Liz’s text reached him at 2:10.
“Can you be here at 2:45. No later than 3:00?”
He looked at the files piled on his desk and at the task list on the screen in front of him. Nothing that couldn’t wait.
“Sure” he texted back and headed for the door.
Her door was unlocked and he called up the steps, “I’m here!”
“Come on up.” It was 2:53. “We’re in the kitchen.”
“We’re?” he thought as he crossed the living room. In the kitchen, across the table, Liz stood up flashing a radiant full-tooth ear to ear cheerleader smile that lit up her whole face. She had been pouring water into a tea cup for an older woman seated at the table. Liz looked positively girlish with her hair parted in the middle and pulled back behind her ears. She was wearing a university polo-shirt that fitted tightly to her breasts and clung to her body down to her waist. And that was it-from the waist down she was naked.
He kept moving into the kitchen but slowed his pace a bit. The older woman put down the spoon that she had been stirring with and held out her hand not rising.
“Nancy”, she said. “Nancy Shawn.”
Liz came around the table and stood between them to make a formal introduction. “Nancy, this is John-the man I told you about.”
John put on a wide smile himself, getting into the act that this was the most normal tableau that he could have happened into. The woman had a firm handshake and John was shaken for a moment by what he saw as a resemblance to Carol. Hair color and style was different-but there was something: a rawboned…something.
“So this is the man, huh?” Nancy raised an eyebrow at him.
“I’m not sure which man”, John joshed along, “But definitely one of them.”
“Oh”, said Nancy. “I’m interested in the man who did this.” With that she reached out and touched Liz’s arm. Liz turn her back to John bending slightly with her hands on her bare hips.
Liz’ bottom was a bright pink from her thighs to the deep dimples at the top. The color was deepest in the middle of each cheek but splashed out in lighter shades along both sides of her butt where bright handprints were evident. He could see wide-splayed fingerprints scattered across the tops of her legs.
“Well Nancy”, he fake drawled, “as much as I’d like to take credit for the beautiful work…”
“No, no, silly. Not this”, she patted one of Liz’s pink cheeks. “This. And this.”
She pointed at the two faint purple bruises low on Liz’s bottom that remained from the paddling last week. They had been stubborn and faded slowly but were just about gone-he would have been hard pressed to notice them among that blooms of pink and red had Nancy not pointed them out. Surely though, they were very noticeable when Nancy got her first look at Liz’ otherwise milky bottom this afternoon.
With an exaggerated lean toward where Nancy was pointing he confirmed. “Yes, Ma’am. Those are mine. Would recognize them anywhere.”
“Hmmm” said Nancy rising from her seat. She was wearing jeans and brown suede leather boots with heels that brought her to his height. She stepped close to him and looked into his eyes as if they were tinted windows she was trying to see through. There was a small twinkle in her own eye.
“It’s hard keeping them in line, isn’t it”, she said with a smile.
“Exceedingly so,” he agreed.
She held out her hand. “Very nice meeting you. I have to be somewhere at four and out of here…” with a glance at the clock, “ten minutes ago.”
Liz had turned back to them and John could easily find himself distracted by the slim honey colored patch at the bottom of her flat stomach.
“Come on Nancy, you can stay as long as you want. No Hurry-finish your tea.”
“Love the thought-thank you, but I really have to go.” She gave Liz a sisterly peck on the cheek and patted John’s bicep as she moved passed him. “Maybe see you again. Ta-ta!” And with that she was out of the kitchen, through the living room and gently down the steps. John crossed to the desk watched out the window as Nancy crossed Phillips and slipped into a sleek little German hatchback.
Liz came up beside him. “She has daughter problems. Living at school-bonded with the father-entitled little bitch…etcetera, etcetera. Every time her daughter really pisses her off-I get my ass beat. Wearing the school colors and a field hockey shirt no less. Simple case of transference.”
“Looks like she hits hard.”
“Jesus-and it’s all with her hand. The first time she spanked me it took my breath away.”
“Does she remind you of anyone?” he asked, watching……..
“Not at first-I don’t think. But later, yeah. A little. You know, when I was across her lap the first time and she put her left arm across my back to hold me down? It felt like a railroad tie. Strong. That’s when I thought of Carol. Scared me too-until she flipped up my skirt and really brought me back into the moment. Youch.” Without realizing it, she had started rubbing her right cheek. Feeling the motion John reached back and rubbed the left.
“You can either put some bottoms on and we can go out, or take the top off and we can go in there…”
She reached down and pulled the polo up over her head as she turned on her heel and walked to the bedroom. She unsnapped the bra on the way and tossed it carelessly toward the couch which it missed and landed on the end table next to a folded stack of twenties that he was sure Nancy had left there. John followed the pink moon into the dim bedroom.