Tricky Situation by Melinda Barron – Part One

Table of Contents

Chapter One

“You know what’s going to happen, don’t you? Walter is going to throw a fit and y’all are going to have a huge fight, and then, well the rest goes without saying.”

Doreen Cole swiveled on her heels and gave her sister-in-law/best friend a dazzling smile. She pulled a string of paper pumpkins off the table and waved them around.

“No we won’t. I’ll tell him a week before Halloween. He’ll spank me, probably two days in a row, for keeping the party from him, and then he’ll get used to the idea and have a lot of fun. You’ll see.”

“You’ll be lucky if all you get is two spankings,” Carol replied. “If I lied to Henry about a weekend house party, he’d redden my bottom for a week straight.”

“Not Walter. Once, maybe twice. He knows I love Halloween. And when he sees the costumes I got for us for the big party Saturday night, well, things will be fine.”

Carol shook her head. “So, who all have you invited Mrs. ‘I’ve got my head in the clouds’?”

Doreen giggled. “I’ve invited Nancy and James Tyner, Tawny and Jake Landis, Nora and Louis Baxter, Dana and Grant Williams, and of course you and Henry. That will make six couples with Walter and me. I hope everyone says yes.”

“I think you have lost your mind.” Carol picked up a package from the table and held it up. “What’s this?”

“Angel hair. You scatter it in the corners and it looks like cobwebs. I bought a whole bunch, to decorate every room with. Cool, huh?”

“So, are you forty-eight, or eight?”

“Very funny. You know how much I love Halloween.” Doreen pouted and Carol shook her head.

“You should save your pouts. You’re going to need them for your husband when Walter finds out you turned his house into a B&B for Halloween.”

Doreen just smiled. “He’s going to love it, and so is everyone else. I bought this murder mystery kit, and it comes complete with a fake dummy to use as the victim. Everyone who comes in will be assigned a character that they will play, and we spend the weekend trying to solve the murder. It’s perfect.”

“Will the murderer know who he is?”

“Of course. I just said everyone gets a part. That part will tell them whether they’re a suspect or the killer, and they will have set lines that they have to say, giving them an alibi, or no alibi. Neat, huh?”

“Yeah, it does sound like fun. But I’m not sure I’d want the sore behind you’re going to have because of it.”

“Walter will think it’s fun.”

“Walter will have wanted you to have consulted him first. He and Henry are brothers, remember? Disciplinarians? Spankers? The head of the house? You make decisions without them and they’re not happy. We both know that.”

“Yeah, but he won’t be that mad about this. Trust me.”

Carol lifted her brows and shook her head. “Whatever you say. But if you can’t sit down on November first I’ll know why.”

The phone rang and Doreen ran for it, snatching it up and saying, “Trick or Treat, tell me something good.”

She turned to Carol and giggled as she pointed to the phone and mouthed, Walter. “Hi, darling. How’s work?”

“Dinner with Carol and Henry tomorrow night? Sure, that sounds like fun. Have I seen Carol today?”

Carol stood up and shook her head.

“I talked to her this morning,” Doreen said, evading a direct answer. “Sure, if I hear from her I’ll tell her to call Henry. Bye, darling. See you at six.”

She hung up the phone and turned to her friend. “You’d better call your husband, or it’s your bottom that will be red, not mine. Why would he be mad that you’re over here?”

“Because I promised to finish packing up those books he wants to take to the dealer in Austin. All first editions that he bought online. He can turn a profit, but they’re scattered around the office and I told him I’d do it yesterday. Gotta run. Bye.”

She ran for the front door and Doreen laughed as she picked up a string of orange lights with little witches attached to the wiring in between them.

“Perfect for the window in the front of the house.” She picked up the other two strands of lights, her staple gun and the stepladder and moved toward the living room. She was lucky that she’d married Walter. He was strict, true, but not nearly as strict as his younger brother. She knew that Carol got spanked much more than she did.

Not that Walter didn’t spank her. On the contrary, he usually spanked her at least once a week. She knew, though, that Carol got it much more often, and that Henry was not as easy going as Walter, who liked to joke more than his baby brother.

That’s why Doreen was so sure that Walter would get over being angry about her planning the party without him. He would be mad at first, but then his blue eyes would flash with amusement and he’d ask what part he was playing in the murder mystery.

The weekend was going to be so much fun. Just two more weeks to shop and prepare, and one more week to keep it a secret from her husband. Things were going to go great, she just knew it.

***

Walter pulled the car into the garage and put it into park, turning off the motor and leaving the garage door open as he sat inside the car. He knew that Doreen would have heard him pull up, and that his not getting out immediately meant she was getting a spanking.

It was an unwritten code between them. If he got out and barreled into the house, happy and delighted than things were fine. If he waited in the car it was a chance for her to get used to the idea that her bottom was about to become very red, and very sore.

