Forever Friends

Co-written by: Teri and LJ

The timer on the stove sounded and Kyler immediately slammed his book shut. It was nine o’clock, his two hours of enforced study were behind him and he was out of here. The sun had just gone down and his friends were waiting for him at the end of the alley.

He looked through the living room door with the intention of letting his partners know he was leaving but smirked and changed his mind when he saw they were occupied. He suspected they would not appreciate having their groping and groaning session disturbed. They all respected their infrequent opportunities for one on one time.

It was after midnight when Kyler arrived home. He was filthy; most of him streaked with soot and sweat, and he reeked of smoke. His shirt, shorts and sneakers weren’t worth saving, so he stripped them off and dropped them in the waste barrel on the way into the house. Turning off the back porch light, he padded through the kitchen and hallway in his dirty socks and boxers.

Upstairs, he quietly opened the door to the master bedroom and winced when Hugh turned on the bedside light and sat up, killing any hopes Kyler had of getting a quick shower and keeping his activities a secret.

Hugh took in Kyler’s appearance and his eyebrows shot up. “Hey,” he said quietly, but in a voice which showed he was wide awake. “Are you okay? Is that smoke I smell on you?”

Patrick stirred and peered over Hugh at Kyler. “What’s up? Did you just get in? What time is it?”

Kyler sighed out his frustration but answered each question in turn. “I’m okay and yes, Hugh, you do smell smoke. Nothing’s up; I just got in; it is only a few minutes past midnight and I really need a shower.” With that, Kyler ducked into their en suite and flicked on the overhead light.

He understood Hugh’s look of surprise when he glanced in the mirror. “Whoa, I’m even dirtier than I thought,” he muttered with a small chuckle, finding some amusement in his appearance. He turned on the water and tested it before peeling off his boxers and socks. Stepping into the shower, he closed his eyes, held his face up and moaned his pleasure at the thought of being clean again.

Kyler had just stepped under the water when the bathroom door opened and Hugh entered. He was in boxers and a loose t-shirt; hair disheveled and looked incredibly sexy.

The older man leaned against the sink counter and his dark eyes were brooding as he said conversationally, “You have five minutes to get yourself clean, after which I want you to give me a better answer than what you have provided so far.”

Kyler would have preferred to stay under the invigorating spray much longer, but figured obeying Hugh would be the wiser choice. He might be new to DP but Kyler had a natural intuition for this kind of relationship and knew almost instinctively what was required of him.

Once out, he quickly dried off while keeping appreciative eyes on his attractive partner. Kyler hung up the towel, sidled up to the bigger man and took his hand to gently tow him back to their bedroom.

Crawling into the middle of the bed, Kyler lay down on his stomach and smiled at Patrick. “Guess you also want to hear what went down tonight, huh?”

Patrick smiled sleepily at Kyler and reached out a hand to tousle his damp hair. “Dry it before you fall asleep, Ky,” he said. He turned to look at Hugh and gave a low chuckle, then whispered conspiratorially to Kyler. “I think you better start talking; someone is getting rather impatient.”

“It will air-dry soon enough, Patrick,” Kyler laughingly pointed out.

Hugh had been standing at the foot of the bed, watching Kyler climb in and settle down beside Patrick. He frowned at both his partners. “Kyler...” his voice held a definite note of warning as he moved to stand next to the nightstand.

Kyler sat back on his heels and faced the two older men. He didn’t think he had broken any rules, but on the other hand he wasn’t one hundred percent sure so he chose to tread cautiously.

“As you know, the plans were for me and my pals to go to the lounge for a few games of pool. Only Charlie had something else in mind. He showed up with some fireworks…they weren’t illegal or anything ‘cause Charlie lives on the reservation and even though we can’t buy them, the natives can.” Kyler hastened to assure his partners they hadn’t done something unlawful.

Taking a deep breath, he continued. “We ended up where the MacKenzie’s farm borders the lake to set them off. Everything was going great; we were having a real blast…that is, right up until the last rocket. The MacKenzie brothers got into arguing over who’d do what. Ronnie won out; but due to him having had a couple of beers too many, he didn’t secure the rocket properly. When Donnie lit it, instead of shooting forward over the lake like the others had, it fell sideways.”

Kyler ruefully shook his head, not really wanting to go on with the tale of their misadventure. “Luckily, it all ended okay,” he exclaimed in a rather jovial manner. “Ah, can we go to sleep now?”

