Kyler was bustling around the kitchen putting his excess energy to good use by preparing supper. It would normally be considered a Sunday dinner and not something they would have on a Thursday evening, but he was rather keyed up and needed to keep busy.
He had some exciting news and was anxiously awaiting his partners’ arrivals so he could share it with them. Yes, he could have called or texted them, but he wanted to see the looks on their faces when he spilled the beans.
The homemade cream of leek soup was sitting on the back of the stove next to a pot containing fresh carrots; the batter for Yorkshire pudding that his mother had taught him to make was sitting in the fridge. He checked on the roast beef and the small potatoes nestled around it one more time, satisfied by how well it was coming along. He straightened up and grimaced as he glanced around the room. Like Hugh often said, Kyler was a passable cook, but an extremely messy one. The kitchen looked like a tornado had just passed through, leaving a trail of destruction in it’s’ wake.
“At least I have more than enough of time to get this mess cleaned up,” he muttered to himself and set about doing so with a vengeance.
An hour later, Kyler clapped his hands in uncontainable glee when he heard two cars drive into the driveway.
“Let’s go through the back,” Hugh suggested as he yanked his bag out from the back seat. He had been at the public pool, supervising a training session for his school swimming team, and his hair was still damp and slicked back, clinging tightly to his head. It gave him a rather more severe look.
Patrick fell into step beside Hugh. “I’m starving. I thought your session would never end!”
Hugh said in a teasing tone, “Nah! You were too busy ogling all the naked bodies and tight wet trunks to notice me, or the time!”
Patrick laughed. He had dropped by the pool on his way home from the hospital. That was how they had started their courting years ago. He would go watch Hugh swim or work with the boys and then they would go for a late supper. And end up at either one of their places.
“Damn! You noticed that huh?” Patrick teased back.
Hugh grabbed his partner around the neck and pulled him in for a quick kiss. “If I really believed that ...” Their lips met, cutting off Hugh’s threat. They stayed in the semi darkness for a while, as they kissed hungrily. The reliving of their previous routine had suddenly ignited a bit of the old spark and passion.
“I’ve missed this ... remember how we used to look forward to practice?” Patrick said pensively as they came into the backyard. “We should do this more often. What’s this?” Patrick looked up as they neared the kitchen door, his nose twitching appreciatively. “Is that our Kyler cooking?”
Hugh groaned and muttered under his breath. “Oh God, I hardly dare look inside.”
“I heard that!” Kyler laughed as his partners entered the room. “Look around and you’ll see that I’ve left everything nice and neat for once.”
“Well, well,” Hugh raised an eyebrow. “This is a surprise indeed.”
“I have a special supper ready. It’s a celebration of sorts; that’s why there is ‘Baby Duck’ chilling and our best linen, dishes, etc. and candles are on the table.”
Hugh gave Kyler a quick peck on the cheek and waved a hand as he headed to the basement. “Celebration? Hang on baby, I’m just gonna throw these wet things into the wash – be right back!”
Patrick was still tingling from Hugh’s earlier kiss and didn’t really pay much attention to the exchange. He took the opportunity to enjoy his young partner’s mouth instead. He slipped an arm around Kyler’s waist and drew him close. His arms wrapped possessively around Kyler, holding him firmly, as his tongue demanded entry. “Hmm, you taste so damn good!”
“You’re kinda tasty yourself,” Kyler commented, licking his lips and untangling himself from his partner’s arms. “I’m just gonna serve up the soup so we can sit down to eat as soon as Hugh gets up here and I can tell you my news.”
With a sigh, Patrick let him go. “What’s the occasion? Whatever you have cooking, it smells wonderful!” Patrick seated himself at the table and sighed. He heard his stomach rumbling and decided he would have to take care of that hunger first before appeasing the other. It was rather nice to come home and be greeted with such a welcome.
Hugh appeared and came over to where Kyler was filling up three soup plates. He kissed Kyler’s neck first, and then helped to carry the plates over to the table. “Wow, Kyler this must be something really special! Freshly cut flowers too?”
“Yep; picked them off the lilac bush out back all by myself,” Kyler laughed and sat down.
“So ... spill!” Patrick said in between mouthfuls of soup. “Hey, this is good!” he said, indicating his spoon.
Kyler beamed under the praise as he squirmed excitedly in his chair. “I went to the campus today to check the list posted on the bulletin board this morning and my name is on it…..I’ve graduated. In a little over a week, I’ll officially have letters behind my name; just like you guys do.” He was smiling from ear to ear as he waited for his partners’ reactions.
Hugh and Patrick immediately put their cutlery down and got up to give the beaming young man a hug.
"Well done, Ky!” Patrick exclaimed.
“Way to go, Brat!” Hugh clapped Kyler on the back and leaned down to kiss him.
“This calls for celebration indeed. Do we have any champagne in the house?” Patrick asked.
“Nope, just the wine I have chilling,” Kyler answered. “But that’s good enough for me.” He got up and began to pour three glasses.
“So what are your plans now that you are out of school?" Hugh enquired. "I know you’ve been learning to do the books for the lounge and your Uncle Kipper has requested you take over several small accounts he presently handles, but is that what you really want to do?”
“Of course it is. Man, I didn’t take five years getting my Bachelor of Business Administration to spend the rest of my life working for someone else. Taking over for Uncle Kipper is a great way to have my own business. I already have two clients and will be meeting with several potential ones next week.” Kyler handed a glass of the white wine to each of his partners.
“Looks like you have thought this through and know what you want to do with your life - which is more than I can say for myself when I was your age,” Hugh said, raising his glass to his two partners. “Cheers!”
“Hmm ... very nice!” Patrick remarked after he took a sip.
Kyler swallowed and then got to his feet once again. “I’m going to clear away the soup bowls and get the rest of our meal on the table. I’ll tell all in a few minutes.” He returned with the hot roast beef and put it down in front of Hugh. While he was getting the remaining dishes, Hugh carved the meat and Patrick topped up their glasses, emptying the wine bottle in the process.
“When is the graduation ceremony?” Hugh wanted to know.
“More importantly - are we invited?” Patrick asked in a teasing voice. “Do you want us there? How many of your class-mates actually know you are gay?”
Pulling several envelopes out from under the cushion on his chair, Kyler grinned and waved then in the air. “Here are five invitations to the ceremony which will be held a week Saturday in the campus auditorium at three o’clock. There will be a reception immediately following and I am entitled to invite up to ten guests. I was given them today when I went in to empty out my locker and turn in my books. The first one is for you guys. I wouldn’t even bother going if you two weren’t there.” He slid one of the envelopes across the table to Hugh.
Hugh and Patrick exchanged a quick smile, and murmured ‘thank you’ almost simultaneously.
“Of course, the second one is for my Mom. I am hoping she’ll drag along that new boyfriend of hers. They haven’t exactly gone public yet with their relationship, whatever it is.” Kyler smirked at his two companions. “The third one is for Uncle Kipper and Gaetane. Geesh, I think Uncle Kipper has been waiting for this day longer than I have.” Kyler placed the two envelopes on the table and held up the fourth one.
“This is for your parents, Patrick. Do you think your Mom and Dad will want to attend?” Kyler shoved a forkful of food into his mouth while waiting for an answer.
