Continued from The Twins
Camilla still hadn’t said a word as she walked up the steps and unlocked the apartment. And as he had a number of times since leaving Alex’s office, Phillip bringing up the rear forlornly, tried to engage his sister at least to apologize. Again he was silently rebuffed as she walked through the living room, down the hall and into her room closing the door behind her.
Alex stepped through the door to the Chancellor’s Office and greeted Marianne, Wallace Foster’s secretary. A handsome woman in her fifties she was married to a Spanish professor on campus and had put two boys through Mr. Ashby. She had a warm smile and seemed proud of her well-earned salt and pepper hair which she never darkened but kept in a rather youthful cut around her face.
“Hello Alex, nice to see you,” she smiled rising and extending a hand.
Alex shook gingerly. Marianne was tall and strapping given to long hikes over the mountain trails and long laps in the university pool.
“Is he available?” Alex asked, nodding toward the closed door.
“He’s on the phone right now”, she widened her eyes in comical emphasis, “Benefactors, you know”, and smiled. “Have a seat, he should be off in a moment.”
Phillip knocked softly at his sister’s door. “Cammie? Cammie? Can I come in?”
Camilla was face down on the bed dry-eyed and fully clothed. Her bottom felt tight and hot encased like two little sausages in her snug panties. “Cam?” She knew she had to eventually let him in or he would paw pitifully at the door all afternoon. But she let him knock a little longer before she gave a muffled “Come in…” into the pillow.
The door opened and he crossed the floor mercifully silently and sat on the bed. He patted the back of her leg down by her knee-well away from the affected area. “I won’t apologize again. You know how sorry I am…Cam, I just couldn’t let her…”
“Enough, Phillip. I know. Don’t apologize anymore. My fault. I dealt with it.”
He sighed loudly. “Thank you. You can’t imagine how it felt watching you…”
“Spare me.” She said.
Yes, probably bad form telling her how much it hurt him watching her take his strokes. After a moment he pulled at loose corduroys. “You should at least get these off. Your bum still has to hurt. Let me rub some lotion on you. Make you feel a little bit better anyway.” There was no response and her steady breathing almost convinced her brother she was sleeping until she said, “Take my shoes off….”
He slipped her loafers off one at a time and dropped them to the floor. She rolled onto her hip so he could undo her belt and pants and for the second time in the last hour they came down, pulled all the way off from the bottom. In the sunlight beaming through the blinds Phillip could see the welts and bruises from the cane below her sheer panties as well as through them.
She lifted slightly so he could gently roll them down and off. It did feel better having the cool air caress her skin. “Poor Cammie”, he whispered rubbing the back of her thigh.
“Lotion is on the dresser. In the green bottle.”
He knew the bottle. It was aloe and Vitamin E mostly-very soothing on sunburns and any other such burn or….abrasion. He sat back on the bed and squeezed some onto his fingers which he applied gently to the welt that crossed the exact center of her bottom. She sighed gently and raised her bottom ever so slightly so that he would have easy access to the burns where her cheeks met her legs. Her eyes stung a little at the relief.
“You mean he let her take his caning too? He just stood for that?”
“Yep. She took all twenty.”
“What a little shit he is…I figured that.”
Wallace Foster was tallish without being actually tall. His rangy build and long arms made him look taller. Shoulders and chest were overly large and rounded-evidence of too much time in the weight room for a guy his age but who was she to judge how someone stays in shape. He wore his thick dark hair short on the sides with a razor sharp part on the left. Nothing fell onto his forehead.
His nervous energy made it seem as if he was always chewing gum or snapping his fingers through he did neither. It was a constant internal fidget that manifested in rubbing his fingers together or waving his hands.
“Did you really bring it? Was it a good punishment?”
“Very adequate. Truthfully, I did let up in the end a bit. I might have gone harder for a few strokes just to shame him.”
“Good luck with that.”
“What’s with them, anyway?”
“Oh, don’t know…not drugs or anything nefarious. I think they took off to Italy before last term with the money earmarked for school. Thought it would be easier to put us off than to let their parents know. I’m thinking we disabused them of that notion.”
“They are coming to see you about a payment plan.”
He waved his arm, dismissing the subject. “Of course. It will be taken care of. But you, Ms. Tao…”
“Ms. Tao?” thought Alex as alarm bells began to go off in her head.
“It was you who delivered the caning, correct? You. Alex Tao.”
“Of course”, she said firmly betraying nothing.
“Not your secretary, Colleen, then?”
”No. It was me. Why?”
