Story from Janus 64.
Sisters Under Their Skins
by Christopher James
For the Colonel's Lady an' Judie O'Grady
Are sisters under their skins!
* * *
LADY ANGELA was bored. Very bored. All of the customary occupations available to a Lady had become tedious. At 30, slim with long, red-brown hair and green-blue eyes, she was considered very handsome. Her husband having been killed while hunting, early Victorian society decreed that she should not do much entertaining whilst in semi-mourning. But she had to face the fact that she needed a man; indeed — and this was an appalling thought, which she was compelled to admit — that what she really needed could be spelt in three unutterable letters: s-e-x... To this end her late husband had sometimes indulged them both by laying his riding-crop across the seat of her riding-breeches... or a stout, lithe and supple rattan cane without those breeches.
Her boredom was about to be broken. There was a knock upon the parlour door and her butler entered, followed by a young maidservant. 'What is it, Heathley?' she asked, smothering a yawn.
'I am extremely sorry to trouble your ladyship,' said the portly gentleman who ruled her establishment below stairs, 'but really something should be done about this — er, this young person.'
'Should it, Heathley? Cannot you do whatever should be done?'
'With respect, I am wondering whether this young person is fit to remain in your ladyship's service. Not for the first time she has badly upset Cook — indeed, Cook went into hysterics, because Emma, here, ruined dinner by dropping a dish containing smoked trout —'
'Not part of the Royal Doulton dinner-service?'
'I am afraid so, my lady.'
'Really, that is too bad! Who... what... is this, so difficult girl?'
'She is Emma, the kitchen-maid, my lady. You engaged her six months ago. I am sorry to say that as a kitchen-maid her services have not been very satisfactory.'
Her ladyship had a feeling of anger. She was fond of that Doulton service. 'Come here, girl,' she said.
The girl gave a little bob of a curtsey, approached Lady Angela, gave another little bob, and awaited the awful pronouncement of her fate. Indeed, tears were already trickling over her grubby cheeks. My lady saw before her a girl at the end of her teens, a dirty-faced girl wearing a sadly soiled apron over a cheap, greasy, black alpaca frock. Emma hung her head, flushing beneath her employer's critical gaze.
'Come, girl, what are you crying for? Nothing has happened to you, yet.'
'Oh, me lady! You're goin' to turn me orf.'
'Certainly there is no place in my kitchens for a girl who drops valuable china and ruins dinner. And I will not have Cook upset.'
'I'm that sorry, me lady. If you turns me orf I mightn't get no other place, an' if I got nowhere to go I'll get sent back to the 'ouse.'
'The house? Do you mean your home?'
'N-no, me lady, ain't go no 'ome. I means the wuck'ouse.'
'The workhouse. I see.' Her ladyship pondered. She was not an unkind woman and she realised that for Emma to be sent back to the workhouse would be cruel. But if she upgraded the girl to the post of under parlour-maid she would probably break one of the valuable Wedgwood pieces. Lady Angela also realised that beneath the kitchen grime was an elfin, rather pretty, little face. Likewise, it occurred to her perceptive mind that the girl's blue-grey eyes were sharp and her features not unintelligent.
'You may go, Heathley,' Angela said. 'I wish to speak with this girl.'
'Very good, my lady.' With the slightest bow the butler withdrew, closing the door silently behind him.
'I collect that you are not happy, working in the kitchen, Emma?'
With another little bob, Emma replied, 'Well, me lady, I knows I'm lucky to be 'ere. But I knows I'm that clumsy, an' Cook's always shoutin' at me that I'm under 'er feet. She's always on at me. "Do this, Emma, do that, Emma, you ain't black-leaded the range proper, Emma!" It was Cook makin' me nervous as made me drop that dish, me lady. I does me best, but... Please, me lady, I will try, please don't send me away.'
'I suppose you could get another place, if I gave you a character... of some sort?'
Emma, a workhouse orphan, knowledgeable about the heartless competition of the hard, cruel world with no job, mumbled — with another little curtsey — that she might, but that she would prefer to stay in her present position, even in the kitchen. Meanwhile, her ladyship was thinking. Cook, whatever her moods, was the second most important person in her establishment. 'How old are you, Emma?'
'Nineteen, me lady.'
'There is no necessity to curtsey every time you speak, child.'
'No, me lady, thank you.'
'And, if you can, it is "my lady". Can you manage that?'
Emma set her mouth and replied, 'Yes, moi lady.'
