Damn fool kid! Impetuous. Arrogant. Always acting before he thinks about the consequences. This wasn't the first time he'd had to come to the rescue when his younger colleague'd gotten himself in over his head and, frankly, it was getting tiresome.
William Sloan had known Derek Rayne for a long time and could have spent the entire flight from London to San Francisco listing the Dutchman's faults. But as satisfying as that activity might be, it wouldn't be very productive and William was nothing if not a pragmatic man. When the Legacy's head Precept had gotten word that Derek had shot himself while under the influence of...something, he knew he'd have to oversee the situation personally. His history with Derek meant he had owed the man at least that much. So William'd kissed his wife, told his children to mind their mother, and hopped on a Legacy jet headed for the United States.
Derek Rayne might be a pain in the ass but he was *Sloan's* pain in the ass and the American would be damned if he'd let this attack be investigated by anyone else.
To prepare himself, William reviewed the records of Derek's underlings. He'd worked with most of them via long-distance information exchanges, but that was a far cry from the level of intimacy that came from working under stressful field conditions. William was firm in his belief that you could *never* know too much about the people guarding your back. With this frame of mind, Sloan reached for the first file.
Alex Moreau. Psychic; beautiful; and a talented researcher with, Sloan suspected, untapped depths. William had often accused Derek of coddling the young woman by leaving her back at the House during all of the action. The older man had yet to figure out if that reluctance to send Alex into dangerous situations was because she was Rayne's former student or if he was shielding her due to romantic inclinations. No matter, the situation in Rose County would test her mettle soon enough.
Dr. Rachel Corrigan. The newest member of the San Francisco House was something of an unknown quantity to the London precept. Her family had some history with the Legacy and her skills as a psychiatrist were certainly valuable. But had she truly committed herself to the Legacy? William thought not. If ever a chain had a weak link, she was it. Dr. Corrigan would have to prove her worth and Sloan idly wondered if she was up to the task.
Nick Boyle. Of their own accord, William's fingers began stroking the picture of the ex-SEAL that was included in the file. Strong, loyal, and brave, Nick might even exceed his father's accomplishments. If he lived long enough. And *if* he could be brought into line. "Cocky" should have been the younger Boyle's middle name.
William's lips thinned as he contemplated the young man's attitude. If Derek coddled Alex Moreau, he positively spoiled Nick Boyle. The young man's irreverence and down-right insolence was apparent in every Legacy report the ex-SEAL submitted, not to mention Sloan's own contacts with the boy. Military background not withstanding, Nick Boyle just didn't have enough respect for the Legacy-- and its senior members. It was evident that Derek wasn't using enough discipline with the young man. Well, maybe William could rectify that failing during this little visit.
Yes, it was past time someone took Nick Boyle down a peg or two. And William knew he was just the man for the job.
Smiling with an expression that was positively feral, William Sloan daydreamed all the way to California.
Arrogant son of a bitch. "Your father was one of the great ones." Well, that showed just how ignorant the high-and-mighty William Sloan was! What was so great about using your own kid and wife as a punching bag? And if living out of a bottle made you special, then Robert Boyle was an absolute prince.
Nick Boyle silently fumed as he and the head of the Legacy made their way from the newspaper building back to Sloan's rented car. For years, the ex-SEAL had maintained silence about his father's abusive nature. But ever since revealing his true background to first Derek and then Rachel, his tolerance for covering for his dad was rapidly waning.
Still...the young man couldn't quite bring himself to reveal Robert Boyle's failings to his old man's colleague, William Sloan. After the reprimand earlier regarding undermining the London precept's authority, it would seem too much like a cop-out. Like he was whining.
Nick Boyle didn't whine.
And he'd be damned if he'd give Sloan an opportunity to look down his nose at him again.
Remembering Sloan's penetrating gaze, Nick shivered. What was it about this guy? He exuded power, but then, so did Derek and the ex-SEAL had never been so unsettled by the Dutchman. After further contemplation, Nick decided it was because Derek also radiated an inner nobility that made people instinctively want to follow him. All you had to do was spend five minutes with the man and you knew Derek would never ask you to do something that he wouldn't be willing to do himself. Sloan had charisma, sure, but he didn't inspire that level of trust.
Maybe it was his eyes.
Sloan had dark, penetrating eyes that reminded the ex-SEAL of a great bird of prey. Not exactly cruel, but not at all warm either. William Sloan's eyes reflected a cold inner fire that you knew could erupt with the right provocation.
His father'd had eyes like that.
