Diana could see the lake from the living room through the large French doors and beyond the wrap-around porch. The view had always made this her favorite room and-aside from the magnificent porch itself-one of the best places just to sit and just….be.
But that sort of R & R, the kind that they strived to provide their guests here at the Seneca Breeze Bed & Breakfast was not on her schedule for today. There were those damned towels in the dryer downstairs and she could gaze at the lake all she wanted as long as she kept up her dusting pace around all of the bric-a-brac and geegaws that Lisa felt gave the place a whimsical character. Clutter and character was in the eye of the beholder and Lisa, being the owner, was the eye that mattered.
Diana had first come to this house almost forty years ago, when it was her aunt’s home, and spent long stretches of the timeless childhood summers ensconced here-surround by the clear water and warm breezes. After her aunt, it went to her cousin, then to someone outside the family for a little while, but then back to one of her uncles. It was he who had turned it into a B&B and hired Diana to run it.
Of course, it had always been a daydream fantasy of Diana’s to buy the old place and run it as her own, but that didn’t make her unique in the village. No one who spent any time at the Seneca Breeze or walked past it, or saw it from the Lake didn’t want to own it. But when her uncle finally sold the Breeze five years ago to finance his move to Florida, her divorce was just finished and finances were tight-actually non-existent-so she had to stand by and watch Lisa Brennan buy the house that she loved so much. Lisa was a girl that got divorce right; split up after a year and ended up with enough of a chunk of cash to make the buy and with a handyman boyfriend available for the construction work.
Lisa did not want to live in the house, she had her own place across the lake, so allowed Diana to keep her room on the second floor-overlooking the street, not the more valuable lakefront-as a part of her employment package. She knew it was a fine setup and had worked hard to keep herself indispensable to the new owner. And that had been easy for the first couple of years. Lisa was impossibly young and didn’t know the business. Everything she learned about running the B&B she learned from Diana and the two became quite close actually in a “mentor-mentee” kind of way.
Diana tried to think about when the relationship changed or really if it had changed or if they were just changing as people. Lisa was still young, but she was smart, had her own ideas and could be stubborn in the way of a young person with means. The days when Diana was the acknowledged expert in all things Seneca Breeze were behind them. Her de-evolution from expert to equal to employee had seemed swift. Things started to happen around the place without her input or were discussed with her after the fact. She wanted to have a say, to be a partner in the Seneca Breeze, but that wasn’t her place right now. And it left her a little frustrated-sometimes more than a little. When she became too put-out she would just clam up-keep her tongue and do the job-only occasionally thinking of Lisa as BRAT-ton instead of Brennan.
But Diana couldn’t deny that there were some things amiss at the Breeze that shouldn’t have been. Things that she should have been taking care of, were slipping a little. It was her responsibility to ensure that the food was on hand to prepare the dishes that were on the menu. Twice in the last week, things had been overlooked-substitutions had to be made to the menu which wasn’t a big deal except for that horrid couple who had “Come all the way here for the sweet potato pie.” Yes, how could she have forgotten sweet potatoes? That was Lisa’s question. But she had. How had she let the account at the market slip for more than three weeks causing Mr. Fletcher to speak to Lisa about it when he saw her after church one Sunday.
That was what had occasioned the “Big Talking-To” right here in this room. Lisa had sat her down like a child and lectured her on what she needed to change. How she needed to improve. Diana almost panicked sitting in the chair being chided when she thought she might be fired. She had lived most of her adult life in or around The Breeze, and couldn’t bear the thought of being on the outside of the venerable old place looking in. This was a small town-if she was fired really from the only job she’d ever had everyone would know. She’d have to move!
Her fear of being fired was so real that when Lisa told her what she had in mind for her if she didn’t improve per performance she laughed. A little nervously, but laughed. Lisa had laughed too but with her mouth more than her eyes. Her eyes were serious enough that Diana had looked away. Not to worry, she had told her. You won’t need to do anything like that. I’ll keep things under control here.
That had been less than a week ago, now-this morning-the damned towels. How could she not have had the fresh towels in The Brown’s room when they got up? And worse, why did it happen on the one morning this week when Brat-on herself was over here. Now she was downstairs doing the towels and Diana was left to dust which she considered child’s work anyway.
Dust! Dust! DUST! She scowled as she swiped the rag over the mantle a little too hard and the edge caught the crystal bud vase at the end. She lunged to catch it, but fumbled and it shattered on the stone hearth. “Dammit!” she barked. She was still staring at the shards of glass when Lisa came up the stairs from the basement.
“I knocked over the bud vase-couldn’t catch it.”
“Oh…” Lisa looked at the pieces. “You OK?”
“Yes, sure…” she was talking too fast. “Just butterfingered.”
“Well, be careful cleaning it up.”
“Of course, sure.”
They stood across the room from each other and their eyes locked for a moment. An understanding passed between the two of them in a flash. Diana looked away quickly toward the kitchen and went for the broom. Lisa turned and headed upstairs.
