The stress from burnout that builds up in most cops inevitably comes to a head, even in Mark, one of the most solid and self assured of all the men in the house as well as being handsome as a Greek God. So when his tension finally erupted it was a huge shock for his buddies, and especially his boy Jamie, who bore the brunt of Mark's irrational anger.

A harrowing incident during back-to-back shifts had been the last straw for Mark and he had finally snapped. Rushing home to seek solace in his boy he had been out of his mind when he saw Jamie frolicking next door with his friends Nate and Mario and with the handsome Aussie, Adam. The cop had jumped to every wrong conclusion and in a mad frenzy had taken a swing at all of them, then dragged Jamie home where he fucked him savagely, leaving him sobbing in despair.

Adam's boy Nate had been hurt the worst and the paramedics had taken him to the hospital for overnight observation. When Adam brought him home the angry Aussie had said to Bob and Randy "I think I'll keep my distance for a few days, guys, let the dust settle." His jaw clenched. "There'll be time later for me to have my say - and I will, you can bet on that."

With the house in disarray there was clearly a lot of rebuilding to be done and it was Steve who took charge of that, the Beverly Hills therapist who had treated most of the men in the house, especially his own brother Randy, known for his explosive anger.

Steve explained to Bob and Randy, "There's no way Mark can go back on the road until he's fully recovered so I've signed him off on a month's sick leave. I'll treat him, of course, but I can't make any progress until we've repaired the relationship between him and Jamie, it's so central to their lives. Jamie's real shook up, being attacked by the man he idolizes - he feels that the bottom's dropped out of his world. Mark is overwhelmed with shame - says he can never look Jamie in the eye again. So I'm seeing them in my office right away."

Steve's methods were, as always, unorthodox to say the least. At the therapy session he had deliberately goaded Mark, verbally shredded him, belittled him in front of his boy. But Jamie had fiercely defended the man he worshipped and they had ended up naked on the floor of the doctor's office making love in a passionate act of reconciliation.

Afterwards Steve grinned, "I gotta say my weird methods do work out pretty good, don't they?"

"This one sure did" Mark smiled, giving Steve a bear hug. "Thanks, man. Your 'weird methods' saved us weeks of therapy."

"Yeah," Steve sighed, "but I don't think there's much I can do to help you over the next hurdle - your inevitable confrontation with Adam. That macho Aussie will have to take revenge for what you did to his boy Nate, I think we all know that." He chuckled. "As well as being a gorgeous muscle-stud he's quite the leather master, I hear, and it's not all for show either. He's serious."

"Thanks for the warning, Steve, but I know what I have to do, and now that I've got my boy back I'm ready. I've got to make amends for what I did to Adam and if it comes down to some kind of trial of strength, so be it."

***************************

As usual the boys, whom Darius had dubbed 'a band of brothers', circled the wagons and lent all their support to Jamie and Nate, the two boys most affected as their masters were in conflict. They all knew the rules of the tribe: if one man wantonly hurt another master's boy he had to be punished, and it usually took the form of a public act of retribution attended by the whole clan.

The boys naturally obeyed their masters in all things, but when they were grouped together as they were now their allegiance was to each other. The bad blood between Adam and Mark did not percolate down to their boys, Nate and Jamie. They had always been best friends and the current discord brought them even closer together. They talked together frequently, though Adam was keeping to himself in his house, fearing that his still-simmering anger would result in a fight if he went next door and ran into Mark.

Darius, of course, made Jamie relate every detail of his and Mark's visit to Doctor Steve and Jamie happily 'spilled the beans' (Darius's phrase) as the dramatic reconciliation reflected well on himself, Mark and Steve. But inevitably Nate had to go back to Adam in the 'Aussie House' (another Darius phrase) while Jamie joined Mark for a follow-up therapy session with Steve.

The other boys joined the men for pre-dinner drinks round the table by the pool. Hassan, the Marine, had come down from his house on Mulholland and his boy Eddie sat next to him. The fireman, Jason, has also come to support his boy Ben who was fairly new to the group and was unnerved by all the talk, led by his big brother Randy, the undisputed macho leader of the tribe.

"No getting around it," Randy said, talking of the rule he himself had instigated long ago. "Has to be this way. A public ritual - the more formal the better - kinda lessens the personal animosity of the guys involved. If a guy attacks another man's boy he pays the price - suffers the prescribed punishment, witnessed by all the members of the group. I should know - I've been the bad guy often enough and been subjected to a public flogging - as most of you have witnessed. No one is exempt - even the boss. Even a cop."

"I don't think it's fair!" Eddie's firm voice rang out and he seemed as surprised as anyone as he looked around to see who had spoken and realized that it was himself. The shy young assistant houseboy had recently come bursting out of his shell when he became Hassan's boy and was often impulsively outspoken. But now, surprised by his own voice, he tried to withdraw into his shell as all eyes focused on him.

But the men respected the boy for speaking up boldly the way he did, Randy especially, who valued courage in a man or a boy. "OK, Eddie," he said, "stand up and say your piece. Every man here has a right to his own opinion. Let's hear yours."

