24/7 12. Dog Days


Mulder woke some time during the night. He shifted, and turned, mumbling something drowsily in his sleep, then realized that the room was lit by soft lamplight. He lay still, aware that Skinner was sitting up in bed, reading a book. His Master’s hand was playing with his slave’s hair, gently caressing it, so lightly as not to wake him. Mulder lay still, pretending to still be asleep, enjoying the feather-light touch.


He gazed up at his Master from under hooded eyelids. Skinner was wearing his glasses, but he was naked, which made him resemble a strange hybrid between Master and AD. After just one day back at work, the office Skinner and the Playroom Skinner were still two very distinct beings in Mulder’s mind.


Mulder was transfixed by his Master’s fingertips as they held the book loosely. Skinner had thick, blunt hands, with neatly trimmed, exquisitely manicured nails. They were big hands, that could cover a large area of naked butt very efficiently, as Mulder knew all too well. Mulder’s gaze lingered on burly forearms, tanned, and covered with a light covering of wiry hair, then traveled up to take in the finely honed pectorals, rippling under taut, honeyed skin. Mulder hungered after those arms. He hungered to be enveloped in them, to be held, made love to, and, when he was spinning out of control, to be restrained by them as well. Skinner’s arms had been a subject of his fantasies for longer than he cared to admit. He remembered being held down, and held up, too many times, even before he had become the other man’s slave. Large arms holding him against a broad chest in the hallway of the Hoover building, when he was half out of his mind on hallucinogenic drugs, strong arms disarming him when he reached for his gun in the grip of a waking nightmare. The same arms had refused to hurt him when he had so recently flailed around on the edge of total insanity under the influence of an alien artifact. These were arms that caught him when he fell, captured him, and held him tight, held him upright, and kept him safe within their warm, comforting circle.


Mulder watched as Skinner finished reading, and gazed at the ceiling for a moment, lost in thought. Then his Master fished out a bookmark from the back of the book, and studied it intently. Mulder moved slightly, to get a better look at it: it was a photograph – a picture of a man. He must have been in his sixties, but he was handsome, with silver hair, and sparkling blue eyes. His wide jaw hinted at a strong personality, but his face was intelligent, and friendly. Skinner’s expression softened and he gave a wry chuckle, as he fingered the photo.


“Andrew, sometimes I wonder what you would have done with him,” he murmured.


Mulder felt a pang of guilty insecurity. It was clear that he was the cause of Skinner’s sleepless night. After the way he had behaved the previous evening, he wasn’t surprised that Skinner despaired. He was intrigued by the warmth and affection in Skinner’s voice as he addressed his dead friend. Mulder felt even more guilty as he reflected on how he came to know who Andrew was, although he couldn’t even begin to speculate as to what the other man might have meant to Skinner.


Skinner replaced the photo in his book, and placed it on the nightstand, then he turned off the lamp, and slid down in the bed. Mulder closed his eyes again, and was surprised when Skinner placed his arms around his slave, and pulled him against his chest. Mulder muttered something, still feigning sleep, and then he felt Skinner’s lips pressed against the back of his neck, and his Master bestowed a series of soft, gentle kisses there.


“My wild fox. Not tamed yet,” Skinner whispered, his voice hazy with sleep. His fingers stroked soothingly down Mulder’s flanks, and across his torso; tender touches, gossamer light, not designed to wake. “My captive animal. Still not feeding out of my hand.” Skinner’s lips found the tips of his ears, and traveled gently along the line of his jaw. “In my bed. In my heart.” Skinner’s hands and lips came to rest, his breathing deepening, and Mulder felt a lump rise in his throat. He so rarely saw the man behind the Master. Skinner didn’t want him to see, at least not yet, and maybe Mulder didn’t want to see either, although god knows he was curious enough. It was easier to stay as he was, distrustful, locked up within himself, than to take the first, tentative steps towards trusting. Mulder pressed his body back against Skinner’s chest, and placed his hands over the other man’s, clasped, as they were, over the front of his stomach. He had fooled himself that he could use this situation for sex, and to fulfill the fantasies that had been part of his psyche for as long as he could remember, only Skinner wasn’t allowing him to do that. Skinner was demanding more, and Mulder knew that was partly the reason why he had reacted the way he had yesterday. He could quit. He could get up, leave the warm circle of these beloved arms, and renege on this contract he had signed. He could do that. He should do that if he wanted to keep the other man out, and his own secrets safely locked away in the darkness within, but he didn’t want to give this up. He hadn’t even realized he had wanted it until it was too late.


Mulder closed his eyes again, too weary to keep thinking. He wanted to give it all up to this man. Damn, he wanted that so badly, but the inner strength that had kept him alive, and kept him going, despite all the knocks, for so many long years, wouldn’t allow him to do that without a fight; and the fight was exhausting him.


“Ow!” Mulder woke up several hours later to a stinging pain in his buttock. Someone was damn well spanking him awake! He jerked into consciousness with a start, to find that Skinner had one big arm holding him still, while his Master delivered a series of mild swats to his slave’s ass with his other hand. “What did I do?” he mumbled into the pillow, his cock immediately erect.


“Nothing.” Skinner slapped his warm ass again. “It’s morning, and I enjoy spanking my slave. There doesn’t need to be any other reason.” Another slap made Mulder press his erection into the mattress, with a startled “Oomph!” Then Skinner moved, and Mulder felt a wet tongue descend on his smarting ass cheeks, and lovingly lick the warmed flesh. He relaxed, moaning into the delicious embrace, and a few seconds later, another slap descended on his buttocks. He moaned again, and buried his face in his arms. More licking followed, and then sucking, gentle play bites on his tender ass that made his cock scream out for release.


“Can I come, Master?” He panted, lifting his head from the pillow.


“Not until I’m done,” Skinner informed him firmly. Mulder moaned again and placed his head under the pillow this time. More light swats on his ass followed. He was still sore from yesterday’s several punishments, but this was less like his usual morning discipline and more like a highly charged erotic game. Skinner was keeping the spanking light enough to do no more than sting and arouse. More licking, and the bites increased their intensity on his warmed flesh. Mulder shrieked, the sound coming out muffled from beneath the pillow. He had never enjoyed such exquisite tortures until he had met Skinner. Before that, a spanking had just been a spanking. He had sought them for the pain and the release, but had never experienced them given with such attention to sensory detail before. He was practically on the ceiling from the high. Yesterday, with all its sadness, was forgotten as he surrendered himself to his own pleasure, and to the pleasure his Master took from him. He knew it was a brief respite from a pain that would always been in his heart, until he found out, once and for all, what had happened to his sister, but it was better than nothing.


“Who do you belong to?” Skinner asked him, between measured swats.


“You, Master,” he replied, comforted more than he would have thought possible by the familiar morning litany. Skinner had told him that he thought his slave responded well to routine, and for the first time Mulder wondered if he might not agree with that assessment of his personality, however unlikely it was.


“Where?” Skinner asked.


“Everywhere,” he whispered, awaiting the next swat, and squirming with enjoyment as it landed on his sore ass.


“Your status?” Skinner asked, his voice keeping time with the spanking like a metronome.


“Your slave. I exist to serve you, Master,” Mulder said, and then he realized he meant it. For the first time he actually meant it. He lay, obedient and acquiescent as Skinner’s loving swats turned into several minutes of licking and caressing that carried him away on a cloud of total bliss.


Then it was over. Skinner rolled him onto his back, and lay down next to him, one hand propping up his head. He looked down on his slave for a long moment, and, embarrassed by the silent scrutiny, Mulder looked away. Skinner reached out, and turned his head back.


“Look at me, slave,” he said firmly. Mulder nodded, but it was hard looking into those intense brown eyes, just looking – without speaking, and after a few seconds, he cracked.


“I’m sorry about last night, Master,” he said. “Hell, I’m sorry about all of yesterday.”


“Will you tell me what happened?” Skinner asked.


Mulder kept the eye contact, but couldn’t give Skinner the answer he wanted. “It was nothing. Just me being an idiot. You were kinder to me than I deserved,” he said with a shrug.


“No. I think that yesterday you deserved more than my kindness,” Skinner mused. “That was the least I could give you.”


“No. You should have just whipped my ass and sent me to bed like I told you to.” Mulder shrugged.


“Since when do I take orders from you?” Skinner commented with a wry smile. “And you have never been very good at judging what’s best for yourself. As for your ass – well that was on the receiving end of far too much discipline as it was yesterday. It could do with a rest today as well. Will it get one?” He raised an eyebrow.


“I’ll do my best,” Mulder began. Skinner stopped him, placing a finger over his lips.


“No. I want an undertaking, Fox,” he said firmly.


Mulder nodded, uncertainly.”Yes, Master,” he muttered.


“Good pup.” Skinner ran a gentle hand over Mulder’s naked chest, caressing his slave gently. Then his hand went lower, and grasped Mulder’s hard cock. He played with it, never taking his eyes from Mulder’s face. “Alright, pup, today I’m going to keep you on a very short leash. I realize that I made a mistake yesterday…”


“Master?” Mulder looked confused. “You didn’t do anything wrong yesterday. I was the one who screwed up…”


“Quiet, boy. I said we’d start again today and I meant it,” Skinner told him firmly. “I made a mistake in allowing you so much freedom at precisely a time when you needed to feel secure. I gave you too much rope, Fox, and you well and truly went and hanged yourself on it, didn’t you?”


“Yes, Master. That’s one way of putting it,” Mulder bit on his lip as Skinner stroked his cock firmly. It was hard carrying on a serious conversation when he was being caressed in such an intimate way.


“So, pup, today I’m putting you on a very short leash indeed.”


“That’s not necessary. I can…” Mulder began, his heart sinking. He had the day planned out in his head. He wanted to look through the X Files to see if he could trump up a case in California so that he could check out that address Krycek had given him. He also had every intention of finding out whether Andrew Linker had any living relatives as well. He wanted to find out more about this mystery man that Skinner kept a photograph of. He couldn’t do either of those things with Skinner breathing down his neck all day.


“Pup.” Skinner raised an eyebrow, his hand still continuing its slow torment on Mulder’s cock.


“Yes, Master,” Mulder said with a sigh. “What exactly do you mean by short leash though?”


“You’ll see. Now, it’s late. Go and take a shower,” Skinner instructed.


“Alone?” It was Mulder’s turn to raise an eyebrow now.


“Yes. I have something I want to do…oh, and Fox…” Skinner’s skillful hand movements became faster and more furious. Mulder gasped and threw his head back, moaning softly.


“Yes… Master?” he panted.


Skinner leaned over and whispered in Mulder’s ear: “You can come.”


Mulder obliged almost immediately and Skinner guffawed, and removed his hand, then got out of the bed, pulled on a robe, and left the bedroom.


Mulder lay weakly on the bed, his body humming with sexual release. After a few minutes he supposed he should do as Skinner had instructed, but it was so nice just lying here lazily in the aftermath of orgasm. Finally, mindful of Skinner’s words on the subject of further spankings, he dragged himself off the bed, and was about to go to the shower when he caught sight of the book on Skinner’s night-stand. He stood, uncertainly, then, with a glance at the door to make sure that Skinner wasn’t around, he reached out and picked the book up. He had expected a novel, so he was surprised to find that the book was a psychology text. Mulder frowned, intrigued, as he read the blurb on the back. It wasn’t some kind of pop-psychology book: it was a serious, heavyweight, in-depth study. Mulder tugged on his bottom lip for a moment, then opened the book. On the inside cover was an inscription: “To Andrew, thanks for all you taught me. Everything good in this long tome I owe to you. All the bullshit is mine. Much love, Peter.” Mulder glanced back at the front of the book to find that it was written by a Doctor Peter Mayfield. “Weirder, and weirder,” he muttered, wondering who the hell this Andrew Linker had been that someone as eminent in the world of psychiatry as Peter Mayfield had sent him signed copies of his books.


Mulder flicked the book open to the page where Skinner had stored his bookmark, and held his breath as he found the photograph. Up close, he could see that Andrew Linker had been a handsome man, in a quirky, off-beat kind of way. His heart quickened as he wondered if he was looking at his Master’s former lover. What kind of relationship had they shared? Andrew wasn’t smiling in the picture, but he looked thoughtful, and his blue eyes contained an element of mischief. Had he subbed to Skinner, Mulder wondered? Or, unthinkable surely, had Skinner subbed to him? Mulder couldn’t envisage his Master on his knees serving anyone. It just wasn’t possible. He heard a footstep on the stair, and hastily shoved the photograph back inside the book, then scurried to the shower.


Skinner didn’t join him in the shower, although Mulder heard his Master moving around in the bedroom. Mulder washed himself, then wrapped a towel around his waist and walked back into the bedroom – and stopped. Skinner had laid out some interesting items on the bed.


“Good. Come here,” Skinner beckoned Mulder over, “and lose the towel. When we’re alone in the apartment together you’ll go naked, unless I tell you otherwise. That’s a given. Please remember it.”


“Yes, Master,” Mulder murmured with a shiver of arousal, taking the towel off and glancing at the items on the bed.


“All right. I said it would be a short leash and it is. You’ll travel to work with me, and home with me as well – for the next few days at least.” Mulder didn’t say anything but he knew that a mutinous look had flashed up in his eyes. Skinner stared at him for a long time, then surprised Mulder by pulling him close. The big man laced his hands together behind Mulder’s back, and kept him trapped there. “Yesterday was bad. I won’t let it happen again,” he murmured in Mulder’s ear. “I’m going to take you down whether you want that or not. Fight it, and it’ll be harder. Give it up, and you’ll learn how to fly, little one.”


Mulder felt his heart beat faster inside his chest. “Don’t you think I don’t want to?” He asked, in a dry, rasping voice. “I can’t change quickly though. This is the way I’ve been all my life. Alone, not letting people in. A week and a half with you isn’t long enough to change me, Master. One day. Maybe.”


