Reparations (12)

Reparations

or

A Change of Attitude

We did meet the next night. And the next. And then Puck had to take a break because, between the horse-tail butt plug and the pounding I was giving him every day, he was getting a little sore.

“Kamal saw me wince when he put the plug in and he questioned me about it. I implied it was only his rough treatment making me sore, but I think he knew there was more to it. He didn’t make me wear it, anyway. Which I was very thankful for.”

We had met at the bunkhouse and walked to the lake, and swum out to the dock in the moonlight. The water felt heavenly cool and crisp on my skin after the humidity of the day. We’d goofed around in the water, laughing like eight-year-olds and trying to dunk each other. Finally, we’d climbed onto the platform and now lay on our backs, staring up at the stars.

“When did you first realize you were gay, Oliver?” Puck asked, reaching down to take my hand and stroke his finger over my skin.

I turned my head to look at him because Puck, naked and wet in the moonlight, was a sight to behold. His pale skin shone in the silver light and the beads of water on his shoulders glistened like promises.

“Oh, I don’t know. Seventh grade, I think? You?”

Puck laughed. “In the womb? No, really, I think I always knew. I was drawn to girls as friends, not sexual partners.” He shuddered. “Yeah, no.”

“Is your family okay with it?”

“Sure. It was like they always knew, too. I’m not sure how, because I don’t think I’m girly. Do you think I’m girly?” he met my gaze and raised the eyebrow with the barbell in it.

“Well, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with femboys. But you don’t strike me as being one.”

“Hmm. That sounds like a challenge.”

My gaze drifted along his slim, sleekly muscled body. “For what it’s worth, I think you’d rock a plaid skirt and some thigh-highs.”

He laughed. “Fuck. You know I look fabulous in anything I put on.”

“Oh, do I ever,” I said with a smile, twining our fingers together. “Especially the ropes.”

“That was fun. I liked it.”

I grinned. “I could tell.”

Puck met my gaze. “Did you?” he asked, grinning, because he knew that fucking answer.

“I loved it. So much.”

We gazed at each other for a long time, until Puck’s smile faded and he turned back to the vista of tiny lights above us.

“I think…I think I want to call Elijah.”

I waited several moments to see if he had more to say. 

He continued. “But I really don’t want to call him from the front room or the washroom,” he murmured, glancing at me.

“You want to use my room? I’m sure Adam wouldn’t mind.”

Puck sat up halfway. “Would that be okay?”

“Sure. I’ll let you in and then disappear for a bit. No problem.”

He blinked quickly then brushed at his face with the back of his hand. “Thank you. I’d appreciate that.” He stayed propped on his elbow for a bit, then rolled himself over and climbed on top of me. He put his hands on either side of my shoulders, supporting himself on the wooden planks.

“How come you’re so nice to me?” he said, gazing down, his damp hair falling forward. He shook his head and showered me with water droplets.

His sudden move had surprised me and I didn’t know what to say. I decided to go for humour.

“Because you have a great ass. Looks good with a tail in it.”

Puck grinned. “Most of these guys have nice asses.”

“I wouldn’t know.”

He raised his eyebrows. 

I slid my hands along his sides and cupped the globes of his absolutely perfect behind.

“I only like this one.” 

I lifted my hand and gave that ass cheek a firm slap that shoved Puck against me in a wonderful way and caused the muscle to jiggle. It also made his firming dick push against my stomach. His eyes fluttered shut for a second and, when they opened, the pupils had blown wide and dark.

“Oh, Oliver. You’ve started something now,” he said softly, his gaze floating over my face like he was trying to memorize it.

“Good,” I breathed, gazing up at him like he was the brightest star in the sky. His beauty was blinding.

“Fuck,” he cursed, then kissed me softly and moaned against my lips. 

I encircled him with my arms and nudged his pretty mouth open, so I could delve into his warm, wet depths, while my cock filled and strained against his thigh. I groaned and thrust against him.

“Oh, Puck.”

“Nope. You can’t fuck me, Oliver. I’m too sore.”

“I don’t want to fuck you.”

He pulled back and lifted an eyebrow. “What? Why not?”

I laughed at his wounded expression.

“Because I love this. I could do this all night.”

I pressed against him again, and he shoved his cock against my hip, grinning.

“Yeah, okay. That’s true.”

“I don’t even want to come. I just want to feel this way forever,” I murmured, astonishingly content.

He kissed me again, and we lay together and made out like teenagers, until the muggy heat and relentless mosquitos forced us into the water again. 

Finally, we headed for shore, got mostly dressed and walked hand-in-hand back to the bunkhouse, where I kissed Puck good night and returned to my lonely room, floating on the oppressively humid air.

*****

I spoke to Adam about letting Puck use my room to call his friend, and Adam said that was fine. So, after Puck’s morning ponyboy session the next day, he met me on the porch and went to get his phone.

He checked his emails as soon as we got to my room.

“Oh. Elijah’s parents have brought him home. Maybe things are looking better,” Puck said. He flipped about on his phone for a few minutes, then asked if he could use my shower, since he’d only gotten a quick hose-down in the grooming barn.

“Yeah, of course.”

I tried going over some of the images I’d posted to my computer while he was in there, but it was difficult to concentrate knowing that Puck was naked and soapy and right the fuck there. But I was an adult and didn’t act on my impulses. He probably needed to psyche himself up for this phone call.

After what seemed like eons, he returned to the main part of the room, fully dressed, with damp, tousled hair that made my heart ache. He looked so vulnerable and delicate, his forehead creased with concern.

“Do you think I’m making the right decision?” he said. “What if I call and it just makes me feel worse? Or, what if it makes Elijah feel worse? What if he’s sleeping and I disturb him?”

“Puck—“

“Maybe I should just wait and see him when I get home.”

I was silent for a moment, and then put my words together very carefully. 

“I think…that Elijah will probably be very glad to hear from you.”

Puck nodded, avoiding my gaze. “But what if I say all the wrong things? I’m no good at this stuff, Oliver.” He picked up his phone and turned it on. Then put it to sleep and returned it to the table. “Fuck. I don’t know.”

I stood from my chair, going over and gently pulling him against me, holding him tight to give him what encouragement I could offer. His arms wrapped around me in an automatic gesture that made me disproportionately happy. 

“You’ll do fine. He’ll be glad to hear your voice.”

Puck nodded and took a deep breath. “Right.”

I released him and grabbed my keys. “I’ll be back in a half hour. Make yourself at home. You can lay on the bed if you want.” 

I lifted the corner of my mouth and winked, taking hold of the door knob.

“Wait. Oliver.”

“Yeah?”

He stood where I’d left him, in his ripped jean shorts and the LEGO Star Wars shirt.

“Can—can you stay? Please?”

“Yeah, sure. Of course.” I was stunned he’d asked. But I would do anything he wanted.

“Okay,” he said, appearing relieved. “I need…moral support. Or something. Or someone to help if I start to panic.”

“Sure,” I said. “I can do that.” I put my keys back on the dresser and sat on the edge of the bed. 

Puck nodded. “Okay. All right.” 

He picked up his phone again, staring at it with trepidation. “Oh, God, why am I so nervous?”

“It’ll be all right.”

“Geeze, I hope so. But what if he’s pissed that I took so long to actually call and talk to him?”

I grinned. “Well, in a way, that would be a sign that he’s well enough to get pissed with people. Right?”

Puck shrugged. “Yeah. Maybe. But how will I explain?”

“Hey, It’s okay to admit you were scared and full of feelings you didn’t understand. It would be better for him to know that his situation affected you strongly than for him to think you don’t care.”

Puck nodded soberly. “I do care. Of course I fucking care. I hate that this happened. If he’d just listened to me when I’d told him—“

“Yeah. He probably realizes now that he should have listened to you.”

“Yeah.”

“Puck. Baby,” I said, because he seemed like a little kid right now and I wanted to use the endearment. “Can I say that?”

Puck met my gaze and blushed. It was the sweetest thing in the world. He was the sweetest thing in the world. “You can say that to me any time,” he said, keeping his gaze averted.

Warmth spread inside my chest. “Call him.”

He met my gaze and nodded once. He woke up his phone and put the call through, then held my gaze nervously as he waited for a response. After several seconds he raised his eyebrows in a silent question.

“Maybe they can’t get to the phone right away,” I suggested.

“I don’t want to bother—“

His gaze broke from mine as the call was answered. I couldn’t hear what was said but I could hear a voice.

“Oh, hi Mrs. Alderman. It’s Puck…Yeah, I know, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to call…okay…yes…really?” 

Puck seemed to brighten. He glanced at me just for one second but I could see the relief there.

“That’s amazing…yes…I know he is…I’d love to speak to him if you think he’d be up for it?”

There was a pause while Puck shifted his feet and waited.

“Hey Elijah,” he said, when a deeper-toned voice came from his phone. “I know, man, I am so, so sorry…yeah…I feel like such a douche.” He laughed. “You should…definitely.”

His gaze flashed to mine with such affection and relief it warmed my heart.

“Yeah, I met this guy, actually. And he made me feel strong enough to call you…yeah…oh, he’s so hot. You have no idea. And you wouldn’t believe where I am right now…nope…I’ll tell you when I see you in person…I’m here for another month…I know…but I needed to get away.” Puck laughed again, and it was such a wonderful sound. “I’ll call you again in a few days, okay? I’m so glad to hear things are going well, man. Stay strong, okay? I love you…I’m sorry I didn’t call you sooner…okay…bye.”

Puck ended his call and blinked back strong emotion, his breaths shaky. “I could really use a hug right now, Oliver.”

I jumped up from my spot on the bed and wrapped him in my arms.

Puck snugged his forehead into the crook of my neck, holding onto me. He spoke then, his voice muffled against my shirt.

“He’s got feeling in his legs now. He’s going to be able to walk. It’s going to take some time and lots of rehab, but he’s going to be okay.”

I hugged Puck tighter and pressed my lips to his cheek. “I’m so glad you called him. That was very brave.”

“Yeah, me too. He basically told me I was a dick and a chicken. But you know what? It felt good to hear him cuss me out. Like you said, he sounded like his old self, y’know?”

“Sure.”

Puck pulled away and seemed to collect himself.

“Is it okay if I use your room to call him again in a few days? I guess I could just call him from downstairs, since everything seems okay, but—“

“Of course you can. Any time.” 

Puck shoved his hands in his pockets and gazed at me with gratitude. “Thanks, Oliver.”

“Well, y’know, it gives me an excuse to get you into my room, so—“

“Hmm,” he said, smiling shyly. “I suppose I should thank you somehow.”

I laughed. “You don’t have to thank me.”

We gazed at each other. Then Puck took his hands from his pockets and moved toward me, fingers going to my shirt. He untucked it from my pants.

“Maybe I want to thank you…”

I rested my hands on his narrow hips. “Well, if you really want to thank me.”

Puck grinned from ear-to-ear. “I really want to thank you.” He glanced at the door. “Did you lock it?”

“Yeah.”

“Good. Do you think Adam will care that I’m up here…thanking you?”

I took Puck’s chin in my hand and planted an eager kiss on his lips. “I think Adam will probably mind his own business. If we’re circumspect.”

“What the fuck does that mean, Oliver?”

I laughed. “It means if you can keep from screaming my name when I make you come.”

Puck winked. “No promises.”

*****

He did fairly well, but I ended up stuffing a pair of clean underwear into his mouth to keep him quiet, which he seemed to enjoy. This was after he’d given me a soul-destroying blow job and I’d had to bite my own tongue to keep quiet. Now I was licking him all over his balls and ass and driving him completely crazy, especially because he couldn’t give way to unhindered vocalizations.

His muffled groans made me hard all over again. He was completely malleable today, after the good news he’d received. He was open and vulnerable, and able to relax for the first time in what was probably ages. And I took advantage of that, breaking him apart until he panted my name against the wad of fabric in his mouth. 

“Okay, fine. Do you want to come?”

“Uth, uth!” he groaned, voice harsh and desperate, words strangled by the impromptu gag.

“Stick out your ass for me, ponyboy.” I said, shoving his knees forward so his rear went up and I had plenty of access to his cock.

“Fug,” he mumbled indistinctly, spreading his legs and grasping the bedcover in his fists.

“Good boy. Such a good boy. Such a delicious pony.”

I lapped at his hole a bit more, then lubed up my fingers and got to work, pumping him and stretching him gently. I wasn’t going to fuck him, but I wanted to get him off like fireworks on Canada Day.

I felt cocky and in control. I liked it. “Say, ‘I’m such a good boy, Oliver’.”

“Um gugged,” Puck moaned.

“Try to say it.”

“Wu?”

“Because I love to hear you struggle.”

“Ur a thug mah.”

I interpreted that as You’re a sick man, which was accurate. I laughed. 

“Yep. Now say it.” I had two fingers in Puck’s ass and I’d located the spot I wanted to tease and stroke until he shouted my name and came all over my bedsheets.

“Am shug uh—“ he cried out as my hand circled his cock. “—dud voh!”

“Oliver,” I prompted, pumping his cock with one hand and fucking him gently with my fingers.

“UH—UH—UHDUVER!” he shouted through the gag, spurting hard and shaking under my hand.

I truly hoped none of the trainers were on the floor at this time. They should have been either getting some lunch or preparing for their afternoon sessions. 

Puck rode the pleasure of his orgasm and collapsed to the bedding, right into his own wet spot.

He grunted with exhaustion. I quickly removed the gag and kissed him.

“You bastard,” he murmured.

I kissed him again. “Sweet baby.”

He sighed and closed his eyes, a smile on his sweaty face.

*****

We didn’t meet the next day because I actually had work to do. Real work, involving polishing some images and putting a slideshow together for the weekend. I had let him know I’d be busy all day and he’d said he didn’t mind, that he had a good book to read in the bunkhouse. And that maybe he should show a bit more interest in the other ponyboys. I’d raised my eyes, and he’d stressed that it would be a purely platonic interest, as his ass only had the strength for one sexual attachment at a time, apparently.

The following morning, I wandered over to the arena when I knew Kamal would be training my beautiful boy. Or attempting to train him. I brought my handheld, since I already had enough from the tripod to keep my busy for awhile.

The day was stunning—bright and hot—but the hanging humidity had dissipated. Still, sweat beaded on the back of my neck as I approached the second paddock. 

Puck was in his basic ponyboy gear, but his arms had been left unbuckled. Probably because there were a couple of low oxers in the paddock this afternoon, and Kamal was having Puck jump over them—a task that would prove extra hard with one’s arms pinioned.

Kamal saw me before Puck did. He waved me over and came to meet me at the fence. It was difficult to drag my gaze away from the beautiful young man in leather harness and dirty boots, muscles moving sinuously beneath his familiar skin, as he maneuvered over the small jumps.

“Oliver.”

“Kamal.” I smiled.

Kamal folded his arms on the top rail of the fence and assessed me silently for a moment. 

“What?”

“Hmm. I don’t know what you did, but our ornery little mess of a ponyboy is performing exquisitely today. He’s done everything I’ve asked, without issue.”

“What I did? I don’t know what you’re—“

“Although I sincerely doubt a good fucking is what brought on this good behaviour.” Kamal checked me out in a slowly sexual way and smirked. “Although, you never know.”

“Oh please. I’m good, but I’m not that good.” I laughed, then realized I’d basically admitted my interest and involvement with Puck. “Shit.”

Kamal grinned lazily.

We watched Puck, who continued his task, although he had noticed me. He almost lifted a hand to wave but thought better of it and kept his gaze forward, concentrating on what he was doing.

I ran my fingers through my hair. “Anyway, I didn’t do anything.” 

Puck had been the one to initiate his phone call. And I wouldn’t be surprised if his agreeable behaviour was due to the weight of his guilt and the precariousness of Elijah’s predicament being lifted.

Kamal nodded. “Adam said you let Puck make a phone call from your room.”

“He needed some privacy.”

“So he made a personal call?”

I shrugged. I wasn’t giving Kamal any other info. He’d have to ask Puck if he wanted details.

“Uh huh. So, do you think that had anything to do with his change of manner?”

“Probably.”

“Well. That’s good. I won’t ask you anymore questions.”

“Thanks.”

“Okay, Puck,” Kamal called out. “You can come over here and take a break.”

Puck had just gone over one of the low jumps. He jogged over to us, breathing heavily and rosy with exertion. And…smiling?

“Puck, if you want to keep your relationship with Oliver a secret you need to use your poker face,” Kamal suggested, laughing.

“Oh, shit,” Puck said, immediately affixing a fake scowl to his face that didn’t quite succeed.

“Sorry, but you don’t look pissed. Just constipated,” I said.

“Fuck it. Whatever. I don’t care who knows, anyway,” he said, breaking into a grin and glancing shyly at Kamal.

“Uh huh,” Kamal said.

“Like it wasn’t completely obvious,” Puck said. “Even before I started smiling in the training ring.”

Kamal ruffled Puck’s dark hair. “I’m glad you’re feeling more congenial. But don’t lose that fighting edge completely. I’d like an excuse to punish you once in awhile.” 

“Fuck, I knew it. You’re hoping for mistakes, aren’t you?”

“Maybe.” Kamal grinned. “You’re a most beautiful mistake if I ever saw one.”

“Don’t try to butter me up, now,” Puck said, coughing and blushing. He scuffed his boot in the dirt. “You’re a cruel, cruel master, Kamal.”

“Mmm. And you love every minute of it.”

Puck glared at Kamal, a bit of his former attitude resurfacing. “What now, Sir? Or am I done?”

Kamal gazed back and forth between the two of us, then threw his hands in the air. “Take him to the grooming barn, Oliver. He’s done well today and deserves some time off. Maybe you can go for a swim or something.”

Puck’s gaze flashed to me with excitement as I took the lead that Kamal fastened to Puck’s collar. 

A Forest Hideaway (11)

A Forest Hideaway

or

Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap

I could barely concentrate for the rest of the day. I went through the motions, all the while my head full of a jumble of feelings and my body a tightrope of desire.

During supper I stayed away from Puck and he didn’t approach me. I was scared to even look his way since I’d been told by two different people our affection for each other was obvious. I made polite conversation with Adam and Lorraine, and asked Kamal a few general questions about pony training.

By the time darkness had fallen, the main house grew quiet. I went upstairs and lay on my bed, listening to music on my phone, and trying to quell my growing excitement. I kept checking the clock.

At ten thirty I pulled the plugs from my ears and listened carefully to the expansive quiet of the house outside my door. I heard laughter in the distance, and a door shut somewhere. Then there was nothing.

