A Disgruntled Paddock Pony
I followed Adam over the grass to the paddock, where a diminutive, brown-haired woman in jeans and a pretty blouse, led a tall ponyboy by his leather harness. The man’s sweat-slicked skin gleamed like oil-soaked leather, and his features seemed modelled after ancient Egytian gods.
The unexpected let-down I’d felt after getting a close look at Andrew, faded now I was presented with this ponyboy in his gear.
That’s more like it.
I heard the jingle of metal and turned toward the other ponyboy in the paddock. In a moment, all thoughts of Andrew, and the majestic brown-skinned man, left me.
Tied to the fence of the paddock by a rough rope looped into the ring of his wide leather collar, this ponyboy regarded me with a disdainful expression on his elfin face, vivid green eyes pinning me with their animosity, as if he owned the ranch and I was an annoying interloper.
“Looks like Puck needs another attitude adjustment,” Adam said. “Oh look, here comes Kamal.”
Puck seemed to start at this information, his demeanor changing. He tore his aggressive gaze off me and stared at the ground, where his scuffed boots were planted a shoulder length apart in the dirt. I took a moment to scan Puck’s restrained form, and found my mouth pooling with saliva. He was delicious. Exactly to my tastes and possessed of a fiery temper that he struggled to control.
If he was my pony, I’d name him Sprite.
Woah, so I’d gone from dismissing the ponyboys at the BCR to wanting to own one? My day was looking up.
“Adam. Who’s this?” The baritone voice came from behind me.
As Adam replied with my name and the reason I was here, I examined the swarthy older man. Ruggedly attractive, with salt-and-pepper hair and olive skin, what struck me most was the man’s absolute authority in this paddock.
He assessed me, then held out his hand. “Oliver. Glad to have you at the ranch. I see Adam’s already got you decked out in official BCR merchandise.”
“Oliver forgot to bring a hat,” Adam said.
“You’re not wearing a hat,” Kamal pointed out. “And neither am I.”
Adam raised his brows. “You’re just as oppositional as Puck. Maybe Oliver doesn’t want to end up with a sunburn on his first day.”
Kamal smiled, his face the picture of affability. “I dabble in photography myself.”
“Do you?” I said politely.
“Well, it’s a hobby. I might want to bend your ear once or twice.”
“How has Puck been this morning?” Adam asked. “He seemed a bit peeved when we arrived.”
“He’s annoyed because I decided to pay attention to Justin, instead of him.” The other trainer had come close with the majestic dark ponyboy. She was stunning at this range, with a diamond stud in her pert nostril and a composure almost as authoritative as Kamal’s.
“Lorraine, this is Oliver Lambert. Our resident photographer for the summer.”
Lorraine offered her delicate hand. “Oliver. Welcome.”
She turned to Kamal. “That boy is begging for a punishment of some kind. He’s been nothing but saucy all morning. I thought tying him to the fence might help but he can’t seem to settle.”
Kamal gazed at where the black-haired ponyboy stood, seemingly motionless, by the fence.
“He looks all right now.”
Adam chuckled. “Only because you’re here. You should have seen the look he threw poor Oliver!”
Puck’s shoulders stiffened and his hands became fists as he stared at the ground like he wanted to murder it.
What had made him so angry? Surely, he was here for the ponyplay. Did he not like his trainer?
Kamal chuckled. “He’s a bit of a drama queen. And he likes to backtalk. See how quiet he is, now? He knows what I’ve brought for him.”
Kamal held up an item that made my knees go weak when I thought about what he was about to do with it. It was a pony tail plug, like the ones I’d seen in the website photos. Thick and solid, with waves of black horsehair cascading down, the object seemed at once intimidating and humiliating.
“Ah,” Adam said. “I see.”
Puck’s head swivelled and his gaze locked on the tail. He shook his head and tried to move away, but the rope attaching him to the fence prevented his escape.
