Possession: 2. Counterclaim


When Mike got to Harvey’s apartment building he found there was nowhere outside to chain up his bike. He stood there, looking around, at a loss as to what to do. He didn’t think the highly fastidious Harvey would appreciate him bringing his bike into his no doubt perfectly decorated apartment, but he couldn’t just leave it out here.


He dithered for a moment, until a tall man in a uniform stepped out of Harvey’s building and approached him.


“Are you Michael Ross? I’m Jeff, the building superintendent. Mr Specter has left instructions for me to take care of your bike,” he said smoothly.


“Uh…yeah, I’m Mike Ross…uh…you wear a uniform?”


“I do.” Jeff smiled and took the bike out of Mike’s hands. “Mr Specter specifically said your bicycle was to be given its own parking space. I’ll show you where.”


“It’s own…? Uh…okay…” Mike followed the super into the building, then into an elevator and down into the parking garage.


“You can keep it here whenever you visit,” Jeff said, walking over to a highly polished car that Mike recognised as the one Harvey drove when he wasn’t being chauffeured around by Ray. Next to it, brand new and just as gleaming as the car, was a bicycle stand.


Mike stared at it. “That’s for my bike?”


“Yes, Mr Ross. Mr Specter’s specific instructions. Here is a card to access the garage.” He handed Mike a card, which Mike took, still trying to wrap his head around the idea that Harvey had, for some reason, bought a bicycle stand for him to keep his bike in when he visited his apartment, like it was going to be a regular thing.


He was still trying to figure it out as he rode the elevator up to the top floor and then walked along the hallway to Harvey’s penthouse apartment.


He glanced at his watch. It was eight p.m. exactly.


“As ordered, Mr Specter,” he muttered under his breath, knocking on the door.


Harvey opened it, and Mike stepped inside. “I don’t get it,” he said as he walked into the apartment, barely looking at Harvey. “Last time I came here, you wouldn’t even let me in the door, and now you’re giving me my own bike stand?”


“Last time you came here, you were drunk,” Harvey said.


“Yeah, but…” Mike turned and got a full look at Harvey…and found his mouth drying up for the second time that day.


Harvey was wearing a pair of perfectly fitted and probably very expensive dark blue jeans and a tight, tailored black shirt. He’d clearly taken a shower after work and his hair wasn’t slicked into position the way it usually was. It was natural, tousled, and Mike could see traces of lighter highlights that were usually obscured by Harvey’s zealous use of hair product. He looked stunning.


“You…” Mike felt his mouth opening and closing like a fish.


“I?” Harvey looked amused.


“Aren’t wearing a suit,” Mike finished lamely.


“I don’t tend to when I’m relaxing in my own home,” Harvey told him, rolling his eyes. “And neither are you…but I see you brought one with you.” He nodded his head at the garment bag Mike had slung over his shoulder.


“Well, you said it was going to be a long night, so I figured you’d have me working all night while you went out, and that I’d still be here at the crack of dawn and then if I didn’t get to work on time tomorrow you’d chew my ass out. So I thought I’d bring a suit to wear tomorrow to save time.”


“Interesting.” Harvey took the suit from him and went into another room. He reappeared without it.


“Wow…Harvey…this place is amazing.” Mike dumped his bag on the sofa and glanced around the living room. They were on the top corner of the building, and there were floor to ceiling windows everywhere, giving a magnificent view all over the city. “I mean, I could tell it was sweet from what I saw of it over your shoulder that time, but it’s really something!”


“Work hard, and you can have a place like this yourself one day,” Harvey told him. “Drink?”


“Yeah…beer.” Mike continued glancing around, wondering if there was even the remotest chance he’d be able to afford something like this one day, hard work or not.


“Uh-uh.” Harvey shook his head. “Soft drink.”


“Oh right…this is a work night. Forgot.” Mike pulled a face at him.


“Don’t pout, Mike. It’s not becoming in a grown man.”


Harvey handed him a bottle of Coke and then leaned back and took a swig from his own bottle. Mike watched, fascinated, as Harvey’s lips sucked down hard on the bottle, and his Adam’s apple bobbed up and down as he swallowed down the drink.


Harvey’s shirt was open at the neck, and he looked strange and un-Harvey-like somehow, as a result. Usually Harvey’s clothes were so buttoned up, to such exquisitely tailored perfection, that it was hard to get a glimpse of the flesh beneath. Now Mike could see the soft, tanned skin covering his collarbone, and he licked his lips and took a sip of his own drink, grateful for the coolness of the liquid as it hit the back of his throat.


“So, what are you going to have me working on all night?” he asked.


“Who said anything about work?” Harvey looked amused.


“You did! You said I had to work all night as a punishment for prioritising Louis’s work over yours this morning.”


