Tuesday, October 27, 2015
TLR Chapter 22
Sawyer and Jenson got up from the steps after cooling off from their walk back from supper. It had been a muggy day and evening.
“Go on in Jenson, I’m going to hit the outhouse.”
Jenson smiled and pushed himself up, straightened his shorts and walked gingerly in the cottage as his butt was still a little sore. The memory from two days ago came flooding back to him as walked in. Still in the corner in front of him was the paper with the words that Sawyer wrote.
“Jenson?” Sawyer asked when he came inside.
“Yes sir.” Jenson answered.
“Please go sit on the couch and wait for me. We need talk.”
Sawyer walked over to the couch where Jenson was sitting and sat down beside him. He pulled off his Croc's and took out his Apple watch. He set the timer for twenty-five minutes. Before Sawyer hit the start button he looked Jenson in the eyes. Jenson looked away, he knew the punishment wasn't over.
“Jenson, eyes on me please and not the floor,” Sawyer instructed. When Jenson wouldn't look up, Sawyer hit the timer for another five minutes.
“Jenson... eyes please,” Sawyer repeated as his finger went to Jenson's chin and lifted it to where his eyes met his partner’s.
After their eyes met, Sawyer began the last of his punishment. “Jenson, the classes that I signed us up for was to help you and I in our relationship and to get us back on track, but you chose to skip out on them. So I've decided that we will take every one of them then every night while we are here we will go over them together.”
''Oh, come on, Sawyer, I'm an adult not a child.”
“Indeed you are,” then older man agreed. “So starting now while we are sitting on the couch we will hold hands for thirty minutes and talk about the note in the corner about being rude and disrespectful. Tomorrow I will walk us over to our first class as well the others while holding hands.
“You got to be kidding me, Sawyer. What will the others say?”
“What will they say, hmm, probably they’d be thinking you’re someone's brat that is in trouble,” Sawyer answered. “Enough now. Hand please.”
Jenson obeyed his tops words and took Sawyer's hand.
“Thank you,” Sawyer said and set the timer for thirty minutes.
The sun was setting in the spring sky as Dean pulled up to Mutt and Jeff's bungalow. Duke gently shook Mutt awake and he felt a pang of empathy for the kid when he saw the expressions that crossed the boy's face. Relief, happiness, and then concern and anxiety for what would happen once he was actually inside and alone with his husband.
"You go on inside, We’ll get your bike outta the back an' bring it around to the shed for you." Duke said, patting Mutt's shoulder. “Don't worry, kid. He's not goin' to be happy with you, but he's not gonna kill you completely." Duke joked, trying to lighten the other man's mood.
Mutt's only reply was a rueful smile as he exited the truck. Taking a deep breath and squaring his shoulders, he walked up to the door, which flew open just as he reached it. He was pulled into a tight hug. Mutt grimaced but didn’t care as he buried his face in Jeff's shirt front, leaning his forehead against the solid chest and closing his eyes in relief. He was home. Jeff was there. No matter what else happened, Jeff was right there.
They had no clue how long they'd stood like that until they heard Dean's truck start up. Mutt disengaged himself from Jeff's arms and ran to the passenger's side window. "Do you two want to come in for some coffee?" He asked hopefully.
"No, kid, not right now. It's a little late for me to be drinkin' coffee, but thanks." Duke replied handing Mutt the shoe box with Jax’s chess set in it.
"How about a beer?" Mutt asked as he took the box.
"We have to get goin' kid." He replied, an understanding expression on his features.
"Thank you for bringing him home." Jeff said, extending his hand. “And for going so far out of your way, Dean.”
“It wasn’t a problem, Jeff,” Dean said. “I was bringing my big bro back tomorrow anyway.”
Duke clasped the other man's hand with a firm grip. "Anythin' for you, my friend. Be seein' ya."
"So, Deano, it's gettin’ late. You already have clearance to be here. Why don't you spend the night and head out in the morning?"