“Really?” Patrick reached out and placed a hand over Kyler’s. “They will be thrilled!”
“Neat! The last one is for Chad and Cameron. Oh and to answer your question, Patrick, I kinda take it for granted that most my classmates know I’m gay.” Kyler shrugged his shoulders. “I’ve certainly never kept it a secret. In fact, I’ve sort of bragged a bit about having two such great partners; just to close friends of course.”
“Is there going to be some kind of celebration?”
“Well, now that you’ve brought it up, Hugh; there is a bit of a get-together in the works for tomorrow night. I was going to ask you about it next.”
“Where are you guys planning to go?”
“At the moment, we’re just going to hang out in on of the dorms; play our music loud and order in some pizza. Some of the guys are bringing in a keg of beer.”
“Who else will be there?”
“Probably the entire grad class; it’s a small one, only sixty-two of us.” Kyler was suddenly wary of where this conversation was heading. “Is this gonna turn into a third degree kind of questioning, Hugh?” he inquired as calmly as possible.
“No, it isn’t. I know this is a special occasion, and it’s an exciting time for you and your friends,” Hugh said, holding up his hand to stall Kyler from butting in. “Wait - I am not going to stop you from going. You’ve worked hard, you deserve to celebrate and congratulate yourself. What I will say instead is that if things do get slightly ... wild, or if you feel the situation getting out of control, I want you to call us and we will come get you.”
Kyler nodded. “I was planning to take my own car. But if I find myself unable to drive, I will definitely call you. Is that all right?”
“You bet!” Hugh said. “We have no plans tomorrow night, do we Patrick?”
“Nope. We’ll be at home, so call us if you need anything. I remember my own graduation bash. I don’t think anyone of us was fit to drive after that party. Not that I am suggesting you try to break that record, Ky!” Patrick added quickly, with a wink at the grinning young man.
Kyler laughed and rubbed his heads together. “Hmmm, a record to be broken, huh? That’s like waving a red flag, Patrick.”
“Just have a good time and be safe.” Hugh said.
“Great!” Kyler flashed a smile of gratitude at his partners. “Man, this next week is going to be busy. I have to deliver these invites tomorrow, then there’s the party tomorrow night. I’ll have at least one more trip to Kelowna on Monday to pick up my grad gown and pay the last of incurring expenses. God, who’d have thought getting a degree would be soooo expensive. Okay, I can see putting out a lot for tuition and books. But I also think a lot of it is just a big rip-off.”
“What kind of rip-off?” Patrick raised his eyebrows.
“Well, for instances, I had to pay full price for my books but only got back half even though they were still in the condition as when I got them. I bet the book store will charge full price to the next student too. I’ve had to buy student insurance for some reason beyond me, had to pay a locker fee, student union dues….the list goes on and on.”
Both Hugh and Patrick listened sympathetically to Kyler’s rant. “Nobody said education is cheap these days!” Hugh acknowledged.
“Now to add insult to injury, as my Mom would say, I have to cough up a twenty-five dollar dry-cleaning charge for my grad gown and another fifty bucks for my diploma. Shit, after all this you’d think the bloody piece of paper you end up with would be free.”
Recognizing the signs, and not wanting the evening to dwindle into the mops, the two Tops laughed lightly at Kyler.
Kyler pushed away his empty plate and sat back in his seat as he took a deep breath. He could easily talk himself into a bad mood if he wasn’t careful. Now that the routine of school was at an end and his graduation looming on the horizon, he was starting to feel a little antsy with the different emotions assailing him.
Patrick had an idea and leaned forward, his eyes smiling in the way that never failed to make Kyler’s heart flutter. “Listen babe, Hugh and I would be more than glad to pay for the graduation gown and all the other expenses as well. Sort of a well-done gesture. This is not your graduation present – we’ll get you something more decent of course – but we want to do this. Right Hugh?”
Hugh immediately chimed in. “Great idea, Patrick. We know how hard it is getting a start right after college, unless you are one of those with a cushy job from one of the big multinational corporations waiting. So yes, let us both pay for the gown and diploma, and anything else. I’ll be proud to do so!”
Kyler blushed. He hadn’t been hinting around for help but at the same time he wasn’t going to refuse it. “Thanks, guys. I really appreciate your wanting to help out like this.” He glanced around at their empty plates. “I’ve got some dessert if anyone is interested. I wanted to get a German chocolate cake at the bakery but they were sold out. So I had to settle for fresh strawberry turnovers and Cool Whip. How does that sound?”
“Wonderful!” Hugh and Patrick responded dutifully and simultaneously.
Hugh and Patrick watched with pride as Kyler came down the stairs, dressed very smartly in a brand new shirt and very tight blue levis.
“Wow!” Patrick pretended to be struck speechless, staggering a few steps back and keeping a hand over his heart.
Kyler’s eyes were shining with anticipation. He began laughing at the other man’s antics. “I take it you approve?” he teased, not expecting an answer.
“Well, I have to agree with Patrick. WOW!” Hugh gave Kyler a quick kiss and patted his bum. “You look great honey. Now, there will be a lot of hot looking, testosterone-filled young men out there tonight, all eager and hungry for action, and I expect you to behave!” Hugh’s voice oozed with possessiveness.
Kyler blushed with pleasure. His Tops’ authoritarianism always left him feeling safe, and well-loved and cared for.
“Yeah, you better, or else ...” Patrick said with mock severity.
Hugh and Patrick walked him out to his car, heaping him with a series of instructions and reminders.
“Don’t drink too much!”
“Keep off the strong stuff!”
“Watch the noise level – you don’t want the police down on you!”
“Remember now; call us if you need a lift home.”
“No matter how late it is!”
“Man, you guys sure have this over-protective mother hen stance down pat,” Kyler jokingly scolded his partners for plying him with so many instructions. “If the list gets any longer, I’ll be late picking up Cameron.”
Hugh and Patrick grinned good-naturedly at Kyler’s admonishment and waved goodbye as Kyler climbed into his car.
“I wonder how wasted he will be when he comes home,” Hugh grumbled under his breath as Kyler pulled out of the drive. “I wonder if he even heard half of what we said!”
“Oh don’t be such a mother hen! Kyler is absolutely right about us.” Patrick poked Hugh in the stomach. “This is a wonderful time in his life. Not yet a sober responsible adult, yet on the brink of becoming a man, and all that jazz. He will make all the mistakes he needs to make and we will be there to haul him clear of trouble. Isn’t that what old partners do?”
Hugh grunted. “I’m more likely to warm that butt of his if he drives home drunk.” He suddenly turned on Patrick and landed a loud smack on the seat of Patrick’s jeans. “Who are you calling old?”
Patrick skipped away before Hugh could land another swat. “Hey!” he protested laughing. “You’re not using me as a substitute just because your Brat left for a wild night out! Get a grip man!”
“Oh, I’ll get a grip all right.” Hugh smirked, and then lunged menacingly towards Patrick and chased him back into the house.
“You realize we just put on a show for the entire neighbourhood?” Patrick choked with laughter as he tried to avoid Hugh’s hands. “Now stop harassing me! I won’t take it lying down like Kyler!”
