The Split Oak

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. 

“You OK?”

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. 

Bus Stop Part 2

© HotBottoms

Continued from Bus Stop

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 those ive words 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.

“For what?”

“ 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.”

“Ready then?”

She nodded once.

“Words, please”, he said

“I’m ready”

“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.

Complicated

Continued from “Hit me!”

Now, two weeks later she was in his kitchen-and it was his when he was here alone who else’s would it be-turning her back to him and asking again for something that shouldn’t have been his to give.

“Really? Work this out with your husband.”

She turned back to face him fully. “No. There are some things I’ll never work out with Ben. Ever!” She seemed to choke and made a sound-a tsk or tiff-it was hard to tell with the mask, but was clear when she said, “This I need to work out with you.” 

Well, you made your choice, is what he said in his head. It was a phrase that was quite popular between them for awhile back then. He’d say it, he’d yell it, she’d cry about making a mistake, then he’d cry about…and that was how it had gone on, and on before they settled into this uneasy truce that gave each of them something which actually turned out to be nothing. He bit his tongue not wanting to revisit and rehash things that had been said before. This was different and he felt it. Like he was standing in a river and the current was too strong. He stepped forward into the circle of heat that radiated from her. 

“I’ve known you a long time…I know what you went through at home. With your mother…”

“Don’t!”, she said. “This is different. This is my choice. My…want…” The words were failing her and, thinking to clarify, she tore her mask off. But he knew. The mask wasn’t covering her eyes and they told the story of her need. 

He also doffed his mask and tossed it onto the counter. “Shit”, he thought, “I might not survive the morning anyway…” He stepped closer and spoke slowly and quietly. 

“Do you know how hard it is for me to work here and keep my hands off of you?” She looked away. “Look at what you’re wearing! And don’t stop on my account. But Jesus, Dar.”

“I know. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t worry about me, I’m fine. I work through it. But you are asking for a helluva lot right now.” 

“I know. I’m sorry”, she repeated robotically. “But do you know how hard it is to really, really need something that you can’t get your hands on, that’s just out of reach. And the one person, the one single person…” he braced himself thinking from her voice that she was going to hit him, “…that maybe knew what you needed-could give you what you needed-was too thick to…”

He pressed his finger against her lips hard enough to silence her. “Not thick, Darla. I know what you’re doing. I know what you want. I. Know. You. You do not stop. This is not a one-off. And this will complicate things…”

“Things are already complicated”, she pouted. “They’ve always been complicated for me…” She sounded deflated, defeated, forlornly clutching the spoon like a kid not willing to give up a toy. She had put it out there and it had fallen flat to the floor. She was breathlessly wondering how she was going to get through the day when she felt his fingers against her belly. She gasped as they slid down her pants and grabbed her belt. He pulled firmly as she allowed herself to be inexorably drawn into his shadow then melted into him everywhere their bodies touched. 

She felt his breath on her shoulder as he loomed, then gasped again when his hands opened her belt and unsnapped her shorts. “I’ve already swatted your jeans”, he growled sliding his hands inside her pants and pushing them down as he slid his palms over her hips and panty-clad bottom. He gently nibbled the bottom of her neck as he slipped his thumbs into the waistband of her panties and pushed them down as well, cupping her bottom cheeks as they fluttered to the floor. 

Suddenly, not content with fondling, he slipped all eight fingers into her crease and pulled, opening her roughly in a way that he didn’t think he could. Then he kneaded her backside until she choked out a small whimper. All pretense of being able to hold back-to deny what he had been feeling-to curb the welling lust within him was gone. His “rule” that he’d used before to fend her off, that he didn’t get involved with married women, had apparently been revoked. 

He raised one hand to her chin and lifted her face to peek once into her full and glowing eyes looking for something, anything, to give him pause. There was nothing. One kiss-soft and gentle-then, with both hands, he turned her and pushed on her shoulders, bending her over the stainless steel table. He kept pressing until she flattened pushing her bare bottom back into his hips. He leaned into her reaching for the spoon which she still held then he stood back to admire the view he’d only seen a few times and not for almost a decade. 

The way she dressed left few secrets but seeing her full bottom, bare and thus offered caused his breath to catch and, not surprisingly, his cock to stir. He put the spoon on the counter and pressed the small of her back with his left and cupped her backside, one cheek, then the other.  

When he pulled his hand away Darla flinched in anticipation and jumped when he touched her. When he finally delivered a tentative smack, she gasped then froze. Waiting. She didn’t have to wait long. Again and again he slapped her bottom as she mewled and undulated like a cobra to the charmer’s pipe. He spanked thoroughly, leaving no spot on her bottom untouched until he could feel the warmth of her skin when his hand lingered. 

She heard the small “snick” when he picked the wooden spoon off the counter and tightened her grip on the sides of the table. She hadn’t been hit with anything in years and her mind whirled as she tried to imagine what it was going to feel like. She wanted it, she wasn’t afraid of it, she trusted Jimmy…but she still-!*!

“YOW!” she yelped as the first swat landed on her right cheek short circuiting all attempts at thought. Then another landed on the opposite cheek. “OWW!” Jimmy rubbed the spoon along her bottom before delivering a third whack which bloomed into a third red egg dappling her all over pink bottom. She gasped and involuntarily kicked back when another blow stung her deeply where her left cheek met her leg. “GAHHH!”

“Too hard?” he asked.

“No!” she said, fairly panting, wishing for a moment that she had said yes and not knowing why she hadn’t. Then no, again. Not too hard. Then she felt his hand, Jimmy’s hand, on her bottom rubbing and kneading the aching flesh. Darla scooped her back and wantonly leaned her ass into his touch wanting more. More of the touch, more of the pain, more…Just freaking more! “Come on Jimmy”, she said. “More…”

He stepped closer and let fly again and again, standing out of the way as she kicked and bucked with every blow. After fifteen or sixteen swats she had passed through the place where she needed to wriggle, to dance, or to jump and kick in answer to her punishment. She released her grip on the table and stood upright, fingers tightly entwined behind her neck. Her whimpers offered a constant song of release as her tightly clenched red bottom ricocheted every swat backward. 

He would have long stopped had he not clearly seen how much she wanted this. How much she needed this. As he bent to deliver blow after blow, he wondered if he needed it too? As she continued to offer her bottom it occurred that he was giving her what she wanted, but she was giving him herself, in a way she hadn’t given herself to anyone before. 

As with many things in his life, the decision to stop her paddling was made by his cock, so engorged he feared for its, and his, safety. He tossed the spoon to the counter with a clatter. “Look at me”, he said huskily, turning her by the shoulders. Her tear streaked face-a kaleidoscope of pain, lust, and a sparkle of joy-pushed him over the edge. 

He tore at his own jeans as she attacked his mouth with her own. Her hands fumbled atop his in the struggle to get his pants down. Once unleashed, his cock jabbed forward like a lance punching Darla in the belly. Jimmy dropped his arms around her hot bottom and lifted her onto the steel table.

“Ooooh! Shit!”, Darla cried slipping up on one cheek then the other, her tortured skin sticking to the cold metal. “Hurts-hurts-hurts-hurts…” He reached for a dish towel as she hugged his neck lifting herself. He slipped the towel under her. “Man…”, she breathed, wincing. 

He pulled her roughly to the edge. His entry was quick and complete, buried to the hilt in a single, sopping thrust. Darla moaned loudly and lifted herself on his neck again, tearing at his face with her mouth in wild abandon, freeing every pent up desire and emotion from the last ten years. Jimmy pushed her back down and locked his arms around her holding on as best he could while they each matched the other’s pounding and thrusting until the slapping of their middles and the painful banging of her butt on the table filled the room.

