Story from Janus 68.
The New Riding Whip
by Michael Burntwood
HER upper body was pressed against the steering-wheel, and her dazzlingly pretty face gaped aghast through the windscreen. She had hit something! After several stunned seconds she straightened up in the driver's seat, suddenly pale beneath the suntan which still lingered from those fragrant weeks in the Greek islands. Strands of golden hair obscured her wide, vividly blue eyes, for her head had jerked forward at the collision. Shakily, feeling faint, she pushed the hair back from her flawless forehead and opened the door of the brand-new Jaguar. Stepping out on long, lissome legs she stretched her lithe young body and smoothed the rucked-up skirt over her slender hips. Then, with tingling nerves and a sick feeling of dread, Alicia Thornfield walked to the front of the gleaming vehicle to inspect the damage.
The wheelbarrow she had driven into lay crushed and splintered on the broad gravel driveway, but this was not what the girl was staring at. The offside wing of the Jaguar was shockingly defaced by dents and scratches, and the headlamp and the blinker were smashed! The awful sight made her inhale deeply, pushing her tip-tilted breasts against the sheer silk fabric of her blouse.
Desperately she turned and looked around for someone to blame for this disaster, for the fool who had put the wheelbarrow there, right where it shouldn't be, in the middle of the drive into which she had just turned the car. In the distance she observed Rogerson, the gardener, hurrying towards her shaking his grey-haired head; and even then the mettlesome young woman's full red lips curled with distaste to see how his startled gaze roamed over her bare legs beneath the tight skirt.
'You damn well ought to know better than to leave your stupid barrow here!' Alicia shouted, stamping her foot in fury and fright. Even to the unimaginative gardener she looked petite and doll-like, almost unreal in her perfection of feminine shapeliness. It could have been that French actress, Bardot – re-formed and scarcely 21 again – raging at him beside his employer's distressingly damaged vehicle. The agile figure was daintily trim, little-waisted, with breasts like apples quivering under translucent silk, the trim thighs succulent – her legs smooth, sun-browned stems more lovely than the loveliest bloom in the orchid-house from where he had hurried on hearing the distant crump. To the gardener, she looked rather like a flower herself.
But the aloofly alluring nymphet face, achingly pretty, was red and twisted now as she screeched at him, scattering the soft, honey-gold hair about that perfect head.
'You silly old bastard, I've a sodding good mind to... to...'
'Ooh, dear,' said Rogerson, dragging to a stop. 'Ooh, my, Miss Alicia. Your stepdad won't be too happy when he sees what you've done to his new car!'
'What I've done, I've done?' the girl wailed. 'How was I supposed to know that bloody wheelbarrow was here? It was your fault. I was looking at the rose-bushes when I drove in.'
'With respect, Miss,' ventured Rogerson, 'Sir Robert told me to leave it here when he called me to the orchid-house. And anyway, there's plenty of room on either side. If you'd been lookin' where you should've been...'
'Shut up!' she shrilled. 'Fix it, do something useful! Before he sees it, too!'
The gardener shook his head, well used – as were the other servants – to the stormy temper of this spoiled, succulent slip of a girl; a temper remarkably similar to that of Sir Robert, her stepfather, with whom he had just been discussing orchids. Uncomfortably similar, the man thought, and almost smiled.
'Ain't nothing I can fix, Miss,' said Rogerson. 'That'll need a crash repair job down the garage.'
'Oh, you're absolutely hopeless!' Abruptly the girl swung round on her heels, and the man caught his breath at the sudden sight of her tightly-compacted little rump wiggling roundly beneath the clinging skirt as she hurried up the broad stone stairs to the entrance-door of the stately, ivy-smothered house.