At ten forty-five, I put my phone and earbuds on the bedside table, grabbed the flashlight from its spot on my dresser, and opened my door quietly. I peeked my head out to make sure the coast was clear.

It was now or never. And never was not an option.

I stepped into the hall and closed the door softly behind me, locking it as quietly as I could and making my way along to the stairs, then down to the main level. Only the emergency lights were on, giving the place an eerie glow. I managed to make it out the back door with only one loud squeak of my shoe on the polished floor. Once on the porch, after I’d shut the door, I breathed a sigh of relief. 

I took my bearings to see if anyone else was outside. It looked like the coast was clear, so I descended onto the grass and started walking in the direction of the bunkhouse. I didn’t turn on my flashlight until I was a good way along the path, so nobody at the main house would see a bouncing light and wonder. I sincerely hoped the guys in the bunkhouse were too busy to pay attention to anything but hijinks and whatever else a group of horny young men might get up to at this time of night.

Part of me was envious that they all got to hang out together in a very cool bunking arrangement. But I probably wouldn’t have dealt very well with having to hide my affection for Puck in such close confines, and where he might be—and probably was—approached frequently by other men. If what Lincoln had said was true, and they all knew there was something going on between me and Puck, I hoped it would keep them from approaching him. But I couldn’t hope for miracles.

The bunkhouse loomed before me. I kept my flashlight pointed at the ground so I could see my way but not betray my arrival. As I got close enough that the circle of its light touched the step below the door, I heard a cough to the left. I aimed the beam of the flashlight in that direction and it landed on a pair of bubblegum pink Doc Marten’s with rainbow laces. 

Puck.

The pretty boots started to move toward me as I followed the illumination along the long line of his jean-clad legs, past the hem of his snug T-shirt, over the Spiderman Logo, up his neck and chin to his sweet smile and glinting, excited eyes, squinting in the bright light.

“Hello, handsome. You found me,” he said.

By now he was right in front of me. I lowered the flashlight so I could bathe in his proximity. I could still see his face, although not clearly in the darkness. But it didn’t matter, because in a moment, his lips found mine and caught me up in a gust of desire and longing.

His fingers gently pried the flashlight from my hand as he kissed me.

When he pulled away, he drifted the beam over me from head to foot and made a satisfied sound. “Hell, yes. So hot. Follow me.”

I’d worn a pair of ripped jeans, canvas runners, and a faded grey T-shirt with a black-checked button down open over it, to ward off the evening chill. Trying to look younger and maybe not so professional. 

Puck reached out and took my hand, as he had when he’d led me to the beach the day before, and to get my cock sucked in the woods earlier in the week. I appreciated his tactile nature and I would go just about anywhere with this compelling and confusing young man.

Now we moved through dense brush to the songs of crickets and night birds. I wondered if he had a destination in mind and if there would be anything more than a rocky space on the ground to get up to what we so obviously wanted to do with each other. I held my tongue and trusted that he’d get us where we needed to be.

I watched the beam of the flashlight he held—my flashlight—bob ahead of us. It was a little spooky, to be honest, and I clutched his hand as if letting go would mean disaster. I cried out when a sudden fluttering of wings and the cry of a small animal sounded nearby.

Puck laughed. “We’re almost there. Don’t worry.”

“I’m not worried,” I said, affecting nonchalance, although he could probably feel the clammy sweat on my palm.

“You’re trembling,” he said.

“How do you know that’s not just anticipation?”

“I don’t. Anyway, we’re here. It’s not much but there are four walls and a roof.”

The light of his flashlight fell on the scruffy wood walls of a diminutive shack at the end of the very-much-not-really-a-trail we were on.

“Okay. Well, then.” 

Were there spiders in there? There would probably be spiders. I coughed. 

Puck aimed the flashlight on my face. “Oh, come on. You’re not worried about a little dirt, are you, Oliver?”

“Um, no. Of course not.”

He looked me up and down. “Oh, good. Because by the time I’m done with you, you’re going to be an absolute mess.”

Suddenly I didn’t care about spiders. That is, I cared about them alot less.

“Okay. Fuck.”

He grinned. “Come on.”

I followed him to a rickety door that opened with a creak when he pushed on it.

“There’s no lock?” I said.

“Who the hell’s gonna find us out here?”

We stepped inside, onto wood floorboards that complained immediately.

“Nobody else knows about this place?”

“Well…” Puck shook his head. “Adam was the one who mentioned it. He told me how to find it.”

That stopped me short. “Did you tell him what—“

Puck pulled me further into the dank, dark room.

“Yes, exactly. I asked him if he knew of any place I could fuck the shit out of you in private and not under the stars, which was my second choice, honestly.”

I didn’t say anything. I wasn’t sure if he was kidding. He shone the flashlight under his chin, which made him look spooky and a little bit scary.

“No, I didn’t say it in those exact words. And I didn’t reference you at all. I just asked if there was anywhere a ponyboy could go to get his dick sucked other than the crowded bunkhouse or the lake.”

I crossed my arms over my chest, and stayed still, not eager to encounter any webs in the darkness.

“Okay. Wow. This place…isn’t half bad.” I tried to sound optimistic.

“Hold on a second. There’s a lantern.”

Puck’s shoes scuffed against the floorboards as he moved forward.

“Wait, have you already been here?”

Puck laughed softly. He turned and moved, pressing the length of his body against me, and angled the flashlight away. “No, Oliver. I’m only a slut for you, apparently.”

And all I could smell was Puck. All I could feel was Puck. I wrapped my hands around his biceps, keeping him with me, feeling safe when I was near him.

“That makes me happy,” I said, sucking on his neck, nuzzling against him. I just wanted to kiss every part of him. He smelled so good.

“I like to make you happy.”

I chuckled. “If I can make myself let you go, maybe we should light that lantern. If I’m honest I’m a little bit scared of spiders.”

“I see,” Puck said, “Well, luckily, I’m not. So I will protect you, my prince.”

I laughed as he pulled away. I watched the beam of his flashlight bob around the small space. 

“Aha,” he said. More scuffling and then a soft yellow glow flooded the space, bringing immediate relief and a cozy ambience.

“Oh, thank God,” I muttered. He handed the flashlight back to me. “Wait a second, is that a mattress?”

I shone my flashlight on the stained and dusty old mattress spanning half the floor.

“Only the best for you, Oliver. There’s a ratty old loveseat, too.”

“Holy shit. That looks like it’s about a hundred years old. The mattress, too.”

“Don’t worry. I brought some clean blankets from the bunkhouse.”

“Yay?”

He laughed. “Oh, come on. We’re at a fucking ranch, Oliver, not the Four Seasons. Suck it up.”

I raised my eyebrows. “Oh. You’re going to say that to me, are you? Clean mattress or dirty, I fully plan to…suckitup.” 

I gazed about me, trying not to worry too much about creepy-crawlies and focus on what we’d come here for. The beam of the flashlight landed on a bit of rope coiled in the corner.

“Hmm,” I said.

“What?”

“There’s some rope here,” I said. 

“Probably full of spiders,” Puck commented.

“Oh fuck. You’re right. Goddammit.”

Puck lifted his backpack with a grin. “Good thing I brought some, then.”

I blinked. “You brought rope? You brought your own bondage rope?”

“No, Oliver. I just brought rope. Why is it automatically going to me used on me?”

I closed my eyes, the desire inside me brimming over. 

“Because,” I said, lips suddenly dry. “Because it’s all I’ve been dreaming about. But if you’re not into it…”

“Oliver. I brought the fucking rope.”

Had he packed it in his suitcase? Had he anticipated he might have the opportunity for some bondage fun outside of the stables? 

I appreciated his initiative, that was for damn sure.

Once we had covered the stained surface of the mattress with the soft blankets, the shed felt more civilized and more conducive to a night of unbridled lust. Puck tossed a  bundle of black bondage rope onto the mattress. “There you go. Whatever will you do with that, Oliver?”

I let a smile steal over my features. I loved playful Puck. I leaned down and picked up the rope, smoothing it between my fingers and thumbs and regarding Puck contemplatively.

“I won’t be able to decide until you’re naked.”

He grinned slowly and started to take off his clothes while I watched with avid interest. 

“Is this your rope, Puck?”

“Whose else would it be?”

“You brought this all the way here, when you knew the ranch would have everything needed to keep you in your place as a ponyboy?”

He blushed. “I really like bondage, okay? I thought I might have the opportunity to tie someone up, or…get tied up. I knew I wasn’t gonna be a ponyboy all the time.”

By now he had his T-shirt off and was pushing down his jeans and boxer briefs. His cock half-hard cock bobbed in front of him as mine pushed against the fly of my pants.

“What do you want to be? Right now?” I said, about to combust with desire. 

“Huh?”

I let my words hang in the air while Puck’s cock fattened up right in front of me. 

He didn’t look at me, only concentrated on folding his clothes and placing them in a neat pile while my hands itched to touch him.

“Would you be my ponyboy?”

His head jerked up and he gazed at me from beneath a bit of hair that had flopped forward. He touched the tip of his tongue to the metal ring in his lip and arched a brow.

“There’s not much room to trot in here.”

I smiled, my breaths coming quick.

“I don’t need you to trot,” I said.

Puck crossed his arms in front of his chest. His dick was pointing at me. His pants were around his ankles. Slowly, deliberately, he turned away and bent to the laces of his docs.

I almost choked on my fucking tongue. Because, suddenly, Puck’s bare ass was lit by the soft light from the lamp as he leisurely undid his boots and removed them. 

Time seemed to stand still. I watched the muscles in his thighs twitch, and followed the curve of his behind with my gaze.

He said, “I’m leaving my socks on because the floor is filthy.”

“Come here. Sit down,” I said, because I had an idea.

Puck straightened and moved to sit on the mattress.

He eyed me warily as I dropped the bundle of rope beside him and went to gather up his bubblegum boots where he’d left them.

Puck scooted backwards, his body lean and lithe and gorgeous, watching me with unabashed curiosity as I knelt and held up one boot.

“What are you doing, Oliver?”

“I’m putting these boots back on you. Because they are so pretty—“ I swallowed thickly, “and I want you to wear them, while I do nasty, nasty things to you.”

Our gazes met and held and I swear, it was a good thing there wasn’t anything actually combustible in here, because the energy between us could have set off an explosion. 

“Fuck,” he breathed, leaning back on his elbows and lifting his sock-covered foot.

I carefully slid the boot onto his foot, tugging it firmly as his heel found its place, while Puck deliberately let his knee fall to the side as I tied the rainbow laces, giving me a glimpse of the dark cleft between his cheeks. As I lifted my gaze to see, he leisurely wrapped a hand around his cock and stroked slowly, watching me.

“I see you’re very good with knots,” he said as I tied the laces of his boot into a double bow.

“Yes.” I glanced up and smiled. “I did some sailing in my youth.”

This made Puck snort a laugh. “You sound like you’re fifty. You’re still in your youth.”

“I’ll be thirty in a few months. I’m not as young as you.”

“Good. I like older men,” Puck said, lifting his other foot so I could slide the remaining boot onto it. While I tugged the heel, he slid two fingers over his balls and pressed them against his taint, closing his eyes with pleasure.

“Oh my fucking God,” I whispered. “You are the worst. How am I supposed to concentrate on what I’m doing?”

“Correction, I am the best,” Puck said. He slipped the index finger of his other hand in his mouth, sucked on it, then, lifting his ass slightly off the mattress, he reached down and slipped it into his hole, making a sweet breathy sound that went straight down my cock and into my balls.

I dropped the untied boot, and lunged forward, covering his body with mine and latching onto his mouth with a furious need. The intensity of my sudden onslaught forced Puck onto his back. He brought both hands up to cup my head as we breathed into each other, tasting and teasing and reveling in our mingled scents.

Puck groaned and thrust up against me. “Jesus, Oliver. You’re about to bust through your jeans.”

“I know, I know,” I said, swiping my tongue against his and shivering at the sensation of it. “Can’t help it. You are so fucking hot.”

“Did you want me when you saw me that first time? In the paddock?”

“Oh God. Yes. That fucking tail.”

“That was so goddamn hot. Humiliating and hot and, fuck, I wanted you so much after that.”

I groaned and deepened the kiss, as Puck reached between us and popped the button of my jeans, tugging the zipper down. In a moment he had my cock in his hot hand.

“Oh,” I panted. “Fuck.”

“Thicc.” Puck hissed, squeezing me. “But I knew that already. I’ve been dreaming about this cock.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. Want you to fuck me. But first I want you to tie me up. And finish lacing my boot, if you please. I want to be dignified in my debasement.”

I laughed, kissing his chin and neck and chest as I withdrew down his body to properly tie that pink boot. My fingers trembled as I knotted the laces. Then I picked up the bundle of rope and loosened it, letting it fall to Puck’s naked belly in soft loops.

“Make me your ponyboy,” he said, gazing up at me with lust-blown pupils. “I want you to ride the fuck out of me.”

Oh dear God. Was I going to survive this? I was so damn horny and so fucking hot for this man, I could barely think.

“Fuck, yes. I want to do that.”

Puck sat up and placed his fists together. 

“Good ponyboy,” I said, looping the black rope over his wrist.

He smiled. “I’ll be good for you, Oliver. I’ll be so good.”

“I know you will.”

I fastened his wrists together securely enough that he couldn’t break free, but not so tight it would restrict his blood flow.

“Now what?” Puck said when that was done.

I grabbed the taut rope between his wrists and pulled him to a sitting position. “Bend your knees and put your boots together.” 

“Okay,” he smiled.

I winked. “Okay, what?

His pupils dilated further in the dim lamplight. There was barely any colour around them now. 

“Okay, Sir.”

I thrilled to that title from his lips, and tried not to pay attention to his soft, fast breaths and the humming energy of his body as I quickly roped his ankles together. Once I’d secured them, I fastened his bound wrists to the rope, so that he sat in a hunched position, unable to move, his pink boots the only item of clothing on him.

“How does that feel?”

He tested his restraints and grunted. 

“Confining.” He flashed his eyes to mine. “Debasing. Humiliating.

I raised my eyebrows. “And we like that?”

He nodded, licking his lips. “Oh yeah.”

I smiled, but didn’t say anything as I pushed his shoulder so that he tipped over and lay on his side, completely vulnerable to my whims.

“Fuck,” he said. 

“You need a safe word.”

“No, I don’t. I’m game for whatever.”

“Puck. Give me a word.”

He laughed. “I don’t know. Uh, ‘skinny dip’.”

“Okay. Promise to say it if things get too intense, or too…anything?”

“I promise. Oliver?”

“What?”

“I’m dying. I’m burning up. Do something.

“All right.” I quickly divested myself of clothing, tossing each piece so that it landed where Puck could see.

“You bastard.” He craned his neck, but I was behind him, deliberately hiding from view. “I want to see you.”

“Not much to see, Puck. My cock is fucking hard, though. Wow, I’ve never seen it so big. It’s leaking for you.”

Puck whimpered, his body shuddering, as I knelt down and snugged up behind him where he lay. When my hot, hard, wet cock hit his lower back he made a desperate sound and cursed.

I had brought a tube of lube with me and I held it in front of his face. “Hey, can you get the top off for me?”

Puck groaned and struggled, cursing me and whimpering.

I kissed his freckled shoulder and smiled against his warm skin. “Kidding. I guess I can manage it.”

“Oliver,” Puck whined. “Oliver…”

“What?” I said, putting the lube down and ripping open a condom. I groaned as I unrolled it onto my cock, knowing Puck could hear every bit of what I was doing but couldn’t see. I could be sadistic when it suited me.

“Please…please. I’m dying…”

“You’re not dying. If you need to be untied use your safeword.”

He made a loud grunt, struggling hard and then lying still. “Just fuck me. Please fuck me.”

“I’m going to fuck you, my sweet little pony. Hold your fucking horses.”

Puck made a sound that was half laugh, half whimper. My gaze kept sliding over his utterly beautiful, captive, form. The black ropes glistened against his pale skin. I could hardly believe this gorgeous boy wanted me. But he did. He absolutely did.

I glanced at his cock and I swear to God it looked like a rocket ready for takeoff—perfectly straight and sticking up. The head was purple with congestion and fluid leaked down the side of it, in snail trails of shiny moisture.

“You are so fucking hard.” I reached around and swiped some of the wetness with my finger, putting it into my mouth and slurping loudly.

“Oliver!”

“Okay, okay,” I said. “I’m going to get you ready for me.”

“Yes,” he hissed, head dropping to the mattress, shoulders relaxing.

I lubed up my condom-covered cock and then pressed my slippery fingers against his hole, sliding them around the wrinkled edge and then slipping one inside.

Puck gasped and stuttered, his body tensing.

“Okay?” I asked, holding still for a second.

Puck made a strangled noise but nodded, panting and shuddering, as I pushed my finger in all the way.

“So tight. Fuck, you’re so tight.”

Puck made a helpless noise. “I loosen up real good, once things get going,” he panted. 

“Well, they’re going,” I said, adding a second finger while Puck cried out, his cock surging.

Fuck,” he said. “You can be rougher. Please be rougher.”

I stopped trying to think of sexy things to say and concentrated on slicking up his sweet hole, plunging my fingers in and loosening him up like he wanted.

His response was immediate and amplified. I pulled my fingers out and lined up my cock, unable to wait any longer. This had been a long time coming and I was just as desperate as he was.

I spread those perfect ass cheeks and pressed the head of my cock against the shiny wrinkled skin there. As I breached the muscle and stroked into the plush heat of him, we gasped. Then Puck gave a long, low groan and cursed as I sank in all the way.

“You okay?” I whispered, dying to move but worried about Puck.

“I’m fine. I’m fine. Just fuck me. Please, Oliver. Fuck me hard. Make me forget about everything but this.”

“Okay. Okay.”

I wrapped my arms around his bound body and started to move, the heat and slick softness a refuge from the external world. I forgot we were in a filthy shack in the middle of the woods. I didn’t care. All I knew was that this beautiful, broken man had let me in, had trusted me with his body and his soul and I was going to make this good for him. I’d make him forget everything he was struggling with except for the bonds on his ankles and wrists, and the breaching of his body, and the igniting of his blood.

My own grunts accompanied Puck’s soft cries as I found a rhythm and kept to it, my hips snapping hard and short to maintain it, while Puck’s body responded in marvellous ways.

“I can’t hold off, Puck,” I said, not wanting to disappoint him but needing to be clear. “You are so fucking hot. So fucking gorgeous. So fucking sexy.”

