Category Archives: Danny and Ben

Meanwhile

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Danny glanced across the table at his brother, who was finishing his third or fourth cocktail of the night.  They were at a dinner where their parents, Simon and Elaine, would be receiving an award for a paper they had written the previous year, along with some of their colleagues.  The boys were spending a long weekend with them, both to celebrate the accomplishment and Ben’s recent return to the state.  He and Danny now both lived just a few hours away from their childhood home.

He was trying to catch Ben’s eye, but had a feeling he was being purposefully ignored.  Although Ben was excited for his parents, he had come to the dinner begrudgingly and now seemed to be intent on drinking his way through it.  He had, of course, been charming as he and Danny had shaken hands with a dozen professors and many of their partners, answering the same questions about their lives and jobs over and over again.  Danny hadn’t particularly loved it, either, but they saw how much their parents lit up as they introduced them to person after person.

Ben finally looked in Dan’s direction, and Danny raised an eyebrow and then looked pointedly at the drink in his brother’s hand.  Ben shrugged noncommittally and raised the glass to his lips once again.  Danny nodded thoughtfully to himself.  It was going to be one of those nights.  At any other event, he would have dragged his little brother from the table.  Tonight, he just hoped that Ben would keep himself together until after the meal had ended.

~   ~   ~

They made it through, though not unscathed.  Ben grew clumsier as the night went on, spilling his drink across the table and nearly upending a platter when he leaned back into a passing waiter.  Though most people wouldn’t take notice, their parents had exchanged more than one worried glance.  Danny’s palms were itchy by the time the last speeches had finished and people began to stand.  Still, it wouldn’t have been a noteworthy night if it hadn’t been for the last ten minutes.  Ignoring Danny’s offer to help him step away from the table, Ben had walked away with the table cloth tucked in with the napkin he had clenched in his fist.  There were gasps around the room as he dragged an entire meal’s worth of dishes crashing to the floor.  Silence followed after, and then finally nervous chattering.

They made it home without further incident, where Ben immediately fell into a dreamless sleep and Danny laid awake, thinking about how he planned to handle the situation tomorrow.

~   ~   ~

The next morning, their father was predictably out of the house early.  Neither parent was at all equipped to handle confrontation unless it was a scholarly debate, and Simon knew his oldest was unlikely to let the incidents of last night go.  When Danny entered the kitchen, his mother was waiting for him with a cup of coffee– also predictably.  She hated confrontation as much as her husband; it was one of the reasons Danny had so easily assumed the role of a third parent in their home growing up.  Neither of them could quite bring themselves to challenge him when he began to intervene with their younger son.  It certainly made a difference that Danny assumed the least gratifying parts of helping raise him. And approve or not, they saw how well Ben responded and how close the boys had continued to grow.

Still, in Elaine’s eyes, Ben could do no wrong, and so she was waiting on Danny with a cup of coffee at the breakfast table.  He smiled at her and hugged her shoulders before he sat down.  “Good morning.”

“Hello, darling,” she said with a smile.  “Did you sleep well?”

“I did.  Did you?” he replied as he sat next to her and wrapped his hands around the large warm mug.  “And thank you.”

“Mhmm.  Your father’s gone on a hike, says he’ll be back around lunch.”

“I noticed his car wasn’t in the driveway before I came down.”

They heard movement from the floor above them; Ben must be awake. Elaine stood, going to pour another cup of coffee and humming quietly to herself.  She placed it at the table just as Ben came down the stairs, still rubbing his eyes as he sat.  She put an arm around him and kissed the top of his tousled head.  “Morning,” he said with a yawn.

“Good morning,” Danny said, somehow giving the simple greeting an authoritative quality.

“Daniel,” clucked Elaine disapprovingly, her arm still around her youngest.  “He’s only just woken up.”

“Yeah Daniel,” said Ben groggily, taking a sip of his coffee.

Danny sighed, but didn’t say anything.  Content that things were going to remain calm for the moment, Elaine smiled and asked cheerily, “What would you boys like for breakfast?  I can make French toast, or we have oatmeal? Omelettes?”

Ben’s face seemed to gray at the mention of all the food, and Danny raised his eyebrows at his mother– “See?” his expression said clearly.  She followed his nod at Ben and said hurriedly, “Maybe just some orange juice after your coffee.  That sounds nice.”

Danny rolled his eyes as she went to the refrigerator, and slid two painkillers he’d brought downstairs with him over to his brother.  Ben glanced up guiltily, then reached over to take them.  Before too long, the table was littered with empty mugs and glasses and Danny was tired of waiting.  “Alright,” he said, looking directly at Ben, “you need to get yourself upstairs.  I’ll be up in a few minutes.”

“Awww c’mon,” Ben said, frowning and crossing his arms, “I wasn’t that bad!”

“He really wasn’t, Daniel, your father and I hardly noticed,” added his mother.

“You are both being ridiculous,” Danny said sternly, “Ben, you embarrassed the entire table, including yourself.”

Elaine sighed and put a hand on Ben’s arm as she appealed to Danny, “Benjamin really didn’t mean it, and I’m not upset.”

“Well I am upset, Mother.  And Ben and I are about to go upstairs and talk about why.”

Ben’s shoulders slumped; he recognized the steel in Danny’s voice and knew this was a done deal.  “Alright alright,” he said, pushing back from the table. “Thanks for the coffee and juice, Mom,” he said, giving her a reassuring smile and another side hug.  “Sorry I drank too much last night.”  He looked at Danny as he said this last part and gave a small shrug.

“I’ll be right up,” Danny said approvingly.  He gathered up the dishes while Ben left and his mother rose to pace the kitchen and ring her hands.  “Mom,” Danny said, stopping her pacing head-on with a hand on each of her shoulders, “I’m going to take care of him.  I promise.”

She took a deep, intentional breath, exhaled slowly, and said “I know you will.  I think I’m going to go work in the garden for a bit.”

Danny pulled her into a hug and kissed the top of her head. “Alright, I’ll come out and join you in just a little while.”

They parted, and Elaine went to grab her sturdy work boots and her wide-brimmed hat before heading outside.  Danny pushed the chairs under the table and made his way upstairs.

~   ~   ~

When Danny entered his brother’s room, Ben was sitting on the bed twirling a basketball.  He was still in his pajamas, and looked every bit the teenager he’d been the last time he had called this room home.  He put the ball down on his lap and sat up a little straighter as Danny walked in. Be’s expression was sullen, but Danny didn’t feel any sympathy for him as he thought about how embarrassed he had been last night.  He picked up the ball and set it aside.  “Up,” he said shortly to Ben.

Ben sighed dramatically but stood.  He felt guilty enough to accept a punishment, but it just wasn’t in him to do so gracefully.  Danny didn’t mind.  He knew Ben would be genuinely and deeply sorry minutes from now.  He sat on the bed like he had so many times before, and pulled his brother across his lap.

After a very brief warm up, Danny had Ben’s plaid pants around his knees; he began to lecture as his hand came down on the seat of Ben’s red and black underwear.

“You made several very poor choices last night, young man.  Tell me the biggest one.”

“Ow,” Ben said, “It wasn’t that bad! Ow!”

Danny began to put more force behind his swats as he said, “It was exactly that bad, Benjamin Kendrick.  And it was intentional.  That was a tantrum.  They asked for one night, and you were sulky about it.”

