Julian lay back in exhaustion,
still too agitated to sleep. His mind worked fast, going over the
events of the last few days. Nerys was awake as well, wondering when
Odo would announce that he had arrested Garak.
"Odo won't be able to keep him in the brig for long," Julian said suddenly. "He didn't really do anything."
"He assaulted you while you slept," Nerys snorted. "That counts for something. We might even be able to deport him, depending on what Sisko thinks."
"Does he know what happened?"
"Don't tell him," Julian said earnestly.
Nerys sat up and looked him in the eyes. "Julian, that's our only chance of getting Garak off this station."
Bashir met her gaze squarely. "Maybe I don't want him off the station."
"What? If it's the datachip you're worried about, remember that Odo promised to negotiate with him to get it back."
Julian shook his head. "Not that it will do any good. Besides, that's not what I mean." Nerys looked more horrified and disgusted than Julian had ever seen her. His heart
constricted in his chest. "Nerys, this is going to be hard for you to understand."
"I think it might," she agreed expectantly.
Julian paused, trying to gather the thoughts in his tired mind. "Everything that happened between Garak and myself might have been a misunderstanding."
"I'm not sure I know what you mean," she said, taking deep breaths and trying to stay calm. Julian knew he had only a limited amount of time to explain himself before she exploded at
"First, he thought that I was interested in him, that I always had been, and was trying to send him signals."
"True. But why did he have to try to rape you?"
"That's what he thought I wanted. He forgot that I might not have the same responses as a Cardassian. Then he must have taken my leaving the door of the holosuite unsecured as a signal that I was ready to have him."
Nerys considered briefly. He noted with relief that he had grabbed her attention. "Why would he think that you wanted to be put into a torture device?"
"He didn't know what I wanted. But when I refused sex after sending him what he thought was a clear signal, he must have concluded that I wanted to play rough. And, for him, that
included the slaves, the torture device, and even the whip, if things had gone far enough." He took a deep breath, hoping that Nerys would be willing to leap to his conclusion with him.
"Remember that when I invited him into the holosuite, he played by my rules. He didn't know Odo was listening; he could have tried any number of unpleasant things, but he didn't."
"He wasn't exactly gentle with you when you were bound to the bed."
Julian shrugged. "He didn't do me any permanent damage, although he could have. I asked him to use lubrication and he did, but I didn't ask him to be gentle with me, did I? And don't
forget, I asked for it. I can't deny that I enjoyed what he did. That's the whole idea of being bound--feeling the other person's desire play itself out on you."
Nerys didn't answer; she seemed a bit withdrawn. Julian felt a tug at his heart, but he kept on talking.
"Nerys, I know it's hard for you to fathom, but I wanted him to do what he did. I could have used a simulation to take it, but I didn't. For Garak, that was closeness. First he took me,
and then he really put himself in my hands. When he found out that I used simulations, he thought I had cheated. In his own culture, he'd have a right to hate me, to track me down and take revenge on me."
Kira looked angry again. "On Cardassia, trials are decided before they take place. Conquered people are given the death penalty for stealing food, or for one act of disobedience."
"Garak will be put to death by torture if he's deported," Julian finished, "What he did to me wasn't always pleasant, but it doesn't merit death."
"I suppose you're right about that, anyway," Nerys agreed grudgingly. "What do you want to do?"
"I want to talk to him," Julian said, searching around for his clothes. "I want to find out if I'm right about him. And I have to talk to him before Odo talks to Sisko."
They dressed quickly, and Kira hit her comm badge. "Kira to Odo."
"Odo here. Major, I was just about to call you. I've finally run Garak to earth."
"He's in his quarters, but he won't come out. He insists on speaking to Dr. Bashir before surrendering, but I told him that wasn't very likely."
Kira and Bashir exchanged glances as both realized that Odo was putting on a performance for Garak's benefit; the comm line to his quarters must be open.
"Odo, this is Julian," the doctor interrupted. "Tell Garak I will speak to him."
"I'll be right there." Julian pulled on his boots and ran a hand through his hair, which stayed rumpled.
"What are you going to do, Julian?" Nerys asked as they hurried around the habitat ring. "For a week now you've been terrified of being alone with him. What if he hurts you?"
"I'll have to take that chance," Julian answered. "I owe him something for the way I treated him."
