Story from Februs 28.
Executive Hot Seat
by Michael O'Connor
Rachel Chandler was a woman driven by ambition. In her four years at Princemore Enterprises Limited, her single minded determination to succeed had seen her rise from P.A. to Senior Operations Co-ordinator. At thirty-three, she was only one step away from achieving her ultimate ambition – a seat on the board of directors. The afternoon she was summoned to a meeting with the Executive Chairman, she was certain her proudest moment way at hand.
Sir Clement Princemore studied her intently as she seated herself before his high oak desk. Rachel was well aware that the elderly tycoon secretly disapproved of her tendency to conceal her femininity beneath sharply tailored three-piece trouser suits. He was a traditionalist, who believed a woman ought to look like a woman, even if she operated in the cut-throat male environment of big business. The way he sometimes looked at her, she was certain he wan mentally undressing her, imagining her in high heels, silk stockings and seductive lingerie, her hair flowing in waves of ash blonde instead of styled in the boyish fashion she felt was more appropriate to her position. Her entire look was calculated to intimidate rather than seduce and had the desired effect upon most men. If some of them considered her a lesbian, so be it. As long as they did not stand in the way of her ambitions, they were welcome to think whatever they liked.
Sir Clement squandered little time on pleasantries, before getting straight to the point.
'As yon know, Miss Chandler, Mr Dennison retires at the end of next month, leaving a seat on the board to be filled. Your impressive record with this company makes yon the primary candidate. My fellow directors and I would take great pleasure in welcoming the first woman to a position on the board.'
Rachel smiled. 'Thank you, Sir Clement. Your faith in me will not be misplaced, that I can assure you.'
'Don't thank me just yet,' he replied, leaning forward in his chair. 'There's no denying your qualifications for an executive position. However, you have another record with Princemore Enterprises that is less than admirable.' He paused to leaf through a sheaf of papers on the desk. 'You have what can only be called an excessively ruthless streak, Miss Chandler, a quality I personally do not admire. You seem unable to distinguish between strong management and outright intimidation. Two months is the average service term for your personal secretaries. Is that something to be proud of?'
'A large company cannot properly function without maximum efficiency from every cog in the wheel,' Rachel responded.
Sir Clement sighed. 'This company is made up of people, not machines. Your medieval management style is not conductive to good industrial relations and does not, in the long term, serve the good of this company. Unless you can show me you are able to adopt a more progressive attitude, I shall be forced to veto your appointment to the board.'
Rachel sprang to her feet.
'You can't do that!' she cried angrily. 'You know I'm the best person for the job. I've earned it, damn it!'
'What you have earned is an opportunity to make me change my mind,' Sir Clement said calmly. You will not do that by losing your temper. Now, here's what you're going to do…'
* * *
The following Saturday afternoon, Rachel drove to a secluded guest house, deep in the heart of the Kent countryside. She was still seething with resentment. Sir Clement had no right to send her on some weekend retreat, for what he called 'a short, sharp course in self-management'. She had earned her seat on the board and her appointment should have been a formality. What was another stupid certificate going to prove? Nevertheless, she had acceded to his wishes, without much argument. She was not going to allow pride to trip her up on her career ascent.
She parked her silver BMW in the shadow of the large, featureless white house. There were three other cars parked nearby, but no signs of life. The place looked nothing like what she had expected. Sir Clement had given her only the address and directions on how to gel there. All would be revealed upon arrival, he had promised. There was not even a name plate by the front door, to give any indication of what she was letting herself in for.
After she had rung several times, the door was opened by a young, dark haired maid in a black skirt and half open white blouse. Her heavily made-up, slovenly appearance did not offer Rachel a favourable impression of the place. She signed in at the deserted reception desk, then followed the sullen maid upstairs. The girl did not offer to carry her overnight bag, a trivial fact that increased her exasperation.
'Your room,' she said, ushering her into a clean, but charmless double room. 'Hope it's okay.'
The first thing Rachel saw was the unmade bed. Then, she noticed a cigarette stub in the ashtray on the bedside table and a red lipstick stain on one of the glasses. When she turned around, she saw the maid leaning casually against the doorframe, lighting a cigarette.