“No, that’s not what I said. It’s what you assumed, Mike, and you know how I feel about you making assumptions without checking the facts first.”


“Then what am I doing here?”


Harvey shrugged. “You said you wanted my attention, Mike, so I’m giving it to you.”


Mike stared at him. “Is this some kind of joke?”


“What? No – and I’m hurt.” Harvey’s eyebrow shot a little way up his forehead. He didn’t look hurt; he looked amused.


“A trap then?” Mike asked, eyes narrowing.


Harvey laughed and shook his head benignly. “Mike, Mike, Mike…you’re so suspicious. I like it. And no, not a trap.”


“But you said there would be some kind of punishment?” Mike wasn’t sure why his voice broke a little as he said that.


Harvey gave him an amused smile. “I did, yes, and there will. But later,” he said firmly. “First…we eat.”


He reached out and put a hand on Mike’s shoulder, and Mike almost jumped through the roof at the electricity of the touch. Harvey’s fingers soothed his jitters, squeezing his shoulder gently, and Mike found himself calming down. Harvey’s hand was warm and firm as it guided Mike through the open balcony doors and out onto a deck.


“Holy shit.”


Mike stood there, the wind rifling gently through his hair, gazing over the city spread out below. He got a little insight into what it must be like to be Harvey, looking out over this city like he owned it, a king high up in his palace, looking down on all the lesser beings scurrying around on the ground below.


A sizzling sound caught his attention, and he turned to see Harvey standing beside a barbeque with little flames licking at the grill. Harvey slapped a second steak onto the grill and glanced over at him.


“How do you like your steak?” he asked. “I’d recommend rare, but it’s up to you.”


“You cook things?” Mike said stupidly. “You?”


“Yes, Mike. I cook things,” Harvey said with an impatient flick of his head. “These steaks have been soaking in a special marinade for the past few hours.”


“For me?”


“For us. You hungry? There’s salad and potatoes over there.” Harvey jerked his head in the direction of a table, laid out on the corner of the deck. Like everything in Harvey’s office and his apartment, and like all the clothes that graced Harvey’s body, it was exquisitely presented.


“I’ll leave it up to you. The steak. Just give it to me the way you eat it,” Mike said, still reeling from the strange turn the evening had taken. This was not what he had been expecting, at all.


It was a warm evening, and Mike took a seat and watched as Harvey seared the steaks expertly over the flame and then tossed them onto a plate.


“See if you like it first. I can throw one of them back on for longer if not,” Harvey said, cutting a piece off one of the steaks. He speared it on a fork and held it up to Mike’s lips. It felt strangely intimate to take food from Harvey like this, and Mike felt a warm glow flush through him. He opened his mouth and took the meat off Harvey’s fork.


The meat melted instantly on his tongue in a warm wave of delicious flavours and textures. Mike had never tasted anything so good, and he couldn’t help giving a moan of appreciation.


“Good huh?” Harvey had an entirely too smug grin on his face, but on this occasion, Mike thought he’d earned it.


“It’s fantastic. How do you get the meat to melt like that?”


“You pay for the finest fresh meat from the best butcher in town.” Harvey laughed, serving up the two steaks on plates. “You hungry? There are two more in the fridge.”


“Starving.” Mike began helping himself eagerly to salad and warm potatoes.


“Didn’t you have any lunch?” Harvey enquired smoothly, and Mike looked up, wondering if Harvey knew about his lunch with Louis.


“Louis took me out to some fancy new restaurant that just opened,” he admitted, deciding now was not a good time to lie, especially if Harvey had already found out. “The food was crap.”


“Medici’s? I went there last week. It was okay.” Harvey shrugged.


“Do you mind that I went there with Louis?” Mike asked carefully.


“Did you get my proofs done?” Harvey asked back.


“Harold did them. Louis insisted.” Mike shrugged. “I did go over them myself when I got back though, in case Harold missed anything.”


“And did he?”




“Which is why I asked you to do them.” Harvey sat back, looking at him thoughtfully.


“Which is why I double-checked them to be sure,” Mike shot back.


“Then there’s nothing to worry about, is there?” Harvey said pleasantly, raising his bottle of Coke in the air. “Let’s eat.”


Mike chinked his bottle of Coke grudgingly against Harvey’s, feeling un-nerved. “Why are you being so nice?” he asked as he began eating.


“I’m always nice.” Harvey gave another one of his smug smiles.


“No, you’re really not.”


Harvey’s eyes flashed, but his expression was unreadable. Mike wasn’t sure what that was about.


“Look, Harvey, what the hell happened?” Mike asked, deciding to tackle the problem head on. “It seemed to me like we were getting along well – I really loved working on the Clifford Danner case with you. It felt like we were…I dunno…friends?” He felt stupid for saying that, because he suspected that Harvey’s friends were in a different league completely – if Harvey actually deigned to bother with something as ordinary as friendships. “Or if not friends…just we worked really well together there. I even gave you the idea that got Cliff out of jail.”