“I’m…coming…”, she gasped. “I’m…going to…”

“Do it!” Jimmy bit. He was holding off as best he could but his resolve, unlike his staff, was wilting. He slipped his hands under her and lifted as she locked her legs around him. “Come!” he said. “Come for me…”

Her legs gripped him tightly as she hissed through clenched teeth until, unable to hold back, exploded with a coughing bark then “AAAHHHHH!” as she futilly tried to pull him deeper inside. He held her tighter than he’d held anyone as, in a final thrust, he released what felt to be a flood deep into his first and only love. “Oh my fucking…god…” was all he could say. 

They held as they were, him standing, arms squeezing and her sitting, legs wrapped tightly around his middle holding his pulsing cock inside for as long as she could. Then, resuming regular breathing, she released her legs and he allowed her to collapse backward onto the table, her outstretched arms knocking a stack of metal serving trays to the floor with a loud crash. He laughed lightly and withdrew in full, painting a little drizzle along the inside of her thighs and onto the towel below her. 

He bent and smiled into her face. “We are noisy fuckers…”

She grinned, squeezing more tears out of her eyes-not of pain this time, not even of release, but of relief. Of happiness.

“That’s it you know”, he said.

“Mmmm…?”

“I’m never giving you up again.” To make sure he wasn’t misunderstood, he repeated, “I’m never giving you up again.”

“I know.”

He lowered his face closer to hers but neither went for the kiss. Instead he looked deeply into her eyes.

“I love you”,  she said. He let his hand slide down her hip where he could still feel the heat radiating there.

“And your butt?”

Her wicked smile slashed her face like a watermelon slice. “My butt really loves you…”

He kissed her softly but quickly. “Come on”, he said, pulling away. “We have to clean up before your husband gets here.”

“He’s not coming…”

“What do you mean?”

“I might have told a teeny tiny lie. I told him more than I said…”

“So he’s not coming.”

“It’s you and me, babe”. She said. “Are you ready for me full time?”

He squinted down at her. “I think I just got played.”

“Not the first time, won’t be the last.”

He pulled up his pants feeling lighter, maybe even a little taller. He tossed her another towel which she caught still laying on her back. 

“Well, you gotta move. If it’s just the two of us, we have our hands full. Wipe down that table first…”

“I’ll clean the fuck off of it”, she laughed looking at the ceiling.

Jimmy, smiling to himself, turned up the heat under the pots. He was suddenly happy to try “complicated” for a while.

The Sweet Spot

People who know about fishing but have never actually fished, except for maybe dipping a worm into a pay lake as a kid, think all fishing is the same. It is not. This fishing, that he was doing now, for trout in the mountains, is different from the kind of fishing he’d learned as a boy. Then, he and his father fished down-country rivers and lakes for bass mostly. Sometimes pike. The waters were wide and deep, unreadable to those who did not spend time out there as they had. The man and his son. Both of them named Frank, so he was Junior, which he hated.

They would rise before light and settle into the boat, he in the front, the old man in the back manning the outboard. The ride could be long or it might just be up to the bend in the river to what Big Frank had judged to be the best weed bed, gravel bar or drop off for that morning. As fishermen they were always looking for the best spot. He was right more often than not and big fish would rise to poppers as the sun broke the horizon then, later, dive for rubber worms as it burned overhead. As a boy he had learned from his old man how to lose himself in fishing. How to let it consume him so that there was nothing else for the time he was on the water.

Here, on the streams in the mountains, where Frank had fished since his war, it did no good to get there before the sun. The stream, deep in the cut valley, needed sunshine, especially in April, to awaken the mayflies and begin the hatches which in turn awakened the trout. He’d  seen them in this pool yesterday when he and Bill had scouted the stream. That’s what made the stream different from the rivers or lakes. Here he was stalking fish that he could see, not intuiting where they might be. 

And he saw them. The fish hadn’t been actively feeding when they saw them, just twitching in the current, moving a length this way or that, nosing upstream into the current but rising to nothing.  Apart from the big brown that rolled flashing his speckled side, he couldn’t name them all. But that was fine. This was a sweet spot. An uncommon sweet spot.“You fish this one, Kid”, Bill had said, ceding it to him. 

He appreciated the courtesy but knew that Bill had a bad knee from a fall out west over the winter and one walk up this mountain would be enough for him this weekend. He’d fish the flat water within easy reach of the truck.

Bill could fish where he wanted. Bill could do what he wanted. And if he wanted to call a grown man “Kid” he could do that too. Bill owned the mountain, or the thousand and some odd acres worth owning. A spot beyond compare. Mostly standing pine and hardwoods, nestling two excellent trout streams. One was fed by a small lake over the top of the mountain that Bill owned and a smaller bouncier stream that was fed by springs that he probably owned too. 

Bill got the land and all else through his father and uncle who had left this world suddenly, rich from rapaciously logging and mining anything they could lay claim to. Which was, as they said around here, a shit ton. Truth was, had they lived, this mountain would not have. Bill often said that at night he could hear them raging at him from hell, damning him for turning such a rich resource acquired for ruination and enrichment into a personal playground. He usually ended that part of the tale by raising whatever glass he was drinking from at the time and saying, “Fugg ‘em.”

Bill’s a good guy. Has his quirks, sure. Who doesn’t? Over the last few years, Frank had convinced himself that even if the forebears, that’s how Bill referred to them,  had lived they wouldn’t have been able to pull Bill into their life where money meant everything. That class of people always overreached, thinking that money could buy wisdom, insight or youth. Power though, was something different. Everyone had power, the secret is convincing someone to relinquish theirs. Everything came with a price. A tariff, Bill had called it. 

Frank had come out of a thick stand of mountain laurel to approach the stream across the thin gravel strip. Sunlight was crawling down the opposite ridge as he tied on a Blue Wing Olive and tried to cast to a riffle downstream from a rock where he knew a fish would be holding. As was typical of his first casts, he missed badly coming up short, but the fly no sooner hit the water than it was engulfed by a small splash and the line snapped straight.

“Damn!” he said, setting the hook which the fish had already done a good job of. It wasn’t a big fish, but it was a frantic one. A pink flash on the jump showed it to be a rainbow. He brought it in quickly, not wanting to tire it too badly, and pinned it against his leg with his free hand. Then, keeping it safely in the water, he grabbed the shank of the hook and twisted it out of the fish’s jaw. The trout hung there suspended in the current for a moment flaring its gills. Then, with a flick of its tail, it was off into the current and gone. Frank smiled that he botched his first cast and still landed a trout. Would be one of those days.

He worked upstream slowly, moving to keep his legs warm inside his waders. Most casts seemed to raise fish-if not to be caught, to be missed. That was fine. He was only going to keep a few for dinner so there was no pressure to catch every fish. That was never the point. As the sun crested, and the hatch changed, he switched flies. Then when he reached a shady hole where he knew some big fish would be stacked along the bottom he went with the beaded woolly bugger-something that would go deep. His actions were rhythmic and thoughtless until they weren’t. 

His mind wandered, it always did when the fishing was good, to the mornings with his old man. They were not all good, he knew. Sometimes they went out and his father was still drunk from the night before. Sometimes he carried a bottle. Sometimes the boat would arc in a long circle before he turned to see the old man sleeping against the tiller, cigarette hanging from his limp lips. He knew there were those mornings. But on days like this, when the trout were rising and the creel was filling, he remembered every morning as spectacular with great leaping fish and his father young and strong before whiskey, cigarettes and the world ground him. 

He had met Bill in a stateside airport bar, awaiting the flight for his last leg on his final home trip from Kandahar. He had signed with the Army less than two weeks after putting the old man in the ground and signing everything over to the banks who had been dogging his father during his last, failing years. 

