Tyler sighed when he tugged his boxers over his ass. The cotton felt like sandpaper against his stinging flesh. It was heavenly.
The lingering pain wasn’t exactly unexpected; he’d been spanked before, after all, and he’d had mornings such as this one, with beautiful memories sparking back to life with every twinge of pain. However, Jeremy, the only Dom Tyler had known until the previous night, had never pushed him as far as Alan had.
Tyler had come close to voicing his safeword—both from too much pain and too much pleasure. He was glad he hadn’t, and could only hope he would feel the effects of the night as long as possible.
“Why are you up so early, pet?”
The question, offered in a mildly chastising voice, startled Tyler. His mind had been drifting on images and sensations and he had not noticed Alan standing outside the guest bathroom until he spoke. Although he didn’t wear a stitch of clothing, Alan looked every bit as much in control as he had hours earlier.
“It’s not that early,” Tyler replied with a half-smile, now picking up his pants from the floor and trying not to stare at Alan’s gorgeous body.
He wasn’t as muscled as some fighters in Tyler’s battalion who had a fondness for the gym, steroids or both, but a feeling of strength emanated from him, a confidence that spoke not only of physical endurance but also of mental peace. Those overly muscular fighters pumped up because they were afraid of losing their lives to demons; Alan didn’t need to say a word to express quite clearly that he wasn’t afraid of anything or anyone.
Tyler found that more attractive than anything, though it didn’t hurt that Alan had striking features, highlighted by a light stubble, a lean body that moved with that predatory grace all vampires seemed to possess, and piercing eyes that, at that moment, considered Tyler with an odd coolness.
Alan raised his closed fist and extended one finger. “You contradict me.” A second finger. “You fail to answer a direct question.” A third. “You prepare to leave without having asked and much less received permission to do so.”
Tyler’s smile wavered. Was Alan teasing him?
He knew the answer to that question at once. Granted, he hadn’t known Alan very long, but that stern tone of voice and expectant glint in his eyes were no games.
Dropping the pants to the floor, Tyler gave the only appropriate answer he could think of at that moment: he folded himself down to his knees, instinctively crossing his wrists behind him.
He faltered, wondering if he could speak or if he was only failing Alan a little more.
“Go ahead,” Alan said, finally lowering his hand. “You what?”
“I didn’t know I had to ask permission to leave.”
It wasn’t a valid excuse; Alan’s arching eyebrow said as much without him needing to say a word. Tyler continued hurriedly.
“I mean, before, when I played with Jeremy, he didn’t ask… I didn’t need…”
With every word that passed his lips, the feeling that Tyler was only making things worse for himself only grew heavier in the pit of his stomach. Falling silent, he lowered his gaze and stared at a chipped tile in front of Alan’s right foot.
“I thought I’d made it clear,” Alan said in a slow voice, “that I expect more from my pets than Jeremy does.”
As far as Tyler was concerned, that was a deep understatement. He’d never played a BDSM scene before meeting Jeremy, and he had been thrilled to finally find what he had craved all his life without quite knowing where to look for it. But last night, Alan had shown him an entirely different level of domination, both mentally and physically.
Tyler thought he’d still enjoy playing with Jeremy. He enjoyed simply being with him, and it didn’t matter what they did, they always had a good time together, whether they were sharing a beer and trading war stories in a pub or whether Tyler was on his knees in a dungeon-like backroom and waiting for Jeremy to decide how he wanted to play with him today.
The next time Tyler truly needed, though, the next time that old itch started, so deep under his skin he could do nothing to scratch it by himself, he’d want more. He’d want Alan’s hand, Alan’s touch. His rules, too, as harsh as they may be.
“Where were you going, running off without so much as a goodbye?”
Was the disappointment in Alan’s voice fading, or was it only wishful thinking on Tyler’s part?
“I have to report to my battalion, Sir.” Tyler wanted to look up and try to see on Alan’s face what he was thinking, but he had been taught otherwise and kept his eyes on the floor. “I didn’t check in last night. They must be wondering if I’m dead or what.”
Tyler suspected Elton, his head of battalion, would yell at him until he was blue in the face for not reporting on time, but that idea somehow didn’t bother him anywhere as much as the thought that he had disappointed Alan.
Alan stepped closer. His fingers combing through Tyler’s hair and tugging lightly were the signal Tyler had been waiting for. He raised his head, looking up, past Alan’s heavy, half-hard cock and to his face. His expression revealed nothing.
