“A Maid For All Seasons, Volume IV”
Excerpt from Chapter 3, ‘Too Warm a Welcome’
Copyright 2004 by Devlin O’Neill
Published by Blue Moon Books, New York, February 2005
Gwen McKenna fluttered her lips, glared at the mantel clock, and paced from foyer to living room, then through the kitchen and back to the foyer again. She primped boy-short brunette hair in a small oval mirror next to the coat rack and smiled as she pictured Dylan when he checked his hair in that same mirror before they went out. He always grumbled because she hung it at her eye level, ten inches lower than his, and Dylan had to crouch to see the top of his head and make sure the cowlick he hated so much had not misbehaved. A twinge shot down her spine when she turned her head to admire the half-carat diamond studs in her earlobes, a birthday present from Dylan. She rubbed her neck with both hands as she sauntered to the bedroom to put on the white padded brace the doctor told her to wear for ten days after the accident.
“Oh, that’s attractive,” she muttered. “Cute skirt, killer sweater, spike heels … and a roll of toilet paper under my chin. Geeze!”
She sighed and looked at her watch, then opened a bottle and shook a pill into her hand. The tablet caught in her throat when she tried to swallow. She hurried to the bathroom basin to wash it down with tap water, but foul chemical tang already cloyed her mouth.
“Blecch!” She grimaced as she ran to the kitchen.
Ice clinked when she held a lowball glass under the dispenser, and crackled as she poured cranberry juice over it. Sweetness drove away the bitter taste and she licked her lips, then stomped a spike heel on the tile.
“Where is he? He said before three and it’s four-thirty.” She yanked open a cabinet, poured vodka over the drink and stirred it with her finger. Her eyes widened when she sipped so she added more juice and then carried the glass to the spare bedroom that doubled as her home office. A stack of bills lay beside the computer and she glared at it as she settled into the desk chair. The phone rang and she grabbed her headset.
“Hi, Princess. Sorry I’m late.”
“Where are you?”
“We just left Logan. Portland’s fogged in so we got stacked up behind the flights they diverted here.”
Gwen huffed. “Didn’t you tell them who you are … and that there’s a princess waiting for you?”
Dylan laughed. “I don’t like to pull rank on the common folk. How are you feeling?”
“OK, I guess. I slept until nine and then took a nap after lunch … must be these muscle relaxers. I managed to make the bed but I didn’t pick up anything for supper.”
“That’s all right. We’ll go out if you’re up to it.”
She grinned. “I was hoping you’d say that.”
“I’m sure you were. I’ll be there in about half an hour.”
“Did you rent a car?”
“No, I didn’t bother for such a short visit. They brought your rental, didn’t they?”
“Uh huh … some Ford POS.”
“Gwen! Never look a gift car in the manifold.”
“Huh … it’s not a gift if I paid for it with my insurance.”
“OK, OK … it’ll get us to the restaurant tonight and the dealer tomorrow, won’t it?”
“Yeah, I guess so. Who’s driving the town car?”
“Mel … why?”
“Tell him I said to hurry!”
“I will. ’Bye, Princess.”
The phone clicked and Gwen sighed as she set it down, then picked up her drink and wandered into the living room. She removed the neck brace and sat in a recliner, switched on the TV and surfed the cable channels while she sipped. Buffy and Xander’s double entendres held her attention until a commercial break and she started to click the changer, but her bright green eyes widened and she leaned forward as a car ad rolled across the screen.
“Ooh … I want one of those.”
Ice rattled her teeth as she sat back and drained the drink while she envied the professional driver on the closed course. Her eyelids drooped and she managed to put the glass on the lamp table before they shut. Dust clouds billowed behind her as she raced across the salt flats in her flashy new Pontiac, and she growled when someone rang a bell that told her she had to stop. The bell rang again and she opened her eyes.
“Oh, shit! He’s here.” Her heart pounded as she stood and waited for the room to straighten out, then hobbled down three stairs to the foyer. “Just a second, Dylan!”
“Are you OK?”
“Yeah, yeah … just a sec!”
She scowled at the mirror and wiped away a smudge of mascara while she wished her eyes weren’t quite so bloodshot, then forced a smile and unlatched the door. He grinned as she snatched his tie, dragged him inside and slammed the door. Strong arms circled her back and she tugged on his neck. Their lips met and she thrust her tongue into his mouth. Her feet left the floor and firm breasts tingled as they mashed his chest.
