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Thursday, February 25, 2016

TLR Chapter 55

They had been at TLR for two days but Troy was still unwilling to attend classes, saying that he'd always hated school and having to take notes, and he didn't see where lectures at the resort would be any different.

While Ricky went to an afternoon seminar, Troy wandered the grounds, bored, and wishing he hadn't been so stubborn and had gone with his partner to the seminar after all.

Until he saw Mutt kneeling down by a flower bed, gently settling flowers into pots so that he could dig down and fix the sprinkler system.  Ignoring the warning signs that Mutt had put up, Troy advanced on the older man.

He smiled an unpleasant smile, still angry at Mutt for the comment about the muzzle. "GrrrrrWoof!" he barked at the man's back. "GrrrrrrWoofWoofWoof!" he barked again when he didn't get any response from the lowly gardener.

He walked closer to Mutt and sneered down at the other man who still refused to acknowledge his presence, which only made him angrier.

Troy deliberately knocked over the pot Mutt had been putting a plant into.

Mutt took a deep breath, picked up the slightly damaged plant and repotted it with deft hands.

Troy taunted. "Oh did the little plant have an accident?" He deliberately tipped over another one with his foot.

Still ignoring the younger man, although he felt his jaw clenching, Mutt picked up the second plant and repotted that as well. Jeff would skin him alive for allowing this little beast to get the better of him.  Fighting was frowned upon, fighting with guests would get his rump roasted but good.

"Woof! Woof! Look at the big dog digging up the garden." Troy sneered. "Don't let your master see you burying your bones there, doggie, he'll whap you on the nose with a newspaper." He taunted the unresponsive man.

Mutt finally turned around with a piercing smile and just looked at the young man for a moment before saying "This is where I buried the last jackass that made dog jokes.  Keep it up, little boy."

Troy said, "Must have been a pretty big bone, the jawbone of an ass... bet your master didn't like an ass being buried in his garden very well."

 Mutt stood up and tried to wipe some of the mud off of his work gloves and jeans. He looked at Troy, disbelievingly before he burst into laughter. "Really? That's the best you could come up with? That joke was as lame as you are."

Troy grabbed Mutt by the shoulder and said, "Jackasses can stomp dogs into the ground!" He gave Mutt a right hook to the jaw.

Mutt reeled backward, licking blood off of his lip. He gave a feral smile and made a 'come on' gesture.

He easily deflected the next punch, using Troy's momentum to throw the other man to the ground and into the mud created by the faulty sprinkler system.

Troy jumped up and waded in with both fists flying.

Mutt dodged and tripped the younger man so that Troy went sprawling back into the mud, knocking over and crushing plants as he landed.

Troy stood back up quickly and landed a fist to Mutt's right cheek. Mutt landed on his backside.  He got up, feinted with his left and swung with his right, catching Troy on the left cheek.

Troy went down on his behind, scrambled up and landed one on Mutt's nose causing it to bleed.

Mutt staggered back, if he hadn't known better he would have sworn that he passed out on his feet for a moment. He shook off the pain and grinned again, his nose and teeth bloody from the blow. He tackled Troy to the ground and sat on him, pinning the younger man's arms to the ground with his knees while he retaliated by punching Troy's nose.

Troy's nose began to bleed. He tried to buck Mutt off, but couldn't. "Get off me you big oaf!"

Mutt laughed, despite the pain he was in. "Say Uncle." He said, leaning forward to pin the boy's hands to the ground with his own.

Troy shook his head. "No! Get off me!"

"Say Uncle!" Mutt demanded, unable to stop laughing, "Or at least tell me what your problem is. Besides the fact that you just got your ass whupped by a dog."

Troy blinked and asked, "Why?"

"Because if I'm gonna get my butt toasted royally when Jeff catches sight of me, I want to be able to tell him what the hell happened." Mutt giggled.

Troy frowned. "It ain't funny gettin' your ass whipped."

"Tell me about it." Mutt replied, grinning as he rolled off of the young man and laid down beside him on the ground, ignoring the mud and moisture seeping into his clothes. "It's not my favorite past time either, but it happens. Oh man, my nose," he laughed as he gingerly tested to see whether it was broken or not.

Troy, his hands now free felt his own nose and grimaced. "Ricky's gonna kill me."

Something about the way Troy said it set off alarms in Mutt's mind.  He remembered the scene in Jeff's office a couple of days ago and became worried.  "He... he's not going to... I mean, he doesn't always... I mean, does he really whip you?"   Mutt sat up and looked at the younger man, concerned.

Troy nodded. "Yeah, usually the strap, and once he switched me."

"Oh man, I'm sorry, I didn't know. Since you've been on resort property?" He asked, amazed and concerned.

Troy shook his head. "Naw...he ain't but slapped me the one time since we've been here. The last fight I got into on the way here he told me if I got into another one he'd beat me black and blue."

"No." Mutt said angrily as he got up and tried to dust himself off, succeeding only in smearing the mud further. "He won't. Jeff and James won't allow it. Come on with me, let's get to the doctor's. We can tell him what's going on and James'll kick that bastard's butt so far off resort property he'll land in Texas."

Troy sat up gingerly. "I love him Mutt...I don't want him kicked off the resort...he's not done anything since he slapped me that first day."

Mutt looked at Troy skeptically. "You're not just saying that to protect him?"

Troy shook his head. "No...he's kinda hard, but he's a good man. He cares about me."

Mutt took a deep breath to calm himself. "Then you're not really afraid he'll beat you? I mean, it's not allowed here. Ever. Has he been going to classes?"  Mutt leaned down and reached out a hand to help the boy up.

Troy nodded. "He said he was going to take some." He replied, taking the offered hand and getting up slowly.

"But you haven't gone to any yet?"

Troy shook his head. "I left my schoolroom things behind when I graduated. I don't like homework or things like that."

"They're not those kind of classes," Mutt said, "You don't have to take notes if you don't want to, and there's no homework other than using the skills they teach to make your relationship stronger. One of the first classes they teach is the difference between abuse and discipline. You'd really benefit from it if you decided to go. If you like I'll go with you. Ow! But not until after we've faced the music," He said ruefully, shaking a cramp out of his hand and testing his jaw.  "You pack a mean punch. Ow!" Mutt continued, grinning at the younger man.

