Monday, 6 September 2010

Real Estate

Story from Februs 28.

Real Estate
by James Hoffmann










'I HAVE ONE EIGHTY-FIVE... any further?' The auctioneer, surveying the hall over half-moon spectacles, glanced swiftly right and left. On the floor, people were either motionless, or avoided his gaze. Watching from her position near the auctioneer's podium, Charlotte prayed for the bids to continue. None were forthcoming.

'A fine house, ladies and gentlemen? Do I have one eighty-six?' Silence, stillness. The auctioneer knew when to throw in the towel. 'I regret that since the bid is below the reserve price, Beadle Grange is withdrawn from sale. Our next lot, item seven in your catalogues...'

'Oh God,' Charlotte muttered, gnawing fear of failure becoming reality. Stiffly, she walked from the hall, holding her head up. It seemed all eyes were on her, knowing and accusing. In the anteroom, a red-faced, tweed-suited man and his galleon-sized, chintz-bedecked wife awaited her. Charlotte's clients, Mr. and Mrs. Collins, to whom she had personally guaranteed a sale price of two hundred and fifty thousand, minimum. They did not look happy.

'I want a word with you, young lady,' said Mr. Collins, stepping towards her. Charlotte raised her hands placatingly.

'Mr. Collins, I know this is a disappointment...'

'I'm not bloody disappointed, girl, I'm furious,' her client replied, the opening gambit of a three minute monologue detailing the shortcomings of Charlotte, her employers, the auctioneer, and the state of the entire housing market, accompanied all the while by clucks from his disapproving wife. 'And,' he concluded, 'To add insult to injury, I've to pay the auctioneer for the privilege of not selling my house. Since you promised me a buyer, you can tell your boss to expect the bill herself. Better still, I'll tell her.'

With that he left, Mrs Collins in full sail behind him. Reaching the double doors leading to the street, the matronly woman glanced back at Charlotte, looked the girl up and down disdainfully, sniffed, and was gone.

'And there goes my job,' Charlotte told herself sadly.

* * *

County Estates was a small and exclusive property agency run from a converted terraced cottage in Charlotte's home village. She had been working there for five months and, to date, it had not been a success. This latest disaster, she knew, could well mean the end of her short career.

After parking her car in the village square, Charlotte contemplated calling it a day and consoling herself with a few brandies. But there was paperwork still to be done and, despite feeling that she would be labouring in a lost cause, she decided that she was not about to quit of her own volition.

It being after seven o'clock, the offices were closed. Letting herself in by the back door, Charlotte stood silently for some moments, listening for any activity upstairs where Karen Palmer, the proprietor, had her office. Karen was the last person Charlotte wanted to see.

The building, however, seemed empty and Charlotte went through to the main office where she and two other junior agents had their desks.

On her blotter a pile of papers awaited her attention, while her VDU was arrayed with stick-on notes, reminding her of calls to be made. The prospect of talking to customers made Charlotte's heart sink. In her time at the agency, almost all of her clients had deserted County Estates for one rival company or another, and Charlotte had been warned by Karen, more than once, to improve her sales record. The loss of the Collins' and the hefty commission the sale would have brought would not be easy to explain.

Maybe, she thought, I really am in the wrong business. Maybe I just don't have what it takers. She shuffled papers on her desk, looking at but not seeing words, figures, photographs of houses. Deep in a gloom of self-doubt.

'You're back early, aren't you?' Karen said from the doorway. Startled, Charlotte jumped in her chair and looked up, wide-eyed and open-mouthed. Seeing Karen, realizing that she would not have time to think up excuses for the evening's debacle, she wished she had gone drinking after all.

'How did it go?' asked Karen, taking a few steps into the room. Lying, Charlotte knew, would be pointless.

'There was no sale,' she admitted weakly. 'It didn't reach the reserve.'

'Yes, I know,' said Karen with ominous coolness. 'I've already spoken to Mr. Collins.' Expecting fire and brimstone, Charlotte was surprised when Karen turned and walked slowly out of the office. Is that it? she wondered. Am I off the hook?

'Follow me, Charlotte,' Karen called from the hallway.

Smiling inwardly, Karen made her way up to her office. She had been waiting for this, watching Charlotte's muddled progress towards failure, knowing that one day she could step in to lend a firm, guiding hand. The wait had been longer than anticipated, a delicious torture of watching and waiting, expecting the hour.

Now that the time had finally come, Karen felt superbly calm, secure in the knowledge that she could manipulate the situation as she wished. In her assessment, Charlotte was malleable, young, still sufficiently inexperienced to be turned to Karen's will. Charlotte affected sophistication, but Karen had seen through this from the first, had noted the vein of gaucheness, insecurity, that she now intended to mine.

What most interested Karen was her estimation of Charlotte as sensually naive. She knew Charlotte had a live-in boyfriend, did not doubt that he took full advantage of her lithe young body, but there was so much more to pleasure than the base copulation in which she imagined Charlotte and her lover indulged. There were so many deeper, darker enjoyments that Karen could teach this girl.

* * *

Standing to the side of her office door, Karen watched Charlotte climbing the stairs. Her face was long, as if expecting the worst, Karen noted with glee. Tilting her head, she indicated Charlotte should enter the room. Following on her heel, Karen admired the girl's wide shoulders, her slim waist and wonderfully full, round bottom. The business suit that Charlotte wore did full justice to her figure, while her heels and stockings highlighted the smooth lines of athletic calves.

Karen seated herself at her desk, but did not invite Charlotte to take a chair. Stern faced, Karen surveyed Charlotte for long moments, deliberately letting tension build. Charlotte looked distinctly uncomfortable, her pretty face clouded and, Karen suspected, tears were imminent, which perfectly suited her intentions.

'I won't heat about the bush,' Karen said curtly. 'Tonight's fiasco is the last straw, Charlotte. I'm going to terminate your employment.'

'Oh no, please don't fire me, Miss Palmer,' Charlotte implored the older woman through trembling lips. I've had some bad luck...'

'Bad luck!' scoffed Karen. 'You're a disaster area, girl.' Charlotte babbled on, words pouring out in excited desperation. Her heart was set on a career in property, things would improve, there was so much to learn, she only needed time. Karen listened impassively, giving the girl rope.

'I need this job,' Charlotte said pathetically, eyes now glistening with burgeoning tears. She fell silent, her last card on the table.

'If you want to keep this job,' Karen said slowly, pointedly, 'You will have to do exactly as I tell you.'

Charlotte stared, seeing in Karen's eyes and slight, sly smile that she was not about to make a proposition to be found in a business manual. Her tone of voice, too, was highly suggestive and Charlotte realized that escape from unemployment was not impossible. She had suspected that Karen was attracted to women: the furtive looks, often noticed, betrayed her tastes, while her manner was patently that of a dominant personality.

Karen would have been surprised to learn that these were tastes that Charlotte herself found intriguing, seductive, tastes Charlotte had fantasized about for some weeks. She had conjured images of this darkly attractive, dominant woman while making love with her boyfriend, spicing her reactions to his attentions with dreams of arousal at Karen's hands. The ideas, the woman herself, were now real, immediate, and she sensed sudden heat in her body, a flush of desire.

Thoughts of her sacking dwindled into insignificance as her mind turned to the promise of forbidden adventure. She straightened herself, drawing her shoulders back, feeling this action thrust her breasts outwards so they tightened against her suit. Beneath her double-breasted jacket she wore only a stretch-lace bodyshaper, a flimsy covering that heightened rather than diminished the chafing of her nipples against linen.

'What should I do?' she asked quietly, hoping her voice still sounded nervous, that it did not betray the excitement radiating from her belly and spreading throughout her body.

Karen immediately realized, hearing these words, that Charlotte was submitting herself, knowing where Karen's desires lay. For a moment she endured a sense of loss, wondering if the girl had, after all, experienced another woman's touch. She felt suddenly disappointed, almost angry that she would not be the first to enjoy her this way.

Studying Charlotte, watching her sweet face and detecting the unmistakeable glint of dawning lust in her eye, Karen then sensed she was wrong. Charlotte was innocent, but eager. She knew this with uncanny certainty, disappointment evaporating as quickly as it had come. The girl was lovely and willing, and Karen watched a tentative half-smile form on her soft lips, felt her heart beat with accelerated vigour as the pink tip of Charlotte's tongue rail over their glossy redness, moist and enticing.

'I think,' she said hoarsely, surprised to find her own mouth had become parched, managing only with difficulty to maintain her stern tone, 'That you should be taught discipline. I think that is what is missing in you, Charlotte.'

'Yes, Miss Palmer,' Charlotte agreed softly, entering into the game. Her words, the way she spoke, were delightful to Karen, confirming that there had been no mistake in her appraisal.

'So we should begin,' Karen said more firmly, 'With a punishment for the business you have lost through your slipshod attitude. Don't you agree?'

'Yes, Miss Palmer,' Charlotte echoed. The girl was very slightly trembling, but now because of excitement rather than fear of dismissal.

'Fetch that stool, over there,' said Karen. There were two plush armchairs on the far side of the room, either side of a coffee table. Between them was a rectangular footstool, similarly upholstered. Charlotte fetched it and, on Karen's instruction, placed it close to the desk's edge. Karen was standing now, she had moved behind Charlotte to watch the girl, without herself being seen.

'Good,' she said shortly. Now that she was sure of the understanding between them, Karen assumed a familiar, favourite role. She would be harsh and acid-tongued with Charlotte, she would punish and humiliate her, and she would do so with intense affection.

Charlotte had to raise her skirt in order to comply with Karen's instruction to kneel on the stool. A part of her mind could not believe she was going through with this, but it was a small voice of dissent, diminishing rapidly as warmth and tremulous excitement continued to intensify within her. She fell exhilarated, yet there was also an edge of uncertainty, and she wondered just how far Karen might go, how far she herself was capable of going.

Obediently, she knelt and deliberately pushed her proud rump towards her new mistress. At Karen's behest, she leant forward onto the desk, feeling her suit pull tight about her curves.

Her breasts caught the desk edge and she sucked in a sharp breath, astonished at how sensitive her flesh had become in such a short time.

'Arch your back,' said Karen. 'I want your buttocks up high.' Again Charlotte obeyed, contriving to wriggle her hips so that her full globes moved suggestively. The heat in her was now concentrated between her legs, she was becoming aroused there, wondered if the burning was evident to her watching mistress.

Karen laid her hands on Charlotte's waist, and the girl gave a tiny gasp in response to this first gentle touch. The hands gripped tighter, moved now over hips and flanks, smoothing down firm thighs and the bunched skirt. Charlotte felt Karen's fingertips trailing lightly over her stocking, and then the woman was gathering the hem of the skirt and slowly, slowly raising it to reveal Charlotte's lithe legs, slim but strong. Cool air met bare skin as the skirt was lifted above Charlotte's elasticated stocking-tops.