"Go for it, kiddo," Hassan whispered in Eddie's ear. "You tell 'em." Eddie got nervously to his feet, but quickly gathered confidence as he spoke. "Well, sirs, the way I see it, when a guy gets punished it's because he's lost his cool and let his anger take over, like you do, sir." He was looking at Randy but realized what he had said and bit his tongue. "Oh, sorry, sir, that just kinda slipped out, sir."

"But you're dead right, kid," Randy said, stifling a grin as he glanced at Bob. "I accept that, but don't you think that's exactly what Mark did - lost his cool and let his anger bust out?"

"Yes, sir, but he's a cop. He came home angry 'cause he flipped out on the job - the stress got to him. I know he hurt Adam and Nate but it's because he was kinda crazed. He's a great cop and I know I couldn't go through what he goes through every day out there in the streets." He became reflective. "Guess that's why I'm not a cop - just happy to be a houseboy.... Oh, sorry sirs, I got kinda lost there. Anyway, like I said, Mark risks his safety every day to keep everyone else safe and I think we should reward him for that, not punish him." He stopped suddenly. "That's all, sirs."

He sat down blushing deeply and felt Hassan's arm tight round his shoulder amid a burst of applause from the other boys. Randy was momentarily lost for words and shrugged helplessly at Bob, as Eddie in his youthful wisdom had made sense. Bob smiled warmly at the boy. "Eddie, you've spoken very well and your sense of fairness does you credit. But there's another side to the story that you may want to consider - how Mark is feeling right now."

He let that sink in. "See, Mark is a strong cop, always fair, always by the book, and he despises violence. And now, in his delirium, he has committed the unpardonable act of attacking his own boy, and injuring another master and his boy. It has shaken his confidence in himself as a man, a cop and a master and he has to restore that. At first he couldn't even look at Jamie until Steve helped them reconcile with one of his wild therapy sessions. And Mark still can't look any of us in the eye until he has been punished in front of us all. See, Eddie, we are all members of a tribe here.

"Even me, sir?" Eddie asked wide-eyed. "I know I'm Hassan's boy, but....."

"Of course you're a member, Eddie, and one we all respect, with your courage in speaking out when you see an injustice."

"Really, sir?" Eddie blushed with pride and grinned up at Hassan.

"So," Bob continued, "what's about to happen will be punishment, sure, but mostly it will be a way for Adam to avenge his boy and for Mark to prove to the tribe that he is still a strong, honorable man worthy of our respect. That is why, as Randy said, it has to be a ritual before us all. Now, if you think you'll find it too much you don't have to attend, Eddie .... "

"Oh, but I must, sir, if I'm a real member of the tribe. I have to be there with my master."

"Hassan," Bob smiled, "you've got a boy to be proud of there. Better keep an eye on him or before long he'll be running the house instead of cleaning it. OK, twins, we'll delay dinner until it's over. Mark and Jamie will be back from Steve's any minute and it'll be time to begin.

************************

Randy was right when he said it had to be ritualistic. An expectant hush had fallen over the group after Mark had arrived and gone into his apartment. Steve and Lloyd had come in with him and Jamie and joined the spectators, so the whole clan was there.

The men sat round three sides of the table and the boys sat cross-legged in front of it on the ground, all of them facing the nearby tree by the pool. A trembling Jamie was comforted by Mario and Nate on either side of him. Eddie too was nervous, sitting with his buddy Ben and squeezing his hand. The twins and Pablo sat in calm silence - they had seen this ritual several times before and they knew Bob and Randy wouldn't let it get out of hand.

Zack, the leather master, skilled in bondage punishment, stood by the tree looking formidable in leather pants and boots and an old black tank top over the gleaming ebony muscles of his torso. The group stirred in anxious anticipation when suddenly the apartment door opened and out strode the cop.

He was in full police uniform, black pants with a silver stripe tucked into tall, shiny motorcycle boots. Round his slim waist was a heavy belt cinching a black shirt that stretched up over his tight abs, his flared lats and broad shoulders, his muscular biceps straining against the short sleeves. At his open neck flashed the white triangle of his T-shirt, setting off the chiseled features, clenched jaw and tousled blond hair falling over his forehead.

There wasn't a man or boy whose cock did not stir as they gazed at the spectacular Greek God stoically awaiting his punishment. Zack walked forward and faced him. "You ready, man?"

"Ready," Mark replied firmly. Zack ceremoniously unbuttoned the black shirt, pulled it out of the waistband of his pants, then pushed it off over his shoulders revealing his tight white T-shirt.

Zack had brought with him a long length of rope and a pair of leather wrist restraints. He buckled the restraints round Mark's wrists in front of him and tied them together with one end of the rope. He threw the other end over a high branch of the tree, caught is as it fell and pulled on it hand over hand. As he did so the effect was to pull Mark's wrists up higher and higher, his arms stretching upward. When the police officer was stretched to the full extent Zack secured the end of the rope round the tree trunk.

The group had watched this ritual preparation with awe and now, despite the seriousness of the situation they were struck by the homoerotic image of the handsome blond cop in uniform pants and boots, his white T-shirt stretched over the muscular contours of his perfect torso, his body stretched in bondage. Every one of the spectators had an erection in his pants.