Troy said, "You'd do that? I mean go with me...? And what do you mean face the music?"

"Yeah, I'd go with you if you wanted. I've been to them all already but there's always new stuff being introduced. And as far as facing the music? You don't think we can go home with our faces and clothes all bloody and muddy and no one's gonna notice?" He laughed. He saw the worry on Troy's face and took the boy's hand in his. "Don't worry, no one's gonna beat you, ok?"

Troy bit his lip and then said, "Okay, thanks Mutt."

Mutt picked up his utility belt from the ground and radioed Heath that he was coming with a friend and that they needed some Band-Aids and a little TLC.

Troy listened to Mutt and smiled a real smile when he heard Mutt call him friend.

Heath didn't know why they'd need to call him for Band-Aids but he told Mutt to come to the office anyway. He was shocked when he saw the condition of the two men.

Heath looked the two young men over not really believing what he was seeing.  "Matthew, do you want to tell me what you two have been up too?"

Mutt said "Well, I was potting flowers and the sprinkler system was leaking.  I fell in the mud, and Troy tried to help me up but then he fell, and then I fell again, and then he fell...well, it was a real mess and we just kept knockin' into each other and, well, we kinda got hurt."

Troy looked at Mutt not believing what he had told the doctor, but staying quiet.

Heath's mouth dropped open.  "Do you actually expect me to believe that whopper, young man?" Heath demanded trying to stay in top mode and not laugh.

"Well, we really did end up on the ground, as you can see, and we did both get hurt, so, yeah, that pretty much sums it up." Mutt replied, trying not to grin.

Troy nodded, "Yeah, we did both end up on the ground." He chimed in.

The doctor grabbed Mutt by the back of the neck and marched him into one of the exam rooms. "Troy, come with us." he insisted.  He turned to the sink and wet two wash cloths. "Here, get some of that mud off your faces so I can see the damage you've done."  He said handing a cloth to each boy.

Mutt took off his work gloves and sheepishly ran the wet washcloth over his face, wincing as it scraped over bruised flesh.  When he was finally clean Heath ordered him to take his shirt off.  Mutt did as he was told without another word and placed the shirt beside the muddy gloves.

"Troy wash up too.' Heath ordered.  "You probably look as bad as Mutt does."

"Yes sir." Troy said as he took his shirt off as well, and began to wash the mud off.

Heath looked back at Mutt.  "Let me see your hand, Matthew."  He said seeing a bit of blood seeping through the wrapping.

Mutt winced at the sound of his name, which was always a sign of impending doom, and reluctantly put his hand in Heath's.

The doctor unwrapped his hand and examined it.  He disinfected it then put some antibiotic cream on the cut. "You’re lucky you only pulled at the stitches, little boy." he growled as he rewrapped Mutt's hand.  "I don't imagine Jeff is going to be too happy about you fighting."

"Fighting? Who was fighting?" Mutt asked, all innocence.

Troy, wide eyed had backed away from the other two men in the room.  That sort of behavior would have resulted in his being slapped by Ricky, and he worried that Heath would slap the both of them for lying.

"Mutt, it's obvious that you two have been fighting." Heath said, eyebrow raised and arms crossed.  He saw Troy's unease from the corner of his eye, but he knew that this was not the time to use kid gloves.

"Troy, come here and let me look at you," Heath firmly instructed.

Mutt reached back and scratched the back of his head.  "Well, yeah, ok. I didn't think that story would fly.  But it really wasn't much of a fight and it didn't last long."

Mutt was worried that Troy had gone silent and he glanced at his new friend, who looked fearful.

"What's wrong, Troy?  Don't be afraid. It's all right." Mutt said quietly.

"Wait til I call Jeff then you can explain without having to repeat your story." Heath instructed as he looked Troy over.  Besides the fresh wounds and bruises, including a puffy eye that was turning purple, the young man had several older scars.  "Troy, where did all these scars come from?" Jeff had told Heath some of the new couple’s problems after he had checked them over the day they arrived at TLR. 

"Oh those, they're just rewards from being a cowboy." Troy answered.

Mutt sighed in relief. He'd been worried that Ricky had inflicted them.  After what Troy had told him about Ricky he worried for the boy's safety, but he wasn't sure how much he could tell Heath in front of Troy.

"Looks like both of you will be sore and bruised for a few days but nothing's broken and I don't see the need of stitches."  The doc said dabbing some of the cream on a couple of scrapes on Troy's face. "You two stay here while I call Jeff."

"Are you going to call Ricky?" Troy asked, swallowing hard.

Seeing the look on Troy's face Heath answered, "No, I'll call Jeff and if he thinks we should call Ricky then we will."  He wasn’t sure from the expression on the young cowboy’s face if he was afraid of his lover.

Troy gave Heath a relieved look.

Mutt sat down and put his head in his hands.  He had a lot to answer for, and he was worried about Jeff's reaction.

“Mutt can I trust you two to stay here and not kill each other?" Heath asked with a grin.

"Yes, sir." Mutt said, raising his head and managing a grin.  He glanced over at Troy and winked.

"Good, I'll be back in a minute."

Troy nodded. "Yeah, I'm not in the mood anymore."

Mutt couldn't help but to laugh at Troy's response.  "Yeah, we did as much as we needed to. I think it's out of our systems now."

"So, are you saying you went looking for a fight, young man?" Heath asked, pinning Troy with a look.

Troy shrugged. "I was mad at him for telling me he was going to muzzle me.”

Mutt made a slashing movement across his neck, looking at Troy and shaking his head a little behind Heath's back.

"From what I heard you did a fair job of calling Mutt a dog before you even got to know him," the doctor stated.

Troy saw Mutt and then shrugged. "It don't matter anymore now."

"It doesn't matter now, Heath, really." Mutt agreed.  "We've gotten it all straightened out."

Heath saw the dejected look in Troy's eyes.  "I'll be back in a minute." he said.  "Be nice."

