Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Title: Nightmares
Authors: Tarabeth and Jo
Characters: Mason and Billy
Implement: Hand
Warning: Severe beatings

Billy was whistling on his way to work. His butt was still sore, but it was bearable, and the sex he and Mason had enjoyed this morning had been hot when two men he didn’t know suddenly grabbed him. They forced him into an ally and slammed him against a brick wall.

He saw stars briefly, and as they cleared he found himself looking into his father's eyes. He recognized the look; his father’s eyes were evil. Mr. Fleming held a cane in his hand. He looked around frantically for an escape route, but the two men who’d dragged him into the alley were still holding him.

He fought, but he had no chance--the two men beating him were obviously expert thugs. Then when he was barely conscious, his father started in with the cane. He just curled into a ball to protect himself and mercifully passed out after an agonizing couple of minutes.

He came round and moaned, as his entire body protested. He was alone; painfully he pulled out his cell phone, and managed to hit his speed-dial button. "Mason, help," he managed to choke down the phone, before blackness overtook him again.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Mason smiled when he heard Billy’s ring on his cell phone. “Hey there handsome.” Hearing Billy’s desperate plea Mason asked, "Where are you Baby? What's wrong?"

He received no response, but could tell the phone had not gone dead. "Billy? Baby? Please answer me?" Mason kept his cell phone on and connected to Billy. He listened for any sounds that might help him figure out where his Brat was.

With no more answer, Mason decided he could waste no more time. First he called the garage, and was informed that Billy had not arrived. Then he called home, and got no answer. He got on his radio and called the dispatcher asking for police assistance. He instructed Craig to take the ambulance and to please check he and Billy's house. He tossed his keys to Craig. From the sounds Mason could hear on Billy's phone, he felt that he was more likely to find Billy between home and the garage. Mason took the rescue truck and began driving the route between the garage and his home. He hadn't had any luck, when he first heard from Craig that Billy wasn't at the house. His panic was growing when he heard from the police that they had located Billy, unconscious in an ally a short distance from he and Mason's home.

Mason and Craig both arrived at the scene at about the same time. Mason began to take assessment of Billy's condition.

"Mason," Craig said softly, but got no response. He tried again, but was still unable to get Mason's attention. Craig stood and gently put his hands on Mason's shoulder. "Captain. I'm in charge of this scene. You know it's protocol, and that I will take just as good care of Billy as you would."

Mason began to protest, and Craig calmly reassured him. "Billy needs you to be his husband right now, and me to be his paramedic. Please talk to him, hold his hand. Let me assess and treat him. Officer Lambert is a trained EMT he can assist me."

Mason did as he was instructed, and began to talk softly to Billy. "Monkey, Baby, where are you? Come on my love, I need you to come back to me." Mason had tears coming down his face, he could tell Billy had been badly beaten, and was feeling terribly guilty that he hadn’t done as he had promised and protected Billy from the attack.

Craig got Billy stabilized, onto a gurney and into the ambulance. Craig felt it would be safer for him to drive the short distance to the hospital and allow Mason to stay in back monitoring Billy's vitals.

Billy’s eyes flickered open, "Mace," he whispered, "You came. Hurts," he whimpered, he pushed at the oxygen mask that covered his face.

"Monkey, do you know who did this to you?"

"My father," he whispered, "He used the cane and his two men did the beating." Billy's eyes widened in panic.

Mason got on his radio he called Officer Lambert. "Brian, put a call out on William Fleming Senior. He'll either be in a white limo or a silver BMW Z4." Mason put the radio down; he lifted the oxygen mask off of Billy's face, and planted a soft kiss on his lips. He then gently placed the mask back over his mouth and nose. "That kiss should keep you, until the doctor removes the mask," Mason said smiling down at his husband. "I know you hurt my Baby. Craig is just pulling the ambulance into the bay of the ED. We'll get you some more pain medication in just a minute. Okay?"

Billy nodded.

"I hurt so much," Billy said, trying to sit up. "Owwww," his eyes rolled back in his head and he passed out again.

He woke up again in the ED department, the pain medication making him feel better and sick all at the same time. Someone held a basin as he threw up. His eyes cleared a bit and he realized it was Mason holding the basin, as he was sick.

When Billy was done, Mason held a small cup with a straw protruding to his poor battered Brat. He pushed the nurses button.

Billy took a sip, and gently lay back down with a wince. "The police in Kelowana picked your father up, and are holding him in jail there. The police are outside, baby they need to talk to you and take some pictures."

The nurse popped her head into the curtain. "He's experiencing nausea from the pain meds," Mason said.

The anti nausea medicine that was injected into the back of his hand made him yelp, although it did settle his stomach.

Billy smiled at the thought of his father in jail. "What's the damage?" he asked Mason, trusting him to tell him the truth, "Broken ribs I'd guess, lots of welts, anything else I should know about? Do I get out of here today?"

"You'll live," Mason said. "You'll be here a day or two, my love. You took a nasty beating. Yes, you have a few broken ribs, and are basically one big swollen bruise. My mom's gone to get me some clean clothes and to take care of Thomas."

Mason looked down at his watch. "Oh babe, I'm going to watch the news." He took the remote control off of Billy's bed tray and turned the TV on.

Billy seemed to pout a bit at Mason's sudden interest in the TV. The big firefighter was still in his uniform. He sat down next to Billy, and took gentle hold of Billy’s hand. "Babe, I think you might want to watch this."

Billy looked up at the screen to see his father being led into the Kelowana jail in handcuffs on the national news.

Billy grinned, "That's a good sight," he said, wincing a little as he moved cautiously. "Mace, I can't stay in here for that long, there's too much on at the garage. I can't close it down, and Mickey is visiting his family for Christmas and can't help me. Jay can do the bikes and stuff, but he can't do cars. Please talk to the doctor about getting me out of here."

Mason carefully moved himself and Billy, so that he was fully cradling his husband. "Baby, I don't think you're going to be able to go back to the garage until after the New Year. You're going need at least a week, probably two, to heal at home, before you will be able to get back to work."

Mason felt Billy tense in his arms. "The garage will be fine. I promise.
There are always jade miners looking for work this time of year. Hell, babe we may only have to make one phone call to 'Ole Patty Sweeney, I bet he could send over a couple of his boys or nephews to help. In fact I hear he's got a niece who's pretty good with a tool box."

Billy's eyes traveled up and down Mason and his eyes gleamed. "Why change?" he asked, "You look really sexy in your uniform." Billy's eyes snapped back to the television as his mother came on. His mouth twisted slightly as she declared she and her husband would fight the charges vigorously. Her husband would have his day in court. "Will I have to testify?" he asked Mason, with a tremor in his voice.

"I doubt you'll have to testify. Your mother needs to say those things to the press, but once this dies down I'm sure their lawyers will be working on some sort of plea bargain."

"Sweeney's?" Billy was searching his memory. "You mean Quinn's family right? I though they had a snowmobile business. Would they have the time to fill in?"

"They're good people baby. If they have time, I'm sure they will help out...and I'm sure Jay will love them. Jack and I grew up with them; they're a lot of fun."

Billy’s mind was racing. "God I hate morphine," he moaned, leaning back into Mason's arms. "As long as Jay is happy working with them. We've got lots of bikes booked in. I guess I better start posing for those photos and talk to the police," he said, reluctantly. He looked down, "These hospital gowns leave nothing to the imagination," he growled, "Is your Mum bringing me some PJs as well?"

Mason looked down over Billy's hospital gown. "Personally, I'd rather see it all hanging out, than have to imagine it." He kissed the top of Billy's head. "We can ask the nurse if you can wear your own PJs. But baby, don't get your hopes up, they usually leave exposed, the bits they need access to."

Billy pouted.

Mason laughed, "Although I didn't think about the fact that you probably didn't come in wearing any underwear for them to leave on you. We'll ask the nurse, she might be okay if mom brought you some sleep pants."

