Tuesday, April 5, 2016
TLR Chapter 60
Ryan had barely gotten to sleep when the phone rang. It was Aaron calling from the shooting range.
"Ry, I'm not feeling well today and I don't think I can cover the range for you. Do you think you can come in and cover for me?"
Ryan looked over at Coral who was sleeping. "Sure I'll be there as soon as I get dressed." He replied.
Coral's eyes opened immediately, completely alert as usual. "Where are you going at this time of day? You just got to sleep?" He asked.
"The shootin' range. Aaron's sick and I'm coverin'."
“No you're not. You just came off of an eight hour shift and you need to get some sleep. We'll call James or Jeff to see if they can open for you. Otherwise you'll just have to keep the range closed for the day."
Ryan glared at Coral. "I'm the owner and it's my responsibility. I told Aaron I'd be there as soon as I got dressed. I'll catch a few hours sleep when I get back. I don't have to report until ten o'clock tonight."
"The range doesn't close until six, and you have to be to work by ten. You are not going to do your rounds on the resort with less than three hours of sleep under your belt, little boy." Coral said, leaning up on his elbow to look his boy in the eyes.
Ryan shrugged. "I've done it on less."
"That may have been so before, but it's not going to happen now. You need adequate sleep to function properly."
Coral's teeth clenched in anger as he saw his brat get up and begin to gather up his clothes as they argued.
"If you go to the range then I'm going to have someone else cover your shift tonight. You are not going to do this resort or yourself any good working sleep deprived." Coral said decisively.
"I have a responsibility to the range. You're always harpin' about me bein' more responsible."
"And one of your responsibilities is to yourself. To eat properly and get enough sleep. If you can't take care of yourself how are you going to take care of a range full of men and women with guns?"
"I'm young...I don't need much sleep. You're old and need more than me."
"I'm only five years older than you, little boy, so don't get smart with me." Coral said, his eyes narrowing in annoyance.
"I've handled double shifts before and it was never a problem for me. Don’t know why you're makin' such a fuss over it now." Ryan continued to argue.
"Because you were practically killing yourself back then, and I'm not going to allow it to happen. I care about you too much. Too little sleep and you could make mistakes that could cause bigger problems."
Ryan rolled his eyes. "Jeeze, it's only for one day, not a week or somethin'."
"You've gotten less than an hour's sleep as it is, and then you expect to get less than three hours sleep before your shift. You need more than that to function properly." Coral persisted. "And you don't know when Aaron is going to be feeling better, so for all you know it could be a week. I repeat, you are not going to run the range all day and try to patrol at night. I'll call the other guys and see who is available to cover your shift tonight." Coral said, reaching for the phone.
Ryan shook his head. "No! I'm supposed to be with Duke and keep him out of trouble, remember? He won't like anyone else to be there...he'll know they're tryin' to babysit him and he'll be mad!"
"He won't know that unless you tell him, Ry. All we have to do is tell the truth, that you didn't get any sleep and someone else had to cover your shift for you. Any of the others are just as capable of handling a rough situation as you are, and everyone knows that Duke isn't supposed to be handling any of the rough stuff. Now I'm calling Greg to see if he'll cover your shift tonight." Coral said as he started to dial the number.
Ryan snatched the phone from Coral. "No! I said no!"
Coral, who had been more or less lounging on the bed, sat straight up, his eyes narrowed and his lips compressed. "What did you just say to me, little boy? And don't you ever grab the phone from me like that again. Hand it over." Coral ordered.
Coral held his hand out for the phone. "Now." he said.
Ryan shook his head. "Not until you promise to let me take my shift and not call anyone else."
"This is not negotiable, little boy." Coral said, moving to sit on the edge of the bed, still with his hand held out for the phone. "Hand it over, or you will not only not go to the range but I'll ask Greg to cover your shift tonight and you can spend the day in bed with a sore backside."
Ryan glared at Coral but handed him the phone.
"Thank you." Coral said, consciously relaxing his muscles. "Now it's your choice. Do you cover the range today and Greg covers your shift tonight? Or do we have to discuss this with you over my lap?"
Ryan said, "Go ahead and call Greg."
