24/7: 10. Master’s Day


Mulder thought that the sound of his Master’s beating heart was the nicest sound in the world. He lay with his head on Skinner’s chest, just listening to that steady thrump sound, his cheek nestled against the warm fuzziness of his Master’s chest hair, wondering if life could get any better than this. Skinner was reading his morning newspaper, and sipping his coffee, one hand playing idly with his slave’s body as he read. Mulder liked that. He liked the steady stroke of Skinner’s fingers across his chest, along the side of his jaw, and through his hair. He especially liked it when his Master gently tickled the rings embedded in his nipples. It hurt just enough to be erotic, but not so much as to make him have to bite his lip to keep from screaming. Skinner had been kind to his slave, allowing him to stay in bed after delivering his customary wake-up call, and holding him in his big arms. Mulder loved mornings such as these. Being allowed to stay close to his Master, warm and safe, just lying nestled against him, was his ultimate goal in life. He thought he might almost swap it for all the erotic pleasures his Master was so expertly skilled in delivering. Almost. They were nice too. He supposed he should make the most of this moment in time. Tomorrow, the specter of work loomed large in both their lives.


Mulder wondered what it would be like to leave for work from this apartment block, wearing his work suit. Would he and Skinner travel to work together? His heart leapt as he remembered how damn good his Master looked in his work clothes. How was Mulder going to be able to concentrate on work knowing how much more fantastic his Master looked underneath those crisp white shirts that he had ironed? Would Skinner treat him differently at work now? Would he be more patient with the way Mulder operated, or less? Would he make sexual demands on him in his lunch hour? Mulder’s cock told him that whatever he might think about that idea intellectually, sexually he found it a real turn-on.


Mulder thought back to when he first sold himself into slavery a little over a week ago. He remembered his mistrust of his new Master, his attempts to manipulate Skinner, his insecurity, insolence, and downright disobedience. He knew the change in himself to be profound. In just over a week his Master had transformed him from manipulative sub into passable slave material. Skinner had certainly been strict with him, but he had also been patient, and loving, and Mulder knew how hard it was to find that combination in any top. More than that, Skinner knew and understood him, in a way that made Mulder feel both safe and trapped at one and the same time. Knowing there was no way out kept him here, kept him from running, but sometimes the impulse was still there. Only you could want to run away from the best thing that’s ever happened to you, asshole, his mocking internal voice told him.


A familiar, cold fear gripped his heart – supposing he let Skinner down at work? Supposing his Master found him just too much to handle, and gave up on him? Then he’d have to move out, leave this place that already felt like home, with its amazing fantasty Playroom, far behind. Worse than that, he’d have to leave his Master, the one person he had come to rely on almost as much as he relied on himself. Hell, Skinner was legendary on the scene – he wouldn’t have any trouble finding a new slave, but Mulder knew he’d never find another Master he could hope to care about the way he cared for Skinner. God knows he had been looking for long enough before Skinner had turned up to claim him. He had a sudden image of someone else sleeping in his Master’s arms – another, different slave, and he felt a surge of jealousy. Not for the first time, he wondered who had occupied the slave’s quarters in the upstairs apartment before he’d arrived on the scene. Mulder chewed on his lip, lost in the implications of his dark thoughts. He was surprised when Skinner’s fingers gently touched his lip, then held up bloodstained evidence of his anxiety.


“What was that about?” Skinner asked softly, glancing down on his slave, and wiping away another drop of blood as it welled up in the wound.


“Work,” Mulder sighed. “I know I’m going over old ground, but I feel like my execution date has been set for tomorrow. Shit, how the hell is this going to work out when we go back to our jobs, sir?”


Skinner opened his mouth to reply, but Mulder interrupted him, sitting up in a state of agitation.


“I already know the answer. I’m going to screw up big time, you’re going to get really mad and dump me, and we’re both going to have to deal with the embarrassment of knowing we were once… once…” he came to a floundering halt.


“What?” Skinner’s dark eyes were cool, assessing, and ever so slightly amused.


“Involved?” Mulder finished weakly.


“Wrong choice of word.” Skinner shook his head, and Mulder had a sudden sensation of imminent danger. “Several wrong choices of word, as a matter of fact. Firstly, there can be no ‘once’, Fox. I own you. You are my property. There is no time in the future when I will stop owning you, so you can put that idea out of your head. I thought I’d made your status clear to you more than enough over the past week, but I can see that we still need to work on that. Secondly, the only one thing I have given you permission to worry about is pleasing me. There is no possibility that you’ll be “dumped” as you put it, so you can forget about that as well. The consequence of screwing up big time, is being punished big time – not being dumped. Understood?”


Mulder nodded, reluctantly.


“Was there anything else?” Skinner demanded.


Mulder thought about it, then blurted out his worries. “What happened to your other slaves, Master? You say that I won’t stop being your property, but if that’s the case, what happened to them? I don’t see them here now. I thought…the same thing could happen to me.”


Skinner sighed, and Mulder caught a curiously wistful expression in the other man’s eyes. “I understand your curiosity, Fox,” he said. “However, there are some answers you will have to be patient for, and in the meantime you must accept my assurances that you have nothing to worry about on that score.”


“I’m not very good at waiting for things to happen,” Mulder admitted, kneeling on the bed, gazing at his Master. “I prefer to go out and meet them halfway. I wish tomorrow was here, so I could get on with it.”


“That would be a shame, because then you’d miss out on today,” Skinner observed, with a sly glint in his eye, “and I have plans for today.”


“What kind of plans?” Mulder didn’t know whether to be nervous, or excited, and settled for a combination of both.


“All in good time. Now get your butt over here. I’m having that same problem with the Sunday sections of the paper as I had last weekend, and, as I recall, your ass served as a nice newspaper prop – very nice in point of fact!” Skinner chuckled, guiding his slave into position. Mulder sighed, and resigned himself to an hour’s duty as inanimate object.


“Master,” Mulder piped up, half an hour later.


“Hmm?” Skinner glanced at him over the top of his paper.


“I’ve been thinking. I mean…that is…”


“Yes, Fox.” Skinner put the paper down, with the merest hint of a weary sigh, but his eyes were encouraging.


“You said to tell you when the marks on my butt faded, Master,” Mulder whispered.


“Yes, I did.” Skinner glanced at the butt in question. “They haven’t – not completely, anyway.” Mulder knew that the six distinct welts on his backside had faded to the merest hint of a pale pink.


“I know. It’s just that…I can’t even feel them now, and I just thought that…well, by tomorrow, they’ll be almost gone.”


“Yes.” Skinner nodded, then waited patiently to see what was coming next.


“And…as we’re going back to work, I’d like to feel…that is…I want to be reminded of what I am. I think I might forget,” Mulder admitted, shamefaced. “You know what I’m like, Master. I get engrossed in what I’m doing…and I’ll forget, and…if you…” Mulder took a deep breath. “If you marked me again today, Master, it might help me keep it in mind,” Mulder managed to blurt out before all his courage left him.


“You’re asking for a taste of my cane when it isn’t, strictly speaking, necessary?” Skinner raised an eyebrow. Mulder flushed.


“I don’t like the cane, Master, I’ll be honest,” he admitted. “I just thought…if, every time I sat down, I was reminded what I am, then I might not do anything really stupid,” he finished in a whisper.


Skinner looked at him for a long moment that stretched into an eternity. Mulder flushed an even deeper shade of crimson. Finally, Skinner put aside the paper, and took his glasses off. Mulder began to bite on his lip again. He wasn’t sure how good Skinner’s eyesight was, but he always found the sight of his Master without his glasses to be awe-inspiring. Skinner’s dark brown eyes had an intensity that was diluted when he was wearing his wire-rims. Without them, he looked not only younger, but also somehow more frightening, as the full force of his personality was unleashed upon the world.


“Fox,” Skinner said gently. “Come here.”


Mulder shuffled nervously up the bed, unable to meet his Master’s stern gaze, but Skinner wasn’t going to tolerate that. “Look at me.” Skinner took hold of his chin, and looked deep into his soul. “You’re mine. I could take off these…” his fingers touched Mulder’s nipple rings gently, “and this,” his fingers brushed over Mulder’s cock ring. “I could even remove this.” He touched Mulder’s collar, “or this.” He took hold of Mulder’s left hand, and lifted his ring finger to his lips, pressing the gold to his mouth. “I could remove all the marks and symbols I have placed upon your body, and it wouldn’t make any difference. You would still be mine in here.” Skinner laid his hand over Mulder’s heart, and his solemn, dark eyes held Mulder in thrall. Skinner moved his other hand to the back of Mulder’s head, entwined his fingers in his slave’s abundant hair, and drew Mulder close. Then he kissed him, hard, and deep, reaching into the very depths of Mulder’s heart. Mulder moaned, helpless in his Master’s grasp, completely and utterly abandoned to that long, claiming kiss.


When Skinner finally released him he was gasping for breath, and had gone, quite literally, weak at the knees.


“Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy marking my ownership on your flesh,” Skinner grinned, tracing a line over the fading welts with one hand, and squeezing Mulder’s tender nipples gently between the thumb and forefinger of his other hand. Mulder gasped. “I’m just saying that it isn’t necessary. It’s for show; visible symbols of a truth we both know. I don’t need the props, little one, and neither do you, although they’re a very valuable training aid. I could have achieved the same effects without using them, but I had more fun this way.” He grinned, and pulled Mulder close, took a nipple gently in his mouth, and sucked. Mulder gasped, and put his hands on Skinner’s head. His nipples were healing, thanks to the careful attention his Master gave them, and frequent washings in salt water, but even so, they were still very tender. Skinner took one of the rings between his teeth, then flicked it up and down with his tongue, not pulling on it. Mulder felt his cock harden, and he cried out, clutching onto his Master’s shoulders. Finally, Skinner finished playing with him, and drew back.


“I’m not dismissing your concerns lightly, slave.” Skinner laced both his hands into Mulder’s thick hair, and looked intently into his eyes. “However, for my own reasons, I don’t want to mark you today. You see…I have something else in mind.” His eyes held a hint of promise, and Mulder felt his cock harden even more.