Leaving the skirt thus, rucked at the join of thigh and buttock, Karen returned her hands to Charlotte's waist and again caressed downwards. She moulded Charlotte's tight bottom, delighting in the girl's taut fleshiness, and Charlotte felt a tremor of shameful desire, a need to be touched in a crude and blatantly sexual manner.

Karen had no intention of giving Charlotte such base gratification. Lifting her hands from the roundness of Charlotte's arse, she let them fall, palms flat, then repeated the exercise, over and over. These smacks, light, no more powerful than the weight of Karen's hands, were pleasant and made Charlotte's inner heat become more intense, without themselves creating heat. Such gentleness was not to last. Sliding her fingers into Charlotte's hair, Karen tugged her head back, her other hand gripping one cheek with sufficient force for Charlotte to feel fingernails digging into her flesh.

'Well, are you ready to be punished girl?' demanded Karen.

'Yes,' whispered Charlotte, scarcely capable of breathing, almost paralysed by her new-found lust for debasement. She felt the hand on her arse release its grip and, a moment later, a resounding smack landed on her sensitized bottom, the stinging shock of it only slightly dissipated by the material of her skirt. The tension in her belly knotted tighter, a low moan escaping her lips.

A second blow fell on her other cheek, and then Karen began a fearsome assault on the well-presented bottom, her hand cracking down onto springy flesh again and again. She thrilled at the girl's cries, the arching back and twisting hips as she contorted herself to meet rather than avoid the hard slaps. Karen placed over a dozen blows on each buttock, her own excitement mounting as she chastised the girl and gave free rein to her genuine annoyance at Charlotte's incompetence.

'There,' she panted at last, forcing herself to pause before the conflicting emotions of anger and desire contrived to make her lose her own composure and self-control. 'That should be enough to warm you up, you little bitch.' Still holding a handful of Charlotte's hair, she tugged again, hard.

'Stand up girl,' she said harshly. Charlotte obeyed and faced her employer, a hot flush on her face and her hands cupping her somewhat sore buttocks. 'Take off your suit, Charlotte, then resume your position.'

'You mean there's more, Miss Palmer?' asked the girl uncertainly. She had enjoyed the spanking, the mild pain and the novelty had been exciting, very exciting, but she was not sure if she dared to continue.

'I've hardly started your punishment,' said Karen contemptuously. Poor fool, she thought, she wants me to hold her and kiss her, soothe her with girliness. So much to learn. 'Hurry up,' she snapped. 'The longer I wait the worse it will be.'

After the briefest hesitation, Charlotte slowly unbuttoned her jacket. Draping it over the desk, her full breasts moved beneath the translucent lace and Karen felt a stab of wanting in her loins at the sight of hard, dark peaks. The skirt followed and Karen surveyed the girl's lovely form, the pale, naked skin between stockings and high-cut body. At the join of her legs, the shimmer of her glossy delta was apparent, and Karen had to restrain the urge to reach out and cup the prominent mound.

Kneeling once again, breathing shallowly, Charlotte presented her nude buttocks to her mistress, her garment having ridden into her deep cleft. The milky skin had a pleasing pink tinge from her initial spanking, and Karen gently smoothed her hands over the delicious flesh, feeling radiant warmth.

'Such a naughty, wicked girl,' she murmured. 'I shall really have to be terribly severe with you.' Charlotte's little whimper of trepidation turned to a yelp of pain as Karen's cruel hand smacked down hard onto her buttock. The flesh leapt and rippled delightfully under the impact, and a deeper hue of red instantly appeared in the shape of Karen's hand.

Fired by this sight, Karen gave equal treatment to the other cheek. She slapped each globe systematically, causing the redness to spread and overlap. Moving outwards, the smacks landed on haunches, flanks and upper thighs, each blow rewarded by an anguished squeal from the tormented girl. Charlotte was again writhing, at first to meet the shockingly arousing punishment but, as her pain and discomfort grew, to avoid the slaps.

'Hold still, you little slut,' said Karen. She had paused in the beating, was waiting for the sting in her hand to subside before resuming. Sweat trickled between her swollen breasts, she fell the aching hardness of her teats and, most acutely of all, the insistent throb in her sex. The scent of arousal that filled her nostrils, however, was not her own.

Charlotte was shamelessly wet, becoming desperate for a release to the raging sensations that wracked her body. Her bottom burned, scorched by the severity of Karen's slaps, and this scarlet heat had spread to every part of her. She felt sure that Karen could smell her animal arousal, wished and willed her mistress to hold her heavy breasts, to unfasten the scrap of material between her legs and lick her, or plunge fingers into her wanting flesh. Yet she dared not ask for this, frightened of what reaction she might provoke and also inhibited by her own inexperience.

Then came the touch she craved, Karen's fingertips delving into the deep valley between her buttocks. She gasped, moaned, and heard the poppers of her undergarment being unfastened. Karen peeled the sticky fabric from Charlotte's wetness, and cool air wafted over her heat. A joyous shame flooded Charlotte's mind as she realized that her most secret places, shaven bare to the taste of her boyfriend, were now crudely exhibited to her mistress.

'Wicked girl,' repeated Karen, admiring the smooth lips and pouting bottom-mouth before her. 'You do this to please your man?'

'Yes,' admitted Charlotte.

'So he thinks you're a slut too, doesn't he? Lazy and incompetent, and also little better than a whore, aren't you?'

'Yes, Miss Palmer,' Charlotte agreed, squirming with the pleasure of her humiliation.

'I'll have to punish you for this dreadful behaviour. Rest your shoulders on the desk... put your hands on your bottom.' The girl complied warily and heard a desk drawer open and close by her prone head. 'Good,' continued Karen, 'Now hold yourself open.'

'Oh, no, please...' Charlotte began, not wishing to show herself in such degrading fashion.

'Do as I say!' demanded Karen. Reluctantly Charlotte obeyed, fear of Karen's wrath outweighing her shame.

The treasures in Charlotte's valley were now blatantly exposed, and she felt her fear melt into desire again as Karen trailed a fingertip teasingly close to her open sex, the place that needed so little attention to bring her the release she craved. The finger was replaced by something cold, flat and hard and Charlotte trembled expectantly, correctly guessing that the tool of her impending torment was Karen's heavy, old-fashioned wooden ruler.

The first blow landed on the tight-stretched skin of her inner check, and a sharp cry escaped her as the pain seared her tenderness. Another blow, then another, and she was afire, gulping air and heaving her belly in her efforts to endure the punishment. A fourth stinging crack, dangerously close to her outrageously swollen inner lips, brought hot tears to her eyes and she moved a hand to try and cup her roiling sex.

'Don't you dare!' Karen snapped, wrenching Charlotte's hand away and laying a stroke parallel to the full length of her sex for her trouble. 'Take your beating, you little whore, take the pain you deserve for being such a useless, cheap slut.'

Sobbing, moaning, Charlotte endured lash upon merciless lash. Karen gloated over the girl's obscenely reddened and pouting flesh, rippling and heaving under each impact, relishing the cruel rhythms of the beating. The swish of the ruler, the rifle-crack as its unrelenting hardness met the elasticity of fiery young skin, the anguished sounds of the tortured girl, all were music to her ears.

As the unremitting beating continued, Charlotte's cries became transformed into guttural grunts. The lustful creature within her was uncoiling, taking full possession of her. What had been near-unbearable pain changed to intensely erotic stimulus, and she abandoned herself, crushing her swollen breasts to the desk, clawing herself open, ever wider, thrusting outwards like a beast welcoming the rut.

Karen saw Charlotte's face contort, saw her eyelids flutter and her mouth fall slack, and knew how close she was to the edge of endurance. Taking pity at last, deciding that the girl had done well, there was one last thing to be done before Charlotte was allowed her reward. Lessening the intensity of the beating, but without breaking the tempo of her blows, Karen reached her hand beneath Charlotte's body and caressed the soft pout of her belly.

'You're so close, aren't you darling?' she whispered. 'It would be so easy to give you what you need. But first, thank me for my kindness, beg me to allow you to have further lessons.'

'Thank you, Miss Palmer,' gasped Charlotte unhesitatingly, for she knew that she could not bear to have her punishment end without having experienced her climactic moment. She knew also that she wanted to experience this delicious, perverse torture again. 'Finish me, please, and please be my teacher again.'

Karen smiled, victorious, and began to lay the strokes harder. Only the tip of the ruler struck Charlotte's flesh now, at the very edge of her plump, smooth labia. She twitched minutely with each blow, felt them travel higher, gradually approaching her second entrance. Anticipating the strokes to come, her bottom-mouth began to throb and, to her astonished delight, her sex-flesh also began to pulse, an accelerating beat of arousal that she recognized as irreversible. With tortuous slowness, Karen's smacks approached the crinkled ring until, with impeccable timing, her last savage blow landed square across Karen's arsehole.

With a scream of barely tolerable pleasure-pain, Charlotte crashed into orgasm. Crying, moaning, her body shaking and bucking, fingers clutching convulsively at her bottom, her climax ravaged her body with ferocious intensity, seeming to take her to the very edge of sanity as her consciousness splintered into a thousand bright shards.

Having resumed her seat, Karen watched the slumped and drained girl gradually recover, and raise her flushed, damp body from the desk. Quietly, she instructed Charlotte to dress and noticed, to her satisfaction, that her fingers still trembled slightly as she buttoned her jacket.

'You can go now, Charlotte,' she said off-handedly. 'I'll talk to you in the morning.'

'Yes, of course,' replied Charlotte, subdued. At the door, she turned back to her employer.

'Miss Palmer...?'

'Yes?' What now, wondered Karen. Surely not insolence so soon after a punishment?

'I... I was thinking,' ventured Charlotte. 'I thought, I've such a lot to learn and – well, I'm alone at home this week. Perhaps we could continue my lessons there...?'

A Mother-in-law's tongue – the story prepared by Alex Birch

Story from Februs 01.

A Mother-in-law's tongue
by Julie Holmes

I am ashamed to say I was jealous because my attractive twenty-two year old daughter had a handsome young husband who seemed to be able to roger her ragged night after night and keep a sparkle in her eye that had once been in mine, but which now had been absent for a very long while.

When they first wanted to get married I had reservations. Both in their early twenties and with good jobs, there was no reason why they shouldn't get hitched, but then again there was no need to rush into it either. Still, they had their modest ceremony and took over the top two rooms in my house. They could have afforded a mortgage, but they wanted to save enough to give up work after a year and travel round the world in a camper van. I admired their energy.

We led separate lives apart from passing on the stairs and having Sunday lunch together. But every night I lay in bed, listening to the creaking furniture and my daughter's gasps and shrieks as her husband pleasured her. My daughter's good-looking, virile husband with his clean fingernails, blue eyes and gentle smile.

