‘You know,’ said Max confidentially, ‘I sometimes feel I’m losing my touch. Take last week, for instance. Twice I had to cane Helena’s bare bottom, a beautiful blonde Swedish nymph like that. And that young trollop Elke with the lovely ripe young bottom in tight jeans. Birched with her pants down on Saturday — and the strap as a warm-up. You know what it did for me?’
Alec, the schoolteacher turned antiquarian bookseller, shook his head.
‘Nothing.’ said Max sadly. ‘I can’t seem to find the sense of challenge any more.’
Alec was a mere visitor at the Moral Leadership Centre which Max and his partner ran for European girls. Never before had he heard his friend talk about his triumphs of corporal punishment in this despondent manner.
‘Another holiday,’ said Alec brightly. ‘That’s what you need. Get away from all these English girls who fill up the course during the winter.’
‘I’ve tried,’ said Max listlessly. ‘It didn’t work.’
Alec’s unease grew deeper. It troubled him to hear Max talk like this. Max was an original, an enthusiast for his work. There were those who thought him eccentric and some who found him kinky. One mutual friend had described Max confidentially as downright pervy. But no one ever doubted his disciplinary zeal.
As they talked Alec remembered the collection of secretly taken photographs, girls on the beach whom Max later thrashed for their indecorous behaviour. There were some gems of blonde Katharine from Cologne and young Claudia with the ringlets from Dusseldorf. Blonde Helena stooping to write with her finger on wet sand. Knees bent a little and trim young rump in tight white jeans thrust back in innocent lewdness. Elke, high on coke, lying on her side in a boy’s arms, his hand in the front of her pants, Elke’s soft sixteen-year-old bottom-cheeks tensing and slackening with rhythmic pleasure in her tight faded jeans. A rear view of Claudia on all fours spreading a towel to lie upon. Her cropped curls bowed, the taut wet seat of emerald green bikini pants shaping a pair of lithe adolescent bum-cheeks. Alec could not even begin to imagine the sight of Max taking that picture. He was surely no more than two or three feet from the subject…
‘The sense of challenge,’ said Max again, more wistfully.
Alec had a sudden and rare inspiration.
‘You’re right,’ he said gently. ‘Even I could probably make a better job of it now than you.’
Deep in Max’s eyes there grew a glimmer of pride and a wakening of curiosity.
‘Never,’ he said firmly. ‘You are the amateur — I the professional. It is — what do you call it in cricket? — gentlemen and players!’
Yet as he spoke Max remembered that Alec, before despairing of the educational system, had been a professional in his way. Two little madams, sly blonde Linda and pert gamine Valerie had tasted several helpings of bamboo on their charming bare bottoms. In the case of Sandra, a well-behaved fifth-former, the disciplinary relationship had blossomed for some time after Alec’s departure from the world of teaching.
‘You mean a competition — between us?’ Max inquired. For the first time that evening his voice seemed truly animated. ‘With the girls here? A contest between two disciplinarians?’
‘Yes,’ said Alec quietly. ‘Something of the sort.’
‘You think you could put a delinquent girl through her paces more strictly than I?’ Max’s eyes were gleaming with defiance. ‘You would make it hotter for her than I? More memorable?’
‘I’m sure I could,’ said Alec casually, though he doubted it Max thought about this for a moment The idea was so preposterous that even he doubted its feasibility.
‘How should we judge the winner?’
‘By the conduct of the girls,’ said Alec simply.
Max thought about this for a moment as well. At last he made his decision. ‘I don’t suppose, Alec, my dear friend — I don’t suppose you would care to have a small wager on the outcome of this battle of the giants?’
Alec considered the possibility.
‘One case of Haut Brion 1959 — premiere cru,’ he said at last ‘I know where it can still be bought.’
‘Done,’ said Max. He refilled both their glasses.
Two days passed before either of the friends was able to prove his worth. They had spun a coin to see which of them should be given the first opportunity. Alec called and lost. Max, as he phrased it, put his friend in to bat.
But when the time came, Max seemed to regret his decision.
‘Tracey,’ he said quietly, ‘seventeen years old. I have made things easier for you than I intended. There has been a complaint about her conduct with her steady boyfriend. Kissing and so forth at the bus stop, in a manner calculated to bring our centre into disrepute.’
‘I don’t even know which one she is.’
So Max led him aside and pointed her out. Alec looked at Tracey and his heart almost stopped.
