I left my fiancé at the altar. Literally. I actually managed to get halfway down the aisle, before the sight of his face—okay, yes, his handsome face—made me turn around and walk, not run (because heels) out of the church. I walked fast, and I still nearly fell down (because heels).
I mean, I definitely felt like running.
Brad was a good guy, and I had thought I loved him. Courtships in Emmeline, Indiana, a New Modesty community, are generally brief these days, and mine had represented no exception. I guess I can blame the New Modesty as much as I have to blame myself, but that feels wrong. I made the mistake: the money the New Modesty dangles in front of brides didn’t somehow force me to say yes when Brad fell to one knee in the park three months after we started dating.
They gave that shiny subsidy to grooms, too, of course. I wasn’t sure guys made the same kind of mistakes though. That feminine need for security is real—and it was very real for me. I might not have agreed with the New Modesty on very much, but that part definitely made sense to me.
Anyway, he was a good guy, and I kind of hoped we would be friends, eventually, because I really needed friends in Emmeline. Especially after I left the former high school football star at the altar.
He wanted to take care of me, and he clearly found me super hot, and he could kiss pretty well. Not that I was much of a judge, Brad being the second guy I had kissed.
But when I saw him at the end of the church aisle, broad-shouldered and smiling, looking good in his tux, I suddenly realized that he had never made me feel…
I didn’t know. Maybe I didn’t want to know.
And for a moment, I wondered if I could go through with it anyway, because I did have that sneaking suspicion that even at nineteen I had enough self-knowledge to shut certain doors in my mind and in my heart. I saw Brad’s smile, and I knew if I finished my walk in my white dress to the altar and vowed to love and to obey him—New Modesty, you know—I wouldn’t be very unhappy. These days, most of the time, it seems like with the wars in Eastern Europe and the rolling blackouts, that’s not bad.
He certainly didn’t try to dominate me, or subjugate me, or belittle me, or anything. As a young woman with two years of 4.0 GPA community college behind me, ready to have a career in small business marketing once I had satisfied the New Modesty requirement of taking care of marriage first, that seemed crucial. I wanted to work not just as a way to add to my household’s bottom line, when I had a household, but also as a way to show that even in Emmeline, Indiana, an independent young woman could remain independent, while having a family life.
The New Modesty had its idiocies, like the requirement that a young woman spend three subsidized years trying to find a husband before she could hold a permanent job. It also had provisions that I thought wise, and of which I intended to take advantage—like the mandatory family-friendly policies all businesses had to uphold, allowing extensive maternity leave and flexible work-from-home options.
Brad would have helped me on that path. Or, really, he wouldn’t have cared very much. He would have managed his contracting business and hung out with his friends, and I would have had the house to myself most of the time.
Yeah, I walked really fast out of the church, as fast as I could in heels.
I didn’t answer Brad’s calls. I texted that I was really really really sorry, but I didn’t think I could talk to him for a few days. Ditto with his sister and his mother.
At least I didn’t have to deal with any family of my own: the aunt who had raised me after my mom split had disowned me, informally at least, when I told her I was taking the New Modesty money.
The New Modesty money called, and I didn’t answer that one either. Then they texted, saying my subsidy and my housing would be revoked unless I answered their calls.
I answered the next call.
“We were really sorry to hear about the postponement of your wedding,” the woman at the other end of the phone said.
I stood in the little dorm room they had provided, my mouth twisting to the side, resolutely forcing back the useless tears of frustration—at myself, mostly, but also at the New Modesty ‘transition representative’ and her smooth unflappability.
“It’s not a postponement,” I told her flatly. “I’m not marrying Mr. Givens.”
That resulted in a moment’s silence, in which I congratulated myself at least on having forced the woman—Janice, I think her name was—to scroll down, or click a link, or wait for the computer to provide her with a new script, or something.
“Are you completely sure?” she asked then.
I swallowed hard, thinking of Brad’s shoulders in his tux. I felt some happiness in how sure I remained, despite that image.
