towards the couch. “Can we sit?”

“Yeah.” Rodney went to the couch and then blinked in surprise when Jeannie pulled a sub bench from beneath it and knelt next to him. “What…when did you start using a bench? There’s old fashioned and then there’s just…”

“Rodney,” John started and touched his shoulder. “If you’d spent a year lying to me—you wouldn’t sit for a month.”

Jeanie blushed prettily and Rodney huffed out a breath. “Right—well maybe I can sit next week but I’m not holding my breath on that front. So, I’m sorry. I was nosy, rude, and completely out of line with everything I said. It wasn’t my place then or now to judge the relationship you have with your Domme and if you felt Sam wasn’t treating you fairly or with disrespect then that was your call and I should have been on your side. Of all of the people in your life—I should always be on your side and I wasn’t there when you needed me most. I know how much you loved her when you first married so it must have been just devastating and I was selfish and unreasonable.”

Rodney stared for a few seconds, and then his gaze narrowed. “Just how long did this spanking last anyways?”

Jeannie laughed and blushed. “Mer.”

“Okay, no, it’s okay. You’re forgiven. I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t ready to get past all of that crap and make things okay between us. I’m going on a big mission and I’ll probably be gone for a year or more. I didn’t want to do that without seeing you.”

Jeannie glanced towards John then and then turned back to her brother. “Military?”

“Sort of but mostly civilian. John is command of the military personnel on the mission and I was promoted to Chief Scientist for the entire expedition. It’s pretty cool.”

“Are you going back to Antarctica?”

“Something like that, yes. I can’t really discuss it with you. I wish I could.” Her hand clenched on top of his. “You have no idea.”

She smiled. “Okay, good. And you’ll start accepting my emails again? Because they’ve been bouncing back unread since… well… just you know since then until yesterday.”

Rodney blinked. “Yesterday was the first email I’ve gotten from you in a year, Jeannie.”

“No,” she shook her head as she disagreed. “I emailed you every week but they all came back to me. I still have them.”

“Carter,” John murmured. “She must have been intercepting them.”

Rodney shook his head in disgust. “I really hope she spends her break putting her head back together.”

“She hid my emails from you?”

“I’d say she rejected them before he could see them since he did receive the one you sent yesterday,” John slid onto the couch beside Rodney. “We skipped breakfast at the hotel but if you don’t feel like cooking—we can go out to eat.”

“Oh, no, almost done actually. I have a quiche in the oven.” Jeannie popped up from the bench and disappeared into the kitchen.

Rodney glanced towards the door as Madison scooted in and made a beeline for him. She cuddled up next to him on the couch with a grin and opened up her book. “Kaleb, have you put her on the waiting lists?”

“Yes, for everything but de Sade. I don’t have a family connection with them since I was trained in the United States and Jeannie’s one session didn’t put her on inheritance list.” Kaleb raised one eyebrow when Rodney blushed. “What?”

“You should use the McKay name, Kaleb.” John rubbed Rodney’s knee gently when his sub only nodded. “She should have no problem if you list Rodney as her inheritance benefactor.”

Kalbe frowned. “I know that Rodney did two sessions—but I was lead to believe he wasn’t marked. That wouldn’t go in Madison’s favor I believe.”

“Right, he wasn’t marked on his second session,” John inclined his head. “He was marked at the end of his third and final session.”

Kaleb straightened abruptly, his eyes wide. “Jesus, Rodney, does Jeannie know that?”

“No,” Rodney answered softly as he pointed to a picture in Madison’s book. “She was very upset when I was invited back for a second session. Our parents had died, she was freshly collared, and we had enough animosity between us because I was furious that she gave up her graduate work. I thought she was wasting her mind and her talent.”

“You still do,” Kaleb said neutrally.

“She has one of the most brilliant minds of our generation. So, yes, I do but it’s her call.”

“I don’t disagree with you on that, you know.” Kaleb looked towards the kitchen. “We’ve discussed her going back to school but she wants another baby. Balancing the wants of her heart and the potential of her mind has never been easy. But, I never stood in her way.”

“I know that,” Rodney muttered. “Call de Sade, use my name. Madi deserves the best training possible and the slots for dominants are always hard to come by.”

Kaleb’s eyes widened fractionally. “You really think she’s a dominant?”

“You don’t?” John asked neutrally.

“Sometimes I do—sometimes not. I was beginning to think she might be a switch.”

“Or maybe, just a very savvy and manipulative Domme,” John murmured and raised an eyebrow at his fellow top. Kaleb flushed. “I’m sure she brings out the submissive behavior when she wants something from you she doesn’t think you’ll give her.”

* * * *

“I can’t believe you didn’t tell me,” Jeannie muttered for the fiftieth time in the hour since they’d sent Madison out to play. “Really.”

Rodney sighed and sat back at the table. “Did you want to see it?”

Jeannie turned and glared. “Of course, I do, you moron. I’ve only been hinting for the last hour. Who doesn’t want to see a de Sade Courtesan mark? It’s like the Holy Grail!”

John choked on his water and Rodney gamely slapped him on the back. “That cool with you?”

He nodded and shared an eye roll with Kaleb. “Yeah, it’s fine. I’d brag about it if you were more comfortable with it being known.”

Rodney blushed, pulled his t-shirt out of his jeans, and jerked it over his head. It was similar to the one that Jeannie had on her neck but had nine points instead of four. Four points for one session, eight star points for two sessions and then a ninth point—longer than the rest to identify his status as a Courtesan.

Jeannie firmed up her bottom lip. “Do you know why you were invited back and…”

“And you weren’t?” Rodney asked gently as she sat down.


“I don’t know why you specifically didn’t get a second session but I will tell you that everyone in my second session was an extreme masochist. My third session was private with a Master—I saw no one else while I was there. They don’t mark a Courtesan until they are at least twenty-five so I knew when I was recalled to de Sade then that I was being considered for that status.” He arranged his clothes and sat back down at the table. “The final Master I had at de Sade did my mark personally and then I was dismissed from his company. I haven’t seen him again. The training of a Courtesan is the final act of a Master level Dom at de Sade and they only get to train one. That’s why Courtesan s are rare and especially why there are so few males.”

“Training a male is more difficult?” Kaleb asked with a frown.

“There are skills that must be learned that can prove difficult for some men,” Rodney admitted. “I’m not really allowed to discuss them outside of my relationship with my own Dom.”

“So are all male Courtesans masochists?” Jeannie asked as she refilled the drinks on the table, perched on her chair with a little intake of breath, and then blushed when her husband smirked.

“All of the Courtesans I’ve ever met, male and female, were extreme in one way or another. I think it’s best to remember that de Sade was founded by the most notorious Dom of his time—a true sadist. To achieve the highest rank in the pleasure house he developed—either as a sub or a dominant—you have to be on the edge of what most would consider normal.”

* * * *

The Vancouver branch of the de Sade Institute was a sprawling rural estate with security like a maximum-security prison. John felt oddly at home the moment they were allowed to enter the gated property. The director of the Institute had requested that Rodney register Madison’s name personally in their records as one of those entitled to his inheritance but John figured that was just an excuse to get him on the property. He knew Rodney had trained in Quebec exclusively.

Madison had been dropped off at a friend’s house to play while the four of them had made the trip to de Sade. It was the ultimate adult playground and not really meant for the innocent even when no play was to be anticipated. John exited the driver seat with a glare towards the GPS and pulled out Rodney’s leash.

He hadn’t leashed the sub since they’d collared but Rodney had told Kaleb that Jeanie would have to be leashed so John had made sure to have his handy. He hadn’t put a leash on anyone since Jared and it felt so odd to be in the position to leash a sub again.

He opened McKay’s door and offered him a hand as a woman walked out onto the front porch of the large house. Rodney’s fingers clenched against his and he relaxed a little when John snapped the leash into place. He glanced towards the Millers and found them all settled, leash in place.

John looped the suede handle around his hand and then thread his fingers through McKay’s as they walked up the steps. “Mistress Bernadette.”

“Colonel Sheppard,” she inclined her head. “We are honored by your visit.” She turned to Kaleb. “Dr. Miller, it’s a pleasure to see you and Jeannie on the property. Did you enjoy your time at the Dungeon last week?”

“Yes, thank you, Mistress,” Kaleb answered and Jeannie moved closer. “Thank you, additionally, for seeing us today.”

She clucked her tongue. “You should have been more clear with your request all of those months ago. I had no idea that Dr. McKay was willing to make his legacy available to his niece.” She turned to John. “Colonel Sheppard, am I allowed to speak directly with your submissive?” Her gaze flicked over the leash Rodney wore as she asked the question.

“Yes, of course.” John pressed his hand against the small of Rodney’s back as he spoke.

“I have several instructors on hand who are quite interested in meeting you, Dr. McKay. It’s rare that we have a student of Gerard de Sade join us much less his Courtesan. We’re very excited because it was well believed that he would never find a student he would train as a Courtesan. He was the last de Sade descendent we had on staff at the Institute until the next generation is ready to take the places that are kept in reserve for them.”

Rodney blushed. “I wasn’t aware that was information anyone outside of the institute in Quebec had access to. In fact, he assured me that it would be as private as I wished it to be.”

She smiled tightly—obviously a little worried that she’d insulted him by mentioning it. “Well, he was quite well known so of course they had to tell us that he’d trained his Courtesan and was retiring from the Institute. Whenever we lose a great Master like Gerard – questions are asked.” She motioned them inside. “Often, we can site privacy concerns and not discuss it but he is a de Sade and issues of privacy were not enough to dissuade all of the questions. Your name is rarely mentioned but it is in your files with the Institute which all certified instructors have access to.”

Rodney nodded but edged closer to John. “You had papers you wanted me to fill out?”

“Yes, you don’t have anyone currently listed to receive your legacy so we’ll need to get that squared away so young Madison can be added to our enrollment for the year of her parents choice.”

“She won’t be screened?” Kaleb asked.

“No, of course, not. She has the legacy of a Courtesan, Dr. Miller. Do you know her dynamic?”

“She’s just six but we’re all pretty certain she’s going to be dominant,” Kaleb answered. “I’d like her to be at least eighteen before she’s offered training.”

“Agreed,” Bernadette replied with a quick smile. “A Domme—how lovely. We’ll go ahead and reserve at least two sessions for her. If she doesn’t want both—she can decide that later. If her dynamic shifts or if she proves to be a switch we can discuss that when she’s ready. As Dr. McKay’s heir—she’ll have access to pretty much everything when it comes to training.”

She led them into an office and got them seated before disappearing through a set of double doors.

John turned immediately and stared at Rodney. “You were trained by Gerard de Sade?”

Rodney flinched. “Yes, Christ, why do you say it like that?”

“Because… Jesus… thank God I didn’t know in advance or I might have had some kind of performance anxiety.” John slouched a little in his chair when Kaleb snorted his agreement.

Forty-five minutes later, they were getting a tour of the facility and Jeannie was doing her best to balance between being a concerned parent and more than excited sub. Because they were on tour—they were allowed in the dominant training center—a part of the Institute neither Rodney nor Jeannie had ever seen before.

The instruction rooms were familiar to John of course he’d had a harder master in such arts than any of the young people here would. Even his sessions at the La Petite Mort in San Francisco had been a walk in the park compared to Dato’ Raja’s attention.

“Colonel, where did you receive your training?”

John glanced towards Bernadette and offered a small smile. “Four years at Kesakitan Pembawa in Singapore with Dato’ Seri Syed Raja, one session at the Lotus House in Tokyo with Master Akira Saito and three sessions at La Petite Mort in San Francisco with Master Philippe Dubois.” He paused when her mouth dropped open. “I was invited to de Sade after Singapore but I was already in ROTC and the Marine Corp owned my summers.”

She wet her bottom lip, her eyes brightened. “Would you be willing to give a demonstration with Dr. McKay? It’s rare that we have two such as yourselves with us and it would be… a big experience for them.”

John’s gaze narrowed. “Did you maneuver my sub here for this, Mistress Bernadette?”

“No, of course not. The paperwork was required but it’s not unheard of for Courtesans to demonstrate if they come onto the property. It’s by no means something we’d even think to demand of either of you.” She rocked back on her heels. “We’re in the middle of a special session—a second session for sixteen. Eight subs and eight dominants which we’ve paired for cooperative learning.”

“Rodney?” John asked.

Rodney met his gaze. “I’ve done it before—but only in Quebec. I took a seclusion period last year—I did two then. When I accepted the mark of the Courtesan – this was as explained as one of the things I might be called upon to do. That being said—you trained elsewhere and are under no such obligations.”

John took his keys from his pocket and passed them to Kaleb. “Take your wife for a drive, Kaleb.”

“Oh thank God,” Jeanie muttered.

* * * *

The students had sat in stunned silence since Bernadette had rattled off both of their backgrounds in a voice just short of gleeful. Each pair had instructor with them so there were twenty-five people in the room if he counted Bernadette. He knew the youngest student in the room was nineteen and the oldest was just short of twenty-four.

Rodney shrugged off the robe without hesitation and draped it over the back of a chair near the cross they’d arranged. It was the set up that afforded an audience the best view so John hadn’t protested it. He’d made it clear up front that he was not going to fuck his sub in front of an audience. Bernadette had acted only slightly disappointed at that news.

Large mirrors surrounded them so the students would have a view of them both at every angle. John had performed on stage in a variety of venues in his life so he wasn’t put off by the display in the least. One of the teachers set up some supplies for him—including several towels, a first aid kit and several bottles of water. The kit he’d been supplied with had been wrapped and all bore the sanitization seal that was practically universal.

A brief conversation with Rodney before he’d gone to undress had given John a variety of options but he picked the one thing he hadn’t had a chance to use on McKay. His own six-foot bullwhip was on Atlantis and he hadn’t purchased one for his stay on Earth. He also hadn’t trusted the purchase of one by the Quartermaster on the base—no matter how well he’d done with the cane. He slid the whip through his hand, checking it from end to end for imperfections or uneven braiding.

He rolled it casually and dropped it on the table to his left. “I’m going to warm you up with the cane and then move onto the whip. Twenty with the cane and 30 with the whip.” John ignored several of the instructors who frowned at the numbers.

Rodney nodded. “Yes, sir.”

“You can release on strike 15 of the cane and strike twenty of the whip but you are not to ejaculate until I tell you to come. Clear?”

“Yes, sir.”

The murmur that drifted through their audience at his agreement wasn’t a surprise and John ignored his own irritation. Exhibitions were done in silence but this was a demonstration—an instructional opportunity for the students in the room. The situation forced him to make concessions he wouldn’t normally make for an audience.

“You aren’t going to give him a safe word?”

The question came from one of the students—a clearly dominant young man who was sporting a military crew cut. “What was that?” John asked coolly.

The young man straightened up from his slouch. “You aren’t going to give him a safe word, sir?”

“In any other time or place, kid, I would consider that question an invasion of our privacy. I would’ve thought that by your second session at a house of this prestige you would know that such things are private between a Master and his collared submissive.” He checked the weight of the first cane and then set aside. The third one he picked up felt right but it flexed badly as if had been allowed to dry out.

John glanced at the core with a frown and then casually snapped it into. “When you cane—never use a tool that has been allowed to dry out. Even if you soak it again—it could be brittle and unpredictable in the future. Natural source canes are better—no matter who tells you otherwise. If you have to resort to fiberglass to get the response you want from your submissive—you simply aren’t doing it right.”

“And if I want to master the cane?”

“You can’t get it here—go abroad. France or Singapore is preferred. North Koreans specialize in bloodletting so I don’t recommend them. The Japanese use it only for punishment, which is fun for you but not so much for your sub. Never pick a pleasure house in the US for caning. They have absolutely no penchant for it and if they say otherwise they are lying to you,” John said as he picked up another cane.

“How do you know we don’t have a Master Caner here?” Bernadette asked neutrally.

“If you did—the cane I broke one wouldn’t have made it into this room much less on this table for me to chose from,” John responded coolly. “Besides, de Sade doesn’t specialize in caning as a pleasure discipline. You contract that training out.” He glanced her way and she smiled.

John pulled off his t-shirt and tossed it on the table on to top of the tools he’d dismissed. His dog tags swung against him briefly before thudding back into place. The glint of the collar key shone brightly against the dull grey metal of his dog tags. Focusing entirely on Rodney, he ran one hand down his sub’s back and then leaned in to press a kiss against his neck. “Take a few deep breaths for me.”

Rodney nodded as John’s fingers brushed over his pulse point and took three deep even breaths, exhaling in a controlled release. John moved back to his back—going over the areas he’d be working with—a forewarning system he knew that Rodney had learned in just the short time they’d been together.

