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Ami and Daniel are empty nesters who have moved to an old house in the depths of the English countryside. In order to save their flagging relationship and boring sex lives, Ami has decided she needs to change. Dan needs little encouragement, delighted with the new variety Ami introduces, proving that passion is not reserved for the young.
When Ami introduces the concept of spankings into the household, by way of Domestic Discipline, Dan is a little perplexed at first. Why would anyone want to be spanked? He is initially nervous of what this might entail, but Ami has researched the topic online and educates Dan with the hope he understands. She does well and Daniel takes to spanking Ami like a duck to water, and Ami begins to believe the saying ‘be careful what you wish for’.
As Ami's middle names appear to be 'trouble' and 'mischief', Daniel certainly has his hands full, and rarely does a month go by without Ami living up to her name. Does Daniel become the head of the household and their relationship? Has Ami asked too much of her gentle husband? Does Ami regret her decision of adding Domestic Discipline to their marriage? Or does their marriage grow and flourish?
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I raise my right eyelid and squint at the alarm clock on my bedside table. It’s ten minutes after seven. Dull morning light is filtering in through a crack in the curtains on the front window. I sigh and open both eyes, then stretch. Daniel is still snoring gently on my left, his face relaxed and boyish in sleep. I throw back the duvet and carefully swing my legs over the side of the bed and stand up, reaching for my toweling robe. As I’m sliding into it, Daniel returns to the land of the living.
“You’re up?” He sounds surprised. “It can’t be morning already.” He closes his eyes once more and snuggles down into his pillow.
Tying my robe, I stride along the passageway, stopping to pull up the pleated blind on the landing window. The overnight storms have turned into a gentle, misty rain that makes everywhere damp and subdued. I continue on and down the stairs to the kitchen. Tea for Daniel and coffee for me. It’s been a morning ritual for as long as I can remember. There’s no pattern to it—sometimes Daniel brings our drinks back to bed, and sometimes I do. It mostly depends upon who wakes up first.
My task accomplished, I return upstairs and place Dan’s steaming mug on his bedside table. Holding my coffee carefully, I prop a large square pillow against the headboard, and slide back into bed.
The second half of the ritual is that I lean back against my pillow sipping my coffee and chatting, and Daniel continues to lay prone, eyes shut tight, whilst every few minutes I encourage him to sit up and drink your tea before it gets cold. He never does. Eventually I finish my coffee and remove the large pillow from behind me, slithering back down into the warmth. Now, of course, Dan rouses himself, sits up and gulps tepid tea. I am quiet with my eyes closed whilst he holds forth on various topics regarding his plans for the day. I let out a contented murmur and turn over on my stomach, my hands under my pillows and my head turned to the left. Suddenly I feel boiling hot.
“Oh, Dan, push the duvet back, please. I’m suffocating in here.”
“Phew. It does seem hot and humid this morning.” He pushes the duvet down, leaving my nude body uncovered.
I wriggle my bottom and grind my pelvis a little. “That’s better. Thank you.”
I feel so comfortable. “You came to bed so late last night. I’m sure it must have been about one in the morning.”
“No, it wasn’t as late as that. But it was around midnight. You were snoring.”
“I don’t think I was. You fumbled in the dark and rattled the door latch, which woke me up. Then, as soon as you lay down you snored your head off all night. I jabbed you in the ribs once, but you hardly paused.” I hate it when Daniel wakes me up and I can’t get back to sleep again for ages. “You forgot to stroke my bottom or give me a cuddle.” Another ritual.
“You didn’t wake up, you snored and snored—even when I did stroke your bottom and cuddle up to you. You don’t remember a thing.”
I lie there and wonder whether it’s worth an argument, but the bed feels so lovely and I feel quite sexy lying there in full view. I wriggle again, and then I feel Dan’s hand lightly tracing a line down my spine from my neck to my bottom.
My pelvis jerks in response to his touch.
He does it again, smoothing my cheeks and then tickling his way back up and smoothing around my shoulder blades.