“I’m a patient man,” Skinner assured him, “and you, are mine, sweetheart. If the things I demand from you are hard, it’s only because I want you to be happy.”


“I am,” Mulder said quietly. “Believe me. If you hadn’t been here yesterday…” He closed his eyes, and leaned his head against the side of Skinner’s face. “Well, I might have lost myself.”


“So you’ll accept the short leash and all the restrictions it brings?” Skinner pushed him back, and looked at him intently.


Mulder sighed, knowing that he really didn’t have any choice. “Of course, Master.”


“Good.” Skinner was suddenly business-like again, and Mulder regretted the loss of those warm arms around his waist, and that big body pressed close to his. Skinner picked up a light chain from the bed, and fastened it to each of Mulder’s nipple rings. Then he picked up a long, slim, metallic lead, and attached that to the chain.


“Uh…I do have to go to work, Master,” Mulder pointed out.


“I know. Which is why I’m going to fasten the lead to your cock ring…so.” Skinner clipped the lead to one side of Mulder’s cock ring, leaving another few inches hanging down below, then surveyed his handiwork. “The lead won’t flap like that, and your clothes will fit over it nicely. Nobody will be any the wiser. Now go and get dressed – and here.” He handed Mulder a pair of boxer shorts. They were plain navy, cool and silky.


“Master?” Mulder frowned.


“I want you to wear them today.”


“Why? I have my own?” Mulder asked, confused.


“And I want you to wear mine today,” Skinner said firmly. “Now go and get dressed and meet me down here in fifteen minutes.”


The whole boxer short thing was bizarre, Mulder thought to himself, as he wandered back upstairs. He pulled on the blue silk and surveyed himself in the mirror. The boxer shorts fitted him fine, and he liked the feel of the silk against his skin. Mulder straightened his shoulders and winced as his newly attached nipples were tweaked by the chain. Damn! Trust his Master to come up with another exquisite torment. There was no way he’d be doing any running today, that was for sure. In fact, every movement would have to be a slow and considered one, which was what his Master had in mind, he supposed. He was still puzzled about the boxers though. Mulder got dressed, and smoothed his clothes down. The lead and chain were only visible if you knew what you were looking for. Mulder’s clothes were always slightly baggy on his lean frame, so that hid the tell-tale line of the lead. The loose end of the lead hung down his thigh, a couple of inches below his penis. It was cold against his leg, and bounced around as he walked, reminding him constantly of its presence, but it wasn’t anything more than distracting. Again, Mulder supposed that was what Skinner had in mind.


Mulder grabbed his cell phone, credit card, and keys and ran back downstairs. Skinner was waiting for him by the front door, the brown “implement” briefcase in his hand.


“Do you have to bring that thing?” Mulder asked, his butt quailing at the idea of more office discipline while it was still sore from being on the receiving end of so much of it yesterday.


“No. In fact I’m not going to take it to the office today,” Skinner said with a smile.


“Thank god!” Mulder exclaimed cheerfully.


“You are.” Skinner handed it to him.




“You’ll carry it wherever you go. Wherever you are, I expect the briefcase to be within 2 feet of you – touching you if possible. In your office you can place it under your desk so that it touches your leg. If you’re called into a meeting, you’ll take it with you. If you go to the bathroom – the case goes too.”


“Won’t people find that strange?” Mulder asked.


“From you? Nah.” Skinner grinned, patting Mulder’s cheek affectionately.


“You mean they’ll just think it’s Spooky Mulder carrying around a piece of alien brain or proof of a global conspiracy?” Mulder sighed, knowing that was the truth.


“Probably.” Skinner shrugged. “You see – being interesting allows you to get away with all kinds of things. It’s the boring people like me who have to take care not to arouse suspicion.”


Mulder shook his head. “Boring my ass. If the truth about you ever got out the world would be SO surprised.”


“If the truth about you got out, they’d just be surprised it was something so mundane,” Skinner commented. Mulder couldn’t help laughing out loud at that. “Daylight’s burning, slave – we’re late.” Skinner glanced at his watch, then made a little trilling sound between pursed lips. Mulder looked at him in alarm. “Wanda-Wanda-Wanda…honey,” Skinner called, and a few seconds later the little Burmese cat scampered into the hallway. “Daddy’s going to work now, darling.” Skinner scooped her up and she settled into his arms with a purr, and rubbed herself against his face affectionately. “See you later, sugar princess. Have a lovely day, my sweet precious, Daddy’s little plush paws,” Skinner crooned, stroking her behind the ears affectionately.


Mulder rolled his eyes. “That’s another thing that would surprise the world,” he commented. “Big, tough Assistant Director Skinner going goopy over his stupid cat.”


“Say goodbye to Fox.” Skinner held the cat out towards Mulder’s face and she glared at him sullenly. “A kiss is appropriate at this point, slave,” Skinner told him. Mulder deposited an airy and entirely insincere kiss on Wanda’s silky head.


“Foxy’s ickle, wickle powder puff,” he crooned in a fair imitation of his Master. You had to hand it to Skinner, Mulder thought to himself a second later as he nursed a stinging butt cheek. His Master could somehow manage to hold a cat in one hand, and still deliver the fastest, snappiest swat to his slave’s buttocks with the other without even blinking. It was probably some kind of trick you learned at dom school.


Skinner gave Wanda one last kiss, and placed her on the floor, then he gestured his slave out of the door.


“What about lunch?” Mulder asked as they got into the elevator. “Do I have to take this case to the cafeteria? Or to a restaurant?”


“Everywhere,” Skinner said firmly, “but you’ll be lunching with me, anyway.”


“I will?” Mulder looked up, startled.


“Yes. 1 p.m. Don’t be late. Oh, and Fox, you’ll go to the cafeteria and bring us both a tray of the best thing on the menu. We’ll eat in my office.”


They exited the elevator and Mulder tagged along behind Skinner as his Master strode swiftly across the parking garage to his car. Mulder was aware of the loose inches of his lead flapping against his thigh, and the tug on his nipples where the lead was getting caught against the waistband of his pants. The combination of soreness from his nipples and discomfort from the cold length of chain bashing his thigh was already starting to irritate him and the day had hardly begun. Skinner’s silk boxer shorts felt nice against his butt though. Mulder felt a sudden surge of unexpected pleasure at wearing so intimate an item of his Master’s apparel.


“How will I know what food to bring you?” Mulder asked, as Skinner drove them out of the garage.


“You can do some investigating.” Skinner grinned. “You’re good at that and I like to make the most of my slave’s talents. It keeps him from getting bored.” Mulder gave a deeply ironic grimace and Skinner guffawed. “You’ll soon get to know my tastes, Fox. Remember to bring food for yourself as well. You can eat on the floor.”


“While you’re sitting at your desk, I suppose?” Mulder groused.


“No, at the conference table – I like to spread out and it wouldn’t do to get gravy on any official documents. Am I detecting a note of complaint?” Skinner’s eye dropped meaningfully to the briefcase nestled by Mulder’s foot.


“No. Definitely not,” Mulder told him firmly. “It sounds like…a perfect day.”


Skinner laughed again. “Sarcasm aside, you might just be surprised, Fox,” he told his disbelieving slave.


Scully was already in the office when Mulder arrived. She raised an eyebrow.


“What?” Mulder asked, placing the briefcase under his desk and out of sight as quickly as possible, wondering if it was his cosmic karma to be blessed with two people in his life with this strange, eyebrow-waggling disease.


“Mulder, this is the second day running that I’ve been in the office before you. What’s the matter? Master keep you up too late last night?” She teased.


“No. He wasted precious minutes saying goodbye to his cat.” Mulder took his jacket off and placed it on the back of his chair, then sat down.


“He sounds like he’s got his priorities right,” Scully commented.


Mulder paused in mid-swallow of his coffee. “Don’t tell me that you’re a cat person too? I’m surrounded,” he groused.


“I like cats,” Scully glanced at him over the top of her glasses.


“That’s good because I know one you can have for free. Two years old, only one previous owner, obsessed with faucets, washing her backside, and making my life a misery – you two would get on well.”


“She sounds lovely,” Scully laughed. “Mulder – are you okay today? I was worried about you yesterday. To be honest, I thought that today you’d be…in one of your distracted moods. In the past when you’ve had bad days they’ve hung around for a while. You seem pretty upbeat today though.”


“I’m okay,” Mulder said, too quickly, then he sighed, and looked into her concerned blue eyes. “No, that’s not true, Scully. I’m hanging in there. That’s the best I can say. Right now, I feel like it could go either way. It depends on what happens next.”


“That man at the restaurant was Krycek, wasn’t he?” She asked, softly.


“Yeah.” Mulder admitted with a frown.


“What did he want?”


“To tell me that my sister is alive, and well, and being experimented upon. That she’s been experimented upon for years,” Mulder told her, speaking too fast, trying to fight back the sense of helpless anger that threatened to consume him.


“Mulder, I’m sorry.” Scully looked shocked, and concerned. “Did he give you any information on where you can find her?”


“Not really. An out of date address in California.” Mulder shrugged.


“Mulder… I’m not complaining, but why are you telling me this now? You wouldn’t tell me yesterday,” Scully chided gently.


“And I wouldn’t tell you today, hell, you’re not even the person I should be telling, but the truth is, that I need your help.”


“My help?”


“Yeah. Scully – I need you to help me check through all our files. Find out if there’s any case in California we can legitimately go and investigate.”


“Mulder – this might not be a smart idea,” Scully said uncertainly.


“No, it almost certainly isn’t.” Mulder shrugged.


“Krycek isn’t known for being reliable,” she pointed out.


“I know.”


“And if it means that much to you, why not just take a couple of days vacation and go and check it out?”


“I can’t.” Mulder bit on his lip.


“Why not?”


“I just can’t.” Mulder sighed.


“You could fly there at the weekend,” Scully suggested.


“Can’t do that either,” Mulder shrugged. “Trust me, Scully, someone has me on a very short leash right now. Literally.” He was all too aware of the cold metal of the lead dangling against his thigh. “I’d be missed.”


“A short…Mulder, you’re not referring to that master/slave cock and bull story you told me, are you?” Her blue eyes threatened to scald him alive.


Mulder gave a feeble smile. “Scully – the truth is in California, not my living arrangements. Daylight’s burning, partner.” He grabbed a handful of files from the cabinet, and placed them on her desk. She looked up at him in amazement but he turned on his computer, and buried himself in his work, brooking no further conversation.


Mulder was torn between checking out the X Files for cases in California, and checking out the mysterious Andrew Linker. In the end, having set Scully to work on the X Files, he turned his attention to the man in the photograph. His curiosity was getting the better of him. He had to know who Linker was, and what he had been to Skinner. It was eating him up. He was an hour into his search when the ‘phone went.


“Agent Mulder, I’d like a progress report on those cases you were writing up for me,” Skinner’s voice growled at him.


“What – now?” Mulder asked, trying frantically to find them on his desk. “Um…sir,” he added hastily as his knee nudged the brown case.


“Now.” The connection was severed. Mulder made a face at it.


“Gotta go, partner. The lord and master calls,” he told Scully with a sigh. “Skinner,” he clarified hastily. “Not, you know, the other master I was telling you about.” She rolled her eyes at his assumption of her ignorance and he gathered up the files and ran up the stairs with them.


“You called, m’lord,” he said with a mock bow, presenting the files to his Master, breathing heavily from his run. Skinner didn’t take the files. Instead he gave his slave a hard look, then clicked his fingers. With a sigh, Mulder sank down on the floor on his knees beside his Master.


“When I call you to my office, and we’re alone, you will, in future follow this procedure,” Skinner said tersely. “You’ll lock the door, kneel silently at my side, open your shirt and attach the end of your leash to the desk leg. If you have anything requiring my attention you’ll hold it in your mouth and wait for me to take it.”


“What?” Mulder exploded.


“Freedoms are earned,” Skinner reminded him. “They can also be forfeited. That’s what happened yesterday. You can earn that level of freedom again, by dint of your service, and obedience. Understood?” Mulder tried to stare his Master out again, but, as he had yesterday, he failed.


“Yes, sir,” he murmured.


“Good. Go and lock the door, then come back here. And, Fox?” Mulder turned, halfway to the door. “I think you forgot to bring something with you. Go and get it.”


Mulder remembered the briefcase with a sinking heart. “Yes, sir,” he muttered.


He returned a few minutes later with the briefcase, and obeyed Skinner’s instructions to the letter, locking the door behind him, and kneeling at Skinner’s side. Then he unbuttoned his shirt and pants, unclipped the leash and clipped it to the desk leg. He re-adjusted his clothing, and sank back on his knees, wincing as the movement tweaked the nipple rings. Then he placed the two files in his mouth, put his hands behind his back…and waited. Skinner kept him waiting for a good fifteen minutes, which didn’t surprise Mulder. His Master clearly wanted to show him who was boss – as if there was any doubt on that score.


Mulder let his mind wander, watching as his Master worked. Skinner seemed lost in thought, which gave his slave ample time to appreciate his Master’s firm jaw, with its slight dimple, and the contours of his Master’s face. He had a weird out of body sensation, wondering, dreamily, how he looked, kneeling at his Master’s desk, tied to it by a chain attached to his nipples, the files in his mouth. Part of him wanted to laugh, but his cock was already bulging in his pants. Finally, Skinner finished what he was doing, and glanced at his slave.


“Good, boy,” he murmured, retrieving the slightly damp files from Mulder’s mouth. Mulder smiled, and placed his chin on Skinner’s knee while his Master read the files. He liked being here, leaning against his Master’s solidly muscled thigh. Skinner absently fondled his slave’s hair while he read the reports, then he looked down, with a frown.