Ow, okay, I’m sorry!” Ben said as Danny kept spanking harder and faster.  In response, Danny paused the spanking and jerked Ben’s underwear down to join his pants.

“You’re lucky I don’t send you to the car to get the hairbrush.  I packed it just in case, and now I’m not sure I don’t need it.”

“Ow, you don’t!” Ben said earnestly, throwing his hand back to cover his quickly heating bottom.  Danny snatched his wrist up easily with his free hand and continued the spanking.  Ben’s bottom flattened with every painful swat.  Danny wasn’t holding back.

“You will apologize to Mom and Dad,” he said firmly.  “And you will behave yourself the rest of this visit.  I was unimpressed with your attitude last night, on top of your behavior.  I don’t appreciate being ignored.”

His palm slammed into the curve of Ben’s sitspots as he spoke now, and Ben squealed and struggled.  Something about this room made him even less stoic than usual– and Ben was never stoic.  Danny paid him no mind as he worked to ensure that his younger brother would feel this spanking well into the afternoon.

~   ~   ~

When he finished, Ben’s eyes were red-rimmed and he couldn’t help but rub his sore bottom as he stood and danced around the room.  Danny watched him for a minute, and then lifted his right arm, waiting for Ben to sit next to him.  Eventually Ben did just that, easing his way down onto the bed and leaning up against Danny for comfort.  Danny offered him kind and soothing words as he rubbed his back.  After several minutes, when they had stopped talking and were sitting quietly, they heard a loud buzz from the dresser at the foot of the bed.

Danny reached over, surprised to see “Oliver” flashing across his phone screen.  He showed Ben, shrugged, and answered.

“Hey Oliver, what’s up?  You’re on speakerphone.  Ben is here.”

“Hi babe,” chimed in Benjamin.

“Hey babe, hey Danny.  I’ve got little bit of a situation.  Do you have a minute?”  Danny looked at Ben, who nodded, and said “Sure.”  He put the phone down face-up on his chest.

Oliver began to speak again.  “So Emma called me last night…”

 

 

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Moving Day

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Emma looked at her feet as she shuffled into the living room in a straight line between Oliver and Benjamin. The three of them stopped alongside the wall, in front of a long defunct fireplace and surrounded by boxes and scattered rolls of packing tape. They turned obediently about-face in the room’s center. Emma bit her lip nervously as she watched Danny move his arms across his chest and survey the three young adults. They’d been packing silently in separate rooms for over an hour. Danny didn’t want to deal with them until they were sober.

Emma glanced at the clock still on the wall and cringed. She couldn’t believe she was sobering up before three in the afternoon. She’d only gotten high a handful of times in her life, and never in the middle of the day and definitely never when she was supposed to be doing something else. It had just seemed so serendipitous, coming across the rolled joint in a glass on top of the refrigerator as she packed up the kitchen.

She’d brought it to Ben with a smirk, and his eyes had lit up mischievously. A friend had left it as a goodbye present for him, and he’d forgotten all about it.

“Oh this is going to make packing so much less boring,” he’d said, and Emma had laughed, assuming he was joking. He hadn’t been, though, and she had to admit that the idea of getting a little stoned sounded fun. She frowned as she thought about what Danny would say. He was out running a few errands, getting more boxes and grabbing take-out for them to eat later. Ben had just graduated, and he and Oliver were moving across the country, back to where Danny and Ben had grown up. They would all be in the same neighborhood now, and Danny and Emma were there to help pack up the UHaul and tow it west.

It had been like Ben could read her thoughts and he quickly said, “Let’s ask Oliver! OLIVER!!!” He yelled his boyfriend’s name suddenly, making Emma cringe and then glare at him. Oliver made his way into the living room from the bedroom and was quickly brought up to speed. Emma had honestly expected Oliver to put a stop to it then and there, but she had underestimated how persuasive Ben could be. She shouldn’t have been surprised; he was Danny’s brother, after all, and Danny could charm the pictures off a wall.

At least Oliver was also worried about Danny’s reaction; it was his first thought, too. Strategy one for Ben was teasing his boyfriend– “Oh come on, you aren’t scared of Danny, are you?” to which Oliver replied with no hint of shame, “Of course I’m scared of him.” Ben had rolled his eyes and Emma had giggled, but she’s also gotten butterflies in her stomach. She was on the same page as Oliver. Ben had switched tactics immediately, instead trying to convince them that Danny wouldn’t care anyway, and he did have a point… or at least, it had seemed like he had a point at the time.

“He seriously won’t! We’re not driving anywhere or going to a fancy dinner or any of the stuff that would get him worked up.”

Ben was probably right about that. If they’d all taken a hit or two and gone back to work, Danny likely wouldn’t have cared. But of course that wasn’t how it had worked out, or they wouldn’t be on the receiving end of an impending lecture, or an impending… Emma didn’t want to think the word, as if somehow that would bring it into being more quickly.

It turned out that it had been a very generous friend who had left the joint, and after only a hit or two of the strong stuff, the three lightweights caught with the giggles. Whatever ideas they had about continuing to work were out the window like the smoke they were blowing.

~   ~   ~

Emma was jerked out of the recent memory and out of line at the same time. She yelped and hopped as Danny’s left hand connected with her seat half a dozen powerful times. His right hand, which had pulled her forward by her bicep, gently guided her backwards and back to her spot. A hot blush rushed up her body, and she could feel the heat radiating off of her face. Her eyes pricked with tears— not at the swats (though she could still feel them), but at the embarrassment of being caught distracted and punished for it in front of the boys.

She dragged her wet eyes up to meet her boyfriend’s face, swiping at the tears quickly as she did so. His eyes were firm but not without sympathy, which helped her meet his gaze. “Pay attention to me please, Emma. You’ve had plenty of time for your own thoughts. Now you get to hear mine.”

“Yes sir,” she said quietly.

On Emma’s right stood Oliver, who had his hands behind his back and nervously rocked back and forth on the balls of his feet. He was blushing almost as much as Emma, and would later tell her that Dan had said her name three times before swatting her. Ben stood to her right, his arms crossed defiantly in front of him. He alone seemed unsorry, and was more upset by the quick reprimand than she was.

Daniel stood very still, eyeballing each in turn as he considered what to say next. He noticed his brother’s defiant posture and focused his gaze in Ben’s direction.
“Do you have something you would like to say?” he asked.
Ben scowled and kicked at the old hardwood floors. “We still have plenty of time to get everything done.” He kept his eyes pointd toward the toe of his sneaker, glancing up at his big brother’s face only once and regretting it instantly. He doubled down on his sulky attitude, though, as he mumbled “You’re just mad because we did it without you.”

Emma felt her eyes rounding as she heard Ben talk. He was going to get Danny riled up, and they were all going to feel the consequences if he didn’t shut up.
“Benjamin,” came a voice from her right. She watched Danny’s mouth, which had likely been about to say same thing, close thoughtfully. She peeked up to see Oliver looking over her head at his boyfriend, his expression as stern as Danny’s. “Enough. Apologize.”

Emma’s eyes rolled over to Ben, who stood with his mouth gaping, looking like a fish out of water. He looked at Oliver, then at Danny, and back again. “But…” he whined.

“Now,” Oliver said, and Benjamin frowned prettily but said “Sorry, Danny.”

