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Tony had great memories of his mother. She never hesitated to sit on the floor with him to play, or sit on his bed to read him a story. He remembered her long, blonde hair and how she always dressed nicely. If he was ever down, she would give him a comforting embrace, or gently rest her hands on his shoulders. One thing he was sure of was that she truly loved him.

Then his mother died. All he had left were a few photos and his memories of her. When he was first told, he didn’t really understand death. As their housekeeper hugged him, and that explained his mother was never coming back, Tony sobbed for hours as she held and tried to comfort him. His father had stormed off shouting for the staff to keep “that damned kid” quiet.

Tony had walked through the house sullen and quiet for weeks, and was often found in his mother’s walk-in closet. Even if she was no longer there, her clothes were. So he could pretend she was wearing them. Then one day, they were gone.

He remembered odd things about his mother from time to time: the way she made him wear a little sailor suit because she thought it was so cute; that she had decorated his bedroom in a way that betrayed she may have truly wanted a daughter; even the time she’d nearly drank his sea monkeys, when she’d been a little tipsy and mixed them up with her mint julep.

His relationship with his father wasn’t as easy. Business travel often kept his father away for days, or even weeks, at a time. Young Tony didn’t understand all the schemes Senior was talking about as he drank his scotch, but he did his best to pay attention and be supportive. It also helped when he learned to make Senior’s favorite cocktails. There was an advantage to keeping the old man’s glass full in the evening, and performing whatever tasks Senior demanded.

It wasn’t long after his mother’s death before Tony found himself shipped off to one boarding school after another. The first one wasn’t too far away, and Senior had driven his son there, speaking to the headmaster as he dropped Tony off. Tony remembered Senior insisting that he wanted his son to be part of the program, but he had no clue what his father was talking about. Apparently, the headmaster did, as he agreed to check young Anthony’s aptitude.

Senior didn’t hug him goodbye, but promised to pick him up for Thanksgiving. When the holiday arrived, Tony was the only child left at the boarding school on Wednesday evening. As he lie on his bed, tossing a baseball into the air and catching it, the headmaster came to his room and offered to take him home.

“You can’t stay here by yourself,” the man insisted.

“My mom’s dead,” was Tony’s reply.

“I am sorry. Gather your things, Anthony. We’ll have a fine feast.”

Tony sighed and grabbed his suitcase.

~*~*~*~*~*

The years came and went, as did the boarding schools. At first, Tony thought the moves were financial. The boarding school near his house was very upscale. The later ones were further away and seemed to be a step or two down.

Not all of the headmasters saw fit to take Tony home for the holidays, when his father failed to send him a ticket to get home. Sometimes it was a teacher or coach who offered their kindness. Once it was the school nurse, who was young, single and reminded Tony of his mother. She had allowed Tony to sleep on her sofa and took him to her parents’ house for dinner. She even placed her hands on his shoulders, like his mother had.

As always, it was only a matter of time before Tony was put into another school. After that, he began acting out. He hated that his father had all but abandoned him, and he hated having to change schools all the time, especially when they seemed to be going downhill, both in quality of the education offered and the buildings and grounds. Most of all, he was mad when his father took him away from the school with the young nurse who had shown him kindness.

~*~*~*~*~*

Long before he was transferred to the Remington Military Academy, Tony’s father had told him he was old enough to travel on his own. His train arrived late, but the coach from the academy was there to pick him up.

“I’m Coach Tanner. I guess your father is a man of influence. This is the first time I’ve been ordered to pick up a student at the train station.”

“Whatever,” said Tony as he tossed his bags into the trunk. “He’s been shipping me off to boarding schools for almost as long as I can remember.”

“I’ve seen your transcripts, kid. Can’t find a school you like?”

“What’s it to you?”

“Look, Anthony, I am not the enemy here,” Coach Tanner said as he started the car and backed out of the space.

“The truth is that nobody cares about me. My dad ships me off to these schools to get rid of me.”

“Son, people care. I care.”

“Why?”

“You’re a young man about to enter the prime of your life. You have everything in the world to look forward to. But this attitude of yours is going to hold you back.”

“Are you a shrink, too? Guidance counselor?”

“I’ve taken a psychology class or two in my day,” Coach Tanner revealed. “You’re mad at your dad. I get it. But don’t let that hate ruin your life. Right now, you have a world of opportunities waiting for you. Don’t let your feelings for him rob you of those opportunities.”

“Right.”

It was a short drive to the school. Coach Tanner walked Tony into his dorm room. “You’ll be staying here in Hull House with the rest of the seniors. Travis Phelps is your roommate.”

“Great,” said Tony with a heavy sigh.

“We had to guess your sizes for uniforms and PT gear. If anything doesn’t fit, let me know. Look, Anthony, I know the first night is usually the most difficult. If you need me, I’m right down the hall.”

“Gee, thanks.”

“I could do without your sarcasm.”

“I’m seventeen, not seven. I don’t need to be tucked into bed. I’ve been to a bunch of schools. This isn’t my first dorm room, or my first time getting new uniforms and teachers, so back off, buddy.”

“My name is Mr. Tanner or Coach Tanner, not buddy. And from here on out, you are Cadet DiNozzo. Got it?”

“Yes, Sir,” Tony replied sharply with a mock salute.

Coach Tanner walked away rolling his eyes, and knowing he’d have his hands full. However, he saw potential. If only he could reach this kid, maybe he could set him on the right track to having a successful life. He looked to be in good shape. Maybe he could be reached through the school’s athletics program.

~*~*~*~*~*

The next day, Coach Tanner dug into Tony’s files, viewing his previous school histories. Within a few hours he had a good idea of what made Anthony DiNozzo, Junior tick and he set up a meeting with the headmaster, Miles Townsend.

“Thank you for seeing me, Miles.”

“Have a seat, Coach. What’s on your mind?”

“I picked up Anthony DiNozzo Junior last night at the train depot. Kid likes to act tough.”

“It’s a new school. Some kids like to test the facility and the staff.”

“I did some digging into his past. He grew up wealthy, but it appears to have been money from his mother’s family over in England. She passed away years ago. Since then, it seems there have been financial troubles. Staff has been let go, his father has downsized the house twice. Anthony has been shipped off to boarding schools since his mother passed away.”

“No wonder he’s rebellious.”

“It gets worse. The first school was one of the best and near his home. Even then, there are notations he wasn’t picked up on some holidays. The headmaster would take him home.”

Headmaster Townsend shook his head. “Did his father remarry?”

“Several times. And the boarding schools went from top grade, right on down the line. It looks like most summers he was shipped off to summer camps, unless the schools had a summer program.”

“Are there any other relatives?”

“He’s an only child. The closest relatives appear to be his mother’s family over in England. It says he was sent there last summer, staying with his uncle, Clive Paddington, the brother of Anthony’s mother. It doesn’t appear that his father is too keen on spending any time with his son.”

“The Paddington family may have been sending his mother money, and that stopped when she died,” the headmaster speculated.

“Has he stayed in contact with his uncle?”

“Not that I can see.”

