M/m sex, discipline, spanking. If the idea of a discipline relationship between consenting adult males offends you, so will this story.

ELIZABETH MARSHALL STORIES

Fall Color: An Homage to HollyIlex's Look for America Series

Alex wanted to awaken slowly to the chill fall morning. To savor the warmth of his quilt, the sight of scarlet leaves outside his window. To enjoy the scent of wood smoke, the sound of birds scolding a squirrel away from the feeder. Instead, he was shaken from his dreams by the rank stench of gasoline and the roar of leaf blowers. Those gardeners were back.

He knew just what should be blown away, and it wasn't the fallen leaves. Alex sighed. Walter took a decidedly negative view of what he termed "illegal and dangerous activities." Sometimes Walter's insistence on the letter of the law was a pain in the butt.

Still, Alex wondered just how strictly Walter meant the "no illegal activities" rule. On the one hand, Walter tended to be just a bit picky about details like that. On the other hand, the noise and smell of those leaf blowers was thoroughly intolerable.

What idiot leaves a truck in neutral on a slope, Walter thought, staring in disbelief as the gardener's van rolled slowly down the hill in front of their house, picking up speed as it went. He watched, still in shock, as it hit the low stone wall at the curve in the roadway. Winced at the resounding thud of metal and splatter crackle of glass. The garden crew foreman raced over, his expression mirroring Walter's.

"This job is cursed," he said bitterly. "Flat tires. Leaks in the gas tanks. Now this. This job is nothing but trouble."

Walter looked back over his shoulder at Alex, sitting on their front steps and sipping his morning coffee with a satisfied look on his face. A suspicion he hoped was unfounded flitted across Walter's consciousness. Alex had made no secret of how much he despised the leaf blowers. Surely he wouldn't have...Walter snorted. It seemed all too likely Alex had had a hand in this little act of sabotage, which meant Walter's own hand would soon be at work on Alex's butt.

"Alex," Walter said genially, pausing on the steps, his brown eyes level with Alex's green ones. "Talk to me about the strange things that have been plaguing the gardeners. How do you suppose their truck just happened to slip into neutral and roll away?" Alex met Walter's eyes blandly.

"How should I know?" he asked levelly.

How indeed, thought Walter. We'll soon find out.

"Finish your coffee and come inside, Alex. We need to have a little chat." Alex tried hard to keep his expression innocent. This didn't sound promising at all. Reluctantly, he stood and followed Walter into the house.

"More coffee, Alex?" Walter asked. Alex shrugged. Somehow he had the feeling that this casual question was the last easy choice he was going to be given this morning. Sure enough, Walter took his good arm and seating himself, tugged Alex gently down into his lap. Alex groaned inwardly. Lying to Walter when he was being cuddled close like this was hard, if not impossible. A fact Walter was well aware of.

"So, Alex, what exactly did you think you were going to accomplish? Do you think that by sabotaging their truck, you're going to eliminate the gardeners and their damn leaf blowers? Do you know how many garden services there are in this town? How easy it is for those homeowners to engage another gardener's services, if you scare this one off?" Alex tried to squirm into a slightly less intimate position, but Walter was having none of it. He hugged Alex against his chest, took his hand, played gently with his fingers.

"What would have happened if there had been another car on the hill this morning, Alex? Or a jogger, or a mother with a baby in a stroller? Or some school kids? What if the truck had hit something besides that stone wall? And how do you think those guys who work for the gardener are going to eat, if they lose their jobs and they don't get paid? They're day workers, Alex. Do you think they have savings accounts? Bank cards? Alex, I want you to answer me."

Alex looked down. Somehow this discussion was not going in a direction he liked. He had the distinct feeling that Walter suspected that he was behind all the mishaps, and that he deserved to be punished. And that wasn't fair!

Alex would have scowled with righteous indignation, save for a small problem.

The sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach turned to nausea at the realization that Walter knew exactly what he had done and was intending to spank him for it. Involuntarily Alex shivered.

"Something you want to tell me, Alex?" Walter asked. He had a pretty good idea of what was running through Alex's mind. Alex tried to pull away, but Walter held him fast.

"Come on, Alex, don't make this harder than it has to be," Walter said softly. "You do know you deserve to be spanked?"

