Friday, April 17, 2009

Tessara's Letter

Copyright by Mael DelaVara

The following letter was found in the binding of a Bible belonging to Miss Henrietta Waters, who lived in the village of West Stafford, Dorset, England. The Bible had lain forgotten in the attic of a cottage which was occupied by generations of the same family. It was discovered only when the property came into the hands of new owners.The date of the letter is unknown, but from the years recorded on Miss Waters' gravestone, it can be conjectured as 1885 or 1886. Also unknown is the identity of the writer, but research in local records would doubtless prove fruitful.

My dearest Henrietta,

I miss you terribly. I know I am most fortunate to have entered the service of Lady Fotheringill, and as her personal maid no less; but I am pining away for you. I don't miss that horrid finishing school or that beastly Miss Beecham. I know she takes a special delight in whipping you. I just know she does. She almost never beat me, but she never misses an opportunity to subject you to prolonged chastisement. I think you are her favorite. Do you still have the marks from the last birching? I'm sure you do; your skin is so soft. I miss when you'd show me your bottom afterwards, and I would cry at the sorry sight, and I'd lick my tears along your welts; and you'd say it stings and burns, but it's a sweet pain, so I'd trace each weal with the tip of my tongue, and you'd coo gently and get goose pimples--and I'm getting goose pimples just writing this!!!

I will give this letter to good old nurse Cracknit. I see her every few days in the village. She can smuggle it to you up at the school. There's always someone sick up there, so she should be visiting soon. Make sure you hide it in the usual place, otherwise I will lose my position and you will get the birching of a lifetime, and I wouldn't be there to comfort you.

I wish so much you were here with me. You could stay in my room; the bed is big enough for both of us. I'm going to suggest this to her ladyship once I get in her good graces. And I could certainly use your help. Her ladyship has a bath twice a day, and my back is so sore from carrying cauldrons of hot water to the tub. She makes me wash her private parts for at least five minutes, and she keeps on saying, "Cleanliness is next to Godliness." I don't think she is that unclean down there, but she has a large and thick coat of black hair in that area, as if she was wearing a stole over her mound of Venus.

I'm writing this sitting on a prickly bottom. Yesterday morning I took coffee to her ladyship in the drawing room, and she said to me, "I haven't inspected you." I didn't know what she meant, but she continued, "you girls from those finishing schools are always so unhealthy. I believe it's because you all engage in furtive practices." I still didn't know what she was talking about, so I let her ramble on. She said my skin had an unwholesome palor, my eyes were unfocused and droopy, and my general demeanor was listless. Now it's true I had a particularly bad visit from auntie this month, and I'm usually weak for a few days after, but that's just mother nature.

I let my attention drift away from her ladyship's monologue until I suddenly heard her say, "Strip, girl." I don't know what surprised me more, her ordering me to undress, or her calling me girl. After all, I'm now old enough to be married, and I wouldn't mind marrying her ladyship if she was a young man; she's a handsome woman. So I felt no reluctance to obey her command. I wanted her to see me and like me. Of course, I'd seen her naked many times by now. And there were no men in the house: her ladyship retains only female servants. But I still didn't understand why she needed to inspect me, and what that was.

She began pressing me and poking me and prodding me as if I was a horse she was intending to purchase. She called me a skinny little thing. I liked it when she cupped her strong hands over my titties; you know how small they are. She said, "Don't worry, my pet, they'll develop in time." And I liked it when she grabbed and squeezed my tiny bottom cheeks. She said, "These too will round out delightfully." I didn't like it when she inserted a finger tip into my private parts and asked if I was still a virgin. I just blushed because the question was improper and unnecessary. So she asked me again, more directly: "Has a man ever put his thing in here?" Of course I replied no, but she said, "We'll have to check, won't we?"

She had me bend over and I began to think this must be what the inspection is all about, to make sure I am pure. She peeled apart my lips, and a rush of cool air made me realize how moist I was.

"You are dripping wet and your lips are swollen. You have been indulging in the solitary vice."

