Ami and Daniel are Empty Nesters who live in an old house in the depths of the countryside. This story lays the foundation for Ami’s adventures, and explains a little about how the couple live. Ami is a pickle. Despite the fact that she never seems to set out to court trouble, it seems to find Ami on a regular basis. Which in turn, means that Ami gets her bottom warmed by Daniel on a regular basis.
BEATING THE BOUNDS
I paused, letting out a sigh of relief. The warm terracotta pamments had been buffed within an inch of their lives, the windows shone, reflecting the late morning sunshine, and the scrubbed pine table hinted of fresh lemons with a slight undertone of bleach.
It was a beautiful day and I had been up since six o’clock, determined to make a start on spring cleaning; downstairs at least. The cobwebs had been vanquished from the honey-coloured oak beams, and the grease, dust and dead flies residing on the shelf above the range had been swept into oblivion.
My forehead was beaded with perspiration and I rubbed it fleetingly with the back of my hand, leaving a long black smudge. Then I scooped up the duster and the tin of polish I had left sitting on the work surface and returned them to their place in the cupboard under the sink.
Time for coffee, I thought, switching on the electric kettle and reaching for the jar of instant. The jar seemed lighter than normal. I gave it a little shake. Empty.
Well, that’s bloody good isn’t it, I muttered to myself. I remembered that I’d missed it off my shopping list, in error, the day before. I looked at my watch, biting my lower lip, and thinking to myself. Time was too tight to drive all the way to the nearest supermarket, but I would just about have enough to dash around the corner to the local shop, buy the few outstanding items on my list, and get back home in time to prepare lunch for Daniel. He hated it when I was late with mealtimes. It was rare for him to appear half way through the working day, but when he made the effort to do so, he expected me to have the lunch prepared and ready to eat. He had to catch a flight to Germany late afternoon, and he wouldn’t be back until the following evening.
I grabbed my handbag and all but flew out of the back door and flung myself down behind the steering wheel. I wasn’t too concerned, because the salad was already washed and sitting in a colander on the draining board, and I had sliced the chicken left over from the previous night and left it in a serving dish ready to mix with the bowl of curry mayonnaise and mango sitting next to it in the refrigerator.
In the three months we had been living at the old farm I had never been to the local shop, preferring instead to drive the ten minutes to the supermarket and blitz everything under one roof, or to wander happily down the high street of the little market town near to where we lived, visiting the butchers, bakers and greengrocers with little lists of ingredients I would need when cooking.
I pulled carefully into a space between a dilapidated Toyota pickup, and a family runaround that looked as if the last time it had seen a carwash was some time during the previous century.
The village shop was situated behind the local garage which was also the local undertakers. A car had drawn up at the pumps, which looked to be straight out of the 1950s, and Sam Farthing, the owner of the garage, was engaged in conversation with the driver as he filled the tank with Four Star.
When Sam saw me get out of my car and walk purposefully into the little mercantile - where if you couldn’t find it, it wasn’t yet made – he nearly killed himself in his rush across the forecourt galloping into the shop to meet me. He finished serving the petrol, hooked the nozzle back on the pump in such a hurry that it fell down the first time, spraying petrol dregs in a ten yard radius, and grabbed the money out of the hand of the bewildered driver, now with well-spattered trousers. His eyes were busy taking in every detail of my appearance, from the faded blue jeans and creased linen shirt, to the dirty smudge across my forehead.
I arrived in the shop, closing the door behind me which caused the bell to jingle madly. I stood still for a moment in order to allow my eyes to adjust to the relative gloom. An assortment of goods were arranged on shelves of varying heights, whilst two large chiller units kept vegetables and salad stuffs fresh, and a freezer unit hummed somewhere in the background.
Beryl Farthing appeared out of a side door and I fervently hoped it didn’t lead back into the undertaking side of the business, and that if it did, Beryl had paused to wash her hands en route.
“You’ll be from the Firs then?” Beryl put her head on one side like a blackbird listening for a worm, and waited for affirmation.
“That’s right” I replied. “We moved in nearly three months ago. It’s taken us ages to get ourselves sorted out. Most people downsize as they get older, but we seem to have upsized.” I smiled at Beryl.
About then Sam burst through the door, literally skidding to a stop inside and nearly taking down a display of lawn sand, grass seed and nitrogen fertilizer. As it was, a large galvanized watering can crashed to the ground making such a loud noise it made us all jump out of our skins.
“Oh yes, the lady from the Firs,” he stated, reinforcing what we already knew. “Wondered when you’d be paying us a visit.
“Beryl spoke to Ivy Lake, and she knows Cedric Cobbold from the cottage across the way from you. He said you’d been having trouble with your septic tank.”
I could feel myself colour. Did the whole world know about us and our septic tank? I’d thought it too good to be true when Cedric had appeared with his old spade, and helped Daniel to dig out the soak-away and unsnarl the tree-roots that had grown, over time, and caused a blockage.
The Farthings both looked at me expectantly.
“Oh, yes, well” I began, “I suppose it’s to be expected when a house stands empty for any amount of time.”
They continued looking at me, nodding in synchronized agreement.
“T’other awd boy killed hisself on a tractor out the back of your farmhouse you know. He was trying to pull out one o’ they tree trunks and t’silly bugger fastened the chain around the wrong hitch. Tractor went over right on top of him it did. Killed him outright.” He saw no reply was forthcoming. “His wife never gave the business to us, she didn’t. Went to the Co-op instead.”
I shifted uncomfortably and cleared my throat.
“We did hear something about an accident” I told them, disinclined to get involved. I half turned, scanning the shelves, looking for coffee and malted milk biscuits.