Oliver purposefully turned his attention back to Danny, standing as respectfully as possible and clearly prepared to continue being lectured. Danny nodded and said “Thank you,” though Emma wasn’t sure if he was talking to Oliver or Ben. She guessed both. Ben’s body seemed to visibly deflate as his shoulders sagged. His face lost the challenging expression he’d had as he fully embraced the pouting stage. She turned her attention back to Dan, who didn’t seem interested on dwelling on the exchange.

“You aren’t in trouble for smoking. With or without me,” he said dryly, and Benjamin had the grace to blush now. “You’re in trouble for completely abandoning the job we have to finish today. And you are in trouble for trying to hide it from me when I got back.”

All three of them squirmed at this. It had been an entirely useless attempt at deception. They’d reacted like a bunch of teenagers caught smoking in their parents’ basements instead of like three adults. Emma didn’t know what it was about getting busted passing a joint that made it feel so naughty. They’d heard Dan’s car pull up and had started fanning the room wildly with their arms, as if that would help anything, followed by a completely worthless attempt at acting normal.

Danny had been flustered. Flustered. She hadn’t known that was even possible before today. It hadn’t taken him long to recover, though, that was for sure. He seems to grow taller before their eyes. He wasn’t angry, exactly. Emma had seen angry. This was Danny at his most “oh, really?” as she called it in her head. He saw a problem that needed to be addressed, so here he was to address it.

“Did you get anything done while I was gone?” he’d asked directly, looking around at the half filled boxes and half emptied shelves. He held a plastic bag in each hand, filled with the sub sandwiches he’d gotten them for lunch. Which they still hadn’t gotten to eat.

Clearly they hadn’t, and she—

~   ~   ~

“Emma Grace,” Danny said, jerking her back to reality again. He looked so. mad. She couldn’t believe she’d let her mind wander again. He was going to murder her.

“Sorry, sorrysorrysorry!” she said quickly, as her hands covered her bottom. She resisted the urge to step behind Ben or Oliver, but barely. “I’m listening!”

”I think listening is proving too difficult for you right now. It‘s time for my hand to do the talking.”

Emma hated it when cheesy lines like that made her insides jump. Danny pointed to the corners behind them, one to the left and one to the right, and both currently emptied of furniture. “Oliver. Benjamin.” Emma took a step back. Oh, no. She was first.
Reluctantly, and with sympathetic glances in Emma’s directions, the boys turned toward their respective corners. Danny retrieved one of the old wooden chairs from the dining room and sat facing Emma. He held her in his gaze for a moment, his hands casually resting on his lap before raising one hand and crooking a finger at her.

She bit her lip again, a nervous habit that never seemed to relieve her nerves at all, and slowly shuffled to his side. He reached up, gently tipping her forward and across his lap. She wiggled a bit, settling herself, and he scooched her closer to his middle before resting his hand on her thighs, just below the hem of the dress she was wearing. She knew he wasn’t about to start spanking her that low but she still let out a worried moan. The hand slid up, pushing the thin material up her thighs and across her bottom to rest on the skintight black shorts she wore underneath. His right hand met the left, taking the bunched up material of her dress and moving it up and out of the way. Danny began to speak.

“You’re having an awful lot of trouble listening today, young lady.” The blush on Emma’s cheeks rose anew as he continued, “Not the best strategy for someone about to be spanked.”

”Dannnnyyy,” she whined, covering her face with her hands, effectively hiding from the floor. Her boyfriend patted her bottom affectionately, then adjusted his grip around her waist in a way she recognized.

Sure enough, the first swat cracked down seconds later, propelling her forward. Her hands fell from her face and landed in the floor, fingers splayed as she braced herself against the onslaught. Danny was methodical, covering every bit of her exposed bottom with his hard open palm. Emma was painfully aware of the boys in their corners and tried desperately to remain quiet, but it was a fruitless effort. She squeaked and yipped, unable to hold back her reactions as Danny spanked and lectured her.

”I expect better from you. I want you to have fun but we take care of our obligations first. And you had no business trying to keep up with the boys anyway, young lady. You know what kind of tolerance you have.”

This, for Emma, was the most embarrassing part. She felt like a kid, being reminded that she couldn’t quite hang with the older crowd yet. Danny was right, of course. He and the others all smoked more often than her, not that any of them were judging the others for it.

“You know better than to think you can get your work done and done well after you’ve been smoking.”

She did know better, and she felt like she shrank three sizes as he finished her spanking. As the last swats fell and he pulled up her underwear and shorts and began to rub her back, she knew her bottom must be glowing. He soon guided her back up to standing and stood as well, hugging her and kissing the top of her head. He didn’t wait long though before gently pulling away, cupping her face for a minute before pointing her in the direction of Oliver’s corner.

She stuck her bottom lip out, and he raised an eyebrow at her. That same pretty lip ended up in her teeth again and she turned and scurried toward the corner, but not fast enough to avoid one final loud pop to her now sore bottom.

She yelped and immediately covered her backside, looking back over her shoulder as she quickened her steps. “Come here, Oliver,” she heard Danny say, and she cast her eyes down as she saw him turn. She was so embarrassed by what had just happened and by what was about to happen that she couldn’t risk looking him in the face.

She saw his feet shuffle past hers as she plastered herself into the corner where he had been. She immediately jammed her fingers into her ears and shut her eyes tightly, though little good it did her. Within seconds she felt her wrists being grabbed and her arms being extended and rearranged, placed neatly on the small of her back. Then her dress was being lifted and clasped along with her wrists in one large hand, while the other came down sharply on her spandex shorts.

”Ow! Ow! Sorry! Sorry!” she squealed as he lit her up again.

”Show me how you stand in a corner, young lady,” Danny said behind her— too close behind her, in her opinion. No ill-will toward Ollie, but she wanted Danny back across the room as fast as possible. She snapped her feet together and clasped her hands loosely without moving them from her back when Danny released her arms. Again, her face radiated so much heat that she felt confident she could power a small appliance with the energy.

”Better,” her boyfriend said as she heard him walk back to the chair in the center of the room. “Now, Oliver,” he continued, and Emma could hear the jingle of Oliver’s belt. She cringed. Danny must be taking down his pants. “Let’s talk about some of the choices you made today.”

Unable to cover her ears, Emma heard Oliver groan, knew it was only a matter of time before—

Smack!

—the spanking started. The swats were loud and echoey from her spot in the corner, but not nearly enough to hide the grunts and yelps Oliver was emitting at regular intervals. Or Danny, as he scolded him.

“I expect you to make better decisions, young man. You are well-aware of the schedule we’re on, and what needs to be finished today. It was irresponsible, Oliver, and I expect better.”

The steady sound of Danny spanking what Emma knew had to be Oliver’s bare Read the rest of this entry

This Brush?

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Oliver lay on his back with an arm around Benjamin, who was snug up against him. He’d just gotten home from a trip out west, where he’d found an apartment for them to share at the end of May when they moved. His boyfriend was pressing him for details, but not about their new place or future neighborhood or the flight home.

”Did he make you stand in the corner?”

“No, he did not. Why are you so curious about what Danny did to me, huh? You lookin’ for a demonstration?” Oliver ran the hand behind Ben through his boyfriend’s hair affectionately, making sure he knew there was no heat behind the threat.  In truth he felt like Ben deserved whatever answers he wanted; Oliver had upset him and he had every right to be upset. If what he wanted was details, Oliver would do his best.

”Did he use the hairbrush?”

”Yes, you little miscreant. I’m sure you knew he would.”

