Eleanor sat on the edge of a large four-poster bed, in a spacious room full of warm natural light. She was a distinctive young woman, but not in an extrovert way. To the passer-by, it would be her strikingly graceful deportment, rather than stunning beauty, that would catch the eye. To the lingering observer, her fine facial features and the soft texture of her long, almost golden, brown hair would then have enticed the appreciative eye on to admire a well-honed figure, always enhanced by subtly elegant, understated couture. Finally, the viewer would find the imprint of this young woman etched indelibly into the mind as her limpid pale blue eyes passed fleetingly over the onlooker’s face. Was that with the merest hint of a warm smile?
For the vast majority of people, this was as far as it ever went. To those few, however, who were privileged to enter the circle of her closer acquaintances, Eleanor’s inner warmth would bring a glow and comfort of a rare quality. Her lively wit was, like her dress sense and deportment, expressed with subtlety. She was not a blatant and extrovert woman at all, but one whose quiet and demure manner made her a coveted and trusted friend. Those who had benefited from her abundant generosity also knew of a depth of compassion and empathy that brought great solace. Eleanor had that ability to recognise genuine need and to draw closely, but never provocatively, alongside people in real distress.
For a very select and carefully chosen circle of people, Eleanor represented brightness, warmth, wisdom and comfort, for she was a friend to be cherished and her loyalty in that role ensured her place in the deep affection of those who were thus privileged.
For two people, Eleanor was life itself. James, a distinguished but unassuming man fifteen years her senior, with a military background and with both the character and physique to go with senior officer rank, had never looked back since the occasion when their discreet scanning of a bustling social gathering brought them into direct eye contact for the first time. He had tried very hard to regain control over his feelings and had applied rigorous self-discipline, but it had been a vain effort. Similarly, Eleanor had been transfixed by the steel blue of his eyes and, despite her best efforts, had been unable to erase them from her mind. Characteristically, neither had betrayed the slightest hint of the change that had taken place within on that occasion. It was not until a chance coincidence led to their being introduced to one another at a business event that the seeds finally germinated and ultimately blossomed into a union that had brought them the second person, Sophia Louise, their daughter, who had been the delight of their lives, and of many others besides, for the past eight years. Eight years of brightness over which a dark cloud had suddenly appeared in the recent past and which was proving impossible for Eleanor and James to dislodge.
Eleanor dangled her legs casually over the side of the bed, swinging them backwards and forwards and peering through the radiant glow of the evening sunshine streaming into their bedroom, watching in a hypnotic stare as a raucous gaggle of rooks settled noisily into a tall oak tree at the edge of the woods alongside her home. She saw nothing of the birds and their erratic antics. All she could see was the image that had haunted her for the past twelve weeks, as she had stared, frozen with horror, as their four-wheel drive had sped off down the road outside the boutique in town, whilst she talked to her friend, Michelle, the proprietor. She could never forget the sight of Sophia Louise staring out at her through the rear window in terror whilst the teenage joy-riders fled to indulge themselves in their wild fantasies.
It had been a local farmer who had found Sophia Louise, a couple of hours later, wandering frightened through his ripening field of wheat. He knew the child, for he had seen her with her parents about the town, so he had taken her quickly to his wife at the farmhouse and it had not been long before a kind and sensitive WPC brought the shaking child home and assured her distraught parents that the lady police surgeon had established that she had suffered no physical harm. A great sense of relief flooded over James and Eleanor and this was not even diluted by news that the vehicle had been found thirty miles away, a tangle of burnt metal. Two 15-year old boys had been arrested and released into the custody of Social Services.
The following six weeks had been painful for James and Eleanor, both of whom were beginning to exhibit signs of severe fatigue as they rose several times during the night to comfort Sophia Louise as she woke in a pool of perspiration and embarrassment, full of terrifying memories of that dreadful day. For a while, it had looked very much as if they would have to seek a consultation with a specialist to try and find a way to lay this spectre to rest but, miraculously, escort gaziantep bayan and not without a great deal of patient and expert support from their family doctor, the tide turned and gradually Sophia Louise had been able to return to the normal pattern of wonderful escape that is a child’s sleep-time. Once again, the sighs of relief were clearly audible as the light returned to the little girl.