Hugh grinned lasciviously at Patrick. “Don’t bet on it, Patrick. I swear you’ll be lying down for me – and very soon too, my love.”
“Is that a threat, Hugh?” Patrick smiled.
“It’s a promise. Now come here!” Hugh ordered, suddenly hungry for Patrick. They had not made love together, just the two of them, for weeks. Patrick’s eyes darkened with passion as he watched Hugh start to unbutton his shirt. It was always wonderful having three-way sex with Kyler but it brought out different feelings when it was just the two of them. It was not better; just different.
Patrick grabbed the hem of his t-shirt and pulled it up and off his head in a second. Then he was chest to chest with Hugh, their bare skins burning into one another as their mouths met. “Windows ...” Patrick managed to mumble around Hugh’s tongue. “Curtains ...”
“Oh ...” Hugh groaned, and then broke off the kiss. He strode over to the open windows; quickly yanked the curtains closed and grabbed once again for Patrick. They landed onto the sofa, kissing, clawing and petting like teenagers. The rest of their clothing was swiftly discarded, landing on various pieces of furniture around the living room, till they were both gloriously naked.
The room filled with the sounds of their breathing and moans as Hugh slowly and gently took Patrick, right there on the sofa. They moved together, perfectly synchronised, one rising to meet the other as he plunged deep into his partner. They made love slowly, with a lot of petting in between thrusts, and loving nibbles, and soft whisperings of love. As the slow deliberate thrusting finally drove them both to a state of frenzy and unbridled passion, Hugh reached down in between them and made sure Patrick was ready before he allowed himself to climax.
When it was over, Hugh lay spent on the side of Patrick, supported by Patrick’s arm to prevent him falling off the sofa. The sweat cooled on their skins as their breathing calmed. Hugh pressed Patrick back against the cushions and looked into his eyes. “What?” he demanded as he saw Patrick’s smirk.
“Who’s hot looking and testosterone-filled now?” Patrick asked, gazing up at Hugh with such intensity that Hugh stopped breathing for a second.
Hugh paused and his eyes returned the unspoken message. He laughed. “You are!”
It was sometime later when the telephone rang.
Hugh was sitting on the sofa with his socked feet resting on the coffee table. One hand held a book while the other gently combed fingers through Patrick’s hair, a simple gesture Patrick used to love in their early days, and still do. The motion was too hypnotizing; within minutes Patrick shifted his head onto Hugh’s lap, stifled a yawn and closed his eyes.
Hugh chuckled at Patrick’s snort of disgruntlement at having his sleep disturbed, and reached for the phone. “Hello,” he answered quietly, keeping Patrick down while he once again continued to play with his hair.
“Good evening, is that Hugh?”
“Uhuh – yes, it is.”
“Hey there. This is Chad. Sorry for interrupting your evening, but may I please speak to Kyler?”
Hugh’s forehead creased slightly as he replied. “I’m sorry Chad, but Kyler is out for the evening. Would you like to leave a message?” Beneath his hand, Hugh felt Patrick stirring and beginning to sit up.
“I don’t think so. I am actually trying to track down Cameron. You wouldn’t by any chance know if he is with your young partner, would you?”
Hugh took a moment to think. “Now that you mention it, I believe he is. I think Kyler said he was picking up Cameron. They’ve gone to a party with Kyler’s grad classmates in Kelowna .” Hugh could have sworn he heard a growl from the other end of the line. “Is everything ok?”
“That Brat of mine is grounded and has no business being anywhere other than working at the lounge. After that last episode a few weeks ago, he better not be driving.” There was a definite note of anger in Chad ’s voice, which was surprising as he was usually so laid back and not easily provoked.
Hugh’s frown deepened. “I see. I don’t know if Kyler is aware of Cameron being grounded. I will be sure to ask him when he returns. Have you tried calling his cell phone? Or would you like me to try to reach Kyler?”
“I take it the party is to celebrate the end of their university days? I can still remember some of the parties I attended at that age and I don’t think I would have been too happy about being called home in the middle of them, especially the final graduation party so please don’t call him. He’s earned this.”
“Appreciate that Chad. And yes, Kyler was looking forward to this graduation party. They are at the dorms. Sounded harmless enough, the usual beer and pizza do, with music loud enough to burst your eardrums. I don’t know if they’ll even hear their phones!” Hugh spoke lightly with a chuckle. Whether or not Kyler knew about his friend’s situation, they could deal with it later. If Cameron was called home, Kyler would have to leave too since they went together, and like Chad, Hugh was not really keen to break up Kyler’s party. He waited for Chad’s response.
“I guess I’ll just wait it out until he gets home. Thanks for your help, Hugh. Sorry if I’ve disrupted your evening. Drop around the lounge again sometime soon. Bye for now.”
“No problem, Chad . Will do, maybe with Kyler some evening. Good-bye.”
Kyler drove into the driveway and glanced at the clock on the dashboard. The illuminated numbers click over to midnight; he was home an hour before the curfew he’d been given. He noticed the lights on in the house and it gave him a warm feeling of contentment to know his partners were still up.
Locking the car doors, Kyler bounded up the veranda stairs and let himself in the back door, slamming it behind him. He ran across the kitchen, down the hall and into the living room. “Ta-da, I’m home early!” he announced as if the noise he was making hadn’t herald his arrival.
Hugh smiled up at Kyler. “This is a surprise!”
“What are you doing home so early?” Patrick demanded, with a wink at Hugh. “Party a drag? Ran out of booze? Come here and let me smell your breath!”
“No! You don’t have to smell my breath,” Kyler scoffed. “If I’d had too much to drink I would have called for you to come and get me.”
“So how was the party?” Hugh patted the sofa invitingly.
Kyler sank down next to Hugh. “It was a blast until a group of juniors crashed it. Hell, even that creep, Big Barf, was with them. I figured it was time to leave before trouble started.”
Patrick reached over and patted Kyler’s arm. “Spoken like a sensible and sober adult!”
Kyler turned a cheeky grin at his other partner. “Shocking, isn’t it?” he quipped.
“Did you drop off Cameron on your way back?” Hugh asked casually.
Hugh turned so that he could look Kyler in the eye. “Were you aware he was grounded when you made plans to go with him?”
“Yes,” Kyler reluctantly admitted, shifting uncomfortably.
‘How did they find out?’ he wondered.
Aloud, Kyler said. “He only finished high school and most of that was home taught. His parents really pushed his modelling career. He never had a chance to attend a University grad party. At first I tried to talk him out of it, but when I realized how much he wanted to go, I didn’t have the heart to turn him down.”
Patrick grunted softly under his breath.”Umm ... not so sensible after all.”
Kyler glared at the good doctor. ‘Might have known there’d be no help from that quarter,’ he groused silently to himself.
“I sympathize with Cameron, but you do realize that does not excuse his behaviour, or give him the right to disobey Chad or break his grounding, don’t you?” Hugh kept his eyes on the young face before him. “What do you think you should have done?”
“Tried harder to talk him out of it, I guess.” Kyler shrugged his shoulders
“I don’t know. Maybe I could have told him it was for members of the grad class only, even though it would have been a lie.”
Hugh gave a slight shake of the head. “Not good enough, kiddo. Try harder.”