Zack checked the restraints to make sure they were tight but not biting into the captive's flesh. Then he stood back and faced the group, about to say a few words to announce the beginning of the proceedings. But he was suddenly preempted by Randy who sprang to his feet and stood before the group in front of a surprised Zack.

"Listen up, guys," Randy said commandingly. "You all know what's gone down recently and why we are gathered here. One of the masters has injured and insulted another and, in accordance with the rules of the tribe, has to make amends. OK, Zack, you can bring in Adam."

Seeing the resentful look on Zack's face as he walked to the gate Bob realized that Randy had belittled him in front of the whole group. Zack had been in charge of the preparations until Randy abruptly intervened, asserted his role as boss, and eclipsed the black leather-stud, dismissing him like an errand boy.

Bob was aware of the undercurrents at play here. Zack and Randy worked together on the construction site like best buddies, respecting each other's strength and work ethic. But they were also two dominant alpha males, like two bulls in the same pasture, so there was always a competitive edge just below the surface. It was mostly just friendly rivalry, but in two such volatile men that rivalry occasionally offered a glimpse of open conflict.

That is what had just happened here. The air was heavy with testosterone, with the whole tribe gathered together, and both men, by their nature, instinctively assumed command. But Randy had prevailed, overshadowing Zack.

These troubling reflections disturbed Bob briefly, but they were soon dispelled by the long-awaited arrival of Adam, and the collective gasp from around the table. Darius stood up with his camera, staying unobserved in the background. This would be one for the archives.

************************

In observation of the ritualistic nature of the proceedings, and to display his own macho authority, Adam had dressed for the occasion. He was wearing black leather chaps over his blue-jeans, heavy boots, and a leather vest that hung open over his muscled chest. Coiled in his fist was a heavy bullwhip. He looked magnificent but ignored the ripple of admiration from the group. He had eyes only for the bound cop who had attacked him and put his boy Nathan in the hospital for a night.

Adam was determined but conflicted. The peace-loving man in him disliked what he had to do, but the vengeful macho stud welcomed the opportunity to display his strength and dominance to the rest of the tribe. He walked straight up to Mark and stared coldly into his eyes. For the first time since the incident, the muscular blond motorcycle cop and the handsome, superbly built Australian leatherman were face to face.

Adam reached forward, grabbed the neck of Mark's T-shirt and yanked it hard, ripping it clear off and tossing it contemptuously on the ground. Again there was a gasp form the spectators as they saw the iconic image of the bodybuilder cop stripped to the waist, his magnificent torso stretched up in helpless bondage, his shoulders bulging, his flared lats tapering down past ripped abs to the slim waist cinched by the heavy uniform belt.

Adam pulled from his pocket a short, thick strip of leather that he eased into Mark's mouth. It was the traditional act of mercy shown to a man about to be flogged and Mark bit down on it as a way of absorbing the pain his body would feel. "Ten lashes," Adam said, the mandated punishment for an act of aggression such as Mark's.

The group held its collective breath as Adam walked behind the bound cop, unfurled the whip and cracked it on the ground with a sound that echoed round the garden. The spectators saw the cop's muscles flex, saw the leatherman raise his arm and heard the agonizing sound of leather against flesh as the braided thong lashed the cop's back and curled round his chest Mark's face winced in pain and he bit hard into the leather strip to alleviate the searing pain.

Jamie sat frozen, squeezing the hands of Nate on one side of him and Mario on the other. It was agony for him to watch but he knew that he had no choice. He knew that Mark wanted this and he had to support his master, the man he idolized, so he gazed bravely straight into Mark's steel blue eyes. His support proved to be crucial. Suddenly Mark's eyes closed in a grimace of pain, his body jerked forward as the whip struck again - lower this time, coiling round his lower back, the tips biting into the ridges of his flexing washboard abs.

When Mark opened his eyes he found himself staring down into the determined gaze of his boy, sitting on the ground between Mario and Nate. The young eyes were full of courage, support, pride and infinite love. Jamie was all Mark needed. He resolutely spat out the leather strip he had been clenching in his teeth and his piercing eyes showed a glimmer of a smile at his beautiful boy. He was proud to prove his manhood to Jamie, and when the third lash came Mark clenched his jaw but made no sound as he drew strength from his boy.

Adam sensed a change in his captive, saw his rejection of the bite-strip, saw the intense connection between Mark and Jamie. He was full of admiration for the proud, shirtless blond cop, his broad back now striped with the lash, and he wanted to get this over as quickly as possible. But before wielding the whip again, and acting on instinct, he reached round, unzipped the cop's pants and pulled out his huge cock, letting it swing between his legs.

Then the flogging resumed in earnest, lash after lash across the cop's back, his chest and his abs. The group gazed in awe at the pornographic image of the shirtless blond cop stretched in bondage, being savagely whipped by the handsome leatherman. As the whip curled round the magnificent body, marking the flexing muscles with angry red stripes, the cop writhed and howled in pain with each lash. He arched forward in a futile effort to distance himself from the whip, his cock swinging wildly, sweat pouring down his handsome face and chiseled torso.