“There is a lot of anger in that kid.” Coach Tanner straightened up in his chair. “I want to get him into the athletic program. Maybe we can get him a scholarship to a decent college and give the kid a chance in life.”

“If you want to mentor young Anthony, you have my blessing,” said the headmaster.

“Thank you, sir. I feel he needs someone in his life to set him on the right track. And, there’s one more thing.”

“What’s that?”

“Did you know he’s in the special program?”

Miles Townsend flipped open the file and nodded. “He’s had some basic classes, but no actual training.”

“I saw something very interesting in that file, sir,” offered Coach Tanner.

“What was that?”

“His father pushed for his inclusion. The father is a registered Dom. Anthony tested as a sub.”

“That’s not unusual. The children of Doms are often subs. Otherwise it leads to a lot of confrontations, especially during the teen years.”

“I don’t see anywhere noting that information was shared with Anthony, or his father.”

“Interesting.”

“My guess is, he expects his son to be a Dom and no one wanted to tell him otherwise.”

“Or he never made it in to have that discussion. What’s your take on young Anthony?”

“He’s rebellious, to be sure. Looking through his files, he does show some leadership qualities, but ultimately, I think he’s a people pleaser deep down inside. If I can reach him, we can bring him to his full potential.”

The headmaster closed the file and pushed it back across the desk. “The world does not run on Doms alone. Someone needs to harness this kid before he gets himself into trouble.”

“I will work with him.”

Putting his glasses back on, the headmaster flipped through Tony’s transcripts. “It does say he has played football, basketball and baseball at his previous schools. Maybe you can put him on one of the teams here.”

Coach Tanner stood up and reached out to shake the headmaster’s hand. I will see what I can do.”

~*~*~*~*~*

Coach Tanner pushed Tony to join the football and basketball teams. “We made sure there aren’t any scheduling conflicts,” he promised. “Football for fall, and basketball over winter. And if you find that isn’t enough, you’re welcome to try out for baseball in the spring.”

“How about tennis or golf?” Tony asked as he smirked.

“You try to hide yourself, Anthony. But I see through you. It’s a defense system you’ve learned over the years. I get it, Cadet DiNozzo. I do understand. And I know you well enough to recognize that deep inside, you enjoy teamwork. You like being on the field with other guys.”

“Do I? Are you saying I’m gay, or something?”

Coach Tanner smiled and waved Tony to walk beside him. “Personally, I value everyone. I don’t care whether you’re gay, straight or bi. But at your age, you may want to be careful who you reveal your tendencies to.”

“You’re afraid I’ll get beat up or something?”

“You’re still a kid. I know you feel all grown up, but you’re not. You’re still well into what I consider to be the experimental years.”

“Then when would I know?”

“Mid to late twenties for some. For you? Maybe when you reach your forties or fifties.”

“What? I’m mature for my age,” Tony insisted, folding his arms across his chest.

“You’re very independent. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’re mature. And you can be mature in some ways, but not others. You haven’t grasped your place yet. You have a lot of learning to do.”

“And just what is my place, Coach?”

“Anthony, I want you to succeed. In order for you to do that, you need to start trusting those around you. I see great potential in you.”

“Potential good, or potential bad?” Tony asked.

“Could go either way. We’re going to set you up with a mentor, to help you.”

“You?”

“I will help you as much as I can, but that’s going to lean into the athletics program. There’s another program your father had you enrolled in. It’s time for you to explore that more.”

“The Dom and sub thing? I’ve taken classes. I get that some people are Doms, others are subs.”

“Many don’t fall into either category. But once you’re tested, if you identify with either being a Dom or a sub, it’s in your best interest to embrace your role.”

Tony nodded slowly and smiled nervously. “I tested as a sub and no one wants to tell my father, right?”

“You’re very sharp, Cadet DiNozzo.”

“They say you can feel it. Inside. The tests are for the outside world. Doms and subs can identify themselves internally.”

“Have you talked to your father about that?”

“No. It’s been obvious to me for years that he doesn’t care about me or my life at all.”

“Do yourself a favor, okay? Live your life. Succeed. Don’t screw yourself over in an attempt to piss off your dad. If what you say is true, he’s not going to care anyway. It doesn’t sound like you can count on him. Count on yourself. Work on your grades. Go to college. You want payback? You make something out of your life, without any help from him. Do it on your own. Do it for yourself.”

“Be all I can be?”

“You are a bright young man, with a promising future. I’m willing to help you. There are others willing to help you. During the week, I’ll mentor you through the athletics program. On the weekends, I want you to spend some time with one of our teachers. He can help you.”

“Is he a Dom or a sub?”

“Ken Madison. He’s a sub.”

“He’s my history teacher.”

“He can help you during the school year, then this summer, we can send you to work with a Dom. I can set it up with the program. They pay for Doms to tutor young subs, that or they get college credit.”

“Why not dump me in with a Dom to start? Can’t he teach me everything?”

“He could. But seeing both sides will likely prove very helpful and enlightening.”

“What if I don’t like it?” Tony asked.

“It doesn’t really work that way. You can deny it all you want. You can refuse to align yourself with a Dom. You can live an empty life. But you will always feel there is something missing in your life. You can’t choose to be a Dom or a sub. And you can’t choose not to be what you were born to be.”

Chapter Text

By the end of the year, Tony graduated with an offer of a full athletic scholarship to Ohio State. His father had sent him a check to get home. He put it into the bank and packed his belongings. His father had not bothered to attend his graduation.

While Tony was still in his seat, a young man approached Coach Tanner, reaching out to shake his hand. “Coach Tanner?”

“Yes?”

“My name is Aaron Hotchner. The Tutor Program sent me to pick up a recent graduate.” Looking down at a card, he read, “Number S397715399.”

“I know who you’re here for. I’ll introduce you after the ceremony.”

“No, that is not necessary. It’s been found to be easier if the sub never learns their tutor Dom’s name. Some have gotten too attached and can’t let go.”

“And they can’t find the Dom if they don’t know their name?”

“It does make it more of a challenge. If the temptation isn’t there, the sub is more likely to get on with his own life and finds his own Dom.”

“What are you studying in college?”

Aaron smiled. “What makes you think I’m in college?”

“I’ve been around a while, Mr. Hotchner. At your age, it’s pretty obvious you’re a college student looking for a place to stay, a little money and maybe time to study over the summer.”

“I’m in law school.”

Coach Tanner chuckled. “Anthony is a good kid. Sorry. Your tutor sub is very independent. His mother died years ago and his father, well, he’s not even here to see his son graduate.”

“It’s obvious you think my charge will be a challenge.”

“He certainly can be. I’ve been working closely with him all year. I put him in the football, basketball and baseball programs.”

“He’s a jock. Not too bright?”

“On the contrary, he’s very smart. But there’s a lot of anger inside him. He’s mad at his dad for abandoning him. Maybe even a little at his mom for dying. There are times that he lashes out at everyone. He doesn’t believe anyone cares about him. I’ve tried my best, but I’m sure he thinks now that he’s graduated that I am out of his life for good.”

“Are you?”

“He has a full athletic scholarship to Ohio State. I’ll be here if he needs me, but I have a whole new class of kids coming through.”

