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A Husband’s Duty by Dinah McLeod – Sample

A Husband's Duty by Dinah McLeod 200x300Chapter One

 Jessica

“I love you.”

I practically purred at my husband’s soft, sweet words. I nestled in close, wrapping my arms around him, looking up at him with adoring eyes. Even after three years of marriage, my heart still skipped a beat every time I looked at him. His face was warmly familiar, and yet there were moments when my breath caught in my throat at how handsome he truly was. Not that he believed me when I paid him the compliment, but his modesty was another thing I loved about him.

Jonathon had good bone structure or was “aesthetically pleasing” as my mother had put it. My grandmother had taken it a step further by pinching my arm and announcing in front of everyone at the dinner table, “Jessica, love, your new paramour is downright beddable.

I’d blushed furiously at the time, but now I thought it was kind of funny. Only grandma talked like that anymore. And of course, she had a point.

I loved everything about the way he looked. He had a strong jaw, a dimpled chin, and a sandy-colored mop of hair he kept neatly trimmed right above his ears but that was so full in front it often fell over his eyes. Even though I never said anything, I got very excited when he went to get a haircut, because it meant that I had a full, unaltered view of his eyes. They were the first thing that I’d noticed about Jonathon—his crowning glory, so to speak. They were arresting, dark, and beautiful. They switched between a denim blue and a gray so dark they could pass for obsidian. His eyes were very expressive, and as I’d gotten to know him, I’d learned to use them as my guide to how he was feeling. When he was angry, they were like flint—hard and sharp.

Of course, I hadn’t married him for his looks. It was for the way he swept me off my feet. We were in college, and I’d sworn off relationships after a semester full of too many bad dates and guys who promised to call but didn’t. I was tired of being single but even more tired of waiting by the phone. I started turning down my friends when they invited me to go out dancing and spent the evening reading in the library. It was on one such night that I met Jonathon.

We just said hi as we passed each other, and I didn’t think another thing about it. But he said from that moment on, I was all he could think about. Suddenly, he noticed me in the hallways and realized we shared an Econ class. He started sitting beside me and passing me notes on ripped-out notebook paper. I was touched by the old-fashionedness of it all. Soon, we were having coffee, and he always brought me a present. Sometimes it was a flower that he said reminded him of how my hair smelled, or it was a piece of candy because he’d noticed I always ate some before class.

Maybe it wasn’t the story most people expected to hear when they heard about being swept off your feet, but it was true for me. Jonathon had come into my life when I’d all but given up on love, and he had shown me through his infinite tenderness that I should expect more from life and more from myself.

“I love you too,” I told him, tilting my head up for a kiss. Jonathon happily obliged, and we sat with our lips entwined until I was nearly dizzy from lack of air. I came up spluttering but deeply satisfied. It amazed me to no end that not only had he not tired of me yet, but that his desire for me seemed to grow with every passing year.

“You’re one of a kind, sweetheart.”

His words shook me out of my reverie, and what had been a sweet moment mere seconds ago was dashed by the sour feelings that welled up inside of me. I pushed myself up and off the couch, trying to pretend I didn’t see his pained expression.

“What is it?”

“Nothing,” I lied stiffly.

I was rewarded for my fib with one of Jonathon’s sharp, knowing stares and a swift smack to my bottom. I gasped in surprise and indignation.

“Hey! Watch it!”

“No, you watch it, Jessica. You know better than to talk to me like that, and you certainly know better than to lie to me.”

“I’m sorry. You’re right. It really is nothing,” I tried again, my voice contrite.

Jonathon smiled at me, but it didn’t quite reach his eyes. I knew I had hurt him by my sudden departure. When he turned away from me, I made my way into the kitchen to get myself out of the line of fire—although I knew from previous experience that if he wanted to, there would be nothing I could do to stop him for disciplining my poor bottom.

I bustled around the kitchen, feeling his appraising eyes still on me. I held my breath, waiting for the questions I didn’t want to answer, but mercifully the moment passed, and I knew he was letting it go.

“I’m going to go balance the checkbook,” he said at last. “You should probably start on lunch.”

