The unmistakable sound of a paddling carried beyond the closed door. I feigned ignorance and continued answering the informational questions on the clipboard held in my lap. The girl, the sniffling brat from the plane, left the office in the company of a female instructor. Naked with a bright red butt, she shuffled away under the escort of the stern woman whose features appeared devoid of empathy for the girl’s lost modesty. I set the clipboard aside, answers complete.
Walter approached from his open office and collected the clipboard. He hummed to himself a moment, scanning over the documents before his gaze fell on me. “Come along,” he said, pivoting toward the open door, “it’s your turn.”
I stood, hesitating a moment while his choice of words swirled round in my head. Did he mean to suggest I would be treated the same as the brat from plane? The mere possibility caused flutters in my stomach. My legs suffered a slight tremble as I followed him. At the doorway, he politely stood aside and I stepped past him, entering the office first.
A soft click marked the closing of the office door. He guided me toward a gray guest chair and then rounded his desk, sitting behind it. His forearms rested on the edge of the desktop, hands still holding the clipboard. “Your upbringing didn’t include spankings?”
The flutters in my stomach swam. My eyes darted about the walls, searching, but finding no sign of a school paddle. I had heard its use and seen the results though. Hidden in one of the cabinets, I concluded. Safe for the moment, I said, “That’s mostly correct.”
“Mostly?” Curiosity twinkled in his eyes.
I permitted myself a smile and nodded. “I spent a few summers with my uncle. My parents weren’t spankers.”
“But your uncle,” he asked, “he spanked you?”
“Did he use an implement or just his hand?”
“A paddle,” I said. Though it had been ten years since I’d last felt it, I could still picture it hanging on the bathroom wall. It sent a shudder through me.
“On the bare or over clothes?”
“Bare,” I said, feeling a faint rush of blood coloring my cheeks.
“Were the spankings deserved?”
My face grew hotter. “Always.”
He nodded and laid the clipboard flat on the desk. “I think the same can be said for all the spankings we give at the Institute. I have high standards, but I don’t think I’m unreasonable.”
I nodded. The Rosecliff Institute was not filled with innocent girls. They were all trouble and without correction they would be headed for more of it. “In order to be successful, a place like this must have rules and consequences.”
“And the staff must set the example for the young ladies,” he said. His hands clasped together on the desktop and he leaned forward. “Do you feel confident in your ability to set that example?”
I met his piercing gaze and exuded all the confidence I could muster. “Yes.”
He smiled and stood. “Let’s take a tour.”