Owned 5: Two Lit Fuses

Malcolm's been waiting for this night all week. It doesn't go as planned.


They were dating. An official item. Spin doctor Malcolm Tucker and up-and-coming party strategist Clara Oswald, seen together at restaurants, in the West End, at party events, at his local, at her local. “Power couple”, said the captions under the paparazzi photos, “dynamic duo”, and the articles speculated about how he must have blackmailed her into it. He filed every one of them away in a messy box in his office and contemplated exactly how much he knew about the authors. Enough.

It had been Clara’s idea to be a public couple. “Look, Malcolm,” she’d said, “This will all be much easier if we’re not sneaking around like idiots in need of a bollocking from the likes of you.” And he’d had to admit she was right.

So they dated. They went out and ate food that sometimes Malcolm liked instead of merely ignoring, and saw films that he’d ordinarily never have taken time off to see, and even gone to the theater. Noel Coward was a gas, it turned out. The press wrote about them for a few weeks and then got bored and moved on to some doe-eyed starlet dating some empty-headed wanker on Game of Thrones. And what they did in the privacy of his bedroom was nobody’s business but their own.

Not that it was anything unusual. Malcolm could name six members of Parliament who’d paid handsomely in the last month to be whipped to serenity; two who had their limp pricks regularly locked into plastic cages by even pricier mistresses. Not that he spent a lot of time thinking about the conventionality of his desires, not when he was on his knees to a woman like Clara. He had so much more to think about. She made sure of it.

They dated, and then they went home. Tonight was another one of those nights. A Friday night, so they had all the time in the world. Tonight was going to be a night that kept his mind occupied. She’d told him as much in the moments they’d had together earlier in the week; tonight was his reward night for his earlier obedience. Dinner out at some fucking trendy gastropub Clara thought would be interesting, a glass of prosecco each while standing around waiting, and then decorative plates with bits of offal he took great pleasure in likening to specific MPs to make Clara laugh, then cheese, then out. Not too much to drink, not that he ever drank much, mostly held a glass and tasted it now and then for show, but Clara was especially careful on these nights.

Hail a black cab, hand her into the back like a gentleman, refrain from giving the finger to the pap who’d got a shot of her with hand in his. Just another couple, a proper couple, no scandal unless they wanted to fuss about his age, not if he managed to keep his rage under control. She wanted him to control his rage, so he did. Slow burn, controlled burn. No explosions. Into the cab beside her, home address given, then he tried to sit still. His knee was bouncing. Clara laid a hand on it and he stopped with an effort.

“You feeling okay?”

“Yeah, just, yeah, fucking been a mad week, you know?”

“Don’t have to tell me.”

“Looking forward to a quiet night in with you.” By which he meant a great deal, none of which he expressed for the cabbie.

“Mm.” Clara slipped her arm through his and took his hand. Malcolm leaned close and kissed her. He was allowed to do that without asking, particularly when they were out. Looked better if he stole a kiss now and then. Or simply traded lazy kisses with her, as he did now, because she seemed willing. Take what he could, dream his fucking pathetic dreams while he could. Perfume in her hair, something musky and smoky. Sweet kisses, slow smolder. The first heat of arousal in him.

It distracted him enough that he managed to keep his knee still for the rest of the drive home, which was a victory.

Assist her out of the cab-- not that she needed assistance, but she loved the antique courtesy-- pay the driver, up his steps, unlock the door, bow her over his threshold with that same courtesy, door shut, on the latch. Take off her coat, put it on a hook, take off his own coat, then stand for a moment all awkward and uncertain what to do with himself. Nothing to drive him forward, nothing to chase, nothing to fret over. Only Clara, standing in front of him, lovely in cocktail dress and heels and a touch too much makeup, lipstick she’d leave on his body in the strangest places. Jamie’d found lipstick traces on the back of his neck the other day and made as if to laugh himself sick until Malcolm had smirked and stretched like a self-satisfied cat. Which one of them was fucking the gorgeous woman? Yeah, fuck you, Jamie.

Something yanked hard at his neck: Clara’s hand, on his tie.

“Pay attention. You are all over the map tonight, Malcolm.”


She tugged on his tie, more gently, and he bent obediently to accept her kiss.

“On your knees.” Another sharp pull to urge him into motion. Not that he needed it. He sank to his knees gratefully, and let out a long breath.

“Yeah, there we go,” she said. “Who do you belong to?”

