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
IF AT FIRST
"Which is why I think we need to discuss this," Richard finished.
"Silas. I don't expect you to say 'sir' to me," Richard said, frustrated. He wanted Silas to consider himself an active participant, not a passive recipient, in their relationship. Hours of careful research on line had convinced Richard of two things: A discipline partnership was a valid and workable option to which they were eminently suited. And what he and Silas had was a nascent facsimile of such a partnership.
"Silas, look at these links I've put together. We're going to talk about them and see if we can't make things a little better."
"Why don't you just tell me what you want me to do?" Silas asked Richard.
Richard closed his eyes, trying to be patient. This hadn't been covered on any of the sites he'd looked at.
"A partnership, Silas, means just that. Partners. Equal participants. I can't just 'tell you what to do'! If you want this to work, you need to do some of the work, too." Richard thought he had put it quite nicely.
Silas bit his lip, not wanting to aggravate Richard further, but at a loss to understand what Richard wanted of him. Sighing inwardly, he seated himself in front of the monitor and began to read.
None of this makes any sense! Silas scrolled through screen after screen, tears of frustration welling in his eyes. Knowing that he could understand this, he should understand this, but unable to process any of what he was reading.
Richard found Silas staring at the computer, his face a study in defeat. Loving Silas was sometimes an exercise in crisis management. Richard took a deep breath, trying to tamp down the adrenaline he felt coursing through himself.
"Silas, I want you off the computer now."
"Silas, I've asked you before not to say 'sir' to me. I really don't like it." Richard's tone was sharper than he'd intended.
"I know, Richard. I'm sorry, Richard!" Silas hunched his shoulders. "Don't be mad."
"Silas, I'm not angry at you," Richard said, appreciating that Silas didn't understand how much the honorific bothered him. "I'm going out for a walk. I'll be back when I'm back."
"No!" Silas grabbed at Richard. "Richard, please, don't leave me. I'm sorry! I don't know what I did, but I'm sorry, okay?"
"Excuse me, Silas, I really do need some space." Richard shook Silas's hand off as gently as possible and walked out. The door thudded dully, its tight seal making a good slam impossible. Fortunately, considering Richard's state of mind.
I never wanted this, Richard thought, striding quickly away from the house. I never wanted a boyfriend who needs me the way Silas needs me.
"Noooooooo!" No seals, however tight, could quite contain Silas's scream. Richard winced and walked faster.
"Come back! I'll kill myself if you walk away from me!" Silas was outside now, clinging to Richard. His face wet, his eyes wide and desperate.
Richard took a deep breath. Silas was just impulsive enough that his threat was credible.
"All right," Richard said softly, making his body language as calm and reassuring as possible. "Everything's all right, Si, easy now. Tell me what you need me to do."
"Just stay with me!"
"I'm right here, Silas, it's all right. I want you to come back inside with me. Can you do that for me, Silas?" Richard took Silas's hand.
"I don't want you to touch me," Silas said fretfully. "That's what he did."
"I'm not him. Come on, Silas, take it easy now." Richard tried to draw Silas into a hug.
"Don't!" Silas shivered at his touch. "Let me go! Are you going to spank me?"
"Silas, shh, listen to me," Richard said, not releasing him.
"NO! Richard, let me go, don't spank me! You can't! You can't!"
"Enough, Silas." Richard tried to break through Silas's mounting panic. "I'm not going to spank you."
"I never wanted this! I didn't, I didn't, I didn't, Richard, I didn't!" Silas's voice edged higher, his screams becoming more and more desperate. "Noooooooo!"
When Richard had first started clinical practice, a short, sharp slap to the cheek of a hysterical patient had been considered the norm. Now, it was grounds for dismissal. But it had worked then...
Taking a deep breath, Richard made his decision. He slapped Silas once across the face.
Silas fell silent. Shock in his eyes. Slowly, his hand crept to his cheek.
"Richard?" Silas asked, his eyes huge.
"Silas, listen to me: Pull yourself together or I'm going to take you to the emergency room and have you admitted."
Richard was pleasantly surprised at the sudden change in Silas's demeanor. Gone were the panic and defiance. Silas came easily to Richard, burying his face in Richard's shirt.
Inside once again, Richard shepherded Silas into the kitchen. Deposited him in the window seat. Watched Silas curl into the pillows. Put up tea.
"I want to go home," Silas said. "Please let me go home."