“What, Master?” He asked, trembling in anticipation. Damn, but how did Skinner always manage to keep him on the brink like this?


“Well, as morning discipline will be a feature of your life for…well, for the rest of your life,” Skinner gave him a truly evil grin, and Mulder’s stomach lurched. “And as morning discipline takes place in the bedroom, and not in the Playroom, I thought it was time to invest in a set of implements to be kept solely for the purpose of reminding you of your status. Open the closet and bring me the brown briefcase,” Skinner ordered.


Mulder scrambled eagerly off the bed, ran to the closet, retrieved the shiny, new case waiting for him there, and returned with it. He knelt obediently in the submissive position beside the bed, and offered his Master the case, with his eyes down.


“Good boy. You’ve come a long way, sweetheart. I’m so proud of you.” Skinner leaned over and dropped a kiss on Mulder’s head, while his slave’s heart did a dozen little flips in response to his Master’s praise. “Okay, you can look,” Skinner informed him, and Mulder glanced up, bright-eyed and busy-tailed, eager to see what the case contained. “Here’s the key.” Skinner held up a small key. He unlocked the briefcase, then beckoned Mulder closer, and fastened the key to Mulder’s collar. “These are your implements, Fox,” he said, in a deep, sexy drawl that made Mulder’s cock harden even more. “It’s only right you should wear the key around your neck. Don’t lose it.” Mulder shuddered. He wouldn’t dare. “All right, little one,” Skinner laughed, and soothed his hair affectionately. “Open the case.”


Mulder glanced up nervously, and Skinner affirmed the verbal command with a nod of encouragement. Mulder placed his thumbs on the shiny gold locks, pressed them hesitantly, and they sprang open. He paused, then slowly, in trepidation, he opened the lid. The inside of the case was made of rich, burgundy silk, and nestled upon that, in their own separate spaces, were four items that took Mulder’s breath away.


“Can I…can I touch them, Master?” he asked, awe-struck.


“Please do.” Skinner smiled.


Mulder put his fumbling, sweaty palms into the beautiful case, and reverently touched a thick, brand new strap, fashioned out of the finest brown leather. He withdrew it from the case, and his breath caught in his throat, as he saw that the implement had been engraved. There, written in beautiful, copperplate lettering, was his name. Fox. Next to it was a perfect drawing of a fox – the same one that he wore on his collar. Mulder held the leather to his nose, and inhaled the heady scent of fresh, new leather.


“Good?” Skinner ruffled his hair again, laughing at his slave’s reaction.


“Yes, Master. Oh, god, yes.” Mulder thought he’d come just from the smell, from knowing that these items were for him, and him alone. They hadn’t been used on anyone else, and they never would be. His Master had bought them to be used on his slave, had engraved them to mark them out for sole use on Mulder’s body, and his flesh tingled at the thought.


He nervously plucked at the next item – a sleek, solid paddle. This implement was fashioned out of the most expensive brown leather, just like the strap, and again, it bore his name, in large lettering across its center. Another exquisitely detailed picture of a fox, with wide, curious eyes, and a long, inquisitive snout was drawn beneath it. Mulder slapped the paddle experimentally against his hand, swiftly coming to the conclusion that it was designed to administer a hearty slap, but not to cause the longer lasting discomfort that a heavier paddle would deliver. He turned back to the strap, and tried that on his hand, too enthusiastically, then let out a yelp of surprise.


“The strap stings,” Skinner offered sympathetically. “The paddle’s probably kinder – it spreads the impact over a wider area.”


“I hope Master remembers that,” Mulder said, with a gulp.


“Oh yes. I’ll remember it. You can rely on it,” Skinner replied with a sly, and none too reassuring chuckle.


Mulder put the strap back in its place, and drew out a flogger. The handle was made from the same leather as the other implements, but its short, thin tendrils were fashioned from a soft, pliant brown suede. It would kiss, and deliver the lightest of bites, if used properly, and somehow, Mulder was sure that Skinner knew every nuance of sensation it could deliver. He found his name, and the emblematic fox, engraved on the handle.


Finally, his hand shaking, Mulder plucked the last object from its resting-place in the case. It was a crop: smooth brown leather, with a tiny brown flap at its tip. Mulder raised it to his mouth and kissed it, found the engraving of his name on its long stem, and pressed his lips reverentially against the carved leather. Then Mulder carefully returned all the items to the box, and when he glanced up at his Master, he had to blink the tears out of his eyes.


“Thank you, Master,” he whispered.


“You might not want to thank me in a minute,” Skinner said wryly. “After all, it’s only right that we should christen all these implements, hmm?”


Mulder’s heart missed a beat.


All of them, Master?” he echoed faintly. “In one go?”


“All of them,” Skinner replied firmly. “Each implement has its own weight and feel, and I would be most negligent in my duties as your Master if I used them on you without discovering how you experience the sensation of each one. Fetch the pillows, slave, and arrange yourself over my knee…and Fox?” Mulder paused in his wild scramble, and glanced up, a question in his eyes. “Make sure that you’re comfortable. I might not agree with you on the marking, but I do think you should have a tangible reminder of your status before we return to work. It probably won’t be possible to linger over your morning discipline during the week, so this will be a very long session.” Mulder swallowed nervously, then nodded. Skinner smiled. “Good boy. Get settled.”


Skinner sat back, watching, while Mulder gathered up four or five pillows, and placed them over his Master’s knee, and on the bed beside his knee. Then Mulder carefully got himself into place. He rested his torso on two of the pillows, hugged another one under his chin, and kicked his long limbs into the most comfortable position, then tried to ignore his racing heart, and relax. He felt Skinner’s hand on his bottom, and almost jumped out of his skin.


“Hush, little one,” Skinner murmured, as if soothing a leggy, inexperienced racehorse. “Just relax.” He caressed Mulder’s butt for a long time, until Mulder gave into the sensation, and started to bliss out, losing all the tension in his limbs. Then Skinner began to deliver a series of little taps, warming the flesh, until Mulder was moaning, his cock growing hard again. Skinner paused to kiss his slave’s ass, and delivered a couple of gentle play bites. Mulder squirmed. Then he tensed, as Skinner drew back. He heard his Master opening something, and glanced over his shoulder. Skinner was holding a silver tin, containing some kind of ointment. “This is a special cream, little one,” Skinner told him. “It increases the sensation.”


“You mean it increases the pain!” Mulder protested.


Skinner laughed. “Yes, it does, but that means I don’t have to swing as hard, which in turn means that I can carry on for longer, without causing you any lasting damage. Ingenious, isn’t it?”


“Diabolical more like,” Mulder muttered, then yelped as Skinner delivered a stinging swat to his upturned butt.


“Careful, boy,” Skinner growled, and Mulder felt his insides turn to mush. A few seconds later, something cool was rubbed into his butt. Skinner took his time, making sure that his slave’s entire bottom, and the top of his thighs were liberally massaged with the ointment, and a few seconds after it had been applied, it turned warm, creating a burning sensation that made Mulder gasp in surprise.


“Interesting effect, isn’t it?” Skinner murmured.


“I’m not sure,” Mulder croaked. His butt felt unbearably warm, and his Master hadn’t even started yet!


Skinner started slapping him with hard, measured strokes, and Mulder could feel the difference on his butt now that the cream had been applied. Each slap stung! The pain was sharper, and clearer than he had ever known before. He started to squirm.


“Fox.” Skinner paused, and Mulder glanced over his shoulder at him. “You’ll learn to take your morning discipline without all this fuss, or I’ll make sure that it’s more painful than it would otherwise be,” Skinner stated sternly. Mulder bit on his lip, and nodded. “Remember, I’ve only just started,” Skinner remarked ominously. Mulder’s cock stirred significantly, as he contemplated a long session utilizing each and every one of those exquisitely beautiful, and horribly dangerous new toys.


Skinner peppered his ass with a series of stinging blows from his hand, then paused.


“Which one would you like to try first?” He asked.


Mulder glanced at the open briefcase. “The paddle,” he said firmly.


Skinner grinned. “Easing yourself in gently?” He raised an eyebrow.


“Too damn right. I’m not stupid,” Mulder muttered into his pillow. Skinner guffawed, and pulled the paddle out from the case. He laid the cool leather against Mulder’s warm flesh for what seemed like an eternity, and then swung. The paddle made contact with a slapping, thudding sound, and although it smacked his butt hard, it didn’t hurt too much. Mulder gave a dreamy smile, and rested his head on his pillow.


“How did that feel?” Skinner soothed his sore flesh with a tender hand.


“Flat pain…kind’a nice,” Mulder murmured.


“Obviously I was doing something wrong then,” Skinner commented. He set to work in earnest, slapping the paddle down on Mulder’s ass, building the pain up expertly to levels just short of exquisite torture. Mulder liked the paddle – it got his endorphins racing without taking him to the edge of his endurance. He started to moan, pressing his erect cock into the pillows, wanting to fondle himself, knowing that wasn’t allowed.


“Next.” Skinner put the paddle to one side. “I can see that particular paddle is never exactly going to strike fear into your soul.”


“Strap,” Mulder said from his endorphin high, sighing softly to himself. He nearly jumped out of his skin as the first stroke from the strap streaked a stinging pain across his butt.


“Details please,” Skinner remarked, laying another couple of stripes on his ass.


“It’s sharp, it stings, it…oh fuck!” he yelped. “No more! Please, no more, Master!”


“Nonsense. I want to give each implement a thorough test.” Skinner pressed his hand into the small of Mulder’s back, and applied the strap with considerable gusto to Mulder’s rapidly reddening ass.


“Oh shit…oh fuck…” Mulder squirmed helplessly under his Master’s strong hand. Skinner paused, and Mulder breathed a sigh of relief, but the respite was only temporary. A few seconds later, he felt Skinner’s hand smoothing cool ointment onto his butt again, and he tried to get up in protest. “Not more of that stuff!” he objected, but Skinner quelled him with a hard look, and the next minute, the most exquisite wave of hot pain flooded through his body. “Oh god,” he moaned weakly, taking a bite out of the pillow as the waves of pain billowed liberally through his body. “My ass is one fire! Please, wash it off. Please!”


