Much to Learn: Back to School

With thanks to Paolo of Wholebean and I

Sarah and Mark’s Story began here

It was a mad scramble. Sarah had unpacked, though there was a big difference between simply unpacking and truly settling in. Her uniform was here. . . somewhere. “Somewheres,” more likely. She remembered seeing the bits and pieces as she had hurriedly shelved her belongings, but had no idea which closets or drawers held what. The only thing she knew for certain was that there was no chance whatsoever that the entire uniform was in the same place.

Thankfully the apartment wasn’t large and her possessions weren’t many, and a few minutes of scrambling had round up nearly everything. She had nearly given up on the shoes, starting to dress to give herself time to think. Would he notice the lack of shoes? This was an entirely indoor activity, after all. She could perhaps argue that wearing shoes at all would be inappropriate. Yes, that excuse would fly, she thought sarcastically as she unknotted her decidedly sloppy tie. Focusing on the task at hand, she managed an acceptable knot on the second attempt. As she admired her work, she had a moment of inspiration, those realisations that so often happen when one lets go of a question rather than ruminating on it.

Her shoes were in the spare room. Third cubby from the left on the top shelf, buried in a box of sandals and books that had been thrown together in a temporary assortment for the sake of optimising the use of space in the box for the move. An assortment that was threatening to become permanent if she did not intervene soon.

One more quick scramble and the proper shoes were on her feet and the contents of the box restored to their proper place (no need to give him more reason to punish when he was already about to discipline her). She was relieved that she had found everything. Although testing Sir could be fun, today was hardly the day. He hadn’t quite looked himself since he had arrived, and she was impressed that he had even suggested the “school day” at all. After a final look in the mirror, she stepped out to meet her fate.

The overcast sky and drawn curtains combining to allow only minimal light into the sitting room. Despite the dim lighting, the copybook stood stark and white on the table. She moved to sit before it, but stopped herself, waiting for instruction with eyes downcast.

“Take your seat,” he instructed softly. She peeked up a bit to regard him. He had the same stern look she had come to expect during these sessions, with only the faintest hint of tiredness in his eyes. Resolving to be a good girl for him today, she settled herself into the chair, picked up the pen which he had left next to the book, and waited for his next instruction.

“You’ll see I have already placed a header on the page. Under it, I would like you to write a sentence or two about how this discipline has helped you.

Sarah twirled the pen between her fingers as she thought. They had discussed this in quite a bit of detail when they had met for lunch a week before. The light, informal conversation was surprisingly easy. She appreciated his efforts, and had tried to improve some of her bad habits. Writing about this should be just as easy, and yet. . .

“It does not need to be much,” she heard his voice sending encouragement from behind her. “Just write one thing that you have changed since we started this process.”

With one last twirl of the pen, she put the nib to the paper and began to write. “I try harder to be pleasant in my daily interactions since meeting Sir; I want to avoid unpleasant behaviour that would require correction.”

She placed the pen back down and folded her hands in her lap, expecting to hear Sir come up behind her to read her offering. Instead, she heard his voice from the far side of the room. “Under that, I want you to write: ‘Hand spanking across Sir’s knee.’’”

Sarah blushed as she complied. Of course he didn’t need to read her first statement right away. Not only had she already told him this and more, but their arrangement was not predicated on any specific wrongdoing requiring correction. These disciplinary meetings were held because she wanted discipline in a general sense. While specific goals and missteps may come into play, they did not always need to be the focus of their encounters. It was sufficient for her simply to be reminded that she was under discipline.

Her simple task completed, she set the pen down and again waited, with a bit more anxiety than before. She knew he was going to spank her, but there was a difference between knowing that it would happen sometime and knowing that it would happen in the very near future. Her insides fluttered as she waited for him to call her over to him.

He paused, just long enough for her to begin to wonder why she was doing this, why she wanted this sort of pain. She could back out right now, walk away, tell him to stop, and it wouldn’t happen.

“Come,” he told her. And she did, her internal battle irrelevant in the face of his firm authority.

She laid over his knee as requested and waited for him to begin. As always, he started slowly, softly, reaffirming her decision to submit to him. There was a sting, but not enough for her to want to flee or even try to squirm.