”I didn’t!” Ben said, a little indignantly. “I didn’t know for sure you were gonna be in trouble.” He turned on the bed, sitting up a little and looking down at Oliver as he asked, “Does it still hurt?” His face was filled with such sweet earnest worry that Oliver couldn’t help but to lean up and kiss him quickly.

He winced dramatically with the movement, then winked as his head hit the pillow again. “Yes, it does. But not much. Only when I sit down too hard.”

Ben searched Oliver’s face a moment more before laying down again, his head on Ollie’s chest. “Well. You did deserve it.”

”Yes,” said Oliver, giving Ben a squeeze. “I guess I did.”

They lay silently for a few minutes before Ben said, “Did you cry?”

Oliver flushed a little, but he answered truthfully, “Yeah, I did.”

He felt Ben give a little shudder beside him as he said “He always makes me cry if he thinks what I did was dangerous, or if he thinks I’m screwing up my life somehow.”

”What’d you do?” Oliver asked, sensing something in Ben’s tone and suddenly curious himself.  In seconds he could feel the heat from Ben’s face through the thin fabric of his shirt, but he didn’t speak until Oliver nudged him.

”It’s so embarrassing though!” Ben whined into Oliver’s chest, but his boyfriend just chuckled.

“It’s all embarrassing, sweet boy. I’m beginning to think that’s half the point.” He kissed the top of Ben’s head.

”There wasn’t just one time,” Ben mumbled, but Oliver would have guessed that.

“But there’s one time you’re thinking of?”

“Maybe…”

~   ~   ~

Ben heard a noise downstairs and paused the video game he was playing to lean over and look out of his bedroom window.  FUCK.

Why?  Why was Danny’s car in the driveway?  He was in school three hours away and there was literally no reason for him to be here and this was not good this was so not good this was–

“Benjamin! Get down here.”

Ben scrambled up from his spot on the floor, looking around his room for no particular reason, panicked.  He was supposed to be in school right now, but with their parents in Switzerland or Kenya or wherever they were this week, he wasn’t even pretending to be sick.  Not that he needed much of an excuse when they were home; the smallest hint of a cough and his mother would cup his face and kiss his forehead and tell him to stay home and rest.  But today he just wasn’t in school.  And maybe he had skipped yesterday.  And the day before.

Danny’s voice traveled up the stairs again, “Benjamin Ryan!  Now!”

Ben took a deep breath and exited his room.  The stairs ended by the kitchen, where Danny was standing with his arms crossed, leaning back against the breakfast table.  “Why?  Why are you not in school?” he said as soon as Ben’s foot touched the bottom step.

Ben sat on the landing, crossing his own arms and looking away.  “Hello to you, too. I don’t feel good.”

Dan let the silence grow so thick that eventually Ben couldn’t help but look over at his older brother.  The muscles of Danny’s clenched jaw were twitching, and Ben was afraid his head might actually explode.  That would be hard to explain to their parents.

~   ~   ~

“Wait so when was this?” Oliver asked.

“Senior year.  Not too long before graduation because it was Danny’s spring break.  Ours was two weeks earlier.”

“He was in grad school already?”

“Yeah, Mr. Over-achiever finished undergrad a year early and went straight back to school.”

“Got it got it.  So then what happened?”

~   ~   ~

“I am not Mom.  Or Dad.  Try again,” Danny finally ground out.

“Well they don’t care so why do you care?” Ben pouted.  It was the wrong thing to say.  He barely had time to eek out a “Wait I didn’t mean it!” before Danny was hauling him up with one strong hand on the younger boy’s bicep and swatting his backside with the other.  Dan didn’t dignify the comment with a verbal response, but Ben got the message loud and clear.  He was cognizant of his yelps echoing up the stairwell as the spanking went on and on.  With a final almighty whack, he was deposited back on the steps.  He immediately shifted left and right, sliding his hands under his stinging backside and grateful he was still in the sweatpants he’d worn to bed.

Danny squatted in front of him, not looking the least bit mollified.  “Don’t try that again, Ben.  I mean it.”

Ben nodded silently; he’d regretted it the moment the words had left his mouth, and not just because of the immediate repercussions.  Despite the occasional teenage resentment, Ben knew exactly why Danny cared, and how much.  They’d had their share of heart-to-hearts over the years.  Their parents loved them, but they both traveled for work and just as often for pleasure.  When they were home, both were so conflict avoidant that Ben never faced any consequences for whatever had happened in their absence.

Ben wasn’t mature enough yet to wonder at what it must have cost his brother to step into his role as a third parent so early, but he was old enough to be grateful.  Usually.

Dan stalked back to the kitchen table, resuming his earlier stance and gazing at his little brother with stern, forbidding eyes.  Ben leaned his head against the wall and sulked.  He didn’t care in this moment what motivated his brother.  He just knew that his week of staying home playing video games and staying up late was over.

“Do you know how many days you’ve missed this year?” Danny finally asked.

“I dunno… like eight?”

Dan glared at him.  “Try twenty.”

~   ~   ~

Twenty?!  How did you get away with twenty absences?  We could only have three unexcused ones before they sent someone to your house!”

Ben had the grace to blush as he traced the pattern on Oliver’s t-shirt with his finger.  “Well most of them were excused because my mom would get a doctor’s note.  Plus I went to private school so it’s a little easier to get away with things there.  But it also makes it a little easier to bend other rules.  Danny was getting cc’d on all the communications to my parents.  That’s how he knew I’d been out of school three days in a row.”

Oliver shook his head.  “I would have murdered my sisters if they’d had twenty absences.  Were you ever even sick?”

“Maybe once or twice, but not really.  It was actually a pretty sweet deal.”

Oliver rolled his eyes, though Ben wasn’t able to see it.  “Okay, high school me would have been jealous.  But high school me also didn’t have a Danny.”

“High school you was lucky.”

~   ~   ~

“Stand up. Put your nose in the corner,” Danny said abruptly. He pointed to the landing corner, before the stairs turned sharply right. Ben stared at him, dumbfounded. “What?!” he said finally, then immediately stood and scrambled backward as Danny started to walk toward him. His brother stopped at the bottom of the three steps leading up to the landing. Ben was plastered to the wall, eyeing the upper floor shrewdly as he said “I’m not a little kid! You can’t put me in time-out!”

~   ~   ~

“You yelled that at me last week,” Oliver said, laughing. Ben jerked his head up off of his boyfriend’s torso and glared down at him.

“I did not!”

Oliver merely raised his eyebrows in response.

“Are you finished interrupting?” Ben huffed.

“I am, I am, please continue,” Ollie placated him, rubbing his back as he settled back down. It wasn’t worth pressing at the moment.

~   ~   ~

It hadn’t been the most obedient five minutes Ben had ever spent in a corner, but it was the first time.  He’d stomped and fidgeted and banged his head lightly against the wall. He’d let out a long dramatic sigh.

He’d let out several long dramatic sighs.

When Danny did call him, it was from the living room.  Ben trudged in, hands in his pockets, trying to portray a nonchalance he didn’t quite feel. His brother sat in one of the two floral-patterned fauteuil chairs, and gestured for Ben to sit in the other. Ben did, slouching in response to Danny’s straight backed posture across from him.

Danny didn’t look much less annoyed than he had earlier. Ben didn’t care. He knew what was about to happen, knew it was inevitable, and now just wanted Danny to know how little he cared.

