Donna knew that look on Harvey’s face, just like she knew all of his expressions. It was his, ‘covet thy neighbor’s wife,’ look which meant that whatever he turned that gaze on inevitably ended up being his. Whether it was a person or a thing, Harvey Spector always got what he wanted. Normally, it didn’t bother her when Harvey got creative about making something, or someone, his; she’d even helped in the past just for the amusement factor. This particular time though, Donna had the strongest urge to warn Mike to run for the hills, preferably hills on another continent.

Mike grinned dopily at her on the way out of Harvey’s office, giving her a little wave as he headed back towards the associates’ bullpen. She'd heard the praise that Harvey had heaped on the kid and knew it had gone right through Mike. As soon as he was gone, Donna hopped to her feet and strode into Harvey’s office.

Harvey frowned when he caught sight of her face. “What?”

Donna pointed a finger at him and said, “Don’t even think about it.”

He immediately assumed an innocent expression. “Think about what?”

Hands on her hips, Donna warned, “Whatever you’re thinking about doing to Mike, don’t. He’s a good kid, Harvey. Leave him alone.”

Harvey shrugged a little and said, “He is a good kid. He’s also a disaster waiting to happen.”

“What, because of the pot thing?”

“Not just, no. You call him a puppy, right?”

“We all do.”

“Exactly.”

Donna frowned at the simple declaration and began to get an inkling of where Harvey was going with the thought. “Wait, are you telling me you’re going to take him to protect him from the sharks in the world?”

Harvey shrugged again.

Donna sighed and said, “It’s called growing up, Harvey. We all have to do it. He’ll toughen up eventually.”

But Harvey shook his head and told her, “It’s not that. He’s just so… submissive. Come on, Donna, you can’t tell me you don’t notice.”

She had, but he hadn’t seemed so much more than other people. Most people were submissive when dealing with her and Harvey. In an occupation full of sharks, they were the Great Whites.

“If I don’t take him, someone else will and they won’t have his best interests at heart.”

“Like Rachel?”

“I was thinking more like Jessica.”

Donna paused, lips pursed as she thought that over. Jessica did like to be surrounded by pretty, submissive slaves and it wouldn’t be beyond her to manufacture circumstances to her satisfaction. Harvey had learned from the best, after all. And while Jessica hadn’t seemed to notice Mike much, she had mentioned the kid a time or two, something that Donna knew the other woman hadn’t done with any of the other associates.

Harvey nodded at her grimace and repeated, “Exactly.”

“So, you think being yours will protect him.”

“It will.”

“Except he’s a free citizen and I can’t see him just up and agreeing to be a voluntary slave. He’s pretty independent,” Donna pointed out.

Harvey smirked a little. “He’s a gutsy little shit, I will give you that.”

Donna rolled her eyes at him. “One who enjoys his freedom.”

Harvey’s smirk shifted into a shark’s grin. “Then he shouldn’t be involved with drugs.”

“Harvey.”

“Yes, Donna?”

The innocent look was back again and she sighed. “He’s not holding anymore and he’ll hate you if he finds out you set him up.”

“Only until I convince him that it’s for his own good.”

“And you being a possessive bastard with control issues has nothing to do with making him your slave for life,” Donna said dryly.

Harvey stood up and walked over to her. Gripping her shoulders, he said, “Can I count on you with this?”

Donna thought for a few minutes and he let her.

On the one hand, Harvey was right; someone would make a play for Mike one day and if it turned out to be someone like Louis, Gods forbid, or even worse, Cameron Dennis, then Mike would have nothing to look forward to but a life of abject servitude, pain, and misery. If Mike was Harvey’s, then she knew the puppy would be well cared for, even loved once Harvey could admit the feeling to himself.

On the other hand, this could backfire horribly. If Mike got arrested for drugs and made into a convict-slave and never forgave Harvey, they would both be miserable for the rest of their lives.

Then there was the whole, ‘didn’t even make it through college, let alone Harvard,’ issue. If Mike belonged to Harvey, that went away. Harvey was perfectly within his rights to use his slave at work however he saw fit. It was a further layer of insulation and protection for Mike. For all of them, really, but especially for Mike since he’d be the one perceived to have perpetrated the fraud in the first place.

And yet, if Mike didn’t forgive Harvey…

Donna met Harvey’s gaze and said, “I’ve got a better idea on how to go about this.”

Harvey’s eyebrows lifted, signaling his interest.

It was Donna’s turn to smirk and she said, “Wait and see; the Great and Powerful Donna will take care of everything.”

Harvey snorted, but walked back to his desk.

Donna grinned to herself and headed back to hers. There was a lot to plan.

* * * *

Mike had been working for a solid forty-eight hours on a sudden and impossible deadline for a multi-billion dollar company fending off a hostile takeover. Harvey had been aggravating, irritating, sharp with complaints and criticisms, and riding him nonstop… about his work, unfortunately. It hadn’t been until the very end that he’d gotten a compliment from him. He’d been practically high walking by Donna that afternoon, giving her a stupid wave on his way out of Harvey's office.

