Monday, September 7, 2015
TLR Chapter 7
Elijah had just got back from a walk when the mail arrived. The letter he was waiting for was here from Teardrop Lake Resort.
Grabbing a beer out of the fridge and a bag of pretzels he sat down at the kitchen table. With hands shaking he opened the letter.
‘Dear Elijah Thomas,
We've gone over your application and are happy to inform you that both you and Zay Zimmerman have been accepted as guests here at Teardrop Lake Resort. Please confirm your reservations to arrive at Teardrop Lake Resort late next week.
James W Harrington.’
Picking up his cell he called Zay to let him know that he was taking him away for a week and that he had made flight reservations for the two of them. They were to leave a week from Friday.
The following Friday when he pulled up to Zay's apartment complex Elijah saw his lover all ready to go with his luggage and carry-on bag. Getting out of the car Elijah walked over to him. “Let’s get your things loaded up.” He helped get the luggage into his car. The two men climbed in and they were on their way.
All too soon they were in the airport parking garage. “Elijah,” Zay asked somewhat nervously, “Where is this place that we're going to?” His nervous tick began to show.
“It's a place called Teardrop Lake Resort. It’s where couples who are in need of, or want guidance in their relationships can explore and learn about themselves and their needs. I believe we could benefit from what they have to offer. Here let me help you with your bags.” Elijah offered.
Taking the suitcase's they both walked up to the counter and checked in. Then they set off to their scheduled flight to Maine.
“So Elijah,” Zay asked, "Is there a class that we take?”
“Yes,” Elijah answered. “My friend who’s been there said there are different classes. For example, starting at Level 1 there’s a session about how to take care of a sick partner. Then on to Level 2 then 3.”
“Oh, ok,” Zay acknowledged and then got quiet all of a sudden. Sitting nervously he thought he should tell Elijah he had severe asthma but put that thought out of his mind, hoping he didn’t have an attack while on the plane.
Arriving at the small county airport right on time, both men walked to the baggage claim to get their luggage. There was a tall handsome man with a tie dyed T-shirt in autumn colors with a patch on his right shoulder that depicted a teardrop in pastel green and the letters TLR on it.
James Harrington had arrived at the local airport in enough time to park the van and make his way to the baggage claim area of the designated airline his guests were supposed to arrive on. He observed the passengers as they came into the baggage claim area and noticed two gentlemen who appeared to be together. He approached them with a smile and asked quietly, “Are you Elijah Thomas and Zay Zimmerman?”
“Yes, we are,” Elijah answered.
“Welcome to Maine. I'm James Harrington,” he introduced himself. He waited for the other two men to collect their bags and then said, “If you’d follow me, I’ll take you to where I’m parked.” He led the way.
As the two other men followed him he said, “I’m so glad you came. You’ll enjoy the resort. We have classes you may sign up for once the two of you get settled in. I understand that the two of you are interested in improving your relationship and would like to explore the discipline partnership as well. We have classes run by knowledgeable and skilled persons in these and other areas of interest. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions and express your thoughts. Like any other learning experience a person can only get out of it what they put into it.”
James pulled up to the booth and paid the parking fee and then pulled out onto the road and headed toward the resort.
The resort owner continued, “We have swimming, hiking, horseback riding and many other activities our guests may participate in as they would like. There will be a mandatory orientation meeting tonight in the main lodge where we will tell everyone how to sign up for the classes and any of the activities offered by the resort. There are some well-marked hiking trails as well for those who would like to venture out on their own around the lake area.” He shared with a smile. “I have security that regularly patrols the resort area so if anyone gets lost if they stay put a person who knows the area well will be by at some point to guide you safely back to the resort.” He informed the guests. “We try to make sure there are as few dangers to our guests as possible, so it’s advisable to stay in well-marked areas and not wander off the resort property. The boundaries of the property are clearly marked so there shouldn’t be any problems. If guests do take to wandering beyond the markers the resort will not be responsible for anything that might happen to that person.” James warned with a stern edge to his voice.