"Can't say as I mind stayin'. I wasn't lookin' forward to drivin' back this late.”
"Kay then,” Duke said with a smile. "We didn't really eat much so how's about we go to the lodge and have somethin'?"
“Sure, that sandwich I had back in Elmville is ‘bout gone.”
"Kay, let's go to the bar, Jake will probably be there if he’s back from his sister’s place. Most people will be in the restaurant but we can get stuff in the bar. Believe me, one taste of those wings and ribs and you'll never want to go back home. If Gary is there he'll give us a double portion. If not, well, he's got his staff trained well, no doubt Ben'll make sure we get enough to tide us over til breakfast."
"Oh yeah, I remember Ben. Young guy, dark hair, looks like a sixteen year old... you called him a kid." Dean laughed.
"Yeah," Duke grinned. "Cute kid, not much between the ears. But he's a good waiter an' he takes good care of me. So, you up for a quick dinner?"
“Sure am, bro.” Dean followed his brother into the lodge. He took a quick look around and said, "Hey, why don't you order us something while I use the facilities?"
"All right. You go ahead. I'll get us a couple of beers. I don't see Jake, I guess he hasn't gotten back from his sister's yet."
"Don't forget the wings you were braggin' 'bout a minute ago." Dean said as he hurried across the lodge.
Duke grinned. "I'll get us both the ribs and the wings." He stepped up to the bar and moved to the far end, his preferred place when he stopped in during his rounds. He could see out in to the restaurant without being seen. Duke watched as his brother disappeared and said to the bartender, "Hi, I'd like two bottles of beer and an order of ribs and chicken wings please. If Gary's back in the kitchen tell him it's for Duke."
"Will do." Said the bartender with a wink.
Duke smiled and stood at the bar waiting for his order.
The bartender came back and announced that the order was placed, and proceeded to serve up two bottles of ice cold beer.
While he waited for his brother, he took a sip of the beer, relishing the icy good flavor. The next thing he knew someone had come up behind him and smacked his backside. Duke, thinking it was his brother turned and said "You hit like a girl." He felt the blood rush from his face when he realized that it was not Dean, but Jake, and Jake did not look happy.
Duke then blushed and stammered, "Umm...J-Jake? What'd ya do that for?"
"What did Heath... and James... and I say about not drinking while you're on your pain meds? When's the last time you took one? And where's your sling?" Jake demanded.
Eager to get back to his brother Dean finished washing his hands and was just about back to the bar when he heard Jake talking to Duke asking about the pain pills. "He took one about noon while we were out in the boat fishing." Dean answered for his brother, "and I think the sling is still in the boat."
"Well, that's a good place for it. I'm sure the boat needs it more than you do, eh, Duke?"
Then Jake asked casually. "Fishing? How do you fish with one hand? I assume you were fishing with your left hand?"
Duke said nervously, "Umm...yeah, actually I did fish left handed. Dean had a pole holder for me to use."
"And then Dean reeled in and netted whatever you caught, I suppose?" Jake asked, not believing it for a second. "I suppose he used the sling to net the fish and that's why you weren't wearing it?"
Dean looked back and forth between the two men during their conversation. He knew that Jake was one of Duke’s best friends, but there was something more than friendly concern in Jake's tone.
Duke tried not to blush and tried to change the subject. "Well then we got the call from Mutt."
“You got a call from Mutt, and you forgot to put the sling back on?”
Duke nodded. "Yeah."
“Yeah and he wore the splint. Well, most of the time because every time he took it off he put it back on because it hurt so much. Dean laughed. "He's one stubborn guy, my brother." Dean continued, not realizing how much trouble he was getting his big brother into.
Duke tried to look his brother into silence but Dean didn't pick up on it. Then he looked at Jake, trying to read his expression and didn't like what he saw.
"Dean, do you mind if I borrow Duke for a minute? I promise I'll send him right back."
"No, go ahead, just leave the ribs."