I spotted the biscuits and made a lunge for them. Beryl beat me to it, holding the biscuits aloft and trying to work out whether I could be persuaded to buy anything else.
I bent and picked a jar of instant coffee from a shelf lower down and to the right of the biscuits. My gaze moved across to the chiller. I marched across and grabbed a slab of vintage cheddar. My brains were too addled to remember what else had been on my list of missing groceries.
I reached into my handbag, pulled out my purse, and removed a five pound note, handing it across to Beryl Farthing.
“Seen you in Church last Sunday. That your husband with you was it?”
“Er, yes, it was.” I was thinking rapidly about how I was going to get these items paid for and remove myself from the shop. “It was Daniel. He works in town quite a bit and has to catch an early train, but he’s working locally this morning. He’s coming home for lunch, and I’ve run out of one or two things.” I glanced at my watch, and realized I had taken it off whilst washing the shelf. I looked around. The Farthings didn’t have a clock in the shop. I edged nearer the door, but Sam cut me off. I looked from one to the other feeling completely hemmed in.
“Saw him in the Slug and Lettuce. Wednesday night I think it was. Deep in conversation with Henry Crompton from Myricks Farm. Good man Henry. Family been farming round here hundreds o’ years.”
“Oh?” I edged a little closer to the door. Sam didn’t move an inch. I was virtually nose to nose with him. I was surprised that not a single person had come into the shop or pulled up outside for petrol since I had arrived. In fact, very few cars were passing on the road at all. Anxiety was beginning to set in.
“Henry’s family go back years, right to plague times. Oldest farm in the village. D’you know it’s got a priest hole?” Sam asked me.
“And a coffin drop” Beryl volunteered.
“A coffin drop?” I was mystified.
“Well they couldn’t get those coffins down them winding stairs now could they?” she asked. “So they always built in a coffin drop in old houses, in order to let them down through the ceiling.
“As I recall, the coffin drop in Myricks is in the kitchen.” She looked to Sam for confirmation.
“Oh yes, you’re right.” He smiled at his wife in agreement. “Used to lay ‘em out in those days in their Sunday best. Don’t bother no more wi’ that kind of thing. Just put ‘em in them black body bags.”
I couldn’t believe the way the conversation was going. Only to be expected when you’re an undertaker, I thought to myself.
Beryl handed me my change. “Will we be a seeing you at the Gangdays on Saturday then?”
“Ah yes, all the village turns out for the perambulation you know.” Sam turned slightly giving me access to the door. But this time it was I who lingered.
“Gangdays? Perambulation?” I expected I sounded confused, but I had begun to think the world had gone mad. What the hell were ‘gangdays’ for goodness sake!
“Yes m’dear. It’s a very important day for the village y’know. Once every three years we follow the vicar around and we take it in turns to beat the bounds.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that.”
“We walk the boundaries of the parish. We go “a-ganging”. We follow the parish line and we pray for protection and blessings for the land. And we sing hymns…”
Sam cut in, “and then we all go back to the Parish Rooms for lunch. Rosie Chaplin always takes her homemade ginger beer, and Emily Smith’s chocolate cake is worth dying for. But watch out for Lucy Baker’s chilli. She always brings a big casserole full, and it burns yer mouth out.”
“Come along ‘bout ten o’clock. We don’t walk the entire parish boundary, that would take all day. We go to certain strategic points, where t’owd stones still stand. And then we whip the boys with birch rods.”
“And willow too” Beryl added with a grin.
“You do what!” I gasped with horror and amazement all over my face.
“We whip the boys” Sam explained. “We whip the girls too, these days. Specially if there aren’t enough boys taking part.”
“It’s tradition” Beryl nodded her head. “We have to do it or everyone in the village will get bad luck for the next three years, and that’s not the sort of thing you want to take a chance on.
“You should come. You’ll enjoy it, and you’ll get to meet all the locals. They all turn up for the Bounds!”
I nodded. I wondered whether I had woken up this morning in a parallel universe. I wasn’t sure whether I was in agreement or not with some of these old traditions. But I knew I was going to be very late. Lunch wouldn’t be ready, and Daniel wouldn’t be pleased. He was only allowing himself a short turnaround for lunch, and he hated bolting his food.
There was a break in conversation whilst the Farthings looked at me and I looked at them. I saw my opportunity and I swerved around Sam and made a break for the door any Rugby player would have been proud of. I trotted across to my car clutching my purchases to my chest like a Rugby ball, before leaping inside, starting the engine and ramming it into reverse. I sped down the lane out of the village and back to the house hoping that I would have enough time to get the lunch before Daniel arrived.
My face fell as I turned the bend to the back of the farm and saw Daniel’s car already parked in the yard.
Oh knickers, I thought, releasing my seat belt and climbing out.
Daniel met me at the back door. I could tell by the look on his face that he wasn’t happy.
He pointed at his watch.
“What time do you call this?” He glared at me. “I’ve only got half an hour now to eat. And you haven’t even put anything on the table yet! I told you exactly when I would be home. It’s not as if I often come home at lunchtime. I thought it would be nice for us to eat together for a change.”
I slunk past him and into the kitchen. My hackles were going up at the way he was moaning.
“It’s nearly ready. All I’ve got to do is throw some of the ingredients in with the chicken, and toss the salad with a little vinaigrette. You’ll have plenty of time.” Despite the hackles I felt horribly guilty. He’d made the effort to return home for lunch, instead of driving straight to the airport, just for me, and now it looked like I couldn’t care less.
I opened the refrigerator and removed the chicken and the mayonnaise mixture, swiftly combining them and sprinkling in some sultanas and a teaspoon of lemon juice.
