M/M sex, spanking. If the idea of a discipline relationship between consenting adult men offends you, so will this story.
ELIZABETH MARSHALL STORIES
"I need a little time to myself," Richard said wearily, undoing his tie. "I've been in meetings all day. I'm all talked out." He turned away from Silas, not seeing Silas's face fall.
"I'm sorry–" Silas said reflexively.
"Don't apologize, Silas, just give me some space. I need a little time to myself."
"I'm sorry!" Silas's voice rose, his frustration evident. He was trying, he was trying so hard, to be supportive. "Fine, Richard, be like that!"
"Silas, I just got in after a brutal day, cut me a little slack, can't you?"
"Well, shit, I'll just curl up in the fucking corner until you feel like playing with me, all right?"
"Enough," Richard said sharply. "Just don't start."
"Fuck you, too!" Silas reacted as if he'd been slapped. "I don't fucking care how you feel either! Don't fucking tell me enough, I don't give a fuck if you think it's enough, I don't give a fuck anymore, it doesn't fucking matter, I don't fucking care. Fuck you, Richard, leave me the fuck alone then, don't fucking act like you give a fuck–" Silas's tirade went on and on, the single word "fuck" the only thing Richard could hear at the end, as Silas's speech slurred and his voice grew hoarse.
Richard sat down heavily on the bed and closed his eyes. Leave it to Silas to up the ante. Richard had been tired; now he was exhausted.
"That was a hell of a tantrum, Silas," Richard said soberly, when Silas had finally screamed himself out. He reached between the mattress and box spring; slipped the paddle out and laid it next to him on the bed. Richard knew consistency was important, yet talk about topping from the bottom! Richard resented Silas's pushing him into this corner. "I don't have the energy for this tonight."
"You don't have to punish me?" Silas tilted his head to the side and shrugged sheepishly. The emotional connection he craved now forged, his tension dissipated. "I'm sorry, I swear, I'll do better. Please don't paddle me, Richard?"
The familiar appeal was hard to resist; the temptation to accept Silas's apology was strong. However much Silas hated being paddled, Richard hated paddling him even more.
"I'm sorry! Let me show you how sorry?" Silas knew as soon as he saw Richard's disappointed expression that he had overplayed his hand. "Shit."
"God, Silas, what am I going to do with you?" Richard asked, exasperated at Silas's blithe attempt at seduction. "You don't curse at me. You know what to expect when you do, and it's not make-up sex."
"I'm sorry, Richard." Silas looked rightfully abashed. "I didn't mean...I don't know what I meant."
"You meant it," Richard said, his eyes on Silas's face. "You mean it. You really don't want there to be any consequences for your bad behavior at all."
"Yeah, well," Silas said, all levity gone from his voice. "Even a fuck-up like me knows there are always consequences."
"There are plenty of relationships where the consequences don't include corporal punishment," Richard said. "I don't get anything out of spanking you, you know."
"No?" Silas was quiet for a long moment. He felt thoroughly ashamed of his earlier outburst. "Not even a little stress relief?" Silas's half-hearted grin belied his question's seriousness.
"No. Come here, Silas."
"Are you going to paddle me?"
"I'm not going to punish you at all." Richard shoved the paddle back under the mattress. "Just come here, please."
Silas came closer. Richard tugged him into his lap, tucking Silas's trim body into his own lean frame. He cupped Silas's jaw in his hand and rubbed a gentle thumb over his lips.
"Silas, we can try this without discipline and see how it goes."
"And when I screw up?" Silas asked miserably. "Richard, I need consequences when I screw up, I need that kind of help. I need more than most people do, I know that, but Richard, please, I try so hard..." Silas shivered.
"I know you do," Richard said softly. "Ah, Silas, you'd be better off with someone who found it a kinky thrill. I just...no. I thought it would be more of a charge than it is. I'm sorry, Si. I don't want to do it anymore."
"Then it's just a matter of time before we're over," Silas said miserably. "And it's my fault, I mean, it's a fucking spanking, it's not like you beat me. You won't want me, Richard, if you can't punish me when I'm out of line. You don't even want me now."
"That isn't exactly true, Silas," Richard said gently. "I want you, or why would I be holding you right now? I just don't have the emotional energy to handle your incessant testing. I do love you, Silas, I just don't understand why you refuse to accept that without constant proof."
