The logs on the fire were silver with ash, the flames licking them subdued, confined. Jeff had built a barrier of small stones around the kindling, then directed me to clear away any dried grass that might catch light from a wayward spark. I didn’t mind him telling me what to do. Out here in the woods, he took charge naturally, at home in a way I wasn’t.
Truthfully, I was scared. Not a lot, because Jeff was a reassuring man to be with, but enough that as darkness fell I jumped at every noise. The peace of the day’s hike had faded with the vivid colors splashed across the sky by the setting sun, leaving me jittery.
Or maybe that was because when we turned in for the night, we’d be squashed into a small tent. I didn’t own one and Jeff had insisted I share his.
“Buying one is a waste of money. Let’s face it, you might hate walking and refuse to camp again.”
I’d fluttered my eyelashes in a way I’d never do to any other straight man, a friendship dating back years providing the foundation for my confidence and twirled on the spot, finishing with a flourish. “Honey, this is me we’re talking about, hmm? Camp is in my DNA.” He’d grinned at the pun, tousled my hair until I looked as if my styling inspiration was a shower scrunchy, and repeated his offer. “It sleeps two.”
“You’re six foot across the shoulders, darling.” Slight exaggeration.
“And you disappear when you turn sideways. We’ll fit together fine, trust me. Besides, the lighter your backpack, the better. If it’s heavy at the start of the hike, it’ll weigh three times as much by the end.”
“Like me after my mom’s Sunday dinner.”
He ignored that comment. “We’re out there for a day, a night, and another day. Change of clothes, sleeping bag, and food. That’s all you need. I’ll bring along everything else.”
And he had, setting off into the forest with a backpack that could’ve swallowed two of mine. It didn’t hide my view of his ass, though. I tried not to stare too often, but the curve of muscle above those strong thighs was the carrot that kept my feet moving when what I wanted to do was collapse facedown and cry from tiredness.
The vast forest, with hills rising up from it, high enough to be mountains in places, was busy in the summer, especially on weekends but we were on one of the more challenging trails and it was mid-week. This late in the season, with the September nights bringing a brisk snap to the air, we didn’t have any company after the first ten miles. I’d trained for this hike—in a gym. Nothing could prepare me for the bone-sapping exhaustion courtesy of hours spent climbing a steep, never-ending slope. Jeff had been considerate, though, working rest breaks in often under the pretext of showing me a spectacular view or some wildlife. A squirrel, no matter how cute, wasn’t worth stopping for under normal circumstances, but I’d soon gotten to the point where a colorful beetle could halt me in my tracks. Any excuse to catch my breath.
When we found a place to spend the night, it dawned on me how far we’d walked and how far that put us from the basic necessities of life. Like toilets. I’d never appreciated them enough. When we got back, I’d clean mine with an expensive bowl cleaner instead of a no-name brand version.
“Jumpy, aren’t you?” Jeff extended his arm after I’d yelped high and loud when a pine cone fell from a nearby tree and bounced toward me. “Come here.”
Startled, grateful, I edged closer. “You’re sure about the bears?”
“About there not being any? Yeah.” He pulled me in against him, arm slung across my shoulders, a boulder at his back, massive like him, unmovable and solid. “If we went deeper into the park, maybe, but there hasn’t been a bear sighting in this area for over five years. And we’ve stashed what’s left of our food up high, away from the tent.”
I relaxed against him in stages, snuggling into his side. The crackle of the fire became soothing, the darkness a shield, not a hiding place for monsters. We talked, sharing memories and, as the hours went by, confidences. He stayed where he was, while I went from cross-legged to kneeling—on a stone, ouch—to lying on my back, head pillowed against his thigh. I tended to fidget, a habit he hated, but which I had trouble breaking. Drowsiness loosened my tongue more than alcohol ever could and when he asked about my ex, I didn’t hold back.
“Yeah, I didn’t see him lasting,” Jeff said after my rant had wound down. He stroked my hair, something he did more often than I think he realized. “Cute little pup like you deserves someone who’ll be nice to you, not an asshole.” He tugged a strand of hair, not forcefully, but hard enough to leave a pleasant tingle behind. “But firm when you hit eleven on the drama scale and end up chasing your tail.”
“Pup? I’ve told you not to call me that.” He insisted I could get anything from anyone if I gave them the puppy dog look, hence the nickname. I wished.
“Why not? When you’re happy, you all but wag your tail, and when you’re down, you droop like a cold, wet pooch whose cruel owner won’t open the door.”
The tingles were all over me now, electric, warm, racing down to my cock. The affection in his voice lingered, clinging to me like honey, sweet and pure. I drew in a shaky breath and struggled up to sitting. “Any beer left?”
He’d packed two bottles to toast my first hike with, cooling them in the stream a dozen yards to the north of our campsite, but I’d told him he could have both. I was more of a cocktail guy. Anything sweet and loaded with alcohol worked for me. Bonus points if it was pink and fruit-based.
“Thought you didn’t want any? But yeah, there’s some left. Here.”
Instead of passing me the bottle, he held it to my mouth, refusing to surrender it. I protested and he slid the bottle neck between my lips, the glass cool. He tilted his hand and a trickle of beer flowed into my mouth, filling it without choking me. I swallowed, once, twice, then turned my head, overwhelmed by the intimacy of the playful gesture. Beer ran down my chin and I spluttered, raising my hand to wipe it away. He stopped me, setting the bottle down and using his thumb to catch the drops.
Arousal beat at me, an insistent, compelling pulse, but I forced myself to smile. “And I thought I could handle my liquor.”
“Messy pup,” he scolded, grinning back. “Next time, I’ll pour it into a bowl and you can drink it that way.”
Sweet Lord have mercy. I made an inarticulate gurgle by way of response, face heating, and he drew back, eyes narrowed. I braced myself for questions I’d need to evade, but he let me off the hook.
“I had a call from Carla on Sunday.”
Carla had been at the top of my shit-list from the moment she eyed my outfit and drawled, “Men in pink. Now there’s an oxymoron.”
She’d said it with Jeff out of the room, which showed her brains more than the fancy word. Hearing that she’d moved out of Jeff’s apartment, after six months of making his life miserable, and in with a recently divorced lawyer old enough to be her father was cause for rejoicing. I’d danced around my tiny apartment until I’d tripped on an empty vodka bottle, sent crashing to the floor by a combination of karma and sloppy housekeeping.
Steadying my voice, I asked what she’d wanted. If it was a reconciliation, I’d break my rule about not interfering with his relationships into tiny bits, then jump on them.
Jeff chuckled. “She was complaining about my packing skills. She’d left a ton of stuff behind and she texted me to put it in cartons and deliver it to her new condo.”
Typical. “Which you did because you’re a pushover for blondes with big tits.”
“Which I did to draw a line under the whole sorry affair,” he corrected me. “Seemingly, the way I rolled her clothes ruined them. It’s the best way to keep them from creasing and it takes up less room, but she said I should’ve used layers of tissue, kept the cashmere separate from the linen, put the shoes in the original boxes… Oh, she had a lot to say concerning the shoes.”
I snorted, inappropriate arousal pushed aside by gleeful, and yeah, spiteful amusement. “Oh sweetie, you’re a bad, bad boy and I love you for it.”
In the flickering light of the fire, I saw him smile, then yawn. “Yeah, well you wouldn’t be as forgiving if I’d done it to your stuff.”
“True.” To edge us further away from awkward subjects like his ex, I said brightly, “Now that she’s gone you can get a dog again!”
Jeff’s beloved Labrador had died a year ago from cancer. After mourning her for months, he’d looked for another, only to meet Carla, allergic to animals—she said—and the search had been put on hold indefinitely.