As Alicia hastened to the temporary sanctuary of her room, cold spurts of dread pulsed through her, which quickly heated to panic that made her heart bump. She had borrowed her stepfather's car on one of those reckless impulses of hers, believing him to be away. Certainly he would never have allowed her. After all, she had a car of her own – but it was a lot more fun to drive a brand-new Jaguar than a three-year-old VW Golf. And, damn it, he'd obviously come back while she was out on the road and, assuming his car to be in the garage, was pottering about with his wretched orchids! Now Rogerson would blurt it all out. It was only a question of time. She decided to escape on her horse, Athos, for a few hours until her stepfather's anticipated wrath had cooled. Just in case, dreadfully, he took it into his head (and hand!) to do to her again what he'd done last week or so when she'd broken one of his ugly antique vases in an outburst of pique! The very thought of that made the girl squirm.
In her bedroom Alicia hastily stripped off her day-clothes and scrabbled in the cupboard for her riding-gear. As she leaned forward to work her ankles into the narrow jodhpurs she paused, catching sight of her bent-over bottom in the cheval-glass mirror. The plumply-curved mounds, scarcely covered by the flimsy lace panties, were still marked with two pale pink stripes on the silky skin where the buttocks swelled out from the tops of her pretty thighs. Marks from that excruciating caning he had dared to give her last week! Faintly swollen, slightly raised, they tingled as her fingers touched them. This ghostly tingling returned the girl to her urgent need for haste, and she quickly straightened, hauling up the skin-tight breeches...
'How could that wretched girl run straight into a barrow when there's room for at least ten cars?' Sir Robert was exclaiming, dangerously red in the face as he surveyed the crushed wing of his coveted Jaguar. At six-feet-three and shaking with rage, he made a daunting sight. Some thirty years ago he had boxed for the University and rowed stroke in their best 'eight'. Now in his fifties, a handsome-featured man who had not only retained the hair on his head but most of its sable colouring, he stood straight and powerful, protesting his ill-fortune in an operatic baritone. Ordering the gardener to arrange for the car to be mended at the garage in the village, he stalked off towards the house, determined to have a serious chat with his seemingly incorrigible stepdaughter.
He strode into the spacious hallway and paused, breathing harshly in an effort to control his fury as his hot glare settled on the umbrella-stand, which bristled with brollies and sticks. From it he selected a smart new lady's riding-whip, which he angrily swished through the air. Then he walked through to his private study at the back of the house, thwacking the thin crop against the palm of his hand with a thoughtful but determined expression. Picking up the internal telephone he rang the housekeeper, Mrs White, and asked her to tell his stepdaughter to come down immediately.
Mrs White smiled grimly as she walked up the stairs and along the corridor to the room at the corner of the building. At her approach the door flew open and Miss Alicia dashed out, dressed for riding in those skin-tight breeches which hugged across her eye-catching buttocks and so tantalised the male staff. The young mistress was also wearing a white blouse, and calf-length boots on which she wobbled away towards the back stairs, clearly anxious not to be seen.
'Miss Alicia!' the housekeeper called. The girl froze in her tracks, and when she turned her face was flushed and her lovely blue eyes looked feverish. 'Sir Robert would like you down in his study, please.'
'I-I have to take Athos out for his daily exercise,' the girl replied as nonchalantly as she could. 'Tell him you haven't seen me, okay?'
'Your stepfather knows you're in, and was most insistent that you come down at once,' intoned the housekeeper with a somewhat malicious smile: like most of the domestic staff, she had more than once been on the receiving end of this beautiful, willowy girl's temper. 'By the way,' the woman added, 'I noticed that Sir Robert took your new riding-whip from the hall stand. It's in his study with him. I expect you'll need it later, when you go riding.' With that Mrs White swung round and clomped away, scarcely concealing her excitement and pleasure at what might well soon be happening to that spoiled, slender young beauty within a very short space of time.
As Alicia retraced her steps miserably towards the main stairs, unconsciously she let her hands smooth over her narrow hips and backwards across her pert, pouting seat. Through the drum-taut fabric of her breeches she felt again the still-swollen stripes across her compact bottom. This wasn't her lucky week at all. She had got the cane only a few days before, despite her age of almost 21. Now it looked horribly as if she might be in for a taste of her own riding-whip! In a helpless gesture of defiance she tilted her dainty chin and pulled back her shoulders, strangely satisfied at how the buttoned-up blouse tightened across her proudly high-nippled breasts.