“I miffed oo fo muff!”
Dylan cupped her bottom in both hands and she wrapped hard, slender legs around his waist. He leaned back and winked.
“Don’t talk with your mouth full, Kitty Eyes.”
They resumed the kiss and their tongues played while her head spun. She trembled with desire as she rubbed against his hard belly. He kneaded plump rear cheeks and felt their electric warmth through the smooth wool. Gwen panted and pressed her eyes to his collar.
“Let’s go to bed,” she whispered.
He laughed and carried her up the steps into the living room. “Do you mind if I get my luggage in from the porch first?”
“What do you need with luggage?” She unwrapped her legs when he sat on the sofa.
“There might be a get-well present in it, you never know.”
She squealed, twisted off his lap and stifled a moan as she went to open the door and roll his bag into the foyer. Her eyes widened and she took a step back when she turned to look at him. He stood by the recliner, his eyebrows arched, the neck brace in his hand, and his expression awakened nervous butterflies in her tummy.
“Aren’t you supposed to be wearing this, young lady?”
“Yeah, I … I was but, um … I had to … I took it off so I could kiss you, that’s all. Don’t look at me like that ’cause I didn’t do anything bad.”
He shook his head and walked down the short flight. “Then why are you acting so guilty, hmm? Here … put this on.”
“OK, but I’ve been good … and anyway I want another kiss before you make me put that stupid horse collar around my neck.”
“All right, but only a little one. Stand on the step so you don’t have to lean back so far.”
“We could just go to bed and then I wouldn’t have to lean back at all.”
“OK, already … but not Gwendolyn ’cause I don’t wanna be in trouble.”
She held tight to him for an all-too-brief kiss and then pouted as she wrapped the brace and secured the Velcro at the back. He nodded, put an arm around her shoulders, and carried the suitcase into the living room.
“What sort of muscle relaxant did they give you?”
“I don’t know … something that starts with a Z. Can I have my present now?”
He sat on the sofa and she cuddled next to him while he unzipped a side compartment in the roll-on. “May I have my present now?”
“Oh, um … I didn’t get you anything, unless you mean you want to ….” She grinned when he cupped her chin and squeezed.
“You know what I mean.”
“OK … may I have my present now?”
“Is it Zanaflex?”
“Huh? Oh … the pills? Yeah, I think so. Why?”
“Because it says right on the label not to take them with alcohol.”
She gasped and shook her head. “But I didn’t, and anyway ….”
“Shh.” He pressed a finger to her lips and she pouted hard. “Don’t make matters worse by fibbing about it. There’s more than just cranberry juice in that glass.”
“But I … I only had a little bit of vodka.”
“Is that why it took you so long to answer the door?”
“I guess.” She blinked and held tight to his arm. “I just forgot, that’s all, and … anyway you were so late and … so you’re not gonna, um … do anything, I mean ….”
“You mean, like spank your naughty little fanny?”
“Don’t say that.”
Her hands trembled and she closed her eyes while shame and delight heated her face. Those awful words, spoken so calmly in his deep voice, echoed in her head. Her bottom clenched and tingled with anticipation.
The embarrassment she always suffered when he pulled her over his lap and took down her panties made her want to crawl into a hole, even as it sparked quivery fire between her thighs. Her reflexive struggles to escape his powerful grasp were useless at best, and prompted stern reprimands in his strict-professor tone, which heaped shameful tinder on the blaze at the core of her being. He never hurried to spank her, and examined every detail of her bare, disgraceful behind while she whined and complained at the indignity. Then his hand, so soft and gentle when he caressed, so rigid and harsh when he spanked, swatted tender flesh, and her humiliation vaporized in a shower of nasty, glorious sting that dripped like lava into her vagina and turned the blaze to an inferno.
She gasped when he kissed her red, damp forehead.
“I should do more than say it, young lady … but I don’t want to aggravate your injury.”
A sigh escaped her lips, part relief, part disappointment. “OK … that’s a good idea, but it’s not real serious … the doctor said only muscle spasms.”
“I hope that’s all … but no more liquor while you’re taking the Zanaflex.”
“No, sir. Can … may I have my present now? Please?”
“I spoil you atrociously, you know.” He pulled a flat jeweler’s box from the compartment and put it into her hand.
“A princess is supposed to get spoiled … it comes with the job.” She licked her lips, lifted the top and her eyes opened wide. “Oh, it’s beautiful. Thank you!”