Mutt sighed deeply and sat back in the chair, waiting judgement.  "Well it was fun while it lasted," Mutt joked, winking at Troy again.

Heath left the room but waited outside the door in case there was trouble. 

Troy said, "Sure...the sooner I know when we're going to get kicked out of here the sooner we can head back to Arizona."  Troy shrugged. "I guess we'll be leaving right away."

"I don't think you're gonna get kicked out, Troy.  They'd have to kick me out too, I guess, since I was one of the ones fighting.  Besides, I think Jeff and James have a special place in their hearts for you and Ricky."

Troy looked at Mutt. "You think so? Why would they?"

"Don't say I said anything, ok? But Jeff said you reminded him of a friend of ours when he was younger than you.  He said that he and James never gave up on him and now he's a really great guy.  I don't think they'll give up on you two either."

Troy nodded. "I won't tell, and I'm glad he got to be a good guy."

Troy looked at Mutt. "If you don't think they'll kick us off the place what will happen do you think?”

"Well, I know what's gonna happen to me," Mutt chuckled, leaning forward toward Troy.  "What happens between you and Ricky is between you and Ricky.  If he's been taking classes like you said, then he's probably learned how to deal with things like this.  That reminds me, do you still want to take classes, and do you want me to go with you?"

Troy looked puzzled. "What will he have learned and...well…maybe, it might be more fun with... a friend."

"Ricky will have begun to learn how to keep his anger in check, and to not lash out when he's angry."

Troy's face and eyes grew shuttered at the mention of Ricky's anger.  He shrugged. "Yeah, unless he has just learned how to whip me better."

"He's not going to whip you, Troy." Mutt said quietly, "He may spank you, but if he's learned anything at all while he's been here, he won't be taking a switch to you again.”

Troy gave a bark of a laugh. "Then he'll just whip me calmly with the strap."  Then he looked at Mutt in disbelief as the older man's words sank in. "Spank me? I'm not a child!"

"No, you're not a child and if he's learned anything he won't treat you like one."

Troy asked, "How can he not if he thinks he can spank me? I don't understand."

"I’m not sure if I can explain it but when Jeff spanks me it's because he loves me and wants to keep me safe," Mutt answered.  "Mostly safe from myself.  I can see you're confused.  It's probably best to let James, or Jeff, or Heath explain from their perspective.  And you and Ricky will have to talk things out between the two of you."

Troy shook his head. "So you get spanked for fighting? That's odd, men fight all the time and don't get spanked for it."

“I tend to do things without thinking, and he's there to remind me to think before I act... sort of like when I lose control and fight with someone."  He grinned.

Troy looked at Mutt. "So it helps you to not do things without thinking? I'm not sure that works for me."

"Well, if it's self-defense it's one thing," Mutt tried to explain, "But if I just lash out without thinking, then he steers me in the right direction... and sometimes when it's needed, he'll spank me.  If it was something I didn't agree to, he wouldn't do it, but I know I deserve it sometimes...I can get kind of mouthy." He grinned wryly.

Troy nodded. "I get that way too."  Then Troy asked, "You agree to being spanked? Why?"

"That's one of the things you'd learn about if you go to the classes and seminars.  Part of what TLR does is help couples to live in a discipline relationship, if it's right for them, things like that.  I knew early on that it was right for me."

"I'll tell you a story, if it helps." Mutt continued.

Troy nodded. "Okay, if it’ll tell me how you knew it was right for you."

"When I first came to TLR I ran a little wild.  I'd come from a pretty strict household... well, more than strict actually.  Jeff took his time with me, and we got to know each other.  One day, in the winter, we were out walking in the snow.  I was trying to walk in his footsteps and kept falling.  The last time I fell I couldn't get back up.  Jeff came back and helped me up.  I knew I needed him to do that for me in more ways than one, and he was there for me."

"As far as knowing it was right for me, well, I've grown as a person considerably since we started this relationship.  He gives me not only discipline but love as well.  Unconditional love.  It was something I knew I wanted and needed."

Troy thought about that. "So in a way you knew you needed him to pick you up when you more than the physical...I'm not sure Ricky will do that for me. He seems so angry at me all the time. It makes me angry too."

"He brought you here to get help for both of you, didn't he?" Mutt asked.  "And if he doesn’t want to change why would he be going to the classes?"

Troy thought about that and then nodded. "He did bring me here, but I kinda thought it was so he could make me behave better.  I didn't think it could be because he wanted to make some changes too. I figured he just wanted me to change and stop doing the things I've been doing. I'm not sure why I do some of the things I do. I've done them most all my life."

Heath stood outside the door and listened to the conversation the two young men were having.  He had already figured out that Troy was responsible for starting the fight.  But if Mutt liked and trusted the little hot head then maybe there was hope.  He walked to his office to call Jeff.  Leaving the boys alone didn’t seem like a bad idea after all.


Mutt could see that Troy was still nervous and afraid when suddenly an idea hit.  "Troy, excuse me please, I need to use the restroom. I'll be right back, Ok?"

Troy looked at his new friend and nodded. "Okay, I hope the doc isn't too long."

"Nah, he won't be.  Jeff is usually pretty punctual in cases like these." He laughed as he left the room.

Duke had just left Jeff’s bungalow when the phone rang.  “Markham.” Jeff answered in a professional tone.

Heath quickly explained to Jeff about the fight.  “I’m sure Mutt did not start the fight and was only defending himself, Jeff.  I think they have settled their differences.”  Just then the office door opened.  Mutt came in to the office grinning.

"Heath!" Mutt whispered as he came into the office, “You're gonna think I've gone nuts but I just had a brilliant idea."

"Is it alright if I talk to Jeff about this? Then you can hear it too."

Heath handed the phone to Mutt not sure what was going on.

Mutt put the phone on speaker and lowered the volume.  "Jeff, Troy is afraid that Ricky is going to beat him. He doesn't get the difference between a spanking and a beating.  I thought... well, what if you came in, all calm like you do, and, uh, well, spanked me in front of Troy for fighting with him?  Then he'd see that a spanking isn't as bad as he thinks it's going to be. He'll see a real couple in a DP in action.  Does that make sense?"

