"Well," said Heather, "anything interesting today?"
I looked at her sharply, momentarily wondering what she knew. But then I relaxed. She was merely making conversation and her question was perfectly innocent. We sat at the bar, and for my part, I was there merely to relax rather than to find interesting guys. Interesting was the word she used, and I wondered if it applied to my days' experience.
I recalled the day. Melissa and I on assignment, driving out to that place, miles out to the west. Meeting Kim and Amy and seeing their studio. And the pictures!
On one wall was a row of pictures, and every one of them was a woman spanking a woman! At first I was just amazed, but then I had the sinking feeling. "Uh, what kind of shoot is this?" I stammered to Kim.
"Hm," said Kim, and I could see she was thinking. She glanced at Melissa, who didn't seem as disturbed as I felt. "I gather you truly don't know?" Amy was setting up cameras. I could see that Kim now knew the answer to her question. She nodded slightly toward the pictures. "It's what we do," she said with a smile.
"Listen," I began, thinking of how to put this.
"It'll be all right," said Kim quickly. "It's natural to be a bit nervous, the first time."
"Let me explain," said Kim, still not giving me time to respond. "It's just a bit of fantasy. Melissa will sit here," she said, indicating a chair, "and you'll lie over her lap. Like this picture." In the picture, the woman over the lap was naked! "Listen, you're perfect!" I'd noticed Kim's eyes brighten when we'd walked in. And Amy's too. I'd been flattered.
"You see, it's just that I don't do that," I said.
"There's always a first time," said Kim. Amy still stood there, seeming to silently agree with everything Kim said. Melissa was studying the pictures! "It doesn't have to hurt too much, and the pain passes."
"I can't," I said. "And--I don't do nudity."
Kim and Amy looked at each other. Melissa turned back to us. "We're all the way out here," she said. I was aghast! Melissa was agreeable? Of course she wasn't to be in the position Kim was suggesting for me!
"It's not so bad," said Kim, "and you do know that we're paying well for this." That was true, and I'd been a little surprised by the figure the agency told me, given that work had been hard to come by for a while.
"I just can't do it," I said. There really wasn't any question about it. This was not part of my career plans. Besides all the other reasons.
Kim looked at Amy again. Kim looked, well, concerned. "At least think about it for a moment. You're all the way out here," she said, though she was clearly beginning to see.
"We'd lose a day," said Melissa. She was not helping!
Moments passed. They were allowing me time to think? Kim smiled. "You really would do wonderfully," she said. "You're the perfect pair," she added.
Perfect pair? was what intruded on my thoughts. Why would she think that? I glanced at Melissa, who had gone back to studying the pictures! Melissa is beautiful and sometimes I was even envious of her, though I did all right myself. Amy, still silent, looked at us hopefully, and somehow, I felt worse about disappointing her than either of the others.
"I'm sorry," I said, breaking the silence.
"But..." began Kim.
"That's final," I said, not letting her continue. Melissa had turned when I'd spoken, and I tried to read her expression. Was she perturbed with me?
"We could--work out a bonus," said Kim. "Under the table."
"Listen," I begin.
"A thousand," she said. Glancing at Melissa, she added, "each."
I was taken aback for a moment. She'd said that very quickly. I knew this couldn't be a place rolling in money. "It's not the money..." I said. Melissa was looking at me. I was costing her a thousand.
Kim went into thought. It was so obvious, we all simply stood there, waiting. Then, she drew me away from the others. "We'll cut the nudity," she said, to me. "You can be dressed. Fully." I stared at her. Yes, nudity was a big stumbling block, but...
"The thousand and no nudity," she said. "It won't be so bad. I want you two." I said nothing. "We might be able to go a bit higher," she finally added. She glanced back at Melissa. "For you," she said to me. "It'll be a good paycheck for you." She was right about that. Especially given recent trends in the business. "I promise, it won't be bad. We'll be respectful. We just want to get the shots. Think of it as a bit of fantasy. You're a professional, aren't you?"
Amy and Melissa looked our way. Amy still looked hopeful. Something about the way Kim was so adamant disconcerted me. Why me? "It's just a job," she said. "It'll be over, you'll be paid, and you'll wonder what you were afraid of. Just a few shots," she said. "You can do it. Think of the money. I'll bet you can use it."
The thing was, that was true. I wondered. Where they to be pretend spankings? Still, there I would be, pictured, doing that! And Amy had a video camera out, I'd seen it. Were they intending to do a video? Had Kim just offered to forgo that? "Just a few moments, and you've earned your pay," said Kim.
