I issued a challenge to write a drabble, ficlet, story that had a spatula in it. Then I couldn't figure out which set of characters to write about. So, I made up some new ones! In this story, Leland and RJ are at Teardrop Lake Resort.
Title: Weapon at Hand
Series: Teardrop Lake Resort
Walking up to the cabin, Leland was happy to see a glow in RJ’s eyes. He knew it wasn’t all from the rising sun. RJ was finally starting to enjoy life again. Grief had overwhelmed RJ for over a year. They had both needed this vacation.
Holding the door open, Leland said, “Why don’t you go take a quick shower while I fix some breakfast. The humidity is almost as bad as at home.”
Leland watched RJ’s backside as the other man went into the bathroom. Shaking his head, he turned and went to check what was in the refrigerator. They’d gotten in late the night before but typically the basics were stocked. Finding eggs and cheese, he decided to make simple omelets.
As he whipped the eggs, he wondered if he should suggest RJ getting out his camera. RJ worked as a photographer for their hometown newspaper. He freelanced for a couple of nature magazines. And he’d continued to do his job, but the joy that he found in just taking pictures had been lacking since his grandma had passed away.
RJ’s grandma had raised him when his parents had died in a tragic car accident when he was only seven years old. She had doted on him and loved him unconditionally. RJ adored her and visited her every day. The one day he was out on an assignment, she had a massive heart attack. He blamed himself for not being there for her. Even though the doctors had all explained to him that there was nothing he could have done for her, RJ continued to blame himself.
Once everything had been taken care of, the sell of her house, an auction to sell all of the belongings that RJ didn’t want to keep, and making sure all the charities that had been named in the will received their donations, Leland had arranged his own schedule to give them both a holiday.
As his thoughts continued, Leland turned toward the sink. Before he could turn on the faucet, movement out the window caught his eye. Looking closer, his jaw dropped open. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. He set the bowl on the counter and ran outside.
“Richard James Marton! What the hell are you doing?” Leland almost kicked himself for yelling. But the sight of his Brat hanging upside down by his knees in the tree had scared him senseless.
“Just a minute.”
Leland watched in disbelief as RJ started rocking back and forth. When he saw the other man bring up his camera and take a couple pictures, all he could think was to be careful what he wished for.
Gritting his teeth to stop from yelling, Leland ground out, “Now, RJ. Get down now.” He held his breath as he watched his Brat awkwardly scramble down from the tree. Once he was safely on the ground, Leland stalked to him. Grabbing his hand, he pulled his errant lover back to the house.
Leland continued to pull RJ along into the kitchen. “I thought we’d covered the issue of you putting yourself in danger over a picture, but I’m more than happy to do it again.” Not letting go of his boy, Leland looked around. They’d not brought a paddle on their vacation. It’d been years since his boy needed anything but his hand for discipline. But putting himself in danger had always been a paddling offense. Spying the spatula he’d gotten out early, Leland grabbed it.
Holding RJ’s hand in his right hand and the spatula in his left hand, Leland used his foot to pull out a chair. Sitting down, he let go of RJ and quickly unbuttoned his jeans. In seconds, he had his Brat bare bottom and over his lap.
“While I’m thrilled that you are getting inspired again, I’m not happy you put yourself in danger! You could have fallen and broken your damn neck!” Deciding that was enough of a lecture, Leland brought the spatula down. Twelve swats of the wooden implement, six on each cheek, brought gasps from his Brat.
When RJ cried out his apology, Leland set the spatula down. He rearranged his boy so that he was sitting on his lap. After a few minutes of cuddling, he asked, “What in the world made you climb up that tree?”
Sniffling, RJ said, “The way the sun was rising over the lake was so beautiful. I wanted to get a picture of it. And you know, the best pictures are taken at different angles!”
“Hanging upside down is not the best way! I’m pretty sure if you’d put your brain to it, you could have found a safer way to get a good angle.” Then Leland had another thought. “I thought you were taking a shower?”
“I was going to and then I saw the sun reflecting off the lake. I had to get the picture before the moment was gone.”
Leland sighed. Patience had never been a virtue of his Brat. But it was part of what he loved about him. His excitement of the moment and his way of seeing the beauty in everyday things. “I know. And you know that we can revisit some of the discipline we’ve let slide over the past year.”
When RJ nodded in agreement, Leland knew that his Brat was pushing the boundaries. Boundaries that made him feel safe when they were tightened. Leland hugged him hard. He’d do anything to keep his boy feeling safe.
“Leland?” RJ’s voice was muffled. “A spatula? Really?”
Leland laughed. “I just used the weapon I had at hand. I think I’ll be carrying it with me the rest of our vacation.”
“Just. Just please don’t use it on our eggs.” RJ shivered. “That’s kind of disgusting.”
Leland laughed. “Agreed. Now. Let’s try this again. You go shower. And only shower. And I’ll fix breakfast.”