The stories on this page are between gay couples and include loving discipline. This is a group effort by some of the members of Dizzy’s Discipline Den. We started the series December 2014. All TLR characters are original creations. Any similarity to other stories/characters or people living or deceased is coincidental. No money is made from this blog. All Stories on this Blog are Copyright - 2012-2018
You must be at least 21 years of age to view this blog.
Sunday, October 4, 2015
TLR Chapter 16
That night, after
everyone had gone, Jaxon said his good nights and Heath rolled him into his
room while James straightened up the kitchen and made sure the house was
"Just let me help
you get into bed and you'll be all set." Heath said.
Really. I can do it." Jaxon replied. "If you could get me a glass of
water if I need it during the night, I'd appreciate that." He suggested.
problem." Heath replied with a smile, thinking that Jaxon was once again
feeling like a burden. "Let me help you and then I'll be happy to get you
Seeing no way around
it, Jaxon allowed Heath to pick him up and place him on the bed. It was all Jax
could do not to wince in pain as even Heath's gentle touch caused his shoulder pain.
"Are you all
right?" Heath asked, concerned. "You're sweating. Why don't we take
that long sleeved shirt off and put you into a tee shirt?"
fine." Jaxon said quickly. "I tend to get a little chilly at night
and this shirt is perfect."
"Well, if you're
"Yes, thank you.
I'm fine. Just a little achy." Jaxon confessed.
"I'll get you
that water then, and you can have some more ibuprofen."
"That'd be fine.
Thanks." Jaxon smiled gratefully.
Heath took the glass
from Jaxon's bedside table, went to the bathroom and filled it with cold water,
then returned to the bedroom. He opened the drawer of the bedside table and
frowned. The cap to the pill bottle was partially off. It wasn't like him not
to cap a pill bottle completely but he brushed the incident aside, thinking
that there was a first time for everything.
"Here you go,” He
said, holding the pills and the water out for Jaxon, who promptly took the
pills. He finished taking a sip of the water and gave another grateful smile to
"Are you going to
be all right?" Heath asked. Something seemed off with Jaxon but he
couldn't quite put his finger on what it might be.
"I'm fine. Just sleepy. It's been a long day."
"All right then,
sleep well." Heath said, placing a fond, gentle hand on Jaxon's cheek
before turning to leave. "Just remember to call me if you need anything.
I'm nearby and you won't be disturbing me." He reassured the younger man.
"Thanks, Heath. I
will. Good night."
hon." Heath said with a smile. He turned and left, turning out the light
and leaving the door ajar so that they could hear if Jaxon called.
While Heath had been
completely unaware of the endearment, it hadn't been lost on Jaxon who
experienced a strange but pleasurable sensation in his chest. Despite the pain
in his knee and shoulder, he eventually fell asleep, smiling.
Mutt on the other
hand, couldn't sleep. He tossed and turned, kicked off the blankets only to
pull them back on minutes later.
wrong?" Jeff asked, turning on the light to look at his husband. He was
concerned by what he saw. Mutt was pale and sweaty. Jeff put a hand on Mutt's
face but felt no fever.
"My stomach is
bothering me. I'm all right."
Jeff suppressed a
laugh. "Well, you did have dessert after dinner and then went to James's
to make sundaes. Your stomach is probably just upset. I'll get you an
Alka-Seltzer and you'll be all right."
Mutt only nodded and
laid back down on his pillow, looking miserable. Jeff came back minutes later
with a glass full of the fizzy stuff and watched as his husband drank the
contents. He nearly laughed again as Mutt reached the bottom of the glass and
wrinkled his nose at the bitter taste. Jeff put the glass aside and turned the
light back off. He pulled Mutt into his arms, surprised when Mutt tried to pull
"If I have
something I don't want to pass it to you." Mutt explained. In actuality,
even though Jaxon had insisted that he was fine after the accident, guilt was
eating at him, first for injuring Jaxon and then for not telling Jeff about it.
He didn't feel he deserved to be taken care of or cuddled but he knew that if
he told Jeff, then Jeff would call James and Heath and then Jaxon would be in
trouble for not telling them. Then there was the issue of James and Heath being
angry with him, not to mention what Jeff would do. So he kept his tongue.
Jeff felt Mutt's
forehead and cheeks again but still felt no fever. "If you have something
chances are you've already given it to me and the other guys already. I still
think it was just too much dessert, so just hush, lie down and try to
sleep." Jeff said gently, pulling Mutt back down so that his head was on
Despite the churning
in his stomach, Mutt finally passed into a fitful sleep.
The next morning when
Heath checked in on Jaxon he was sound asleep. He tried to wake him but Jaxon
mumbled grumpily and Heath, smiling, left him to sleep a while longer.
Breakfast could wait. He went into the living room where James was waiting to
say goodbye. The two men kissed and smiled at each other, enjoying their new
Mutt, despite the Alka-Seltzer,
had had a restless night but was now sleeping more or less peacefully. Knowing
that there was nothing pressing for him to do that morning, Jeff unwilling to
wake him up, left to go to the lodge for breakfast. Jeff knew that the pancake
special was a favorite of Mutt's and he decided to get it to take home for him
before he had to wake his husband.
James smiled at Jeff
as he joined him at the table waiting for Harry and Brody to meet with them.
"Jeff, any idea what Harry wanted to talk about?" He asked.
"No, but it must
be important if he agreed to meet for breakfast.”
James studied his
friend who was his administrator. "I hope he doesn't want to resign now
that he's found a partner. He's a good man. I'd hate to lose him."
"I'd hate to lose
him as well. I didn't get that vibe from him, but I guess with him finding a
man of his own, anything is possible. Let's hope for the best. He should
be here any minute."
