Kris scratched his scalp, tangling the long strands of his hair. He was pretty sure that he had the worst case of bed head, but he really didn’t care. It wasn’t like anyone was going to pay attention to him anyway.
He heard the familiar throaty laughter followed by two female giggles and two baritone chuckles coming from the kitchen. He padded in barefoot and wearing just his wrinkled sleep pants.
“Good morning, Kris.” Drake.
“Hiya, handsome!” Danielle.
“Hey, Kris, what would you like for breakfast this morning? I have scrambled eggs and toast with a lot of crispy bacon or I could make you some waffles.” Paul.
“Nice hair, kiddo!” Alisan.
Kris rolled his eyes at them and walked straight for the coffee machine, grabbing one of the mugs on a tray and filling it up to the rim. He kept his back to the group of people around the large kitchen island, the center point of the room and their usual hang out during informal meals – Adam was sitting on a stool, Drake and Paul were standing and leaning on the marble top, while Danielle and Alisan sat on stools on one side of Adam; Kris noticed that there was an empty stool beside Adam, it was where Kris usually sat but not this morning, he preferred to stand, thank you very much – and drank his first mouthful of coffee, burning his tongue.
“I guess some people aren’t alive yet without their first cup of coffee,” Paul said, cheerfully.
Kris poured more into his mug and turned, leaning against the counter. He stared into the dark liquid of his mug and sipped it noisily.
“Good morning, Kristopher,” Adam called, keeping his voice low and even, like he was talking to an animal. Kris snorted to himself and ignored him. But of course Adam didn’t like being ignored, oh no, not the mega-millionaire famous ‘everyone loves me’ rock star. “Kristopher…”
Kris flicked his eyes up to see Adam staring at him, his head tilted slightly, his expressive face trying to prompt him to tell him what was going on. Kris made a face and stared at the floor, drinking his coffee. He could feel the silence in the kitchen, the laughter from earlier turning into something tense and ugly. Kris would normally be the first one to try and dispel any kind of negativity, but right now, he was tired and he just didn’t give a damn.
“I said good morning.” This time, there was just a bit of an edge in Adam’s tone, just enough that Kris knew it was a warning.
Kris sighed and grumbled, “morning.”
He heard Adam scoot his stool across the tiled floor and walk towards him. Kris looked up and met his gaze head on.
“Is something the matter?”
“Nope.” He said, popping the end of the word with his lips.
He sipped his coffee and took a quick glance to see that Adam looked perplexed. Good, that’ll show him, rock star know-it-all.
“Okay,” Adam murmured, nodding. “Then explain to me why you’re acting like this.”
“Acting like what? Just because I don’t want to be all social right now, it’s somehow a problem?”
Adam took a deep breath, frowning slightly. “Kristopher, you are allowed to have bad days. I don’t expect you to be social and happy all the time, but I don’t expect you to be outright rude to everyone around you when you are having a bad day.”
“Sure, whatever you say, sorry, man.”
Adam leaned closer, his hands on either side of Kris’s hips, braced against the edge of the counter. It forced Kris to lean back and he swallowed hard, shaking a little, his hands curled around the mug.
“Last time,” Adam whispered against his ear. “Apologize to me and to everyone else and mean it; and then tell me what’s going on with you. Right now, Kristopher.”
Kris smirked and moved his head away, looking up at Adam. He knew he was challenging Adam, but he didn’t really care. He could be grouchy if he wanted; Adam didn’t own his emotions. “Or else?”
He watched as Adam pushed away from him, his face devoid of expression. He took Kris’s coffee mug and set it on the counter gently.
“Hey, I wasn’t finished with that!”
“I really need you to talk to me,” Adam said, softly. “You’ve been acting out the past week and it’s my fault for letting it go on, so I’m sorry for ignoring you. You don’t have to act like this if you need my attention. So whatever is bothering you, you know you can talk to me about it. I want to listen to what’s going on with you.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, I’m fine.”
Adam stared at him. “Why are you lying to me?”
“Oh you a mind reader now?”
“You are seriously one more word away from being punished.”
Kris smirked and giggled.
“We can do this here, in front of everyone, or you will go to the library. It’s your choice, Kristopher.”
Kris laughed, crossing his arms in front of his chest. “What! I didn’t even say anything.”
“Ohhh, I get it, you want to spank me. You’re going to discipline me in front of your friends? Great, go for it! Show everyone how the great rock star dominant Adam Lambert gets off on spanking his pleasure slave.“
Kris gave him his most innocent expression. “What? I mean, they all know that you go around saying that you’re sadistic, right? So I’m just being honest when I say that you get off on hurting me.”
