Ricochet Chapter Five


It had been a bad day, and Rick was only too happy to swing his leg over the saddle of his beloved Harley, pull on his shades, and head out for the open road. Usually he’d go home, take a shower, get changed and then head out to a bar or party somewhere, hoping to find a sub for the night.


Now, with Petra’s embargo on clubbing fresh in his mind, he decided to head for the hills instead. He often did this, usually at the weekend or during hiatus. He’d take off alone to ride deep into the heart of the hillside, loving the feel of the bike purring between his legs and the sense of calm that he got from being out on the open road, without the paraphernalia of his everyday life around him.


Rick knew he gave every appearance of being an extrovert, but there was a tiny piece of his soul that recharged by heading out alone, just him and his bike. It restored something to him, a sense of peace and contentment that he couldn’t find anyplace else except, maybe, when he was taking pleasure in a sub’s body.


He rode up to his special place, a rocky outcrop with an amazing view, that he’d found as a kid. This place had been his sanctuary then, his refuge when times were tough, and the place he’d come to when he needed to escape. As a kid, he’d always dreamed of one day bringing someone he loved here and sharing it with them, but as an adult he knew that was a stupid dream, and he’d learned to enjoy it by himself, relishing the sense of peace it always gave him.


He felt it doing its job and restoring his soul in some indefinable way, soothing and calming him after a stressful day.


When he felt better, he swung his leg over the bike and rode back down, going as fast as he could, zoning out and feeling himself merge with the bike, loving the sense of power it gave him.


He was so lost in the sensation that he didn’t initially hear the sirens. The first he realized he might be in trouble was when the police car overtook him, flashing its lights, indicating that he pull over.


He braked into the side of the road, and two police officers got out of their car and came towards him. Rick took off his helmet, grimacing.


“Do you know how fast you were going, sir?” one of the police officers asked politely. Rick glanced at her nametag and flashed her a charming smile.


“To be honest, Officer Cahill, I might have lost track a little back there,” he admitted. Neither of them was wearing a collar, and Rick realized, from the vibe he was getting off them, that they were both doms. He suspected he wouldn’t be able to melt them with one of his big smiles and the promise of a day on the Collar Crime set if they’d be so kind as to overlook his transgression.


“Don’t I know you?” the other officer asked suspiciously.


Rick knew this could go one of two ways: either they’d be happy to let him off with a fine and an autograph, or they’d want to make an example of him to prove that big TV stars didn’t get away with anything on their patch. That usually meant a worse punishment than regular folks got, out of some inverted sense of justice.


“I don’t think so,” he said cautiously.


“Yeah, you’re on that show about collars – you play that screw-up sub.”


“Are you fans of the show?” Rick asked hopefully, squinting at the guy’s name tag.


“Nah – my sub loves it, but it drives me nuts. I like the boss guy, but you ruin it for me. Always goofing off – and you’re supposed to be in law enforcement. It makes real LEOs look stupid, and I hate that.” He scowled.


Ouch. That hurt. Rick plastered his most charming smile to his face, regardless. “It’s just a show – we have to make it entertaining, Officer Dale. The job you guys do is so important – we don’t want to trivialize that. Honest.”


“So, you’re some hot shot TV star, are you?” Cahill gave him a sour look. “That doesn’t mean you own the roads. We have laws around here, and you don’t get to break them just because you’re on TV.”


“Sorry, it’s been a difficult day, and I guess I zoned out. It won’t happen again, officers,” Rick said, trying to look as harmless as possible.


“License and registration.” Cahill snapped her fingers, and Rick fumbled in his wallet. He handed them over with a wince and watched as she ran his details through her handheld database. Her expression darkened. “Hmm, it looks like you make a habit of this, sir. I think we’ll have to take you down to the Justice Hall.”


“What? No… c’mon – nobody was hurt, and I wasn’t going that fast.” Rick had visited the Justice Hall enough to know what would happen when he got there.


“State policy – this is your third offence in a year, and the mayor is on a big drive to improve road safety right now.”


“Look, I’m sorry – but is this really necessary? You look like reasonable people, and if you ever wanted to come and visit the set and meet Daniel Mayfield then I’d be happy to introduce you.”


Officer Cahill’s eyes narrowed. “Are you trying to bribe us, sir?”


“No, I’m just saying we don’t need to make a big deal out of this, do we?” Rick spread his arms helplessly.


“Just because you’re an actor in some big TV show, doesn’t mean the rules don’t apply to you.”