Alicia was all too aware of her stepfather's rages. Since her mother had passed away almost three years ago, she had lived alone with him and three servants in this old mansion from which he controlled his companies. All through her teens, Alicia had been high-spirited, but it wasn't until after her mother died that her stepfather began to treat her more like an irresponsible girl than a young lady. She did concede, however, that the physical punishments he had begun to mete out were usually her own fault. Alicia appreciated the continuing luxury of living in this large house with servants, and hadn't made any serious efforts to get a job. After a year at university she had become tired of studies, and defiantly stayed at home. Her stepfather wanted her to accept work in one of his companies, but she had declined; and, after several vain attempts at persuasion, he had become angry and informed her that as long as she was living under his roof without contributing to her own upkeep, she was to obey him and accept his discipline. Meekly, yet sullenly, Alicia had agreed to his terms.
As the girl moved with increasing trepidation towards the combined library and study where Sir Robert worked when at home, the breeches seemed to cling extra tightly to her hips and thighs. Alicia liked them like that, enjoying clothes which presented her figure to advantage. At the door she paused, breathed deeply, yet again, and raised her knuckles to knock. Then she lowered them, and realised she was trembling.
On the other side of the stout mahogany door the incensed step-parent paced impatiently about as he waited for his errant young charge to appear. His gaze wandered around the room with its well-stocked bookcases and fine old oak panelling, finally coming to rest on the supple riding-whip he had placed prominently on the large, leather-topped desk. For a moment he mentally pictured Alicia's girlishly sleek-skinned flanks, and experienced a somewhat guilty, steadily-rising excitement. The whip had been a gift to the girl when he had bought Athos for her; and he had always thought how exhilarating it would be to use it on Alicia's truly attractive bottom. Her bare bottom as naked as that of her horse! Sir Robert squared his heavy shoulder and couldn't suppress a sigh, very much aware of the particular quality of pleasure such thoughts gave him. It was a heady feeling akin to the intoxication afforded by champagne, only more so!
Last time, some ten days ago, he had made her bend over this same writing-desk. Alicia had been wearing a ridiculously brief skirt, which he considered frankly indecent. Furious as Sir Robert had already been on account of the girl's clumsiness, the riveting sight of those round, packed-to-bursting rumps and silky thigh-backs had flooded the man's senses with a great glow of well-being; of supreme anticipation! He had turned up her skirt and uncovered a pair of deliciously-shaped buttocks encased in pink nylon knickers with a pattern of small flowers and a lace edging. He had been in something of a daze as he picked up the cane and delivered ten crisp whacks across that gorgeous rear, remembering only that the girl had complained with sharp aaaooauuuches and oowwws, though probably more loudly than she had reason to, for in his rapt condition he had not hit hard.
After the caning Alicia hadn't wept much, but had snifflingly promised him to behave better in future. In the intervening days, however, Sir Robert had found himself secretly hoping that his beautiful 20-year-old stepdaughter would revert to her true nature. And now, sure enough, with this inexcusable 'borrowing' and damaging of his Jaguar, the wilful girl had played straight into his more-than-willing hands.
Now he began to positively savour the imminent encounter. As Alicia had protested at how, during her caning, the desk-edge had bit into her hips at the front, he now decided to have the girl lying across the arm support of the leather-clad sofa. Thus she would have her hips raised higher, which would prevent her from attempting to stand up between the strokes to rub her bottom as she had tried to do before.
At the uncharacteristically timid rap on the door the big man stiffened more tensely in his brown gardening tweeds, and ran a finger round the inside of his collar.
'Come!' he barked.