The man in the bar had a rod case leaning against his seat and Frank asked about it. He had ditched his uniform, his boots and everything that connected him with the previous four years. At that moment, in the bar, he wanted nothing more than to talk fishing. And talk was something that the big man knew how to do. Frank took most of it as bullshit, of course. Who in their thirties owns a mountain and was building a paradise for himself?

When he left to catch his flight, Bill called Frank’s phone so he’d have his number and told him to feel free to visit him on his mountain. What a character, Frank thought as he called for another beer. Then his phone buzzed with a text from the big guy with the coordinates to his place. “Come up if you want to learn trout fishing”, read the text. 

Three weeks later, with nothing to do and nowhere to be, he stepped out of his truck in front of Bill’s private lodge on his very own mountain. When he got there that first time, the place still smelled of sawdust and he parked next to the carpenter’s trucks. They were putting the finishing touches on the back of the house and his first tour of the property wound around ladders and chop saws. It was magnificent, he had to agree. “This will be your room”, he motioned into a room larger than his whole apartment. At least he thought it was big, until Bill showed him his own. 

That night, long after the workers had packed up, Bill grilled steaks and they sat beside a snapping fire in the pit and watched a darkness as deep and any he’d seen overseas settle over the mountain. It was then, over bourbons, that Bill laid out the tariff that he would impose for complete access to the mountain and all that was on it.  Frank paused of course. Who wouldn’t? It was a perfect spot though,  and if the fishing were anything near what Bill said it was, it could be worth it. It would be worth it.  Again, having nothing to do and nowhere to be, he agreed. Even with all of everything, Frank never regretted running into the man in that bar.

The shower was better than fine. The water was cold and prickly and he let it spatter the back of his neck until it hurt. The smell of the soap made him want to eat it, and the towels were thick and soft enough to pass as blankets. He’d never felt towels like these off of this mountain. 

He stepped out of the bathroom and into his room. They were all like this: seven bedrooms, seven adjoining bathrooms. He crossed to the sliding glass door and slipped out onto the deck overlooking the valley. The stored heat of the sun radiated from the thick pine boards. He closed his eyes to the falling sun and savored the afternoon breeze caressing his body as he leaned forward, liking the railing’s warm wood against his bare skin. 

The first time he’d stood on this spot he’d flashed back to the firebase in Afghanistan. Like this, it was on a mountain with a view of the valley below but over there, the view was a narrow one with cliffs on both sides funneling vision down to the crossroad and the town beside it. It was brown, it was gray, it was dusty. Then it was gone. That was it. That one thought. A blip. That one memory. It wasn’t a particularly bad one-not ominous in any way and it never happened again. Being up here had cleansed him of those years, he was sure of it. That one obligatory memory had to pop out like some kind of boogeyman to let him know it wasn’t far away if he let his guard down. But he wouldn’t. He was in a good spot. 

He flopped on the bed without dressing. What would be the point? The books on the bedside table were all about fishing and he picked up one he remembered, opening it at random. He read easily, skimming the words one at a time but failing to find any coherent structure. It was as if the words were children’s blocks cast carelessly onto the floor. He tried again from the top. It wasn’t working and the more he tried to concentrate the more his mind scattered. He recognized the feeling even if he wouldn’t name it. He should have taken the drink when offered, but there will be time for that later. 

Facing as he was, he could see the door swing open even with his nose in the book. The man stepped in wearing only one of those plush towels wrapped around his waist. He was carrying a thick rocks glass of bourbon with a single large cube. The way he was holding it, the brown of the liquor contrasted with his white middle. 

“And there you are”, the man said.

“And here I am.”

The man set the drink on the bedside table and Frank rolled onto his stomach facing away. He didn’t have to see it. The first time the man had dropped the towel, on his first visit, he’d seen it. The first time he made the mistake of looking. Didn’t have to again. It would prod him, poke him, spread him and fill him. He didn’t have to see it. He heard the drawer open, where the lotions and rubbers were. He hadn’t looked in there either.  He knew what was in there. 

“You OK?” the man asked.

“Oh sure. I’m fine.”

“Good, good…”

The bed moved as the man maneuvered himself between Frank’s legs. “Those fish are perfect,” he said. “Stuffed  them with thyme and lemons. They’ll grill beautifully.”

“They are perfect”, Frank agreed as he heard the packet tear.

The man’s hands were on him then, pulling and positioning, touching as he liked to. His skin felt cauterized. He could feel the hands rubbing and moving, but not the touch. Even when the fingers moved lower and inside, the feeling was dulled. Then he felt the cool of the oil right there and hissed a breath. 

Then there was the stillness. Then the roll of the bed as the man loomed and covered him. Then the pressure at his bottom. Slow and burning at first but inexorable. He winced as the weight of the man settled on him and squeezed fistfuls of blankets. His mouth opened silently as he was penetrated. 

It had occurred to him before, that this is something, for comfort’s sake, that one should do more often or not at all. But it was such a sweet spot up here he didn’t want to bring it up.  

Another Stray Day

Claude Monet, The Gare Saint Lazare: Arrival of a Train

Continuing with the characters from The Stray

Robin slipped her shades on just as she turned the corner, knowing she’d be walking right into the early afternoon sun. A beautiful day to be off-at least as off as she ever was. She needed to check in at The Stray for a few to put together a liquor order then it was off to the museum for the traveling Impressionists show that was only here through the weekend. 

“Toddler! What’s up little man?” Todd shifted on his stool behind the bar where he was reading the paper. “Don’t get up on my account.” Todd was “little” like black was white, like square was round. Six five or so, three hundred if an ounce, he was the late night closer filling in for the afternoon. 

“Aw man”, he moaned. “I thought you were off today.”

She grinned at the big man’s gibe. “Ten minutes, that’s it. Then I’ll let you get back to…” she gestured to the nothing he was doing. “…your what have you.”

“Seriously”, he said, folding the paper and laying it on the bar, “A beautiful day like this…why you here?”

“Forgot the liquor order yesterday…”

“Done.”

“What?”

“Saw it in the register…called it in.”

“Did you add the tequila? I had it on a note…”

“I can read. Even your scratches…”

“Well”, she smiled, “Our little boy is growing up…”

She was about ready to turn on her heel and head back out the door when Todd mentioned that he hadn’t seen Olive yet today. Which was unusual. She was an early riser and a restless little shit who was sometimes found sitting at the bar having a coffee when they opened the place. They exchanged a glance. Todd was concerned or he wouldn’t have brought it up but he wasn’t yet concerned enough to go check on her. Tag, you’re it, thought Robin. 

Robin made no effort to be quiet climbing the steps and walking the short hallway but hesitated when she got to the door. She had been in there before, usually just to drop off mail or something Olive had left at the bar. She knocked softly. “Olive?” she called. Nothing. Then louder, “Olive?” She tried the knob-of course it was unlocked-and stuck her head in cautiously. “Olive?” The door opened into a small living room furnished with cast-offs and discards, an old stained couch, a sun-bleached table with a chunk of wood under one leg, and an overstuffed chair that definitely looked like it had been picked off the curb. The table was as far into the place as Robin had ever been. She listened hard, trying to will a sound that would preclude her having to venture any farther. Nothing. Dead still. 

A growing sense of dread dragged at her feet as she crossed the room through the open archway into the spartan bedroom. Alley light filtered in through a grimy window that faced the gray block wall of the building next door. The bed headed opposite her and Robin could see Olive on her side, bare feet glowing white like bones out of the legs of her black jeans. As she got closer Robin realized that she was creeping almost on her toes, being as silent as she could. The girl’s dark shirt was riding up in the back revealing her backbone’s sharp knuckles. 

