The Business at Hand
She closed the heavy wooden door, her palm almost cold on the brass knob. The muffled click of the latch seemed unbearably loud. She always felt vulnerable at this precise moment, as if every sound they made must give away what was happening behind the locked door of the executive office. She knew that it wasn't true, knew that no sound she could make short of screaming could escape into the offices beyond, but her fear always made her quiet anyway, always made her bury her face in her arms when she began to make sounds, rather than risk giving herself away.
She turned toward him, not quite able to meet his eyes.
"Clear the top of the desk," he said, his own voice low, not because he was afraid of being heard, but because he liked to make her listen carefully to hear him.
She looked up into his face now, the first order making her ready to plead. "Please. I'm sorry."
There was no anger in his face, but there was also no hint of sympathy for her mounting distress. He nodded toward the large oak desk, and she made herself walk over to it, moving telephone, framed photograph and paperweight off to a nearby window sill.
"Careful with those papers," he said more sternly, as she picked up the proposal from Delaney & Associates. "And as for being sorry -- I'm sure you *are* sorry, my dear. But I'm afraid you are going to be a good deal sorrier. It's not as if I haven't had to correct you before about your unprofessional conduct, is it?"
"No, sir," she whispered. No. Not a week passed when she did not find herself with him behind this locked door, her heart beating out the same erratic pattern of apprehension and disbelief at her predicament. Sometimes he hauled her across his lap and spanked her with a hardwood ruler as she kicked and cried and promised that she would dress and act appropriately from now on. Sometimes he bent her over the back of a chair, doubling his stiff leather trouser belt in his hand and whipping it across her bottom and thighs until she was reddened and tearful.
And sometimes, like today, he made her bend over the desk and wait, heart pounding, as he dispassionately tapped her bared bottom with the thin rattan cane, then raised his arm to give her six or twelve or even more cuts that made her press her face hard into the desk to stifle the cries she couldn't help but make.
The cane was meant to communicate serious disapproval for especially egregious breaches of conduct. "Delaney and Associates are offering us access to a whole new revenue stream." His voice continued quiet as she added her heavy silk blouse to the pile on the window sill, and took her place at the side of the desk. "That is the business at hand today, and they will be here in less than an hour. Not the best of times for you to play the slut with me, is it?"
She hated to answer, but knew better than to make him repeat the question. "No, sir. I was wrong to...to be asking you to..." She stumbled over her words.
"Asking me? Telling me, I think. Yes, dear, you were wrong to tell me to fuck you. You're not in position yet." He had dropped his voice another notch, and she hastily bent over the desk, her arms stretched in front of her, the back of her legs tight, her bottom almost aching already from mingled anticipation and dread.
She heard him move behind her and so did not flinch too strongly when she felt his hands on her skirt. Her face burned as he pushed the skirt slowly to her waist. "No panties. Garter belt and stockings with a skirt that barely comes to your knees. What do you deserve for dressing this way on the day of an important meeting?"
His first hard slap on her behind drowned out the automatic, "I'm sorry..." of her reply. She gasped a little, then gasped louder at the second slap, two balanced centers of pain burning now on each side of her bottom.
The rub of his hand on her stinging bottom made her relax again, as if she didn't know what was coming next. "You deserve a caning, don't you?" He didn't wait for her answer. "Twelve strokes, Jo. But first..."
But first he would spank her with his hand until she was hot and sore and sorry. A warm-up he called it, though it always hurt enough that she was ready to promise to be good well before he was finished. Spankings hurt. It _hurts_, she would cry, sooner or later.
It's supposed to hurt, he would tell her. And spank her harder.
His hand came down again on the curve of her bottom. She moaned and shifted her position slightly. His left hand rested on the small of her back, keeping her from shifting far. The spanks came hard and steady now, moving from side to side, stinging her from hip to thigh. Was each spank really slightly harder than the last? Or was the growing heat and soreness in her bottom just making each spank harder to take?
