Stop! Look! Listen!

Written By: Mel

Question: Have you ever felt that the punishment you have administered to your Brat was either the wrong one or administered unjustly.

I have been looking at this question for sometime now and have tried very hard to tell my guilt ridden brain to shut up and ignore it. After all it's done and over with, Reggie and I worked it out and he's forgiven me for jumping to conclusions. So why am I still feeling badly two years later? After all I'm human, aren't I? You know to err is human and all that wonderful stuff and lord knows that my dear boy is divine enough to have forgiven me.

The responsibility you accept when you take on the role of Top in a DP relationship is very serious; it would be extremely easy to become taken with the power and control your partner/Brat so willingly gives to you. The trust it takes for them to relinquish that control is so incredible, no descent person would want to destroy it by abusing it. This is my story of how I almost destroyed that trust.

Two years ago this spring, Reggie was studying for his final exams; his graduation was only weeks away. I was so proud of him. He had worked hard to achieve his degree and it was finally within his grasp.

We had weaned him off of the Ritalin more than two years previous. Although it hadn't been an easy process for either of us, it was well worth the effort. A well-regimented regime of diet, exercise and proper sleep; balanced with discipline and structure had given Reggie the tools he needed to realize his dreams. Did I tell you how proud I was of him? LOL Okay, I did but it bears repeating. It's not as if we didn't have our struggles. Reggie had a sore bottom more times than either of us cared to remember but none of the issues had been terribly serious, mostly simple losses of temper and disobedience of the rules of behaviour we had agreed on.

Through a great deal of effort and a little trial and error, we’d learned that he was good to study for two hours at a stretch with thirty minute breaks. During break times I would ensure he’d get something to eat whether it was a full meal or just a small nutritious snack, and that he’d do something physical such as taking a walk or some simple stretching exercises. This routine seemed to really work for Reggie, not that he was always cooperative about following it though.

We’d had many times when he had trouble settling in and wanted to break after less than an hour and of course times when the opposite was true and I had to drag him away when he was engrossed in what he was doing. It might sound odd to drag him away from his work when concentration was such a problem for him. But if he was allowed to go beyond the two-hour limit, he would become exhausted and temperamental and he would not retain the information he was reading anyway, so the time was being wasted.

My story begins on a Friday afternoon; Reggie’s last exam was scheduled for the following Monday morning. We had both agreed he would decline social events for this weekend in order to put all his concentration into his studies. It had originally been my plan to come home early, prepare a good meal for both of us and then Reggie would spend a few hours studying. However a last minute wrench was thrown into those plans by way of an explosion at the pharmaceutical company where I work. I work in the research department and was contentedly going about my business when the workstation six meters from mine exploded into flame.

Fortunately, it was not a major explosion but it was enough to cause some serious burns to the chemist working there and send glass and other debris flying through the room. I had been hit by a couple of the pieces and had some minor cuts to my arm and face, nothing serious thank god but startling none the less. The whole mess took some time to straighten out and of course the fire department and ambulance had responded.

I called Reggie as soon as I was able and filled him in on what was happening. He was distressed that I had been injured. However after repeated assurances that I was perfectly fine and was only held up by the investigation and clean up he seemed to calm down.

I reminded him he was to stay at home and work, which of course only gained me a smart mouthed remark about his not being totally irresponsible and knowing what he had to do. Then we discussed in detail the schedule I wanted him to follow until I came home. He agreed to set a timer to help him stick to it and I told him I would call the little Deli he loved and order some dinner to be delivered to him, and he promised that he would eat all of it when it arrived. I explained it would likely be eleven or after by the time I got home.

Finally feeling comfortable with the situation at home, I was able to return and deal with the mess at work. Fortunately it didn’t take as long as I had originally anticipated and I found myself pulling in our driveway by nine-fifteen. According to his schedule Reggie should have been at his desk studying at that time, so you can imagine my surprise to find the driveway devoid of his car. Frowning unhappily, I entered the house in search of a note from my errant lover and felt my dander rise further when none was to be found. Calling his cell phone proved to be a futile effort as well.

Now on every Friday evening there was a standing party of sorts that a lot of Reggie’s friends attended at an off campus watering hole called McClusker’s. He had gone to there (with my blessing) on a number of occasions. There had been a couple of instances early on of his drinking too much which cost him dearly with a very sore behind, but since then he had been very good about sticking to a one beer limit if he was driving and two if I was picking him up. However tonight it was a zero limit since he was supposed to be at home studying.

I was storming out to my car with the intention of looking for him there when his car turned into the driveway. I was at his door before he could even open it, and could see the look of surprise on his face when he saw me. As soon as he opened the door the odour of beer assailed me. He’d been drinking and more than he should have by the smell. I will confess to already being short of temper from the incident at work and finding an empty house when I got home, so the smell coming from my partner just furthered my irate mood.

“You’ve been at McClusker’s!” I accused.

“Yes, I…” he began but I cut him off before he could attempt any excuse.

“Get in the house, Reggie!” I snapped.

“Eric, please I…” he tried again but I was having nothing to do with his excuses. I swatted him four times right were we stood in the driveway.

“Move it now, Reggie, and don’t say a word!” I ordered. I swatted him twice more as we entered the house, my anger getting the best of me. I sent him to the office and told him to find a corner until I calmed myself a bit. I didn’t normally use corner time, because frankly I don’t think it an effective punishment but I was furious and wanted the time it would provide me.