Billy blushed, his habit of going commando, had caught up with him. Every time he moved, he found another place that hurt more. He was grumpy and feeling sick from the morphine. "Better get the police in here," Billy said, "They can take all the damn pictures they want while I'm still in this gown." Billy looked at Mason, his blue eyes pleading, "Please get me out of here, I hate hospitals."

“I know you do, Baby. I won’t let them keep you any longer than necessary,” Mason promised. Mason stayed by Billy’s side as the police took pictures of his injuries. His heart ached at how little the experience seemed to bother Billy. He could see that his love was disassociating from the attack, as he was sure Billy had learned to do during his childhood beatings.

Billy’s mood was worsened when the nurse and then doctor confirmed they wanted Billy to stay in just the hospital gown. They needed to keep an eye on the extensive injuries below his waist.

Poor Billy was on the verge of a major Brat attack when the nurses informed him that they wanted him out of bed and walking the hospital corridors at regular intervals. They claimed it would lessen the pain by keeping his muscles from cramping and spasming.

Billy just looked at the nurse. "Fuck off," he said, "First off all you won't let me get out of this fucking gown, then you want me to 
walk up and down the fucking corridor, showing everybody--everything."

Billy was tired, sore and emotionally fragile after talking to the police about the beating. Disassociation didn't seem to be working as 
well as it had when he was a child, he was used to being alone, when he was hurting this badly. "Just leave me alone," he said, trying yet again to find a comfortable place to lie on. He turned his back firmly, away from not only the nurse but Mason as well.

Mason gave a weak smile to the nurse, and mouthed a thank you. He ran his hand ever so softly over Billy’s back. Just enough to provide comfort, but not enough to aggravate any of the injuries. The two men lay quietly together like that for quite a while, before Mason felt and then heard the shudders and sobs of his husband. Mason helped Billy to turn into him, and he held the crying man in his arms until the tears ran dry.

Billy scrubbed his eyes, "Wuss," he said disgust in his voice.

"My husband is not a wuss," Mason said firmly. He brushed the long blonde fringe out of Billy’s eyes. “Baby, I do think a walk would be good. My mom dropped our things off a little while ago, and I see your robe and slippers on the chair.” Mason dropped little kisses on Billy’s eyelids, cheeks and then his lips. “I help you go for a walk, you can lean on me.” Mason noticed that his offer of assistance didn’t seem to be increasing the chances of Billy getting out of bed. “Do you think your stomach would be up for a hot chocolate? I hear the machine at the end of the hall can makes a mean cup.”

Billy’s head went up, he smiled weakly, "Chocolate," he said, interest in his eyes, "Hot chocolate? With marshmallows?" he asked, hopefully. "Help me up!" he demanded.

Mason gave a smile so large it was evident in his eyes. His Brat was going to be fine. Slowly and carefully he helped Billy to stand.

Standing straight was not really a possibility, so Billy's purple and abused butt stuck out from his gown. Mason tried to discreetly pull the back of the gown together to protect Billy's modesty, even though no one else was around to see.

"I'll do what I can to try and get you some marshmallows," Mason said. He held Billy's robe open and did most of the work to get Billy into it. He held the slippers in front of Billy's feet, so he could easily slide into them. Once dressed, Mason, Billy, and Billy's IV pole started a slow walk out of the room. At the end of the hall, was a small drink station. It held several pots of coffee, a large urn of hot water, and a hot chocolate dispensing machine. There were hot drink condiments, cream, milk, sugar, sugar substitutes, and a little basket with small individual servings of marshmallows. The drink station had a small needle point sign, which simply said, "With love from the Jade Height's Auxiliary."

Mason made a mug of cocoa as Billy leaned up against him for support. He supported most of Billy's body weight, while his bruised and abused husband took slow sips from the mug. Mason was pleased that Billy finished the drink, it was now early evening, and his Brat hadn't eaten anything since breakfast. He and Billy slowly made their way back towards Billy's room, as they approached the nurses station, Mason whispered into Billy's ear. "Monkey, I think you need to apologize to your nurse."

Billy blushed and made his way unsteadily towards the nurse he'd abused earlier. "I’m sorry for swearing at you," Billy said, looking up through his long fringe, shyly. "I can only say I was in pain and took it out on you. It’s not an excuse, and I really am sorry. I promise to do everything you ask from now on." He smiled. "I still hate the 'let's show everything' gown."

He looked over at Mason, "Can we go back now?" he asked,

“Of course we can.“ Mason guided Billy back to his room, and tucked him in. “That was a very nice apology. Thank you.”

“I don’t feel too hot. No nausea, just really sore. I could murder another hot chocolate." He smiled sweetly at Mason.

Mason kissed Billy and went to make him another cup of chocolate. When Mason returned to the room with the steamy cup of cocoa, he found his Brat sleeping.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

The hospital ended up keeping Billy for two nights. He was not happy, but Mason knew he was actually far more comfortable for those first few days at the hospital than he would have been at home. When he was finally able to bring his Brat home, Billy was still in need of Mason for almost all of needs. A lot of the first week at home was spent on the couch or in bed, with Billy sleeping on top of Mason.

Mason didn’t mind. Not only did it seem to be one of the few comfortable positions for Billy, but it supplied both men with a level of safety they needed after the attack.

Billy woke up in a cold sweat. He was on top of Mason which made him feel safe, but the nightmares still came almost every night. He refused to tell Mason about the nightmares, he didn't need to know.

Billy was just glad he'd now got to the stage where he could go to the bathroom by himself and was walking further each day. He was determined to walk to the garage soon and check on things.

He carefully rolled off Mason and slowly levered himself up. He shivered slightly, it had been snowing recently in Jade Heights and wandering around in just his sleep pants was a bit chilly. He sat on the windowsill in the hallway and looked out into the pristine whiteness. He wondered what was happening with his father. Mason had instituted a complete news blackout, which Billy had chafed at. He wanted to see his father in handcuffs; being charged with assault, it was a very reassuring thought.

Mason woke shortly after his Brat. He could feel the damp sheen of sweat on his clothes in the perfect outline of his husband. He knew Billy was having nightmares, and was sad Billy didn't want to confide in him. It was often a fine balancing game with Billy. Sometimes it was good for Mason to just wait. If he gave Billy a lot of love and compassion sometimes that was all it took for his Brat to share. Other times Billy needed the issue to be forced. He needed Mason's strongness and discipline to envelop him so he could share. But Mason was struggling; neither of those was feeling particularly right for this situation.

Mason got up off the couch and put a mug of milk into the microwave. He went upstairs and did a quick change out of his damp clothes. He grabbed the well-loved monkey socks and his own large bathrobe, and went back down stairs to add cocoa to the warm milk. He frowned when he saw his sad lover sitting in the windowsill. Mason sat the hot chocolate on the hall table, and stood by his husband. He held a sock out to Billy; which brought Mason a very polite tongue being stuck out at him. Mason returned the gesture, and kneeled down and covered the bare feet in socks. He then held his bathrobe open, while Billy slipped into it, and handed his handsome mechanic the mug of hot chocolate.

He then took Billy by the hand and led him back into the living room. "I'm not sure I've ever told you very much about my first partner."

Billy raised his eyes in protest.

Mason smiled and shook his head. "No, Monkey. I'm sorry that's not what I meant. I mean my fire partner before Craig. His name was Sal."

Billy looked relieved, but said nothing. He quietly curled into Mason and drank his cocoa.

"I don't talk about him very often, because sometimes it just hurts too much.
Sal grew up here in Jade Heights with me. He and his family lived down the street from my mom and me. We were great friends as kids, and teenagers, and we went to university and then the fire academy together. After graduation we were hired as the two full time paid firefighters here in Jade Heights together for the first four years of my career. Back then the Captain was in the process of retiring, and he just worked part-time. He’d come in several times a week, issue praise, instructions, and occasionally to kick Sal and my butts."

"So, anyway. Sal and I were hot shit. Well we though so anyway. We spent a lot of time together, not only at the firehouse, but hanging after work."

Again Mason got a concerned look from Billy.

"Not that way. Jeez Monkey," Mason said with a laugh, "get your head of the gutter." Mason planted a kiss on Billy's forehead. "Never mind, it can stay there--if you're thinking about me," he teased.