“Well, Anna,” Janice said, “you have two options in that case. You can leave the New Modesty program—”
“Nope,” I said. I had burnt all my bridges coming to Emmeline. If I left, I would face a civilization in rapid decline with no resources save a junior marketing degree, in a world where people needed marketing like they needed the flu.
“In that case,” Janice continued, “I need to schedule you for a follow-up with your doctor.”
“A what?” I asked, my brow furrowing hard.
Here, Janice clearly checked my file. I waited, still trying to figure out what the hell my doctor had to do with anything.
“Platonov,” she finally continued. “Yes, he’s got availability tomorrow at ten. Should I make that appointment for you?”
“Wait,” I replied. “I don’t understand.”
“Doctor Platonov will explain,” Janice told me. “Can we confirm that appointment?”
I took the phone away from my ear for a moment to look at it in bewilderment.
I held the phone back to my ear, an image of Doctor Platonov suddenly flashing into my brain, along with the memory of his musically accented voice. Of course, I also felt a little heat in my cheeks, because he was the only man to have seen me naked since puberty’s transformations. It had nothing to do with his dark beard or his practically navy blue eyes.
“Yes, fine. Tomorrow at ten.”
The nurse at Doctor Platonov’s office clearly knew I had left the high school football star at the altar. Her wrinkled nose alone told me that, as she said, “Anna Cascardi?”, but I also had to endure the icy tone of her voice and the glare she gave me as she said, “You can go to examination room 2, just down the hall.”
She followed me into the little room with the awful gynecological exam chair, the little desk, the cabinets, the chair, and the rolling stool where the doctor would sit.
“Go ahead and get undressed,” the nurse, a pretty dark-haired woman only a year or two older than I was, said. “You can take everything off. Just put your clothes on the chair.”
I looked around for the gown that usually hung from the back of the door, not yet registering the nurse’s everything, and how it differed from the way things had gone the last time I had come to the doctor’s office for the New Modesty premarital checkup. That exam had constituted a standard GYN wellness visit, with Doctor Platonov telling me at the end, “Everything looks good. We’ll let your fiancé know you’re all set for a lovely honeymoon.”
That had turned my face red. Yes, I had signed all the forms the New Modesty program office had put in front of me, about my future husband taking charge of the household we would make together, but I didn’t enjoy the reminder. I couldn’t say I really felt one way or another about sex; wellness class had made certain I knew how it worked, and I thought I felt the right things when Brad kissed me.
I had a bit of anxiety—well, fear—about the actual moment, but one nice thing about the New Modesty seemed to me that your husband was supposed to be experienced, or if not he had to attend an orientation class to help him prepare for marriage. When I had asked Brad about the class, he had smiled uncomfortably and said, “It’s okay,” by which I understood that he didn’t love talking about sex any more than I did.
So I had blushed when the doctor had made such a clear reference to that part of marriage—the part, I told myself, with which doctors have to concern themselves as a professional matter, if they’re going to do their jobs and the human species is going to get reproduced. The heat in my face on that first visit, however, couldn’t hold a candle to what I felt as the nurse answered my inquiring gaze.
“This is a different kind of exam, Anna,” she said in an even colder tone. “The doctor wants you in the nude.”
I took a sharp little breath in at the physical effect these words had on me. Something about the very phrase in the nude, connected to the doctor wants you, made my tummy flip over and my heart jump in my chest. Really I couldn’t have said exactly what had just happened in my body as it reacted to the nurse’s tone, her censorious eyes, her clinical but also shameful words. Whatever it was, the fact that it had just happened here in the doctor’s office seemed to make it, paradoxically, much worse. Shouldn’t I feel better, since I could just ask Doctor Platonov what was wrong with me?
I felt my forehead crease, as I longed for the nurse to leave, or at least to look away from my blushing face—or even to say anything reassuring in that fake way nurses do. She just kept looking at me in that almost scornful way.
Needing desperately to cover my distress, I said, “I don’t understand. I just had an exam.”