Patrick had sat up by then and the sleep was quite gone from his eyes. One hand stopped Kyler from his attempts to lie down and supposedly go to sleep. “Not so fast, young man!” he firmly commanded.

Hugh continued to stare at Kyler, his frown perceptibly deepening. “Spit it out!” he ordered.

Hugh’s tone did not bode well and Kyler softly exhaled his chagrin at his Tops’ body language. He still couldn’t think of any directive he may have inadvertently violated.

“It hit a tree and burned a path through the grass on the way. Good thing we thought to have some buckets handy. We formed a brigade and completely doused everything. Then we hung around to make sure the fire didn’t re-ignite and as a final precaution, we got Mr. MacKenzie out of bed to check it all out.”

Kyler put his head down on his folded arms and groaned. “Man, he was not a happy camper. You’d think he’d have appreciated all the hard work we did to keep the damage to a minimum,” Kyler groused.

“Anyway, old man MacKenzie dragged the twins back home and Harry dropped me off here before driving Charlie back to the reservation.” Kyler looked from one partner to the other, trying to guess their reactions to all he’d told them.

“Well, thank God no one was hurt!” Patrick commented. He and Hugh exchanged a quick look.

Fireworks were an exciting and integral part of every young man’s life and a lot of young people in the county indulged in that activity every now and then, especially around the Canada Day period. It really wasn’t that big a deal. It was also good Kyler and friends had sense enough to be careful and had taken safety precautions.

But Hugh had a point to make. With just the tone of his voice, he managed to get Kyler’s full attention. “I am not going to refine too much on you going off to watch the fireworks. I can understand that part of it; although if you had asked, I would most likely have said no. But you know very well this is frowned upon by the police and while none of us are perfect and ideal citizens, we do want to keep on the right side of the law. So I am suggesting that you refrain from such activities in the future. You understand what I am saying, Kyler?”

“Yes, I understand, Hugh. I know fireworks can be dangerous and as was proven tonight, a real fire hazard. But not all of us had a chance to see Kelowna’s Canada Day display on July 1st, so we were up for this smaller version of it,” Kyler offered by way of a further explanation.

“Of course, it came nowhere close to the one the three of us saw last week.” Kyler smiled when he remembered the event. He loved taking part in special activities with his partners. Jade Heights was too small a community to have their own display as the cost was astronomical.

“So, now are we ready to go to bed?” he inquired, believing the conversation was over.

Patrick quirked an eyebrow at Kyler while Hugh remained motionless with arms folded across his thick chest. Hugh spoke first. “Not quite, Kyler. There is one other matter to go over.”

“What time are you supposed to be in, Ky, and what time is it now?” Patrick asked softly.

Kyler briefly closed his eyes and groaned. ‘Shit, I completely forgot the curfew.’ Shifting uncomfortably, he reluctantly answered the questions. “I was to be home by eleven cause it’s a week night. It’s now after midnight. I’m sorry for not getting in on time, but I had to help put out the fire. Besides, I didn’t have my car as we were all in Harry’s truck.”

Looking from one partner to the other, Kyler continued trying to justify his noncompliance. “You know, this is only the first time I’ve been late….well, that is it’s the first time since we set up some rules and put together a schedule two weeks ago.” Being so new to a DP relationship, he wasn’t at all sure how much weight his line of defence would carry.

There was a long moment of silence, which to Kyler seemed to drag on for a couple of years. Finally Hugh said, “Forgetting about your curfew is as good as breaking it, which in itself is not acceptable.”

“I agree, Ky,” Patrick said in support of Hugh, although his voice was still soft and gentle.

“In your case however, you do have a good reason for being late,” Hugh continued. “I am glad you stayed to put out the fire instead of behaving irresponsibly, and we see you trying hard to be on time. So far, you have been good with the curfew; even though you have been calling it really close a couple of times. I would suggest you pay a little more attention in that area.”

Hugh moved towards the bed. “All right, the curfew of eleven stays through for the rest of the week, inclusive of this weekend and we will say no more about this little escapade.” He leaned down to kiss Kyler on the head, then got into bed and pulled the younger man down in between him and Patrick. “Now come to bed.”

“The weekend too, huh? Okay,” Kyler quietly concurred. The curfew didn’t normally include the weekends but he could see where he deserved the restriction and appreciated Hugh’s leniency.

“Love you guys, ‘night,” he murmured, reaching up to kiss them both. He snuggled down and fell asleep thinking of excuses he could make to his friends for leaving the party early this coming Saturday night.