Coral nodded his head briefly and dialed Greg's number. It was a short conversation and luckily for Coral Greg was willing to cover the shift.
"Thanks Greg. I'll see you later." Coral said.
Ryan listened to the conversation and then said, "I'm gettin' dressed and goin' over now."
Coral hung up the phone, got up and gave Ryan six hard swats. "Watch your tone with me, little boy. And don't ever snatch the phone from me like that again. Do I make myself clear?"
Ryan yelped at the unexpected swats, "Yes Sir." He replied sullenly.
"Now go on and get dressed. I'm going to see if I can get any more sleep before I have to get up and go to work. Remember, straight home from the range. Eat, relax and then straight to bed. You'll need to catch up on the sleep you're missing now."
Ryan said, "'Kay."
Coral watched as Ryan walked into the bathroom to wash and dress before curling back up on their bed and closing his eyes. Now that the adrenaline had ebbed he found himself sleepier than he had been and he fell asleep quickly.
Ryan finished washing and dressing. He rubbed the sting out of his bottom where Coral had swatted him, slipped out without bothering with breakfast and drove over to the range. Once there he called Greg. "Hello Greg?"
"Ry, good to hear from you," the sleepy man replied. "What's up?"
Ryan said, "I wanted to tell you that I'll be able to take my shift tonight after all so you won't have to."
"Coral said you were covering the range today and that you'd need to sleep tonight. Is someone else covering the range?"
Ryan bit his lip and then said, "We're goin' to close for the day.'
"Oh." Greg said uncertainly. "Why didn't Coral call me back then?"
Ryan said, "He went back to sleep."
Greg knew that Coral had a long day ahead of him and didn't want to wake him up. He was no stranger to split shifts and wouldn't have minded the extra hours but didn't especially mind that he could now stay home and relax with his own brat instead.
"No problem then, Ry. When you see Coral tonight tell him I said hello."
Ryan said, "I'll do that and thanks Greg." He hung up the phone and started his day.
Coral slept deeply until ten o'clock when his alarm went off. He got up and ate, showered and changed and then called the range to check in with Ryan.
"Heya Angel. How's it going today? Busy?" he asked with a smile.
Ryan answered the phone and when he heard Coral said, "It's goin' okay, not too busy, but enough to keep from gettin' bored."
"Well that's good then. I was worried that you might be overwhelmed with the Thursday traffic there." He joked. "I'm headed out to work now. Remember, when you get home, shower, eat and relax, then to bed. You have some sleep to catch up on. Understood?"
Ryan said, "Okay Coral. Have a good afternoon."
When the day came to an end Ryan decided to catch a few hours sleep at the office and then would head to the resort to report for his shift.
When his shift was over Coral arrived home, fully expecting to see Ryan plastered in front of the television, playing video games. He was pleased at first to find that Ryan had apparently gone to bed earlier than expected but became nervous when he saw the bed empty. He ran to Ryan's old room, thinking that the boy might have fallen asleep there, but Ryan was nowhere to be found.
"Ry? Ry! Are you here?" Coral called out, wondering if his boy were in the bathroom or perhaps even asleep in one of the lounge chairs outside. He began to panic when he couldn't find any sign of his lover anywhere in the bungalow. Then he thought that maybe Ryan had gone over to Shorty’s to feed his new kitten, but was still very worried that he had not heard from his brat.
Ryan stretched and checked his phone and found it was getting time for him to report for his shift. He checked every lock carefully one last time to be sure the range was secure, got into his jeep and headed for the resort. He smiled at Duke as he reported for his shift.
Duke looked up with a frown when Ryan showed up for his shift. "Where the hell have you been? Coral's been callin' all over the place...he's frantic."
Ryan looked at Duke. "He is? He knows I was at the range today. He knows I was supposed to report for my shift at ten as usual."
Duke said, "I'd better call him then. I'll let him know you're here."
Ryan said a little too quickly, "It's okay. You don't have to call him."
Duke frowned. "I'm goin' to anyway." He picked up the phone and Ryan shrunk back into the shadows.
Duke dialed Coral's number.
Coral saw the number for the security office on his caller ID and picked up the phone before it could ring twice.
