I know what they say about me, those girls. I hear them giggling on the stairs as they arrive, tittering the insults they’re too intimidated to make to my face. I see the contempt in their young, pretty faces as they scan my well-preserved maturity. Especially that wholesome American, Jonquil Jenkins.
My blood boils just thinking of her. Jonquil Jenkins: what a stupid name! Every time I hear it I want to look in files and change the other girls’ names to a similar theme — Carnation Carter, Freesia Freeman, Daffodil Davies…
Jonquil had been working for a French-Canadian family, something to do with politics or trade or some-such. Big house overlooking Kennington Park; two children at a private infants school; use of the car; study/bedroom with full ensuite, including bidet; huge staff covering every domestic function imaginable and still Jonquil Jenkins managed to foul things up. Half an hour I spent on the telephone trying to pacify Madame Legrand and then I had to let her take one of my top girls without commission, just to preserve my reputation.
I was getting ready to close the office by the time Jonquil deigned to show her face. I had spent most of the afternoon thinking about what I would say to her and what measures I could take to curb her wayward streak. The truth is, Jonquil is generally good for business: she’s clean and pretty in a cheerleader kind of way and until the novelty wears off, she’s a reasonable worker. Her problem is a low boredom threshold, so I try to keep her for short-term assignments such as visiting dignitaries and vacationing aristocrats. Anything longer than a couple of months, though, and she is liable to slip up one way or another. Like today.
In she breezed, ready with the counter-accusations and excuses, certain I would forgive her and send her off to another job in the morning. Well, to be honest, I did have another booking lined up: a fortnight’s nannying for a Portuguese banker’s family, but I wanted to make her sweat — literally — before I told her.
I was determined not to get drawn into a slanging match, so I gave it to her straight, before she could tell me what a victim she was. There are rumours amongst the girls about the way I deal with miscreants, but I am careful not to be too liberal with my ministrations so that they retain something of a mythical status. I was in control here, and Jonquil Jenkins was just about to realise it!
There she stood, trim and meek, looking at me through her unnaturally long eyelashes with yet another hard-luck tale.
‘Well, of course she complained!’ she began. ‘Her husband was all over me and none-too-discreet about it, either. There we were in the middle of a dinner party and he was up and down following me into the kitchen, up to the children’s room… I gave him absolutely no encouragement, I swear.’
‘Apparently your swearing was one of the client’s main complaints,’ I retorted. ‘Screeching obscenities at the lady of the house in front of ten important guests is not the way to secure employment…’
‘I don’t want to “secure employment” as you put it,’ she twanged at me in her abysmal accent. ‘I just want to earn enough to survive with minimal hassles. And if I chose to earn it by being groped by overweight married bigots, I’d make a damn sight more than you ever negotiate for me!’
‘That may well be so, Jonquil,’ I said calmly, ‘but I think you are forgetting something. Your days of legally earning anything in this country were over some time ago. It’s only my — let’s call it “generosity” — that enables you to work at all.’
‘Generosity be damned!’ she barked back. ‘Half the girls on your books have overstayed in Britain. You overcharge the clients, underpay the workers and cheat the Tax people. You sit there with your shampoo and set, frumpy frocks and make out that you’re this nice lady finding wonderful jobs for super girls when all you’re really doing is getting a fat rake-off for helping illegal immigrants work as skivvies and stay on long enough to get married, move on or whatever their ambitions are.’
When I’m angry, I go very cold and calm. I looked at her without speaking until she averted her eyes. ‘And the arrangement,’ I finally said, ‘has suited you and your pals very well hasn’t it? I’m not the only one avoiding paying taxes. And you don’t have accommodation problems because I find you live-in positions. And…’
‘Okay, so we both gain. But don’t come on like you’re some great benefactress because you get as much as I do.’
‘Yes, I do,’ I agree, ‘but neither of us will gain if you keep lousing up bookings. We rely on word of mouth recommendations to avoid advertising and drawing attention to the Agency. If past clients don’t recommend us to their friends the whole operation will fold. So, I have decided to help you remember that fact. If you want to stay on my books, you can earn your place there by taking a spanking!’
There! I had said it. There was a flicker of recognition on her face, so she had heard the rumours, then she was all shocked outrage.
‘Are you seriously thinking of paddling my ass like some sorority initiation rite?’ she hissed.
‘No,’ I replied. ‘I am seriously proposing to spank your bottom like a caring adult chastising a truculent teenager. Your jeans are tight enough for me to tell you have a well-padded rump that could take a decent tanning with no problem and I’ll bet it will see an end of your difficulties in the workplace. Anyway, if you don’t want my help, the door’s over there; use it now and don’t come through it again.’
There was a long pause as her pride fought with pragmatics. ‘What did you have in mind?’ she finally asked.
‘Oh, I think a sound hand spanking with a touch of the tawse should do the trick,’ I said chattily. ‘I find Americans can’t take the cane.’ She gulped in quite a fetching manner at the comment.
‘On the bare?’ she queried.
‘Oh, definitely on the bare,’ I told her. I had come round my side of the desk and ran my hands over the be-jeaned behind. ‘These pockets would just get in the way and stop you getting the full benefit of my attentions. And I need to see the effect I’m having — I don’t want you being stoic and going beyond your natural threshold! Right, over there, and slip your jeans down; don’t bother taking them off, down to your knees will be sufficient. You can keep your panties on while I warm you up if you want to.’ (Of course, she wanted to).