Heath sat back and listened to Mutt's idea.  Proud of him for wanting to help his friend even if it was at his own expense. 

Jeff was stunned at first.  Mutt didn't even like being swatted in public, let alone spanked outright.  "I have to admit you have me nearly speechless here, Mutt.  Are you sure this is something you want to do?"

"If you're willing, yeah.  I really think that Troy and Ricky would benefit from seeing us together, how it's done, how to do it the right way."

"It's going to be embarrassing, Mutt..."

 "Well, I don't want you to give it to me on the bare, not in front of them, you know? But just a real spanking over my jeans.  I mean... jeez... if Troy can see that it's not the end of the world, and Ricky can see how it's supposed to be done, rather than the way he's been doing it... does any of this make sense?  I have to get back to Troy soon, I just told him I was going to the bathroom and he'll notice if I take too long."

"Yes, hon," Jeff said, his heart full of love for his husband for being willing to do something like this.  "It makes sense.  Heath, do you want me to contact Ricky or will you? He'll have to be there for this."

"I think you should bring him with you, Jeff, and I'll get back to the boys,” Heath answered.  "Mutt are you sure you want to do this?" he asked Mutt again.

Mutt grinned a little sheepishly.  "Get a spanking?  In front of other people? Sure, it's something I've always dreamed about." He laughed.  "Yeah, if it helps Ricky and Troy, then it's worth it.  Just, ah, make sure Troy doesn't go around telling everyone afterward, ok?" he laughed.

“We can find other ways to get them comfortable with DP," the doctor reasoned.

"Nah, it's ok, really.  It's only going to be a onetime thing, and it's for a good cause.  Besides, I'll live. I always do." He grinned then laughed. “And Jeff can make it up to me tonight.”

"Ok then, I'll go back to the exam room and you two talk for a minute." Heath said and left the office.

"It's ok, Jeff, I'm ok with it if you are, but I really have to go, Troy is going to wonder what happened to me.  You'll get Ricky?"

"Yes, I'll get Ricky, you go on back to your friend.  I'll be there soon.  And Mutt?"


"I love you."

"I love you too, Jeff.  Bye, see you soon, gotta go." Mutt said as he hung up the phone and rushed back to the exam room where his friends were waiting for him.

Heath knocked on the door then entered the exam room.  Troy looked calmer but still nervous.  "Where's Mutt?" he asked looking around. "Is he all right?  He said he was just going to the bathroom."

"Sorry I took so long!" Mutt said as he entered the room, “Little stomach trouble, you know?"

Troy asked, "You're sure you're all right? Does the doc here need to look at you again? I didn’t hurt you that bad did I?" Troy asked a bit of concern creeping into his voice and a little panicky. He didn't really want to hurt anyone.

"Yeah, just something I ate earlier coming back on me." He said with a reassuring smile.  He sat back down and began picking at the caked mud on his jeans.  He shivered slightly in the cool air of the exam room.

Heath walked over to a closet and pulled out two scrub tops.

"Here these will be a little big but it's better than you getting cold."

Troy fidgeted a bit nervously. He kept putting a hand over his swollen eye and picking at the scabs that had begun to form on the scrapes.

"Thanks Heath," Mutt said, “I was getting a little chilly.” He took one of the tops and slipped it gently over his head.

Troy took the other one and slipped it over his head. "Thanks Doc." He said.

"How are you two feeling now that the adrenaline has worn off?" the doctor asked his patients.

Troy said, “Tired."

Mutt grinned crookedly.  "Like I got hit by a Mack truck, but otherwise ok."

"Well, just relax.  Jeff should be here soon."

Troy said, "Then I'd better be going." he stood up to leave. He picked at another scab and headed for the door.

"Um, Heath? Do you have something for the pain in my hand?” Mutt asked.  “I'd really appreciate it. It's starting to throb."

"Let me look at it again, Mutt."  Heath said and then reached out to stop Troy.  "And you, Troy, need to stay right where you are little boy."

Troy frowned. "I'm not a little boy and Ricky will be looking for me." He said an edge of belligerence to his voice.

"I'm sorry Troy, I shouldn't have called you that but around here you will hear it a lot," Heath explained.  "It's more a term of endearment than a slur."

Troy studied Heath's face and then nodded. "All right...but I really should go. Ricky will be worried and he'll be mad."

Just then there was a rap on the door.  Heath opened the door and Jeff and Ricky walked in.

Troy's eyes widened as he saw Ricky walk in. He shrank back near Mutt.

Ricky saw Troy shrink away and felt a squeezing in his heart. He said quietly, "Are you alright Dynamite?"

Jeff immediately went up to Mutt, taking in the damage and shaking his head in amazement.  He saw Troy's reaction and included him in the brief embrace that he gave Mutt. Troy was surprised at Jeff's embracing him and Mutt and then Ricky coming over and putting his arm around him as well.

 "It's all right, guys. It's all going to be all right."

Troy nodded.  Troy at first stiffened, but forced himself to relax and then smiled as Ricky kissed him on the forehead and said, "I'm glad you're alright, and Heath here has fixed you up."

"Yeah, I’m fine, the doc here fixed me up good."

Ricky gave Troy a comforting squeeze.

Jeff looked at Mutt, asking the question again with his eyes.  'Are you sure you want to do this?'

Mutt looked back and nodded briefly.

Heath was standing in the doorway, the room suddenly small.  "Let's all go in my office where we'll have a bit more room."

At Heath's words Ricky nodded. "That might be best."

The men all agreed and followed Heath back to his office where they made themselves comfortable.

Troy balked at going with Ricky, shrugging off his arm.

Ricky said, "Let's go Troy." He said calmly as he left to follow the other men.

Troy, a little surprised that Ricky didn't just grab him and drag him off with him followed slowly.

Once in the room Ricky took Troy's hand and walked over to the sofa

Ricky sat on the sofa and drew Troy down next to him putting an arm around him and gently touching the bruises and scrapes. "You really got into it didn't you Dynamite?"

