Alice picked desultorily at her salad, moving pieces of shrimp under the romaine as if they embarrassed her. She only ordered it because having already had one date with Ron, she knew she would need a distraction, something to fiddle with while he droned on.. She also, not yet in a comfort zone with Ron or Ronnie-Carole referred to him both ways, she had gone with the Arnold Palmer instead of her desired and probably necessary double Blue Sapphire Martini with three olives.
He had surprised her, she’d give him that. She said nothing right off, just kept that quizzical smile that she thought was equal parts cute and perturbed. She cut her eyes left and right to assure he hadn’t been overheard. And that she had heard correctly. Her thoughts were split between, “What the actual fuck?” and “Was Carole pranking her with this guy?”
She used to think it was her, but not anymore. She had learned from a tender age to assume that men were broken beings. She imagined that there were all manner of maladies and catastrophes that befell men and assumed that it was inevitable-the nature of things-and happened at an early age. More than that she was unhappily certain she would find out on her life’s journey.
She had just turned fourteen when her friend Chrissie’s step dad was driving her home after she’d had dinner with them. It was not uncommon as that was the year of the sleepover when it seemed nobody could spend a whole week at home without breaking it up with a night or two at a friend’s house. There to read magazines, listen to music, sometimes sneak liquor and play spin the bottle which she wasn’t sure she would have enjoyed as much had there been boys. Kissing games had led to other games that had winnowed the numbers of girls who would come to the sleepovers.
But this one time, when Jim, which is what Chrissie’s step dad insisted all the kids call him-”Mr. Cooper was my father”-he’d say, had pulled off into the parking lot of Beto’s Lounge which had burned to the ground years before and only existed in memories and as a weathered sign on a rusty pole in a broken asphalt parking lot. It was dark back here and people would swing in to pee in the tall grass if they couldn’t make it home. Alice had assumed that was why they stopped. But Jim didn’t get out, didn’t even move, just stared straight ahead so intently that Alice followed his gaze to see if there was anything in the scrub woods that had overtaken the collapsed foundation. Then Alice noticed how he was squeezing and rubbing his hands on the steering wheel. Not exactly nervous, but something.
She knew that older kids with cars would also pull in here to neck. Suddenly she had a thought that he might kiss her. She wouldn’t have minded that probably. He was cool and she’d kissed boys of course, but not men. That would be new. Then, just when she was getting ready to feel his arm across the back of her shoulders to pull her close he said, “I’d like you to do me a favor.”
“Sure.” she said. She had spent enough time with him and his family to have no qualms.
“Don’t do it if you don’t want to and-this is important-it has to be a secret, just between us.”
Only then did she feel a little flutter in her stomach. A tightening in her chest. “Sure,” she repeated. “What should I do?” He told her to get in the back seat. She’d been in the back seat with a boy before and hadn’t liked it much but she trusted Jim. She got out and opened the back door and slid in. He stayed in the front seat behind the wheel. He was looking at her in the rear view mirror. “Lay on the seat”, he told her. She did. “On your belly”, he said. She flipped over.
When she looked back over her shoulder he was adjusting the mirror downward.
“Now Alice”, he said slowly, as though he was having trouble speaking. “I don’t want you to be afraid.”
“I’m not”, she said, not lying.
“And don’t do anything you don’t want to.”
“OK”, she said. “What do you want me to do?”she asked, already knowing.
“Push down your jeans” By the time he said it she already had her hands at work, unsnapping and unzipping. He was watching in the mirror. Maybe she would have felt more uncomfortable if she hadn’t done this once already this evening.
Those are cute panties”, he said as if talking to a child. “Are those hearts?” he asked.
“Roses”, she answered.
“Oh. I couldn’t make them out in the mirror.”
“You can turn around and look. I don’t mind.” She certainly wouldn’t tell him that she wore these panties tonight because Chrissie liked them. “Would you push them down for me?” She hesitated for a moment as if considering, but could not imagine why she would not. Though the air in the car was thick and seemed to press, it was calm. There was no movement, no sound except the stray car hissing by out of sight, the only illumination from the rear dome light shining directly down on her. There was no way she wasn’t going to do what he asked. So he wanted to see her butt. So what? She lifted and wriggled until her panties were down her thighs with her jeans.
It must have gotten very quiet then, because she could hear Jim’s breathing. “Roll up on your side,” he said, “facing the back.” She took a moment to translate for herself what he was wanting. Simple enough. She rolled her face into the backseat, her bottom facing the front. Again, silence filled the car, broken only by his breathing. Alice brought her arm up under her head, making herself a little more comfortable. Then she heard a quickening and a rustling as if mice were running loose up front. Then a cough and moan and the air filled with the spunky smell of warm bread dough. Which is the only way she could describe it-but she knew what it was. He groaned a bit more, then there was more rustling and Alice remembered the wadded paper bag on the front seat, left over from a burger and fries.
“You can pull your pants up.” His voice was thick and phlegmy. He had started to weep as she pulled her panties up. By the time she was sitting and snapping her jeans, he was full on sobbing. Jesus, Alice thought. Not this. Her own father was a crier and she found it highly disturbing. As she saw it, it was her job, as a young woman, to cry her way through things she didn’t like or understand. She didn’t, of course but it was her prerogative. He should be the steady one, hand on the wheel, helping her to navigate. That was the only fair division of labor in adult-child relationships. And he wasn’t stopping, nor even slowing. He apologized again and again and tried to explain himself. There was something about his wife in there and sleeping in different rooms. Jesus! Enough, already. Alice would have happily gotten naked and sat in his lap if he would stop blubbering.
Finally, he ebbed, then subsided altogether as this time she was the one watching in the rear view. He said, “Well”, matter of factly then wiped his eyes roughly with the heels of his hands in a way she thought manly. Then he rolled the window part way down and killed the dome light. “You want a cigarette?” He asked.
“I don’t smoke”, she said.
“Good”, he answered. “I think Chrissie is starting.”
She was, but Alice said nothing.
She heard the scratch and pop of a match then saw the flare as he inhaled deeply and blew a stream of smoke out of the window.
“You can come back up front”, he said.
Thinking of the sad stained burger bag wadded somewhere up there, she said she was fine where she was. “That’s cool, too”, he said and started the car. He adjusted the mirror yet again and she saw his red wet eyes in the glow of the dash. “Our secret, right?”
“Our secret”, she repeated.”
“Seriously,” he said, “this is my life, we’re talking about.”
“Mine too Mr. Cooper.. You think I would want to tell anyone about this?”
“Right”, he said. “Sorry, I just…”
“Enough”, she said, suddenly tired and opting to get angry instead of sad. “Just take me home.”
They drove in silence for the fifteen minutes it took to pull up in front of Alice’s house. Before he could say anything, she yelped a quick “g’night” and was out the door and up the walk. Like a responsible Dad he waited there until she opened the door then, like a good girl, waved before stepping through and closing it behind her.
When Lonnie Winters opened his eyes this time, the light coming in the open window over his head was no different than it had been the last time. He lay still on his back for another couple of seconds allowing his forearm to relax into Toni’s firm warm thigh. She didn’t stir. Leaving your lover’s bed is always an unhappy trip and he aimed to put it off for as long as he could.
The barred owl they had heard earlier called from the treeline, the “who-cooks-for-you “ call an interesting variation on the little screechers that nested in the oak that shaded the deck. The Whippoorwill must have fled downstream or up into the mountain because beside the owls, it was crickets, cicadas and the basso profundo of the bullfrogs down in the mud that were the soundtrack.
The heavy night air was as wet as it had during the afternoon, but it’s thickness was tempered by the absence of the punishing sun that had kept them to the shade of the overhanging maples and sycamores as they passed the day among the willow grass on the gravel bars.
The moon, a blanketed faraway silver dime, cast a gauzy flat light through the thick air. The rolling fog made it tough to gauge the moon’s position in the night sky. It could as well have been midnight, as two or four o’clock. With the 6 a.m. sunrises gone for the season, nighttime started early and stretched deep into what would have been morning a couple of months earlier.
When they had gone to bed earlier than was typical, she lay flat on her back and spread her legs so that Lonnie could kneel between them. He gently ran his tongue back to front along her slit ensuring she was as wet as his dry mouth would allow. He could smell the river water in her wiry bush as he lifted her into his mouth and worked his tongue in, out and around. Before long he wasn’t the only one providing lubrication. When her breaths quickened, he slid his hands out from under her butt and sat back on his haunches, satisfyingly solid and ready. She pulled her knees into her chest and grabbed the backs of her thighs to spread herself open, toes pointed toward the ceiling Even in the uncertain moonlight his pathway could not be better defined had she conjured landing lights.
He moved closer and with one hand supporting himself used the other to guide himself to her eager pussy. With a single long thrust he sheathed his cock completely before pulling back to push forward again, and again, harder each time. Then while burning deep within her he leaned forward allowing his weight to rest on her chest as he dug his arms under her shoulders to squeeze her breasts flat against him as he thrust his hips as quickly as he could trying to match her pace-wondering if she sensed the weakness he was starting to feel in his left hip. Her shudding and tight barking cries over the next few minutes told that she did not.
Now, a few hours later, He slid stiffly out from under the sheet and trusted his left leg to hold him up, which it did with the aid of his left hand against the wall. Toni was undisturbed, snoring lightly on her back.He regarded her closely in the gray light filtering through the window. Her lean face and strong jawline created shadows on her neck and long long dark hair slashed across her cheek like bloody scars.
The sheet had slipped to her belly revealing her small flat breasts, nipples like blackberries in the dull moonlight. He would have liked to watch her longer but the new blood thinners they had him on played hell with his guts. He stood for a moment to ensure that this run wasn’t going to be a false alarm. Yeah, no…gotta go. He gently pulled the sheet back over her and headed out of the room.
Lonnie shuffled quietly out the open door and onto the screen porch. There was enough milky moonlight to navigate around table and chairs and make lights unnecessary. He doubted he would have turned them on anyway, thinking lights crashing into the mountain darkness somehow obscene.