"Yes, no sense in borrowing trouble or worrying about anything until it
Harry smiled at Brody
as they approached the lodge. "Bet James and Jeff will be surprised when
we tell them what we're proposin'."
"Well, I admit
that I'm eager to see the looks on their faces," Brody admitted. "But
I'm also a little worried that their expressions won't be what I want them to
be. Yeah, I work with money, but... that's not the same thing."
Harry said, "I have
faith in you Brody. Aren't you studyin' accountin' nights?"
"Yes, but I don't
have my Bachelor's yet. I'm worried that I won't have the qualifications
they're looking for. The best I can do is go in there and put a good face on
it. I'm very good with numbers and can balance a checkbook," He
joked. "Maybe they'll be satisfied with that for now."
"Yes and I'm not sure how complicated accountin' is, after all I'm a
security guard. I only know how to guard the money." He teased as he
opened the door to the restaurant in the lodge.
James, looking up and seeing
the familiar form of Harry outlined in the door said, "Looks like they're
Brody took the door
and gallantly gestured Harry in before him. Indulging himself, he put a
light hand on the other man's shoulder. He felt as though a jolt of
electricity went through him and he smiled. He loved how this man made him
Harry grinned at
Brody, then turned to look around the dining area for James and Jeff. He
glanced up at Brody and smiled. "Come on." He said. Harry had felt a
spark as Brody touched his shoulder, but tried not to make too much of it.
After all, they were just getting to know each other. He didn't think it really
meant much right now, not being very experienced at these things. He headed
over to where he saw James and Jeff at a table set for four.
James, Jeff." Harry said, echoed by Brody as they sat down across the
table from the two retired Marines.
James smiled as he saw
Harry heading toward him with his new partner. "Hello Harry, Brody, come
join us...have a seat gentlemen."
Harry seated himself
and waited for Brody to join him. Brody sat down and reached for the glass of
ice water to his right. He took a sip to hide his nervousness.
James smiled as both
men seated themselves. "Hello gentlemen. I'm interested in what this
meeting is all about, but let's get you some coffee and your breakfast ordered
A waiter came over and
took their order and then with a look at Jeff James asked, "All right
Harry, tell us why you requested this meeting."
Harry, looked at Brody
and smiled. "We wanted to ask if you'd like to have Brody and me as
permanent residents here at Teardrop Lake Resort. Brody's really good with
numbers and is still studying accountin' at college at night while he’s been
working at the bank."
James raised an
eyebrow in surprise. He exchanged a look with Jeff.
Brody laughed, "I
think Harry is a little nervous, James."
"Since we left
last week, we've been talking about moving here and with you needing an
accountant, I thought I could help you out." When the two big men didn't
say anything Brody continued, “I have an Associate's degree, and have
on the job experience. I'm also taking night courses to earn my Bachelor's
Degree, to become a full time CPA. I'm very close to graduation and I've just
applied to take the Uniform CPA
“Two years college,
continuing education, three years on the job experience at the bank."
Jeff said thoughtfully.
"Yes, I've been
at the bank as a senior teller for a year and as a teller two years before
that." Brody answered. "They've had no problem asking me to help out
with the books on occasion."
Harry chimed in.
"He's real good at what he does Jeff. Owen, the bank manager, we
told you about last weekend, promoted Brody to senior teller over the other
tellers at the bank."
Brody put his hand
over Harry's to ground him. "I have my résumé here
for you to look at Jeff."
James put out a hand
to take the paper from Brody, scanned it and then handed it over to Jeff.
"Pretty impressive, Brody." He said. "Even without a Bachelor's
or Master's degree."
James," Brody answered with a smile.
Jeff smiled in his own
quiet way. "We don't need a big staff, just an extra person in the office
and someone who can take over for me when I'm not available or on my day
off." He looked at Brody expectantly.
"And it's always good to have a second pair of eyes to check the
books. I don't know about you but staring at those numbers for too long makes
my vision blur."
Harry looked at Brody,
surprised and impressed. "You can do all that kind of accountin’ stuff
"Yes... well... I
do it for myself, and as I said, I have helped in other areas when it was
needed." Brody replied, “and if I need a bit of help I'm not too proud to
Jeff looked at
Brody's résumé. Impressed that Brody had
advanced as fast as he had Jeff asked Brody what some of his duties were.
“Customer service, of course,” Brody answered, “but an
average day includes processing
deposits, withdrawals, transfers and loan payments; preparing cashier’s checks,
money orders, travelers checks, international and domestic wire money transfers
and savings bonds; and assisting patrons to subscribe to credit cards or
insurance. As well as granting customers access to the safety deposit box
lobby. I also take care of the beginning
and ending of shift drawer accounting and am responsible for scheduling and evaluation
of other tellers.
James nodded and
turned to his security guard, "What made you decide that you wanted to
come live here after all this time, Harry?"
Harry said sheepishly,
"I know you've wanted me to come live here as a permanent resident and become
a full time security guard for a long time now James, but I never felt like I
quite fit in, but now I have Brody. It's different. I even found I can get my
mother into a home about a half hour from here so I can continue to visit her
every night if that's all right with you?"
James nodded. "I
don't see that as a problem Harry."
"Thank you, James. It just seems to be the perfect opportunity."
Harry replied. "I didn't want to try to have a long distance relationship
with Brody or ask him to leave his job."
"That would be hard and I'm glad this opportunity has come up and that
Brody is interested in the position."
"I never thought
about leaving the bank until I found out about TLR and that Harry worked
here." Brody said. “When Mike said he didn’t want to be your accountant
any longer, well, it just got us thinking.”
