Wednesday, October 5, 2016


 by Ranger

There are just those days that are doomed from the first moment your eyes open.

It was a Sunday, and I actually like Sundays. In the usual way once I surfaced I’d leave Damien peacefully sprawled over his pillow, his arms wrapped around it and his broad shoulders spread in the way that shows ALL the right muscles, tell him to hold that thought and go downstairs to feed the cat, make a tray of tea and biscuits, bring it back upstairs and…..

Yes, you get the picture.

This morning I was woken by Anastasia, who only ever wakes me when she wants feeding. I ignored her as long as I could. She wasn’t actually doing anything other than sitting beside the bed, staring at me with her green eyes wide. I turned over, curled up closer to Damien and tried to sink back into an it’s-Sunday-so-who-cares-when we-get- up kind of doze.

Cats can stare incredibly loudly and penetratingly. Even with my eyes closed all I could feel was Stare.

Go away cat.



Anastasia got up onto the bed and sniffed in my ear. Her whiskers tickle like all hell when she does that. I crunched automatically to get away from it and pushed her gently towards the end of the bed. Reassured that she was making progress, she marched right back up it again, purring.

Ok, chalk up round one to the cat.

Muttering, I slid out from under the duvet and padded downstairs.

She had of course been sick on the second step from the bottom, which is just so nice when you stand in it in your bare feet. Muttering still more, I washed my feet, fed her, with a few imprecations about her manners, cleaned up the stairs and opened the back door. It was going to be one of those English Summer Sundays. The kind where it’s bright and sunny and perfect, except for the howling gale which ensures taking a step outside is going to be thoroughly unpleasant.

I could already feel it was going to be one of those days. I’d been awake five minutes and my nerves were already running like a buzz saw, chewing up everything I felt or saw until it had sharp edges and irritated me still further. Had Damien woken then, it actually might have brought things back on course. He would have made tea, insisted I came back to bed-  and fooling around with Damien on a lazy Sunday morning is just not compatible with bad temper. However he didn’t wake, which added to the reasons I was fed up.

I made one mug of tea, took it into the lounge and discovered that we hadn’t moved our coffee cups from last night when we went to bed, and that Damien had thoughtlessly put his down on the glass instead of a coaster. From which it was perfectly clear which of us did the most cleaning around here, while the other did his I Am The Architect thing and left the secretaries to worry about the mundanities like coffee mugs. I tried for several minutes to drink tea from an armchair while that coffee ring nagged at me. It was no good. I stamped into the kitchen, grabbed the bottle of pledge and a duster, and spent a good five minutes polishing the entire damn table, since once I started I might as well do the whole thing. And from there naturally all I could see was bloody dust, since the sunlight streaming through the windows lit it all up. Every damn thing in the room was plastered, just as if I hadn’t cleaned the entire house just two days ago. That was it. The gremlins had me in earnest.

I had polished the entire lounge and had the hoover running a quarter of an hour later, still bare foot and in t shirt and shorts which was my one concession to summer and Damien’s teasing about my fixation with pyjamas. Damien came downstairs heavy eyed and tousle haired, gave me a sleepy smile and I saw him clock the glare he got. I swear too I saw him switch gears from ‘good morning, come back to bed’ to ‘oh God, he’s in one of those moods’. At least he edged around the wall past me, got out of my way and disappeared into the kitchen.

Lounge and hall hoovered, I followed him in time to discover he’d simply stacked the used coffee cups in the sink instead of washing them like anyone else would do, and had left both the cereal box and the milk out on the counter from the bowl he’d filled and was munching through at the table. He put out a hand and patted me somewhere personal as a friendly approach to hello. Or at least I’m prepared to believe that was how he intended it. He got a Hands Off or I’ll Bite look in return. I slammed the fridge door open, shoved the milk inside and pointedly slammed the door shut again.

“I’m making tea.” Damien pointed out reasonably behind me.

Fine. I’m not stopping you. Get the milk out of the fridge as you need it and stop making a mess while I’m cleaning.

I said none of it. Just grabbed the bottle of Flash and a sponge out of from under the sink, letting the cupboard door bang shut which satisfied some of my temper, and headed upstairs.

He’d left the CD player on playing Queen, which I was not about to take on an empty stomach at this time in the morning, and he hadn’t bothered to make the bed. I dumped the flash down on the dressing table, snapped off Queen and started to straighten out sheets. I was about half way through when he came to help, taking the other side of the duvet and shaking it neat with one effortless tug that made my yanking about look a complete waste of time.

“What’s this about?”

“You might have made the bed.” I snapped at him, walloping the pillows and dropping them into place. Damien sat down on the end of the bed and reached for me. Which didn’t work, since I saw him coming and moved out of his way.

Go cuddle the cat, Mitchell. I want a fight, not a hug.

“I’ve only been awake ten minutes.” Damien said reasonably.

”Yes well I’ve been awake an hour and cleaning up the mess left in the lounge last night.” I informed him. Damien looked blank.