“Well, technically speaking you stole it from Mississippi Burning,” Harvey pointed out.


“Aw, are you still bummed that I had the idea instead of you?” Mike grinned at him, wanting back the easy banter they’d had when they’d worked on that case.


“I broke one of my own rules and allowed my emotions to get in the way,” Harvey said, taking a thoughtful sip of his Coke.


“Aha!” Mike pointed at him. “So you admit you do have emotions!”


“Of course.” Harvey looked surprised. “I said I’m against having them – not that I don’t have them. And I have good reason for that. I learned the hard way during my time with Cameron that if you fight law cases with your emotions then you lose – and I don’t like losing.”


“So you try to suppress your emotions?”


“I try to think clearly and logically and emotions cloud that. They get in the way of my brilliance and that makes them a luxury I can’t afford.”


“Okay. I think I get it. I’m just not sure it’s possible.”


“Look at the Clifford Danner case. When I got emotional, I started losing. I wouldn’t have needed your help if I hadn’t allowed myself to get in that situation in the first place. It was a lapse.” Harvey looked annoyed with himself.


“Is that why you cut me out after the case?” Mike asked.


Harvey raised an eyebrow.


“C’mon, Harvey – you totally cut me out. Before then, we were working really well together, and you were being a real mentor to me, but then you suddenly became distant with me and it all stopped.”


Harvey studied his food intently, making no reply.


“Did I get too close, Harvey?” Mike said softly. “Did you let me in too far? ‘Cause after Jenny went back to Trevor I was really broken up. I could have used a friend, but you just cut me dead.”


“Emotions should always be kept separate from work, Mike,” Harvey told him. “They just get in the way and mean you can’t think clearly and make good decisions.”


“I don’t accept that. I think they can be a strength, not a weakness. And I don’t think you think that, either, not really.”


“Don’t I?”


“No – else why would you be cooking me dinner and talking to me like this tonight?”


“You’d be surprised.” Harvey took another deep swig of his drink.


“I think you tried it that way, and you thought you could make it work, but you couldn’t, not really, because nobody could, not even you. The Clifford Danner case freaked you out with how emotionally invested you were in it, so you cut me out because you want to try and go back to the way you were before you met me.”


“Is that so, Sherlock?” Harvey sat back in his chair. “So why are you here right now then?”


“Because you realised you made a mistake, but being you, you could never admit to anything so human as that, so you’re trying to make it up to me like this.” Mike waved his hand at the dinner table.


“Ah, so what you’re saying is that I was some robotic hotshot living a lonely life in my ivory tower until you came along and rescued me from a life of sterile, emotionless gloom with your winsome, puppy-dog ways and cute, wagging tail?


Mike stared at him.


“And I crumbled and surrendered to the power of cute! Who could not when presented in the form of bad suits, skinny ties, and adorable naiveté? Thank you, Mike, for making me whole again.”


Harvey raised his bottle of Coke mockingly in the air and clicked it against Mike’s bottle on the table before raising it to his lips and taking a sip.


Mike laughed. “Hah! Mock all you like, Harvey, but the truth is you let me get too close, and I saw too much. You can’t turn the clock back now, so if this is damage control, forget it. I already know you too well.”


“Hmm…” Harvey appeared to consider that. “Shall we call it a draw and move on?”


“A draw? Aw, but you do so love to win.” Mike smirked.


“Oh, I think I won, but you’re my guest, and I don’t want you feeling bad,” Harvey shot back.


“Judicious overuse of sarcasm isn’t actually winning.”


“Neither is flashing puppy-dog eyes and pouting.”


“I don’t pout.”


“But I note you don’t deny the puppy-dog eyes.” Harvey raised an eyebrow.


“If it works, why not use it?” Mike shot him a sly grin.


“Aw, you think I’m actually susceptible to the big, mournful, puppy eyes.” Harvey gave an exaggerated impression of said eyes, and Mike couldn’t help laughing.


“It’s not fair if you’re going to make me laugh,” he complained.


“You’ll never win a case with that argument. ‘Objection, your honor – the opposing counsel made me laugh and threw me off my game. It isn’t fair!’” He stomped his foot theatrically, miming a tantrum.


“Oh shut up.” Mike rolled his eyes, still laughing.


“So, best Bond – Connery or Craig?” Harvey said suddenly, taking Mike completely by surprise with the change in conversation.


“Mike Ross,” Mike shot back. “One day, in another universe.” He grinned broadly.


“You think you could be James Bond?” Harvey looked amused.


“Totally! Don’t you?”


“Give me your Connery, and I’ll give you my verdict,” Harvey said, sitting back in his chair.