'Try saying "kind".'
'No! You must open your mouth wider. Now. Kind.'
'Koi — kind, me — moi — my lady.'
'Come, now, that is very good.' Angela's eyes, sparkling with a hint of salacity, were roving over the girl's form. The large, blue-grey eyes were very attractive, the hair, properly washed, would be flaxen; and the figure quite shapely, a little buxom; a distinct curve of bust and no corset.
'Turn around, Emma. Let me see your back view.'
Obediently Emma turned, displaying a distinctive, even tempting, outward swell below the waist. My lady was comparing the shape of this commonplace girl with that of her stepdaughter, Honoria, at present away at finishing school, who was the same age and there was a well-defined advantage. And, inevitably, Lady Angela thought of the punishment she had been compelled to mete out to her stepdaughter when that wilful young lady had been home during the holiday... and, with wishful thinking, she thought of a certain room upstairs, which over several generations had become known as the punishment room. Angela, it may be said, had a penchant for the use of a supple cane.
'Would you consent to be punished, instead of being discharged?'
'Oh yes, my lady, anything.'
'Have you ever been caned?'
Caned...! That was ominous. 'Yes, my lady. I been caned by the wuck'ouse Master. The ba —, I means the Master, enjoyed it.' Emma had learned to hate and fear the cane at the workhouse but she perceived that if she wished to remain in her ladyship's household she could not refuse chastisement now. It would certainly be better than being discharged.
Her ladyship was an impulsive person. 'Tell me, girl, would you like to be my personal maid?'
Emma gasped. She, a lady's-maid? She knew that Betty, her ladyship's abigail, had recently left to get married, but a lady's-maid was almost as far above a kitchen-maid as was the butler himself, and he was a very grand personage indeed. 'Oh, milady! Me — moi — my lady. I couldn't. Never!'
Why not? The idea was fantastic. Abigail, a personal maid to Lady Angela! Although, as the widow of a mere baronet, Lady Angela knew herself to be upon the lowest stratum of the nobility, to Emma she rated somewhere between God and the Great queen.
'I — I... I dunno, me lady. My lady. I ain't trained. Nor I can't read and write. And talk proper.'
'You need not address me as "my lady" each time you speak to me, Emma. You may call me Ma'am when we are speaking together. I should train you in your duties. In addition I am willing to devote four hours each day to teaching you to speak properly, to read and write, and perhaps play upon the pianoforte. But it would mean hard work. And discipline.'
'Discipline, moi lady — Ma'am?'
'The cane or a leather strap across your bottom if you misbehave or do not work hard.'
'Oh, Ma'am, I'll work hard. Oh, gosh! I means moi lady — Ma'am, I can't hardly believe you means it.'
'This offer is not definite, you understand.' Emma's spirits dropped. 'I shall think about it while I punish you for breaking a valuable dish.'
'Ye-es, Ma'am.' As my lady had perceived, Emma was by no means an unintelligent girl — she realised that there could well be some connection between her willingness to accept punishment and her ladyship's 'thinking about' the glittering opportunity. To become a lady's personal maid, to be taught to speak well and to read and write, that was the opportunity of a lifetime.
Nevertheless, she was afraid. 'Please Ma'am, you goin' to give me the cane now?'
'That is my intention, Emma.'
'Will you do it on me 'ands or me bum?'
'One does not use that word. It is coarse. You say "bottom".'
'I shall administer punishment upon your bottom. Bare, naturally.'
That did shake Ernrna. 'B-bare, Ma'am?'
'You means... without me drawers on?'
'Come, now, do not be foolish. If you had your drawers on you would hardly be bare, would you?'
'No, only... Please, Ma'am, I never bin bare. You're never proper bare in the 'ouse. Even when you're caned.'
'Have you never taken a bath?'
'Please, Ma'am, I've bathed in the tin bath in the kitchen. But I've always kep' me drawers on. An' me camisole.'
Angela raised her eyebrows. But she did not enquire further. There was no accounting for the habits of the menials. But that would be changed.
'I cane my stepdaughter upon her bare bottom and there is certainly no reason why I should not do the same to you.'
'Your stepdaughter, Ma'am? Miss Honoria? But — but she's real grown-up.'
'She is the same age as yourself. If she is disobedient or if I am sent an unfavourable report, I give her a thrashing and I assure you that her buttocks are completely uncovered. When I was her age I was accustomed to being birched, uncovered, by my Papa and that hurts far more than the cane. So no more nonsense! Now, my girl, are you willing to submit to a thorough caning upon your bare bottom?'