"Well just after Sal and I celebrated our fourth year on the force, there was a huge forest fire in Banff, and the province was asking all available fire fighters to come and help. The thing is Monkey, there is a big difference between being a forest fire fighter and a city fire fighter. But when you are young, strong and cocky it's easy to forget that. Sal and I went up to help. We really should have been working with the well-trained forest fire fighters and listening to everything they said and told us to do. Well, we didn't and we got trapped inside a fire zone. I made it. Sal did too, but only because I carried his dead body. He didn't properly cover himself with his fire blanket, and took in too much smoke. When it was safe to come out from under my blanket, I found him dead only a few feet away from me. I tried CPR for what seemed like hours, but finally I knew it was futile, and I had to get moving before I got trapped again."

"My best friend died only a few feet away from me. I should have checked on him. I had nightmares about it every time I closed my eyes for a very long time."

Billy put his hot chocolate down and got up; he sat in Mason's lap and hugged him. "Don't like nightmares," he mumbled into Mason's shoulder. "Don't want to remember. He's left me with enough reminders over the years." Billy felt the old familiar sensation of floating come over him. He pulled away from Mason's embrace, and picked up his mug and moved to sit next to Mason instead of on him.

Mason let Billy curl into him. He began to gently rub Billy's back, and continued with his story. "It was such a hard time. I was a mess from not sleeping. My mom wanted me to go to therapy. And although now I know it can be a great thing. I was a bit younger, and I thought only crazy people went to therapy. But mostly I didn't want to have to talk about it."

"Aunt Kelly was my saving grace. She and Uncle Doug came to visit, and Uncle Doug had gone to help my mom with something. I wasn't very sociable, but she just sat with me and starting talking about a friend of hers. Her friend had been in an abusive relationship. The woman's husband beat her so badly; she nearly died. I didn't notice that I was paying attention to the story, until she started to tell me about her friend's nightmares; how they had a really devastating effect on this woman's life. I didn't really want to hear about it, because I already knew exactly what her friend was feeling."

"And then my Aunt said something that changed everything. She told me how her friend had gone to see this man who worked magic with people who were having a lot of bad memories. That her friend didn't have to talk to him or tell him about the abuse she suffered. He just worked with her to focus her eye movements while she thought about the things that had happened to her. Aunt Kelly said her friend only saw him six or seven times and she was feeling so much safer, that her nightmares were mostly gone. They still happened sometimes, but they didn't terrify her like they once had."

"At first I felt tricked. That she had told me this story hoping I'd be interested and would go see this man. But after she told me the story, she didn't say anymore. She didn't push it or anything. So, then I was really interested in what this man was doing. I found out it was called EMDR, and that a lot of people have been really helped by it--soldiers, police, firefighters, and various victims of abuse. Finally a few weeks later I called my Aunt and asked for this man's name and number."

Mason stopped to see how Billy was doing. Checking to see if he was still withdrawn, if he was paying attention, or if he was getting agitated. He wasn't fully sure what his Brat's response was--Billy didn't quite seem to be doing any of those things. But he was still carefully curled into Mason.

"So, Monkey, I went to see him. I couldn't believe how it worked...or that it could actually work. I sat in a chair opposite this little old man who just waved a pen back and forth. I watched the pen, and I thought about Sal. We did that twice a week for six weeks, and by the sixth week I was sleeping so much better. Eventually I was able to say goodbye to my friend, cry over his death, go back to work, and sleep without waking up every night after having found my friend dead."

Despite himself, Billy listened. "I guess you want me to see this man," he said. "Don't want to. Just want to forget about it all. The nightmares will stop; they always have before. Better go back to bed," he said, "I want to try and visit the garage tomorrow."

"Hey Baby," Mason said. "I'll come with you." Mason took hold of Billy's hand and walked with him to the bedroom. "You don't have to go see him. I just wanted to share with you a little of what happened to me when I was having bad nightmares."

Billy took off the big robe, and draped it across one of the bedroom chairs, before he went into the washroom to brush his teeth.

Mason leaned in the doorway watching him. "Yes Baby, I'm sure the nightmares have stopped before. I just hate that they have come back and are upsetting you. I want to keep you safe, and I feel like I failed to do that. I love you so much, and want to know what I can do to help you Monkey."

Billy turned around sending toothpaste everywhere. "You haven't failed me," he protested. "You're the only person keeping me sane, just by being you. I just want to forget it all, I've been to counselors and they never did me any good."

He rinsed his mouth out and unsteadily walked over to Mason, and fell into his husband's arms. His eyes which were bloodshot, looked up through his fringe “Do you think that guy might help me?" he asked,

Mason picked Billy up and carried him over to the bed. Sitting down with Billy still in his arms, he laid down with Billy on top of him. "Thank you love." Mason gave Billy a long loving kiss.

"I think he might be able to help you. We could call him and see what he says."

"How can anybody, except you, even like me after what my father did to me?"

Mason began to gently toy with Billy's hair. "Johnno, Micky, my mother, the bakery lady, Uncle Doug, Thomas those are just a few people who love you. Shall I name some more?"

It was then Thomas, who was growing up fast, stalked in and jumped onto the bed. His rubbed his head briefly on Billy's arm, and then flopped down. Billy gave a slight laugh, and gently stroked the cat, causing Thomas to purr loudly. "The bakery lady?" he asked his eyebrows raised, "What bakery lady?"

"Yes, Mrs. Neddlemyer. She works in the bakery at the grocery store. She asked one day what I did with all the chocolate cake, because I didn't seem to be putting on any weight." Mason laughed. "So, I told her all about my wonderful chocoholic husband, and how not only did you eat all the cakes I purchased at the store, but I told her of all the ones I make for you at home. Now she always asks after you. I need to take you into meet her. She seems to have a crush on you, but I think she visions you as my little plump sweetie."

"Me plump?" Billy squeaked, "I'm not plump. Maybe I should visit her, so she can put a face to the name. You never told me about her," he accused Mason. He was glad to get his mind off the subject of his nightmares.

"I don’t know,” Mason said. “She already has a crush on you. I'm afraid if I actually introduced you two…you would charm her with your sparkly blue eyes, everlasting sweetness, and cute butt. And then you may either start getting a lot of free cake on the side...and if you got that who knows you might leave me," Mason said, feigning jealousy.

"Mason," Billy spluttered, "She's a female, she hasn't got the right equipment to keep me happy." A smile crept across Billy's face, "Although free chocolate cake sounds good."

"Hey, you get free chocolate cake from me too, and," Mason began to laugh. So much so that Billy was shaking on top of him. "and anyways, I can't imagine 83 year old Mrs. Needlemyer in a strap on for you."

Billy laughed along with Mason, "You never said she was 83," he said, "Now that, is going to give to nightmares," he accused.

Mason continued to laugh and ground his pelvis into Billy's. “Damn, now I have a visual too. I think we need an immediate distraction, how about I show you what my equipment can do? I'll even let you be the six."

"Hell yes," Billy said, "no sex for a week is driving me mad. I want to get off, and I want to get you off too."

Mason watched as Billy gently slid off his pajama bottoms. Billy's erection was growing firmer by the second. Mason was pleased to see his sweet Brat once again interested in sex. He got off the bed and removed his clothes, and then lay back down next to his husband with his head facing the footboard of the bed. Mason ran his hand softly over Billy's body. He loved the feel of his partner's soft skin, and the electricity that sprang from the touch. Mason's eyes grew wide with desire as he watched Billy climb on top of him. He continued to run his hands over Billy's body, touching ever so softly. Mason let out a long sigh when he felt Billy's warm inviting mouth engulf his cock.

Billy put most of his concentration into sucking on his lover's magnificent cock, but still arched slightly as Mason ran his tongue from along his shaft. It had taken a lot of practice but he'd learned how to pleasure Mason, while being sucked off himself. It didn't take long, just as Mason came, so did he, he swallowed everything Mason gave him. "Oh God," he said as soon as he got his breath back, "I've missed that."

