tagNovels and NovellasThe Wanderings of Amy Ch. 08

The Wanderings of Amy Ch. 08


Chapter 8 - Robert's Ghosts

Amy and Suzanne slowly walked back to Suzanne's car shortly after dark. Both of them were stiff from their punishments. Amy noted with amusement that Suzanne was much more careful about hitting the speed-bumps on the way back. Suzanne's cautious manner of driving had returned, and then some.

When it became clear to Suzanne that Amy was perfectly willing to forgive her for her behavior in the morning, she seemed almost bubbly with happiness. On their way back Suzanne seemed to be happily lost in thought. For once she seemed to have something else on her mind besides her next photo shoot. It was strange for Amy to see Suzanne like this. Amy started to wonder what had gone on between Suzanne and Robert while she was asleep.


Amy's problems with her history of economics class were not over. The make-up term paper loomed over her and Wendy. That night Amy e-mailed Burnside to ask her if she and Wendy could do a joint paper. Burnside surprised her by responding within a few minutes.

"Have it your way. Remember that double the researchers means double the paper. Hope you know what you are doing. -Burnside-."

Amy called Wendy with the news. They agreed that they needed to meet early the next morning. Amy then decided to have Wendy drive her to Robert's place to see what insight he could give them on choosing a topic.

Amy and Wendy showed up at his apartment at 8:00. He delayed going to work to help them with their problem. He posed a question to Wendy that had never occurred to her, her family was in trade, why not research something related to her father's business?

Robert's probing of Wendy's family history revealed that they had made most of their fortune selling supplies to the US Army during the Vietnam War. That's a coincidence; said Robert. Both his father and Amy's grandfather were lieutenant colonels in charge of buying supplies from Taiwan during their tours of duty. Robert pulled out a photo album and showed Amy and Wendy his father's Vietnam War pictures, which also included many photos of John's father. Most of the shots were of groups of US officers, but suddenly Wendy's face brightened. She pointed to a picture of Amy's grandfather and two other US officers posing with a group of Taiwanese businessmen.

"That's my grandfather!" exclaimed Wendy as she pointed to one of the Chinese executives. Wendy grabbed the album and thumbed over the next several pages. She found two more group pictures that included her grandfather. It turned out that Amy and Wendy were linked in a way that neither could have imagined; their grandfathers had done business together.

"Well, it looks like you two have your research topic. My Vietnam books are on those two shelves. There are a couple about the economic impact of the Vietnam War and some others on logistics. Amy, your grandfather's Army file is in that file cabinet, with your father's other papers. That'll get you started. I got to go. Make sure you lock up when you leave."

After Robert left, Wendy pulled out her cell phone and called her uncle in Taipei. In Chinese she asked him to send her any information he had on her family's contacts with the US Army during the Vietnam War. Meanwhile, Amy started paging through Robert's books and her grandfather's military record.


Amy's suspicions about her roommate and her father's friend intensified over the following weekend. Suzanne was gone and Robert was not picking up his phone. She did not know what to make of that. It was inevitable that Suzanne would find another boyfriend, and that Robert at some point needed to get over Tricia. But, Robert and Suzanne? What on earth did they have in common? Amy felt jealous, but she knew that she had no right to feel that way.

Suzanne headed over Robert's place Friday night. She had missed him tremendously. She felt an excitement that she had rarely felt in her relationships. While it was true that he was almost twice her age, she had hopes that this relationship would be different from all the others.

Suzanne's love of photography and the arts had come at a huge price, loneliness. Most of the men in the art department were self-centered, irresponsible, or both. Suzanne had gone through several relationships with guys from her department, none of which had given her any satisfaction.

Suzanne knew that making a living off the arts was next to impossible for most people; that a career back-up was needed for any aspiring artist. Most of her male classmates seemed either not to realize that fact, or to care. Suzanne saw the same pattern in relationship after relationship; this guy is going to live off me if we stay together. As a result of her caution about choosing a partner, Suzanne had become unpopular among the men in the art department. One of her ex-boyfriends even tried to spread a rumor that Suzanne was gay.