The dustpan was shaking in her hand as Diana knelt and swept the glass into it. She kept her ear tuned to the upstairs listening for Lisa. She was hoping to give her a wide berth for the rest of the day and keep everything ship shape and tightened for the next couple of days. They will be at maximum capacity this weekend and would have to be running on all cylinders. She dumped the remains of the bud vase into the waste can.
She heard her boss’ footsteps on the stairs behind her as she straightened up and resumed dusting. She was very careful now, moving methodically, not chancing another accident. The footsteps came into the living room and stopped.
“Diana,” Lisa said evenly.
“I got it all Lisa. It’s taken care of.”
“Diana”, she repeated.
Diana stopped dusting and let her eyes wander to the glistening lake that looked so close. She watched a boat cut a wake along the far shore and wished she was on it-with the wind blowing through her hair and all the air in the world instead of in this room which had started to feel so constricted that even drawing breath was a challenge.
“We have to do this Diana.”
When Diana turned, the first thing she saw was the hairbrush in Lisa’s hand. She somehow knew it would be that brush-it sat on the dresser in the Queens’ Suite as part of the décor. It looked painfully out of place here in the living room.
“We talked about this, Diana.”
“I thought we were joking!”
“No you didn’t.”
“What about the Browns?” Diana chirped. Where were the guests?
“Off to the wineries. They’ll be gone all day.”
“Come on Lisa-please. I’m old enough to be your mother.”
“But you’re not.”
Trying another tack, “Do you know how much a brush like that hurts?” Diana almost squeaked a tiny quaver in her voice.
“Happily I do not-but I guess I’ll be getting a demonstration in a moment here.”
“Here? Right here?” She looked around the living room.
Lisa crossed to the large overstuffed chair and pushed the ottoman against it. She sat.
“I’ll sit here and you’ll lay across my lap.”
“Not across your lap. Please, Lisa. Come on. It’s so embarrassing. Can’t I just stand and bend over?”
“Nope. We’re doing it the way we’re doing it.”
Diana had her arms folded across her chest and almost stomped her foot at that.
“This is a small town, Di, so I know this isn’t something completely foreign to you…”
“OK”, she sputtered, “but it’s different, like this. The age thing…”
“Just a number”, Lisa said. “Come over here now.”
Diana stood next to her boss and unsnapped her slacks. “I assume these are coming down, right?” she asked with a slight edge in her voice.
“Yep-we are going on the bare for this. And you better ease up on the attitude. You’re in no position.”
“You’re right”, Diana said exhaling slowly. “I’m sorry.” She pushed her pants and they slid off her slim hips into a bundle on the floor. She hooked her thumbs into the elastic of her black briefs. “Do you want me to….” Diana paused giving Lisa the chance to realize if she pushed down her own panties her boss would be staring straight into her crotch. That’s fine if she wanted that but giving her the chance to realize.
“No, no, that’s fine. I’ll handle those. Just get across here.”
The older woman lowered herself onto the ottoman then onto Lisa’s lap. With the hairbrush on the chair she had Diana lift so that she could pull the panties down. She moved her backwards a little so that her bottom was positioned right over the rise of her thigh. Diana’s heart was not the only one beating fast.
Without warning the girl raised her hand and smacked Diana’s right cheek as hard as she could. “Ouch!” the woman jumped, surprised. Then another hard smack in the same place raised Diana onto her toes. “Ow, that stings.”
“I bet it does. Wait until we get to the brush.”
But Lisa was testing. Since she first got it into her head that she would spank Diana, she had made an informal-and very limited-study of the bottoms she knew. Her own was hard, maybe a little chubby but solid. She grabbed her boyfriend’s in bed and it was hard. She was amazed at how soft Diana’s slim bottom was. She guessed that Diana was right, this brush was going to hurt.
“We might as well get on with it.”
Lisa raised the brush and brought it down strongly. Diana had braced herself on her toes with her hands flat on the floor. She was as ready as she could be and managed to hold off crying out until the fifth swat landed with a loudly in the middle of her left cheek. She bucked and choked back a sob. “Lisa-Christ, that hurts so much!” Another landed with a SWAT! “Ahhh…please Lisa….OW!!!”
Lisa’s only answer was a group of rapid smacks alternating cheeks and splitting them dead in the middle. Diana writhed on her lap and grabbed Lisa’s ankle just looking for something to hold onto. Her cries had become more general and subdued as she tried to muscle through. Lisa, for her part, could not get over how red Diana’s bottom was-almost feeling the heat rising from it. But, truth be told, she was amazed at how Diana had submitted to her. How she had agreed to this punishment-but now actually taking it. She would be lying if she said that the older woman’s submission didn’t…excite her a little.
“Diana?” Lisa had paused and was holding the brush in her left hand.
“Who’s the boss here at the Seneca Breeze?” It was a ridiculous question given the posture and position of the two women. Diana looked straight down at the floor and watched the stitches of the carpeting swim through the tears in her eyes. “You are Lisa. You are.”