I cannot remember when I first realised I was attracted to Alan; I suppose I had been able to deny it before he moved in. All I knew was that my golden-haired daughter had found a perfect male counterpart and my feelings for him were miles away from being maternal.

Three weeks ago, it became unbearable. Above me, the sounds had just begun and the radio refused to drown them out. There were creaks from the bed, then some muffled giggles, footsteps crossing the floor above me. Was Alan undressing? I imagined him without his clothes, approaching an expectant Tina. I could see the love and trust on Tina's face, the compassionate lust on his. Ludicrous, degrading to want him in this way, hankering after a married man young enough to be my son and, worse, married to my own daughter. I was just glad Tina had no idea of my lascivious thoughts.

The sounds continued. Deep baritone grunts, high pitched mewlings, mingled groans. The squeak of ancient wooden joists, growing faster, punctuated by sharp intakes of breath finally expelled in the repeated chant, "Alan, Alan, oh no, Alan, ooooo, Alan, oh yeeeessssssss.."

Alan, Alan. No, please. Yes. All the words that went through my head every time I saw him. I had read about older women seducing their daughters' boyfriends or husbands and had been repelled at the thought of them. I imagined overweight, blowsy bleached blondes smelling of face powder and yesterday's deodorant; nothing like me. Yet here I was, harbouring thoughts of seducing my daughter's husband.

No matter how wrong I knew it to be, I had to have Alan for myself, at least once. It was my right, my destiny. I spent my days fantasising over him, my evenings hovering near the door so I could 'accidentally' run into him, and at night – at night I went to bed early so I could eavesdrop on their passion.

I became devious. I sent Tina on errands to keep her away until after Alan came home. Naturally, I was contrite at the inconvenience I had caused and felt obliged to invite him into my sitting room for a drink while we awaited her return. Another time, I knew he was going to have a shower and 'just happened' to be cleaning the bathroom when he walked in clad in only an inadequate towel. I always dressed smartly – no more slippers or aprons – and my make-up was perfect, whatever the time of day. Just in case.

Then, two days ago, Tina came home from work in a foul mood, thumped upstairs and, from the sound of it, threw herself on the bed and stayed there until Alan came in. Then all hell broke loose.

Apparently Tina suspected Alan of doing something behind her back and he was denying it, but I had no idea what the heinous crime was. Infidelity? Unemployment? Fancying his mother-in-law – oh surely not!

Footsteps stamped downstairs and out the front door. I went to the hallway and, after a few minutes, Alan came down looking sheepish.

"I suppose you heard all that, Alma?"

"Well, I could hardly miss it," I responded, "but I have no idea what it was about. Where has she gone?"

"I don't know. She said as she couldn't go home to mother she would go to a friend's house but I don't know which friend she was referring to."

He looked genuinely confused, but I sensed that he knew full well what he had done to upset Tina. Even as I invited him in to talk about it, my mind was racing ahead with the thought that Tina was planning to be away at least overnight and that this was my big chance. I sat him down with a large whiskey and prepared to listen.

"You know this trip we've been saving up for?" he began. "Well, I've been offered the chance to study for a year to get a further qualification. It will be vital for getting promotion or even changing my direction within the industry in the future. The trouble is, I have to agree to stay with the company for at least 18 months after the course. It means we can't set off on the great trip for about three years. I was going to take Tina away for the weekend to talk it over, but she ran into someone from my office who let the cat out of the bag. Now Tina thinks I don't want to go abroad and that I've set this up deliberately..." He paused to pour himself another drink. I did the same and took the opportunity to sit beside him on the sofa.

"The trouble is the offer is too good to turn down. The diploma will really open doors for me long-term, but Tina won't see it that way; she thinks I'm putting career ahead of our marriage."

I sighed and patted his hand. "Look," I told him. "Tina's not used to disappointments and she doesn't handle them well. Give her a couple of days and she'll come back prepared to listen. I'm sure she'll see sense. After all, even in three years time, you'll still only be in your twenties, you'll have more money saved and both of you will have good employment records to help you get re-established when you come back."

I edged a little closer, and allowed my hand to brush his knee.

"I know your relationship is strong. It will survive the odd upset. Tina won't walk out on it for the sake of deferring a trip for a couple of years. Just give her time to calm down."

He looked at my hand as if seeing it there for the first time. I had to make my move, or the opportunity might be lost forever.

"And I'll understand," I told him, "if you feel you'd rather move out and get your own place. Naturally, I'm happy for you to stay if you want to, but I think you should talk it over with Tina."

If they moved out, I reasoned, he could come and visit me. As a student, he would have free periods on his timetable – my mind was racing ahead. One quickie was all I had dared hope for and now I was contemplating a three-year affair!

Alan looked me steadily in the eye. "Alma, you've been pretty good to us and I think we all get along pretty well. But I see what you mean, there may be tensions if Tina and I live here too long. I'll think about it." He rose, but seemed reluctant to leave. "It's probably best to let her cool off, but it will seem strange being on my own upstairs tonight." Was that an invitation? I had to make my move.

"I know you make Tina very happy," I began. "You're going to think this is awful of me, but sometimes I hear you..." My hand was once more on his thigh, my body turned towards him. He had to either leave quickly or acknowledge what I was certain was a mutual desire. His blue eyes stared curiously at me.

"So you hear us at night, do you? I suppose it's obvious what we're doing?"

"Well, I have been young and married myself, you know," I giggled. "I didn't mean to embarrass you, it's just that sometimes, well, you sound as if you're having so much fun and...."

He interrupted me as I searched for the right words. "And you feel left out? Is that what you're saying, Alma? Is that it? Do you want what Tina gets?" He was earnest and definitely not joking. His intensity was making me nervous.

"Well, Alan, I mean, I don't know, you're my son-in-law," I was stammering, out of my depth now what I had fantasised was really within my grasp. "But Tina...."

"Tina walked out on me tonight. I know she'll be back, but right now she's not here and you are. We both know what we want and what we're doing, don't we?" I nodded. "Fine. Then stand up."

His immediate mastery of the situation surprised me. I almost changed my mind , but I knew if I did there would never be a second chance. I stood, holding in my tummy, thrusting out my bosom, drawing myself up as tall and straight as I could. I wanted him to like what he saw.

"Get undressed!" Well he certainly didn't believe in long seduction scenes! I pulled down the zip of my skirt provocatively, but when I glanced up he was fiddling with the curtains. It was disconcerting to be ignored while I prepared for love-making and I paused to watch the heavy silk braids that tied back the curtains during the day. He turned to face me.

"What, still not ready. That merits an extra three." Extra three? Three what? Surely he couldn't do..... how virile was this super stud? "Come on, I'll help you."

Abruptly he wrenched off the rest of my clothing, letting it fall in a heap around us, totally ignoring the sexy lingerie I had taken to wearing for just such a moment as this. I wondered if he was this rough with Tina and, if so, whether she liked it. Did she have much experience of men or was this all she knew? I trembled, but curiosity kept me rooted to the spot. At least now he was running his hands appreciatively over my naked body. This was more in line with what I'd expected, confident caresses that made me shiver and press forward for more but when I reached out to return the compliment, he pushed my hands sharply away.

"Kneel on the sofa," he commanded. And I hastened to obey. I knelt on the soft, sagging cushions, my breasts resting on the curved back, my hands supporting my weight. I thrust out my bottom and parted my thighs so he would know how eager I was to take it from behind. It worried me slightly that it was not a particularly flattering pose for a woman of my age and generous proportions, but I hoped that passion might blur his vision.

"Very nice," he said, squeezing my buttocks as though choosing a piece of fruit.

And then it happened. Not the intimate entry I had expected, but a soft slash across both bottom cheeks, quickly followed by two more. As I turned in surprise to see what was happening, Alan remarked, "Well that's the three for tardiness, now let's get down to serious business."

He was wielding the curtain cord, bringing it down hard and fast across my buttocks. Shock prevented me from moving as the silk rope rained down, nipping rather than biting, but still stinging deeply. I thought it must be a joke but Alan wasn't laughing and I was not sure I found it all that amusing. It certainly bore no resemblance to any kind of foreplay I was used to and I had no idea how I was meant to respond.

Again he kneaded me roughly, massaging the heat deeper into my buttocks, making me squirm with discomfort and embarrassment – and more than a trace of arousal.

"OK," he barked, "stand up and give me a twirl!"

I stood awkwardly, aware of the contrast I must present to Tina's trim form. I have a good figure for my age, but it is the body of a well-preserved matron, not a nubile young woman. My breasts are heavy with dark, large nipples and, although they don't sag, they don't exactly point skywards either. My hips are full and look good in tight skirts, but nudity shows the softness and creases brought on by time. I folded my hands over my groin. I know younger women have taken to shaving or waxing down there and I was embarrassed by full thick bush.

"I said, give me a twirl," Alan said coldly. "Put your hands on your head and turn around slowly." I did as he said, consoling myself with the thought that at least this position would flatter my breasts, even if it did reveal my even more intimate area. As I turned, I caught sight of myself in the mirror over the fireplace. I looked like a tacky 'Readers Wives' entry in a men's magazine.

"Fine. Now let's get down to some serious business. Stand at the end of the sofa and bend over the arm." I stared at him. Was there to be more of this degrading treatment? Was he punishing me for trying to seduce him? I opened my mouth to speak but no words came out.

"What's the matter, Alma? You're not satisfied already, are you? Tina takes a lot more punishment than that and you wouldn't want to disappoint me, would you? I've waited a long time for the opportunity to get at that luscious arse. Now get bent over – I'm really in the mood now!"

I draped myself over the low sofa-arm, my mind reeling. So this was what I'd heard going on above me – not the passionate clinches I had visualised, but my daughter being flogged by this young pervert. It was totally beyond my experience and I had no idea how to react.

There was a slithering sound, but I resolved not to look round. This position was uncomfortable and exposed my defects cruelly. I decided to take whatever he chose to dish out – as Alan said, I should be able to take anything my daughter could – then I would tell him I wanted them both out of the house by the end of the week.

Hissing, then a loud retort as something heavy and hot crashed into my bottom. I gasped, my knees sagged and the sofa creaked beneath me. I breathed out with a groan just as another blow landed. I realised he was using his leather trouser belt, fortunately not the end with the buckle. I found it incomprehensible that Tina took this regularly and willingly. I recalled her voice, the hesitant but growing acceptance, the cries of pleasure and fulfillment. What on earth was wrong with her?

The belt lashed down again. He was a strong man and he was not holding back. I crouched low, pulling back on the sofa, resisting the urge to grab at my bottom. I heard myself growling, and Alan breathing heavily.