"Well, I think Jeff is pleased and I know I am."
"Then, you think
Brody can be the new accountant?" Harry asked hopefully
"I want you to
earn your Bachelors. You've put too much time and effort into studying for
it and you said you were close enough to completing your hours and have made
application for your CPA. I'd hate for that to go to waste. But in the
meantime, you seem to be heaven sent. James?" Jeff said, not really
needing to ask the question as he was sure of the answer.
"As far as I'm
concerned, Brody, you have the position." James smiled, reaching across
the table to shake Brody's hand.
"But we couldn't
start for two weeks, we have to give our notice at the bank." Brody
"James and I have
been doing the books. Two weeks longer won't be a problem," Jeff
said with a grin, also reaching to shake the two men's hands to seal the deal.
"Thank you James.
Jeff. You won't be disappointed." Brody said, smiling ear to ear.
"We're just happy
to have you." James answered. "We're looking forward to having both
of you here with us."
It was all Harry could
do not to shout his happiness. He reached under the table and put a shaking hand
on Brody's thigh. Brody put a hand down and covered Harry's with his own and
Almost as soon as
Brody and Harry left Shorty and Bo walked into the restaurant. James waved
them over to join them. The new comers ordered coffee and began to look at the
"So, Bo, how was
your first night?" Jeff asked.
"Oh, all right
enough, I guess." Bo answered, his face unusually pale. "I was
worried about Jaxon though. How is he today?" He asked.
sleeping soundly when I left him. What were you worried about?" James
asked, frowning in confusion.
"He... he didn't say anything last night?"
"What was there
to tell? Did something happen?" Jeff asked, trying to keep the concern
from his voice.
"Oh, well if he
didn't say anything..." Bo began.
said, jumping into the conversation. "Whether
or not he said anything last night is secondary. Jeff asked you
if something happened. Answer the
man." he said sternly.
Bo blushed and looked
down at his coffee cup. "Really, if Jaxon didn't say anything he's
probably fine now." Bo prevaricated. "Uh... the bacon egg and cheese
on a roll looks good." He said, trying to change the subject.
Shorty said sternly. "If you know something then speak up. And look
at us when you talk."
Bo, head still down,
looked up from beneath his lashes to find the three men looking at him with
mixed expressions of concern and curiosity on their faces. Shorty looked a
little angry as well.
Embarrassed that he
hadn't done what he should have done the night before, he haltingly told the
men at the table about the accident at the lake.
"Why didn't you
say something?" Jeff asked.
"Why didn't you
call, or have Jaxon call?" James demanded.
sorry." Bo replied, blushing. "He insisted that he was fine. We
wanted to call but he begged us not to. I... it's no excuse... I did want to
call but Jaxon insisted he was fine." Bo repeated, trying not to sound
"If you'll excuse
me, gentlemen,” Jeff said quietly, “I need to get back home and check on
Mutt. He wasn’t feeling well last night
and now I think I know what the problem is."
"I was heading back home after breakfast
anyway, but I'll
call Heath and let him know what happened so he can check Jax out." James
replied as he stood up and pulled out his cell phone. He stepped away from the
table and called Heath.
Bo put his menu aside having lost his appetite. James noticed the action
and returned to join the two men again. “Bo, you’re new to TLR. You took Jax at
his word so I’m not blaming you for any further injury Jax may have received
last night.” He explained. “However in the future please let us know if
something like this happens again.”
“Yes, sir, I will, you can count on it,” Bo promised.
“Good, now get yourself something to eat while I go check on Jax.”
James left a tip for the waiter as he usually did and left the restaurant.
When Bo didn’t make a move to pick up the menu again Shorty rose.
"Come walk with me, Robert. I think you and I should have a talk."
Shorty said sternly as he began to leave as well. Bo didn't ask any questions
or complain, but followed meekly in the older man's wake.
After he got off the
phone with James, Heath went back to the younger man's room to wake him and
give him the chance to explain.
Jaxon, who had been
trying to rush to get dressed, had ended up becoming tangled in the shirt he
was trying to put on. The finger shaped bruising on his arm where Mutt had
tried to grab him the night before was evident immediately.
happened?" Heath demanded, giving Jaxon the opportunity to confess.
fine, really. Nothing happened." Jaxon replied quickly, still struggling
with the shirt as he sat on the bed, his sweat pants still only half up,
revealing another bruise on his right hip.
Heath walked further
in and despite Jaxon's efforts to stop him, pulled off the tangled shirt. He
grit his teeth when he saw the large purple bruise on their boy's shoulder.
leave bruising like that, young man." Heath replied, keeping his voice
steady. "I'm going to give you one more chance to tell me what
Jaxon bit at his lower
lip and lowered his gaze to his hands. "It was just an accident. And I'm
"We know what
happened last night." Heath interjected. "James found out this
morning at breakfast. We would have liked to have heard it from you last night,
which is what you should have done rather than try to keep it a secret from
us." Heath said, unable to keep a frown of disappointment from his face.
"Please don't let
Mutt get into trouble!" Jaxon said pleadingly. "We were all being
silly and weren't watching what we were doing. No one meant for anyone to get
"That's not the
point, young man." James replied, iron in his tone as he walked into the
room. "The point is you should have told us last night and not have let us
hear it second hand. I'm very disappointed that didn’t happen."
Jaxon could feel the
pressure behind his eyes and blinked a few times. "I'm sorry." He
James fought down his
first response to the boy's apology and leaned against the door jamb, arms
crossed, looking with displeasure at Jaxon, who averted his eyes.
"Let me look at
your shoulder and leg then help you get dressed and we'll talk about this more
in the kitchen." Heath said sternly.