Eschewing the cane he had left by the door for this very trip, he limped down the four steps to the hardpacked dirt and out the flagstone walkway to the outhouse. On his left ran the river, inky black reflecting the gray trees as silver and moon shadows crossed his path. The outhouse door creaked and he took the step up into the small room. There was a little window toward the river that he could look through while doing what he came out here to do. This had been his first trip out here tonight, which wasn’t bad.
A couple of minutes and he was stepping back out into the relative freshness of the humid night, sunrise still hours away. His eyes wandered left toward the road and mountain beyond. He froze in mid-step, right foot just grazing the flagstone, heart hammering against his ribcage. There was a man out there-a black silhouette-dimly motionless in the fog,- standing in the road just beyond the triple strand of barbed wire that kept the grazing cattle out of his yard. Lonnie noted that the body cast a shadow as if to convince himself that what he was seeing was not an apparition. “Moonlight is a liar”, the words of his biddy aunt echoed in his head.
Lonnie exhaled deeply and completely, settling his right foot down then shifting his weight to test it. . Of course it would be him. If anything he should’ve been surprised to have not seen him yet. Still, it was damned unnerving “Evening” he said with a wave, opting to not lead with “Good Morning” which would have muted the point he wanted to make. “It’s too early”, he called out, hinting that yes, morning was the next thing, but still next. Not now. “Come back sun up. We’ll have coffee”.
The dark figure raised a hand as Lonnie did the same. He answered with his own small wave then kept walking as the figure turned and started back his own winding path up into the mountain. “Jesus”, he breathed, watching until the shadow melted into the deep woods at the base of the mountain.
The startle of the vision in the road had pushed enough adrenaline through Lonnie’s blood that he was now awake for certain.Sour sweat having nothing to do with humidity dribbled between his shoulder blades. Going back to bed now would only awaken Toni. He took the four steps up to the screen porch and reached in for the cane before crossing to the deck overlooking the river and the dock right below. He leaned against the railing. He had never regretted giving up cigarettes until now.
The dark water was flat, the only sounds feeding bass splashing in the weed beds along the other side. He saw a bar of soap-a glowing white wafer at the end of the dock. A dip would certainly be in order. In his younger days he would have skipped down the hill and dove in. Now it was all about preparation and consideration. He had never been a cautious man and it didn’t come easily.
He heard the door to the porch creak open. “Lonnie?” came Toni’s urgent whisper. He turned, disappointed that she had slipped a dark T-shirt over her head, though her white panties winking at him at the hemline was definitely intriguing.
“Were you talking to someone?” she asked staying on the top step.
“Naw…an old song, is all.”
“What time is it?” she asked.
“Too damn late or too damn early.”
“Come back to bed.”
“I will. I think I might take a dip first.”
“I don’t think so.”
Come on, You can stay on the dock.
She started slowly down the steps, as if she were the disabled one.
“I’ll teach you that old song”, he said.
She leaned against the railing beside him and he rubbed her back, then sliding downward cupped her bottom. He knew then that once a night was his positive limit and to be grateful for it.
“Come on”, he said, “You can sit on the dock and make sure I don’t drift away.”
A pack had moved in after picking the place
Up for cheap In a sheriff’s sale.
Their addled plan was to rehab, then flip it.
A scheme that fell to pieces once the meth dried up and
Their meager talent in the trades became obvious.
The best of them was an agreeable mutt named Doobie
who grew fond, not so much of me, but of the kitchen scraps
that found their way over the fence.
Over time, he got some of the best cuts
as he needed them more than I did.
Jamie, still in boots and slicker commiserated
over a coffee in the yard once the fire was out.
Judged it a total loss.
It was that before the fire I told him, and sure
He’d take a shot of Crown in the coffee.
He pointed out that they had raised pretty decent kale
But who couldn’t do that?
Around the corner of the collapsed porch
Entwined in the fence, were the last red tomatoes of the season,
Most gone brown now under weeks of frosts,
The hard green ones will stay that way over the winter.
Stillborn. Come too late.
Not bothering to look around for prying eyes because he didn’t give a shit, Junior Garland twisted the top off a tiny whiskey bottle with a small cracking sound and emptied it into his black coffee. He sat across from his only friend (stretching the definition) Bob Lincoln in the back booth of Rita’s Diner, the last stop on Bender Street before it turned into State Route 51 and headed out of what was left of town. They were two of the eight people in the joint, about average for the morning rush since the Bob Evans had opened next to Micky D’s less than four miles down 51. He had parked his pickup in the back next to the dumpster and as out of sight as it could be. He had tied two tarps over the bed covering the cargo in the back which was adequate as long as no one was looking for it. And someone would certainly be soon.
Mary Lou, the long time waitress and, with her husband Gary, owner of the Diner (There was no Rita) came by with the coffee pot.
“Jesus Junior”, she said, seeing the empty beside his cup. “At least don’t advertise..”
Without looking up, Junior covered the bottle with his wide paw and scooped it into his side pocket. Then he reached into the inside pocket of his jacket and pulled out another. He tipped it toward Mary Lou, “You want a pick me up? I have more.”
“No thanks”, she said, nodding toward the kitchen where Gary worked “Enough booze in the family with that one. I’ll stay out of it.”
“Take him one, then,” said Junior, offering.
“You think he don’t have a bottle in there?”
Junior grinned humorlessly across the table, “See? I can’t even do a good deed.” He snapped the screw top and dumped the liquor into his newly refilled cup.
Bob watched her walk away, especially her slim calves and snugly fit skit. She had kept her figure, he’d give her that. He and “Lou” didn’t interact much though they’d known each other since grade school. There seemed to be a mutual concern that the hunger for each other that had driven their fling so many years before had not been completely sated. It was the summer after graduation when it seemed that everybody was going into the mill down in Brownsville or to Nam. Bob had done both. Two tours, then to the mill where he was a shift foreman. He and Lou’s thing hadn’t lasted long, just a couple of weeks when Gary, her unofficial fiancee even then, was up in Pittsburgh training for a steel mill job that would have been sweet but he ultimately didn’t keep.
With his flat expression, Junior reached for and poured a third shot into his cup.
“Did you sleep at all?”Bob asked him.
“Who has time?” the big guy grumbled, lighting a cigarette with hands that trembled slightly.
“My question is how did you get those tanks into your truck?”
Junior shrugged, staring blankly into the black of his coffee where a tiny gray ash floated. “Just picked them up and pushed”, he said as if they weighed thirty pounds and not 300.
All that Bobby knew for sure was that sometime overnight, Junior had stolen two welders and three acetylene tanks from the railroad. He didn’t need them; couldn’t use them, but they were there to be had. You’d have to be a mook not to take something that was there for you. At least that was the thought process of an over muscled hopped-up sometime thief. Thing was, Junior had a good job in Brownsville, but he also had a need to stay ahead of “them”. All them that were waiting for him to go broke, lose his job, be weak in any way. He had had enough weakness when one season of college ball ensured he’d never follow so many of his friends and teammates to the jungle. Months in a walker, then on crutches left him gimpy, angry, and vengeful. Maybe overseas he could have proven himself to himself and wouldn’ have to pull off dangerous hair-brained schemes that always were just short of blowing up and taking him and everybody around him down.
The central concern at the moment was that Junior’s latest haul had come from the railroad. How he’d managed to break into the storage car was a story that Bob didn’t even want to know. And most of the remaining populace of dwindling Fort Rocaceau-an over named coal patch town roughly twenty miles upstream from Pittsburgh-worked for or had some connection to the railroad. They had already had the uncomfortable conversation about why Bob couldn’t store them for him.
Sometime during the caper, Junior had gotten it in his mind that since Bob wasn’t a townie, had fifty acres and a couple of outbuildings down Hanging Rock Parkway he could stash them there till the heat died down. Who would ever know? But Bob knew, once that stuff settled onto a spot at his place-his wife’s family’s actually-Junior, once down off his larcenous high, would forget about it. And once he was straight he’d never be able to move them. Plus, Bob’s pain-in-the dick brother in law was retired railroad and could not be counted on not to be snooping around looking for old shit of his old man’s which was still in the outbuildings.
So no, this stuff had to go and go quick and given all the prying eyes around town, it was best to get rid of it a county or two away. So after a couple of calls from the pay phone outside of Rita’s, the plan was to haul them as they set in Junior’s pickup down to Uniontown where an Army buddy of Bob’s would take them off their hands for a decent price. But now, the plan in motion, the big man seemed hesitant.
“What?” asked Bob who was familiar with the ebbs and flows of Junior’s moods ranging as they did from gravel gray to asphalt black.
“How well you know this guy?”, he asked his coffee.
“He’s solid”, Bob replied, trying to will his partner to meet his eyes.
“We get all the way down there and he tries to fuck me, I’ll burn him down”, he rumbled, finally looking up.
Bob made a show of sighing, demonstrating that there was no issue. Junior’s taste for violence was legendary but not many people had, like Bob, been close to it. Had seen it bloom from a small seed, like this short sentence silently nursed by constant brooding, into a conflagration that left people broken and questioning their decisions.
“Did you talk to him?” Bob asked, trying to pull him out of his darkness.
“Yeah, I did.”
“Did he give you a price?”
“Did you like the price?”
Junior shrugged, finding logic bothersome in his current mindset.
“Did you like the price?” Bob repeated
“It’s OK”, he mumbled.
“Cause if you don’t like it, get back on the horn and save us the fucking drive. But you gotta figure out something. You hold onto that shit, the Staties will be knocking at your door within a week.”
“Fuck them too.”
“OK, good. Fuck the Staties.” Sometimes when he used his old Sergeant’s voice he could penetrate Junior’s black fogs. One day he was going to find out who sold this guy crank and would kick his ass. “What do you think, Sheila’s going to come back from Florida and take care of Denise when you go to prison?”
“Fuck her”, he grumbled.
“Who? Denise or Sheila”, asked Bob, confused but not.
“OK, but you go away, something’s gotta happen with Denise. You think about that?”
“Figured she’d live with you and Rose”, he said, back to staring into his cup.
Bob looked at the man’s hands, scarred and broken, healed and rebroken, from a life of hard labor and fighting. Christ, he thought. He’s thought this out. He reached over and popped the big man on his beefy bicep with the side of his fist.
