Mrs Olivia Williams, twenty seven years old, married to Roderick Williams, forty one years old and highly successful, wealthy banker, pulled her car up outside the address she had written on the back of a rolled up railway ticket.
She sat for a moment and stared at the anonymous building that contained the address she was about to enter. She considered not going in but she did. She rang the bell and quickly a friendly, female voice asked her name and she was admitted into a routine looking reception area with seats around the walls; she might have been attending a job interview or going for a dentist's appointment.
The young woman, with the name 'Julie' attached to her lapel, was friendly and inviting. She looked down at her appointment book.
"Ah yes, Mrs Williams, three o'clock. Do take a seat, Mr James will be with you very soon. Would you like a cup of coffee?"
"Oh no, thank you," Olivia replied, quite disarmed by the ordinariness of the place.
Another woman, possibly in her thirties, was also waiting, browsing through a magazine. She glanced quickly up at Olivia who met her gaze but could not quite decide what to say and the other woman quickly returned to her browsing.
There followed a series of telephone calls that Julie took, everyone obviously seeking to make appointments and in each case Julie had to disappoint them, which she did earnestly, because there were "few slots available for at least a week" and when there was, the person at the other end could not make it. Julie was "so sorry", knew "how frustrating it is," and offered the possibility of a "late cancellation if you call early each morning."
During a rare interlude in the calls a middle aged woman emerged through a door carrying a card which she handed to Julie. She was obviously a regular. Along with the card she produced what was clearly a credit card, which Julie swiftly processed and returned to the woman. Julie checked the appointments book again.
"We have you down for a week today, is that still all right Mrs Stevens?"
"Yes, that's fine."
"Would you like me to write it on a card for you, just in case you forget?"
"No, that wont be necessary, I wont forget."
The woman left and the telephone rang again. This time the call was very brief after which Julie called to Olivia, "Mr James will see you now, Mrs Williams. I'll take you along."
Olivia experienced some shock at the suddenness of this and replied, "Oh, thank you," as if to say, 'oh not yet surely, there must be someone else in front of me?'
She looked at the other woman but she did not look up from her magazine and so Olivia tentatively stood up, with a slight weight in her stomach and followed Julie.
She was shown into a small room where a very well dressed man in his forties, with slightly grey hair gathered in a ponytail, stood up and politely introduced himself to Olivia. She heard the door close as Julie left. Olivia turned around, rather anxiously, as though it were the first day at school and her mother had just left her for the first time.
"Please sit down, Mrs Williams, and do please try to feel relaxed, you are in good hands here." He smiled, reassuringly.
"Now," he began, continuing to smile comfortingly at Olivia, "I always make a point of meeting our new clients before they begin. We hope, of course, that you will want to return many times and, of course, it will not be necessary for us to meet in the normal course of events. Although, if you wish to se me about anything, please don't hesitate to arrange an appointment."
"Now," at this point he sat back in his chair and began to unfold the real business of his organisation, "we provide, what we believe, is an unusual service for woman, exclusively for woman, we have no male clients, although we have both men and women who work for us but only female clients, men we feel are adequately catered for elsewhere in this respect."
Olivia allowed herself, nervous as she was, a few appreciative and knowing nods.
"Our service is highly polished and very discreet and that is because we take the trouble to establish exactly what our clients' needs are and attend to even the smallest details. It is, perhaps, on that latter point, that we lay the greatest emphasis and is the reason, I believe, why the numbers of regular clients has increased continually since we started eighteen months ago."
Olivia smiled again. She was suffering a kind of emotional displacement. Being the wife of a very wealthy man she routinely spent time in offices like this one talking to sycophantic lawyers, accountants, property agents so she had to keep reminding herself that Mr James and his organisation was not one of them.
Mr James recognised a certain unease in his new client that he was accustomed to on these first meetings.
"Are you all right, Mrs Williams?"
"Yes, Yes I'm fine, it's just that this....all looks so...normal, I suppose."
He smiled another one of his urbane, reassuring smiles.
"I know, I know but that is our aim you see. We wish to take the mystique out of what we do. All we do is provide a service, after all. We live in a time of service industries. Out there, there are people providing services for just about anything you can think of, we are just one of them."
