An Apple a Day

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Cory sat at the kitchen table sipping her coffee and enjoying the morning quiet. The temporary quiet, she reminded herself, glancing at the clock on the stove. It was almost 8:30. She ran her fingers through her curly brown hair, catching the reflection of her own brown eyes in the window. She took a deep breath and let it out slowly, preparing for battle.

Maybe “battle” was a bit of an exaggeration, but not much. Beth had a doctor’s appointment in a few short hours. She hadn’t even told Cory that she was missing two of her immunization shots until the very last minute, but they couldn’t put it off any longer– not if Beth wanted to attend school in the fall. Cory smiled as she remembered the fuss they’d had just over making the appointment. From the display Beth had put on, Cory was almost convinced that she really was ready to give up on college altogether if it meant avoiding a shot. Not an option, of course, was the phrase Cory found herself repeating. That night, when things had calmed down, she had teased Beth, claiming the she was going to make Cory the only 24-year-old they knew with gray hair.

She walked upstairs and turned the corner into Beth’s room, where the girl was still sleeping, even as light filtered in from the blinds and across the bed. Cory stretched herself alongside her, trying not to think about how lonely the house would be once the semester started and the room was empty. Having Cory with her for the summer had been wonderful.  She propped her head up with one hand while the other moved a lock of dark brown hair out of the sleeping girl’s face. “Rise and shine, my girl.”

A drowsy smile started across Beth’s face, though it evolved quickly into a scowl when she remembered her appointment. Cory stifled a chuckle; it would only cause trouble if she showed just how adorable she found her grumpy young friend. Beth hunched away from her, eyes firmly shut while she clutched her pillow. “I’m not going. And you can’t make me.” This time Cory did laugh, standing as she did so and opening the blinds. “Don’t be silly, sugar. Of course I can. And will.” She moved to the side of the bed and squatted down so her face was next to Beth’s, who cracked one of her pretty brown eyes open and peered at her. Cory brushed her cheek gently as she said quietly and firmly, “If I could do anything to get you out of it, I would. But I can’t, and you have to have the shots. So,” and she stood briskly, tugging the blankets away, “get up. Get showered. Get dressed. I’ll see you downstairs in half an hour.” She got a muffled groan in response, but she continued walking out of the room, leaving the blanket in a pile at the foot of the bed.

*     *     *

Beth lay there, very still, willing herself to go back to sleep, but she knew there was no chance of it actually happening. She eyed her alarm clock. 8:42. She figured she had about seven minutes before Cory yelled up a warning, and nine before Cory came back upstairs to see why the shower wasn’t going. She buried her face in her pillow, mad at Cory and mad at college and mad doctors in general. A dozen different scenarios ran through her mind, but they all ended in either the world exploding (those were the scenarios that began with alien invasions) or her getting shots, and neither option especially appealed to her.

Cory yelled something from downstairs; Beth wasn’t sure what, exactly, but she figured the message pretty easily. She peeked at the time again- 8:46. Dammit. Cory was really on top of her game this morning. Not good. Not good at all. Almost immediately afterward she heard a creak on the stairs. She jumped up and raced into the bathroom that joined their bedrooms, not quite slamming the door behind her. She wasn’t giving in, but she wasn’t quite ready to start up with Cory. Not yet, anyway…

*     *     *

Downstairs, Cory waited with growing impatience at the table. She had set the cereal out, glad she hadn’t decided to go ahead and fix it up because it would be good and soggy by now. With a sigh she walked up to the bathroom, walking through Beth’s room to bang on the door. “Get out of the shower, Elizabeth!” she yelled. “What?” came the muffled response. Cory repeated herself, louder this time. “Sorry, can’t hear you,” came the reply, and she thought she heard the water being turned up higher. She turned the knob and stepped in, reaching to turn off the water, ignoring the shriek of protest from the silhouette behind the curtain. She also ignored the following string of reasons why this was completely uncalled for, opting instead to toss a towel over the rod and wait for Beth to step out of the shower. Beth didn’t miss a beat in her tirade about privacy and boundaries and other protests, but even as she ranted she wrapped herself up and stepped out of the tub.

*     *     *

Beth scowled in the mirror, inspecting the few scattered hand prints across her backside before pulling her jeans up. She hadn’t expected that when she took too long getting dressed. She was really misjudging Cory’s patience this morning, but she was sticking to her guns.

Stall.