Usually it was because the credit card bill was too high, or he’d found out she’d bought something that he’d told her not to. Today, though, it was because she’d lied to him. Well, not really lied, he thought, just misled. Doreen would never really lie. In their twenty-six years of marriage she never had, and he didn’t expect her to start now.

He sat in the car for four long minutes, and then he hit the button to lower the garage door and opened the car door, stepping into the garage. Once inside the back door he sat his briefcase on the table that sat just inside and took off his coat.

He walked to the kitchen and found Doreen waiting for him, a slightly shaky smile on her face.

“Hello, darling.”

“Hello, beautiful. How was your day?”

“Fine. And yours?”

“Good, for the most part. We closed a big deal and I want to go out to dinner tonight, after your spanking, that is.”

He watched her face fall. She’d known it was coming, so he wondered why she looked so shocked.

“Spanking? Why? I just had one two days ago.”

“True. Think about today, Doreen, and tell me what you did that might bring on a spanking.”

A look of utter panic crossed her face and Walter frowned.

“Doreen. Are you keeping something from me?”

“No. I just don’t understand what I’ve done wrong.”

“Today. When I called?” He stopped talking and looked at her, nodding when realization dawned.

“You called about Carol.”

“That’s right. She missed a meeting at school for some committee that she’s signed up for that deals with Steve’s senior class play. The committee couldn’t find her, so they called Henry looking for her. Henry, in turn, called me, and I called you. And you said, and I quote ‘I talked to her this morning’.”

“But that was true.”

“Yes, and it was also true that she was in the house with you when I called, wasn’t it?”

“Yes.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Because I didn’t want her to get into trouble.”

“Now you’re both in trouble, Carol for missing the meeting, and you for lying to me. Lap, or standing?”

“Walter, please, neither.”

“Lap, or standing?”

“Please, Walter, I’m still a little sore from the last one.”

“Liar. The last one was five measly swats. I repeat, lap, or standing?”

He watched her as she tried to decide. If she took the lap spanking, it usually wasn’t as hard, but it lasted longer. He could choose from a variety of implements that would redden her up and remind her that lying to her husband wasn’t a good thing.

If she wanted the standing spanking it would be over quicker, but it would be much harsher, usually delivered with a long, wooden paddle, or his belt. He had a thick belt that he used for just such occasions. He knew the swats stung from it, but that she remembered the punishment for a long time.

In essence, the lap spanking would last longer, but wasn’t near as hard. He always let her choose which one she wanted, but then he would choose the implement that he would use in the spanking.

“Walter…”

“Do I need to take off my belt?”

“No. Lap. Lap, please.”

He knew that Doreen hated standing spankings, especially with the belt. He nodded and caressed her cheek.

“Go upstairs to the spanking room. On your way by the rec room, pick up a ping pong paddle.”

“Walter, no.”

“You lied to me, Doreen.”

“No, I didn’t. This isn’t fair. It’s not my fault she missed the meeting.” She stomped her foot and he lifted his eyebrows at her.

“Don’t you dare throw a temper tantrum with me. Lying by omission is still lying. You should have told me she was right there. What if something had been wrong with one of her kids?”

“You would have told me. Walter, please don’t spank me.”

She looked at him with her beautiful brown eyes and he wanted to say no, but he wouldn’t. His father had taught him that discipline was important, and Doreen knew how he felt about it.

“Let’s get it over with so we can enjoy the rest of our evening. I made a reservation at Giovanni’s for eight. Go upstairs. Now.”

He sighed as she turned and walked away from him. Even at forty-eight she was as beautiful as she’d been at twenty. And she was just as willful and stubborn, which made him love her all the more.

Never once had he thought about straying. Doreen was all he wanted, and all he would ever want. She could be a handful but he could handle her. And he was thrilled that she still loved him as much as he loved her.

They were active and enjoyed outdoor activities together, including hiking in the hills outside San Antonio. They’d camp and make love out under the stars. It had been tough, true, when the kids had started to leave for school, but now that Sissy was gone, it was like they were newlyweds again.

He’d spanked her a lot at the first of their marriage, but it had slacked off while the kids were at home. Now that they were gone he’d turned the library, which was actually his office, into the official ‘spanking room’. When the kids were at home he’d never spanked her anywhere but their bedroom, which was on the other side of the house from the other five bedrooms.

But now that they were in the house alone, he could use any room he’d wanted, and when he’d declared the official spanking room she’d balked, and he’d used that occasion to inaugurate the new room.

He knew she was up there right now, waiting for him by the antique wood and fabric couch they’d bought at an auction in Austin. She’d be cussing Carol under her breath but wouldn’t say anything bad to, or about, her friend.

He didn’t plan on this spanking being very hard, because she was right. Technically she hadn’t lied to him out and out, but lying by omission still deserved punishment. He shrugged off his jacket and began to roll up his sleeves, heading for the stairs. Just a few swats, a shower together and then dinner out for a wonderful evening which would end with beautiful lovemaking.

After today’s spanking, he was sure that Doreen wouldn’t need one for at least another week, if not longer, and he was very happy about that.

