Kyler stared at the screen in mounting frustration. It
was downloading too slow and driving him mad. Hoping to
find a distraction, he started rummaging through the deck drawers.

“Ah-ha!” His mood instantly improved at the discovery of
a new tennis ball. However, the entertainment it provided
was short-lived when he threw it up in the air and
miscalculated the distance to the ceiling.

“Shit!” he exclaimed as he jumped to his feet and
ran around gathering up the fuzzy, rubber-backed
bits of yellow. “Guess a tennis ball is no match
for a ceiling fan turning at full speed,” he chuckled to himself.

Settling back at the desk, he returned to searching
through the drawers. “Whoa, what the heck was this
used for, who does it belong to and why is it in here?”

He gazed in surprise at the object he held in his hand.
He had found it in the bottom, left-hand drawer under
a stack of old medical papers belonging to Patrick.

“Man, I have got to ask the guys about this!”

The computer beeped, indicating the download was
complete and needed a restart. Noticing the time and
knowing his partners would soon be home from their
Saturday morning round of golf; Kyler turned off
the computer and left the study to get lunch underway.

In the kitchen, he hid the newly-discovered item
under the cushion of his chair. ‘Yep, this should make
for an interesting conversation all righty,’ he thought
with a glint of mischief in his eyes as he set about
making ham and cheese sandwiches to go with the veggie soup.

Hugh and Patrick pulled their golf bags out of the boot
and headed towards the front door. They had had a good
game but wished Kyler had been with them, if not to play,
then at least for company. But Kyler had been adamant
and try as they might, they could not persuade him to join them.

Patrick called out as they entered the hall. “Ky darling, we’re home!”

“Something smells good.” Hugh sniffed appreciatively.

“Soup I think,” he guessed. He ruffled Patrick’s hair and
pulled him in for a quick kiss. “I am going to go for a
quick shower before lunch.”

Kyler smiled contentedly at the sounds of his partners’
arrival. “I’m right here,” he called out as he walked
into the hall in time to catch Hugh’s last words.

Wrapping his arms around Patrick and hugging him, Kyler
wrinkled his nose and teasingly suggested, “Maybe you
should consider joining Hugh, my love. Don’t worry
about lunch, it’s not going anywhere.”

In the end, all three of them didn’t get to eat
lunch until an hour later. They emerged sated from
their bathroom, with damp hair and big smiles on
their faces. What a great way to start the weekend.

“And now, I am really hungry!” Hugh stated as he headed
towards the kitchen. He peered into the pot and turned
the flame on to re-heat the now cold soup. “Vegetable
soup? Anything else to go with this? I don’t think
this is going to do it for me.”

Patrick sank tiredly into his chair and smiled
at Kyler, saying teasingly, “Thanks for making lunch,
honey. Whatever you have prepared is fine with me. Just
ignore Hugh, he is demanding I know, but I at least am very grateful.”

“Of course, there is something else,” Kyler feigned
indignation. He turned on the radio as he past it and
danced his way over to the fridge. Keeping his movements
in time with the rock music blasting at top volume, he
pulled out a platter of sandwiches and removed the
covering before setting it in the middle of the kitchen
table. Next, he gyrated around his partners as he quickly
added soup bowls, spoons and tumblers.

“Hey!” he wailed when the music suddenly stopped. “Why
did you turn it down? That was a great song and I thought
you guys like the older tunes.” He made a move over to
the counter to turn on the radio a second time.

Patrick leaned back and grinned as Kyler danced and
swayed his bum seductively in his direction. Hugh was
standing at the stove, keeping an eye on the pot, and
he grinned as well. They were both charmed with Kyler’s
antics. They had learned by now that their young partner
was exceptionally energetic after sex, and they loved
his spontaneity and cheeky mood. He brought so much sunshine
into their lives that they could not longer imagine life without him.

