A Hard Road To Recovery

Sequel to ‘I’ll be Home for Christmas’
Co-written By: Teri and LJ

Kyler sat on the floor carefully placing each tissue-wrapped, delicate ornament into the individual sections in the box. Hugh and Patrick were winding up strings of lights in hope of them not becoming a tangled mess before next December when they would be put to use again. He chuckled softly to himself as he listened to the conversation going on between his two partners. It was beginning to sound very familiar.

“Here, let me get that,” Hugh offered.

“I can handle it,” Patrick responded at once and began to wind the lights into their boxes.

Hugh picked up the other strand and did the same. “I will do the rest, Patrick. Why don’t you head upstairs for your afternoon nap?”

“I’m not in the least tired!” Patrick protested. It had been over ten days since he had returned home to recuperate after his narrow escape from the mugging. He was getting cabin fever, but as yet had been unable to persuade Hugh he was well enough to do his fair share of the heavier chores around the house.

“You don’t need to be tired to nap. Besides, this is what the doctor ordered.” Hugh scanned Patrick’s face anxiously.

Patrick rolled his eyes. “And you are beginning to sound like a mother hen!”

It was the final day of the holidays and they were packing away the last of the decorations. Tomorrow Hugh and Kyler would be returning to work, leaving Patrick alone in the house. Hugh was already worrying about how well Patrick would be obeying his doctor’s orders left on his own. It was undeniable that Patrick’s recovery had been rapid and being a doctor himself, he should know his limits; but after the scare Patrick had put them through, Hugh did not want to take any risks. Doctor Bannon had given them a list of instructions and Hugh was determined to follow that list to the letter. Both he and Kyler had wrestled with the real fear of losing their partner. It was too dreadful to even contemplate, and for Hugh that translated to doing everything they needed to ensure Patrick’s complete recovery.

Earlier in the day, Hugh had received a call informing him that the meeting to discuss the upcoming tournament with his swimming team had to be re-scheduled. He had originally planned the meeting to be held during the following week but due to an emergency, there had been a request to change it to that afternoon. Hugh had conceded, seeing no way out of it. After all, he was in charge of the swimming team and he had put in a considerable amount of time and effort to get them ready for the tournament. This was an important meeting and he could not bail out on them.

After reminding Patrick one more time to go for his nap, Hugh reluctantly left the house. Patrick leaned back in his armchair and closed his eyes. After a few minutes, he opened them and found Kyler staring at him. “What?” he inquired.

“I don’t think Hugh will consider you sitting like that that same as napping.”

“Well, I tried but I just can’t sleep. I don’t remember ever sleeping so much in my life. I must have slept a hundred hours in the last week!”

“Yeah, but it has done you the world of good,” Kyler pointed out.

“Sleep is a remarkable means for the body to recover, but I am all slept out.” Patrick’s eyes crinkled in amusement. “Is there such a thing?”

“Probably,” Kyler willing gave Patrick the benefit of the doubt. “Plus a person can miss a lot when they’re in bed by themselves.”

“Well it’s you I miss, so why don’t you come over here?” Patrick shifted slightly and patted the small amount of space he had freed up.

Although he had his misgivings, Kyler insinuated himself between his partner and the overstuffed arm of the chair. “We gotta take it easy, Patrick. I think the doctor said sex was out of the question.”

“Did the doctor really say no sex?” Patrick asked indignantly. “Damn!”

“We can always check with Hugh,” Kyler suggested as he squirmed to get more comfortable in the tight spot he found himself in. “Of course, we’ll have to wait until he gets home. I can’t see him being too happy about us phoning him in the middle of a meeting to ask permission to make love.”

“In that case, you better do something to take my mind off it because I really, really want some right now!” Patrick ran his hand over possessively over Kyler’s butt, making the younger man giggle and wriggle.

Kyler soundly kissed his lover, and then pushed up off the chair. He gazed outside, sharing his observation. “Although it has finally stopped snowing, but not until piling the white stuff deep enough to make it hard for Hugh to get into the garage.”

“So you are planning on shoveling the driveway and sidewalk?” Patrick craned his neck to peer out the window. “Hmm, it’s been some winter. So much snow! I can see they are steadily filling in once again. Great, I’ll help you!”

“Yeah, right! And Hugh will certainly be supportive of that idea. In your dreams, man,” Kyler scoffed.

Patrick got up and cheerfully announced. “If I get tired, I’ll stop. Don’t worry, Ky. I’ll take it easy. Maybe we can have some fun throwing a few snow balls. I haven’t done that in a long time and it’s not work, is it?”

“It may not be work, but are you sure that snowball fights fall under the heading of ‘taking it easy’?”

In the end, Kyler allowed himself to be persuaded and between them, they soon had the driveway and walkways freed of snow.

A good hour later, Kyler stood leaning against the larger of the two shovels. He had insisted on doing the majority of the heavy work, leaving the smaller areas for Patrick to clear away. Both men were working on catching their second wind.

“To think winter has just begun, Patrick, and already we’re heading for record snowfalls. Isn’t it great? Think of all the snowmobiling, snowboarding, skiing and skating we’ll be doing. But right now, it is ‘snowball’ time!”