I could feel I was being accused of something, but I didn't understand what, so I made a denial. Her ladyship was not appeased, and she almost screamed out, "I will not tolerate my servants lying and abusing themselves. These are two faults I will whip out of you." She then rang the bell.

The housekeeper appeared promptly, looked me over as if to say she'd seen it all before and I was nothing special, and then awaited her ladyship's directions.

"Fetch the birch."

I just knew I was to be beaten, but for what? Now I understand how you must feel on those many occasions of unmerited chastisement.

The housekeeper returned with that splaying buddle of rods and twigs.

"Will you keep your position, or does Bertha have to hold you down?"

I assured her ladyship that I did not have to be restrained; after all, I was accustomed to discipline at the finishing school.

Her ladyship nodded for Bertha to depart, and I was positioned, arms out-stretched, with my hands clutching the edge of the mantlepiece.

I don't need to describe the birching. You of all people know what it feels like--a thousand tongues of fire alighting again and again. The pain was bearable, except when a rod coiled around to slash my hip, and except when some errant twigs snapped across those moist lips that seemed to have been the cause of my woe.

Her ladyship whipped away until the birch was spent, all the while fulminating against prevarication and the sin of Onan. When she'd exhausted both the rods and herself, she reclined on the ottoman and ordered me to crawl around on all fours picking up the far flung buds and twigs.

I left the drawing room with an admonition that is still ringing in my ears. Her ladyship said she intends to conduct regular inspections, and when she finds evidence of the solitary vice, she will apply the appropriate disciplinary measures.

Oh, my dearest Henrietta, I wish you were here to explain to me how I am at fault. What is the solitary vice? Maybe it's really an imaginary vice, a pretext for her ladyship to whip me, just as horrid Miss Beacham loves to whip you. I don't think I'd mind that so much, though, as long as you were here to comfort me afterwards. I will accept a few more birchings and then ask her ladyship if you could be permitted to join us.

Your ever affectionate Tessara

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dana's Lunchtime Story

Copyright by Mael DelaVara

Dana sat down to lunch pulsating with exultation. At 36 she was returning to college, and the admissions interview had gone so well her body quivered with the heedless passion of a twenty-one year old.

"Yeah, he said, 'Do you want to play?" The words came from the Redhead the next table over.

"What do you think he meant?" Those words came from the Blonde, whose eyes betrayed a keen interest in anything salacious.

Dana leaned to her right to catch more of the conversation.

"Well, that's what I'm trying to tell you," continued the Redhead, impatient at the question. "I was at the frat, like, last night, and it wasn't a real party or anything, but there was beer and a bunch of people. And this guy comes up, and he's got this ping pong racket."

"What did he look like?" The Blonde could not resist asking.

"He was cute, in a rugged sort of way. He didn't look much like a college kid. More a construction worker. His neck and arms were, like, sunburned, and he had these really big hands, and the nails were a mess."

"Maybe he's got a job off campus," the Blonde volunteered.

"Anyway." The Redhead dismissed the interruption. "I said, 'sure,' and then you know what he said?"

The Blonde obviously didn't, but she was getting the sense her contributions to the conversation were not welcome, so she said nothing.

The Redhead took the silence as a cue to continue. "Well, like, he said in the frat we play for forfeits."

"What's that," the Blonde asked. The question was irresistable.

Dana leaned so far in the direction of the exchange that her elbow almost slipped off the edge of the table.

"Well, the loser gets a number of whacks, same number as the amount of points they lose by."

Dana felt a familiar moistening and throbbing.

"Of course you walked away," the Blonde said with conviction.

"No," the Redhead corrected her. "We played ping pong."

"Oh my God," yelled the Blonde, drawing the attention of everyone in the dining room. She then leaned forward and whispered conspiratorially, "So then what happened?"

Dana was straining to hear the conversation, but the Redhead resumed at her regular volume.

"Well of course I lost. I can't play ping pong. And as I was losing, more and more people were gathering around the table. And then I think, like, that's when I began to lose more than I should have."

"You mean you wanted to be spanked." The Blonde was incredulous.

