All rights reserved.
I step up to the counter, fishing in my pocket for the money I had been given.
“The usual?” asks the barista, grinning impishly. It’s the same man who’s here almost every day at this time, a college student, and he treats me like an old friend. He likes to tease me, I think.
I duck my head, trying not to blush. “Yes, please,” I respond quietly.
This is the first time he’s asked that, and I’m flustered to realize he’s noticed my drink order. I’m not the only one who’s in the coffee shop on a regular basis, and I don’t order anything special, just a cup of Orange Pekoe tea.
“One fifty-seven,” he says cheerfully. My whole body goes hot when I realize I must have left my dollar bill in the car when Mr. Hale dropped me off. I only have fifty-seven cents.
“Oh, darn,” I mumble, hoping it’s in my back pockets. It’s not; Mr. Hale told me to never put anything in my back pockets because it’s an easy target in crowds. I’m rarely in crowds, but nonetheless…
”Never mind, I’m sorry,” I stammer, stepping out of line. The cashier looks surprised. “I don’t have—must have left it at home, my mistake, sorry.”
My face is bright red and it takes every ounce of self-control to resist running out of the coffee shop.
I step outside, wondering where I’m going to go. I could go to the bank early, but Mr. Hale would get suspicious. He already gave me my book, and would expect me to be in the park for at least an hour and a half, reading. It’s early autumn, though, and even in the middle of the day, it’s too chilly to sit in the park without hot tea.
“Hey, Daddy’s Boy!”
It’s the cashier. I wonder what he’s doing outside, so I turn around. He’s wearing a big carefree smile on his face, and I briefly wonder how it would feel if I could smile like that.
“Sorry,” he says, approaching me. “I don’t know your name, so I went with first association, which just came out insulting.”
I was Daddy’s Boy? “Oh, Mr. Hale is not my father,” I say quickly.
He gives me a funny look, his brown eyes sparkling. “Ah, well. Here,” he says, holding a cup of tea in his hand. “I went ahead and put the sugar and cream in there, so you don’t have to go back in if you don’t want to.”
My fingers inadvertently brush his as I take the cup from him. “Thank you,” I say shyly, blushing again. “You really didn’t have to.”
“It’s nothing,” he says, shoving his hands in his pockets. I notice he’s shivering in the wind, his nose and cheeks already turning pink. “I need to get back inside, so have a good day.” He holds out his hand for me to shake. “I’m Brandon, by the way.”
“I’m—“ I almost say “I’m Bunny,” but I catch myself just in time. “Tucker.”
“Nice to finally meet you, Tucker,” Brandon smiles, turning around to head back inside. “See you next time.”
Ducking my head, I quickly cross the street and head to the park. Nice to finally meet me? Had he wanted to meet me before today, or was that just politesse? I had been going to that coffee shop for about three months, so it could be that he just likes to know the names of regular customers. I tell myself that it’s probably just good business.
My favorite bench is unoccupied, right beneath the maple. Like autumn’s fireworks, the leaves have burst red and orange and drifted down to speckle the brown earth beneath. I set the plastic bag down beside me with my book inside—I never look before I start reading, I’m not supposed to.
I take a sip of my tea. It’s just the way I like it, which makes me blush again even though no one is looking at me. There’s something extra in it today. A spice, perhaps, or an herb, whatever it is I like it a lot. I wonder if Brandon added it, just for me, or whether it was a mistake. Perhaps the recipe changed. I push these thoughts out of my head and open the plastic bag.
French erotica, and from the cover art it looks like further encouraging lessons in the art of subservience. I sigh. I had been hoping for Charles Dickens; Mr. Hale had promised me last week that he would get me A Tale of Two Cities if I was good.
I try to read enthusiastically, knowing that Mr. Hale has already read the book and will expect me to be able to make intelligent commentary during dinner. I can’t keep my mind on what I was reading. I keep thinking back to past encounters with Brandon, running them through my head like ribbon. He was always especially friendly, not just to me, but his disposition was so much sunnier than the other employees. If I could choose my friends, I decide, I would choose Brandon.
My watch beeps at me, and it quickly registers that I have wasted my hour and a half daydreaming instead of reading. It was an incredibly juvenile fantasy, anyways, one better suited to a lonely first grader than a grown man. The tea is gone and the book is open to the first page. I thrust the book back into the plastic sack, throw the empty cup in a garbage bin, and hurry to the entrance of the park.
