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Mulder opened the door to Skinner's suite at the Dionysus Club and saw that the Dom was already there.

"Sorry, Sir. I had to stop for my bag. I wasn't expecting to play this weekend."

Skinner smiled. "No problem, Mulder. This is a little Christmas treat from me to you. Take your time getting ready - I've got some preparations to complete."

Mulder eyed the large bag sitting on the table. "What are you up to, Walter?" he asked suspiciously.

Skinner smiled and shook his head. "You want to spoil your Christmas? Now scoot."

Mulder sighed and gave up. He never could get anything out of the older man when he was in his mysterious mood. He tried to be as quick as he could while cleaning his body inside and out, but by the time he came out of the bathroom whatever Skinner had been doing was tucked neatly out of sight.

Mulder took his place kneeling on the floor, laying his collar on the floor in front of him. He couldn't resist a final stroke of the sleek leather, a gift from Skinner for his birthday shortly after they had gotten together. He adored it, the first real birthday gift he had received since he was a boy, and spent many evenings oiling it or just holding it while he lay on the couch.

Skinner caught the vulnerable expression on his sub's face and he moved across the room to stand by Mulder. "Kneel up," he said softly, and Mulder rose with his collar held up in his hands. Skinner took the collar and fastened it around his sub's neck, then stroked the soft hair. "Merry Christmas, Kitten."

Mulder smiled. "Merry Christmas, Sir. What are your wishes?"

"First things first - "

"Yes, I ate before I came over," Mulder said with a grin.

"Good. Then let's get started."

Skinner crossed the room to the wall where a large sheet had been draped and pulled it away to reveal the St. Andrew's cross, now decorated with something that appeared to be leaves and yellow fruit.

"Sir, is that - a pear tree?"

Skinner grinned. "You remember the song 'The Twelve Days of Christmas'? Well, this is my version of it."

Mulder smiled back and shrugged. "Okay, I'm game. What's first?"

Skinner took Mulder by the hand and led him over to the cross. "On the first day of Christmas your Master handcuffed you to the branch on a big pear tree."

Mulder grinned as he backed up against the cross, spreading his hands and legs so that Skinner could fasten his cuffs to the rings on the four arms of the cross. "Kinky, Sir. What's next?"

"On the second day of Christmas your Master gave to you - two nipple clamps," Skinner held up two clamps joined by a slender gold chain.

"While handcuffed to the pear tree," Mulder finished up, eyeing the clamps and judging that these were a fairly mild pair. He couldn't help a slight shiver in anticipation.

Skinner ran a gentling hand along his sub's body, calming him. He leaned over to lick first one nipple and then the other, sucking the nubs into erect points. Mulder moaned and The Dom pulled his mouth away, deftly pinching up each nipple and applying the clamps. Mulder gasped and swayed a little in his bonds, and Skinner kept a soothing hand on the sub's abdomen to judge how he was adjusting. Mulder relaxed and began breathing normally again, and Skinner gave him a ghost of a kiss.

"On the third day of Christmas my Master gave to me?" Mulder asked, letting Skinner know that he was ready to continue.

Skinner nuzzled his way down Mulder's neck and took one nipple in his mouth, tugging lightly at the clamp as his tongue played with the nipple. Mulder groaned and arched closer to the teasing mouth only to have Skinner release the first clamp to play with the second nipple. Mulder let his head fall back against the frame as he enjoyed the delicious sensations, only to have his attention abruptly claimed by a sharp tug on the chain between the two clamps. He gasped and glared at the smiling Dom.

"Let me guess - three good tugs on the two nipple clamps?"

Skinner grinned. "While handcuffed to the pear tree."

Mulder shook his head at the deviousness of his Dom and said, "And on the fourth day of Christmas, what will my Master give to me?"

"Four probing fingers?"

Mulder understood the question in the voice of the Dom, and he shivered slightly as he nodded his acceptance. He loved having Skinner play with his ass and knew that Skinner enjoyed it as well. The Dom was working up to a fisting session but four was the most that Mulder had been able to comfortably accept.

Skinner unfastened his cuffs and turned him to face the cross, refastening the wrist cuffs but leaving the ankle ones free for now. He ran a caressing hand down the younger man's spine, loving the feel of the sleek skin under his hands, and pressed a kiss against the base of Mulder's neck. His left hand lay against Mulder's stomach, holding him in place as his right hand stroked down Mulder's ass. Skinner pressed one finger against Mulder's anus and felt the easy acceptance from the prepared channel as his finger slid in to the base. A second finger joined the first as he stroked in and out, hearing the soft moans from his sub as Mulder thrust his ass back for more. He laughed softly, loving the other man's total abandon to this type of pleasuring, and added a third finger, angling for the sensitive nub inside. He felt the shiver pass through his sub's body and leaned forward to nuzzle Mulder's neck. Mulder moaned and began a wordless litany of pleas for more. Skinner eased a fourth finger into the younger man's body while his other hand grasped Mulder's cock and stroked it firmly. He felt the trembling begin and intensified his stroking until Mulder exploded with a wordless cry before collapsing against the supports.

