Subject: Cynthia and the Family Conference-I
From: Oilbuckle@aol.com
Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 01:45:09 EDT

Cynthia and the Family Conference

(This story deals with the spanking of minor children. If you're under 18 or offended by the subject matter, don't read it.)

I knew something was wrong when a boy delivered a note to my sixth- grade teacher in the middle of science class. But when she came over to my desk and whispered to me my father had just been rushed to the hospital with a heart attack, my own heart almost stopped.

Nobody seemed to know what to do for the next couple of hours. The principal drove me over to the hospital, and I expected to be brought to my father's room at once... but, after arguing with the receptionist, he turned back to me with a look of despair. "I'm afraid they won't let you see him," he said. "It's a very strict rule... children under twelve aren't allowed to visit the patients, even their parents." (And I, having been skipped a grade, wouldn't even be eleven for another few months.)

With more apologies and a final squeeze of my shoulder, he was off, leaving me in the care of total strangers who assured me that my Aunt Eileen, my late mother's sister, had been notified and would be arriving within a few hours. She and my Uncle Ned lived on a farm in Indiana, far from anything interesting, and, aside from my fears for the father I wasn't even allowed to see, I wasn't looking at all forward to being dragged a thousand miles away from him and my school friends for the indefinite future.

"Oh, Lou! I'm so sorry!" came the familiar voice of Cynthia

Benedetto, probably my best friend at school. I looked up and saw her and her father, Gino, standing by the receptionist's desk. Mr. Benedetto, like the principal before him, was arguing with the receptionist, and, like the principal, seemed to be losing.

"What's all this nonsense about kids not being allowed to visit?"

Cynthia whispered as she walked over to me. "You just wait... Dad can take care of anything." Sure enough, when the receptionist reiterated her refusal and indignantly returned to her typing, Mr. Benedetto came back to us, "Let's go."

Taking both Cynthia's and my hand in each of his own, Mr. Benedetto strode toward the door to the patients' rooms. "I told you, children are not allowed is there! Is she over twelve?" Cynthia wouldn't be twelve for close to four months, but Mr. Benedetto ignored her and brought us through the halls, as the receptionist raved on.

"Where's Justin Remarra's room?" Gino Benedetto barked at the first doctor he saw. He didn't know, nor did the second or the third, but the fourth finally pointed him in the right direction as he strode through the halls. He eventually led us to the proper room, and, letting go of Cynthia's hand, brought me over to see Dad.

Dad tried to smile. "They say I'm out of danger, but will have to stay here for several weeks. I've talked to your Aunt Eileen and Uncle Ned, and they've agreed to take care of you while I'm here?"

"But I'll miss school! Dad, can't I please stay with Cynthia and her father? I've done so before..."

"Overnight. Not for several weeks. I couldn't impose like that."

Mr. Benedetto came over after what seemed to be an impassioned discussion with Cynthia. "It wouldn't be any trouble, Mr. Remarra. I have plenty of people to help me look after them both."

Dad was definitely torn. "Well, if it really isn't an imposition... you know as well as I do how much that school costs, and he couldn't get anything like that kind of education at Eileen's..."

After a bit more discussion it was settled. Dad told me not to bother Mr. Benedetto, and to obey him as if I were his own child. I willingly agreed (thinking to myself that I'd obey him more than his only child often did herself) and the three of us got into the back of his Rolls-Royce, whereupon his chauffeur, Ferranti, drove us to my house so I could pick up some extra clothes, and then to the Benedetto home.

"I'm having a conference with several important people this month," Mr.Benedetto told us, "so I won't be able to spend as much time with you as a host should. I won't be eating dinner with you tonight, but Mrs. Scalia (their cook) will feed you in the kitchen."

I was already excited. Things were always more interesting at Cynthia's house than at Aunt Eileen's. Even though Cynthia's ideas of entertainment had gotten her soundly spanked on at least four occasions I knew about, and me as well more than once, I was still grateful not to be going to Aunt Eileen's.

At Cynthia's request, Mr. Benedetto gave me a guest room on the third floor, right across from her own bedroom. I was unpacking my clothes and putting them into the dresser's empty drawers (which was more than most of the guest rooms in my own house had), when Cynthia came in. She seemed so excited at the prospect of having company her own age that she hadn't even changed from the dress mandated by the school authorities into jeans and T-shirt, as she usually did once she got home.

"I'd hoped I could get Dad to give you this room, Lou!" Cynthia said with a grin on her face. She bent and felt along the wall near the floor. "This is something I just discovered recently... I don't think Dad even knows about it!"

I had no idea what she was talking about, until a piece of the wall about eighteen inches square suddenly swung back, revealing itself to be a hidden door. "See? A hidden passageway! And you won't believe where it leads to!"

She crawled into the passageway after gesturing for me to follow. As I crawled after her through the darkness, I felt like the hero of a mystery movie, suddenly thrust into danger in the hideout of a desperate criminal by a beautiful woman. Well, I told myself, I'd heard Mr. Benedetto was a criminal (or so the papers occasionally described him), and I sometimes thought of Cynthia, a year older than me and a lot more knowledgeable, as a beautiful woman. True, I thought when we'd momentarily crawl through a shaft of light from a ventilator, not many of the movie heroines in those days went crawling through passageways in short dresses that revealed their none-too-clean underwear...

The tunnel ended, and I could dimly see an almost pitch-dark room around us. Cynthia crawled toward the center and lifted a board. "See where we are?"

I gasped, and Cynthia slapped her hand over my mouth. The room looked down on Mr. Benedetto's study, a room I'd been in only once before. Mr. Benedetto was seated behind his desk, not far from the recently-mended Verrocchio statue Cynthia had broken by accident while trying to roller-skate on the marble floor.

Looking at the statue brought another scene to my mind... that of Cynthia across his lap, her still-skated feet kicking and her dress raised, getting spanked on her threadbare panties. In retrospect, an almost amusing scene, but I couldn't help but shudder as I looked at Cynthia's formidable father. I doubted he'd show any more mercy to me if I got on the wrong side of him.