When Mike stumbled into his apartment at around midnight three days after the last time he’d been there, he had just enough energy to collapse facedown on the bed. He fell asleep almost instantly, hand still gripping his messenger bag which had dropped down beside him.

Shouting and crashing noises woke him from a sound sleep, adrenaline flooding his body to jumpstart his heart against his ribcage.

“On the ground! On the ground!”

Mike rolled off his bed onto the floor and didn’t resist in the slightest when rough hands grabbed his arms and yanked them behind his back. His wrists were zip-tied together and then those same hands hauled him to his feet, throwing him on the bed. The apartment lights were on now and he saw about fifteen cops in full riot gear tearing his place apart.

The cop right in front of him was dressed normally, probably a detective, and leaned aggressively forward. “Save yourself some time and pain and tell us where the drugs are.”

Mike’s jaw dropped. “Drugs? I don’t have any drugs.”

The detective backhanded him hard enough that his head rocked with it and his lower lip split. “We’ve got your delivery boy and he’s spilled everything. Tell us where they are and I’ll see what I can do for you.”

“Delivery boy? I don’t have any delivery boy! I don’t have any drugs! I don’t do that!” Mike exclaimed, fear chasing through him.

Another backhand and this time, blood dripped freely from his lip instead of just dribbling, well and truly cut open. The whole right side of his face hurt.

“We’ll just wait and see then, won’t we?”

Mike sat on his bed, stunned and shivering with fear, watching the cops literally pull his life apart. They ripped open his sofa cushions, knocked books off the shelves, and pulled up floorboards.

“Sir! We’ve found it!”

Mike’s head snapped over towards the shout and he watched the detective stride to the kitchen area. One of them had pulled the stove forward and crawled in behind it and was pulling out bag after bag of white powder. Nausea twisted his stomach with shock and horror. Coke. Someone had planted at least twenty pounds of cocaine in his apartment and there was only one person he could think of that would do that: Trevor.

The detective walked back to Mike and said, “No drugs, huh? Take him in.”

The disgust in the man’s voice couldn’t compete with the betrayal that coursed through Mike. He barely noticed when two cops dragged him out of the apartment and down the stairs, throwing him carelessly into the back of a patrol car. He was going to be sent to hard labor with that much drugs found. He was going to die. Everything he’d fought for, everything he’d tried to build, was gone, thrown away by Trevor’s betrayal.

Mike went through the motions of getting booked into the system, his perfect memory filing everything away for later. Mike had been stripped and put through a chemical wash in the coldest and shortest shower of his life. His hair had been shaved off entirely. He’d had a painful cavity search. Photos had been taken to document his state of health.

By the time he sat alone in a tiny cell, exhaustion born of three days of little sleep and emotional turmoil had him almost passed out on the hard cement floor from the continued shock. There was nothing to sit or lie down on, no sign of comfort to be found. The only thing in the cell aside from Mike was a toilet; there wasn’t even a sink. This, Mike realized, was the end of the line. Probably the only reason there was a toilet was so no one had to clean up after the prisoners.

The cold of the floor seeped into him, mingling with the trauma of everything he’d lost. He felt… hollow. Nothing seemed real.

A guard came and dragged him out of the cell, being sure to push him face-first into the metal bars with a cruel grin. He was brought to a small room and shoved into a chair, ordered to stay, like he was a dog.

I’m less than a dog now, Mike thought, his brain slowly coming out of its fog. I’m a convict slave, even if I haven’t gone through a trial yet. The trial will be a joke. No one’s going to represent me. Even if they do, there’s no way I’ll get out of this, not with all those fucking drugs they found.

The door opened a few minutes later and in walked Harvey, who stopped short at the sight of him. Mike was having the same kind of reaction since he'd never seen Harvey dressed so casually in jeans and a cotton button-down shirt, both of which clung in all the right places. His hair was without its usual gelled perfection, looking soft and touchable. Rage filled his dark eyes as they swept over Mike and took in his battered face and shaved head. “I’m going to kill someone for this.”

A short, sharp laugh escaped Mike and he said, “Jesus, Harvey, don’t do that. No good both of us being sent to hard labor. Wait, how did you even know to come?”

Harvey waved off the question. “I have friends here. Got a call. Tell me what happened.”

“I don’t even know what happened!” Mike exclaimed, stomach twisted still in knots. “It’s got to be Trevor, though, because they burst into my apartment and found so much coke, Harvey. So fucking much that there’s no hope. I’m going to hard labor and I’m going to die there.”

Harvey shook his head and said, “Not happening.”

“Not even you can get me out of this one, Harvey,” Mike said, dropping his eyes.