The door crept open and Alicia stepped into the study. In her riding-habit, with well-polished riding-boots, her slender figure was indeed a fetching sight to behold. He always enjoyed seeing her in that costume, with white blouse buttoned demurely to the neck, and tight khaki breeches snugly contouring her buttocks, thighs and hips. On horseback, with helmet and jacket on too, she always caught the eyes of the spectators. On this occasion, though, he was to be the sole spectator; and he intended it to be a spectacle very much worth the watching. Sir Robert's heavily handsome features hardened, and his eyes were like flints. The only gestures which betrayed the excitement he felt were the way his fingers pushed through his white-flecked hair and his firm, grave mouth twitched at the corners.
'Shut the door, Alicia,' he said quietly. Blushing, and in increasing dread, the girl obeyed. She took a few steps forward and then her eyes grew round on seeing her own flexible plaited riding-whip on the desk over which she had sprawled that last dreadful time.
'I-I'm sorry about the car, honestly I am,' she said. Her voice trembled. Demurely she held her eyes downcast, then dared a glance at him from beneath long eyelashes.
'Being "sorry" simply isn't enough, Alicia,' her stepfather rapped. 'You blithely take my new car without permission – that, in itself, would have been offence enough to justify how I now intend to deal with you.' His voice grew in force and pitch, so that each word made the girl flinch as if from a slap. 'But you then, through sheer wanton recklessness, drive it into a barrow and have the gall to try and put the blame on the gardener!'
Feeling increasingly apprehensive, panting with growing agitation, Alicia was shifting her weight and fidgeting as she tried to find a way out of this appalling scrape. She had a genuinely guilty look on her face now, and did her best to avoid his angry glare. But her flinching gaze only settled again on the riding-whip.
'Look at me, young lady,' he rasped. 'Raise your head and look me in my eyes when I'm talking to you!'
Alicia's neat white teeth showed as she bit at her lower lip and glanced up at him from under wet, trembling lashes. Tears had appeared in her large blue eyes. 'Please, father, I've said I'm sorry,' the girl implored. 'It will hurt so much!' Desperately, Alicia tried another tack. 'Look, I'm almost 21 now! I-I'll pay for the damage somehow, but please don't use that on me. I'm a grown woman now, I'm...'
Sir Robert towered above her as she wheedled and wept. The very sight of that graceful young woman with the honey-gold hair, enchanting face and wringing hands might have melted the heart of a less imaginative man. But Alicia's stepfather's imagination was too strong to deny his heated mental images the fulfilment of reality. He swelled his great chest, lifted his strong-jawed head higher, and picked up the girl's own riding-whip.
'Alicia,' he intoned gravely, tapping his broad palm with the springy shaft, 'I have already told you that you have no one to blame but yourself for the predicament you are in – and you will pay in the manner I have chosen.' She gasped as he moved around the desk towards her. 'Get over there to the sofa,' he instructed, almost softly now. 'I want you across the arm support with your feet to the floor.'
Instinctively, Alicia turned to obey. With hands clasped to the seat of her smartly-tailored breeches she moved most unwillingly to the sofa, daring to hope that he would at least let her keep her breeches on. She had used that new leather switch quite often enough lately when riding Athos. It stung even him, so she was well aware of its whipping quality. The trim young woman stopped close to the arm support and cast a pleading glance back at her stepfather, searching for words that might stop this happening. None came.
'Take your breeches down,' came the command.
'No, please!" Alicia's voice grew shrill as her hands flew to the waistband of her pants – not to release it but to hold them in position.
'Take them down, or I shall do it for you!' His voice was implacable, and she could hear him breathing harshly.
'Oh. No. No-o. Please, stepfather, let me keep them on!'
'Do as I tell you, Alicia,' he ordered, and the young lady knew there was nothing else for her but to obey. Wretchedly she fumbled with the buttons, five on each side of the drum-tight breeches. She undid them slowly, clumsily, fingers trembling, till the side-splits fell open. Yet still she held her breeches up. When Alicia glanced imploringly at him, she saw him taking the leather whip from the table, and quickly averted her eyes. Glowering, yet inwardly elated, Sir Robert stepped up behind his quavering stepdaughter, thwacking his palm with unmistakable intention.