Lamplight glinted on eighteen-karat gold as she held up the cat-shaped amulet by its slender chain and threw her arms around him.
“You’re welcome … and see? He’s even got your eyes.”
She grinned and struggled to open the clasp. “Don’t be silly … only girl kitties have green eyes.”
He laughed and showed her how to undo the safety catch. “Then she’s got your eyes … except hers are little emeralds.”
“Dylan!” She pouted and banged her thigh with a fist.
“I wanna wear it now and I can’t ’cause you said I have to have this ….”
“Oh for Pete’s sake! You may remove the collar to put it on … you don’t need to pitch a fit.”
Velcro shrieked as she tore off the brace and turned her back so he could drape the delicate chain at her collarbone. She fingered the charm, twisted around to grab his shoulders and kiss him, then ran to the foyer and admired her gift in the mirror. He leaned back and nodded.
“It looks good on you.”
“Nuh uh … it looks gorgeous.” She grinned. “And I bet it looks even better on bare skin. Where are we going for dinner? Can I wear something with cleavage?”
“I don’t know why not. Are you hungry?”
She hurried over to sit on his lap. “Not really but I wanna show off. Let’s go someplace nice and I’ll wear my little black dress.”
He smiled and hugged her. “How about Denny’s?”
“Don’t tease … let’s go to Bullfinches.”
“I thought you didn’t like our waiter last time.”
“Yeah, but if we get him again my magic kitty will take care of his snotty attitude. She’ll stare him down with her emerald eyes.”
“All right, then … Bullfinches. Do we need reservations on a Monday night?”
“I doubt it … but call anyway. I’ll get dressed.”
“Is this suit all right, if I put on a clean shirt?”
“Yeah, sure. I don’t know why you have to dress up to fly, though.”
He kissed her and pushed her off his lap as he stood. “To intimidate officious security guards.”
“Oh, I see … and not to impress cute flight attendants, huh?”
“The merest shadow of such an idea hadn’t even begun to speculate about crossing my mind.”
Gwen laughed and hugged him. “You are so weird. Come on … you can unpack while I get ready.”
“Put your neck brace on.”
“Don’t whine, Princess.”
She huffed but did as he said, then stalked ahead of him to the bedroom. He hoisted his case onto the queen-sized bed while Gwen kicked off her shoes and dropped her skirt to the floor.
“Can I take this stupid thing off to get my sweater over my head? Sir?”
“Yes you may, and quit being so grumpy.” He winked. “Nice undies, by the way.”
“Humph!” A smile battled with her pout as she turned and palmed the seat of her baby-blue boy-leg panties. “You like these?”
“Very much.” He unzipped the case, unfolded a garment bag and hung it in the closet, and then hugged her. “Micro-fiber?” His hands roamed over tight, smooth mounds and she sighed.
“Uh huh … and I even got them on sale. Aren’t I a good girl?”
He grinned and kissed her. “Yes … except when you’re naughty. Good thing you’ve got such a sweet little fanny for me to spank when that happens.”
She wriggled and puffed a petulant breath. “Nuh uh … I’m always good so you don’t ever have to spank it … just only fondle it … mmm … like that. Ooh! You gotta stop so I can fix my makeup.”
“OK, good girl … put superfluous paint on your pretty face while I finish unpacking. Is there any Glenfarclas left?”
“That Scotch you bought? Sure … who would drink it?”
“I don’t know … gremlins? Your other boyfriend?”
He grinned and backed away when she slapped his chest.
“You are just impossible.”
She snatched a robe from a hook in the closet and headed to the bathroom. He cleared his throat.
“Aren’t you forgetting something?”
“Oh, geeze!” She grabbed the neck brace and stuck her tongue out at him, then squealed and stepped backward as he raised an open hand. “Did you take a bossy pill or what?”
“I’ll show you bossy in a minute. Put it on.”
“There … it’s on, OK?”
She huffed and slammed the bathroom door behind her. Dylan chuckled and unwrapped one of four laundered dress shirts, shrugged out of his jacket and tie, and put on the fresh one, then emptied his suitcase into the bureau drawer she kept open for him. He went to the kitchen and drank a half-liter bottle of cold water to quench his airliner dehydration, then poured two ounces of amber malt into a glass. Rich, mellow whisky warmed his tongue and tickled his palate when he sipped, and he looked around for the phone book. He found it in her office, sat in the desk chair and opened the book to the restaurant section. His eyes narrowed as he reached for the phone and saw the bold print at the top of a department store bill.