Oh, just great. Richard slipped into professional mode.
"Silas. You are home, Silas. You need a sedative," Richard said quietly. He walked to the cabinet, chose the medication he wanted. Filled a glass with water. "Take this please."
Silas cut his eyes fearfully at Richard, but took the small pill obediently.
"Why so frightened, Silas?" Richard asked gently.
"You said you'd take me to the emergency room. To the hospital." Silas's voice was absolutely flat. "Mack put me in the hospital, Richard. Do you remember?"
Richard felt his heart break. That Silas could think of him in the same light as that abusive bastard...
Something had gone very wrong between them, if that was what Silas thought.
Richard remembered as if it were yesterday the day that he had rescued Silas.
"Help me, please! Don't do this to me! I didn't do anything wrong!"
Richard heard the screams even before the elevator doors opened. Exiting hastily, he strode toward their source.
"What's going on here?" Richard demanded of the nurse tripping along in his wake.
"The new admission's been very agitated, Doctor. He's been screaming since he was brought up from Emergency."
Richard rounded the doorway into the single room. Did a double-take.
"Silas!" To his shock, Richard recognized the golden boy from his summer fantasy vacation. The face was the same face he remembered, but the easy smile and the sparkling eyes were gone.
"Silas?" Richard touched the young man's cheek gently. "It's Richard. Do you remember me? Easy now, you're going to be all right."
Richard! Silas's mind drifted back to the glorious pleasures of the resort where they had met, in what seemed like another lifetime.
The fun he had had with the other staff and with the guests! Volleyball on the beach, wind sailing, snorkeling. Hot nights in air-conditioned rooms.
Silas remembered Richard all right. He had been a gentle and generous lover, but Silas had been a vacation fling for him, nothing more.
"Richard?" Silas struggled to speak through his panic. "Help me! I didn't do anything wrong. Help me!"
"Chart, please," Richard held out his hand to the resident stationed alongside the bed. "Who's the admitting physician?"
Silas shivered. He'd met Mack at the resort, too, in a steamy scene in an icy room.
Like the prince in some fucking Cinderella fantasy, Mack had claimed Silas as his own. Only the fantasy had quickly become a nightmare.
"Fuck Mack, he did this to punish me! I didn't do anything! I didn't do anything wrong! I didn't do anything--"
"Kid's into the leather scene, Dr. Daniels said," the resident explained to Richard. "Overdid the poppers, maybe. He's been screaming like this since he was brought in. Cursing out Dr. Daniels; he believes he orchestrated this." The resident winked. "Pretty kinky doctor fantasy, huh?"
Except that Richard had heard things about Dr. Mack Daniels before, from friends who played. They weren't complimentary.
"Silas?" Richard asked softly. "Are you into the scene now? Come on, lower your voice. Talk sense to me."
"No! Mack did this to screw me. I didn't do anything wrong! I didn't do anything wrong, Richard, I didn't do anything wrong! I didn't do anything--" Silas fought the restraints that held him to the cot.
"Delusional. Dr. Daniels ordered restraints." The resident leered at Silas. " Hey, you think they turn him on?"
Richard looked at the resident, taking in his fish-eyed stare. He looked more titillated than empathetic.
"I'll take over here. Thank you, Doctor."
The resident knew he had been dismissed. Ah well. It would make a good story.
" I didn't do anything wrong! I didn't do anything--"
"Enough, Silas." Richard sharpened his voice, hearing the increasing disconnect in Silas's hysteria. There was a point beyond which Silas was not going to be able to come back; his clinical sense told Richard that point was rapidly approaching. "Silas, can you hear me?"
Silas nodded, his eyes wide, his breath coming in shallow pants. He shifted miserably, seeking a more comfortable position.
"Silas." Richard touched his face gently. "I'm going to help you."
Silas calmed. To be heard. To be believed. Mack had sworn it would never happen.
"That's better, Silas." Richard said softly. "How about we get these off?" He undid the velcro straps.
"My patient, I believe?" Dr. Mack Daniels materialized by the bed. "I left restraint orders for a reason, Doctor." Dr. Daniels stressed the title sarcastically.
Richard whirled to face Dr. Daniels.
"Just what sort of game are you playing?" Richard asked icily. "This man is not a danger to himself or to anyone else. There is absolutely no reason Silas needs to be in restraints. Doctor."