Another long breath, releasing another little bit of the tension in his jaw. “You, Clara. I’m yours.”

He wrapped his arms around her waist and leaned against her. She ran her fingers through his hair. Felt good. Malcolm rubbed his face against her like a cat, for no reason other than it amused her, and he liked hearing her laugh. And he was already thinking ahead. Tonight he got to come.

She’d allowed him to fuck her twice, but he hadn’t been allowed to come either time. There’d been a metal cock ring around him, heavy and hard, giving him the control he’d needed to survive that without angering her. The second time had been three nights ago. She’d put the ring on him, plugged him, bound him spread-eagled on the bed, and ridden him until she was sated. He’d been so fucking close to coming that he had no idea how he’d held off. But he had, and Clara had been pleased.

“My reward night,” he said.


“Gonna come in your mouth.”

“Don’t smirk so hard when you say that.”

“Why not? I’m smirking. I’m fucking smirking. I’m going to be coming in Clara Oswald’s mouth. The best mouth in fucking Downing Street. The only one worth coming in. And I’m going to be doing it.”

She grabbed by the hair and yanked. “Don’t try to bully me. Because if you do–”

Shit. Malcolm shut his fucking trap and went all the way to the floor and kissed her feet. He wasn’t into feet, but he was into groveling to keep Clara happy with him. He kissed her shoes again. Poor little toes into those cruel heels. They did pure wonders for her calves, lovely muscular calves. He allowed his hands to graze over them before he knelt up again, hands behind his back and head down.

“Sorry. Clara. It’s-- it’s hard tonight.”

“Yeah, I can tell.” She tipped up his chin and held his gaze. Malcolm did his best not to flinch away. Lovely, she was lovely, those dark eyes, expressive brows, furrowed now in concentration on him. “Do you need to be whipped, Malcolm?”

He closed his eyes for a long moment and tried to breathe. Trust her to go right to the heart of it. No compromises. It was why he adored her, but fuck, it cost him. “Yeah. Please. I think-- I think I need it.”

She didn’t like doing that to him too often, he’d learned. Bondage and nipple clamps and making him go without coming: those she loved. A little bit of spanking, yes. The whipping she saved for when he’d annoyed her, which he did from time to time. Once in earnest when he’d slipped up and come too soon. She’d bought him a flogger, made him kiss it, made him thank her after she’d used it. Which he had done, oh so fervently, because he’d hated it and loved it. That had been a revelation, the flogger. Where it had sent him.

It was a relief to know he’d be given it tonight. That feeling. That utter freedom. His jaw was still half-clenched with rage from Hugh’s latest, but she’d sweat it out of him. He’d be able to stop thinking soon enough.

She tugged on his tie and pulled him to his feet. She walked upstairs and he trailed after her obediently on the leash of his tie, hands still behind his back. Up into the bedroom, jacket hung up, the shite in his pockets chucked onto the dresser. He waited for her signal to undress. She was digging into his drawers for the things she’d need. Flogger, lube, plug. Oh fuck, she was going to use that on him too.

She pointed at the foot of the bed. “Trousers down.”

He undid his belt and flies and shoved his trousers and pants down. Bent over the foot of the bed with his hands on the bedspread bracing himself. Flinched when she touched his arse, because he knew what was coming. Her fingers first, wet with slick, working him open, more slick on him, cool at first then warming up, teasing him until he yielded to it. He couldn’t keep his mouth shut when she did this to him, not to save his fucking worthless life, it was so intense. He was hers and he had to tell her that, had to whimper for her and beg her to do what she wanted with him. And here it came, the plug, nudging against him. Opening him up. Owning him. Pure ownership, what that thing meant when it was inside him. No room for anything else. Only her. She had taken him in every way she could take him. He let go of everything and opened himself to her and let her inside. Pressure and pain, easing to pleasure as he relaxed and let her claim him.

“Yeah baby, yeah, that’s right, tell me who you belong to.”

“You. Clara. Yours. I’m yours.”

And then it was all the way in, settled. He whimpered some more, because it felt so good and her hand was on his rump, petting him, pushing his shirt up his back and stroking.

She left him like that, bent over the foot of his bed, arse in the air, trousers around his ankles, while she went down the hall and washed her hands. He used the minutes alone to contemplate how fucking hard he was, how big the thing in his arse was, how much of a jessie he was to like it so much, what it would feel like to come with this inside him. He was going to come tonight. She’d promised. Tonight he got to come. In her mouth. In her mouth with his whole body and mind and heart open because of this. How the fuck was he to have known it would do this to him? He was going to explode. His heart would, if nothing else.