Skinner eased his fingers out and fetched a cloth to clean up the recovering sub, gently wiping him down. Mulder sighed blissfully and turned his head to softly kiss his Dom's hand, and the older man let his fingers run over the sub's face in a loving caress.

"On the fifth day of Christmas your Master gave to you - a five strap cock ring." He picked up a leather harness and fastened three straps over the younger man's cock, the fourth and fifth straps going around his balls to separate them as he murmured, "Four probing fingers, three good tugs on the two nipple clamps while handcuffed to the pear tree."

He reattached the ankle cuffs and then let his hands move slowly up his sub's body, caressing him and pressing kisses all along the warm flesh. Mulder purred under the attention, his arousal reigniting, and he couldn't wait to see what else the Dom had in mind.

"And on the sixth day of Christmas my Master gave to me - " Mulder paused and turned to look at his Dom's face expectantly.

Skinner pressed his body along the length of his sub's back and nuzzled his neck "Six spanking slaps." He felt the shiver of anticipation along Mulder's body and released the younger man, stepping back to get enough distance for arm movement. Slowly and deliberately, he bestowed six hand swats to Mulder's backside, alternating cheeks.

Mulder groaned under the sensation of swats that were not meant to punish but instead to arouse, to warm up the skin for what was coming next. He found himself chanting softly, just loud enough for the Dom to hear, "A five strap cock ring, four probing fingers, three good tugs on the two nipple clamps while handcuffed to the pear tree."

Skinner ran his hand over the slightly pink skin, soothing and warming, then turned back to the table. "On the seventh day of Christmas, your Master gave to you seven paddle whacks."

Mulder saw Skinner pick up a small round paddle that had been a present from Skinner's own master, one carved with "Fox" on it as well as an older carving of the name "Walter". He had fond memories of that paddle, the first instrument Skinner had used on him after they had readjusted their relationship following the past disastrous summer, and he loved the idea that this same paddle had once been used on Skinner as well. His cock pulsed at that and he was glad for the cock ring. He moved slightly in his bondage, thrusting his ass back towards the Dom as he waited in anticipation.

Skinner rubbed the cloth side of the paddle over the waiting ass, then lifted it and brought it down with an audible crack on the firm flesh. "One."

Mulder closed his eyes, concentrating on the sensations winding up inside him. "Six spanking slaps," he murmured.

"Two."

" - a five strap cock ring."

"Three."

" - four probing fingers."

"Four."

" - three good tugs."

"Five."

" - two nipple clamps."

"Six."

" - handcuffed to the pear tree."

"Seven."

Mulder let himself sag briefly in his bonds, already feeling the endorphins kicking in. He let go of everything, forgot the despair that he had associated with the holiday season since childhood, and just drifted, knowing that the Dom would take care of him. Skinner had reversed the paddle to the cloth side again, rubbing it over his reddened skin, and Mulder found himself purring again. He heard the Dom's chuckle at that sound and resigned himself to more teasing.

Skinner set down the paddle and ran an assessing hand over the reddened skin, judging it for heat and damage. Satisfied with his results, he knelt behind the sub and pressed a soft kiss in the middle of each reddened cheek. He heard Mulder's groan and took a firmer grip on his subs hips to hold the younger man still. With his lips and his tongue, he covered every inch of the heated skin, soothing away the pain with each caress. Mulder found tears running down his cheeks at the gentleness of his Dom's actions, tears that the paddling had not been able to bring out, tears that melted away the internal knots of pain while soothing the external discomfort.

Skinner moved his hands to gently part the cheeks and blew on the exposed opening, watching in amusement as it spasmed at the least bit of attention. What a little slut his Kitten was, he thought indulgently as he leaned forward to caress the opening with his tongue. Mulder gasped and wiggled in his hands, trying unsuccessfully to push himself back further against the teasing tongue but Skinner held him firmly in place. Leisurely, taking his time, he licked and probed and tongue-fucked the bound man, listening with only half an ear to the mixture of curses, moans, and entreaties from the man writhing in his hands.

When he finally released Mulder, and stood up, the younger man was nearly trembling with his need. Skinner stood close to him again, his chest against the younger man's back, his arms wrapped around Mulder's waist as he soothed him and settled him back down. He pressed gentle kisses against the neck above the collar and bit at an earlobe. Mulder shuddered and turned his head, seeking kisses, and Skinner allowed him one before moving back away towards the table. Mulder's eyes followed him, watching his hand hover over the selection of instruments before selecting a soft flogger. Mulder let his head drop forward with a smile as he picked up the logic in choosing this cat with its eight "tails".

"On the eighth day of Christmas my Master gave to me eight whips that crack," he half-sang, "seven paddle whack, six spanking slaps, a five strap cock ring, four probing fingers, three good tugs on the two nipple clamps while handcuffed to the pear tree."

Skinner chuckled, marveling at the mood swings that this kind of play brought out in his sub and recognizing that Mulder was close to flying. He flexed the lightweight flogger in his hands, one designed for erotic tingling and not pain, and set to work. He moved in a steady pattern over Mulder's back and ass and thighs, watching the gradual pinking of the skin under this attention, gauging how hard to strike and where it was most effective from his subs gasps and moans. Mulder was trembling all over now, on the edge, a constant litany of pleas falling from his lips now.