"The way you treated him?" Nerys exclaimed angrily, pulling Julian by the arm until he stopped. "I understand your theory about his misinterpretation of your signals, and you're
probably right. But don't forget that the man tortured you, forced you to have sex with him, and treated you like a slave."
"For him it was a game, Nerys," Bashir said, standing impatiently. "He thought I understood that."
Kira set her jaw and took him by both arms, giving him a shake. "Listen to me. I understand that you feel you have to do this. All right, go ahead. But at the first sign of trouble,
I'm getting you out of there. I don't care what he thinks he's doing. If he hurts you again, I'll kill him." Her voice rang loudly through the deserted corridor.
"Nerys..." Julian said, touching her face. "Let me go." She turned and ran with him down the corridor, still holding his arm.
"Odo," Julian said breathlessly as they arrived, "is he still in there?"
"I'm here," came Garak's voice over the comm panel. "When I open the door, I want Dr. Bashir to come in alone."
"Understood," Julian answered quickly.
Odo looked annoyed. "We're keeping a comm line open while you're in there," he warned.
"Fine," said Garak indignantly, "go ahead and listen to our private conversation. I hope it's exciting enough for you."
The door slid open suddenly on a darkened room, and Garak was nowhere to be seen. Julian walked in, and it slid shut after him. There was a long silence.
"Julian?" Nerys said finally.
"I'm here," he answered quickly. "I can't see, Garak. It's too dark in here."
"Lights up twenty percent," Garak said. "Is that better, doctor? I forgot that your Terran eyes cannot use available light as efficiently as mine."
When the lights came up, Julian discovered Garak standing not ten feet in front of him. "That's not all you overlooked about me, Garak," Julian interjected. "I have something to tell
"I think I know what it is. And, yes, you're right that I overlooked some things." He paused, and Julian stepped closer to him. "Aren't you afraid of getting too close?" Garak asked
sardonically. "Your friends might..."
"Garak," Julian interrupted, "that's what I wanted to tell you. I'm not afraid of getting close to you. In fact, I..."
"You're the one I fucked into a frenzy in the holosuite," Garak said huskily. "You did have the courage to put yourself in my hands. But you didn't want me to know."
Julian gaped at him. "When did you find out?"
"Tonight. I left a listening device in your room when I left you my little message. I listened in on your conversation with Major Kira. That's when I found out that you had no idea it
was all a contest."
"What was a contest?" Although Garak's words confirmed his guesses, Julian wanted him to explain it for the benefit of the two listeners outside.
"My pursuit of you. The chase. The 'message' I left on your body."
Julian breathed out hard. "Garak, what do you want from me?" he said in frustration. "If you want to torment me, if you want to fuck me senseless, then I give you permission to make a
holo simulation of me to get it out of your system."
Garak looked intrigued. "What do I want from you?" he asked thoughtfully. "There's your body, of course. That goes without saying, and I've paid homage to that in my own way, haven't I?" His eyes ran up and down Bashir in a way that made a tingle pass through him. "But there's more," he continued expansively. "Your soulful eyes, your serious face. The way you volunteered to put yourself in those restraints, the way you cried out when I entered you and then told me you wouldn't grovel to get me back inside you." He shook his head ruefully. "I spent many hours in a holosuite trying to simulate that particular personality. I
wondered how you'd captured those piquant contradictions. But now I find out that it was you all the time." He shook his massive head and smiled. "What I want from you is you."
Julian stared. His body had started to tremble, and he realized that this near declaration of love had excited him. "Why did you want to torture me?" he asked, trying to keep his
mind clear. "Why didn't you take my refusal seriously?"
"As you guessed, it was because you left the door unsecured. That meant everything to me, but now I realize I was wrong. When you refused me, I thought you were issuing me a challenge, and I had to meet it with a problem worthy of you." He laughed. "You didn't disappoint me. That device was a test of survival, and you faced it bravely." He paused and took a step closer to Julian. The doctor felt rooted to the spot. His mouth was growing dry.
"On Cardassia," Garak continued seductively, "we think that lust and its conflicts represent the struggles of life, and that if an individual vanquishes in love, he or she will conquer in
living, too." His eyes seemed to glow in the dimness. "But one must learn to be conquered as well, to submit to desire as to the inevitable. So submitting to you was necessary to me, as
necessary as it was to dominate you." He shook his head. "I thought you understood that when you submitted to me. And maybe now it turns out that you did. Still, I don't understand why you wanted me to think I had fucked a simulation."
