Chapter 1: Juice
Mr. Bunny shook his head, almost like a warning, and he turned his cuddly face into Juice’s chest, whining softly.
“I’m scared… I’m sc-scared, Juice…”
So was Juice, but Mr. Bunny was smaller and couldn’t even walk on his own. He was shivering and Juice swallowed.
“D-don’t wo-worry, Mr. B-bunny…”
”But it’s n-not for b-bunnies…”
The scared animal in his arms was right. Bunnies lived outside, or in one of those large cages, right? This wasn’t outside and definitely not a cage. Juice stayed still, shushing his tiny friend as he looked around. Mr. Bunny was too scared to look so it would probably be better for him if Juice just told him. His tiny legs were tired too, even if he was carried, so Juice slowly walked over to a small stool and sat down.
“Don’t m-make me l-look, Juice…”
It was easier to answer Mr. Bunny without opening his mouth. He had such a good hearing, after all. Juice shushed him.
”You don’t have to look, Mr. Bunny. Juice will describe it to you.”
He didn’t stutter when he spoke to Mr. Bunny like this. On the inside. And the risk of people hearing was non-existant, but sometimes the skittish animal forgot that. Juice kissed the soft head.
“It’s green, Mr. Bunny. Like grass.”
”No. The walls… they’re like moss, I think. But not as dark… More like watercolors.”
”Moss is good, right? S-soft f-for the feet.”
Bunnies had soft pads under their feet and Mr. Bunny had been forgotten in some cold, dark place with far too hard floor for 26 years, not feeling or even seeing grass. The little animal shivered.
“Moss a-and… what else, J-juice?”
Juice’s eyes fell on the bed.
”There’s a bed. A big one… And it has one of those bed covers in squares, like Daddy’s and Papi’s.”
“I-is it the s-same?”
”No, this is… it’s in green, white and brown and blue. And there are cushions too, white…”
“L-like the f-forest?”
”Forests are green, Mr. Bunny.”
”N-not the t-tree trunks, or the b-bush anemones.”
“Guess you’re right… Look, there’s a sky in the ceiling…”
”Y-you’re pulling m-my leg now, Juice.”
Mr. Bunny’s stutter seemed to get better when he was curious. Juice petted him slowly, remembering what Papi, Daddy and Dr. Huang had said about scared little bunnies and how teasing or ridiculing them when they were scared, was wrong. He was, after all, very small, and it was Juice’s responsibility to protect him. Papi and Daddy did too, of course, but Mr. Bunny didn’t really know them and he’d always been suspicious about strangers.
Juice scratched his back and looked at the ceiling.
“It’s like a sky, the colour. And… and there are those stars…”
“Stars? Inside? Now you’re j-just trying to annoy me!”
”S’not real stars, silly. It’s those plastic luminary things… They’ll shine in the dark.”
“Stars are supposed to sh-shine in the dark.”
Mr. Bunny sounded a little annoyed now and Juice smiled a little, brushing his lips onto his head.
“If you don’t believe me, maybe you should take a look for yourself. Just a quick peek?”
“I d-don’t know, Juice…”
“S’not dangerous, I promise. And… and I think it’s made for bunnies too. Indoor bunnies…”
“I’ve lived o-outside a-all my l-life.”
”B-but I d-don’t wanna think b-bout that place anymore, Juice. Th-they h-h-had fire there…”
“There’s no fire here, I promise.”
“Wh-what bout the r-rest of the house?”
“There’s the open fire downstairs, but…”
Now Mr. Bunny started crying and Juice had to get down from the stool and fall back onto the wall where he could hug his friend between his legs and chest. Mr. Bunny was terrified of fires and no wonder. Juice tried to wipe his little friend’s tears the best he could. There was an open fire in this house, but Mr. Bunny would never end up there. Not that he believed that right now, but Juice knew.
Maybe not a hundred percent, but he couldn’t let Mr. Bunny know that.
Chapter 2: Filip
The boys are continuing their first night home as a family and it's not exactly smooth sailing.
“How’s he handling it?”
”By having some kind o’ panic attack. He’s talking to Mr. Bunny, though.”
Ronea’s concerned voice didn’t suit his visible relief for being home again and while they’d barely been back ten for half an hour and they all were tired and smelling of hospital, he was was already throwing longing looks on the dusty furniture, the oven, pots and pans and Filip chuckled.
“Ye’re such a housewife, lovey…”
”Come again, Mr. Telford?”
The warning scowl was even more cute and Filip pulled his husband in for a kiss on those soft lips.
“My apologies, Mr. Telford-Tully. Homemaker, of course. My sexy lil’ homemaker husband.”
”Yeah, I’m not feeling that sexy right now, Mr. Telford. And even if I did, I’m still smelling from rubbing alcohol, automatic coffee and old people.”
“Then how about ye put some real coffee on an’ take a shower while yer ol’ man tend to our lil’ one.”
“T’is an order, actually.”
Filip knew his husband well and right now, before he’d had an hour or so to wind down, he was in need of almost as stern directions as Juice. He had bags under his eyes, his hair was a bit greasy and he definitely needed to get some fresh clothes on. Filip kissed his forehead and gave a little pat on his backside.
“Coffee and shower, baby. Now.”
Another little kiss and then his now a wee bit less stressed out husband padded over to the coffee brewer while Filip walked upstairs. In the last two weeks they’d tried to prepare Juice for coming home, and for the place at the outpatient facility the best they could, but it hadn’t been easy and he’d flat out refused to look at any picture of the room.
That could be a sign of rejection, but it was impossible to tell. Juice had a way of initially denying himself any comfort or care until he felt safe enough to indulge, and that’s why Filip wasn’t the least surprised or disappointed when he found his lad curled up on the floor next to the changing pad, seemingly squeezing his stuffed bunny flat between his still sore tummy and slightly unsteady legs. Filip made sure to walk in loud enough not to startle him, but still slow and with soft steps. Juice still shivered but that was expected too and Filip sat down on the small couch.
“Must feel strange to be home again, lil’ one. Daddy thinks so too.”
Juice whined a little, a sound Filip had come to connect with “Mr. Bunny” telling he was scared and as heartbreaking as it was – more often than not giving Filip an actual lump in his throat – letting the stuffed bunny represent and express feelings Juice wasn’t comfortable to do as himself, had proved to be a very efficiant tool in his treatment.
Via the cuddly toy, both in therapy and with Filip and Ronea, Juice had slowly started to express more feelings and by comforting and reassuring Mr. Bunny instead of Juice, the lad’s dangerously high level of shame had at least turned down a notch or two. His huge amount of empathy and the fact that he wasn’t punishing or rejecting the stuffed animal for expressing “shameful” or otherwise “dangerous” feelings, was a very good sign, age-regressive or not.
Filip looked at the crouched figure in baggy clothes.
”I bet Mr. Bunny is a bit worried, laddie. He’s never been here before an’ he doesn’t really like surprises, righ’?”
“N-no. I-is scared.”
”Aye, no wonder. I’d be scared too if I moved to an all new place. An’ hospitals are so different from a real home, aren’t they, kiddo?”
“Well… then we better do our best to make Mr. Bunny feel welcome, righ’ lil’ one?”
“Wha’s the best way o’ doing tha’? Should we by a truckload o’ carrots?”
There was the tiniest little giggle and then Juice whined again, clutching his tummy.
“Then let Daddy hold his hand on it, Juicy. Daddy is an expert in belly rubs.”
“M-mr. Bunny h-hurts too…”
”Daddy will rub his belly too, lil’ one. C’mere, Juicyboy.”
Chapter 3: Ronea
Filip loves to indulge his husband, but he's still in charge and when he gives an order, it's supposed to be obeyed. Ronea should know that by now...
He felt guilty. Sure, he wasn’t just a homemaker, but a homemaking nerd, and he’d missed his kitchen, his laundry room and greenhouse something terribly, but it wasn’t like he’d been gone for years, just several weeks – and for good and serious reasons. It wasn’t normal, right? Going through every cupboard, shelf and drawer like some Martha Stewart slash Gollum maniac. Ronea looked at the pie form, suddenly smiling.
He chuckled now, at how insanely stupid it sounded, but he really couldn’t help himself and when he got the image of Gollum dressed up in one of those tasteless Martha Stewart apron with cupcake pattern and a chef’s hat, circling around a pile of kitchen tools and chocolate muffins, Ronea bursted out laughing, tears in his eyes, breathless and all.
“Wha’s going on here?”
Ronea looked up and saw his husband, who was carrying Juice in the sling again, and another fit of uncontrollable laughter sent Ronea leaning over the countertop for support. Filip looked amused and Juice a little bewildered with his pacifier in his mouth and Mr. Bunny in his hands. Ronea wavered his hands in front of his face, trying to fan himself calm.
“Jesus… I’m… God, I’m just…”
“I think Papi’s a bit tired, Juicy.”
”W-what’s so f-funny, Pa-papi?”
The image of Gollum crawling around the kitchen in the cupcake apron, now with a spatula wavering to protect his precious pastries, absolutely didn’t help Ronea to calm down, let alone explain what he was laughing at, and his husband just shook his head and rolled his eyes.
“Well, not tha’ I wannae interrupt whatever it is tha’ makes my husband happy, but I distinctly recall something I said about coffee an’ a proper shower, lovey…”
“God, I’m sorry… I’m… Jesus, I’m on my way, Filip.”
He was still laughing, couldn’t help himself and he quickly prepared the coffee without spilling too much on the floor. When he left the kitchen, Filip gave his backside a slightly firmer slap than the earlier one, but he was still smiling and Ronea blushed.
“I’m sorry, Filip.”
”Jus’ take the shower, baby.”
Smiles and blushes aside, an order was still an order and Ronea hurried away to the bathroom. Filip shouldn’t even need to tell him twice, let alone get a mouthy response even if it wasn’t intentionally rude. The second slap hadn’t hurt at all, but Ronea instantly felt the difference between that and the first little pat. The first one said “silly darlin’, get going” and the second “I gave ye an order an’ ye should’ve been on yer way already instead o’ getting mouthy”. And sure, Ronea loved his kitchen, but in no way as much as he loved to obey his strict husband.
When he came upstairs to the bedroom, he found clothes and items on the bed along with a note.
Would you please wear this tonight for me, husband?
Ronea blushed again. Filip very, very rarely suggested outfits for him, but on occasion his Scottish man got a craving for one particular garment or the other and for the most part, Ronea would happily oblige, since he was asked so politely. It wasn’t an order though. Filip was very clear on that: no one, not him nor anyone else, had any right to rule over Ronea’s wardrobe or looks. Period.
Ronea peeled his old clothes off, tossed them in the hamper and went to the bathroom. A proper shower, Filip had said, meaning Ronea could take his sweet time shaving, grooming and scrubbing for a while. The order helped with the guilt, always did, and out of nowhere, Ronea started sobbing under the water, realising this wasn’t about his husband wanting him more presentable, but for him to get a little alone time and take care of himself.
Dutifully, Ronea went through his usual grooming routine while still crying a bit, more out of weariness and relief than anything else. When he was finished, he dried off, moisturized and carefully put the pink, soft chastity device on. It was a reminder of his place as well as sign of care, both a chastisement and not. The silky panties, stockings, garter and strap tank came next and Ronea felt a lot calmer already.
Filip had chosen a casual, dark grey skirt with big pockets and a black, very soft wollen shortsleeve that left the shoulders almost bare. It wasn’t dressing up, nor feminisation, really. Neither was it a putting in place thing. Ronea knew his place and loved it, but after all these weeks with their usual routines blown to pieces, it took time to resettle and his increadible husband not only knew that, but helped him to get there. A spanking would be even better, but there was still time for that – when his husband deemed it suitable. Right now, they both had a baby boy to take care of.
Chapter 4: Juice
Sometimes there is just no arms like Daddy's arms.
Usually, he prefered the sling with Papi, but right now, Daddy was the one and only. They were sitting in the high, comfy rocking chair that allowed Juice’s legs to rest freely onto the sides while still being cuddled up in the sling on Daddy’s chest. Mr. Bunny too, of course, and the warm, cozy blanket made it even better.
Daddy was rocking him softly and stroked Juice’s back.
“Such a good lad… It’ll take some time to wind down and get used to be home, lil’ one, but don’ worry… Daddy an’ Papi have it all planned out for ye. Getting ye some more time to jus’ be little Juice, like Dr. Huang said, aye?”
Juice just nodded, sucking a little more instensely on the soother and Daddy kissed his neck.
“I know tha’ big Juice might be worried, but this is lil’ Juice’s time to be taken care o’, alright? One step at the time, laddie, jus’ trust Daddy.”
He did. Right now, when he felt little, he trusted Daddy to the moon and back. Big Juice didn’t. He didn’t trust anyone, so it was good that Daddy was in charge. The large, warm hands were so comforting and Juice almost arched into them. Daddy smiled a little, he could feel it on his neck.
“There will be a very strict schedule, lil’ one, but it’s for yer own good. Daddy will do wha’s best for ye, just as I do wha’s best for Papi, aye?”
It was a little difficult to answer with the pacifier, but it was too soothing to take it out and Daddy didn’t disapprove.
“When we’re done with the schedule for tonight an’ ye’re asleep, Daddy will take care o’ Papi for a lil’ while, darlin’, before we join ye. Okay?”
”An’ ye’ll be sleeping in our bed for a long time, Juicyboy. Sleeping on yer own is not in question until ye’re fit for it, no matter how long tha’ takes.”
He got another kiss on his head.
“Oh, an’ when I say very strict schedule, I don’ mean tha’ in a harsh or demanding way, lil’ one. It jus’ means tha’ we’re gonnae be good lads, daddies an’ papis, following the rehabilitation plan as properly as we can, alright?”
“Wh-what if Juice forgets…?”
“Tha’s wha’ Daddy and Papi are for, darlin’. Ye don’ have to remember or monitor the schedule at all, lil’ one, in fact, ye’re supposed to not worry about tha’ for quite a while yet. Daddy an’ Papi will be yer watch, yer schedule an’ yer planner now, an’ we’ll only slowly start to involve ye more, when the clinic clears ye, one step at the time.”
“One step a-at the time, Daddy…”
“Tha’s righ’, sweet lad. I love ye so much, Juicy, as does Papi, an’ we’re so glad ye’re back home with us again. We’re so proud o’ ye, lil’ fighter…”
Daddy had changed since the hospital, in a good way. It was hard to find words for it, but it had something to do with calm, which was weird since Daddy already was a very calm man. Usually, changes, especially with people, sent Juice’s anxiety through the roof, but it didn’t really feel like that kind of change. Daddy was still Daddy, strict and firm, and he had final say in everything in this house – well, save for Papi’s kitchen or things that were out of his knowledge area, but he still ran the show.
Juice sucked on the pacifier and felt the calm more or less bodily transfer from Daddy to himself. It came from Daddy’s arms around his back and the snug feeling from the sling, from his chest and the steady heartbeats onto Juice’s, the calm breaths onto his neck, the soft voice speaking those reassuring words… And Mr. Bunny had stopped shivering.
Chapter 5: Filip
While Ronea is the one who gets disciplined in the marriage if he disobeys or is disrespectful, it's actually always more serious when Filip fails to live up to HIS vows. And to give his husband a scare, is among those failures.
“I’m sorry, Filip, I don’t know what I was thinking.”
Sometimes his husband’s eagerness to obey and the distress he displayed when he failed to do so immediately, made Filip feel equally worried and proud. “Failed” obedience and unexpected emotional reactions was a very touchy subject for Ronea since he had a tendency to feel so incredibly guilty and insecure from them. That fear those thankfully rare moments showed, wasn’t healthy at all. It was worrying.
On the other hand, which was the tricky part, was that Ronea’s distress nowadays didn’t show in him shutting down or getting hostile out of fear. Instead, this truly amazing man would instantly seek forgiveness and comfort the moment he realised he’d somehow stepped out of line. That amount of trust, not to mention mental strenght, never failed to make Filip all but bursting with pride over his husband. And right now, as he was still fresh from the shower and dressed in his skirt and wollen top, warm and hair a little damp, he looked so bloody fragile.
Filip reached his hand out, but Ronea didn’t take it, still looking very distressed. They’d put Juice to bed together and he was firmly snoozing with Mr. Bunny, so he probably hadn’t caught up his Papi’s distress, which was good. His Papi, on the other hand, carried a lot of it, completely unnecessarily. Filip’s knees were cracking a bit when he sank down in front of his scared, tense husband.
“Ronea, darlin’, I dinnae mean to upset ye earlier, but I clearly did an’ I’m truly sorry for tha’.”
“I was the one who didn’t listen. I was disrespectful, Filip.”
Filip held his hands up now, not taking Ronea’s, but just nudging them, fingers brushing lightly until Ronea leaned in and let Filip hold them.
“Darlin’, I scared ye an’ tha’s me breaking one o’ my most important rules in this marriage. I wasn’t thinking at how I spoke to ye, tha’ wha’ I intended to be a wee bit playful came across as me being displeased with ye.”
“But… you were and you had every right to be.”
“No, lovey, I wasn’t displeased, only’ a wee bit annoyed but mostly, if I’m honest, jus’ amused an’ it worries me tha’ I failed to show tha’. So aye, ye may not have known wha’ ye were thinking, but neither did I, an’ is tha’ something we discipline in this house?”
Ronea sighed and shook his head, slowly curling his fingers a little tighter around Filip’s hands.
”No, we don’t.”
Filip looked up now, relieved to see at least one layer of worry peeled off from his husband’s beautiful face. He wasn’t smiling, but his eyes were clearer and more focused now, not avoiding Filip’s gaze at all. Filip kissed his knuckles, which made him blush and then huff a little, and Filip looked serious.
“I’m sorry tha’ I scared ye, lovey. Ye forgive me, piseag?*”
Ronea’s sweet smile broke out from the old endearment.
“Of course, my fathach.** Now, for the love of God, stand up and give me a kiss. It drives me bugfuck when you kneel like this.”
Filip didn’t need to be asked twice and rose to take his man in his arms, kissing him slowly. When they broke the kiss, the normal, calm and trusting gaze was back in Ronea’s eyes and Filip smiled.
“God, I love it when ye’re bossy in Gaelic. Especially in this outfit…”
“Your girly little husband…”
“S’nothing girly about ye, baby, but if it was, I’d love tha’ too.”
Ronea gave him a wicked little smile.
“Should I be worried that my big, bad biker bear will develop a taste for tits and pussy?”
“Tits? Not a chance. Pussy… well, if it’s yers…”
“Oh right, your little husbands male pussy…”
Now this was teasing and the kind that wasn’t disrespectful. Ronea was bloody adorable like this, fluttering eyelashes, messy hair and that simple grey skirt reaching just below his knees… He was biting his lip now, but Filip caught a slightly questioning look in his eyes.
“Wha’s worrying ye, Ronea? I can see ye’re not calm yet.”
“Well… I was wondering if you’d spank me, Filip?”
“Darlin’, ye know I wont, since ye dinnae break a rule.”
“But I need it. I… Please, Filip, it’s been such a long time since we…”
His husband now came closer, leaning onto his shoulder.
“I know I’ve not broken a rule, baby, well at least not to deserve a punishment, so I’m not asking you to correct me, Filip.”
Oh. Of course. Filip internally kicked himself up the backside for missing such an obvious thing and he felt himself relax too, realising only now that he’d been tense as well and he slipped his hands down his husbands gorgeous arse, grabbing it outside the skirt and lifted him. Ronea chuckled as he swirled his legs around his waiste and Filip nuzzled his chest.
“I’ll give ye wha’ ye need, Mr. Telford-Tully. Where to, ma’m?”
“Don’t you ma’m me, papa bear. And this little husband is done making decisions for tonight, so you better not regret requesting me to wear this skirt, Mr. Telford. Now get moving, sir.”
“I thought ye were done making decisions.”
“Alright, alright. Moving it is.”
*kitty in Scottish Gaelic
**bear of a man in Scottish Gaelic
Chapter 6: Ronea
Finally, some long husband time ;)
In all their years together, Ronea had yet to find something that compared to this. While confessing, being corrected, forgiven and then getting to cry for an unlimited time in his husband’s arms after he’d broken a rule was one hell of a emotional range, starting with distress and ending in complete relief, the resettling spankings were quite different, especially if they’d been forced to compromise with their usual routine for some time.
On the surface, it looked like a game, both of them smiling as Filip carried him from the kitchen to the livingroom, but they weren’t teasing or joking now. It wasn’t what they needed in this moment. All they needed was to be husbands in the sense of what they put in that term, nothing more.
The only exception, only intrusion in that privacy, was the baby monitor in case Juice needed them. Other than that, the world outside their marital intimacy was locked away. Doors and alarms set, phones on mute, no tasks or needs to interrupt the resettlement.
This was a dominant, loving husband, who’d take care of his happily submissive homemaker and nothing more. It was everything and Ronea already shivered a little as Filip put him down on the floor, unconcerned of his cracking knees and for once, Ronea kept quiet, because this was his time to let go completely.
Filip put a pillow to support Ronea’s tall back, gave him a kiss on his temple and rose. Ronea didn’t speak, just smiled a little as he watched his husband do his thing. They’d not had the opportunity, nor the energy for this extensive amount of reestablishing their roles and Ronea got a glass of chilled Chablis wine in his hand before Filip got the open fire going and then went on to light two dozens of candles, finishing up by putting on some serene music on low volume and placing the baby monitor device on the coffee table.
“Scoot out, baby.”
Ronea obliged and Filip removed the pillow, placing himself behind him and pulled him close to rest against him. A gentle hand made him lean his head a bit further down and there was a hum in his hair. Ronea sighed and felt himself relax some more.
“Tha’s it, piseag*… Jus’ lean back, I’ve got ye… S’always hard to resettle, both of us anxious to get there, but no matter how much tha’s changed of late, we’re still the same, lovey. The core of our marriage, the things tha’ make us who we are when all the layers come off… Tha’s not changed, Ronea, an’ it never will.”
Not wearing make-up had been a good idea, because of course Ronea started crying. He wasn’t sad, just breaking down a bit and Filip gently squeezed his hand.
“I’m first of all yers, lovey. Not tha’ I don’ love Juice jus’ as much, but ye’ve been my other half for twentyfour years, ever since we first got together, an’ I no longer know who I’d be without ye, nor do I ever wannae find out.”
Fingers entangling, another squeeze, mutual this time.
“I’ve missed this so much, lovey… These last weeks… I’ve felt like I’ve been running on empty, ‘cause when I cannae take care o’ ye the way ye need, the way I need, I’m neglecting who we are, even if I don’ intend to. An’ I’m pretty sure ye’re feeling something akin to tha’ when our roles get too… disintegrated.”
“I do… Not crying ‘cause I’m sad or… I’m just…”
“A wee bit disoriented an’ quite a lot overwhelmed?”
“Yes… It’s… Please, husband, just… help me…?”
“I will, darlin’.”
He was removed from his husband’s arms to sit onto his knees and Ronea just let Filip do everything for him now. He had no strenght left to settle down in his natural role by himself at this point, only the ability to follow where his deepest urge lead him, guided by this man and this man only.
Tears were dripping, slowly but in no way decreasing as the buttons on his skirt got opened and he was lowered, placed across the awaiting lap and the callous hands started to scoot the grey fabrics upwards. There was no hesitation, no mistaking in the touches. This wasn’t punishment, nor a game, but nothing short of complete submission and the feeling of it almost too intense.
His chest was aching, ribs like a straitjacket around his lungs, his heart a clenched fist when the panties got pulled down halfway, the silk getting stuck from his painfully hard cock, which he’d been too tense to even notice until now and a sob loosened in his throat. A hand on the small of his back, not pressing down, just keeping him in place with a soothing rubbing until his hips sank down in the proper position, not by force but naturally, as was his urge.
Despite the anticipation, his body wasn’t on track and reacted with a downright shake from the first blow.
“Please, continue! I, I can’t… not right now!”
He couldn’t explain, he had no words in the right order, he was all feels and it was terrifying, would’ve been unbearable anywhere else but across his husband’s lap. His right hand was taken and placed backwards onto Filip’s leg.
“Ye feel any kind o’ wrong hurt, in any way, ye’ll pat, grab or slap my leg, is tha’ clear, husband?”
“An’ if I miss it or stop even a moment too late, I order ye to punch my lights out. Ye hear me, husband?”
“Loud and clear, sir.”
“An’ I’m not sir now, ‘cause I’m not correcting ye. It’s yes, Filip.”
Good Lord, that voice… Ronea didn’t even care to muffle the moan as he answered through clenched teeth.
“Yes, Filip. I hear you and I understand you, husband.”
“Thank ye, love. Now… let me remind ye o’ yer place… an’ mine…”
No more talking, no transgressions to confess, no play. And no tools. Just skin… The second blow wasn’t as hard as the first, or maybe the preparation soothed it, Ronea didn’t care. His husband was spanking him now and the increasing pain was spreading across his clenched bottom and the sensitive area on the top of his thighs. The tension came from somewhere far inside, a place in his knotted up muscles he’d not been able to feel for a while and the tight bundle of nerves was now relentlessly getting worked on by his husband’s firm hand.
It hurt. It hurt so damn much and the pain was marvelous, ecstatic and completely consuming. The humiliation was barely there, pushed out by the feeling of pure submission and Ronea found himself floating already, not in the chaotic, drifting way, but slap by slap reaching a little closer to the stillness that was the safe haven of his strong husband.
He wasn’t sure when the slaps stopped or how he’d even been able to form the words: please, fuck me, only that he needed this, needed all of this so badly any other thought was disconnected now. He was sobbing in pure despair when Filip undressed and then removed the panties and Ronea’s damp top, leaving the skirt, chastity and stockings on. This part wasn’t for slow and soft, that would fucking ruin him and Ronea cried out for more and don’t-you-fucking-dare-slow-fucking-me-Mr. Telford-I-need-it-hard-dammit!
Some sub he was, practically barking out an order, but his husband was just as desperate now, hands sticky with spilled lube, dripping on Ronea’s chest and his sensitive buttocks buzzling as Filip entered almost too slow until he settled all the way in, filling him to the hilt. Then he pulled halfway out and slammed back hard.
They should keep quiet, considering their sleeping boy upstairs, but this kind of fucking, with Filip Telford’s cock rammed up against his prostrate in that devilicious angle, made discretion of any kind nearly impossible. The way Ronea moaned now, would put a pro porn actor to shame, and he was just as unable to keep it down, as Filip was willing to shut him up. He fucked him doggystyle, hands and knees turning to elbows and spread out thighs as Ronea desperately wanted to lower down, to be domintated, so fucking owned in this moment, taking it deeper like the greedy sub he was.
The chastity device was still on, his ignored cock throbbing againts it’s cage, head shiny from the swellining and glistening precum. Ronea full-one whined now, not forming any coherent words, but Filip knew. His husband always knew.
Ronea sobbed as Filip pulled out and turned him back into missionary position, thighs now pressed down over his abdomen, legs locked in those hands, bent against his shoulders and Filip entered him again, now picking up a fast, hard pace, animalistic, sloppy sounds of slapping, wet flesh and then grabbing the snug cage, undoing it with shaky hands and the pink device had barely come off, when Ronea choked a cry into his elbow and came.
“We woke up baby boy…?”
“Not a chance, lovey. Sleeping like a rock.”
Ronea was resting on his side, damp from the wet towel now instead of sweat and cum, another glass of ice cold, dry Chablis in his hand and his ass – and face – blushing in just the right shade of pink. Filip had finished by eating him out, practically sucking his own cum off his hole and Ronea felt deliciously naughty as he looked at his now wine sipping husband.
“So, Mr. Telford… Are you going to tell me?”
“Tell ye wha’, lovey?”
“The secret to how you manage to turn me from a miserable wreck to a literally completely fucked one and still look like you’ve never had an indecent thought in your life.”
The burst of laughter had Filip cough up wine and he got tears in his eyes from it, just laughing so freely as if he’d never been stressed out even once, ever, and he caught Ronea in a hard kiss, still filled with poorly muted laughter.
“Holy shite, I’m so happy ti’s ye an’ me, darlin’. Please, don’ ever change…”
Chapter 7: Juice
Nightmares suck ass, but maybe Juice is getting better at handling them, than he knows.
Oh, and the title "Healing Up", of course is a paraphrase for growing up. I meant to put that in the main summary, but I ran out of space.
“Shh, baby boy, shh… Papi’s here, don’t be afraid, angel…”
At first, he’d not reckognized the room. The striped walls had looked so unfamiliar after weeks of white and steel, the sheets were different too and worst of all, Papi and Daddy weren’t there. But when he’d started crying, calling for them, there were fast footsteps and seconds later Papi had him in his arms, rocking and shushing him.
“My poor, poor baby… You had a bad dream, my little love?”
“Oh, Papi and Daddy were downstairs, sweetheart, but we weren’t gone. We came as soon as we heard our baby boy calling for us.”
It was so different from the hospital, Juice started to feel now as the nightmare melted away and he tugged at his onesie.
“Ye too warm, kiddo?”
“N-no, j-jus’… Want D-daddy a-a-and P-papi…”
“You want some skin contact, baby boy?”
“Uh-huh… M-mr. B-bunny w-wants t-too…”
“Course he does, lil’ one. Lets get yer PJ’s off, alright?”
Now, as his wet eyes started to get used to the dim light, Juice noticed Papi had only a skirt on and was a little damp on his chest. Not that it mattered, it was just unusual to see him like that after all the weeks at the hospital. Papi helped him out of the onesie and checked his diaper.
