He turned the Mercedes into the drive and came to a stop. This was the first time that he had arrived home early for months and he decided to walk the final fifty yards to the front door to complete the surprise.
Since the company had started to expand he had put in a lot of late nights and more often than not when he did make it home it would be with clients in tow expecting to be entertained. His young wife’s patience had been wearing thin. Until six months ago she had been employed as his personal assistant but it was agreed that, after they were married, she would stay at home to try her hand as a novelist. Now, it seemed, he was making more demands of her than ever.
The trouble was he had come to rely on her more than he would care to admit. Two years ago he had been considered the high flyer on the design team but he recognised that his appalling lack of self-discipline was holding him back. Caroline completely changed him. She encouraged him to become computer literate, generally organised his working life but most importantly of all she made him stand up to the people who were taking advantage of his good nature. He remembered vividly the first moment she walked into his life.
Her c.v. had led him to expect a well qualified but timid graduate, another in the long line that he had already interviewed, but when she strode into the interview room that morning, a twenty two year old vision of beauty, brimming with self confidence he was totally captivated. She had worn a dark two piece business suit over a simple white blouse. The skirt was daringly short. Already tall she nevertheless sported a pair of high heeled ankle boots which further served to accentuate her legs. Her black hair was expensively cut in a geometric bob and framed an impeccably made up face with deep blue eyes surmounting a neat nose and a mouth with glossed red lips which seemed to flirt of their own accord. Not only did she get the job she talked herself into ten percent per annum more than he had anticipated paying.
He was more surprised than anybody was when, eighteen months later, she accepted his proposal of marriage but he also recognised that she was, in some sense, using him to her own advantage.
The front door opened as he approached and she stood there in a form-fitting leotard with a broad smile on her face. She had a high colour in her cheeks and had obviously just finished a session in the basement gymnasium. He smiled and handed over a modest bouquet of spring flowers. She took them and kissed him on the cheek but as she broke from him she had a suspicious look in her eyes.
"You said yes to the Japanese didn't you?”
He could not lie to her.
"I'm sorry. I had no choice"
Her mood changed instantly.
"You're a bloody fool. You let them walk all over you!”
He walked into the house, his buoyant mood completely deflated, and she started to berate him with a vengeance. Such was the force of her anger that he decided to escape to the bedroom and get changed but she did not let him get away that easily. She followed him upstairs and, whilst he undressed, she continued her rant.
He knew better than to try to argue. He was in the wrong and nothing he could say would improve things. As he removed his boxer shorts he caught a brief glimpse of his naked body in the mirror and for a moment pleasant thoughts of how he had originally intended to spend the afternoon returned to mock him. He bent to pick up his discarded trousers and that's when she struck. She crossed the gap between them with four strides and brought her hairbrush down across his cheeks with the full force of her arm.
He brought his hands back instinctively but then, off balance, he fell forward onto the bed. Caroline followed up her advantage and leapt onto his back. In a fit of anger she brought the ivory-backed brush down on his fleshy buttocks again and again. He was eighteen years older than her and not nearly as fit and she managed to get in at least a dozen vicious strokes before he finally managed to buck her off. She fell onto her back and he quickly rose over her and pinned her arms. Her face was flushed with anger but he thought that he had never seen her so beautiful. She put up a token struggle beneath his weight but he held her whilst his body began to register the full impact of the beating she had given him. His buttocks were a blaze of pain and it was a second or two before he realised that he was fully erect. This new turn of events surprised him but it decided him on how he would exact his revenge. He worked his hand down between her legs and pulled the flimsy material of the leotard to one side and then braced himself to force an entrance but he was surprised to find that she was already sodden. He pushed himself home and she climaxed almost immediately. This served to spur him on and he took her with a frenzy but she came twice more in quick succession before he reached an almost heart stopping climax.
He rolled off from her and tried to marshal his thoughts. He had always considered their sex life to be mutually satisfying if not too adventurous but this afternoon was, without doubt, the most vivid sexual experience he had ever enjoyed. After a few minutes he fell into a fitful sleep with Caroline in his arms.