'Let them down to your knees,' he ordered, noting with further quiet pleasure the hem of her blouse and a nylon garment in green and white through the slit-opening. Defiantly, desperately, Alicia continued to hold her breeches up.
'Please, father,' she begged, 'i-it will hurt too much. You know I'm still sore...' The girl increased her sobbing, frantic to be spared this punishment which she had dreaded from the moment the car had hit the wheelbarrow. Her face was red and swollen from the tears, and she felt utterly ashamed. Yet, in an act of obstinacy which marked her character, she continued to tug up the breeches as high as she could. And, because she was at the same time bending slightly forward, the fabric stretched very tightly around her protruding, deliciously apple-shaped behind. It was an enticement impossible to resist. Sir Robert raised the switch and let it swish through the air to land with a dull swat right across where the cloth was the most taut.
Alicia let out a shrill yelp. The smart was perfectly atrocious. She felt it penetrate in stinging waves even through her breeches, and at once she jumped to the side, half-turning her back away from him.
'Are you ready to obey me now?' asked Sir Robert harshly, raising the whip again. The lovely girl whimpered, hesitating only a moment more before she pushed the breeches down, unveiling a pair of the flimsiest green-and-white chequered knickers with a narrow lace edging around the thighs. Then she turned with a deep sigh, face glittering with tears as she looked beseechingly at her stepfather, the khaki riding-breeches wrinkled around her knees in a most humiliating manner. 'And the knickers, please.'
This time the proud girl gaped. 'No!' she exclaimed. 'You can't mean...?'
'But I do mean, Alicia,' the big man retorted, feeling the glowing within him enhance to a quiet radiance. 'You will pull your knickers down so that your buttocks are entirely bare.' As if to underline his instruction, he lightly tapped the bare skin of her thighs below the knicker-legs. 'Now!'
Slowly, as if resigned at last to her fate, Alicia put her thumbs inside the elastic round her waist and sobbingly stooped to pull the scant protection down. With the globes of her buttocks thus starkly bared, and desperately shy in case he might see her exposed front, she quickly bent over the leather chair-arm and stretched herself out on her tummy, legs slightly apart and dangling down, hiding her face in her open hands.
Seeing his stepdaughter bent submissively across the sofa with her bare bottom uppermost, Sir Robert yielded to an irresistible temptation to examine more closely Alicia's enticingly attractive buttocks. So gorgeously curved they were, with flinching muscles in the springy flesh. It was a perfect bottom, like some succulent peach, pushed high by the arching of its owner's supple spine to receive its well-deserved chastisement.
'It's your flagrant disobedience which has merited this thrashing,' Sir Robert now summarised in low, even tones. 'You must learn responsibility for your actions, Alicia.' He stood to one side of her prostrate body, noting with great satisfaction how her buttock-muscles tensed and jumped under the silken flesh. Flexing the riding-whip, he raised his arm. 'As you soon will be 21,' he told her, 'I have decided to be more strict with you than before. On the last occasion you received ten. Today it will have to be fifteen.'
'Please,' she gasped. 'Please, you can't. I-I still have marks from the cane; you know my skin is so sensitive... Aaaaowwwch!' Alicia had hardly finished her protest when a hissing in the air was followed by a crisp smack and her complaining shriek of pain from the ferocious sting the riding-whip caused as it smote smartly across her naked, flinching bottom. The thin, flexible leather at once recoiled and landed again below its first mark, though not quite so hard as the initial blow. Involuntarily the girl stretched her body rigidly and her arms shot forward as her feet lifted from the floor. For several seconds she lay stiffly horizontal, whimpering as she fought to absorb the pain.
'Put your feet down, Alicia,' he told her sharply. 'I want your bottom bent tightly over.'
In a mist of anguish and embarrassment Alicia did as bidden, thrusting her knuckles into her mouth as if biting them would prevent her from yelling out for the next stroke, and the next.
