Co-written by: Jo and LJ
Cameron was bored. He was three weeks into his four-week grounding for speeding. All he did was go between home and the lounge and back again. Even jumping Chad every chance he got, was losing its’ affect as a compensation for his lack of freedom. He brightened up when he saw Kyler come through the doorway of the pool hall.
“Hi, my friend,” he called out. “Come over and cheer me up, will ya? What’s happening on the outside?”
“Hi, yourself!” Kyler merrily greeted. “Your shift just starting?” He grinned, unable to stop himself from teasing.
“Yep,” Cameron grinned back. “I finally got out of the house for a few hours. At least when I’m here I get some human company. Chad’s usually at the mine, so I get lonely at home.”
“Yeah, it must make for a long day. Sorry, but I can’t hang around. I’m delivering the invitations to my graduation exercises next week. I took one to Patrick’s parents and stayed longer than I planned visiting with them. I’m just going to leave these three here. One is for my Mom and her ‘friend’.” Kyler winked; his mother having a beau wasn’t a very well kept secret. “The second one is for Uncle Kipper and Gaetane, and the last one is for you and Chad. Hope your grounding will be over by then.”
“Cool,” Cameron responded. “It is; but even if it wasn’t, I’m sure Chad will let me out for the day. He’s not unfair.” He looked at Kyler speculatively. “Why are you in such a hurry?”
“I have to get ready for the grad party tonight. It’s being held in the dorm, so I need time to make the drive to Kelowna. It should be a blast and I’ve really been looking forward to it.”
“I’ve never been to a grad party,” Cameron informed his friend. “I’d love to go. I wonder if your mother would take over this shift so I could go with you. Chad is going to be home late tonight, so I reckon it’s safe.” He turned pleading eyes on Kyler. “Come on, man; let me come with you.”
“How come you’ve never been to one? Didn’t you attend your own? It is all right if I bring a guest but are you sure you’re up to bringing some major trouble onto yourself?” Kyler seemed intent on giving the other man the third degree.
“Never went to university,” Cameron replied. “I was modeling pretty much full-time and you don’t need a degree for that. I finished high school and got the diploma through correspondence while I was travelling around. I’m going stir crazy, man. I just need to get out. Chad will understand,” he stated with confidence, ignoring the warning voice in his head.
“Okay then; give my Mom a call and if she’ll fill in for you, I’ll be back to pick you up in an hour. You better be ready. We don’t want to miss any of the fun.”
Cameron rang Clarissa and she agreed to fill in for him. He went into the office and took off his work shirt. He was glad he’d put on his designer jeans that day and that the shirt he’d worn to work was quite plain but tight-fitting. He always wore his diamond earring. It was one item from his modelling days that he still wore daily. Chad had often told him how much it suited him.
He was bouncing on the sidewalk when Kyler drove up at exactly six-thirty. “Let’s get going,” Cam exclaimed as he settled in the passenger seat and buckled up.
On the drive to Kelowna, Kyler shared further details about the plans for the evening. “I don’t have to be home until one AM, so we don’t have to leave until after eleven o’clock. That will give me more than enough time to introduce you to all my fellow grads. You don’t have to worry about drinking too much as I’m the designated driver.”
Slowing down at the approached city limits, Kyler turned off the highway and into a suburb still some distance from the university. “I have to pick up a couple of classmates,” he explained, grinning at the questioning expression on his companion’s face. “You’re gonna get a kick out of Ruthie and her partner, Jackie. Ruthie is the only other gay person in our graduating class. She’s just finished her Bachelor of Education. She’s gonna make a great elementary teacher.”
A little over three hours later, two young men were somewhat disappointed to find themselves on their way home. “I hope you don’t mind too much our having to leave early, Cameron. But that bunch crashing the party are well-known for causing trouble. It was best we got out while the getting was good.”