That said, both men simultaneously bent over and scooped up handfuls of snow. Quickly shaping them into balls, they let fly and the fun began.

Kyler laughed as he lobed another snowy sphere at the other man.

“Ouch!” Patrick cried out as the snowball hit him squarely in the face. He stood still for a moment, blinded and out of breath. He was also conscious of a slight tug at his operation wound.

Kyler immediately headed toward his partner. “Are you all right, Patrick? I’m so sorry; I didn’t mean to hit you in the face,” he apologized, his voice full of contrition.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine. Oh look!” Patrick pointed to something behind Kyler and when the young man turned to see, Patrick hurled a snowball at his unsuspecting back. It got him on the head and Patrick chuckled loudly.

“Hey! That’s sneaky! At least I was facing you head on, man!” Kyler shouted his protest as he swiftly fashioned another large snowball and sent it flying.

“You gotta be sharp, my boy! And don’t ever trust anyone in a snowball fight; first rule of thumb.” Patrick laughed when it hit him in the chest. In a matter of moments, he was ready to reciprocate.

“Maybe we should call it quits now, Patrick. After all, you are supposed to be resting.” One look on his partner’s face had Kyler backing up. It was easy to see that the older man had no intention of stopping anytime soon, even though Patrick was not moving as easily as he had been earlier on.

“What?” Patrick had a wide grin on his face but the smile didn’t quite reach his eyes. “Surrendering already?”

After a slight pause, Kyler continued. “All I know is, if I didn’t follow my doctor’s orders I’d be in trouble.” He ducked just in time and gave a weak chuckle as another missile sailed past him. It was way off its’ mark and Kyler was uncomfortably conscious that there had been hardly had any power behind the throw. “Ha! Missed!”

His holler coincided with Hugh pulling into the driveway. Patrick waited for the SUV to come to a complete stop and opened his arms as Kyler ambled over to stand beside him as if seeking protection. Patrick gave his Brat a comforting squeeze while laughingly muttering ‘damn!’ under his breath.

“Oh-oh, I think we’ve been caught in the act, Patrick. Got any ideas for talking our way out if this?”

Patrick leaned down and kissed Kyler’s head. “Don’t worry,” he whispered in a conspiratorial tone, the laugh in his voice brimming over. “Let me handle this.”

Hugh looked at his two partners as he advanced towards them. “Nice job. So how long have you guys been shoveling?”

Kyler shrugged, pretending to give the question some thought before responding. “Probably not much more than an hour. We were mostly just chucking snow around.”

Hugh raised an eyebrow. “Uh-huh. And you, Patrick; how was your nap?”

Patrick grinned and let go of Kyler. “The fresh air has been good for me. Better than any nap I could have taken.”

Hugh frowned.

“I’ll clean up this last bit and put the shovels away,” Kyler offered, glancing back and forth between his two partners.

Patrick linked his arm through Hugh’s and began to walk with him towards the back door. “Thanks, Ky. I’ll make you some hot cocoa for when you are done. You look like you need one too, Hugh.”

Hugh pulled Patrick against him and his heart squeezed when he felt Patrick lean heavily against him. He had missed him horribly even though they had spent the last week together. It was a strange thing to miss someone who was right there with you but Patrick was a patient recuperating in his own home, not the independent and energetic doctor who injected so much live into their family. Hugh had missed their usual routine, their physical closeness, and he had missed Patrick’s strength and ability to fend for himself.

In a gruff voice to hide his anxiety, Hugh firmly stated his stand on the subject. “You are going to sit still while I make the cocoa. If I find any part of you harmed, I am going to spank you!”

Patrick laughed. “Oh no, you aren’t. I am not your Brat.”

“But you sure are behaving like one! What possessed you to shovel snow when you are supposed to be resting?”

They had reached the kitchen by then and Patrick sat down at the kitchen table, heaving a sigh of frustration. “I am so sick of lying down in bed, Hugh. In the beginning it was fine, because I was tired all the time and my body needed it. But it’s been more than a week now since I got home, and I don’t need as much sleep anymore.”

Hugh was busy putting the kettle on and spooning cocoa into three mugs. He replied without looking at Patrick. “I am not a doctor so I can only follow your doctor’s orders. And one of them was for you to take a nap every day until you went back for your follow-up.”

Patrick grunted ferociously, his fingers tapping impatiently on the table. “Damn it, Hugh; I am a doctor myself. I know what I am doing.”

Hugh turned around, crossed his arms and stared at his partner of more than six years. “Do you?”

Patrick flushed. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Hugh leaned against the counter, keeping his eyes steadily on his partner. “Right now, you are not the doctor, Patrick. You have just been through a arduous surgery. You should rightfully still be in the hospital, being attended to by professional nurses. Which I might add, is not me or Kyler. We know next to nothing about nursing you. The only reason your doctor allowed you to come home was because of the holiday season and because he believed you would be sensible and because I promised him that you would follow his instructions to the letter.”

Patrick glared at Hugh silently.