There is no reasonable excuse for what I did next. I offer the following only as an explanation not an excuse. My day had been very stressful. I was concerned for my injured colleague from work, the cuts on my arm were stinging and now my partner had defied me and gone off drinking when he should have been studying. Topping it all off, he had been driving in a less than sober state by the smell of him.

To this day I am ashamed of my actions. I did not take the time I should have to fully calm down, if anything I probably allowed myself to become further incensed before I went into the office. Reggie was standing stiffly in the corner when I pulled out the straight-backed chair and took a seat. I called him over and told him to drop his pants. He tried once again to speak but sadly I wasn’t in a listening kind of mood. I can still hear the words I spoke echoing through my mind. “I cannot believe you, Reggie. You knew you were to stay home and study tonight. Hell, you agreed it was the right thing then you go out without a word to me. No note, nothing. And then you drive home while stinking like a brewery. I am ashamed of you. You’re going to remember this for a long time, young man.”

He eyes were shining brightly with unshed tears as I pulled him over my lap and began to pepper his bottom with hard unrelenting smacks. By the time I was finished his cheeks were a bright red and he was crying freely. I was much calmer as I pulled him into my arms and held him as he recovered. He repeated a litany of ‘I’m sorry’ into my ear as I rubbed his back. We went upstairs, showered and then settled into bed for the night. Feeling all the trouble was now behind us, I declared that we would start afresh in the morning. Reggie was unusually quiet but otherwise seemed himself. We fell asleep pressed together with my arm draped over him.

I had thought the matter settled after I’d punished him, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

When I woke at seven-thirty the next morning, Reggie was already out of bed. I fumbled for my robe and padded down the stairs where I found him showered, dressed and sitting at his desk studying.

“Good morning, baby,” I said as I bent over to give him a kiss. He smelled of soap and his usual spicy after-shave, a delicious thing to get up to. “What time did you hit the books?”

I received as brief kiss and a mumbled “Six o’clock” in return as he concentrated on the books before him.

“Okay, I’ll make us some breakfast. It will be ready for eight in time for your break.”

“K” was the only response I received.

I made his favourite breakfast, omelets with sharp cheddar cheese and green onions, crisp rye toast, orange juice and coffee. We ate while I did most of the talking and he responded appropriately but once again seemed a little quieter than usual. I put it down to residual feeling from the night before along with nervousness over the upcoming exam.

The rest of the morning and afternoon continued in the same way. He took his breaks as requested, ate what I put in front of him and took a walk or whatever physical activity I suggested. He was cooperative but still very quiet, his sentences being of as few words as possible without being sullen or short. I asked him a couple of times if he was okay and I was assured all was well, that he just had his mind on his studies.

The phone rang as I was preparing dinner and by the time I hung up I was in shock, feeling like the lowest kind of human on earth. All I kept thinking as I walked into the office to face Reggie, was how could I make this up to him. How could I ask him to forgive me?

The caller had been Reggie’s friend, Bryan. He’d asked to speak with Reggie but I had said he was studying and shouldn’t be disturbed.

“Please just tell him thank you again for coming last night,” Bryan said. “I don’t know what I would have done if he hadn’t. Tell him I got the ticket and the flight leaves in two hours. I’ll pay him back as soon as I can. I know it will take a while but… well, he’s just the best guy on earth. I’m sure you already know that though, don’t you?”

I was beginning to feel the edge of an emotion I didn’t like; guilt. Something had gone down last night that I didn’t know about. “Yes, Bryan,” I replied. “I know he’s the best guy on earth. However, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“He didn’t tell you?” Bryan asked. “Just like him not to brag about his good deed. I’ll tell you what he did for me. My sister called me yesterday to tell me my mom is in the hospital back home in Vancouver. She has cancer and isn’t expected to live much longer.” He paused as if to gather himself. “There was no way on earth I could get home to see her. I just don’t have the money for a flight. You know I’m living off student loans and a part-time job at the bookstore. My dad died years ago and my mom had to work hard just to keep a roof over our heads, so no one back home has the money to send me either.”

“Well, last night I went to McClusker’s to drown my sorrows in some beer. Sheila, one of our friends from school was trying to help but I got stinking drunk, so she called Reggie. He dropped what he was doing and came right away. When he heard the story he just up and writes me a cheque for the cost of the trip like it was nothing. I was so damn grateful I stood up to hug him and ended up spilling beer on his shirt. We got him dried off but when he dropped me home he still smelled like a brewery. I hope it didn’t ruin his shirt.”

I was in shock. All I could do was to mumble that Reggie’s shirt was fine and that I was glad he told me the story and hoped he got home in time to be with his mother. I don’t even remember hanging up the phone, but I’ll never forget that walk into the office and staring at this beautiful man whom I loved and didn’t deserve. I walked up beside him, pulled him up from the chair and wrapped him in my arms and planted several kisses on his face.

“Bryan just called,” I said.

That was all it took. My dear sweet boy knew and forgave me. The sad part was that he actually felt he had been at fault for going to Bryan’s rescue without asking me. Although I said I would have liked him to have left a note, that certainly did not excuse me for punishing him without listening to his side of the story. We both learned a lesson in communication that day. I just wish I could forgive myself as thoroughly as Reggie has forgiven me.

So that’s my sad answer to the question. I hope all of the Tops who read this, will remember what happened to us and never allow such a thing to happen to them.


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