Adam took a deep breath and took a step back, looking betrayed. “I’m not going to discipline you. I don’t think you deserve that kind of attention or reward from me. And I don’t want to encourage this behavior; and the funny thing is I don’t think you want it either.”
He paused, waiting for Kris to say something. Kris made a face and shrugged one shoulder.
“That leaves punishment. So yes, Kristopher, I am going to punish you for your rudeness and your inability to communicate with me. And I’ll do it in front of my friends or in private, but I am going to punish you. I don’t know where this attitude is coming from but it’s obvious that you’re pissed at me for some reason and you won’t tell me, but that was so out of line, what you just said about me. I am a sadist, but I’ve never been sadistic to you or to anyone in my life.”
Kris smirked and shrugged. Adam reached over and grabbed his chin with his fingers and tilted Kris’s face so he would meet Adam’s eyes. The smirk dropped from his lips and he started to tremble.
“You’re angry with me.”
Kris tried to look away but Adam tightened his hold on his chin and tilted his head back a little more until he was looking Adam in the eyes again. He was angry, probably at Kris’s attitude, but he wanted Kris to talk. For the first time in days, Kris felt…relieved. He felt like he had Adam’s full attention; and he felt sorry and a little ashamed at being so needy. None of his other masters ever really left him alone, not like the way that Adam was so distracted by his music and whatever. And Kris felt like he didn’t matter. He felt stupid for being so…shallow. And he was angry and hurt that Adam didn’t care enough to notice.
“Yeah. I am,” Kris snarled, his upper lip curling in derision.
“Why?” He said, softly.
“Because I’m freaking bored, okay? You’ve been too busy to—to hang out with me; or you’re too tired to—to do anything so…so it sucks and I’m—why did you want me here for a year if you’re just going to be too busy? You should’ve just asked for a shorter contract if you weren’t going to be able to put in the time that I need and…”
Adam stroked Kris’s bottom lip with his fingertip. “And…”
“And I hate being ignored, okay?” Kris said, pouting a little. “I feel stupid for—for being such a jerk and…I’m sorry for being rude and…and saying that you got off on punishing me and—and for acting out.”
Adam took a deep breath and sighed, letting Kris go and giving him a long look. “Thank you for telling me. And I accept your apology. Would you apologize to our friends?”
Kris felt his face flush with embarrassment and he bit his lip and nodded to Adam, walking towards the people at the kitchen island. They watched him as he walked towards them and he reached up to scratch the back of his neck, smoothing down his hair.
“Hey…I’m sorry for being a jerk and taking it out on you guys,” he said, softly.
Danielle and Alisan were probably blushing just as hard as he was, but they smiled and nodded to him.
“Accepted, Kris, thank you,” Danielle said as Alisan hid her smile behind her napkin, nodding in agreement.
“Thank you,” Kris said, politely. He turned to look at Paul and Drake next. “I’m sorry, guys.”
Paul chuckled good-naturedly and took a deep breath. “You want waffles?”
“You know, I’d love to have some waffles…with that special maple syrup that you got?” Kris said, then looked at Adam, who nodded.
Kris looked at Drake and saw him frowning. “I’m sorry.”
“Accepted,” Drake said, nodding to him. “Kris, I don’t care if you take out your bad mood on me or us, but what you said about Adam – about him enjoying punishing you – you totally messed up.”
“I know,” Kris said, grimacing. “I didn’t mean it, I swear.”
Drake stared at him for a long moment, dark eyes intense as they look at him so measuringly. “Okay.”
Kris rubbed his sweaty palms on his sleeping pants and turned to look at Adam. “I’m sorry.”
“I know you are,” Adam murmured, walking towards him. “I’ll punish you in the library.”
Kris frowned. “But why? I apologized and I meant every word of it.”
“I believe you,” he said, softly. “But you broke the rules, Kristopher. You didn’t communicate with me, you were disrespectful to me and our friends, and your attitude this morning was ugly and degrading, so your punishment today is to remind you to never let it get this bad again. Do you understand?”
Adam stared at him for a long moment and Kris bit his lip, trembling again.
“Yes, Adam,” he said, tightly, hurrying out of the kitchen towards the library.
One of the first things that Adam promised was that Kris would only be punished if he broke the rules. He would always use the paddle because Kris didn’t like it and wouldn’t get confused if he was punished with something that they played with. They both decided that the paddle shouldn’t be in the play room or the bedroom and they designated the library as the official punishment room.