Mike launched into his best Sean Connery impression while Harvey chuckled, shaking his head the entire time.


“More Irish than Scottish,” he pronounced, when Mike had finished.


“Let’s hear yours then!” Mike challenged, and he laughed when Harvey launched into a full-throated impersonation that he had to admit wasn’t bad. “Is there anything you aren’t any good at?” he asked, a little wistfully.


“If there was, I certainly wouldn’t tell. Someone might use it against me.”


“Not me though,” Mike said firmly. “I’m not going to use anything against you, Harvey.”


“You might…” Harvey began. Mike stared him out. “No,” Harvey agreed. “Not you, Mike.”


Then Mike remembered Louis’s contract burning a hole in his bag on the sofa, and he flushed and changed the subject.


Dinner was fantastic…or perhaps it wasn’t so much dinner as having Harvey’s undivided attention, focussed solely on him. Mike revelled in it, loving the stories Harvey had to tell about his time at Harvard, which he mainly seemed to spend slacking off and getting up to no good as far as Mike could see.


Harvey could be amusing, relaxed company when he chose, and Mike felt himself relaxing too, even despite the lack of alcohol…and that reminded him of something Harvey had said earlier.


“That time you wouldn’t let me into your apartment – was it really because I was drunk?” he asked.


Harvey’s face was unreadable as he took a mouthful of food, chewed it slowly, and then swallowed. “I don’t like drunks,” he said finally.


“I’m not a drunk. Everyone gets drunk occasionally – doesn’t make them a drunk.”


“I don’t,” Harvey said.


Mike looked at him questioningly. “Never? You’ve never been drunk?”


“No. I drink, sure – but I never allow myself to get drunk.”


“Why not? It’s kind of fun.” Mike grinned.


Harvey didn’t smile. “Because it means you’re not in control, and if you’re not in control, people can take advantage of you. Same goes for when you’re stoned.”


“I don’t believe you. You must have been drunk or stoned at some point in your life,” Mike said, gazing at Harvey, intrigued.


“No. Never.” Harvey shrugged.


“C’mon, Harvey. At some point you must have let your guard down!” Mike protested.


“Let my guard down? Yes, and it was usually a mistake. But getting drunk or stoned are mistakes I don’t make. One only has to look at your life to date to see that drink and drugs don’t get you anywhere.”


“Ouch.” Mike winced, but he wasn’t sure it was a point he could successfully refute, especially against an opponent as good as Harvey, so he didn’t argue.


Harvey finished eating and sat back. The wind rifled through his hair, which, unfettered by its usual gel, shifted and moved gently in the breeze. He looked much younger without the gel and the suit, almost boyish, and yet there was something dark, brooding and powerful about him all the same.


Mike felt as if he didn’t want to talk anymore. He just wanted to sit here and drink in the sight of Harvey, sitting with his back to the city skyline, lord and master of all he surveyed. Mike liked that idea, and he wondered what it would be like to kneel before him and worship at that arrogant and yet strangely compelling altar.


It was such a vivid mental image that Mike shivered, wondering what the hell was wrong with him. He also wondered where exactly this evening was going. So far, Harvey had been amusing, entertaining and the perfect host, but he was Harvey, so surely there was something else going on. Maybe there was some lesson he wanted Mike to learn, and there was still the matter of that punishment…


“You said you were going to punish me,” Mike blurted out.


“Yes.” Harvey nodded slowly, gazing at him intently.


“This doesn’t feel like punishment. This has been great, Harvey. Thank you.”


“I said your punishment would come later.” Harvey shrugged. “And you’re welcome, Mike.”


Mike shivered again, wondering what, precisely, this punishment Harvey was promising would entail.


“You’re cold. Let’s go inside,” Harvey said, getting up. He held out a hand to pull Mike out of the easy chair and to his feet, and Mike felt that same surge of shivery warmth when Harvey touched him that he’d felt earlier, when Harvey had put his hand on his shoulder.


They went back into the living room, and Harvey closed the balcony door, reached for a remote control, and flicked a couple of switches. Instantly, the drapes closed and the lights dimmed, creating a soft glow and a warm sense of intimacy in the room. Mike shoved his bag onto the floor and sat down in its place on the sofa.


Harvey crossed over to the other side of the room and selected a record from the collection gracing the far wall. He didn’t have as many here as he did in his office, but he still had a huge collection. Mike watched, feeling a little hazy, as if he was drunk, even though he’d only been drinking Coke all night.


He felt high – high on Harvey and giddy from being the recipient of Harvey’s undivided attention all evening. He’d never experienced so much Harvey focused only on him before, and it felt so good that he was a little drunk on it.


The record turned and some soft, smoky jazz filled the room, making him feel even more lazy and relaxed.