“You’re wet, baby boy. Filip, love, will you please bring the changing mat and some soaped and unsoaped water in here?”
“Of course, darlin’. Anything else?”
“A bottle would be good, I think.”
“On my way, lovey.”
“Thank you. Shh, baby boy, it was just a bad dream. Everything’s gonna alright. Come, let Papi give his good baby boy a cuddle. Oh, there’s your pacifier as well. Here you go, sweetheart.”
In the immediate aftermath of a panic attack or nightmare, Juice never felt any shame these days. Not like he used to. It had become natural to cling onto Papi – or Daddy – like a child, to seek comfort and take it without question or judgment when it was offered. And it was always offered. He was wet, shaky and miserable, but Papi rocked and cooed him and when Daddy came back with the water, Juice was happy to be lifted and put on the changing mat.
Papi took the old diaper off and Daddy helped to keep Juice’s heavy legs up. It didn’t feel shameful anymore, to be changed and washed like a baby and Papi was so gentle. He finished off with baby oil and then proceeded to wash Juice’s sweaty body with water from another bowl. Juice shivered a little but it was so nice to get cooled off a bit and Daddy bent down to kiss his forehead and stroke tears from his cheeks.
“Daddy’s here, lil’ one. No one’s gonnae hurt Daddy’s Juicyboy or Mr. Bunny, I promise.”
The adult part of his brain knew Daddy couldn’t make that promise, but that part was very quiet, hardly noticable. It was all Little Juice now, who was small enough to get helped with his mess without shame, and that part believed Daddy was almighty. He would scare off all the bad guys, make the boogey man leave and everything would be alright, just like Papi said.
Papi had now dried him off and Juice felt a lot better. Papi stroked his hair.
“You wanna lay in Papi’s arms for a little while, sweetheart?”
He nodded and Daddy lifted him while Papi sat down in bed, supported by some pillows and Daddy placed Juice in his arms.
“I’ll make tha’ bottle, lovey.”
Daddy draped the blanket over them, gave them both a kiss and left. Papi rocked Juice and nuzzled his hair.
“You remember the bad dream, Juicy? Can you tell Papi what it was about?”
“Do-on’t know, P-papi. S-sorry.”
“Shh, hey now, don’t be sorry for that, baby boy. Never apologies for things that aren’t your fault. Or at least we’re gonna try and not do that, even if it’s difficult sometimes, right?”
Papi hummed, it was a soothing buzz on his head and the warmth of his body was relaxing.
“No one wants to remember a bad dream, my little love. At least I’ve never heard of anyone who does. It’s awful, getting attacked in your sleep like that, Papi knows that all too well, Juicy. But then, when we wake up and we start to forget the details of the nightmare, little by little, and we can turn the lights on and land in the now… We’ll know it’s just a nightmare, baby boy, and that it has no real control over us.”
“Y-you ha-had bad d-dreams, Papi?”
“Oh, God, so many of them, baby boy… So many… It took time, but eventually they left.”
“All of them?”
“All of those who crippled me from inside, angel. Everyone has nightmares sometimes, even the happiest people on Earth, it’s one of the things that comes with the package of being a human, I’m afraid. But if we don’t judge ourselves, if we allow ourselves to be comforted and open, instead of hiding away in shame and fear, their power will decrease. It can be a long road and the pace is different for everyone, but our nightmares can loose a lot of power over us, with time and gentle patience. That, my little love, is something Papi can promise.”
Juice had only small dry sniffles left now, the words of his Papi helping just as much as his warm body and Mr. Bunny safely tucked to his own chest. Daddy came back with the bottle and the cuddly blanket Juice loved and within seconds, he was sucking the warm, sweet peach soup in Papi’s arms, with the blanket snugly wrapped around him.
He’d been wet, shivering and alone. Now he was warm and dry, cuddled up in loving arms, like he should’ve been when he’d been left in the dark and cold as a terrified child. He wasn’t abandoned in a motel room, or brutally spanked on roadside. His cuddle toy was tucked in his arms, not burning in the open fire, no one pressed his face down his urine stinking sheets and then locking him in a root cellar. He wasn’t beaten with a belt, forcefully shaved, starved or left alone in a basement for days.
No one called him stupid, disgusting, ugly or whiny anymore. Right now, in this moment, Juice felt completely safe again. Papi was right: the nightmares were horrible, but not almighty.
Chapter 8: Filip
It's morning and Filip goes through the meeting he and Ronea had with one of the psychologists at Water Lily Pond, the facility Juice will be admitted to, in his head. Of course, that clinic doesn't exist, I made it up, and since it's been a few weeks in time since "Shamrock..." ended, the whole planning of Juice's further treatment was dealt with in that time gap, since I really don't feel like spending several chapters with that process.
If things seem rushed or confusing in any way, let me know.
Surprisingly, Juice slept through the rest of the night without any unpleasant interruptions. When Filip woke up, he saw him curled up on his Papi’s chest and it looked peaceful. Ronea seemed very much at peace too, which in return made Filip calm. He left the bed carefully, not to wake his boys up, and went to the bathroom. Usually, Ronea was the earlier riser, but this morning Filip felt like he’d had a better night’s sleep than he’d had in weeks and his little family painted such a beautiful picture in bed.
Filip took a quick shower, mentally going through the day. They’d worked out a very thorough schedule, together with Dr. Huang and Miss Dîlan Gilani, the psychologist who was supposed to be Juice’s main contact at the Water Lily Pond, the psychiatric facility Juice would be admitted to at Monday morning. Personally, Filip would’ve liked to keep his lad home for a little longer before the treatment started, but this wasn’t about him, but what was best for Juice.
They’d visited it, him and Ronea, although Juice hadn’t, but the sweet lad trusted his Daddies and while Filip had come prepared to find even the smallest crack in the façade, Water Lily Pond hadn’t looked any different than what the pamphlet showed. Lots of green areas where patients could have time on their own, or participate in group activities, huge windows and soft colors in the various therapy rooms and plenty of tools for literally every age group, although you had to be eighteen to be admitted.
Miss Gilani had turned out to be a positively delightful Kurdish-American in her thirties, bubbling with energy and with the messiest cascade of purple red curls Filip had ever seen. Rather than the suit Filip would have expected from an esteemed psycholigist with, according to Dr. Huang, a splendid reputation, Miss Gilani wore wide slacks with traces of green paint on the thighs, a striped cotton shirt with the sleeves rolled up and a pair of steady sandals. She’d greeted them with warmth and asked them to excuse her looks, because she’d just had a session with a patient in art therapy.
“Welcome to Water Lily Pond, Mr. Telford and… Mr. Telford-Tully, right?”
“Aye, tha’s correct. I’m Filip Telford an’ this is my husband.”
“Ronea Telford-Tully, miss.”
“Ah yes, Ronea… Such a beautiful name, Mr. Telford-Tully. Would you like some coffee or tea or anything else? We have lemonade too. I must apologise for my looks, but I’m coming straight out of the art studio.”
She’d not seemed the least sorry for that, though, and Filip immediately took a liking to her. Miss Gilani seemed like a therapist who’d chosen the right profession, caring more about her patients than her appearance. Before sitting down, Miss Gilani had shown them around the facility and Filip had to admit that the pamphlet hadn’t been excessive. In addition to the rooms for conversational therapy, there was a little patient library with comfy chairs and beanbags, two massage rooms, three rooms for physical therapy, an indoor swimming pool and a small patient kitchen, the art’s room, the “calm corner” room if a patient just needed to be completely alone for some quiet time, and the crown jewel of it all, was of course the kennel.
Miss Gilani had gestured at a woman who was sitting outside with a Golden Retriever clearly comforting her, while a staff member sat close and spoke.
“Our therapy dogs really are the heart and soul of this place. It’s nothing but fantastic to see how well they communicate with our patients and pick up on their mood and stress. Your partner, how’s his thoughts and feelings about dogs?”
“He was actually rescued by one… a pitbull, I think. Was it a pitbull, Ronea?”
“I think so, yes. He likes dogs, Miss Gilani. It’s humans he’s not so sure about.”
Miss Gilani had nodded.
“That’s pretty much the theme for most of our clientel. Water Lily is a foundation for what our founder called seemingly hopeless cases. Those who slip through the cracks, so to say. Most clinics aren’t equipped to treat patients who require treatment for multiple mental health problems, certainly not for an extended time.”
“You don’t have overnight patients?”
“No. In some cases, if there is a patient who requires that, we usually cooperate with an inpatient clinic who can admit him or her at night. We open at 7 am and close at 5 pm, but it varies a lot when each patient starts the day. Everyone has his or her own personal schedule, where mealtimes and the group activities are mandatory and everyone participates together in small groups.”
Filip had looked around the dining room, in that moment not occupied by anything than four round tables set for lunch.
“Juice has issues with food. Ye have any experience o’ tha’?”
“That’s a common problem, Mr. Telford, and we have patients who’ve never come closer to share a meal with others, than the line at McDonald’s.”
“Doesn’t tha’, if ye excuse me, make this… a wee bit shattered in terms o’ treatments? Having all kinds o’ problems to treat instead o’ jus’ one or some?”
Miss Gilani had given a sweet smile and Filip couldn’t help but thinking it said: my sweet summer child, what do you now about shatters? A curl had loosened and fallen onto the psychologist’s face and she stroked it away.
“Our patients are shattered, Mr. Telford, because our society mostly is too rigid when it comes to treatments. It’s beyond me how we still try to treat patients with several physical and mental problems like there different sorts of pain exist separately from and unaffected by one another. It’s about money, for most part, of course, but the main problem I saw when I worked at various clinics, is that these patients keep coming back, spending money on ineffective treatment that isn’t effective for them or the clinics in the long run.”
She’d smiled again, this time ironic and a little sad, shaking her head.
“We treat humans with complex disorders like one treatment for one illness, somehow magically will treat the rest too. Our method is expensive, yes, but it works. Since we started, we’ve worked with patients who previously were shipped around from one ward to another, sometimes loosing their insurance or not even affording one in the first place, trapped in a vicious circle of long-term illness, fatigue, long-time unemployment and poverty, and more than 90% of them, six months after finishing the program, show a significant improval in terms of mental and physical health, social life, economy and the ability to work or study.”
Ronea had folded his arms.
“That almost sounds too good to be true, Miss Gilani. And forgive me if I sound suspicious, but I thought you required insurance?”
“We do, if the patient has one. I’m not a fan of our current helth care system at all, but of course it helps us to have patients with good health insurance, so we can offer those without the same care. Sometimes one has to deal with the Devil, for the greater good. We offer treatment based on need, Mr. Telford-Tully, which is also why we keep a low profile and doesn’t advertise openly, but rather let our contacts in the area, doctors and other medical staff, reckommend patients to us, based on their professional view, rather than a patient’s or patient’s relatives wishes or wallets.”
“But… isn’t there some kind of waiting list? I mean, a few weeks is nothing, Miss Gilani.”
“The thing is, our list is also based on need, not waiting time. Once a patient has been offered a place, it’s his if he still wants it, of course, but while in line, we will always prioritize the, so to speak, worst case. That’s our concept, to treat those who’s problems are simply too complex to treat elsewhere. Juice, fortunately or unfortunately, fits perfectly in that category.”
Afterwards, when Filip and Ronea left the clinic, all Filip could think of, was if Juice would be able to accept the offer, or refuse it due to his self-hatred.
Now he dried his hair off and looked in the mirror at the scarred face with greyish beard. It was only Saturday morning and they were going to the clinic first thing on Monday morning. Unless Juice refused. If that happened, Filip wasn’t sure he’d be able to force him. This wasn’t a thing Daddy could just order for his lil’ one. Grown-up Juice had to have a say as well.
Chapter 9: Ronea
Big Juice or Little Juice... sometimes it's hard to know how much of each side is present.
If Big Juice was present, he did one hell of a job hiding, Ronea thought as he fed his baby boy oatmeal. At this point, the age-regression wasn’t a mystery as much as it was fascinating. It did follow a pattern now, one that Ronea knew almost by heart. Juice would only fall into that behavior if he felt safe with the people surrounding him, but it was still a defense-mechanism. Little ones could get comfort, Juice had enough a memory of that for his feelings to respond.
Any kind of love and care in his childhood, was tied up to a few months with some nuns who cared for him as if he’d been their own little baby Jesus and Dr. Huang suspected that could explain some of why Juice seeked out care instead of being suspicious. According to the medical records, Juice had taken longer time than the average child to speak, but he’d actually been very well articulated and with a a rather large vocabulary once he started talking. And since he’d so often been ignored or told to shut up, the language skills were there, just rarely used.
It was as a toddler, where Juice’s happiest time, short as it was, had occurred and now as he was back home with only Papi and Daddy around, there was a lot of toddler Juice showing. He was sitting on his chair but with his knees tucked to the chest, letting Ronea feed him the oatmeal with raspberries. His eyes were all over the kitchen, as if he tried to take it all in, automatically opening his mouth when feeling the spoon. Mr. Bunny first hadn’t been allowed at the table, but the absolute terror in Juice’s eyes to let go of his friend, had made Filip change his mind immediately. This first morning, it was too early for that step.
The long convalescence really had taken it’s toll on Juice’s once fit body. He’d lost muscle mass, was still very stiff and sore in his joints and the lack of cardio excercise – or any real excercise apart fom calm physical therapy – were noticable when he panted from even small efforts. Another problem was his lack of appetite and his high metabolism. It had slowed down now, but after so many years of constant stress and lots of exercise in one form or the other, Juice’s system was so used to burn all the time.
The result was a twenty pounds weightloss in eleven weeks, which wasn’t good at all and since Juice wasn’t even close to carrying some extra fat to begin with, those pounds had been taken from his muscles, giving his whole appearance a rather hollow look.
He wore shorts, not a diaper, baggy green pants and a simple longsleeve t-shirt, black with a few buttons and Ronea had to admit that despite all the progress he’d made, his baby boy still looked really ill. He’d not spent much time outside, having the colorless face of someone who’d been more or less bedbound for weeks and not been able to go out. The grounds of Water Lily Pound would be really good for his body – and hopefully his wounded little heart as well. By the third spoon of oatmeal, Juice didn’t open his mouth.
“Ye’re not hungry today, Juicy?”
Small shook and then their baby boy started crying. Ronea very calmly put the spoon down and pulled the crouched boy from the chair onto his lap.
“C’mere, baby boy. Sit with Papi for a little while.”
Maybe it had to do with the thoughts about the weight-loss just a moment ago, but Ronea couldn’t help but thinking that his boy felt far too light. Since he’d not actually refused food, even if his diet was still limited due to his stomach problems and age-regression, they’d not focused that much on that issue since there were so many other more pressing, but no matter how much Ronea loved to hold his baby in his arms with ease, he really would prefer if that became harder.
Acceptance, although, was key to everything concerning Juice. Not accepting unnecessary relapses, of course, but the ways Juice showed feelings. They’d done so many tests at the hospital and about ten days ago, the doc had tried a more adult approach outside the sessions, which didn’t work out at all. Juice was capable of adult reasoning withing the defined and enclosed area of conversational therapy, but adult Juice didn’t dare to move outside that safe space yet. The shame was just too great to deal with at this point and he’d retreated into his Little side, panicking.
It wasn’t a hiding place, though. Age-regression could often be a symptom of trying to avoid dealing with problems, a deep fear of not being able to handle adulthood, but Juice’s childhood, for most part, had been a very dark place where being little was equal to being a vulnerable prey. It was highly unusual for a victim of that amount of severe abuse to, after ten years of adulthood away from such torment, willingly put himself at risk by showing so much vulnerability as a manipulation to avoid responsibility. And with or without the evalutation, it just didn’t sit well with Ronea’s image of Juice as someone who desperately wanted to express his ”sins” and be forgiven.
Ronea rocked his crying boy a little.
“I know you’re not hungry, baby boy, but your body needs nourishment. It’s screaming for it, even if your appetite hasn’t caught up yet.”
“Not having an appetite isn’t naughty, Juicy, and Papi knows you’re trying really hard. It’s your first morning at home, baby boy, you gotta give yourself some time and patience. If you can’t stomach the oatmeal right now, Papi can give you something else.”
Usually, you ate what you were served in this house, period, but Juice really had tried and he was still very overwhelmed from being released from the hospital. Ronea kissed his cheek.
“How about you sit with Daddy while Papi makes some almond formula in your bottle, instead of the oatmeal? Would that be a bit easier for now, my little love?”
“Oh, no, you’re not bad, baby boy.”
”Ye’re our good lad, Juicy, an’ s’not yer fault tha’ yer tummy is sensitive righ’ now. Papi will make ye a bottle an’ in the meantime, ye’re sitting with me, laddie.”
Ronea smiled at his teary-eyed boy.
“See? Daddy has spoken, Juice. That means Papi and Juice will obey.”
Chapter 10: Juice
Juice is still very fragile and Papi steps in.
He’d not used diapers at daytime for a while now, and at the hospital, that had felt good. Diapers on adults were only for those who were too ill or weak to make it to the bathroom, but the night diaper was still Juice’s safety and this morning, he really didn’t feel comfortable in his normal underwear.
He felt little and the boxers were for big boys. It just didn’t fit.
Papi had given him the bottle in his lap for breakfast and that had felt good. Safer, as it did now when Juice was sitting in front of the bookshelf in the new room with Mr. Bunny. Not even internally, Juice could make himself think of it as his. It was the new room, not his room. Safer that way too.
“There you are, baby boy.”
Papi looked so tall from Juice’s sitting position on the floor and he hid his face in Mr. Bunny’s fur.
“Papi’s gonna sit down here too, if that’s alright.”
No, it wasn’t, but Juice wasn’t really sure why. Something was off and before he was even aware of the need, he wet his pants. He sobbed, ashamed and scared now, clutching Mr. Bunny tight.
“Oh, sweetheart, you needed to go? You didn’t feel it?”
Juice shook his head, prepared for a scolding, but Papi just put his arms around him, very gently.
“You know, I think Daddy and Papi and the doc may have cramped in one too many changes at one go, Juicy. If you feel safer in a diaper right now, you’ll wear one, okay? And don’t worry about the mat or your pants, sweetheart. Papi is the master of stain removal. I mean, with all the nasty engine and french fries grease Daddy brings back from work, I’ve been forced to become my own domestic scientist. This aint nothing Papi can’t defeat with some potato starch and laundry soap.”
It felt a little better already and Juice looked up now, Mr. Bunny deeming it safe to do so. Papi had his gentle smile.
“There’s my baby boy. Now lets get Papi’s angel a diaper and some dry pants, okay?”
Juice nodded, slipping a small sniffle and Papi kissed his forehead before helping him up and onto the changing mat. Papi got him out of the wet pants and shorts, washed and dried him and Juice couldn’t help but feeling safer as the diaper went on. Papi got him another pair of loose cargos, grey this time, and helped him up.
“There you go, dry and clean again. And you know what? It’s reading o’clock in about… two minutes. Look. I’ll be right back with the potato starch.”
The schedule on the wall was the same as the one downstairs with clear colors and pictures. It was a book picture right after the one with breakfast and Juice instantly felt better. Not much, but he could feel it and that was something. He looked at the bookshelf, so inviting with all the titles. Papi smiled when he came back, sprinkling the white powder on the carpet stain.
“Would you like to pick one, baby boy? Or should Papi take care of that decision for today?”
That was the best thing he’d heard so far this morning and Juice nodded enthusiastically, which made Papi chuckle and peck his nose.
“Papi will choose Brambly Hedge, and you know why?”
Juice shook his head and Papi retrieved the book, smiling as he snuggled up with him on the couch.
“Because when I first read them in secret as a teen, seeing them at the library, I dreamed of having a kitchen just like Mrs. Apple’s in the book. And maybe one day, if I flutter my eyelashes enough, Daddy will give me one.”
Juice giggled, Papi was being silly. He didn’t need to bribe Daddy for a Mrs. Apple kitchen, because if he really wanted one, Daddy would do everything he could to give it to him.
Being read to like this, had become one of Juice’s favourite things, feelings being little or adult – or just all over the place. And Papi had so many good books, fairytales and stuff Juice had never heard and to just sit close, leaning onto his chest with the cuddly blanket and Mr. Bunny, while sucking on the pacifier and listening to Papi’s voice, was exactly what he needed this morning.
He wasn’t sure where Daddy was, but Papi was calm, so he probably knew and since he wasn’t going to look for him, that meant everything was fine. Right now, at least.
Chapter 11: Filip
And Daddy is definitely, absolutely, one hundred percent NOT hiding in the garage...
He wasn’t hiding. The garage was, after all, a place where one could expect to find him and normally, whatever that meant in Filip’s case, looking over his Dyna Street Bob, sipping on a cup of tea – since his husband would highly disapprove beer, not to mention scotch at this hour – and listening to some Irish folk songs or old school British metal. His dear husband didn’t share Filip’s appetite for Venom, Motörhead and Iron Maiden so it would be rude to blast inside the house unless Ronea was away.
Winding down from the week with some love and care for his bike was more or less a give on weekends anyway and Ronea knew where he was so no, it wasn’t hiding. Except when it was.
Filip wasn’t afraid of showing feelings, neither good nor bad ones, but this wasn’t for sharing. Not when he was bawling his eyes out in the old garden chair at the back of the garage with Cronos’ raspy voice and dirty base as company. He would be left alone too, Filip loved his husband for reading him that well when it wasn’t a good time for an explanation.
Feelings per se didn’t scare Filip and crying didn’t make him feel ashamed. Hadn’t in many years and Filip sometimes thought it was partly his Scottish upbringing with the drunken men sobbing to folk songs late at night that had somehow balanced up the get up and stop whining attitude you put on in sober daylight. Thing was, while it often had surprised those who saw it, Filip had always found it easy to cry. He was, after all, an emotional person who all his life had balanced that side up with his equally strong need for reason and logic. You could go ahead and have a good cry, bawl it all out and take some deep breaths, but once you’d done that, you should try your damndest to return to a realistic and sober thinking – even if you were a whole bottle of Scotch in.
Filip slumped back in the chair, closing his eyes for a moment, just breathing slowly as tears kept running down his face. He’d never really been much for crying over his own misfortunes, only others. Or, to be specific, Ronea’s and Juice’s. When he was a lad, Filip had weeped when he got a taste of first da’s hand, then his belt, but as he grew up to a teen, Filip had learned to shut his water works down when da’s belt came off, as most of the lads did.
All he wanted, was to make his husband and lover happy and safe. Filip had ransacked his thoughts, intentions and feelings so regularly for most part of his life, even more so when first dating and then marrying Ronea. Learning how to guide and rule, could be just as hard as obeying. Filip had tried both but never felt anything even remotely close to calm and happiness in submission. He’d never been submissive with Ronea, of course, and his earlier relationship hadn’t lasted very long, but Filip knew in his heart that he’d never been and for all he knew about himself, never would be submissive. His da had beaten and oppressed him more than enough, just as Ronea’s old man had, and despite their sometimes pretty similar backgrounds, they’d turned out very different.
They were raised by old-fashioned, working class men in a time where, if you got paddled at school, prayed to God that your da wouldn’t find out, because he wouldn’t be pissed off at the school, but fold his belt and make sure you couldn’t sit in class without clenching your teeth for a week. In their defense, Patrick Telford and Fred Tully had never smacked their wives around, or enjoyed to be cruel on purpose. They were boorish, traditional men who couldn’t see past their own little bubbles of work, sports, betting, hanging down the bar with their mates or by the telly at home, but within those limits, caring. And the very idea of treating a child the way Juice had been manhandled, would’ve horrified them.
Maybe, if the old men dared to dig deep enough into their alcohol and Bible verse pickled hearts, they’d even admit that beating, starving and scaring a kid half to death, was a hundred times more immoral than grown-up gay men in a consensual, polyamorous relationship. Filip wouldn’t hold his breath for such confessions though.
The strenght in a relationship like his and Ronea’s, and the one with Juice, was how it forced them all to constantly communicate. Lots of people tried to open up their relationship out of curiosity and boredom and sure, nothing wrong with that, but in Filip’s opinion, too many regular twosome couples didn’t really understand how much more effort it took to make a polyamorous relationship work in terms of time, communication and honesty.
Crying in solitude wasn’t hiding when Filip did it, only when Ronea or Juice did. It had nothing to do with their roles, but with how they felt from it. Filip felt better when he could just take a moment to bawl in peace, collecting his thoughts and clear his mind. Not everytime, of course, there were always exceptions and he’d been weeping on his husband’s shoulder or sobbed in his arms plenty, but today Filip needed solitude, because he simply couldn’t stop thinking about his lads.
There was a buzz in his pocket and Filip picked up his phone.
Coffee and shortbreads in ten, baby.
Ten minutes. His husband was too perceptive sometimes. Not that Filip actually minded. And now as he’d had a moment to bawl and collect his scattered thoughts and feelings again, he felt much better. Some coffee and shortbreads would be great.
Chapter 12: Ronea
Juice may be fragile, but he's not broken.
Juice clearly felt more relaxed now, when he was back in his Little space. It was a very sharp turn from the adult person at the hospital, but not necessarily unhealthy. The age regression was real, confirmed by doctors, and Ronea and his husband were determined to follow the medical reckommendations and not force Juice out of it. If anything, their boy seemed really anxious if he was out of the Little space and that wouldn’t do with all the changes right now.
In practical terms, it didn’t really mean too many adjustments. Diapers fulltime at home instead of only at night, for a start. It was important that Juice got used to this particular transition slowly, considering his stress problems. At the day clinic, he would have to use the bathroom, of course, but at home he’d wear diapers for a while. Right now, as Ronea was pouring coffee for himself and Filip, Juice was rolling on his mat like he’d done before he ended up in hospital. Mr. Bunny was with him, of course, and so was the cuddly blanket and pacifier. He looked very much like a baby in a grown man’s body and Ronea felt that small tug of sorrow in his chest. Being an actual parenting kind of Papi hadn’t been his wish, neither had it been Juice’s or Filip’s. Their little game had simply stirred up so much more confusion, pain and need than any of them would’ve been able to prepare for.
By going back to the babylike treatment they’d had before the hospital stay, only now in a much more settled and planned form, the idea was that Juice would grow – or rather heal – up again, experiencing enough love and security in his little mindset, so that he could take those positive feelings with him into ”adolescence” and, finally, adulthood. It was, basically, the childhood he’d never had that hopefully would make the man strong in a good way this time.
Filip smiled when he got the steaming coffee and cookie in front of him.
“Thank ye, Ronea.”
Ronea kissed his hair, not commenting on the redness in his husband’s eyes. He knew more than well why Filip had needed some time alone in the garage after breakfast. It wasn’t their usual Saturay routine, but Juice was so trusting at the moment, knowing that this first weekend at home would be a little different as they all prepared for the actual treatment program to start.
Juice had come up from the floor and padded over to Filip’s side, pacifier popped in his mouth and Mr. Bunny in his left hand. Filip looked up, smiling.
Filip put his cup down and took Juice’s free hand.
”No. Well… maybe jus’ a wee bit, Juicyboy. Daddy’s alright.”
“Juice give a cuddle?”
Those big, brown eyes were Daddy’s kryptonite and Ronea hid a smile when Filip scooted his chair out a bit and let his boy sit down to cuddle him on his lap.
It was very much Little Juice who comforted his Daddy, but it was clear that Juice wasn’t trapped in that mindset. His eyes weren’t confused or questioning, like a child’s might’ve been when someone strong they loved crumbled before them. He brought Mr. Bunny’s paw to Filip’s cheek.
”Mr. Bunny says don’t be sad, Daddy.”
It wasn’t fair, making the head of the household break like this, but since when was life fair? Ronea swallowed and looked away for a moment, as he saw his husband cry in Juice’s arms. The boy held him, stroked his back a little and nuzzled his neck while sucking on the pacifier.
”Wh-when we gonna play?”
”Righ’ after Daddy’s finished his coffee, lil’ one. Ye have any idea o’ wha’ ye wannae do until lunch?”
Filip stroked a tear from his own face, sniffling a bit before he smiled.
“Puzzles sounds like a great idea, Juicyboy.”
Chapter 13: Juice
Puzzles are fun, allowing yourself to feel like you deserve it, is way harder.
”No, that piece b-belongs in that c-corner, Daddy.”
“Aye, ye’re right. Here. Ye have more o’ the orange ones in yer pile, lovey?”
“I’ll l-look, Daddy.”
Making puzzles was fun. The image was a huge farm with so many characters and details it was almost impossible to finish it without the picture on the box as a guide. Juice was laying on his stomach, feet sometimes in the air, sometimes straight on the carpet and he held himself up on his elbows over the one thousand piece puzzle, looking for yellow ones for a tractor.
Papi was in the kitchen cooking jam and Mr. Bunny sat by the puzzle box, watching and also keeping an eye on Juice’s pacifier in it’s own small box. Juice looked up at his friend and smiled. Mr. Bunny had been right about giving Daddy a cuddle. Daddy was much happier now.
The puzzle was quite large and difficult and Juice wondered how long he could have it.
”S’ a big p-puzzle, right, Daddy?”
”Aye, it is. Don’ think we’ll finish it today.”
”Wh-when we hasta l-leave it b-back, Daddy?”
“What do ye mean, Juicy?”
Daddy looked over his reading glasses with a confused expression and Juice bit his lip.
“S’ a… a nice puzzle, Daddy. E-e-exp…exp-pensive…”
”Juicyboy, this… this puzzle is yers, laddie.”
