Danny Morrison felt a flutter of nerves in his stomach as he passed through the doors of a high-rise office building he’d never been in before. He’d been modeling a few months now, and most of his photoshoots so far had been for pretty low-rent brands—pocket tee shirts for a bargain-price big box superstore chain, a set of cheap leather bomber jackets for an outlet store, even frumpy “dad” sweaters for a stolid old mall-anchor brand that Danny was surprised was still even around.
Everyone had been very nice—his agents, the photographers, the designers, the branding people, the countless assistants ferrying piles of merchandise all over the place, all of them had been kind and politely encouraging. They were always assuring him that he was destined for big things, even if his sweetly beautiful face wasn’t backed up by anything more than a physique that was mundanely ordinary, if very tight and trim, instead of the gym-grown cut abs and thick pecs and bulging shoulders that were so universal in the industry these days. Fucking genetics! The amount of time he spent in the gym, desperately pushing himself, and all he could get was definition—he hadn’t even put on a pound of muscle in the six months he’d been killing himself at Blink trying to bulk up even a little.
He was making rent, just, but he looked himself in the mirror every morning, letting his blue eyes fall to where his long, lush raven-black hair was falling on shoulders that looked almost flat compared to every single model he’d ever met, and found himself wondering over and over exactly how his former personal trainer and long-gone ex-boyfriend Kendall had ever convinced him to get into this racket in the first place. Kendall, after all, had been the one who’d professed his love for Danny only to ultimately give up on him professionally and, just to compound the burn, had drifted away in search of humpier pastures among his clientele to boot; but here Danny was, stuck where Kendall had put him back when he’d believed in Danny’s potential in more ways than one.
So when his agency had called suddenly the night before and ordered him to turn up bright and early at Ironstone Custom Menswear Designs in the Stiller Building on Fifth Avenue, he’d been both stunned and excited. The contract he’d scrolled rapidly through and digitally signed and sent back had been for a shitload of money, too, enough for ten camping gear shoots for F. W. Wolfbaum’s—enough to make him wonder if they had the wrong Danny Morrison. He’d barely managed to drift to sleep, wondering why they wanted him when, as one of the most prestigious apparel firms in the city, they could pretty well have their pick of gorgeous models with sculpted, exquisitely muscled, dime-a-dozen bodies so perfect they might as well have been grown in a vat.
The frigid air inside the building hit him as he passed out of the revolving door, a shock after the sultry late-summer air outside, and Danny felt his sensitive and responsive nipples harden up quickly under his loose, short-sleeved solid-blue button-down. He hoped they weren’t too obvious as he made his way to the security counter, but if the cute, ginger-haired guard noticed, he pretended not to. Instead the guard just smiled warmly at Danny and passed him a visitor’s badge for the 23rd floor.
It turned out, somewhat to his surprise, that the 23rd floor didn’t house the Ironstone main offices—which, he found out later, were all the way up on 34. He stepped out of the elevator expecting a bustling floor populated with busy, high-powered sales people and brisk, efficient assistants, or maybe open design spaces full of harried designers sketching new concepts or carving up fabric or throwing up new designs on broad-shouldered, molded male dress-forms. Those was the kind of things he usually saw when he turned up at fashion design firms, but not here. Instead, there was a short corridor with a rich charcoal carpet and simple, hunter-green walls stretching a short distance left and right. At eye level in front of him on the opposite wall there was, amazingly, a piece of stark white printer paper literally tacked up on the wall with a pushpin. On it was printed in simple Arial lettering the words “Ironstone Experimental Designs”, with a heavy, black arrow pointing to Danny’s right. Sure enough, there was a frosted glass door at the blunt end of the corridor maybe ten yards from where he stood. Affixed to the milk-white glass with a piece of clear adhesive tape was another piece of ordinary white letter-sized paper, this one emblazoned with a printout of the Ironstone logo—a Greek column that appeared to be fashioned from the immutable, cold iron of its name.