"He tried to commit suicide. He's delusional. And it's my decision as his physician," Dr. Daniels said smoothly. "And his partner. Put the restraints back on. Doctor."
"You told the resident I spoke to that Silas was into the leather scene. You didn't say anything about him being your partner. You didn't say anything about him being suicidal," Richard said quietly. "I don't know what kind of game you're playing, but I don't believe you're telling the truth."
"A little professional courtesy, please?" Dr. Daniels smiled at Richard as he edged him away from the bed. "Thank you, Doctor. All right, Silas, this little charade is over. I hope you've learned your lesson. I'll take you home now."
"I changed my mind! I want to stay here!" Silas said, his teeth chattering. "Please, Richard, he's going to punish me! He's going to beat me."
"Dr. Daniels. This is a hospital. He is a patient. Just what do you imagine you're doing?" Richard asked grimly.
"Back off," Mack Daniels glared at Richard in a manner that was anything but professional.
"In your dreams." Richard stood his ground.
Silas was taking no more chances with the medical system. Taking advantage of the confrontation, Silas slipped into the hallway. By the time Richard and Mack Daniels ended their staring contest, Silas was gone.
"I'll make you pay for this, you son of a bitch," Mack Daniels said to Richard. "I'm not going to forget this."
Having a patient whose restraints you'd removed bolt did little to enhance your professional standing, Richard thought ruefully as he walked back to his office. He had gotten an earful from the administrator in charge of the floor.
Richard froze. Huddled in his doorway was Silas, his breath coming in staccato pants.
"I didn't want to go home with Mack," Silas said fearfully.
"No, that didn't sound like too good an idea to me either," Richard agreed, gently drawing Silas inside and closing the door. "Silas, if he's your partner and he's abusing you, there are people who can help you. Do you want me to make some phone calls?"
"No! Please, I'll go, I'm sorry I bothered you." Silas tried to pull away.
"Easy, easy," Richard said, not releasing him. "I'm not going to do anything you object to. It's your choice, Silas." Richard fished in his pocket for his car keys and handed them to Silas. "My car is in the lot. It's a black Lexus sedan, four doors, gray interior. You can take it downtown. Leave the keys with the bartender at the Black Drake. Here." He emptied his billfold; gave Silas what cash he had.
"Thank you, Richard," Silas said sincerely. "I'll make it up to you someday, I promise."
"Silas. We had something, even if it was just for a few days. Good luck."
That evening, Richard retrieved his keys from the amiable bartender at the Black Drake.
"You're a hero, Richard," the bartender said, pouring him a double Scotch. "You may have saved the guy's life. That Daniels is a sick bastard. But Richard, are you sure you don't want Silas? He's a looker."
"I'm not really in the market for a trophy boyfriend, but nice try," Richard said. He caught a glimpse of the approaching Silas in the mirror over the bar. "Hello again."
"I wish you were," Silas said, sitting down next to Richard. "What about letting me thank you properly?" He drew his finger between his lips suggestively.
"Don't be a brat." Richard shook his head, amused. He'd forgotten how much he'd liked Silas.
"Oh, but I am." Silas leaned closer. "Want to find out how much of one?"
"Is that what you want?" Richard asked.
"Yes. No. I don't know. I'm sorry, Richard." Silas shrank back, all his easy charm and confidence gone. "I'm sorry!" His voice rose; people turned to look.
"Don't make a scene." Richard took Silas's arm.
Silas tried to breathe, to remember that it was Richard. Richard, not Mack. He shivered miserably.
"What are you going to do to me?" Silas asked piteously.
"I'm going to take you home with me," Richard said softly. "Easy, Silas, it's all right now. I've got you." Leaving a twenty on the bar, he led Silas out. "Where'd you put my car?"
"I'm sorry, Richard, I'm sorry," Silas whispered, as Richard opened the passenger door for him. "I got scared, Richard."
"I know," Richard said softly. "But you don't ever have to be afraid of me, Silas."
"Thank you, Richard." Silas swallowed hard. "I'll be very good for you. I promise."
They became lovers again that night. The sex was as good as it had been before. It wasn't until they were in bed together afterwards that Silas broached the subject of his relationship with Mack.
"Richard? Do you know what he did to me?"
"Not exactly, Silas. But I'd like to understand, if you want to tell me."
"He made me...do things. Spanking. That wasn't so bad, actually, but the other stuff he got from the internet..." Silas looked away. "You think I'm an asshole, right?"