“I could. Maybe not a Lab now that I’m in an apartment without a yard. Something smaller. Or I’ll move again.”
Talking about dogs took us into familiar territory, two friends chatting, easy with each other, relaxed. I shivered and he drew me in close again, and we fell into a light doze more than deep sleep, light enough that a rustle in the trees close by roused me. Nothing leaped out to savage us and I relaxed, caught in a delicious lethargy. My cock stirred when I caught a whiff of his scent, a heady brew of sweat, wood smoke, and beer. That and the way Jeff’s shirt, tugged sideways by the way he lay, exposed the sweet spot where neck met shoulder, left me aroused.
I couldn’t help myself. I nuzzled into that smooth, enticing hollow and licked the warm skin, craving the taste of the musky spiciness that made my balls tight and full.
He jerked away, grunting, then lashed out. His arm caught me across the chest, sending me sprawling. “Wha’ the hell?”
Horrified by what I’d done and his reaction, wide awake now, I scootched back, ignoring the sharp jab of pine needles against my palms. “Sorry! Sorry! I didn’t—I’m going to, uh, I need to pee—”
I got to my feet and fled into the darkness, stumbling over the rough ground, hands out in front of me. The full moon gave me some light, but not enough. I fell, got up, fell again, clothing catching on branches, skinning my hands and knees. Panting, I ran, putting distance between us.
What had I done? What the fuck had I done? Physically, we were comfortable around each other when it was the two of us, but in public there were unspoken rules. A gay friend, I’d kiss on the cheek in greeting, but never Jeff. We hugged, but the swift, back-thumping variety. Tonight he’d been accessible in a way he often was when we were alone, my nervousness drawing out his protective side, but he was straight and I’d licked his fucking neck.
Oh, I wasn’t scared he’d punch me for it. Not Jeff. Never Jeff. And he had to know I found him attractive, but to act on that attraction, to make it necessary for him to point to a line I should never have crossed was unforgivable of me.
I’d acted like a horny teenager and if the price was a broken friendship, I had no one but myself to blame. I pictured the silent walk back to our car after a night spent with our backs turned, the regular meetings tapering off until he became a memory, not a constant in my life, and a sob tore free of me, guttural, primal.
Yeah, looking back, I over-reacted, but it was what I did in most situations. They’d probably carve ‘Go big or go home’ on my gravestone.
A rushing in my ears grew louder. Water. I’d circled around to the stream close by the camp. Chest heaving with the run, muscles complaining the unexpected exertion after the long walk, I stumbled to a halt a step too late. My boot landed on a mossy stone and I fell partially into the stream, cracking my elbow on a rock, the icy shock of the water against my arms and chest enough to make me cry out.
I think he’d known where I was without the scream, but it brought him to me fast. Strong hands yanked me clear of the water and I lay on my back a moment later, a caught fish, flapping helplessly under a grip I couldn’t break.
Too dark to see him clearly, but anger heated his words until they scorched me. “Don’t move! Are you hurt? Did you hit your head?”
“N-No.” I sniffled it, ashamed of myself for the way my voice cracked on the word. “Ran into a few branches, but I’m okay. Wet. Cold.”
“You deserve it after pulling that stunt.” He sat back, releasing me. The loss of his hands on me hurt more than the sting a thin, whippy branch had left across my arm. “Do you have any idea how scared I was? We’re half a mile from a cliff! You could’ve fallen over it, or broken your leg, or—”
“Yeah, well, I didn’t.” Guilt always put me on the defensive. I struggled to a sitting position and prodded where I thought his chest was. It was wide enough to make it an easy target. “And I can take care of myself.”
His tone bit deep. “Since when? This is another example of you doing your drama queen bit and I’m so fucking over it.”
“Excuse me?” Outrage warmed my blood. “You freaked out and pushed me away!”
“I was fast asleep and you—did you lick me?”
“Yeah,” I admitted. No point in lying.
“Jesus. I didn’t know what it was, okay? It’s how—” He faltered. “Bess used to do that. Big wet lick first thing in the morning when she wanted out. For a second I thought—”
“Oh God, I’m sorry.” I reached out impulsively and found his hand, but he shook free. Surprised by his rejection I tried to comfort him with words instead.“Jeff, I said I’m sorry.”
His voice was hard, unyielding. “For what? Assuming I’m an asshole or scaring me out of my wits by running away?”
“Both. All of it.” I swallowed hard, tasting shame, shaky now the adrenaline rush had receded. “Really sorry.”
Skepticism soured his reply. “Yeah? Well, you said that when you threw a glass of wine at your date and ended up splashing Carla’s dress too. And when you backed your car into mine because you were in a hissy fit over something I can’t remember, it was that fucking trivial.”
“And I was!” I slathered regret over the words like butter on toast, and gave him an imploring look out of habit. “Truly sorry.”
He gave a derisive grunt. “Let me guess, you’re giving me the puppy eyes? You rely on them to save your butt, don’t you? But it’s too dark for me to see them now, so I’m staying pissed off at you.”
“Don’t be. Please!” I hated when people were mad at me. I loved being praised, petted, approved of. The weight of Jeff’s disappointment crushed me, body and soul. I whimpered and flung myself at him, still on the ground, clutching at what turned out to be his legs because at some point he’d stood, distancing himself from me. I could’ve stood too, but it felt right to be at his feet, groveling, pathetic in my misery and shame.
“Pleading words and a pretty face won’t cut it this time.”
“What will?” I needed to know. The harshness in his voice chilled me. “Let me make it right. If I lose you over this, I’ll never forgive myself.”
“It wouldn’t be just this. You’re always high-maintenance. How often have you complained today about the rough ground, the heat, how thirsty you were, a rock in your boot? You’d give Carla a run for her money, though I don’t suppose you can see it.”
“I am?” I was? I’d thought my running commentary on my woes was amusing and a way to take my mind off my aches and pains. I hadn’t intended to irritate him.
He touched my hair, the familiar tousle turning into a tight grip. “Yeah. But you’re loyal and fun to be around too. I put up with your crap because you’re my best friend, but God, do you ever need a tighter leash.”
Shit. My cock liked, no, loved, the dark threat in his voice. I whined deep in my throat, and rubbed my cheek against his jeans, not caring that it left my scalp burning because he didn’t ease off on his grip one little bit.
“Yeah,” he said, voice thick with emotion. “That’s better. Show me you’re sorry, pup. Roll over and show me your belly.”
I did it. God help me, when he let go of my hair, I went to my back, spread my legs and waited for a kick, a caress, whatever he judged I’d earned. I stared up at the night sky, a lighter shade than the trees, and saw him loom over me, a vague shadow, a collection of small noises, his breath puffing out, the creak of his boots and the slick slide of leather against denim when he pulled his belt free.
He put his boot on my stomach, pressing down lightly, then dragged it lower, to the heat and confusion of my erection. Even through my jeans, the scrape of the ridged sole awoke needs I’d denied for too long. I wanted this man. Not as a friend, or not only that, and not as a lover, the way he’d been in too many furtive fantasies.
I wanted him to own me.
I said his name. I think it was his name. It emerged as a strangled yelp and he exhaled. “Yeah, make sounds like that all you want, but no talking, okay? You get yourself into more trouble with that mouth of yours… No talking.”
I didn’t want to talk. He was right. I’d talk myself out of whatever the hell this was and back into that cold, shivery place where he was mad at me. I made a placatory sound instead and let him help me to my feet.
Leather touched my neck. He fastened his belt loosely around it and tugged the free end. “No more running. Tent’s over there. Keep close and you’ll be fine.”