Out of curiosity he looked to the left, but the door at that end of the corridor, opposite the Ironstone office, had no sign or lettering whatsoever. Unlike the Ironstone door, which seemed lit with diffused luminance from whatever offices or studios lay beyond, the opaque white glass at this end seemed darker, as if that space were utterly vacant. Danny felt vaguely surprised at this. He followed business news almost automatically thanks to his upbringing: the Morrisons expected their scions to be well versed in commerce and industry, especially real estate, and Danny had been a good boy until he’d been kicked out and cut off. Somewhat to his own chagrin, he was still a good boy, even now that no one cared. The Stiller Building, he knew, was a top-drawer, high-prestige address with a sterling reputation for tenant support services; even if the rents here were ruinous, the corporate economy was expanding rapidly at the moment, and it was hard to imagine any of these valuable spaces being left unoccupied.
He tapped his lips thoughtfully with an index finger, considering. Maybe this floor had just recently been cleared and completely renovated to the studs for new tenants? That would at least explain the ad hoc signage.
Uhuhuhuhuhuh, his inner Butthead said, you said “studs”. Danny sighed. He needed to find a man.
Danny shrugged the vacancy question away and turned toward the Ironstone offices. As he did so, the elevator doors finally closed behind him, as if they’d been waiting for him to make his move. He turned his head to glance at them, and noticed for the first time that there was only one set of elevator doors, even though he’d gotten into the middle car of a bank of five in the lobby. He’d done so after entering his desired floor in the keypad that was positioned where the up and down arrow buttons would normally have been in a more old-fashioned office building, so at least it wasn’t a mystery that he’d been given the one car that opened onto 23: obviously the elevators were programmed to give him only that car if he coded in that 23 was the floor he needed. But it still seemed weird to Danny that this full-sized floor in a major bustling, high-profile office tower was only served by a single elevator car.
He frowned and proceeded toward the office with the Ironstone sign, enjoying the way his shoes—he was wearing favorite soft-leather ankle boots, which he pretended he didn’t think of as his good-luck shoes—sank into the dark, luxurious carpet.
At the door he was confronted with a new dilemma: knock, or barge right in? He decided there would have to be a foyer and a receptionist on the other side of the door, so he grabbed the brass handle and, pushing the heavy door open, he strode into the space beyond.
It wasn’t a foyer, and there wasn’t a receptionist.
What lay beyond was a vast blackness. It wasn’t merely that it was unlit. Even if an entire floor of office building were shuttered from all light sources, with blackout curtains dousing all the windows and every crack and crevice sealed, some ambient light would still be leaking in. But this was like stepping out into a rich, black void of uncertain extent—mere feet and infinite distance were the same here. He wasn’t even sure what he was standing on.
Danny’s mind struggled to make sense of the blackness. It occurred to him that surely there must be light coming from the bright corridor outside through the translucent white glass of the door he’d just come through. But when he turned quickly to look behind him, the door was gone.
But there was some light, he realized. Somehow, he himself was lit, as brightly as if he were standing in a spotlight. He felt it, beating on him as if the photons were palpable against the skin of his cheeks and forearms. He found it strangely warm and comforting. It should have been shining right in his eyes, dazzling him into blindness, but there was no source. It came from nowhere; it just was. He was illuminated, as if such a circumstance were a fact of the universe. On a sudden impulse he craned his neck enough to look over his shoulder at his back. It was lit too, as if there were two spotlights…or as if the light was gathering onto him in massive quantities from all sides. He stared for a second at his own butt in his snug chinos, ruminating over how the warm light felt like a caress across his round, tight ass.