***

Doreen stood near the couch, wondering why she hadn’t told Walter that Carol had been with her that afternoon when he’d called. She knew that, if he found out, she’d be in trouble and get a spanking.

She hadn’t planned on this. While they were talking had been the perfect opportunity to come clean about the party, to tell him everything before it was too late. If he was mad about her little slip-up about Carol, he was going to blow his fuse over the party. His reaction today told her she’d misjudged that, completely.

She sat the paddle down on the couch and paced the length of the office. Or maybe he wouldn’t be mad about the party. Maybe he would think it was fun. It would be a surprise Halloween weekend get together that would take him away from the cares of his job and let him escape for a few days into an alternate reality.

If she told him right now the spanking she was about to get would be much, much worse. She wasn’t sure she was prepared to deal with that right now. She heard the stairs creak under his weight and she took a deep breath.

She wouldn’t tell him about the party right now. It would be better to wait and tell him about it later. Maybe tomorrow, or the next day. She’d already sent out the invitations so it was too late to change her mind. They’d been put in that afternoon’s mail and would be delivered tomorrow more than likely.

At dinner tomorrow she would fix his favorite meal, lasagna, and then she would smile and say, “It’s trick or treat early, darling, and I have I got a treat for you.”

She just hoped that treat didn’t turn into a very tricky situation.

He walked into the room and she turned to him. “I’m sorry. I should have told you, I know that.”

“I know, baby. But you know how I feel about discipline, and how important it is. Now drop your jeans and panties.”

He sat down on the sofa and she did as he asked, draping herself across his lap before he told her to. Maybe that would make the spanking less severe. She didn’t think that he would give her too many swats, but she hated paddles and would much rather that he used his hand. Of course he knew that, and he knew that paddles and belts got his point across better.

He rubbed her bottom with the paddle, its rubbery surface abrading her skin.

“I’m sorry, Walter. You have to know that I didn’t lie to you intentionally.”

“I know, baby. But still, lying by omission…”

He brought the paddle down and Doreen bit back a yelp. It came down again and again and again.

After the sixth swat, she yelped. “Walter! Please stop, please! It’s not like I…”

“What’s the rule?” He brought down three hard smacks, hitting her behind in different places.

“That I don’t question you on punishments.”

“That’s right.” He delivered five more swats and tears formed in Doreen’s eyes. The paddle stung, and the little upraised balls on the plastic left marks on her behind. She knew that from experience.

She held back the tears as he delivered five more hard smacks.

“Will you lie to me again?”

Fear gripped the inside of her stomach. Tell him. Tell him now! If he finds out from… someone else you are going to be in more than a little bit of trouble.

“No. I’m sorry.”

“Just a few more, to make sure you understand my point.”

“No, please!”

The paddle came down five more times on each side of her behind. Doreen cried out in despair at each swat, wondering what was going to happen when he found out about the party. It was too late to change her plans now.

What would happen when Walter found out? He was spanking her today much harder than what she thought he would, for something that she thought was a minor transgression. When he found out about the party, he was going to flip.

Smack. The paddle came down harder than it had before and Doreen cried out in pain.

“Answer me.”

“I’m sorry, Walter, what?”

He smacked her behind again, and again.

“Are you daydreaming? I said, have I made my point clear?”

“Yes, yes, Walter, you have.”

After four more quick swats, two on each side, Walter lifted her up and she stood before him.

“You’re preoccupied.” His voice was soft. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.”

His eyes narrowed and he cocked his head at her.

“Tell me now.”

“It’s nothing, I promise.”

“You know, I spanked you harder than I’d intended simply because I could tell that your mind was elsewhere. I had hoped that it would bring you back around to what was happening. I can see that’s not the case. Do I need to continue the spanking?”

“No.” Doreen rubbed her backside. Heat radiated off her bottom and she knew that her cheeks would be bright red.

“Tell me what you were thinking about.”

“I was thinking… um…”

“That you didn’t deserve the punishment you were receiving?”

“Yes.” Doreen bit her lip. Another chance to come clean had just been wasted. When Walter found out that he’d given her the chance to tell him the truth, and hadn’t, things were going to get much, much worse.

Each denial was digging the hole deeper, but Doreen knew there was no turning back now. If she confessed that she’d planned the party, and invited overnight guests for the whole weekend now, then he would spank her on top of the spanking she’d just received. She wasn’t ready for that, knowing that the pain would be much harsher than she could handle.

“You know I don’t spank without good reason?”

“Yes, Walter.”

“Good. Then you know what just happened was deserved, just as every spanking you’ve ever received has been deserved. Now, remind me what happens after a spanking?”

She hated this part, truly. He closed every spanking with the same thing, and she hated repeating the words.

“I’m sorry for breaking the rules, Walter.”

“You’re forgiven. Now, let’s go and get dressed for dinner. I’m thinking lots of food and a good bottle of wine.”