“You don’t seem to have added much to these since I saw them yesterday,” he said.


“I…was distracted yesterday afternoon, Master,” Mulder admitted, biting on his lip.


“And today?” Skinner raised an eyebrow.


“Today?” Mulder repeated blankly, remembering that he had thus far spent the day in tracking down his sister and his Master’s old lover. Neither of which activities were anything he was going to admit to if he wanted to keep any skin on his butt.


“What were you working on today? You clearly weren’t working on these.” Skinner pointed. Mulder swallowed. “I’m used to organizing my own work time, Master,” he hedged.


“Well, then you’d better get used to doing things differently,” Skinner said firmly. He placed his index finger on the leash and tugged on it, creating a gentle pull on Mulder’s nipples. Mulder yelped. “Short leash, remember, slave. Now go back downstairs and do some more work on these. You can bring them up to me at lunch-time so I can see what progress you’ve made.”


“Oh for fuck’s sake!” Mulder exclaimed. Skinner looked at him impassively. “Yes, Master,” Mulder muttered. He gingerly unfastened himself from the desk, and rearranged his clothing. Then he grabbed the files, and was about to leave when Skinner pulled him back, and kissed him firmly on the lips. Mulder melted into the kiss, and Skinner’s hands kneaded his buttocks enthusiastically.


Mulder sighed. “Why the hell do you bother with me?” He asked afterwards, a feeling of guilt washing over him for his many deceptions and deceits.


“You’re mine. I love you,” Skinner replied simply, gently caressing the side of Mulder’s face, his tone completely sincere without being in any way sappy. Mulder swallowed down the lump in his throat, and grabbed the briefcase, before scurrying out of the office and back to the basement.


“Scully, put the files away,” was the first thing he said when he got there. She looked up, startled and he started stuffing them back in the filing cabinet with frenzied movements.


“Does this mean we’re not going to California?” She asked, bemused.


“Yup.” Mulder nodded fiercely. “If I so much as mention it again you have my permission to do that eyebrow thing of yours, and you can yell at me, bang my head against the desk, anything you need to do to stop me.”


“Oookay,” Scully sighed, turning back to a pathology report she had been working on before, used to her partner’s mercurial moods from long experience. “By the way, someone called you from Central Records. Something about a guy called Andrew Linker. He’s got the information you asked…” Scully blinked as Mulder screwed up the note she was holding and tossed it in the trash.


“I’m not investigating that any more,” Mulder said, putting the briefcase back under his desk, and laying the files out, oblivious to Scully’s expression of surprise at this contradictory whirlwind of activity sweeping through the office. “I’m working on these. Top priority.” He buried his face in the files, frowning in concentration, was completely silent for two minutes, and then looked up again into her disbelieving eyes. “Scully, what’s on the menu in the cafeteria today?” He asked.


Three hours later Mulder entered Skinner’s office bearing a plate of pasta covered in a tomato sauce, with a salad. Skinner was talking on the ‘phone, so Mulder placed the tray on the conference table, knelt down beside it, fastened his leash to the table leg, and waited.


“Well done, pup,” Skinner patted him on the head after he’d finished on the ‘phone. “This looks good.”


“Yes, Master.”


“Where’s yours?” Skinner asked.


“I’m not hungry, Master,” Mulder said. He wasn’t. He was still over-wrought after yesterday. His stomach, always a barometer of his emotional state, was the first thing to shut down when he was under pressure.


“Why?” Skinner asked him.


Mulder shrugged. “Scully brought doughnuts into the office this morning. I stuffed myself,” he said. Skinner got up and reached for the ‘phone, wordlessly.


“What are you doing?” Mulder asked.


“Checking with Scully.”


“You don’t trust me!” Mulder protested.


“Well,” Skinner paused, his hand on the ‘phone. “Let’s talk about trust shall we? If you were to ask me if I trusted you with my life, then I’d say ‘yes’ – immediately, without thinking about it. If you were to ask me whether I trusted you to do a good job on the X Files, I’d say ‘yes’ – but with some reservations about your methods. However, if you were to ask me if I trusted you not to self-destruct, I’d say ‘no’. Now, shall I call Scully or not?”


“Not.” Mulder sighed.


“I thought doughnuts didn’t exactly sound like Scully.” Skinner put the ‘phone down and turned back to his slave. “What’s this about, Fox?” He took Mulder’s face between his hands, and looked down at him.


“Sorry, Master. I’m just not hungry.” Mulder shrugged.


“Fox.” Skinner said in warning tone. “Last night we didn’t have the time for a confessional. I’m going to eat my lunch, then you are going to talk. You can spend the next few minutes thinking about what you’re going to say.”


“Yes, sir.” Mulder bit on his lip. He had no idea what he was going to say.


Mulder watched Skinner eat. His Master went about consuming his lunch in an unhurried way, ignoring his slave. When he was done, he turned back to Mulder, glancing at his watch.


“You have half an hour. Take your time. Don’t hurry.” Skinner unfastened Mulder’s leash. “Any position you want. Sit down if need be. Get comfortable.” Mulder glanced over to Skinner’s big, black, imposing office chair, behind his desk. Skinner raised an eyebrow. Mulder flushed. “I said anywhere,” Skinner repeated. “Go ahead, if that’s where you’ll feel comfortable.”


Mulder got up eagerly, and went over to the chair, then sank down into it. “You have no idea how many of my fantasies this chair has featured in,” he said with a grin. “Of course usually I’m not sitting in it. I’m more kinda draped over it, or, um, over your knee while you’re sitting in it.” He went bright red at having admitted that particular fantasy.


Skinner didn’t say a word, but his brown eyes were thoughtful and impassive. Mulder swiveled in the chair. It was comfortable, and still warm from its previous occupant. It felt…nice against his bare skin where his hands touched it. He liked that thought – it was like his Master’s boxer shorts. Just being close to something that belonged so intimately to his Master made him feel good. Mulder looked up in surprise.


“How did you know that making me wear your shorts would give me this buzz?” He asked. Skinner shook his head at this tangential leap of conversational topic, then he put his finger over his mouth, gesturing his own silence, and that Mulder should continue. Mulder nodded, and took a deep breath.


“Okay. Where to start? I don’t know where to start. Except that I know I’m already giving you sleepless nights. That’s the Mulder curse. I have insomnia and everyone I sleep with catches it too.” Mulder paused, wondering if he’d revealed too much. Skinner crossed his arms over his chest, waiting. Mulder didn’t like being looked at during a confessional – it disrupted his flow of thought and made him think too much about how ludicrous his outpourings must sound. He turned the chair around so that he could look out of the window. “Curiosity. Wanda would be proud of me. I wish I knew more about you,” he murmured absently, watching the tiny ant-like people moving around on the street below. “Just when I think I know you, you do something that surprises me. You always seem to be one step ahead of me. I know…” Mulder faltered, “I know that in the past I’ve done some good work on the X Files, but that’s irrelevant. I want you to be pleased with my work now, now that I’m, you know. Yours. I really want to make you proud of me. I don’t get too proud of my own work. There was that time you told me I’d done good work – that time when Modell’s twin sister almost made me take Scully out, but I couldn’t feel it. I went home that night and your praise meant so much to me. Knowing you thought I’d done something good gave me a buzz, even though I knew I didn’t deserve it. I got a first…” He suddenly felt stupid sitting in the chair, like a kid inhabiting his father’s space, trying to emulate him, and got up, and leaned against the window, looking out, lost in the memory. “At Oxford. I got what they call a first – a first class degree. It’s the highest grade you can get. You know that, I suppose. Mom cried when she found out. Tears of joy. She said she was so proud. I always thought I should feel something too – I mean, I’d worked so hard for it, but I didn’t feel a thing. I wanted to. I’d worked damn hard to get it, but when it came…well maybe they’re right. Maybe the journey is more important than arriving.” Mulder shrugged. He started to wander around the room, glancing at the books that Skinner kept for reference. “There’s no personal knickknacks in here, you know that?” He asked, not looking at his Master. “Photos on the desk – that kind of stuff. Don’t tell me that you don’t have any photos of people who mean a lot to you. Everyone does.” Mulder bit his lip, wondering just how damn obvious that had been. “None of it means anything, not my degree, my success on the X Files, not really. Not in here.” He gestured vaguely in the direction of his heart. “I wish it did. Sometimes, sometimes…I wonder if finding Samantha might not be the same as my degree. I’ve chased it for so long, fought so hard for it, that when it finally comes – if it finally comes – supposing it’s a disappointment? What will I do…after?”


Mulder stared into space, numbly. Somehow, he found himself coming to a stop by the chair where Skinner was seated, silently listening to his slave’s outpourings.


“What will there be left to do? How will I fill my days and nights if I don’t have this quest? What will I be? What will be left of me?” Mulder found himself sinking to his knees, and his face sought the respite of his Master’s knee. This felt so good. Just kneeling here, beside Skinner, being an obedient puppy. He sighed as he felt Skinner’s hand stroking his hair. “I know this stuff isn’t what you want to hear. I wish I could tell you the other stuff. I’m not any damn good you know, Master. I’ve done things…if you knew. Yesterday. Oh well…” He trailed off, was silent for a while, just enjoying the silent moment with Skinner, then he started again. “If you hadn’t been there…I owe you a lot. I’ll make everything up to you. I promise. I was a jerk.”


“Fox.” For the first time, Skinner interrupted him during a confessional. Mulder looked up in surprise. “Words,” Skinner said, tapping his head reprovingly. Mulder thought about it and remembered his habit of calling himself names.


“Right. Yeah. Well I fucked up, and you were right to take me down like you did. Nobody has ever done that for me before. Mom and Dad didn’t know how to handle me. Dad used to run a mile from one of my moods – he was that generation that didn’t like talking about anything so our whole screwed up family shit got swept under the carpet. Scully does her best, but you know…hell, I get my own way with her. She’s a tough lady but I ditch her if she’s in the way. You’d flay me alive if I ditched you. Not that that would necessarily stop me from doing it.” Mulder grinned. Skinner’s fingers tweaked his ear lightly in response. “I’ll prove what I can be. I mean it. I’ll make you proud of me,” Mulder vowed fiercely. He was silent for a moment, then glanced around the room. “Yesterday when you paddled me, that damn well hurt. There isn’t usually a spanking I can’t take but that was a close call. D’you know what was going through my mind? I just thought what a bastard you were because you didn’t want to make it good. You knew I had the desk fantasy so you used the table. There’s a whole world of difference between a turn-on spanking and just a good old-fashioned punishment but you seem to understand it like it was in your soul or something. What makes it good, or bad – it’s so subtle. Yeah, I know the psychology, I understand my own kink, I’m just surprised someone else understands it, that’s all. Maybe you’ve got a psychology degree too.” Mulder couldn’t stop thinking about that book he’d found Skinner reading. He was silent for a while. Skinner’s hand remained on his head and Mulder knew that his time was nearly up. He felt curiously soothed and at peace – almost drowsy. “You said you loved me,” Mulder muttered. There was a long pause. “Crazy,” he murmured, shaking his head. “Patsy Cline,” he mumbled in a disjointed way a few seconds later. “I’ll shut up now,” he finished.


There was silence in the office for a few minutes, then Skinner moved his knee, and dislodged Mulder’s head.


“Go down to the cafeteria and bring up a plate of whatever looks good to you,” Skinner ordered.


“I already said I’m not…” Mulder began.


Skinner forestalled him with a raised hand. “Do it,” he commanded.


Mulder did as he was told. He returned with a pizza. He noticed Skinner frowned disapprovingly, but he had told Mulder he could bring up whatever he wanted, so his Master let his slave’s choice of food pass with only the merest hint of a grunt.


“Kneel down.” Skinner gestured. Mulder obeyed instantly, and sighed as his Master opened his shirt, and pulled out the lead. Skinner fixed it to the table again, then he sliced the pizza, and held up a forkful of it to Mulder’s unwilling lips.


“You know, I could feed myself,” Mulder pointed out.


“Yes, and if you’d brought a meal up in the first place, like I asked you to, then I’d have let you,” Skinner retorted. “Learn, Fox. Every disobedient act is going to take you one step back. Just count yourself lucky that I’m allowing you to stay dressed.”


“You’d make me kneel here, and eat…naked?” Mulder asked in horror. “In the office?”


“Of course. Here, there, and everywhere. You know the rules,” Skinner replied, thrusting the food into Mulder’s mouth in a bid to shut him up. Mulder took an unwilling chew and then rediscovered his appetite as he realized how nice the pizza tasted. He chewed with renewed vigor, and Skinner made the most of his slave’s silence to do some talking of his own.


“I won’t normally spend so much time on slave issues in the office, but getting you straight is important and I figure we’ve put in enough unpaid overtime over the years to take some time to work on this right now. You’re right, Fox. I know the difference between erotic spanking and a punishment session all too well,” Skinner’s eyes were serious, “and I also know that sometimes only a severe punishment session can give a person the release they need. There are many different levels to the mental and emotional aspects involved in spanking, as I’m all too well aware.” Skinner gave a heartfelt grunt. “Different people have different needs,” he mused thoughtfully. Mulder’s eyes widened as he tried to fathom the subtext of Skinner’s words. “I don’t like to work just by enforcing discipline though. There have to be rewards as well, Fox. So,” Skinner’s brown eyes were twinkling behind his glasses as he looked at his slave. “If you react well to the short leash, and behave like a model slave for the next few days, then I’ll make sure that there will be a special treat for you on your slave’s day on Saturday.”


“What kind of a special treat?” Mulder’s ears pricked up at that, and he envisaged a whole day spent having erotic tortures and delights applied to his body in the Playroom.