“I should have talked to you guys about it.” Kyler wasn’t sure if this was the answer Hugh was looking for until the older man suddenly changed directions on him.
“Were you planning on telling us about it at all?” Hugh asked, his face curious.
Patrick opened his eyes at the question and held his breath, and then sighed and shook his head at Kyler’s answer.
“Not if I could help it,” Kyler divulged grudgingly. His answer was honest if nothing else. “I kinda figured it was between Cameron and his Top, not me and mine. How did you find out anyway?”
Hugh ignored Kyler’s question and turned to Patrick instead. “Patrick?”
Patrick glanced questioningly at Hugh. “What?”
“Don’t you have anything to say?” Hugh asked, rather severely.
Patrick sighed again but he nodded and looked serious enough when he addressed Kyler. “Honey, you know better. What you did was wrong!”
Kyler hung his head, hating being put on the spot like this. He looked up at Patrick’s next gently spoken questions.
“Wouldn’t it have been simpler to just admit it then? Why take us on this merry-go-round?” Patrick asked softly. It was much easier to face Patrick and to confess your sins when his eyes looked so kind and sympathetic.
“Yeah, I guess so. I just wanted to make a friend happy. I’m sorry for not telling you earlier and saving all of us a lot of trouble.”
Hugh nodded, and cleared his throat. His two partners looked at him expectantly but all he did was glance at his watch. “It’s late,” Hugh announced, getting up from the sofa and stretching. “Let’s go to bed. We’ll continue this discussion tomorrow. You two head on up; I’ll lock up.”
Kyler frowned uncertainly at the abrupt end to the conversation. Postponement was not usually how things were done here. He got to his feet and slowly followed Patrick out of the room.
Patrick looked a bit troubled. He pulled Kyler to his side as the two of them walked towards the stairs. “You okay, babe?” he murmured into Kyler’s ear.
“I’m not sure. How come things are different?” Kyler was not only confused; he was becoming more unsettled with each passing moment.
Patrick chewed on his lip for a second. “You could always tell Hugh you want to finish the discussion now – that is if you want to. Rather than have it on your mind throughout the night.”
“I do want to finish it and get it over with. Can you tell Hugh for me, please?” Kyler pleaded in a voice barely above a whisper. It was one thing to know chastisement was due, quite another to actually request it
“Sure babe.” Patrick bent and kissed Kyler’s head. “You go get ready for bed. I’ll be up soon.”
Patrick watched Kyler walk up the stairs, and then turned and went into the kitchen where Hugh was locking up the back door. “Hey,” Hugh said as he saw Patrick walk in. “Thirsty?”
Patrick stood with both hands on his slim hips and asked bluntly, “What the hell are you doing?”
Hugh looked around, his eyes questioning. “Um ... locking up?”
“I’m talking about Kyler.”
Hugh brows creased. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“Are you just going to leave it like this, and expect the kid to go to bed?”
Understanding suddenly dawned on Hugh’s face. “Oh ...” He rolled his eyes. “Is he upset?”
“What do you think?”
Hugh shrugged and said with some irritation. “Hell, I don’t know! It’s late, I’m tired, and I just wanted to go to bed. I didn’t think it was that big a deal that we had to settle it tonight.”
“You made it sound like a big deal,” Patrick argued.
“I didn’t think I did!” Hugh exclaimed. “I just wanted to press home the point that he should have thought more about it and told us, that’s all. Anyway, if he was upset, why didn’t he say something? I’m not a mind reader you know!”
“But you’re his Top, you’re supposed to know.”
Hugh came over to Patrick, and put a hand on Patrick’s shoulder. “No Patrick,” Hugh said, shaking his head solemnly. “Listen honey, we are his Tops, but we are not psychic or super beings. Neither are we perfect. We are supposed to know what he needs but that does not always happen. Sometimes we just won’t know. He needs to tell us.”
“Do you understand, Patrick? We are not expected to be perfect,” Hugh repeated firmly. “Sometimes we will screw up.”
A deep sigh escaped from Patrick’s lips. “There’s a heck of a lot to learn to be a Top! Anyway, he’s wired up.”
“Come on then, let’s get this done, ok?” Hugh reached out and took Patrick’s hand.
They went up to their room, just as Kyler was pulling down the covers on their bed.
Kyler’s eyes moved from one partner to the other. He wondered what Patrick had said to Hugh.
Hugh walked to the middle of the room and said, not in an unkind voice, “Come here Kyler.”
The younger man tentatively stepped over to stand in front of his Top.
Hugh calmly took Kyler’s arm, turned him sideways and landed a hefty swat on Kyler’s thinly clad backside.
“Ow!” Kyler jumped at the unexpectedness of the swat and stood for a moment blinking up at the older man while rubbing at the sting blossoming on his bottom.
“Now you know better. Next time, I expect you to think it through.”
“Yes, sir!” Kyler nodded wide-eyed, surprised but appreciative that nothing more was being made of the issue. The look in Hugh’s eyes confirmed the matter had been taken care of.
“OK then, get into bed now.”
Kyler smiled and wrapped his arms around Hugh’s neck to hug him. He easily relaxed into the bigger man’s arms as they tightened around him while large hands gently caressed his back; hands capable of spanking hard but equally capable of providing comfort and reassurance.
“Thanks; I love you. It won’t happen again, I promise.” Kyler let go several moments later and crawled into the middle of the big bed.
Hugh and Patrick quickly got undressed, went through their normal nightly routine and after a very short time, collapsed onto the big bed. Kyler waited until the other two men had settled before asking once again. “How did you find out anyway? I bet Chad called, huh?”
A hand patted his bum warningly, and Hugh’s deep voice was heard in the semi-darkness. “Go to sleep Brat!”
Kyler pushed himself up on one elbow and moved closer to Patrick, nibbling on his ear for a second. When he thought he heard Hugh breathing evenly, he murmured very softly against Patrick’s ear, his breath barely audible. “Who?”
Patrick immediately reached out and smacked Kyler’s bottom, followed by another firmer swat from Hugh. Kyler squealed, and then rolled over and plunked his head down on Hugh’s chest. “Okay, keep it a secret; I’ll just ask Cameron next week.”
He giggled and jerked when fingers began poking him from both sides in the ribs. A brief struggle ensued, culminating with a hard kiss from both Tops. Kyler sighed tiredly and snuggled deeper into the pillows. “Yeah, sleep sounds good.”
The week passed swiftly and Saturday found Kyler growing more excited as the graduate commencement ceremony drew closer. The young man was chomping at the bit and driving his partners crazy.
“Come on, guys. We have to get there early. You want a parking space that isn’t miles from the campus, don’t you? And you want the best seats in the house, right?” Kyler called from the bottom of the stairs, his grad gown draped over one arm.
Patrick stopped Hugh from answering and instead yelled from the bedroom. “We’ve got time!”
“We don’t have as much time as you think. We still have to pick up your parents, Patrick. Who, by the way, are already waiting for us. I know ‘cause I just called them.”
Hugh grunted and Patrick grinned. “They’ve got all day. Besides, this is like some highlight of the week for them. They are even more excited than us I believe!” He looked critically over Hugh’s toilette and his eyes twinkled. “I think you’ll pass. Ready?”