"Me too, my love," Mason rearranging himself, and pulled Billy into his lap. He covered them with the their bedding, and turned the electric blanket on low. "I think going by the garage tomorrow is a great idea. But just to say hi and check on things. The doctor said no work until you saw her again after the New Year.

Billy frowned and rolled his eyes as if to say, 'No shit.'

Mason smiled. "Just two days until Christmas Baby. We haven't talked about it much. Have you finished your shopping?"

Mason saddened as he watched Billy’s eyes water as he shook his head. Mason kissed his husband. "No worries Monkey. Mom said she would take you shopping tomorrow or Wednesday and/or if you gave her a list she would go into Kelowna and pick things up for you." Mason gave his husband an evil grin. "And should there be anything that might not be appropriate for my mother to pick up, we can call Uncle Doug in Vancouver, or see if Jack or Jay could help. How does that sound?"

"Do you want a pet snake?" Billy asked, with a grin, "I think Thomas's nose would be permanently out of joint."

"No, I do not want a snake," Mason responded. He then burst into laughter as he saw Thomas move near Billy giving a glare that would melt ice. "Monkey, I think you need to apologize to our brat cat."

"That's ok, Thomas I was just joking around," Billy assured his cat, stroking him in apology. "I've got no idea what to give you," Billy complained.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

It was only when he was out with Mason's mother that he finally found the perfect book. "Do you think this is more for me than him?" he asked, and after being assured of how perfect it was went up and purchased "101 Chocolate Cakes." He also looked in Jackson McCallum's window and spied a silver bracelet with Celtic engraving around it and bought that for his husband.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Christmas morning was upon them. Billy woke first, as was normal in their house. He kissed Mason awake, and did a wonderful little bounce of excitement on the bed to ensure Mason was up.

Mason laughed, and pulled his husband into a longer kiss. "Happy first
Christmas to us, my handsome husband." The two men moved downstairs to the lounge, with a meowing Thomas running circles between their legs all the way. Mason turned the heat on as he got to the bottom of the stairs.

Billy went to the kitchen to start coffee and feed Thomas, while Mason went to the lounge to start a fire and turn on the Christmas tree lights. Billy entered the lounge with a tray of coffee for Mason, and a cocoa enhanced coffee with lots of whip cream for himself. The tray also contained a lovely plate of Christmas cookies he and Mason had made the night before.

"It's beautiful," Billy said with a sweet sigh before he set the tray on the coffee table and curled up on the couch.

Mason watched his husband with the utmost love; he had never imagined that a wonderful holiday like Christmas could ever be as amazing as it felt at that moment. Having his own family to spend Christmas morning with made an already perfect holiday a million times better. Mason retrieved the three full stockings that were hanging from the fireplace. His mother had gifted he, Billy and Thomas with the colorful handmade felt stockings earlier in the month. Each stocking was uniquely its own, but the colors and patterns made it obvious that they were made as a family set. Each stocking had its owners name carefully embroidered at the top.

The stockings had confused Billy; he'd seen them in books, but they'd never featured in his Christmas memories. He'd had a deep talk with Mason's mom about Monroe family Christmas traditions. He wanted to ensure he gave Mason all the best parts of his families customs.

Mason's stocking contained a firefighter Smore ornament. The base of the ornament looked like a graham cracker with two chocolate squares sitting on top of it. There were two large marshmallows looking snowmanish. The marshmallow man had a fire helmet on. It matched a mechanic ornament that Mason had found for Billy earlier in the Christmas season. The two men had spent a fortune on ornaments this year, ensuring their tree was a true representation of each of them as individuals and as a couple. Within his stocking Mason also found a glass ornament shaped as a toy top, painted in rainbow colors, a large bag of his favorite peanut M & Ms, and a coupon book Billy had put together with various coupons for he and Mason's favorite sexual positions.

"I figured we could start using those tonight," Billy said, his eyes twinkling. "After all, the doctor said I could start doing normal things again, and those positions are normal, to us."

Protruding from Billy's stocking were several fancy new tools he had been hinting he wanted, as he emptied his stocking he smiled, there was plenty of chocolates of all different types. And a coupon book, Mason had made with vouchers for chocolate cakes.

"When I cash these, you might want to use this," he teased Mason, picking up the book he'd bought for his husband.

Mason took the beautifully wrapped gift and carefully untied the bow. He smiled at his Brat as he slowly undid each piece of tape, thoroughly enjoying watching Billy try to restrain himself from helping him to rip the paper. He continued at his sluggish pace as he unfolded the wrapping paper to reveal the book. Mason's face lit up when he saw it. "Oh Monkey, it's perfect. I've been looking for something just like this." He pulled Billy gently down onto his lap and kissed him passionately. "Do I have to wait until tonight to redeem one of my coupons?"

"No," Billy breathed, as he returned the kiss. "Which one do you want to redeem first?" he asked, eagerly.

“Well seeing that it is Christmas, I think we gotta go with a reverse Santa’s Little Helper.”

“Mason,” Billy laughed as he stood up and shed his sleep pants, “That’s called a Sit on It.” Billy reached into the drawer of the end table and removed a bottle of lube.

Mason laughed, “Yeah, but ‘Sit on It’ doesn’t sound very Christmassy.” Mason stood and removed his pajamas. Billy handed Mason the lube, and Mason sat down on the couch. Billy straddled his husband’s lap, resting his weight on his knees. He leaned in and began to kiss Mason. The big firefighter slicked his index and middle finger with lube as they kissed, Mason gently inserted first one and then two fingers into his Brat. Billy began to moan with pleasure; Mason removed his fingers and slicked his own cock. He then placed his hands on Billy’s hips and helped his partner to lower himself onto his hard shaft.

"Feels so good," Billy moaned, as he felt Mason's cock breach the tight ring of muscle. He smiled wickedly as he dropped taking Mason by surprise. He was startled, when he felt a burn, and he hissed. He and Mason hadn't had anal sex for a while. "No, don't stop," he urged Mason, "I'll be okay."

Mason stayed still, to allow Billy to adjust. "You start when you feel okay.
If it is really hurting you, we're going to stop. There are other things that we can do, that feel just as good."

Billy wrapped his legs around Mason and began to gently move. "It doesn't hurt," he said, leaning in to kiss his husband, "Just a little burning feeling, like we haven't done this in a while." He began to speed up, "Come on old man, let's get this show on the road" he said, his eyes sparkling.

Mason loved seeing the sparkle in his husband's eyes, and he began to move slowly. He was careful not to over stretch or over exert Billy.

As they moved together, Mason took hold of Billy's cock and began to stroke it in rhythm with their lovemaking.

It didn't take long for Mason to come. It had been several weeks since he had felt the tight warmth of his lover, and it quickly sent him over the edge. Billy followed shortly after.

Billy stayed seated on Mason's lap for a while, enjoying the feeling of his husband going soft inside of him.

When they had recovered their senses, Mason turned Billy over his lap and began to check him out, ensuring he was okay. Mason spread Billy's cheeks, and carefully felt around his partner's opening.

Billy protested and complained about Mason being overly cautious, having a butt fetish, and way too toppy.

The complaints did nothing to stop Mason's investigation and probing. He inserted his index finger inside of Billy feeling for tears. When Billy really began to protest, Mason having felt everything was healthy began to massage his Brat's prostate.

Billy's moans of protest turned to moans of pleasure. "I'd almost forgotten how good this was," Billy said, as he shuddered in response to Mason's actions.

It was good to be back in this position; he felt as he relaxed, it was safe. He wanted things to be back to normal. He was still having nightmares, although he was seeing the absence of daymares, as a positive step forward. He no longer saw his father's face, every time he closed his eyes, or let his guard down.

Billy moaned as Mason removed his fingers. He turned over and stretched lazily and grimaced slightly, not all his wounds were completely healed, and his butt had been well used. "Time for more presents now?" he asked, smiling up at Mason.