Men and boys were spellbound by the homoerotic scene. Their cocks were all hard in their pants and several of the boys had difficulty holding back. Eddie gave in and groaned loudly as he felt hot sticky juice fill his shorts. He looked up, blushing deeply, but his pal Ben put his arm round him and grinned mischievously. "Way to go, dude," he whispered.

Jamie had a harder time as he watched in anguish but in their intense gaze master and boy drew strength from each other. And that was Mark's salvation. As he gazed at Jamie's clenched jaw and angry eyes Mark began to hallucinate.... it was Jamie whipping him! As he felt the whip falling across his back he flashed on the erotic image of his golden boy, dressed in leather, forcing him to endure a lashing.

And suddenly the pain lessened, replaced by sexual lust. The thought of the dramatic role reversal, the boy whipping his master, was highly erotic. He would show his boy that he could take it - he could endure anything he dished out. His boy's strong, resolute face is all he could see, the strength of his youthful body was all he could feel as the whip coiled round him.

"Yeah," Mark shouted, "let me feel it, boy ..... whip your master's body .... harder, boy ... I can take it." The crowd gasped as they heard the amazing words and saw Mark's cock grow hard as a rod, bouncing with each lash of the whip as the flogging neared its end.

But then the spell was broken as he heard Adam's voice shout, "You gotta submit, cop. You can't take any more. Give up, man." Mark's mind went crazy, a confusion of images - his boy whipping him, the Aussie leatherman exacting his revenge .... and the pain! The last stroke was brutal, slamming across the already whip-striped back. The tortured cop pulled himself up on the ropes, his spectacular body writhing in the air, his legs kicking wildly as he screamed, "OK, I submit ..... I submit, sir ... aaagh!" And his cock erupted in an explosion of cum.

The tribe rose to its feet as they saw the incredible sight of the cop hanging from the ropes, his body thrashing as his cock blasted a ribbon of cum that arced high in the air, across the grass, and splashed down onto his boy. Jamie pulled himself forward on his knees, opened his mouth and was rewarded with another stream of juice that he swallowed in an act of worship to the magnificent, tortured Greek God - his master.

**************************

Thunderous applause and whistles came from the group in a standing ovation for the muscle-god cop who had endured the flogging, and his boy whose devotion had helped him through. But then they regained their seats and Jamie sat down again between Mario and Nate, receiving their warm hugs of congratulation.

Now they all waited for Act Two.

Tribal punishments of this kind always consisted of two parts. First came the ritualistic act, the injured party versus the aggressor, with prescribed punishment and often formal gear like uniforms or leather - cop versus leatherman. But next it became more personal, mano a mano, dispensing with ceremonial trappings - flesh upon flesh.

Adam tossed the whip far across the garden with a look of disgust. Although the flogging had been pre-ordained and Adam the leatherman was perfectly capable of administering it, he scorned the forced use of the whip. He preferred man-to-man retribution. So now, as he faced Mark again he threw off his leather vest, unbuckled and unzipped his leather chaps and tossed them aside. Stripped down to beltless blue-jeans and boots his perfect physique was no less formidable than it had been clad in leather.

He yanked open his jeans and pulled out his rock hard cock. He spit in his hand and stroked his long, uncut cock, his confident brown eyes fixed steadily on Mark's. "This is how it should be, man - just you and me. This is my revenge - for Nate, for me, and the other boys you injured. You don't mess with an Aussie, man, and get away with it. Mark inhaled sharply and his body flexed as he pulled helplessly at the ropes above him. He was in this man's power and he knew it.

"Shit," Adam said, "whipping that gorgeous body of yours made my dick hard and my balls fit to burst. I've built up a real head of steam here." He reached forward, unbuckled Mark's uniform belt and slid it out of the pants. He unzipped the pants and pushed them down so they pooled round the motorcycle boots. Mark was wearing no shorts and surprisingly his cock sprang out hard as a pole despite his recent orgasm. Adam smiled grimly at him. "I see we understand each other, big guy."

Adam walked behind the captive cop and unbuttoned his own jeans so they too fell round his boots. He ran his hand over the hard white globes of the cop's ass and breathed, "Oh yeah .... perfect. I guess not many cocks have penetrated that fortress," he taunted.

Adam was right - the dominant cop was an alpha top man and seldom got his ass fucked - by his boy sometimes, and by Bob, but not willingly by any other man. So when Adam slipped a wet finger between the cheeks and into the tight hole Mark instinctively tensed and clenched his ass shut.

"Wrong move, man," Adam said. "You know this big Aussie shaft is gonna take that gorgeous ass so do yourself a favor, relax and take it all the way. You're gonna get butt-fucked, big guy. Your buddies are gonna watch while their big macho cop buddy takes a dick up his ass. Like this......"

"Aaagh!" The naked muscle-cop pulled frantically against the ropes and screamed, his body arching forward as he tried to escape the rod that pierced his ass, sending a shaft of pain from his ass all through his writhing, muscular body. His handsome features twisted in pain, his tousled blond hair flew over his face as his head thrashed from side to side.

