I looked at my image in the mirror. The dress did fit, though a bit snugly. I could see Jen buying the dress, but not me. "Sexy," said Jen.
I supposed she was right. I contemplated the idea of actually getting the thing, despite the price. It was obviously a party dress, short, tight, and revealing. I tried to imagine myself actually wearing it to a party. If not to a party, then when? Just for Dan?
Some women might spend that much on an outfit just to spice up things with their husband, but I couldn't see it. It was obviously a quality dress. And besides, it wasn't my style. I noticed Jen staring at my image in the mirror with me and tried to read her expression. "Hmm," she said, seemingly in thought. I said nothing, giving her time to voice her thoughts. I needed to get out of this thing and get back to trying on what I came to try on. "Does Dan spank you?" said Jen. "I bet he does."
Does Dan spank you? I guess my eyes went to Jen, probably to verify that this was one of her more outlandish jokes. All I saw was her eyes still watching me, apparently in thought. "Good god," I said. But as I watched her, her expression went to one of question. As if I needed to explain myself. "No," I said, and immediately felt it wasn't the answer I wanted to give. I'd answered as if I'd taken the preposterous question seriously.
Suddenly she smiled. It was like she popped out of whatever mood induced her into such musings, yet there was just a little something in her smile that suggested she still had something in mind. "I need to get on with it," I said, and headed for the dressing room with the skirt I'd been intending to try on before Jen had talked me into this detour.
Even when I came out again, with Jen giving me the advice that I always appreciate, I still couldn't help but think she still had something on her mind. It was later when we were at lunch that I felt I had reasonable chance to clear the air. "So what was with your crazy question?" I said.
"Crazy question?" she asked. I considered whether she was being coy, but Jen is a good actress and I couldn't tell.
"You know," I said. "When I was trying on the dress."
I thought I noticed just a hint of smile on her face, but if it was there, it was fleeting. "I was just curious," Jen said.
Just curious. "And what in the world suggested to you that there was the remotest possibility of such a thing?"
This time Jen smiled openly. "There are couples into it," she said. That was certainly true, but didn't seem sufficient explanation. "Well," she said, apparently taking up my silent hint that she continue, "I've observed that there are two kinds of women who get into it."
Despite myself, I couldn't resist. When she paused, I finally prompted, "Yes?"
I didn't want to see triumph in her face that she'd managed to get me to ask, but was afraid it would be there if I looked too closely. "Well," she said, and to me it seemed like she was drawing out the fact that I had asked for this. "There's the brash woman, outgoing, who has to try everything. She's the type that you take one look at and assume she has, well, experimented a bit."
This time when she paused, I said nothing. I suppose my silence was signal for her to go on, but I didn't give her the satisfaction of hearing me ask. She went on. "The other type is a more quiet, reserved woman. If she's always harbored a strong sexual passion that she doesn't always reveal or act upon, well, then if she does experiment, it's very likely to take. I guess it's the combination of the sheer erotic nature of the submission along with the fact that the act addresses the subconscious guilt she feels about her own sexual desires."
I stared. Jen no longer smiled. It was perfectly clear which of these two pictures she figured I fit. Of course she knew me, being my best friend for years, but somehow I felt she was telling me things I'd always thought I'd hidden well. And of course she was suggesting that somehow those things meant I could be into spanking! "The brash women," continued Jen, "usually just plays around with it a bit. The other kind needs it hard and and severe."
"So," she said, "I was merely curious."
Of all things. I guess we sat there for a moment and I was too embarrassed to speak. "Well, not me," I said, weakly, feeling the need to reiterate my answer. I still couldn't get over how she could come to such speculation about me. And why had she brought it up while I was trying on that dress?
It was the following afternoon that she was over that she showed me a cane. "It's very painful," she said, cheerfully all while it was dawning on me precisely what the thing was.
"Where did you get it?" I said, immediately wishing I wasn't showing quite such curiosity.
"The Internet of course," she said.
What do you say to that? I asked myself. "Why did you bring it here?" I asked aloud, still uncomfortable with the way Jen seemed to be thinking.
She smiled. "Oh, just to give you a chance to see it," she said. Then she changed the subject, thankfully.
Then, that night when Dan and I had moved up to the bedroom, I found Dan holding it. "What's this?" he said, looking at it with obvious confusion.
I was confused for a moment too, until I realized Jen had managed to leave it where Dan would find it. I mentally cursed Jen. Dan was looking at me with curiosity. I considered whether he knew what it was, deciding immediately that would soon figure it out if he hadn't already. "Oh," I said, trying my best to look amused. "It's a cane. Jen had it and must have left it."
I inwardly breathed a sigh of relief that I'd done about as well as I could under the circumstances. But still I saw Dan looking at it. And at me. "I don't know what she was thinking," I said.
And realized I sounded lame. Very lame, but there was nothing I could say that wouldn't! It would all sound to Dan like a hint that I was interested in you-know-what. And that had to be in Dan's mind. I froze, unable to devise any way out. "You know Jen," I said vaguely. He certainly did know she was likely to be more adventurous than the two of us about such things. My main hope was that he wouldn't be certain I was hinting, and over time he might conclude that I wasn't. Damn you, Jen, was all I could think.
"Jen happened to have her cane over here?"
"We'd..." I started. "We'd been talking about... ," I continued but words failed me again. "She brought it up. I don't know why," I finally said, but I could see him considering.
"Here, take this," I told Jen the next time she was over, pressing the cane firmly in her hand. I'd taken the thing from Dan promising to return it, and held my tongue whenever I noticed him in thought with his eyes on me.
"Well?" Jen asked with obvious curiosity.
"You are evil," I said, and she grinned at me. She always knew I was an easy mark and I'd grown used to her ways. "You made me explain it to him, OK?" I said.
"And what came of it?"
"Nothing!" I said, but thought of Dan's eyes on me. And as I was thinking, I saw Jen watching me closely. "Just don't forget it again," I added.
She smiled. "He wondered if you were hinting, didn't he?"
"You are wicked and I don't want anything more to do with it," I said and directly changed the subject.
That night, Dan had the cane in his hand again. For a moment I wondered if it was in fact Jen's, but I quickly concluded from Dan's curious expression that he was once again surprised to see it. I wondered exactly where she left it so I never noticed it but he did. He looked at me questioningly.
"It's Jen's," I said, probably looking a little exasperated. But I guess I felt alerted to the fact that this would definitely reinforce the idea in his mind that I could be hinting at something. I briefly wondered what he would do if I were, but caught myself. And I could see that if anything, he was growing more inclined to think the worst! I had no clue how to take care of this. "Listen," I heard myself say. I felt far more uncomfortable than seemed reasonable.
I think I'd realized I was going to have to push myself through some embarrassment here if I wanted any chance in straightening this out. I took a deep breath. "You know Jen, she likes to tease me," I said. "She brought it up and I didn't encourage her. She brought it over and left it where you would find it, obviously to torture me more. I mean, to tease me." I thought I was doing very well since I was about to die of embarrassment inside. I thought I saw doubt in Dan's eyes, as if he found what I was saying credible. "And that's all there is," I said.
If not convinced, he looked ready to accept what I was saying could well be true. "You believe me, don't you?" I said, and approaching him, I put his arms around me and looked up at his face. I guess I'm not one to use "wiles" or even to know how to do that, but I did my best.