"I dunno. I began to like the idea of showing my butt to everyone. I was wearing those tight shorts, you know the ones we got on sale a few weeks ago, and I look good in those when I bend over. And I kinda liked the idea of being overpowered by this strong guy with people watching. Kinda like having sex in public but not having sex in public if that makes any sense."

Dana began to wish she'd used a panty liner.

"So he spanked you." The Blonde was eager for the story to continue. "And with the table tennis paddle. That must have hurt like hell."

"No, it wasn't like that." The Redhead struggled to regain control of the narrative. "He made me an offer."

The Blonde narrowed her eyes in suspicion.

"He said that the forfeit was usually given over clothing with the ping pong paddle, but if I pulled down my shorts and panties, he'd use his hand instead."

"You didn't," the Blonde screamed, once again causing heads to turn.

The Redhead simply nodded in response.

Dana began to squeeze her thighs together in a slow rhythm.

The Blonde was at a loss for words, so the Redhead began answering the unasked questions.
"The worst part was, you know, I hadn't shaved, like, down there in two or three days, and you know how bright that hair is against my pale skin. That was kinda embarrassing. I could tell people were looking at that."

"Yes, but what about the spanking." The Blonde was impatient to know what she did not know.

The spanking really hurt. His hand was like a bear's paw. But I wanted to show everyone, especially him, that I could take it. And so I never yelled out or flinched. I stuck my butt out more and more with each blow, and when I did that it was like the burning heat seemed to pass through my pelvis straight to my clit."

Dana almost passed out in a paroxysm of bliss.

"She's listening," the Blonde whispered loudly, with a sidelong glance at Dana.

The Redhead smiled knowingly, and getting up said, "I'm late for class anyway."

Sunday, March 29, 2009

An Unusual Courtship, Chapter 11

Copyright Mael DelaVara

The morning just hasn't gone as planned, Audrey thought, as she made another pot of coffee. She'd expected that Michael would come. They'd chat and, without prompting, he'd admit that he'd been masturbating. Then she'd take him over her knee and they would have a long discussion about his failings, punctuated by a liberal application of the Vermont bath brush. He'd spend some time in the corner reflecting on the error of his ways. Then she'd hug and forgive him, and they'd go on to enjoy lunch together.

But it was now almost lunchtime, and the salad was already made, yet the bath brush remained in her bedroom, and its usurper looked insubstantial. Why didn't she cut two, better still, three switches, Audrey remonstrated with herself.

She placed a cup of coffee and a plate of crackers in front of Michael, picked up the switch, and went into the bathroom.

Michael suddenly felt like a schoolboy being mothered through his homework. He nibbled on a cracker and heard the tub being filled. No, that's not possible, he reasoned, anxiously sniffing his armpits. She can't mean to bathe me. But then the water stopped running and Audrey came out of the bathroom without the switch and opened the opposite door leading to the basement.

Michael heard a laundry hamper being dragged, a lid slamming shut, the scraping of a chair across the floor, and then silence.

"How many strokes did your Aunt give you?" Audrey had appeared noiselessly behind him and startled him into misspelling her name.

"Twelve. It was twelve," he replied, as he carefully made a correction.

"Well, you're a big boy now," Audrey said almost reassuringly. "You're three times as old as when your Aunt whipped you, so you need three times as many strokes. I think thirty-six strokes is most reasonable."

Michael's handwriting worsened appreciably.

"But we could make this interesting," Audrey added with a calculating smile.

She went to the drawer that had held the sheaf of paper, took out a pack of cards and a pair of dice, weighed the choice before her, and then put the cards back in the drawer and the dice in front of Michael.

"I said you deserve thirty six strokes. And you know you do. But you could let fate decide how bad you've been. Let's say you have to take again the twelve strokes your Aunt gave you, and we add to that the two numbers you throw with the dice."

"You mean if I throw two ones, I'd get only two extra strokes, fourteen in all." Michael's eyes brightened at these odds.

"No, silly. You'd get only thirteen. You really want that extra stroke.?"

Michael did not understand this new math.

"The two numbers get multiplied," Audrey explained. She rolled the dice. "See, here we've got a 4 and a 2. Multiplied, that is 8. And added to the 12 you're due, that makes 20 strokes. Here, you have a go. This isn't for real. It's a trial run."