"I think you wanted very badly to make him happy," Richard said softly. "That's not a bad thing, Silas. What he did was wrong. He took your trust and he abused it. He's the one at fault, not you."
"I like reading about stuff like that," Silas said, almost inaudibly.
"A lot of people like reading kinky stuff, Silas," Richard said easily, cuddling Silas. "You're no different than most people. It turns you on to think about, but it isn't something you want in real life. That doesn't make you bad, Silas, that doesn't even make you unusual." He stroked Silas's hair gently as Silas listened intently.
"Yeah?" Silas asked dubiously.
"Yeah," Richard said firmly.
Silas had never left.
"Richard? Richard, I'm sorry. I didn't mean it like that. You're nothing like him." Silas leaned into Richard, tilting his face upwards.
Richard kissed him carefully, growing harder as Silas's mouth opened willingly to his tongue. He ran his hand over Silas's flat stomach, to the hard bulge below. Silas writhed and pressed into him, hot and eager and so, so exciting.
Bed. They were so good together.
"Oh god." Silas snuggled into Richard. "Richard? I'm still your favorite boyfriend? Even if I'm a pain?"
"You're my best and only boyfriend," Richard confirmed. "And you're not too much of a pain. I love you, Silas."
"I don't see why," Silas said. "You're a doctor and I'm nothing."
"Silas, you're a sweetheart," Richard said. "You're cute, you're great in bed and you're a lot of fun."
"Leave me alone." Richard's reasons made Silas feel worse than before.
"Come on, Si," Richard said firmly. "Get up, get showered, get dressed and come down for a bite."
"Leave me alone." Silas curled deeper into the covers. Richard was a fucking shrink, you think he'd know he was just making him feel worse...or was that what Richard intended? The paranoia that lurked at the edges of Silas's consciousness was suddenly front and center.
"Just leave me the fuck alone! I hate you!" Silas screamed, throwing the first small object that came to hand at Richard.
Richard ducked the alarm clock.
Infuriated, Silas followed it with every piece of bric a brac close enough to reach.
"Stop it!" Richard had no idea where Silas's sudden fury came from. Goddamnit, Silas was going to learn that his actions had consequences. In short order, Silas found himself pinned across Richard's lap.
"I won't have this sort of upping the ante. It stops now, Silas." Not giving either himself or Silas time to think, Richard delivered a flurry of short, sharp swats to his lover's bottom.
"NO! Please, Richard, no! Don't! Let me go! No! NO!"
Silas was scared shitless, Richard realized abruptly. He couldn't spank Silas while he was this frightened.
"All right, Silas, shh, no more spanking, shh, Silas, shh..."
"Don't touch me!" Silas jerked away from Richard. He couldn't breathe, his heart was pounding in his chest and his stomach hurt. "Don't touch me!"
"I won't touch you, Silas," Richard said, his own throat tight. If only Silas would let himself be helped! "Breathe, Silas. That's it, just breathe. You're all right. You're safe. Breathe."
Gradually Silas quieted. Richard waited until he himself was calm before speaking.
"Silas, I don't think I should spank you anymore. If it makes you this miserable, let's forget it." Richard stood up.
"Don't leave me!"
"Silas. I'm not going to leave you. But I am extremely disappointed in your behavior." Richard deliberately let the full weight of his disapproval show in his words.
"Richard, please, I'm sorry!" Silas cringed and began to cry as the extent of Richard's displeasure registered.
Richard looked at him impassively. Surely Silas deserved at least a verbal reprimand. But Silas was crying so hard...
Richard sighed. Silas was manipulative. But he was also irresistible.
"Come here," Richard said gently. Reseating himself, he drew Silas into his lap.
"It's all right."
Richard soothed Silas with gentle pats and kisses, precisely the way he had wanted to soothe Silas after every spanking. But while Silas inevitably rejected affection after corporal punishment, he responded gratefully to being reinstated into Richard's good graces, tucking his body sweetly and eagerly into Richard's.
This time it was Richard who repressed a shiver. To be needed so fully, so desperately: It was more responsibility for another person than Richard had ever wanted to assume. And at the same time, it was seductive.
And once again, Silas had gotten his way. He had successfully sidestepped taking responsibility, either for his own behavior, or for the shape of their partnership.
Thank you, Rusty and Hedeia, for your patient support. EM