I AM NEAL (6)
Neal felt someone sit down beside him,
"Hey Moz. I was hoping you'd come."
The sound of Peter's voice made Neal sit up quickly, he put his innocent mask back on almost as quick,
"Hey Peter! Fancy meeting you here! Shouldn't you be at the office?"
Peter had been willing to talk to the kid to see what the problem was, but Neal's cocky 'devil may care' attitude rubbed him the wrong way,
"Fancy meeting you here Neal. Shouldn't you be at school?" he countered.
Neal broadened his smile, "On a beautiful day like this? No Peter, you should never waste a day like today stuck indoors."
That was it; Peter grabbed the kid by the back of his jacket collar, lifted him to his feet and headed to the car.
"Well geesh Peter, did I say something wrong?"
Peter opened the passenger door and unceremoniously deposited him inside. Peter got in the driver's side and started the car. Neal did not help his situation when he opened his mouth yet again,
"You seem a little uptight Peter. Did you have a bad day at the office?"
Peter's glare made Neal realize that maybe he should be quiet for a while.
When they got to the house, Peter walked around and pulled Neal out of the car the same way he had dumped him in. Neal didn't get out on his own because he was starting to get a little worried that he might have misjudged Peter and the man was going to take him in the house and beat the crap out of him. As Peter pulled him up the steps and into the house, Neal hoped Peter didn't hit him in the face; a broken nose would ruin his looks. Moz had taught him that one of his best tools to be a good con was his looks.
Peter drug Neal over to the dining room table and bent the kid over, he reached to his belt with his free hand and started to unfasten it.
Suddenly the kid exploded. He tore himself out from Peter's grasp and turned, bringing his knee up hard aiming for Peter's crotch. Peter barely turned in time to avoid a direct hit. Neal started swinging his fists, kicking, punching, and acting like he'd suddenly gone rabid, screaming as he fought,
"No! I trusted you! You're just like all the others! Moz trusted you! No! I'm not gonna let you touch me!"
The tears started falling as he fought and yelled.
Peter could have taken the kid down easy, but he didn't want to hurt him. He tried to block the blows and kicks as he worked close to grab him. Peter noticed the kid didn't have a too bad a punch as he managed to land a couple before Peter could get a hold on him.
Finally, Peter had his torso and arms secured in a bear hug, Neal's side to his chest. Since Neal was still kicking forward and backward, determined to make Peter a eunuch, Peter felt safer that way. Once Neal knew he was trapped he sobbed as he pleaded,
"Please don't… don't touch me… I trusted you…"
Now that Peter had Neal secured he had time to think, and it dawned on him what Neal was saying, he gasped in shock,
"You think I was…? You thought I would…?" He drew in a deep breath; the idea was so foreign to him that he hadn't even considered Neal's reaction to being bent over the table.
"Neal, listen to me. Stop struggling and listen."
Neal slowed down, but didn't fully stop.
"Neal, I would never hurt you like that! You have to know that. I will never let anyone hurt you that way again. You are safe here. You're safe."
Neal had quit kicking so Peter turned him into him, chest to chest, so he could hold him close.
"Never again Neal, I won't let anyone ever hurt you again, you're safe."
Neal quit fighting, but he was still tense, still scared, "You weren't going to…?"
Peter slid one hand up to Neal's head and held it close to him, "Never Neal. I never would."
Peter felt the fear still radiating from the boy and was determined not to let him go until Neal trusted him. To release him now would be like releasing a wild rabbit and he might not be able to get close again for a long time. He held him.
When Neal settled down a little more, he questioned Peter, "Then what were you going to do?"
He felt Peter's chest vibrate as he gave a little laugh, "I was going to give you a spanking!"
Neal still sounded a little confused, "You have a spanking fetish?"
Peter wanted to cry as he pulled the boy yet tighter, "No Neal." He rubbed the boy's head as he held him close. "Haven't you ever been spanked as a form of discipline before?"
"When I was little, when I got older they just hit me."
Neal could feel Peter's sigh, "We don't hit around here Neal, we spank. It burns like hell for a while, but does no damage."