Michael rolled the dice. There was a 3 and a 4.

"So 3 times 4 is 12, plus 12, making that 24 strokes," Audrey said triumphantly. "So what do you want to do? Settle for 36 strokes, or take your chance with the dice?"

Michael was paralyzed with indecision.

"How many lines do you have left?"

"Only five."

"Finish, and then decide." Audrey went to pour herself a coffee.

The rhythm of writing Audrey's phrase created in Michael a calm confidence.

"I'm done," he proclaimed, "and I'm going to roll the dice."

Audrey looked over his lines. The handwriting ranged from bad to atrocious. He deserves a spanking just for his poor penmanship, she thought to herself. But then she was also to blame because she had not set clear expectations and warned of the consequences of failure. She frowned, as much at herself as at what she was holding.

"OK, roll the dice."

Michael snatched the dice and rushed to hurl them when Audrey grabbed him by the arm and asked, "Don't you want to say a little prayer first?"

Michael looked puzzled.

There's so much we don't know about each other, Audrey thought. "Do you pray?" she inquired.

"Kinda." Michael wasn't sure what kind of answer Audrey wanted to hear.

"Well now would be a good time," Audrey smirked.

Michael bowed his head for a second in a show of piety and then rolled. He got a 1 and a 5. But before he could congratulate himself on his good fortune, he saw that Audrey was already standing outside the bathroom door, dripping switch in hand.

"Bring your lines," she ordered. "We're going to conduct your punishment in the basement."

An Unusual Courtship, Chapter 10

Copyright Mael DelaVara

The willow with its deeply fissured trunk sunk deep into a bank that contained an energetic stream. It was early spring. Hints of forsythia hung in the air. Bare trees formed a lattice against the crisp blue sky. Crocus leaves poked through the grass with a thrust of anticipation. And crows exchanged callous caws as if in knowing conversation about the impending event. Michael felt his stomach churning.

"Don't worry," Audrey said with a mischievous smile. "This hand pruner has a capacity of less than half an inch. That's about the diameter of your little finger. So we won't be cutting a switch that is too thick now, will we?"

Michael did not see the humor in the situation.

Audrey reached for a straight branch some three to four feet long and was just about to cut it at the base when she suddenly turned and handed Michael the clippers.

"You do the honors."

Michael's cut was not clean, and as she yanked the limb away from the tree, the bark curled up at the sliced end.

The sap must have started to flow, she thought to herself. Without thinking, she began to slowly and easily peel off the bark in straight narrow pieces.

"Besides, it won't hurt that much because willow is a natural pain-killer. Did you know that?"

Michael did not know that, so he was even less amused than he otherwise would have been.

"There was this famous physician in ancient Greece, some five centuries before Christ. His name was Hippocrates, and he discovered that the bark of willow has a substance that reduces inflammation and soothes pain--like headache or toothache. But I'm sure it works just as well for sore bottoms."

Michael sensed that Audrey was mocking him.

"And that's the chemical that's in aspirin. Salycilic acid."

Michael felt a surge of resentment. Audrey was not only toying with him, turning his punishment into a piece of theater, she was also lording it over him with her superior knowledge, making him feel inadequate.

Audrey seemed not to notice, perhaps not to care, that Michael was bristling.

"You know Native Americans used to chew on willow bark for the same reasons we take aspirin. They wanted to get at this stuff here, see, the moist green inner bark. Perhaps I should give you some pieces to chew while you're being punished." Audrey was enjoying herself heedlessly.

Michael had a sudden urge to seize the branch and snap it across his knees, but he counted to five and then said quietly, "We don't have to do this."

"Oh?" Audrey was so taken aback that she could not elaborate a sentence, but she resumed stripping the bark with a determined energy.

"I love you," Michael pleaded. "I've learned my lesson. I won't do it again. You've got to know you have my heart."

He suddenly felt the point of the branch pressing into his crotch.

"But I don't have Little Michael," Audrey snapped, her eyes ablaze with anger at Michael's presumptuousness.