Most of Olive’s face was hidden, shrouded by her long, lank hair. Holding her breath, Robin leaned over, then closer looking, looking…then sighed with relief as she saw the girl’s hair where it covered her mouth, moving back and forth gently in tandem with her shallow breaths. “Thank god”, she whispered, straightening up. Then, once relieved, she slipped into a previous life, scanning the floor around the bed for foil, a pipe, a belt, lighters…anything that might tell a story of a fix, a shot, a smoke. Nothing. She opened the single drawer on the bed stand and under a towel there was…well… Robin smiled even as she felt the heat rise in her face.  What a woman did in her own bed was her business, she thought, covering it back with the towel.  But nothing else. 

She turned back to the bed and called the girl’s name quietly while poking her gently in the shoulder. “Hey, Olive…you OK?” Poke again. The girl’s blue eyes fluttered open behind under her hair, sleepy but clear. It took a second for her to focus and actually see what she was seeing. 

“Robin…” she said. “What’s up…?” She lay on her back blinking slowly as Robin told her that Todd was concerned, well, that they both were, having not seen her all day, and she’d just come up to check on her. 

“Did you have a rough night?” Robin asked, allowing a smile remembering what was in the drawer.

“No. I don’t think so…slept hard though. Wow. What time is it?”

“Almost one, girl…”

“Shit…” Olive brought her hands up to push her hair off her face and rub her eyes. “I was dead!” 

“Yep”, thought Robin, that was the concern. She reached down and, in the manner of a mother to her child, ran the backs of her fingers across her cheek.

“You are warm, Olive.”

“I…just woke up I guess.”

“No”, said Robin. “You’re running a fever…”

“Naw. I run hot…”

“Still…”

“There’s a thermometer in the bathroom. In the cabinet if you want to check.”

Robin straightened, patting Olive’s cheek. “Just a quick look…”

In the bathroom Robin opened the medicine cabinet and sure enough, there were two glass thermometers on the bottom shelf. She grabbed the one in the green plastic sheath and pulled it out. The thermometer had a little silver ball at the end. “Oops,” she thought. “Not this one…” She picked the other and opened it seeing the same little ball at the end of the tube. She grinned. “I guess not…” she thought.

She was still holding the thermometer when she went to the bathroom door.  “Hey Olive, all you have are rect…” she froze when she saw the girl lying on her stomach with her jeans and panties around her knees. 

Olive flipped her head toward Robin. “Yes, that’s it. Bring them both-I don’t think one works. Don’t forget the Vaseline.” Then, when Robin didn’t move, “You OK?”

Robin snapped out of it. “Oh sure…yeah. Right. Vaseline…” She went back to the medicine cabinet and retrieved the other thermometer and the small jar that was beside them on the shelf. She caught her reflection in the mirror and watched the blush sliding over her cheeks. “Oh, yeah”, she said to her reflection. “Totally normal.” 

She came out of the bathroom and approached the bed carefully, again dragging her feet but not out of dread this time. It was something else. The girl had to know that most people, adults anyway, didn’t take their temperatures this way. Didn’t she? Had to. Robin was about to say something-really, this felt so freaking…but she stopped herself. She wouldn’t say “weird”. Having been called that herself so many times as a young human trying to find her way through the cliquish private schools her mother overspent to send her to, she had vowed never to use it in relation to another person. Even when it really freaking applied. 

Olive scooched to one side giving Robin room to sit which she did, gingerly. The truth was, Robin’s deep dark secret, was that she wasn’t as sexual as she appeared. Not frigid by any means and years beyond virginal, she was just…uncomfortable. She was a late bloomer-maybe still a bud-who was constantly plagued by desires that in turn were shadowed by deeper doubts and fears. But she put up a great front. Life had taught her that.

Sitting on the bed she marveled at Olive’s comfort and ease in laying herself bare like this, for this. Never would she have thought to envy Olive anything, besides her obvious looks, but she certainly wouldn’t mind a little of her self assurance.

“Hey”, said Olive into her arm, having crossed them under her head, “You still here?”

“Oh, yeah…” said Robin embarrassed to have been caught..what? Staring? She cleared her throat and popped the cap from the Vaseline. “So”, she asked, making an effort to carry on as normal a conversation as possible, “How do you come to have only rectal thermometers?” 

“I had a friend once who gave me them. He liked to play doctor and brought these. I found out I didn’t hate it…”

Robin dipped the glass tube into the jar and swirled getting a full dollop of the jelly on the tip. 

“So, what happened with the guy”, she asked while gently using her left hand to pull Olive’s cheeks apart to expose her small pink button. She paused waiting for the answer before realizing that Olive wasn’t going to say anything until Robin completed her move. 

Squeezing the thermometer tightly to keep her hand from shaking she placed it on the puckered opening then pushed it in slowly as Olive hissed through her teeth. Nope, thought Robin, doesn’t hate it at all. She released Olive’s cheeks so they closed around the glass tube. “So? The guy?”

“Well, yeah. Like I said, I didn’t hate it. Don’t hate it. But how many times does a girl need her temperature taken? Fifteen? Twenty?”

Robin barely suppressed a giggle. “Seriously?”

“In one evening! I mean, that was his only move!  You do ANYTHING too much it gets boring…”

Robin regarded the girl’s small white bottom beside her on the bed and wondered about the truth of that statement. “You think this is done yet?” she asked, touching the thermometer. 

“I on’t know. Maybe. It’s not that long. Pull it out and see what it says.” She exhaled lightly as Robin withdrew the tube and held it up to the light.

“You’re reading normal”, she said.

“Huh. Maybe that’s the broke one. Try the other…”

Robin looked up toward Olive’s head now. She was up on her elbows, looking back over her shoulder, hair again crossing her face.

“Are you playing with me now?” Robin asked.  

“This was your idea…”

“But I thought…”

“What?”

“…Never mind”, she said wishing she could see the girl’s face more clearly.

She shook down the other thermometer, added the dollop of lube and saw Olive push upward opening herself a bit. She repeated her last steps, spreading then inserting. This time the girl’s hiss was more of a little moan. After releasing Olive’s cheeks she kept her hand on the side of her hip. “That feels nice”, Olive said. 

“Which?” asked Robin, moving her hand then, on impulse, dragging her nails lightly across Olive’s backside as she might a friend’s back. 

“That, definitely.” Without giving it much thought, Robin kept stroking with her nails drawing light pink stripes up and down both of Olive’s bottom cheeks. 

“Have you ever had your temperature taken this way?” Olive asked, her head back on the bed.

“No!” said Robin definitively, making the word sound like “Noah!”

“But you have had things in your butt, right?”

Without breaking rhythm, Robin lightly pinched the soft slack flesh at the very bottom of her bottom. “Don’t be fresh”, she said smiling.

Olive whispered an “ouch” and settled. Robin simply decided to not think for a moment and to continue running her fingers lightly up and down Olive’s backside, sometimes slipping down the back of her legs. She imagined how it must feel, being stroked like this and immediately again felt a twinge of envy along with another deeper twinge that she hadn’t felt in a long time. The girl had gone still, if not asleep then close enough her breathing soft and regular. It occurred to Robin that she was doing something here. Something she’d never done before. She was actually pleasing someone in a most unexpected way and that idea warmed her, just before it frightened her. 

She stopped her hand and tried to speak, squeaking instead. She coughed and waited for a bit of moisture to settle on her tongue. “OK Sweet Martini Olive”, she said using the nickname that she had never shared with her. “Let’s see how you’re doing.”