“I’m not…” Rick paused, and then nodded. Clearly the day wasn’t going to go his way, and he was only making it worse for himself; it was better to get it over with. “I respect the work you do, officers, and I’m sorry for screwing up. Here.” He handed the bike’s keys over to Cahill, and allowed Officer Dale to walk him over to the police car.




The Justice Hall was a big building adjacent to the courthouse. It dealt with simple cases, clearing them through on the spot rather than clogging up the court system.


Rick was processed and then put before the duty judge almost immediately. He pleaded guilty and wasn’t surprised to get the statutory minimum of six strokes with the strap.


“Sentence can be carried out at any time in the next two weeks; just report back to receive your penalty. Here.” The judge handed back his papers with the sentence written on them. “Do you have a dom who’ll want to take the punishment for you? If so, it’ll mean filling in another form.”


“No dom,” Rick said politely. “I’ll be taking it myself. Can we do it now?”


She arched a surprised eyebrow, and he guessed most people at least gave themselves a few days to prepare, but he had a very specific reason for wanting to get it over and done with. He had no doubt that the cops, or someone in the bustling Justice Hall, would leak the details of his misdemeanor to the press, so when he came back in to take his punishment the place would be packed with observers wanting to see the big TV star get taken down a peg or two. This way he could get it over and done with before the press got wind of it.


“Sure,” the judge said. “Discipline room is down the hallway, on the left.”


Rick already knew the way. It might have been a while since his last visit, but the place hadn’t changed. It still had the same old beige walls and scratched wooden flooring. The poorly maintained air conditioning made it stiflingly hot, and there was a general atmosphere of nerves and apprehension.


Rick sat down on the bench to wait his turn. Punishments were public – people had the right to see justice being done, but usually only the victim of a crime and their family showed up. There were always a few weirdos who just enjoyed watching people being punished, but Rick didn’t know why, because there was nothing interesting or erotic about state discipline. It was a fact of everyday life and not one that attracted a great deal of interest unless it was a special case.


Over in the center of the room, the state punishment officer looked completely bored as he accepted the chit the miscreant at the front of the queue gave him. There was the usual rigmarole of rights being read, and then the wrongdoer was pointed in the direction of the punishment bench. The dull thudding sounds of a swift strapping followed, and then it was over.


This particular wrongdoer stood up, pulled up his pants, and left the room without looking back. Justice might be painful but at least it was soon over, and Rick wasn’t afraid of it. He wasn’t a first timer – far from it – but he felt sorry for the woman sobbing nervously beside him who had probably never been here in her life.


“Hey – it’s okay, it’ll be over quickly.” Rick fished around in his pants pocket, found a tissue, and handed it to her. She took it gratefully, looking up at him with a sad smile – and then her eyes widened in surprise.


“Oh, shit – you’re Alex Tanner!”


“Yup.” He’d long ago stopped explaining to people that he wasn’t actually Alex Tanner – he just played him on TV. “Trust me to end up in this kind of trouble, huh?” he said, trying to distract her from her impending punishment.


“Does the chief know you’re here?” She flashed him a knowing grin, because Chief Christie never allowed any of his subs to take public discipline on the show; he always volunteered to take it for them if the need ever arose.


“Nah – where is he when you need him, huh?” Rick grinned back at her.


“He’ll be mad when he finds out.”


“I won’t tell him if you don’t.”


“I won’t – I promise.” She giggled, and he laughed, glad that he’d helped take her mind off her coming ordeal. “I love your show – you’re my favorite character on TV!” she told him. “You make me laugh so much. I wish I could be as cool as you.”


“Hey, don’t use me as a role model – I ended up here, didn’t I?”


“So did I,” she pointed out, and they both laughed at that.


“Susan Antonio,” the punishment officer called, and the woman stood up, twisting her fingers in her tissue.


“Chin up, Susan,” Rick told her. “It’s not so bad.”


She managed a nervous nod and then headed over to the punishment bench. Rick noticed her scuffed shoes and the hole in her blouse. She was skinny, the bones in her shoulders standing out, and she had the pinched look of someone who didn’t know where the next meal was coming from. Rick remembered that feeling all too well. Poor Susan was clearly one of life’s unfortunates. He had no idea what she’d done, but he hated that she’d ended up here. That had been him once, and he wouldn’t wish it on anyone.


She bent over to take her punishment, and Rick closed his eyes, unable to watch. He could feel the palms of his hands starting to sweat, not because he was nervous, but because he hated this so much. He rubbed them on his pants, trying to distract himself.