Harvey disappeared into what Mike assumed was the kitchen and returned with two cups of coffee. He placed one in Mike’s hand, and Mike shivered again when their fingers touched. He had no idea why, or why that shiver seemed to go so deep, making him want something he couldn’t put into coherent thought, let alone words. It was just a feeling – deep, melancholy, and full of yearning.


Harvey sat down beside him, one arm resting along the back of the sofa, so close it was almost touching Mike’s head. Harvey’s legs were relaxed and open, his left knee resting against Mike’s thigh. It felt good there – solid and warm.


“I thought I needed drugs to feel this good,” Mike murmured, putting his coffee cup down on the table and leaning back. The room seemed to close in to just him and Harvey, sitting on the couch.


“You don’t.” Harvey was gazing at him thoughtfully. “You can feel like this whenever you want, Mike.”


“When I’m with you I can. Alone like this.” Mike wasn’t sure why he was talking this way, but he felt warm and full after the meal and completely relaxed in Harvey’s presence. It was almost like…being seduced.


“So…how would you like to be punished, Mike?” Harvey asked quietly, looking at him over the rim of his coffee cup.


“Hmmm?” Mike blinked at him.


Harvey’s fingers gently brushed the hair on the back of his head. “You keep talking about it, so I thought I’d ask.”


“I get a choice?” Mike asked.


“Tonight. First time. After that…not so much.” Harvey grinned.


Mike frowned, trying to focus. How would he like to be punished? Why did even thinking about it give him that fluttery sensation in his belly?


“I could put you over my knee and spank you,” Harvey said.


“Hah! You could try!” Mike laughed, because Harvey was clearly joking.


Wasn’t he?


Harvey’s dark eyes were fixed on him, watching him like a hawk, and Mike suddenly realised that Harvey was much more alert right now than he was. Harvey was studying him intently, as if looking for clues.


“I don’t think it’d be much of a punishment, Mike. I think you might enjoy it too much,” Harvey said softly, putting his cup down. “Shall we find out?”


His fingers crept down Mike’s arm, along Mike’s wrist, and fastened there…and then he was pulling Mike towards him.


Harvey was strong, and it would have been so easy to just go along with it. Mike was halfway to being laid out over Harvey’s knee when suddenly the fog lifted and panic set in instead. He pushed himself off and landed in a heap on the floor.


“What the hell are you doing?” he demanded.


Harvey sat back on the sofa looking supremely unruffled. “What you want me to do,” he replied smoothly.


“You think I want to be hauled over your knee and spanked like a naughty kid? No!” Mike protested.


“You sure about that, Mike?” Harvey leaned forward and picked up a file that was lying on the coffee table.


“What the hell is that?”


“See for yourself.” Harvey handed it to him and then picked up his coffee cup and resumed sipping from it as if nothing had happened.


Mike opened up the file, flicked through the contents…and then froze. He looked up at Harvey, horrified.


“That’s right, Mike. That’s your other dirty little secret,” Harvey said. “Not the one about you not having a law degree. The other one – littler perhaps but definitely more dirty.”


Mike’s throat went dry as he gazed blankly at the file. “You have a file on me?” was all he could think to say.


“Of course. When we first met, you had a briefcase full of pot, and I agreed to hire you and lie about your qualifications. Of course I did some due diligence before I allowed you to step one foot inside Pearson Hardman. I might like to live a little dangerously, but I’d never put my firm or the people I work with in jeopardy. So yes, Mike, I hired a private investigator to make sure you were what my gut told me you were, and not some lowlife scum who’d try to screw me over.”


It made sense. In fact, it was so obvious Mike didn’t know why he hadn’t figured it out before. Of course Harvey had a file on him. And of course, this was in it.


“It was years ago,” he said defensively.


“It was two years ago,” Harvey pointed out.


“I did it for a joke. Someone talked me into it.”


“No, I don’t think it was a joke. I think you were curious.” Harvey was gazing at him broodingly over the top of his coffee cup. “You wanted to know how it felt to explore that big, submissive kink of yours, Mike, so you went to the Dungeon Club to find out.”


Mike felt himself flushing hotly.


“Now I’m curious,” Harvey said, in a conversational tone. “Did they have a real dungeon in there, Mike, or was it just that the name was supposed to inspire the right kind of mood in its patrons? I’m seeing bare brick walls and instruments of torture around the place. Was that how it was?”


Mike swallowed hard. “Yes,” he muttered.


“I didn’t hear you,” Harvey rapped out.


“Yes, that’s exactly how it was,” Mike growled angrily. “Are you satisfied now, Harvey? Christ, did you ask me here tonight precisely to humiliate me? Is this some kind of blackmail? If I don’t do what you say, you’ll expose me to Louis?”