He tipped her face to his and kissed the end of her nose. “I love you, Doreen.” He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close to him, his hands caressing her back.

“And I love you, Walter. So very much.” Please remember that in the next few days, when you find out that I’ve planned a party without your permission.

His lips moved to hers and he groaned softly. “We should be careful. If we get too excited we may miss that dinner reservation altogether. Now, pull your pants back up and let’s go and get ready.”

She did as he asked, and then he took her hand and led her to the doorway. She followed behind him, her mind not on her aching behind, but on ways she could break into the post office and retrieve the invitations before they were delivered to their recipients.

***

“Last night was your fault.” Doreen put one of her new pumpkins on the countertop and stared at Carol. “Bringing me gifts won’t help.”

“I said I was sorry. I have a few more in the car. There’s a great pumpkin patch a few blocks down. I told him to give me five of their best ones, just for you.”

Doreen nodded.

“So, did he take news of the party badly?”

“He still doesn’t know.” She walked past her friend to the front door, intent on going to the car and bringing in more pumpkins. They would make perfect decorations for the party. She just couldn’t carve them until the day before, which would be hard to do. She loved carving pumpkins.

“You didn’t tell him? Have you gone mad?”

“No. I was already spanked last night because he thought I’d lied to him about you being here. Telling him about the party would have only made him madder. Later I decided that if I told him at the right time, he wouldn’t be angry.”

“You’re in a dream world.” Carol shook her head, and then winced when she stood and followed Doreen into the living room.

“You got one too, huh?”

“You know I did. I can’t believe I forgot that meeting.” She stopped and put her hand on Doreen’s arm. “I’m sorry my mistake got you spanked, too.”

“Don’t worry about it. We had a nice dinner out and then we made love on the deck. It was beautiful.”

Carol laughed as they headed out the front door to her car. They picked up two smaller pumpkins apiece, and then headed back to the house.

“So, are you going to tell him tonight?”

“No. I’m waiting until Monday. We have a busy weekend coming up, since we’re going to visit Sissy in Austin, and we’re leaving tomorrow afternoon.”

“Are you kidding? The RSVPs will start coming in tomorrow at the earliest. If he hears about it from that…”

“He’s not going to. Trust me. The invitations probably won’t be delivered today, and then the wives will call me and then things will go just fine. Besides, I’m not risking getting a spanking on top of a spanking. My behind is plenty sore from last night.”

***

“Hey, Walter, how’s it going?”

Jake Landis headed toward the coffee machine, picking up a cup and filling it.

“Hey Jake, how’s Tawny?”

“She’s great, thanks for asking. I just got off the phone with her. She’s all excited about that house party of yours, which sounds like a lot of fun. We’re going to have to hire a babysitter for Chelsea, but getting away for the weekend, even if it’s not leaving town will be fun. She was heading to the costume store after we hung up.”

Walter snorted out a laugh, and then smiled broadly to hide his surprise.

Party? What party? And not just a party but a weekend house party? Before he looked like a total idiot he nodded.

“Well, you know Doreen. She loves Halloween and she’s always thinking of new things to do.”

“True, true, but this is a huge undertaking. I just wanted to say that I think it’s great. And it’s going to be a lot of fun!” Jake took a sip of his coffee and left the room.

Walter looked out the picture windows toward the San Antonio River. A house party? She’d planned a house party for Halloween and not told him? He loved parties, true, but he would have liked to be consulted before the plans were made.

And to top things off, she obviously knew about it last night. That’s why she’d been looking guilty, not because of ‘lying’ to him about Carol, but because she’d sent out invitations that day to a party that he didn’t know about.

He wondered how many people she’d invited. He wondered what the plans were for the weekend. He wondered what sort of food she’d planned to serve.

He wondered about a lot of things.

The only true fact that rang through his mind was that when he entered the back door tonight, he would have his belt in his hands.


Chapter Two

Doreen could hear the anger in Walter’s voice when he called at three that afternoon. She’d just finished putting her new pumpkins on the porch, arranging them so they would be seen from the street and give the house that Halloween feel she loved so much.

“Is everything all right?” She’d bit her lip and waited for his answer.

“It will be.”

“Problems at work?”

“No. I just wanted to check in and let you know I’ll be on time tonight.” His voice sounded clipped and angry.

She’d answered that dinner would be ready on time and her stomach flip-flopped when he said, “There won’t be any rush. We have something to discuss first.”

He’d hung up without telling her what they would be talking about but she knew what. Tawny Landis had called right before he had to accept their invitation, and Tawny’s husband Jake worked with Walter. Tawny had told Jake, and Jake had told Walter.

She’d misjudged her timeline, horribly, and now her behind was going to pay for it. She was still a little sore from last night, and she wondered if she could talk Walter out of tonight’s spanking, if she could ask him to forgive her.

She spent the afternoon cooking Italian food. Even though they’d had it last night it was Walter’s favorite, and hopefully the offering would help appease his anger. She made lasagna, manicotti, and ravioli, making a nice creamy tiramisu for dessert.