Skinner set down flogger, ignoring the protests, and unchained the ankle cuffs. He leaned close to Mulder's ear, growling in the way that he knew that Mulder loved, "On the ninth day of Christmas your Master gave to you nine nasty pinches." He reached around to pinch each of Mulder's still pink ass cheeks once each, and then squeezed each nipple. Mulder moaned, torn between pulling away and pushing closer. Skinner pinched his ass cheeks again, then each nipple again before finally reaching down to squeeze the sub's balls. That was it - Mulder felt the combined sensations of pain and pleasure push him over the edge, and he collapsed into the sheer bliss with a delighted whimper.

Skinner wrapped his arms around the blissed-out sub, kissing Mulder's neck until he heard a giggling protest of "tickles". He grinned - it still amused him that Mulder on an endorphin high was a giggler. He felt the totally relaxation of the body in his arms and a soft murmured voice.

"And on the tenth day of Christmas?"

"Ten tender touches," Skinner said softly. He ran a soothing hand over Mulder's belly, then stepped back so that he could run his hands over the sub's back and then his ass. Gently, he ran his hands down each leg, massaging the muscles tenderly, removing each cuff as he reached it. He unfastened each arm, one at a time, massaging each one to ease the tension of being in place for so long, removing the cuffs on each of them. When Mulder was unbound from the cross, Skinner turned him around and leaned the still-floating man against the frame. He carefully removed the cock harness, gently caressing the semi-erect penis and heard a blissful sigh. Finally, he removed the nipple clamps, bracing Mulder for the backlash of pain as blood rushed into the clamped flesh. Mulder sagged in his arms, out for the count from this final rush of stimulation, and he swung the younger man up into his arms and carried him over to the bed.

Mulder swam up from blissful darkness to find himself cradled in Skinner's warm arms as soothing arms stroked his skin. He turned his head up to smile at the Dom. "That was wonderful."

"We're not done yet," Skinner said softly. "There are Twelve days of Christmas."

"So what did my Master get me for the eleventh day?"

"Eleven loving kisses."

Skinner leaned over to gently kiss each nipple, then pressed a kiss on the end of Mulder's cock, chuckling as it twitched with the return of interest. Moving down the bed, he placed a kiss on the inside of each ankle before rolling Mulder over on his side and coming back up to kiss each rosy cheek and the pucker in-between. He lifted each arm in turn, kissing the pulse point on each wrist, then leaned over to thoroughly kiss Mulder's mouth. The younger man's arms came up around him, holding Skinner in place as he returned the kiss. Mulder sighed as the Dom released him.

"And for the twelfth day of Christmas, what on earth could my Master give to me to top all this?"

Skinner smiled and pressed a kiss against his nose, ignoring Mulder's indignant protest. "Wait here." He slid out of bed and went to the closet, fetching a box and returning with it to the bed. Mulder opened the carton and saw gaily-wrapped packages inside, each one with a number. "Well, open them, brat."

Mulder pulled out the one marked with a one and slowly unwrapped it. Inside the box was a silver chain ankle cuff, and he looked up at Skinner questioningly. Skinner smiled.

"For special occasions. Birthdays, Chanukah, New Years, 4th of July, submission of accurate budget reports - "

Mulder snorted. "Asshole."

"That's Master Asshole to you, brat."

Mulder continued unwrapping, finding the mate to the ankle cuff in #2, wrist cuffs in #3 and 4, silver nipple clips with a silver connecting chain in #5, and tiny nipple bells on silver chains in #6 and 7 with a comment about belling the cat that earned Skinner a glare. Boxes 8 through 11 contained a silver cock-harness with a corresponding accessory for his balls, a chain attached to an anal plug, and a silver link belt for attaching them to. Mulder sighed and rolled his eyes, foreseeing that he would be required to wear these under his clothes sometime soon, and picked up the final box. When he opened it, he sat staring at it in stunned surprise for a long moment before reaching out with a trembling hand to lift a silver necklace from the box. The script on the front of the tag said "Kitten" and, on the other side, read "from Master". Mulder swallowed hard, looking up at his Dom and lover through tear-blurred eyes.

Skinner took the necklace out of his hands and fastened it around Mulder's neck saying softly, "I thought you could wear this one all the time to help you remember that you are not alone, that there is someone who loves you and is here for you."

"Walter - " Mulder voice cracked as he tried to express his thanks, and he had to resort to non-verbal communication to demonstrate just how thoroughly he had learned this lesson.

**************

Skinner woke with the delicious languidness of post-coital bliss and stretched lazily in the bed. Automatically, his hand reached out to caress his bedmate and found that he was alone, although the warmth of the spot next to him told him that this was a recent development. He blinked his eyes open and looked around the room, past the scattered pieces of his clothes and silver chains around the bed, and his eyes widened as they fell on his quarry.

And, from across the room, a sultry voice said, "On the first day of Christmas, your submissive gave to you…"