Fine? My shirt clung to me, cold, clammy. My abraded palms throbbed and a dozen minor injuries clamored for attention but I was only paying attention to the collar his belt had become. I wanted it tighter, not this loose loop. Tight enough that every breath, every swallow would remind me it was there. I couldn’t believe the last few minutes had happened, but in the dark solitude, no one to see or judge us, anything seemed possible.
When we reached the clearing I saw he’d tossed a few more logs on the fire before setting out after me. The flames rose high, the warmth a beacon. He let me get close enough that the heat reached me, then tugged on the belt around my neck. “Strip. Wet clothes won’t do anything but chill you to the bone and you’ve shivering.”
That was more to do with him than the dampness, but the idea of dry clothes and a sleeping bag to snuggle into with him beside me made me eager to strip. I got down to my boxer briefs and socks, then paused, eying him uncertainly. I’d mostly gotten my chest and arms wet, so there was no need to go further. I could’ve left my jeans on, for sure. My erection strained the fabric of my briefs shamelessly, giving me away without room for plausible denial.
He snapped the waistband of my briefs. “Those too. Then put your boots back on. The ground’s rough.”
“But aren’t we going—”
He cuffed the back of my head, hard enough to remove any possibility of it being playful. It was a reprimand I’d earned. “Never did like pups who yapped when they should be quiet.”
I hung my head, staring at his boots. I’d thought staying quiet would be easy, the imposed silence a refuge. When I couldn’t let the apologetic, excusing words spill out, it was more of a prison cell to which he held the key. “Naked. Now. Then boots back on.”
The finality in his voice spurred me to hurry. When I was dressed in boots and his belt, he nodded his approval and a small measure of tension left me. It was so easy. He gave an order, I obeyed, and he approved of me. Simple.
After rubbing me down with his shirt, a rough, efficient drying leaving my skin glowing, and spraying me with bug repellant, though it was cool enough that there weren’t many around, he stepped back. Stretching his arms, he yawned widely. “Time for bed. Guess we won’t get to find out if my tent’s big enough for two after all. And before you earn another reminder for talking, I’ll tell you why not. You’re sleeping outside on the ground. Only good pups get to share Master’s bed and you’re not a good pup, are you? You’re a runaway who made his owner chase him. You misbehaved tonight and you’ve earned some obedience training. I mean to see you get it.”
Passing out from sheer lust was a real possibility. That or dying from blue balls. Once he was asleep, I could jerk off, but that wasn’t much consolation right then. I whined, taking full advantage of being able to communicate that way, and went to my knees, the tail of the belt striking my chest. I inched forward until I reached his boots, then pressed my hot face against them. Goosebumps covered me, but desire and shame scorched my face.
“You’d lick them if I told you to, wouldn’t you?” There was amusement in his voice, but no derision. Maybe a little wonder. “But they're covered in mud, so don’t you dare.”
He disappeared inside the tent and came out with my sleeping bag in his hand and a wadded up piece of mosquito netting. He spread the bag on the ground by the entrance. “You can lie on it, but not inside it. And come morning, when I poke my head out, I want to see you kneeling on it for me, waiting for an order. But first, you need to do your business.”
What? No. A world of—
He grabbed the end of the belt and led me to the fire, stopping me when I tried to rise. “Stay down. Pups go on all fours. Now piss on it because it needs to be put out and it’s the last chance you’ll get. You don’t move from your spot once I put you there. If you won’t go now, you’ll have to mess your bed and you don’t want me punishing you for that. I’ll whip your butt.”
He let me kneel up to piss, but it wasn’t easy with him watching and my persistent erection. I’d watered a tree with him a few yards away earlier in the day without caring, but this was different and we knew it. This was him demonstrating his control and me my acceptance of…something. I couldn’t put it into words. Didn’t want to. It was as fragile as a soap bubble and it left me feeling as light as one too, freed from guilt by the discipline he’d meted out, absolved from sin.
I crawled back to the sleeping bag after he’d kicked earth over the smoldering remains of the fire, then curled up on it, shivering through reaction more than the cool air striking my exposed skin. The sleeping bag was thick and with my weight on it, the sides rose, making it a cozier bed than it looked.
“The earth steals your body heat,” he told me after tossing the netting over me. “Better to have it under you than over you, but it’s not your choice. Go to sleep. But be awake before me, remember. And don’t think I can’t see your hard-on. I know you’re a horny little fuck, but hands off.”
The coldness in his voice was a final rebuke. I clutched the end of the belt to me, a lifeline, his, and let sleep take me, refusing to dwell on my situation. My cock was turned on and my brain switched off. That was too regular an occurrence to be worthy of note.
The birds woke me, tweeting and chirping, inconsiderate as hell. I stirred and groaned, stiff as one of the logs on the fire. A hot shower. A gallon of coffee. Without them I’d stay a zombie. A lone mosquito floated past my blurry eyes and I flailed at it, then saw the length of leather dangling from my neck.
So that had happened. I swatted the mosquito absently, grateful I hadn’t been bitten while I slept, and squinted at the tent. The sun wasn’t up, not yet, though the promise of it lightened the sky to gray. I could see clearly enough and there was no hangover to blur my recollection of the night before. That would’ve been easier. I wouldn’t say I’d had a misspent youth, but I’d woken in some weird places. Once with a cock in my ass and another in my mouth. It hadn’t been as sexy as it sounded and I’d made my excuses and left as soon as possible, exchanging nothing but a sidelong smile with the two burly men who’d used me as a fucktoy for hours.
Jeff had given me a hard time over it, lecturing me on safety until I’d tuned him out. I’d been rude as hell, in fact, though at the time, it’d been him I labeled as interfering and bossy.
Last night had most definitely happened. The belt around my neck proved it. I blushed. Yeah. Blushed. I’d let him treat me like a wayward pet. No, I’d begged for it. As a way to earn forgiveness? Maybe, but it’d been a major turn-on too and I had to think it went both ways.
I’d never had cause or reason to doubt Jeff’s orientation before, but I was questioning it now. He could have a kink for pet-play—okay, that was huge, too big to think about, push it aside —and be indifferent to the gender of his, uh, pet, but I’d sensed the arousal pouring off him along with the anger. My ego was healthy enough to claim that arousal as a reaction to me, not any person on all fours whining and rubbing and—
I curled into a tight ball, the leather between my teeth, and moaned, heat and desperation combining to loosen my muscles and stiffen my cock.
Let it not be something he’d regret, cloak in pretended amnesia, ignore. He stirred and rolled over, clearly awake from his audible yawn. I faced a decision. If I met him standing, fully clothed, his belt coiled on the floor, he’d let us move forward as if nothing had happened. I knew him. He was strong, but it was a protective strength. If this was too much for me, or not what I wanted, he’d let me retreat. I wasn’t sure how we could rebuild what last night had shattered, but if I was honest with myself, I wasn’t sure how we could carry on with this game either. Not without a talk I cringed imagining, awkward, tentative words bridging a gap in our knowledge of each other.
I’d have bet on him having no secrets from me. Guess I’d have lost.
And was it a game I wanted to play for long? There were no easy answers. My cock liked the idea, but sex wasn’t everything, despite my need for it on a regular basis. I didn’t know enough about this kink to apply it to me and my life and I didn’t have a clue if that was the same for Jeff. If he’d done this before, it was news to me.
The hiss and scrape of a sleeping bag zipper put an end to my internal debate. I had a choice; meet him on my knees or on my feet.