Harvey closed the distance between them, then, and gripped Mike’s chin, forcing his face up. “You listen to me, rookie. I'll fix this. Just keep your head down and do what the guards say. My friends here will make sure you’re safe until I get everything settled.”

Mike shook his head. “No, Harvey, you can’t touch this. You’ll get into so much trouble! I’m not worth it. Just, look after my grandmother, will you? Explain to her that, that I'm innocent, I didn't do this.”

Harvey sat on the edge of the table and said, “This won’t go to trial because I’m going to get that little shit to confess to everything he did. I will fix this, Mike. You just have to trust me. Can you do that?”

Mike half-smiled. “I’ve always trusted you, Harvey.”

Harvey’s mouth slid sideways and he said, voice dark with something Mike couldn’t place, “That’s your first mistake, Mike. Okay. Remember what I said. Just keep your head down.”

Mike nodded and wished, briefly and in vain, for the other man to hug him, holding him and warming him with his protection. Harvey might have seen something of that in his face, he saw everything after all, because he gently squeezed the back of Mike’s neck before he left.

The guard came in and brought him back to the cell, throwing him in so hard that Mike lost his balance and stumbled against the wall. His head smacked against it with enough force to hurt, but not enough to incapacitate.

Mike slid down to the floor and gripped his knees to his chest, wrapping his arms around his legs and trying not to let despair overcome him.

* * * *

Timing, Harvey thought on the walk to pay his friend a visit, really is everything.

It hadn’t even been a day since his chat with Donna and Harvey knew damn well that she hadn’t had time to put anything in motion. Not to mention that anything Donna did would never have put Mike at risk of actual abuse like he'd suffered tonight. Sometime in the last three days, Trevor had come back to New York, planted a shit-ton of coke in Mike’s apartment, gotten caught, and then fingered Mike as the boss.

Harvey wasn’t surprised to find Flack at his desk even though it was almost two a.m.; the man was more of a workaholic than Harvey, and that was saying something. Flack looked up at his approach and gave a little grimace, jerking his head at the spare chair next to his desk. Harvey sat in it and said, “Thanks for the call.”

Flack shrugged and said, “I owe you. Your boy’s in a lot of trouble, Specter.”

“I know, but he’s innocent.”

“Innocent?”

“Yes.”

Flack’s expression turned thoughtful at Harvey’s flat, unwavering tone. He leaned back in his chair and asked, “Where’d the drugs come from?”

Harvey’s fists clenched and he said, “Mike’s ex-roommate and ex-best friend, Trevor Harris. He used Mike to hold his pot before they stopped being friends. Probably thought this would be good revenge for Mike making something of his life.”

Flack’s eyebrows went up. “I’ll pretend I didn’t hear about the pot and just say that Harris is the guy who fingered Ross.”

“Yeah, I bet,” Harvey said darkly. “Mike dated Trevor’s ex-girlfriend for a while, after Trevor ditched town because I bailed him out of a jam with some serious players and was going to drag Mike down with him.”

Flack laughed, but the sound was disbelieving instead of amused. “Christ, Spector, your boy’s life is like a soap opera.”

Harvey snorted. “Tell me about it. So. What can we do to make this go away?”

Flack shook his head and told him, “Nothing. Harvey, there’s too much here to just sweep away.”

“I’m not saying that.”

“What are you saying?”

“I want Trevor to pay for every single thing he’s done to Mike. A short life at hard labor sounds perfect to me. If I get him to confess to setting up Mike, what can you do for Mike?”

Flack thought about it for a few minutes and then said slowly, “I have friends down in narco… if you get Harris and the next rung on the ladder, I’ll get them to give Mike to you. He won’t get out of being convicted, but no hard labor. Life as slave to a lawyer’s punishment enough in everyone’s eyes, anyhow.”

Harvey’s lips quirked into a brief grin. “Thanks.”

Flack winked and picked up his desk phone. “Yeah, this is Flack. Bring Harris to interrogation three. Yes, now! Okay.”

Harvey relaxed a little and thought about how to go about this. He was, technically, Trevor’s lawyer. He had to get the bastard to both fire him and confess to him. He walked with Flack to the viewing room and stared with anger at the clothed, non-shaved man sitting in the interrogation room; he didn't look in the least roughed up. Not like Mike had been, not even close. Fury gripped him tight for a few seconds and he pushed it back, locking it up tight. He couldn’t be emotional about this.

He glanced over at Flack. “You going to record this?”

“He hasn’t asked for a lawyer, so yeah.”

“Technically, I’m already his lawyer. You can’t record until after he fires me.”

“Gods damn it, Specter! Why didn’t you say that before?”

“Just pay attention and record when you can.”

Flack scowled at him, but nodded.

Harvey left the room and walked into the interrogation room.

Trevor’s jaw dropped a little when he saw Harvey walk in. “What the hell? How’d you even know I was here?”

