Sunday, August 10, 2014



*Story contains M/M relations involving D/s, and explicit sexual situations.*

There are a dozen ways to train a dog, Andy’s father used to say. But the best way, he'd continue, looking at the massive Doberman sitting proudly beside him, is patience and reward. Andy's dad never lifted a hand or raised his voice to his babies. He never had to.

As puppies, the dogs were introduced to the process. They lay beside him on his bed. They were stroked and coddled and tended. Each and every one was adored, and adored him right back. And when he had their love, their affection, he began to test their devotion. Bit by bit, game by game, Dad would push them just a little farther, a touch harder, and when they did what was required, Dad would lavish them with praise and attention. Jump higher, sit longer, get tougher – and the dog would obey. Because it wanted to please. Because it had to succeed. Because itneeded Dad's approval.

Pets? No. For the most part, pets ran no risk; weren’t subjected to the probability of pain. Dad’s dogs, however, didn’t start their days with the potential for pain, but with the expectation of it, if nothing more than aching muscles; let alone the disaster possibilities from Dad’s line of work.

Servants? Perhaps. There was a working hierarchy, most certainly. But Andy remembered the notations and passages he read in school about servants. Theft, plots, jealousy. No, Dad’s dogs could not be classified as servants.

They were definitely not slaves. Slavery, in Andy’s understanding, had notes of forced servitude. Dad’s dogs weren’t forced into anything.

Maybe there was no word, no adjective that could properly detail the relationship Dad shared with the dogs. After all, by the time Dad was done training, any one of them would have given their lives in his defence. But they also would have stood, backs straight, ears high, and bared their throats to Dad’s own blade if he asked them.

Andy had been diligently schooled in control, expectation, and in how not only to demand respect, but how to ask for it. His dad had taught him strength, reasonability, the skills to commandeer. Andy should have been the master of all masters, trained by the king himself.

He should have.

Andy twisted against the wall, almost a writhe, his hands attempting to drop to his stomach for what seemed to be the tenth time in two minutes; he was stopped by the restraints he somehow kept forgetting were there. And how, in God’s name, did one forget something that was placed by one’s own self? He rested his forehead against concrete block and forced himself to breathe, willfully insisting the butterflies back to sleep.

Andy would never forget the moment he met Tom. Some people’s memories might fade away, what time had it been, what they had been doing there in the first place... not Andy, though. He knew exactly when, how, and where.

He’d been standing at the counter at a coffee shop named Mr. Beans in Lexington. It had been twelve-fifteen, and the place had been packed. A school had let out, apparently seconds before Andy’s arrival, and the line had held more than its capacity of swooping-haired young men in wrinkled khakis and navy vests, and posturing young women in hiked up skirts and hairpins. The clerk, a surprisingly unfettered teenager, had just passed Andy his espresso, and Andy had turned to sweep his eyes over the available table surfaces when he was body-checked. The tiny china cup had met its shattering demise on hard tile. The shelving unit behind him had wobbled threateningly, tossing all manner of boxes and bedazzled gift ideas. The worst thing, however, even worse than the searing heat that splashed over Andy’s thumb and the web of his hand, was the look behind the steel-gray eyes that angrily caught his own.

“Jesus,” Andy had whispered, staring first at the feral expression, secondly at the spattered silk shirt, and finally, at what had once been highly polished, extremely stylish boots. Boots that were dripping with strong, black coffee. Andy’s eyes had flown back up. “Jesus, buddy! I’m so sorry!”

A thick brown eyebrow had been lifted, the face had softened into an accommodating smile, and Tom, (Andy would later learn) had surprised Andy by saying, “Why are you sorry? I bumped you, no? Shouldn’t you be the angry one, righteously insisting that I buy you a new coffee?”

“Uh...” And Andy’s tongue had faltered. “I don’t insist.”

“Never?” Tom had asked, amused. Out of the blue Tom had reached for Andy’s blistering hand and Andy had been struck into silence, resorting to the shaking of his head in confirmation. “Then perhaps I should insist on your behalf?” Andy remembered thinking that he had no idea why the man was holding his hand, until Tom had pulled it closer, turned it over and ran a rough thumb over the angry burn. “Least I can do,” Tom had said, and the tone in Tom’s voice had made Andy’s knees weak and his belly dip.

Andy shifted yet again, his calves and heels sore – the concrete underneath his bare feet unforgiving. Metal bit at his wrists. But it was only muscle ache; it was only steel, nothing unmanageable. Besides, he straightened his spine and locked his knees, if there was even the slightest chance that Tom was somewhere watching, Andy would not look weak.

