Subject: EMMA AT SCHOOL Episode 26 - Whats coming to her
From: Rosewood
Date: 1999/06/01

Emma At School 26

Whats coming to her

The birching tower at St Katherine Parr was, in many ways, a time capsule harking back to the days when discipline at the school - although it would have be hard for it to have been more frequently exercised than in the present - was even more severe than now. The birch, in those days, was used regularly in boys' schools and by the courts. Even during the Victorian period, and despite the exaggerated concerns for modesty of the day, Katherine Parr's founder and its later headteachers held one central tenet as self-evident: if beating the bare bottoms of boys with a bundle of birch twigs until they screamed their contrition was an acceptable and effective form of chastisement, then so it must be also for young girls. One might even suggest (though it is doubtful as to whether the school's pupils would agree) that Katherine Parr's attitude to discipline presaged the demands for sex equality of the Suffragettes. One might, on the other hand, steer clear of political questions and take note, instead, of the evidence afforded by the school's practice to the thesis that there was (and remains) a significant correlation between naked and deeply striped girls' posteriors and good behaviour.

In these days of movements against corporal punishment at school and in the home, not to mention the provisions of the Children Act, schools such as Katherine Parr have had to make changes. Many have discontinued the use of corporal punishment altogether. Others proscribe the use of certain instruments, or prescribe the retention of panties during punishment. Katherine Parr, in so recently re-introducing the routine use of bare bottom spanking in the classroom, and this with the overwhelming support of parents, is therefore unusual. Not even Katherine Parr, however, continues to use the birch as an instrument of chastisement on a regular basis.

On an irregular basis, and this again with the support of parents, use of the birch is retained in the school. It is used only in the case of the most extreme offences, cases in which pupils in other schools would face instant expulsion. This is the situation which resulted in Deborah being led by her headteacher to "the tower" on a cool summer evening.

Inside the tower, only two main rooms are still used. The birching room is an austere, stone-clad square room dominated by the central position of an antique version of the punishment horses still in use in the housemasters and housemistresses studies. Instead of velcro straps, old leather restraints which dig into the flesh hang limply from the oak frame awaiting the next victim with almost eternal patience. The room has no other furniture, except for a copper bin, half filled with salt water, in which the tightly bound birch bundles are left to soak in between strokes.

Adjacent, and with no door in the dividing doorway to allow potential birchees to shut out their immediate and painful future, is the overnight room: the quarters in which pupils facing the birch always spend the preceding night. Again, this room is sparsely furnished, three single beds and two leather armchairs the only items breaking up the monotony of grey stone walls and echoing, knotted floorboards. The quarters have no kitchen, meals being brought in on a tray, and only a very basic bathroom with a loo and an old cast iron tub.

It was in this "bedroom" that Deborah and Emma, as her friend, were told to strip and then follow Mr Critchley into the birching room to view the method of Deborah's punishment. Pupils facing the birch always spent their overnight stay in the nude, again to heighten their anticipation of what was to come, the horror of what was coming being a very large part of the punishment. It worked. At least, it certainly worked on Deborah.

The headteacher knew Deborah's reputation as someone who treated all punishment with an attitude approaching scorn. He was therefore pleased to see from her face that, whatever other feelings were generated by the sight of the horse and the birch bin, and the headteacher strapping her naked body in place on the horse to "get the feel of it", she certainly felt an adequate amount of "respect" for the place.

While the three were still in the birching room, while Deborah was still, in fact, firmly joined to the birching horse, there was a knock on the door and Emma was sent by the headteacher to open it. This she did with no little embarrassment due to her state of undress and Mr Critchley took advantage of this time alone with the bound and naked Deborah to encourage her fear just a little more.

"You know," he whispered quietly into her ear, his hand stroking the girl's unprotected and upturned bottom, "they tell me the screams of a girl being birched can be heard even in the old block. Is that true?"

The old block was the first of the teaching blocks built in addition to the main school house. It was a quarter of a mile away from the tower, yet Deborah knew - as every pupil in the school knew - that what the headteacher claimed was true. No one had been birched for over a year, but Deborah well remembered the shrill cries of Tammy Rogers the previous March as they echoed eerily around the school buildings. Teachers were told to ensure that the day's first lesson (which began at 8.55) commenced with a period of silence on birching days, precisely to ensure that the victim's screams were heard. Mr Critchley would also, even on winter's days and despite the unclothed situation of the girl bound for punishment, throw open the single window in the birching room immediately before picking up the birch. It was all, he told himself, in a humane attempt to persuade the remainder of the school that they did not want, really did not want, to commit any offence that would land them in a similar situation.