Was the soft reply.
In doctor mode, Heath
pulled Jax’s sweats totally off then helped their boy lay back on the bed. He
removed the brace on Jax’s leg seeing the increased swelling. “Did you fall on
your wrist?” he asked.
“N…No sir,” Jax
whispered. “It’s probably the only thing that isn’t hurting.”
“I guess this explains
the lid being off the ibuprofen bottle. How many did you take before I gave you
those two pills last night?”
“Bo gave me two after
I got out of the shower.” Jax answered. “I took two more about four this morning.”
Heath shook his head
and watched as a tear ran down Jax cheek. His voiced softened as he reached up
and wiped it away. “I know you are hurting, Jax, but I need to see if you did
any more damage to your leg.” The doctor gently manipulated Jax left leg and
knee. “Your knee is still in place, which is a good thing considering the
swelling,” Heath explained. “If the swelling doesn’t lessen or the pain
increases, I’ll x-ray it again just to be sure.”
Heath pulled Jax’s
sweats the rest of the way up. Then he replaced the brace leaving it over the
sweats so he could monitor the swelling. He moved up to examine Jax’s shoulder.
He frowned when he saw the hand shaped bruise. “Who slapped you, Jaxon?”
The younger man didn’t
want to get Mutt in anymore trouble but Jax couldn’t see any way not to tell
the truth. “When I fell out of the chair Mutt tried to stop me and grabbed my
arm, Doc. He didn’t mean to bruise me,” Jax whispered. “He doesn’t even know it
“What do you mean he
doesn’t know, Jax?” James asked.
“I didn’t show him. He
felt bad enough that the chair tipped, I didn’t want him to feel worse,” Jax
“I don’t understand
why you didn’t call me or James, Jax,” Heath said.
“Mutt and Bo both
wanted to call you but I told them I was ok. And I was,” Jax said looking at
Heath. “Well, I guess I wasn’t as ok as I thought.”
“No, I guess you
weren’t,” Heath agreed.
“I’m sorry,” Jax said.
“After all you and James have done for me…I lied to you…I can’t blame anyone
but myself if you s..send me a…away.” Jax mumbled.
Heath pulled his boy
into a hug. “I’m not happy with your choices, Hun, but we aren’t going to send
you anywhere. This is your home for as long as you want it to be.”
Jax wrapped his arms
around the man holding him and breathed in his scent.
They sat that way
until Heath said, “Come on, let’s get you up and dressed.” He helped the
young man pull on a t-shirt then transferred him to the wheelchair, but not
before giving the boy a swift, stinging swat on his backside.
Shocked, Jaxon allowed
himself to be seated. He looked wide eyed at the two men.
"Just be glad
it's nothing worse." James said, wryly.
Jeff called as he entered their bungalow. "Matthew Elijah! Front and
center!" He heard Mutt in the bathroom and shouted again. "Now!"
The water ran briefly.
Jeff knew that Mutt was taking the time to wash his hands but that didn't stop
him from feeling a twinge of irritation at the delay.
Mutt presented himself
a moment later, his hands in his jeans pockets and walking a little stiffly.
Concern warred with
Jeff's irritation when he saw that, and the dark circles beneath his husband's
Was all that Mutt said, looking down at the blonde wood floor.
"Yes, I know.
What I want to know is why I didn't hear it from you last night. Take your
hands out of your pockets." Jeff ordered.
Mutt gingerly removed
his hands from his pockets and Jeff grabbed one, turning it over so that he
could see the scrapes on the palm.
"Where else are
Mutt said quietly.
Are. You. Hurt." Jeff reiterated.
Mutt admitted reluctantly. "Musta landed on some pebbles or something. I
didn't notice anything till this morning when I got up to take my shower."
"Look at me,
Mutt looked up from
beneath his lashes, sorrow plain on his features.
Shoulders straight. Look at me."
Mutt did as he was
told, but looked somewhere in the vicinity of Jeff's chin.
"Why did I have
to hear about this second hand?" Jeff demanded.
Mutt stood mutely,
unable to answer immediately.
Jeff said, not shouting but loudly enough to get his husband's attention.
nervously and took a breath. "We were just having some fun. We wanted to
watch the sunset from the beach. We would have been fine if it hadn't been for
Jeff asked incredulously.
"Yes sir. See, if the sand hadn't been there we wouldn't
have had a problem." Mutt explained. "The
sand was all uneven. It hadn't been raked yet and... well... we hit a rough
patch and... Jaxon fell out of his chair and I kinda fell on top of him. He
said he was all right!" He said, finally looking at Jeff squarely.
"Just like you're all right this morning?"
Mutt looked down at
the toes of his sneakers and didn't reply.
Jeff took Mutt's chin
in his hand and made him look up into his eyes. "That boy already has a
sprained wrist and a dislocated knee. What do you suppose falling out of his
chair and then you falling on top of him did to those injuries?"
"He said he was
fine, Jeff." Mutt replied defensively. "If he'd said he was hurt
we'd have called."
Heath and James that Jaxon would be safe with you." Jeff said pointedly.
"He is safe with
me!" Mutt replied earnestly. "It was just a freak accident, and he
"Yes, I know. He
said he was all right." Jeff interrupted. "But judging from the fact
that you were worried about it all night I'd still say you knew what you should
have done and yet you didn't do it. I'm very disappointed right now,
"I'm sorry, Jeff.
I know I messed up. I'm really sorry!"
"Do you think
that sorry is going to fix this?" Jeff asked. "I want you to call
James and Heath and ask how Jaxon is, and apologize. After that we'll decide
what to do with you."