Richard's ambivalence about taking charge vanished as Silas began to cry bitterly. For the moment, Silas's unmediated need vanquished Richard's exhaustion.
"Shh, Silas, shh, this isn't sensible. Stop. No more now." Richard didn't notice his own change of tone, but Silas heard it immediately and it soothed him. Feeling secure in Richard's resumption of the reins, Silas quieted quickly.
"I am sorry, Richard," Silas said softly and sincerely. Richard knew Silas meant it.
"I am too, Silas." Richard felt as if there were a deep hole where his heart ought to be. The adrenaline rush Silas's hysteria had prompted ebbed, leaving Richard even more exhausted than before. "You can be so sweet," Richard said wistfully.
"I'm not sweet," Silas said sadly, hearing the reproach in Richard's voice. "I am a good cook, though. I made us dinner, in any case. Pasta. Come downstairs and I'll dress the salad and then we can eat." Still a little pale, Silas rose and turned toward the door.
Richard sat at the kitchen table, feeling as discouraged as he'd ever felt. Along with the salad, Silas had made angel hair pasta coated with fresh, homemade pesto. It was a delicious meal, but Richard ate mechanically, without any pleasure whatsoever. He was totally drained.
"Thank you, that was a nice meal," Richard said, laying his fork aside.
"You're welcome," Silas said, knowing full well that Richard had barely tasted it. Silas did the dishes while Richard checked in with his answering service. Richard's icy politeness left Silas feeling sick and shivery. Silas wished Richard had gotten his punishment over with. A spanking, no, even a paddling, was better than this. It would have hurt, but this hurt worse.
Finally it was bedtime. They lay side by side under the covers. Silas reached hopefully for Richard, groping gently, but Richard pushed his hand away.
"I can't, Silas. I'm sorry." It was a firm refusal. Turning over, Richard let himself drift, exhausted, toward sleep.
Silas stared at the ceiling for a long time before creeping into the bathroom. He jerked off quickly, needing the physical release, and came back to bed only because he had no idea what else to do. Burying his face in his pillow, Silas cried himself to sleep.
Richard kept his eyes determinedly closed.
"I can't do it anymore, John." Richard sat heavily on John's couch. He felt almost as tired as he had the night before. "If he's testing me, I've failed the test. John, it isn't as much of a thing for me as I thought it was, you know? I liked reading it; I hate doing it."
"What is it you hate, Richard?" John asked.
"I hate the whole thing. I mean, that's not a hundred percent true," Richard said. "I like being in charge; I like being the one to make the big decisions. But I want to be able to spoil him a little and have him cut me a little slack when I need it. I don't want to have to work so damn hard all the time. I'm tired, John."
"Well Richard, you can't drop him off at some louche finishing school and get him back cheerful, docile and obedient," John said practically.
"It's a nice fantasy." Richard shook his head, laughing at himself. "I know, I know. It's a fantasy. Seriously, though, I hate spanking him. I'm not a Top, John."
"You're mistaken, Richard," John said firmly. "You are a Top. You're confusing enjoying spanking him with enjoying being in charge. Richard, he needs limits."
"I hate setting them."
"Then you have a problem," John said. "Because Silas clearly wants them. Is it setting them or reinforcing them that you hate?"
"I don't mind setting them; I can see he needs...something. I hate reinforcing them. I dislike spanking him and I detest paddling him," Richard said unhappily.
"You simply can't spank him hard enough with your bare hand to make it worthwhile to him to modify some of his deeply ingrained behaviors," John said practically. "The refusal to accept your decision to discipline him, the hysterics, the cursing: These behaviors are destructive to your relationship, Richard, and they need to stop."
"He cries," Richard said. "He cries, John."
"And do you think he doesn't cry when you simply turn away from him?" John asked.
"I don't know." Richard did know, though, and the knowledge hurt. He leaned forward, elbows on his knees, the heels of his hands pressed to his eyes.
"Let it out, Richard," John said gently. "I know it hurts you."
"I'm okay." Richard shook his head, scrubbed his eyes harshly. "I don't think this is the right thing for us, John, I really don't. It feels wrong."
"What feels wrong, Richard?" John asked.
