Fall was Candace’s favorite season. She reveled in the bright colors and cold air, and had a scarf collection that grew every year. Never one for neighborhood walks, she suddenly became energized and looked forward to free afternoons just so she could slip into her favorite boots and walk around the block, taking pictures of her favorite trees against the clear blue sky.
She was just returning home from one of these happy walks when she noticed smoke coming from one of the windows. Not billowing black smoke, but thin wispy white smoke that disappeared quickly. The happy peace she felt dissipated just as fast. That was Harper’s room… was she smoking? Inside??
Ohhh, Jessie is going to kill her, Candace thought angrily. No, I’m going to kill her.
She stormed inside, and was throwing open the door to her sister’s room seconds after she’d entered the house. Harper was scrambling to shut the window and hide a pack of cigarettes under her pillow at the same time. She visibly relaxed as she saw it was only Candace. “Jesus Christ, you scared the hell out of me. I thought you were Jesse.” She actually looked up, seeing the thunderous look on Candace’s face. “What?” she asked nervously. Candace had been her best friend since they were children, and had always looked out for her; she had become even more of a big sister since Harper had actually moved in the Candace and Jessie last year. She’d seen her look angry before, but she’d never seen that face directed at her.
“What do you think you’re doing, Harper?! You don’t smoke!”
“You don’t know my life!” Harper replied, trying to be jokey and lighten the mood. Candace didn’t take the bait, though. Instead she walked over to the bed, reaching under Harper’s pillow and grabbing the pack of cigarettes, then turning abruptly and heading for the kitchen. Harper scrambled after her, indignant. “Hey, those are mine!”
Candace stepped on the peddle of the garbage can, dropping the pack resolutely and letting the metal top shut with a bang. Harper walked over, making as if to take them back out, but was stopped by a hand on her chest. “No.”
Harper’s mouth dropped open. No? she thought, but she was too surprised to speak at first. As she recovered, her expression became stubborn and she shoved Candace’s arm away forcefully. “Yes!” she practically yelled. Her face flushed at that, because even to her own ears, she sounded like a little kid about to throw a tantrum. She continued stubbornly on, though a little more quietly. “I’m old enough to smoke if I want to. Who made you the boss?”
Candace took a step into Harper’s personal space, and the slightly younger woman stepped back, again caught off-guard. “You shouldn’t need a boss to tell you not to be so dumb, Harper. You know Jessie would lose her shit. Since when do you even want to smoke, anyway?”
Harper tried to recover, embarrassed that she felt so intimidated by a girl in Ugg boots and a cable-knit sweater. “I just wanted to!” she said hotly. If it had been anyone else, she might have shoved them at this point, but this was Candace, who had backed down from every fight they’d ever been in. She was pissed, but she’d just get the cigarettes later. She turned, faking nonchalance and walking toward the living room. “Whatever, Candace.”
“Hey, I asked you a question. I’m serious! Why do you suddenly want to smoke? You haven’t touched a cigarette since we both coughed our lungs up trying them at 15. What changed?” Candace was following her, and Harper was beyond annoyed at this point. She turned, her expression challenging as she looked right into her sister’s face, and said “Hey Candace, do me a favor? Fuck off?”
She turned back around just as quickly, smiling smugly to herself. If she’d been less amused by her own rude indifference, she might not have turned back around so quickly, or plopped down on the couch so casually, reaching with purposeful cheer for the television remote. She might have watched her best friend and chosen family stand up a little straighter, and perhaps noted how much she looked like a short, blond Jessie in this moment. She might have taken a moment to wonder why Candace headed down the hall to their bedrooms so determinedly, or been ready for her return a moment later.
Instead, she got her third shock of the day when her ear was suddenly grabbed from behind. In no time she was off the couch, feeling oddly powerless to do anything but go where she was tugged– which happened to be right back on the couch, but in a very different position. She was across Candace’s lap when her now-red ear was released, and immediately began trying to get up again. She didn’t even yell; she just grunted and struggled. She had twenty pounds on Candace at least, and had played soccer and basketball all through high school! “Fucking Zumba!!! ” was what finally came out of her mouth, it being the only explanation her brain could fathom for her now helpless state.
Candace laughed, not even sounding out of breath. “And surprise and leverage. But yeah, Zumba helps,” she said as she held Harper easily in place. The dark haired young woman was getting tired quickly. Candace had her legs locked around Harper’s, and the other woman’s body close against her with one arm pinned behind her back. With her free hand, Candace quickly tugged the sweats Harper was wearing down just below her butt, revealing Amazing Spider-Man underwear. “Enough!” yelled Harper, “Let me up!”
“You know what, Harp, you may not realize it, but you got two big sisters the day you moved in here,” Candace said, resting her hand on the girl’s bottom. Harper practically growled. “You are like six months older than me!”
