‘Sixteen would certainly be much too old to start ballet if a girl were hoping to take it up professionally,’ declared Edward Repton. ‘Of course. But as a healthful exercise, as a system of physical and mental training and discipline, then almost any age is suitable. For that 16 is admirable, and I applaud your intention.’
Elizabeth Milbury flushed slightly. ‘Oh I’m so pleased.’
They were in the Milburys’ sitting room; Edward Repton, Mrs Milbury and her daughter Sarah who was 16-and-a-half. The Milburys had only recently moved to the area and Mrs Milbury had heard about Mr Repton from one of her new neighbours. ‘Girls of that age need an interest,’ Monica Wilmot had said. ‘Otherwise all they can think of is boys.’ Elizabeth certainly agreed and ballet training was such a marvellous idea, the only thing was that Sarah might be a little old to start. Monica said she knew Mr Repton did start girls at that age and why not give him a ring.
That was how Edward Repton came to be sipping tea with these two ladies, mother and daughter, on this Tuesday afternoon after school. ‘Oh yes,’ he said smiling across at 16-year-old Sarah, ‘I should think she’d do very nicely. A nice athletic shape I should say. Do any sport, Sarah?’
Sarah, flushing in turn, said she played tennis. Mr Repton, in a smart suit, had rather piercing eyes behind his glasses. He was bald but not desperately old looking. She remembered someone saying baldness in men was a sign of intelligence. Sarah was really excited at the thought of ballet which had come right out of the blue. She crossed her legs, unconsciously squeezing her thighs together. Mr Repton, she noticed, sitting opposite, gave a quick glance. Sarah had her school uniform still on from school and the skirt was quite short. Ballet instructors, of course, needed to know about your legs so it wasn’t surprising if Mr Repton looked.
Edward Repton put down his teacup. ‘Yes, she seems excellent material. I shall be happy to give her a trial. There is the matter of fees of course — but let me say that if she does seem promising I would be prepared to charge only a nominal sum.’
Elizabeth Milbury experienced a thrill of pleasure that was marvellous. She had been wondering about fees. Ballet lessons could be expensive and family finances were a bit tight at the moment. ‘That is very generous indeed,’ she said warmly.
Edward Repton smiled benignly: the smile perhaps of a man who is able to give pleasure… or could it be of one who contemplates pleasure of his own? ‘I wonder, Mrs Milbury, if I might have a look at her now? See how she shapes up. Perhaps we might go to Sarah’s bedroom?’
‘Oh of course.’ Elizabeth got to her feet. Did ‘we’ perhaps mean all three of them? No, obviously not, she quickly decided; if he meant that he could do his check down here in the sitting room. He meant just him and Sarah — perhaps thinking she might be self-conscious in front of her mother. Mr Repton had risen now — and so had pink-faced Sarah.
He smiled at the pretty young blonde. ‘You are a virgin, I take it, Sarah?’
Sarah blinked — and the pink cheeks turned bright red. ‘Uh… er… I… yes.’
‘Of course…’ her mother, flush-faced too, put in.
Mr Repton smiled. ‘It’s just that I like to know where I am with my girls. Some girls these days you know…’
‘Sarah is certainly not at all like that,’ Mrs Milbury stated hotly.
The urbane smile again. ‘Excellent, Mrs Milbury. Now then, Sarah, if you’ll lead the way…’
Upstairs, in Sarah’s bedroom, Edward Repton closed the door firmly behind them. He glanced quickly round, ‘What a pleasant room,’ and then turned his attention to the matter in hand: his new pupil.
‘Take the blazer off, Sarah. And the skirt. We want to see your legs first, don’t we?’