Daddy rose to sit crosslegged and patted his lap.
”Come, sit with Daddy a bit, aye?”
A bit suspicious, Juice moved and crawled up in Daddy’s lap. Daddy hugged him and nuzzled his hair.
“The last time ye were little, I know ye dinnae have a lot o’ things, Juicy. Especially not things tha’ were truly yers. Righ’?”
“Uh-huh. Hadn’t, Daddy.”
“When did ye start having yer own things for real, lovey?”
“Uhm… Wh-when was big Juice. Juice not big now…”
”Aye, ye’re a lil’ boy now, but this time, ye’re Daddy’s an’ Papi’s wee one, an’ we wannae give our laddie the things he dinnae have the last time he was little.”
“S’not for Juicy… S’n-not for J-juan Carlos…”
“Then who’s it for, laddie?”
Juice shrugged, because that was a question he truly couldn’t answer. It was a legit question though, since there clearly were no other boys – or girls, for that matter – in the house. The fairytale books, the playmat, the puzzles, crayons and watercolors… Papi and Daddy hadn’t had them before, certainly Juice hadn’t seen them use that kind of stuff.
“Juicyboy? Look at Daddy, sweet darlin’.”
Daddy looked serious, but not at all disappointed, angry or sad. He stroked Juice’s cheek.
“Ye know Papi’s jewlery box an’ all his shoes an’ fancy panties?”
”How much o’ tha’ do ye think he has?”
”Aye. An’ do ye think he bought all o’ it by himself? Every lil’ stocking, earring an’ death trap shoe?”
“M-maybe not… all of them, Daddy.”
“Tha’s righ’, Juicy. Papi loves nice clothes an’ shoes an’ all tha’ stuff, but he’s very careful with money, so he often puts his own needs last an’ prioritizes me, ye an’ our home. So… since Daddy knows how much Papi loves his wardrobe an’ beauty routine, Daddy loves to help him obtain it. I buy him wha’ some people might consider ‘unnecessary things’, because tha’ makes him happy an’ Daddy loves to see Papi happy. Daddy also loves to see Juice happy.”
“Papi sh-should be happy, Daddy.”
“Aye, an’ so should ye, lil’ one.”
“D-daddy too. Da-daddy not cry…”
Now Daddy took his hands.
“Did ye get scared or worried when Daddy started to cry, Juice?”
Juice nodded and Daddy kissed his hair again.
“Can ye tell Daddy why it made ye scared or worried, lil’ one? First o’ all, which word do ye feel is the most correct one to describe wha’ ye felt?”
“N-not sure, Daddy…”
“It’s perfectly alright to guess, Juicyboy.”
”Uhm… didn’t like it, Daddy… S-seeing Daddy sad.”
”Okay, tha’s really good, lovey. Do ye know why ye dinnae like seeing Daddy sad?”
”Cause Juice l-loves Daddy, of course.”
”An’ when ye love someone, ye don’ wannae see’im sad, righ’?”
“So wha’ did ye do when ye saw Daddy being sad?”
“Exactly, an’ ye know wha’, darlin’? Tha’ helped Daddy lots an’ lots. Doesn’t matter if ye’re big or little, if ye’re a man or woman, boy or girl. Everyone can feel sad an’ small an’ overwhelmed sometimes, Juicyboy, an’ ye know wha’ the great thing is?”
“Tha’ even if ye’re feeling quite little yerself, ye can still be big for tha’ sad person for a while, jus’ like ye were for Daddy. An’ even if Daddy sometimes feels a wee bit sad or tired, tha’ doesn’t mean he’s not gonnae be alright, specially when he’s got his brave, strong lil’ lad to comfort him.”
“And Papi, right, Daddy? Papi’s strong, isn’t he?”
Now Daddy laughed.
”Christ, laddie… Ye know, if tha’ zombie apocalypse comes an’ the living forces are defeated, Papi will be the last one standing, fighting’em with boiling jam an’ silverware while the two o’ us are locked away in his pantry.”
Chapter 14: Filip
When Filip feels tired and a bit wornout, his husband makes an offer...
”Are ye sure, lovey?”
”Very. You need this, Filip, and I’m happy to oblige.”
They’d just had lunch and Juice was napping on the couch downstairs. Filip watched his husband who was sitting on their bed, hands folded and eyes calm. Ronea looked at him, a little smile twitching the corner of his mouth.
“I need it too, baby.”
“It’s gonnae be uncomfortable for ye.”
”Yes, it will.”
”Ye’re not gonnae like the feeling.”
”True. But that’s the point. You’re gonna feel a lot better, Filip, and it’s been quite a while since we did it.”
“There’s not been a reason for it.”
“You’re right, baby, but I know you. You need control, and I need you to be in control. This helps, almost always has.”
”Because I’m yours, Filip. I’m not just your husband, I’m your sub. And… and if you start treating me like something else, we both know that wont lead to anything good.”
God, his husband was… something. Ronea kneeled now and the gesture made Filip’s chest tighten. Ronea lifted his face a little, but kept his eyelashes lowered.
“I ask you to keep me safe, Filip. I’m not your equal and it’s my happy duty to obey you. To make our home a good place for us, to take care of the house and respect you as my superior. I don’t make the major decisions in our family, Filip. I ask and give my opinion, but that’s it. I’m your subordinate and that’s exactly how it’s suppose to be. I chose to give up that power, to trust you with it, and I’ve never regretted that decision.”
The trust. The way his increadible man, with all his being, humbled himself completely, body and soul, in his kneeling… The gesture, how Ronea not just stood on his knees, but kept lowering, legs widened until he could reach out on the floor, hands spread before him in one of the most vulnerable positions a human could assume. Filip swallowed.
“Wha’ if I keep ye in it for a week, lovey…”
“Then I will wear it with all the dignity I can muster, Filip. I will not protest, or whine or ask for lenience, and should I forget my place and let my tongue slip, I will submit to whatever discipline you deem fit, for any reason.”
“Ye’re telling me ye wont complain at all, baby?”
“I can’t promise not to cry or control all of my reactions, Filip.”
“An’ ye should know I don’ wan’ ye to.”
The idea of putting his husband in chastity for that long… To have a period of time with intensified control over him was a rush if ever there was one. Filip had never asked for it, it was always Ronea who offered, who could feel it within himself when his husband needed extra reassurance. It would mean a time of less teasing, maybe none at all, and with a submission so complete it would look bad unless you knew how it worked.
Filip put a hand onto his husband’s head.
”Ye know the rules, lovey?”
“Is there anything ye need to tell me before we set this in motion?”
”I… It’s just my usual insecurity speaking, and I should know better, but I still need to tell you not to cut my hair. I’m sorry, Filip, that one’s just…”
“Lovey, I know an’ I expected ye to say it. We cannae do this unless ye’re completely honest with me, an’ we’re always taking the PTSD into consideration.”
“I know, Filip. It’s always helpful to me when you remind me of our rules.”
Filip now took his husband’s face between his hands and lifted it.
“I will never ever cut, shave or otherwise change yer hair, or any part o’ yer body, Ronea. I will never steal or destroy yer possessions, nor will I put ye through public or otherwise unwanted humiliation or discomfort o’ any kind. An’ may God strike me down on spot, if I ever missuse yer trust in me, by using yer body or soul, in a way tha’ make ye feel like anything less than my heart.”
Chapter 15: Ronea
Ronea is settling into his temporary role.
This first whole day at home was a long and tedious one in many ways, with their feelings a little all over the place, but nothing unexpected or too difficult to handle. Ronea was locked up in the snug chastity belt and had changed from his boxer briefs to a pair of panties under his skirt, chosen by Filip. Small steps into a big, if temporary, transformation.
There were strict rules for this particular part of their marriage, rules they’d worked out together and agreed upon. They’d even sought out counsil from a couple at the BDSM club and discussed the matter with them several times while forming the agreement.
First of all, it had to be completely consensual and for a limited time, that was a given. Secondly, they both had to be physically and mentally fit for it. This wasn’t something you did while having a flu or broken leg, or suffering from repeated problems with PTSD. Any kind of reactions you suspected even the slightest to come from a place of medical discomfort, phsyical or mental, meant you paused until you were both sure it was more beneficial to continue, than not. And thirdly, which was a given, but nontheless important to repeat: you couldn’t, under any circumstances, either as the dom or the sub, hide your intentions or feelings. Fourth and last rule, the most important one: the sole intention behind every little action, both from the dom and the sub, had to come from a place of love and respect.
For two weeks, Ronea had now signed up for absolute submission. He’d freely and wholeheartedly given up every aspect of control of his life, meaning Filip would have to approve his clothes and appearence, his household schedule, when he could leave the house and where. There was no room for negotiating, in fact, trying to argue or even disagree with Filip unless it was a matter of actual physical or mental damage, would result in a spanking of the very much non-playful kind.
Ronea was cooking dinner now, spaghetti and meatballs, and Filip had taken Juice outside, despite some intial protesting. The boy had loved the puzzle and got completely into it, which was good, but he still needed some fresh air and the back of the house was a perfectly safe place, hidden from unwanted eyes. Filip had not taken no for an answer, but of course he’d not been impatient or hard in his rulings. Ronea had, as the temporary contract dictated, simply told Juice that what Daddy said would be done and that they both wanted to be good boys for him. No questions, that was Filip’s responisibilty for the moment and as Ronea had returned to the kitchen to start with dinner, his husband had given him an approving nod that sent a thrill of sligtly anxious pleasure down Ronea’s spine.
While Filip would still ask him to do this or that, the question mark was only a formality, for Juice’s sake. In the past, when they’d been alone, Filip would simply give the order, soft and lovingly, but it would still be an order. Everything would be an order now too, unless Filip specifically said it was a question, but it would never be up to Ronea to figure it out.
The meatballs were rolling in the pan and Ronea took out plates to set the table when he heard Filip entering the kitchen.
”Tonight, after we’ve put Juice to bed, ye’re gonnae take half an hour hike while I do the dishes an’ then I’ll draw ye a bath.”
“Yes, sir. May I prepare the breakfast first?”
”Wha’ did ye plan for breakfast tomorrow?”
”Boiled eggs and fruit salad.”
”Ye may pick out wha’ ye need on the countertop an’ prepare the coffee.”
“Thank you, Filip.”
He blushed now, couldn’t help it, but this kind of ordering had that effect on him. There was a pang of excitement and he’d been half hard since the chastity went on. The device was one of those that allowed his cock to swell a bit until it got uncomfortable – deliciously uncomfortable – and the arousal wasn’t visible in the skirt he wore unless you looked closely.
He didn’t want to take a hike, nor letting Filip do the dishes, but Ronea had literally given up even his usual voice of opinion for now and it was extremely difficult, especially in the initial steps of transformation. He looked up from the frying pan, feeling his blushing getting deeper as he saw Filip lingering by the countertop.
“Is there anything you want me to do for you right now, love?”
“As a matter o’ fact…”
Filip moved from the countertop to the stove now, swirling his arms around Ronea from behind. His whiskers tickled Ronea’s ear.
“I wannae hear my husband Ronea Telford-Tully tell me tha’ he deserves to be loved… an’ adored… an’ worshipped… an’ how lucky Filip Telford is, for having a man like him…”
The blush now reached Ronea’s neck and he started.
”I, Ronea Telford-Tully, deserve…”
Chapter 16: Juice
Sometimes you need a little ice cream and talking with Daddy to relax, especially when you're not quite sure who you are.
”Would you like some more meatballs, baby boy?”
”No, thank you, Papi.”
”Is full, Papi.”
”Savory full or dessert full?”
”J-juice has dessert too?”
Papi stopped in his movement with the plates and looked at him.
“Of course you’ll have dessert, Juice.”
“Why wouldn’t ye have any dessert, lil’ one?”
Daddy seemed confused, Papi too, and Juice automatically pulled his knees up to his chest. Papi put the plates down and lowered beside him.
“Baby boy, in this house, everyone gets dessert, even if we’ve been naughty, which you most certainly haven’t. You remember the rule about never ever using food as a punishment?”
“J-juice didn’t f-finish…”
”Sweetheart, Papi knows exactly how much his baby boy should have, but he also knows that it’ll take some more time until your tummy actually can have that much. The portion Papi serves you, is the one you should have eventually, not the one you must have. You’ve done a really good job with the meatballs, baby boy, and if you want some ice cream for dessert now, you can.”
“An’ ye’re not greedy or rude or ungrateful, Juicy. Dessert is for everyone, not for one or a few, it’s meant to be shared.”
Papi nudged his forehead a little, making him look up and then gave him a peck on the nose, smiling.
“A little raspberry ice cream with Daddy and Mr. Bunny by the telly, how does that sound?”
“P-papi comes too?”
“As soon as I’ve put the leftovers in the fridge, sweetheart. Filip, love, would you like some coffee?”
“Aye, lovey, that’ll be nice. Thank ye, it was a lovely dinner an’ ye can leave the dishes for now. C’mere, Juicy, lets put on some Winnie the Pooh, aye?”
“O-okay, Daddy. Thank you, Papi.”
Papi gave him another kiss.
“You’re welcome, Juicy. Now off you go and I’ll get you and Daddy the ice cream soon. I’ll leave the dishes, Filip.”
“Thank ye, dear.”
Daddy took Juice’s hand and rose from the table. Juice followed, making sure not to let go of Daddy or Mr. Bunny as he padded after him to the telly. The playmat was there, so was Juice’s favourite blanket and he stopped and pointed at them.
“J-juice has blanket, Daddy?”
“Of course, lil’ one. Ye want yer pacifier as well?”
”Good thing I snagged it on the way then. But ice cream first, righ’?”
”Ice cream f-first, Daddy. Please.”
”Ye’re such a polite lad, lovey. Let’s get snuggled down, aye?”
He was tired. He felt that now as he got comfortable in Daddy’s arms. He shuddered a little.
”Ye’re cold, lil’ one?”
”A little, Daddy.”
Daddy wrapped the blanket around them both, tucking in Mr. Bunny as well and Juice started to relax again. It was warm and comfortable here, Daddy’s arms were safe and the sounds of Papi in the kitchen familiar and soothing. Still, Juice’s head was spinning a little and he squeezed Daddy’s hand.
”Is… is Little Juice now.”
”Ye are, lil’ one.”
”Was big… at hospital.”
”Yeah, tha’s righ’. Ye were. Is it confusing, Juicy?”
”Is, Daddy. T-too o-often, changing…”
Daddy hugged him a little harder and kissed his crown.
“Ye know, Juicyboy, Daddy isn’t all too worried about tha’. I’ve noticed tha’ the nicer we are to Little Juice, the more we get to see an’ hear o’ Big Juice. Ye’re not crazy or schizophrenic or psychotic, lovey, ye just have a mind dealing with so much heavy stuff, it’s gonnae do whatever it needs to get some peace and quiet. An’ there’s a lil’ boy in there, tha’ needs a lot o’ love, care an’ attention. An’ me an’ Papi are gonnae try an’ give tha’ wee bairn wha’ he needs.”
“Wh-what if h-he’s n-n-naughty, Daddy? Y-you gonna sp-spank him?”
“No, lil’ one. Tha’ wee lad has already had far too many spankings an’ Daddy an’ Papi are convinced tha’ spankings are only for big lads an’ lasses, who’re old enough to ask for’em because they know it’ll help.”
“S-still s-sounds strange, Daddy…”
“I know it does. But ye see, Daddy an’ Papi like science an’ we trust medical professionals far more on this subject than a random bloke trying to pretend he dinnae feel humiliated or scared when his old man beat his arse. Ye see, t’is often easier for us not to admit tha’ we’ve felt tha’ vulnerable, to hide tha’ scared kid where we cannae hear’im cry. Especially when the one who hit’im, either by spanking or smacking around, is someone who’re supposed to love an’ protect’im.”
There was a sigh from Daddy.
“When my da used his belt or punter or only his hand, an’ before I hit purberty, also tugged my pants off, I felt… extremely weak an’ humiliated. Sometimes he was drunk when he did it, but not always. An’ I know tha’ there are those who think tha’ if the parent is calm, sober an’ doesn’t yell or tug at ye, but simply takes ye over the knee or have ye bend over a chair, explaining why they’re gonnae spank ye, it’s somehow completely different than when it comes outta nowhere, but… tha’s really jus’ in retrospective.”
“Aye. S’our adult mind tha’ rationalises away the child’s pain, fear an’ humiliation, not outta cruelty, but for survival. How else can tha’ wee one inside us, tha’s still scared an’ humiliated, feel safe? See… I’m rationalising my da’s beatings by telling myself tha’ he was an oldschool, stressed out an’ overworked alcoholic, but tha’ only helps grown-up Filip. There’s still the wee lad Filip who hid under his bed some nights, only getting back in bed, greetin’ himself to sleep once he was certain tha’ da was out cold.”
“D-daddy’s da wasn’t nice…”
“No, laddie, he wasn’t. Not when he was drunk or had had a bad day. An’ I know tha’ Lil’ Juice, had to hide away from his foster da’s too.”
“J-juice was J-juan an-an-and Juan’s not good boy.”
Daddy made a small sound, something between a sigh and a snort.
“Daddy has read a lot about wha’ other grown-ups have written about tha’ wee lad Juan Carlos an’ ye know wha’? In tha’ entire stack o’ papers, Daddy couldna’ find a single reason for anyone to treat Juan Carlos, or Juice, bad. Aye, ye did some naughty an’ bad stuff as a kid, but so did Daddy an’ Papi an’ pretty much every human being. An’ while Daddy believes in firm consequences for naughty kids, spankings aren’t among them. Nor is being locked inside a dark room, getting the silent treatment, not having food or getting a head shave or having yer things destroyed.”
Daddy cuddled him softly, rubbing his nose in Juice’s hair.
“The lad I have in my arms now, Juicy, is both a lil’ one an’ a big one. There’s still tha’ sad, hurt child who never got to have a real childhood an’ I wannae comfort him. I cannae give’im, nor wee Filip, better memories or erase those I have, but I can give’im all the love I have for’im, for the lil’ one an’ the grown man.”
Juice cried a little now and Daddy shushed him.
”Ye’re gonnae grow, no, heal up, lil’ one, an’ this time, ye’re not gonnae get beaten or starved or left alone. Because I love ye, Daddy an’ Papi love ye so much an’ people don’ get to hurt someone an’ call it love to protect themselves from the reality tha’ they’ve scared, hurt an’ humiliated a wee one, because they dinnae take two seconds to think about wha’ those things would’ve been seen as, had they done’em to an adult.”
Chapter 17: Filip
I have been unexpectedly sucked into the GOT/ASOIAF fandom for the last days and so my struggling crackship trio has had a little break from my angst, but here's some pre bedtime snuggles and thoughts from Daddy <3 (And if you're into some Jon Snow/Satin Flowers angst/pining/smut stuff, go check out "A Bed of Straw and Silk".)
*kisses and hugs*
Out of all the horrors and wrongs ingraining Juice’s mind, his fear of rejection and abandonment was clearly the worst, but the self-depriciation came close. One of the lad’s major issues was his low sense of self and how he seemed completely unable to find any value within himself aside from being good with computors. Working on finding himself, trying to separate all the voices about Juice from Juice’s own was no easy task, to say the least, and to make that voice actually speak up on it’s own was still far away. The child Juan Carlos had simply been a far too good learner in the art of suppressing and silencing himself.
Juice, who at this point seemed very much like a three- or four-year-old, clung onto his Papi and Mr. Bunny on the couch. It was hard to know how he would react to the day clinic. For the first week, they would stay with him there. Both of them on Monday and on Wednesday, Ronea would be alone with him there, while Friday was for Filip. It was important to start slowly, Miss Gilani had explained and the process would also be partly monitored by Dr. Huang.
The severity of Juice’s age-regression meant that his need for reassurance and safety was on the level of a child’s and it would be harmful to treat him like the last weeks progress at the hospital had fixed that problem. No one who’d been involved in Juice’s treatment this far, had seen signs of the lad trying to manipulate them. The regression wasn’t a way for Juice to fend off responsibilities or control his surroundings, which could often be the case with this problem, but a way to communicate.
His reactions when trying to speak about his pain in an adult way, as an adult, had been extremely traumatizing and caused him to pass out from fear and overwhelming more than once, even while on mediciation. Those reactions hadn’t been manipulation in any way, the shock and terror had been real and agonizing to watch. Juice had never had a safe place before and to force him out of this one would only make him worse. Dr. Huang had summorized it pretty well, Filip thought:
“It is very important that we don’t loose sight of the child while focusing too much on Juice’s actual age, physical size and the fact that he’s had several well-functioning part of an adult life for many years. Much as, for example, someone suffering from dementia, he needs to be met at the level he currently exists on. Reminding him of things he’s been able to handle in the past, or pushing him towards more independence than he’s capable of picturing right now, will add more stress and fear, which often can increase the regression.”
Juice had been abandoned as a child, he’d never had an actual childhood, had for the most part only experienced how being a child was a risk to his physical and mental health, even his life. When Dr. Huang had asked Filip if they were truly prepared for how much work this would mean for him and Ronea, if they’d thought it through, Filip surprised himself by not being offended. Since Juice had been admitted for the first time, Filip had changed a lot too. The worry wasn’t gone, but the most gnawing part of it, his own insecurity about not being enough for his lover, had become easier to handle.
Now, Filip could see a much more clear line between what was reasonable for him as a partner to help out with, and what had to be left to the medical professionals. He wasn’t a doc or a therapist, he was a dominant partner and Daddy, and for a while still, it was the latter role that Juice needed. It both did and didn’t remind of Ronea’s bad periods in the past. There’d sometimes been months without sex, due to Ronea’s demons, days and weeks where he didn’t need a lover, but a protector and that had been Filip’s role then and would be now.
Juice yawned and Ronea looked tired too. It was still early, but they had a big day coming soon and Filip’s lads both got easily overwhelmed if they were knackered. Filip reached his hand out to stroke his husband’s nape.
“Think we better call it the night, lovey.”
There was a slow nod from Ronea but no verbal answer, which meant he was really tired. Usually, there’d be a yes ,Filip and the absent of it disrespectful, especially in their current agreement, but Filip knew his husband was simply settling into the role and it was beautiful to watch how he used his weariness to make himself let go a little more. Filip kissed his cheek.
“I’ll change the lil’ one, while ye get ready.”
Another nod, the smallest little squeeze from Ronea’s hand. This particular kind of behavior was something Juice hadn’t witnessed with his Papi yet, so it was good the lad was so tired now. Filip took the sling and Juice didn’t even protest at having to let go of Papi for a while. He yawned againg and held Mr. Bunny in his hand.
“Is sleepy, Daddy…”
“Aye, I can see tha’, lil’ one. S’been a long day an’ we have a big one tomorrow.”
”N-not l-leaving Juice, Daddy?”
”Never ever, my love. Daddy an’ Papi are with ye all day. Now, lets go upstairs an’ brush yer teeth, aye?”
Chapter 18: Ronea
Ronea in his beloved kitchen, making breakfast and having a little look back at his first breakfast ever with Filip, which is mentioned in part 1 of this series, “Well, I wear…" chapter 41.
It had been a very pleasant surprise, that all three of them had slept calmly all night. No nightmares or sudden wake-ups at all and when Ronea rose, he felt truly well-rested. He wasn’t sure if Filip had planned on putting him in chastity today, either way it was his husband’s decision and Ronea took a shower and chose his usual plain hotpants and a pair of black slacks, a white tanktop and brought a white shirt downstairs along with his suit jacket.
It was casual, but still formal enough for this. Not that Miss Gilani had seemed like a formal person in any way, but Ronea still felt more comfortable like this and, which was way more important, his husband always liked him in this outfit.
Starting on breakfast was something Ronea really liked about his mornings. The sun would shine through the kitchen window, he often opened the door to the garden a bit to let in some air and it was nice to have the sounds of nature starting it’s day too while he was cooking and breakfast had a special place in his heart. It had been many years since that first morning in Filip’s apartment, when the man who’d patched him up and then spooned him through the night without making any advances, made him coffee and scrambled eggs for breakfast and looked through his kitchen for a can opener to spoil Leah with tuna.
In a way, the slightly too dry scrambled eggs and cheap coffee had been even more of a contrast to Aaron than the patching and spooning. Aaron wasn’t a dom, he was a predator with sociopathic tendensies who, while taking full opportunity to benefit from Ronea’s need to serve and please, also took every chance he got to mock him for it. There was no real appreciation, let alone gratitude for Ronea’s domestic efforts, only a judgemental forbearance and sense of entitlement. And of course, Aaron himself never would do something as “low” as cook for his sub. Not that he knew how to cook anyway.
Filip couldn’t cook either, but the eggs and toast had been as good as a fine brunch to Ronea that morning. He’d still been very sore and once he’d stopped sobbing over the fact that the man who took him in was so gentle and even cared for his cat, they’d had breakfast in bed, supported by some pillows. Ronea had seen the two chairs in the kitchen, hard ones, and it could’ve been a coincidence, that Filip brought the breakfast to bed instead of having Ronea on a hard seat, but it also could’ve been on purpose. He’d never asked.
The healing process had been slow, so goddamn slow, but it had begun for real that morning, even before they’d started dating properly. He’d not even left Aaron yet, it would be a few more weeks until that happened and several months before he could address the assault in any way, but Ronea would always think of that first morning over dry eggs and soggy toast as the start of his relationship with Filip.
This breakfast with fruit salad, softboiled eggs and mixed nuts was lightyears away nutritionalwise and the routine so given by now he could do it in his sleep, but to Ronea, mornings still bore that sense of fresh start. You more or less had to adopt that way of thinking, when battling with longterm illness of any kind. Trying not to overthink the tomorrow, to remind yourself that the night between the maybe disastrous evening and the unknown morning to come, held some actual significance. Maybe tomorrow would be better, maybe this day still had a chance of being a good one. It had taken time to adopt that way of thinking, but with patience and help, Ronea had.
Breakfast had been the dividing force between nightmares and wake. Between insanity and reality, the gateway from the memories to the now. It was during breakfast time, often on a local diner, that he’d faught the demons with Filip and gotten to know one another. The time before the day actually started and the world began to rush…
Juice looked tired, but then he always did these days, and he was dressed in baggy jeans and a t-shirt and Mr. Bunny in his hand. Ronea smiled and left the fruit salad to hug him.
“Good morning, baby boy. You slept well?”
”Yes, Papi. Bit tired, though…”
“Well, you were never really a morning person, were you, baby boy?”
Now his sweet boy smiled too.
“Guess not, Papi.”
Then he looked worried and bit his lip.
”Yes, my love?”
”Does… does the diaper show?”
Ronea took a look and shook his head, smiling as his boy leaned into his chest.
”Not at all, baby boy. If you wanna be absolutely sure, you can borrow one of my longer cardigans.”
“You don’t think I’ll look weird, Papi?”
”No, sweetheart, but it’s your decision and we have time to try it out after breakfast. I must say, though, that even if you’re worried the diaper might show, it’s probably a lot better for you to wear it instead of going around worrying about your tummy, right?”
Juice nodded then and Ronea could feel him relax a bit.
“I know you’re nervous, but it’s gonna be fine, my little love.”
“Wh-what if I get… too little over there…”
”Juice, baby, Water Lily Pond is a place for grown-ups who feel little due to trauma, remember? The patients there all have plenty of different problems they can’t cope with on their own or within the usual psychiatric care. People like you, who’re fighting multiple difficulties all at once and need a safe place to heal better.”
His boy sighed, but seemed less tense and he looked up with those huge, brown eyes that could make Ronea promise him the world and probably trying to bring it to him.
“You’re not leaving me there, right, Papi? Y-you and Daddy w-will be there a-and t-take me home… h-home here again?”
“Always, my little love. Your home is right here with us, your family. And I’m happy to remind you of that every day for the rest of my life if you need me to.”
Chapter 19: Juice
Sometimes one has to do scary things to do the things you want to do again.
“Shh, s’alright, laddie. Take a deep breath now, my boy, we’re gonnae get through this together, I promise.”
After breakfast, which he hadn’t even finished, he’d had to run to the bathroom, barely making it before his tummy turned and reminded him why having a diaper today was necessary. Daddy had taken care of it, helped him get clean and did the whole procedure on the changing mat, like before the hospital.
Nothing was big about him right now, it seemed.
He’d gotten a clean diaper on, was helped to brush his teeth and Daddy held him in the sling until Papi had finished up in the kitchen. Getting help with the shoes and jacket had went without problems, as had walking out to the car with Mr. Bunny safe in Papi’s diaper bag. Daddy was driving today and Papi sat in the backseat with Juice, holding his hand and showing Tangled on his iPad. Juice loved that movie and it was funny and in a way he could almost relate a bit to the princess who, when she’d finally dared to leave the tower, was thrown between extatic happiness, panic, relif and guilt for it.
But then they’d arrived at the clinic, parking outside and Juice’s tummy wanted attention again, so now he was frozen in the car, gagging but not vomiting and couldn’t move.
He was a bad boy, a bad human being and a pathetic excuse for a man who needed diapers, pacifiers, teddies and children’s movies to make it through the day and now more people would see how weak and useless he was. How he was freeloading on his lovers who did everything for him now and all he did in return was weeping and complaining and not even saying thanks.
Maybe they’d realise now what a bad boy he was and… what if… Mr. Bunny was in Papi’s bag and they wouldn’t hurt him, right? But Juice was complaining and not behaving and…
“P-please, d-d-don’t h-hurt him… B-be a g-good boy, J-juan p-promises…”
“Ye’re a very good lad, Juicyboy an’ both ye an’ Mr. Bunny are safe.”