Robert was as different from her other boyfriends as Suzanne could imagine. He most certainly had his faults; his age, the ghost of his dead wife, his lack of any artistic taste, the fact that he seemed to think that he was right about everything. What made up for all that was that he was focused, he intensely cared about the other people in his life, and was more than willing to take the time needed to help others.

Suzanne fell into Robert's arms as soon as she walked through his door. He had fixed her dinner, but that could wait. She was hungry for something else. She buried her mouth into his. She pressed her pelvis against Robert's. The reaction from him was immediate. He reached for the waistband of her skirt and pushed it off her hips to the floor. Suzanne suddenly made a strange sight, dressed in winter clothes from the waist up and nude from the waist down. She struggled with his pants and pushed them down past his knees. She grabbed his penis and massaged it, enjoying the feel of Robert's erection throbbing in her hand. Robert ran his hand between Suzanne's thighs and brushed it past her crotch. She was wet immediately. Robert pulled off his shirt. He pressed his nude body against Suzanne's coat. He ran his fingers into her hair and kissed her hard.

Suddenly they were on the floor. Robert thrust hard, his sweat dripping onto Suzanne's coat. She dug her fingernails into his bottom, the pain just enough to excite him even more. Robert took his time, stretching his orgasm out as long as he could. This time was even better for him.

When they finished, Suzanne suddenly started to laugh. "You know, we didn't even say hello to each other."

That night, after another round of sex, Suzanne lay across Robert's lap. He took his time to enjoy the sight of Suzanne's bottom. He studied the marks remaining from her strapping a few days before, and gently ran his hand across her bottom cheeks. Suzanne enjoyed the feel of Robert's hand on her bottom. He pressed between her legs, teasing her. He traced her labia and bottom hole with the tips of his fingers. Suzanne closed her eyes, enjoying the intimacy Robert's touches. He took his time with her, a nice change from her last boyfriend.

The next day, while Amy and Wendy buried themselves in the labyrinth of military purchases and economic development, Suzanne and Robert enjoyed their first full Saturday together. Robert allowed Suzanne to do most of the talking, since what he did as an attorney was hardly the stuff for romantic conversation. They went to several art galleries. Suzanne actually was able to make art interesting for Robert, a real accomplishment. A couple of the galleries had photo displays that included Suzanne's pictures of Amy. Robert had seen some of the pictures before, but it was interesting for him to hear Suzanne describe how the pictures were taken and what Amy had to do for the poses. After the galleries, Robert took Suzanne to his favorite restaurant, the one that over-looked Chicago.

Suzanne's caution forced her to wonder about Tricia. When they returned to Robert's apartment, Suzanne walked over to Robert's desk to examine the items on top. From a large desk portrait, Tricia stared back at her. Suzanne picked up the picture, trying to read Tricia's personality by studying her eyes. Suzanne knew two things about Tricia. She had been killed by a drunk driver, and she had a wildness about her that made Robert think that he needed to keep a strap in his room. Suzanne needed to fill in the blanks, before committing herself any further to Robert.

Robert sat down in the largest easy chair in the apartment, with Suzanne sitting on his lap. They sat in the dark, looking out his living room window.

"Robert, I have to know about Tricia." Suzanne finally said.

Reluctantly at first, Robert began the story. As he progressed, he loosened up and the details flowed out.


Robert and Tricia had known each other since middle school. They started dating in the 9th grade. They broke up and got back together again several times over the next 10 years. Finally they got married, each convinced that they were made for each other, given the numerous break-ups and reconciliations.

Tricia was addicted to alcohol. Robert was addicted to Tricia. He spent night after night helping her recover from her latest binge. Time after time Tricia apologized to Robert and promised to stop, but never managed to stay off alcohol for more than a few weeks. In a perverse way, her dependency fed his desire to take care of her.

After 10 years of dating Tricia, and 5 years of being married to her, Robert watched his wife get drunk and then sick at a party at her boss's house. She threw up on a sofa, in front of 30 guests. That finally did it for Robert. He left immediately. How Tricia got home was not his problem. He packed up the clothes he would need and headed over to his office, where he had a sofa to sleep on and a bathroom with a shower.

Tricia spent the next two months begging Robert to take her back. He had always taken her back before. They both knew that sooner or later he would take her back again. However, one night Robert decided that this time he would call the shots as to how they got back together. When Tricia got drunk, she would get punished. It would be that simple.

