Joel startled awake. He knew something woke him but he didn't know what. The sun was streaming through the window and as Joel lay there, he knew he'd never seen the sky so blue. The rains and storm of the night before had washed away all the pollen and dust. On Earth, the sky had been muted by pollution and dust and ash from the volcanos; never a crystal clear blue like he could see out his window. Joel flung the blankets off and stood up. The beautiful day was calling to him.
Quickly he stripped out of his sleep pants and put on his tunic and britches. Walking into the kitchen, Joel had a fairly good idea what had woken him. Archer and Trey were standing toe to toe, Trey's face was flushed, and Archer's face looked forbidding-all the signs of a major disagreement.
"I don't want to eat!" Trey gritted out between clenched jaws. "I know my own stomach and I know when I'm hungry!"
Archer loomed over the smaller man and softly said, "And I know MY sub. I didn't make a large meal, just oats and honey. Something that will give you enough energy to get through the morning."
Joel jumped when Trey let out a loud yell. "DO NOT TALK ALL NICE TO ME!!! I hate it when you do that! Quit being nice!"
Joel was a bit taken back. Since he'd first woken up on this planet, the smaller man had always seemed to have a smile and a smart mouth.
"I'll stop being nice as soon as you eat a little," Archer said reasonably. Maybe too reasonably for Trey. The small angry man stalked over to the table, picked up the bowl that had his breakfast in it, and yelled, "You eat it if it's so important!" Then Trey flung it toward Archer.
Archer caught the bowl before it could hit him, but the cooked oats inside of the bowl spilled out onto the bigger man's tunic. It seemed like time stopped as all three men just stood still. Archer broke the spell when he set the bowl in the sink and strode toward Trey.
Joel wondered if he should go back in his room or leave the house, but he couldn't seem to make his legs move. He watched as Archer took Trey by the wrist and tugged him toward the table.
"I'll grant you your request. I'm done being nice," Archer growled out as he sat down. Then to Joel's astonishment, the large man yanked Trey's pants down to his knees and pulled him over his lap.
Trey didn't resist; he just went where Archer guided him. Which was face down, bare butt up, over Archer's lap.
This was a sight Joel had never seen before. The large dominant with cooked oats smeared on his tunic and the small sub lying bare from the waist down over his lap. Without any fanfare, Archer brought his hand down and landed a painful swat on the waiting butt. Joel watched as Archer landed swat after swat on Trey's backside. This was more than the swat's that he'd seen the big man give Trey. This was a full blown spanking. Archer didn't say a word; just continued to bring his hand down. Soon, Trey's ass was bright red and the young man had tears dripping down his face.
Although Joel had never witness a spanking before, he was shocked to find that he wasn't leaping up to defend the small sub. Joel had never been in a physical fight before, he'd been brought up to find peaceful solutions. But this seemed right. Trey wasn't fighting off Archer, he appeared to be accepting of his punishment. Joel looked closely at Archer's face. There was determination in his face, but not anger.
When the last swat landed, Archer pulled Trey up and around, careful that Trey's sore bottom was between his thighs. Joel couldn't tear his eyes away from the gentle care that Archer was now showing Trey, anymore than he could when Archer had spanked the sub.
He couldn't hear the words, but Joel could hear the softness and the tenderness in Archer's voice as he murmured into Trey's hair. After a few minutes, Archer stood swinging Trey into his arms, still careful of Trey's red butt.
"I think we'll go back to bed for a little while. We had a bad night," Archer said quietly as he walked past Joel.
Joel nodded. He desperately wanted to stroke his hand down Trey's back, to give some comfort to the man, but didn't know if it was his right. Before he had fully thought this out, Archer and Trey were back in their bedroom with the door shut.
Joel struggled with this burning desire to go soothe Trey. He was also surprised that the violence he'd witnessed didn't bother him. When did he come to accept one man striking another as normal? Joel let the thoughts fill his mind as he spooned out some of the cooked oats and sat down at the table to eat. Was he always dominant he wondered. Or was it this new world he was now living on? Not that he'd seen much of this world. He'd spent most of the time either in this house, in the pottery shed or under the tree resting.
He decided to spend the day out looking around the village. Archer and Trey had both encouraged him to learn as much as he could about his new home and Joel thought the two men needed time together, this would be the perfect time.
As quietly as he could, Joel cleaned up the kitchen; putting a small plate over what was left in the pot to keep any insects from getting into it. When Trey woke up, he'd eat it rather than make Archer wear it. With a quick look around to make sure everything was tidy, Joel slipped out the door.