“I’m only going to be with him for the summer, then I’m back in law school.”

“You’re a Dom. Teach him that he can trust another human being to care for him. Teach him that he can trust his Dom to be there for him.”

Aaron nodded. “I will take care of him.”

“Thank you. That’s him headed this way.”

Tony approached Coach Tanner and offered his hand. “Thanks for everything, Coach.”

“You’re welcome Cadet.”

“Not anymore. Tony will do fine.”

“This is your training Dom, sent over by the program. You’ll be with him for the summer. And in this program, no names are used.”

Tony offered his hand. “Hello. What should I call you? Mister?”

“Master.”

Tony saluted. “Yes, Sir, Master.”

“No need for that, sub. My car is this way.”

Picking up his bag, Tony began following the tall, dark-haired man to the parking lot.

“Make me proud,” Coach Tanner called.

Tony turned slightly. “Always.”

Aaron led the way to an older Toyota.

“Nice ride,” Tony said sarcastically as he stepped toward the trunk.

“It gets me where I need to go. Very dependable.”

Tony set his bags inside the trunk, then stepped to the passenger side of the car.

“Back seat,” the Dom said sharply.

“Why?” Tony replied, rolling his eyes.

“That is where subs belong. And you can drop the disrespectful tone. I’ve been told you had the classes explaining how things are. Now you’re going to get some practical knowledge.”

Without another word, Tony scooted into the back seat. He said nothing during the ride, but crossed his arms across his chest and sulked.

~*~*~*~*~*

Once they arrived at an apartment, Aaron led Tony to his bedroom and pointed to a pad on the floor.

“What am I supposed to be? A pet dog?”

A swift and unexpected backhand from the Dom sent Tony to the floor.

“A sub is allowed only what his Dom gives him, and he is grateful for what he receives.”

“Forget it,” Tony spat out, still sprawled across the floor. “I don’t need this crap from you. If I wanted to be slapped around, I could go home to my father.”

“That dresser is for your things. Put your suitcase in the closet after you’ve unpacked.”

“I’m not staying.”

“Yes, you are. Coach Tanner said he explained this to you. You’ve taken classes for years. How can you not understand? This is what you are. My job is to help you settle into what you should already know is your place in this world.”

Tony stared up at Aaron for a few moments before slowly getting up and unpacking his things into the dresser. After he stowed his empty suitcase in the closet, he turned back to Aaron. “Now what?”

“If I have to go over the ground rules with you, I will. I am the Dom. You are the sub. Basically, what I say goes. I tell you what to do, and you do it.”

“What are you? A lawyer?”

“Working on it.”

“Really?”

“Yes. I am in law school.”

“So you can make a lot of money?”

“I am interested in the justice system. I have an internship with the FBI.”

“So you’re a G-man?”

Aaron smiled briefly. “Good job distracting me.”

“What? You make the rules, I have to do what you say. What else is there?”

“Exactly. You are not allowed to leave the apartment without my permission. I will know if you leave. If you do, I will punish you.”

“What’s worse punishment than being stuck in an apartment?”

“Being chained up and stuck in an apartment.”

Tony threw his hands in the air. “Okay.”

“Any questions?”

“Are you really going to make me sleep on the dog pad?”

“It’s not a dog pad. It’s a sub pad. I’m sure it’s very comfortable.”

“That’s a huge bed. We could share,” Tony said, flirting.

“Just for the record, I am not gay. I’m engaged to my high school sweetheart. As soon as I graduate from law school, we’ll be getting married.”

“Then why are you training me?”

“Watch your tone. There is more to the Dom/sub relationship than sex. You need some practical experience in following orders from a Dom and learning to trust.”

“I already learned how to suck cock. It’s a useful tool in an all-boys school.”

“I’m sure it is, but it’s not something we need to pursue.”

“I was more interested in sex.”

“You want a cock shoved up your ass?” Aaron asked.

“I’m at that age. You know, experimental; finding myself.”

“Don’t you want to wait until you find someone who loves you?”

Tony scoffed. “Love is a lie. You find someone who can help you survive. And you survive. That’s it. No secret. You do what you have to do to get by.”

“That’s a terrible attitude. I love Hale…my fiancée.”

“Helen?”

“No names.”

“Why? What’s the big deal about a name? Too personal?”

“It’s a lot like law. It’s not about what is right or wrong, or what is fair or not fair. It’s about what is the law. No Dom is going to chase down a trainee sub. But there have been trainee subs who couldn’t move on from their training Dom.”

“Oh, so you think if I know your name, I’m going to show up on your doorstep one day? And your girlfriend might freak out? Is she a sub?”

“That’s none of your business,” Aaron snapped.

“She is. She has to be. You’re a Dom, so she has to be a sub. I’ll bet she’s very pretty.”

Aaron wrapped one hand around Tony’s neck, seething. “That discussion is over. We will never speak about her again. This summer is about you learning to respond to a Dom. And if I have to gag you and chain your sorry ass up, I will.”

Tony’s face reddened as he choked and stared back into Aaron’s eyes. His hands grabbed at Aaron’s, attempting to loosen the Dom’s grip.

“I’m athletic, too, sub. Don’t even think about testing me because I will win every time.” With that he pushed Tony back down to the floor.

Tony rubbed his neck as he gasped for air.

“You stay on that pad while I fix dinner. I don’t want to hear a peep out of you. Understand?”

Tony nodded slowly, and eyed the pad. Aaron continued to glare at him, and watched as Tony crawled over to the mat and settled on top of it.

~*~*~*~*~*

Forty-five minutes later, Hotchner wiped his hands on the dishtowel and set the food on the table. Tony was still sitting on his pad in the bedroom, his arms wrapped around his bent knees.

“Come on, sub.”

Tony sighed, but stood up and followed Hotchner to the table and viewed the offerings. “Really? Hot dogs?”

“And mac and cheese. Do you know how to cook?”

“I can manage.”

“You will need something constructive to do over the summer. You can cook some meals if you want to. There are some summer courses you could sign up for through the sub program, online courses.”

“So you can keep your eyes on me?” asked Tony. “Are you studying for summer online classes?”

“I go in once a week to speak to my professor, and once a week to the FBI.”

“May I sit?”

Hotchner indicated one of the chairs. “Please do.”

“So, this internship for the FBI, what can you do for them once a week?”

“It’s not like that,” Aaron said as he scooped mac and cheese onto his plate. “They’re giving me cold case files. I go over them to learn what was done, and to see if I can find something that was missed.”

“So you get to work on real cases?”

“Cold cases, for now.”

“That sounds more like investigating work than lawyer work.”

“I study criminals. I need to hone my skills at determining who is telling the truth and who is lying. There will be patterns in people’s behavior. Once you identify the patterns, it will go a long way in determining who is innocent, and who is guilty.”

“Interesting. You’re going to be a prosecutor?”

“That’s the plan, for now. I’m learning about other positions that are available.”

Tony grinned and sucked on the end of his hot dog. “I’m open to new positions,” he said with a chuckle.

Hotchner glared at him.