”Sit up,” Dan said immediately, and perhaps predictably (though Ben would have vehemently denied that he was purposefully antagonizing the older boy). Ben rolled his eyes, but complied. Dan continued to speak. “I’m not going to waste much time talking about why you should be in school right now. We’ve been over it. And over it.”

Ben rolled his eyes, pointing them skyward and ignoring his heating face as he forced himself to say “Just get it over with.”

”Look at me, please,” Danny replied. With an exaggerated turn of his head, Ben looked back.  Danny was reaching for a box that lay on the small round table between the two angled chairs. He opened it as he spoke, extracting a solid oval hairbrush with a dark finish. “I got this on the drive here, at an antique store off the highway.”

He didn’t explain it further. He didn’t need to. Ben’s chest was tight and he couldn’t take his eyes off the wooden hairbrush. Danny had threatened, on more than one occasion, to buy a one. Ben never thought it would actually happen.

”I’m finished explaining to you why it is so important for you to do your best. For you to behave yourself. For you to continue to do well in school. You’re going to have to grow up a little and figure that out on your own. And I’m confident you will.

“Today I’m going to give you one very good reason for you to do all of the above.”

”You can’t… you can’t hit me with that,” Ben said. He had intended to sound surly, but he came nowhere close.

”I can, and will, be spanking you with this hairbrush, Benjamin. Today, and any day you miss school until graduation. If I have to drive three hours to do it, I’ll drive three hours to do it. If I have to miss class to take care of you, that’s a second spanking before school the next morning.”

Ben tore his gaze away from the brush and gaped at his brother, not wanting to believe him but knowing he meant every word. The fire in his eyes had been replaced with grim determination. Ben watched him scoot toward the edge of his chair, a small step in the direction of doom for Ben’s bottom. “Time to ‘get it over with,’ as you requested.”

Ben leaned down, elbows on his knees and face in his hands. He rubbed his eyes, a useless attempt to wake up from this nightmare. And to stall for time. What were his options? He could run, but Danny was faster. He could fight, but Danny was stronger. He could argue, but Danny was grabbing his arm and pulling him over and—

And then it was happening, he was  horizontal over Danny’s lap and his pants were pulled down to his knees, with nothing left to do but accept the inevitable, though Ben’s interpretation of “accept” left lots of wiggle room. Ben groaned and then Danny’s hand landed, and then it didn’t stop landing for a very long time.

Ben refused to make any more noise at first, but as the heat in his backside began to build, he found himself banging the floor in frustration. Danny didn’t notice or didn’t care. His hand never slowed. “This isn’t fair! I don’t deserve this!” he yelled out, and Danny did seem to notice that because he paused to yank Ben’s boxers down to join his sweatpants. “Ahh!” Ben called out as the pain increased. “Just stop!”

Danny said above him, with all the patience of Ghandi, “I have only one point to make today, Benjamin. But I don’t think you’re ready to listen yet.” Oliver felt the strength of the swats increase and he yelled out again, then flung his hand back in a vain attempt at stopping the spanking, even momentarily. Danny trapped it with ease, not being inexperienced with this move, and continued with yet another round of searing swats.

“I’m ready to listen! Danny! I’m ready to listen!” Ben finally broke, but nothing changed. He tried again a minute later, as his legs scissored wildly, “I’ll go to school! I won’t miss any more days! Even if I’m sick!” but there was still no pause in the steady onslaught. Every inch of his butt hurt, not to mention the tops of his thighs. He never thought he’d miss the lecture part, but at least it generally made Danny slow down. “I won’t ever be late again! I’ll show up early! Danny I swear just stoooooopp!” he whined desperately.

This seemed to have the opposite effect from what Ben wanted, though, as Danny began concentrating all of his very powerful efforts on the undercurve of Ben’s backside and the tops of his thighs. Ben screeched and flailed, and finally did get another pause, but only to hear Danny’s voice, deadly quiet, advising him to be careful with his kicking feet.

”How? I can’t help it!” Ben said. Danny shifted Ben’s body forward, across one knee, and threw his leg across Ben’s.

“I think this is going to be necessary anyway today, so we might as well start now,” he proclaimed as he started in again on Ben’s hot and swollen backside. The swats were no harder but now the skin and muscles of Ben’s backside were pulled tight and the impact seemed to quadruple.

Ben was starting to feel a lot of regret about a lot of things; there was no room in his mind to worry about his impending date with the hairbrush. He didn’t even remember to be mad at his brother, he was so desperate to be out of this situation.

Eventually the swats did slow and then stop, and Danny released Ben’s hand so his own would be free to rub the boy’s back. Ben’s eyes were full of unshed tears as he soaked up the comfort he was given. “I’m sorry” he choked out, his attitude completely gone as he lay there, his rear end throbbing and sore.

Danny continued to rub his back as he said, “I know you are, kid. You always are in this position, and I think you genuinely mean it at the time. And then you forget.”  Ben felt Dan reach over to the table, and then felt the smooth finish of the new hairbrush glide across the taught skin of his backside. He started struggling immediately, but Danny grasped his wrist again and easily kept him in place as he continued, “I’m going to give you something you better not forget. You might forget all the reasons, but you better remember what this feels like, because it will happen again when and if it needs to.”

”I won’t forget! Please Danny, I won’t, I get it, I’m sorry,” he babbled, tears finally dropping on the hardwood floor in anticipation of the hairbrush landing. But it didn’t stop it from coming. Danny brought the hairbrush down firmly on Ben’s backside, first the left cheek and then the right, slower than before but hard, until Ben’s bottom had been thoroughly punished with the implement. And then he brought it down six more times, three to each sitspot, each swat deliberate and forceful.

Ben was a mess when it finally ended and he was pulled up to sit in Danny’s lap, where he clung to his brother, crying and apologizing and assuring him that he would never need to use the hairbrush again.

~   ~   ~

”This hairbrush?” Oliver asked, idly reaching over to the nightstand where they kept the antique.

”That hairbrush,” Ben said disdainfully, looking up to see it in his boyfriend’s hand.

”Never again, huh?” Oliver asked teasingly as he returned it to its spot.

”Well I hadn’t really figured out how terrible and mean Danny is. And don’t even get me started on you! I hadn’t met you yet.”

Oliver rolled over, quickly placing himself on top of Ben, his knees on either side of his boyfriend’s waist. “And what is so wrong with me, little boy?”

Ben grinned up mischievously. “I said don’t get me started! You are the most—“ but he didn’t get to finish his sentence because Oliver cut him off with a kiss.

”Sorry,” he said when their lips parted, his hands now planted along side Ben’s face, supporting his torso. “I thought you might be about to say something you’d regret.” Ben giggled, then Oliver asked, “Did you miss any more days?”

”No! Would you have missed any more days?!”

Oliver looked up and tick-tocked his head in an exaggerated show of contemplation, thinking about the last three days and the replacement hairbrush Danny had found. “No, I don’t think I would have.”

Power Exchange

Standard

“Ben, come on babe! We were supposed to be on the road ten minutes ago.”

“I’m coming!”

~ ~ ~

“Honey, we’re going to miss our flight. I told you to eat before we left.”

“I wasn’t hungry earlier! It’ll just take a minute to order.”

~ ~ ~

“Benjamin, put the phone away. They have already asked you twice.”

“It doesn’t matter, Oliver. My one phone is not going to be the reason our flight crashes.”