Tom entranced Andy like no one else ever had. Tom didn’t just walk, he strode; he didn’t just talk, he wove every story like he was a shaman. Tom looked into Andy’s eyes when Andy spoke. He touched Andy’s hands and hair, brushed things off Andy’s shoulders, and rested his fingers on the small of Andy’s back when he leaned in to speak. Tom listened, even to stupid stuff. He returned grins with smiles and frowns with concern. Tom liked Andy. And for that, Andy was unabashedly grateful.

Tom became his friend. Then his confidant. It was well over six months later, however, before Tom became his lover. Sure, Andy had been interested – he’d even made a few plays for it whenever the opportunity had presented itself. It got to the point where Andy began to question his interpretation of Tom’s attentions. Tom would touch him, kiss him, stroke his hair and his forearms; Tom had even told him on more than one occasion that he was gorgeous. That was pretty well where everything ended, though. Andy couldn’t tell if Tom was trying to work him up, or if Tom was just outright playing him.

The first time they ever touched sexually was one of the best experiences Andy had ever had. Andy wasn’t even sure it could be classed as sex when he sat back and thought about it. Their cocks had barely made it out of fabric.

A movie had led to kissing which had led to touching which had, in turn, led to being granted the opportunity to work clothing open and free Tom’s body – a favour Tom had returned in a slow and delayed process that had the two of them gasping against each other's mouths and sighing explicit praises. “Not yet,” Tom had whispered dozens of times, reaching down to still Andy’s fist when Tom’s own need began to creep too close. “Wait. Not yet.”

Tom had played Andy’s cock like he knew it personally – taking Andy to soaring heights, delaying, repeating, until Andy’s resolve crumbled and body shook. So when Tom had finally murmured into Andy’s ear, “Now, Andy. I want to see you cum now,” Andy had cried out loud and shot so hard he thought he’d hurt something.

With a grin Tom had leaned over and kissed him. Dry lips and tight throat, heaving chest and trembling arm, his left fist gripping Tom’s shirt so tight it was a wonder it didn’t split the seam, and with his right hand wet and slick from Tom’s release – Andy had been panting so fast, he couldn’t even kiss Tom back. “Beautiful,” Tom had said, and Andy hadn’t been able to pull his eyes away. “That was fucking beautiful.”

Andy heard the slow shuffle of advancing feet and the clipped heels of another set alongside. It wasn’t Tom – he knew it unquestioningly – could pick out the sound of Tom’s steps from a mile away. Still, Andy drew his body tight and straight, flexed muscles, and set his shoulders. Andy had no clue if either person showed him the least bit of interest, as he kept his eyes lowered and his attentions to himself. Not that Andy cared; he had no desire to impress anyone but Tom. But looking good made Tom look good. And that... well, that Andy cared about a great deal – a whole fuck-ton of a deal.

“I-I want... I mean... Can I...” Andy’s tongue had skipped over the question. He’d swallowed hard – hard enough that the sound clicked in Andy’s throat and drew Tom’s eyes. When Tom reached up to slide his palm around Andy's neck, four fingers cupping behind, and dragged his thumb along the edge of Andy’s bouncing oesophagus, it was all Andy could do not to whine. They’d been lost in each other’s mouths and hands, lying together on the couch, another movie long forgotten in the foreground. For weeks they’d been learning each other’s bodies – hands, tongues, mouths – and it had been good, fan-fucking-tastic, actually. But Andy had been no virgin when he met Tom, and he wanted more.

“What do you need?” Tom had asked, still stroking Andy’s throat, watching Andy’s eyes. “Whatever you need, Andy – you know I’ll do it.”

The words should have come easier. Andy knew what he wanted; had no problem asking for it. But he tottered between raw desire and the feeling he was about to step into something far deeper than he understood. “I just... if you wanted... I mean, if you wanted to, then I would be okay with it.” Tom had remained silent, and it had taken Andy a good long minute to realise why Tom was still waiting – to understand that he’d failed to answer Tom’s question. “I want you to fuck me.”

They’d stared into each other’s eyes, and Andy would swear later that there was tangible emotion radiating from Tom’s chest directly into his own. “But do you needme to?” Tom had questioned, tightening his grip on Andy’s throat – a shift, nothing more. Just enough that Andy knew Tom was pressing instead of holding. “Do you? I mean, really deep down – do you need this?”