Kyler was pacing restlessly around the lower hallway when the two older men finally put in an appearance. “It’s about time!” he exclaimed, and without waiting for a response rushed out the door ahead of them.
“And so much for our efforts,” Patrick shook his head sadly, while Hugh gritted his teeth.
An hour and a half later, they located the row of seats in the large auditorium that Kyler was most happy with.
“These are the best seats in the house. You’re right behind the rows reserved for the graduating class. But you got to spread out so you can save seats for the others. We need ten altogether,” Kyler instructed the small group of four. He bounced on the balls of his feet while impatiently waiting for them to change places. “Perfect! Now I have to meet up with the other grads. See you all when it’s over.” A merry wave and he jogged down the rest of the aisle and disappeared through the doorway leading to the back of the stage area.
Hugh was drumming his fingers with a touch of irritation. “The past half hour has seemed like two. Why did I ever let that Brat talk us into coming so early?” he grumbled for Patrick’s ear only. Three empty chairs separated them.
“You know why; to keep him happy.” Patrick turned to check on his parents who were sitting a few seats away. “You two sure came prepared,” he commented with a deep chuckle.
“Of course, dear, we had a good idea what to expect.” Bette returned her son’s smile before turning her attention back to the potholder she was crocheting.
“It could be a lot worse,” Doug pointed out as he looked up from the Reader’s Digest magazine he was reading. “We could be sitting outside in the hot sun instead of this air-conditioned building.”
“They have a point, love.” Patrick reached over and patted Hugh’s hand. He laughed when all he got in return was a grunt. Turning slightly, he looked around the huge room. “It’s starting to fill up in here.”
Hugh glanced over his shoulder and sat up straighter when he recognized a couple of familiar faces in the crowd. “Here comes Kyler’s family.”
Several more minutes of seat shuffling and everyone was settled.
“Chad and Cameron should be here shortly,” Kipper informed the earlier arrivals. “He’s parking his car. The parking lot is woefully inadequate for something like this. But it wouldn’t pay to enlarge the space for only a couple of events a year.”
Just as the large auditorium filled to capacity, there were signs to indicate the start of the ceremony. A group of professors, guest speakers and other dignitaries walked out on the stage and sat down. Minutes later, piped in music announced the entrance of the graduating class and everyone got to their feet.
Students marched down the aisles on each side of the room, their young faces alive with excitement and pride at their accomplishments. Most were searching out family members and smiling or giving small waves when they found them.
The speeches seemed endless, but eventually the presentation of diplomas was underway. First to be called up were those graduating with honours. Kyler’s family were stunned to see their young man among this group as he had never once mentioned his outstanding achievement to any of them.
“Well, well, well,” Hugh whispered to Patrick. “Did you know about this?”
“Not at all.” Patrick smiled proudly, hoping to catch Kyler’s eyes. “No wonder he was so excitable. Keeping a secret like that.”
“So are we glad we got him what we got him now?” Hugh asked, with a quick wink at his partner beside him.
“Hell, yes!” Patrick breathed deeply, as his fingers went out and surreptitiously touched Hugh’s hand. He looked around quickly and said, “Everyone seems pretty pleased.”
Clarissa wiped tears from her eyes and leaned closer to the man beside her who was quietly congratulating her. Kipper and Chad high-fived each other while Cameron looked on, smiling. The two older men both had grins a mile wide. Even Bette and Doug were beaming with pride.
At last the afternoon was drawing to a close and people were slowly making their way outside to wait for their individual grads to join them. It was in the shade of a large oak that Kyler found his group of family and friends.
Patrick opened his arms wide and Kyler crashed into him. “Congratulations, kiddo!” Patrick leaned close and whispered. “I wish I could kiss you!”
“Go ahead, man, I don’t mind.” It was easy to see that the young man was flying high with pent-up adrenalin. Almost three hours cooped up in an auditorium had just about driven him insane.
“Come here Brat,” Hugh called, and pulled Kyler into a hug as well. “We are very proud of you!”
“Were you surprised? It was so hard to keep it a secret. I came close to letting the cat out of the bag a couple of times.”
“Humph, shocked was more like it! But you did good, my little rapscallion.” Kipper quietly spoke around the lump in his throat as he stepped up to embrace his nephew. A moment or two later, he moved out of the way to give Gaetane a chance to offer his congratulations.
Clarissa managed to squeeze into the small crowd and hugged her son. “I’m so proud, baby, I could bust.” Kyler felt a hand patting him on the back and looked over his shoulder to see his mother’s boyfriend, Jeremy, standing there.
Next Bette and Doug had their turn, with Chad and Cameron being the last to get in on the act.
It proved a chore indeed to settle Kyler enough to get individual and group pictures of him in his cap and gown. It was almost impossible to keep him in one place for any length of time as the young man kept bouncing with barely contained excitement.
Patrick and Hugh had earlier issued invitations to Kyler’s guests to return to their home for a celebration party, and once the photo session was over Patrick announced, “Hey everyone, there's a bar-b-que back at our place."
They all spread out in different directions according to who was driving with whom and where the vehicles were parked.
Kyler followed his Tops and Patrick’s parents to Hugh’s truck, commenting for the umpteenth time, “I don’t know why we didn’t just go to the lounge for this. It’s so much easier and we wouldn’t have to clean up and all ...”
Patrick tousled Kyler’s hair. “Chill man! We’ve got it covered – and you won’t have to lift a finger. Trust us!”
Unknown to Kyler, the two older men had prepared the food last evening when he’d been at the commencement rehearsal. Minced steak had been shaped into patties for hamburgers and added to the platter in the fridge containing the sausages. Salads and veggie trays had been picked up at the delicatessen; rolls and condiments purchased; there were beverages chilling in the refrigerator and bags of ice in the freezer. There was even a large DQ ice cream cake waiting to be cut into.
The hour and a half drive home was difficult. Kyler was so fidgety, Patrick had him change places with him. Having the younger man in the front seat was a lot easier on Bette and Doug.
Hugh left the truck on the side of the road since they would need to run Doug and Bette home later.
“Home guys,” Hugh said, switching off the engine. “Kyler, you may help Mom up the porch steps please.”
“Sure. Just grab hold of my arm, Mom. I won’t let you fall or anything.”
“Come on Dad, watch your step.” Patrick took his father’s arm and the small group headed up the driveway.
“Why don’t you get some drinks for everyone, while Patrick and I get the BBQ going?” Hugh suggested. “We’ll have the hoard ascending on us soon enough and I’ll bet everyone’s hungry!”
“The ‘hoard’?” Kyler laughed. “There are only six more guests coming, Hugh. Just how many constitutes a ‘hoard’ anyway?” He went to the kitchen to fill his partner’s request.
Hugh and Patrick worked quickly, having planned the details the night before. Bette and Doug helped carry the trays of food out to the table in the backyard, together with the plates and glasses and cutlery, while Kyler appointed himself in charge of the bar. Drinks were being passed around as the first car arrived, honking loudly.
“Must be Cameron,” Patrick grimaced.
“Maybe not,” Kyler piped up. “He hasn’t got his driving privileges back yet. Of course he might have been fast enough to get to the horn before Chad could stop him.”
