Spencer’s hand is tight on the back of Travis’s neck, he pitches his voice low, fills it with the growling undercurrent of an Order, “Listen to me, you little shit—”
Travis is frozen, standing stock still even as his pulse pounds hard and fast under Spencer’s thumb.
“—you will not embarrass me,” Spencer’s breath ghosts over the shell of Travis’s ear, making him shiver. “You will be polite; you will be respectful. We’re on Mark’s boat. He calls the shots. Are we fucking clear?”
Spencer gives Travis’s neck a squeeze, gently shaking Travis back and forth.
Travis nods, breath hitching in his throat as he nods jerkily. “Yeah,” he says.
Once they’re back on dry land, Spencer doesn’t give Travis an opportunity to slip away. Instead he bodily herds him towards his own truck before he drives them both back to Spencer’s. And Travis must sense what’s about to happen, because he only puts up a token protest that comes out more pleading than anything else.
Spencer is closing the door behind them when he nudges Travis towards the shower in Spencer’s bedroom.
“Get cleaned up,” Spencer says, digging out a towel for Travis and tossing it at him along with a simple tank top and a pair of basketball shorts. “Then meet me in the living room. It’s time for your real lesson about how to conduct yourself around your elders, boy.”
Travis opens his mouth like he wants to argue, but Spencer doesn’t give him the chance as he turns away – leaving Travis in the bathroom.
In the living room, Spencer grabs the kneeling pillow from underneath the couch and places it just off to the side before maneuvering the pillows on the couch just so – giving him something to prop his hip against. He’s just settling into the cushions when he hears the padding of bare feet and he looks up to see Travis standing there, fidgeting and unsure as he throws wary glances at the pillow between Spencer’s feet.
Spencer leans forward, his elbows against his knees, his hands folded together loosely. “This is what we’re going to do,” he starts. “You’re going to kneel for me for 15 minutes. I want you to relax, but I also you to pay attention because as the rookie, you’ll be expected to kneel for the veterans, but I don’t want you thinking that just anything goes. There’s rules.”
“I’m not an idiot,” Travis snaps, his nervous energy starting to get the better of his tongue.
“Clearly,” Spencer deadpans. He lets the comment hang in the air between them for a beat. “No one is ever ready for the first time they have to kneel – this will help. Besides, I’ve got a feeling you need this a little bit more than you want to admit.”
Travis looks like he’s ready to bolt for the door. “Look, I’ve already been through the class. We really need to re-hash this?”
“Come here, Travis,” Spencer says, cutting off any thoughts Travis may have about running, his tone firm but without any formal Order in it. As soon as Travis is in front of him, Spencer leans back, making room between his legs. “Kneel.”
Spencer gives him the time.
Travis slides to his knees.
“Put your head on my thigh,” Spencer says, his voice still firm, not giving any room for argument.
Travis does; not really sure what to do with his hands, he puts them on the top of Spencer’s thighs. Spencer puts his hands in Travis’s hair, slowly running his fingers through it and scratching light at Travis’s scalp until Travis’s eyes slip closed.
“It’s just us,” Spencer says, his voice low and soothing, “Relax, Travis. It’s just us here. No cameras, no questions.”
Incrementally, Travis’s body loosens, until Travis just sags against Spencer’s leg, turning his face into the meat of Spencer’s thigh; Spencer keeps petting Travis’s hair.
The minutes tick by far too quickly for Spencer’s liking and it feels like they’ve only just settled before Spencer is tugging lightly on Travis’s hair as he leans forward to talk Travis back up to the surface.
“Come back, now,” Spencer says, his fingers still massaging Travis’s scalp. “Easy.”
Travis turns his head, blinks blearily up at Spencer – then he seems to suddenly remember himself and his eyes snap open wide. He shifts like he’s about to jump to his feet, but Spencer tightens his grip on him.
“Easy,” he says again. “I’ve you got you, Travis. I got you.”
“That was—intense,” Travis says, the heels of his hands digging into his eyes as he tries to sink lower into Spencer’s couch.
“You’re going through a lot right now,” Spencer says, taking one of Travis’s hands from his eyes and wrapping it around a bottle of water. “If I was your agent, I’d have a Dom assigned to you if I felt I couldn’t give you the time you needed from me. But, with things the way they are, I have time.”
Travis nods, sips at his water. “You said something about rules? Earlier? What rules?”
“No taking advantage,” Spencer says, leaning in and getting serious. “Rookies are vulnerable when they’re on their knees – some guys take advantage of that, others might not think anything about a quick handy. But that’s not what kneeling is for – it’s to help make things just a little bit easier; keep you on an even keel. Keep things as platonic as you can.
“Don’t kneel for longer than 30 minutes,” Spencer continues. “Not unless you’re with someone who’s experienced, and they know how to pull you out of that head space gently.”
Travis nods along, taking every word to heart.
Spencer is dropping Travis off at his truck when he says, “If you ever need anything, call me. I’ll make it out to you that night or the next morning.”
“I will,” Travis says, nodding. “I will, Spencer.”
After what happens on the set of Glazed and Travis telling him about his dyslexia, Spencer takes Travis home and puts him on his knees again. He keeps him there until he’s done shaking and his breathing returns to a normal pace. Then Spencer gently pulls him out of it.
“Better?” Spencer asks.
Travis nods, unable to find his voice just yet.
“Good,” Spencer says, giving Travis a firm nod before he pulls him with him as he stands. “Now, c’mon, we gotta get you ready for your lunch date with the GMs.”
The third time Travis slips to his knees for Spencer – he’s a draft pick with a team beside his name and he can’t quite seem to catch his breath. So, Spencer takes him to the bedroom and closes the door behind them, shutting out the sounds of the party.
They’re both a little drunk, but Spencer tries to push it all to the side as he drops a pillow beneath his feet and, without any encouragement, Travis falls readily. He turns his face to the inside of Spencer’s thigh, his hands resting on Spencer’s knees; Spencer’s hand automatically going to his hair. As soon as he’s in position, the tension seems to just bleed out of him.
Spencer praises him in a low and even voice, letting his words steadily wash over Travis.
When he pulls Travis back, Spencer stands him up, straightening out his suit. “Sizzle will keep an eye on you,” he says. “You’re going to be fine.”
“Thanks,” Travis says, stepping back as Spencer brushes by him and heads for the door.
“Of course,” Spencer says, throwing a smirk over his shoulder, “now let’s go – this is still a party.”
Travis returns the smirk with one of his own before he steps back into the throng of people – some of them give him knowing looks, but with Spencer’s arm around his shoulders, he doesn’t pay them much mind.