“What mess?”

“Coffee.” I said shortly.

“Two cups…..”

“And a coffee ring. We have coasters. If you go nuts over my leaving shoes anywhere but in the wardrobe, I can insist you use a coaster.”

”Ok, I’ll use a coaster.”

Fine. Agree with me in that peaceable tone if you think it’s going to help.

Livid I stalked past him and he leaned over and confiscated the sponge and the Flash from my hand.

“Hey. Come downstairs, have some breakfast and cool down. There’s no need for this stamping around.”

Stamping around.  I gave him a look that should make it very clear what I felt about accusing me of stamping as if I was an overtired five year old, grabbed my clothes and went into the bathroom to get dressed.

He was downstairs and finishing his cereal when I came down, and the sink was still full of cups. Which was typical.

“Leave them and I’ll do it.” Damien said behind me as I stalked over, radiating what I hoped was a loud, clear, Yes the Slave of the World Will Sort It Out while You Eat Breakfast.

I turned the tap on full blast, aggravated still further by the splashing of it.

I’m just in a mood Damien, deal with it. Shut up, get out of the way and leave me alone.


”What?” I slammed the cups into the bowl. Nothing broke. The way I felt, I would almost have been pleased if one did.

“Calm down. Or I’ll calm you down.”

I whacked the cups down on the draining board, trying not to laugh. Yes. He’ll hold aloft his magic sword, by the Power of Greyskull – cup dried, I opened the cupboard door and banged the cup down.

Nicholas….” Damien said in that drawn out, dry way that means Be Warned. I flung the cupboard door shut and grabbed up the next two mugs.

“Look, just leave me alone this morning. I’m not in the mood.”

“Do you need a spanking?” Damien asked, unmoved.

That has to go down as one of the most stupid questions in history. Duh. Yes darling, like a hole in the head. That is really going to improve the situation. Do I look right now as though I need a spanking?

“Because that’s the way you’re looking right now.” Damien went on, apparently via ESP.

I banged the cups into the cupboard with a firmness meant to imply to him that if he tried laying a hand on me he’d better be ready to lose a couple of fingers. He did not have divine right over my moods, whatever he might think.

“I am not doing anything I shouldn’t. I am in a bad mood. It happens. It is not illegal.”

Fine. Stop slamming.

He clearly wasn’t listening to a word I was saying.

”They’re my cupboards as much as yours.” I pointed out to him, slamming another one for good measure to illustrate. “I’m not ending the world by slamming them. I’m not breaking anything, and I will slam them if I want to –“

“Right.” Damien said matter of factly, getting up from the table.

I should have seen it coming. His hand snagged my wrist, I turned around and saw him pull a kitchen chair out and plonk it squarely in the middle of the kitchen floor. That had overtones so sinister I stared at him in outrage. And then twisted, doing everything in my power to get my wrist out of his grip.

“Don’t you dare - Damien-

He is a lot bigger than I am, muscle wise as well as height, and he spent years playing rugby. One swift yank brought me crashing against his chest, his arm scooped me off the ground with infuriating ease and despite struggling with all the strength I had, he still sat down in that chair and pinned me across his lap, wrapping one arm around my waist. I squirmed all I could, but that did not change the fact that I was now bottom up over his knee, with the seat of my jeans very inconveniently tight. Just how tight I realised a split second later as his palm landed soundly across both cheeks with a sound like a gunshot.

Damien!” I said several times, although it might have been fractionally louder than that. “Mitchell get off! Let me go!”

He said nothing at all but the next two slaps were harder still and very well aimed, and even through denim they stung like hell. I kicked and squirmed and moved not one inch off his lap or managed in any way to make myself less vulnerable, and his hand continued to smack, moving unhurriedly from cheek to cheek. I grabbed his shin with one hand and did my best to lever myself up or even to get a hand behind me but he had too good a grip and all it took was a shrug of the arm braced over my back to push my arm away. And about all I was thinking was Ow. If not OW. And I still found myself facing the floor, upper body and legs twisting frantically, my backside held perfectly stationary and still being tanned. How did a man as gentle as Damien was – when not being a pain in the neck – have a right hand that could feel this hard?!

Damien, damnit that hurts!”

He didn’t make the obvious comment. Probably as well; I wouldn’t have been thrilled by it. I kicked and twisted and eventually clenched a fist and pounded his shin, furious and not able to move an inch.

Stop it! Damien!

The swat I got in return for that punch made me yell a lot more sincerely with nothing else on my mind but OUCH. And it got repeated, several times and fast on the lower slopes of my rear end, in a way that stole my breath and made me wish I’d learn to get rid of my jeans when they started to wear thin. His hand was still swatting rapidly without any sign of stopping or gentling, and I was on fire and squirming frantically to try and get his palm away from the more tender places at the top of my thighs.

“Damien – ow, please, ok! I’ll tone it down! I was just fed up about the cat for Pete’s- Damien no!”