“I was so busy giving the kitchen a spring clean this morning. Then I discovered I’d run out of coffee and biscuits. I just thought I’d nip around the corner to Farthings’ shop and pick some up. I never dreamed I was going to be waylaid and virtually held prisoner by them.”
Daniel was still cross.
“Well next time you go out, Madam, you make sure you lock the back door behind you. It’s a wonder we weren’t burgled. What would you have done if you had come back to an empty house?”
I could feel my face heating up. I drew my hand across my forehead once more, further ingraining the black smudge from earlier. I chose to ignore Daniel’s comment.
I placed the salad and coronation chicken down on the table and quickly produced two plates and some cutlery as Daniel sat down.
“What would you like to drink?” I asked him.
“Have we got any of that ginger beer left?” he asked between mouthfuls, chewing as if his life depended on it.
I took a couple of glasses from the cupboard and disappeared into the laundry room, which faced north and where, as a consequence, we kept bottles of beer, soda and ginger beer. I returned with the last two bottles, making a mental note to replace them as soon as I could.
“I had the strangest conversation with the Farthings” I told him. “All about coffins and beating children.”
Daniel frowned at me. “That doesn’t sound very pleasant.”
I ran through the conversation I had had, explaining all about old houses, coffin drops, and using birch and willow to whip little boys around the village boundaries.
“It can’t possibly be that bad” Daniel finished his lunch, wiped his mouth on his napkin and stood up.
“Can you imagine the trouble they would be in? Everyone would be had up for child abuse.”
“Well, I can only tell you that they extended an invitation to us to join them on Saturday morning when they perambulate! Apparently there’s a big parish lunch afterwards.
“And lots of homemade ginger beer!” I added.
“It would be good for us to join in a village event” Daniel picked up his jacket and made for the door. “Sounds just the sort of tradition I could be interested in”.
He turned and looked directly at me. I stopped eating and squirmed in my chair, not wanting to look directly into my husband’s face. He wasn’t having that at all.
“Look at me, Ami” he ordered me. I raised my eyes slowly to meet his, looking guilty and uncomfortable.
“I’ll be home early tomorrow evening. Around five I should think. We need to have a little discussion, don’t we?” He lifted an eyebrow.
“It’s not my fault if I got kept chatting to the locals” I lifted my chin in challenge.
“I’m not saying it is” Daniel replied, “but it would have been quite easy to excuse yourself by saying you were in the middle of preparing lunch as your husband had a plane to catch.
“And frankly, it was just plain idiotic to go out and leave the door unlocked, now wasn’t it? What if you had come back and surprised someone in here? They could have knocked you over the head or worse. I could be sitting by a hospital bed right now.” His mind didn’t even want to go there.
“Dan, I just forgot. Anyone could do the same. I was in such a hurry, and I’d had such a busy morning.”
“Well Ami, don’t you forget what I told you. I’ll expect you to be waiting upstairs for me when I get back tomorrow.”
Daniel, efficient as always, had placed his suit carrier in the car that morning in case any last minute hiccup had prevented him from returning home. He bent and kissed me warmly, looking into my eyes and giving me a quick tap on the end of my nose. Then he was through the back door and down the path. A few minutes later I heard the car start up.
Shit! My good day had gone rapidly downhill. I reached back and rubbed my bottom in anticipation. I hated it when circumstances dictated the necessity to wait for a ‘discussion’. Oh well, I had the choice of either working myself into a lather, or putting my head into the sand like an ostrich.
I decided to choose the latter.
Daniel crunched up the gravel and pulled into the yard. He glanced towards the kitchen but saw no movement. At least his wife had heard his instructions. The thought of her walking in on an intruder had nearly made his blood run cold. It had been at the back of his mind since he’d left for the airport after lunch yesterday. Even the tough training session had done nothing to weaken his resolve. He knew her forgetfulness required his attention. The trouble with Ami was that she never saw danger until it had been spelled out to her. She was far too trusting of others, having no regard for her own safety.
He shrugged out of his jacket, slung it over his shoulder and made for the stairs.
I had tidied the kitchen, put the few dishes in the dishwasher and wiped the work surfaces. I went to the freezer and took out the lasagne I had made in readiness for dinner that evening. Then I set to and made a Waldorf salad to accompany it.
Time flew past. I vacuumed in the drawing room and arranged some early roses from the garden in a crystal vase. I paused to look out through the glass fold-back doors on to the terrace. The lavender set around the edges of the paving was in full flower and surrounded by bees so intent on collecting the nectar that I wondered why they didn’t bump into each other.
My mind drifted back three years.
Daniel and I had met whilst still at school. In fact we had met at a senior dance held in my large school sports hall. He later admitted that the only reason he had summoned up enough courage to ask me to dance was because I was wearing a very short mini dress with a rain-drop shaped hole cut into the back of it. That and my long, wavy blonde hair. He’d always been attracted to blondes.
We’d dated for around six months. Then final exams, summer holidays with our parents, and several years at college, had intervened in our lives and our relationship. We had said our final goodbyes at a bus station, both expecting to move on with our lives and in all likelihood, never meet again.
Three years had passed, and he’d found himself at a loss one evening. As he drove along a road something jogged his memory, and looking out the windscreen at the houses he was passing, he realized that he was on the road where I lived. He wondered what I was doing after all this time. He had seen my house coming into view on his left, and when he reached it, on impulse, he pulled over and stopped against the curb.
When he’d rung my doorbell he’d never thought I would be answering the door myself. But there I was in front of him. I was twenty, my hair was longer, I wore a very short skirt, and he told me later, that he had thought I was so beautiful I’d nearly stopped his heart.
I’d told him that I had only recently finished college. I worked successfully as a personal assistant to the vice chairman of a large manufacturing company, and best of all, from his point of view anyway, I was single and unattached.
