Linda leapt from the sofa at the sound of footsteps on the gravel path to the door, her paperback tumbling to the floor. Despite Sean’s attempts to persuade her to join the Kindle revolution, she preferred the feel of paper- and the fact that the non-electronic books were more likely to survive her lapses in attention. She didn’t have time to think of the book now- Sean was home!
He husband had been away for the better part of two weeks. While they had both agreed that the business trip had been an excellent opportunity, she had spent every moment of their time apart waiting for his return.
Well, perhaps not every moment- the first few days had a certain blissful element to them. After ten years of cohabitation, it was a relief in a way to be free from some of Sean’s habits. He’d barely been out the door before Linda had cranked up the thermostat a couple of notches, shedding her cardigan with a sigh. As warm and lovely as Sean’s hugs were, she missed being able to walk around her own home without bulky outerwear. Sean’s energy seemed to be something of it’s own heating system, and though he hadn’t exactly insisted, the house had been kept decidedly cooler than Linda would have otherwise preferred. Of course, her husband had myriad ways of keeping her warm, Linda thought wistfully. He was never one to turn down a request for a hug, and snuggling on the sofa together had become part of their morning and evening ritual.
Then again, not all of his warming methods were quite so pleasant at the time, Linda thought with a smirk and an involuntary rub of her bottom. Still, it was something she more than accepted as part of life with Sean, and she had to admit his attention in that particular regard had helped her break the slovenly habits she’d developed in college and to keep their house in a habitable condition.
She’d made considerable progress in the decade they’d lived together, and it would be nice to have a small break while he was away.
However, leaning against the door and waiting for the heating to kick up, Linda’s gaze was drawn to the small pile of Sean’s shoes in the corner, a pile she promptly began chucking into the adjacent closet. Though her husband had by and large imposed order on her lifestyle since they’d moved in together, this was one area where his compulsive cleanliness didn’t reach. That task complete, Sarah surveyed the freshly-tidied entryway with a smile. Perhaps this time alone wouldn’t be so bad after all.
It did feel odd to be cleaning without the slightest prompt from Sean though. In a sacrifice to the gods of entropy, Linda retrieved her scrapbooking box from its shelf and upended it onto the dining room table. She grinned as the bits of paper and scraps of souvenirs skittered across the tabletop, a few bits and bobs fluttering onto the floor. She’d only once tried to use the dining room table for this particular hobby before. Sean’s preference for eating in here, rather than the kitchen, meant that she’d only managed a few hours of sorting and pasting before having to gather the lot back up again- though not without a quick swat to her behind from Sean to speed the process up. Now, with two uninterrupted weeks ahead of her, she could finally see herself making a dent in the several years of memories that had so far been piling high but forgotten in the cardboard box.
Scrapbooking did indeed prove a significant distraction from Sean’s absence over the next few days, and Linda did little else with her time. She did fix herself meals, but otherwise avoided the kitchen other than to deposit her used dishes in a stack that teetered near the sink, promising herself each time that she’d clean up after the next meal. It was lovely to have the freedom to put that task off for a little while; after all, one person hardly made enough of a mess to warrant cleaning after every meal.
Instead, she spent the last few hours of her evenings stretched out across the width of their bed, winding the whole of the duvet around herself, revelling in the luxury.
It would have been perfect but for the absence of Sean’s embrace.
On the third day, the novelty wore off. Fumbling to the kitchen in her pyjamas, Linda poured herself a bowl of cereal- into a largeish serving bowl as all the normal bowls were awaiting washing. Yawing and vowing to do something about that in the afternoon, Linda dug the milk out of the refrigerator only to find the carton was empty save for a couple of drops. Still half asleep, Linda glared at the carton accusingly before trying futilely again. She couldn’t remember the last time this had happened. With a sigh, she set the carton down. Sean had always gotten the milk. While she’d done the weekly shopping, Sean had always picked up milk mid-week to tide them over until the next shop.
WIth that simple realisation, the bubble she’d created to fend off her longing burst. She surveyed the mess in the kitchen, the mess of papers that had spread from the dining room table to take over most of the room, and missed her husband more than ever.
Linda managed to shovel half the dry cereal into her face, chased with a couple cups of coffee, before making herself presentable enough for a trip to the grocery store.
Immediately after returning to the house, Linda began cleaning. Not only did she wash the dishes, but, figuring that she had the time, emptied each cupboard to give the shelves and their contents a good scrubbing. She attacked the dining room the next day with a similar level of vigour, wrangling up her scrapbooking into one corner of the table, then hoovering the glitter and dust out of nooks and crannies she hadn’t realised the room had. Where did it all come from?
