That’s a Good Mutual Friend

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David was not a confrontational man. He wasn’t prone to raising his voice. He never interrupted others, even when they insisted on yelling. He didn’t need to. When David had something he needed to say, people listened. Sometimes, it took a look. Sometimes, a gentle clearing of his throat. Occasionally, a loud “Excuse me.” People listened, of course, excluding Emily Anne.

She had waltzed into his life like a gentle tornado several months ago, a date set up by a mutual friend. He found her charming and charismatic, endearing and endlessly frustrating at the same time. And though he knew there was really no such thing as a gentle tornado, he found himself falling for her just the same.

Emily didn’t need to fight to make herself heard, either. She was fiercly independent, the kind of woman who did not ask permission and did so unapologetically. She found David steady and kind, intriguing and genuine, and above all, trustworthy. She was falling for him as well.

When they had their first fight, David was unprepared. It was over such a small thing… he had come to pick her up for a date, and her front door was unlocked, keys dangling from the beneath the handle. He’d grabbed them and let himself in to her apartment with a knock. “Emily?” he had called. He gave her a reproving look as he handed them over. “Be careful, babe. You left these in the door.” Instead of a thank you, she had rolled her eyes as she took them, dismissing him with a flippant “oh I do that all the time.”

“You leave your keys in the door? All the time?” he had asked, his eyebrows raised.

“Not a big deal. Where are we going for dinner?” she answered, brushing him off.

“I think it is a big deal, young lady,” he said, followed by a pause as he tried to mask his own surprise. Young lady? Where had that come from? He continued though, “This is not the worst neighborhood, but keeping your door locked is an effortless way to keep yourself a little safer.” His second surprise came when she didn’t argue or agree, but huffed at him. She huffed!

For her part, Emily had no idea where the huffing came from either. She just felt herself give in to some small unreasonable voice that rarely escaped. In restropect, she recognized that David was the first man she had ever trusted enough to hear that voice, but in the moment she just felt confused, and instead of backing down, she picked a bigger fight. They both got mad. Dinner was cancelled.

A week later, laying in bed at his apartment and both feeling the warmth from a now empty bottle of wine, Emily let the little voice take over again. Playfully she walked her fingers up his bare chest, smiling mischievously until…

“OW!” David yelled.

Emily snuggled closer to him as he covered his freshly pinched nipple. “Oops,” she said. A minute later, her fingers crept back up to his chest, this time taking only a few tiny steps before they were captured in his much larger hand. Leaning his head down close to hers, he said in a scary and quiet voice, “if you pinch me again, I will spank that little backside of yours until you can’t sit still.”

Butterflies errupted in her stomach and she jerked her hand back, tucking her mischievous fingers between their bodies and hiding her face in the crook of his arm. He smiled, though she couldn’t see it. The wine had made him bold, but he had listened to his instincts, and been prepared to apologize if he had read her wrong. It seemed to have paid off.

Two days later, it was date night again. As David climbed the steps to her apartment door, a bit of metal glinted in the evening sun. His expression darkened. Surely not.

Her keys again hung from the door. David grabbed them and walked inside, calling out. “Emily Anne?” though he expected no answer this time; he could hear a hair dryer running in the bathroom. When he appeared in the mirror behind her, she jumped and shrieked. “David! You scared me!”

“That is not all I plan to do,” he said, reaching over to unplug the hair dryer before taking it from her hands and setting it on the closed toilet lid. “You have some thinking to do.” With that, her grabbed her wrist and pulled her into the bedroom, steering her directly into the one unoccupied corner by the bed. Her outfit for the evening was laid out neatly, but for now she wore only her underwear and a blue tank top. “Why?!” she said as he arranged her hands behind her back, and he was pleased and affirmed in his choice by the faint whine he heard there, what he recognized now as a secret and rare glimpse of her most free self.

“Because a certain little girl left her keys in the door. Again.”

Emily made to turn around, and he knew she was rolling her eyes. A sharp thwack rang out, and Emily practically flung herself back into the corner. He had swatted her! And it hurt! She felt her face begin to burn with embarrassment. This was what she wanted, she thought. She had danced around it from practically the beginning of the relationship; it was perhaps the only thing in her life for which she had never directly asked.

David stepped back and watched the handprint bloom on the undercurve of her left cheek, faint fingerprints reaching out from beneath her peach colored underwear. If David had not been David, she would have eventually been forced to have one of those direct and difficult conversations. But perhaps their mutual friend knew more than they gave her credit for, because David suspected exactly what she wanted, and now he felt more confident than ever.