“Ask,” Alan said. “If you want to leave, all you need to do is ask for permission.”
Could it really be that easy? Somehow, Tyler was a little uncomfortable that Alan might let him go so quickly after chastising him.
“May I go back to my battalion, Sir?”
The previous night, Alan’s eyes had been gleaming with golden flames the entire time, and Tyler would have been hard pressed to say what color they were. Now, he could see they were hazel, with a circle of light brown around the pupil melding into green. They considered Tyler with a thoughtful but gentle look.
“You may,” he said. He paused then added on a matter of fact tone, “As soon as we’ve settled a few things, of course. Come with me.”
He turned on his heel and stepped into the guest bedroom. Tyler didn’t allow himself to hesitate and knee-walked after him, his heart suddenly thundering. Settle a few things? What did that mean?
Alan waited for him standing at the foot of the bed. As Tyler came closer, his ass twinged with every small movement, reminding him of what it had felt like to lay across Alan’s lap, to feel his hand strike down, regular as a heartbeat, strong and yet intimate. Tyler’s cock started pulsing with blood and need, tenting his boxers. Alan could hardly have missed it, but he didn’t comment on it and merely said, “On your feet. Bend over with your hands on the bed.”
Tyler was standing before Alan even finished speaking. The position was different, but the expectation to be thoroughly obeyed sounded the same in Alan’s voice and soothed the beginning of nerves tightening like a knot at the base of Tyler’s spine. He set his hands flat on the bed rather than fist the sheets as would have been his inclination.
“Like that, yes,” Alan said.
His hand stroked the small of Tyler’s back before tugging the boxers down his ass. The fabric still felt deliciously rough, but Tyler didn’t move, nor did he make a sound.
“Getting dressed without my say-so is also a punishable offense,” Alan said almost off-handedly. “So if we add it all up… What do you think, pet? How many strikes would make up for your failings this morning?”
Tyler suddenly felt tongue-tied. He had to give Alan an answer; that much was clear to him. Failure to do so would only earn him more punishment, but also more disappointment from Alan.
The punishment, Tyler would gladly take. He still hurt, true, but it would only be another layer of pain, and the mere thought of Alan’s hand on him, striking where he was still so tender, caused anticipation to pulse through his cock like phantom pleasure. Disappointing Alan, however, felt wrong after he had taken such good care of Tyler’s needs.
He tried to think of a number, high enough that Alan would consider it sufficient, but not so high that Tyler would be unable to perform his duties for the rest of the day.
“Sir, I…” He grimaced at his own hesitation, knowing Alan wouldn’t like it. “My punishment is entirely up to you, Sir,” he started again right away. “But I think maybe ten would be an appropriate number.”
It was a struggle not to end that sentence like a question. Alan had asked for a number; all Tyler had to do was give him one. Whether Alan liked the number or not, it was out of Tyler’s hands.
“Ten,” Alan mused aloud. “That seems a bit high considering how red your ass still is, but if you feel your offense was that deep I’ll be happy to oblige. Quiet, now. We don’t want to wake Jeremy.”
Tyler blinked twice very fast. Jeremy. How could Tyler have forgotten about him? Alan seemed to fill any room he walked in, sure, but Jeremy was the reason why Tyler had first come to this apartment. Was he really still asleep? What would he think of this—of not being included, the way he had been last night? Would he be—
The first strike of Alan’s hand felt like white-hot iron branding Tyler’s ass. It took all of his self-control not to cry out.
“Now of course,” Alan said on the same idle tone, “if you’re not paying attention, ten might end up being too low a number. Are you paying attention, pet?”
The second blow was just as strong, just as fast, just as shattering. A tiny whimper escaped Tyler’s throat.
“Yes, Sir,” he said, already panting when Alan had just started. It felt as though they were only continuing the scene from the previous night, and Tyler had been so close from breaking, then…
At the fifth strike, his eyes closed tight. At the sixth, his fingers started clawing the sheets. The seventh was the hardest yet; pain radiated from his ass like flames licking the whole of his body. He had to keep his knees locked or he would have collapsed.
“You’re doing very well, pet,” Alan said in a softer voice. His hand, the same hand that had been spanking Tyler, now stroked his back in long swipes from just above his ass all the way to the nape of his neck. “Just three left. Are you ready? Nod your head when you are.”