Kris walked into the library with a feeling of dread. He loved spending time in the library because he felt safe in the small room. It was neutral space for them; and Kris could still enjoy the room when he wasn’t being punished. He didn’t want to attach any negative feelings to the bedroom or playroom. Besides, Kris told himself that it was a good place to reflect on why he was punished.
He walked to Adam’s desk and opened the drawer, pulling out the wooden paddle. It weighed heavy in his hand, durable and strong, one side was smooth and the other side was covered with leather. Kris hated it; hated the paddle with a passion. He had been punished before and he hated it because it always broke him. It didn’t matter how many times he was hit with it, it didn’t matter that it hurt or didn’t hurt; it always broke him and made him feel like a sad failure as a pleasure slave.
And the thing was, Kris wasn’t dumb, he knew how to avoid punishment. Maybe he could get away with being a little bit manipulative; maybe he could sometimes talk his way out of it. But mostly, he avoided punishment by following the rules. Kris was very good at following the rules. He loved service and he had a strong sense of self-esteem and pride in his service.
So he totally knew he was acting out when he was being a spoiled child having a temper tantrum. He knew it was the one way to get Adam’s full and total attention. It was a gamble to do it in front of Adam’s friends. He knew that he had forced Adam’s hand in confronting Kris publicly. Adam wasn’t a true exhibitionist, not for private things like this, and Kris had said the cruelest thing he could think of when he taunted Adam about being sadistic. Adam was a sadist, but he wasn’t sadistic. Kris had taken something that was private and beautiful and special and accused him of being nothing more than a base, sick animal in front of Adam’s closest friends.
He was sorrier for that than his bad behavior.
Kris jumped, almost dropping the paddle from his hands. He hadn’t heard Adam come into the library. He bit his lip and smiled, handing the paddle to Adam…when he saw everyone else walking into the room and Drake closing the door.
“What’s going on?”
Adam sighed. “This is my punishment, too.”
Kris frowned, seeing Paul and Alisan sitting down on the leather sectional. She reached out and took Paul’s hand, not looking at Kris or Adam. Danielle stood by the door, looking really unsettled. Drake stood with his back rigid, almost as if he was the one who was getting punished.
“I don’t understand,” he said, looking up at Adam. “Your punishment?”
“It was my fault for not seeing the signs that you needed my attention,” Adam said, turning the paddle in his hands. “And since you pointed out my bad behavior as your master, it’s only fair that they watch me punish you.”
Kris shook his head, horrified that Adam would reveal himself like that to his friends. “No, Adam, it’s my fault, you don’t have to do this.”
Adam gave him a half smile. “Yeah, I do.”
“I’m sorry,” he said, looking up at Adam’s face, watching as he turned red.
“Me, too, Kristopher.” Adam took a deep breath and nodded. “Ready?”
“Turn around, drop your sleep pants, and hold on to the edge of the desk,” he said, softly. “Twenty four with the paddle. Tell me why I’m punishing you.”
Kris swallowed and turned, pushing his pants down to the floor, leaning forward to brace his hands on the desk. “For not telling you that I needed your attention; for letting my insecurities get out of hand; for taking it out on you and our friends; and for accusing you of abusing me when you’ve never hurt me without my consent.”
“Thank you, Kristopher.”
He closed his eyes and dropped his head, tensing his shoulders in anticipation for the bite of the paddle against his bared skin.
“Count them out.”
The first one always hurt, no matter how much Kris braced himself for it. He gasped and let out a pained grunt, he felt the sting of power radiating from his left ass cheek up and down his body.
The second one wasn’t any better. He thought he heard one of the girls gasp and he let out a choked sound, his ears heating up in shame. This was the first time that Kris was punished in front of other people. It was always a private thing, between master and slave, and Kris didn’t know how he was ever going to look anyone in the eye again after this.
The third, fourth, and fifth made his knees shake. He whimpered and felt his throat tighten. It was what he deserved. He insulted Adam in front of his friends so it was only fair that he was punished in front of them. He knew this would happen. Adam was silent behind him; he wondered how Adam was doing, having to punish him in front of others. How Adam was going to face his friends afterwards; what he would tell them.
“Ten,” Kris said, trembling. “Eleven. Twelve.”
“Health check,” Adam said, hoarsely.
Kris panted, trying to wipe his face and his nose against his shoulder when Adam placed his hand on the back of Kris’s neck, thumb stroking his skin reassuringly.
