Chapter 16: Mason
It'd been three days since I dropped the bombshell on Noah, and for three days it'd been tense between the three of us. Olivia did her best to hide her fear of Noah deserting us, but I saw the sorrow pooled in her eyes when she thought neither of us were watching. Noah acted like everything was fine, but he pulled away from Liv and me constantly and it was only hurting Liv- and me- more every time.
Even though I was hurting too, I was starting to get more pissed than anything else at this point. I tried to keep it together, but the quieter and more withdrawn Noah became, the more the frustration built up in me. He wasn't really dealing with his shit, and it was affecting all of us.
At the moment Olivia was trying to get Noah to play card games with her, but he just grumbled that he didn't feel like it. I watched from the landing above, neither of them aware of my watchful presence.
"Come on Noah, what else are you gonna do? Just play a few rounds of strip poker with me. You know you'll probably win anyway." She nudged him suggestively, but he brushed her off.
"It's not really that much fun if I know I'm going to win, now is it?" His harsh words rang in the following silence, and I heard the wood banister I held onto creak in strain with my tightening grip.
Olivia flinched away from Noah, her face stricken. Noah let out a sigh and rubbed his face. "Liv, I'm sorry-"
"Don't worry about it. I shouldn't have bothered you." Olivia stood stiffly, leaving the playing cards on the couch next to Noah. "I'm just gonna... go."
She walked away and started up the stairs. I moved to meet her at the landing and clenched my fists at the tears I saw falling down her cheeks. She looked up when she noticed my boots, trying to wipe away the tears before she gave me a trembling smile.
I grabbed her in my arms and she wrapped herself around me, letting out the sorrow she was feeling silently. I turned to carry her into my room, pausing to look over the banister. Noah was already looking up to me, his face drawn in shame. I glared at him, holding Olivia tighter to me.
"Stay right the fuck there Noah," I growled. His jaw tightened, but he nodded sharply in acknowledgement.
I carried Olivia to my room and gently set her on the bed before kneeling at her feet.
"I'm doing my best," Olivia said in a cracking voice, fresh tears leaking from her eyes.
"Look at me baby." I cupped her face and forced her to meet my eyes. The pain I saw in her split me open, and I knew Noah was about to get the talking to of his life. "He's hurting right now, and even though that's no excuse for the way he's been treating you, it is not. Your. Fault. You have been more kind and understanding than he deserves, and I don't want you to ever change that about yourself. Okay? You get me?"
She nodded, sniffling, and then reached forward to trace the lines on my face. "He's hurting you too though, isn't he? It's not just me."
I closed my eyes and allowed myself to be comforted by her touch. "Yes Liv, he's hurting me too." I opened my eyes again, a wiry grin forming on my lips with my next words. "But I'm about to whip his ass for it. He needs to get his shit together or this will never work out."
I started to stand, but she gripped my wrists, making me pause.
"Just... go easy on him. I know you're angry, but don't hurt him worse than he already is."
I pressed a kiss to her lips. "Of course not. Yes, I'm angry but I would never touch him or you in anger. Punishment? Abso-fucking-lutely. And that's something he's about to learn."
A grin tilted her lips, and I was happy to see it. She'd experienced my punishments before, so she knew what Noah had gotten himself into. I gave her one last kiss before standing and grabbing a bag from the closet.
Before leaving the room, I turned back to her. "I love you Olivia. Take some time to relax, a bath or whatever it is you women do."
She giggled and nodded, and then I was shutting the door behind me and making my way down the stairs. Noah watched my descent, tension thick in the air.
I strode over to the couch and stood in front of Noah, tossing the bag next to him on the couch and then crossing my arms in front of my chest. He looked up at me from his seat, his fingers tapping nervously on his thighs.
"Open the bag."
He hesitated for a split second, but then reached over and pulled it into his lap. He unzipped it and folded over the flap, exposing its contents to the both of us. I watched as his eyes roamed over the length of rope, unopened toys, a crop, and a few other items. He throat moved as he swallowed convulsively, his expression nervous when he moved it back up to me.