“Hey, no problem.” Cameron leaned back in his seat. “I’m not a big drinker and I haven’t touched drugs, not even the softer ones, since I was fourteen. There was plenty of both at the party, so I’m kinda relieved we bailed. I’m glad your friends, Ruthie and Jackie, were there. They’re cool.”
“Well, there were no drugs until the uninvited Juniors put in an appearance. That big guy I pulled you away from is the ringleader. His name is Bart, but when he’s drinking we call him Big Barf. He just won’t take ‘no’ for an answer to anything; gets real dirty when he hears the word. You never know what he’s going to do next because he’s crazy when he gets a few drinks into him. I figured when I saw him heading your way that he was going to come on to you. God only knows why; the stupid bugger claims he’s straight. And as soon as you rebuffed him, all hell would be out to recess. He is why Ruthie wanted to leave too.”
“He hit on Ruthie?” Cameron was surprised. “I wasn’t flirting at all, was I? Chad reckons I flirt too much at work, but that’s work. I don’t normally flirt at parties, not when I’ve got Chad to go home to.” Cameron shivered slightly, seeing all too clearly what could have happened.
“When he’s drunk, Barfo-boy hits on anyone. Believe it or not, sober he’s a completely different person; almost an introvert.” Kyler slowed to turn onto the highway that would take them to Jade Heights. “And no, you weren’t flirting. Hmm, speaking of Chad; I wonder why he hasn’t called looking for you. Don’t you have your cell phone on you?”
“No; I don’t carry it to work. After all, there is a phone at the lounge if Chad should want to get hold of me.”
“Guess that answers why he didn’t call you,” Kyler snickered. “I’m glad he didn’t call on mine either. I wouldn’t have had a clue what to say to him.”
They passed the next twenty minutes bantering back and forth until arriving at Chad and Cameron’s home. Kyler pulled up to the curb and turned to the other man. “Here you are; home safe and sound. Well, ‘sound’ for the moment anyway. I hope you had a good enough time to make it worth facing Chad’s wrath, Cam.”
“Well I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was the best time I’ve ever had, but I enjoyed meeting your friends and hanging out with you.” Cameron flashed Kyler a weak grin. “Good night and thanks. At least I can now say I’ve been to a frat party.” He got out of the car and took a deep breath.
“Good night and good luck!” Kyler called out. He shook his head as he watched his friend walk up the path to face whatever awaited him. Then he put the car in gear and headed home to surprise his own two partners with his early arrival.
Cameron saw there was a light on in the house and he had a sinking feeling that he was in deep water. He opened the door, took another deep breath and as nonchalantly as possible, walked into the living room.
Chad looked up from the book he was reading and calmly inquired, “Did you have a nice time at the party, Mugs?” There was nothing in his manner to give a clue as to which way the upcoming conversation was going to go.
Cameron just opened his mouth, closed it and opened it again to speak. “It was okay, not great, just okay. We left early when some real jerks arrived, who were drunk, stoned and looking for a fight.” He eyed his Top warily. He knew he’d broken more rules in the last four hours than he had in the last six months. “I didn’t drive,” he finally mumbled, unable to stand the silence. “Kyler did.”
Chad nodded and set his book aside. “I think we have something to talk over, don’t you?”
Cameron studied his partner’s body language and slowly nodded. “Yes,” he replied simply. He cocked his head to one side. “How mad are you?” he asked. Chad was laid back, but Cam knew full well he had stepped way over the line this time. He hated feeling guilty and wondered if he’d ever learn to think before he did things.
Chad patted the sofa, silently inviting Cameron to sit down beside him. “I admit I was rather pissed off when I got to the lounge and learned that you had taken the evening off. No one seemed to know where you had taken off to. I was unable to get a hold of you because your cell phone was here. I called Kyler’s home and found out you had gone with him to a party in Kelowna. Hugh and I felt it would be unfair to spoil Kyler’s fun by calling him and getting him to bring you home. Although, it is quite likely he will find himself in trouble when he gets home.”