“Hold still.” Skinner gripped his body firmly, and then resumed the strapping. Mulder could hardly believe the sting in that first blow. He knew Skinner wasn’t hitting at anywhere near his optimum strength, but the ointment that had been rubbed into his butt made the stroke hurt like hell. If he had ever doubted the fiendishly diabolical ways in which his Master’s mind worked, he didn’t now. As far as Mulder was concerned, his Master knew tortures that even the Spanish Inquisition would have been proud of.


“Master!” he begged. “Oh god, MASTER! Please!”


“I think you’ve forgotten what your morning discipline is for,” Skinner said in a low, hard voice. “Remind yourself, slave. Out loud. Why are you disciplined every morning?”


“To…to…help me to remember…that…” Mulder tried to think but it was hard while that strap was doing its evil, burning work, on his tormented, flaming flesh. “That I’m your slave, Master,” he gasped at last.


“And?” Skinner prompted, continuing the onslaught.


“I don’t have any rights. You can do what you want with me. My body belongs…to…you…ow!” Mulder’s whole body dissolved into the pain, his hard cock competing for attention now with his tormented ass.


“Not just your body,” Skinner reminded him grimly. Mulder blinked. This was a new part of the litany. Skinner brought the strap down again, smartly, on his burning backside.


“No, Master!” he yelped. “All of me! All that I am. I belong to you.”


“Where?” Skinner asked.


“EVERYWHERE!” Mulder cried in reply. “Please, Master, I won’t forget, just stop, please, stop for a second, just a second…oh god…” Skinner’s hand was relentless though, and the strapping continued until Mulder was sure that his ass was quite literally on fire. Then, suddenly, it stopped.


“Not bad, little one.” Skinner soothed Mulder’s sweaty hair from his eyes. “Not bad at all. Now, what next?”


“Breakfast, Master?” Mulder asked hopefully. Skinner’s hand was so fast he never even saw the strap deliver another, stinging blow. “Ow!” he yelped.


“Moral.” Skinner leaned forward and kissed Mulder’s ear. “Never smart-mouth your Master when you’re lying butt naked over his knee and he’s holding a strap in his hand. Only you would need to be told that, pup,” he grinned, blowing softly into Mulder’s ear.


“Yes, Master. Sorry, Master.” Mulder wriggled, the burning in his ass competing with his aching cock for his attention.


“Next. I’m waiting.” Skinner said, folding his arms, and glancing at the contents of the case.


“The flogger, Master,” Mulder whispered.


“Okay.” Skinner put the strap back in its place, and removed the flogger. “Hmmm. I’m not exactly at the optimum angle for this, but let’s see what we can do anyway.” He sat up straight, and pushed Mulder away a little. “Splay your legs, and arms, that’s right. And don’t move,” Skinner warned.


Mulder nodded, and buried his face in his pillow. A few seconds later he felt the tender kiss of the flogger on his shoulders. Skinner couldn’t do a proper backhanded motion with the implement, but he managed to deliver a series of biting, stinging kisses all the same, covering Mulder’s back, bottom, and thighs, and then working his way up again. Mulder relaxed. This was nice. It nipped, but it didn’t deliver the vicious kick that the strap had done. He felt his shoulders open up under the onslaught. It was like a really fierce massage; it hurt, but it was such a nice hurt. Mulder sighed. To be fair, Skinner gave the flogger the exact same work-out that he had given both the strap and the paddle. He increased the tempo as he went, and by the time he’d finished, Mulder was sweaty, and had started to squirm and wriggle, and his hard cock was desperate for release. “We can do more with this another time,” Skinner said, shaking the flogger to even out the strands, and returning it to its case. A whole session with you in the Grace position against the wall will acquaint you with the darker side of this particular implement I think,” he grinned, the implicit promise in his voice making Mulder’s cock ache even more. “All right. Last, but most definitely not least.” He picked up the crop, and swung it around experimentally. Mulder flinched as the implement made a hissing sound as it sliced through the air.


“Oh shit,” he muttered weakly.


“Hmmm. Sounds good, doesn’t it?” Skinner’s deep, low voice spoke next to his ear.


“No, it sounds scary,” Mulder replied, clutching onto his pillow for support. “Please, Master, my butt’s already on fire.”


“Then perhaps we should stoke the flames up a little more,” Skinner mused. Mulder’s heart sank as Skinner reached for the evil contents of his silver tin. “Hold still.” Skinner rubbed more of the ointment into Mulder’s fevered flesh, and it was almost too much for his slave. Mulder started to sob, as waves of fire consumed him.


“I need to come, Master,” he begged. “Please!”


“Not yet. First I want to make sure that you’re fully aware of your position in this household. Let’s run through it again.” Skinner picked up the crop, and held Mulder still, then he raised his arm, and delivered a hard swat to Mulder’s bottom.


“FUCK!” Mulder took a huge bite out of his pillow. He knew that the angle made it impossible for Skinner to deliver as hard as blow as he was capable of, but the ointment made the swipe across his butt hurt as much as the most viciously swung stroke.


“I’m going to take you down,” Skinner informed him, swinging the crop again. “Make the journey with me, Fox. Tell me who and what you are. Let the words – and the tears – flow.” Skinner set up a steady rhythm with the crop on Mulder’s backside, and Mulder felt the tears start to run down his cheeks.


“I’m your slave, Master. I exist to serve you. I have no status, I am your property. You own me, you can hurt me…or love me…or play with me…whatever you want. I give myself up to you, Ma…aster,” he moaned. The words came out in a torrent. “I want only to please you. I worship at your feet, Master. I belong to you. Do whatever you want to me…I’ll accept it willingly. I’m yours, Master…yours…” He was panting now, as the crop continued its deadly, accurate work, but he didn’t beg Skinner to stop. He reached that place in his head that was so elusive, and so beautiful. Here he was truly at his Master’s mercy, could truly offer himself up, and be only what Skinner wanted him to be. He thrust into the bed in time to the blows raining down on his flaming butt, feeling the pain as the most intense mix of pleasure and sensation. He wanted it to stop, and never end at one and the same time. “I’m yours,” he whispered. “Here, at work, wherever…here, there, everywhere…like you said, Master.” He felt the blows diminish, and then stop completely, and he lay there, in a stupor, as Skinner caressed his glowing, beacon-red backside.


“Beautiful, little one. You’ve taken your discipline well. Will you keep that lesson in mind?” Skinner put the crop back into the briefcase, and clicked it shut.


“Yes, Master,” Mulder replied, dreamily.


“Good boy.” Skinner rubbed his butt gently, then opened the silver tin again. Mulder lay there, accepting his Master’s will. Skinner tenderly rubbed more of the ointment onto his sore flesh, and Mulder moaned as the now familiar wave of fire consumed him. His butt was so hot he thought he could have heated the entire building with it. Then Skinner bent his head, and pressed his lips firmly into Mulder’s hot flesh, and he almost jumped out of his skin. The imprint of Skinner’s mouth, left a trail of fiery red kisses, as if Skinner’s lips had been made of pure flame. It was the most intense, most erotic sensation he’d ever known. Skinner bit his flesh gently, and Mulder dissolved into a series of incoherent whimpers. His Master’s teeth felt like sharp pin-pricks, his tongue like warm water.


Skinner kissed his sore buttocks over and over again for an eternity, and Mulder gave himself up to the moment, possessed by the sultry caress. When it finally came to an end, he was on the brink of total erotic exhaustion.


“Get up,” Skinner whispered in his ear, aiding him as he struggled to make his lifeless limbs obey. His cock was sticking out at an angle, leaking badly. “I want you to remember,” Skinner said, drawing him close, “that I can bring you pain, and pleasure – or both at once. You can come whenever you want.” And, so saying, he put his hands on Mulder’s red-hot buttocks, pulled him towards him, and without warning enveloped his slave’s cock in his warm, wet mouth.


Mulder cried out, and placed his hands on Skinner’s shoulders. “Master…oh fuck…that’s so good,” he yelled, as Skinner expertly tongued and sucked his hard cock, at the same time as kneading his punished, glowing buttocks with big, strong hands. Mulder’s nerve endings went into overload, and he became a creature of pure sensation, the pain and pleasure merging in one exquisite torment that blew his mind. He didn’t remember coming. The next thing he knew he was lying on his back on the bed, his head on Skinner’s chest, his whole body a quivering mass of jello.


“Ah, you’re still with us then?” Skinner glanced down at him.


“Not necessarily,” Mulder replied, dreamily. “Oh shit, sir, where did you learn to do this stuff?”


Skinner gazed at him coolly for a moment. “That’s the second time you’ve called me ‘sir’ this morning. I understand the difference, Fox. ‘Sir’, although undeniably a term of respect, is what you call me in the office. It distances you from your condition, so I would appreciate it if you saved it for work, or in public. Addressing me as ‘sir’ in here is one step away from calling me ‘Walter’, and that, I can assure you, is not acceptable.”


“I wouldn’t dare, Master.” Mulder shivered in dread. “You didn’t answer my question,” he ventured tentatively.


“I learned…from an expert.” Skinner smiled. “And I learned the hard way – as you are, sweetheart.” He looked sad for a moment. Mulder frowned. What the hell was that supposed to mean.


“Is Master saying that…you didn’t ever… I mean you’ve never subbed, Master, have you?” He asked in surprise, and alarm.