Andy had nodded, almost frightened by the intensity of the conversation and the strangeness of Tom’s grip.

“You’re sure?” Tom had questioned. “And answer very carefully, Andy. Because once I have you, once you’re mine, you will belong to me. And I will never let you go.” Tom’s words were firm, his fingers not blocking yet definitely impeding Andy’s breath, but his free hand had returned to palm the front of Andy’s pants: squeezing, teasing, stroking through cloth. Tom’s eyes burned with promise.

“Yes.” Andy had whispered, struggling to swallow against the pressure. “I need you.”

Andy had never seen clothing removed so effortlessly. He didn’t recall getting from couch to bedroom, or telling Tom where he kept the lube. He only remembered lying face down on the mattress with ass in the air, getting pounded like their lives depended on it. He remembered the way Tom’s fingernails had dug into his hips; how Tom’s sweat had felt when it dripped from Tom’s body onto his back. He remembered how his cock had jumped and strained when Tom fisted his hair and yanked him to all fours.

“Touch yourself,” Tom had said, and the breathlessness of Tom’s voice had made Andy tremble all the way to his core. “Touch yourself and call my name when you cum.”

Andy felt his body begin to stiffen at the memory, and he instantly, albeit silently, berated his cock for its audacious disobedience. He shifted his weight, trying to ease pressure, first one foot then the next, but in a matter so subtle only the most observant would have caught it. It was not done in an attempt to hide the movement – that would be foolish. No, Andy’s subtlety had nothing to do with deceit, and everything to do with pride.

“Do you trust me?” Tom had murmured into the back of Andy’s neck, his arms around Andy’s torso, his fingertips digging light lines up and down Andy’s chest and sides. They’d been kneeling on the bed, sweating, a moment of playful wrestling having morphed into something more erotic, with Andy in front and Tom behind.

“Of course,” Andy had answered without pause.

The ticklish drag of fingernails had become something deeper. Awakening skin began to blossom with pink streaks. A small gasp worked itself from between Andy’s lips, and Tom had brushed his mouth over Andy’s ear. “Do you like that?”

Andy had nodded. And then it was heat being dragged down Andy’s skin: fingertips crooked, nails deep, pinpricks of blood welling within crimson grooves. Andy had watched, head down, lips parted – fascinated. “How about that?” Tom had whispered, lips teasing seductively and tongue snaking out to taste.

Again Andy had nodded, his throat too tight to speak, his mind failing to form words. While Tom’s left hand continued the slow drag on reddening skin, his right hand stole up Andy’s body. Andy let out a startled gasp when the back of his hair was tugged. “I can’t hear you,” Tom growled.

“Yes,” Andy had hissed. “I-I do. I like it.” And he remembered surprising himself with the admission. Had been shocked, in fact, with the way his heart had been pounding and his cock had twitched at the simple pain of his hair being pulled – at his skin being scratched.

Tom hadn’t release Andy’s hair until he had pressed Andy’s head forward to the mattress. “Good,” he said, and Andy had felt Tom shift and lean away. Sheets and blankets shuffled, a drawer was slid, and something clinked in the silent room. Metal, as crisp and harmonic as church bells, was deposited on the bed beside Andy’s knee. Tom had reached forward, found and nudged both of Andy’s arms from where they gripped bed sheets to behind Andy’s back.

Tom held both of Andy’s wrists together, picked up whatever he had previously dropped, and, from shoulder to grip, trailed cold steel down Andy’s arm. Tom had paused right above his hold and stopped the instrument. “Still trust me?” Tom had asked.

Andy had closed his eyes. “Yes,” he’d confirmed. “With my life.”

A ‘click-shick’ had followed as Andy’s wrists were cuffed, first one, then the next, and Tom had released Andy’s arms. Warm hands trailed anticipatory skin, Tom’s soft hums of appraisal had complimented the drumbeat of Andy’s blood. “You look beautiful,” Tom told him.

Andy hadn't made a conscience effort to test the bracelets securing his wrists. His mind seemed to do that all on its own – some instinctual self-preservation impulse that insisted it had a need to know. Andy’s heart, his soul, could have cared less. He was with Tom. And Tom could be trusted.

“Hurt me?” Andy had asked.

“Okay,” Tom had said.