She was a stunner, no doubt of that. Tracey was one of those seventeen-year-olds whose figure in tight jeans and short denim jacket would reduce Miss World to despair. She was quite tall with a silken sweep of yellow-gold hair aslant her firm and fair-skinned face. The lustrous hair was brushed back to lie upon her shoulder-blades and the slight roundness of her face was illuminated steadily by her deep-set blue eyes. But all this beauty was nothing compared with the willowy grace of her young body.
The pale blue denim of her jeans was smooth as a second skin, showing the long slim movement of her thighs as she walked. Yet, graceful though her young legs were in their lithe elegance, Tracey’s bottom had an unmistakably feminine roundness which her jeans-seat emphasised. As they watched her, Tracey was ironing several pairs of her recently laundered stretch-briefs in the room provided for this. The tall crown of her golden hair was charmingly bowed in a gesture of intrinsic submissiveness. Just then, a pair of the panties slipped from the top of the pile to the floor. The girl bent unselfconsciously to pick them up. From behind her, Alec stiffened with exhilaration at the rear view which she presented in her tight jeans. Tracey’s backside broadened in a very feminine spread and her trim young buttocks were widely and deeply separated.
Alec made his decision and whispered it to Max. They walked across to Tracey who now looked round with a startled expression in her blue eyes, guessing that her fate had been decided.
‘Your chastiser will deal with you this evening, Tracey,’ said Max softly. ‘In the gymnasium!’
The graceful nymph looked uncomprehending, though the alarm in her wide blue eyes grew more intense.
‘Ah, the fluttering in your tummy begins, does it not my sweet?’
She nodded, unable to say the word. Max smiled.
‘Bend over the ironing-board, Tracey. Show my colleague what a delightful prospect he has in store.’
She hesitated for only a moment before going forward, the silken gold hair spilling about her face. Max circled her waist with his left arm, holding her and gazing down at the tightly rounded jeans-cheeks. His hand smoothed in a circular motion over the lithe young globes of Tracey’s bottom as if to calm her.
‘Tracey has never been thrashed before,’ he said softly, as much for the girl’s benefit as for Alec’s. ‘I imagine she’ll spend a frantic few hours this afternoon in her room, thinking about the riding-crop across her bare bottom. Dreading it and yet wanting to get it over! By the time six o’clock comes, she’ll be almost dancing!’
Alec was a little put out by the way in which Max seemed to be taking over his punishment! However, it was a competition. If Max chose to increase the odds against himself, that was his funeral. At last Tracey, carrying the neatly ironed panties in one hand, was led to her room. Max left her alone with Alec, the key ready in the door to lock it when Tracey was on her own. As he turned to go, Max said, ‘Lie bottom-upwards over the bed, Tracey. Your chastiser will want to spend part of the time with you. He’ll need to familiarise himself with your backside and legs, I imagine. Don’t be surprised if you have to take down your jeans and knickers.’
He came back and stroked the veil of her golden hair clear of her face. Then his hand covered her left breast softly.
‘I thought so, Tracey! How that young heart of yours is pounding now. I could almost hear it from the doorway!’
And so he left them. Alec began to understand why some of Max’s critics found him just the slightest bit odd.
But it was Alec who sprang the surprises that evening. When Max entered the gymnasium he could scarcely believe his eyes. It had been arranged as if for some lunatic steeplechase. A long rope barrier, about two feet high divided the course down the middle, describing a circuit round the room. The obstacles had been arranged at intervals.
Max saw at once that the runner was bound to have the dividing rope high between her legs, running astride it. It would not touch the legs necessarily but it would make it difficult to escape the precise route. There were bars to bend under and barrels on their sides to crawl through. There were hurdles to cock a leg over and gaps to negotiate. For the first time, Max began to doubt the wisdom of his challenge to Alec. He had not even bothered to check the list price of Haut Brion ‘59.
Tracey, her golden hair bowed, her appealing young face very downcast, answered the summons. She wore only a short black sweater above her jeans. Alec ordered her to get ready and Tracey began to undo her jeans. She eased them down, stepped out of them, and stood revealed in her panties. The grace of her long lithe thighs raised Max’s temperature by a couple of points. Tracey’s knickers, a pair of white stretch-briefs, were peeled down next. The pale taut ovals of her buttocks were carried high and trim yet with a womanly fullness.
Alec picked up the fine, supple leather of the tawse, divided at its end into three tails. Examining them, he felt certain that these would sting like hellfire.
‘Let’s see you on your marks, Tracey!’