He watched his partner squirm uncomfortably for a second or two before continuing. “I’m no longer ticked off, Mugs. I spent a greater part of the evening thinking about our relationship and it’s left me wondering if maybe a change is in the wind. We’ve been together for over two years now and until recently things have been working out. Granted we’ve hit some bumps in the road but that was to be expected. Lately however, you’ve been doing a lot of pushing at the boundaries and tonight may well have been the last straw. Cameron, you as good as threw my authority in my face; authority that you yourself gave to me when we first got together. Tell me; is it time to reconsider the discipline aspect of our relationship?” Chad gazed solemnly at the man sitting beside him and patiently waited for his response.
Cameron’s mouth dropped open. In his wildest dreams, he’d never expected this. “N-no,” he spluttered. “I did something really stupid and broke our rules. If you let me get away with it, I think it will affect our overall relationship.” He looked at Chad, tears welling in his eyes. “You’re my lover and head of our household. I know I deserve one hell of a spanking for what I did.”
Chad pulled the shaken man unto his lap. “Listen to me, sweetheart. I am not saying we have to drop the discipline part of our relationship, I just wanted to make sure we were both still on the same page for going on with it. Up until this last episode, it has worked very well for us, right?” He smiled when he got a small watery smile in reply to his question.
“I love you, Mugs. I want you to be happy. I want to keep you safe and I want us to be together for a very long time….the rest of our lives, in fact.” This said, Chad placed a gentle kiss on the younger man’s trembling lips. “Now, I have no intention of spanking you. This insubordination of yours requires something more to ensure it is never repeated. If you truly have faith in me being in charge of our relationship, and I believe that you do, then it is time for you to realize just how little I have curtailed your activities and choices in the past. I want you to be able to make a comparison. So for the next little while, things are going to change drastically.”
Cameron was reassured by the first part of Chad’s statement and leaned into the big man’s embrace. “No spanking,” he repeated, surprise in his voice. “How drastic?” He sounded suspicious. “What’s going on in that mind of yours?” he dared to demand from the safety of his lover’s arms
“You, my boy, are going on a very, very short leash; so short you’ll feel like it’s no more than a collar. As of this moment, you will be in my sight at all times. I will be able to see everything you do and vice-versa. You can consider personal privacy a privilege to be earned and respected. I have already altered your shifts at the lounge. You will be working on the evenings that I am able to accompany you. You will only be behind the bar when I am; if I have something to do in the office, you will sit in there with me.”
Chad watched his Brat’s eyes getting bigger as their foreseeable future was outlined. He put a hand over Cameron’s mouth to prevent him commenting just yet. “You will be spending every day at the mine, dogging my footsteps. You’ll become my shadow, rain or shine. This will continue until such time as I decide you’re ready to assume proper responsibility for your own actions and live according to the tenants our relationship is built upon. Do you understand why this is happening, Mugs?”
“Yes,” Cameron replied, somewhat subdued. “Because I let you down and defied you. I need to earn your trust back.” His voice was thick with tears. He nestled deeper into Chad’s arms, seeking reassurance.
“Right on the money, baby; I am not going to allow your flaunting of our rules or your periodical lack of foresight damage this special relationship we both need and want.” Chad dropped a light kiss on his love’s head.
“Will we still be going to Kyler’s graduation? And will I have to shadow you there?” the younger man wanted to know. “You got the invite, right? I’d really like to go.”
“Yes, Clarissa gave me the invitation when I dropped by the lounge earlier. We will be going. Kyler is expecting us and it would be unkind to disappoint him. I’ve know that young man since he was twelve years old and have a special place in my heart for him; little terror that he was at times.” Chad chuckled at Cameron’s mumbled ‘I can believe it’. “And yes, you will be shadowing me there as well. It will probably not be easily noticed by anyone else, so don’t fret over it.”
Hearing a tired sigh, Chad patted Cameron’s hip. “Up you get, Mugs. It’s late; we are both kind of rung out. Let’s lock up and hit the hay.” The older man was perfectly aware of just how trying the next few weeks were going to be.