The case had been listed remarkably quickly in the Juvenile Court and the judge, whilst commenting with mild rebuke on the need for more care on the part of vehicle owners when leaving their property unattended, had dealt very firmly, but compassionately, with the two terrified offenders.
In theory, this should have been the end of the matter and the dark cloud should have disappeared from their lives, but it still cast a shadow over Eleanor and James, much to the bewilderment of the latter. For a long time, Eleanor put a brave face on and said it would all pass over in due course, but James was not convinced. One night, as they had been lying side by side, he had confronted Eleanor with the firmness that became a man of his character, but with the understanding and warmth that were characteristic of a man utterly devoted to the wife he adored unconditionally.
After much skirting about and prolonged attempts to dodge the real issue, Eleanor finally capitulated and confessed that she was racked by guilt and that she could not shake off the thought of what might have happened. James, no stranger to the workings of the mind, probed further and soon it transpired that the infection in this ulcerative lesion in Eleanor’s mind was nothing more or less than guilt, pure and simple. It was at this time that James’ deep understanding of the way in which the mind functions yielded an unlikely solution, one at which Eleanor had initially, and understandably, balked. However, James was confident of his ground and, after many such sessions of pillow talk, Eleanor had ultimately acknowledged that the most feasible method for neutralising this guilt was to provide a remedy, a punishment that would release Eleanor from the bondage in which it held her so ruthlessly.
There had been a long and patient tussle between them before they agreed upon the form which this solution should take but, in the end, Eleanor had heard herself, almost in disbelief, telling this man she adored and respected, that she would submit to his wishes in the matter without demur. James, being a wise man, had allowed a few days for this to sink into Eleanor’s consciousness before asking her for the final time if she was confident that this was what she wanted. He had knelt in front of her on one knee, held her chin and gazed right into her soul as he asked her this question. She had dissolved inside and had thrown her arms round his neck as she sobbed her ” Yes! ” into his hair, as his hand held her so firmly, securely and tenderly across her back.
After breakfast a week or so later, James had collected his briefcase and mobile phone and walked across the hall, into the kitchen. Eleanor had been busy dealing with some dishes and upstairs there had been the sound of busy eight-year old feet running round in dizzy preparation for school. James had put his briefcase and telephone down, taken Eleanor by the hand and sat her on one of the chairs. He had held her hand between his and held her attention with his gaze.
“Eleanor, my love,” he had whispered in a voice that always sent a shiver down her spine, “we are going to send the ghost packing from this house today. I am going to cane you this evening and that will be the end of this entire matter.”
Eleanor had turned quite pale upon hearing those words and had almost staggered to the front door with the one man in the world, apart from her Father, who could hold her entirely in his grip simply by his look and his tone. He had kissed her in a way that told her that she was the only woman in the world for whom he had any interest and that his love for her would never be compromised. She had waved as his car had wended its way down the drive and a small tear had formed in the corner of her eye. Was it fear? Apprehension? Anger? She knew there was an element of all these things present, but there was one ingredient there which she was completely unable to identify or comprehend. “I am going to cane you” he had said. There it was again, that strange sensation that so perplexed her, most of all because it was not a negative sensation at all. What on earth was it?
This thought had been at the back of her mind as she had prepared Sophia Louise for school and then driven her there before setting off around town to attend to various matters. She had called on Michelle and they had enjoyed a short time together, the chat interspersed with brief silences as they recalled how the recent events had now been put behind them. Eleanor had looked at Michelle escort gaziantep bayan ilanları and nodded deceptively. ‘Not quite’, she thought, ‘there is just one more chapter that has to be written’. A sense of apprehension filled her mind, and there was that fluttering sensation again.
