There was a smugness about him and I rebelled to it. He sat behind the desk, a cheap aluminum signet of his position with a laminated wood finish decorating its top. The cushion torn chair supporting his significant stature creaked and groaned with his every move. I sat across from him in a straight backed, straight legged, aluminum framed chair with a coffee brown cushion matching the desk’s laminate. My arms crossed in front of my chest. He stared as if he thought his eyes would intimidate me into submission. He was wrong.
“Why did you do it?” he asked, nodding at my purse laying open on his desk.
I kept quiet. The room felt too secluded and his intensity left me uneasy with regards to his intentions. He had in fact grabbed me and dragged me. No one had interfered because he wore the uniform of an official security guard. The assumption was simply made by our respective appearances, but appearances can be deceiving. Were he the guard he purported himself to be, he would have lifted the handset from his almond colored phone and called the police. Instead, he tore my purse out of my hands and dumped its contents on the desk between us. He was wrong.
“I’ve seen your kind before,” he said. “Spoiled little rich kid with too much time on your hands and not a clue what discipline means.”
You might think he would look at my driver’s license spilled out onto his desk. If he had, he would have realized I was an adult, my eighteenth birthday having past only a few days earlier. His eyes were too busy staring at me. I shivered as much at the cold air flowing out of the overhead vent as the repulsion of his gaze drifting over my curves. My bandeau tube top and jean shorts were starting to feel like a bad idea under his leering eyes. He leaned back in his chair, smiling as if he had won some crucial battle. He was wrong.
“How much you want to bet I call your daddy and he just comes down here and pays for the stuff?” he asked.
My father would do nothing of the sort and I would not bother asking him to do it either. The man before me would not understand things like that. He has a view of the world and people, warped by his own frustrations. If he knew anything about me at all, he would have known his efforts were destined for failure. His overconfidence in the accuracy of his assumptions was enough to make me laugh despite the scariness of the closed room containing us two. He leaned forward, slamming his hands down on the desk, rattling the cheap furniture to its core. If he expected me to react, he was wrong.
“Well you aren’t going to get off that easy,” he said, pulling open his desk drawer.
The rubber facing caused the paddle to bounce once before settling on the desk where he dropped it. Its short handle was discolored from lots of use by a sweaty palmed gripper. The man in front of me was just the sort to have sweaty hands. He looked so proud of himself sitting there with the paddle on the desk between us. It was meant for games and he was playing a game, but not the sort it was meant for. I stared at the phone, silently daring him to pick it up and call the cops. He flickered his gaze between the thin paddle and my face, thinking to make me nervous I would bet. He was still wrong.
“I know why you did it,” he said. “It’s a cry for attention, for help and you’re in luck because I’m going to give you exactly what you need.”
Bracing his palms against the desktop, he pushed himself up. The chair sighed in relief as his weight left it alone. It bounced off the wall and fell to silence while he stood leering over his desk and me. I avoided his beady eyes, keeping my gaze fixed on the telephone. Blood pulsed in my neck, my chest strained against the tight constriction of mounting fear and he lifted the paddle, pointing it at me. The door lay behind him and he had turned the lock when we entered. It would take too long to flee through it and he was large enough that getting past him would be impossible anyway. The telephone was the only real source for help and even that would be too little, too late. He had me cornered, captured for his demented amusement. If he expected me to beg, he was wrong.
“Stand up, drop your shorts to the floor and bend over the desk,” he said.
I remained seated. He stepped aside of his desk, hovering over me from the left. In my imagination, I leaped over his desk, unlocked the door and fled into the busy mall at the end of the long dark hallway beyond the door. If he were slow, like the ogre he appeared, it would have been possible, but I had already seen how quickly he could move. His bulk was as deceptive as his uniform. He thought of himself as important, as the guardian of the mall, but he was wrong.
“We can do this the easy way or the hard way,” he said.
A smile almost graced my sour lips. If he knew me at all, he would have known I never make things easy. Had he called my parents, either of them would have set him straight from the start, but he thought he knew me. He believed his security badge, shining on his chest, gave him some special insight into the inner workings of those he encountered. The evidence brazenly displayed on his desk assured his steroid dulled brain, he was right, but he was wrong.
“The hard way, then,” he said.
His meaty hand inserted itself between my back and the chair. Thumb and fingers slipped inside the back of my elastic top and squeezed it together. Yanking upward, he pulled the band from around my chest into my armpits and lifted me off the chair. My breasts sprang free into his leering view and I scrambled to cover myself. He threw me forward into the edge of desk and shoved my back down until my lips pressed against the ugly laminate. He swatted my backside with his paddle. If he thought it would convince me to cooperate, he was wrong.
