by Adele

Rod rolled over still half asleep and slung out his right arm. When his hand came to rest on nothing but cool sheets he woke up a little more and opened his eyes. For several seconds he just stared at the empty half of the bed. Then he rolled the other way and squinted at the clock on the bedside table. The red lights glowed 3:47. Rod closed his eyes and dropped his head back onto the pillow. Surely Adam had fallen asleep on the couch in the living room.

Finally, Rod gave a heavy sigh and got out of bed. Without turning on any lights he walked down the hall to where he could see the glow from the kitchen illuminating the stairs. Already knowing what he would find, Rod continued downstairs.

As expected, Adam was sitting at the computer playing Bejeweled Blitz. Each game only lasted sixty seconds, but once Adam started playing he almost always played for hours. The phrase "more addictive than crack" was not an exaggeration for Adam. Something about those colorful flashing lights and falling "jewels" set hooks into his brain. Even when he didn't seem to be having fun and was too tired to play decently he kept going.

While Rod watched, Adam's current game ended. After all the flashing gifts of the "Final Hurrah" Adam scored 267,145 - far higher than Rod had ever scored the few times he had played the silly game, but not even a top score of the week for Adam. Rod crossed the room to stand behind Adam's right shoulder, but Adam did not look up or acknowledge Rod's presence at all. As soon as the Play Again button appeared Adam was moving the mouse to click on it. Rod put his hand on top of Adam's on the mouse preventing it from moving and said one word, "Don't".

Adam knocked Rod's hand away irritably. "Come to bed, Adam," Rod said gently.

"It's not like I would be able to sleep anyway," Adam argued with a gesture toward the two empty bottles of Hydrive and the one half-full lined up on the edge of the desk. Rod frowned. "Are you planning to stay home from work tomorrow?" he asked.


"Adam -"

"I'll be fine," Adam interrupted harshly.

No, you really won't, Rod thought. But Adam was right about one thing. With all that caffeine, ginseng, and who knows what else rushing through his veins he wasn't going to fall asleep whether he got in bed or not. Rod gave up. He had to get up for work in the morning too and he was in no condition to have this discussion at the moment. He picked up the half full bottle and emptied it into the sink. "No more," he ordered. Then he trudged back upstairs and collapsed on their bed. He gave one last disbelieving look at the clock before going back to sleep.

In the morning Rod woke and confirmed that Adam had never come to bed at all. Rod thought about looking for him, but what would be the point? Rod started his regular morning routine rather distractedly, but still efficiently. When he stepped out of the bathroom he saw Adam sitting on the side of the bed doing nothing. As Rod walked out, Adam quickly got up and slipped by Rod without a word for his turn in the shower. Rod muttered a curse at the closed bathroom door before going downstairs to get breakfast. Adam was still in the shower when Rod had to leave to get to work on time.

That night Rod returned home first and started dinner as he always did. The meat was seasoned and cooked, the lettuce shredded, and the cheese grated by the time Adam's car pulled into the drive. Rod was taking a foil packet of tortillas out of the oven when Adam walked in the door. He came directly into the kitchen and said quietly, "Hey." A pause, and then, "Tacos smell good."

Rod took a good long look at Adam. He looked completely wiped. There were dark circles under his eyes, but Rod was more concerned by the way Adam's hands were shaking. Just little tremors, but undeniably shaking. Adam noticed where Rod's eyes were directed and pressed his palms against the side of his thighs. "I'm fine," he snapped.

Moving jerkily with none of his usual natural athleticism, Adam opened a cupboard and grabbed a large cup. He opened the freezer, dumped a handful of ice in the glass, and then opened the fridge and gazed in at the contents obviously looking for the perfect concoction to fix however he was feeling at that moment.

"Drink water," Rod said. It wasn't a suggestion. Adam did not respond, but he let the refrigerator door swing shut and filled his cup at the kitchen sink instead. In silence both men prepared their plates, navigating around each other with the ease of long practice. Except, of course, when Adam stopped and stood for several long seconds in the middle of the kitchen holding his plate as if he had forgotten where he was headed. Rod did not expect him to be in that particular spot and barely missed crashing into him when Rod turned away from the counter with his own food.

"Sit down," Rod commanded.

When they were both settled at the table, Rod asked, straining to keep the aggravation out of his voice, "Did you get through work all right?"

"Sure. No problem," Adam said nonchalantly, but he wouldn't meet Rod's eyes.

"How many Hydrives did you drink?"

Adam's temper was even quicker than usual. "I don't know. I didn't count!" he snarled.

"What else did you take?"

"Excedrin." At Rod's look, Adam added defensively, "I had a headache."

"I'm sure you did. Do you know how much caffeine is in Excedrin?"