“What are the chances he comes up with another good excuse, hmm?” Patrick asked Hugh with a grin.

Hugh shook his head, not very much amused. “I can’t think what that will be, Patrick. It’s now ...” he glanced at the clock on the wall and said with some surprise, “Bloody hell, it’s almost one am! He is two hours late!”

Patrick suddenly laid down his book and said with a slight twitch of concern. “You don’t think he is in some kind of trouble?”

Hugh frowned. “Well, I shouldn’t think so or we would have heard. He knows how to take care of himself. But just wait till I get my hands on him! I did make it clear his curfew this weekend is at eleven pm, didn’t I?”

It wasn’t really a question, so Patrick just grunted and resumed his reading.

Turning the corner, Kyler slowly made his way down the alley leading home. The party had been a blast. He chuckled when recalling the way it ended. The twins were plastered and had been trying to climb onto the pool tables when Chad had kicked the bunch of them out.

Kyler laughed out loud at the memory of Donnie and Ronnie fighting over who was going to get the top bunk which seemed to be what they thought the pool table was. Uncle Kipper had taken the twins back to his place, the boys being in no condition to face their father. Kicking a can along in front of him, Kyler wondered if his partners were still up. He fervently hoped not.

He entered through the back door as quietly as possible, stepped out of his sandals and tip-toed across the kitchen floor. “Hmm, what are the chances of me making it upstairs without being way-laid?” he mumbled. He misjudged the distance to the island in the middle of the room and stubbed his foot. “Ow!” he howled before he could stop himself. Clamping a hand over his mouth, he listened to see if anyone was up and about.

Both Hugh and Patrick had heard it the minute the back door opened. They exchanged a silent look but Patrick got up first and headed to the kitchen, gesturing for Hugh to stay put. He knew his partner’s temper well and he wanted to be sure Kyler would not make matters worst.

He watched silently as Kyler clutched his mouth and grabbed his injured foot while hopping around on the other one. He could smell the liquor even from a distance and he shook his head, exasperated. He stepped into the darkened kitchen and frowned at his young partner. “Well, Kyler Jamieson, do you have any idea how much trouble you are in, hmm?”

Kyler blinked as the light from the hall shone into the room. ‘Okay, keep in mind that the secret to a respectable excuse is simplicity. Don’t complicate the issue with a bunch of unnecessary details,’ he reminded himself. “I’m late!” he announced as if that tidbit of information wasn’t already obvious.

“Aha.” Patrick folded his arms and let his eyes do the talking. After a while, he continued. “Go and wash up in the back bathroom. If you can find a clean t-shirt in the laundry basket, put that on. You don’t need to aggravate Hugh any further by smelling like a side-street drunk or looking like one either!”

Kyler frowned back and came to the conclusion that maybe he should supply a few other details. “I’m not drunk, Patrick, and it’s not my fault that I smell like brewery.” He stepped closer and pulled the front of his shirt out for the other man to sniff. “The twins had a little too much to drink and both spilled beer a few times; mostly over the rest of us.”

When Patrick refrained from smelling his shirt, Kyler moved to obey his Top. “I’ll get cleaned up, Patrick, but I want you to know I only had half a dozen beers. And probably more pizza than I should have.” Kyler grimaced and rubbed at his stomach.

Patrick went back to the living room while Kyler disappeared into the bathroom. He rolled his eyes at Hugh, who was clearly waiting for a report.

“Well?” Hugh asked.

“Well,” Patrick replied, settling down onto his chair. “Our Brat is home and getting himself cleaned up. He was not smelling very good, so I sent him to get washed up and changed.”

Hugh grunted but did not say anything. He waited till he heard soft footsteps in the hall then said aloud, “Come in here, Kyler.”

The younger man let out a quiet groan before reluctantly obeying Hugh’s summons and appearing at the living room entrance. ‘This does not look good,’ he groused to himself when he saw his two partners sitting there and knowing they would expect an explanation for his having missed the curfew. ‘Hmm, might be a good time to bolt.’ He looked longingly at the front door and giving the idea a sober second thought, wisely decided against it. He was in enough trouble; no need to look for more.

Walking further into the room, Kyler put on a brave front and smiled. “Hi, guys!” he greeted. “How come you’re up so late?”

Patrick rolled his eyes again and muttered under his breath, stealing a sideway glance at Hugh.