“A caning can be a visual and an auditory experience if you focus and listen. Everyone keep their breathing under control and be silent,” Bernadette said as John took his position.

The cane whistled in air and the snap against Rodney’s skin was perfect. A solid red mark spread across McKay’s ass and John knew there were subs in the room already starting to squirm. Rodney’s fingers flexed on the bar he’d been given to hold onto above his head at the next strike and a soft moan escaped his mouth seemingly against his will.

The next blows came in quick succession, Rodney’s breathing grew shallow and then deepened as he moved through the levels of arousal and getting lost in the pure pleasure of the pain he was getting from John. On strike 15, McKay shuddered and his cock jerked with the force of his orgasm but as instructed he did not ejaculate. Several people in the room shifted in shock but nothing was said. John worked his ass and thighs with the cane as he shook through the orgasm.

John set aside the cane and picked up one of the towels and a damp cloth. He wiped the sweat from Rodney’s back carefully checking the welts as he worked. The skin of his back, ass, and thighs were a beautiful shade of cherry red and there were several nicely swollen welts that were darker than the rest.

He wiped the sweat from his chest with a fresh towel and then checked McKay’s pulse and pupils.

“Recite Pi to 15 decimal points,” John instructed.

“3.141592653589793,” Rodney murmured.

“What is the most ridiculous piece of science fiction in a movie?”

“The flux capacitor,” Rodney responded dryly.

John chuckled and after another visual inspection picked up the whip. He glanced at the students and found most of them a little glassy eyed with arousal. He shot a look at the director. “Maybe you should do a health check on all of them.”

That made several of the instructors laugh. He took several steps back from McKay and flicked the whip to check the action of the leather. “I’m going to snap this three times before I hit you with it, Rodney, so just breathe for me and let me work out the movement before I use it on you.”

“Yes, sir,” McKay responded his voice breathy with anticipation.

The sound of the whip moving through the air was overshadowed immediately by the sound it made at the snap. Its echo was alluring and more than a little thrilling. Rodney shivered after the third pop sounded just to his left and John grinned a little. He had a feeling this was going to be Rodney’s favorite activity in the future.

He delivered the first ten blows in one long set—lashing across McKay’s shoulders evenly. The skin sharpened so red that it looked like blood was rising but John knew he hadn’t broken the skin. Rodney’s back was already so sore and sensitive from the caning that drawing blood simply wasn’t necessary or in John’s case even desired.

The next set of ten came slower—hitting across his ass and thighs without any kind of regularity but his control of the whip was absolute—it never curled around or flicked across skin he didn’t intend to hit. The entire room was ripe with the stench of arousal—and it wasn’t all his and his subs. The reaction of the audience didn’t surprise him. He’d known particularly sensitive subs come just by watching.

When he delivered the twentieth, the entire room seemed to still around them as Rodney shuddered through a second orgasm without ejaculating. John wondered if the students understood that multiple orgasms in a male Courtesan were actually a hallmark of their status.

He began the final set with a vicious blow across McKay’s left thigh and Rodney shouted. Not in pain—but a shocked, “Hell yes!” that made John smirk before he could school his expression completely. He ended the set in a series of almost soft blows that glanced across dark angry flesh with just enough power to make McKay hiss.

Then everything went silent—the room was filled with McKay’s soft gasps and heavy breathing, as he stood poised on the edge of coming. His body tight with pleasure and pain in equal measure.

John lowered the whip and rolled his head on his neck as he worked out the tension. “Come.”

Rodney shuddered and sagged briefly against the restraints of the cross and came in a stream of semen all over the cross and the mirror he faced.

John glanced just once at the Mistress and she started to clear the room of stunned students and instructors. Once the door was shut, he removed Rodney from the cross and wrapped the robe around his shoulders. They walked back to the dressing room Rodney had used to take off his clothes and John locked the door behind him.

“In me,” Rodney murmured. “I want you in me right now.”

“You’re way too sore for that,” John admonished softly.

“I need…” Rodney swallowed hard. “That was so amazing, John. So fantastic. I need to make you come.”

“Suck me, then.” John urged him to his knees and Rodney went with a little whimper of pleasure. Together they made quick work of undoing his belt and unzipping him. Rodney pulled John’s cock free of his boxers and sucked him down in one greedy maneuver that had John moaning almost immediately.

“Won’t last long,” John murmured.

Rodney pulled off briefly. “I don’t care—come in my mouth. Fuck me like this.”

John groaned and pushed back into his mouth before McKay can say anything else. The words were almost enough to make him come all over Rodney’s face. He curled his fingers into McKay’s short hair and tugged as his hips stuttered a little beyond his ability to control. John closed his eyes and came long before he wanted—jerking in his sub’s mouth in hot spurts.

* * * *

The Master of the school was in the hallway when the left the exhibition room, leaning against the wall. John took in the man’s carefully maintained form with a trained eye. He looked like he wanted to appear relaxed—but John could feel the tension pouring off him. Tension, arousal, dominance—all mixing into what John knew to be a dangerous combination.

“That was very well done, Sheppard.”

“I know.” John purposefully latched Rodney’s leash, letting the metal snick together with a snap of sound in the otherwise silent hall. “Was there something you needed?”

The man’s gaze flicked to Rodney.

John snorted. “Besides things you’ll never get a million fucking years?”

He grinned and shrugged. “I’ll find my own entertainment soon enough. Just wanted to say thank you actually, you showed my students exactly what they should be when they leave the institute. In control, demanding, dominant without being abusive. One of the reasons the institute doesn’t train in caning is because they believe most of our kind don’t have the temperament for it.”

“The end result is that you have men and women out there coming out of de Sade caning without any instruction at all. It isn’t like you need a license to buy a cane,” John retorted. “If the kid who spoke up is serious—refer him to Kesakitan Pembawa. There is a waiting list so he should get on it soon. If he tells them he watched me in action and wants to learn – that’ll help his case.”

“I will.” He paused. “How long have the two of you been together?”

“Eight days,” John said without blinking an eye and just laughed when the man choked on his shock.

* * * *

He was going to put Madison Miller in charge of PT on Atlantis. John hefted himself out of the pool and dropped down on a lounger near Jeannie Miller.  “Your child is a sadist. I’ve had drill sergeants that weren’t that hardcore.”

Jeannie laughed and looked up from her book. “Meredith sent me down here—he said I was fucking up his chi.”

John laughed. “I told him he doesn’t have a chi But he’s in a good place right now. He works really well when he’s relaxed like that.” He used a towel to dry his arms and chest. “Why do you call him Meredith when he hates it?”

Jeannie blushed. “I, huh, well. Our family has always called him Meredith. He tried to make our parents call him Rodney when he turned twelve but they wouldn’t even entertain it since he was named after our grandfather—who was very important to our father.”

John frowned and spread his towel out across the bottom of the lounger he was on. “Well, stop. He’s a grown man and he deserves to be called the name he chose and not one he absolutely hates. He flinches every time you say it.”

Jeannie blushed and looked away. “Yes, sir. I’ll do my best to stop.” She cleared her throat. “Mistress Bernadette was outside with us while you were getting him dressed. She said the two of you gave an outstanding performance.”

“We’ve both been trained for that kind of exhibitionism,” John said as he slipped on his sunglasses and relaxed on the lounger. He didn’t move when a younger man came up to the lounger. “Push off, kid. She’s collared and unavailable for play.”

“What about you?”

Jeannie snickered as John rolled his head and pulled down his sunglasses to look their visitor over. If he was twenty-one, it would be a surprise. “Do I look like the kind of man your Daddy told you that you could Top, little boy?”

“I could be a switch.”

“You could be—but you’re not,” John responded. “Don’t play that kind of game—you’ll get more than you bargained for before you know it. Bait and switch is an immature and dangerous thing to do.”

The kid stalked away in a huff.

“You get offers like that a lot?”

John grimaced and relaxed back on the lounger. “Not so much where I was stationed but when I’m out like this—yeah. You’re not helping—he probably thought he could get us both. Your de Sade mark makes you prime real estate at this pool.”

“Is that why Mer put his where he could he hide it?”

“A lot of people see his kind of mark and think ‘whore’ or worse than he’s game for whatever they want no matter what he actually says.” John glanced out at Madison and found her chatting with two little boys in the pool. Kaleb Miller had left his family in John’s care and he took that seriously. “So you want more kids?”

“I do.” Jeannie grinned. “Kaleb is kind of on the fence but I’m going to win this one.”

John laughed. “I have no doubts.”

Rodney appeared by John’s lounger. “Hey. I saw Kaleb in the lobby. He was on the phone. I went ahead and put in an order for dinner since we’re all here.” He slid in beside John and cuddled close. Looping his arm around John’s middle. “I ordered Madison a cheese pizza and did mention, in passing, the horrific vegetarianism you guys practice.”

Jeannie laughed and shook her head. “Okay, thanks.” She glanced around the pool and sighed. “Hey, that Dom you sent away earlier is glaring this way.”

John pulled off is sunglasses and looked right at the young man with hard green eyes until he looked away from them. “He needs to behave himself. There are children here and his behavior is already bordering on inappropriate.”

“Uncle Mer!” Madison shouted from the pool. “Come here and play.”

Rodney frowned and hesitated.

“Nothing was broken open when I checked you last. The crème is doing its job. I think you’d be okay—it might be a little harsh but not more than you could take. The pool has a nice chemical balance. They haven’t gotten stupid with the chlorine mix,” John assured. He reached out and rubbed his forearm. “Rodney, I don’t share. Have fun with your niece—there isn’t a man or woman on this planet that could make me change my mind about that.”

Rodney took off his shirt as he sat up and then glanced his sister’s way when she gasped. “You okay?”

Her eyes boggled at the pinked skin of his back. There were several faded welts. “Are you?”

“It’s all surface stuff, Jean, I promise.” Rodney stretched his arms over his head as he stood and then walked to the edge of the pool. He studiously ignored the looks and whispers of others around the pool.

“I’d never hurt him—well—I’d never hurt him more than he wants and I’d certainly never cause him permanent damage,” John murmured. “We’ve tabled a lot of the masochistic practices that can cause damage—like sounding and knife play.”

“Neither one of my parents had pain kinks like that,” Jeannie murmured.

“Well he’s probably the most extreme masochist I’ve ever agreed to play with,” John admitted. “Our dynamics match up pretty nicely—you know. It’s like we trained for each other.”

“But you actually trained for someone else,” Jeannie said softly. “And then lost him.”

“I trained mostly for myself but when I collared him I did take a special session so that I could learn the ins and outs of his pleasure. He was a hard-core masochist, too but he had different kinks, different zones. I’ve had four years to mourn my first sub; Rodney isn’t a rebound for me.”

She relaxed. “Okay, it’s just—Sam was sort of perfect form the outside, too and look what happened with that.”

“They never had a good dynamic. He married her and took her collar because he loved her—not because she had any hopes of ever meeting his needs as a submissive. I’ll make every effort in the time he gives me to meet all of his needs.” John glanced into the pool and watched Rodney toss Madison into the air and into the water. “I don’t know that he’ll let me keep him to be honest.”

“She hurt him a lot.”

“Yeah,” John admitted. “You did, too.”

Jeannie blushed and looked away. “Yeah, I did. I’ll do better.”

“Good.” John glanced around the pool, taking in the attention his sub was garnering. A man slid into a lounge next to him and cleared his throat. “Did you need something?”

He glanced out into the pool. “You seem to be a man with an embarrassment of riches.” He looked toward Jeannie.

John pulled off his sunglasses. “Even if that were true—it would be none of your business.”

“Granted,” the Dom admitted with an amused smile. “Still, I’d think a man might share if he were so rich.”

John smirked and then glanced towards Kaleb Miller who had strolled out onto the patio. “Kaleb, this man thinks we should share.”

“Some men don’t know when they should keep their mouths shut, Colonel.” Kaleb slid onto the lounge with his wife. “I’m honestly surprised he thought he slide up to a man like you and presume to offer an opinion about anything.”

John shrugged and put his sunglasses back on. “Kaleb, on my honor as a United States Marine, I haven’t killed anyone in weeks.”

The Dom scrambled out of the lounge and hurried away.

Kaleb snorted. “Is this a ‘hoorah’ moment, Colonel?”

“Hoorah, Dr. Miller,” John confirmed with a small smile as he got comfortable.

Jeannie frowned. “Did Sam Carter share my brother with people against his will, John?”

“No, he didn’t give her the opportunity. He put it in their marriage contract that she couldn’t.” John watched Rodney swim gracefully and strong across the pool to sneak up on Madison from under the water. “A lot of Doms would consider him just another personal asset—something to be used to help them get ahead. Rodney is a brilliant man. He understands that.”

Jeannie frowned but nodded. “Okay, just… crap.” She moved closer to her husband and rubbed her face against his shirt.

“Don’t worry,” John murmured. “I would never abuse his trust.” He rolled out of the lounge and walked to the edge of the pool. Rodney gamely came to the edge and propped his arms on the edge. “You should eat soon.”

Rodney glanced back over at Madison. “Hey, kiddo, ready to eat?”

Madison grinned and happily paddled across the pool towards them. Rodney handed her up to John and when John offered his hand—he took it. John pulled him easily out of the pool and Rodney just laughed a little.

“Show off.”

John looped an arm around him. “Seriously? I don’t even have to show off at this pool—you’ve already done it for me.”

Rodney blushed and hooked his arm around his Dom’s waist. “What did you want for dinner?”

* * * *

The plane trip to Virginia was one big long nap for both of them. The Millers, Madison specifically, had worn them both out and John had decided to never complain about the energy level of the enlisted men in his command again. Ever. If they wanted to play soccer on the pier at the ass crack of dawn and jump into the water to get the ball when they got too stupid with it—that was perfectly fine. They still wouldn’t be half as exhausting as a six year old.

His father was leaning against a Lexus SUV with Jonah Dean in the private hangar when they came down the stairs. Jonah had been with his father since John was sixteen. David and John both had been surprised when their father had brought the Geisha home. Jonah had only been nineteen and recently marked. Up until that point, Patrick had only collared women and he’d never kept them more than a few years. Looking back on it, John figured Patrick Sheppard had been trying to provide his three children with a mother.

Considering how well Jonah slipped into their family and into his father’s life—John was intensively relieved, even years later, that he’d stopped trying to find them a mother.

Patrick put away his Blackberry as they came down the stairs. “John.” He came forward and caught his son in a very tight hug. “You little bastard. If you weren’t pushing thirty-five I’d strap your ass.”

John buried his face in the side of his father’s neck and held on. “I’m sorry. I couldn’t tell you. I’m really fucking sorry.”

“It’s okay.” Patrick rubbed his back. “Though it certainly explains why you were clingy and needy the last time we saw you.”

John laughed and pulled away reluctantly. “I was not needy.”

“Like a sub,” Jonah assured as he came in for a hug. “I asked your father if you’d had some kind of spontaneous dynamic change and if we should take you for a mental evaluation.”

John reached out for Rodney as he was released. “Rodney, this is my father Patrick and his partner, Jonah Dean.”

“Dr. McKay.” Jonah offered his hand in greeting. “It’s a pleasure to have you here.”

“Rodney is fine,” McKay murmured as he took Jonah’s hand. The Lotus House tattoo on the sub’s neck couldn’t be more obvious. He knew the man had to be at least half-Japanese from the pretty slant to his eyes and general shape of his all too attractive face.

“My mother,” Jonah said with a grin. “She was a Geisha and did the most amazing thing by falling for and getting collared by an American soldier. Back then that was something of a scandal.”

“I can imagine,” Rodney murmured. He focused on Patrick Sheppard and found the senior Dom in the Sheppard family inspecting him with hard green eyes he knew so well. “Sir.”

“Rodney,” Patrick inclined his head and then offered his hand. “Welcome to our family. I trust you enjoyed your stay at the Loden? It’s Jonah’s favorite hotel in Vancouver.”

“It was lovely even for a short stay; the food was the best part.”

“The food should always be the best part,” Jonah responded. “You guys take care of the luggage with the crew.” Jonah snagged Rodney’s hand and led him towards the SUV. “Don’t dally, Patrick, these two look ready to fall out.”

John laughed but covered it up when his father glared at him. “I see Jonah is still wearing the pants and the collar in your relationship.”

“Shut up,” Patrick muttered as he looped one arm around John’s neck and jerked him in as they walked towards the plane to watch the luggage being off-loaded. “I had your wing cleaned and aired out so you should both be comfortable. Claudia did some redecorating last year but I didn’t let her touch your stuff.” He cleared his throat. “I did see that Jared’s things were packed away, John, but we left out the pictures of the two of you. I can call ahead and get Matthew to pack them away if you don’t want…”

“No, it’s okay. Rodney and I have talked about Jared and… I won’t hide him away like he didn’t exist. Besides, I think McKay is a little curious about him but doesn’t want to ask.”