The comparison didn't comfort Nick and the young man decided that he'd better watch his step. Derek had always acted as a buffer between his House and the London precept. As much as it galled him to have to play Sloan's games, the ex-SEAL knew that, with his mentor currently out of action, it was the best thing to do.
But that didn't mean he had to like it.
William Sloan smiled as he finally heard the front door close. The San Francisco Legacy House had been quiet tonight. Even though the team had wrapped up the situation in Rose County, Derek was still in the hospital. Alex, showing a depth of devotion that had surprised her precept, had refused to leave the Dutchman's side. As for Rachel, she was spending quality time with her daughter, not too surprising considering the close call the psychiatrist had experienced. The ex- SEAL had also been spending a lot of time at Derek's bedside, but William hadn't given him that option tonight. Actually, it wasn't truly necessary for anyone to stay with Derek, now that the demon had been dealt with, but seeing their precept shoot himself had badly shaken the two younger House members. Under other circumstances, Sloan would have considered their resultant hovering of the San Francisco precept unnecessary, but it suited William's purposes for Alex to stay at the hospital for one more night.
Nick, on the other hand, was another matter all together.
To say that the young man hadn't been happy when Sloan called to order him home for the night would be an understatement. Unhappy and protesting, he'd still obeyed William's orders. Actually, Sloan had expected more of a fight, but seeing Derek attempt suicide had obviously put the ex-SEAL off-balance.
Off-balance was good for what Sloan had in mind.
William watched Nick toe his shoes off, the athletic footwear being too wet to leave on in the house. The soaked socks soon followed. Intent on his task, the young man hadn't noticed his observer yet. Good. It would be best to set the tone for this encounter for right away.
"When you're done with that, I need you upstairs." Sloan didn't wait for an answer, but turned and went up the steps.
The older man made his way to the guest room and double-checked his preparations. The fire had died down, giving off a dull crimson light that left the room shadowed, and a bottle of merlot was waiting for the London precept by the high-backed reading chair. Not overtly too much like a throne room, but if used right, the setting could invoke that type of reaction.
And Sloan had every intention of using the setting correctly.
Sloan smiled as he heard the young man clamber up the stairs. How could someone make so much noise while he was barefoot? What was the quote: "Youth is wasted on the young"? William's grin turned predatory as he tightened the belt to his robe, revelling in the feel of the silk pajamas underneath. *Someone* would be enjoying Nick's youth tonight, that was for sure! The older man quickly positioned himself in his chair.
"Okay, Sloan, what the hell is this all about?" Nick had regained some of his equilibrium and there was a dangerous glint in his eye.
The ex-SEAL wasn't the slightest bit out of breath from jogging up the stairs. For a moment, William wished the young man wasn't in such superb shape. A nicely heaving chest would have been appealing right about now.
Sloan picked up his wine and swirled it a bit in the glass, waiting for the liquid to settle down again before taking a sip. Let the boy stew for a minute, he was here for Sloan's convenience, not the other way around.
It was time that Nick Boyle learned who was boss.
Setting his glass down, William finally deigned to look at the junior Legacy member. "I'm surprised, Mr. Boyle, especially considering your background, that you haven't learned more respect for your superiors."
"Excuse me! You called me all the way back here to tell me to mind my manners?" Nick left the doorway to stalk across the room, stopping right in front of Sloan, hands fisted at his sides. "What sort of bullshit is this?"
"That's exactly what I'm talking about, Mr. Boyle," Even though he was using a formal fashion of address, the tone was condescending, "I doubt that the military would have put up with such insolence. Or your father. There has to be a chain of command in any army."
"Since when is the Legacy an army?" The ex-SEAL crossed his arms across his chest and shot the Legacy head a defiant glare.
Sloan rose from his seat and circled the young man in front of him. "Don't delude yourself, Mr. Boyle. The Legacy is waging a war. A war against evil." He stopped directly behind Nick and leaned up to whisper in his ear. "And every army has to have discipline." William finished his circle and resituated himself in his chair. "Every successful army, that is. Do you want the Legacy to be successful?"
"Of course I do--"
"Then why do you constantly undermine it!?!"
"But I don't!"
Sloan raised his glass for another sip. "You don't? You insult me in front of the enemy, you question my judgement," The older man paused for another sip. "And, no doubt, ridicule me behind my back."
Since the ex-SEAL had, in fact, made some jokes at Sloan's expense, there was nothing he could say to that. But how in the hell had Sloan known that, especially since the older man was stationed in London?
"Tell me, Mr. Boyle, what am I supposed to do with you?"
"Do with me?"