It was right at six when she heard the garage door go up. She’d gone upstairs and changed into a dress after putting the last dish into the oven. She was sure she would receive her spanking before dinner, but hoped that after talking to her Walter would let her choose a sit down spanking instead of a standing one.

She smoothed down her skirt, and then felt her stomach drop when she turned toward the opening door. His back was to her. He shut the door, juggled a few things and then turned toward her. He had a loaf of Italian bread in one hand, and his doubled-up belt in the other.

“Walter. Please, let me explain. I just wanted it to be a surprise, I just… please. That’s all I wanted.”

He walked across the room and handed her the bread. She laughed softly.

“You know me too well.”

“I knew you’d cook my favorite foods when you figured out I knew about the party. When were you planning on telling me? The night before?”

“No. I wanted it to be a surprise, really. I thought it would be fun for us.”

“And I’m sure it will be. I just wish I’d known about it before Jake Landis.”

“I wanted to have everything done and ready before I told you. You have to believe me.”

“I do, baby. But the fact of the matter is I asked you last night, when I noticed you were preoccupied, what was wrong, and you said nothing. You knew then that you should have said something. I wouldn’t have spanked you if you had told me.”

“Yes you would have.”

“I don’t like the idea that you planned things without me. We’ve always worked as a team on something like this. And to plan a whole weekend? With houseguests?” His voice was louder than it usually was. Walter never screamed, unlike his brother. Even when he was angry he kept a calm, even tone. That he was louder than usual let Doreen know that she was in major trouble.

“We have the room. I wanted it to be something different since the kids were gone. I’ll cancel it, say that something came up.”

“No. I don’t want to cancel it. The party will go on, but you will be spanked tonight, and probably several more times before Halloween. With no complaints. And you won’t try to wheedle your way out of any of them. Understand?”

“Yes, Walter, I understand. But I want you to understand that I did mean it as a surprise.”

“A surprise is a birthday party that goes from seven to whenever. A weekend house party is not something you reveal at the last minute.”

Doreen nodded. She knew that he was right, but still, she’d wanted so badly for this to go well, and for him to accept the party and have fun with it.

“I suppose I don’t get a choice tonight.” She looked down at the belt in his hand.

“No, not tonight.”

“Can we wait until after dinner? I’d rather enjoy my dinner without a burning behind.”

“If we wait you know you’ll be worried sick about it all night. Best to get it over with.”

She wanted to scream at him that she didn’t want to get it over with. She didn’t want to get a spanking tonight, after she’d been spanked the night before. It just didn’t seem fair that she should get one two days in a row. That had never happened. Walter has always recognized the fact that her bottom would be sore from the night before, and postponed a punishment if he thought one was needed.

That he wasn’t doing it tonight could only mean one thing. He was very, very angry about the party. Okay, maybe not about the party, but about her keeping it from him.

“We’ll just do it here.” His words made her jump.

“Here? In the kitchen?” She’d never been spanked in the kitchen before.

“Yes. Turn around, grab the counter and I’ll lift up your skirt and lower your panties.”

Her heart began to beat wildly.

“Walter. Not here. What if someone sees?”

“Who? Who’s going to see, Doreen? The only window is to the back yard, and we have acres back there without even a dog on them. There’s no one else in the house. I think it’s time we started getting used to the fact that we’re empty nesters, that the kids are gone and we have the house to ourselves. Now, turn around and get into the proper position.”

Doreen didn’t argue. His voice had become louder again and, frankly, it frightened her just a bit. She turned and put her hands on the countertop, bending and scooting back so that her behind was at an angle that was good for spanking.

When Walter gathered her skirt in his hands and lifted it up above her waist she shivered. When he lowered her panties to her knees she fought back tears. Why wasn’t he waiting for the weekend for this? Why was she getting a spanking two days in a row? She knew that she’d done wrong, but still, he’d never done this before.

She waited for the belt to strike, but it didn’t. After a full minute, which she counted off in her head, she started to stand.

“Stay in position.”

“You’re dragging this out.” She knew her voice sounded accusatory but she didn’t care. If he wouldn’t let her wait until after dinner she wanted to get it over with.

“Yes, I am. I want this punishment to sink in. I want you to understand exactly what is happening, and why. You standing there, prepared for a spanking, will give you time to think.”

“This is so unfair.” She sniffled and lifted her gaze to him.

“Unfair? Unfair is Jake Landis knowing about a party in my house before I did.”

“You’re taking it wrong!” Now her voice was raised. She knew that would only make her spanking harder but she didn’t care.

“Am I? I don’t think so.”

“Just spank me already and get it over with.”

The belt flew through the air and landed on her behind. The crack filled the kitchen and Doreen moaned. Her behind burned where the leather had landed. She tensed, anticipating another swat but it didn’t come.

“Walter, please, please don’t draw it out like this.”