I am almost purring. My body keeps shuddering and jerking as he tickles, soothes and draws lines and circles up and down my back and around my bottom. He moves my legs apart and the next time, as his hand traces a line across my sit spots, his fingers rub ever so gently across my warm folds, and I writhe against them, willing them to go further.
“You’re teasing me,” I pout into my pillow.
This time his fingers reach lower, causing me to squeak, but he still ignores my clitoris, leaving it untouched and anxious.
By the next pass I can hardly keep still. I buck against his fingers and feel my wetness on my inner thighs, then he moves upward between my cheeks and circles my anus before pressing gently—a butterfly touch. Now I am gasping, beginning to moan.
His fingers return the way they came. I can feel his breath on the back of my neck and hear him breathing in my ear.
His fingers slide downward and circle my clitoris. They move inward and at the first touch I explode, my body lurching, pushing against them, rolling my hips. I am shrieking loudly Yes! and No! and Oh, Dan! As his other hand finds my anus and a finger pushes gently inside. I orgasm again, and again, clenching around the moving finger; discomfort and ecstasy combined.
Daniel rolls me over. I am still shuddering with aftershocks, but instead of letting him continue I push him down on his back. Rising to my knees, I bend and take his erection in my right hand, lowering my mouth and swirling my tongue around the head before lowering still further and taking him into my throat. I clutch his balls, spreading my fingers and massaging gently underneath to stimulate his prostate, rubbing and stroking in time with the motions of my mouth, precum lubricating my throat.
I pull off, almost to the head, and then slowly take him all the way back in, before repeating the action. I can feel his balls begin to tighten and I know he is not far from coming. Dan’s fingers are entwined in my hair and he is trying to keep me down, but sucking hard I pull off and kneel up, eyes glowing like a cat.
He uses his strength to push me backward and I grab at his shoulders trying to fight him. Then I am flat on my back and he is spreading my legs, pulling them upward so my heels rest on his shoulders. I am desperate, dripping. All I want is to impale myself on his hardness. He thrusts again and again. My bottom is so high off the bed that I have no purchase, and he has to do all the work. In so few minutes we have gone from gentle to rough; from careful to forceful.
I am too wet for such a position. Just as he is about to come, he slides out, losing his grip on my hips.
“I’m going to come all over your pussy,” he shouts, and I feel the hot wetness, but I am writhing around in yet another orgasm screaming his name, my vagina spasming in ecstasy.
We lie side by side, recovering. I can still hear the blood pounding in my ears, and my breathing is just returning to normal. Dan is rubbing my arm.
“Are you all right?”
“I’m wonderful.” I turn my head to the left. His forehead is beaded with sweat. “Are you?”
“I just hope my heart keeps on going.” He grins, patting his chest. “Who’d have thought it, eh?” “Mmmm.” “You came before I hardly touched you.”
“I know.” “Well, that’s a first.” “I know. You were driving me wild.” “You are so much more responsive now than you used to be.” I smile at him. “Just the slightest touch from you puts my erogenous zones into overdrive.” “Well, I should hate to think that your body would respond that way if anyone else touched you.” He gets up on his elbow facing me. “What if someone brushed against you and you started jerking?” He looks so worried, it’s comical.
“No, that’ll never happen. It just won’t.” “How do you know?” “I know, that’s all.” “But what if it did? How would you explain it?” I laugh. “You know when I go to have a massage?” Dan nods. “At first I was a little worried, too. After all, being massaged is very sensual. But it isn’t the same. My body just doesn’t react to anyone else the same way it reacts to you. It’s tuned in to you, Dan.”
“I bloody well hope so.” He doesn’t sound very convinced.
He reaches out and tweaks a nipple, which immediately looks like a chapel hat-peg. My body responds and jerks.
“See?” His hand slides down my thigh causing me to jerk uncontrollably once again. “I shall have to get up. I can’t lie around here all day.” I sit up and put my feet on the floor, searching around for my mules. Then somehow Daniel is sitting beside me on the side of the bed with a questioning look on his face. I know that look and I start to stand.