"I wanted to humiliate you."
"Then why didn't you really use a simulation?"
Julian took a deep breath. "For exactly the reason I gave you at the time. Because I wanted to know what you would be like without the pain."
They were both silent so long that Kira's heart was pounding when Garak finally spoke slowly.
"What did you find out? Did I disappoint you?"
Julian swallowed hard. "No. But I think you knew that."
"And I'd like to know again. Would you?" Garak looked at him intently.
"Without the Cardassian torture device and the whip, I might want to," Julian agreed hesitantly.
Garak laughed out loud. "A Cardassian torture device? Oh, doctor, how wrong you are! That happens to be a twentieth-century Terran device--the Seven Gates of Hell. I got the idea
from an old book, and I replicated one exactly your size."
Julian frowned. "How did you know my size? You're a tailor, but you've never taken that particular measurement on me."
Garak shrugged. "You'd be surprised at the amount of information that can be obtained from Quark for a price."
"He knows the length of my erection?" Julian asked incredulously. "He helped you with everything, didn't he?"
"I couldn't have done it without him."
Julian paused, thinking. "Garak, you seem so bored with sex that isn't painful--painful for me, anyway. Don't you really want to know what I'm like when I'm not your slave?"
Garak sighed in a way that made Nerys's stomach clench in anger as a thread of excitement travelled through her groin. "You make such an attractive slave," he said, "but I suppose I
can forgo that pleasure if you can."
"Will you come out with me now to talk to Odo?"
Garak shrugged. "I might as well. He'll arrest me the next time he sees me, whenever that may be."
"No, he won't," Julian said firmly.
"I won't?" Odo asked Kira peevishly.
The door slid open and Julian and Garak stood there together.
"Odo," Julian began, "I don't want you to pursue the investigation against Garak. Everything that happened was based on a misunderstanding."
"I gathered that," Odo said dryly. "What evidence I have isn't worth much without your testimony, is it?" He walked away angrily, unable to understand Julian's changed attitude.
Kira looked from Julian to Garak. "You're not staying here, are you?" she asked, visibly upset.
"Yes," Julian answered softly.
"You trust him? After what he did to you?"
"Call me if you need me." She turned abruptly and stalked down the corridor after Odo. Her mind whirled with conflicting emotions.
The door to Garak's quarters slid closed. "Your friends aren't very pleased with your decision," he remarked.
Julian didn't answer. His body was trembling with anticipation, and he realized that he both craved and dreaded Garak's touch.
"I understand what you just told me," Garak said slowly, "but I feel compelled to tell you what I desire." He held up a hand. "I promise I won't force you to do this, but I'd like to
see you in that g-string again, and I'd like to..." He trailed off.
"Yes?" Julian asked.
"I don't know why I should ask. You won't want it. I keep thinking of taking you when you were bound to the bed. I want to do it again."
"You're making progress,
Garak: you're asking me instead of threatening me."
Garak looked offended. "I don't threaten. I order," he said haughtily.
Julian looked uncomfortable. "That's a problem. There's another problem, too. I'm still in pain from certain events earlier this evening."
Garak looked surprised. "I suppose you are. I have some herbal ointment that will relieve your symptoms in a few moments, but it has to be applied correctly." He searched in a drawer for a small vial. "Here we are. Now, sit down."
"Go on. I won't hurt you."
Julian complied. When Garak loosened his pants and pulled out his sore member, he felt terribly exposed. The red marks stood out angrily from the tip to the base. Garak knelt on the
floor between his legs and carefully applied a light coating of ointment on Julian's penis and balls. "It doesn't really feel any better yet," Julian commented, wincing at his touch.
"It will, doctor, it will." In a sudden motion, Garak plunged Julian's penis into his mouth, swirling it with strong sucking motions of his tongue and jaws. Julian's hands grabbed
at the air in surprise before he lay back and surrendered to the intense sensations in his cock. Never before had Garak simply given him pleasure without pain. And he was quite skilled at it.
His mouth seemed to have muscles that could stroke while his tongue careened madly everywhere. When he suddenly let go, Julian moaned in surprise. His cock was rock hard, but no longer painful, except that it ached to be back in Garak's gifted mouth.
"Now," Garak asked, "are you ready to have me inside you?"