"Yes," Deborah murmured her answer through welcome tears - welcome, at least, to the man standing next to her. Mr Critchley allowed himself the rather unethical liberty of walking around behind the girl to where her neatly spread thighs framed her young pussy, pouting involuntarily in this undignified pose, and bending down to look a little more closely at her girlish secrets. Detecting the familiar scent of unintentional arousal, he moved closer still to allow his breath to break heavily across Deborah's bared sex and buttocks, a shudder greeting this whispered exploration.

Again, now, Mr Critchley's fingers moved across the pale cheeks displayed so perfectly the hints of previous punishment (particularly her sister's recent caning of her) fading into faint, rose coloured lattices.

"I will see you again at 8.30 in the morning," he told the whimpering girl, "and then we will see if a taste of the birch can have an effect on your behaviour which more lenient forms of discipline have failed to bring about."

As he spoke, the headteacher guided his fingers deliberately close to Deborah's visibly moistening pussy, never quite touching the girl's slightly swollen labia but causing her breath to come in short, embarrassed gasps.

"Tomorrow's beating, I can guarantee you," he said finally, his hand now running up the young girl's naked back until he reached the nape of her neck, stopping then to caress her kindly, "will be one you will remember for the rest of your life. And one which, I think, you know well how much you deserve."

"Sir?" Deborah called, as the man turned to leave her.

"Yes," Mr Critchley replied, returning to hear her.

She had intended to plead with him. To beg him to use the cane upon her instead, to promise to behave well for ever if only, if only he would spare her this terrible fate. Yet she knew that such pleas would fall on unhearing ears. And her pride, too, served to prevent such an outburst. Instead she said only:

"I know that what I did was wrong, Sir. And I know that the birch is the only punishment I could have expected. I'm sorry, Sir."

"I'm glad to hear your apology," the headteacher said in a gentle voice. "I dare say I will hear evidence of your sorrow in the morning. Ah, Amanda!"

These last words were spoken to Emma and Deborah's house captain who had just appeared in the doorway with Emma. It was a traditional duty for the house captain of a girl facing the birch to act as supervisor. There were a number of traditions associated with the birching tower.

"Amanda," the headmaster said now, never departing from his cool, practised demeanor. "You are aware, I imagine, that tradition dictates that no girl remains clothed overnight in the tower?"

"Yes, Sir," the pretty eighteen-year old answered, immediately (and with an impressive display of pretended indifference) beginning to disrobe. Yet if she had hoped that her unquestioning compliance would induce the teacher to leave the room while she undressed, she was quite wrong. She was far to pretty for that.

Only when Amanda stood naked, awkwardly keeping her hands intentionally away from her sex (she knew how many teachers react to a girl's attempt to cover herself by forcing her to adopt far more embarrassing poses than standing in the nude with her hands by her side) did the headmaster finally take his leave.

"Be sure that all three of you are showered and ready before I get here in the morning," he said, handing Amanda an alarm clock. "And make sure these two behave themselves. You will get a good hiding yourself if you let me down."

"I know, Sir," the girl replied, quite sure that he meant these last words, and equally sure that she would not require such treatment.

The headmaster nodded and then opened a narrow cupboard on the wall that none of the girls had previously noticed. From it, it took a thin and whippy cane of medium length. Emma felt her eyes widen as Amanda reached out to take it from him.

"Remember that you may only use the cane on Emma," he advised the house captain, "should you need to discipline the girls. If you punish Deborah, it must be with your hand."

The man turned to Emma.

"Did you know about this tradition?" he smiled.

"No Sir," Emma answered.

"Good. We tend to keep it a bit of a secret, in case girls becoming unwilling to do this important job."

He paused, and looked at Amanda, and then back at Emma.

"Despite the fact that this is the only occasion on which a girl is permitted to use a cane, she must be able to justify herself if she does beat you. Behave yourself and you'll be quite safe."

Emma swallowed hard. The smile on Amanda's face would not stay hidden as its owner wished.

"How about we just get it out of the way now?" Amanda said, caressing the cane and still grinning, once Mr Critchley had slammed the door at the base of the spiral staircase which led to the tower.