With a last minute appeal to Max, a soulful look which got no response, Tracey went down on one knee, just in front of the beginning of the course.
‘Get set!’ said Alec sharply, standing behind her. Tracey, her fingers touching the floor, lifted her hips and showed a most revealing view of her rear anatomy.
Alec’s lips tightened.
‘Quite still, Tracey!’ Up went the strap and flashed down in a wicked smack across the broadened bare cheeks of Tracey’s arse. She gave a cry and pitched forward on hands and knees.
‘False start!’ said Alec quickly. ‘Back to your marks, Tracey!’
Tracey shook back her silken blonde hair and looked round at him in dismay but he demanded obedience at once. Reluctantly, the girl knelt and went up on fingers and toes at the command. Alec detained her in this posture until he saw her begin to quiver at the knees. Taking a yellow sash worn for team games, he used it as a makeshift belt to prevent Tracey’s black sweater working down over her hips as she ran. He tied it round her waist to hold the sweater well up. Knotting it at the back, he allowed the final length of the yellow sash to dangle as a saucy little tail which just touched the first inch or two of Tracey’s bottom-cleft.
‘Wait for the strap, Tracey!’ he said gently. Down it came with a savage in-curling smack and Tracey sprang forward with a shrill cry. She ran astride the stout stretched rope which came to mid-thigh, her golden hair streaming out and her womanly young hips swaying. The first obstacle was a screen across the course at a height of several feet. There was no means of getting past it but by ducking down and through the space between it and the rope between her thighs which let her bend her knees only a little.
Tracey hesitated and was rewarded by a smack of the thin leather strap across her charming buttocks. She cried out in dismay, guessing easily what would happen when she bent down to squeeze under the bar. Smack went the strap again, tails curling round her smooth pale flank. Squirming in anguish at the savage smart, Tracey reached back and clasped her burning buttocks to frustrate Alec as she bent. His arm across the partition in front of her barred her progress. Gently his lips touched her ear.
‘Hands away from your bottom, Tracey. In fact hands in front of you all the time from now on, unless you want to go right back to the beginning. You’re here to be punished, Tracey. Just remember that.’
With eyes brimming and legs trembling, she bent down to pass under the wooden screen. Tracey’s arse! What a full view, Alec thought. Smack went the strap and smack again.
Tracey yelled and, despite the warning, covered her strap-marked bottom with her hands. Then terrified at the thought of being punished for that she took them away. Alec reached round the screen and held her by the collar as she bent under it. The little yellow tail of the sash lay aslant Tracey’s bottom and he lifted it clear. Then with the strap he gave her six punishing strokes. With Tracey’s buttocks so hard-stretched by her posture, the searing leather of the strap searched her intimately.
In a storm of sobs she dashed onward. At the hurdle, she was obliged to lie over it lifting one leg widely and revealingly, then drawing the other after her. Like a living demon, the strap seized the opportunity of Tracey positioned in such a predicament. The crack-smack of leather rang out four times before, with wild soprano cries, she stumbled on.
There was a mutiny at the half barrel which lay on its side, a tunnel to be crawled through on all fours. But Alec had anticipated this. Tracey’s round young bottom-cheeks were blushing deeply with a frantic smart as she approached. Tossing back her sweep of golden hair, she cried out her refusal to offer her backside so invitingly.
‘No!’ she wailed, ‘Oh, no!’
The last syllable rose to a wild shriek of panic as she saw Alec flexing a slim riding-crop.
‘Through the tunnel, Tracey!’
‘I can’t!’ she cried, ‘I won’t!’
Crack! High across the back of her long lithe thighs. Whip! Low across those demure nymph-cheeks of Tracey’s bottom. She sank to her knees, almost as if they would support her no longer. On all fours, engulfed to the waist in the barrel, Tracey’s cowering young bottom pressed its cheeks desperately together clenching and squirming. Caring nothing for weals or bruises, Alec thrashed the gracefully curved globes of Tracey’s backside with the crop.
There was a shrill cry of despair, for Tracey now discovered that the barrel was a cul de sac with a bar across it to prevent her getting through. Her arse squirmed and surged as Alec disciplined her with the sharp crack and smack of the crop.
‘Keep your behind still while you’re punished, Tracey! You won’t? Very well. Ah, you don’t like it on your legs, do you? In that case round your bottom out properly! Yes, I’m sure you’d like it to stop but it won’t. No, Tracey! Not even for just a minute! We’re getting you nicely worked up now. That’s when the tanning really starts!’