Mr. Benedetto was talking to two other men who sat in the big armchairs across from him. One was dark-haired and immensely fat; the other was short and had Asian features. "The fat guy is Mr. Giovannucci," Cynthia told me. "He's from Sicily, like Dad. The other one's Mr. Nakagawa, and he's a big deal in the Yakuza." At my blank expression, she added, "The Japanese Mafia. They're talking about things that'll affect the whole world."

"They're both staying here?"

"Yep. And one or two more, not to mention consiglieres and bodyguards and various hangers-on. You were lucky to get the room you did. And poor Nina's been running herself ragged."

"Nina?" I vaguely remembered meeting her once or twice. "Your dad's girlfriend?"

Cynthia gave me a contemptuous look. "And his top madam. A lot of these folks wanted girls, since they're away from their wives for so long. Giovannucci loves big, fat women, while Nakagawa's partial to schoolgirls." I gaped at her, and she added, "All over 18, of course, but some of them look younger than me. That's what he seems to like."

I listened for a few minutes to a conversation that seemed to be about someone named Jimmy Hoffa. "Who's this Hoffa? A truck driver?"

Cynthia snorted in laughter. "Yes, you could say that. He's a truck driver like President Eisenhower's a soldier. He's testifying before Congress, and Dad and the others want to make sure he doesn't give too much away."

I continued to listen to the boring conversation as my eyes gradually became accustomed to the dim light. The room we were in seemed to be the same size and shape of the study below, but only about five feet high. I could barely stand up straight, and Cynthia had to bend her head a little when she was standing up. Right now, however, she was on her knees, listening avidly to the conversation in the room below.

For lack of anything else to do, I mentally began to count the stains on Cynthia's panties. I'd probably identified at least eight different ones, even though I could only see the back half. Now that I thought of it, she seemed even more casual about displaying them than was usual for her when we were alone together, rarely making even the halfhearted attempts at smoothing her dress or tucking it up that she did in the schoolyard. Then again, now that I'd seen her bare bottom on several occasions and even had occasional glimpses of her crotch, she might have figured that her panties were trivial. Or did she consider me her (I almost gagged at the thought) boyfriend?

Cynthia looked up. "Lou, if you're not doing anything, there's some Coke in the fridge downstairs. Could you get me a bottle?"

I felt my way to the tunnel and headed back for the room. Then again, was it just that I was someone who generally did what she wanted me to do? I was only beginning to understand relationships, and most of my classmates still avoided them between opposite sexes whenever possible. Their reasons had always struck me as completely illogical, but was I entering territory I only vaguely understood?

Cynthia's voice floated to me from the observation room. "Why not get two bottles while you're at it? And get a couple for yourself, too?"

Well, maybe I could live with it. Hopefully she'd get tired after an hour or so, and we could go for a swim...

"Aren't you going to stand up when a lady enters the room?"

The harsh female voice took me by surprise. It was Saturday, two days after I'd come to stay in the Benedetto house, and Cynthia and I were eating lunch in the kitchen.

Cynthia jumped up as the visitor entered the kitchen. She was an immense woman about Mr. Benedetto's age or slightly older, wearing a severe black suit and a pillbox hat, and carrying an immense black purse. She scowled down at us. "Oh, sorry," mumbled Cynthia. "Lou, this is my Aunt Joyce." She had about as much enthusiasm as she'd shown for last week's algebra test.

Aunt Joyce glared at her. "In introducing people, the lady's name should be mentioned first!" Her eyes passed up and down both of us with evident disapproval, especially for the T-shirt and frayed jeans that were Cynthia's customary weekend attire. "Cynthia, your clothes are disgraceful! You look like a beggar on the city streets!"

"Oh, really?" snapped Cynthia. "I suppose that's what you consider polite! Do I tell you you look like the hippopotamus at the zoo?"

Aunt Joyce seemed to perform the astonishing feat of swelling up to even greater proportions than before. "GINO!" she bellowed.

Gino Benedetto strode in with a look of fury in his eyes. We'd seen that same look had quelled the powerful Antonio Giovannucci the day before in his study, but, to my astonishment, he seemed to wilt the moment he saw Aunt Joyce. "Why, Joyce!" he stammered. "Uh, this is a pleasant surprise..." I doubted Mr. Benedetto had to take algebra tests any more, but he seemed about as enthusiastic as his daughter had.

Aunt Joyce gestured as Cynthia. "I came right away after I got your letter. You mentioned having two children to look after at the time of an important business conference, and I knew you would need my help! Frankly, I've realized for a long time that your daughter is long overdue for a lady's influence!"

"Well, I suppose she wasn't expecting..." muttered Mr. Benedetto.

"But that's no excuse for impudence!" roared Aunt Joyce. "Do you realize she told me that I..." her voice choked in fury, "...that I looked like the hippopotamus at the zoo?"

Mr. Benedetto glared at his daughter. "Cynthia, that was uncalled-for! You apologize to your aunt at once!"

Cynthia looked at her. "Aunt Joyce, I'm sorry." She added with a perfectly straight and penitent face, "I'm sorry you look like the hippopotamus at the zoo."

"Gino!" roared Aunt Joyce. "Are you going to let her get away with this?"

"No, of course not!" agreed her brother. "Cynthia, I'll see you in my study!"

He strode out, beckoning for Cynthia to follow. Cynthia turned to me and mouthed something that looked like "Icebag" to me, then followed her father with a martyred look on her face. Aunt Joyce folded her arms and looked after them with a look of triumph, then, ignoring me, strode out the same door.