The corner of her mouth quirked upward without the slightest sign of mirth reaching her eyes.
“That was before you had your… issue, Anna,” she said. “Don’t worry. The doctor will explain. Go ahead and get out of your clothes so I can take your vitals. The sooner you do that, the sooner the doctor can come in and answer your questions.”
I almost asked her whether she meant to leave while I undressed—or flat-out begged her to. A thrill of anxiety at the possibility she would simply refuse stopped me, because it seemed to bring back that same feeling I’d had in my tummy, and down below my tummy, when she’d said the doctor wants you in the nude. I didn’t know what would happen if the nurse said, for example, No, Anna: I’m supposed to watch you undress.
I turned around to face the chair in the corner, suddenly frightened that she might even say that I had to turn around and face her, that watching me take my clothes off represented part of what the doctor wanted. The nurse didn’t object, though, so I took off my blue and white striped cotton top, and then, biting my lip at the strange sensation of doing it here, I pulled my pink bralette over my head. Puberty had brought development there, but in my case not very much of it. I felt my long blonde hair swish against my back.
“Do you have an elastic?” the nurse asked. “We should get your hair up.”
I felt another flare of heat in my cheeks at this indication that she had not ceased to look at me while I complied with her embarrassing instruction. I fished in the pocket of my jeans and pulled out a blue scrunchy. With my hair in a ponytail, my upper body naked, I suddenly wanted this humiliation over with and I put my hands to the waistband of my jeans.
Then I remembered, my mouth twisting to the side at the new blaze in my face, that I didn’t have any panties on.
Did the nurse notice the way I hesitated? I did my best to cover it up, something I’m really pretty good at. Thinking on the fly is kind of a forte of mine; I tossed my head and rolled my shoulders, as if I needed to release some tension, which I supposed only represented a natural reaction to being made to undress in front of a judge-y stranger. Then, hopeful that the movement had concealed my reaction to the embarrassing realization, I unbuttoned my jeans and started to skin them down, doing everything I could to make it look like my panties were inside.
Why would the nurse care? Why should I care? How very fucking annoying was it that my brain had decided to make an issue of it, so that I felt like I couldn’t just do it naturally? I had never really had to deal with the stuff in my head, put there in my upbringing by my conservative aunt and fostered by the New Modesty program.
Anna, my aunt’s voice said in my head, not unkindly but with an intent that I knew must come from her disapproval of my vanished mother and her unwed pregnancy aka me, just make sure you remember to do your laundry. Clean panties are not optional.
Not optional, and an essential part of the modesty that lay at the foundation of civilization, as far as she and the New Modesty and Emmeline, Indiana were concerned. My aunt didn’t think towns, or individual girls, should take subsidies from mega-corporations to do what they should do on their own, but she definitely agreed with the philosophy behind life in Emmeline.
Clean panties are not optional.
Really, life in the New Modesty revolved around that single idea as far as I could tell—if you added that those clean panties should ironically enough never be visible. The thought brought a flare of heat to my face. It made me glad that—another embarrassing irony—although the nurse could see my naked butt, she couldn’t see my face.
“That’s really not hygienic, Anna,” she said from behind me. “I know a lot of young women are doing it, but underwear does help keep a woman healthy.”
No. My effort to conceal my lack of panties made the mortification I felt now much worse. I stiffened as I finished pulling off my jeans. For a moment I considered not replying at all, knowing that anything I said would just make me look even weaker, but the need to make an excuse proved too great.
“Yeah, I know,” I said lamely, “it’s been a tough week for things like laundry.”
As I straightened up, using the folding of the jeans to conceal my reluctance to turn around, I heard her make a tsk sound with her tongue. I almost whirled on her, naked as I was, to scream in fury at her utter lack of sympathy.
“I was sorry to hear about you and Brad,” said the nurse.
What the hell was I supposed to say to that?
“Thanks,” I replied, feeling incredibly awkward as I just kept folding the jeans, to avoid turning around.