The rugged Adam was a powerful top-man, known in his native Sydney as the hottest fuck in town, with men longing to get hammered by his huge rod. And now here was driving his iron shaft into the magnificent alpha cop, helpless to resist, his naked body stretched in bondage.

"Aaagh!" he howled again as Adam's cock pulled back and plunged again into the cauldron of his tortured ass. The Aussie grabbed Mark's hips and pulled them toward him, sliding him onto his long pole that buried itself in the unexplored depths of the cop's shuddering ass.

The spectators watch mesmerized. This was personal now - one master avenging his boy against another, one muscle god pounding the ass of another. The erotic tableau caused all their dicks to throb, and once again a low moan from Eddie (the 'gusher' as Hassan called him) made it clear to all that he had shot another load. Startled he looked at Ben who grinned and kissed him on the lips.

But despite the intense eroticism of the scene, all the men wanted it to be over soon as the universally admired member of their fraternity, the gorgeous cop, was degraded by a savage butt-fuck. The one most traumatized was Jamie, witnessing the public humiliation of his master - worse than a public flogging. He had to help his master - and then he knew how.

Jamie launched himself across the grass, escaping the arms of his buddies trying to restrain him. He fell to his knees before the writhing cop and guided his semi-erect cock deep into his mouth, gulping, clenching his throat muscles until he felt the cock grow rock hard in his mouth.

"Aaaah!" Mark sighed and his tension flowed out of him as he felt the familiar warmth and tenderness of his boy's mouth. He looked down at Jamie, his beautiful face moving rhythmically back and forth. The pain in his ass dissolved, replaced by the ecstasy in his cock. It was a contest between Adam ploughing his ass and Jamie sucking his cock ... and Jamie was winning.

Jamie could taste the pre-cum in the back of his throat and he knew Mark was close. He clenched his throat muscles, squeezing the rod tight and pursing his lips that slid back and forth over the shuddering cock. "Yeah," Mark yelled, "eat it boy - man that feels hot ..... make me cum, boy ... make your master shoot his load .... Aaagh!'

He screamed, his muscles flexed, he strained against the ropes and exploded in Jamie's mouth, as the boy gulped hard, sucking the sweet nectar from his master's cock. Every muscle in Mark's body was rigid, including his butt. His ferocious orgasm made him reflexively clench his ass muscles round the invading cock, gripping it like a vice and making Adam howl in agony.

The pain in his trapped cock was excruciating and he screamed, "No... let it go, man ... the pain in my cock .... I can't take it, man ... let me go .... I give up ... please, sir .....you win .... I submit, sir .....aaagh...." Adam's cock exploded in the cop's ass, pouring jism deep inside him in an orgasm of pain and ecstasy.

Jamie finally pulled his mouth off Mark's cock and he moaned, "Thank you, sir .... Thank you ..." as his own cock sprayed its warm tribute at his master's feet.

***********************

There was a stunned silence as the spectators absorbed what had just happened. Mark had stoically endured a savage flogging and ass-fucking, and had triumphed, with dramatic support from his boy. They had witnessed something they had never seen before - the leatherman had finally submitted to the cop, even while his cock was buried deep in Mark's ass. In this ritual trial of strength Mark had not only survived - he had won.

The silence was suddenly ruptured by wild cheers and applause. Mark was back, his honor restored, his strength and authority proven beyond any doubt. Adam pulled out of Mark's ass and joined in the congratulations.

"Fucking incredible, man," Adam said as he gazed into Mark's blue eyes and reached up to free his wrists. Mark pulled up his pants and buckled them, then lifted Jamie up off his knees and folded him in a tight hug. Then he turned him round to face the group and raised his boy's hand high in the air, like presenting a victorious fighter to the cheering crowd.

Finally Mark threw his arm over Jamie's shoulder and steered him toward their apartment. As they left Randy jumped to his feet and raised his hands for silence.

"OK, that's it guys - show's over. And a fucking spectacular show it was. I wanna thank Adam for doing what he had to do with all his Aussie strength and authority. Fucking awesome, man. Right - now you all know the rule of the house. A man makes a mistake, gets punished for it - and that's an end to it. It's past, finished. Mark has proved himself once again to be a real man's man, a man of honor and courage - something we have all known for a long time."

Bob grinned to himself. Randy always had to have the last word, exert his authority as boss. But Bob also saw the glowering expression on Zack's face, still smarting from the humiliation he had felt when Randy had rudely taken over control at the start of the show and pushed him into the background. Bob sighed with apprehension for the future as Randy continued.

"So, back to business as usual - starting with dinner. All this shit has delayed it and I for one am fucking starving. So how about it Kyle, Kevin? And the rest of you boys go help them."

Darius stood up and waved his camera. "Sir, I'd like to go upstairs and start editing my video. So do I have to go and help in the kitchen too?" Without realizing it Darius had fanned the embers of Zack's resentment by addressing Randy and asking for his permission in full view of the group. Randy opened his mouth to reply by Zack jumped to his feet and stared him down. "Sure, Darius," Zack said. "You're excused from kitchen duty. You go ahead and do what you have to do. You're my boy and you have my permission."