I wasted no time in filling a plastic dish with ice. I went upstairs to Cynthia's room and got her icebag from the drawer where I remembered she kept it, and filled it with ice. She didn't need to explain by then... I knew she kept it to sit on after a spanking, which I could easily guess she was expecting. For a moment I agonized about invading her privacy, but, I reasoned, she didn't seem to feel that way about her father. Finally curiosity and a strange excitement led me to open the tunnel, and crawl through it to the room above the study.

I don't recall ever feeling such a blend of relief and disappointment when I saw Cynthia, still fully dressed, slumped in the armchair across from her father. He was simply lecturing her, "...but you have to realize you can't address grown-ups like that!"

"But she called me a beggar! Does she have the right to address me like that?"

Mr. Benedetto shook his head. "Not really, but she is your aunt. She deserves some respect. For the last time, are you going to apologize?"

Cynthia stood up. "All right, I shouldn't have compared them." She strode to the door much as her aunt had, and paused. "As soon as I have a chance, I'll apologize to the hippopotamus at the zoo!"

Mr. Benedetto strode across and seized her by the shoulder. "That is enough, Cynthia!" he bellowed. Spinning her around, he began to unbuckle her belt.

Cynthia squirmed, but he marched her toward his chair, unbuttoning and unzipping her jeans. The weight in her bulging pockets cause them to fall down of their own accord as he pulled her across his lap. Her panties that day were somewhat cleaner than they tended to be during the week, no doubt because they'd been covered by her jeans, but Mr. Benedetto still made a face as he pulled them down to her thighs. Cynthia hadn't said a word, but couldn't suppress a yelp as her father brought his big hand down on her bare bottom.

I knew I should leave, but I watched in continuing fascination as Mr. Benedetto spanked her a second and third time, causing the scar on her right cheek to stand out in bold relief. But then both of them looked up in amazement as the door slammed open and Aunt Joyce strode in.

I gasped before I could think, but fortunately it was covered up by louder gasps from Cynthia and Mr. Benedetto. Even as an occasional guest, I knew that the most ironclad rule in the household was that nobody... not even Cynthia, who took liberties even a consigliere wouldn't dare... ever disturbed Mr. Benedetto in his study. But now the intruding aunt was violating even that rule.

The three stared at each other without moving for about half a minute. It was Cynthia who finally broke the silence. "Aunt Joyce, do you mind? Dad and I happen to be busy right now."

Aunt Joyce glared at them both with disapproval. "I can see that! But it is most inappropriate! Cynthia is a young lady now. It is not seemly for you to touch her on... such an intimate area of her body."

Mr. Benedetto looked at her in astonishment. "But... but sometimes she needs it! You heard the way she talked to you! And her mother isn't alive to discipline her!"

Aunt Joyce placed her hands on her hips. "That is exactly why I should take charge of her discipline from now on! And I would recommend washing her mouth out with soap!"

Both Cynthia and her father looked at her in such horror that even Aunt Joyce stepped back. "Or something else. Judging from her behavior, your discipline is evidently ineffective!"

Taking Cynthia by the ear, Aunt Joyce pulled her off her father's lap. "Now, Gino, if you'd be so kind as to wait outside while I attend to Cynthia?" Mr. Benedetto stared at her, evidently nonplussed at being ordered out of his own study, in his own house... and then, to my amazement, he quietly walked toward the door and went outside.

"No, don't pull your pants back up!" snapped Aunt Joyce as Cynthia began to. "I've told Gino repeatedly that disciplining a young lady isn't work for a man, and I think he finally realizes it. I also told him one should never strike a child with one's hand!" Cynthia backed up in shock as her aunt removed a large hairbrush from her purse.

"And now, young lady," Aunt Joyce continued as she sat on Mr. Benedetto's chair and pulled Cynthia across her own lap, "it's time you learned what happens to insolent little girls! Your father has spoiled you far too much!" And she brought the brush down with a tremendous whack, right on Cynthia's scar.

After several more swats, Cynthia was screaming and crying, and I couldn't bear to watch any more. It looked to me as if she was getting severely bruised, and it was no longer exciting but revolting to see my best friend hurt in such a manner. I crawled back to my room and got Cynthia's icebag.

* * *

It wasn't until another ten minutes had gone by that Cynthia came tearing down the hall, vigorously rubbing the seat of her jeans. She shot me a look of gratitude when she saw me standing at the door to her room with her icebag, and gestured me to follow her inside. Without a word, she unbuckled her belt and turned her back on me, pulling both her jeans and panties out several inches. A quick look at her bottom was all I got... and all I had any desire to have, since it looked like a solid mass of bruises. I slipped in the icebag, and she turned around and flopped down on the bed.

"FUCK Aunt Joyce!" Cynthia said in a loud voice, but not a loud enough one to carry outside the room. Even for her, that was strong language.

"She really hit you hard, didn't she?" I sympathized. "I couldn't believe it when she ordered your dad out..." I suddenly stopped and stood back, realizing I'd just admitted to being a Peeping Tom.

"You were watching, weren't you?" I nodded, but Cynthia shrugged. "Serves me right for showing you that. You didn't see anything you haven't already, anyway."

"I can't believe her!" I said. "Aren't there laws against beating kids like that? Maybe we should tell the authorities...."

Cynthia looked at me in amazement. "For spanking me? Don't be ridiculous. That's not what I'm mad about!"

"But those bruises..."

"What bruises? It's not anything like as bad as it looks. I've got a tough butt, and what's one more spanking to me? No..." her eyes narrowed, "...what I'll never forgive... she made Dad stop my allowance for the next two weeks!"

"And that's worse...?" I gasped in disbelief.

"It's not right to punish someone twice for the same thing!" Cynthia flared in righteous indignation. "I sassed Aunt Joyce, and I got punished for it! She's got no right to tell Dad what to do!"

"Well, why does she? And why does he let her?"

Cynthia sighed. "She's his sister. Six years older, and my grandparents both had to work, so she was always in charge when they got home after school. He just got used to obeying her, and whenever she comes to visit, she orders him around like nobody's business. That's why I hate having her come."