Hugh’s face was unreadable. He just looked squarely at their young partner, then one eyebrow slowly went up and he instructed pleasantly enough, “Sit down, Kyler.”

Kyler shuffled across the floor and tiredly dropped down in the corner of the sofa opposite from Hugh. He braced himself for the upcoming lecture as a small voice inside reminded him that he more than deserved it. In fact, Kyler fully expected the curfew to be extended and was prepared for the possibly of additional punishment, maybe in the form of lines or something, to be pronounced.

Part of him regretted having broken a rule while another part tried to convince himself that it couldn’t have been helped. Even though the party had been a blast, he was beginning to wonder if his staying out later than he should have would prove to be worth it or not. Trying to relax and keep his anxiety under control, Kyler sat back and silently returned Hugh’s steady gaze.

It was already way past one am and Hugh didn’t want to keep everyone up anymore than was necessary. So he came straight to the point. “Kyler,” he said, “I have two questions for you. First of all, what time are you supposed to be home? And second, what time is it now?”

Kyler chewed at his lip and looked down at the clothes he had changed into. ‘These jeans and t-shirt sure are wrinkled. Guess I should have taken that last load out of the dryer before going out for the evening.’ His thoughts briefly wondered before he pulled his mind back to the matter at hand.

“I was supposed to be in at eleven and it is after one.” Kyler raised his head and squirmed awkwardly. “When I left earlier, I fully planned to be home in time for curfew. Honest, I did, Hugh. But you see, a few years ago, Charlie, Harry, Ronnie, Donnie and I promised to have a drunk-fest for each of our twenty-first birthdays. Yesterday, the twins who are the youngest of the gang turned twenty-one and this was our last blowout. We were having such a blast, I didn’t want to leave.”

Kyler wrinkled his brow and resigned himself to the proverbial axe falling. He was too tired to think up a plausible excuse. ‘Anyway, might as well confess all ‘cause I suck at lying and keeping things hidden,’ he thought to himself. He knew deep down it was the right thing to do but still wished he didn’t have to. ‘Besides, Mom always says; in for a penny, in for a pound.’ Tugging at the hem of his t-shirt, he reluctantly admitted in a small voice, “So I-I just turned off my cell phone and stayed at the party until we got kicked out of the pool hall.”

It was out in the open now and Kyler was surprised at how much better he was beginning to feel. All he had to do now was to wait for his partners’ take on things.

Patrick, who was sitting out of Kyler’s line of sight, mouthed the word ‘drunk-fest’ at Hugh and opened his eyes wide. He had to make an effort to hold back his smirk while his eyes sparkled with mirth as he waited for Hugh to respond.

Firmly ignoring Patrick, Hugh kept his attention on the clearly uncomfortable young man sitting opposite him. “We have no objections to you going out to celebrate your buddies’ birthdays, Kyler, though we will be having a separate discussion about ‘drunk-fests’ in the morning.” He looked at Patrick and said meaningfully, “and our resident doctor is going to explain to you exactly why drunk-fests are not good for you.”

Patrick pulled a face.Hugh’s lips curled at the corners before he turned back to Kyler. “But we do have strong objections when you decide not to keep to your curfew and when you purposely turn your cell phone off so that we cannot get in touch with you.”

Hugh’s voice hardened and he asked sternly, “Tell me, did we or did we not make it clear you were expected back by eleven. And is a two-hour delay at all acceptable to you, Kyler, just because you wanted to stay on and party with your friends?”

Kyler vainly attempted to squash himself further into the corner of the sofa. Bending his knees and pulling his feet up onto the couch, he wrapped his arms around his legs in an unconscious self-protective manner and slowly shook his head. “No,” he murmured, his face and ears turning red with shame.

“It certainly isn’t, babe,” Hugh said much more gently. Kyler’s admission was frank and his remorse sincere. Hugh saw no point in dragging it out. “We don’t expect you to behave so irresponsibly again, is that clear?”

The nod was almost imperceptible, the eyes almost too large behind the glasses.

“All right then, now we are going to discuss consequences,” Hugh firmly stated. “You have disobeyed me and broken a house rule, Kyler. That is going to earn you a spanking.”

Kyler’s head snapped up and his heart rate increased. He stared wide-eyed at Hugh in disbelief. Okay, he had expected to be punished but….. He opened his mouth to object but nothing came out. Turning towards Patrick, he looked for backing and although he recognized the signs of sympathy, the other man’s support clearly lay with their older partner.