“R-roadside… he hurt Juan… B-burned Mr. B-bunny…”
”Aye, Mr. Cruz did that to lil’ Juan Carlos when he was jus’ a wee lad o’ four years old. Mr. Cruz was a very, very bad man for doing so. For hitting lil’ Juan Carlos an’ burning Mr. Bunny. If Daddy had been there, he would’ve saved both lil’ Juan Carlos an’ Mr. Bunny, while Papi would’ve crushed Mr. Cruz’s hands an’ arms so he’d never be able to hurt our lil’ lad or any other wee one ever again.”
But Juice was bad too, wasn't he? He whimpered now, feeling both big and small. Big enough to be punished, too small to do anything about it. They could spank him right here, couldn’t they? No one had stopped when Mr. Cruz spanked him next to the highway. So many cars had passed by while Juan Carlos had been screaming and crying over his adoptive father’s lap.
That spanking, by the road… It had hurt so insanely. The nuns had never spanked him and now they, especielly Sr. Lisa, weren’t there anymore. They’d given him away because he was a bad boy who wasn’t grateful. He was such a naughty and selfish kid and it was his fault that Mr. Bunny was burned alive. Now Daddy would have to punish him and kill Mr. Bunny again.
“Juice, sweetheart, please look up for a moment. Look at Papi, baby boy. Your memory is playing hurtful tricks on you, but you’re not back with those mean people. You’re safe and loved and you’re not a bad boy, sweet baby.”
“No, ye’re not, darlin’. Ye’re our sweet, kind an’good lad an’ we’re so proud o’ ye, Juicy. Ye’ve got nothing to be ashamed o’, we love ye so much an’ I promise ye tha’ Papi an’ I can handle this for ye an’ Mr. Bunny an’ no one will punish ye in any way, ‘cause ye’ve done nothing wrong, lovey.”
“See, we’re not angry with you, angel. Can Papi hold his good boy?”
He needed Daddy right now and didn’t know why. Juan was a rude boy who rejected Papi…
“Oh, of course, sweetheart. Daddy’s cuddles are the best when you’re feeling lost. Papi knows that better than most people.”
“C’mere, Juicyboy. Come to Daddy… Aye, there ye go, lovey, s’gonnae be fine, Daddy’s righ’ here with ye…”
Daddy’s cuddles were of a different kind than Papi’s and Juice – or Juan, he didn’t really know – curled up to him in the backseat, whimpering. The hands holding him were strong and warm, gently petting his back.
“Shh, lil’ one… Daddy knows ye’re scared, laddie, an’ tha’s okay. Daddy knows tha’ Juicyboy doesn’t like change an’ tha’ he’s worried an’ nervous ‘bout this place. Tha’s normal, lovey, an’ I’d be scared too if I was ye righ’ now. But ye know wha’, lil’ one?”
Juice shook his head into Daddy’s chest and got more circling pets on his shoulders.
“Sometimes, lad, one has to do scary things to get to do the things ye like again, an’ ye’ve already managed to go through so much an’ dealt with it so well, Juicy. Daddy an’ Papi couldna’ be more proud o’ their Juicyboy. We love ye, no matter wha’, an’ we could never be ashamed o’ ye.”
He could feel Daddy’s whiskers tickling the side of his neck.
“I know s’not easy, lovey, but as yer partner an’ caretaker, as a man who loves ye, big or little, an’ who’s promised to look after both his lads an’ try to do wha’s best for them in every situation, I’m asking for yer trust in this, Juicy. Will ye still let me guide ye through this, as we agreed upon?”
“I’m… Daddy, I… I’m not… I’m not worth the trouble…”
He cried now, feeling so completely out of touch with himself and what was and wasn’t reasonable and normal or how to deal with any of it. The shame had taken over and still, Daddy held him. It was so fucked up.
“Juicyboy, I’ll be honest an’ tell ye tha’ it’s really painful for me to hear ye talk tha’ way ‘bout yerself, but I’m also grateful for the trust ye’re showing me by expressing yerself. Thing is, lil’ one, for every reason yer self-hatred, shame an’ fear has for me to not love ye, I have ten better reasons to do. An’ we’ve not come this far together, for us to admit defeat on a parking lot, especially not by some lowlife scumbag who cannae hurt ye no more outside yer memory.”
Daddy kissed his crown and then gripped his shoulders a little more firm, made some distance and looked directly at him with steady, dark eyes.
“Do ye still wan’ me to be yer Daddy, Juice?”
“O-of course I do, Daddy. M-more than anything.”
“Then ye know tha’ when Daddy has made a decision, ye’re gonnae obey, jus’ like Papi.”
“I-I know, Daddy.”
“An’ tha’ also means tha’ I take responsibility for tha’ decision an’ be there to fix anything tha’ could go wrong, to the best o’ my ability. I make the final decision in this family an’ ye’re a part o’ tha’ family, so now I’m telling ye, tha’ ye, me an’ Papi will go into the clinic as planned an’ we’ll be with ye the entire time an’ no matter wha’ ye might feel in there, ye can an’ should tell us, so we can deal with it. Okay?”
Juice just nodded. The firm Daddy voice had taken him by surprise, but it didn’t scare him. If anything, it made him feel calmer. But it wasn’t enough, not yet. Juice swallowed.
”If… if I’m… not being a good boy, what… what will you do, Daddy?”
“Then Daddy will be disappointed, Juicy, but I will still love ye jus’ as much. An’ since I don’ think ye’re big enough for a spanking yet, I will place ye in the naughty corner for a lil’ while when we come home, if ye’re not behaving.”
”Mr. Bunny will sit with ye in the naughty corner. I will not separate ye, Juicyboy, even if you should act naughty, an’ neither will Papi an’ nothing bad will happen to ye or Mr. Bunny. Tha’s a promise an’ I swear it on the blessed Virgin Mary. May she curse me forever if I break tha’ promise.”
Chapter 20: Filip
Filip's lil' lad is one skittish pup. Will Dîlan Gilani be able to reach out?
”Hi, you must be Juice! I’m Dîlan Gilani, welcome to Water Lily Pond.”
Juice didn’t answer and honestly, Filip wasn’t surprised. Just convincing the lad to get out of the car and walk through the doors had taken a lot of work and he looked positively exhausted already and about as scared as the bunny he couldn’t let go of. Filip mentally cursed at himself for treating the stuffed thing as something living even in his mind, but whatever was necessary to get Juice going...
The moment they’d entered the waiting room, Juice had retrieved to a corner and refused to sit down. He’d not talked either, just looked around with the gaze of a trapped animal who couldn’t do anything but keeping it’s back to the wall and look out for threats. Coming along to the therapy room took another fifteen minutes of gentle talking and reassuring and Juice was actually dripping with sweat once they finally got there. Filip felt exhausted too and that had nothing to do with his age or beer gut.
The room, how ever, was very inviting with big, cushy furniture, a thick carpet and several shelves filled with various toys, books and stuffed animals. It was difficult to imagine adults having therapy sessions here but also very comforting to be reminded of that while Juice’s age regression was unusual, it wasn’t unique and that neither the lad nor Filip and Ronea, would be judged around here. Juice, who most certainly didn’t feel comfortable or unjudged in any way, looked around with big, terrified eyes before coming to the conclusion that the safest place here was at the floor by Filip’s feet, clutching onto his legs.
Ronea had sat down crosslegged on the carpet, next to Juice and tried to soothe him by simply holding a hand on his arm and Miss Dîlan Gilani took a seat cushion and placed on a little distance by Juice’s other side on the floor.
“I know it can feel strange and scary to come here for the first time, Juice. It’s huge with lots of rooms and then all the new faces on top of that. It’s not easy to know what to expect and many people get overwhelmed. Some get dizzy, or feel sick. Others don’t even leave the parking lot the first time. But you did, Juice, and I bet you’re pretty exhausted from that.”
Her voice was very soothing, not impatient or intrusive at all and Filip’s husband stroked Juice’s hand.
“You’re feeling tired, baby boy?”
Juice nodded and Miss Gilani smiled.
”That’s perfectly understandable, Juice. And in here, in this house and this room, it’s okay to be tired. It’s also okay to feel scared or small or confused – or all at once. It’s okay to not know what you feel too.”
The lad didn’t seem convinced, still holding onto Filip’s legs and he was shaking from anxiety. Miss Gilani, how ever, wasn’t one to give up so easily. She leaned her arms on her knees.
“I’ve been told that you like animals, Juice. Is that correct?”
Another small nod.
“Do you like cats?”
Nod, yet still not looking.
“How about dogs?”
Nod again and Miss Gilani reached for the folder she’d brough with her to the floor and opened it, picking out a picture.
“This is Yara. She’s a three and half year old, all black pitbull. They’re pretty rare and for some reason, a lot of people think that their color make them more aggressive. Weird, right? Sometimes people have really strange ideas, right?”
Juice was clearly interested in the picture and the barely visible little smile, gone almost immediately, told Filip that he agreed with Miss Gilani. The dog in the picture was actually beautiful and Juice kept looking at it, with something longingly in his gaze. Miss Gilani held out the picture.
“You can hold it and look if you want to.”
Well, he wanted to, that much was obvious but doing it…? No, that was one step too much and the lad curled back into Filip’s legs.
“You don’t have to look at it anymore, Juice, but would it be alright if I tell you a little about Yara?”
It was. Juice nodded again, albeit still cluthing. Miss Gilani stroked one of her messy curls away.
“Yara was a street pup when the kennel that trains our service dogs took her in. Actually, she was caught and put up to be euthanized, but the dog catcher realised that she was a very affectionate little girl and he decided to give her a chance.”
Juice was listening, that much was clear.
“At the beginning, she was an absolute mess. Adorable, but completely feral after living her first year without humans. She would yell at everyhing that moved, she peed everywhere and ran into stuff all the time because she had no concept of walls what so ever. I don’t think she’d ever been inside before so she was literally trying to understand the difference between an opened and a closed door for the first week, running into everyone she could find. Oh, and she absolutely loves water, so we named her Yara from the Game Of Thrones character, the girl from the Iron Islands.”
A giggle, barely audible but the lad obviously found the description of the four legged girl amusing. He looked at the picture, really couldn’t take his eyes of it now and Miss Gilani folded her hands.
“Normally, we take a little tour around the facility and have a chat before meeting any of our dogs, but today I think we can make an exception. Juice, how would you feel about being introduced to Yara?”
Chapter 21: Ronea
Introducing Yara the black pitbull.
”We’ve got competion, Mr. Telford.”
”Aye, we sure have, Mr. Telford-Tully…”
In a way, the sight wasn’t surprising at all. Despite not having seen Juice interact with animals before, Ronea had been quite convinced the boy would be a lot more comfortable with dogs or cats than with humans. In that sense, the scene playing out before his eyes was very predictable.
But it was one thing to know about it in theory, to rely on Juice’s memories from his childhood to make something close to a qualified guess about how meeting a therapy dog would turn out, and a whole other thing to watch it. After Filip had taken Juice to the nearest restroom for a much needed diaper change, they’d all walked down to the kennel area where another woman called Cecile had introduced herself and Juice’s behavior would’ve been considered very rude had it not been for how exhausted he was from all the new impressions.
He’d looked all around, eyes darting every corner and he barely knew where to put his feet, needing Filip to hold an arm around his shoulders to keep steady. Sitting down? No way, Juice was too anxious, too wound up and restless to even stand still, let alone sitting. The only thing existing for the boy had been the dogs and then, Cecile had went for Yara.
She was a beautiful creature, no doubts about it and Juice made the smallest little whimper, not knowing wether he could approach or not and Cecile smiled.
“Juice, this is Yara. Yara, this is Juice. Would you like to say hello?”
Well, Juice was already crying, so there’d be no coherent answer from him. He just sank down onto his knees, sniffling and looking at the dog.
“H-hi, Y-yara…’M J-j-juice…”
The pitbull waved her tail, approached him and just looked at the weeping boy, nudging him and stayed close.
“C-can I pet her?”
“Of course, Juice.”
To Ronea, it felt like they were intruding on a very private moment and he could barely stay composed himself in front of the meeting, even with Filip’s arm around him. Yes, the boy was crying like someone had turned the taps on full and the small whispers he made to the dog were incoherent and mostly a babble of sounds and endearments, but good Lord, what a connection…
The black pitbull now laid her paws onto Juice’s lap and just stayed with him like that and when Juice started to clench his fists, it simply put it’s paws across them, soothing the gesture. And Juice kept crying and crying… Ronea looked at Miss Gilani.
“Is… is this a common reaction?”
“Very. And I believe Yara is a very happy girl now, since she’s actually been picked for the first time.”
Ronea shook his head, amused and baffled at the same time.
“How are we even gonna get him back in the car now…”
Miss Gilani smiled.
“With difficulty, but if it’s of any help, it’ll probably also be much easier for him to get out next time.”
Chapter 22: Juice
Juice is 30, Juan is 4... and while Juice owns the road on his bike, Juan gets hurt by Mr. Cruz, as does Mr. Bunny.
”Sweetheart, we’re coming back tomorrow, I promise.”
”B-but wha-what if s-s-someone else t-takes her?”
“That’s not how this works, baby boy. Yara will be waiting for you, same time tomorrow and you can spend more time together, just as Miss Gilani said. No one will take Yara anywhere, she’s scheduled for you, angel.”
Saying goodbye to Yara had been very upsetting and Juice couldn’t stop crying. He’d hold it together while leaving the kennel part, walking through the faciliy and saying goodbye to Miss Gilani, but now, as he was back in the car and Daddy was driving off, he was sobbing as if they’d left the pitbull to be put down. To make matters worse, his tummy was upset again too and he really needed to go.
“G-gonna m-make a mess, Papi. Not good t-tummy...”
“Will you please turn over on that little road over there, Filip?”
“Of course, lovey.”
“Don’t worry, baby boy, Papi’s come prepared.”
Prepared as in bringing an adult potty, sans legs but still. If Juice hadn’t been crying and worried in his tummy, he’d blushed at it, but when you had to go you had to go. At least it was private and he was too tired and unsteady to squat on the ground anyway. Papi removed his diaper and helped him down onto the strange, embarressing plastic piece.
The car covered him from any potential viewers who accidently may go down the small sideroad and while it hurt and was stressful, the need had been pressing on for a while now and not having to hold it in any longer was an almost ridiculous relief. He sniffled and shivered and when he finally seemed done and Daddy kissed his crown.
“Thank God for Papi and his planning skills. I never would’ve thought to bring this.”
”I know, lovey, but Papi’s got the nappy bag with him an’ the soothing cream.”
“M-made a mess…”
“Ye went potty an’ ye did really good, darlin’. Lay down here now, aye? Papi will hold ye.”
Leaning back onto Papi’s lap while being wiped and changed was not a particularly nice experience outside the safety of their house. Not with the road so close, and Mr. Bunny, and the cars… Juice’s mind flipped again, thrown back more than twentyfive years to another road and another stop…
Mr. Cruz – Dad – is so big and Juan is crying even before the man unlocks the seat belt, lifts him from the car and with ease places his small 4-year-old body across his lap. He’s tugging Juan’s pants and underwear down and places several hard smacks with his huge palm across his bare backside. Besides Mrs. Cruz, who’s just sitting in the car, waiting, only the cars and the nature surrounding the roadside, hear Juan’s terrified screams of horror and pain.
“This is what happens when you misbehave in this family, boy. I don’t tolerate such behavior, do you understand me?”
No, because he’s four years old and where is Sister Lisa and Juan tried to smile, he really did, but this road is unfamiliar, so are the man and woman in the car and no one has spanked Juan like this before, ever. He didn’t know that was a thing, he doesn’t know there’s a word for it, for the horrible, unexpected and ongoing pain on his small backside as his clothes are pulled up again and he’s placed in the backseat again, the pain throbbing on his skin.
He’s four years old and hiding his wet face into Mr. Bunny’s soft body, still smelling a little like home, like Sr. Lisa. He’s keeping silent, as silent as he can, for the rest of the ride, not because he’s a good boy, but because he’s afraid. Because his sore little body has once again been reminded that not all people are as nice and gentle as the sisters. The man and the woman in the front seat don’t talk to him much during the remaining ride. Juan holds his friend clutched in his arms, and Mr. Bunny tells him with the small bunny voice only Juan can hear, that his red skin will heal in a while and that he’s not alone because he’s there with him.
He’s four years old, in a new home and placed in a room full of toys, his backside still so sore and he can’t smile when Dad tells him too, can’t let go of Mr. Bunny to have a look at all the new things in there and Dad is getting mad again, his voice loud and angry, saying that he’s sick of the old stuffy and that Juan is too big for it anyway.
He’s four years old and screaming murder when Mr. Bunny is brutally taken from him, when Dad is holding Juan Carlos in one hand and Mr. Bunny in the other and drags them both into a room where there’s a fire…
He’s four years old and Dad holds him hard enough to bruise his arms, forcing him to watch Mr. Bunny burn…
Chapter 23: Filip
Filip feels helpless, but Ronea knows his shit and is mama bear even to an extent he would prefer not to be.
He’s experienced it enough to know. In a darker time, Filip has wore the mask of Ronea’s terrorizer on many occasions. He’s seen his beloved loose sight of him, how the here and now is wiped out and there’s just this bottomless pit of chaotic darkness left. A pit Filip must get down into, in order to pull his heart out of there, even though he’s not always sure what’s lurking in the deep and what forms the terror will take this time. It has so many faces.
Juice isn’t old right now. He’s a small child, around four or five, and has just seen his last comfort brutally destroyed before him, by faces Filip will never truly get to know. He’s crying and begging for dad to stop, that he’ll be a good niño if he can just have Mr. Bunny back… He’s seen his stuffed animal burn, he’s been beaten and he’s too young to understand the concept of gone forever. As in no more Mr. Bunny and no more Sr. Lisa. As in PTSD blowing up in his face, shattering the present all over again and while Filip’s responses come easier and faster, more helpful nowadays, he can’t ever seem to get used to the brutality of the sadness it leaves him with. Seeing Ronea trying to rock Juice in his arms is heart wrenching.
“Shh, sweet boy… Papi’s here, just let me hold you, love…”
It’s also painful to know that this memory, this particular wound is almost solely an experience with men and that dad is probably a little too close to Daddy, even if only by name, for Filip to be let near right now. Papi’s name doesn’t have that thorn attatched to it and that’s why Daddy isn’t of any help right now. Juice is so small in this moment and the only comfort he’s known, has been given to him by women. And no, Papi is not a woman, but he’s so motherly in his very own way and Juice needs that more than ever right now.
“Filip, love, hand me the bottle. And the drops.”
Ah, yes, the liquid anxiety meds. Easier to give in moments when Juice is barely capable of swallowing and Filip hurries to add the right amount in the bottle with chilled peach juice his domestic god of a husband has prepared in the bag.
“Here ye go, lovey.”
“Thank you. Juice, sweet baby, I have something nice for you in the bottle. You want something sweet and chilled to drink, my little love?”
The lad is whining at first, unsure of what to do, but Papi’s got some magic fucking skills and is soon feeding the little one on his lap at the sideroad, a mama bear protecting her cub…
Juice drinks eagerly, the cold sweetness probably tasting nice in the heat and yes, there’s something with sweetness being comforting… He finishes the bottle but isn’t out of the woods yet, not by far and when he searches blindly for Ronea’s chest, mama bear lets him, wavering Filip off with a tired but firm gesture and low whisper:
“Let him, Filip. Now’s not the time, trust me…”
The liquid form of Juice’s anxiety meds works a little faster and Filip counts down the minutes as this mentally child form of his badly hurt lad latches onto Ronea’s nipple and the only comfort he’s able to reach out for right now, aside from the stuffed bunny. Ronea lets out a small hiss and then closes his eyes in exasperation.
“Should’ve given the meds before leaving…”
“Aye, we should’ve…”
They fucked that part up and now they’re paying the price. They’re not blaming themselves as they’re looking at each other. That’s a good thing, Filip thinks. Ronea is just petting the lad softly, holding him just like a nursing wee one and accepts the place he currently has to go to, in order to bring the lad back.
“Sweet angel, you’re gonna feel better soon, Papi promises… Everything’s gonna be alright…”
Sometimes it’s okay to lie and this is one of those occasions. Juice is too small to grasp reality to that extent right now. Time and place is completely fucked up and so Ronea can and must play the role of the ever safe and secure Mother who can make everything that hurts go away. It’s not a deceit, it’s a temporary safety net, preventing Juice’s tormented heart from hitting the ground and break. In that role, Ronea asks for the bag and the blanket he’s stuffed in there along with what seems like too many other things to even be possible to fit.
All Filip can do, after handing it to him, is wait.
Chapter 24: Ronea
Daddy teaches Papi a lesson in the patented Filip Telford way. Oh, and Juice is, of course, asleep.
”I’m sorry, Filip.”
”What for, lovey?”
”I was disrespectful by the road.”
“Don’ even start, Ronea Telford-Tully. Ye were handling Juice while he was latched onto ye an’ I know he could’ve bitten ye had ye forced’im off, so no bloody guilt. Am I making myself clear, husband?”
Ronea almost jumped at the force in Filip’s voice and just nodded with widened eyes.
He walked over immediately, watching his strict husband’s face with respect, not fear, but the voice had been a little stronger, more stearn than usual and Ronea was too tired to read it as well as normally. He looked up, only to seeFilip’s face soften instantly.
“Ronea, I’ve scared ye again… God, I’m sorry, lovey. Can I…”
Ronea didn’t let him finish and simply leaned into him to be held. He snuck his own arms around Filip’s waist and nuzzled his neck.
“You didn’t, baby. You brought me back before I went too deep. Thank you.”
“Still, I sounded a wee bit too domineering.”
“And as you should know better than anyone, Filip Telford, I like it when you’re domineering, especially when I’m slipping down that road. Now shut up about this self-blaming and be sensible.”
“Yes, ma’m. But I still scared ye a bit, unintentionally, an’ I should know better so, I’m sorry, Ronea.”
“And I forgive you, even if I don’t really think there’s anything to forgive.”
“Thank ye, lovey. Now, our lil’ one is sleeping an’ we need to talk.”
“I’m fine, Filip, I promise.”
“Do ye need to start this conversation over my lap, husband? Because tha’s always an option if ye’re not ready to listen. Ye know ye can ask me for it if ye’ll need a spanking.”
Could, yes. Needed to, perhaps. Would, no way. Spankings felt good afterwards, not while being given and the element of shame and weakness was always there, putting Ronea in that uncertain and vulnerable overlap from internal to external pain that he just had to trust Filip to turn in the right direction.
Ronea felt his fists balling and his breath speeding up.
“I will but I wont.”
Not asking for it, just telling his husband the truth without getting explicit and leaving the decision to him. Because Ronea didn’t want that choice. He didn’t want to have the possibility to say no to Filip in this, he wanted to be told what to do, fight the urge to rebel and then be forced to, not by threats, violence or manipulation, but the shear need, to obey the only person he trusted to this extent. Giving in to that need was what he’d signed up for when they wrote their very private marriage agreement, and right now they had only recently started a limited period of complete obedience for both of them to resettle into their respective roles.
Filip placed his palms onto Ronea’s cheeks and gave a soft kiss on his forehead.
“Livingroom, lovey. Now.”
The order was gentle, but there was still a sting of resistance when Ronea obeyed and he didn’t like it. He felt out of his role, out of place and that wasn’t a good feeling at all. It sent doubts of a kind that was infectious and pulled him back into old wounds, making them itch and raising the need to scratch them, preferably bloody.
He didn’t have to obey. Legally, he could tell his husband to go fuck himself and never take another order or spanking from him ever again. He could, on their soon up-coming, reoccuring six month evaluation, refuse and be… what? Free? From what?
Ronea felt himself shaking with contradictory feelings, they were overpowering him by the second and when he kneeled in his usual position by the couch, he was dizzy and sick to his stomach. He was – no, that was impossible, he never felt… not with Filip… Not of Filip.
Scared. He was scared.
The couch shifted and he heard Filip say something about pants and panties, the sound of him patting his knee. Ronea obeyed automatically. It was an instinct by now and he dropped his pants, folded down his panties and laid across his husband’s lap, angling his caged cock, not even looking at the instrument and when the first strike fell, Ronea buried himself into the pillow to block a shout.
Filip had chosen the birch twigs, still fresh and flexible from staying soaked in the bucket in his cabinet. Those things hurt in a whole different way than the paddles and the humiliation was greater too. Filip delivered a dozen good ones from it before he stopped and rubbed Ronea’s shoulder.
“I knew ye needed a spanking, Ronea. I dinnae ask ye to get yer permission or advice on it, an’ why’s tha’?”
“Because you don’t need to ask me, sir.”
“I… I already gave my consent, when we married and I promised to obey you, sir.”
“Aye, tha’s righ’, husband. An’ do I, according to our contract, the one we both formed an’ signed willingly together, even need a reason apart from jus’ wanting to spank ye, to put ye over my knee?”
“No, sir, you don’t.”
“Tha’s righ’, Ronea. I don’t, but I still always have one, don’ I?”
“Yes, sir, you do.”
“Good. Hold tha’ thought.”
It was difficult to stay still today, Ronea hadn’t tasted the birch rod for a while and he was still fighting the urge to leave Filip’s lap, to simply refuse to obey and he whimpered, louder than he’d expected. Filip stopped again and placed his hand on the small of his back, not pressing down, just resting against it.
“I know ye’ve been fighting ever since we left the clinic, lovey. Ye forget tha’ I can read ye better than myself by now an’ tha’ I can smell a husband in distress half a world away. I asked if ye needed a spanking, because I already knew ye did an’ I wanted to know if ye’d caught up yer need as well.”
A new round of the rod and by God it stung. Ronea panted into the pillow, clutching it hard and he knew he’d have a hard time sitting for days because Filip had only started. Another break, a soft rubbing between his shoulders.
“Today, after we left the clinic an’ stopped by the road, we all went through something quite hard, dinnae we, Ronea?”
“Juice had an accident an’ we had to change him an’ then wha’ happened?”
“He… he got a panic attack, sir.”
“A panic attack stemming from…?”
“A flashback, sir.”
“Correct. Can ye tell me wha’ caused tha’ flashback?”
Ronea thought about it, it was easier to focus in this position, especially with the snug chastity keeping him from getting a full erection, but he still couldn’t answer and he shook his head.
“I can’t, sir. I’m sorry, but I can’t and I’m not trying to hide anyth… Ow!”
His poor ass cursed him right now, because Filip placed six swift, hard strikes in a row, leaving Ronea whimpering. Then the rubbing hand came back.
“Breathe, Ronea. In an’ out, slowly… Tha’s better. Did I tell ye to explain or make excuses for Juice’s flashback?”
“No, sir, you didn’t.”
“Then wha’ did I ask?”
“If… If I knew what caused it, sir.”
“Exactly. An’ in this house, a question like tha’ is not a test or challenge, Ronea. I wasn’t trying to corner or interrogate ye, was I?”
“Then wha’ was I doing?”
“You… you just wanted to find out if I know what triggered Juice.”
“Aye, an’ do ye?”
Ronea shook his head, feeling tears forming.
“No, sir, I don’t.”
“An’ is tha’ something ye should be able to do in tha’ moment?”
“No, sir, it’s not.”
“An’ why’s tha’?”
“Because I’m… I’’m not a mind reader and it’s not… reasonable to expect that of anyone.”
“Good lad. Hold tha’ thought.”
His skin was on fire, because Filip wasn’t lenient and the angry, wound up little ball of stress, that reminded of a cornered prey against the anxiety, hissing at anything approaching, even the helping hand, ready to bite it even to protect itself, stopped hissing and started to let just a little bit of it’s guard down.
He was crying already and Filip paused to rub the small of his back.
“I know how uncomfortable ye felt when Juice latched onto ye, darling, an’ I wan’ ye to jus’ listen now an’ not answer me yet.”
He petted Ronea’s shoulders again.
“Ye felt really uncomfortable, lovey, an’ I also know tha’ ye felt guilty an’ hurt an’ very exposed. I could tell it by jus’ looking at yer eyes. Ye were in a very stressful, unexpected situation an’ how did ye react? Answer me, please.”
Ronea sniffled, he was still very stressed and the shame made his face hot.
“I… I let him… nurse…”
Expressing it in words made him cry more and Filip placed five more spanks with the rod before leaning down to kiss Ronea’s damp neck.
“Ronea, I’ve seen ye deal with yer PTSD for almost twentyfive years an’ sometimes I don’ think I tell ye often enough how proud o’ an’ insanely impressed I am by ye, lovey. Ye never give up, mo chridhe*, ye’re fighting every battle with all ye’ve got an’ in tha’ moment, ye made a choice based on yer experience with both yer own an’ Juice’s PTSD.”
“But I… I didn’t want to, not like that, not again and then… then I snapped at you.”
“Is tha’ why ye think I’m giving ye this spanking, lovey? As a reprimand for snapping at me in the woods?”
“No… not only that…”
“Then tell me wha’ else ye think lead ye here.”
“I was rude to you, Filip. I didn’t show respect.”
Filip sighed and kissed his neck again.
”No, lovey, ye weren’t rude or disrespectful, at least not on purpose. Ye were caught up in a really bad thought spin an’ pretty much ready to hurt yerself, had I not stopped tha’ train. I’m still sorry about the way I had to do it, but I could tell nothing else would’ve made ye pause. Am I right, Ronea?”