It wasn’t so much the strain on Andy’s arms that kept his mind sending the signals that they should drop down to his torso. He was getting used to the pressure of stretched muscles and the extension of joints. It was the cold. And once bare skin cooled, it just seemed to get worse. Like warmth was being leeched out through the goose-bumps, the chill hungrily sucking body heat as if the peaked skin bore thousands of tiny nipples. Cold metal at wrists and ankles, cold concrete under feet, and cold block to lean against – Andy shivered and closed his eyes.

Andy had never been a violent man. At best, he liked to stay in the background, at worst, he preferred to solve things peacefully and leave a bad situation with everyone pleased and hopefully making plans to meet again someday for drinks. Short of the occasional tug and toss in public school and one unfortunate incident with an irate driver when he’d stupidly raced a yellow light and clipped another car, Andy had not had many moments of outright hostility.

They’d been out most of the day, and while neither of them were exactly bar-types, they’d both been hungry, thirsty and tired. Nothing a plate of wings and a couple of pints wouldn’t fix. They’d specifically sought out a quiet table, away from the jersey-festooned throng watching some sport or another, and did their best to keep out of everyone’s way. Andy had seen the occasional glance get tossed from Tom towards the bar, but he hadn’t known why. Until he’d heard the first ‘faggot’ get spoken loudly enough to catch his ear.

Tom was tough. The man could take a beating as well as he could give one. And one thing Andy was learning about Tom, the man could give a damn good beating. Tom’s shoulders and chest seemed cut from marble, and his arms were pythonic. Andy would never doubt Tom’s ability to handle himself in a brawl. Still, avoidance was so much easier than confrontation. “We can leave,” Andy had said.

“Fuck, no, we can’t,” Tom had replied, levelling his eyes on Andy’s. “We won’t.” He reached for Andy’s hand and tucked it under his own, smiling. Then Tom had lifted Andy’s hand from the table and pressed it to his mouth. It wasn’t two minutes later that they were approached.

It started as, ‘we don’t want your kind in here’. It advanced to, ‘I’d like to see you try and do something about it’. It escalated at, ‘if you think you’re man enough to try, bring it’.

Andy had felt the panic rise like floodwater in New Orleans. Tom would have been fine too, would have had no issues handling the loud-mouthed cowboy in the oversized Titans sweater, but Tom had been so intent on watching the four guys coming closer to Cowboy, he’d missed the one who had snuck in behind Tom. Even Andy saw him too late.

Tom was felled with a pool stick – an angry, vicious crack that sounded like it shattered bone. Tom had gone down hard, crouching on one knee, the wind knocked out of him. Andy didn’t get the chance to see the look of angry surprise on Tom’s face. Because Andy had already sprung. Without a single moment of consideration for his own wellbeing, without even a second of debate over the fact Andy that had never fought anyone seriously in his life, Andy grabbed Tom’s attacker and started pounding.

Fury drove him, consumed him, forced Andy’s fists into teeth and flesh and bone. He didn’t know until Tom told him later that he’d been screaming the entire time. Andy beat the man so hard he broke every knuckle in his own hand. The man lost two teeth, suffered a broken nose, and needed eighty-six stitches to close various gashes. Andy spent six weeks in a cast and got a year’s probation. It might have been worse, but no one really believed that civil, gentile, easygoing Andy could have done that much damage. Even with the pictures, even with the testimony, everybody just kind of shook their head. The welt across Tom’s back and the broken pool-cue definitely worked in Andy’s favour as well.

Andy had expected Tom to be angry. He’d stood in silence as Tom posted bail and remained quiet as he was escorted out of holding. He’d walked to the car with his head down and his steps heavy, and held back tears as he waited for Tom to climb into the car. Instead, Tom surprised the fuck out of Andy by ordering the seat back and blowing Andy right then and there in the back lot of the station. It was fast, sloppy, and unbelievable. Andy had lain in the seat, shaking, eyes-wide, and completely awe-struck.

“Thank you,” Tom had whispered into his ear, tucking Andy’s cock back into his underwear and folding the front of his pants closed.

Had Andy tried to explain it, no one would have believed him. But Andy knew the sound of Tom opening a door. He knew exactly how much force Tom used, how Tom swung it, where the pause came, and at what point in the process Tom would move forward to breach the opening space. Tom’s right foot would fall into the hallway first, heel finding purchase with a purposeful click before the rest of the foot would follow with a muted thud. Then the left. Then the right. And Andy had counted the steps, knew the precise number it would take for Tom to get to him. There was no need to open his eyes; no need to watch.

“Look at me,” Tom had said, directing Andy’s chin with a firm tug. It took a second for Andy’s eyes to catch up with focus. “Are you looking at me?” Tom asked again and Andy tried harder to force clarity through swimming vision.

