It didn’t take long to ferret out the items he needed. When the farm’s owner came over to see how he was doing Wes asked her the best way to prepare the veggies he has chosen.
“What’s your main course, Wes?” Cindy, the owner, asked.
“Chicken,” he smiled. “I found a simple recipe for grilled herbed chicken breasts.”
“Yum, that sounds delicious,” Cindy said, licking her lips.
“I sure hope it turns out ok,” Wes sighed. “I’m surprising Link with it tonight.”
Cindy patted his arm. “Just remember it doesn’t have to be perfect, dear,” she cautioned, “that man of yours will love anything you make because he loves you.”
“Yeah,” he blushed. “Well, I better get going. I still have to get into town and pick up the chicken.”
“Oh, you’re not going to get a fresh chicken?” she questioned in disbelief. “Fresh will be more flavorful than those previously frozen ones you’d get in town.”
Wes looked up in surprise. “Um, I hadn’t thought about fresh,” he replied. “Where can I get a fresh one?”
“We have them here,” Cindy smiled at his question. “Go on up front and tell Nina you’re getting a chicken too. I’ll bring one out to your truck.”
“Ok,” he agreed, “thanks.” She moved toward the back exit and Wes headed to the checkout area. By the time he finished, Cindy was coming back into the big double door at the front of the greenhouse.
“It’s in the box in the bed, Wes. Don’t leave the box in the sun when you get home,” she instructed. “Have a great dinner and let me know how Link liked it.”
“I sure will, Cin,” Wes said. “Thanks for all the help.” He needed to hurry and get back to their place so when he reached his truck he just glanced at the brightly colored box. Then he climbed in the truck, waved at Cindy and backed out of the parking lot.
Wes dropped the veggies in the kitchen sink. Then remembering Cindy’s warning he ran back out to the truck and grabbed the cardboard box she had placed in the bed of his truck. “What the fuck?” he yelled when the box jolted out of his hands. “What the hell’s going on?” The box squawked at him. He grabbed the box, carefully peeled back one of the flaps and peeked in. “Shit, what am I supposed to do with a live chicken?” He shook his head wondering if he could actually kill and butcher it.
Quickly recovering from the shock of finding a live chicken, Wes carried the box into the barn and secured his prize in one of the critter cages. There wasn’t time to go back to town for a dead bird so he returned to the cabin and did a quick search on the internet for tips on how to kill a chicken. He found a site and began reading, “The best method and most humane way to kill...cut the jugular veins…yuck… sharpest knife.” He kept reading, “bleed it…um… scalding…plucking…no way…remove the head and feet…” Feeling a bit woozy, he stumbled to the kitchen sink and splashed cold water on his face. Wes grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge and took a long pull on it. He leaned against the counter to steady himself. Lifting the bottle to his lips again he gulped down another mouthful of the cold water and headed out to the barn. He twisted the empty plastic bottle into a ball then tossed it into the recycle barrel. Just a bit nervous and thinking he should just forget about making dinner, Wes found one of Link’s hunting knives. He tested it by shaving some hair from his arm. It was sharp and would probably do the job.
A movement in the rafters drew Wes’s attention. “Hey, Lucky, did you come to watch me pass out trying to kill this bird?” he asked the raccoon who just chirped at him but didn’t move from the safety of the big beams.
Wes returned to the task at hand. He slowly opened the cage. The hen cackled at him. He reached in to grab her. She jumped for the open door, squawking as she beat Wes with her wings. The man stumbled back and she made good her escape, skittering across the barn. Wes landed with a thud on the floor. He recovered just in time to see Lucky jump down and chase the hen out the door. Wes shook his head to clear it and scrambled to his feet following the raccoon. For a split second that old image of a hen being chased by a dog that was being chased by the farmer’s wife came into his head. He rounded the corner in time to see his dinner fly up and land on the roof of the barn. Lucky ambled off into the woods never seeing the scowl on Wes’s face that was aimed at the pesky critter.
Link drove up the lane and into sight of the cabin just as his boy climbed up onto the metal roofing on the barn. Blinking in disbelief as Wes inched his way up the slippery slope, he slowed his truck to a crawl so the noise of the tires crunching on the gravel driveway wouldn’t startle the younger man. He gasped when Wes slipped then caught himself on the ridge. Once Wes had straddled the ridge Link released the breath he’d been holding.
For the life of him he couldn’t understand why his normally sensible partner was perched 25 feet above the ground on the slippery ridge of their barn. Then he saw Wes slowly ease forward and reach out for something. His heart stopped when that very something flew off the roof and fluttered to the ground a few feet in front of him. The copper colored hen began scratching in the dirt beside the driveway as if she had no cares in the world.
Link looked back up to his boy. The look on Wes’s face was a mix of pure terror and shame. “Wes,” Link called out trying to keep his voice calm, “stay right where you are.”