Harvey sat on the chair opposite him, across the rickety wooden table. “I didn’t. I came because a friend of mine said Mike had been arrested. For drugs. Twenty-seven kilos, to be precise. Do you know what happens to people caught with that amount of drugs? Hard labor camp. Abuse. Gang rape. Death.”

Trevor slunk down in his chair, guilt flitting across his face. “What do you want me to do about it?”

Harvey shrugged. “Nothing. It’s not like you’re going to confess to setting Mike up or naming your real boss. It’s not like you ever do the right thing.”

Trevor scowled at him, face drawing tight with anger. “Fuck you.”

“No thanks. I don’t lie down with dogs. Too many fleas,” Harvey mocked lightly.

Trevor kicked the table at him. “I don’t have to put up with this shit.”

Harvey just smirked and pushed the table back. “Yes you do. I’m your lawyer, remember?”

“Well screw you. You’re fired.”

Harvey didn’t even twitch at the first victory. He merely leaned back in the chair and said, “Thank you. This is the cleanest I’ve felt in months, not having to deal with your dishonor anymore.”

Trevor kicked the table again, harder. “Get out!”

Harvey leaned on the table and asked, “How does it feel to cause your former best friend’s death? I mean, he’s not dead yet, but you and I both know he won’t last long in a camp. Hell, I’ll probably be arranging for his funeral in about a week, maybe less.”

Trevor’s scowl deepened, etching into his face in hard lines. “He’s tougher than he looks.”

Harvey barked out a short laugh. “Come on, Trevor. We know that’s not true. He’s the softest, most submissive free man around. That’s why you picked him. He’s so trusting. He did everything you asked of him, didn’t he? Before I stepped in, of course. That’s why you stashed the drugs there. Even if he found them, he’d never tell on you. He might bitch and whine to and about you, but he’d never betray you. Too bad the reverse isn’t the same.”

Trevor didn’t reply, instead staring at Harvey like he could drill a hole in his skull.

Harvey shrugged and said, “No skin off my nose. I mean, it is, because I lose a great associate, but he’s only been with me half a year. It’s not like I can’t replace him. Associates are a dime a dozen. Not like best friends. Someone who was there for you every time you fucked up. Someone who shared his grandmother with you when your own parents couldn’t be bothered. Someone who considered you family. That kind of person’s not so replaceable, are they?”

“I can’t do anything.” Trevor finally ground out, teeth clenched. “It’s done. He had the drugs and they arrested him and there’s nothing I can do.”

Harvey sat back in the chair again and schooled his features into a thoughtful expression. “That might not be entirely true.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, I have friends. I might be able to get Mike a deal of some kind.”

“I’m not saying the drugs are mine.”

“They are yours.”

“But if I say that, they’ll put me in a hard labor camp.”

Harvey frowned to make it look like he was still thinking things over. He was more than half-way to his goal. Really, for a drug dealer, Trevor was stupidly uninformed about criminal proceedings. He should’ve known that unless a prisoner was talking to their lawyer, nothing was private. It didn’t matter now that he’d confessed to the drugs being his; he didn’t have to say it to anyone for it to now be used against him.

Finally, Harvey said, “Okay. What about information? Can you give anyone up? Your boss maybe?”

“Right. And then I’m dead.”

“Not if we get you protection.”

“No such thing in the prison camps.”

“I could arrange for a private sale. You’re going to be a slave regardless; why not control who can buy you? Once your master or mistress has you, your identity gets wiped anyhow.”

That wasn’t strictly true, but it wasn’t exactly a lie, either. Slaves had no last name, but it was still possible to track one down if bribes or intimidation were involved.

Trevor looked uncertain. “You can do that?”

“I know a lot of people,” Harvey evaded. “But I need the name above you to do anything.”

And that was true. He just wasn’t going to do anything for Trevor. And if Mike ever asked, Harvey would lie through his teeth and consider it a just cause. Trevor needed to pay for all the lives he’d ruined through drugs and his so-called friendship.

A few long minutes of silence and then… “Harold McTennor. He’s my main connection. Works out of Hell’s Kitchen.”

Harvey grinned fiercely at that, triumph rippling through him.

Trevor’s eyes widened and he seemed to realize just how fucked he now was. He lunged across the table at Harvey with a shout of rage, slamming into Harvey and driving them both to the floor. Harvey let out his own shout and pummeled Trevor with everything he had, slamming his fists into him until cops pulled them apart. Panting with adrenaline and the need to do further damage, Harvey only stayed put because Flack shoved a hand onto his chest, glared and said, “Don’t screw things up for your boy now, Spector.”

The other cops dragged Trevor out of the room kicking and screaming for revenge.

Fists still clenched, Harvey demanded, “You get what you needed?”

Flack nodded. “And then some. Already talked to narco and they’re going to put the paperwork through for you. Meantime, Ross’s gonna stay in iso to keep him safe until you claim him.”

The words ‘claim him,’ shot through Harvey like an electric charge and he had to clamp down on his composure to keep it intact. He nodded sharply and ran a shaky hand through his hair. “I’m fine.”