We’d started dating, first occasionally, then more regularly, until we could hardly bear to be apart. He’d proposed on my twenty third birthday, and we had married on a glorious summer’s day in the old Norman church in the centre of my village.
Life hadn’t been easy back then. We’d both worked all hours to pay the mortgage and furnish our little house. Daniel had been very successful. He became the youngest manager in his company. I had taken further exams and risen to become personal assistant to the company chairman.
Then our children came along one after the other, one boy and two girls. The boy dark like Daniel and the girls blonde like me. We had extended our house, creating a large kitchen and family room, and added two further bedrooms.
Daniel gained promotion after promotion, rising through the ranks to become director of human resources. He was away a great deal and I had managed children and household in his absence. I remembered that I had sometimes laughingly called myself a ‘single parent’. I also remembered that Daniel hadn’t been amused. He’d seemed quite hurt and angry at my comments.
The years went past and there were times when it was as if we were ships passing in the night. I’d only returned to part time work after the children were in school, and often found it boring and repetitious, providing me with little challenge. We had moved house to a large property with a swimming pool and a tennis court. Our children attended private schools. On the face of it ours was a perfect existence and we were a perfect family.
I looked at the clock and took a deep breathe. It was four thirty and Daniel would be home in half an hour. I took one last quick look around the room and then climbed the stairs, turned right at the top, and then moved along the passageway to our bedroom.
I looked nervously out of the window and then checked the little gilt clock that sat by my side of the bed. I had twenty five minutes to wait. I paced back and forth in front of the arched fireplace, my mind going back in time once again.
With the passage of time Daniel and I had grown dangerously apart. It had started with irritations that turned to disagreements, and eventually grew into indifference. I remembered having sex once in three weeks if I was lucky. He was often too tired, and I just couldn’t be bothered. Headaches became an easy excuse.
There was a time when all we did was disagree with each other. Daniel couldn’t say anything right, so he didn’t bother to say anything. We rarely even ate together. We were like strangers living under the same roof, who just happened to be married.
I stopped my pacing. I gripped the hem of my linen top with both hands and swiftly drew it off over my head. I folded it neatly and put in on top of my chest of drawers. Then I unzipped my jeans and removed them just as quickly, sliding them down my legs and stepping out of them. I folded them and put them underneath my top.
For a moment I stood in my black lacy bra and matching panties looking at my reflection in my full length mirror. Then I slowly reached up and slipped my bra straps down my arms, unfastened the hooks, and placed the bra on top of the growing pile of clothing. My nipples stood out as the cool air came into contact with them. I noticed that my breasts weren’t nearly as firm as they used to be. I placed my hands under them and lifted them slightly, then growled. I hate age and everything to do with it.
Finally I slid my black lace panties down to my ankles and stepped out of those too. They joined the pile on top of the chest of drawers. I stood there nude. I wasn’t fat, but my waistline had thickened, and my skin had lost the luminosity of youth. But my legs were still long and my hips were slim enough. My legs and pubes were newly waxed. I rose up on my tiptoes studying myself appraisingly. I shook my head sadly. “Well, you’re no spring chicken any more, Ami,” I told myself.
I unhooked my toweling robe off the back of the bedroom door, and putting it on sat down on the edge of the bed to wait, with my back towards the door, looking out of the window over the distant meadows.
Our marriage had been spiraling downwards so quickly that I had known something had to be done – the sooner the better – or it simply wouldn’t survive. Our last daughter went off to university and Daniel and I had the whole big house to ourselves. He’d even started to sleep in one of the spare bedrooms on the pretext of having to get up early for his commute.
I remembered, about that time, I had been in the town library. I’d found myself casting my eyes over a ‘vampire’ story. Normally I would not have been interested, but I realized it was a ‘sexy’ vampire story. On impulse I had decided to borrow the book. I could scarcely wait to get home and start reading it.
I read it all that afternoon hardly stopping to eat, just grabbing a quick sandwich and a coffee. I continued to read it all that evening, and I took it to bed and read it late into the night. Daniel was away, yet again, so I had no interruptions. Indeed, I couldn’t put it down.
Having finally read it to the end, I lay in bed breathing heavily. I’d never read anything like it. I was amazed at some of the descriptions. The author must have known what she was talking about. I felt quite hot. My hand slid hesitatingly up to my left nipple. I felt it hardening through my nightie. I was unprepared for the tingle it caused between my legs.
The book was returned to the library the next day and I took out a similar book by the same author. By the end of the week I had read my way through four books. They had been an education. I must be sexually repressed, I’d thought.
Daniel was due back halfway through the next week. He’d only bothered to ring once and that was when he was stuck in a traffic jam. A far cry from the early days of our marriage when he used to ring me every single day.
After some soul-searching, I had decided it was time to put my plan into action and change our lives around. Deep down I still loved Daniel more than I could put into words, but I knew I was slowly losing him.
The morning of the day Daniel was due home, I had taken a trip into our nearest city and visited a ‘certain’ shop. I paid cash for my purchases. This was not something I wanted tracking back to me through my credit card statements, I decided.
I had been expecting the type of shop I had read about to be frequented with shifty looking individuals, with their collars turned up. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The sales assistant looked about sixteen, and was only too happy to show and explain the intricacies and workings of some of the items I was interested in. I came away with a large pink paper bag full of goodies.
My next stop was my hairdressers. Instead of answering “The same as always please” to my hairdresser when he asked me how I wanted my hair, I described a hairstyle I had seen in a fashion magazine. My hairdresser grinned back at my reflection in the mirror, “You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting to cut and restyle your hair,” he told me.
