As Alexa attempted to sit up in bed, all the muscles in her body protested and a piercing pain shot through her chest, reminding her of her broken rib. She gasped and closed her eyes until the agony faded, cursing her injuries. Footsteps approached from down the hall, and she knew it was William bringing her lunch. The kindness flickering in his eyes when he paused in the doorway made her want to cry. She took a deep breath and forced a smile, not wanting him to think she didn’t appreciate all he’d done for her since the car accident a week ago.
“There’s my beautiful girl.”
The appetizing aroma of tortilla soup entered the room with William. Her stomach rumbled as if on cue, but she ignored her hunger and gazed at him, marveling at how untiringly nurturing he’d been to her. Though appreciative that he was taking such good care of her, the warmth and longing his constant care aroused deep down struck her with worry. Desires she’d never expected to experience battled to surface, and she kept pushing them down in hopes that they would fade away. But every time William walked through their bedroom door with that handsome smile of his, she felt like a little girl inside, a little girl who longed for her daddy’s loving reassurance that everything was going to be okay.
William placed the tray of food on the nightstand, sank down next to her, and began petting her hair. His touch lifted her out of her troublesome thoughts. Endorphins kicked in as he gently drew his fingers through her locks, and she was filled with adoration as she gazed up at her handsome husband of two years. Sadness fell upon her a moment later, and she blinked rapidly and hoped to hold her tears at bay. She normally didn’t cry easily, but she’d been very emotional since the accident.
Without a word, William grabbed a tissue and caught the first tear to roll down her cheek, and all the rest that followed. He always did, and she loved him for it, but guilt filled her as he continued wiping the moisture from her face. She couldn’t possibly explain her tears to him. Not in a thousand years.
“You really didn’t have to stay home again today, William.” Alexa grimaced as another piercing pain stabbed at her chest. She pressed a hand to the wrap that circled her torso, waiting until the worst of the pain passed. “I feel bad that you’re wasting all your personal days on me.”
William raised an eyebrow at her and clasped her hand. “Young lady, who’s the boss around here?” His tone was teasing, but she knew he still expected an answer.
She sighed and grinned through her lingering tears. “You are, sir.”
“Now, I happen to love you very much, Alexa, and I intend to stay home with you until I’m certain you can get around safely on your own. I don’t want to hear anymore nonsense about me wasting personal days on you. Do you want me to make you keep a punishment journal for when you are all healed up, young lady? Hmm?”
Alexa flushed, and despite her pain, felt a rush of heat travel between her thighs at his threat. She and William practiced domestic discipline in their marriage and he took his role as head of household very seriously. She had no doubt he’d instruct her to start keeping such a journal if she mentioned his personal days again, or if she misbehaved otherwise. “I won’t bring it up again.” Her cheeks still burned from his scolding.
He stayed with her while she ate lunch, and after she finished he carried the tray from the bedroom, promising to check on her again soon. Her heart panged with sadness and confusion overcame her when the urge to call him ‘Daddy’ and beg him not to leave yet overcame her for the umpteenth time. She pressed her eyes shut and tried to understand her sudden longing.
After a handful of failed relationships with vanilla partners, Alexa had confessed her needs to her friend, Tina. To her surprise, Tina had given her a knowing smile and introduced her to one of her husband’s friends, and Alexa had been smitten with William ever since. She’d been upfront with him about her desires early in their relationship, and he’d been just as upfront with her. Their mutual belief in traditional marriage and domestic discipline had drawn them together.
But did she dare tell him about her sudden interest in age play? Well, he knew she read the occasional age play book, but she’d once told him that it was something she enjoyed reading about and nothing more. Now she tried to remember the exact expression on his face and his tone during this conversation, a conversation they’d had before marriage. She thought she’d seen a twinkle in his eye, but she didn’t know what it meant. God, she just wanted the feelings to go away and for life to return to normal.
They had a strong marriage, and she felt guilty for suddenly wanting more from him; she resolved not to bring it up, especially now. She felt bad enough that he’d taken a week of personal time to stay home with her. If he went over his allotted personal days, he’d start losing vacation days. Closing her eyes, she recalled the night of the accident and shuddered.