She paused a moment. "And she has ideas about what girls should be and do that you wouldn't believe. Last time she was here, she signed me up for ballet lessons, would you believe it?"

I couldn't suppress a guffaw at the thought of Cynthia in a tutu, and she signed in resignation. "Of course, they only lasted until she was gone again, but it was still four weeks wasted. Well, not completely wasted. I learned a high kick that's great when I play football."

Cynthia reached back to adjust her icebag. "No, what I'm worried most about is the concert I invited you to next Tuesday. How am I going to pay for it?"

"Elvis Presley? At the club your dad owns?"

She pulled her shirt back over the icebag. "That's the one. Without my allowance, how can I pay for the tickets?"

I considered the state of my finances. I hadn't been able to see my own father since that first day, and didn't exactly feel comfortable asking Mr. Benedetto for my allowance, but I thought I had enough. "I can treat for the tickets, I think."

Cynthia's face brightened. "Good! I think we should be OK, then." Suddenly she leaned forward. "You understand, this isn't a date or anything, don't you?"

"Of course not! Kids our age don't go on dates, do they?"

"Not unless they're even crazier than you are, Lou." She wriggled around on her bag. "Ow, Aunt Joyce really lays into you with that brush of hers! I'd stay away from her if I were you."

"She wouldn't hit me, would she? I'm a boy. She doesn't think your dad should spank you, and she's not even related to me!"

Cynthia sighed again. "You'd think so, but she has double standards about everything. Just keep away, and I'll try to do the same."

Things passed without further incident until Tuesday afternoon. No sooner had Cynthia walked through the door after school, however, that she took me aside with a worried look on her face. "Lou, any chance you can afford a cab?"

I considered the state of my finances. "Not into the city and back. What's the problem? I thought Ferranti was taking us in your car!"

"Dad just found out he needs the car, and Aunt Joyce won't let him pay for a cab! Hell! I've waited almost a year to see Elvis! "

We walked toward our rooms, when Cynthia suddenly whirled. "Wait a minute! There's one other possibility. I just saw Mr. Nakagawa heading toward the kitchen. If I can make a deal with him..."

She started back toward the kitchen, but paused when I started to follow. "Lou, this is going to be a private discussion, OK? You just wait for me in my room, and I'll be back soon."

Cynthia took several more steps, then turned back. "Wait, on second thought... this is something I'd best have a witness for. He might want one, too. So you'd better come along, but let me do the talking."

As I followed her down the front steps, I asked, "Clue me in. What is this about?"

"Remember what I told you about him and schoolgirls?" I must have staggered, and she laughed. "Don't worry, Lou. He's not going to lay a hand on me. Or even see anything obscene."

"Then what are you going to do?"

Cynthia giggled. "Just get rid of some dirty laundry."

Mr. Nakagawa was making himself some tea in the kitchen as Cynthia and I arrived. He looked up with a blank expression on his face. "Ah, Miss Benedetto! What can I do for you?"

Cynthia sat down at the kitchen table and gestured for him to do the same. "Actually, I thought I might be able to do something for you." She put her elbows on the table and leaned forward. "I understand you are interested in... certain articles of clothing? Specifically, used undergarments worn by schoolgirls?"

Mr. Nakagawa's face turned pale. "I-I do not understand."

"Oh, I think you do. Nina has been -- very explicit in her description. Apparently you have asked for such items, and she was unable to provide them."

Mr. Nakagawa looked around in sudden shock, but Cynthia only smiled. She pulled her legs up onto the seat in front of her and clasped her arms around her knees. Mr. Nakagawa stared, then, in sudden embarrassment, looked Cynthia full in the face.

"It... it is true. In Japan, such... undergarments can be had for a price, but in America, it is... impossible. You must understand, I have a wife in Tokyo and Nina has been very generous, but..."

"Then I believe we can do business!" said Cynthia with a grin. As Mr. Nakagawa looked nervously at me, she added, "Don't worry about Lou. He's only here as an impartial witness, to make sure neither of us scams the other."

Mr. Nakagawa breathed very heavily, and sweat beaded up on his face. "I... I cannot. You are the daughter of Don Benedetto..."

"Who knows nothing of this, nor will he. Not from me, and not from Lou, so unless you want to tell him?"

Mr. Nakagawa shook his head vigorously. Finally he whispered, "How much?"

"Five dollars a pair." He looked shocked at the price, but Cynthia said, "You know you can't get them anywhere else in this country, and you can well afford it. All worn by me, Cynthia Elena Benedetto, aged eleven years and eight months, and none washed afterwards. Is it a deal?"

Mr. Nakagawa looked down, then caught himself and looked Cynthia in the face. "It is. And thank you, Miss Benedetto. It will be so pleasant to immerse myself in your very essence..."

Cynthia stood up. "Stow it. We both know you want 'em to jerk off with, and that's fine by me." He gave her a stricken look, but followed her as she headed for the door.

"When and where?" he whispered.

"At the gate closest to the street, twenty minutes from now." He nodded, and left without his tea.

"Come on, Lou," said Cynthia. "I can't believe what some people will pay good money for, but apparently he's far from the only one with that particular fetish in his country."

I followed her up the stairs and into her room as she raced to open a drawer of her dresser. Suddenly her face darkened. "Damn!" she exclaimed, slamming it shut. "I might have known Aunt Joyce would come in and mess around in my drawers. If you'll pardon the expression."

Suddenly she dropped to her hands and knees. Unless... aha!" She crawled to her bed and stuck her head underneath. "There's no way she could've fit under here! I think I can still clear at least $30 on this deal!"

As she rooted around under the bed, I dropped to the floor behind her. "What is this all about? I don't think I like this... that guy was looking up your skirt all the time he was talking to you!"

"Tell me something I don't know!" snapped Cynthia. "You're a fine one to talk... I'm sure you're staring at my undies right now!"

