Neal hissed when the swats continued to rain down on his cloth-covered behind. Defiantly he snapped, “Could you hurry up, I really want to go home.”
Another, this time harder swat, ripped a distressed moan from Neal's throat. Peter grunted, “I don't like this attitude of yours.”
“Tell you what, I don't like your attitude right now either.”
The swats stopped and Neal gave a relieved sigh. He straightened up from his bent-over position at the kitchen table and turned to Peter, a dazzling smile in place. The smile faded quickly when he saw the stony expression on Peter's face. Only the wildly throbbing vein at Peter's left temple showed just how angry the other man was.
“You don't like my attitude? Did I hear correctly?”
“Y-Yeah, well,” Neal stuttered. What the hell was up with him? He never stuttered, he was always in control about the situation even when Peter spanked him. He squashed the uneasy feeling that settled in his stomach and went on: “this is not a mature way of dealing with a misunderstanding.”
“Misunderstanding? Tell you what, this is the most mature way of dealing with an arrogant brat like you.”
Neal bristled visibly at the term 'brat' but kept his mouth shut. Peter stared at him for a whole minute, pondering. When he had come to a conclusion he took a chair, placed it in the middle of the kitchen and sat down. Neal eyed the older man apprehensively but remained silent. Peter's voice was a low rumble when he said, “I believe that a solid spanking on your bare butt right across my lap will help you to adjust your attitude.”
“No way in hell!” Neal sputtered.
Forgotten was his resolve to keep up his nonchalant posture at all costs; he was too stunned by Peter's words. He felt his cheeks heating up and grew angry about the whole situation. He wondered when he'd lost control about what was going on. Allowing Peter to let off steam after Neal might have interpreted something the wrong way wasn't an uncommon incident. So far it had worked just fine and even though Neal didn't particularly like those sessions, he didn't mind them too much either. He liked to work with Peter and he liked to belong to the Burke's household. If a spanking was what Peter needed to do to him sometimes instead of putting him behind bars again – well, Neal could deal with that.
“Oh really?” Peter asked calmly.
Peter's tone of voice didn't bode well and Neal had trouble to oppress the urge to fidget and jump from one foot to the other. Angrily he spat: “yes, really, Peter.”
“Okay, this is what's going to happen. Either you're dropping your pants and make yourself comfortable over my lap or you won't be welcome in my house anymore.”
Neal's eyes widened in surprise. “This is Elizabeth's house too and anyway, I'm not that interested to be here.”
“I'll count to three and either you're over my lap or out of the door. It's your choice,” Peter said.
“Peter! Come on! You can't be serious!” Neal flashed him a smile but Peter's expression didn't change.
“This is immature and-and you know that you spanking me is called corporal punishment, right? I could get you into big trouble if I let it slip to anyone that you sometimes spank me.”
Neal stared at the seated form in front of him and gulped heavily. He so didn't want to get more swats and he was even less keen on getting punished with no clothes covering his butt. It was humiliating! Peter had never done something like this before and Neal didn't think he'd ever push him this far. Why couldn't things just stay the way they were before? The earlier spankings hadn't hurt him much, just caused him to watch his next movements more cautiously. Neal watched Peter's jaw muscles clench before he opened his mouth to start saying: “th--”
“Fine!” Neal interrupted. “Have it your way. This is still not right. Absolutely not right.”
Neal knew he was starting to ramble while he unzipped his pants and went over to Peter. He took a deep calming breath before he lowered himself over Peter's lap, desperately hoping that Peter would at least leave his boxer-briefs on. He cursed inwardly when Peter tugged his remaining clothes off. Neal squeezed his eyes shut tightly while he tried to ignore shame creeping up inside him. He already hated this. Why on earth hadn't he fled when he still could?
The first swat on his naked butt drew a startled gasp from him. Damn! That hurt much worse than anything Peter had dished out before. “You don't need to put all your strength into the swats, you know. I'm sure I'll get the message anyway.”
“All my strength? Neal, that was just a light smack. You want to experience what it feels like when I put all my strength into it?”
Neal was about to object that he definitely didn't want to experience this firsthand but he was too late. He yelled in pain when Peter's hand connected with his bare flesh, leaving an imprint of his palm. “Shit! Peter! That hurt!” Neal choked out.
“It's supposed to hurt. Maybe it never hurt enough before.” Another solid swat followed, causing Neal to gasp and shudder.
“S-Stop it! I'll be good, okay? I got your message!” The words flowed out of Neal's mouth while he tried to loosen the grip around his waist.
Two more hard smacks were the answer, then Peter said: “which would be?”
“What?” Neal asked. He could barely breathe, his behind already felt as if on fire. He regretted having asked his question because a series of four swats landed on his ass.
“What is the message, Neal?” Peter gritted out.
“I-I'm sorry, okay? I'm really sorry for … for whatever I did to upset you so much but please stop it!”
“Wrong answer, buddy.”
Neal squirmed and wriggled on Peter's lap while he begged Peter to stop the spanking. The smacks came down hard and fast. Neal honestly didn't know why he deserved to get punished this badly and eventually he shouted, “Peter! Peter, please. I don't know the reason. At least give me a hint. I swear, I'm not playing you. It-It hurts so much.”
Peter rested his hand on the glowing flesh of Neal's ass before he started rubbing comforting circles on the small of Neal's back. “A hint? Didn't you talk about this all being about a misunderstanding? When did we misunderstand each other? When I told you to stay in the car? Or when I told you to stay in the car no matter what happens and not to interfere?”
“But Peter, how was I supposed to know that this guy had a gun?” Neal knew immediately that this wasn't a smart reply. Five more swats had Neal burst into tears. In between pained sobs he choked, “I'm sorry. God, Peter, please don't go on!”