There was a moment’s hesitation, then she slowly unzipped her trousers and pushed them down her thighs. She looked very trim in her neat white top and lacy pants and I knew I was about to enjoy myself.
I put a chair in the middle of the room and had her drape herself over my lap. All her movements were precise and unhurried but I could tell that she would lose her dignity and be unable to take what I was about to give her.
I pushed her jeans down to her calves and began the spanking. As I had told her, this was just a warm-up exercise. I used light, upwardly sweeping smacks that would lull her into thinking (erroneously) that her punishment was to be nothing more than a mild smacking. I could feel the contempt emanating from her body as she relaxed into an insolent slouch. I continued with my teasing taps until her bottom-cheeks began to show a pale pink hue through the stretched lace that struggled to cover them.
‘Okay, now for the real thing,’ I announced, yanking down her knickers with a swift jerk and delivered the first proper slap. Her body tensed, but she made no sound. My hand came down again, still in the sweeping motion I had used before, but now with a lot more force. As I struck her right buttock, the cushioned flesh first moved with my hand, then reached the limit of its elasticity and tried to fight against my palm to return to its original form. It felt cold at my first touch, but the heat rose quickly even during our brief contact.
She withstood three or four more sharp slaps before she gave voice to her feelings. ‘Ow! For heaven’s sake , how much longer is this going on for?’ she yelped.
‘As long as I feel like making it last,’ I replied and delivered a rapid succession of smacks on the crown of her rump that echoed around the room. She bucked like mad but her kickings were restrained by the clothing rumpled at her ankles and knees. She looked like a freshly-landed fish flapping on a riverbank, twisting her torso and mouthing inarticulate complaints. Inevitably, as the heat built up, despite her attempts to fight her instincts, she began grinding her pelvis against my thighs, giving the impression that she was enjoying the situation at least as much as me. Still, I wanted her confused and contrite, not content, so I delivered six slow, hard blows that covered the full amount of her bottom and pushed her roughly from my lap as I returned to my desk.
‘Get up girl,’ I barked, enjoying the sight of her struggling to her feet. ‘Leave your clothes as they are and come over her.’
She hobbled to my desk and tears of trepidation sneaked between her eyelids when she saw the tawse I produced from my drawer. ‘Hey, look, Ma’am,’ she drawled, ‘enough’s enough. I hear what you’re saying; you’re the boss; I’ll keep to the rules in future.’
‘That’s easy to say,’ I told her. ‘I’d be doing you no favours if I let you off the main part of your punishment. You would just think that I was a soft touch and that you could manipulate me anytime you chose. Much better that we get things clear here and now. Bend over the desk.’
‘I can’t,’ she protested. ‘I really can’t. I don’t know what it will be like; I’ve never even seen one of things before. What are you proposing to do with it?’
‘I propose,’ I told her as I placed my hand in the small of her back to get her into position, ‘to give you ten strokes of the tawse. If you take them well, I will I spread them out, which will be slightly easier to bear, but if you make a fuss I shall administer them all on a very small area and you’ll be lucky to sit down by this time next week.’
I brought the strap down swiftly onto the delicate crease between the bottom and thighs and silently rejoiced and she shot upright and clutched her behind. ‘Don’t. Mrs Cooper, please don’t. That’s enough; I’ll work next week for nothing. Please…’
I cracked the twin tongues across the backs of her thighs and as she went to move her hands down to the spot I gripped them and delivered the next stroke high up where her buttocks began their division. She slumped forward onto the desk, her face cradled in her arms, leaving the target area clear. She didn’t protest as I positioned her with her feet as far apart as her clothing permitted and back from the desk so that there was a long, gentle slope of thigh-into-bottom for me to aim at.
Feeling compassionate, I delivered two deliberate strokes onto the meatiest part of her bottom and waited until the distinctive double-bands of mauve became visible before letting the split leather snake twice around each upper leg, taking in the soft, vulnerable flesh of her inner thighs. She was wearing one of those musk-scented body-sprays and as the heat in her body rose, the perfume intensified and seemed to fill the room. I wondered if she had lost count and I would be able to sneak in a couple of extra strokes, but decided to play fair and be satisfied with just one final stripe.
I took careful aim and hit just below where the first blow had landed, this time catching the exposed lips of her sex. She made a deep, animal groan and crossed her ankles, sagging at the edge of the desk. I let her stay like that for several moments, relishing the sight of her defeat.
When I thought she could manage it, I had her stand and pose for me so I could admire my handiwork. Since she obviously wanted to touch her engorged nates in the forlorn hope of bringing some relief, I made her feel each welt and describe it to me, making her linger over descriptions of texture and depth. She winced each time her fingers touched a new rough line and her voice trembled with humiliation. I left her exposed like that for the best part of an hour before telling her about her new job and letting her adjust her clothes and leave. I know she won’t mess up this assignment because every slight movement is going to remind her of this consequence if she does.
These girls may have great figures and the ability to speak three foreign languages, but at the end of the day I have my tawse and the power to hire and fire. I think I know who’s got the better deal.