Crossing the Line
|by Rolf and Gayspankee|
Copyright on this story text belongs at all times to the original authors only, whether stated explicitly in the text or not. The original date of posting to the MMSA was: 28 May 2000
"Matthew, you have plenty of thing you could do. Play with your Nintendo, goodness knows you have enough games to play with it."
"I've played them all. Come on, let's play some pool, or something." Matthew tried tugging at Rolf's arm to get him up.
Rolf snagged Matthew's hands as he turned his chair around, pulling Matthew down onto his lap. "Love, I know you're bored. But I have to finish this drawing today to deliver it to Mr. Black. It will take me only a little while longer. Tell you what. You'll come with me, then after dropping the drawings off we'll go shopping or catch a movie. How's that sound, hmmmm love?"
"Can't it wait 'till Monday?"
"No love, now scoot. SCOOT. I'll be done in just a bit." Rolf kissed Matthew on the head before ushering him out of the office.
Matthew moped downstairs to the family room. He figured it was better to play video games than do nothing at all. As he was trying to choose a game, the doorbell rang. He sprang up the steps, quicker than Tigger, and answered the door. It was Marc.
"Hey fruitloop you aren't busy are you?"
"No! Rolf had some drawings to work on." Matthew said snidely.
"Aw that's too bad."
"Well you're here now, come on in, entertain me. I was just ready to play my racing game and it will be much more fun with you."
"Yeah it's always great when someone sucks more than I do, and I can kick some ass."
"Smartass aren't you, we shall see fruitloop, we shall see."
Rolf stuck his head out of the office. "Oh, hi Marc. How are you?"
"Just fine, and you?"
"Good, a little busy at the moment with a few last minute drawings."
"That's what Matthew just said. Think I'll race him, see how badly I can beat him."
Matthew shoved Marc hard "As if!"
"Hey! Matthew, watch it. That was a little harder than necessary, don't you think?" Rolf said.
"Yes, sir." Matthew mumbled.
"Come on fruitloop, let's see if you get your car stuck on the fence again!" Marc headed downstairs, Matthew grumbling behind him. Rolf returned to his drawings.
After three rounds of losing, Marc was ready to move on.
"Okay, Matthew let's see what's on tv."
"I told you so," Matthew was gloating as he turned off the game.
Marc grabbed the remote and began channel surfing. He stopped on the Cartoon Network and smiled.
"I am NOT sitting here and watching Scooby Doo. For crying out loud you are 22 years old."
Marc just smiled and buried the remote in his arms. It was one of his favorite episodes.
"No Scooby Doo! Everytime you turn on the tv, you put on Scooby Doo."
"Well it's better than the crap you leave on. I only like hockey LIVE. And not on television, live from Greenland. It doesn't cut it. Besides have I told you the true story behind Scooby Doo?"
"A MILLION times. Shaggy and Scooby are potheads. Blah, blah, blah. If I didn't know better, I'd think you were 2."
"Na na na na boo boo."
"Well that just confirmed it." Matthew tackled Marc, trying to get the remote from him. "Give it to me!"
They wrestled each other, both yelling and screaming a bit, until they heard Rolf thunder from the top of the steps "Knock it off!"
They stopped immediately, Marc still in control of the remote.
"Fine, you watch Scooby, I'm getting something to eat." Matthew said, heading upstairs.
"Bring me a Scooby snack!" Marc said laughing.
"I'll give you a Scooby snack, right upside your head." Matthew yelled back.
As Matthew was heading to the kitchen to grab a cream-filled poppyseed muffin, Rolf came out of his office.
"All done sport. Think you can be ready in ten?"
"I'll be ready in five!"
"Why don't you see if Marc wants to go."
Matthew sort of paused, he loved Marc dearly, but wanted alone time with Rolf.
"Matthew, he *did* help keep you occupied. There is plenty of me to go around. And besides, it will be just us, tonight." Rolf said with a mischievous smile.
Matthew smiled and headed downstairs. He grabbed his shoes on the way down.
"Marc, Rolf is taking his drawings to his client, then we are heading to the mall or hopefully to the movies. Want to come?"
"Nah, that's okay. I know you two haven't had much time alone lately. You don't need me tagging along."
"Don't be silly. It will be fun...as long as you don't follow us home tonight." Matthew said with a smirk and a wink.
Marc smiled and accepted.
Marc shut off the tv and headed upstairs behind Matthew.
Rolf pulled the truck up at Mr. Black's office. "Okay guys, stay put. I may be a few minutes, but I'll be as quick as I can. Decide what you want to do, the paper is right there for the movies."
Marc grabbed the paper and opened it to the movie previews. "Hey look, Tigger is playing. Want to go see that?"
"Maaarrrrccc, give me a break. I may have Tigger as a nickname, but that DOESN'T mean I want to spend my afternoon in a theatre full of kids watching him on the big screen. I know you'd fit right in with the 2 year olds and cartoons, but I'm not interested. How about Final Destination?"
"Yeah, I heard that sounds great. First film that shows a plane crash totally from inside the cabin. But it's got some spooky stuff going on, think you can handle it?"
Matthew punched Marc in the arm. "Hey, that is NOT funny. I do not get scared."
"OW! Yes you do, what about that episode you had after seeing Sixth Sense? The cat watching something walk behind you. Tell me that you don't get scared."
"Rolf has SUCH a big mouth." Matthew pouted.
"Ha ha. I though so. It's playing at 1:30, gives us enough time to grab lunch, then the movie. Then maybe we can swing by the mall, I want to see if they have that Scooby Doo DVD in stock yet."
"Ugh! Will you just shut up about the potheads?"
Just then Rolf opened the door. "Potheads? And where does that fit into the conversation?"
"Inside joke, never mind." Matthew said.
"What's the plan?"
"How about lunch, Final Destination at 1:30, then the mall?" Marc said.
"Sounds great. Olive Garden for lunch?"
"YES!" Both Matthew and Marc yelled.
The Olive Garden it was. The restaurant was fairly empty, so getting fast service was no problem at all. They enjoyed a fabulous lunch, with a glass of wine. Rolf was leery of allowing Matthew to drink anything alcoholic, but one glass couldn't hurt. After their delicious meal they headed to the multiplex. They made it with plenty of time to spare. Matthew wanted to sit up front, but the fuddy duddies insisted on the back. They enjoyed watching the people in the theater while waiting for the film to start. It was always amusing to watch people chow down on their popcorn like there was no tomorrow. Soon the movie started.