Olivia felt better.
"I know you are right. Thank you for being so understanding."
"So," he resumed, " shall we get down to business?"
He picked up a folder and took out its few contents.
"So, to start right at the beginning, to, as it were, state the obvious, you have come here to be spanked. Yes?"
Olivia steeled herself but replied confidently.
Mr James was always pleased when this part of the interview was over. It was one of his recurring nightmares that the woman sitting in front of him had got the wrong address and was actually looking for landscape gardening or a new bathroom only to ask her if she wanted to be spanked.
"Now we provide a very professional and, of course, a very discreet, service. The key part of what we do is to match you up with one of our 'facilitators', as we call them. Your relationship with them is the key to success and in a moment I will introduce you to the person we have arranged for you. Just before I do I just need to verify a few of the details you have provided for us, very basic details, the rest will be between you and your 'facilitator'."
Mr James consulted one of the files. The ease he had instilled in Olivia was now eroding as she speculated about the nature of the 'facilitator'.
"Now," he resumed, "we asked you what kind of person you would like to administer the spanking and you replied a woman, preferably some years older than yourself, if possible at least ten years older. Is that right?"
"Well, yes, the age difference is not actually vital but...."
"Oh that's no problem, Mrs Williams, we have exactly the person you require, someone very experienced and very sympathetic to clients' needs, so I am told. Her name is Mrs Hayward."
"Thank you," Olivia replied timidly, wondering what kind of gorgon Mrs Hayward might be.
"One question you did not answer, Mrs Williams, it's easy to overlook these things, er, it's a hand spank you want, is that right?"
Olivia had not remembered the question.
"Well, yes, I suppose so," she replied vaguely.
Mrs James' expert voice continued.
"Traditionally, spanking meant by hand but these days it has come to include other implements."
At this point he picked up a leaflet.
"There are full details in this leaflet, Mrs Williams, of the various implements we have available."
"No, that's not necessary," Olivia replied, becoming rather flustered at the technological direction things were now taking.
"Finally, as we explained in our e-mail, payment is due immediately after each session by credit card only. Is all that OK?"
"Excellent. Now, that's enough from me, down now to the reason you're here."
He picked up the telephone and called Julie to bring in Mrs Hayward. Olivia's nerves had turned to a kind of queasy sickness and she wondered how she had ever got herself into this bizarre situation and thought she must leave now before it was too late but the door opened and Julie entered followed by Mrs Hayward.
Mrs Hayward was indeed a surprise. Oh, what a surprise! She was, perhaps, in her mid forties and possessed the kind of striking good looks that only women of that age can impart. The kind of women who grow into beauty. Olivia suspected that twenty years earlier, in her twenties, like herself now and many of her friends, she might have looked less striking. She was not a big built woman but every part of her was perfectly proportioned. Her eyes, her brown eyes, were shockingly expressive.
Olivia stared without realising that Mrs Hayward had offered her hand.
"Oh, sorry," said Olivia and clasped the other woman's warm hand.
Julie left them. Olivia continued to stare at Mrs Hayward who smiled and gestured towards a seat.
"Please, sit down, Mrs Williams."
"Oh thank you," Olivia replied with somewhat exaggerated gratitude.
"Are you nervous?" Mrs Hayward asked.
It was a relief to be given the option.
Mrs Hayward smiled reassuringly, put her hand on the small of Olivia's back and gestured towards a chair.
"Don't be, there's nothing to worry about."
Olivia sat down but her eyes followed Mrs Hayward all the way to the chair opposite her own. She sat down directly in front of Olivia, their feet almost touching.
Distracted by Mrs Hayward's, face she had not noticed what she was wearing. She was dressed rather severely: dark jacket with matching skirt, dark stockings and shoes, offset by a pristine white blouse. Her hair was tied back tightly in a large bun held in place by a single red ribbon.
As Mrs Hayward sat down, she crossed, what Olivia noticed, was a pair of very shapely legs causing the hem of her skirt to rest slightly above her knees. At this, she clasped the hem with fingers from both hands and readjusted it to a position slightly below her knees. The anxiety and confusion that had gradually been inflating since Olivia arrived were now thrown into near riot by the arrival of Mrs Hayward.