It took time to answer, because he was crying so much now.
Filip was right. He had been on the verge of wanting to hurt himself like he’d done in the past and Ronea was shaking, not from tension but the slowly release of it over his husband’s lap. He was sore and still tense, but he needed something else than the rod now and he lifted his face from the tear soaked pillow.
“C-can I please ask you something, sir?”
”Of course, my love.”
“I will submit to any instrument of your choosing for the rest of this session without any protest, but… can I, for a little while, have your hand, sir?”
“If tha’s wha’ ye need, I’m happy to oblige, mo chridhe*.”
The hand wasn’t for punishment and while the birch rod could be, that item wasn’t strictly for such spankings either, but could be used for any reason. Any reason Filip deemed it fitting. That didn’t mean the large, callous palm of his was light or easy to take by any means. Not when he used enough force and he definitely did.
Ronea sobbed, there were words of some sort and Filip stopped again.
“What, baby? Tell me was on yer mind, sweet darlin’. I’m here for ye, lovey, ye’re safe with me an’ I can take yer feelings, no matter how they look like.”
“I… I know it’s not my fault, Filip, I understand that again now, but I feel so… disgusting for not just letting him, you know, but I actually initiated it. I can’t help it, Filip, but I just feel like a creep.”
He got six hard swats and then some more rubs on his lower back.
“Lovey, we don’ punish feelings in this family. I’m very grateful tha’ ye told me this, because I could see ye were not just stressed out an’ overwhelmed. I cannae tell ye wha’ to feel or not, we don’ control tha’ any more than Juice can control his. T’is how we try to handle those feelings tha’ matters, baby. Feeling like a creep, doesn’t mean ye are one an’ while I cannae make tha’ feeling go away no matter how much I wish I could, I can help ye through it.”
Now Filip just petted his back and Ronea kept crying, letting himself be soothed by the lecture.
“I’m not gonnae let ye hide away with these feelings, Ronea. Tha’s not who I am, t’is not who we are, lovey, an’ I will never ever punish ye for feelings because, as ye said yerself a moment ago, ye cannae help wha’ ye feel. No one can. Not me, not ye an’ not Juice. Today was a rough day but we made it through an’ I dinnae see a husband or lil’ one acting out or being disobedient. I saw a lad struggling to handle a ride to an unfamiliar place, then with even entering an’ not to mention meeting an’ communicating with a stranger. He did so well an’ seeing him with tha’ pitbull… I thought I was gonnae start bawling on spot.”
Ronea smlied through his tears.
Filip gave small pets on his neck again.
“So, do ye agree with me tha’ ye don’ deserve a punishment an’ tha’ ye need this spanking to resettle an’ put a stop to those unhealthy thoughts ’bout ye being disgusting an’ rude, when ye’re anything but?”
“I agree logically, sir, but… but my feelings aren’t there yet.”
“God, I’m so proud o’ ye for telling me straight away, lovey. I’m not gonnae give forgiveness, since ye’ve not done anything wrong, not even when ye snapped, because it’s clear to me tha’ ye were too trapped in the distress to fully decide on how to express yerself in tha’ moment. I’m not spanking ye as a punishment, but for emotional release and resettlement, baby. Ye understand tha’?”
“I understand and I trust you to bring me where I need to be, Filip, in any way you decide to do it.”
“Thank ye, dear husband. An’ we’re also not gonnae discuss today’s events further today. Juice will probably be in an’ outta sleep all day an’ night. How would ye like for us to use tha’ time to resettle some more, lovey?”
Ronea took a deep breath, squirming against his husband’s thigh.
“I don’t want a choice now, at all, Filip.”
“Ye’re asking me to manhandle ye, Ronea?”
”Or not. Leave me like this or put me in chastity or fuck me or make me cut another rod, just… let me go through our current agreement in full… Take my choice away, I beg you…”
The rest of the spanking was short and Ronea barely felt anything but the relaxation spreading through his body and how hard the loss of tension made him. Filip then got him back down on his knees, not letting him cry on his lap, and walked to the hallway. He came back with his MC kutte over the shirt, opened his own jeans and sat back down on the couch, spreading his thighs wide.
He searched in one of the inside pockets on the kutte and pulled out a tiny bottle with lube. Ronea watched, hardening even more, as Filip folded the hem of his boxers and took his half hard cock out, stroking it almost lazily to full erection.
“I will take yer choice away, baby, but I demand ye to tell me if ye want my cock right now.”
“Please, sir. I really do.”
“An’ where do ye wan’ it?”
“Up my ass, sir. Please.”
“Ye wannae come too?”
“Yes, sir. I would like that very much, but that’s not my choice.”
“Ye’re righ’, an’ tha’ wont happen now, sweet husband. I’m gonnae give ge my cock, since ye’re asking so nicely, being such a good, meak man for me, but I’m choosing not to let ye come. Ye can either have my cock an’ not come, or not having it at all tonight.”
“I want to… be your meak husband for you, taking your cock if it pleases you, being good for you and then wait patiently for when you want me to come, either it’s tonight or not until this agreement is over, sir.”
Filip smiled, not a wicked or teasing one, but full of love and adoration and he took Ronea’s chin in his hand, bending down to kiss him deep. When they parted, Ronea’s husband was blushing and his eyes half-closed.
“What good deeds did I do to earn a man like you…”
“Those who don’t go unpunished, sir?”
There was a chuckle and Filip grabbed his hips, eyes bright and all the little lines of worries evened out.
”Well then… C’mere, Papi… Come sink tha’ red arse down on Daddy’s cock…”
Chapter 25: Juice
Thank goodness Papi was satisfied last night, since he's gotten himself a toddler form of Juice this morning. Juice is quite confused by it too.
”Gog! Goggy, Juice has goggy.”
”Good morning to you too, baby boy. Did you sleep well, angel?”
“Goggy. Goggy, Papi, Juice has?”
Something wasn’t right today. He felt like he’d slept far too long, his body heavy and brain clouded and fuck, it was difficult to talk… The onesie was too warm and Papi was still in bed. Juice sucked on his pacifier, tugging at Papi’s night shirt.
“Juice go goggy.”
Papi yawned and kissed his forehead.
“Soon, baby boy. But we must get dressed and eat breakfast first.”
“Must too, my little pup. You didn’t plan on eating Yara’s breakfast, did you?”
Juice scrunched his nose and giggled. Papi was silly.
“Goggy food, Juice says yikes, Papi.”
“Thank goodness, because Papi only has porridge and raspberries today. Not a single piece of kibble in my pantry, baby boy, so before we go see Yara, Papi’s good boy must have some human breakfast.”
“Juice go goggy?”
“Oh yes, when Juice has had his diaper changed, some day clothes on and finished his breakfast with Daddy and Papi. Then we’ll go see doggy. Okay?”
“Good boy. Come, let Papi clean your bum, sweetheart.”
That didn’t require talking or that much movement and Juice waddled with Papi and Mr. Bunny to the bathroom. He still had his pacifier too and sucked a bit more on it as Papi took off the pajamas and then the messy diaper.
“Looks like you still have a little unruly tummy, baby boy. Are you sore?”
“Is not, Papi. Juice go goggy?”
“Lord almighty, yes, Juice will see the doggy today and Papi and Daddy are coming with him, but first things first, sweet boy. Pull your legs up some more, please.”
It was always nice to get washed by Papi. He had so soft hands and talked a whole bunch of stuff one didn’t have to answer and was soon clean, dry and safe in a fresh diaper before Papi proceeded to clean his face, hands and armpits. Juice squirmed a bit.
“Juice not that dirty, Papi.”
“That’s because Papi washes his boy properly. Be good, sweetheart or you’ll sit in the naugthy corner. Look, all done with the washing. Now lets find your clothes.”
It took ages for Papi to get him into cargo pants, socks and t-shirt and as soon as he was done, Juice rose from the mat and rushed back into bed, curling up next to Daddy, who was still sleeping.
“Gog. See goggy. Juice go goggy?”
”Aye, laddie. Juice… we all, will go and see the doggy today.”
Daddy yawned and stretched, catching Juice in his arms and hugged him.
“Papi already changed an’ dressed ye?”
“Uh-huh. See goggy now, Daddy?”
“First thing after breakfast, lil’ one. Daddy needs his coffee before he can take one step outside the house. Ye go down with Mr. Bunny an’ keep Papi company while I get dressed, alright?”
Daddy kissed his hair.
“Good lad. Now go to Papi, lovey.”
Down the kitchen, Papi was busy at the stove with something stirring in a pan. Juice slid on his knitted socks to the stove and sank down by Papi’s legs. He tugged at Papi’s pants and the man looked down smiling. Juice took his pacifier out.
“Gog? Juice see goggy?”
Papi chuckled and stroked Juice’s hair.
“I think there’s a little boy in Papi’s kitchen who really likes dogs.”
“Gog! Not gogs.”
“Ah, yes. One dog, a special one.”
“What was her name again, baby boy? Lara? Tara?”
”No, Papi! Yara. Goggy Yara!”
“Ah yes, silly Papi. What do think Yara’s doing right now, Juicy? Except waiting for the best Juicyboy ever?”
Papi was silly. There was only one Juicyboy, so you couldn’t choose the best one. Or the worst, which was a comforting thought. Juice thought about the black pitbull.
“Yeah, I bet she’s an early riser, that one. Lots of energy, don’t you think?”
“You’re tired, sweetheart?”
“Uh-huh. Is, Papi.”
Something didn’t feel quite right with his body or mind today. Papi looked down from his pot with a concerned little smile.
“You look a little wornout in general, baby boy. Yesterday was rough…”
“Goggy? Juice see goggy?”
Papi stopped in his stirring, frowning at first but then he nodded and his kind smile was back.
“Yes, sweet darling. Juice will see doggy. Sit down at the table, please, and Papi will serve you some cream of wheat with peaches. First breakfast, then doggy.”
“First breakfast, then goggy. Papi says.”
“That’s right, baby boy.”
”I’m actually one hundred percent certain that Daddy says so too, so move your butt to the chair, angel. The sooner you start on your breakfast, the sooner you get to see Yara.”
That was a very good point, actually, and Juice crawled up from the floor, slow as he felt, and sat down at his usual chair to grab the spoon.
Chapter 26: Filip
Daddy realises he's fucked up a bit...
Looking over his little two man flock this morning, Filip immediately knew something was off. Not with his husband, thank God, who seemed completely settled back after the spanking and talking last night, not to mention the sex. He was probably quite sore, but Filip knew his husband and that the lingering sting was most likely good as a lingering reminder of who was in charge of what in this house. Sometimes Filip couldn’t help but feeling a little envious of Ronea for that ability to let go.
While spanking his husband most certainly made Filip feel very good and resettled, the experience was almost always more intense and satisfying for Ronea. It eased his tension in a way massages, talking, sex, relaxing music, weed, booze or vaccations never could and to be given the trust and responsibility to help his husband to reach that relief, was probably one of the most beautiful things in being Ronea’s spouse and top. Not only did he move so much lighter and softer, his eyes were bright despite the slight sleepishness and his face had a healthy colour.
No, Ronea was fine within himself, that much was clear, but Juice seemed… like a little toddler. He talked like one and he handled his spoon like one too. Could it be the meds? Filip had to think. He’d given the prescribed dose, right? Or had he?
Drops were not the same as pills and Filip moved from his porridge to check the small bottle in the diaper bag. Ronea looked strangely at him when he rose, but didn’t say anything and went back to feed Juicy who once again had dropped his spoon in the bowl.
They kept a little strip of tape on the bottle to keep track and Filip groaned when he saw the marking in comparison to the amount of medicine left.
“Mary, Mother o’ Christ…”
He’d given three times the dosis. Three bloody times. This wasn’t just a clumsy, embarressing rookie mistake, this was outrageous. Juice’s set dosis wasn’t the highest at all, so the amount he’d been given yesterday was still within the maximum dosis, in fact, it was the bloody maximum dosis and yes, the situation had been really chaotic and bad by the road, but now Filip felt like hitting something, preferably himself.
Well, at least there was a perfectly logical explanation for Juice’s sudden and extreme weariness, the struggles with moving and walking. It also explained the lack of lingering worry the lad mostly expressed the day after a huge panic attack. He was still so affected by the medicine he simply wasn’t capable of worrying at all, but he very clearly hadn’t forgotten where they’d been yesterday or even the name of the ”goggy” he’d met.
“What’s wrong, baby?”
Ronea looked at him from the porridge he tried to help Juice with and Filip sighed but smiled.
“Nothing that’s dangerous or even that worrying, actually. I’ll explain later, darlin’, but I promise ye tha’ ye can stop worrying ’bout wha’ I’m pretty sure ye’re thinking o’ righ’ now.”
This wasn’t Ronea questioning his authority, but mama bear rightfully worried about his cub and Filip walked over to kiss his cheek.
“Absolutely. Ye’ll probably whack my head when I tell ye, but I swear, darlin’, ye can realx.”
“Okay, baby. If you say so.”
Still, not doubtful, and Filip kissed him again. He really had the most amazing husband.
“Can I serve ye some coffee, since ye have yer hands full, lovey?”
“Yes, please. I think I left my brain on the pillow so I’ll need all the black magic I can swallow.”
That had Juice giggle and Ronea smiled at him.
“Do you think Yara drinks coffee, baby boy?”
”Papi, you silly!”
Juice giggled more and Filip couldn’t help but laughing too while Ronea shook his head in amused exasperation.
“I think there’s a risk of soggy cereals and poorly made tea for breakfast the rest of the week, boys. Be nice to Mama Bear or he’ll go to his pit. Please, bring me that coffee asap, baby.”
Ronea would kill him later, better come prepared.
Chapter 27: Ronea
More re-establishing of roles, even if Mama Bear is not to be messed around with.
He would’ve whacked Filip’s head had they not had their special agreement. Not that Filip would’ve held it against him. Giving Juice three times the set dosis was simply reckless and stupid and Ronea was not one to pretend otherwise.
“With all due respect, Filip Telford, that’s the kind of mistake you’re supposed to be too damn professional to even make in your sleep.”
His husband blushed and looked extremely embarressed.
”I know, lovey. I don’ know why I dinnae look properly.”
Ronea folded his arms, holding his second, half-emptied cup of coffee.
“But I do. You were too focused on the fact that Juice was latching onto me and how it affected me, to pay attention.”
“Ye’re right. I’m so sorry, Ronea.”
”I was about to freak out, thinking he was back in a real psychosis again, Filip.”
“God… I know I fucked up badly, lovey, but it wont happen again an’ I will make it up to both o’ ye, I promise.”
He knew that. Of course Filip would make it up to them, it wasn’t about that. This special agreement required a lot of work and trust and now, that trust wasn’t broken but it was a little bit nagged and in a situation where certainty and control was needed more than ever.
Juice was napping already, no wonder, and would probably be cranky when they left, even if it was to see ”goggy”. Ronea sighed and rubbed a hand over his face.
“How long until he can walk properly? I mean, more than a few steps to the car and inside the kennel?”
”A few hours, maybe.”
“You know we can’t let him nap after lunch today. He’s gonna be cranky as hell and we still don’t know how much he’s affected from the attack. Good Lord, I wish he could handle a spanking…”
“Aye, but he’s too little. Little Juice already had far too many spankings an’ we cannae make’im think we’re suddenly okay with spanking wee ones.”
“I know, I wasn’t suggesting that, Filip. Just… You think I could give him just a little bit of coffee?”
“Some caffein would work wonders, but he wont like the taste now.”
“What if I mix it with hot chocolate?”
Filip brushed Ronea’s shoulder.
“Ye tell me how to make it, darlin’. I know kitchen is yer area, but I think this is within the acceptable boundaries o’wha’ I can an’ cannae do, especially when ye’re this knackered. I fucked up with meds, so I’m gonnae try an’ unfuck this, okay.”
“That wasn’t a question, right?”
“No, ma’m, it wasn’t. Look, we have almost fortyfive minutes until we have to leave, so ye grab yer knitting or a book an’ head outside. It is wha’ it is with the meds now, so ye’re gonnae use my fuck-up to get a lil’ Ronea time before we leave.”
”Yes, sir. Sorry, I didn’t mean to be disrespectful, Filip.”
”I know, lovey. Book, knitting or iPad or napping, outside. Now.”
The temporary agreement mostly meant more work for Filip, but that didn’t mean it was easy to resettle as a sub either. Ronea went to get his needlework basket with the knitting and embroidery he’d not worked on for a while and sauntered out to the backyard and the rattan chair under the huge parasol.
Letting go of the breakfast dishes and not sitting like a hawk over Juice while he was napping, normally had been out of the question and Filip wouldn’t have dared to challenge “mama bear” on it. But they were in resettling mode and any attempt to protest or even try to negotiate when Filip went with ye’re gonnae would end up in a very non-funny kind of spanking.
They’d not had a round with this agreement since before meeting Juice and that was a very long time ago. Far too long. Usually, they made this resettling routine every three months but only for a week or so and that was quite strenuous already. Two weeks were twice as much and while balancing it with Juice’s needs, the experience was quite different this time. It wasn’t meant to “put Ronea in place” though, at least not in the way it might look like for an outsider.
Ronea adjusted the front of his pants a bit and kept on with his knitting. He’d not been allowed to come last night and to make matters worse – or better, in this case – Filip had plugged him right after, to keep his cum inside Ronea’s ass until bedtime. The loss of the plug now, along with the snug chastity and his sensitive buttocks gave him a feeling of being completely safe. The signs of Filip’s absolute love and care, of the sincerity in his vows and commitment as the head of their family, no matter if they were two or three people in it.
All Ronea had to focus on right now, was to be a good submissive husband, trustful, pliant and obedient. And at the moment, that meant remaining under the parasol until it was time to leave. Ronea put the knitting down, leaned back in the chair and closed his eyes.
Chapter 28: Juice
Humans don't pick animals. It's the animals who approve.
”Look, there she is, baby boy. Just as we promised.”
Juice barely heard and he let go of Papi’s hand to lower down on the ground. Yara was in a leash today as well and the woman holding and approaching with her was the same as yesterday.
“Good morning, Juice! Look who’s here to see you, Yara!”
The stutter was annoying, so was the weakness in his knees, but sitting down meant he was in eye level with the black pitbull. Her eyes were yellow and to others she may look a bit… wild, perhaps, but to Juice, it didn’t feel like that. She was waving her tail and when Juice started crying, she licked his face and then put her paws onto his shoulders.
Miss Gilani stood nearby with Daddy and Papi.
“She’s trained to comfort when she sees tears, Juice. You can hug her back if you want to.”
If he wanted to? He could sit with her like this the whole day. And night and tomorrow too. She was warm and smelled good for a dog, fur soft under his hands and she was so big, so beautiful, almost like a black panther. And the tears vanished into her fur.
“Y-you remember m-me, girl? S’ me, Juice, f-from yes-yesterday…”
Not that she could answer with words, but it felt like she remembered him. And she liked him. Animals didn’t lie and weren’t as difficult to read as humans. And if they bit you, the reason was a lot easier to find out.
Miss Gilani approached now, she looked pretty friendly, actually, and she squatted next to Juice and Yara.
“You look so happy to see each other, Juice.”
Juice nodded. He felt safe enough talking to Yara, but the transition from talking like a toddler earlier this morning to a grown-up or at least not a toddler took time and was pretty scary too. Miss Gilani petted Yara’s head.
“She looked sad when you left, you know. No one has picked her before and you should’ve seen how excited she got when Cecile came for her this morning. Normally, she doesn’t get out of her little yard at this time and instead she gets to see the other dogs go while she’s left alone until one of our walkers takes her out.”
“But… didn’t p-pick her…”
“Sure you did.”
He shook his head while petting the beautiful creature.
“Hu-humans d-don’t pick… Yara a-a-approved…”
Yara waved her tail and licked his face as if confirming and Juice hugged her again.
“N-no one e-else?”
“No one else what, Juice?”
“Yara n-no one else hu-human…?”
”No, Juice. If it works out well for you two working together, she will not work with any other human for that time.”
Time was a thing Juice had no good concept of now and the reassurance that Yara was his when he was here was enough. Miss Gilani nodded towards the garden.
”I think Yara would like to go for a little walk with you, Juice. How would you like that?”
“N-not good l-legs t-t-today, M-miss.”
“We have wheelchairs to borrow, Juice. Papi and Daddy can come along and Cecile brings Yara with you. Would that be nice, you think?”
“S-sounds g-good, M-miss.”
“You might see other people in the garden, and other dogs, but everyone of them are service dogs just like Yara and they wont bother each other.”
Now Papi lowered down to look at him.
“You okay with that, Juicy?”
”Y-you coming t-too?”
”Of course, baby boy. You, me and Daddy, Yara, Miss Gilani and Cecile.”
Chapter 29: Filip
Yara is helping, but healing up is difficult.
The wheelchair they’d borrowed from the facility had been abandoned in a little arbour in the garden and Juice was now messing about with Yara on the grass. He was stiff and clearly a little bit in pain still, but although he was too weak to walk yet, let alone running, he moved around on his knees, playing catch with a confidence Filip hadn’t seen in a very long time.
“C’mere, girl! C’mere, yeah, that’s it. Good girl, Yara! Stay. Stay. Catch! Good girl!”
Yara was completely focused on Juice and wasn’t rough at all, letting the lad control the game and didn’t care about Filip or Ronea or even the two staff members. She was keeping watch though, but merely noticing the surroundings without getting distracted. When Juice made a move that was a bit too sharp for his sore body, letting out a little hiss, Yara immediately stopped playing and came close to comfort the lad.
Ronea’s mumble was very low, but Filip heard him and put an arm around his husband.
“Aye, t’is quite remarkable… So strange no one’s picked her before…”
To be fair, they had, but Filip understood what Ronea meant. No one had picked Juice and only Juice before, but Yara wasn’t at all interested in anyone but the lad or, when hearing commands, the staff and especially Cecile. The fact that she didn’t focus on anyone or anything else, made Juice a lot less nervous. He didn’t look around at all except to follow the pitbull’s movements in their game.
Honestly though, Filip thought it looked a little too much for the lad but before he could intervene, Yara had slowed down by herself, clearly catching up with Juice’s needs. Miss Gilani came forward to the lad.
“I think a little break would we good for you now, Juice. How about we go to the therapy room we went to yesterday to wind down at bit? Yara is coming with us, of course.”
Juice looked at Filip and he nodded, confirming it was okay. That seemed to be good enough and Juice nodded at Miss Gilani.
Filip smiled at him, wanting to reward him for being so polite despite the worry. The pitbull felt Juice’s slight distress and came to sit next to him, nuzzling his shoulder. This was her job, after all. Sensing her human’s anxiety in whatever form it showed and make sure he wasn’t left alone to face it.
From a viewer’s prospective, Filip thought it looked like the mere fact that Yara wasn’t a human, helped Juice a great deal. His face was different when only looking at the pitbull, less apprehensive and questioning. With a little sting of sadness, Filip noted that his sweet lad even seemed more trusting with the pitbull than with his daddies. Logically, that wasn’t strange at all, of course. Juice had what could only be described as a hellish history with human relationships while it had been a dog – a pitbull, actually – who’d shown him unconditional love.
It hadn’t been quite the same with Ronea’s cat, but there were still similarities. Before the bastard Aaron had killed the poor creature, Filip had seen how Leah had been able to comfort Ronea on many occasions by simply curling up in his lap or next to him on the bed or couch. If an untrained cat had managed to lower Ronea’s stress and anxiety during that extremely difficult time, then this black pitbull surely would be great for Juice.
When Juice, with a little help from Filip, got back up on his feet he wasn’t as stiff as before but clearly tired and Ronea had to bring the wheelchair. Juice grimazed but put a hand up when Filip stepped close.
“Th-think I can… make it by… m-myself, D-daddy.”
“Careful, baby boy.”
Ronea looked a little worried when Juice slowly rose, holding onto the wheelchair for support. It was good that the lad wanted to try, but by the time he was on his feet and turned around to sit, he was flushed and panting, hands shaking and Cecile squatted down before him.
“Yeah… Yes, m-miss?”
“I can tell that you and Yara are working out great together, but she is first of all your help and it’s your needs that win out, okay? Did you notice how Yara slowed down after a while?”
“Uhm… N-no, not really, miss.”
“You don’t have to use titles with me, Juice. Cecile is fine.”
Cecile smiled and then petted Yara’s head. The pitbull had already laid her head down onto Juice’s thighs and the instructor scratched behind her ear.
“Yara spotted your weariness before you felt it, Juice, and that’s what’s so great with service dogs. They can sense their owner’s upcoming anxiety, flashback or, for those trained to work with dibetics, low blood sugar. In your case, Yara picked up that you were getting too worked up and had to slow down to not getting yourself injured.”
“Injured? But… we were just playing?”
“You were and that was fine, but then you started panting and got stiffer in your movements.”
The lad frowned.
“I… I actually didn’t notice…”
Cecile smiled again.
“And that’s what Yara’s trained to do, Juice. To spot the signs you might not catch up in time. See how she’s resting her head onto your thigh?”
“She’s not doing that to get cuddles, but to comfort you. Not that she doesn’t benefit from the cuddles too, but her focus is and should always be you and your needs.”
Juice seemed to have a little difficulty digesting that but Cecile rose now and nodded at the building.
“You’ve only been here less than an hour today, Juice, and there’s still plenty of time left before it’s time to leave. You’ll get to play outside with Yara again next time, but for now she’s showing you that it’s actually time to rest.”
The instructor was firm but kind and very calm. Juice might not want to stop playing, but even without his tops confirming he needed to, he stopped and looked at Yara. The pitbull was still resting her head onto his thigh and her paws laid in a rather protective way, one across his legs and the other around his butt on the ground, almost like a hug.
Grounding, comforting, reassuring. Juice’s no doubt aching body showed an ever so small relaxation, barely noticable, but then his face turned upset and he looked at Filip and Ronea with watering eyes.
“I… J-juice w-wants Daddy and-and-and P-papi…”
Chapter 30: Ronea
Papi can do several things at once. For example, read Winnie the Pooh aloud and think about das, dads and foster parents.
“’Shall I put my umbrella up?’ you said. ‘Yes, but wait a moment. We must be practical. The important bee to deceive is the Queen Bee. Can you see which is the Queen Bee from down there?’
‘No.’ ‘A pity. Well, now, if you walk up and down with your umbrella, saying, 'Tut-tut, it looks like rain,' I shall do what I can by singing a little Cloud Song, such as a cloud might sing. . . . Go!’ So, while you walked up and down and wondered if it would rain, Winnie-the-Pooh sang this song: How sweet to be a Cloud, floating in the Blue! Every little cloud, always sings aloud…”
The small therapy room was one of several of the same kind, Ronea had noticed when passing down the corridor and they reminded far more of those in a children’s ward than he’d expected. Age regression wasn’t the most common diagnosis, but the home maker supposed one didn’t have to need pacifiers and diapers to find comfort in bright colours and cuddly things.
They were sitting on the floor, or a mattress with several pillows and blankets, much like Juice’s cuddly corner back home, and the boy was resting in Filip’s lap with the pacifier in his mouth, Mr. Bunny tucked in his arms and Yara close.
Miss Gilani was there as well, sitting in the background and observing, taking some notes and Ronea couldn’t help but feeling just a little bit watched, as if put through an evaluation. Which, when come thinking about it, he was. Reading aloud to Juice was one of Ronea’s favourite things to do, though, so at the moment he didn’t feel too concerned about the watchful eyes. And he reminded himself quietly, that it was his baby boy who was forced to put more weakness and, for most people very humiliating coping mechanisms on display here, so this was hardly the right moment for Papi self-pitying.
Ronea kept reading, but his thoughts were swimming around quietly, not interrupting the flow, just floating like – and the comparison felt a bit cheesy to be honest – water lily pads. Juice had started crying outside, not crashing but more like slowly sinking down from the high of playing catch and he’d looked so small and lost, almost like he’d been caught doing something naughty he’d not realised was wrong. It was sad to watch but no longer surprising. It had also stopped fairly quickly.
These good things are for... other people to enjoy… not… for me.
Juice hadn’t had a binge for a very long time now and that was really good, but Ronea was well aware that every little progress made was still on quite fragile ground. Without the right people guiding and setting the rules and routine one hundred percent, Juice would trip and fall faster than saying rabbit hole and there was no wonderland at the bottom of it.
Ronea was the first to admit he wouldn’t even dare to guess what the reasonable timeline would be for a person to overcome a childhood as shitty as Juice’s, just that there was no such thing as a set timeline – or route. Most happy childhoods reminded a lot of each other, but every shitty childhood was it’s own personal little hell. Juice had never had loving arms tucking him in at night or kissing him on his way to school. He’d not had a mom packing a lunchbag for him, greeting him with a hug and snack, asking him how his day had been when coming home.
No dad had taught him how to ride a bike, soothed him when scraping his knees or taken him out for ice cream in the park. He’d never learned how it was when a bad fight, a heated argument or a spanking or any other punishment had been followed up with actual forgiveness and comfort. Fred Tully had whooped Ronea’s ass on occasion until his teens and no, it wasn’t a good way to teach a child right from wrong and Ronea sure as hell hadn’t lerned anything but how to try and keep shit hidden, but it was a different time and it hadn’t happened often.