Troy shrugged. "Ain't nothing I haven’t had before."

Ricky sighed inwardly, but said softly, "I know, but I really don't like seeing you hurt or hurting. I know you don't ever complain, but I still don't like to see it."

Troy relaxed at Ricky's words and nodded. "I know." He said softly.

The doctor assured both Tops that their brats were ok.  "Both guys are going to be sore in the morning but there is no lasting damage.  Mutt did rip his stitches, Jeff, and he has some pain but I'll give him something for that."

Once they'd seated themselves, Jeff asked, trying to sound stern, "So would someone like to tell us what happened?"  He'd explained the situation to Ricky and the other man had agreed, although Ricky was still a little uncertain.

Ricky looked at Troy. "Yes, I'd like to know what happened as well."

Troy looked at Mutt.

Mutt looked back at Troy and shrugged his shoulders. He gave him a look that said 'It's your call.'

Troy bit his lip. "We got into a fight." He said.

Ricky arched an eyebrow and said calmly, "That's pretty obvious by your swollen eye and the bruises and scrapes on your faces."

Jeff cocked his head a little to the right and looked at Mutt, "So what did you two fight about?" He asked.

"It was nothing, really," Mutt replied evasively. "Just a misunderstanding."

"So who misunderstood what?"

Troy jumped on that quickly. "Yeah, just a little misunderstanding and some pushing and shoving around and a lot of mud."

"It's the mud that did us in." Mutt joked, gesturing to the dried mud on his jeans and picking at a piece that was scaling off.

Troy nodded. "Yeah, slipping in it."

Ricky eyed Troy. "Niño, do you want to tell the truth now or do you want to continue with this deception and dig yourself in even deeper?"

Troy's face grew shuttered and sullen. "Whatever, just whip me and get it over with then." He said with bravado.

"Matthew Elijah, tell me what happened, or you'll get more than the spanking I have planned for you. Now are you going to tell us the truth boys?"  He looked at Troy and Ricky and said quietly, "No one is going to whip you." 

Ricky's dark eyes flashed for a moment, then remembering what Jeff said told Troy, "Chico, I'm not going to whip you. That's not going to happen anymore, remember we talked about that."

Troy nodded. "Yeah, we did." He said no more, but remained sullen.

Ricky looked at Jeff for some guidance.

Jeff gave a barely perceptible nod toward Ricky and focused his attentions on Mutt. "Tell me what happened." He said calmly.  "The truth this time would be nice."

Mutt lowered his gaze back to his mud encrusted jeans and began to pick at the dried scales. "Well, it... it was..." He looked desperately at Troy for help. He didn't want to get this boy in any more trouble than he already was.

"It was all my fault. I started it." He said in a cold detached manner. "I'd been teasing him and making things difficult for him and Mutt just had enough of me.  But I took the first swing."

"Is that true, Mutt? Troy took a swing at you?"

"Yeah, he did," Mutt replied softly, "But I hit him when he was down. We're both guilty."

Ricky shook his head and asked "Why Niño?"

Troy shrugged. "I was still mad that he said he wanted to muzzle me. I couldn't let him get away with that."

Ricky said, "Troy Nelson, I told you about fighting."

Troy replied boldly, "Yeah, so whip me black and blue like you said you would the last time I was in a fight."

"Matthew Elijah, you know what the rules are about fighting. Don't you?"

"Yes, sir." Mutt replied quietly.

"Troy," Jeff said soothingly, "No one is going to whip you black and blue here. Ricky has learned a lot since he's been here."

Ricky shook his head. "I'm not going to do that to you Troy. Like you said, that was before we got here and I've been taking the classes, and had you come with me you'd have heard the things I have and that I'm going to work at in our relationship. One is to not strike out in anger and the other is to not correct harshly."

Troy looked suspiciously from Jeff to Ricky. "How do I know that ain't going to happen?"

"Troy," Heath said, startling the other men in the room who had mostly forgotten he was there, "We promised you no one was going to whip you here, and we keep our promises.  Unfortunately, I have to go make some calls, so I'll leave you gentlemen for the moment. Don't worry Troy. You're in a safe place." He said as he left the room.

"You on the other hand have much to account for, Matthew." Jeff said sternly, turning his gaze to his husband. "I think it's time to show Ricky and Troy discipline in action. Don't you?" He asked, making sure that Mutt still wanted to go along with his original idea.

"Yes sir." Mutt replied quietly.

"Then tell me what you're being punished for, Matthew."

"I got into a fight and tried to lie about it."

"What are the consequences for lying?" Jeff asked.

"A soapy mouth." Mutt replied a little breathlessly.

"And what are the consequences for fighting."


Mutt looked a plea at Jeff who shook his head slightly.

"No buts. What are the consequences?"

"A spanking." Mutt said, feeling as though the air had been pressed out of his lungs.

"Then lets go to the bathroom, and we can let Troy and Ricky talk while we take care of the first consequence."

Mutt followed silently, sending Troy a little smile over his shoulder as he left.

Once they were outside and the door had been closed, Mutt turned to Jeff. "Are you really going to soap my mouth, Jeff? Please don't."

"No, I'm not going to wash out your mouth, even though you deserve it for the lie you told Heath before I got here. I just wanted to make sure that you really wanted to do this. It's going to be embarrassing, and I'm not going to hold back just because we have an audience. Do you understand that?"

Mutt put his arms around Jeff's neck and went up on tiptoe to kiss him. "Yeah, I understand. I admit I'm having second thoughts so if we're gonna do this, let's do it now or I'll lose my nerve."

Jeff reached up to pinch Mutt's cheeks where they weren't bruised.

"What did you do that for?" Mutt said, tears forming in his eyes as he rubbed the sore spots.

"Because you have to look as though you just got your mouth soaped, hon." Jeff said, kissing the bruise on Mutt's right cheek.

"Ready?" Jeff asked.

"As I can be," Mutt replied, swallowing down the butterflies that had formed in his stomach.

Mutt and Jeff waited just a few moments more before heading back into the room where Troy and Ricky were waiting.

