Elizabeth Marshall Stories
Philip Mier dragged the garbage cans to the curb and took one final look at the exuberant spill of chrysanthemums that graced the entry before turning off the porch light and double-locking the front door. Toed off his sneakers and padded upstairs. Hesitated at the door to the study.
Professor David Goodman was bent over his light table, double-checking his slides against his notes for the umpteenth time. Should he insert one more close up of the Cellini saltcellar, or would that just slow his talk down? If he took out the second slide of the chased silver cup, he could add--
Dave started at sound of his partner's voice.
"You've been over your slides five times. You've been over your notes at least ten. You don't need to double-check any more citations. You've got everything you need and you know it. Stop dithering and come to bed or you'll be exhausted before you even leave." Philip rested his hands on his Dave's tight shoulders; kneaded gently.
"Sorry," Dave said sheepishly. "I'm going to shower now, then I won't have to rush in the morning, all right? Then I'll come to bed." He gathered his slides quickly and efficiently, restoring the questioned ones to their proper glassine sleeves.
"You'll shower again in the morning, I know you," Philip muttered. "Our water bill exceeds the national debt, Davey. Go on, take a quick shower, I'll still be awake."
"Don't sound so enthusiastic," Philip made a sour face. "'Oh.' Here I thought a little cuddling would be nice..."
"No, no," Dave protested, rising from his chair. "I meant..."
"You meant you hoped I'd fall asleep and you'd just take One More Look at your paper, you brat," Philip said, swatting Dave's backside. "No you don't. It's bedtime. Shower, and then come to bed. I'll make sure you sleep."
"I like the sound of that," Dave admitted, rubbing his bottom a little more than the light swat really called for.
"I'll take the sting out for you," Philip promised, staying Dave's hand. "You're stalling, Dave. Go on now. Shower, and make it fast please." He cupped Dave's face in his palm and kissed him lightly, a promise of things to come.
"Ten minutes," Dave said, heading into the bathroom. He stripped and showered with alacrity, too keyed up to relax into the hot spray. Toweled his hair dry, combed the wet strands from his face. Wrapped his towel around his waist, brushed his teeth, and sauntered into the bedroom, grinning.
Laying aside the copy of Horticulture he'd been thumbing through, Philip smiled at the picture Dave made. At night, in the light of the bedside lamp, it seemed impossible that his lover was any older that the twenty he had been when they met.
"You're staring at me," Dave accused him. "The haircut's bad, right?"
"Your hair is fine," Philip reassured him. "I was just thinking how little you've changed since college."
"Hah," Dave snorted. "Philip, I've gone soft. I sit all day and when I'm not sitting I'm standing in front of a classroom under fluorescent lights. You're the one who still looks great." He tousled his partner's shock of sun streaked hair before stretching out next to him on the bed. Ran his hands appreciatively over Philip's broad shoulders and sinewed arms. "You look like you still work out."
"The nursery's as good as any gym. We're always short-handed and half the time I'm out on the truck with the men," Philip said ruefully, pushing Dave onto his back and straddling him. "You look good, Davey, you always do."
"You know I'm not going to be able to sleep," Dave said dismally. "I'm not at all tired."
"You will be." Philip leaned forward and kissed Dave deep and slow. "Shush, Davey."
No need between them for words. Flesh spoke to flesh; heart spoke to heart.
"I love you so much," Dave murmured sleepily into Philip's chest. "Did you set the alarm? God, I'm tired after all."
"I love you, Dave. I set the alarm. " Philip shifted so that his arm wrapped Dave securely. Philip smiled. Dave was already sound asleep. Sex was the only soporific that invariably worked for Dave.
Morning came too soon. Dave was up before the alarm, prowling anxiously, coffee in hand. Philip trailed him with a plate of toast, encouraging him to nibble, knowing it was pointless to expect Dave to be able to sit.
The car service pulled up in front of the house.
"Have a safe trip! Call me when you get in!" Philip said. They kissed inside, discreetly, before Dave shouldered his bag, opened the door and headed out to the waiting car.