“What?” asked Tony. “I’m a teenager full of raging hormones. Sex is on my mind a lot.”

“You should be concentrating on your education.”

“If I study something and do well, will you reward me?”

“With what?”

“Teach me about sex. I could suck your cock. I’m good at it,” Tony promised.

“At least you learned something at school.”

“I didn’t learn that at school, although I did polish my skills there,” admitted Tony.

Hotchner used his napkin to wipe his hands before reaching for his glass of iced tea. “Where did you learn it? Friends?”

“My dad. After my mom died, my dad’s only use for me was mixing his drinks and sucking his cock.”

“That’s horrible.”

“He’s a Dom. He sent me away to boarding school. He wouldn’t even pick me up for most holidays. I’m pretty sure there were full years I didn’t make it home. And he’s had three wives since my mom died. Each one is worse than the one before. None of them want anything to do with me.”

“Your coach told me you were very independent. I see why.”

“I had to fend for myself. The housekeeper and cook were kind to me, but I wasn’t home much. Dad fired the housekeeper a couple years ago.”

“Because she was asking about you?”

“He’s probably too broke to pay her. My dad is a conman. He’s always scheming and has all these deals, but they almost always fall through.”

“If he pisses off too many people, he may wind up in a courtroom.”

Tony laughed heartily. “If you ever prosecute him, I would love to be there.”

“First things first. You should concentrate on learning your place as a sub. Then work hard at college. You’re going to be fine,” said Aaron. “And if you don’t want to see your dad, then you just have to let him go and move on.”

Tony nodded.

Chapter Text

Waking up early, Aaron yawned and stretched. Silently, he swung his legs over the edge of his bed and focused on the teen curled up on the sub pad. The youth’s chest was bare. A tan blanket covered his lower half, but Aaron was pretty sure Tony liked to sleep in the nude. And it bothered him that his dick took notice of that thought.

A moment later he was in the shower, taking care of his hard-on, then brushing his teeth. Tony slept through it all. Aaron dressed in shorts and a T-shirt, then nudged the teen with his foot.

Tony blinked his eyes open. “Are you kicking me?”

“We can get an alarm clock. As a rule, subs should be awake before their masters. You should have the coffee brewing and breakfast on the table.”

As he rubbed the sleep from his eyes, Tony mumbled, “I don’t even like coffee.”

Aaron’s hand quickly connected with the back of Tony’s head. “It’s not for you. As a sub, you should be…”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. I should be attuned to my master’s needs. Got it.”

A hard slap caught Tony’s cheek. “You do not interrupt me. Got that?”

“Yes, Master.” Dropping his eyes to the floor, Tony quickly humbled himself. It usually pissed him off when he couldn’t speak his mind, but it was sinking in what this summer was all about. “I beg your forgiveness, Master. I was out of line,” he said softly.

“Take a shower, brush your teeth and get dressed. I’ll prepare breakfast today.”

~*~*~*~*~*

A few minutes later, Tony sat at the table, while Aaron set a stack of blueberry pancakes near him.

“Master?”

“Yes?”

“Do I have to ask permission to eat?”

“You may serve yourself milk and orange juice. You will wait until I serve myself food before you take any. You don’t take a bite until I do. Understand?”

“Yes, Master. So, subs aren’t used as poison testers?” Tony asked as he reached for the orange juice. “Like the kings in the middle ages or whatever. When they had someone else taste the food first.”

“It would not look good in your records if I was found poisoned while you’re in training.”

Tony smirked. “I didn’t mean it like that. I would never. I have no beef with you.”

“Are you sure?”

“You were hired to train me. You’re just doing a job. I get it.”

Pulling out the chair at the head of the table, Aaron sat down, then loaded his plate up with pancakes. He used just a pat of butter before pouring syrup over the pancakes. “What are a sub’s responsibilities?”

Tony was in the middle of serving himself. His eyes met Aaron’s briefly before he looked down at his pancakes. “A sub’s job is to please his master.”

“And what is a Dom’s job?” Aaron asked between bites.

Tony poured syrup over his stack, then looked back to Aaron. “To keep the sub in line?”

“I take it your training thus far has focused on your obeying and serving your master?”

“Pretty much,” said Tony as he licked some wayward syrup from his thumb.

“The relationship between a Dom and a sub should be symbiotic. Do you know what that means?”

“That they should suck the life out of each other?”

“Not exactly.” Aaron shook his head and scrubbed his hand over his face. “It means they take care of each other. They fulfill each other’s needs.”

Confusion captured Tony’s expression. “Doms give orders, subs follow them. Subs take care of their Dom’s needs. Oh, you mean that the Dom has to provide food and a place to stay? A sub pad?”

“Not all Doms and subs live together. A lot of Doms are alpha personalities, but so are some subs.”

“I don’t get it. Doms are all about control and ordering people around. Subs just sit back and take it.”

Aaron shook his head. “It can go deeper. Some subs are leaders with stressful jobs. When they’re not at work, they need to let go to de-stress themselves from their jobs. They let themselves go. They allow a Dom to take control; to take care of them; to make choices for them. It can be relaxing and even rejuvenating.”

“Hmm, interesting,” Tony replied, unconvinced.

“As a sub, you’re giving yourself to your master. The Dom has a responsibility to take care of you. A good Dom knows what you need, and will provide a safe place for you to relax and let go. It is called subspace. The Dom will protect the sub from outside influences as needed.”

A chuckle escaped Tony’s lips. “Sounds like the basement storage area.”

Aaron was stone-faced. “No, it’s a safe place in your mind. Your Dom may or may not be in control at work. You may or may not be in a leadership role at work. Work and home are separate.”

After breakfast, Tony put the dishes in the sink to soak, while Aaron put their dinner into the slow cooker. Afterward, Aaron dragged Tony out to play tennis for an hour. “Physical fitness is important,” he said. “As an athlete, I’m sure you know the importance of staying in shape.”

Tony winked at him. “I do enjoy most things physical.”

“A sub should always yield the street side of a sidewalk to the Dom,” Aaron said, ignoring Tony’s words as they walked side by side, with Tony just a half-step behind Aaron.

“So a Dom always walks to the left?”

Aaron stopped dead in his tracks and faced Tony. “Is that what I said?”

“No, Master. You said street side.”

“It’s for the protection of the sub.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. If a car jumps the curb, it’ll hit me first.”

“That’s comforting,” Tony mumbled.

“Since the Dom calls the shots, they are responsible to protect their sub at all times.”

Tony perked up, and asked, “So, if an armed robber pointed a gun at me, you would have to step between me and the gun?”

“That would be protocol. It doesn’t mean I will. However, if you don’t survive the summer training session, that would look bad on my record.”

“That’s true.”

“But if I let you get shot, I could still get away. They may take my training license, but I would still be alive.”

A smile played across Tony’s lips. “Here I was thinking you didn’t have a sense of humor, Master. I know that you, of all people, are hardwired to do the right thing, whatever that may be.”

“Good. As long as we understand each other.”

Back at the apartment, Aaron took a quick shower, then began studying, after ordering Tony to shower again, clean the bathroom and wash the dishes from breakfast.