“Calm down,” Kamal said, moving toward him. “You don’t want an audience? You should have thought of that when you cursed at me earlier, when all I did was criticize your gait. You want to be a pony at the Braided Crop Ranch, Puck? You need to watch your tongue when you’re with me. I don’t abide rude behaviour and I told you that on your first day.” Kamal’s voice, though stern, didn’t carry any aggression, simply imparting the cold facts to the recalcitrant young man.
Kamal gazed at Puck, then me, then Adam. “Can I borrow Oliver?”
Adam raised his eyebrows at me and shrugged. “If it’s okay with him.”
I gave Kamal a half-smile, wondering what he wanted me to do.
“Perfect,” Kamal said. “Come over here.”
I moved forward and stopped where Kamal indicated. He walked to where Puck’s rope wrapped around the fence pole and untied him, speaking softly to him while he did it. Puck gave a pert nod, then a shake of his head, as Kamal held onto the rope at his collar and led him to me.
Those eyes shot lightning bolts, as if all Puck wanted was to smite me into the dirt. He frowned, his lips in a scowl, as Kamal brought him over and passed me the rope.
I froze. “Um…”
“Just hold the rope, Oliver.”
I exchanged a glance with Kamal and took the rope, grabbing it lower down. Puck was free to move if he wanted to. But he stayed where he was and burned lazers into me as I stood, confused and aroused, before him.
We were a similar height. He was fucking glorious.
Sleek muscles coated with sweat, his fair skin spattered here-and-there with dark brown moles that only proved how unblemished and perfect he was otherwise. His sweat-damp hair curled against his head with casual abandon, framing a Grecian face—full lips, aristocratic nose, and high cheek bones.
He had a barbell in his left eyebrow and right nipple, and a silver ring circling his bottom lip. He looked like one of the club kids from home, captured in this rural environment and out-of-his-depth. I’d lay wages Puck was an out-and-out city boy.
I tried to focus on anything but how beautiful this boy looked in his pony gear, because my heart was fucking breaking and I’d only been here an hour. And Kamal was speaking.
“He’ll have to bend over. Can you support his shoulders, Oliver?”
Kamal stared at me and smiled slowly, like he knew exactly why I was distracted in this moment. He put a hand on my shoulder.
“I know he’s fucking pretty. And I know you haven’t been on the ranch very long. But I think it will help you with your photography if you get used to being up close and personal with Puck here. And I want Puck to have to suffer the indignity of having the resident professional photographer watch closely as he receives his pony tail for the very first time.”
My mouth went dry and I nodded, not daring to defy Kamal, and also understanding that I might as well wade into the deep end. I was here for the experience and to learn everything I could about being a ponyboy at the BCR, so I could capture it with my lens.
“Yes. Of course,” I said, finding myself the object of Kamal’s firm gaze after this unusual request.
Puck’s chest rose and fell as he absorbed our conversation and seemed to become even more agitated. I think he hated me, but I couldn’t worry about that right now, except to contemplate how unfair it was.
“Put your hands on his shoulders, so he can lean into you,” Kamal said.
I faced Puck head on and reached for his quivering shoulders. As I placed my open palms gently but firmly on him, he sighed and shook his head back and forth with exaggerated movements.
“Prospero,” he said gruffly, turning to Kamal. “Prospero.”
“Drop your hands, Oliver,” Kamal said and moved in close, gazing at Puck’s bent head as Puck licked his lips over and over.
“What’s happening?” I asked Adam, stepping back as Kamal whispered something into Puck’s ear. “Did I do something wrong?”
“No, but I think Puck just used his safeword,” Adam said.
“Oh,” I said. Because of me?
Adam shrugged, watching Kamal and Puck speaking in hushed tones. “It happens. We don’t really want them upset. They’re able to back out at any point. They don’t, usually. But sometimes they start to feel overwhelmed, and that’s fair.”
We watched as Kamal said a few more words, then he went behind Puck and began to unbuckle the ponyboy’s armbands.
“He’s done for the day,” Kamal said, with no animosity in his tone, only mild disappointment. He finished his task and let Puck bring his arms down.
