Mi Spiace - I'm Sorry...
"Bambina," he murmured. "Ti amo. Li ho bisogno I need you. Come back to me."
His words were familiar as they slipped over her but his voice was laced with pain and regret as his breath heated her face and neck. "Come back to me," he repeated. "I need you."
Willingly, she would have told him of her need for him but at the moment, her breath was shallow, her voice dissolved. There was a deep ache inside her that had nothing to do with the ebbing fire in her bottom. She turned inward, depending on him to hold her in spite of the pain he had caused.
"Ti amo, ti amo, ti amo," he whispered as if in saying the words again and again, he could make things right between them. In all the years of their marriage he had rarely lost control of his temper, had rarely spanked her or forbidden her to do something without a full explanation first. He had never spanked her for something that was clearly not her fault and worse... he had never doubted her word.
He could have articulated any number of plausible excuses for his actions but that's what they were - excuses. He would never have allowed anyone in his command to voice excuses for unacceptable behavior in an attempt to rationalize the action; he couldn't excuse his own behavior for the same reasons. Deep down, he didn't regret spanking her. He wanted her to associate pain with Harriet's name. His only remorse was voicing his concern that she might meet with Harriet when he expressly told her not to. He had questioned her word and his trust in her and that was inexcusable. Tie her to the bed? What the hell was I thinking?
"I have no excuses, bambina," his voice soft in her ear as he held her close and rocked her to his chest. "I think of Harriet and I see you in that hospital room, my heart splintered until I can touch you and make sure you are whole. That accident almost took your life, almost took you from me. I could not bear to lose you. Believe me, bambina," he vowed, "I would hold you to me if that is what it takes to keep you safe. And if I have to spank you," he added. "I will."
"Look at me," his voice soft but commanding as he tilted her head up. "I apologize for my ill chosen words. I do not question your word. I *know* you will keep it; I trust you to keep it.
Spencer remained quiet, disturbing him further. If she railed at him, he could allow her to vent. It would assuage his heart. If she sobbed and beat his chest, it wouldn't give him physical pain but he would let her beat him until she felt better. Then, he'd kiss her fists and hold her, kiss away her tears and tell her again and again how much he loved her. If she yelled, shouted obscenities, whatever they were, he'd remain quiet until she got it out of her system and then he'd kiss her senseless, make love to her, slowly, gently, reaffirm their love for one another.
She did nothing. And that bothered him more than anything else.
"Bambina," he murmured. "Talk to me. Please talk to me."
After what seemed like a brief eternity, she turned in his arms and looked at him. "How much do you love me?" she asked, her voice soft and quivering.
"More than I love anything else in this world. More than I have words. More than any words could possibly express," he vowed.
"Why did you spank me so hard?" she asked simply.
"I spanked you harder than I should have," he admitted and then paused to think about what he said. "And I didn't spank you hard enough even though you think I did."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean... I shouldn't have spanked you so hard when I was not in control of my emotions. I wanted your bottom to burn just thinking about meeting with Harriet and I could easily have spanked you harder to ensure that you would never see her again. Do you understand? I was conflicted - not wanting to hurt you unnecessarily and yet, I wanted to make enough of an impression that you would think about your safety."
"As for my hasty words," he sighed. "Bambina, when you forget to take care of yourself; when you put yourself in danger, I spank you to remind you to be more careful. I am not perfect, either. I know that. I make mistakes just like you do and today, I spoke without thinking, said words in haste, words I should not have said, and those words hurt you more than the spanking. I do not ask your forgiveness; I spoke from my heart and my meaning was clear. I will do what I have to do to keep you safe. No, I will not tie you, but I will keep you close to my side, spank you every day if I have to." His words were softly but firmly spoken and from his heart. "I want that woman out of our lives. Nient'altro i nessun rotture No more of this and no more tears."
He didn't expect her to reply and she didn't, curling into his chest to think about his words. She took sanctuary in his embrace as he held her close to his heart, rocking her. Considering the harshness of the spanking, he was greatly relieved that she sought his arms. For now, it was enough.