"65 mg," Adam recited, "per tablet."

"And you probably took two every six hours all day long, right?"

It had actually been more like every three hours, but Adam just nodded.

"What else did you take?"

"I took some Sudafed," Adam admitted, "It helps my headache." When Rod just stared at him, Adam added snottily, "There's no caffeine in Sudafed".

"I know." Rod didn't bother pointing out that pseudoephedrine hydrochloride was a significant stimulant in its own right. Adam knew that as well as Rod did. That's why he took it.

"Anything else?" Rod asked. He felt as tired by this conversation as if he were the one who had stayed up all night. Adam shook his head.

"Are you going to finish that?" Rod gestured toward Adam's plate. Adam had eaten only a small fraction of his usual serving though he had drunk two large glasses of water.

"I'm not hungry."

"OK. Go on upstairs and get ready for bed."

"Rod . . ."

"I know you don't feel like you'll be able to sleep," Rod interrupted. "Just go upstairs and get ready anyway. I'll be up in a minute."

Adam went.

Rod busied himself cleaning up the kitchen, trying to cool off. However, as he unloaded the clean dishes from the dishwasher he found he was just getting more and more angry. Finally he muttered, "Well fuck this."

Rod put the pot he was holding in the cabinet, closed the cabinet door, and then opened the drawer immediately above the cabinet and took out a long wooden spoon. Carrying the spoon, Rod left the kitchen and walked purposefully toward the stairs.

Adam had managed to get himself undressed down to his boxers. He was lying across the foot of the bed on top of the comforter working a logic puzzle. He heard Rod enter the room and rolled over to sit up, leaning against the headboard. Adam noted the spoon in Rod's hand and pointed at it with his chin. "That's not going to help," Adam stated flatly.

Sometimes when Adam got himself worked up or out of balance, a spanking could reset his brain and let him relax and sleep. A spanking couldn't overcome more than twenty-four hours of messing up his body chemistry with a variety of natural and artificial stimulants though. Nevertheless, Rod doggedly insisted, "It might help some." Adam didn't even bother to reply.

Rod lowered his head and closed his eyes. He made his decision first, and only then let the anger he had been holding back all day surge up. The anger was obvious in his expression and his voice as he said, "You put yourself in this condition with your stupid choices and I'm going to spank you whether it helps or not."

Adam swallowed. "What if I say, 'No'?" he asked quickly.

"Are you going to fight me?"

Adam was startled but he answered, "Of course not," without hesitation.

"Then you can say whatever you damn well please."

Scarily fast, Rod transferred the spoon to his left hand and snagged Adam's wrist with his right. He pulled hard, jerking Adam forward so he overbalanced and landed lying face-down. Rod dropped the spoon onto the mattress on the far side of Adam, wrapped his arm around Adam's waist, and pulled him sideways to the edge of the bed where Rod pinned him against Rod's hips. Adam was twisting and struggling despite his assertion that he wouldn't fight, but Rod was strong and had all the leverage and Adam could not escape. Rod took advantage of Adam's squirming and bucking to pull Adam's boxers down around his thighs, baring Adam's butt and restraining his legs somewhat.

Rod picked up the spoon and laid down a flurry of smacks, each one immediately raising a bright red oval on Adam's skin. Then Adam did say, "No". Repeatedly. Quickly the "nos" were interspersed with "Rods" and "pleases" that rapidly became more and more desperate before degenerating into wordless yelps and cries. After the initial onslaught, Rod settled into a rhythm of steady, hard blows that went on and on. In the systematic, practical way in which he did almost everything, Rod proceeded to turn every inch of Adam's ass cherry red.

By the time Rod was finally satisfied, Adam had stopped struggling entirely and was lying limp and sobbing on the bed. Rod put down the spoon and rested his big hand on Adam's bottom. Rod could actually feel the throbbing. He kept his hand still, trapping the heat and eliciting a small whimper from Adam.


Rod released his iron grip around Adam's waist and rubbed Adam's back instead. Slowly, slowly Adam stopped crying. He gave a couple long shaky breaths and then his breathing became even and regular. Too exhausted physically and emotionally for even Hydrive and Excedrin to overcome, Adam fell asleep.

Rod did not attempt to turn Adam around the right way on the bed. Rod walked down the hall to the linen closet and selected a light cotton blanket. He returned to the bedroom to see that Adam had not stirred. Rod covered him up to keep him from getting chilled, and then quietly left the room turning out the light as he went. Rod felt like he could go to sleep right then as well, but it was not bedtime yet and Rod was not about to throw off his schedule. Adam had no schedule whatsoever and look where that got him. Besides, Rod had things to do. He went downstairs to finish cleaning the kitchen.

~ Adele

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