Philip followed him onto the porch. He watched the car pull away, wishing he could go, too. He would have like to be able to support Dave through the conference; Dave tended to get a little ragged under pressure. But Philip had responsibilities at the nursery, and picking up and leaving wasn't an option right now. Philip deadheaded the flowers in their terra cotta containers, his own particular form of meditation. Pulled his mind from Dave and focused on his own day.
The drive to the airport took longer than the flight to the convention. Dave managed to review his lecture again on the flight; his seat mate was busy with his own laptop and as little interested in conversation as Dave. Dave took a cab to the hotel and settled efficiently into his high floor room.
The meeting site had been chosen with care. Dave was pleasantly surprised at the efficiency of the hotel's layout, the clarity with which the suites were identified, the helpfulness of the staff. He was quickly caught up in the rhythm of the conference.
Philip picked up a pizza for dinner. Without Dave there to share it with him, he ended up freezing half. He watered the garden and wished Dave were home. A little bored and lonely for his lover, Philip opted for an early bedtime.
The phone. The phone? The phone! What time? Philip fumbled for the receiver.
"I'm sorry, I know it's late, I'm sorry, Philip–"
"Davey, what's wrong? Are you all right?" Philip asked, his heart racing.
"Yeah, I'm all right. I'm not all right!" Dave's voice rose. "I can't sleep, I have to give my talk tomorrow, I'm going to screw it up I know it–"
Oh thank God. Phil let out his breath slowly. Not an accident then, nothing really bad. Just Dave in mid-meltdown.
"Davey, be quiet and listen to me," Philip said, raising his voice to be heard over Dave's tirade. "You're all right. You're going to be fine."
"I'm not! I going to blow it, I know it. I looked at my paper again and there's nothing original in it, plus my Latin's bad and I think one translation may be wrong and I should have checked that partial citation, I was going to, I just got caught up in–" Dave rattled on, totally unnerved, exhausted, flying on adrenaline and anxiety.
"Listen to me," Philip said firmly. "Stop talking and listen. Davey, just listen now."
Silence. What might have been a choked back protest.
"Okay, that's better. Dave, you know yourself. You're panicking and there's no need for it. Your paper is fine. Your presentation's going to be fine–"
"But how do you know that?" Dave sounded frantic. "It's not fine, Philip! I don't belong here, I should never have agreed to be on this panel, I–"
"Davey, what time did you go to bed?"
"Davey. Tell me you went to bed."
"I couldn't sleep! I was too keyed up to sleep! There wasn't any point in trying to sleep!"
Philip turned his tired eyes towards the clock. Two am. Three and a half hours later than Dave needed to go to bed. And now Dave was exhausted, alone and about to tear his hard work to shreds.
All right, Philip, thought to himself. Time to take this situation in hand.
"Dave, I want you to go to bed now," Philip said quietly. "You need to sleep."
"I can't! Philip, I can't sleep! I would if I could and I wish that I had but I didn't and now I can't!" Dave's voice broke.
"Shh, shh, I'll put you to sleep," Philip promised, softening his tone. "Lie down, Davey. Lie down and listen to me. Can you do that for me, babe?"
"Yeah, sure, I guess," Dave said, some of the hysteria ebbing from his voice.
"Good boy. Are you in bed now?" Philip asked.
"I'm sitting on the bed," Dave answered.
"What are you wearing?" Philip asked.
"What am I wearing?" Dave sounded confused. "Oh. I get it. Um, sweats. My blue ones. Gap, I think."
"Anything underneath?" Philip purred.
"A tee shirt and underwear, I guess."
Philip heard Dave sigh convulsively.
"Take off your sweatshirt, Davey. Leave the tee on. How does that feel? Are you chilly?" Philip spoke as softly as if David were alongside him.
"It's warm enough," Dave said. "Too warm, even."
"Why don't you get your sweat pants off too, so you can get comfortable," Philip suggested. "And turn back the covers, please. Describe the bed for me, Davey."
"It's big. You'd like it. The sheets are really, really nice. Very smooth. I don't know how many threads–"
Philip laughed; he couldn't help it.
"Forget the thread count, Davey, you're not bringing them home. Lie down, that's a good boy, and figure out how to get comfortable and still stay on the phone."