Hugh began putting the meat on the grill as their guests trooped in. Kyler was surprised to see many of them carrying gaily-wrapped gifts.
“Do we have time for our new grad to open his presents before we eat?” Kipper inquired and received several enthusiastic shouts agreeing to the plan. “Sit right here, Kyler my boy, so everyone can see what is in these parcels.”
At his Mother’s insistence, Kyler opened hers first to discover a Kodak digital camera with all the latest accessories. He hugged his mom tightly and kissed her to convey his thanks. Next, he tore into the package placed in his hands by Bette from her and Doug. It contained a Bulova stainless steel and gold-plated watch which was beautifully engraved with his name, the date and the occasion. Kyler blushed and shyly thanked both of them.
“Open ours, Kyler!” Cameron demanded impatiently when Kyler began reading the information that came with the watch.
“Hold your horses, man. I’m getting to it.” Kyler laughed at his friend and graciously accepted the gift thrust at him. “Wow, is this going to come in handy!” he declared as he turned over the QuickBooks Accounting system for his computer. “Here’s hoping that old computer of mine will let me download it; I may not have enough room left on my hard-drive.”
“This might take care of that problem.” Kipper hinted as he handed his nephew a rather large parcel with a big bow on the top of it. “It is from Gaetane and me.”
Inside the cardboard box was a travelling case and a brand-new laptop. It left Kyler grinning from ear to ear and almost speechless. “Whoa, I don’t know what to say. This is perfect for my business and there will be room for any number of programs. Thanks so much, Uncle Kipper. You too, Gaetane.”
Hugh was manning the BBQ stove and splitting his attention between the sizzling meat and the noisy group from afar, but Patrick had been hovering nearby while the presents were being handed out. Patrick caught Kyler’s eyes as the last of the gifts were presented, and as Chad began gathering up all the ripped wrapping paper and stuffing it into a garbage bag, he put a hand on Kyler’s shoulder, leaned down and said softly so that only Kyler could hear. “We’ll give you ours after everyone has left.”
“After all you’ve done for me, there’s still more?” Kyler asked just as softly, eyes merrily sparkling.
Hugh nodded at Kyler and one corner of his mouth lifted into a lop-sided smile. Looking around, he raised his voice and invited. “Come get it, guys!”
As everyone started to gravitate towards Hugh and the BBQ, Kyler leaned into Patrick and whispered, “I’d really like to see it now. I don’t think I can stand the suspense.”
“You’ll just have to wait, babe,” Patrick said, putting a plate into Kyler’s hand. “Go get your meat from Hugh, eat something. You’ve been powered by adrenalin and hardly anything else the whole day. I want you to have something in your stomach!”
Kyler obeyed even though he wasn’t at all hungry.
Hugh smiled at his young partner as he came up. “I saved a nice piece for you,” he said as he flipped a pattie skilfully onto Kyler’s plate. “Put some salad on that plate please.”
“Can’t you tell me what you got me, Hugh?” Kyler hoped begging might work.
“And what did Patrick say?”
“He said we had to wait until everyone went home,” Kyler reluctantly mumbled.
“That’s what we’ll do then!” Hugh said gently. He laughed at the disappointed face and called across the yard. “Patrick, come get yours, honey!”
The party was winding down as dusk silently settled. The fire was put out and everyone helped to clear up while Kyler was despatched to make coffee for those who wanted one.
“No clearing up and washing for you, remember?” Patrick reminded him teasingly.
“Hey, works for me,” the younger man responded with a happy chuckle.
Kyler’s family left a short while later and Patrick took Hugh’s truck to drive his parents home as they too were looking tired. The only guests remaining were the younger and more energetic Chad and Cameron.
It didn’t take Patrick long to make the run, and when he returned, he found Hugh and Chad sitting together on the back porch, catching up and talking quietly. Patrick got himself a beer, snapped the top off and came to sit down with the two Tops. He had been careful not to drink too much earlier but now he could relax.
Cameron had parked himself on the porch steps, close enough to his partner, but not so close that he needed to be paying any attention to the conversation. Instead he watched Kyler as Kyler meandered slowly around the large fenced in yard.
The adrenalin high Kyler had been on most the day had come to a crashing end. All of a sudden, he felt deflated and ill at ease over thoughts of how his life would be changing now that school was over. It made him feel unsure of himself. Would Hugh and Patrick still maintain the boundaries the three of them had set up last fall? Would they still be there to help him make decisions and more importantly, carry them through?
He walked down to the far end of the garden, sat down on the small bench nestled under the lilac trees and inhaled deeply. He loved the fragrance of these beautiful flowers. He leaned back, closed his eyes and tried to relax.
His somewhat peaceful repose was disturbed when someone sat down beside him. He opened his eyes to see Cameron grinning at him.
“Chad suggested I keep you company. Guess he figured I was getting bored. He was right. Once I realised the three of them were not discussing the two of us, my mind started wandering and I began fidgeting. I was probably driving them all nuts.” Cameron smirked and Kyler responded with a fleeting smile. “How are you doing?” Cameron asked. He was a little concerned with his friend’s lack of response.
“Okay, I guess; tired mostly.” Kyler pretended to check out his companion. He was unable to stop himself from teasing the other man. “Hmmm, you look different. I can’t quite put my finger on it but ... wait a minute; the invisible rope you’ve been wearing lately that kept you tied to Chad is missing. What’s up?” He laughed at the chagrined expression on Cameron’s face.
Cameron shrugged. “After last Friday night’s disappearance act, Chad put me on a short leash…..very, very short, if you get my drift. He may be lightening up now, and about time too. He’s been a tyrant this past week.”
Cameron sat back and with a jolt realized he didn’t really mean that; he was just putting up a front for Kyler. The truth was he had actually come to enjoy some of the aspects involved with such close supervision. Chad was letting go a bit, for which he had been thankful. But was it what he really wanted, to be cut loose?
“Yeah, right, a tyrant, but a fair one, huh?” Kyler’s voice cut into Cameron’s thoughts.
“I remember my teen years ...” Kyler continued happily enough and then suddenly frowned when he found himself experiencing an emotion he had never felt before. Jealousy. That green-eyed monster was rearing its’ ugly head for the very first time. His own Tops had never really put him on a leash before, not the kind Cameron talked about. Sure they curtailed his activities when he was doing too much, they grounded him when he had disobeyed, and they spanked him when he gave them reason to, but they had never tied him to their sides. He squirmed uncomfortably; did he want to experience that as well?
Both young men remained silent for a while – each engrossed in his own thoughts. Tops came in all shapes and forms, some were stricter, some less so. Kyler felt his Tops hadn’t really taken him to task over taking Cameron to the class party, while Chad on the other hand had apparently treated the situation rather firmly. Was that fair? Kyler felt he hadn’t actually been made to answer for that error in judgement. But then who in his right mind would ask to be more severely punished?
“I should never have taken you to that party! I could have gotten into some major shit over that!” Kyler angrily blurted out. The key words were ‘could have’, not ‘did’. The niggling thought that had laid mostly dormant at the back of his mind for over a week, decided to surface. Was Hugh getting soft? Were his Tops backing off?
“Well I shouldn’t have bothered going; it was a lousy party anyway!” Cameron retorted, his own anger rising unreasonably to the occasion.
