“A Maid For All Seasons, Volume V”
Michael frowned and rose from his desk when the front door opened and banged shut. Lisa slammed her purse on the lamp stand in the foyer and yanked open the closet. He looked across the living room, his eyebrows arched.
“Are you all right, Lisa? Where’s Beth?”
“Babysitting the battle ax, where do you think?”
“Lisa, what on earth happened? Come here.”
She threw her coat at the hanger rod and stomped toward him. “We never shoulda hired her!”
He smiled and held her shoulders in both hands. “Good thing we found out so quickly then, isn’t it?”
“Don’t patronize me, Michael. I told you we should of interviewed those people first.”
“All right, all right … let’s sit down and talk.”
“OK.” She sighed as he led her to the sofa. “I’m sorry, but she made me mad.”
“I detected that almost immediately.” They sat and he put his arm around her. “May I ask what she did?”
“She … she’s just rude … to everybody.”
“Yes, well … she can’t have met that many people. To whom was she rude?”
“To … to Miranda … kind of, and … to Greg. She told him that program he worked on so hard was jerry-rigged.”
“The inventory software?” Lisa nodded. “Well, it is … in a manner of speaking … and as you recall, we’re using it only on a trial basis. I take it you were quick to tell her how wrong her opinion was, hm?”
She blinked and sucked her lip as his eyes bored into hers. “Um … I only said he … worked real hard on it … and it saved us a bunch of money.”
“And you said it calmly and reasonably … and privately … the way one should contradict a manager, so that her authority isn’t undermined?”
“But Michael, she … she needs to be under-minded … under-mound … whatever … ’cause … because ….” She grunted and stamped her foot. “And anyway then she insulted Cindy’s clothes. I mean come on.”
“To her face?”
“Well … no.”
“We are in the fashion business, and if Cindy wasn’t dressed appropriately perhaps her comment wasn’t out of line.”
“It wasn’t a comment, it … it was a crack about her weight, for crying out loud.”
“I see.” He took a deep breath and leaned back. “As I recall, you recommended her for the position.”
“Yeah well, what do I know? Besides, she looked a lot better on paper.”
“Possibly. Still, it’s odd that you’ve formed such a strong negative opinion of her in this short time.”
“Nuh uh … if you’d been there you’d hate her too.”
“But I doubt very much that I would have stormed out of the shop, as I assume you did.”
“I didn’t either. Beth made me leave.”
“As well she should have. You showed very poor judgment … contradicting a new employee in front of a subordinate … especially on her first day of work.”
“What difference does that make? She’s just a bitchy old cow and ….”
“Lisa, you need to calm down. Your emotions are getting in the way of your judgment.”
“They are not, and anyway I don’t want her running my stores.”
His face darkened and he squeezed her shoulder. “They aren’t your stores yet, young lady.”
“They are so, Michael.”
The petulant whine echoed in her ears as she chewed her lip and avoided his gaze. Bright, manic butterflies awakened in her tummy, and her bottom squirmed on the cushion. Air hissed through teeth as he inhaled.
“Not until you show me you’re sufficiently mature to cope with the responsibilities they represent.”
Forced calm made his voice tremble, and the demeaning statement bristled the hair at the back of her neck.
“I am mature, dammit … and if you don’t fire her I will.”
“You heard me, Michael.” Her voice cracked, and she coughed to cover a whimper when his eyes widened and his lips compressed to a thin line.
“I heard something … but I can’t believe it came from your mouth.” His arm jerked and she yelped. “And I don’t propose to listen to anymore such nonsense.”
His muscles tightened with indignation and annoyance as hers turned spongy with fear and guilt, and he flipped her across his lap like a soft doll. She squealed an angry kitten’s cry, and her toes beat a rapid tattoo on the sofa while her hands jerked back to cover her seat. Embarrassment burned her cheeks, and regret twisted her tummy into knots. She felt his irritation in the hard sinews of his thighs, even before he swatted her hands away and yanked up her skirt and slip.
“We have been over this, Lisa Marie.” Long fingers slipped beneath the waistband of pink silk tap pants and dragged them down.
“But I … I don’t deserve to get spanked.”
He clapped sting into her bare bottom and she squeaked. “You’re contradicting me now?”
“No … yes … ow! This isn’t fair.”
“Neither is showing favoritism, young lady.”