Mutt swallowed again
but nodded his head. He'd brought this down on himself. He only worried that
Jaxon would be angry, or worse, that James and Heath would forbid him from
hanging around with Jaxon ever again. They'd quickly become friends and Mutt
valued that friendship. He went to the phone and dialed James's number.
James picked up on the
third ring. "James Harrington." He said automatically. He shook his
head, chiding himself mentally for allowing himself to become distracted and looked
at the caller ID.
Jeff." he said, taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly. There was
no sense being angry at Jeff for what Mutt had done.
"It's... it's me,
sir. Mutt. I... I'm calling to see how Jax is and...and to apologize for last
night." Mutt said, afraid that as soon as James heard it was him that he'd
James once again
fought back his first response and calmed himself. "He's doing well,
Matthew." No thanks to you, he thought. "He's stiff and sore and his
knee is a little swollen, but otherwise it looks as though his experience last
night didn't cause any lasting damage that we can see."
"I'm glad, sir.
And...sir I really hope that you and Heath will accept my apology. I really am
sorry about what happened last night, and for not calling you as soon as it
happened. I honestly didn't mean for Jax to get hurt."
James could hear the
genuine concern and knew the apology wasn't forced or fake. "I know... we
know... that you didn't do anything purposely to harm Jaxon, however, the fact
that he didn't come right out and tell us when it happened..."
Please sir! Don't be mad at Jax! It wasn't his fault, it was all mine. I was
the one controlling the chair and I was the one who promised he'd be
blame to go around, Matthew,” James replied, his tone softening slightly. He
took another breath and let it out in a sigh. "Right now, Heath and I are
having a talk with Jaxon and I suggest that you get back to Jeff. I'm sure he has
a few words for you as well."
sir!" Mutt said, near tears. "Please accept my apology."
James looked over at
Heath, who had been listening to James's half of the conversation. He could
clearly hear Mutt's words even though the phone wasn't on speaker. After a
brief consideration, Heath nodded. There was no way to keep Jaxon completely
safe from harm short of wrapping him in bubble wrap. He understood that Jax was
as guilty as Mutt, and that with all of them living on the resort, holding grudges
would just complicate relations between James and Jeff.
James seeing Heath’s
nod, said into the phone, “Heath and I accept your apology Matthew. We hope
something like this doesn’t happen again any time soon.”
Mutt said, “No Sir, it
won’t, and thank you both.” Mutt hung up the phone and turned to Jeff with
tears in his eyes. “Jaxon is okay and James and Heath accepted my apology.” He
informed his husband as Jeff pulled him into a firm hug.
James disconnected the
call from Mutt and studied Jax as Heath settled the young man at the table and they
began to eat their breakfast. "Jax, can you tell Heath and me why you
decided to not tell us about your injuries last night? I don't want to hear that you were worried
about getting Mutt and Bo in trouble. I'd like to hear what you were thinking
about Heath and me." He said a bit sternly.
Jax shifted in the
wheelchair not really sure what to say.
"Um, I don't know why," he mumbled. "I mean, I guess I just didn't want you
two to have to worry about me anymore."
He looked across the table at these two men that he cared so much
about. "And I guess I didn't want
you to know I would let myself get hurt again."
James shook his head.
"Jaxon...when are you going to realize that we both care for you? We are
concerned about you. Just because I own this place and Heath here is a doctor
doesn't mean we don't have feelings like any other man here." James said
quietly. "We want you to be able to trust us and tell us things. I'm not
disappointed that you got hurt again. You will probably get hurt in some way or
another even after you heal from these current problems. What I'm disappointed
about and what hurts is that I had to hear it from someone else instead of you."
Heath put his fork
down looking closely at the young man across the table. "James is right Jax, this isn't really
about you getting hurt. It's about you
not trusting us enough to tell us you were hurt. We care about you. We have since the first minute I found
you," the doctor revealed. "I
know you haven't been with us long and I know where you came from wasn't the
best place. But you need to know we
Jaxon didn't look at
either man. He didn't want them to see
his face because he couldn't stop the tears.
James got up and went
over and put his arm around the young man. "Jaxon, what Heath said is true
and if you ask anyone else here who knows us they would tell you that before
you came into our lives Heath and I didn't connect. You're the one that helped
that to happen." He hugged the boy and pulled out a clean handkerchief and
wiped the tears. "Tell us what the tears are about and Jax...please
remember not to mumble. That's something we'll need to help you work on. You
can speak your mind and if it's something Heath or I don't like we'll say so,
but please don't judge what comes out of your mouth until you put it out there
for us to respond to."
s...sorry," Jax stammered. "I
couldn’t tell Gene stuff like me getting hurt.
He would just call me a sissy and tell me to buck up." Jax took the handkerchief from James and
wiped his eyes. "I guess I learned
not to make trouble for myself."
Heath reached his hand
across the table and covered Jax's bad hand.
"Some habits are hard to break, Hon, but we can do it if we work on
James nodded and
agreed with Heath. "We both want to help you to overcome those fears. We
will never be angry with you for telling us things. We'll discuss it and then
decide what to do about whatever it is together. We may be disappointed or
annoyed, or even angry at times, but it will always be with your choices,
behavior, but never with you Jaxon. You are precious to us."
"I care about you
guys too," Jax stated with pride in his voice. "The last time I felt cared about was
when Dad was still alive." Jax's
voice trailed off. James and Heath
waited for him to compose his self.
"It's hard for me to understand that you do care even if I know you
James asked softly,
"What makes that hard?"
know," the young man answered.
James exchanged a look
with Heath and then asked, "Do you have any ideas as how we can make it
"I think we are
just going to have to keep reminding him that we care," Heath said.