Hugh waited until Kyler had finished laying the table
before he reached out a long arm and turned the knob
on the radio, killing the volume effectively. Kyler
gave his expected wail and Hugh snagged him around the
waist and pulled him close. Both his arms caught Kyler
and held him tight. He kissed Kyler on his head and
said with mock sternness. “How many times do I have
to tell you not to turn the volume up so high, hm?”

Patrick shook his head as Kyler made to reach for
the radio despite Hugh’s admonishment. “Uh-uh, I
wouldn’t do that if I were you, Ky. Let Hugh have
lunch first before you attempt to test his patience ...
and don’t say I didn’t warn you!”

Patrick opened his arms and pulled the laughing young
man onto his lap as Hugh scooped soup into their bowls.

“Okay, I’ll wait until the cleaning up to turn it back
on,” Kyler joked and winked mischievously at Patrick while
keeping one eye on Hugh’s face. Giving Patrick
a quick kiss, he moved around to his side of the table.

It was only when he threw himself into his chair that he
remembered the item he had discovered earlier.
Slipping it out from under his pillow, he drolly
commented. “Look what I found in the desk this morning.
I’d sure be interested in what either of you has to say
about it.” He held up the smooth, rectangular, maple
paddle and let it swing idly from his fingers as he
chuckled at the possibility of having surprised his two partners.

Patrick gave a low chuckle while Hugh raised his brows
at the paddle swinging in between Kyler’s fingers.

“Have you been snooping around in the study, young man?”
Hugh asked mildly, as he started to spoon vegetable soup
into his mouth. “Hm, this is very good, darling!”

Patrick, who was already munching on a sandwich, shook
his head again at Kyler. “You shouldn’t be so nosy,
Ky darling. There are some things you don’t want to find
in this house.” There was a definite twinkle in his eye
as he watched their young partner.

“Yep, I’ve been snooping all right. Good thing too,
or I’d never have discovered this.” Kyler groused and
placed the paddle on the table. He was a little
disappointed at not getting more of a reaction out of either of them.

Picking up a sandwich and taking a bite, he let his
curiosity override caution. “What kind of other stuff have
you got hidden?” he asked around a mouthful of food.

He glanced from one man to the other as he chewed
and swallowed. He turned serious and frowned as a
worrisome thought entered his head. Although he had
not seen signs of anything out of the ordinary, he
had only been living here for three months and knew
there was a lot he did not know about his partners.

“I hope you aren’t into anything too kinky. ‘Cause
if you are, I don’t really want to know about it and
I don’t think I want to take part in it either,” he
quietly stated while actually looking for reassurances.

Both Hugh and Patrick laughed out loud at Kyler’s words
and expression. Kyler had been more than ready to try
new things with them, in bed and out, and he certainly
did not strike either of them as faint-hearted. And once
he had got over his initial shyness, he had been an
eager participant. In fact, Kyler had more than once
been the instigator and initiator of some rather bold suggestions.
But the discovery of the paddle put an entirely different
complexion on the situation. That was not a kinky implement;
indeed it was used for a totally different purpose.

“The paddle belongs to me,” Hugh said, his tone light
yet serious. “I believe I kept it in the bottom desk
drawer? Were you looking for something in particular, Kyler?”

“No, nothing in particular; I was just bored and looking
for something entertaining while waiting for my new program
to download,” Kyler shrugged his shoulders. He suddenly laughed
when the memory of the yellow missile hitting the fan,
surfaced. “By the way, I owe one of you guys a tennis ball.”

His eyes kept returning to the paddle. “You know I am
more than game to exploring new sexual experiences like
locations, positions, toys, etc….but that doesn’t look
like it would provide much enjoyment unless I was into
BDSM, which I most certainly am NOT!”

Turning his attention to his oldest partner, he asked with
a touch of suspicion in his voice. “So, Hugh, how come you
have a paddle to begin with?”

Hugh laid down his spoon and looked at Kyler. He paused
as if to collect his thoughts and then said carefully, “We
are not into BDSM or any kind of kinky sex, Kyler. Well at
least not in the way you are imagining. You have been with
us long enough to know if we do indulge in anything way
out of the ordinary.”

