Continued from “Ten it is then…”
Gwen Smythe stepped to the left and, measuring, placed the stick gently across the middle of Bethany’s rounded bum. The girl twitched at the touch. “Shhh…settle…” Ms. Smythe cooed as she might to a skittish pony. “And don’t clench-that’s actually worse.” Bethany felt the smooth cool of the wood touch the middle of her bottom and linger. She felt is slide back and forth lightly as if marking a spot-then it was gone. She gritted her teeth and didn’t have to wait long. She heard it whipping through the air before it struck with a loud CRACK.
Bethany let a sibilant hiss escape her tight lips when what she really wanted to do was yell: “OW-OW-OW-OW-OW-OW-OW-OW” and dance across the room because the first blow bloomed into a burn like a wasp’s sting. Two wasps! One on each cheek. She gasped as another followed quickly and tried to move without moving-bringing her knees together then apart-lifting on one toe, then the next.
Another burned into her bottom up high and she wriggled side-to-side; anything to help dissipate the burn. She pushed backwards and met the stick half-way then leaned further over her hands. Nothing was really helping-the target was too clearly in range and Assistant Dean Smythe was apparently expert in the task.
Halfway through her sentence a swat bounced hard off of her sit spot and she bolted upright-or as upright as she could while still keeping her hands-even if only the fingertips-on the desk as instructed. When she stood her butt cheeks tensed like two hard dimpled apples. Ms. Smythe stepped back to allow space between her and her bucking charge and let fly with two cuts across the bum, one dipping to the top of her leg to a loud “ooooo!” that Bethany couldn’t hold in. A hop, then another, higher hop.
“Ok, Ok…” Ms. Smythe said gently placing her hand on the girl’s shoulder. “Settle down, settle down…lean back over…” Bethany choked on a sob that she wouldn’t give full voice to and bent back over the desk. Two tears splashed onto the polished wood surface.
She froze when she felt the other woman’s hand on her backside gently outlining the marks where the last two swats had landed. Gwen Smythe’s fingers felt ice cold against the burn, lifting her right cheek, surveying the damage on her sit spot. Bethany held her breath trying to come to a reconciliation between the burning sting of the paddle and Ms. Smythe’s cooling touch. “This isn’t too bad…” she said. Then touching another spot allowed that, “This will leave a bit of a mark, I’m afraid. That’s your fault, all that jumping around.”
“I’m sorry, Ma’am. I didn’t…”
“Shhh…quite alright. Those were hard.” Then after a pause as Bethany steeled for another swat, she heard, “You play sports, don’t you?”
What? Was she actually asking that? Was it small talk now?
“Yes, Ma’am” she said slowly, holding her voice as steady as she could. “Lacrosse.”
“Great game! All that running-you’re in shape.” She felt a light pat on the left cheek. “Firm bottom.”
“Well, back to it. You have three more and I expect you to stay in position. Do you understand?”
She dug her fingers into the desktop and gritted her teeth. The next stroke landed softly-not even a sting. She had to be measuring-setting her up for the big finish. “Soften your cheeks,” she ordered. “You’re tensing.” Bethany did as she was told and held her breath. The two more that followed were the same patty-cake. Pat-Pat.
“That’s it”, Ms. Smythe announced and backed away. “You’re done. Feel free to pull your pants up.”
Bethany bent awkwardly and slipped her heart undies then her trousers up. With a quick snap and buckle she was done. The Assistant Dean was holding a tissue when she turned to face her. “Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?” she asked as she dabbed at Bethany’s damp cheeks and eyes.
Bethany almost grinned sheepishly. “It was sorta bad. First time, I guess. Last time, I hope.”
“Well maybe, after this afternoon.”
“I’ll see you back here at three.”
“Really, you know nothing do you? It’s the last day of the month-everybody who’s earned themselves a paddling that month comes back at three on the last day-for a reminder.” She was still holding the paddle and gripped it in a way that left no doubt about her meaning.
“But, that’s not fair”, Bethany gasped, feeling she might cry again.
“Maybe, maybe not. But effective. We have very few repeat offenses here since I took this desk. You might want to find time to change panties though…before coming back. There will, of course, be others here.”
“How many?” Bethany whispered between gasps.
“Eleven or so, I think. Amy knows for sure….six boys, five girls….Maybe the reverse…”
“Not to worry, silly. We split into two groups. No one sees anything that they wouldn’t see in a locker room, right? Better hurry off now-get to class. I’ll see you later.”
Bethany hurried out the door and was halfway across the outer office when Amy spoke up. “See you back here at three then? Wouldn’t serve to be late.” There was a tone to the voice that Bethany didn’t like. She turned to say something and the girl gave a foppish, four finger “Toodle-Loo” wave and smirked a smile. “See you later…” she sing-songed.
Stepping into the morning sun, the heat rising in Bethany’s cheeks had nothing to do with pain, embarrassment or helplessness. It was, she felt, a righteous anger that pushed those bothersome concerns to the back of the room. That little bitch! Later she would think it funny that she had no real ill feelings for AD Smythe at that moment but that all of her ire settled on the smarmy little secretary. She stopped her furious striding at a bench near the top of the quad. She flopped down and immediately lifted, reminded sharply by the sting in her sit spot to go gently.
She sat mostly on her left cheek and scrolled through her text messages. There it was. The last text Dean Jackson had sent her when he left. She hadn’t been in contact with him-figured she would let him enjoy his sabbatical knowing he had to be back for commencement. But this…this was special circumstances. And he had, after all, invited her to reach out if she ever needed anything.
She began furiously thumb typing.
To be continued….