'Yes, Ma'am.' What choice had she?
Lady Angela was elated. She had never anticipated having the opportunity of caning another girl as well as Honoria. She said, 'You know the punishment room upstairs, Emma?'
Emma had never been inside it.
'You will go there now. Take your drawers down. Take them right off. Also — I do not think you need be entirely naked, but take off everything except your chemise. You will find three punishment canes hanging upon hooks. You will select — take — the middle-sized one, then stand in the corner, holding the cane. Face the wall. And — understand this — you will not turn round until I give you permission. Now, do you understand what I have told you?'
'Ye-es, Ma'am,' Emma mumbled, with sinking heart.
The punishment room had been known, and feared, by generations of the baronet's family. Its remote location in this rambling old house had been chosen so that no sounds emanating from it would be heard in the servants' quarters. This room contained a couch, a high, padded stool, and a 'horse' of padded leather, adjustable in height. It also contained three rattan canes of varying thickness and length, a long, thick leather strap, and a split-tailed leather tawse. Time had been when half-a-dozen rueful boys and girls had awaited their turn for painful correction in that room.
Lady Angela was a strong, capable woman, and she was excited by what she was doing. She always keenly enjoyed whipping her stepdaughter and fully intended to continue these treatments until the girl was married. Honoria took it for granted, just as she assumed that in the fullness of time she (or her husband) would similarly discipline their own offspring.
Emma did as she had been instructed. Quivering with apprehension, she removed the ubiquitous apron, her alpaca frock, two petticoats, and her calico pantalets, which were buttoned and covered part of her thighs. Laying her clothing upon a chair, she took the middle-sized cane from its hook and faced a corner of the room, oppressed by the feeling of disgrace, dreading the punishment that awaited her. It was the first time she had actually handled a cane. The jointed length of thin rattan was at least half as pliant as rubber — that suppleness which provides the fierce, indescribable sting.
But she made a mistake. When, after about ten minutes, her mistress entered the room she turned involuntarily. Without a word my lady strode across the room, raised the girl's shift, and inflicted one heavy, resounding slap upon the top of each fat, wide thigh.
'Ow!' cried Emma.
'I told you not to turn round until I bid you. That is what discipline means.'
'Yes, me — my lady. Ma'am.'
'Now I'll have that cane.' She took the thin, yellow, quivering rod. 'Pull your shift up, right up above your waist, and bend forward.'
Emma obeyed, trembling with fear. Lady Angela grasped her, her arm around the back of the girl's waist, bending her over more. Another time, she was thinking, she would have the girl kneeling upon the couch, but she was enjoying the personal contact. Emma felt very forlorn as she waited, her uncovered hindquarters feeling very vulnerable, her thighs still smarting. Angela gazed down at that nude posterior with a feeling of glowing gratification and erotic desire. She realised that this girl, being more plump, and with more fleshy contours than her stepdaughter, possessed a much more spankable — or caneable! — bottom. Emma's skin was also more tender. My lady adored that close-up view of those very tempting, tender, voluptuously rounded globes with the bewitching cleft.
Honoria had been accustomed to take her hidings fairly stoically, for many similar punishments, not only from her fond stepmama, had toughened the skin of those rounded areas which were always the target of hand, cane or tawse. It took at least eight hefty whacks to make her protest too vehemently.
Not so Emma. The cane swished and cracked forcefully. Momentarily she felt nothing... then she uttered a shrill cry, and her body jerked in her mistress's firm grip, as a very peculiar feeling, accompanied by an exceedingly sharp, burning sting tore through her proffered bottom. She received a further four hard, wickedly stinging strokes, and she did not pretend to be a heroine. She yelled lustily at every resounding thwack as the cane whipped down, a yellow streak of compressed agony, across that so enticing derriere.
The room resounded with pitiable noise. 'I'Il' — THWACK! — 'Ooh!' ... 'teach you' — WHACK! — 'Oh-ow!' ... 'to drop' — CRACK! — 'Ooow-oh!' ... 'dishes' — WHACK! — 'Ooooh-aagh!' Emma continued to gasp loudly after her last cry. Upon each side of her squirming backside were five scarlet-hued, raised weals.