Hugh glanced over at Patrick but his partner was calmly
eating his vegetable soup and only raised his eyebrows at
Hugh as if to say ‘the paddle is yours, you deal with it’.

Hugh turned back to Kyler and continued, “Honey, do you
know what a discipline partnership is? Have you heard of this term?”

Relieved to hear that their relationship was not sifting
towards a kinkier lifestyle involving leather, whips and
chains, Kyler swallowed the remaining bite of his sandwich
and solemnly shook his head. “Nope, can’t say as I have,
Hugh.” Glancing once again at the paddle, Kyler was a
little unsure as to whether or not he wanted to find out
what a discipline partnership actually was.

After giving it a moment’s thought, during which time
his curiosity once again pushed its’ way to the fore, he
grinned up at his partners and nosily inquired. “Do you
both know what it is? How did you hear about it? Have you
ever tried it? How does it work?” No one was more
surprised at his inquisitiveness than was Kyler himself.

“Yes, we are both familiar with the workings of a DP,”
Patrick replied with a grin. “Though Hugh would be the man
to go to for a full explanation.”

Seeing Kyler’s interest and obvious curiosity, Hugh
decided some education for their young partner would be
beneficial at this stage of their relationship. But like
always, Hugh refused to rush headlong into things and he
approached it as methodologically as ever. So he said
calmly, “Let’s finish lunch, and then we can sit in the
study and talk more comfortably, okay?”

Anxious to learn more, Kyler scoffed down the last of his
meal and waited impatiently for his partners to finish theirs.
Once done, they headed for the study and Kyler dropped down
into a corner of the leather sofa. This was usually the
coolest room in the house and the one favoured for serious discussions.

“Okay, let’s hear it,” Kyler keenly requested. He smiled
at Patrick and then turned his attention to Hugh. “Patrick
says you’re the man who knows the most; so share, please.”

If Kyler had expected one or both of his partners to join
him on the sofa, he would have been disappointed. By tacit
agreement, both Hugh and Patrick took seats opposite to him.

Hugh had brought the paddle into the study with them and he
now placed it on the low table beside his straight back chair.
He then began to explain the definition of DP, speaking gently
and watching the expressions that chased one another across Kyler’s face.

“It’s not all the same, Kyler. It differs from one
relationship to the next. But the basic principle remains -
there are agreed rules and expectations and the Top expect
his Brat to obey them. And if he doesn’t, then the Top has
the right to discipline his Brat. Now how much of this is
carried into their daily lives again will depend on their
arrangement. Some may want tighter controls because they need
it and thus their DP may cover a lot more aspects of their
lives. Some may not. Personally, I feel that if one has
chosen this lifestyle, this has to be done 24/7 or not at
all. But that is me - other people may have other arrangements.
The point to remember is no matter how it is done, all will
have elements of control and punishment.”

Hugh spoke primarily to Kyler but he could see Patrick
was listening intently too.

Hugh concluded. “Both parties must feel that they want to
do this and that this is beneficial to their relationship.
Or should I say; all parties?”

Pushing himself further into the soft leather of the sofa,
Kyler drew up his knees and rested his chin on them. He
listened, wide-eyed and totally captivated with what Hugh
was telling him. As yet it had not crossed his mind that
this discussion could possibly have anything to do with
their relationship. Hugh was talking about other people, not them.

Two words stood out as being out of context, at least to
Kyler they appeared to. “Top and Brat?” he questioned,
wondering for a moment if Hugh was making all this up.

“And exactly what kind of punishment are we talking about here?”

Hugh gave one of his crooked smiles, which immediately
softened the features on his face. “Yes, Tops are the ones
in charge, in case you haven’t worked that out yet.” He
paused and a quick glance was passed between him and Patrick.

“You already know I had a partner before Patrick, right?”
Hugh asked. “Well, what I didn’t tell you was that that was
a discipline partnership. I was the Top, my partner then was the Brat.”