“Give me the count,” Tom had ordered, and Andy found himself whining in frustration, fighting with the internal demon that was shutting down his mind. They had played together several times, each one more intense that the last, but Andy had never balanced on the fine line between bliss and agony for so long or quite so completely. It couldn’t stop. Not yet.

“Please,” Andy had begged and his voice had been weak and soft.

A gentle kiss had been placed on Andy’s sweating forehead. “The game is over now, Andy,” Tom had said firmly. “You did awesome – I couldn’t have asked for any better. You’re perfect.”

Still the sob had managed to fall before Andy could pull it back. “Please,” he tried again. “I can do more. I swear. I’m sorry.”

Both of Tom’s palms had found Andy’s cheeks. “Don’t be sorry,” Tom had directed, and cool lips found hot places over Andy’s face and neck. “Nothing you could do would be better than what you’ve already done. Thank you.”

There was no way Andy could have explained the tears that were running from the corner of his eyes. His shoulders craved the sharp tear, not the lingering sting that the pain was fading to. He wanted Tom’s fingers back on his chest, twisting agony onto shrieking nipples, not the low, dull ache that had been left behind. He needed the euphoria, not the creeping sadness that was trying to take its place.

Tom had smiled. “One more thing, though.” He had begun to unbuckle the cuffs that bound Andy to the wall. “Do you think,” he continued, “you could do one last thing for me?”

Andy’s knees had buckled when his legs were forced to take all his weight again. Quickly Tom grabbed for him, steadied him, and directed Andy to the waiting bed. “Y-yes. Yes. Yes!” Andy repeated until Tom silenced him with a kiss. They slowly sank to the mattress, together, in time, as one unit.

Tom had reached for Andy’s left arm and had wrapped it around his own shoulder. Then he reached for Andy’s right arm and repeated the process until Andy was clinging to Tom’s shoulder blades, face buried in Tom’s neck. “Would you hold me, Andy? Just lie with me here and hold on to me for a little while?”

Without waiting for an answer, Tom had leaned back, pulling Andy with him. Soothing fingers traced light circles over Andy’s swollen skin. Andy closed his eyes and let himself get lost in the scent of Tom’s shampoo, lingering cologne, and sweat. And he held on to Tom for dear life.

Andy knew Tom was lifting one hand before he allowed his eyelids the freedom to open. He turned into it, lips opening to taste Tom’s palm and kiss his flesh. “Hello, beautiful,” Tom said.

There are a dozen ways to train a dog, Andy’s father used to say. But the best way is patience and reward.

Andy kept his eyes low and his voice soft. Anticipation flooded him, his gaze travelled over Tom’s leather-encased form. Muscle pain and exhaustion vacated his body in one full flush. “Thank you, Tom,” Andy replied.

Bit by bit, game by game: just a little farther, a touch harder. And when succession is achieved, lavish with praise and attention.

Tom’s hand traced from Andy’s jaw down his neck, across chest and shoulders, up Andy’s shaking arms. “I love you like this,” Tom stroked Andy’s biceps. “Waiting for me,” he cast his eyes down at Andy’s naked crotch. “Needing me...”

There would come a point, Dad would say, when a dog would stop wanting to please. Want would no longer be an issue. It would need to please its master.

Tom’s eyes alone were sufficient to light up Andy’s body. He didn’t need to be touched to get excited. Just knowing Tom was looking, wanting, appreciating him, was more than enough.

By the time his Dad was done training, any one of them would have given their lives in his defence. But they also would have stood, backs straight, ears high, and bared their throats to Dad’s own blade if he asked them.

“What do you have for me tonight?” Tom asked, grinning at the pointless question. Because there was only one way Andy answered it. Every single time the query was presented, every breath that brushed the sound from between Tom’s lips, was met the same way...

“Anything you want to take from me.”

Andy had been diligently schooled in control, expectation, how not only to demand respect, but how to ask for it. Andy could have been the master of all masters, trained by the king himself.

He should have.

His father had been a good teacher. He’d just been a far better trainer. The kind of trainer that was so attentive, so loving, one was almost jealous of the dogs themselves.

“Are you ready for me?” Tom asked.

“I am,” Andy answered.

“Do you need this?” Tom questioned.

“Always,” Andy replied.

Tom reached up with a key and unlocked the left cuff so he could remove the trappings from the wall. “Then let’s play.”

The End

Copyright © 2011 AF Henley

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