"Duke? Have you seen Ry? Is he alright? Where is he?"
Duke said, "Coral? Ryan's here to report for his shift. He said you knew he was at the range today and that he needed to report for his shift. Did you forget?"
"Greg was going to cover Ryan's shift tonight because I didn't want Ryan to be there with only a couple of hours sleep. He knew that. I even went to the range when I couldn't find him here and it was locked up tight. He didn't answer his cell phone... ask him where he was all this time."
Ryan began to ease out of the security office, but Duke saw the movement and pinned him with a look. "Don't go anywhere Ry." He said in his best security officer tone.
Ryan froze where he was.
Duke said, "Coral wants to know where you've been."
Ryan said, "Tell him I caught a few hours sleep at the range office before I came to report for my shift."
Duke relayed Ryan's response. He looked at Ryan. “Coral said Greg was supposed to cover for you.”
Ryan didn't respond to that.
"Call Greg, Duke, and let him know he's still needed. Send Ryan home. Now, please."
“Ry, Coral wants you to come home...now."
Ryan huffed. "I don't want to."
Duke raised an eyebrow and shook his head. "Coral, he says he doesn't want to come home."
"Fine," Coral said his anger under firm control. "Tell him I'll be there to pick him up in five minutes. Make sure he doesn't go anywhere, Ok, Duke?"
Duke said, "All right Coral and I'll call Greg." Duke turned to Ryan. "Sit down Coral's comin' for you. He'll be here in five minutes."
Ryan wanted to run, but he knew Duke would easily outrun him and could pick him up like a child and bring him back so he sat on the bench and waited.
Duke called Greg.
Greg couldn't help his initial surprise which quickly turned to anger. "Ryan told me he'd shut down the range for the day and that he'd be there to cover his shift at ten. He lied to me. I should have known that Coral would have called me back to tell me. What an idiot I am." He berated himself.
Duke said, "It's not your fault Greg, and if you could come it would be appreciated."
"I'll be there in ten minutes." Greg said quickly. "Just give me a few minutes to get dressed and I'll head right out."
Duke got up and stood in the doorway, arms crossed and an annoyed look at Ryan who was sitting on the bench all scrunched up into a ball. "Ryan Jerome I don't understand why you would insist on goin' against Coral when he has your best interests in mind."
Ryan said quietly, "I've done it before and it seemed he was bein' unreasonable...besides...I wanted to be with you tonight."
Duke quirked an eyebrow. "Why?"
Ryan bit his lip. "'Cause I'm 'posed to look out for you."
Duke's grey eyes widened. "You got that wrong Ryan...I'm supposed to be lookin' after you."
The two brats looked at each other.
"What do you mean by that?" They asked in unison.
"I'm older than you." Duke said, annoyed, "I'm supposed to be lookin' out for you to make sure you stay outta trouble."
"They said I was supposed to be watchin' out for you so that you don't try to take on too much." Ryan shot back.
Just then Coral walked in, breathless with relief that Ryan had been found in one piece, only to be met with twin looks of anger and frustration by the two brats within the security office.
"Just who's supposed to be lookin' after who, here?" Duke growled. "Ryan here seems to think he's in charge of me, somehow."
"They told me to keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn't injure his arm." Ryan argued. "No one said he was babysittin' me!"
Coral took a breath to answer, and to get his thoughts in order.
"You were supposed to look out for each other, just as you would normally do when patrolling together." He hedged.
Duke gave Coral a look. "They told me to keep Ryan out of trouble, and now he's sayin' that he was supposed to be doin' the same thing for me? I don't need no babysitter! I'm head of security here, and a grown man. I don't need a baby lookin' after me!"
"I'm not a baby!" Ryan protested. "An' yeah, they told me to keep you from usin' your arm too much." He added, shooting Coral a look of betrayal.
Duke glared at Coral. "James and Heath told me to keep an eye on Ryan so he didn't go off drinkin' or get into any other trouble. What is this?" He asked anger edging his voice now.
"The fact of the matter is that if you're patrolling together you should be doing all of that anyway. Duke, you know you're limited in what you can do for the next three weeks and we all know that you have a tendency to forget that."
