Moira gripped the folds of her sheets, bracing herself for the next touch of her hairbrush. It would not be gentle like his first laying of it against her bared buttocks. Ryan would swipe it briskly through the air, flicking his wrist just before the moment of contact and she would feel the impact from her toes to her eyes. Her customary pleas for mercy and forgiveness remained trapped inside her head. She listened to the rhythm of their breathing and waited.
The box springs creaked enhancing the relative silence in her bedroom. His warm breath tickled her disheveled hair. She felt his eyes drifting over the naked contours of her body. The gentle pressure of his hand held her in place over his lap. She strained to look at him, catching only the dark fabric of his shirt in the periphery of her vision. In her imagination there was a smile on his face. She could feel a sternness emanating from his gaze. Moira took a deep breath and held it. The moment of anticipation lingered and her thoughts floated back to the beginning.
Her afternoon tennis lesson had ran long with an unexpected coaching session in the locker room. She had rushed home, bursting through the front door out of breath. Perspiration beaded on her forehead and her tennis clothes were clinging to her damp skin. The guests were already seated. Her mother was preparing to serve dinner. They all turned to stare at Moira panting in the doorway.
“You’re late,” her mother said.
Moira bristled under the attention. “And you’re serving dinner. Shall we state any other obvious observations?”
“Someone needs an attitude adjustment,” Ryan said.
Moira smiled and fluttered her eyelashes at him. “Yes, but I’m afraid mother is a little too old for it to take.”
His eyes opened wide and a rosy blush graced his round cheeks. “I think you might want to apologize,” he said with authority.
She pretended to think for a moment, gazing up at the ceiling. “No, no I don’t think I want to do that at all.”
“What has gotten into you?” he asked.
“She’s just worried because she remembers what happened last time she was late for dinner,” her mother said to him before turning her attention to Moira. “Isn’t that right?”
Moira glared at her mother. She shuddered under the intense curiosity of the stares coming her way from around the table. The evening had been planned as a polite, quiet affair, a meeting of families. She had looked forward to it the entire week. Never in her worst nightmares had she imagined being late. That her mother might call her out on it, in front of Ryan and his parents, was beyond any comprehension. Moira wanted to turn around and run out the door, but it was too late for that.
Her mother stepped out from the table and closer to Moira. “Wasn’t it just two or three weeks ago?”
Moira’s lips pursed and she said, “A month.”
“Either way, I’m certain you remember.” Her mother smiled. It was almost sympathetic in nature, but there was a glint of pleasure in her eyes.
“Yes, mother,” Moira replied. She recalled with perfect clarity. It had been her tennis lesson or more precisely, her tennis coach to blame then as well. Her mother had not cared about excuses, not even that her bottom was still red and tingling from her coach’s ideological motivation. Moira had been sent to the closet, not to hide, but to fetch the family paddle. Her mother put it to quick use and afterward, Moira had stood nose to the corner, glowing bottom bare, and hands on her head while the family ate dinner. The embarrassment had only ended when she had finished clearing, cleaning and drying the dinner dishes. Then she had been sent to her room, to bed, without dinner.
Her mother planted her hands on her hips. “I suppose you wanted to give everyone a show tonight. Far be it for me to disappoint you.”
Moira’s face turned red. “Mother!” She stamped her foot and looked around the room, desperate to find a friendly face. “You can’t, not tonight. It’s not fair.”
“You were late. You know the rules,” her mother said and Moira protested, “But—
—There is only one butt that matters here and its the one you are about to bare and have spanked,” her mother said.
Moira’s gaze fell to her feet. She stood speechless, feeling the eyes of everyone in the room looking her over. Sweat beaded on her forehead giving her reddened features a glossy glow in the chandelier’s light. She may as well have been standing center stage under a spotlight.
Her mother said, “I think you’ve wasted enough of our time, young lady. Get your bottom bare and bring me the paddle. And be quick about it. You don’t want dinner to get cold if you know what’s good for you.”
“It’s not like I’ll be eating it either way,” Moira said in a barely audible voice.
She felt her mother’s cold glare and glanced at Ryan hoping for sympathy and support, but finding only a pair of raised eyebrows questioning her sanity. Moira rolled her eyes to the ceiling and reached under her skirt to lower her panties to her knees. She shuffled to the closet while tucking her skirt up in the back. With her bare backside exposed she knew she should have been utterly ashamed. Instead, she felt silly. Moira smiled as she opened the closet and jiggled her bottom as provocatively as she could without bursting out laughing.
The paddle rocked from side to side on its hook inside the the closet door until she lifted it free. It was oak, heavy and large enough to cover her bottom from left to right in a single swat. She held it by the worn handle, closed the closet door and shuffled to stand before her mother. The amusement faded from her lips and eyes when her mother took the paddle. No matter the situation, being spanked with the paddle hurt.