James smiled. "I
can do that...I see you're already doing that." He winked at Heath
referring to the swat he gave Jax.
"Am I in trouble
for not telling you sooner?" Jax asked.
"What kind of trouble?"
know," Jax answered, "but Mutt say Jeff was gunna kill him."
James nodded. "Do
you know or understand why Mutt might say something like that?"
“Not really, but he
was upset. It wasn't his fault the chair
turned over and he did try to stop me from falling," Jax explained. "And he wanted me to call Heath. Bo did too."
James said, "Your
friends were concerned for you and they wanted to make sure you were okay.
Friends do that."
"Mutt's husband cares about him as well and he knew if he didn't do
everything he could to help you after the accident Jeff would have been
disappointed with him." He added.
“Jaxon, you aren't in
trouble this time. I'm, we, aren't happy
that you didn't come to us but we understand why." Heath said.
"But I need to
trust you and come to you next time." Jax said.
"I'll try to
James exchanged a look
with Heath and said, "Let's hope you do and there are ways we can help you
to remember if you forget, but that's for another time. Right now just work at
remembering that we care for you, that this is your home until you decide to leave
it on your own. Heath and I won't send you away, ask you to leave, abuse you or
kick you out."
Jax mumbled then remembered what James had said about speaking up. He looked at both men and clearly said,
"Thank you Jax, good catch. You're already practicing speaking up instead
of mumbling and we like that." He flashed Heath a grin.
“Now finish up your
breakfast, Hun." Heath instructed.
"Then I want you to park your rear in the recliner and take a
"A nap? But I just got..." Jax stopped and
looked at the grin of Heath's face.
"Yes, sir, I am a little tired.
Didn't get much sleep last night."
"Good boy, I'd
hate to have to swat you again."
"Yeah about that
swat, why did you hit me?" Jax asked.
James said to Jax,
"Heath didn't hit you, he swatted your backside."
“Ok, but why?"
"Did it get your
attention?" Heath asked.
"Yes sir it
Sometimes a swat will get the person to pay attention to the person who gave
it." James answered.
Jax reached down and rubbed
his rear. "Well it works."
"That's why we use it."
Jax laughed, "So
it's another way to show you care?"
"So if you stop
swatting me I should get worried?"
James looked at Heath,
then said seriously, "We won't stop because there's not anything you'll
ever do to make us not care for you anymore."
Jax looked and both
men and said "Promise, because I don't want you to stop ca...um...swatting
James smiled. "I
“Me too,” Heath added.
Jax smiled and stabbed
the last piece of pancake on his plate and put it in his mouth and chewed. He drank
down the last of his milk. Heath waited
until he was done and stood up. He
rolled Jax's wheelchair closer to the recliner, picked Jax up and carefully
placed him in the comfortable chair.
"I want you to rest, Jax," he said. "And I'll get an ice bag for your
James went over to the
recliner while Heath went for the ice bag. "I sincerely hope you'll learn
to trust us and become comfortable enough to stay here Jax."
James." Jax promised. "I do trust you, now I just have to remember
that it's ok to show you I do."
James smiled and
kissed Jax's forehead. "Good."
Heath smiled at the
grin on their boy’s face.
Shorty led the way
across the lodge, through the kitchen and out the back door. He held the
door open and waved Bo ahead of him. The younger man stepped across the
threshold, moved to the side and waited. Shorty didn’t say anything as he
strode past the garden and into the woods. He fully expected Bo to follow
as they moved silently through the morning toward the bunkhouse. And Bo
did follow. He followed without speaking.
Shorty walked slowly,
taking the time to cool off. He knew Bo wasn’t really at fault. The
young horse wrangler had only been at TLR less than 24 hours. He couldn’t
possibly know the mechanics of the relationships here. If anyone was at
fault it would be Mutt, but Shorty also knew that Jeff’s husband wouldn’t intentionally
do anything to cause harm to one of his friends.
When the two men came
to the corral behind the stables, Shorty leaned his forearms on the top
rail. Bo followed suit. “Bo, I’m sorry I snapped at you back
there,” he said as one of the horses came up to him nuzzling his hand for a
treat. The resort vet produced a peppermint for the horse. “You
haven’t been here long enough to know how things are done.”
“True,” Bo agreed,
“but I did know I should have told someone Jax fell and was hurting. So I
understand you and James being upset. I'm really sorry about that."
He said sincerely.
"You've only been
here for a day," Shorty said, "But from now on, if something like
this happens again, if someone gets hurt, or if you're hurt and don't say
anything about it, well, we just don't put up with that here.
Bo replied, looking down at his worn boots and scuffing one into the
dirt. "I didn't mean any harm."
Shorty put a hand on
Bo's shoulder, his face kind. "As long as we don't have a repeat of
this, we'll be just fine."
"Then I'm not
fired?" Bo said, looking up into Shorty's eyes.
slightly. "No, you'd have to do a lot worse to be fired from this
job. This was an honest oversight on your part, and we're not going to
hold it against you. However... I would suggest that you take a few of
the classes that TLR offers, so that you can get a better idea of the men who
work here, the clientele that we cater to, and the purposes that TLR
serves. You're also welcome to talk to me, James, Jeff or even Mutt,
provided he's not in too much trouble right now."
Bo looked up at Shorty
with concern in his eyes. "Mutt said that Jeff was going to kill
him. I know that he didn't mean that literally but... I mean... does... I
mean, Jeff doesn't... jeez I'm not even sure I can ask this, being so new
"No, Jeff doesn't
abuse Mutt," Shorty replied with an understanding expression.
"We'd never allow anything like that here."