"Um, okay. I'm just rearranging the pillows. All right. I'm lying down and I've got the phone sort of resting next to me on the pillow, can you hear me okay?" Some of the tension was easing from Dave's voice.
"Good boy. I can hear you just fine. How do I sound?" Philip asked.
"Like you're next to me," Dave said wistfully. "I can hear you breathing, Philip."
"Good. Open your mouth, I want to kiss you. Take your finger and run it around your lips, that's it, put it in your mouth. Close your lips on it, move it in and out a little. That's it. Run your hand over your lips. Do you know how good it feels when you do that to my cock?" Philip's hand wandered lower.
"Oh God," Dave moaned, exchanging his index finger for his middle finger. Taking his middle finger in his mouth and stroking it rhythmically in and out. "Jesus, Philip, that's good."
"It's good," Philip agreed, caressing his hardening cock. "Slide your palm down your neck like a good boy. Come on now, get that tee shirt off." Philip circled his own nipples with his fingers, feeling them harden. Imagined teasing Dave's nipples to the same tight points.
Dave bared his chest, his nipples stiffening as his fingers found the small nubs.
"My tits are hard, Philip," Dave whispered. "God, Philip what you're doing to me. I'm getting so hard, Philip." Dave eased his hand under the waistband of his briefs.
"Take your shorts off, Davey. Lift up your hips so you can get them down. Take them all the way off, Dave, and spread your legs a little for me," Philip coaxed. "God, you're hard." Philip dispensed with his own boxers.
"I'm so hard, Philip," Dave whispered. "Oh God, please, what are you doing to me?"
"Open your mouth for me," Philip ordered. He licked his own palm, began to stroke himself rhythmically.
Dave mouthed his hand, moistening it just enough for comfort, and began to pull on his cock, his head back, his legs splayed, his breathing quickening.
"Yes," Philip moaned. "That's it, Davey, let me hear you come for me. Come for me, Davey, that's it, don't stop, I love you–" His hand flew over his own cock.
"Love you, love you, love–" Dave gasped as he came, hard, his cum coating his hand and his belly. "Philip. Oh God. I'm dead." He rolled sideways, his eyes closing. "Love you, Philip," Dave said softly.
"Me too," Philip said, turning so that he wasn't in the wet spot. "Love you, my Davey. Think you can sleep now?" He chuckled at the incoherent affirmative mumble from his sated partner.
"Yeah um night love you Philip," Dave managed to say, or at least, he thought he'd managed to say...
Phil waited for the dial tone before laying the receiver back its cradle. Shaking his head, he closed his eyes and fell asleep to sweet images of a naked, hot and willing Dave.
"Mier Brothers Nursery."
"Is Philip there, please?" Dave said.
"Philip Mier." Philip sounded sharp and professional.
"Philip, it's me, I'm home."
"Davey! How are you? How was your flight?"
"Fine, boring, I'm so glad to be home. Can you come home, Philip?"
"Why not? It's been quiet today. Are you hungry?"
"I guess," Dave's stomach growled loudly enough to be heard over the phone. Both men laughed.
"How about I pick up some gyros with everything at the Greek place?" Philip asked.
"Sounds good," Dave said hungrily. "Get me a platter, I'm starving. Philip, can you come home soon? Please?"
"Half an hour, Davey." Philip's voice softened. "Don't work yourself up, okay? Grab a shower and chill out and we'll talk when I get home."
Philip hugged Dave hard. They were seldom apart overnight and he had missed his lover's physical presence. Dave leaned into Philip, loving the scent of him. He had been out in the gardens; he smelled real. Dave rubbed his cheek against Philip's chest like a cat, feeling loved and happy.
By mutual agreement, they carried their takeout meal up to their bedroom. Set it aside and melted into each other's embrace. Their joining left them soft and settled.
They ate propped on pillows. Philip listened as Dave filled him in on the conference's highlights. Recapped his paper.
"And the editor from Brill asked me to send him the finished manuscript, and the University of Pittsburgh Press wants an outline and a sample chapter," Dave concluded. "So I guess I did okay in the end."
"Better than okay." Philip smiled proudly at his tired, happy lover.