He guided the van along a more country type road now, trees shading it with their new leaves and small wildflowers blooming, giving the air a sweet scent. Late Spring was one of the most favorite times of year for James. As he guided the van closer to the resort he said, “We at Teardrop Lake resort want our guests to be able to relax and have a good time. Following the safety rules and other rules of conduct helps with this as well as the other guests who will be visiting here at the same time.” He smiled at the two men as he pulled up into the resort grounds and up to the lodge where the administration office was. “Here we are gentlemen, if you follow me I’ll take you to Jeff Markham, my administrator who will process you and bring you to our resident physician for physicals, after which you will be able to settle into your bungalow. You’ll receive a schedule of when things are going on and where they are being held. Orientation is for everyone, no exceptions.” The older man informed the men once more, again with that slightly stern edge to his voice that brooked no argument.
James stopped at the door to Jeff’s office and rapped in his usual military manner.
Jeff, with his hand still at the base of Mutt’s neck arrived at his office just as James rapped on the door. He stepped up to the three men. “I see you made good time getting our guest back here, James,” he said. “You must be Elijah and Zay. Welcome to Teardrop Lake Resort.”
“Thank you,” Elijah said, “It’s good to finally be here.”
“James, I was hoping you could also take care of Elijah and Zay’s processing along with getting them over to the clinic?” his administrator asked.
James noticed the location of Jeff’s hand on Mutt’s shoulder and raised his eyebrow. “Sure, I can handle it for you.”
Mutt’s eyes were down but James clearly saw the blush on his face.
“Thank you, something came up while you were gone. Something that I need to address ASAP,” Jeff explained knowing that James would understand without further information. Jeff guided his husband toward there bungalow.
James watched his friends walk away then turned back to their new guests. "Welcome to Teardrop Lake Resort, gentlemen,” James said as he opened the door to the resort’s office. “Please, sit down and make yourselves comfortable. Can I get you anything to drink? We have coffee, tea, juice and water, as well as flavored creamers for the coffee, and lemon for the tea," he said with a friendly smile.
The two men went to sit on the sofa.
Elijah smiled, “Water please with lemon.”
Zay requested, “Apple Juice please.”
Fixing their drinks quickly and competently, James brought them to the men on the sofa.
James fixed a cup of light and sweet before sitting down on the easy chair across from the sofa, and gestured to the men's files on the table. Softening his tone slightly he spoke. "What I'd like to do now, is take your pictures to place in your files. This is to prevent anyone from posing as you and visiting the resort. I'd also like to remind you of the nondisclosure agreement. This resort is a haven for men like us. If you know of anyone who you think might benefit from coming here, you must contact us first and gain permission before telling your friend. Do you still agree to that condition?"
“Yes, we agree to the conditions,” the men replied, nodding their heads.
"Very well then, gentlemen,” James said, smiling, “when you've finished your drinks, I'll take you over to the infirmary to meet our doctor, Heath Forsyth, who will give you a very basic examination. Once you're cleared you'll be shown to your bungalow, where you'll find a map of the resort, and a schedule with the time and location of your orientation. Please remember what I told you about orientation and that it's mandatory for all new comers to the resort?"
“We understand,” Elijah assured the resort owner.
“I believe you two will have a good time here. If there are any questions any one of our staff can answer them, most things either myself or Jeff or our good doctor can answer for you.” James smiled and put down his half empty cup of coffee. He stood with his head up, shoulders and back straight.
Elijah and Zay looked at each other, obviously impressed.
James had that effect on a lot of people. "All right gentlemen. If you're ready we'll head over to see Heath. Your bags have already been delivered to your bungalow. There you'll find a map of the resort and an itinerary, outlining when and where orientation is being held. During orientation you'll receive lists of the classes and activities that are available."
The owner led them outside and to an electric powered golf cart, gesturing them in. "We'll use this to get to the infirmary and I'll give you a little mini tour along the way."