Of course, this blissful beginning was only a beginning. She had relaxed deeply by the time she felt him lift her skirt. He spanked harder then, but still not to the point of actual discomfort.

That came later, when she felt her panties lowered. She tried to lift herself to help, but the gesture was as awkward as ever. How did those other girls, those perfect submissives, manage that hip-lifting thing that always looked and sounded so graceful?

If Mark cared, he didn’t show it, but caressed her bare behind a moment before beginning the spanking in earnest. Sarah tried to keep still, but couldn’t keep her feet from twitching with each swat. Undeterred, Mark continued the spanking as she began to squirm a bit more before bringing it to a close with a sharp swat and an order to place herself in the corner.

The “corner” he indicated wasn’t a corner as such, but rather a stretch of wall. It wasn’t even a blank wall, her tiny apartment not having room for such things. Instead of an expanse of white paint, she was treated to an upclose view of large flower in sepia. It wasn’t hers, not really- she wasn’t a flower kind of girl. It had come with the apartment and she had been intending to replace it with something less. . .frilly a soon as she could. As she became more acquainted with the print during her exile, however, she felt her mind begin to change. She wondered if Sir had placed her here intentionally, if the softness of the picture was supposed to invoke the same sort of softness within her, the softness she wanted to cultivate through this discipline.

Her train of thought was cut short by his order to return to her desk. She smirked as she sat down, her mind still on the flower. Usually she was only too happy to leave the corner- this must be the first time in history that a girl would have been happy to remain there longer.

“Your next line,” he instructed, “I will now receive the slipper from Sir.”

She turned her head briefly to see that he already had the flip flop in his hand. Her smirk became a full-blown grin for a moment before she covered it with a cough. It just wasn’t possible to take such an implement seriously. Obediently, and with minimal giggles, she wrote her line.

“I’ve decided, based on yesterday’s experimentation, that the best place to spank you is over the back of the armchair,” he told her. Taking this statement as the order it was, she positioned herself as requested and pretended to brace herself for the impact.

The noise of the flip flop came shortly, and she allowed herself to twitch slightly as though she could feel it. She wondered if it was always this harmless, or if she had just had herself worked up and expecting something more severe, something like one of the plimsolls he had introduced her to on their last encounter. Or maybe she had just been so thoroughly warmed by the hand spanking that the power of this implement was eclipsed. Perhaps it would be terribly painful if applied first.

In any event, the noise stopped indicating that Sir had finished before she had felt much of anything, and he sent her back to the corner to resume her contemplations.

“Turn around,” he ordered, after only a few moments. Sarah was beginning to feel a bit cheated on the corner time thing, but one glance at the implement in his hands banished such thoughts from her mind.

It was her fiendish friend, his thick leather tawse. She hated that she loved it.

“I believe I promised you six swats on each hand for your embellishment of a certain assignment,” he told her. She allowed herself a large and open smile at this. He had assigned her lines- finally, after nearly a month of tempting him- but it had been so few. A mere twenty repetitions. To stretch the exercise out a bit, she had used her best penmanship, the gothic calligraphy that her grandmother had taught her, to produce a veritable masterpiece. Sir hadn’t noticed at first, though she couldn’t help flaunting her work a bit. He eventually caught on, and at least pretended to be less than pleased, threatening severe punishment when they were next able to meet.

“You will receive three now, and another three later. Hold out your hand.”

She complied, and was treated to the heavy searing sting of the tawse three times on her outstretched palm. As she switched hands, she marvelled that he truly was a master at this. Three strokes fro him as just enough, leaving her with an intense but bearable burn. Painful, to be sure, but not quite enough to quench her desire for discipline.

After another brief spell in the corner, he ordered her back to her desk. Looking at the copy book, she noted that he had already entered a comment about the tawsing, complete with the rather sinister promise of more later.

“On the next line,” Sir said, “another sentence about what you have learned from these sessions. How is this discipline helping you?”

