Standing beside the bed, he slipped his hand under the sheet covering her and cupped her bottom cheeks. The warmth it generated was moderate, cooled considerably from the fiery heat he had delivered several hours earlier.
She wasn't going to be happy when she woke up.
Kneeling beside the bed, he dropped a kiss on her forehead, her face also flushed with color, a pale pink in comparison to her bottom. The soft skin around her eyes were red, tear tracts still evident. It made his heart ache.
She turned slightly and moaned as her sore bottom made contact with the bed, a bubble of breath escaping between her lips and quickly followed by a gasp.
Her eyes opened and she stared at the man staring back at her.
"Are you going to go caveman on me again?"
"Go away. I don't want you near me right now."
"Too bad," he said in that quiet tone he used when he didn't give her choices. "I want to be near you."
"I'll leave you," she said matter-of-factly and turned her head away from him.
"I'll find you," he said simply and stood, gathering her up in his arms. He pulled the light sheet away from the rest of the bedding along with her and sat on the bench at the foot of the bed.
"Ti amo, bambina."
"Does that mean no more spanking in Italian?"
"It means more when it's necessary." He held her in a gentle embrace facing him, her legs dangling between his. With great care, he pulled the sheet away from her bottom cheeks. Her back was still ensconced in the linen along with her thighs and legs but her sore derriere was exposed. One of his hands lingered at the tops of her hips, the other up and under the sheet rubbing her back. Surveying the lingering damage, he noted that her bottom was a deep shade of pink with even deeper red spots here and there.
"Are you going to spank me again," she asked when silence grew between them.
"Wasn't it punishment enough I almost got bit? Did you have to spank me, too?"
"I had to spank you," was all he said.
"Why?" She pulled her head away from his shoulder to look directly at him, her gaze intent, then bit her lip as the slight movement caused her bottom to ache.
"You don't know why?" her husband asked, his tone bordering on anger. "After all we discussed about fostering SPCA dogs and how to handle them, you don't know why I spanked you? I better spank you again; maybe, it will help you to remember."
"It wasn't my fault!" Spencer shouted and punched him in the chest, drawing back to punch him again as she gulped air and then, with no warning, an adrenaline rush filled her and made her entire body shake.
"Don't you dare spank me again!" She lashed out with her fists when he stood with her in his arms and cupped her sore butt cheeks.
His hand was large and hot on her bare cheeks, his grip hard, bringing tears to her eyes. Capturing her hands between them, he held her tight to his chest and stood still, taking calming breaths and listening... feeling her short gasps and her heart hammering against his.
"Bambina," his murmured when he was calm again. "Ti amo, bambina."
"I don't want you to hold me," she sobbed.
"I have to hold you."
"Stop hurting me," she whispered, collapsing against him, tired of fighting, tired of losing.
"Stop hurting yourself," he said, cupping her chin and tilting her head up so she would look at him.
"I couldn't say no," she shrugged. "Sometimes you just have to go with your gut and I couldn't say no. They would have killed the animal. I couldn't let that happen."
"And I couldn't let you get away with that rash decision. Not every dog can be rehabilitated, Spencer. You need to get more experience under your belt before you take on a dog that weighs more than you and has a tendency to bite. What were you thinking?"
"I was thinking I could save its life," she whispered. "I didn't expect it to turn on me while I was petting it."
Their neighbor fostered dogs from the SPCA until they were ready for adoption and called Spencer when he had an emergency out of town. Currently, he had three fosters. He was able to place two of them elsewhere but had one more that needed a temporary home. Because JC and Spencer's home was a large site that bordered on national forest, he asked Spencer if she could manage the animal for a week.
Spencer hesitated; at that time her experience with dogs was limited but when she realized the dog might be put down because it had no place to go, she said yes. It hadn't occurred to her that the SPCA would have temporarily placed the animal elsewhere and that she wasn't its last reprieve.
Live and learn...
The dog was a large mixed breed, friendly on its own turf and always happy to see Spencer when she visited. There was a reason it was being fostered; it needed intense socialization before it could be trusted with others...
Recently returned from a six-month tour of sea duty, JC was looking forward to another long weekend with his bride of three years. He was just pulling into the driveway when he heard her yell. Throwing the car into "park," he dashed into the house. A dog barked, then growled and JC's heart was suddenly in his mouth.
"Spencer!" he yelled, following the sounds of her voice and the dog's alarming growls.
"Stay!" Spencer shouted, holding her palm out in front of the dog's face, the hand and voice signal for the dog to remain where he was. The dog continued to growl, barred its teeth, and was inching toward her. Ironically, it continued to wag its tail.
In a blur of movement, JC sprang into the room, grabbed the dog by its collar and swung it into the air, choking off its air stream.
"Don't hurt him!" Spencer yelled.
"If he bit you, I'm going to shoot him!" JC hollered and with the dog still in the air and gasping for every breath, he rushed out to the yard. Spotting the portable kennel, he shoved the animal inside and went back into the house.
Spencer was definitely shook up from the incident. With JC's arms around her, she explained how the dog came to be in the house and how shocked she was that it was behaving so badly when it had always been so friendly.