“Yes, sir,” I replied. I was already working on lunch, but I thought it would be better not to point that out. I knew it would come out sounding all wrong. I watched him retreat into the bedroom, probably thankful to get away from my fickle moods. I knew that I had to get myself under control. He didn’t put up with moping for no reason, and I knew what he’d consider to be an adequate remedy. I didn’t think my bottom could handle it. Besides which, I really regretted hurting him.

As I rinsed the broccoli, rearranging the stems to be sure that each piece was properly cleaned, I allowed myself to think about what had dampened my loving mood in the first place. Between his crazy work schedule and my own, we didn’t get a lot of quiet time together, which made the time we did have especially memorable and why it was a shame that it had all been ruined. I had felt so content in his arms, so warm and cherished that I hadn’t wanted to move a muscle. I’d felt a slow fire of desire flickering inside me. I’d hoped things would go a bit further, until he’d said that phrase that I’d come to loath, “one of a kind”.

It might seem like a compliment to any other woman, but I hated it, because in my case, it simply wasn’t true. Sadly, I’d spent the first twenty years of my life learning just how untrue it really was. After all, my sister Beth was an exact copy of me. It’s true that I was the oldest and we weren’t identical twins, but that never seemed to matter. People lumped us together so often that we might as well have been. In fact, I was older by two years, old enough to remember how it felt when my mother told me she was having a baby for the first time. I was excited, I remember, and took to mothering my dolls with extra diligence so that I’d be ready. My efforts were a waste, as effort always was where Beth was concerned.

She was born on July 11th, approximately two years after I was. It wasn’t enough that she looked just like me—we shared the same honey blond hair, the same upturned, pert noses, and the same high cheekbones. Even our eyes were the same—wide, emerald irises flecked with bits of brown. We had the same gap-toothed smile, and once she caught up to me in height when she hit a growth spurt around middle school, even our friends had trouble telling us apart. No, it wasn’t enough that she stole my identity; she had to horn in on my birthday too!

If I ever mentioned it, my mother just laughed and told me that Beth couldn’t help when she was born—but I’d be darned if I’d believe it! She was a sneak and a snake, taking everything she could get her hands on with no regard to whom it had belonged first.

I angrily chopped the carrots for our salad, brining my knife down heavily on the defenseless vegetables. Thinking about Beth always led to me to a dark place, which is why I tried to avoid it. Today, however, Jonathon’s comment had reminded me that she and her fiancé would be joining us for dinner.

It would be the first time I’d seen my sister in six months, and I wasn’t relishing the prospect. I had in fact tried everything possible to avoid it. I’d made so many excuses that I was beginning to think Beth was a rejection junky. I stopped answering the phone when she called, but then that sneaky snake called Jonathon graciously invited her for dinner, despite knowing how I felt about her. I’d ranted and railed at him that night after he told me the news, with angry tears streaming down my face. I’d taken it too far, stomping my foot and calling him a thoughtless jerk, and found myself upended over his knee for my trouble.

It was just like her, I thought sulking, to turn to the man in my life to get what she wants. Beth was nothing if not a charmer. She could turn on that little-girl-smile, and men would be putty in her dainty soft hands. If there were any justice in the world, her deceit would be showing on her face by now, but of course evil is exempt from wrinkles and under-eye bags.

Jonathon had long held the opinion that I was too harsh where Beth was concerned. Everyone was always trying to protect poor, defenseless Beth from her mean big sister. I rolled my eyes at the thought and brought my knife down with a hard thack. She even had my own husband hoodwinked.

“Honey!” I heard him call from the study.

Speak of the devil, I thought to myself before setting my knife down and walking toward the study.

“Jessica! Come in here, please!”

I was still deep in my sour thoughts, too deep to notice that his voice had an exasperated tone—the same tone that usually meant trouble for my tender orbs. If I had noticed, I never would have bellowed, “I’m coming!” which, while not a good idea in any case, certainly did nothing to help the situation I was walking into.

“What was that?” Jonathon asked, poking his head out the door.

One look at the grim line of his mouth, and I halted in my tracks. Uh-oh.

“I said I’ll be there in a minute, sir.”