She had me there, though with her top half underneath her bed and her bottom up in the air, they were hard to avoid. "I was only wondering how one girl's underpants could get so dirty in a single day."

Cynthia replied with a snort of indignation. "And what am I supposed to do when they make me wear a dress to school? I suppose if Aunt Joyce had her way, I'd spend all my time sitting on a chair, my dress tucked demurely around me, doing embroidery. To hell with that! I'll do what I please, and if I have to wear a dress, my undies are going to get dirty. Aunt Joyce and everyone else will just have to live with that!"

She shoved a pile of clothes and papers out from under the bed. "Since you like my undies so much, make yourself useful and sort these out. We've got to meet Nakagawa in fifteen minutes."

I began to sort the pile with some reluctance. Whatever fascination Cynthia's panties might have for me when stretched tightly across her bottom was lacking when they were piled in a dingy heap of dirty laundry, but I sent to work anyway, suppressing a temptation to open the window and get some fresh air into the room. Cynthia emerged with a final wad of clothes and joined me.

The final tally consisted of seven pair of dirty panties, nineteen socks of various colors, two library books due November 7, 1957 (one by Edgar Rice Burroughs and one by Rosamond du Jardin), fourteen school papers with grades ranging from A- (English) to D+ (Algebra), a half- eaten bag of potato chips the color and consistency of lettuce, and (inside one of the pairs of panties that made even Cynthia come close to gagging) three-quarters of a moldy tuna salad sandwich. Tossing the food into a wastebasket and the library books back underneath the bed ("I'll wait till I have my allowance back for the fine," she muttered), Cynthia grabbed a paper bag from another pile and tossed the panties into it.

"Is that everything?" I asked, wrinkling my nose. "Maybe he'd like the socks, too."

Cynthia glared at me. "These will be quite enough. Hurry up -- we've got to be there in five minutes."

We raced downstairs, and out to the hill overlooking the gate. "You take these," said Cynthia, passing me the bag. "I'll make sure I'm there to meet Nakagawa." She flipped up the back of her dress and sat down hard on the slope, slipping and sliding down the hill toward the gate. I ran after her with the bag.

Cynthia was already climbing in the door of Mr. Nakagawa's rented Lincoln when I arrived. I noticed her give an extra pull to the back of her dress before sitting on the white upholstery, and I climbed in after her and closed the door.

"You... you have them, Miss Benedetto?" asked Mr. Nakagawa.

"Seven pairs!" gloated Cynthia. "All worn, and none washed. That will be $35, I believe?"

Mr. Nakagawa opened the bag, and looked inside. Then he reeled back and hit the button to open the window on his side. He took out one pair of Cynthia's panties and looked at it in a way that reminded me of the way Dad picked up a slug in his garden.

"You understand, I play football a lot," explained Cynthia. "Oh, don't you play that in Japan? And baseball, depending on the season... oh, you do have that? Then you know you sometimes have to slide into base when things are tight. And sometimes the field at recess is a bit muddy."

Mr. Nakagawa looked at another pair. "Oh, those are the ones I was wearing when the ball went over the fence, and I had to climb over to get it. That's how they got torn, and they tried to make me get a tetanus shot until I told them I'd already got one the month before, after I sat on the broken bottle. And these..." he'd got to the really fragrant pair now, and had opened two more windows... "were wrapped around a sandwich I'd forgotten. Now if you'll just give me..."

He tossed them back into the bag with a pained look on his face, and rolled it shut. "I... do not think so." He pushed it back at Cynthia. "Good day, Miss Benedetto."

As he made shooing gestures, I opened the door and climbed out. Cynthia followed with a desperate look on her face. She turned back to him as he pulled the door shut. "Wait a minute! You can have 'em all for $25!" He began to roll up the windows. "And I'll throw in the ones I've got on!" He shifted gears and drove away.

Cynthia glared at me as I looked after him, giggling uncontrollably. "What's do damned funny?" I was laughing hysterically now.

"The look on his face... when he saw them..." I tried to explain, as Cynthia's nostrils began to flare. "When he smelled them... Maybe I should go home and get the rags Dad keeps in the garage to clean his car with. Mr. Nakagawa might be able to use them for whatever he wants, and they're probably cleaner."

Cynthia lunged at me. I tried to struggle, but to no avail -- she was a year older, ten pounds heavier, and far more athletic than me. Before I knew what was happening, I was flat on my back with Cynthia sitting on my chest. "So you think it's so damned funny?" she screamed at me. She reached into the bag again and pulled out a pair of panties. "Give me one good reason I shouldn't shove these down your throat!"

I started to gag; Cynthia had, no doubt deliberately, chosen the pair that had been wrapped around the tuna salad sandwich. And she knew I hated mayonnaise. I looked up at her in desperation. "I'm really sorry!" I begged. I tried to think of something conciliatory to say as I looked up at her, and thought I had it now that I had a different view of her. "And your panties are a lot cleaner in front than they are in the back!*

Cynthia's eyebrows lowered. "That does it!" she snapped. Suddenly she spun around on her bottom so she was facing the other direction. Sitting down firmly again, she began to unbuckle my belt. "You think my undies are so funny? Let's check yours out!"

I screamed and protested, not the least because I was afraid she'd see the erection I was suddenly awate of. But she finished unbuckling, unbuttoning, and unzipping my school pants, and pulled them down (or should I say, up?) around my knees. "Cleaner than mine, I'll admit. But you've never had to wear a dress!"

"Except that time at Mt. Ackersley," I reminded her.

That only served to infuriate Cynthia further. "You wore a dress part of one day. I have to wear one almost every day. And, come to think of it, I still owe you for beating my butt that night."

She raised that part of her anatomy far enough to roll me over, then plunked it down on my back so hard I gasped for breath. I could feel her hands inside my underpants, pulling them down around my knees as well.

"Cynthia, please!" I sobbed. "You know I only did that because Diana made me!"