Patrick cleared his throat. “Speaking of McKay, I mentioned to a colleague of mine in passing that you’d collared him and he said his son trained at a de Sade house in Quebec last year where McKay was sequestered after taking off Carter’s collar. He apparently performed with the resident Mistress of the house in front of the student population.”

“It’s not uncommon,” John returned, his tone carefully neutral. “He’s Gerard de Sade’s Courtesan, Dad.”

Patrick’s mouth dropped open briefly and then he closed it with a snap. “Jesus Christ.”

“I know. I mean ten years ago when we heard he’d retired from de Sade because he’d found and trained his Courtesan … it never crossed my mind it would be a man. There are like what? Ten male Courtesans in North America?”

“If you don’t count the Geisha and the Consorts from La Petite Mort, yeah, just about.” Patrick glanced towards the SUV. “He’s quite a catch, John; I hope you plan on treating him the way he deserves. I know since Jared passed you’ve been reserved, even standoffish with subs.”

“I don’t hold back anything with Rodney,” John promised. “I really don’t. I don’t have to. Our dynamic mesh is perfect—as if we were made for each other. And you know I’ve never bought into that soul mate stuff.”

Patrick grinned. “No, neither have I.”

The crew on the plane sorted the luggage and got it loaded in the SUV silently and without needing instruction.

Patrick guided him toward the vehicle with a sigh. “I have a stupid dinner party planned at the house tonight that I can’t rearrange. It’s been set up for months and it’s mostly business. There are several generals and a bunch of asshats from the Pentagon coming in.”

“It’s cool.” John grimaced but was glad that he’d brought his service uniform. “They’ll expect to see me, right?”

“Yeah, I’m sure. They know you’re home for a week.”

* * * *

Rodney was frowning at him as he checked the line of his medals. “What?” John asked, amused.

“Well, I thought maybe I’d finally get to see you in the whole Marine dress uniform.”

John chuckled. “Ah, well, no. That is normally reserved for formal dinners, ceremonies, funerals and other Corps functions. I don’t expect to need anything beyond my service uniform while I’m on Earth.” He checked the creases of the dark green pants and straightened his cuffs. “I’m glad the Quartermaster convinced me I might need at least this while I was off base.”

Rodney grinned. “You look good though, every inch the badass Marine you are.”

John rubbed his fingers through his short hair. “I need a cut.”

“I can handle it before we go back to the base. I’m really good with clippers.”

“Yeah?” John shot him a look. “You know my hair is important to me.”

“I spent a lot of time in isolated places with very few amenities. One of the first things we learned as how to handle things like camp stoves and hair clippers. Hair gets in the way of the work.” Rodney straightened his tie and then let his collar settle down on top of it. He’d chosen a pale blue silk tie and it set the platinum off. The suit he was wearing was dark blue pinstripe. “Is this okay? I packed two suits but this one is my favorite…”

“I’ve never seen Armani look better,” John promised. He pressed a kiss against Rodney’s jaw. “So there will be a lot of people here who have probably read your entire uncensored file. Dad said you’re something of a big deal in R & D so… ya know.”

“Yeah, I know. I never wanted the military on the base to know what I was unless I invited them into my bed because…”

“Military Tops tend to be the most difficult to control and we’re dangerous,” John murmured.

“Some of them can be, yes. I trusted you the second I set eyes on you, John, and that was a little difficult for me to accept. I’m working on it and I do trust that you would never share me and that you’d never let anyone hurt me.”

“No, I never would.” John sighed. “You’re rare because de Sade just doesn’t train that many male Courtesans but Jonah is Geisha and so is my little brother Matthew. David’s wife and sub, Claire, was trained at La Petite Mort in Paris—she bears the fleur-de-lis Consort mark which until about a hundred years ago was reserved for royal concubines.”

“The Lotus House trained your brother?”

“All three of us received Jonah’s legacy from the Lotus House. You know I did one session, David did two, and Matthew took the path of the Geisha. He was there from sixteen to nineteen.” John touched the engraved tags on Rodney’s collar. “The Sheppard men don’t share and my father was very strict when it came to David and me. We learned the hard way to honor and respect the submission of another. My father worships Jonah. He wants for nothing.”

“I noticed,” Rodney murmured. “Did you meet Claudia?”

“Not yet,” John chuckled. “Dad said she was like cake.”

“She really is—strawberry cake with whip cream. All blonde and pink and pretty. She has pet written all over her.”

“You don’t like her?” John asked as he shoved his feet into his shoes.

“Well, not really, she doesn’t appear to have a thought in her head that doesn’t evolve around her nail polish or her little froufrou lap dog.”

“Well, I don’t think Jonah and Dad keep her around for the conversation.” John grinned when McKay blushed. “I mean I’m pretty sure they just tie her to the bed and fuck her. Take turns fucking her and maybe make her do dirty, filthy, amoral things to them.”

Rodney bit down on his bottom lip. “Sometimes being a pet doesn’t sound half bad.”

John just grinned and shook his head. “I have to go down for before dinner drinks and introductions but you can come down when you like. Matthew is downstairs but since we’re both active military—it’s sort of required with this much brass in the house.”

“I’ll come down in a couple of minutes. I want to check my email and put my phone on the charger.”

John pressed a kiss to his mouth. “Okay, I’ll see you in a few.”

* * * *

The salon wasn’t over full but John still felt the urge to turn around and leave immediately upon leaving. It took him 15 minutes to greet all of the officers in the room. None of them were men he’d had direct dealings with but they all seemed to be up on the details of his mission in Pegasus from the shoulder slapping and the ‘proud of you’ comments he received.

He really didn’t appreciate being touched so much and he wondered if he was always that bad or if being in another galaxy with only a hundred or so people for company for two years had reduced him to that. It was hearing McKay’s name that told him his sub had entered the room while he’d had his back to the door.

Rodney was at his side before he turned completely. John pressed a kiss against his forehead and continued to answer the Army general’s question about the soldiers he’d chosen for the Atlantis mission and agreeing that he wouldn’t turn down a unit of Rangers if the Army wanted to send some his way.

“You’ve met my partner, Dr. Rodney McKay.”

General William Tegan nodded. “Yes, of course, at Area 51 some years ago.”

Rodney looked over the man with shrewd blue eyes. “You were still a Colonel then, I believe. Washington must seem pretty boring after the career you’ve had.”

Tegan only grinned. “My wives insisted and grandchildren were starting to arrive so I thought it was best if I give in gracefully and finally accept a promotion that landed me on a desk job.”

John figured he’d leave the Marines entirely before he let someone put him on a desk and it must have shown on his face because Tegan laughed. “Ah, you think that now Colonel, but there comes a time when fighting at home and at work isn’t all that much fun. We might do the collaring but I think we all know who has the power.”

“I won’t argue with that,” John admitted. Some Tops did argue the point but the fact is that without the submission of one party—the dynamic between a pair was never all that satisfying long term. You could play sex games with other Tops and John had done his share but eventually the emotional needs of his dynamic had forced him to collar Jared. “You didn’t bring your wives this evening?”

“No, they are both tittering over the new grandbaby. There was no separating either one of them from that little bundle.” He jerked his head towards a cluster of men near the door. “I hear that General Jordan has a hard on for the two of you – so be on your toes, John.”

John frowned and glanced towards the Air Force General in question. He hadn’t gotten to talk to his father after they’d arrived home because guests had started to arrive shortly after. “I wasn’t aware that he would be here.”

“Apparently he doesn’t like to be told no.” Tegan looked pointedly at Rodney. “Especially by someone he believes shouldn’t have the right to say no.”

John looked at Rodney. “Are you okay?”

Rodney flushed with anger and looked away with a small nod. “I didn’t know he was one of those people who support the Ownership Act.”

“Even if they pass it, it won’t have any bearing on you,” John said. “You aren’t an American citizen and Canada never allowed the slavery of their submissive population.”

“I know.” Rodney frowned. “Still, it’s obscene and backward and stupid. I hate stupid things.” He glanced towards the door as the conversation muted around the room.

John grinned at the sight of his sister-in-law. Claire Dubois Sheppard was dressed in body hugging white silk dress. Her pale blond hair was piled on her head in an intricate French twist. Diamonds and pearls dripped from her ears and the beautiful dress collar she wore that prominently displayed the name of the oldest Sheppard son. David.

David appeared then in the door way and shot an amused look around the room. John wondered how in the hell he tolerated all of the attention his wife got. He’d always wondered but now it was different. Now he had a comparable situation in his life.

“Dad, Elise has indicated that we can be seated for dinner.”

* * * *

It wasn’t until after dinner coffee and Rodney had retreated upstairs with Matthew and Claire that Jordan took a seat in front of John on Patrick Sheppard’s Italian leather sofa. All of the Pentagon civilians had disappeared within a half hour of dinner ending just leaving behind Tegan, Jordan, and two Navy men that his father knew personally. John glanced between the whiskey in the man’s hand and then to his face. He declined the cigar his father offered with a shake of his head but did take the coffee his brother brought around.

“I understand you’ll be heading back to your base fairly soon, Colonel.”

“Yes, sir. I’ve already made all of my staffing decisions and filled all of the empty posts I had for both Air Force and Marine personnel.”

“I saw the cherry picking,” Jordan murmured. “The Pentagon pretty much gave you everything you asked for.”

“Well, they shorted me on surface to air missiles but they’ve always been stingy with those.” Several men around them laughed but Jordan’s gaze just narrowed on John. “As it stands I’ll only have one hundred and twenty-five soldiers out there to fight back an army of thousands.”

“Better than the seventy-five you had when you started,” Tegan murmured. “I understand once the city is more stable you’ll be getting more people.”

“Three times the number of civilians I’m sure.” John set aside his coffee. “I like my geeks, don’t get me wrong, but I wouldn’t turn down a few thousand Marines with a grudge and a gut of bad attitude I could point towards the Wraith.”

“Speaking of geeks, I saw you managed to put a collar on the smartest one Earth has.” Jordan set aside his glass. “I can’t say I agree with McKay being allowed off the planet.”

“It’s not your call, General. In fact, when it comes right down to it—I’m the only one that decides where McKay goes and stays.” John said and felt the mood in the room shift. “His safety and happiness are my concern and no one else’s.”

“I think you can say that for just about any sub on this planet with the exception of the one you’ve managed to collar. He’s worth a hundred times his weight in gold and his knowledge of the Stargate makes him irreplaceable. Having him off the planet is dangerous—but letting him go to Pegasus is just frankly stupid.”

“I’m sure you told the President this.” John relaxed in his chair and reviewed the man with darkening eyes. Anyone that knew the men in his family would know that he was working his way towards absolutely furious.

“The IOA is quite pleased with the placement and your pairing.”

“I’m sure they are,” John returned. “They believe McKay works best when he’s collared. Something you think yourself since you tried to take him yourself not six months ago.”

Jordan flushed. “The only thing worse than an over educated submissive are the ones who don’t know their place, Colonel.”

“Dr. McKay is certainly highly educated but I know from experience he knows exactly where he should be and what he should do once he gets there.” John’s gaze connected with his father’s briefly aware that the old man thought he might jump up and kick the shit out of Kevin Jordan any second. He probably wasn’t the only man to think so. “After all, a de Sade Courtesan would know no less.”

“My son certainly seemed impressed with him when he saw him exhibited last year in Quebec at the de Sade Institute,” Jordan murmured.

“They don’t mark a Courtesan on a whim,” John returned. “They don’t even train one without a great deal of thought.”

Jordan asked. “Are you aware who trained him?”

“I am,” John admitted. “And if you were, General, you never would have approached him for anything much less sex.”

“Is that so?” Jordan glared at him outright.

John laughed then. “Yeah, he has needs a man like you couldn’t meet in a million years.” He stood up. “If you’ll excuse me, gentlemen, I had a very long flight and I have a sub to take down for the night.”

“I’d offer to help but I know from past experiences that Sheppard’s don’t share.” Will Tegan just wiggled one eyebrow at John and grinned.

“I don’t.” John laughed. “I came out of the womb a stingy son of a bitch.” He put his glass on the bar beside the Army General and then with a little grin kissed him right on the mouth. “Good night, sir.”

“Cheeky devil,” Will muttered as John left the room. “Patrick, I swear you raised the prettiest men on the planet.”

Patrick snorted. “Don’t think they don’t all know it. There is a reason I put them all three in training as soon as they were old enough.” He glanced towards Jordan and then casually sat down in the chair John had abandoned. “My sons are grown men, Kevin, but you shouldn’t think for a second that I won’t end you if you fuck with them.”

Jordan quirked an eyebrow. “You think he needs you to fight his battles?”

“I think men like you have taken enough from John.” Patrick swirled his whiskey in his glass. “You can hide behind your rank with him, Kevin, but not with me. Don’t make the mistake of crossing me. I won’t leave enough pieces of you for body identification.”

Tegan laughed at Jordan’s slack-jawed response and lit his cigar. “You don’t think he raised two of the meanest sons of bitches on this planet on pure luck, did you Kevin?”

* * * *

Rodney did a check on his pulse as he left the treadmill and grabbed a bottle of water. He’d stopped at five but he knew John had programmed for ten. He glanced at his Dom out of the corner of his eye. “Jordan upset you after I left.”

“He made a few comments about you leaving Earth and being too educated and not knowing your place,” John admitted with a huff of breath. David Sheppard snorted from his place across the room. “And I pretty much said that he wasn’t really enough of a man to top you. Just you know—catty bullshit and I kissed Will Tegan on the mouth.”

Rodney grinned. “He has a really nice mouth and great hands.”

John’s slowed down on the treadmill. “Did you let him…”

“No, he already had two subs when I met him and while I might be able to share with one other—I don’t think I could play fourth in a pile. He’s kind of greedy though which has always appealed to me and a voyeur. He did watch Sumner with me a few times. But Marshall wasn’t interested in sharing with a man so laid back as Will Tegan. Great guy, but on the low end of the sadism scale in practice.”

Matthew entered the gym on his cell phone. “Look Drake, I made it perfectly clear to you three days ago before I came home—it’s just not going to work. The attraction is there, I won’t deny that, but our dynamics don’t mesh at all and you’re far too self-involved to collar a sub with my kind of needs. I’m very attractive and hot and quite literally the fuck of the century—and I deserve a top who isn’t too busy watching himself in the mirror to notice how fucking unbelievable I am.”

“And he’s quite shy and modest also,” Rodney told John earnestly.

John laughed and shook his head when Matthew glared at both of them. Rodney walked over to one of the weight systems set up in the room and set up the amount of weight he wanted to work with.

“No, God, it has absolutely nothing to do with the amount of money you make. Christ. It isn’t like I don’t have a trust fund of my own. It’s really old fashioned of you to assume that the Top has to have all of the money in the relationship.”

“Agreed,” Rodney muttered and then held up a hand when Matthew shot him a look. “Just hang up on him.”

Matt dropped down on an unused weight bench and sprawled out haphazardly on his back with his phone. “Well, no, the sex was fine but to be frank I can’t call a Top Daddy—it really messes with my whole mental landscape. I’ve got a father—I don’t need another.” He hung up the phone abruptly and dropped it on the floor next to him. “Jesus.”

“I hate Tops like that,” Rodney muttered. “He wanted you to call him Daddy?”

“Yeah, and say his name a lot like I might forget if I didn’t.” Matt threw his arm over his eyes and shook his head. “No more civilian tops for me—they just—.” He blew out a breath. “It’s so stupid.”

“They think since you’re military and trained a soldier that they have to worker harder to make you submit,” Rodney guessed. “It’s pretty common actually.”

Matt sighed. “John, can I go with you back to your base?” He angled his head so he could see him. “You have a squadron of X-302s coming, right? I’m rated for them.”

“I haven’t gotten the okay on that yet and I don’t know that I’ll get to pick my pilots.” John left the treadmill and picked up a towel. “Besides, if this Dom is running you off the planet—I can just go kick his ass. You don’t have to take your shit off to Pegasus to avoid him.”

“Could be that I missed you,” Matt returned. “You know—since you disappeared for two years.” He looked over at him slyly. “Could also be that you’re taking Senator Nathan Cordell’s grandson with you and I have the hots for him.”

John frowned. “I don’t have anyone named Cordell in my command, Matt.”

