Neil comes back to Max after being punished. He won’t allow anyone else to help him, and James reluctantly leaves Max alone with his bully. No one knows what happened to him on the punishment stage, but he is showing the scars of being birched.
Max bathes the boy and settles him on his bed. Neil is exhausted and instantly falls asleep. Max gently rubs a soothing ointment onto Neil’s welts and bruises before covering his naked body with his duvet.