“I only took you ‘cause you were practically begging me,” Kyler heatedly pointed out, taking his feelings of insecurity out on his friend.
“I wouldn’t have even asked if you hadn’t come into the lounge bragging about it!”
Negative feelings fuelled the fires as the two young men got in each other’s faces and spit out exaggerated accusations at one another.
“I only went there to deliver some invitations. I never mentioned the party until you nosily asked what I was doing that evening,” Kyler furiously reminded Cameron, jabbing him in the chest with his finger.
“Well that’s not how I see it, you jerk!” Cameron roughly pushed Kyler’s hand away.
“You are so full of shit, Cameron; your blue eyes are turning brown!”
Suddenly the two young men were on the ground, hissing at and grabbling with each other. Short jabs were traded, but none caused any damage.
When they had started arguing, their Tops had glanced in their direction but the minute it got physical, the three Tops rushed over and were quickly putting an end to the wrestling match.
Chad pulled his Brat to his side, keeping him pinned. “I don’t know what brought this on, but I think it would best be discussed in the privacy of our own home.” He wrapped a large hand around the back of Cameron’s neck.
Hugh stood Kyler up and kept a hand on his arm. His eyes searched the younger man’s face. “What was that about?”
Kyler gave his oldest partner a dazed look, seemingly surprised by what had just happened.
“Are you hurt, Cameron?” Patrick asked, checking him over with a practised eye while running a hand over Kyler.
“I’m okay,” Cameron mumbled, thoroughly embarrassed by the attention.
“They’re both fine,” Patrick nodded at the two rumpled young men. “No broken bones ... yet!” he stated with a hint of his usual cheerful humour.
Chad began manoeuvring his partner towards the driveway where the Ranger was parked. “Sorry about this. It was a great party but I should get this brat here home and give you guys some privacy.”
Chad’s suggestion met with nods of agreement from Hugh and Patrick. “Good night,” Hugh said, as he slipped an arm around Kyler’s waist. He arms tightened reassuringly, and once Chad and Cameron had got into their car, he turned to Kyler and faced him. “You sure you’re ok?”
“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine.” Kyler was still having trouble getting his mind around the festivities’ rapid decline.
“Let’s take this inside then,” Hugh said, leading the way into the house, one hand capturing Kyler’s in his large paw.
Patrick brought up the rear, shaking his head slightly. Being an even-tempered man, he couldn’t imagine why the Brats would want to end a perfectly lovely evening by engaging in a fight. Well, he sighed to himself, another thing to learn about Brats. They were just unpredictable. Patrick remained standing and silent as Hugh pointed to the sofa and addressed Kyler. “Take a seat.”
Kyler stepped out of his sneakers and walked over to drop down onto the couch. He pulled up his legs and rested his head on his knees.
“Start from the beginning. Tell us what happened.” Hugh ordered. He remained standing.
Kyler glanced up and swallowed. He searched his mind for an explanation and ended up more confused than ever. “I-I don’t know what happened, exactly. I was sitting on the bench, Cameron came over, we started talking; next minute we were on the ground.”
“I find that hard to believe,” Hugh said evenly. “Take your time and think it through. What were you thinking or feeling to make you want to start a fight with your friend?”
He sighed when his Tops just waited patiently for him to continue. He wished they’d sit down and stop hovering over him. It wasn’t helping him think any clearer.
“I didn’t set out to start a fight. We, umm, Cameron and I that is, kind of had different points of view where last week’s grad party was concerned. I guess instead of agreeing to disagree and move on, we just started fighting.”
Kyler squirmed with indecision. One part of him wanted to open up and spill his guts, but the other part was embarrassed about appearing so needy. He settled for a bit of prevarication. “Chad has had Cameron on a short-leash for a week now, you know; a very short leash. ‘Cause he broke his grounding, remember?”
Hugh and Patrick stared at him, obviously still waiting.
“And ... that made you angry?” Hugh asked, very gently.
“I don’t know why, but it made me feel ... not angry, but kinda envious and that’s dumb.” Kyler’s eyes dropped, a light pink tinged his cheeks.
“It’s not dumb. Go on, honey,” Hugh said, sitting down on the coffee table in front of Kyler and taking his hands.
After a slight pause, Kyler continued. “I mean, I was thinking why would anyone want to be on a short leash, unless he is insane, but ... do you think it would be something um ... like would that ever work for us? I can’t see it. But it did make me realize that you guys didn’t really call me on being party to another Brat doing something he knew was wrong.” Kyler glanced, looking quite lost and confused. He couldn’t read his partners’ expressions and decided to press on before he totally lost his nerve. “I was wondering if you were turning soft on me.”
Patrick raised his eyebrows, but since he was standing on the side, Kyler missed his surprised look. Hugh on the other hand looked perfectly calm and his eyes were warm and understanding. He leaned his forehead down and laid it against Kyler’s. “Never,” he said very firmly. “Our rules remain the same, regardless of how old you are, what job you are doing, or where you are in your life. We agreed this is how we want to live, so this is the way for us, all three of us.”
“So how come you didn’t do anything about me taking Cameron out even though I knew he wasn’t supposed to?”
“Who decides on the level of discipline?” Hugh asked, rather sternly.
“You do, and Patrick.”
“Yes, it’s the Tops who decide. Sometimes however ...,” Hugh paused, thinking for a moment, “sometimes it is possible the Brat feels he has not been properly chastised, and that would lead to a sense of insecurity. Which is apparently the case here.”
“Cause last Friday you just seemed to let it go as if it didn’t really matter." Kyler felt the need to remind them.
“I swatted you, but we didn’t punish you further for taking Cameron to the party because we understood your predicament. It was a first time error, and you owned up to it immediately. That was all I required.” Hugh continued holding Kyler’s hand, but he glanced at Patrick.
Patrick moved forward and sat down next to Hugh. He reached out and brushed a lock of hair off Kyler’s forehead. “I don’t think either of us would have let you off the hook if you had been defensive or argumentative. But you were not. You admitted your mistake right away, and as Hugh said, it was new ground for all of us. I agree you were suitably punished for that ...” Patrick left the sentence hanging.
“Okay, I get it,” Kyler murmured, relaxing back against the sofa. “So it’s over and done with, right?”
Hugh nodded. “But this is different. We have discussed behaviour and we have strict rules on that. No fighting. Whatever the circumstances.”
Kyler bit his lip and reluctantly nodded his head as he looked down at the carpet. “I know. I’m sorry and I’ll apologize to Chad and Cameron tomorrow.”
Patrick turned and gave a quick nod at Hugh. The message was clear. Hugh got up and took the place next to Kyler. Reaching for his young partner, he pulled the unsuspecting young man over his lap.
“What are you doing?” Kyler cried out, unprepared for the sudden change in positions and the horrified realization that he was about to be punished right there in the living room.
“I know we usually go to the punishment room, but we’ll take care of this here this time,” Hugh answered shortly. No other words were needed. He reached down to unbuckle Kyler’s belt, loosened his pants and swiftly drew both pants and underwear down, baring the creaming cheeks. “Ready?”
“Nooo….yes…I guess,” Kyler whimpered.