“Nice try,” he replied drily. “Come in here, young lady.”

Double uh-oh. He only called me “young lady” when I was in very hot water. I racked my brain, but for the life of me I couldn’t remember what I’d done to earn his ire. Still, I didn’t hesitate to obey. Hesitation was only met with more smacks of the paddle. I’d learned that lesson well, and as antsy as his stern gaze made me feel, I wasn’t likely to forget.

He curtly nodded toward a chair, and I obediently sat in it, pulling my legs under me as if to protect my bottom.

“Do you know why I called you in here?”

“Not a clue,” I said with a grin, hoping I’d see him smile back at me. Instead, his mouth stayed dourly down-turned.

“Then let me enlighten you,” he said, narrowing his eyes, which were now slate gray. “I came in here to balance our checkbook. I discovered that you have been going over budget again, Jessica.”

A lump had formed in my throat at “checkbook” and was now growing larger from anxiety.

“Oh?”

The furrow in his brow deepened. “Now do you understand why I called you in here?”

“Yes, sir,” I admitted, already tearing up. I hated to upset Jonathon. His disappointment in me far outweighed the pain of any discipline he administered—although tragically, that did not keep him from still carrying through with it.

“How much was your shopping budget, Jess?” He softened the question by using my nickname, but even so, tears threatened to spill from my eyes at any minute.

“Um… can I look?” I asked hopefully.

“No,” he said flatly, his dark eyes flashing at me, reminding me of pieces of granite. “You should remember how much you were allowed to spend without having to look. Since you don’t, obviously I haven’t been doing a good job of making your budget known.”

“That’s not true!” I burst out, afraid of what was coming next.

“It must be, Jess, or you could stick to it at least once. From now on, before you leave we are going to have to have a discussion about your budget.”

I winced. We always talked about my budget before I left, but I knew that that wasn’t the type of “discussion” he was referring to.

“I really am sorry, Jonathon,” I tried, but he ignored me like I hadn’t spoken.

“And obviously, it will be awhile before you’re allowed to go shopping again.”

“But, honey! Don’t you remember that there is a formal dinner coming up—”

“Are you telling me,” he leveled me with his gaze, and I felt myself shrinking before his eyes and before the scolding that made me feel like I was no longer a grown woman, but a child, “that you don’t have anything in your closet that you could wear?”

I sighed heavily. “I guess I have something.”

“Very good. Now, honey, I need you to go into the bedroom. I have to print something off first, but I will be right behind you.”

I winced again. “Honey, we really don’t have time—”

His stern glare caused the words to die on my lips.

“Bedroom. Now.”

Obeying, I scurried out of the study, my heart pounding loudly in my chest. I knew he hated having to repeat himself, and my poor rear would pay the price if I made him say it again. When I got into the bedroom, I looked longingly at the bed and felt the twinges of desire that had begun earlier, but I knew that was not to be. Instead, I walked to the corner and put my nose to the wall like I knew he expected.

I sniffled to keep the tears from falling. I knew I was being silly. Even if I didn’t remember the exact amount, I’d known I was spending over my budget—all in an attempt to impress someone who didn’t even matter. Beth would be looking me up and down and finding me lacking, I knew. She was big on designer labels, and I’d thought that having one or two would make me feel more confident. Instead, I’d earned myself a sore bottom, which would only serve to make me feel worse about our dinner in a few hours.

The thing about Beth was I always felt like she had the upper hand. Like I said, people mistook us for twins. My mother was delighted at that prospect—she thought it was adorable—but for kids trying to find their own identities, it was a nightmare. I hated being compared with Beth. She was so willing to lie and turn things to her advantage, and I never did that. Not even now, when I knew that I was facing a reddened rear and many tears, would I consider lying to Jonathon. Beth never had such qualms. She was always doing one thing or another to ruin my life.

Surely he understood that. Jonathon knew that I didn’t like my sister, and yet he had invited her here without even talking it over with me. He had to know that was the reason that I was on edge, that that was why I’d spent the money. Of course, he probably did know. He was a very understanding, kind-hearted man, but he was big on following through, too.

