Ryan has to force one foot ahead of the other, each step on the stairs heavy with dread. His heart is pounding so hard he's actually surprised he can't hear it in the stillness. God, he fucked up. The journal exchange with Alex started out as nothing but a joke, then quickly turned snarky, and before Ryan knew it he had orders from his Sir to report to the playroom, not for fun times. He already shed his clothes downstairs as soon as he got Sam's message, and now he timidly peers around the doorframe of their bedroom. Finding it empty, he quickly darts to the bureau and selects one of his Sir's wide leather belts, heavy in his hand.
In moments he is kneeling on the playroom floor, arms outstretched and the belt held out like an offering in his palms. "Sir."
"Boy." Sam nods and takes the belt from Ryan. He's not nearly as pissed as he'd made out in the journals. A private man, he prefers his business, including the intimacies between them (which do not actually involve being called Honey Baby Bear or anything like it), to be kept that way. But he knows Alex and he knows Ryan and all in all, it would be a fucking stupid thing to be that angry about. And if he really was, this is the last place they'd be. "What the hell were you thinking?"
"I... I wasn't really thinking at all," Ryan confesses, his spine straight but his head bowed in shame. "It was only meant as a joke from the first, but then, all of a sudden I was wondering what the hell just happened." He swallows hard. "I'm sorry, Sir. I never meant to embarrass you."
"I know," Sam says, doubling the belt, the buckle tucked in against his palm, "which is why you won't find yourself sleeping at the end of the bed tonight. Or on the floor."
Ryan's eyes squeeze shut in pain; the words hit hard. "Yes, Sir," he whispers, realizing how close he apparently came to devastation. But it sounds like, this time, Sam will allow him to atone for his mistakes with less drastic measures. "Thank you, Sir."
"I want your ass over that spanking bench," Sam orders. "I meant what I said. You're not going to be sitting for a couple of days."
With a nod Ryan gets to his feet. He swiftly arranges himself across the leather-covered bench, spreading his legs wide in order to give Sam a full canvas to work with. To work on.
Fuck. The sight of Ryan like that goes straight to his cock as always, his boy's slicked hole fluttering against the cool air of the room. It's all Sam can do to follow through on his promise, bringing the belt in hard across both cheeks without any warm-up.
Crying out, Ryan wraps his fingers tightly around the steel frame. If that first blow was any indication then he's obviously in for it now. But then, when has Sam ever lied to him? He sets his posture stiffly, determined not to disappoint his Sir further.
And again, each and every blow that follows as hard as the first, Ryan's skin turning pink then red then deepening, the bruises starting to form and rise to the surface.
Ryan doesn't even try to swallow his yelps of pain. Another submissive might disagree with his thinking, but at this point he'd consider it downright disrespectful to hold back. No, he surrenders every response to his Sir openly, in pure honesty. Even when he feels the first tears fall.
His arm aching, Sam switches hands and continues from the other side, aware of Ryan's tears, of his boy's pain, his arousal coiling tighter with every sob. But finally, convinced he's done what he said he would – that Ryan won't be sitting for days, not without being reminded of this – he puts the belt down and unzips his jeans, lining up and pushing deep with one rough thrust.
Now Ryan outright howls. It feels like every nerve ending in his ass is on fire, and he was so consumed by the beating that he wasn't mentally prepared for this sudden brutal penetration.
Sam wraps a hand around Ryan's throat, pulling him partially upright as he pushes even deeper, sinking his cock all the way in. "You fucking take it, boy," he growls. "You open up and you take it."
"Yes, Sir," Ryan gasps, choking a little against that rough grip. "Y–yes, Sir." He wants to thank his Sir, to express his gratitude that Sam still finds him worthy of being used this way. But those words are more than he can manage right now.
Sam drives into Ryan. Shoves his cock as deep and as hard as he can with every thrust, holding nothing back, his grip tightening slowly on Ryan's throat.
It's getting more and more difficult to breathe, black spots beginning to dance at the corners of Ryan's vision. A dull headache builds like storm clouds gathering. It doesn't matter; he's hardly aware of his circumstances right now anyway. Nothing exists but his body, and his body exists only for this.
A few more brutal thrusts and Sam lets go with a shout, his cock spurting hot and thick, flooding his boy's bruised and battered ass.
The inky darkness boils up. Ryan's throat burns, his eyes... Abruptly he finds himself back in the playroom, his cheek cushioned against the crimson leather of the spanking bench, the leather damp with what surely must be his own tears. Even the tiniest of muscles in his body seems to be screaming. He wonders vaguely if he tangled with a concrete mixer.
"Good boy," Sam murmurs, running his hands gently along Ryan's sides and back.
"Uh?" It's a faint questioning noise. Ryan doesn't yet recall what he did, but he knows it must have been pretty bad for him to be here, feeling like this. He tries to close his eyes and sink back into wherever he was, before, when he was less aware.