“Anticipation is half the pleasure,” Skinner said slyly. “So you’ll have to wait.” His Master curled his long legs around Mulder’s body, pulling his slave closer, then waved another fork of the pizza at him. Mulder opened his mouth obligingly. Skinner grinned at him.


“Just like a baby bird, waiting to be fed,” he observed. “And one day I’ll teach you now to fly,” he promised. Mulder’s cock leapt as he decided to interpret that literally, as referring to the harness in the Playroom. Maybe his Master would swing him high into the air on Saturday, trapped in his bondage, and…Skinner interrupted this train of thought by leaning forward and whispering silkily, “your ears are glowing, slave-boy. Don’t second-guess me. You’ll almost certainly get it wrong. Now, a couple of other issues. I don’t have any photos of loved ones in here because I don’t need them – I have the real thing and if I want to see him, I can just call.” Skinner finished feeding Mulder the pizza. “You know me well enough to know that I don’t like parading my personal life around at work. I’m a deeply private man. If I’m taking certain risks with you right now, it’s because it’s necessary for your training. I won’t ever put us in a position of jeopardy. You are my slave here, and it’s important that you understand that, so I’ll discipline you here if you need it, but do not expect nice, erotic office discipline of the kind that takes place in your fantasies during our working hours. We’re here to work, and I’m here to straighten you out – not attend to your libido.”


“Yes, Master,” Mulder muttered sullenly. He liked that fantasy but he could see the point to what Skinner was saying.


“All right. We’re done.” Skinner unfastened Mulder’s leash, and re-clipped it to his cock ring, before straightening his slave’s clothing. “You’re dismissed,” Skinner said, and Mulder turned to go. “Oh, one more thing.” Skinner stopped him before he reached the door, and Mulder heard him come up behind him, and the next thing he knew he was enveloped in a pair of big, warm arms. “You make me proud just by striving to be an attentive slave,” Skinner whispered, his breath tickling the side of Mulder’s face. Mulder felt a shiver run up his spine. “You make me proud just because you’re charming, witty, and smart. Most of all, you make me proud because you’re mine and sometimes I want to shout that fact from the treetops, so that everyone knows how proud I am of you. I want to show you off to the world, little one. The night of the party was the happiest of my life, because people saw that you belonged at my side – and that it was where you were meant to be.” Skinner’s arms were tight and protective around Mulder’s body and he felt as if he had been transported onto another plane of existence and there was just his Master’s silky voice, whispering in his ear.


“I’d do anything to please you, Master,” he said, his own voice shaky, his knees almost giving way.


“I’ll help you by always being here to bring you back down, by loving you and keeping you safe, by disciplining you when you need it. You already eat out of my hand, but one day you’ll learn to trust me too – enough to tell me everything. I’ll be here. I’m a patient man. I can wait,” Skinner promised. “There’s no escape from me, slave.”


“I know. Thank you.” Mulder closed his eyes, savoring the moment, then Skinner kissed his ear and pushed him away gently.


“We’re done,” he murmured ironically, and Mulder was reminded of the last time his Master had performed that action and said those words. This time there was a world of difference.


Mulder went downstairs still reeling. He was quiet for the rest of the afternoon, to the extent that Scully even asked him if he was feeling all right. He smiled at her dreamily, and then reached for the ‘phone and called Skinner’s office.


“Skinner,” his Master answered tersely.


“Hi. I’ve nearly finished the first report, sir,” Mulder informed him.


“And?” Skinner waited.


“That’s it. I thought you’d like to know,” Mulder said, wondering just how obvious it was that he had wanted to hear his Master’s voice.


“I see. Well, bring it up when you’re done.” Skinner put the ‘phone down. Mulder smiled seraphically at Scully and then turned his attention back to his work, ignoring Scully’s raised eyebrow.


Half an hour later he called Skinner again.


“What time are we, um, I mean, are you leaving tonight, sir?” He asked.


“About 6,” Skinner answered tersely.


“If it was 6:30 I could have that report done by then,” Mulder said eagerly.


“Don’t knock yourself out, Agent Mulder. Tomorrow will be fine,” Skinner answered.


“Oh. Right. Okay.” Mulder hung up.


“Jeez, Mulder what happened to my partner?” Scully asked him in disbelief. “Don’t tell me – you’re the model agent clone Skinner had made and the real Mulder is stuffed into Skinner’s desk drawer desperately hoping to be rescued.”


“Yeah. As if.” Mulder made a face at her. “I just want to do a good job, Scully. Skinner’s put his ass on the line for us in the past, and it’s the least I can do to make sure he gets reports on time. Especially considering all the shit we’ve thrown at him over the years.”


“Right.” Scully nodded, her eyebrows kaleidoscoping into her hairline.


Mulder smiled at her sweetly. “Have you ever considered having an operation for that eyebrow problem of yours, Scully?” He asked.


Mulder was waiting outside Skinner’s door on the dot of 6 p.m. He helped his Master into his coat, then took his Master’s briefcase and carried it for him. Skinner drove them home, then unfastened his slave’s leash, and ordered Mulder to get changed into his sweats.


“We’re going jogging,” he announced. Mulder was surprised, but pleased. “I like the idea of taking my pup for a little exercise,” Skinner grinned, slapping his butt. Mulder ran to get changed and a few minutes later they both emerged onto the streets of Crystal City. Mulder was surprised by how fit his Master was. Skinner easily kept up with his own loping strides, although he forced Mulder to hold a slightly slower pace than he was used to.


“I don’t want you running yourself into the ground,” he warned. They ran for just under an hour, then returned back to the apartment. A delivery boy from the local restaurant arrived at the same time. Mulder couldn’t help but marvel at his Master’s organizational skill. They ate, and then Mulder ran Skinner a bath and cleared away the dishes, all without being told. When the bath was ready, he went to kneel beside his Master, and awaited further instructions. Skinner turned the television off, and smiled at his slave.


“Today was good, sweetheart. Keep this up and you’ll be off the short leash by next week.”


“Yes, Master.” Mulder smiled, pleased by the praise.


“Now, go and get undressed and get into the bath. I’d like you to be nice and clean when I use you.”


“Master is going to…?” Mulder looked up hopefully.


“Oh yes. I missed out on my usual wake up call this morning, and you’ve been tantalizing me all day with glimpses of your body, so I’m in the mood.” Skinner grinned. “It’s amazing what an attentive slave-boy can do for his Master’s libido.”


“I’ll remember that, Master,” Mulder said gleefully. He scurried to do Skinner’s bidding, making sure he lubed himself thoroughly before getting into the bath, and placing a condom on the shelf by the soap, in easy reach.


Skinner put his slave to good use that evening. First he made Mulder wash him thoroughly, then he took him once in the bath with the water sloshing all over the floor. They both lay back in the warm bath afterwards, sighing in contentment. Skinner held Mulder for half an hour as the water grew cool around them, and then he made Mulder jerk off for his pleasure, before harrying his slave out of the bath and into the bedroom.


“Time to crash out in front of the TV,” Skinner said gazing at Mulder hungrily as his slave wandered naked and clean towards the bedroom door, “but not before… Assume the grace position, slave.” Mulder did as he was told, surprised, and Skinner came up behind him, grabbed his butt cheeks, and kneaded them firmly. “Not before I taste your hot, eager body again,” Skinner growled, turning Mulder on instantly. He could feel his Master’s hard cock rubbing against his crease, and thrust his butt out.


“Please, Master,” he said, excited by the fact that Skinner could get hard again so soon after the last time, and all because he found his slave’s body so enticing.


“Beg me,” Skinner insisted.


Mulder blinked. This was new. He liked it. “Please, Master. Take me. Hard, fast, now. Don’t show me any mercy,” he grinned, getting into the swing of the scene.


“Hard and fast?” Skinner nipped his neck with his teeth and Mulder arched his back, and moaned. “Or slow, and deep?” He squeezed Mulder’s buttocks and Mulder cried out.


“I don’t care, Master. Use me any way that pleases you!” He gasped. Skinner’s hands wandered all over his body, then ended up on his buttocks again. His master eased them apart, and entered a finger. “Is this what you want, you wanton little slave?” he asked. Mulder nodded, opening his legs wider and pushing back on Skinner’s finger.


“More please, Master. Use me, please. Put your cock inside me, nail me to the wall,” Mulder begged.


“Is that what you want? Hold still then.” Mulder heard a condom being unwrapped, then Skinner held his buttocks apart, and slid slowly, so slowly into Mulder’s body. He pushed, then stopped, then pushed again. It was the slowest, most agonizing entrance Mulder had ever endured and he cried out from the sheer pleasure of being kept on the edge of anticipation. “More?” Skinner asked.


Mulder nodded. “Please. Yes…” he whispered.


“Good. Because there’s plenty more,” Skinner hissed into his ear. Mulder felt his anus stretched another agonizing inch. Surely his Master was fully inside him? He felt completely filled, to capacity. “There’s still more,” Skinner said. “Want it all?”


“Yes!” Mulder screamed. “Please!” He gave a gasp as Skinner suddenly thrust hard, deep inside him. He could feel his Master’s body pressed up tight against his own. “How did you like it slow?” Skinner asked, his hands brushing over Mulder’s sensitive nipples and awakening his slave’s cock.


“It…it’s mind-blowing, Master,” Mulder gasped.


“You’re so nice, and tight, and hot, and wanton,” Skinner murmured in a low, sexy tone that went straight to Mulder’s hardening penis. “I’m going to fuck you slowly, so slowly, until you’re begging me to come, but I’m just going to keep going, enjoying myself in your warm, slick body…feels so good. Do you like feeling me in here like this? Taking you, filling you? Reminding you that you’re mine. You belong to me…does that feel good?”


“God…yes…!” Mulder managed to stammer. He could feel the heat of Skinner’s body, and the pulsing of his cock inside him. It was the most amazing moment, as he stood there, trembling, trying to keep his hands on the wall and his butt out, while Skinner stood behind him, filling him to capacity, stretching him with his big cock, and all the time talking to him in that deep-toned, intimate way. Mulder was on the verge of collapse when Skinner slowly, so slowly, moved his hips back, sliding his cock so that it was almost out of Mulder’s body, and then inching it back in again. His slave almost dropped to the floor as he felt every last sensation of being possessed by that magnificent, hard cock.


“Shit, Master…” he murmured.


“Hold still. Don’t move. I just want to enjoy doing this. Very slowly…here we go again.” Skinner slid out, then back, and Mulder marveled at his control. His Master’s hands found the chain linking his slave’s nipple rings and tugged on it. Mulder yelped as the combination of the pain in his nipples and the slow, exquisite caress of his prostate sent him to a different plane of sensation. “Good boy. Take it. Take it all,” Skinner whispered as he slid back in at a snail’s pace. He repeated this maneuver several times, combining a slow pull on Mulder’s nipple chain, with a slow entry into his body, until Mulder thought that he was in serious danger of expiring. His own cock was standing out perpendicular to his body, and Skinner suddenly wrapped his hand round it. “Okay, boy. You can come whenever you like, but remember, I’m going to go on using you until I’m through, so if you come too early you’ll have to stand here and take me until I’m done.” Skinner continued his agonizingly slow entry and withdrawal, one hand caressing Mulder’s cock, the other tugging the chain on his nipples, until his slave couldn’t take any more and he bucked into Skinner’s hand, coming with a cry of complete bliss. Skinner licked the back of his neck, holding him upright until his orgasm passed, and then he began that grinding, slow entry and exit again. Mulder’s nerve endings cried out at being so stimulated after he’d taken his pleasure and he suddenly understood his Master’s warning that he’d have to stand here and take this. While he’d been erect, this had been so mind numbingly pleasurable that he hadn’t been able to hold on, but after his climax the sensation was too much, and he began to whimper.


“Sensory overload,” Skinner chuckled, but he didn’t speed up. He slid into his slave several more times before finally speeding up, and coming with a sigh of pleasure. Mulder felt as if he’d crumple up on the floor in a sated heap, but Skinner stayed buried deep inside him, his arms holding Mulder tight around the stomach. It was a good feeling, being held like this by his Master while the big man softened inside him, being so comprehensively owned by him, and Mulder drowned in it for a while. Finally, Skinner withdrew, but with the same exquisitely aching slowness as before, and Mulder sank immediately to his knees and kissed Skinner’s feet.


“If you’re ever going to do that to me again, please warn me,” he gasped beseechingly.


Skinner grinned. “Too much for you, slave-boy?”


“No. Too good. It blew me away,” Mulder sighed.


“Good. TV then bed.” Skinner pulled him up, grabbed a robe for himself and they both went back downstairs. As it turned out, Skinner was the only one who watched any TV. He sat on the couch, and Mulder lay down next to him, with his head in his Master’s lap and was asleep within seconds. He was dimly aware of his Master fumbling to answer the phone without dislodging his slave, and listened with a sleepy ear to what Skinner was saying.


“He is? Fantastic. That should be worth seeing. He does? Great. You’re fine with that? Yeah, I thought so. God, yes. Wouldn’t miss it. I’ll bring Fox. Yeah, yeah, yeah. He is, yes.” Mulder heard his Master give an almost teenager-ish laugh. “No, he’ll love it. When he’s gotten over the shock that is. I might have to hold him down while it’s happening though! Yeah, yeah! Oh I promised it. Not yet. No, this is for keeps. It’ll happen one day. A hawk? Nice. I’m just trying to figure out what mine will be. No hurry on that though. No, yeah, see you then, Murray.” Skinner put the phone back and gazed down at his dozing slave. “Time for bed soon, boy,” he whispered. “You know one good way of dealing with puppies with too much destructive energy? You keep them constantly stimulated, don’t leave them alone for too long, feed them well, give them several vigorous bouts of exercise, and a thorough grooming, and they just curl up and go to sleep on you, instead of chewing through your favorite pair of slippers.” Skinner stroked his slave’s hair, and gave a little chuckle. Mulder grunted, and stretched, and Skinner took advantage of the moment to tickle his slave’s belly. Mulder gave a contented gurgle and fell asleep. Mulder vaguely remembered being half-carried, half-walked back to bed a few minutes later. His bed. Not his Master’s, but he was so tired he didn’t even care. He was asleep before his head hit the pillow. It had been a good day.