I slid my hand between his thighs and wrapped my still-slick fingers around his cock, pumping it as I thrust into him. “Come for me. Shoot for me.”

With a loud, strangled cry he came over my knuckles as I pounded into him, the hot flush of his release sending me over the edge.

I yelled as I came, biting down on his shoulder, my breaths wild and loud, noises I’d never made before ripping out of me at the intensity of it all.

The walls of the shed echoed with our cries and then everything fell silent except for our panting breaths and the heartbeat in my ears, that gradually slowed while I clutched Puck to me, and peppered his head with kisses.

“Oh my God. Oliver. Jesus.”

“You okay? I’m sorry,” I said. I hadn’t meant to get that out of control.

“For what? That was…that was…” he groaned. “I don’t think I’m a virgin anymore.”

My heart stopped in my chest for a moment, then chugged forward. 

“What? You’re not—“ I grabbed the base of the condom and pulled out of him, freaking out a little. But the sound of his sudden laughter gave me comfort and reassurance, even as I wanted to spank him for being so provocative.

“It’s a joke. A joke. But I feel like you’ve taken my virginity again. Because it’s never, ever, been like that before.”

I sighed with relief, moving around so I crouched in front of him, taking his sweet face in my hands. His cheeks were red and there were beads of sweat on his forehead, dampening his hair.

“Okay, so it is you,” he said, his lust-glazed eyes finding their focus. “For a second I thought I’d been ravaged by a wild beast.”

I smiled. “Well…that got more primal than I anticipated.”

“Thank God,” he said. “I liked it. I liked it alot.”

I held his gaze for several long moments, until a broad, exhausted grin spread over Puck’s face.

“So, that was something we did.”

“Shit, I need to untie you. Because if I don’t I might have to fuck you all over again.”

“Normally, I’d be into it. But it’s pretty late and—“ he yawned. “I need my beauty sleep.”

I fumbled with the ropes and finally got them all off him, only to be bowled over. I found myself on my back on the blankets, staring up at him.

“That was so, so fucking good, Oliver, and just what I needed.”

“Same here. You’re incredible.”

He laughed and bent to kiss me, hard and wet and deep. I threaded my fingers in his hair to keep him there for several long, luxurious, moments.

When we pulled apart Puck glanced between his legs. “Goddamit. I can’t get enough of you.”

“I seem to have the same problem.”

“Want to do it again tomorrow night?” he whispered, nuzzling my cheek and nipping at my chin.

“Oh, fuck yes. Every night.”

Puck pulled back and smiled. “I hope Adam’s paying you well. Because from now on you’ll be working twice as hard.”

“It’s worth it.”

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (10)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

or

Ponyboys on Parade

Puck stared out at the lake, his knuckles white where they grasped the edge of the dock, as I waited for him to say more.

“His name is Elijah. And he’s in the hospital with a fractured spine. He may never walk again.”

A chill ran through me, and it wasn’t just the water drying on my skin. I almost said I’m sorry again but I kept my mouth shut. There was nothing I could say, as an outsider, that wouldn’t sound clichéd, or ring hollow. But I could sit silently and listen. 

As a photographer, I was used to quietly observing things, listening to conversations and judging when to give input. Often, I decided it was wiser to wait and watch, and simply record what was happening. I found the photographs I’d taken when I’d kept myself removed from what was going on evinced truth and immediacy. It was a useful skill.

Puck turned and I met his gaze, trying to show with my expression that, even though I couldn’t possibly understand what he was going through, I cared and wanted to take some of the weight of it off him. Even if it was simply as a sounding board—a way for him to say these things out loud, instead of keeping them hidden inside him.

“I’m just so—so fucking angry. Because I told him this kid was dangerous, and was going to get him killed. And he didn’t fucking listen to me!”

Puck’s breath hitched and he made a noise like a sob that he strangled as soon as it tried to escape.

“I know that’s the wrong thing to be thinking. I should be sympathetic and helpful, When all I want to do is kill this stupid kid that did this to him, but I can’t because the kid is already dead from his own fucking stupidity. And Elijah is never going to be the same. And neither am I.” He turned to me, his gaze filled with anger and despair. “And it’s just not fucking fair, Oliver.”

I reached out, because it was the only thing that seemed remotely appropriate. There was nothing to say. I wrapped an arm around him and pulled him against me.

He stiffened for a moment, and I thought I’d made a mistake. But then he melted against me, nuzzled into my neck and shuddered, gasping deep breaths and shaking with some violent emotion. It didn’t matter if it was rage or hopelessness or grief. Whatever it was he’d pushed it down for so long it was killing him from the inside.

“I don’t—“ he gasped. “I’m sorry—“ he said, before a sob wracked him and he struggled to get away. “Fuck!”

I relaxed my hold and watched him pull from my embrace. He seemed startled to be allowed to break free. His hand flew to his face as his shoulders heaved. 

“No, hold onto me. Please,” he moaned as he reached out and grabbed me, lurching into my willing arms.

A surge of emotion overcame me and I pulled him tight into my embrace, held him firmly around his bare waist and whispered nonsense into his ear. “It’s okay. Puck, I know. You’re okay.” His skin was goose-pimpled and still slippery with lake water.

I half expected him to pull away again, but I wasn’t sure I’d be able to let him this time. He felt so good in my arms, and it pleased me to hold him while he fell apart.

Strange, forlorn sounds broke from his throat as he let his pain out. I had no idea what it was like to see your best friend so damaged and bereft. Especially if you weren’t able to talk about it with anyone. Until you found yourself at a kinky pony play ranch, confessing to your latest conquest, who would let you cover him in your tears and snot while sitting naked on clammy wet wood if it would only make you feel better.

I held him tight while he shuddered and keened, keeping him close until, after what seemed a very long time, he quieted, sagging against me like there was nothing left.

We listened to the lapping of water against the dock and the calls of birds from the lakeshore.

“You okay?” I asked after awhile. I genuinely needed to know if he was still conscious or if he’d fallen asleep against my shoulder. His breathing was long and even and he hadn’t made a sound for a while.

“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

“Hey, don’t be. Something tells me you’ve needed to do that for quite some time.”

He moved against me. “Maybe. Probably.”

I let him sit up. He seemed shy and embarrassed, avoiding my gaze and swiping his cheeks with the back of his hand. 

“I probably got you wet.”

“I was already wet.”

He nodded, gazing over the water.

“Can I ask you something?” I said.

“Sure.”

“Your brother in Munich. He knows where you are?”

Puck swung his head to give me a skeptical look. “What? No.”

“But, you didn’t just not show up. He knows you’re safe?”

“Oh. Shit, yes. Of course.” Puck laughed softly and it was a relief to hear. “Except he thinks I’m at some kind of yoga retreat.”

“When I told my buddy I was leaving for a few weeks, that’s what he thought, too.”

Puck’s eyes went wide. “Did you tell him where you were really going?”

“I did. He was jealous.”

Puck chuckled. “Yeah, well. I signed up for this gig and then forgot all about it. The BCR just happened to email me with an available spot shortly after the accident happened, when I’d already promised my brother I’d visit him. My family could tell things were getting to me. But, then, this place and this experience, seemed like the best way to forget everything. At least for a little while.”

“Is it working?”

“Kind of?” he laughed bitterly. “No. Not really.”

I put a comforting hand on his shoulder. 

“When I’m in the paddock or the arena with Kamal,” he said, shaking his head. “I love every minute of it.”

“Really? It doesn’t seem like you—“

“But I feel guilty every minute that I’m loving it.”

“Ah.”

“Because I get to play sexy ponyboy for my super-hot trainer slash Dom, who, by the way, is much more attractive than I’d anticipated. And Elijah gets to lie in his hospital bed,” he cleared his throat, voice thick with emotion. “Gets to lie there, and contemplate never being able to walk again.”

It all made sense now. This explained why Puck fought Kamal so relentlessly in the paddock. How must it feel to trot around at the whim of his sexy and dominant master, trying to be the most graceful, gorgeous ponyboy, when his best friend might never have use of his legs again?

“Awe, Puck,” I said, taking his chin in my hand and kissing him gently, then pulling back. “You’ve been through alot.”

“But that’s the thing,” he said, shaking his head. “Nothing I’ve had to go through compares to what Elijah’s going through right now. And I’m not there to, like, help him or talk to him, because I can’t fucking bear it.”

“It’s okay to take a break and get away for a bit.”

“Elijah can’t take a break. I mean, his family’s there, and they’re wonderful. I can’t even think about how hard this is for them.”

“You aren’t Elijah. Thank God you aren’t Elijah. Thank…whatever you want—the universe, fate—but instead of feeling guilty for enjoying your life, feel grateful, maybe?”

“Easy to say.”

“Yeah. You could talk to Adam.”

Puck stared at me. “You think I need therapy?”

“Puck,” I said gently. “Anyone who’s gone through what you did could use some counselling. It’s not a four-letter word.”

“Have you ever?”

“As a matter of fact, yes.”

His eyes widened. He gazed at me silently, probably too polite to probe for more information, so I gave it to him.

“I had issues with anxiety when I was about fourteen, fifteen. Like, major issues. My parents tried to address it but they signed me up for some counselling and it helped so much. And, yeah, I was resistant initially. But the anxiety got so bad it was interfering with school and social activities. Therapy made a world of difference.”

“Hmm. I don’t know if I—“ He stared into the distance. A loon called across the shimmering water. “I came here to escape all of that.”

“Sure, but you said it wasn’t really working?”

“I don’t know.”

“Look, I’m not telling you to talk to Adam. Just that the option is there. I’m really glad you talked to me. Did it help?”

“I think so. Yeah.” He laughed and bumped my knee with his. “Even though I’m so embarrassed I don’t know if I can ever see you again.”

A lead brick fell into my stomach until I noticed the sparkle in his eye and his soft smile. “Joking. I’m joking.”

I put a shaky hand to my forehead. “Don’t do that. I thought you meant it.”

“Is it that important to you?”

“What? This?” I gestured between the two of us.

“Yeah.”

“Puck. Yes. I love what’s happening here. I don’t want it to stop.”

He nodded, blushing. “Good. Me either.”

The sun was close to setting, so we swam back to shore, got dressed and headed back to the bunkhouse. We were quiet as we walked through the darkening woods. I felt a real intimacy between us as our footfalls landed in the grass and dirt, and the chirping of crickets and frogs surrounded us. 

As we neared the bunkhouse, human voices from inside the panelled walls joined the cacophony of small animals. I took my leave, kissing Puck on his stubbled cheek and squeezing his fingers, before I strode back to the main house in the glistening moonlight.

*****

I didn’t see Puck again until the pony show the following day.

I’d planned to photograph the men being tacked for the show, but I’d had a software issue with the Nikon camera that took me all morning to sort out. It delayed me so that I barely had time to get to the paddock and set up my tripod and camera by the fence.

It was strange to see the bleachers filled with people of all types; some in fine clothes similar to those worn to an actual equestrian event, others in fetish gear, still more in jeans and T-shirts. They spoke and laughed amongst themselves as they waited for the show to begin, the air filled with excited anticipation.

I was just as eager to see the ponyboys strut their stuff for the crowd. Especially one particular ponyboy. Because the afternoon shift were first on the rotation this weekend, I knew Puck would be performing today. There was no way I was missing that.

“Hey, Oliver.”

I turned to see Lincoln in tight jeans and an Imagine Dragons T-shirt, at my elbow. 

“Hi. How’s it going?”

He cocked his head, giving me a grin. “Good. You?”

“Well, despite having a cock-up of a morning with my camera equipment, fine.”

“Oh shit. Got everything working I hope?”

“Yeah. Just in time.”

Lincoln appraised me with his gaze. “I know you’re supposed to take photos of all of us, but I think you’re here to see a particular person.”

I tried to appear confused. “Hmm? What?”

Lincoln laughed. “I saw you together last night, when you got back from,” he waved his hand in the air, “whatever you were doing.”

I cleared my throat, pretended to fiddle with my camera. “We were at the beach. Swimming.”

“Okay.”

I narrowed my eyes. “Did Puck say anything?”

Lincoln laughed, shaking his head. “Nope. He just got ready for bed. Went to sleep. Easier than he has since he got here.”

“Oh?”

“Usually he tosses and turns all night. But he was out like a light and slept through for once. At least, I think so. Usually, I wake up at least a few times because of his noises.”

“Oh.”

“I guess the swimming did him some good.”

I smiled, aware that Lincoln knew there was more going on where Puck and I were concerned. “Yeah, I guess so. Look, we’re trying to keep it quiet…”

He grinned. “So there is something going on.”

I blinked. I couldn’t believe he’d got me. This ranch was hell on my defenses. 

“Oh, you’re good.”

Lincoln preened a bit. “Don’t worry. I won’t tell anyone. I’m glad for Puck. He may be a headcase with Kamal but he’s very cool with all of us. He’s well-liked.”

I was pleased to hear it, although a tiny stab of jealousy hit me in the chest. I wanted to claim Puck. I wanted everyone to know he was mine. Which was such a caveman thing to want I could hardly process it and simply pushed the feeling down.

“Good. And, thanks.”

“No problem.” He gestured to the paddock. “Looks like they’re getting started.”

Adam came into the ring, dressed in slacks and a white button down with a bow-tie, looking so sexy and put together he took my breath away. As my employer, he was hardly a suitable subject for a romantic attachment, but I would have been sorely tempted if Puck hadn’t trumped every other man for whom I’d ever had romantic thoughts.

“Good afternoon, everyone! Welcome to the first pony show of the summer session, here at The Braided Crop Ranch. We have three lovely ponyboys to perform for you today. In a moment, their trainers will bring them out and have them parade around the ring for you.”

Cheers and whistles sounded from the bleachers.

Adam announced the ponies with their show names, saving Puck for last.

“And now, for our final ponyboy, Tempest, with his handsome trainer, Kamal!”

Tempest. It suited Puck perfectly. Even though it referenced the wrong Shakespeare play, since Puck was a character from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, it certainly fit his fiery nature.

When Tempest trotted out with Kamal, wearing the red rope halter and a fantastic, elizabethan-type mask in burgundy with gold filigree trim, my mouth went dry. The crowd whooped louder than ever, and Puck carried himself with grace and an effortlessness that spoke to the training he’d received.

“He looks amazing,” Lincoln commented. “Seems more comfortable, too.”

“Yeah. Jesus.” I lifted a trembling hand to my forehead.

Lincoln glanced at me, then laughed. “You can’t hide what you’re feeling for him, you know.”

I nodded, blushing. “I promised I’d try.”

“Fair enough,” he said. “Good luck.”

The inaugural pony show consisted of the trainers having the ponyboys show off their figures and their gaits, by prancing around the ring, and eventually jumping over some low oxers. Afterward, the ponyboys paraded around the ring a last time as Adam requested applause from the captivated audience.

Then the ponyboys were brought outside the paddock to pose for photos with any of the guests who paid for the privilege. A lineup quickly formed in front of Tempest in his golden mask and I couldn’t get anywhere near him.

I ended up hanging back and watching from a distance, to make sure he was doing okay. Kamal stayed close to Puck and ensured the rules were followed. Nobody was allowed to touch a ponyboy, although they were permitted to stand close for a photo.

How people were able to be near Puck in that get-up, and be forbidden to touch him, seemed like torture, but I was very glad those rules existed. 

He caught my eye several times and we stared at each other while he had his photo taken with various enthusiastic men and women. He looked so majestic and beautiful and this was only the beginning. In future shows, he and the other ponyboys would wear the full bridles with the metal bits, and the flowing tails. I swallowed thickly, recalling how Puck had looked with the black horsehair cascading down the backs of those strong and shapely legs. I wasn’t sure I could handle him in full show gear, when seeing him like this was like a physical blow to the heart.

I was thankful I had the use of the tripod during the show since my hands had only recently ceased trembling. It had been a relief, in a way, to be able to capture the sexy ponyboys in full without worrying about identifying features, since they all wore the beautiful masks that disguised their faces and transformed them into fantastical creatures from another universe. 

By the time the audience had thinned to only a handful of people speaking with Adam, Kamal caught my eye and beckoned me over. My gut wrenched at the thought of going closer to the object of my extreme desire whilst keeping my true feelings suppressed, but Kamal was difficult to ignore.

When I got there, cradling my camera in sweaty palms, Kamal gestured to Puck. 

“So? What do you think of Tempest?”

I cleared my throat. “All the ponyboys looked amazing.”

“Yes, but Tempest, my sweet scene-stealer. What do you think of him?”

I blinked, scrambling for something to say that wouldn’t betray my true feelings, but would express how stunning Puck really was. Apparently, my wordless answer was enough.

Kamal laughed. “Yes, I can imagine it’s difficult to find the words. He performed beautifully. I’m very impressed with how he did today.”

I risked a glance at Puck to find him staring at me. Our gazes locked as my body responded to the intensity in his green eyes.

Kamal’s gaze drifted back and forth between us.

“Hmm. Something going on here that I’m not aware of?”

I tore my gaze away and acted dumb. “Hmm?”

Kamal examined me and smiled slowly. “That’s a good act, Oliver. But you can’t fool me.”

I shrugged, the heat in my face betraying to Kamal exactly how I felt about his prized ponyboy.

Then Puck said, “Leave him alone. Please.” in such a soft voice that we stared at him in surprise.

“I don’t want everyone to know. Not yet,” he continued.

Kamal lifted a hand to touch the edge of Puck’s pretty mask and glanced my way.

“So, there is something going on between the two of you.”

I looked at the ground, feeling guilty, although I had every right to pursue something with Puck. “Yeah.”

“Kamal, please don’t tell anyone. Let us keep it quiet for a little while.” Puck said.

“Why? You’re not violating any rules.”

“I think,” I said, glancing at Puck who seemed uncomfortable with Kamal’s scrutiny of, and interest in, his private dalliances. “I think that Puck wants us to fly under the radar for a little while.” I ran a hand through my hair, recalling Lincoln’s comments from earlier. “Even though I’m not sure we’re fooling anyone, to be honest.”

Kamal grinned and chucked his ponyboy under the chin. “I hate to tell you, but anyone who watches the two of you together can see the chemistry. And I can fucking feel it.”

Puck and I swivelled our heads to gape at Kamal, who laughed and passed me pretty Tempest’s lead rope.

“Here. Have a moment with him, then take him to the grooming barn. I’m going back to the house.”