James had returned home early, collected Sophia Louise from school and, after she had taken a quick snack, had driven her to the home of her best friend, Polly, where she was to indulge in the newly discovered social delight of young girls – the sleepover!
After she had waved the two most important people in her life off, Eleanor had tidied a few things in the kitchen and had then made her way slowly upstairs to their bedroom. She had taken off her blouse and dropped it casually into the laundry basket. Then followed her loose summer skirt with a delicate print and her silk underskirt. She had stood for a moment, then reached behind to unclip her bra. Finally, she had stepped delicately out of her beautifully tailored lustrous white briefs and looked at herself for a short while in the mirror. Her body was still lightly tanned from a recent holiday, the pale bronze tone outlining the shape of her swimsuit. She did a slow pirouette and lingered for a few seconds to ponder how the soft cream of her firmly muscled bottom would look in an hour’s time, once it was all over. She shuddered and then regained control of her thoughts. Then those butterflies fluttered yet again and that sensation, the meaning of which had eluded her all day, returned.
Eleanor walked over to the adjoining bathroom and stood for a long time under the refreshing stream of hot water in the shower, soaping herself sparingly and massaging her skin slowly and gently. The butterflies would not go away and, try as she may, she could not stem the flow of thoughts cascading through her mind. She heard the car door close behind her and saw Sophia Louise wave and smile from the car as she popped briefly into the boutique to talk to Michelle. She saw the keys dangling temptingly, carelessly, in the ignition. She heard herself talking casually with her friend and slowly losing track of time. Then she heard again the horrifying roar of the engine being raced and the screech of tires as the vehicle sped away in a cloud of smoke. Then she shook uncontrollably as the soundless scream of Sophia Louise came to her again through the rear window of the four-wheel drive.
Eleanor turned the shower off and dried herself with meticulous care, moisturising her skin with the attentiveness that had helped her to retain a complexion that had led to many admiring looks, and a good number of envious stares. When she had finished, she went back into the bathroom and hung her enormous towel over the airer. She returned to the bedroom and walked across to the wardrobe. Slowly, she ran her hand along the hangers until she reached an oyster knee-length silk night dress. She took it out and slipped it carefully over her damp hair. It was an elegant garment, with long side vents that ran up to her hips. She walked over to the dressing table and carefully dried and brushed her hair, the torrent of thoughts still rushing through her mind, focused by now on what was to come rather than what had already been.
Eleanor put her brush down on the dressing table, looked at herself one last time in the mirror, devoid of any make up, but with a fresh loveliness that had delighted many an admirer. She stood and walked over to the bed. Taking a pillow, she sat on the edge of the bed and cradled it, her chin resting on her hand, rocking slowly backwards and forwards.
It was the sound of tyres crunching the gravel outside the house that brought Eleanor back to real time. She winced slightly as the car door closed with a dull, mechanically perfect thud and the alarm reassured James audibly that it was now vigilant. She heard his footsteps moving around to the front of the house and then the sound of the door opening and closing, followed by the distinctive click of the lock. She followed his footsteps in her mind as he went into the kitchen. She heard the kettle being filled and, shortly afterwards, the sound of boiling water being poured into the teapot. The chinaware tinkled expensively as cups and saucers were placed on a tray, then the fridge door opened and the milk jug was filled.
Eleanor could feel her pulse racing as she listened to the sound of James’ footsteps on the stairs and of the tray being put down on the table outside their bedroom door, on the landing. The door opened and she turned round, slightly pale, and managed a wan smile. James looked at her and she felt the butterflies bursting to escape. She melted inside and realised, from an expression blended from passionate love, deep pain and iron resolution, just what this was costing the man she adored. She knew there would be no self-indulgent sadistic gaziantep bayan escort reklamları pleasure. James had never so much as raised a finger to her or Sophia Louise. His look alone had been sufficient to keep her in line on those rare occasions when her own self-discipline had lapsed. She knew that he would struggle to keep his mind focused on what he had to do, but she also knew his expression would betray nothing of this internal battle.