I heard a knock at the door, then the turning of the knob and the puff of air from its opening. The deep, slightly accented voice I remembered from the last visit said, “Are we ready in here?”
“Nearly, Doctor,” the nurse replied, a scolding note in her voice. “Anna was just about to come over and let me take her vitals.”
“I can take care of that,” said Doctor Platonov. “Anna, why don’t you come over and get on the scale for me?”
I turned my head over my shoulder, my hands going automatically to my chest and my lap in a way that paradoxically and dismayingly made my blush even hotter because of how it laid bare my modesty—very literally. Then the nurse, in a chiding, slightly petulant tone that made me wonder if the doctor had offended her somehow by saying he would take my vitals, made my humiliation much, much worse.
“Anna didn’t have panties on, Doctor. I told her that wasn’t a good idea, but you may want to explain a little more.”
I stood frozen with my hands covering my private parts and my eyes wide, looking at the even-handsomer-than-I-had-remembered doctor and the awful, vindictive nurse. For a moment the blood rushed in my ears so fiercely that I thought I might not have heard the nurse correctly, but then Doctor Platonov spoke.
“Ah, certainly,” he said. “You must always wear clean underwear, Anna. Let’s not add an infection to your other difficulties.”
My lips parted, but I couldn’t think of a single word to say. Even to repeat other difficulties would seem terribly weak—especially in front of the nurse, who looked at me with pursed lips and slightly narrowed eyes. On the other hand, something both about the doctor’s bearded face and the nurse’s censorious one made me wonder if I really did understand what other difficulties meant. The obvious—my having left Brad at the altar and therefore having had to come in for this mysterious checkup—seemed like it might only represent the beginning, from the expressions they wore.
Doctor Platonov had a smile on his face, but as he looked at me, it began to fade. He made an impatient gesture with his hand, and he spoke in a voice that seemed a little more heavily accented than usual—as if having to deal with a reluctant patient had frustrated him. That idea sent a thrill of anxiety through my body even before I understood his next words.
“Come here, Anna. I don’t want to have to make this unpleasant for you, but we have a schedule to keep.”
My eyes went wide, staring into his. I tried to move my feet, but they wouldn’t budge.
“I’m guessing she doesn’t know,” the nurse said, attracting my eyes to her face where I now saw a smile that made my blood run cold and then hot again, “what happens to girls who have trouble complying with their training examination.”
“My what?” I demanded. Somehow my body had turned itself around as I spoke, I realized though I seemed disconnected from it, unable to fully control my movements. With my right hand across my chest and my left covering the sparse triangle of golden curls between my thighs, I found myself backing away from Doctor Platonov and his awful nurse, the backs of my knees coming up against the chair in the corner where I had piled my clothes.
“Calm down, Anna,” the doctor said. He gave the nurse a look that seemed to admonish her for frightening me. To my consternation, that made me feel a surge of liking for him, despite what he had said a moment before about having to make it unpleasant for me. “Yes, as Georgia just said, you’re here for what the New Modesty program calls a training examination. If you’ll let me get started, I’ll explain to you what that means.”
I felt my brow crease harder than I thought it ever had in my life—so hard I worried I might gain a wrinkle there just from that single furrow, evoked by Doctor Platonov’s hand, as he repeated the gesture beckoning me toward the scale, with its swinging attachment that would tell them I stood five feet, three inches tall.
“Can’t you tell me now?” I asked, my hands clutching at my hidden private parts in worry. “Just what training means?”
The doctor looked at Nurse Georgia again. This time the look didn’t inspire liking, but I bit my lip at its effect on me anyway; his bearded face showed camaraderie with his nurse, a confirmation that, yes, they had a difficult patient on their hands. My body’s response to that look—shame and the other thing I didn’t want to think about—made me look at the door of the examination room and wonder whether I could run out of it and tell someone… the police, maybe?… what had happened here—the strange threats and the stranger indications of what they had brought me here for.
