From the Sarah Saga
Sarah woke in a sweat from a disjointed dream in which shadowy figures stared down menacingly, various acquaintances giving her intense looks of disappointment, and of a certain hairbrush. . .
Sarah rolled over and reached for the glass of water on the bedside locker, its contents warmed to room temperature but still providing a measure of relief.
That hairbrush. . .
It hadn’t featured yet in their encounters this weekend, though Sarah was moderately surprised by its absence. He had told her, in no uncertain terms, that it would feature heavily whenever they next had to discuss disrespect. Perhaps her recent behaviour hadn’t warranted it in his eyes, though she could tell he was less than pleased with her lack of hospitality this weekend.
She’d ticked all the boxes, cleaned her apartment, fixed his bed, made plans and went out with him, showing him a few new corners to her town- a commodity of which she was quickly running dry.
On the surface, she had been a good hostess. Brian knew better, though. He could tell when she tuned out from his stories, when her efforts at conversation were less than enthusiastic, when his subtle suggestions that she take time to rest went ignored.
Sarah bristled at the thought again. She had been incensed at the suggestion that she was allowing herself to get to busy. She was a busy person, surely Brian, as a good friend, would understand that, but clearly not.
She had reread the text- the one telling her firmly that she needed to relax and make time for herself to rest- several times before replying in her most civil tones. He was trying, after all, and she had asked for this. He was concerned, and she thanked him for that, feeling the first layer of her irrational anger peel away. The little voice inside her, the one that told her the anger was only there because what he told her was true, grew a bit louder, a bit more calmly insistent.
The last month had been draining, after all. Fun, but exhausting. In hindsight, she should have asked to postpone their meeting, to take a few days off, but she had been too excited.
Silly, she thought now as she reflected on her surly mood the night before. He could only come to visit once a month or so, and she had gone and let a bad mood sully one of their precious evenings together.
It had still been. . .fine. They’d had a pleasant walk around town, a delicious meal, and some satisfactory music in her local pub. They’d not had the sort of carefree, relaxed conversation they had enjoyed previously, however. And he had talked. So. Much. Sarah cringed back from the thought. She knew Brian was talkative, that was part of the reason they were friends. He could carry on a conversation just fine until she was ready to chime in, filling the silence comfortably and pleasantly. Sarah loved him for it, so why did this particular habit of his grate on her nerves last night?
Worse still were the spankings. He had tried three times, and though Sarah had joined enthusiastically at the beginning of each one, she found herself rebelling against the experience. The sting, instead of bringing her into a pleasant submission, drover her to a deeper, gruntier, surliness.
He offered her a hug after the third attempt, and, for the first time, Sarah resisted that too- thinking, in some childish way, that this was an appropriate response for the man who had hurt her in the exact way she’d told him too and only failed to read her mind.
Sarah rolled over in bed at the memory. She was a moron. But she would try better. They still had a few hours together the next day, she had another chance.
She heard Brian moving about the apartment. Sarah thanked whatever deities looked after such things that they had reached the level of mutual comfort that she felt no need to join him at this hour, and rolled over into her pillows for one last snooze. This may not have been what he had in mind when he’d instructed her to rest, but it was most needed.
She woke later to the sound of the shower door closing. This time she needed to get up, to face him. By the time she’d come to terms with that decision and poked her head out of her bedroom, she saw that Brian had dried, dressed, and perched on her sofa with a mug of tea. She mumbled some sort of greeting in his direction and shuffled off the the bathroom cringing- her efforts to be pleasant were not off to a good start. Then again, she reminded herself gently, her behaviour early in the morning should be judged by a different set of metrics. She’d not yet let herself down.
Teeth brushed and day-clothes on, she walked to the sitting room to greet him properly.
He was in as cheery a mood as ever- how did he do that?- and gave her a broad grin and a half hug as she settled next to him. He heartily agreed to her suggestion of an excursion in search of a breakfast that someone else- someone more alert than Sarah at this hour- cooked.
It was as though the previous evening had never happened. They chatted amicably over breakfast, when they weren’t busy devouring the greasy but savoury fare, and headed out for coffee. Sarah apologetically insisted that she needed to work, pulling out her laptop, and Brian busied himself with his phone, remaining quieter than she’d ever heard him. They enjoyed a companionable silence over two cappuccinos each.
Second coffee finished, Brian stood. “I’d better head out soon if I’m going collect my bag and be back in time to get a seat where I can see the telly,” he told her, pocketing his phone. Sarah was torn. She had meant to accompany him, to share a few more hours together before he lect. As much as she despised soccer, she did enjoy his company, and felt bad for leaving him alone when he’d come to visit her. However, the opportunity for a couple of peaceful hours to think was too tempting to resist. Perhaps she could have both. . .
“I have a bit more to do here, but I could join you after? If you stay for dinner, we can chat then. Besides, the later bus will be less rushed-”
“Works for me, “ Brian agreed, and went cheerily off to the match. Sarah was left alone with an empty coffee mug and a churning mind. She really should have confessed, she told herself. That hairbrush had been haunting her, her dream was proof enough of that.