It was fair, I had to admit. He loved me, and he only wanted what was best for us. I knew that. It was the reason I’d married him in the first place. It’s funny, Beth had been having guys follow her around like puppies ever since I could remember. She was funny, charismatic, and gutsy. And beautiful. People might pretend they couldn’t tell the difference between us, but that was impossible. Her honey-blond hair was thicker and shone like the sun, while my strands were limp. Her emerald eyes were lustrous, while mine were dull. Even her nose was tilted more, her cheekbones were higher, and her breasts fuller.

The first time Jonathon had met Beth had been at our wedding, because she avoided me just as much as I avoided her. I’d waited, holding my breath, as he embraced her. I’d cringed as she’d kissed him on the mouth, laughing and calling him “brother”. I’d fixed a fake, plastic smile on my face and never dropped it, even as she stood too closely to him and squeezed his arm.

By the time he came back to my side—it was probably mere minutes, but to me, it felt like days—I’d started having trouble breathing. I’d avoided his eyes, certain that I would see regret there. He’d tilted my chin up so that I had to meet his soft, gray eyes. They were as warm as a blanket, framed by dark lashes long enough to make any girl envious. He’d lowered his mouth to my ear—the touch of his full lips always made me shiver with delight—and whispered, “You’re prettier by half.”

I’d felt the warm surge of victory mingled with relief. Thank God, I kept thinking to myself. Thank God. That had been three years ago, and in all those years, I’d only seen Beth a handful of times. Each time I waited, listening for him to laugh too loud at one of her jokes, or find a reason to take her hand. He never did, and while I was relieved, some part of me was always waiting for the inevitable. Everyone preferred Beth in the end, even if it didn’t start out that way.

I loved Jonathon, and while he had never given me any reason to doubt him, the doubt still lingered. While I hated being disciplined for breaking rules, it was one of the reasons I’d married him. He’d begun it early on in our relationship, spanking me when I lost my temper in the mall and yelled at him. While I’d been incensed at first, I came to realize that I liked the stability it brought to my life. Knowing that he was a man of his word and that he disciplined out of love made me feel secure in our relationship.

At that moment, Jonathon walked in, and I turned my head at the sound of his footfalls. My eyes were drawn, wide with horror, to the wooden spoon he held in his hand. It wasn’t your typical cooking spoon—he kept this one locked in his desk drawer in the study, and it was used only for extras I earned during my punishment. It was made out of thick bamboo wood and stung like hell.

“Honey, I—”

“You can talk afterward,” he asserted, his voice gruff. “Now turn back around.”

I did as I was bid, feeling a knot form in my stomach. I knew I deserved to be punished, but did he have to use that thing? He knew that I hated it—which, of course, was the point. I had a few more moments to bemoan my fate before Jonathon called for me to come to him. By that time, I was shaking with nerves and tears wet my face.

Jonathon took my hands in his and pulled me toward him until I was in-between his knees.

“Hey, love,” he said, gently wiping my tears and placing a kiss on my cheek. “I don’t want to do this. I don’t enjoy it, you know that, right?”

“I know.”

“But we discussed what you were allowed to spend before you left, didn’t we?”

“Yes,” I groaned, wishing he would get on with it already. I knew what I’d done wrong, so why did he have to harp on it! Why couldn’t he just spank me and be done with it? Instead, he liked to lecture me until I felt two feet tall and as abashed as a child. His brow furrowed, the corners of his mouth turning down, and I felt myself blush.

“Yes, sir,” I corrected.

“How much was your budget, Jess?”

“I don’t know—sir,” I added hurriedly.

“I have it right here in front of me, if you need it, but if I have to tell you you’ll be getting the strap.”

Tears filled my eyes again at the mention of the dreaded implement, but for the life of me I couldn’t remember what number we had agreed on.

“Two-fifty?” I guessed, holding my breath in hopes that I’d gotten it right.

Jonathon sighed and hung his head for a moment, giving me a look at his dusty blond locks that felt like silk against my fingertips. I sighed internally. They were about to fall over his eyes again, which meant he would be getting a haircut soon.

“No, Jessica,” he said as he met my eyes. “Care to try again?”