The thought of Louis getting his hands on this information made him feel ill. He’d never be able to stay at Pearson Hardman if word got out. His life wouldn’t be worth living; the teasing alone would make it impossible. He could just imagine the jokes now and the handcuffs that’d turn up in his desk drawers and the paddles they’d leave on his chair. Louis would mock him to death and make his life a misery.


“Mike, you’re not thinking like a lawyer. If I wanted to blackmail you, I already know dirty secret number one, remember. Dirty secret number two, however embarrassed you feel about it, really isn’t anywhere near as bad.”


Harvey finished drinking his coffee and placed the cup on the table.


“So what? Is this how you intend to win that stupid wager you made with Louis earlier? You thought you could manipulate me because you think you know something about me? You don’t know jack shit about me, Harvey!” Mike threw the file onto the coffee table and stood up, his former mellow mood completely gone. He felt tense, angry and so betrayed that it physically hurt.


“I’m not trying to manipulate you, Mike. And sit down,” Harvey ordered.


“Then what was tonight about? All the food, and the conversation, and the feeding me with your fork thing, and the…” Mike faltered. “The being interested in me, Harvey? I thought we were connecting, but were you just trying to play me in some way?”


“No, and I told you to sit down.”


Mike crossed his arms over his chest and stared at Harvey, blinking furiously. “I’m not your goddamn puppy, Harvey!”


“But you like it when I call you that, don’t you?” Harvey said softly. “What is it you like about that, Mike?”


“Okay, you’re right! Yeah, I like the idea of it, Harvey, but in reality it’s all ‘Sit! Stay! Jump! Beg!’ It’s all fucking orders! If I’m gonna be your goddamn puppy, where’s the good stuff? Where are the long walks and the strokes? I should call the ASPCA because all I get is the rolled up newspaper rapped over my nose, and you yelling at me not to sit on the fucking furniture.”


Harvey grinned. “As a matter of fact, I’ve asked you to sit on the furniture twice now, and you’ve ignored me both times.” Harvey patted the sofa beside him. “Sit, Mike.”


Maybe it was the reasonable tone to Harvey’s voice, but Mike found himself doing just that.


“So, I know jack shit. Enlighten me.” Harvey spread his arms expectantly.


“I just went along to the club a few times.”


“Did you play?”


Mike flushed and looked away. “Yeah.”




“And I didn’t like it.” Mike looked up.


“It wasn’t what you were looking for?” Harvey’s eyes seemed particularly dark and intense.


“No. It was stupid. There seemed to be all these weird rules, and the women…”


“The dommes? The dominatrices?”


Mike flushed again. “Yeah…I didn’t connect with any of them. They all seemed to think I’d get off on being ordered around, and told I was a worm, and having the crap beaten out of me.”


“Sounds rather like working for Louis.” Harvey gave a little smile, and Mike couldn’t help smiling a little too.


“Yeah. It wasn’t fun. It felt kind of cheap and sordid. I went a few times and never went back. Like I said, I was curious. And why did you assume I went there to sub? Where the hell did you get the whole ‘big, submissive kink’ thing from?”


Harvey shrugged. “Maybe because I have a big, dominant kink myself?”


“You what?” Mike looked at him, startled.


“Your submissive kink was obvious to me the day I met you, Mike, and you’re not the only one with this particular secret. I tried something similar myself a few years back – at a much more exclusive establishment, obviously – private members only, and not a bare brick wall in sight. It looked more like the interior of a bordello, not that I’ve ever been to one, but it’s how I would imagine one to look.”


“You went…I mean…what?” Mike struggled to get his head around this.


Harvey leaned forward. “There are many reasons I took you on, Mike, but one of them was that something in you speaks to something in me and vice versa. We both know that. We knew that the instant we met. You just didn’t like to put a name to it.”


Mike stared at him. Harvey sat back again, looking completely at ease.


“You like being my puppy, Mike. You like the orders, and the putdowns, and the little domination games I play with you every day. You love them. And you like playing along too. You enjoy flirting with danger by throwing out a smart-assed comment. You’re like a puppy nipping his master’s fingers, wanting the slapped nose in response.”


Mike swallowed hard, remembering the exhilaration of those moments.


“You like standing in front of me, dropping your head, and gazing up at me through your eyelashes. You get a thrill out of it, and you know I do too, and you love it, even if you haven’t asked yourself why,” Harvey continued.


Mike couldn’t hold that dark-eyed gaze anymore. He let his own gaze drop to the floor.


“Yes,” he said, so quietly he could barely hear it. “So, what happened to you? At the bordello place?” He gave a little grin.


“It didn’t satisfy me. I couldn’t find what I was looking for. I came to wonder if that even existed. To be honest, I assumed it didn’t. Then you walked into that job interview, and I knew immediately that it did.”


Mike’s head shot up, and he found himself meeting Harvey’s intense stare again.