By the time that Alec removed the bar and allowed Tracey to wriggle through the barrel, the impact of discipline was plain to see. As she scrambled up with a wail of trepidation, her trim teenage thighs bore several fiery tramline prints of the crop across their backs. A dozen similar prints, spaced out horizontally upon Tracey’s pale bottom-cheeks were wickedly crossed by three or four diagonals. She stumbled on and came to the last and most intriguing feature of the obstacle course, a padded leather rocking-horse.
Alec had given Tracey her instructions that afternoon. Desperate not to increase her punishment by disobedience, the shapely nymph scrambled astride the lovingly shaped saddle. Her graceful young thighs and knees pressed the padded flanks with an instinctive riding rhythm. As ordered, she lay tightly forward, arms hugging the horse’s neck and rear cheeks fully presented.
‘Lie still a moment, Tracey!’ said Alec sharply, ‘we shall want to see your face clearly during discipline!’
He drew back the silky sweep of her golden hair which would otherwise have spilt about her face. Dividing the strands, he made them into one long plait, tied with a ribbon, which lay down her back. The yellow sash with its saucy little tail aslant her rump was now something of a nuisance. Alec undid the rear length which formed that tail. Where it dangled from the small of her back, he tucked it snugly between the cheeks of Tracey’s seventeen-year-old bottom, drew it under her, and fixed it to the front of the waist.
At the command, Tracey began to urge the rocker with hips and thighs. Her head was twisted round, her fair-skinned beauty now open-mouthed and her blue eyes wide with apprehension. Each time she went forward, she turned up her delectably-shaped bottom for Alec’s attention. Without fail the switch smacked across her young backside, causing a frantic tightening of her thighs and a desperate jigging of her hips astride the saddle. Alec thrashed hard and remorselessly — yet Max’s heart sank. He heard Tracey’s cries grow softer until, at last, they fell to soft questioning sighs. It was time to put away the clever little camera he had smuggled in for the occasion and to leave Alec to his triumph. As he closed the door behind him, Alec’s voice was still audible and Max knew that he had vastly underestimated his friend.
‘Now a little rest, Tracey! So breathless? And such bright eyes! Do I sense a certain unhealthy excitement? Lift your hips a little, Tracey! Ah, I don’t think that yellow sash will ever be much use again, will it? You wicked girl! I’d say that means a lesson with the bamboo! I’m amazed that none of your teachers found an opportunity to initiate you with it. Your boyfriend? No? Wait till he sees your bruises, Tracey. I think you’ll find him quite turned on…’
Max shook his head and walked away. No doubt about it Alec was going to be a very hard act to follow.
Two days later Max knew the worst. A note from his partner, who left disciplinary matters to Max, informed him that he must deal with Julia in the most exemplary manner. Julia! Max sighed with despair.
She was the worst type. A girl of affluent family who had chosen to keep company with the youth of punk and dope. He was not the least surprised that Julia had come his way. Staring at her morosely Max saw a potentially pretty sixteen-year-old. But the narrow high-boned face had its blue eyes darkly made-up. The brown hair was cropped and tapered down her neck at the back, parted aside on her forehead and standing in a brief cockscomb down the front of her parting. In her tight faded jeans and singlet, she looked like a hard case.
Her crime was to be caught by his partner, Bernard, with a substance which Max preferred not to know about.
‘I’m not concerned to hear excuses, Julia,’ he said as she stood before his desk.
‘That’s good,’ she said casually, ‘because you won’t get any.’
‘Turn around!’ said Max savagely. Not understanding, Julia turned her back. Max considered the view offered by the pale blue skin-tight jeans. Julia was quite tall but she still had something of the goose not quite become a swan. Her thighs were a little fleshier than Tracey’s graceful limbs. Julia’s bottom had the last traces of adolescent puppy fat.
‘In a week or so, Julia, I imagine you’ll come to me and beg to be put back into navy blue uniform skirt and white socks.’
‘That’s what you think,’ said Julia laughing at the absurdity.
‘I think you will, Julia. You see, one week from today those jeans, and the briefs I see you wear underneath, are going to be taken down. Your bare bottom is going to be thrashed hard and long. You’ve never been beaten before, have you, Julia? I don’t think you’ll fancy tight jeans on those swollen weals!’
‘We’ll see what my parents have to say about that!’
‘You can see here and now, Julia! Their letter asking for you to be punished as necessary is in the file.’
The hard young face looked back at him, the eyes seeming narrowed by the dark make-up.