The ponyboy was still frowning. He didn’t seem any happier. He flexed his fingers and stretched his arms.
“You all right, Puck?” Kamal asked him.
“Yeah. I’m fine. I’m sorry,” the boy mumbled.
“Sorry for using your safe word, or sorry for being a pain in the ass?”
Puck glanced at me, and he seemed to think something over. “Sorry for everything. I’m not ready to be done. Not yet.”
“Puck, it’s fine. You safe worded. You’re off the hook,” Kamal assured him. “The stable hands will look after you.”
“No. I’m fine!” He glared at Kamal. “I want you to…” His gaze flicked to me briefly as he spoke between clenched teeth. “…give me the tail.”
Kamal stared at Puck for several tense moments.
So long, in fact, that Adam, who had been careful to stay out of things, intervened. “Puck, it’s all right. You’re not a failure for using your safe word. You can start fresh tomorrow.”
Kamal held up his hand. “No. If Puck wants to start fresh right now, that’s his choice. We still have an hour.”
Puck nodded, his face the picture of relief.
“Not good enough,” Kamal stated.
“Yes. Please. I want it.” Puck turned around and crossed his arms behind his back.
“Never mind that,” Kamal said. “You can keep your arms free for the rest of your shift. If you’re serious about continuing, go and lean on the fence over there. Stick out your ass and come up with a nice apology for Oliver and Adam after we’re done.”
Puck seemed to think it over. He gazed at me, then Adam, nodded, and walked, subdued, to the fence.
Kamal watched him go, turned to Adam and I, and shrugged. Then he looked at me.
“Oliver, If you don’t mind, I want Puck to see you while I do this. His attitude was out of line. Go around to the other side of the fence and stand in front of him.”
I looked at Adam, raising my eyebrows.
“It’s fine. I’ve got a thick skin,” I said, shrugging off Puck’s attitude.
Adam bumped me with his elbow. “I’d do what Kamal is asking, if I were you.”
My cheeks flushed and I made my way to the outside of the fence, opposite to where Puck stood with his hands braced on the third rung, back arched and bottom pushed out for Kamal. He still had the arm bands on and they made him look like some kind of rock star or motorcycle freak. Except that he was naked in a body harness and a cock cage and black dusty boots.
He wouldn’t have looked out of place on an eighties Mad Max set.
For the first time I noticed the man’s penis straining against the steel of the cage. I fixed on that image, wishing I had my camera so I could capture it properly. When my gaze drifted upwards, it was to find Puck staring at me.
This time, he wasn’t scowling. This time, he regarded me with a frank curiosity and seemed resigned to the fact I’d be observing his punishment. My dick twitched at the look in his eyes.
Uncomfortable and not sure what to do with myself, I took off my baseball cap and ran a hand through my hair, then turned the cap around and put it on backwards.
Kamal approached Puck and landed a rough smack on his backside, making him startle and shut his eyes. When he opened them they blazed fire, but not with anger. No, this looked like lust and a desperate hunger and my body recognized it. My pants felt too snug and I tried not to squirm under that heated gaze.
“Spread your legs, ponyboy,” Kamal said.
Puck breathed heavily and obeyed, gaze still locked with mine.
When the ponyboy’s boots were spread wide, Kamal smoothed a hand along Puck’s flank, grabbing a rubber glove out of his back pocket and pulling it on with an aggressive snap. The sound made Puck jerk but he held his position. Kamal picked up a bottle of lube from beside the fence.
My overwhelmed brain swirled with questions. Where had it come from? Did the trainers stash lube everywhere it might possibly be needed?
My gaze alternately focused on Puck’s face and shifted to observe what Kamal was up to behind him.
