You have been standing there for long enough, I feel. Long enough to contemplate. To anticipate. To allow those dreams to dive into nightmares and back again. Those hopes to mingle with your undoubted fears.
I walk over to you, standing close behind, my hands on your hips. I whisper in your ear, my breath warm against your skin. “So this time it’s not a game. Not like last time. This time you already know what it feels like to be disciplined. Albeit gently. And yet you have persisted with your behaviour. Do you understand me?”
You nod, the long, stern lecture having made its impression on your mind in the same way that they cane shortly will on your behind. Imprinted itself. Left its mark.
And my hand reaches to your side. Unbuttons your skirt, slides down the zipper. Allows the garment to fall, crumpled, to the floor.
My fingers entwine themselves in the elastic of your panties, sliding underneath against your bare, cool skin. Then I pull away, walk to the armchair and sit down. “Turn around.”
You obey. Your face still defiant, despite the tears from the earlier lecture still staining your face.
I point at your panties. “You will be flogged on the bare. Please get ready.”
I sit and observe. And where do you look? Downcast, at the floor, as you hesitate, then slowly, nervously remove the garment, stripping yourself to my gaze. Before you place your hands firmly back on your head, and meet my eyes, defiant.
I stand, taking the cane from the bed. Stand close to you, our faces almost touching. Each of us, breathing the other’s anticipation. I gesture to the space in front of the window: “Now.”
And you pause again, before walking past me, head held high, but trembling. Remembering my earlier instructions, you stand with your legs apart, and lean yourself forward. Hands touching toes. The traditional pose; that space into which so many have gone before.
I step past you, and draw the curtains. “Your offences may have been committed in public. But perhaps we should deal with your punishment in private.” And then, standing in front of you, looking down at your doubled-up body, I lean gently forward; silently touching your hair, stroking the back of your neck.
You murmur a quiet, “I’m sorry, sir,” as I walk round to my position. I don’t respond. At least, not verbally; expressing my response instead with that first, biting whack of the rod. Making you gasp, then howl. Perhaps you hadn’t thought I was serious when I’d told you that your previous punishment had been gentle. Perhaps you hadn’t believed me when I told you how much more intense the strokes would be when they fell on bare flesh, not over your clothes. Perhaps you hadn’t, really, thought I would come back.
And having told you that you would experience a true caning, would understand why the instrument is so respected and so feared, I feel that I owe a duty to you – and to the cane itself – not to compromise.
WHACK. Not to compromise the strength of the strokes. WHACK. Not even as I watch your pale skin stripe, and mark. WHACK. Not even as I hear you yelp and tell you, firmly, to keep silent.
WHACK. Not even as you mutter your apologies, beg me to stop as I promise to continue. WHACK as I know that your begging hides that mix, as you plead for the flogging to relent and yet…. WHACK…. need to be punished.
WHACK. WHACK. WHACK. As I layer three harsh strokes on top of each other, your tears now flowing freely. Crying, sobbing, pleading.
Has the punishment taken you far enough? Too far? I lay down the cane, and run my fingers over your hot, bruised buttocks, tracing the red ridges from one side to the other. Praise you for your bravery. Hear you squeal, at the intense agony of my touch. And as my fingers dance around your skin, hear you gasp, too, in a different way.
I take the cane once more. Close behind you now, I run its tip against the inside of your thigh, and tap it slowly backwards and forwards, from side-to-side. The metronome continues, yet sliding imperceivably higher, then higher still, then higher still. Higher to the point where there is no place for it to slide from side-to-side; only to stop, and press, and then take up its rhythm once more, only this time up and down, softly and not so softly, gentle and yet hard.
“Do you feel properly punished,” I ask, your “Yes” in response part confirmation, part sigh, part shudder. And I draw back, measuring the cane once more, low down, and whip it across you so hard, yet so tenderly. Yet even as you cry out, I throw away the rod, my fingertips once more caressing, my voice re-assuring.
And as I press gently against your stripes, then stroke and comfort, then place my hands firmly on your hips, I ask clearly: “And do you know what needs to happen next?”
And my hands slide around your front. Lifting you upwards. Letting you press your back against me. Letting you feel me.
And I turn you around, cup your face in my hands. Kiss you.
Lead you over to the bed. And inflict on your body a pleasure even more exquisite than the pain that had gone before.