Flack removed his hand and said, “Okay. Go home and get some rest.”

“But…”

“Nothing’s gonna happen until mid-morning at the earliest. We’ve got paperwork to file and the narco captain ain’t even here tonight to approve everything.”

Fear cut through Harvey and he said, “You said everything would be fine if I got you that info.”

“And it will,” Flack said firmly. “I don’t give my word lightly.”

And I owe you, echoed unsaid through the room.

Harvey nodded and sighed, letting himself relax a hair. He couldn’t do anything about Mike until the deal was settled, as much as he wanted to gather Mike into his arms until he stopped shaking. “Do me a favor?”

“Another one?”

Harvey huffed out an amused breath. “Yeah. Mike’s got to be freezing. Can someone get him some clothes or blankets or something?”

Flack softened at that and nodded. “Yeah, sure. Don’t worry, Spector, I’ll take care of your boy.”

Harvey smiled briefly. “Thanks, Flack.”

Flack quirked a grin at him and said, “I would say by the end of this you’d owe me, but you’ve just given us a major drug player. Get some sleep, Spector.”

Harvey nodded and left the room, making plans about how to change his loft into something comfortable for two people. It wasn’t a change he’d ever anticipated, but Harvey prided himself on being flexible.

* * * *

Mike stayed awake, numb, for most of the rest of the very long night. At some point a guard came in and threw sweatpants, a tee shirt, and a blanket at him through the bars. He didn’t know why the about-face, but he wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth. He pulled on the too-baggy clothes and wrapped up in the blanket. He slept after that, the trembling cold retreating just enough for him to manage a light doze.

He jerked awake at the clattering of the door opening. A tall man with dark hair and bright blue eyes looked down at him for a few seconds and then said, “So you’re the one who finally got to the heartless Harvey Specter. I wouldn’t have believed it.”

Mike rubbed at his eyes and then said, “Huh?”

The man snickered and said, “Get up, Ross. You’re being arraigned.”

Mike climbed slowly to his feet, sore in body and soul. It looked like Harvey hadn’t been able to come through after all. Not that he’d expected him to, there was just too much stacked against him in this situation. He couldn’t rewrite Empire law single-handedly, after all.

It wasn’t a long journey to the courthouse and the detective, whoever he was, didn’t speak to him again. He wasn’t unkind, though, stopping to grab him a pair of flip flops and not banging him into any doors or corners. It was weird, being escorted to the courthouse and through security. He knew most prisoners just got thrown together at the supposed mercy of the guards. Not that he was complaining. The longer he went without experiencing the horror of the prison system, the better.

Arraignment took place in a crowded courtroom and Mike immediately locked onto Harvey sitting in the front row. He was dressed impeccably, as always, and looked perfectly at ease in the noisy atmosphere, as if the despair and rage couldn’t touch him. That icy exterior Mike had always admired was front and center.

The bailiff announced, “Case number 1657490. State of New York and The Empire against Michael Ross.”

The detective pushed him lightly to the table where a public defender should have been, and yet no one waited for him. Mike tried not to feel utterly on his own; Harvey was just a few feet away, after all.

The judge, an Asian woman somewhere in her fifties, looked at the prosecutor and said, “Has an agreement been reached?”

The prosecutor nodded and said, “Yes, Your Honor.”

Mike blinked in surprise. “An agreement?”

The judge eyed him like a bug. “Silence.”

Mike’s jaw clicked shut.

The prosecutor said, “Michael Ross is to be convicted into slave status and sold to one Harvey Specter at the cost of trial proceedings and fines due to Michael Ross’ transgressions against the criminal code.”

The judge looked right at Harvey and said, “Are you sure about this, Mr. Specter?”

Harvey stood up and said, “Yes, Your Honor. My associate is a good kid at heart, he just has poor judgment when it comes to who he should trust. As you can see from the interrogation transcripts, Trevor Harris confessed to leaving the drugs in Mike’s apartment without his knowledge or participation. As well, Mike has been under my supervision for the last six months and I believe that he was trying to better himself, to break free of Mr. Harris’ influence. It’s just too bad he hadn’t changed the locks on his apartment and prevented all of this.”

Harvey’s dry tone actually prompted a smile from the judge. “Indeed. Very well, Mr. Specter. I presume you wish for him to be able to continue work as your associate?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“There will be limitations, no criminal cases, but I don’t see any reason not to put Mr. Ross to work for you if he has the capability to do so. This agreement is approved and finalized by this Court and the power vested in me by the state of New York and the Empire. Once he’s been fitted with a locator chip and registered properly, you can take your slave home, Mr. Specter. And do try to keep the boy out of trouble.”

“I will ma’am. Thank you,” Harvey said, voice warm enough to prompt another smile from the judge. He looked over at Mike and smiled briefly.