"No," Alex protested. "Please, Walter. Those leaf blowers are horrible. They should be illegal, at least before a reasonable hour. Please, Walter, I don't want you to spank me--" Walter shook his head.

"I know you don't want me to spank you, Alex," Walter said patiently. "That's why it's called punishment. But you do understand that you deserve to be punished, don't you?" Alex shook his head stubbornly. No.

"Alex, you're just making this harder on yourself. Why not get this over with and then we can go onto something more pleasant? All right?" Walter rubbed slow, gentle circles over Alex's tense back. Felt Alex sigh and soften against him.

"All right, Walter," Alex said reluctantly. "I didn't think about how dangerous the truck could be once I set it rolling. I didn't think about the workers needing their pay. But Walter, those leaf blowers are evil, too."

"Alex, I know you believe that and we can talk more about that later. But right now, I am going to spank you. You are going to learn to curtail these little freelance exercises if it's the last thing I ever teach you. Jeans and underwear down, please." Alex fumbled awkwardly at his zipper, anxiety making him clumsy. Walter gently shoved him forward.

"Over my lap, that's it, Alex. Tell me, Alex, why am I doing this?"

"I don't know," Alex said sullenly. "Yeow! No fair, Walter. Ow! OK, OK, I was wrong, I admit it. I should have used those stupid little wax earplugs. Or stuck my head under the pillow. Not punctured the tires, not poked holes in the gasoline tanks, not shifted the truck into neutral. Ow!! Ow!!! "

As Walter began to spank him in earnest, Alex bit his tongue, determined not to give voice to any more undignified yelps. Walter was equally determined that Alex should make it clear to him, loudly, that the lesson was getting through.

Not surprisingly, Walter's point of view held sway. Alex was soon crying hard as Walter's hand walloped his reddening butt mercilessly.

"I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" Alex whimpered. "Please, Walter, no more, it hurts. Please..." Walter delivered a half dozen more sound smacks before Alex's pleading subsided into incoherent sobs and Walter decided he had been spanked enough.

Walter eased Alex back onto his knees. Alex's shoulders shook as he cried miserably. Carefully, Walter tugged Alex onto the sofa, letting him rest sideways, mindful of his flaming bottom. Alex laid his head in Walter's lap, sniffling and gulping for breath. Walter stroked Alex's tear-stained face gently

"We're almost done, Alex," Walter said reassuringly.

"Almost? What, you're going to spank me some more?" Alarmed, Alex struggled to sit upright, but Walter restrained him, rubbing his back calmingly.

"No, no," he soothed. "Shh, Alex, spanking's over. Trust me, I wouldn't tease you like that." Alex sighed with relief. Walter helped him right himself, waited as Alex rearranged his clothing.

"What else are you going to do to me, Walter?" Alex asked resignedly. Walter tried hard not to smile at Alex's put upon tone, but Alex caught his expression nonetheless. Easy for Walter to grin, Alex thought sulkily. It wasn't his ass that felt like a fall bonfire.

"Not do to you, Alex. It's you who's going to do some things. You are going to write a letter to the local community board, explaining the detrimental effect leaf blowers have on the peace and quiet of area residents and offering some suggestions for limiting their use. You are also going to offer a six pack of beer to the gardeners as an apology for what a nuisance you've been. But first, Alex, you are going to take the rake out of the garage and rake up and bag every single leaf in our front yard, without a word of complaint. If you're opposed to leaf blowers, we'll have to take care of our leaves the old fashioned way."

Alex sighed. Walter really knew how to make his points felt. Literally, Alex thought ruefully, his hand straying to his butt.

"Get started, Alex," Walter said softly, steering his chastened lover towards the door. Alex looked altogether too sad for such a beautiful fall day, Walter thought. It was a shame to waste this kind of weather.

"One more thing, Alex. Finish up quickly, and I'll treat you to lunch. The diner's got fresh pumpkin pie for dessert."

Alex licked his lips. That meant they'd have whipped cream also. Fall certainly had its compensations. Turning back, he kissed Walter deeply, hugging him tightly.

"I love you, Alex," Walter said, kissing him back.

"I love you too, Walter," Alex said. "Do you think we can make this a very late lunch?"

 

***FIN***

In Celebration of HollyIlex's Birthday. EM