I tried to imagine it. "Just don't think about it," said Kim, as if reading my mind. "Just do it." But--simply not think about that? Over Melissa's lap, if it were like those pictures on their wall. For a little while. Would it hurt much? It would be total humiliation. The money would be very helpful. Kim put a hand on my back as if to reassure me. "It's no big deal," she said.
I felt my body waver. It as if my body was deciding, to walk back to Melissa and Amy, willing. Or hold still and refuse. I wasn't sure. My body wasn't sure. Kim made it sound so simple. Innocent, even. It would just be this one time. She seemed to like my look, or something. I wondered how much higher she'd go.
I shook myself. "I'm sorry," I said. "I'm sorry," I said, aloud to make sure Melissa and Amy heard. I saw Melissa briefly roll her eyes. I thought about the ride back with her. She had to understand, though! We stepped back to Amy and Melissa. "I'm really sorry," I said, feeling more magnanimous. After all, they were offering us work. Obviously they hadn't known we were not prepared for this. I glanced at Melissa. Or, perhaps, that I wasn't prepared for this.
Amy looked disappointed. "Ah, well," said Kim. "Listen, if you change your mind, definitely get back to us through the agency. And I'll give you my card. I swear you'll--well, don't forget us." The truth is, I definitely knew that wouldn't happen. I glanced at Amy. Even though she obviously didn't speak much, I couldn't help but feel a kinship. I wondered that she was involved in this business. And I wondered why I felt guilty about disappointing her.
"Listen," said Kim, suddenly, "I have one more idea." She looked hopeful again!
"Uh," I began.
"No," she said. "Suppose you do the spanking." I stared at her. Yes, that was, at least, different, but she wasn't getting it. This was not my kind of job. "You don't have to be nude. You're fully dressed. This way, you're not..." She tailed off, then began again, "It's not the same at all. Same bonuses," she added.
I glanced at Melissa. She looked wary. All the time, they'd proposed that I allow her to spank me, and she'd been fine with it. Now, it wasn't so clear what she thought. I stared at her. "OK," I said.
"Yes!" said Kim, looking relieved. "You..."
She stopped herself again. I think she didn't want to say anything to upset things again. She came closer. "Your way," she said. "Let me know anything you are uncomfortable with." With that, which she obviously meant, I felt more in charity with her than any time previous. And I glanced at Amy. She was clearly pleased.
Kim started focusing on our clothes. "You can be dressed conservatively," she told me, and indicated one of the pictures. The woman doing the spanking was dressed, well, like your Mom, though she was stylish and she was definitely beautiful. She looked good. "I'll show you what we have," she added, dragging me away.
I think Melissa and Amy were talking. Kim showed me the same outfit the woman was wearing, and some similar ones. All were very modest, and it was clear I could be more dressed for this than most assignments. Kim had ideas, and they all seemed to be very conservative. I wondered: did she think that would appeal to me, under the circumstances? Or had she decided on a specific look, like some of the pictures on their wall? We chose a dress and I tried it on. She showed me where I could do my face, and only had a little bit of her own advice. Behind me, I saw her check out dresses with Melissa. Soon we were back in the studio.
"I think we can keep it simple, a chair here," she said. The place was arranged like your living room, and she had a kitchen-style chair placed in the middle. I wondered over to the pictures. Some were on a similar chair or a couch. Some were women, bent over, being caned! One had a weird contraption on which the woman was tied! She was gagged and clearly helpless. "Want to give it a try?" Kim was saying, indicating the chair.
Amy looked about ready. I sat in the chair. Melissa looked nervous, and who could blame her? Kim was holding a paddle. "You can start with your hand and switch to the paddle," she said. "Or--what would you like?" She was clearly recalling her promise that they'd listen to me. I looked at Melissa. This was ironic, given all the time she seemed perfectly at ease with the idea of doing it to me. "Can Melissa be naked?" I said.
Kim looked wary. She glanced at Melissa, as if to ascertain her reaction to this suggestion. Or was it a demand? Melissa looked uneasy, but seemed to get a hold of herself. Then she gave me a little smile, as if to say, I see what you're doing. "Well?" I said. I noticed that my voice was now just a tiny bit demanding.
"We didn't..." began Melissa. She held my eyes. I found myself thinking. Would I call a halt to this if she said no? She'd, well, she hadn't talked me into it, but she'd been on their side. She'd been wanting me to go along. "OK," she said.