“Three hundred?” I guessed.

“No, love. It was two hundred. How much over that did you go, do you think?”

I swallowed hard, because this part I knew. I mumbled the answer, my eyes cast downward, but Jonathon cleared his throat until I looked back up at him.

“Louder, please.”

“Seven hundred dollars,” I said, still whispering, but loud enough for us both to hear. “I spent eight-hundred and ninety-seven dollars, which is nearly seven hundred over.”

Even though he had the papers in front of him and had already looked at our bank account, he whistled. “What on Earth did you think would be worth that kind of money?”

“Nothing, I just got some things…”

“What things? Show them to me.”

I groaned loudly. Why did we have to do this whole song and dance, anyway? We both knew where this was going to end up. Still, all it took was a firm little push, and I walked to my closet. With my heart beating loudly in my chest and my hands sweating, I pulled out the items I’d bought that morning. I should have used the credit card, I scolded myself. It would have earned me another spanking since he’d specifically told me to use my debit card, but at least it would have been at the end of the month, not right before I was going to see the long-lost sister that I couldn’t stand. Just the idea of her watching me squirm through dinner on my sore behind made me blush from my hairline to the soles of my feet.

Shopping bag in hand, I walked back to Jonathon, dragging my feet. He waited patiently, even though I took twice as long as I normally would have without the prospect of a whipping hanging over my head. I held out the bag, and he took it without a word. I could hear his grunted disapproval when he unpacked the items. I didn’t have to watch to know what he’d find. I’d bought a designer Kate Spade bag and a pair of Gucci sandals on clearance.

“Are you trying to tell me that you went over budget for a pair of flip flops and a purse?” Jonathon asked, his tone incredulous.

“They’re not flip-flops,” I defended myself half-heartedly, knowing that it was useless to debate with him.

“Okay. I’m sure you’re right. Still, don’t you have fifty pairs of flip flops you could wear instead?” His cool logic was always so sound, I had no choice but to nod. “And how many purses do you have, anyway? Twenty? Thirty?”

“Seven,” I corrected, rolling my eyes when his head was bent over the receipts.

“Seven then. That’s still more than enough. And anyway, if you really wanted a new pair of—shoes—” he corrected, looking at me, “and a bag, you could have bought them for the two hundred dollars we set aside for you to spend. Right?”

“I couldn’t buy even the bag for two hundred, Jonathon! It’s Kate Spade!” I emphasized, knowing that the name wouldn’t make one bit of difference to him.

“Kate who?” he asked, as expected. “Do you know her or something?”

I stifled a giggle despite my precarious situation. “No, I don’t know her.”

Jonathon sighed, long and heavy, and my heart went out to him. I knew that he didn’t enjoy punishing me. In fact, part of me thought he dreaded it as much as I did, but as a man of his word, he always carried through with what he said he would do. He had promised a spanking for each and every time that I went over my budget, and I knew that he wouldn’t hesitate to keep that promise, as much as it pained him to see the tears in my eyes.

“Look, I’m really sorry,” I tried again, squeezing his hand. “It was stupid of me, and it will never, ever happen again. I swear.”

“I might be tempted to believe you,” he replied, returning my squeeze, “if you hadn’t broken that same promise one too many times. Let’s get this over with, sweetheart.” He patted his knee, and I cringed. “Come on.”

As I stepped towards him, I cursed myself. Why had I bought a stupid bag and shoes that I didn’t even really like? I could have gotten something for a fourth of the price that I would have loved. What the heck was wrong with me? But of course, I knew the answer wasn’t a what, but a who. That who was my sister: perfect, stylish Beth, who would be here in less than two hours. I knew she’d be dressed perfectly for the occasion—even if I had no clue what one wore to dinner with an estranged sister, she would. Just this once, I’d wanted to one-up her. Although I’d forgotten more fashion lessons over the years than I could count, one thing she’d said had always stuck with me: the first thing you notice about another woman is her bag. The second is the shoes. So, I’d put my neck in a noose—or my butt in jeopardy, as it were—to impress someone who I told myself I couldn’t stand.