When he awoke she was brushing her hair at her dressing table. She was wearing a powder blue silk evening dress.
"Get up. You can take me to dinner. It's the least you can do if I'm entertaining your bloody clients tomorrow night."
He smiled as he padded to the bathroom confident in her forgiveness but her next remark cut him short.
"I'll want them out by eleven and then we're going to pay a little game of forfeits"
The following evening went remarkably well. Caroline was a consummate hostess and a first class cook and, as always, his guests were captivated - and on this occasion, it was just as well. Throughout that day he had been unable to concentrate on his work as images of the previous night kept invading his thoughts not least because his backside was so sore that the least movement served to remind him of what his wife had inflicted upon him; but, equally, the memory of their violent lovemaking afterwards ensured that he had spent a lot of the day with a painful erection.
He somehow got through the meal on autopilot as he considered his wife’s cryptic remark of the night before on which she steadfastly refused to expand. At eleven o'clock precisely the chauffeur rang the doorbell and, after a prolonged parting, his guests finally took their places in the car for the drive back to their hotel. He closed the front door and drank in the silence for a few seconds before going back into the living room.
She turned to face him as he walked through the double doors.
"Wait for me downstairs in the gym. Be undressed when I arrive"
Her haughty tone took him by surprise but his heart pounded in his chest. Without a word he walked back into the hall and took the stairs down to the basement. The gym was well lit but cold, Caroline rarely had the heating on down here, and it was with reluctance that he slowly took off his clothes. He had been unsure what to expect but such thoughts as he had entertained were centered on the warmth of the bedroom. One entire wall of the gym was mirrored and he could not avoid his reflection as he stood waiting feeling a little absurd with his jutting erection.
As the minutes dragged on Caroline still did not put in an appearance. His manhood wilted and he began to shiver. He was sorely tempted to get dressed again but something held him back. Finally he curled up on the padded massage table which afforded a vestige of warmth and, as the alcohol he had consumed finally took effect, he began to doze. When he came to his watch told him that it was one o'clock. He straightened his stiffened limbs, collected his clothes, and padded up to the bedroom where he found a note pinned to the door.
"I'm sorry that you could not see fit to stay awake. Use the spare room. We'll discuss it in the morning"
He tried the door but it was locked. He thought about knocking but in the end it just seemed easier to give in.
When he awoke the next morning it had gone eleven. He showered, shaved, put on a dressing gown and went downstairs. The cleaner had already cleared away the dinner things and left the house. Another note awaited him with the morning’s post.
"Be downstairs at twelve sharp"
His first reaction was anger but, to his surprise, he found that on re-reading those five simple words his manhood began to stir. He helped himself to a glass of fresh orange juice from the refrigerator and got down to the gym with two minutes to spare. At twelve exactly Caroline came in. She was simply dressed in a short navy blue skirt and black crew neck cashmere sweater. He opened his mouth to speak but she cut him short
“Not a word! It would appear that since we married you have started to develop some of your old habits but, in fairness, it is probably as much my fault as yours. I cannot say that I fully understand what happened between us the other night but I was curious enough to do a little research. It's absolutely amazing what you can find on the internet if you really look."
She started to walk around him and he felt oddly vulnerable in his silk robe.
"Today we are going to institute a new regime and get you back into shape"
Something in her tone set off an alarm bell in his mind. It was a tone he had often heard her use when she had been acting as his protector at the office but she had never actually spoken to him in this way.
"Get undressed and lie on the bench"
He did as he was told with a mixture of fear and excited anticipation. Fear of the pain she had inflicted on him but a longing to rediscover the new sexual peak he had so recently scaled. He instinctively lay on his back but she motioned him to turn over. The bench’s padded black leather surface was just long enough to accommodate him, but, being narrow, he had to lie with his arms down towards the floor. He felt Caroline’s cool fingers brushing lightly over his buttocks much as his own had done earlier that morning in the bathroom. He had been surprised, given the apparent severity of the pain, that there was very little bruising.