He powered up the cart and drove the resort's newest guests into a new day.
Heath looked up when he heard the clinic door open. Standing at the counter were the two latest guest to arrive at the resort.
Elijah and Zay stood at the counter waiting to check in with the doctor.
Heath walked over to the counter. "Hi, I'm Heath Forsyth the doctor here at Teardrop Lake Resort. How may I help you?"
“We're here to get our physicals.”
"Come on back," Heath said. He led the two men down a small corridor to one of the three exam rooms he had at the clinic here. "Neither one of you have any chronic illnesses, right?"
“No,” Elijah said, then looked at his friend, “Zay?”
With his nervous tick showing Zay said, “I have asthma.”
"Ok," Heath said absently as he made notes in their charts. "Do you have all your medications? I have a small supply here, but if you plan on an extensive stay, we’ll need to order more."
“Yes I do,” Zay said. “As far as staying, we'll see how that goes.”
"Good, good," Heath said. "I'll just take your blood pressure, your heart rate, and that kind of thing. It won't hurt at all."
The doctor gently took Zay's vitals and noted them. He turned to Elijah and quickly did the same.
"You both seem to be in fairly good condition. I would suggest some exercise and getting plenty of rest."
“Ok, thanks Doc,” Elijah said, shaking Heath’s hand. Then taking Zay’s hand in his, he led Zay from the clinic.
“Zay, may I ask you a question?” Elijah asked as they walk down a path by the lake.
“Umm, sure,” the younger man answered.
“How come you didn't tell me you have asthma when I asked you weeks ago?” Elijah asked.
“Umm, well, I didn't think it was important to tell you,” Zay responded.
“Zay, it's important that I know about your health if we're seeing each other, and this nervous tick how long have you had that?” Elijah asked. When there was no response from the younger man, Elijah asked once more, “Zay…how long?”
Zay looked up from the ground and answered Elijah, “Since I was ten years old and the asthma since I was a baby.”
“Are you on medication for the asthma?” Elijah asked.
“Yes,” Zay said as his nervous tick was getting harder to control.
“Yes what?” Elijah asked raising an eyebrow?
“Umm, yes sir.”
“Thank you,” The older man responded.
Elijah held Zay's hand as they walked along to the lake. They found a bench where they could sit. They watched a pair of Loons swimming with their babies on their mother's back swimming to her nest to put her babies to bed.
Breathing in fresh air and the smell of the woods and hearing the birds sing, Elijah turned to Zay and said, “No more lies and no more secrets ok? From now on we tell the truth, my friend.”
“Ok,” Zay answered back.
"So, my darling," Jeff began in a silky tone that caused shivers to run down Mutt's spine. "Would you like to explain what you were doing at Jaxon's when you know full well that he needs bed rest and quiet?"
"What he needs is contact with people around his own age, not a bunch of mother hens." Mutt clapped a hand over his mouth and his eyes grew wide. "That's not what I meant, really!" he protested as soon as he got his breath back. "It's just that he's a young guy and being able to talk to other people besides you, James and Heath... well Heath isn't that old... but the point is he needs a little stimulation... not physical of course, he's not ready for that, but..."
"Matthew Elijah Tailor!" Jeff interrupted, “There was a reason why Jaxon was processed so quickly and why he's in a bungalow with Heath and James in attendance. You had no business in there."
"Well, it's your own fault, you know. If you'd told me what was going on I would have understood and I'd have kept my distance." He replied, somewhat petulantly.
"You of all people know that I can't discuss incoming guests..."
"But he wasn't an incoming guest until James suggested it," Mutt protested. “So there was plenty of time for you to tell me what was going on."
"It sounds to me as though you knew everything there was to know, even without my telling you,” Jeff replied sternly, suddenly all gunnery sergeant. All traces of his laid back husband gone for the time being. "You've been listening in to private conversations again, haven't you?"