The toe of his shoe was cold against my burning bottom as he levered me up. "Come on, resume the position – as the saying goes– or I'll add a few more! At the moment you're going to get another six but I'll happily make it a dozen if you don't behave."

"I can't, Alan. Alan I can't stand it. Oh please, I..." but he was already pulling on my arm to get me back into the position he wanted.

"Oh yes you can – and you will, Alma. Now count aloud as each one lands, and if you miss one, you'll get an extra two in its place. Ready?"

"ONE!" It came down hard and fast, across the crease at the top of my thighs. My right foot raised itself up to ease the pain, but before it could have any effect, I heard the belt swishing down again.

"TWO!" My knees snapped straight, and I rocked back and forth, making the ancient sofa creak. I recognised the rhythm from the sounds I had heard coming from Tina's room. I sensed him step back, and tensed for the next blow.

"Alan, oh Alan, please no..." I wailed as the leather tongue licked me diagonally from the top of my right hip across the cleft of my buttocks almost to my left thigh.

"Naughty girl! That's two more you'll have to take to reinforce the lesson," he mocked and proceeded to bring the strap down on almost exactly the same track twice in quick succession. Each time I quickly called out the number three, twisting and writhing around under the impact.

Four and five mirrored the route of that dreadful third stripe and I counted them aloud, slumping forward and whinnying pitifully. Alan waited patiently for me to stand up again the way he wanted and I found myself absurdly anxious to impress him. I straightened my legs and placed my hands palm downwards on the cushions.

"I knew how much you wanted it," Alan taunted. "Ask me nicely for the last stroke or I won't give it to you."

"Please, Alan, Please give me another stroke," I begged, wondering what was happening to me.

"Louder," he mocked, "make it more convincing."

"Alan!" I shrieked, just as I had heard my daughter do. "Alan, please, Alan, another... oh yeees... YES! SIX!" I remembered just in time to call out the number of the final stroke. It curled around my bottom as though trying to melt into my flesh. I was sobbing and laughing, my disheveled hair clinging to my tear stained face.

"Now stand up with your hands on your head and turn around slowly. Look at yourself. See the changes I've brought about."

I moved in a slow circle, watching myself as directed. There was this strange blend of physical achievement and emotional shame mixed with excitement as I observed my blotched face, the fleshy curves and reddened backside with its mauve and purple bands rising up even as I watched. I turned once, and again and again, until dizziness threatened and Alan said I could stop.

"Not bad," he said grudgingly. "Tina used to slouch like you, but her deportment has improved since I began to discipline her. I think you need the same, Alma, but first Tina and I ought to move out. As soon as possible I think, don't you? Then we can make a regular arrangement... and we'll find out how much you can take."

Well what could I say? I twisted round to admire my stinging rump once more.

"Oh yes, Alan – oh yeeeeeeeeesssss.......!"

_____________
This story was scanned and prepared by Alex Birch.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

The Cold Cruel World – the story prepared by Alex Birch

Story from Janus 48.

The Cold Cruel World
by R.T.Mason

The infernal jangling of the alarm abruptly shocked her from sleep. That diabolical, inhuman, nerve-jarring jangling that she had always hated. But today it was ten times worse.

Before, in all those years of marriage, it had been for Mark. Alison could at least put her head under the bedclothes and ignore it for half an hour longer. But not any more. Mark wasn't here any longer and Alison was alone in the big double bed. The nerve-wracking racket meant that today, she, Alison Clements, had to get up and face the cold, unfriendly world.

She and Mark had finally decided that the only answer was a separation, at least a temporary one, because their relationship had simply been going from bad to worse. Constant arguments, frequently about nothing, or alternatively those long stony silences. Mark had suggested they split up and Alison had agreed it was a good idea. And somehow they had agreed to do it – about the only thing they had been able to agree on for a year. But while the idea seemed sensible, the reality of life alone was something else.

Groaning, Alison forced herself to get out of bed. She naturally had to have a job now if she was going to be independent, or even survive. In seven years of marriage she had held one or two temporary jobs, mostly part-time and mainly for pin-money with the comforting feeling that she wasn't dependent on it. Her husband was the primary wage-earner, even if she did quarrel with him most of the time. But now the job was serious, her main source of income. Mark had agreed to give her an allowance but it wasn't a lot and anyway she didn't want it – did she? Alison had her pride and she didn't want the stigma of feeling 'kept'.

That was what Alison told herself at times she believed it. But not at 7a.m. on a Monday morning with that hateful alarm still reverberating through her head. She padded numbly out to the bathroom, thinking momentarily of Mark. How was he getting on in that flat? But Mark had never been bothered by getting up in the morning so he was probably feeling a lot better than she was. Mark was used to going out and earning his living and if he no longer had his wife to come home to and who cooked his meals, well he could simply go out to a restaurant – or get a girlfriend to cook. She had no doubt he would find one or more of those easily enough.

There were tears of self-pity in Alison's eyes as she looked in the bathroom mirror. It was an appealing heart-shaped face that stared back, delicate and not too self-assured at the best of times. Her tears, and her lack of make-up, now made it look distinctly waif-like. A poor little babe-in-the-woods, that's how she looked – and felt. Alison wiped away two fat tears and blew her nose. She wasn't really a 'babe' at all – next year she would be 30. And today she was going off on the first day of her new job. An independent young woman, fancy-free. That's what she was supposed to be – but it didn't match her true feelings in any way. She felt a desperate urge to phone Mark and beg him to come back, she didn't want to be independent and she would swear never to argue or quarrel again.

But Alison knew she couldn't do that. She couldn't give up before she'd even started. And she'd been lucky to get this job. With the economy as it was, decent secretarial positions were difficult to get at the moment. She splashed cold water on her face to get herself properly awake. She had to be firm with herself and not simply give up. She was going to prove to Mark that she could do this.

Alison slipped off her shorty nightie and got in the shower. Now she was fully awake she didn't feel so bad, and the warm water spraying her slim, shapely form felt marvellous. The thought of the job, though, was scary; new people; a whole new frightening world with everyone eyeing her, watching her mistakes. In particular her new boss – what would he be like?

Oh cut it out, she admonished herself. Once the first day was over it would seem like nothing, she would be laughing at herself for being so frightened. Before she knew it the job would simply be part of her life – and probably very enjoyable. And apart from the money, getting out and meeting people was just what she needed.

Alison put on what she had already set aside to wear to work. Her smart grey linen suit with the white buttons on the jacket. Smart but not showy, a suitable outfit for a sensible but modern young woman. And 29 was still young. You still had all the world before you and at the same time a little maturity and experience to go with it. Alison tried to convince herself but the hesitant, timid side of her subconscious kept repeating that the only experience she had was of marriage. Of shopping and house cleaning and cooking a man's meals. Office life and all that responsibility could be frightening!

Stop it, Alison told herself. She was being stupid again. She applied some make-up, not a lot, she didn't want to look tarty just nice and attractive.

A crowded train and then a crowded tube, packed like sardines, a hand at her bottom that Alison felt sure was deliberate, but there wasn't much she could do. The world wasn't really a very friendly place. Then her office building, when she found it, didn't look too inviting either. It was in a seedy back street, a featureless bleak-looking structure of dirty brick that had once, no doubt, been red. It was the first time she'd seen the place because she'd been interviewed first by the agency and then by the company's personnel department at a smart city centre location. This really did look something of a let-down.

The wall plate in the dingy foyer listed Rudgefield Engineering as being on the fifth floor. Alison felt an awful urge to turn straight round and catch the train back home; then perhaps phone Mark in the evening. But she gritted her teeth. No she couldn't do that. She pressed the elevator button. Glancing at her watch she saw it was five past nine. The letter had asked her to start at nine. Oh well.............

* * *

Frank Kirkham, up on the fifth floor, had been in his office since 8.15. He enjoyed getting up early, a habit he had acquired in the army where, naturally, everyone had to obey orders. Of course, in civvy street that kind of discipline was impossible. But at least you'd think the bloody girl could manage 9 o'clock! He gave his watch another impatient glance. Where was this new bint?

'Bint' was, of course, the army term for members of the female sex and did not imply a great deal of respect for them. The philosophy of the barrack room was that women were useful in only two places, in bed and in the kitchen, and if they couldn't perform satisfactorily in those two areas you took the belt to their bare arses! Frank Kirkham looked again at his watch. Gone five past nine! What this new bint undoubtedly needed was Frank Kirkham's belt across her arse as soon as she stepped through the door.

He had in any case viewed her coming with some foreboding. If you had to have a woman in the office you needed an older one. Like Mrs. Thornton. Mrs Thornton had got into the office at 8.45, regular as clockwork, and then got her head down and worked – just like a man in fact with never any of the histrionics or complaints about vague illnesses that you always got from the younger women. But Mrs Thornton had unfortunately decided to retire and personnel were sending him this Clements bint. Twenty-nine and 'a pretty young thing' according to that stupid woman in personnel.

Frank Kirkham knew what he'd like to do to a 29 year old 'pretty young thing' who couldn't even make a 9 o'clock start on her first day. Bend her over his desk with her knickers down and lay into her bare arse with his belt – or his cane.

His stimulating reverie was interrupted by, at last, a hesitant knock at the door. He got to his feet, glancing again at his watch. 9.08.

"Come in!" he barked.

Alison entered – a gloomy masculine sort of office with dark, battleship-grey walls and an equally dull, nondescript carpet. Standing behind the central desk was a frightening-looking man, late fortyish, heavy-set, his craggy face wearing a decidedly unfriendly expression.

"Uh... er... Mr. Kirkham?" she stammered, "I... I'm Alison Clements."

"Haven't you got a watch?" he growled.

Alison mumbled, "Er... yes."

"Then perhaps you don't know how to tell the time?" he queried, sarcastically. "For your information, it's ten past nine."

She flushed scarlet. "I... I'm sorry... the train...."

"There are plenty of trains, young woman. If I can get here at 8.15, a late train is no excuse. One thing I insist on is punctuality. Not the only thing but certainly one of them."

Alison stood in front of him, trembling, her hands nervously twisting the straps of her handbag. This was simply dreadful. This bully with the hard grating voice and the contemptuous gaze was going to be her boss! He was clearly going to be worse than anything she had imagined!

At last Mr Kirkham grudgingly invited her to sit down. Now she regretted not coming for a personal interview where she would have had a chance to say 'No thanks' – and would have done! But stupidly she hadn't. Now even if she said right away she didn't want to stay she was stuck with a month's notice or she would forgo any benefit. Alison could feel herself sweating.

Across that big desk Mr Kirkham was going through her file that the personnel office had sent. Why the very patchy job record, his grating voice wanted to know? What had she been doing? And why did she suddenly want a job now, at 29? Especially as she couldn't seem to be bothered to arrive on time on her first day?