The tension in Bo's
shoulders decreased visibly and the lines of concern on his face
lessened. "I'm glad. I'd hate to think that I got him
into trouble and that Jeff... I feel a little guilty even thinking it
now." Bo admitted.
completely read the nondisclosure agreement before you signed it?"
Shorty asked, a light going off in his head at Bo's words.
"Well, it was
kinda long,” Bo replied sheepishly. "I mean, I did read most of it,
but it all seemed on the up and up so, I kinda skimmed. Is there something important that I
Shorty resisted the
urge to explain the DP aspect of TLR, worried that too much information all at
once would scare the other man off. "You didn't get anyone in
trouble. Mutt did that all by himself." He answered, sidestepping
the question for now. "Tell ya what, let me look into some of the
beginners classes and see if they can fit you in as an observer. I'll see
if I can get you a class or two on your days off."
Bo was a little
confused but nodded agreement.
"In the meantime,
you've got some horses to take care of. There's a list of all the horses,
their names, their temperaments... you've got your hands full with a couple of
them, I'll tell ya. Then you've got to familiarize yourself with the
trails, one or the other of the twins can help you there until you've familiarized
yourself with them. They've been doing an all right job up til now so you can
rely on them to act as guides on your days off."
"There's also a
list of advanced riders who know the trails and can ride out on their
own. Always ask for ID. The men who visit here frequently know
this, so you shouldn't have much trouble. It's the bra...ones who try to
slip by that cause the most problems, but remember, I'm almost always nearby if
you need back up."
"Do you... do you
think it would be all right to call Mutt first? And..."
"Not right now,
Mr. Stable Master. You don't want to be late first day on the job do
you?" Shorty joked.
"No sir,” Bo
smiled as he walked into the stables to acquaint himself with his new charges.
Jeff could feel the rapid beating of his husband's heart,
and feel the tension in his body. He held him until both returned to
normal and then broke the hug gently. He held Mutt at arm’s length and
looked at him solemnly. He knew that Mutt was sincere in his apologies but
that didn't negate the facts of the matter.
"Matthew," He began.
Mutt looked back at Jeff, trying not to cry. He knew
that he'd messed up big time and that tears weren't going to save him from
whatever Jeff had in store for him.
"Just do it, Chief." Mutt said quietly.
"You know. Don't make me say it."
Mutt replied, a tear running down his cheek. He brushed it aside,
angry at himself for being, what he considered, weak.
"Tell me what you did wrong." Jeff said
gently, beginning their small ritual.
Mutt hated this part almost as much as he hated the
spankings that almost always followed.
"I promised Jax would be safe but he got hurt anyway
because I was fooling around. I didn't call James or Heath when it
happened. I didn't tell you about it. You had to hear it second
hand." Mutt recited. He wondered how James and Heath had
gotten the story from Jaxon, who had been so adamant about no one telling about
what had happened the night before, and he worried that Jax would be in some
sort of trouble, and worried what it might be.
He looked up at Jeff pleadingly. "Please tell me
that Jax isn't in trouble? It wasn't his fault."
"I don't know what's going to happen with Jaxon,
hon. That's between him, James and
Heath, and I suppose Jax can tell you what happened when your grounding is
over. But I don't want you asking him, understand? If he wants to
talk about it he will."
The word 'grounding' wasn't lost on Mutt. His stomach
sank. When Jeff grounded him it usually meant he wasn't allowed to do
anything except work, eat and sleep. The restrictions usually drove Mutt
to distraction within a week. Then there was the possibility of a spanking and
how severe it would be. He knew he'd messed up pretty badly this time and
dreaded whatever Jeff was going to come up with.
"Matthew, I want you to stand in the corner. I
need time to think about an appropriate punishment."
"Can't we...?" Mutt began hopefully.
"Grounding isn't enough. No, hon. This is...
just not like you, and to say that I'm disappointed is an understatement."
"I'm sorry, Jeff." Replied, Mutt, contrite.
"I know you are. Now go do as you were
"For how long?"
"For as long as it takes me to decide what the fairest
course of action would be in this case. Now go." Jeff said,
turning Mutt and sending him to the corner with a firm swat to his backside.
Mutt walked to the corner with his head down and clasped
his hands behind his back.
Jeff went to the kitchen and made a pot of coffee. He
sat at the table and thought hard about the situation. Mutt had lied to
him. Granted it was by omission, but that was the part that hurt him the
worst. He'd thought that he and Mutt had enough trust between them for
his husband to come to him whenever he had a problem. It also explained
why Mutt had slept so badly the night before. He thought that the bad
night might have been sufficient punishment but he knew Mutt too well.
Mutt could, at times, be harder on himself than Jeff could.
Jeff thought for a good five minutes before coming to a
"Matthew." He called. "Come
Mutt turned from the corner to see Jeff stand and slowly
remove his belt. His heart felt as though it had dropped into his stomach
and his eyes grew wide.
Jeff pulled the chair away from the table and sat back
down, doubling the belt in his hand. "You know what to do."
Mutt was conflicted. He knew he deserved to be
punished, and that a belting was always done quickly and over his jeans, but
the sight of the thick leather belt and his husband's sad look tore at his
insides, making him feel worse than the actual belting would.
He walked over to Jeff and began to unbuckle his own belt.
"No, not bare."
Mutt wiped away the tears he couldn't control and laid
himself across Jeff's knees.
Jeff adjusted his young husband so that his back end was at
it's highest point, and brought the belt down. He felt Mutt's body jerk
but he knew it was more in response to the sound of the belt snapping than any
physical pain at this point.
He brought the belt down, snap, snap, crack right onto
Mutt's sit spot and upper thighs. He wanted this lesson to be remembered
for a long time and the fact that he was using his belt and not his hand or
another implement was a sure way to get his point across.