Ricky went over and pulled Troy into a hug while Mutt and Jeff were gone. "I love you Niño, I don't want to hurt you anymore and I don't want to be hurt anymore either." He told Troy.

"What is going to happen to Mutt?" He asked a bit worriedly.

Ricky said, "When partners agree on certain consequences for certain behaviors it's important they are carried through. Apparently the consequences Mutt and Jeff talked about have been agreed upon between them before now. Jeff won't hurt Mutt. The soaping and the spanking won't be pleasant, but they won't harm him." He told Troy.

Troy tried to hide his nervousness for his new friend, but stayed in Ricky's arms.

Jeff walked back in followed closely by Mutt who looked embarrassed and uncomfortable. He'd been the one with the bright idea and he'd been the one who'd told Jeff he was ok to go through with it. He couldn't back out now. He thought.

Jeff greeted the men and sat on the couch, gesturing Mutt to come to him.

Troy looked up at Mutt and Jeff as they entered and slid out of Ricky's arms. "Are you alright Mutt?" He asked trying to hide his anxiousness.

Mutt sat down on the couch beside Jeff and gave a watery smile to his friend. "Yeah, I'll live, thanks Troy." He said, blinking back tears.

Ricky put an arm around Troy and the younger man asked with an edge to his voice, "You'll live? I thought he wasn't going to hurt you!" He stiffened under Ricky's arm. He glared at Jeff. "You said you wouldn't hurt anyone!"

"Troy, I'm going to do something I don't normally do," Jeff said, looking at the two men. "I think it's important for you to see the difference between discipline and 'whipping', and Mutt is going to be a model for you."

Troy looked at Mutt dumbfounded. "What do you mean?"

"Jeff is gonna... he said... he's gonna punish me in front of you, so that you can see the difference between what you've been doing and how it should be done." Mutt said, swallowing hard. He couldn't admit that this had been his idea.

Ricky squeezed Troy's shoulders. "It's going to be all right Chico, this way you won't be too worried or afraid when we start to change things we do."

"How do you feel about this, Troy? Do you think it will help you understand how we do things at TLR?"

Troy couldn't help but bite his lip, then studied Mutt and Jeff. " one has ever done anything like this for me're a good man and I'm glad you want me as a friend. I've never had a friend like you." He said quietly.

"Then we should get on with it. Mutt, over my lap please. Now." Jeff said, making sure that the two boys knew it was an order and not a request.

Mutt stood, fighting down the blush that was forming on his cheeks, and placed himself over Jeff's knees.  He  gasped at the first smack. Jeff hadn't been kidding when he'd said he wasn't going to take it easy on him. Not only that but his jeans were still damp, and he was still sore from the fight with Troy.

By the fourth smack, tears were running freely down Mutt's face, partly from pain and partly from embarrassment.

Troy jumped at the sound of the first smack and Ricky kept his arm around his Chico.

Jeff delivered fifteen hard whacks to Mutt's backside. The younger man squirmed and crossed his ankles and tried not to cry out loud for the sake of his friend.

Troy bit his lip and unconsciously snuggled closer to Ricky who held him a little tighter.

When it was done, Mutt couldn't help but to sob quietly. Jeff helped him up, rubbing his back and smoothing his sweaty hair back from his forehead. He whispered reassurances into Mutt's ears that only he could hear, and Mutt slowly calmed down.

Jeff put his arms around his husband and hugged him tightly, swaying with him slightly until Mutt's sobs stopped.

Mutt wrapped his arms around Jeff's waist and laid his head against his chest.

"I love you, hon." Jeff whispered.

"I love you back," Mutt said with a little laugh.

Troy looked up at Ricky and Ricky asked quietly, "Do you think a spanking is deserved for the fighting?"

Troy bit his lip and looked at Jeff and Mutt and asked, "Will you do it like they did?"

Ricky looked at Jeff for confirmation.

Jeff gave a brief nod at Ricky and a barely perceptible smile.

Ricky said, "Yes, I'll do it like Jeff just did."

Troy looked at Mutt. "Are you really okay?"

Mutt tore himself away from Jeff reluctantly. "Yes, I'm really ok, and I feel, free." He said, smiling wanly at Troy.

Troy asked, "Are you going to do it right now like Jeff did?"

Ricky glanced briefly at Jeff.

"No Troy, this should be a personal thing between the two of you. I'm going to take my boy home and he's going to take a nap before dinner."

Troy nodded. "All right...Mutt, I'm sorry." He apologized to his friend.

"It's all right Troy, I'm fine, just really tired right now. I'll talk to you tomorrow, ok?"

 Troy bit his lip and then nodded. "All to you tomorrow."

Jeff wrapped an arm around his husband and led him out to find Heath.

Jeff and Mutt left the infirmary with a quick goodbye to Heath who had many questions but knew that this was not the time to ask.  They went to their golf cart and drove home in silence.  

When they got back inside their bungalow, Jeff drew the still red faced Mutt toward him.  He planted a kiss on the younger man's forehead and pulled him into a tight hug.

"I can't tell you how proud I am of you, for being willing to do what you did, Mutt.  That took a lot of courage.  You're a good friend.  You know that, don't you?"

Mutt sighed and put his arms around Jeff, hugging back just as tightly, and putting his head on Jeff's chest so that he could hear his husband's heartbeat.  "Thanks, chief," He said softly, "But if I ever come up with another plan like that again, knock me out and drag me to Heath for a full psychological exam, please?"

Jeff laughed and laid his cheek on top of Mutt's head.  "If I ever agree to something like that again, knock me out and drag me to Heath for a full psychological exam, ok?" He replied, rubbing Mutt's back with one hand and pressing the younger man's head to his chest lovingly.

"Do you think it helped at least?" Mutt asked, beginning to fall asleep.

"I think it helped.  Quite a bit.  Not only Ricky but especially Troy." Jeff replied as he drew Mutt toward their bedroom.  "Now take off those muddy jeans and get into bed." Jeff smiled, taking the mud caked clothes as Mutt did as he was told. He pulled the comforter down.  Mutt dragged himself onto the bed, laid down on his side and allowed Jeff to pull it back over him before tucking him in.  "I'll wake you when dinner is ready, hon.  You just sleep.  You deserve it."