"You have been belligerent and mean. You've pulled away from both Olivia and me instead of talking to us. You hurt Olivia and made her cry more than once, and I'm putting a fucking stop to it right now. I know you're confused and sorting through shit, but that is no excuse for the way you've acted towards us. Would you agree?"
I waited in silence as he tried to form an answer.
"Your honest answer just saved you a fraction of your punishment."
"You think I came down here just to yell at you? Oh no," I said in a deadly calm voice while I stepped closer and leaned over him, placing my hands on the back of the couch next to his head and completely surrounding him. "You have to make it up to me, and then you're going to go and make it up to Olivia."
I paused, swallowing my pride and my heart for what I was about to say next. "If you don't want this, don't want us, tell me now. I'll let you go your own way, and Olivia and I will figure it out. But if you think, even a little, that a future might be possible with us then all you have to do is tell me you'll accept your punishment."
I stared him down for several moments, my heart pounding in my chest while I waited for his answer. My cock was steel hard in my pants and throbbing, hope that he'd give me the answer I was longing for upping my arousal. I vibrated with tension and anticipation, waiting for the decision that would change the future for all of us.
Happiness burst through my chest, but I kept my face neutral. Standing back up, I held out my hand and waited until he gripped it so I could pull him up, the bag still in his hands.
"Go to your room and strip. Pick out four different items from the bag, two that excite you and two that scare you and lay them on the bed. Then I want you kneeling on the floor facing the door. You have two minutes, and if you're not ready for me when I come in you won't like what happens."
"Yes Sir," he said and turned immediately.
I watched for a moment then moved to the kitchen to grab a bowl of ice and a knife. I took my time, giving Noah the two minutes I'd allowed before heading back to his room.
I hummed in approval when I walked in and saw him just as I'd said, kneeling in front of the door with his head bent and slightly shaky hands resting on his thighs. I walked around him silently, taking in the view. I watched as his muscles rippled with every minute shift, rubbing my cock through my pants to relieve a fraction of the pressure I was already feeling. His submission to me was a beautiful thing, and I wasn't going to take it for granted. I walked over to the bed to take a look at what he'd chosen, setting the knife and bowl of ice on the bedside table.
The rope and a blindfold sat next to each other, and a few inches away were the crop and a medium sized butt plug. I raised my eyebrows at his selection, already knowing which of the pile was which. I picked them up and set them next to the ice and knife before speaking.
"Come here Noah, and lay face up on the bed." I stripped my shirt, socks and boots off while he did so. Popping the top button on my jeans, I left them on for now. Once Noah was settled, I moved the table so that it would be within reach after I'd straddled his hips. I placed my knees by his hips, pressing my bulge on the underside of his cock as a little tease of pleasure.
He swallowed a groan, but held still. I nodded in approval, and a small smile tilted the corner of his mouth before he glanced over to the table. I reached for the bundle of rope, carefully watching his expression while I unwrapped it.
"Tell me about the rope. Why does it scare you?"
"The confinement. I... I can't stand the thought of not being able to move, being strapped down to one space for an unknown amount of time."
Nodding again, I asked the next question. "And the blindfold?"
"You can't guess?"
I gave him a sharp look, pausing with the rope in my hands. "Of course I know why. I want you to say it out loud. Holding the fear inside doesn't help you or me. Now, tell me Noah."
"It's the darkness," he whispered brokenly. "I can't stand living in the darkness, not knowing what's around me. Not knowing who I am. Not knowing where I'm going or where I came from or what the fuck is going on."
He was breathing harshly, and I let him breathe through the stress. Once he'd calmed, I asked, "Do you trust me?"
His hands came up to rest on my knees and although I would normally berate him for moving without permission, I allowed it in this moment.
"I'm scared," he said.
"I know. I'm going to make this very uncomfortable for you, because that's what punishment is. You're not going to like it, but I promise that if you take your punishment well, there will be a reward at the end. Now, Noah, do. You. Trust. Me?"
"Yes, Sir. I do."