"And Ryan, if James and Heath wanted Duke to look after you to make sure you don't sneak a drink, it's just one friend looking out for the other. Duke knows you're not supposed to be drinking anything alcoholic, and considering the times you've already tried to sneak out and drink when you think no one is looking, and then yes, you do need a babysitter."
Duke frowned slightly, "Yeah, but it feels like I'm not trusted...but I suppose I haven't been very trustworthy have I?" He gave a sigh.
"How many times have you been caught without your sling when you were supposed to be wearing it, not to mention the brace, which you seem to only use when you can't stand the pain of not wearing it anymore?" Coral asked.
Duke hung his head. "Lots I guess."
Ryan smirked seeing the older and bigger man being chastised, cut down to size and put in his place by Coral.
"And you, Ryan Jerome O'Donnell, had better wipe that smirk off your face. You're in a world of trouble right now, disobeying orders, lying, ignoring my phone calls. I think you and I should be heading home. Now."
Ryan paled at Coral's words and tone.
Duke gave him a sympathetic look, and then turned as he heard a golf cart approaching and figured it would be Greg. Seconds later, Greg walked in looking flustered and a bit angry. He shot Ryan a withering look and then turned his attention to Coral.
"I'm sorry, Cor. I would have called you after Ryan called me to tell me I wasn't needed but he said you were asleep and I didn't want to wake you. I knew something was off. I knew I should have called you. I just never expected Ryan to lie to me like that."
Ryan shrunk back under Greg's look and Duke said, "Thanks for coming Greg."
"Happy to oblige. I'm just sorry I'm late." Greg said, looking at Ryan from the corners of his slitted eyes.
"Now that you're here, Ryan and I will be going. Thanks for coming out on such short notice, Greg. I'm sorry for everything that happened. You're sorry as well, aren't you, Ryan?" Coral said pointedly.
Ryan nodded. "Yes...I'm sorry too." He said quietly and looked pleadingly at Coral.
"Then let's get going and let Duke and Greg do their job. You and I have a lot to talk about." He said, taking Ryan by the hand and leading him out of the door.
Ryan looked back at Duke and Greg as Coral led him away by the hand.
Duke turned to Greg. "I wouldn't want to be in his shoes right now."
"One of his size nines would just about fit your big toe anyway." Greg joked. He wasn't a cruel or vindictive man, but he knew that Ryan was going to get what was coming to him, and it was only right. If his own brat had tried something like that he wouldn't have been able to sit comfortably for quite a while.
Duke nodded. "Yep, and I'm glad his shoes wouldn't fit me."
"What do you say we get going?" Greg asked. "We're already fifteen minutes behind on our rounds."
Ryan went along quietly with Coral. "I need to drive my jeep back to the resident’s lot." He told Coral quietly, pointing to the blue jeep parked near the security office like he used to do before moving to TLR with Coral.
"It'll be safe enough here for tonight. I don't think our discussion can wait. It's already overdue."
Ryan said, "I know you don't trust me right now, but I promise to drive directly to the lot and come straight to our bungalow."
Coral led Ryan to the golf cart and helped him in before getting behind the wheel.
"It'll be fine where it is for tonight." He repeated. "And my not letting you drive it to the parking lot doesn't mean I don't trust you, it just means that it's late and we have a lot to talk about before the night is over." He said, turning the key in the ignition and pulling out.
Ryan wanted to protest, but knew he was in enough trouble and just said, "Here are my keys so you can move it tomorrow."
Coral took the keys with his free hand and drove to their bungalow. "Inside." He ordered.
Ryan got out of the cart and went inside the bungalow, head bowed and anxiety in his body posture.
"Is there anything you'd like to say for yourself before we do this?" Coral asked, keeping his anger in check.
Ryan asked innocently, "Do what?"
Coral took a deep breath. He wasn't sure if Ryan was being deliberately obtuse or if he truly didn't understand the question.
"You understand that you messed up? Badly? You do understand that you lied to Greg, you lied to me? What do you think I went through when I called your cell phone and there was no answer? How I felt when I called the range and there was no answer. Did you know that I went to the range only to find it locked up and dark and no sign of you? And then you show up for your shift with Duke after I specifically told you not to. Did I miss anything?"