"Yes, Mr. Boyle. What am I to do with you? Insubordination leads to lack of respect. Worse yet, it's contagious. Your colleagues see you belittle your superiors with no consequences, so they start to do the same. Soon, authority is undermined. It's a short step from there for the chain of command to be compromised." Sloan put his wine glass down and steepled his fingers as if in contemplation. "So, the question remains--what do I do about you?"
The boy looked too rattled to answer. Good. No doubt, normally Nick wouldn't have been unnerved so quickly, but the Rose County situation had shaken him and long hours at the hospital had further worn down his resistance. Any other day and Boyle would have been just as likely to hand him his head on a platter as be intimidated. Timing, Sloan reflected, was everything.
"Doing nothing gives your peers the impression that your behavior is acceptable. It is not."
"Derek doesn't seem to mind--"
Sloan silenced the young man with a tilt of his head. *Very* good. If that feeble protest was the best the ex-SEAL could muster, this encounter was proceeding very nicely indeed.
"*Derek* is not the whole Legacy, Mr. Boyle. In the long run, whether or not Derek Rayne is willing to tolerate your habitual insubordination is inconsequential. It's not his choice. It's mine."
Sloan noticed the former SEAL's eyes widen as that last proclamation sank in.
"Are you threatening me, Mr. Sloan?"
Ah. *Mr.* Sloan--and said without a hint of sarcasm either. Now they were making progress!
"Why would I need to do that, Nick? After all, you're in the Legacy of your own volition." William settled back more comfortably in his chair. "You're a highly trained individual. Finding alternative employment wouldn't be too taxing." True, but they both knew that most of the young man's skills weren't the type you'd put down on any traditional resume'.
"You have a lot of friends and contacts outside the Legacy, I'm sure." This was an outright lie and William knew it. Nick Boyle had lost touch with his high school friends when he joined the navy and his military comrades had shunned him due to the circumstances around his departure from the SEALS. With only his mother surviving in his blood family, Nick had created his own chosen family amongst his Legacy colleagues.
No, William knew that Nick Boyle would never leave the Legacy willingly. Now all that was left to do was to determine just what the young man was willing to do to stay in it.
From the look in the boy's eyes, it was evident that Nick had come to the same conclusion. "What do you want, Mr. Sloan?"
"What I want, Nick, is an obedient Legacy member. Someone I can count on to obey my orders without question.
"But I can do that!"
Both men were aware that, unlike a precept, a regular Legacy member could be dismissed at the discretion of the head of the organization. The phrase, "My way or the highway" was just not a trite idiom with this group. It was the absolute truth.
"You can follow orders without question, or even sarcasm? Prove it."
"How?" William was pleased to hear a hint of desperation in the young man's voice.
William once again picked up his glass and sipped. "You can begin by taking your shirt off." When it seemed as if the young man would protest, Sloan held up his glass as if to ward off the ex-SEAL's words. "Ah, ah, ah," the older man admonished, "I believe this is an exercise in obedience. Unquestioning obedience..."
Nick stopped a moment, seeming to consider his choices. William could almost hear the young man's thoughts. Was he willing to walk away from the only real family he had? Apparently not, because the former SEAL's hands came up to slowly work at the buttons of his shirt. Slowly, reluctantly, but still they obeyed William's order. The younger man's eyes remained fixed steadfastly in front of him, focusing in on some point beyond Sloan. That was acceptable for the moment. He'd have the boy's undivided attention soon enough. Half-way through with the buttons, Nick paused to rip the shirt out of his pants.
"Slowly, " his audience member directed. Some experiences just had to be savored.
Nick glanced quickly at Sloan, but he couldn't maintain the eye contact. Still, he slowed down his movements as instructed. When the shirt was out and the buttons unfastened, the ex-SEAL let the garment slide off his shoulders onto the floor. Obediently, the young man waited for further directions.
"Now, the t-shirt." Sloan was swirling the wine in his glass so hard that it sloshed onto his hand. As the London precept watched the young man in front of him slowly pull the knit shirt over his head, he gulped the last of the wine in his glass. Without taking his eyes off the spectacle in front of him, William blindly reached for the merlot bottle and shakily poured more in his glass. It too disappeared in one swallow.
Damn! Sloan wished he'd though of getting a Cuban cigar to enjoy along with the show.
William gloried in the bare-chested vision in front of him. Had he been denied a heaving chest earlier? *Now* the ex-SEAL was panting nicely. Sloan remained focused on Nick's chest for a moment, enjoying watching the way his nipples rose and fell with each hard breath. Soon, his gaze was drawn up to the young man's face--he just had to see the expression there. Was that a *blush* painting the boy's cheeks? How utterly charming.