Skinner smiled another wistful smile, and tangled his hand in Mulder’s hair. “You ask too many questions, slaveboy,” he growled. Then he clicked his fingers, and pointed to the floor beside the bed. Mulder tried desperately to get to his feet, but his muscles hardly obeyed his brain’s command, and he half-staggered, half-fell off the bed, and into a kneeling position. “Today was unusual,” Skinner told him. “Normally on a Sunday we will follow a very specific routine. Remember it, Fox, as I do not expect to have to keep instructing you in the basics. Sunday’s are your Master’s day. After the morning, uh, cuddle that you seem to have instituted as a new ritual, and after you’ve been disciplined, you will go and run me a bath. When you’ve finished bathing me, you will give me a full body massage, trim my hair, and give me a full, clean, shave, before dressing me. I do not expect to dress myself. You will lay out my clothes and help me get dressed. Then you will prepare brunch, and you will wait on me while I eat. You will make sure that you have bought appropriate groceries, and you’ll cook for me. Understood?”


“Yes, Master.” Mulder nodded, his eyes wide. He had never before thought that the idea of waiting on somebody so fully could be so erotic. He likened himself to an old fashioned manservant, seeing to his Master’s every need, and the idea turned him on.


“Fox.” Skinner tapped him on the head, and he looked up, eagerly. “Sunday may be Master’s day but Saturday is slave’s day. Before you get too excited…” he held up a hand. “This does not mean that I will wait on you on Saturdays. It doesmean that you can expect a session in the Playroom if you’ve behaved well the previous week. It’s also likely that I’ll put you into the deeply submissive mode, and brush up on your training. This weekend was different for obvious reasons, but I want you to understand that there will be some pattern to your existence here.”


“Yes, Master,” Mulder whispered, awe-struck, and ever so slightly annoyed that he had to wait six whole days until the next Saturday.


“That doesn’t mean there won’t be other sessions in the Playroom during the week – or that I won’t demand a massage or other services at other times. It’s just to give you some structure and routine. I think you respond well to routine, sweetheart.”


“You do?” Mulder looked up in surprise. This didn’t exactly fit with his own assessment of his personality.


“Yes, little one. However much you might think you hate it, secretly you like to know what is expected of you – with a few surprises thrown in along the way to keep you on your toes,” Skinner grinned. “Now, get to work, slave. I’m looking forward to experiencing your tender ministrations for the next couple of hours – and Fox?” Mulder paused on his way to the bathroom. “This is the true heart of your servitude. Not the discipline, or what takes place in the Playroom. Here, in small, dutiful ways, in the everyday acts of service, you can show me what’s at the heart of your slavery.” Skinner’s dark eyes were so intense that Mulder had to hold onto the door frame to stop himself from toppling over. He nodded, swallowing down the lump in his throat. He wanted to serve his Master more than anything else in the world. He resolved to pour all his devotion into the next few hours of servitude.


Mulder prepared Skinner’s bath exactly the way he knew his Master liked it, then laid out the towels to warm, before helping his Master into the bath. Skinner sat back with a contented sigh, and Mulder knelt down beside the bath in the submissive position. Damn, but it was hard keeping his eyes down! He loved watching his Master lying naked in the water. Silent adoration had never exactly been his scene before, but he was definitely coming around to the merits of it. Skinner, though, had other ideas.


“Go and kneel over there,” he instructed. I want to look at you.”


Mulder obeyed, kneeling in Skinner’s line of sight. Skinner surveyed him for a moment, and Mulder felt himself going red under the intense scrutiny.


“Is there a problem, Master?” he ventured.


“No. I just enjoy looking at my property,” Skinner stated mildly. “I was also thinking of various things I’d like to do to you.”


“Yes, Master?” Mulder could hardly believe it when his flaccid, completely sated cock, started to harden within its gold ring.


“Yes. Fox, you’ve never trusted a top to do more than spank you and humiliate you a little, have you?” Skinner asked.


Mulder bit on his lip. “You’ve researched me, Master,” he pointed out. “You know what I’ve done in the past…and what I’ve allowed to be done to me.”


“Yes. I have.” Skinner mused on this. “You’ve happily sucked other men, and you’ve enjoyed being dominated by them verbally. You’ve experienced some harsh whippings – which were always instigated by yourself, and you determined the level of intensity as well. You’ve also accepted some light bondage. On only two occasions you allowed anal intercourse, but you adamantly refused that again after the second time.”


“Yes, Master.” Mulder clenched his fists behind his back. He didn’t enjoy in-depth analyses of his psyche, and he was worried about where this was going.


“So, despite several years on the scene, there are many practices you are unfamiliar with,” Skinner pointed out.


“Such as?” Mulder could feel himself going red again.


“Well, I mentioned fisting to you yesterday,” Skinner mused. “I think I’d also enjoy placing you in very tight bondage.” Mulder looked up, suddenly wondering why he was gasping for air. “Does that scare you?” Skinner asked, looking at him intently.


“A little,” Mulder admitted.


“Did Phoebe ever do that to you?”


“No. Hell, no! I allowed her to tie me up occasionally, but nothing heavy, just the usual handcuffs. That’s not to say I didn’t want more, Master, it’s just I wasn’t under any illusions where Phoebe was concerned. I didn’t trust her not to run off and leave me there.” Mulder fought down a sense of claustrophobia at that thought.


“I will never leave you while you are in bondage,” Skinner said fiercely. “It’s bad practice, and shows a blatant disregard for safety – and whatever I might put you through, you will always be safe with me, Fox.” His tone was forceful.


Mulder gave a little smile. “Yes, Master. I know that.”


“Were you ever clamped?” Skinner asked, as if making idle conversation.


Mulder swallowed hard. “A couple of times, Master. I didn’t like it much,” he admitted.


“Hmmm. I can do some interesting things with clamps,” Skinner said, with a wry chuckle. “While I’ll take your likes and dislikes into consideration, little one, there are some activities I will insist upon, whether you like them or not.”


“Yes, Master.” Mulder’s cock hardened almost immediately. He found the idea of enduring something disagreeable at his Master’s insistence almost unbearably arousing.


Skinner grinned. “Something’s woken up,” he commented. “Speaking of which, have you ever had that particular part of your anatomy whipped, Fox?”


Mulder almost choked. “NO!” he exclaimed. “Oh god, Master, please…” he spluttered.


“Quiet!” Skinner held up his hand. “I think we agreed barely an hour ago that your body is mine to treat as I wish, didn’t we?”


Mulder’s cock was now fully erect, and he nodded, feeling a wave of almost orgasmic pleasure flood through him.


“Good.” Skinner nodded. “Now, I want to relax, and I want you to entertain me.” So saying, he leaned back in the bath, and crossed his hands over his stomach, expectantly.


“Entertain you, Master? How?” Mulder asked, frowning.


“Play with yourself. Put on a display.” Skinner waved a negligent hand. “You have my permission to come again, but make sure that it takes a little while – I want to enjoy watching you first.”


Mulder thought the ground would open up and swallow him. It was one thing to jerk off in the privacy of his bedroom, or even to wriggle and squirm in his Master’s hands, but another to kneel here, and perform under his Master’s watchful gaze.


“Don’t make me wait too long,” Skinner said, ominously. “Or the contents of that briefcase might get another workout. Fox? What’s the problem?” He asked, as Mulder knelt there, unmoving, his cock flagging.


“I’ve never done anything like this, Master,” Mulder admitted, miserably.


“Well there’s always a first time,” Skinner said, reasonably. “And you’ll only get better with practice. Or would you prefer it if I ordered you to fetch my bullwhip? A couple of taps from that and I’m sure you’d put your heart and soul into the performance.”


“No, Master. That won’t be necessary.” Mulder shot Skinner a withering look.


“Good. Get on with it then.”


Mulder put his hand on his cock, and squeezed, lightly, but there was no response. Shit! When he thought of all the times he’d been ordered not to touch the damn thing, when it had been all he wanted to do, and now, when he’d been given permission, it hung like a piece of putty, limp and soft. He tried running his hand up and down it, but there was still no response. Mulder started to flush an angry, frustrated red.


“Fox,” Skinner’s voice was curiously gentle. “Close your eyes,” he ordered. Mulder did as he was told. “Put your head back…that’s good. Now, moisten your lip with your tongue, and run your hands over your body. Imagine it’s me touching you, claiming you…” That definitely got a response, and Mulder felt a tentative stirring in his cock. “Now, play with your nipple rings, flick them, suck on one of your fingers…that’s good…” Mulder did as he was ordered, allowing himself to go into a trance, just obeying each of his Master’s commands, and enjoying the sensations in his body. “No, don’t touch your cock yet. I want you to sway a little, moan, move your hips – no, stay kneeling – that’s right. Now caress your neck, and down over your chest…good boy…” Mulder felt his cock definitely starting to perk up. “Keep going now, just improvise…think how beautiful you are, little one. I want you to imagine how pleasing a sight you are to your Master. Think of how your Master is enjoying watching you on your knees, playing with the toys he likes playing with…”


Skinner’s voice trailed off, but Mulder kept moving his hands, sliding them sensuously over his body, enjoying himself. Mulder could see the picture of himself that Skinner had painted for him. Kneeling, legs splayed, a lock of his dark hair plastered to his sweaty forehead, his wide lips swollen with desire.


“Good, now you can touch your cock.” Skinner broke into his reverie. “And open your eyes, sweetheart, make love to me as you touch yourself. Imagine me making love to you.”


Mulder moaned as he wrapped his hand around his cock. He opened his eyes, and stared directly at his Master, faltered for a moment, as reality kicked in again, then continued with his caress, finding that place in his head where he had been. Skinner’s eyes were dark, and appreciative, and Mulder responded to the fact that he was pleasing his Master.


“Is this good, Master?” he asked, running his hand along the full length of his hard shaft, and gently tweaking one of his tender nipples.


“Yes, Fox…very good…” Skinner grinned. “Keep going. I want to watch you come.”


Mulder nodded, and suddenly realized how damn great this felt! He had always had an exhibitionist streak, and this was a turn on! Especially, when it was obvious that it also turned his Master on – big time, judging by the way Skinner’s hard shaft was visible sticking out from the bath water.