“Unbelievable.” He picked up the headset and dialed Bullfinches, but sighed and switched off the phone after the first ring.
Gwen hummed as she dug black lace panties, dark self-gartered stockings and a black strapless bra from her lingerie drawer. Her face glowed with light, fresh foundation and only a touch of blusher, her lips sparkled with gloss, and a wisp of taupe shadow highlighted her eyelids. She grinned at the mirror as she toyed with the golden charm and then turned when Dylan walked in. He leaned against the doorframe, his shirt open at the collar, sleeves rolled to his elbows, and his arms crossed at his chest. She swallowed hard when she saw the flinty gleam in his eyes.
“Whuh-what’s the matter?”
“Sit down, Princess … we need to talk.”
“But you … we don’t … I didn’t do anything! Why are you looking at me like that?”
“Come here.” He took her hand and led her to the bed. They sat and he hugged her shoulders. “We’ve had this discussion before, but apparently it’s time for another one.”
Her chin quivered as she uttered the prayer, and icy, guilty butterflies careened in her tummy. He was all serious and she did not want to be serious, not now. His arm felt so strong, so warm, so good, and she only wanted to dress up and go out and have fun, but there he was with his stern face on and it wasn’t fair.
“What did I tell you about those store cards, young lady?”
“Um … what store cards?”
“Don’t play games with me … specifically, your over-limit Macy’s card.”
“Nuh uh! I mean … it was but I called them when I got the statement and they raised my limit so it’s OK!” Her lips trembled in a desperate smile.
“It’s OK that you spent a few thousand dollars more than you were supposed to, as long as they gave you more credit?”
“It wasn’t thousands, only a few hundred and … and anyway ….” She took a deep breath and glared at him. “Why were you snooping in my mail in the first place?”
“Do not take that tone with me, Gwendolyn.”
“But I ….” Anxious fingers clutched velour robe at her bosom while the awful name resounded in her ears.
“If you didn’t want me to see it you shouldn’t have left it lying around. We have talked about this and you agreed to curb your spending on nonessentials, didn’t you?”
“Yuh-yes, but … but I had to have new clothes ’cause … because I ….”
He sighed and cupped her chin. “You have three closets full of clothes so why do you …?”
“But not winter clothes!”
“I … I mean I didn’t have any, but now I do ’cause ….”
“Because you bought out the petites department at Macy’s!”
“No! I … I gave away all my old ones and I truly, honestly didn’t have a thing to wear!”
Dylan turned and coughed to cover a smile. “You, um … you gave them away?”
“Uh huh … last month … to the closet at church, ’cause they didn’t have hardly anything in small sizes, and anyway it’s tax deductible when I give to the church and ….”
“All right, all right … I know better than to argue with you about that subject … but I simply fail to understand how you continually run up debt when you make as much money as you do.”
“I don’t make all that much … after taxes.”
He sighed and shook his head. “Between your insurance company salary and the Treasury Department retainer you gross almost ninety thousand, so why in the name of all that’s reasonable …?”
“Over ninety … I just got a raise.” She grimaced at the stupid remark. “I mean, yeah but … house payments and property taxes … and ….” Her lip stuck out half an inch as she pouted. “Don’t be mad at me, OK? Let’s just forget it and go to dinner.”
“Perhaps … after I correct you for disobeying me.”
Her mouth dropped open and fear gripped her throat as she stared into his blue eyes. “But … but you said you wouldn’t spank me ’cause I’m already hurt.”
“And I meant it. Now stand up and let’s take off your clothes.”
“What … what are you gonna do?” She trembled as he pulled her to her feet and untied her belt.
“Punish my naughty little princess.”
“Hush that squealing.” He pushed the robe down quivery arms and tossed it onto the bed, then reached behind her to unclasp the bra.
“Ju-just tell me what you’re gonna do?”
Baby-blue lace fell from round breasts and Gwen shivered as cool air caressed hard, cherry-red nipples. His thumbs slipped into her panties’ waistband and hot, frightful tingles bathed her bottom cheeks when he pushed the garment down her legs and left her naked except for the hideous collar at her neck.
“Lift your feet.”