Several other good days followed it. Mulder was on his absolute best behavior. He stuck to Skinner’s side like the proverbial puppy, and was rewarded by being frequently petted, or better – made love to, by his appreciative Master. He suddenly understood what his Master had told him about rewards as well as punishments. This felt so good that he didn’t ever want it to change, and, he reasoned, if Skinner could make him feel this good during the week, then his slave’s day had to be something really special.


Mulder awoke on Saturday morning feeling tingly. Today was the day. It had been nearly a week since he’d last set foot in the Playroom and he couldn’t wait to get in there. Maybe Skinner would take him there straight after breakfast he thought to himself, idly, as he performed his wake-up call. Skinner didn’t seem to be in any hurry though. He sipped his coffee, used Mulder as a newspaper prop for an hour, and then sent him to the corner when Mulder fidgeted.


“You can stand still for half an hour. Butt out. I want something good to look at,” Skinner ordered. Mulder obeyed sulkily. Twenty minutes later he emitted a deep sigh. “Problem, slave?” Skinner asked dangerously.


“Today’s Saturday, Master!” Mulder protested.


“Thank you for reminding me. Your old Master can’t keep track of the days any more,” Skinner replied acerbically.


“No. I didn’t mean…I meant…today’s slave’s day, Master!” Mulder protested.


“Is it?” Skinner flicked open the paper again. Mulder could feel himself pouting. He banged his head against the wall in frustration. “Don’t do that, boy. That’s my property you’re damaging there,” Skinner growled. “Slave’s day? Hmm. You know, I could have sworn it was puppy day. Go and get me the item that’s waiting in the closet,” he ordered. Mulder turned gleefully, just in time to catch the twinkle in Skinner’s eye.


“What is it?” He asked, running over to the closet. He found a bag, and brought it to the bed, kneeling beside his Master and offering the parcel up prettily, eyes down, but with a big smirk on his face.


“It’s a special item that I want you to wear when I take you out today,” Skinner told him with a wide grin.


“You’re taking me out?” Mulder asked anxiously. This wasn’t in his plan for slave’s day! He had thought they would be staying in. All day. In the Playroom.


“Yeah. You’ll like this – we’re going to party,” Skinner told him, with a grin. Mulder’s heart sank. “It’s one big social whirl for you, boy,” Skinner said, tousling his hair. “Two parties in the space of just over a week.”


“Yeah. I’m a lucky pup.” Mulder pulled a face.


“My thoughts exactly, which is why I had this made for you.”


Skinner opened the bag and pulled out an exquisite, thick brown leather collar, from the same range as the implements in Mulder’s special case. Mulder looked at it, aghast.


“Here. Touch it.” Skinner handed it to him and Mulder took it, numbly. It was so soft that it was almost like a second skin, but it was thick enough, and wide enough to ensure that Mulder wouldn’t be able to forget that he was wearing it. There was a silver band across the front with FOX written on it in big letters, and a ring attached. “And this,” Skinner rummaged in the bag again, “is the dog-tag.” He grinned and held up a silver emblem, with a picture of a Fox on it. “Okay, pup, let’s get you dressed for walkies shall we?”


Skinner patted the bed and Mulder climbed up reluctantly, and knelt while his Master fastened the collar around his neck. It fitted much higher than his gold chain, so Skinner didn’t remove that. He pulled the buckle tighter than Mulder thought was really necessary, so that the hated collar hugged his throat, and it was so wide that it kept his chin up. “Beautiful,” Skinner murmured, attaching the tag. “There. Very nice, pup, and we have a lead too.” He drew out a long, brown leather lead and fastened that to the silver ring too. “Don’t sulk, boy. You’re going to be on display this afternoon, and although I could have made you walk to heel with the nipple leash, I thought it’d be kinder to allow you to stay fully dressed. You can thank me.” Mulder suddenly appreciated that this was the better of the two options, and mumbled his thanks. There was something nice about the way the collar fitted him so snugly, reminding him of his status at all times.


“Thank you, Master,” he whispered, chastened. “It’s an afternoon party then, Master?” he asked.


“Yes. Over at the house of a good friend, and fellow dom. He has a big house, and his parties are great fun. It’ll do you good to mix with some other subs. There’s always plenty going on – swimming, tennis, volleyball, basketball. You won’t be bored. Oh, and he’s laying on some entertainment too.”


“What kind of entertainment?” Mulder asked warily, remembering when he had been the entertainment on the menu not so long ago.


“A very special kind. A sort of…ceremony between Murray and his sub. You’ll enjoy it, trust me.” Skinner winked and Mulder was suddenly certain that he wouldn’t enjoy it at all.


Mulder sulked all the way to Murray’s house. Going to a stupid party was not his idea of ‘slave’s day’, damnit! He hated parties. In fact, he’d avoided them for most of his adult life, so to suddenly end up going to two in the space of a week was enough to make him scream. Not that he hadn’t enjoyed the last one…but this was different. This was supposed to be his day, a day when his Master did wonderful erotic things to his body, and made him shriek in ecstasy, or fulfilled some special fantasy of his. He didn’t want to spend it at a stupid party. Mulder was already in a serious sulk by the time they arrived. Skinner ignored him. He parked his jeep, grabbed the end of Mulder’s leash, and led his reluctant slave into the house. They were met by a thickset, dark haired man with bulging muscles and a broken nose. He was wearing tight leather trousers, and a leather vest, and was the scariest dom Mulder had ever met – apart from his own dear Master.


“Hi there, Walter.” The dom grabbed Skinner’s hand, and pumped it enthusiastically. “Sorry we had to miss your last party. This must be the slave, yes?” The bulked up man glanced at Mulder.


Skinner smiled, and pulled on Mulder’s lead. “This is Fox, yes. Fox, say hello to Hammer. He’s Murray’s sub.”


“He’s…a sub?” Mulder asked in surprise. He knew, from his own experience on the scene, that people weren’t always what they seemed but this guy was the toughest looking sub he’d ever come across.


“Oh yeah.” Hammer grinned. “Nice to meet you, Fox. You landed a good Master here. Second best only to my own dear Murray. I hope he’s treating you right?” He winked at Skinner.


“Well…” Mulder opened his mouth, and caught Skinner’s look of amused warning, so he closed it again. “Get him to tell you the meaning of the term ‘slave’s day’ sometime,” he muttered mutinously to Hammer. The other sub raised an eyebrow, and Skinner burst out laughing.


“Don’t mind him. He’s in one of his sulks. I’ll take my belt to his backside if he doesn’t cheer up soon,” Skinner warned ominously. Mulder gulped. Skinner was wearing a very big, very thick, black leather belt with a silver buckle, and he just knew it had to hurt – big time. He plastered a falsely bright smile on his face, and Hammer gave a giant guffaw.


“You’ve got your hands full with this one, Walter,” he laughed.


“He has his moments, but he’s been very good all week, and I adore him.” Skinner pulled Mulder over for a deep kiss, then let him go again. Mulder tried to remember how to breathe. Skinner grinned at him and unfastened the lead from around his neck, leaving him in the collar. Mulder felt curiously bereft of his Master’s guidance when the lead was gone.


“Mingle. Enjoy yourself,” Skinner instructed, slapping Mulder’s backside heartily. Mulder shot him a venomous look. He didn’t do mingling. Everyone knew that. He was legendary for his 5 minute appearances at the annual FBI Christmas party.


“Come on, Fox, let me show you around,” Hammer said, clearly sensing his uncertainty. “The doms like to hang out in the library, the subs in the pool-room at the start of one of Murray’s parties. It’s kind of tradition. They all get together later on so you can see your Master again then.” Hammer grabbed Mulder’s arm and led him away. He glanced back to see Skinner gazing after him with an amused smile on his face.


There were about 15 subs already milling around in the pool-room, playing pool, and helping themselves to drink. Mulder poured himself an orange juice and watched, feeling lost and lonely, without even Skinner by his side. Hammer stayed and made small talk with him for a while.


“Murray’s got a nice place here. We’ve been living together for about 20 years now. Murray retired last year, but I still work,”


“What do you do?” Mulder asked, wondering what the hell Murray looked like if Hammer looked so scary.


“I’m a nurse.”


Mulder choked on his drink. “Right,” he spluttered, wondering how many patients had heart attacks on waking after surgery to find this apparition looming over them.


“I work with the terminally ill,” Hammer said, and Mulder felt immediately chastened. “I’ve been looking forward to today for weeks. It’s our anniversary, so Murray is giving me a very special gift,” he winked, and then someone called him away.


Mulder pretended to be engrossed in a game of pool, and was therefore surprised when a voice piped up in his ear.


“Why, if it isn’t the bunny.”


Mulder swung around, remembering that voice all too well. “Grow up, Lee,” he responded wearily. Lee was wearing the most outrageous pair of gold jeans, and a tight gold tee shirt. A gold crucifix hung between his perfectly toned pecs.


“Bite me.” Lee clicked his gleaming white teeth at Mulder.


“Don’t tempt me.”


Mulder wandered out of the pool-room and into the yard. He had no wish to get into any trouble with Skinner today and staying anywhere near Lee would almost guarantee it. He found a game of volleyball in progress outside, and hung around on the outskirts of it, scuffing his sneakers in the dirt. He longed to join in and be accepted, but at the same time, he didn’t have much time for any of this sub bonding crap. He had never actually made any friends on the scene. There had been people he played with, and that was it. He hadn’t gotten close to anyone. He hadn’t wanted to. He had come to terms with his own kink, but he almost despised it in others. He didn’t want to belong to anything, or be part of anything. He was happier standing on the outside, being an observer.


“Hey, want a game?”


One of the subs, a small, wiry guy with a dark mustache beckoned him in. Mulder gave a half smile, and then loped over. He was soon too engrossed in the game to remember to sulk, and he found himself enjoying the activity. It felt good to get away from the X Files, from the all- consuming nature of his quest, and to just enjoy the sheer pleasure of exercising, and being with other people. He hadn’t expected to enjoy it, but he was. The small, wiry man was called Ian, and they became friends the minute Mulder found out that Ian was the editor of Anomaly magazine, a publication devoted to reporting on the gap between what the government said it was doing and what it was actually doing. Before he knew it he was conducting an in-depth conversation with the other man, in between knocking the ball over the net. The team changed as people wandered in and out, and Mulder found himself so caught up in the conversation that he missed an easy ball, and then, too late, realized that Lee was playing on his team, and was pissed off.


“If you can’t play properly, then fuck off elsewhere,” Lee yelled.


“It’s not the Olympics.” Mulder shrugged. “Chill out, kid.” He imbued the last word with as patronizing a tone as he could manage.


“Bite me!” Lee screeched, giving Mulder the finger. Mulder sighed and turned his back on him, grimacing at Ian. “Or do you need Big Daddy around to fight your battles for you?” Lee jeered. Mulder clenched his fists and tried to stay calm. “Do you know what my dom did to me last Friday?” Lee asked, coming up to Mulder, and shoving him. “He damn well took the skin off my butt, that’s what.”


“What kind of a sub are you if you couldn’t take that?” Mulder inquired coolly.


“Bite me.” Lee said obnoxiously. “It was all your fault, bunny. I’m glad your Big Daddy is here today because I am going to move in on him and then you’ll be history.” He turned back and bounced the ball over the net. Mulder stood there, getting his temper back under control.


At that moment, a hustle of doms emerged from the house, drinks in hand, laughing and joking. Mulder’s heart soared as he saw that his Master was among them. Skinner was dressed in a pair of tight, faded blue jeans that hugged his long legs, and a black tee shirt, and he looked devastatingly attractive. Mulder could see that Lee wasn’t the only one giving Skinner an appreciative stare. He stood out from the other doms, partly because of his height and stature, but also because he had an innate authority that even these most experienced of doms couldn’t match. Skinner caught sight of Mulder and gave his slave a heart-stopping smile, meant only for him. Mulder was aware of some of the other subs eyeing him in jealous awe, and he couldn’t stop himself grinning back at his Master, and doing an absurd little hop as he bounced over to pick up the ball. He threw himself into the game for a while, showing off for his Master and the other doms. He was completely surprised by himself. This wasn’t his normal style of behavior at all, but he just loved the fact that Skinner was watching him, and boasting about his slave to the other doms, pointing him out and cheering him on when he was engaged in a rally. Ian grinned at him.


“You’re his?” He asked, glancing at Skinner and looking seriously impressed.


“Yeah. His indentured slave,” Mulder said with a nonchalance that belied his surge of pride.


“Wow!” Ian shook his head.


“What about you?” Mulder threw himself lazily at a ball and slammed it back to win a point, then turned smoothly, feeling 10 feet tall, knowing that Skinner was watching.


“I’m not with anyone right now,” Ian said with a shrug. He looked suddenly very sad. Mulder felt sorry for him. “I lost my dom, my partner, lover and friend, in a car wreck about 2 years ago. I keep coming to the parties hoping to meet someone, but nobody lives up to…you know?”


“I’m sorry,” Mulder said softly. He wondered how he would feel if Skinner was taken from him, and a lump rose in his throat. “I’m so sorry, Ian,” he said sincerely.