I went with my gut and lower, trusting my instincts and praying I wasn’t screwing things up worse than I had the night before. Back straight, knees spread wide, the belt where he’d left it around my neck and my cock jutting up, eager for a touch, a look, I waited for him.
Jeff emerged, fully dressed, blue eyes hazy as if he hadn’t slept well, his brown hair flattened on one side. He stared at me as if he’d never seen me before and in a way he hadn’t. I wasn’t his friend in that moment, but his pup, contrite, obedient—and hungry.
I could’ve assumed the no talking rule didn’t apply; new day, new start. But it made it easier on us both if we saved the conversation until later. I put the end of the belt between my teeth, went to all fours, and edged closer, leaving the security of the sleeping bag for the haven of my Master’s feet.
There was a horrible, awful moment of silence. I cringed, a breath away from breaking position and running off again, this time for keeps. Then he scuffed his hand through my hair and I allowed myself to hope.
“Bad dog,” he scolded me, affection warming the words. “Back on your mat.”
Dawn was thirty minutes away, but the sun rose for me in that moment.
I scrambled back onto the mat, whining an apology, falling into the body language of a chastened pup with an ease that surprised me. I’d been around dogs all my life, ones belonging to my family’s and Jeff’s, but I was a two-legged human, not a four-legged canine. Still, I wasn’t pretending to be a dog; I was being Jeff’s pup. Huge difference.
Jeff crouched down beside me. “Did you stay here? And keep your hands out of trouble?”
I nodded, searching his face for amusement or tension and finding a serenity that soothed my nerves.
There. That tone. Warm, unconditional approval. I sighed with pleasure and nuzzled his hand. I wanted to be petted more than anything in the world. Even coffee.
“You’re a beautiful little pup, aren’t you? Let me take a look at you though. See what damage you did to yourself.” He explored me with his hands and gaze, frowning over the minor scratches and bruises. I let him touch me, my arousal on hold because his careful examination was rooted in genuine concern, not an excuse to fondle me. I’d been fully clothed when I ran off; he looked at my hands, arms, face, and knees, but my cock got nothing.
“Scraped up some, and dirty, but no more than that.” His voice deepened. “Lucky for you. How you look reflects on me. I want my pup in perfect condition, clean, healthy, and fit. We’ll need to work on that last one, but I have some ideas about getting you into shape.”
Since when? God, it was difficult to stay quiet when I wanted to demand indignantly what the hell he meant by that crack. He raised his eyebrows, waiting for me to decide which way to go with what must’ve been an obvious rebellious moment. I opted for wisdom and nodded, earning a smile.
“We can start right now with a walk. You go over by that tree and piss, then get your cute butt back on the mat.”
He walked away, humming softly, heading for the tree where he’d stashed our pack. Please let him be getting breakfast. My stomach rumbled, my mouth dry as tinder. And, yeah, I needed to piss. I took care of that, hesitating before rising to my feet and trotting over to the tree. I could’ve gone on all fours, and part of me wanted to, but the ground was rough and my palms were tender. He didn’t want me marked up, I told myself. Back on the mat, I settled into what I thought of as the display position, though my erection had subsided, leaving me with nothing much to show him. It didn’t worry me. One look from him and I’d be hard in seconds.
He whistled, sharp and clear, and I jerked my head to the side. My cock filled fast enough I went light-headed. A strap dangled from his hand, bright blue, and a good four foot long. It was part of the tent bag, though because he’d done most of the work setting up the tent while I hunted for firewood, I was hazy on the strap’s purpose.
But I could guess what it would be used for now. He was going to leash me. Walk me collared and leashed and naked. Make me come to heel. I shivered with arousal. I’d always been hair-trigger when it came to my cock, but he was amplifying every signal to the point where I couldn’t focus on anything but the need to come.
When he saw my erection, he frowned, slapping the makeshift leash against his thigh. “That thing gets you into as much trouble as your yapping mouth. Look at it drooling and twitching. You’d hump a tree if I let you. You’re a dirty, horny little pup and you don’t get your walk until you’ve got that cock under control.”
I took that as a command to jerk off since it was the quickest way to get my cock soft for him. My hand had barely touched skin when he growled a warning.
“Fuck, if I didn’t know you were male, I’d say you were in heat. You think you deserve a treat? Think again. If you forget and talk, I’ll muzzle you, and if one drop of come leaves that dick without my say-so, I’ll muzzle it.”
Not helping. Really not helping. I hung my head, then went to my belly, abasing myself. The friction of the bag against my balls and cock sent me into a space where nothing mattered but scratching the itch. I squirmed lewdly, panting, close, so fucking close—
He grabbed me by the hair, turned me to my back, and with a lack of surprise that told me he’d expected nothing better, flicked the end of the leash across the head of my cock.
I howled. Tears of pain sprang into my eyes and I rushed to shield myself from another blow. He let go of my hair and grabbed my wrists in one large hand, holding the leash in the other. “I can see you’re determined to misbehave. And I thought you’d be my good pup.” There was no anger in his voice or expression, only disappointment. “When I deal out some much needed discipline, you take it. You hear me? Now on your knees, and offer that cock up. Show me you’re trying to change your slutty ways.”
I gulped back the useless tears and slowly assumed the position he wanted to see. Hands behind me, my cock still rigid, I lowered my head and split my knees until the skin on my inner thighs was taut.
“You’ll get six. I won’t spare you. A pup needs a firm hand if it’s to grow up to be a good dog. And you’ve run wild too long. The stupid tricks you’ve played—That’s over now. No more crying on my shoulder, no more heartbreak and loneliness. I’ll take care of you.”
He always had.
The stinging flicks from the lash drew anguished yelps from me and some tears. I didn’t hold them back. What was the point in pretending to be brave and stoic? I was a pup, a horny, wild pup in need of a lesson in self-control from my owner, but what he did hurt and I let him know it. It wasn’t to make him feel guilty. More an attempt at honesty. I’d shared so much with him over the years, but he didn’t know everything. That time I’d gotten so drunk I passed out at a party and woke with spunk trickling out of my ass, followed by months of panic until the test results came back negative, followed by more waiting, more tests until I was sure. The vacation where a smiling stranger had relieved me of my pants, my ability to do more than moan ecstatically, and then my wallet, leaving me tied to a bed naked in a motel room. I’d gotten free by myself and had to thumb a ride home, certain I’d be raped and left for dead but too proud to call home and ask for help.
I was more careful these days, but that reckless stupid side of me had never quite gone away. When I was with Jeff, I behaved. But I wasn’t with him all the time and other people had better claims to his attention than me. Like Carla and the women before her.
But now I had it all. We were alone in the woods, currently single, exploring a kink I didn’t know Jeff had ever heard of let alone wanted to try, and my cock was a reddened, throbbing, punished piece of flesh, wilting obediently.
“Huh. So that’s what it takes to get it to behave. I’ll remember that.”
If he did it again, I’d die. I sat on my hands to keep them from rubbing the pain away. My cock was stupid; it’d interpret that as a green light.
He studied my tear-streaked face in silence. Was he enjoying my humiliation? Getting off on hurting me? I’d been with men for whom the answer would be hell yes to both questions, but what I sensed from him was a quiet determination to do what he deemed necessary.
“Walk time,” he said. “Then we’ll have breakfast. Want some water first?”
I nodded eagerly. Coffee was what I craved, but any liquid would do. I got a small amount poured out of a reusable bottle into a collapsible cooking pan, the pan set on the ground. I went to my hands and knees and lapped the lukewarm water up without protest. He drew his hand from my neck to the base of my spine, an unhurried caress he repeated as I drank. “That’s it. Nice and slow. No splashing. I don’t want to see your face wet.”