“More presents, huh. I suppose I could be talked into that,” Mason said. He then broke out into laughter and pointed toward the fireplace. Thomas had received a fancy cat tree house. It had five levels; the middle level was just right for Thomas to reap the benefits of the roasting fire., and it also contained a soft and cushy little kitty bed. Thomas had obviously decided the warmth of the fire and the comfy bed made it okay for him to remain in the room while Mason and Billy were fucking.

Mason got up and put his sleep pants and sweatshirt back on; he walked over to the tree and retrieved one of his presents for Billy. He kissed Billy on the forehead, and handed his brat a colourful package when he returned to the sofa. Mason watched as Billy ripped open the package and then tore into the box. Mason had gone to the local print shop and had them make up a set of t-shirts and several sets of coveralls with the garage’s logo on them.

"That is so cool," Billy said, bubbling over, he stood up and put one of shirts on. The t-shirt was long enough, so it just covered his balls and cock. When he bent over the t-shirt rose and showed off his pert bottom. "Here's your present," he said, and handed Mason the package, containing the silver bracelet.

“Mmmm, that is a beautiful view,” Mason said appreciatively as he eyed his Brat’s ass. “I think I would like you to wear just that t-shirt forever.”
He gave Billy a flirtatious grin. “Thank you, babe. Will you also grab the red present with the orange ribbon; it’s for you.”

Mason opened the small package, to reveal the handsome bracelet. He had always been a big fan of Jackson’s work. “This is wonderful, Monkey.” Mason slipped the bracelet onto his wrist, and then pulled Billy down onto his lap, and kissed him tenderly. “Now open yours.”

Billy pulled at the curly orange ribbon, and then as Mason had done earlier slowly undid the paper, one piece of tape at a time. Thankfully there were only three pieces of tape, so neither of the men had to wait very long. Billy lifted the lid on the box, and held up a set of platinum dog tags. The fist tag had an engraved monkey on one side and a fire helmet on the other. The second tag simply said Fleming-Monroe est. 2008.

"Wow," Billy gasped, "These are beautiful. Did you see the engraving I had Jack do, on the inside of the bracelet?" he asked, "They do say great minds think alike." He watched as Mason took off the bracelet and peered at the inside of the words inside, Fleming-Monroe, and the date of their marriage, 4th of October 2008. "Need glasses, old man?" he enquired archly, scrambling out of range of the expected swat.

"I have perfect 20/20 eyesight, Brat," Mason teased Billy. "Are you going to come and keep me company while I start the roast and yule logs?"

The small Fleming-Monroe family retreated to the kitchen, all three of them, Mason, Billy and Thomas. Mason cut and seasoned the roast, and then tied it into the exquisite beauty of a crown rib roast. This had become one of Mason's standard Christmas contributions. Once the roast was in the oven
Mason began to remove ingredients from the fridge and cupboards. He retrieved just about every bowl in the house, and the many jelly roll pans he acquired over the years for just his occasion.

He started off with the various batters--yellow cake, chocolate, butterscotch, and banana. After the batters were complete he started cooking the rolls and then began on the fillings, frostings and decorations. He loved having the whole family with him in the kitchen when he cooked. But early in the process he lost track of how many times he was scolding either Thomas or Billy for licking the bowls.

"Oh come on," Billy said snatching a bowl out from under Thomas's nose, "This is half the fun of cooking. Stop being such a grouch." Billy shot Thomas a nasty glance, as he twined under his arms and started licking the bowl he'd grabbed. "Bad cat," he rebuked his pet.

Mason laughed at Billy's rebuke of Thomas. "It's Christmas, so that makes me a Grinch not a Grouch," he teased. "How are we doing on present wrapping? Have we got all the family presents wrapped--mom, Uncle Doug, Aunt Kelly, the cousins, their spouses and kids? If not why don't you finish the wrapping while I decorate the cakes."

"I'd rather stay with you," Billy said, his mouth full of cake scrapings.
“Oh Baby,” Mason said. He walked around to Billy and pulled him into a hug. “I wasn’t trying to get rid of you. I thought you sit here at the counter or at the kitchen table and wrap, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to.”

"They're mostly done. Besides aren’t they coming today, I don't remember." Billy had blocked out a lot that had happened or been arranged the time of his attack. They'd already postponed the post Christmas get together with Jack and Jay, Billy only wanted to be with Mason until all signs of the attack disappeared.

Mason stepped back and realized he had left his husband covered in flower and cocoa. “My family are coming over to my mom’s for early dinner tonight. I’m making food for the party, but I’ve left whether or not we attend open to see how we feel. If we’re up for it, we can go and stay as long or as short as we wish. We can also, as we’ve talked about, stay home and cuddle, grill some steaks, and watch Christmas movies. We haven’t decided if we are going action--Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, or shmoopy--It’s a Wonderful Life, maybe silly--A Christmas Story, or we just watch all the great holiday cartoons.”

"Well, I'd like to say hi to your Uncle Doug and the others, but I don't really want to stay," Billy said, rubbing absently at a bruise on his face, which had faded to yellow. "Although, I'm not sure how they feel about me now, after all the trouble, I've caused."

His eyes darkened, one of his nightmares involved Mason, and his family, turning their backs on him. He was certain that Mason wouldn't do that, but he wasn't so sure about the others. How could people he hardly knew even like him, if his parents hated him so much? The exercise he'd done at Uncle Doug's house during the honeymoon wasn't helping much at the moment.

Mason brushed his finger over the bruise on Billy's face. "We don't have to go if you don't want people to see you. But, I know they would love to see you. They were all very worried about you when you were in the hospital. They love you very much. They all were very concerned with getting you the right gift." Mason stuck his tongue out. "Uncle Doug said I’m much better behaved when you are around, my mom says I'm more cuddly, Aunt Kelly says my chocolate cakes have drastically improved, and the cousins like to have another person to help gang up on me, and the kids think you are the supreme Lego builder, so I think they would all love to see you. We could always ask my mom for a little makeup to cover that up, if you wanted."

Billy choked, "You are kidding aren't you? Me in makeup, the big, bad, manly mechanic," Billy stuck his chest out. The pose somewhat spoiled with the flour and cocoa adhered to him, He looked down, “I'm going to need a shower. Want to join me? I'll give you a free pass, so you don't have to spend another voucher." Billy wriggled his eyebrows, as he started a striptease in the kitchen. "Uncle Doug thinks you're better behaved? The things I could tell him," Billy giggled.

"So that's a no on the make-up," Mason laughed. He followed Billy up to the bathroom, picking up the clothes as his husband shed them. Billy was standing under the spray of the shower as Mason undressed. "It is so kind of you too to give me a free pass. You act as if that's the only sex I'm going to get this year. You, my sweet nymphomaniac, would have a very difficult time withholding sex." Mason laughed at his partner's look of mock outrage as he climbed into the shower. "And I don't think you could tell Doug anything about me that would shock him. He on the other hand probably has quite a few stories you would love." Mason kissed Billy possessively on the lips. "Including one about my first trip to a leather bar."

"You and Uncle Doug went to a leather bar together? Why? When? He's straight, isn't he?" Billy's voice almost broke on last question. He moaned as Mason began to idly stroke him. By the time they'd had some really hot, shower sex, the hot water was turning to a mere warm.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Billy was fidgeting wearing one of his new t-shirts with new blue jeans, a leather jacket and his new dog tags. "Come on, Mason," he said, "I can't wait to see everyone and ask your Uncle Doug what happened."

Mason finished dressing. "We need to get the car loaded before we can go,"
Mason informed his impatient Brat. "And Monkey, the leather bar story, it isn't really a story to share with the whole family over Christmas dinner. I'd prefer you not say anything about it."

"Give me some credit," Billy shot his Top, a disgusted look as he picked up a tray of food, to load into the truck, "I was going to drag him into a corner to ask him. Are we ready to go now?" He grinned at Mason, "You can't dangle something like that in front of me, and expect me to ignore it."

Billy hung back a little, as they entered Mason's mom's house. He brightened up, when he was enthusiastically greeted, by all Mason's relatives.

Shortly after the warm welcome, Billy saw Mason was busy being teased by his cousins, so he obtained a plate full of wonderful appetizers, and made his move. "Uncle Doug," he said, "Can I talk to you--privately for a couple of minutes?"