“What’s up with all the showers,” Tony griped.

“Habit. I take a shower as soon as I wake up, and again if I do anything that causes me to sweat.”

“I’ll bet I could make you sweat.”

Slamming his book closed, Aaron nearly growled at Tony. “Enough kid. I don’t know where you think your flirting is going to get you. Everything is not about sex.”

Taking the sponge, Tony washed and rinsed the last plate. “Well, there is money. Sex and money. That’s all my dad cares about. Booze, too, I guess.”

Aaron’s voice softened. “I’m sorry he led you to believe that. There is a lot more to life.”

“Like what?”

“People and relationships. Your relationship with your father seems rather toxic. You’re probably better off being sent to boarding schools than to have been exposed to his lifestyle and demands.”

Pausing in his actions, Tony thought about that for a moment. “Maybe you’re right.”

“If you want to do some studying online, I can log the computer in for you.”

“Why do you have a computer if you don’t use it?”

“I do use my laptop on occasion, for research. I just tend to work with hard copy books and files more than the computer.”

“So you like physical stuff?”

“Online classes, or go sit quietly on your pad. Those are your choices.”

Tony thought for a moment, then decided to go sit at the desk and see what classes he could take, that were included with his program.

~*~*~*~*~*

After a pot roast dinner, Aaron motioned for Tony to follow him into the bedroom. It was a small apartment with only one bathroom, one bedroom, and one room that included the living room, dining room, and kitchen all merged together. The bedroom did have a walk-in closet. The rest of the apartment had three closets and a pantry.

Tony stood and waited, watching as Aaron brought one of the chairs from the table into the room.

“Sit,” Aaron commanded.

Taking a seat, Tony kept his eyes on Aaron, watching as he began rummaging through one of the dressers. A shiver ran through his body when he saw the rope and cloth Aaron was bringing his way.

“What is that?” Tony asked in a panicked tone.

Aaron glared. “You’ve been taught better than that.”

With his heart racing, Tony swallowed hard and took two deep breaths. “Master? May I speak?”

“Better. Go ahead.”

“What are you doing? Master?”

“You need to learn to trust. You must trust your master. I will never cause you permanent harm. If you have a Dom who harms you, you must petition for your release. Understand?”

“I guess.”

“Either you do or you don’t. Yes or no?”

Tony dropped his eyes to the floor. “I thought masters could do anything and subs just have to take it.”

“Dom and subs are just two parts to a puzzle. The Dom isn’t more important, than the sub. They are equals. And you do have a say. You should always have a safe word. If your master doesn’t have you choose one, you should ask. All Doms know, and all subs know, about safe words.”

“How are we equal if I have to do everything the Dom says?”

“You can set limits. You’re allowed to. When you sign your papers, you can put in the document anything you can’t or won’t do. It’s in every contract that you have the right to a safe word. You can use it if you feel uncomfortable. However, I’ll warn you, if you find you’re using your safe word too much, either you’re not able to trust on a level that you should, or you are being abused. Always think carefully.”

“So if I had a safe word now, I could use it and you couldn’t do anything to me?”

A smile slowly crept across Aaron’s face. “Training is different. I have boundaries. But I am allowed to train you.”

Tony sighed.

“What was that?”

“I’m sorry, Master. I didn’t mean to do that.”

“You may choose a secondary word, as well. A safe word means you want everything to stop immediately; that you feel you are in danger, or extreme discomfort. Think of your safe word as a red light. When you say it, everything stops. Your secondary word is like a yellow light. It’s a warning that you’re becoming uncomfortable. It’s to slow things down, or just to let your Dom know you’re feeling unsure. What are your safe words?”

Tony thought for a moment. “Pot roast for the red light.”

A rare smile flashed across Aaron’s face. “Do you not like my pot roast?”

“It’s not my favorite, Master. No offense.”

“None taken.”

“Garbanzo bean for my yellow light.”

“Okay. Pot roast and garbanzo bean it is.”

“What happens if I use my safe word and the Dom doesn’t stop?”

“Outside of training, you can petition for your release. If a Dom doesn’t comply with your safe word one time, that is cause for release. In all fairness, you must state your safe word a minimum of two times, loud enough that it would be a reasonable assumption that your Dom heard you.”

“What if training gets too intense?”

“It won’t. We have guidelines. If you feel I am unfair, you may go to the board and state your case. I should warn you that any time you go to the board, that stays on your record for life. Not that you shouldn’t go when it’s warranted, but don’t be the boy who cries wolf.”

Moving close, Aaron placed the rope and the cloth into Tony’s hands. He turned the material over, felt it and inspected it.

After a couple minutes, Aaron took the rope and pulled Tony’s arms behind him. “Do not pull away,” he demanded as he began binding Tony’s wrists. “Don’t pull or squirm. It will only cause sores on your skin.”

“What are you going to do to me?” Tony asked, panicked again.

“Sub, your tone.”

“Forgive me, Master. May I speak?”

“No. You need to learn to trust. I will not harm you. Understand?”

“Yes, Master.”

“This is to help you to trust. I know it can be frightening to give someone else control over you. But you must learn to trust. Breathe.”

“Yes, Master,” Tony said before he took a few deep breaths and released them slowly.

Taking the cloth from Tony’s lap, Aaron loosely tied it so it covered Tony’s eyes. “You are fine,” he assured the teen. “I will not harm you. I want you to sit quietly. Understand?”

“Yes, Master.”

Tony heard Aaron walk away and sit at the table in the dining room.

~*~*~*~*~*

The next two weeks were similar. Aaron spent a lot of time studying or reviewing cold cases. Tony did housework and took a few online classes so he had something to do beyond sitting still and being quiet all day. Each day they did some physical activity, usually jogging and calisthenics.

Aaron repeated lessons as needed, working on Tony’s trust issues. Each day he left Tony tied and blindfolded for a few more minutes. Their sessions had started at just five minutes. They had worked the time up to an hour.

“Do you trust that I will not harm you?” Aaron asked one day.

“Yes, Master.”

“Do you trust that I will take care of your needs?”

“Yes, Master.”

“Good.”

~*~*~*~*~*

Another two weeks passed before Tony felt comfortable enough to walk up behind Aaron as he reviewed FBI cold cases at the table. Reaching around Aaron’s body, Tony embraced him, tightening his arms around the Dom’s chest.

Without flinching, or allowing his eyes to drift off his current file, Aaron said, “It could be dangerous sneaking up on someone.”

“Master, may I speak.”

“You may.”

“I’m just happy is all.”

“And you felt that I deserved a hug because you’re happy?”

“I was hoping we could do something special today.”

Dropping his pen to the table, Aaron loosened Tony’s grip and turned to face him. “Stop dancing around whatever you want to say. Just tell me.”

A red flush crept up to Tony’s face and neck. “It’s my birthday,” he said softly. “I’m eighteen.”

Aaron nodded slowly. “I think I can afford to take you out to dinner. Any place special you want to go?”

“I like steak,” pausing, Tony eyed Aaron for a moment. “If that’s too much, we can do something else. Italian is always good.”

