The morning is lazy, sunlight barely creeping in through the slats of white vinyl blinds and the sweet sound of birds chirping outside. Eric woke me over an hour ago; gentle kisses on my neck, his breath in my ear, his fingers tangling their way through my hair.
"Good morning sleepy girl," he whispers and I stretch, the night breaking free from my joints. Muscles lengthen, a deep yawn... he leaves me to get in the shower.
"Sweetheart." There he is again, freshly washed and smelling of ivory soap. "I'm going to get a coffee in the plaza. You need to hit the books."
I moan but supply a non-committal nod that awards him enough confidence in my resolve to rise, that he leaves the house. I roll over and am out again. Sleep, a heavenly blanket of peace.
"Amy Lynn!" His voice rings out and I jolt awake just in time to feel the covers ripped from my body. His palm crashes down on the thin cotton seat of my pajamas and I'm suddenly upright, bolting for the opposite side of the bed.
"Ouch!" I yelp, wide eyed and looking for a place to run.
"Oh, you're up now," he points out, heading around the bed to reach me. He grabs my arm and leads me to the corner, places my hands on the wall and drops the pants of my pj's to the floor. His strong solid body presses up against my back so I can't move, can't even turn. I'm stuck, heart racing with the sound of my own breath filling the empty space in the room.
"You asked me to hold you accountable," he says sternly, as though it were a school yard challenge he wasn't willing to walk away from.
"Didn't you?!" he says again, grabbing a fist full of my hair and pulling my head back just enough to get his mouth near my ear. His voice remains calm and steady. My scalp tingles, making room in my head for my brain to expand and comprehend every word he says.
"You, young lady, are not starting this day off very well." he begins. "It is already 11am and you can't afford to waste anytime with another test on Tuesday, a full week of work ahead of you and four nights of class."
I love this man. I've spent the last ten years taking care of everything completely on my own and finally, someone has stepped in my life who is willing to share in the burden. I swallow hard but my stomach fills with a sense of excitement that he is here, with me and for me.
Eric releases my hair and steps back just enough that I can no longer feel the heat from his body on mine.
"You have ten minutes in the corner," he states and his hands straighten my shoulders so I'm angled directly proportionate to the walls.
The corner smells like paint and my eyes cross when I try to look at the spot where the two walls meet. My pajama top hangs just above the lower quarter of my bottom and I blush knowing that two white globes are peaking out from under the material. I kick myself for losing so much of the morning and the lists of work that needs to get done scrolls through my head. Ten minutes seems like a very long time. I shift from one foot to the other. I bite my lower lip, wondering if this is it or if Eric is going to do more. I long for him to return and dread it all at the same time. I wait.
Footsteps behind me and once again his hands are on my shoulders, gentle yet firm.
"Come with me, honey," he says and like a ballroom dance, I'm twirled away from the wall and directed down the hallway to his office. A straight back wooden chair has been placed in the center of the room and a flat backed hairbrush is sitting on the floor next to the chair. My palms immediately go wet and I slow my steps, not resisting but not participating either. Eric increases the pressure on my arms and pushes me forward. At the chair, he releases my body and sits, pulling me to my knees in front of him.
"Why are you being punished, Amy?" he asks, his face serious and his eyes unwavering.
My stomach lurches and a flight of butterflies takes off inside. I look to the left, then the right and settle my gaze on a piece of lint on the floor. I can't speak.
"Look at me."
It is a command.
"Look at me, Amy, and answer the question."
My eyes go steely, with a determination to go through the motions without him knowing the affect he is having on me. We stare into each others pupils like two kids battling to see which one blinks first. Again, I don't answer.
Time ticks by. I set my jaw and that is Eric's cue.
"I'm only going to ask this one more time," he says as he locks each of my wrists tightly in his fingers. "Why are you being punished?"
"I didn't get out of bed," my voice sounds small and timid. I clear my throat and start again. "I chose to sleep in because I have that option and that is the option I chose." My statement brings a sense of ownership and with my gaining confidence I add, "So there!"