“Evan Lorne,” Rodney explained. “His mother is Cordell’s oldest daughter. He keeps it pretty tightly under wraps because he likes to get his advancements because he due them rather than because his grandfather is a Senator poised to run for President. I’d throw all of my money towards his election if I could legally. He’s the first sub to seriously have a bid at winning the White House in twenty years. That would certainly stop that slavery bill in its tracks.”

“Yeah,” John sighed. “It would. I had no idea. I’m surprised the old man didn’t put a stop to it. He can’t want his grandson running off to fight space vampires.”

“Well he might be the top dog at work but he’s still a sub at home,” David said as he started up the treadmill John had abandoned. “I doubt he’d get a lot of room to maneuver if he started preventing a Dom in his family from advancing his career as he saw fit.”

“How did you get rated for an X-302?” John asked with a frown in Matt’s direction.

“I have the ATA gene. O’Neill has been courting me for the SGC for months but Dad was pissed at him about the sending you on a suicide mission thing so I told him no.”

* * * *

Claudia was definitely like strawberry cake and John found her as non-interesting as his sub did. She bore an absolutely creepy resemblance to Scarlett Johansen which kind of freaked John out. Rodney had retreated behind his laptop within an hour of breakfast and was to be found on his phone occasionally berating one person or another. John had quickly learned that Rodney had too basic settings when it came to most other scientists—disdain and disbelief that they were still alive to spread their ignorance.

Thankfully, about half way through the day Patrick had taken his sub and their plaything off to their private wing—leaving the rest of the family to bask in the non-strawberry cakeness.

Claire Sheppard was a great deal like Rodney—in that she had two settings for basically everyone—disdain and indifference. She worshipped her children who had made a brief appearance at breakfast before they’d been shuttled off to private school and adored her Dom. David Sheppard hung the moon and stars as far as his wife and sub was concerned.

She and Rodney had taken to giving each other looks, especially over Claudia’s head, that said ten billion things at once about what they both thought about that and it wasn’t pleasant. Matthew had been fielding phone calls from Drake the Vain Dom who was fast becoming Drake the Dom Who Shall Not Be Discussed. If John had his way, he would be Drake the Dom Who Got His Ass Kicked by John Sheppard by the end of the week.

Finally, Rodney snatched Matthew’s phone up and answered it himself with a put upon, “What?” that absolutely echoed through the lower half of the house.

“Oh, it’s you. No, he’s not available.” Rodney waved Matthew away. “Me? Oh, I’m Dr. Rodney McKay. Well, I don’t expect you would know me I don’t guzzle beer, attend tractor pulls, and watch NASCAR avidly. So I doubt we travel in the same social circles.” Matthew choked on his laughter and walked away. “So listen, your interest in Matthew has caught the attention of the family and I’ve been called upon to see if you qualify to you know—exist and breathe our air.”

Claire hopped right up out of her chair and went in search of a note pad, which she carried over to Rodney, dropped down on the couch beside him and started to scribble questions. Rodney leaned over and looked at it as he chewed his bottom lip. “How long would you say your erect penis is?”

David and John both stopped watching the football game and glared at their subs with the same bright green eyes.

Rodney frowned. “Well, I mean—that’s not exactly average but I’m not sure I’d brag about it either.” He turned to Clair. “7.5 inches.”

Claire wrinkled her nose, wrote down the answer, and then tapped on the paper.

Rodney grinned. “So, what are your feelings on anal sex? And do you allow yourself to be penetrated?” He blinked once and then turned to Claire. “Write ‘selfish unbelievable bastard’ next to that question.” She frowned but did as instructed.

Matthew buried his face in a pillow on the couch. “You guys!”

“So,” Rodney started pointedly ignoring Matthew’s groans of distress. “This Daddy fantasy thing you’ve got going on… would you expect to be called Daddy in lieu of ‘sir’ or in addition to ‘sir’?” His eyes widened briefly. “And you are aware, of course, that Matthew has a father whom he loves and respects a great deal and by being ordered to call a man ‘Daddy’ during sex has the potential to mentally damage him for life?” He hummed. “Put down ‘insensitive little prick’ on that question.”

Claire scribbled madly with her pencil and hissed something in French that John couldn’t make out.

“Ah, yes, and finally—as you may have noted Matthew is a Geisha.  What does that mean to you and how would you see yourself using that information in the future?” Rodney tilted the phone so Claire could listen in and he watched her eyes go wide and cheeks flush with indignation. “I see.” Rodney nodded. “Hold, please.”

He put the phone to his chest instead of actually muting the phone call and turned to Claire. “So, I was thinking that we should talk the Sheppards into taking us out for something fun. Can you get your nanny to watch the kids or is that a bad idea because it’s a school night?”

“We could go to the Devil’s Play Ground. Lots of fun and great food. The staff is painted head to toe in red body paint and they’re all naked. It’s pretty hot.” Claire picked up her cell phone. “David?”

“Sounds good,” David murmured. “Make reservations for the five of us and maybe Matthew can find someone to distract him from the asshole of the week.”

Claire just smiled and started to thumb through her phone book. “Cool.”

“Right.” Rodney put Matthew’s phone back to his ear. “Ah, yes, Drake. Thank you for holding. So, listen, here’s the deal… we’re going to let you live and continue to sully the Earth’s environment with your personage on the condition that you never, ever as long as you live call Matthew again. Ever. The fact is we’re doing you a favor—trust me—his brothers would kill you if they ever met you. He has three of them—they’re all soldiers and they’re all trained to kill. I just don’t think you understand the level of misery you’re setting yourself up for. Why don’t you trot down to San Fran and pick up one of those little twinks with no prospects who’ll call you Daddy and like it?”

Matthew laughed and shook his head as he released the pillow from torture. “Please, Rodney, just hang up on him.”

“I can see why you keep answering the phone,” Rodney confided. “This is kind of fun and he’s so stupid I don’t think he understands half the words I’m using. He must be really pretty. I can’t believe you fucked this guy.”

“He’s a lawyer and a Harvard graduate, Rodney.” Matthew sighed.

“Ah, Christ, you went to Harvard—were you grandfathered in?” Rodney demanded into the phone. “Wait, you’re a lawyer? Why the fuck didn’t you just say so? It would saved us time… we can’t be associated with a lawyer unless we pay him to make people like you go away and never come back.” He hung up and shared a look with Claire before they both turned to stare at Matthew with an expression that clearly said ‘what the fuck were you thinking?’.

Matthew huffed out a breath. “He really is hot.”

“You’ve got to stop thinking with your dick,” Claire snapped. “You’ll be old and alone if you aren’t careful Matthew.”

“You’re the least submissive, submissive I know Claire,” Matthew paused. “Unless you know, I count Rodney. I can’t believe neither one of you are a switch.”

Claire huffed out a breath that clearly meant ‘you poorly bred American’ and stood up. “Come along, Rodney, we should go relax in the hot tub if we are going to play tonight. Perhaps we shall teach this badly trained boy a thing or two.”

Rodney gamely took her hand and let himself be pulled along. “You get near me with a facial, Claire, and I’ll never forgive you.”

“Ack! You bloody Canadians.”

Matthew sat up and frowned. Then brightened a little when Claire shouted for him to bring his skinny American ass on. “She still loves me.”

David and John exchanged looks and went back to the game. “Was she always that mean-spirited or did I just not realize how awesome it was before?”

David laughed. “Claire has always been on the mean side. Did I ever tell you what she said when we met?”

“No.” John raised an eyebrow.

“I was doing a guest exhibition at the pleasure house where she worked as an instructor. I asked for a volunteer among the staff. She stands up—strips off all of her clothes and drapes herself as pretty as you please across my lap and says ‘Do not bore me’.”

John laughed. “Jesus. What a challenge.”

David grinned. “Yeah, I couldn’t help but chase her all over Paris until she let me catch her. You seem settled with Rodney—it’s not something I thought I’d see again after Jared. I’m pleased to see it.”

“Yeah.” John nodded. “I was… lost for a while but posting in McMurdo helped clear my head and all of that pure flying was good for my soul. The mission to Pegasus with Marshall Sumner set me to rights—taught me to trust a superior officer again. I have to tell you—I didn’t think I’d ever get that back.”

“I understand.” David rubbed the back of his neck. “Claire packed up the majority of his things that you left in your part of the house—just clothes and stuff. His jewelry is in Dad’s safe—including his dress collar. We didn’t take away any of the pictures—I figured that was your decision.”

“Thank you.” John cleared his throat. “I might look at the stuff in the safe later but you can give the clothes to charity. I’d rather not see them again.”

“Already taken care of,” David admitted. “I replaced all of the equipment as well—changed styles and colors on everything including the bed so that you wouldn’t be… I just didn’t think it would be good to be reminded of him if you were using those things with Rodney. It wouldn’t be fair to any of you, not Jared and especially not Rodney.”

“I like him a lot,” John admitted. “I didn’t plan on that. The collaring was supposed to be this political maneuver so we could get the scientist we wanted for Atlantis. Weir and I agreed that I would do it unless I hated him on sight. If I did, she was going to offer him a guardianship collar which is uncommon but legal enough.”

“He seems equally enamored of you and is very attractive. You’ll have to leash him at the tonight. Even with a collar on—he moves and looks like exactly what he is.”

“And what is that?” John asked, his voice a little tight.

“A thoroughly trained pleasure slave. No matter how you dress up that is what Consorts, Geishas, and Courtesans are trained for. The ultimate in sexual submission and it pours off them. You won’t believe the offers I get for Claire on a daily basis—some very serious and others so casual it’s almost like the top asking really didn’t mean it. After James was born, one Dad’s business associates offered to take her off my hands now that she’d been bred.” David snorted his disgust. “Like she was a goddamned horse or something. Dad barely managed to get me out of the room before I killed that bastard. Needless to say we don’t do business with him anymore.”

“Rodney was trained by Gerard de Sade.”

David turned and stared. “You’re fucking with me.”

“No, dead serious.”

“Christ, that’s… wow.”

“I know. The last true de Sade Courtesan of our generation is upstairs wearing my collar and being talked into a facial by your wife.”

David laughed. “Lucky bastard is what you are. I take in your dynamics work well.”

“Like hell on fire,” John admitted. “He’s ‘game on’ for just about anything really. You had a few men before you collared Claire.”

“Yeah, more than a few. I figured I would collar a man to be honest so Claire was a real surprise.”

“Have you ever had one that could orgasm without ejaculating—more than once? I’m talking like two or three times?”

“No, but I’ve heard that’s the mark of a male de Sade Courtesan. I think Matt trained to do it at the Lotus House but we’ve never discussed it. In my third session at Lotus, they gave us lessons on how to teach a sub to do it. It takes a lot of dedication physically and mentally to learn it and to maintain the ability to do it.”

John nodded. He’d read a little about it online on the plane while Rodney had slept. “This place we’re going to tonight—what’s it like?”

“Pretty new actually. A good clientele, private without being snotty. The bottom floor is a very high-end restaurant with excellent service. The basement is invitation only. It’s two floors deep and caters to almost everyone’s needs. I can’t imagine wanting to do anything that I couldn’t find a place to do it at the Play Ground as long as it’s legal.”

“But I should still leash Rodney.”

“I’d never take Claire into a club environment without a leash,” David admitted. “She’s a marked fleur-de-lis Consort who looks like an ice princess and can challenge every Dom in the place with one look. I promised her a long time ago that I would make every effort not to kill over her.”

* * * *

John took the box labeled Jared from the family safe with a steady hand. He’d flipped the lock on the door of his father’s study as he had entered because if anything in his life deserved privacy it was this. His fingers drifted over the gold plate that had been adhered to the wood box with Jared’s name engraved in it. That had Claire written all over it—classy, thoughtful, but not morbid.

He remembered how Claire had dressed in head to toe white for Jared’s funeral and how she’d laid blood red roses on his coffin with hands that shook with grief. People who hadn’t known her might not have understood but John did. Jared had picked that beautiful white silk suit out for Claire in a London store when they were on leave and sent it home to the family ice princess with a snarky little note about how she could pretend to be a virgin whenever she wore it.

The roses were for their pleasure house as Jared had trained at La Petite Mort as well. The two subs had often exchanged roses on the dates they were collared—a reminder of solidarity in a house full of Doms. They’d been more like siblings than anyone would have ever thought possible. Jared with his bold laugh and outgoing nature and Claire so reserved and formal. Most would’ve thought they’d barely be able to stand each other.

The box was locked and while no one had mentioned a key—John knew the key that would fit. He reached into his pocket and withdrew a small gold key that he’d carried with him since college, since the day he’d collared Jared. La Petite Mort required that collared subs of their house keep the code for the key to their collar with their house so John didn’t wonder where Claire had gotten Jared’s key so that the lock on the box could be fashioned to match.

The box opened with a small snick and he took a deep breath as he caught sight of Jared’s dress collar. The box was lined with velvet and only held a few pieces. Jared had been military so jewelry had often been an inappropriate gift. He touched the slim gold and diamond collar with fingers that shook. Jared had only worn the collar a handful of times, as he preferred his regular collar.

A diamond stud. A pair of gold and ruby nipple clamps. A small velvet box that held the wedding bands John had been set to offer that Christmas. Jared had never even seen them. He didn’t open the box—even he wasn’t that kind of glutton for punishment. He touched the gold hoops that Jared had worn in his nipples on more than one occasion and the simple barbell piercing that had adorned his belly button for years. He’d rarely taken it out but the coroner who had prepared the body for burial had and John—couldn’t have fathomed putting it back in. Jared had only been buried in his collar and leash.

He picked up the nipple clamps and put them on the desk—then he closed the box carefully and locked it. He laid it back in its place in the safe and then put the key on top. Carrying Jared’s key no longer seemed like the right thing to do.

Ten minutes later, he found Claire with her feet in a little bathtub getting a pedicure and berating Rodney over the house intercom for not joining her. Matthew was sprawled out on a massage table on the other side of the room. John manfully buried any impulse to tease his little brother about the little tuffs of cotton tucked between his toes. It was hard. He wondered if he’d gotten away with clear polish or if Claire had managed to get some color on him.

John sat down on a stool near Claire’s chair and watched the manicurist for a few seconds. “So, I went through Jared’s box. Thank you for that—it’s beautiful.”

Claire nodded, her mouth firming up. “I didn’t wish to see his things strewn across the dresser like he always left them. It didn’t… seem right.”

“No, you’re right. He wouldn’t have wanted that.” He rubbed the gold chain that connected the nipple clamps between his fingers. “He said you were always jealous over these.”

Claire grinned. “They are unique. I’ve tried many times to find a pair like them and nothing.”

“I had them designed,” John admitted. “I thought he might want you to have them.”

Claire’s eyes widened briefly. “John.”

“I think he would like that, Claire. You don’t have to wear them or anything—but I’d like you take them.” He held out his hand and she took them with trembling fingers.

“You. Get out of my salon before you make me cry.” She sniffed and looked away from him. “Only one Sheppard gets to make me cry.”

John laughed softly and stood. “Want me to send McKay down for his pedicure?”

“Yes, his feet are a travesty. I can’t see how he can stand to be naked in public with those toes.”

* * * *

Rodney came back from Claire’s domain with a pedicure and a manicure. John grinned when his sub glared at him and then disappeared into the bathroom to shower. At least she hadn’t put color on him—John had been firm on that point with them both when he’d prodded Rodney into the room and ran like hell. Every man had his limits and Claire Dubois Sheppard was his.

He finished buckling his boots and settled the legs of his black leathers over them. John put the key to Rodney’s collar on a chain and looped it around his neck. He shoved his dog tags into his front pocket. It wasn’t kosher to wear them out visibly and he was off-duty so wearing them around his neck wasn’t necessary. Still, he felt naked without them so in the pocket they went. He pulled on the form fitting, sleeveless black shirt, and tucked it into his pants before belting up.

A brisk knock at the outer door brought him out of the bedroom and into the large living room, that was the entrance of his wing. Most of his father’s staff was purposefully invisible, moving in and around the house in a way that kept things running smoothly while being as unobtrusive as possible.

“Reg, glad to see you are still here.”

Reginald James just nodded, his collar clinking slightly as he did so. Reg’s partner of more than forty years was the chef in the house while Reg had been his father’s majordomo since he’d retired from the Navy. “I’m pleased to see you at home, Master John. You’ve received your deliveries from Godrics and Master Hector.” He put both boxes on a low table in front of John.

“Thanks.” He reached for the box from Hector first. “It’s Rodney’s dress collar. Would you like to see?”

Reginald flushed and nodded. “Yes, sir.”

John pulled the tape off the box and set aside packing material until he found the velvet covered box. He flipped it open and made a pleased sound. The collar was a solid two-inch wide platinum ring with diamonds and sapphires embedded in a series of infinity loops on each side of his engraved name. He’d sent the key code for the collar they already had so he knew that he’d be able to use the same key for either collar. A second key had been supplied as back up.