Peter could feel the boy starting to relax slightly, "That doesn't sound like fun."
Peter couldn't help but laugh, "It's not supposed to be fun Neal, not for you or me. Spanking is used to teach you that if you break the rules, there are consequences for your actions. Maybe you'll think twice next time you feel like walking out of school because the result is a very sore behind."
"Are you still going to spank me?"
Peter couldn't now if he wanted to, he knew that if he bent Neal over the table now, images of what had been done to the boy would flash through his head and it nauseated him. He bend his head down to rest it on Neal's head,
"No Neal, not this time. But if you skip school again, I will." Peter hoped he could keep the images at bay if Neal needed a spanking in the future.
"Then I guess I'm gonna get a lot of spankings."
Peter tensed, "Why do you say that Neal?"
"I'm not going back. Not under his name."
Peter sighed deeply, "Why not Neal? What is so wrong with Bryce?"
Neal tried to pull away, but Peter had him tight.
"Because he wouldn't have fought you!"
Peter felt like he'd been hit with a sledge hammer and he tried to control his breathing. He'd always thought it was just a name change because he didn't like his name. When Peter was younger he had wanted to change his name because of all the peter jokes, but his peers had grown up as did he. But now he realized it was more than just a name to Neal; it was a state of being. Neal was cocky, outgoing, brash, and very dynamic. He'd read the reports from prison, Neal had fought every time. It would have been a lot easier on him if he hadn't, but Neal never gave in. The reports he'd read on Bryce were the exact opposite.
Peter contemplated his options and came up with a solution. "Neal, I'll make you a deal."
He felt the boy stiffen, "No Neal, relax, this is a good deal. Wanna hear it?"
"I will have your name legally changed to Neal Caffrey if you agree to attend school while you are on probation. No skipping classes, no playing around. You have to do your best."
He felt the boy hesitate, looking for the catch, he looked up at Peter, "You'd really do that?"
"I can legally be Neal Caffrey and nineteen?"
Peter laughed and pulled Neal's head back to his chest, "No Neal. We'll change your real name of Bryce Bomer legally to Neal Caffrey. But you will still have Bryce's date of birth." And history, but he didn't want to say that right now. "You'll still be your true age of sixteen."
"Oh." He paused, "I can go to school as Neal Caffrey? They have to use that name?"
"Yes Neal, it will be your legal name. So, is it a deal?"
"I just have to go to school till I graduate high school, right?"
Peter lifted Neal's chin to look at him, "No Neal, I said the deal is while you are still on probation."
"But I'll graduate in two years. What do I do then?"
"You'll go to college. Now is it a deal?"
Neal sighed, he really wanted the name change, "Okay, it's a deal."
Peter exhaled and stood there holding the boy a few more moments, he could tell he had calmed down considerably but was still a little tense. Peter had released his arms when Neal had quit struggling; now Neal moved his hands to Peter's arms, gently holding on, there was still a bit of fear in his touch.
Neal spoke up again, "Wait, I have to give you four years and you give me one name change? Can I add something else to the deal?"
Peter was surprised, but curious, "What would you like to add?"
"Can I get a PlayStation 3 with two games, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and Grand Theft Auto IV?"
Peter frowned, "I don't think Grand Theft Auto would be appropriate for you." He felt Neal's body slump in disappointment, "But Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is one of the top sellers and it has a two person play mode. We could play together, would that work?"
"That would be" great! "cool."
Peter could feel the boy relaxing even more.
"Can I add one more thing?"
Peter couldn't help but smile at the young con, "Now what Neal?"
"Can I have a car?"
"No." He felt Neal laugh so he pulled Neal's chin back up to face him, "Are you trying to push my buttons?"
For the first time Peter saw Neal's true unmasked smile, "Isn't that what sixteen year olds are supposed to do?"
"Yes Neal it is, just be careful how hard you push them." Peter laughed as he hugged Neal tightly and realized all the tension was gone from the boy as Neal slowly and carefully wrapped his arms around Peter's waist and hugged him back.
A/N: I want to thank all of you that have followed this little story. A special thanks to those of you who have left reviews!