Knowing that Tricia would call him that night and do her usual begging for him to take her back, Robert went to a couple of adult sex toy stores after work to look at something that would be effective to use on her. Finally he settled on a thick leather strap and a pair of leather cuffs that hooked together. That task accomplished, he went his office to wait for Tricia to call him. Sure enough, she called him within a half an hour.

"I guess I'll come back tonight. From this point on there will be a condition if you want to stay with me."

"Oh please, anything. I want to be with you. I've missed you so bad."

She always said the same thing when they got back together. Robert was not sure if this would work, but he had tried everything else. She had gone for treatment three times. He could see no point in doing that again.

Tricia was no better than she had been when Robert left her. He could smell that she had been drinking as soon as she rushed into his arms. Robert sighed. She was getting worse. She started sobbing as she gripped him. She spent the next hour sobbing as she held on to him. Finally he ordered her into the bathtub. He gave her a couple of glasses of water to help her flush out the latest round of drinks. Tricia was quiet when she got out and came into the bedroom. She seemed fine, but Robert knew this was all part of her pattern.

"Don't bother to get dressed. You told me that you would do whatever it takes to have me back. Instead I show up here to see you drinking again. OK. I'm not going to take off again. We're going to do something else."

With that he ordered her to sit down. He told her that she was not to get up from that chair. If she did he would leave and she would never see him again. Then, in the same way that he would cross-examine any other witness, he cross-examined his wife. Pacing the floor, Robert bore into Tricia. He started with the latest incident, which, he found out to his dismay, had resulted in the loss of her job.

For hours, as she sat crying, Robert forced confession after confession out of his wife. He forced her to remember her worst binges in detail. He forced her to remember what she drank each time and how much. He forced her to remember all the times she threw up. He forced her to remember embarrassing incidents. He made her describe in her own words, the results of several of her binges. Then he returned to the latest incident. He forced her to describe the faces of her co-workers as her vomit spread across the sofa. She could not remember, so Robert filled in the awful details.

Tricia was terrified, because she had never seen her husband like this. The truth was that Robert was acting; he had put on his lawyer's mask. But in the end he extracted from Tricia what he needed, a confession.

"Tricia, explain to me why you have done all these things. You have a problem, and that problem has a name. What is it?"

Tricia was still crying, but she had been crying so long that she was no longer sobbing. Robert repeated the question.

"I drink too much."

"You're close, but you haven't named your problem. I need the correct term, Tricia."

"I...I'm an alcoholic."

"What does that mean for our relationship?"

"If...I don't...stop, you'll leave me."

"Do you want to stop?"

"I'll try."

"There will be no 'trying", Tricia. Either you will stop, or you won't. Now answer the question. Do you want to stop?"

"Yes Robert, I want to stop."

"And how do you plan to stop?"

Tricia started crying again. "I don't know. I need you to help me."

"Well, here's the deal. I am going to make you pay for your drinking from now on. If you want to stay with me, when you drink, you will have a sore butt." Robert held up his strap. Tricia's eyes went wide with horror.

"You can't do that to me. You don't have the right..."

"You're free to go. You're free to tell me to take off. The choice is yours. You can drink, or you can stay with me. You can't do both. I told you that if you stay with me, it will be under a condition."

Robert held out the strap in both hands. "This is the condition. Every time you drink..." Robert swatted the dresser hard. The loud crack against the wood made Tricia wince. "...you'll get it."

"Robert...Please, I promise..."

"Yeah-yeah-yeah. You promise. You promise. You always promise. Well, don't promise, because we both know how much your promises are worth!"

She got up and tried to hug him. "I'm sorry." He pushed her away.

"Tricia, you don't get it! It's always the same! You promise. You're sorry. So's the damn airlines! They're sorry too! But they never improve their service! Just like you never stop your drinking. Everyone is sorry. 'Sorry' has become just a lame excuse to not do anything! But now you are going to learn what 'sorry' really means. Don't move."

Robert got a couple of hard pillows from the living room and stacked them on the bed. Tricia clasped her hands in front of her chest in anticipation and worry as she watched him.