“As always, Master John, you have superior taste.”

“I didn’t think Hector would have it ready it time,” John admitted. “I sketched out what I wanted and scanned it to him last week.”

“Master Hector has always worked very well under pressure. I’m sure your Dr. McKay will be pleased.”

John nodded. “Thank you for bringing everything up to me.”

“You’re welcome. Your father wanted to see you before you left for the evening. Shall I give him a time or…”

“I’ll come now. Is he in his wing?”

“No, he’s in his office.”

* * * *

John had been called into his father’s office enough over the years that even going in as an adult sort of put him on the edge. He gave a cursory knock and entered.

Patrick was behind his desk. He had a lap top open in front of him and a few file folders open. “Hey, Reg said you wanted to speak with me?”

“Yeah,” Patrick sighed. “I heard that Matthew wants to go back to Atlantis with you. If it happens we need to discuss his guardianship.”

John blinked in surprise. “Sir?”

“The Lotus House takes the safety of Geisha very seriously, John. You’re his older brother and you did do a session with Lotus so they won’t deny you the right but we have to document it. He’s never been collared and that means that the Lotus House essentially considers him my responsibility. A responsibility I will have to pass to you if you take him to Atlantis with you.”

“What will you tell them to justify it? You’ve never transferred responsibility while he’s been on assignment before.”

“This will mark the first time you’ve ever served with him on the same base,” Patrick finally said. “You have to know what kind of attention he gets just by entering the room. He’s beautiful like… well like your mother and Doms literally flock to him. It’ll give you the right to protect him on the level that I have.”

John nodded. “Yeah, okay. If we get approval, I’ll file anything you want with Lotus to protect him.”

Patrick rocked in his chair a little and sighed. “He’s my baby, John.”

“Yeah,” John said with a grin. “I know. Look, I’ll take care of him like he’s my own—you know that. Not that I wouldn’t kill for him regardless of his guardianship status, but I’ll take the legal status if that is what you want.”

“It’s what I think is necessary. The fact is that you were already leading your own life and going to school when Matthew came out of Lotus. A Geisha is a responsibility. I had to present myself to the Master of the Lotus House on the day Matthew was marked and accept him back into my family as a Geisha.”

John nodded. He knew that. Jared had wanted to attend but they’d been able to get the leave necessary for the travel to Japan. “I remember.”

“I’ve had people offer to buy him, John. He’s beautiful, at ease with his sexuality, and without a single ounce of shame. I’ve punished six men in the past four years for pushing things with him and getting out of hand.”

John blew out a breath. “It’s a good thing he has the ATA gene and is a brilliant pilot or I might make his little ass stay at home.”

Patrick grinned. “There is the potential that his little crush on Evan Lorne will bear out a collar.”

“You’d be comfortable with that?”

“I’m familiar with his family but I haven’t met the Major. Neither has Matthew by the way, he saw him in passing at a party. Apparently, your Air Force Major blew your little brother’s mind but he was already engaged with a sub for the night and didn’t give your brother a second look.”

John nodded. “Okay, so Matthew has a crush. He’s a little old for it, right?”

Patrick laughed. “Well, I think he finds the Major a challenge. It isn’t often that he enters a room and doesn’t get the attention of every Dom in the place. He found Lorne’s complete preoccupation with the person he was with—interesting. What do you know about him?”

“He has Master status from La Petite Mort and de Sade. He plays with a variety of subs but doesn’t top a lot of masochists.  He’s a serious man—great flight record and he’s seen a lot of combat off world. Far more combat that I would expect out of an Air Force pilot. He did SERE training about four years ago—six months after he joined the SGC. He got his Masters from the Army War College in engineering. The Marines in the mountain respect him which says a lot about his work as an officer.”

“Yeah,” Patrick nodded. “Okay, well, I trust your judgment on him so if Matthew wants him and the man makes noises about a collar it’s your call.”

John nodded. “Yeah, okay.”

* * * *

Rodney pulled on the dark red fitted t-shirt that Matthew had tossed his way after they’d both escaped the clutches of Claire Sheppard and her evil personal attendant and tucked it into the white leather pants he’d brought from Colorado. He had to admit the effect was nice.

He rubbed a bit of hair gel between his fingers and roughed it through his hair as he walked away from the mirror and his gaze connected with a picture of John and Jared Holland. Rodney had been careful not to disturb the framed pictures in the suite of rooms. In fact, he’d barely looked at them while John was in the room. He picked up the gold framed picture with a sigh. They were both young in it—maybe twenty-five. Both were dressed in tan BDUs and there was a nondescript desert background behind them.

Jared had blond hair and brown eyes—his face was solid, attractive and he had nice mouth. He was slender, shorter than John, and not overly muscular. He wasn’t the beautiful person that Rodney envisioned but then now that he knew John better—a feminized man wouldn’t trip the Marine’s trigger.

If Marshall Sumner was the kind of man that John found attractive—then he clearly preferred his lovers to be distinctly and even overtly male. The hair on Jared’s arms and the five o’clock shadow he bore in the picture made Rodney frown. de Sade was one of the few pleasures houses on the planet that required full body hair removal on the subs they trained.

John actually had very little body hair himself. In fact, all he had was the neatly groomed patch of pubic hair. He was smooth and devoid of hair everywhere else. Rodney had also never seen him shave so he assumed he’d had laser treatments as well. That wasn’t uncommon among Tops, excessive body hair was frowned upon and viewed as unclean by most.

He put the picture down and turned to find John standing there. “Hey.”

“Hey,” John glanced between him and the picture. “You seem upset.”

Rodney blushed. “Well, I…” He looked away and then edged closer the dresser he was standing in front of when John invaded his space. “Our first night together, you asked about my body hair. Obviously, I can’t get it back—laser treatments are permanent.”

“But you’re wondering if I hate it because Jared had body hair,” John said with a small frown. “Actually, in that particular picture we’d been on a mission for about three months and bathing facilities were few and far between. Jared kept his body meticulously shaven most of the time but there were times when it was a problem for whatever reason.”

“Laser treatments?”

“He had one during his first session at La Petite and he reacted very poorly to it. They were afraid to try again because it could have lead to scarring.”

“So you aren’t disappointed in my body?” Rodney frowned as he asked it as if he was furious with himself for even having to ask the question.

“I love your body,” John murmured and pressed a kiss against the back of his neck above his collar. “You’re perfect. Your skin is like silk—so soft and pale.”

“Sam… she always complained that I had too much muscle and I did lose some mass when I was with her to make her happy. I can do that if you want.”

“I want you strong and fit, Rodney. I love the pride and care you take in your body. Really.” John turned him to face him. “What’s this about?”

Rodney sighed. “I don’t look much like him. I mean he clearly wasn’t one of those subs who like to look like a woman—but he was much smaller than you. I think physically you and I are about evenly matched.”

“I’d say you’re right about that,” John admitted. “I’d like to get your endurance up a little—so I want to see you increase your mileage to ten a day eventually. Your weight regiment is on par for mine—which is better than I expected for a civilian.”

He prodded Rodney over to the bed and sat down with him. “I loved Jared, Rodney. We had this connection that burned between us and I was planning on asking him to marry me that year. I thought he was it for me. But, life didn’t work out that way and I’m not interested in replacing him or pretending you are him.”

“I didn’t think that—I just want to be what you want, that’s all.”

“You are. You’re exactly what I want and the way I want you doesn’t diminish what I had with Jared. He had a Masters degree in engineering and his greatest joy in life was blowing shit up. He rolled his eyes at science fiction, would do anything to get out of watching Star Trek, and he loved to ride horses.” John laughed when Rodney wrinkled his nose. “Right, that doesn’t even begin to describe you but I love the fact that we could spend two days watching Star Trek and you’d bitch about the science and enjoy it all. I didn’t have that with him.”

“I hate horses.”

“Well, they’d probably hate you back. You make way too much noise.” John leaned and pressed a kiss against his mouth. “Jared could spend hours in silence and you fill up all of my silences is the most amazing ways. You’re the not the same man, Rodney, and I’m grateful for that. If you were—it would be like getting slapped in the face with the loss of him every single day. I could never endure that.”

“Okay, I’ll stop trying out for an after school special on subs with self-esteem issues.”

John laughed. “Okay then.” He stood up and walked over to a table near the door that lead out into the main living room of his suite. “I’ve bought you a few things.” He only grinned when Rodney frowned. “Don’t give me that look; I’ll turn you over my knee before we ever get out of the house.”

Rodney sighed and bit down on his lip as he accepted the large, flat, velvet covered box. He knew it contained the dress collar that John had ordered. He opened it reluctantly and then stared in silence. The diamonds and sapphires set in platinum were patterned in a chain of infinity loops on either side of John’s name. He touched the two loops that connected the front of the collar he currently wore.  Infinity. There was a lot of heavy symbolism to be had in John’s choices but that was a discussion they would have in a year as agreed.

“You don’t like it.”

Rodney snorted. “You know it’s beautiful. Did you want to put it on me? Claire had a pretty dress collar out for David to change out for her before they leave the house.”

“I’d like to. You won’t get the chance to wear it often so—any excuse is a good excuse.”

Rodney agreed and stood with the box as John sat down on a bench at the end of the bed. He knelt between his Dom’s spread legs and put the box on the bench beside him. John quickly secured the dress collar around his neck and then unlocked his regular collar, which he pulled away gently and laid it in the box. “We should clean this while we have it off.” He paused when he saw Rodney’s face. “What’s wrong?”

“I had a simple dress collar when I was married to Sam… when she changed them out…” He blushed and looked away.

“She would take off your every day collar and then put on your dress collar—leaving you without a collar while she did that.”

“Sometimes for as long as hour if she got distracted,” Rodney admitted.

John’s gaze darkened and he caught Rodney’s chin a tight grip. “The only time you go without my collar on your neck, Rodney, is during medical emergencies that require its removal for safety reasons. Even then, I’m really not going to like it and insist it be put back on as soon as possible. This isn’t a game for me.” He leaned down and kissed his mouth hard. “Not a game at all.”

“It’s a relief to know that,” Rodney murmured. “I can’t express that enough.”

John ran his fingers along the jeweled collar. “This looks good on you. I’ll have to leash you tonight; it’s not something I enjoy.”

“I expected you would,” Rodney admitted. “I actually prefer the safety of the leash in public situations like sex clubs or when we are in a pleasure house. A leash gives a collared sub another layer of protection, ownership.”

“I do own you,” John murmured. He rubbed his thumb over Rodney’s bottom lip. “I can fuck you any time I get the urge. I could call you into my office when we get back to the SGC and have you strip and suck my cock while I work.”

Rodney shuddered. “I can’t even pretend to hate that idea so if you want me to try—I’ll have to work up to it.”

John laughed. “Dirty boy.”

* * * * –

The club wasn’t as noisy as he thought it would be and dinner had been good. He wasn’t surprised at all when the owner of the place stopped by their table while they ate and dropped VIP passes to the private area on all of them. He’d also offered Matthew a bracelet—with a built in emergency button that would be activated if it was removed or if Matthew purposefully held it down. It wasn’t an uncommon item for uncollared subs so neither John nor David protested it.

For his part, Matthew had accepted it with a little grin and a promise to behave which had made the owner of the place fumble as he attached the wristlet. Having a male Geisha in the place must have had the staff in a full tizzy, John wondered what they would do if they knew what McKay was. He was really starting to understand why he hadn’t put his mark somewhere readily visible.

They had settled into a table in the private area and ordered drinks. There was a couple on stage getting ready to perform. The male sub was covered in a silk robe and kneeling at his Dom’s feet as spiked restraints were attached to the sawhorse they were going to be using. It was one of the few forms of blood play that was legal in public. Knives had been outlawed more than ten years ago in the US and play piercing had very strict rules. The tiny spikes in the restraints wouldn’t do more than prick the skin—but it would make for a pretty display for those who enjoyed that kind of thing.

The minute the sub stood and dropped the robe as he Dom ordered the entire atmosphere in the club shifted. John blinked in surprise and he put a hand on Rodney to still his sub. “Easy.”

“John,” Rodney turned to him. “I can’t… don’t make me… this is…”

“I know.” John’s gaze flicked over the castrated sub, anger burning in his gut. Male castration was illegal in Canada but that was about the only place on the planet that it was. It was a heinous and abusive practice as far as John was concerned and subs who wanted it should face mental evaluation before it be allowed to continue. As body mutilations went—it was extreme.

Rodney tucked his face against John’s neck and shuddered a little. He glanced around the table. Claire and Matthew both had their heads lowered. David looked as furious as John felt. The unfortunate part was that they were pretty alone in this sentiment. Most of the people in the room were very excited.

Sheppard balanced rudeness with his sub’s discomfort for roughly three seconds before he stood from the chair and lead him to the back of the room. The slight would have to be addressed but he couldn’t force Rodney to sit through an experience like that.

The owner of the club met them at the back of the room near a narrow hallway that lead to private rooms. “Is he ill?”

John shook his head, pressing Rodney’s face against his neck. “He’s de Sade— he’s horrified.”

The man’s eyes widened. “I see. I apologize. I thought your party knew that Master Jeremy and his sub would be performing tonight. We have a packed house because of this event.”

“You will explain to them both why I had to remove my sub from the room?”

“Yes, of course, they will understand. If I had seen his de Sade mark I would have warned you in advance.” The man’s gaze drifted over Rodney’s collared neck. “He does bare the mark?”

John bristled but he understood what the man was asking for. If they demonstrated that Rodney was in fact a de Sade trained submissive, the Master doing the performance would have no room to claim insult. “Private room?”

“Of course.” He inclined his head and motioned them forward. “The first door on your left is unoccupied.”

Rodney relaxed as soon as they entered the room and went to a kneeling bench that as in the center of the small space. He knelt immediately and took several calming breaths. John watched him and didn’t approach until his sub’s hands stopped shaking. “Master Armand needs to see your mark, Rodney.”

McKay nodded and then took the hand John offered. He stood up, pulled his t-shirt out, lifted it so the man could see the mark, and only glared when he blinked in complete surprise. “You’ll give Master Jeremy my regrets?”

“Of course,” the man whispered.

“And you’ll keep my Courtesan status to yourself?”

“If you insist.”

“We do,” John returned evenly. “If he wanted everyone to know he wouldn’t wear his mark under his clothes. It’s private.”

Rodney turned his back on the owner, returned to the sub kneeling bench, and didn’t react when the door closed behind him. John walked around the room for a few seconds at a loss as to how to deal with how upset McKay was. He’d seen castrated subs in the past and it bothered him every single time but this was something else. It ran a lot deeper than anything John had expected.

“Were you… did someone hurt you, Rodney?” He stilled when McKay flinched. “Come on, talk to me.”

Rodney left the bench and went to sit on a small couch in the room. “No one hurt me, exactly.”

John frowned and followed. “Explain yourself then.”

“I had a Domme threaten to castrate me while I was restrained,” Rodney whispered. “She said I was too aggressive and it would help me be a better submissive if I didn’t have…” He voice broke. “I was helpless against it and I think she got off on scaring me far more than anything else. She got out a first aid kit and… I don’t know if she was pretending or if she really planned to do it. I freaked the fuck out. Our next-door neighbor was walking his dog and heard me shouting. He rang the door bell because as he said—it didn’t sound like ‘play’ to him.”

“Carter,” John growled.

“She played it off like a joke but I never let her restrain me again. In fact, it was the last time I had sex with her. Two weeks later she published our paper on power distribution within subspace without my name on it and I cut off her collar in the middle of our lab.” Rodney rocked a little. “It was just one more thing, you know. One more reason to never trust her again with anything.”

“You asked her to remove your collar didn’t you?”

“Yes, the morning after and she refused. She said I was being ridiculous and melodramatic. I asked again three days later and she just rolled her eyes at me. She said she would never take off my collar and that I couldn’t divorce her.”

John gathered him close and relaxed when Rodney just burrowed close. “I don’t know how you ever trusted a Top again.”

“The director of the institute in Quebec called Sam and threatened her with criminal charges if she ever touched me again because she refused to remove the collar. They’re pretty stupid over me, to be honest.”

“You’re the de Sade Courtesan of our generation, Rodney.” John kissed his temple. “It’s no wonder. If she’d castrated you—it would have probably been an international incident before it was all said and done.”

There was a brisk knock on the door and David opened it. He blinked in surprise at Rodney’s condition and then carefully prodded Claire and Matthew into the room. He shut it with a snap and twisted the lock.

“Jesus, I’m sorry.”