The bed cleared of food and utensils, the detritus from their take out dinner stowed neatly in the trash, the two men looked at each other.
"So we can just chalk this up to experience, right?" Dave asked, not very hopefully. "I'll remember the next time."
"Good, Davey, then I won't have to spank you the next time."
"How come you'll do phone sex but not phone spa--OW!" Dave glared at Philip.
"Smart ass. Come on, Dave, be a good boy and take your medicine." Philip snagged something from the dresser.
"Please Philip, not the hairbrush." Dave winced. The hairbrush hurt!
"It's not a first offense, Dave. I warned you the last time," Philip said implacably "There's a good reason you've got a bedtime." He took his usual seat on the side of the bed and waited for Dave to ready himself.
Dave took his time stepping out of his sweats and underwear. He folded them neatly, trying not to think about what was coming. He. Hated. Being. Spanked. So. Much. It was proof he had failed and he hated failing...
"I hate knowing I failed!" Dave wasn't even aware he had spoken until the thought was out.
"You didn't fail, Dave. You got caught up in the moment and you forgot how important sticking to a regular bedtime is for you. You made a mistake, Dave, that's all. And now you'll take the consequences." Philip patted his lap. "Let's go, Dave."
Dave didn't get spanked often, just a few times a year. But each time was fully as bad as he remembered the last time being. Face down across Philip's lap, his left hand pinned beneath Philip's left arm, his right hand caught snugly in the small of his back, Philip's hand gripping his wrist... Helpless. No avoiding the spanking now. Dave braced himself for the sting–
"OW!" As always, the first swat caught him out. Dave clenched his jaw, determined to take his punishment bravely. Quietly. "Ow ow ow," he whimpered softly. "Ow!"
Philip concentrated on making each spank of his hand count. He wanted to give Dave a chance to resign himself to the spanking before proceeding to the hairbrush. Using an implement on Dave was particularly unpleasant and Philip avoided it as much as possible. But this was a major breach of their rules and it was one that had happened before. Philip wanted to make sure it wouldn't happen again.
Philip took the hairbrush in hand. Dave was already crying softly from the spanking. Philip touched the brush lightly to his rose-toned bottom and Dave's breathing hitched.
"Please!" Dave bit back further words, knowing begging was not going to help any.
Philip used the back of the hairbrush to administer a hard, fast paddling.
Dave kicked out at the impact of hard plastic against sore flesh, but Philip had him securely held. Dave cried hard as Philip impressed upon his backside just how serious a lapse in judgment he felt Dave had shown.
It seemed like forever while it lasted, but it was over quickly.
Philip lay the brush aside. Released Dave's wrist. Stroked the untouched outside curve of Dave's hip, gently, careful to skirt his flaming buttocks.
"Come on, it's all over, we're all done now," Philip crooned reassuringly, trying not to worsen the pain as he half-rolled, half-dragged Dave onto the bed. Dave was crying miserably; Philip knew it had been a particularly hard punishment for his partner to endure and he was proud of his fortitude.
Stretching out alongside Dave, Philip supported himself on one elbow. Smoothed Dave's hair, rubbed his back, and let Dave cry himself out, wanting only for Dave to know he was loved and that Philip was there.
Dave slipped from sobs to sniffles to sleep without ever becoming fully coherent. Philip didn't worry: This was typical of a spank-shocked Dave. There would be plenty of time to talk another day.
Morning light, chill and bright, lit the wall opposite the window. Dave stretched automatically. Groaned.
"How are you doing?" Philip asked solicitously. He flipped the covers down and studied Dave's buttocks. They were still splotched with pink.
"That hairbrush!" Dave lifted his hand to swipe at his suddenly watery eyes.
"Hurts?" Philip caught Dave's hand, smudged the incipient tears from Dave's eyes . "I know it does. And I know you'll remember that the next time you're tempted to blow off bedtime. Shh, we're all square now. You're okay."
Dave clung, as he always did after a spanking. As he only did after a spanking. Philip kissed Dave gently and thoroughly, glad that it was Sunday and that they didn't have to go into work.
"Love you, Philip," Dave whispered.
"Love you, Davey."
Thank you, Rusty, for your patient encouragement and Hedeia, for your support. EM