Photo-story by Julie Holmes from Februs 19
It’s just as he said it would be: my whole body prey to fleeting darts of nipping fire and ice chasing over my skin, biting deep through weakened flesh. And, as he keeps saying, I could have prevented it.
He told me he would be back on Thursday: it was a foreign conference, the tickets were booked, the itinerary fixed; he telephoned me last night. There should have been no possibility of him being a day early. Yet there he had stood, towering over me, anger and distaste turning down the corners of his mouth and drawing his hands into trembling fists.
Are you sick?’ he had asked. Of course I wasn’t.
‘Are you going to bed?’ Perhaps I should have said I was.
‘Are you rehearsing for a cough medicine advertisement?’ I haven’t modelled since we’ve been together. He was toying with me, letting me know exactly how he felt about my casual state and I was so ashamed!
‘I don’t ask much of you,’ he told me, truthfully ‘Just that if we’re apart I know where you are, that you are congenial company when we are together and that you strive to look good at all times.’ I bit my lip and avoided his stern eye. ‘Is this your idea of looking good?’
‘I was tired,’ I told him by way of apology and explanation. ‘I went to the health club as I told you I would. I worked out with Jane and Sarah and pushed myself a little harder than I’d intended. I came home and had a hot bath and I just slipped these things on to relax in while I listened to the radio. I dozed for a while, but I was going to dress properly before preparing my dinner.’
‘I didn’t even know you owned one of these, these…’ he didn’t know how to describe my outfit, but he grabbed the sleeve and hauled me off the divan so that I was standing in front of him. I knew what to expect. ‘It’s a lounging suit,’ I told him, as if that would make a difference.
‘What happened last time you disappointed me, Muriel?’
I swallowed hard, I stood demurely to attention, I met his eyes with mine and whispered, ‘You spanked me.’
‘I “spanked you”. Bit of an understatement, I’d have thought. I seem to remember tanning your backside so hard and so long that you couldn’t wear underclothes for two days and my hand was too numb to hold my cutlery at dinner.’
I remembered: my body remembered even as he described the event. I forgot the cause of his displeasure, but I definitely recalled the sound of his palm striking my naked bottom; the layers of feelings that went beyond pain, into numbness and back into agony as he slapped remorselessly at my juddering flesh for the best part of two hours; the scent of warm skin that built up and pervaded the room. Standing there before him, once more inspiring his wrath, I felt an ominous warm expansion at the top of my legs, a tautening of my nipples, a cool shiver down my spine. He said it would be even harsher if I angered him again.
He tugged at the flimsy fabric of my offending garment and I was surprised it didn’t tear. ‘Take it off and wait here,’ he told me, and I did. He went along the corridor to his own dressing room. that stark, masculine room that is the very antithesis of my own be-cushioned den. He is an orderly, tidy man: it took only moments to find what he wanted and return so that I was still freeing my legs from the suit.
I tensed as I felt — his hand? — on the small of my back, light and cool. I straightened. It wasn’t his hand, but it was about the same size and it was stroking me down my spine and across the back of my hips, following the top of my pants. I faced him and the stroking transferred to my breasts. ‘Get rid of that and stand up.’
I knew better than to argue. I shed the suit and stood to attention: shoulders back to raise my breasts and lengthen my torso, legs together to emphasise the swell of my sex. My lingerie was flattering: I own no other kind. My breasts were moulded and raised by a custom-made bra, my pubis was both hidden and highlighted by the matching triangular wisp, but he was immune to my charms. Perhaps it was the incongruent ankle socks that broke the charm.
He showed me the implement he would use. A short, broad rectangle of leather, cut into four fingers and mounted on some kind of grip. I sighed: this ‘hand’ would not grow tired or numb from its exertions. My buttocks prickled from the phantom aftermath of my last spanking and I considered the option of leaving. I am always free to leave: I am financially independent, I have friends with whom I could stay. But I really love this man, and my life was just a hedonistic haze before he came into my life. He brought shape and purpose to my existence, made me value my virtues and seek to rectify my shortcomings. We have fun together; we laugh, we make love, we live comfortably and we adore one another. And to maintain this happy state of affairs, I sometimes need chastising.
I looked at his strange little paddle and nodded my assent to a proposition he had no need to voice.