Hugh’s face changed and he looked down at the floor, his arms becoming untangled and hanging by his side. His voice was low and husky when he spoke again. “We thought we were going to lose you.”

Patrick swallowed hard. “I’m sorry.”

Hugh looked up at him. “For what, Patrick? Don’t be sorry for the accident or for getting hurt. That was not your fault. But you should be sorry if you knowingly and intentionally allow yourself to be hurt by not taking the necessary precautions; like skipping your nap and shoveling snow.”

Patrick drew in a deep breath and held it, stung by the unaccustomed rebuke. It was seldom Hugh ticked him off. Then his usual good sense re-asserted itself and he exhaled slowly, looking a little abashed. “Now I know how exactly Kyler feels after one of your lectures.” His lips twitched and he beckoned with a finger.

Hugh pushed himself off the counter edge and took the two steps to close the gap between them. He bent down until his face was on level with Patrick’s. They stared into one another’s eyes. “I love you, Patrick.”

“I love you too, Hugh; bully that you are!” Their lips met and they kissed, sweetly and gently.

“I want you to promise me you will do exactly what the doctor says. Never mind if he is over cautious or sounds like an old mother hen,” Hugh said dryly.

Patrick grinned at the reference. “You win. I’ll be good. You know, I couldn’t wrestle you right now and you are taking unfair advantage of my situation.”

Hugh kissed Patrick again before straightening up. “Nothing is unfair at all. You belong to me and I intend to do whatever it takes to keep you safe; including topping you if I have to!”

Patrick hooted with laughter. “What?”

“I mean it, Patrick.”

“You are not spanking me, Hugh,” Patrick insisted, his voice soft and gentle.

“No, but there are other things a Top can do,” Hugh replied with a wink. “Don’t test me.”

Having entered the house in a somewhat less boisterous manner than usual, Kyler’s arrival had gone unnoticed. He stopped long enough in the back porch to hang up his jacket and removed his boots. His eyes widened when he overheard the tail end on his partners’ conversation. Was Hugh teasing or was he serious? The younger man felt his stomach tightening and he wondered what the implications of one Top disciplining another would be.

“Ah, I’ll have my hot chocolate later. I’m just gonna go up and get changed,” he announced as he passed through the kitchen a moment later. He made a hasty departure, heading out of the room and down the hall without giving either of his partners a chance to respond.

Once upstairs, Kyler sat on the bed in the spare room; the room that was designated as his discipline room. He chewed on his lower lip and tried to come to grips with the thoughts whirling around in his head. He felt threatened. He didn’t want to share the special kind of attention his two Tops gave him. He definitely wanted Patrick to remain a full-time Top, not a part-time one. He sure as hell didn’t need a pseudo Brat as a member of their threesome.

So absorbed was he in his musing, Kyler lost track of time and didn’t hear Hugh calling for him.

“Kyler?” Hugh placed a hand on Kyler’s shoulder.

The gentle touch startled him and caused Kyler to jolt upright.

Hugh’s forehead creased. “What are you doing here all by yourself? What’s got you so deep in thought?”

“Ahh, I was making a mental list of all I have to do this coming week.” Kyler nervously grinned up at the big man towering over him.

Hugh didn’t look very convinced, but he didn’t press the point either. “Come on down. Your cocoa is getting cold.”

“I haven’t showered yet, but I guess it can wait. Where’s my partner in crime?” Kyler asked with a smirk, leaning over and looking at the doorway behind Hugh to see if Patrick was standing there.

“Patrick’s gone to take a nap like he ought to have done an hour ago.” He noticed the change of expression on Kyler’s face and added. “I am not blaming you for anything, honey. I know you tried to talk him out of shoveling. Patrick told me. Is that what you are upset about?”

Kyler frowned slightly. “Hmm, now that you mention it, I hardly gave it any thought. I had other things on my mind.”

“Okay.” Hugh promptly sat down on the bed next to Kyler and looked at him invitingly. “What’s on your mind?”

Kyler drew in a breath before carefully saying, “I’d really like to talk to you about something I overheard.”

Hugh nodded slightly and waited.

Deciding on a direct approach, Kyler blurted out, “Would you really punish Patrick and would that make him a Brat like me if you did?”

Hugh’s lips curled into a small smile. “What exactly did you overhear?”

“I wasn’t eavesdropping or anything, Hugh. I was putting away my boots and jacket and heard Patrick say something about you not spanking him and you saying Tops could do other things.” Kyler sifted, somewhat uncomfortable with the conversation but knowing he needed to know one way or another.

Hugh put an arm around Kyler and held him close. “Kyler, Patrick is a Top and he will always be a Top. He’s been through a rough couple of weeks and he’s frustrated at his inactivity and confinement. That doesn’t make him a Brat.”

“Sooo, nothings gonna change, right?” Kyler sought clarification to set his mind at ease.

“He will always be your Top, just as I will. That will never change.”