For a split second, it looks as though Eric is going to smile. The corners of his mouth turn up ever so slightly but then his eyebrows rise and his lips settle back into a straight line. I am reminded of my eyes crossing in the corner as I focus on his mouth in an attempt to appear in control.
Eric pushes one wrist away while pulling the other one forward and I find myself over his knee, my hands reaching for the floor, my legs kicking up behind me. His arm goes around my middle and I am wrapped tightly in the crux of his body. He catches my flailing feet with the inside of his leg and they are pinned to the ground, my bottom completely exposed. Embarrassment attempts to plant itself in my brain but before it can take hold, Eric's hand is getting my attention with one slap over the other, one cheek over the other, as he spanks me hard enough to bring a soft pink hue to my skin.
"We are not going to have you blow this class, young lady," he scolds as my behind gets warm under the constant smacking of his hand. "You wanted to be held accountable and you will be." His slaps get harder with each of his words and what began as an almost sensual awakening, is becoming a stinging nest of angry bees.
The blood in my body has equally dispersed itself between my head and my rear. In response, my back breaks out in tiny beads of sweat. Eric sees the change and stops spanking, using his palm to rub my cheeks instead. The nerves settle down and I start to relax. I'm surprised when he asks, "Are you okay?"
Eric loves me. He doesn't want to hurt me and his goal is that I am successful, not that he gets to paddle my behind. I don't hesitate to answer, "yes" and any tension in my limbs releases as I lay across his lap like a limp noodle. I'm so comfortable, I don't realize he's reached for the hairbrush and has it poised over my unsuspecting rear.
"You're getting ten," he states but before the meaning registers in my mind, a shot of fire blazes across my left cheek and every muscle in my body tightens. The outline of the hairbrush raises in a thin welted pattern and I yell out. I can't believe the unrelenting sting, the flush of heat throughout my entire being and my sudden inability to breathe. Eric holds tight and a second blow lands on the other side, equally harsh. A set of tears pops out of my eyes.
I try to get up. His arm presses me down and a third smack returns to the left cheek.
I cry out and use all my strength to break free, pressing my legs against his thigh while pushing my hands against the floor.
Eric responds with three hard spanks, one right after the other, in the same place on my behind. The tears are flowing faster now and I reverse my momentum by bending my knees and curling tightly around his legs turning myself into a ball. I brace for the next round but Eric places the brush on my back and gently rubs the welt marks left by the three latest blows. His soft touch brings on even more tears and my body unfolds as I relax into the balanced starting position we began with.
"You still have four more, Amy." His voice is soothing, comforting; no anger or frustration apparent at all. He continues to rub the pain away and the heat from the spanking settles deep into my cheek.
I hear an oddly familiar voice (mine) say, "Okay. I'm ready." and his palm leaves my behind, lifts the brush and begins again. The final four are straight forward, without pause, and I clench my teeth and count in my head the searing slap from each blow. Immediately following number ten, I'm back on my knees, his arms wrapped tightly around my body, my face in his chest sobbing like a child.
It's 11:45 by the time I quiet down. Eric kisses my tear stained face and helps me to my feet. He walks me to the kitchen table and pulls out a chair, nodding for me to be seated. My school books are spread out on the surface before me and a handful of pencils are sharpened and filling a coffee mug next to my notebook.
"Can't I put my pants back on?" I ask, a sniffle escaping at the end of the question.
"No honey," he says, motioning again for me to take a seat. "Not until your homework is done."
The cool hard texture of the chair feels good on my throbbing buns but as the temperature changes, a quiet soreness spreads and the spanking settles in the back of my mind like the music in an elevator; not the focus, but eternally present.
I shift around in the seat, unable to find a comfortable position and decide to open the book. Eric goes back to the office and retrieves the hairbrush. As I pour over words in the text, he begins to comb my hair in long even strokes for a period of at least ten minutes. I feel a renewed strength and immense calm as my focus returns and I delve into the material. Eric kisses my temple and makes the hairbrush a centerpiece for my work space.
"Just in case," he says.