Too late, but the frown I earned was worth it when he dried my chin with his sleeve, scrubbing it over my face unceremoniously. I relished every contact if it brought him close to me, close enough to kiss, though I didn’t make any move to do so.
I wasn’t sure where the lines had been redrawn, but I knew who held the pen and it wasn’t me.
For the walk he dressed me with heavy socks fastened over my hands with Velcro straps designed to attach items to his backpack. The socks were hot and frustrating but the psychological impact was huge. I no longer had hands, but paws. Opposable thumbs were a genetic breakthrough that’d passed me by. I had to look ridiculous wearing socks on my hands, boots on my feet, and nothing else beside the collar and leash, but there was only satisfaction in his expression.
“Too early to see anyone, so your butt can stay bare. No chasing off after rabbits and don’t pull on your leash or I’ll cut a switch.”
I dropped back to my knees to fawn around him, taking intense pleasure in the freedom to express myself that way. I could rub my face against his leg, nuzzle against hard muscle and inhale his scent. It was fun.
And I could sniff his junk and do some nuzzling there, but I wasn’t sure what his reaction would be to that, so I held off. The whipping he’d given my cock had proved he wasn’t a fan of empty threats.
Once out of the clearing, he tugged on my leash. “Up. You’ll cut your knees, and on all fours is too slow to do you any good when it comes to exercising. Go ahead of me. Keep the leash taut without pulling at it.”
I hated standing. He was taller than me by a head, broad when I was slender, muscular where I was lithe, but dogs didn’t stand. I rose reluctantly, pouting, and dragged my feet for five minutes until he sighed, picked up a fallen branch, the thickness of a finger, and used it to hurry me along.
I scurried, leaping high when the switch landed, distressed whimpers punctuating each strike. He got my ass and the back of my thighs, timing each stroke to catch me by surprise, so my attempts to match his speed failed. The leash hung down or strained, never achieving the perfect tension he’d demanded.
Failure. Despising myself, whimpering crossly, I flopped to the ground, biting at the fastenings around the sock on my right hand, worrying at it with my teeth. He sighed again, tied my leash low down on a tree trunk, and whipped me with uncompromising severity for the longest thirty seconds of my life.
“You don’t give up,” he lectured me between striping my ass. “You don’t stop until you’re told. You don’t bite and you don’t sass me. Butt up in the air. Higher. Knees spread. Better.”
I’d never cried so much in my life. Ugly tears, snot snail-trailing down my face. I pushed my butt up to receive the smart and burn of the switch and let it all out.
It only registered later that I didn’t speak a single word. I howled, moaned, panted, but I didn’t say his name or beg him to stop. This was more than a punishment for a minor failure and a bad attitude. This was Jeff telling me how disappointed he was with my behavior over years of friendship, offering me a different path to follow. And I took it. When the switch broke, he used his hand, crouched beside me, slapping my rump until it stung and throbbed. Until I wagged it frantically, seeking to direct his hand to unmarked skin and knowing I was wasting my time.
When he stopped, I carried on crying until exhaustion silenced me. He pulled me into his lap, cupped my face with a palm burning hot as a live coal, and leaned forward, forehead to mine.
“Thought I’d never get to this birthday and still have you. Thought I’d lose you along the way to the drinking and the sick sons of bitches you let ream your sorry ass and walk all over you.” He hugged me tightly enough that I swear my ribs were in danger of cracking. “Couldn’t see myself making much of life without you, pup.”
“You won’t have to.” The words made strange shapes in my mouth, hard as ice cubes, but for this I needed to talk. “Are you done whipping that sorry ass of mine? Because if you think I need more, I’ll take it, but I swear to God, it is sorry and so am I.”
He laughed, a strangled choked sound, but definitely laughter. “I’m done. And it’s redder than a cherry and swollen as a plum, so I don’t think you’d want anything else done to it.”
He was wrong, but I had the sense to keep quiet. When I was crude, he hated it, and now wasn’t the time to be my usual irritating self. As he’d reminded me, this was his birthday.
I cuddled against him for a while, until my heartbeat returned to normal. I wiped my damp face on his shirt without hiding what I was doing. He’d caused the tears.
“Better get back to camp.” He eased me off his knee. “Let me get these socks off you.”
“Why?” The surprise in his eyes came and went like summer lightning, leaving a tense expectancy. I hurried on before he could speak. “You’ve wanted this, I can tell. Have you tried it with someone else?”
God, please let it not be why Carla left. I hated the idea of her knowing his secret vulnerabilities.
“So when did…” I trailed off. “This can’t have been something you dreamed up last night. There was too much behind it. As if it’d built up, then exploded.”
“Close enough. You running away… Remember when we lost Duke? Hit by a car when he slipped his leash and darted off? You’ve been heading for the freeway for years. Kind of wore me down waiting for the crash, if I’m honest.”
I wanted to get to the root of this. The rough ground was like sandpaper against my ass, but I stayed where I was, prepared to crawl back into his lap if needed. “That’s a metaphor or something. It’s not a kink. And calling me pup and giving me paws counts as a kink, FYI. And don’t get me started on the whipping and bondage.”
He rolled his eyes. “Yeah, well, I’m not building a dungeon any time soon.”
“How about a kennel?”
“When you say shit like that, it makes me wish I could muzzle you,” he snapped. “Don’t mock me. Not when you got off on it too.”
“I wasn’t. And I did. And a kennel sounds pretty fucking awesome in some ways. Somewhere small and safe I can hide out when it gets to be too much, which it does pretty fucking often.”
“Think I don’t know?” He rubbed his face and sighed. “So you want to know when it started. Maybe a year ago. I called you pup once or twice in fun and it triggered something. I jerked off and got this flash of you on a leash frisking around my feet, happy for once, and it wouldn’t go away. And let me tell you, I’ve beat myself up over it plenty. Seemed sick of me to picture you that way when you’re my best friend and didn’t know what I was doing. As if I was dirtying something. But I couldn’t stop even after I met Carla. Some of the stuff online freaked me out, I won’t lie. But some of was like hearing a bell ring and feeling the vibrations in your chest, making you part of the sound.”
I loved the way he put it. “There is nothing wrong with any fantasy,” I told him firmly. “We all have them and believe me, you’ve featured in mine from the first time I discovered what my dick was good for besides writing my name in the snow. Puppy-play isn’t something I’ve tried before, but—did you snort?”
“You’re more like a puppy than some actual dogs.”
“Thanks. I think.” Teasingly I asked, “So what plans do you have for me now that you’ve collared me?”
“Oh God. I want—” He took a shuddering breath. “Want to make you do tricks for treats and hand feed you. Watch TV with you curled up on the rug at my feet. Keep you collared and naked, hands like this, so you need me to do stuff for you. Want to wash you, brush your hair until it shines. And yeah, train you. Not the way I did today—”
“Oh you can,” I assured him, stunned by the outpouring of words but striving to project calm. “I loved it. Well, maybe not this hard all the time, but when I’ve earned it. When I’m a bad puppy. And I will be sometimes because I can’t help it. But if I can be good for anyone, it’s you.”
With the weird sensation of being at a wedding, exchanging vows, I met his want list with mine. I’d thought I’d fumble for the words, but they came to me whole, as if they’d been ready and waiting for a long time and only needed to be dusted off to shine brightly. “I want you to pet me, need me close, keep me on as tight a leash as possible. Want to belong to you. My owner. My Master. My fucking god. I worship you, Jeff. I’ll grovel, lick your feet, kiss your hand for a kind word. And I know you’re straight, and sex isn’t part of this, but I’d let you tell me when I can come or who I can date—”
He scowled at me. “Date? The hell you will! What happened to being mine?”