Sam eases out and helps Ryan to the bed, stretching out beside him. He wraps his arms around Ryan, holding him close, waiting for his boy to come back to him completely.
Automatically Ryan snugs in, tries to get even closer. Shivering and seeking the source of that blessedly intense heat. But just when it seems he might actually someday get warm enough... "Oh God!" The words burst out on a sob and he shoves himself away. "Sir, I'm sorry! I'm so sorry I embarrassed you, Sir!" Utterly and desperately miserable, his body shaking with thick heaving sobs.
"Shh. Hey. It's okay," Sam says, pulling Ryan back in, hugging him even closer. "It's over and done with."
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," Ryan snuffles on like a broken record, but at least now he clings to Sam, just as intensely as moments before he scrambled to get away. "I didn't want to– I didn't want– Please, Sir, I just need to be your–"
"You are. You're my good boy," Sam insists, guessing it's close enough even if it's not exactly what Ryan was going to say. "I love you. This doesn't change that."
At that, Ryan simply sobs. He has hurt for Sam before. He has cried for Sam before. The various reasons abound. But to feel like he has actually betrayed his Sir in some way; he definitely isn't so quick to forgive himself.
Sam holds Ryan tight, letting him get it all out of his system. Accepting that he needs to.
* * *
It's a bit of a shock to Ryan to realize that he's slept. His eyes still burn, and his head is muzzy with the usual post-meltdown headache. But Sam... Thank all the major and minor deities, Sam stayed with him. Or at any rate, he's back in bed with him now. "Hey," Ryan whispers, pushing himself to sit against the headboard, every muscle in his body stiff and aching and his ass feeling like it's on fire.
"Hm?" Sam opens his eyes, blearily looking around for a second before he realizes where they are and what happened earlier. "Hey," he responds, pushing up against the headboard beside Ryan. "How're you doing?"
"I feel like shit." It's an honest answer. "You stayed with me. Thank you."
"I wouldn't have left," Sam points out. "You want me to get you some water? Or some cream?"
"Um. A little water, please," Ryan murmurs. "But... But then can you come back? And sit with me again, I mean." It's rare for him to be so hesitant; he's still so rattled by the events of the day.
"Yeah, of course. I'm not going anywhere," Sam assures him, cupping the back of Ryan's neck and pressing their heads together for a moment before he disappears into the washroom.
Despite that promise, Ryan anxiously watches Sam walk away. Then he exhales heavily and scoots up a bit more in the bed, trying to find a position that isn't quite so... sore. No joy, so he simply hugs his knees and stares out the window at the waning afternoon.
"Here you go," Sam says, coming back with the water. He hands the cup to Ryan and settles on the bed beside him.
"Thank you, Sir," Ryan whispers, and makes himself take a sip. "The, ah. The exchange on the Citadel boards, with Alex," he says, feeling the heat rise in his face. "I won't make posts or write comments anymore. Sir."
The declaration surprises Sam and he shakes his head. "I don't want you to do that," he says. "You like posting, commenting... I just want you to think about what you're writing – when it's about me."
Ryan nods, tearing up again. His mouth twists wryly. "What's weirdest is that, when I wrote that post, I tried specially to think of some really absurd endearment, so that there'd be no chance ever that anyone would actually think I was using an example from my own life."
"Hey." Sam reaches for Ryan's hand and links their fingers together. "If I was really mad? As in completely pissed off? I already told you. You'd be sleeping at the end of the bed or I would've been yelling and it would have been an out-and-out argument. Neither of those things happened. I saw the post earlier, I didn't have a problem with it. It was the way you let Alex bait you and what you responded with. But Alex is a fucking ass sometimes and shit happens." He brings their hands to his mouth and brushes his lips across Ryan's knuckles. "We're good now. I promise."
One tear spills over his cheek, and Ryan nods again. "Thank you, Sir," he whispers, squeezing Sam's hand. "And thank you for loving me enough to punish me."
Sam leans in and kisses the corner of Ryan's mouth. "Wait til you see my response to Alex," he says with a smile.
Ryan's brow furrows in surprise. "Really? Like, a moral imperative or something?" Cripes, if anyone ever could put Alex in his place, it'd probably be Sam. Possibly.
Sam shrugs. "I just asked him where his keeper was. If Luke knew he was loose on the internets." He grins, eyes sparkling.
"Oh, that's good. Attack his masculinity. You know that towering Viking ego is his biggest weakness," Ryan agrees with a sage nod. "He'll probably be mad at you for, like, two whole weeks before he forgets." He gnaws pensively at his bottom lip, then leans in to kiss his husband, needing the physical reassurance that everything truly is well between them once more.
Sam kisses Ryan back, licks into his mouth, pressing closer. "I love you," he whispers against his lips.
Ryan wraps his arms around his lover, laying his head on Sam's shoulder and soaking up comfort from the embrace. "I love you more."
Sam chuckles. "I love you mostest."