"Er... what?" Emma murmured, kneeling on one of the three beds.

As Deborah looked on, Amanda moved onto the bed and took Emma's face in her hands, kissing her hard and deep on the mouth, her right hand slipping easily between the younger girl's legs and exploring her moist folds.

"What do you think?" Amanda asked.

On the basis that three in a bed sex wasn't the kind of thing you "got out of the way", Emma concluded that wasn't the correct answer.

"The... the cane?" she whispered, as her housecaptain (she had never imagined Amanda doing anything like this!) pushed her down onto her back and spread her legs wide.

"Well, put it this way," Amanda cooed, two fingers burying themselves deeply inside Emma while her thumb played over her budding clitoris. "I can spend all evening looking for an excuse to give you six of the best, or you can agree to take two or three now, and we can all relax until bedtime." She giggled, like a much younger girl. "Or at least, until we go to sleep."

Emma tried to concentrate, something she always found difficult when knowledgeable fingers were working her.

"Just two?" she said, sensing the mistake of the question mark in her tone.

"Three," Amanda purred. "And no more, I promise."

It seemed to Emma that the deal had been struck, and she gave herself up to the pleasure which would precede the pain. She didn't suppose it would be long.

"Deborah first!" Amanda said suddenly, pushing Emma back down and turning to the third girl.

"But... but Mr Critchley said..." Deborah began, only to be greeted by Amanda's wide grin.

"No, not the cane," she said. "But I think you were very naughty not to protest at me telling Emma I was going to cane her for nothing. So you're going over my knee!"

This was a side of Amanda Emma had never seen before, and she was a little surprised to find how much she liked it. She allowed her own hand to take over from Amanda's now absent touch as the housecaptain pulled Deborah to her and hoisted her over her lap. She watched the older girl's breasts bounce gently as she began to bring her hand down sharply on Deborah's bottom - Deborah's bottom which was going to face a far sterner ordeal in a few hours time.

Deborah shrieked and kicked, as she always did - crying, Emma suspected, because this fairly mild spanking reminded her of what was to come... but then, Deborah always shrieked and cried. Perhaps she was a "naughty little girl", just as Amanda kept on repeating.

"But Deborah's not the only naughty little girl, is she?" Amanda intoned once Emma's friend lay still and sobbing over her knee, that day's punishment over at least.

"No," Emma answered when the long silence told her that a response was necessary. "I... I've been naughty too."

"Yes, you have," Amanda agreed, rolling Deborah to one side where she could moan quietly... and watch, of course.

She stood, drawing herself to her full five foot ten inches, long auburn hair falling from her shoulders like a waterfall, and reached for the cane. Then she frowned and shook her head.

"Yes, you have," Amanda repeated. "Very naughty."

The house captain pointed with the tip of the cane at the one unoccupied bed and looked Emma in the eyes.

"Bend over the side of the bed," she said sternly. "I'm going to give you the cane on your bare bottom."

Only now removing her hand from between her thighs, but still feeling the near electric glow of arousal coursing through her, Emma pushed herself up from where she sat and walked slowly but steadily to the prescribed bed. She stepped away suddenly then, and Amanda was about to condemn her to a few extra strokes when she realised what Emma was doing. She had gathered the six pillows in the room and was quickly back at the bed, piling them up at one side so that, when she did now kneel at the side and then lean forwards, her naked cheeks see-sawed up in the air to present the most delicious target to her prosecutor.

"Good girl," Amanda said ironically (though not intentionally ironically) as she tapped the cane against the neatly presented flesh. "I'm going to give you three hard strokes."

It was only then, as Amanda lifted the cane high in the air to deliver the first stroke, that Deborah noticed the tram-lines on Amanda's own bottom. She had taken enough canings, seen enough flogged backsides to know the cause of the lines, but was somehow surprised to see them on Amanda. She had never heard of her breaking any school rules, and, despite the fact that Deborah's own father employed corporal punishment well past his daughters' adolescence, she felt sure Amanda's father didn't still beat her - if he ever had.

WHACK! The cane flew through the air and lashed Emma's bare rump with a frightening crack. Amanda may be a beginner with the cane, Deborah thought, distracted for a moment, but she learned quickly.

Perhaps it was a boyfriend... or girlfriend? Deborah had always assumed Amanda to be a straight as a die, but that was obviously wrong..... Yes, she remembered seeing a boy picking her up from school the previous weekend - and he looked as if he was strictly vanilla.