Mulder moaned, and put his head back, but he never took his eyes from Skinner’s face, as he continued caressing his body, and pumping on his cock. He had an image of Skinner’s hard cock pounding into him, of his Master covering his naked body with his own, and claiming him, fast and rough, the way he had done last night, with no thought for his slave’s pleasure, only his own, and the idea turned him on. He existed to serve, and his Master adored using his slave’s naked body. Skinner loved taking charge of him, and making him submit to his will. Mulder could hear himself panting. He was on the brink.


“Do you want me to come, Master?” He asked.


“Yes, slave. Hard,” Skinner ordered.


Mulder let go with a whoosh, and his come spilt out on his hand, and on the tiled bathroom floor. Mulder knelt there, spent, his head hanging, his chest heaving.


“Good. Very good,” Skinner sighed appreciatively. “Now, clean up the floor, then come over here.” Mulder did as he was told, then went and knelt beside the bath. “Soap me, then you can climb in and wash yourself down before washing me,” Skinner ordered.


Mulder grasped the soap eagerly, and placed it on his Master’s chest, then began to gently lather the wiry chest hair. He loved the scent of his Master’s damp skin, and frequently leaned forward to smell it. While he was there, it was impossible not to press his lips against the flesh and steal a series of little kisses. Skinner accepted this evidence of his slave’s devotion with a wry, amused smile, and when he was fully soaped, he beckoned Mulder into the water. Mulder knelt, facing his Master, nestled between his knees, and carefully passed a washcloth over Skinner’s tanned skin, caressing it in circular motions. He stopped when he got to the bullet wound on his Master’s stomach, bent, and kissed it. There was evidence of other, older wounds, on Skinner’s back, and thighs. Mulder kissed all of them, then looked up.


“Vietnam, Master?” he asked in a whisper.


“Yes, Fox.” Skinner nodded quietly.


“I’ve wanted to ask before.” Mulder trailed a finger over the scars. “But I didn’t dare.”


“You can always, ask, sweetheart,” Skinner said, catching Mulder’s hand, and kissing it. “Just don’t always expect a reply.”


“No, Master. You were badly wounded though?” Mulder fingers continued their gentle caress.


“Yes, but I lived.” Skinner shrugged. “At least I lived.” He looked suddenly so sad that Mulder couldn’t stop himself pressing his lips against his Master’s, and pulling the big man close. Then he backed off, apologetically.


“I’m sorry, Master,” he said quietly.


“No need to apologize, little one,” Skinner said softly, drawing Mulder back for another kiss. Mulder drowned in dual sensations of the warm water, and the wet warmth of his Master’s tongue as it pushed into his mouth.


“I want to know you,” Mulder confided, when they broke away a few seconds later. “Hell, you know so much about me, but you’re such a damn enigma.”


“All in good time, sweetheart,” Skinner replied. “You have the rest of your life to get to know me – there’s no need to rush, although I know it’s not in your nature to wait, my impatient little slaveboy.” He smiled, and pushed the dark lock of hair off of Mulder’s forehead. Mulder smiled back.


“Master is very patient with me,” he murmured, then dipped his head, and sucked Skinner’s nipples lightly.


“Amen,” Skinner muttered ironically, stroking his slave’s head as he worked.


“Would…” Mulder broke away, and pointed to his Master’s hard cock. “Would Master like to use me?” He asked.


“Does the slave have a condom to hand?” Skinner asked pointedly.


Mulder grinned. “Yes, Master!” he announced, reaching under the bath mat, and drawing one out triumphantly. Skinner grinned, and slapped his slave’s butt affectionately. “Although…” Mulder bit on his lip. “Master…I’d like to feel you inside me, without anything between us. Flesh on flesh,” he admitted. Skinner’s hands stoked his thighs as he considered this.


“Well – that’s something of a commitment, Fox,” he stated.


“I’m clean,” Mulder said hopefully.


“So am I – however…I think we should both think about that some more before we take that step. I also think we should both be tested as a show of good faith. Much as I want to experience your ass without a layer of rubber between us, I’m your Master, and as such I’m responsible for your welfare. I won’t rush this, Fox.”


“No, Master,” Mulder sighed, crestfallen.


“And you know…” Skinner grinned. “I think this might be a good opportunity to see if you’ve been doing your homework, as instructed.” He opened the packet, then put his fingers in Mulder’s mouth, and slipped the condom inside. “Impress me, slave,” he ordered.


Mulder felt his heart beat anxiously inside his chest. He had been practicing, but even so, there was a difference between putting a condom on an inanimate object, and sliding it onto his Master’s hard cock while they were both in the slippery confines of the bath. Still, his Master had given him an order. He just hoped that Skinner would bear the difficult circumstances in mind when he punished him for his failure.


Mulder took hold of his Master’s thighs, and positioned himself with his mouth over Skinner’s cock, tonguing the condom to get it in the right place. Then he dipped his head, and smoothly went down on Skinner’s penis, drawing the condom tight around the hard shaft in one deft movement. He wasn’t sure who was the more surprised, him or Skinner, when the condom stayed perfectly, tautly in position.


“Shit!” Mulder breathed.


“Well done, little one!” Skinner laughed, and gave him a full-throated kiss by way of reward. The bath was of the corner variety, very large, with a little seat on one side. Skinner levered himself onto the seat, and then turned Mulder around, so that he was kneeling in front of him, his chin just out of the water. Mulder felt his Master part his buttocks, and then water flooded into him, in a deliciously warm wave. Skinner played with his ass for a while, slipping his finger in and out, and then he grasped Mulder’s buttocks firmly in his hands, and slid his hard cock between them. Mulder, completely relaxed by the soothing warmth of the water, and the previous foreplay, opened up with a moan, as Skinner’s shaft found that spot deep inside him that tingled vibrantly at each hard stroke.


“Oh shit, Master…shit…it’s so good…” he whispered, as his Master took him, deeply, and thoroughly, plunging hard and fast into the very depths of his slave’s body. Mulder could feel Skinner’s hands on his back, and thighs, and the water splashed around them, soaking the bathroom floor. Mulder wondered why he had ever had an aversion to anal sex before. With Skinner it just felt so right. He gave himself up to the joy of serving his Master with his body, with his whole heart, reveling in the fact that his Master took such pleasure from entering him, and consuming him in this way. When Skinner came, and withdrew, Mulder turned around, and removed his condom, then kissed his Master’s now flaccid cock.


“Thank you for honoring me with this part of yourself, Master,” he whispered. They were words he could never have imagined even thinking before now, let alone saying, but they just felt right for the moment. Skinner smiled, and caressed his slave’s ears.


“Good boy,” he murmured. Then he laughed out loud. “You’ve come a long way, slave,” he said. “I’m so proud of you.” Mulder knelt between his Master’s legs, and closed his eyes, cherishing the moment, his Master’s praise still ringing in his ears.


Mulder helped Skinner out of the bath, and dried him – slowly, lingeringly, and with exquisite care and attention to detail. He was so used to rushing through tasks, getting from a to b by the quickest possible route, that he would never have imagined that something so simple could bring him so much pleasure. He lost himself in the task, rubbing down his Master’s glistening body, gently patting his butt, and stroking his penis and balls with the soft towel, bending to dry between each and every toe until he was finished. Then he wrapped Skinner in his bathrobe, and walked him back into the bedroom.


“You can massage me on the bed – and shave me in front of the mirror,” Skinner pointed. Mulder nodded, and went to get his oils. He returned to find his Master stretched out, naked and glorious on the bed, like a large lion resting in the sun. He warmed the oil in his hands, then dripped it onto his Master’s body and began to stroke his tanned flesh, losing himself in the task. He poured every ounce of his devotion into the massage, and was pleased when his Master relaxed completely under his tender ministrations. Skinner’s hard muscles gradually loosened, as Mulder’s long, skillful fingers smoothed away his Master’s cares and stresses. This felt so good! Being a slave, being able to serve his magnificent Master. Mulder was struck suddenly by how damn lucky he had been. He could have sold himself to anyone, to someone who didn’t understand him, and didn’t even want to try. He stopped suddenly, in mid-stroke, stunned by what he had done.


“Fox?” Skinner sat up and looked at him.


“I’ve been such a fucking idiot,” Mulder told him.


“What are we talking about in particular here?” Skinner raised a questioning eyebrow.


“Signing that contract,” Mulder replied, distracted. Then he looked at his Master and caught a glimpse of hurt misunderstanding in those usually expressionless brown eyes. “Oh shit, no. I didn’t mean that. I meant…you were right, when you pointed out how reckless I was to sell myself to a stranger. If it hadn’t been you…” he broke off, a lump rising in his throat, as he imagined how terrible it would have been if he hadn’t ended up with Skinner. If he was standing here, serving someone else, someone who didn’t love him, someone he couldn’t love the way he loved his Master…Mulder felt his chest constricting – he couldn’t breathe.


“Fox. Hold on.” Skinner took hold of his shoulders, and shook him lightly. “It was me, and this is a good breakthrough – if you can see your behavior like this. If you can see the way you throw yourself into situations that are potentially harmful to you, without thinking about the risks. Now, breathe. In, out…that’s good.”


“A breakthrough?” Mulder sat down on the side of the bed, his body nerveless, taking deep gulps of air.


“Yes,” Skinner grinned at him, and tousled his hair. “A good breakthrough. I told you I’d take you down to the bottom of yourself, sweetheart. Don’t worry – the process might hurt occasionally but it’ll be good for you.”


“Only a top could say something like that,” Mulder grinned back.


“You betcha!” Skinner cuffed him lightly on the side of his head, and then his expression became thoughtful. “Fox – did anything lead to you spinning out of control to the point where you were prepared to sign that contract? Was there a single event that led to it, or was it just a gradual build up?”


Mulder frowned. He didn’t like coming out of the role they’d built up here, and tackling any of his real life issues, but he knew that Skinner wasn’t about to let him evade this subject.


“No, there wasn’t anything in particular,” he shrugged.


“And in the past – when you sought out punishment in order to get sexual release, was there a pattern to that?” Skinner took hold of his face, and looked directly into his eyes. “Did it happen after particularly difficult cases, or if there had been a set-back in pursuit of your quest?”