'This is far from okay!' she rasped, glaring at the unconcerned girl. 'The bed hasn't even been made, for God's sake. What kind of doss house are you running here?'
'I'll get the manager,' the maid replied. 'Wait here.'
'By the time she returned, a few minutes later, accompanied by a tall, black haired man in a dark blue pinstriped suit, Rachel's pique had matured to cold fury. The man introduced himself as Hugh Jensen, manager of the guest house.
'What seems to be the problem?' he demanded.
'Can't you see for yourself?' she snapped. 'This room hasn't been cleaned and that maid of yours, or whatever she is, obviously could not care less. No sooner had she showed me to my room, than she was lighting a cigarette. I've received more courteous service in a car wash.'
The manager looked at the maid. 'Tut, tut, Teresa, you are a naughty girl.' He turned back to Rachel. 'And you, Miss Chandler, are exactly what I was told to expect. You have failed your first test.'
'Test!' she repeated incredulously. 'What are you talking about?' Before answering, he told the maid to leave.
'You know why you're here,' he said, as soon as he and Rachel were alone. 'Your company feels you are somewhat lacking in humility and consideration for others. The reason you find your room in this state is because that's how you were supposed to find it. That, along with Teresa's attitude, was calculated to bring out the worst in you. You are an insufferably arrogant woman and now you must be punished.'
'Is this some kind of joke?' she demanded.
'Far from it,' he assured her. 'You are here to earn a certificate upon which your future career depends. My job is to see that you earn it. That can only be done by accepting your correction, without further argument.'
Rachel laughed nervously. 'This is ridiculous. Say I refuse to accept this punishment. What then?'
'Then, you leave here without your self-management certificate,' he replied. 'I shall be paid, either way, so it's of no consequence to me. Well, what's it to be?'
Rachel paced the room for a few moments, scarcely able to contain her fury. She had never felt so impotent and once again cursed Sir Clement Princemore. How could he seriously expect her to bow to this sleazy guest house manager? She wiped her boots on far better men practically every day of the week. Yet, he did have indisputable power over her. She needed the certificate only he had the power to issue.
'What exactly does this punishment entail?' she finally asked.
With a smile, he walked across to the closet, slid open the door and reached inside. When he turned around again, he was flexing a long, thin cane. Rachel gasped, eyes widening in disbelief.
'A dozen strokes across your bare backside should do for now,' he announced.
Her first reaction was to laugh. When she realised he was serious, she angrily reminded him that she was a respectable businesswoman, not some naughty schoolgirl. Who did he think he was to decide that she should be caned? At the end of her outburst, he informed her that she had upped her punishment from twelve strokes to twenty.
Eventually, realising she could only make matters worse by continuing to resist, Rachel grudgingly agreed to accept her punishment. The man directed her to remove her lower garments and stand facing the closet.
'Remember, you're doing this for yourself, not for me,' he added.
Modesty was not one of her vices, so she felt little discomfort from being watched by him as she removed her shoes, then her black slacks. She threw him a final angry glare before tugging her pink lace panties down over her long, smooth legs. Stepping out of her underwear, she faced the closet and spread her arms and legs wide, pressing herself against the mirror. Looking over her left shoulder, she saw him take up position a few feet behind her, flexing the cane as though tuning a musical instrument. The hem of her cream silk blouse covered scarcely an inch of her buttocks, leaving her milky rear globes perfectly exposed. Though she still boiled with anger, she could not deny an unexpectedly pleasant sensation of anticipation.
The cane carved the air and exploded across the centre of her backside, with a sharp thwhack! Rachel bit her lower lip, in order to deny the man the pleasure of hearing her cry out. He allowed the after-burn to blossom to full fiery redness, before delivering the second stroke, just a fraction above the first.
Rachel valiantly managed to restrain herself from responding vocally, until the fourteenth stroke branded her throbbing cheeks. A small cry issued from between her trembling lips and she pressed against the closet, as though hoping the mirror would swallow her up. Her fists were clenched tightly, fingernails gouging her palms.