“Steak is fine, as long as you’re not expecting a top of the line restaurant.”

“Cool! Thank you, Master.”

Chapter Text

Aaron led the way from the building to the car. Tony made sure to allow the Dom the street side of the sidewalk. He’d learned that lesson earlier; to always allow the Dom the street side so they are in a position to protect their sub. When they reached the Toyota, Aaron held the passenger door opened.

“Really, Master?” Tony questioned. “I thought subs had to ride in the back seat.”

“Special occasion. It’s up to the Dom anyway. The day we met, I wanted to see how well-trained you were. And how combative.”

“You were testing me? And you took me home anyway,” Tony said smugly as he climbed into the car and buckled his seatbelt.

The door closed firmly. Moments later, Aaron revved the engine. “You have been a challenge. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.”

“So, you’re saying I’m worth it?”

Aaron smiled. “Sure, you’re worth it.”

“Master, I do appreciate everything you do for me.”

“You do realize I’m getting paid for this, right? It’s a job.”

“Paid and a free apartment, too?”

“The apartment is a nice perk. And the pay isn’t much, but it covers food and utilities, plus a little extra. I have time to study. It’s not all bad.”

“Can I ask you a personal question, Master? I mean, it’s not all that personal. Maybe more of an opinion.”

“Of course,” Aaron agreed as he was stopped at a red light.

“When did you have your first beer? Was it before you were twenty-one?”

“Where are you going with this?”

“I spent last summer in England, with my Uncle Clive. I was allowed to drink beer legally in England, France, and Germany.”

“You’re not currently in Europe,” Aaron said as he gripped the steering wheel a little tighter.

“I know. It just doesn’t make sense to me. It’s not like I’m driving or anything.”

“And what you’re getting at is that you’d like a beer with your steak dinner?”

“Hmmm. I hadn’t thought about that. I was just going to ask if you’d consider picking up a six-pack on the way home. Just a birthday celebration thing. But a beer with a steak dinner would be awesome.”

“I feel sorry for your Dom already.”

“Why is that, Master?”

“You’re a handful. I think you’re always going to be a handful.”

“It takes two hands to handle a Whopper.”

Aaron couldn’t stop his laughter. “You are incorrigible.”

“Teen with raging hormones,” Tony said as he pointed a finger at himself. “What did you think about when you were my age?”

“Okay. Fair enough. I went through a stage at maybe fifteen or sixteen where I was a little wild and lacked direction in my life. “Then I met my fiancée in high school and things changed for me.”

“Really?”

“Yes. And I love her dearly. We were in a couple plays together and fell madly in love.”

“You? In a play?”

“Yes. Acting gave me confidence. I may have been on the wrong track before, but when I met her, things changed. I wanted to be better, for her. I wanted to spend my life with her. I started thinking about what really mattered to me, and what I wanted to study in college. I straightened out because I wanted to take care of her. I knew I had to step up.”

“Well, I haven’t met my Miss Right. Or even a Mister Right. I’m just out to have a good time. I don’t want to get drunk tonight. I simply enjoy a cold beer now and then. So if it doesn’t go against everything you believe in, it would be cool if I could have a couple beers on my birthday.”

“You know it is illegal to drink at your age in DC.”

Tony sighed in defeat. “Okay. Sure. No problem. I didn’t realize it was going to be such a long, dry summer.”

The restaurant was slightly nicer than what Tony was expecting, certainly a step up from a common discount steakhouse. Taking a deep breath, Tony looked to Aaron for any clues on what was appropriate behavior. When the server came to their table, Aaron ordered first: A T-bone, salad, steamed broccoli and a pitcher of beer, with two glasses.

Doing his best to hide his glee, Tony ordered himself a medium-rare ribeye, with a side salad and baked potato with cheese and bacon. He smiled, but wasn’t going to do anything to jeopardize the possibility of getting to enjoy a beer with his steak dinner.

The restaurant featured dim lighting, and candles on the table. Tony was glad the server didn’t take them as father and son. Perhaps she suspected they were lovers? He didn’t really care. He’d been fascinated by Aaron since the day they met.

~*~*~*~*~*

The pair strolled casually back to the car under a starlit night. They had taken their time eating dinner, then Aaron suggested that no birthday was complete without a dessert. Aaron opted for Crème Brulée, while Tony ordered a triple chocolate cake, with thick chocolate buttercream frosting and a raspberry drizzle.

As they walked back to the car, Tony patted his stomach. “That was wonderful. Thank you for treating me. I really do appreciate it. That was the best meal I’ve had in a long time.”

“You mean to tell me that the Remington Military Academy didn’t serve you steak?”

“I think they served us war surplus army rations.”

Aaron chuckled.

“It’s nice to see you smile and hear you laugh. I seriously thought you had a stick up your ass the first few days after we met,” said Tony.

“I’m focused. I know what I want and I’m going to work hard for it.”

“Marrying your fiancée, and getting a job that pays well so you can take care of her. Do you see kids in your future?”

“We do want kids. Maybe two or three. I’d like to have a house with a yard.”

“I envy you.”

Aaron stopped walking and faced Tony. “Why? You haven’t even started college yet. You can do anything you want. You can work for your dreams.”

“That’s my problem. I don’t know what I want to do. I enjoy sports, but I know even if I can go pro, it won’t last long. After that, I don’t know. I guess I’m keeping my options open.”

Placing a hand on Tony’s shoulder, Aaron said, “You still have time.”

“Maybe I can join the FBI,” Tony joked. “I could work for you one day.”

“You want to be an attorney?”

“No. I don’t think you do either.”

“Really? What is it you think I want to do?”

“I’ve watched you working through the cold cases. I think you’d be a good investigator.”

“The world is full of possibilities.”

Despite allowing their dinner to draw out, Aaron still drove slowly. Sitting in the passenger seat, Tony smiled and closed his eyes. He imagined that he was sober enough to drive, so he was certain Aaron was fine. Considering the consequences of a trainer Dom giving alcohol to a minor sub, and also to be driving under the influence, Tony understood the extra caution.

“That was awesome,” Tony said when they arrived back at the apartment.

“It was good steak. I’m glad you enjoyed it.”

“I meant that you broke the rules. You’re not some robotic machine. You’re actually human, not Data from Star Trek, The Next Generation.”

Aaron was obviously in a good mood, offering rare smiles and an occasional chuckle. “I’m not perfect.”

“But you are a bit stiff, Master. No pun intended. You’re a bit straitlaced, always doing the right thing.”

“There is nothing wrong with doing the right thing.”

“True,” Tony agreed. “But it is fun to break the rules now and then, provided you’re not harming anyone else, of course.”

“Is that what you want to be,” asked Aaron. “A rule breaker?”

“No, it’s not that. I just want to have a little fun now and then.”

“Most Doms have a set of rules, just so you know.”

“Do they come with instructions, too?”

“No. It’s important to be with the right person. When you find her, or him, you will know.”

“How?”

Tapping his heart, Aaron said, “You will know.”

Tony followed Aaron back into the bedroom and watched as he undressed.

“Something on your mind?” asked Aaron.