“Does the food need to come out of the oven?” Another swat landed, this one right on top of the other one.

“Ouch! Yes. I’ll…”

A third swat landed in exactly the same spot.

“Ow!” The burn in her behind intensified. Waiting between swats was hard, both physically and mentally. She would rather he just spank her hard, delivering the swats one after another instead of making her wait like he was.

“You’ll stay where you’re at and I’ll do it. I want you to think about how a wife shouldn’t keep things from her husband.”

He delivered another swat, this one harder than the last three. Then he put the belt in front of her hands on the counter. She wanted to push it away, to carry it to the trash and bury it deep at the bottom where he couldn’t find it again. She hated that belt. Still, she supposed that she should be happy that he wasn’t using the thick belt that he kept upstairs just for spankings. She could feel the throbbing from a spanking with that belt for a week afterwards.

She turned her gaze from the hated belt to Walter. He moved at a leisurely pace, taking the dishes that she’d worked so hard on from the oven.

“Smells delicious.”

“Thank you. We shouldn’t let them get cold.” Doreen hoped her not so subtle hint would either make him hurry up with the spanking, or end it all together.

“You’re right.”

She gasped when he put them back into the oven.

“The oven’s off, but still warm. The food will stay hot until we’re done here.”

Doreen wanted to cry in frustration. There was no telling how long he would drag this out. At this rate they would be eating dinner at ten. He picked up the belt and she tensed, waiting for another swat. It didn’t come and she relaxed, her body sinking just a little bit.

Smack. The belt hit again, and then again.

“Ow! Please. No…”

Three more swats landed and Doreen’s hands gripped the counter harder.

“No more, please.” She could hear tears in her voice.

Walter delivered four more swats, and then sat the belt on the counter.

“Explain to me about this party.”

“It’s a murder mystery weekend. Everyone will have a part to play. I thought it would be fun.” She sniffled and then sighed when he caressed her back.

“I’m sure it will be. You know I like parties, and I like to have fun…”

He left the accusation unspoken and she sniffled again.

“I’ll never plan a surprise weekend house party without your permission again. I promise.”

He picked up the belt and she sobbed out, “Walter, please. No more.”

The belt smacked across her ass, then came down again and again. Doreen squirmed, knowing that if she moved out of place Walter would be very, very angry.

The burning sensation turned into a full fire and tears ran down her cheeks.

“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

He rubbed the leather on her aching behind and then delivered a swat.

Doreen flinched when he put his hand on the small of her back. He delivered five more hard swats, and then stepped back.

“I love you, baby.”

“I love you, too”

She heard him sigh, and then the leather came down, again and again and again. Doreen danced on her toes and cried out for him to stop, but Walter didn’t listen to her, he continued to spank her, the belt burning on her bare skin.

“Don’t ever keep anything like this from me again.”

“I won’t, I won’t. Please stop!”

“Do you know how I felt when Landis mentioned the party? Do you?”

“Walter! Please!”

He didn’t listen to her, but the swats lessened in intensity somewhat. Then, as if realizing what was happening, he picked up the pace, the leather landing harder and harder.

“Answer me!”

“Yes, I can imagine. I’m so sorry. Please, please, it hurts!”

He delivered five hard swats and Doreen cried out, then his hand caressed her throbbing bottom.

“I felt like an idiot.”

The belt came down again and again, Doreen sobbed out her words.

“I didn’t mean for it to happen like that. You have to believe me.” Her tears were falling freely and she tried to wipe them away with her trembling hands. When he ran the leather over her behind again she flinched.

“Please.”

“Don’t ever do that to me again, Doreen.”

“I won’t. I promise. I swear. I’m so sorry.”

He placed the belt back on the counter and pulled her up and into his arms, holding her tight as she sobbed against his chest.

“It’s over. It’s over.”

“For now.” She took several deep breaths and relaxed into his arms.

“For now, yes.”

He turned her toward him and cupped her face. She sobbed and said, “I’m sorry for breaking the rules.”

“You’re forgiven, baby.”

“When someone else mentions it to you I’m going to get it again, aren’t I?”

“Probably. But I think that will help you to remember, don’t you?”

“Yes, Walter.”

He held her until her crying stopped, then he took her upstairs and rubbed lotion on her reddened bottom.

“Dinner’s probably cold by now,” she said as he took her in his arms again.

“That’s all right. We’ll warm it up.” He took a pillow from the bed and then led her to the doorway.

“What’s that for?”

“For you to sit on during dinner.”

She laughed and rubbed her bottom cheeks. They ached something fierce and she knew that Walter was right. He was very, very angry with her and this spanking would be the first of many she’d probably receive for planning the party without him.

***

They drove to Austin on Friday evening, enjoying dinner with their youngest daughter Sissy, who was a freshman at the University of Texas. Their sons, Walt and HJ, named Henry James for his Uncle Henry, both lived in College Station and attended Texas A&M. Walt was a recent graduate who was now working on a post graduate degree in veterinary science, and HJ, a junior, was studying engineering. Sissy had yet to declare a major.