She stepped out of the underwear and he stood, her blue panties in hand, to lead her to the corner. Embarrassment burned her cheeks, fore and aft, when he patted her behind and leaned close to her ear.
“I have to make sure you think about how naughty you’ve been and remember to mind me in the future.”
“But how … what are you …?” Horrid, squirmy, thrilling realization burst upon her and she threw her arms around his neck. “Not the plug! Don’t make me wear it to dinner!”
“Shh.” He patted her back, unwrapped her hands and turned her to the corner. “You were a bad girl and you need a lesson in obedience, so wait here while I get everything ready.”
“No please?” Hot, humiliated tears dripped from her eyes as she clenched her bottom to still the throb in her anus and between her lower lips.
Dozens of harsh, rebellious words raced through her mind but could not pass the fearful, excited lump in her throat. She could only whimper, lean against the wall, and wait for him to take the awful, lascivious toy from its hiding place. He kept it in a steel box in her hope chest, along with the other icky, nasty tools he used to make her squirm, and just the sound of the key in the latch made her heart pound and caused a quivery ache inside her bottom. The box lid snapped shut and he went into the bathroom to bring towels and a tube of K-Y Jelly and set them on the nightstand. She turned when he put a warm hand on her arm, and stared up at him with sad, pitiable eyes.
“Please don’t make me have the plug, OK? I promise I’ll be good and not ever ….”
“Shh … come along.”
Frantic butterflies zoomed around her tummy as he pulled her to the bedside, sat, and draped a white towel over his lap before he tugged her wriggly nakedness across his thighs. She squeezed her rear cheeks hard and stared at the white plug. It was made of soft rubber, three and a half inches long, a cone that tapered from a rounded tip and bulged to an inch in diameter at its widest part, then narrowed to a short, quarter-inch neck above the base. The base was flat, designed to keep the plug from slipping all the way inside a girl’s anus, flexible so it folded a bit, but rigid enough to be a constant reminder that she had the device securely lodged between her cheeks.
He patted the tight, smooth mounds and reached over to pull a pillow under her head. “Here … now keep your neck still and straight while I put the plug in your bottom hole.”
“Why do you have to say that? It’s embarrassing enough you’re gonna do it so you don’t need to ….”
“Hush that whining … and open your legs so I can see inside.”
“But I don’t want to and it’s not fair and you’re just being mean!” She clutched the pillow to her face and parted her thighs an inch. “Dylan?”
“Wider than that.”
“Can … can I have a spanking instead? I’ll be real good and not wiggle or whine or anything, but please don’t look inside my bottom and … and put that icky thing in me, OK?”
He leaned over and kissed her ear. “You say you won’t wiggle but I know you. As soon as your fanny starts to sting, you’ll squirm and kick and jerk your head around and that’s not good for your neck.”
“Nuh uh I won’t, honest!”
“Stop arguing and relax. You’re having the plug in your bottom and that’s all there is to it. Now open your legs, please.”
His calm, reasonable tone rankled, and sparked a desperate defiance.
“You … you’d just rather spank your teenagers! It’s no fun with a thirty-eight year old when you’ve got all those moist young fannies to owee!”
A hard hand squeezed her bottom and tears pooled in her eyes. His face reddened with indignation.
“That is absolute nonsense and I can’t believe you’re jealous of schoolgirls. You’re worse than they are.”
“Am not! You … you don’t think my bottom is cute enough to spank and … and anyway I don’t deserve to get the plug just ’cause I spent a little money on clothes!”
“Oh, you don’t?”
“And you think your adorable tushy is too old for me to spank?”
“No, you think that! You only wanna spank your so-called niece and her Barbie-doll friends … with their baby-fat bottoms and ouch!”
The sharp crack of his palm on white, tender flesh echoed through the room.
“That is enough, Gwendolyn! This nonsense stops! Right! Now!”
“Ow! Ow! Aiee!”
“Get up and lie on the bed, young lady!”
She rubbed sting from her behind as she rolled off his lap and stood on quaky knees before him. His eyes burned shame into her soul and she whimpered as she looked away.
“I … I didn’t mean it,” she whispered.
“Obviously you did … now lie down like I told you.”
“Whuh … what are you gonna do?”
“OK, OK … sir!”
Her nipples tingled when she stretched out on the satin duvet and lifted her hips to offer him her bottom. He shook his head and slipped a folded pillow beneath her to raise the plump behind even higher. She parted her thighs and felt the cool air between her cheeks.