In the days that followed, Linda cleaned the house from top to bottom, an exhausting but satisfying task, and one that she knew Sean would appreciate.
In one last gesture, she even restacked his shoe pile by the door.
The final day, Linda had run out of things to clean. Instead she tried to read, but found herself distracted, eager for her husband to return, anxious to see his reaction to how she had spent her time, wondering if he might guess what she had done- or not done- for the first couple of days. Linda winced at the thought. She’d be in for a spanking if he’d known, perhaps even with his belt, but she had to admit it was deserved. Even appreciated, she admitted to herself. Spankings may not be great fun, but the aftermath was always particularly tender.
Though she had nearly left him when he’d first revealed his desire to spank her for discipline all those years ago, now Linda could hardly imagine her life any other way. Sean was strict, but fair, and there was a certain special intimacy to the act. She’d been surprised at how easy it had been to submit to his authority, how deeply she had accepted his guidance, how humbly she had reacted to his corrections- both the more serious and the quick lighthearted ones. Either way, such encounters left her with a warm feeling in her bottom and her heart, a feeling prolonged as he held her afterwards. She had to admit, as much as she dreaded spankings, she almost missed them.
If Sean asked what she had been up to, Linda decided that she would confess fully and accept whatever he deemed necessary. In fact. . .
Linda grinned at the idea- it would be the perfect homecoming. She checked the clock- his plane would have just landed, and it would take at least another half hour for him to drive home. She had plenty of time.
Linda skipped to their bedroom and set to work transforming the space. She drew the heavy curtains, and set candles out around the room, the flickering light illuminating the space with a suggestive glow. She stacked the pillows in the middle of the bed as she usually did before a serious spanking, then slipped into the barely-there top and wriggled into the stockings she’d gotten for their last anniversary.
Shivering, she deemed her preparations sufficient and crawled under the fluffy blanket on the sofa, trying to read as she anxiously waited.
The footsteps on the path could not have come soon enough; Linda’s nerves were on edge with both excitement and a hint of worry. This would hurt, it always did, and yet. . .
It was too late now, she realised as she waited behind the door, thick flannel pillowcase in hand, watching for her husband’s shadow in the frosted glass. As soon as the figure appeared on the doorstep, the streetlights creating a saintly corona around his head, Linda flung the door open, threw the pillowcase over the man’s head, and dragged him inside as quickly as she could, lest any of the neighbours see her semi-clothed state.
“Mrrrph grvvnh!” the man uttered in shock, his words muffled by the improvised hoodwink.
“Now, now, calm down. I’ve a surprise for you. Come along, it will be worth it.”
“Grrrphm hsst mfvvv!” the man struggled to speak, reaching for the pillowcase. Linda swatted his hands down.
“None of that now. You’ll ruin the surprise. Almost, there, just a few more steps.”
Linda led the man to her bedroom, leaving him near the door. “Now, count to ten, then you can look.”
“Hrrrmv,” the man said as he tried to reach the pillowcase once again.
Linda firmly grasped his wrists, dragging them down to his sides. “Just a few seconds. I’ll tell you when you can look.” Linda took a step back, watching the man carefully to be sure he wouldn’t try to cheat again before she draped herself over the stack of pillows.
“Ok, now you may look,” Linda said, “Though I suppose it was cruel of me to make you wait, for treating you so roughly. You must punish me for being so thoughtless.” Linda held her breath, waiting for her husband’s reaction. Instead she heard an unexpected voice from behind her.
“Errr. . .Linda?”
Linda glanced behind her to see, to her utter shock, not her husband but his friend Jim. Linda froze at the realisation, unable to even cover herself as she tried understand what she had done. Their friends had often joked that Sean and Jim might have been twins, they looked so alike and seemed to do everything together. Though Jim had been a friend for years and had seen her in some decidedly compromising situations, this was a new level of embarrassment.
Jim recovered first, shaking himself and glanced back into the shadows of the hallway, as if seeking confirmation from the dimness. “Stay right there,” he said firmly. “You wanted a spanking, and I have to say you certainly deserve one. What did you think you were doing? You’re lucky it was just me on the doorstep, you might have let anyone into your home just now.”
Linda, too shocked to speak, could only nod. She wanted to protest, to apologise, to do anything but submit to this, but couldn’t. He had played along with her thus far, and it was only a spanking after all; a well-deserved one given her mistake.
