Cursed Land

Disclaimer: I don't own anything from the movie The Locals and I'm not making any money from this fic

Summary 1: Written for the Lonely Prompts challenge. For this prompt: Any fandom, a threesome -two bottoms, one top- any situation, any pairings, includes a paddle

Summary 2: Grant can't bring himself to leave the town. Like he has some unfinished business

Pairing: Martin/Paul/Grant – slash

Warning(s): Sexual situations involving three men – two about twenty, the third about ten to fifteen years older; spanking; violence; references to violence and murder; self-destructive behaviour; mentions of suicidal tendencies; elements of humiliation; some mild manipulation

Author's Note: Because the majority of readers won't have seen this movie, here's a brief summary:

The Locals is set primarily on a road you can only access over a bridge. Two twenty-something young men are planning to go away on holiday, but they go over the road at night when two women invite them to a party. It transpires that the land around the road is cursed. When people die there (which seems to happen often), their souls end up trapped on that road and they can only be free if their remains are carried across the bridge. Through the course of the movie, Paul dies when he rolls down a hill and is impaled on a spike, which isn't revealed until Grant finds his body. And Grant 'kills' the main lead ghost by smashing the bones to fragments; in the movie, he puts Paul's body in the car and drives across the bridge to free him. I decided to go a different route here...as well as take some liberties with the history of the road and land

###

Martin isn't the only one who thinks Grant has lost his mind. Every time he looks at Paul, the second kid is staring at Grant like his best friend's a stranger. The girls still come by, but they only talk to Paul. They give Grant a wide berth, because why would anyone choose to stay on this cursed land?

Martin thinks he understands. That the kid's just putting off the inevitable. Leaving means facing the reality that his best friend's dead. And Paul won't stay if Grant leaves. That tiny sliver of hope is painful to watch. Grant truly believes he can find a way to break the curse. That they can all find a way to go home. Eventually.

And no one can bring themselves to convince him otherwise, because having him around is like breathing fresh life back into the land. And with Bill gone, crumbled to dust along with his bones, the only pain the spirits suffer is to relive the nights of their deaths over and over again.

During the day, Grant's alone. They can't talk to him and he can't see hem. But Paul makes his presence known in a dozen different ways. Like when he moves the axe while Grant's back is turned. Or fans the flames when he cooks outside. Or even leaving trails so the kid can find his way to edible berries and mushrooms. Martin's not sure Grant even knows the smile he gives every time Paul shows him he might be dead, but he's far from gone.

Martin's way of trying to deal with the living kid is a far simpler one. The night he hit on it sticks out vividly in his mind; yet another argument, while Paul heads out of the house to join the girls in their joyride.

"You're making a huge mistake." Martin grabs the collar of Grant's shirt, pulling the youngster towards him until they're nose to nose. "I ought to take my gun and put a bullet in your head, you want to stay here so bad."

Grant's smile borders on insolent. "Why don't you, then?" he returns. "I'm not leaving. You might as well make me an official citizen."

Martin balls his hand into a fist at the response, but rather than give the kid a black eye or a broken nose, he instead pulls him closer and swats his backside. "Don't tempt me," he growls out, before smacking the kid again, this time hard enough to elicit a yelp. He then sticks his finger in Grant's face. "And I better not catch you spouting off that nonsense to any of the other ghosts. If I do? It won't be just a couple of smacks over your pants."

Martin reflects that, after he'd lost his temper like that, Grant had refrained from any more talk of getting himself killed so he can stay. That good behaviour lasted a week...and then Martin had caught him trying to hitch a ride with the two boys outside.

His own reaction had surprised him. Determined to disabuse Grant of the notion of a death wish, Martin had stormed out of the house and dragged Grant back inside, grasping him firmly by the ear. And once there, he'd wasted no time in hauling the kid over his lap, divesting him of his pants and underwear, and given him a spanking that had him wriggling about like a worm on a hook. It had only been afterwards, when he held the half-naked younger man on his lap, that he realised both of them had reacted to the contact and their nakedness. And Martin had quickly set the kid on his feet and retreated to his room.