By the time the twentieth stroke had fallen, her buttocks felt as if they had been set alight. The manager surveyed his handiwork with obvious satisfaction, then invited her to turn around and take a look in the mirror. She uttered a shocked exclamation. The fiery lines of the cane were criss-crossed on her rear cheeks, strips of pale skin peeking from the inferno. She know she should be outraged, but the thrashing had had the perverse effect of kindling a corresponding liquid fire between her thighs. If the tall man intended the punishment as a preliminary to ravishing her, she no longer intended to offer any resistance. She could think of it as using her body to further her career.
'That was just the beginning,' he promised. I'm sure I shall have cause to punish you several more times before you leave, tomorrow afternoon. However, you have work to do now. There are appropriate clothes in the closet that should fit you. When you're ready, report to me downstairs.'
Rachel was shocked by how easily she found herself obeying his orders. As soon as he had left, she applied a generous coating of cold cream to her throbbing buttocks, then set about getting dressed. Sir Clement would have undoubtedly approved of the clothing provided by her host. She browsed carefully through the outfits, before selecting a knee length pink skirt slit high at the back. As a favour to her aching backside, she decided not to wear panties.
* * *
When she returned downstairs, Jensen escorted her to a fully equipped office and showed her to her desk. Sitting opposite her was a red haired secretary in her early twenties, who appeared to be shaped from the same mould as the maid. She was dressed in jeans and a tee-shirt, a look calculated to annoy Rachel. She vowed she would not rise to the bait a second time.
'This is Susan, your secretary,' the manager said. 'I want you to dictate a letter to Sir Clement Princemore. In it, you will tell him why you feel you should be elected to the board of directors. In short, sell yourself, I'm sure you will have no difficulty with that. If there are no questions, I shall leave you to it.'
There was no cushion on the hard wooden chair behind her desk, so she decided to remain standing. For the next forty minutes, she submerged herself in the pleasing task of detailing her good points, of which she felt there were many. When she was finished, she ordered her secretary to read the two page letter back to her and then type it. For all she knew, it might well be sent to Sir Clement, so it would have to be perfect. When she was presented with the finished draft, however, she was far from impressed.
'You quite obviously don't earn your living as a secretary,' she said icily. 'Miss Chandler, I work for a large agency,' Susan protested. 'I've...'
'Look at the state of this letter!' Rachel exploded, slamming it down on the desk in front of the startled girl. There are at least a dozen spelling mistakes and your punctuation is atrocious. You've even misspelled my name.'
She stopped suddenly, realising she had fallen into a trap. Susan had, of course, been instructed to make a deliberate mess of the letter, in order to test her reaction. She was disgusted with herself for being so predictable. She would not dream of apologising to the girl, but before she could decide what she should do to rectify the situation, the office door opened and the manager entered.
'You do have a way with people, don't you, Miss Chandler!' he smirked.
'And now I suppose I must be punished again?' she retorted.
'You sound as though you're looking forward to it,' he said. 'Your type do have a fondness for the cane, I find.'
'Don't patronise me,' she snapped. 'Let's just get this over with.'
Jensen tutted. 'You don't seem to realise who's in charge here, Miss Chandler. I shall patronise you as I wish and punish you in my own good time. There's more to this course than merely taking down your knickers and having your arse reddened. I have to see an improvement in attitude before I can hand over your certificate.'
'Sorry,' she muttered, blushing.
He smiled. 'I realise how painful it must have been for you to say that. As a reward, I shan't keep you waiting for your punishment.'
He instructed her to remove her skirt. As soon as she had done this, he unbuttoned her blouse and slid it off her shoulders, then unclasped her bra at the front. As the straps slipped down over her arms, her large round breasts bounced free, leaving her in nothing but her high heeled shoes and hold-up flesh toned stockings. In such a state, she would have preferred to be alone with Jensen. She glanced at the red haired girl, who was unlocking a glass cabinet containing a small arsenal of correctional equipment.
'Susan is staying to help me punish you,' the manager said, reading her thoughts. 'Right, let's have you over that chair, facing backwards. Come on! I'm as eager to get on with this as you are.'
It took Rachel several minutes to get the required position exactly right. She perched on the edge of the seat, thrusting back her cane scorched buttocks. Hands gripping her thighs, she leaned forward, her heavy breasts spilling over the back of the chair. Her head was thrown back and she found herself staring into the eyes of the man towering over her. She was already beginning to ache from her uncomfortable position, even before the punishment proper began. Jensen warned her that if she moved or uttered a word, she was liable to find her penalty doubled.