"Duke, my friend," Jake said in a very friendly manner. "Let's you and I go over there and have a little talk." Jake said, pointing toward the men's room.
Duke glanced from his brother to Jake and tried not to bite his lip. Finally, Duke followed Jake.
"I'm not going to embarrass you in front of your brother, Duke, but I'm telling you right now, when you go back up there you're going to put aside that beer and have a soda or water, or even coffee. Anything other than beer. Got it?"
Duke saw Jake's annoyance and nodded. "All right." He said quietly.
"Secondly, after you and Dean are done with your dinners, you and I are going to the infirmary for another sling. And if you even think of taking that one off I'll super glue it to your arm."
Duke bit back a smile at the threat but nodded. "Yes...we'll do that too."
Seeing Duke's acceptance of what he'd said, he led Duke back toward Dean, who was polishing off another rib.
“Hey, bro," Dean mumbled, his mouth full, "you're right these ribs are smokin'."
Duke said, "Told you they were great didn't I?"
Duke ordered a coke, pushing his bottle of beer toward his brother. "You can finish this off for me, little brother."
Jake took his place once more behind the bar now that his break was over and poured Duke a tall glass of soda. He smiled approvingly at Duke and went to serve another guest.
Duke slid the soda over toward his left hand where he could handle it and munched on some ribs and then a few wings. He was aware that even though Jake wasn't right there, he was keeping an eye on him.
Dean looked between the two men and then pushed Duke's beer away and said, "Naw, I've had my fill of beer today."
Duke nodded. "All right." He said to Jake, "You may as well dump that Jake, I don't have a taste for it anymore either."
Jake nodded and took the beers away, making a mental note to ask Duke just how many beers he'd had that day.
Nodding his head toward Jake, Dean asked, "What was that all about?"
Duke shrugged. "He don't want me drinkin' on the pain meds."
"I don't think you drank enough to bother the pills today."
Duke nodded. "I know, but Jake said the doc wouldn't give me pain meds if I was drinkin'."
"You haven't taken a pill since lunch have you?" Dean wondered.
The security man shook his head. “No. Doc said pills and alcohol didn't mix, and even a small amount wasn't good." Duke explained.
"Why didn't you tell me? I would have filled the cooler with water."
Duke shrugged. "I didn't wanna spoil our fun."
"Well, I doubt the two beers we had between us would have done any damage." Dean laughed. "Sorry, I didn't think about the pills and the beer."
Duke said, "It's all right. I didn't expect you to."
"Yeah, but after all the years you took care of me, the least I could do is watch out for you once in a while." Dean said softly.
Duke put his good arm across his little brother's shoulders. "You do, bro, you do."
"I guess I should have reminded you to use the sling too." Dean grinned.
Just within Jake’s hearing range but unknown to the other two he heard most of the conversation the brothers were having. Dean laughed as he said, “It's a good thing I didn't tell him you didn’t wear the splint most of the time you were with me until we started to fish."
Duke gave his brother a sour look. "Yeah, you did enough damage."
Never thinking that his brother was serious, Dean yawned and stretched, “I think I'm 'bout ready to turn in, bro. You ready to go?"
"Ah... I gotta stop by the infirmary for another sling first."
"I'll go on ahead then, if that's all right. You got a spare key?"
Duke said, “I’ll give you mine.” He dug his key out of his pocket. “Here you go little brother. Leave the door unlocked and I’ll let myself in after I’m done.”
Just as Duke walked his brother to the front door of the lodge so he could head for Duke’s bungalow James walked in through the kitchen. He took a break from his grave yard security patrol about this time on the nights he worked.
Seeing the resort owner Jake went over to hand him a cold glass of water and then James asked, “Was that Duke’s brother with him on the porch?
“Yeah, Duke and Dean brought Mutt home from Elmville I understand,” he told James. "I overheard them talking and Dean has agreed to stay the night. I guess they're both worn out after all the day's activities and going to rescue Mutt."