I sat cross-legged, unruffled by his show of temper. “You expect me to become celibate? Or date my hand indefinitely?”
“I thought we were a couple now. Together.”
My, he could growl when he was mad. It made me shiver happily. “You’re straight. You can be my owner, but I have needs a treat jar can’t satisfy.”
“Straight? Then why am I regretting whipping your butt because it means I can’t fuck it now without hurting you? I left straight behind the first time I came picturing your ass with my cock in it.”
I rallied from the shock to tell him in explicit language how little I cared about some welts and bruises. “I’ll soak in the stream and numb it, but we don’t head back down this mountain until you’ve had me every way possible at least once. I packed condoms and lube since you said bring the essentials, so we’re good there.”
“We’ll see,” he drawled, back in control. “And I’d love to know who you thought you’d meet up here to fuck. Breakfast first. And now it’s time for you to stop yapping, pup. Let’s head back.”
I opened my mouth and whined with frustration when he tapped my nose. I had a dozen questions to ask, but he freed my leash from the tree, then whistled to me. “Here, boy. Come on, up you get.”
I shrugged away the human and let the pup settle over me like a blanket. My emotions were chaotic, but happiness rose within me and I let it out, frisking, yelping high and sweet, rubbing against his legs and this time nosing his groin with unabashed interest. The reproving cuff to my head didn’t trouble me. I’d felt the promising hardness that reassured me more than his words.
Once back at camp, I discovered a side benefit to being a pup; he hauled water from the stream to boil and purify for coffee, he built the fire, and he made breakfast. Me, I settled onto the sleeping bag, my leash attached to the nearest tree, and watched Master work.
He talked to me as he did it, coming over to ruffle my hair now and then, or feed me a piece of granola bar or a slice of apple. When I sat up and begged for his mug of coffee, steam curling off it, he laughed and tickled my belly until I rolled around, shamelessly reveling in his touch, cock perking up.
My coffee, once it’d cooled, I drank from the pan again, and my breakfast he fed to me in bite-size portions. I licked his hand, getting every last crumb, and wished we could stay here forever.
“Time for a bath. You’re filthy. Boots off. It isn’t far.”
I couldn’t argue, but now that the fire in my butt was a simmer, I’d have been happy to settle for brushing my teeth. I would get sweaty and grubby on the hike back, so why freeze my balls off in a stream?
Getting that across in meaningful yaps proved to be beyond me. He led me to the stream, picked me up when I balked, and lowered me into a deep pool with zero regard for my frenzied barking. My hand-socks got wet, my skin froze, and I hit high notes a soprano would envy, but he held me down in the stream until he decided I was clean.
I erupted from the water, dropped to all fours, and shook myself, making sure some of the spray got him. My ass didn’t smart, but only because, like every other square inch, it was numb. And my collar wasn’t supple now, but stiff.
“Run back. It’ll warm you up.”
Heartless. A hug would work better, but when I tried to give him one, he fended me off. “Bad dog! No getting me wetter than I already am.”
I tried my secret weapon. Turned out puppy eyes worked on Jeff way better when I wasn’t being one. Or he’d built up a resistance. I cursed all the times I’d used them frivolously.
Back in the camp, I crouched at his feet and he bent over and rubbed me dry with his spare shirt after peeling off the wet socks muffling my hands. I didn’t stop him. Sodden with cold water, they were an annoyance, not a source of arousal.
I touched the belt around my neck.
“You want it off?”
“Tighter.” I rolled my head restlessly. “Not so tight I can’t breathe, but so I can feel it.”
“I’ll get you a proper one when we go back. If you want one. If this is something you want to do again.”
I hated hearing the hesitancy in his voice. “I so want a dog collar. Not to wear all the time, and it wouldn’t go with most of my outfits, so not when we’re outside with people around, but when it’s us. When we’re in the mood for this.”
“I’d get you a nice one. Narrow, maybe red or blue. With a, uh, a nametag on it.”
“Property of?” I closed my eyes when he shrugged and nodded, a flush rising in his cheeks, his pleasure evident. “You’re killing me here. I am seriously close to spontaneous combustion.” I peeked through my lashes at him. “Have mercy. Let me come.”
He rubbed his hand over the back of his neck. “Oh well now.”
“What?” I was still at his feet, but I glared up at him, feisty as a terrier. “If you’re having second thoughts about sex with me, take a walk and I’ll deal with this myself.” I slapped my rigid cock, remembering how he’d whipped it with the leash. That clicked my lust up a notch until I had to breathe slowly to stave off a forbidden climax.
“No touching!” he said sharply. “I mean it. You need a dry spell to teach you control. Won’t hurt you to go a day or two without sex.”
“Try a month.” I couldn’t keep the bitterness from showing. “And yeah, I’ve survived, but this is torture. I hurt. Not from the whipping you gave me, well, not much, but the way I need you close. Fine; I can’t come, can’t touch my cock. Tie my hands behind my back, but touch me. Pet me. I’m your pup. Since when did you ever not pet a dog you owned?”
Silence, then he squatted down and rubbed my hair, fondled and tugged at my ears, murmuring praise I soaked up like dry earth sucks down dew.
“Such a good pup, so cute, so brave. Yeah, you like that, don’t you? Like having your hair stroked. Gonna groom you, pup, make you pretty, such a sweet little bitch you are—”
Bitch? I hated that word. I wasn’t butch, but I was all male. If he thought he could picture me as female when I blew him or close his eyes when he rammed his cock deep in my hole and pretend it was a wet pussy, he was wrong.
I growled and snapped at his hand, capturing a finger and biting it hard.
“Fuck!” He pulled free, anger glinting in his eyes. “Bad dog!” With a swift thrust of his hand, he grabbed my balls, twisting them with enough force to bring tears to my eyes, though the real pain came from my humiliation. “Listen to me. You don’t bite. Ever. You don’t growl at me either. If you don’t like something I say or do, and we’re playing, find a better way to tell me. Think of one now, and nod when you have, and think fast, because I’m not letting go until you do.”
The sharp ache in my balls made thinking difficult, but I nodded, trusting I’d come up with something once he’d released me. He’d promised me a firm hand. I hadn’t appreciated how literal he’d been.
He gave my balls a final, warning squeeze, then took his hand away. Teeth marks showed around his finger, deep dents, turning red and purple. I’d hurt him. Shit.
“Show me,” he said quietly.
I drew in a breath and channeled Rosie, a dignified German Shepherd we’d had when I was little. I’d dressed her in a hat I’d made after deciding my future lay in fashion. She’d used her paws to tear it off, dropped it at my feet, and given me a look of sheer disgust before pointedly turning her back and flopping to the floor, head buried between her paws.
“Hmm. Okay.” He stroked my ass, his hand warm. “If you don’t like me calling you a bitch, I won’t do it again. I’m sorry. And you’re not wrong. I’m putting off having sex with you because I’m as nervous as I am eager, and how I can be both, I don’t know but I am. And I don’t want to do it with you as a pup, not this first time, at least.”
I rolled to my back. “Get naked and we’ll go from there.”
He stripped down and I gave a sigh of longing. Tall, broad shouldered, narrow hips, long legs…I’d known all that, but I’d never seen him naked in the sunlight, cock full, long, and thick, springing from a cloud of brown hair.
I stayed on my knees, adoring, longing for a taste, waiting for permission, before realizing he needed me to make the first move. I slid my hands up hairy, muscular thighs, then around to cup his ass, bringing my face close enough that my exhaled breath stirred the bush of hair. He groaned, smoothing his hands along my shoulders and up to cradle my face. He brushed his thumb over my lips.