I’d looked in the same mirror a couple of hours later and couldn’t believe my eyes. I looked so different. It had taken years off me. A short bouncy blonde bob with tiny pale red highlights. I had wondered apprehensively what Daniel would think.
I couldn’t wait to get home and I ran up the stairs to our bedroom and shook out my purchases on to the quilt. Not only had I bought new underwear, but some toys too. I picked up a slim vibrator with imitation jewels dotted around the end where the batteries went. The shop assistant had put the batteries in for me and demonstrated how it worked. I could hardly contain my excitement. I had quickly removed my clothing.
Full of anticipation I ran into the bathroom and washed my face and hands before carefully putting on some fresh makeup with eye colours in daring new shades. I spritzed some Dior cologne lavishly on my warm skin, and had dressed in a beautiful red silk bra and matching panties, before putting on a simple but pretty cotton dress I knew Daniel liked.
The sound of tyres on gravel brought me back to the present. I heard the car door slam and then the back door to the house open and shut. My breathing sped up and I shifted nervously where I sat. I kept my eyes glued on the distant meadows and let my thoughts drift once more.
Daniel had arrived back early on the Wednesday evening. He dropped his suit carrier over the back of a kitchen chair and stretched his arms to ease his tired muscles. He sniffed the smells issuing from the direction of the cooker appreciatively.
“Something smells good” he’d told me, his mouth beginning to water.
“I made beef stronganoff. I thought it was such a long time since we had it, and I know how much you enjoy it.” I had smiled shyly up at him. “I made you a gin and tonic too. Hendricks, with lime.”
“Hmmm. Why do I get the feeling that you crashed the car or overspent on the credit card?” His right eyebrow went up.
“No, no.” I coloured slightly. “I just thought you might appreciate a bit of a welcome home for a change.” My colour increased and I felt quite warm.
I served up the rice and added stronganoff on top. “Come and eat. There’s a green salad too if you fancy some.” I’d put a cloth on the table for a change and even set our places with linen napkins. “Sit down. You must be hungry.”
Although Daniel had not been entirely convinced that I hadn’t committed armed robbery while he had been away, the food smelled too good to ignore. Taking a sizeable slug of gin and tonic he sat and started to eat. I could tell by his reaction that it was living up to his expectations.
At last he had pushed his plate away and giving a deeply contented sigh he got to his feet and picked up his suit carrier. Not the most observant of husbands when it came to his wife, he had looked at me properly for the first time. He was taken aback.
“You’ve had your hair cut. And you’ve had highlights.” He walked around giving me a quick inspection.
“Well?” I had asked, tilting my head on one side. “What do you think?”
Daniel took in my fresh makeup and bouncy hair. I was wearing a dress for once, one he could remember commenting on at some time in the distant past, instead of my eternal jeans.
“You look like a different woman. What have you done with my wife?” He laughed and hugged me breathing in my fragrance. He bent and kissed me on the lips. “I like it very much. But it might take a while getting used to it. Why don’t you come and help me unpack?”
I had smiled to myself. Daniel had never asked me to help him unpack in all our married life. I was more than happy to oblige.
Once in the bedroom he had dropped his carrier and sat and removed his shoes. He’d already taken off his tie before the drive home, and he reached into his jacket pocket and shook out the creases from the tie and put it back in his wardrobe. His jacket followed, and then his trousers. I had busily hung up the two other suits from the carrier. He went to reach past me to get his jeans, but caught another whiff of my perfume. He made a small noise in his throat and had grabbed me around the waist.
“This is the kind of welcome home a man could get used to, you know” he’d told me.
I felt the zipper come down at the back of my dress and he pulled it up and I lifted my arms for him to pull it over my head. The garnets in my earrings caught the light. I stood before him in my red silk underwear, and his eyes nearly popped out of his head when he saw I was wearing hold-ups with red lace tops. A gin and tonic, his favourite meal, and a new-look wife wearing sexy underwear and high heels with hold-ups. What was going on?
Frankly there was a certain part of his anatomy that didn’t seem to care.
He had pulled me down on the bed nuzzling between breasts whose nipples stood stiffly erect through the thin silk.
But I had tugged him over on to his back and straddled him, making the aforesaid breasts hang down alluringly, causing him to catch his breath yet again.
I kissed him deeply then got off the bed and walked over to my chest of drawers. I opened the top drawer and removed a couple of items he couldn’t see properly from where he lay. I returned and straddled him once more holding the objects behind my back so he still couldn’t see them.
I had smiled, looking down at my husband. I’d explained to him that I thought a few changes were in order.
“I know something is going wrong with us and I want to fix it before it is too late” I told him. “I don’t think it’s either one of us who is to blame. It’s a case of six of one and half a dozen of the other, but it has to stop, because if it doesn’t we’re going to lose everything we have. Our marriage is struggling, Daniel.”
He’d understood. He’d known. He just hadn’t known what to do about it. Every time he had tried to talk I had distanced myself from him. He’d felt cut off from me, like he didn’t know me any more.
“Do you still love me, Ami?” he had asked.
“You know I do” I’d replied, my eyes on the verge of watering, “but I haven’t been doing a very good job showing you just how much. So it’s time we had some changes, Dan. Our lives are so boring and predictable. We’re getting older. There’s just the two of us now. We should be having some quality time together, not this constant bickering and arguing and ignoring each other. Let’s repair the damage.” I had grinned down at him. “Let’s start now.”
I’d produced a tube of cherry-flavoured lubricant in one hand and the vibrator in my other hand. Daniel was too surprised to speak. He was so hard he thought he’d burst.
“Shall we try them out?” I’d asked him, leaning down and playfully batting my eyelashes. “Shall we try them out every night?”