Susan was a sweet sub – he could tell she was a sub, and an uncollared one at that – and he felt sorry for her. Rick loved spanking his subs – he loved the sensation of pulling them over his knee and gently warming their asses, and he hated that the state took something he adored – something so beautiful and erotic – and turned it into a flat, humiliating, unpleasant form of discipline.


Susan clearly didn’t have a dom to take her punishment for her, and he hated the idea of her enduring it. He might not be the kind of dom that any parent would want for their offspring, but he always felt a sense of protectiveness towards subs. He understood Chief Christie’s attitude on this because he shared it. He’d never stand by and let any sub of his undergo state discipline; he’d volunteer to take it for them.


Rick mocked himself silently for that thought. Any sub of his? It wasn’t as if he ever had a sub for more than a night; he always made sure of that.


Susan sobbed throughout her punishment in a way that made his gut ache. He wondered what on earth she’d done to end up here. Most people never earned themselves a judicial punishment in their entire lives, and she didn’t strike him as some kind of seasoned lawbreaker.


He was glad when it was finally over, and only then did he open his eyes. He watched as she grabbed her bag and shuffled away towards the mainly empty seats. He wondered if she had friends or family waiting for her there, but she seemed to be alone. She put her bag down on a seat, rubbed her eyes with the tissue he’d given her, and glanced at him. He gave her a little salute and her face lit up. That made him feel happier. She might have had a crappy day, but at least she’d met her favorite TV actor.


His name was called so he got up, went over to the punishment officer, and handed over his chit.


The guy grinned at him. “Not often we have a celebrity in here – usually they have their fancy lawyers get them off.”


“Not me. No fancy lawyers. I’ll take what’s coming to me,” Rick said quietly. He didn’t like the idea of trying to weasel out of it by using an expensive lawyer. It wasn’t as if the Susan Antonios of this world had that option, after all. Anyway, it was better to get it over with and move on.


“Okay then – coat off, pants down, and bend over.” The guy pointed at the punishment bench, which had been freshly disinfected by a bored looking official.


Rick was acutely aware as he lowered himself over it that it was the second time today that he’d been in this position. He wondered if it was the worst day of his life, but decided that there had been too many other really bad days when he was younger vying for that honor. Besides, he could walk out of here and go back to his nice house and live his nice life – that hadn’t always been the case. No, all things considered it was just a regular kind of crappy day. He’d get through it.


“Looks like you’re already been in trouble once today,” the punishment officer said, coming to stand behind him and looking at the stripe marks from his earlier punishment.


“Yeah, well, trouble’s my middle name,” Rick muttered, bending his head and bracing himself.


The first stroke took his breath away. This was going to be a lot worse than the licks he’d taken at work – judicial punishments always were.


In stark contrast to earlier, he didn’t play up to the audience this time. He took each painful lick without saying a word, just like he had when he was younger, standing in this same place, mute and angry, not wanting to give anyone the satisfaction of seeing him hurt.


At least it was quick. He stood up after the sixth stroke, pulled up his pants over his now very tender ass, shouldered himself into his coat and put his sunglasses back on again for some degree of privacy. There was a little buzz going around the hall, and he noticed several people had come in to watch – mainly staff – so clearly word had got out that Rick O’Shea from the TV was taking licks in here today.


Usually, he’d give them their money’s worth and sign autographs and put on a show, but he was tired, humiliated, and in pain, so he just pulled up the collar of his leather jacket and headed for the exit.


As he walked over to the door, he noticed that Susan was standing, watching, her cell phone in her hand. He hoped she’d called someone to come and get her. He gave her a little smile and a wave and then left the building.


He had to go through the long-winded rigmarole of getting his bike back, which cost him a ridiculous sum of money – and his ass was so sore that he had to force himself to ride it home. He could have left it and got a taxi, but he loved his bike, so he gritted his teeth and bore it.


He was so tired when he arrived home that he couldn’t be bothered to put the Harley away in the garage. He just parked it on his drive and slid off it, wincing and cursing under his breath, and then he stomped into his house.


He took off his long black leather coat, got himself a beer from the fridge, and took a few deep gulps before wandering into the living room and turning on his giant TV. He’d had it specially installed, and it took up nearly one wall of his enormous living room.


He thought about eating and went back to the fridge, only to find it empty. He usually ate on set or when he was out clubbing, so all it contained was a slab of moldy cheese and a six-pack of beer. He wished he could unwind in a sub’s willing body, but even if that were possible, he was too tired and sore right now.


He put the beer down on the floor, threw himself face down onto the sofa, and turned on the TV.


It really had been a very bad day.




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