“Mr. Morrison!” called a friendly voice, and Danny started, having thought he was alone in this strange space. Heart pounding, he jerked his head around sharply in the other direction where the voice seemed to be, and saw for the first time that there was more than just him and the blackness. There was a brown leather office couch—more of a chaise longue, he corrected himself—some twenty feet away. Perched on one end of it was a good-looking, boyish young man maybe a couple years older than himself, dressed in a black tee shirt and dark jeans. He had a lean build and dark chestnut brown, curly hair that was cropped fairly short, Danny saw—and just then he realized he could notice all this because the other man was spotlit from nowhere like himself, his bright illumination spilling a little onto the unlit chaise around him. His skin was a golden caramel that looked amazing bathed in the warm, white light—he looked almost as if he were lit from within. The man had a tablet in his hands, and he was looking up from it over black-rimmed glasses right at Danny, his eyes seeming to glint with great interest even over the distance between them.
“Don’t be alarmed,” the man said, offering him a broad and, Danny thought, rather mischievous smile. Danny had thought he’d heard a hint of an accent before, and now it was confirmed: the other man spoke in a buttery British cadence that Danny, a lifelong Anglophole, found both conforting and not a little sexy. “It’s all just a lot of technology geared toward sensory focus and things like that,” the man added casually.
Now that Danny had someone to relate to, he felt himself calming. Other people grounded him—even, he thought wryly, if there wasn’t any actual ground. He knew from experience that he was an almost uncanny judge of character, and he felt an automatic bond with this man he hadn’t even met yet. “Who’s alarmed?” Danny said, determined to come across as nonchalantly as possible. “I’m cool. I’m so cool, the cucumbers are green with envy.”
The other man grinned toothily at him. “But cucumbers are always green,” he said playfully.
Danny nodded. “Because I’m always cool,” he returned, as if this confirmed an unassailable truth. Inwardly he was wincing a little at the corniness of his banter. But it was true that low-key joking around had defused a lot of tense shoots for him. And the other man seemed genuinely amused by Danny’s lighthearted facade. More than that: he could already tell the stranger felt the same immediate bond toward Danny that Danny felt toward him.
The other man regarded him intently, still smiling. “My name is McKinley,” he told Danny before returning his attention to his tablet.
Danny decided to put off wondering whether that was a first or last name until later. He kept his full attention on the other man. What he needed right now was to offer some verbal bait that would draw this McKinley dude into explaining what the fuck was going on. In the silence as he gathered his wits and considered what to say, he noticed for the first time that while there was nothing to see other than him, the other man, and the couch, three discrete subjects in a unguessable void, there was sound to be heard: very faintly, he could hear what sounded like an old-fashioned live jazz trio, like there was a club called something like the Blue Note in the next unguessable void over. The indistinct, gentle music seemed to collect as his feet, like wisps of soft mist on a cold, frost-bitten moor. And there was smell, too: toast, for some reason. And more, something that was a smell but also a taste, which Danny couldn’t identify other than as the palpable allure of the other man, McKinley. He had to find out more not just about what he was doing here, but about that man, too. Everything about that man. But that could come later, he admitted. The here and now, that was the imperative.
Danny cleared his throat slightly. “I’ve never seen a photo studio quite like this,” he ventured.
“It’s not a photo studio,” McKinley answered distractedly, not looking up as he fingered things on his tablet screen.
“Ah.” Danny bit his lip, drawing in a deep breath. The air in this place was warm, too, but also pleasant and comforting, like the illumination. For all the strangeness of it Danny was grateful: hot lights beating on him to the point of nausea were what he liked least about modeling. “So—?” he tried again.
McKinley’s smile returned as he glanced up briefly at Danny. “The photo shoot is tomorrow,” he said, then returned to whatever he was doing. “What we’re doing now,” he went on slowly, fingering his tablet screen with the air of someone sparing the minimal amount of attention to a conversation, “is custom tailoring.”
“Oh, okay,” Danny said. That made sense. When the other man didn’t respond he added, “So, do you want to take measurements, or…?” He trailed off.
McKinley looked up and winked at him. He patted the side of his tablet affectionately. “Got all that right here,” he said, and tossed him a wink. “They’re pretty nice,” the man added, his smile turning a little crooked.