“Not your fault,” John murmured. “You did say this place was pretty much for anything.”

“Yeah, but not…” Matthew grimaced. “Just fuck and some of the people out there were excited by the entire thing.”

Claire walked to the couch and sat down beside Rodney. “Is horrible. I’ve not seen such since I left Paris.” She patted Rodney’s back as if he were one of her children. “But this is personal, oui?”

“Yeah, personal.” John closed his eyes. “Did the Dom get pissed?”

“Yeah,” David admitted. “I told him Rodney was de Sade. That seemed to satisfy him for the most part. He also made a move on Matt and Matt hid behind me like a shrinking violet.”

Rodney laughed a little. “I don’t blame him. I would have too and I’ve been pushing off Doms since I was 15.”

“Fifteen?” John questioned.

“I was very pretty,” Rodney informed him smugly. “My father wanted to put a sign around my neck with my age engraved on it and general death threats against anyone who didn’t think age mattered.”

Claire laughed and caught one of Rodney’s hands in a tight grip. “We should go home and eat ice cream.”

“We should,” Rodney agreed. “With chocolate syrup.”

“And cherries,” she added. “And other stuff that is bad for the shape of my lovely ass. I’ll need an hour of work out tomorrow to compensate.”

* * * *

“His goddamned ex-wife tied him up one night and threatened to castrate him,” John snapped as soon as David prodded him into their father’s study and shut the door.

David blinked in surprise. “Jesus, John.”

“I know.” John went to the small wet bar his father kept stocked in the room and poured himself a gluttonous glass of bourbon. “Just when I fucking think that I know all there is know about their marriage he lets something else slip out that I didn’t know and I want to fucking kill her.” He laughed bitterly. “The worst part is—that no matter what she does people just seem to want to pat her on the head and give her a pass on it. Like it doesn’t fucking matter how twisted she was with Rodney because she isn’t that way with anyone else.”

“So she just unloaded all of her crap on him?” David questioned. “Christ, if she’d castrated him…” David took a deep breath. “I imagine Gerard de Sade would’ve killed her himself.”

John nodded. “Have you met him?”

“Just once in passing in New York,” David admitted. “About four years ago—he has two collared subs. Both very demure and pretty. They didn’t even look at other people in the room.”

John didn’t doubt it. “I don’t know how he parted with Rodney to be honest. I don’t know how he thought he could train him and then let him go without wanting to kick his own ass.”

“It’s a big decision for de Sade Masters who work for the Institute. To achieve that level of accomplishment and then to relinquish it all in order to train what is essentially their masterpiece. The representation of their life’s work.”

“And she almost castrated him,” John murmured. “He said she played it off like a joke but I think she meant to do it and would have if their neighbor hadn’t heard him losing his fucking mind and came over to investigate.”

“I’m surprised she didn’t gag him.”

“I imagine she enjoyed hearing his fear and his pleading.”

“What are you going to do about it?”

Anger boiled in John’s gut. “What can I do? Even if she had done it wouldn’t be illegal in this country. If he’d complained to his own government, there might have been some kind of punishment but nothing like she deserved. She didn’t do it and as much as I’d like to punish her for their relationship—it’s really none of my business, right?”

David sighed. “Right.”

“It’s still bullshit,” John muttered. “I want to make her afraid like she did him. She could have destroyed him—ruined any chance he’d have ever had of a fulfilling relationship with anyone. If he hadn’t gone back to de Sade after cutting off her collar he could’ve gone non-dynamic from the trauma of a top abusing his trust like that.”

* * * *

“Miranda Sheppard!”

John set aside his coffee as his niece darted into the large open dining room and crawled into his lap. “Hey, kiddo, you think you can hide in here?”

Miranda flashed pretty blue eyes at him and smiled briefly before her mother came into the room. She shot her mother a look of pure defiance and crawled from John’s lap right into Rodney’s.

Claire glared at her child. “Miranda, Master Claude has not dismissed you from your lessons.” She braced both fists on her hips and raised an eyebrow in question.

“He sucks!” Miranda shouted. “I hate him and I hate the piano. It’s all the devil.”

John snorted with laughter. “Wow.”

“You’re not helping, John.” Claire bit down on her bottom lip to keep from laughing with him.

“It is the devil,” Miranda insisted. “It’s like the worst thing ever.” She curled her fingers into Rodney’s shirt. “Isn’t that right, Uncle Rodney?”

Rodney snorted. “You think you can play that card with me?”

She batted her eyelashes at him prettily. “Yes.”

“Well, if I’m going to have to look at this thing myself before I can agree with you. A good scientist never makes snap judgments.”

“I could be an excellent scientist,” Miranda declared. “I could be an excellent anything.”

“An excellent piano player?” Rodney asked as he set her on her feet and scooted back from the table.

She made a pfft sound at that. “It’s the devil.”

“I don’t think you’re qualified to determine if something is ‘the devil’.” Rodney informed her seriously. “Who taught you that?”

“Susanne Williams. She’s the meanest girl in school. Joseph says if anyone would know what the devil is it would be her.” Miranda held up her hands and wiggled her fingers, which Rodney took for its general meaning and scooped her up off the floor. “You’ll see—Master Claude is a demon and the piano is the devil. I swear on my new shoes.”

Claire huffed out a breath. “You haven’t finished your meal, Rodney.”

He laughed. “It’s okay. John was stealing my bacon when he thought I wasn’t looking anyway. If that’s an example of his stealth skills—I might ask the General to send him back to commando school or something.”

John snagged the rest of the bacon and shrugged. “I’ll go along for protection in case this thing really is the devil.”

Miranda sent her mother an angelic smile that clearly indicated she thought she’d won. Claire pulled on one of her long blonde curls in retaliation as Rodney passed her.

The devil turned out to be a concert grand piano. Rodney stared at it and looked at Miranda. “It doesn’t look all that evil to me.”

“Makes my fingers hurt,” Miranda whispered against his cheek. “You’re supposed to agree with me.”

Rodney laughed and walked to the instrument. The piano teacher was on the other side of the room packing away his things in a huff. “Well, you don’t know me well, Miranda, but you should know that I rarely agree with anyone. It’s a personality flaw.” He slid onto the bench and sat her down beside him. “Let’s see, shall we?”

John leaned in the doorway of the music room and watched Rodney’s fingers drift knowingly over the keys. He knew from Rodney’s personnel file that he’d taken piano lessons most of his childhood. Knowing that didn’t, however, prepare him for the moment when Rodney stopped playing with the keys and started to play for real.

Miranda leaned into him, her eyes wide as he played. He drifted from one song and into another effortlessly. John glanced down at the sudden weight against his leg and found his nephew Joseph leaning against him.

“Could Master Claude make me play like that, Mama?” Joseph asked wide-eyed.

“I don’t know. Your Uncle John might have to kill the piano since your sister thinks it’s the devil,” Claire returned dryly.

* * * *

John shared a look of amused shock with his father as Rodney worked his way through Sheppard Industries biggest R&D lab like a force of nature. He’d left some of the brightest people outside of government work sputtering in shock and muted fury. They all knew better than to argue with him because the first one that had tried had gotten smacked in the back of the head by Patrick Sheppard.

To Rodney’s credit, he hadn’t taken that smack down as permission to be vicious but he certainly hadn’t slowed down in his whirlwind assessment of every experiment in progress in the room.

He finally came to a stop in front of a large white board and stared. After a few minutes, he plucked a marker off the tray and worked silently for nearly twenty minutes. When he was finished, he dropped the marker on the tray and walked to John. “I’m starving.”

John glanced over the math and then at the woman who’d been working with the problem when Rodney had entered the room. She was staring in shock. He watched and started in surprise when she burst into tears. “What did you just do?”

Rodney looked back at her. “Fixed her problem.”

The woman brushed tears from her cheeks and huffed out a breath.  “No, no, he just folded subspace.” She waved her hand at the math. “This is the theoretical work for a subspace communications network that would allow for a communication stream between galaxies.” She turned to stare at Rodney and frowned. “Dr. Brandt, get Dr. McKay some food—he can’t leave until he explains this.”

“No lemon and no peanuts,” Rodney offered.

She nodded. “Seriously, come back over here and explain this. It’s a hundred years over my head.”

“It is not,” Rodney snapped and disappeared into a fray of geeks. “I’ll be here when you’re ready to leave, John.”

John nodded and blew out a breath. “Yeah, okay, I’ll just go with Dad to look at the X-302 stuff.”

* * * *

“So, you can see why I wanted to get him out of government work,” Patrick murmured. “They ruin minds like his—limit them, take their work under the guises of ‘world security’ and men like him are rarely compensated for what they can do. Even more so because he is submissive. You won’t believe the work that Carter let the government take from McKay while he wore her collar. He didn’t get a single cent of compensation for his work on the X-302 because she let the Pentagon patent all of the research right out from under him.”

John’s jaw tightened. “It won’t happen on my watch.”

Patrick grinned. “No, I don’t imagine it will. I imagine you’ll have some people really pissed off before everything is said and done.”

* * * *

Two hours later, John went back to the big lab to take his geek back and found the room packed with twice as many people as when he’d left. He whistled sharply and fifty-some odd scientists halted abruptly. John raised an eyebrow at his. “Did you eat?”

“Yes, sir.” Rodney crossed his arms defensively. “There was some stuff and coffee.”

“Are you done? Because this is our vacation and I’m bored.” He leaned in the doorway.

Rodney took a deep breath. “Yeah, I’m done.” He held up a hand when someone made a noise of complaint. “Seriously, you people get paid around here and I don’t. You can send anything you want me to see to Patrick Sheppard and he’ll forward it to me if he thinks I should have it. Remember who you work for and do not send me any research at the SGC email address I’m sure most of you have access to. Any consult work I do for you must go through official channels to prevent intellectual property problems with the Pentagon.”

John considered that as Rodney extracted himself from the group and walked toward him. “Is that a problem for private individuals?”

Rodney sighed. “Yes, you’d be horrified to know how much research the government as confiscated and claimed as their own. Fortunately, your father is an utter bastard—the Pentagon doesn’t normally try to steal from his people.”

John laughed and offered McKay his hand. “Come on. We have some place to be.”

Rodney waited until they were in the elevator before he questioned, “Not another sex club?”

John glanced at him. “God, no, I’d like to get laid tonight. We’re not risking another one of those.”

Rodney blushed and leaned into his Dom. “I didn’t say no last night.”

Sheppard sighed and pressed a kiss against his sub’s forehead. It had been two days since they’d seen the castrated sub and he knew that Rodney had slept very little. “You don’t think I’m sleeping through your nightmares do you?”

Rodney flinched. “John.” He closed his eyes and sighed. “I could sleep in the smaller room in your wing if you wish.”

John hit the stop button on the elevator and braced his hands on either side of Rodney’s head against the wall. He held his sub’s gaze for over a minute, silently. “You don’t get to hide from me, McKay. If you don’t want to share my bed—that’s one thing but if you just want to hide your problems that’s another matter altogether.”

“I wouldn’t want to keep you up,” Rodney lifted his chin. “I don’t always sleep the all night.”

“That’s something we’ll work on together. Look—if you were just someone I wanted to fuck regularly—trust me I would’ve made that perfectly clear to you before I put my collar on you.” John watched Rodney’s cheeks stain pink. He leaned in and brushed their mouths together in a soft kiss. “Don’t get me wrong—I love to fuck you.” John moved in closer and trailed a series of kisses across his jaw. “It feels so good to work my cock into your tight ass.”

Rodney moaned softly and rubbed his right leg against John’s restlessly. “We’re in an elevator.”

John chuckled and then clenched his teeth roughly on the skin above his collar. “My Daddy owns this building, Rodney.”

“And that means you can have sex in the elevator?” Rodney asked softly.

“Yeah.” He laughed and moved away. John flipped open a small door on the elevator control panel and pressed his right thumb against a sensor pad. Then input a code when a keypad flipped into place. “Or we can go to the apartment my father keeps here.”

Rodney blushed. “He brought Jonah with him to work today—he isn’t in there himself is he?”

“If the suite were occupied the system wouldn’t have let me input my code.” John pulled him close and kissed his jaw. “Besides, our dinner should’ve been delivered about ten minutes ago.”

“You planned this?” Rodney questioned.

“My Dad thought we might like some time not full of family and little kids who want us to kill pianos.” John pulled him off the elevator when the doors opened to an elegant penthouse. “Dad and Jonah spend a lot of time here actually—this is a Claudia free zone.”

Rodney sputtered. “Seriously?”

“Seriously,” John sighed. “Dad told me this afternoon that she’s angling for a collar. Well, Dad promised Jonah’s Geisha Master that he would always come first in his household. A female submissive would have higher legal status than Jonah in the household. The law is archaic but I guess it protects a female submissive and any children she might have in the relationship. I doubt she’ll still be there when we come home again because Dad isn’t going to collar her and he isn’t interested in more children.”

Rodney pulled off his sport coat and then settled into a chair at the small dining table. The food was all spread out and was still steaming. “You must’ve really missed pasta because we’ve had it a lot.”

John laughed over the chicken carbonara he’d ordered for them both. “Yeah, I kind of did. That and turkey.” He opened a bottle of wine at the bar and pulled two glasses from a rack above his head. “We won’t have many nights like this on Atlantis, you know.”

“I have a pretty good idea of what I can expect on the city of the Ancients,” Rodney admitted and accepted the wine that John offered him. “Long days, abbreviated play time, and there may be days when we don’t even see each other.”

“Yeah,” John admitted. “There could be times like that.” He slid into a chair and relaxed. “So, we make the most of the time we do get.”

Rodney considered the wine in his hand. “Are we going to play tonight?”

“Nothing really heavy,” John murmured. “The crème is doing a great job on your skin but I’d like to give your skin some downtime on both play and the crème. Enjoy your wine.”

Rodney swirled the wine and raised an eyebrow. “I am going to get fucked, right?”

John grinned and drank from his wine glass. “Yeah, pretty much all night long.”

* * * *

Rodney blew softly over his Dom’s balls and then sucked one tender orb into his mouth.

“Yeah, God, that’s good.” John ran his fingers through Rodney’s hair. “You’re so perfect.” He lifted his hips and took a deep breath. He forced himself to relax. “Get the lube.”

Rodney sat back on his heels and picked up the tube of lube they’d brought to bed with them. “You’ve only come in my mouth once and that was after the exhibition.”

John raised an eyebrow as he shifted on his back. He held out a hand for the lube. “Get on your hands and knees for me.”

Rodney nodded and took the position that he’d been ordered to. “I’m not complaining.”

John laughed and slapped Rodney’s ass playfully. “I know. Trust me; I know what you sound like when you’re complaining. It’s not that I don’t like blow jobs.” He ran one hand down Rodney’s back and over one cheek of his ass. “It’s just not intimate to me and also you were the few subs I’ve ever topped that actually…” He blew out air. “Can we discuss this later?”

Rodney glanced over his shoulder. “Absolutely.” He wiggled his ass a little in invitation. “Please don’t use a whole lot of lube. I want it to hurt a little.”

“You freak,” John told him fondly. He smacked Rodney’s ass soundly. “Be still.” He smacked him a couple of more times, reddening both cheeks evenly. “More?”

“Yeah,” Rodney whispered. “I think a lot of Doms underestimate how thrilling a bare hand spanking can be.”

“Hmmm.” John shifted on his knees and moved around so he could increase his range of motion. He developed a rhythm quickly and worked the skin of Rodney’s ass until the sub was shivering and rocking back into the hits. “So good. You’re so good, Rodney.”

John shifted behind him and leaned down to kiss the small of Rodney’s back. He run his hands down the hot flesh of his subs ass cheeks and spread him open. Rodney groaned softly as John blew warm air over his exposed asshole.

“Fuck, John.”

“Fucking you is definitely on the agenda.” He used his thumbs to spread Rodney’s cheeks wider. He swiped his tongue over the hole and then dipped inside when Rodney groaned. John shuddered a little as McKay’s body relaxed under his hands and mouth. “That’s my boy. Just take it.” He started to tongue him slowly. He worked his way past the ring of muscle and Rodney started to keen softly.

John picked up the lube and after one last swipe with his tongue lifted away. “Ready to get fucked?”

“Yes.” Rodney shivered. “Yes, sir. Please.”

John slicked up two fingers and pressed them into Rodney’s entrance. He fucked into him expertly, purposely hitting his prostate. He played for a few minutes but didn’t add a third finger. It would increase the burn—hurt a little more not to be stretched thoroughly but it was what Rodney needed. John hadn’t been so preoccupied with pleasing a sub in a long time.