After that, it seems Grant pushes for a spanking every night. He'll do something dangerous, guaranteed to get him killed, right where Martin can see. And each time, it's harder to push the kid away after comforting him.

Which brings them to tonight. Martin has spent the whole day working in his shed. When night finally falls and after he's died yet again, he steps into the main room of his house.

Grant and Paul are sitting side by side on the couch, but their conversation dies as they each get a good look at what Martin's holding in his hands.

Paul is the first to speak, his eyes growing wide. "Is that a paddle?"

The wood's smooth and unvarnished, the surface about as big as Martin's hand. It's a sturdy oak wood paddle, with a firm handle. Martin is particularly proud of this piece of work and he points it at the couch, locking eyes with Grant. "Stand up. Turn round. Put your hands on the couch."

Grant swallows visibly. "I haven't done anything." He doesn't seem able to pull his eyes from Martin's, as the words 'not yet' hang unspoken between them.

"You've disobeyed my instructions to leave more times than I can count. And every night, you've pulled more dangerous stunts." Martin's stare hardens. "You don't understand the danger you're placing yourself in by living here, so I will prove it to you."

"I'd better get going." Paul stands quickly. "Don't want to keep the chicks waiting."

"No. Stay. It'll do Grant good to be embarrassed." Martin points again with the paddle. "You do as I tell you, boy."

"Or what? You'll shoot me? We both know you won't do that."

Martin narrows his eyes. "Maybe not, but I'll put the word out. Invite the rest of the spirit to watch me paddle you." He gently taps the paddle against the palm of his hand.

Grant's eyes follow the movement and he tenses visibly. He stares into Martin's eyes, but Martin's been doing this a lot longer and he's not the one to look away first.

Grant's cheeks flush and he stands and turns, bending forward to place his hands on the seat of the couch. The act pulls his pants taut, stretching them over his backside like a second skin.

Martin doesn't take a long run up. He walks to Grant's left side and snaps the paddle firmly against the kid's left cheek. Grant takes in a sharp breath and Martin sees Paul wince out of the corner of his eye.

Another five swats land, all in the same place, and Grant lets out a tiny whimper.

As he moves to the kid's other side, Martin can't help but run his free hand over Grant's lower back. The muscles are bunched with tension, but relax a fraction as Martin slides his hand under the shirt, his fingers stroking over bare, smooth skin.

Another six strokes of the paddle has Grant whimpering. Martin lets his hand move to the seat of the pants, feeling warmth radiating through them. He then slides his hand underneath Grant's stomach, unbuttoning the pants before pulling them down and allowing them to pool around the kid's ankles.

White boxers cover Grant's backside and pink-covered skin peeks out from beneath them. Martin pushes his hand further under his shirt, stroking hot, silky skin. He slaps again with the paddle and Grant's breath escapes in a rush of air.

The swats aren't unbearably hard, but it doesn't take more than a few on either side for Grant to begin shifting from one foot to the other, tiny whimpers and exclamations of pain escaping his lips.

Martin tugs down his boxers, the last layer of protection between the paddle and the kid's backside. He doesn't smack any harder with the paddle, but Grant's bottom is shading to a darker pink and Martin figures it's pretty sensitive by now.

When the tears start, Martin's surprised by the effect they have on him. Grant's whole body slumps forward and the paddle drops from Martin's fingers as he leans forward and wraps his arms around the kid's waist. "This place is dangerous for the living," he whispers, pulling Grant up into an embrace. "You can't tempt fate the way you have been. You have the bright spark of life inside you and being here is only going to snuff it out."

Grant sniffles and cuddles in close. His lips move against Martin's neck as he speaks, tickling the sensitive skin. "No one's ever said something so romantic to me before."

"It's not romantic." But standing here, with Grant in his arms, Martin lets himself think of what could be. His hand slides down to Grant's bottom, cupping the warm cheeks. Caressing the punished skin. "There's no future for us, kid. I'm dead. The only reason I'm not gone is because I don't have the courage to move on."