Malcolm held himself in place where she’d left him and trembled in anticipation. Or something else. He was in trouble. So much trouble. When she tired of him, when she found some handsome Oxbridge prick with a body and a future, when she discarded him, he’d be so fucked. Ruined. Shattered pieces of a man. Nothing left but the job. Fuck. Don’t think about that, Malc. Don’t. Enjoy this while it lasted.

She came back wearing her heavy silk robe, the one he’d bought for her birthday. Underneath she’d be wearing nothing, or so close to it as to drive him mad. He watched her. He was allowed to look all he wanted. Clara, bare legs, black robe, flogger in hand. Malcolm panted.

“Undress for me,” she said.

Malcolm couldn’t undress fast enough. He kicked his trousers off. Shoes, socks, then the tie and shirt, all thrown onto the floor and kicked aside. He was naked in seconds, standing before her, wrists held out for her to buckle the cuffs on, prick jutting out heavy and hot, betraying him completely. He turned to the wall without being asked and raised his wrists up to the eye bolt she’d had him put in. She had to stand on a chair to snap his cuffs to it.

He tugged. Solid. He was bound. He breathed. Now he proved it. Now he proved she owned him. Now he proved she could do anything she wanted to him. Now he would let her take him all the way out of himself. Bound, he was bound, he couldn’t do anything, didn’t need to do anything, didn’t have to take care of anything. He could stop now. Soon she’d make him stop.

He waited and listened. Her footsteps behind him, her breathing. The jingle of his belt buckle. Not the flogger? A heavy snap. That sound. He knew that sound. He’d heard that sound before. That snap of stiff leather slapping against itself. Something went strange in his stomach. He clenched his jaw. Waited.

A snap and burst of heat, right across his arse. He yanked his hands against his bonds, but they held. A warm-up blow. That’s all that was. He’d had worse.

The second was lower down, across the back of his thighs, and hard enough to make him suck in his breath and release it slowly. The sound. He’d heard that sound before. Many times before. He hated that sound. He hated this. This feeling.

The third was in earnest and he jerked and shook and swore and tore at the cuffs. The fucker was not going to do this to him. He was going to break free and stop him before it got worse.

No. It wasn’t him. Clara. It was Clara. She’d flogged him with a proper flogger. It had hurt a lot more than the belt had. Liar. The belt had left marks that lasted. He hadn’t wanted to sit down or lie down, move, or take his shirt off for days. What had he even done to deserve it? He couldn’t remember. Yes he could. He’d intervened, that’s what. The sick-sweet smell of hard liquor on his father’s breath, the sound of his mother’s voice begging him to stop, Malcolm shoving him, commanding him to stop, swearing at him, the belt coming off, he hadn’t given in, not for an instant, the fucking piece of shite wasn’t going to do it ever again-- both of them on the floor afterward, and his mother’s voice.

See what you made him do.

He was weeping now, three fucking stripes from a woman and he was weeping and it had nothing to do with that, did it? His chest was going to burst with it. And then she was fumbling at his wrists and the cuffs came off and she had her arms around him. He shoved her away, backed away, stumbled over something, caught himself on the wall. Don’t fall, Malc. Stay up. Fists up. He remembered trying to dodge and failing. What it felt like to be punch-drunk. Falling. He’d been helpless.

He curled up on the floor. He couldn’t stop. He’d started and he couldn’t stop, like he’d always known. If he let himself think about it for an instant, ever, he’d start and never stop. His fault. It had been his fault.

Someone was there, holding him. Clara. Arms around him, crooning to him, saying something over and over. She coaxed him into sitting up and blew his nose. He’d have felt humiliated by that if he were capable of feeling anything at all. She taken his cuffs off and taken the plug out and blown his nose. She handed him a t-shirt and he pulled it over his head because that’s what you did. Got to his feet because she was holding his hand. Stepped into the track pants. Followed her downstairs. Sat on the couch. Curled around himself again.

Hadn’t bargained on this happening, had he.

Cup of tea in his hand. Tea. She’d made him tea. Too much milk and sugar in it. He liked it like this. Hot in his mouth, warm in his belly. It was making him feel better, that was the devil of it. Blow his nose and give him a cuppa, and he’d feel better. She came to rest next to him on the couch, her own mug in hand, and pressed a kiss to his temple. He looked at the floor. Anywhere but at her. He had no idea what she was thinking of him right now.