Wes didn’t move.
“Did you hear me, babe?” Link asked.
“Yes, sir,” Wes answered, his voice a bit shaky. “I don’t think I can get down by myself.”
Link walked closer to the barn but stayed in Wes’s line of sight. “I don’t want you to try, babe,” he instructed. “I want you to hang on and stay still. I’ll get you down.”
“Ok,” Wes answered then added, “I’m sorry, Link.”
“Yeah, I know, babe. We’ll talk about it after I get you on the ground.”
“Yeah, that’s what I’m afraid of,” Wes mumbled to himself.
Link trotted back to his truck and moved it to the far side of the barn. Then he climbed up onto the cab. Wes watched as Link slowly uncoiled the rope in his hand and tied one end to the roll bar over the bed of the truck. “Wes,” he said in a calm matter of fact tone, “I’m going to throw the rope over the roof but I don’t want you to reach for it. Understand?”
Link tossed the rope so that it landed close to Wes. “Ok, I’m going to go back around to the other side and move the ladder so just stay still,” he explained. “Do you understand, Wes?”
Wes was getting a little annoyed by Link’s tone. “I told you I understand, Link,” he snapped. “You don’t have to keep asking if I understand like I’m a two year old. I do understand and I promise not to move.” He was sorry as soon as his eyes met the dark eyes staring back at him.
Holding Wes’s attention for a long minute, Link finally nodded, then jumped down and moved out of Wes’s sight. Wes heard a thud as the ladder landed against the lower edge of the roof. Link’s dark head appeared a second later. The ranger tied the ladder to the soffit before reaching out for the rope. He flipped the rope closer to his brat then secured a pair of gloves to the rope. “Wes, carefully pull the rope up to get the gloves and put them on,” he instructed.
Wes did as he was told. “Ok, got them,” he said, while letting the rope slide back down to Link.
Link grabbed the rope again. “Good, now hang on to the rope and slowly ease your leg over the ridge,” he said, “and when you’re ready, turn on your belly and slowly slide down to me.”
Wes took a deep breath. “Ok,” he said after releasing the breath in a soft whistle. “I’m ready.” He was scared, there was no doubt about it, but he didn’t know if it was because he was on the roof 25 feet above the driveway or because of what would happen after his feet touched the ground. There was no way in hell Link wasn’t going to see this as putting himself in danger. He rolled over and lowered himself down the rope into the strong arms of his big ranger.
Link guided Wes down the ladder. When they reached the ground, he pulled Wes into a bear hug. “Boy, you scared me out of ten years,” he whispered, his voice catching as he tried to speak. “What on earth were you doing up there?”
“Getting our dinner back,” Wes said into Link’s chest.
“You went on the roof to get the chicken?” Link growled, pushing Wes to arm’s length. “You risked your life over a bird that can fly?”
“Well, yeah, I paid good money for that bird,” the smaller man growled back. “She’s supposed to be the main course tonight.”
Frustrated and panicked at what could have happened, and more as a reflex to that fear, Link turned Wes sideways, bent him over and landed several swats to his thighs. Wes barely had time to register the swats before Link had him upright again. “We aren’t done with this, young man, but right now I need you to go in the house and get cleaned up.”
Wes rubbed at the sting Link’s hand left behind. “What about you? Aren’t you coming in too?” Wes whined, tears shimmering in his green eyes.
The big man wrapped a rough hand around Wes’s neck and pulled him close. “I’ll be in in a few minutes. I need a little time to cool off,” Link explained, dropping a light kiss on the wheat colored head under his beard. “Go on, get cleaned up. I need to put away the ladder and rope.”
Stepping out of the shower Wes looked at himself in their big mirror. He turned to see the rosy color where Link had smacked his thighs over his jeans. The red only highlighted how stupid he had been. He didn’t think he had ever seen Link this upset. Well, at least not when he himself was the reason. He hated that he was the cause of the pain he saw reflected in that rugged face he loved so much. “What in the hell were you thinking?” he groaned. “It was just a stupid chicken. Link has every right to be pissed.” The younger man walked into their closet and rummaged through his man’s work pants until he found what he was looking for. Wes carried the soft leather belt across the room and dropped it on the bed.
Wes was looking out the French doors leading to the balcony, his back to the room, when Link quietly slipped through the bedroom door. Dressed only in a pair of briefs, his brat’s broad shoulders were silhouetted against the brightness of the afternoon sky. One hand rested on the cloth covering his butt, seeming to almost shield it from what he knew was to come. The older man scanned the room taking in his belt on the bed.
Sensing he wasn’t alone, Wes turned to see his top standing at the end of the bed. His green eyes focused on the belt Link held. He tried to swallow but his dry throat prevented it. That belt held his attention as it gently slapped against Link’s large hand. “What’s this, babe?” Link asked, snapping Wes back to the moment.