CRACK! Emma screeched this time as the thin cane made its repeated acquaintance with the yielding flesh of her behind, leaving behind a brief ripple and, at the point of contact, a second red line.

THWACK! Even harder, Deborah thought. She's really putting some effort into this. Deborah wondered how fresh the welts on Amanda's bottom were. Perhaps this was a form of retaliation - and Emma was unlucky to be the first available scapegoat.

There was a gentle sob from the bed, and Deborah wasn't at all sure that it was Emma from whom it emanated, Amanda looking drawn and dropping the cane to the floor almost as if it had burned her. She bend down to whisper in Emma's ear, "I'm sorry", and then began to kiss the girl she had just beaten, her face hot and salty against Emma's cheek.

"Are you going to join us?" Amanda threw across the room at Deborah once she and Emma had collapsed back onto the bed, fingers and tongues probing feminine hollows and curves, the last five minutes (apparently) forgotten.

"On condition you tell us a story," Deborah smiled.

Amanda looked up from her comfortable spot between Emma's open thighs.

"What story?" she asked.

"Well, Emma and I aren't the only naughty girls in here are we?"

"Oh," Amanda frowned. "Is it still pretty obvious?"

Deborah walked over to the others and slowly crawled on top of Amanda, heading straight for the sweet scent of her parted sex.

"They don't look more than a few days old," she said. Then she added, "The last lot anyway."

"What are you two talking about," Emma asked, attempting to decipher the private conversation being conducted above her naked body.

In answer, Amanda rolled onto her side, Emma gasping at the sight of her recently thrashed bottom and the tracing the marks with her fingers.

"But who...?" she began.

"Mr Lindon, of course" Amanda sighed.

"But... but I've never seen you in trouble with him... and you're the house captain. I mean he treats you more like another teacher!" Deborah exclaimed.

"Most of the time, yes," Amanda agreed.

She paused.

"Do you know how many times I've been caned since you two had your house public? Four! In less than two months!"

"I don't understand," Emma murmured.

Amanda sighed.

"All right," she said, "I'll tell you about it. I'm not supposed to, so not a word. OK?"

The other two agreed readily.

"It goes right back to the end of last year, when Mr Lindon said he wanted me to be house captain. He told me about all the privileges and stuff and then, right at the end, he said he wanted to talk to me about my behaviour....


"But, I'm hardly ever in trouble," I said. "I thought that was why you were making me house captain."

"Yes, it is," he told me. "But as house captain it is vital that you set the right example to the other girls and don't allow the rights accorded to you by the position to cloud your judgement."

He sat next to me on the sofa and carried on.

"You will be calling me by my first name, taking important decisions about the life of the house, disciplining other pupils. It is easy for such power to go to one's head - even a head as level as yours," he explained.

"I'll try not to let it," I promised.

"Good," he said. Then he got up and lifted his cane from its hook on the wall and handed it to me.

"I've never beaten you, have I?" he asked gently.

I was beginning to feel nervous now.

"No," I agreed.

"Why not?"

"Because... well I've never done anything naughty enough to deserve it," I told him.

"But you have been punished here?"

"Yes," I admitted. "I've been spanked and slippered a few times. I think pretty much all the girls have here."

"Indeed," Mr Lindon nodded. "And I think I may even have had to put you across my knee once or twice."

"Yes, sir," I looked down at my hands, grateful that he hadn't mentioned the fact that my knickers would have been down round my knees on each occasion.

"Well, as house captain, the usual school rules won't apply to you, of course. You may come and go as you please, you may visit the village, you will have no designated bedtime, and so on. On the other hand, as my representative, there is one special rule which applies to you and only to you."

"What is it?" I asked anxiously.

"You mustn't let me down," Mr Lindon explained. "You have to maintain the very highest standards at all times. If I'm going to treat you with the respect due to your position, the way I would any other teacher for example, I have to feel that you are conducting yourself in a way deserving of that respect. As I said, you are allowed into the village, but if I get a report that you've been seen behaving in any way unbecoming to your status - or simply untidily dressed - I will consider that you have let me down. You have no designated bedtime, but if you disturb the rest of the house by making too much noise in the middle of the night - I will consider that you have let me down. Do you understand what I'm saying?"

"Yes, sir," I answered.

This was a tough standard to live up to, I realised. And the penalty for failing was yet to be explicitly stated.