"That movie was pretty good didn't you think? That airplane sequence was just breathtaking." Marc said as they exited the theaters.
"Let me tell you, that is as close to a plane crash as I EVER want to come. And even that was a bit too intense for me."
"Oh Rolf, we just don't get you out enough do we?" Matthew said as he wrapped his arm around Rolf's waist.
Everyone piled into the truck and they drove up the road to the mall.
They pulled into a parking spot and headed into the mall. Matthew was pulling Rolf along, anxious to get in and look at the computer games. "You walk toooooo slow!"
"Matthew, hold it. Come on, slow down. MATTHEW. We don't have to run, we're not under a time limit, now slow down. I want to go into Sears first, see if they have the tool I ordered."
Rolf stopped before they got to the doors, halting Matthew's progress as well. "Stop it. You are not dragging me around in there. And no, you don't need to run off on your own. We will walk together. Understood?"
"But I don't want to go to Sears. It's boring."
"Walk with me, or sit in the car." Rolf said sternly.
Matthew was sleepy from the alcohol, and almost fell asleep in the movie theater. And a sleepy Matthew was a grouchy Matthew. He scuffed the pavement with his shoe and said "I'll walk, thank you very much."
Rolf ignored the attitude, and turned to head inside.
Marc knew Matthew was tired and grouchy and tried to cheer him up. "Come on fruitcake, Rolf won't take much time. Then we'll see how you do on the Nintendo game in the electronics store. Bet ya I can beat ya!"
"In your dreams."
They headed into Sears, a quick and painless trip, since Rolf knew exactly what he was looking for. The item was still out of stock, and still on back order. Fortunately, this was for Rolf. And while he was getting a bit edgy about not having the things he needed most to finish the home improvements, he understood.
Matthew waited as patiently as Matthew could. Rolf had finished just in the nick of time, as Marc was running out of amusing things to say.
Next up was the audio/video store, Matthew's favorite.
Marc went straight for the DVD's. Rolf headed into the music section, looking for a new CD. And Matthew headed directly to the computer games.
Rolf didn't have any luck at finding what he was interested in. After twenty minutes of looking he was ready to leave. He went directly to the computer games knowing Matthew would be glued there. He wasn't disappointed.
"Ready to go?"
"No. If you are, go on, I can stay here."
"I'll wait for a bit." Rolf said, ignoring the bad attitude. "What have you found?"
"I like these three games, but I'm having trouble deciding which to get. Oh, can I bum the money off you? I'm kind of short this week."
"Matthew, no. You have enough games at home that you don't play as it is. If you don't have the money, then you can wait."
"Rooolfff, the cheapest is ONLY $55. Please? You know I'll pay you back." Matthew looked up with his puppy dog eyes.
"Sorry love, but the answer is no. You can wait a week until you get paid. And even then I'm not too keen on you buying another one."
Matthew was upset. But he didn't want to anger Rolf any. "Fine. Be that way." He was going to go ask Marc for a loan. He was sure that at least HE had money.
Matthew made a beeline for the DVDs, as he knew that was where Marc would be. Matthew found him at the register.
"Hey, what did you buy?"
"You have to ask? Scooby Doo man. It's a classic!"
"Well hey, since you're mister moneybags, do you have some you could spot me until next week?"
"Bud, I wish I did. But I shouldn't have even purchased this. Don't ask me where the grocery money is coming from. But at least I will have my DVD."
"I know you are holding back on me."
"Matthew, I am not. You know I would help if I could. Besides, what did you want?"
"There are two computer games over there, and I wanted one of them."
"Matthew, you need another computer game about as much as I needed this DVD."
"Yeah, but you got what you wanted!"
"So I did. And you will too, next week." Marc said with a wink. "Ready, shall we go find Rolf?"
"Why don't you head on, I want look one more time. So I know which one to get NEXT week."
"I can go with you."
"Nah, I will be two seconds."
"Alright. Hurry though."
Matthew went back to the aisle with the computer games. He was VERY upset, no one cared what he wanted. It was only $55 for goodness sakes, he KNEW Rolf had money, and Marc probably did to, though he believed that less. He looked at the packaging, thoughts of stealing in his mind. Then he put it back down. No, he couldn't do that, it wasn't right.
"Matthew, let's go, NOW." Rolf startled Matthew in the middle of debating stealing, and it really irritated him as he felt guilty already.
"Just give me a frickin minute to decide what I want, so I can get it NEXT WEEK." Matthew said, spitting venom.
"You have two minutes to meet Marc and I at the front of the store. I suggest you leave the attitude here WITH the games unless you want a scene in the middle of the mall." Rolf turned and walked towards the front of the store.
Matthew's heart was racing. What was he thinking? He couldn't just take the game. It was wrong, and Rolf would kill him. Granted the prices there WERE robbery, that was beside the point. Matthew put the games down, and headed towards the front of the store. But as he headed towards his destination, he walked past the music department. He still had a minute, and wanted to see if he could find the name of that Savage Garden CD, he loved their song "I Knew I Loved You". As he browsed through the endless crap music, he finally came across what he was looking for. He had to have it. Surely Rolf would spot him the $15 dollars for this. It was quality music, and something that would soothe him at work. Matthew knew he couldn't just shove it in Rolf's face, he would have to sweet talk. He put it in his coat pocket and headed towards the front end.
Marc and Rolf were out in the mall, lounging against the fountain in the center of the hallway. Rolf was just about to walk in and find Matthew when Marc said "I'll find him. Just a minute."
Marc made his way into the store and found Matthew looking around, a bit aimlessly.
"Hurry it up fruitcake, Rolf is getting pissed. You can be dazed and confused in the car."
Marc grabbed Matt's arm and pulled him out of the store.
All of a sudden the security alarm blared, stopping the boys in their tracks. The blood drained from Matthew's face as he realized he still had the CD in his coat pocket. A manager walked over, certain someone had just failed to remove the security sticker, but when he saw that the two young men didn't have any packages he became stern.