Filip, on the other hand, had had it rougher, with Patrick Telford who unfortunately lived up to far too many Scottish – and ironically Irish – stereotypes. Ironically, Filip had muttered, since Patrick despite his given name and catholic upbringing in the fairly protestant Scotland, didn’t even like Ireland and, as much as he despised England, also had been given an English surname. Ronea had long since given up trying to become friends with his father-in-law but with all his faults counted for, Patrick Telford at least had tried to be a good father. He’d not done a very good job, but there was a difference between trying and failing and not giving a shit.
Juice had had the latter kind, according to not only his symptoms and behaviour, but his papers as well. Patrick Telford might have been a huge dick on too many occasions, but he’d also put his son to bed, held him when he’d been sick and sung to him at night. He’d wiped tears and kissed goodnight, taught how to ride a bike, drive a car and dance the jig. He’d been an impatient, often intolerant and sometimes dismissive asshole, still was, but he’d rather cut both his arms off than intentionally making his son fear him.
Orson, Tina and Nick were only some of the foster parents who’d hurt Juice, were all a whole different kind of monsters. Not animals because Ronea found that comparison unfair to the actual birds and beasts who, unlike these monsters, never would’ve treated either their own or the spawn of another creature so cruely.
The abuse had been incorporated into pretty much every part of Juice’s childhood and adolescence. Not all parts all at once in every family, but there’d never been a safe place for him and he’d never managed to turn the neglet and violence he’d experienced into a force used onto others. That, of course, was a good thing, but it had also made the boy a target.
Ronea finished the chapter, realising he’d not put his heart into the reading but Juice was already snoozing in Filip’s lap and Ronea’s husband smiled. It had been an intense morning with all the anticipation and then playing, so a nap was pretty much a given. Ronea put the book back in his bag and Miss Gilani looked pleased. Filip stroked Juice’s hair.
“S’it alrigh’ if I sit with’im here for a while?”
“Of course, Filip. I thought I could take a moment to speak with Ronea outside, if that’s alright?”
Filip and Ronea both nodded.
“That sounds good, ma’m.”
Chapter 31: Juice
"...ye know the rules ‘bout feelings, righ’?”
“Not… hiding them, Daddy?”
“An’ not be ashamed o’ them.”
“Aye, lil’ one. I’m here…”
He opened his eyes, not reckognizing the room and Papi wasn’t there.
That was unacceptable and his heart started speeding. Then, there were soft paws onto him and Juice looked at the dog, feeling rather confused.
“No, laddie, tha’s Yara, remember?”
Oh, right. Yara. Dixie had been grey and white and was probably already in doggy heaven. Daddy stroked Juice’s neck.
“Papi’s jus’ outside talking to the staff. Yara reminds ye o’ Dixie, lovey?”
“Guess so, Daddy. Both pitbulls.”
Yara was… clearly not Dixie. Dixie hadn’t kept her paws on him like this, just laid close to him on the mattress. Juice swallowed. It was a long time ago and he didn’t want to think about it. Unfortunately, Daddy did.
“Well, ye have better experiences with pitbulls than people, Juicy, tha’s for sure.”
“Not you and Papi, Daddy.”
Daddy’s sad smile sometimes was a little too sad, in Juice’s opinion, but it wasn’t as if Daddy could control that. Juice took his hand, feeling a little better now that he knew where Papi was.
“D-don’t be sad, Daddy. Please?”
Daddy kissed his crown now and the smile got a little bigger, but not happier.
“Sorry, lovey, Daddy cannae pretend tha’ well. But I’m not worried o’ anything, lil’ one an’ ye know the rules ‘bout feelings, righ’?”
“Not… hiding them, Daddy?”
“An’ not be ashamed o’ them.”
That one was tricky, to say the least, and Juice curled into Daddy. It was so comforting, having his arms around his back and Yara sitting close. It didn’t erase the shame, but it did make it, well… more bearable. Juice closed his eyes and buried his nose into Daddy’s soft sweater.
“I’m… always ashamed, Daddy.”
He took a deep breath.
“You know, that... alexi-thing?”
“Yeah. I think… Daddy, I’m so disgusted with myself. I-I know you say I shouldn’t, but… at least I… have a word…”
He felt bad now and the air hurt his lungs. Daddy tucked him closer in his arms and rocked him softly.
“Juicyboy… When I say tha’ ye shouldna feel ashamed or disgusting, tha’s not an order, lil’ one, but a reminder. Ye cannae choose wha’ ye’re feeling, laddie, anymore than I can, so ye’re not naughty or bad for feeling stuff, alrigh’? An’ sweet darlin’, t’is really good tha’ ye’re finding words, ye know.”
He got another kiss on his hair.
“I’m not telling ye wha’ to feel an’ ye’re never ever bad for having a feeling o’ any kind, Juicy. S’not like ye’re ordering’em by mail.”
Juice almost smiled a little at that.
“Guess not, Daddy.”
“Wha’ I mean is, ye’re not doing anything tha’ should make ye feel ashamed, lovey.”
“Still am though.”
“I know tha’, mo chridhe*. But ye don’ have to carry it all alone.”
Chapter 32: Filip
There's no time for rest, when Filip's husband goes off the rails...
Over the years, Filip had discovered several things showing when and how his husband was in distress. Tears, pacing, anger, avoidance and self-harm, sure, but stress baking also belonged to that category. Juice, thank heavens, slept deeply this night, having had a rather good afternoon and evening after seeing Yara. He’d not been anxious when leaving, only a little sad, but it was a lot better than that first day. Miss Gilani had spoken to Ronea to get an update on Juice’s state at home after the first visit and there’d not really been much to tell apart from how the lad had missed the dog. It was honestly not much that seemed like something out of the ordinary these days.
At home, Juice had a little snack before napping and the evening had proceeded as usual with Ronea making dinner while Filip laid puzzles with Juice and before they knew it, it was bath, bottle and bedtime. To his surprise, Filip found himself with some alone time after Juice had fallen asleep and he’d spent it doing some TLC on his two-wheeled girl while Ronea read a book and sipped on a glass of wine. Or, at least that’s what he’d been doing when Filip walked out to the garage.
After a couple of hours, Filip put the lights out, locked the garage and walked inside, musing whether or not he’d make himself a little night cap, when he stopped in his step before even locking the door behind him. He sniffed the air and then closed his eyes and leaned back onto the door.
“Oh, for fucks sake…”
Not now. Please, not bloody tonight… But no one heard Filip’s exasperated prayer, because he could smell the cardamom and vanilla, the lemon balm and strawberries like some goddamn bloodhound trained to sniff out prohibited homemaking. Normally, when his husband went off the rails like this, Filip would take a gentle approach, letting him finish what he’d started, but they had their special agreement now and this was clear rule breaking and, despite how harmless some cinnamon rolls might look like, a severe one.
Filip walked into the office slash livingroom space where he usually disciplined his husband and sat down. He needed to collect himself before entering the kitchen or his own frustration would take over.
It wasn’t whether or not Ronea had made cinnamon rolls per se, it was about the time. First of all, he’d not asked Filip for permission, which he had to when it came to any extra household activities in this special arrangement they had at the moment. Ronea hadn’t run this baking plan though Filip which, if he had, would’ve been vetoed tonight. The reason for that veto was very simple: Ronea needed to rest and baking cinnamon rolls took time, effort and put him in a bad head space, especially this close to bedtime.
This kind of rule breaking was serious, since it showed Ronea had slipped out of his permitted and momentarily restricted role, meaning Filip had not been paying enough attention and Ronea had not come to him for guidence. This required immediate and clear discipline of the non-pleasant kind. Permitted and completely, mutually agreed on, yes, but it wasn’t stress relief or playful or a simple rule breaking spanking, but one for punishment. Ronea hated it as much as he craved it and Filip was honestly disappointed with his husband this time.
It wasn’t often Ronea forgot his place, he’d chosen it after all, but when he did, it was bad and Filip opened the cabinet where he kept his discipline tools, trying not think about how fucking hot his unruly husband would look in the outfit he picked out for him.
Spanking for a rule breaking of this magnitude in this particular agreement, meant a lot of added humiliation for Ronea. All of it delivered with calm and gentleness, of course, Filip would never ever use words to humiliate his husband, he’d show him all the love and care this session allowed and once the hard parts were over, Ronea would hopefully be relaxed and lenient enough to not just accept but actively seek out the comfort he needed as much as the discipline.
When everything including the aftercare was prepared, Filip put his kutte on the hanger in the hallway and walked out to the kitchen where Ronea – and God, how Filip loved his husband, but Mary, Mother o’ Christ, sometimes he was such an impossible muppet – was running between the oven and his all but done rolls, putting whipped eggs and sprinkled sugar on them, while the dehydrator was buzzing on the countertop. Filip walked right to it and turned it off.
“Hey, why’d you do that?”
“Because ye’re done for tonight, husband.”
He spoke calmly, didn’t raise his voice, but Ronea immediately stopped right in a step and looked at him as if Filip was the crazy one.
“The hell are you talking about?”
Cursing? Really? This had gone much further than Filip had realised and it was time to put a stop to it. He looked right at his husband, sternly and without smiling.
“Ye’re done for tonight, husband. Was I not making myself clear the first time?”
Yes, it was good that the coin had dropped, but cursing while responding to an order wasn’t permitted right now and Ronea knew that better than anyone. He now looked completely lost and very ashamed, but Filip still needed to stay firm.
“Ye go upstairs an’ change into wha’ I’ve laid out on toilet seat an’ then ye come back down to me. No slacking, is tha’ clear?”
“Good. Upstairs. Now.”
Ronea all but ran out of the kitchen and Filip shook his head. Then he headed to the fridge and took out the dreaded vegetable.
Chapter 33: Ronea
"I wan’ ye to know tha’ ye’re the smartest person I know an’ tha’ I’d be lost without ye. But sometimes ye’re acting like ye lost IQ in a bad bettling."
The craving for discipline and structure, consequenses and submission, was the only thing keeping Ronea from literally running off the house now. He hated this. Hated these absolute punishment spankings almost as much as he hated disappointing Filip and he was shaking from the contradictive emotions running though him right now.
A few weeks ago, Filip would’ve sighed fondly and maybe handed out a stress relief spanking along with some household restrictions, but this was their re-establishing time and the consequense for breaking a rule, especially one as important as not getting overworked, was severe and there was no such thing as Ronea being allowed to protest or even having an opinion on the matter. Not until after the discipline. Of course, protesting wasn’t allowed otherwise either, but he had the absolute right to have an explanation for the discipline before it was handed out – unless he needed to figure it out during it, which was often necessary too – but not in this agreement.
This was about re-building trust again and by the way Ronea’s hands were shaking as he dressed in the outfit Filip had laid out, they weren’t even close to filling the quota. And the worst thing about this, was that he’d been seriously disrespectful too.
The chastity belt was soft enough to not chafe his skin, but not comfortable and the thin, pointy plug for now covered with a smooth silicon sheet, would soon only increase that feeling. He’d be figged, most certainly, and Ronea was almost proud of himself for not climbing out the window. It didn’t make it any better that, once the plug and belt was on, he got hard. That wouldn’t lead to anything good though. Sex, not to mention coming, was definitely off the table for him tonight. Naughty husbands weren’t granted cock and Ronea had been very naughty.
He put the tight lycra hotpants on, the special ones with a hole right under his entrance and they made him feel bad in a way that made the front strain obcenely. He hurried up with the black shorts that reached just a couple of inches beneathe the panties and the cotton tunic with vents on both sides that made him look very much like a sub and, on top of it, a very boyish man. When he was finally done, he was blushing and went back downstairs to his highly displeased husband.
Filip was waiting in the kitchen, reading his book and looking disturbingly calm, but when he rose his gaze, there was a small nod confirming Ronea’s appearance was acceptable. There was a potato peeler, a bowl with water and – Ronea swallowed – a generous piece of ginger on the table. Filip nodded at it.
“Sit down and peel, Ronea.”
He wanted to cry, but tears wouldn’t get him out of this. Filip wouldn’t ignore or dismiss them, but they wouldn’t change his mind about the punishment either and while it felt awful now, Ronea knew wouldn’t want it any other way. So, he sat down and peeled the ginger as he’d done enough times before to make it perfect for this purpose. He wanted to be a good husband, after all, a good, obedient and meek husband who brought pride to his spouse and their home.
When the dreadful piece was properly formed, Ronea silently handed it over for Filip.
“Thank ye, husband.”
Great. Now he was crying and the spanking hadn’t even started yet. What the hell was wrong with him today? Filip wasn’t cold or unmoved by the crying, but Ronea’s husband was a man who stuck to the rules he’d made and he helped Ronea to a comfortable position over his lap, already handing him a pillow before he removed the cover from the pointy buttplug, pierced ginger on it before coating it in a generous amount of lube. Ronea bit back a hiss when it was inserted and then firmly locked by the chastity belt.
The birch twigs rattled a little when Filip took them and Ronea swallowed because the ginger had completely made him forget to think about what he’d be spanked with this time. He made a pitiful little sound, wiping his already wet face.
“Sir? M-may I say something?”
“Aye, ye may, Ronea.”
“I just want to say that, I’m not crying to… try and get out of this, sir.”
His husband sighed and then rubbed Ronea’s shoulders softly.
“I already knew tha’, my love, but I very much appreciate yer openness.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“Ye’re welcome. Are ye steady, husband?”
“Good. No counting.”
When Filip started, Ronea already felt a little calmer. That meant calm enough to focus on the stinging ginger and birch twigs, as well as the reason why he was over his husband’s lap this time. The steady, predictable pain and position helped, they always did.
He’d been disrespectful, he’d cursed at his husband which, unless it wasn’t meant as a curse at him but only used in their normal conversations, was a big no-no. That just shouldn’t happen and in this particular re-establishing agreement, it was as good as telling Filip to go fuck himself with his Dyna’s kickstand. What on God’s green Earth had set this off?
Ronea’s husband obviously asked himself the same question, because he stopped for a moment, letting the ginger work on it’s own and rubbed Ronea’s tender backside.
“Ye’re already relaxing, Ronea, which means ye’re understanding why ye’re getting the twigs and the ginger.”
“An’ not tha’ I don’ trust ye, but I’d like to hear ye tell me.”
“I was very disrespectful, sir. First I broke a major rule of our agreement, by not asking you for permission before I started this… bread madness, and by that I showed a lack of trust in you to make the right decision as well as a disrespect for your authority, the rules I’ve freely submitted myself to and…”
The ginger burned now but the distress over what he’d done was worse and made Ronea pant a little. Filip stroked his shoulders.
“Ye’re doing well, Ronea. Breathe an’ don’ rush.”
Why, oh why was he such a sucker for Filip’s praise? Still, after all these years, just that little sign of genuine love and indulgement, even while laying bare assed across Filip’s lap on a kichen chair, trapped in chastity and with a piece of raw ginger burning his hole and the spanking probably not even halfway through. The tears and now also running nose, which granted him a tissue, felt fucking ridiculous, dripping down the kitchen floor.
He pulled the snot in, sniffling.
“And when you told me to stop, I got mouthy and… Please, sir, I’m really sorry, I don’t know what I was thinking, I feel awful.”
“So ye agree ye deserve this spanking, Ronea?”
“I don’t have to agree, sir, but yes, I do. I absolutely deserve all of it, and I’m not saying that to… make you go easier on me, sir. P-please, let me make it up to you the way you want me to, husband. That’s all I want.”
It wasn’t disrespectful to go from sir to husband at this point. It was difficult to explain how they used titles and names during spankings – and other more role defined situations –but they didn’t discuss it, they both somehow just knew when one or the other was or wasn’t disrespectful.
Without talking, Filip put the birch twigs away and removed the ginger and plug, only keeping the chastity in place. Ronea was both relieved and a little tense when the lexan paddle was rubbed lightly on his fairly red skin, preparing him for the change.
He could at least queeze his backside now without the ginger to make it unbearable and that was fortunate, since Filip meant business. This was meant as a punishment, a consequence for breaking three major rules: always obeying a direct order, always be respectful and, the most important one of the three, never ever letting work be more important than his health.
Ronea bit his teeth harder and focused on the tiles on the floor to keep still as the steady blows kept coming. He craved to be lenient, it was a need so deep-seated within him he couldn’t tell the end of it and now, as he was back in his rightfully earned place over his husband’s lap, Ronea could finally see himself clearly and fully embrace the picture. He’d allowed himself to trust his own instincts in a matter where he just knew his instincts would lead to something bad for him and instead of letting Filip help him break the spell, he’d not talked to him and that had lead to Ronea’s mind getting caught up in a bad spin none of them, least of all his hard-working husband, needed right now.
By the time Filip was done, Ronea felt like a complete and utter puddle of tears, soreness and sweat, like he’d done a serious workout – while being spanked. His husband carried him bridal style to the livingroom and placed him onto his side on the mattress. Ronea shivered when the cool cloth touched his skin but it felt so good to get rid of the sweat, getting some aloe and when Filip was done, he first removed the chastity and then his own kutte and belt and laid down to cuddle him.
“C’mere, darlin’… Get it all out, aye? I’m here, baby…”
“I’m scared, Filip…”
“Shh, I know, lovey, I know, but ye did so, so well an’ I’m here with ye an’ ye’re safe with me… Breathe slowly, aye, tha’s better, darlin’. Wha’s happening inside tha brilliant mind o’yers?”
“You don’t have to say that, baby.”
“No, but I want to, because it’s true an’ because I wan’ ye to know tha’ ye’re the smartest person I know an’ tha’ I’d be lost without ye. But sometimes ye’re acting like ye lost IQ in a bad bettling. Wha’ in the world was going on before ye turned to speed baking?”
This was the best, better than the stress relief, better than forgiveness, hell, it was better than sex. Being cradled in husband’s strong, gentle arms, listening to his soft voice and feeling how that knot Ronea hadn’t even known being there before, dissolving into nothing. He still sniffled, not yet all cried out.
“As I said, I was scared, baby. I am scared…”
“Of wha’, darlin’?”
“I don’t even know, Filip! That’s why… God…”
“Tha’ why ye opened yer own private bakery?”
Ronea let out an exhausted little laughter, wiping his eyes.
“I did, right?”
His husband kissed his hair again and let a callous finger stroke over Ronea’s heated skin.
“Tha’ enough to remind ye not to carry all the heavy shite all by yerself for a while, mo chridhe*?”
“Yeah, baby, I think so.”
He smiled at Filip and kissed his scarred cheek, feeling so much better.
“And if it’s not, please remind me again.”
Chapter 34: Juice
Sometimes, breakfast isn't the good start of the day it should be... Juice woke up with a little fever and that means he has to stay home today instead of seeing Yara. Logically, Adult Juice has no problem with that, but Little Juice's brain is taking one hell of a spin on high speed...
It was only a little fever. He wasn’t really ill, right? It was Papi who fussed over nothing and Daddy, the traitor, took him seriously.
“Please, drink your smoothie, Juice.”
“I know, Mr. Grumpy, but if you don’t get proper nourishment, you can’t see Yara.”
“Like I’m going to anyway.”
Fuck. Daddy’s stern voice. Juice felt a flush that had nothing to do with the ridiculous fever and he glared at his lover and caretaker. Yes, he glared, which didn’t exactly improve things. Daddy folded his hands on the table.
“Apologies to yer Papi, Juice. I know ye’re struggling with a lot, but ye’re still gonnae show Papi an’ me respect. Is tha’ clear?”
His didn’t sound angry though and Juice sighed.
“Yes, sir. Sorry, Daddy. Sorry, Papi.”
“Thank you, baby boy.”
Papi smiled and Daddy nodded but Juice still felt bad. Annoyed, warm and ashamed. And frustrated. He wanted Yara, needed her, couldn’t they see that? More so, he needed a spanking.
It was stupid that he couldn’t have one. He was thirtyone for Christ’s sake. He’d not let them celebrate his birthday because he’d never felt like it was a thing to celebrate, and sure, he had this so call age regression thing and he definitely felt little, but he was an adult. He could see Yara if he wanted to, he could drive. He wasn’t a prisoner.
Papi tried to keep a conversation going, but Juice found it difficult to answer without sulking and Daddy didn’t like sulking during mealtimes. No one liked sulking boys for that matter.
Juice finished his smoothie and the cup of mixed nuts but he felt jittery, it was difficult to stay still and he wondered if someone else was playing with Yara now. If she liked another boy better and chose him instead of Juice.
He looked up at Papi, who patted his cheek.
“If you’re feeling a little restless, you may go and roll on your mat, maybe stretching a bit, if you like to.”
Juice looked quickly at Daddy, who nodded.
“Okay, Papi. Thank you for the breakfast.”
Usually he’d kiss Papi, but not today. It seemed wrong, like he’d not deserved to kiss him and Juice put his glass and bowl on the countertop and went back upstairs.
The playmat was nice but when Juice sat down, slowly to not strain his joints, he didn’t feel like rolling or stretching. It was stupid. Stupid, stupid fucking… kids stuff! He felt the shame throb inside now, a mean pace sounding like that walk of penance in Game Of Thrones: Shame! Shame! Shame!
He was rude and Daddy would spank him, probably with his belt. Juice’s breath sped up and he tried to squeeze his legs tight to his chest. Yes, Daddy was angry with him, because he’d been a very, very bad boy. Rude and ungrateful and mean. Ungrateful boys need a good hiding or two, that’s what Dad Orson used to say. What if Daddy had talked to Orson and found out what a bad boy Juan really was?
Juan whimpered quietly. Of course that’s what had happened. Daddy had found Orson and they’d talked about the bratty, shitty and selfish Juan. Daddy was so angry with him, so disappointed and he’d use that thick leather belt on his bare butt. That’s what Orson said was the only thing that gave results and that one time it didn’t, he’d shaved Juan’s head and dear God, Juan didn’t want to be shaved again. It had been one of the most humiliating experiences in his life, because he’d cried and begged, fucking begged Orson to stop, but it didn’t help. Orson had only laughed and then done it again at summer’s break…
Yes, Daddy must’ve spoken to Orson, because Juan would be whipped with that belt until he blead and he’d be shaved so everyone at school could see how bad he was. And Papi, oh God, sweet Papi hated Juan now because Juan had ruined everything again and they’d give Yara to another boy, who deserved her… And Juan had forgotten Mr. Bunny at the table.
He didn’t know where he got the strenght from to rise, let alone move, but Juan ran down the stairs and into the kitchen, where Papi and Daddy still sat by the table and where was Mr. Bunny, where was Mr. Bunny…?!
Mr. Bunny had to be saved. Juan didn’t hear anything, didn’t see anything but his little stuffed friend on the windowsill and he all but sprinted from the doorway, passing the table and grabbed Mr. Bunny. He didn’t think of anything but saving his friend and his balance was poor, making him knock out something on the countertop on his way out of the kitchen, he could hear the sound of glass breaking…
Hide. They had to hide but he’d ran upstairs again, instead of out through the door and Yara – or was it Dixie, Juan couldn’t remember – wasn’t there. There was no escape now, Orson would find him, so would Mr. Cruz and Papi and Daddy would let them, because they knew now what a horrible, disgusting little half-breed Juan was. That’s why they didn’t help when the man in the alley forced himself into Juan. Because he deserved to be punished for being such a bad, bad boy… The ugliest, most selfish and pathetic little brat there was who always, always ruined everything nice in his path…
Chapter 35: Filip
Daddy takes a chance with the past...
They found Juice under his bed, dripping and shivering, and Mr. Bunny tucked under his shirt. A pungent smell of urine and sweat mixed with feces and something else that Filip could only describe as agony. This wasn’t some temper tantrum anymore. Something had clearly happened from the moment when Juice had left the table to where he went upstairs and those five minutes, tops, that he’d been alone before running down to grab his stuffed friend.
“Juice, sweet boy, you’re safe, we’re not mad at you, baby boy… Please, look at Papi, angel. We love you so much…”
No way. Ronea’s gentle Papi magic didn’t work now and neither did the Daddy tricks. Filip had tried to touch Juice’s shoulder, a big mistake that almost got him bitten and so, he and Ronea wisely kept a little physical distance now. The huge eyes under the bed were not seeing, at least not a loving Daddy and Papi. Juice’s gaze was piercing through the air, lost to a target only he could see and it made him freeze in terror.
It was a child hiding from punishment, God only knew which one the poor lad’s invaded mind relived now. Burning cuddly bunnies, punches, starvation, a belt spanking on a scrawny little lad’s bottom. Dark nights alone in a root cellar…
“Take off your tanktop.”
“He can’t see us and we can’t touch him, Filip. Maybe he can smell us?”
It was worth a try, couldn’t hurt at least and Filip removed his undershirt, Ronea his striped shirt and then he put them on the floor, moving them forward with his hand.
“Juicy, baby, take these… Mr. Bunny says it’s okay. You’re wet all over and these are dry…”
Juice only whimpered and hissed, very much like a frightened kitten, but Ronea kept talking with his softest voice.
“Juicy, angel, Papi’s little baby, my beloved boy, please, help Mr. Bunny. He’s so small and he needs a little help to dry or he’ll freeze… Please, Juicy, help Mr. Bunny so he doesn’t get a bunny cold… Just wipe your face a little, sweet boy…”
The lad didn’t really wipe, he just buried his face into the fabrics and while it didn’t break the spell, it made him a little bit more still, less frantic in his anxiety. Perhaps the scent of them actually did a difference. Ronea laid a littler closer now, but by his side to not trap him.
“You’re not a bad boy, Juice. Juan’s not a bad boy. Papi and Daddy know that and we love you. Juan Carlos Juice Ortiz is the love of our lives, sweet boy. He’s the apple of our eye, our little ray of sunshine, who deserves to be loved and cared for, no matter what. You got angry and that made you anxious and scared, but nothing’s changed, Juicy. We still love you just as much, you and Mr. Bunny are still completely safe and no one’s gonna hurt you.”
Filip watched the curled up form under the bed, who wasn’t older than four now, or maybe he was thrown between different ages again, with grown-up Juice mixed together with the panicked four-year-old and abused teen. Filip tried to recall every kind of malice people had brought upon his panicked lover and he swallowed.
“Juicyboy, please listen to Daddy for a lil’ while, aye? I don’ know exactly wha’ images ye’re seeing now, only tha’ they’re very scary an’ make ye feel extremely bad. But people who love each other, don’ hurt each other, as we’ve talked about. Tha’ means no one will do any o’ the things tha’ happened to Juan to ye again. Ye wont get beaten or spanked in a way ye don’ approve, or anything like it, lovey. No one will cut or shave yer hair against yer will again. No one will take yer possessions or hurt yer best friend. No one’s gonnae leave ye alone in the darkness or let ye starve or force themselves onto ye.”
It was horrible to count them up, but Filip didn’t know what else to do.
“The people who beat and starved ye, aren’t here. They have no power over yer life anymore, not if ye let those who love ye help kicking them out. Orson is Daddy’s an’ Papi’s sworn enemy, laddie, an’ if we ever see him, we’ll make’im pay for wha’ he did to our beloved boy.”
He closed his eyes, his mouth feeling dry now.
“An’ tha’ bastard rapist who hurt ye, who hurt Daddy’s lil’ lad, the one I love so much, Papi’s one an’ only baby boy who can never, ever be replaced… The arsehole who made Daddy’s an’ Papi’s wee lad so scared an’ sad, he cannae hurt ye anymore either, lovey. Wha’s happening now, Juicyboy, is tha’ something triggered a painful memory an’ now yer mind doesn’t know wha’s now an’ wha’s the past.”
Juice whimpered, sniffling and panting but not as hard and fast now. He sounded wornout, drained and hopelessly sad. The little lad who’d cried himself to sleep for so many nights with no one who would come and comfort him, just hold and kiss his tense, hurting body and tell him that he was perfect just the way he was. That he was special to someone, irreplacable and so loved no matter if he was naughty or well-behaved.
Minutes passed by where they were in stalemate, all three of them in different spots on the floor. Ronea’s joints were cracking and Filip’s lower back started to ache, but it didn’t matter. All that mattered now was to lead Juice back to the present, to disperse those ghosts of the past and make the lad see that that was all they were now: ghosts. And Filip silently prayed for a miracle…
Chapter 36: Ronea
The man and the boy, the present and the past...
He’d almost flinched when Filip said: an’ tha’ bastard rapist who hurt ye. Ronea had went through therapy, he’d talked about it with Filip and while Tig and Venus never mentioned it, Ronea was pretty certain they knew, probably early on. Sex didn’t trigger those memories, neither did words. The wrong kind of shallow touch did, strangely.
But he’d survived it and had his life back too. What happened that night at the St. Andrew’s cross, had been the last time, but not the first. Not really. It had been the worst, the most obvious violation of that kind, yes, but Aaron had lost respect for Ronea’s body and voice long before that, only he’d never ignored a no so blatantly.
Nagging, accusing, frowning and displeased sighs – Lord almighty, those fucking sighs – were Aaron’s way to get Ronea bending over. He’d never, not until the last time, thought about it as rape or even abuse. His no had lost it’s meaning long before that and his tight ass was, according to Aaron, Ronea’s best asset. Oh, and his mouth, as long as it wasn’t used for talking or whining. Or humming. Or breathing too loud.
Some people simply shouldn’t be allowed around any living creature other than their own kind. The sociopaths who didn’t have a sliver of empathy and harmed others as easy as breathing. They should be packed together on some island without access to boats or phones or the Internet. Ronea was very relieved he’d not had to reach thirty or forty to realise that.