Michael was mortified. Audrey had conferred a name on what he had never named himself, and so she seemed to lay claim to what was indissolubly his, his most pleasurable possession.

Audrey was in no mood to concede. Thrusting the branch like a sword she said firmly, "I want you to yield me your sexuality as a gift. And you know you don't ask for gifts back. And you don't give them so you can borrow them again at your convenience. If you want to stay with me, Little Michael is mine. Unconditionally mine."

She paused. He's not making the obvious retort, she thought: gifts are not compelled.

"Of course," she resumed lightly, "I will take very good care of Little Michael." She lingered on the word 'little'.

Michael felt the branch pull back, and only then did he notice that it was completely peeled of bark and now looked only about half the diameter it had been. Audrey watched his face relax with relief.

They walked back in silence to the duplex. As they re-entered, Audrey guided Michael to the kitchen table on which she laid the freshly-stripped switch. From a cabinet drawer she retrieved a pen and a sheaf of paper, and on the top sheet she scribbled a few words.

"Michael," she said, "I want you to write out this phrase one hundred times, starting each repetition on a new line. That'll take you about four pages, but make sure you count the lines."
He looked at the phrase. It said, simply: "Little Michael belongs to Audrey."

An Unusual Courtship, Chapter 9

Copyright Mael DelaVara

Audrey and Michael sat in silence, taking in the revelation--indeed acknowledgment--that Michael tied spanking and sexual desire together in some way.

But exactly how, Audrey wondered.

"Did you ever ask a girlfriend to spank you," Audrey resumed.

"Well, no, I couldn't do that."

"Why not? I bet you asked for a blow-job." Once again, Audrey shocked herself at the vulgarity of her language. But the word matched the deed. Going down on a guy really was a lowering of herself, an act of debasement.

Fragments passed through her consciousness of conversations she'd had with her mom about sex. She was a precocious child, so she consistently asked about things long before her mom anticipated what she needed to know. But mom was always candid and helpful, so there was the time they sat around a scribbled sketch of the vulva, identifying and labeling the parts. Audrey recalled with a smile how she spent the next two years trying to reconcile that sketch with what she could see of herself. She wished she still had that scrap of paper.

Because Audrey was quick to ask questions, her mom got in the habit of never volunteering information, especially about sex, until one day when Audrey was in her mid twenties and changing boy friends as frequently as she changed her sheets.

"Do you want to know how you can tell if a guy really wants to please you," her mom had said out of the blue.

How does anyone respond to that kind of opening.

"You get him to give you oral sex when you want, as often as you want, for six months, and he gets no release in return. At the end of the six months you can have sex. But use a condom."

Audrey was shocked. Was this how mom had handled dad? She was pretty sure that dad was mom's only sexual partner. Or was mom casually handing on advice she'd read somewhere? Perhaps it was just a fantasy, the conversion of a longing into a recommendation.

Audrey looked over at Michael. Would he accept that arrangement, she wondered.

"So you've never been spanked since you were a boy," Audrey continued, "but it's something you've wanted."

"I like the idea of spanking, but I don't like pain." Michael surprised himself at his clarity.

"Would you endure pain for me?" Audrey asked quizzically.

Michael shifted nervously.

"Suppose I was your goddess and I demanded acts of atonement from devotees."

Michael looked puzzled.

"Do you know about the diamastigosis?"

Michael glanced uneasily at the bookshelves laden with serious-looking volumes.

"The dye-am-AS-ti-go-sis," Audrey repeated. "In ancient Greece there was a city-state called Sparta. They had a temple dedicated to Artemis Orthia. Artemis was the virgin goddess of the moon and hunting. The Romans called her Diana. In that temple, every ephebus--that's every young man--would be ritually whipped to satisfy the goddess. That's what the diamastigosis was. A harsh whipping. But the whippings were not just a reparation for some primordial wrong. They were also tests of endurance. Because Sparta was the great military power in the ancient world--they beat Athens in the Peloponnesian war. So the whippings also served to harden the young men, to make them better soldiers."

