Sasha smirked at the shrieks that filtered down to her from her husband’s study. Even two floors away, she could usually hear Tammy’s distress as Hector meted out her punishment; while none of the girls were exactly stoic during their visits, Tammy had a tendency to carry on more than most. Lily was so quiet that Sasha might not have thought she’d been chastised, if not for the thwacks of whatever it was her husband had used on her, or for her slightly reddened eyes when she emerged. Rose and Megan were known to wail occasionally, but it wasn’t the constant racket that Tammy made.
Another lengthy screech was punctuated by a viscous whacking sound. Sasha had some sympathy for the girl, but even she had to agree that Tammy deserved it. Tammy had shared her sob story of a sister’s friend’s pet rat’s death delaying completion of her essay over tea as they’d waited for Hector to arrive to address the matter more directly. Sasha couldn’t help but scold the girl a bit; they both knew this was the third time this month that Hector would be addressing her tendency to procrastinate. Tammy had pouted in response, but didn’t bother to try summon up some sort of meagre defence. She had accepted what was to happen to her.
Given the pitch and volume of her protests, however, Sasha got the impression that this might just be the last time her husband had to address this particular shortcoming. Even for Tammy, this was a loud session.
Sasha usually arranged to be elsewhere during Tammy’s visits, but with her car in the shop and the sky threatening rain, she had decided to try to catch up on her reading instead. The novel had been abandoned as well in favour of a glossy magazine with plenty of pictures; it was impossible to focus enough to follow even a basic plotline with that sort of crying so close at hand.
Sasha wondered for the umpteenth time why the girl continued her visits to her husband. Sasha could certainly relate to the cries. She’d made similar noises herself when Hector had tried to spank her he earnest, not that she’d lasted very long. In less than a minute she had begged him to stop, and he did, though with obvious reluctance. They’d tried again a few months later, but though Sasha felt guilty for being unable to assist her husband in living out this particular fantasy, she was unable to endure more than a few gentle swats of foreplay.
That had been enough, for a while, but she could feel that he wanted more. She had been trying to buck up the courage for another attempt when he had first brought up the idea of the Arrangement.
She’d been horrified at first. Her marriage was sacred, and she resented the implication that they wouldn’t be able to sort out their bedroom issue between themselves. She’d packed a bag that night, storming off to her sister’s apartment and determined not to return until Hector apologised and agreed to drop the idea.
Helen had listened to the whole story as Sasha sobbed and stammered and cursed her way through it before finishing, emotionally and physically spent, in one of her sister’s trademark hugs. Her tears rendered Helen’s blouse into a sodden mess, but Helen held her close and shushed her attempts at apology. It was there, with her heart open and bleeding, that her sister had murmured the words that would change her life forever.
“This sounds like something you need to talk through with your husband. That said, I’m happy to provide support in the meantime. No one can be everything to anyone.”
No one can be everything to anyone.
It took a while for the words to sink in, but Helen held her gently until they did. They were sitting over steaming mugs of tea when Hector knocked at the door. He tried to slip in quietly, dropping off the toothbrush and face cream that Sasha had left behind in her haste to leave, but Sasha threw herself into his arms, apologised for her flight, and sheepishly asked for him to take her back home.
Sasha and Hector had talked late into the night, and off and on for the next several weeks. There were many times she felt the need to rush off to Helen’s again, and a couple of times when she did so, albeit in a less dramatic fashion and with Hector’s full knowledge of where she was going and when she would return.
He had shown her so many things those first few weeks, shared fantasies she could barely understand, sent links to websites and articles both enticing and disturbing. Try as she might, she could not share his desires.
But she could understand. And she could support.
She had thought it would be a one-sided deal, but then she had met Gerrard.
Hector had brought up her part of the Arrangement tentatively, though after having so many of her beliefs of marriage and intimacy challenged, Sasha quickly agreed to the meeting.
There was something very surreal about it. The four of them- herself and Hector, Gerrard and his wife- had sat around the kitchen table casually, as though they’d merely been discussing the weather rather than some of Sasha’s deepest, most intimate desires.
Then the contract had been written, signed by the four of them with a formality that Sasha found comforting after challenging herself to write out the words that now stood in black and white before her- before all of them.
Any discomfort she felt quickly evaporated when Hector and Lisa left her alone with Gerrard. His hands were large, steady, and tender as they caressed her. His voice deep enough that its vibrations could be felt more than heard. Though she’d never thought she’d yearn for another after marrying Hector, she found herself drawn to Gerrard, to this other intimacy.
It was an honest relationship. Although it felt decidedly awkward at the time, setting explicit boundaries had been freeing. She had no need to worry what her husband might think, no need to worry that Gerrard might take liberties.
And it made sex with Hector much more satisfying as well. Not that she’d bothered to negotiate a contract with her husband, though he had brought up the idea, but now that they both had other outlets they had been able to focus more exclusively on their compatibilities in their private time.
Besides, the girls Hector disciplined had become close friends. The girls tended to be young, yes, but hardly the misguided whores her imagination had treated her to as she’d fretted over the Arrangement in its early days. They had been just normal people, people Sasha was glad to welcome into their home. And they weren’t just there for the spankings either; it became normal practice for the girls to stay for dinner, or at least a bit of tea, after their sessions. Sasha had been nervous the first few times, worried at what she would have to say to these people, frightened that she would feel nothing but jealousy for the time they shared with her husband, but that was hardly the case (besides, from the screams she heard, she was in no danger of becoming jealous of the activities they supposedly “enjoyed” with Hector). She was more than content in her role as silent supporter during these sessions, ready with a hug and a mug of tea when the girls emerged.
They were usually quiet at first, having exhausted their vocal capabilities upstairs, Sasha imagined, but as the aftereffects of their experiences faded they had opened up, and conversation afterwards was as lively and witty as any dinner party she had hosted over the years. These girls may require guidance, but it certainly wasn’t due to lack of intelligence.
Tammy’s screams grew louder yet again, the cracking of her punishment more clearly audible now as well. Hector must be nearly finished, Sasha realised, recognising the change in tempo that signalled the finale of his punishments.
She wandered to the kitchen and filled the kettle for three cups of tea and flicked it on. The poor girl may have deserved her torment, but she had equally earned a measure of comfort afterwards for seeking out and enduring the experience.
Besides, Hector would need some refreshment as well; Sasha knew well that there would be plenty more vigorous activity in store after Tammy departed.