A black limousine waits for me, the door already open. I slide in, shutting the door behind me. Mr. Hale sits facing the door, so I set the book on the seat and curl up next to him, small and catlike. He puts his arm around me, still reading his paper. He hasn’t looked up yet. I’m uncomfortable and will probably have a crick in my neck before we get home, but I know better than to move.
“We’re having guests tonight,” Mr. Hale says, stroking my belly. I lift my sweater so that he can feel the skin beneath.
There are two kinds of guests who come to Mr. Hale’s house. The first are those who know me as Tucker, Mr. Hale’s ward, and who talk about investment banking and yachts and their children’s accomplishments at prep school. The second know that my nipples are pierced.
“I want you to serve cocktails, Bunny. I bought you something special.”
“Really?” I try to sound excited, snuggling closer. I hope it’s a golf shirt.
“Mm,” Mr. Hale murmurs, briefly letting go of me to turn the page. “How did you like the book I gave you?”
Drat. “I, well, I didn’t really read it, Sir,” I stammer, tensing in anticipation of his reaction.
His fingers still. “You didn’t?”
“No, Sir, I started daydreaming. I’m sorry.” I want to launch myself to the other side of the limo and curl up there.
“About what, Bunny?” he asks, his tone casual, but his fingers aren’t moving.
I could never tell him that I was dreaming about what it would be like to have a friend like Brandon. I want someone who would joke with me, and rib me without being hurtful, and be nice to me without expecting anything in return. In all the years I’ve known him, Mr. Hale has only once flown into a rage. Instead of growing visibly angry, he grows cold and authoritative. If I make him upset, no one save I will shed tears.
Instead of telling the truth, I nuzzle Mr. Hale’s chest and I lie. “I was wondering what it would be like to take a trip this time of year, like on a yacht, just the two of us.”
Mr. Hale’s fingers resume circling my navel, and I breathe an inward sigh of relief. “Bunny, I have a lot of work to do. Remember what happened last time we took a trip?”
I pout up at him, his icy blue eyes still focused on the paper, handsome face unlined. He made sure that I will never forget what happened last time. “That time I was foolish. I’ll be good, especially if I’m surrounded by water.” Mr. Hale still thinks I can’t swim. It’s the one secret that I’ve kept for years.
A corner of Mr. Hale’s mouth turns up. “Maybe on a yacht. Maybe next year.”
I know the expected response. “Thank you, Sir!” I exclaim, planting a kiss on his cheek, slipping one hand up his thigh. He removes my hand, but presses my head into his lap.
“Not now, Bunny. You can thank me when we get home.”
At least it’s more comfortable to rest my head on his thigh than in his armpit. I run my hand up and down the inside of his leg; I hope he forgot I didn’t read his book.
When we get home, Mr. Hale reminds me to pick up the book. He hasn’t forgotten.
“To my chambers, and bring the paddle,” he orders, loosening his tie as he strides upstairs.
Well, shoot and tarnation. Double drat. I almost kick the chair in frustration, but stop myself just in time. “Yes, Sir,” I respond contritely, and hurry upstairs before Mr. Hale decides I’m being sullen and in need of more discipline.
It was an accident, I want to say. A fluke. I would have read if I had received Dickens instead of French porn. Apparently there are many people in the word who find fulfillment in, and are aroused by, being spanked. I hate it.
I leave my clothes in my room and take the paddle to Mr. Hale. I know the routine by now. I can’t help crying out, it hurts too much to stay still and silent. Mr. Hale wouldn’t stop until he thought I had shown sufficient remorse. The paddling usually doesn’t stop until Mr. Hale’s arm tires (somehow it always coincides with the moment when I truly regret my behavior), but today he stops even before my buttocks are numb.
“Have we learned our lesson, Bunny?” he asks in a fatherly tone, massaging aloe into my sore flesh.
“Yes, Sir,” I groan, biting my lip. The aloe helps, but the accompanying massage never does.
Mr. Hale has grown hard, and he pulls me up to sit on his lap; I can feel his hard length traveling down his right pants leg. His trousers feel rough against my skin, and I squirm, which he likes.
He pulls a long box off the bed and hands it to me, wrapping his other arm around my waist. “Open it,” he instructs.
I hope it’s a tie. Oh, dear heavens, I hope it’s a tie.
The first thing I notice is a ball of white fur. Then I notice it’s attached to a string of clear anal beads. Oh, great. Our guests tonight know my nipples are pierced.
“Ooh, thank you!” I squeal, kissing Mr. Hale.