“No.” Mulder tried to drop his eyes, but Skinner stroked his thumbs down the side of his cheeks, until he raised them again. “I know what you’re thinking, but I’m not punishing myself for Sam, or for anything else…the plain truth is I just get off on it. I don’t deny that sometimes I sought out this kind of release after I’d been involved in a particularly cerebral case – as if I needed to get back into my body again, to touch bases with it. I know that sometimes, I, uh, I ignore what my body needs, with food, medication, rest and so on.” He bit on his lip, but Skinner’s eyes were encouraging.


“Go on,” Skinner prompted.


“Then it helps me to feel, to really feel – pleasure, pain, both.” Mulder’s could see his own shining eyes reflected back at him in his Master’s dark eyes. “But usually, after bad stuff happened with my quest, as you call it, my libido went into hibernation to be honest. That wasn’t when I felt the urge to be topped most. It’s when I’m distanced, when I’m not so involved in that obsession that the sex thing kicks in, and starts spiraling away from me. Sometimes I think I’ve used my quest in the past simply to avoid my sex drive, not the other way around. I don’t pretend to understand it. Does it have tobe understood?” he asked.


“No.” Skinner smiled. “Some things are just the way we’re made. I just wanted to get a handle on your behavior patterns. Are you feeling calmer now?” His dark eyes were searching. Mulder swallowed hard, and nodded. “Okay – get back to work then, slaveboy.” Skinner slapped his thigh affectionately, and laid himself back down on the bed.


Mulder didn’t need telling twice. He devoured his Master’s body with his oiled hands, wondering at himself. He knew whyhe had wanted the safety and security of that contract now. He knew he had wanted to be stopped, before he went too far. He knew he had wanted to throw himself into the abyss that had haunted him all his life, to drown in whatever darkness awaited him, and to finally give into it. Only Skinner had been waiting for him, had caught him, and carried him back to the light, and now Mulder was lost and found at the same time, and he didn’t know what would happen to him next.


“Master…I said something last night, but you didn’t hear. I didn’t have the courage to say it to your face – I still don’t, but…” Mulder began in a flurry.


“It’s all right, little one. In your own time,” Skinner said soothingly.


“Okay. I wanted to say…” Mulder was glad Skinner was face down as he wasn’t sure he could have continued otherwise. “I know…that it’ll be hard when we go back to work. I know I’ll drive you crazy, and I’ll probably resent you, and that sometimes you’ll curse Agent Mulder and wonder what the hell happened to your slave, and… I just wanted to say that this last week has been the best week of my whole crappy, fuck-up of a life. Somehow, being this, to you, is at the core of my soul. I think I’ve been more truly myself here than at any other time, in any other way. I know it can’t carry on. I know we have to go back to the real world…but I wanted to tell you that anyway. So that you know.”


“I do know, Fox.” Skinner caught Mulder’s hand as it massaged his shoulder, and kissed it gently. “I know.”


Mulder finished his task silently, enjoying every second spent massaging his Master’s taut, firm flesh. Then he wrapped Skinner in his robe again, and sat his Master down in front of the mirror, before fetching all the apparatus for shaving him. He was nervous, but he had managed to shave the requisite number of balloons without killing them, and if Skinner thought he was ready, then he had to hope he was. He lathered his Master’s chin with shaving foam, then held the other man’s face steady, and raised the cut-throat razor to his jaw. Skinner didn’t so much as flinch. His eyes met Mulder’s, and they held an expression of total trust. Mulder felt his nervousness leave him, and he set about his task with a firm, steady hand, whisking the foam from his Master’s chin, and neck, with sweeping movements, utterly confident. When he’d finished, he applied after-shave, patting his Master’s face appreciatively, and Skinner ran a hand over his newly shaven jaw, and gave a whistle.


“Thank you, Fox. That’s one of the finest shaves I’ve ever had,” he said. Mulder glowed with the praise, and went to get his Master’s clothes ready. He dressed Skinner in faded blue jeans, and a navy henley, then laced him into his timberlands, before leaving his Master in order to go downstairs and prepare the breakfast.


Cooking wasn’t exactly Mulder’s strong point, but he managed to serve up something passably edible for breakfast. When Skinner had finished, he left Mulder to eat his own breakfast, and clear away the dishes, instructing him to join him in the lounge when he was done. Mulder went about the task happily enough, whistling to himself. Wanda sat and watched him, or, more accurately, sat and watched the faucet, hoping for a stray drip of water to escape so that she could bat it with her paw. Mulder tolerated this for a while, then suddenly took a handful of bubbly suds, and deposited them on her head. She gave a startled squawk, shot him a venomous look, and then ran towards the kitchen door, shaking her head vigorously. Mulder got there first, and banged it shut, looking down on her from a lofty height.


“Not so fast, Wanda baby. If you go telling tales to daddy, then the next meal I’ll be serving up to him will be cat stew. Comprendi?” he said. She glared at him for a second, then sat on her haunches and licked her bottom energetically in reply. He nodded sagely. “I see that we understand each other, madam!” He opened the door, and she walked haughtily though it, with as much dignity as she could muster while burdened by one limp, and completely sodden ear.


Mulder sauntered out to join her a few minutes later, then stopped. Skinner was seated on the couch, with a bedraggled Wanda on his lap. She was washing her assaulted ear with far too much enthusiasm, Mulder thought, clearly drawing attention to it. He approached, cautiously, and Skinner pointed to his feet. Mulder crouched beside them. Skinner laced his hand in Mulder’s hair, and drew his head back.


“Wanda has a complaint,” he hissed, ominously.


“She got in the way!” Mulder yelped.


“The truth, Fox, or you’ll go over my knee until you remember the honesty lesson,” Skinner warned.


“Oh, okay. I dumped some water on her – but she was in the way.” Mulder glared at the cat.


“Well, I won’t have you upsetting her. You’ll have to be punished,” Skinner told him. Mulder pouted, not seriously worried, although his butt still ached from earlier. At least if Skinner upended him over his knee then Wanda would have to vacate her cozy position, and that was a victory of sorts. “Yes – I want you to apologize to her,” Skinner told his slave. Mulder’s mouth hung open in dismay.


“You have got to be joking!” He exclaimed. “Master,” he added, as a hasty afterthought.


“No. I’m deadly serious. And after you’ve apologized – on your hands and knees – you can kiss her nose,” Skinner informed him.


Mulder had the very real suspicion that his Master was trying hard not to laugh. He glared at him through narrowed eyes.”No,” he said. Skinner’s hand tightened in his hair.


“Would you like to repeat that?” Skinner asked pleasantly.


“No…Master?” Mulder offered, hopefully. Skinner’s hand went to his belt. “Oh all right. I’ll kiss the stupid cat,” Mulder capitulated gracelessly. Skinner released his hold on Mulder’s hair, and Mulder got to his knees, and looked at Wanda. She looked back at him, calmly, from the safety of her slave’s lap, a triumphant gleam in her eyes.


“Wanda, I’m sorry, okay.” He glanced at Skinner, who made a movement with his eyebrows, indicating that Mulder should continue. Mulder sighed. “You’re a cute cat, whose been spoiled rotten by an indulgent master laboring under the misapprehension he’s your slave, and who…”


“Fox.” Skinner’s voice held a warning.


“Oh, all right. Sorry, Wanda,” Mulder sighed. “You’re a really nice cat.” He leaned forward, and planted a kiss on her delicate creamy nose, and she waved her tail menacingly in reply.


“I don’t think you’re forgiven, but it’s a start.” Skinner fondled the cat’s ears affectionately. “However, in view of your attitude, from now on I’m going to institute a ten minute compulsory cuddle period every day. That’s you and Wanda – not you and me,” he stated firmly.


“So, now wouldn’t be a convincing time to mention my cat hair allergy would it?” Mulder asked. Skinner raised an eyebrow. “I thought not,” Mulder sighed. “You’re such a hard bastard, Master.”


“Yeah, and don’t forget it,” Skinner grinned. “I think ten strokes with the strap before bedtime for your tone and attitude will help you keep it in mind, Fox, and another six for the ‘bastard’ comment. Remind me to administer them. Now, you fell asleep before you could finish your confessional last night, and I don’t want that habit to lapse, so I think we’ll do another one now.”


“Now? Here?” Mulder found the confessionals hard, and he didn’t feel in the mood. He was never sure how Skinner took his honesty, and he always ended up revealing far more than he wanted to, in a way that made him squirm with embarrassment afterwards.


“Here. Now,” Skinner told him. “Sit however and wherever you like.”


Mulder thought about it. Where he really wanted to sit was with his head in Skinner’s lap, which was where Wanda was right now. On the other hand, he wasn’t sure he’d be able to talk in such a position, and he couldn’t look straight at Skinner during a confessional. He found it hard enough as it was, without seeing those dark eyes watching him intently as he talked. Instead, he knelt on the floor beside Skinner’s knee, and leaned into his leg. He felt his usual insecurity about revealing too much of himself, but Skinner’s hand found his neck, and started a gentle massage, and he started to relax.


“Okay, yesterday…yesterday…I…did you know that bathroom thing in the restaurant was just about every wet dream I’ve ever had come true? And I didn’t even get to come! In fact, that was part of what made it so good. There was this place I went into in my head, where I was on fire with being a slave, being your slave, being of service. It made my whole body tingle. Just remembering it is enough to fuel my next dozen jacking-off fantasies…not that I would – jack off I mean,” he added hastily. “Not unless you gave me permission anyway…” He stopped, hating himself for sounding so damn stupid. God, Skinner must be laughing his head off at his clumsy, hesitant attempts at explaining the way he felt. Skinner’s hand picked up speed on his neck, kneading him encouragingly. “You know me so well it’s scary sometimes. You must have been a fantastic field agent, sir…” Skinner’s fingers stopped momentarily. “Um, Master,” Mulder corrected. “So damn thorough. Not that I’m not – just that I suppose I act more on inspiration and pay less attention to detail…and consequences.” Mulder buried his face in his knees, with a sigh. “I know what you were trying to teach me with the whole bullwhip thing…but I don’t think I’m going to change. I just know that when I put on my shirt and tie tomorrow, when I get back to my office, that it’ll be as if all this never happened. I’m scared that it won’t work there, that I’ll go back to spinning out of control and I won’t know why, although it’s nice knowing you’ll be around to pull me back in. That’s the only thing that makes me feel okay about tomorrow. You will be there to do that, won’t you?” Mulder suddenly looked up at his Master, his heart pounding. Supposing Skinner kept their home life and work life so separate that he wasn’t there to provide the safety net Mulder so desperately needed? Skinner didn’t reply, but he did smile, and his blunt fingers continued their soothing caress on his neck. Mulder bit his lip.