Gently, he rubbed a cooling lotion onto her bottom cheeks, his fingers barely brushing her tender skin, the heat it generated still fiery to his touch. There would be deep residual pain in the days ahead but whenever possible, he would hold her and try to ease the aching.
When she thought she could stand, she pushed away from him. "I need to go to the bathroom." "Do you want me to help you?" he asked, knowing it would be near impossible for her to sit even briefly.
"No!" she was adamant.
"Bambina," he paused as he looked at her. "Let me help you."
"I said no!"
"Okay," he acquiesced, "but I'm going to carry you in there. Walking isn't going to be a piece of cake, either."
"You spanked me too hard," she said unnecessarily as he stood her next to the commode.
"I know," he said softly, holding her close for another moment and then left her to her privacy.
When she opened the door, there were tears in her eyes but he said nothing, picked her up and took her back to bed. There were fresh red marks on her bottom cheeks... he knew she had bit her lip to keep from crying out and he ached all over again. Once in a while, he thought, love is really hard.
"I want you to eat something," he told her later.
"I'm not hungry."
"I'm going to make soft scrambled eggs with cream cheese," he said, ignoring her comment.
"Lots of cream cheese?" she asked.
Laying her on her side on the sofa, his lips brushed her brow. "Lots of cream cheese," he smiled.
"Toast," he nodded, "dripping with butter, just the way you like it."
"Do you suppose we could have jelly sticks?" she asked.
"I think we can manage that, bambina," he said solemnly as he looked at the woman he loved, a hint of the child inside her peeking at him from within her woman's form.
"I might fall asleep," she murmured, suddenly drained from the emotions of the day, the spanking, and the tension that had risen between them. It was dissipating but it had taken its toll on her physical and emotional resources.
"I'll wake you when it's ready," he said, covering her with the quilt that lay on the back of the sofa.
Nodding, she closed her eyes and he knelt to hold her until her breath evened out. His heart still ached at what he had put them through, still thinking the spanking was justified but continued to beat himself up at the ill-chosen words he had uttered earlier in frustration. His palm caressed her neck, his thumb reaching up to stroke the soft skin beneath her eyes, the fading evidence of her previous tears still present.
When the meal was ready, he draped the quilt across her lap as he settled her in a straddle over his thigh. She wore a T-shirt of his and he pulled it up so that it didn't chafe her sore bottom when she leaned back into his chest. The eggs had been softly scrambled and scooping a spoonful, he offered them to her, helping himself when she had eaten enough to satisfy him. He tore each piece of toast in half, watching as she ate the soft parts and then dropped the crusts back onto the plate. He did the same and in no time, there was a plate full of toasted bread crusts.
"Jelly sticks?" she asked.
He nodded, watching as she scooped a large amount of jam onto her plate, dipped a crust into it and then stuffed it into her mouth, her fingers already smearing the next one as she chewed. She offered him one, her fingers sticky with the jam and when he parted his lips to take it, he sucked her fingers in along with the crust, making her giggle. His heart filled; her laughter was important to him and though brief, it was the first giggle she had uttered since the harsh spanking. He'd do anything to put a smile on her face again.
Jelly sticks, as she called them, were a leftover from her childhood. She was never able to quite satisfy her hunger when she was growing up and often, she sat at a common table with classmates or other fostered children and watched as a few of them pulled the crusts off their sandwiches. When she realized they weren't going to eat the crusts, she asked for them, dipping them into margarine or jam or catsup or gravy or whatever was available. Her favorite dipping was jam. JC never let her eat jelly sticks unless she had eaten a full meal. Today, she had eaten enough to satisfy him and he was more than willing to indulge her.
"Bambina, did you have enough to eat?" he asked when she wiped her hands.
"Uh huh," she yawned, then gasped as her bottom made unexpected contact with his thigh.
Lifting her, he moved to the sofa and lay on his back, holding her on his chest. "Tell me," he said the two words she knew he'd say to conclude their earlier discussion.