Alison found herself helplessly stuttering out all the facts – that she and her husband had separated. As soon as she said it, Alison knew she'd done the wrong thing. Anything this awful man knew about her might be used....

Why had they separated, he demanded, his eyes glinting?

Although clearly it was none of his business, Alison was too frightened to say so. "We... we kept arguing," she whispered.

Frank Kirkham gave an incredulous laugh. "Arguing? And your husband put up with that? He must be a real weak fool. You don't argue with a woman. You tell her what to do and if she doesn't like it you damn well give her something to think about!"

His bull-like head was thrust out across the desk, almost into her face.

"A touch of the whippy stick, Mrs. Clements, that's what I'm talking about. That's what you modern young women need. A sharp stick across your backsides... or a dose of doubled over trouser belt. That's the answer to domestic arguments!"

Alison found herself studying her handbag with great interest. Her face was boiling hot. This was unbelievable!

"Look at me, Mrs Clements. I hope you're not planning any arguments with me?"

Briefly Alison met his eyes and then looked away. The incredible thought of what he was suggesting flared hotly in her mind.

"Answer me, please!"

Frantically, Alison shook her head. Mr Kirkham persisted, clearly spurred on by her cowed, submissive reaction.

"Didn't your husband ever take his belt to you?" he demanded.

"Oh, please...." she whispered, blinking back tears.

The frightening man was suddenly on his feet and striding over to a bookcase full of catalogues and things. "Let me show you something," he said, as he reached in behind the books.

When he turned back, Mr Kirkham held in his hand a long thin straight stick. A bamboo cane.

"Do you know what this is?" he demanded.

Alison felt too weak, too terrified, to answer.

"I got this in Egypt when I was in the army. They might be bloody natives but they know how to deal with their women. This cane is the kind they use on their wives' backsides."

Frank Kirkham gave the cane a horrifying swish through the air as he went gloatingly on.

"I was given a demonstration by this Egyptian chappie who worked in the NAAFI. He took us round to his place one evening. He had a pretty little wife, very westernised, and she did something to upset him. Whatever it was he gave her a caning in front of us. Me and two other squaddies. He bent her over a chair, yanked up her dress and pulled down her knickers. And then let her have it good and hard across her bare bottom."

Mr Kirkham's cane whistled again through the air and he was almost licking his lips. "A cane just like this one, Mrs Clements."

The tears were welling in Alison's eyes. How could she have ended up here with this monster. A vivid picture of what he had described floated across her mind. Mr Kirkham and his mates greedily watching as the Egyptian caned his wife. What if Mr Kirkham told her.......

He put the cane down and produced a sardonic grin. "So now we know, don't we, Mrs Clements? Now we know we must keep very much up to the mark. No sloppy work or typing errors. Everything filed properly away. No complaints of any sort. And above all, we get in before 9 o'clock."

Alison sat with bowed head. "Look at me when I speak to you!" he ordered. She gave a quick darting look and then turned her head away – but not before Frank Kirkham had seen real tears welling up in those big grey eyes.

He experienced a surge of excitement. He didn't want some silly young bint in his office but if he had to be landed with one – well there was clearly something to be said for one he could clearly scare the daylights out of. And what possibilities!! He glanced at his cane. Frank Kirkham had been dreaming about ever having the chance to use it and had doubted it. But this Clements bint... this timid, frightened little mouse....

Frank Kirkham did his best to produce a smile; a crocodile smile, perhaps? He stood up.

"Right, now we're clear on that I better show you what you'll be doing. It's reasonably straightforward – and I'm not such a difficult man to get on with."

Frank Kirkham could say that and somehow believe it. It wasn't him who was difficult, it was other people – and especially feather-brained young bints. He showed his frightened mouse what had to be done and where things were. It was general secretarial work and there was a small – not very attractive – metal-walled office leading off his where Alison would work. As he showed her around, Alison's new boss had his sharp eyes glued to her. She had a nice shape on her in that snugly-fitting suit. A full, firm arse emphasised by her slim waist. In fact he thought that with her skirt and knickers off it would look very much like the Egyptian bloke's wife's arse, but a slightly paler shade, of course. That thought had really made something stand rigidly to attention.

* * *

Alison phoned Mark that evening. She would have phoned him as soon as she got home but she forced herself to wait until she'd had dinner. She didn't want to appear too desperate. Not that Alison felt like eating, not with the horrifying prospect of going back to that dreadful office tomorrow, and to the atrocious Mr Kirkham who simply made her freeze with fright. She asked Mark how he was getting on and he sounded quite cheerful. He had gone out for a meal and Alison wondered, with a pang of pain and misery, if he'd taken a girl. Of course she was too proud to ask.

Mark asked about her job and, doing her best to keep her voice even, Alison said it was 'quite interesting'. What else could she say? She couldn't tell him the truth, not after one day. She was determined to stand on her own. She tried not to think of Mr Kirkham's cane. The cane or a man's belt, Mr Kirkham had warned in that first stunning meeting. And she could quite imagine him doing it. That harsh grating voice ordering her to take her skirt off. And then her knickers. It was totally outrageous but oh, she could imagine it all right! What on earth would she do if he took it into his head to do that? Because she was frightened of him. He literally scared the living daylights out of her.

So she told Mark it was 'quite interesting'. What she really wanted to do was tell Mr Kirkham that she was walking out on his job. She knew he could insist on a month's notice, that was in the contract she had signed, but... perhaps she could offer to pay something to get out of it. Quite frankly she didn't even want to go back there in the morning. She didn't ever want to see that dreadful man again. Not that Mr Kirkham had done anything yet but after that first devastating blast Alison knew that, at the slightest excuse...

The two letters she had typed for Mr Kirkham she had read through about a hundred times and even then she had been afraid to take them in to him. Afraid there might be one spelling mistake she hadn't noticed. And then... that cane he had put back in the bookcase... who could tell what a man like that might do?

But telling Mr Kirkham she didn't want the job meant confronting him. Alison didn't know if she had the nerve for that.

She felt a frantic need to stay on the phone to Mark. It was like a lifeline, and when she put the phone down she would be all alone again. Alone with her thoughts about returning to that dismal building to spend the day with Mr Kirkham.

Alison asked Mark if he would like to come round for a meal the following evening. That would be something to look forward to and the thought of it lifted her spirits, but Mark said sorry, he had an appointment. So they said goodbye. She put the phone down and then the tears simply poured out and would not stop.

When the alarm once more jarred her awake in the morning, Alison's automatic thought was that it was for Mark. As she had done so often in the past she out her head under the covers. Another half an hour and then.... reality came flooding horrendously back. Reality? It seemed more like a nightmare. She stumbled frantically out of bed. She had to be there by nine.

She was fortunate because by tearing round, Alison got out of the house earlier and managed to catch a slightly earlier train. Perhaps all right wasn't quite the word, it was still horrible and, on the tube, there was another intimate hand groping her bottom. Which, when Alison tried to get off, took a firm and unequivocal hold on one cheek of her bottom. But compared to being late for Mr. Kirkham, that seemed like nothing.

It was 8.55 when, after a nervous knock, Alison entered the office for her second day. Frank Kirkham, of course, was already behind his desk. He gave her a brusque 'Good Morning'. She was on time, he noted with satisfaction, which meant he had put the fear of God into her. Or more accurately, the fear of his cane. In a way he was sorry she was on time because he was relishing having another go at her. She was clearly scared of him, a frightened little mouse, and a little mouse all on her own. He knew if he turned the screws on her she would just fold up and do anything he asked.

Like that Egyptian bint. A scared look round at the three eager-eyed soldiers and then back at her husband who was shouting at her. And then simply submitting. Lifting the pale yellow dress and submissively sliding down those white knickers.

Frank Kirkham's eyes followed Alison as she went into her little room. The same tight-skirted suit as yesterday. Tight over trimly rounded buttocks. He could just make out the hemline of her knickers. Were they white like the Egyptian bint's? Quite probably. White seemed a suitable colour for a scared little mouse. Frank Kirkham shifted on his seat, easing the front of his trousers. Yes he quite regretted the fact that the little mouse was on time. But there was always tomorrow............

As Alison opened the door to her office, Mr Kirkham's voice grated out behind her.

"Glad to see you're on time, young woman. I daresay the thought of that cane made you hurry yourself."

Scarlet-faced, Alison sat down. It was true but by spelling it out like that, her dreadful boss had brought it out of the shadowy realms of possibility to become a clearly stated threat. What she should do was immediately challenge it; threaten him back, say she would report him if he tried such a thing. But Alison was too scared to say anything.

By not speaking out she knew she was tacitly accepting the horrendous possibility. Alison put her head down, fumbling in her desk. She had planned to say she wanted to leave but she was too scared even to say that. She was also scared to realise she needed her salary here. She needed to keep this job.

Somehow she got through the day, keeping in her depressing little room as much as possible, a quiet little mouse, while Mr Kirkham, in the main office, got on with the business of phoning people and seeing clients. At lunchtime he told her, "Strictly one hour, Mrs Clements." He didn't exactly say 'or else' but his hard stare seemed to say "Or else, Mrs Clements, I'll put you across my desk with your knickers down and I will very much enjoy doing it."

Alison crept out. There was nowhere much to go as she had discovered the day before, no shops to speak of, but at least she was out of that hateful place. It was a pretty bleak area. She went in a scruffy pub for a sandwich and a pushy, oily-complexioned middle-aged man tried to pick her up. Alison didn't want to be picked up, all she wanted was to be home, an ordinary housewife waiting for her husband. Why oh why had she ever got into those stupid arguments. She made sure she was back at work well on time.

The afternoon was a repeat of the morning. Some typing and looking things up in catalogues. All the time Alison was in a panic that something would go wrong and then..... She was still thinking about saying she wanted to leave, trying to summon up the courage. When it's time to go home, I'll say it, she told herself. I can't stand it here. I'd almost rather be destitute. And at 5'o clock Alison had almost worked up enough nerve. But then, as she went into the main office, Mr Kirkham got in first.

"So, Mrs Clements, my new girl has never had the cane?"

It simply took the wind out of her sails – what little wind there was. She stared at him like a stuffed dummy.

"Not even at school? Never had a sensible Headmistress putting the cane across the palm of your hand? Or across that pretty bottom?"

Colouring like a beetroot, Alison shook her head. Anything she had bravely rehearsed just disappeared.

Mr Kirkham pursed his lips and stared at her. "It's never too late," he said.

Going down in the elevator, Alison told herself: He's just waiting for an opportunity. I know he is. Any excuse.

The opportunity arrived the very next morning. Alison caught the earlier train again but ten minutes before its destination it ground to a halt. Some fault or other. There was a 20 minute delay. She was almost hysterical by the time the train pulled in. Then the tube seemed to wait forever at every stop and, to cap it all, there was finally a several-minute stoppage along the line just before her station. Alison didn't dare look at her watch as she ran along the street as best she could on her high heels.