Her mother stepped behind her waving the paddle in the air. “Grab your knees,” her mother ordered and Moira complied with only the slightest of hesitation. The paddle swooshed through the air, impacting Moira’s bottom with an ear-popping crack. Moira blinked and inhaled sharply.
“Someday you’ll learn the value of timeliness,” her mother said and swung the paddle. The crack of contact made everyone in the room blink. Moira rocked forward onto her toes and bent her knees temporarily. Her bottom had been pink and tender to begin with and the two swats had brought out a red glow and deep burning.
Moira blinked back tears and feigned nonchalance. “Is that all?” She asked.
The paddle cracked against her bottom, bounced into the air and cracked again. Moira yelped. Her mother said, “I think a few more still. I wouldn’t want your bottom to get cold in the corner.”
A single teardrop slid from Moira’s eye. Her mother would have been satisfied if she had seen it, but from her vantage point it was impossible. She swung the paddle, catching the lower half of Moira’s buttocks, raising her bottom on impact. Another tear slipped down Moira’s cheek. The paddle impacted another six times leaving Moira sniffling and wiping tears from her red face. Her bottom glowed brightly, trembling in discomfort.
“Are you going to be late for dinner again?” her mother asked, holding the paddle at her side.
Moira remained bent over and debated what answer she could give that would not result in more swats. “Probably,” she said biting her lip, “but I’ll do my best to avoid it.”
“See that you do,” her mother said, shaking her head. “Off to the corner with you and don’t even think about rubbing.”
In the dining room corner, Moira stood with her back to the table. Her bottom throbbed and burned making certain she could not forget the red bottomed view everyone else had of her. She kept her nose buried into the wall, her fingers interlaced atop her head and tried to pretend she was not embarrassed.
When they finished with dinner, Moira left the corner to clear the table and clean the dishes in the kitchen. Afterward, she rejoined the others in the living room, her panties still around her knees and skirt tucked up in the back. Ordinarily she would have been sent to her room at that point, but with Ryan and his parents visiting, Moira was required to remain present. She stood quietly off to the side of the couch intending to keep her head down and her mouth shut. Unfortunately, she was still the center of attention.
Moira’s mother turned to her and said, “Although I’m sure your glowing performance has made quite the impression, might you have something to say for yourself?”
Moira’s response was silent, short, succinct and entirely vulgar.
Ryan stepped in before her mother could respond. “I think Moira and I need to have a little talk, in private.”
Moira looked at him, wide-eyed.
Her mother said, “I don’t think talking is going to handle it.”
Ryan smiled at her mother. “Trust me,” he said with a wink, “I know exactly how to handle her.”
Moira crossed her arms in front of her and said, “You wish.”
He pointed to the stairs behind Moira and said, “If you’re smart, you are going to march right up to your bedroom and wait for me.”
She tapped her foot and clicked her tongue at him. “And if I’m not?”
“You’ll keep standing there and mouthing off until I decide to stick a bar of soap in your mouth,” Ryan said.
“You wouldn’t dare,” Moira said, gazing into his eyes.
“Upstairs,” he said pointing in the direction of them. “Unless you want to find out what I’ll dare to do.”
She could easily ignore his threats, but the authoritativeness in his voice gave her pause. Moira hesitated, searching his face for the truth of his intentions. His bubbly cheeks had gone firm and his expressive eyes had grown cold. He snapped his fingers and pointed to the stairs. She felt it was the last warning he would give. Moira turned and scurried up the stairs as fast as the binding of her lowered panties would allow. Her bedroom door slammed closed behind her and a moment later, she heard his footsteps climbing the stairs.
Moira sat, trembling on her bed. Ryan entered her room, closed the door behind him and motioned for her to stand. She chewed on her lip, but did as he expected. He sat on the bed in the spot she had just vacated and grabbed hold of her arm with a gentle yet firm grasp. She was flipped over his lap, before she even understood what was happening. He tapped her hairbrush against her naked buttocks, surprising her because she had never seen him grab it. She braced for the inevitable.
“I love you,” he whispered into her ear and then straightened himself, tapping the brush against her bottom, “but I will never tolerate the kind of behavior you’ve been displaying tonight. If I have to put you to bed every night with this hairbrush, I’ll do it and eventually you will learn to behave like a good wife.”
“I’m not your wife yet,” Moira said.
“You will be soon enough,” Ryan said.
Moira smiled away from his view and silently dared him to follow through with his threat. She pushed her bottom up as high as she could and waited for the first smack of the brush. He did not keep her waiting long and when he finished branding her bottom an even brighter and darker red, he tucked her beneath her covers. He kissed away the tears on her cheeks and left her to dream of the life he was offering.