I stood there, staring at the rope in my hand for several moments as Kamal walked away. Everyone else had gone into the arena or were headed back to the resort, so Puck and I stood alone together in the field.

I looked up and into the prettiest pair of green eyes I knew. Puck watched me from out of his golden mask, his cheeks flushed from the sun and exertion and probably something else. 

“What are you going to do with me?” he said, tongue flicking the silver ring in his lower lip.

All the blood drained from my upper body and into my lower half, as I tried to adjust to the dizzying arousal.

“I’ll tell you what I’d like to do with you,” I said, barely giving the words volume. It was almost as if a thought came right out of my head and into the air between us, like magic. 

I wasn’t sure he’d heard me. He stepped forward, so close I smelled leather and the musk of perspiration.

“Say that again.”

Puck’s soft breath feathered over my skin as I struggled to remain coherent in the face of a tsunami of lust that washed over me.

“I’ll tell you what I’d like to do with you,” I repeated, slightly louder. He was so close now.

We gazed at each other, emotion and need flaring up between us like a firestorm. 

“What do you want to do with me?” he whispered.

“I want…” I almost choked on the words. “I want—everything.”

“I’ll give you everything. But we’re in the middle of a field right now. It would cause quite the scandal if I gave it to you right this minute.”

I smiled briefly at his joke, aroused beyond measure.

“A kiss, then?” I said. 

Our faces were only inches apart. Puck seemed like an otherworldly apparition in his golden mask. He nodded once, then his lips found mine and we kissed softly—so softly, that I gasped with the tender heat of it. I clamped down on the part of me that wanted to devour him, and instead, cherished the gentleness of this moment.

The kiss rocked me to the core, so much so that, when Puck pulled away and gazed at me fiercely, I stood paralyzed and breathless.

“I know a place where we can—“ Puck swallowed and licked his lips. “—have some time alone. Undisturbed.”

I nodded, afraid to speak.

“Meet me tonight? Outside the bunkhouse. Around eleven?”

I nodded again. 

The hint of a smile emerged on his face. I think he was amused at my tortured state.

“You going to be okay?”

“I don’t think so.”

He laughed and I wrapped trembling fingers around his bicep, feeling the strength of his sinewy muscles. 

“I need to take you to the grooming barn.” 

“Yeah. I’m a mess.”

I shook my head. “No. You’re not. But I can’t fucking deal with the way you look and feel and smell right now. So I’d better take you there before I make a really bad decision.”

He laughed again. “Oliver…”

“Puck. I’m in way over my head, here.”

He sobered and gave me such an intense and tender look, I felt it in my bones.

“Take me to the grooming barn, Oliver.”

“Okay.”

“And meet me at the bunkhouse tonight.”

“Okay.”

“Promise?”

“Yeah.”

He smiled.

Voyeuristic Intentions (8)

Voyeuristic Intentions

or

Prelude to an Unavoidable Reckoning

I dreamed of a giant gnat choking me on its huge, human cock. 

When I woke I was very hard and extremely confused, until I recalled inhaling a bug in the woods just before I’d stuck my dick down Puck’s willing throat. 

Puck…

My hand drifted to my erection and I teased myself, remembering the way his pretty lips had felt around me. The sensation of the steel ring had added to an all-around stellar experience. Even the humiliation of the cock-blocking insect-inhale didn’t matter in the long run.

And now…now, I was going to have a quick lunch and head to the grooming barn with my equipment, so I had an excuse—a very good one—to watch Puck and his two ponyboy shift-mates, buffed and caged and shined in preparation for their afternoon training sessions.

Watching the grooming procedures the previous day had been tantalizing. Watching the object of my intensifying obsession being carefully and tenderly prepared for training would be something else entirely.

I happened to pass Kamal on my way downstairs.

“Are you taking photos in the grooming barn this afternoon?” he asked.

“Yeah, I’m just getting something to eat. I’ll head over there soon.”

He smiled. “Good. Planning a special treat for you. I hope your camera battery is charged.”

Oh my fuck. 

“Okay, thanks?”

He chuckled as he went on his way.

I grabbed a sandwich in the cafeteria and ate it quickly, then washed my hands and headed upstairs for my equipment. 

A short time later, I stepped into the grooming barn and closed the door behind me.

I had miscalculated and, even with eager anticipation for this session, I wasn’t early enough to see the ponyboys come around the partition. The three young men were already standing naked under hot water, their wrists bound above, cocks caged, gags placed, with the stable hands doing their work. I stopped dead, mouth going dry, gaze immediately captured by the slimmest ponyboy bound between the other two.

Puck was facing the other way, but I would recognize that sweet plum of an ass anywhere. My mouth pooled with saliva as I watched Liv rub the loofa aggressively over Puck’s back and buttocks as if she were a prison warden—rough and pragmatic. From his little grunts of pleasure, I could tell he was enjoying the procedure.

She noticed me and smiled. “Oliver. You’d better get your stuff out. We’ll be done soon.”

“Sure. Sorry, I’m late.”

I fumbled with my gear as my gaze kept returning to delicious Puck under the shower. Finally, I slotted the Canon into the holder on my tripod.

The very moment I looked at the viewer to make sure the camera was aimed properly, Puck turned his head and stared at me, his gaze pinning me with an energy I tried to decipher. It was the old Puck, the one who seemed angry at everything, gazing at me with his chin held high, his short hair plastered to his head, the ball gag spreading that beautiful mouth.

All the breath left my body as my dick jerked in my shorts and I recalled feeling those lips around me that very morning.

I lifted my gaze from the viewer and met Puck’s angry stare with a similar force. I wasn’t backing down. I knew this was either a way he responded instinctively to submission, or a personal quirk that made those moments of sweetness even more valuable.

As I watched, he turned his gaze away from me as Liv ran the loofah over the rest of his luscious body. Perhaps he was embarrassed to have me see him like this. But he knew I would have to photograph him in the grooming barn and the stables as part of the agreement I had made with Adam. Hopefully, it wouldn’t affect the affection growing between us. But I couldn’t worry about that. I had a job to do.

I focused on the other two ponyboys, although it was torture to ignore Puck, especially with water coursing over his pale skin and the way he looked while bound to the ceiling of the grooming barn by his slim wrists. I got close-ups of other bare arms and legs, caged cocks and wrists in bondage, all while my heart pounded and memories of my morning encounter with Puck cycled through my brain.

“All right, Puck darling, let’s get you outfitted,” Liv said.

I lifted my gaze from the viewer and watched as Liv released Puck’s captive arms and led him to stand by the table. She glanced at the whiteboard and did a double take, saying “Oh,” as if something surprised her.

I glanced at the board, found Puck’s name and drifted my gaze over Kamal’s written instructions.

Basic plus rope halter (red) and tail (black).

I blinked hard and felt my cock swell as I recalled Kamal’s words to me this morning.

Surprise! Holy fucking hell.

My suddenly clammy hands trembled as I prepared to photograph what was about to happen—hopefully without the camera sliding out of my excited grip.

I took a deep breath as Puck scanned the whiteboard. His eyes widened and he swivelled his head to look at me, cheeks flushing and muscles tensing. His gaze moved to Liv with something like panic in his expression.

“It’s okay, sweetheart. You’ve had the tail before and the halter’s not a big deal. It’s not a bridle so there isn’t a bit.” 

She petted Puck gently on his shoulder and walked to the cabinet, opening a drawer and shuffling stuff around before retrieving a bundle of red rope that was knotted to steel rings to make headgear resembling a horse’s halter.

She held it up in front of Puck. “See? It’s nothing, really. Just makes you look like a pretty pony for Kamal. And…” she glanced my way. “Anyone else who might be looking.” She winked at me.

I stared self-consciously at the viewer, embarrassed, because I couldn’t fucking wait for Puck to seem even more pony-like.

He seemed to settle and finally nodded quietly. 

“Good boy. First, let’s get the regular gear on you, okay?” 

As she placed Puck’s leather harness and pelvic belt, fastening the buckles deftly and quickly, she continued to give him reassuring strokes and pats to make sure he was all right. 

I had to give it to the Braided Crop Ranch. Their employees were consistently kind, efficient and perceptive—and so very professional, even in this kinky, boundary-pushing, kind of environment.

Once he had his regular gear on, Liv picked up the rope halter.

“Okay?” she asked. “It’s really not a big deal. I promise.”

Puck stared at the halter, his gaze sliding to me, then back to Liv. After a moment of hesitation, he nodded.

I didn’t take photos of this because I had promised not to identify any of the ponyboys in my images, and Puck wasn’t masked as he would be in the pony show. So I stood there, pretending to fiddle with my settings but watching as Liv placed the halter over Puck’s brown hair and rested the rope pieces over his forehead and behind his ears. Another red strap came up under his chin to connect to the ones in front of his ears on each side.

The soft red bondage rope used to form the halter looked incredible against Puck’s hair and pale skin. Kamal had been right to specify the color, although black would have looked good, too.

“How does that feel?” Liv had removed Puck’s ball gag in order to fit the harness. “You can speak.”

He frowned, but said, “Fine,” in a quiet, chastened voice. He was behaving himself like a good little ponyboy and I drank it up, because I knew once he was with Kamal his attitude might change.

I wonder if he’d be a good ponyboy for me? 

The thought came from nowhere and took the breath out of me. I pushed it aside because if I focused on that, I wouldn’t have a hope of concentrating on photography or anything else. 

Liv had Puck open his mouth so she could place the ball of the gag between his teeth. His gaze kept flitting to me and I couldn’t tell if me watching made him uneasy or excited. I glanced at his cock in its steel cage and it, at least, seemed on board—swelling and straining in its confines.

“All right. Bend over the table, now,” Liv directed, finding the pony tail designated for Puck in the drawer and holding it up for him.

Puck’s chest, framed by the leather straps of his harness, rose and fell rapidly, like he was panicking again.

“It’s okay. You’ve had your tail before. It’s going to look so pretty, you know.” She winked at me as she settled Puck once again with her kind words and matter-of-fact manner.

This time he didn’t look at me. He fixed his gaze on the table as his forehead creased and he obeyed Liv’s instructions.

I couldn’t help a tiny gasp escaping me as he folded himself fluidly over the edge of the large table, presenting his bare backside to Liv and the others in the room. Adrian, who had finished tacking Andrew and was working on Justin, glanced over and smiled. 

“Oooh, that’s a perfect ass, Puck. Don’t worry about showing it off.”

I silently agreed, my gaze transfixed by Puck’s gorgeous globes as Liv gloved up and prepared the tail for insertion.

My breathing ramped up and pretended to be unaffected as she used the fingers of her free hand to part Puck’s cheeks and then pressed the tip of the plug against his sweet, pink hole.

“Open. I’ll be gentle and slow,” she murmured.

Puck had been facing away from me, but now twisted his head around and pinned me with a hooded stare as Liv gently eased the tip of the plug into his ass.

I met that gaze as my lips parted and a small noise left my throat, covered quickly with a pretence of throat clearing. I tore my gaze from his and watched the plug spread him, then flitted it back to see if he’d observed my reaction.

His pupils were blown and his steady gaze caused small explosions to go off inside me as I struggled to pay attention and not dissolve into a million lustful pieces.

“You should probably get some shots of this, Oliver,” Liv commented. “Why don’t you come closer?”

Oh fuck. “Yeah. Yes. Good idea.” I said, clearing my throat again and grabbing my handheld.

Focus, focus. This is your job. Treat it like one.

I moved in close to where Liv stood at Puck’s hip. The plug was halfway in and I lifted my camera and focused on that, forgetting about that hot gaze and the memories from this morning. I clicked images of the plug seating itself between Puck’s cheeks, Liv’s gloved fingers adjusting it and draping the horse hair over his thighs. I hoped my heavy breathing wasn’t too obvious.

“Stand up and face the showers.” 

Puck obeyed, rising gracefully with his back to me so I could get photos of him in all his glory, with the harness and arm bands and collar, small glimpses of red rope harness and the buckle of the gag at the back of his head. He was barefoot at the moment and that made him seem even more vulnerable. I photographed his bare feet against the wood of the grooming barn floor.

Liv brought over his socks and boots. “Turn around and put on your trotters, Puck.”

Puck did so, his body swivelling in place with the fluidity of a dancer. Now I could see the soft red rope framing his face, the ball of the gag between his lips, the shiny slide of drool over his chin, and those expressive, desire-filled eyes that seemed to have a direct line to my soul and other, more base, places. 

As he bent to put on the grey work socks, and then the Doc Marten boots, I took photo after photo. Close-ups of his fingers on the laces, his bent head, and full body shots of him while his face was hidden. When he stood before me again, now in all his ponyboy gear, I lowered the camera and just stared.

“My God. You are so beautiful.”

I’d said it without thinking, without caring for a moment who was witness to this declaration. It was my truth and my reality and why should I deny those feelings?

All eyes turned to me as I felt the blood heat my cheeks. Puck made a choking noise and coughed, but his gaze remained alert and intent. He looked away but came back to me, blushing but not shying away from my interest at all.

“I can’t argue with you, there,” Liv commented, taking pity on me and pretending this happened every day.

I regretted it now, because we were supposed to be keeping secrets. So I kept my damn mouth shut and simply watched as the last ponyboy was outfitted and the three men were led out of the grooming barn.

“You okay, Oliver?” Adrian asked, when we were alone. 

“Yeah.”

“That Puck is an interesting fellow,” Adrian said, picking up a cloth that had fallen and placing it back on the table. “Pretty as a picture but nasty in the paddock. Or so I’ve heard.”

I licked my lips, playing it cool. “I’ve seen him with Kamal. It’s true.”

Adrian laughed. “Still. I like a spicy ponyboy.”

I narrowed my eyes and must have channelled some big keep-away-from-my-boy energy, because Adrain raised his hands and shook his head.

“Don’t worry. I’ve got a boyfriend. He’s all yours. If you can handle him.”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to assume.” I ran my free hand through my hair and blew out a puff of air. “I’m not used to feeling this way about…about anyone. Especially about a kinky, gorgeous, oppositional kid with issues.”

“Puck has issues?”

“So says Adam.”

“Hmm. I suppose we all have issues, really. Maybe Puck’s issue is simply Kamal and Kamal’s brand of control.”

“Maybe.”

I started disassembling my tripod. When I was all packed up I bid Adrian goodbye and headed out to find Kamal and Puck. Kamal had put Puck into that gear specifically for me and I wasn’t going to miss watching him, at least for a little while.

At least until I couldn’t take it anymore.

Lorraine was training Justin, whose dark skin was already glistening with sweat, in the first corral. I gave her a wave before walking over to lean on the fence and watch Kamal and Puck in the second paddock from a distance. I was so overcome by all that had occurred today, I needed to get a grip on myself before I got any closer.

I wasn’t planning to stay long. I didn’t think my heart could take the sight of Puck prancing around the paddock with his flowing black tail and red halter, knowing that this very morning he had been on his knees for me in the woods only a handful of hours ago. I started to feel jealous of Kamal and proprietary over Puck, which was ridiculous, because Puck was here to serve Kamal, not me. For the duration of Puck’s time at the Braided Crop Ranch he was under Kamal’s experienced hand.

If he let me take control of him during his off time, well, then I was just lucky. 

I watched them together, and I could already tell Puck was giving Kamal attitude. He didn’t like wearing the tail. Or, he did like it, but hated how much he liked it. Something told me it was the latter.

When Kamal noticed me, he waved. He gave Puck a slap on the rear to propel him on another circle of the paddock.

“Oliver,” Kamal said as he neared.

“Kamal.” 

Kamal flourished an arm at where Puck trotted with some attempt at speed and grace along the edge of the enclosure. “So? What do you think? He looks pretty good kitted out like that, hmm?”

I raised my eyebrows. “Pretty good is an understatement.”

Kamal shrugged. “Maybe. I can see you appreciate the aesthetic.”

“Ah, fuck,” I swore. “I’m already gone for him. What the fuck am I gonna do, Kamal?”

Kamal gazed at me with affection and skepticism. “That didn’t take long. I hope you know what you’re getting into.”

“Probably not. But I can’t seem to help myself.”

Kamal gazed at his recalcitrant ponyboy, now slowing as he neared us and not putting as much effort into his form. 

“Fair enough. Do you want me to set up any particular shots for you this afternoon? He may be itching to show off for you.”

Puck returned to Kamal, scowling as much as he could with a ball gag in his mouth, and stopped in front of us, breathing hard and drooling. His hair was already damp with sweat and the sheen on his skin glistened in the afternoon sun. I was pretty sure Puck had heard Kamal’s last remark.

I shook my head. “Nah. I got so many yesterday and in the grooming barn today, I’m a bit overwhelmed, to be honest. I need to spend some time with the images I already have for a few days, before I add any more.

“Don’t forget, the first pony show is on Saturday. You’ll probably want to get some then.”

“Yeah, definitely.”

Puck was regarding me relatively calmly and Kamal noticed. “Will you do me a favour before you go?”

“Sure.”

“I want to impress upon young Puck here, that he is a pony at the moment, and thus not possessed of a free spirit. He needs to realize he is merely a pretty pet and nothing more.” Kamal grinned. “If you would come in here and examine him—“

My eyes widened and I started to decline but Kamal kept speaking. “—a cursory examination, Oliver. You won’t need gloves.”

Still, I wasn’t sure if that was a good idea. But Kamal seemed to think so. And Kamal was the boss in this paddock. I bowed to his authority, as a secret part of me thrilled to the prospect of getting my hands on the beautiful, captive, boy.

“Sure.”

“Get in here, then,” Kamal said, whipping a leather lead from his pocket and attaching it to the ring on the chin strap of Puck’s rope halter.

I slipped through the fence and stood beside them. “What do you want me to–”

“Stand,” Kamal said to Puck, who widened his stance and lifted his chin, gaze moving off me to some object in the distance as he quivered with emotion. “Steady.”

Kamal reached out and took my hand, laying it on Puck’s bare shoulder. “Just touch him. However you like, but stay away from intimate areas, if you don’t mind. Baby steps. He needs to learn to tolerate others. Not just me.”

“Okay,” I said, my heart pounding and sweat gathering on my nape.

“Pretend you’re in the market for a strong, beautiful pony. You want to check its muscle tone, the smoothness of its coat, check for any problems.” Kamal paused for effect. “So you can make an appropriate offer. Hypothetical, of course.”

I cleared my throat. “Uh huh.”

I really hoped Puck wouldn’t hold this against me. I let my fingers trace over his leather harness and along his side as he continued to avoid my gaze. Mine followed my hand where it drifted over his skin and across the swell of his belly over the pelvic strap. Puck’s muscles tightened and his pores pebbled as I did so. His breath hitched and he seemed filled with tension.