Genuinely relieved, Kyler visibly relaxed. “I don’t want anything around here to change, Hugh. I like our present lifestyle and its’ dynamics.” He paused and chewed on his lower lip as he tried to figure out how to explain his feelings. He always found this type of discussion difficult. “I truly feel a great deal of security in my life with having two Tops, even a strict one like you.” He gave the older man a small smile before laying his head on Hugh’s shoulder. “As you know, I certainly don’t do change well. It’s stressful to say the least, and sometimes kind of scary.”

Hugh turned Kyler around and pulled his chin up. Then he gently kissed him on the lips. “There’s nothing for you to be scared about. Nothing is going to change around here as far as our relationship is concerned. Trust me, okay?”

“I do, Hugh; trust you, that is. Both you and Patrick.” Kyler glanced up and then threw his arms around Hugh’s neck and hugged him.

“Good! Now how about we go get that cocoa of yours?” the older man suggested, returning the hug before getting up and leading the way downstairs.

While Kyler sipped his warmed-over drink, Hugh began to look into the freezer. “What do you feel like having for dinner, Kyler?”

Kyler shrugged his shoulders. “Anything you wanna make will be fine with me. I’ve got no preferences.”

“How about a beef stir-fry with white rice? You like Chinese and so does Patrick.”

“Sounds good to me. Want some help with the veggies?”

“Sure, you can chop up some onions for me if you want. And some ginger too please.”

Kyler drained his mug and got up to put it in the sink. Turning the radio on low, he set out the cutting board and French Chef knife.

The two men worked side by side at the counter with an ease that spoke of some practise. The fresh air and exercise had made Kyler hungry, resulting in him eating raw broccoli, red pepper and carrots almost as fast as they were being chopped.

It became a game for the younger man to see if he could snatch the veggies fast enough to avoid getting his hand smacked by his Top. Kyler strongly suspected he might be pushing his luck, but was having too much fun to stop.


Kyler opened the back door with the two only fingers he had available. With his arms so full of packages, he was grateful the door was unlocked due to Patrick being home all day.

Not able to untie his snow-covered boots, he clumped across the kitchen floor and placed all his parcels on the table before returning to the porch to remove his boots and hand up his jacket. He took care to avoid walking through the small puddles left behind from his first trip; wet socks are always so uncomfortable.

He was taking containers out of one of the bags when Hugh came into the room from the hallway.

“Hi, man. Sorry I’m a bit late. I had to make a trip to Staples in Kelowna for office supplies. I called and left a message saying I’d be picking up supper at Swiss Chalet. Guess Patrick didn’t hear the phone, cause he didn’t answer.” Glancing around and not seeing his other partner, Kyler asked, “Where is he anyway? He can’t still be napping.”

“No, he had some emergency at the clinic and he’s not back yet.” Hugh came over to the table and looked into the bags. “What’d you get?”

“Bar-b-qued chicken, fries, salad, rolls, sauce. You know; the usual stuff we get from that restaurant. I also picked up my new tax program so I’ll be ready to file returns for private clients.” Kyler began putting away the computer paper and ink. “So did Patrick get the okay to resume normal activities?”

“No, he is not cleared for work as far as I know. Not unless he called Dr Bannon, which I doubt,” Hugh added rather dryly.

Kyler shook his head. Patrick was pushing his luck and Hugh was far from happy about it. “Hope he won’t be long. This food is going to get cold.”

“He’s on his way back. I just spoke to him a few minutes ago. We can plate this up and he should be home by the time we are ready to sit down.”

“Good! Even though we can re-heat it, I’m too hungry to wait.”

“I’ll get the plates,” Hugh offered.

“And I’ll get us something to drink.” Kyler filled three glasses with water and added ice cubes. “Hey, a car just pulled in.”

Hugh walked over to the kitchen door and held it open. He waited until Patrick came up the porch steps. “Hello.”

Patrick smiled at Hugh and leaned over to kiss him. “Do I smell dinner?” he asked cheerfully.

“You betcha; take-out from the Chalet,” Kyler informed him.

“Hmm, all my favourites!” Patrick planted a quick kiss on Kyler’s lips as well before he went to the kitchen sink to wash his hands. “Can we eat yet? I’m starving!”

“Didn’t you have any lunch?” Hugh inquired, knuckles on hips.

“Ah, I had a late breakfast,” Patrick replied, casually glancing over his shoulder at Hugh. “I wasn’t all that hungry.” He finished washing his hands, went over to his place and sat down. Eyeing the food with relish, he started to serve himself. He spooned some salad into Kyler’s plate as well.

“I should have called to see if you’d like to come with me to Kelowna. Sorry about that. I was rushing and didn’t think of it. I might have known you’d be getting antsy.” Kyler grabbed a couple of fries and shoved them into his mouth.

“No problem,” Patrick responded easily. “I’m glad you didn’t anyway, as it turned out.”

“What time did you go out?” Hugh inquired.

“Sometime after noon, I would say. I wasn’t looking at the time specifically.”

“So no nap either?” Hugh looked at Patrick, obviously expecting an answer.

Kyler ducked his head. ‘Ouch! Not good. The big guy’s a pro at ferreting out the info that will get ya in trouble.’ He continued eating while keeping his thoughts to himself.

