Rolf drove down the interstate, singing along softly to the radio. Thirty miles down the road he stopped at a gas station to fill up, purchasing a bottle of water for Matthew and a coffee for himself.
"Matthew, wake up," Rolf said, putting a gentle hand on Matthew's arm.
Matthew groaned and moved but didn't come fully awake.
"I want you to drink some water. Come on, wake up."
Cracking one eye open, Matthew realized they weren't yet home. He slowly opened the other one and accepted the bottle from Rolf.
"Drink up, you need to get re-hydrated," Rolf said, starting the truck and getting back on the interstate.
Matthew took a couple of sips, then tried screwing the lid back on.
"No, drink the bottle," Rolf said, reaching over to confiscate the lid.
"Not that -"
Matthew sighed and took another long drink, then rested the bottle on his knee. When Rolf heard another snore, he eased the bottle from Matthew's hands and screwed the lid back on.
Rolf admired the view as he drove. The rolling green hills of his home never ceased to make him feel at peace. He'd traveled to a lot of different places and preferred his own landscape as opposed to anything else.
He was brought back from his reverie when Matthew sat up.
"Here's your water," Rolf said, holding the bottle out again.
"Thanks," Matthew said, opening it and draining it in just a few minutes. "How much farther?"
"I'm hoooooooooooot," Matthew said, turning the a/c up higher and pointing the vents at himself.
"You have a pretty good burn there. The lotion is behind my seat if you want it. Might help."
Matthew pushed his seat back down and leaned over, finding the bottle. Setting back up, he squeezed out a small amount and massaged it into his arms and across his forehead, wincing at the contact.
"You can get a shower when we get home, that should help make you more comfortable," Rolf said, putting a hand on Matthew's knee.
"Whatever possessed you to head to that race without sunscreen? As many races as we've been to, I thought you'd realize how important sunscreen can be."
"I know it works. It's just gooey and gross, and I didn't think we'd be burned that quickly."
"Burns happen quickly," Rolf said.
"Yeah. I know," Matthew replied, settling back against the seat and trying to close his eyes. It was too hot and for the last thirty minutes of the drive he was irritable and short-tempered.
Rolf pulled up into the drive and parked. He unlocked the door and held it open for Matthew to enter, before closing it behind him.
"Straight up to the shower," Rolf said, though it was to Matthew's back as he climbed the stairs for that purpose. He headed into the kitchen to check the answering machine.
Matthew slowly disrobed, wincing as his underwear scraped his raw legs. After removing his shirt, he looked in the mirror in shock. His face was bright red, his arms from a little above the elbow were slightly red, and his thighs and knees were also shiny and sore. He turned the taps on and moaned when the water hit his sensitive skin. The shower was a long one as he tried gently to remove the baked-in sweat and dirt without removing the raw skin. When he turned off the taps and grabbed the towel, he momentarily forgot his burns until he roughly brushed the towel over his leg. He bit his lip, then very carefully daubed at the rest of the skin until he was dry.
He found his softest pair of PJ shorts and pulled those on before heading downstairs.
"Rolf? Rolf?" he asked an empty house when he came downstairs. Not finding anyone, he looked out the front window. Rolf was out talking to a neighbor. He decided while Rolf was busy, he'd just grab a coke and check his email. He had just got the internet up and running when he heard Rolf enter the house.
Rolf listened for a minute and didn't hear any movement upstairs. He headed on into the kitchen to put the fresh tomatoes his neighbor had just dropped off into the refrigerator. When he shut the door, he heard the unmistakable beep of the computer. He headed purposely down the hall, stopping just inside the door and eyeing his young lover sternly.
"What do you think you're doing?"
Matthew jumped guiltily. "Just checking my mail," he said lamely.
"Do you think I'm the least bit happy with you right now?"
Matthew clicked on another mail, wanting to see what Todd had sent him. He hurriedly started backing out of it when Rolf walked over to him.
"I asked you a question, and I expect an answer," Rolf said meaningfully.
"No...no sir," Matthew stuttered.
"Get that computer off RIGHT
Matthew felt his burn even more as his face heated up. He quickly shut down the computer.
"Take a seat in the kitchen," Rolf said, following Matthew out of the room and down the hall.
Matthew pulled out a kitchen chair and sat down.
Rolf continued on past the kitchen and went out to the half bath medicine cabinet and pulled out the Dermoplast.
"This way, please," Rolf said when he'd gotten back to the kitchen.
Matthew turned towards Rolf and turned his head and he sprayed both legs with the cooling spray.
"Aaaahhh!" Matthew said, moving his legs up and down. "That shi-stuff's cold!"
"Right arm," Rolf said, holding Matthew's hand and spraying down the arm.
"And it's GROSS," Matthew said, blowing furiously through his mouth to move the cloud away from his face.
"Left arm," Rolf continued with the spraying.
Matthew waved furiously at the cloud of stuff. "You are NOT spraying that on my face!"
Rolf sprayed some in his hand, then gently rubbed it across Matthew's scowling face.
"Think of that seat as your friend. If I find you out of it, I'll spank you," Rolf said, turning to put the spray away.
"My coke is in the office, will you get that for me?" Matthew asked plaintively.
"Caffeine dehydrates you. That's the LAST thing you need," Rolf said, putting the spray away. He confiscated the coke from the office and put that back into the fridge, pulling out a water.