Instead of hostility, Puck’s eyes conveyed a certain vague interest in me, perhaps curiosity as to what I thought I was doing, coming onto this ranch to take photos of him and the other ponyboys. That was the impression I got. Or maybe he was simply curious about my reaction to what would happen in three, two, one…
Puck’s eyes closed and he tossed his head. I could see Kamal’s arm moving roughly as he used his gloved fingers to prepare the ponyboy for the large plug. I tried not to imagine what that would look like from Kamal’s viewpoint–what it would feel like to have two or three fingers knuckle deep in this cute man’s ass.
Puck’s breaths came heavy and his cheeks flushed with shame, and probably pleasure. I know I liked the feeling of fingers in my ass, not to mention a sizeable plug like the one Kamal was currently attempting to insert.
I’d never had one with a pony tail attached to it but, hey, that could be fun.
I kept my gaze fixed on Puck’s closed eyes as my brain conjured up all kinds of images. When they snapped open, and he locked on me with blown pupils as his lips parted with a stuttered moan, I thought I might mess my pants.
This was what I’d expected from my introduction to the BCR. I’d found it. I’d found him. The perfect fucking ponyboy of my fantasies. I only had six weeks, but that was enough time to try to get to know Puck, take lots of photos of him in all kinds of ponyboy predicaments, and take home enough spank-bank material to tide me over for awhile.
For now, I concentrated on watching Puck come apart from having that tail inserted in his pert little bottom by his sadistic trainer. I had no doubts that Kamal would give this young gentleman whatever he needed in the way of strict discipline, punishments and even rewards. If anyone could whip a ponyboy into shape, it seemed to be this man, whose presence demanded deference.
I almost pitied the kid, who didn’t look more than twenty-two or twenty-three. But when he locked eyes with me and licked his bottom lip in a deliberate way, jiggling the silver ring, I wondered if that pony tail wasn’t exactly what Puck wanted. And being taken in hand by a trainer like Kamal, and humiliated in front of the ranch boss and the new photographer?
For someone into that kind of thing, it was a heady situation.
When Kamal was done, he took hold of Puck’s harness and pulled him to stand straight. The poor kid groaned and gazed at me with long-suffering, blown pupils, with a look that almost brought me to my knees.
“Thank the nice gentleman, Puck. And apologize.”
Puck licked his lips again, closed his eyes and mumbled, “Thank you, Oliver. I’m sorry for how I behaved earlier.”
I tried to reply but nothing came from my throat. My name, spoken from the mouth of this sexy boy who had come here to play pony and now might be regretting it, or not, had jolted me to the core. I wanted to hear him say it again, and again, and I wanted it to mean something more than it did right now.
“You’re welcome, Puck,” I finally managed, in a voice rough with unexpected arousal.
His eyes snapped open and he lifted his chin to give me a sharp, assessing gaze. Our gazes held for a long moment, at which point the corner of his lip twitched. Then Kamal pulled him away from me, buckled his arm bands together, and shoved him toward the fence.
“Trot. Three times around the paddock. Go.”
My breathing had ramped up with the excitement of the encounter and I cleared my throat, glancing at Adam who watched with understanding and amusement.
Kamal grinned. “Don’t get too attached to that one. He may not last.”
My eyes widened. “Do you lose some of them?”
I’d only just met Puck. I didn’t want him to leave the ranch right when I’d arrived.
“Not often,” Adam said. “Usually, we see if they do better with another trainer, first.”
Kamal raised an eyebrow. “You want to try him with Lorraine?”
Adam thought for a moment. “Not yet. Let’s see how he is after this session. If you didn’t break him with what just happened, there’s hope he’s doing all right. I’m not sure what’s going on with him. I offered to speak to him as a counsellor but he wasn’t interested.”
Kamal nodded. “Yeah, I feel like there’s something else going on. He’s having a difficult time focusing.”
Adam crossed his arms on the fence and watched Puck trot, to the best of his ability, around the ring, as I returned to his side.
“So, Oliver, do you think you’ll be able to adequately demonstrate the spirit of ponyboys like Puck in your images?” he asked.
“I sure hope so,” I said, gaze captured by the strength and grace of Puck’s movements, and the sight of the thick black horsehair tail swishing across the backs of his legs.