‘Kneel down and rest on the divan.
His voice trembled with anger, but he was fully in control. He left me posed for several moments, making me aware of my rounded rump proffering itself for his ministrations, thrust out by the dipping of my back, the tensing of my shoulders. Just the way he likes me. We waited in silence until he was ready.
The first kiss of leather was not too bad — disappointing, almost. It landed squarely on my awaiting behind and left a sensation of warmth. The second was a little lower but, again, verged on the tender. Then there was a third and a fourth and… and the speed and the heat mounted and my knees were raising off the floor and my hands were grasping my scalp, tousling my hair. My back arched and dipped, my voice keened.
And still the leather hand attended to my bottom, striking whatever portion my gyrations presented. I couldn’t get up, couldn’t turn over. Some perverse reflex held me welded to the couch, bucking and groaning but inviting more.
When my legs straightened out behind me, the harsh fingers attacked my thighs. When they scissored, the soft inner flesh was exposed and swiftly dealt with. As I drew in my knees and rocked back, my pelvis was flogged from hip to hip, I stretched and curled with a ferocious alternation that I had found beyond me this afternoon in the gym and, although only a fairly small part of my body was being assailed, my whole being felt and responded to every lick from that dreadful tool. Every time it touched me I felt I could take no more and yet I did. And every time I didn’t beg him to stop was tantamount to begging him to continue.
The effect was so intense that my movements no longer bore any relation to the area that had been touched or the weight of the blow. I simply writhed and accepted and wondered why.
And then it changed. His hand pressed on my back, holding me still while a short, brisk rain of slaps targeted the dividing cleft of my buttocks; then one cheek was harshly kneaded whilst the other was struck on the same spot half a dozen times; then the procedure was repeated in reverse. I sobbed.
My lover sat beside me and I edged closer, thinking it was over. But he hauled me over his lap and recommenced my punishment.
I couldn’t move as much and the heat grew in intensity as he could choose precisely where to land each blow. Only my lower legs were mobile and their see-sawing just served to drive the pain deeper.
Somewhere above me came his voice, reminding me that he expected his girlfriend to act at all times as though he were with her. That there was no ‘time off’ from looking good, behaving well and being agreeable. That any slip, at any time would incur an immediate physical punishment and that each one would be more severe than its predecessor. My head heard the words and my bottom absorbed their meaning.
The thong was drawn tightly between my bottom-cheeks, lifting them and exposing the vulnerable crease separating them from the tops of my thighs. I felt him discard the paddle and in its place was his hand, fiercely tattooing a reddened band over the gluteal fold. I was aware of the warmth of his clothed body beneath and beside me, conscious of the cool air on my back and down one side, sensitive to the different touch of his fingers, palm and even the graze of his watch strap.
Another moment’s respite, teasing me with notions of forgiveness, before I was told to stand in front of the fireplace with my legs spread. Again the mutant strap attacked, finding previously unmarked areas on the fronts of my legs and even exploring down my calves. Then he had me turn and the already burning lengths of the back of my legs were dealt with.
I gasped as he stood behind me and released my breasts from my bra. They were hot and engorged and stood out proudly, unaware of the threat being posed. I bit my lip, I clenched my eyes and my lover laughed. ‘Not this time,’ he said softly and I heard the paddle being dropped to the floor. But his fingers pinched and stretched my aroused nipples until cold snakes of pain coursed downwards to meet the heat of my earlier punishment and I finally begged him to stop.
We went through the ritual: I told him what I had done wrong and how glad I was that he cared enough to punish me. He told me he loved me. He kissed my mouth and stroked my shoulders and arms with gentle fingertips. And now I am alone, staring at an empty fireplace, contemplating and absorbing the heat, the cold, the pain, the desire he has imparted. Tomorrow I’m going to light a fire in that grate and burn that stupid outfit. I will ask my lover to check my wardrobe and identify anything he finds unsuitable. And this will be my last ever punishment because I will be perfect from now on.Although, even as I think that last thought, my bottom twitches and my thighs shift slightly and I wonder what would happen if I did something to earn another — a harsher — punishment: I’ve a feeling that the day will soon come when my curiosity will be satisfied and, strangely, the notion makes me feel safe.