But Brian had said the matter was done with, had said the first punishment last month was enough. She had agreed; even if it wasn’t physically intense, the purpose had been served, she had been forgiven.
But she hadn’t really learned, she berated herself. Less than a day later she had lashed out at a co worker. Nothing major, just a few words a touch harsher than they should have been. Sarah had apologised immediately, and no lasting harm was done, but still. . .
She’d considered mentioning it to Brian last night, or even earlier. There were many deleted, unsent messages in which she talked about the incident, accepting whatever consequences it brought, but that felt too much like topping from the bottom. Too thin an excuse for a do-over of the first punishment. He had been so unsure about the first time, so gracious to give it a try, she felt guilty for pushing him again so soon.
Yet, she had pushed him, and in the most passive-aggressive way. Whether her mood was due to tiredness or not, thoughts of the punishment had doubtless weighed in to some degree. It needed to be discussed, if not acted on. At a minimum, she needed to apologise.
And she was running out of time.
Sarah closed the laptop and headed for home, pondering how best to proceed.
It ended how she always knew it would, with a written confession and apology, albeit a more rushed one than she would have liked, as she had wasted far too much of her precious time fretting- and also far too much time locating the notebook in which she had written her first assignment for Brian. She reread that essay again with a small smile, refreshed by the happy memory of a happier spanking, then dashed out her feelings over the next three pages.
Sarah placed the booklet on the sitting room table and stared at it. She felt guilty for springing this on him, he who would be skipping brightly (and probably more than a little drunkenly) to her door at any moment, in high spirits after watching the match and as far from the mindframe of disciplinarian as he would ever be. It really wasn’t fair to do this to him now, not after all the other opportunities she had passed up.
Sarah considered closing the book, hiding it under the sofa allowing him to enjoy these last few moments of Brian’s visit unencumbered by her requests for a spanking more serious than his usual fare.
She heard him walking through the courtyard. Now or never. . . .
This needed to happen, the apology if nothing else. It was his decision, after all, and it was her duty to abide by his judgement. She owed it to him to at least be open about this, after everything else she had failed to do this weekend. She cast one last look at the notebook with her scrawled apology, and reached into his bag and retrieved the hairbrush- the harsh one, the one that haunted her- and laid it beside the book. Hopefully he wouldn’t think her too forward for the suggestion.
Brian bumbled through the door, chatting away as ever, now about the schoolteacher he’d bonded with at the pub over the course of the match. His story stopped mid-sentence as he saw the notebook and hairbrush, instantly grasping their significance, though struggling to redirect his frame of mind.
Sarah cringed inwardly at herself for dampening his mood, for imposing the role of disciplinarian on him at this inopportune time. Not only was this a poor way to spend their last moments together on this trip, but it was cruel to bring up this new aspect of their relationship when he’d been in such high spirits from his time at the pub watching the match.
“I wrote that while you were out,” she offered as a completely inadequate explanation, cringing outwardly at the awkwardness of the phrase and the situation. Then again, that’s what the writing was for- she knew better than to think she could talk her way through something this sensitive. Brian seemed to understand this much as well, nodding as he sat down and picked up the notebook, glancing briefly at the hairbursh as he did so.
She watched as his grin vanished as he read, replaced by an expression not quite stern but certainly more troubled. He started to reply several times before saying, “I have to go to the loo, let’s talk about this afterwards? And I mean talk, not, you know. . .”
“With words,” Sarah replied, indicating her agreement.
He didn’t keep her waiting long. He settled himself across from her, looking at the book briefly before beginning. “When I said I was concerned about you, when I wanted you to make sure that you take time to rest, I meant it. I wasn’t just looking for an excuse to spank. You give me plenty of that already.”
“I know,” Sarah replied, returning his half smile, “and I appreciate it, I really do, which is why I had to write that. Why I feel so bad about last night.”
“Last night was nothing, I am always happy to come see you, always grateful for your company, whatever mood you’re in. Sure, I noticed that you weren’t yourself, but it was still a good night, still enjoyable.”
Sarah smiled and waited, hoping this would somehow be ok, that Brian would accept her ill-timed confession the same way he had accepted her semi-surly mood.
“I’ll give you a spanking,” Brian continued, his voice becoming a little more stern. “And it will be a serious one, but won’t- it will be a reminder. A reminder to take care of yourself.”
“Yes, Sir,” Sarah replied, no longer able to return his gaze as her emotions swirled, the combination of relief that he had taken her writing to heart and fear of what was to come.
“You left this out,” he said, hefting the hairbrush. “You feel you deserve this?”
Sarah only nodded.
“Alright. You’ll be getting a few with this then. But I’ll start with my hand, and over your jeans.”
Sarah nodded again at the small mercy. Clothing helped ease the sting, but Brian was capable of delivering a memorable enough spanking with his bare hand over anything short of a snowsuit.