I gave him one last pleading look, but he didn’t respond except for a firm stare. Sighing, I unzipped my skirt and let it fall to my knees. I stepped over it and took the two steps that put me between his knees. My eyes were already beginning to fill with tears when I put myself over his lap. Jonathon hooked his thumbs in my underwear, and I craned my neck back to look at him. “No fair,” I whimpered. “You always give me my warm-up with panties on.”

He answered with a resounding slap that made me cry out and arch my back. Another was quickly delivered to the other cheek and then a stinging smack to my sit spot. He worked on my sit spot more than my bottom cheeks—for every smack my bottom cheeks received, my sit spot got four. Each of them were toe-curling scorchers that made my tears flow. The sting was starting to feel unbearable when he stopped.

Surprised at the interruption, I looked at him again and saw him reaching for one of my sandals. I was confused, until I saw him lift it high in the air.

“Hey, wait a minute! What are you doing?”

“What does it look like I’m doing?” he asked, leveling me with an unsympathetic stare.

“But you can’t!” I protested. “Those shoes cost three hundred dollars!” I winced as soon as I heard the price, but Jonathon didn’t say anything. I knew that nothing I said would sway him from administering punishment as he saw fit, but I had to try. “Jonathon, they are designer shoes! You will ruin them! I won’t be able to take them back.”

“Oh, I didn’t plan on you taking them back. You get to keep one thing you’ve bought, and I’ve decided on the shoes.” Releasing his hold on my back for a moment, he bent the hot pink rubber sole until the shoe was folded in half. When he let go, it sprang back to its natural shape. “They’re perfect for punishing such a naughty girl, don’t you think?”

I groaned and turned my face from him, sniffling. Just thinking of that hard rubber sole attacking my poor rear made me shudder, but before long I didn’t have to think about it because it was happening. I cried out each time the rubber of the sole connected with my sore bottom. Jonathon paced the swats out, giving them every fifteen seconds or so—waiting just long enough for me to feel the burn of each impact before striking another part of my delicate flesh.

“I don’t—ever—want to hear that you don’t remember how much you were told to spend. Understand?” Jonathon asked, punctuating each word with a hard slap.

“Yes, sir!” I squealed, spluttering.

After another dozen or so, he tossed the shoe to the side. I immediately grabbed for my bottom, but Jonathon captured my wrists and held them easily in one hand, leaving me to suffer through the pain of my well spanked rear. I sobbed, my body limp on his lap. I tugged my wrists, but he didn’t release them, and I couldn’t speak coherently, so I wiped my tears off on his pants leg.

“You are going to take back the bag tomorrow,” he told me, but his voice had lost some of its edge and sounded more like the Jonathon that I knew and loved. “I want you to keep the receipt and let me know when it’s returned to our account, okay?”

“Yes, sir,” I agreed, trying to ignore how embarrassed I would be to take it back. I imagined that I would be blushing the entire time, tripping over excuses as to why I was returning it.

“And it goes without saying that you are grounded from shopping for at least a month,” he continued.

I made a low moan, a feeble protest that Jonathon didn’t even respond to. A month? A month?

“What if I need socks?”

Jonathon chuckled, and I knit my brow in annoyance. I didn’t see what was so funny!

“If you need socks, then you let me know, and I will get some for you.”

“I can buy my own socks,” I muttered, feeling mutinous.

“Can you?” he asked easily. “It’s funny, because I was sure you could buy a purse or a pair of shoes and still stick to your budget. Since you couldn’t, you lose shopping privileges until I think you can be trusted again. This means,” Jonathon raised his voice to be heard over my feeble protests, pushing his free hand on my hot bottom as a warning, “that any time you need to buy anything, and I do mean anything that is outside our monthly budget, you need to run it by me.”

“Fine,” I huffed. I was rewarded for my sass with a sharp reprimand placed on my inner thigh. I howled with protest, and Jonathon waited until I was calm and sincerely contrite before continuing.

“Just to be clear, so there are no loopholes—” I rolled my eyes at this, but kept quiet—”if it is not in the grocery budget or paying bills, you come to me. Understand?”

“I understand,” I whispered.