The servants were shattered by Emma's news when that young lady, with reddened eyes, clutching at her anguished rear — but with a broad grin upon her pretty face — hobbled into the servants' sitting-room. They were incredulous and outraged. The good-for-nothing kitchen-maid, a clumsy, uncouth, untaught workhouse brat, to become her ladyship's personal maid...! Even the imperturbable Heathley lowered his Morning Post to ponder upon the unpredictable peculiarities of the Quality...
Emma found her new duties infinitely more pleasant than the kitchen. First, she herself had to have new clothes — which meant, incidentally, that for the first time in her deprived young life, she saw her body reflected in a full-length mirror. What she saw was worth looking at: a voluptuous form, rather more curvaceous than her ladyship's slim figure, with delightful plump breasts with rosebud tips and large areolae; a femininely-rounded belly with a cupid's kiss of a navel; an alluring, delightful triangle of crisp hair. She could only partially see her back view, but Lady Angela saw a creamy-skinned, well-fleshed back, the hips swelling from trim waist, the indentation of the spine culminating in the most adorable, tantalising, dimpled cleavage, terminating in ripely luscious chubby buttocks; and beneath these posterior glories, shapely long legs with broad, rounded calves.
Across the rear cheeks were those ignominious cane marks, now faded into pink lines, but nobody would have been surprised at such evidence of correction upon a 19-year-old girl's rump; it was an age of severe corporal punishment.
She was overjoyed by her new clothes. Smooth cotton drawers with short legs and no button covered her from her waist down, which garment, for the first time, Emma heard called 'knickers', not drawers, knickerbockers, nor pantalets; a camisole, smooth cotton vest, two petticoats, the outer one, which at once became a treasure, of real cambric, and a very pretty floor-length cotton print dress. Angela did not begrudge money to give this girl — and herself — pleasure. She happily anticipated many occasions when she would have to uncover Emma's behind for disciplinary purposes.
There was no boredom now for Lady Angela. She was a natural teacher, and was pleased to find that her estimate of Emma's intelligence was not misplaced. She set herself to teach her new abigail elocution, to read and write, to learn her 'tables' and do elementary arithmetic, to embroider, and at least a grounding on the piano. It was inevitable that such tuition required a sound spanking, always upon the bare nates, or liberal use of a leather strap, hairbrush or cane. The girl picked up first reading from simple story books, then more advanced reading, and copperplate handwriting. But she was less clever and quick with arithmetic and elocution — which inevitably left her with a very sore rear.
Emma did not, at first, derive any pleasure from such discipline; yet, perhaps oddly, she did not mind it — at least, after it was over. She soon realised that beating her on the bottom, or even caning her on her hands, did give my lady pleasure; and such was her love for her employer, and her gratitude, that she was only too willing to suffer physical pain. But she did not suffer in stoic silence. She would find herself across her mistress's lap, her skirts above her waist, her knickers pulled down, howling as she was vigorously belaboured either with Lady Angela's hand or her hairbrush — that same oval-shaped brush with which Emma loved to brush my lady's glorious mass of long, shining, auburn hair. A spanking could mean up to thirty hard smacks, well distributed over all parts of bottom and thighs.
Occasionally, if her ladyship was really exasperated or if Emma had been particularly obtuse it would mean a caning. Caning was more formal than a summary spanking.
Apprehensively, with that faint sickly feeling of fear in the pit of her stomach, Emma slowly, reluctantly, climbed the stairs to the punishment room. She removed her apron, her highly-prized dress and cambric petticoat, and the smooth cotton knickers; fearfully selected the middle-sized cane (about 3/8-inch thick), and stood in her customary corner, feeling the thudding of her heart and the queasy anxiety in her belly. The Cane... the true symbol of her relationship with her mistress. Emma's cognition with the cane was, at first, sheer, utter fear; gradually that cognition changed to a sort of inevitable acceptance, and then again to another feeling which was a compound of her growing affection for her stern mistress and the so familiar sensation of lust. And then she began to derive a strange, ambivalent feeling of thrilling enjoyment, so that every intolerable sting was actually sensually blissful.
Waiting, in some dread, for Lady Angela, she wondered what she might expect. Four strokes if she were lucky, but it might be six. She had certainly been difficult and her mistress was angry with her. She stood in the corner, flexing the long, slender stick, which was so pliant she could bend it into a circle. The door opened, but she did not dare to turn until she was bid; that would earn her two or three painful smacks upon her thighs.
'You may turn, Emma.' Emma turned and proffered the cane; the handle was trembling perceptibly as the woman took it. She licked her dry lips. 'I-I know I'm a naughty girl, Ma'am.'