“You must introduce me to your Master,” Ian said. Mulder was surprised by the wave of jealousy that flooded through him. Ian wasn’t making any moves on Skinner, but he was painfully aware that his Master was the object of considerable attention. Mulder had barely noticed that he had been looked at with considerable interest by several of the doms as well. He was too busy battling with his feelings of insecurity. Besides, he knew that he wasn’t interested in anyone but Skinner, but he had no idea how his Master felt on the matter of exclusivity. Mulder shrugged these thoughts aside, and turned back to the game.


Everything was going fine until both he and Lee went for the ball at the same time, and crashed together, banging their heads.


“You fucking moron!” Lee seethed.


“It was my ball. You should have looked where you were going, goldie,” Mulder spat back, annoyed at having been made to look like a clumsy idiot in front of his Master.


“Yeah? Yeah?” Lee challenged aggressively. “Well, bite me, fucker!”


“Okay.” Something inside Mulder snapped, and he launched himself at Lee, grappled him to the ground, and sank his teeth into the kid’s shoulder. He got a mouthful of vest, and barely even broke the skin, and then he found himself knee deep in doms as they came over to break up the fight. Mulder found himself being unceremoniously handed over to his Master. Skinner snapped the lead onto Mulder’s collar, and hauled his resisting slave away from the crowd.


“All right, pup, this is taking the whole doggy theme too far,” Skinner said angrily, giving him a swift shake. Mulder gasped as Skinner tugged hard on the lead, and he found himself unable to do anything but follow on behind his Master. He was suddenly very grateful indeed that the leash was around his neck and not attached to his nipples. “Now if you’re going to behave like a disobedient puppy, then I’ll treat you like one,” Skinner snapped. He turned to a tall, florid, hook-nosed man, with a white beard, dressed in a flowing caftan robe. “Murray, have you got a muzzle in your Playroom? My pup’s turned dangerous and needs to be kept quiet for a bit.”


“That’s not a pup you’ve got there, Walter, it’s a hellhound!” Murray chuckled, nodding, and disappearing for a few seconds. He returned with what looked like a bag made of leather straps and buckles.


“Kneel.” Skinner ordered curtly.


Mulder obeyed, trembling slightly. “This isn’t fair. He started it!” He protested.


Skinner raised an eyebrow. “And who did the biting?” He asked.


“He kept…” Mulder broke off with a sigh as Skinner’s expression became even more dangerous. “I did, Master,” he agreed.


“I’m of the opinion that public displays of bad behavior should be rewarded by public displays of punishment…oh, don’t worry, boy, I’m not going to whip your ass in front of these people, but you will be feeling my belt on your backside soon. Now open your mouth. You can wear this for the next couple of hours so people can see that you’re being punished.” Mulder obeyed, sullenly, and Skinner placed a strap over his tongue, and fastened it to a buckle on the side of the mask, then he strapped the whole contraption under Mulder’s chin and over his head, keeping his jaw clamped shut. Mulder seethed. He couldn’t even speak with this atrocious muzzle fastened to his face. “Okay, into the bathroom,” Skinner ordered. Mulder obeyed, anger at the muzzle now mingling with fear at the punishment he knew he was about to receive. He watched, trembling, as Skinner locked the bathroom door, and then undid his belt. Mulder’s stomach fell into his shoes. Skinner slammed the toilet seat down with a flick of his booted foot, and then sat down on it.


“Over my knee. Now, pup!” Skinner commanded. “Undo your jeans first.”


Mulder’s fingers were shaking as he obeyed. He pushed his jeans and boxers down, then knelt beside his Master. Skinner pulled him over his knees, taking endless long minutes to get his slave arranged in exactly the position he wanted him in, then he placed one heavy hand on the small of Mulder’s back to keep him in place before delivering a firm swat with his belt. Tears sprang into Mulder’s eyes. He couldn’t even scream! He was reduced to making an absurd gurgling noise.


“Okay, the lesson you are going to learn from this is not to lose your temper and show me up in public, no matter what the provocation,” Skinner told him forcefully as he raised the belt again. Mulder hadn’t received any punishment spankings over and above his morning discipline all week and even his morning discipline had been light, so his butt was fresh. Even the lines from his last marking had paled into almost nothing. The belt was heavy, and it packed an almighty wallop as it rained down on his unprotected skin. Skinner gave him ten hard licks, then righted him again. Mulder could feel the tears, more of humiliation than pain, squeezing down his cheeks and was about to wipe them away angrily when Skinner grabbed his hand to prevent him. “No, I think we want to show folks that you are one contrite slave-boy who’s been thoroughly punished by his pissed off Master. You are contrite, aren’t you, boy?” Skinner demanded. Mulder thought about it for a moment, then noticed that Skinner still hadn’t put his belt back on so he nodded, unwilling to taste any more heavy bites from that strap on his bare butt. Skinner gestured that Mulder could adjust his clothing, then he put a firm hand on Mulder’s shoulder, and ushered him back out into the house. Mulder flushed bright red as people shot him glances. Although these people were all on the scene, they weren’t dressed up today, so in his muzzled condition he stood out like a sore thumb.


“This way. We’re back on a short leash,” Skinner told him, tugging Mulder along behind him. “A very short leash,” he clarified. Skinner took a seat on a couch in the library, and gestured that Mulder should kneel beside him. Mulder obeyed, aware that everyone was watching him. He flushed, and hung his head, wishing that the ground would open up and swallow him. It was so obvious that Skinner had just taken him to the bathroom and spanked his butt. He couldn’t sit back on his bottom because it stung, so he had to kneel up.


“Dangerous creature you have there,” a well built, swarthy man commented, sitting beside Skinner.


“Yes. He’ll learn. He’s new to his slavery,” Skinner replied, grabbing a beer from a side table.


“Oh, I like a sub with bite, and he’s certainly got that,” the stranger laughed. “If he’s too much for you to handle, you might consider selling him to me.”


Mulder’s heart thudded in his chest and he looked up.


“Eyes down!” Skinner barked. Mulder obeyed, hastily, flushing again. “Thanks for the offer, but this slave will never be on the market,” Skinner replied.


“Never’s a long time.” The stranger gave an easy smile. “Let me tell you about myself. My name is Franklin,” he handed Skinner his card, “and I specialize in taming…recalcitrant slaves. My methods are severe, I’ll admit. If this young pup was mine, I’d have stripped him naked in the middle of this room, and taken the hide off his ass with my crop. He wouldn’t be able to stand afterwards. I find that they usually learn after the first couple of times. Then we can have more fun. I’d offer a considerable sum for a slave such as this. Oh, I enjoy the challenge of breaking them to my will,” he said, his tone one of complete relish. He eyed Mulder as if he was something he was about to eat.


“You must be new here.” Skinner placed the card on the table, making it clear that he had no intention of keeping it. “So I’ll make allowances for you. However when I say that I won’t sell, I mean that I won’t sell. I don’t care who the buyer is, or how much he offers. This slave is my own personal property. He’s not available. Not now. Not ever.”


“Ah, you’ve fallen in love with him.” Franklin made a disapproving clucking sound with his teeth. “Always a mistake, if I might say so. It’s fine to allow the slave to fall in love with you, in fact it’s to be encouraged, but you should never reciprocate. It’s a common mistake, but you’ll learn in time.”


Skinner looked as if he would explode, and then, much to Mulder’s surprise, he burst out laughing. “Thanks for the tip my friend, but I’m not a green newcomer. I know how to play – and safely too. Incidentally, as you’re clearly new to this area of the world, let me give you a tip – always make sure you know who you’re talking to before you open your mouth. I’m the Guardian of The House – you’ve probably heard of me.” He smiled, and inclined his head. Franklin’s flashing brown eyes widened in astonishment.


“I…oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize. Forgive me, Guardian,” he murmured, paling visibly. He made his excuses and shuffled away. Mulder wished he could smile. It had been so good watching his Master put that upstart in his place. Mulder knew the phrase ‘Guardian of the House’ all too well. The ‘House’ was an exclusive enclave of the most experienced players on the DC scene, both subs and doms. They met occasionally, to discuss the other players, and whether they needed to step in to outlaw any unsafe players. It was their task to generally police the scene in a discreet way to ensure that it didn’t fall foul of the law. The leader of the ‘House’ was referred to as the ‘Guardian’, and that was how Skinner was referred to on the scene. He was the legendary player who people rarely saw but whose reputation preceded him.


An hour or so passed. Mulder felt his anger and humiliation dissipate, as Skinner charmed a variety of people, who came to sit by him, almost as if they were seeking an audience with him. There was a distinctly reverential tone to the way they approached his Master, and Mulder decided that he liked the kudos of being the great man’s slave. He felt tired and wrung out, and slumped down next to Skinner’s thigh, and rested his head upon the other man’s knee. As always, Skinner’s hand absently stroked his hair, while he talked to his friends – both fellow doms and subs, ignoring his slave save for that steady fondling of the younger man’s hair. Mulder grew to enjoy his enforced silence. Nothing was expected of him; he could just relax, contentedly curled up at his Master’s feet, silently waiting for his Master to take notice of him again. He felt curiously relieved, almost blissed out, and he sighed and moved his face to gently nuzzle his Master’s fingers as best he could from behind the muzzle. He was glad, once again, that Skinner was strong enough to take him down and make him submit when he got like this. It was what he needed, and nobody had ever been able to give it to him before. He gazed at his Master adoringly, lost in his slavery.


“Now, there’s a change.” Mulder dimly recognized Murray’s deep, booming tones, and was aware that their host was standing over him, looking down, but he was too exhausted to move. “Doesn’t he look sweet now that you’ve got him tamed? You’d never think he had such sharp teeth.”


“That’s my pup,” Skinner said, tickling Mulder’s ear. Mulder didn’t even look up. “How’s Lee, Murray?”


“Fine. Hammer took a look at the bite – it was nothing, just a scratch, and frankly no less than the little brat deserved. He always manages to upset someone, wherever he goes. Sorry it had to be your boy and he got into such bad trouble over it, though. I guess your Master whipped some sense into you, boy, hmm?” He asked Mulder. Mulder sighed, and buried his face even further into Skinner’s lap, trying to forget that particular painful experience.


“Fox will learn,” Skinner said firmly.


Murray nodded. “With you as his Master he’ll turn out all right,” he chuckled.


“I’ve been meaning to ask you, Murray – who was the man Fox was talking to earlier?” Skinner asked.


“At the game? That’s Ian Rylance.”


Mulder’s ears pricked up at that, and he wondered why his Master was interested in Ian – unless, maybe he…Mulder pushed that thought back down. He couldn’t cope with his own jealousy right now.


“What do we know about him?” Skinner asked.


“He’s sound,” Murray replied. “Lost his partner a couple of years back and hasn’t played since. I’m very fond of him. He often stays here – Hammer adores him. I must go, Walter. The main event is almost due and I have to prepare Hammer.”


“Of course. Go ahead – and good luck!” Skinner called.


Out of the corner of his eye Mulder noticed some bustle, and wondered what was going on, but he was too comfortable to move, so he just lay, being stroked, while some kind of brazier was brought into the room, and lit. Then he noticed that the room was filling up. An hour or so later, the room was burning hot. Mulder finally looked up, to see that a stage had been set at one end of the room, next to the brazier. A bondage table was there as well, awaiting an occupant. Mulder glanced around, and saw Hammer being talked to by his Master. Hammer was pacing up and down, anxiously, a frown creasing his face, and Murray looked just as worried. Mulder looked up at Skinner uncertainly.


“It’s all right, pup. Last minute nerves. They’ll both be fine. Watch and learn – it’ll be your turn one day,” he whispered. “Although I don’t think I’ll make you wait 20 years for it!” Mulder’s eyes widened frantically, and Skinner pulled him close, so that Mulder was practically lying in his lap, and stepped up his stroking. The room was now full up, and Murray called for silence.


“As you know, today is the day that Hammer takes my brand onto his body, to mark our 20 year partnership,” he announced. Mulder glanced at Skinner again and his Master smiled, and placed a finger over his slave’s lip to soothe him, and remind him to stay calm. “Hammer, come here,” Murray ordered, his tone changing into a dom’s tone of command, and Hammer stepped forward, his eyes fixed on his dom. Mulder thought they made a strange pair. Murray was portly, with a dramatic air that went with his deep, booming voice, and he was a good twenty years older than his sub. Hammer was muscled, with hard, toned flesh and a quiet, understated manner. Hammer looked infinitely the tougher of the two. Mulder wondered where he’d got his nickname. “Strip,” Murray ordered. Hammer didn’t stop looking at his dom, as he took off his trousers and vest, and stood, butt naked, awaiting further orders. “I’m going to burn my mark into Hammer’s flesh myself,” Murray told the expectant room. “I’m using a hawk – which seems appropriate.” A wry laugh went around the room, as Murray made the self-deprecating reference to his long, hooked nose. “All right, Hammer, it’s time to be branded.” Murray’s tone was hard. “I’ve already prepared Hammer. He’s fully in his sub headspace as you can see. I’ve clamped him, and spent the past hour performing a series of escalating punishments on him, so he’s ready to take a more extreme form of pain. Yes, Hammer?” Murray asked, his eyes keen and sharp, clearly wanting to make sure that Hammer was in the right place mentally to take what was coming next.


“Yes, sir,” Hammer nodded. Murray led him over to the bondage table, and strapped him in tightly. Mulder bit down on his muzzle, and looked up to Skinner for reassurance. Skinner didn’t really mean to put his slave through all this one day, did he? He had to be joking! Mulder buried his face in Skinner’s lap as Hammer was fastened down on the table, face up. “For personal reasons, that are between me and my sub, his mark will be placed on the top of his thigh – here,” Murray said. There was silence for a moment, and the moment stretched on and on in the hushed room. Finally, unable to stand it any longer, Mulder looked up just in time to see Murray bury a steaming brand in Hammer’s skin. It made a hissing sound. Hammer let out a bellow of sheer pain, and Mulder smelled burning – he realized it was flesh and nearly choked. Skinner stroked him gently, calming him. Mulder buried his face in Skinner’s lap again and didn’t look up again. The branding continued but he didn’t hear any of it. He was too busy wondering why the idea of bearing that atrocious pain in order to accept his Master’s mark onto his body, both shocked him and turned him on at one and the same time.