“If you don’t obey me, darling wife, you will be strapped for each dollar spent. Are we clear?”

I cringed at the pronouncement, but nodded. “Crystal.”

“Good. You can get up now, Jessica.” He helped me to a sitting position on his lap, and kissed my tears. “I hate punishing you,” he murmured, stroking my wet cheek. “You know that?”

I could tell he was feeling badly about what he’d just done, and while it would probably feel pretty good to pout and make it worse, I knew that he needed me to reassure him of my love. “I know. Thank you for being such a good husband to me.”

Instead of smiling at my words, his mouth set into a firm line. I barely had time to consider it before he spoke.

“We’re not done yet, love.” I tensed at his words and remembered his threat even before he said it aloud. “I have to strap you.”

The tears came quickly, and I was sobbing again before I knew it. I was terrified of the strap, which he thought made it all the more effective. “Please,” I begged as I cried into my hands.

“I’m sorry, Jess,” he said, pulling me tightly against him. “I don’t want to, but you didn’t leave me a choice. You have to listen when I talk to you, and you should have remembered the budget we set. Forgetting shows laziness on your part, and we can’t have that, honey. You do understand, don’t you?”

“I do,” I promised. “I understand. Please, Jonathon, you don’t have to whip me. I promise, I won’t forget again.”

He shook his head sadly. “I already told you I was going to do it, Jess, and I meant it. Next time, make sure you’re paying attention the first time we discuss something, and it won’t have to come to this.”

It was moments like these that I regretted suggesting domestic discipline be a part of our relationship. Even after the spanking he had given me at the mall, Jonathon hadn’t been comfortable with the idea of making a full-time addition to our relationship. But once he saw that it made me secure and happy, he took the idea and ran with it, even doing research and finding a group of men he talked with about it on a regular basis. My husband didn’t do anything lightly, I had to admit that. Still, he had moments where he needed to be reminded that I loved him for doing this, as strange as it was to believe.

And I did love him for it, of course. Not a lot of men would change their way of thinking and put so much effort into a relationship. I knew I was lucky, but still, there were days when I had “what-if” moments where domestic discipline was concerned. If most of these moments followed a lot of tears and a sore bottom, well, that wasn’t lost on my astute husband.

With loving hands, Jonathon pulled me to a standing position and gently bent me over the bed. My panties fell to my ankles, and I kicked them off irritably. I waited, drumming my toes on the carpet fretfully as he retrieved the strap from where he kept it buried deep in his dresser, behind his socks.

I felt him come up behind me, and I’d just buried my face into the pillow that he’d given me when the first stroke landed like a strike of lightening.

“Ahhhh!” I wailed loudly, thankful for the muffling of the pillow. I didn’t know what I’d do if the neighbors heard. Even if they didn’t call the police, having to deal with their knowing looks when I went outside to check the mail would be more than I could bear. I could practically feel the welt rising up from my flesh before Jonathon swung the strap again.

“Ow! That hurt!” I accused, raising my head to look at him.

His mouth was drawn into a tight line as he replied, “It’s supposed to hurt, Jess. That’s the point. I want it to hurt, so that next time we’re having an important conversation you will pay attention. Understand?”

“Whatever,” I mumbled, gasping in shock as my thighs were whipped three times in quick succession. I dissolved into a jittery bundle of tears. I felt him rub my back in an attempt to comfort me. I longed to shake his hand off, but I was afraid that if I did, he’d spank me more, and I didn’t think my thighs could take it.

“I swear,” he mused aloud. “How can a woman still be so sassy while getting her butt tanned? Is that just something about women, or are you special?”

I knew better than to reply. His touch no longer annoyed me, and I arched my back into his caress and leaned into his hard thigh. It crossed my mind that maybe, just maybe, I could get him to move his interest to other things. Sexy, half-naked things… but it was a long-shot. Jonathon never had sex with me after a punishment. He said it felt like he was rewarding me for bad behavior, or at the very least, saying that the behavior was okay. He didn’t want me to get the wrong idea. For a man who had been so reluctant about having a DD relationship in the first place, he sure had become strict!