“We might as well get this over with,” Doctor Platonov said, not to me but to Nurse Georgia. He did turn to me, then. “Anna, we need to get this examination done. If you’re not going to comply willingly, I’m going to have to spank you, to secure that compliance against your will. It’s up to you.”
My lips parted but no sound emerged. My body’s newfound ability to move appeared to have deserted it as quickly as it had appeared, and my bare feet felt rooted to the floor. I looked from the doctor to the nurse, as their expression went from mildly frustrated to grimly resolved.
Of course I knew about this part of the New Modesty. Everyone did. Newcomers like me, taking the single-girl subsidy, as we all called it, signed a waiver just like everyone in town who accepted any of the financial benefits the government and Selecta, its corporate partner, offered. Corporal punishment. Traditional discipline.
“Are you going to come here,” Nurse Georgia asked, “or are we going to have to come get you?”
“I…” I started. The nurse took a step forward, the look on her face growing disgusted, as if she could hardly believe that a big girl like me wouldn’t understand when she had to be punished the old-fashioned way. “I’m going to… to give up the subsidy.” I looked from nurse to doctor. “I’ll just put on my clothes and… and go.”
Doctor Platonov shook his head.
“You may certainly give up the subsidy if you like, after this examination, Anna, but the agreement you made with the program administration says that you’re going to have it, with or without the spanking.” He turned to Nurse Georgia. “Bring her here, please.”
To my horror, he stooped to fetch the rolling stool over to where he stood, then sat down on it, his white coat falling to either side of his slim, taut body as he spread his legs slightly. He patted his left knee.
“Anna,” he said, “you could save Georgia a good deal of trouble by just laying yourself over my knee. You have a spanking coming, now, and it would be best just to accept it.”
As the doctor spoke, the nurse advanced briskly toward me. My fear as I looked at her—Georgia had four or five inches on me, and a good deal of obvious strength as well—interfered with my understanding of what he had just said.
“I’ll let you… I’ll let you take my vitals!” I yelped, clutching anew at my chest and my lap.
The nurse shook her head. “Once Doctor Platonov sits down to give a spanking, Anna, he gives a spanking. It’s too late.” She reached for me. I shied back, but I had nowhere to go in the corner. Nurse Georgia took hold of my upper right arm and started to pull me toward the waiting doctor.
“You’re going to learn very soon,” Doctor Platonov said, “how important it is to obey instructions given by those in authority. You’re also going to learn not to cover yourself in their presence.”
The strangeness of these words, and their obvious if still also mysterious connection to the frightening phrase training examination, seemed to take away some of the urgency of the struggle I waged with Nurse Georgia. I didn’t know why, and part of my mind screamed in protest, but the doctor’s voice seemed to call up feelings I had thought I had gotten rid of—guilt, for one.
As if he could read my mind, he continued, “You were a naughty girl to lead your fiancé on that way, Anna Cascardi. You’re here to start learning about what you really need, to move forward with your life and find your place here in the community you chose to join.”
A sob welled up from my chest. From my chest and, emotionally speaking, from some place inside me I hadn’t known was there. The wrenching sound and the tears that filled my eyes emerged as if to confirm Doctor Platonov’s words, and I kept sobbing, pulling back against the nurse’s leading me, naked to his knee, but letting her do it because what choice did I have?
I looked at his big right hand, resting on his thigh. I admit I hadn’t had a girlhood subject to too much fear, but I had never seen anything so frightening in my life. The idea that he, a doctor, meant to use that hand to… to punish me for failing to follow his instructions… I wanted it to seem outlandish, impossible.
It didn’t. I had done something very naughty, in failing to tell Brad that I didn’t think I could marry him long before we got to the altar. In leaving the church without a word.
Most recently, in failing to accept Nurse Georgia’s and Doctor Platonov’s words about what I had to do, here in the doctor’s office. No, I didn’t like having to take all my clothes off for this examination, and the idea of training made me feel anxious and strange.