Julian felt a wave of something powerful rising up within him. "No," he ordered, sitting up on the bed, "I want you sucking me. Now. Keep doing it."
"I was hoping you'd say that, doctor." Garak smiled and took his erection back into his mouth.
The ointment must have had a slightly anaesthetic effect, because Julian couldn't recall remaining so hard for so long without coming, except with the torture device. Even after he
came, his hard-on didn't fade. Garak looked at it speculatively.
"What shall we do with that?" he asked. "Of course, my preference would be to tie you to the bed and..."
Again, Julian felt an emotion as strong as anger well up inside him, but it wasn't all anger. He sat up again and put his face to Garak's. The Cardassian still knelt between his legs.
"I want to stay dressed while you're naked," he said through clenched teeth. "Take your clothes off now, and lie down."
Garak, who could have broken Julian's neck with his bare hands, meekly stripped and lay over the bed where Julian showed him. "There's a selection of restraints in the box under the
bed," he suggested.
Julian pulled it out and looked inside. "Never mind those," he said dismissively. "You're going to stay there because you like it, not because you're tied down." He grabbed a jar of
lubricant from the box and pressed some into Garak with his hand.
"Remember, doctor," Garak said with a villainous smile, "as we say on Cardassia, the pinch worm can turn."
"Call me Julian," Julian said in annoyance, looking into the box again and pulling out something that looked suspiciously like a Starfleet-issue restraint.
"I can't do that," Garak replied. "It just wouldn't feel right."
"Where did you get this restraint?" Julian asked.
"It was a gift." Julian didn't ask. He pushed the restraint through a swiveling ring set in the wall above the bed and put Garak's unresisting hands through it.
"Changed your mind?" Garak asked, amused. "I thought you didn't like these little power games."
"I don't know what I like any more," Julian said, to his own surprise. "Or maybe what I like is changing, thanks to you." Snapping the restraint shut, he surveyed his captive, running his
nails across the leathery skin. Garak shivered with pleasure. He raked his nails across Garak's ass, and ran them up his cleft; from behind, he teased the Cardassian's erection. Garak growled and pulled at the restraint. Without it, Julian suddenly realized, he might suddenly find himself taking Garak's place. He pulled his cock back out of his uniform and teased Garak's opening with it before pushing in hard, making the Cardassian jump. His uniform made a rasping sound when it rubbed against Garak's leathery ass.
For a while he contented himself by fucking Garak with all his might, realizing that he was more likely to scrape his own skin off than to do the Cardassian any harm. When Garak's
breathing was beginning to get shallow, he withdrew. He rolled Garak over and looked at his fiery red erection. Stroking just the shaft without touching the more sensitive head, he made Garak squirm satisfactorily in his efforts to get more stimulation.
"That's what your simulations did to me," Garak said in annoyance.
Julian dug his nails into various parts of Garak's skin, from his shaft to his chest and thighs, eliciting gasps of pleasure from his captive. "That's why you Cardassians are partial to torture devices," he observed suddenly. "You have so little sensation in your skins that you need hard stimulation to feel anything. But, think about it, Garak--I have sensitive skin everywhere. It hurts me much more than it hurts you."
"I hadn't really considered that, doctor, although your smooth skin is one of the most attractive things about you. How sensitive is it?"
Julian looked around Garak's body for an unarmored place. "Open your mouth," he said. When Garak complied, he touched the inside of his cheek. "The shaft of my penis is that sensitive."
"I see. Then the seven gates would indeed have caused you more pain than I intended." Looking into Garak's eyes, Julian saw that he looked mildly interested, but not especially
Julian snorted. "To say the least." He ran his fingers along the bony ridge that stretched in a shallow 'v' across Garak's chest from one shoulder to another. Hiding under the
ridge on each side, he suddenly discovered two pink nipples. He put his fingers into the space under the bone and stimulated them lightly.
"No!" Garak cried, lunging against the restraint.
"Why not?" Julian asked, startled.
"They're too sensitive, it's too intense," Garak gasped as Julian's fingers barely touched him.
Bashir glanced at the Cardassian's erection, which was now even redder and harder than before. "Somehow I think you've been hiding something from me, Garak," he said with a smug smile. "Does that make you feel vulnerable?" He rummaged in the restraint box until he found some cuffs that would secure Garak's legs to the corners of the bed. "Now, I think I've found a way to show you something of what I felt," he said, kneeling between Garak's legs and reaching again for his nipples.