I reached down and tugged Daniel’s Calvins down and off. He looked at me and I gazed back at him. Before he could make a move I’d squirted some of the lube all over his stiff cock, rubbing gently with my right hand. Then I bent forwards and took him in my mouth, slowly pulling backwards until I reached the tip, upon which I deposited the lightest of kisses. He was velvety smooth and tasted delicious.
Daniel had moaned out loud, desperate that he was going to come any minute. “Fuck, Ami, you don’t like doing this!”
“Well I do now,” had been my reply.
I’d knelt above him, my breasts dangling down, my nipples brushing his thighs through the thin silk, and gently stroked his shaft. I’d cupped his balls with my other hand, then grasped him and licked slowly upwards letting my tongue circle the head. I’d heard him gasp, so I’d opened my mouth carefully taking him in, swirling my tongue around and then licking at the tip like a lollipop.
That evening had been the turning point in our marriage. The rapid downward spiral had reversed its direction.
I had produced toys that Daniel had only ever dreamed of, or read about in ‘certain’ magazines whilst on his lonely business trips. He had never believed his wife capable of some of the antics we got up to. Not only was I a changed woman, but he became a changed man.
The sound of footsteps up the stairs brought me briefly back to the present. I heard Daniel come along the landing and enter the bedroom behind me. I sat and listened to his little ritual of removing his shirt and tie and changing out of his suit. I heard the shower running and realized that Dan had decided to shower first, which was something he didn’t usually do. Despite my increasing nervousness, my mind wandered once more.
We had talked a great deal that first night about our hopes and expectations for the future. Daniel had explained how exhausted he was getting from all the travelling, and that he had wondered about going self-employed, and being his own boss. He’d felt it would give us more freedom to live our lives as a couple, instead of being forced apart so much.
I had listened and agreed with him. We would have to make changes, but it would only mean a shift away from our comfort zone for a while. I had just known that I wanted to support Dan in any way I could.
Daniel had worked his contacts, networking ceaselessly, sitting at his desk in his study, now his office, night after night. At first it hadn’t been easy and he worked much longer hours than he had previously. But at last it began to pay off. He had developed an international consultancy, frequently hopping over to the United States, Italy and Germany. Sometimes I went with him. I had winced when I had been referred to by one of his business associates as the ‘ideal corporate wife’.
Still, it had paid the bills and enabled us to live very comfortably.
Daniel shampooed his hair, rinsed and then reached for the bodywash. He always felt hot and grubby after flights of any length. This one had been a short hop over to Frankfurt. He always had to work twice as hard with the Germans. They were very precise, and they kept him on his toes. He often wondered whether some of them possessed a sense of humour. Yet he’d built up a strong working relationship with the company, and several of the directors were becoming close friends. This trip, they had introduced him to the local apple wine, and his head was still recovering.
He turned off the shower and reached for a bath towel. He looked around the ensuite bathroom. Everything was tidy and in its place. The towels were thick and soft, the porcelain and stainless steel sparkled. There was always plenty of shampoo, conditioner and bodywash. It was a small room but it reflected the rest of the house. Ami was such an excellent housekeeper. She always seemed to be in the kitchen creating dishes a man could die for; or she was to be found in the laundry room where it smelled of clean linen and clothes that had, more often than not, been hung out on the line in the fresh air to blow in the breeze; or she was polishing the furniture with a mixture of turpentine and beeswax to bring out the rich shine and lustre of the wood.
He reflected, it hadn’t always been like this. She had come home from work tired and flattened by the day’s events. Meals were rushed, the house untidy, children’s toys scattered and never put away in their rooms. She would flit from one job to another, never getting anything finished. He’d been away a great deal and she’d had to manage the household single-handed. It had taken her referring to herself as a single mother before he had stopped to take stock of the situation. He had finally faced up to the fact that their marriage was sliding dangerously downhill. The problem had been that neither of them had seemed to know what to do about it.
Ami had always been so reserved in the bedroom. He’d lost track of the times he’d just longed for a bit of spark, a bit of variety, a bit of naughtiness. Each time he had tried to introduce a bit of ‘play’ into their activities she had rejected it. She didn’t even like him to touch her breasts, remarking that she felt nothing. Her orgasms were far and few between, and he had even wondered how many of them were real or fake. She seemed repressed. Frigid. She even wriggled out of his arms when he tried spoon with her, holding her to him for warmth and comfort. He was at a loss.
The day he had arrived home from a business trip to be met with a woman who could have stepped out of a fashion magazine had numbered amongst the most unforgettable of his life. When she had willingly accompanied him upstairs, and he had discovered her wearing sexy red underwear, hold-ups and high heels, he had thought the magazine must have been Penthouse.
What had followed had nearly given him palpitations. Just remembering her performance that evening caused him to grow hard. It was as if all her previous inhibitions had been thrown out the window, and suddenly he was married to a woman who was a cross between a siren and a harlot. He would never have believed it to be possible in a million years.
They’d come back from the brink in a spectacular way.
He finished drying himself and returned the towel to the heated towel rail to dry. He tugged on fresh underwear and his comfortable old cords, and a short-sleeved casual shirt which he tucked into his waistband, slipping his feet into a pair of soft suede moccasins. He reached for his comb and ran it through his hair. He knew he couldn’t delay any longer. He had to address the task in hand; get it out of the way so they could relax and enjoy their evening. He frowned. It had seemed so strange at first, the idea that a man could spank his wife and then they could sit and happily enjoy a meal together before cuddling up on the sofa and watching television.