As before, this request caused her pause. What else had she learned? She had been so vague the first time, it was difficult to come up with something else. She thought briefly about why she had earned the tawsing. She had written her lines as requested, though Sir had not understood what had taken her so long. “I am less likely to procrastinate,” she wrote.”I know that Sir will hold me accountable.

Seeing her set the pen down, Sir continued. “Next line, write: I will now accept the hairbrush form Sir.”

She wrote the requested line with a small shudder. He had compared the hairbrush to the flipflop the previous evening, saying that both implements were all bark and no bite. True, the hairbrush did make an awful lot of noise, but to her mind it did indeed have a bite to match.

She trembled a bit when he called her over to lay across his lap. He set in straight away, delivering twenty solid whacks that made her squirm from the start.

Up,” her ordered. She moved to the corner, but he stopped her, “Stay there,” he said, positioning her in the middle of the room. Knowing what was to come, she obediently extended her hand as he picked up the tawse. Keeping the palm high and tight, she received three more swats on each hand before turning to the corner yet again.

“Take your seat,” Sir instructed a moment later. Sarah sat, gently lifting the pen in her still-stinging hands.

“Write: I will now receive twenty from the wooden paddle from Sir.”

Sarah began the sentence aware of Sir standing over her shoulder. Was he watching what she was writing, or consulting his own notes? Would this be a good time to test him? Debating this as she carefully sculpted the words, she wrote: I will now receive twenty from the evil wooden paddle from Sir.

She set the pen down and held her breath. Did he notice?

“Position yourself,” he instructed, his voice the same commanding tone as always, giving her no indication of whether he had noticed the embellishment. The paddle was similarly stern, lighting a fire in her bottom as it had before. Unusually severe for such a small implement, even the twenty strokes left her gasping- and still with no idea as to whether this was what he had planned in the first place or if the strokes had been harder on account of her unauthorised addition.

“Return to the desk,” he instructed, not allowing her time in the corner to allow the sting to simmer itself out before she faced the hard chair again.

Gingerly lowering herself down, she twirled the pen as she waited for instruction.

“What else have you learned?” he asked.

Sarah paused, staring at the blank lines. This was hard, she realised. When she had fantasised about discipline, it was all stuttering confessions and teary, painful cleansing. In in dreams, it was difficult for her, difficult to meet his eyes, to confess wrongdoing, but also easy. Black and white. Sin committed and debt paid.

This was nothing like that. This she had to think about. This was real. How had she changed? She knew that she had, but it was a nebulous feeling, and in her lazy bliss she liked it that way. But she also knew, deep down, that this lack of self-awareness was not helpful. She knew that he would help her through it, but it would require effort on her part.

So she tried. How had she changed? Her mind churned as she rolled the pen between her fingers. The pen she had been given after her first assignment here- the assignment that had ultimately led to her move, to her new life. To Him. To happiness.

“I am more relaxed and happy; I know that Sir cares,” she wrote. Nebulous, she scolded herself. But it was something. It was written. It was a step. It was a start. Was it enough?

“Hand me your copy book,” came Sir’s voice from over her shoulder.

Folding the front pages behind, she offered up her work. Her thoughts, her feelings, her best effort. And she waited for his appraisal.

He held the book for a long moment during which she hardly dared to breathe. He handed it back without a word, silently stalking behind her as he usually did during her discipline.

She heard his footsteps stop. Then came the command:

“Copy down ‘I have pleased Sir today.’”

She obeyed, allowing herself her first smile while under discipline, feeling the warmth of their shared happiness spread through her, savouring the moment of peace.

It didn’t last long. The next command came as soon as the brief sentence was written.

“Skip a line. Copy down “I will now accept the strap from Sir.’” His voice was dark again. This was going to hurt.

She could see his shadow as she wrote. Even in silhouette, the strap looked fearsome. Steadying her shaking hand, she finished the requested line and waited for his next order.

“Back over the chair,” it came, and she hobbled over to obey. Doubled over, she felt the strap begin to tap her behind, as if to lull her into a false sense of security. She should know better by now. After a brief pause, it descended with much more force, leaving a searing red patch in it’s wake. She gasped as she rode the pain, welcoming the familiar, purging waves. Each new stroke brought the same sensation, only intensified. As always before, in spite of the pain, she couldn’t truly dislike the experience. Not when it warmed her so deeply, so soulfully. The warmth lingered even as she recovered, standing again at the wall and studying the flower. It also had a warm hue, she realised, again wondering if the position had been intentional.