“I can’t believe you!” Cameron’s voice rose an octave. “I’ve been going to the toilet by myself since I was three and now every time I go, I find you outside waiting for me.” He was having some problems with the short leash Chad had put on him. “When we’re at the lounge or the mine, I even have to ask you if I can go. I understand why you want me to keep close, but this is ridiculous.” He glared at the older man, his arms crossed over his chest.
Chad had been expecting this. It was Tuesday and they had been at this for almost four days now. He was even a little surprised that the blow up hadn’t occurred earlier. Reacting calmly to his partner’s bit of a temper tantrum; Chad put his hands on Cameron’s shoulders, turned and marched him over to the nearest corner. “Take a deep breath, Mugs. Close your eyes and relax; listen to the music on the radio. Good man; breathe slowly.” The mantra continued as large hands gently caressed the taunt back, soothing away the tension. “It is going to become harder, babe, before it is over.”
“How am I supposed to shadow you if I’m in a corner?” Cameron snapped. “And the last thing I am at the moment is hard.” He was feeling frustrated; more at himself than with Chad. He actually felt a lot calmer and centred than he had four days ago, but that didn’t mean he wouldn’t continue to push. He knew he was doing that and Chad didn’t budge an inch, which meant Cam felt safe. Sitting on the floor next to Chad in the lounge office was a positive pleasure.
It had been Cameron’s choice to sit there as Chad had never asked that he do so. Just breathing in and out with his Top’s scent invading his senses, he often drifted into subspace. He’d briefly dabbled in BDSM as a much a younger man and although he’d
never participated, he now understood why some of the sub’s faces had showed such contentment.
Chad groaned and rolled his eyes at the other man's play on words. He understood the frustration the younger man was going through, knowing it would slowly wane as Cameron came to accept why this was necessary. “For the moment, Mugs, let’s just say I am shadowing you.” His hands methodically swept over Cameron’s shoulders; loving hands that were reassuring and comforting.
Cameron slowly began to relax under those comforting hands as he closed his eyes and listened to his Top’s voice. “I’m sorry,” he mumbled.
Chad pulled his partner around until they were face to face. He smiled and gently kissed Cameron’s lips. “Are you beginning to see the fuller picture yet, sweetheart?”
“Yes,” Cameron replied, returning the kiss. “I let you down, took advantage of you and our relationship. This is a reconnection. Is it a problem that I don’t really see this as a punishment?” Cam looked up at Chad and a grin flittered over his face. “Despite me throwing a tantrum?”
“No, it isn’t a problem because it isn’t a punishment. It is a learning experience. And I won’t be at all surprised to see you throwing another tantrum before this is over.” Chad raised an eyebrow at his prancing partner. “Now might be a good time to go to the bathroom before you pee your pants.” He chuckled and followed as Cameron hurried down the hall.
The next few days passed with only a couple minor rants, but all and all, things were settling down and Chad would be the first to admit he may have let himself be lulled into a false sense of on-going peace.
Early Saturday afternoon, the shit hit the fan when Cameron discovered that Chad had laid their clothes out for the up-coming event.
“You have got to be kidding,” Cameron loudly complained. “I get the short leash, I get the shadowing, but you don’t get to choose my clothes.” He crossed his arms and glared at his partner who was standing there in only his socks and boxers. “There are some limits. I won’t show you up. I was actually going to dress down; dress pants, white shirt and tie, and as my suit doesn’t fit me anymore; my black leather jacket.” Cameron loved his jacket. It was an understated, tailored jacket made out of kidskin.
Chad raised an eyebrow. “I wasn’t at all concerned about you showing anyone up, Mugs. If you look closely, you’ll see I’ve laid out the exact clothes you just listed off, with the exception of the jacket. And as good as you look in it, you don’t need a jacket because it is too warm and you’ll get overheated.”