Ryan shifted and bit his bottom lip and then looked down. "No...But I didn't mean to do any of that. I just wanted to take care of the range and take care of Duke like I was told to." He said quietly. "They're my responsibility." He added. "You've been tryin' to help me be more responsible."
"And part of your responsibility is to yourself. To keep yourself healthy by getting enough sleep so that you'll be sharper when you're doing your job. What if you were tired and something happened? Your reaction time would be slowed and how much help would you be to Duke then?"
"Another part of your responsibility is to me. To do as I tell you, to keep yourself safe when I can't be there. If anything had happened to you I don't know what I would have done. Do you understand that?"
"Responsibility is keeping your cell phone on. Responsibility is keeping in touch if you're going to be late. You did not act responsibly at all today." Coral looked at Ryan, not to mention you also had Castiel to feed and work on bonding with at Shorty’s or did you forget about him too?”
Ryan shifted and kept his eyes downward and he whispered, "I'm sorry,” tears both in his green eyes and his voice. "I thought I was doin' the right thing with work." He bit his lip. He hadn’t thought about his kitten either and that too made him feel guilty.
"You deliberately defied me by showing up to work tonight. You lied to Greg about his being needed tonight. You thought that was the right thing? Not to mention not taking care of Castiel when you knew you need to bond with him and feed him until he is released to come home?" Coral asked, trying to keep the disbelief from his voice.
Ryan said, "I didn't lie to Greg. I told him he wasn't needed. I was goin' to take my shift because I had a responsibility to Duke. I knew Shorty would care for Castiel because I had to work." He protested.
"Ryan, you are not head of security or even second in command at this time. It was not your job to call Greg and tell him that he wasn't needed, which I will remind you that you did behind my back. You knew it was wrong, regardless of what else you might say to the contrary. You also knew you had a responsibility to that kitten and not shove that off onto Shorty because it was inconvenient to take the time to take care of him. If you had done as I told you then you would have had the time to take care of that responsibility."
Ryan ducked his head again and bit his lip. "I'm sorry." He said quietly.
"Have we discussed this enough, Ryan Jerome, or would you like to dig yourself a little further in before we take care of this?"
Ryan pleaded, "Coral...please don't spank me."
"Lying. Defiance. Disobedience. Disregard for your own safety and the safety of your friends. Turning off your phone so that no one could get hold of you to make sure you were alright, not taking care of Cas? Tell me something Ryan, what punishment would you suggest that could atone for all of this? Do you really think that corner time or writing lines would be adequate. No. Go into my top bureau drawer. The paddle I bought from the antique store is in there on the right. Get it and bring it to me." Coral said sternly.
Ryan's green eyes went wide. "Coral! No! I'll be good! I promise! Not the paddle!" He croaked frantically.
"Would you prefer I use a belt, Ryan? This is beyond a simple spanking, little boy."
Ryan looked totally horrified. "No!" He started to cry. "Please just spank me...don't use anything...I'm sorry!"
Ryan began to shake at the thought of the belt. He hadn't had any implements used before the day when Coral had given him the four smacks with the paddle on the beach on their vacation.
Coral saw Ryan shaking and realized that he probably hadn't been controlling his own anger as well as he thought he was. He gently pulled Ryan toward him and wrapped his arms around the younger man. "Come on, let's sit down and talk a little more." He said in a gentler voice.
Ryan melted into Coral's hug and clung to the man tightly.
He sat down on the couch and pulled Ryan down onto his lap, still holding the young man as though he might disappear any moment.
Ryan snuggled up close to Coral. "Please...no belt." He whispered.
Coral held Ryan close until he felt the boy's tremors stop, he tilted Ryan's head back so that they were eye to eye. “Have you been punished with a belt in the past, Ry? Is that why you're so afraid of it?" Coral asked gently.
Ryan shook his head. "My parents never used anythin' but a hand, but then only several swats." He admitted.
"That seems to be the problem, Ry. They only ever gave you a few swats and they obviously didn't do any good, did they? From what I understand, they gave up on you, didn't they?"