James nodded. “Yes, Jeff was waiting with us until Duke and Dean dropped off Mutt.”
Duke was heading back to the bar after seeing Dean off and approached warily seeing James and Jake’s heads together.
“Hi James.” He said with what he hoped was a disarming smile.
James said in an easy manner. “Hello yourself, Duke. I see you’ve lost your sling.”
Before Duke could answer Jake said, “We had been discussing the missing sling, James. I was just about to take him over to the infirmary to get a new one.”
James finished his water never taking his eyes away from the big man in front of him. “Well, this is your lucky night, Jake, I’m heading that way on patrol so I’ll be glad to escort Duke to the infirmary.”
Duke’s head snapped up, “Um…you don’t need to do that James. It can wait till mornin’.” He said. Then seeing both Jake and James eyes harden he added. “I mean, I’m not goin’ to need it to sleep.”
James stood. “Come walk over to the infirmary with me and I’ll get you another one.” He said his tone deceptively calm and friendly.
Duke hesitated for a moment, but with a look from Jake gave a little shrug and nodded. “All right.”
James nodded and headed with Duke at his side for the infirmary. He unlocked the door and once inside closed it tight behind them.
Duke heard the distinctive click of the door and tried not to shudder. He wasn’t stupid and knew that Jake had probably told James everything and even though James’s manner was friendly Duke knew better. He could see the glint of steel in the smoky blue eyes.
James went over to a cabinet and found Duke another sling and placed it on the padded exam table before turning to Duke. “Duke Winslow Montgomery, tell me how you lost your sling?”
Duke shuffled his feet, looked down and his stomach felt like he had just swallowed a large rock. James using his full name had him knowing, yet hoping this wasn’t going where he dreaded it would. “I didn’t set out to not follow Heath’s instructions but, well, the sling and splint were in the way so I didn’t wear them and when I was fishin’, I put ‘em back on, but they seemed to be in the way, so I took ‘em off, but I put the splint back on almost as soon as I took it off because my arm was hurtin’ alot.”
“Fishing, huh? Were you drinking as well?”
“Well Dean and I each had only one beer. You know we don’t drink much. And before you ask I took a pain pill at noon. I’m sure Jake already told you all of this.” Duke huffed.
James eyed the somewhat younger man. “Duke, Jake didn’t say anything to me, except that you brought Mutt home and I thank you and Dean for taking care of him.”
“Thanks, I’m glad we were there for him,” the big man softly said.
“Do you remember what I told you when you got hurt?”
Duke squirmed. “Umm…to do everythin’ the doc told me to.”
James nodded. “Did he tell you, you could remove the sling or take off your splint to go fishing and drink beer while taking pain medication?”
Duke squirmed visibly now. “No Sir.”
“What did he tell you?”
Duke sighed, “To keep the splint on unless I was takin’ a shower, keep the sling on unless I was in bed or sittin’ in the recliner and…not to use alcohol while on the pain pills.”
James arched an eyebrow. “So you knew and understood his instructions yet ignored them putting yourself at a health risk, at risk of your arm not healing properly?”
Duke couldn’t respond with anything but a “Yes Sir.”
James asked, “What did I tell you about following Heath’s orders?”
“That I was to follow them unless I wanted a private conversation with you.” Duke responded softly and looked down. “I’m not one of your recruits anymore, James,” Duke whined.
“Then maybe you should stop acting like one and take better care of yourself.” James nodded. “So, it seems you have chosen to have a conversation with me.”
Duke wished it wouldn’t be anything more than a conversation with words, but he knew much better than that. He said, “Yes Sir.”
James shook his head. He placed the sling where Duke would be able to look at it as he bent over the exam table and instructed when he had placed the cloth in position, “Assume the position Montgomery.”
Duke from long habit from the military bent over the exam table, careful of his splinted arm and laid his chin on the table and had a close up and personal view of the sling. The action also brought the material of his Bermuda shorts he had been wearing that day tightly stretched across his taut buttocks.