"Excuse me guys, would you please walk through again, one at a time?"
Marc gladly walked through, he knew that these sensors tended to be a bit over sensitive sometimes. He of course walked through beep free.
Matthew naturally beeped again.
"Sir would you empty your pockets?"
As Matthew reached into his pocket, he saw Rolf heading towards the store. Matthew reluctantly pulled out the CD.
"Can I see your receipt for that?"
Matthew stuttered "N..n..no, I just accidentally put this in my pocket. I didn't mean to."
"Accidentally? I think it just became an accident when you got caught. You're coming with me." The manager took Matthew by the back of the shirt and marched him into the office, Matthew protesting his innocence all the way in.
Marc just looked on dumb founded, he couldn't believe Matthew could do something so stupid. Then he saw Rolf, charging full speed ahead.
"Marc WHAT is going on? And where are they taking Matthew?"
"Well, uh, it appears that Matthew, and I don't believe it for a second..."
"Marc TO THE POINT."
"They found a CD in his pocket, they took him to the manager's office to wait for security."
Rolf's eyes were icy blue. Marc wasn't even in trouble and he was scared.
Rolf blew past Marc and headed towards the office.
Marc was left standing with his mouth still open in shock. After a moment or two, he snapped out of it and followed Rolf, certain Matthew was going to be crucified right before his eyes.
Rolf walked up to the closed office door, rapped sharply then opened it without waiting for an answer. The manager was on his phone, and looked up, slightly wary of the tall man with the icy blue eyes that just burst into his office. He had just finished his call and put down the phone. "Excuse me Sir, I'm busy?" He said.
"That" Rolf said, pointing at Matthew, "is my partner. There must be some mistake here, he wouldn't steal a whisker from a cat, much less a CD from your store."
"I'm sorry, Sir, but the CD was found in his pocket. The police have been called, we'll wait for them to arrive, and see where to go from there. I've had too much money walk out of this store to allow anything even resembling stealing to go unpunished."
"But I didn't STEAL IT!" Matthew started to say, ending up yelling as he stood up.
"Matthew, sit down, be quiet." Rolf said, pointing at the chair. "We'll wait for the police, get it straightened out then."
Matthew's face fell, and he sat down heavily in the chair, the mention of police scaring him.
Marc pulled open the door then.
"Who are you?" The manager asked, getting slightly upset that his office seemed to be turning into a circus.
"Marc, there's a chair right there, sit down." Rolf said, pointing outside the office to the chair in the hall.
Marc sat down quickly, wondering what was going on.
As Marc sat down he saw Eric heading his way. Eric was Rolf's good friend, and the police officer taking the call. Marc waved, not really sure what to say, and Eric waved back, knowing that this wasn't going to be easy. Eric knocked on the manager's door, and entered. Matthew melted into the chair as he saw Eric enter. Matthew knew that this would embarrass Rolf greatly. It was bad enough that it happened, but for a good friend to know as well, it just was not a good thing.
Eric went directly to the manager and introduced himself. "Officer Mayhan."
"Tom Harris." The manager said, shaking the outstretched hand.
Eric turned to Rolf and held out his hand, just saying "Rolf" as he shook, then turned towards Matthew as he said his name.
Matthew looked up from under his lashes and gave a sickly grin in return to Eric's greeting.
Mr. Harris said incredulously "You know these gentlemen?" certain that he would be denied true justice.
"Yes sir, I do. What's the reason for the call, sir?"
"When ....Matthew and his friend went to leave the store, the security alarm beeped. I had them walk back through, and it was discovered that Matthew had a CD in his pocket, trying to walk out of the store with it."
Rolf broke in. "Eric, I think yo-"
"Rolf, why don't you wait outside with Marc while I get this straightened out." Eric said in his best authoritative voice.
Rolf's blood pressure rose significantly, but he knew Eric knew what he was doing and would let no harm come to Matthew. He turned and stalked out, closing the door none too gently on the way out.
Marc saw Rolf's red face and icy eyes, and knew better than to make small talk. Silence was mucho better.
"Matthew, why don't you tell me why Mr. Harris found the CD in your pocket."
"Well Er-, officer, I was looking at some computer games, but they were in a hurry, and since I was running short on cash I thought it was useless to look. But on the way to meet them my eye caught this CD. So I picked it up. I wanted to ask Marc if he had the money to loan me until payday, but when I saw him, he grabbed my arm and just pulled me across the security point."
Mr. Harris just glared. He heard them all a million times. But he feared this time they would get away with it.
"So, Marc saw you had the CD but pulled you anyway. Is that what you are saying?"
"No I put the CD in my pocket because I wanted time to sweet talk."
"That was pretty stupid wasn't it?" Eric said.
"Officer, I don't mean to sound cynical, but having worked here for over five years, these stories are all the same. Bullshit. Both boys were probably in on it."
"Mr. Harris, I would normally agree with you. But knowing both individuals, that isn't a likely theory. But I also know that is little consolation to you. So what can we do here to prevent you from pressing charges?"
"I want the merchandise paid for. And I don't want to see ANY of them in my store again."
"I think that is a workable plan. Matthew, what are we not going to do in the future?" Eric asked, turning towards Matthew.
Matthew wanted to say LOTS of things, but knew better. He mumbled "Put unpaid merchandise in my pockets."
"I think you owe Mr. Harris an apology."
Matthew looked up at Eric and then to Mr. Harris. "I'm sorry, sir. I didn't intend to take it without paying."
Mr. Harris just replied "Good."
"Do you want to handle the purchase at the registers up front?" Eric asked Mr. Harris.
"Yes, that would be best."
"Matthew, let's go. I assume you need the money from Rolf."
Matthew didn't want to leave. He was VERY happy to have gotten out of the situation so far without a scratch, but one very UNHAPPY man awaited outside that door, and Matthew was worried.
Mr. Harris opened the office door. Eric pushed Matthew out first, following behind him.
"Eric what's going on?" Rolf said before Eric could open his mouth.
"Mr. Harris will not press charges."
Rolf sighed a bit of relief.
"However, they want the CD paid for. And..."
"And what Eric?"
"And none of you are allowed back in the store. Marc that goes for you as well."
"Me?!? What did I do?"