I couldn’t deny the pleasure I received from being able to touch him at Kamal’s command and knowing this was all a part of what Puck had signed on for. The fact that he and I had begun a clandestine interaction outside of his role at the ranch only added to my excitement. I could only hope he felt the same. The last thing I wanted to do was ruin what delicate thing was happening between us. But it would take a stronger man than me to resist Kamal’s request and refusing it might have seemed suspicious.

I walked slowly around Puck, who stood still as a statue, the only movement in the tension of his jaw where it was held open by the gag. This entire situation was a study in submission and objectification, and I didn’t want to disappoint either of them.

My hand drifted over Puck’s hip and along the delicious curve of his ass to the delicate crease where it met his thigh. I felt him shudder.

“You can touch his tail if you like. Just not the plug.”

I nodded, unable to speak as I threaded my fingers through the long black hairs of the tail that cascaded over the backs of Puck’s thighs. He made a sound low in his throat.

“Easy. Good pony. Stay still,” Kamal encouraged. “You’re doing very well.”

I glanced at Kamal. “Is this what you want?”

Kamal laughed. “Well, you can be a little rougher. He might like it.”

My gaze jerked to Kamal’s.

“He’s an animal, Oliver. Touch him like one.” 

Kamal placed one hand under Puck’s chin and raised it higher, exposing his long throat. He cupped his other hand around the ponyboy’s neck, keeping Puck’s head angled back and his gaze forced to the sky.

“Now, examine him. Don’t hurt him, obviously, but you don’t have to be so gentle. You’re trying to assess him, remember?”

“Fuck. Fine.”

I was breathing hard now, but I did as Kamal asked and cupped that beautiful ass in my hands, squeezing Puck’s firm glutes as he gasped and swallowed, pinned in Kamal’s grip and subject to my touch.

“Fuck,” I said again, moving my palms over his hips to glide up his belly and abdomen, so I could brush my fingers over his pebbled nipples and squeeze his pectoral muscles where they were framed by the harness. I was standing so close now I could smell the tang of his sweat and hear his quickened breathing.

“So? What do you think?”

“Incredible,” I breathed. “His muscle tone is…it’s perfect.”

Kamal chuckled.

I fought my own responses to this intimate examination and started to panic. I needed to get away from what this was doing to me. It was fucking with my body and my head. I was loving it and I didn’t know what that said about me, except that I wanted this boy with my heart and soul and I was starting to feel like I would die if I couldn’t get closer than this. 

“All right, Oliver, that’s good. Thank you,” Kamal said, as if aware of my struggle.

I backed up and glanced at Puck’s face. His eyes were wide as he stared upward, cheeks flushed and jaw tight. He strained to be still in Kamal’s strict hold.

When Kamal removed his hand from Puck’s throat, the ponyboy’s head lowered into a more natural position and his gaze met mine with a raw desire that surprised me. He seemed desperate for more, which was exactly how I felt.

I needed to get him alone again. And soon.

I took my leave of them and walked back to the main house fighting a hard-on that didn’t want to go away and an ache in my gut that required more than physical intimacy to soothe it.

A Moment of Opportunity (6)

A Moment of Opportunity

or

How to Gentle a Nervous Pony

Adam and I met for a sandwich in the cafeteria. 

“I promise to take you for a proper lunch on the weekend. We’ll go to the resort café. I want to show you the fancier side of the BCR’s business model. And, of course, you’ll have a prime spot for the pony show on Saturday.

I grinned. “Can’t wait.”

“Did you get to catch a training session this morning?”

I nodded. “Yes. Lorraine and Teagan”

Adam smiled. “Lorraine was a wonderful find. Kamal suggested her, I interviewed her, and by the time I got to see her in action, I had no doubt she’d fit in here.”

“Were you hesitant to hire a woman? Because you deal with ponyboys?

Adam shook his head. “No, not really. Most people involved in extreme kink respect a person in a position of authority over them, regardless if it’s a woman or a man. They get off on the power and the dynamic. The gender of the person wielding that power is often irrelevant.”

“Have you ever had trouble persuading a ponyboy that a female trainer would work for them?”

“Sometimes they’re a little disappointed to find out they haven’t been placed with an alpha male trainer. But once they have their first session with Lorraine, they’re won over to her particular brand of discipline and control.” He smiled.

“Yes, I can certainly appreciate it myself,” I said, recalling what I had seen that morning.

Adam chuckled. “She’s one in a million and I’m keeping her.”

I raised my glass of water. “Here, here.”

When we’d finished eating, Adam stood.

“I must get back to my office. Lots of paperwork to take care of when a new session begins.”

I stood as well and shook his hand. “Thanks for bringing me in. I can already tell this is going to be an incredible assignment.”

“I can already tell you’re going to be up to the challenge, Oliver.”

I glanced at my watch. According to what I’d been told, the afternoon ponyboys would be arriving at the grooming barn right about now. I was sorely tempted to shoot the second set of young men in the showers and getting tacked, but decided to go to my room instead, for a short rest. I’d be shooting Puck and Kamal in the arena or the paddock, and I wanted to preserve my artistic energy for that.

Upstairs, I unplugged my phone from its charger and sent a text to Grif to see if he was available for a phone call. It didn’t take him long to answer.

YES. Just let me close my door. I’m in my office.

Grif worked as a financial consultant at CIBC. Kind of the farthest thing from what I did, but maybe that was why our friendship worked so well. Plus, I had access to free investment advice.

He sent me a thumbs up emoji a moment later and I hit the call button. He didn’t even let it ring fully before he answered.

“Ollie! Hi! Oh my God, how is it? Have you ridden a ponyboy yet? Gotten one to eat sugar out of your hand? Tell me!”

I broke out laughing. “Uh, no. I don’t think they actually put saddles on the ponyboys here. Or ride them.”

“Oh. That’s kind of a bummer.”

“If you say so. And the one ponyboy I’d love to feed sugar cubes to would probably spit in my face if I tried.”

Grif inhaled a sharp breath. “Oooh! Tell me more!”

“Never mind. Anyway, the ranch is fantastic. It’s huge and there are—“

“No, no. Go back to the ponyboy that would spit in your face.”

“Grif—“

“What’s his name? I mean his real name, not his pony name. Oh, wait, what’s his pony name? Is it Lightning?”

I sat down on the loveseat and rested my forehead in my hand.

“You’re too much.”

“I’m not the one at a ponyplay fetish ranch who wants to talk about the landscape, my friend.”

“Fine,” I said, hesitating for a moment before I continued. “His name is Puck.”

“That’s his pony name.”

“No, that’s his real name.” I blinked. “Well, I don’t know if it’s his real name, but it’s the name he’s using while he’s here. It’s not his pony name.”

“Cool. What’s his pony name?”

“I don’t know! Jesus, would you let me talk?”

“Sorry. I’m sorry. I just spent the morning going over financial forecasts with four different clients. Can we please talk about sexy ponyboys?”

“If you shut up, we can.”

“Fine. Zipping it. Go on.”

“Thank you. So, his name is Puck, and I swear he is the sexiest motherfucking thing on two legs at this place.” I grinned, now recalling Kamal’s authority and stature. “Although, his trainer, Kamal, is damn hot also.”

Another loud inhale. “Kamal. Oh my.”

“And knows just how to get Puck to behave himself. Which seems like a pretty big ask, actually.”

“Oh good Lord. A naughty ponyboy? I’m feeling faint. Good thing I’m sitting down.”

“Anyway,” I said, not wanting to talk about Puck anymore because I didn’t want to jinx things. Not that there was anything to jinx at the moment. But, still. “I spent the morning in the grooming barn.”

There was a pause. “The, what now?”

I cleared my throat. “The grooming barn.”

Another pause. “What the fuck is a grooming barn? And, are you serious?”

I laughed. “Yes, I’m serious. It’s a barn where the guys are showered, rubbed all over with a loofa, their cocks put in cages, while they’re bound by their wrists to an overhead rail.”

Grif didn’t say anything, but I heard the creak of his desk chair. “What. What.”

“Mm hmm. It’s something to see. Oh, and then they get tacked into their harnesses and collars, and I know sometimes they get bridles and butt plug horse tails, but I haven’t seen that yet.”

Oh, wait a second. Yes, I did see that. But I wasn’t going to tell Grif what I’d seen in the paddock the day before or he’d probably mess his pants.

He sounded breathless when he replied.

“Oh Lord, Ollie. You’re killing me here. My pants are a little tight.”

“No doubt. Anyway, I got some great photos.”

Anyway, I got some great photos,” he imitated me in a sardonic tone. “Bastard.”

“Oh, come on. Can’t you be happy for me?”

“No. Yes. I don’t know.”

“Uh huh.”

“Suddenly, my life seems so very boring and conservative. I need to up my game.” There was a pause. “Where do they find their trainers?”

“Not at CIBC.”

“Fuck you.”

I laughed. “Fuck you, too. Anyway, I’ve got to go. I’m shooting Puck’s training session this afternoon, and I want to chill for a bit first. It’s been a busy day.”

“Mm hm. You mean you want to enjoy a quick wank.”

“That’s not a bad idea.”

“I know. I wish I could do the same thing. I officially hate you, by the way. Keep me updated. Please, keep me updated.”

“Sure. Bye.”

We ended the call and I got a glass of water and made sure I had some lube before I sat on the edge of the bed and took myself in hand, recalling the things I’d witnessed this morning and yesterday. It didn’t take long, and I was glad to take the edge off before lying down and trying to read a chapter of the book I’d brought with me.

I couldn’t concentrate, and gave up after ten minutes.

*****

The weather was cooler today. In fact, I had found the outdoors a little chilly that morning, so I grabbed an orange, plaid button-down, and threw it on over my black tank top. I rolled the sleeves up and didn’t button it, using it more as a sweater than a shirt. I’d forgotten to wear my baseball cap earlier, but put it on now, in case Kamal had Puck in the paddock again.

As I approached the arena, I noticed two figures in the nearby corral. When I got close, my heart-rate sped up as I realized who they were.

Kamal. And Puck.

They were in the far corner of the paddock. Kamal stood close behind the young ponyboy, who was tacked in the standard gear–body harness, arm bands, collar, cage and boots.

No tail as of yet, which, to be honest, was a bit of a disappointment.

Kamal leaned close, his hand wrapped around Puck’s wrist, next to the armband which fastened to the one on Puck’s other forearm. He seemed to be speaking to Puck, who nodded occasionally, and concentrated, his brow furrowed.

I kept my distance, as they seemed to be enjoying a private moment. I chose a spot by the nearest fence and busied myself setting up my tripod and camera, which only took a few moments.

When I glanced up, they were in the same position, but Puck’s wide-eyed gaze was on me as he listened to Kamal’s words. 

When my gaze met his, the electric shock of cellular-level recognition hit me like a mack truck. We barely new each other, but there was a biological pull between us, that was for damn sure. Chemistry, attraction, allure, animal magnetism—whatever it was, it left no room for denial. 

My dick, which had become interested upon my spotting of the mostly naked ponyboy, now went full-bore at the same time my gut churned with agitation. The potent current between us even attracted Kamal’s attention, as Puck’s chest rose and fell more quickly and he shifted his feet nervously.

Kamal looked up and followed Puck’s sidelined gaze to me. The intimidating trainer narrowed his eyes, but nodded and lifted a hand in acknowledgement of my presence. 

I gave him a quick salute and returned my gaze to Puck’s. He had turned his head now to watch me. But Kamal said something else that made him wrench his gaze from mine and glare straight ahead, nodding in acquiescence.

Puck seemed determined to behave himself this afternoon and I wasn’t about to disrupt that honourable intention. I’d remain as inconspicuous as possible in order to get the shots I needed, even though my body and mind thrilled to see him being a good little pony.

I hadn’t gotten involved in the kink scene officially, even though I’d been exposed to it through my photography business. It had always fascinated me, though, and I’d encountered enough men who wanted to play casually at power dynamics. Even during my twinky twenties, when I’d yet to fill out and most men assumed I was a die-hard bottom, I’d discovered a natural inclination to dominate. Bottoming didn’t automatically indicate submission, and over the past five years I’d discovered the joys of topping. I considered myself a switch, now, with my preferences fairly evenly distributed.

So as I watched Kamal step back and give Puck a hearty slap to the backside, which propelled the ponyboy into a jerky trot, I felt an equal desire to fuck, and to be fucked, by this beautiful creature. 

I didn’t care one way or the other. I’d take what he had to offer.

But I knew I had to have him.

And now that I was here, at The Braided Crop Ranch, in this heady environment where domination and submission was the entire point, I couldn’t help a gut wrenching need to explore the dynamic in ways I never had before.

Over the next thirty minutes, I watched Kamal put Puck through his paces, and took dozens of photos of them working together. Puck seemed determined to perform to Kamal’s satisfaction, and although I caught occasional glimpses of the contrary attitude I’d witnessed previously, he tamped it down and gave it his all. 

Kamal was pleased with him, and when they finished an extensive lesson on form and comportment, the trainer brought his ponyboy closer to where I stood so I could get some better shots and hear the praise he doled out.

“Very good, Puck. I’m so pleased with you today. You’ve done incredibly well and I’m happy to reward you for your hard work.”

As I looked at the viewer I realized what Kamal meant by that innocent-sounding comment.

My gaze flew to find Puck’s. We locked onto each other as Kamal’s fingers deftly unlatched the cage around the ponyboy’s swollen tackle.

It was different from watching Lorraine and Teagan. Because this was Puck, the ponyboy who made my heart race to see step out of the bunkhouse and do nothing but piss into the grass.

Now, as Kamal freed his cock, Puck kept his gaze on me and lifted his chin as if to say, ‘Yeah, you want me? Can’t have me right now, but you can watch me get jerked off into the dirt.’.

Fuck. My shorts tightened as Kamal pulled a rubber glove from the pocket of his jeans and put it on, then added lube from a pump bottle near the fence. As he rubbed the slick substance on his fingers, he glanced at me and grinned.

I started to feel lightheaded and wondered if I should leave. Maybe this would be too much for me.

“Aren’t you going to take some photos, Oliver? I thought that’s what you came for.”

Ah fuck.

I was standing there beside my expensive photographic gear, staring wide-eyed at Puck, completely oblivious to the purpose at hand.

“Oh. Yes. Of course. Yes. Sorry.”

I cleared my throat and fumbled in my bag for my handheld, feeling like I should move closer but terrified Kamal would notice how this was affecting me. By the time I’d got sorted out and approached them, Kamal had moved in behind Puck and slung a powerful arm across the ponyboy’s chest, keeping him steady, as he lazily jerked his cock with his gloved hand. Puck’s head lay on Kamal’s shoulder, his eyes shut and his lips slightly parted, as if he’d completely given up fighting the man and decided to willingly surrender to his dominance.

At least for today.

“Jesus,” I muttered under my breath as I raised my camera and started getting the shots I needed–close-ups of Kamal’s thick bicep against Puck’s heaving chest; the ponyboy’s bare legs framed by Kamal’s clothed ones; and, Puck’s bare ass pressed against Kamal’s clothed groin. The juxtaposition of their bodies was beautiful and almost poetic.

The noises that came from Puck’s throat sent tremors through me as my dick ached and heart pounded. And Kamal’s hushed commentary was just as arousing.

“Good boy. That’s it. Relax, I’m not going to hurt you. I just want to make you feel good.”

Puck whimpered as I took photo bursts of Kamal’s skilled hand job. When he groaned with sudden volume I made the mistake of glancing up, to find his dark gaze on me, as Kamal kept his movements slow and steady. The trainer wasn’t making this quick, but extending the ponyboy’s pleasure at the same time as he made him wait for release.

My mouth dry, I held Puck’s gaze for several moments, then turned back to the viewer. I wanted to capture the moment of release, when it happened. The money shot, so to speak.

My heart beat fast and sweat gathered on my neck, but it was too late to take off the plaid shirt. I swallowed thickly as I crouched on one knee with my camera aimed at the action.

Puck began to squirm as he got closer to his orgasm, trying to push his cock into Kamal’s tight hand at the rhythm he craved. But Kamal held him still and continued his slow, steady tease. Puck whimpered and gasped, his struggles becoming more desperate. Kamal’s arm strained to keep him still and the older man’s lips pressed together with determination as he murmured soft reassurances into Puck’s ear.

Finally, when I thought the poor kid would scream from frustration, Puck stiffened and a stuttering wail erupted from his throat, as semen gushed over Kamal’s moving hand.

“Good boy, that’s a good boy, so very good, Puck, that’s so good.”

If I’d been closer to Puck’s age I probably would have creamed my jeans at the sight of this. Instead I used the monumental will I’d gained from so many years of practice, and locked my desire down, continuing to take photos as Puck sagged against his trainer and shuddered through the remnants of his orgasm.

Kamal held him until Puck regained his energy and stood stiffly, cheeks flaming with embarrassment as he tried to avoid my gaze.

Kamal peeled off his soiled glove.

“Oliver, I’m going inside for a moment. Can you keep an eye on him? I’m sure he won’t be any trouble,” Kamal said.

“Uh, sure. I’ll stay right here,” I said, watching Kamal walk past and out the gate.

Acting on sudden impulse, I lifted the camera and took a burst of shots of Kamal from behind as he strode toward the arena with a the soiled glove clutched in one hand.

As I lowered my camera, I watched Kamal for a few more seconds before turning to meet Puck’s challenging gaze. He stood there, spent and satisfied, with a scowl on his face and lines in the skin of his forehead. He was still the most beautiful thing on two legs.

I shrugged and smiled. “He’s hot.” But nothing compared to you.

Puck’s eyes narrowed and he snorted, sounding like a real pony for a second.

“If you like bossy assholes who use their power against you.”

His comment sounded ridiculous in the circumstances and I couldn’t help laughing.

“What did you think you were gonna get at a pony play ranch? A pushover?”

He nodded, cheeks darkening. “Fine. Yeah, sure. Laugh at me. I know you think I’m stupid.”

That sobered me, and quickly. 

“Puck. What?”

He squirmed, like he wanted to leave but knew he had to wait here for Kamal and if he didn’t, he’d be in major trouble that he probably didn’t want to think about.

“I mean, what kind of guy would want to do this, right?” he muttered, gazing at the paddock around him as if it were full of refuse.

“You’re seriously asking me that?”

He glared at me.