“Master, just this once, can I sleep on the bed? Please? I’ve been sleeping on that pad for over a month.”

Aaron froze, thinking for a moment.

“I know you get hard and that’s the real reason you take a shower first thing every morning. I mean, I’m sure you’re thinking about your fiancée, and I’m not supposed to talk about her. Where is she anyway? You never see her. I know because I’m here all the time, and so are you. You don’t even talk to her. Ever.”

“She exists, if that’s what you’re wondering. She and a friend are travelling through Europe over the summer. Transcontinental calls are expensive, so we agreed she would only call if there was an emergency. If I don’t hear from her, everything is fine.”

“I get it. You’re throwing yourself into your studying and these FBI cold cases, and even me, as a distraction. It must be driving you nuts.”

“What’s that?”

Cocking his head slightly, Tony smiled knowingly. “You’re a Dom, she’s a sub. It’s your duty to protect her. But you can’t. Not now. Not while she’s travelling through Europe.”

“Her friend is a Dom. I am certain my fiancée is in good hands.”

“Do you think they’re engaging in a little femme ala femme action? Her friend is also female, correct?”

“Yes, of course. Her friend is female and I’m sure there’s no funny business going on.”

“It’s okay. I mean, it’s better before you get married at least. A lot of people experiment when they’re young. I’m looking forward to college. I’m sure there will be a party every night.”

“Do yourself a favor and hit the books,” Aaron urged. “The next few years can set the pace for the rest of your life. You don’t want to screw it up.”

“Master,” Tony said softly, as he reached out to touch Aaron’s bare chest. “I just want to say thank you for tonight.”

Aaron clasped Tony’s hands in his own, and pushed him away. “You’re welcome.”

“It’s not really cheating if you let me kiss you.” When there was no response, Tony placed his hands on Aaron’s shoulders, closed his eyes and leaned in for a kiss. To his surprise, Aaron’s arms enveloped him, drawing him in, and their lips pressed together.

When they pulled back, Tony studied Aaron’s eyes. He’d learned to read the older man pretty well over the past month. He clearly wasn’t angry. “It’s okay to be curious,” Tony whispered. “It’s perfectly natural. You might as well get it out of your system now, before you get married.”

“I’ve pledged myself to…her.”

“I know. I’m not asking for anything permanent. Just a little experimentation. Totally physical.” His fingers ran through the fine hair sprouting on Aaron’s chest. “I know you’ll be faithful when you’re married. But you’re not married, yet.”

Taking Aaron’s hand in his own, Tony led him to the king-sized bed. Settling on his back, Tony pulled Aaron close for another kiss. This time their hands wandered. Fingers and palms pressed against warm skin as their tongues wrestled in the wet heat of their mouths. Both naked, there was no hiding their hardened cocks.

Tony kissed a trail down Aaron’s chest as he shifted downward. After two quick pumps to Aaron’s cock, Tony wrapped his lips around the head and began sucking at the tip. He teased the hard penis with his tongue, then began stroking it with his hand. Moving off to one side, he used his other hand to fondle Aaron’s balls until he drew moans of pleasure.

Tony continued alternating using his mouth and his hand until Aaron came. Afterward Aaron pulled Tony up beside him and held him close. “Not bad, sub,” he said. “Happy birthday, kid. Get some sleep.”

“Just saying, if we’re going to be experimenting like this, maybe we should keep some sort of lube around. And maybe some other stuff. I’d like to explore a little more, if you’re willing.”

Without saying a word, Aaron kissed Tony and hugged him close, allowing him to share the bed for the night.

Chapter Text

Early the next morning, Tony saw that Aaron was hard again, and slowly drew his finger across the erect penis. Aaron’s eyes fluttered open, and he grabbed Tony’s wrist.

“Only trying to help, Master.”

“I need a shower,” said Aaron as he pushed the sheet aside and stood up quickly.

Tony followed him into the bathroom. “Perhaps we should share. It would save water.”

“Very practical,” Aaron said as he turned on the shower. “Do you really prefer men to women?”

Tony shrugged. “I’ve kissed a few girls. I’ve kissed a lot of guys. When I close my eyes, I can’t get the difference until I get to the chest or genitals. Lips are lips,” he said as he took a step closer and reached for Aaron’s cock. “I enjoy the mutual benefits.”

“Have you ever had actual sex?”

“Yeah, I guess. I am eighteen.”

“Barely.”

“I’ve messed around a little. Always with a condom. I’ve never been in love though. If you believe the movies, everything is better when you’re in love.”

“I suppose some things are,” Aaron said as he stepped into the shower.

Tony accepted it as an approval for him to join in Aaron in the shower. As the water rained down on him, he grabbed the soap and began rubbing his hands across Aaron’s body. “So, I can find a male or a female Dom?”

“Sure. Whatever your preference is. The program doesn’t judge on that.”

“I like toned bodies. Yours is pretty awesome. I like that you keep in shape.”

“Thanks.”

Leaning forward, Tony kissed Aaron on the mouth, then nibbled at his neck before dropping downward. With his hand slick with soap bubbles, he began working Aaron’s cock. He teased Aaron’s nipples and licked drops of water from his chest.

It wasn’t long before Tony felt the warm spray of cum across his hand.

“This isn’t a good idea,” Aaron said softly as he stepped out of the shower and grabbed a towel to dry off.

Remaining in the shower, Tony quickly brought himself to orgasm, then cleaned up before stepping out and drying off.

When he walked into the bedroom, he saw Aaron dressing in a dark suit. “Master, I was going to ask. Can we get a television? Or a DVD player?”

“No.”

“Really? I love movies. It’s a little boring just studying and jogging.”

As he watched his own image in the mirror, Aaron knotted his tie. “Sub, I said no. I told you before, there are training guidelines. This is a training apartment and comes with anything we need. All we are to bring in is our clothing, food and studying materials. Understand?”

“Yes, Master. So, everything is furnished? Towels, shampoo, soap?”

“Yeah. Pretty much. Everything is sanitized between uses. Since this is a training complex, they buy in bulk.”

“Comdoms?”

“The nightstand is stocked. But we won’t be needing them.”

Out of curiosity, Tony walked across the bedroom and checked the nightstand. “Hey, you’re right.” After picking up a handful of colorful condom packs, he let them fall back into the drawer. “Plenty of lube and Kleenex, too.”

“And again. We will not be needing them. It’s time to get back on track. Actually, seeing where your interests lie, we can use what’s in here.”

Tony watched as Aaron stepped over to the walk-in closet and pulled out a padded piece of furniture. After rolling it into the room, he locked the wheels.

“A weight bench?”

“Close. It’s a spanking bench. I don’t know if you’ve gone through that dresser, but it has a nice selection of paddles and floggers.”

Rushing across the room, Tony began rummaging through the dresser drawers. “They have everything in here. Even handcuffs!” said Tony as he dangled a set from his fingers. “Dildos? How is that sanitary?”

Looking over his shoulder, Aaron commented, “They’re sealed. The guidelines call for using condoms with anything inserted. I’m sure they’re either sanitized or replaced if they’re used.”