That seemed reasonable enough, although taking your skirt off in your bedroom for a strange man was very embarrassing, especially one who had just inquired if you were a virgin. ‘Don’t be embarrassed,’ Sarah told herself. The light blue Girls’ Grammar School blazer was placed on the bed and then she unfastened the short grey skirt and stepped out of it. Her white school shirt didn’t reach much below her waist and below that were brief white knickers which in fact were partially see-through. Mr Repton was sitting on the bed and looking intently. Sarah told herself she wasn’t going to blush. She did have nice legs… she just wished she hadn’t worn white see-through knickers…
Mr Repton told her to stand on her toes… and then to turn, slowly…
‘Very good,’ he said when she had done that. ‘Nice athletic legs, and a good bottom I should think. But we need a better look. Slip your knickers off, will you, Sarah?’
Sarah hadn’t been expecting that. Not at all. After worrying that her knickers were a bit see-through now to be told to take them off. She looked at Mr Repton, thinking it might perhaps be a joke. He smiled encouragingly. No, it wasn’t a joke. Don’t be embarrassed, she told herself again. Mr Repton was used to this sort of thing.
She got them off and stood in front of Mr Repton. Shirt and tie and knee-socks and shoes. He told her to take her hand away from where she had it and stand straight with her arms at her sides; she wasn’t shy, was she? Sarah gulped, and went redder in the face, but did what she was told. He told her to come closer… closer… until Sarah was only a few inches from him. Then he put his hand round behind. On her bare bottom.
It was like an electric shock. As Sarah’s heart thudded Mr Repton asked if she had ever had her bottom smacked. She managed a croaky ‘No’. The hand was still there, softly stroking, like a bare electric wire sending great shock waves through her.
Mr Repton, continuing to stroke Sarah’s bare rear, said discipline was quite essential in ballet training, it was really the one key thing. As the shock waves continued to pulse through her a hot thought shot into Sarah’s head and once it was there stayed, racing round and round: did discipline mean smacking… on the bottom?
At last, with a final squeeze, Mr Repton took his hand away from Sarah’s bottom. He got up off the bed. He would like to see some leg action, he said. Would she get on the bed and cycle her legs?
The feeling of relief that Mr Repton was no longer playing with her bottom was shattered as if by a bucket of cold water. Just in case Sarah wasn’t clear what he meant Mr Repton was spelling it out. ‘On your back, Sarah, and support your hips on your hands. Then cycle your legs in the air. That way I can see all the muscles in action.’
Yes, that was what she thought he meant.
Sarah felt herself shivering as she pictured, all too vividly, what Mr Repton would be seeing. She stuttered, ‘C…can I put my knickers on?’ Mr Repton, smiling as ever, shook his head. ‘Oh no, my dear; I need to see everything. The musculature, you know.’
He took hold of Sarah, clearly not wanting any more hesitation on her part. One hand on her arm, the other back at that evidently fascinating bare bottom. ‘Come on, my dear, up we get.’
Sarah tried not to think about it, tried to make her mind a blank. That was easier said than done. That word kept reverberating round in her head as she lay on her back and cycled her legs. Her musculature. Mr Repton was looking at her musculature. Not at anything else even though it might be there bare and on full display in front of his keenly gazing eyes.
‘Very good,’ said Edward Repton some 20 minutes later as he and Sarah reappeared downstairs. ‘Yes, I think she’ll do very nicely.’
Elizabeth Milbury had been waiting on tenterhooks while Mr Repton carried out his checks. ‘Oh that’s simply wonderful,’ she exclaimed. Her pleasure was redoubled as her visitor went on to say that fees could be waived for the present.
‘I don’t know how to thank you.’
He smiled benignly and said he would like to start Sarah off right away; perhaps tomorrow after school?
Mr Repton had a large private house on the outskirts of town and he himself opened the door. His secretary was out for the afternoon, he said, also there were no other pupils in at the moment. ‘So we’ve the place to ourselves!’
Sarah shivered; seeing Mr Repton again brought back hot memories of that awful business yesterday. But at least that was over, there wouldn’t be any of that… that cycling. She had her leotard on under her uniform. Mr Repton said he had a couple of things to attend to first and then he would be with her. Meanwhile she could get ready in the changing room at the top of the stairs; then wait outside the practice room.