Mutt laid quietly after the first jump and took the
spanking as stoically as possible, until the burn began to build up. He
wriggled, trying to get the belt to land in a spot that it hadn't already been
ignited but Jeff was too practiced and wasn't falling for it. The burn
built and built until Mutt thought that he couldn't take any more. The
tears flowed unchecked. He tried to hold in the gasps and sobs but his
body shuddered with them. Jeff continued the punishment for what felt
like an hour to Mutt but in actuality wasn't much longer than a minute.
It took another thirty seconds for Mutt to realize that the punishment
was over and Jeff was rubbing his back.
Slowly and carefully, Jeff helped Mutt to stand so that he
wouldn't lose his balance and then stood to put his arms around him, not
minding the tears and runny nose on his shirt front as Mutt buried his face in
Jeff's chest, holding onto his husband as though for dear life.
Jeff held tightly to his husband, arms encircling him
protectively, one hand stroking the long black hair, the other rubbing Mutt's
back. He rested his chin on the top of Mutt's head and rocked him slowly
until the crying and jagged breathing stopped.
"There's nothing pressing for us to do today, so I
want you to go back to bed and catch up on some of the sleep you missed out on
last night." Jeff said quietly, planting a kiss on top of Mutt's
head. "We can talk more later if you want to."
"I'm grounded?" Mutt reminded him.
"Yes, you're grounded. Two weeks. No
visits or phone calls to or from any of your friends. I think that will
be more than enough for you to learn to appreciate them..."
"I do appreciate them!" Mutt said
"To appreciate them,” Jeff repeated more firmly, “And
not horse around with a friend who is already injured, thereby causing him
further injury. You made a promise. You broke it. You hid the
fact. You wouldn't have told me if I hadn't heard it from someone
"I would have,” Mutt said, his eyes tearing up again.
"We're not going to discuss this anymore, Matthew.
The fact is that you didn't tell me when you should have."
"Are you still angry with me?" Mutt asked,
looking up at Jeff with pleading eyes.
"I'm not angry with you, hon. I was disappointed
and hurt, and yes, I was angry at first, but we've dealt with the matter,
right?" Jeff said, looking down into the dark, liquid eyes.
"Yes, we've dealt with it." Mutt answered
quietly, hugging Jeff again.
Jeff returned the hug and kissed Mutt again.
"Now it's time for you to go to bed. I'll call you for
Mutt only nodded. He turned away, head down, feeling
suddenly very tired. Without getting undressed he slid back into their
bed and fell into a deep, uninterrupted sleep.
The following Monday Harry and Brody
both delivered their notice in writing to Owen, the bank manager.
"I'm sorry to lose
you." Owen said to Brody as he read
the resignation letters. "You've
been great assets to this bank for the past three years."
"Thank you, Owen. I've enjoyed my time here. But this opportunity is too good to pass
"Do you need a letter of
recommendation?" Owen asked. "Either of you?" He continued, smiling at Harry who smiled
"It wouldn't hurt, thank
you." Brody replied.
"So, I'm curious where the two
of you found jobs together."
"You know I have a part time
week end job? They've ask me several
times to become full time but I've always said no. But they have an opening for
a full time accountant and are willing to train Brody." Harry smiled. "We're excited about our
move. I'm even able to move my mother to a really nice place nearby so I can
continue to make regular visits."
"Sounds like you two have given
this a lot of thought."
Harry nodded. "Yes, we've been
talkin' about it since I invited Brody up to the resort."
"That's another thing we wanted
to talk to you about." Brody
answered. "It's at a resort called
TearDrop Lake Resort."
"I've never heard of
it." Owen said curiously.
"And that's the way they like
it." Brody joked. "It's a very exclusive year round
resort. Membership is through resident
or member invitation only. I’m there
because Harry invited me.”
“Since we're going to be permanent residents
we mentioned you and Freddie to the owner and we have an application for
membership for you... if you're interested." Brody smiled.
Harry glanced at Brody and said,
"It's a safe haven for gay men."
"So you aren't kidding? There really is a place for men like
us?" Owen asked.
"Yes. I've worked part time
there for several years now."
"And I'll be working there as
an accountant. And since you're my best
friend, I'm inviting you and Freddie."
Owen leaned back in his chair, a
thoughtful look on his face. "What
do we have to do? Just show up?"
"You'll need to fill out the
application and then it will need to be processed and after that a letter of
invitation will be sent." Harry explained. "They do a background
check and things."
"I guess I can understand the
precautions if it is for the members protection," the bank manager agreed.
"Yes, and security is both to
keep the residents and guests safe and unwanted persons out." Harry smiled at Owen. "Why don't you
arrange to come for a weekend? The owner
of the resort doesn’t charge for accommodations or services except alcoholic
beverages and shopping at any of the shops on the property, although he doesn’t
frown on money being offered. He’s very
understanding and will answer any questions anyone has about the resort, the
amenities or the instructional classes offered.
I hope you'll like it. Just let
Brody know when it would be convenient and we can make the arrangements."
"Will they still need to do the
"Oh yes, it's mandatory."
"Well, then, where are the
applications?" Owen said rubbing
his hands together.
Brody laughed and handed the
applications over along with a brochure.
"I'm looking forward to seeing you and Freddie there."
Harry nodded. "It will be
"I'm still sorry to be losing
you two but at least we will still get to see each other," Owen smiled.
Harry grinned. "Yes and in a
more pleasurable environment where we can relax and do some enjoyable things
"I'll talk to Freddie about the
resort tonight and get started of filling out the applications," Owen
said. "And I'll see you two back at
your posts because you are still mine for two more weeks."