“I’m okay,” he said, sniffling.
Thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen made Kris break out into tears. He could see his tears dropping on the surface of the desk.
Sixteen, seventeen, and eighteen made Kris choke in pain. His arms were starting to go a little numb from holding his body up against the desk. The pain was overlaid and he knew that his ass was probably going to be bruised at the end of the punishment, but he would take them, all of them, because Adam was probably suffering just as much from this. He could feel it in the way that Adam used the paddle on him. Long, even strikes with strong follow through; so controlled and…emotionless.
“Nine…nineteen,” Kris whispered, gasping. “Twenty.”
He whimpered, pressing his face against his shoulder as Adam delivered the last four strokes on his sore ass.
“Twenty-one. Twenty-two. Twenty-three. Twenty-four.”
Kris whimpered, trembling all over. He sniffled, breathing heavily. Thank God it was over. It was over. Punishment was over. He hated that paddle!
“Health check,” Adam whispered, pressing his hand against Kris’s neck, feeling for his rapid pulse.
“I’m—I’m okay,” he said, shakily.
Adam squeezed his neck gently and then let him go. Kris wanted to fall to his knees and cry. He knew that once punishment was over, it was over, but he felt weak and sad and stupid.
Kris jumped when he felt Adam pulling his sleep pants up, being careful not to jostle him or rub the soft fabric over his sensitive skin. He looked over his shoulder to see Adam looking back at him, his face shocky pale and eyes red-rimmed and wet. Kris turned his face away, ashamed at having put that look on Adam’s face.
“Sor—sorry, I’m sorry, Adam.”
“It’s over and everything’s forgiven,” Adam murmured, stroking his back. “They’re gone. Why don’t you take a few minutes to reflect on your punishment and then meet me upstairs in our bedroom for a bath? I’ll put some cream on your butt to help with the pain.”
“Yes, Adam. Thank you.”
He watched as Adam put the paddle back in his desk drawer and leave the library, closing the door behind him quietly. Kris pushed off the desk and wiped at his face. He reached for the tissue box and blew his nose a few times and then cleaned up as much as he could. He wished he could sit down, but he knew it would hurt too much to do it now, so he just stood listlessly, arms dangling beside him, head bowed.
He had no doubt that Adam was probably doing some reflecting on his own. Kris knew that it was over for him. The one positive thing about punishment was that he took his licks and it was over. But he couldn’t help thinking about what was going through Adam’s mind right now. He promised himself that he would ask and find out. He’d be willing to bet his entire investment portfolio that no one had ever accused Adam of being a monster. Kris would work hard to make sure that Adam knew he was the best master Kris had ever had; that they would be able to move forward from this. Kris had certainly learned from it. He’d never keep his needs hidden again. But he couldn’t even say for sure why he kept them hidden in the first place. He knew that if he had told Adam, he would’ve showered Kris with all the attention he needed and wanted.
Kris sighed and rubbed his hands gingerly over his butt cheeks, wincing from the heat and soreness. He took a few steps and felt the fabric rub against his skin and he pressed his palms gently over his ass and took a deep breath, soothing himself.
Adam was waiting for him and Kris wanted to curl up with him in a bath. He had missed Adam the past few days and he wasn’t going to waste a single moment by standing in the library alone, feeling sorry for himself.
He saw Adam sitting on the end of the bed, head down, arms balanced on his thighs. It finally struck him right in the heart that maybe this had affected Adam in a way that Kris had never seen. Like maybe Kris had seriously messed up; that he had hurt Adam. His stomach clenched at that thought and he rushed into the room, standing in front of Adam. He placed his hands in Adam’s hair and stroked his head.
He was scared that he had hurt Adam emotionally, beyond what Adam could endure as his master and dominant. Kris demanded a lot from his master, but he never wanted to jeopardize Adam’s mental health check.
“You feeling okay?”
Adam sat up and ran his hands up and down the back of Kris’s thighs. “I’ve had better days, baby.”
“What can I do?” He whispered, trembling.
He watched as Adam took a deep breath, centering himself. “I could really use a hot bath with my pleasure slave.”
Kris nodded. “Yes, Adam.”
Adam smiled at him. “Lots of bubbles?”
Kris chuckled. “Yes, Adam.”
He slipped off the sleeping pants and ran his hand through Adam’s thick hair and then walked slowly to the tub. It felt much better to be naked and not have anything constricting or rubbing against his skin. Gently, he got to his knees and turned on the hot water tap and closed the drain as it began to fill very quickly. He absolutely loved this bathtub and when he moved back into his house, he was seriously going to have this same tub installed in his master bathroom, too.