Mulder wasn’t sure how much time passed, but when he looked up again, the room was nearly empty, and Skinner was looking down at him gravely.


“I think you’ve learned your lesson, pup, so the muzzle can come off,” he said. Mulder nodded gratefully, and Skinner unfastened the muzzle and pulled it away from his head. Mulder ran a hand through his flattened hair and tested out his tongue, trying to swallow the taste of leather. Skinner handed him a glass of water. “Here. Now, how are you feeling?”


“Fine, Master,” Mulder whispered, feeling subdued.


“Good.” Skinner tousled his hair affectionately. “It’s been a good learning experience, yes?”


“Um…I suppose so,” Mulder agreed reluctantly, still feeling that it was a giant waste of his slave’s day.


“Good boy. Now, you have one thing to do before we can leave.” Skinner jerked on the leash and Mulder followed his Master. His heart sank as he saw that Skinner was taking him over to where Lee and his master were standing.


“Mike. Lee.” Skinner inclined his head. “My slave has something to say.” He waited expectantly. Mulder looked at him with angry eyes for a moment, then sighed.


“I’m sorry, Lee. I shouldn’t have bitten you,” he said.


“Yeah. Well you…” Lee began, but Skinner quelled him with one raised eyebrow.


“Don’t push your luck, son,” he advised and Lee shut up.


Mike laughed and slapped his sub heartily on the bottom. “We can’t keep these young hot heads out of trouble, eh, Walter?” he chuckled.


Skinner grunted, and led Mulder back to the house to say goodbye to their hosts. Mulder stood numbly on the end of his leash, staring anywhere but at the new, livid red mark on Hammer’s body as Skinner talked amiably to both men. Finally, Skinner tugged on his leash and Mulder looked up, startled. “Don’t you have anything to say?” He asked.


“I…” Mulder looked at Hammer. “It’s beautiful,” he choked at last, unexpectedly. Then he flushed and looked down again. He didn’t like the way all this made him feel.


Murray exchanged a glance with Skinner. “The boy will need…” he began.


Skinner interrupted him. “Yes. I know. I knew that when I took him on. He’ll get it,” he promised. Mulder wondered what the hell that had been about. “Fox – go and wait for me by the jeep,” Skinner ordered, and Mulder went. He watched as Skinner took leave of their hosts but instead of coming over to the jeep afterwards, Skinner made a beeline for Ian instead. Mulder ground his teeth together. First his Master ruined his slave’s day, then he brazenly approached another sub. Mulder kicked his feet in the dirt, feeling another sulky mood descending on him. He hated feeling like this – when he wasn’t in relationships he was spared all this and functioned as a perfectly normal human being, but, as it had with Phoebe, being involved with someone brought out characteristics in himself that he barely recognized and certainly didn’t like. Mulder watched as Skinner spoke to Ian for a couple of minutes, then took something the other man gave him and put it in his pocket before returning to the jeep.


Mulder was glaring at his Master by the time he arrived back. Skinner took one look at him, and sighed, then he unlocked the back door and held it open expectantly. Mulder looked at him in surprise. The back of the jeep contained an old blanket and a pair of Skinner’s walking boots. There were no seats.


“Pups who can’t behave themselves travel up behind,” Skinner said, shoving him in. Mulder glared at his Master.


“I thought you’d already punished me!” he protested.


“Really?” Skinner got into the driver’s seat and started the engine.


“Yeah. Jeez, a strapping and 3 hours in that fucking muzzle.”


“I’ve got one at home. I’ll put it straight on you when we get back if you’re not careful,” Skinner warned.


“Well it was all your fault!” Mulder exploded, crouched uncomfortably in the back.


“How so?” Skinner glanced at him in his rear view mirror.


“Because I was good all week damnit! And you promised me a slave’s day!”


“Fox, I thought you’d enjoy mixing with other subs. Sometimes you seem to have some strange ideas about your needs. I thought meeting a other people with similar needs would help you rationalize your own better.”


“I do not fucking need you getting into my head!” Mulder growled.


“I’d have said that it was exactly what you damn well need,” Skinner responded tersely.


“So I suppose I’ve blown any chance of a session in the Playroom?” Mulder asked a few minutes later, already knowing what the answer would be.


“It was never on the cards, pup,” Skinner said into the mirror. “I have to drop into the office to run through some paperwork anyway so…”


“What? Oh great.” Mulder slumped down against the window, feeling at odds with the whole world.


“First, a swim,” Skinner told his slave as they arrived at the Hoover building. You look as though you could do with some cooling off time too, pup.” Skinner undid the collar around Mulder’s neck, and slung it in the back of the jeep. “There’s never many people here on a Saturday but we wouldn’t want to take a risk,” he said.


“I know. I have worked on Saturdays before you know,” Mulder growled.


“Yes. I do know. I’ve sat up in my office, thinking about you down in the basement, wondering why you worked yourself so hard. It clearly wasn’t for the promotion, or even because the job demanded it,” Skinner remarked, looking at his slave intently.


“I enjoyed it.” Mulder shrugged.


“Good, because I want you to help me.” Skinner refused to say any more. They both got changed and Skinner dived smoothly into the pool, did ten brisk laps, then pulled himself out. “You carry on swimming. I’ll be waiting for you in my office when you’ve swum that sulk off you face,” Skinner told his slave. “I mean it, Fox. Leave the attitude behind when you come up.”


Mulder took a deep breath and ducked under the water, ignoring his Master, and losing himself in that familiar, underwater world, blurry, and insubstantial, with its echoing sounds. He could lose himself here. It felt good – better than facing up to all these damn emotions. Mulder emerged, gasping for air, then did 20 laps in quick succession. He was, he noted with some satisfaction, a much faster swimmer than his Master. Finally, half an hour later, unable to delay the inevitable any longer, he got out, took a shower, lubed himself just in case, although he really wasn’t in the mood, and then opened his locker – and stopped short. The casual clothes he had been wearing were gone, and in their place was one of his work suits, complete with shirt, tie, shoes, socks and a clean pair of boxer shorts. Mulder sighed, wondering just how anal his Master could be to insist that they observed Bureau sartorial protocol on a Saturday evening for god’s sake.


“A Saturday evening we should be spending in the Playroom,” he growled at the empty locker, banging the door shut in disgust. He had no choice but to dress, but he was deliberately slow about it, and then he took a long time drying his hair and making faces at himself in the mirror before finally wandering up to his Master’s office.


The Hoover building always felt eerie on a Saturday, but he had never been to the fifth floor on a Saturday before. The empty corridors, usually bustling with agents and secretaries, were now empty, and his footsteps echoed as he walked. Mulder felt like a kid going into school on the wrong day of the week. He felt an almost overwhelming urge to peek into all the offices and see the secrets, usually kept hidden by weekday activity. Sensing that would most definitely NOT be a good idea, he carried on walking to Skinner’s office.


Skinner had changed too. Mulder paused on the threshold of his office. The sight of Skinner in full work regalia never failed to take his breath away. Normally he couldn’t show his appreciation because he was accompanied by Scully, and Kim was sitting in the outer office, but this time it was different. Mulder took in the sight of his clean, shining Master, sitting at his desk, wearing his crisp, white shirt, with a dark tie. His pants were perfectly pressed, and he oozed an aura of the most devastating power and authority. Mulder felt his throat go dry.


“Ah, Agent Mulder. Come in, and shut the door behind you,” Skinner instructed. Mulder stood there, uncertainly. Why was Skinner calling him ‘Agent Mulder’ when they were alone?


Skinner raised an eyebrow, and Mulder hastened to obey.


“Yes, sir,” he mumbled, striding over to Skinner’s desk and standing in front of it. Skinner looked at him for a long time, until Mulder could feel himself flushing.


“Sir?” He asked. “What do you want me to do?”


“I want you to account for yourself, Agent,” Skinner said. Mulder opened his mouth, then hesitated. Skinner seemed almost angry with him, but it was a controlled anger. He wondered what he’d done.


“Account for myself, how, sir?” He muttered weakly, wondering what the hell was going on.


“Account for yourself over the past 6 years.” Skinner waved a hand at his desk and Mulder saw a pile of what he recognized to be X Files. “Yes, these are yours. I’ve been through them and picked out all the ones where you used questionable methods,” Skinner said menacingly. He got up out of his chair, walked around to the other side of the desk, and stood behind his slave. “I’m sure that you thought you’d got away with it at the time, each and every time, but you didn’t. I was watching, and waiting, and now, Agent Mulder, there has to be an accounting – and due punishment.”


Mulder felt his knees grow weak. This was hot! This was every fantasy he’d ever had for six years while sitting in meetings in this office, come true! Skinner’s presence was prowling, and predatory, and although his words were those of censure, his tone was low, and sexy, speaking straight to Mulder’s cock. It was a world away from the way Skinner normally disciplined him in his professional capacity. A light bulb went on above Mulder’s head. Skinner was creating a scene for him! And not just any scene – the scene that Mulder had played out himself so many times in his head, for so many long, lonely years, never even hoping that he could one day have the reality.


“Sir, I’m sorry, but I don’t really think you can hold me responsible…” he began, relaxing into the scene.


“Quiet, Agent Mulder. When I want you to speak, I’ll tell you, but I’m warning you, you’re already in a lot of trouble, Agent.” Skinner’s voice was a bark of sheer authority, and it was like a soothing caress to Mulder.


“Yes, sir,” he muttered, looking at his shoes.


“Look through the cases, and tell me what you did wrong in each one, and then we’ll discuss how to punish you,” Skinner said, sitting down again. He watched, unblinking, as Mulder picked up a file from the mound on his boss’s desk.


“Could I sit, sir?” He asked.


“No,” Skinner snapped. He picked up a ruler, and began slapping it against his hand menacingly. Mulder swallowed hard, and lost himself in the moment. His cock was already bulging inside his work suit, only this time it didn’t matter. This time he didn’t have to hide, or pretend that this situation wasn’t a giant turn on. This time his fantasy was going to be fulfilled. “I’m waiting!” Skinner barked. Mulder nodded, and flicked through the file.


“I, uh, ditched Scully,” he began.


“I think we can take that as read in most of these.” Skinner slapped the ruler against his hand again. Mulder shuddered. Although it was only a game, Skinner was playing it so real that he couldn’t have broken out of role if he’d dared.


“I upset the local PD with my attitude, I went into a dangerous situation without backup, I…”


“Let’s backtrack here,” Skinner interrupted. “As I recall, your ‘upsetting the local PD’ involved you calling the sheriff a ‘self important loser who wouldn’t know his ass from his elbow.’ To his face. Yes?”


“Uh, I’m not sure I remember the details,” Mulder hedged.


“Then try harder, Agent Mulder! FBI work is about detail. The devil, as they say, is in the detail.”


“Yes, sir!” Mulder thought back frantically. “It’s possible I said that, sir, yes. It sounds about right,” he finished wryly.


“Very well. As you can see, Agent Mulder. This is a pile of transgressions bigger than I’ve ever, in my years as a Supervisor, had to deal with. So, the question is, how should I punish you?”


“I don’t know, sir.” Mulder looked at his feet, his whole body trembling in anticipation.


“In the past, I’ve put black marks on your file, I’ve given you menial work assignments far beneath your capabilities, and I’ve chewed you out. Did any of that work?” Skinner barked.


“Not really, sir,” he admitted.


“I agree. So, Agent Mulder, I think the time has come to try a stronger form of discipline, don’t you?” Skinner got to his feet. Mulder looked up, his eyes wide with a combination of arousal and alarm. This was much better than the reality of being chewed out and punished by his boss. Those times had always filled him with dread, and although they were erotic in his fantasies, in reality they had just been dreary, awkward and humiliating. This was the fantasy version and it was good -damn good!


“What…do you mean, sir?” he stammered.


“Marine discipline, Agent Mulder. Good, old fashioned, physical discipline, Agent.”


“Isn’t that against regulations, sir?” He protested.


“Very probably.” Skinner cleared a space on his cluttered desk. “However, I’m not prepared to have a lose canon on my ship any more. You’ll play by my rules or not at all. What do you say to that, Agent Mulder?”


“You can’t do this, sir!” Mulder threw himself into the spirit of the game, enjoying the tingling in his body. He loved this! It was one thing to just allow his Master to do whatever he liked with him in the Playroom, or the bedroom, but to interact, and role-play – this was even better. He got the chance to participate in making the fantasy work.


“Someone has to stop you, Mulder, or you’ll just keep getting into trouble. As your supervisor, it’s my duty to haul you back into line -however painful that might be. Now, I think physical punishment is the answer with you, so that’s what I’m going to use.”


“Please…” Mulder muttered weakly. Skinner stood in front of him, drew himself up to his full, formidable height, and seemed to almost puff up several sizes in sheer bulk. When he spoke, his voice was so hard, low and sexy that Mulder almost came from the tone, as much as the words.


“Pants down and bend over my desk, Agent. Now! I’m going to whip you.”