Susan selected from the glass cabinet a wooden handled tawse with three twelve inch strips of brown leather. After careful consideration, her boss settled for a martinet that looked, at least to Rachel, positively terrifying. He took up position behind her, Susan at the front. At a nod from Jensen, they both began simultaneously whacking her.
She was not sure which was worse, the waspish sting of the tawse swishing across her quivering breasts, or the fiery tongues of the martinet licking her buttocks. After only three strokes of the latter, she could not help shifting on the chain in order to escape the scorch of the broad strips of leather. This earned her a further four lashes. Jensen ordered her to raise herself a couple of inches from the seat, so that it would be more difficult for her to move out of range. She obeyed, with only a whimper of protest.
Manager and secretary were perfectly attuned to one another and they thrashed Rachel with a steady rhythm. Susan alternated her strokes of the tawse from left to right, ensuring they were evenly distributed over Rachel's reddening breasts, striking her twice for each of Jensen's lashes. He concentrated the fire of the martinet on the lower half of her buttocks and the backs of her thighs, each cruel kiss eliciting a small shriek of pain.
Two dozen lashes later, he laid down his weapon, by which time tears were brimming in Rachel's blue eyes and she felt as though she had been massaged with nettles. Her breasts throbbed and the freshly thrashed sunburn on her nether cheeks blended with the darker burns of her earlier caning.
'You took that punishment quite well, considering,' Jensen complimented her. 'I think you deserve a few hours rest. Dinner will be at seven. Until then, feel free to occupy yourself as you please.'
* * *
Rachel did not believe for one minute that she could afford to relax. Jensen, or a member of his staff, was liable to spring a nasty surprise upon her, at any moment. As she did not think her bottom capable of withstanding any further punishment, at least for the time being, she decided her safest option would be to relax in a cool bath and then retire to her room. There was little of interest to see around the house or gardens anyway.
She dined with Jensen, who seemed amused by her obvious discomfort as she shuffled continuously on her chair. Despite the soft cushion beneath her, her backside still throbbed. Though the dinner was of a high standard, she could not enjoy it. The soup was too salty and there was a small crack in her dinner plate. More little traps to test her patience, of course, but she refused to react, even when the maid 'accidentally' overturned her coffee cup when refilling it.
After dinner, there were more tests. Rachel was required to interview a prospective secretary, who she recognised as the rude girl who had shown her to her room. Teresa was heavily made-up and wearing a whorish red dress that scarcely covered her hips and left most of her ample cleavage clearly visible. She chewed noisily on gum and appeared completely disinterested in the task at hand. Nevertheless, Rachel gamely persisted with the 'interview'. When it was completed, the girl lit a cigarette. Rachel merely smiled. Now that she was immersed in the game, she did not feel even slightly annoyed.
As soon as Teresa had left the room, Jensen entered. Rachel flashed him a triumphant smile. She knew he had been monitoring the interview from the adjoining room and was certain she had passed her test with flying colours.
'That was an interesting interview technique, Miss Chandler,' he said. 'I presume that isn't how you deal with all prospective employees.'
'You don't sound too pleased,' she observed, wincing as she rose from her chair.
'You wasted almost half an hour with somebody who was patently not right for the job,' he said. 'Would you mind telling me what the point of that was?'
'I was playing your game,' she replied. 'You expected me to bite the girl's head off and I didn't oblige. Of course, in real life, she wouldn't have had time to warm her seat before being shown the door.'
'I expected you to deal with the situation as if it were a bona-fide interview,' he snapped. 'Another test failed and another punishment earned. You're certainly making hard work of gaining this certificate.'
Rachel sighed. 'Why don't we stop this nonsense, Mr Jensen? I need that certificate and you know I'm prepared to do anything to earn it.' She moistened her red glossed lips seductively as she moved around to the front of the desk. 'As I'm going to be spending the night here, perhaps you can think of something better to do with me than keep thrashing my poor backside.' She undid the top button of her blouse. 'I have a few ideas.'
He cleared his throat. 'Are you saying what I think you're saying?'
'What do you think I'm saying?' she purred.