"Well I am afraid it was purely by association. I am sorry, but those were the terms."
Rolf saw the aggravated look on Marc's face, and glared at his little one. He reached for his wallet, gathering he was paying for the CD. He pulled out a $20, and just handed it to Eric, along with the CD which was ripped from Matthew's hands. Had it been a piece of paper he would have surely suffered a paper cut.
"Thank you Eric. If you don't mind, you can pay for, and keep the CD. I realize you were put in an awkward situation. And while I may not seem so at the moment, I am grateful that it was you."
"I know Rolf. I don't envy your situation at all. I will talk to you later?"
Rolf shook his hand, grabbed Matthew by the scruff of the neck, growled for Marc to follow, and made a beeline to the truck.
Matthew had trouble keeping up without stumbling with Rolf's long, quick walk to the truck. Rolf opened the front passenger door and helped Matthew up into the truck and then closed the door. Marc got in the back seat. Rolf jumped in, started the truck, and pulled out of the parking lot, intent for home.
Matthew wanted so badly to melt into the floorboards of the truck. He knew Rolf didn't think he would steal the CD. Rolf knew him better than that. But he also knew Rolf was thoroughly upset because it was a really stupid thing that he had done, putting that CD in his pocket. And to top it off, Eric was the one who took the call, embarrassing Rolf more than he already had. He couldn't just sit in silence, he had to say something.
"Not a word young man." Rolf said sternly, keeping his eyes on the road.
Matthew sunk down in his seat, crossing his arms, head down, thoroughly miserable.
The silence was deafening. The drive home was the longest fifteen minutes ever. Rolf never removed his eyes from the road. Matthew was slouched down in his seat. And Marc was sulking. Not that he was a frequent shopper of that store, just the sheer thought of not being allowed in there. Finally Rolf pulled into the driveway.
"Matthew get upstairs to your bedroom. I want to speak with Marc for a moment."
Matthew slowly unbuckled his seat belt, and casually rolled up his window.
Matthew flung open the door and scurried inside, not closing the truck door behind him. Marc and Rolf got out of the truck and walked over to Marc's car.
"Marc I want to apologize for what happened today."
"Rolf it's not your fault."
"No I know it isn't, but it still wasn't fair. Matthew will be at your doorstep early tomorrow morning to apologize and to do a day's worth of work for you in partial payment for your embarrassment. And I am sure you will have some 'words' for his behavior."
"That really isn't necessary R-"
"Yes it is. You were just as humiliated as I was. And you have just as much right to voice your opinion. Tomorrow morning."
"Okay Rolf. Um, thanks for lunch."
"You're welcome. See you later."
Marc got into his car and drove off. Now it was time for Rolf to voice HIS opinion.
Matthew watched Marc back out of the driveway, and saw Rolf shut the door to the truck and head towards the front door. Matthew's stomach was in knots, he didn't want to hear the slow steps that would announce Rolf's arrival upstairs. No, Matthew wanted dead silence. He jumped onto his bed, and grabbed the comforter and wrapped it around himself. He had hoped a cat would have been in his room, someone to talk with, but no such luck. So he cowered in the comforter, alone, certain that death would be more pleasant than what was to come.
On the ride home, Marc was doing a lot of thinking about Matthew and death too. Not quite death, but Marc knew how upset Rolf was with Matthew, and that Matthew wasn't going to enjoy any part of the rest of the day. He felt badly for his friend. He was upset as well with Matthew, but that was not the first thing on his mind right now.
Meanwhile, Matthew's hopes of silence soon ended, as he heard Rolf's heavy footsteps climbing the stairs. Matthew winced and buried his face into his pillow. As his doorknob turned the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. Rolf came in and sat down next to Matthew.
"Matthew, sit up please."
Matthew didn't want to, he wanted to melt into the bed and never be seen again. But he knew resisting would anger Rolf more than he already was, if that were possible. Matthew crawled out from the safety of his nest and sat up, staring at the floor.
"Matthew, what were you thinking?"
"Rolf I am so so sorry."
"I didn't ask if you were sorry, I asked what you were thinking."
"I desperately wanted a video game. But I realized that wasn't going to happen. As I was walking to meet you and Marc, that CD caught my eye. You know how much I love that song. Anyway, I figured I would hide it, get Marc's attention, and ask him to spot me the money. But when I found him, or vice versa, he just pulled my arm to get me out of there. And I forgot all about it, until the sensor went off."
"You put it in your pocket! Unpaid merchandise. You KNOW that looks like stealing, no matter WHAT the reason. You were lucky that they didn't have an undercover officer catch you doing that. You were upset with me that I didn't loan you the money for the game, why did you think I'd buy you a CD?"
"I didn't! I thought Marc would." Matthew continued looking at the ground. Rolf was currently unreadable, he wasn't sure if he was really upset or not. He certainly wasn't yelling, but sometimes that was worse than when he did yell. Matthew was too upset to look at Rolf, didn't want the answer to his question.
"Matthew, I am thoroughly disappointed in you. I know you would never steal, you ARE better than that. But jeez, sometimes I swear you lack common sense. Things could have gotten really ugly if that manager pressed charges. Don't get me wrong, things are bad enough. It's one thing to get us banned from somewhere, but to drag Marc into, AND have ANOTHER friend bare witness...it was humiliating. Since this all stemmed from that stupid video game, I will tackle the source. The computer is off limits...for a month."
"WHAT? A month no way! You can't..."
"Matthew, pipe down, that is just the beginning."
Matthew's eyes bugged out as heard those words. Just the beginning? That was more than enough already.
"You are grounded for two weeks. You will have a nice long list of chores to be done that will be in lieu of payment to me for that CD."
"I don't want to hear it Matthew."
Matthew's mouth worked, but no sound came out. He couldn't believe this! He made a simple mistake, what was the big deal?
"Fuck Rolf, that sucks. I made a human error. And I don't deserve any of this shit!"
Rolf's eyes iced over again. Matthew covered his mouth as he realized what he had just said. He honestly slipped, but that didn't matter. Rolf just grabbed Matthew by the ear and brought him to his feet. He walked Matthew directly into the bathroom. Matthew knew that cursing was unacceptable, especially THAT word.
