Introducing Ben and Joey with this story. Be aware of shapeshifting!
Many thanks to Dizzy for the beta!
A high-pitched squeak, followed by the clicking and sliding of paws on the wooden floor had Ben rolling his eyes. Suppressing a smile, he called out, “Joey!”
The answering bark guided Ben to the large cupboard in the living room. Ben got down on his knees to peer under it. He was on par with a pair of large brown eyes, staring at him anxiously.
“Joey, get out there. Now.”
The small, black-furred spaniel pup curled himself together even tighter and shook his head. Ben moved his head out of sight from Joey, not wanting to see him struggling with his facial expression. It was bad enough for Joey to forget paying their electricity bill but shifting into his other form to evade his punishment—that was a no-go. Still, Ben had a very soft spot for Joey in his shifted form.
Taking another deep breath, he bent back down and tried to cajole Joey out of his hiding place. “Sweetheart, you're just making things worse. Come on, we'll deal with it and everything will be fine again.”
You're going to spank me! Joey wailed telepathically.
Ben jumped and grimaced. “How often have I told you to give me a warning before you talk inside my head? Especially if you're this loud!”
Sorry, Joey replied much more quietly. I meant to pay it. I just forgot!
“It's the only task you have to do—”
Joey snorted. Not true! You make me do the dishes all the time, not to mention the vacuuming and—
“Joey,” Ben said warningly. “Aren't you in enough trouble already? The electricity is out, and it's getting cold in here. Don't you dare play the poor-me card now. You will get the hang of paying something on time, even if it's the death of me.”
But whyyyyy? Joey whined. It would be so much easier for both of us if you do it!
“No, we've already had this discussion. Several times, I might add. Now, get out there!”
I'm not coming out while you're this mad.
The pup crawled into the corner farthest away from Ben, curled himself up and bestowed an accusing look on Ben. Cursing, Ben got up, listening to his knees creaking audibly. He was definitely getting too old to be on his knees. “All right, I'll just sit on the sofa and wait for you to come out then.”
Riiiiiight! So not gonna happen, Joey said.
Indeed, for the next two hours nothing happened. Ben finally finished reading the new Dean Koontz book, while keeping an eye out for Joey. He glanced at his watch, certain that very soon nature would call and drive Joey out of his hiding place. When he heard a soft rumbling noise, soon followed by a soft whimper, Ben knew it was only a matter of time. To quicken things up, he went to the cupboard and retrieved one of the dog cookies.
Laboriously, Ben lay down on his stomach in front of the cupboard and held out the cookie for Joey to see. The pup uncurled breathtakingly fast and rushed toward the treat. Ben grinned; Joey wasn't a patient guy and in his pup form patience was nearly non-existent.
As soon as Joey was within his reach Ben grabbed for his neck. Even though Joey tried to stop his momentum, Ben successfully caught him. Joey whimpered and wiggled while Ben carefully pulled him out from his shelter.
Noooooooooooooooooo! Let goooooooooo! You cheated! Beeeeeeen!
Ben placed the cookie on the coffee table, his other hand holding tight to the squirming and writhing ball of fur. When he had both hands at his disposal, he flipped Joey on his back, cradling him in his arms, as if he was holding a baby.
Joey's tail was tucked firmly between his hind legs as he stared up at his lover beseechingly. Ben was grateful his brat didn't know how hard it was for him not to cave and simply cuddle him. Keeping his voice firm, he demanded, “Joey, shift.”
“Yes. Now, please.”
You can't make me!
“No, I can't. However, I trust you not to deceive and disappoint me further.”
Ben felt Joey go rigid in his arms. He knew very well how much Joey hated to be spanked but he also knew Joey hated it more to be a disappointment. Giving Joey time to come to a decision, Ben sat down on the sofa and used one hand to stroke the soft-furred belly. After a while, the tension left Joey's body and he nudged Ben's hand with his cold nose.
You hafta let go of me so I can shift.
Ben set Joey on the floor, trusting his young lover not to run again. Joey swiftly licked his hands before he shifted back in his human form. As always, Ben was stunned by the sight of a naked Joey kneeling between Ben's legs, his dark hair in total disarray. Ben cupped Joey's face in his large hands and kissed the younger man.
Joey laid his hands on Ben's thighs, reciprocating the kiss with enthusiasm. Ben soon broke the kiss before he forgot what he needed to do. Damn the brat for always distracting him!
He dipped one finger into Joey's prominent chin cleft and locked eyes with him. Those brown eyes filled with tears immediately. Ben patted his thighs with one hand, saying cheerfully, “Up you go, sweetheart.”
“But Beeeen, I just forgot! Can't I write lines or do something else?”
Ben helped Joey to lie over his lap, securing Joey against him. Without pre-amble Ben slapped his hand down on Joey's ass.
“You will not forget to pay our electricity bill again, is that clear?” Ben emphasized each word by a sharp smack to Joey's behind.
Joey's head bobbed up and down with each word and slap. “I won't! I won't! I promise!”
“Good,” Ben replied.
He slapped his hand down on each buttock until the skin color changed to a light red. He listened to Joey's breathing hitching, then stopped to rub soothing circles on his partner's back. When Joey calmed down a bit, he attempted to get up but Ben simply held him in place. Joey glanced at Ben, asking, “Ben?”
“Do you really think we're done yet?”
Joey's eyes widened to an almost comical size. “What do you mean? You spanked me for forgetting to pay the bill. Of course we're done!”
“What about the fact you shifted to evade your punishment? I believe we have a rule about that, don't we?”
“Yeah, I thought you'd remember our rule.”
“I panicked! It won't happen again! Please, Ben!” Joey pleaded.
Joey broke out into tears. Ben sighed. He tipped Joey's ass higher in the air, secured his legs with one of his own, knowing very well how fiercely Joey would start kicking within seconds. Ben slapped his hand on the sensitive part where thigh meets buttock, eliciting the very first squeal of Joey.
Hardening his heart against Joey's whimpers and frantic movements, Ben concentrated on Joey's thighs. Soon, the skin glowed a deep red and Joey sobbed inconsolably. Ben stopped, all the while murmuring soothing words while he waited for Joey to register his punishment was over.
As soon as Joey became aware the punishment had ended, he pushed off Ben's lap and brought his hands to his posterior, tentatively rubbing there. Ben reached out for Joey's hips and pulled him in his arms.
When Joey's cries subsided into occasional hiccups, Ben cupped the tear-stained face in his hands again. Kissing the tip of Joey's nose he said softly, “All done.”
“I'm really sorry.”
“I know, sweetheart.”
“I'm cold,” Joey complained.
Ben raised his eyebrows. “Are you now?”
“You're going to fix this, right?”
The right thing would be to stay without electricity and let Joey try to find a way out of this mess. Ben knew that, it was just... how was he supposed to go through with that when Joey looked at him like that? With a sigh, he said, “Yes. I'll just get my cell and try to find a quick way to get out of this.”
A dazzling smile appeared on Joey's face before he kissed Ben soundly. “You're the best.”
“Of course, I am.”
“Ben? May I shift?”
“Why?” Ben asked curiously.
Then he saw Joey's longing look at the cookie. With a laugh he nodded and walked over to his jacket to get his cell phone.
Joey shifted, jumped on the coffee table and heartily bit into the cookie. Ben scooped him into his arm, got the folder with the bills and sat down on the sofa. Joey made himself comfortable on Ben's lap, all the while gnawing and crunching the treat noisily.
By the time Ben had finished his calls, Joey was fast asleep. Ben smiled down at his relaxed pose. Joey was definitely a handful—no matter which form he took, and Ben wouldn't have it any other way.