The sound of his footsteps coming down the hall sent a shiver of trepidation through her. Even though they'd played this game dozens of times, he still had the power to reduce her to a frightened little girl with very little effort.
He loved her, of that she had no doubt. He'd always wanted what was best for her, all throughout their long relationship. Time and again he'd rescued her from herself when she was headed for a major meltdown. It was ironic really. She took care of everyone else, every tiny detail. Her job was one of the most stressful careers she could have chosen. Her family was high demand or high maintenance as they called it now.
His steps stopped. Obviously he'd forgotten something or a call had come in. She breathed a little sigh of relief. Lying on the bed, she closed her eyes and wondered how it had come to this. She recalled a commercial she'd seen as a really young girl. I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan... It was about men's cologne or something and she'd watched, fascinated. Yes, there was a beautiful woman who did it all, had it all, and she could too she remembered thinking. And she had done it and done it well. Almost too well. Somewhere along the way she'd forgotten how to relax, how to have fun. Micromanaging every nanosecond of her life and those around her was her mission and she had control, until he took it from her.
Funny, when the kids were younger and there was not a minute to call her own, she'd managed; at least she'd thought so at the time. It wasn't until they went off to college and the demands at home slowed down that she realized how much had changed over time. For years he'd been the back drop of her life, the color palette that adjusted itself to her mood and temperament, always allowing her to stand out, to lead, to shine. She thought they were happy; thought he was happy. Quiet, supportive, encouraging, he seemed content. It was all about her; her job, her goals, her plans. He'd step up when needed, of course he would. They were a team. But he rarely challenged her decisions and they almost never argued. She was a 5'2" powerhouse, bulldozing her way through rough terrain. He was the solitary mountain behind her.
It started slow, an evening here, a weekend there. The man who never argued with her demands had some of his own it seemed. He'd been patient, he said. But he wasn't getting any younger and neither was she. He wanted her to at least try something new. In his opinion, she needed it, although she couldn't quite fathom that. It would be a way for her to let go, release some of the tension he knew was building inside her. She'd smirked, there were a lot of ways to release tension and this didn't sound like one she'd ever be fond of.
"Chéri, haven't I always supported you, your decisions, your desires?" he demanded softly, using a finger to tip her chin up and look into her eyes.
"Yes," she replied, surprised. For the first time in a long time she remembered why she'd been attracted to him. He loomed above her, his once black hair now streaked with silver at the temples; his eyes looked like rich dark chocolate as they held hers. A day's worth of stubble on his face made her long to run her fingers across it, but his expression seemed much too serious for that.
"I ask this not only for myself, but for you," he continued, brushing her hair back from her cheek. "I hoped when the children left to start their own lives you would relax a little. Instead, you've become fragile, almost brittle in some ways. I feel a storm approaching, it's in the very air around us. Something is brewing between us and I can't let it destroy what we've worked so hard to achieve."
He took her hands in his. Using his thumbs, he rubbed her wrists and lower palms until she opened her hands and uncurled her fingers. In truth, she hadn't been aware her hands had fisted, but he'd missed nothing.
"I don't know if I can do this," she whispered as he kissed each of her palms in turn. "It sounds a little bizarre."
"Who knows you better than me, Chéri?" he asked.
"You don't even know my name," she insisted for the millionth time.
"I prefer Chéri, I always have." Smiling, he pulled her to the couch and sat, bringing her down on his lap, something he hadn't done in years. "It suits you and everyone adopted it years ago. Does anyone call you Cheryl anymore?"
"Only my mother," she admitted.
"See, I was right then and I'm right now. I know you, darling, maybe better than you know yourself at this point. You're floundering," he sighed, pressing her head to his chest. "You've carried everything on these soft little shoulders for a very long time and I've allowed it because it was what you seemed to want. Our lives have changed now, and rightly so. Let me be what you need. I'm ready, willing and able," he informed her.
Wiggling on his lap she felt the proof of his words pressing against her bottom.
They discussed it over a bottle of wine at the dining room table. Michael had done his research, or so it seemed. Some of the things he mentioned made her quiver with delicious apprehension, others had her quaking in fear. He appeared to be taking the whole thing seriously and encouraged her to do the same. Once she agreed, there would be no reneging as far as he was concerned. She would give it a fair chance or suffer the consequences which he explained in explicit detail while she squirmed on her chair. Alternately giggling and blushing, she finally consented to try. She picked a safe word for times she absolutely could not continue, and he reminded her it would not get her out of something they'd done before. This was not a game in the sense she could stop playing anytime it didn't suit her. Everything would be open for discussion and revision before and after, but not on the nights allocated for him. Unless she used her safe word, he had free reign.
She'd been quite tipsy when he carried her upstairs that night and made slow passionate love to her. In the morning, she could hardly meet his eyes and he seemed to find that quite amusing.
"I'm going to make some changes in the guest room," he informed her. "I want you to stay out of there until I tell you otherwise."
"But I've always decorated the house," she protested as she poured a cup of coffee.
"Not this time, not that room," he stated simply.
"Chéri," he said in warning.
She looked at him in surprise. He almost never used that tone. She'd heard it often enough when the kids were young, but never with her. He looked different this morning. Bigger somehow, stronger, more...more something. She cocked her head to one side as she looked up at him.
"All right," she finally conceded with a sigh. "What do you want for breakfast?"
"Good girl," he said approvingly with a grin that softened his whole demeanor. "I'm cooking today. What would you like?"
Chéri hopped up onto a stool at the island. "Pancakes."