The boys drove up on Saturday morning and the family traveled the hour and a half to Fredericksburg, a tourist town that had lots of great German restaurants. They ate a large meal and then spent the afternoon touring the shops, something the girls loved, and the guys tolerated.

In one of the shops, Walter came up to her with a deerstalker cap on his head and a calabash pipe in his mouth.

“What do you think?”

“I think you don’t smoke.”

“For the party. Murder mystery? Sherlock Holmes? It’s perfect, don’t you think?” He took the pipe from his mouth and then leaned down and kissed the tip of her nose, which brought an exclamation of disgust from their younger son.

“Dad, stop! We’re in public.”

“What? Someday you’ll find a woman you love as much as I love your mother, and when you kiss her in public, I’m going to say HJ, stop!”

Walt laughed and patted his younger brother on the back. “Leave the lovebirds alone. Come and look at this train over here. Sissy, you come, too.”

When they were gone, Doreen turned to Walter.

“Does this mean I’m forgiven?”

“I forgave you the first night I spanked you for it,” he whispered to her, stepping closer. “I just want to get into the spirit of things, like my wife wants me to.”

“Thank you.”

“No problem. Now, isn’t the party a flapper type thing? There’s a dress over here you need to look at.”

He took her hand and led her to the opposite side of the store. “But I have a dress, remember? I found wonderful costumes for us on Saturday night already.”

“Yeah, but look at this one. It’s perfect.”

And it was. She sighed as she fingered the fringe. It was a deep purple dress with a low-cup scoop neckline. There was row after row of gold fringe, from the bodice to the bottom of the skirt, which hit just above the knees. A feather boa was wrapped around the mannequin’s neck and a headband with many different feathers completed the outfit.

“What if they don’t have my size?”

He went to the racks and hunted until he produced the one he wanted.

“It’ll go great with my zoot suit.” He motioned to the clerk. “We’ll take the dress, plus the hat and pipe.”

When she walked to the register with their purchases in hand he turned to Doreen. “Now we need something to make you look like Dr. Watson for the opening night, so we’ll be Holmes and Watson.”

“What about a doctor’s case?” Sissy said, coming back up. “I mean he was a doctor, right?”

“Yes, he was,” Doreen answered “That would work.”

“But he wore a suit,” HJ said. “I think you need to dress mom up as a guy and put a moustache on her.”

“HJ.” Doreen tapped her foot even as a smile lit up her face.

Her youngest son smiled. “It’s perfect. Then you could truly be Holmes and Watson.”

“This party sounds like fun,” Walt said. “Can we come?”

“No,” Walter said. “This is an adults only party. No kids.”

“We’re adults,” Sissy said. “We’re all over the age of eighteen. We want to be able to solve the mystery, too.”

“No mystery for you,” Walter said. “This party is an adult get away. You, young lady, have been volunteered to watch your younger cousins.”

“Are you kidding me? On Halloween weekend? Maybe I have a party to go to. Besides, where will Steve be? He’s old enough to watch his younger brother and sister.”

“Then why are you asking if you can come to ours?” Walter lifted his eyebrows at her and smiled. “Do you have other plans?”

“No. But that’s beside the point.”

“Good. Steve’s going out of town on a debate trip that weekend. Your Uncle Henry is offering you two hundred dollars for babysitting.”

“Count me in.” Sissy smiled and shrugged her shoulders. “I never turn down money.”

“That’s what I figured,” Walter said as he handed the clerk his credit card. “The extra money will go toward your books next semester.”

Sissy’s eyes widened. “Can I keep half? For some new clothes?”

“We’ll see,” Walter replied as they started toward the car. “But I’m not making any promises.”

***

Three days before the party Doreen was so nervous she thought she wouldn’t make it until Friday. She’d gone through the menus three times with Carol.

She’d had the big meal on Saturday catered by one of San Antonio’s finest Mexican restaurants, so that left her with Friday night, Saturday and Sunday breakfast and Saturday and Sunday lunch.

Walter took over the breakfasts, offering to cook eggs, sausages and other foods that would fill everyone up before the day’s mystery solving began. For lunches, she planned sandwiches, with lots of different types of breads and meats and cheeses. That way people could eat at their leisure, and then continue to work to solve the puzzle. She’d practically bought out the chip aisle at the supermarket, and when the clerk mentioned that she thought all her kids were gone from home, Doreen had wanted to cry.

It made her think of her reasons for planning the huge party. Was she doing it to compensate for the fact that she had no children at home anymore? Halloween had always been a fun holiday at their house, with lots of tricks and lots of treats. With everyone gone, it would have been lonely, if she hadn’t planned the party.

She’d sighed as she’d swiped her debit card through the holder. She was sure that was true, that she was doing it to compensate. And that’s why she hadn’t told Walter about the party to begin with, because he would have brought it up and she would have been angry. It would have turned a little ugly.