"The whole discipline thing. Spanking him, paddling him. It doesn't feel like me. I'm not the sort of man who paddles his lover, I'm not!" Richard closed his eyes. Making a conscious effort to breathe and relax, he spoke more quietly. "I know I've done it, so maybe what I'm saying isn't totally accurate. But I just don't think I can do it anymore."
"Silas needs consequences, Richard," John said.
"Why?" Richard asked hopelessly. "Why is he so needy? I don't care if he curses at me; I understand he can't control himself. I don't care if he won't cooperate; I'm willing to let it go if he won't submit to being spanked. Why do I have to follow through every fucking time?" He glared at John for a moment, then lowered his eyes. "I'm sorry. I didn't realize I was this angry. I'm frustrated, John. I want to do the right thing by Silas, but I hate this!"
"Listen to yourself, Richard," John said. "'I don't care, I understand he can't control himself, I'm willing to let it go.' Richard, he needs you to care; he needs you to show that you care. He doesn't want you to 'understand' his lack of self control, to let it go, he wants you to hold him accountable, to make your love tangible. You ask why he's so needy, well hell, Richard, that's Silas! He is needy, but you signed on knowing that."
"I didn't know it would be this hard," Richard said.
"That's tough, Richard, but it doesn't change the fact that you made a commitment," John said bluntly.
"Thanks for modeling being a Top," Richard said sarcastically.
"You're welcome," John ruefully. "Silas needs to be held accountable for his behavior, Richard. You need to hold him accountable."
"I love him," Richard said softly. "Why isn't that enough?"
"I know you love him," John said. "Discipline is part of loving him. Having the self-discipline to follow through even when it's unpleasant is part of being a responsible Top, Richard."
"I never wanted a partner who needed this much emotional engagement," Richard said. "I like my privacy. If the tradeoff is a little bit of loneliness for a little bit of space, I'll take being lonely and having the space. But Silas can't seem to handle that at all."
"He can't," John agreed. "And here is where I think you made your choice already. You can't abandon him to his own inner resources, he simply doesn't have those kind of resources. Silas needs a great deal of interaction and contact to be happy in an intimate relationship."
"But why do his needs always take precedence over mine?" Richard asked.
"Because you're the Top in this relationship. Because you have more power and therefore more responsibility. Because you claimed that role, because Silas trusted you. He needs a Top."
"I work with needy people, all day, every day," Richard said wearily. "I don't want a partner who demands this much emotional energy."
"Then you've got two choices, Richard," John said. "You can end this relationship. Be fair with Silas, make sure he has some place to go and give him some kind of settlement, enough money for a year or eighteen months, so he's not destitute."
"Oh god," Richard said numbly.
"Or you can figure out what you need Silas to do to make your relationship tenable and make him do it. What you can't do is let him flounder when he's relying on you for direction; it's not fair to him and it will only frustrate you."
"I can't talk to him. He won't talk; he'll only act out."
"Richard, you're in charge. If you let him get away with converting every serious conversation into an excuse for hysterics, you have no one to blame but yourself. You insist, Richard, gently, firmly, calmly, but you insist. And if necessary, you turn him over your knee and you paddle him as punishment for his acting out, as you agreed. He told you, very clearly, that he wanted it to be your call. So act like a Top and call him on it."
"I was tired," Richard said defensively.
"I know," John said gently. "The next time, let him give you a massage, let him do all the little personal services that he enjoys, that you enjoy when you let yourself. Go to bed and let him bring your dinner up and make love to you. Those are the things that are easy for him to do, Richard. Let him play to his strengths."
"I just wanted a little space," Richard said.
"I know," John said. "But you need to tend to Silas's needs first. Needs, Richard, they are needs, not wants. Closeness, emotional engagement. Give him what he needs, and then take what you need for yourself. It will work a lot better than what you're doing now. Trust me on this."
"What about setting limits?"
"By all means. But understand that he needs support, he is always going to need more emotional support, than someone else might. But he's who you love, and he's got qualities you value. So deal."
Sometimes therapy sessions were energizing, sometimes they were draining, and this one fell squarely into the latter category, Richard thought to himself. He'd been tired before he started and he was more tired now, and where he'd muster the energy to deal with Silas, who seemed to take Richard's visits to John as a personal challenge, he didn't know.