Patrick’s eyes flicked over to Hugh with the slightest trace of amusement in them, and locked with his partner’s for a brief moment. He looked down at his plate and ate another mouthful of chicken. He took his time to chew and swallow before he responded. “I called the clinic to check and see how they were coping. Do you know, I had not gone in there for almost three weeks? Not since before my accident.”

“I imagine they probably have been told not to trouble you with any cases while you are still on medical leave,” Hugh stated. “So how did you end up going in?”

“Talk about timing!” Patrick commented, once he’d swallowed again. “Several emergency cases were brought in all at the same time, and one doctor is still on vacation. They were struggling and not coping too well I suspect, because they sure were happy as hell I called; happier still when I volunteered to go in to help.” He saw Hugh’s eyes rest skeptically on him and hurried to add, “It’s not that far really, and I was more than okay to help out. Look, I am fine.”

“You’re looking a little wiped out, man.” Kyler’s observation was verbalized with a touch of concern.

Patrick frowned at that rather unhelpful remark and playfully kicked Kyler under the table. “Well a little tired maybe, but absolutely not wiped out!” Patrick protested with a cheeky grin at the younger man sitting across from him. “Is it that obvious? Am I turning into an old woman or worse, a wimpy Top?”

“Neither!” Kyler hastily assured him. “But you have had a rough go of it, haven’t you?”

“I’m okay,” Patrick replied, softly but firmly. He could see Hugh holding back words and he didn’t want to exacerbate the situation, especially not in front of their Brat. He understood only too well Hugh’s behaviour sprung from concern and love, not a wish to restrict his activities.

“You are going to have an early night then, Patrick,” Hugh announced calmly.

Patrick rolled his eyes. “Mother hens, the pair of you.”

“Sticks and stones……” Kyler smirked at the name calling. “And that must make you our little chick,” he taunted.

Dinner was finished amicably, with Patrick and Kyler continuing to tease one another. Hugh smiled at their verbal jabs and was glad to see the sparkle in Patrick’s eyes. However, as he watched Patrick surreptitiously, he could see the tiredness in his shoulders and the way Patrick flexed his back as if to loosen muscles. He kept his thoughts to himself and his mouth shut.

“Well that was a fine dinner, my love,” Patrick announced, leaning back with a satisfied sigh. “Thank you for that.”

“You’re welcome. I was only too glad to do it as it saved us from preparing a meal.” Kyler pushed back his chair and got to his feet in order to begin gathering up the dirty dishes.

“I’ll clean up with Kyler,” Hugh offered. “You go up and shower, Patrick. Then get ready for bed.”

Patrick’s eyes crinkled but his voice was quite serious. “Actually, I was hoping to have a few words with you before I went up.”

Hugh’s eyebrows shot up in surprise.

“That’s okay, Hugh. I’ll take care of this. It’s not like there’s a lot to do; no pots and pans at least.” Kyler cheerfully stated as he ran hot water into the sink and added a squirt of dish soap.

“Thanks, honey.” Patrick placed his plate and glass in the sink; then taking Hugh’s arm, he marched the older man into the living room.

Hugh allowed himself to be towed over to the sofa and pushed down into it. He eyed Patrick with mock sternness and asked in a resigned tone. “What are you up to now? I should be so mad at you.”

Patrick smiled and settled himself in the armchair next to the sofa, deliberately putting distance between them. He didn’t want any distraction and the space would help put the right amount of seriousness in their talk. He turned so that they were facing one another. “I thought we should have a little chat.”

“Oh, you do? What about?”

“About you and me; about what you’re doing. Okay?”

Hugh looked suspiciously at his lover and waited.

“Honey,” Patrick started. “I know we talked about me taking it easy and following Dr Bannon’s orders, but you need to remember that I am a doctor first and foremost. When I see a situation where I can be of help; I can’t not pitch in. It goes against everything I have been trained to do and what I believe in.”

Hugh remained silent.

Patrick frowned but Hugh’s face was unreadable and he found himself further justifying his actions. “If I didn’t feel I could do it, I wouldn’t have gone in. You need to give me that much credit.”

Hugh nodded his head. “I do, Patrick. I trust you in everything concerning our lives and you know that.”

“But…?” Patrick prompted, one eyebrow raised.

“But when it comes to your own well-being over someone else’s, then I don’t trust you to think of yourself first.” Hugh’s voice was flat and firm. “Tell me, did you even think of having lunch once you were at the clinic?”

Patrick glared back. “There wasn’t time! And really, I wasn’t even hungry!”

“I can imagine that. Since you didn’t have lunch, did you at least take your medication?”

Patrick flushed guiltily. “I guess I forgot that. But,” he hurried to defend himself, “this is the first time I’ve forgotten.”

Hugh conceded with a nod of his head. “How many emergency cases were there today, and how many patients did you see?”

Patrick paused, suddenly reluctant to go into details. “I don’t know,” he answered with a shrug. “I didn’t really do a head count, you know.”

“Let me guess. Two emergency cases? Three, max?”

“Yeah,” Patrick looked at Hugh warily. “I took over two emergency cases while Chase took the other two.”