‘I’m going to the disco that night!’ she said, her last statement of defiance.
‘No, Julia,’ said Max softly, ‘you’ll be dancing here. In fact, I can promise you that your young bottom will be gyrating like a go-go girl on heat.’
Now it was Alec’s turn to watch ‘Super-Smack’, as the girls called Max, in action. His first order was that Julia should be given the duty of servant in the room where he and his colleagues dined. On the first evening, as they sat down to eat, Julia appeared transformed. There was nothing to be done about the punk coiffure but her costume was one of uniform blouse, tie, and skirt.
‘Oh no, Julia!’ said Max teasingly, ‘we must see you as you like to be. Off you go. Come back in the tight jeans and singlet!’
Julia hesitated but Max repeated the words as a command to be obeyed. She returned, dressed in her required outfit and stood before them with such a sullen self-pitying young face.
Max had arranged the dining-table close to the hatchway. Each time that Julia went to fetch or return dishes, she was obliged to turn her back to the diners and bend over through the hatchway, reluctantly and self-consciously presenting a most unladylike rear view in her tight faded jeans. Max positioned his own chair so that he could detain the girl easily in this pose. His hand demonstrated to the others the comparative softness of her thighs in the smooth denim, the slight fatness of Julia’s bottom, the tell-tale ridge which showed her preference for rather brief panties. As Max hastily added, when her big moment came, Julia would be wearing no panties of any kind.
Resentful yet scared, Julia found herself at a distinct disadvantage. But Max had scarcely begun his preliminary conditioning of her. A few days later there was occasion to cane Elke once again. This feat of arms was not part of the competition between Max and Alec, though Max turned it to advantage. That afternoon, Julia had been ordered to her room and was kept there. Max chose the adjoining sitting-room as the scene of Elke’s caning. He carefully left doors and windows open.
Julia had never even heard a punishment before. Now, confined in the next room, she was obliged to listen to every stroke of the bamboo, every sob and reprimand. This time she heard everything. From Max’s murmured appreciation of Elke’s ripe young derriere in tight jeans, to the last of many ringing cane-strokes across the girl’s bare bottom. Elke’s bare belly slithering on the sofa leather, the springs creaking as she writhed. Max reprimanding her screams, assuring her in his projected voice that she was getting off lightly by comparison with the thrashing which Julia would get next week.
Max had arranged for Bernard to be his spy upon the next room. From Bernard he heard with satisfaction of Julia crouching at the wall listening desperately. Julia at the keyhole of the communicating door, frantically trying to see what was being done to Elke, gnawing her lip and clenching her hands in dismay.
To enforce the lesson, it was Julia whom Max ordered to clear up the room as soon as Elke’s punishment was over. He watched as she performed the task with dismay in her blue eyes. To see Julia pick up the cane from the floor, to collect Elke’s panties — discarded on a chair — was an object-lesson. She stared at these things with the horror of anticipation. The little cushion on which Elke’s head had reposed was wet with weeping, the sofa leather still warm from the squirming adolescent girl.
Julia approached the chair in which Max was sitting, watching her. Her mouth moved as if she might speak but she seemed unable to do so. Indeed, her legs would scarcely support her in her panic. As Max watched, Julia the hardened princess of punk sank to her knees before him.
For the first time, Max began to feel that he had the matter well under control. That night he heard Julia’s bedsprings creak as she turned sleeplessly this way and that sometimes with little cries of despair. She tried to impose calmness by caressing herself to sleep, only to return to the torment of apprehension.
It was evident next morning that Julia had not been able to sleep at all. The next night brought an even more intriguing incident. The matron of the establishment was privileged to use a spy-hole when it was thought desirable for the girl under observation. Such cases were rare but Julia was undoubtedly one of them. As the older woman watched, Julia was seen to divest herself of jeans and panties, displaying a pale bikini-shape on her bottom between the suntan of back and thighs. With her back to the mirror, Julia ruefully contemplated her own behind. Then she took a trouser-belt from a drawer and began, experimentally, to try and spank herself with it. So desperate was she to know what lay in store for her. Presently the belt caught her with such effect that Julia dropped it and gave the gasp of a girl stung hard and long.
It was time to intervene. Julia looked up, startled, as the matron, followed by Max, entered the room.
‘Over the bed, Julia,’ said Max sharply, ‘we’ll have no more of this nonsense.’