Archer and Trey lived on the outskirts of the village, so Joel followed the small path toward the more populated area. The walk didn't take long and soon he found himself at an open air market. He watched as men bartered for food, clothes and household items. The market was noisy and bustling with people. Trey was a bit shocked at the amount of people, but he continued to walk on taking in all the sights he could.
On either side of the market area, he could see buildings. None of the buildings were very high, two or three stories at most. Just as Joel started to explore this new area, he heard someone shouting his name.
"Joel! Over here!"
Joel turned and saw Adryn waving his hands. As he walked over he heard Rydir's amused voice say, "I'm sure you could be heard you down by the river."
"Hi, I'm out exploring," Joel said, not sure why he felt the need to explain his presence. "Trey and Archer needed some time alone."
"Was he up all night? Did the storm upset him? Did they have a bad morning? Do you know why storms upset him?" Adryn's questions came nonstop, until Rydir put his hand on his rambling partner.
"Yeah, they had a rough morning," Joel answered just one of the questions.
Rydir gave him a knowing look and stated, "And that was rough on you. Its always hard when a dom sees a sub in distress, especially when he's your Kalos."
"I thought Archer was my Kalos?" Joel asked.
"Do you not learn as much from Trey as you do Archer?" Rydir asked. At Joel's nod, he continued, "Archer is your Kalos, but so is Trey. And you've become close to them, so you feel compelled to help him."
"That makes sense," Joel said as much to himself as to Rydir. Then to both men, said, "I decided I'd see a bit of the village; learn about my new home."
"I'm glad you came this way. Archer told us you'd been a bit of a farmer," the older dom said.
"I grew up on a farm. We mostly grew wheat. Well as much as we could grow. Drought and over farming had pretty much destroyed the soil. When I moved to the city, I tried hydro-farming in the basement of our building," Joel explained.
"We grow corn," Adryn said gesturing to the crates of corn in their stall. "A lot of it goes to the miller who grinds it into cornmeal, but we sell some here."
"You guys have a farm?" Joel asked. He'd love to see it.
"A few miles from Archer's and Joel's we do. We grow corn and we have an apple orchard. We have a few goats, but mostly we grow apples and corn," Adryn explained.
"You have apples?" Joel's mouth watered at the thought of biting into a crisp sweet apple. He hadn't had an apple in years.
"Well, not yet, but we will have some in a few weeks," Adryn said. "At harvesting time, we always ask for some help. Maybe you'd like to be a part of the harvest?"
"Oh! I'd love to! Archer said he'd show me the pottery shed and how to make things, but to tell you the truth, I think I'll always be a farmer at heart," Joel said.
"There's nothing like having your hands in the dirt is there?" Rydir asked. "We are about done here, if you'd like to come over. We can have lunch and I'll show you around."
Joel hurriedly agreed. As much as he was interested in the village, Joel would much rather see a full working farm. He helped the two older men secure their small wooden booth, boxing up the corn that was left, and watching as the two men said goodbye to other vendors.
"How do you transport the goods here?" Joel asked as they started walking.
"We have a cart and some horses," Adryn explained. "We know that on earth, the Industrial Age brought motorized vehicles, but the Historians knew we couldn't go down that path. We only use reusable resources."
"We learned a lot from Earth and several other planets." Rydir took up where Adryn stopped. "We use wind power and solar power for electricity in homes, but we try to use animal and human power when we can. It's a simpler life."
"Other planets? Simpler life? There's so much I don't know," Joel said.
Adryn patted him on the back, and said. "You'll learn. And there's much that the Historians know that is hard to understand."
"Yes, you'll learn," Adryn said. And then his voice became stern. "Don't push to hard to learn everything at once. You have many years to learn. The rest of your life, in fact. Just take it one step at a time."
Joel thought of all he was learning and what he still needed to learn. As he thought about it, he decided that there were a few things he needed to learn first. He needed to know about his own dominance and he needed to know how he could contribute to this new world. The first would take time, but he knew deep in his soul that he could contribute best by being a farmer.
"Did you get it settled?" Rydir asked. Then at Joel's baffled look explained, "You were thinking so loudly, I could hear the questions you were asking yourself. Besides, I was Archer's Kalos. I know how young doms think. So, have you answered some of the questions in your mind?"
Joel blushed but answered the older dom. "Yes. I want to be a farmer."
"Come along, then. Let us show you our home."
Joel felt hope spread inside like he'd never felt before. He had a future here and men who were willing to help him. He smiled as the three men walked out of the village.
End chapter 5