'I was very stupid over my sums, Ma'am. And I was impudent and disobedient. I know I deserve a severe caning, but I-I'm frightened.'
'Eight strokes, Emma.'
Emma gulped. 'Eight! Oh, oh, Ma'am...'
'I have often given Miss Honoria a dozen strokes. You are a bright girl, Emma. You know you can do arithmetic if you will exert yourself. And how many times have I told you not to answer me back? You are just recalcitrant! I will not have impudence, Miss. Now, I want you over the horse.'
'Ye-es, Ma'am.' Her voice was so soft it could hardly be heard. The girl, her knees shaky, hoisted her underslip and vest and, curving her body over the leather-upholstered top of the 'horse', she lay over it, naked from the small of her back, and her hands took a firm grip upon the horizontal struts. In a low, unsteady voice, she said, 'Please, Ma'am, I do love you.'
Her ladyship was touched, it was a cry from the heart of a girl who had never known love — but her punishment was to be none the less because of that. Deliberately, because she knew it was what her mistress liked, she parted her legs.
'What a darling you are,' Angela said, 'but I have to thrash you severely.'
Emma no longer felt shame or embarrassment. Only fear. Indeed, she was glad that her bottom, and her so private charms, were exposed to her beloved lady. It excited her, for there was no doubt that such bare-bottomed punishment was a powerful aphrodisiac... for both of them.
This was always a wonderful moment for Angela. She visualised herself lying across that leather horse awaiting the biting strokes of her poor husband's crop across her taut breeches. Now, with her whole body filled with concupiscent joy, she stared down at those superlative creamy-white spheres that awaited the cane as though in supplication, relishing the thrill aroused by their absolute nakedness and vulnerability. The skin was firm and satin-smooth as she ran her fingers over the silky surface... the girl's thighs writhed as she sensuously caressed her bottom's curves...
The cane fell with a clean, crisp snap, precisely as she had intended, across the soft flesh where the buttocks swelled outwards from the broad thighs. Emma took the first stroke of red-hot pain, an anguish that seemed almost to be a lustful pleasure, with nothing but contorted mouth and a little wince. But as the lithe stick continued to slash down, her stoicism broke.
THWACK! — 'Ow!' ... THWACK! — 'Ooh-owch!' ... CRACK! — 'Oooh-aagh!' Stretched as she was, on her toes, gripping the struts with whitened knuckles, the girl could scarcely move. Big tears oozed over her eyelids. 'Oh, Ma'am, it hurts!' she wailed.
'My pool girl. I am sorry to have to punish you like this.' Which, as they both knew, was something less than the truth. 'It is only through pain that you will learn to be a good girl, isn't it?'
'Y-y-yes, Ma'am. I will try harder.'
Lady Angela stared down libidinously at the reddened weals swelling across the so delicious globes. Was she being cruel? Those strong, sturdy hips and buttocks could take plenty of punishment.
'You have four strokes to come. Be a brave girl.'
'You know I want it, Ma'am. I was a naughty girl.'
'Yes, I know. I understand. It is good for you to have your bottom well caned.'
The slow, very deliberate thrashing continued. The culprit wept and sobbed, moaned and wailed. Her ladyship was breathing hard. The cane was raised high, back over my lady's shoulder and came swishing down, adding stinging agony to the fire that already blazed in the pert, voluptuously-rounded buttocks. The girl shrieked and tears streamed down her face, dropping to the floor. The entire area was inflamed but none of the weals crossed.
That was all. But Emma simply could not help herself. She felt as though she had been sitting on a fire — yet she wanted more. Her desire was irresistible; it was ambivalent... all she knew was that, although each blow was hellish, agonising, it was also blissful. The sensual tension between girl and woman was electric, transcending all social differences. She was crying, with short, staccato sobs.
'M-Miss Honoria t-t-takes a d-dozen strokes, Ma'am?'
'If I consider that she merits it she certainly does.'
'If — if she does, I c-can.' Emma was burning as much with erotic craving as with pain.
Again the cane swished down with ruthless force. Emma yelled as intolerable agony tore like raging flame. She cried pitiably and howled at each of the four severe strokes.
With a clean handkerchief Lady Angela wiped the streaming tears. 'Now,' she said softly, 'first a kiss.' Her ardent lips were pressed against each buttock in turn, slobbering saliva over the stinging, aching flesh. Then from a shelf she took a pot of fragrant cold cream and gently, tenderly, anointed the red and swollen welts.