‘All ready to go, are we?’ he asked with one of those smiles. Sarah said a nervous ‘Yes, Mr Repton.’ He delivered a curt slap to her bottom, then disappeared along the hall. Sarah climbed the stairs, now with something else to reflect on besides the memory of being made to cycle upside down without knickers. For the smack on her bottom was a sharp reminder of that subject of discipline. Mr Repton had said discipline was ‘the key thing’… while he was toying with the cheeks of Sarah’s bare bottom.
The little room he had mentioned had lockers along one wall, with a bench opposite. The lockers had girls’ names on them: Lisa; Samantha; Julie… Near one end was a new looking label with Sarah. She opened it and it was empty so it was presumably hers. Sarah couldn’t help peeking on one or two of the others when she found they weren’t locked. Julie had a pair of rather dirty pink ballet shoes and a towel. In Lisa there was a pair of brief pink knickers and one white sock. And then…
In the one labelled Joanne there was a cane. A proper big cane with a crook handle, like they’re supposed to have at boys’ schools. That cane and a pair of white knickers. Knickers and a cane. Discipline is the key thing, Mr Repton had said. Sarah shut the locker door and tried to shut it out of her mind. But she couldn’t. She could see this girl Joanne whoever she was… Being told to take her knickers off and then… Mr Repton with that cane…
Sarah wasn’t really sure she wanted to do ballet after all.
Stop being silly, she told herself; it didn’t mean he caned girls. Ballet instructors had sticks to point and demonstrate with. That was what the cane was for. Forcing herself to be sensible Sarah took off her blazer and hung it up; and then the rest of her things. She looked in the mirror: the black leotard, stretched tautly over her firm figure, made a nice contrast with her blonde hair. Sexy, you could say — and then Sarah blushed, thinking about yesterday again. The cycling… and Mr Repton playing with her bare bottom. She hadn’t told her mother about any of that, just said she had to do some exercises…
She went out and sat on a chair outside the practice room. She wondered why there weren’t any other girls; Sarah had rather expected a group. But of course if she was getting individual instruction that was clearly better… She stood up, then sat down again.
Then Mr Repton was coming up the stairs. He had a black gown on, like a schoolmaster. His eyes seemed to be gleaming behind the glasses and he wasn’t smiling. Sarah got nervously to her feet.
‘You’re not changed, Sarah. You’re still in your school shoes and socks.’ His voice was sharp, aggressive.
‘I… I’m sorry, Mr Repton.’ Sarah’s mother had just bought her a super pair of ballet shoes but unfortunately in her excitement — and nervousness — Sarah had forgotten to bring them. She was just about to ask if she could practise barefoot, or in her socks.
‘You forgot, Sarah!’ Mr Repton sat down on the chair vacated by his new pupil. ‘You forgot to bring them! Oh dear me. Do you remember what I said about discipline? That certainly included self-discipline, organising yourself. Oh dear me, we will have to do something about this.’
He was clearly very angry — or so it seemed to Sarah. But could it in fact be a simulated anger — with Edward Repton experiencing excitement more than anything else? At being given right away the excuse to do what he always liked to do with a new pupil.
‘I think we need a sharp lesson for forgetfulness, Sarah. Please take your leotard off. I think we need a smacked bottom.’
Standing there, she experienced a dreadful hollow feeling somewhere in the region of her stomach.
‘Take it off, Miss. This instant.’
He didn’t in fact make her take it right off. When she’d got it down to her thighs he barked, ‘That will do; now come here.’
‘Here’ meant over Mr Repton’s lap; bare bottom up and head down near the floor. Mr Repton’s hand, though it was capable of the delicate fondling he had indulged in yesterday, was also large and hard, and his arm was strong. It was these qualities which now came into play as Edward Repton brought his large, hard palm down with all the force he could muster. Again and again. Each one knocking the breath out of Sarah.
