Holding her on his lap, his hands gentled her shaking body, careful to keep her butt between his open thighs as he tried to minimize the contact between her bruised bottom and his legs. Her face was flushed from crying, her breath ragged, chest still heaving and he tried to comfort her even though it was his hand that had caused the pain. Murmuring soothing words and sounds, he kissed her tears away.
"Hush, Puss. It's over. It's done."
"Why?" she asked, the tears still flowing, unexpected waves of fear rising and stabbing her vulnerable underbelly. She was suddenly afraid.
He didn't pretend to misunderstand her and he answered honestly. "It was time," he said. "You needed it."
"But you didn't ask me," she whimpered, her tongue having difficulty forming the words. She paused, trying to take long even breaths, hiccuping instead. "We never even talked about it. You always said we'd discuss these things first."
"I know," he answered, his rich baritone rumbling against her ear as his warm breath caressed her lobe. "But I knew you'd never agree."
"So you took matters into your own hands? Without consulting me?"
The hurt in her voice almost shattered him and he wondered if she'd ever trust him again. "It had to be done, Puss," was all he'd say in his own defense.
"No, it didn't," she protested.
"It did," he said quietly but firmly, his hand stroking her tear stained face. "And I'll do it again if you need it. You've been out of control for a while now, working too hard, flying in all directions, leaving your work unfinished. Your editor is waiting for new chapters and you have nothing of substance to show him." Cupping her face, he kissed her gently. "Now, I want you to go stand in that corner," he pointed, "and stay there until I say you can leave. Go on," he helped her to her feet, his voice soft. "Face the wall. I'll wait here until you do."
She looked at him like he was crazy. Their morning loving had been satisfying, his sensual spanking of her butt arousing her, the tickles and cuddles that accompanied it, the kisses and soft sighs that followed. His tongue had teased her clit and lapped her dew - her mouth received and pleasured him - his hands touching her soft places, then his thick cock filling her body and all the empty places inside her soul until they soared - both content in each other's arms.
And then heaven turned into hell.
When his breath recovered, he sat up and pulled her back across his lap. She smiled, thinking he was going to start loving her again, but with no warning, his large hand came down hard and swift and bruised her pink bottom again and again until it was a deep red, bordering on purple.
"What are you doing?" she had screamed at the sudden pain, her body in shock, bouncing on his lap, this way and that - rudderless and floundering.
"Discipline spanking, Puss. It's time."
"D-d-disci-ci-pline spanking?" she choked, her ass seared by burning fire, totally unprepared for his assault. "Paul! Stop! Please! You're hurting me!" she screamed, the world as she knew it, shattered beyond belief.
With great difficulty, he ignored her pleas, her screams and her tortured cries, shielding his heart so he could give her what she needed. His hand came down again and again - the punishing spanking the hardest and most hurtful thing he'd ever done to her. He loved her beyond imagination and was hurting her. It split his heart in two - but it had to be done.
She had always been high energy, her mind working overtime, writing three books at once, nine major novellas on the hard drive awaiting completion and dozens of short stories and vignettes piled high that needed her attention. Eventually, she did complete her projects but the price was high; it was killing her. She flew off in too many directions, her behavior morphing from lethargic to frenetic and back again. She had long periods where she was unable to concentrate on one project at a time, and she was ruining her body. She often skipped meals, indulged in too much junk food when she did eat, jogged too many miles to use up her excess energy, and often slept fitfully when she finally closed her eyes.
The only time she relaxed was after sex and then, she was off and running again. Sometimes, he had to physically lift her away from the computer and hold her down so he could make love to her. Other times, she couldn't get enough of him, wearing herself out making love, dozing and seeking him again.
It had taken him a long time to earn her trust - they had met after she had forced herself to leave an abusive relationship. He knew it was a gamble to take control but he loved her too much to let her fall apart.
"Go stand in the corner, Puss," he said again when she just stared at him, his voice soft and encouraging. "I want you to think about why you were spanked so hard and we'll talk about it later."
"Are you out of your fucking mind!" she screamed, turned away from him and gasped. The pain in her butt was excruciating and the two steps she took left her breathless and weak.
She almost fell but he was right behind her, his chest against her back and his arms around her. "The corner, Puss," he said softly, ignoring her outburst, trying to ignore the heat her body generated that he had caused.
"I am NOT a child and I will NOT stand in a fucking corner like a child," she said with more bravado than she felt.
"You will stand there because I said you would," he said firmly.
"You have NO right!" she began.
"I have every right," he insisted, his voice still calm. "I love you with every breath I take and I will NOT stand by and watch you destroy yourself." Turning her to face him, he pulled her closer, careful not to touch her bruised posterior but fitting her smaller body to his larger one. "I'm taking control, my love. I'm trying to keep you whole."
"That's what HE did," she said bitterly, the tears spilling faster, her eyes filled with pain as she looked at the man she had loved deeply for the last eight years.
"Don't compare me to a sadist, Puss. He thrived on abusing you, hurting you for his sexual pleasure. We're not master and slave in this house, we're not Dom and sub, but I WILL take control of your physical and mental health. Now, go stand in that corner and think about why I want you to slow down and reassess your workload." Brushing her damp hair behind her ears, he dropped tender kisses on her flushed face. "Think about why I'll spank you that way again if you don't. It's because I love you, baby," he murmured, gently pushing her toward the corner wall.
She hurt too much to fight him and he stood behind her until her breathing eased, his soft, soothing sounds keeping her in place. "Stay here, Puss. I'll be back soon," he murmured, leaving her to think about what had transpired.
His heart was heavy when he looked at her bruised and swollen red bottom, knowing he had caused her pain, but he also knew the bruises would fade with time. He hoped the lesson would remain; he didn't want to repeat it.
She waited until his footsteps faded and gingerly placed one foot in front of the other, testing her ability to walk without crying out in pain. It was okay if she didn't move too fast. Taking a deep breath, she knew she'd feel better if she took a cold shower and moved to the bathroom, closing the door.
Paul can damn well think again if he thinks I'll stand in the corner like some damn five-year old, she fumed, hurt and fear raging a battle in her mind, her heart on hold for the man who did this to her. Gingerly, she tested the sensitivity of her butt, flinching from the slightest touch and leaned her face against the cool tiles of the shower wall, softly sobbing. Her tears were for the pain, the bruising hurt she felt had been unjustifiably rendered, but mostly, she cried for the pain he had inflicted on her heart. In an instant, the strong trusting bond between them had been changed into gossamer wings - suddenly fleeting and very fragile.
He was going to make a big breakfast, hold her on his lap and pamper her, feeding her with his fingers, kissing her between bites. He had a whole day planned, a picnic in the woods behind their house, making love to her under the big oak she adored, reciting a few of Shakespeare's love sonnets while she dozed in his lap, his deep voice lulling her to dreamland. He'd tell her how much he loved her - again and again - and how she was the most important person in his life. Tonight, he'd build a fire - they'd sip some wine - and he'd tell her again while he made slow and tender love to her.
He had just cracked open a few eggs into a bowl when he heard the water running in the upstairs bath. Dropping everything, he rushed to the master bedroom, his eyes searching the corner where she should be standing, and not surprised to find it empty. He walked into the master bath and without a word, pulled her from the shower stall.