"Rolf, I'm sorry! I didn't mean it. It...Everything was just an accident! OOOWWW!"
"Sit down." Rolf said as he steered Matthew over to the toilet, and directed him to sit, pulling on his ear.
Matthew grabbed for his ear as soon as Rolf let go. "THIS ISN'T FAIR!" he yelled, stomping his feet.
Rolf turned towards him, blue eyes boring through Matthew. "You do NOT raise your voice to me young man. You have made several mistakes, and you are being punished so you remember to think twice about repeating those mistakes. And if you don't want to add a spanking onto the rest of your punishment, I suggest you sit there quietly." Rolf turned back towards the sink and got the soap out and lathered.
Matthew sat quietly until Rolf approached him with the soap. "Rolf, pleeeeeaasseeee?"
"Open your mouth."
Matthew started to back away as much as he could, clamping his lips down hard, shaking his head from side to side.
Rolf wasn't in the mood for games. If Matthew wanted to do this the hard way, Rolf would do it the hard way. Rolf tossed the soapy bar into the sink. He grabbed Matthew by the arm, yanking him to his feet. Rolf placed his leg on the toilet seat, and bent Matthew over his knee. In one solid yank, Matthew's shorts and underwear were at his knees. Rolf reached over and grabbed the wooden hairbrush from next to the sink. He placed his other arm around Matthew, and locked him into place.
Everything had happened so fast that by the time Matthew realized what Rolf was doing, the first smack had landed, HARD, across his right cheek.
Matthew screeched in shock, pain and frustration. "Oooowwwww!"
Before he could let loose with a long list of expletives, Rolf had landed the brush four more times, and Matthew lost the air needed to speak coherently. He simply balanced there, trying not to cry, trying not to fight.
Rolf spanked Matthew a good dozen times with the brush before putting it down and releasing Matthew.
Matthew's hands immediately tried to rub the sting from his injured flesh. He had a couple tears on his face, but had managed not to break into full fledged crying. He was having trouble breathing correctly though, as he shifted his weight from foot to foot.
Rolf stood there as Matthew settled down some, got his breathing back under control. "Sit down. We're going to try to do this again."
Matthew slowly sank down onto the toilet, grimacing a bit as his bottom contacted with the seat. He waited while Rolf got the soap ready again, and he slowly opened his mouth when asked to.
Rolf moved the bar in and out of Matthew's mouth about ten times, coating it well, then told him to clamp down and hold it still. He left Matthew sitting there for 10 minutes.
Rolf returned and stood in front of Matthew, arms crossed, looking right into his eyes.
"Are you ready to continue our discussion, WITHOUT the trash talk?"
Matthew nodded yes, and Rolf removed the sudsy bar. He allowed Matthew to rinse for a minute. But for Matthew that was fifteen minutes too short. They headed back into the bedroom.
"Alright, I don't want a peep out of you, or I will haul you across my knee and you will truly be sorry."
Matthew just pouted and worked his tongue around his mouth, trying to relieve that taste.
"In addition to the month of no computer, and three weeks grounding,"
Matthew looked up and went to say something, as his grounding was two weeks thirty minutes ago, but when he saw Rolf's eyes, he knew it would only get him a sore ass.
"Tomorrow you will be spending the day at Marc's...working." Rolf continued. "You owe him big time for the embarrassment you caused him, however unintentional it was. Marc is still banned from that store, and a day of manual labor won't kill you. Understood?"
"Yes sir." Matthew sputtered out.
Matthew was actually looking forward to tomorrow, after all Marc wouldn't REALLY make him work, would he?
"You can get started with some manual labor here. You are to clean and polish the banister, top to bottom."
Matthew looked up again, ready to complain bitterly, but Rolf's set face caused his reply to die upon his lips.
"Yes, sir." Matthew muttered before getting up and heading downstairs for the cleaning supplies. There was so much more he wanted to say, but knew he'd pay dearly for it. He HATED to clean that banister, there was so much detailed woodwork. It was going to take him the rest of the day to get it done, if not more.
Matthew was granted an hour for dinner and cleanup, then had to go back and work more on the banister. As he feared, he didn't get it completed before Rolf told him at 9 to get ready for bed. Matthew again wanted to complain about the early bedtime, but the choice between cleaning any more of that hated banister and laying in bed, the bed won hands down.
Rolf woke Matthew at 7am, and Matthew was ready to leave at 8. Rolf drove Matthew over to Marc's house, dropping him off at the end of the driveway, promising to pick him up in time for dinner. Matthew waved as Rolf drove away, saying lots of lovely things, all those words and phrases he'd wanted to utter since yesterday. He felt much better after that release. He headed up the walk to Marc's door, knocking and then entering without waiting for Marc. "Hey there, ho there! Scooby Doo, where are you?" Matthew sang, waiting for Marc to appear.
Matthew wandered about, wondering where Marc was. He noticed the door to the garage was open, so he went out.
"There you are. What are you doing? I am here to 'work'. So let's get started on some grueling game playing or something." Matthew said enthusiastically.
"'fraid not fruitcake. Rolf said you were to work, and I have a ton of things that need to be done. And sorry, but let's face it better you than me."
"Ha ha. You are a riot. Seriously what is on the agenda?"
"Matthew, I am not kidding. I have a ton of stuff that needs to be done in the yard, and you know I hate the outdoors."
Matthew wasn't sure if Marc was messing around or being truthful.
"Come on, you should get going and start the hard stuff before that afternoon sun hits. The lawn needs to be mowed, the bushes trimmed, and I want the soil turned so I can do some planting."
"Marc please tell me you are kidding."
"Matthew I told you I am dead serious."
"This fucking sucks."
"Matthew...quit while you are ahead. If I have to, Rolf said he would come and supervise. Besides you DID get me banned from a store that sells DVDs dirt cheap."
"You order yours online anyway." Matthew said snidely.
"I do, occasionally. But that isn't the point. Now I suggest you get moving, because I have more for you to do inside."
Matthew just barked out a sharp "Fine." and watched Marc head back inside the house, closing the door behind him. He started to lose it, picking up a hammer and almost chucking it at the door Marc had just closed. He was shaking he was so mad. But at the last second he dropped it and took a deep breath. So Marc wanted to prove a point. Matthew decided he'd play along for a little while, certain that Marc would come rescue him soon. He knew how much Marc hated to mow, so he decided he'd start there. He did feel as if he owed Marc a little kindness, but not as much as Marc thought he did.