Sheppard spread lube on his cock and wiped his hand on the sheets beneath them. He gripped Rodney’s hips and pressed his cock steadily into his sub. McKay shifted slightly and shuddered violently against the penetration. But his body all but melted against John.

“I love your ass,” John whispered with a shudder. “Love putting my cock in this hot and tight hole you gave me.”

Rodney moaned and rocked back against him.

“Shhh.” John ran his hand down Rodney’s back and then smacked his ass he pulled out slightly and then slammed back in. “Just take my cock. Just take it, Rodney.”

He pressed in deep and paused. John sat back carefully and pulled Rodney with him, settling his sub fully in his lap. Rodney rested against his chest and wrapped his hands around John’s upper thighs to steady himself.

“So perfect,” John whispered. He ran one hand down McKay’s chest and stomach to wrap it around his swollen cock. He jacked him slowly. “This is how I do myself, slow and tight.” He laughed when Rodney moaned and rolled his head against his shoulder. “My teaching Master made me masturbate for hours at a time. Until I could stay hard as long as he wanted—as long as I wanted. Do you know why?”

Rodney groaned softly. “No, sir.”

“So I can always be exactly what you need, Rodney.” John grazed his teeth over McKay’s shoulder. “Your pleasure belongs to me—that means it’s my responsibility. That means that if you need to be fucked for hours that I must be able to fuck you for hours.” He rotated his hips in a small circle—working his cock slightly in and out of Rodney’s ass.


“Do you need to come?” John asked softly. “Because I’m not done and you do know your responsibility to me, don’t you?”

“I have to be everything you want, when you want, how you want…” Rodney whispered hoarsely.

“Your needs and my wants,” John whispered. “That’s how we blend together—how our dynamics mesh into this amazing thing we’re building together.”

“Yes,” Rodney agreed. His fingers tightened against John’s thighs. “Your wants and my needs.”

“Our wants and needs,” John said.

“God yes!” McKay arched against him as John tightened his fist and started to fuck into him hard. “John!”

“Come Rodney, come all over my hand.”

McKay sobbed out his release and pressed back against John with all of his strength as they both gave into orgasm. “Yes, fuck John, please come in my ass.”

John shuddered. “So filthy, McKay.”

* * * *

John shifted in the hot tub and rubbed his foot along Rodney’s inner thigh. “Better?”

“Great,” Rodney murmured. “So about the blow job thing?”

John sighed. He’d really been hoping that McKay would let that particular conversation die a natural death. “I’m sort of big.”

Rodney snorted and lifted his head off the towel he’d rolled up behind his neck and stared at his Dom. “Yeah, you kind of are. It makes me really grateful that I spent so much time in training learning the ins and outs of what Gerard called ‘cock worship’.”

John’s cock jumped a little in the water and he looked at the ceiling. His libido was going to fucking kill him. Internal pun totally intended. “Yes, well, quite a few subs that I’ve topped over the years found it too much to take in their mouth so I’m used to never finishing with a blow job. I might be a sadist but I don’t particular enjoy half choking a submissive or making their jaw so sore they can’t eat the next day because I take too long to come that way.”

Rodney blew out a breath and lowered his head back to his towel with a scowl. “I’m a goddamned Courtesan, John.”

John nudged his balls with the tips of his toes in warning. “Don’t take that tone with me, McKay. I’ll spank your ass. Trust me; I can make sure you don’t enjoy it.”

Rodney flushed. “It’s just—it’s pretty insulting that you would treat me the same way you’ve treated people who don’t have a third of my training. That might sound arrogant and I’m sorry but I’m sort of arrogant.”

John laughed. “Yeah, you kind of are.” He moved across the hot tub and straddled Rodney’s lap before his sub could judge his intentions. “Just cut me some slack—we’re still learning about each other here.”

Rodney shifted under his Dom and trailed his fingers down John’s chest. “I just want to… it’s my place to pleasure you, John. You gave me that place in your life and it makes me uncomfortable in our power exchange when you don’t act the way other Doms have with me in the past.”

“Let’s ignore Carter for a minute,” John murmured. “And pretend that I’m the first Dom to have ever collared you.”

Rodney blinked in surprise. “I really wish you were. If I’d known… I would’ve waited on you.” He blushed and looked away. “So, why are we pretending this?”

“Because none of the Doms in your past owned you, Rodney. Not a single one of them earned your trust or your submission. Of course, I’m not going to treat you like a sub I’m topping for a single night. You’re my partner.” He touched the collar on Rodney’s neck. “When I put my name on you—I told the whole world that you belonged to me. I value you everything that belongs to me and that certainly includes you. I’m never going to allow you to service me—that’s not what I want from our relationship. I want balance—an equal. If I wanted someone who would crawl behind me like a pet—I would’ve had plenty of options.”

“Yeah, okay.”

John moved closer until he could press his half-hard cock against McKay’s. “We’ll get there together.” He leaned his forehead against Rodney’s. “I promise.”

“As you will, sir.”

The End

Return to the Series Page

Keira Marcos

In my spare time, I write fanfiction and lead a cult of cock worshippers on the Internet. It's not the usual kind of hobby for a 40ish "domestic engineer" but we live in a modern world and I like fucking with people's expectations.


  1. and just as I post my comments about checking obsessively YOU UPDATE … yeay… off to read it now

  2. Jeasus f**king Christ on a paisley pogo stick! WOW! You just blew my mind.

    Thank you.

    Seriously. Of the three chapters we have seen, this is my favorite so far.

    I’ll be rereading it later & I’ll comment again after my mind rehinges.


  3. So, is anyone going to tell Gerard de Sade that Sam threatened to castrate his masterpiece, i.e. Rodney McKay? I imagine his response would strike the fear of God into her.

    I’m still enjoying so more please. 🙂

  4. As wonderful as ever. As we delve deeper into this ‘verse, I find myself getting more and more intrigued. The level of detail is great! It’s like unwrapping a present with many layers of really attractive wrappers. Y’know, I almost feel like jotting down all the details about the various pleasure houses and categorizing them. Weird, huh. Oh, and I must say that I really like the way you drop a detail that is just one of the many, and then follow up on it the next part. Like Rodney’s Courtesan status, and what it really means.

    As John is marine, I assume that the he is a pilot of puddlejumpers, right? Loving the Sheppard family. They’re all shiny and sparkly and perfect…

    Thank you for sharing.

  5. Man, Carter seriously needs to be dealt with.

    I really like the way that they talk issues out. They each have a personal history and they don’t perfectly mesh in every aspect. It makes it more realistic. I’m enjoying this series muchly 🙂

  6. This is one of the most absolutely delicious stories I have read in a long time. Just the right amounts of everything. I love the interactions between the boys.

  7. Diva0789 (Michelle)

    holy shit…..i love love love this matthew!…and i really hope youve already written some scenes between him and lorne cuz i can see the incredable potential for hottness there already!

    beautiful stuff…. and i really want John to kick Sam’s ass before he leaves the planet!!!!!!!!

  8. So, this is an interesting take on Xanthe’s universe. Out of all the different people who have played in her world, this is one of the first (more or less) to show the not-everyone-is-perfectly-happy side – where people struggle and take advantage on a regular basis.

    That said, I’m looking forward to the next couple of chapters. This is a fun read that is unfortunately distracting me from so much other work I should be doing. Hope more are coming soon?

  9. End? No no no no no! Please say there’s more in this universe? Pretty please with paddles on top?

  10. You updated!!! *boogie dance* and really quickly too! I luved it!!! It was thrilling and hot! The castration thing was disturbing but it added a whole new layer to the past relationship of Rodney and Carter. I absolutely adore Claire and Matthew…they kick ass! 😉

  11. Oh my.. it was lovely, love the sheppard family, i’ve a thing for Claire, she’s a frenchie like me yeah, a little peace of french make me please.

    I like the fact than Rodney is a sub but you don’t take away his personnality.

    I was horrified by the castration, i don’t understand that, it’s barbaric, poor Rodney; make his so sad.
    Bitch Carter, hope you make her take the punishment that she’s deserved.

    The family’s reunion was a perfect moment.
    I know than you want to surprise us but i think than Matt was going to match to Cam, no ? lol because Lorne is already in hand !

    Question : in your universe a Dom can have many subs, it’s the same for the subs, they can have more than one dom ?

    thanks a lot for this fast update.

  12. First, let me just say thank-you so much for another wonderful part. I LOVED it.

    I love the care that John takes with Rodney. I loved little Domme Madison. 😉 I love that Kaleb is not an ass, and Jeannie’s ass was grass for lying. I love that she made things right. Carter – intercepting the e-mails. Sheesh!

    The exhibition at de Sade was awesome, and finding out the identity of Rodney’s Courtesan Master was amazing. I know that John was certainly shocked.

    I love John’s family – especially Patrick Sheppard. Wow. Love. I love that Claire could be Rodney’s long lost sister. Hee! I love the protectiveness and pride that the Sheppards all have for Matthew. I love that Matthew is already interested in Lorne. Sweet! They are going to be so hot together. 😉

    I really, really can’t stand General Jordan. Hmph. He’d better never try to touch Rodney again. Of course, at this point, I don’t think that John is Jordan’s biggest worry. Patrick wouldn’t leave enough of him to worry about. Go, Dad!

    So, I had been thinking about the leash, and that after John bought his collar, pointedly mentioning the leash, that we hadn’t seen it since. I wondered about that, but the trip to the club gave me a little more insight into the leash use in this universe. Of course, it was all overshadowed, then, by what happened later. OMG! Seriously. Someone needs to take care of Carter. Poor Rodney. What he went through with her was just…hell. That he stayed as long as he did is really remarkable and a testament to the way he loves. She was a fool.

    Oh, and another little thing I loved was how John put Rodney’s dress collar on and *then* removed his collar. He’s just so thoughtful and caring with Rodney…I love that.

    I guess I could have just said that I pretty much loved every word of this. Thanks again!!

  13. I really love the dynamics of this story. I am especially enjoying the Sheppard family and their vivid characterization. Each one has their own personality but they are clearly Sheppard whether by birth or ownership. Very nice and I’ll just wait here for more.

  14. While I do admit I am very much enjoying this epic so far, I have to comment that so far John is not very sadistic, I am assuming so far it is because its only been three chapters and the story is still warming up.

    I love you push the sane, safe and consensual and the overall AU based on Xanthe’s BdSm universe.

    very much enjoying

    • Well– I would say that John isn’t a deviant by any means. John is well within his societal norm for what a sadist should be in this context. If I wrote him like he had a mental disorder he would not be the “hero” of this story by any stretch of the imagination.

      This is the definition I would use: The act or an instance of deriving sexual gratification from infliction of pain on others.

  15. This is a fantastic series! I really enjoyed the Millers and how they weren’t as unreasonable as I was dreading. I especially like that John made Rodney stop hiding from Jeannie. The revelation of Rodney’s courtesan master was amazing – a total smack down for everyone! 🙂

    The Sheppards are all perfectly written – Claire and Rodney tag teaming Matthew’s ex made me laugh so hard.

    Comparatively, the castration sequence was horrific – between that and the ownership act I have a really low opinion of America in this series.

    The last sequence was beautiful – it’s wonderful how John can get into Rodney’s head and explain things to him that he’d never figured out for himself.

    It’s so exciting how fast you’re posting this series, I’m sure everyone’s hitting the website daily because of it and we’re all very grateful.

  16. Okay, yeah. You’re fucking brilliant.

    I was just as horrified as your characters over the castration, and I hope someone takes Evil!Carter out of the gene pool.

    May karma kick her ass in a very serious way, because treating a sub like that is beyond fucked up.

    On a more cheerful note, Matthew & Claire are both freaking perfect. I love Matt’s snark and Claire’s snobbery, and Claire and Rodney taking care of Matt’s little Dom problem was classic.

    Your world building continues to amaze me. I love how your characters are like onions… the layers peel away to reveal more and more as the story unfolds.

    Thank you for posting so soon!

    *fangirling for you*

  17. WOW Keira – when you said you were working on something other than the Sentinels series I was a little disappointed So not now. This is as fantastic.
    I love Xanthe’s General & Dr Shepard universe and this is equal to it. KEEP UP THE MOST EXCELLENT WORK.
    Hugs, Hxx

  18. I am so loving this series and I really love the fact you are posting so quickly. Thank you. I love reading this and appreciate the time and effort you are putting in to make it such a good (fabulous) read. I love this John and Rodney. Cheers!

  19. Just read this and the second story all in one go and damn, I am really, really loving this! I didn’t expect more so soon and certainly not this much more but all you’ve done is make me crave more. I didn’t expect to see more of them on Earth but now that I have, I can’t help but adore all the characters you’ve introduced. Please, just keep them coming! ^^

  20. This story is like a gift. I grinned and bounced in my chair when I got the email saying you had updated. A grown woman bouncing in her chair like an excited child! *giggles*

    I can’t begin to express how much I enjoy your writing. Thank you for all the time and effort you put into your stories. Writers like you are a rare and precious. You simply put more joy in my life.

  21. Just wow…I loved it!

    I learnt more about Rodney and his past, with the family in this chapter and I really enjoyed it very much. Loved Sheppard’s family too. It was so funny when Claire and Rodney helped with Matthew’s situation – laughed so hard!

    Keep it up, and I look forward to the next update!

  22. /SQUEE !!!!! You just made my day. Once again I you did an excelent job. This chapter was so good. I alternately laughed my arse off got misty, and really pissed at ppl all in an hour it was GREAT . If your introduction of John and Rodney’s families was this awesome I can’t wait to see Declan and Sean. Or when Rodney and Radek start working together.

    And can Gerald de Sade PLZ be in on the Carter ass kicking?

  23. Oh, my God… I have to go and take cold showers after reading your stories, but I absolutely love them. This one is FANTASTIC!!! I can’t wait for the next update, cause everything is so PERFECT!!

    …. I love you, really I think I do. 😉

    Update again soon please!

  24. Wow, what a great day, I get to read updates by you and Xanthe on the same day. I had some other fics I was planning on reading but that just ain’t gonna happen. I don’t think they could come close to what I’ve already read.
    I love the Millers and the whole Sheppard family. Of course Rodney and John are hot, hot hot. I have only one complaint, your chapters are not infinite. Maybe you could work on that.
    Thank you,

  25. now thats what i’m talking about….i love the sheppards. matthew is great in this.

    i love that fast updating i hope to see more very soon.

    everytime you update i read the whole thing over again and it just keeps getting better each time.

  26. Great, thanks.

  27. I am enjoying this a lot, a whole lot. Every time there’s an update I dedicated time to read it,(time that I probably should spend studying) but your stories are always worth it.
    I want to thank you for taking the time to write this fantastic piece and sharing it with us and I hope there’s more and it’s not really ‘the end’ because I’m getting seriously addicted here.
    Again, love the story and thank you so much for sharing.

  28. My family wonders why I’m sitting at the computer in a puddle of drool. After your story and Xanthe’s I’m not capable of doing anything else BUT drool!!!!!

  29. This is your happy place; you’ve put me in mine. And the continual uncovering of Sam’s under-handed tactics at each turn just makes it all the better. And like the last chapter, your use of politics and what is legal or possibly to be made legal in this universe is a great analogy to the injustices in our own universe. As a political junkie, I really appreciate that nice slap to the crap some folks have to deal with on a daily basis. Thanks.

  30. ‘blink blink’
    Dunno if I should say that I’m horrified – or the very fact that I just read these three chapters in one sittings… Its been a while since I’ve read a story where sex is so… detailed – and its probably the first hard core BDSM(…) that I’ve really found interesting. As always you intrigue me and I can’t wait for you to update… any one of your stories. I’m just glad you finally posted a new story(and chapters) on you page:) can’t wait to see how you’ll do things in Atlantis… and the differences in your story compared to ‘what might have been’ and the others. Xanthe is another one of my favourite authors – and I can safely say that you rank there up with her/him.:) keep the good work up and may your muses prod you for years to come.

  31. I just love this story. I love this John and I love this Rodney. Thanks for writing!

  32. I don’t generally read much BDSM because it is not a dynamic that I understand, but your explanations and examples make so much sense that now I’m thinking everyone should have this kind of training and lifestyle.

    Thank you for opening up my perceptions.

  33. I love your happy place here, lol! I was thinking today about how your writing gets to me because it’s a safe place to read a great story.

    I read to get away for awhile, and so I only like happy endings, which can be counted on with you. I love that we are never in any doubt about the love the main characters share. I love angst, and I really appreciate that the major angst in your stories is outside of the relationship and they can always count on each other to be there for the other.

    Thank you again for taking the time to keep us thoroughly entertained! This new story is wonderful!