Mutt grunted something unintelligible and snuggled down into the softness and comfort of their bed.


Ricky put an arm around Troy and said, "Let's go back to our place and talk some and then I think you probably could use a little nap too."

Troy nodded. "All right Ricky."

Ricky walked with his arm around his brat’s shoulders as they left the infirmary. He was quiet as he considered what he had seen and thought about what he had learned at the classes he had attended.

Troy stiffened a little as Ricky put his arm around him and walked out of the infirmary, but thought about what he had just witnessed between Mutt and Jeff. Jeff hadn’t grabbed, yelled or whipped Mutt although Mutt did look as though the mouth soaping had been a very unpleasant experience and the spanking looked as though it had hurt, but there had been no anger on Jeff’s part, just a calm, methodical punishment. He had seen Jeff hold Mutt afterward and glanced out of the corner of his eye at Ricky. He wondered if Ricky would do that for him. He’d never done it before and he also wondered just how Ricky would be once out of sight of the others in their bungalow. Right now he seemed calm and quiet, but once the door was closed and there was no one to see if he would grab him and just start whipping him like he had done in the past. His stomach twisted at the thought.

Ricky looked down at Troy as he felt him stiffen a little once again. “It’s going to be all right Chico, things are going to be different this time for both of us.”

Troy balked a little once they had reached their place, not trusting that things were actually going to be different.

Ricky felt the resistance of his little Dynamite as they approached the door to their bungalow and waited for the young man to take the first step toward going inside, not forcing him.

Troy stood still and looked up at the calm face and the warm brown eyes. He saw the love lurking in their depths and although he was afraid and not wanting to admit to it, took a deep breath and with resolve moved toward the door and inside.

Ricky had held his breath for a moment and then slowly let it out as Dynamite moved toward the door.

Once inside Ricky said, “Let me look at you Niño.” He gently touched the bruises and scrapes. The doctor had done a good job of fixing his boy up. He was going to have a good shiner, but other than that he could see there was no permanent damage. “Why don’t you go take a shower and change into some clean clothes that will be a bit more comfortable Chico?” He asked softly.

Troy nodded. “Alright.” He was moving a bit stiffly now, sore from the fight.

Ricky watched the young man go and said, “When you’re finished, come back. We’ll talk about what happened and what is going to happen next.”

Dynamite nodded and headed to the shower.

Ricky sat on the sofa and pulled out his notes and looked them over, nodding to himself as he re-read the things he wanted to remind himself of.

Troy headed for the shower. He winced as the hot water hit some of his bruises, but felt better for it. He dressed in a pair of sweat pants and a tee shirt. He looked at his face in the mirror and grimaced, which caused him to wince. He had a bit of soreness where he had been knocked on his backside, but didn’t think much of it as it didn’t hurt as much as his swollen eye. He finally went out to where Ricky was sitting on the sofa waiting for him.

Ricky had put his notes away when he heard Troy come out of the shower. He took deep breaths and relaxed so he could deal with his brat.

Troy came into the living room and sat on the sofa with Ricky.

Ricky said, “Come closer Niño, I want to hold you while we talk.”

Troy hesitated, then moved next to Ricky observing him a bit warily, watching his hands for any sudden movements.

Ricky carefully put an arm around Troy’s shoulders and shifted so he was closer and cuddled the young man. “Tell me Niño, how did this fight help?”

Troy looked at Ricky puzzled. “Help?”

Ricky said, “Well it sounds like you were looking for a fight with Mutt.”

The young man looked down for a moment. “He said he could muzzle me. I didn’t like that.”

Ricky nodded. “Is that really something to go picking a fight about?”

Troy sighed and shook his head. “No, not really.”

Ricky nodded. “Why don’t you tell me then just what exactly you were hoping to accomplish?”

Troy shifted a little uncomfortably, then blurted out, “I wanted to see if you loved me.”

Ricky looked at Troy puzzled. “Loved you? Of course I love you Chico.”

Troy said, blushing a bit now, “Like the other men who are here. We saw a couple of the other men smack their partners, but didn’t grab them, yell at them, slap them or beat them.” He said quietly. “I’ve always hated that.”

Ricky nodded. “Yes, it’s why I tried to explain to you that first night how I was brought up.  So you were testing me Niño?”

The other young man nodded briefly.

Ricky hugged Troy tight. “Chico, you didn’t have to get hurt for me to show you I love you.” He said gently.

Troy nodded. “Pretty dumb huh?”

Ricky shook his head. “Not if you don’t know any other way to get my attention. I really would like for you to come to the seminars with me Chico. You’d probably learn other ways to get my attention, mostly by us talking about things. How we feel, how we think…things like that.”

Troy nodded. “I was also bored and thought I should have gone with you today.” He confessed.

“Ahh…Niño,” He stroked Troy’s bruised cheek gently, “I wish you had come with me too. Now we need to deal with this fighting.” He said quietly, but with a new sternness and firmness Troy hadn’t heard in Ricky’s voice before. Not anger, just a calm, commanding tone.

Troy shivered a little involuntarily at the tone, it was a lot like the one Jeff had used with Mutt and he knew what happened there. “Yeah Ricky.” He said quietly.

Ricky shifted a bit so he could look into the green eyes. “Chico, tell me if you believe a spanking is deserved here.”

Troy’s green eyes widened. He thought about it and then asked cautiously, “One like Mr. Markham gave Mutt?”

Ricky nodded. “Yes, one like Mr. Markham gave Mutt, over my lap, over your pants for this first time.”

Troy looked at Ricky curiously. “You’ve spanked me before…this isn’t a first time.”

Ricky shook his head. “No Chico, I whipped you, not spanked you. I hurt you, not disciplined you. There is a difference I have learned.” He told Troy.

Troy studied Ricky. He could see the firm resolve and not anger, but sadness and love reflected in the warm brown eyes that were studying him in return. Troy looked away and down. “Yes Sir.” 