“You’re going to get a bare bottom spanking,” he said, holding the paddle high in the air. “The only question is how many swats you’re going to take on your shorts first. Just let me know when you are ready to take them down.”
The paddle slapped into my bottom, ringing out like a gunshot in the small office. With every swat, his desk twanged, the thin metal reverberating with the waves of force flowing through my taut body. I kicked futilely in the air behind me, hoping to catch his leg or knee. The pressure of his fingers digging into my back, held me tight to the desk while my arms flailed about searching for a way to fight him off. My fingers found the telephone and I lifted the headset off the cradle. If he had expected surrender, he was wrong.
“Does the bad little girl want her daddy?” he said, taking the handset from my fingers and dropping it back on the cradle. “Do you think he’s protecting you by keeping you from the consequences of your actions? I have news for you, little girl, if your daddy had pulled your panties down and spanked you when you needed it, I wouldn’t have to be doing it now.”
He was delusional, caught up in his own demented fantasy. In his world, attractive young women were bad little girls. They needed him to take them away into his quiet little office and spank their firm, naked bottoms until they glowed a brilliant red hue. He was the master in his world and if he had even the slightest suspicion a young woman was doing anything illegal within the confines of his kingdom, the mall, he would rip them from the real world into his dark dungeon. The contents of my purse were his suspicion, but they proved nothing. He spanked me with self-righteous indignation and yet he was wrong.
“I tell you what,” he said, holding the paddle high once again. “If you drop your shorts and panties down to your ankles, bend back over the desk and take ten good swats, I’ll call your daddy to come pick you up. What do you say?”
With my cheek pressed against the sticky laminate of his desktop, I stared back at him. He towered over me with the menacing paddle raised high and ready. Inside my tight shorts, my bottom burned from the swats already delivered. A few more or less would make no real difference, but defiance raged within me. Allowing him the satisfaction of getting what he wanted was something I could not do because he was wrong.
“Have it your way,” he said with a shrug. “I can do this all day.”
The paddle swished through the air, crashing down against my bottom. Air gushed from my lungs as I blinked away stinging tears of frustration and pain. With all my strength I jerked against his hold on my back only to feel another crash of the paddle against my bottom. He was relentless, knowing he had won his little game. I pounded my fists against his desktop. My tears would tell him I was broken, but he was wrong.
“Are you ready to bare your bottom?” he asked.
I closed my eyes to avoid his self-satisfied smugness when I nodded my head. His hand left my back, inviting me to stand up. I sucked in air and heaved myself up off the desk. His eyes laughed at me when I chose to look at him once more. It was only then, following his gaze, I remembered my boobs remained exposed, free of my top. Scowling at him, I reached up to pull my top back down only to be stopped by his wagging finger. He thought the exposure would make me ashamed, but he was wrong.
“You know,” he said still wagging his finger at me, “I better have you take everything off. Can’t have you hiding any more stolen goods and if I don’t check everything, I won’t know for certain.”
There remained a significant portion of me that wanted to fight against his will. It was a pointless fight and I knew it, which is why I chose to cooperate instead. He had already proven his strength and willingness to use it against me. My fingers slipped down to my waist and pushed open the button holding my shorts closed. The zipper slid down easily and I pushed them down my legs, my panties tagging along with the tight denim. When they reach my ankles, I stepped out of my sandals and then my shorts and panties. I lifted my tube top over my head and tossed it at him. His gaze wandered up and down my naked body. If he thought the blush on my cheeks was a mark of shame, he was wrong.
“Jewelry too,” he said, brushing my hair behind my ear with his fingers and exposing my earring, “A pretty little thing like you doesn’t need that stuff anyway.”
His eyes taunted me, dared me to resist his command. I would not give him the satisfaction. My watch, my earrings, my necklace, and my rings all joined the clutter on his desk. They were trinkets, some more important than others, but none would provide an escape and all were as useless on the desk as they were on my body. I dangled my arms at my sides, shook my blond hair behind my shoulders and dared him to stare. He smiled at what he considered submissiveness, but he was wrong.
“Bend over the desk, rest down on your elbows and keep your head up,” he said.
I assumed the position over his desk, acutely aware of my buttocks exposure. He tapped the paddle against my bottom and then slipped it between my legs tapping my thighs just hard enough to make me spread my legs farther and farther apart. The paddle departed my sensitive flesh only to come crashing down against my bottom. I jerked forward, straining against the edge of the desk. He chuckled, amused by my reaction. The paddle rose high in the air behind me. If he expected me to brace for the swat, he was wrong.
“I wonder if you’ll think of me the next time you go shopping?” he said.