“You better leave behind a good wad of cash, cause two girls in the house will double Rose’s gin budget.”
Junior grinned at that. Bob never liked to talk about his wife’s drinking, something Junior used when he needed to needle a bit. “Girls coming?” he asked.
Since they were toddlers Denise and Janie had been tag-alongs on most of their father’s escapades. That was Bob’s word. What he had liked in the early days was the cover that little girls provided from the suspicions of cops or anyone else. What could these guys be doing with their daughters in tow?
“I brought them with me.” Bob answered.
Where they at?, asked Junior.
“Over the paper store playing the machine.”
“Best get ‘em, then,” said Junior, getting up.
Bob tossed a few dollars on the table and waited to make sure Junior didn’t pocket them, then headed out. He crossed the street and opened the screen door at the paper store.
He looked past the empty soda fountain and rows of comic books toward the back waiting for his eyes to adjust to the dim inside. He heard the clack and bong of the machine before he was able to focus and see Denise leaning into the pinball machine. She was as lean and rangy as her old man was thick and stocky.
“Time to go, girls!” he called. Denise spun away from the machine without a second thought about the game in play. She was wearing black jeans, cuffed over black boots and a flannel shirt open over a black jersey. She wore her black hair feathered over her ears and above her collar. Her face hadn’t yet grown into her overbite so she kept her mouth mostly shut giving her the look of the typical sullen teen, at least five years older than she was. Janie, Bob’s daughter was a full head shorter, looked more like a kid, honey colored and freckled like a dust storm with a thick mop of sandy brown hair parted in the middle that cascaded down to her shoulders. She wore bib jeans as so many kids did, and sneakers and bounced rather than walked.
The problem with this caper was that Junior’s truck was a single cab with only a bench seat and a small storage area behind which even if the girls could squeeze into it the sideways sitting would result in double car sickness. It was Denise-the older of the two-who suggested they ride in the bed with the “the goods” she called them.
Bob realized immediately that the camouflage he hoped to gain with the girls would be offset by the riding in the bed of a pickup an hour down the highway. Junior even saw that. He opened the tailgate revealing the half of the bed not full of stolen equipment.
“Crawl in here. There’s another tarp folded for yinz to lay on.”
With an audible sigh, Denise lifted a knee onto the open tailgate and crawled into the void under the tarp wanting to put the grownups literally behind her. By the time Janie followed, she was already on her back, hands intertwined behind her head staring at the canvas. Janie lay beside her, mirroring.
“Who thought this was a good idea?” said Denise.
“It’s fun. Gets me out of the house. I bet we can get them to buy us burgers in Uniontown.”
They lay in silence while the truck bounced out of the parking lot then tried to guess where they were as they picked up speed then slowed at stop signs. There were no traffic lights in Fort Rox anymore. Dull sunlight leaked in around the edges of the tarp and before long they could see. Once the steady hum of the tires announced they were on the highway, Denise flipped onto her side, her hand braced by her elbow holding her head. Like her little shadow, Janie did the same, facing her.
“You know this stuff’s all stolen right?” asked Denise.
“Well, yes-he’s such a fucking asshole. When he didn’t come home last night I knew he was up to no good.”
“Where’d he steal it?”
“Who knows, who cares?”
“Isn’t he afraid he’ll get caught?”
“He’s too dumb to be afraid.”
Dennie!” Janie had never heard a discouraging word from Denise about her father.
“He is! He’s too dumb to be a criminal too. Just fearless and mean. What happens when he gets caught? He’ll be fine-a blockhead like him-but what will happen to me?”
Janie could see tears glinting in her friend’s eyes. She scooched a little closer. “I’ll take care of you,” she said quietly.
Denise smiled down at her. “You’re a midget”, she said, an old taunt. “You can’t take care of yourself”.
With a huff, Janie pushed herself up and then, sitting as straight as the tarp cover would allow, slapped Denise hard on the butt.
“Ow!” the older girl barked. “What was that for?”
“I’m not a midget! You’re just a stringbean.”
Denise was rubbing her backside. “That hurt!.
“Cause you got a skinny butt. A little slap like that wouldn’t hurt my ass”. They were close enough that they could feel each other’s breath. Janie was watching Denise’s mouth closely and smelling the light whiff of the spearmint gum she chewed at the paper store. Then without warning and without even knowing she was going to do it though she’d often thought about the how and when of it, she stretched her neck and pressed her lips to Denise’s first lightly then harder so their teeth clicked. She pulled away testing the waters.
“Why’d you do that?” Asked Denise.
Janie shrugged, which didn’t translate laying down, “Wanted to. You mad?”
“No”, said Denise, which Janie took as permission to do it again. This time the older girl kissed back lightly and opened her mouth slightly to accommodate Janie’s prodding tongue. Denise then felt her friend’s hand trying to jam itself down the back of her jeans blocked by her wide belt.
“What are you doing back there?”
“Just feeling around.”
Without a word, Denise flopped onto her back, undid her belt, and unsnapped her jeans. Then she came back up onto her side facing Janie. “Only my butt”, she directed “Nothing else.” The girl thrust her hand down inside her jeans and panties exploring the angles and contours of Denise’s slim backside. With her hand cupping the bottom of her bottom, Janie kissed her again, hard with an open mouth the way she’d seen in the movies. By the way Denise kissed back, she was pretty sure this wasn’t her first time.
“You get enough?” Denise asked after the long kiss.
“I got some, I don’t know if I’ll ever get enough.”
“Well, I like boys, you know.”
“Just in general.”
“Bracey? He’s a senior-you’re a child. Like me. Plus, He’s stuck up., Only dates cheerleaders.. “
“He’ll date me.”
“Only if you put out-and don’t waste yourself on him.”
“How do you know?”
We little people have our ways, she said squeezing her butt for the last time. .“You giants just wander around, heads in the clouds having no clue” Janie said, slipping her hand out of Denise’s pants.
“But boys, in general.
“Name someone in our class.”
“Paul Riley. He’s cute.”
“Peed his pants on the bus last week.”
“He did not!”
“Did. Pissy Paulie. He’s your beau now? Charming.”
Denise flipped onto her back. “I give up!” she said laughing.
Again, Janie mirrored and flipped onto her back. “Come over tonight?”
“So you can suck my face off?”
“We’ll listen to records too.”
I gotta see what the master criminal is up to. If he crashes for the night, maybe.”
In later years, after the after, given that they were schoolmates and playmates since preschool it might seem that they were paragons of restraint. But no, it just hadn’t occurred to them-the time wasn’t right. Later they would laugh about all their chaste childhood sleepovers as time wasted.
It’s true that I lose track of days. But not seasons. This is an excerpt from a longer work-in-progress that fits with the weekend. The basics: Lonnie Winters and his new girl Toni head to Lonnie’s cabin for a long weekend in October. He is recovering well from a stroke-Toni is his physical therapist and more. Something in the mountain pulls them in-and Lonnie is off looking for Toni who, under a spell, has run off.
He was approaching the top of the draw where the hardwoods, thick in the bottom land, began to thin in favor of the gnarly pitch pines that thrived in the thin, acidic soil of the rocky ridges. Where it wasn’t exposed rock the ground was soft and cushy-decades of leaves and needles rotting into a thick thatch that slipped under his feet as he moved steadily upward. When it got too steep he reached for the small trees and saplings that presented themselves as ghosts in the moonlight. Out from under the shadows of the oak and walnut forest, the moonglow again showed him the way, the spots where something had kicked up the thick blanket of rotten needles. He really had no idea how he’d stayed on track to this point beyond a “feeling” that he knew where she was going. He had no idea where that feeling came from. He hadn’t been up here since the last time he’d hunted this ridge a decade before. He cursed himself for not going back for a light. He was swallowing the thin air in gulps and genuflecting in the dirt when his left leg failed him. He stopped to breathe and dug his fists into the small of his back where a knot that had tied itself.
He hoped she didn’t go off to the right where the poppies grew. Where what grew? He stopped rubbing his back and straightened. He had no idea why poppies came into his head. There used to be a peach orchard over there but a couple of dry summers put them under.
He resisted the continuing urge to call out to Toni, or Thomas or anyone else who might be in these woods this night. His resistance was borne of a weakness that made him feel exposed. He’d never been in these woods when he didn’t feel capable. In all his years of hunting and hiking up here he had never felt threatened or in any way incapable of handling anything or anyone that crossed his path. But now he stumbled where he once had flown with thoughtless strength.
The flat light of the fog-dimmed moon gave him sight of anything within reach but dimmed farther out where the rocky outcrops, erased of all daytime definition and color, materialized as the lumbering shoulders of retreating giants. He was squinting too far ahead and tripped over an unseen root. No simple stumble this time he fell headlong. His left arm was too slow to react and too weak to catch him, he landed full weight on his side blowing all the air out of his lungs in one garbled “OOF!”
Still, he felt thankful, seeing that he was laying within inches of a sharp rock shelf that had he hit it with his head, would have finished his evening and maybe much more. He brought his hand to the side of his face feeling for blood. There was none. And though his head pulsed, he’d been punched in the face enough in his life to know he’d suffered no lasting damage. He had almost recovered his breath when he felt fingers caress the back of his neck. “Jesus fuck!” he cursed and flipped himself onto his back instinctively balling his hands into fists and holding them in front of his face. He was looking up at nothing but trees disappearing into swirling fog. He could still feel the trails of the fingers on his neck
Flopping again onto his knees he rose stiffly still looking around for who had touched him. The high wall of the upper ridge thrust straight upward from the reclining mountain loomed before him. He drifted to his right searching for the dark fissure that was the ancient shortcut to the top saving hundreds of steps of tortuous switchbacks. It was a path to be avoided in high summer because of the rattlesnakes and copperheads now sleeping deep in the rock clefts. Intent on his path he wasn’t looking directly down the wall so when he first saw the flash of whte it was a peripheral glance that he couldn’t easily pick up when he looked directly at it. What could it be? From the glance, he imagined a rag, shirt, a piece of something torn from a clothesline and carried on the summer winds as high as the ridge before fluttering to the ground.