Dazed, Mike couldn’t think of anything to say as the detective who’d brought him in took him out of the courtroom. The actual chipping procedure only took about a half-hour. They anesthetized the area between shoulder blade and spine and then implanted the GPS tracker. When they pushed him back into the hall, that detective waited for him outside and guided him down the hall.

Harvey waited for them outside of the building, on the courthouse steps. He immediately wrapped his arms around Mike and demanded, “Are you okay?”

Mike buried his face against Harvey’s neck and nodded, clinging to the other man as he shook in reaction. He still couldn’t believe how it had worked out. He wasn’t going to a hard labor camp, instead sold to Harvey where he’d keep being a lawyer in all but name. He silently thanked the Gods that he’d never really believed in as he let Harvey’s warmth seep into him, only half-listening to the conversation going on around him.

“…already on his way to the camp, yeah,” caught Mike’s attention and he straightened a little. Harvey wasn’t having that, though, and pulled him in close again. Mike gave in without any fuss, too glad to be where he was to really protest, but listened.

Harvey said, “Keep me updated if anything changes.”

“I will,” the detective promised. “Go home, Harvey. Don’t call me if you need anything else.”

Harvey chuckled, not sounding offended in the least. “I won’t. Thanks, Flack. For everything.”

The two men shook hands and then Harvey squeezed Mike tight for a few seconds before letting him go. He kept an arm around Mike’s waist, though, and said, “Come on, puppy. We have things to talk about at home.”

Mike nodded and gratefully leaned on Harvey as they walked down the stone steps; he hadn’t eaten since the morning before and was feeling shaky for a variety of reasons. Ray waited with the car at the bottom of the steps; he opened the door for them and Mike couldn't even summon the energy to give him a smile as Harvey ushered him inside.

Harvey tugged Mike into his arms again as soon as they were both seated and the door closed, putting one of his arms over Mike's shoulder. He wanted to ask about Trevor, but didn't dare. He wasn't even sure if he was hoping that Trevor was going to a camp or not. There was no sense of closure, as stupid as Mike thought that sounded. He couldn't even punch Trevor in the face for what he'd done, losing the privilege of revenge to the justice of the State and Empire.

“You okay?” Harvey murmured against his ear.

Mike shook his head and said honestly, “I don't know what I am.”

A different kind of shock ran through him when Harvey kissed the top of his bare head. “That's okay, too. It's going to take some time.”

Mike didn't care if it was cowardly, he just pressed his face against Harvey's chest and hid for the rest of the ride. He dozed, because it seemed like only seconds later that the door clicked open and the noise jolted him awake. Mike jumped, but didn't get far with Harvey's arm like lead over his shoulder.

Harvey said quietly, “It's okay, Mike, it's just Ray. We're home.”

Mike let out a shaky breath and climbed out of the car after Harvey. Something, he realized, that he'd be doing the rest of his life. He stopped short in the garage as true understanding struck. He was a slave. He no longer had control over his own life. Harvey could abuse him, rape him, kill him and no one would think twice.

Harvey stopped and looked back. “Mike?”

Mike met his gaze and found a wealth of concern there, a lot more than Harvey had ever let show before. “I'm your slave now.”

Harvey slowly walked back to him, nodding. “That's right.”

“I'm, I'm not free. I don't have my own life anymore.”

“I know.”

Loss staggered through him and Mike dropped to his knees. The dull pain at the contact didn't even come close to matching the emotions roiling inside him.

Harvey crouched beside him and gripped his shoulder. “Your life's going to be different, Mike, but you're safe with me. I swear it. You will never have any cause to fear me.”

Even though logically he'd known that, the words soothed the fear that threatened to overwhelm Mike. He let out a short, shaky breath and took the hand that Harvey held out to him, letting the other man tug him upright once more.

He didn't resist when Harvey kept a hand on him. The irony of the situation didn't fail him. Mike had longed for Harvey to take charge of him for months, almost since the day they'd met. Now neither of them had a choice in the matter.

* * * *

Harvey rarely said anything like it, but in this case, Donna was right. The absolute gut-wrenching pain on Mike's face when his situation had truly driven home would've killed Harvey with guilt if he'd been in any way responsible. As it was, he was already feeling somewhat guilty over the relief that Mike was not just safe, but his. He made a note to send Donna something expensive in the near future.

He brought Mike up to the apartment and settled him on the sofa before going over to fix him a stiff drink. The kid looked about ready to pass out and definitely needed something to settle him down. Harvey sat beside him and put the tumbler in Mike's hand. “Drink. Slowly.”

Mike took a big gulp and then coughed and spluttered for a minute.

Harvey rolled his eyes. “I said slowly. That's the good stuff.”

Mike wiped at watery eyes and gasped, “Good stuff. Right.”

A reluctant grin twitched at Harvey's mouth and he heard Donna in his head admonishing him to be honest with the other man. As much as he just wanted to move forward without some big, emotional talk, he knew clearing the air between them would be the best strategy. All he needed six months from now was for Mike to somehow find out about his plans to make the younger man his, think the worst, and freak out.