"You're the bravest man I know, dead or alive." And then Grant's mouth is on his and Martin finds that all of his objections fly out of the window.

###

It's only two days later that Martin walks in on Grant and Paul on the couch, both missing more than a few articles of clothing and lips swollen from hard, passionate kisses. He mutters something about being driven out of his own house and turns on his heel, walking out through the front door. He doesn't understand the feelings of hurt and betrayal welling up inside. After all, it isn't as if he and Grant have made any promises to each other.

He's only out there for a few moments before Grant walks out to join him, fully dressed now. He stands there for a few moments, just staring at the dimly-lit road in front of them. When he speaks, it's in a voice that barely carries to Martin's ear. "I'm sorry."

Martin shrugs and tries to ignore the cold, hollow pit in his stomach. "We didn't make any promises to each other."

"I don't have feelings just for you. Or just for Paul." The words come out in a rush. Like he's confessing. "I want to be with both of you."

Martin's not sure what to say. That he's not from a time it was usual for two men to be in a relationship, let alone three of them. Or if he should he lie and tell Grant that he doesn't have feelings for him, for either of them. And that's what he starts to say, but as soon as the kid looks at him, all wide-eyed and hopeful, his resolve weakens. "Damn it," he mutters, before sighing heavily. "What kind of future is there for you here, kid? You're the only living human here. Who's to say the curse won't hit you too?"

Grant opens his mouth, but Martin cuts him off. "I know. You think it's what you want. That maybe nothing matters unless we're together. But after being stuck here for a few months, or even years, the novelty is going to wear off. And you're going to resent me and Paul for being the cause of it."

"I won't." The kid's voice is filled with promise. He takes a step closer to Martin; presses their bodies tight together. "I want you." He whispers the words against Martin's cheek, hot breath ghosting over his skin. "I know you want me too."

Martin slides his hand down Grant's back to his bottom and Grant arches into his hand, rubbing against him like a kitten. He presses his face into the crook of Martin's neck and sighs.

The thought of taking Grant inside the house and turning the kid over his knee is a tempting one. Martin thinks about Paul, left inside the house, and considers taking them both to his bed. He was never married in life. There were no girls who turned his head. Maybe this is why.

Martin lets Grant lead him back into the house. His hand cups the base of the kid's spine. It's possessive and maybe even wrong, but Grant feels so good pressed against him, Martin can't bring himself to care.

When they enter the sitting room, Paul looks up from his position on the couch. He's moved since Martin walked out. He's dressed now, but he's now holding the paddle Martin made on his lap. He holds it up and looks at Martin. "I'm sorry." He looks like a dog, pleading with its master not to be beaten.

Martin lets go of Grant and walks over to take the paddle from Paul's hand.

Without waiting for directions, Paul stands and turns round, bending over with his hands resting on the couch seat.

Martin thinks about refusing. He thinks about just taking Paul over his knee for a spanking with his hand; not because he believes Paul needs to be punished, but as a token to satisfy whatever barrier might lie between them. He looks at the paddle and then he looks at Paul's jean-clad backside. He lets his resolve harden and places the paddle on the kid's bottom, patting gently. "I'll give you ten."

"Will you forgive me afterwards?" Paul's question is barely audible.

Martin pauses at the question. Forgiveness. He's never thought about it. Never given out forgiveness and, as far as he can tell, has never been forgiven. His hand finds its way to Paul's back of its own accord and he slides it under the shirt, feeling the tension under his skin. "I will forgive you," he says, wondering if Paul only means for his imagined betrayal, or if he wants forgiveness for everything that occurred since they came onto his land.

It doesn't seem he needs to be specific. Paul slumps; the whimper that escapes has a note of relief to it.

Letting his hand run up Paul's back, Martin gently squeezes his shoulder right before he snaps the paddle against his fellow ghost's bottom. The swat is lighter than the ones Martin gave Grant, but Paul gasps; and the second strike draws a matching gasp and a wriggle from him.