“I wanted it to be real,” Harvey said. “Someone who wanted it like I wanted to give it; someone who’d enjoy my domination and enjoy surrendering to me without being a doormat or a pushover; someone strong and brilliant, who could stimulate and excite me; someone who presented a real mental challenge, as well as being physically attractive. Someone almost – but not quite –“ Harvey grinned. “My equal.”


Mike stared at him. “I’m a guy,” he said eventually.


“Hmm, yes, I was aware of that.” Harvey rolled his eyes. “Look, Mike – I find, where this is concerned, that it doesn’t matter to me. In fact, I’ve found, from playing at the club, that what I enjoy most is dominating other men.” He gave a slow, thoughtful smile. “It’s what excites me at work too. It gives me that extra buzz. Women are for making love to, but men…men are for me to dominate – in the boardroom and in the bedroom. That can’t surprise you, surely?” He looked startled by Mike’s stunned reaction to that information. “You’ve seen me at work. I’m highly competitive, and I’m dominant. I told you I walked into Pearson Hardman and dominated from the beginning. I could see from your response that the idea excited you.”


“You were testing me?”


“Often. I was intrigued by you. It seemed that my perfect submissive had fallen into my lap without me even trying to find him. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t help repeatedly pushing your buttons and watching your pupils dilate and your tongue wetting your lower lip…like it’s doing right now.”


Mike caught himself and grimaced. “I’m straight, Harvey. I’ve never even thought about…”


“Trevor,” Harvey cut him off.


“What? No! Trevor was my best friend! He…”


“Dominated you all the time, and you let him because on some level you were getting something from it – you just didn’t want to admit it to yourself. But Trevor’s dominance was thuggish and brutal, and your submission is a gift you want to offer someone – you don’t want it used against you, trampled in the dust, and beaten down.”


Mike bit on his lip, remembering what had happened with Trevor when he’d finally stood up to him and told him where to go.


“He hit you, didn’t he?” Harvey’s voice was dark and compelling. He sounded tautly controlled but there was an edge of anger there too. “He punched you, yes?”


Mike looked up. “We had a fight. He won. I’m not that great at fighting,” he admitted.


“I don’t punch – well, I don’t punch people like you.” Harvey gave a dangerous smile. “I don’t lash out. I’m very controlled. I want to take only what you want to give. I understand how it works. Trevor didn’t.”


“People like me?”


“Puppies.” Harvey grinned. The grin faded, and he leaned forward. “People I’m sexually interested in, Mike. People I want to tie to my bed and fuck. People who want to submit to me as much as I want to dominate them: you.”


There, it was out in the open and it couldn’t be taken back. Mike swallowed hard. His head told him this wasn’t happening, that it wasn’t who he was, but his body and his heart told him something different. His cock was already half-hard, and he knew he found Harvey as attractive as any woman he’d ever slept with.


Harvey was right; there was something in him that spoke to something in Mike, and he’d never felt that so intensely before. It was what he’d been looking for in that club but never found. Like Harvey, he’d assumed it didn’t exist and had given up. Now Harvey was sitting there, looking so damn handsome, and telling him that it did, and he could have it, if he wanted it. And if he was prepared to take one giant risk…


“Why now?” he asked. “If you knew the minute you first met me?”


“You were so oblivious.” Harvey shrugged. “And then you kept pursuing submissive women in such a ludicrous way that I assumed you had no idea what you really were and wouldn’t welcome an approach from me.”


“Submissive women?” Mike asked incredulously.


“Jenny and Rachel.” Harvey shrugged again.


Mike gave an outraged laugh. “Oh, come on! Okay, Jenny, I can buy that…but Rachel? She walks all over me!”


“She’s a sub, topping from the bottom. Trust me, I have a feel for these things. I can always feel it – someone’s dominant or submissive energy – the minute I meet them. Donna and Jessica – those are dominant women, and they have my upmost respect. You’ll note I never try to dominate them – they wouldn’t appreciate it if I did. Co-operation and negotiation works best with other dominants.”


“And Louis? What’s he?” Mike raised a cheeky eyebrow.


“Oh, Louis wants to play with the big boys, but he knows I could dominate him in an instant if I tried. That’s why he has to sneak around behind my back. But he knows you’re important to me, Mike. He senses that energy between us, and it makes him crazy jealous. That’s why he’s always picking on you. He thinks you’re my weak spot.”


“And am I?” Mike asked quietly.


“I’m very much afraid that you are,” Harvey replied. “You asked me earlier why I’ve been keeping you at arm’s length lately. That’s why. If I can’t have you, I don’t want to make myself weak by wanting you.”


Harvey wanted him that much? Mike’s heart did an ecstatic flip. “And what changed?” he asked carefully.