"Why didn't you call me before you agreed to take the animal?" JC's voice was calm, his tone deceivingly soft.
"I... it happened so fast. I... when the dog... I mean... it was a done deed, too late to call."
"I'll call the SPCA. They can handle the animal till it goes back to the foster home."
"Are you mad?"
"No, not mad. Disappointed but not mad."
"You're not going to do anything rash, are you?" Spencer asked as she looked up into her husband's face.
"No, you already took care of that, bambina. What I'm going to do is make sure you don't repeat that kind of decision - ever."
In a little over three years of marriage, fun spankings were common; others were not. A few of the harsher spankings had been brief but a couple of them had been painfully memorable. She had a bad feeling about what was going to happen next.
She didn't have to wonder for long.
JC told her to go to their room and wait for him...
Wait for him?
Not looking to see if she would, he left the house to put his car in the garage and then checked to be sure that the dog had water and food. Returning, he stopped in his tracks when he saw Spencer sitting at the breakfast bar, eating a snack.
"Why aren't you in our bedroom?"
"I'm a civilian. I don't take orders and for sure, I don't get sent to my room as if I were 5-years old."
"I'll take you there myself," he said and before she could utter a protest, he picked her up and not-so-gently tossed her over his shoulder.
"Put me down!"
"I'm going to, bambina," JC replied and he did... over his lap when he sat on the side of their bed.
A half dozen fast and furious and hard swats on her jeans-clad bottom stopped her wiggling. When he set her on her feet to pull those jeans down, she punched him in the neck and cursed him.
"No bambina, squid, not toad." He couldn't help chuckling and gave her a quick hug and kiss. And then the jeans came down, followed by panties he ripped off of her when she was swung back over his thighs.
"I'm going to get even!" she yelled and then yelped when he pulled her in tight against his body and spanked. Hard hot spanks rained - continuous spanks, continuous heat on one cheek, then the other, on both cheeks at the same time and endless. Her bottom throbbed, burned, swelled with the heat and finally, as the color deepened to a fiery red, the flesh numbed.
With a last surge of energy, Spencer, upside down and hanging onto his leg, bit his calf... hard - through his uniform pants leg - trying to draw blood.
He ignored the bite, picked her up and stood her between his legs to lecture her about common sense, her failure to think of the consequences to her safety and to her butt because she should have known that when he got a hold of her...
She slapped him... in the face.
... And he tossed her right back over his lap and continued the hot and hard and heavy swats that burned her bottom cheeks and just made her plain mad.
When she stopped fighting, he asked if she had enough.
"I'm mad at you."
"I know you are."
"I'm going to be mad for a long time," the words barely audible between panting breaths, sobs and hiccups.
"Better mad than seriously injured," he murmured, picking her up and holding her against his chest. "Better to be mad than in need of rabies shots or heavy duty medical care. Better to be mad from this spanking than from suffering from a bad decision."
"I apologize for slapping you," she said with a small very small degree of remorse, leaning against him as she spoke. "It was pure reflex."
"It was pure reflex on my part to spank you," he answered, "but I don't apologize for it."
"You get to make supper," she told him. "If you ever spank me like that again, I'll never cook again. I might even leave you."
"I'll make supper," he said. "You're not leaving me. You want to lay down for a while?"
"Yes... no... you sure you're not mad?"
"I hate you for what you did," Spencer whispered, "but I still love you. I must be crazier than a loon." Sudden and unexpected tears filled her eyes as she looked up into her husband's face.
"Bambina," JC whispered, tightening his arms around her. "Bambina, don't cry."
"You hurt me when you spanked me. You made me cry."
"That was a different hurt, a physical one. These tears are for what's in your heart, mia amore my love, il miei propri my own.
"You spank too hard," Spencer complained.
"Not hard enough," he replied, his lips drifting over her brow, lingering on each eyelid, then seeking her mouth.
"You spank on and on and on," she muttered. "It goes on too long."
"Not long enough," he rebutted, his mouth covering hers, stealing her breath, giving it back, stifling her words.
"When will it end?" she asked when he let her up for air.
"I was thinking I could save its life," she whispered when she lay in his arms after waking from a brief nap. "I didn't expect it to turn on me while I was petting it. Are you going to spank me again?"
"That spanking was hard; I'm going to be sore for days."
"Yes, good. I want you to remember why you were spanked. If you forget, I can always remind you by spanking you again."
"You sure you love me?"
"Si, bambina. I'm sure. Now that you've had that hard spanking, I think it's time to show you what a hard lover I can be."
"Hard?" Spencer blushed, unsure of JC's meaning.
Her blush made him smile and he squeezed her hard... then gently. The loving was next, hard and long lasting, his whispered words making her blush even more as he brought both of them to pleasure.
It had been a hard lesson and a hard spanking followed by hard loving.
"You okay, bambina?" he asked when their heartbeats had returned to normal, their breaths even again.
"I can't complain about your loving style," she quipped. "It was hard, so hard, but so good. Let's do it again."
And they did.