She lifted one foot, then the other. The next slaps were definitely harder, and she ran one high-heeled toe helplessly down the back of her left leg. The next spanks fell so harshly on the top of her thighs that tears welled up in her eyes.
"Feet stay on the floor, correct?"
"I'm sorry!" She pressed both feet to the floor, but the harshness did not abate. Her skin burned as the spanks fell, fast and hard, everywhere at once.
Please. It hurts.
It's supposed to hurt.
Thirty spanks, forty, fifty. He finally stopped and stepped back away from her. She lay there crying, feeling small, punished, sorry, knowing the worst was still to come -- though not the worst she had feared. Not today.
The knowledge was small comfort as she heard him move to the traditional barrister's bookcase in the corner. Her stomach suddenly fluttered with fear. What would he do when he opened the door and found...
"No cane? Where's the cane, Jo?"
His voice was as soft as a lover's. Suddenly she wished she had not tried this. She kept her own voice as steady as possible when she said, "Last night, I -- I waited until everyone had left. And I took it home."
"Without my permission?"
She began to cry. "Please, I just couldn't bear to be caned. Not today. It's too much." She held her hands together on the desk, wishing she could stop the trembling. The silence beat down on her harder than the spanking that had just paused. No, she reminded herself, not ended. Just paused. Her voice was low and tearful as she promised, "I'll bring it back."
"Yes. Tomorrow." He didn't say anything else for a moment, and a small wave of relief moved through her. He would cane her even longer next time, she supposed, but _not_ today. Today he would have to fall back on belt or ruler or hand, and she could take those far more easily. She turned her head a little, feeling an unaccustomed, but not unwelcome, moment of triumph in his company.
A moment only. He was standing near the window, his hands disconnecting the blind rod from its holders. She forgot everything and stood. "What are you _doing_?" Stupid question, part of her observed. It was very clear what he was doing as the slim clear plastic rod came free in his hands. "No. No, you _can't_."
He tapped the rod in his hand. "Anyone would think you had never been taught the first lesson in obedience, my dear." His voice was casual, conversational. "So this lesson will have to be a more painful one. Back in position."
She couldn't move at first, each detail of the tableau sharp to her frozen body: her black crepe skirt bunched around her waist, her bare arms and midriff shivering, though not from cold, her heated bottom throbbing with pain, helpless with lust, his own lust plain through his trousers, and the silent menace of the rod, tapping in his hand.
The sudden harshness of his voice unlocked her movements. She bent back over the desk and stretched out her arms, moaning as he rested the rod across her behind. Her first faint hope, that he wouldn't give her the full twelve strokes with _this_, died as he said, "Twenty-five strokes, Jo."
Her second, fainter hope, that it wouldn't hurt as much as she feared died as he raised the rod and brought it down, full across her bottom. She cried out loud, too pained to keep quiet. She cried louder at the second blow across her thighs. She felt his restraining hand in the small of her back as her own hands scrabbled frantically at the top of the desk and as the rod fell again and again. She began to sob, the pain unbearable, her lust unendurable.
Pain and lust grew together until finally he could tell her, "Only three strokes more." She wondered what she looked like. What he saw as he stood behind her that made his own breath so thick. What she would see when she locked herself into a bathroom later to take a shy look in the mirror at her own marked bottom.
This stripe surely, that crossed three earlier strokes at the top of her bottom. And this blow to her thighs that made her weep and writhe. And this final, awful stroke, in the crease of her bottom and thighs, where several strokes had already left her bruised and pained.
She lay there weeping, too spent and aching and longing to even try to move from position or to evade -- as if she wanted to -- the hand he ran so lightly now over her bottom, his fingers straying between her legs. He'd want to be sure she was wet enough, and she always was, her cunt lips as slick as her tear- stained face sliding across her own arm.