Julia hesitated but the other woman put her briskly in her place. Max produced from behind his back the thin leather strap of a three-tailed tawse. Smack! across the fatter paleness of Julia’s bottom-cheeks. Whack! across her sun-browned thighs. Smack! across her squirming, quivering buttocks. Stung beyond endurance this time, Julia tried to push herself up with a wild yell. Whip! The strap tails curled in, catching her young bottom in the most intimate manner.
‘Over the bed, Julia! Believe me, this is nothing to what you’ve got waiting for you in a day or two!’
‘Give her a taste low down on her bottom,’ said matron calmly. ‘That should teach her a lesson.’
Whack! Smack! Whack! Three times the strap caught the soft lower curve of Julia’s arse-cheeks. The punk crop of dark hair twisted on the pillow, her body writhing like a swimmer doing the crawl. Plied with gathering desire, the strap caught her legs, her flank, her bottom, her legs again, her bottom, her bottom, her bottom…
Next day, Julia’s rebellion was visibly overcome. She appeared before Max in the uniform skirt and blouse so long despised.
‘No, Julia!’ he said softly. ‘Away you go and put on your jeans and singlet again.’
It was extraordinary, he thought, what a change had been wrought in Julia by a fifteen-smack spanking with the punishment-strap.
That night was the last before her day of retribution. Julia waited at the dinner table in her most chastened manner, hurrying to obey every demand, hardly speaking above a whisper, scarcely daring to raise her eyes. Afterwards, when Max sat in his chair and lit a cigar, Julia took the ashtray and knelt before him, holding it in her hands for his use, like a carved suppliant figure.
Next day she made no attempt to leave her room, refusing all food. As Max moved some furniture in the next room, Julia was glimpsed curled and quivering on her bed, gnawing the corner of the pillow which she hugged to her. The dark eye make-up was reduced to damp tell-tale streaks down her face. The long day passed. Dinner came and went. Afterwards as Max sat in his room, there was a timid knock at the door. It was Julia — but how changed from her appearance and manner a week before.
‘Yes?’ said Max. ‘What do you want?’
For some moments Julia gulped and could not speak.
‘The cane!’ she said at last in a constricted whisper.
‘Oh that,’ said Max. ‘I decided on a postponement. The next time you step out of line — if ever — you get the strap, and the caning postponed from now.’
Julia almost staggered at the news, hardly able to comprehend. Then she tottered forward, knelt and took Max’s hand, over which she cried copiously as she kissed it.
‘Game, set, and match to you, old man,’ said Alec generously. ‘I don’t know what you did to Julia but I couldn’t equal it. The effect you had on her! She looked absolutely shattered when I saw her come out! And the change in her behaviour!’
‘I know,’ said Max sympathetically, ‘I warned you about amateurs taking on professionals. Not that you were a complete flop with Tracey — but nothing came of it after that first passionate encounter, did it?’
‘No,’ said Alec philosophically. Through the open doorway he saw Julia lovingly ironing one of Max’s shirts. She pressed it gently to her face and then kissed the collar button. Max affected not to notice this obeisance by his young punk mistress.
‘By the way,’ he said presently, ‘I’ve got something which might interest you.’
He went into the next room and came back with a cardboard box. It was a case of Haut Brion ‘59.
‘But I should have bought that,’ Alec said indignantly, ‘as the loser.’
Max waved the protest aside.
‘When her parents found what a changed girl Julia was, their gratitude was positively touching.’ he said. ‘They insisted on my finding her a place here for the next twelve months at least. Then, as they offered me anything I cared to name, I thought a case of Haut Brion might be rather apt.’
‘You know what you are, Max?’ said Alec gently.
Max uncorked a bottle and decanted it. As they took their first sip an hour or two later, Alec noticed that another girl had joined the queue for the ironing board. She was quite petite with a slim fine-boned body, short-cropped blonde hair and flirting blue eyes. Her sun-browned figure wiggled in the cheeky pink bikini as if in time to silent music. She looked at Alec and then looked away again.
‘Nathalie,’ said Max softly, ‘from France.’
The pert young rump in the scandalous little bikini-seat twitched impatiently at the end of the queue. Alec sighed.
‘I don’t suppose, Max,’ he said wistfully, ‘I don’t suppose you’d consider giving me the chance to even the score?’
Nathalie turned her back upon the two admirers, her knee jigging foot tapping impatiently, her saucy little bum performing its rhythmic twitch-and-wiggle, twitch-and-wiggle, twitch-and-wiggle.
‘That,’ said Max, ‘would be telling. Wouldn’t it?’