As Sir Robert swung back the riding-crop, warming to his enviable task, the oppressive weight of day-to-day business problems seemed to lift from him, to be replaced by a heady sensation of glorious release. The sound the crop made as it whipped through the air, the feel of its meaty impact on those so-sweet pillows of flesh, were like elixir to his soul.
'Uuuhuuu,' the girl sobbed, wriggling her so very vulnerable bottom in a rage of pain and humiliation. Through the raspings her body made as it bucked and threshed against the leather chair-arm she remembered something her stepfather had said when he had beaten her before, that she ought to be grateful as long as she could atone for her transgressions in this way, because the alternative might one day be prison and public disgrace...
Sswiish-whack! Even as she cried out, she shuddered at the thought of being locked away in a shabby cell. Instead, it seemed, her own elegant, expensive riding-whip was scoring another burning mark diagonally across her left buttock, and the last inches of the switch etched a far more painful stripe across the back of her right thigh.
'Aaaghh, please – please NO!'
Ssswiiish! That smack came too soon after its predecessor. Alicia had scarcely time to release the shrill yelp which accompanied it, before the doubled smart in her bottom forced her to emit a shrieking, gasping, unintelligible croak.
For a few moments Sir Robert paused to allow his quailing stepdaughter to catch her breath. The man's eyes glowed with the pleasure of a connoisseur being richly satisfied as he surveyed those round, ripe rumps now striped and crimsoning. He was in heaven! Sucking in air he again poised his hand high above the seductive target and brought the riding-whip whistling down.
Ssssplaatt! A new stripe burned across the resilient girl-flesh just below the crown of her rippling cheeks, and again Alicia emitted a cry of anguish. And then, like before, while she was squeezing her thighs hard and clenching her buttocks, she received another screeching stroke immediately after, lower down in the tender bottom-skin near the tops of her shuddering legs. Alicia gave a gurgling cry and squirmed violently, wrenching her semi-nude body and removing her scorching buttocks from the target area.
Sir Robert paused as the following stroke was about to descend, then bent and grasped Alicia's left arm and forced her back into position over the padded leather support while the miserable girl pleaded and wept.
'P-p-please, stepfather – please, no more. I c-can't take it...' Alicia blubbered.
There are eight more to come, Alicia,' he told her harshly. 'You're old enough to be brave and take the punishment you've earned, without making so much fuss! If you turn your bottom again I will add more strokes!' For a few moments Sir Robert let his stepdaughter rest. She had never in her life been thrashed so severely, but the lesson would be salutary. In the brief break, as her sniffles subsided and her sweet young body settled, he savoured anew the uniquely intoxicating sights and sounds of the whipping, the girl's mews and groans, and the feel of the pliant riding-switch so light and lively in his grip.
Stretched across the arm of the sofa, Alicia welcomed the pause. She tried to relax and make her body go limp, pressing her knuckles to her lips as she waited for the thrashing to resume, very much aware of her stepfather standing close behind and breathing hard as he regarded her red-striped, twitching, wincing bottom. Then he again, slowly, raised the switch – aiming at the pinkened tenderness where Alicia's thighs swelled lusciously into the half-globes of her pertly provocative, temptingly-patterned behind.
Hwissh-thwack! The riding-whip sped down and struck accurately across the creases which marked the undercurves, forcing fresh shrillness from the girl's lips; and while her buttocks were still trembling from the impact the switch fell once more, a little higher up, flattening the flesh and making her whole bottom wobble.
Alicia gasped and cried, raising her hips as if to meet the next stroke on its journey down, but her stepfather deliberately waited until she was again lying prone with her belly pressed to the chair-arm before he swept the whip down. The stroke made its authoritative crisp report and a new red mark showed how the whip had hit across both her thighs immediately below the clenched buttocks.
Wailing and blubbering as she was, Alicia was by now doing her best to prepare herself for the pain each time the springy whip bit into her smarting flesh, and the sheer physical tension caused the muscles of her crimsoned bottom to move in flinching and twitching movements by themselves. She began to feel a sense of pride in not crying out when the riding-whip struck into her flesh.