I heard just a touch of nerves in her voice. Kim seemed relieved. They'd just dressed Melissa, and now Kim took her back out again, to the dressing room. Amy simply sat, waiting patiently. I wondered over to pictures again. Naked women being spanked. Paddled over someone's lap, or bent over. Caned! And that device.
Melissa wore a robe as they came back in. Kim talked to Amy, about them deciding not to have Melissa undress on camera. My thought was they were still trying to keep this simple. Give me less chance to back out. "OK," said Kim, a bright smile, as if to charm me. In a way, she was treating me like a recalcitrant child. "Let's try it again."
"How about using the cane?" I said.
They all stopped. The room was still. All three of them stared at me. I hated myself for it, but I felt a satisfaction. I'd brought them up short. Then I saw Kim look questioningly at Melissa. I deliberately deigned to give Melissa a glance. I looked at Amy, who now appeared to hold me in awe. I liked that.
Kim and Melissa spoke to each other in low voices. I was still careful not to meet Melissa's eyes. I didn't want to give her the satisfaction. They spoke on. I wondered if they were talking money. I didn't care. "Sure," said Kim, aloud.
She looked ecstatic. If I was doing one thing, I was pleasing Kim. And Amy, by the look of her. Kim turned the chair around, then showed Melissa a way to bend over it and support herself. Kim helped her off with the robe and Melissa took the position. Kim went off, and returned with a cane. "Be very careful with it," she began, and went over a surprising number of instructions. "But it's not difficult," she finally said.
I looked at the thing. "How hard is it safe to hit with it?" I said.
"It, uh, hurts a lot even with a fairly soft blow," she said. I said nothing, but looked her in the eye. "People do it quite hard, too," she said. Then she added, "pretty much as hard as you can do it."
I looked at Melissa. She was leaning over the chair, naked, awaiting her fate. Did she have preconceived notions about how painful this was going to be? Had she done anything like this before? A spanking with a boyfriend or some such thing? I wouldn't swear against it. But I was pretty certain she hadn't had a caning before. "Ready?" said Kim.
I approached Melissa, slowly. Kim came over, borrowing the cane, showed me where to stand and how to aim it. Then she gave it back to me.
I studied Melissa. Amy was ready. Kim had given me the go-ahead, but had told me I could take my time getting started. Melissa's head and eyes were down. I tried to see any sign that she was close to trembling. I waited. I had to think this was torture for Melissa, awaiting her fate. I glanced at Kim, who gave me a go ahead sign. She'd said not to look at her or the camera. Amy was videotaping. I saw Melissa shift, just slightly. Her body is definitely beautiful. I wondered if she did nude modeling. I hadn't heard of it if she did. I knew she'd do swimsuits and lingerie. I saw...
A slight tremor. I definitely saw it. I picked up the cane, and placed it on her rear. Kim had said I could tap it a couple of times, from an inch or so, as if to prepare. I pressed it into her rear so she could feel it. Then, slowly, I swung it back.
I saw her flinch. She squinted her eyes and her face became contorted. It occurred to me that it would make a difference to the picture whether she remained pretty under such circumstances. Could she show the physical fear without looking ugly in the process? Like how some woman manage to stay pretty even while they are crying? I found myself holding the cane. What was I waiting for?
Still, I didn't do it. I touched her rear again, and withdrew.
And let her have it.
She let out a little cry, her knees bent, her face contorted. And she looked to me like she was on the verge of giving up. Of crying off. Kim had her hand up for me to wait. She mouthed words. I think she wanted me to tell Melissa to straighten up. I waited. I saw tears. Melissa looked nearly unable to contain herself, though she finally straightened up. She looked nearly ready, though it was clear that the fear and anticipation was much worse this time. Now, I definitely saw her tremble.
So this was work. A kind of work I'd never been involved with. For Melissa, it was embarrassment, humiliation, and excruciating pain. For me, it was to watch this girl while I caused her that pain. She was in my hands. What kind of work was this?
I gave her the second. She nearly collapsed in the aftermath, her knees giving away. She'd have landed on her rear, which probably would not have felt comfortable. I watched while her face tightened, her hands went back, as if to guard her rear. I simply stood there.
She didn't get back into position. Kim wanted me to speak again. I sensed that if I ordered her back into position, that would be the best solution. It would merely enhance the product. Melissa didn't look like she'd be able to make herself do another. I waited longer. She looked scared. And unable to calm herself.
I walked over to the pictures. I pointed to the one with the device. With the girl bound to it. "What's that?" I said.
It was clear the shot was over for the moment. Kim came over. "A sort of horse," she said. I didn't say anything, and she said, "it's over there," pointing to where extra furniture was stowed in one corner.