"So did John suggest you tell me to pack my stuff?" Silas tried to sound as if he were joking. "I'm sorry about yesterday, Richard."
"I know, Silas." Richard sat down and patted the couch next to him. "Come here, Silas."
"He did, didn't he?" Silas asked suspiciously.
"No, Silas, he didn't, don't work yourself up, please. Come here, now, it's nothing like that, I promise." Richard waited quietly for Silas to settle next to him.
"I owe you an apology, Silas," Richard said. "I know you were very, very upset when I froze you out last night. That was wrong of me."
"It was my fault," Silas said. "I shouldn't have lost it earlier. I knew you were tired, I should have done better."
"Yes, I was tired, but was still wrong of me. I think you were probably doing the best you could, though."
"I don't know?" Silas crept into Richard's arms and Richard eased them both onto the couch. "I'm sorry, Richard, I'm a fucking idiot."
"Silas, it was not only your fault," Richard said, stroking Silas's cheek gently. "I'm sorry, too," he said tentatively.
"No!" Silas objected vehemently to Richard's apology.
"Is it such a big deal?" Richard smoothed Silas's hair back from his face.
"Yes!" Silas felt overwhelmed. He wanted Richard to be firmer, to insist on assigning responsibility. "Fuck you, Richard, you're a shrink, you figure it out!"
"I don't know if there's much to figure out, Si," Richard said ruefully; clearly Silas's always limited tolerance for frustration was even more limited than usual. "I'd rather we talk this through without you working yourself up, but if you want to indulge in a tantrum, that's your choice. Rest assured that if you do that, I will paddle you. I'm not going to let it go again."
"Fu–" Silas broke off mid-curse, clamping his mouth shut. He looked thoroughly abashed. "I'm sorry! I stopped, Richard, I did."
"I know. I'm not going to paddle you." Richard answered Silas's unvoiced question gently. "I know you're upset, we'll work this out, it's all right. Shh, shh, I've got you." Richard wrapped his arms around Silas.
Given both the solicitous attention he craved and the clear parameters he needed, Silas quieted, his breathing steadying, his racing heart slowing.
"I'm sorry, Richard," Silas said. "Please, try to understand--"
"I think I do." Richard kissed Silas's light brown hair gently, enjoying the soft tickle against his lips. "Mine."
"Yours." Silas turned and slid to his knees before Richard, his breath warm against Richard's fly. "Mmm..." He nibbled teasingly, and Richard slid his hips forward and let Silas have his way. Serving Richard in this position excited Silas; his own cock was dripping by the time Richard came and it took only a few quick strokes to bring himself off.
They lay together afterward, Silas warm and heavy against Richard's chest. Richard waited until Silas was fully asleep before shifting him onto the couch and standing up. He was amazed at the welling satisfaction he felt. It wasn't the sexual release as much as it was the emotional relief of knowing that Silas felt loved and cared for. In addition, Silas was fast asleep.
"Fast asleep and out of my hair for a few hours," Richard told John defiantly. "You think I'm using him sexually, don't you?"
"'Using' is a funny word," John said. "Richard, if Silas is happy and you're happy, what do you have to feel defensive about? You met Silas's needs, you acknowledge that your own needs were met: I'd say it was a win-win situation."
Another wicked week at work and even the weekend promised Richard no relief. Silas was desperate for attention. Richard agreed to Silas's reading quietly on the couch in his study, but Silas was anything but still.
"For godssakes, Silas, would you stop fidgeting!" Richard was exasperated.
"You could tie me up?" Silas suggested hopefully, licking his lips and eyeing Richard's crotch meaningfully.
"I don't think so, Si," Richard said with a laugh, torn between temptation and irritation. "Although..." He looked speculatively at Silas. "There is something..."
"What?" Silas asked, a little apprehensive. He'd never seen that expression on Richard's face before.
"Come here, there's nothing to be frightened of. I promise." Extending his hand, Richard led Silas to their bedroom. He undressed Silas, his hands firm and sure, and stripped himself. Turning back the covers, Richard tugged the top sheet loose and folded it into a long, neat rectangle. He wrapped it securely over Silas's arms and torso, tucking the fabric back in on itself so that Silas was well and fully bound.
"What--" Silas broke off, intrigued by the game, unsure if silence was a requirement.