I continued. “I think that any man worth his salt, would give alot to be standing in your shoes.” My gaze drifted along his body to his scuffed Docs. “Boots,” I corrected.

He didn’t say anything, but his gaze very deliberately roamed over my body and back to my eyes. “Would you?

I felt my cheeks heat. Would I? I didn’t know what to say, so I took off my baseball cap and slapped it against my thigh. The sound made Puck jump. Which was more telling than anything I’d seen so far.

He covered his startle with a sneer, though, and repeated his question.

“Would you?”

“Sure.”

“Yeah, right.”

I stared at him, wondering how long Kamal was going to be. I felt abandoned and put on the spot. But maybe I should take advantage of the privacy we had.

“I’d be open to trying it,” I said.

“Awesome. Next time I see Adam, I’ll let him know that our expert photographer wants to try life as a ponyboy.”

“I’d rather be a trainer,” I said slowly, glancing to see if Kamal was making his way back yet, but there was no sign of him. 

Puck to see him watched me, his eyes bright with interest. I moved carefully, cautiously, closer, as if he were a wild horse and not a human ponyboy on his way to being domesticated.

He held my gaze as I got closer. I stopped in front of him.

“I’d rather be your trainer,” I said, lifting my hand slowly. I held it in the air near his face, waiting for a sneer or a curse or even a wad of angry spit. 

He glanced at it briefly, then returned his gaze to mine and remained still as I lowered my fingers to his head. I stroked my fingers over his dark locks as he closed his eyes and sighed, like the weight of a thousand tons had been removed.

“I think you’re beautiful,” I said, savouring his perfect bone structure and pale skin spattered with lovely brown beauty marks. 

He said nothing as he stood beneath my touch. He kept his eyes closed, but his chest rose and fell with quickening breaths.

I leaned in and placed a soft, chaste kiss against his cheek. He turned his face enough to press his against my lips and expose his neck, as if asking for more, when a throat cleared nearby. We jerked apart.

I stepped back and gazed apologetically at Kamal. “Sorry. I’m sorry.”

Kamal’s expression was one of pleased surprise. He only shook his head. 

“It’s quite all right. I told you to watch him. I just didn’t think you’d watch him quite that closely.”

“I’m sorry,” I said again. “I couldn’t help it.”

Kamal grinned and gestured to Puck who stared at the ground and scowled.

“I completely understand. For such a contrary ponyboy, he’s astonishingly beautiful.”

Puck snorted and scuffed at the dirt with his boot.

“Good luck,” Kamal laughed and raised his eyebrows, shaking his head at me.

“Thanks,” I muttered, retreating to pack up my gear.

I was officially done for the day. I needed to get some space, re-assemble my thoughts and emotions, and decide what the hell I was going to do now.

Lorraine and Teagan (5)

Lorraine and Teagan*

or

An Early Morning Reward

*I changed the name of the muscular ponyboy from Chris to Teagan. The name has been updated in the previous episode where he was mentioned.

I called my first morning in the grooming barn a success.

When the stable hands took the ponyboys to their trainers, I scrolled through some of the images I’d taken, and my belly clenched with excitement—both at the raw sexuality and beauty captured in the shots and also at the photos themselves. 

I was pleased. This project beat taking photos of fruits and vegetables in so many ways. I wasn’t sure I could go back to that, to be honest. But I wasn’t going to worry about it right now. I couldn’t fight the silly grin on my face as I folded up the tripod and packed my fancy camera into its bag.

Liv and Adrian returned shortly.

“Hey, Oliver,” Adrian said. “Did you get some sexy shots?”

“Oh yeah.”

“Lorraine wanted me to suggest you come and take some photos of her session with Teagan, if you want to,” Liv said as she got to work tidying up. “They’re in the arena right now.”

Hmm. I’d already packed my fancy gear away but I had my handheld with me. 

“Sure. Is it okay if I leave my gear here? I’ll just take my small camera.” I held up my compact Nikon.

“Yeah, of course. Just tuck it beside the table. It’ll be safe.”

I nodded. “All right. Have a good morning, then.”

Adrian grinned, waggling his eyebrows. “You, too.”

I grinned. “Plan to.”

On my way to the arena from the grooming barn, I once again admired the picturesque grounds of the Braided Crop Ranch.

Green and gold grass stretched to the edges of the thick forest on three sides, and to the main house and parking lot on the fourth. Adam had mentioned a spot on the lake for swimming, and I looked forward to taking advantage of that very soon. The day was already hot, and sweat had gathered on the back of my neck from the short walk.

I gazed at the bunkhouse in the distance, wondering if Puck had returned to bed or if he was up and wandering around, or reading a book, or playing video games. The image of him from this morning came back to me, causing my heart to stutter in my chest and my cock to thicken. 

I stopped and scrolled through the photos on the Nikon to the ones I’d taken first thing this morning–of Puck pissing into the morning dew. When I saw them, I returned to that raw and intimate moment, experiencing again Puck’s disdainful attitude and my helplessness to do anything about the attraction I felt.

The photos were beautiful.

I suppose taking pictures of cucumbers and zuchinis had been good practice for framing shots of penises. I examined what I could see of Puck’s un-circumsized dick as he performed the most basic of acts in the close-up images. It was fairly ordinary, medium-sized in its relaxed state, but I couldn’t help admiring its soft curves and the way the foreskin hugged the head as the yellow piss streamed forth.

I’d captured the action, so to speak, and there was no doubt what was going on. The long-shots of his stance, open jeans, hand holding onto himself, and the hot piss arching into the dewy grass, were surprisingly erotic, if you were into men. Which I was, and, presumably, as were most of the anticipated audience. I didn’t shy away from normal bodily functions. It was something gay men had to deal with in our sexual encounters and those sorts of things didn’t gross us out. In some instances, they were desirable aspects of our sexuality.

We could be pigs, I guess. Although, it seemed at least a few of us were ponies.

I took one last look at Puck’s casual stance and clicked the viewer closed, walking forward and pulling open the door to the arena. As soon as I stepped inside, the sound of boots on floorboards echoed loudly and Lorraine’s voice sounded.

“Knees up. Good. One more circle of the room and then come to stand for me.”

I closed the door and walked to where Lorraine stood in the middle of the room, watching Teagan as he trotted at a moderate pace. Although I was incredibly attracted to Puck’s lithe form in the pony gear, I appreciated the sight of Teagan’s substantial muscles and tight glutes, emphasized by the leather harness and posture-enhancing arm bands.

Where Puck was a fiery colt, Teagan was a prize stallion—the epitome of commercial male beauty in a kinky, equine package. He was beautiful and strong and majestic. While his presence didn’t affect my heart and soul the way Puck’s did, my cock hardened and my heartbeat quickened at the look of him.

I lifted my camera with one hand and took a series of quick, offhand captures as he jogged to us and Lorraine greeted me.

“Oliver. So glad you could join us.”

She didn’t take her eyes off her charge, but watched him closely as he slowed and stopped in front of her.

“Thanks for the invite.”

“Of course. You might as well see what you’ll be working with.” She reached out and lifted her hand up before Teagan’s face, presenting the back of it to him. “Lick.”

Obediently, Teagan’s lips opened and his pink tongue emerged to swipe across Lorraine’s brown skin as she smiled.

“Very good ponyboy. You have pleased me.”

At her words, Teagan stood taller and glowed with pleasure. His cheeks, flushed from the exertion, darkened further as he waited for instructions.

“Oliver has come to take some photos of you, Teagan.”

His gaze shifted to me with suspicion and, perhaps, jealousy? He’d seemed curious about me and my camera in the grooming barn, but now I sensed a protective energy from him, as if he didn’t want to share his mistress with anyone.

I couldn’t blame him, really.

Lorraine, although tiny, had the gravitas of a much larger person. She had a masculine energy, clothed in a feminine package. I sensed an indomitable will. 

In a different, but equally valid, way to Kamal, she commanded respect. Charisma? Presence? Whatever it was, it oozed from her pores like a truth serum.

“Answer me,” she ordered.

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“Will you stand still and let Oliver take some photos?”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

Teagan’s blue eyes shifted to me as he extended his neck and lifted his chin. 

“He’s covered with sweat and breathing hard, Oliver. Take some photos before he cools down. Show what a ponyboy’s body looks like after a good trot around the arena.”

“Sure,” I said. I had been tempted to say ‘Yes, Ma’am’, but refrained.

I held the digital camera to my face and circled Teagan, taking shots of his backside, thick thighs, and strong calves. The Docs on his feet were scuffed with use and I imagined each pair was worn by a multitude of different ponyboys. I focused in on the boots’ utilitarian and much-fetishized appeal as Teagan stood motionless before Lorraine.

Then I took shots of Teagan’s broad back, dotted with beads of perspiration, and his powerful shoulders and neck. I came around in front of him and captured the swell of his pecs and abdomen framed by the leather straps of the black body harness. A sweep of blond hair covered Teagan’s chest and a narrower trail led under the pelvic strap of the harness to where his huge cock nestled in its steel confines like a sleeping tiger.

“We had to find the extra large cage for this one,” Lorraine murmured, reaching out a delicate finger to touch one of the metal bars of the device, close to Teagan’s bulging flesh.

He hissed quietly and visibly resisted moving away from her touch.

“We have the applicants send in their measurements when they register, so we can plan some gear out, and when we got Teagan’s we double-checked that they were accurate, then found the extra large cage from our very first session. We had a ponyboy named Henry that first session, who needed a very large cage but we haven’t used it since. He was a gorgeous redhead. Well, he had red hair in other places, too.” She winked.

Teagan shifted his feet as Lorraine continued to touch the bars of the cock cage, occasionally gliding her pretty finger over Teagan’s swollen flesh with deliberate lightness.

“They like to be teased, Oliver. Most of them. They like being trapped with no hope of an orgasm until their trainer takes the damn thing off.”

“Do they?” I asked, unabashedly taking close-ups of the delicate curve of Lorraine’s forearm, her small brown hand, and the slim finger tracing designs on Teagan’s captive cock. Nobody seeing these photos would know the subjects by name, only as ponyboy and trainer, but the dynamic would be obvious. 

“Yes, they do. Teagan knows he is mine to do with as I please during his training session. And he only hopes he pleases me enough by being obedient and following my instructions, and excelling at the tasks I set him, that I uncage him and give him some relief at the end of it.”

I stopped shooting for several moments as the meaning behind this statement of Lorraine’s sank in. I lowered the camera and met her frank gaze.

“You mean, you—what do you mean, exactly?”

She smiled with an honest pleasure as she said, “If a ponyboy is good for me I uncage him and jerk him off at the end of the session. It’s a reward for good behaviour and a motivation for the same.”

I blinked, picturing this confident and intimidating woman unlatching Teagan’s cage and taking him in hand to the point of orgasm. My cock, which had exhibited a casual interest in the proceedings so far, perked up with interest.

I cleared my throat and adjusted myself. “Really?”

She nodded. “Really. I glove-up of course. Wouldn’t want to get any fluids on me. We do take certain precautions here at the ranch, even though everyone is regularly screened.”

The way in which she spoke of this—procedure—made me thrill to see it. But I didn’t have time to stay for Teagan’s entire session this morning. I’d promised Adam I’d take some still shots of the main house before joining him for lunch at the resort café. Lorraine must have seen the disappointment on my face.

“What’s wrong?”

“I just—“ I laughed, embarrassed. “That sounds like quite the thing to see. But I have to get back to the main house soon and I won’t be able to stay for Teagan’s session. In order to—see how things–come off.”

Lorraine laughed. “What a shame. Well, he has been astonishingly pliant for me already this morning. I could demonstrate right now.”

Teagan made an eager noise as his eyes flew wide. A shudder wracked his body as Lorraine jiggled his cock in the device, as if guessing at the weight of bagged produce.

I puffed an excited breath out. “Okay. Sure. Yeah. I’d like to see that.”

“Hmm, what do you think, Teagan? Can I count on you to continue with the good behaviour for the remainder of your session, if I reward you now? Sometimes it’s more difficult to give your all after you’ve climaxed. You’ll have to fight against the natural urge to want to lie down.”

“Yes, Ma’am. I’ll be good. I promise.” Teagan’s voice was deep and husky, full of desire for what his trainer had proposed.

Lorraine smiled slowly and shrugged, looking at me. “Some of the ponyboys are reluctant to have a woman trainer. They don’t think I can match a man for dominance and skill. They soon learn that I can.” 

She lifted her forearm in the air, straightening her fingers and pressing her thumb flat against them, so her hand became a streamlined triangle. She swivelled it slowly to emphasize the delicate shape and winked at me.

“Small hands can be an asset. They can get into all kinds of secret places.” She gazed meaningfully at Teagan’s ass as he paled and uttered a gasp. The thought of petite, delicate Lorraine burying her small hand and forearm in Teagan’s ass made my cock throb. Teagan shuddered. 

“You know, we do keep very long gloves at the ranch, for special occasions.”

“Good Lord,” I commented, blushing. “I believe you.”

“You seem to be taking all of this in stride, Oliver. Do you have experience with heavy kink?”

I inclined my head. “I’ve been involved in some fetish photography in the past, yes. But not to this level. It’s been an education.”

She giggled. “Oh, you will learn all kinds of wonderful things during your stay, I’m sure.” 

Lorraine deftly unlatched the cage surrounding Teagan’s penis. As she slipped it off, his cock swelled and straightened in front of us. The girth of it was intimidating.

“You’d think I’d need both hands to tame this monster,” she commented. “But I’ve found if I use one hand in just the right way, it works fairly well.”

Teagan groaned and licked his lips, glancing from Lorraine to me and back to Lorraine again. He shifted his feet as his cock swayed and leaked before him.

“Here, Oliver,” Lorraine said, wrapping the empty cock cage in a handkerchief she pulled from her pocket, and passing it to me. “Put it on the table and come back here.”

“Sure,” I said, tearing my eyes off of Teagan’s erection and doing Lorraine’s bidding. 

By the time I returned to them, Lorraine had pulled on a rubber glove and was squeezing lube out of a small tube into her hand, while Teagan watched with eager eyes.

“Spread your legs.”

Teagan moved his legs apart and Lorraine wrapped her small hand around his large appendage and began to work it. 

I lifted my camera.

Teagan’s gaze shifted to me as he made soft noises of pleasure. For a second I wished I could capture that look on his face, of rapture and pride and gratitude. His cheeks were flushed from exertion and arousal, and perhaps some embarrassment at being on display. But I aimed the camera lower and focused on Lorraine’s hand and Teagan’s cock as things got going.

She was right about using her small hand in just the right way. Lorraine was clearly adept at handling penises. Her fingers seemed to be everywhere at once. She changed up her tempo and her grip to keep him engaged, and no doubt the fact that his arms were captive and he was under the curious gaze of a virtual stranger helped make the situation even more appealing to Teagan’s kinky nature.

My brain and body responded to the tantalizing image of the muscular ponyboy at his trainer’s mercy, his dick an entertaining object in her expert grasp.

Lorraine’s petite lips opened as she concentrated, and Teagan’s moans of bliss became stuttering gasps as he approached his climax.

With a series of practiced twists of her delicate wrist, Lorraine brought Teagan to the edge and over it, the milky surge of his semen oozing over her knuckles as she continued her manipulations. Teagan’s primal groan echoed off the walls of the arena, and I took a series of photo bursts of the event as my heart hammered in my chest and my cock throbbed with envy.

When Teagan’s orgasm waned and he sagged with relief, Lorraine released him and peeled off her rubber glove, crooning and reassuring her charge.

“Very, very good. I think Oliver got some lovely photographs of you, my pet.”

I cleared my throat, attempting to quell my own excitement. “I did. Lots.”

“Hmm. I think Oliver appreciated our performance in more than simply an artistic capacity.”

I glanced down at my shorts where a definable tent from my erection was visible. I shrugged and grinned.

“Can you blame me?” I wasn’t embarrassed in the least. What gay man wouldn’t have gotten hard from that?

The tinkling of Lorraine’s musical laugh soothed my spirit and revived my energy. I began to take shots of her ponyboy’s penis as it slowly softened and shrank. I zoomed in on a remaining bubble of semen as it emerged from the tip and hung, suspended by an extending thread, before separating and dropping to the floor. 

That image would make it onto the website. I was almost positive.

“Lorraine. Teagan. That was incredible. Thank you.” I replaced the lens cap and smiled.

Teagan said nothing, but Lorraine touched my arm. “You’re very welcome, Oliver. Come back and watch us anytime you like.”

She left Teagan to recover and took her soiled glove to the waste basket under the table. I followed, knowing I had to get back to the main house but not wanting to leave.

She glanced at me curiously. “Are you interested in watching Kamal with Puck this afternoon?”

Oh dear God. Yes, yes and yes.

“Sure,” I said, trying to quell my eagerness.

“I’ll let him know to expect you, then.”

“Thank you.”

“No, thank you, Oliver. I can see that Adam has hired a consummate professional. I have no doubt you will do the BCR proud with your captures.”

“I certainly hope so.”

I walked back to the main house, leaving Lorraine and her spent ponyboy to the remainder of their session. Teagan would have to reassemble his energy. It would be a slog but he might just be hard again by the end of it. Perhaps, if he was a very good ponyboy, Lorraine would reward him a second time.

My mind returned to the memories of her long fingers working Teagan over, and I tried not to get hard again. This ranch was a trip, for sure.

The anticipation of being in the ring with Kamal and Puck this afternoon made me giddy with desire.

The Early Morning Dew (4)

The Early Morning Dew

or

First Assignment in The Grooming Barn

I decided, at the risk of appearing stand-offish, that I’d skip the communal supper. I checked with Adam, who said it was fine, since I’d met everyone of consequence already. But he hoped I’d avail myself of the experience most days, since my meals were included with my stay.

I honestly wasn’t that hungry. I was more excited than anything else. I had been prepared for the gear and the submission, and even for Kamal’s expert dominance, though it was eminently impressive.

But I hadn’t been prepared for the raw sexuality and appeal of Puck in the paddock, bent over with his hands clutching the rough wood fence, while a butt plug horse tail was inserted unceremoniously into his rear. 

I’d been prepared to be blown away, though. And I was.

I was so impressed by the ranch and so excited about taking photos of these beautiful creatures for six weeks, I wanted to chart out the way I would approach my assignment and figure out a plan.

I’d begin in the grooming barn, because that was where the experience began for the ponyboys. This afternoon, I’d get some shots of the ponyboys with their trainers. Later, I’d take candids in the bunkhouse and the main house. None of these images would include faces or other identifying features.