Danny felt his cheeks warm a little. He was prone to blushing, and the fair skin that made his blue eyes and jet black hair stand out so nicely—not to mention the bit of black stubble on his chin some shooters asked for, though today he was clean-shaven—also made his embarrassment obvious to the most casual of observers. McKinley obviously noticed, and prudently lowered his gaze, though his lips remained curved in amusement.
Danny shuffled his feet a moment more on the smooth, invisible surface under his feet. McKinley pressed one more button on his tablet and then spoke, a little more businesslike this time. “Right,” he said. “Let’s have you in the basic white and black to start with.”
Danny reached up to start to unbutton the dark blue short-sleeve dress shirt he was wearing, then gasped as the button he had in his fingers vanished into nonexistence. His fingers scrabbled against his bare chest for a second, brushing the smudge of black hair between his very well defined but otherwise unimpressive pecs. His eyes refocused on McKinley just as the other man pushed a finger across his tablet and looked up. In the space between one heartbeat and the next Danny was clothed again, before he could even fully appreciate he had been, for one second, completely and utterly naked, and now was no longer.
McKinley was eyeing him appraisingly as Danny stared back at him. He started nodding. “Right,” the other man said judiciously, his gaze still measuring him head to toe and back. “That’s a very workable baseline,” he mused, as if speaking mostly to himself.
“What—?!” Danny started to exclaim, but McKinley cut him off—not by speaking, but by using his tablet to activate a massive screen off to one side, about fifty feet from them both to the right of where Danny stood facing McKinley. Danny’s eyes shot up to it and his mouth fell open. There, as big as a movie screen, was a full-length live feed of himself.
Danny gaped up at the screen, taking himself in. The image showed him dressed in a crisp white tailored shirt, open at the collar with no tie, tight black linen trousers, and low-heeled black dress boots. Automatically he glanced down to confirm that that was what he was indeed wearing, but he didn’t really have to. The clothes were comfortable as fuck—especially the trousers, which gripped his ass deliciously like a second skin. Without even thinking about it, he twisted a little so that the version of him on the big screen was turned enough to show off the ass.
He heard McKinley chuckle. He glanced over to see him tap the tablet, then looked back up to see the screen image split, showing Danny from both the front and the back. He relaxed his stance, looking himself over critically on the screen. The more hectic part of his brain wanted to remind him something crazy was going on, but Danny knew that voice. That was the part that had fretted endlessly for a year about coming out to his parents, only to have them discover him making out in the dorm hallway with his roommate when the ‘rents had arrived too early to pick him up for Thanksgiving, prompting them to turn right on their heels and vanish from his life. One transfer to a state school he could afford (if he took two jobs to pay for it) later, he had vowed not to waste time listening to that bothersome voice again.
Yeah, this was all very, very weird and unexplained. He could either freak out, which would accomplish exactly nothing, or he could go with it, trying to make the explanations happen when the opportunities arose. And he’d already decided to go with it, without even realizing he’d done so.
He fell into a loose-limbed, casual stance that was practically his modelling trademark, one hand hanging, the other just dipping into a front trouser pocket. He aimed his most brilliant smile at McKinley. “So,” he teased, “I’m … ‘workable’, you say?”
McKinley was looking at him a little more intently now, his grin almost feral. Though neither of them had moved, the space between them seemed a little less. “Workable,” McKinley taunted back, “and playable too, I’ll bet.”
Then the other man shook his head. “This,” he said more seriously, “is definitely the look that the account execs want for this shoot.”
Abruptly the other man stood up, tablet in one hand, and strode briskly over to Danny, causing the brown leather chaise to recede and then vanish into the blackness. McKinley didn’t stop at the normal boundaries of interaction between strangers, but walked right into Danny’s personal space. He was exactly Danny’s height, and, now that Danny was this close to him, eye to eye, he realized he was finding McKinley to be very attractive. Almost literally, his hands twitched, wanting to wrap around McKinley’s narrow hips. His mouth called to Danny, making his own lips feel almost as if they were being pulled toward the other man’s mouth and tongue.