No matter how Garak bucked and cursed, Julian never stopped rubbing his nipples gently. "How would you like me to pinch them?" he teased cruelly.
"No, please. Please don't, Julian." Garak's face showed anger, humiliation, and even fear.
"Oh, it's Julian now, is it? You're wrong, slave," he said with a hard edge to his voice. "It's sir."
"Please don't, sir," Garak said through clenched teeth.
Julian rolled the firm pink points of flesh softly between his thumb and forefinger. Garak screamed in agony and bliss as his cock exploded into orgasm, shooting burst after burst of
semen against Julian's chest. He released Garak's nipples, which had swollen up so far that they protruded out from under the bony ridge.
"I'd say that's approximately what I experienced," Julian said quietly, sitting back on his heels.
"Let me go," Garak said angrily.
"And let you get back at me?" Julian grinned. "Not yet. You'll have your chance."
"Doctor, I promise I won't use the seven gates on you again."
"Or the whip?"
"Or the whip," Garak added grudgingly.
"You still have an erection," Julian observed, "and you've only come once. Let's see what I can do about that." Releasing Garak's legs, he rolled him on his stomach again.
Julian undressed quickly and grabbed an item out of the box of restraints. He put on the g-string and walked around where Garak could see him, standing with his hands on his hips.
Garak looked for a long moment and then closed his eyes. "Now who's torturing whom?" he asked gruffly. "If I wasn't in this restraint..."
"But you are, Garak, you are. And even if you weren't, you'd stay where you were and let me fuck you."
"Don't be so sure," Garak snapped.
"Let's see." He went back and shoved his cock into Garak's opening, thrusting vigorously until the Cardassian was again at the point of orgasm. Julian reached quickly up towards Garak's hands and released the restraint, which fell off as Julian grabbed Garak's erection and pumped it hard. Ignoring the fact that his hands were free, Garak continued to push back into
Julian. At last, he shook violently, moaning in delight. Julian thrust in a few more times before he came, too.
Garak lay still for a moment before he moved a hand and remembered he was free. Rolling over quickly, he dumped Julian on the bed and pinned him down. "Please excuse me, doctor, if I once again enslave you," he said with flashing eyes. "I'll keep my promise about the seven gates, but you're dressed like a slave"--he looked down at the satin pouch, now pushed to one
side--"and I'm going to make sure you feel like a slave."
He pushed Julian roughly on his stomach and pulled his arms behind his back, cuffing them together. Another pair of cuffs snapped closed around his ankles. When Garak rolled the doctor onto his back, he readjusted the g-string to cover Julian's flaccid member. Taking him by the shoulders, Garak pulled him off the bed and left him on his knees before stepping back to admire his handiwork. "How do you feel, slave?" he asked smugly.
"Helpless," Julian admitted, looking up at him defiantly, "but I'm still not a slave."
"Good," Garak laughed. "I wouldn't want you to submit right away. Where would the challenge be in that?" Garak stood considering him for a few moments. "What shall I do with my slave?" he asked rhetorically. "I could have him suck my cock, but I've already done that. I could fuck him, but he likes that. I've promised not to beat him--he has such sensitive skin," Garak sneered, "but I'm sorely tempted." He grabbed Julian under the arms and pulled him easily up until his feet barely touched the ground. "What shall I do with you?" he asked in Julian's face. "I'll do the worst thing I can think of."
"What's that?" Julian asked through dry lips. A bolt of real fear coursed through him.
"This." Garak laid Julian over the bed. The ribbons holding his g-string in place were suddenly tugged away. He braced himself for an onslaught, but nothing happened for a few
moments. The ribbons were retied, tighter this time. Then the cuffs clicked open. Cautiously, Julian pushed himself up from the bed, turning to face Garak, who stood quietly watching him.
"What are you doing?" he asked incredulously.
"The worst thing I can think of," Garak repeated. "Sending you away to make you wait." Julian reached back to untie the g-string. "Don't touch that," ordered Garak. "You're going to
wear it to remind you of your narrow escape. Put on your uniform."
As Julian complied, his heart still beat wildly. When he was dressed, he reached for his briefs.
"I'll keep these," Garak said quickly, picking them up. "You keep the g-string. You never know when you might want to wear it." He smiled without a hint of the anger he had just
shown, and Julian knew the contest was over for now.
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