He was generous with the bubbles and he smiled when Adam walked into the bathroom, naked, and a little shy. Kris waited for Adam to get into the tub first, leaning back against the pillow, and paused before stepping into the water.
“What is it?”
“Just trying to figure out how to sit down without, you know,” he said, gesturing to his ass.
Adam smiled and took Kris’s hands. “Face me and straddle me on your knees.”
“That could work,” he murmured, getting into the tub and sinking slowly into the hot water, careful not to sit down hard on Adam’s thighs. The heat of the water stung at first, but he breathed slowly and deeply, letting his muscles relax, holding on to Adam’s shoulders to keep his balance.
“On a scale of one to ten, ten being unbearably painful, where are you?” Adam said, his hands on Kris’s hips and moving slowly over his ass.
Kris hissed and flinched. “About a six. It’s okay, though, this is helping.”
“You’re going to have to sleep on your tummy for a few nights,” Adam said, smiling up at him.
“I don’t think I’m going to be sitting down any time soon either,” he said, chuckling softly.
Adam’s eyelids lowered, a small smile on his lips. “Hmmm…then you’ll just have to get all of your blow jobs standing up.”
“Trust me, I’m not going to say no.” Kris said, chuckling. He dipped his hands into the water and cupped his palms and sluiced the hot water and bubbles over Adam’s shoulders. “Are you really okay?”
“I’m all right,” he said, nodding. “Thank you for asking. It’s just…I never had to do anything like that before so I’m wrapping my head around it. I didn’t like doing that to you in front of them, so let’s just say that I’m motivated to never ignore you again.”
“What did…they say?”
“It’s okay, Kris, they know me; they understand the lifestyle and what we do. They just weren’t expecting to get such a personal view of it,” he said, softly.
“So they’re not mad at me or you or anything?”
Adam ran his hands up Kris’s ass, touching him gently. “No. They’re okay.”
“You know I do not believe that you’re sadistic in any way, right?” Kris said, looking into his eyes.
“I know you were just trying to get my attention.”
He nodded, licking his lip. Kris believed him; he knew Adam wouldn’t lie to him about this.
“Why didn’t you just talk to me?”
Kris sighed as Adam pulled him closer, arms wrapping around the back of his legs. “I don’t know…I was downstairs thinking about why I was acting so stupid and…insecurity, I guess, at being ignore…I don’t…I don’t have a simple answer.”
“Then you have something to think about while you’re recovering,” Adam said, gazing at him.
“What…what about sex?”
“I’m not saying no to sex,” Adam said, smiling at him as he ran his hands up and down Kris’s chest. “But I just want you to be clear in your head before we get intimate again so we don’t do this again, ever, you know?”
“But what about…”
Adam raised his eyebrows. “What about what, baby?”
“What about that I need sex…with you?”
“I need it with you, too,” Adam said, smiling widely. “I just want to give you a little time to recover—“
“But I’m telling you that I need you now,” he said, his voice whining a little.
Adam nodded. “I understand, Kristopher, but maybe I need a little time to recover, too.”
“Oh,” he murmured, widening his eyes. “Yes, I should’ve realized that. But…”
“But what?” Adam said, smiling at him.
“You said that you noticed something was off with me. Why didn’t you say something?”
“I didn’t think it would get this bad for you. I shouldn’t have assumed anything, though,” he said, softly. “So I contacted my producers and told them that I was going to cut down on the amount of time I’m going to devote to writing and working on my music during my hiatus.”
“You’re right when you said that if I was going to ignore my pleasure slave, I shouldn’t have asked for a yearlong contract,” Adam said, smiling at him. “The music and the work will be there after my hiatus is over. I deserve a break; I shouldn’t have to kill myself with work while I’m technically on vacation. And to be honest, I’d rather spend my time with you than on work.”
Kris smiled at him, blushing slightly. It made his stomach flutter. “Thank you, Adam.”
“Thank you for reminding me that I have obligations to you, baby,” Adam said, pulling him down to place a gentle kiss on his lips.
“Mmmmm…nice…” he murmured, sighing. “So…still no sex?”
Adam grabbed his ass and Kris made a face and splashed around, pulling Adam’s hands away.
“I think we have our answer,” Adam said, chuckling.
“All right…but I want snuggles,” Kris said, his lips in a moue.