As Darius ran off Zack glared at Randy - and Bob said under his breath, "Oh, shit."

*************************

From then on Mark was treated by everyone with even greater deference and respect than before, and Jamie's prestige had soared. They were regarded as the perfect couple, and no one was surprised when they learned that Mark was taking his boy up to his shack in the Guadalupe dunes for two weeks alone, just the two of them. Steve would still not sign Mark off the sick list, waiting to be sure that he was completely recovered from his recent burnout that had had such dramatic repercussions.

Jamie said an emotional farewell to his friends Mario and Nate who had been solid in their support during the traumatic events. And then the cop and his surfer boy were gone.

The house resumed its routine and the next few weeks were peaceful and harmonious, which actually surprised Bob who knew the house better than anyone. It was after all, a house of men with strong egos and volatile temperaments, where a competitive edge inevitably existed under the surface, kept in check by the guys' mutual respect - most of the time.

But Bob knew well that intervals of calm could be illusory, punctuated as they always were by dramas of one kind or another. He even acknowledged that a life of unbroken harmony would actually be boring. Hell, Bob thought, what would our story be without drama once in a while? The only difference now was that he had a fair idea where the next eruption would occur.

At the recent gathering of the tribe the two incidents between Zack and Randy had been nominally slight, unnoticed by the rest of the group, except for Bob and maybe Steve. But Bob feared that it was the tip of the iceberg. Zack, like Bob and Mark, was a co-owner of the construction company with Randy, and though Zack's formal title was Randy's assistant site manager nobody bothered much with titles and the two men worked side by side as equals. Except when they didn't.

The two men were buddies, but like all friendships between strong-willed men the foundation sometimes showed cracks - some of which couldn't be papered over. And Zack's smoldering resentment of Randy that Bob had glimpsed did not die down. It gnawed at him and a distinct coldness developed between the two men on the construction site.

Several weeks went by, during which Mark and Jamie returned from their vacation and Mark went back to work. So all was business as usual until ......

It had been a tough day. Building supplies hadn't arrived on time, a fight had erupted between two guys on the crew that Randy had broken up, and a yet another truck had broken down causing Randy to lose his temper and yell at Pablo and Ben to "get the damn thing fixed."

Hovering over it all was the tension between the two bosses that had now reached the point where the whole crew was aware of it and it poisoned the atmosphere.

Late in the afternoon Zack was supervising a major project and was under pressure to get it finished. A steel I-beam girder was being raised on a hoist for positioning but a worker had cut corners by attaching the cable only to the center of the beam. As it rose higher the girder became unstable, swinging round uncontrollably, and the end smashed against some nearby wood scaffolding that collapsed to the ground with an earthshaking crash. No one was hurt but it had been a close thing.

Randy strode angrily across the site, looked at the wreckage and glared at Zack. "What the fuck...? What were you thinking, man? You know damn well there should be at least two attachment points. Any fucking moron knows that, except you apparently. Anyone else, I'd fire his ass. Now get this fucking mess cleaned up and report to me, you got that?"

There was a shocked silence as Randy stomped away to his trailer office. Too embarrassed to face Zack, whom they all admired and respected, the crew went to work clearing the pile of wood planks that had fallen. Zack stood clenching his fists, his chest heaving, stunned by the brutal way Randy had shredded him in front of his men.

He took a deep breath, trying to calm himself, and said, "It's OK, guys. We'll clean this up tomorrow. Shift's over anyway so why don't you cut out and leave me to lock up? With grunts of thanks and muted commiseration they picked up their gear and walked out through the gate.

Zack waited 'til the site was empty but failed to control his fury. He strode toward the trailer, a fearsome sight, shirtless as always in his black jeans, his muscular black torso gleaming in the shaft of light from the trailer.

He punched open the trailer door and stood facing Randy, his legs astride fists clenched. "Reporting to the boss, sir, as ordered," he snarled. Bent over the drafting table Randy looked up and was taken aback by the blazing fury in Zack's eyes. Randy shrugged, "Well what did you expect me to say, man, when you screwed up and damn well near killed someone?"

"Now listen, pal," Zack growled. "No man ever dresses me down like that in front of my men - ever. You've really been pulling the big boss act lately and I'm up to here with your bullshit. I'm a co-owner of this outfit, a bigger man than you, so I'd like to see you try to fire me."

Randy's legendary anger was flaring. "Now you listen to me, asshole. I founded this company. I hired you and I can damn-well fire you any time I like. You're an employee, so watch your lip."

"Fuck you, asshole. You treat everyone like fucking dirt - even me - even Bob who you claim to love but beat the crap out of whenever you feel like it."

That did it ... the smoldering fire now burst into flames. Randy took a swing at Zack, his fist landed hard and sent the black muscle-stud flying backward through the door and crashing to the ground outside. Randy launched himself through the shattered door and landed on top of the black bodybuilder sprawled on his back. In an instant Randy was on his knees astride Zack and pummeling his pecs with his fists.