She watched him move confidently around the kitchen, whistling as he worked and made no comment when he set a plate bearing two Mickey Mouse pancakes before her.
That was three years ago. They'd made mistakes, plenty of them and had arguments that ended badly, for her at least. They'd fumbled and stumbled, but Michael was convinced they were on the right track and would not be moved. For a woman who'd spent nearly all her life in charge, submitting was difficult at times. There were things he did she absolutely adored and others she found highly humiliating but all of it made her scream like a banshee when he allowed her to come. Unfortunately, she never knew what he had planned and he was always full of surprises. Wet panties became a way of life.
What started out as a couple of nights a month, turned into every weekend as long as the kids weren't home for a visit and had begun to color their weeknights on occasion. Thankfully, the twins went to the same university and had the same holidays. If they wondered why the door to the guest room was always locked, they didn't mention it, too happy to spend time with their friends.
Michael also began to take more and more responsibility from her shoulders. He hired a maid who came in twice a week and cleaned everything but the guest room. He took over paying the household accounts allowing Chéri more time to read, go to the salon or indulge in the old movies she loved.
They took turns cooking and she was expected to eat what he prepared. When he served fish three times in one week, she returned the favor by making liver, which he hated. She went to bed with a sore bottom that night and never made it again. Michael also agreed to limit seafood to once a week.
One thing he was adamant about was that she not bring work home on the weekend. She could do what she had to during the week, but Fridays were off limits as far as he was concerned. She was to come home, have a snack if she wanted and go up to the guest room to take a nap. Frankly, this was one of the strange rules he came up with that she loved.
Stretching, she yawned and listened to him moving back down the hall. Today was Friday.
Chéri watched him as he entered the room. He was very well put together she acknowledged and in great shape for a man the other side of forty. The charcoal gray suit fit his tall frame perfectly, and despite it being the end of a very long day, he still looked fresh and neat.
Michael took off his jacket and hung it tidily over a chair before approaching the bed.
"How are you, babygirl?" he asked, leaning over to kiss her. His lips nibbled on hers for a moment before he straightened up. "You look pretty today. Did you have a good day?" he asked as he unbuttoned his cuffs and began rolling up his sleeves.
Chéri shook her head in the affirmative.
"Ah, no words today," he remarked casually. "I wonder what that means."
Chéri shrugged her shoulders. Sometimes she actually had nothing to say. She found the deep timber of his voice soothing, the quiet of the room exhilarating as though it too held its breath waiting to see what would happen.
"That's all right, Chéri. I like you quiet and pliant. Later I'm sure I'll hear plenty of moans and squeals, won't I?"
Raising her suddenly wide eyes to his, she watched him smile.
"Roll over, baby," he instructed.
Chéri obeyed and felt the cool air caress her as he lifted her short blue and white polka dot skirt. His hands took hold of the top of her pantyhose and pulled them down and off her feet.
"I hate the marks these leave on your delicate skin," he told her, gently tracing the indent around her waist before slowly peeling down her panties. Pulling a straight back chair next to the single bed he sat beside her, just looking.
She could only imagine what she looked like to his eyes, but it was enough to make her squirm. Her panties were bunched around her knees, her too round bottom fully exposed. Saying her bottom was too large would be a mistake, a big one, so she remained quite even though it was still embarrassing after all this time. Soon she felt his large hand cup her cheeks, both at the same time.
"Have I told you recently how much I adore your sweet ass?" he asked.
"Good, I'd hate to think I'd neglected any part of our relationship, no matter how small."
She couldn't help it, a snort escaped. Small indeed she almost said. The slap that followed was not gentle. The sound reverberated around the room like a gun shot.
"Derogatory comments, or snorts to be more specific, are not allowed, little one, and you know it," he barked, smacking her bottom again. "Apologize to Daddy."
"Sorry," she mumbled into her pillow.
It was quiet after that. He didn't spank her again. She heard the nightstand drawer open and clenched her cheeks. It wouldn't do any good but it was still an automatic response to what she knew was coming next.
"Pillow," he snapped.
Chéri reached above her head and grasped the round bolster covered in the same floral fabric as the drapes. Passing it back to him she kept her face averted. The slight pop that meant he'd opened the petroleum jelly had her clenching tighter. With what seemed like very little effort, he slid an arm under her tummy and lifted, placing the pillow in exactly the position he favored. It raised her buttocks and he withdrew his arm.
"All right, my little love," he said kindly. "No fussing tonight if you please. Daddy has many things to do, including make your dinner. Let's get this over with minimal drama. You know I'm always going to take your temperature to make sure you're not running a fever before we start our night. I want you as healthy as can be for what I have planned."
Strong, tapered fingers swiftly separated her bottom cheeks, and without further ado, the small, slippery glass rod slid into her bottom. Her gasp made no difference but her feet drumming against the bed did. Michael withdrew the thermometer and leaned down close to her ear, keeping his hand firmly on her bottom.
"All good little girls get their temperature taking regularly by their daddies. Bad little girls get a good hard spanking first. Which kind of little girl are you?" he asked, his breath fanning her neck.
"A good one," she quickly whispered.
"That's what I thought," he replied with a chuckle. He spread her cheeks again and slipped the rod home, pushing it almost all the way in and keeping only his fingertips on it.
Chéri kept quiet this time. She knew he had bigger ones in that drawer and she wanted no part of them. Finally, after what seemed like at least fifteen minutes, he withdrew it and pronounced her fever free. Immediately, she tried to scoot off the pillow, holding her bottom up, but his big hand settled firmly on the small of her back, keeping her in place.
"Not so fast, sweetie," he informed her. "Daddy is not quite done."