Chapter 50: Lessons

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Trigger warnings for this chapter:
A character in strong emotional distress, fairly intense D/s (Domination/submission), imprisonment, discussion of slavery*.

*Please note that this is dealt with in a sensitive manner that does not negate the very real and terrible issue of slavery in the world, both past and present.


The first order of the day was, apparently, to forget what had already happened that morning. After all, why else would Valois—who had already showered back in Sunset Valley—be asking Gunther to run him a bath?

Something his mother had often said ran through Gunther’s mind as he knelt quietly by the bath and watched the water slowly filling it: Ours is not to reason why; ours is just to do or die. Her voice saying those words usually drifted across his thoughts whenever something didn’t make sense to him, and now he finally understood it. It was just a way of exhorting oneself to get on with things, even when those things seemed purposeless; another way of looking at service, he supposed.

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8 responses

  1. Words cannot describe the immense amount of happiness and internal squeeing that I did during this entire chapter. I’m going to have this on my mind the entire time I’m in class today. Also, I kinda like the fact that they say ‘fuck’ instead of using something classier. Seems more naughtier I think.
    Out of all these poses, I think my favorite is when Gunther is clinging to his maître, but Valois is just not looking at him (which is quite tame considering what I’m into). It almost looks as if it pains him to leave Gunther in there. And that spanking? That spanking! You know exactly how I feel about it!

    Congratulations on 50 whole chapters! So far, this is my favorite one.

    • I knew you were going to enjoy this one ;)

      It actually did pain Valois to leave Gunther down there. Although Valois is not so desperately clingy as Gunther is becoming, he doesn’t enjoy sleeping alone and would much rather have his boy snuggled up to him. And, as much as he enjoys making Gunther feel unsure of himself (because it makes him cling even more) he dislikes seeing him in such distress. Hence it was with a tremendous effort of will that Valois kept his tone and behaviour calm and implacable; not the least of which was because he was attempting to keep the general atmosphere of the moment from escalating into a full-blown panic attack for Gunther. As he quoted in the chapter, there is method in his madness, and that method is to get Gunther to understand that Master is his safe harbour, and that even just the thought of him should induce feelings of safety, security, and love.

      As to their both saying “fuck” instead of something else, well they’re both very sexual men and not much prone to fancy euphemisms (although Valois would–depending on the occasion–use ‘flowery’ words, if necessary). And the spanking? I’m sure you can guess how much fun I had in Photoshop, giving Gunther that lovely reddened arse ;)

      Thank you! I’m astonished this has actually got to 50 chapters. I’ve no idea how many it will end up as, because we’ve covered a lot of ground already, but I have quite a few plot points still to go before I start winding it down; the first of which, of course, is the wedding. And then we have Mort’s budding romance with Esther. And then… hehehe!

  2. Deeper into the rabbit hole we go! You did a great job pinking up Gunther’s bum. It looked really hot (pun intended). :P

    That was Gunther’s first trip into subspace, wasn’t it? He really seemed to enjoy Valois’s after care when he lavished a bit of attention on him. Gunther really is awfully easy to please. He looked positively distraught, though, at the prospect of spending the night alone behind bars. As far as cages go, it’s pretty comfy, with an actual bed. Buck up, babe. It’s just one night. You can do it! /end of Gunther pep talk

    • *grins* I’m fairly certain poor Gunther would be horribly embarrassed if he knew his arse was that red (and that my readers were seeing that!). He loves the feel of it, but the sight of it… well hm. I might just call it canon that–after another “just because I feel like it” spanking some time–Valois makes Gunther look at his backside in a mirror, purely so that he can see his boy’s face go as pink as his rump ;)

      Yes, this was Gunther’s first full sinking into that deep submissive headspace. It left him a bit disoriented, but he’s going to analyse it and come to realise that it’s the best he’s ever felt in his entire life. No worries, no cares, entirely in his master’s hands, and living purely in the moment (again with the meditation analogies!). And he’s almost pathetically easy to please, mainly because he’s only dreamed about this kind of thing before and never actually done it. He’s not had any other experience to compare it to, so the care that he receives while in that space is all he knows. Just that small moment of aftercare with the orange juice made him feel so loved; that his master–who has just literally sent him out of his mind–takes the time to crouch before him and help him to drink… well, the poor darling feels so grateful for that.

      And then, to almost immediately be caged up; talk about a shock to the system. It’s no wonder that he clung so tightly. He’d just gone to a very vulnerable place, was still feeling raw from it and processing it, and then Master abandons him! His reasoning mind tries to tell him it’s just one night and he can survive that easily, but his emotions–which are all over the fucking place at that moment–are informing him that he can’t live without Master’s touch.

      • Ah, now I get why Gunther is so distraught. It didn’t occur to me that his being caged was before he’d even returned to a normal headspace. Isn’t the whole point of aftercare to avoid the potential for subdrop after an intense D/s scene? Did Valois intentionally pick when Gunther was especially vulnerable to test his limits even further?

        • Yes, to both ;)

          Valois wanted to really push him, to see how far he could take him this first time around. But, more than that, he’s going in heavy–as it were–and then coming out slowly. So he starts off full-throttle, and over the remaining days he’ll treat Gunther with more and more tenderness. No more caging, but he still won’t be in the bed; not until the final night. At which point, Valois expects to be clung to like a limpet XD

  3. I loved the chapter but I am concerned for Gunther. Valois seems to want a pet more than a lover. Gunther looked heartbroken when the word Slave was used. Gunther although he likes being the submissive one in the relationship, I don’t think understood what that actually meant till then. Gunther I believe has doubts and I still believe needs to leave the relationship.
    Valois is up to something the more this goes on I can feel it

    • Valois wants something in between a pet and a lover. He definitely wants someone to care for (that’s the pet side of it) but he also wants that someone to be intelligent and able to converse on any subject, as well as being willing and able in bed (that’s the lover side of it). He’s taking Gunther down hard here, to begin with, but he’ll bring him slowly out of it. It’s sort of a sharp shock treatment, to show him how hard it could be, but then he’ll show him how it actually will be. As he did with the bookseller version of himself, Valois has a penchant for making a situation especially (although temporarily) bad, in order to have Gunther running to cling to the goodness of normality.

      Yes, Gunther struggled a great deal with the word ‘slave’, and he’ll continue to find it difficult. But, again, Valois is pushing him much further than he eventually intends their relationship to go: right to his limits, to the point of him breaking down. And then he’ll pick up the pieces and be so loving that Gunther will cling gratefully to the ‘real Valois’, who isn’t really the Master who wants him to be nothing more than a footstool/slave. So yes, Valois is up to something, and that’s the ‘something’. It’s not foolproof, but it’s worked for him in the past (up to a point) so it’s what he sticks to.

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