* * *
As Emma made progress in her lessons, her mistress introduced one or two new subjects less conventional than the others. Emma learned a little of the art of massage. This took place in her ladyship's bedroom with the door locked. Lady Angela was taller and slimmer than her maid, with perky, rounded, but almost boyish buttocks. She lay naked, face-down upon her big bed, and explained to Emma how to knead and manipulate her shoulder muscles, and to massage her back with quick, chopping movements with the edges of her hands, which treatment she thoroughly enjoyed. Then, to Emma's amazement, she said, 'Now hit my lower parts. Below my waist. With your open hand.'
Emma stared down in some bewilderment at the intimacy of her mistress's inviting rear. 'With my open hand, Ma'am?'
'But — but you mean, smack you, Ma'am?'
'On your behind, Ma'am?'
'Yes, yes, of course. Do it hard, don't be afraid. Until it hurts too much, then I'll tell you to stop. It is a sort of massage.'
The girl was puzzled. But those seductive curves were inordinately tempting. She brought her open hand down with a loud slap upon the soft, fleshy side of one lovely cheek. 'Like that, Ma'am?' she asked diffidently, still scarcely believing.
'Yes, just like that. But hard.'
Emma understood at last. Her mistress wanted a smacked arse — and it was purely sexual. She obliged with hard, sharp slaps all over that enticing bum. The skin became first pink, then a deep rose colour, which turned into carmine and scarlet, and Angela was wincing and moaning, writhing and rubbing her thighs together, her whole body moving on the bed. She began to cry loudly. It was a noisy affair, the ringing cracks of flesh against flesh as Emma's large, work-hardened hand fell with unmerciful force upon the heaving aristocratic backside, mingling with my lady's cries, until the girl was breathless, her arm felt heavy and weary, her palm sore and smarting. It had been a severe spanking, the fiery-red patches were taking on a tinge of blue.
Now, Emma understood. She was intensely grateful to Lady Angela... and she was eager to please her in any way she could. They were both perfectly normal heterosexual females, and Emma hoped that one day she would have a husband; she understood that because of the temporary semi-mourning period, her mistress was precluded from seeking a new husband...
However, Emma had yet to discover what a glutton for punishment her strange mistress was. Lady Angela's ravenous body yearned for a flogging. A horsewhip across her back and buttocks... she could imagine it so well, but in reality that would be too extreme. It would have to be the cane. But it would have to be very severe, something she really feared, or it would be useless.
Angela never knew for certain whether it was a pure accident or an accident-on-purpose, but while rearranging some of her expensive collection of Wedgwood, she dropped and smashed one. 'Oh!' she exclaimed, in vexation. 'Oh, Emma. Just see what I have done.' She looked at her maid with a strange, questioning expression. 'I think we must go up to the punishment room.'
The girl was alarmed. She had done nothing wrong. With a little thrill of excitement she assumed that her mistress wanted another spanking for breaking that ornament. But to her surprise and some trepidation, she watched Lady Angela take the largest cane from its hook; this rather grim implement was nearly a half-inch thick and three feet in length. Emma knew it would be excruciating. Going to the couch, my lady raised the cane and brought it down with all her strength, indenting the firm upholstery with a loud Whap!
'Now, my dear, try if you can do it as hard as I did.'
Emma obeyed, rather bemused, making the pliant stick swish and bend itself across the couch.
'Now do you understand? I want you to give me a severe caning. Just as I do with you when you misbehave.'
'But... But, my lady, I can't cane you, your ladyship.'
'Please, Emma. After all, you gave me a pretty severe spanking.'
'Well, yes, Ma'am. But that was massage.'
'It was a form of massage, certainly, but it was still a beating.'
In a flash of sudden discernment, Emma realised that the relationship between mistress and servant had changed. The ambience in this room of pain, the phantasmic influence of the room was redolent of chastisement; of cracks and cries, as cane, strap or whip descended upon her aristocratic posteriors; it was voluptuous, punitive, electric with sensuality. She took a more purposeful grip on the limber cane, flexing it. Watching Lady Angela's eyes fixed upon it, more green than blue, Emma underwent a metamorphosis. Temporarily, while she held the rod of justice, she was mistress... She, Emma, was dominant.