"You don't need to call me ‘sir' either," he smiled. "'Mr Lindon' in public, or ‘James' in private... except...."

He paused then and I felt my right leg beginning to shake.

"Except what?"

"Except if and when you do let me down. On those occasions, until we resolve them, you will address me as ‘Sir'."

"Yes Sir... er, James." That felt very odd, but he just smiled. "What do you mean, ‘until we resolve them'?"

"Well, if I think you've failed to live up to the standards demanded by your office, I'll call you in here and offer you a straightforward choice. Give up your position, or be punished for your shortcomings."

"Punished?" I asked in a hoarse voice.

"Soundly punished," he emphasised. "There's no sliding scale here, one offence, one punishment."

"What is it?" I asked, feeling a little stupid seeing as how I had the cane on my lap still.

"Come with me," he said, holding out his hand.

I took it and followed him out of his study and through his rooms to the staircase. As we climbed, he explained:

"This part of my rooms is furthest from the rest of the house. I don't suppose you want the other girls to hear you being punished?"

"No, not really," I agreed as he led me into what I assumed was his bedroom.

"We'll start in here," he told me. "This will be the first half of your punishment, an old fashioned spanking over my knee - just like when you were in the first year - knickers down, skirt up. Remember?"

He was smiling slyly and I felt the blood rush to my face.

"Better than I'd like to," I admitted.

"I'm sure. That's to remind you that if you do let me down, you're undermining your status as a responsible adult - and as a consequence you will be treated like a little girl until its all over."

"You said that would be the first half...?"

"That's right." He took the cane from me which I was still holding. "I'm sure it's no surprise to you to hear that the second half is a caning?"

"No, sir," I answered.

"You will take your clothes off in here. All of them," he said, my blush returning. "Then we'll go to the bathroom."

He turned and left the room, my feet reluctantly following him to the large yellow painted bathroom where he was waiting with the cane. The room was warm, with a slight dampness in the air.

"It's very noisy in here," he told me, "but because there aren't any windows, hardly anything can be heard outside. And there's still room for a good swing!"

"How many strokes would I get?"

"Six the first time, seven the second, and so on. You've probably realised that I'm extremely fussy about my house captain's behaviour and it's fair to say that making ten or more trips up here wouldn't be that unusual."

I did the sums more quickly than I usually did in maths. That would be fifteen strokes on the tenth occasion. Could anyone take that many? I realised that I had no idea what the cane even felt like.

"Sir," I said slowly, amazing myself with what I realised I was about to ask, "I've never been caned and I don't know what... I mean, could you give me just one stroke - I mean, now - just so I know what to expect?"

Mr Lindon smiled warmly.

"I almost suggested it myself," he told me. "Well done for being brave. It will have to be on your bare bottom, of course," he added.

"Of course," I mumbled.

Quickly, Mr Lindon had a stool pulled up in the middle of the room.

"You can keep the rest of your clothes on... this time," he said. "Pull your panties down and bend over the stool."

I did as he said, arguing furiously myself about why I was asking for the cane for the first time in my life because I was so good that I was being made house captain.

Mr Lindon's hands were on my skirt then, lifting it up clear of my bottom. Then he stood to the side of me and laid the cane on my cheeks.

"It's going to be as hard as if I were punishing you for real," he warned me.

"I know," I told him. "I'm ready."

I'm not even sure now why I didn't tell him to forget about the job after that one stroke. It burned so badly... but then you two have a pretty good idea about how much the cane hurts, don't you. Anyway, he had me stand in the corner of his bedroom with my bottom on display, showing off its single red stripe, while I made my mind up about whether to accept the job. And somehow I decided I would, and most of the time I'm pretty glad about it. Most of the time....


"So, when did he first cane you properly," Emma asked, her sex warming up the way it always did when spanking was the subject of the conversation.

"You won't believe this," Amanda told them. "It was on the first day of term - the first day in the job!"

"You're joking?!" Deborah spluttered. "But I remember going to see you and one of the prefects said you were having supper with Mr Lindon."

"Yes," Amanda agreed. "That's what James... Mr Lindon uses to explain my absence from house for a couple of hours."

She frowned.

"Of course I didn't know that when he came to my study and asked, in front of my friends, if I would come and have supper with him so we could talk about the term. And of course, I smiled and went off feeling all superior. I know better now."