When she thought about that, though, she smiled to herself. Walter had to have figured out for himself why she’d decided to do it, even if she’d done it subconsciously. He hadn’t mentioned anything to her about her reasons, and it made her love him all the more.

And he’d only spanked her one more time. On Sunday night, when they’d returned from Austin he’d taken her over his knee just so she’d ‘remember that she’d deceived him, and to never do it again’.

The spanking hadn’t been hard, only a few swats with the hairbrush. She’d expected more during the week but was actually very glad when they didn’t happen.

She’d hoped it was because he was as excited about the party as she was. Every night he came home with a new idea, for either food or games. The mystery part of the event would take up most of Saturday, with the solution announced at lunch on Sunday, and the party over by two.

She was sure the Saturday evening costume party/dance would be a great success, and a lot of fun.

But now that Wednesday was here, she was so nervous she wondered why she’d decided to do it. She and Carol were hanging photos of famous fictional detectives around the house so that people would get into the mood. Carol was laughing and joking, and Doreen’s palms were sweating.

What if the party flopped? What if everyone decided that they had other things to do and wanted to stay at home instead?

Everyone had RSVP’d and said that they’d attend, but Doreen could see that ending before Thursday. She envisioned a slew of cancellations, in other words, four of them, and that the mystery weekend would be just her and Walter, and Carol and Henry.

No one else would show up and she’d be stuck with food, and a heavy catering bill. Then, when Walter saw the bill he would freak out and spank her, and spank her some more.

“Will you relax?” Carol handed her an image of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot and one of Miss Marple. “You’re so nervous.”

“What if something goes wrong?”

“Everything’s going to be fine. It’s going to be great fun, you’ll see.” When Doreen didn’t answer, Carol put her hands on her hips. “This was your idea. I don’t understand why you’re so nervous about it. This is not like you. You’ve planned hundreds of parties before.”

“Not weekend house parties. I want everything to be perfect.”

“It will be. Just relax and enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy it, there’s no sense in having it.”

“Great advice.” Doreen jumped as Walter’s voice filled the hallway. He stood at the end of the stairs, a grin on his face.

“It looks great, baby. Really it does.”

Carol glanced at her watch nervously.

“Relax,” Walter said. “It’s only two. I took off early because I wanted to come home and see how things were going.”

“You’re so wonderful.” Doreen beamed at him and Carol cleared her throat.

“Right. I’m leaving now. You can handle things on your own from here, right?”

“Don’t go on my account,” Walter said. “Stay and help us decorate.”

“We’re almost done,” Carol said. “And I need to get home and start dinner.”

Doreen thought about arguing, but she knew that her friend was leaving because Walter was home, and he had a very playful look on his face. After he saw Carol to her car, he came back and winked at his wife.

“It looks great.”

“Thanks. I have everybody assigned a room, and tomorrow I’m going to confirm with the caterers and then pick up things like eggs and cheese from the store.

“Perfect. Now all we need to do is calm down the hostess. Stop being so nervous.”

“Now you sound like Carol.” Doreen finished hanging up the last photo and headed for the kitchen. “You want some tea, or a snack? Are you hungry?”

“Yes.” Walter stood in the doorway. “But not for food.”

“Walter. You devil.” She turned toward the refrigerator and wiggled her bottom at him. Then she jumped when a towel snapped against her backside. She turned around to find Walter winding up the towel again and letting it fly one more time. She turned and the hit landed on her other cheek.

“Stop that!” She laughed and tried to move away but Walter was too quick. He smacked her again with the towel and she laughed.

“What are you doing?”

“Trying to get my wife to relax.” He cornered her between the refrigerator and the sink.

“Turn around.”

“No.” She stuck her tongue out at him and he gave her a stern look, that she knew was as full of playfulness as the towel smacking had been.

“Oh my. My bad little girl needs a spanking. Turn around and drop your jeans and panties bad girl.”

“Walter. We’re in the kitchen. Again. We should go upstairs.”

“Do as I say.” He advanced on her. She could hear the desire in his voice and it made her heartbeat quicken and her palms sweat. She quickly undid her jeans and pushed them and her panties to her ankles, turning around and taking position much as she had for the spanking she’d received the other evening.

Walter smacked her bottom and she groaned. He smacked it again, grabbing it afterwards and jiggling it before letting go and smacking her one more time, one hand on each cheek.

“Bad girl. Yes, you need a spanking.” He smacked her several more times, grabbing her behind between each one until Doreen thought she would go crazy.

“Walter, please!”

“Please what? Please stop, or please don’t?”

“Don’t.” She got three more swats on each side, and then she heard the zipper on his pants go down. She bent over a little more and moaned when he entered her.

“Will this help?” His voice was deep as he whispered in her ear.

“Oh yes.” They began to rock together and Doreen knew that every time she came into the kitchen during the party, she would think not of the harsh spanking she’d received because of the party, but of the delicious loving she’d received to calm her down for the party.


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