Her sob turned to a groan that rose from her center as he sank into her from behind, no foreplay, no warning, no need for either. She pushed her burning ass against him, not finding coolness there, but not needing it either. Not needing his sympathy, not needing his soothing, not yet, no, just needing him, as deep inside her as she could hold.
The tears ran freely down her face as he wound one hand in her hair, as if to steady himself as he moved inside her, fast and hard, the rhythm of the spanking replaying now in this urgent fuck. She could feel herself rising, rising, rising, pressing her hips in frantic circles that matched the desperate rubbing of her fingers between her legs.
And as she came close to her release, he used his free hand to spank her again. Again. Again. The sharp little pains only fueled her urgency now, and she rubbed harder, harder, clenching around his cock until her coming ripped through and through her.
It hurts. It feels too good.
It's supposed to.
Everything dissolved now into a wet writhe, her slowing fingers, his grinding cock where her cunt was most needy and aching.
"Please. Let me feel you come now, too," she begged, and finally it was the moment for his surrender, too, as he cried out hoarsely and shuddered inside her. This was the triumph to which she was accustomed, the exultation she knew and loved. He held her hair, pressed himself against the ass he had spanked and marked and punished, stood almost completely dressed behind her half-naked body, but it was she who felt all her own power in a rush now, even though his own heated wetness made the aftershocks of her orgasm almost painful as her coming spun out for another minute, another eternity.
She felt swallowed up in passion. She ran her fingers back between her legs, then brought them to her lips, lightly, lightly tasting. When he finally helped her up, she wrapped her arms around his neck and licked his face, too, wanting every salted wetness she could find. He kissed her back, pulling against her bottom to hold her close against him and she melted into his embrace, every need finally met.
Afterward, the parting rituals. Glasses of icy water from the pitcher. Small towels -- some dry, some damp -- from the adjoining bathroom. Cleaning, cooling each other. Clothes back in place: pants zipped, blouse buttoned, belt buckled. Her slip and skirt pulled gingerly over her sore bottom. Tender words, but not too many. Not with Delaney and Associates on their way, almost here.
"Now," he said, resuming authority. "Straighten up that desk. Unless you want more punishment."
"Yes, sir," she murmured, deliberately ambiguous. Yes, I'll straighten the desk. But I always, always want more.
She replaced the papers and tools and knickknacks. She slipped her jacket off the door hook and slipped it on. She reached to unlatch the door when the telephone on the desk buzzed. She looked at him, still obedient, and he nodded curtly toward the phone. She blushed as she returned to the desk, leaned over and punched the appropriate button.
"Susan Delaney from Delaney and Associates is here for a 2:00 meeting."
"Thank you." He had already opened the door, his head partially obscuring the trim plaque reading "J. Haynes, CFO."
"And thank you," she said softly, walking to the door. "Especially today."
He held her gaze one moment more, and she flushed. He smiled knowingly and said, "We have more to discuss about proper office behavior, my dear. At five."
She looked meekly down one more time, then he slipped out into the hall. With affection, she watched him walk away.
She turned and extended her hand to the sleek blonde woman dressed in an equally sleek navy suit. "Susan, I'm delighted you brought your proposal to us first."
"Anything for an old college buddy, right? Seriously, I'm glad you think we might be able to work on this together."
Jo nodded. "Come on in and we'll talk."
"Done babysitting interns for the day?" Susan made a wry gesture at the man who had stopped to talk with the marketing director. "Sorry, that's outrageous of me, but honestly, don't you get tired of these little MBA hopefuls with their abundance of theories and shortage of experience?"
Jo laughed, gesturing Susan toward a chair and using the pretence of looking once more at the Delaney and Associates proposal as an excuse to lower herself very slowly, very carefully into her own chair. "Oh, I don't know," she said, her smile also slow and careful. "Some of them seem to know just what they're doing. Downright masterful, some of them."
She gave one more grateful thought to the way he had cleared away, again, all her angst and stress and confusion. Then she turned her full attention to the business at hand.