Tears finally seeped out from between tightly closed eyelids and slowly trickled down his cheeks. That last swat of the paddle had landed particularly hard across the middle of his already very sore butt. He drew in a deep breath, held it and waited for the next one to fall…..and waited. It never came.
He released the air in his lungs in one shuddering exhale as his legs were lowered to the floor and he knelt between his chastiser’s knees. His upper body was encased in strong arms and he leaned against the chest of his lover while a head rested heavily on his own.
“Why?” a deep voice inquired from just above him.
A shrug of his shoulders earned him a firm smack on his left hip. He decided to try again, this time verbally. “I clearly told her to make sure there were no tomatoes on my super deluxe hamburger. I even reminded her that two of my last three orders had been done wrong. I warned her something nasty might happen if I found any tomatoes on my burger today.”
“Go on,” he was gently encouraged.
“I lifted the top of the bun and there they were; two freaking slices. I kinda lost it then. I’d been in a rotten mood all morning and this was the last straw.”
“And you thought your intense dislike of tomatoes entitled you to toss them over your shoulder at the wall?”
“Well, at the time it seemed the thing to do,” he quietly answered and felt the heat rising in his tear-streaked face. He grimaced at the memory of the tomato splatting against the wall next to him and then oh so unhurriedly sliding down to the floor. His server had taken his plate in order to change to take-out.
Did he just imagine it? Or had he actually felt a tremor of suppressed laughter from the chest beneath his head?
“You’re a real terror, you know that? I’d make you go back and clean it up, but that can’t happen.” The voice held a note of loving exasperation. “While Luciana was packing your lunch to go, Antonio called to inform me of your actions. You’ve been barred from his restaurant for the next month.”
“I’m so sorry.” The expression of regret was sincerely offered. The banning would affect both of them as Antonio’s was a favourite eating place of theirs. He knew there would be more sanctions, so once again he waited. This time he didn’t have to wait long.
“You will write a letter of apology that I will deliver in person. You’re on a short leash, boy. You will not leave our home unaccompanied by me until further notice. Is that understood?”
“Yes sir,” was the softly spoken reply. It often unnerved him; this hard to control impulsiveness that plagued him. The man presently holding him provided the safety net he desperately needed. “Am I forgiven?”
“Of course, as always,” came the assurance as a hand tenderly lifted his chin and lips soundly kissed his.