“Ten more,” he announced, jarring me out of my thoughts. I cried out at his announcement but buried my face in the pillow again.

“Now, I want you to be thinking about why you’re being punished,” he instructed. “I don’t want you thinking about how sore you are or how sorry you are about having to return that purse. Think about listening to me and obeying in the future, okay?”

I nodded my assent, and Jonathon gave me ten perfectly parallel stripes to match the five I’d already earned. By the time he returned the strap to his sock drawer we were both worn out and exhausted. With a gesture Jonathon sent me back to the corner where I stood sobbing and clutching my burning cheeks. Normally I wasn’t allowed to rub, but after he strapped me he figured it didn’t do any harm. There was no way for me to rid myself of the burn that had been set in to my skin.

Jonathon never told me how long I waited in the corner, and I shifted from foot to foot as I thought of him staring at my bare bottom and the damage he’d done to it. He got an odd sort of pride, I thought, about how well he chastised me. Not that he liked to hurt me—I knew that there was nothing that caused him greater agony than having to punish me. Still, if he had to do it, he liked knowing that he had done the job well.

“Come here,” he summoned, and I left my prison eagerly, grateful for the solitude his arms provided. I curled up on his lap, my arms around his neck as he reassured me of his love and wiped the remainder of the tears out of the corners of my eyes.

It hurt to sit on his lap, and I bit down on my lip to keep from moaning when he shifted. “I’m sorry,” I said again, looking up at him with repentant eyes.

“Shh, it’s over now,” he reminded me, gently stroking my cheek. “What time is your sister going to be here?”

I groaned aloud at the reminder. “Oh, really, Jonathon, let’s reschedule for another night.”

“Absolutely not,” he replied firmly.

“But, honey! I didn’t know that I’d be this sore! There’s no way that I can sit at the table for a long dinner!” I whined.

“Then let’s make it a short one,” he suggested with a teasing gleam in his eye.

“It’s not funny!” I protested, smacking his chest. “What were you thinking, spanking me before my sister got here? Now I—” I didn’t have time to finish my rant, because I quickly found myself flipped over and at my husband’s mercy once again. I felt him reach over, and I craned my neck behind me and saw him reaching for the dreaded wooden spoon. I struggled to free myself from his grasp as I shrieked in dismay.

“Young lady,” he barked, yanking me back into place and bringing the spoon down on my bottom with a solid smack. “I don’t know what has gotten into you today, but you know better than to hit me just because you’re angry!” Each word was punctuated with a well-placed swat. He placed them one on top of the other, then worked his way up the welts he’d given me.

Of course I knew that he was right. I hadn’t hit him very hard, but that wasn’t the point. He never punished me when he was angry, even when I deserved it, but he hadn’t deserved the slap I’d given him. While he’d given me the spanking, it really wasn’t his fault that I had a sore bottom—it was mine. It wasn’t right to blame him for it. He drove that point home with each smack of the spoon against my trembling flesh. I was a sobbing, contrite little girl before he was halfway finished. After the wooden spoon worked its way back down the welts, beating a tempo on my bottom, he placed firm spanks on my thighs, first the left, then the right, and back over again. He placed them low, and I knew I would enjoy sitting to eat my dinner far less than I’d originally thought.

“Please,” I begged tearfully. “Please stop. I’ll be good, I promise.” I must have said the words over and over again before he relented. Jonathon never stopped until he was darn good and ready to.

When he tossed the spoon away, I threw myself at his mercy, sobbing my apologies. He hugged me briefly and patted my hair, but that was it. I knew he was still irritated at me—if there was one thing he didn’t permit, it was physical violence.

“Better get to the kitchen and get dinner started,” he suggested, his tone daring me to make one word of protest.

“Okay,” I said softly, standing and pulling up my underwear and smoothing my skirt. “Um, Jonathon?”

“Yes?” he asked, an edge of impatience in his otherwise loving voice.

“Could you not mention… you know… the whole spanking thing while they’re here?”

He blew out a frustrated breath and fixed me with a stern gaze. “I would never embarrass you that way. But you better behave yourself, or I won’t have to tell them—they’ll see it live and in person!”

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