“I can’t stand the thought of Louis getting his hands on you. It…” Harvey looked seriously dangerous for a moment, and Mike felt his cock twitch in interest again. “It twists something inside me, Mike, and makes me think very dark thoughts.”


They sat there for a long moment, staring at each other.


“Think about it,” Harvey said. “Because I’m not offering some one night deal here. I’m very serious about this – and I have to tell you, I’m almost never serious about sleeping with anyone more than once. That should tell you just how serious I am about this. Give it some thought – I’m going to get some air.” He left the room, going out onto the balcony and closing the door behind him.


Mike sat there, staring into space, completely shocked by how the evening had turned out. He’d come here thinking his only problem was how to deal with Louis’s offer – and now Harvey had offered him something else completely, something so big, special and unexpected that he was at a complete loss as to what to do.


“Think, Mike,” he told himself. “What do you want?”


But thinking wasn’t any good. He could think all he liked, because thinking was what he did – too much of it at times. What Harvey was offering was about feeling, and he’d never been very good at that. He could memorise all the pages in a legal textbook and parrot them back by heart, but ask him to negotiate his own emotions, and he didn’t have a clue.


He got up and walked around the room. Harvey’s apartment, unsurprisingly, was as tasteful, elegant, and utterly tidy as his office.


“Neat-freak,” Mike muttered, looking at the rows of pristine records in their sleeves, all lined up in alphabetical order.


On the set of shelves on the opposite wall was a collection of books, ranging from fiction to law texts via a considerable number of biographies and sport books. They were separated into sections by subject and stored in alphabetical order too.


“That’s just not normal.” Mike shook his head. “Who does that?”


Mike saw something, high up on the shelf, and he stood on tiptoes to get a good look at it. It was a photo, in a frame, of two boys, and Mike became even more curious when he recognised one of them as Harvey.


He looked about sixteen in the photo, but he was as different from the Harvey Mike knew now as night from day. This kid was scruffy and a little skinny. His hair was a honey-brown mess, much lighter than it was today, and he was wearing a cheap, black leather jacket. There was a ‘fear me’ expression on his surly teenaged face, and his arm was slung, casually but affectionately, over the boy beside him.


The boy was about four or five years younger than Harvey, but looked enough like him to be clearly his kid brother. His hair was blond, and he had a more open, trusting face. He was looking up at Harvey with an expression of adoration.


There was a sense of protectiveness in the way Harvey’s arm was slung around his brother’s shoulders, and it touched something in Mike. Mike wondered what it would be like to bask in all that Harvey protectiveness, if it was still there. It had been once, clearly, judging by this photo.


Mike had always sensed that the Harvey he knew now was a careful construct, a dazzling presentation of slick hair and expensive suits, designed to throw people off the scent and stop them seeing someone else. But who?


This kid in the photo looked hungry, street smart and just a tiny bit desperate. What had made him that way, Mike wondered? And how had he changed from this scruffy rebel into the sharp-suited, millionaire lawyer he now was? And where was his kid brother? What had happened to him?


None of this had any bearing on his decision – it all just added to the tantalising mystery that was Harvey Specter. Mike was longing to get a more satisfying glimpse of the man beneath the suits of armour and see exactly who Harvey Specter really was. Harvey talked about never dropping his guard, but could he really keep all his secrets from Mike if they were…


Mike wasn’t sure he could go where that train of thought was taking him. He couldn’t wrap his head around what it might be like to be in some kind of kinky sexual relationship with Harvey. He didn’t know what to do, so he went back to the sofa and sat down again, wishing he could turn off his brain for a second so that the answer would come to him.


He sat there for a long time, and he still didn’t have an answer when he heard the balcony door open behind him, and the faint waft of cool air sweeping through the room.


He might not have consciously known the answer, but on some level he clearly knew what he wanted because, without even thinking about it, he found himself sinking to his knees on the floor beside the couch, head down, gazing at the carpet in a pose of submission that felt entirely natural and unforced.


A part of him was shrieking with surprise at what he’d just done and another part of him was waiting for Harvey to mock him, but he felt surprisingly calm.


Harvey’s shiny shoes came into view in front of him and heard a little sigh of satisfaction escape from Harvey’s lips. Although he was completely petrified, Mike knew that this felt right, and that he was exactly where he belonged, on his knees, at Harvey’s feet.


He felt a firm hand rustle through his hair and then the gentle pressure of Harvey’s finger under his chin, making him look up. Harvey was standing over him, the kind of handsome, self-assured master he hadn’t even realised he’d been seeking.


Harvey leaned down, pulled Mike forward, and lifted his face. Harvey’s mobile lips, which could be sarcastic, amusing, cruel and utterly brilliant, were warm and forceful as they met his.


They pushed his mouth open, forcefully demanding entry, and Mike felt himself being claimed by a deep, dominating kiss.


End of Part Two



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