“Open up for me, sweetheart.”
Hmm. Better than the last name he’d called me, but it had an air of familiarity, as if it was what he used with his girlfriends and was transferring it to me. I preferred ‘pet’ or ‘pup’.
I clamped my lips and shot him a mischievous glance, getting a chuckle in reply. He’d shown himself ready and willing to mete out discipline when I’d earned it, but playfulness didn’t trouble him. I was glad. I liked his stern side in small doses, but it was his approval I craved.
“Come on,” he coaxed, rubbing the head of his cock over the seam of my lips, painting them with precome. “Take a taste. Let me in.”
The musky scent made my mouth water. I couldn’t wait to have him fill my mouth with that solid length, fuck it with sweet, sliding strokes, holding me in place and giving me proof of our bond. With a groan, I parted my lips, welcoming the first, eager thrust.
It wasn’t the biggest cock I’d sucked, but it was the perfect length; I could take him to the root after relaxing my throat, without an unpleasant sense of being choked. After testing that theory, I lavished it with avid licks and kisses for a minute or two, wetting it until his scent filled my senses and he tasted of me.
“Yeah.” His voice was thick and hoarse with desire. “So good. God, such a sweet mouth. Good boy.”
So much for not playing during sex, but I let it go. Truthfully, I suspected it would be easier for him this way. He wasn’t used to thinking of me as a partner, but when I was his pup, he had no problem touching me with relaxed intimacy.
With anyone else, I would’ve dropped my hand to work my cock, multitasking with ease. Mindful of his command, I kept my hands on his butt, neglecting my straining erection in hopes of a reward that would make my dutiful obedience worth it. The play of his flexing muscles fascinated me. I dug my fingers in, encouraging him to thrust deeper, faster, loving the feeling of being used to please him.
I’d never been a selfish lover, at least I didn’t see myself that way, but I’d never made an effort to bring a lover pleasure at the expense of mine. With him, it was pure joy to draw him close to a climax, then back away, extending the blowjob until my jaw ached and my tongue was numb.
“Enough,” he said, choking out the word. With a stuttering jerk, he pushed deep and came, long spurts of come flooding my mouth with thick warmth.
I held it there, savoring the raw taste of him, but swallowed fast when he pulled out. He held his cupped hand under the glistening head I’d worked to please, and jerked his cock until a small pool of come lay in his palm.
He offered it to me, his free hand gripping my hair, and I bent to lick every drop away from his skin and into me.
The sound he made was primal, sending a shudder through me. Now. My turn. Please.
He gripped the back of my neck and pulled me to my feet before leading me into the tent. The shade was welcome and the sleeping bag smelled of him. I lay on my stomach and he straddled me, covering me with his body, his cock, still hard, nudging between my thighs.
I didn’t speak. I chattered through sex usually, providing a running commentary until told to shut up, but with him there was no need to speak. He nuzzled my neck, then bit my shoulder, tiny, sharp little love bites, leaving behind no pain, but sensitized flesh. He worked his way down to my ass, then went to town, tracing each welt with his tongue, soft grunts escaping him. I lay where he’d placed me, writhing under his exuberant caresses, clutching at the sleeping bag, whimpering with a need so intense a climax had become an irrelevancy.
He flipped me over and stared down at me, hands planted on either side of me. A face I knew as well as my reflection, transformed by passion, filled my vision. He lowered himself and for the first time, our lips met in a kiss.
I’d been pecked at, slobbered over, and had my lips bruised and bitten. And, yes, been kissed nicely from time to time too. Jeff kissed me with a tentativeness melting to assurance too fast for me to worry he was having doubts. He tasted…God, it was addictive. Perfect. I couldn’t get enough. Still kissing, we rolled to our sides, hands everywhere, our bodies fitting together as if they’d been designed to interlock. I wound around him like ivy on a tree, offering him everything I had and praying he’d take it.
My arousal dipped and rose, never disappearing, but the sharp edge softening. When I came, this would be over. I wanted it to go on for hours.
I reached down to cup his ass, unthinkingly slipping a finger between his cheeks to tease his hole. I didn’t top, but a finger or tongue in there felt good to most men. I’d never had a partner complain when I took the initiative to that extent. Jeff tensed, ass muscles rigid.
Ah. I eased my finger out and patted his hip. “Sorry.”
“No, it’s okay. I didn’t expect it, is all. Do it again.”
He sounded like a man asking the dentist to drill faster and get it over with. I grinned, shedding the pup for the moment. “Hon, ass play feels fantastic, but no need to rush into it. Especially not when our last hot shower was two days ago. Trust me, you’ll love a finger or two up there and after a rimming, it’ll be you howling at the moon.”
“If you say so.” The doubt in his voice challenged me to change his mind. I would. But maybe not today.
“Fuck me instead.” I wriggled against him invitingly. “No need to tell me who, but you must’ve done that with at least one girlfriend.”
“Tried with one and she screamed and burst into tears. Said it hurt like hell and it took me a week of apologizing before she’d let me near her again.”
This wasn’t the time to launch into Anal Sex Tips 101. I nodded. “Yeah, well, you don’t need to worry with me.” Okay, that made me sound like a slut, with a hole so loose it took a fist to make me wince. I added, “But all I want is to come with you being the reason. I could probably shoot without touching myself if you breathed on me, let alone touched me.”
“But I love touching you. Tasting you.” He took command again. “Save the fucking for later, when we’re at home.”
“Mine.” He pushed my hair back off my face. “My pup lives with me. Is that a problem? Because when I say with me, I mean until we find a place that works for both of us when it comes to getting to work. I know being at my apartment adds fifteen minutes to your commute.”
“And with a yard for a dog,” I added. I spent so much time at Jeff’s place that moving in wasn’t a big step to take. “An actual one.”
He grinned. “You might end up sharing your kennel.”
We’d see about that. “As long as you don’t pet it more than me.”
“I’ve got plenty of love to go around.” He pushed me gently to my back. “No more talking. Let me play with my cute little pup.”
He took hold of the trailing end of the belt he’d fastened around my neck and used the edge to tease my nipples hard, showing a creative streak I appreciated. Dropping the leather, he used his teeth next. Drunk to the point of being embarrassingly frank, I’d confided a lot of what turned me on and he’d clearly remembered nipple play drove me out of my mind. Even if at the time he’d covered his ears and told me he wished I’d kept my mouth closed.
I gasped, yelping, my vision hazy. He soothed with his tongue, then re-woke the pain, mouth warm around the taut skin, sucking hard, worrying away until each nipple ached, hot and throbbing. My cock jerked, a warning sign I couldn’t ignore. I yelped again, high and frantic.
He slid down lower, kissing my chest and belly on the way, tickling me with his hair, scraping me with the stubble he hadn’t shaved away. I’d packed a razor and never gotten to use it, but my facial hair grew slowly. When he reached my cock, he spread my legs wide and knelt between them.
After swiping a finger through the fluid beading the slit of my cock, he raised it to his mouth for a taste. I groaned with desire, the sound too human to suit me, and found a better noise, a pant, open-mouthed, uninhibited.
He smiled. “So fucking eager. So hungry for a touch. Your eyes are huge and you’re quivering. Hold still for me, that’s a good pup. Hold still for Master.”
I strained every muscle to obey, keeping my butt on the sleeping bag when I wanted to raise it, bring my cock closer to him. He inhaled deeply, taking my scent, eyes darkening.