Olivia looked intently at the woman and said to herself, very precisely, 'this gorgeous woman is going to spank me any moment now.' At which, excitement and fear mingled in roughly equal proportions.
Mrs Hayward clasped her hands together as though she were about to pray.
"Olivia, I need to ask you a few questions to ensure that I give you the best possible service. So, is this something you have done before?"
"No. Is that a problem?" Olivia asked almost apologetically.
"Not at all."
Olivia felt she could not be so terse.
"But it's something I've..."
She broke off, unsure about the word 'fantasy' that was forming on her lips but completed the sentence anyway..."fantasised about for a long time."
"Well, when I was about ten years old I had a good friend called Angela whose parents used to spank her if she was naughty and I had a strange fascination about this."
"You wanted to see her being spanked?"
Olivia was shocked.
"How did you know that?"
"Just a guess. Are all your sexual fantasies about spanking?"
Mrs Hayward asked the question in a disarming, casual way that made Olivia blush.
"Oh no, well, sometimes, often, yes."
But the last blush was nothing compared to the next one.
"And in these fantasies are you always spanked by an older woman?"
Olivia's acute embarrassment caused her to lie.
"Oh, no, not always."
But the lie did not matter: Mrs Hayward knew she was lying.
"All right, Olivia, I'm sure you have had enough questions fired at you today, so let's go and do it, shall we?"
The suddenness of the moment alarmed Olivia.
"Yes, now. But before we do there are two very important matters I need to go through with you. First, do you want the spanking to be a role play?"
"A role play?
"Yes, I mean, is there, for instance, a favourite fantasy that you want to act out?"
Olivia was not ready for this line of questioning. Mrs Hayward intervened.
"For instance, you specified that you wanted an older woman to spank you, maybe that's a clue?"
Olivia was suffused with embarrassment. She realised that Mrs Hayward knew. Was it that transparent? Olivia thought. To have kept the secret for all these years and then to surrender it so lamely! That alone was deserving of punishment.
Mrs Hayward continued to help.
"I could, for instance, be an old fashioned governess or strict headmistress or stern parent, like your friend's."
Olivia tried to adopt a casual attitude to these questions and plucked at the headmistress option as though it did not matter either way.
"OK, then, Olivia, that's fine. If you come again, as I hope you will, you can e-mail me in advance and set out the details of the scenario you want. That way you can be as detailed as you wish. Now, there's one final thing and it is a matter of the utmost importance, especially as you haven't done this sort of thing before."
"We have to get the pain/pleasure balance right -- I have to know how much pain to give you to maximise your pleasure."
Mrs Hayward's reasonable tone was as disarming as Mr James' 'bank manager' voice earlier.
"Too much or too little," Mrs Hayward continued, "and there's no pleasure at all. If you are happy with what I do and we have a continuing relationship, as I hope we do....."
She threw Olivia that smile again.
".....I will know exactly what you want but to begin with I will need to find out. Does that make sense?"
"Of course," replied Olivia, still recovering from the smile.
"So, I will ask you this question at certain intervals, 'will you promise to behave yourself in future?' The moment you say 'yes' I will stop. Any other reply and I will continue. Is that clear?"
"Only 'yes' stops the spanking."
"Good, now to business. I would like you to leave the room and return in one minute but remember when you return I will be in role and I want you to be as well. I wont be the person you are speaking to now. Are you happy with that?"
"Good -- off you go. One minute, remember."
Olivia left but was far from happy. This was her last chance. She did not have to go back. She could run out of the building and never come back. They only had her e-mail address.
But she did not run away. Breathing rather excitedly and beginning to sweat, she re-entered the room approximately one minute later. She entered very slowly and stopped on the threshold. Mrs Hayward was standing on the other side of the room, with her back to Olivia and staring out of the window. She did not speak to begin with, nor did Olivia. Olivia closed the door at which Mrs Hayward eventually spoke.
"Come here, Olivia."