“Jim. . .I’m so sorry. . . I thought.. . “
“I know quite well what you thought, and I’m sure Sean would have appreciated this particular homecoming. However, what you did was decidedly careless. You’ll be getting that spanking, make no doubt about that.”
Jim strode to the bed and picked up the belt laying there. “This is what Sean uses?” he asked. Linda could only nod, her embarrassment increasing exponentially. “How many strokes do you usually receive?”
Linda didn’t think it were possible, but she blushed even more deeply. “It depends.” She waited for Jim to respond, but as he let the silence drag on, she continued, “Sometimes just a couple. More, when warranted. I think I’ve had up to twenty or so when deserved.”
Jim regarded her closely, before glancing off into the dim distance again. He nodded, as if gathering his resolve. “Twenty then. Hold on tightly, if you reach back, there will be more.”
Linda shuddered and grabbed fistfulls of duvet, squeezing tightly. What had she gotten herself into?
She didn’t have long to wonder. After only a couple of light taps on her raised behind, the belt came crashing down in the first swat. Linda gasped- she’d thought that Sean spanked hard, but it had never felt anything like this. She could almost feel the welts rising on her behind, and only from a single stroke. She grabbed tighter onto the duvet, not wishing to show weakness in front of Jiim. She did deserve this, she reminded herself. She wondered distantly what Sean would think when he saw her bottom. There would be no hiding this, not that she would have tried; this wasn’t the sort of secret she could keep from her husband, even if she earned herself further punishment. She only hoped he would allow her time to recover, this spanking would doubtless leave her sore and marked for quite some time.
Despite her best efforts, she couldn’t keep herself from crying out as the belting continued. Her cries grew from muffled shrieks to piercing shrieks. Jim gave her no more than a few seconds to recover from each stroke before applying the next, not nearly enough time for the throbbing sensation to fade. The searing burn grew exponentially, and Linda struggled to cope.
“That’s ten,” she heard him say. “Halfway through, you’re taking this very well.”
Linda shuddered through a sob, trying to pull herself back together yet wondering if it were worth the effort; another ten strokes would certainly push her over the edge.
“Ready?” Jim asked. Linda nodded, despite the fact that she wasn’t, she couldn’t be. Better to just get it over with.
The second half of the punishment was just as difficult as she suspected. She dissolved into incoherence, barely managing to keep herself in place under the relentless belt.
Linda gradually realised that the belting had ceased, and instead she was being treated to a far gentler caressing. The hands on her back and bottom felt lovely, calming, reassuring. . . and a bit more intimate than she’d expected from just a friend. Linda trembled as feelings of guilt ran through her. This was something she was supposed to do with Sean, with her husband, not just a friend. She brushed the hands away and sat up, trying to think of a way to apologise, to explain, but as she turned, she noticed another figure in the shadows by the door. As she watched, her husband stepped into the candlelight, smiling benignly as he approached and wrapped her in a hug.
“It’s ok, I’ve got you,” he whispered as he held her.
“How- how much did you see?” Linda asked, wondering what she would have to explain.
“Oh, the whole thing. I’d just pulled into the drive to see you dragging Jim inside. Not the homecoming I’d expected, and I’ll admit, it was tempting to step in earlier. However, Jim seemed to be well able to handle you.”
“I’ve had a fair bit of practice,” Jim chimed in. “You’ll have to ask Susan about that someday.”
“It shows,” Linda replied with a wince that turned into a smile as she began to appreciate both the ridiculousness of the situation and what it might mean for their relationship with Jim and Susan.
“In any event, I think I’ve done enough here,” Jim replied with a wink, “I’ll leave you two in peace. Sean, if I could get that document?”
“Of course,” Sean replied, leaving Linda’s side for a moment to return to the hall and fish a folder out of his brief case. “I’m assuming this is what you came for?” he asked when he returned.
“That’s it,” Jim replied. “Much appreciated. Welcome home, I’m sure we’ll chat more later.”
“That we will,” Sean replied. “And thank you for your assistance.”
Linda could only blush as Jim gave her one last quick hug before leaving.
“Sean, I’m so sorry,” Linda said once they were alone. “I didn’t think it would be like this. I thought it would be a special homecoming. . . “
“Shhh,” Sean calmed her. “It certainly was special, if not quite how you intended. And it was certainly unique! But anyway, we’ll have plenty of time to talk about this later. In the meantime, I’m just glad to be home.”
Linda smiled, allowing herself to be hugged once more before welcoming her husband home more enthusiastically.