“Eight,” came Candace’s reply, “not that it matters. You earned a spanking and how much older I am has nothing to do with it. I find you smoking, in the house like a crazy person, and then when I say something you’re a jerk to me? I don’t think so. I don’t deserve it. But you deserve this.” And with that, she brought her hand down on the web-covered design of Harper’s underwear. The first dozen swats were a little stingy, but nothing Harper would describe as painful. It got worse, though, and quickly. She was sure Candace had never spanked anyone before, but she had been on the receiving end more than once and was apparently a quick study. In no time at all, Harper’s bottom was a bright shade of pink that clashed horribly with her underwear and brought Candace great satisfaction.
Harper was silent, though it was getting harder to stay that way. Once she’d realized she was pinned, she had decided to just wait things out. She didn’t plan to give an inch; no noise, no wiggling, no kicking, no whining. That was her plan.
A swat landed low and a little “umph” escaped her. The involuntary noise made her angry, and Harper decided to pass this emotion along in the form of a hard pinch with her left hand, which had been jammed between her body and the back of the couch. She got a hold of the skin of Candace’s stomach beneath her gray sweater and squeezed. The spanking stopped as Candace jumped and yelled “Ow! You little brat!!!”
Harper smiled to herself, happy with the reaction, and then “HEY NO” as her underwear were whisked down and suddenly she found herself getting a real true blue no holds barred spanking as she felt the unfortunately familiar sting of Jessie’s wooden hairbrush land on her now bare bottom. There were no more thoughts after that, unless “ow” counted as a thought. There was just the loud smacking of the brush and the increasing pain in her bottom and the strain of her muscles against Candace’s unbreakable hold.
“Please stop!” she finally yelped, and to her surprise, she did. Harper lay there panting, eyes shut tight as she tried to catch her breath. Above her, Candace began talking again. “This isn’t how I thought my day was going to go either, Harper. But here we are now. Do you think I like having to do this? You don’t think it would have been easier to just turn you over to Jessie?”
Harper’s mood had shifted dramatically after the rapid fire spanking. She felt her mouth turn down into a pout, and she buried her face into the couch instead of responding. Candace continued lecturing, “I don’t want to be in charge. But I’m not going to stand by and watch you pick up such a nasty habit. How long have you been sneaking around with them, anyway?”
The younger woman groaned instead of answering, and Candace brought the brush down once on her left cheek. “Ow! Not long! Like a month! That’s the first pack I’ve ever bought!”
“You’ve been smoking for a month without buying cigarettes?” asked Candace sharply, and if her legs hadn’t been pinned, Harper might actually have kicked herself. “I mean a week,” she said quickly, but Candace wasn’t buying it. She rubbed the back of the brush against Harper’s hot bottom as a warning, saying “Where have you been getting cigarettes, Harper Adele?”
Harper groaned into the couch cushions again. She really, really did not want to answer this question. She also really, really did not want to be spanked any more. If it had been Jessie, her lips would have been sealed (until Jessie unsealed them, a mean voice in the back of her mind said, which she pointedly ignored). What was Candace going to do about it anyway, honestly? She felt the brush lift from her bottom and her decision was made. “Jade!”
She could practically see the eyeroll that accompanied the sigh of “Of course it was Jade.” All three of them were close, and Candace knew Jade almost as well as she knew Harper.
Candace readjust her grip, and Harper knew the spanking wasn’t over anyway, and she stopped worrying about Jade– her own ass was in the line of fire right now and Jade could worry about herself when and if the time came!
“You gonna touch another cigarette in the near future? Or do I have to tell Jessie about this later?” Candace asked. “Don’t tell Jessie! I won’t smoke again. I promise.” Harper was positive Jessie would spank her again, without a second thought to whatever damage Candace had done back there. And the idea of telling her that Candace had spanked her made Harper squirm with embarrassment.
“Okay, then we’re almost finished,” and the brush was falling again before she’d even completed her sentence, and Harper could barely hear the rest of what she said over the sound of her own yells and the steady thwack of the brush. “You ever tell me to fuck off again and I’m going to make this feel like amateur hour. I’m serious. This is minor league compared to what I’ll do to you. Tu comprende?”
“I comprende, I comprende!” said Harper, and as suddenly as it had started, the spanking was over. Candace pulled the girl’s underwear up and released her, and Harper jumped up immediately, kicking off her sweatpants and hopping from foot to foot as she rubbed her bottom, allowing herself to be undignified in a way she never would in front of Jessie. She glared at Candace’s completely unapologetic face; it was a mark of how close the were that Candace’s response to a look that would wither most people was to open her arms wide.
Her scowl shifted from withering to pouty, and she dove back onto the couch, curling up against the other woman pitifully. “That was really mean,” she said.
“I know,” Candace replied. “You weren’t being so nice yourself, you know.”
“I know,” Harper said guiltily. “I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay,” Candace said, squeezing her tightly. “I’d say we’re even now.”
Harper didn’t answer, but she squeezed her a little tighter, too.