He kept himself very still as McKinley shamelessly ran his free hand slowly along Danny’s square shoulder, before sliding the backs of his finger down Danny’s clean white shirt front, brushing those sensitive nipples without stopping. When his hand got to Danny’s waist it opened again and slid around to Danny’s firm ass. Danny let him do all these things, hardly breathing, waiting, focusing almost all his attention on desperately willing his chubbing cock not to harden—especially as he was suddenly acutely aware that he was no longer wearing any form of underwear. McKinley’s hand remained where it was, resting on his ass as he consulted his tablet again, and that was not helping at all with his problem.
Danny was reduced to his favorite, never-fail, go-to boner-killer: replaying in his HD head-cinema the Lily Tomlin/Steve Martin sex scene from All of Me.
Mindful of movies, his eyes strayed back up to the big screen, and something peculiar caught his attention, distracting him along a different axis. Despite the fact that both he and McKinley were lit by the same kind of sourceless illumination, the screen only showed him, one image from the front and one from the back—with one exception: McKinley’s hand, and only his hand, showed up on the image of him from the back. It was like a disembodied hand was caressing his butt. Danny stared at the strange imagery, fascinated. “Wow,” he breathed. “That’s … that’s so fetch,” he said lamely, falling back on a running gag he’d had with his friends at his last school. He honestly couldn’t put useful words to what he was feeling or experiencing.
He looked back at McKinley, meeting his gaze, and to his delight McKinley pursed his lips and, dark eyes glittering, said in a withering voice, “Gretchen, stop trying to make ‘fetch’ happen.” Then in unison they finished, “It’s not going to happen!”
They beamed inanely at each other for a second, and Danny’s heart seemed to shift in his chest as he took in the man’s easy smile and comforting good looks. Then they turned together to look up at the screen. They both seemed to be tracking McKinley’s hand on the projected image as it made small, slow, lazy circles around Danny’s left butt cheek. “So I think we can agree that this part—” He gave Danny’s butt-cheek a not-so-gentle slap, which for some reason instantly heated Danny’s cheeks again, though fortunately McKinley’s eyes were still on the screen. “—this part is definitely more than … ‘workable’,” he concluded. Before Danny could offer a comeback to that, McKinley stepped back away from Danny. It was only a couple steps, enough to have a full-length view of Danny himself, and Danny was very pleased to realize that McKinley seemed not to want to get any further away from Danny than that, and hoped to be closer again soon, once their business was completed—once they could transition from “workable” to “playable”, he thought with a quirk of his lips.
McKinley glanced at him over his glasses, furtively, as if he were stealing a look at something beautiful, and that seemed to confirm the sixth-sense feeling he was getting from the man. Danny’s own instant attraction to the handsome and very intriguingly mysterious and disarming stranger was building by the second, so he was more than in accord with such a sentiment. In truth he was a kind of touched by McKinley’s interest. Here was a man whose business exposed him to the best looking, hunkiest men in the fashion industry, men whose job literally was to look good and turn people on. But McKinley was sending him tentative signals that told him he thought Danny was something special.
McKinley seemed to grow self-conscious and looked down again, as if he were a little uneasy about what he had to say next. “The thing is,” McKinley said now, eyes on his tablet, then stopped.
“What is ‘the thing’?” Danny prompted him.
“The thing is,” McKinley repeated, rolling his eyes without looking up, “a lot of studies and experience have told us than men—even straight men—” Here he glanced up to meet Danny’s gaze with a crooked smile, before looking back down again and noodling something on the tablet screen. “Men,” he carried on, “respond as much to what’s in the shirt as the shirt itself.” He looked up again and told Danny candidly, as if as an aside, “I had this boyfriend once who kept telling guys that he liked their shirts. And every time,” he went on, “it was because the guy was obviously ripped as fuck and the shirt was hanging off him like decorations for his muscles. The shirt itself,” he said, one eyebrow arched, “was the last bloody thing on his mind.”