Ricky’s heart beat with joy at the response and he smiled to himself. “Then come Niño.” He helped Troy to stand in front of him. “Tell me Troy Nelson Temple why you’re going over my lap for a spanking.”

Troy couldn’t help but squirm a little as his stomach had butterflies in it. “Because I got into a fight and I started it.” He confessed.

Ricky nodded. “Yes, that is correct.” He held out his hand to Troy.

The young man stared at the hand for a moment, then placed his in Ricky’s.

The older man gently guided Troy over his lap and adjusted him the way he had learned in his discipline seminar, making sure the boy was as comfortable as he could be and holding him tight against him.

Troy wriggled a bit at the unfamiliar position. He didn’t like his bottom sticking up and vulnerable. It made him feel a little queasy. He closed his eyes tightly, expecting the searing pain he had experienced before. He was surprised when he felt a gentle patting on his rump. “Ready?” Ricky asked quietly.

Troy jumped a little at the unexpected pat and then gave a nod. “Yeah, as ready as I’m ever going to be.” He said.

Ricky nodded although Troy couldn’t see him and raised his hand and landed a sharp smack to the center of the up turned bottom.

Troy yelped and then wriggled a bit. “Ow!”

Ricky settled down to the business of heating his young brat’s backside, using the techniques taught in the discipline class, paying close attention to Troy’s breathing and movements. He knew he was getting his point across as the wriggling and wiggling increased, followed by a hand being flung back, which he pinned out of the way not missing a smack. He tipped Troy forward and began on the under curves and sit spots and the backs of his legs causing him to be more vocal in his distress and scissor his legs, kicking his feet.

Troy had never felt anything like this before. His rear was on fire and it didn’t seem Ricky was going to stop any time soon. It wasn’t the searing burn of the strap, but a building of the fire hotter and hotter. As he felt himself being tipped forward and his more sensitive sitting places heated he found tears leaking out of his eyes. He tried to get angry, but instead felt safe as Ricky secured him more firmly to his body and scolded him softly, telling him how disappointed he was in his behavior and how much he loved him and how he hoped he would learn better ways from this spanking. The soft words got to Troy and he began to his surprise and a bit of horror to sob. His heart hurt and he began to cry and sob harder, not even minding the smacks that continued to heat his backside.

Ricky heard Troy begin to cry and when the boy began to sob and release his emotions he added several more smacks to the hot bottom for good measure, then began to rub his back and righted him, cuddling him in his lap making sure the sore bottom touched nothing.

Troy was surprised to find himself cuddled against Ricky and wrapped his arms around the older man and cried into his shoulder as he heard murmured affectionate words in his ear.

Ricky felt a deep heartwarming love for this young man and continued to soothe and hold Troy until he calmed and stopped crying. The younger man laid his head against the older man’s chest and sighed deeply. “Are you all right Niño?”

Troy lifted his head and gave a small smile. “My backside’s on fire, but other than that, yes.” He yawned and snuggled close.

Ricky smiled and laid on the couch taking Troy with him and pulling him on top of him where Troy laid his head on Ricky’s chest. The warm hand rubbed his back and it wasn’t long before Ricky had a soundly sleeping brat in his arms. 


Two hours later Jeff woke Mutt for dinner.  Mutt was pleasantly surprised to find that he could sit with little to no discomfort, and he practically inhaled the first piece of lasagna.  His stomach growled loudly for another piece.  Jeff laughed and cut another, larger piece and placed it on Mutt's plate.  He hadn't even finished his first helping yet.

Mutt ladled extra sauce on top, added cheese and more meatballs and sausage before eating that portion a little more sedately. 

"Mutt, something occurred to me earlier today and I wanted to ask for your help." 

Mutt looked the question at Jeff who smiled and continued.

"You know that Jake and Duke are becoming something of an item?"

Mutt nodded and swallowed the mouth full he'd been chewing.  "Yeah, the entire resort staff is wondering when they'll finally make it official." He smiled.

"Duke is still coming to terms with some things, but I'm hoping that will resolve itself soon.  The thing is that he's agreed to allow Jake to discipline him when it's necessary."

Mutt stopped with the fork halfway to his mouth and blinked in surprise.  He put the fork down gently and looked at Jeff.  "Wow." Was all he could think of to say.

Jeff huffed a laugh.  "Yep, wow pretty much sums it up.  That's why I need your help." He gestured toward the stool in the corner.  "I wanted to know if you could make them one of those, but in proportion to Jake and Duke."

Mutt glanced at the low backed stool that Jeff sometimes had him sit on when he had corner time, and chewed the inside of his cheek thoughtfully as he did the calculations in his head.  "Yeah... I'm pretty sure I can."  He looked back at Jeff, still surprised at the revelation.  "I'd have to make the seat deeper, and the legs longer, the steps a bit wider...  wow." He repeated.  

He imagined what it would be like if his and Jeff's roles were reversed and he were Jeff's Top.  The idea just blew his mind, but he knew that Duke was every bit as much a Brat as he was, had known it since he'd met the man who towered over Mutt like a skyscraper, and if anyone could rein Duke in it would be Jake, despite the rather large differences in their height.

"I'd have to go into town for the hardware, but I have that wood that Coral gave me stashed away. I think it's nearly enough to make one of those." He said, already making plans.  He stood up and went to the drawer where his notebook and pencils were and began making a rough sketch complete with his calculations.  "Do you know how tall Duke is, and how much he weighs?"  He asked.  "Criminy!  How much does Duke weigh!?" He asked no one in particular as he scribbled out his calculations.

Jeff laughed and took the notebook away.  "There's plenty of time for that, hon.  Eat your dinner first."

"I'm not hungry anymore." Mutt replied, reaching for the note book with a slightly petulant look on his face.  His stomach growled again, a corkscrew sound that took him off guard and he laughed as well.  

"Ok, maybe I'm a little hungry." He conceded as he blushed.

"Eat." Jeff commanded with a smile on his face.

"Yes Sir!" Mutt grinned, saluting Jeff before picking up his fork and digging in again.

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