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FICLET: Happy to Be Home

Title: Happy to be Home
Characters: Jess and Ken

Pulling into the driveway, Jess turned to the little grey dog sitting beside him.  "Tips, I know you enjoyed your visit, but damn am I glad to be home." 

The little dog wagged her entire butt in response to Jess's voice.  Jess couldn't resist reaching over and petting her.  He'd just come from visiting his father in the assistive living facility.  The old man suffering from Alzheimer's disease recognized the pup, but not his own son.  Jess shrugged off the small hurt; his father had never gone out of his way to make him feel loved.  

Throwing the truck in park, Jess picked Tippy up.  Holding the dog nose to nose, he said, "you know me, don't you, girl?"

The dog flicked her tongue out, giving Jess a quick little kiss on his nose.  "Yeah, yeah.  I love you too.  I just don't want that nasty tongue on my face!  Let's go find Ken, Tips."

Jess carried the small dog into the house, and on into the kitchen.  Sitting her down on the kitchen floor, he opened a cabinet door, pulled out a small can of dog food and fed the Yorkie.   As he rinsed off the spoon he used to scoop out the food, he noticed the light on in their small work shed that was in their backyard.

"I'm going to go see what Ken is up to, Tipster.  You stay here."  Jess chuckled as the dog ignored him in favor of gulping down her dinner.

He made sure the backdoor was firmly shut so Tippy wouldn't follow him out.  Ken and Jess both worried that the dog might get hurt out in their shed.  Especially if they were working with power tools.  A piece of wood could be chipped off and harm the dog.  

Ken wasn't using a power tool, but instead was sanding an old chair. 

"What are you working on?"

Ken startled when Jess spoke.  "Shit, you walk quietly for a big man.  A friend from the club asked me to fix up this old chair."

Jess looked over the old chair.  The back of it was straight, not curved for lumbar support and the seat was plain, hard wood. "It'll need some cushions."

"No, I don't think they'll put cushions on it.  That would defeat the purpose, I think," Ken laughed.

"Purpose?  Isn't the purpose of a chair to sit on?"

"This particular client wants a time-out chair; comfort isn't a consideration, I don't think," Ken explained.

"A time out chair?" Jess had heard of time outs for kids; they used that as punishment in the schools nowadays.  But the words club and client meant that an adult, probably a couple, asked for the refinishing job.

"Yes, time out.  Clark and Casey asked for it," Ken said.  "Casey confided in me that they use discipline as well as BDSM and that sometimes he puts Clark in time out.  But Clark is getting a bit older and standing in a corner for any length of time is too much for him."

A picture of the elderly couple who frequented the club on leather nights popped in Jess's head.  The two men had been together for almost 40 years.  Jess remembered that once someone told him that when they were younger they played hard.  Now, though, the two men would watch other's at the club.  Jess couldn't believe that they still practiced discipline in their relationship.  And he said so to Ken.  "After being together for so long, I can't believe they'd still need discipline."

"I think for some people, the need for discipline never goes away," Ken said slowly.  He set the block of sandpaper he was using and stood up to face his lover.  "Maybe the type of discipline changes, but not the need."

Jess nodded again.  "Yeah, I can't see them using a belt or anything on each other.  My dad bumps his arm and gigantic bruises appear."

"I'm sure they still play, just a bit more carefully.  And a nice, hard chair can replace standing in the corner, but still get the message across," Ken said, then tilted his head and looked thoughtfully at Jess.

Jess's stomach clenched almost painfully when he saw the way Ken was looking at him.  He could see Ken thinking and he didn't like what he saw.  That was the trouble with loving Ken so completely.  Ken knew him and knew what he needed.  Jess couldn't hide anymore.

"What?" Jess demanded.  He knew Ken was reading him as thoroughly as Jess was reading him when Ken gave him a small, sarcastic smile.

"Would you like one?" Ken asked gently.

"One what?" Then suddenly understanding dawned.  "A time out chair?  Are you shitting me!  No!  We don't do that!"

"Well, we haven't done that," Ken said.  "But we could."

""We don't need that!  I don't need that!" Jess said scathingly.   He could feel sweat forming on his forehead at the thought of sitting in a time out.  What would he think about?  What would Ken think as Jess sat there?  His stomach tightened even more.   Suddenly he felt arms wrap around him.

"I would never do anything without your consent. You know that, right?" Ken's voice was a harsh, caring whisper in his ear.  "Anything we do, we do together.  For us.  For what works for us."

Ken's arms holding him chased the panic away.  "Yeah.  I know that."

"So, if sitting in a chair isn't for you, it doesn't change a damn thing.  I'll still take you to bed and pound you through the mattress.  I'll still wake up next to you.  I'll still spank you when you need it.  And when you want it."

Turning and wrapping his own arms around him, Jess kissed him hard.  "You know me too well."

"Not too well.  Just enough. There's still miles of layers to you," Ken replied with a hard kiss back.  Then he broke the embrace and slapped a hand down hard on Jess's ass.  "Now, you wanna help me with the rest of this?"

Jess laughed and tried to slyly rub his ass.  "I'll help.  I want to get the damn thing out of here as fast as I can.  I don't need you getting any more ideas."

He grabbed a block of sandpaper and started to help Ken sand the chair.  Yeah, he thought to himself, he was happy to be home.


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