"I'm going to do this to you every time you drink. You'll need to get used to it. Or, you can get dressed and leave."

Robert tapped the pillows and motioned his crying wife to lie across them, her bottom in high the air. She started to cry louder when he wrapped her wrists in the leather cuffs and hooked them together in front of her. Now she would have to keep her hands in front. She could not try to cover her bottom.

Robert suddenly felt aroused seeing his wife's nude body draped over the pillows, her white bottom waiting to be marked. He had not expected that he would actually enjoy this.

Tricia buried her head between her arms. She could not believe that her husband was actually doing this to her. Still, she realized that she had forced him into this situation. It was true that she had made his life a living hell for 15 years. In a way she actually respected him more at this moment. He had demonstrated that indeed he was not going to put up with this any more. Tricia had unconsciously held power over Robert by always coming back to him. Now with the threat of punishment every time she drank, the balance of power in the marriage suddenly shifted to his favor. Every time she drank, Tricia would be faced with a choice; leave, or take a punishment.

Robert hit Tricia hard. A thick pink stripe immediately appeared across both of her bottom cheeks. Tricia screamed and rolled off the pillows. He hit her across the thighs. "That's fine. Butt or thighs, you'll get it either way."

Tricia, sobbing, struggled to get back over the pillows. She managed to stay in place for the next four swats. He hit Tricia hard across both bottom cheeks. She screamed each time her husband struck her, and sobbed in between. Robert had to learn through trial and error how to punish effectively. He had not yet worked out the technique that he later used on Amy. However, what he lacked in technique he made up for in anger. There were 15 years of anger built up in him that came out in his strokes.

Tricia again rolled off the pillows. "Robert! Please! I'm sorry!" She curled up on her back to protect the fronts of her thighs, but in doing so she again exposed her bottom, leaving it turned up and at a perfect angle for another hard swat. Robert swatted hard, marking the spot where Tricia's bottom ended and her thighs began. Tricia screamed again and flipped onto her stomach. "Robert! I'm sorry! Please!"

"Sorry" was the worst thing that Tricia could say to Robert. She had been "sorry" for 15 years. He was sick of "sorry". He clamped his left hand on her back and slashed as hard as he could with the strap in his right hand. In spite of the inconvenient position, Robert took out 15 years of resentment over Tricia's behavior in his next series of swats against her bottom. She clenched her bottom cheeks hard, which seemed to reduce the effectiveness of the strap. Suddenly Robert stopped.

"Tricia, put your legs over the side of the bed! I'll show you sorry!"

Crying, Tricia managed to throw her legs over the bed. She put her cuffed hands close to her forehead and sobbed.

"SORRY!" screamed Robert as he laid the next swat hard against Tricia's bottom. This time Tricia struggled to stay in position for him. "SORRY!" he screamed again. He laid on another hard swat. "YOU'RE SORRY!" CRACK!...CRACK!...CRACK!... He hit her hard with three rapid strokes. "You're..." CRACK "...always..." CRACK "...SORRY!" CRACK....CRACK!

Robert ended the punishment and left her crying for a few minutes. Finally he helped her up. She was sobbing and shaking, but she threw her cuffed hands over Robert's head and hugged him. His anger turned into passion. He motioned Tricia to get on her knees and elbows on the bed. He pulled off his own clothes. The sight of the marks on Tricia's bottom excited him in a way that she had never excited him before. He grabbed her thighs and thrust hard into to her. Tricia's sobs mixed with groans of pleasure. She had her first orgasm in months.

Afterwards they lay together, their arms around each other, Tricia still in her handcuffs. She seemed relaxed in a way that Robert had not noticed before. Finally he took off the handcuffs. Tricia rolled on her back and held her arms out to him. Robert was aroused at the sight of her. They made love yet again.

The marriage changed after Robert started strapping Tricia. She still had episodes of drinking, but they became fewer and farther between. Tricia could count on a severe strapping whenever she drank. Robert improved his technique over time, making the punishments longer and more painful.

Tricia found that, as much as she feared being punished, she was always extremely aroused afterwards. Her best sessions of sex with her husband were always after a strapping. As much as she dreaded the strappings, she loved the sex that followed.

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