Oliver leaned in very close to Ben, who sat by the window in their row of three. “No, it won’t be. Because it will be turned off and stowed in the seat back pocket in the next thirty seconds.” Ben glared at his boyfriend, a frown on his face that looked distinctly pouty, but Oliver continued talking in the same low controlled voice, “You have used up the very end of my patience, little boy. Your behavior from this moment until we land better be close to perfect, or the first thing I’m going to ask your brother is if I can borrow his hairbrush.”

Ben squirmed in his seat, glancing around the cabin conspicuously as he stowed his phone, but no one was paying attention to him besides Oliver. He crossed his arms and slouched in his seat, pulling his hoody lower over his head and across his eyes, all under the watchful glare of his disapproving boyfriend.

~ ~ ~

They made it to Danny and Emma’s without incident, much to Oliver’s surprise and relief. Ben’s efforts to sulk had lead to an accidental nap, which seemed to have improved his mood. It was a fun reunion for the brothers, who only saw each other a few times a year, and their respective partners got along like old friends.

The next morning, however, Ben’s bad attitude was back in full force. He was cranky about getting up for breakfast, so Oliver let him sleep; then he was mad that he had missed it. He stomped around the kitchen, looking for cereal and complaining loudly. He shut a cabinet door with particular ferocity, the bang echoing loudly through the house. Ben’s shoulders hunched and he froze, not wanting to turn around as he heard two doors swing open. He slowly peeked over his shoulder, then turned to see his boyfriend standing with his arms crossed in the guest room door, leveling a glare in his direction. Ben pushed his back against the counter and glanced upstairs, where Danny stood in his own bedroom door in a similarly intimidating position. “Sorry,” Ben mumbled. “Accident.”

Danny’s arms uncrossed as his hands found their ways to his hips and he repeated back, “Accident?” Ben looked up at him, attempting to look contrite, and watched his big brother hesitate uncharacteristically. Dan glanced at Oliver’s equally rigid figure, then gave Ben a look that made the younger man blush and look down. “No more accidents, please,” he said in a deceptively casual voice before turning around and shutting his bedroom door behind him.

Benjamin caught himself halfway through a sigh of relief before he remembered another pair of eyes were still watching him. “Sorry, Ollie,” he said sheepishly.

“I’m going to show you what sorry looks like if you keep it up” Oliver said sternly, keeping his gaze leveled at his boyfriend. When it became apparent that he was going to have to fix his meal with an audience, Ben turned slowly and opened the next cabinet door, very gently, finding the cereal and continuing his task. He was embarrassed to be overseen but grateful to have his boyfriend. On a good day with just Danny, Ben would be parked in a corner right now. On a bad day…

Ben squirmed a little at the thought, trying to pass it off as getting comfortable as he sat at the kitchen table. He relaxed a bit as he heard Oliver’s retreating footsteps, and he knew he was finally alone.

~ ~ ~

It could have ended there, but of course it didn’t. They had a lazy day, a nice dinner, and part of a fun round of mini-golf. Ben’s bad mood began to creep back in the further along the course they got, and as he began to lose. He made comments that were less funny and more snide, and his body language was aggressive as he took his shots across green felt fields full of miniature windmills and into the mouths of plaster alligators. He and Oliver were ahead of Emma and Danny, and the mood of the group was definitely taking a hit. Things came to a head at hole 17. They had caught up to the family ahead of them, and in his impatience, Ben had shot while one of their members was cutting across the green to catch up with her parents. His ball ricocheted off her foot, a product of bad timing that should have resulted in an agreeable do-over. Instead, Ben raised his small golf club up and rammed it back into the ground, hard, as he swore.

Oliver’s mouth dropped open and his eyebrows shot up; he quickly spun toward the other group and was grateful that the girl had simply apologized when the ball hit her foot and kept walking. The rest of them either didn’t hear or were politely ignoring the outburst. When he turned back around, it was to see Danny walking forward, eyes laser focused on his little brother. Though for a second he was sure that Dan was going to start wailing on Ben right there, Oliver was grateful things did not play out that way. He was already embarrassed enough at his boyfriend’s tantrum.

“Wait, Danny!” came Ben’s panicked voice. He was clearly worried about the same thing. Dan took his brother’s club and handed it and his own to Oliver without looking over. His attention was still completely on Ben, which was not something most people ever wanted to happen. He still didn’t speak as he grabbed the younger man’s right bicep with his own left hand and practically marched the boy off the course and toward the parking lot. Oliver shook his head and sighed, bending down to retrieve Ben’s ball. He and Emma exchanged awkward glances. She looked worried, and he guessed she was right to do so. All evidence suggested that Dan was going to tear Ben a new one as soon as they got home, and Oliver couldn’t blame him. He sighed again as he and Emma walked toward the hut to return their equipment. He should have just spanked his boyfriend at the airport.

~ ~ ~

The ride home was painfully silent. Emma and Oliver had approached the car slowly; they could see the silhouette of Dan in the front seat turned around, talking to the shadowy figure that was Ben, slumped in the back seat with his arms crossed, his entire body pushed back against the door. Suddenly shape one turned back around and the car came to life. Emma and Oliver hurried the last few steps, since it appeared the lecture was over, and loaded into the car. Oliver was a little worried about Ben, but his worry turned quickly back into aggravation. He thought the younger man might need some comfort or reassurance, but no, Benjamin’s face was once again defiant and pouty, and he refused to look anywhere besides out the window. Fine, he thought, be that way and see if I don’t spank you again before bed tonight.

Ben barely waited until the car was stopped before jumping out, not quite slamming his door and snatching the hidden key on the front porch and storming into the house, all while the three in the car watched. Emma made a small worried sound, and Danny moved his review mirror to look at Oliver as he spoke. “Are you going to sort him out?” he said bluntly.

Oliver stammered at first. The question caught him off-guard, but Dan watched the confusion turn to resolution as he answered. “I… well. Yeah, I think I will.” And then he unbuckled his seatbelt, got out the car and walked purposefully into the house.

Danny reached over and put a hand on Emma’s thigh and squeezed gently. “You okay?” he asked. She put her hand over his and returned the squeeze as she said with a small shrug and uncharacteristic nonchalance, “It’s about time.” Danny smiled, and they headed into the house.

~ ~ ~

Oliver wasted no time once he had made a decision. Whatever patience he’d possessed was long gone, and he felt empowered by Danny to do what he should have done days ago. He found Ben in the small bathroom attached to their room, drying his freshly washed face over the sink, clad only in dark red boxer-briefs as he prepared for bed. When he brought the towel down, he was startled to make eye contact in the mirror with Oliver, who had moved into the room quietly and now stood behind his boyfriend with his arms crossed. Ben’s mouth dropped open and he watched in horror as Oliver’s arms unfolded and he reached over, taking Ben’s bicep and pulling him toward the bed.

“You guys can’t just haul me around whenever you feel like it!” Ben yelled, resisting, but despite their relatively similar body types, his efforts were no use on the short walk. In no time, Oliver was perched on the edge of the bed, one foot propped on the wooden frame that held the mattress, elevating the knee over which he deposited his bratty boyfriend. Ben struggled the entire time, which was new for Oliver but didn’t slow him down. He had spanked his boyfriend a few times now, but only playfully or for something Ben himself felt guilty over. Now he was beginning to see that his boyfriend needed this physical reassurance even when the big stuff was taken care of. Well, thought Oliver as he ran an appreciative hand across the fabric of Benjamin’s underwear, I think I am up to the task.