He took a deep breath when he and Uncle Doug were alone. "When we were talking this morning. Mason mentioned you and he want to a leather bar together. What happened? He wouldn't tell me." Billy pouted slightly.

Doug broke into a laugh. "Told you we went to the leather bar together did he?" Uncle Doug said. " I seem to remember it a slightly different way. I remember walking into the back room of the Eagle to find my slightly intoxicated 17 year old nephew bent over a chair with his pants around his ankles and a much older man getting ready to ride him bareback."

Billy laughed out loud, "I'm assuming you saved him," he said, trying to stifle his giggles. He reddened slightly when he saw Mason looking at him. "He was right," he confided to Doug, "You have much better stories about him."

“Well I’m not sure at the time he thought of it as saving,” Uncle Doug said. He signaled Billy towards an empty couch. “Bring your snack and I’ll give you all the lovely details.” Billy shot a glance towards Mason, and smiled at his Top, signaling his win at retrieving the wanted information about Mason’s first time at a leather bar.

“You see, Billy, your husband was not always the dashing, self-assured, gay man extraordinaire.”

Billy gave a mock look of shock.

“Oh, please,” Doug said, “you’ve seen the pictures of the tall, gangly pimply faced teen age Mason.” Billy giggled, much to Mason’s displeasure, there were pictures proving that fact all over his mother’s house. “If you can control your giggles, I’ll give you all the horrible details.”

Billy quickly stopped his laughter, and pretended to zip his mouth closed.

“Well I’m sure as you know, your husband is a smart man--he skipped the forth grade, and therefore ended up at university at the very young age of seventeen. Although Sal was eighteen, and living in student housing at UBC, Daisy was not allowing her baby Mason into student housing until he was eighteen. Which resulted in what Mason lovingly refers to as his year from hell living with Uncle Doug. You see, I assumed a lot of your husband’s need for a father, and that means from day one of Mason Henry Monroe’s life I supplied lots kisses, hugs, ball throwing, mending of his torn out jeans--Daisy is not safe with a needle and thread--and spankings. And to your mistaken hunks displeasure he assumed that Uncle Doug’s entire role in paddling his ass was over upon his entering university. Well, I am here to tell you the tale that proved that theory wrong.

“A young, gangly, pimply, Mason arrived on my doorstep fairly knowledgeable of his sexuality. I had noticed him in his first month or so of university secretly taking many opportunities to drill my many gay and lesbian friends about gay life in Vancouver. For, some reason I was more concerned with Mason indulging in drunken rugby parties, than running off to any of Vancouver’s gay bars. Although I knew Mason was gay, he only shared with me his interest in UBC activities that first month. I wasn’t a total ogre, I knew the boy needed to make friends on campus, and that his year of living with Uncle Dougie and Auntie Kelly, was a huge cramp to his perceived style. I let the poor lad spend an occasional night on campus with Sal.

Well about six weeks into Mason’s first term, Mason had garnered my permission to spend a Friday evening on campus with Sal. At about 1:30 am Saturday morning, Kelly and I were awoken to the sound of a drunken message being left on our answering machine. ‘Duuuude, Mason, it’s Sallie, you’re soooo missing out. You should have way listened to me, and come and spent the night here on campus. We’re getting ready to streak through Maya Garden… ’

“At that point I picked up the telephone. ‘Salvadore, are you telling me that my nephew is not at UBC spending the night with you?’

“Again the voice of a drunken teen, ‘Hey, Uncle Dougie, no Mace said he was hitting a gay bar tonight, I just wanted to let him know how much he was missing.’

“As my rage began to grow, I realized that I had the prize of drunken teen spilling the dirt on my wayward ward. ‘Hey, Sallie Dude, I’m glad you’re having a good time. And it is sad that Mace is missing out on the streaking.’

“’Dude,’ Sal answered.

“’He didn’t happen to mention which gay bar did he?’ I asked.

“’Some bird,’ he said, ‘Look Dougie, this is real, but I gotta get naked,’ and then the phone disconnected.

“I turned to my wife and informed her that our little pimply faced Mason was at the roughest gay leather bar in town. In those days, the Eagle was best known for the anonymous sex in the back room. I threw on a pair of jeans, leather boots, a black t-shirt, grabbed my leather coat and set out in the hope of finding Mason’s virginity intact.”

Billy burst out in laughter, which caused him to receive ‘the look’ from Mason. Billy ignored it; he currently had no fear of the look, and signaled to Doug to continue with the story.

“I arrived at The Eagle, and scanned the front room, no Mason. I quickly went to the back room, where as I told you I found the soon to be de-flowered Mason. I pushed the older man out of the way, and applied a very firm swat to Mason’s butt. The older man apologized for touching my boy. ‘Mason get your pants on. He is not my boy, he is my underage, hopefully still virgin nephew.’ Mason blushed more than I ever thought possible. As soon as his pants were up and fastened; I grabbed his earlobe, and dragged him to the car.

“I spent the car ride home quizzing Mason as to what exactly he had done with every minute of his evening since he had left our home. Mason blushed and told a tale of an evening of embarrassing failed cruising until he finally was about to hook up with the leather man I had just dragged him away from. Once sure that Mason was not at risk of any deadly viruses, I preceded to explain his future as a very sore bottomed, grounded, gay teenager.

“When we arrived home, I sent him to my sewing room, while I informed Kelly that we were both home safe, and she might want to be prepared to comfort our sleeping children in case they were awoken by the sound of their cousin receiving a most serious paddling of his bare butt.

“I entered the study, told Mason to drop he pants, and studdly boxer shorts. Mason blushed, but quickly did as he was told. I then pulled him over my lap and delivered a very thorough hand spanking. Mason tried to remain stoic, but his tears started shortly after I applied the first of many, many, many, swats of my wooden paddle to his ass. We then had a long conversation about anal sex, condoms, sneaking out of the house, borrowing his cousin’s ID, and various other topics that caused the cheeks on his face to quickly match the cheeks of his ass.”

Billy loved hearing stories, which ended in his Top getting paddled; he shot a glance at Mason and grinned at him. "Thank you Uncle Doug," he said.

“You are more than welcome, honey, please use it however you like.” Doug winked at Billy as he watched the younger man walk over to Mason. "Liked them older back in the day, did you?" Billy whispered in his Top's ear.

Mason shot a glance to his Uncle. "Brat," he said to Billy. "I was a 17 year old virgin, he was the first person that offered. You," Mason said, "should be very thankful to my Uncle. Who knows what would have happened if he hadn't come in."

Billy sobered, "You and I both know what would have happened," he replied "And it would have been a hell of a lot worse than the paddling Uncle Doug gave you."

“Yes,” Mason said. “I’m very lucky that I had him looking after me. You know after I had finished my two-month grounding, and turned eighteen. Uncle Doug introduced me to several of his friends. Men who were both tops and bottoms. None of them ever came on to me. They just spent time talking to me about the life style, on occasion they would take me out with them, so I could learn how to negotiate what I wanted and to ensure that I was always playing safely.”

“Oooo, can you smell that? Mom just took the turkey out of the oven. Come on, I need to go test it.” Mason pulled his husband close and led him into the kitchen.

Billy started feeling a bit overwhelmed, after the turkey, ham, roast potatoes and vegetables. He refused dessert, and when he said he didn't want any of Mason’s chocolate yule log, Mason's head shot up. Billy suddenly got up, left the table and rushed outside. He sat on a low brick wall and started to shake.

Mason bade goodbye to his family, and grabbed he and Billy's coats on the way out the door. He walked over to his husband and helped him into his coat. He then held Billy closely. "Come on my handsome love, let me take you home."

Billy snuggled into Mason. The minute they got home. "Sorry," he said, "I heard some voices being raised and it threw me back to past Christmas dinners." He looked at Mason, "Can we just snuggle in front of the fire?" After about an hour, Billy nudged Mason, "I think I need to talk to someone about my nightmares," he said, "Can you arrange it for me?"

