"This is a closed practice", Troy's face dropped as his angry father entered the gym. Jack curtly dismissed Gabriella, not even bothering to shake the young lady's hand when she left. His son was furious. He knew his dad was angry with him for skipping practice, but there was no need to take it out on Gabriella. She hadn't done anything wrong. Angrily the younger Bolton confronted his father.

"Dad, Gabriella is very nice", he spit out when his father continued to speak negatively of her.

"Yeah, well making you miss practice doesn't make her very nice. Not in my book. You're a playmaker, Troy. Not a singer"

"Did you ever think maybe I could be both?", the two stood in silence a moment. Troy looked at his father in disgust, dropping the basketball he was holding and going to walk away. Jack stopped him, grabbing him by the arm as he walked past.

"Hey", he said, turning the boy to face him, "You know better than to walk away from me when I'm talking to you. I don't care how angry you are, you will show me some respect"

"Respect", Troy repeated, pulling his arm away, "You want to talk about respect?"

"Watch yourself, Troy", Jack growled a warning to his son, but the boy was too angry to listen.

"How about showing some respect to Gabriella. She practically sprinted out of here because of you"

"I don't owe your friend any respect, Troy. Respect is earned"

"Well if respect is earned, then I'll show you some respect when you start showing me some", Troy watched as his father's face changed. Unconsciously he took a step back. He knew he was going too far, but something in him wouldn't let him take it back. He swallowed back his fear and stood taller, looking his dad eye to eye. His confidence waivered when his father took a step closer to him, leaning into his face.

"Go get your stuff and meet me out at the car. We're going home", the man walked away, not leaving his son time to respond.

The car ride home was silent, save the drone of oldies music playing in the background. More than once, one of the pair would go to speak, then think better of it. With each unspoken thought, the two grew more frustrated. By the time they reached home, the father and son were both angrier than they had been in the gymnasium. They closed their doors and walked into the house.

"Go to your room and wait for me", Jack ordered, watching his son trudge up the stairs. The boy was careful not to stomp or slam his door, knowing that he was already in enough trouble, but his attitude was clear. Fuming, the coach walked into the kitchen where his wife stood making dinner. She turned, took one look at her husband, and walked over to him, wrapping him in a hug.

"Rough day?", the man almost chuckled at the understatement. He kissed his wife and grabbed a carrot from the salad she was making.

"You won't believe what your son said to me"

"Troy? What did he say?"

"We were having an argument, and he tries to walk away from me while I'm talking. So, I told him that he had better start showing me some respect. And he says... 'I'll show you respect when you show me some'"

"He didn't"

"He did. I had to stop myself from whipping his butt right there in the gym."

"Well, what were you arguing about", Lisa said, slapping her husband's hand as he went for another carrot.

"Get this. He shows up at the end of practice, and decides that he's just going to work on his free throws. So, I come back in to check on him, and he's with that girl. His detention buddy"

"Gabriella"

"Yeah. So I told her it was a closed practice, and then Troy starts mouthing off to me about how I treated her. And somehow the whole conversation turned into an argument about whether he should be a singer or a playmaker. It's ridiculous. Since when has he wanted to sing?", Jack looked to his wife for agreement, but she had gone back to cooking silently.

"You don't agree?", he questioned.

"No, Jack. No I don't.", she said turning from the pot she was stirring, "Now, what Troy said to you was wrong and he knows better, but I've said it before. You are too hard on him sometimes. All the time it's basketball, basketball, basketball. You're so busy being his coach, you don't take time to be his father"

"I take time"

"Really. Then why do you still not know Gabriella's name? He's been talking about her for weeks. And how can you not see how much he wants to do this singing thing? It means the world to him, and all you care about is championships. And taking your frustration out on that poor girl. I bet she was scared to death with you telling her to get out on your first meeting", Lisa turned back to her cooking, and let her husband think about what she'd said. The man grabbed another carrot and groaned. She was right, as usual. He had been rude to the girl, and unfair to his son. Troy deserved an apology. Jack went over to his wife and hugged her from behind.

"You're right. I'll go apologize", Lisa smiled.