“You were held at gunpoint, you endangered the whole operation to go to hell just because you did not listen! Tell me again if this was a misunderstanding. Oh, and explain to me in details for what are you sorry,” Peter snarled while he went on delivering more swats with increasing power.
Heartfelt regret had Neal pouring out his next words: “for-for disobeying a direct order from you, for getting myself into a dangerous situation and-and for snapping at you.”
“See, that wasn't too hard, was it?” Peter asked with a sigh. He helped Neal to get up from his lap and also helped Neal to dress again. Neal was shaking and avoided eye-contact with Peter while he fumbled his belt-buckle buckle. Peter told him to go and wash up.
Neal hurried out of the kitchen, rubbing his behind on the way, and did as he was told. Briefly he considered slipping out of the house unnoticed but in the end he was back in the kitchen, insecurity radiating off him in waves. His eyes were glued to the floor and stayed that way even when he heard Peter approaching him. Tentatively Peter reached out and tipped Neal's chin up by placing a finger underneath it. Neal swallowed hard while he wondered if it was truly possible to die from embarrassment. Remorse and guilt had a firm grip on Neal's heart as he gazed at Peter. Both men locked eyes and were visibly uncomfortable. Simultaneously they started: “I'm sorry.”
They chuckled nervously and, taking in a deep breath, Peter was the first to make a move. He pulled Neal in a bear hug and after a short moment of hesitation Neal's arms came up around Peter's waist. Needing the comfort and physical reassurance of them being okay, Neal rested his head on Peter's shoulder while Peter patted his hair.
They jumped apart when they heard Elizabeth asking: “do I have to be jealous?”
“Honey! You're home early!” Peter exclaimed.
“Elizabeth! How nice to see you!” Neal threw in.
El looked at Peter and Neal and saw them both blushing and shuffling their feet. Suspicion flared up inside but she shoved it away. She kissed her husband firmly on the mouth, then pecked Neal on a cheek. “I finished earlier, and so I thought to bring some cake for coffee time. Sit down you two.”
Neal paled visibly and said quickly: “oh, I'm so sorry Elizabeth but I really need to go home. Maybe some other time?”
El's eyes narrowed and darted between the two men. At seeing Neal walk a few steps in the direction of the door stiffly her mouth fell open. Incredulously she asked her husband, “Did you just spank him?”
Neal's face turned beet-red while Peter looked like a deer caught in the headlights. “We had a disagreement, so to speak,” Peter answered.
“And you thought a spanking would solve your disagreement? Aren't there more mature ways of clearing the air?” Elizabeth asked.
“That's what I told him but did he listen?” Neal went over to stand next to Elizabeth, a lost and pleading expression on his face.
“Oh, I can't believe this! I just spanked the living hell out of you and you told me how very sorry you are and now you're trying to get Elizabeth take your side?” Peter exploded. “Do you need another session over my lap?”
Neal blanched and gulped in air. Elizabeth took in the sight of the two most important persons in her life, then asked Neal: “he put you over his lap? He must have been out of his mind with anger.”
“I guess he was,” Neal mumbled in an intimidated tone of voice.
“Damn yes, I was!” Peter confirmed.
“So now that you've straightened things out between the two of you, let's sit down and eat that delicious cake I brought,” El chirped.
“What? He-he just spanked me and you don't have more pity for me?” Neal asked, flabbergasted.
“I don't approve of his solution but I know Peter. You must have deserved it. Oh, and Neal, never and I mean never, try to play me off against Peter ever again. I'm sure you don't want your butt to get into close contact with my hairbrush.” Elizabeth smiled sweetly at a shell-shocked Neal. Peter shot his wife an appreciating glance, then hurried to set the table and get the coffee-machine filled.
Elizabeth retrieved a small cushion for Neal and placed it onto a chair. She tugged at his wrist and pulled him towards the chair. A pout appeared on Neal's face when he admitted: “I don't think I can sit down. Hey, Elizabeth? You meant it as a joke, right? You know, the hairbrush-thing?”
Elizabeth shook her head. “No, Neal, that was no joke. Now, try to sit down and eat some cake. I'm sure you'll feel better afterward.”
“But Elizabeth, I--”
A pointed glare from Elizabeth shut Neal up effectively. He hissed and whined as he tried to find a comfortable position on the chair. Astonished Elizabeth said to Peter: “Honey, you sure got him sore. He can't eat like this. You should probably have him sit in your lap, he should be able to find a comfortable position there.”
Neal shot up from his chair in mortification. “No! No, I'm not hungry anyway. God, this is so embarrassing.”
Before he was able to flee from the kitchen a strong hand gripped his wrist. Peter pulled Neal towards him and whispered: “Believe me when I say I don't like this idea either but maybe it is better than having her chew us out the next weeks.”
“That's your problem! I won't be here that much during the next weeks,” Neal hissed.
“I wonder what Mozzie thinks about Peter spanking you, Neal,” Elizabeth suddenly asked with a contemplative expression on her face.
Neal gaped at her, swallowed and turned to Peter. He flashed the other man one of his dazzling smiles and said: “Sitting on your lap sounds incredibly tempting suddenly.”
“I told you so.”
Peter helped Neal to sit on his lap with Neal's throbbing backside supported between Peter's thighs. To Neal's utmost surprise he became aware that he really liked to be where he was. His backside still hurt like hell but Peter wasn't going to kick him out of his life and neither was Elizabeth. Neal was incredibly grateful for that. He only ate a few bites of the cake, then rested his head on Peter's shoulder. Soon Peter's and El's persistent chatter lulled him into a peaceful slumber.