"Of course I will baby," I'll try tomorrow, "but we may not be able to get anyone until after the new year. I guess I'll have to keep you close and well spoiled until then." Mason said, as he kissed the top of Billy's head.

"You can't keep me that close," Billy replied, "I have to be back in the garage in the New Year, but spoiling me is a good idea," he looked up through his fringe, "Chocolate cake and sex would be perfect."

He turned and knelt up and claimed a kiss from Mason.

"I'm the boss, and I'll keep you as close as I like, and as close as I think you need." Mason pulled Billy into an embrace and held him tightly as they kissed. "I did keep one of the chocolate Yule Logs home just for you, so are we having cake or sex first?"

Billy pulled away and pouted, "I need to be back in the garage asap," he said stubbornly, "Be reasonable, cake first," he added as an afterthought.

Mason picked Billy up and carried him into the kitchen, settling him gently on the counter next to the scrumptious cake. He then picked up two forks and handed one to Billy. The two men began to eat directly from the cake. "Now that you have your chocolate, are you prepared to listen?" Mason asked.

Billy pulled a pouty face.

"Think carefully about your answer my sweet Brat," Mason warned.

Billy nodded.

"I didn’t ever say you couldn't go back to the garage. I said I would stay close. I'm on call this week, but not officially scheduled. I can come help at the garage. You know, I also have one of those sexy logoed set of coveralls. I can be your pump boy, or better yet work on your books and make sure they're in order for the year-end. But, if I feel you are struggling or over exerting yourself, we come home. It's my decision not yours...and any arguments and you will find yourself writing a novels worth of lines." Mason accentuated his point by applying a dab of frosting to the tip of Billy's nose.

"Lines," Billy spluttered, "Why lines? I hate writing. I can't quite believe I'm saying this but why not a spanking? I feel safe and loved after a spanking. Lines, I just get a sore hand and bored."

"I'll make sure you feel safe and loved after lines. I know you usually feel safe and loved after a spanking, and I want it to stay that way. I'm not going to spank you while you are so easily being triggered. Once your nightmares have faded, your less shaky, less scared we'll revisit spanking. So, for now that means lines. I love you too much to risk pushing or hurting you when you are still struggling."

"It's not anything you did," Billy said, stubbornly. "It's all him."

Mason placed his hand gently on Billy's cheek, and kissed his lips. "I know love, and that is how I want it to stay. I don't want to do anything that could get mixed up with your memories of him. Okay?"

Billy pouted, "I really, really hate lines and you know as well as I do, that we have different definitions of struggling and overdoing it." He dug his fork savagely into the cake.

Mason lifted Billy's fork out of the cake, and fed his Brat a bite full of frosting. "No worries about the different definitions, you only have to worry about following mine. Now how about we take some of this cake upstairs and we cover each other with frosting?

"Why frosting when I've still got chocolate sauce?" Billy asked with a wicked grin.

“Because my chocolate frosting tastes a lot better then your sauce in a jar,” Mason replied.

"Come on," Billy laughed, "The cherry flavour is nice. You've never complained before."

“Now get a move on; I want you naked, now.”

Billy began stripping quickly, "How do you want me?" he asked waggling his butt, his cock at half-mast.

Mason stripped off his clothes. "Any way you want to be taken."

"Hard and fast," Billy replied, admiring the view, His fireman was so sexy. He laid face down on the bed his butt slightly in the air.

Mason laughed. “I don’t know why I bother to ask. When don’t you want it hard and fast?”

Mason proceeded to pleasure his husband precisely as requested. After a wonderful and exhausting session of fucking and love making Fleming-Monroe style, Billy draped himself on top of Mason, as had become his custom, and promptly fell asleep.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Boxing day was slow and lazy--lots of eating, sleeping, cuddling, playing with Thomas, and movie watching. It was nice that Boxing Day led into a weekend, allowing for a nice extended first Christmas.

On Monday, Mason accompanied Billy to work. It was pre-agreed it would be a short day. Mason called the EMR therapist, and was able to make an appointment for Billy on Wednesday morning.

Billy had reluctantly agreed to a short day, but had neglected to ask Mason, what constituted a short day. He was fathoms deep happily wrestling with a motor, when Mason came in, and declared it was time to close for the day. "Got to finish this," he replied absently, his mind still on the motor. "Won't take longer than a hour."

Mason watched his husband bent over the car, happier then Mason had seen him in weeks. “All right Monkey, you can have an hour, and when I say an hour, I mean sixty minutes. Anything over that starts to cost you lines. Deal?”

Billy flashed his husband a mega watt smile. "Deal," he said happily and plunged back under the hood. An hour later he was washing up, singing along with the radio.

He froze solid as the radio began to play Mike and the Mechanics’ The Living Years.

Mason walked over to the radio and slowly turned the volume down before he switched the power off. He then walked over to Billy, and pulled him close. Billy’s back was resting against Mason’s chest, and Mason had his strong arms wrapped around his lover. He landed a soft kiss on the top of Billy’s head. “Hey there Monkey, do you want to talk about it?”

Billy breathed in and felt comfort in Mason's arms and Mason's scent. "No," he replied. "Denial is a real place." Billy gave a lopsided smile.

“Yes, it is, but I think it is better visited at home and with ice cream. How about we go home…have a shower, order some Chinese food, grab spoons and ice cream, and curl up on the couch with our favorite little orange fur ball, some blankets, and the Princess Bride.”

Billy perked up. "Chocolate ice cream, shower sex," he smiled, "And 
wontons and the Dread Pirate Roberts to top it off. You have the best ideas ever."

Mason was glad he could supply Billy with these simple comforts. He knew they were going to become even more important over the next couple of months as Billy began to exorcise his demons.

When they got home, and closed the front door behind them, Mason pulled Billy close for a long and loving kiss. The kiss turned more passionate, and Mason began to quickly undress Billy as he moved them towards their bedroom, and eventually the shower.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

It had been a perfect evening, which led to Billy tying Mason to the bed and licking chocolate off of him. Billy kept asking Mason about the EMDR, and grew more nervous the more answers he got.

"I'm ok now, Mace," he said, the evening before the appointment. "I don't really think I need to go to this thing. I slept through the night, last night." He conveniently ignored the two nights before, where he'd been discovered by Mason out of bed both nights. His hand was still sore from the amount of lines he'd had to write.

“Let’s just go see the man, we can’t cancel at this point without still having to pay for the appointment. If you don’t like him, or change your mind after that--you don’t have to go back. But, I think if you give it a chance and put a little effort into it, you will feel hundreds of times better. Okay?”

Billy looked at Mason. "Promise?" he asked. "I won't be going through hell for nothing? You'll be near me?"

“I promise, and I always keep my promises.” Mason pulled Billy close; he kissed the top of his head, and gently rubbed his back until he felt Billy drift off to sleep.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

"Why are you asking these questions?" Billy's voice was raised. "I'm a screw up and my father beat me. What the fuck else do you want to know? Man, this sucks." Billy turned to Mason, "I want out," he said.

Mason held out his hand, he had promised they would leave if Billy chose. He wasn’t thrilled about his Brat’s behavior, but that was a conversation for later.

“Thank you,” Mason said to the psychologist, as he began to stand.

“Billy,” Dr. Mollient spoke, “I have just a couple more questions. I realize this is difficult. But please let me assure you that having to sit and talk to me about your issues with your father is not a major part of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy, there are just a few things I need to know before we start.”

Billy still looked angry, but he stood where he was and continued to listen.

“After today we will focus most of our time on the actual eye movement portion of therapy, and that phase of the therapy can be as verbal or non-verbal as you like. Would you mind staying and just answering the last two questions, and then you can leave, if you decide this is something you want to move forward with you can give me a call.”

Billy agreed. He calmed slightly, but there was still aggression and anger in his voice and movements. When the questions were finished, Dr. Mollient thanked Billy for staying, and he stood and shook both Billy and Mason’s hands.