“Fuck, I want—” He dropped his hand to his erection, working it slowly, a sensuous groan spilling from him. He leaned over me, rubbing the crown of his cock over my shaft and balls, the sensation unbearably erotic. Words flowed from him, rushed, fervent. “Want to come on you, make you smell of me, make you dress without washing it off, and yeah, it’d itch, but I’d love watching you scratch and squirm. Love getting a whiff of you when you walked close and knowing it was all you could smell, all the way back down the mountain.”
I couldn’t speak and nodding seemed too alien a concept. I’d forgotten he had any name but ‘Master’, that I was anything but his pet, his adoring pup, living for his smile. I whined, the sound a release, and did it again, begging with my eyes, heart pounding until the sound filled my ears, his words reaching me in a whisper.
He fumbled with the belt around my neck, and for a terrible moment I thought he was taking it off. Instead, he tightened it the way I’d asked him to, so the leather touched my skin in a complete circle.
“I own you.” He kissed me deeply, tongue flickering against mine. “Tight leash. Never letting you run away again.”
I lost control, humping his leg frantically, obedience forgotten. I’d been hard for an eternity and he was too kind to see me suffer, such a perfect owner, the best a pup could want.
He rolled me over and spanked my butt three times with firm, stinging slaps. “Naughty pup.”
I yelped, remorseful, chagrined, and rubbed my face against the sleeping bag, taking comfort in the soft fabric that held his scent and the pats my butt got after the slaps.
“You’re gonna have to learn control,” he chided me fondly. “I can’t have you humping my leg and sniffing my butt when I walk in. I want a pup who’ll stay still with a treat touching his lips until he gets the command to take it. Let’s see if you can be that pup.”
He flipped me again, and straddled my chest, his cock bobbing near my lips.
“Don’t move,” he instructed me. He held still too. If I snuck my tongue out a bare inch, it’d meet the rosy, glistening crown and I’d get to taste him again. I struggled between my hunger for his cock and my need for his approval. Obedience got me the latter and it was a shinier reward. I stopped straining to hold still and did it, alert to his expression, ready to obey a new order, but demonstrating my ability to perform this one.
“Oh, such a good pup,” he crooned. “So proud of my clever, good boy. Take a lick.” Pleasure rushed through me and I lolled out my tongue, panting happily, lavishing what I could reach of his shaft with wet licks, keeping my head against the sleeping bag, taking only what he’d granted permission for.
He moaned, tracing my jaw with his fingertips. “You like that, huh? Feels good doing as you’re told, knowing you’re making me happy?”
I answered him with a sharp, emphatic bark, then went back to bathing his cock with my tongue.
“Holding off from spoiling you will be a problem. Love seeing you happy.” He edged back. “Now I want to see you come.”
I was too deep to register his words fully. What he said didn’t matter; it was the tone he used. When his warm delight in me softened his voice, he could’ve been reciting nursery rhymes for all I cared. It took his hand on my cock, grasping it firmly, to make the connection between speech and action come alive.
He knew what to do with a cock. Tight hold, short, fast strokes concentrating on the top inch or two, not dragging my foreskin back painfully had me on the edge within moments. He kept his hand in place, bent down to suck the head of my cock, then reared back. Sliding his cock beside mine, he used both hands, squeezing our shafts together, making them one.
His climax sent a ripple through the rigid flesh and triggered my long-delayed release. My tortured balls emptied their load, my come meeting and mixing with the thick white fluid spilling from his cock. My orgasm took over my body, and I clutched at him for support, sparks dancing in my vision, limbs jerking, howling, as I fought to express the ecstasy ripping into me in movement and sound. I’d never experienced a climax of this intensity and all he’d done was touch me.
When he collapsed against me, I licked his shoulder, nipping at the smooth flesh, burrowing my nose into the heady scent of his armpit and soaking in the comfort of being held. He cradled me to him, and once his breathing was back to normal, he told me how good I was, how obedient.
We drifted into a light sleep, the emotional highs taking their toll, the tent warming up as the sun climbed higher. A fly buzzed by my nose, looking for a way out, though the flap was tied back, and I flapped my hand at it, rousing Jeff.
He rubbed his nose against mine affectionately and I licked his, making him splutter indignantly and pin me down for a thorough kiss.
“Wish we could stay here all day, but we can’t.” He sat up with evident reluctance, leaving his hand on my leg as if breaking all contact between us was impossible. “Need to clean up some, maybe eat, then pack up our gear and head down.”
Back to a new world or retreating from one? I didn’t dare ask. Would each step take me away from the pup and back to the human? Yeah. Inevitable. But behind closed doors, what then?
As if he’d heard me thinking, he drew me closer, stroking my hair. “It’s going to be okay, pup. It’s you and me. Always was, but we took a while to figure it out. We’ll go by your place and pack up what you need tomorrow. And we’ll stop by the pet store and get some stuff too. Not the shelter, not yet. I’ll have my hands full with you for a while.”
I bit his arm gently, then turned around and wiggled my butt at him pleadingly.
“Oh boy.” He laughed and swatted my ass. “I’m exhausted. Can’t go again for a few hours.” I stayed where I was, glancing back over my shoulder, knees spread wide, blatantly inviting a touch, ignoring his headshake.
He drew in a breath and ran his finger along the crack of my ass. The air turned thick and sweet between us, my balls tightening. God, he could have me begging so easily. I abased myself, face down, ass up, wordlessly pleading to be fucked.
“Greedy.” His voice was hoarse. “Should punish you.” He repeated his caress, this time using a fingernail and finishing with a pinch to the soft skin behind my balls. I yelped and he did it again, harder. “Careful what you beg for and how far you push me. I’m in control no matter if you’re playing the pup or not. If that’s a problem, tell me now, because I’m wired that way and I don’t see it changing.”
As if that was news. We’d been friends how long? He picked the bar we went to, the takeout menu we ordered from. He told me when what I wore didn’t suit me—and I ignored him because plaid shirts and jeans made up most of his wardrobe and a fashionista he was not.
“So if you want to walk the trail wincing at every step, stay where you are and I’ll get lube and a condom, put them where they belong, and pound your ass raw. And if you want to show me you listen when your Master’s telling you he’s worn out, you can show me your belly, not your hole.”
I took the space between heartbeats to choose, though the way I lay sprawled on my back, arms and legs up, didn’t exactly make my hole hard to see.
He fondled my balls, rolling them with a twist of his wrist. “Now, this I like. You listening to me, not yapping on, ignoring every word out of my mouth. And yeah, I could get it up again to give you that pounding. You’re tempting as hell and I can’t keep my hands off you now that I’ve got license to touch. But you’re too used to having everything your way, with the guys you screw wrapped around your finger. You need training out of those bad habits and I expect you to be a real quick learner, pup.” He put his face by mine. “I love you. Never doubt it. You’re mine for keeps. But that tight leash and the firm hand, they’re going to happen. Kneeling, your leash tied to my chair, your butt red, maybe you’ll have time to reflect on the mistakes you’ve made. And I have plenty of ideas for treats because they’re a good motivator too.”
I’d never spent so long listening to him speak without trying to hijack the conversation. I watched him, zoning out on the shape his lips made, the sparkle in his eyes. Let him tell me I’d earn the right to sleep on his bed, be exiled to the spare room if needed. Heard him plan where to put my kennel and how many chew toys I’d be allowed when I was inside it.
And saw his cock thicken to promising hardness.
He still waited until we’d been on the trail an hour before leading me off into the undergrowth, baring my butt, and fucking me from behind, controlling me with that promised firm hand wrapped around my leash, urging me to a climax with words that praised me, warmed me, told me I was loved and safe even here in the wilderness.
He didn’t need to tell me I was safe. Not when he held my leash.