But I had taken the subsidy, and I needed to keep getting the subsidy. The people in charge said I had to have this special examination. I had failed to follow the instructions the nurse gave me, and even if she had given them in a rather nasty way she had only been doing her job. Now she was still only doing her job, even though her job involved walking a naughty, naked girl over to the doctor’s knee for a spanking.
Doctor Platonov flexed his hand, the long, thick fingers curling into a fist and then relaxing as if he were loosening his muscles to get ready for what he had to do to my bare bottom, to teach me the lesson I needed. I let out a little whimper, and tried to pull back harder against the pull of the nurse’s strong hands.
“Please,” I begged, turning to her. “I’ll do what you say. I’ve… I’ve never…”
“That doesn’t surprise me, Anna,” the doctor said, drawing my attention back to him, to his handsome face and the determined expression that somehow didn’t obscure his basic kindness or the idea that he meant this horrid scene to constitute some part of caring for me. “Unfortunately a lot of girls even in Emmeline get well into adulthood without experiencing real discipline. A lot of people think that’s largely responsible for the mess the world is in right now.”
My lips parted, and my resistance lessened as I tried to take in his meaning, and the way his words affected me, especially in his musical Slavic accent. The idea that he came from a place where they understood how to give naughty girls their just reward came into my mind and made my forehead crease and my cheeks blaze up with heat.
Nurse Georgia drew me another step toward the stool. Doctor Platonov patted his left knee again. I was only three or four feet away, now. He reached up with his right hand, as if to take my left—the one with which I still strove to cover myself between my thighs though that effort impeded my ability to struggle against the nurse’s forward pressure.
With a little cry of fear, I tried to run away. I pulled at Nurse Georgia’s grip, and I felt as if I almost managed to twist out of her hands. I had no idea of course what I would do if I managed to leave the room; I just needed not to be about to get a spanking naked over the doctor’s knee.
The nurse must have been ready for precisely this kind of attempt at escape. The fleeting moment of almost extracting myself from her grip on my right arm vanished immediately, and she used the shift in my balance to propel me straight toward the doctor.
He reached up to catch me before I fell straight into him. I heard him cluck softly as he guided me deftly—skillfully, I thought with mortified dismay—to his left side, so I fell over his knee as much as he put me there. I cried out as I felt the lurching sensation, and then at how I had ended up, with my backside hoisted and my face down. My fear grew, and my shame increased a hundred times, as if to join it, my whole body shuddering with those emotions as I understood my position—that, yes, Anna Cascardi was about to get spanked like a naughty little girl, because she couldn’t follow instructions.
I thought the doctor would pause, before he started. I knew he wouldn’t begin spanking me right away, that he would give me a moment, would say something like This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.
He didn’t. I cried out again as I felt his right leg, clad in denim, come across the naked backs of my knees, and his left arm clamp down across my back. Then I heard the smack of the first spank and I felt it on my bottom, without further warning. I gasped, and I began to struggle, but Doctor Platonov seemed intent on making it clear to me that he had more important things to do and meant to get my punishment over with in as businesslike a way as possible. He kept spanking me, his huge hand rising and falling hard and fast, the sharp sounds ringing off the walls of the examination room over and over, despite the cries for mercy and sobs of agony I emitted from the beginning.
I kept struggling, because it hurt so much, but the doctor merely made a dissatisfied noise in his throat and held me more tightly in place. Nothing I did stopped the hand from falling sharply first on one bottom-cheek and then the other, the same spots on each cheek, over and over. I felt like he was holding a hot frying pan to my backside, teaching me a terrible lesson, making sure I couldn’t sit down for a week so that I would remember to do as he or anyone placed in authority said.
The feeling that I could do absolutely nothing about it overwhelmed me, made me sob just at the welling emotion nearly as much as at the pain in my never-spanked-before bottom. Because I had left my high school football star groom at the altar, and then compounded my sin by showing reluctance to Nurse Georgia’s humiliating commands, I would receive this punishment over a man’s knee as long as he chose to give it. Doctor Platonov had taken charge of me, had taken me in hand, and that hand would train me, now. As a doctor and a representative of the program to which I had consented, he had the power to decide precisely how hot, and how red, to get my butt, for my good.