Patrick recognized the plea in Kyler’s eyes but his own remained firm and steadfast. He totally agreed with Hugh in this instance. Their Brat had been deliberately disobedient and a spanking was definitely in order. That was the rule of their agreed relationship.

Kyler turned back to Hugh and sat there silently watching as the older man moved to the center of the couch and reached for him.

Hugh saw Kyler throw the pleading look at Patrick followed by a panicked expression and he reacted instinctively. He swiftly moved over to sit closer to Kyler and gathered his Brat into a brief but strong hug. First time spankings were always traumatic for the Brat and he knew that.

He whispered into Kyler’s ear. “It’s going to be fine, darling. Just do as I say. Go on upstairs now, go to the spare bedroom and wait there for me. I won’t be long.”

They had all agreed that spankings would be administered in the spare room; a designated place for discipline when it was needed. It would provide a measure of privacy for the participants of that particular discipline session should the third party’s present not be required. They had discussed to some extent the dynamics of how discipline would be carried out amongst the three of them, agreeing there may be times both Tops would be present for a spanking. But there could also be times when only one Top would be involved. Therefore, having a separate room would serve their needs well.

So far, no one had used the room for that specific purpose, but it looked like tonight it would finally be used and that it would thereafter be known as the punishment room instead of the spare bedroom.

Kyler had momentarily relaxed into the embrace, grateful for the comfort it provided. He nodded his compliance, unsteadily got to his feet and at a snail's pace unenthusiastically walked out of the room. He had expected to fall on his face upon discovering how rubbery his legs felt.

Once upstairs, he sat down on the bed in the spare room and worked at getting his fears under control. This was the kind of relationship he had opted for. It afforded him the assistance he needed in meeting his goals. The rules and the consequences of breaking those rules maintained the boundaries he required to feel safe and cared for.

“Guess I blew it tonight and Hugh’s gonna make sure I don’t do it again any time soon,” he muttered, suddenly just wanting to get it over with so he’d be back in his partners’ good graces.

Hugh waited until Kyler had gone up the stairs before he pulled Patrick over to sit with him on the sofa. They both automatically came together for a quick kiss and when they broke apart their foreheads touched.

“Hey,” Hugh said softly. “I am thinking since I gave Kyler the curfew and he missed it by about a mile, I should be the one to administer the spanking. Following through, you know? But I want to know if you are okay with that. It’s his first time and I don’t want you ...”

“Hey,” Patrick cut him off. “I agree with you. I think this spanking should come from you, too. I don’t have a problem with that at all, Hugh!”

“Okay,” Hugh replied, landing a kiss on Patrick’s head. “Now, do we go into the room together or do you prefer that I do it alone?”

“Hmm...” Patrick sat back, a thoughtful expression on his face. “Well, I have never actually seen anyone getting spanked before and since I foresee a time when I will have to do it, I guess.....would it be awkward for you if I were there as well? I mean, it’s being the first time for Kyler.”

Hugh responded at once. “Of course not! I actually think it would be good if you were in the room too. You will be able to observe Kyler’s reactions and gauge how to go on with him when you eventually have to spank him. Just don’t let his cries – yes, he will be crying, Patrick, - throw you off. It is part of the process.”

“Okay,” Patrick replied, then got up with Hugh and hand-in-hand they headed up the stairs.

Kyler got to his feet when his two Tops walked into the room and stood fretfully twisting the hem of his t-shirt. He didn’t know why he was so surprised to see both of them as he hadn’t given any thought to whether or not Patrick would be present when Hugh punished him. He had quickly assumed Hugh would be the one handing out the punishment.

He stepped aside so Hugh could sit on the bed and he watched as Patrick sat down in the large chair near the window. Kyler swallowed hard and waited for Hugh to tell him what to do next.

Patrick wished he could go and give Kyler a hug; the poor kid looked so lost and frightened. But he didn’t want in any way to disrupt Hugh so he kept his mouth shut, sat very still and just observed; taking in the details and committing them to memory. He was also feeling a slight thrill of anticipation for when it would be his turn to discipline Kyler.

Hugh waited until Patrick had lowered himself into the chair that was well out of the way. He then turned to speak to Kyler. His voice was low, calm and soothing. “Take off your glasses, Kyler, and put them on the table there.”