“You need to use it this time,” he said clearly. He stared into Links eyes almost challenging him.
Link arched an eyebrow but didn’t speak.
“I knew better than to go after that stupid chicken. If you hadn’t come home when you did I would have tried to get down by myself.” Wes confessed. “You would have come home to a big mess.”
“No, Wesley, you shouldn’t have crawled up on that roof,” Link agreed. “And yes, you are getting a spanking but I won’t use this belt or any other implement on you.”
“But, I deserve it. I hate that I hurt you,” Wes ground out. “I saw the look on your face when you saw me up there.”
“Are you done?” Link calmly asked.
Wes started to say something but changed his mind and only nodded.
“Babe, you don’t control this. You granted me the trust to make the call on this. You do not get to choose if or when I spank you and you really don’t get to choose what I use.”
“But, I think I’m gunna need more than your hand this time, T-man.”
‘Well, let’s see if I can change your mind,” Link said as he sat on the chest at the end on the bed. He held out his hand and simply said, “Wesley.”
Wes slowly walked toward Link but stopped just out of his reach. “Um, maybe, we don’t hav…”
“Now, Wes,” Link growled, cutting the other man’s words short.
“Ok,” Wes sighed and stepped closer to the chest. Eyes focused on the floor, he took the large hand before him and allowed Link to pull him closer.
Link tucked his fingers into the waistband of his brat’s briefs and slowly lowered them. He steadied Wes as the young man stepped out of them then guided him over his lap.
The first swat caught Wes by surprise. He expected Link to ask those questions he loved to ask before he started to spank or to at least talk to him. “Oomph,” Wes grunted when the second swat fell harder than the first. The third connected with the top of his right thigh. “Ahhhhh.” The swats had been slow in landing so Wes jumped when Link increased the pace and fingertips found the inside of his upper left thigh with the forth slap. He tried to squirm off the strong legs under him but Link only tightened his hold. Two more fast swats to his cheeks increased the burn.
“Crap,” Wes grunted through clinched teeth. He flung his hand back to protect his ass even though somewhere in his head he knew the move was useless. “S..stop, Link, p..please stop.”
Link caught Wes’s hand and pinned it to his side. His rock hard hand snapped down three more times and then began kneading Wes’s tender butt cheeks. “Babe,” the owner of the hand said, “Do you have any idea what I felt seeing you on the roof? When I saw you slip, my heart stopped.” The hand slapped down again.
“O..oh god, I’m..s..o..ooo..r..ry,” Wes stammered. “I..I..w..won’t do it again.”
Wes lost count of the swats and gave up trying to deal with the pain. Finally Link pulled his young man up, turning him so he was straddling one of the bigger man’s thighs. Wes rested his damp curls on Link’s shoulder. His arms wrapped around Link’s back, fingers tangled in the ranger’s ponytail. Wes hiccupped until he got control of himself. Those big rough hands that had spanked him only seconds ago, now gently caressed his lower cheeks holding him in place. “I can’t lose you or see you hurt, babe. I just can’t,” Link whispered.
Wes pulled back to look at Link. He gently ran his fingers though the soft beard and over Link’s lips. “I really am sorry,” Wes said. “I just wasn’t thinking and when I finally did I was stuck.”
“Well, this not thinking before jumping is going to stop,” Link growled. “I love you too much to let it continue.”
“I love you more, T-man,” Wes whispered.
Each of those big hands grabbed a cheek and squeezed. Wes flinched but didn’t pull away. “So, tell me brat, do you still think I need the belt to make a point?” Link asked, top mode clear in the question.
“No, sir,” Wes answered squirming as his cheeks came to life again under Link’s hands, “You don’t need anything else.”
Link’s eyes sparkled. “Well, if you need more convincing, I can oblige.”
“No, no, no,” Wes groaned while he shook his head, “I’m so totally convinced. Trust me; your hand is more than enough.”
“Good, I’d rather do anything else than have to spank you again,” Link said.
Both men were quiet for a few minutes, just holding each other. Wes finally pulled back again his goofy grin plastered on his face.
Link arched his eyebrow again in question, “What are you grinning at, little one?”
“Oh, I was just thinking that this all started because I wanted to make you a special dinner.”
“Well, I’m sorry it didn’t happen, Babe,” Link softly said.
“Yeah, me too,” Wes agreed. “I guess I can heat up some of Mom’s beef stew for dinner.”
“That sounds good, babe,” Link agreed. “While you do that I’ll finish up outside.”
Wes grinned back at his partner, “Don’t forget to feed Nugget?”
Link tilted his head. “Nugget?” he questioned.
“Yeah, Nugget. I named the hen” Wes chuckled. “We are keeping her, aren’t we?”