Tyler took a few deep breaths. When he opened his eyes, two tears fell down to the sheet under him. Oh, how much he hated those tears… How could he keep his body locked into position when he knew pain was coming his way, how could he want that pain, crave it, and yet never hold back those tears?
He inhaled one last time, breathed out, then nodded. Alan’s hand, so large and strong, hit the middle of his ass, striking one, twice, three times very fast and igniting both cheeks at once. The last two hits were the hardest yet, and Tyler couldn’t stop a quiet moan from passing his lips.
“Very good,” Alan said again. “You made a little noise, but I can forgive that this time, seeing how you weren’t trained properly. That’s it. Keep breathing. Nice and slow, now.”
Only at Alan’s words did Tyler realized he was gulping air as though it were fresh water and he was parched. He tried to calm down, slowing his breaths with the long caresses to his back Alan was offering him again.
“I wish you could see how pretty you look,” Alan said with a hum. “So brightly red, it’s like a painting. Truly beautiful.”
Jeremy’s voice suddenly echoed through Tyler’s mind. “When your Master gives you a compliment, it’s only polite to thank him,” he had said last night.
“Thank you, Sir,” he said, and meant it for Alan’s words, the spanking, and these gentle touches.
“You’re welcome, pet. Stand up, now.”
Feeling a little lightheaded, Tyler did as he was told. Could he look at Alan or should he lower his gaze? He was too slow to decide and his eyes met Alan’s; when there was no rebuke, he didn’t drop them.
“Thirsty?” Alan asked.
Tyler started nodding, but he caught himself. Words. As much as he enjoyed the quiet peace in his own head, Doms required words when they asked a question. He forced the words through a dry throat and they came out croaking.
“Get dressed then come out. I’ll have water for you.”
This time, it was a little easier to answer. “Yes, Sir. Thank you.”
Alan’s hand rose, that same hand again that had punished Tyler then caressed him. Fingertips brushed under his left eye where tears were still clinging to his eyelashes.
“And wash your face,” Alan said before leaving the room.
Tyler watched him go so intently, his eyes drifting over the play of muscles in his back and ass, that he almost forgot to answer, only catching himself at the last second before Alan disappeared.
As he pulled his boxers up again, he could only wonder. Would he have earned himself another punishment if he had failed to reply? The feel of fabric brushing against his sore ass made that thought very attractive.
His pants were next, then his shirt, each movement slow and measured as twinges of bright, shiny pain burst through him. He washed his face in the bathroom, and the cold water pulled him out of his daze.
When he looked at himself in the mirror above the sink, he was almost surprised that nothing showed on his face. He felt different, felt as though something had changed over the course of the night and morning, though he couldn’t have explained how or why.
Finally ready, he walked out of the bedroom, his gaze immediately seeking Alan. The kitchen in this apartment felt like an afterthought; a tiny fridge, a microwave oven, a sink and a ridiculously small amount of counter space were crammed into the back corner of the main room. Alan stood there, now wrapped in a long, navy blue bathrobe, filling a glass of water at the sink. He turned as Tyler approached and handed him the water.
“I’d offer you something to eat, too, but I doubt you’d enjoy what we have in the fridge.”
The hint of a smile right at the very corner of his lips caused Tyler to smile back reflexively. He took the glass and ducked his head.
“That’s fine,” he said, silencing the interest his stomach had taken at the mention of food. “Thank you, Sir.”
He gulped down the water, aware that Alan’s eyes were detailing him and slightly self-conscious about it. Odd; he hadn’t felt so awkward standing or kneeling stark naked in front of him.
When he handed the empty glass back, Alan took it with a slight nod and set it in the sink without looking. Tyler was wondering if he ought to leave—after all, he had permission to do so, though he wished he could have said goodbye to Jeremy—when Alan asked, “Tell me, Tyler. Are you going to come back or was once enough for you?”
Had Alan called him by his name the previous night? Tyler couldn’t recall him doing so. What did it mean that he was doing it now? Was it because they weren’t actually playing? Because Tyler was about to leave? Because he had done what he had come for, taken Jeremy’s punishment as well as what he had earned for himself, and satisfied Alan’s requirements? Tyler had no idea. Jeremy always called him by his name.
The question, at least, was easy to answer.
“I… I’d like to return, Sir. If I may?”
He held his breath as he waited for Alan’s reply.
… continued in His Sire’s New Game