Squinting, he had whatever it was firmly in sight and limped toward it. His heart thumped when he recognized that it was an arm, pale and lifeless cast atop a mound of rotted mulch. Still feeling the cold touch on his neck, he swiveled his head looking for…anything. His tongue stuck and ultimately failed him when he tried to say her name. Closer now, the moon revealed her shoulder and then a dark swirl that had to be hair covering her face. Above her now he could see that she was on her side, crudely secreted under a small hillock of hastily gathered forest floor. Kneeling, the strong fecund aroma of turned earth filled him. There were mushrooms that had been uprooted, chunks of bark and handfuls of dark ancient dirt, the organic ending of us all. He lay his hand on the arm and felt it warm. Then his fingers on her cheek felt breath and on her neck found a pulse.
“Toni”, he croaked, shaking her lightly. When she didn’t stir he fingered her nostrils to ensure they were clear then squeezed her cheeks together. Finding nothing in her mouth he began pulling dirt from her. He exposed her breast and was heartened by the steady rising and falling of her ribs. “Toni”, he said again, shaking her gently. Her head flopped then was lifted and she awakened all at once blinking wild eyes and grabbing his arm. He didn’t pull her up as much as steady her as she rose, the covering litter falling off her leaving her naked and shivering. He rubbed his hands over her with quick flicks , dusting her shoulders and between her breasts gently, then turned her. She shuffled her still-covered feet. He dusted her back, then lower. Her backside was caked with the mud of her shallow grave so he paid particular attention to dusting her bottom with the palm of his hand using light downward wipes.
“Don’t!” she cried. “I didn’t do anything!”
“Of course not, Toni. I’m just getting…”
“Don’t spank me!
“I’m not.” he stopped his hand on her left buttock. He felt a bump there, then, when he moved his fingers around, many more. She would wince at every touch no matter how gentle. He turned her so her back faced the moon to better illuminate her. Lonnie saw the dark worms of welts crawling across her backside from top to bottom even extending down the backs of her legs. He rubbed softly cleaning her as best he could with bare hands then moved his hand down her legs, knocking clods off.
“I’m not bad,” she sobbed. A sound that tore him to pieces.
“No, Toni, you are not bad”. He spoke as to a child, trying to interpret what she was saying..
She was now hanging onto his arm, her face tight against him. “She said I was bad! I didn’t mean to do anything…Tell her I’m sorry.”
“Shh..” he said, I got you…you’re fine” He stripped off his shirt and fed her arms into it. It wasn’t long enough to cover anything below the waist. Her feet, uncovered, were pale, bruised and bleeding from the rocks and sticks.. How the hell had she made it the whole way up here with bare feet? She took a few halting, limping steps and stopped, still crying.
“Can you carry me?” she asked piteously.
What? no! Said the voice of reason in Lonnie’s head. You of all people know I can’t carry you.
He sighed lightly. “Sure, I can carry you. You might not like it though”.
“I can’t walk anymore”.
“Shhh, shhh…I got you” Anything to stop her crying.
He went down to his left knee and slipped his right arm between her legs. Then he rose carefully, lodging-as gently as possible- his arm in her crotch. As he rose unsteadily to full height, she draped across his shoulders. He clutched her hanging arm with his left hand.
She continued to sob. “She hurt me,”
“You’re fine now”, he said trying to convince himself. With unsteady first steps, testing every foothold with a toe, he unsteadily picked his way down the kicked-up track they had left. Every time he passed a spot where he had stumbled, he paused as if waiting to be pulled down again.
Her sobbing ebbed to a soft whimper as her shivering grew to a shudder. His shirt, large as it was, offered meager comfort, covering only her head and shoulders leaving the rest of her glowing alabaster in the night air. He thought about stopping to rearrange her but feared once he put her down, he wouldn’t be able to lift her again. He continued onward.
Off to his left, a barren silhouette against the sky was the split oak, still deeply rooted and sturdy after being split by a lightning strike fifty years ago, The cold comfort of knowing his location was eclipsed by the chilling knowledge that they were still two-thirds of the way up the mountain and at that moment he had no earthly idea of how they were going to get down.
Then, as sudden as flipping a switch, the night went black, no moon, no fog, no stars, no shadows. He could see nothing near or far as the wind kicked up. He heard the branches above his head clattering like dried bones and leaves from underfoot whirled in small twisters against his face. He could feel Toni’s sobbing across his shoulders but couldn’t hear her above the now swirling windstorm that circled them. His eyes were wide open but useless. There was no sound but the rushing wind punctuated by a wailing that either came from Toni, himself or the mountain. He had no idea where to put his foot, so just put it down. Then again feeling weightless,, then once more feeling nothing, the ground opened beneath him, his feet pinwheeling as if he had jumped off a ridge, until, still blind in the inky darkness, he felt the ground as a shock that hurt his ankles first then paralyzed his legs. But he stayed upright, stepped out of the draw and splashed into the stream that ran at the base of the mountain. The chill water shocked him alert and he finally felt the pain in his left leg and shoulder. He could see again, as if his eyes had been closed and were now open. And the woods were dead silent. Directly ahead was the cabin, the orange glow from the fireplace dancing in the windows.
He dropped to a knee and bent toward her feet. She resisted getting off his shoulders.
“Here” he said, “We’re down, the grass is soft here..See? There’s the cabin. In the glow of the moon which they now moved toward, she was white marble, veined and scratched, revealing all where his shirt fell open. She hadn’t noticed that the return trip from the hour climb up the mountain had taken ten minutes. He noticed but was happy not to think about it. He squeezed her close, his arm around her shoulder as they limped toward the light.
Inside, he stood her in front of the fireplace and tossed some pine kindling and a few split logs on top of the small fire that was already burning. Within moments the pine crackled and the hardwood was catching along the split face and the radiating heat warmed her bare legs and belly.
“I’m glad there was still propane in the tank”, he said. “And I turned on the water heater.” He was holding his hand under the spigot waiting for the water to warm. “There’s a basin under here”, he said, reaching under the sink. Nothing he was saying needed to be said. He wasn’t into self-narration as people sometimes were: “I’m going to the bathroom”or ” I’m getting a drink of water” kind of thing. He was talking to fill the room. To beat back the silence that held who knew what?
The basin full and steamy he tossed in a bar of soap which bobbed along the surface and a washcloth which floated until it sucked up enough soapy water to drop out of sight. “I got you some nice hot water to clean yourself up with”, he announced carrying it over to her like it was the Christmas goose.
‘You can clean yourself up” he said, setting the basin in front of the fire. “I’ll get some towels’. She sagged slightly as if burdened.”You do it…”, she said limply. “I’m too tired…” He pulled the day bed screeching across the floor and helped her to sit on it. She winced when her bottom hit the towel he had laid there, so he pushed her onto her back and rolled her over. “Let’s deal with this first” he said. She only sighed.
Nothing that he had done with her in the bedroom tonight or anytime previously could hold a candle to the intimacy inherent in his current ministrations. He touched her in ways and places that he never had, paying attention to “every nook and cranny”, as his mother used to say. But he was sure she could not have imagined her phrase being used in this context. Toni moved into his soft touch, lifting and opening as prodded by washcloth or soapy fingers. The heat of the fireplace almost dried her before he could rinse. “Wait here”, he said unnecessarily. Patting her on the side of her leg well removed from her wounds, only a few of which, in the light of the hanging bulb, had drawn blood.
He went to the cabinet in the kitchen and found a tube of salve that had an expiration date years past and a bottle of rubbing alcohol which is what he used for any cut, abrasion, insect bite or rash. Adding the sting and burn of the alcohol to what she was already feeling felt a little cruel even if right minded so he grabbed the salve and returned to the main room where she still lay, bottom up and waiting. “This might help”, he said, dabbing a bit on his fingers and rubbing it gently into the worst welts. She whistled lightly through her teeth.
“I’m sorry”, he said.
“It’s OK” she replied, “Thank you.”
He sat on the bed beside her as he treated her. She subtly and naturally moved her near leg into his and her right the other way. . Then her hips lifted just enough to open herself. Lonnie moved his hand from her tortured bottom to the inside of her near thigh where he kneaded gently. She moaned and flipped her head away burying it under the pillow. Taking that as a positive signal, he moved his hand up to her sex, pleased to find it sopping far beyond soap and water. He slipped his fingers in and around finding the firm nugget of her clit and rubbing it gently but insistently. Her arousal eased the guilt that he had started to feel about his growing erection.
She said something into the pillow that he didn’t hear. Without stopping his fingering, he leaned closer. “I didn’t catch that.”
She pulled her head from under the pillow. “Fuck me!”, she said forcefully, making sure she was heard this time. She also slid her legs further apart and arched wantonly. Her sex glistened against his hand. He knelt between her legs and pushed his pants and underwear down to, then over his knees. Seeing that his hips were going to contact her welts he warned her. “This is probably going to hurt your butt.”
“I don’t care!” she said. “I want you in me!” For emphasis she pushed backward. He grabbed her hips and slid himself all the way in, slapping his belly against her striped bottom. She moaned but he wasn’t sure about which.
He let his mind wander as he pushed the small cart through the aisles.It was his first trip to the market in weeks. With Bethany in Europe for a time on business, he had eaten in restaurants and cafes. Sometimes in bars like the old days but only if he had cash to pay so she couldn’t follow the card bills and know where he’d been. There would have been hell to pay! Still though, it was good to have her back and the shopping list she had emailed him was, as always, meticulous. She had always been very particular in what she ate and had him prepare for her.
She knew that he had hoped for a warmer reunion when she got in yesterday, but the plane had been late and when the car finally dropped her off she was on the phone with Martin about the new contracts and continued to be for twenty minutes as he took her bags and made her the dirty martini-with three olives- just as she liked it. Then with a quick peck on the cheek and an apology, she took her drink to her office to finish something that couldn’t wait. He was sitting in the dimly lit side room nursing a club soda when her door opened. He took the offered empty glass and went to the kitchen. He knew better than to simply refill it. He took one of the three identical glasses from the freezer and began to build her next drink. Same base gin and olives, but clean this time. A splash of Lillet in lieu of vermouth. And achingly cold.
