She looked down at her drink, her eyes following a bead of condensation as it joined the ring forming at the base, adding yet another circle to the pattern she was painstaking laying across the tabletop in a vain attempt to distract herself from what she was about to do. Circles spiralled out from where he had first placed the glass. To an uninformed observer, it would appear to be a flower, but she was not that kind of girl.
He apparently didn’t know that. She eyed her pinkish glass with a smirk. It had a fucking strawberry in it. She hadn’t even had the time or nerve to tell him that she was a beer-drinking girl, instead smiling with polite enthusiasm at the offered cocktail. Her mouth had watered when they first walked into the pub and she had seen the array of taps, a shiny line-up crowned with a trio of hand pumps. But no, she hadn’t even told him that little detail and was stuck sipping the sickeningly-sweet pink drink and doing her best not to grimace. They knew so very little about each other; they had only just met.
And yet they did know each other. They had written for months. They had talked for hours. They shared a deep secret, the kind of secret that leads to conversations about hopes and dreams rather than of birthplaces and hobbies. What an odd class of friendships, she thought idly. No- she scolded herself. There would be time to muse on that later. After all the years of imagining this moment, she owed it to herself to be fully present. She looked up from the table to meet his eyes and offered the answer he had patiently been awaiting.
“Yes,” she said, with far more assurance and serenity that she actually had. The conjured feeling didn’t last and she quickly re-lowered her gaze. Even so, she could tell from the subtle shift in his posture that he was relieved.
“I’m honoured,” he responded, his voice a deep velvet that embraced her to keep her fears at bay. He reached across the table to giver her hand a gentle squeeze. She gripped it firmly, grasping onto the lifeline lest she drift away from her resolve. Drawing inspiration from the simple gesture, she meekly voiced her request.
“Please don’t leave me alone.”
“What?” he asked with confusion and a smile. “I’m right here, I’m not going anywhere. I’d hate to miss our little appointment.”
“Yes, I know,” she replied, “and thanks. But I meant before. . . it. I know you like to. . .well sometimes. . . leave a girl to think on her own, to get in the proper frame of mind. I don’t think I can handle that. I might lose it. I know I’m not supposed to be the one making the rules, but just this time please stay with me. Next time we can try it, but I don’t want to be alone.” She let the words tumble out as she finished.
“Fine by me,” he accepted as he ran his thumb over the back of her knuckles. “Along those lines, would you like to get on with it? You don’t seem particularly attached to that drink.”
She nodded, registering that his perception of her unspoken tastes was probably a good sign considering their plans for the evening.
He lead her back to their rented room, steadying her shaking steps. She was too grateful for his presence and support to dwell on whether any of those they passed could guess what they were about to do.
Soon the door was clicking closed, shutting out the rest of the world and shutting them together.
He guided her over to the foot of the bed where he sat her down next to him. He gave her a hug, not the quick, empty gesture of acquaintances but the lingering embrace of lovers. She breathed in his warmth as she allowed herself to begin to melt into him. Shen she finally pulled away, he peered at her cautiously. “Are you ready?” he asked.
She stared at him wide-eyed. Now? Of course now, what else did they need to do? Why would she want to prolong her wait? Hadn’t she already waited for years until she found someone she could trust with this initiation? Almost imperceptibly, she nodded.
He smiled, an expression that somehow combined both the loving smile of a father and the hungry smile of a predator. Inexplicably, this was calming for her and she allowed herself to be drawn across his knee.
It was awkward. This was unexpected. She had heard of how this position was supposed to be intimate, how the contact was comforting, but this was one of the most uncomfortable positions she had ever been in. His thighs were firm, but she couldn’t find a pose in which they did not dig painfully into her stomach.
He lifted her skirt, distracting her. This was expected. It would happen just as he had described. She let out a deep breath and settled in, allowing the curves of her body to match those of his lap.
It started. It was sharp, jarring, and not at all pleasant. She balled her fists. Of course it was unpleasant. It would be worth it, she promised herself as she tried to relax again.
He caressed her for a moment, allowing her to absorb the first impact. It wasn’t a hard spank, but a first spank is something to be savoured. Just as she stared to unclench her hands, he struck again. Harder this time, and with less pause before the next stroke.
She lost count. She had never understood how that could happen, though now she wondered how anyone ever could count. After a while, she didn’t perceive the individual swats as much as the growing burn, a stinging itchy warmth spreading to the tops of her thighs and continually fuelled by his not-so-gentle ministrations before being tamed by soft strokes from the same hand that had stoked the flames only moments before.
He continued- swats alternating with strokes in a not-quite-predictable pattern. She felt it would never end.
But it did. It was over. She had done it. She allowed herself to sink into teary, happy exhaustion in his arms.