When it looked like the younger man was gearing up to bicker about his Top’s decision, Chad held up his hand to forestall him. “The reason for my choosing what you’re wearing today is to emphasize how many choices you have on a day to day basis. Aside from the hated uniform you have to wear when working at the lounge, you have been free to wear whatever you like. Now get dressed. We don’t want to be late. It will be hard enough finding a parking space as it is.”
Chad started pulling on his own dress pants. It was apparent he expected his Brat to the same.
“Don’t tell me you’re actually going to wear a tie,” Cameron commented as he went to the closet to exchange the dress pants that had been laid out for him. He wanted a pair of black pants, not tan.
“Why wouldn’t I, Cameron? It is a special occasion. It isn’t like you’ve never seen me in a tie before. And if you’re thinking of wearing something other that what I put out for you, forget it.” Chad threaded his belt through his pant loops while keeping a close eye on the other man.
“Come on, a white shirt with tan pants?” Cameron protested. “You hate ties,” he shot back as he pulled out a pair of black dress pants, wincing slightly under Chad’s look. He hesitated, tilted his head to one side to think and then sighed. He put the black pants back where they’d been and started to pull on the pants Chad had laid out. “God, I hate this!” he griped.
Chad nodded his approval when he saw Cameron pulling on the lighter pants. “Who would have thought that being annoyed at something could make a person colour-blind? I happen to be wearing dark brown pants with a pale yellow shirt. My tie is also brown. Your pants may not be as dark as mine, but they are dark enough for a white shirt. Now stop your bickering, or the only thing that will change colour is your backside. I don’t think you want to spend a greater part of the afternoon sitting on a sore bottom, Mugs.”
Cameron shot Chad an astonished look. “You wouldn’t,” he sputtered. “Not on Kyler”s graduation day. Oh God, you would,” he finished with a slight shudder. He quickly pulled on his clothes with no more complaint, then looked at Chad and frowned slightly.
“No wonder you hate ties. It’s because you can’t tie them properly. It’s unbalanced.” Cameron reached over and undid Chad’s tie and then re-did it into an immaculate Windsor knot. It hadn’t really been that bad but Cameron brought up with fashion, had an eye for small details.
“Thanks, Mugs.” Chad smiled and dropped a kiss on the younger man’s cheek. “By the way, I never said I didn’t like ties; you said I didn’t.” He gentle pushed his love towards the door and into the hall. “Oh, and you were right; I would have.” Chad patted his Brat’s butt to emphasize the point. He couldn’t help but laugh when Cameron rolled his eyes and let out a loud sigh of feigned long-suffering.
Their arrival at the campus coincided with that of Kipper and his family. Unfortunately, it took them a much longer time to find a parking space. They barely managed to get into the seats being held for them, with only moments to spare.
Chad was blown away when Kyler was included in the first group to be called up for their diplomas. He looked at Kipper and the two of them high-fived each other, both thrilled that the boy who had grown up under their very eyes, had graduated with honours.
Cameron took everything in. He had no interest in higher education, but he was very happy for Kyler. He clapped until his hands were sore and grinned at the amusement Chad and Kipper’s antics provided. He had found it difficult to shadow Chad through the crowds, but had managed by almost plastering himself to his Top’s back. Despite his grumbling and the odd spat he’d instigated, he’d become resigned to his short leash. He felt safe and grounded for almost the first time in his life. As the graduation continued, he discretely reached for Chad’s hand.
Chad gently squeezed the smaller hand that slipped into his, happy with his partner’s enthusiasm for Kyler’s achievements. He was pleased that the two young men, who were such an important part of his life, were becoming close friends.
When the commencement service had drawn to a close, Chad and Cameron followed the others outside, where they all waited for Kyler to join them. Everyone inundated the young man with hugs, kisses, pats on the back and handshaking.
Once the picture taking was over and Patrick could be heard above the hubbub, he reminded everyone about the invitation he and Hugh had issued earlier for everyone to go back to their home for a celebratory party. The invite was readily accepted by all.
Chad and Cameron headed for the Ranger which was parked quite a distance away. By the time they got to their vehicle and were on the way back to Jade Heights, another hour had passed and they still had an hour’s drive ahead of them.