“Thanks Love”, she said crisply. “Run me a bath would you? It’s been a fuckall of a day.” He noted that she followed him up the stairs after closing the office door behind. He went through her bedroom suite into the bath which was almost as large with a round freestanding tub in the center of the room, above it a wagon wheel sized rainfall showerhead.
He put in the salts that she liked and set the water to tumbling to dissolve them. He was stirring the water with his arm when she stepped naked into the room. His disappointment at not being allowed to undress her was ameliorated by the vision that she was. He hurried to take her hand to help her into the tub. She folded languidly into the water and slipped forward to lay her head on a towel he had folded. She lifted an empty hand and he filled it with her drink. He kept a hand near it as she quaffed a healthy portion and returned it to him. He was about to set it aside when she said, “Go ahead. Finish it.” He did in a gulp then set it on the floor outside of harm’s way. Then, in well practiced movements, Bethany stood in the tub and raised her hands onto her head like a child so that he could take the well-soaped cloth and clean her underarms, then her arms frm shoulder to wrist. After resoaping he washed her breasts slowly, careful to lift up under them then between them and down her flat stomach to the thick tuft of walnut brown hair below her belly button. He dropped the cloth in the water and used his hands in its place, wiping and squeezing, raising suds in her bush.
Retrieving the cloth he turned her with a light touch to the elbow. She spread her legs carefully and bent, arching her back, opening all to him like a split peach. He soaped her backside then again eschewed the cloth to run his slippery fingers up and down her crevasse then between her legs. He paid particular attention to her asshole but was careful not to go too far. Insertion now would be for his pleasure, not hers. He shifted to give his groaning cock a clear route down his pants leg.
She again sat in the tub, letting the water cover up to her eyes to rinse. Then she stood and stepped toward him, hands on the small of her back and pushed her breasts to him, offering. He leaned in and suckled then nibbled and licked them all over enjoying the bitter taste of the bath salts. He offered his hand, she took it and stepped out of the tub, dripping onto a bathmat he’d placed. He wrapped her in a thick towel and patted her damp if not dry then, taking a liberty he felt comfortable with, cupped a hand on her right butt cheek and pushed gently toward the bedroom door. She glided lightly before him allowing the towel to fall to the floor.
Her path, like his, moved directly to the bed. Once there she turned and kissed him deeply, wrapping her arms around his neck, then releasing and falling backward onto the cool duvet. Leaving no room for misinterpretation she pulled her knees to her chest and wantonly offered her double damp pussy to him knowing he would do his best to reach her tongue with his from there. He licked and thrusted with his head, tasting soap and Bethany together in a heady mix. She moaned when his mouth settled on her hard clit then made a whimpering sound when he flicked it with his tongue.
“Fuck me”, she said, giving the permission he was waiting for. Not willing to peel his mouth from her pussy, he lifted his hips and pushed his pants down
“Now, don’t come until I do”, she said in a voice that told him that wouldn’t be a problem. He slid in all the way then back out until only his swollen head remained inside of her, then thrust again, firmly and to the hilt. Again and again, their bodies slapping with the collisions. When her breath came in tiny gulps he decreased the depth of his thrusts while increasing the speed.
Bethany wrapped her legs around him and bounced off the bed until a few quick gasps, a thin moan and a shudder finished her. She deflated backward with a loud, “AAAHHHH…” and continued to voice her pleasure at his deliberate piston-like hammering. “Now fill me up”, she said, and he changed cadence slightly until his cocked numbed and his body went rigid. Bethany moaned again and squeezed his clenched ass as his hot seed washed through her.
Once he settled atop her she stroked his long blond hair pushing it behind his ears. . “Poor baby”, she cooed, “it’s been so long”.
He smiled behind the cart in the produce aisle, careful to keep his hardon concealed as he recounted the previous night. His wife’s schedule was what it was, and getting her attention-in a good way wasn’t easy, but when he did it was worth the wait. Of course it was never hard to get her attention in a not so good way. All he had to do was “goof”.
That is what she called it “a goof”. Such a silly, childish word to describe a transgression that had such, what some would view, as dire consequences. He of course didn’t view them as dire at all-certainly uncomfortable-but ultimately satisfying in that they helped Bethany mold him into the man she felt he could be. That he wanted to be. It was confusing in the beginning. Like when he had been given the dusting chores. He thought he was doing well and she even praised him as she did her white glove inspections. Then came the day when she shouldered the folding A-ladder into the entry hall and climbed up to run her fingers over the blades of the ceiling fan. He didn’t even have to look at the gloves as clots of dust tumbled slowly onto his pristine hardwood. He was allowed to clean the fan, and every other one in the house, before she had him take down his pants and lay over her lap for a session with a ping pong paddle that he didn’t even know she had.
Before then, the idea of men being ”punished” by women was always imagined as something prurient and unreal, staged fantasies existing in the back pages of magazines or the dark recesses of the internet for sordid entertainment. But being spanked by Bethany Brenton-Smythe seemed entirely natural and a culmination of something he didn’t try hard to figure out..
Even the time he came home having had one or many too many at the club. He was driving her red Cayenne which made it worse so he was sneaking through the back around the pool hoping she was in her office. She wasn’t. She met him on the patio with a breathalyzer (where did she get that?), and already confident in the test result, her old sorority paddle which she kept deep in her closet. It wasn’t easy to find a positive out of that experience, bent bare over the picnic table gritting his teeth. . Bethany had even apologized when dabbing at the little blood spot she’d coaxed out of a blister on the bottom of his right cheek. The upside was that all weekend she insisted on looking at it and dressing it with salve and a little bandaid. Her tenderness in his aftercare-even at one point kissing it to “make it better” almost entirely eclipsed the severity of his punishment.
Still, though, it had worked. His drinking was well under control, or at least well-controlled, and for what it was worth, their house had the cleanest ceiling fans in the township. For him there was contentment and a measure of peace in living with her enforced structure. As long as he could keep the sorority paddle in the closet.
When he pulled into the courtyard he saw Charla Emerson’s blue BMW coupe backed into the spot closest to the door. He slipped in beside her; he didn’t have enough grocery bags to be annoyed. Charla was his wife’s closest friend. They had met two jobs ago and when Bethany had moved on to bigger jobs, Charla soon followed.Now she was on Bethany’s team at Lassiter International. Early on he had wondered if they were lovers on some level which bothered him not at all. In fact, the opposite was true, it turned him on but it was something he didn’t want to get into with his wife. There was no jealousy between them, even when the women would disappear for long weekends and he liked Charla-really enjoyed her company. No, the only thing about their relationship that annoyed him a bit was the assumption that Bethany kept few secrets from her.
Charla looked up from her tablet as he crossed the living room juggling the market bags.
“And a good day to you Prince William”, she called out.
“And to you, m’lady.” he teased back. ”But I wonder, should a man not be King in his own castle?” He noticed the empty wine glass at her elbow.
“That my dear Prince, is entirely dependent upon the Queen.” Charla’s eyes were dancing, enjoying the banter and the feeling of free-flowing sexual energy she always felt when William was around. He wasn’t a big guy, but well muscled and perfectly proportioned with wavy blond hair and a laid back demeanor that suited his surfer looks. At work Bethany was known, behind her back of course, as the “Ice Queen”: six feet tall with arresting blue eyes offsetting dyed jet black hair that she wore in a middle part. She was, and could look, severe. Charla was much more effervescent, with dancing brown eyes and straight brown locks that approximated a page boy cut framing her round dimpled face. Today she was wearing a green and yellow top and cream colored skorts that accented her striking mahogany skin tone.
“Point taken”, said William moving into the kitchen.
“Is that my sweet husband?” Bethany called down lightly
“Tis I”, he called up the back steps leaving the three market bags on the counter to return to the living room. He took the open wine bottle with him.
Thank you, good sir” Charla smiled as he refilled, then set the bottle on the table. “Nothing for you?”
“A little early in the day…”
“Ahh…”she said as she raised the glass and sipped, eyes sparkling. All she knew was that he didn’t drink much.
They heard Bethany in the kitchen but were surprised when she strode into the room in her plush purple bathrobe, towel around her neck still working on her damp hair.
“No rush to get ready on my account.” Charla quipped.
“We’re not due at the salon for two hours. You came early.”
“Billy”, she said turning her attention to her husband. “You got the wrong protein bars.”
“Really? You said mint, mocha and peanut butter.”
Yes, but these peanut butter bars are milk chocolate. I get the dark chocolate ones.
Oh, I’m sorry, I was just going down the line and saw peanut butter.
“When have you ever known me to eat milk chocolate?”
“I’m sorry love. I can take them right back. Exchange them”.
“Sure you could, but That’s not the point is it?”They both, Charla and William noticed her change in tone.
“It’s the details, Billy…”His heart sank a bit at her use of “Billy” instead of William or Bill. “Campaigns, empires rise and fall on details. Right Char?”
“Most certainly”, said Charla who had sat back watching and listening, not willing to add anything to the conversation.
“You rushing about undoing your little goofs does not erase the fact that you made them, does it? And our goal has always been to get you to avoid making them. Is that not true?”
He paused for a moment to understand her wording-wanting to get the answer right. “That is true”, he said, his eyes drifting down to her feet. Was she really going to…? He wondered nervously. With Charla here? He’d never bucked her regime or challenged her authority over him. In fact, he depended upon it. Her strong hand kept him centered in his universe. Which was ultimately, hers.
There were times when he submitted to her grudgingly which usually resulted in a stiffer punishment. But sometimes she would hear his objections, but only after he was bare over her lap. Some of their longest and most heartfelt dialogs took place with him over her lap, talking to the floor or back over his shoulder, her hand resting on his bare bottom or top of his leg.. Only once did he recall her agreeing with him and relenting, patting him gently on the cheek and telling him to get up. That had turned into an interesting evening.
“I’m sorry too. I was hoping the three of us could have a chill afternoon but now you know what I’m going to have to do”.
“You don’t have to.”
“Oh I’m afraid I do”
“We could wait”
“And have this hanging over our whole evening? That’s not our way. “
It’s true, he thought. This had to happen. And it was going to happen In front of Charla. Would that make it better or worse?