“Good! So you left at midday to help in an emergency at the clinic; saw two patients, and then what? “

Patrick already knew where this was headed. He shook his head in frustration. “It doesn’t work that way, Hugh!”

“Then how does it work, Patrick?” Hugh’s mouth was folded into a stern line. “You were supposed to go attend to an emergency, which I accept and understand. Would I be correct to surmise that after you settled the two emergency patients, you went back to your office? And what did you do for the next three or four hours?”

Kyler had finished up in the kitchen and was walking down the hall when he overheard Hugh’s inquiry. Although he hadn’t quite been able to make out the words, he easily picked up on the connotation. Hugh was definitely in ‘Top’ mode and Kyler instinctively knew his partners needed some privacy.

Quietly retracing his steps, Kyler hastily jotted down a short note to inform the others that he was going down to the lounge and wouldn’t be late.

Meanwhile, Patrick was sighing out his frustration as Hugh continued his questioning. “Paperwork? Filled in for someone else and saw more patients?”

Patrick grunted with some irritation. “Come on, Hugh. Why are you being so hard-nosed about this? Don’t you think I know when to quit?”

Hugh remained right on course, refusing to be derailed by Patrick’s remarks. “Tell me truthfully Patrick. Once you were in the clinic and in your office, did you at any time during the day think about yourself? Did you stop to consider if you were tired or needed a rest? Did you even take a break of any kind, or evaluated your own condition?”

The other man remained silent.

“So,” Hugh said softly, reaching out to pull his partner over to the sofa. “You tell me. Did you know when to quit?”

Patrick let Hugh hold him in his arms and leaned his head tiredly on Hugh’s comfortingly broad shoulder. He was tired, more so than he would like to admit. “I guess not,” he finally confessed.

“No, you didn’t.” Hugh leaned down and kissed Patrick’s hair. “Who’s going to look out for you when you don’t do it yourself, hmm? Some doctor! Well, Dr Dean, you can consider yourself grounded and confined to the house.”

Patrick raised his eyebrows at his partner. “Are you serious?”

“Do I look like I am joking?” Hugh asked, exasperated. “I am pulling rank, Patrick, and I don’t want you going anywhere unless I say its okay.”

“For how long?”

“Until your next check-up. If your doctor says it’s all right, then you can go back to work. If not, the ban stays!”

“Is that your final word on it?”




Patrick drew in a long sharp breath. In their eight years together, Hugh rarely overruled him in anything, much less became a ‘Top’ over him. They had been more or less equal partners, so naturally this rankled. But Patrick understood what was driving Hugh and reluctantly admitted to himself that if the circumstances were reversed, he would likely do the same. He let his breath out slowly and finally replied, “Okay.”

Hugh kissed Patrick again, this time on the lips. “Thank you.”


The lounge was rather quiet and had been since Kyler arrived. So he sat alone at the bar, slowly sipping on his beer and scraping the paper off the sides of the bottle. He was wondering how things were going on the home front, trusting that his Tops weren’t having a knocked-down, dragged out fight. Although confident in the promise Hugh had made about the dynamics of their relationship not changing, he was still concerned about Patrick’s recovery and what means Hugh would employ to bring their partner’s tendency to over extend himself to an end.

His musings were interrupted when someone tapped him on the head. “Penny for your thoughts, son,” the man on the other side of the bar said with a friendly grin.

“Heck, they’re worth more than that, Uncle Kipper.” Kyler returned the grin with a smirk.

Kipper laughed at the cheeky rejoinder. “How is Patrick doing?”

“He’s getting as antsy as hell.” Kyler grumbled and finished off his drink. Handing the empty bottle to his uncle, he added, “And my two guys are presently talking over how to keep him obeying doctor’s orders for the rest of the week. I figured they didn’t need my two cents worth.”

The older man wisely decided against asking additional questions, instead moving the conversation unto more general topics while they played a game of pool.

Kyler have been at the lounge for almost an hour when his cell phone beeped to let him know he had an incoming message. Flicking his phone open, he saw a text from Hugh. ‘Are you on your way home honey?’

Kyler smiled and quickly responded with ‘I’m on my way’. “Gotta go, Uncle Kipper. Thanks for the game. See ya tomorrow when I come to help you with the books.” Kyler zipped up his jacket and headed out the door.

Arriving home, the young man locked up for the night and climbed the stairs. He stood in the doorway of the large master bedroom and gazed at his two Tops. One was sleeping soundly, the other reading peacefully.

Hugh had tucked Patrick in and had waited until he had fallen asleep before getting ready for bed himself; then had grabbed a magazine, settled in bed next to Patrick to read while waiting for their youngest partner to come home.

He looked up from his magazine, smiled and mouthed the word ‘hey’ while putting a finger to his lips and indicating Patrick. He carefully got out of bed so as not to disturb their sleeping partner and padded over to Kyler, leading him into their en suite.

Once there, he leaned down and put his forehead against Kyler’s. “You okay?” he asked softly. He knew that their Brat had already been picking up the vibes from his two Tops and their silent battle for dominance and authority in all likelihood would make him nervous. It was a strange turn in their normally structured household and Hugh wanted to make sure Kyler was all right.