“Not so fast.” He takes my hand and pulls me down across his knee, my upper body supported by the bed. He places his right leg over mine. “I think I forgot something.”
“But, Dan, I need to shower.”
“This’ll only take a few minutes.” He is rubbing my bottom one minute and the next he is letting loose with a spanking volley that echoes all around the bedroom.
“Ow! Dan!” I start to protest. This is a bit too hard to be labeled sexy.
“Just reinforcing the fact that this ‘soon to be blushing’ little bottom belongs to me and no one else. Just reminding you of ownership. Just staking my claim.”
Good grief that man can spank hard with his hand when he wants to. “At my age, who else would want me?” I gasp out, trying not to clench. The smacks intensify and this time I’m not writhing in pleasure. I can feel my eyes watering. “Ami, I want you. Every bit of you. Don’t you dare be negative with me. This body is mine, and I love every inch of it.” He finishes with three hard spanks to each of my sit spots, then sits me up on his lap and cuddles me tightly, before standing me upright and patting my glowing bottom. “Come on, girl, get the frying pan out. I’ve worked up an appetite.” I follow a few feet in his wake, rubbing my bottom as I walk, and feeling so full of love for Dan that I can hardly breathe.
I pause, letting out a sigh of relief. The warm terracotta pamments have been buffed to within an inch of their lives, the windows shine, reflecting the late morning sunshine, and the scrubbed pine table hints of fresh lemons with a slight undertone of bleach.
It is a beautiful day and I’ve been up since six o’clock, determined to make a start on spring cleaning; downstairs at least. The cobwebs have been vanquished from the honey-colored oak beams, and the grease, dust and dead flies residing on the shelf above the range have been swept into oblivion.
My forehead is beaded with perspiration and I rub it fleetingly with the back of my hand, leaving a long black smudge. Then I scoop up the duster and the tin of polish I’ve left sitting on the work surface and return them to their place in the cupboard under the sink.
Time for coffee, I think, switching on the electric kettle and reaching for the jar of instant. The jar seems lighter than normal. I give it a little shake. Empty.
Well, that’s bloody good isn’t it, I mutter to myself. I remember that I missed it off my shopping list, in error, the day before. I look at my watch, biting my lower lip, and thinking to myself. Time is too tight to drive all the way to the nearest supermarket, but I will just about have enough to dash around the corner to the local shop, buy the few outstanding items on my list, and get back home in time to prepare lunch for Daniel. He hates it when I’m late with mealtimes. It’s rare for him to appear half way through the working day, but when he makes the effort to do so, he expects me to have the lunch prepared and ready to eat. He has to catch a flight to Germany late this afternoon, and he won’t be back until the following evening.
I grab my handbag and all but fly out of the back door and fling myself down behind the steering wheel. I’m not too concerned, because the salad is already washed and sitting in a colander on the draining board, and I’ve sliced the chicken left over from the previous night, and left it in a serving dish ready to mix with the bowl of curry mayonnaise and mango sitting next to it in the refrigerator.
In the three months we’ve lived in the old farm I have never been to the local shop, preferring instead to drive the ten minutes to the supermarket and blitz everything under one roof, or to wander happily down the high street of the little market town near to where we live, visiting the butchers, bakers and greengrocers with lists of ingredients I will need when cooking. I pull carefully into a space between a dilapidated pickup, and a family runaround that looks as if the last time it saw a car wash must have been some time during the previous century.
The village shop is situated behind the local garage, which is also the local undertakers. A car has drawn up at the pumps, which look to be straight out of the 1950s, and Sam Farthing, the owner of the garage, is engaged in conversation with the driver as he fills the tank with Four Star.