Patrick smiled at Kyler, as he reached out a hand to
lay it on Hugh’s knee. “Actually, Hugh had been in a
couple of DPs by the time he met me. The first was a casual
relationship but they used discipline. The second was more
serious.” His eyes caught Hugh’s and held a world of
understanding. “They used discipline as well. I never met
either of these Brats but from what Hugh told me, they
sorely needed the structure of a DP. It can be a wonderful
way for two partners to work out their differences and to
complement one another. Hugh actually has a lot of
experience in this lifestyle.”

“Oookaay,” Kyler slowly stretched out the word as he
organized his thoughts. “So if Hugh is a top, are you a
Brat, Patrick?” Kyler didn’t really believe such was the
case. He was beginning to worry about the can of worms
he may have unintentionally opened here when asking them about the paddle.

He squirmed uncomfortably as he tried to diminish his mounting
uneasiness. He didn’t know how he would deal with it should
his partners suggest they incorporate discipline in their relationship.
The math certainly wasn’t difficult; if Patrick was also a
Top and if he himself happened to be a Brat, which he
strongly suspected, then it would be two on one.

Kyler’s eyes flew opened and he stared at the two older men
sitting across from him. “I don’t think I am ready to hear anymore of this.”

They knew Kyler was spooked; the signs were all there. Without
a word, Hugh moved smoothly over to the sofa and sat down
beside Kyler, putting an around the younger man to pull him close.

“Come here, baby,” Hugh said. “Hey, there’s nothing to
worry about. We’re just answering your questions and
describing what a DP is. Listen, I have been in discipline
relationships in the past but that was before I met Patrick.
Patrick, for your information, is also a Top and two Tops
can’t be in a DP. And that is fine. We are both fine with the way things are.”

Patrick came to sit on the other side of Kyler, sandwiching him
in between Hugh and himself. He laid a light kiss on Kyler’s
head. “That’s right, babe. Now why the panic, Ky?”

Kyler relaxed and smiled at the men on each side of him. He
felt safe and was enjoying the attention. Leaning heavily
against Hugh’s side, he mused, “Well, I’m relieved to hear
we’re not talking about us here. ‘Cause I’m pretty sure
I’m not a Top…….don’t really know if I’m a Brat or not…..
but definitely not a Top. I’d rather be responsible for
keeping rules than enforcing them.”

He smirked up at Patrick. “I was getting a little worried
there….thought you guys might think such a lifestyle would work for us.”

“No, you are definitely not a Top,” Hugh said somberly, with
only the tiniest twitch on his lips. “Patrick, do you think
Kyler could be a Top?”

Patrick shook his head, equally serious, and replied.
“Well, I have to agree with you, Hugh. I don’t think Ky is
a Top. In fact, I have sometimes wondered if Ky might be
a Brat.” Patrick’s tone was definitely teasing.

Hugh’s arm around Kyler stopped him from jumping up. Holding
the excitable young man down, he ordered calmly. “We are not
saying you are a Brat, Kyler, so quite that struggling! And
neither are we saying we are going to introduce DP into our
lives. We are just having a discussion about what it means!
Ultimately, it has to be something that all of us feel is
the right thing to do.”

Patrick patted Kyler’s thigh comfortingly. “And right now
I am sure you don’t think it will ever work for us, am I
right? I know this is a new concept and it’s hard to accept
and it needs getting used to. We are not forcing you into
anything, Ky. I’ve never really been involved in a DP myself,
though I know of several friends who are in the lifestyle.
But let me just leave this thought with you, darling. It
does work for some people.”

Kyler nodded slowly. “Yeah, I can understand that it
works for some. I can only imagine there is a lot of
give and take in a relationship involving DP.”

He sighed deeply; glad the conversation was ending and
having no wish at the moment to ask any more questions.
‘Nope,’ he thought, ‘as my mom would say, sometimes it’s
best to let sleeping dogs lie.’

The End