He lifted his hand and began the spanking, bringing it down forcibly enough to rocket Ben’s body forward, even as he redoubled his efforts to rise. “Let me up!” he screeched.

“This is happening whether you make a big production of it or not, little boy. But Danny and Emma are plenty aware of your situation without the yelling.”

His words had the desired effect. He glanced down to see a tremendous blush rising on Ben’s face, and he was much less vocal as swats continued to reign down on his still wiggly behind. Oliver wasn’t holding back, perturbed as he was by the constantly ignored warnings and continued naughty behavior from his boyfriend since the beginning of their trip. Several minutes passed with just the steady sound of one young man’s hand landing rhythmically on the other’s bottom, accompanied by the occasional grunts and shifting of blankets as Ben continued to struggle quietly.

Almost to the moment, it occurred to Oliver that his arm was wearing out much earlier than he wanted, and there was a knock at the door. Two sharp raps echoed and both boys paused, Ben craning his neck awkwardly to look, his eyes wide. Oliver said “come in,” knowing it could only be one of two people. Ben groaned; it was Danny, carrying his hairbrush and handing it wordlessly to Oliver, who nodded his thanks.

Ben was too busy burying his face in his arms to watch Danny leave. Oliver rested his newly acquired implement on the red boxer briefs; the thin fabric did little to prevent the heat emanating from his boyfriend’s backside. He began to speak.

“It must be very embarrassing to have your brother see you getting your backside spanked by your boyfriend.” The remark caused a low moan from Ben, who was suddenly feeling very small. “Today, Benjamin, I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed by your behavior at mini-golf. I was embarrassed by your poor attitude on the way home. Especially because I know, and Danny and Emma know, what a charming and fun person you usually are.”

Oliver could feel Ben’s body tensing, and suspected that his boyfriend’s resistance wasn’t totally out of his system. Not wanting to give him a chance to get worked up again, Oliver picked up the brush, then hooked his thumbs under the elastic of Ben’s underwear and pulled them down. Ben did start to wiggle immediately, accompanied by an indignant “Oliver!”

Oliver began spanking again, and the sound of the wooden hairbrush on bare skin echoed in the room. “I think that’s enough talking, little boy. You know how unacceptable this attitude of yours has been and the behavior that came with it. Now we are at the consequences stage, and you have earned yourself a nice long spanking, so that’s what you’re going to get.”

“Ollieee…” came a pitiful response, and Oliver felt confident that the wiggles and kicks were almost involuntary now. He was going to have to invest in a hairbrush soon.

“You don’t need a hairbrush! I’ll be good!” said Ben. Oops, thought Oliver. Didn’t mean to say that out loud. He began to wrap up the spanking, concentrating on Ben’s sit-spots, making sure his entire bottom was a uniform shade of red, not much different than the underwear dangling around Ben’s knees. He slowed, then stopped, setting the hairbrush down and running his hand up and down his boyfriend’s back and bottom, inspecting and comforting at the same time. Eventually he pulled the young man up, reassuring him with forehead kisses and gentle touches, then guiding him to bed.

As he climbed into bed himself, Oliver felt strangely satisfied. He felt very confident that the next two days would be pleasant, and he liked knowing that he had take care of his partner. He pulled Ben close, smiling as they both drifted off to sleep.

~ ~ ~

The trip did finish well. Despite some initial protesting, Ben had returned his brother’s hairbrush with an apology for his behavior. He got off with barely any lecturing, for which he was grateful. He had always recognized his brother’s quiet alpha status, his ability to find what motivated people and use it to bring out their best. He was starting to see, too, that Danny had no stake in who handled the consequences or encouragements he thought necessary, at least for the people for whom he felt responsible. He just wanted them taken care of.

On the return flight, Oliver smiled and Benjamin scowled as they made their way through security. The oak hairbrush was tucked innocently into a side pocket of Oliver’s carry-on backpack, an unexpected souvenir. They went through without incident, and were soon homeward bound.

~ ~ ~

Back at home, Danny was straightening their room as Emma stripped the bed in the guest room. She was just tugging the fitted sheet off the far corner of the bed when she heard a call from upstairs.

“Emma, have you seen my hairbrush?”

What Not to Say (in front of Danny)

Standard

Danny put both hands on the table and leaned in toward them. “Unless you’re looking for a pair of sore backsides before supper, I suggest you quiet down and let me get this finished. I’m not going to ask again.” He turned back towards the office as Emma’s eyes rounded and she felt her face grow warm. Danny had never given any hints about that part of their relationship in front of anyone, no matter what was going on in their home! And in front of his brother! What would he think if he knew… she risked a quick glance sideways at her new companion. Ben seemed to be as flustered as her was, his cheeks a bright pink and his eyes fixed blankly on the table. Danny had threatened both of them. Did Danny still…?

No way. Emma knew that Dan and his younger brother were really close, and she’d heard her boyfriend get on to him a few times over the telephone about school work and other little things, but nothing to imply that he still… And besides, Ben was twenty-two… of course, she was twenty-two it didn’t stopped Danny from busting her tail whenever he felt like it.

Ben looked up, catching her eye, and they both looked quickly away. As the silence grew deafening, Ben grabbed a pen and scrawled on the margin of Emma’s magazine. “Does Danny…?” She nodded slowly, took the pen, and wrote “you?” Ben nodded solemnly, took back the pen and smiled a little as he wrote “he’s got hands like canoe oars!” Emma barely suppressed her giggle, which grew as Ben began to draw a portrait of his brother, complete with paddle hands and an ass’s head. Soon they were cutting up again. Ben had come to visit them in California for the first time since Dan and Emma had moved in together; he was in his last year of school in Atlanta, where he was getting degree in graphic design. Ben and Emma had hit it off immediately, teasing each other and laughing as if they were long lost siblings themselves.

Danny’s threat was forgotten as Ben began to tickle Emma and she screeched and began hurling anything within her grasp toward her attacker. It was forgotten, that is, until they heard the scrape of the office chair. They were immediately quiet, too little too late, of course, as Dan appeared in the doorway. He leaned against the frame, surveying their guilty faces as they sneaked glances his way. “Come here.”

Slowly they both scooted away from the table and shuffled his direction, stopping in front of him with their eyes on their shoes and their hands behind their backs. “Ben,” and his brother’s head snapped up, “take this,” and Dan handed over his debit card, “and Emma,” now her eyes on him, too, “take these,” and he handed her the car keys, “and go get a pizza.” He fought to keep his face firm as he watched their slow smiles start and their bodies relax. “And if you’re not gone the better part of an hour, you’ll both sleep on your stomachs tonight!” he said with mock severity. They didn’t need to be asked twice, making it out the door in record time as Dan turned back toward the desk and his unfinished stack of papers to grade.

***

That evening found them in the local pub, sitting around a small table close to a little stage where local musicians played the usual classic rock covers. After two pitchers of beer between them, Ben and Emma where shouting requests and singing along, Danny laughing as he sipped his second mugful, having been designated the driver before hand. Danny laughing, that is, until Emma noticed an ex-classmate of hers and decided to point her out to Ben, who immediately proceeded to give his critiques on everything from the girl’s dangerously high heels to the beefy boyfriend she had on her arm. Drunk and giggly, Ben began a running commentary on the patrons of the bar, Emma egging him on as he got louder and louder and ignored every warning signal Danny sent their way. Ben finally snapped something about a woman sitting at the table to the right, loud enough that they all turned his direction as he slurred his catty remarks about the lady’s blouse being see-through. Danny was up in a heartbeat, apologizing to the woman and her bigger-than-average husband, glaring at his brother and girlfriend and their sloppy unapologetic grins and berating himself for not dragging them out five minutes earlier.