"And because you enjoyed it. And you also enjoyed watching Dad and Aunt Joyce tan my hide the other day. Well, I'm going to enjoy this!" She leaned over and started slapping my buttocks with both hands, alternating cheeks like a tom-tom.

"Ow! Ohh! Cynthia, somebody will come by and see us!"

"Then let 'em!" she snapped. "Are you ever going to laugh at me for having dirty undies again? I tell you, for being covered up all the time, yours are no prize!"

I dearly wished I still had them on, as Cynthia's hands continued to drum on my agonized bottom. "No, Cynthia! Please, no more! I'll do anything you say!"

"Oh, stop groveling!" said Cynthia in an exasperated tone. "Better a smart mouth than groveling like that!" She punctuated it with two final spanks right across my crack, and then, to my vast relief, she began to rise. Then, to my even greater relief, she sat back down and pulled my underpants back up. If she noticed any erection, which I liked to think she hadn't due to my being pressed against the grass in front, she gave no indication.

I stood up and pulled my pants up after me. Cynthia folded her arms. "Well...?"

"I am sorry, Cynthia." I rubbed my aching bottom. "But it was hard to avoid laughing."

Cynthia failed to suppress a grin. "Yeah, maybe it was." She stopped as a thought struck her. "You know, maybe Diana could drive us to Elvis's concert, if she isn't doing anything tonight."

She started back toward the house, with me following. "Did you have to hit me so hard?" I asked her.

Cynthia glared at me. "I didn't hit you half as hard as Diana did. And you'd better get used to being spanked if you're going to stay here... sooner or later you'll get on Dad's wrong side. Or..." she added with a perceptible shudder, "Aunt Joyce's. If you can't stand it, tell Dad you want to go to your aunt's place in Indiana."

I considered that thoroughly. My bottom still hurt, but not as much as it had. "When we get back to the house, could I sit on your icebag?"

"Of course. That's what I keep it for."

"Then I guess I'll stay." Cynthia beamed. "Just one thing, though..."

She looked at me suspiciously. "What's that?"

I fingered the smudged front of my best school shirt. "Next time you sit on me, would you mind not sliding down the hill on your panties first?"

Cynthia gasped. "You really have got quite a smart mouth, just since I've known you!" Then she laughed and punched me in the shoulder. "I always knew you had possibilities. Come on, I'll race you back to the house."

* * *

"I think it's time now," Cynthia whispered to me.

"I don't... think I'm ready yet," I stammered. "Can't you do it alone?"

"It's a lot less effective with only one, Lou!" snorted Cynthia. "And you promised you'd do it when the time was ready! Do you want me to help?"

"No, I can manage my zipper myself!" I whispered back as I fumbled with it in the dimly-lit back seat.

"Hurry up!" Cynthia whispered in my ear.

"It's a lot easier for you!" I retorted. "You just have to flip your dress up and pull your panties down!"

"And make sure it doesn't flop down, or up, when you don't want it to!" she snapped back. "Believe me, I'd wear pants all the time if they'd let me... Ready?"

I knelt up on the seat, next to Cynthia, with my pants around my knees. "I guess so."

"OK, on the count of three!" whispered Cynthia as she braced herself on the seat in front of us. I followed suit.

"One!" She lifted the back of her dress as the driver behind us leaned on his horn for the twentieth time. "Two!" She reached behind her and put both thumbs into the back of her underpants. So did I -- that is to say, I did the same with mine.

"Three!" said Cynthia just as the driver flashed his high beam again. Two pairs of underpants were lowered, and the driver's brakes squealed as he got an unexpected glimpse of our hopefully anonymous bare bottoms. So, an instant later, did the brakes of our own car.

"What are you two up to?" Diana Morano slowed down the car and looked back at us. "Cynthia, I told you not to moon tailgaters, no matter how obnoxious they get! And now you've roped Lou in, too!"

I hastily fumbled with my underpants as Diana stopped the car and looked back at us. "I've half a mind, as long as you've conveniently lowered your pants, to put you both across my knee again!" I shrank back, but Cynthia was quicker to catch the amusement hidden behind her cousin's rage.

"Give me a break, Diana!" she said, hastily pulling up her panties under cover of her dress... another advantage she had over me, since I was still trying to pull up my jeans and underpants at once. "I've already had my butt blistered by Aunt Joyce this week! And Lou got his hide tanned just today!" Which was quite true, although Cynthia had neglected to add that it hadn't been Aunt Joyce, but Cynthia herself, who'd spanked me.

Diana put the car in motion again, clucking her tongue in sympathy. "I'd heard she's imposed herself on Uncle Gino this month, so I guess you've both suffered enough. But no more mooning, ever! Or you two can find yourselves someone else to drive you to Elvis concerts!"

"Aw, you enjoyed it too!" Cynthia told her. "And we needed a ride after Aunt Joyce stopped my allowance! You know how strict she can be!"

"Do I ever!" mused Diana. "It must have been about six years ago that I got it from her last. I think I'm too big now, but even now I try to steer clear of her when I can. It was the year we all went to her place for the Fourth of July..."

"I think I remember..." said Cynthia. "But I don't remember anyone getting spanked."

"You wouldn't. This was almost six years ago, so you were only five, and it was well past your bedtime. But I was twelve, and our cousin Tim was thirteen, and he got me to help set off some firecrackers he'd got hold of. . He'd gone several houses over, lit the fuse, and they went off with a real bang... and then Aunt Joyce swooped down on us. I never knew how she found out.

"When she got us back inside her house, she brought us both up to her bedroom. She gave me a lecture about how dangerous fireworks were and how I should never let anyone but the authorities use them again. Then she put me over her lap, lifted my dress and pulled my undies down right in front of Tim, and laid into me with her hairbrush. You think you got it bad when I spanked you up at Mt. Ackersley, Cynthia? Believe me, that was nothing compared to what Aunt Joyce gave me that night. I tell you, I was screaming and crying before she was through swatting me... a lot more times than I hit you or Lou, and a lot harder."