Stunned by the impact of the fall Zack reached up blindly, grabbed Randy's sweaty tank top and pulled, ripping it clean off his massive torso. Randy was like a machine, smashing his fists into the fallen man's chest, his gut and ridged abs. But Zack was a hard man to keep down and he instinctively raised his knee and smashed it against Randy's ass sending him sprawling forward but still on top of him.

Reaching forward Randy grabbed Zack's wrists and pinned them into the dirt above his head, grinding the crotch of his filthy jeans into his face. "How d'ya like that, asshole? You like my stinking dick in your face. When I'm finished with you you'll be on your knees begging to suck my thick rod. You spend a lot of time on your knees, boy? Bet that big black mouth of yours gives great blow-jobs."

Enraged by this sexual and racial put-down, Zack tensed his biceps and his right arm incredibly began to power out of the hold. It became a contest of strength as they pitted muscle against muscle like arm wrestlers until, with a howl of triumph, Zack heaved Randy's arm up and hurled him over onto his back. Zack was up in an instant and threw himself on top of the big guy, but Randy was a street fighter from way back and raised his leg in the nick of time. He pressed his boot against Zack's bare chest and kicked him off him.

With a howl of pain Zack rose in the air, staggered backward and slammed against the side of a truck. As he slumped, stunned, against the truck Zack dimly saw Randy leap up and he felt the first blow of the fist against his face. Randy went wild, slamming the back of his hand against one cheek then his palm against the other, making Zack's handsome face thrash from side to side, sweat flying off it. .

The shirtless black construction worker, muscles gleaming with sweat, was reeling against the truck now, helpless against the fists that rained down on him. He felt his knees buckle and knew he was about to go down. "You're finished, man," Randy yelled. "I'm the boss and all men submit to me - even you. I've beaten you, stud .... you're nothing ... give up, man ..... let me hear you beg."

But Zack had an iron will and, hearing Randy's taunts he summoned up a last desperate reserve of strength. He suddenly blocked one of Randy's blows with his arm, raised his leg and shoved him away with his boot. As Randy reeled backward, Zack shook his head to regain focus, and charged forward like an enraged bull. Now it was his turn and his fists flew, powered by fury and adrenaline as he pummeled the arrogant face and muscular body, weakening his stunned opponent.

Randy momentarily dropped his guard and Zack seized the advantage by lowering his shoulders, grabbing Randy round the waist, lifting him up bodily, high in the air, then hurling him on the ground in a brutal body-slam. Randy howled as he crashed on his back, rolled over in agony and ended up on his stomach dazed, crawling painfully through the dust in a futile attempt to escape.

Zack moved fast, grabbed Randy's wrists and dragged his limp body face down through the dirt to a pole still standing in the wreckage of the fallen scaffolding. Trying to gather his wits Randy was only dimly away of his arms being stretched forward, his wrists pulled round the pole and tied together with rope. With his shirtless, battered body stretched on its stomach in the dirt, he slowly became aware of the scornful voice above him taunting him.

"Well, look at the big boss now, on his belly in the dirt, tied up at the mercy of the big black guy who beat the shit out of him. Not so tough now, are you, mother-fucker? It was just you and me, buddy, and you lost ... and here you are eating dirt at my feet."

Zack sneering words jerked Randy back to his senses and he pulled at his bound wrists, his arms stretched forward, his muscles smothered in dirt and sweat. His body writhed on the ground and his legs kicked helplessly. Zack reached down, grabbed the waist of Randy's jeans and yanked hard, tearing them open and pulling them down to his knees.

"Oh, yeah," he growled, "just look at that big tough top man pushing his bare ass up in the air, begging to get ploughed." Zack grabbed a two-by-four length of wood from the wreckage and fell to his knees between the bound man's legs. "Gotta keep that ass still though if I'm gonna work it good. He pressed the narrow plank against the small of Randy's back and pressed on each end as he leaned forward, effectively immobilizing him on the ground and trapping his ass that pointed upward, vulnerable, inviting.

"Now we'll see which of us is the top man, and which guy gets his ass ploughed. Shit I wish my guys were here now to watch the arrogant boss get my big black club shoved up it."

"Go to hell, man," Randy groaned. "Go fuck yourself."

"Hey, I don't have to fuck myself, buddy, 'cause I got your butthole blinking right in front of me." Zack ran his hand over the solid globes of Randy's perfect ass. "Shit, boy, you're really gonna love this hunk of prime beef in your white ass. Ever wonder how a black dick feels in a white ass, boy? It goes something like this......"

"Aaagh!" Randy's agonized scream echoed round the construction site as the huge black shaft pushed between the clenched checks and plunged dry into the hot chute of the boss's ass. "Feel good, boy?" Zack taunted. "Want some more?" He pulled the long rod back, teased the sphincter with the hard knob, paused, then drove it savagely even deeper into the tortured man.

"That's it stud," Zack gloated. "Let me hear you scream. Man, the tribe should see you now - the arrogant king of the gypsies tied up helpless in the dirt, thrashed by the hot black stud who's now reaming his ass. Might as well get used to it, boy, 'cause there's a lot more to come, all the way 'til you submit to your black 'employee' and beg him to stop."