“Hey,” said Charla, clearing her throat. I can head out for an hour or so-come back….”
“You’ll stay right where you are.” Bethany smiled in a way that belied the authority of her command. “Isn’t that right Billy?”
“Sure. She should stay.” He glanced her way and she was heartened to see that his face was calm. Expectant maybe with a charming blush.
“Wait here”, said Bethany before she turned and walked down the hall to her office.
“You sure you’re OK with this? With me being here?”
“It’s what she wants. If it’s OK with you, I’m fine.”
Bethany came back into the room, her robe cinched tighter a ping-pong paddle in her hand. He was relieved to see that paddle. It stung but overall was the least painful tool in what had become a large arsenal.
“Charla”, she asked and nodded toward a straight backed chair against the wall. “Bring that over here please. Put it right there”, she indicated a spot in the middle of the room. Charla did as she was told and retreated to her seat which was well positioned to view the scene.
Bethany sat and made a half-hearted attempt to pull her robe back over her legs when it fell open. Charla couldn’t help but to sneak a look at her long thighs. “Billy?”
He moved over to stand in front of her, his back to Charla. Her blood was rising at what she knew was coming. William had to know that Bethany had told her about how she “kept him in line”, but she never thought she would actually be a witness to it. She didn’t know how to feel besides lustful, so she just went with that.
“Billy, Billy, Billy…Bethany sighed. He shrugged. “Details, right? You need to pay better attention.” With that she reached for his belt. He stepped closer so she wouldn’t have to reach as far. She unbuckled then opened his belt.
Charla’s heart raced. Did she know his pants would come down? She was going to see this beautiful surfer dude’s ass?
WIlliam focused on Bethany’s hands and raised his own to cup the side of her head then gently rub her cheekbone with his thumb.. She leaned lightly into his touch while unsnapping then unzipping his jeans. They came easily off of his slim hips. Bethany reached her hands around and cupped his butt while looking softly into his eyes. He returned her gaze as she pulled his underwear down.
Charla reached for her wine glass but didn’t trust her grip and let it be. William shuffled to his wife’s right side then lowered himself over her lap. Once there he pushed himself slightly backward into the position she liked. In a final but critical adjustment, he lifted so she could reach under him and lay his cock up against his stomach.
He knew by her movements that her arm was raised. Charla’s heart flipped at the first crack of the paddle. She had no context, no way of knowing that compared to the sorority paddle, any of the hair brushes or the long handled bath brush, that the ping pong paddle might as well have been a feather. Not quite, but sort of. It delivered a pleasant sting-so he knew he was being paddled-but not the deep bruising impact that he would feel for a day or two.
It wasn’t a play spanking. Bethany gave those with her hand in the bedroom and they were usually both be naked. Then it came to him in a moment of clarity as the paddle glanced off the top of his thigh, that this was a demonstration. This was for Charla more than for him or Bethany. Of course! That had to be it. What did Bethany care about chocolate? All he did was give her an excuse! He yelped lightly and threw in a few “ouches” for his audience’s sake.
And then, with two harder than average swats delivered right to the soft bottom of his bottom, it was over. “Alright you bad boy”, she said, patting him with her hand, “You can get up now.” He did, slowly, then for effect rubbed his ass with both hands. Charla loved the show and wondered if his butt was hot to the touch. It certainly looked like it. Her attention switched on his thick cock that was bobbing in front of him like a ship’s spar.
“And now, look at this”, Bethany said, poking his engorged member. I think you better go stand in the corner until this goes down.
“Where?” He asked
She pointed to the space beside the bookcase and he shuffled over.
“I’m going up to finish getting ready.” she told Charla. “Might even need another shower. You OK down here?”
“Totally fine”, she said, purposefully not looking at her husband’s glowing bottom. She’s leaving us alone here? Like this?
Once she was gone Charla approached Bill. “That hurt?”, she asked in a low voice.
“What do you think?”
“I think it hurt.”
“Stung. I’ve had worse, trust me.”
“Wow…You’re OK with that?”
“Sure, It’s what she wants. You’ll find out.”
“Me? Why me?”
I’m thinking this was your introduction. You been screwing up at work?
No! I…” she stopped remembering the issue with the contracts when Bethany was in Europe. “No. Nothing big…”
“Not as big as mixing up milk and dark chocolate huh?” he snarked.
“This is your little thing. Not mine.”
“It’s hers’. And wait until she gives you the choice….”
“When you goof. You’ll get something bad. Or a spanking. “
“Psh! That’s your thing. I’d just tell her no”. She said in a voice that didn’t carry the weight of the words.I’m a grown woman. What could she do?
You enjoy your life with her? She’s fun, right? The casino, dancing…Wherever you’re going tonight.”
“Mani-Pedi at Stoneybrook.”
“Oh fun. Her treat I’m guessing. No matter, you girls have fun right? All the weekend hangs, The week in London this spring. I know Lassiter didn’t cover your expenses. What did that trip to the Outer Banks cost you? I don’t know-I don’t have access to her accounts but I’m betting nothing”.
Unseen to him, Charla had moved closer because he was speaking in a lowered voice directly into the corner. Her face clouded. “How about the down payment on the Beemer? I don’t know that for sure, but I did overhear you guys talking out by the pool right after you bought it.”
“I was having a bad time back then.”
“I’m sure you were. it’s not my place to say anything”. Looking back over his shoulder, he said, “I’m literally in no position, but you pay her back for that? I’m sure you did”, he said in a way that conveyed that he believed the opposite.
“We’re friends! That’s what friends do!” She had moved close enough to pinch his hot cheek. Firmly. He winced.
“No doubt.” He answered. “But just keep in mind that a lot of that stuff could go up in smoke with a simple two letter word. She how your life changes when you say no to her.”
Their whispering had gotten a little loud.
“You okay down there”? Bethany’s voice called down.
“Yeah, he’s a little feisty is all.”
They could almost hear Bethany shrug. “I’ve been away too long”. Then, “The paddle is still there if you need it. And there’s lotion on the side table, if you’re feeling charitable. Also, he likes a finger up his bum after he’s spanked.”
In the corner William’s hardon reignited even as his shoulders sagged.
Emboldened, Charla took him by the arm and walked him back to the couch having decided to lay him over her lap there. “Maybe you’re right Billy.” she said,’ Maybe this was a demonstration for my sake but not in the way you think”. She had taken a seat in the middle of the couch and was now face to face with his throbbing cock, which she addressed as Bethany had with a prodding finger. “Maybe this is a tryout for a babysitter for the next time she goes to Europe. She hates leaving you alone for so long.”
He moved to the side and put one knee on the couch readying to lower himself.
“Wait, wait…” Charla said, patting the back of his thigh.
He paused while she grabbed the towel that Bethany had discarded over the back of the couch. She spread it over her lap.
“There”, she said. “These shorts are new. Come on over now.” she rubbed his warm backside until he settled, thoroughly enjoying the new touch.
A short hour later, Mary awoke from her post coital nap and blinked at the sun streaming through the blinds. She stretched and grinned sleepily as she rolled over onto the dildo which, having served her well, slept soundly beside her hip. She sat on the side of the bed for a moment before rising, then turned and stripped her sheets off the bed and made a pile on top of the mattress. Then, still feeling slightly buzzy from her session with the vibrator, opted not to dress or cover herself, she took the bundle down the hall, deposited it in the laundry room, then headed for the shower.
She’d been experimenting with cold showers, but this morning after a mile run and two orgasms, she defaulted to hot and steamy. Since the haircut she washed her hair more often and this morning lay a heavy glop of shampoo and rubbed hard into her scalp as the water drummed onto her breasts. She lathered the washcloth and worked her underarms, then her legs and before she realized completely what she was doing, raised her arms to shave. It was odd-she was going to shave her legs as well. Did they need it? She was reverting back to her single days of leaving nothing to chance before heading out for the evening because you never knew, right? But she wasn’t heading out for a night on the town; she knew nothing but wine and sexy chit-chat-for her anyway, was on the docket but she was doing what she was doing. A righteous session of self-love always upset her equilibrium. She detached the shower head and directed the stream to her smooth legs then, eyes closed, up between them. She wanted to, of course, but didn’t, opting for a complete southerly rinse then turned off the stream.
Back in the bedroom she flipped through her closet and dresser. Her daily uniform was pretty routine: workout clothes of some description. Today It would be black sweats more loose fitting than yoga pants which she typically wore without underwear. Her first decision had been the new lilac hipster panties-the least sexy ones she owned. Tight black T-shirt instead of a bra and a silky V neck that covered her butt. It was just past noon. She slipped on sandals, grabbed the wine from the small fridge below the counter and headed for the garage for the half mile drive to Jules’.
Her friend came to the door in her usual worn jeans, sneakers and a faded coral long sleeved crewneck-. She looked better than she had at the bus stop, clear-eyed and pink-cheeked. Mary was pleased that she wasn’t the only one to have put some care into her appearance. A thin headband that kept her hair behind her hair and off her face completed the picture of suburban chill
They exchanged a quick peck on the cheek as Jules took the wine. “Come on”, she said, nodding to the table in the sunroom. “Food just got here-I’ll open this.” They ate leisurely and too patiently for Mary who wanted to steer the conversation away from how nice the mums were this year and who had the best corn stalks. The wine was sharp and tangy, complementing the slight buzz in Mary’s head after the first glass.
Lunch finished, they retired to the living room, Mary to the sofa and Jules across a coffee table, curled in a large leather recliner-obviously John’s preferred seat.
“So”, said Mary, opening her hands. “Spanking.”
“What about it?” Jules asked coyly.
Oh, this is the way its going to be, thought Mary. Gonna have to pull teeth. Before she could restate the question, there was a rumble of the garage door below them. that startled Mary-she looked toward the kitchen and the stairs from the garage. Jules had not reacted, as if she hadn’t heard anything. She maintained eye contact and her teasing smile. Then there were clearly footsteps on the basement stairs.