  34. I absolutely love this series. I didn’t think there could possibly be a series I would love as much as WMHB but I was wrong. I giggled like a little girl when I noticed the new chapter this morning.

    Thank you for sharing another wonderful world with us.


  35. This just keeps getting better and better.

    I love this series so much and your development/reveal of this universe is brilliant.

    I really appreciate you sharing your talent and vision with all of us! 🙂

  36. Oh so yummy. I was expecting to wait til next week and was thrilled when I saw a listing for this on delicious.

    The family stuff, especially the kids is great. You make the kids and family interaction fun and exciting.

    One of the best things about your work is the world building. You took a basic concept and have added so many layers. The training schools, the politics, the oh so casual insertion of details: 20 years since a sub got close to the White House, differences in caning training and practices. You make this world real – warts and all.

  37. Okay, i am totally in love with you right now… ughhh, god that was soooo satisfying! I just finished reading the last part and i opened my email today and what do you know… another alert for the next update. I will be honest and say i squealed like a fangirl, i was so giddy. Can not wait until the next part… i will be checking my email every few minutes**grins**

  38. WOW! Another excellent chapter in this story!!

    Love Domme Madison…great job in developing the character!

    And the sex…wow…sizzling!! *fans self*

    Looking forward to the next chapter! Hope to see it soon!!

  39. Uh, I just couldn’t imagine that I like this BD/SM stuff until I read your story. You did this so well, that I’m really looking forward to the next chapters. John and Rodney are such a perfect match that it could make me cry for happiness. And I have to admit: If someone out of SG-1 has to be a bitch, than I prefer it to be Carter. I mean, Jack and Daniel are too cute for this role and Teal’c – nope, doesn’t fit. I really hope that this story is going to Atlantis soon. I enjoy Rodney and John with the SGC and the Sheppard family, but I miss the city of the Ancients and her new inhabitants.

    See you!


    PS: Hope to see something new from WMHB and TSOA soon, too. By the way, the translation of ‘The Gathering’ is nearly done, only have to typewrite the second half and send it to my Beta than.

  40. I’ve been to Copenhagen for a short midweek weekend sort of trip. I had to check my email and used one the guests can use that is in the lobby, and saw the update. I had like two minutes to read the highlights = I missed a lot and missunderstod more. Then I had all day wishing for 30 min with my computer. Didn’t really feel comfortable reading your story while anyone could walk by and read over my shoulder… 🙂

    Am home again now and have read it all. I love it. Very nice, especially Claire and Matthew. And what I love the most with your universe is that Rodney chooses to submit to John and John honors R’s choice. And John understand and accepts that it will take Rodney some time to get past his very fucked up relationship with Carter.

    Looking forward to the next update and until then, I’ll go and reread this.

  41. I love the portrait of both John’s and Rodney’s families….. they’re real people and sexy and fun. The Patrick Sheppard you give us here and in WMHB is that father canon John Sheppard should have had. Oh, they’d not always see eye-to-eye but in the end it was honest and loving.

    Carter is *so* evil here. Like John, the more I learn, the more horrified I am. Not letting Jeannie’s emails through and almost castrating Rodney is totally unfair and unbalanced.

    And, sigh, Geisha’s….. how hot is that?

    Perfectly wonderful update! Thank you!

  42. A very interesting set of stories. I’m looking forward to reading more.

  43. Does this mean that I need to check once a day? I almost missed this but I’d decided to reread your other fics to wait and, lo! there was this!

    I love the build-up of this! Details, details, details. We see and experience and have a wonderful world built for us. You do such a good job of ‘Showing NOT Telling’ (unlike certain TPTB); this makes reading a wonderful experience with you.

    You’ve made me like Kaleb, wow gosh! And I even like Jeannie as a person not just as a well-fleshed character (which I didn’t think was possible).

    I love to read about your characters because they become so real. It’s too bad we’re leaving them, but I am so excited and so looking forward to RODNEY ON ATLANTIS! (that’s even the way it sounds in my head. lol)

    Thank you for sharing!

  44. First of all, let me say that I’ve been enjoying this series. I do have a question-when I saw the name Matthew Sheppard, I wondered if you picked the name Matthew at random or if you’d named him after the real Matthew Shepard? Thanks.

    • You’re the second person to ask me that since this series posted. I actually added the younger brother “Matthew” to this series because he’s in my other major McShep series as John’s little brother. I never once made the connection between the character of Matthew in my work with the Matthew Shepard who was murdered because he was gay. It was never my intention to make any kind of connection (direct or indirect) between my fictional character and the real Matthew Sheppard. In fact, if I’d connected the two I would’ve never named the character as I did. As it is, it’s way too late to change his name.

      I do believe that it will make me very careful with the character in the future because frankly I would be horrified to make a situation that would in anyway be in relation to the tragic and unacceptable death of the real Matthew Shepard.

  45. This is awesome! Not at all what I was expecting for some reason. So very good. Very much in love with the relationship you are building between everyone not just J/R. I love the build between Rodney and Claire especially. Looking forward to seeing what you do with Lorne.

    Do I have to continue to worry over why Carter needed Rodney to log in and do something that they worked on all day but couldn’t fix?

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

  46. Back again and when I was going to comment ont eh second part as promised I found the third one waiting for me and ended up reading it so WOW

    Sounds like the people who give promotions for Doms need to read the Dom notice board subs put up to find out theri true characters if they did half those Generals wouldn’t be Generals.

    Love this Patrick Sheppard as much as the other one in many ways you have taken soem of the base characterics from the other Partick and extaolated them into this universe and created a new Patrick. For one thing they are both Areonautical engineers the Admiral let his Military Career take acendency so it never really became important but this one due to being shot and invalid out used it and became a billionaire from his work loved that he built the Daedalus which saved John.

    Loved the fact Patrick is very much the Dom in that family despite the fact two of his sons are Masters in their own right. Also oved his comment about Matthew being his baby and how much he had protected him already, but the no matter how mcuh he doesn’t say it John is also one of Patricks babies so he will anilate anone who causes him more hurt.

    I can see the uncollared Geisia being a problem on Atlantis as John will have two of them on base his brother and Milo although John has already shown he doesn’t take shit about sub protection. In his own way he is druming ettiqette into the Dom’s under his command up to and including training them into the proper mindset it he finds their training inadequate.

    We don’t really know what else John got up to while Geek wangling have to wonder if he put that Phd to good use and if McKay will find some fo his work once he gets to Atlantis, John also doesn’t seem to rest on his past accomplishments much so I would say he has probaby been learning Ancient at least and maybe started learning soemthing else when bored he would have had plenty of Geeks falling over themselves to help him and the Ancient database to play with.

    Love how Jhn and Rodeny’s replationship is slowly progressing can’t wait for more.

    Carter needs her head examinined she is a headcase. I actually don’t rule her out as the one who wiped the ZPM work even if she was with Daniel and Jack at that time it was already stated it could be done remotely so why not on a time delay, the Area 51 back up is also a problem sure she admits she interfered just after the divorce but what about all the backups after that where have they been going does that mean she stopped it ever happening or have those monthly or weekly backups sent to Area 51 been going elsewhere after that as stated no one would be inane enough to just wipe that work unless they have copies.


  47. I am so impressed with this series. I think it is shaping up to transcend the BSDM and become one of those thinking au’s like siegeofangels’ “If You Want to Kiss the Sky.” (http://siegeofangels.livejournal.com/419084.html) I know I when I finished reading the last chapter I was thinking “….intellectual property rights would be different in this society….huh”
    I enjoyed the scenes of comradery between Rodney and other subs. Such a contrast to the loneliness of sub!John in Helenish’s wonderful “Take Clothes Off as Directed”, perhaps it is the House system of training which makes the difference. But the interview with Dr. Allison Porter was wonderful, loved the bemusement of their tops, and Dr. Porter’s house affiliation was not mentioned. Part of me wishes western female society had this much comradery and less competition.

    Daniel Jackson off handed reveal to Jack that “We call her the Black Widow Domme, as a joke.”, is so in character for Daniel Jackson, passing up important information offhandedly and at the same time you get the feeling he knows exactly what he is doing. I think despite her many transgressions Sam Carter is perhaps coming across as less of a villain and more of a women with issues galore, many of them caused by the weird SG-1 dynamics, which may have unhinged her. (Or course if she has been killing her lovers then she is a psycho and not sympathetic.) I’m actually glad this story is leaving Earth and the SG-1 behind, their triangle is a novel by itself.

    Mainly I like Rodney in all your stories. You always leave him his dignity. I think this is the most vulnerable and the lowest self esteem you have written him and he still has his dignity. I’m looking forward to the rest of this story.

    • You know all through out “If You Want To Kiss The Sky” I’m left with the thought that while John might know how to fuck he has no idea how to make love and if he did– he’d want to touch Rodney as much as possible and he might fuck Lorne but he sure as hell wouldn’t kiss him.

      That fic always makes me so sad but I’ve read it about 20 times.

    • I love Xanthe’s universe, and I love yours, and I’m looking forward to the next part! I think I saw you mention there is angst on the horizon — I can’t wait!

  48. Do you have a temple somewhere that is should be singing your praises to? Because they need to be sung. As a rule I tend to avoid fics that contain any kind of bondage but this is so far removed for that…. other stuff that I have read that I’m surprised that you don’t have a book out there that I should be spending lots of money on.

    This and all of your other works have quickly become some of the best things I have read In years. And for that I need to thank you!!!!!

  49. I loved Xanthe’s universe, and i have been scouring the net looking for more stories like hers, so I was in love with your universe from the mention of Dom!John. Frankly the love grew to epic proportions after i actually read your wonderful stories! I love the dynamic that you have created in your universe for the John/rodney Pairing along with all the wonderful side pairings!
    Please more! The internet needs more of this!

  50. Thank you for feeding my favorit habbit! I was sooo mad that i had to go towork and couldn’t finish it all in one go.
    Oh well I’ll just do it tonigh!

    I saw in a reply that you would so do a Cam/Rodney fic. I would soo read that fic. My second favorit pairing!

    Okay I’m off to read this all in one sitting.

    Just please post more soon. Like tonight even? Pleaseeeeeee!

  51. So I’ve been ill and finally gotten to read the two new chapters and I must tell you how beuatiful I find the exchange between this john and Rodney. Its powerful, moving, brilliantly written and so… respectful it truly thrills me to read it. Thank you so much! I’m just loving this series.


  52. Awesome! Loved the Millers and the Sheppards here. I was surprised that Caleb was not the bad guy I was expecting. Enjoyed the whole family, especially Jeannie’s apology to Rodney and concern for him. Jonah was a fun character as are all the Sheppards and Claire is quite the character and a good one to befriend Rodney. Eek, just when I thought Sam’s secrets were out, we find out more evil deeds. How awful to reject Jeannie’s e-mails and threaten Rodney with castration. *shudders* Continue to love John and Rodney’s growing relationship. The last conversation with John looking for an equal and a partner was perfect. This series just keeps getting better.

  53. Alright you just have to stop it because Clair and Rodney talking to the Dom Who Will Never Be Mentioned made me spit Dew out my nose (IT HURT…giggles)that was a riot!! You utterly rock and I can’t wait for more because I worship at the temple and it is awesome.

  54. Your story is amazing! I really *like* Sam Carter in the show, but it’s somehow so *satisfying* to have her as an evil bitch. Why is that? And why is it that writers can take a world I believe I know all about and turn it upside down like this and make it all new and exciting? (Also, I’d like to steal these Sheppards. All of them, *and* their spouses…)

  55. amazing a wonderful read can’t wait for more.

  56. This story was wonderful. I enjoyed it tremendously. I sincerely hope you plan to continue it.

  57. I’m enjoying the family relations you have in this, and how John and Rodney connect back with them. Very eagerly awaiting more 🙂

  58. I’ve always loved a well-written BDSM, and combining that with SG:A’s Sheppard and McKay was the buttercream icing to a scrumptious cake. I’ve had actual experience in the SM life, and your approach is excellent. You don’t make it really hard-core. Believe me, I’ve seen doms and subs who are in top/sub space for 24-7 burn out badly. You need balance, and I see that in the main pairing’s relationship and dynamic. Love your body of work and eagerly looking forward to the next installments of this series as well as Sentinels of Atlantis.

  59. I loved Xanthe’s stories and I think you’ve done a great job of living up to that expectation. I’m desperately hoping you’re going to write a bunch of these!

  60. Holy shit. This is just an absolutely amazing series. The dynamics and extra characters you’ve developed here, really the whole variation on the world, is incredible. You’ve taken Xanthe’s concept and made it into something all its own. A highly enjoyable read and the character list makes for some entertaining visuals. Thanks so much for sharing.

  61. I love stories that play around in Xanthe’s ideas. I think you’ve done an excellent job creating your verse & drawing us into it. I LOVE the bond you have been Mckay & Sheppard (and of course, the AMAZING sex scenes)!

    Can’t wait to see more in this series.

  62. Keira, I forgot to ask you who you saw as characters, the same as WMHB, Viggo Mortensen is patrick et cetera… who is your Claire ?
    Have you already thinking of this ?

  63. yeah !!! thanks, good choice btw i love you because you surprise me again, make J.Mayer as a sub is a rock choice.

  64. Their respective families are terrific. John’s dad is the best! I loved Rodney helping ‘kill the piano’ and the manicure/pedicure scene, lol. Please tell me that the wicked Carter gets her due soon.
    Looking forward to what comes next.

  65. John as a teacher is just lovely. Perhaps sometime in the future we might get to see more of that? And seeing John’s interactions with his brothers, contrasting David to Matt, is fascinating. Most of all, I love the collaring scene here. It’s so intimate and sweet. Although, I can’t recall having been introduced to McKay’s field collar – or am I forgetting something?

  66. I really love how you write John’s family (and that you created Matt). Their interactions are touching and amusing. Especially how supportive they are of John and accepting of Rodney. The sub bonding was great, Claire is fantastic, and the telling off of the vain Dom was hilarious. As was Porter’s reaction to getting minions. And the devil piano. And I would be here all night if I listed everything.

  67. Yeah, this is probably my favourite part of the whole series. I just love them meeting each other’s families, of that crap between Jeannie and Rodney getting cleared up and Jeannie being all “OMG SRSLY?!” because of Rodney’s mark. Kaleb is pretty cool too, and exhausting Madison – I have three younger siblings, and while I don’t know anything about Marines, yes, I can totally see that a 6 yo can be completely exhausting.
    And later on, with the Sheppards; Claire is seriously awesome, and it’s completely adorable and hilarious how well she and Rodney get along right from the start. John and Dave will never have a quiet moment with these two around! 😉 I love these glimpses into the families’ lifes we get, with strawberry-Claudia who will be gone soon, Patrick and Jonah and the children. I just love the closeness between them all, and how easily they accept each other no matter what.
    These happy moments, intermixed with not-so-happy ones, yes, but nevertheless overall happy, are completely awesome.
    Yep, totally my favourite part of the whole series. 🙂

  68. hi i’ve just reread this for the millionth time time and the one thing that bugs me is it’s never mentioned what’s in the other box when he get’s rodney’s dress collar.
    would love to find out.:)

    • The second box was a “care” kit — cleaning stuff. It was in the original draft of the fic but some how during the editing process I removed that line from the paragraph.

  69. thanx.x

  70. I now want to see Sheppard trying to explain to the IOA that he needs to bring Kaleb, Jeannie and Madison to Atlantis just so he can put the kid in charge of PT. It would be hilarious.
    Love the interactions between Claire and Rodney.
    And Claire rocks. Love her attitude.
    And clearly people in this verse need to be reminded that Sheppards can have vicious streak. They seem to not know or have forgotten.
    I really like the way you have the relationship between John and Rodney evolving slowly. It seems like in a lot of stories (no matter the fandom) if one character had a previous relationship that was bad in some way (whether it was as bad as abuse or something less awful but still bad) they just want to gloss over that the character is going to have issues settling in to a new relationship regardless of the expectations in the relationship and go straight to happily ever after. I like that you aren’t doing that.

  71. No idea if I’ve said this before, but I just love the relationship between Rodney, John, Jeannie, and Kaleb. Every time I read this – and yes, it has been many – I mean to comment on this chapter and all the feelings I have about the Millers in this fic but, then I keep reading and get lost in my love for John’s family and I don’t think I ever have actually commented here. So this time I have stopped reading, just as John and Rodney nap on the plane in between family visits, in order to express just how much I appreciate the way you wrote Jeannie and Kaleb and their interactions with Rodney and John. Seriously, I’m having lots of feelings.
    **heads back in to story to meet and fall in love with Claire and Matthew and Patrick and Jonah … **

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