Juice’s breathing was, thank God, calm now. He wasn’t asleep, just limp and silent from the exhaustion and meds. Ronea and Filip had showered him as gentle as possible, got him into a clean diaper and then his pajamas before tucking him and Mr. Bunny in between them in bed. Filip had called both Dr. Case, Dr. Knowles and the clinic to update, not that there were much to be done right now than letting Juice sleep, but Ronea knew his husband felt very anxious if he thought he’d not done all he could think of for now. Besides, Juice had been content with just Papi for a while too and that was, considering the circumstances, a small yet not unimportant comfort.
The love Ronea had for Juice… He sighed into the boy’s/man’s still stiff nape where the sweet scent of him was strong and warm. Yes, right now he was very much a boy, but Ronea hadn’t forgotten the man he truly was, not for one second.
The man he and his husband both had fallen in love with, was a bright, funny and openminded person who had an increadible capacity to live and love, despite all the hate and rejection he’d faced throughout the years. He had a kind heart, the softest laughter and the most shit-eating grin, a body to die for (and he’d heal that too) and absolutely no idea how loveable he was. And he was brave, so fucking brave. A brave man with too many secrets and too many unhealed wounds.
Ronea had always had a difficult time to, well, truly acknowledge the sexual abuse from Aaron. Addressing it in therapy had been one of the worst things he’d done, leaving him so anxious and scared he’d probably jumped off a cliff, literally, had it not been for Filip meeting up with him after every session, not to make Ronea talk about it, but simply being there, being something to hold onto in the storm of fear, grief and shame.
It had often felt like everything was showing when he’d finished a session and stepped out on the street again. He felt emotionally flayed, without protection, all bondaries dissolved and every little dirty secret in full view for everyone to see – and judge.
A man who’d let his boyfriend beat the crap out of him. Who’d not had the guts to push him away. Who’d not said no…
But he had.
You said no, Ronea.
You said no…
Filip was the first person apart from the therapist, who’d not doubted him, Ronea himself included.
I said no… I… I did say no, Filip…
I know, baby. Sweet Jesus, I know ye did, Ronea…
Dr. Knowles and Filip both believed him, despite only having his word to take for it. And at first, the truth hadn’t set him free. It just… hurt.
Chapter 37: Juice
Juan and Juice, Dixie and Yara, the moms and dads and the Daddies... And Cecile!
Dixie was warm and Juice snuggled closer, his body searching the one source of heat in the cold root cellar. Or was it the attic? Or the small guestroom? The one for unwanted guests who outstayed their welcome. How did Dixie open the door? Had Orson forgotten to lock it? Wait… this wasn’t Orson’s house… Was it… Mr. and Mrs. Dennis’? Or Nick and Tina?
Juice whimpered, tensing against the warm body. It was so hard to remember, to separate the voices, to know which darkness surrounding him, which names and faces creating it and for what reason. They always had a reason, but which one was it this time? What had he done? How bad had he been? How long would he be left here and when would he get the belt? But Nick used his fists too…
Paws now surrounded him, not hands. Soft paws, warm fur…
“Juice, baby, it’s Yara. She’s here to look after you, my love… She’s gonna protect you, baby boy… And so are Daddy and Papi.”
“Daddy an’ Papi are here, lil’ one. We’re not going anywhere, lad. We love ye so much, Juicyboy… Not gonnae let anything happen to ye…”
Then why was he here? Juice curled to a ball.
“D-don’t h-hurt me more, p-please? I-I-I’ll be g-good, I s-s-swear…”
“Juicyboy, ye’re mind’s playing tricks on ye, lovey. Look at me, lil’ one, aye? T’is Daddy an’ Papi an’ Yara. The pitbull, remember?”
Slowly, like the eyelids were rusty, Juice looked.
Fur. Black fur. Soft, warm and black fur, floppy ears, a moist nose nuzzling him. And big, brown eyes.
Dixie was grey and white and her eyes had been… more pale. This wasn’t Dixie.
This wasn’t Dixie so… where was he? Juice blinked, it wasn’t as dark anymore, but the light was a little bit sharp to his eyes.
“You remember Yara, Juicy? She’s your friend from the care centre.”
The now came back, not all at once, but in waves, washing away a little more of the flashback with every move. Juice looked at Yara, who was hugging him, yes, hugging him on the bed and… oh, it was Papi’s and Daddy’s bed! He was laying in their bed and Yara was there too! He started crying, couldn’t tell why and God, he was so tired. Papi stroked his hair and Juice sobbed.
“C-can’t go t-to the cen-t-tre t-today, P-papi…”
“Sweetheart, I know and that’s okay. You had a very rough morning, Juicy, so we decided to call Miss Gilani and ask if it was possible to bring Yara here for little while instead. And you know what, she said that since Cecile already had time scheduled for you, she could come over with Yara.”
Cecile? Juice wasn’t very good with names, but it did ring a bell. Cecile had a nice smile, right? She’d brought Yara to him at the centre… Brown, bobbed hair and freckles. Yeah, he remembered her and another piece of the puzzle that was the present fell into place. He tried to wipe his face.
“Sorry… S-sorry for…”
He didn’t really know what exactly he was sorry for, it always seemed like there was an endless list of things he had to be sorry for, but Cecilie shook her head.
“You don’t have to appologies for anything, Juice. This is my job, you know. To help people who’re sometimes too unwell to leave the house.”
She smiled now.
“That’s what’s so amazing with dogs, you know. You can get them in the car and bring them with you. Best thing, you don’t even have to carry them. It’s like medicine on legs.”
Now Juice had to smile a little as well and he cuddled Yara some more, just leaning into her body, listening to her breaths, her calm heartbeats.
Cuddles with Papi and Daddy were the best, yes, but that was because they belonged to another category than pitbulls. A long time ago Juan Carlos, who hadn’t gotten his nickname yet, had learned that animals were far more trustworthy than humans and that dogs didn’t judge by the same scale. They didn’t care about your grades, your looks or your past. They didn’t give a shit about carreers, money or success. No matter if you were the most successful CEO of a big company or a gangly teen with slipping math grades and an “attitude”, you could still be a dog’s favourite person.
Despite being a reminder of Dixie, the precense of Yara didn’t keep Juice in the memories. They floated around, yes, but didn’t stuck. The flashback was over for now and Juice’s mind could separate the time stamps again, sort them out and put them back in the right order.
Dixie was the past, Yara was the present. Juan Carlos was no longer ten or fourteen year old boy, he was thirtyone and laying in a bed, not on a mattress in the attic, or the stomped floor of a root cellar. He’d not been beaten with a belt or fists. He was Juice Ortiz, with PTSD and a whole bunch of other problems, but he wasn’t alone and he wasn’t getting punished. He had two lovers, even if he couldn’t live that part of his life now, who took care of him like he was a beloved family member.
A part of him knew that he’d probably been given anxiety meds. He felt very heavy and tired, but it was the presence of Yara that made his body and mind remember that he’d not just survived the root cellar and the attic. He was, actually, alive.
Chapter 38: Filip
Being a top can be stressful, especially when your subs are hurt.
It felt like he’d just done a marathon and Ronea looked about the same. Filip’s husband was filling the coffee brewer in a sleepwalking kind of way, performing everyday chores in the manner of someone who’d done about the exact same things in the same order for so long it happened all but automatically.
Ronea looked exhausted and Filip cleared his throat.
“Lovey, sit down for a while.”
“I’d love to, but if I do that, I’ll either fall asleep or start crying.”
He put the coffee on and looked at Filip, determined but not defiant.
“I’d rather not do either of those things right now, Filip. Not while we have company, please?”
Ronea was pleading and he shouldn’t feel the need to do that. The fact that he did, meant he was too tired to remember one of the key aspects of all the things they kept private with their relationship: that they were private.
Filip walked over and stroked his cheek with a finger.
“I’d never make ye feel exposed, lovey, an’ if ye feel ye cannae sit down for tha’ reason, then don’ sit down.”
“It’s not that I don’t trust you, Filip.”
“I know. An’ I trust ye to tell me when ye simply cannae do wha’ I ask. So, keep moving, if tha’s wha’s best righ’ now.”
He kissed Ronea’s cheek and got a tired smile in response. It was small and Filip knew there was a lot more than Juice’s nightmares behind it. Bringing up things connected to Ronea’s most painful past, even as a sort of last resort to get Juice out of the woods, wasn’t something Filip enjoyed doing.
Acknowledging the sexual part of the abuse, the rapes… As with Juice it was almost impossible to grade the different parts of Ronea’s suffering. In a way it felt very natural to put the actual rapes, the forced penetrations on top of the list of atrocities. Filip was a logical and clinical man, but when it came to this, his imagination got the better of him and the mental picture of his husband being cuffed to a St. Andrew’s cross, gagged and scared to death, helpless in every sense of the word, took over.
They’d dealt with it, mostly in the years before getting married, but healing was an ongoing and sometimes lifelong process with set-backs as well as progress. Going from a surviver to the world of the living wasn’t a highway or even a road at times. In Filip’s experience, it was more about climbing and jumping, crawling and clinging on to whatever attachment provided to keep you from falling. And sometimes, you did loose the grip and fell, if you were lucky, a short way. If not, you took a nose dive down the pits of your own personal hell.
Ronea needed a good cuddle now, but unfortunately, it was a bad time and Filip would have to wait to indulge him until later.
“I’ll go outside, if tha’s alrigh’.”
“Of course, baby. A dog is good and all, but I think five minutes without Daddy is more than enough.”
Filip smiled at that, kissed his cheek and headed to the backyard, where he’d brought Juice about twenty minutes earlier. He was laying in one of the sun chairs where he could stretch his legs out, and he had Yara stretched out over him, with her paws onto his shoulders and head resting on his chest. Weariness and slowness aside, the lad looked a lot better now and while he was almost completely focused on the pitbull in his lap, he spoke to Cecile and Dîlan.
“…g-grow quite f-fast, righ’?”
“Yes, they do.”
“S-so f-funny when th-they don’ kn-know h-how big they r-really are.”
Juice so rarely showed that big, bright smile these days, and Filip had missed it terribly. Seeing it directed towards someone else was, admittedly, a little hard, but no less beautiful. The lad still was a little feverish and he was clearly weakened from the morning’s flashback, but the presence of the pitbull had literally turned the day around and so if anyone deserved Juice’s most breathtaking smile, it was her.
Chapter 39: Ronea
Miss Gilani hits a nerve with Papi.
“You have a truly lovely home, Mr. Telford.”
“Thank you, miss. Please, say Ronea. Would you like a buckeye with your coffee?”
He’d already brought out the jar from the freezer and Miss Gilani looked almost shocked when he opened the lid.
“You make these yourself?”
“On occasion. It’s my mom’s recipe. An Ohio specialty, please have one.”
“Thank you, they look delicious.”
She took one, had a bite and smiled dreamy.
“And they are delicious too. You’re from Ohio?”
“Canton, yes, just outside of it.”
“And what brought you to California?”
Ronea smiled and nodded towards the backyard.
Then he bit his lip.
“Well, originally, it was another… person. I met Filip later.”
It felt strange to have the person in charge of Juice’s mental health sitting at their table, eating cookies and drinking coffee. Ronea put the jar on the countertop.
“Lets just say it’s not the kind of story you tell at dinner parties. I know that mine and Filip’s marriage is… odd, even for those who’re not against gay marriages, so I’ve stopped trying to explain it.”
“People can be very judgemental.”
Ronea smiled at that, his ironic one.
“Yeah, well… I guess we still have a few miles to go before men being homemakers is seen as just another way of living your life. These days, I’m not too bothered with what other might think about me and my family. I just wish Juice could adapt some of that thinking.”
“He’s got good examples to learn from.”
Now Ronea laughed a little.
“Apart from the papers and a couple of meetings, you’ve barely had a chance to get to know any of us, miss.”
“True, but I don’t have to tell you how rare it is for someone, in a relationship that’s barely around a year old, to put this amount of effort, moneywise and more importantly, on an emotional level, into a person as traumatized as Juice.”
Miss Gilani looked directly at Ronea now, folding her hands onto the table.
“It takes… a kind of strenght most people don’t possess, because they’ve never been in a situation where they needed it themselves.”
This was getting a little too far away from Ronea’s comfort zone. Miss Gilani, for one, wasn’t his therapist or anything like it, and Ronea had already dragged himself through therapy. He swallowed.
“I don’t mean to be rude, ma’m, but…”
“But this is not the right time, nor am I the right person for you to talk to about these things, Ronea.”
She gave that lovely smile again and Ronea couldn’t help but answer in kind, feeling his own slightly bashful smile forming as he blushed.
“You’re right, Dîlan. You’re not.”
Chapter 40: Juice
So much of Juice's past is poison...
“How are you feeling now, Juice?”
“Yara really helps you, doesn’t she?”
For now, the worried little voice belonging to Mr. Bunny, whispered and Juice leaned closer to the pitbull. Mr. Bunny was with him too, but with Yara present, the need to clutch him wasn’t a great. Miss Gilani was talking to Papi and then Daddy and now Cecile was sitting in one of the rattan chairs on the backporch with them, while Miss Gilani sat with Juice, Mr. Bunny and Yara by Papi’s greenhouse.
Feeling the pitbull’s presence, her steady warmth, was so comforting, but for how long would Juice be allowed to have her? His worry was noticed by her and she laid down with her paws over his lap again.
“I wish… wish she was mine…”
“She is, Juice.”
He shook his head.
“I mean, for real. She’s not really mine.”
“Well, not on paper, but a lot of people end up buying the dog.”
“Didn’t think you could buy service dogs.”
“Not the same way you buy a dog as a pet, no, but if we matches the right dog with the right person and he or she can’t afford it, we make an installment plan.”
He looked up, surprised and for once not in an unpleasant way.
“Absolutely. There’s no point in training a specific dog with a specific person, if there’s no chance for a permanent placement.”
“Not sure when I can get back to work…”
“Oh, you’re not supposed to think that far ahead right now, Juice. How about we talk a little about what happened this morning?”
Juice lowered his gaze, petting Yara’s fur.
“What wasn’t good, Juice?”
“Juice… Juan… was bad.”
“You felt like a bad person?”
“Cause I was… Juan was… bad… Papi say drink smoothie and Juan wasn’t nice…”
“Okay. Can you tell me how you weren’t nice?”
“Juan said no. Juan was… a brat.”
“Uh-huh. And what about Juice?”
“You didn’t feel like Juice was there?”
“Was there, just not… talking…”
“Okay. Was Juice thinking something?”
Juice nodded. Or Juan. He wasn’t sure.
“Was thinking stupid Juan, being a brat.”
“And what did Juan think?”
“Juan didn’t think.”
He shook his head.
“Juan’s not thinking, just… doing. That’s why he’s… bad.”
“It sounds like Juan isn’t as big as Juice. Is Juan a big boy or a little boy?”
Juan squirmed, leaning further into Yara.
“Sometimes… really little… and sometimes older…”
“Does he go to school?”
“Does he work? Like, having a grown-up job?”
“Nuh-uh. Just… home.”
“He’s working at home?”
“We’re not made of money.”
He stopped right there. This wasn’t Juan, or Juice. It sounded like a lot of voices, men and women, melting into one. He stared right ahead, the greenhouse and grass seeming fussy.
“Girls are better, because they don’t eat as much. And they’re clean. Boys are… a nuisance. Must be… kept occupied and out of trouble.”
“And how was Juan kept out of trouble?”
“Moving lawn, trimming hedges. Washing car, scrubbing bathrooms.”
“Those were your weekly duties?”
“And the dishes.”
“How old was Juan?”
“How many people lived in the house?”
“Eight. And Juan.”
“Nine people? Wow, that sounds like an awful lot of work for a thirteen-year-old, doing the dishes and scrubbing the bathrooms for nine people.”
“Kept Juan out of trouble.”
“What kind of trouble?”
Juan had been a bad boy, that much was clear. A secretive brat who was up to no good and therefor had to be kept occupied. He would be grateful later on, when he realised how much trouble he would’ve gotten himself into, had they not kept an eye on him…
Yes, he’d been bad and in risk of getting into trouble, but exactly how had Juan been bad and what kind of trouble would he’d gotten into if left to his own devices?
Tears were stuck under his eyelids and they fell when he bent down to Yara’s head.
“I don’t know… Sorry, I… I just never… figured it out…”
Chapter 41: Filip
“Are you happy?”
“We have our ups an’ downs, but as a whole, aye, we are.”
“And it shows.”
“Ye think this… the nature o’ our relationship will be a problem?”
“In what way?”
“Well… isn’t tha’ obvious? S’not exactly based on equality an’… the role Juice has in it…”
This was more difficult to talk about than he’d anticipated and Filip felt himself getting flushed. He stroked his hair back and forced himself to look at Miss Gilani. He didn’t want her to think he was ashamed of the way he lived, or in need of her approval. Nontheless, it wasn’t a nice feeling and Filip silently admitted to himself that the people he’d chosen to surround himself with and the work and acticivites he took part in allowed him to feel pretty much free from unwanted opinions. A little bubble, so to say, and while it was comfortable and necessary, perhaps Filip had avoided stepping out of it to an extent than maybe wasn’t completely healthy.
Miss Gilani, who was sipping on her second cup of coffee, put it down and looked directly at him.
“I was born in a city called Ilam, in the Kurdish part of Iran, as an only daughter to a Kurdish couple. My parents were very progressive and wanted their daughter to choose her own path in life, to follow her dreams and so, despite the risks, they encouraged me from an early age to think for myself and express my opinions. Of course, when I got older, I also learned how to come across as far less free to make sure I remained free.”
“Coming to America wasn’t easy, considering the tension in politics and the prejudices you face as a Middle-Eastern person, and as a woman, on top of that. I could never have worked the way I do here back in Ilam, Filip, and while I do miss my parents and many things with my home country, and also dislikes some things here, I’ve never regretted my choice. I’ve learnt a lot in my years here, especially from the many patients I’ve treated, and while most of our problems often are similar no matter who we are, all my patients and their loved ones, are all different. It’s not for me to judge and even if it was, I don’t see anything about your relationship that calls for me to judge it.”
Filip gave a nervous little laughter.
“Aye, but we both know t’is not exactly the norm, an’ tha’ there are parts o’ it tha’ lots o’ people would consider damaging.”
“Are you happy?”
“We have our ups an’ downs, but as a whole, aye, we are.”
“And it shows.”
Miss Gilani folded her hands on her knees and looked around the kitchen.
“You should know, Filip, that I havea great deal of respect and admiration for all three of you, not least you and your husband. The way you’re taking care of Juice, the commitment, the sacrifices you’re willing to make for him to get better, it’s… remarkable. Even with Juice’s insurance and savings, it doesn’t cover everything and that’s without counting all the emotional work.”
“We’re used to it.”
“Exactly. Your husband wouldn’t give me any details, Filip, but I’ve worked long enough in this profession to know a survivor of long-term abuse when I meet one and had a chance to talk a little, albeit not digging deep.”
Filip wasn’t sure what to say. That Ronea had been abused was something people close and even semi-close to them had known from the beginning, since the PTSD – and the scars – had given it away so often during their first years together. One one hand, it wasn’t a complete secret and on the other hand, it was to everyone Ronea hadn’t allowed close enough to see.
He fingered the two rings on his left hand.
“Our marriage… it’s… not complicated, only different. I’m in charge of all the major decisions an’ Ronea has chosen to take a step back, relying more on my judgement rather than… taking part in all o’ the decisions. Tha’s how we’ve lived for almost the entire time, an’ I know t’is strange for most people, but it suits us, Dîlan. An’ I…”
He rubbed the bands again, exhaling slowly.
“I’d never ever force anyone into this lifestyle. When we met Juice, it was… Jesus, t’is such a strange thing, tha’ we met him an’ both fell in love with him, an’ he with us… He’s not always been like this, ye know. We dinnae… commit ourselves to him because we wanted something broken to mend.”
“You’re worried people will see it like that?”
Filip threw his hands out in an exasperated gesture.
“Honestly, I don’ know wha’ I’m worried about outside Juice’s, or my husband’s health. I’m supposed to take care o’ them an’ I know my limits an’ wha’s not reasonable to expect o’ an ol’ mechanic an’ biker, but sometimes t’is jus’ really hard. The moments when Juice… when he disappears from us, when he’s back somewhere we cannae reach’im an’ he’s reliving hell all over again…”
He shook his head, realising he was crying a little, silent as it was, and he wiped his face.
“I can deal with it, for my own part. Ye know, Ronea’s suffered from PTSD since we met. Fist time we met, was at the E.R. when his then boyfriend had broken his fingers… An’ he was so… I’d never seen anyone like Ronea before. He dinnae try to pretend anything or come up with a bogus explanation, he jus’… I wanted to protect him the moment I met’im an’ it feels similar with Juice. There’s a strong, bright an’ funny man inside him somewhere, Dîlan, an’ I wan’ him back. He should be free too, ye know… He deserves a life…”
Chapter 42: Ronea
Ronea gets misread and in this situation, it's a very bad thing.
The day had seemed endless and Ronea was drained, as were Filip and Juice. Dîlan and Cecile had left with Yara after a couple of hours and Juice, thank heavens, had by then reached a mental state where he could actually accept the promise that he was going to see Yara again the day after tomorrow. The fact that he was able to tell the difference between the now and the past was a blessing on its own.
They’d babied Juice a lot the entire evening once it was only the three of them again. Partly because the boy was so tired yet not sleepy, but mostly it was a coping strategy for all of them. They’d bottle fed him, not giving any solid food at all, and potty training had been cancelled for the day. Instead, they’d changed him, redressed him into a onesie and laid down on the playmat all three of them once the company had left.
Fruitful as it had been – and it really had – the visit was still stirring up a lot of painful stuff and frankly, they needed a fucking break. In Juice’s case, that meant just laying in his Daddies’ arms with relaxing cartoons in the background, sucking on his bottle or pacifier, while being cuddled. When he was finally asleep, the boy was a lot calmer than Ronea had even dared to hope for. Filip went outside to lock the bike and car in for the night while Ronea finished up in the kitchen. He didn’t feel bad or funny or anything now, just emotionally drained and putting the china back on the shelves, wiping off the surfaces and sweeping the floor didn’t bring the same sense of satisfaction and calm as usual.
That’s why the sight of Filip coming in from the garage and walking straight to the second kitchen drawer to take out the large wooden spoon, didn’t make Ronea surprised, worried or even thinking, but relieved.
He didn’t know why his husband was going to spank him, only that there always was a reason and that one part of Ronea’s role, was to trust Filip. His husband had never spanked him without a good reason, allthough he had made some mistakes over the years, of course, but the point was, Filip Telford never did this just for the sake of it and tonight, all Ronea wanted, with all his being, was to obey and be meek. He’d just finished up preparing tomorrow’s breakfast, the dishes were done and instead of starting to think about why he’d get a spanking this time, Ronea hung the kitchen towel to dry and walked over to his husband, leaning into him.
“Please, hold me?”
It wasn’t a question, because his husband never ever used declining of physical comfort as a discipline tool and Ronea felt the solidness of Filip’s arms around him and got a small kiss on the side of his neck.
“S’not a punishment, lovey.”
Knowing when to use sir and not, was a thing they’d not even tried to make rules about, because it somehow came so natural to Ronea. And by using lovey instead of his given name, it was clear that this would be an emotional relief session although Ronea wasn’t sure why he needed it. Not that it mattered.
There was a special kind of softness to the procedure this time, when Ronea followed Filip into the livingroom and closed the door. He’d grabbed the baby monitor on the way, of course, but his mind was already focusing on the task ahead, starting to shut the rest of the world out. He wasn’t Papi now, or Mr. Telford-Tully, but Ronea. Only Ronea, a happily submissive husband who needed guidance and support. And often, that support was best given over his dominant husband’s lap.
He didn’t even look to see what kind of instrument Filip had chosen, but simply kneeled on his usual spot by the couch. Instead, he closed is eyes and just focused on his other sences. The soft pillow under his knees – he’d made it himself more than fifteen years ago – the sounds of Filip’s steps he once couldn’t tell from Aaron’s… There’d been days when every footstep was his, when every moving door handle was his doing and that time the new aftershave Filip tried out was too close to the one Aaron used…
During that time, closing his eyes willingly hadn’t been an option. When he’d knelt, not because he wanted to, but because he’d been thrown off his feet. When Aaron had whipped or spanked him, never without adding extra humiliation with the position or instrument of choise, but mostly, the words.
Bitch. Man baby. Little girl. Fag. Cumslut. Whore…
The long since dead voice that still echoed so many years later, faded away and Ronea found himself shaking in Filip’s arms. His husband was on the floor with him, holding his hands.
“Are ye about to get a flashback, baby?”
“I… I don’t know…”
He couldn’t look up now, but he could still feel it was Filip who held him. His husband kissed his forehead, nuzzling him.
“Can ye feel who I am, Ronea?”
“Filip… You’re Filip…”
“Aye. An’ who am I to ye, darlin’?”
“Tha’s righ’, lovey. Where are we?”
“Home. In our house and… and Juice is sleeping upstairs. Juice is our lover.”
“Good, very good. Ye’re doing great, Ronea. Jus’ put a hand on my chest… tha’s right, lovey. Now, follow my breath, aye? I’ve got ye, mo leannan*.”
“I’m not tryting to… get out of…”
He whimpered now, truly whimpered and wasn’t prepared for how pitiful it sounded. He balled his fists, his whole body tensing and he hated how he just couldn’t be meek.
“Ronea, lovey, jus’ breathe, please. Ye’ve not done anything wrong, not broken a rule or disappointed me in any way, a thasgaidh**. I can see ye’re scared o’ something but ye don’ ever need to be afraid o’ me, lovey. Fear s’not respect, remember?”
“I’m not trying to get out of it… I promise… I-I’ll be good.”
“Ronea, who am I? Look at me, darlin’. Who am I?”
He couldn’t unclench his fists, but his knuckles were moved and he could feel skin, stubbled skin against them. Then the course beard and… scars. When Ronea opened his eyes, he couldn’t see for the tears and he buried his face onto Filip’s shoulder, shaking.
“F-filip. You’re Filip…”
“Tha’s righ’, my love. I’m Filip Telford, ye’re Ronea Telford-Tully an’ we’ve been married for over twenty years. We’re a domestic discipline couple, an’ ye’ve promised to obey me, aye?”
“Do ye recall wha’ I promised?”
He did, but couldn’t really form thoughts now, so he just kept crying and Filip stroked his back.
“I promised to protect ye, lovey. From harm from others, yerself or myself. Ye’re not obliged to obey me, if I fail to keep my part o’ the deal, Ronea. I thought ye needed an emotional relief spanking, but I clearly misread ye an’ I’m jus’ insanely relieved I dinnae proceed before I realised tha’.”
“But… I do need it, Filip.”
“No, Ronea. Wha’ ye need now is a hug. An’ so do I…”
They remained like that, just holding each other while Ronea cried. Normally, he’d need a spanking to break like this and the whole situation felt very strange, like someone had suddenly cut a hole in their tightly weaved routine. It was scary and uncomfortable and Ronea clutched Filip’s clothes to the point where he dug his nails into his skin.
“I’m here, lovey. Sweet, sweet Ronea, I’m here… I’m not Aaron, lovey. I’m not Aaron.”
“I said no, Filip… I said no, right?”
“Ye did, Ronea. Ye said no, I know ye did.”
“I said no…”
“Ye’re heading into a flashback, lovey… Remember who I am, where we are…”
“Filip… At home…”
“Aye, I’m Filip an’ we’re home an’ ye’ve not met Aaron in more than twenty years, darlin’, because he’s dead.”
“Tha’s righ’, husband. He’s dead an’ cannae hurt ye anymore… ”
Filip kept talking, words flowing so softly, touches protective and ever so slowly, the now returned. And Ronea didn’t know if he was crying out of fear or relief. Fear of being on the doorstep on the worst of his flashbacks, or relieved his husband had pulled him out of it before it was too late.
*my sweetheart/my beloved
**my darling/my dear
Chapter 43: Juice
"Who hurt you, Papi?"
"You shouldn’t think about that, baby boy."
“Fear not this night, you will not go astray. Though shadows fall, still the stars find their way. Awaken from a quiet sleep, hear the whispering of the wind. Awaken as the silence grows, in a solitude of the night… “
In his sleep, he knew the voice. There was only one voice connected to this… this song. Juice moved a little, unconsciously closer to it.
“Darkness spreads throughout the land and your weary eyes open silently. Sunsets have forsaken all, the most far off horizons… Nightmares come when shadows grow, eyes close and heartbeats slow.”
His sleeping mind knew this man and his body reacted to the sound of his voice. He wanted to come closer, to feel more of the warmth. There was nothing cold, hard or, lonely about this.
“Fear not this night, you will not go astray. Though shadows fall, still the stars find their way. And you can always be strong, lift your voice with the first light of dawn… Dawn's just a heartbeat away… Hope's just a sunrise away…“
He wasn’t dreaming, he could feel it was Papi. The broken skin under his fingers was all Papi’s, the scars and partly knobbly surface…
Who hurt you, Papi?
You shouldn’t think about that, baby boy.
He needed to hold onto his Papi, to feel it was really him. Papi had survived, he’d made it out… Juice whimpered.
“Right here, baby boy. Papi’s right here with you.”
“Never, my little love. Go back to sleep, sweetheart… Papi loves you, just rest, angel…”
“Love you t-too…”
It felt like Papi was sighing, but the weariness was stronger now and before he could feel the tears on his hair, Juice had fallen back to sleep.
When he woke up, Papi was sleeping heavily and Juice turned away from his chest to look at Daddy, who smiled at him.
“Good morning, lil’ one.”