"Not much," Mutt replied, hating the hint of a whine in his voice. He knew what was coming and he didn't like it one bit, deserved or not. "I mean, I knew there was a guy in the bungalow, and that James and Heath and even you have been hovering over him like brood hens protecting their eggs. You can't blame me for being curious."
"I'm not blaming you for being curious, young man. I am blaming you for completely ignoring protocol and entering a bungalow with a man who, for all you knew, may have had some kind of contagious condition."
"But he didn't did he?" Mutt countered. "And he was grateful for the company! We had a really great talk."
"About what, exactly?" Jeff asked.
"Ummm, just stuff,” Mutt admitted reluctantly, not willing to go into the whole conversation. He hoped that Jax wouldn't spill the beans about what they'd discussed. He wasn't sure how much detail the three older men had gone into with the twenty year old. Mutt wasn't ashamed of his relationship with Jeff, but he knew that outside of TLR, understanding was at a minimum, and to Mutt, Jaxon was still considered 'outside'.
"I'm growing impatient, young man," Jeff said, steel in his tone. "What did you two talk about?"
"Fishing. Rock climbing. Archery... just stuff," Mutt prevaricated.
"I can smell the fib on you, Mr. Tailor. Why don't you tell me what you're not telling me and we can get this over with."
Cornered, Mutt started to confess. "I started talking about Tops and DPs... I mean... I just thought he knew all about this kind of stuff, and then when he asked me to explain I just kind of froze and couldn't tell him. I mean, what if he didn't understand? What if he thought it was sick? What if he... well, I mean, we really hit it off. I can see him as a good friend of mine, I really like him but what if he decides he doesn't like me..."
"Mutt! Mutt! Calm down," Jeff said in a gentle tone, trying to calm his worried brat. "We'll discuss things with Jaxon..."
"But I told him not to ask,” Mutt admitted shamefacedly.
"Then we'll wait to see if he mentions it. If he's like any other 20 year old he'll be curious enough to broach the subject, and that's when we'll take the opportunity to explain things to him." Jeff giving Mutt a stern look continued, "You, on the other hand know better than to listen outside other people's doors."
Mutt opened his mouth to defend himself but Jeff put up a finger to silence him. "Or windows. I'm not here to argue semantics with you. Listening in to other people's conversations on the sly is wrong! Going into the bungalow of a guest under false pretenses, is wrong."
"How did you know...?"
"The tool belt. You were painting a bungalow that didn't need it but I let that go as you usually know what needs to be done and when. But..." Jeff said, stressing the word, "I know for a fact that no one in that bungalow called for any sort of repairs to be done, which means you gained entrance into Jaxon's bungalow based on a lie."
"But we really hit it off, and I made him laugh," Mutt said in a rational tone. "And Heath is always saying that laughter is the best medicine. So really, I helped his recovery, and I shouldn't be in trouble."
"That is completely beside the point!" Jeff growled angrily. He felt his self-control slipping just a bit and he took a deep breath. "I think it's great that the two of you hit it off, but you know how I feel about eavesdropping and lying. We've been over this before."
"It's not like I go around telling people what I hear, or use it against them. And half the time it's not even my fault that I hear things, Jeff! People see a lowly maintenance man and basically act as though I'm not there, or that I can't understand what they're saying. I think that if they ever found out that I went to college and got my engineering degree they'd pass out cold."
Jeff took another deep breath and let it out slowly as he rubbed at his eyes. He could feel the Mutt sized headache coming on.
Mutt saw the telltale sign and immediately felt bad. He knew that Jeff was becoming angry and that if he didn't stop now, there would be lines and corner time as well as a spanking coming his way.
"I'm sorry, Jeff," Mutt said, sincerely. "I really am. It's just that... well, you're right, there's no excuse. I'm sorry," he continued, blushing. "Do you want me to get the paddle?" he asked, hoping against hope that Jeff would say no.
"Get the stinger."