James, with no more preliminaries stepped up to Duke, placed his hand firmly on the small of the younger man’s back, holding him in place, drew back his other hand and landed a sharp smack to the upturned bottom.
Duke couldn’t help but yelp and jump at that first stinging swat. “Oww!”
James then proceeded to spank Duke’s upturned rear end with practiced precision.
It wasn’t the first time he had used this form of correction with Duke, having first performed this 33 years ago when he was a Captain in the Marines and Duke a brand new recruit, having just reported to his unit fresh out of boot camp.
Duke squirmed and tried to hold still, but the sting and the heat built up right where he didn’t want it to, his sitting area.
Duke realized James was serious and couldn’t help squirming as James set his sitting area on fire just as the older man had done other times in his life, but also as in other times he received comfort as well. But what really hurt was that Duke had let James down by not following Heath’s instructions.
James continued to spank Duke until he could hear the hitched breaths, gasps, and moans. James laid on a few more swats and then stopped and rubbed Duke’s back.
James helped Duke up and pulled him into a tight hug, as his old Marine brother in arms was now sniffling and rubbed his back offering silent comfort and reassurance until he was certain the security man was ready to listen and told him he was forgiven and that he didn’t want a repeat performance of his disobedience or they would be revisiting this scene once again.
Duke gave his acknowledgement of James’s words and when he had stopped sniffling and had composed himself made his apologies. “I’m sorry James…it won’t happen again.”
James said, “I’m glad to hear it because if it does you’ll find yourself here again.”
Duke nodded. “Yes Sir.” He said softly.
James then helped put Duke’s new sling on and with an arm around his shoulders escorted him out of the infirmary, locked the door and returned the heavy mass of keys to the clip at his waist. Giving those keys back to Duke when he was cleared to work would be a pleasure. James walked Duke to his bungalow.
Duke didn’t want to go inside just yet so James left him slowly rocking on the porch swing and headed back on his patrol.
After 15 minutes or so Duke was about to head inside when he heard a familiar voice. He turned to see Jake sitting down on the swing beside him.
“You're looking a little pale, my friend. Are you all right?" Jake asked, concerned for his friend. "Are you having any pain?"
Duke nearly laughed even though he felt like crying. Yep, he thought, just not where you think. Aloud he said, “No, My arm's fine."
“Will you be all right if I head on home, or would you like me to stay for a little while?" Jake asked, concerned.
Duke said, "I-I guess I'll be all right. Dean's here." But he didn't look all right at all.
Tentatively, Jake put his arm around Duke and hugged, preparing to pull away at the first sign that Duke didn't appreciate the gesture.
Duke snuggled instinctively into the hug.
"Come on, Duke. I know something is wrong. Talk to me. Maybe I can help." Jake prompted, rubbing Duke's back soothingly.
Duke closed his eyes and said, "Remember what you said you'd do when we were talkin' about consequences last week?"
Jake nodded, feeling the softness of Duke's blonde locks against his cheek.
Duke squirmed a bit and said softly, "Umm...James did that."
Jake hugged a little harder and patted Duke's back. "Do you understand why he did it?" He asked gently.
Duke nodded. "To help me remember to not put myself in danger or to get hurt."
"And to remind you that you're loved, Duke. You have people who care about you and don't want to see you put yourself in harm’s way. Remember that."
Duke nodded "Yes...I keep forgettin' that." He said quietly. He blushed hotly. "Umm...it-it's not the first time." He confessed to Jake.
"He's done it before?" Jake asked, perplexed.
Duke bit his lip and nodded. "When...umm...well we were in the Marine Corps together and several times since then...when he thought it was needed."
"I thought that might have been the case, when you didn't want to talk about it with me at the bar. I understand though. And I'm glad that you understand James's reasoning. You know what the resort stands for, Duke. This isn't something new to me. I was on the receiving end as well when I was younger. It was how I was introduced to the lifestyle as well. That's when I found out what it meant to me. To have someone who cared enough to do that for me. And how I grew to know that if I ever found the right guy, that I would care enough to do it for him."