"Now, let's start with your belt."
What the hell was going on here?
One minute, he was marching up the stairs ready to rip Sloan's head off for treating him like a mindless drone...and the next minute, he was on his stomach--in Sloan's bed!--waiting for his ass to be stuffed with the man's cock.
Hell, he didn't even *like* William Sloan.
At first...at first, it had been humiliating, standing there in the dim firelight, striping per the orders spoken in Sloan's dispassionate voice. In his childhood, Nick had followed his father's instructions. Later, in the navy, his commanding officers had done his thinking for him. When he'd left the SEALs and joined the Legacy, the young man vowed never to be mindlessly herded like a sheep ever again. In that determination, Nick could admit to himself, he'd gone a little overboard. But finally holding his destiny in his own hands had been a definite head rush.
Nick had forgotten how good it could feel for someone else to be in control.
Like Sloan was now.
The young man had struggled for months with an attraction to his mentor, Derek Rayne. But the values beaten into him as a child didn't allow him to admit sexual desire for another man.
But tonight, Sloan had taken away all of his choices. In doing so, the London precept had unwittingly freed Nick to pursue a secret--and up 'til now, forbidden--desire.
Of course, *Sloan* wasn't exactly the partner Nick truly desired, but it was a start.
Nick moaned as Sloan's weight settled on top of him, the older man's knees coming down to spread the younger's legs wide in preparation for penetration. The ex-SEAL's last coherent thought for the evening was to imagine "daddy" spinning in his grave as one of his best friends fucked his little boy.
There were worse reasons for having sex with someone.
With all of Nick's experiences in organized sports and the military, Sloan never would have anticipated that the young Boyle had been untouched by another man. Oh, the London precept knew that boys in locker rooms and soldiers in barracks didn't spend all of their time boffing like bunnies, but he'd imagined that at least a *little* groping went on in those all-male, testosterone- filled settings.
In fact, it was a favorite fantasy of his.
Still, as reluctant as the boy had been at first, under William's expert guidance, it hadn't taken long for him to kindle to desire. Sloan turned over so that he was on his side, with his head propped up on one hand. Caressing Nick with his eyes, William enjoyed the view.
Gazing on the ex-SEAL's athletic form, William remembered the supple feel of Nick's muscular body writhing underneath him mere hours before. Suddenly, the precept's hands felt hungry to caress the skin of his bedmate. Their encounter had been about control--Sloan taking it and Nick submitting it. While Sloan had instructed the young man to first undress and then touch himself, the precept had refrained from skin-on-skin contact with the boy until right before actual penetration. William had been afraid that once he started touching the younger man, he wouldn't be able to stop. That wouldn't have been acceptable. The exercise, after all, had been about asserting control, not losing it.
Now that the pecking order had been established, so to speak, William could indulge himself. Eagerly, the older man reached out and ran his hands over the former SEAL's chest and down his side to his hips. The combination of silky smooth skin covering rock-hard muscles was every bit as appealing as he'd imagined.
Sloan continued to pet the younger man and wasn't surprised to soon see the hazel-green eyes open. Good. Maybe they could go on to Lesson Two. From the stirring in William's groin, it was none too soon either.
"You surprised me, Mr. Boyle," William started, rolling over to pin the younger man beneath him. Sloan didn't give Nick a chance to answer. Rather, he drove his mouth down on his Legacy colleague's to take his first kiss.
"Oh, yeah?" Nick answered, when he regained enough breath to speak. "In what way?"
Was that defiance in the boy's voice? It seemed that Boyle was proof that the young recovered quickly and that just wouldn't do--the primary purpose of these exercises was to teach the ex- SEAL his place.
Sloan's cock twitched, reminding the older man that he could rationalize his behavior all he wanted, but his *body* knew the true motivations here.
Sloan nibbled on Nick's lower lip as he contemplated the best tactic to now take. He'd spent considerable energy gaining control of the young man and wasn't about to lose it in a flurry of desire. It was only a matter of finding the right string to pull in order to make Nick his obedient puppet.
Sloan chuckled deep in his chest as he realized the perfect button to push. He'd soon have this infant's psyche so tangled up that the boy would be begging for another lesson.....
William leaned back so that he was basically squatting over Nick's prone form, his hands on the ex-SEAL's shoulders, pinning him to the bed. As if in contemplation, the London precept raked his eyes up and down Boyle's body.