Danny smiled. He could relate. He tried not to think about how this, sadly, would not be the kind of attention to which he himself would ever be subjected. If someone complimented Danny’s shirt, it would be because they liked the shirt. His smile turned sour, and to distract himself he glanced over at his dual images on the big screen.
His looking away seemed to make it easier for McKinley to broach whatever it was he was nervous about saying. “So what I want to do,” he heard McKinley say, “is provide the execs with some options in that direction, and see if we can, you know, fill the shirt in a few different ways. Just as a set of options,” he repeated quickly, as Danny turned his head back to stare at him. “What do you think?” he asked, sounding almost anxious.
Danny’s stomach sank. “You want to try different models,” he said, keeping his voice flat and even.
McKinley’s gaze bore into his. “No,” the other man said firmly.
Danny felt his brows draw together. “McKinley,” he said, using the man’s name for the first time, “I’m not built like—like the way you mean.” He kept his gaze fixed on the other man’s warm brown eyes, if only to keep from looking down at himself. “I don’t fill out shirts the way you’re talking about,” he said.
McKinley drew in a breath. “Let’s see, shall we?” he said brightly. He glanced down at his tablet and slid a finger purposefully on something, and to his surprise Danny felt a strange prickle in the air. His frown deepened a little as he stared at McKinley.
McKinley, however, was looking at Danny’s shoulders, which to Danny were so square it seemed when he looked in the mirror to be making right angles with both his neck and his arms. McKinley was actually licking his lips. “Can I—touch? I really want to feel it,” he pressed.
It felt like they were beyond permission now. McKinley had moved into his space and caressed and stroked him without leave or consequence, and it had been a very potent moment for both of them. If anything Danny was missing the feel of McKinley’s warm, strong hands on him. It was part of what they did. But McKinley was waiting, eyes fixed on him. Danny nodded mutely, and watched McKinley’s free hand as it wrapped around Danny’s left shoulder.
Danny shuddered. Already, McKinley’s touch was important to him, sending frissons of pleasure radiating through him from the contact of his warm palm and strong fingers. But something else was happening, too. As McKinley’s hand moved, along the shoulder, around the deltoid muscle and, gently and slowly, down his arm, fingers stroking his triceps through the thick but silky white shirt while his thumb skated over Danny’s biceps—something happened.
Danny felt the muscles of his upper body throb. The good muscles, the muscles that catch the eye and draw the touch of fingers and lips and tongues, all of them were hot and aching and—pulsing. His heartbeat pounded through his shoulders, his chest, his stomach, his back. Traps, delts, lats, pecs. Biceps, triceps. Abs, intercostals, everything. His muscles pulsed as if his heart was pounding strength and power into them. As McKinley’s hand moved across his shoulders, he felt his traps and delts strengthen and swell. As the other man’s wonderful caress moved slowly down, wrapped around his upper arm, he felt his biceps and triceps throb and grow, gently opening McKinley’s grasp as his sleeve filled a little more.
A million lightning bolts of pleasure seemed to race through him, not just once but over and over again. Danny gave himself over to the thrilling sensations—not just his muscles clenching with each thunderous heartbeat and then relaxing just that little bit larger than before, but the accompanying pleasure of the soft fabric of the shirt shifting across his tingling skin with each new movement, with each minute expansion, as if the shirt itself were embracing him, immersing in the pleasure of surrounding him, touching him, moving against his skin—and eagerly anticipating holding him closer, its embrace even more snug and cozy because… because …
He was growing.
He couldn’t just enjoy the wild, gut-wrenching sensations and turn his brain off, because it was too stimulating an idea to ignore. The thought itself was as beautiful a sensation as his muscles throbbing and growing against the fabric of his tightening shirt. He was growing.