“What are these?”

“Nipple clamps.”

“I think our summer is about to get a lot more interesting.”

Aaron grabbed Tony’s arm brutally and held him tight. “Not like you’re thinking. We will not be having sex, or anything like that. Last night was poor judgment on my part. It won’t happen again.”

“What’s the spanking bench for?”

“Punishment,” said Aaron, firmly. “Your turn to fix breakfast. Then we’ll deal with your punishment.”

“Punishment for what?”

“Touching me.”

“You weren’t complaining at the time,” said Tony as he walked away.

“That still doesn’t mean you had permission. I’m human. I admit it.”

“Are you sure?”

“Enough, sub. You are right. I miss my fiancée every damn day and it hurts to be apart. That doesn’t mean that I am going to be with you in that way.”

Tony’s voice dropped to nearly silent. “You don’t like me? You don’t think I’m hot?”

“It’s not about that. Your training isn’t about sex. Our relationship isn’t about sex.”

Tony continued walking to the kitchen and made a breakfast of bacon and eggs and split a grapefruit in half to share with Aaron. “I’m sorry, Master,” he said as he set the table. “I was out of line.”

“As long as we understand each other.”

“Is it against the rules for us to go out and see a movie at a theater?”

“No, it’s not. We’ll call it a reward. If you’re good all week, I will let you choose a movie to go to.”

“Dinner and a movie? Not that your cooking totally stinks, but it’s nice to have a little variety now and then.”

“I think I can swing that, if you’re good.”

“If we go early, we can get matinee prices,” Tony suggested.

~*~*~*~*~*

After breakfast, Aaron left the apartment to attend his weekly meeting with the FBI. When he returned, he found Tony sitting at the computer drinking a soda and studying an online class. He dropped a stack of files onto the table, along with his briefcase and laptop, then walked over to see what Tony was working on. “It’s good to see you studying. Did you find some courses that will give you college credit?”

Looking up, Tony nodded. “Yeah, a couple. You have to take a test at the end of the summer. Colleges may or may not agree to give you class credit, but it’s based on the test result.”

“Still, they might. It’s certainly worth it if they do.” Staring at the screen, Aaron scanned over the content. “Are you studying Criminal Justice?”

“Yeah, some. You’ve inspired me. Maybe I’ll get to the FBI yet.”

“That’s an excellent goal. Come over to the table for a moment.”

“Yes, Master,” Tony said as he pushed away from the computer.

“This training program is considered private. It’s nobody’s business what Doms and subs do. Understand?”

“Sure.”

“Yes or no.”

“Yes.”

“It’s up to you and your Master what to let other people know. I keep my life at home private. Many do. You don’t know my name for a reason.”

“And you don’t know mine.”

Aaron quickly looked away.

“You do know my name?” asked Tony.

“Not intentionally. Your coach let it slip,” Aaron admitted. “But I’m still not going to go looking for you once we’re done here.”

“I get it. We’re not supposed to contact each other after training. But what if I have questions? What if I need help?”

“That is what the board is for. You can have a counselor there.”

“Free?”

“Free to you, yes. It costs money to file a proper contract. Doms pay for that. Don’t ever sign paperwork outside of the program. Understand? People may take advantage of you.”

“I understand.”

“The program receives government grants and donations both private and corporate. There are entities with money that support the program.”

“Good, because I’m broke. I’ll have to work through college to pay for books and a place to stay.”

“It will be a good experience for you. My point is, if we do meet after this summer, we should act like we’re meeting for the first time. You’ll need to learn to mask your emotions.”

“No worries, there. I’m told I wear a lot of masks.”

“You do. Sometimes. Just study hard and always do your best. You are going to be fine.”

“What if I never find my Master? You know, that right person. Do I stay single forever?”

Reaching across the table, Aaron cupped Tony’s cheek. “You’re young. Keep an open mind. Discover the things you like about a person. Don’t marry the wrong person. You will be miserable.”

“So I should find a Dom?”

“You should find your Dom. Wait until you do. You’ll know when it’s right. Trust in that. You will know.”

“I hope I find someone who cares for me the way you care for your fiancée.”

“You will, one day.”

“You’re not going to tell her, are you?”

“Tell her what?”

“About your moment of weakness?”

“I want to be honest with her,” Aaron confided.

“Would you want to know if she did something similar on her European vacation?”

Aaron thought for a few moments. “No. I guess not. It wouldn’t help anything.”

“It may create doubt. I don’t ever want to be a wedge that comes between what the two of you have. I was only trying to help, not cause problems.”

“And after all, you’re just a horny teenager.”

“With raging hormones. Although, at least I’m a guy. I mean, seriously. She might forgive what we did. But if you were messing around with an eighteen-year-old chick? You’d be paying for that the rest of your life.”

“People make mistakes. That’s how you learn and improve. You gain knowledge from your experience, and do better next time.”

“I think my dad missed that life lesson.”

Stepping closer, Aaron cupped Tony’s chin again and looked into his eyes. “Let go of your past, and look forward to your future. Trust in yourself. You are going to survive.”

“As long as I study hard.”

“You can do anything you want. But people want the best. Grades matter. And if you want to work for the FBI, and I end up there as well, it’s going to be okay. We’d work well together.”

“Whatever you end up doing, you’re going to be a leader or manager or whatever. You’re a total Dom. I can’t see you being happy having someone else be in charge.”

“I won’t get to be in charge until I earn it. I’ll start at the bottom and will work my ass off until I make it.”

“You will. I see how determined you are. I wouldn’t be surprised if you end up running the FBI one day.”

“I don’t know if I could handle the bureaucracy. I want to be on a level where I’m putting the bad guys away, and helping the victims get closure.”

“A very noble goal, Master. I see you have a new load of case files to work on.”

“I had a meeting with a couple FBI agents and gave them my thoughts on the last bunch. They were pleased with my work and offered me a few more cold cases to look into.”

“I was hoping, if you don’t mind…” Tony began.

“Let me guess. You want to work my cases with me?”

“Yes! I thought I could help you review and you can tell me what you think. And I can tell you what I think.”

“I’ll make a call to see if it’s okay.”

“Why would the program care if I help you go through case files?”

“They wouldn’t, but the FBI might. These are classified FBI files.”

“That makes sense. It was just a thought.”

“I’d be happy to help you with your classwork,” Aaron offered. “You have some hypothetical cases, right?”

“Yeah.”

“I will call Agent Gideon, the agent in charge, to see what he thinks. You can go into the bedroom and prepare for your punishment.”

“Master, you were serious about using that spanking bench? Is it going to hurt?”

Aaron smiled. “Don’t worry about it. Knowing you, you’ll probably enjoy it.”

“Is this a legitimate part of my training?”

“Of course. That’s why the spanking bench is here. I just left it in the closet because I didn’t think we would be using it. However, I have a feeling your future relationship may drift this way. Trust me on this. You will be less nervous if you’re already familiar with it.”

“And you will get no gratification from spanking me at all?”

Loosening his tie as he walked toward the bedroom, Aaron grinned and said, “I didn’t say that.”

 

The End
11/14/2017