Martin delivers each strike slowly, leaving enough of a pause between each one for the sting to sink in. By the time he's delivered six, Paul is sniffling quietly. Seven and eight draw sobs and he plants the final two on the spots between Paul's bottom and thighs, eliciting sharp yelps from the kid.

Dropping the paddle, Martin pulls the kid up into his arms. As Paul sniffs and lets his head drop against Martin's shoulder, Martin tightens his arms and raises his head to look at Grant.

The kid is smiling, his entire face lit up. As he locks eyes with Martin, he walks over and wraps his arms around both of them, pressing against Paul's back.

Martin can't help himself. He frees one arm from around Paul and wraps it tightly around Grant. He wants to take them both to his bed. He wants to make all of them free, but that's not possible. The only freedom to be found is in death.

His thumb strokes Grant's cheek, tracing over his lips. Grant turns his face to the side and kisses his palm, then presses his cheek against Martin's hand. Holding eye contact, he mouths, I love you.

It hurts. Like a dagger through his heart. It hurts because he knows he has nothing to offer either of them. And he can't say the same words back, because there is nothing good that will come from saying it.

The light in Grant's eyes darkens and Martin watches as the hope dims and dies away.

Paul raises his head to look into Martin's eyes, biting his lower lip. He then slowly inches forward, pressing their mouths together hard.

Martin isn't quite sure how they make it from the sitting room to his bed, but it isn't long before the thee of them are stripped naked, bodies twisted and writhing together. Hot kisses trail over his skin and Martin shudders as Paul takes him into his mouth. His release follows shortly afterwards and then he pulls the blond up for hard kisses, rolling them over so he's pinning the kid to the bed.

They wrestle and ravage, biting and sucking, scratching and nipping. Grant finds the scar from where Bill killed Martina and he kisses and caresses the spot until the sensations threaten to drive Martin crazy. His body weakens as he hooks an arm around Grant, pulling until he can pin the kid under him, kissing along Grant's jaw and down across his neck.

It isn't until dawn's light comes though the window that they lay, sated, across the bed. Grant sprawls across Martin, who gives the naked backside a light pat. "I'll be watching over you today."

Grant rests his head on Martin's shoulder and sighs, then kissed his cheek. "I love you," he whispers again, his breath tickling Martin's ear.

Martin closes his eyes and doesn't respond. He just strokes Grant's backside and lets the daylight carry his body away.

###

Paul comes to him while he watches Grant, imagining stripping the shirt off the kid and making his whole body arch under him.

"I know I'm not Grant." Paul stands there, fidgeting, looking uncharacteristically shy. "Can we still...?" He goes bright red and the words seem to catch in his throat.

Martin takes pity on him and reaches out to draw him into an embrace, kissing Paul with a gentleness that surprises him. He holds the back of Paul's head and feels him tremble. "You're not Grant," he agrees. "But you're just as important to me as he is."

Their lovemaking – and there is no other word for it – is slow and sweet. Paul lays on top of Martin at the end and nuzzles into his neck. After a few moments, he begins to cry.

Martin sits up and wraps his arms around Paul as tears splash onto his bare chest. "Are you hurt?" A lump grows in his throat. His chest gets heavy. "Did I hurt you?" It gets worse when Paul only shakes his head and Martin grasps his shoulders. "Tell me what's wrong."

A shockwave passes through the room and Martin blacks out.

###

He comes to on his ass in the dirt, next to a deep hole that permeates the air with a rotting stench. It's night time and the stars are bright in the sky above him.

As Martin rises to his feet, his whole body aches. He can't remember what he was doing there. Who dug the hole?

His rifle is on the grass next to him and Martin bends down to retrieve it. He frowns as he spots the rust that covers the metal. It must have rained for his gun to be in such poor condition. So why is he completely dry?