When Sam sees me get out of my car and walk purposefully into the little mercantile— where if you can’t find it, it isn’t yet made—he nearly kills himself in order to gallop across the forecourt and into the shop to meet me. He finishes serving the petrol, hooks the nozzle back on the pump in such a hurry that it falls down the first time, spraying petrol dregs in a ten-yard radius, and grabs the money out of the hand of the bewildered driver, now with well-spattered trousers. His eyes are busy taking in every detail of my appearance, from the faded blue jeans and creased linen shirt, to the dirty smudge across my forehead.
I arrive in the shop, closing the door behind me, which causes the bell to jingle madly. I stand still for a moment in order to allow my eyes to adjust to the relative gloom. An assortment of goods are arranged on shelves of varying heights, whilst two large chiller units keep vegetables and salad stuffs fresh, and a freezer unit hums somewhere in the background.
Beryl Farthing appears out of a side door and I fervently hope it doesn’t lead back into the undertaking side of the business, and that if it does, Beryl has paused to wash her hands en route.
“You’ll be from the Willows then?” Beryl puts her head on one side like a blackbird listening for a worm, and waits for affirmation.
“That’s right,” I reply. “We moved in nearly three months ago. It’s taken us ages to get ourselves sorted out. Most people downsize as they get older, but we seem to have upsized.” I smile at Beryl.
About then Sam bursts through the door, literally skidding to a stop inside and nearly takes down a display of lawn sand, grass seed and nitrogen fertilizer. As it is, a large galvanized watering can crashes to the ground, making such a loud noise it makes us all jump nearly out of our skins.
“Oh yes, the lady from the Willows,” he states, reinforcing what we already know. “Wondered when you’d be paying us a visit. Beryl spoke to Ivy Lake, and she knows Cedric Cobbold from the cottage across the way from you. He said you’d been having trouble with your septic tank.”
I can feel myself color. Does the whole world know about us and our septic tank? I’d thought it too good to be true when Cedric had appeared with his old spade, and helped Daniel to dig out the soak-away and unsnarl the tree roots that had grown, over time, and caused a blockage.
The Farthings both look at me expectantly.
“Oh, yes, well,” I begin. “I suppose it’s to be expected when a house stands empty for any amount of time.”
They continue looking at me, nodding in synchronized agreement.
“The other old boy killed himself on a tractor out the back of your farmhouse you know. He was trying to pull out one of them tree trunks and the silly bugger fastened the chain around the wrong hitch. Tractor went over right on top of him, it did. Killed him outright.” He sees no reply is forthcoming. “His wife never gave the business to us, she didn’t. Went to the Co-op instead.”
I shift uncomfortably and clear my throat.
“We did hear something about an accident,” I tell them, disinclined to get involved. I half turn, scanning the shelves, looking for coffee and malted milk biscuits.
I spot the biscuits and make a lunge for them. Beryl beats me to it, holding the biscuits aloft and trying to work out whether I can be persuaded to buy anything else.
I bend and pick a jar of instant coffee from a shelf lower down and to the right of the biscuits. My gaze moves over to the chiller. I march across and grab a slab of vintage cheddar. My brains are too addled to remember what else is on my list of missing groceries.
I reach into my handbag, pull out my purse, and remove a ten-pound note, handing it across to Beryl Farthing.
“Seen you in church last Sunday. That your husband with you was it?”
“Er, yes, it was.” I am thinking rapidly about how I am going to get these items paid for and remove myself from the shop. “It was Daniel. He works in town quite a bit and has to catch an early train, but he’s working locally this morning. He’s coming home for lunch, and I’ve run out of one or two things.”
I glance at my watch, and realize I took it off before washing the shelf. I look around. The Farthings don’t have a clock in the shop. I edge nearer the door, but Sam cuts me off. I look from one to the other feeling completely hemmed in.
“Saw him in the Slug and Lettuce—Wednesday night I think it was—deep in conversation with Henry Crompton from Myrick’s Farm. Good man, Henry, his family has been farming round here hundreds of years.”
“Oh?” I edge a little closer to the door. Sam doesn’t move an inch. I am virtually nose-to-nose with him. I am surprised that not a single person has come into the shop or pulled up outside for petrol since I arrived. In fact, very few cars are passing on the road at all. Anxiety is beginning to set in.