'That you'll have sex with me, in return for that precious certificate.'
She smiled. 'Politely put, that's exactly what I'm saying. Well?'
While he considered his reply, Rachel continued unbuttoning her blouse. His eyes journeyed downwards to her lividly streaked globes, which were unfettered by a bra. She glanced at the unmistakable swelling in the crotch of his trousers and knew she had him exactly where she wanted him. He was practically drooling over her exposed breasts.
'I... er, I have some business to attend to,' he stammered. 'Meet me at midnight, in the back garden.'
* * *
As she made her way to her midnight appointment, Rachel silently congratulated herself. She wondered why Jensen had chosen the garden, when he had a huge house at his disposal. Perhaps he just had a fondness for sex al fresco. Whatever his reasons, she was glad to be saving her bottom from further punishment. She could not admit, even to herself, that she actually relished the prospect of a passionate encounter with the masterful guest house manager.
As the night was pleasantly warm, she had dressed for the occasion in sandals, blouse and a semi-transparent ankle length skirt of while silk, through which the moonlight silhouetted her long legs. For comfort as well as convenience, she was wearing no underwear. She had a feeling Jensen would not want to waste much time getting down to business. At least, she hoped so.
He was standing by the huge oak tree at the far end of the garden. Beside him was a swing comprised of two chains and a flat board, suspended from an overhanging branch.
'Bang on time, Miss Chandler,' he greeted.
She smiled. 'Please, call me Rachel.'
'I'd rather we retained the formalities,' he replied. 'I take it you haven't changed your mind.'
'I'm here, aren't I?' she responded.
He nodded. 'Quite. Let's get on with it then, shall we?'
Though somewhat taken aback by his businesslike tone, Rachel was not inclined to argue. He directed her to bend over the swing, stomach on the board, hands tightly gripping the chains. As soon as she was in position, he hitched her skirt up above her hips and pulled it over her head. A light breeze kissed her rear cheeks, cooling the tender flesh. She sighed softly as he began caressing them with both hands.
'Your backside feels hot enough to brown toast on,' he observed. 'It's almost a shame you have to be punished again.'
'What do you mean punished?' she cried, her voice muffled by the skirt over her head.
'You did fail a test earlier,' he replied. 'That in itself was only a minor mailer. Far more serious is your attempt to cheat, in order to gain your certificate. I'd be failing in my duty, if I did not punish that most severely.'
'But we had an agreement!' she protested, vigorously shaking her head in a vain attempt to untangle herself from her skirt. 'You promised...'
'I promised nothing,' he corrected. 'All I did was ask you to meet me here at midnight. It's not my fault you were under the impression I wanted to screw you. Now, are you going to accept your punishment like a real woman, or do we have to have another tiresome argument?'
Rachel was too outraged to meekly concede defeat, but in the end, she had to surrender to the inevitable. From inside his shirt, Jensen produced a long black strap, composed of two thick tongues of leather riveted together at either end. He ordered Rachel to lift her feet off the grass, then set the swing in motion. When she was swinging vigorously back and forth, feet flailing, skirt still bunched over her head, the double strap began biting her buttocks.
The gunshot crack of leather on flesh, accompanied by her sharp cries of pain, sounded throughout the garden. From an upstairs window, Teresa and Susan watched, exchanging smiles. They both disliked the bitchy businesswoman and were only too pleased to see her receive more than her fair share of discipline. Before she left, the following afternoon, they had been promised an opportunity to treat her to a sound spanking. It was something they were looking forward to immensely.
Rachel swung and the strap relentlessly savaged the backs of her legs and every inch of her buttocks. Jensen's arm seemed incapable of tiring. Eventually, when she felt as though she had sat on a hot stove, she heard herself begging him to stop. Reluctantly, he laid down the strap.
The following afternoon, in the wake of a spanking from the two girls that brought tears to her eyes, Rachel stood uncomfortably in his office and accepted a silver embossed sheet of laminated purple paper that certified her as having passed a basic course in self-management. She hoped she could control her blushes when presenting it to Sir Clement Princemore. She could not even think about the seat on the board of directors that was to be her reward. For the next few days, until her bottom ceased to resemble a scorched radish, she could not bear to think about a seat of any kind.