"You can talk," Richard said encouragingly. "Trust me, Silas." He scooped Silas into his arms and lowered him gently to the bed on his back. He arranged the pillows so that Silas's head was comfortably elevated and sprawled on top of Silas, letting his own weight serve as a further restraint.
"This isn't punishment?" Silas asked hopefully, a little part of him already relaxing into the feeling of being wrapped and still.
"Not punishment, just a little light bondage," Richard said. "I want you a little more securely held than usual today." He stroked Silas's hair gently back from his eyes. "How do you feel, Si?" He kissed his suddenly tranquil lover tenderly.
"I like this, Richard." Silas felt warm, loved and floaty. He was snugly pinned and Richard was close; the combination of physical sensation and of Richard's nearness was intensely pleasant.
Richard shook his head; he'd hoped this would soothe Silas, but he hadn't anticipated it being *this* effective. He rocked his hips, relishing the dry friction of their rigid cocks trapped between their pressed bellies.
"I can't move," Silas gasped, the sensation overwhelming him. "Richard, please..." He came convulsively, bucking against Richard, his semen coating them both, its lubrication speeding Richard's movements. Richard's orgasm took him just as hard.
"There," Richard said. He undid the band of sheet that bound Silas and used it to wipe the damp mess from their stomachs. Shaking out the blanket at the foot of the bed, he draped it over Silas, tucking it around his shoulders.
"Richard." Silas drifted, sleepy and content.
Richard shook his head. It had taken almost no time from his work, and he had the afternoon ahead of him. He felt loose and light, a competent lover and a competent Top. He showered quickly. Refreshed and at ease, he slipped downstairs to his study.
It was late afternoon before Richard roused Silas carefully. For a good fifteen minutes, Silas cuddled quietly, coming back from the deep, dreamless sleep the warm wrappings had facilitated. He lazed back against Richard, still and happy, and Richard kissed him deeply and thoroughly, enjoying Silas's pleasure.
Silas slid down the bed, ending with his head at Richard's groin. He took Richard's swelling cock in his mouth, sucking fervently. Fully hard now, Richard arched into the warm, wet stimulation, enjoying the sensation. Silas hesitated, teasing his tongue over the delicate ridge of flesh just below the head of Richard's cock.
"Keep teasing and I'm going to finish this another way," Richard growled.
Silas slid up to kiss Richard and then shifted sideways so that he lay on his belly, legs parted temptingly. With an even throatier growl, Richard reached toward the night table, seized the lube and slicked his cock. Rolling onto Silas, he heartlessly rammed his cock home.
"That will teach you to tease." Richard licked Silas's ear and blew across the wet place, making Silas twist and wriggle beneath him. "Be good now, I'm going to fuck you the way you deserve to be fucked."
Silas sighed with pleasure as Richard took him with hard, even strokes. Richard grasped his hips, pulling them higher, and reached around to grasp Silas's cock. His hand was barely slick, just enough so that the friction was perfect. Silas arched his back and moaned as he came, hard, and Richard took a firm hold on both hips and finished hard and fast.
"God I love you," Richard whispered to Silas, sprawling onto his back and tugging Silas on top of him. "Mine."
"You want me, don't you?" Silas saw Richard wince. "Sorry! I'm sorry! Shit." Silas tensed, his good mood on the verge of evaporating.
Richard regretted his flash of irritation, aware just how much his reaction had upset Silas. So Silas was needy; let him need. Richard could afford to give.
"Silas, stop," Richard cupped his hand behind Silas's head, tilting his face down. "Shh. Look at me, now. It's all right. I want you. I love you. Everything's fine, Silas. I've got you." Pressing his lips to Silas's, he opened Silas's mouth, probing insistently with his tongue. He could feel Silas melting into his kiss. It was easy to distract and comfort him. "Of course I want you. You're mine." His hands moved lower, caressing Silas's back and buttocks, tucking him closer.
"More?" Silas asked hopefully, grinding his pelvis into Richard.
"I think you want to kill me," Richard groaned. He patted Silas's buttocks lightly, the very mildest of play spanks. "One of us is old, brat." His voice was warm and happy; Silas smiled at the joke.
"I'll make dinner," Silas said. "Maybe you'll be hungry afterward."