Audrey changed her tone from lecturer to counselor. "No one likes pain, except the rare masochist. But pain, lovingly applied and openly accepted, can help us grow. It can heal and teach."

Audrey noticed Michael's eyes begin to moisten, and she averted her gaze.

"Follow me." They went into the kitchen, but Audrey didn't quite know why they were there. Was it to have another cup of coffee, and this time she'd offer one to Michael? Or should she have him go through the drawers and select suitable implements? He would surely choose a wooden spoon. But how imaginative--indeed, how adventurous--would he be? Would he see the potential in a slotted spatula?

Through the kitchen window, Audrey glimpsed the besom broom she always kept upright to ward off evil spirits. She began to wonder, would Michael one day leap over that broom with her, crossing over the threshold into a new life, taking the leap of faith. He would be the ash shaft. She would be the bundle of birch twigs. But the twigs would be bound to the shaft by withy, those strong yet flexible stems of willow. Yes, that's what would tie them together. Willow . . . . a willow switch.

She fumbled through the drawer that held all the indefinables in her life and pulled out a hand pruner, the tool she used to trim her house plants.

"Let's get some fresh air," she said cheerily.

A few seconds later they were standing in front of an established weeping willow tree. Audrey squeezed the blades of the pruner as she anticipated making a cut.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

An Unusual Courtship, Chapter 8

Copyright Mael DelaVara

Now that he was standing erect, Michael wanted to bolt, but his pants and underwear had him in a double bind around his ankles. He was unhappy at the pace of the morning's events. If there was going to be a spanking, let's just get it over with so that they could enjoy the promised dinner date.

"Sit, please." Michael found himself back in the armchair.

"Why did you come here today?" Audrey did not give Michael a chance to reply. "You know you were going to get a spanking. And a harsh one. Because you know how I feel about your jacking off."

Audrey surprised herself at the crudeness of her expression. She prided herself on always being a lady, and she ordinarily would have used a clinical term like masturbation or a euphemism like self-abuse. She began to worry that she did not have herself completely under control.

"Do you want a spanking?" She felt her face flushing. "Is this something that turns you on? I mean you do have a hard-on." Once again she slipped into language coarser than she would typically use.

Michael's blush was deeper than hers, and in an attempt to conceal it, he looked down at his bulge and said, "I like you; I don't like to be spanked."

Audrey was not convinced. "Were you ever spanked as a child?"

"Well, every toddler gets a tap on the butt now and then. But I don't remember that."

Audrey had begun to notice an evasiveness in Michael's character. It was not an attractive trait.

"Do you remember any spanking from your childhood?" Audrey's lips curled expectantly.

"Well, I was whipped once by my aunt."

"How old were you?"

"Jeez, eleven or twelve, I suppose."

"And what for?"

"O, my cousin got me into trouble."

"What were you boys up to?"

"No, no, it was Lizzie."

Audrey's eyes narrowed with suspicion. "What were you doing with Lizzie?"

"Well, I was in her room and she screamed."

Audrey was becoming irritated with Michael's habit of answering her questions as if he was a defendant in court proceedings, telling the truth but not the whole truth.

"Why did she scream?"

Michael shuffled his feet. "Well, a boy at school told me that women had, you know, hair down there, just like men, and I wanted to see if it was true."

Audrey clenched her teeth to suppress a burst of laughter. "Well, did you see anything?"

"No, no. Lizzie screamed and my Aunt came in and whipped me."


Michael was taken aback at the specificity of the question. After all, a whipping was a whipping. It was no big deal.

"She had a switch."

"Did she pull down your pants?"


"Right in front of Lizzie."


"That must have been embarrassing."

"I suppose so. I didn't think about it at the time. It all happened so quickly."

"How many strokes did you get?"

"Ten, no it was twelve."

Audrey paused in her questioning and began to look for a way to get Michael to bare his soul.

"How long did the marks last?"

Michael was reluctant to answer.

"You must have looked at them," Audrey insisted. "And what were you doing when you looked at them?"

"About two weeks." Michael's answer was lagging one question behind.

"And what were you doing while you were examining the marks," Audrey persisted.

"I was playing with myself," Michael confessed.