“Henry’s family goes back years, right to plague times. Oldest farm in the village. D’you know it’s got a priest hole?” Sam asks me.
“And a coffin drop,” Beryl volunteers.
“A coffin drop?” I am mystified.
“Well, they couldn’t get those coffins down them winding stairs now could they?” she asks as if talking to a five-year-old. “So they always built in a coffin drop in them old houses, in order to let them down through the ceiling.
“As I recall, the coffin drop in Myrick’s is in the kitchen.” She looks to Sam for confirmation.
“Oh yes, you’re right.” He smiles at his wife in agreement. “Used to lay ‘em out in those days in their Sunday best. Don’t bother no more with that kind of thing. Just put ‘em in them black body bags.”
I can’t believe the way the conversation is going. Only to be expected when you’re an undertaker, I think to myself.
Beryl hands me my change. “Will we be a seeing you at the Gangday’s on Saturday then?” “Ah yes, all the village turns out for the perambulation you know.” Sam turns slightly giving me access to the door. But this time it is me who lingers.
“Gangday’s? Perambulation?” I expect I sound confused, but I’ve begun to think the world has gone mad. What the hell are ‘gangdays’ for goodness sake!
“Yes, dear. It’s a very important day for the village y’know. Once every three years we follow the vicar around and we take it in turns to beat the bounds.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that.”
“We walk the boundaries of the parish. We go ‘a-ganging’” Beryl informs me. “We follow the parish line and we pray for protection and blessings for the land. And we sing hymns...”
Sam cuts in, “And then we all go back to the Parish Rooms for lunch. Rosie Chaplin always takes her homemade ginger beer, and Emily Smith’s chocolate cake is worth dying for. But watch out for Lucy Southorn’s chili. She always brings a big casserole full, and it burns your mouth out.”
“Come along ‘bout ten o’clock. We don’t walk the entire parish boundary; that would take all day. We go to certain strategic points, where the old stones still stand. And then we whip the boys with birch rods.”
“And willow too,” Beryl adds with a grin. “You do what!” I gasp with horror and amazement all over my face. “We whip the boys,” Sam explains. “We whip the girls too, these days. Especially if there aren’t enough boys taking part.” “It’s tradition,” Beryl nods her head. “We have to do it or everyone in the village will get bad luck for the next three years, and that’s not the sort of thing you want to take a chance on. You should come. You’ll enjoy it, and you’ll get to meet all the locals. They all turn up for the Bounds!”
I nod. I wonder whether I’ve woken up this morning in a parallel universe. I’m not sure whether or not I am in agreement with some of these old traditions, but I know I’m going to be very late today. Lunch won’t be ready, and Daniel won’t be pleased. He’s only allowing himself a short turnaround for lunch, and he hates bolting his food.
There is a break in conversation whilst the Farthings look at me and I look at them. I see my opportunity and I swerve around Sam and make a break for the door any Rugby player would be proud of. I sprint across to my car clutching my purchases to my chest like a Rugby ball, before leaping inside, starting the engine and ramming it into reverse. I speed down the lane out of the village and back to the house, hoping that I’ll have enough time to get the lunch ready before Daniel arrives.
My face falls as I turn the bend to the back of the farm and see Daniel’s car already parked in the yard.
Oh knickers, I think, releasing my seat belt and climbing out. Daniel meets me at the back door. I can tell by the look on his face that he isn’t happy. He points at his watch. “What time do you call this?” He glares at me. “I’ve only got half an hour now to eat. And you haven’t even put anything on the table yet! I told you exactly when I would be home. It’s not as if I often come home at lunchtime. I thought it would be nice for us to eat together for a change.”
I slink past him and into the kitchen. My hackles are going up at the way he is moaning.