She stood slowly, without a word. There would soon be time enough for a million words. She looked momentarily across to the window and was unconscious of the fact that the rookery had now settled down, almost as if in anticipation of the event that was about to take place. She turned a half circle, looked at James and then placed the pillow at the edge of the bed and leaned slowly across it, stretching her arms forward and taking hold of the duvet in a firm grip. She turned towards the bed head and tears formed in the corner of her eyes, running down her nose and cheek onto the duvet cover.
She heard James walk round the end of the bed and over to his wardrobe. The door slid open and he moved a suit to the side. She could not see with her eyes, but her mind pictured vividly the thin three-foot cane that was now gripped in his right hand. Almost noiselessly, James moved behind her and a transient feeling of coolness breathed across her thighs and bottom as the rear flap of her night dress was folded and laid across her lower back. She felt something being put down to her left and realised that it must be the cane. Paradoxically, she ached to reach across and feel the texture of this device that was, she prayed, to be the key that released her from these weeks of guilt and anguish, but she maintained a steely self-control and her hands remained gripping the duvet.
She listened as James took off his tweed jacket and hung it over the back of a chair, then as his shirt came off. She visualised him standing behind her in his sharply-tailored slacks and thin white T-shirt. To her left, she felt a slight movement as the cane was lifted from the duvet. Eleanor’s body clock suddenly slowed right down and everything seemed to be moving at a snail’s pace.
There were few sounds now and Eleanor had resolved that she would not ask James for any details of her punishment. She had offered him her complete submission to his judgment in this matter, which he had accepted. It was no longer her concern. All she sought now was the courage to be what she longed to be and to prove that which did not, she knew, need to be proven. That she belonged completely and utterly to James.
There is no sensation in life that compares with the tap of cane across flesh that forms the overture to discipline after this fashion. It is an electrifying sensation that tenses all the muscles in the recipient’s body and Eleanor responded in a textbook manner. The subsequent absence of that feeling of the cane on her buttocks turned the intensity up by several degrees and her eyes closed as she anticipated the first stroke of chastisement ever to visit her bottom.
Measured in purely physical terms, the sound effect of rattan as it scythes through the air is brief in the extreme, but when you are the target, this movement runs to several bars. Eleanor froze and clenched her teeth. There was the most fleeting pause between the moment when the first resounding impact echoed across the room and the writhing response of the seared skin and muscle as Eleanor’s bottom shook. Every thought was suddenly blown from her mind and her attention was totally taken up with efforts to contain the almost uncontrollable urge to let everything go as the fire raced through her buttocks and into the neighbouring areas. Her breathing speeded up dramatically and she fought strongly to bring it and her other bodily responses under control. So taken up was she with this effort that the second stroke had fallen before she realised what was happening.
Like a person hanging on for dear life to the edge of a parapet, Eleanor struggled against the doubled pain as the agony of the second stroke combined with the deepening ache from the first. The third stroke, which landed just above the second, pushed her almost over the edge and her immediate environment seemed to be swimming round in an almost drunken whirl of confusion and excruciating pain, yet the only sound to emerge from her lips was an earthy grunt, caused only by the physical contraction that took place as her muscles responded to the impacts.
It was the fourth stroke, which whistled down onto the pale cream strip between the deepening colour of the first weal and the fresh, but darkening, livid tone of the third, that finally pushed Eleanor over that metaphorical edge and she heard herself scream as she felt herself falling. Then, she suddenly realised that she was not falling, but rising. It was not she who had been clinging on to the parapet, but a dead weight that had been dragging her remorselessly down. She felt herself beginning to float.
She saw light re-appearing in her mind as the cascade of tears flooded out over the duvet and flushed out the scourge that had borne her down so cruelly for these past weeks. Slowly, her focus began to return and she realised that, despite the continuing flow of tears and the sobbing emanating from deep within her, she was free.