It had just started to rain, and the road had been slippery. As she drove through an intersection in the middle of town, a truck smashed into the passenger side of her car, totaling it. The elderly man in the truck had been apologetic and claimed he’d thought the light was green. By some miracle, neither Alexa nor the old man had been seriously hurt.
Ever since that night, she’d experienced a shift in her emotions and her desire to be submissive to William. She tried to analyze it, and she thought perhaps the shock of the accident coupled with William’s extra attentive care had awakened the little girl inside her. The stress of being laid off from her accounting job a month ago probably contributed to her fragile state too. She grabbed another tissue and dabbed the fresh tears from her face. Or maybe the pain medication was making her completely loopy. She’d tried to go without it, but a broken rib hurt something awful.
She closed her eyes and settled against the pillows stacked behind her, her thoughts spinning a million miles an hour. A naughty thrill always coursed through her when she began a new age play book, and she’d sometimes fantasized about William taking on the role of her daddy and treating her as his little, but it had only been a fantasy. She’d never been unsettled in their marriage and wanting to try something more, until now.
Maybe her need would dissipate after a few days. She could only hope. She just wanted everything to go back to normal. For her to heal and for William to return to work. Then she could resume her job search.
She picked up her e-reader and tried to concentrate on a new book, but it was no use. She’d finish a page only to have no memory of what she’d just read. Sighing, she set the e-reader aside and stared out the window. Sun streamed through the curtains and danced across the floor each time the backyard trees swayed in the breeze. If it hadn’t been for the accident, she’d probably be enjoying an afternoon jog in the nice weather. Her insides wouldn’t be twisted into knots either.
As she continued to stare out the window, trying not to think about her new desires, and failing miserably, she heard William rattling around in the kitchen. Pots and pans clanged together. Cabinets slammed shut. After a few minutes, the smell of baking cookies drifted upstairs, and her mouth watered. Chocolate chip. Her favorite.
Her face crumpled and she pressed another tissue to her face, taking deep breaths and trying to calm herself. She resolved not to take any more of the pain medication, just in case it was partly to blame for her being upset.
He was her husband. She was supposed to be able to tell him anything. She’d promised to never keep secrets from him, especially those that affected their marriage. But what if he thought age play was too weird? She couldn’t bear the thought of his rejection, though she knew even if he wasn’t keen on exploring it with her, he’d let her down gently. A gentle rejection was still a rejection though.
By the time he brought her fresh cookies and coffee, she’d calmed down enough that she was no longer on the verge of crying, but the look of concern that transpired on William’s face revealed he sensed something was amiss anyway.
“What’s wrong, sweetie?” he asked as he placed the plate of cookies on her lap.
Wincing, she sat up straight and hoped the stabbing pain left her chest soon. The doctor had said it would take a few weeks for her rib to heal. She couldn’t imagine dealing with this discomfort for another week, let alone several. She met William’s dark brown eyes, smiling at the flecks of gold that shimmered in the sunlight. “I’ve always liked your eyes,” she said.
His frown deepened, and those dark eyes she loved became steely. “Your attempt to change the subject won’t work. Tell me what’s wrong, Alexa.” He placed the coffee on the nightstand, sank down on the bed, and squeezed her hand.
She felt trapped and struggled for an appropriate response. She certainly couldn’t blurt out the truth. Not now. She hadn’t even come to terms with her new desires, and she didn’t want to discuss them with William yet. Maybe not ever. She took a deep breath and looked down, but he caught her chin between two fingers and directed her gaze back to his.
“Do not avoid my question, young lady. You’re starting to worry me. Tell me what’s wrong. Are you in too much pain? Do you want me to call Dr. Stevens?”
She shook her head. “Well, it still hurts badly, but that’s not what’s wrong.” She paused, guilt gnawing at her heart because of the lie that rested on the tip of her tongue. “I don’t want to take the pain medicine anymore. I think it’s making me emotional. I’d rather deal with an achy rib than feel like crying all the time.” Well, it wasn’t a total lie. It just wasn’t the entire truth. Still, she felt guilty. William never lied to her, and he didn’t deserve to be lied to.