“Stand up,” he ordered.
Sarah complied, and draped herself wordlessly over his lap after he had settled in his usual spanking seat in the middle of the sofa. She grasped the throw pillows at the end of the sofa; she would need the support. “I care about you,” Brian began, his voice becoming sterner as he continued. “I consider you a friend, but I won’t hesitate to punish you when you need it.” He punctuated his words with the first of many spanks, a hard, bone-deep one that ached even over her jeans. “You’re a funny girl. You can go from pleasant to prickly in a blink of an eye.” Sarah tried to lay still as he increased the frequency of his spanks, trying her hardest not to kick, to take this well, to let the lesson truly sink in. She deserved this. “Everyone has moods. Not everyone acts on them like you do.” Brian was quiet for a while after this, devoting his energy fully to the spanking for several moments before pausing to say, “Let’s get these down.” He tugged at the waistband of her jeans, and Sarah tried to shift herself to allow him to pull them down- as awkward a process as ever, and one that provided a much-needed if brief distraction for the serious mood of the punishment.
The next few swats brought her mind right back as the sting built more quickly. Sarah hugged into the throw pillows more tightly. She felt her body being thrust forward at each smack, smacks through which Sarah could feel Brian’s intention to give her the punishment she had requested, the punishment she deserved. Though not as painful as some of their more playful spankings, it was that intention that helped Sarah perceive this as true punishment.
Her panties came down shortly thereafter, though these did so with less resistance and less impact; the sting had already built to the point that it mattered little to Sarah.
“Up,” Brian ordered simply, then asked, “You have the board?”
Sarah nodded and winced at the memory of the evil, plastic, spiky board he had made her sit on for a particularly painful corner time.
“You know where it goes,” he told her, motioning for her to get on with it.
Sarah retrieved the board, set it on a kitchen chair, lowered herself gingerly, and waited for the torture to begin. The first few minutes weren’t terrible, particularly in comparison to the last swats of a punishment spanking, but the pain built exponentially. Soon Sarah was struggling to restrain tears, and still had the benefit of her arms to hold some of her weight.
“Hands on your head,” Brian ordered. Sarah complied, with a touch of relief that the order meant the torture was likely halfway over, but with far more anxiety for the rapidly increasing pain as the sharpish edges dug into her more fiercely. She chanced one pitiful glance up at him, and saw him watching her attentively but dispassionately, intent on ensuring that her discipline was appropriate and as severe as was warranted. Sarah quickly closed her eyes again, focusing on the pain and why this was necessary, vowing that she would be more mindful of her attitude.
“Come over here,” Brian told her after an age. “Bring the brush.”
Sarah picked up the brush, remarking inwardly, sorrowfully, how solid it felt, and passed it to her disciplinarian. It was deserved. She laid over his lap without being asked, and waited for it to begin.
“I haven’t decided how many of these you’ll be getting yet. We’ll see how it goes.” Sarah hugged the pillows tighter- it was only fair. This was still new territory. She knew, no matter how many he gave, that they would hurt terribly.
The first swat met her expectations. Sarah grunted in response. It was bearable, but just barely. Sarah worried that she wouldn’t be able to take this, but, then again, that was what she wanted, what she had asked for, what she needed. She laid as still as possible as the pain built, stroke after stroke, allowing only a soft whimper, a small kick, to escape her control, tried to focus on the pain, on why this was happening to her, on why it shouldn’t need to. On how she should behave, on how she would be more mindful of herself and her friends.
“Twelve more,” Brian told her, his voice still stern, but she could hear the caring creep back in. It was almost over, just a bit more. Sarah held on tightly, crying out slightly at each swat, anticipating the ending of the ordeal, the ordeal which had been more difficult than the last but still not the monster of the punishment that had haunted her.
“It is over,” Brian told her softly, tossing the brush aside with a clatter before running his hands over her comfortingly.
Now, that it had stopped, Sarah allowed herself to cry the tears the punishment hadn’t quite forced out of her. That wasn’t the point, the point was that she had been allowed this experience, brought to a space in which this sort of repentance was possible.
“Are you ok?” he asked her several times. Sarah nodded in response but stayed in place over his lap, letting a few more sobs loose and enjoying the comfort of his hands as the rubbed her hair, her back, her bottom. When the sobs finally stopped for good, she allowed him to lift her, pulled up her clothing, and settled back into his arms.
“Thank you, she breathed into his shoulder as she allowed herself to be comforted by his hug.
She lost track of how long they stayed like that, until her thirst got the better of her and she reached for the glass of water she’d left on the table. While up, she checked the time quickly and winced.
“Nearly five- we should head out soon if you wanted to go to Jack’s for dinner.
Brian grinned at the memory of the place Sarah had taken him to eat on his very first visit to her. “I’d love to,” he agreed. Sarah grinned back, and after a few moments gathering shoes and coats and lost phones, the were off to dinner and more pleasant talk.