"What was it for," Emma wanted to know.

"Well, we got to his study and he just held up this big key. I knew what it was because it's my job to look after it. It's the big safe all the girls are allowed to keep their money and valuables in."

"The one in the second year common room?" Deborah asked.

"That's right," Amanda confirmed. "Anyway, I asked where he'd found it and he said I'd left it in the lock. Anyone could have come along and nicked the lot."

"I guess that is fairly serious," Emma suggested.

"I suppose so," Amanda owned. "Anyway, he said I had ‘let him down', which is probably the most frightening sentence in the world for me these days, and at the same time I saw him reach for his cane."

The house captain took a deep breath and Deborah put a reassuring hand on her bare thigh, gently stroking the other girl's warm flesh.

"Stupidly, as he came towards me, I began to back away and he got pretty angry then. I said something like, ‘Please, James," and he said it was ‘Please, sir' and that it wouldn't do any good anyway. He grabbed me my the ear and marched me out into the hall and up the stairs, not letting go until I was standing in a corner of his bedroom, facing the wall.

"He told me to lift up my skirt, and then he pulled my knickers down to my thighs so that I could feel the cold air on my bare bottom. And then he went out again telling me to stand like that until he returned.

"You know, I think I cried more then than I ever did when I was threatened with a spanking when I was younger. I felt really bad about failing so early on in the job. I said that when he came back after ten minutes or so and he was suddenly really nice and gave me a cuddle and said I'd get better at it, and he wouldn't have chosen me if he hadn't been sure I was up to it and I could resign if I wanted to (and then I would be able to go without being punished) - but he wanted me to carry on.

"I told him I did want to carry on and I was sorry for being a naughty girl and I knew I should be punished."

She smiled, pausing in the middle of her flow.

"Honestly, I felt like I was about twelve years old. Anyway, the ice seemed to be broken then, and when he pulled me over to the chair he'd put by the bed and took be over his lap it felt... I don't know... safe I suppose. Like it took away some of the weight of responsibility knowing that I could still be a child."

Emma's hand crept to Amanda's other thigh, the two friends exchanging glances as they began to home in on their superior's pussy.

"Did it hurt?" she asked.

"Oh yes, it always hurts," Amanda almost laughed. "There's no limit to how many smacks he can give me, so he spanks me - and this is what he said -until his hand's too sore to carry on... so you can imagine what my bum feels like!"

"And then he caned you, too," Deborah anticipated.

"Yep," Amanda nodded. "First he made me face him and undress - and that was pretty embarrassing, taking all my clothes off in front of my house master -and then he took me to the bathroom, whipping the cane noisily through the air all the time."

Amanda looked at the other two girls, their faces alive with desire, just as their roaming fingers met up at her own wet pussy. She could hardly call them perverted, in the circumstances, but she wondered whether such a strong sexual interest in spanking was quite normal. She pondered for a moment whether she should talk to Mr Lindon about it, but then realised their was nothing he could do unless he wanted to abandon corporal punishment with the pair - and, in Deborah's case at least, that would be exceedingly difficult.

And anyway, her resolve was being melted by the presence of two of Emma's fingers inside her and Deborah's own hands showing off their owner's considerable knowledge of female sexual anatomy ("What Makes the Clitoris Tick" would be her first published work after leaving university, but that's beyond the scope of this story).

"You've both been caned, so you kind of know what it's like," she told them. "Though last time I got fifteen strokes because it was my tenth visit. It was just six that first time - but it hurt like fuck

"I remember waiting for the first stroke more than the caning itself. Bent down naked in my house master's bathroom.... just think what the Sun would make of it!

"What I made from it was simple: Behave like a young lady, and Mr Lindon will treat you like one; behave like a naughty brat and he'll cane your bare bottom. And you don't want that. Believe me, I do everything I can not to let Mr Lindon down."

"And he's still caned you ten times this year," Emma said. "You must really like the job."

"Oh I do, I do," Amanda agreed. "And I really like him too - even after everything. He's always so kind and loving... even, in a way, when he's punishing me. I'd never resign, not even if he threatened me with the birch.... Oh, Debs, I'm sorry!"

"That's OK, I'm trying to get used it. In fact, I was wondering whether we could get to bed - I want to be wide awake tomorrow morning."

"Of course, Amanda agreed. If we push the beds together we can curl up with each other."

And, after a long and rather excited bath together, that's exactly what they did.