Marc's yard wasn't nearly as big as Rolf's, but it still took a while. Matthew mowed for an hour out front and along the sides. The sun was warming it up, and Matthew was sweating buckets. He stopped the mower and pushed it around back, then sat down in a chair in the shade to cool off.
Marc thought Matthew could use a drink, so he brought out a large glass of ice water. "Here, thought you could use this."
Matthew looked up, accepting the drink. "Thanks, not exactly what I would prefer, but it'll do." He drank deeply, the water tasting delicious. He polished off the glass in record time, almost giving himself a headache, before handing the glass back to Marc.
Marc walked back inside to his office where he was doing some surfing on the internet. Ten minutes passed and he still hadn't heard the mower start back again. Finally he got up and went to the door. "Matthew, I think you need to get back to work, your break has lasted long enough."
"It is HOT, H-O-T hot out here, let me rest." Matthew said, attitude clearly apparent in his reply.
"Matthew, get up NOW." Marc said sternly.
Matthew sat still for a moment until he heard Marc start out the door. He'd pushed as far as he could, and jumped up and went over to the mower.
Marc just shook his head, laughing to himself at Matthew's usual bratty tricks.
Matthew started the mower and began on the backyard. It was REALLY getting hot, and he started to get frustrated as he looked at all the bushes that needed to be trimmed, and the flowerbed that Marc was going to have him working in. Matthew HATED working in the dirt. And so far, Marc didn't look like he was going to rescue him anytime soon. It was slowly dawning on him that maybe Marc was serious, and that Matthew DID have a full day of crap to do. This really made Matthew angry. He wanted to just turn the mower off and book, but he knew that wouldn't get him anywhere. He just continued pushing along, sweltering under the sun.
Marc watched Matthew from the kitchen window. He knew Matthew was struggling, trying to find a way out of all that work. And Marc did feel slightly guilty for allowing Matthew to do all of it, but Rolf insisted, and Marc really didn't see any harm in it. Marc went back to dusting. A few minutes later the mower had stopped, and Matthew returned it to the garage. Matthew came inside, he had taken his t-shirt off to dry his face. He looked like a drowned rat, with the sweat that was pouring off.
"Marc, please it is too hot out there. Please don't make me go back out there."
Marc thought about it for a minute. "Alright Matthew, I can see that the sun is fierce out there."
"Thank you, thank you! After I cool off what do you want to do? Video games or movies?"
"I don't think you understand Matthew. After you rest for a few, you are gonna do some stuff inside. I have some furniture I want rearranged that I need help with, and there are windows that need cleaning."
"Matthew you are doing an even trade, indoor work instead of outdoor work."
"That is BULL shit! I busted my ass enough. You can clean your own damn windows." Matthew stormed into the bathroom, slamming the door shut behind him.
Marc wasn't finished talking, but he figured Matthew needed to cool down, both mind AND body. He sat in the kitchen for ten minutes waiting before Matthew finally opened the door.
"I'm sorry for yelling Marc. It's too hot to remain level headed for long."
"I know it's hot out there which is why I offered to let you work indoors for a while.
"You don't seem to understand Marc. I don't think I owe you anything more. I mowed the grass, I think that is more than fair enough, it was you who pulled me out of the store!"
"That is beside the point. Rolf said as part of your punishment that -"
"Fuck Rolf! He isn't here and you don't need-"
smack* Marc reacted impulsively and smacked Matthew across the face.
"Don't you dare talk about Rolf like that! After all he has done for you! My lord you think he was asking for an organ."
Matthew just stood there stunned. He couldn't believe that his friend just whacked him across the face.
"Now get your ass into the bedroom and get back to work. NOW!"
Matthew fled into the bedroom, his hand to his face. Tears threatened to fall but Matthew bit his tongue, holding them back, not wanting Marc to see how upset he was. He just picked up the bottle and rags, and started on the windows.
About fifteen minutes later Marc yelled from the kitchen that lunch was ready. It was nearing 1:00. Matthew stopped in the bathroom on the way down the hall and washed his hands. As he rounded the corner, he saw he had a paper plate with a couple of sandwiches on it. Marc was waiting for him.
Matthew just picked the plate up and his drink and headed outside. He didn't want to sit at the same table as Marc.
Marc just let Matthew leave. He figured Matthew was just angry at all the work he was having to do, but at this point in the afternoon Marc could care less. He finished his lunch and ten minutes later yelled out back at Matthew to get back to work.
Matthew was still angry. When Marc slapped him, the first thought that crossed his mind when the shock wore off was to punch his lights out. He didn't deserve to be treated like that. He also wanted to call Rolf. But he figured Rolf would be mad that he had even tried to argue with Marc about not doing any work. Matthew just settled into an uncomfortable place, and decided to do the work, it was the fastest way out of the house. He was watching the clock tick towards five, and Rolf's arrival.
Right at five, Rolf did arrive. Matthew saw him from the window he was cleaning. He dropped everything and blew past Marc and out the door, nearly knocking Rolf to the pavement five steps from the car.
"Hey! Matthew!" Rolf said, trying to disentangle himself from Matthew, and trying to keep his feet at the same time. Matthew didn't get the Tigger moniker just because he literally bounced on some days, but also because he bounced into and over people as well. He wasn't having any luck, and he started to think something was wrong. "Matthew? Love, what's wrong?" He finally managed to get Matthew's face in his hands and when he did, he saw tears in the eyes.
"What is wrong, what happened?"
Matthew's voice was shaky with emotion. "M..mmarc s..slapped me."
Rolf stiffened with that response. "Marc slapped you? Why?"
"I...I...deserved it. I said something about you and he hit me." Matthew dissolved into tears and Rolf just hugged him tight, comforting him.
"Shhhhh. Matthew, no matter what you said, you didn't deserve to be slapped. That is never deserved, and it isn't right." Rolf held Matthew for about five minutes until Matthew had himself under control.