“Someone’s here?” Mary leaned forward as if to flee, when she saw the door open and Mary’s husband nonchalantly step out of the stairway. She collapsed back into the cushion, then deeper as if a weight had been placed on her lap. “John”, she breathed, the tight smile on her lips not reflecting the confusion of emotions in her eyes. She took comfort in Jules’ warm and relaxed smile. John strode into the room and kissed his wife on the cheek, then moved over and stepped behind the couch. She stiffened slightly when he lay a hand on each of her shoulders. Okay, they’d established this morning that John liked her, but he’d never been handsy with her.
“Mary, Mary, quite contrary”, he recited leaning down, “how does your garden grow today?” the last words popped breathily into her ear.
“F-fine, John.” she stuttered and looked wide-eyed at her friend who sat peacefully, smiling beatifically. “Just fine.”
“Sorry for the surprise, sweetie, but we really can’t talk spanking without John. This is our thing, but he’s the boss. In the beginning, all I did was supply a sometimes willing bottom.” Mary started to feel that familiar fluttering in her stomach just hearing about a “willing bottom.”
“Babe?” said John, moving toward her and Jules popped up out of the chair and moved over to the couch.. Mary did not sit at the other end of the couch which might be expected but beside her friend, close enough to take her hand.
Once they had all settled, John asked, “What do you want to know?”
Mary hesitated, then asked meekly “ How’d it all start?”
“The first time?” John mused, settling into his chair. He and Jules shared a look and she nodded a go ahead.
“We had been married six months…
“Too long for me to easily get out of it,” Jules teased.
‘Shush! It was this time of year-late September’
“Early October actually.
He gave her a look that Mary couldn’t place-not exactly threatening but enough for Jules to pantomime locking her closed lips and tossing the key over her shoulder.
We had gone down to The Highlands to see the leaves.”
It’s so beautiful down there”, Mary piped up.
“Yes, and it was a beautiful weekend, were were at the Lodge on old route 40. It was their last weekend of the season, place was pretty much deserted.
“The first day was bright and clear, colors were fantastic,. We hiked a little,…gathered acorns, buckeyes, walnuts everywhere…
“You had a bottle of brandy..”, said Jules.
“We had packed a lunch…
“We laid a blanket out in a field of dead wildflowers…It was a perfect day.
“Then it rained.
“Not till that night. We had the whole day. Then over night we heard a couple of rumbles of thunder and the wind kicked up, by morning it was gray and rainy-the leaves were plastered in puddles and against the windows. Good morning for snuggling.
“I love rainy mornings”, said Mary.
“Except this one”, John nodded toward Jules, “wanted to play tennis. All she did was look out the window at the rain falling on the courts and whine.”
“I wasn’t whining!”
He shook his head, “Whining…”
When he called me over, he was sitting on the end of the bed-I was in my undies-so what did I think? A little rainy morning nooky. I figured, OK, can’t play, might as well..”
When he pulled me down over his lap, really ddn’t know what was going on. I just went with it.
You should have that printed on a T-shirt, “I just went with it.”
“Like I said, I didn’t get it right away. There I am, bottom up, looking at the floor then he pulls down my panties and the first slap gets me.
“Did you yell?”
“No, I didn’t know what I should be doing so I didn’t make a sound. Took it…”
“Hurt, I bet..”
See Honey,” John spoke up, “In all my years in any learning or training situation, you’re told “don’t tell-Show. That’s how people learn, by being shown…not by telling…” Mary squeezed Jules’ hand lightly to keep her own from quivering. This is what she had hoped for, to see her friend spanked over her husband’s knees. Whatever she was feeling in her stomach, surged lower.
“Sorry sweetie”, Mary said, patting her friend’s leg.
“ I didn’t mean to get you spanked…”
“Oh Honey, I’M not getting spanked…”
Mary’s eyes were saucers as her mouth fell open. If watching Jules being spanked was her hope, herself being spanked was her dream. She had assumed it could happen…eventually. It would be a long term dream-that maybe after weeks of talk and daring back and forth, something might happen. But no. It was here and now and she was conscious of her blushing with all four eyes on her.She opened her mouth to speak but could only croak,
“What?” John and Jules laughed, enjoying her discomfort.
“Johnny, I think this is a bit much for Mary. She just wants to talk about spanking…”
Well that’s boring”, said John leaning toward his flustered quarry. More than flustered, Mary was almost paralyzed now that something she’d fantasized about most of her adult life was here to be had. If she wanted it.
“It’s up to you,” he said, If you wanna talk, we’ll talk. But if there’s anything else you want to do, that’s on you.”
“Why me?” she asked, finding her voice.
“I can’t do any of this myself.” John went on “Here’s what you have to know about spanking. It’s a two person job. A cooperative effort. No adult can spank another without their agreeing to it. Explicitly or implicitly. The act of submission, giving yourself up to receive a spanking is the most important-and intimate part of the thing.”
John just thought he was giving information. What Mary heard were instructions on what was expected of her.
“I want it”, Mary squeaked, then turning to Jules, “I’m just nervous.”
“I know, Sweetie.” Jules said and squeezed her hand again. “We’re all friends here.” She put her hand on Mary’s back and lightly pushed. “Go, go to John.”
Mary stopped thinking and stood on weak knees.. John’s chair was wide and deep but the arms were short and plush. If he sat forward, which he did once Mary rose, his wide lap was accessible. She crossed in front of Jules, still sitting on the couch and was surprised to feel her friend pat her butt as it passed. She liked the feel of it. She looked back and answered Jules’ smile with a pouty grin that was the best she could offer through the whirls of emotions that were coursing through her. How could something that she wanted so badly confuse her so?
When she reached the chair, John put his hand on her hip and positioned her in front of him, then pulled at the hem of her jersey. “Take this off”, he said. “It’s going to be much too warm for this.” She crossed her arms and grabbed the jersey at the bottom and carelessly pulled it up over her head realizing too late that her T-shirt had rolled up in it. John watched her flat belly appear then her ribs then her small breasts rising and falling with every breath.
“Oh my God”, Mary gasped and made a move to pull her jersey back over her head. He stopped her with his hand on her upper arm. “That’s fine”, he said gently. “It’s good like this.”
From the couch, all Jules could see was Mary’s back but her heart flipped, knowing what John was seeing. What they were doing here clarified in the clear view of Mary’s s naked back. She had never felt jealous or feared the influence of other women on her husband. She had always thought that her submission to him and ‘their thing’ bought them an extra level of intimacy, a sort of force field, that would keep others out. But now she, herself, had opened the gates.
What was she thinking? Mary was a few years younger, not many, but younger. And that mattered to men, didn’t it? With no kids or husband she had more time and energy for the gym and tennis. Jules had seen enough of her body to know how she was put together.
She heard John talking but was too distracted to follow. ‘Sit here’, he was saying, pulling her between his legs and turning her. Like a child she obediently sat on his knee. Jules watched his hand press on his chest between her breasts as if watching a movie. “Your heart is beating like a bird’, he said.
“I’m so nervous.”
“Why?” he smiled warmly as he pressed his hand firmly against her breastplate. ‘Jules put this together for you.’
“I don’t know. Maybe I’m not ready.”
“That’s up to you, but if we waited until we thought we were ready we’d be waiting the rest of our lives.’
Jules’ ears perked up at that old chestnut. She remembered the first time she heard it and wondered now how many women might have been cajoled by it. Stop it! She chided herself, don’t put this on him, this is your own doing!” She thought she had been doing a good thing for a friend and for her husband but now, viewing the action before her, she wondered how much of it was for herself. Knowing what was coming excited her in a way she hadn’t expected.
Mary was calming, his warm hand on her heart serving as a weighted blanket to slow the tumbled jumbles rolling through her. Watching his lips, Mary’s breathing settled into his slow relaxed rhythm. His hand slipped up to her neck where his fingers caressed her pulse there.
“There, there,” he said lightly, “That’s much better.”
“I feel better.”
She nodded once.
“Words, please”, he said
“Ready for what , Dear?” he coached.
She looked into his eyes for the first time.
“Ready for my spanking.”
“Ahh, very good. Stand please.”
Back on the couch Mary was giving into her wanton thoughts as she watched her husband’s hands slide gently from Mary’s waist, up to her ribs and back down again as his eyes, unseen from where she was sitting, drank in Mary’s breasts and flat stomach. She realized that she envied him his view, and Mary, her closeness to him just then and how close she would feel when she offered her bottom. The only evidence of Jules’ surrender to lasciviousness was the rising heat in her face. It was warm in here! She settled back into the cushion.
Mary wriggled slightly as the waistband of her pants loosened and she knew John was untying the drawstring on the front. As was his torturous wont, he did it slowly and deliberately. Then Jules watched her husband’s fingers on both sides as he slipped his thumbs into the waistband and pulled her sweats slowly down. He did it gently, saving the panties for a different unveiling.
The purple panties snugly held the woman’s firm round bottom. His hands ran over them and down the backs of her thighs which, Mary knew from many hours on the tennis court were clean and tight with nary a dimple, deposit or wrinkle.
She watched John shift her to the side and guide her over his lap. For balance, she reached first for his knee, then for the coffee table.. Small enough that she didn’t reach the floor on both ends Mary felt extremely exposed and she balanced bottom up, head down, her hands finally flat on the floor, almost upside down. She allowed herself to be handled and pulled so that her hips broke over his legs pushing her bottom subtly backward.
“Comfy?” he asked, his strong left hand splayed on the small of her back while his right, between her legs, pulled them slightly open. “Oh, my. Jules, come look at this,” he said gazing down at the wide wet spot darkening the crotch of Mary’s lilac panties.
“You ARE ready, aren’t you.”
I’m sorry”, she squeaked.
“ Don’t apologize. And, don’t be embarrassed. You feel the way you feel. The body reveals all, in time. Doesn’t it honey?”
“Yes sir”, said Jules weakly looking down at her friend’s upturned bottom. She felt a little queasy with her own desires, wanting to reach and peel the panties down herself.
“We better get on with this,” said John, raising his hand and bringing down what Jules thought to be a rather light swat on Mary’s right cheek.
“Ouch”, she peeped.
Not much of an ‘ouch’ said John.
“Not much of a smack”, Jules said. .
John, hand still on the bottom where it had landed, said “Jules thinks I should spank you harder”. He squeezed lightly. “What do you think?”