I wriggled a lot harder as he finally paused swatting, lifted my hips and his hands slid underneath to unbutton my jeans. That was not necessary. And seriously unwanted. I squirmed hard enough to make it difficult but he just hooked an arm around my waist, unzipped the flies and his fingers slipped under the waist band of jeans and briefs, pulling both down. And down to my knees, which was still less of a good sign. Mid thigh would have been absolutely fine. I’d already felt on fire but his hand on the bare stung one hell of a lot more. And he wasn’t anywhere near done. Something he made plain as he once more began to spank with those brisk sound swats, covering his ground thoroughly.

“Damiiiiiiien……..I’m sorry, I’ll stop – I won’t slam anything else I promise –“

I was aware I was sounding a lot less assertive, but then I was rapidly feeling anything but assertive. In fact I was starting to wonder why on earth I’d been so incredibly mean or how it could possibly have seemed like a good idea at the time, and the temper that had dominated everything like some large and mean spirited troll was slipping away like sand through a sieve.

“I’m sorry – really I’m sorry, I’ll stop now-“

It made no difference. I didn’t really expect it to, but then I never stop the forlorn hope that it might. It’s easier to cling to than facing what I do know: that avowals of behaving now won’t mean a thing and he isn’t going to stop until he’s finished. His decision, not mine. And it isn’t going to be until he’s absolutely sure I’m sorry, which is going to take more than promises.

I still promised. And yelped. And sniffled, and finally reached that awful point of acquiescence. It’s somewhere I can’t go by myself, and somewhere I never want to go, but somewhere I know I can trust him to take me whenever I need to be there. I was incidentally perfectly willing to stop doing any slamming around, the mood had fled in panic, and I was sorry for myself – which sounds pitiful, but it actually wasn’t. It wasn’t abject surrender to him or to the morals and ethics of anything; it wasn’t abject at all. It was reconnection. To something which completely overwhelmed temper and bad moods and anything else.

Tears which had been dripping from my eyes for several moments flooded up in earnest, my chest seized and I was crying, properly and hard, without reservation or any kind of need to hold it back. I could safely just let it all go.

He had more than chased off the temper when he finally stopped spanking- beyond any doubt, the mood was gone. Changed completely, and extinguished beyond refuelling. I wasn’t angry at all. Pitiful, smarting, yes. I lay over his knees for a moment more, limp and sobbing, then his arm came around my shoulders and helped me up, and I turned, wanting only to get my arms around his neck. He hugged me tightly, the crushing grip that makes me feel secure and surrounded, and I slid into his lap irrespective of how much I was blazing behind or of jeans still at half mast. For several moments we held each other, and I clung to him, crying hard into his neck although not with any grief. This was not about cupboard doors, or anything so petty; it was about him and me, and that was all. I gradually calmed until I was relatively quiet and with my head turned on his shoulder.

Damien stroked my back, not saying anything and letting me take my time. It was in the end me who drew back first and looked at him, finding his face calm and ruefully compassionate as he saw mine, which must have been a complete mess. I gave him a rather shaky smile in return and he put a hand up to smooth my hair.

“It’s no good you being sympathetic now.” I told him. He kissed me gently and put me on my feet, helping me ease jeans and pants up with care for the fact my backside was sore.

“I’m not.

“I’m sorry.” I said, and meant it. Which is radically different from I’m sorry you’re cross with me, or I’m sorry I got spanked.

He let me go with a gentle pat where I was sorest, and I went to the sink and picked up the dish towel I’d hurled there ten minutes ago – it felt like a lifetime ago – and dried my face. His hands fell on my shoulders, massaging. I should have been livid with him: my backside was hot enough to fry eggs on and smarting like hell- but I wasn’t. For the first time today I felt one hell of a lot better. Settled. Peaceful, if still sniffling. 

“How about,” he said in my ear, “We make a proper breakfast and go and have it in the garden, hmm?”

The bench out there is exactly the right size to cuddle on. Which right now was what I felt like doing – less from wanting comfort than just wanting to be close to him now the house was once more somewhere calm and we were in tune. And I knew he wasn’t in the least annoyed with me any more than I was with him. He knows me too well. I leaned my head back on his shoulder, kissed what I could of his cheek and put the kettle on. Despite the howling gale outside, it was going to be a beautiful day.  

~ The End ~

Copyright 2016 Ranger


Anonymous said...

Ranger, so lovely to see something 'new' with my favourite couple.
I just love you Damien/Nick always communicates the feelings beautifully.
Thanks for posting & sharing your characters with us.
Cheers, fem

Anonymous said...

checked in on your site after about a month and I was unbelievably overjoyed to see new Nick and Damien stories!! My favorite couple and such great additions to the series :D thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Nick and Damien are undoubtedly my favourite couple. Thank you so much for creating them and spreading joy and love through your writing. Cheers from Nova Scotia and a long time reader!

Most of the artwork on the blog is by Canadian artist Steve Walker.

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