Next, Hugh held out a hand to draw Kyler closer. “Come here now.” He saw Kyler swallow again as his hand was immediately grasped, oh so tightly. He continued in his low tone, not speaking fast as he didn’t want to rush the pace but also not dragging things out. “You will be spanked over my knee and I will do it with my hand. Understand? The pants come down.” He unzipped Kyler and firmly pulled the jeans down, ignoring the whimper. “Down you go, come on, over my knee.”

Kyler quietly complied with Hugh’s directives as if in a daze. He still couldn’t quite grasp that this was actually happening.

Hugh adjusted him slightly, pulling him forward and across his thighs. “Settle please," the older man directed, allowing Kyler to rest his torso on the bed as comfortably as possible. He looked down at the bottom still clad in cotton boxers and hooked a finger under the waistband. “These are coming off too.”Hugh could have taken Kyler’s boxers down together with the jeans but he wanted Kyler to be eased into the routine of a bare-bottomed spanking, so for this one time, he was willing to just pull the underwear down to mid-thigh instead of all the way off.

Kyler shifted into place once he was face down over the older man’s lap but started squirming when his boxers were pulled down. The haze he had been in for the last few minutes instantly dispersed when Hugh’s hand landed hard and heavy. “Oww!” he hollered and out of habit reached around in an attempt to block the next smack.

Patrick sat up quickly when he saw Kyler struggle and his hand reach behind him to ward off the next spank. But Hugh had the situation under control. A quick flick of the wrist and Kyler’s hand was imprisoned on Hugh’s large paw and held securely down. The older man continued spanking, landing a total of two dozen powerful smacks on the rapidly reddening bottom.

Patrick watched the creamy white flesh turn crimson and grimaced. His heart tore at him as Kyler cried out and kicked hard enough to send the jeans and boxers flying. Just as well he could not see Kyler’s face as he was sure it was not a pleasant sight.

Kyler grimaced and worked at holding back the tears that were forming. Overtired and hurting, his resolve not to cry deserted him as the last painful spank landed and he gave free reign to his tears, softly crying into the bedspread. As soon as Hugh let him up, Kyler ran over and threw himself at Patrick. Startled, Patrick automatically opened his arms to engulf his Brat.

“I-I’m sorry for breaking the rules; I-I know I shouldn’t have,” Kyler sobbed, wrapping his arms tightly around Patrick’s neck. He didn’t like Hugh very much at the moment and wanted only Patrick to comfort him. “I really just want to go to bed now. Will you come with me?” he whispered for Patrick’s ears only.

Patrick hugged his Brat tightly, holding him on his lap with Kyler’s red bottom hanging in between his parted knees. He could feel Kyler’s body convulse with sobs.“Aw, my baby; my poor, poor baby,” Patrick crooned, a little shaken. It was not often he saw a grown man cry like that. Shit! That spanking must have hurt more than he thought! Damn!

Hugh watched his two partners from the bed where he had remained sitting. He rolled his eyes and shook his head slightly at Patrick when their eyes met. He grinned in spite of himself when Patrick glared at him.

‘Oh,’ Hugh thought ruefully to himself. ‘It’s going to be like that, is it?’

“Come, darling,” Patrick said, gently pushing Kyler off his lap. “Let’s get you to bed, hm? Leave the boxers, you won’t need them. I’ll lay down with you, okay?"

Hugh got up, stepping out of the way as Patrick led Kyler towards the door. His lips twitched when Kyler kept a wide berth of him and purposely averted his eyes. Hugh restrained himself from reaching out to swat the surliness out of the red bottom and instead said, “That’s a good idea; it’s terribly late and we are all beat. You guys go ahead and I’ll get you a face cloth, okay Kyler? You’ll feel better after you’ve wiped your face.”

Patrick turned at the doorway, an arm around Kyler, and looked back at Hugh. In his eyes, he pleaded for understanding. Hugh smiled and nodded his head towards their master bedroom.

Kyler readily accepted Patrick’s doting care and crawled into bed under the older man’s watchful eye. Once again comfortably enveloped in Patrick’s arms, Kyler settled as the evening’s events played through his mind. He was vaguely aware of Hugh coming out of the en suite, cleaning the salty tears from his face with a warm cloth, turning off the lights and getting into bed on the other side of him.

Once Hugh had settled down next to Kyler, he placed one hand firmly on Kyler’s hip. Even though the younger man’s body language indicated that he was still upset with him, Hugh didn’t want to lose body contact with his Brat. Hugh understood only too well how Kyler must be feeling at this moment. Apart from the nervousness of his first spanking and the subsequent pain delivered by Hugh’s punishing hand, Kyler also had a lot of guilt to let go of. Perhaps that was the hardest bit of all.