I felt my muscles relax as I thought these things. Somehow the knowledge that I had no choice, that my bottom would hurt as much as the doctor chose to make it hurt, caused a yielding in my limbs that I hadn’t expected. To my surprise, even as he kept spanking me—at a slower pace—he spoke to me again.
“The lesson I’m teaching you now, Anna, isn’t just for your own benefit,” he said, punctuating his words with hard spanks that made me cry out and ride his knee in a mortifying way that made me think of Nurse Georgia, watching from behind me. “It’s for the benefit of your community and your society as a whole, too. We need… more… good girls… and fewer… bad ones.”
I shrieked at each of the swats with which Doctor Platonov finished my first spanking: the rhythm, irregular as he fitted the punishment to the words as if in order to make me remember this message, made me even more conscious of the way my body responded to the big hand with which he sought to mold my behavior so very painfully. When he had delivered the final spank, he rested his hand on my bottom gently, squeezing softly with his fingers in a way that to my horror felt soothing. It made me dissolve into wrenching sobs, still held immobile over his knee, weeping piteously.
“I’m sorry,” I managed to choke out. I felt sorry, too, though another part of me understood that my remorse was really directed at my jilted bridegroom much more than at the doctor—and yet another part wasn’t happy about the apology at all. Why should I be sorry? The nurse had treated me scornfully and the New Modesty had railroaded me into a wedding I had just barely managed to avoid.
Somehow, though, Doctor Platonov had established a feeling in me that I wanted to do better—for him, though not for the nurse.
And for me.
I bit my lip as that thought floated into my mind. I hadn’t thought about what I wanted for myself for so long that the very idea seemed to come as a revelation. I pushed it away, though; I didn’t want to have it here, naked and placed humiliatingly over a man’s knee for my first spanking at the age of nineteen.
“You may stand up now, Anna,” Doctor Platonov said, taking his hand from my back and shifting his leg from the backs of my knees.
To my horror, the casual authority of his tone, along with the way he kept his right hand on my bottom even as I began to scramble off his muscular thigh, sent a thrill of shame through me that seemed to cascade from my burning cheeks to the place below my tummy that lay much too close to where the doctor had his hand. I stood as hastily as I could, taking a step back so that my backside would be out of reach and putting my own hands back in front of my private parts. My eyes darted from that right hand, which the doctor now replaced on his knee, to his face, which took on a disappointed expression, to Nurse Georgia, who had begun to shake her head.
Doctor Platonov sighed. “You’d better stand in front of me, Anna,” he said, “and put your hands at your sides. We need to deal with this reluctance to show your body to those who have a duty to take care of it, and you.”
“But…” I spluttered, very conscious of how red my face must look, and how my eyes must be swollen and even bloodshot. The soreness in my bottom also pressed itself on my consciousness, and I trembled at the sheer excessiveness, as it felt to me, of sensation in my body. I clutched my hands more tightly over my chest and my lap, and I looked beseechingly over at Nurse Georgia and then back at the doctor with a wordless plea.
He shook his head. “No, Anna. Georgia is here to take care of you too. Put your hands at your sides, please, or I’m going to have to take you back over my knee.”
Though my mind despised the rest of me for it, I emitted a little whimper of fear at the thought of being back under Doctor Platonov’s firm hand. My right hand, the hand covered my little triangle of fair hair, twitched, wanting to cover my backside defensively—and also, suddenly, to rub the little cheeks he had spanked so hard.
That impulse, so strong I had to will my hand to stay in place, made me swallow hard. It made my face scrunch up, too, as the welter of feelings and sensations inside me seemed to mingle into a new configuration that troubled me in ways I didn’t want to think about, terrified that thinking about them would only strengthen them.
“Put your hands at your sides, Anna,” the doctor repeated, his voice very stern. “I need to get a look at your body.”