“Yes I’m the owner-You work for me…but more importantly you work for the Seneca Breeze. You are as much a part of this place as I am. Do you understand?”
“I like to think so….” Said Diana, sniffling.
“You are. But I need you on the top of your game, you understand? I need you doing your job flawlessly and not fighting me by going silent when you don’t like something that I do, or refusing to give me the input when I want it. I need you to act like more of a partner.”
Diana watch a tear drop and spread out on the carpet below her-more a tear of relief than pain right now. “I thought you were going to fire me…”
“Don’t be silly”, she said patting the woman’s rump. “I have to admit I was at a loss for a while about what to do with you….but I think we’ve figured this out. Agreed?”
“THAT is not necessary. Unless it works for you.” She switched the brush back into her right hand. “Alright now-prepare yourself-we have to finish this business here.”
She dug her fingernails into the carpet and gritted her teeth. Two more swats landed firmly on her tortured bottom and she yelped a little on the third-made enough of a sound that neither woman heard the front door open. The Browns, coming back for a forgotten cell phone, found themselves face to cheek with Diana’s glowing bottom.
“Oh, excuse us”, Mr. Brown coughed. “We didn’t mean to…..”
Lisa looked up to the couple and pressed her left arm more heavily across Diana’s back to prevent her from getting up. “No problem”, Lisa sputtered back. “Thought you were gone for the day. Just some….workplace discipline…”
“What did she do?” Mrs. Brown asked. “This isn’t about the towels is it? That wasn’t such a big…”
“No”, said Lisa, “Not just that…it was a number of things that built up…”
“Oh…I see…” Mrs. Brown said.
Diana held her breath and listened for movement, for the Browns to excuse themselves and head up the stairs. Lisa was waiting for pretty much the same thing.
“Don’t let us stop you…” Mrs. Brown said. “We just stopped back for my phone.”
Lisa was a little put-off by having and audience, but lifted the brush and smacked Diana again. The older woman gritted her teeth, determined not to cry out in front of the guests but it was exceedingly difficult and ultimately impossible.
Mrs. Brown turned to her husband and he bent so she could whisper in his ear. “Not much padding back there.” She jumped as another swat landed and Diana cried out. “Not much at all,” he whispered back as he let his hand wander over the rear expanse of his wife’s blue jeans.
“How many will you give her?” asked Mrs. Brown.
Saying the first thing that came to mind, Lisa said, “In truth, that’s up to her. She has to tell me when she feels she’s been adequately punished. Diana? What do you think?”
She turned her head a little to speak back over her shoulder and worked hard to come up with whatever she thought Lisa wanted to hear. “It’s really up to you, Lisa. I’ve learned my lesson here and my bottom really, really hurts. But it’s up to you.”
Before Lisa could respond, Mrs. Brown spoke up. “That didn’t sound so sincere-You should give her six more.”
“Karen!” said Mr. Brown.
You bitch, thought Diana.
“Not really hard ones, I guess…but six more.”
“You heard the lady Diana.”
She steadied herself determined to not give Karen Brown any satisfaction. After the sixth swat Lisa said, “I think that’s enough…”
“I agree”, said Karen Brown. “Well played.” She took her husband by arm and led him upstairs.
Lisa helped Diana up from her lap. Fifteen minutes of wriggling, writhing and kicking made the modesty of looking away pointless. She even bent and pulled up her friend’s underwear while Diana rubbed her bottom.
“You OK?” asked Lisa.
“Jesus, that hurt.”
“It looked like it…”
“But yes, I’m fine. Message delivered. Message received.” She buttoned her slacks and rubbed again. “I have to tell you though, that was the worst spanking I’ve had in a while.”
“My first,” chirped Lisa.
“Yeah-and I get the feeling it won’t be your last.”
The young woman smiled slyly and jumped up off the chair. “Time will tell. I have errands to run-and I don’t want to run into the Browns just now. I assume you have everything in hand here, right?”
“As long as it doesn’t involve sitting.”
With a glance up the stairs to make sure the coast was clear of Browns, Lisa was out the door.
Diana killed time in the kitchen-which was off limits to guests-until she heard the Browns on the steps and the front door open and close. She stepped into the kitchen face to face with Mr. Brown.
“I’m sorry…”, he said. Then, as Diana looked around him, “She’s out in the car-I told her I forgot something-I..we didn’t mean to step into the middle of anything before.”
“Not to worry”, said Diana carefully. “Seems like your wife had a good time….”
“Yeah, her…she can enjoy that kind of thing….”
“Oh yeah-not as much as her though.”
“You’re here through the weekend. We have a small group that gets together monthly. We meet above the bookstore. Right on the corner. So happens we meet there tomorrow night. If you and your wife are interested, stop by. Around eight. Drop my name at the door.”
“Will there be more of what we walked in on today?”
“You can pretty much count on it.”
“Maybe we’ll stop by…”
“Just know this, first time attendees have to participate. On some level…”
Mr. Brown smiled and headed to the door. “Maybe we’ll stop by…”