She spoke to him in a clipped, almost matter-of-fact, manner.
"I've brought down a number of things to try on you. Over the next few days I want to test your tolerances. If you behave you will get your reward. If not ...."
His stomach lurched at the unspoken words. It was the fear of an older man married to, a much younger, beautiful woman, the fear that she had come to her senses.
He lay perfectly still and listened as she rummaged through her sports holdall.
"From my reading it seems important that I warm you up before we really get down to it"
His heart pounded and he chanced a glimpse. She was standing two feet away. From his vantage point he could follow the curves of her long legs as they disappeared upwards into the darkness of her skirt. From her hand hung the two-foot wooden rule that he used when working at home. Never had it looked quite so ominous. He was still lost in his own thoughts when she struck him without warning across both buttocks.
The noise was worse than the pain itself which was mild compared to her previous angry attack but she then began a regular tattoo working methodically up and down covering the area from the upslope at the small of his back to midway down his thighs.
He lost count at thirty and she showed no sign of stopping. He felt the heat in his flesh steadily increase and with it a return to the levels of pain he had previously endured.
Finally she stopped but, oddly, the pain seemed to become greater in the immediate lull. He wanted to talk to her, he wanted to tell her that he loved her, but somehow silence seemed more appropriate. He could hear her opening the small fridge where she kept her isotonic drinks and then listened as she swallowed greedily.
"Your skin looks nicely tanned I think we can move onto stage two"
For a split second he wanted to rebel. To jump up and assert himself. To take her as he had before but he found he could not. It was almost as though there was a weight on his body keeping him in place and, when he saw her taking her riding crop from her holdall he knew he was lost.
"We'll start with six. Don't try to be brave. Cry or scream if you want to. I want to find out exactly how much you can take"
He could not believe that it was his wife saying these words but, stranger still, he could not explain why he had begun to tumesce.
The first blow fell almost dead centre and the pain was crisp and sharp. He expelled his breath through his nose and, despite her warning, he tried not to cry out.
The second blow fell, lower than the first, and although it appeared to be delivered with the same force it somehow seemed more painful.
Crack! Crack! Crack!
The next three fell in quick succession, targeted at random, and he felt a tear start to his eye. Before the last stroke was delivered he felt her fingers exploring the inch long ridges that she had raised on his skin. Then her intent became clear as the last stroke fell directly on the welt raised by the first and he could no longer help himself
"Well done my darling. There is no point trying to be a hero. I'm going to see this through to the end no matter what. Now, I want you to turn over "
He turned slowly wiping the back of his hand over his eye as he did so but as his tortured flesh came in to contact with the warm surface of the bench he winced and his eye was moist again.
"You're doing very well and now you get the first part of your reward.."
She moved closer to him and slowly hitched up her skirt. Apart from self supporting stockings she was wearing no underwear and, as his eyes lighted on the lush black thicket that covered her pubis, he felt his erection gain new vigour. He watched and hoped but she approached the end of the bench and, facing his feet, she straddled his face. She released her skirt and the hot enveloping darkness was complete. She lowered herself slowly and his tongue went to work. Normally he liked to service his wife with his mouth but he disliked her actually squatting over him. Nevertheless he did his best and it seemed good enough because she came quickly to a climax pressing herself down on him at the height of her passion. It was two minutes, but it seemed longer, before she finally got up from him.
She smoothed her dress down and straightened her hair
"Turn over. It's time for part three"
He looked at her earnestly.
"Let's go upstairs. I want us to be a couple"
Her laugh froze him like iced water.
"From hereon you have to earn your rewards"
He knew, in those next few seconds, that he had a choice to make. He could take whatever physical pain she chose to inflict or he could face the pain of losing her. The decision was easily made and he slowly turned over once more.