"Remember what I said," Rolf said, heading out the back door.
Matthew stuck his tongue out when Rolf was good and truly gone. Being confined to a hard wooden chair while he 'dried' was not high on Matthew's list of Fun Things To Do for an afternoon. Just as he was desperately bored and about to leave his chair, Rolf walked back in.
"YES," Matthew said, standing up.
"Did I tell you to leave your chair?"
Matthew risked a quick look at Rolf, then sank back in the chair. "No, sir."
Rolf got a notebook and a pen, and a magazine, flipping through until he found what he was looking for. He set the magazine down in front of Matthew.
"That paragraph there," Rolf said pointing. "You're to copy that ten times, exactly as is."
"Come ON," Matthew complained bitterly.
Rolf pulled Matthew's chin up. "You can copy that now, without a word, or you can start after I spank you. It's entirely up to you."
Matthew managed a quiet, "I'll copy," and got to work. The paragraph was about what true friends did for each other, and he got the message. It took nearly an hour to copy it the full ten times. When Matthew finally finished it, he sat back and rubbed his sore hand.
Rolf came back in a couple minutes later. "All finished?"
"Yes, sir," Matthew said, pushing the paper towards him.
Rolf quickly scanned it, finding all parts there. "How's the burn feel?"
"It hurts a little, but it's my head that's starting to really bother me."
"Let's get you upstairs then," Rolf said, holding out his hand.
Matthew stood up, dropping his hand in Rolf's and they headed upstairs. He gratefully accepted the Tylenol, and sank into the cool sheets, not really caring the sun hadn't set yet. He drifted off as Rolf rubbed his shoulders and chest lightly.
He thoroughly resented being awakened a few minutes later. "Stooooooooooop," he whined, rolling over to snuggle deeper into the sheets.
"Breakfast is ready. Come on sleepyhead, up and at 'em," Rolf cajoled.
Matthew cracked an eye open and saw the sun rising. As the sun filtered in through the blinds, so did consciousness into Matthew's brain. He slowly sat up, rubbing his eyes.
"What's for breakfast?"
"Bacon and eggs. How are you feeling?"
Matthew flexed his arms and patted his face. "Seems all right," he said.
"Good, we've got a lot to do today. You've got five minutes," Rolf said as headed back downstairs to finish breakfast.
Matthew smiled sleepily for a moment before he remembered just WHAT they had to do today. The smile quickly left his face as he knew a discussion was upcoming over the race yesterday. He got up and headed into the bathroom, splashing water on his face. When he was ready to head downstairs, he saluted the mirror. "Farewell, soldier. Fight the good fight. When you find yourself outmaneuvered and your flanks are in enemy territory, the battle does not last forever, however it may seem at the time. Wear white, because a candy apple red satin thong is NOT a good surrender color. Ten, HUT!" Matthew managed a small smile at himself before heading down for breakfast.
Breakfast was a mostly silent affair, though not strained. Matthew picked up the sports section of the paper and read while Rolf leafed through the city section. When breakfast was finished, Matthew did the dishes, taking his time. When he'd finished cleaning the counter and started on the canisters, Rolf called him.
"That's enough cleaning. Come here."
Matthew slowly rinsed off the dishtowel and hung that up to dry, then rinsed and dried his hands on a paper towel. He set that down on the counter and slowly made his way over to his lover.
Rolf looked up at him. "Do you have anything further to add about yesterday?"
Matthew shuffled his feet for a moment before finally saying "No, sir." As he expected, the next words made his stomach flip.
"Bend over," Rolf said pulling gently down on Matthew's arm.
Matthew moved over to Rolf's side and slowly bent over until he was resting across Rolf's knees. He steadied himself with his hands on the floor, and grimaced when his shorts were unceremoniously yanked to mid-thigh.
"Why are we here?" Rolf asked, resting both hands across Matthew's back.
There was no worse way to be grilled than in this position. "Because I went to the race and I left Chris," Matthew said to the floor, shifting uncomfortably.
"Why, exactly, am I upset with you?"
"Because....because I lied," Matthew said slowly.
"Then I hope this spanking helps you to remember these things BEFORE you do them, instead of after?" Rolf said as he tightened his grip around Matthew's middle and raised his hand, bringing it down sharply on the bare bottom in front of him.
Matthew tensed up, ready for the first swat. When it exploded on his backside, he gulped and swallowed on a dry throat, for as many times as he'd been spanked, it wasn't until the first swat of the next one fell that he remembered exactly how painful it was. He'd not even come to grips with the first swat when the second one landed, and he realized it wasn't going to end until he was well and truly sorry.
What seemed like hours later, Matthew was out of breath and words and sobbing heartily. Rolf landed on more firm swat to the center of Matthew's crimson bottom before letting his smarting hand rest. When Matthew finished squirming, he helped him to stand up, getting up with him and pulling his shorts into place. Then he wrapped his arms around his shuddering lover and held him while the sobs subsided into hitching breaths.
Rolf raised up the tearstained face and kissed the hot forehead. "Think you'll remember to tell me what's going on next time?"
"Yes," Matthew said sincerely.
"You've got ten minutes to get your face washed and dressed. We're going to get the mulch turned over and weeded today."
Matthew was in no mood to turn mulch, but even less in the mood to argue. He headed upstairs, still sniffling slightly, wondering what was going on at his friend's house today.