Rolf stepped back and wiped the tears from Matthew's face. "I have a few things to cover with Marc. I want you to take the car and go home. Straight home, and don't let me find out you went anywhere else. Dinner is in the oven, should be ready in thirty minutes. Go ahead and eat without me, I'll catch up to you later. When you're done with dinner, finish cleaning the banister. And if I'm not home by 9, you are still to be in bed at that time. Understood?"
"Good." Rolf kissed Matthew on the forehead. "Straight home." He said, as he handed the keys over to Matthew.
Matthew slid into the car and headed home.
Rolf turned and headed into the house.
Marc was in the kitchen when he heard the truck start up and peal out of the drive way. H e couldn't believe that Rolf wouldn't stop in to see how/what Matthew did. Before Marc could make his way out of the kitchen, Rolf found him first. Marc jumped and gasped for air.
"Jeepers Rolf you scared the crap out of me. I thought I heard your truck take off."
"You did," Rolf said sternly.
"What's wrong?" Marc asked cautiously.
"What happened this afternoon?"
"What are you referring to? You sent Matthew here to work didn't you?"
"Yes, he was sent here to work. But he said you did something, something that concerns me greatly."
"I made him work if that's what you mean."
That response blew Rolf's fuse. "SIT DOWN!!" Rolf thundered, pointing at a kitchen chair.
Marc just about jumped clear out of his skin before he scrambled backwards, pulled out a chair and fell into it. His heart was racing double time and he was afraid to pull his eyes up from the floor. Something had seriously ticked Rolf off. Marc almost felt that steely gaze boring holes into his body and he shivered in nervousness.
"LOOK AT ME YOUNG MAN! WHAT THE HELL DID MATTHEW SAY TO MAKE YOU THINK YOU HAD A RIGHT OR DUTY TO SLAP HIM?!?"
Marc was hit with three realizations simultaneously. Rolf was yelling. Loudly. He cursed, another rarity. And he asked about the slap, something that Marc had tried to put out of his head. When it happened, it was just reflex. And he remained upset with Matthew the rest of the day. Also upset with himself, but not enough to think on how wrong that slap had been.
Rolf decided he'd best calm down. It took everything HE had not to simply thrash Marc until he was a blubbering heap. And the yelling wasn't going to help him get his point across. He dropped his voice down and tried again. "I'm waiting for an answer young man."
Marc's stomach clenched and rolled. Things were getting worse. Rolf used his deadly calm voice, the one that said without words, you're royally screwed. His mind was numbing with fear, and he couldn't for the life of him find words to speak.
Rolf grabbed Marc's arm and hauled him to his feet. Rolf saw Marc's eyes widen in fear as the mouth started to work on apologies. Rolf simply said "You best be thinking of answers young man, or I could be here all night, and you WILL regret that." Rolf walked Marc over to the corner in the kitchen. "I'm giving you some time to think. Use it wisely. That nose comes out of the corner, life will cease to be worth living." Rolf let go of Marc's arm and walked over to the back door and outside. He was glad for Marc's inability to talk right away. It gave him time to calm down, something he really needed to do. The issue was a serious one, and needed to be treated as such.
Marc stood for about the first ten minutes in what could be called shock. The day had been a punishment day for Matthew. Within seconds flat, Matthew's punishment was completely forgotten, and somehow Marc had ended up on the hot seat. It took his brain about ten minutes to come to that realization. Once it did, and the brain melted, he realized how much trouble he was in. Everything that Rolf had said and done spoke volumes to Marc about how upset he was. He stayed put, knowing Rolf was serious in his threat about moving.
Rolf let Marc stand in the corner for twenty minutes. He had calmed down enough and thought it was time to get the discussion started. He walked back into the kitchen, and searched through the cupboards and drawers. Finally he found the wooden cutting board paddle. He pulled it out from its hiding place and walked into the living room, laying the paddle down on the end table.
Marc's heart started racing when he heard Rolf moving around behind him. And when he heard the paddle moved, he wanted to cry. He bit his lip to fight back the tears.
"Marc Ryan, come here." Rolf said sternly from the living room.
Marc slowly turned away from the corner and walked into the living room. Rolf was sitting on the couch, almost like he was waiting to be served coffee.
"Sit down." Rolf said, patting the couch cushion next to him.
"Marc, let me speak for a moment. I want to apologize for lashing out. I began to react impulsively, just as you had. That is the number one thing NOT to do. Alright, now I want to know what was said to cause you to react that way, and then we will discuss how you could have acted differently."
Marc was ashamed of reacting like that, but it was a reflex, something he felt he no control over. He took a deep breath, and told Rolf about the incidents leading to that.
"So then I told him that you said he was to work. And his reply was..." Marc stopped. Rolf was very against cursing, and he certainly didn't want to be in any more trouble.
"Marc, what did he say?"
"You want me to quote him?"
Rolf thought for a minute, realizing why Marc paused. He nodded yes.
"And he said...'fuck Rolf.'"
Rolf's eyes widened, startled that his little one would talk of him like that.
"Then, impulsively I slapped him. I told him not to speak of you like that, and get back to work. Rolf I know what I did was wrong but...but, I just...you know?" Marc didn't know how to rationalize this.
"It's wrong. Period. There are no ifs, ands or buts in that sentence. Friends don't slap each other. And when you're in the disciplinarian role, you *certainly* don't slap anyone. Matthew has allowed us some control in his life. He willingly said at some point, 'guys take care of me. When I screw up, I want you to punish me, set me back in the right direction.' You have given me that same control in our relationship as well. And that control imposes on us a duty. A duty to retain our temper AT ALL TIMES. Why do you think I stood you in the corner a few minutes ago? I was angry. One of the number one 'rules' if you will of being a disciplinarian is never, under any circumstances, punish when you're angry. Matthew, or anyone else in that same role, can and will push your temper to and beyond breaking point at some time or another. You cannot allow yourself the luxury of losing your temper. If you feel you're at that point, then you MUST back off of the situation."
"Rolf, I know. It was a reflex. Had we not been positioned so closely, well, maybe things could have turned out differently. But when he spoke of you like that, it just happened. Rolf, I really am sorry for that. I truly didn't want to hurt him."
"Well, perhaps you needed to tell Matthew that, huh?"
Marc just hung his head. What more could he say?