The voice was different. Olivia walked as close to the woman as she dared. Mrs Hayward turned around: she was indeed changed. The top button of her blouse and the buttons of her jacket, which had previously been unbuttoned, were now fastened, conveying a more severe look than before. The smiles were gone and her, still beautiful eyes, had a frigid, penetrative aspect that unnerved Olivia. She wanted to speak but knew not what to say. Mrs Hayward finally broke the silence. When she spoke there was ice in her voice.
"I am deeply, deeply disappointed in you, Olivia."
A long silence.
"I expect an aspect of contrition from you, young lady, and you will look at me only when I give you permission."
Olivia bowed her head.
Mrs Hayward continued.
"I have received a report which not only disappoints me but saddens me also. I had expected much better from you. I am informed that you came to school yesterday, not only in breach of clear rules on uniform but dressed, in the tactful words of one of your teachers, 'immodestly'. I might have used another word. Is this true?"
Olivia paused briefly before replying. Mrs Hayward took on her role with ease but Olivia had never done anything like this before, yet it came easier than she thought in the presence of this woman. She made her feel like a girl again: not so much a role but another, dormant personality. Finally she replied.
"I would like to hear it from you, Olivia, and I would like to see your face."
Olivia looked up.
"I came to school dressed immodestly."
Mrs Hayward walked to another part of the room before replying.
"Just so that I am sure about this I would like to hear it again from you."
"I came to school dressed immodestly."
"Good, now we are quite clear what we are dealing with."
She was now out of Olivia's sight so that the poor girl was forced to speak to her interlocutor without seeing her. Olivia heard the austere woman's footsteps walking towards her. Once again she stopped directly in front of the chastened child.
"You may look at me now, Olivia."
Olivia looked up. Even as she stared at the cold, reproachful face it still retained its erstwhile beauty but Mrs Hayward did not flinch from her role.
"Let me ask you a question, Olivia. If you were me and you were presented with a young girl, a very pretty young girl, I might add, one who, I strongly suspect, will be quite beautiful when she becomes an adult, who is also very intelligent but who is prone to occasional irresponsibility such that you fear her advantages might one day be squandered, what would you do with such a girl?"
Olivia was embarrassed by this speech. She looked down at her feet.
"I did not give you permission to look down, Olivia."
"Well, what would you do?"
The poor girl stared into the punisher's face and noticed for the first time her small, supple lips. But the delicately painted lips did not move: Mrs Hayward had no intention of saying anything else until she received a reply.
Almost inaudibly, Olivia said, "I would punish her, Miss."
"Excellent - that was my thinking also. And how would you punisher her?"
A short pause.
"I would spank her miss."
"Good, I'm glad we are in complete accord on this, Olivia."
Mrs Hayward took Olivia's hand and walked to the only chair in the room. She sat down and dropped Olivia's hand.
Mrs Hayward gestured towards her lap.
"Lay across here, Olivia."
She did as she was told but made an artless job of it and Mrs Hayward had to move Olivia's body properly into position. For a few seconds neither woman spoke nor moved. Then, slowly and meticulously, Mrs Hayward began rolling up Olivia's skirt until it was in a tight roll on her lower back. After this she slipped all the fingers of her right hand inside Olivia's pants and using only her thumb pushed them downwards so that at the same time her fingers briefly caressed Olivia's cheeks.
Olivia lay lifeless on Mrs Hayward's lap while this ritual was completed. Olivia began to wonder whether the spanking itself would attain the level of arousal to match this ritual of preparation. The minutia of this moment was to be replayed in Olivia's mind for a long time after.
She was to recall feeling the tips of her fingers sinking into the pile of the carpet as she lay across Mrs Hayward's knees; the potency of her perfume; the feeling of the slightly rough texture of Mrs Hayward's skirt on the top of her naked legs; the feel of those fingers brushing her flesh as the clothing was peeled away; the warmth of the hand resting on her exposed cheeks. She felt an inexplicable security and warmth lying in this position; something was stirring in her that she had never before experienced.
"Remember, naughty young girls are always spanked, Olivia."
The anticipation was now almost unbearable: Olivia wanted it badly and she wanted it now.