Again, a tiny gasp punctuated the withdrawal of the little glass tube. Robin held it up and read it. “All good”, she said. Then, feeling a little more open than she had earlier, she patted her bottom. “You can pull up your pants now.”

Instead, Olive sat up and flopped her legs over the side of the bed beside her. Robin made no move to rise nor move even as Olive’s leg rubbed against her. Olive took Robin’s hand and entwined their fingers then settled the back of the woman’s hand on her bare thigh as if they were sitting together on a park bench. Again, Robin was surprised that she felt as comfortable as she did. At least until she looked down and saw that Olive’s lap was as clean and hairless as ivory and her heart flipped. 

“Thank you for doing that”, Olive said.

“You were playing with me.”

“Did you hate it?”

Robin smiled. “Didn’t hate it.”

“I’d like to play with you more.” 

“What?”

“You take care of me. I know you do…everyone here does. I like to show I appreciate it, you know?” When Robin didn’t answer… “And I know I could make you feel good”, she said laying her head against her shoulder. 

Robin accepted the weight of the girl’s head and savored the warmth radiating from her body. “I have someplace to be…” she said not really believing she was saying it. 

“That’s OK”, Olive said, releasing her hand and standing slowly making sure that Robin got a good long look at anything she wanted before turning to face her then pushing herself between her knees. “I need to take a shower anyway…” She pulled her shirt up over her head and tossed it aside. Her small round breasts seemingly defied gravity pushing themselves forward serving, if nothing else, to pry Robin’s eyes from her hairless cleft. 

“Give me a kiss”, Olive breathed leaning closer.

“No. Come on…You’re naked.”

“I’m getting ready to take a shower!” she protested but there was a glint in her eye that Robin saw and Olive knew that she saw.

“You’re still playing with me.”

“You hating it?”

“Not hating it.”

“Then give me a kiss.”

Afterward, Robin descended the stairs carefully like a much older person, leaning on the railing for support. Todd looked up when she entered the bar. There were a couple of customers that hadn’t been there when she went up.

“Finally! I was going to send for help. You OK?”

“I’m fine.”

“Olive?”

“Fine”, she said heading toward the door. “You?”

“Fuck, I’m good”, he answered. “Another Stray day. Hey! What’s so funny?”

She took her laughter with her into the sun washed afternoon.

Shitbird

“Yummy!” was the first thing that came to mind. He didn’t say it except maybe under his breath, but it was there, frontmost in his head. Then he was embarrassed. 

She was younger than he was-as was everyone it seemed-but way younger. Not as young as his daughter gratefully, but young. And well put together. A girl in a woman’s body.

She had come to him after the reading and asked about the mystical reverence that the Appalachian peoples, predominantly Cherokee she thought, had for turtles. He was a turtle guy and could happily spend an evening in that conversation, plus she was wearing a washed out university v-neck that put up a valiant struggle but was ultimately no match for her cleavage. 

Others came and went, he signed some books, stood for pictures and as the lights dimmed, she remained. It wasn’t until she was helping him gather his stuff that he allowed that she was interested in more than turtles and Cherokees. They went to a bar she knew and sat in the back. He bummed a smoke and wished he could draw to capture the way her lips pursed as she inhaled then popped perfect smoke rings into the air between them. Ultimately it was to his hotel room since she had roommates. 

Not until morning, when the rising sun washed through the gauzy curtains and ignited a bright blaze of reflection across the downy blonde fur on her bottom, presented to him as she faced away snoring lightly, top leg slightly bent, offering herself in a dream, and he thought, “Yummy!” did he feel the least bit embarrassed. 

“I should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across the floors of silent seas”, he thought, looking away from her bum, but Eliot had beaten him to it. Instead he remembered his Grammy Nubs calling him a “shitbird” when he did something she considered off in any way. 

He slipped out of bed and pulled a sheet up covering her, grabbed her cigarettes and headed for the balcony.

Arianna’s Afterglow

Continued from Peaches

She tore at his clothes as if they were aflame, finishing pulling his pants off after they had fallen onto their sides on the soft pile of blankets and bedding. The sky finally opened, and a soft rain fell pattering onto the sod not six feet from where they lay. Arianna pushed him roughly onto his back and sat astride his solid shaft accepting him fully at once.

She moaned quietly as she slid up and down and John lifted his head to put his mouth to one of her ample swinging breasts. He licked and kissed, finally taking the nipple of one, then the other, into his mouth to suckle and nibble as he gently worked his fingers along the welts on her backside and thighs.

As her movements quickened, John collapsed back onto his pillow and let Arianna pin his shoulders with her hands. Her breath came in shallow gasps as her sliding moved more toward bucking. She stretched her neck toward the roof and arched her back to receive all of him, working her thighs to pump away. As the rain intensified, she fell forward onto him and her luscious breasts collapsed into his chest.

Her moans came louder and quicker as she stretched her legs backward, flattening onto him and wrapping her arms around his neck. They were thigh on thigh as she seemed to be trying to rub his throbbing self entirely off. He worked his hands up and down her tightening body until all at once she stiffened and dug into his thighs once more. Finally, with a whimpering cry, she came-quivering and twitching-until she collapsed entirely onto him.

They lay like that, listening to the rain, as Arianna’s breath returned to normal. “So”, asked John, sliding his hands up and down her sides and gently cupping her bum, “Did you come?”

She laughed lightly and lifted her head. The desperate animal fire that had shined from her eyes as they wrestled toward the floor was gone-replaced by a lighter glow-something satisfied and playful.  She kissed him on the mouth. “I think so-yes. Hard to tell. But it seems I’m the only one who did.” Even though John had slipped out of her she could still feel him-stiffly at attention-down between her legs.

“No”, he said. “That was all for you.”

“You’re sweet”, she purred, then kissed him lightly again. “But what kind of hostess would I be….”

If was John’s turn to moan lightly as she slid her body down his-paying careful attention to never lose contact with his stiffness. He parted his legs so that she could kneel between them and listened to a faraway thunder roll as she rubbed her breasts along his erection before taking it finally into her hand.

She stroked slowly and talked softly-mischievously. “He worked hard, this one…”

He felt her lips drape over him and he let his head fall back. This wouldn’t take long.

Afterward they lay side by side listening to the rain dinging against the shed’s metal roof. What wind there was blew toward the house so they stayed dry. Up on one elbow John massaged Arianna’s breast with the other hand.

“You and these titties, boyo”, she teased. “You must only date flat-chested girls.”

“Not flat, exactly”, he smiled. “But not like this…” He pulled his head toward the bottom of her rib cage where the gravity was pulling them. “They wander and move around…”

“Yes,” she said. “They do have minds of their own”.

She pulled back to reach behind herself, under a blanket. She produced a small bottle of what looked to be oil or salve. She pointed with it, vaguely toward her bottom. “Do you mind?” she asked.

“Absolutely not. I’d love to.”

She handed him the bottle and flopped onto her belly. He knelt beside her and flipped the cap and put a little salve on the fingers of his right hand which he patted gently onto the worst of the welts. In repose her bottom spread out and relaxed in a soft magnificence that he wasn’t used to. He slid his fingers under her cheeks where they met her legs and tended to a spot where the skin had slightly broken. She responded to his touch and opened her legs when he patted that way. The rain kept up a soft patter and the sweet, wet fragrance of the flowers and trees mixed pleasantly with their own pungent aromas.

“I’m afraid you are going to have some bruises.”

“I was counting on it,” she said, muffled by her arms where she lay her head.

“Can I ask you a question?” he asked.

“If not now, when?”

“How long has that carpet beater hung in here?”

“Years…”

He stroked her hair with his free hand spreading it out across her back.

“Not something you picked up at an estate sale last year?”

“Actually found it in the original barn when we bought the place. It was my husband’s favorite toy for a while.”