The Tops watched, not without sympathy, the buttocks clench as Hugh shifted his position, letting Kyler settle more comfortably over the sofa. This was always the tensest part, waiting for the spanking to begin - the positioning, the adjusting, little gasps for air and the overall awful anticipation.
“You are being spanked for fighting, Kyler.” Hugh said matter-of-factly, raised his hand and accompanied his words with a hard smack on each cheek. The creamy flesh immediately turned pink.
Kyler grunted at the sharpness of the swats on his bare bottom, squeezed his eyes shut and tightened his hold on the pillow he had grabbed moments ago.
Patrick had stood up and moved back, and watched with clenched teeth as Hugh methodically spanked. Fighting was a serious offence in their books, so Patrick knew this had to be done. He was also intuitive enough to know that this was one spanking where they had to make it count. By no means must Kyler feel that they were letting him off the hook, or going soft on him. It was just that for some strange reason, it was always easier to be the one administering the spanking than the one witnessing it.
Kyler’s throat tightened as he struggled not to cry. Hugh’s hand was firm and heavy, and his swats powerful. Each smack resounded loudly in the room, leaving a clear imprint on the firm upturned bottom. The sting on both cheeks quickly became more unbearable as the swats increased in both speed and intensity. Kyler’s body remained rigid for as long as he could manage but he lost the battle to stay stoic when the painful spanks began to land on the under curve of his butt. He jerked and tried to scramble off, and finally gave into his tears and lay limp over his chastiser’s knees.
Hugh’s hand was aching and he could feel the heat in the quivering flesh as his palm landed again and again on Kyler’s bottom. No way would Kyler think he had not been sufficiently chastised.
“Am I making it clear enough what we feel about fighting, Kyler?” Hugh asked, his hand stilled for a moment.
“Yes, yes!” Kyler wailed. At this point he was unable to articulate further and only wanted the punishment to end.
“Good!” This spanking was not compensation for the earlier transgression, and Hugh wanted to be sure Kyler understood that. He looked up at Patrick, saw Patrick nod, and ended the spanking with two last smart smacks on the already crimson bottom.
“Okay Kyler, its ok now, baby, I’m done ...” Hugh said soothingly as he held Kyler close.
“I-I really am sorry for fighting,” Kyler hitched as he nestled against the older man’s chest. “And I’m sorry for being so needy at times. I know I should have a better grip on things, but sometimes I can’t help how I feel.”
Hugh pulled away to peer at Kyler’s face. “What’s this?” he asked with some surprise. “You have no reason to be sorry. However you feel is how you feel and you need not apologize for it – ever! There’s no shame to being honest, especially with us!”
“Come here baby!” Patrick sat down on the sofa as well. He wanted to hold Kyler badly enough not to wait for Hugh to finish comforting their young Brat. “Hugh is absolutely right. We know this is a difficult period, finishing school, about to embark on your career ... becoming a man and all that. We’re here for you and we want to take care of you, and for us to do that, we need to know how you feel. So no holding back, okay?”
Kyler easily made the transition to his second comforter, wrapped his arms around Patrick’s neck and lethargically nodded his concurrence. He kicked his trousers the rest of the way off his legs and let them fall to the floor. Then he shifted just enough to get his boxers pulled up. His whimpers and hitches gradually diminished as he settled into that peaceful realm that always followed a sound spanking, and started to doze off.
Patrick shook Kyler gently. “Hey babe, before you fall asleep, there is just one more thing we need to talk to you about ...” Patrick’s eyes crinkled at the sides as his face lit up with a smile.
Kyler groaned a little impatiently, opened his eyes and looked up at his partner. The last thing he felt like doing at the moment was to take part in a conversation. But the sparkle in Patrick’s eyes caught his attention, so Kyler returned the smile.
“What do you guys have on your minds now?” he inquired with a grin, pushing himself into a more upright position.
“Come on, it’s easier if we show you.” Hugh held out a hand and pulled Kyler off Patrick’s lap. “Leave those,” Hugh said, indicating Kyler’s jeans.
Kyler had no trouble following that directive as pulling heavy pants over his sore bottom was the last thing he wanted to do. He complacently went along with being towed down the hall, through the kitchen and out of the house. The Tops lead the way to the back and into the darkened garage.
Patrick quickly came up behind Kyler and put both his hands over Kyler’s eyes. “Close your eyes,” he said, chuckling. “I won’t let you fall. Just follow me ... slowly, that’s it ...”
Kyler raised his arms and placed his hands on top of Patrick’s, totally blocking out everything that might come into view. He had complete trust in the older man not letting anything happen to him. However, his curiosity was getting the better of him and his excitement increased as he shuffled forward.
Patrick positioned Kyler carefully, still keeping his hands firmly over Kyler’s eyes. “Patience darling! Stand right here ... don’t move. Hugh, you want to get the lights?”
“Yep,” Hugh grinned, wondering which of his two partners was enjoying this more. “Ready!”
Patrick removed his hands and stood back, holding his breath in anticipation. “Well ...?” he said impatiently, waiting for a reaction.
Hugh threw an arm around Kyler’s shoulder and said softly, “Happy Graduation, darling!”
Kyler just stood there gazing in disbelief at the vehicle in front of him. He closed his eyes and then opened them again, fully expecting the beautiful car to disappear as a mirage. It was still there; a brand new Chevy Cobalt. He glanced at both of his partners and then back at the car. Stepping closer, he gently ran his fingers light over the smooth surface. He was in a state of total awe.
“Is it mine?” he whispered, still unable to belief this was more than just a dream.
“Yes, it is registered under your name but don’t get too excited yet,” Patrick cautioned.
“Are you kidding? I can’t help being excited!” Kyler declared. He was practically bouncing as he strolled around the car to view it from all sides.
“Well, Hugh and I put in a good down payment for the car, but it’s not fully paid off yet.” Patrick explained.
“We figured with your business starting up, you should be able to finish off the hire-purchase in a couple of years,” Hugh said, satisfied with their final decision. He and Patrick had discussed at length about their gift. They could have opted for a smaller and less expensive car but at the end they decided having Kyler pay off part of the cost would make the gesture more meaningful. This was, after all, Kyler’s first step towards responsibility.
The young man came to a halt in front of them. “Sure, I’ll take over the payments. It will sure be a lot cheaper that trying to keep my older car on the road; it’s definitely seen better days and has a lot of mileage on it.” Kyler paused to glance at the car again, before turning back to his partners. “So, it’s really mine, huh?”
The wide grins on Hugh and Patrick’s faces confirmed his hopes. The gorgeous deep, metallic blue car was his.
“Do you like it?” Patrick asked somewhat unnecessarily.
Kyler’s face split into a huge grin that challenged those of the two older men as he turned to throw himself into their arms. “I'll say! It’s awesome!”
“Whoa ...” Hugh laughed, staggering a little backwards against Patrick.
“Thank you! I love you guys! I’ll take good care of it, promise. You won’t ever regret giving it to me, honest.” Kyler was babbling but couldn’t help himself. He looked back at the car longingly. “I know it’s getting late, but can we go for a bit of a spin? You know, just to see what she can do.” Even the soreness in his backside wasn’t a deterrent to sitting in the driver’s seat of this magnificent gift.
Kyler beamed when he was handed the keys.