As emotionally and physically spent as he was, Kyler felt the need to share his thoughts and he found it easier to talk in the darkness. “Ya know, Patrick,” he softly began, still addressing only Patrick and snuggling more firmly against the other man. “I’ve been best friends with those guys since Junior High and at one time we all hoped it would be forever. Truth is though, that things change over the years and people have a tendency to go their own way. Take my situation; it’s much different than it was just a year ago. But I see what very good friends you and Hugh are and I….” he paused, unsure of how to express himself. “Well, sometimes I feel a little left out and I get afraid that if I let my friendship with the guys fade away, I won’t have anyone who’s a pal for me to hang out with once in a while; you know, like when you and Hugh are busy or something. I mean, we all need friends, right? No matter how many lovers we have.”

Hugh and Patrick listened to Kyler’s voice in the dark. Patrick kept on stroking Kyler’s head and gently running his fingers through his hair. Hugh was glad Kyler was talking about it as it would make things much easier for all of them.This was their favourite position, with Kyler in the centre and both Tops possessively enclosing their Brat. In that bed, they had known a lot of pleasure and they had cemented their love for one another as well as their bonds. It seemed appropriate for them to be speaking of friendship here as well.

Kyler squirmed slightly and buried his face under Patrick’s chin. He still harboured feelings of remorse for having disobeyed and broken the curfew. “I’m sorry for deliberately not being home on time. I know I deserved the spanking,” he whispered.

“I understand, Ky.” Patrick leaned closer and kissed Kyler’s forehead. “But the punishment was not for being with your friends, as you yourself said.”

Hugh patted the hip and his touch was firm as he tugged at Kyler so that he could face his Brat. “Turn around and look at me, Kyler.”

They felt Kyler shuffle about until he had turned his position and was facing Hugh. In the semi-darkness, Hugh couldn’t really read the expression in Kyler’s eyes. “Baby, no one wants you to give up your friends. Never think that.”

“Absolutely!” Patrick said from behind Kyler.

Hugh’s hand pressed against Kyler’s. “Patrick and I have been together longer, that is true, but you have become such an important part of our lives that we wouldn’t know how to go on without you. You are every bit as important to us now as we were to one another before you became our partner. Do you understand what I am saying?”

“Yes, I think so.” Kyler muttered. While he may have obeyed Hugh’s directive to turn and face him, he wasn’t able to relax in Hugh’s arms. Although no longer distressed by Hugh having spanked him, he was unsure of how his older Top felt about his disobedience.

“Then why so stiff still, Kyler?” Hugh asked gently. “Tell me what you are thinking.”

That seemed to remove the last of Kyler’s resentment and uncertainty. After only a very small pause, he allowed his tense muscles to relax and taking advantage of the dimness, he continued. “Even though I don’t see you as pals exactly, I do see you as much more,” he quietly stated. “You’re my life-partners, my lovers and my Tops; for that alone I should put you first. And I want it to last forever.” It suddenly crossed his mind to wonder if he was making sense, but he was too tired to articulate any better.

“Me too, sweetheart,” Hugh replied. “I want this to be forever and so does Patrick.”

Patrick, already half asleep, managed to grunt softly from the other side of the bed.

“You are our Brat and our baby and our lover. I hope you will also think of yourself as our friend; if not now, then one day in the future.”

Silence enveloped the room. It was something Kyler would have to work out alone; where his place was in their triangle of love where he would forever be their ‘little one’. Hugh thought Kyler had fallen asleep when suddenly he softly murmured, “Hugh, are you still angry with me?” Obviously that has been bothering him the most.

Hugh leaned over and kissed Kyler firmly on the lips. “No, I’m not angry with you, baby. I punished you because you broke a rule and because you disobeyed me. But I was never mad at you, exasperated perhaps, but not mad. Okay?”

“And the spanking wipes the slate clean,” Patrick said softly as he linked hands with Hugh and they both rested their hands on top of Kyler, the weight imprisoning him.

Kyler placed his hand on each of the shoulders closest to him, finally able to fully unwind. He was exhausted but felt so connected to these two men who completed his world. He kissed them both, managed to whisper ‘I love you’ around a huge yawn and fell asleep, safe in his lovers’ arms.

The End

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