Letting out a short, sharp sigh, Harvey admitted, “I wanted you to be my slave. Not like this, but I wanted you to be mine pretty much from the moment I saw you.”

Mike's jaw dropped a bit and the glass lowered.

Harvey patiently reached over and tapped it upwards as he said, “I was actually thinking of ways to, well, make you my slave when all this happened. I had absolutely no part in it, but the timing was just... bizarre, frankly.”

Mike swallowed another gulp of the liquor, but this time his eyes only watered, he didn't cough. He did clear his throat and say slowly, “I think... I think the Gods were listening to us both, or trying to make us listen to them and when we didn't, took matters into their own hands.”

Harvey quirked an eyebrow at him, surprised. “I didn't think you were that devout.”

Mike shrugged a shoulder and said, “I'm not, not really. But like you said, the timing's bizarre. You start thinking of ways to enslave me and boom, here I am. I know you're good, Harvey, but you're not that good.”

Harvey had tensed at the word 'enslave,' but Mike's faint grin and easy words were enough to relax him. “Okay, so. Rules. All the public ones apply, naturally, but there are a few private ones, too.”

Mike's eyes widened a bit and he nodded, drinking down the last of the whiskey.

“First, no one touches you or tells you what to do except me, Donna, or Jessica. And Jessica knows not to poach from me, so you won't have to worry about her doing something you don't like. Louis can give you work, but that's it,” Harvey said firmly. “I'll have a private chat with Louis to impress upon him just how much I mean that.”

Mike let out a small sigh and relaxed further. “Good.”

“Second, you can not back talk me in public. Not because I care, but because everyone else will. I know it's your first instinct, but swallow it.”

Mike nodded, taking the rule seriously.

“Third, I'm for initiative in all areas so if you feel inspired to be a little public in your displays of affection, go for it,” Harvey teased to lighten things up a little.

A soft laugh escaped Mike and he asked, “How affectionate are we talking?”

Harvey smirked. “Oh, feel free to suck me off under the desk or a table any time the mood takes you.”

Mike's eyes widened again, further this time and he said, a little breathless, “Okay. Good to know.”

“Last and most important,” Harvey said, sobering a bit. “I won't punish you arbitrarily, but if you fuck up, dishonor the firm, and break any public or private rules, there will be punishment. It will depend on the nature of the transgression, but I will spank, cane, whip, or beat you as the situation warrants. Pearson Hardiman can not in any way be compromised by a slave, no matter who that slave belongs to. Punishment will be public and brutal in accordance with company policy.”

Harvey knew that Mike had read that clause in his contract, like every other associate. On the chance that someone became a voluntary slave to their significant other, it had to be present and fully understood and agreed to before employment was engaged.

Mike nodded and said quietly, “I know, but thanks for bringing it up. Um, what about, accidental transgressions?”

“What, like walking beside me instead of behind me or not doing what your told?”

“Right.”

Harvey wrapped his hand around Mike's wrist and squeezed tight, but brief. “It will depend on the circumstances. There's going to be a transition period, Mike, and everyone at work will know that. Allowances will be made for a while, but not forever. If it helps, I think you're going to be so perfect as my slave. You're already so perfect for me in every other way, Mike.”

Mike swallowed hard and whispered, “Really? Because I always feel like I let you down.”

Harvey restrained a wince. That was totally on him. He'd been extra hard on Mike for the last couple of months to try and keep him at bay while simultaneously wanting to keep him close. Harvey pulled him in and wrapped him in another hug and then tugged him onto his lap. He kissed Mike gently, coaxing his mouth open and carefully devouring him for a long time. When he pulled back, Mike leaned forward to continue kissing, his eyes dazed with the pupils blown.

Harvey smiled and kissed his temple, then murmured against his ear, “You almost never let me down, Mike. I'm so proud of everything you've accomplished.”

Mike gasped and buried his face against Harvey's chest. He didn't speak or cry, but Harvey felt him shake. He rubbed his hand slowly along Mike's back and held him for several minutes until the shaking stopped.

“Come on. Let's take a quick shower to wash the stink off you and then early to bed,” Harvey ordered. “It's been a stressful week and we could both use the sleep.”

Mike nodded and slowly climbed off Harvey's lap. Once they were standing, Harvey put his arm around Mike's waist and guided him into the bedroom, loving how he leaned against him. It didn't take long to strip him of the second-hand clothes Flack had given Mike.

Harvey pulled off his own clothes as quickly as he could, tossing them at the closet and rolling his eyes a little at Mike's faint grin. “Shut up.”

Mike grinned outright at that. “I didn't say anything.”

“You didn't have to,” Harvey said, his mood rising in response to Mike's. “Bathroom's through there.”

Harvey was just shoving down his pants and boxers when he heard Mike exclaim, “This isn't a bathroom, Harvey, it's an altar to Dionysus!”