She used the crop again. Twelve crisp, evenly spaced, strikes across his already tortured flesh.
He turned and waited. Once again she lifted her skirt and he immediately sensed her need. It was the mood she would sometimes fall into when she had had a couple of drinks. On those occasions she would become a sexual predator, taking the lead in their lovemaking, bringing an exquisite savagery to the proceedings. Some perverse part of his brain wanted his manhood to resist, to show that she had overstepped the mark, but his resolve was like a straw hut in a typhoon. She stepped over his legs and, by the time she had edged forward, his erection was as fierce as ever. She smiled a cruel smile that he had never seen before as she slowly impaled herself. She was hotter and wetter than he could ever remember and she wasted no time as she began to lift herself up and down with an urgent relentless rhythm.
"Make sure you don't come or I'll really make you pay"
Her words seemed superfluous. Her weight was constricting his already wounded flesh and he was amazed that he was able to stay the course at all but, as her first orgasm took her, she held herself rigid and it was as though the life was being sucked out of him.
"Caroline, I can't hold back..."
"Don't you dare!”
She remained still for two or three minutes but the whole time her body was pulsing and drawing him on. Slowly, inexorably, she began to move again but now the heat of pain began to meld with the heat of her pleasure and he could not help himself as his hips began to jerk to the rhythm that she had set. This time her orgasm took an age to build and he had to bite his lip in order to try hold himself back but his best was not good enough. She started to move harder and faster and as she began to scream out her pleasure he let himself go and experienced the longest climax he had ever known.
Caroline slumped forward on him panting hard with a sheen of perspiration glossing her skin.
She was unable to talk for some minutes but finally, with a great effort, she eased herself off him.
"I told you not to come now you have to pay the price...."
She returned to her holdall which to his eyes, had taken on the qualities of Pandora’s box. She took out several leather straps and his immediate thought was to wonder where the hell had she got them from. Then he remembered the Victorian cabin trunks they had brought at auction which now fulfilled the function of very expensive storage boxes in the attic.
"Put your arms to your sides"
He obeyed liked an automaton knowing that he would do almost anything to remain on these new sexual plateaux. She unrolled the straps under the bench and , starting at his shins, she pulled them over his body. She cinched each one tight and fastened the heavy brass buckles. There were six already in place when she finally took the thinnest and pulled it tight across his forehead. It was an odd sensation. The tightness was almost comforting and there was a curious sense of release in knowing that the decision making process had been taken out of his hands. His fate was now entirely at his young wife's whim and favour.
When she was satisfied she unclipped her skirt and let it fall to the floor. Her tan was not deep but kept at a healthy tone all over her body. Without preamble she straddled his face again but this time she took up a position so that she could look down into his face.
"Lick me nice and clean"
He was about to protest at this new indignity, something she had never demanded before, when she settled over his mouth. His immediate reaction was to close his mouth tightly but she was ready for this. She pinched his nose between her thumb and forefinger which served the dual purpose of cutting off his air supply and allowing her to stimulate her clitoris with her knuckle. His mouth gasped open and he tasted his own emissions for the first time. At first he almost gagged but, facing the inevitable, he then tried to get it over with as soon as possible but she kept him under until she reached yet another wrenching climax.
When she finally lifted herself his face was wet and his hair matted to his scalp. She refastened her skirt and from her bag drew out one of her own leather belts. It was red, heavily embossed, about an inch thick and the sight of it made him quail.
"Please Caroline. Enough is enough,,"
"Don't be silly. We've got the rest of the weekend ahead of us and you'll be amazed what I've dreamt up for you."
She reached down and soothed his brow with her hand.
"You get another dozen now and then I'll leave you for a couple of hours of contemplation whilst I have some lunch"
She was looking steadily into his eyes and, for reasons that he would never explain to himself, he was, at that moment, more deeply in love than ever. So it was, that, as the strap started to fall across the front of his thighs, his cries of pain seemed almost to be cries of celebration at the new life that had begun for him.