"Never gonna happen, man," Randy growled through clenched teeth.

"No? ..... hmm, let's see about that."

Instantly the thick black rod became a piston, pile driving into the tight ass mercilessly, endlessly, as Zack pressed down on the plank trapping the swarthy construction boss and punishing his ass. Unable to move, all Randy could do was scream as pain radiated from his shattered ass throughout his body.

If any passerby, attracted by the noise, had chanced to look he would have seen the amazing sight of two bodybuilders, one black, one white, naked except for their jeans round their boots, lit by the shaft of light coming from the broken door of the trailer. They were in the dirt - the rugged white boss on his stomach roped to a pole, getting his ass jack-hammered by the black construction worker's massive cock.

Zack never let up, his ramrod driving into the tortured ass. As Randy weakened Zack tossed away the plank and let the body buck and heave underneath him. Zack panted, "Yeah, push up that tight butt, man. Feel that huge black pole in your ass, big guy? The big tough boss-man is eating dirt, getting his ass ploughed. Hell, I can keep this up all night, man, can you? Nah, you know you're finished .... you know I've beaten you. All that's left is for you to submit to the real top man and beg for release. Better to be humiliated than destroyed, man. You lost .... give up, man .... admit I'm the best."

Randy knew he was right .... Zack could keep going but he couldn't. His ass was on fire, tortured by the pounding black shaft that could tear him apart. He knew there was only one way. "Aaagh...!" A vicious shaft of pain speared through him and he yelled, "OK....OK you win ... you're the best. I give up ..... I submit." He was sobbing now. "I can't take any more. You want me to beg? ..... OK, I'm begging you, sir .... You've beaten me .... please, sir, let me go ..... I beg you .... please shoot your load in my ass.... Aaagh!"

The last scream came as the cock rammed deep in his agonized ass and he felt hot jism pouring into him as Zack howled triumphantly, "I am the best!" Randy's body tensed and he pushed his ass up to meet the merciless cock as it emptied its load inside him. Zack looked down at the broken man, amazed that he could have suffered so much before admitting defeat.

He fell on top of him, their bodies heaved together and their faces pressed against each other. The two exhausted warriors, one in victory, the other in defeat, could not hold back a surge of admiration for each other. The spectacular contest between two rugged alpha males, two raging stallions, was over.

Zack pulled his long pole all the way out of the bound man's ass, making him groan with the last spurt of pain. Zack got to his feet, pulled up his jeans and untied Randy's wrists. He hooked his boot under him and flipped him over onto his back. And there on the ground where he had lain, was a big pool of semen, turning the dirt to mud. "Shit damn, "Zack grinned, "look at that - the final humiliation. I made the big boss bust his load in the dirt."

And the black muscle-god strode away leaving the king of the gypsies lying beaten in the dust."

**********************

Oddly, the man-to-man combat, rather than increasing their rivalry, had the opposite effect. Randy admired nothing more than another man's strength and knew that nobody could have beaten him in a fight except Zack. Pitting muscle against muscle they had gained new respect for each other's strength and manhood, knowing that they were two of a kind - a powerful breed that rarely existed among men.

However, there were two sides to that coin. Their sense of supremacy endowed them not only with authority, but obstinacy too. After their flaring passions and brutal combat their massive egos would not allow them to climb down and acknowledge their mutual respect.

So in the ensuing days Randy worked on one of the other construction sites so he had no daily contact with Zack at work, nor in the evenings as Zack stayed in his own house with his boy Darius. Bob, in frustration, taunted Randy, "Jesus you guys - you're like a couple of pouting schoolboys refusing to speak to each other after a schoolyard fight."

Randy and Zack both wanted the feud to end but they were stubborn. So even when the day inevitably arrived where they came face to face on the same construction job they couldn't bring themselves to speak - not unless the other made the first move.

But then an event occurred that resolved the issue, though not an event they would have wished for. As they worked sullenly and silently side by side, their resentment simmering again, Randy's cell phone rang.

"Hey, buddy what's up? Wait, pull yourself together Bob and tell me. Jesus Christ, where? Yeah I know the place .... that dump is bad news. Leave it to me, buddy - I'll take care it." He thrust the phone back in his pocket and Zack, seeing the stricken look on his face, said, "What?"

"The twins - they're in bad trouble with a group of bikers. Poor kids .... I'll fucking kill those asshole motherfuckers." He turned to leave but Zack grabbed his arm. "I'm coming with you."

"Stay the hell out of this, man," Randy barked, resentment still gripping him."

"Shit, man," Zack insisted, "this is not about you and me anymore. It's about Bob and his boys. You gonna take on a gang of bikers, you're gonna need me, buddy. Together we can beat anyone - we're invincible."

Their eyes met in a flash of understanding that instantly dispelled any shred of animosity that still existed between them. They raced out to Randy's truck, leapt in and sat grim faced side by side as it roared away. They were tense, angry, ready for action - only this time they were on the same side.

**********************

TO BE CONTINUED in "A Trial Of Strength" - Chapter 216

 

Rob Williams

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