Mary lifted her head slightly to look back over her shoulder. “Whatever you guys think is fine with me.”
Jules thought that Mary could have no idea what she was thinking.
“Alrighty then’, said John raising his hand. Jules was sitting back on the couch when the second swat landed, then the third and the fourth right after. He was alternating cheeks with more force than before but much less than he was capable of.
Mary finally began to answer the swats with grunts, small “mmm-mmm’s” and John raised the intensity slightly until he got a nice yelp. He stopped then and rubbed her bottom. Is that warming up a little?”
“Yes, she said breathlessly. “It’s fine…”
“Fine, huh? Maybe it’s best we move along”. And with no further warning of preamble he snatched the top of Mary’s panties and pulled them off her bottom, slowing when they stuck in her moist folds. He slipped his hand between her legs to free them, allowing his fingers to gently caress her sopping crotch. Jules clenched her fists but didn’t move or say a word, even when her husband’s finger elicited a louder cry than any of his smacks had.
His first two swats on her bare bottom were hollow sounding thuds as he aimed at the void where Mary’s cheeks met her legs at the bottom of her bottom. Jules clapped her legs together knowing the vibrations that such attentions sent down between the legs. Then there were more loud cracks as he spanked thoroughly, spreading the pink evenly from side to side, top to bottom. Jules was so deeply curating her own fantasies and desires that she didn’t immediately hear Mary’s moans that had very little to do with pain or discomfort.
“I think that should about do it”, John said cupping her glowing bottom with his big warm hand.He helped her up with his left hand and patted her bum with his right as he guided her toward the stairs. “Go upstairs. Wait for us in our room.”
Jules moved toward her husband as she watched her friend’s red bottom move quickly up the stairs.
“Our room?” she asked.
“That’s where the hairbrush is.”
“You’re giving her the brush?”
“Not her. That would be rather severe on her first time, don’t you think?”
“Yes it would”, Jules breathed, straddling her husband’s knee.
“She’s a girl,” he spoke into her face as she leaned closer, rubbing herself on his thigh “It’s best she sees how a woman handles the brush.”
“Whatever you say love”, she said as she covered his mouth with her own.
Last night’s chill had blanketed the subdivision in a thick soup of autumnal fog. Mary Lysle, out for her morning jog, was surprised to see her best friend Jules lingering at the intersection of Spruce and Vine as the school bus disappeared around the bend toward the state road. Mary knew that Jules’ kids, Tony and Kayla, were old enough to drive themselves, at least Kayla was, so they weren’t regular bus riders anymore.
“Hey Jules”, Mary said, having come close enough to startle her. “Oh, I’m sorry,”she patted her friend’s elbow. I thought you saw me coming.”
“No, uh…in a fog this morning”
“Aren’t we all? Car in the shop?”
“Why the bus? I thought walking your kids to the bus was in your rear view”
No, Just Kayla. Tony has his permit, he’s driving himself later. Kayla’s being punished, She has to take the bus for a month…”
“A month?” Having no children, Mary often found herself empathetically exhausted by her friend’s strains of raising kids. “That’s getting up an hour earlier….”
“Sure is. It’s like I’m being punished too.”
“What she do?”
“You know she started smoking. I told you…”
“She’s still doing that? I thought it was a phase…”
“Teenagers”, Jules shrugged. “That wouldn’t be bad enough, but with band practice and majorettes, she had to quit her job. What’s a pack of cigarettes cost? She doesn’t have the money for that…So yesterday John gets a call at work from Mr. Rugg, down at the Village Market to tell him he caught Kayla stealing a pack of smokes.
Kayla gave the impression of being the well scrubbed girl next door. Her mother’s petite features and honey blond hair, her Dad’s rangy build. Nice enough-Started calling her “Mary” after the divorce when reverting to her maiden name had confused her. Or was it the transformation from a Missus, to a Miss, Maybe a MZ? Anyway, the girl was polite about it and usually only spoke when spoken to.
“Oh yeah” So Mr. Rugg, being a vet knows John from all the VFW stuff and calls him instead of the cops.”
“Oh man” said Mary “Better for her he’d have called the cops.
John Fine was a retired Army gunnery sergeant who managed the service department at the Volvo dealership down in town. Forty-four years old, he looked ten years younger, his sandy hair kept short, his body still youthful from regular basketball games in the men’s league.
“Yeah, well…When I got home last night from Tennis, what time was that?”
“We played till eight.”
“OK, so I got home, soon as I walked in the door I heard them…”
Mary gave a short “tsk!” “Not hardly. Well maybe they had been, but by the time I got there, she was getting a serious spanking.”.
“Spanking!?” Mary took a step backward and raised a fist to her chest as if to quell the flips her heart was doing.
“Apparently he came straight home from work and was waiting for her when she got home from practice.”
Mary was stunned but wanted details. How to prod her friend without being intrusive?
“Did you see it?”
Mary shrugged. “They were in his office with the door open-so it wasn’t like I was spying.. He was sitting in his desk chair and Kayla was over his lap, pants and panties down to her knees.
“On the bare?” she gasped, this time raising her fist to her open mouth.
“He had warned her before. I guess he thought it was time. Look-I’d appreciate you don’t tell anyone about this. In fact, I insist that you don’t. I shouldn’t have said anything. But, it’s a lot to hold on to.”
“I bet”. Jules was staring at the curb as Mary tried to read her silence. Mary had no kids, hell, at present she had no husband, but she remembered when she was a kid and she or one of her sisters did something to warrant a spanking or a paddling, it set the whole house askew for days. Longer for Mary.
“DId he hurt her?” She asked gently
“He hurt her butt, I know that. He has a heavy hand.” She shrugged. “It was a spanking. A hard one.”
“You didn’t interrupt or say anything?”
“No, he saw me, she, in her position, couldn’t. So I put my finger to my lips for him to not say anything and backed out. I didn’t want to embarrass her more than she already was plus I wanted to be able to comfort her later-be the good cop, you know?
“Was she bruised?”
“No, just red and sore. If he’d have used the hairbrush, well then she’d have been purple this morning.”
“Hairbrush?! He’s hit her with a hairbrush.”
“No! God no!”
“God no, that kid is straighter than a yard stick. No trouble from him.”
“So, who gets spanked with a hairbrush?” Mary asked already knowing the answer.
“Nobody!” Snapped Jules, biting the word harder than she had meant to.
The two friends stood in silence for a moment. Mary’s face felt hot-the warmth washing down through her chest. She tugged at the collar of her jersey and imagined steam rising from the opening.
“I really don’t want to talk about it.” said Jules, looking back toward where the bus disappeared as if hoping for some kind of intervention.
Mary reached down and took her friend’s hand and was happy with the answering squeeze.
“How do I not know about this?”, she asked finally.
“It’s not something I want to talk about”, she repeated almost petulantly.
Mary slipped her arm playfully around her friend’s waist. “That’s too bad girlfriend. I felt weird pumping you about your daughter’s spanking-but I want all the details of your’s”
“Oh, Jeez. I shouldn’t have said a word.”
“But you did. And I want more.”
Jules sighed. “OK, but not now. Go finish your run. Come over for lunch-I’ll order in from Minutello’s”
OK-cool. Get me the chicken salad, no fries.
“Good. I’ll bring a bottle of Pinot Grigio.” Then pausing, “Will that be okay, you won’t get in trouble will you?” It was a casually curious question with no-or not much-underlying sarcasm.
“No, not as long as I’m with you. He likes you.”
“Really?” This was a revelation. Mary had no reason to think that John DIS-liked her but he was so rigid, she assumed that her flightiness somehow offended his military sensibilities.
“He thinks you’re good for me. He thinks I’m too tight sometimes. You loosen me up.”
“That’s me, loosey goosey. OK, see you later then. And try to behave yourself-wouldn’t want you getting in trouble.”
“GRRRR-! I’m already regretting this.” She growled through a rueful smile.
“Just teasing sweety. Toodles”, she called over her shoulder, surprised that her knees were a little weak. When her husband left her, one of his complaints was that she was too flighty. “Not a serious person” he had actually stated in the paperwork as if to codify it for all time. Now he’s remarried to a partner in a downtown law firm-and living out in Parks. Good for them, hope they are serious together working their crossword puzzles and listening to classical music. She is going to spend the afternoon drinking wine and talking spanking with her best friend. After she takes care of the tingling that gets stronger with every step. Is that flighty enough for you? Prick!
She jogged up her driveway having decided to cut her run short. The tremors and fibrillations coursing through her as she imagined Jules’ slim ass bare over her husband’s lap had to be dealt with. She hadn’t had any release in weeks. No wonder this set her off. She punched her four numbers into the key pad and the garage door rumbled open. She ducked inside before it was completely open, stepping over the light beam that would have stopped it. At the back of the garage she pressed the lighted button that dropped the door and pulled her hoodie and T-shirt over her head in one move, tossing them onto the hood of the RAV. In the kitchen she sat to remove her runners and short socks. She wanted to be naked before reaching the bedroom.
She stood and untied her sweats, letting them fall then marching in place till she had left them a cotton puddle on the floor. Her underwear followed without ceremony, then her sports bra over her head. Liberated, she sighed deeply and stretched her arms over her head. She opened the fridge and grabbed a water and headed back toward the bedroom.
When married, her buzzy little friend pretty much stayed on the top shelf of the bathroom closet, it so mortified her husband. Now it lay in a place of honor in the top drawer of her bedside table with her Xanax. Of course, her bed was unmade and it welcomed her as she flopped backwards, legs spread, loving the cool of the sheets and lumps of blankets rubbing her everywhere. Yes, she would wash the sheets, finally. She yanked the drawer open and took hold of the ribbed blue silicone vibrator. Now, naked in her bed, she slowed her movements from frantic to just frenzied. There was lube in the drawer as well, but a quick slippery touch confirmed it would not be necessary.
She rolled onto her right side and pulled her knees up, the way she liked. Then, with a twitch of the knob at the end, Ol’ Blue came to buzzing life in her right hand. Her eyes closed and her mouth went slack as she slid the vibrator down her belly and between her legs while rubbing her bottom with her other hand. Her deep sigh morphed into a moan. This wouldn’t take long at all.