“It’s nearly ready. All I’ve got to do is throw some of the ingredients in with the chicken, and toss the salad with a little vinaigrette. You’ll have plenty of time.” Despite the hackles I feel horribly guilty. He’s made the effort to return home for lunch, instead of driving straight to the airport, just for me, and now it looks like I couldn’t care less.
I open the refrigerator and remove the chicken and the mayonnaise mixture, swiftly combining them and sprinkling in some sultanas and a teaspoon of lemon juice.
“I was so busy giving the kitchen a spring clean this morning. Then I discovered I’d run out of coffee and biscuits. I just thought I’d nip around the corner to Farthings’ shop and pick some up. I never dreamed I was going to be waylaid and virtually held prisoner by them.”
Daniel is still cross.
“Well, next time you go out, madam, you make sure you lock the back door behind you. It’s a wonder we weren’t burgled. What would you have done if you had come back to an empty house?”
I can feel my face heating up. We’ve chewed over this bone of contention a few times before. I draw my hand across my forehead once more, further ingraining the black smudge from earlier. I choose to ignore Daniel’s comment.
I place the salad and coronation chicken down on the table and quickly produce two plates and some cutlery as Daniel sits down.
“What would you like to drink?” I ask him.
“Have we got any of that ginger beer left?” he asks between mouthfuls, chewing as if his life depends on it.
I take a couple of glasses from the cupboard and disappear into the laundry room, which faces north and where, as a consequence, we keep bottles of beer, soda and ginger beer. I return with the last two bottles, making a mental note to replace them as soon as I can.
“I had the strangest conversation with the Farthings,” I tell him. “All about coffins and beating children.”
Daniel frowns at me. “That doesn’t sound very pleasant.”
I run through the conversation I’ve had, explaining all about old houses, coffin drops, and using birch and willow to whip little boys around the village boundaries.
“It can’t possibly be that bad,” Daniel finishes his lunch, wipes his mouth on his napkin and stands up.
“Can you imagine the trouble they would be in? Everyone would be had up for child abuse.”
“Well, I can only tell you that they extended an invitation to us to join them on Saturday morning when they perambulate! Apparently there’s a big parish lunch afterward. And lots of homemade ginger beer!” I add.
“It would be good for us to join in a village event,” Daniel picks up his jacket and makes for the door. “Sounds just like the sort of tradition I could be interested in.”
He turns and looks directly at me. I stop eating and squirm in my chair, not wanting to look directly into my husband’s face. He isn’t having that at all.
“Look at me, Ami,” he orders me. Looking guilty and uncomfortable, I raise my gaze slowly to meet his.
“I’ll be home early tomorrow evening. Around five, I should think. We need to have a little discussion, don’t we?” He lifts an eyebrow.
“It’s not my fault if I got kept chatting to the locals.” I lift my chin in challenge.
“I’m not saying it is,” Daniel replies, “but it would have been quite easy to excuse yourself by saying you were in the middle of preparing lunch as your husband had a plane to catch. And frankly, it was just plain idiotic to go out and leave the door unlocked, now wasn’t it? What if you had come back and surprised someone in here? They could have knocked you over the head, or worse. I could be sitting by a hospital bed right now.” I can see his mind doesn’t even want to go there.
“Dan, I just forgot.” I’m feeling quite defensive. “Anyone could do the same. I was in such a hurry. I cleaned the kitchen within an inch of its life this morning.”
“Well, Ami, don’t you forget what I told you. I’ll expect you to be waiting upstairs for me when I get back tomorrow.”
Daniel, efficient as always, has placed his suit carrier in the car earlier this morning in case any last minute hiccup should prevent him from returning home. He bends and kisses me warmly, looking into my eyes and giving me a quick tap on the end of my nose. Then he is through the back door and down the path. A few minutes later I hear the car start up.
Shit! My good day has gone rapidly downhill. My bottom tingles and I reach back and rub it in anticipation. I hate it when circumstances dictate the necessity to wait for a discussion. Oh well, I have the choice of either working myself into a lather, or putting my head into the sand like an ostrich.
I decide to choose the latter.