"She still does!" said Cynthia with a wince. "Dad's not gentle when he gives me a tanning, but I'd rather get three of his than one of Aunt Joyce's!"

"Well, when she was through, she wouldn't even let me go. She made me stand in the corner, without even pulling my undies up first... in fact, she tucked the back of my skirt into my belt so I was mooning the whole room. And then she started on Tim. Pulled his pants and undies down and gave him the same treatment, but it looked like she hit him even harder, and I know she kept it up a lot longer. All the time screaming about illegal fireworks. Tim was screaming too, but none of the family was about to interfere with her. Not in her house."

"Nor in anyone's house!" put in Cynthia.

"So then she put him in another corner, still with his pants down, and she screamed at us for at least another fifteen minutes before she finally let us go. I tell you, both Tim and I were sleeping on our stomachs for the next few days!"

"That's where you got the idea!" Cynthia said.

Diana gave her a rueful grin, "Yeah, but Aunt Joyce could really make it work. There's no way she'd have let either of us sit on an icebag all the time we were there, and she'd probably have used a cane on us if she'd caught us sitting together the way you two did. Look after Lou, OK? At least you're used to old-fashioned Italian discipline, but he isn't. You'd better be careful these next few weeks."

And we were. But the next time I got a spanking in the Benedetto household, it wasn't from Cynthia's aunt at all.

The international Mafia conference continued for several more weeks, as did my status as a house guest at the Benedettos' while my father continued to recover at the hospital. With increasing fascination, Cynthia and sometimes I would sometimes eavesdrop on the talks from the secret room she'd discovered.

"They might help elect a president!" Cynthia told me in delight as we crawled through the passage from my guest bedroom late one night. "Would you believe it?"

The night was an unusually warm one for June, and there was little or no ventilation in the passageway or room. We were both supposed to be in bed and were in our night clothes. Cynthia had recently prevailed on her father to buy her a pair of light pajamas to replace the heavy nightgown she'd slept in that winter and early spring. She'd welcomed them even though her father, in the manner of many rushed parents of growing children, had bought them a size too large. She tightened the belt of her bathrobe and bent to roll up her cuffs again.

"I don't believe it!" I replied as we reached the secret room. It was even hotter there... the previous week we'd looked in vain for an electric socket to plug a fan into... and Cynthia took off her bathrobe in the sweltering heat. I did the same as she beckoned me over to the peephole above her father's study.

Gino Benedetto sat at his desk, facing five or six other men, among whom I recognized those I'd seen before, Antonio Giovannucci and Osamu Nakagawa. Cynthia pointed to one of the others. "See that guy? His name's O'Flaherty, and he's a big shot in the Boston rackets. He works for another guy whose son's a Senator, and they think they might be able to get him elected President!"

I wasn't positive I liked the idea, but Cynthia gave me no time for reflection. "And the son's sleeping with... move over! I've got to see this!" She pushed me aside and bent to look through the peephole.

"I don't know how they got that picture," whispered Cynthia, "but it's be great blackmail material! Which is probably their plan!" She leaned father over the peephole as her pajama pants slid further down her hips.

She continued to comment on the developments of the conference, but I quickly lost interest. The room seemed to get hotter and hotter. I felt the sudden bite of a mosquito on my exposed arm, and swatted it before it could leave. But other mosquitoes buzzed around me and Cynthia, which she ignored. I shooed them... and once, to my horror, a wasp... away.

"Don't worry, Lou!" Cynthia whispered, suddenly remembering I was there. "I'll let you see in just a minute!" She put her finger to her lips before I could answer and bent down again, ignoring her pants as they slipped down another inch. She folded her arms and rested her chin on them, giving her a perfect view of the peephole and obscuring mine almost completely.

I sat back on my heels, and suddenly gasped. The wasp had landed on the increasing band of flesh between the bottom of Cynthia's pajama shirt and the top of her pants, and was crawling around on her bare skin. I tried to whisper to her, but the room had gotten quiet and she shot me a furious look every time I tried to open my mouth. "Later!" she seemed to be mouthing.

She wriggled again in excitement, and her pants slipped another few inches. The wasp seemed to be following her descending pants, which now revealed several inches of the crack between her buttocks. What a place to be stung! I reflected. Should I shoo it away? But if I did, it might come back and sting either of us unexpetedly, which would certainly give us away if we yelled. It seemed oblivious to me, and in perfect position to be swatted... but how would Cynthia react to my swatting her there? At the very least, she'd cry out then, too...

What to do? What to DO?

Cynthia raised her head and I tried to whisper in her ear, but she shot me an impatient look and bent down. I examined the seat of the problem; her pants had now slid far enough to reveal the scar she'd explained to me as the result of her falling onto a broken bottle the year before, and the wasp was still crawling around...

There was a triumphant roar from the room below, and I knew this would be my only chance. I raised my hand and brought it down on the wasp, flattening it against Cynthia's bare bottom as the roar began to fade.

"Hey!" roared Cynthia an instant later. She jerked up, yanked up her pants in the back, and advanced on me with her fists raised. "Just couldn't wait to get back for my warming your butt last week, could you?"

I backed up in sheer horror as the room quieted down. "No, there was a wasp there! It would've stung you if I hadn't killed it! I swear..."

Cynthia put her finger to her lips and looked at me contemptuously as I struggled to back away in the low-ceilinged room. "I'll find the wasp, Cynthia! Surely you know I never meant..."

Suddenly Cynthia clapped her hand to her mouth and began to stifle a laugh. "I'll believe anything!" she whispered. "But next time ask me when you want your turn, OK? That almost gave us away!"

I looked at her, then backed away as I caught a glimpse of a looming figure behind her. In the next instant, Cynthia's hand was firmly grapsed by her father's imposing consigliere, Giordano, who then reached for me. "I don't think 'almost' is the word for it."