At first he thought it was McKinley’s hand that was doing it, and that the muscles of his body were responding to an imperative straight from the other man’s long, stroking caresses as his hand moved steadily, unhurriedly, from neck to shoulder to arm and down. But Danny’s torso was growing all over. His other shoulder and arm were swelling in parallel to the ones being touched. His pecs brushing along the fabric of his shirt-front were providing more stimulation than anything else, and below them, far from McKinley’s hands—though he sincerely hoped not for long—he could feel his abs hardening and tightening. His cock, too, was hardening and tightening, though that at least was a natural process he was familiar with, and Danny couldn’t be embarrassed by it any more. Let any man not experience torrents of mind-blowing pleasure like this and not get hard as a fucking fire hydrantThe stimulations seemed to peak and them subsided, falling gently off, and Danny was able to focus his gaze, realizing as he did so that he was staring into McKinley’s eyes, not straight on as before but from very slightly above. The difference was small, maybe an inch at most. And yet—to have McKinley looking up at him, even if just by a very little bit, sent a new thrill up Danny’s spine. But far beyond that was the way McKinley was looking at him. It was the same way he was touching him, stroking still up and down his left arm with his opened-up hand: awestruck and aroused. His lips were parted, and his eyes were dark with lust and want.
“McKinley,” Danny breathed. He heard a tremor in his voice and swallowed. He said the man’s name again. “McKinley.”
“Look at yourself,” the other man said, roughly, as if speaking was something he had forgotten how to do. Danny blinked at him, not comprehending, but the other man cocked his head minutely in the direction of the big screen off to their right, though without taking his gaze away from Danny’s. With some difficulty Danny wrenched his own stare away from McKinley’s chocolate brown eyes and turned his head to find the giant images of himself that seemed to be projected onto nothing.
He looked stunning. The shirt hugged his thick pecs and round, bulging shoulders and draped beautifully below them, the tailored bottom half drawing in to slide around his tight waist and into the snug black trousers. His body was perfectly sculpted—not massive like a bodybuilder, but strong and beautifully enlarged in exactly the right places, from the way his long raven hair now fell nicely across thick, protruding traps that pushed up the white shirt fabric to either side of his collar, to the way his sleeves filled muscle as he moved and bent and twisted his arms, pulling tight against muscle in a way that had always caught his breath whenever his eyes tracked muscular guys in long-sleeved shirts, to the way his lats pushed out from his torso against the taut shirt to give him a beautiful V that the happy shirt was more than made to accentuate and emphasize. It was a dream, and going with it and not questioning it made the inevitability of the dream ending and the body going away something that he didn’t have to think about.
McKinley seemed physically unable not to be touching him now, and Danny couldn’t blame him. The chief hindrance seemed to be that he had only one available hand, but he solved that problem by simply reaching up with his other hand and letting go of the tablet computer as he did so. The tablet moved a little further up out of simple momentum, and then Newton took a holiday and the tablet simply stayed there, suspended in midair, almost instantly forgotten as McKinley turned back to him and spread his freed-up hand across his newly heroic, amazing chest. They shivered almost in unison from the pleasure of McKinley’s touch on Danny’s thick, shirt-tightening pecs. Danny’s whole body responded to McKinley’s touch. He wanted to card his fingers through the man’s dark, close-cropped curls, but he held back.
“McKinley—” Danny said again, looking at him hard. The other man looked down and cut across him, speaking down, as if he were talking to the hollow of Danny’s neck.
“Your … normal body,” McKinley said, speaking quickly and still a little huskily, “what you came in with, is fixed as your baseline. It’s coded as Program 0. This,” he went on, and a little quaver crept into his voice as he let his hand move against Danny’s chest, “this is the first preprogrammed alternate warp, the Gymnast. I’ve coded it against your profile as Program 1.”
“McKinley,” Danny insisted. He raised his right hand, feeling a little thrill as the fabric bunched and tightened around his expanded upper arms, and tucked a finger under the other man’s chin, raising it gently so he could look into the man’s eyes.
He swallowed and said, “I thought you liked me the way I am.” He was surprised at the lump in his throat that tried to get in the way as he said it.