I could hardly wait to get started.

*****

In the morning, I rose early, showered, and dressed in tan cotton shorts and a blue short sleeve button-down. I pulled on my white chucks, which I’d never be able to wear on an actual horse ranch, but seemed perfect for a day at the BCR—comfortable and hip. I desperately wanted these cute ponyboys to think I was hot. Yes, my mind was on obtaining professional and artistic images of all the dirty details, but I wanted to present an alluring image myself.

Especially when it came to Puck.

I ran into Kamal on the main floor, a cup of coffee in his hand as he made his way along the hall.

“Good morning, Oliver.”

“Good morning, Kamal.”

“There’s fresh coffee in the cafeteria,” he said, with a smile. “And you’ll find cereal in the cupboards, and fruit and milk in the fridge. Help yourself.”

“Thank you.”

“I’ll be in the front room if you’d like to join me?” he pointed a bit further down the hall.

“Sure. Thanks.”

I grabbed a banana and a cup of coffee and found the room Kamal had spoken of. It was actually at the back of the main house—or the front, I suppose, depending on your perspective—with large windows and comfortable furniture arranged in a pleasant way. Kamal was seated in an armchair by the window, sipping his coffee and making notes on a piece of paper which he folded and put in his pocket when I approached.

“Looks like it’s going to be a beautiful day,” he said cheerfully, tossing his pen onto the wood and black metal coffee table.

“Yes.” I stood at the expansive windows, sipping my coffee and staring out at the green fields and paddocks. The sun glinted off the walls of the grooming barn and arena, and the bunkhouse was only a small brown dot in the distance. 

“I take it you’re a city boy?”

I smiled. “Yep. Don’t get out to the wilderness very often.”

“Hmm. I hope you don’t find this place boring. There’s not much to do but enjoy the beauty of nature and play with kinky young men.” He winked.

I laughed. “Mm hm. I figure my work and the…scenery…will keep me entertained.”

Kamal nodded. “What did you think of my contrary ponyboy?” His deep brown eyes pierced me with curiosity.

I shrugged. “You mean Puck?”

“Of course, I mean Puck.”

I laughed and scratched my chin. “Hey, I’m new here. I don’t know how many cranky ones there are.”

“Fair enough.”

“He seemed…pissed off about something. Do you get alot of ponyboys like that?”

“No, not really. Most of them are quite happy to be here, kinking it up, and it’s more of an intense game than anything else.”

“Sure.”

“Then again, it’s not uncommon for this type of role play to trigger deeper, unaddressed issues in some men. They think they want to play pony, but they aren’t prepared for the immersive nature of the ranch. Or the demands of trainers like myself.”

“I imagine. You seem very…dedicated.”

Kamal chuckled. “That’s one way of putting it. The ponyboys I train might use a different word.”

I laughed. “Sure. But I bet they like it. For the most part.”

He grinned and sipped his coffee. 

I peeled my banana and took a bite, staring out at the sunlit grounds.

*****

I decided to grab my camera and stroll the fields in the early morning, before the trainers and ponyboys began their official duties, to capture the beauty and innocence of the area.

There was dew on the grass and birdsong pervading the cool air, and the heat from the rising sun forecast a steamy day ahead. I spent some time taking shots of the grooming barn and arena from the outside.

Then I walked the dirt track to the bunkhouse and took some shots of it, too, wondering what was going on inside those wood walls. At the moment I was far enough away not to be invading anyone’s privacy. But I hoped to eventually take some non-identifying photos of the men inside, sharing their daily lives with me.

First, I’d have to get to know them.

I aimed my Nikon at the edge of the forest, where squirrels and chipmunks frolicked and antagonized each other, and birds landed on branches to observe the cresting dawn, when the creak of rusty hinges made me glance at the bunkhouse.

A young man emerged into the morning light, and it only took me a second to recognize the dark-haired man I’d seen in the paddock with Kamal the day before.

Puck.

He took in my presence with a disdainful glare and walked forward, stopping before me with his arms crossed over his chest.

“What are you doing here?” he asked. He was wearing faded jeans with a rip in one knee and a LEGO Star Wars t-shirt, which I couldn’t help finding completely adorable.

I straightened from my crouch and smiled.

“Good morning.”

“Is it? Yesterday you watched that prick give me my tail, and today you’re creeping around taking pictures of the bunkhouse. You realize we don’t play pony in there, right?”

Jesus, he was a spitfire. Despite our chemical attraction in the paddock, it seemed I’d gotten on his bad side.

“I know. I was only taking shots of the building.”

Puck assessed me, and I think if it hadn’t been strictly forbidden on ranch property, he’d have pulled out a pack of cigarettes and smoked one. He looked me over slowly, not saying a word, his expression stony, as I stood there trying to think of something else to say, since he wasn’t exactly rushing to fill the silence.

“It’s a beautiful morning,” was all I came up with.

Puck didn’t take his eyes off me as he responded. “I guess. I shouldn’t be up this fucking early.”

“Oh?”

“I don’t have to be in the grooming barn until one,” Puck said, scratching beside his freckled nose and yawning. “I should have slept in.”

“Why didn’t you?” I asked, trying not to be seduced by this man’s endearing physical form which seemed to belie his ornery soul. But he was fucking sweet-looking, with his soft black hair that curled in the summer heat, and his delicate, freckled nose, lean stature and full mouth. The jewelry in his eyebrow and lower lip glinted in the sunlight.

He didn’t answer right away. Then, miracle of miracles, the hint of a smile and the words, “Really? If you don’t think putting nine guys together in a communal space is going to make for noisy sleeping arrangements, then you’re dumber than I thought.”

I held onto that smile like a lifeline and ignored the derogatory comment.

“Good point,” I said. “Well, since you are up, and I’ve got my camera, would you allow me a few shots?”

He narrowed his eyes. “I don’t want to be identified.”

“Of course,” I nodded. “I only want you from the neck down.”

It took a second for both of us to register what I’d said. Puck smiled slowly and I felt the heat rise in my cheeks as I scrambled to dissemble. I cleared my throat.

“I mean, I’ll only photograph you from behind or from the neck down. That’s all I meant.”

He regarded me curiously, and again I saw an invisible cigarette dangle from his lips. He was that cool. He radiated it. Although I had the feeling it was an intentional deflection from more unstable emotions.

“Are you sure?” he asked. There was no teasing this time. It seemed like a sincere inquiry and I struggled to answer it with the same honesty.

“No,” I said, “But as far as my photographic license goes, I’m not allowed to take a photo of your face.” I hesitated, looking at the ground, then glancing back up. “As much as I’d maybe like to.”

We gazed at each other for several moments. Then he shrugged.

“Whatever. Do what you want. I need to take a piss. You can shoot that if you want.”

“Um. Isn’t there a bathroom inside?” 

Puck laughed, turning only slightly to the side as he unzipped his fly and dug his cock out of his pants. “It’s crowded right now with the morning crew. I thought it would be more private out here.” He held my gaze as a jet of bright yellow piss arched out and landed in the grass, steam rising from the shock of heat on the cold morning dew. 

I don’t know what possessed me, but I had promised to capture life at the BCR and Puck had given me permission. So I lifted my camera and took a few shots of Puck emptying his bladder onto the ground, as my heart beat hard in my chest.

“Wow,” he said when he’d finished. “You’re dedicated.”

“Yeah, well, you’re gorgeous. Even while pissing onto the ground with a crappy attitude.” I grinned at him in order to temper my words. It was all so true.

He stared at me, I think surprised by my forthright compliment.

“Hmm,” was all he gave me by way of a reply as he tucked himself up and zipped his jeans. He turned away and stepped up to the bunkhouse door and I figured that was it. But he turned back as he grabbed the handle.

“The crappy attitude comes and goes, and the rest is just good genes. How old are you, anyway?”

My mouth went dry as I melted under the fire of his gaze. “Just turned thirty. You?”

He looked me over. “Not that old.” He opened the door and went inside, where I heard the sounds of other men speaking and laughing before the door shut behind him.

Fuck. He’d known right where to hurt me. Whether he’d intended to or not, I didn’t know. Anyway, I was older than he was, obviously. Maybe too old to be interesting. We’d have to see, then. 

I may not have been old enough to be real daddy material, but I was old enough to know this boy, perhaps, needed a daddy more than anything else right now. As much as he tried to play it cool, he seemed lost and out of his depth—fragmented and trying to reassemble his identity in this unusual setting. I wanted to comfort and guide him, even though I had no idea if he’d want me to. In fact, after our interaction just now, I knew I’d have to play the long game with him. I’d need to convince him I could be good for him, because he seemed skeptical, at the very least. And I had no doubt there were a few others who were going to make a play for Puck.

But I had six weeks. I was better at marathons than sprints anyway.

*****

I walked back toward the grooming barn, and tried the staff entrance. It was unlocked, so I stepped inside and found Lorraine, the female trainer, writing on the whiteboard with a fat marker.

She smiled at me. “Good morning, Oliver.”

“Good morning,” I said. “Do you mind if I get a shot or two of your hands as you write? Since I’m here? It’s Lorraine, right?”

“Yes. And, no, I don’t mind at all.” She continued to write on the whiteboard as I moved in close beside her so I could shoot over her shoulder.

The cameral clicked as I took several angles of Lorraine’s delicate fingers on the marker, writing basic gear under the name Joshua.

Andrew, Puck and Justin had been in training yesterday afternoon, which meant Joshua, Chris and Lincoln were on this morning. The three attractive men I’d met in the bunkhouse would be naked, and washed and tacked in front of me this morning. 

Lorraine put her marker in the tray and turned to me. “I see you are going to be recording every last detail, Oliver.”

I grinned. “That’s my job. Adam wants a record of everyday life on the ranch. So, not always the sexy shots of bare asses and harnesses.” 

I recalled shooting Puck’s early morning piss in the dew. Whether that would make it into the official collection, I had no idea. But something told me Adam would appreciate the raw and natural beauty of the moment.

Lorraine nodded and leaned seductively against the rectangular table holding harnesses and efficiently arranged supplies. She looked me over carefully, folding her arms.

“What’s your story, Oliver?”

I felt put on the spot. “Pardon?”

She smiled, flashing her teeth. “I mean, what made you say yes to the opportunity to document the daily life at this kinky place? Hmm? Pure monetary motivation? Curiosity? What?”

I supposed that was a fair question.

“Well, to be honest, I needed something to fill my summer. So there was definitely a monetary component behind it. This is how I make a living, after all.”

“Fair.”

“Curiosity? Definitely. How does a place like this exist? How does it run? What do the ponyboys look like in person? How is a ponyboy trained?”

“So many questions,” she said dreamily. “Have you gotten any answers?”

“Starting to. But this place is so detailed—so immersive—it’s probably going to take me the full six weeks to figure it out.” 

Not to mention it was going to take the full six weeks to prove to a certain ornery ponyboy that I could show him a few things he might enjoy—and hopefully get him to fall for me during the process.

“Well, you’d better get started, then,” Lorraine said, walking past me to the door and glancing back. “I’m looking forward to seeing what you produce.”

She flashed me a smile and was gone.

I set my camera bag down and unzipped it, pulling out the tripod. Once that was unfolded and situated, I pulled out my Canon EOS R5 and attached the zoom lens, then slotted it onto the tripod. I had taken my older Nikon camera on walkabout earlier and it did a fine job, but for more steady work I liked the pricey Canon model.

The door opened behind me and I turned to see Liv, and a man I hadn’t met yet, enter the grooming barn.

“Hi, Liv. I hope I’m okay to set up in here?” I asked.

“Hey! Yeah, sure. As long as you stay back from the shower area and right beside the table, it should be fine.”

“I might want to come in for some closer shots, but I’ll use my handheld camera for that. I’ll try not to disrupt you too much.”

She smiled. “Adam wants us to accomodate you to the best of our ability. So don’t worry. We’ll let you know pretty quick if we need you to get out of the way.”

I laughed. “Perfect.”

“This is Adrian, by the way. He’s on the morning shift with me this week.”

“Adrian,” I said, by way of greeting.

“Oliver.” He looked me up and down and gave me a quick smile. “You sure you’re up to taking close-ups of sweaty muscles and leaking cocks?”

I blushed. “Um…I’m sure I will be up to it. I’ve done fetish photography before.”

“Ah. An experienced player. I like it.”

“I’ve photographed some stuff. Nothing quite comparable to this, though,” I admitted. “This animal role-play business is new to me.”

I heard the other door to the building creak open, and footsteps sound behind the partition.

“Ponyboys are here. Better get set up,” Adrian said. 

I hastened to make some final adjustments to the camera as Liv and Adrian sorted items on the table. I saw the flash of silver and heard the thud of leather, while voices in the other room gradually quieted and the first naked man rounded the corner.

It was Chris, and without his clothes on, he was a blond God.

Thick muscles in his legs and arms, a six-pack that looked like I could bounce a ball off it, and a dick the size of a prize cucumber, made my eyes bug out of my head. But I schooled myself quickly, in order not to appear like an absolute newb. I’d seen a hot guy naked before. And, even with his seemingly physical perfection, Chris’ nude presence didn’t touch me the way Puck’s ethereal beauty had.

I started shooting as he moved to stand beneath the showerhead closest to the left, and Adrian slid in beside him, a black ball gag in his hand. With deft fingers Adrian placed the gag between Chris’ pliant lips and fastened it behind his head.

“Arms up.” 

Chris raised his arms and glanced at me with curiosity. I almost waved but then remembered these men were supposed to be animals or objects once they had entered the grooming space, so I didn’t acknowledge him—just kept taking photos of his body with the zoom lens, following as his wrists were buckled into the hanging cuffs and Lincoln came around the corner.

Lincoln was cute, with a smaller cock than Chris had, but with a streamlined body that would look good on a fashion runway. Adrian quickly gagged Lincoln and attached his wrists to the hanging cuffs above his showerhead and then moved to the table to grab a loofa, as Liv went to deal with Joshua.

Joshua was attractive and imperfect, like Puck, in a way that made my juices flow. His hair was down now and fell past his shoulders in soft brown waves. I wasn’t particularly a fan of long hair, but Joshua pulled it off. His body was thicker than Lincoln’s but not as built as Chris’. He had a boy-next-door naivety that appealed to me. He probably wasn’t naive at all, since he was playing pony on a fetish ranch, but he had the look about him. As Liv placed the ball gag between his teeth I caught a flash of something far from innocent in the gaze he shot me.

After the gags and wrist cuffs, the trainers fastened the men’s penises into the steel cages. It made sense to do this before things got out of hand and the ponyboys became so aroused it made the task impossible. As it was, Adrian struggled a bit with Chris’ massive appendage but managed to stuff it into the large steel trap.

As the consummate professional I professed to be, I zoomed in on this procedure, because it seemed so important to the overall hierarchy of the ponyboys at the BCR as lowly servants and obedient animals. They would presumably be reliant on their trainers for any relief from the confines of these strict restraints.

It would be interesting to see which of these men photographed well, and which didn’t. The camera didn’t love everyone, although usually that was more apparent in portraits. I would be capturing body parts primarily, and more would depend on the angle of a particular shot and the lighting, than on the charisma of the model.

At least, that was the theory.

I took a collection of long shots as the ponyboys were rubbed and scrubbed to cleanliness as my brain appreciated the thoroughness of the stable hands and marvelled at the way the men were treated like animals, to be groomed and prepared for their trainers. It was a wonderful way to get them into the service headspace needed for their sessions.

“Is it all right if I come in a bit closer, Adrian?”

“Sure,” he said. He moved a cloth gently over Chris’ captive privates as the large man closed his eyes dreamily, and widened his legs to allow the stable hand ample access. 

I crouched and took shot after shot of Adrian’s skilled hands as they cleaned Chris, front and back, then I got several different angles of the ponyboy’s flushed nude buttocks and legs.

Then I moved on to Lincoln, who waited patiently for one of the stable hands to be done with the others and attend to him. He watched me out of curious eyes, saliva beginning to slide down his chin from the gag. I had to admit, seeing these men like this was a trip–moreso than anything I’d experienced at my other fetish shoots. It seemed more authentic–not just people playing dress-up and experimenting with casual power exchange.

I was the recipient of curious and interested glances from the ponyboys and, occasionally, the stable hands, since it was my first morning and they hadn’t yet gotten used to my presence. I hoped to become a mere part of the landscape eventually, so that I could effectively record what went on at the ranch without becoming a part of it. I was paid to be an observer. I truly wanted to be a fly on the wall when I was behind my camera.

When I wasn’t behind my camera, I’d continue to try to blend in so I’d get an honest idea of the workings of this unique place. I planned to keep a diary of my experiences, so besides the photos, I’d have a personal record of this experience.

From what I’d observed so far, The Braided Crop Ranch was a revelation in kink positivity and individual identity. If I could record even a half of what I’d seen and felt so far, I’d be richer for it.

Puck (3)

Puck

or

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.”

“Sure.”

“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. 

“Hold him.”

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?”

What?

“Pardon?”

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. 

“Oliver.”

“Yes?”

“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.

“Wider.”

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.”

Adam laughed.

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.”

An Unexpected Invitation (1)

1

AN UNEXPECTED INVITATION

Editing digital photos to make fruits and vegetables appear perfectly ripe, juicy, and seductive, was not where I thought my life would end up. 

When I’d chosen photography as the focus of my fine arts degree at the University of Waterloo in Southern Ontario, I had imagined somewhat more exciting subject matter. But most of my assignments these days involved long hours spent hunched on my elbows in the dirt, taking alluring shots of farm produce.

On my computer screen, a ray of morning sunlight bounced off the red skin of a plump tomato. I’d tried several filters and a range of exposures to get it just right, but something wasn’t working. 

I clicked on another set of tools and looked for something that might work. While I perused the list, my phone pinged from where it lay on the desk.

I glanced at the screen to see a text from an unknown number: 

Mr. Lambert, is it OK if I give you a call in a few moments? My name is Adam Marsland. I was given your name and contact info by Jaden Stevenson. I’m looking for a photographer.

Since referrals had gotten me to where I was in my life at the moment—a recognized purveyor of outstanding photographic interpretations of reality—I texted Mr. Marsland back immediately.

Of course. Give me five minutes.

I input Adam Marsland as a contact and stood from my chair. My neck cracked when I stretched it to the side, and again when I repeated the motion in the other direction. I was only thirty years old, but sitting in one position for too long was bad for anyone. I reached my arms up and over my head, feeling the pull in my muscles.