Gino Benedetto glowered at both of us a half hour later, as we sat side by side on my bed. "I can't tell you how disappointed I am in you, Lou," he said. "I take you into my house, and you end up spying on me. I should send you away to your aunt's at once, and tell her why."

"Don't do that, Dad!" pleaded Cynthia. "It was all my idea!" I looked at her in shock, but she went on, "I discovered the passage several months ago! I didn't realize you knew about it!"

Giordano had dragged us back to my room and locked us inside, where we'd frantically discussed how we were to explain what had happened. We'd agreed neither of us would admit to having been the instigator: something Mr. Benedetto, with his innate hatred of informers, might at least respect. Now he shook his head regretfully.

"Of course I knew about it. It was the reason I chose this house in the first place. When one is in my kind of business, it helps to have an extra place from w5hich a trusted employee can keep an eye on things. I was told it dated back to the days of the Underground Railroad."

"The people who helped the Negro slaves hide, and then escape to Canada, before the Civil War?" I asked.

"We read about them in school," added Cynthia enthusiastically. "Harriet Tubman ran it, right?"

"One of many," corrected Mr. Benedetto. "It's good to know that, for all the money Lou's father and I are paying, that school of yours is drumming some education into your heads after all. But certain things apparently need to be drummed into your backsides as well."

He glared at me. "Lou, if you're going to live here, you understand you're subject to the exact same discipline as my daughter?" I nodded. "To be sure, I told my sister she would be in charge of Cynthia's discipline, but this is a matter I'd prefer she have no knowledge of." Cynthia breathed a sigh of relief. "Then let's get this over with."

Two months before I would have been shocked and horrified, but now, having become more accustomed to how things happened in this family, I was relatively prepared. I didn't resist as he pulled me across his lap and almost gently pulled down my pajama pants. Even so, I couldn't suppress an agonized "Oww!" as Mr. Benedetto's huge hand came down on my bare bottom. It hurt far more than the only spankings I'd received in my life: two from Diana and one from Cynthia.

Even so, seeing Cynthia's disappointed and somewhat contemptuous expression steeled my nerves, and I made an inner vow not to utter another sound until Mr. Benedetto was through. Nor did I. After I'd been spanked about fifteen times, he pulled my pants back up over my smarting bottom. "No more spying, is that clear?" he barked at me as he helped me to my feet.

I desperately wanted to sit down but knew it would only increase the agony, so I rubbed my bottom vigorously with one hand as I braced myself on the chair with the other. Cynthia's loose pajama pants almost literally fell down by themselves as her father pulled her over his lap and commenced swatting her as he had me. She managed to remain quiet for what seemed a much shorter time than I had but was probably longer, and I suddenly collapsed onto my chair despite the pain, folding my hands in my lap to conceal the erection I suddenly felt as I watched Mr. Benedetto's hand rise and fall on Cynthia's quivering bottom. Suddenly she tried to rise, and whispered, "You only gave Lou fourteen!"

Mr. Benedetto's next spank seemed a lot louder and harder. "It wasn't his idea! I know him, and I know you! And you're older, and should know better!" Cynthia shut up, but her eyes were filled with tears as he finished and pulled her pants up.

He have her a hug, and said "No more snooping, OK, princess?" She nodded and followed him out of the room, rubbing the seat of her pajama pants.

No sooner were they gone than I jumped up again and rubbed the seat of my own pants once more, rolling around on the bed and reaching inside. It didn't help. I was wondering if I might have been better served to go to Aunt Eileen's after all when I heard a knock on my door.

I answered it, hoping it wasn't Mr. Benedetto back to take some other infraction out of my hide. Cynthia bustled in with her ice-filled hot-water bottle in her hand. "I'm proud of you, Lou!" she said. "I figured you could probably use this!"

I stopped myself from grabbing it and stuffing it into my pants at once, much as I wanted to. "You should keep it, Cynthia!" I said with what gallantry I could pull together. "He hit you a lot harder than me!"

"Only because he knew I was used to it. You're not. But if you insist, we'll flip for it." She picked a quarter off my desk. "Call it -- heads or tails?"

"Heads!" I said.

Cynthia flipped the coin and slapped it on the back of her other hand. "Which gives me tails, appropriately enough." She looked, and said, "But you win, so you can put your tail on this." I hesitated, and she added, "I'll take it after five minutes."

Gratefully, I took the icebag and slipped it into the back of my pajama pants, not particularly concerned about Cynthia seeing anything she hadn't already. I gingerly sat back down on my bed. "Does it hurt more when Aunt Joyce uses her hairbrush?"

"You'd better believe it, Lou!" Cynthia said, rubbing her bottom with both hands. "Dad didn't even hit me as hard this time as he did when I broke Andrea Verrocchio's statue. Then again, I didn't damage anything this time."

"I still don't see what was so important about that statue!" I said. "I've never heard of Andrea whatshername, but can't she just make him another one?"

Cynthia looked at me scornfully. "I've found out a lot more about him-not 'her,' whatever you might think from the name-since then! I don't blame Dad for walloping me. First of all, he can't make another one, because he's been dead since 1488. Second of all, he was Leonardo da Vinci's tutor and worked with Donatello and Botticelli. Not someone whose statue you want to go around breaking."

Even I'd heard of Leonardo da Vinci. "Wow!"

Cynthia strode around my room, massaging the seat of her pajama pants and occasionally giving them a tug to keep them up. "But the thing is, he's never mentioned the statue since he spanked me for breaking it. And he'll never mention our snooping again, either. But Aunt Joyce... she still insists on stopping my allowance, and she glares at me every time she sees me. That's a lot worse than just getting your hide tanned. Don't you see?"

I nodded and shifted on the icebag. "So you don't know how lucky we are that Aunt Joyce never heard about this... and never will, since I'm sure Dad doesn't want her knowing about the secret room either. Now, if you don't mind, I'd like to take my turn on the icebag before you melt all the ice."