When he was sure that his girlfriend would stay put, at least for the time being, he walked back to the restroom and grabbed the sturdy wooden hairbrush she’d been using when he arrived. He returned quickly, set the hairbrush on the bed and moved her outfit to her dresser. Then he made himself comfortable, sitting on the bed’s edge and watching Emily shift her weight from foot to foot for a moment before he began to speak. “Stop fidgeting,” he began sternly. “You have landed yourself in trouble, and from now on, that is going to include corner time, so I suggest you get used to this position.” She groaned and leaned her head forward, letting it softly thunk into the joint of the walls.

“And when you are finished with your time-out, I am going to put you across my lap and spank your bare bottom.”

“David!!!” she wailed, having been unprepared to actually hear those words, and her hands jumped to cover her backside. He had expected something like this, and easily took the two steps from the bed to her corner and planted a matching swat on her right cheek, more pink fingerprints blooming. He smirked to himself as she went rigidly back into position. She wasn’t the only one who knew how to push buttons. He was thoroughly enjoying this.

He settled himself back on the bed and began to scold her. “I believe I was very clear about my feelings on you leaving your door unlocked, much less having your keys left there for the taking. And I understand that accidents happen, and we all have our moments. But you did not take me seriously the first time I showed concern, so you are going to take me seriously now.” She had begun to shift again as he lectured, and this time he let her. Her time in the corner was going to be over soon. He let her stand for several minutes in silence for good measure, though.

When he said “come here,” she jumped and pushed herself farther into the corner. He kept quiet, and was proud to see her ease herself out a moment later and shuffle to his side. She looked down at him pitifully, her mouth curved in a pout. “Do we have to?” she said softly.

“No,” he replied thoughtfully, taking her hands in his and squeezing them reassuringly, “but we’re going to.” And he pulled her gently to his side and then across his lap. She settled herself, would have even called it comfortable if she hadn’t been so nervous. David didn’t make her wait long. He pulled her in close with his left arm and said, “I think this is long overdue, little love. When I’m finished, you are going to have a very sore bottom, and a new motivation for keeping track of your keys. Is that clear?”

“Yes, sir,” she said into her arms, and though it was muffled, he felt a second surge of pride. Not wanting to make her wait any longer, her raised his right hand and began to spank her. She remained still as his hand bounced on her quickly warming backside, absorbing each swat stoically. He smiled as he spanked her, unsurprised. His instinct to grab the hairbrush had been right; she had never been entry-level at anything, and spanking was no exception for his exceptional girl. He paused and hooked his fingers under the elastic of her underwear, ready with his free hand when she did react with a squeak and a frantic attempt to stop him. He paused, his left hand around her wrist as she clutched the thin fabric with her right hand. “What kind of spanking did I say this would be?”

She jerked her hand free and pulled it back under her, attempting to get out of the question by showing compliance, but he had no plans to let her get away with it. “Emily Anne,” he said sternly, and he could feel her body tense in resistance. Alright, he thought, and he resumed spanking her, underwear still up but his hand now much further down, softer swats because that’s all it took when one spanked a pair of naughty thighs. Emily didn’t think they felt softer at all, and now her feet did kick and she finally yelled “bare.”

He stopped, resting his hand on her bottom again, and asking in the silence, “how?”

She screwed up her face and her courage and said again, quickly but clearly, “on my bare bottom.”

“Good girl,” he said, and then she felt the cool air hit her hot bottom and she attempted to bury her face under the bedspread. David resumed spanking her, a little surprised to see that she still remained fairly still. That wouldn’t last long, he thought, glancing at the hairbrush. A moment later, he paused to grab it, gripping her tighter before resting the smooth wood on her bottom to prepare her. Again her muscles constricted, this time in anticipation, and he proved to be right about her stoicism as he brought it crashing down.

“David! Please!” she yelled, keeping her hands away but moving her backside and legs this way and that in a vain attempt to escape the dreadful sting of the wood on her bottom. “I won’t do it again!”

“Oh, you might do it again. And we will deal with that if and when the time comes,” David said as he continued his steady assault on her backside. “What you will not do is ignore me when I express concern for you, not without facing consequences. Also,” he said, as if it were an afterthought, “no more pinching.”

“Okay! Yes sir. Yes sir. Okay!” she replied. He swatted her a few more times, then set the brush aside and asked, “Are you going to behave yourself for the rest of the evening?”

She nodded meekly, and he swatted her thighs. “Ouch! Yes sir!”

“Good,” he said smiling. He pulled her underwear up and allowed her to stand; she immediately began rubbing her bottom, her bottom lip trapped by her teeth as she hopped up and down. “That really hurt!” she said accusingly, but her expression was more pitiful than challenging. He smiled and opened his arms, whispering gently into her ear a moment later, “Spankings are supposed to hurt. The next one will hurt, too. And the one after that.”

And though she knew it was supposed to be a threat, she smiled into his chest, feeling content and happy, and very very sore.

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