Chuckling, Harvey pulled off his socks and walked into the bathroom to find Mike gaping at his surroundings. It was a little on the ostentatious side, Harvey could admit. The bathroom took up half-again as much space as the bedroom with a sunken tub, separate shower, tiled floors and a double sink. “Are you complaining?”

Mike smiled broadly at him and said, “Complain that my new bathroom is bigger than my last kitchen? No, no I'm not.”

Harvey grinned and walked to the tub, starting the water and bending to flick the plug into place. “I don't use the tub as often as I should.”

“I would live in it, if I could,” Mike said, stepping beside him.

When Harvey straightened up, Mike was just right there, in his space, and suddenly all the want he'd had for the younger man for almost a year slammed into him. Mike's eyes widened, apparently sensing the change, or maybe Harvey wasn't nearly as subtle as he liked to think and it was as obvious as the tub. He let out a slow, shaky breath and said, “Nothing's going to happen tonight, Mike. We're both riding fumes and it's a very bad idea to make umph!”

Mike threw his arms around Harvey's neck and kissed him, interrupting the words very efficiently. The kiss was messy, graceless, and as heartfelt as Mike himself. Harvey groaned and wrapped his arms around Mike, deepening the kiss and backing Mike up against the nearest wall. Mike melted against him, hitching a leg around his waist and digging his fingers into Harvey's shoulders.

Harvey ground down against him, already most of the way to being hard, and panted into his mouth. Mike was his now. He could do this and more. This was perfect, though, and he bit Mike's lower lip before shifting to his throat and marking him with another bite there and sucking a hickey into existence.

Mike cried out and jerked up against him, shuddering violently as he came and splattering them both with it. His head tilted to the side, exposing his throat even more. “Oh gods, oh Harvey.”

Harvey thrust a few more times against Mike's softening dick before coming, feeling like he was about to have a heart attack, it beat so hard against his chest. Mike held him up, an arm snaking around Harvey's waist to support him through the aftershocks and kissing him gently, little kisses against his face and temple. Harvey needed it. He couldn't remember the last time he came that hard and rested there until his breathing slowed down.

And then he felt hot water against his feet. Harvey cursed and looked over to find the tub had overflowed. He rushed over to it and turns off the faucet, unplugging it to lower the water while Mike laughed.

* * * *

They did actually use the tub, but not until cleaning up the pulled of water all around it. Mike snickered randomly through the entire bath, remembering the startled expression on Harvey's face when he'd realized what had happened.

It was definitely an experience, being bathed. Harvey insisted on washing every inch of him with his hands and a facecloth. Mike squirmed and shivered as those too-clever fingers slid around his dick and gently breached his ass just long enough to get him going again. He couldn't get enough of the kissing and Harvey seemed to feel the same way. They spent an hour in the tub, at least, and Harvey had pulled another orgasm out of him by the end of it, just with his hands.

Not that Mike was complaining, really, but it made him even more useless. Exhaustion dogged him even harder after that and he kept yawning, lulled by the hot water, Harvey's slow, stroking hands, and the two orgasms. Between one blink and the next, he was out of the tub and sitting on the toilet while Harvey dried him off with a fluffy blue towel. His nails scratched through the material while rubbing Mike's hair dry and the scalp massage made him drift away again.

Next he knew, Mike found himself in the ginormous bed that dominated Harvey's bedroom. It was just as sinfully comfortable as it looked and he stretched with a groan.

“God, your gorgeous.”

Mike twisted towards the voice and found Harvey standing beside the bed, staring at him. He was dressed in boxers now, but that was it. His hair was messy and looked damp still. Mike smiled and said lightly, “You're delusional.”

Harvey frowned and climbed onto the bed, slipping under the covers and settling up behind him. Pulling the blankets back over them, he wrapped his arms around Mike and said, “We're going to work on that self-esteem problem you've got.”

“I don't have any...”

Harvey's hand covered his mouth, blocking his words. Mike got the idea and stopped talking. Harvey kissed the back of his head and repeated, “You're gorgeous. And smart, funny, and perfect for me.”

Mike blushed at the string of compliments and clamped down on the instinct to spout a denial. Maybe he did have some issues. “Harvey, did you talk to my grandmother?”

“This morning. She knows what happened and she knows you're safe with me,” Harvey promised.

Mike hesitated, but asked softly, “Am I?”

Harvey hugged him tight and answered, quiet bur firm, “Always.”

Something deep inside relaxed. This moment, being held by Harvey and knowing that no one could take him away, filled the hole in his heart that had been empty since his parents' deaths. Mike sighed deeply as contentment rolled through him.

“Get some sleep, Mike,” Harvey murmured.

Mike yawned again and nodded. “Night, Master.”

He heard Harvey's breath hitch at the word and felt the arms tighten briefly around him.

Mike smiled as he fell asleep.