An Unusual Courtship, Chapter 7

Copyright Mael DelaVara

Audrey had forgotten one other thing: a towel. She was uncomfortable that nothing came between Michael's nakedness and her skirt. She was also unhappy at the position he'd assumed. His forearms carried his upper body weight, his feet were firmly on the ground, and his legs were straight and rigid, so he was arched over her lap as if he was ready to start pumping.

"Relax," she said, tapping the back of his thighs to urge him to bend at the knees and lie down more passively.

Her fingertips traced the mounds as if she were trying out the keys on an unfamiliar piano. The skin was creamy soft--until goosebumps popped up.

Audrey cupped her right palm over the peak of Michael's right globe. The fit was perfect, as if her hand had been born for this . . . . Well, this what? All the obvious words could not do justice to the delicious spectacle before her. It was a pair of buttocks only to the extent that it was lithely muscled. It was a bottom only to the extent that it was soft and shapely. It was an ass only to the extent that it invited spanking. But a word more exotic was needed to capture the mysterious allure, to account for her moistening excitement.


Michael half-turned at the sound and became aware of how penitentially prickly Audrey's skirt was against his thighs and the source of his most reliable pleasure.

Audrey ignored him and began mouthing the word silently, bouncing the tip of her tongue against the ridge of her upper teeth, as if she was taste-testing a very fine wine. "Nay-tease, Nay-tease."

She fixed her gaze on those nates, a blank canvas that called for coloring, an invitation to produce what would look like an abstract painting. As a girl she had been hit by a fast-moving baseball on the front of her left thigh, and for some three to four weeks later, she'd had her own private show of abstract art as she watched with fascination the bruise effloresce from black to purple and then to a kaleidoscope of blues, greens, yellows, almost every hue you could think of--but not red.

Red. Hmmm. A background wash of shades from pink to crimson, and a foreground of stripes crossing in intricate patterns. Maybe, just maybe, one of these days, Michael would come to give himself to her so completely that he would consent to be used purely for her satisfaction. This would happen infrequently, of course. She would not abuse the privilege. But every few months it would be so freeing, so cleansing, to experience an hour or two of complete abandon. This would be all about her. It would not be punishment, where there would be a predictable relationship between the offense and the chastisement. Michael would get to know that if he broke a certain rule, the consequence would be a certain implement and certain number of strokes. Nor would it be about discipline, one of those lengthy monthly sessions when Michael would be whipped not for any particular act of wrong-doing but for the flaws in his nature. During discipline, the intent would not be to have him pay the penalty for a transgression, but to have him undergo a correction, to reshape his character through scolding and a diligent application of, O yes, it would have to be the cane.

How he will hate those discipline sessions, thought Audrey, because they will seem so unjust, with no immediate connection to how he behaves moment to moment. But he will not understand because he will be reluctant to see that any particular offense--any act, for example, of self-abuse--is rooted in an unhealthy and destructive flaw of character, and that flaw needs to be whipped out of him.

But he might, Audrey speculated, tolerate more the sessions that would be for my pleasure alone. Especially if he really loves me. It would make sense to him that every three months or so I have a build-up of stress so intolerable that the only satisfying release would be . . . . Well, he would find out.

Maybe they could build a spanking bench together, one that could be disassembled and hidden away in a closet until it made its rare appearance. It would have to be a kneeling bench-- Audrey glanced again at Michael's bottom and legs--because she did not want his bottom clenching until the crack was barely visible.No, those mounds should be dancing and writhing freely under her incessant blows. And of course there would be restraints, of the softest leather, the only hint of gentleness: two for the wrists, two for the thighs, and an especially wide one securing the lower back. He would be her Spartan boy ritually flogged at the Temple of Artemis Orthia, and on those sacred occasions, she would care little for what he could endure, and even less about what he thought he could endure . . . .

Audrey felt a small pressure against the inside of her left thigh, and she became aware that she was not alone in feeling aroused. She clenched Michael's cheeks in self-reproach. She had promised herself that she would not use spanking as a means to self-gratification.

"Get up."

Michael arose reluctantly.