“Sit down,” he ordered, long before the burn had faded. As she shifted in her seat, he gave the next order. “Write down: I will now receive ten strokes of the cane over panties,” he instructed. As she wrote the words, she hardly dared believe them to be true. Ten? And over panties? What had she done to earn such leniency from his more usual “twenty on the bare?” As she finished the last words, her mistake was soon corrected as Sir added, “followed by ten strokes of the cane on my bare bottom.”

Shuddering, she wrote the words out. At least it was only ten on the bare, still lenient by his standards.

“Bend over the chair.”

It was the same instruction as many times before, yet she marvelled at how much more chilling it sounded when he held the cane, punctuating the order with a sudden swish.

She returned to the chair and grasped it tightly in preparation. When the first stroke came, she was glad she had a firm grip- it may have only been over panties, but he was certainly making the strokes count. She gasped at the intensity, far more than he had allowed during any of their previous sessions. Her knuckles turned white as she weathered the rest of the first set, aghast at how much pain the cane could cause, even as she knew she still had a long ways to go to experience the full potential of the implement.

Her breath came out in a stutter as he lowered her panties. Grasping the chair even tighter, she tried to brace herself, but couldn’t help the audible gasp as the first of the next set of strokes came. The second had her jolting forward in response, and some small part of her mind which retained a bit of logic made a note to move the chair further from the wall next time, lest she smash her head into the wall. That part of her mind remained engaged throughout the rest of the ordeal, saving her the bruise on the other end.

The tingling sear of the cane stripes more than compensated, however, and continued to amplify during her post-caning exile in the corner. She stood quietly at the wall, though for once was unable to contemplate the flower, the whole of her attention being focused sharply behind her. Even with her hands on her head, she could feel the ridges plumping, becoming more uncomfortable even after the punishment had stopped.

His voice finally distracted her. “I have reviewed your work. The lines you have written under my instruction,” she heard his voice behind her. “I must admit, it is even more impressive in person than in the pictures you sent.” She waited as the silence stretched, wondering where he was going with this bit of praise and what consequences it might bring for her bottom.

“I am well pleased,” he continued. “I can see that I do not need to cane you again.” Her bottom and stomach both clenched at this pronouncement. He had been planning to cane her again? She had assumed the last twenty with the cane were the strokes he had promised for her embellishment of the lines. He had been planning on twenty more?

Even as she feared the pain another twenty strokes would have brought, even as she was relieved that she would be spared that bit of suffering, she couldn’t help but feel a bit cheated. Those were her strokes, she had earned them, she should have them, she wasn’t ready for this to end.

The first of many post-punishment twinges from her behind brought an abrupt end to that insane line of thought. He was right, she’d had enough for one day. Not for the first time, she was grateful that he was the one in charge of deciding how much she would endure; he had a much better sense of such things than she, particularly when she was in this particular headspace.

“Turn around,” she heard him instruct. She looked up to see him approaching with the strap, his stern expression tinted with a hint of smile. “While we are finished with the cane, a few more strokes of the strap on your hands will do you good.”

She smiled again, despite the looming strap. How had he known? Had he guessed her disappointment at the promise and withdrawal of the caning, even though she didn’t relish the thought of another session with the fearsome stick so soon? This was a more-than-acceptable compromise, this special fascination that they shared. It was a fitting end to the session, something she could savor in the aftermath.

She held out her hands as instructed to receive the strokes, three right and three left. Each stroke was crisp and just within her ability to bear, the pain building until the third stroke nearly broke her composure. Nearly, but not quite. That barrier would be saved for another day.

“Kneel,” he ordered after the last stroke was placed. “Hold out your hands,” he instructed when she had positioned herself. He gently placed the strap on her outstretched, smarting palms and left her to reflect.