Mutt's stomach dropped somewhere down into his pelvic region. The stinger was a small, 5' x 5' paddle that fit over Jeff's palm and was held in place by a thick elastic that wrapped around the back of his hand. It was more effective than a regular paddle because it protected Jeff's palm and therefore he could continue spanking until Mutt got the point, however long that took.
Mutt, stomach now in his shoes, trudged to the bedroom and picked up the curved, inch and a half thick paddle by the elastic strap. Truth be told, he would have hated any of the paddles, and in comparison the stinger wasn't as bad as some of the others, but it did mean that he would be over Jeff's knees for a lot longer than if his husband had used the belt or one of the longer paddles.
When he returned to their living room, Jeff was already seated on the sofa and motioned for Mutt to come forward.
Mutt knew the drill, and was frankly grateful that Jeff was on the sofa and not one of the chairs. It meant that Mutt's head would be supported and not hanging down, which he hated. He advanced toward his husband and with all the penitence he could muster, handed the dreaded thing over.
Jeff sat quietly and looked at Mutt expectantly. There was no need for words. He and Mutt had done this often enough.
Mutt could feel the heat rising from his neck to his cheeks and ears. He loved to be naked in front of Jeff when they were making love, but he was still embarrassed when he had to take off his pants and boxers for a spanking. He slowly unbuttoned his jeans, sliding them down and off, his boxers following soon after. He picked them up and folded them before tossing them onto the end of the couch.
One last pleading look was met with a stern, unyielding expression. Mutt placed himself over his husband's thighs and rested his forehead on his clasped hands. This promised to be a painful lesson.
Mutt was not wrong. Jeff raised his hand and brought the paddle down on one cheek over and over. Mutt twisted his hips but Jeff concentrated on that one spot until Mutt began to gasp and wriggle. He could feel the pressure behind his nose and eyes building up.
Jeff switched cheeks and once again concentrated on one spot. All of Mutt's wriggling was to no avail. No matter how he tried to twist, Jeff's strong left arm held him in place while his right hand continued the punishing spanks.
"J-J-Jeff p-please! I'm s-sorry! I won't... I won't..."
Jeff began to switch up the spanks, several on one side, several on the other, several on the back of one thigh, several on the other. Up. Down. Left. Right. Thighs, crease, sit spot, over and over until the sting turned to the inevitable burn.
Mutt twisted one way and the other, legs scissoring. At one point he put a hand back and had his palm smacked for his troubles. He quickly put the offending hand back under his forehead, sweat and tears mingling on the backs of his hands as he sobbed out apologies and promises.
"How many times have we been over this, Matthew?"
"I don't know, J-Sir! I'm sorry, I d-don't know. I'll try harder, I swear. Please! Please? I'm sorry! Please stop? Please!"
Jeff finally stopped, took the hand paddle off and put it aside. He used his left hand to rub the back of Mutt's head while he used his right to lightly rub the very red backside. He could feel his lover crying even harder.
"It's all right now hon. It's all right. Cry yourself out, sweetheart," he crooned. He picked up a bottle of cooling cream and carefully rubbed some on Mutt's reddened rear. Normally he wouldn't have done so, counting on the discomfort to be a lasting reminder to Mutt not to repeat the offense, but this spanking had been longer and harder than the ones he usually had given him in the past.
Mutt waited until the worst of the tears had passed and then curled up on the couch, his head in Jeff's lap, his breath hitching just a little now and again as Jeff carded the sweaty hair in a comforting manner while rubbing Mutt's back with the opposite hand.
"I'm so-sorry J-Jeff. I'm s-sorry."
"It's all right honey. It's all over. We're good now, hon. All you have to do is remember this time. What are you not to do?"
"I'm not to eavesdrop at windows and doors."
"I'm not to enter bungalows under false pretenses."
"You've never done that before, Mutt, and I never ever want to hear of or catch you doing it again."
"And most important, what are you not to do?"
"I'm never to lie to you. I'm sorry." Mutt said, fighting back more tears. Now that it was over he could see how wrong he'd been to do what he had. Worriedly he looked up at Jeff.