Mulder shivered, and opened his mouth to continue his protest, but Skinner’s dark eyes were so captivating and compelling that he found himself instead undoing his belt with shaking hands. Skinner was right – he did know the difference between an erotic spanking and a punishment. Back at the party, the strap had just been painful, but this…this was making him tremble with arousal. He undid his pants, and pushed them down, then his boxers. He was so deeply into the role, that he blushed at exposing his bare backside, although his Master had seen it countless times before. “Over you go.” Skinner put a heavy hand on the small of Mulder’s back, and pushed him over the desk. Mulder lay there, savoring the feel of the moment, the unfamiliar cool wood pressed into the flesh on his bare thighs. The files were so close that his nose was almost touching them. He felt exposed, his ass waving in the air, awaiting its punishment, and his cock sticking out hopefully at the front. He lay there, in an agony of anticipation, listening to Skinner’s footsteps as his Master walked around to the other side of the desk, and picked up his ruler again. Mulder’s stomach did a leap, thrilled that Skinner was going to use the heavy wooden ruler. He almost jumped into the air when he felt the cool wood soothing his bare bottom.


“I think we’ll start off with minor offenses,” Skinner told him. “Then move onto the major ones. I’ll put this here, so you can look forward to what you’ve got coming later.” He placed the ruler on the desk in front of Mulder, so that it filled his vision. Mulder moaned softly, as he felt his Master’s hand caress his butt. Then there was a smack. It was only light, warming him up, and he flailed, clutching onto the sides of desk to stop himself sliding off. Skinner put a big hand on the small of his back to hold him in place, then set about smacking his buttocks in earnest. Mulder wanted the moment to go on forever. He committed all the details to memory. His Master’s sexy, demanding voice, telling him he was being punished, and why, instructing him to expect no mercy. The way the desk felt against his bare stomach, and thighs, the smell of paper, and wood that filled his nostrils, and the feel of that big hand slapping his exposed bottom. He could feel his butt heating up, and began to wriggle and squirm, and then begged to be let up. Skinner ignored him, rightly judging that being let up was the last thing Mulder wanted right now.


After several minutes of steady spanking, the pace dropped, and Skinner’s hand soothed his slave’s bottom, just delivering the occasional light swat in between gentle stroking. Mulder sighed. Damn, but this was good. It wasn’t in character with the scene, but it was so damn good!


“All right. That was just the beginning. Time to deal with the serious issues now. Get up,” Skinner told him. Mulder stood, starting to feel that dreamy high that a good spanking always gave him. Skinner walked around the desk, sat in his big chair, and then crooked his finger and beckoned Mulder over. Mulder bit on his lip, and shuffled towards his boss.


“I’m sorry, sir,” he muttered, standing beside Skinner’s chair. “I promise I’ll always follow procedure from now on.”


“Over my knee, Agent!” Skinner proclaimed, pointing. Mulder felt as if his heart had stopped.


That was one of his favorite fantasy lines. God, if anyone could see them – it was so absurd, and yet it felt so good. He nodded, and lowered himself over Skinner’s strong, muscular thighs. Skinner picked up the ruler, and swished it through the air a couple of times. Mulder clutched onto his Master’s thigh for support.


“This will hurt. There’s no point using corporal punishment unless it drives the point home, and that’s exactly what this will do,” Skinner told him ominously. Mulder closed his eyes and held on even more firmly. He felt the ruler tapping his flaming butt cheeks, and then it landed on the fleshiest part of his bottom with a resounding thwack. Mulder let out a strangled cry. Another swat, and the pace and force started to increase. Mulder began to thrust against Skinner’s leg, his cock screaming for release. “This is what happens when you disobey me, Agent,” Skinner said, picking up the tempo even more. Mulder began to plead for mercy, to beg to be allowed up, but Skinner held him down and didn’t stop until he’d delivered a swat to every single inch of Mulder’s sore backside – several times over. Mulder grew intimately familiar with the color of the flooring, and the smell of the leather on Skinner’s chair, and he felt as if he was floating on a cloud of hazy pleasure, fueled by each painful swat on his ass.


Finally it was over, and he lay, dazed and sated in his Master’s lap, sweat soaking his hair.


“I won’t do it again! I promise, I promise!” He cried, no longer even knowing what he was saying, or promising.


“Good. I’m pleased to hear it,” Skinner said, brushing the sweaty hair out of his face. Mulder fell to his knees on the floor beside Skinner’s chair, and lay his head adoringly on his Master’s lap.


“That was fantastic, Master,” he sighed. “So, so good. You seem to know everything that goes on in my mind…every trigger word…”


“I’m not finished yet, Agent.” Skinner’s hard tone brought him back into the scene. “Go and stand facing the wall. I want that red butt on display.” Mulder looked at him, wide-eyed. Oh god, this was just beyond his wildest dreams. He got to his feet, and shuffled over to the wall. He was still trembling from the excitement of enacting the fantasy, and although his butt hurt like hell, the endorphins were making his brain buzz and he was as high as a kite. He needed the corner time to pull himself back together. It felt good too, standing with his nose pressed against the wall, red butt on display, in Skinner’s office of all places. He glanced back to see that Skinner was either working, or feigning work.


“Look around again and I’ll come over there and redden those cheeks some more,” Skinner warned. Mulder turned back immediately, flushing. There was something so humiliatingly erotic about standing here, being almost ignored, while his Master worked. He sighed dreamily, wondering how long Skinner had been planning this. Now he felt guilty for all his snide complaints about missing out on his slave’s day. This was a gift he could never have asked for. Skinner had taken him so skillfully into his sub headspace, and kept him there, like the Master he was. Mulder’s cock was still straining against its gold ring and he touched it surreptitiously, squeezing it. He was so absorbed in this, that he jumped into the air when a swinging slap landed on his bottom.


“Touching yourself without permission, boy?” Skinner hissed, and Mulder knew that the scene was over, and they were back to normal – whatever that is.


“Sorry, Master, but that scene was just so damn hot,” he said honestly.


“Want me to take care of it?” Skinner asked, rubbing his hands up and down Mulder’s arms, and kissing the back of his neck.


“Yes…please…” Mulder croaked.


“Come back to the desk then.” Skinner led him back to the desk and sat down in his chair, then he pulled Mulder close and took his weeping cock into his mouth. Mulder yelled in surprise as Skinner practically swallowed him whole. He put his hands on his Master’s shoulders and dropped a series of kisses onto Skinner’s bald head as he worked. Skinner’s hands were holding his burning backside, caressing it, kneading the flesh, giving him that knock-out combination of pleasure and pain that took him new levels of bliss that he’d never known before. He came with force, bucking into Skinner’s mouth, and his Master swallowed his come, then released his slave with a grin.


“I take it the earth moved for you, then?” He asked.


“You don’t even need to ask the question.” Mulder slumped against his Master, feeling utterly sated.


“You’ve been good all week. You deserved a reward,” Skinner said, stroking him.


“I almost screwed up today though,” Mulder sighed.


“Hmmm. You’re fine in a controlled environment, sweetheart, but as soon as you’re interacting with other people, it goes wrong. I can’t keep you on a short leash all the time – I wouldn’t want to and you’d grow weary of it and act up if I did.”


“I’m sorry, Master,” Mulder sighed, resting his head in Skinner’s lap again. He liked this position best in the whole world.


“Fox – it’s early days yet. I knew there’d be a struggle to begin with. We’ll get there,” Skinner promised, holding Mulder’s face between his hands. “In time, with patience – and some healthy doses of discipline,” he winked.


Mulder grinned. “Thank you, Master, for the fantasy -and for everything else.”


“While you’re here, I have a fantasy of my own…” Skinner grinned. He pulled Mulder up, and held out his hand for a condom. Mulder supplied it hastily, fumbling in his pocket. Skinner kicked away Mulder’s pants and boxers, and then hauled him onto his lap. “Ride me. In my chair,” he commanded. Mulder grinned back. He found ‘riding’ Skinner difficult, but the pleasure it gave his Master more than made up for the fact that the deeper angle of penetration sometimes brought tears to his eyes. He climbed eagerly onto Skinner’s lap, opened his Master’s pants, and put the condom on his Master’s erect cock. Then he gingerly held his sore butt cheeks open, and slid Skinner’s cock into his ass. Skinner grabbed his thighs, and jerked his hips up, and Mulder put his hands on Skinner’s shoulders and slid expertly up and down on that hard cock, until his Master moaned, and pumped into him, gasping out his climax. They both hung there for a while, then Mulder daringly moved his face and caught Skinner’s lips with his own, kissing him soundly, opening his Master’s mouth and claiming his tongue. Skinner’s arms tightened around his slave, and he pulled him even closer, devouring him.


They left the office fifteen minutes later, when they’d recovered, and readjusted their clothes. Mulder was on a total high as he walked down the corridor towards the elevator. His whole body was tingling and alive. He indulged for a moment in the fantasy that he was naked, and Skinner was leading him along by his nipple leash. It was therefore a total shock when a voice broke into his reverie.


“What’s this? Working another Saturday, Walter?” Mulder froze. The Director. Skinner smiled at him warningly, then turned.


“Yes, sir. There’s always work to be done. This is Agent Mulder. You’ve heard about him, I’m sure.”


“Of course.” The Director gave Mulder a keen stare. “Hard not to hear about you, and your exploits, Mulder.”


“No, sir,” Mulder gulped, hoping that his most recent exploits hadn’t been heard. They continued down the corridor to the elevator, with Skinner talking easily to the Director, and Mulder, still floating high in the sky, trailing along behind them. He liked watching Skinner walk, his Master’s taut body gliding like a panther, full of tightly controlled strength. Skinner stopped by the elevator, and, still in his leash fantasy, Mulder found himself sinking to his knees, acting on automatic pilot. Skinner grabbed hold of his elbow.


“Did you stumble?” He asked, helping Mulder up. Mulder flushed, wondering what the hell he had been thinking of, with the Director here!


“Yes…sorry,” he mumbled, flustered.


He was relieved when they finally got to the jeep.


“Jeez, I’m sorry about that. What an asshole!” Mulder kicked one of the tires.


“I enjoyed it,” Skinner grinned. “It shows that you’re learning well – although I think such demonstrations of your obedience should be saved for when we’re in private.” He opened the back of the jeep and waved his hand at Mulder.


“Do I still have to ride in the back?” Mulder groused, climbing in anyway, in too good a mood to argue.


“Of course. No puppies on the seats,” Skinner retorted.


“Master…?” Mulder began, as they finally arrived home. He sank down on the couch, and then winced, and turned onto his stomach, kicking his shoes off with a sigh.


“Slave.” Skinner got himself a beer out of the fridge, and threw one to his slave.


“Would you ever take another slave – or even a sub? It’s just… I saw you talking to Ian, and…”


“Ah, that reminds me.” Skinner took a card out of his pocket, and handed it to Mulder who took it blankly. “Ian’s business card – he wrote his personal ‘phone number on it too. You two seemed to be getting along well. I thought you might like to see him again.”


“Why?” Mulder looked up, puzzled.


“You need friends, Fox. Everybody does. I’m not sure I entirely approve of Ian’s work, but you liked him. Go out for a drink with him occasionally, swap horror stories about the Masters from hell that you’ve both had in your time.” Skinner grimaced theatrically.


“You wouldn’t mind?” Mulder asked, confused.


“Why should I? I want you to feel less isolated, Fox. You’re isolated everywhere – in your working life, and your personal life. I know that you make a fiercely loyal, and very entertaining friend. A lot of people would like you if they got to know you – if you let them get to know you.”


“I dunno.” Mulder stared at the card.


“Well it’s a good job it’s an order then.” Skinner moved Mulder’s feet and sat down on the couch beside him. “Call him tomorrow.”


“Yes, Master,” Mulder grinned, going to settle down again with his head on his Master’s lap.


Skinner cleared his throat pointedly. “You’re overdressed, boy.”


“Oh.” Mulder got up wearily, and removed his clothes, then lay down on the couch again. A few seconds later, he was startled when something warm and soft jumped on top of him. Wanda settled herself down on his lap and purred sonorously. Mulder considered pushing her off, but he was too tired to move, and he had to admit that her sleek fur felt good against his naked flesh, so he let her stay. Skinner ran a lazy hand over his slave’s chest, and played with his nipples.


“These are healing nicely,” he murmured. “I’ll be able to do more with them soon. I’m looking forward to that.” Mulder’s stomach lurched. “There will be sessions in the Playroom. I have a cock whip I want to try out on you, and all sorts of clamps.” Skinner squeezed a nipple fiercely, and Mulder whimpered.


“What about…?” he began, then bit on his lip.


“Go on,” Skinner’s fingers played with the nipple he’d just viciously squeezed, caressing it gently.


“That branding, Master,” Mulder whispered. “You said you’d do something like that to me.”


“I will. In time,” Skinner said firmly.


Mulder closed his eyes, imagining taking that fiery object into his flesh, feeling it burn into his soul. “What symbol will you place on me, Master?” he asked, in trepidation.


“I haven’t decided yet,” Skinner grinned. “One thing’s for sure though – you won’t have any say in what I choose. You’ll accept whatever sign I put on you.”


“It has to hurt,” Mulder muttered.


“It does, and it lasts forever.” Skinner smiled affectionately, and stroked his slave, soothing him. “You’ll take it, sweetheart, because I’ll make you take it. Don’t worry about it. It won’t happen for a while yet. Now, it’s late, and I’m tired. As you’ve been so good all week you can sleep in my bed tonight – that’s an honor you can earn most slave days if you keep up your good behavior.”


“Thank you, Master.” Mulder closed his eyes, feeling completely happy. He’d made the right decision about California, and about Andrew Linker. He was sure of it. He wouldn’t have forfeited today for anything.


“My puppy – he runs full bore until he drops and sleeps,” Skinner whispered.


Mulder smiled.


Life was good, and only he could screw it up. Maybe he’d learned not to in this past week. Maybe. A part of him wondered what he’d do if Krycek called again with more information, but he pushed that thought aside. Right here and now, life was good and he didn’t remember it ever having been so good before.


“I like slave’s day, Master,” he murmured drowsily, and he heard Skinner give a deep, rumbling laugh, before he fell fast asleep.


End of Chapter 12




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