"You keep saying reflex. You hit out of reflex. That statement bothers me greatly. That type of reflex should NOT be one you ever use, or even think is available! And reflexes are NOT to be used when dealing with a brat! Matthew relies on you to be level headed, even if he doesn't think about that at the time. If he pushes beyond reasonable behavior, he wants to be corrected. Not by reflex, but by a calm, reasonable person, one who can take the time to explain the problem, and punish accordingly. When Matthew said what he said, you could ONLY punish him for the language. I know what he said upset you, but you can't punish him for his feelings. You know he truly doesn't feel that way about me. He was just upset about the situation he found himself in, and lashed out, with inappropriate language. You should have washed his mouth, and set him in a corner to collect himself and cool off. Nothing that led up to that incident required a spanking, and slapping should have been the LAST thing you thought of."
Rolf had a way with words. A way of explaining things so that they were simple, and clear. And Marc realized how wrong he had handled the situation. He had lashed out and hurt his friend. Marc rested his elbows on his knees, and his head in his hands. "Matthew must hate me. I'm not worthy of his friendship." Marc whispered.
"Young man, you can stop those thoughts right there. Look at me. Marc." Rolf waited until Marc raised his face up. "You made a mistake, and you will apologize to Matthew for it. I feel I can say I know him well enough that he won't hate you. And you ARE worthy of his friendship, and I don't want to EVER hear you talk like that again. You made a mistake. And you will be punished for that mistake. That's as far as it goes. Is that clear?"
"Alright then, let's get this over with. Get your shorts down and get over my knee."
Marc pulled his shorts and briefs off and laid down over Rolf's knee. Rolf began spanking Marc by hand, slow and hard. Rolf covered every inch, from the crack of the ass, to the top of thighs. He worked until there was a bright pink glow, all over.
Marc was left breathless and had tears flowing, but he wasn't crying yet. A sob escaped him, then the crying began as he heard Rolf pick up the paddle. Marc tried to bury his face in the couch cushions, wanting to be anywhere but here, ESPECIALLY when Rolf held the paddle, and had yet to spank him with it. The feelings of terror and shame before that first paddle whack were only outweighed by the pain that Rolf would quickly build up to blazing proportions. Marc couldn't stand it any more and tried to bring his hand back to block the first biting lick of the paddle.
Rolf saw that maneuver, grabbed the hand and settled it uncomfortably in the small of Marc's back before raising the paddle high and bringing it smartly down across the pink bottom.
Marc was in the middle of a string of "I'm sorry"s when the paddle landed, immediately bringing a howl of pain against Marc's will as the paddle ignited his already smoldering bottom. He kicked reflexively, trying to lesson the furious stinging brought about by the one lick, when the second one landed. He howled again, trying to buck off of Rolf's lap, to no avail. He tried several more apologies, but they fell on deaf ears as Rolf worked his usual magic with the paddle. Marc howled a few more times with the first five or so licks of the paddle before he lost his voice and had nothing left to do but moan piteously through the rest of the paddling. Marc didn't think it would ever end, and he was certain there wasn't a scrap of skin left on his backside.
Rolf stopped the paddling when Marc's bottom was a deep, dark crimson. He knew Marc was going to be feeling that for a couple of days, and he hoped that it would serve as a reminder to think before acting. He gently rubbed Marc's back for the next fifteen minutes, trying to soothe him, stop the furious crying Marc was doing before he worked himself into hyperventilating. When he thought Marc had at least caught his breath, he helped him to his feet, then picked him up and carried him into his bedroom, depositing him gently on the bed.
Marc curled into a miserable ball, feeling sorry for himself.
Rolf went and got a washcloth and returned, gently wiping the tears from Marc's face, soothing him even more.
Marc didn't think it was going to be possible to fall asleep, but within 15 minutes, he did, still hiccuping occasionally. Rolf had literally and physically worn him out.
Rolf secured the house and left, walking over to Eric's house who lived only two miles down the road. Michael gave him a lift back home, where he found Matthew hard at work on the banister.
Marc woke the next morning having slept 14 straight hours. He got up, wincing in pain, and checked out the damage in the mirror. His bottom wasn't glowing, but it was going to be a long while before it returned to it's normally silky white. He hobbled around the house through the morning, getting a bit of breakfast and watching a little tv. At 11 the phone rang. It was Rolf telling Marc to drive over and apologize.
"Rolf, I want to apologize, but I can't sit in the car!"
"You WILL be over here at noon. If I have to drive over and get you, sitting will be impossible I assure you. That's an order." Rolf hung up the phone.
Well sitting was already as impossible as Marc wanted it, so he knew he had no choice but to be there at noon. But he wasn't going to drive there uncomfortable either. He still had a good forty five minutes before he had to leave. He went into the bathroom and dug out his ice pack. He threw it in the freezer, hoping it had enough time to chill. Marc got dressed, wearing a tshirt and *loose* shorts. He grabbed a towel, and headed back to the living room. Soon it was time to leave. Marc grabbed the ice pack and the towel and went out to his car in the garage. He neatly folded the towel onto the seat. He placed the iced over ice pack on top of that. He pulled his shorts down to mid thigh, and climbed in. The cold felt wonderful on his battered backside. The drive was short, and he made it there well before noon. He maneuvered a bit in the car and slid his shorts up to where they belonged. He knew Rolf would have had a fit, if he knew Marc drove over in that state. Marc got out of the car, and slowly walked to the front door. He hated to admit he was wrong. Mostly because he never was. He also hated to apologize. Not because he wasn't sorry, but because they were just words. It takes more than words to prove you are truly sorry when you have wronged some one. Marc rang the door bell. The door slowly opened. Matthew was on the other side of it.
"Hey." Marc said quietly.
"Hi." Matthew responded.
"Matty, about yesterday...you know you mean a lot to me. You're my friend, my best friend. And, well, I crossed a line. And for that I am sorry. I had no right, and you didn't deserve to be hit. Can you forgive me?"
Matthew just looked in his friend's eyes and saw the sincerity and pain. A tear rolled down his cheek. He sprung from the doorway with open arms, and hugged his friend tight. When he was through, he let Marc in the house ahead of him.
"Hey Marc? Why are the back of your shorts all wet?"