Duke looked at Jake. "I didn't want to talk about this in a public place because to me it's somethin' very private...even though I've known for years that discipline was part of what TLR is all about. I just never thought any of it applied to me, other than the few times James brought me up sharp for somethin' When I was in the Marines it was usually for reckless or thoughtless behaviors that if done in the field would have put my life and the lives of others in jeopardy. Once he asked me to work here it was generally for not followin' orders or instructions he gave to me that I didn't take seriously and disregarded." He shared.
"I can understand that. A spanking is a very personal thing. There's a lot of trust involved. And the bravery to not only admit when you've done something to deserve correction, but to take it as well."
Duke nodded. "Yeah...it ain't easy to submit."
"You're right, it's not. That also takes bravery, and self-discipline. You know that, don't you?" Jake asked, when Duke didn't answer right away. He pushed Duke away a little so that he could look into the other man's grey eyes. "You're a brave man, Duke Montgomery."
Duke blushed at Jakes words, then gave him a slow smile. "I guess you're right." He said.
"Do you feel any better or would you like to talk a little while longer?"
Duke said, "You're a good friend Jake and I feel some better, but I'm not sure Dean understands about these things...I mean I spanked him when I was raisin' him...but now?" He asked.
"You don't have to tell him more than you're comfortable with. Have you ever taken any of the classes offered here?" Jake asked, thoughtfully. "There's one I know of that might help you to make it understandable to Dean, once you're ready to divulge that part of your life to him."
Duke shook his head. "No, I've never taken any of the classes...I've never felt a need to before." He said softly.
"I'd like to take you to one or two of them then, when you're ready. Not only will you be able to explain it to Dean, when you think he's ready, but you'll understand it a bit more yourself."
Duke bit his bottom lip for a moment. It sounded a bit scary to him, but then he nodded. "'Kay."
"You and me together kiddo. Nothing to be afraid of. And remember, there’s nothing that you have to explain to Dean if you're uncomfortable, but you should come with me for your own peace of mind. I'll see when the next classes are and we can see if we can mesh our schedules to attend together."
Duke chuckled. "Well if it's while I'm off work it shouldn't be a problem." Then a worried look crossed his face. "Jake...aren't the classes only for...umm...men who are in a same sex relationship? I'm not in anythin' like that."
"Think of it as continuing education. You work at this resort, and it's only fitting that you take a more active interest in its workings. You'll learn more about yourself as well as the other men here."
Duke nodded. "Do you think James will object bein' as I'm not...well in a same sexed relationship?"
"You can say that you'd like to audit some of the classes to further understand the workings of the resort and the people who come here. That way you don't have to worry about what, if any, kind of relationship you're in. OK?
Duke relaxed and nodded. "'Kay, I don't think James would object to that."
Jake smiled and patted the other man on the shoulder. "As I said, if you want me to go with you, I can. I mainly work nights and if I have to I can switch shifts with one of the other bartenders. That is, if you want me there with you."
Duke looked at Jake with his grey eyes still a little red rimmed and said, "I'd like that, after all good friends support each other right? I know you like lookin' out for me too. Tonight's a perfect example, no one else would have been thoughtful enough to check on me and make sure I was all right, even if you didn't know anythin' happened between James and me."
Jake wanted badly to be honest with Duke and tell him exactly how he felt, but Duke had to come to terms with his own sexuality in his own time. "Yep," He agreed, “That's what friends are for. And I am your friend."
Duke smiled. "I'm glad." He told Jake. "Thanks for bein' a good friend to me Jake."
“‘Welcome, my friend. You'll be all right now?"
Duke nodded. "Yeah...sure. I'm okay now."
With one last friendly, and careful hug, Jake said goodnight and watched as Duke walked into his bungalow, waiting til the lights were out to make his way to his own place and fall into a deep sleep.