A broad grin spread across the other man’s face, and some of the cockiness that had been submerged under the man’s flood of lust and need resurfaced visibly as the grin turned wicked, his eyes glinting. “Oh, Danny,” he said, and Danny realized that McKinley was now speaking his name for the first time. He felt a warmth start deep in his guts and spread outwards, collecting especially in the back of his neck for some reason, and somewhere in the middle of his chest. “I wanted you. My hands wanted you, my mouth wanted you. My dick wanted you.” Danny burst out laughing, and McKinley bit playfully at Danny’s jawline before moving back just enough to meet his gaze. “Didn’t you feel it? The moment you came in, didn’t you feel it?”
“Your dick?” Danny teased.
“You know what I mean. Us. Passion. Connection.”
Danny didn’t have to think about it. “Fuck yeah.”
“Well, then, this,” McKinley said, patting Danny’s swollen chest, “this is the ‘workable’. It’s part of what we’re doing here together. And that—you—that’s the ‘playable’.” McKinley drew in a breath and confessed, “That body, this body, another body—you know that stuff’s beside the point. You felt it. It’s Danny that matters to me.” Danny nodded. He had felt it. And all of a sudden, Danny couldn’t wait anymore. McKinley’s beautiful, adoring face was too close. He shifted his hand to slide around McKinley’s neck and drew them together, covering the other man’s mouth with his. They kissed gently for a moment, sending sparks of wondrous pleasure through him. Then McKinley opened for him, and the kiss deepened, turning the sparks into fireworks even as a distant saxophone growled its approval.
It was several minutes before they broke the kiss, and when they did so, both of them panting, Danny realized that their arms were wrapped tightly around each other. Deciding to test his new muscled he squeezed hard, causing McKinley to gasp, his eyes widening. “Don’t do that when you’re on Program 7,” he wheezed, and Danny eased his hug without letting go, keeping his arms firmly wrapped around the other man. “I might not make it.”
Danny took in his words and then gaped at him. “Seriously?”
McKinley nodded. “You have no idea.” He was silent and still for a moment, his eyes on Danny’s. “There’s … there’s more going on here than … than I think you realize,” he said at last. “More than I can tell you about—at least,” he amended, “not right now.” He regarded Danny shrewdly as he settled into their shared embrace. “I don’t suppose you actually read that contract you signed?”
Danny made a face. “I’m a model,” he said. “You know that means I can’t read.” McKinley shook his head smiling. “Also,” Danny went on, looking around critically into the empty void, “where’s my cocaine? My rider specifically stated I was to be provided with a quart of cocaine.”
“Danny—” McKinley interjected with faux exasperation, as if he were used to putting up with the “talent” and their demands.
“Pounded into little candies,” Danny persisted, aiming a petulant glower at the other man. “Like Smarties. I specifically stipulated little sticks of cocaine Smarties.”
McKinley raised his chin at him, lips quirking. “How about I stipulate that you suck my cock?”
Danny’s own rock-hard cock surged automatically at the suggestion, and even his newly thickened, shirt-filling muscles tingled in response, as if the new growth was laced with boner flesh or something. Danny’s breath caught and he had to almost choke out his response, which was a breathy, “Can I?”
McKinley stared into his eyes, visibly caught between roaring lust and something more, something warm and protective. “I think we should—” McKinley started to say, but then he stopped. Instead he said, “Danny, I was serious before. Maybe you shouldn’t—”
“I trust you,” Danny broke in firmly. It wasn’t even a question for him. “You’ll take care of me. And,” he admitted, and still mostly serious even though his lips curved as he added, “I really, really want to see what Program 7 looks like.”
McKinley nodded, then nodded again. Danny wondered if he was lost in the idea himself. Danny shoved his dick against McKinley, nudging him with his own current priorities, and a new and very salacious grin bloomed on McKinley’s very handsome face. “I think we might need to postpone tomorrow’s shoot,” he said finally, eyes shining. “We’ve got a lot of work to do.”