The spanking went on, the hard hand methodically splatting down, juddering the tender flesh, for some considerable time. Mr Repton varied his pleasure by getting Sarah off his lap and making her kneel at his side, then kneel at the chair. Holding her arms firmly behind her back he kept on at that smarting rear. It was all unbelievable, unimaginable; Sarah wondered if she was going to die.
‘Well now, Miss, has that taught you something?’
Mr Repton sounded breathless, as well he might. Sarah could only produce a funny sort of garbled grunt, because she was weeping and everything was all blocked up. The sound was meant to be ‘Yes.’
Edward Repton stood up and taking Sarah’s arm led her into the practice room. He said as she hadn’t bothered to bring her ballet shoes she might as well not bother with her leotard either; so she could take it right off and also her shoes. She could begin her preliminary training in her knee socks only.
There was another girl in the changing room, sitting on the bench, when Sarah eventually got back, her first practice with Mr Repton finally over. She had her leotard on again, and her shoes, but almost all the time in the practice room she had not had them on. All that time in there with Mr Repton wearing only knee socks.
‘Hello,’ said the other girl. ‘You’re new. I’m Lisa.’
Sarah recognised the name from the locker. Was it that one with the cane…? She couldn’t remember. Lisa, who was a blonde like Sarah, made a face. ‘I’ve got a special today. I don’t know who he is: I think Mr Repton said Mr Collingwood or something like that… I haven’t had him before, have you?’
Bewildered, Sarah shook her head.
‘Oh, but you’re new, aren’t you. I don’t suppose you’ve done any specials yet; right?’
Sarah shook her head. Her mind was still half-attuned to what she’d just gone through. That awful spanking and then Mr Repton teaching her the basic positions… with nothing on except knee socks.
‘Oh I expect he’ll soon have you doing specials,’ said Linda. ‘You get a pound for it so it’s not bad — but what do they pay Mr Repton for a special? Ahah, we don’t know that, do we?’
Sarah certainly didn’t. She had no idea what a special was. ‘I haven’t done ballet before,’ she said. ‘I don’t know anything yet.’
Lisa produced a snorting laugh. ‘You don’t need to know any ballet for a special. All you need…’
She was interrupted by the sudden appearance of Mr Repton’s head round the door. ‘Are you ready, Lisa? Mr Collingwood is due at any moment. Get along to my office right away.’
Lisa made a quick face at Sarah and went out, taking her bag with her. Why wasn’t Lisa getting changed there in the changing room? But Sarah didn’t have time to ponder that because Mr Repton had come over. He was smiling again now.
‘I hope the smacking wasn’t too much of a shock, Sarah? But as I say we must have discipline — it’s the basic lesson.’ He put his arm around her waist. ‘I trust we’ll see you again tomorrow. We’ll do some more of the thigh-stretching — it is so good for suppleness.’
The thought of the thigh-stretching flashed hotly back into Sarah’s mind. Standing with one foot on the wall bar which was waist height. Bending her upper body down onto the raised leg. While Mr Repton ensured that Sarah’s knees were straight, that everything else was exactly as it should be. The hands, which had so mercilessly spanked her, had gone everywhere. It would have been bad even if she’d had a leotard on…
‘Four-thirty tomorrow,’ Edward Repton said, softly squeezing.
Sarah collected her bike from where she’d left it round the side of the house. That Lisa, she would now be doing, what was it called, a ‘special’. This ballet, there was an awful lot in it that you wouldn’t imagine if you didn’t know. Things that Sarah was pretty sure her mother didn’t know either.
Upstairs in Mr Repton’s house the door of the practice room was locked, from the inside. That was not unusual for a ‘special’. Lisa stood in front of Mr Collingwood who was seated on a chair. The reason Lisa had not changed in the changing room was her leotard, something that Edward Repton had not thought Sarah should see on her very first day. It had large conveniently-cut holes in it, front and rear. That was what some gentlemen liked for a special. Not all, but some.