He smiles benevolently. “The rest of it is in your room.” Mr. Hale goes to great lengths to choose my outfits for me, especially for this kind of guest.
Now is the time for the real thanks, the one we omitted in the car. “Thank you,” I smile coyly, undoing his belt. “I just want you to know how much I appreciate it.”
We’ve done this countless times, and I wonder if Mr. Hale will tire of the routine (he’ll never tire of the act itself. No man would). I wish I could say that I’m not in the mood for fellatio, but better this than more paddling. Mr. Hale twines his fingers in my long hair, too long for my taste, and bobs my head for me as he mashes his pelvis into my nose, calling me a good cocksucker and telling me I have a cunt for a mouth. I can’t imagine that he’s been close to a vagina, to know how one would feel, save for during his birth.
I wish I knew what it was like to be treated as an equal instead of as a toy. I could decide for myself which I liked better.
Mr. Hale lets me up once he feels sufficiently fellated and sends me to my room to get “dressed.” I hope the rest of the outfit is natural fabric. I hate latex.
I open my closet, and find white cuffs, white spats, white bunny ears, a white bowtie, and a white loincloth. There’s a bottle on my dresser and I pick it up. Dry body oil. A container of snowy glitter sits next to it. I sigh.
I brush my teeth until my gums bleed. I take a shower, the water pounding into my shoulders and neck, easing some of the tension from my body. I don’t know why I’m so morose this afternoon. I suppose it’s a sort of blessing that I won’t have to sit and smile while proud rich parents talk about their sons’ successes in rugby and rowing, or their daughters’ acceptance to Harvard Law.
Perhaps this is my coming of age, the time when I decide what to do with the rest of my life. I am not content with Mr. Hale, and I am rarely happy. I’ve always wanted to do something to make my parents proud—I can’t think about that right now.
Once I’m clean inside and out I get dressed, or as dressed as a loincloth and body oil can be. The darn beads aren’t on my dresser, which means Mr. Hale wants to put them in personally. I knock on his door, enter when he approves, and kneel at the foot of his bed. He’s in a dang tux.
The sudden flash of resentment and anger, so uncharacteristic of me, silences me for a moment. Why must I be paraded around in a humiliating costume while Mr. Hale is fully clothed? I’m sure his guests would be no more surprised than if they entered to find us both nude in the middle of the hall, rutting like animals. Why must it fall on my head to be the purely sexual creature? I’m the wrong one for the job.
Mr. Hale’s bemused voice snaps me from my angry reverie. I quickly form a smile. This new ability to conceal my thoughts was becoming very useful, and slightly disturbing.
“Daydreaming again?” he asks, a slight smile softening his features.
I duck my head shyly. “Not about anything in particular, Sir.”
Mr. Hale crouches in front of me and tilts my chin up until I’m looking at him. I’ve heard that the eyes are the windows to the soul, and I’m afraid of what he might see. He kisses me, gently at first, then more possessively, and out of habit, I respond.
He pulls back and stands up. “If you weren’t covered in oil, I would bend you over and fuck that pretty boycunt of yours right now.”
After all this time, I can’t help flushing with embarrassment. Mr. Hale uses crude language solely because he knows it makes me uncomfortable.
“Stand up and put your hands on the dresser, Bunny,” he orders.
The marble is cool beneath my palms, and I look down at my hands to avoid seeing myself in the mirror. They are smooth and unlined and soft, have never seen a day’s work, but they look like a man’s hands. I don’t feel much like a man as I spread my legs and wait for Mr. Hale to insert those darn beads. I feel like a boy, like the same boy who grew up in this house. I feel like the same boy who trusted and adored his guardian with a blind faith that no one cared enough about to disillusion.
Mr. Hale touches me lightly, teasing me, circling the delicate pucker of skin with his fingertip. I get goose bumps; I always do. I know he’ll tease me enough to make me erect, then leave me alone to deal with the result. Recently, I’ve found that once the physical stimulation is gone, deflating an erection is not at all difficult. I wonder if that’s normal or healthy. If I had access to the internet, I would look it up.
After every bead has popped through the ring of muscle and the fur ball is settled at the top of my buttocks, Mr. Hale kisses me once more and leaves the room, instructing me not to come down until he calls me. I look in the mirror, turning my face this way and that, watching the glitter on my cheekbones catch the light.
“Who are you?” I ask my reflection. The face in the mirror stares back at me, sad green eyes peering intently from a pale face, made larger by the straight black hair slicked from his face. I smile, he bares his teeth. He won’t answer me anytime soon.