Mason had been amazed at how calmly the psychologist had handled Billy’s outburst. He thought this man might be able to do great work if Billy was willing.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Billy’s anger and frustration began to rise again as he climbed into the truck. He was in full bratting mode when he slammed the truck door. He desperately wanted things to be back the way they had been. The sex was good, but he wanted Mason to reclaim him as only Mason could. He wanted Mason to take charge and pull him back into line. He felt unsettled, and although he didn't enjoy being spanked by Mason, he always felt more at ease after a spanking. There was no way he equated Mason's punishments, with his father's beatings. The lines Mason had recently begun to employ did nothing to calm him down. If anything it increased his frustration, and he upped his brat factor.

Both Mason and Billy were quiet for the beginning of the ride home. Mason was thinking that after today’s outburst, it might be time for him to reintroduce spanking to he and Billy’s relationship. His Brat was spinning, and when Billy began to spin, he often forgot a lot of his coping skills, reverting back to temper tantrums, and not taking care of himself.

Mason had found that the best way to stop his Brat’s spinning was to apply a good old-fashioned bare bottom spanking, followed by a lot of love and attention.

“Billy,” Mason said, breaking the silence.

“What?” Billy replied.

“Thank you for staying and completing your visit with Dr. Mollient, but I think when we get home you and are going to need to have a talk about the rude and disrespectful way you spoke to him.”

Billy gave a huff and turned away from Mason, watching the scenery from the passenger side window.

“A talk that is going to take place with your bare butt over my lap, while I turn your little white ass a bright shade of red. I think that it’s time we bring spanking back into our relationship.”

Billy's mouth opened then closed. "How did you know?" he spluttered, eyeing Mason suspiciously. "How did you know I wanted you to take back control? Are you a bloody mind reader or something?"

“I'm not a mind reader, but I've gotten pretty good at reading my husband.
Although I think this might have been a better conversation if there weren't an impending spanking at the end of it.”

"At least you've gone off bloody lines," Billy said, wrinkling his nose at the mere thought. "I reckon I should get one free pass," he said hopefully batting his eyelashes at his husband.

Mason gave his husband a very loving smile, and placed his hand softly on Billy's thigh. "Monkey, have those beautiful blues ever gotten you out of a spanking?

A bit of the twinkle went out of Billy's eyes.

"And I don't remember ever saying I was ‘off’ giving you lines, but I think I could issue a one time free pass for not have write an apology note to Dr. Mollient on a sore bottom tonight."

Billy stuck his tongue out at Mason, and then leaned down and rested his head in Mason's lap.

"I love you, Monkey," Mason said as he began to lightly run his fingers through Billy's soft blonde hair. "Do you wanna stop and get dinner somewhere before we go home?" Mason asked. When he didn't receive an answer, he glanced down and noticed his Brat softly sleeping. Mason decided to let Billy sleep, his poor husband hadn't slept very well the past few nights in anticipation of his EMDR appointment. He pulled his big truck into the driveway of he and Billy's house. He gently tapped Billy's shoulder. "Monkey, baby, it's time to wake up. We're home."

Billy blinked and rubbed his eyes. He smiled up at Mason. "No nightmares," he said, and bounced out of the truck. "What's for dinner? Do I have time to go check on the garage?" Billy hid his crossed fingers behind his back.

Mason locked the truck, and pulled Billy into a gentle embrace. He spoke softly, "I'm glad there were no nightmares. Go check on the garage. I'll go pick up some pizza from Luigi's, and we'll handle your spanking before bed."

Billy wrinkled his nose at his Top and stuck out his tongue. He turned and started to run, his laugh ringing through the air. He was slightly out of breath by the time he reached the garage. He slowed down when he saw the traveling salesman, standing next to a car, which had steam coming out of the bonnet.

"I don't have time to look at it now," Billy said, running his hand through his hair. "I'm actually closed for the day." Billy sighed as the salesman pleaded his urgent case. He took out his cell phone, and texted Mason, "Sorry urgent job."

“Okay, I'm bringing the pizza over, and I'll help you get it sorted. Love you.” Mason texted back.

Billy was deep in the engine, when Mason arrived. He emerged when he heard his Top's voice questioning the salesman. Mason's tone was sharp, and Billy listening to the salesman explaining that he was probably going to postpone his trip, due to snow. "You lied to me," Billy said, coldly, he didn't swear at customers. "From now on you can find a new patsy. I'll finish your car tomorrow, then you're black listed, mate."

Mason nodded his approval of Billy’s decision to the salesman, and saw him out the garage door. Billy closed and locked the garage, leaving a red-faced traveling salesman behind him. "Sorry Mace," he said, "I should have thought more about the line of bull he was selling me."

“Hey, there sweetheart,” Mason said, “we all make mistakes, and I love your kind and caring heart. It pisses me off, that the jerk used you, but I was really proud of how you set your boundaries with him, once you learned he was trying to sell you a bill a goods. Let’s get the rest of this place locked up, and go home.”

They had to heat up the pizza in the microwave, and they ate quietly, with the healthy appetite of two hungry men. They moved into the living room, where Billy sat on Mason's lap, laying his head on his lover's shoulder, feeling all was well in his world.

They enjoyed a lovely evening of relaxing, cuddling and watching television. When Mason noticed that Billy's eyes were getting a little droopy and his husband let out a long yawn, Mason decided it was time to make the unpleasant move. "Monkey, don't fall asleep, we still have a spanking to take care of tonight. Do you want to do it down here on the couch, or would you prefer to go get ready for bed, and have your spanking in the bedroom?"

Billy suddenly felt wide-awake. He chewed at his lip, "Down here," he said, finally. "Bedroom's for much more pleasant things."

Billy stayed cuddled against Mason. "Okay, Monkey, we'll stay down here.
Before we get to the spanking, I'd like you to talk to me about why you earned this spanking, and why you feel you need it." Mason softly swept Billy's fringe to the side, slightly tightened his embrace of the younger man, and planted a kiss on Billy's forehead.

"You know I hate this part," Billy complained. "I was rude and disrespectful to the shrink," he said, reluctantly. "And you know why I need it," he looked up at
Mason, his blue eyes tearing up. "I want things to be back where they were. I need the boundaries and the structure. I don't want what my father did, to alter a basic part of our life together." He cuddled closer to Mason, needing his reassurance. "The spanking hurts, but all is forgiven after. Lines just draw things out and I hate that."

Billy looked up at Mason safe in his embrace. “I think I want to go back to Dr Mollient,” he said. “I think he can help me. After all he managed to help you so I guess he's the best. I just want him to help stop the nightmares. Both the new ones and the old ones. Although sleeping on and with you helps more than anything.”

"Thank you, Baby." Mason wiped away a couple of his own tears. "I don't want what happened to you to affect our relationship either, but I needed to wait until you were ready...until we were both ready."

Mason kissed Billy softly on the mouth. He gently wiped the tears away, and he continued to hold Billy for a while longer, until Mason felt it was finally the right time. He helped Billy to stand up, and slowly undid the fly of Billy's jeans. He gave a gentle tug to the jeans causing them to pool around his husband's ankles. There was no underwear to lower, as his Brat was in his normal commando state.

Mason held his hand out to Billy to help guide him over his lap; Billy wiggled a bit until he was as comfortable as he could get.

Mason softly ran his hand over Billy's butt cheeks for a short while. "I love you, Monkey," Mason said. He raised his hand and landed a very firm swat to the under-curve of his husband's ass.

Billy hissed in pain and thought to himself, ‘I can't believe I asked for this.’ He'd forgotten how painful a spanking could be. Before long he was crying as Mason steadily set his butt on fire.

Mason delivered a good spanking. It was not the lightest; Mason wanted to honestly and not soft handedly reestablish their relationship, but it was also far from the firmest--as that was not what the situation called for.

When the spanking was over, Mason scooped his sobbing husband into his arms, giving assurances of his love and forgiveness.

Billy eventually fell asleep in Mason's arms. The big fireman carried his beloved up to bed, undressed him, and then climbed into bed beside him.

Mason smiled as Billy sprawled himself over his body as soon as he was settled.

Life as normal was beginning to resume.

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