“Not recently?”

“No, sadly. He got out of the game…” He sat quietly, gently stroking her oil-slick bottom. “It’s not easy to do without something that is a part of you, you know. That’s why when you threw out the woodshed line yesterday, I had to string it out. See where it went.”

“Did you like where it went?”

In answer, she lifted her butt back toward his hand. “Oh yesss.”

“I’ve never used a carpet beater.”

“No? Ever felt one?”

“No…never.”

“A classic. Very effective.”

Arianna rose onto her elbows then slowly, stretching onto all fours. She knelt up and shook out her hair. Looking back at John, “We really should fill this gap in your education.” Her eyes were alight with desire again and John felt a need to not disappoint this woman. But he hesitated.

She moved closer to him and pushed her breasts into his face. Her movements and voice were light-leaning toward fun. In his turn, John sucked deeply at a nipple. With his head in her hands she asked, “You’re not going to deny me this, are you?”

“I guess not” be mumbled, his mouth full.

She pulled back from him and got to her feet. Stiffening again, he watched her pad over to the carpet beater and take it off the wall. “Roll over”, she ordered coming back holding the wicked-looking instrument like a tennis racquet.

John did as he was told and pulled a couple of pillows under his hips to raise the target. It was an unaccustomed position for him but he thickened as Arianna’s hand patted then stroked his bottom. “Sweet,” she said. “Nice boy…” He flinched at the feel of the rattan against his skin as she held it there-patting. Then it was gone as she drew back.

“Fair warning-this will sting.”

He gripped a handful of blanket and gritted his teeth as the rattan whistled through the air.

Peaches

Continued from Arianna’s Woodshed

The joke was on him, he thought as he drove the winding tree lined roads back to Arianna’s house the next day. His aim in making their appointment in the afternoon instead of morning was to give her time to anticipate-to let her imagination paint a picture of what his visit might bring. Instead it was he who had whiled the morning away unable to concentrate on anything in front of him-his mind pulled back to the dim woodshed tucked into the trees.

The day was warmer than the day before but cloudy. As he drove slowly up the gravel drive he saw that the shadows back in the trees were deeper. Darker. He parked in the same place and stepped out of the car as a warm breeze full of the scents of the flowers surrounding him mussed his hair. The rain that was not supposed to come until evening would surely be here sooner than that.

He stood beside his car expecting Arianna to come striding down one of the trails to meet him. As he scanned the property, he noticed what looked to be a paper tacked to an ornamental fencepost at the end of the drive. It was handmade craft paper; soft to the touch but firm. A single sheet, folded, with his name on the outside in beautiful flowing script that approached calligraphy. He opened the fold and read the message inside:

“I will meet you at the woodshed” signed with AA in a beautiful flourish. The note carried a whiff of sage and flowers, what he thought of as her scent.

He trod the path beside the wall looking for signs of life and seeing none. He had opted for a more formal look today-black slacks and dark shirt instead of the business casual khakis and polo shirt of the day before. His anticipation grew knowing that she was here-waiting for him, maybe watching him.

The shadows lengthened in the trees that surrounded the woodshed. The door was open and the space beyond glowed with a flickering yellow light. He stepped inside and his eyes were drawn to a half dozen lanterns of differing sizes hanging from hooks or arranged on small tables that had not been there the day before. The light glowed yellow and the scented oil was intoxicating.

The dirt floor had been covered with a thick layer of carpets and to the left-beside the stack of wood was a pile of what appeared to be tick mattresses, comforters and pillows. Beside them was a tray which held an ice bucket and a bottle of wine and two stemless glasses.

In front of him, just to the left of the chest-high wooden divider was the bare wooden bench piled with at least two dozen switches of varying lengths and thicknesses-all smoothly stripped of their bark. The lady had been busy.

“Is everything to your liking?” He hadn’t heard her come in.

She was barefoot wearing a simple black calf-length shift cut low enough in the front to reveal deep cleavage that wasn’t obvious through yesterday’s work shirt. Her hair glistened in waves that hung loosely around her face and onto her shoulders. There was a flush on her cheeks that deepened the olive glow of her skin and her smile was small, shy-a little timid perhaps.

“Everything is perfect.”

“Good.” She passed close to him and he caught the scent of her hair. “So rotten of you to make me wait all morning…”

“It looks like you put the time to good use.”

She was sorting through the switches on the bench. “It was time well spent,” she said. “Judicious pruning is the secret to any orchard.” She picked one from near the bottom. “Peach”, she announced, whipping it lightly through the air. She picked up another and likewise swished it between them. “Apple”, she said before dropping it back onto the pile. “It was strange though, pruning in the summer”, picking up another. “it’s a winter task, to be done when the trees are dormant. When the sap isn’t running, as it is now.” She brought it over to John and pressed it into his hand. “I think you’ll find the assortment satisfactory.”

He reached out and placed his left hand on her hip-feeling the firm heaviness of the hidden body. She closed her eyes at his touch and let her head lounge backwards. She stepped away and reached up behind her hair to loosen the tie that held the shift in place. A slight role of her shoulders sent the light cotton cascading to the floor.

His eyes were pulled to her full breasts which hung naturally but still pointed at him. He focused on the large brown nipples and bent slowly toward her, wanting to take one into his mouth. She pulled subtly away and covered his switch hand with hers.

“Anxious?”

“I’ve waited long enough wouldn’t you say?” She turned away and slid the three steps to the wooden room divider that was about even with her breasts. “Hours, alone in the orchard, cutting and trimming switches, knowing what they were for…” Her bottom was a beautiful pear shape-wide and deep. He watched her grasp the rough wooden rail and step back-one step then two. She kept her legs together and stretched luxuriously, like a large jungle cat arching her back and pushing her bottom backward. “Yes”, she said. “I’ve waited.”

Beside her John ran his hand under her hair and across her shoulders.  Then down her back then up again-teasing lower and lower to the small of her back then finally across the expanse of her bottom. He rubbed slowly and smoothly with his palm then crooked his fingers to give her the fingernails gently and completely across each cheek, from the top of her thighs up, then back down. He tried to slip his hand between her thighs, but she resisted. Her breath quickened as he stepped back and whipped the peach switch through the air, testing it.

Her hands gripped the wooden rail. She allowed the anticipation that she had felt since yesterday flower into a sweet dread of what she was about to feel. It had been a long time since she had allowed herself to feel this way. A long time since what was about to happen, had.

She heard the switch whistle through the air and tensed. Nothing. He was testing. She waited again feeling the heat between her legs building. It had been such a long time. The switch touched her. He was measuring. She froze, focusing her eyes on a spot on the rail. This time the whistling of the switch ended with a little sting on the right cheek. Then another quickly below it. Just a little sting.

She turned to look back over her shoulder at him; her hair obscuring her face. “You won’t break anything, you know…” she said huskily.

He stepped closely taking her face in his hand moving her hair to one side. He kissed her gently on the mouth. “Don’t worry beautiful lady. I know what you want.”

The next stroke dug into the right globe, immediately raising a welt that showed pink in the lantern light. It was followed by another lower and a third higher. With each impact Arianna grunted and on particularly strong strokes would rise on her toes. John paused and ran his hand over the rippling welts. She rose to his touch and this time when he tried to slip the flat of his hand between her legs she opened. Just a little. He patted the sweet spot at the top of her right thigh where the bottom begins then measured it with the wicked peach branch.

“You better hold on tight.” Her knuckles whitened as he let fly a hard stroke that buried itself in the soft flesh. She cried out loudly snapping her head back. The impact site sprouted a red strawberry where he hadn’t quite broken the skin but had broken the peach. He took another off the pile.