"I'm surprised that you took to the role of the submissive so easily. It's not what I would have expected from someone with your background." Good, the boy was looking at him with a blank stare. Now to go for the juggler.
"Your father--now there was a man's man! There's no way that *he* would have had his ass up in the air so quickly! Robert Boyle's balls were too big for him to become *anyone's* bitch--"
William Sloan's voice abruptly cut off as the body beneath him exploded. The last coherent thought the older man had for several hours was that maybe, just maybe, he'd picked the wrong button to push.
Even with his eyes closed, Nick could literally *feel* the older man's gaze on him. Having Sloan sitting there, not only watching him strip, but telling him how to do it had been the single most erotic experience of his life. By the time they got down to his underwear, Nick had been so hard that it hurt. And when Sloan gave him permission to touch himself, well, it hadn't been long before he'd made a royal mess on himself. And on the floor. And on the chair. And in Sloan's wine glass, for Christ's sake!
Of course, it didn't hurt that, in the dim light, he couldn't see his "instructor" very well. It had been easy for Nick to imagine a more elegant voice giving him the directions--a voice that just happened to have a certain European accent. The game of pretend had been harder to maintain during the actual intercourse--it was hard to imagine away a man sliding in and out of your ass.
Still, it hadn't been too bad. He'd probably should be mad--hell, he'd probably be furious tomorrow-- but right now all he felt towards William Sloan was gratitude. The man was a control freak and, now that Nick had a moment to think, his little game of manipulation was pathetically obvious, but.....
But in taking away Nick's choices, Sloan had finally broken the one barrier that Nick himself had been trying to bring down for a long time. In truth, in seeking to control him, Sloan had actually liberated Nick. Liberated him to feel desire for another male.
When his ass stopped hurting, maybe he'd even work up the nerve to do something about it--with the right partner this time.
At this point in Nick's contemplation, Sloan had moved from stroking Nick with his eyes to roaming over Nick's body with his hands. Jeez, weren't old guys supposed to take longer to get it up a second time? Oh well, he did owe Sloan a little bit of gratitude. In appreciation, the former SEAL let Sloan climb on top of him. If nothing else, he could use the opportunity to learn as much about this method of sex as possible. Wouldn't do for him to be ignorant if he ever had a chance to be intimate with Derek.
But then the London precept had to open his mouth and utter the "RB" words. "R" as in "Robert" and "B" as in Boyle.
Son of a bitch.
At first, Nick had been shocked. How could anyone compare him to his *father?* In *bed,* for God's sake! And, on top of that sin, to imply that he didn't measure up to Major Boyle. Nick had spent enough years in the military that he'd picked up a lot of "colorful" language. In fact, the young man could swear most imaginatively for over an hour and never repeat himself. At the moment, though, he was too mad to articulate anything more profound than a growl.
So, as he'd done many times before, the ex-SEAL let his body do the talking for him.
William Sloan was about to learn a whole new lesson on being submissive.
Three days and he *still* had to sit rather gingerly. Henri, the pilot of the private Legacy jet, smiled knowingly at William Sloan and offered to get the precept another pillow. William waved the "helpful" man off with one hand. The fool man should get to the cockpit and leave the smirking to those who were good at it. In short order, William was alone in the cabin with his grumpy mood.
Try as he might, he couldn't escape the fact that he'd underestimated Nick Boyle badly and was lucky to get off with a sort bottom.
Somehow, William knew that he was unlikely to get another chance at "educating" the ex-SEAL. Nick had finally consented to untie the London precept *hours* after their encounter. *After* he'd pounded into the older man so hard that it took William three tries to remember his own name. That boy was a quick learner!
Actually, William finally admitted to himself that the second part of their lesson was just as satisfying as the first. It had been a long time since anyone had surprised him that way.
In fact, now that he thought of it, Robert Boyle was the last partner to turn the tables on him so thoroughly.
William dug the coveted video out of his satchel, kissing the tape before popping it into the on- board VCR. This little baby was worth all of the anxiety he'd gone through while trussed up. The London precept had been truly afraid of what would happen if Nick Boyle had discovered the camera hidden in the bedroom.
As the tape began to play the events from that eventful night, William resigned himself to having to watch from the sidelines as his latest star pupil made his moves on Derek Rayne. The signs of the attraction were there for anyone with eyes to see, even if Alex Moreau were turning a blind eye. It would be interesting to see their relationship progress.
But even if Derek and Nick's relationship ultimately became physical, nothing could change the fact that Nick was no longer a virgin. William Sloan had been there first and, in some ways, his mark was sure to stay on the young man.
And Sloan had the tape to prove it.
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