"Jeff! Going into the bungalow like I did... I won't be fired, will I?"
"No hon. If you'd done it when no one was there, then yes, your job would have been in jeopardy if not lost outright. You've never done that before?"
"No! Honest. It never even crossed my mind," Mutt replied earnestly.
"I believe you, and I know James will as well. I'm sure Heath has already explained the situation to him, and if he hasn't come here or called by now I'd say you're not in any danger, though if they have a few words for you I expect you to listen respectfully and apologize.
"I will. I promise." Mutt said quietly through hitching breaths. As usual, a hard spanking took a lot out of him and he was feeling sleepy.
"Come on then. Put your pants back on and let's get going."
"You did want to see Jaxon again today, didn't you?"
Suddenly wide awake and smiling, Mutt put his boxers and jeans back on, wincing only slightly as the fabric scraped along tender skin. "Thanks Jeff! Thank you. I love you so much," he said, putting his arms around his husband's neck and kissing his cheek shyly. "I'm sorry. I'll be better, I promise."
"I love you, my little Mutt. And I know you'll be better. Just try to remember this lesson a little longer this time, eh?" he teased, kissing Mutt on the tip of his nose.
Mutt replied by planting a longer, harder kiss on Jeff's lips.
“Keep that up and you won't see Jax till tomorrow," Jeff's voice rumbled in his chest as he smiled down on his husband.
Mutt smiled sheepishly. If he hadn't been so sore he felt that would have been a fair trade off. He was a little surprised when Jeff detached himself from the hug and went into the bathroom, only to return moments later with a cool washcloth and eye drops. He gently washed Mutt's face, laying the cool cloth over his eyes to help reduce the swelling and redness. A few drops in the eyes and the two men walked hand in hand back toward Jaxon's bungalow.
While still down at the lake, Elijah shifted around on the bench and took a hold of Zay's hands.
“So Zay, what do you think?” Elijah asked his partner.
''Ahh, well, I think I'm going to like being here for a couple of weeks,” Zay answered. “Mostly just being here with you, Elijah.”
Smiling Elijah said, “I like being here with you too, Zay.”
After being together a month Elijah was thinking that this was the right time to bring DP up to Zay. And that DP was a good choice for them.
“Zay, do you understand why we made this trip?”
“Yeah,” Zay said coughing.
“Can you tell me why and the reason?”
Coughing again Zay answered, “To better our relationship and for some guidance that I could benefit from.”
“Yes, Zay that's right. I've noticed that last few weeks your health hasn't been good and you withheld from me that you have asthma when I asked you if you had any health problems while flying here.”
Zay looking away from Elijah coughing once again. Taking out his inhaler breathing in a few times easing his cough.
“Zay, this is the reason we are here because we need to give dp a try. Do you agree with me Zay?”
“Yes what?” Elijah said more direct.
“Good, now on to more pleasant things. There's a lot of things to see and do. Why don't you look at the brochure and pick an activity and we can do it before we all meet together.”
Looking at the brochure, Zay was in his glory with all the sports they had here, but he really wanted to learn how to play Pickle Ball and that wasn't in the brochure. Oh well, he thought and then he spotted nature hiking. He pointed at the picture and said, “Hey, Elijah how about that? That'll be fun to do.”
“I'm all for it,” Elijah laughed at the smile on Zay’s face.
As Zay was reading the rest of the brochure he came across where it said that there were classes to take. "Ah, Elijah, do we have to take the classes?”
“Zay, yes I'm afraid so. Since we are both new to this relationship I think it's wise that we take them,” Elijah explained. “The first one on here is how to take care of your partner when they are sick and that's the first one we need to pay attention to.
“Oh ok,” Zay said, “I can see where that would be helpful.”
“Good, now why don't we sit here for a few minutes and relax while we watch the loons and the ducks.”
“Then we can go on a quick hike before it gets late,” Zay grinned.
“Ok,” Elijah said kissing the back of Zay's soft hands.