As the searing cuts lashed across her heaving buttocks, Arianna squeezed her eyes shut to try to staunch the tears that fell from her lashes and down the bridge of her nose to darken the floor. The thought “be careful what you wish for” flashed through her mind only be drowned out by the crying need-the burning desire-for the next stroke. It had been so long she had almost forgotten what the ordeal did for her. The heat between her legs-deep inside of her-glowed hotter than anything crossing her backside.

He broke a few more switches over the next twenty minutes as he crisscrossed Arianna’s flesh and thighs with stripes and welts. Her back glistened with sweat. As the switching went on her legs widened and her bottom bloomed open toward him. He took particular care that the switch did not cut anywhere between her cheeks.

When another switch split he paused and stepped close. Her body was radiating heat and leaned toward him. He placed his hand low along the inside of her damp thigh which was now open to him.

“You have been punished, beautiful lady.”

She was breathless. “I have.”

“Now you should be rewarded.”

“Yes”, she gasped as his fingers slid up her thigh and slipped easily inside of her. The coughing yelp that she produced as he massaged her below was of an entirely different timbre than the sounds she had been making.

“Come”, he said, pulling on her shoulder and helping her to stand. Her face was deeply flushed and wet with tears and sweat. He moved to kiss her but too slowly as her lips leapt to his and locked tightly onto his mouth. Thus entwined they moved to the pile of bedding in the corner.

Continued here Arianna’s Afterglow

Arianna’s Woodshed

The place he was headed was a little further out-a Mrs. Arianna Amaranth interested in selling or at least getting best value on a smallish place referred to as a “farmette” in the paperwork. She and her husband had been on the property for over 20 years. Following GPS he pulled off of the state road and onto a similar, but windier, two lane. Some places slipping onto a local road out in the boonies could be dicey but not here-where the local area, though bucolic, was some of the most expensive real estate in the area.

He slowed as his GPS counted down the feet to his next left turn. When he saw a break in the tree line he pulled off onto a tightly packed gravel drive. “You have arrived”. But John wasn’t sure where. He could see nothing through the trees and followed the gravel slowly until he rounded a bend and there it was. Small converted barn-two story living area-he would bet on reclaimed wood throughout. Very nice. Flowers and gardens abounding filling in around meandering stone walls.

He pulled off the drive onto a small gravel parking area in front of a three car garage. Like the house the garage had been built of rough-hewn lumber and though it looked like it could have been there for decades, John figured it for a recent addition to the place. As he got out of the car, a woman appeared from behind the garage and followed the trail along a wall toward him. “Mrs. Amaranth?” he asked.

“Arianna, please”, she said approaching.

He put her in her 40’s at least but it was a guess. Her light olive skin was smooth revealing nothing. Her black hair, pulled back in a loose pony tail was shot through with silvery streaks that could have been from the salon but were not. She was of average height but a bit stocky and bottom heavy which made her appear shorter. She carried her weight lightly, telling him that it wasn’t a new addition. She had a strong grip when they shook hands.

Dressed for work in jeans, canvas shirt and rubber boots she certainly looked the part of a gentle-woman farmer. The jeans were not the jeans that he saw on woman and girls at the clubs at night-sprayed on to adhere to every bodily contour. These were work clothes giving her room to move around inside of them. Her scent was something earthy and fresh-maybe sage or clover-mixed with a light whiff of sweat which glistened on the side of her neck.

There were peach trees out back in a small orchard as well as apples and too many to count variations of flowers placed deliberately about to look scattered. Her husband had headed to Phoenix on business last fall and had stayed. She traveled to and from a couple of times but life in the desert didn’t appeal to her after putting the last two decades into this wooded glen. While a long-distance marriage was never in their plans-here they were.

“I just thought it made sense to have this place correctly valued in case it becomes necessary to sell quickly. He’s not as young as he once was…”

“Who is?” said John pecking notes into his tablet as they walked along.

“You probably are….” She said. She was in front of him so he couldn’t gauge if there was anything in her eyes with that comment. Coming around the other side of the house he saw what looked to be an open shed against the peach trees.

“What do you have there? Old corn crib?”

“That’s the woodshed”, she said.

“That’s a place you try to avoid, I bet.” It was the kind of innocuous line he threw out a lot. Most times they weren’t heard or ignored or were so far off the rails that they floated off into space like the odd non sequiturs they were. Every once in a while though, the trout rises to the fly.

“You can try, but….” She shrugged “…sometimes…”

“Indeed. Can we have a look?”

“Of course”, she said, leading the way easily. The shed was two walled-front and back-open at the ends to let air move through to keep the wood dry. Being summer, it was not near full. She opened the rough latch on the door and let it swing inward standing aside. The inside was dim, relying on the sunlight at the ends and from the large open window front and back. There was a rough wooden bench, a heavy stump that looked to be a platform for splitting kindling and a chest high rail partition that would separate wood piles when this place was full.

Turning away and moving back toward the door his eye caught something that he wouldn’t have seen coming right in from the light outside. But there, hanging from a nail beside the door was an old rattan carpet beater. At least he assumed it was old-it certainly appeared to be in good shape.

“Keep a lot of carpets in here?” he asked Arianna who had followed him in and was clearly watching to see if he’d spot the implement.

“Not many”, she smiled. “I’m sorry, I forgot that was in here.”

“No need to apologize-it’s a nice piece.”

“I bought it at an estate sale a couple of years ago…thought it fit the building. Come on-it’s a woodshed. Even you alluded to its other….legendary use.” There was a sparkle to her tone.

“Sure, yes. It complements the place for sure.”

“I thought so”, she said settling it as they squinted back into the sunshine.

The walk back to his car felt more like a stroll than the business-like appraisal march when he had first arrived. Arianna would pick this flower or that-tell John what it was-have him smell it, or with the nasturtiums that climbed a trellis, invite him to pop one into his mouth to savor the peppery flower.

John was half listening but half thinking about the woodshed. Had she forgotten the carpet beater was in there? Did she remember and mean for him to see it? Was he the trout rising to the fly? There was no doubt she was stalling…trying to decide how best to turn this meeting into a visit. But she hadn’t figured it out by the time they reached his car.

He was reaching for the door handle when she asked him, “Could you come back tomorrow?”

“I don’t think I’ll have the figures ready by then.”

“Mmmm-that’s OK. Can you come anyway?”

“I can be here at one”. Actually he could have been there anytime, but he wanted her to have most of the day to know he was coming.

“Not till one? OK, I’ll just have to find something to occupy my morning.”

“Cut some switches. And trim the bark from them….”

She stepped closer to him, the corners of her mouth lifting slightly as her green eyes danced. She placed the index finger of her right hand into John’s chest and pressed lightly.

“Until tomorrow, then,” she said as she turned and walked back toward the house.

Continued here Peaches

Always Learning

Continued from Different Flavors of Normal

Doctor Joyce Maple. Bachelor of Science, Biology. Dean’s List four years. Four years of med school plus her downstate residency. Always at the top of her class, now her field. Also one of the most self-aware humans she knew-every move she made was measured, thought through, planned beforehand.  Until last night. Until she turned control over to this young sprite from down the street who was now undoubtedly her lover and tied to her in a way Joyce would have never thought possible.  And who was lying expectantly over her lap.

Joyce really didn’t know what to do with this. Beyond the obvious, of course. The girl’s bottom was presented stretching against the blue panties barely containing it. Last night Megan did unto her. Now, she was charged with taking control and was at a bit of a loss. But she didn’t want to disappoint, especially after the gifts she had received not twelve hours ago. She would do her best.

Her smacks were tentative, light, mostly fingers, directed at the meatiest parts. The girl wriggled after each and never failed to lift in response as if wanting to present a better target.