He looked at Papi again, then back to Daddy.
“Aye, he is. We should let’im sleep for now.”
“We see Yara today, Daddy?”
“Aye, we are, in a few hours.”
Daddy now stroked Juice’s cheek.
“Ye had a rough day yesterday, Juicy. Especially in the morning.”
He kind of remembered that, but not too clearly. Daddy kissed Papi’s hair.
“Papi had it a wee bit rough too, lovey. We gotta be extra gentle with ye an’ him today.”
“Juice can be gentle, Daddy.”
“I know tha’, lil’ one. I know ye’re gentle with Papi. But can ye be gentle with both Big an’ Lil’ Juice too?”
“Papi’s gonna feel better then, Daddy?”
Daddy sighed but smiled.
“Aye, laddie. Papi’s gonnae feel much better if his wee lad is nice an’ gentle with himself.”
Well, if it helped Papi… Juice nodded.
“Okay, Daddy. Juice be gentle.”
He then moved a little and took his pacifier out.
“Juice is wet, Daddy.”
“Then lets go change ye, aye?”
“Sounds good, Daddy.”
Without waking up Papi, they left the bed and Juice realised he was more steady on his feet than usually after this long sleep. He could tell he’d been sleeping longer than usual and that often meant he felt a bit wobbly. Mr. Bunny, of course, followed to the bathroom and Juice held him while Daddy removed the diaper.
“Bou’ wha’, Juicy?”
“Cried in Juice’s hair…”
Daddy stopped for a moment before reaching for the wipes and then started cleaning him. Juice sucked on his pacifier.
“Juice make Papi happy again, Daddy?”
“Ye always make him happy, lovey.”
“Papi doesn’t cry if he’s happy.”
“Well… cannae argue with ye on tha’ one, lovey. Lift yer hips, please.”
“Or if… if you spank him, right, Daddy?”
Daddy smiled now.
“Ye both do, lil’ one. Sometimes Papi needs a good cry an’ if I can help’im with tha’, I will.”
“Juice… Juice thinks Papi needs… needs to b-be spoiled, Daddy.”
Chapter 44: Filip
Juice is having a better morning and totally wraps Daddy around his little finger.
Preparing anything meant to be eaten, was a rare thing and Filip had to admit he was nervous. Not that he would actually cook anything, no bloody way, but to sneak back into the bedroom to turn off Ronea’s alarm and grab some clothes felt ridiculously naughty and it didn’t help that Juice, that impossibly sweet lad, giggled quietly outside the door.
He seemed really well today and while Filip suspected it had a lot to do with the fact that he’d seen Yara, it was a very welcome sight. Yesterday had been rough though, on all of them, but especially Juice and it was quite surprising to see him so alert the morning after. Usually, he was quiet and exhausted this close to a emotional breakdown like that.
As they snuck down to the kitchen, Juice held Mr. Bunny in one of the stuffed arms, instead of squeezing him tightly and that, Filip guessed, was a good sign. The lad felt safe now, as he looked around the kitchen, almost bouncing a little and Filip had to step in.
“Juicyboy, why don’ ye bring yer mat over here an’ lay down rolling a bit, aye?”
“Aye, an’ righ’ now, Daddy says ye’ll help’im by rolling some o’ tha’ energy off on the mat.”
He didn’t speak too firmly, just calm and clear and the lad stopped bouncing and nodded.
He smiled to assure that he wasn’t scolding Juice, something that had become necessary ever since the breakdown and even more so now that he was Little. Being Little didn’t mean only bad things, though. Filip looked at Juice rolling his still sore back on the playmat and how he held his stuffed friend in his arms.
It looked carefree and relaxed, natural even, or maybe that was because Filip was so used to this Little side now. Of course he longed for the lad to “grow up” again, but it had to come naturally and in a gentle and allowing way. They had to keep remining themselves to treat this age-regression as any other mental illness. It wasn’t a choice, wasn’t weakness and wasn’t about avoiding problems as much as it was a way of trying to face them without shattering.
Of course, had Filip not witnessed Juice’s breakdown first hand, it might have come out as manipulative and avoiding, but the fact was that Juice had tried immensely hard to express himself when he really couldn’t, to keep a smile up when he had no reason to and once he started to come closer to his adult side again, it would probably feel horribly embarressing to him. But this was a mental disorder, it was PTSD just as much as Ronea’s cuttings and flashbacks, the only difference was the source of the evil and the tools used to fight them.
Filip took out cups, plates and a tray, checked the opening hours for the bakery and then walked over to Juice.
“Are ye sure ye’re up for a ride to the bakery, lad?”
“S’not far, is it, Daddy?”
“Five minutes, tops, but ye’ve not been riding for a long time.”
“Can’t we take Papi’s car?”
“Aye, we could, but…”
But they really didn’t borrow each others vehicles without permission. And Ronea loved his car. Filip looked at Juice.
“Ye know Papi’s gonnae get furious an’ make me sleep in the garage for a month if anything happens to his car, righ’?”
Juice gave an innocent-but-not-at-all-innocent grin.
“But you’re a mechanic, Daddy. And you could always buy flowers…?”
Chapter 45: Ronea
Papi gets a surprise and I'm self-indulging with some tooth rotting fluff... Sorry, not sorry!
Breakfast in bed always sounded like a very cozy idea on paper, but in reality, it usually meant coffee stains and bred crumbles in the sheets, awkward movements to keep the tray stable and, not to mention, the coffee pot left downstairs so you had to move your ass for a second cup anyway. But there were exceptions, and not even the fact that Filip so blatantly had ignored the meal plan – and the fact that food wasn’t his area to make decisions about – could upset Ronea this morning.
Filip put the tray on the bedside table with a slightly apologetic smile.
“Juice talked me into it…”
Ronea rose his eyebrows.
“Really? Really, Filip Telford, that’s your plan? Blaming your boy?”
“B-but we didn’t break the rule, Papi. Right, Daddy?”
Juice looked so cute this morning, but he tugged a little at Filip’s sleeve and Ronea’s husband cleared his throat.
“Uhm, technically, lovey, Juice actually made the coffee. An’ set the tray. I just… picked up the rest.”
“And the flowers, Daddy.”
Ronea just looked at Filip.
Well, his husband apparantly was crazy today and Ronea almost tipped the tray when Filip picked up the bouquet he’d been hiding behind the bedside table.
“Uh… So, uhm… Here ye go, lovey.”
“Holy fucking shit, Filip Telford…”
Now Juice giggled and Ronea just shook his head at the madness, not even realising he’d been cursing at his husband. Twentyfive yellow Doris Day roses. This was beyond mad, it was…
“S’your favourite, right, Papi?”
Yes. Yes, it was. Ronea inhaled the lovely scent and then looked up at his husband again.
“If we were a different couple I might ask what kind of mischief you’ve been up to. Is my kitchen safe?”
“Safe an’ sound, darlin’.”
“Huh… So… my kitchen’s not of fire, my baby hasn’t a buckle, it’s not our anniversery and not my birthday…”
He’d counted on his fingers and his husband blushed.
“Actually, it was Juicy’s idea…”
“Wha'? It was!”
Juice was pouting a little now and Ronea didn’t know what to think. Filip cleared his throat.
“Well, aye, t’was Juicy’s idea ‘cause he thought his Papi needed to be spoiled an’ I jus’ happened to agree because, ye know…”
Juice smiled and rolled his eyes, almost like he would’ve done before the downward spiral had started for real.
“Because you’re the best husband and Papi ever, and we love you. Look, we brought croissants!”
Ronea swallowed. This was so sweet, so unexpected, all of it and especially Juice’s ability to express it like an adult would and Filip’s clear weakness for it, that made him dare to step over Ronea’s breakfast plans like this. Twentyfive Doris Day roses and freshly baked croissants from his favourite bakery… He cleared his throat.
“Put the tray away, please.”
There was a moment where his husband and lover looked surprised, as if thinking they’d done something wrong, but Filip obliged and when the pastries, coffee and flowers were on a safe distance, Ronea pulled his boys into a hug, kissing their necks where he could reach.
“You two… you’re my favourite people in the entire world…”
He nuzzled them again, Lord almighty, how he loved his little family.
“Please, tell me we don’t have to rush with this?”
“Don’ worry, lovey. We have plenty o’ time to get crumbles in bed.”
Ronea laughed at that and looked at the roses again, then his husband and then his baby boy who looked excited and happy, which was a sight for sore eyes if ever there was one. Ronea patted the bed.
“Not a chance you two are sitting on chairs or the floor. Get up here, you muppets.”
Chapter 46: Juice
Juice has a session with Dilan where they keep exploring alexithymia and his non-existing sense of selfworth.
“Good work, Juice. And Yara.”
“Good girl, Yara.”
He loved her. There was no other word for it, the way Juice felt when the black pitbull sat down beside him on the floor. Dilan was with them but Daddy and Papi were outside. It felt okay, actually. Not completely safe, but definitely better than he’d felt without the dog. Dilan sat crosslegged on the floor too, on a safe distance.
“I heard you gave Papi breakfast in bed today.”
“You liked doing that, right?”
“Is it a good thing, or a bad thing to do something nice for somone?”
Juice giggled a little. Silly question.
“Good, of course.”
“Yes. Can you think of more good things you’re doing in a day?”
“Uhm… Being happy?“
“Okay. Lets write that down, okay?”
Dilan picked up a big piece of paper from a stack on a little wagon next to her. She put it on the floor along with a package of crayons.
It really didn’t matter, it was just a crayon and Juice snuggled closer to Yara. Dilan wrote breakfast in bed for Papi and being happy on it like a list.
“That’s two things, Juice. What else can you think of?”
“Being polite? Okay, that’s good. Anything else?”
He actually came up with several things after thinking about it. Finishing meals, not yelling, not cursing, not walking over newly mopped floors with dirty feet. Juice almost felt a small pinch of pride obout it when Dilan put the crayon down.
“Good work, Juice. Now, I’m seeing something quite interesting with this list.”
She held it up for him to see it better.
“All the things you counted up here, are good things you’re doing for others.”
Of course they were. Dilan was weird. She held out the box of crayons again.
“Lets pick another color. This time, I’d like you to choose one you really like.”
Sure, he could do that. Juice took the box and picked out a green one.
“You like green?”
“Yeah. S’like m-my room.”
“In the apartment or in the house?”
He handed over the crayon and leaned further into Yara. Mr. Bunny was with them too and Juice held him a little harder in his arms. Dilan smiled.
“Now, we’re going to think about good things that you’re doing just for you. Not for Daddy or Papi or anyone here at the centre or on your job. Just you.”
He really didn’t know what that okay meant, he just said it, like he’d nodded, agreed or just stayed silent so many times when someone made a suggestion or gave an order.
Do you understand?
Yes, sir. Yes, ma’m. Yes.
There was never a real question there, was it? Just an order to obey, even if he didn’t know why or how. He swallowed and felt Yara coming closer. It helped, her warm weight, the solidness of her kept him steady. Mr. Bunny was whining.
It’s a trick, Juan. Sh-she’s g-gonna f-find out h-how s-s-selfish w-we are…
“It looks and sounds like it’s a very scary thing for you to think about. How about we take a step back. Stop thinking about it for now and take a deep breath. Let Yara guide you.”
In. Out. Fur. Paws.
It hurt at first, but it got easier. The tension was there, but not crippling this time and the sweat didn’t break out. Yara was close, in fact, she was holding him now, her paws almost humanlike around his neck.
In. Out. Fur. Paws.
She was there, he wasn’t alone.
He wasn’t there, he was here. Mr. Bunny was still shaking but didn’t whine now. Just shivered.
“Juice? Can you hear me?”
He was whispering, but he heard her and could answer. Yara still hugged him, Mr. Bunny was safe between them too, his breathing had slowed down.
In. Out. Fur. Paws.
“It looks to me as you feel extremely uncomfortable thinking about good things solely for yourself, Juice. Is that right?”
He nodded. Couldn’t speak, but she was right. It felt like he was standing on the edge of a cliff. Neither Juan nor Juice deserved being so spoiled. Not when Daddy and Papi got hurt from it. Some day he should pay them back, every single cent, but the time and effort, all the hardship they’d suffered because of him, that he could never erase. Mr. Bunny sniffled.
Don’t wanna be b-burned again, Juan. It h-h-hurts!
But he couldn’t promise his friend it wouldn’t happen and Mr. Bunny kept shaking even as Yara protected them both. They were in the room, but also not and Juice just gave up and fell apart against the only source of comfort he could still reckognize.
Chapter 47: Filip
Daddy is contemplating again, this time it's 2nd person pov, reflecting over his role with both his partners while holding his lad after the therapy.
Filip (present day)
In a way, it’s like clockwork now. Comforting someone who’s not really there. In some cases, Ronea is the best person to comfort your lad, but right now, Juice needs his Daddy. He needs you and so you give it to him, give yourself to him with all your being, not because you’re a selfless person giving your life for others, but because your need to help is as great as his need to be helped.
You’re rocking this grown-up man in your arms like he’s a wee bairn, hoping you’re providing the strenght, the safety he’s so desperate for. You’re using the knowledge your life with Ronea has given you, while also trying not to compare your lover and husband.
It’s difficult sometimes, especially when Juice is loosing another fight against his memories and his pain takes him to a place where you can’t follow. You’ve fought the same kind of battle with Ronea’s demons for twentyfour years now and while there are mostly small skirmishes these days, compared to the dragged out battles they used to be, they’re still hurting you and you have to remind yourself that you’re not useless for not being able to stop them entirely.
You’re a strange man, Filip, Venus used to say in the past, and that came from the one who shared bed and laundry basket with Tig. Only she didn’t refer to sexual preferences or constant sarcasms. She was talking about your need to protect Ronea in every way possible. And since Juice entered your life, you’ve come to realise that maybe your need says more about you than your husband.
One time, you actually feared that you might want Ronea weak. That having him afraid and depending on you so much was something you thrived from, like some even more twisted form of Münchausen by proxy. That maybe he wasn’t that much different from Aaron after all, wanting someone weak to feel needed and in control.
Unfortunately, you didn’t share your worries with Ronea, but started to make distance instead. You’d already been married for eleven years by then and your inability to open up to him about your concerns, lead to a long, painful time for both of you. It’s not a good memory at all, but it’s useful and you’re diving into it as Juice is finally drifting off to sleep in your arms.
You were thirtynine, Ronea thirtyfive and what made the whole matter worse, was that he actually had a good period. It was autumn and your husband had a lot of energy, more than you’d ever seen him with, and it was the good kind of it, not the nervous, restless kind. He took good care of himself, hadn’t injured himself or had a panic attack or flashback in over two months and you remember he was bloody glowing with his garden work, his weekly workouts down the gym and that he met friends regularly.
In hindsight, his strenght had risen so slowly and steadily over such a long time, you’d simply not noticed it enough to realise your roles were shifting. Aaron hadn’t come up in conversation that much for a while, but that autumn, it was as if he’d never existed. I should’ve made you happy or at least fucking relieved, but humans are creatures of habit and when you no longer had to comfort your husband on daily or even weekly basis, you felt lost. Lost and needless and as you’ve always been so aware of your thoughts and feelings, you felt shame.
Shame for what seemed to be a wish for a weaker husband. Did you secretly want him to suffer? Was that why you’d married him? For needing to be the useful person to someone? Did you actually want Ronea to be weak and sad, just so you could feel good for comforting and protecting him? Did you even, God forbid, unconsciously make him less strong and independent than he actually was? Were you just another, nicer version of Aaron?
That fear became gravel in your clockwork and it started to work less and less well. You withdrew yourself a bit, left more decisions to Ronea, didn’t spank him as often and even, which makes you cringe just thinking of it, stayed away from home more.
In your mind, you were giving him space and keeping yourself from hurting him. You still felt like shit, even more than before, but you told yourself Ronea wanted it, despite not asking him or even saying a word. When his interest in sex decreased by the second week of this madness, you were too thick to realise it was a reaction to your withdrawal and interpreted it as a sign of how you still weren’t giving him enough space. That you were still trying to make him feel weak. And the worst thing about it, was that you were so trapped in your mindset, so certain that you were right and determined to save your husband from what you figured was your unhealthy need for control, that you completely forgot to listen to him.
Your fucked up bubble bursted one night when you came home from work and wasn’t met with a kiss and dinner, but a dark, empty house and a note.
I’m staying with Venus for a while. Dinner’s in the fridge. Love you/Ronea
To say you were shocked, actually isn’t an exaggeration. Ronea never left notes. He called, maybe texted if he couldn’t get hold on you, and he most certainly didn’t change plans like that. It just didn’t happen.
Finally, you paused for real. This completely non-Ronea thing made you sit down at the table, not to eat, but to think, as if you’d just gotten your first cup of coffee in a morning after a hard party night. The fog you’d ended up in started to clear and you started laughing, not because you were happy, but for realising what a complete and utter eejit you were. You were laughing, then crying, still laughing almost hysterically over your kitchen table, almost considering slamming your stupid head into it, before remembering how much of a hypocrite that would make you.
Within two minutes you were out of the house and on your bike, rushing to Venus’ place and she barely had time to open the door before you rushed in, finding Ronea with a cup of coffee and red-rimmed eyes by the telly. You stopped, pacing a bit and looked at him.
“Lovey, I… I donno wha’ I was thinking, I’m… Christ, I’m such an eejit!”
You went to the couch, wanting to just throw yourself in his arms, but the coffee stopped you and instead you started crying again.
It should be you comforting him, letting him scold you or whatever he needed, but instead you were the one weeping in his arms. He held you and your incoherent words spilled all over, until they made him anxious and he got tense.
“Filip, I… Please, stop! I can’t… I don’t understand. I don’t understand you and you’re scaring me!”
That made you get some of your shit together, at least enough to calm down and your confused, scared and hurt husband looked at you with the kind of worry you’d promised to protect him from. He was so sad, eyes just crushing under it and he swallowed and looked away.
“Is… Do you wanna leave me, Filip? You want a divorce?”
The full entity of what you put him through for the last weeks is something that will give you nightmares for years to come. But at that point, at the couch, you just made a pitiful whimper and pulled him into your arms. You weeped into his neck, clutched his clothes and your words weren’t enough but they were all you had.
“No, no, Ronea… No, I don’… Never, lovey. Never! This is… Fuck, I never thought you’d… I’m so sorry, Ronea. Jesus, I’m so fucking sorry…”
“What did I do, Filip?”
“Nothing, baby. Ye’ve done absolutely nothing wrong, t’is me who’ve jus’… been a complete eejit. I’ll tell ye all about it…”
“You… You’ve met someone…?”
“No! Jesus fucking Christ, no, I’ve not… been cheating on ye, baby, an’ I’ve not met someone else an’ I don’ bloody wan’ a divorce. I love ye more than anything, Ronea, I’m jus’ a fucking moron who dinnae talk to ye.”
“So… you’re not angry with me or…?”
“No, no, not at all. But ye should be angry with me, because I jus’ put ye through hell an’ I had my head so far up my arse I dinnae realise it until I came home.”
Ronea sniffled, now a little bit less tense.
“Okay… Can… Can you please tell me what’s going on then?”
Ronea (35 y o)
The last weeks you’ve felt like you’re slowly fading away. He’s not spanking you, not fucking you and when he gives you an order, it’s with a shrug, as if it doesn’t matter to him whether you’ll obey or not. You’re usually pretty good with communication, but this behavior is both new and scary and your husband sometimes looks at you like he’s seeing something he’s… appalled by.
You’re trying to bring it up at first, but he’s not listening because his answers are vague and lack the usual sternness, like he’s trying to avoid the subject and first it’s strange, then annoying and finally downright terrifying.
He’s coming home later than usual, stays away a lot more and when you’re asking for permission to do something out of your usual schedule, he seems uncomfortable and annoyed. You feel like you’re bothering him with petty things that used to be really important and when he’s clearly not open to conversation, you start to feel miserable. You’re scared, only not realising it, and neither do you reckognise the feelings of worry and claustrophobia you thought had been buried with Aaron.
You’re starting to think that sure, Filip loves you, but maybe not as he used to. He’s not touching you, or looking at or talking to you like before and first you try to give it time, reminding yourself about your own difficulties and that everyone deals with stuff differently. The problem is, your husband’s withdrawal is too subtle at first and when you’re finally starting to worry, you’re already in deep waters and even if you weren’t so far from shore, you still wouldn’t know which spot on the beach to try and reach.
It’s an oxymoron, but it hurts to not being spanked anymore and you miss it more than sex. Your safe spot, the focal point you can always rely on when your mind is going downhill, is gone and replaced with alonetime. And your husband clearly expects you to be strong, so you’re trying to be. But when he’s leaving for work, you’re still crying over the breakfast dishes.
Right now, maybe you should be yelling at him, pushing him away and demanding an explanation, but you’re touchstarved and you’re both crying. Filip is cradling your face between his hands, leaning your foreheads together and there are still fresh tears coming down his scarred cheeks.
“Lovey, I… I’ve misread ye an’ I was too wrapped up in myself to realise tha’. S’not about ye, Ronea, s’about me. I thought I was… grinding ye down.”
You’re perplexed. This wasn’t what you expected. At all. You’re still in his arms on the couch and you look up at him with your own soaked eyes. Filip looks so miserable, but you’re not seeing any disgust or even distance in his eyes now. He has his normal gaze, he’s seeing you and that alone makes you calm enough to wanna listen. You cuddle into his chest, fingers swirled together.
“Please, baby, just tell me what’s going on. Everything, please?”
He does. It takes time and it’s difficult, but you’re finally getting to know what’s been going on and it baffles you. When Filip is finally done, you feel a ton lighter. You’re still angry, yes, and very unstable after these long, gruesome weeks, but your idiot husband hasn’t stopped loving you one bit, quite the opposite. Angry or not, you love him to death and it feels so, so good to be cradled in his arms again.
This is where you feel strong.
Filip (present day)
You’re a strange man, you know that, but it doesn’t mean you’re wrong or bad. You don’t wish for your loved ones to suffer and you’re not longing for the moments when their pain makes them fall apart in your arms. You want to heal them, that’s it.
Where they see weakness, you see the strenght it takes to show vulnerability. Where your husband saw guilt, you saw survival and when he felt ashamed, you were bursting with pride. He’s your hero, your Frodo carrying the ring and you’re his Sam, carrying him when he’s crushed under the burden you simply can’t imagine, only accept.
When your lover is crumbling from the shame and fear his terrifying memories have installed within him, you want to collect the shatters like treasures, not to be kept, but to be rebuilt again and again and again until they start falling naturally into place without your help. Until he can see enough of what you see in him, to stop hating himself.
This, holding this strong yet shattered man in your arms, would not have been possible without Ronea. His trust in you makes you strong, gives you purpose and pride. You’re just as lost without him as he would be without you. Without the fundament of your relationship, neither of you would’ve been right for Juice. You’re no longer the other half of each other, but the other third of a trio, completing each other in ways you may not always like, but that’s the truth you have to work with.
Those saying that you can walk away, that it’s just a choice, don’t understand the concept of choice at all. You can’t grasp the idea of entering a relationship without the intention of keeping your eyes fully opened to all of it and becoming something more together with this person than you are on your own. A relationship means sacrifices for everyone involved and that’s why your husband and lover both make you stand in awe so often.
Because they could’ve shut you out. They could’ve walked away, slammed the door and refused you entering. They could’ve spared themselves the discomfort and extreme vulnerability of opening up to someone who hasn’t lived through anything even close to their nightmares, but they didn’t.
You’re not their knight in shining armour, you’re their Samwise Gamgi. You can’t carry their burdens for them because you simply lack the ability to do that. So no, they can’t lay down their memories, their nightmares and fears for you to pick up for a while, but like Sam carried Frodo, you can carry them.
So you’re sitting with Juice in your arms in the therapy room after his session, not to pretend that you can actually take on his burden, because that’s not possible. But you’re his safe spot, just as you are Ronea’s. The resting place where they can let their fists unclench, their sore feet slow down, their eyes stop darting all over for threats and their tightened muscles prepared for fights and flights relax.
You’re not their saviour or healer, just a man who loves and is deeply in love with them. It’s not the burden of dealing with their pain that threatens to consume you, but the thought of loosing them to the darkness. Because they’re both, with or without the pain they carry, the joy and pride of your life.
Chapter 48: Ronea
Reflections of a Papi <3
It was one thing to know about the ups and downs, the chaos and sticky webb of fears, and a whole other to detangle and sort them out. Ronea silently watched Juice and Filip, who were laying a puzzle together now with Yara close to Juice’s side and Dîlan handling the conversation in her warm, affable voice. It felt pretty good to just be a bystander right now, sipping on some tea – the staff here was amazing with that kind of small and welcoming gestures – and pretending to read a book.
Giving Juice time to resettle after therapy was important, hell, that had been the truth with Ronea too twenty plus years ago. The time with Tara Knowles was one of the most difficult and gruesome things he’d voluntarily headed into and it had taken several of them before he’d even been able to acknowledge that what Aaron had done to him wasn’t a momentarily loss of control the man couldn’t really help but, in fact, the exact opposite. After one of those occasions in Tara Knowles’ office, he’d felt like he’d been skinned alive only without the physical pain.
His own way of resettling, to get back into his protectioning skin again, had been to drive off somewhere quiet for a while, just to collect himself. Filip soon realised, and more importantly, accepted that it was necessary and didn’t disturb. Not that it was easy for him either, having to just wait and trust Ronea not to hurt himself in the aftermath of some seriously painful talking. But he did and, he showed that trust and respect which Ronea had needed so badly.
Juice’s needs after therapy were different though. Ronea watched him with the puzzle. The boy was focused on it, didn’t look around like he’d once had to keep track on everyone, but he stayed close to Yara and it seemed as if just leaning into her a little every now and then, helped a lot. Breaking professional secrecy wasn’t necessary in order to understand at least some of how the sessions had turned out. Juice had opened up, in fact, he’d done so in every session and it showed from the amount of weariness and general look of being at lost afterwards.
Ronea took another sip of the tea, recalling somewhat amused how Filip had turned him British in this one and only area, and kept looking over the scene, like a silent guardian. It still felt a bit strange sometimes, being someone’s top. It felt right, one hundred percent so, but yeah, strange. Discovering, indulging and, more importantly, developing this top side with Juice felt ridiculously natural to Ronea, while it had also fucked with his mind a lot in the beginning. This side included a lot of traits from mom who, clearly and without her son realising it, had taught him a lot more than cooking and cleaning.
Unlike the difficult and slow process of accepting the want and need for the special kind of relationship with Filip, being Juice’s Papi had been more like things simply falling into place. The need to care for, the need to be cared for, just connected in a different way. At first, it had worried Ronea a little and he’d talked a lot with Filip about it. Clear and open communication had always been extremely important to them, and with a third person involved, even more so.
It had been an unexpected and pleasant surprise that developing the relationship with Juice, also meant getting to know Filip on a new level and these days Ronea had a whole new respect for his husband as a top and the kind of responsibility and struggles it meant. And at the same time, Filip had gotten to see how two painful pasts, not the same but in some way similar, could be used as tools to build understanding and healing.
The webb was there to be seen now, had slowly revealed itself for a long time, and Ronea felt strangely calm despite the mess of it. Because just as with the spider starting to make its webb, the mess Juice was trapped in, had a beginning. Seeing the main material of the webb thread had also become possible now and it was, in all it’s horrible simplicty, about abandonment.
That didn’t mean that the physical abuse or the rape were any less awful or important, but what kept catching Juice in the vicious trap again and again, was the fear of being alone. And that’s where Ronea’s past couldn’t help him understand his lover, because his greatest fear had always been to be weak. Juice’s past had ingrained a kind of strenght no child should ever have to learn and it served both as protection and prison. It kept people away, yes, but it also put Juice in an emotional isolation that was very hard to imagine for anyone who’d not experienced something akin to his kind of trauma.
The red line throughout the tangled and sticky webb, contained of people who’d abandoned Juice in different ways. He’d spent his first year on Earth in no less than six different families and God only knew how much of emotional development that alone had caused. New faces, smells and arms roughly every two months for an infant was a red flag for future problems if ever there was one. But Juice had been a quiet child, who’d learned very early on that raising his voice meant problems and that the best way of getting some good attention from adults, was to be seen and not heard. That smiling was a tool for protection and not a way of showing feelings of joy. And since he didn’t act out like troubled boys usually did, he got overlooked again and again.
It wasn’t fear of physical punishment or even scolding, starvation, darkness or cold that dominated Juice’s behavior, but that of being ignored. And he’d learned that people ignored his pain, that he wouldn’t get attention if he gave voice to it so what remained was to either do things that would grant him praise or things that made people punish him. Anything to acknowledge that he was, in fact, a living person who could be seen and heard.
In hindsight, the attention Juice had gotten that first morning when they found him in the roses, must’ve been a complete shock for him and just like a prey stuck in the spider’s webb, he’d not been able to run away. The difference was that he’d been offered to leave, there’d never been a webb or an intention of trapping him at all, but he’d grabbed the chance and, in a way, allowed himself to be caught. Not trapped, but caught as if from a fall, just as Ronea had allowed himself to fall and get caught by Filip. And Juice had been seen that morning. Not just looked at, but really been seen as close as two strangers had been able to see a person as closed down as Juice. That’s when the trap had closed around not just him, but all of them.
The child within Juice needed to know, that being trapped against your will, wasn’t your fault. It wasn’t his fault, not then and not now, and he wasn’t weak. Neither was he alone, not anymore.