“Sorry,” he muttered.

“I’m the one who should apologize.”

“Wasn’t your fault. You did what I asked.”

“Still. Should have stopped sooner.”

He shook his head. She wasn’t to have known. He hadn’t known. He hadn’t remembered any of that for decades. Only one regret. “Sorry to have ruined your night.”

“Ruined my night?”

“You and me, it’s about fucking. You want me on my knees with a stiff prick. Not like this.”

“You idiot,” she said, and somehow it didn’t sting.

“It’s not about you caring about me,” he said, stubbornly. “You don’t have to pretend.”

“I don’t. So I’m not. This is me, caring about you. This is me, telling you that I’m fond of you, you foul-mouthed terrorist.”

He stared at her open-mouthed for longer than he’d have liked to admit, and then drank the rest of his tea. Sweetness in the last mouthful, sugar in the dregs. She was fond of him. She hadn’t ruined him when she might have. Twenty times over. So fucking bizarre. Nobody liked him. People tolerated him because he drove them onward toward a destination they seemed to have forgotten they wanted. Clara had never wavered on that, not that he’d seen. She knew what she wanted, for herself and the country, and she knew how to get it. Until this moment he’d thought he was another one of her stratagems. A stepping stone. He might yet be, because together they were proving to be far more effective than apart. But if she cared for him, even in a vague way, if she felt something about him–

His head spun. He set down the mug and stared at his hands. Her hand appeared over his, squeezing. Malcolm took her hand in his and kissed her knuckles. Stroked her fingers. Then he pulled his legs up onto the couch and laid his head in her lap. She was wearing his gym shorts, drawstring pulled all the way tight, and the shirt he’d worn today. Cheeky. Lovely. Comforting somehow. Clara wearing his shirt. Clara squeezing his shoulder. Clara, fond of him.

Clara, saying, “You going to tell me about it?”

He nodded into her lap. Where to start? No idea. He shrugged.

She said, “It was the belt, wasn’t it.”

He shuddered. The belt. “Yeah.”


“Me da.”

“You said once he wasn’t around when you were a boy.”

“Did a bunk when I was thirteen. Haven’t seen him but once since.”


“Told him I’d drown him in the river if he ever showed his face again.”


“He liked his drink.”

Clara caressed his face. “By which you mean he was an alcoholic.”

He forced out the next words. She deserved to know it hadn’t been her. “Rager when he was mad with it. The belt was his favorite.”

“Oh. Malc, I should never have-- if I’d known, I’d never. I’m sorry.”

Now the words were there, falling over themselves in the rush to get out of me. “Flogger was lovely. Made me float. Wanted to feel it again. Didn’t think it would matter what you used on me. But fuck. It did matter. Was in the headspace, you know? When you used the belt. Couldn’t stay where I was. Beyond belief, where you bring me. I have no walls, yeah? Nothing between me and things in my head. Can’t keep anything away.”

“Shit. Malcolm.”

“Usually you make it all stop. All the shit in my head. Stops when you tie me up. This time, went the other way.”

“That’s why you like this? I make it stop.”

“Fucked if I know. Probably. It’s nice to take a break, yeah? Nothing to do but what you tell me. No need to save the world. No need to fix everything because if I don’t it’ll go to hell-- it’ll all turn to shit-- he’s going to-- Shit.”

Because he was weeping again. Or not him. It was distant somehow. Somebody else was weeping. Somebody else named Malcolm. Somebody else had Clara’s fingers running through his hair, scratching soothingly at his scalp. Somebody else was being cuddled. He came back to himself slowly, with her voice easing him home, telling him it was all right.

He accepted a tissue from her and blew his own nose this time. “Why the fuck you arse yourself with me, I’ll never know.”

She shook her head at him. “It’s hard to find men who are interested in the things I want.”

“Sweetheart, I can list ten off the top of my head. Ten men at the very pinnacle of fucking power in this whole run-down ruin of an island who’d be more than delighted to have you whip them.”

“So can I. And I despise every one of them. Wankers. Drips. Wet noodles. I want a strong man, not a weak man who fawns over me because he wants to ride on my coattails.”

Malcolm laughed bitterly. “Strong man. Now you see the reality of Malcolm Fucker. Just another human wreck.”