Ami was still sitting like a statue on the end of the bed, looking out the window, her back to him. Her hair caught the early evening sunshine that was filtering in through the glass, a rich shade of burniId gold. She was sitting comfortably and not slouching, but he could tell she was a little nervous because her fingers were playing with the tie of her robe.
She never ceased to amaze him with her reinvention of their lives. She was no longer content to let things drift. These days she would figuratively gird her loins and meet a problem head on, regarding it as a challenge.
He walked over to where I sat and put his hand on my left shoulder and bent and kissed the side of my neck. I put my left hand up on top of his and tilted my neck into his kiss, my eyes closing in enjoyment. He moved around to face me and holding both my hands pulled me to my feet in front of him, then he sat down, where I had been sitting, and held me so I stood in between his legs, looking down at him. I could sense he saw a mixture of emotions cross my face. His heart radiated his love.
“Take off your robe, love, and go fetch me an implement!” he commanded me. I turned, slipping off my robe, and walking across the room to my chest of drawers, opening the second drawer down.
I rarely argued with him, but he could see a certain amount of reluctance in my walk.
“Which one do you want?” My hands were in the drawer sorting through our “secret stash”, and they shook slightly.
“You choose one” he replied.
I shifted reluctantly, and instead of choosing one, chose two, the leather paddle and the wooden-backed hairbrush. I brought them back and placed them on the bed next to him. He glanced down at them.
“Now the final decision can be yours” I told him.
“Okay Ami, over you come.” Holding my left arm he guided me down and over his lap so that my body was angled with my top half resting on the bed next to him. I noticed he had placed a pillow for me to hold or tuck my hands under, so that I wouldn’t be tempted to reach back and risk getting my hand or fingers hurt. I grasped on to it putting my face to one side, but not daring to look back. I never did.
I could sense him gazing down at my buttocks, and he reached out with his hand and rubbed them gently – first one and then the other. I knew he was remembering the morning I had first asked him to spank me.
I’d told him that I had been working up to it for several months. Every time I thought I was ready to broach the subject, I had chickened out. The more I prolonged it the harder it seemed to me to raise it in conversation.
You couldn’t, for example, suddenly, without prior warning, exclaim to your husband of over thirty years that the truth had finally dawned upon you - you had been suppressing ‘kinkiness’ all your life, and now you wanted to come out and exhort this loving, kind and gentle man to spank you, and spank you hard.
I had started to cry, and for a time, he had been alarmed thinking I’d taken a lover and decided to leave him, or that I had contracted some awful life-threatening disease. But eventually I had calmed down enough to hold a conversation.
I had explained to him how I had typed the word “spanking” into Google, and how I had stumbled on something called a ‘blog’. From there I had quickly realized I could move from one blog to another. There seemed to be endless people all engaged in this thing they referred to as ‘This thing we do’, and a dynamic which sometimes incorporated ‘domestic discipline’. There was no set pattern as to how each couple utilized the aforesaid dynamic into their lives, but they all had a common backbone that practically ensured a spanking.
Some of them had rules that must be obeyed by the wives; some of them even had contracts. Some husbands utilized other ways of disciplining their wives such as corner time, writing essays, withdrawing privileges and in some cases, grounding.
I had explained that spankings were often divided into punishment, discipline, stress-relief, maintenance and role affirmation. All husbands used their hands to spank, but the majority of couples used what they called ‘implements’ as well, and some of these were harder and more painful than others. Spankings were meant to hurt.
He had informed me that it would be a cold day in hell before he raised a hand to me.
To his consternation I was shocked. It had nothing to do with abused wives, I had informed him.
Then I went on to explain that after all these years I had made up my mind to relinquish my control, to reinstate him as leader of the household, to defer all future decision-making to him. In essence, I had informed him of my wish to become a submissive wife. As far as he was concerned, it had to be a joke.
His laughter had dried up fairly quickly when he saw how serious I was, how upset I quickly became when I thought he wasn’t taking me seriously. He had dried my tears and assured me that he was willing to try, for a couple of months at least. But he wasn’t reading any blogs, he wasn’t giving me any punishment spankings, and he wasn’t certainly wasn’t employing any of the other ‘peculiar’ means to bring his wife to heel I’d just told him about.
His hand left Ami’s bottom and he started to trace circles on her back, then down and around her buttocks. He reflected that the two months had turned into six, and the six into eight. They now had their own version of the dynamic, and he couldn’t argue – it seemed to work. Spanking your wife wasn’t really the chore he had anticipated it to be. Secretly he rather enjoyed it, except perhaps for the punishment side of it. It still knotted his stomach when he had to spank her hard enough to make her cry.
But he smiled to himself as he remembered the memorable occasion when his hand stung so much, that he had grabbed her wooden-backed hairbrush off the dressing table. She had shrieked, kicked her legs, and tried to crawl forwards off his lap. He had held her down with his left hand flat on her back and carried on spanking. She had quickly dissolved into tears, yet when he had stopped, his heart beating a tattoo in his chest so loud he thought it could be heard, and asked if she was all right, she had cried harder and begged him to carry on and not stop until he wanted to. He’d been so full of emotion he’d nearly cried with her!
He had quickly gotten used to seeing her peachy mounds turn pink, then a rosy red. The first time he had seen bruises he had been horrified, waiting for her to pound his chest in fury and tell him he was a monster. She did neither. Thereafter, he noticed a large tube of arnica gel had appeared on the bathroom shelf. She had never complained. The spankings reset her mechanism changing her attitude for several days. He always knew when it was time for another little “discussion”.