The aristocratic lady was yearning to be dominated. This had been somehow, amorphously, in the back of her mind ever since this liaison; it was what she had missed since her husband had died. For just a few minutes, she was indeed the 'culprit', and she had to endure — wanted to endure — the sublime ecstacy of harsh anguish. Her body... her bottom... seemed to tingle with her longing.
Emma whipped the cane down across her hand with a pleasurable sting, and saw the eagerly watching woman lick her lips with the tip of a pink tongue. When she spoke she was amazed at her own words, at her sheer temerity.
'Your ladyship has been a very naughty girl, ain't — haven't — you?'
'Yes, Emma, I am afraid I have. My clumsiness was unforgivable.'
'What do you think you deserve for your naughtiness?'
Angela uttered a little moan of sheer, avid craving. She said, 'Not less than twelve strokes on my bare bottom. Perhaps more. And four across my thighs.' Seeing the startled surprise flicker in her maid's eyes at the harsh severity of her own sentence, she added, 'Don't worry, Emma. I am pretty hardened.'
'Very well, Ma'am. Perhaps the cane will help to make you more careful. You must go across the horse, naked, for your whipping. You understand?'
Emma helped her mistress undress, as she did each night. First the buttons down the back of the long, very full red satin dress had to be unfastened, and the woman stepped out of it. A taffeta underskirt followed, then two cambric petticoats; beneath those was a stiff, waist-length horsehair crinoline, and beneath that the tight corset, which pinched in her ladyship's already slender waist. Finally a long lawn chemise and the smooth lawn knickers that covered her body from waist to the upper parts of the thighs. And Angela stood, with eyes modestly cast down, blushing a little, in the proud glory of ravishing nudity. But Emma was now accustomed to seeing her mistress in the nude. She brought the long, thick cane hissing through the air — and had the pleasure of seeing her ladyship flinch.
Then, obediently, just like a naughty slip of a girl, the 30-year-old woman curved her tall form over the punishment horse, gripped the horizontal strut, and waited submissively, for the punishment for which she yearned... yet which she dreaded.
Emma gazed enraptured at the piquant, provocative hindquarters and her body was gripped by a passion of lascivious desire to administer chastisement. Positioning herself well to the side of the bending woman, she laid the cane gently across the apex of the erotically beautiful orbs... raised it... tapped it once, then lifted it high. She poised it above her shoulder before bringing it down with a swish and a resounding thwack, leaving two white marks perfectly across the middle of the buttocks, which turned immediately into pink. Her victim's body gave a little jerk, but that was all.
THWACK! There was another little jerk of Lady Angela's bending form, but nothing more. Emma put all of her powerful young body into the third smashing welt, but still with not a murmur from her mistress. She did not know how resilient Lady Angela's lovely derriere had become over the years: a stern, disciplined upbringing at the hands of a mother and governess who both believed strongly in the efficacy of strict physical punishment; a husband who had enjoyed using cane or riding-whip; and all her life she had ridden horses.
The caning was inflicted with slow deliberation and salacious pleasure on the part of the punisher — indeed, of the pair of them — but, inexperienced as Emma was, the bamboo did not always land precisely where intended. The fifth blow crossed two swelling weals and, for the first time, elicited a loud wince.
Walloped my bare bum for smashin' a bloody plate! thought Emma. I'll teach you! Yet she still loved this woman, and would never, as long as she lived, cease to be grateful to her. Yet she was indulging in the most thrilling excitation as she brought the cane biting mercilessly into the white skin of her mistress's jerking rear cheeks and thighs. She did not see how contorted the woman's face became at every stroke.
At the eighth stroke Lady Angela started weeping and groaning. Emma's arm was heavy and she was breathing loudly. For these few minutes maid was mistress — and with incredible boldness, she intended to demonstrate the fact. The whipping paused.
'Remember why you are being punished, you bad girl?'
'For — for being a very clumsy, naughty girl... ooh! My naughty bare bottom is burning! It needs this whipping, Emma. Thrash it hard.'
With the next hefty whack Angela uttered a loud cry. The impassioned Emma swished the rod down with her lusty young strength, imparting vicious slashes across those writhing nates. Angela shrieked as Emma counted 'Twelve'. Thereafter the recipient howled just as Emma had done upon similar occasions. The cane continued to bite venomously, ruthlessly into those delightful buttocks and thighs, producing exquisite reactions to each infliction.
The erstwhile kitchen-maid was learning more than her schoolroom subjects. Maid and mistress, after all, were sisters under their skins.