Her cheeks clenched as he rained hot spanks on the tender flesh, and she swiped at angry, remorseful tears. “But I … I didn’t. Owee!”
“You! Most! Certainly! Did! Lisa!” He paused after five hard claps and rubbed warm, blushy cheeks. “I refuse to believe you would be this upset if it had been an employee besides Greg whom she criticized.”
“I would too … ’cause she’s just a jerk and … ouch! Michael.”
Crisp, quick swats landed and she kicked and whimpered as the sting grew to a burn. He raised his arm higher, spanked slower, and his palm flattened the plump mounds with each serious clap. Anger and remorse gave way to self-pity, and she wept into her hands. The scary butterflies migrated down her tummy to settle at the apex of her thighs. Their bright wings fluttered softly even as sting bathed in her bottom, and warm, excited moisture seeped between the delicate folds of her vagina. She squealed and squirmed, rubbed her sex against his thigh, and floated upward on waves of achy, shuddery heat. He felt her steamy agitation, the telltale wriggles, the dampness that pressed against his trousers, and he rested his palm on her behind.
A sob rasped her throat. “Suh-sir?”
“Are you ready to act like a mature young woman now?”
“How can I act mature if you spank me like a … owee! OK! Ouch! I’m sorry.”
His hand cracked hard on the pink crowns and then he rubbed again. She huffed, flicked away a tear and turned to pout at him. He smiled and caressed the moist flesh at the base of her behind.
“Would you care to elaborate on that apology … or is that the most I can expect at the moment?”
“Well geeze … I mean … yeah … maybe I overreacted, but she really made me mad.”
“So it appears … but shall we at least give her another chance?”
Long, gentle fingers probed her damp cleft and shot tingly pleasure bolts straight to her vagina. Shuddery warmth filled her soul and she parted her thighs. Swollen lips, slick with desire, invited his touch. She quivered, remembered, and clamped her legs tight.
“Muh-Michael, I … I promise I’ll do better, OK?” she said to the sofa.
“Hm? Yes … very well.” He frowned and patted the tense bottom. “Are you all right, my dear?”
“Uh huh … um … do I gotta stand in the corner?”
“I think perhaps ….” He shook his head. “Wouldn’t you like lotion first?”
“No … uh … no thank you … sir.” She turned to him and sniffled as she looked into his puzzled eyes. “I … I mean … maybe a little, OK?”
“Lisa, is something wrong?”
“I just … you don’t have to if you don’t … want to.”
He sighed and shook his head. “Are you angry that I punished you?”
“God, no, I mean you hardly … but I ….”
“Here … sit up … no, on my lap. There … that’s better.” He hugged her but she remained still, her arms crossed beneath her breasts. “Now … can’t you tell me what’s bothering you?”
“Nothing, Michael. I’m OK. You just, um ….”
She coughed and covered her mouth. “You spanked me real hard, is all.”
He leaned back and stared at her. “Indeed?” Lisa nodded but didn’t look at him. “Then I expect I had better send you to the corner as well, hadn’t I?”
“Um … I guess so.”
“Go on, then.” He kissed her cheek and she twisted to her feet.
Her skirts fell and she reached beneath to pull up her loose knickers, then hurried to the corner bookcases. He frowned and cleared his throat, and she sighed in resignation as she furled skirts and yanked down panties, and then stared at a book spine while cool air bathed tingly bare flesh.
Michael rubbed his eyes and went to sit at his desk. The dry prose of a cost-benefit analysis stared up at him, a massive riddle written in a dead language. He clenched his fist to squeeze away the softly aching reminder of her skin on his palm, but the ache only worsened. His eyes glazed, wandered, refocused on her pert, pink mounds. The cheeks rode high atop slender thighs, round and firm with a plump overhang at their base, two smooth curves that pointed the way to her deepest secrets. He gritted his teeth as hot blood pulsed and stiffened his member.
Lisa gazed, unseeing, at the book title in front of her eyes, just as she had so many times before while she awaited her redemption. Only this time there would be none, not in its fullest sense; no hand to soothe her pain, no fingers to probe her womanhood, no giddy, explosive conclusion to her penance. She felt his eyes on her bottom and yearned to look at him but knew she could not, for fear that her look would send the wrong message, the one she promised Greg she would no longer give to anyone but him. She sniffled and swiped a remorseful tear.