"Good"

"But, should I just let all the things he said go?"

"Of course not", his wife snorted, "You go up there, apologize, and then give him the spanking he deserves. I don't care how angry he gets, he knows better than to talk to you like that"

Jack smiled and kissed his wife on the cheek. He loved her more and more with every year that went by. Beautiful, smart, strong. He was lucky to have her. Giving her one more kiss on the neck, he went to go deal with his son.

Troy was laying down on his bed staring up at the ceiling. He was in deep trouble; he knew that. The time alone had allowed him to cool off, and without his anger, he was left with fear and guilt. What had he been thinking? Trying to walk away from his dad? And then, mouthing off to him like that? He'd practically asked for a whipping. He felt his heart skip a beat when he heard his dad's footsteps approaching. To his surprise, when the door opened, his father looked calm and sympathetic. He probably just feels sorry for the whipping I'm about to get.

"Troy, I've been thinking, and I thought that maybe you had some valid points during our argument. You know, maybe I should have been more civil to your... to Gabriella. And maybe I should be more open to your choices. I, I think I might owe you an apology. So, I'm sorry.", Troy's mouth hung open with shock. His father was not the type of man who apologized easily. He could count on one hand the number of times his dad had told him he was sorry for something.

"Umm. Thanks, Dad. And I'm sorry for being disrespectful. I just, I got angry, and I've been under so much pressure lately with the whole singing-basketball thing. I just, you know, lost it for a second"

"Troy. You're my son. I don't care if you want to be a singer, or a player, or a circus clown. You will always be my son", Troy smiled with relief. His father wrapped him in a hug and squeezed tight. After a moment he pulled back, getting to the second part of his business.

"Now, that being said, as my son I have certain expectations of you. And one of those is that you are respectful to me, and to all of your elders. Is that clear?"

"Yes sir", Troy nodded.

"Now, like I said, I'm sorry for disregarding your feelings, but your behavior was unacceptable, and I can't let it slide. You're going to get a spanking", Troy's heart sank at his father's statement, but he knew better than to argue. He dropped his head.

"Yes sir"

"Over the bed now. Get those pants down", Troy obeyed, "Shorts too, son. This is going to be on the bare"

The boy pulled his boxers down and bent over the bed, grabbing at the sheets for comfort that he knew he would soon need. He heard the clink of his father's belt as it came off and bit his lip in anticipation of the first blow. He didn't have long to wait. His father brought the belt down hard again and again as his teenage son struggled to stifle his cries.

"Son, I know that we may argue sometimes, but I love you and I'm proud of you, no matter what you do. I don't care what you choose to do with your future, as long as you do it with character. And that's what you're getting his spanking for.

spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank

No matter what you become, you will be respectful and well mannered and you will exhibit self control. And if you ever speak to me or any other adult the way you did tonight,

spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank

I will make this spanking seem like child's play. Do you understand me?"

spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank spank

Troy just nodded, unable to speak through the sobs. His bottom felt like it was on fire. He had given up all hopes of staying quiet somewhere around the tenth stroke, and he had given up counting somewhere around the twentieth. He swore never to walk away from his father again. And as for talking back, well he was just going to become a mute. Talking wasn't worth it. Crying and thinking, it took the boy a moment to realize that his father had stopped spanking and was now rubbing soothing circles into his back. After a while, he quieted, still sniffling, and rose up off of the bed. He carefully pulled up his underwear, cringing at the touch. Pants weren't even an option. His dad pulled him into a long rough hug, patting him on the back. Finally, the two pulled apart, awkwardly standing with each other.

"Well, your Mom's probably done with dinner by now. Why don't you pull on some sweatpants and come downstairs", Jack started to walk out of the room.

"Wait. Dad, do I have to...", Troy knew the family's rule about sitting down for dinner after a spanking, but he was hoping it would be waivered this once.

"Yup. Bring a pillow.", his dad said, not even bothering to look back.

Troy walked over to his bed and kicked it lightly, then sank down onto the bed without thinking.

Oww oww oww oww. Ugh. It was going to be a long dinner.