“You realize that we have a trust here, at Mt. Ashby. Not a sacred trust necessarily, but a trust nonetheless. A trust with the student body, with the parents who send their precious little shits here, with each other to do things a particular way. You’ve been here long enough to know that.”
“Yes, I know that. I don’t see…”
“Having your secretary, or anyone who is not a faculty member nor tenured staff member carry out punishments would be a betrayal of that trust.”
Alex bit her lip to avoid saying anything.
Foster stepped out from behind his desk and moved to the window, speaking to the view beyond. “I’m not going to embarrass us both by asking the question that we both know the answer to so I’ll ask instead how many canings did your secretary participate in?”
“Well…she’s been a witness to….”
“I’m not talking about witnessing. I’m talking about swinging the cane. How many?”
Alex pretended to have to think for a moment, then said “Six.”
“Always under my supervision. I was there. It was under my supervision and direction. You know I was…incapacitated…” she raised her arm weakly though Foster wasn’t looking.
“You were OK today.”
“Things heal. It’s taken awhile…”
The silence between them ticked off until he finally said, “This could have been serious. If anyone would have complained or raised an issue, we all could have been in a bit of a jam. You exposed us pretty severely.”
“Look, my understanding was that..”
“Your understanding was wrong.” He bit the words off severely. He turned to face her. “What I have to do now, what we have to do is going to be good for Colleen but…We’re going to have to fake a special board session later this week to grant her tenure. About three years too early but we can make the paperwork look like she’s had tenure all along. A special circumstance.” He then continued as if to himself as he paced around the room…”Not exactly the Mt. Ashby way, but you’ve put us in a spot here…”
Alex had a chill radiating from her stomach. She had never thought this would turn into a….thing. She still didn’t think so, but if the Chancellor was this put out by it, she might have misread the situation. She would have to go back and scour the bylaws and handbooks to see if…She froze when she heard the closet open behind her. There was only one reason for him to be going into his closet. A quick glance over her shoulder confirmed her fear-Foster was taking a cane off the hook inside the door.
She shot to her feet. “Wallace! There is no way you are going to cane me!”
“Alex”, he said closing the door behind him. “As I said, you’ve put us in a spot. You could have come to me about….” He waved the cane toward her arm…”your incapacity-but you chose not to. You chose to do it your own way-as if you had no superiors here to report to…or confide in.”
“Look. I’m sorry but I’m sure we can figure…”
“I already have figured. And it wasn’t just me. Unlike you I opened the situation to other staff and faculty to discuss and we found our way out of it. We will fix this. This mess that you made. This”, he flicked the cane in the air, “isn’t about fixing the problem. It’s about punishing the person who caused it.”
She tried to control her voice-to modulate the rising waves of…what? Fear? Embarrassment? “We’re peers. I’m in a tenured position here.”
“That’s true-but the bylaws of the institution allow for corporal punishment among peers.”
“But I would have to consent.”
“That’s right, you would.”
“And I certainly do not!”
“I don’t think this is as serious a breach as you do and I think given some time to investigate…”
The Chancellor placed the cane on his desk and went back to the window, dismissing her words with a wave of his hand. “Been done-we know the course we are taking. If you are not going to accept your caning-as is your right-you are free to go.”
She stopped trying to speak. That was it? “Alright then. I’ll go…I’m sorry for this Foster. I really am. I just didn’t think.”
“No problem”, he said to the mountains out the window. “Go about your day…nice job with the twins. Thanks for that.”
“OK, fine. Thank you.” She was almost to the door when he asked, without turning around. “Send your secretary Colleen over would you?”
She froze. “Colleen? Why?”
He thought of Colleen. He didn’t really know her-just had seen her around campus-big smile, long coltish legs…”Somebody has to pay for this breach of protocol. You, as is your right, have passed. Your secretary though was a willing participant…”
“She only did what I told her to do!”
“That’s clear. You misguided her. But she will have to pay for it since she doesn’t have tenure yet. Doesn’t seem fair does it?”
Camilla had begun to cry softly has Phillip gently applied the lotion to her hot bottom. She wasn’t crying against the pain, which had begun to subside but out of relief that the whole affair was now over. She was grateful for the attention her brother was giving her and that she could count on him to be by her side…for most things anyway.
She spread her legs slightly to allow his soothing fingers to get a little deeper between her cheeks. “Don’t”, she said softly as they probed directly between her legs where no cane had bitten. “Shhh…” he whispered gently as she raised up slightly and he extended further….
To be continued…