“It wasn’t a big deal, Danny, and besides, it was a slutty shirt,” Emma said as they trekked down the street towards the car a few blocks away. Danny took a deep breath and kept walking, ready for the pair of them to be sober so he could make clear exactly what he thought of their impromptu “What Not to Wear” mock-up. Ben was stumbling behind Emma, his face a bit pale as the last couple drinks entered his system. Emma began to mumble again, and Danny turned sharply, her nearly running into him, and brought his face very close to hers. “Emma Grace, I am three seconds from–”

And that’s when Ben stumbled over and released the contents of his stomach on the sidewalk at their feet.

***

Emma’s eyes opened abruptly and she was awake, although she remained very still until she realized that the other side of the bed was cold; Danny must be awake and moving. She relaxed a moment, physically at least. It really wasn’t a good sign. She tended to be an early riser, while Dan was a big fan of sleeping in on Saturdays… her watch said it was just now eight, and they hadn’t even left the bar until almost 3… and if Danny was already up… oh boy. This was bad. This was very bad.

She saw a big glass of orange juice and a pair of Advil sitting on the night stand beside her, but she told herself that they didn’t look appealing and stubbornly closed her eyes again. Thirty minutes later she was still trying desperately to fall back asleep when Danny came back in the bedroom. “I know you’re awake,” he said from somewhere above her, “and I don’t know why that juice is untouched.” She remained perfectly still. “Ben should be awake by the time you’re out of the shower. I’ll see you in the living room.” As he shut the door, she groaned inwardly and began to sit up…

***

In the guest bedroom, Ben woke with a mild headache and an unexplained sense of doom. Unexplained until he took in his surroundings, the corner desk and the flowery curtains: Danny’s guest room. “Shit,” he mumbled, turning to find the glass of juice he knew would be sitting on the night stand. He vaguely remembered downing several glasses of water and a couple Advil before being put to bed. Ohhh, a little voice inside his head whispered, last night wasn’t just a regular night of drinking with Danny putting you to bed… big brother was mad. Just how mad, Ben couldn’t remember– he could barely remember getting home last night– but he had an uneasy feeling that maybe he had something to do with it.

***

Emma walked timidly towards the couch where Ben sat, looking miserable in his loose plaid pajama pants, eyes puffy from the drinking and hair still mussed. Dan wasn’t in the room, but she guessed he wouldn’t be long in coming. Sure enough, he walked in carrying a chair from the kitchen a few seconds later and planted himself across from the 22 year-olds.

“Any reason I shouldn’t wear the two of you out?”

Protests, blaming their actions on the alcohol, died in Emma’s throat. She’s learned early on in their relationship Danny’s feelings about that old excuse. “If you’re old enough to drink, you’re old enough to know your limits.” She shook her head miserably alongside Ben.

“Right then,” and his damned decisive nod, “Emma, you’re up first.” She walked to his side, put her hands to her waist band and looked at him pleadingly as she glanced at his brother on the couch. He’d never so much as threatened a spanking in front of anyone else, and now she was about to be on the receiving end with an audience. Her stomach tightened and a lump rose in her throats as he simply raised his eyebrows at her and gave a small unsympathetic shrug of his shoulders. With shaking hands she dropped her pajama bottoms. As she was trying to work up the nerve to take down her white panties, Danny took hold of wrist and pulled her across his lap. She barely had time to be thankful before the first smack landed solidly on her backside. She managed a stoic thirty seconds of his rapid spanks before the squirming began; another minute and her hand shot back of its own accord. Danny snatched it up quickly and pinned it to the small of her back without breaking his rhythm. He paused after another moment, observing the pink blush escaping the outer edges of her underwear. He grabbed the top, pulling them down to the top of her thighs, ignoring Emma’s mumbled “Oh, nonononono…” and the tensing of her body as his hand came down, leaving a flicker of white before descending again. Emma’s legs began to kick as her tongue tripped over apologies, not exactly asking him to stop (she knew he wouldn’t until he was good and ready) but offering everything she could by way of penance. Finally the spanking slowed as he began to talk. “Why am I unhappy with you, Emma?”

“Because I was rude and- and mean” came her choked reply.

“And who is responsible for your behavior?” he asked, still spanking her very dark pink bottom.

“I am!”

“Even when you’re drinking?”

“Yes siiiir!” she cried, feeling ashamed. Daniel briefly increased the force behind his swats, making Emma shriek, before slowing and finally stopping.

Emma cried quietly as she lay limply across his knees. He rubbed her back for a moment, listening to her ragged breath and letting his simple question rest. He eased her to her feet, kissing her hand tenderly and giving her a gentle nudge back toward the couch where Ben sat, looking paler now than he had last night. He had a blank look on his face, eyes on the ceiling, evidence of his failed attempt to tune out the spanking of his semi-sister-in-law. Danny called his name sharply, and Ben moved quickly to his brother’s side, not nearly as hesitant about dropping his shorts as Emma had been. Of course, he’d been on the receiving end of Dan’s discipline more times than he cared to remember, including several times right in front of (and often alongside) his friends and playmates growing up. Before the spanking even started Ben grabbed the lower rung of the kitchen chair, gripping it tightly, knowing he would struggle to keep them there. And so the spanking began, Danny’s rapid slaps turning his little brother’s backside a bright pink before whisking down his briefs and turning the skin a deeper shade of red. As with Emma, he stopped after a minute and rested his arms on Ben’s back for a moment, except he didn’t move his brother’s shorts back up. Not yet. “Benjamin, I hope you’re learning more at school than how to judge your peers. I know- or I hope, anyway- that you were raised to be a much better person than you showed yourself to be last night.” Ben mumbled his yessir, tears forming in his eyes. “Emma, go get the hairbrush.” At that Ben began to squirm fiercely, making protests until Danny tightened his grip around the young man’s waist and delivered half a dozen stinging slaps to his upper thighs. Emma hadn’t moved, except to open her mouth in disbelief. “Listen here, young lady. You had no problem pushing Ben last night to your amusement. You contributed to his behavior. You may contribute to his punishment.”

With a look of horror Emma rose and fetched the round oak hairbrush from its place in their bedroom. She forced herself to bring it back, motivated with the fear that she might make things worse for Ben if she didn’t do as she was told. Danny tapped it lightly on Ben’s red rear end before bringing it forcefully down twelve slow and solid times, Ben bucking and Emma wincing with each loud smack. Finally Danny allowed Ben up and back on the couch, running a hand through his brother’s hair affectionately before standing up and carrying the chair back to the kitchen, returning a moment later and offering a hand each to the two on the couch. “Back to bed, kids. You still only got about 5 hours of sleep.” They allowed themselves to be tugged up, and Danny pulled Benjamin right into a hug; he held his little brother tightly for a minute before sending him back toward the guest room and turning his attention to Emma. As much as Emma hated spankings and as much as she tried to talk herself into a good sulk afterward toward her brute of a boyfriend, she never could. Instead she became clingy, wanting to mold herself to Danny for hours after the punishment. He kissed her head, then walked back to the bedroom, where she spooned against him and squeezed his fingers in her own until they both fell asleep.