The next followed almost at once and hit right across the tops of her bare half-moons; and this time only a stifled moan left her mouth, though she could not prevent her hips from jerking up and down. Alicia further began to find that the pang of the smacks was not unendurable – or so she was able to convince herself. There was of course no question about the fact that he was punishing her most severely, and she had to weep because the tears helped to alleviate the stinging pain and made it possible for her to submit. The repeated twinges which shot through her bottom when the riding-whip landed to decorate her skin with still another red-glowing stripe, caused her to blubber – though much more quietly now, and this blubbering helped her to keep the position in which her stepfather wanted her.
Sir Robert had been counting the strokes in his head, but now he started to grunt them out loud. When Alicia heard 'Twelve', she began to feel relieved. And then, at last, she heard him counting 'Fourteen' and 'Fifteen'. For at least a minute afterwards, as she continued to lie across the leather chair-arm feeling her bottom throbbing hot and sore, tears coursed down Alicia's pretty cheeks, and all that could be heard was the gradual slowing of his grunting breaths and her own soft snifflings.
At length Sir Robert put the riding-whip back on his desk, almost with reverence, and for a while he stood back and examined, with silent admiration and a profound satisfaction, Alicia's red-patterned, comely young bottom. The fawn jodhpurs had slipped down round her ankles and the green-and-white knickers were wrinkled below her knees. There were stripes all over her shapely posteriors, and also a few long red marks across the backs of her thighs.
'All right, Alicia,' he said, his voice a little tired now after the elation he had experienced. 'You can get up now. I hope that you will always remember this lesson. It wasn't really to use it like this that I bought this riding-whip for you.'
Alicia struggled to regain her feet and composure, pushing herself exhaustedly up from the sofa-arm. For a moment she held both hands to her face to wipe off her tears, before realising that she was displaying herself to him in front. She quickly stooped and pulled up her knickers, yet scarcely seemed to care that the breeches were still round her feet.
'Yes, stepfather,' the girl sniffled. 'I will try to behave, honestly I will.' She looked down meekly then added, almost saucily: 'I-I'm so sore now, I don't know if I'll be able to take Athos out for his exercise today.'
Sir Robert smiled, then frowned with some effort at the tearful girl who looked so vulnerable and charming in her white blouse and skimpy panties with the rest of her clothing down around her legs. A far cry from the normal, proud and bossy Alicia.
'But you had better,' he admonished her. 'That horse needs his run, and a sore bottom doesn't hurt a great deal more because you are sitting on it. Pull up your breeches now, then go and wash your face and get along to the stables. You know you like riding Athos.'
Alicia couldn't resist a furtive rub at her bottom-cheeks before bending and tugging the jodhpurs back up her legs, fingers fumbling as she re-fastened the five buttons at each side. The breeches felt even tighter now, perhaps because she was more sensitive where they fitted closest! At least, she sighed, her punishment was over.
Half an hour later the girl hurried away to the stables feeling very much better. Her stepfather had appeared to be in an excellent mood and had patted her – still somewhat painfully – on her behind when she had come back to fetch her riding-whip from his study. Indeed, so relaxed did he seem, Sir Robert hadn't even forbidden her to use her own car or to visit her friend after dinner.
In the cobbled yard that smelled of horses and hay the groom, Hubert, helped her to saddle Athos – who still was too young to stand still when the leather encumbrance was put on his back. After Alicia had checked the length of the stirrups, she led the fretful stallion out into the field and climbed somewhat stiffly into the saddle while Hubert held him.
'Be careful now, Miss Alicia,' cautioned Hubert, patting the horse's flank. 'Athos isn't too safe yet. Remember what your stepfather often says, that if you have to use the riding-whip, then do it gently and with very light taps.'
The old groom simply could not understand, and nor would Alicia have been able to explain to him, why she allowed her horse to race away in such an uncontrollable manner. Nor why as Athos surged into a gallop with almost slack reins and his shapely rider bumped up and down in the saddle, shrill little squeals could be heard from Alicia all the way into the distance.