The paddle slapped against my bottom. I blinked away tears and frightening visions of him following me everywhere I went. He slapped the paddle to my buttocks again, sending another wave of wobbling sting through my body. I breathed through the burn and focused on the moment of freedom when I could leave him and his world far behind. He thought he was teaching a lesson, but he was wrong.
“Maybe this sting in your backside will ring an alarm in your topside the next time you think about lifting items off a shelf and not paying for them,” he said.
He drove the paddle into my bottom with increased force, as if to punctuate his statement. There was no point arguing with him. He had seen me pick the things up from the baskets on the shelf. I had laid them on top of my purse and before I could reach the checkout, before I could leave the store, before I could do anything to prove my intentions, he grabbed me. Was it thievery? The little big man in his fancy uniform would never know because he could not comprehend the thought; He was wrong.
“Stand up,” he said upon delivering the tenth swat to my burning bottom. “Hands behind your head, interlace your fingers. Get used to this position if you are going to keep stealing because you’ll assume it twice a day when you’re in prison.”
He dropped the paddle back in its drawer and lifted my wallet from the desk. Flipping through it, he found my home address and phone number and smiled at me with it held in the air where I could see it. He dialed the number and waited for the answer. In his world, I should have been trembling in fear. If he expected my parents to take his view, he was wrong.
“Mr. Pratt?” he said and paused for my father’s response. “I’m Stan McKay with Twin Pine security. Yes sir, at the mall. I have your daughter, Summer, in custody for shoplifting.”
The conversation dragged on for several minutes. Only hearing the one side, I could only imagine the things my father was saying on the other end, but Stan’s face revealed clearly enough that it did not go exactly as he planned. He hung up the phone and turned his attention back to me, resuming his smugness. I stared back at him, confident my father would set things right whenever he arrived. Stan seemed to think he had won everything, but he was wrong.
“Your father will be along in a little bit,” he said. “In the meantime, I think you could benefit from some reflection time in the corner.”
He turned around to the door and unlocked the deadbolt. Turning his head to look at me, he opened the door and propped it to stay. From where I stood, I had a clear view of the long dark hallway leading out into the main mall. At the end of the darkness the bright lights of the shopping arena obscured everything beyond. Shadowy figures of shoppers flickered past the end of the hall, none of them looking my way, but even the slightest noise echoing in the corridor could change all of that. If Stan expected me to be intimidated, he was wrong.
“You can stand in the corner out here and keep your hands where they are,” he said, stepping outside the door and waving me to join him. “Up on your tiptoes and keep your nose against the corner. If I catch you out of position, I’ll give you another spanking and move you down to the other end of the hall, where everyone will see you.”
It was stressful, standing there on my tiptoes, elbows out against the walls and my nose pressed firmly into the corner. My bottom burned and twitched of it own accord while the pedestrian traffic of the mall echoed out behind me. Stan returned to his office, sat in his groaning chair and kept his office door open to presumably keep an eye on me. I counted the seconds until my father’s arrival, imagined the angry words that would spill from him upon seeing me and took comfort in the wrath he would inflict on Stan. By the happy whistling coming from Stan in his office, I think he expected my father to congratulate him. He was wrong.
“Summer?” my father said, his footsteps ringing out in the hallway. “Where are your clothes? What is going on here?”
I smirked at the corner. Stan probably expected me to defend myself to my father. He no doubt assumed, I would make accusations against him. Instead, I remained quiet, sniffling only, in the corner, keeping my hands in place and my body pressed into the corner. My father marched to the doorway and stopped. If Stan thought I was going to make things easy, he was wrong.
“I gave her a spanking,” Stan said. “I thought she would prefer it to the police station.”
“You stripped her naked and beat her,” my father said. “Summer, get out of that corner and get yourself dressed. We’re leaving and you Mr. McKay, can expect to hear from my lawyer. This sort of behavior goes way beyond your authority as security. It’s just plain wrong.”
I dressed quickly and played up the tears for my father’s benefit. Stan stood aside, knowing better than to challenge my father. I gathered my purse back together, leaving the supposed evidence of my thievery on his desk and left with my father close behind. Outside the mall’s confines, in the open air of the parking lot my father grabbed my arm, stopping me in my tracks.
“This was the last straw, Summer,” he said. “That guard was way out of line but so were you. Stealing? Again. Enough is enough and this time your out. I don’t care where you go or what you do, but you’re out of my house.”
“I wasn’t stealing,” I said.
He held a hand up in the air and said, “Save your lies for someone who hasn’t heard them a hundred times already. That guard was wrong for certain, but sooner or later, you need to understand that so were you.”
“You were wrong, Summer. Until you figure that out and get right, you aren’t welcome in my house or my life,” he said and walked away.