Cameron was antsy and couldn’t keep still during the drive home. He had seen Kyler look at him curiously after the graduation ceremony, as he stuck close to Chad. Cameron had shrugged his shoulders at his friend, smiled wryly and mouthed ‘speak to you later’.
One thing Cameron was nervous about, was how Hugh and Patrick would react to him. He’d somehow managed to land Kyler in trouble a time or two over the last few months.
Neither man had any idea that their evening would end on a rather unpleasant note.
Chad and Cameron returned home several hours after having left it. Both were in less than happy moods.
“Corner, now!” Chad ordered, quietly but sternly. He watched as the other man toed off his shoes and shuffled across the kitchen’s tiled floor.
To say the older man was surprised by this evening’s turn of events would be an understatement. Cameron had seemed so settled and calm the last couple of days, and Chad had felt they were really making headway.
Okay, so his lover had experienced a bit of a meltdown; that was fine, they’d deal with it. Chad just wished it hadn’t involved someone other than the two of them. He got himself a drink of water and turned to keep an eye on Cameron while thinking over what had happened and trying to figure out what had triggered it. He pressed his lips tightly together and shook his head when he came up empty.
“Come here please, Mugs,” he softly requested.
Cameron turned, expecting anger and disappointment only to find love and warmth in Chad’s blue eyes. He ran across the room and melted into his lover’s strong arms.
Chad held him tight for a long time before eventually pushing his love away. “I think we have some more talking to do, babe.” The words were said gently but firmly.
Cameron sighed. “I guess so,” he replied, staring fixedly at his socks. “Would it help if I said I’m sorry, even though Kyler was asking for it?”
“Only Kyler, huh?” Chad questioned, doubt seeping into his voice. “I didn’t realize I had such an innocent Brat on my hands. I can’t believe it. I turned my back for a short time and you actually get into a physical confrontation. Tell me, Mugs, just how did your body end up on the ground with Kyler’s?”
“I don’t know,” Cameron replied with a shrug. “We were talking. Kyler said I could have got him into trouble over the party last Friday night; then we both said things. I got angry and suddenly we were in each others’ faces. The next thing I knew, we were fighting. But I never said I was innocent,” he protested.
“All right, both of us accept that neither of you were blameless in letting this argument get out of hand.” Chad wrapped an arm around Cameron’s shoulders as they walked down the hall and into the living room. “Do you think there was anything you could have done, love, to avoid getting in hot water?” He took a seat on the sofa and pulled the younger man down beside him.
Cameron shrugged his shoulders. “I guess I could have walked away before it got out of hand,” he mumbled. “But it flared up so fast. It’s not like we planned it.”
“I know it wasn’t premeditated and that it happened quickly. Unfortunately, you did have options you chose not to take. Fighting is never an acceptable way for anyone to communicate a difference of opinion. You and Kyler could have hurt one another.”
Chad studied his partner for several moments, knowing instinctively what Cameron needed. It was absolution; the sooner, the better. A week under his Top’s constant attention had left the younger man feeling safe and cared-for, but also more vulnerable than would usually be the case.
“A week ago, I asked you if you wanted the discipline aspect of our relationship to continue and we both agreed that we did. Now before I spank you, will you please answer me this? Did I make a mistake when I cut you a bit of slack and let you go to the end of the garden to sit with Kyler, rather than keeping you next to me? I thought you’d enjoy that more than listening to Hugh, Patrick and I talking. That would have bored you to death, wouldn’t it have?”
Cameron breathed out slightly in relief. This was Chad back to form. His butt clenched with the thought of the impeding spanking, but he knew he deserved it and deep down that he needed it. He pulled his mind back to Chad’s question.“Yeah, I was bored with what you old guys were talking about,” he admitted. “And you didn’t cut me that much slack,” Cameron pointed out. “Their garden isn’t all that long, so I don’t think you made a mistake.”