Adam and Kamal chuckled.
“Come on, Oliver. I want to show you the bunkhouse,” Adam said.
We walked along the dirt trail that led from the grooming barn, past the arena, to a smaller wooden building on the edge of the trees.
“This is where the ponyboys stay while they’re here. The male stable hands bunk here as well. They help keep the ponyboys in line in the bunkhouse, and it’s good for them to be able to bond with each other, since they come into intimate contact in the grooming barn.”
My brain spun with this information as Adam opened the bunkhouse door and we stepped inside.
“Liv stays at the main building, simply because she wouldn’t enjoy being housed with this rabble and it keeps things copacetic.”
“I see,” I said, gaze flying around the space, landing on the confused features of three men—two relaxing on wooden bunks and the third, grabbing something in the kitchenette at the back.
I was still reeling with my paddock encounter, and the bunkhouse seemed astonishingly ordinary.
“All of you, this is Oliver, our visiting photographer,” Adam announced. “Oliver, this is Lincoln, Teagan and…Joshua, right?” he said, gesturing to each of them.
The tall man in the kitchen nodded and moved toward us. “That’s me. Hi, Oliver.”
“Hello. Glad to meet all of you.”
Joshua had a hipster look to him, with long hair in a bun, a short beard and an eyebrow piercing. Teagan was blond and bulky, with thick muscles and a square face. Lincoln had the same lean, almost skinny physique as Andrew, but with brown hair rather than red. They were attractive men, and if I wasn’t on a pony play ranch, and hadn’t just seen Puck, at least one or two of them would have turned my head.
As it was, I still had the image of Puck in there, and probably wouldn’t get rid of it for awhile. And, since these men were clothed and not wearing pony play fetish gear, they didn’t tempt me in the least.
“How are you finding things so far, gentlemen?” Adam asked, leaning against the bunk where Teagan sprawled with a gaming magazine open on his lap.
“Stellar,” Joshua grinned, peeling the wrapper from a granola bar and taking a bite, watching me with interest.
“You have a great set-up here, Adam,” Lincoln said. He was small with light brown hair and a sweep of freckles over his nose and cheeks. “This would be a great spot for a summer festival or something like that.”
Teagan nodded. “Yeah, like Coachella, but for kinky people.”
“Great idea,” I said, because it was, and I could picture it.
I turned to Adam. “I have to say, I’m impressed with the ranch so far. The lighting is great and the variety of locations for shooting is wonderful. I love the authenticity of the environment. I’m sure I can produce some spectacular images for you.”
“Glad to hear it.” He clapped a hand on my shoulder. “Look, we should get back to the main house. I have work to do, and you can have a rest or go exploring on your own. Supper is out back of the main house at around five thirty. All the staff and ponyboys convene for a cookout. Unless it’s pouring, in which case we gather in the cafeteria.”
I smiled at the three men in the bunkhouse. “I’ll see you later.”
I noticed Joshua giving me a look-over and winking to Teagan, who shook his head, but I pretended I didn’t.
On the walk back to the main house, Adam said, “I noticed you had a connection with Puck this afternoon.” He eyed me. “Or am I mistaken?”
I was suddenly conflicted. Should I deny it, and say I was overwhelmed by everything? Or should I tell the truth? I felt like Adam would know if I lied.
I glanced at him and nodded. “Yeah. Maybe. Seemed like it.”
“Looked like it,” Adam said.
“Is that against the rules?” I asked curiously, after a little while.
Adam laughed. “No. Not for you. Or Puck.”
His answer made me feel relieved and anxious at the same time.
“But be careful, will you? Something’s going on with that one, and he won’t tell me what.”
I nodded. “Okay. Thanks for the heads-up, Adam.”
He put a friendly hand on my back briefly as we ascended the porch steps. “Of course. I’m looking forward to what you’re going to produce while you’re here, Oliver.”
I held the door open for him.
“Now that I’ve observed the ranch in operation, Adam, so am I.”