He studied her for a moment, the sun glinting off the streaks of gray in his black hair. “We can cut the dosage for your pain medicine in half and see how that goes. If you’re not suffering too much, then maybe in a few days we’ll wean you completely off it.”
“Thank you, William.” She smiled, relieved. The tension in her chest lessened, but the guilt remained churning inside her like a poison she’d swallowed. She smiled again and picked up a cookie. “You’re the best husband in the world, by the way,” she said as she bit into the warm, gooey goodness.
He grinned and tousled her hair, then passed her the coffee. “By the way, I’ve arranged to work from home next week, so I won’t be losing any more personal days.”
Swallowing a mouthful of cookie dipped in coffee, she glared up at him, annoyance buzzing through her. “But I won’t need you next week! I’ll be perfectly fine. William, it’s a broken rib, nothing more. If I had a job, I’d be going back to work Monday anyway. Please stop treating me like a child.” She almost gasped at her choice of words. Treating me like a child. That’s what she wanted, wasn’t it? To be nurtured by William and have all her needs taken care of? Yet she was pushing him away and wishing the accident had never happened and her new desires hadn’t been awakened.
His expression softened and he stroked her hair. “I know you could manage without me next week, but I want to stay home with you, Alexa. After the worry of that night…” His voice trailed off and dark clouds gathered in his eyes. He swallowed hard. “I just don’t feel like letting you out of my sight yet. Now, no more arguments, or I will make you keep that punishment journal we talked about, young lady.”
Another week. She wondered if she could make it that long without breaking down in front of him and confessing her deep need. She wanted to crawl up on his lap in the rocking chair in the corner of the room and snuggle against his chest while he read her a bedtime story. She wanted to hear him say things like “Daddy loves you, Alexa” and “Time for your bath, little girl” and “Alexa Marie Benson, get your naughty bottom in here right now!”
“Alexa, I expect you to answer me.”
Shaken from her daydreaming, she glanced up and felt a pang of warmth between her thighs at the stern look he’d leveled upon her. Though he hadn’t asked her a direct question, she knew from experience he expected her to acknowledge his statement. “All right, William. I won’t bring it up again.”
“Good girl.” He kissed her forehead, walked to the doorway, and paused. Turning slightly he asked, “Are you absolutely certain that nothing else is bothering you?”
“Yes, William, I am absolutely certain,” she said around a mouthful of cookie.
He departed the bedroom and she placed the cookies and coffee aside, her appetite gone. Not only did she have a big secret she despaired to share with him, but she’d lied to his face after he’d asked a direct question. If he discovered her lie, he’d be disappointed in her and she’d be in big trouble. The kind of trouble that usually resulted in a thoroughly spanked bottom. Despair stabbed at her heart when she imagined his disappointment, and dread rolled through her insides at the thought of a serious punishment spanking.
* * *
William attached the advertisement proposal to the email he’d just finished writing and pressed the send button. Sighing, he ran a hand through his hair and glanced at the clock. Time to start dinner. After closing down his computer for the day, he moved to stare out the open window, looking at the empty street below as the cool spring air drifted against his face. Thunderclouds gathered in the sky and lightning flashed in the distance. He shut the window and headed out of his home office, intending to check on Alexa before he threw together a lasagna.
He wished she’d tell him what was bothering her, because he couldn’t for the life of him figure it out. He’d seen the amount of tissues in the trashcan next to their bed. When he wasn’t with her, she cried. It killed him that she was crying in secret and wouldn’t lay her burdens on him. He’d tried several times to get her to open up, only for her to claim the pain medication was making her emotional and nothing more.
She was down to taking one pill before bedtime to help her sleep, and she’d gone completely without medication during the last four days. Still, he occasionally found her with red-rimmed eyes, and the tissues kept piling up in the trash can.
Normally Alexa discussed her problems openly and he didn’t have to drag the truth out of her. In fact, he couldn’t remember a time she’d been melancholy for days while bottling her troubles up. Why now? What could it be?