“Yeah,” Kyler whispered, pulling away enough to glance towards the bedroom and back at Hugh. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

“Good, go get ready for bed.”

Kyler went to get clean nightwear from the dresser drawer as noiselessly as possible and obediently returned to the en suite.

While his younger partner was in the bathroom, Hugh made a sudden decision. He went to their bedside table, removed a couple of items and brought them into their spare room. He turned down the bed there and left the side lamp on, casting a soft, quiet light in the room. Then he came back to their master bedroom and went into their en suite. Kyler was just stepping out of the shower.

Kyler shook the excess water out of his hair and reached for a bath towel, only to come up empty. The one that had been hanging on the rack when he’d come into the room was missing. He looked up at Hugh with a quizzical expression on his handsome face.

Hugh grinned and held up his hands with the towel hanging from them. He threw it around Kyler and began to pat him dry, at the same time kissing bare flesh as he moved the towel over the wet, slim body.

Releasing a long sigh of contentment, Kyler relaxed into the loving care of his partner. He relished these moments when one or both of his Tops would provide him with this extra kind of attention.

The two of them crept out of their bedroom with a sidelong glance at Patrick to make sure he was still sound asleep. Reassured, Hugh half-led and half-bundled his lover into the spare room while trying to keep Kyler’s gurgles of laughter at bay. “Shhh…” he admonished with mock sternness, digging into Kyler’s ribs and making him laugh even more.

They tumbled into bed, mouths stuck to one another. The towel was peeled away and Hugh wrapped himself around Kyler to keep him warm. “Cold, honey?” Hugh asked when he felt the man in is arms shiver.

“Just a bit,” Kyler admitted, snuggling in closer.

“I’ll warm you up!” Hugh promised.

Kyler only let the cuddling continue for a moment or two before opting out for another of his favourite activities.

Hugh allowed himself to be undressed while he went on kissing his lover. As soon as they were both naked, they pulled the quilt over them and continued to explore one another’s bodies with their hands and tongues. It was all familiar territory but nevertheless, extremely satisfying and deeply pleasurable. Soon sounds of heavy breathing and panting were heard from beneath the thick cover. Then a hand snaked out and groped for the tube on the night stand.

Kyler shifted his legs as he opened up to allow the probing fingers easy access. Moments later he was pushing down and then pulling back in an attempt to get them moving in deeper and faster.

“Ready for me?”

“Oh yeah,” Kyler was barely able to murmur. He gasped when the fingers were replaced with his lover’s large erection. After getting into the rhythm they were most accustomed to, it wasn’t long before both men were plummeting into the abyss that awaited them.

“Oh honey,” Hugh groaned as he felt the wave of pleasure sweep through him.

Kyler struggled to catch his breath. “That was sooo good, man!” He grinned inanely at the man still lying on top of him. Neither seemed inclined to move at the moment.


“Yes,” Patrick grumbled good-naturedly at breakfast. “I was mangled and bullied and sent off to bed, while you two went and had a gala time without me!”

“Jeez, like I wouldn’t know what that was like, Patrick. Well, the being sent to bed part anyway,” Kyler teased, his eyes lighting up as his grin widened. “I take it then that Hugh somehow persuaded you to stick to the rules for your recovery, huh?” He was curious as to what had taken place last night and hoped Patrick would be more forthcoming.

A lop-sided grin appeared on Patrick’s face. “Persuaded? You mean Hugh bulldozed his way to get what he wanted.”

Kyler made a face at the comment. “So besides being sent to bed, did you get grounded or have to do lines?” Although he kept his tone lightly mocking, there was an underlining seriousness to his query.

Patrick laughed at Kyler’s expression and he affectionately ruffled his Brat’s hair. “No, Ky, I didn’t have to write lines. But Hugh was pretty insistent I didn’t tire myself by going to the clinic or out of the house, so you could say I am grounded in a way.”

Hugh came into the kitchen and overheard the last part. “You look much better this morning, Patrick,” he calmly pointed out.

Patrick snorted but accepted the quick kiss Hugh bestowed upon him.

“Meds?” Hugh inquired, sitting down at the kitchen table to attack his breakfast.

“Here,” Patrick replied dutifully, holding up the pills. He turned to Kyler and whispered loudly, “The Bully!”

“Hugh can’t help it, Patrick. He’s an Alpha Top and that’s all there is to it.”

“Thank you, Kyler.” Hugh’s face softened as he turned to Patrick. “I promise you the moment Dr Bannon gives the green light, we’ll do some fun stuff together.”

Patrick’s eyebrows rose. “By fun stuff, do you mean …?”

Hugh laughed. “Well, I was referring to other things but that would work too.”

“You wanna believe it! Hugh and I will be ready whenever you are,” Kyler happily chipped in.

“Promises, promises!” Patrick murmured, pretending to still be offended but unable to keep the smile from his eyes. The sparkle did however fade a little when his two partners got up and prepared to leave for the day.

Hugh leaned down and planted another kiss on Patrick’s head. “You be good, Dr Dean. You are staying put today, no more gallivanting for you, all right?”