That was the plan, anyway. She might have to get the shots eventually, but she convinced herself that she’d be more prepared if she had another week or two, even if it meant missing the first couple days of class- which didn’t sound so bad anyway, now that she thought about it. She brushed her hair, taking the time to dry it and style it, then meticulously putting on her make-up. She finally made her way downstairs, walking timidly into the kitchen and making a face at the cereal. “I don’t think I can eat, Cory… I think I’m sick.” Cory leaned back against the counter and crossed her arms.

“You think you’re sick, huh?”

Beth nodded, trying to look as run down as she could. “You think you are too sick… to go to the doctor’s office…?” Cory asked, raising her eyebrows and unable to keep from smiling a little. Beth felt her face flush and she turned around to stomp off into the living room, yelling over her shoulder, “Don’t tease me, I don’t feel well!!!”

She was caught off guard as she felt Cory walk up quickly behind her, catching her hand and walking with her toward the living room. Beth immediately started pulling back, but Cory had her hand grasped tightly as she marched them toward the couch.

*     *    *

Cory sat down and pulled Beth up close, releasing her hand and unbuttoning the girl’s jeans, ignoring the wail of protest. She could see that Beth’s eyes were already damp, but this didn’t slow her down as she pulled Beth’s jeans down around her ankles and then tugged her over her lap.

She draped her left arm over Beth’s torso, pulling her in close to her own body. With little preamble she began the pepper Beth’s backside with hard smacks, warming the girl’s bottom up over her polka-dot panties. After a few minutes she eased Beth’s panties down, causing a lot of extra wiggling and whimpering. When Beth reached a hand back to tug them up, Cory easily snatched up her wrist and held it away, never breaking rhythm with her right hand. Beth’s skin had pinked immediately, and now Cory watched as the color deepened with the rise and fall of her own reddening hand. She paused and reached for the wooden spoon she’d snatched on the way out of the kitchen, tapping it lightly on Beth’s backside a few times, tightening her grip as the girl propelled herself forward, trying desperately to wiggle away.

“I don’t think so, Elizabeth,” she said, bringing the spoon down full force. She watched as the wood bounced against Beth’s skin, listened as the whimpering turned to begging and the begging turned to sobbing and wailed “I’m sorrrrrriiiiiiieesss.”  She slowed as Beth stopped struggling, finally setting the spoon down and releasing the trapped wrist from her left hand. She tugged the girl’s underwear up, left her jeans down, and pulled her into a hug.

*     *     *

Beth buried her face in Cory’s shoulder, turning her body to sit in the woman’s lap, her throbbing backside hanging off the couch so she could feel the air along the edges of her panties. Wrapping her arms around Cory, she mumbled, “I’m scared.”

“I know, baby. I know,” she heard above her, and she felt a kiss being planted on her forehead. She clutched Cory tightly, feeling her heartbeat slowly settle and her tears mostly stop, until there was only the occasional hiccup left. When Cory patted her legs, Beth slid her feet down, pulling her jeans up slowly, trying not to flinch as they went over her tender backside. Part of her really wanted to be mad at Cory for spanking her, but there was no way. She was still nervous about the doctor’s office, but she felt like the tightly wound coil of nerves in her chest had finely sprung, and at least it would be over quickly.

*     *     *

Cory leaned against the doctor’s table where Beth now sat, listening to the rough paper crinkle as Beth shifted her weight, trying– unsuccessfully– to get comfortable. There was a knock at the door, and the doctor walked in. A look of dread flashed across his face as he recognized his patient before he could recover his professional expression. He’d attended to her the year before when she’d gotten her tetanus shot, and she’d apparently left an impression. Cory gave Beth’s hand a squeeze as the girl flushed and looked down, remembering how upset she’d been during that visit. That was pre-Cory, of course. Cory was completely confident in her ability to prevent a melt-down, and she gave the doctor a look that conveyed just that.

Her fingers were hurting from the grip Beth had on her hand, but she left their fingers intertwined as the doctor rolled up the girls sleeve and swabbed her arm. When he went to get the needle, Beth buried her face in Cory’s shoulder. She flinched a little at the shot, and then it was over. Cory nuzzled the top of Beth’s head, whispering how proud she was of the younger woman as the doctor filled out the last of the paperwork. When Beth heard the door shut behind him she finally raised her head sheepishly, and a slow smile spread across her face as she realized it was over. Cory lifted their hands to her face, pressing the back of Beth’s hand to her cheek for a moment. “Ready?”

Beth nodded, hopping off the table. She winced at the movement, then blushed and grinned. Cory smiled, and the pair headed home…

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