She’d been fine before the accident. She’d been laid off from her job recently, but she’d been steadily applying for new jobs and had even gone to a few interviews already. Financially, they were fine. His job provided enough income for the both of them, so she couldn’t be stressed out about money. Perhaps she was bored. Or lonely. Aside from sitting on the front porch, she hadn’t gotten out of the house in over two weeks.
A sudden crack of thunder and rain pattering down on the roof dispelled his thoughts of getting her out of the house for a short evening walk.
He entered the kitchen and paused at the sight that greeted him. Alexa was sprinkling shredded cheese overtop a casserole of some sort. Pleasure lighted her eyes and she was humming happily. She looked up, wiped her hands on her apron, and graced him with a dazzling smile.
William opened his mouth, ready to chastise her for getting out of bed, but then smartly shut it when he realized how happy she looked. Though she moved around the kitchen slowly, she wasn’t wincing and grabbing her chest with every little movement anymore. Her rib was healing and she was obviously feeling better. His spirits brightened and he grinned, leaning forward over the island. “I’d planned on making lasagna tonight.”
“Well, we’re having chicken and veggie casserole tonight. You can make lasagna tomorrow night. But please, do feel free to set the table,” she said, smirking.
They enjoyed a pleasant meal in the dining room for the first time since Alexa’s accident, and after the storm blew over they sat on the front porch, watching as the moon and stars emerged from behind the lingering clouds.
“If I promise not to take a pill tonight, may I have a glass of wine?” Alexa asked, leaning her head against his shoulder.
“Are you sure you’ll be able to sleep without the pill?”
He gazed down at her, tucking a strand of silky chestnut brown hair behind her ear and thanking God the accident hadn’t been worse. He kissed her cheek. “One glass. You stay right here and I’ll be back.”
“Make it a big glass!” she called playfully.
Entering the kitchen, he grabbed a bottle of her favorite red wine and searched for the bottle opener. At least her good mood had lasted throughout the evening, he thought as he poured two glasses. Again, he felt a surge of gratitude that she was recovering quickly from the accident.
He couldn’t imagine life without his sweet wife. About two and a half years ago, he’d been about to set up an online dating profile to find a likeminded woman, when his best friend Andy’s wife hinted that she might have found the perfect girl for him. He’d been hesitant to meet Alexa and didn’t want to endure another failed relationship with a vanilla woman he cared about but couldn’t be completely satisfied with for the rest of his life. To his surprise, Alexa had brought domestic discipline up before he had, three short weeks after they began dating. She’d imbibed far too much wine, which she later admitted she’d needed for bravery, before confessing her deep need to find a dominant partner she could submit to, a man who wasn’t afraid to take her in hand when she needed it. He smiled as he recalled how red her face had turned when she’d said, “I want to be with a man who will p-punish me when I’ve broken one of his rules. You know, by s-spanking me.” They got married six months later.
He smiled as the memories washed over him.
After he returned to the porch and handed Alexa her wine, she gulped it greedily, as if she were trying to get drunk. He shot her a questioning look, but she simply smiled and shrugged before swallowing down the rest of it. He was glad he hadn’t poured her a large glass.
“I have something to tell you,” she said, placing her empty glass down on the porch. “It’s about what’s been bothering me these last few days. Or well, these last two weeks.”
William sat his wine down and turned in the rocker, giving her his full attention. Her eyes widened, and the light from a lamp inside the living room bathed her face in a yellow glow, revealing prettily flushed cheeks. She twisted her hands in her lap, and he thought her nervousness made her look adorable. Panic flitted briefly through his heart though as he considered the reason for her nervousness. He vowed to fix whatever was bothering her. “Go on,” he said, nodding. “Tell me what’s going on, sweetie.”
“Ever since the accident, you’ve been treating me differently. I mean, you’ve been taking care of me very well. You’ve been extra tender and extra affectionate, and there are times when I feel like… like…” Her eyes widened further and she clamped her lips together, glancing down at her hands as she continued twisting her fingers together.