Moving into the kitchen of my small condo on Toronto’s East Side, I grabbed a tumbler and pressed the button on my fridge for cold water, watching the stream of liquid splash into the glass. It would be great if Mr. Marsland could offer me a contract for some images. I was booked up until mid-June but, after that, things looked a bit sparse. 

I carried my drink to the living room window and gazed out on the city. Living on the fifteenth floor afforded me the luxury of a stunning view, even if the square footage was small. At least the finishes and upgrades in this unit were of the highest quality and done according to the latest trends. I’d been able to furnish the tiny apartment with quality pieces, like the Eames chair and a tan leather love seat from West Elm, since I didn’t need many.

When my ring tone sounded I walked back to my desk, put the glass down and pressed the answer button, remaining on my feet since I’d been sitting for the past hour and a half.

“Mr. Marsland.”

“Mr. Lambert. Good afternoon. How are you today?”

“Fine, thanks. What can I do for you?” I asked, taking a sip from my glass.

Mr. Marsland cleared his throat, and I heard the click of a pen. “I’m hoping you can come to my ranch and take some photos for me. I need to update our website and you come highly recommended.”

I smiled, because it was always nice to hear that. “Thanks. Jaden mentioned me?”

“Yes. He thinks you’d be perfect for what we need.”

“I’m pretty booked up at the moment. What timeframe are we looking at?”

“I’d need you to spend part of the summer here, if you’re available, and interested. You’ll be compensated well and we can put you in a room at the main house during your stay.”

Perfect. “I do have most of the summer free at the moment. Are you talking three weeks? Six?”

Papers rustled on Mr. Marsland’s end. “Six weeks. From mid-July to the end of August.”

I walked back to my computer and put the glass down beside it. “And I’d be photographing horses? Riders? The landscape, too, I suppose?”

There was a pause, and he laughed. “We’re not that kind of ranch, Mr. Lambert.”

I narrowed my eyes at the red tomato that had tortured me with its saucy round form all morning. Mr. Marsland’s comment intrigued me.

“Call me Oliver. And, what exactly do you mean?”

“The name of my…business…is The Braided Crop Ranch. We’re really a club, of sorts, with a resort hotel on the premises.”

Hmm. “Oh. And you offer riding as part of the resort experience?”

Mr. Marsland laughed. “No. No riding. Only ponies.”

“I’m sorry. I’m a bit confused about—“

“We’re a fetish ranch, Oliver. Pony play. Human ponies. In leather harnesses and other…accoutrements.”

I blinked quickly, my eyes flitting from the tomato to the glass of water on my desk as my mouth went dry.

“Oh. I see,” I said.

Holy. That was not where I thought this conversation was going. A fetish ranch? My mind conjured up strange images of people in horse costumes. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that.

Adam laughed again. “Look, why don’t I text you the link to our website, where we have some older images, and you can call me back if you’re interested. And just text me a ‘No, thanks’, if you’re not.”

That…made sense. My mind reeled from the information but also honed in razor-sharp on the fact that this would be a very different assignment from anything I’d done in the past.

“All right. That sounds fine.”

“I hope to hear from you within the next hour. But if I don’t, no harm, no foul. What we’d be looking for are updated, artistic images for the website and our brochures—maybe a selection of shots to sell in our gift shop. Have a look, and if you think you can work with us, call me back. At any rate, it was great to speak with you, Oliver.”

“Same, Mr. Marsland.”

Adam. Please.”

“Okay. Thanks, Adam. I’ve got your text, so I’ll have a look.”

“Excellent. Hope to speak to you soon.”

I closed the call and clicked the link in the text from Adam. My browser opened, and a ‘Welcome’ page loaded.

The Braided Crop Ranch scrolled in elegant but readable script overtop an idyllic scene of what looked like a regular farmhouse and barns, in a woodland setting. Then a Warning window popped up, informing me I had to be eighteen or older to enter the site.

Hmm. Well, I was thirty, so I clicked it.

Welcome to the Braided Crop Ranch

A fetish farm for pony play enthusiasts…

And, okay, wow. I didn’t even finish reading the intro because my eyes were drawn to the photos below it. Photos that turned my initial intrigue into outright fascination.

The images were pretty good, honestly, but a bit on the amateur side. Anyway, it wasn’t the style of the photos that grabbed my attention, but their subject.

I was no prude, and I had been involved in some fetish shoots in my time in this business. But those had been at cheesy, publicized events in the straight community, featuring stereotyped costuming and traditional BDSM props. It had been challenging to take photos that didn’t reflect on that fact and also didn’t sensationalize the subject matter.

But this…this looked like a pony play ranch for boys. Well, men, of course. But the word captioned on the images of these gorgeous young guys in very unique fetish-wear, was ponyboys

I’d be lying if I said the word itself didn’t send a thrill down my spine and straight to my tightening balls.

Holy fucking shit.

So this was The Braided Crop Ranch, where Adam Marsland wanted me to spend my summer photographing ponyboys, and all the things they got up to?

I spent a few more minutes examining the photos of naked men in leather harness, with full horsehair tails cascading from their asses, and shiny, steel cages on their penises. They were entrancing in their uniqueness and the edgy, casual way the kink was presented. They weren’t trying to be horses. They were men submitting to being treated like horses. And that made all the difference.

Absolutely, I wanted to take photos of these pretty boys all summer at The Braided Crop Ranch. Who wouldn’t? Especially because I did happen to be a gay man, and I couldn’t imagine a more arousing spectacle than watching ponyboys prance around in the gear I’d seen.

But I had to contemplate having my professional name associated with this kind of project. Did I want to expose the people I’d convinced of my worth in this business, to something so on-the-fringe and exotic? Or did I want to do the work for Adam anonymously, using a made-up name? 

It should be possible to do that. Adam was the only one at the ranch, as far as I knew, who was aware of my identity.

I tapped my fingers on the desk, wondering if I had time for a quick wank after I spoke to Adam. Those photos were really doing it for me, and they weren’t even that good. Imagine what I could produce.

I called Adam. He picked up after the first ring. 

“Oliver. I’m so glad to hear from you.”

I pulled my wheeled chair out and sat down.

“Adam, I’ve gone through the photos on the website. They aren’t bad, but I could definitely produce something superior, especially if I have six weeks to follow some individual ponyboys around and document their daily activities.”

When Adam replied his voice was light and excited. He already seemed like a stand-up guy and I was already looking forward to working with him. 

“Amazing! I was hoping you’d be interested. We’d have to ensure that no identifying features or marks were visible in the photos, of course. Privacy is a major concern for us here.”

I picked up a pen and started to doodle on my gas bill. “Yeah, I wanted to talk to you about that actually. I’d be willing to do this for you, Adam, but I’d like to visit the ranch under a different name, and publish the photos under a pseudonym.”

“Of course. I don’t have any issue with that.”

I felt I had to explain. “I just don’t know if I want to associate my professional body of work with this kind of thing. I believe it’s just as valuable a pursuit, but I’m worried I’ll lose work if someone less flexible sees that I take these kinds of photos, as well as mainstream stuff.”

“I completely understand,” Adam replied.

The words I’d said didn’t sit well with me. I ran a hand through my hair and walked over to the window. “I’m not ashamed to take photos of beautiful boys, Adam.” I cleared my throat. “I assume they’re all of legal age to consent to this?”

“Yes, of course. We have a minimum age requirement of twenty to sign up as a ponyboy at the ranch. We don’t think people younger than that, have the mental maturity to handle the experience, since it’s so immersive.”

“Okay. Good. Anyway, as I was saying, I’m not ashamed or embarrassed to do this work. Not at all. And, those harnesses, and the cages…I mean…Jesus. Do the ponyboys wear those things day-to-day?”

Adam chuckled softly. “They do. Almost every day.”

I swallowed, my mouth suddenly dry. “Every…day? Okay, you’ve got to tell me. How does the Braided Crop Ranch function, exactly?”

“I’d rather explain that to you in person, Oliver. When you arrive in July.” He paused. “All I can say, is that four years into operations, the ranch works beautifully. I’d like you to come and take a photographic record of that.”

If I passed this opportunity up? It would be a huge regret. There wasn’t any reason I could think of not to go.

“What sort of compensation are we talking about?” I asked, getting down to the nitty gritty. Perhaps I should have led with that. But my brain was blinded with pictures of pretty ponyboys, so…

We went over what Adam was willing to offer. 

He’d house me, feed me, entertain me, as long as I took a good amount of photos and tried to make the ranch look as professional and exclusive and exciting as it really was. He also offered me enough money to make the venture worthwhile, even if I chose not to add the work to my professional portfolio. His confidence in the workings of his ranch was contagious, and by the end of the discussion, I was eager to see the place.

“All right. I’ll do it.” I said, tossing the pen across the table and rolling my chair back. Fuck you, stupid red tomato. I gave my computer the finger, grinning ear-to-ear.

“Fantastic!” Adam said. “The summer session begins on the 12th of July. The ponyboys will be arriving over the weekend and getting settled, so if you come on-site midweek, that would be perfect. It’ll give me time to let everyone know you’ll be wandering around, taking photos, as long as they agree. Consent it very important at my ranch, even for something as seemingly benign as this. But I don’t think we’ll have a problem with a lack of participation. Most of the men who play pony here, are very much into exhibitionism.”

I could only fucking imagine. “Sure.”

“When you arrive, I can give you a quick orientation and you can dive right in. That work for you?”

“Yes. That’s fine.”

“Text me your email address and I’ll have Connor send out our standard welcome letter with attached directions and information. We usually send it to incoming staff, so just ignore the parts that aren’t relevant. We do have a no-cell-phones rule that I will ask you to abide by. Phones are kept at the main house, where you’ll be staying, and aren’t allowed anywhere else on the grounds. It solves the problem of unofficial photos circulating and helps everyone maintain their focus. Not that I think you would take any personal photos, but it wouldn’t look very good if I allowed you to keep your phone, and no-one else.”

“I understand, Adam. That’s a good policy.”

“Then I’ll see you on July 12th. Thank you so much for agreeing to my request. Jaden couldn’t say enough positive things about you.”

“Bye Adam. I’m looking forward to it.” 

We ended the call and I texted Mr. Marsland my private email address.

While waiting for Adam’s letter, I decided to use my real name while at The Braided Crop Ranch, because I couldn’t imagine responding to a pretend one, and I didn’t want to insult the people who worked and played there, by acting as though I was ashamed to join them.

But the idea of using a pseudonym later, or simply publishing the photos under an Anonymous tag, remained appealing. I didn’t want to second-guess every image I took at this kinky ranch, and wonder how it would reflect on my professional, public, profile.

*****

I found myself unable to stop thinking about my summer contract. Time couldn’t pass quickly enough, and when I finally found myself a week away from my planned assignment, I could hardly believe it.

“What do you mean, you’re on a secret assignment?” My friend, Grif, said, when I explained that I’d be out of town for six weeks at an undisclosed location. “You’re not going to one of these new-age monastic retreats, are you? You know they’re all money-grabs, right?”

“Uh, no. That’s not where I’m going. And I’m being paid well for my time.”

He side-eyed me and sipped his beer. “Well, I just hope I eventually get the inside story. Seeing as I’m your best friend, I really do deserve to know where you’re going. I assume you’ll be reachable by cell?”

I hesitated. “Well…”

“Okay, come on. Where the fuck are you going and why is it a big secret?”

“Fine. But you cannot tell anyone. I need you to keep quiet, because I’m doing this assignment with a made-up name, because it’s a little out of the mainstream.”

Grif’s eyebrows flew up. He was older than me by a couple of years, but still looked like he was twenty-five. He didn’t have any trouble getting laid and he thought I was overplaying my concern at turning thirty. But I didn’t have the genes to look boyish my entire life, like Grif apparently did. I was starting to get lines beside my mouth and eyes–barely visible so far but they were there–and I’d already found a couple of grey hairs

I thought for second. “Actually, it’s way out of the mainstream. And I don’t know if I want my professional name associated with this.”

Grif sat up straighter. “Now I’m going to die if you don’t tell me.”

“You’re not going to die.”

“But you’re going to tell me, right?”

I tapped my fingers on the wood of the tabletop and smiled, staring at it and wondering of telling Grif was a good idea or a bad one. I knew he’d keep it a secret if it killed him, but, knowing Grif, this secret might just kill him.

“I’m going to be photographing men at a kinky pony play ranch in the Muskokas,” I said.

Grif stared at my profile silently for a few seconds. Then he slammed his beer down so hard, the liquid sloshed over the sides. 

“What?”

“Shhh, Jesus, this is supposed to be a secret.”

“Did you just say—“

“Kinky ponyboys at a ranch in Northern Ontario. Yeah. That’s what I said.”

“Ponyboys?” He whispered, grey eyes glinting dangerously, breaths becoming ragged. “Ponyboys!” 

“Griffin, are you having an asthma attack?”

“Maybe? I can’t breathe all of a sudden. Are you fucking kidding me?”

“No, I’m completely serious. You know I’m a photographer.”

How? How did you finagle this? And why didn’t you tell me sooner?”

I narrowed my eyes at him. “You can’t come with me.”

“Even just to visit?”

“I won’t have my phone most of the time.”

“I can’t even call you?”

“I’ll have it, I just have to leave it at the main house. So, I can call you, on occasion.”

He stared at me. “You better fucking call me. I’m going to want to know every fucking thing you do there.”

“I’m just taking pictures, Grif,” I shrugged. “That’s all.”

He sat back in his chair, regarding me quizzically. “Apparently, you’re going to live at this—ranch?—for six weeks. Maybe you won’t just take pictures.”

“What?”

“You’re telling me, you’re going to spend your days photographing half-naked, kinky men, playing pony for sexual kicks, and that’s it?”

I nodded. “Yeah. You know, I’m a professional. I can be professional at a kink ranch, just like anyplace else.”

He seemed dubious.

“I’m not going for pleasure, Grif. I’m going on a professional assignment.”

“So, you’re not going to get any pleasure from taking intimate photos of naked men in the pony barn? Wearing bridles and harnesses, and who knows what-the-fuck else, and you’re not going to get any pleasure from that?”

I levelled a meaningful stare his way.

“I’m sure that–look, I’m obviously going to enjoy this. What gay guy wouldn’t?”

“Uh huh.”

“But it will be a vicarious enjoyment, because I’m going to be there as a professional photographer, not a member of this very exclusive fetish club. I’m going to have to keep a professional distance, in order to do my job properly.”

“If you say so.” Grif took a gulp of his beer, put it down, and laughed softly. “Wow. I’m actually really excited for you, Ollie. Sounds like an incredible way to spend your summer.”

I grinned, lifting my beer. “Let’s drink to that. And not a word to anyone about where I am. Just say you don’t know, that I needed a vacation, or something.”

“Of course. I can keep a secret. But you have to promise you’ll call me and let me know what it’s like.”

“Fine.”

He clinked his glass with mine, and we drank to half-naked, kinky men, and a secret, summer retreat.

*****

I didn’t know what to pack. 

Adam had said the summers were hot, dry and sunny, and to bring shorts, boots and flip-flops, comfortable cotton shirts, and a few nicer pieces to wear to the communal suppers, and the annual Canada Day bonfire. I also might want to go off-site to the bars and restaurants in Huntsville on occasion, or the resort hotel attached to the ranch.

But I’d never had to prepare for such an unusual assignment before, and I found myself wanting to bring clothes that made me look, not only professional, but…hot. I would be taking pictures of incredibly good looking young men (if the photos already on the website were anything to go by) for six weeks. Even though I planned to maintain a professional distance from my subjects, I wanted them to think I was a passably attractive man. 

I’d hit the ripe old age of thirty several months ago, and it had taken some of the wind out of my sales, to be honest. True, it wasn’t that old. And I had been able to make a good name for myself in the business of digital photography. I was established and rarely had to go looking for work anymore, which was a huge accomplishment at my age.

But as a gay guy, I hated to admit there was a stigma about men in their thirties—that we weren’t any fun anymore—that we were over the hill. I felt stuck in an in-between land of gay stereotypes. I was too old to be a twink, but too young to be a Daddy.

I know, I know, it was ridiculous to think in terms like that, but I couldn’t help it! My social feed was full of posing twenty-somethings who’d throw out offhand comments about gay men over thirty, and it…stung.

Maybe the problem was who I followed on Twitter and Instagram – largely, men who were younger than thirty. So, yeah, maybe I had a thing for cute twinks with biteable asses and an affinity for drama. And it hurt that maybe they wouldn’t be attracted to me anymore, because I’d reached the expiry date for fellow twink-dom but wasn’t yet ‘daddy’ material. Even though I felt like a ‘daddy’ most of the time, since I’d become responsible and predictable due to my entrepreneurial business, and need to earn an actual living.

I’d be the first to say those preconceptions and assumptions were unfair. But it still seemed they existed.

Anyway, I ended up with one suitcase and my camera bag, both of which I stuffed in the trunk of my eight-year-old Toyota, before locking up my house and heading to the highway for the two and half-hour drive to the Braided Crop Ranch on Skeleton Lake. In exchange for occasional bits of information from my secret mission, Grif had agreed to look after my house, and feed my fish every few days.

I’d jacked off twice the night before, to the photos on the website. So yeah, I was excited to observe the ponyboys at The Braided Crop Ranch in person. But I wondered how long my professional distance would hold, once I found myself deep in the world of kinky pony play.

Starting May 14th!

Oliver Lambert has taken his photography skills and run with them. By the time he’s thirty, he’s made a name for himself and now has jobs whenever he needs them. He likes to be behind the camera, looking at the world through a safe lens, protected from actually engaging with it.

A chance meeting takes him somewhere he never expected to find himself – a kinky fetish ranch in the Muskokas where men pay to play pony and trainers teach them how to behave.

Adam Marsland wants a visual record of The Braided Crop Ranch and it’s been awhile since the website photographs were updated. He hears about Oliver through a friend and immediately hires the man to come for the summer session to immerse himself in the ranch and its activities.

Oliver is out of his depth, but the challenge of photographing the beautiful men of the BCR is something he can focus on. Safe behind the lens of his camera, Oliver finds the ranch to be seductive and shocking. He can’t help admitting to be fascinated by the people that make the BCR what it is.

But just because he knows how to take a great photo doesn’t mean he feels entirely comfortable with everything he’s witnessing.

Contains: voyeurism, second-hand embarrassment, awkward conversations, a very introverted photographer, and several surprising developments, along with all the regular kink and pony play elements.