She did look at her watch as the elevator made its leisurely ascent to the fifth floor. It was 9.12 and she felt sick to the stomach.

Alison had her explanation ready but the words just wouldn't come out. She was struck dumb with fright.

He was standing behind his desk as he had stood on that first morning, his face set and hard. But now there was a look of gloating anticipation as well.

He said, "You heard my instructions about punctuality, Mrs Clements. Yet here you are, a quarter of an hour late on two of your three mornings. I should dismiss you immediately but what would you do then, eh?"

Alison could feel the world closing in on her. She was shaking with terror.

"I think you're trying it on with me, Mrs Clements. I think you are testing me to see if I am bluffing. Well, I shall show you that I'm not. I'm going to give you a taste of the cane."

Alison heard herself whisper, "But you can't". It seemed like someone else's voice. For the truth was, she knew he could.

"Are you arguing with me?" The cold force of Mr Kirkham's voice made Alison shiver. His chin was aggressively thrust under her nose, his jowls quivering. No, no she wasn't going to argue. Plead, perhaps....

"Oh pleeeease..." more like a squeak from a mouse than the remonstration of a mature woman.

Mr Kirkham handed her a shiny key. "Go and lock the outer door, then get in your room and take your skirt off. And then get your knickers down. Stand at your desk like that and wait there until I come in. I warned you what I would do and you've chosen to deliberately disobey my warning. Now you'll find out what the consequences are!"

Alison stood still, in shock, wondering if she dared refuse. Surely he couldn't really...........

"Get in there." And Alison found herself walking, stumbling...

"And if you're not how I want you when I come in..............."

She put down her handbag and looked helplessly around. It was outrageous but there was no way she could stand up to him. Tears brimming in her eyes, tears of helpless shameful impotence, Alison's shaking hands went to the zip of her skirt. She was shaking all over.

Frank Kirkham was trembling too, with lustful excitement. He had sensed his dominance over this young woman at the outset but, nonetheless, you could never be certain how these bints would react. They weren't logical, their minds worked in funny ways. But he had been pretty certain about this frightened mouse. He went to the bookshelf and took out his cane. Eyes gleaming, he slammed it down across the top of his desk with a fearsome CRACK!

Alison, in the other room, almost jumped out of her skin. She had taken her skirt off. Now, with a tearful whimper, she slid her knickers down. And then stood wringing her hands in mental anguish.

Frank Kirkham walked over and glanced through the half opened door of Alison's office. The blood pounded in his ears. Christ! He felt a furious urge to stride straight in there, but he restrained himself. Let her sweat for a bit. He went back and sat at his desk, his head full of what he had seen. The pretty little mouse standing submissively at her desk, her back towards him, with her skirt off and her pale blue knickers nestling around the tops of her thighs. A ripe pale vulnerable rump softly gleaming.

He looked at his watch. He would let her have a good ten minutes to stew. And then he would give her a good dose of what that Egyptian bint had got.

Alison stood shivering. She had expected him to come straight in, cane in hand. She blinked away more tears. It was quite unbearably humiliating standing there in front of her desk with her skirt off and her knickers down. In her suit jacket and blouse above the waist but below just her suspender belt and nylons – and her knickers humiliatingly posed around her thighs. Everything since Mark had left had been a nightmare and now she was in the worst nightmare of all. She started to sob.

It seemed to go on forever. Alison's mind began playing tricks, making her think her legs were giving way and she was about to collapse on the floor. Why am I doing this, she asked herself, why don't I simply refuse? Put my clothes back on and walk out? But Alison knew she wouldn't. She would remain standing until she literally collapsed – because she was petrified of disobeying him.

Then at last...

"Right, let's deal with you then. You're getting six strokes. Six for unpunctuality."

The harsh voice, the hypnotically intimidating presence.

"Clear your desk and lay right across it."

Alison wanted to scream, shriek – and she desperately wanted to hide her nude bottom and everything else on show from Mr Kirkham's steely gaze. Her hands came protectively behind her. Then she yelped as the cane struck stingingly across the backs of her hands.

"Cut that out and do exactly as I say!"

Alison did it – hands clumsily responding, pushing things aside, clearing a space. So that she could lie across her desk and be caned. She was crying again, tears falling on the desk. Mr Kirkham telling her to grip the far side.

"And keep still.... stick that bottom out a bit more."

Alison now sobbing, with sheer fright. Her soft defenceless bottom exposed, thrust up over the edge of her desk. This couldn't be happening..................

CRACK!

A red haze before her closed eyes. And the pain! It felt as if she had been cut in two. Alison held on for dear life as the pain welled, pulsed through her. It was maddening, fiendish, utterly ferocious. She hung on as, with a second ear splitting CRACK! the thin bamboo, once used in Egypt for caning naughty wives, sliced in again.

Alison heard herself shriek. Six, he had said. No it was impossible to take six... NO... she couldn't... four more like that was not poss.....

CRACK!

* * *

Alison spoke to Mark again that evening. It was Mark who rang, not Alison. She certainly hadn't planned on calling her husband tonight and, in fact, felt awkward talking to him. It was as if, by the mere act of conversing, he would be able to see the six red stripes still throbbing across Alison's bottom.

She was feeling sort of numb. She had been feeling that way all day, ever since Mr Kirkham had done it, or at least ever since the initial biting sting had worn off. She had taken a bath earlier in the evening, a long soaking bath, and apart from that numb feeling she didn't feel as bad, strangely, as she had the previous evening. She seemed to have lost her hysterical panicky fear. It was almost as if, now the caning had happened, it had produced a kind of calmness.

Mark was more forthcoming, friendlier than yesterday. Perhaps now he was feeling lonely. He suggested getting together later in the week. Yesterday Alison would have leapt at the chance but today.... well she was feeling numb. She said maybe and then said she had to ring off, she was feeling tired. An invisible gulf of separation seemed to distance them even further. It was as if their marriage had ended years ago.

Alison wasn't really feeling tired, but she did want very much to go to bed. She went much earlier than usual and then lay there awake for a long time feeling alone and scared. And something else. She felt strange. Oddly vibrant. Thinking. Wondering. Maybe her train would be late again in the morning. If it was...well there was nothing she could do about it. Mr Kirkham would presumably cane her again for lateness. It hurt terribly and it was terribly humiliating... but there were other feelings too. Alison could see how some women liked being dominated, liked being forced to submit.

He was going to cane her bare bottom again anyway, whether her train was late or not. He had told her, just before she left, that she wasn't filing things properly. And he thought he better deal with that in the morning. Alison had given him a quick, darting, nervous look and then looked away in embarrassment. Then Mr Kirkham's hand had slapped smartly across her bottom as she left the office.

Lying in the big double bed all by herself, Alison softly and continuously stroked the lumpy corrugated grid of cane welts covering both her bottom cheeks. They were sore and felt hot to her touch. She lay trembling, nude between the sheets, though she was not cold. She normally slept in a nightie but tonight she had wanted to be naked. Her mind was filled with an overwhelming sense of being alone, and torn by shocking images of what Mr Kirkham, with his paralysing dominance, had done to her.

The stripes still glowing across her bottom constantly reminded her of how easily she had submitted.

With her right hand, Alison caressed them. The tingling seemed to throb through every nerve of her body eliciting sensations everywhere. With a fresh shock – this time of guilt – she found that the fingertips of her left hand were straying down to the moistness at the base of her belly, just the way she had always wanted Mark to touch her. He was gone now, out of her life forever, and she was so in need of comfort. She made no effort to stop the teardrops dripping silently down her cheeks, thus dampening her pillow. Now there was no one to understand what she was going through.

_____________
This story was scanned and prepared by Alex Birch.

An English Girl in the Middle East – the story prepared by Alex Birch

Story from Janus 36.

An English Girl in the Middle East
by R.T.Mason

Marilyn Birling, aged 24, stepped off the plane and the heat hit her like a solid wall. At least that particular concept of the Emirate was confirmed; it was very, very hot in a way that had to be experienced to be believed. By the time she had completed the short walk to the airport building she could feel herself perspiring under the crisp white linen blouse and skirt, the latter a full calf length out of deference to local sensitivity.

Her husband, Bob, met her in the airport lounge, an emotional greeting for them both, for Bob had been out here for four months, by far the longest time they had been apart in the five years of their marriage. Now he had got an apartment sorted out, Marilyn would be here with him for the rest of his three-year appointment. After that, who could say? At least they would have a sizeable nest-egg for the future because these Middle Eastern contracts certainly paid well for a qualified engineer.

"God that heat!" she exclaimed when they were sitting in the airport lounge after that first emotional reunion, necessarily restrained for Bob had warned Marilyn that excessive public displays of affection were frowned upon.

It was pleasantly cool inside after the searing heat she had just encountered and Marilyn gave thanks for the air-conditioning. Under her demure white skirt Marilyn was wearing nylons, not pantie-hose, and she could feel the cool air now blowing pleasantly on her bare upper thighs. The nylons were for Bob's benefit. She knew they really turned him on and she was anxious to ensure that her husband was functioning at his maximum potential once they were alone, though after a four month absence such additional stimulus was hardly necessary.

Marilyn looked around the airport lounge. A fair number of Europeans, one or two Africans, but mostly Arabs, men and women, the men in both native and western dress but the women all in some sort of voluminous garment completely concealing their shape. 'I wonder what they wear underneath' she thought to herself. Perhaps the younger ones wore fancy nylons, even scanty silk briefs? Were there still harems, she wondered. One thing was certain – it was going to be very different from Surrey!

Different... exotic... even scary? She gave a little shiver.

The nylons and the pink lacy suspender belt fastening them were indeed appreciated. Bob made her keep them on, plus her white patent leather high-heel shoes – but nothing else – when they made love virtually as soon as they reached the apartment. It was wildly exciting, this strange exotic place and, of course the abstinence occasioned by those long weeks apart.

In truth not a 100% abstinence by both partners because Marilyn had been screwed once while Bob was away but that was a guilty secret she didn't want to think about now.

After sex and a quiet cuddle she got up, stripped off those few remaining items of clothing and went for a shower. Still dripping, Marilyn went to the fridge and took out a can of beer. Towelling down, she sipped the beer while critically gazing at what she saw in the full-length bathroom mirror. Quite tall, 5'9", and well endowed in the bottom and boobs department but her waist and belly nicely trim and taut. In a few years she might have to watch those. She made a face. It was an undeniably pretty face; good bones, her mother said, also a soft full mouth and big blue eyes, all in the frame of that thick, curling shoulder-length blonde hair.

Suddenly she stopped the towelling and self-admiration, to look for the first time at what she had unthinkingly taken from the fridge.