William’s impatience increased, and he bit back a scolding remark, hoping his calm silence and a gentle hand caressing her thigh would encourage her to continue. Several minutes passed, and finally Alexa sighed and met his eyes once more.
“I am very embarrassed over what I’m trying to tell you. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, but I worry what you will think of me.”
“Alexa, I love you, but you aren’t making sense. Please remember that I love you no matter what. The only time I want you to feel embarrassed around me is if I’m doing something especially naughty to you with the intention of embarrassing you.” He smiled, hoping to calm her fears.
“All right. Okay. It’s like this. When you’re taking complete care of me like you’ve been doing since the accident, I feel… like a little girl. I feel as if you’re my daddy. I like it, William. And I want to explore this sort of thing with you, if you’re willing.”
This sort of thing. She was talking about age play, but in her shyness over the subject she was being evasive and wouldn’t actually call it by name. He stared down at her and marveled at his little wife. Desire pulsed through him, tingles racing up his thighs as his balls tensed and his cock twitched. Her confession had caught him by surprise, as did his own arousal. She’d stated early on in their relationship that she had no interest in engaging in age play, and he had never given it more than a fleeting thought over the last two years. Thinking about it now, he was rock hard and aching for Alexa. “You’re talking about age play,” he said, wanting to be direct.
She flushed and stammered. “Well, I-I guess. M-maybe.”
He leaned closer and took her face in his hands, caressing her cheeks with his thumbs as he gazed into her wide blue eyes. “Alexa, do you have an interest in age play?”
“And you started thinking about it after the accident?”
It made sense. He’d coddled her during the last two weeks, even helping her get showered and dressed, and this treatment had triggered her interest in exploring a daddy/little girl dynamic with him. William certainly wasn’t opposed to trying. If anything, he was eager to begin. His cock strained in the confines of his jeans, and his heart pumped faster as an image of Alexa dressed in a cute frilly dress flashed in his mind.
“How young do you want to regress, Alexa?”
She half sighed, half whimpered. Again, her face flushed bright red in the lamplight. “I haven’t entirely thought it through yet. Not too young. I don’t want to wear diapers or have a pacifier or be bottle fed.”
“Do you want to call me Daddy?”
Her breath caught and she made a little strangled noise. “Y-yes. Do you think that’s weird?”
Mindful of her sore rib, he lifted her carefully into his lap and began moving the rocker forward and backward with one foot pressed to the porch. A surge of protectiveness and love spread through him, and he stared down at Alexa with a gentle smile. “No, Alexa, I don’t think that’s weird. In fact, I’d like to explore this with you. Thank you for finally telling me what was on your mind.”
She stiffened in his hold. “Am I in trouble for not telling you the whole truth about why I was upset last week?” Her voice was small and her eyes apologetic.
William continued to rock Alexa as the night sounds swelled around them. Finally, he replied to her, using his sternest tone. “You told a fib to Daddy last week, didn’t you, little girl?”
Again, her breath caught, and a second later she gasped twice as if trying to regulate her breathing. “Yes.”
He noticed she hadn’t called him Daddy yet, but he didn’t want to force her. He wanted to wait until it came naturally. Calling her his little girl felt natural though, and he planned to keep doing so and hoped that in time she’d feel the same ease in addressing him as Daddy. “Daddy isn’t happy you told a fib, Alexa. Was the medication really bothering you that much?”
She shrugged. “I don’t know. I guess not.”
“You should have told the truth right away, no matter how embarrassing it was for you, Alexa. Little girls aren’t allowed to keep secrets from their daddies.”
She squirmed in his lap, her bottom pressing against his throbbing erection.
“I’m not going to spank you because you’re still healing. We’re going to have to wait several weeks for that, I’m afraid. However, you’re still to be punished for keeping secrets and telling a fib, Alexa. Now I want you to go to the guest bedroom and wait for me.”
Her brow furrowed as she regarded him with confusion, but she smartly slipped off his lap and stood up. “Yes, D-daddy.” She turned and entered the house, leaving William alone with his thoughts as a cool breeze swept onto the porch.