As Martin walks towards his house, he glimpses headlights. His steps slow and he raises the rifle, aiming it ahead of him, as he moves into the path of the car.

Two young men, one with dark hair and the other shorter than him with blond hair, stand by the car. The brunet is the first one to notice Martin and he steps forward, hands spread in an unthreatening manner. "Martin." There's a whole wealth of emotion in the word, making his voice hoarse.

Something about the two youngsters tugs at Martin's mind. A feeling of deja vu. He's seen them before. Can almost call their names to mind. It scares him and he cocks the rifle, aiming it at the brunet. "I won't be asking twice. Get off my land."

The blond stirs and steps closer to his friend, putting his hand on the other kid's shoulder. "I told you. I woke up confused as hell. He's not gonna remember immediately."

The brunet's shoulders sag and he closes his eyes, body slumping forward. "I'm sorry we bothered you." He nods to his friend. "Let's go."

Martin watches as they get into the car, but as he lowers his rifle, his memory sparks. He remembers dying. Trapped on the road with no escape...at least until...

He runs to the driver's side of the car and yanks the door open, reaching in and pulling Grant out by his collar. "What did you do?"

Grant slumps and he stares into Martin's eyes. "I was trying to save you."

Losing his memory is perhaps the scariest thing Martin has ever experienced. At least he didn't lose that when he died. But the heartsick look on the kid's face has him relaxing his hold. He wants to pull Grant into his arms and hold him until the fear goes away, but he doesn't. Because he remembers what happened before he woke up alive. He turns a hard look on Paul, still sitting in the car. "Get out."

The blond slowly climbs out of the car, but can't quite make eye contact with Martin and instead stares at the road, muttering, "I'm sorry."

"We'll continue this inside." The mixture of emotions roiling in him is hard to handle. He's angry with them both, but the sense of relief is so much stronger. They came back to find him. But before he can act on that, he has to make them answer for what they've done wrong.

It's Paul who nestles in closest to Martin, his head resting on the older man's shoulder. Grant walks just behind, but still close enough to touch.

Once they're inside, Martin rests his rifle against the wall and gives Paul's backside a gentle pat. "Go and wait for me by the couch," he directs.

"I'm sorry," Paul whispers, before he does as ordered.

Martin turns to Grant, trying to keep an iron control over his temper. "Answer me one question. Did you do this deliberately? Did you know it was dangerous?"

"Which question did you want me to answer?" The attitude positively drips from his tone. "That I did it deliberately? Or that it was dangerous?"

Martin narrows his eyes and grips Grant's shoulder, turning the kid to one side and swatting him hard. He propels Grant to one of the corners with firm, stinging swats and pushes him into it. "You're in enough trouble as it is. You don't want to be in more." With another, harder swat, he lets go of Grant's shoulder and walks to the couch.

Paul's eyes are huge and he swallows hard as he looks towards Grant and then at Martin, though he quickly drops his gaze and shuffles his feet. "I'm sorry," he whispers.

Martin sits on the couch, bending down to pick up the paddle from the carpet and placing it next to him. Grasping Paul's arm, he draws the unresisting kid round to his right and down over his lap. "Why am I about to tan your ass?" He rests his hand on Paul's back and rubs gently.

Paul's breath hitches in a quiet sob. "I distracted you with sex."

Having it confirmed causes Martin to flinch. He lifts his hand. Lets it fall with a firm smack on Paul's right cheek before swatting his left. "You manipulated me by acting like you were uncertain of your place here. You used sex as a way of controlling me and that is not okay." He's been swatting steadily as he speaks, punctuating every other word with a firm smack, but as he says the last two words, he slaps his hand down firmly on each of Paul's sit spots.

"I'm sorry." The kid nearly wails the words, throwing his hand back to cover his backside.

Martin grasps Paul's hand and holds it out of the way, against his back, before he tugs the kid's pants and underwear down in one smooth motion.

Paul's bottom is splotched pink and he jumps as Martin begins swatting bare skin, his breath coming out in sharp little pants as he clings to Martin's hand.