Looking into Chad’s handsome face, Cameron offered more by way of an explanation. “I think Kyler was feeling a bit uncertain about all the changes in his life and I guess I was unsure about what was going to happen when you slackened the leash. So we just lost it at each other. I really think that’s kind of what friends do; let off steam at each other. Only our letting off steam included fists.”
Cameron blushed as his blue eyes looked up and met Chad’s. “Did you know I haven’t been spanked in over four weeks?” His smile was somewhat watery when he added in a small voice, “That’s a record.”
“Hmm, record indeed. We’ve put all the cards on the table, babe, and we both know why you are about to be punished.” Chad’s voice was calm and reassuring as he motioned for his young partner to stand up. After lowering Cameron’s pants and boxers, he settled his Brat securely over his thighs, making sure the upper half of his body was well supported by the sofa.
He placed his hand on Cameron’s bare backside, stroking and kneading in a comforting manner for several moments. He started rhythmically slapping first one firm globe and then the other, covering both until they began to glow a light pink. As the slaps picked up the pace, so did the squirming of the younger man’s body. Chad tightened his hold around Cameron’s waist while his hand covered every inch of the flaming bottom, before landing two harder swats on each cheek to end the spanking. He knew without a double that the rule had been re-enforced and the lesson learned.
Cameron tried to stay stoic but within two smacks, he began to sniffle. Before long he was crying out in pain and finally just sobbing. By the time he realized Chad had stopped, he felt well-punished and strangely at peace.
The hand that had punished so soundly, now rubbed gentle circles on the sobbing man’s back. “All right, Mugs; we’re done here. The slate has been wiped clean.” The mantra was softly repeated many times over.
A repentant young man listened to his lover’s voice, reveling in the message. He squirmed up and snuggled into his lover, making sure his butt was not resting on anything hard.
“I love you,” Cameron murmured. “I may not say it often enough, but I really do. You understand me like nobody ever has, even better than I know myself.”
Chad tightened his embrace and pressed kiss after kiss on his lover’s beautiful face. “I love you too, sweetheart; with all my heart. Where would I be without you, Mugs? You’re my other half. You help me be who I was meant to be.” He smiled when Cameron nestled in closer and nodded, obviously reassured by the heartfelt declaration.
They spent the next several minutes quietly reconnecting and reflecting over the proceedings of the past week.
“I want to talk about what is going to happen next, Mugs.” Chad paused to make sure he had his partner’s attention. “Tomorrow you are going to apologize to Kyler, Hugh and Patrick. We will drive over there together after I call to see what time will best suit them.” He bit back a grin when he felt the man in his arms stiffened, knowing his directive was meeting with a definite lack of enthusiasm.
“Furthermore, we are going to continue with the short leash. But over the next couple of weeks, it will gradually slacken until things are back to where they were before we began this exercise. How does all this sound to you, babe?”
Cameron wrinkled his nose at Chad. “Does that mean I get to go to the toilet on my own again?” he teased. “It does sound good though. I really do want to say sorry to Kyler, and I hope he didn’t get into as much trouble as I did.”
“If my impression of Kyler’s partners is correct, I have a feeling that your friend’s backside is in a condition similar to yours. As far as what you are now free to do; I think you can manage bathroom breaks on your own again and choose what you’re going to wear,” Chad kidded, tickling his partner’s ribs and making him giggle.
Cameron snuggled into Chad and his voice came out a bit muffled and shy. “If I ever feel like I’m losing direction sometime in the future, can I ask to be put on a short leash again? Or is that your decision only?”
Picking up on the significance of the request, Chad hastened to reassure his young partner. “If you feel you need the security of a shortened lease, you can certainly ask for it and we’ll discuss it. But I will decide whether or not we do it depending on the circumstances at the time.”
Chad smiled at Cameron’s soft sigh of relief and dropped another kiss on the other man’s head. ‘You never know what’s going to work until you try it,’ he thought, pleased with what the short leash exercise had accomplished.