Patrick rolled his eyes at Kyler as Hugh left to fetch his coat.

Kyler was no longer uncomfortable with Hugh pulling rank over his fellow Top; at least not in their present situation. He wrapped his arms around Patrick’s neck and kissed him. “I’ll try to get home for lunch. It’ll break up your day a bit.”

“Sounds like a plan, Ky. Look forward to it.”

Kyler hesitated and then added, “Listen to the big guy, okay?”

“I will, honey. Don’t you worry about me or Hugh.” Patrick’s eyes were warm and slightly quizzical. “We’re both okay. Okay?”

“Yeah, I get it. You’re both Tops and nothing’s going to change that no matter how toppy Hugh tries to get with you.”

Patrick’s tone was dry. “Of course he means well. But take a piece of advice from me; never ever let him speak to your attending physician.”

Kyler burst out laughing. “Sometimes, that ‘physician’ happens to be you. I know you wouldn’t treat me for anything serious; it’s just that the Top comes out in you and you can’t help yourself. And on that note, I better get out of here before Hugh starts hollering for me to get a move on.”


Patrick unlocked the front door and hummed softly to himself. A glance at the clock showed that it was almost four PM. Enough time for him to stick the roast he had prepared that morning into the oven, draw a bath and have a good long soak. He was looking forward to the evening.

A short time later, the last two members of the family entered their home. Both sniffed appreciatively at the delicious aroma that greeted them. There was nothing better than coming home after a long day and finding supper started.

“I sure hope Patrick got the okay to resume normal activities,” Kyler commented as he hung up his jacket. “I don’t think even you are going to be able to hold him down much longer. Hmm, I’ll rephrase that. Unless we are all in bed together having some of that ‘fun stuff’ you promised, you’re not going to be able to hold him down.” Kyler chuckled; he was beginning to see a bit of humour in the whole situation.

Hugh grinned. “Is that all you ever think about?”

“Well I could think of something else, but it wouldn’t be near as much fun, now would it?”

Hugh shook his head and flung an arm around Kyler’s shoulder. “Ah, to be young again! Let’s go up and see what our partner is up to, shall we?”

“I won’t be surprised to find him waiting for us. And if he is, I bet I can guess what’s on his mind.” Kyler crossed his fingers behind his back, hoping that he and Patrick were on the same wave-length.

Both men climbed the stairs together, and stopped short on the threshold of their master-bedroom.

“Hello, partners,” Patrick greeted them cheerfully with a wicked grin on his face. He was sitting up in the center of their extra-sized bed, stark naked with his long legs spread wide apart and his arms were linked behind his head as he leaned back against the headboard. He laughed at the expressions on the other two men’s faces.

Kyler striped off his clothes in record time and with a whoop of excitement, leaped on top of Patrick and soundly kissed him.

Hugh watched his two partners, enjoying the moment.

Patrick broke off the kiss and looked over Kyler’s shoulder at Hugh. He didn’t have to say anything. Hugh came forward in response to the silent call. Soon all three partners were fully undressed and on the bed. For once, it was Patrick (instead of Kyler) who was sandwiched in the middle.

“Jeez, I have missed this,” Patrick panted softly. “I’ve missed you guys so much.”

With a grunt and a deep sigh, Hugh disentangled himself and pushed himself up, brushing the hair off his brow. “Before we proceed, I suppose I ought to at least ask how the check up went.”

Patrick chuckled. “I knew you’d ask that! You’ll be happy to know Dr Bannon is pretty satisfied with my progress and thinks that we should resume normal activities as soon as possible!”

Hugh grinned. The emphasis on ‘normal activities’ was unmistakable.

“Well I sure as hell second that motion!” Kyler exclaimed and lightly ran the fingers of one hand down Patrick’s chest, tweaking his nipples into hard nubs before moving further down.

Hugh observed that their Brat, despite his enthusiasm and eagerness, was much gentler in his ministrations than usual and he was reassured. His own hunger began to consume him and he moved to Patrick’s face, their lips gingerly touching.

“Missed you too, darling,” Hugh whispered in between nips.

Patrick was arching his back in response to Kyler’s mouth working in between his legs. He managed a gasp and a weak grin as he pulled Hugh towards him. This time their kiss was deeper and much hungrier.

It took only a minute or two for Kyler’s hot, wet blow-job to bring Patrick his first sexual release in three weeks. Hugh went on kissing Patrick, capturing Patrick’s hands above his head and pressing them down against the mattress. With Hugh’s weight over his torso, Patrick could hardly move. The feeling of captivity and surrender was so powerful that Patrick moaned repeatedly as his chest heaved until his heart beat eventually slowed.

Kyler knelt near the foot of the bed and smirked. “Now that we’ve got that out of the way, we can get down to serious play here and take things nice and slow.”

Patrick nodded, breathless but incredulously getting excited again. “Ky, I swear you were reading my mind.” He shifted to make space for Kyler, who crawled up to lie down next to him and reached across to Hugh; the two of them enveloping their fully-recovered lover.

The End

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