When Martin stops the warmup, Paul's entire backside is a rosy red and he's crying softly. Martin reaches over to pick up the paddle and Paul's crying increases in pitch, though he makes no attempt to get away.

"I take your actions very seriously, Paul." Martin pats gently with the paddle, just enough to sting, as he speaks. "You manipulated me." He snaps his wrist and Paul jumps at the unexpected force, then continues the mild pats. "It isn't acceptable to deceive someone you're in a relationship with, even if the third member asks you to." Two more swats with increased force. "How can I trust you if you're so willing to deceive me? How can I trust these feelings are real if I know you would toy with them?" He lands five quick, hard swats.

Paul slumps over his lap and begins to bawl, the sobs coming out with surprising strength. He grips Martin's hand tightly as half-formed apologies escape his lips.

Martin finishes with one last swat to each cheek and then carefully pulls Paul's clothing back into place before he gathers the kid into his arms.

Latching on tight, Paul chants out a litany of apologies and pleas for forgiveness. Martin holds him until the storm subsides, then kisses his head firmly. "I forgive you." He clasps the kid for a bit longer, stroking his hair, and then stands him up. "Go and take Grant's place in the corner."

Paul nods and walks over to the third member of their group without a word.

As Grant steps out of the corner, Martin can see the change in the youngster. His shoulders slump and he walks slowly over to stand in front of Martin, staring at the floor. "I just wanted to bring you both back."

"I know." Martin's certain he would have done the same. He doesn't have to worry about them not having a future anymore. He can fully accept how he feels about both of them now. "But you shouldn't have done this behind my back. You put yourself in danger. I don't know what exactly you did, but I know it wasn't safe."

"No, sir," Grant whispers, his face red. "It wasn't. Not at all."

Martin wants to wrap Grant in his arms and kiss him until he's breathless, but he doesn't. He won't until the punishment's over. "I'm going to make sure you think about this next time, kid." He stands up and pulls his belt free, the leather making a slight snick as it leaves the loops.

Doubling the belt in one hand, Martin stacks the cushions next to the couch arm and then looks at Grant. "Take your pants and underwear down and bend over."

The cocky front is gone, leaving a trembling young man in its wake. Grant pushes his clothing down out of the way and bends over the cushions, shuffling forward until his bottom is the highest point.

Martin takes a few practise swings through the air and watches as Grant's buttocks clench with each whoosh the belt makes. Finally, he draws it back and snaps it across the younger man's bottom, landing it across the crest.

Grant yelps as a red line appears on his backside, his hands curling into fists.

The second strike lands just below the first and Grant draws in a sharp breath. He whimpers through each subsequent stripe and as the sixth lands across his thighs, he begins to sob.

The tears tug at Martin's heart, but he starts from the top again, the leather landing between the existing stripes. He has to make this memorable. Has to... "Make sure you never put yourself in that kind of danger again." He finishes the thought out loud. "I don't care what happens to me, but losing you will break me where Bill's torture didn't," he confesses.

Grant's sobs grow louder and it only takes two more for him to slump, no longer resisting, his bottom a bright, angry red.

Martin lets the belt drop from his fingers and he quickly pulls the younger man up into his arms.

Grant wraps his arms tightly around Martin and sobs into his shoulder. "I'm sorry. So sorry for everything," he manages through his tears. "Please don't send me away. I love you."

The words don't hurt now. Martin can respond to them; can say them back. And he does. Without any hesitation. "I love you. I love you both. So very much."

Grant's tears flow faster and harder and he keeps clinging on, even as Martin gently calls Paul out of the corner and pulls his other young lover into the embrace with them. "I love both of you." It's easier to say the second time.

Grant's tears die with a quiet sniffle, but he still doesn't let go as he whispers, "I want to go to bed with both of you now."

Paul's chuckle is a welcome break from the tension. "You read my mind."

"We're home now," Martin whispers, tightening his hold. And as he leads them both to their bed, the pain of his past finally seeps from him.

The End