"I love you," she replied.
He nodded. "Tell me," he repeated the words.
"You love me," she said softly, her ear over his heart, listening to it thump.
"Tell me," he demanded a little more forcefully, his fingers cupping the back of her head.
"You love me and you want me to be safe," she admitted.
"And...?" he insisted.
"You'll do everything in your power to keep me safe."
"And... I love you, JC."
"I love you, mia amore, ti amo molto bene (I love you so."
"We'll get past this, won't we?" she asked, lifting her head to look at the man she loved in spite of everything that had happened.
"It's a bump in the road," he answered. "We tripped," he paused briefly. "We picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off and we'll go forward."
"It was a little more than a bump in the road, don't you think?" she asked.
"Well," he smiled as he gently rubbed her sore bottom. "You landed on your tush and I warmed it for you."
"It was more than a warming," she grimaced. "You spanked so hard, it burns. I..."
"Shhh mia amore, it's over," he told her as he pulled her up to meet his mouth.
"Are you going to spank me again?" she asked.
"For this?" he clarified.
"Do I have to?" he arched a brow.
"Do I have a choice?" she queried, sighing heavily. "You'll do what you want to do, regardless."
Pulling her back to his chest, he rested his chin on her head, his hands gently rubbing her neck and back as he thought about her words. She was right; if he felt she needed another reminder about his feelings regarding Harriet or, in fact, the care of her safety in general, he wouldn't hesitate to spank her again. He didn't think it would be necessary but he said nothing, letting her think about the consequences of ill-chosen behavior.
That evening, he grabbed the phone on the first ring, hoping it wouldn't wake her. It had taken Spencer a long time to finally fall asleep and he didn't want her slumber disturbed.
Listening carefully to the voice on the line, he nodded and quietly thanked the man for the information. Turning back to his sleeping wife, he pulled her closer to his side, her bottom cheeks a heated reminder of the punishing spanking he had administered earlier.
Again, he regretted that he had uttered those few words in haste but had no regrets that he had spanked her. The phone call had only confirmed what he had suspected might happen. Harriet had been seriously injured in an automobile accident that she had caused by her reckless driving and was in intensive care at a local hospital. Their phone number was found in her handbag so the local authorities had called to see if she was a relative. If she lived, the police would charge her with vehicular homicide; the driver of the other car had been killed. But for the grace of God...
Spencer's bottom remained a fiery red the next morning and the deep ache of the harsh spanking made her wince each time she moved. JC carried her into the shower, holding her as the warm water cascaded over them. He shampooed her hair as she leaned on his chest, his hands gentle on her scalp, the water soothing as it ran down her back onto her bottom cheeks. He always enjoyed washing her hair and more so when she was not feeling well or had been spanked. It was one of those loving gestures that was part of their intimacy - taking care of her, babying her, pampering her by attending to personal needs.
Later, he held her in his arms as he toweled her hair. Quietly, he told her about Harriet's accident and how relieved he was that Spencer had not met the woman for lunch that day.
"Are you going to spank me again?" she asked once more when he took her back to bed.
"Should I?" he murmured, one hand cupping her chin, the other cupping her sore tush.
"No," she said, looking him in the eye. "Don't you dare!"
A smile curved his lips as he hugged her. She was acting more like herself and it made his heart lighter. "I won't spank you again," he promised, then clarified his point as he went nose-to-nose with her. "I won't spank you again for this, but you will have more care for your safety. Capisca? Understand?"
"You're a piss-ant," she told him as her hand thumped against his chest.
"That, I am," he agreed, his mouth covering hers before sliding south, prelude to warm and gentle lovemaking.
When they had renewed their bond, their bodies entwined and sated, he murmured in her ear. "Tell me."
"I love you, JC," she replied, her words heartfelt and sincere.
"And I love you, mia amore," he answered in turn. "Mia amore, la mia propri, mia molto possedete My love, my own, my very own."