The first time he had punished her with a spanking for having a bad attitude, he thought she would never speak to him again. She had been extremely late with the evening meal, and when he had mentioned in passing that he was really hungry and didn’t enjoy eating late at night, she had snapped at him and nearly thrown his dinner at him. He had used the short-handled bath brush on that occasion, laying his right leg over both of hers to prevent her kicking, and warning her that if she removed her hand from the pillow he would secure it in one of his. As he spanked, he noticed her anger gradually turn to acceptance and remorse, and when he had tentatively enquired if she was okay as he cuddled her afterwards, she had cried even harder than during the spanking.
What he hadn’t anticipated were the “benefits” spanking had brought to their marriage.
The first couple of times he had been seriously embarrassed by the size of his erection. That such an act had the power to turn him on, and to such a degree. Then he had begun noticing the heightened level of response from his wife. It was as if every nerve ending in her body was standing to attention and waiting for his touch. He would just look at her nipples and they would become stiff and taut. The first time he had taken one in his mouth and sucked, she had nearly come apart, and to his bewilderment, even after a punishment spanking, she would be sopping wet and would often sit astride and ride him as if her life depended on it. In fact, although sex with Ami had been better than ever since they had begun ‘playing around’, it had now fallen off the end of the Richter Scale! As he laughing told her, they could give younger couples half their age a run for their money!
Daniel stopped circling my buttocks and gave them one last gentle rub. There was a pause and I clutched the pillow tightly trying not to clench. The sting when it came caused my breath to catch in my throat. I knew by the feel that he’d gone straight for the hairbrush. There was no warm-up. When he was displeased with me, there never was. He attacked the crest of my right buttock three times in the same place, then he moved to the left buttock. I squeaked my anguish and rolled my hips. It hurt unbearably when he kept spanking the same spot. Then he beat a tattoo, moving first left and then right, up and down and round and round.
I could feel the heat build as the spanking progressed. Each swat felt like the sting of an angry bee. I began trying to anticipate where the next swat would land. I clenched my buttocks against the pain, then rapidly unclenched them as he gave the inside of my thighs a couple of swats, which was far worse. My legs were kicking, folding back at the knees, and he stopped momentarily to place his right leg over both of mine, anxious not to catch my feet with the hairbrush, and gave my upper thighs three swats as a reminder that I shouldn’t kick.
Now he was concentrating on my sit spots, just where my bottom and thighs met. Tears of pain gathered in my eyes and overflowed. Daniel wasn’t holding back. I howled into my pillow and tried to endure. He wasn’t one to lecture, but through my sobs I heard him asking me why I was getting this spanking. As if I didn’t know.
“Ohhhh, stop, please stop! Owwww! Daniel, pleaseeeee!”
If anything I thought he spanked even harder. He was covering the sides of my buttocks now.
“I’m sorry! I’m sorry! Daniel!!! Owwwww!”
“Ami, I have to tell you I was furious with you.” Swat, swat swat. “Can you possibly imagine how I would feel if anything happened to you! You simply forgot to lock the door! You don’t think and that’s your trouble!” Swat, swat, swat. “You know, as well as I do, that there’ve been a number of break-ins around here lately. Opportunists, every one of them. So what would have happened if you had come back and surprised a couple of those little shits?!” Swat, swat, swat. “You know they drive out here from London, do over a couple of properties, then they’re off and back on the road again. They don’t give a damn for people like us - like you!” Swat, swat, swat. “All they have to do is knock you over the head, or worse! Some of them even carry guns!” Swat, swat, swat. “Never” swat “ever” swat “put your life” swat “on the line again!” Swat, swat, swat.
I sobbed and sobbed. My bottom was blazing. I could hardly breathe I was crying so hard. And still Daniel spanked.
“And next time I make the effort to come home to have lunch with you before flying off on a trip, it would be nice if you could make the effort to be at home when I get here! Do you understand?!” Swat, swat, swat.
I went limp. I was going numb, my shoulders were shaking, and in my distress I simply could not answer. It was a minute or two before I realized the spanking had stopped. I lay there sobbing and hiccupping in turn. Daniel was rubbing my back. His hand drifted gently over my buttocks. My sobs slowed and turned to sniffles mixed with the occasional dry heave. He took me by my upper arms and carefully lifted me up and around so, despite flinching, I was sitting on his lap leaning against his chest. He tucked my head under his chin and watched as I ineffectually rubbed my eyes.
“I couldn’t stand it if anything happened to you Sweetie”. I knew that for a moment during the spanking, my distress had very nearly caused him to stop. He often told me that on occasions such as these he felt himself to be a bit of a bear. He knew I wouldn’t be sitting easily for some time to come.
“I’m sorry Daniel, I’m so sorry.” I broke into a fresh bout of crying, turning my face into his chest and soaking his shirt.
“Come on, Ami. Stop now. It’s over. You are forgiven.” He picked me up and carried me into the bathroom setting me down on the toilet seat. He saw me wince and wriggle around a little. He picked up my facecloth and rinsed it in warm water, then he gave my face a thorough scrub, cleaning runny nose, runny eyes, and all remaining vestiges of makeup. He smiled at me. I regarded him balefully.
He kissed me on the tip of my nose then he picked me up once more, took me back into the bedroom and deposited me on the bed. He lay down next to me and rolling on his side, took my face between his hands and kissed me long and hard on the mouth. To begin with I didn’t respond, then I knew he felt my mouth quiver and open, and my arms went around him holding him close.
I always told him that there were times after a punishment spanking when I just wanted to climb into his skin with him. This was one of those times. He breathed in my scent, letting himself sink happily into my soft folds. All I wanted him to do was to make love to me for the rest of his life.
Ami you're great for letting me share this on Fantasy Friday. You are way better than you realize. Remember that the rest of this story will be up next Friday. I'm looking to everyone for stories, long, short and in between - will you share a story with us? Please send stories to firstname.lastname@example.org