“Okay…I’ll be patient, I’ll try not to get too edgy. I bet I don’t sleep tonight. I want you to know you’ve got my permission to be as much of a hard-ass as you need to be if I look like I’m running wild. Hell, not that you need my permission! Just so you know. I’d prefer to be reeled in than to float off into space. I scare myself when I get in too deep. Sometimes I can’t even see what’s happening to me until it’s too late. Shit, you landed yourself with one psycho slave. You must really be regretting taking me on…” He trailed off, sat down gingerly on his still glowing ass, gathered his knees to his chest, and hugged them with his arms. He was silent for several minutes, then decided that he was through. He moved his head, rested his chin on Skinner’s knee, closed his eyes, and was rewarded when Skinner gently stroked his hair. Mulder sighed. This felt so good. This felt the best. He could sit like this forever.


Skinner broke the mood a few minutes later, by disengaging Mulder’s head from his knee, and getting up.


“Okay, little one. We have some practical details to sort out. Are you listening?” Mulder came out of his reverie, and sat up straight. “Good – first of all, money.” He took a credit card out of his pocket and handed it to his slave. “This is yours. There’s a spending limit of $5,000. I’ll keep track of any purchases you make, so I’d advise you to be…circumspect. This is not because I don’t trust you, but more because I want you to understand that your life is transparent to me. There can be no secrets. I want to know everything you do, think, or feel. Understood?”


“Yes, Master.” Mulder glanced at the credit card. “Master…this is going to feel a bit weird. I mean, I’ve been handling my own finances since I was 17 years old. I’m not sure about this.”


“Tough.” Skinner shrugged. “This may not be the way it will always be, Fox, but you’ve only been my slave for one week, so you’ll have to expect to be kept on a short rein to begin with.”


“Yes, Master.” Mulder bit down his resentment. He had signed away his money knowingly when he’d made that contract. He could hardly complain about it now.


“This isn’t a marriage, Fox, or a negotiation between lovers. You are my slave. Have I ever given you cause to misunderstand that basic fact?” Skinner asked him.


Mulder shook his head. “No, Master.”


“You knew what that entailed, and you entered this condition willingly, didn’t you?” Skinner pressed.


“Yes, Master. I did.” Mulder nodded. “Master…what about cash? I mean, a credit card’s okay, but I’ll need some cash, for lunch, or to buy a soda, or whatever.”


“Yes, Fox, I expect you will. You can ask me for cash whenever you require it.”


“What?” Mulder gasped. “Like, come up and ask you for lunch money in your office or something?”


“That’s right.” Skinner placed his hands behind his back, and looked down on his slave from his full, forbidding height. “I said it was a short rein, Fox, and that’s exactly what it’ll be. When you can accept these restrictions, and learn to live happily within them, that’s when I’ll consider lengthening the leash – but not before then. You think you’ve learned a lot in the past week, and you have, but trust me, you have a long way to go.”


“I see.” Mulder’s heart sank. “Master – I’m used to behaving like an adult, making reasoned decisions…” he began. Skinner held up his hand.


“I’m not treating you like a child, Fox. I’m treating you like a slave – which is exactly what you are. As for the reasoned decisions…from now on you can check them with me. If they really are ‘reasoned’ there shouldn’t be any problems, should there?” His tone was deceptively pleasant, but Mulder knew just what he was getting at.


“No, Master. There shouldn’t,” he said sulkily.


“A friend of mine, who lived in a similar set-up to this one, had a very efficient slave who used to do his books for him, and keep a check on the household finances,” Skinner said. “He earned that right, by proving he was worthy and capable. You can earn the same rights, Fox. In time. With diligence, and commitment.”


“I see.” Mulder nodded glumly, sure that he’d never be good for long enough to earn any such rights.


“As for the rest of your behavior – I do not want you to come to me with every tiny decision you have to make. You’re more than capable of using your own initiative and I’m sure that in most given situations you’ll know what I expect of you. If you choose not to take that course of action, then you know there will be consequences,” Skinner said ominously. Mulder’s heart did a flip. “If you’re in any doubt – just ask. I will not punish you for not being sure, or for being tempted. Iwill punish you for disobedience, dishonesty, disrespect, and putting your own life in unnecessary danger. Those are the four givens. Punishment will not necessarily be of the physical variety, Fox,” Skinner informed his kneeling slave. Mulder looked up, curious. “I’m very good at devising alternative forms of punishment when I think it’s more appropriate,” Skinner warned.


“I know,” Mulder sighed. “I haven’t forgotten the exquisite boredom of tape surveillance, Master.”


Skinner laughed. “I’m glad to see my punishments were effective even before I had the leeway to be truly creative.” He crossed over to where Mulder was kneeling, and got out his wallet, then began counting out some cash. Mulder had a sudden vivid flash of an old fantasy, as his Master handed him the folded up notes.


“Here’s some money for tomorrow,” Skinner began, then he glanced at Mulder’s burgeoning erection, bemused. “Was it something I said?” He murmured. Mulder flushed.


“It’s nothing.” He willed the erection away, but it stayed resolutely in place as he took the money his Master was giving him.


“No, it’s very clearly something,” Skinner observed. “You can either tell me, or I can give you six strokes with my belt, andthen you can tell me. It’s up to you.”


Mulder bit on his lip. “It’s not a very politically correct fantasy, Master.”


“Neither is slavery,” Skinner pointed out wryly. “How we conduct our fantasies, needs and desires is nobody’s business but our own, I think, so long as we don’t harm anyone else. Speak, slave. I’m waiting. If my slave has a fantasy, I think his Master should know about it – don’t you?”


“Okay, it was when you handed over the cash, Master. It kinds of ties in with what you did last night. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be picked up in a bar by some wealthy stranger, and to be…paid…you know, for services rendered.”


“Ah.” Skinner nodded. “Well, that’s a commonplace enough fantasy, and certainly nothing to inspire any shame.”


“I wouldn’t want it to actually be real,” Mulder said hastily. “I mean it must be a crappy lifestyle, and anyway, I’m far too old to take up a career as a rent boy. I just like the fantasy. Hell, that can’t surprise you. Selling myself, quite literally, into slavery, has to be the ultimate version of the fantasy.”


“Hmmm. Yes. Although being a hustler would give you more…control over the fantasy,” Skinner observed. “Now, let’s get back to business. Do you know what is expected of you tomorrow?”


“Yes, Master. I have to get up at 5 a.m., swim for half an hour, make you your coffee, wake you. Then we both get dressed and go to work?” Mulder looked up for confirmation.


“Yes. That’s good. Once you’ve accepted your morning discipline, and been dismissed, you’re on your own recognizance. You can drive to work in your own car, or take the metro, and leave at whatever time is convenient to you. I expect you to be back in this apartment by 6 p.m. every evening, unless there’s a legitimate work reason to explain your absence, and you’ve cleared it with me. When I return home in the evening I expect to find you naked, and waiting for me. Bedtime is no later than 10 p.m.” Mulder’s heart sank again, and Skinner must have noticed the expression on his slave’s face, because he gave a rueful smile. “Fox – this is all part of the short leash. If you respond well, I’ll let you have more freedom. First you have to show me that you’re prepared to work for that.”


“Yes, Master.” Mulder nodded, sighing internally. He had a feeling that the next few days were going to stretch both his obedience, and his Master’s patience, to their respective limits.


“Good. Now go and get washed and dressed,” Skinner ordered unexpectedly.


“Dressed?” Mulder looked confused.


“Yes. Wear anything you want. You’re going back to the real world tomorrow, and it’s time we got you used to that idea. And Fox?” Mulder turned back, his foot on the stair.


“Whatever you do, I promise you that I will never, ever regret taking you on. Understood?”


Mulder swallowed hard, remembering what he’d said in his confessional. “Yes, Master.”


“Good. Go get dressed.” Skinner shooed him on his way.


Mulder ran back to his bedroom, took a shower, washed his hair, then pulled on his jeans, and the new shirt Skinner had bought for him the day before. He ran back down the stairs, two at a time, reveling in the feel of his sneakers on his feet, instead of going around barefoot. Skinner looked at him appreciatively.


“Good,” he said, “now take your clothes off.”


“What?” Mulder glared at him. “I just put them on.”


“And now your Master is telling you to take them off. Do you have a problem with that?”


“No. Master.” Mulder ground out, sullenly. He put his hand up to his shirt, and started unbuttoning.


“Not like that,” Skinner interrupted. “What’s the first rule of this house, Fox?”


“Your pleasure is paramount, Master,” Mulder said quickly. He’d learned that lesson well.


“All right. Undress in such a way as to please me then. Put on a show – like you did earlier, in the bathroom.”


“You want me to do a striptease?” Mulder asked, horrified.


“Yes,” Skinner replied blandly. “There’s no point having a slave if you can’t make him perform. There will be many occasions when I take you to parties, and instruct you to undress. I don’t want you to slip out of your clothing as if your body embarrasses you. I want you to undress in such a way as to make everyone in the room watch, and I want them to envy me for owning such a beautiful, entertaining, obedient slave. This is a skill you’ll have to practice.”


“You’ll make me undress in front of a room full of people?” Mulder’s heart thudded in his chest.


“Of course. I’ve already displayed you naked at your party, Fox. What’s the problem here?” Skinner asked.