"Bob," she called through to the bedroom, "This beer. Isn't alcohol supposed to be verboten here?"

* * *

He had laughed and told her no one worried about that, not in private at least. And that was what the other expatriates told her too, the other English women out here with their husbands and the one or two American girls. Don't worry about it, they'd said, you can't do it in public obviously but otherwise go ahead, everyone here enjoys a drink.

Well they ought to know, she thought. Anyway there was everything else to think about; this new exotic town, half still in the Middle-Ages, half ultra-modern air-conditioned, all under that implacable blazing sun. There was also their house-warming party.
Bob had arranged that they would give a party for the various friends he had made since coming out here and the second Friday after Marilyn's arrival had been set as the day. This early date barely gave her time to get organised so there was no time to worry about the business of the legality of alcohol. Inevitably there was going to be plenty of it at the party; beer, wine, spirits. A friend of Bob's was arranging all that.

There were around 20 people, just about filling their smallish apartment. Europeans and locals, the latter all in western dress including the two women. Marilyn had met virtually all of them already, at other parties and informal get-togethers, and the party went very well. There was one little incident, though, when it was getting rather late and possibly a number of the guests had had too much to drink. One of the men caught Marilyn alone in the kitchen.

His name, if transpired, was Dr. Ahmed Kareem and he was one of the few people Marilyn had not met before. He was in his forties, stockily built with a heavy moustache. He came up behind her and said, in accent-less English, "Congratulations on a wonderful party, Mrs. Birling," then he put his arm around Marilyn's waist.

With a nervous laugh she twisted away but then two firm hands grasped her bottom, a cheek in each hand through her tight blue silk dress.

She gasped. "Do you mind!", she said angrily, struggling loose and assuming he'd had too much to drink, though he seemed sober enough as he then firmly pushed her into a corner.

"Don't be alarmed, Mrs. Birling, I merely wished to satisfy myself as to the firmness of that beautiful bottom. A compliment in fact. Turn round, please, for a moment."

"You've got to be joking!" Marilyn spluttered, shocked at the effrontery of a man she didn't know expecting her to stand still while he groped her at will.

He was still trying to get her to turn round when someone walked into the kitchen. Dr. Kareem desisted but whispered in her ear, "Some of you English ladies are very haughty. I say this in spite of being your guest. Sometimes I think you all need, what is your expression – taking down a peg."

Then he left her alone. Weird man, she thought, but he could go after some other girl's bottom if that turned him on. A bit later she noticed he was taking flash photographs of certain guests, apparently as mementos of the occasion, but soon after he came up to Marilyn and Bob saying he had to leave. He seemed in a good enough mood, courteously shaking both their hands. She decided not to make Bob angry by telling him about the incident, assuming it was all finished.

But of course it wasn't.

Two days later she got a phone call in the morning after Bob had left for work. It was the creepy Kareem saying he had something important to discuss which was best not done on the telephone. Marilyn rolled her eyes and grimaced, then told him she was very busy. Kareem insisted. He was an important official, he said, and the matter was very pressing. So most reluctantly, and a little fearfully, Marilyn invited him round.

He didn't immediately try to grab her, as she'd expected. Instead when he'd been invited to sit down he took a thick envelope out of his pocket. It contained a sheaf of photographs which he laid down on the coffee-table. Pictures taken at the party. Various people, including Bob and Marilyn, in typical party attitudes, all with drinks in their hands.

"Good photos, eh?" he grinned, as Marilyn looked at him quizzically.

"All strictly illegal though. The government of this country views such goings-on in a very strict manner. Do you know the penalty for such transgressions, Mrs. Birling?"

Marilyn had indeed heard accounts of what could happen, before she came out. You read it in the paper from time to time. That was before Bob and everyone told her everyone drank. She began to tremble with fear.

Dr. Kareem continued remorselessly, confirming her worst fears, "The cane, Mrs. Birling. The cane – applied in a manner which, I am sure, to an English person would appear most savage. Even though you British have your own tradition of the cane in many of your schools. But I can assure you, Mrs. Birling, this is nowhere near the same! Tell me, Mrs. Birling, when you were a naughty schoolgirl did you ever receive the cane on that delectable bottom of yours? That bottom you were so primly hiding the other evening?"

Marilyn began to sweat with fright. "Look, this... this is getting a bit ridiculous. No of course I didn't get anything like that at school and everyone knows that drinking goes on among the ex-pats here, and that it is accepted."

"Oh no, Mrs. Birling. Not so, not at all. The fact that visitors to this country break the law does not mean that it is accepted. Our law is infrangible. Indeed, our government is increasingly keen, if it can catch transgressors with incontrovertible evidence, to make an example of them. Shall I tell you what a woman such as yourself, giving this kind of party, might expect?"

Marilyn did not want to hear, but he told her all the same, his fleshy mouth relishing the words with an all-but-theatrical effect.

"A lead filled cane, Mrs Birling. A cane with has had hot lead poured into the end to give the tip a nice heavy weight. Then the rest of the cane is reinforced. It does an awful lot of damage to a female bottom. You could be given anything up to twenty strokes by one of the female prison officers. Your bottom completely bare, of course, and two other officers holding you down over a caning bench. I guarantee you, Mrs. Birling, that after that you would not be able to sit down for two weeks. I doubt you would wish to hold any more alcohol parties after that!"

Marilyn jumped up and strode in agitation to the window. Outside, at the corner, a goat was rooting in a rubbish bin. It was definitely not Surrey but a very foreign and very frightening country. She tried to keep her voice steady.

"I-I don't know why you are telling me all this. No one is going to see those pictures. I-I don't know why you took them."

All at once he was behind her, breathing in her ear. "The reason, dear lady, was that you are clearly not a woman who is prepared to be co-operative unless a little persuasion is exerted. So therefore if necessary I can send them to the relevant government department. I would be commended for doing my civic duty. And then, Mrs. Birling, I'm afraid both you and your husband would be severely dealt with. Most severely I think you will find."

Marilyn felt herself on the brink of tears. She suddenly felt a little faint. "I-I don't know why you are being so... so beastly." she stammered.

She felt his hands on her waist. She thought she really did know what he wanted. he wanted to screw her, just as Bob's boss back home had done. Two weeks after Bob had come out here, Mr. Moorcroft had taken her out to dinner and then back to his place for coffee and that's where it had happened. "Just what a lonely young wife needs when her husband's away," he'd whispered while pulling down her knickers as they lay on the sofa. But it had just been one time and she'd been so ashamed of what she'd done. But it was obvious the unpleasant Kareem wanted the same and equally clear that she would have to give in. She felt the tears welling in her eyes as, at the same time, his two hands slid down to cup her bottom. Caressing the soft cheeks most insistently.....

"What I want, Mrs. Birling, is this lovely bottom," he whispered, his hot breath in her ear.

Marilyn made a forlorn moan that sounded like "Nnnngggghhh" and then began to cry.

"What I am going to do is warm it up a little. Nothing compared to what a prison wardress would give it, of course. I am not a sadist, Mrs. Birling. But I do love to tingle a pretty woman's bottom, with the cane and also with the strap."

Marilyn could scarcely take in what he was saying. "Nooo" she said weakly, trying, with a sudden lurch, to twist away from the mauling, groping hands. But the hands would not let go and the horrible smarmy voice of this hateful man continued as he casually groped her bottom.

"Be sensible, my dear girl. Take my advice, I know what our prisons are like and I fear that caning your bottom is not all the guards would do to you. And don't forget your dear husband – he would be severely punished too. For him maybe as many as 50 strokes."

She stopped struggling. What was the use? She felt as if all the breath had been knocked out of her body. His hands went to the zipper at the waist of her beige calf-length skirt and in a few seconds it was pooled around her feet.

Underneath, Marilyn was wearing brief pink knickers, plus those nylons with the straps of the pink lace suspender belt crossing firm, full thighs. With her cream-coloured blouse and her white high-heeled court shoes she was an enticing sight. The liquid brown eyes of Ahmed Kareem roamed greedily over her body. His voice was now thick with excitement and there was no hint of doubt or hesitation in his fierce tone.

"A lovely sight, Mrs. Birling. Now I want you to take the panties down yourself. Let me say you are not getting the cane or the strap today as I don't have them with me so I shall save those pleasures for later. So today I will be content with spanking your bare bottom. So now do as I tell you and slip your panties down."

He had backed off and was now sitting on one of Marilyn's upright chairs. His smooth olive complexion was distinctly darker than when he had come in. Marilyn's face was bright pink. She was trembling all over. She mumbled, "Now look...."

But she knew there was no way out. No one was due to come round that morning and, even if someone did, it would only delay the inevitable because with those pictures in existence there was nothing she could do. She couldn't possibly get them from him physically – and anyway there would be negatives. Trying to blank everything out, and looking away from him, she forced her hands to go to the waistband of her brief nylon knickers.

She took the knickers down to her nylon tops, exposing her thick, light-brown bush, then had to hobble forward. He took hold of her arm and pulled her down. She was over his lap in the classic spanking position, head down and bare bottom up like some naughty schoolgirl over her father's lap – if fathers even did that sort of thing nowadays. Certainly Marilyn had never suffered this humiliation before. She had never even considered such a possibility.

She gave a suppressed gasp as a hand was suddenly at her smoothly bare bottom, patting and squeezing in a way that made her squirm. His left arm was gripped round her waist. Then the groping stopped. A slight pause. Then she gave a yelp as the first smack landed!

It really hurt, splatting down with all his force on the nearside cheek. The hot glow was still developing when, Splat! – the hand landed squarely on the other cheek. Marilyn let out another gasping yelp, her injured bottom squirming. It was still wriggling, and so were her legs, when the third hard smack splatted down.

The spanking seemed to go on for ever. It was extremely painful and desperately humiliating, the more so as after a few minutes she was in tears again, crying like a baby. A baby with a full-grown, slightly over-sized and now bright red bottom that was wildly jerking and twisting on Kareem's lap in a vain attempt to alleviate the effects of that stinging right hand. She was in a state of severe shock.

When he had finally had his fill of her, he simply removed his left arm that was restraining her while continuing to deliver those excruciating smacks to her bottom and thighs with his right hand. Marilyn's own jerking and writhing slid her off his lap and she finished up in an undignified heap on her own carpet.

She lay there for a while sobbing heartily before slowly struggling to her feet. She then pulled up her knickers and her skirt. Dr. Kareem was collecting up his pictures.

"Very nice, dear lady, very satisfying. I find so many of you English ladies have the most lovely bottoms. Today, of course, was just my little appetiser. The main course will be with my cane and strap."

He left after forcing a tongue-probing kiss on the reluctant Marilyn. When the door closed she sat down and simply burst into tears once more.