Clara took his hand and laced her fingers with his. “This is strength, Malcolm. Getting here from where you started, that’s strength.”

“If you say.”

“I know. Trust me. You-- you want the right things. You’re angry because the prize idiots we work with could fall into a diamond heap and come out covered in shit.”

He laughed despite himself. She squeezed his fingers.

“I hated you at first. I thought you were just a bully. Thought you were into the cruelty for its own sake. Then I saw you one day, when you thought nobody was around. You were talking to a bicycle messenger, nobody in particular, and you were asking him how he liked his job. You made him laugh. Completely and utterly like a human being talking to another human being. Then Hugh blundered in and ignored the messenger, started talking to you as if he didn’t even exist. If he’d had any kind of self-awareness at all, your glare would have killed him dead where he stood. And I thought, oh I understand now. I get Malcolm. From that moment I knew you were my ally.”

Malcolm’s ears were red. He tried to shrug, but her fingers were still interlaced with his and he didn’t want to pull away.

“It was a gift from the gods when I found out you liked what I liked. It was a way to get close to you that you allowed. You’d never have let me touch you ordinarily. You avoided me.”

“You’re dangerous, sweetheart. Fucking powder keg.”

“So are you. Two powder kegs.”

“Now here we are. Two lit fuses.”

She smiled. “Exactly.”

Malcolm watched her face carefully. She seemed sincere. He couldn’t see anything else in her face. He said, cautiously, “Explode together?”

“I was thinking more like, more like a rocket. Ride up balanced over a giant explosion. To the top. Because nobody else is going to do it right.”


“Can’t do it alone. Don’t want to, now that I’ve had a taste of you.”

“Fuck. Clara. Can’t cope with much more tonight. But-- I’m still yours. If you want me. I’m yours.”

“I want you.”

“Fuck.” He closed his eyes. It beggared belief. Him. Clara. Rocket on a stick.

She ruffled his hair. “Come on. Bedtime.”

Upstairs again, hand in hand, Clara leading him up, coaxing him out of his clothes, allowing him to unbutton her shirt. His shirt. Looked better on her. Into bed, blankets up, lights out. Malcolm was wrung out but not sleepy yet. Fault of the tea, most like. He waited while Clara did whatever she needed to do in the washroom. Taking her makeup off, mostly. He liked her without the makeup. Liked her like this, sliding into bed next to him, in his cast-off t-shirt and nothing else. He kissed her. Perfume scent still in her hair. Soft lips. Kissing him back. He couldn’t help it, he was fretting again.

“We didn’t-- I mean, fuck, I don’t know what I mean. Are you good?” He let his hand slide down to her hip to say what he couldn’t say in words.

“If I wanted anything I’d ask for it.”


“So what I want is to cuddle you.”


“This isn’t a trap. Malcolm.”

“Trying to believe you.”

“You poor fucked-up bastard.”

It tumbled out of him. “I’m in love with you.”

“I know.”

“I’m scared out of my mind.”

“Hush, you idiot.”

He rolled onto her and wrapped himself around her. Didn’t want to stop touching her, needed to touch her with as much of himself as he could. She hadn’t told him she was in love with him, but she hadn’t flinched away either. Here she was, stroking his hair. He could feel himself slowly hardening against her. Body wasn’t quite matched up with his mind; body remembered that it had been starving for her for days. Body had three stripes across its backside, burning at him, reminding him. The mind was ready to give up and go unconscious. Though it would be nice to feel her all around him that way too. It would be nice to be inside her.

He worked up his courage one last time and said, “Can I make love to you?”

“Whatever you need. I’m here.”

She helped him guide himself in and then tucked her heels behind his knees. He burrowed his face into her neck. It felt good in ways he didn’t know how to describe. She was holding him. She surrounded him. She had him. She wasn’t letting go. He wanted to move inside her and he didn’t want to move. He wanted to be like this forever.

This was what it was like when you were in love with the woman you were with. Strange to learn this at the age of forty-five. Sleeping with all those women and thinking that what was missing was he couldn’t ask any of them to tie him up. What he’d been missing wasn’t that. He liked that, but it wasn’t that. It was this feeling in his-- not his heart, not his prick, it was all over him, all over his skin and in his gut and in how tight his throat was and in the palms of his hands. She’d lit him. He would burn for her, explode for her. Whatever she wanted.

His face was wet again now but it was okay. It was fine. It was because he was coming and it meant everything at last.