Ryan cast down his eyes once more and gave a little nod. "Yeah...they did."
"Well, I'm not giving up on you, Ryan Jerome O'Donnell. I'm not going to use a belt, I'm sorry I scared you, but as I said, what you did goes beyond a simple hand spanking. I've explained why I think this. Do you understand why I plan to use the paddle?"
The young man bit his lip and said, "Some of the others I've heard talkin' and it sounds like the paddle and belt and umm...other things hurt a lot. That scares me." Ryan whispered. Ryan chewed the inside of his cheek. "Thank you for not usin' the belt...I-I'm not sure about the paddle and I understand why...but...well it will hurt a lot?"
"A spanking hurts, Ry," Coral said in a much gentler tone, "It's supposed to. It's also over and done with afterward, and the transgressions paid for. Although I think that you deserve more than just a paddling for everything you did. If it encourages you to learn from this mistake and not make it again, then it's done its job. Understand?"
Ryan bit his lip and then nodded. "Yes Coral." He said softly and began to push himself off Coral's lap.
Coral pulled Ryan into one last hug. "That's my boy." He praised quietly.
Once Coral released Ryan he went to Coral's room, opened the drawer he had been told to and stared at the paddle for a few moments. He remembered the sting of it on the beach, but thought about all Coral had said and how being spanked had helped the older man to be a better person and with a deep breath picked it up and brought it to Coral.
He held it out to him with a slight tremor. "Here it is Coral."
Coral put aside the paddle long enough to unbutton and unzip Ryan's uniform pants. He pulled the boy over his lap and then pulled the pants and underwear down to about mid-thigh. He put his left arm around Ryan's waist and raised the paddle.
Ryan gasped at the quickness of finding himself over Coral's lap after he had taken the paddle from him. He flushed red at having had his pants unzipped by Coral and then having them pulled down after finding himself across the strong thighs. He wriggled to find a better, more comfortable position, but realized there really wasn't one and lay still.
Ryan felt Coral's strong arm around him and being held close and felt safe.
The paddle came down across the center of Ryan's backside. Coral concentrated his efforts on the sit spot and thighs to drive the message home.
Ryan arched and kicked and yelped at the fire that had erupted on his backside. He immediately began to cry.
Coral's heart nearly broke listening to Ryan's cries but the boy had messed up royally and Coral had to remind himself that he deserved every swat. He was careful not to use his full force, and counted twenty five swats in his head. He knew how easy it was to get carried away in situations like this.
Ryan howled and then began to wail like a small toddler. He kicked and wriggled to avoid the burning swats and especially when they landed on his tender thighs.
It tore at Coral's heart to hear his boy crying like that, but he knew that this was necessary, and that Ryan understood, even though he didn't like it. This was one of the worst things that Ryan had done, and Coral wanted to make sure the punishment drove his point home.
He pulled Ryan closer and rubbed his back, putting the paddle down, knowing that it had done its job. He continued to rub Ryan's back gently, making quiet shushing sounds and assuring him that it was all over and done with.
When Ryan continued to cry, Coral pulled the boy's underwear and pants back up carefully, and re-positioned him so that his head was in his lap. He petted Ryan's sandy colored hair and wiped the tears from his face.
Ryan curled up and pillowed his head in Coral's lap still crying, but not quite so hard as before.
Coral put an arm around Ryan's shoulders, holding him close while the boy cried himself out. He began to softly hum a tune and watched as the boy's breathing slowly returned to normal with only the occasional hitch. Ryan's eyes began to close. Coral looked at his watch and saw that it was just after eleven pm. He moved as quietly as he could from beneath Ryan's head and replaced his thighs with pillows before covering Ryan with the blanket they kept over the back of the couch.
Ryan sighed and shifted as Coral slipped out from under him. He whimpered a little in his sleep as he shifted a bit to find a more comfortable position in his sleep.
Coral, unwilling to leave Ryan completely alone, went into the bedroom, took his comforter and pillow and stretched out on the recliner next to Ryan in case the boy woke up and needed him. He fell into an exhausted sleep. All thoughts of the dinner he'd had waiting forgotten in his relief to have Ryan home and safe.