* * *

She had recovered slightly by the time Bob came home in the evening but was still feeling nauseous and sore. She had entered a nightmare with no obvious end in sight. She tried to be her normal cheerful self but it was almost impossible. When it was time for bed she had to be careful because in the bathroom she saw that her bottom and the backs of her thighs were still distinctly red and blotchy-looking. She put on a nightie, something she didn't usually bother with.

In bed she found herself hot for sex, an escape from the reality of what had happened. Fortunately Bob was, as ever, ready and willing but he commented on her unusual degree of arousal. In truth, she felt quite desperate.

"What have you been doing? Reading sexy books all day?" he grinned as he pumped hard into her.

Marilyn bit her lip, thinking of tomorrow. When she had to see Dr. Kareem again, this time at his apartment.

The next morning at 10 a.m. she presented herself at Kareem's as instructed. She was wearing a blue skirt and blouse, brown flat-heeled shoes and was bare of any hose. He received her in a plush-looking lounge.

Flushed and close to tears, Marilyn blurted out the plea she had been rehearsing. "Please! Can't I persuade you not to do this and to give me the photographs? Can't I please appeal to your better instincts?"

He laughed loudly. "My better instincts, Mrs. Birling, tell me you have a most beautiful bottom, indeed one of the finest it has been my pleasure to become acquainted with. Perhaps, in a few years, it is plump enough to go slightly to seed, but right now it is perfect. That is what Allah has provided women such as you for, Mrs. Birling, to give pleasure to men. But first, before we commence let me at least offer you coffee."

Marilyn considered briefly then shook her head. There was no point in prolonging the agony.

She was made to take off her skirt and then her white nylon knickers, this time right off not just down. She stood miserably in just the pale blue blouse and her flat-heeled shoes as he came close. Two hands fondled Marilyn's sumptuous bare rear. They were more than impertinent, they were masterful.

"I am amazed, my dear, that your husband does not make better use of this splendid part of you. Caning a woman's bottom is one of life's most exquisite pleasures. How sad that he does not appreciate that."

Then her tormentor was going to a cupboard, to come back with a three-foot long, crook-handled rattan cane. Marilyn paled, her mouth dry.

Dr. Kareem held it in front of her then swished it through the air. "This is my instrument of pleasure, Mrs. Birling. My favourite instrument in fact. I also enjoy the strap but the cane for me is exquisite. I love the way it sinks into soft female flesh."

This couldn't be happening, Marilyn told herself. But then he flicked the cane against her bare thigh and the sharp stingy pain told her that yes it was happening!

"So let us get started!" he ordered. Marilyn was made to bend over the back of an upright chair, her head on the seat, her hands gripping the front rungs and her legs wide apart. She gritted her teeth as the cane tapped once then twice across her bare, out-thrust buttocks, and felt consumed by shame.

A pause, then, THWACK!..

Marilyn gave an anguished yell. The pain was murderous,a quite different order of magnitude from the spanking. Her stricken rear did a frantic dance as somehow she held onto the rung.

There was no let up in the sickening pain when THWACK!.. it landed again, like a red-hot iron searing her bottom. A second frantic yelp burst forth as Marilyn went into another bottom-writhing dance. And no wonder for he was caning her with all his strength.

He gave her eight in all. They were all the same, each one a mind-boggling flame which left its bright red stripe across her plump, pale flesh. The stripes extended from the crest of Marilyn's bottom to halfway down her thighs. Her nerves were shattered. When he had finally finished Dr. Kareem dropped the cane and ran his hand lovingly over her tortured flesh.

"That's the ticket, eh – as you English say – Mrs. Birling? That's how a young woman should be taught discipline. Bringing her to heel is, I think, your English expression."

It was over. Marilyn fought to control her sobs, and the fierce pain that throbbed and smarted through her nerve ends. Somehow she managed to struggle into her knickers and skirt again. Then, excruciatingly, she had to sit and drink the coffee she refused earlier.

Afterwards she had to stand and bend over a table. Kareem lifted her skirt and pulled her knickers down again. This is it, Marilyn told herself, now he is going to screw me. But he didn't, merely fondled her bottom again. Running his fingers lovingly along those red weals which now decorated her pale flesh...

Back at their own apartment Marilyn was like a zombie, not knowing what to do with herself. Her bottom was an unceasing throbbing pain mass. When Bob got home she realised she had not prepared dinner and they had to go out to eat. Sitting down was agony and Marilyn spoke only in mono-syllables. The caning still filled her mind and when it was time for bed she hardly knew what she was doing. It was then Bob found out what had happened.

She knew the cane marks stood out very much in evidence on her bottom and thighs and she had gone into the bathroom to undress, but, in her distracted state, she had quite forgotten to lock the door. Bob wandered in – and stood aghast.

She grabbed her clothes to try and hide her red striped backside but it was obviously too late. There was an awful scene, at the end of which Marilyn burst into tears and told him everything that had happened. The whole story.

Hearing it Bob felt stunned, as if someone had hit him on the head with a hammer. It was not credible, but it had obviously happened because there were the awful purpling-red weals on his wife's bottom and thighs to prove it. In the ferment of emotions that filled him, one quickly became paramount – an urge to go out and find the man who had done this to his wife and strangle him.

In fact Bob Birling hardly knew Ahmed Kareem. The man had come to his party as a friend of a friend and Bob knew little about him except that he was a local man. Then he remembered hearing that his friend had said Kareem had high government connections and that put a very different complexion on things.

Bob pictured briefly what Kareem had threatened: 20 strokes of a lead-filled cane across Marilyn's bottom and perhaps more than twice as many for himself. It was not an idle threat because everyone knew that such things did happen. And Kareem had photos. He could have the Birlings indicted any time he wanted. That murderous urge became tinged with a sudden tingle of cold fear.

Bob did not go out and look for Ahmed Kareem. Instead in the bedroom he took Marilyn over his lap and applied cold cream to her injured rear. As he did so other emotions running round his head were joined by another one. Sexual arousal. What had been done was sickening but, lightly rubbing his cream covered hand over his wife's ripe buttocks, Bob realised that in spite of everything it was also very exciting. He found himself imagining the scene, Ahmed Kareem wielding his cane....

"What are we going to do?" wailed Marilyn who had stopped crying but was still producing intermittent sobs.

Because, of course, Kareem hadn't finished with her. He wanted her to return in two days time. When Marilyn had pleaded she would still be sore he agreed to postpone it by a couple of days, but that was all.

"He-He'll just want to keep on doing this," she muttered.

Bob bit his lip. The murderous impulse had been replaced by a chilling reality. Like Marilyn, there was little he could do. The photos were an unbeatable trump card and Kareem was not going to surrender them until he was good and ready. So Bob and Marilyn could leave the country forthwith but apart from that there was no alternative but acceptance. For Bob to pull out of his contract now would be nothing short of disaster.

Unhappily, Bob spelled it out. "It's up to you," he said.

Marilyn got off his lap to sit gingerly on the bed. She looked bleakly at her husband.

He repeated, "If you want me to keep this well-paid job, you'll have to let him do it." He added lamely, "Perhaps after a short while the novelty will wear off....."

* * *

So it continued, the cane or the 18 inch long, three-tongued leather strap at least once a week. Marilyn and Bob didn't tell anyone else, though she found out that Kareem was caning at least one other English girl. They also stopped discussing it with each other but Marilyn came to realise that, although Bob must hate being in this position, having to let Kareem do this to her, that wasn't his only reaction.

She soon came to see that her husband was also getting turned on by what was happening. Not saying anything, but he always made a point of examining Marilyn's caned or strapped rear when she'd been to see Kareem, and then he wanted sex right away. For her part Marilyn found she was also ready for sex after a good caning or strapping. She told herself it was a way of forgetting what had happened, the only escape from it. She couldn't admit that she might possibly be sexually aroused after a beating. It would be entirely inconsistent with all her beliefs.

So it continued, for almost seven months, then one day, after he had not seen her for two weeks, Kareem asked if she wanted the photos back. Marilyn had sensed that his interest was tailing off but it still came as a shock. She had got into the habit of these visits and, although still telling herself she hated it, had in fact come to accept what was happening. She asked if this meant she didn't have to come any more.

He laughed and said she had earned her release. He gave her all the prints and the negatives and presumably she could have walked out there and then. But when Kareem suggested a strapping as one final au revoir, Marilyn meekly took off her skirt and knickers and bent herself over the chair in the usual way.

Marilyn, like her husband, had come to enjoy a love-hate relationship with Kareem's cane and strap. It still hurt like hell but there was now undeniably a sexual thrill to it. Primarily her thrill was in the act of submission, the basic one of bending down for him and baring her bottom. Marilyn felt that thrill both when she was gasping under the actual impact and also reliving it when she was in bed with Bob. Not having Dr Kareem to dominate her any more would, she realised, leave a gap in her life.

When Kareem had finished with the strap and Marilyn was getting dressed, he told her he had found someone else. He gave the name of a young American girl Marilyn knew vaguely; a pretty, shapely young blonde. It was ridiculous but Marilyn felt a pang of jealousy.

She went home with a mixture of emotions, Kareem having said he would still like to whip her occasionally and then groping her bottom as she walked out of the door. In her handbag she had the photos and also another man's name and phone number. A man Kareem said would love to meet her. A rich man and a real bottom enthusiast.

* * *

Marilyn did nothing for two weeks during which time there was no call from Kareem. She should have been relieved that it was all over but instead she felt a sense of restlessness. Several times she looked at the card Kareem had given her and each time she put it back in her handbag. Finally, one afternoon, Marilyn rang the number.

She met him by appointment in the private room of a restaurant, a tall distinguished looking Arab of perhaps 60. He had keen dark eyes and a soft voice which spoke with the assurance of wealth. After coffee he said he would like Marilyn to spend a weekend at his place in the country. There would be £500 before she went and another £500 afterwards if he was 'fully satisfied'.

Marilyn left without saying yes or no, her brain in turmoil. Her mind was racing with sexual excitement and when she got home she simply couldn't contain it. She lay on the bed and allowed her feelings to run wildly out of control. In bed that night, again with a sense of intense arousal, she told Bob. His penis immediately responded to this news.

Holding it, Marilyn whispered, "He wants the same as Dr. Kareem. It'll be caning and whatever else he punishes me with. I don't think he wants to screw me."

They then made love with a wild, desperate intensity. Afterwards after some minutes of silence, Bob said, "You can go if you want to. But don't tell anybody...."

Marilyn, lying on her back, shivered. Her thoughts went back to that day she had stepped off the plane and then that feeling of excitement in the airport lounge of being in a strange, exciting place. That feeling had been fully borne out in the involvement with Dr. Kareem which had explored new depths to her psyche.

The last few months had shown Marilyn Birling a new and exciting world. A world that might only just be beginning!

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This story was scanned and prepared by Alex Birch.