“Just…going somewhere else, away from here…having people look at me, making them look at me…”


“Ah, I see. Well, firstly, I’ll be with you, and that’s all that should matter. It doesn’t make any difference where we are – I’ll be at your side. Secondly, I know that I showed you off at the party, and you didn’t display yourself, as such, but you’ll have to learn. I insist.” Skinner’s eyes were deadly serious. Mulder swallowed nervously, then nodded. He put his hand up to his shirt again, and tried undulating his hips. Skinner sat down on the couch, nursing a glass of whisky, and watched over the rim. Mulder felt himself going red.


“Shit… I’m no good at this, Master,” he said, stopping in the middle of a clumsy hip-roll.


“Then you have to learn. It’s more a question of enthusiasm than skill,” Skinner said. “Proceed.”


Mulder sighed, and started again. He closed his eyes, and tried to imagine he was in his room, alone. Damn, but he felt stupid doing this. He slid his hand into his pants, and played with pushing down his jeans, then turned and waggled his bottom half-heartedly in Skinner’s direction. He did finally manage to undress completely, then stood there, naked once more, his whole body a nice shade of vermilion. Only then did he pluck up the courage to open his eyes. Skinner was giving him an assessing stare.


“Okay. I know I was shit,” Mulder sighed.


“You could certainly do with some more work, but you’ll get there. In time. You really don’t have a choice,” Skinner told him with a wry chuckle. “All right – put your clothes back on.”


“You’re not going to make me try it again, are you?” Mulder asked.


“No. I’m not. Next time I ask you to do this, I expect you to do it properly – or there’ll be consequences. Give it some thought, Fox.”


“Yes, Master.” Mulder buttoned up his jeans gratefully.


“There’s something else you can give some thought to,” Skinner added, when he’d dressed. “I told you that Sunday is ‘Master’s Day’. I’ve kept you amused and occupied all week, which, don’t get me wrong, has been very enjoyable,” he mused, pursing his lips and smiling. “But now I’d like to relax. I have some paperwork to do in preparation for tomorrow, so you have a couple of hours free time. You can go out, swim, work-out, or do whatever you want, but our evening plans are up to you. Organize a nice meal for us both if you want, although I wouldn’t advise you to actually cook it yourself, or dream up some other nice treat, but I’d like you to think of a way to make it a good evening for me. I’ll expect you to come up with something every Sunday. It doesn’t have to be much. Just something to surprise, and please me.”


Mulder nodded, and watched as Skinner disappeared into his study. Damn! He wished he could think of something really fantastic to surprise Skinner with, but his mind was a blank. Skinner had said that it didn’t have to be much, but Mulderwanted it to be good. When he looked back on what Skinner had done for the past week, he appreciated the other man’s skill and ingenuity. He had contrived to keep Mulder continually on edge, while teaching him some important lessons along the way. The man was truly a Master – completely skilled in his art. Mulder was apprehensive enough about going back to work to want to show Skinner how much he appreciated what he’d done for him, before he started jerking him around as Agent Mulder to his Master’s Assistant Director Skinner. An idea occurred to Mulder. Skinner had said that he was a sensualist. There had to be a way to appeal to that side of his Master’s personality. He went to the hall phone, and checked through the list of restaurant menus that Skinner had left there. A couple of them were particularly well thumbed so Mulder took that as evidence that they were Skinner’s favorites. He settled on the Thai one, then telephoned the restaurant and asked them if they knew what Walter Skinner’s favorite meal was. Luckily his Master was well known to them, and before long Mulder had a complete menu ordered. Now it was time to work on the next part of his plan.


At 7 p.m., Mulder knocked on the study door, then opened it and put his head around it. Skinner was hard at work, and glanced up, frowning.


“It’s late, Master. I thought it was time to interrupt you,” Mulder told him. Skinner glanced at his watch.


“Shit, is that the time? I didn’t realize.” He shook his head, then did a double take, as Mulder entered the room. Mulder grinned, relishing the look his Master was giving him. He was dressed in one of the new outfits Skinner had bought for him the previous day: a pair of tight, black chinos hugged his ass, and he was wearing a shiny, petrol blue shirt. “You’re looking good,” Skinner said appreciatively. “Something smells good too. What is it?”


“If Master would follow me, I’ll show you,” Mulder said.


He led Skinner back into the dining room, and held out his Master’s chair for him, expectantly. Skinner glanced around the room, his eyes shining in delighted surprise. Mulder had been out and purchased a dozen candles, which were placed strategically around the room, casting a soft, orange glow. Skinner sat down in the chair, and Mulder went and opened a bottle of wine.


“What are we drinking?” Skinner asked.


Mulder shook his head. “That’s a surprise,” he said. “Um, this might be too much, so tell me if it is, but how does Master feel about being blindfolded?”


Skinner looked up sharply. “That would depend upon the purpose, Fox,” he replied.


“Well…” Mulder stood behind the other man, and massaged his shoulders lightly, noting that a few new knots had appeared in them since earlier in the morning. “I’ve arranged for a special meal, Master, but I’d like to feed it to you myself, to surprise you.”


Skinner considered this for a moment, then nodded. “That would be…interesting,” he agreed.


Mulder grinned, and went to fetch a velvet scarf that he had ready for the occasion. He caressed Skinner’s head lightly with the lush fabric as he tied it around the other man’s eyes. Then he brought the meal to the table, and placed a fork full of steaming food against Skinner’s lips. The other man opened obligingly, and took a bite, considered the taste, and then broke into a broad grin.


“Red chicken curry?” he exclaimed. “That’s my favorite.”


“I know, Master.” Mulder poured the wine, and held the glass to Skinner’s lips. Skinner took a sip, and laughed again.


“Do you know all my favorites, little one?” he asked, whipping off the blindfold and surveying his plate in pleased anticipation.


Mulder grinned. “I’m a trained investigator, Master. I did a little research of my own.”


Mulder pressed a button on the remote, and the CD player started playing a random selection of songs; some jazz, some Mozart, some Sinatra.


“I see that even my musical tastes have been discovered.” Skinner raised his glass to his lips, and smiled at Mulder over the rim.


“Of course, Master. How’s your meal?” Mulder picked up his own fork, and started to eat.


“Delicious. This is lovely, Fox,” Skinner said sincerely.


“I noticed a series of travel guides in your bookcase, Master. Have you traveled widely?” Mulder asked.


Skinner shook his head. “Not as widely as I wish,” he said with a sigh. “I did go to Europe on vacation a few years back – I’d like to return. I’m something of a history buff.”


Mulder spent the next hour discussing his time at Oxford with his Master, and sharing reminiscences of journeys to foreign lands. He did his best to be entertaining, and attentive, and he loved watching his Master relax, and talk to him openly about his past.


“It’s stupid, but I think one of the reasons I enlisted for ‘Nam was because I had some damn crazy idea about traveling.” Skinner shook his head sadly.


“It’s one way to see the world,” Mulder shrugged.


“Only if you want to find out what the world looks like through the sights of a gun,” Skinner remarked grimly.


“There must have been more of a reason to you enlisting than that,” Mulder held his breath. He longed to know more about his Master.


“There was.” Skinner shrugged, and wiped his napkin over his mouth.


“Do you ever talk about it? To anyone?” Mulder pressed.


“Once. Then no more.” Skinner shrugged again. “Some memories are too painful to keep getting out, and tearing apart, Fox.”


“I know.” Mulder nodded. Skinner’s eyes met his, and Mulder knew that they understood each other. He steered the conversation onto lighter topics.


When they’d finished dessert, and coffee, Mulder got up, and held out his hand.


“Would Master like to dance?” he asked. Skinner looked at him in surprise. Mulder shrugged. “I’ve never danced with another man, Master,” he admitted honestly. “So I’m probably crap, but I thought…well, it might be a stupid idea, but…”


“Don’t spoil it, Fox.” Skinner grinned, getting up. “It’s no more stupid than some of the things we’ve done over the past week.”


Mulder thought of being led around on the end of his Master’s leash, and broke into a grin himself. Skinner closed his hands around Mulder’s waist, and pulled him close, and Mulder rested his head against his Master’s cheek. He felt brave enough to caress Skinner’s taut buttocks lightly, enjoying the feel of his Master’s solidly muscled body pressed against his own. It felt so good, to be encased in Skinner’s big arms, sated after a good meal, drifting in time to the music. After about half an hour, Mulder dropped to his knees, and opened his Master’s pants. Skinner moaned, and allowed his slave to reach into his briefs, and take his throbbing cock in his hand. Mulder stroked it into full erection, then bestowed several little kisses along the hard shaft.


“I just want you to remember that I can do this,” he whispered. “Before we go back to work, I want you to know that I can be attentive, and obedient, and thoughtful. I want you to believe I can be the perfect slave, and, um…” he looked up into Skinner’s dark eyes, “I want you to remember that next week when I screw up, because I will screw up.” And before Skinner could reply, Mulder enveloped his cock in his mouth, and brought him skillfully to climax, holding the other man’s hips as his Master pumped into him. When he’d finished, Mulder looked up, hesitantly.


“Thank you, Fox,” Skinner murmured, stroking the side of his face, softly.


Mulder smiled. Seeing Skinner like this today had made him appreciate the other man as a person, and not just as his Master. He was determined to find out more about the man who’d captured his heart, whether Skinner wanted to tell him or not. He wanted to discover what had happened to his Master in Vietnam, and he wanted to know who had lived in the upstairs apartment before he had arrived. He wanted to understand Skinner. He was hungry to uncover every last fact about his Master’s past.   He was, after all, as he had pointed out, a very good investigator, and he intended to put his skills to good use.


Mulder knew he faced a strapping before bed, and very probably a sleepless night, to say nothing of a stressful week ahead, but right here and now, he felt good – damn good, and that was because he  knew where he belonged. Irrevocably, and without doubt. Whatever trials they faced, he knew he could cling onto that one fact.


“No. Thank you, Master,” he replied softly.


End of Part 10

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