And reflect she did, savouring the position as much as the punishment which had preceded it. She loved kneeling for him, a position that felt even more submissive than when she was placed in the corner. She loved offering up the strap, respecting and reflecting on the instrument that had brought her pain mere moments before. She loved the way these thoughts swirled and combined with the pain of the discipline as he left her here to begin her recovery- the gradual transition back to the mindframe in which she could function as a “normal” person once he left.

“Rise,” he told her, taking the strap from her hands, and opening his arms to receive her. He embraced her, welcoming and easing her back. He held her tightly until she gently drew away. Grasping her shoulders, he looked at her lovingly. “Are you alright?” he asked. Nodding, she smiled up at him. They both knew the answer before he had asked, but she appreciated the question all the same.

“Good,” he smiled. “Now, as much as I like looking at you in that, you’d best get changed into something more comfortable.”

In the relative privacy of her room, she shucked off the uniform quickly, taking only enough time to fold it into a somewhat acceptable heap and stash it on a shelf before dressing quickly and returning to him.

She found him on the balcony; it seemed to be his favourite place in her apartment. His head was rested against the wall as he gazed down on the river. He looked exhausted. She wondered that he had managed to seem as stern and strong as he had over the course of her discipline. She had never seen him this ill, and her heart ached with sympathy and gratitude.

Pausing to turn on the kettle, she dragged another chair out to join him giving him a quick hug and a glass of water before returning inside to prepare the tea. He received the steaming mug with a muttered thanks as she set it in front of him and sat down.

She rested her head against his shoulder and gazed out with him. She felt his arm wrap around her, and snuggled closer into his side.

“You know I have to leave, don’t you.” It wasn’t a question. It wasn’t unexpected. It wasn’t stated harshly, but it shattered her peace to bits.

“Yes, Sir,” she heard herself acknowledge.

He turned to look at her, sadness in his eyes. “I am sorry,” he told her. “I know the timing is horrible,” he said, referring to his illness.

“Not your fault,” she acknowledged. “Do you need anything?” she asked. “More tea? More sleep?”

He rubbed his eyes, considering. “I’ll lay down for a bit. Half an hour.”

She smiled, glad that he had agreed to rest before making the journey home. “Do you want to be alone, or shall I join you?”

He laughed a little. “Of course you can come with me. Keep me warm.” She had to laugh too, he was always warmer than she, even now when he had a cold.

She curled beside him in the bed, savouring his presence as he drifted in and out of sleep, wishing that she could somehow draw the illness from him. All too soon, he sighed and sat up. “I suppose I should start getting ready.”

“Anything I can do to help?” she asked again.

“No, I just need to gather my things,” he told her has he slowly stood. As they set about packing the few bits and pieces that had scattered themselves about her apartment, she thought of the gift hiding in the back of her sock drawer. She watched him packing, contemplating. Was it too soon? Would it be taken the wrong way?

On impulse, she went to retrieve it. “One moment, I have something for you,” she said as she dug to the back of the drawer, retrieving the cold bit of metal, hiding it in her palm as she returned to his side.

“I have my own place now, and I hope that helps with logistics. You are always welcome here. Any time,” she said as she opened her hand and offered him the key.

He stared at it a moment before taking it from her reverently. “Thank you,” he finally said, “this is the perfect gift.” He bent to kiss her tenderly, a kiss she received gratefully, not caring if she caught whatever bug he had. He was worth it.

All too soon, he backed away, picking up his bag. She walked him out to his car, sharing one last embrace before he got in and backed out of the drive.

She paused at her doorstep, watching as he drove out to the main street and the car disappeared around the corner. She ran out to her balcony to watch his car pull away down the street, the tears already beginning to form. The drop. It was starting already. She had hoped this would be getting easier, but, if anything, the opposite was proving true. She turned back inside and collapsed onto her bed in a sob, giving herself over to the drop and letting it run its course a few moments before pulling herself together.

“One day may not be as nice as three, but it’s a hell of a lot better than nothing,” she consoled herself. “He’ll be back, and you’d better behave yourself until then. Sir would not be pleased to hear that you wasted the rest of your day.” With new resolve, she got up and went in search of food. Sir would approve.

To be continued

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