“Okay?” asked Joyce.

“Yeah, nice. Could be a little harder…”

“Really?”

“Use your whole hand. Like slap me.” Joyce hesitated and rubbed the girl’s back with her free hand. “You won’t hurt me”, Megan said. “Not really.”

Joyce had smacked two people in her life. Betsy Ann Hadar in fourth grade after she had pulled her hair. She had hauled off and slapped her hard on the arm. Then of course, her husband, the one time, across the face. Both of those were harder than what she was laying on Megan.

“Okay, then,” she said lifting her hand higher. She slapped harder and was answered by a mewling “mmmmm…better…”

“Better?”

“Yeah, better. For a wimp.”

“You…” she smiled and pinched an upturned cheek. “I’m not a wimp!”

“You spank like one…”

“Oh really?” she said. “Lift up.”

“Why?” said Megan cheekily, in a whiny voice. With the voice inflection, Joyce got it. She had a six-year-old. She knew how to play games. Maybe not this particular one, but a game was a game.

“Because I’m going to pull down your panties and spank your bare ass!” she said firmly.

“Aw, man…” Megan whined again but lifted her hips. When she did, Joyce stuck her fingers into the elastic of the panties and pulled them, very slowly, down to mid-thigh smiling at the sound of Megan’s soft gaspy moan as she did.

“Now we’ll see who’s a wimp.” Joyce left fly with a swat that landed hard on the bottom of Megan’s bottom with a jolt that stopped them both.

“OH…” Said Megan.

“Better now…?” asked Joyce massaging where the blow had landed.

“Yes. Now more…”

Megan closed her eyes and felt every swat to her toes. She wouldn’t ask her to go harder. This was fine. More than fine. Every smack, every touch of hand to bottom launched her through vivid warp speed memories of the hundreds of orgasms she’d had over the years fantasizing about being spanked over Doctor Maples’ lap. She stopped thinking and was enjoying the ride and the heavy heat and flowing feeling from below.

As Megan had the night before, Joyce listened between smacks using tiny whimpers, or gasps or an “Ooooo…” or an “Awww….” to direct her. She paused to slide the panties all the way down then off. Her swats weren’t as hard as they might have been, but they certainly weren’t light.

Almost five minutes in, Joyce realized that this wasn’t doing it for her. Not really. It was fun, for sure. Being this intimate with another woman was new and exciting and she wondered if she’d ever look at women’s bottoms the same way again. She could have sat here and just rubbed her bottom and it would have been fine. But as Megan’s butt was getting pinker, Joyce’s hand was tingling but not much else.

It was different, but what she really liked was how much Megan seemed to be enjoying herself. Her squeals were becoming moans as she, freed from the binding panties, started to ride her leg like a hobby horse with every smack. She could do this for her, no problem. Especially after last night and the way she…the way she hadn’t… Joyce paused to rub the pert pink cheeks gently. Something had been bugging her.

“Megs?” she said.

“Mmmmm…?” she answered not looking up.

“I’m sorry about last night.”

Megan’s head lifted at that. “Sorry? About what?”

Joyce found it easier to talk with her hand cupping the girl’s warm bottom gently squeezing. “I came three times!” she said.  “In my life I’ve never…then I passed out like a lump.”

“You did check out pretty good”, said Megan rubbing Joyce’s ankle and calf.

“I woke up, it was still dark and you were gone. I missed you…I wanted to…give you something back…”

Now Megan looked back over her shoulder and pulled her hair behind her ear. “Last night was about you my love”, she said with shining eyes.

“The thing is, I’ve never…I don’t know if I can…” she stumbled for the words.

“Don’t know if you can what?”

“Like you did…”

Megan kept gently squeezing Joyce’s calf, letting her work it out.

“I’ve never gone down on a woman…”

“I know that…”

“But I don’t know if…”

“Don’t worry about it. Like kissing, practice makes perfect. I’ve had more practice than you…”

“But if…”

“Shhh…stop thinking about what you can’t do. You don’t have to do anything you’re not comfortable with.”

“Really?” said Joyce brightening and pulling her hand off Megan’s butt.

“Except this!” said Megan, somehow finding loose skin on Joyce’s leg to pinch. “This you have to do. For the rest of your life.”

Joyce laughed lightly and delivered a soft slap. “Bad girl…”

“Yes,” said Megan sighing heavily. “Very bad…” She absorbed a few more slaps before she said, “There are other things you can do.”

“I’m sure.”

“Like right now for instance.”

“I know, shut up and keep spanking.” She did.

“Yes, but there’s something…put your hand on my bum.” Joyce paused and did as she was told. “Now slide it down between my legs.”

“Okay coach,” she snarked. “I know how this works.”

“Prove it.”

Joyce cupped the warm cheek at the top of Megan’s thigh then slid her fingers gently between her legs hesitating not at all as she touched the wetness there.

“Good Lord”, she said sliding easily along the dripping folds.

“A little damp?” came the whisper from the downturned head.

“And the ocean’s a puddle…”

Without any more prompting, Joyce slipped her middle finger into the sopping slit. Megan moaned at the welcome intrusion and shifted her legs wider, lifted her butt higher. Joyce, still responding to movements added a second finger. She worked them gently in and out as the girl began to wriggle and sweetly clenched her bottom cheeks. This Joyce knew how to do from months of solo practice.

When she touched the hard nib of Megan’s clit the girl growled and pitched forward presenting her bottom even more wantonly. Joyce touched it, flicked it, then sliding around in nature’s own lubricant began rubbing with a purpose.

“Oh…oh…Joyce…Joyce….!!!” Megan’s words were cut off and swallowed as she grabbed the woman’s ankle and held tight seemingly ready to stand on her head. “I’m going to… come Joyce…You…are going to make me….UUUHHNNNNN…” And just like that she did. Joyce kept slick contact with the pulsing pearl until Megan, deflated, lay across her lap like a discarded prom dress.

Joyce, ever the perfectionist, didn’t need anyone to tell her she’d done a good job. She smiled and stroked the still warm bottom until she heard a sniffle. “Hey”, she said reaching down to help Megan to her feet. “Are you crying…?”

“No! I mean…not really. Not like crying.” Megan stood unsteadily before her.

“Your cheeks are wet…” Joyce took her hand. “Is that from the spanking?”

“No! No…no…everything. Just…just…wow…” Megan wiped her cheeks with the backs of her hands, then stepped between Joyce’s legs and sat on her lap. The warmth of the girl’s naked, moist bottom on her thighs stirred her in a surprising way. Without warning or preamble, Megan wrapped her arms around Joyce’s neck and pulled herself close kissing her deeply. A kiss that was returned in eager intensity. Yes, Joyce was now the one stirring.

They uncoupled and sat still, forehead to forehead, meditatively sharing space and breath in a way that seemed natural. Time had, if not stopped, slowed to a glacial pace as neither wanted to break the seeming spell that had befallen them. Then, without a word, as if prompting a cat, Joyce used her forehead to push Megan backward. With the space open between them she slipped the girl’s jersey over her head knowing that she wasn’t wearing a bra. Then she pulled her close again to slide her hands over the girl’s naked body and accepting her head onto her shoulder.

After a moment, or an hour, “Megan?”

“Hmmm…?”

“Would you take me to bed and teach me something?”

Megan lifted her head and nibbled at Joyce’s ear before answering. “What do you want to learn?” she whispered.

“Everything you know….”

Megan pulled away, a crooked smile on her lips. She kissed her Doctor on the cheek and stood, more steadily this time. “Come my queen”, she said reaching toward her.

Joyce took her hand and rose, then happily followed the pink rump into the house.