The shoplifter story is an old spanking story trope. You know the plot — a young woman is caught shoplifting and is offered a deal. Take a spanking from the manager and avoid the cops. It’s been done to death. Is there any way to breathe new life into this old chestnut? I’m giving it a try.
Today’s story is from my ebook, The Naughty Wives Collection, Vol. 2 in which we explore the strange case of Cynthia Bergeron, gorgeous wife of the wealthy industrialist and marketer, Max Bergeron. Max has a problem, you see, for despite the fact that he is willing to buy his wife anything she desires, she likes to acquire things the old fashioned way — by larceny. Finding a program to cure his wife of this undesirable habit will be challenging, but Max is determined to give it his best shot.
“You see it?”
“Yeah. It’s her.” Max Bergeron sighed and ran his fingers across the bald dome of his head as he watched the tape run on the video monitor. The stunning blonde in the smart blue suit with the dancer’s legs and three inch heels had deftly pocketed the necklace as the clerk was distracted by a question from another customer.
“Why does she do it, sir?”
“I don’t know, Andre, but I’m glad you caught her in one of ours.”
Andre nodded. It seemed unbelievable that Cynthia Bergeron would shoplift jewelry from Jardin’s, a store that Max owned, albeit indirectly. Max was richer than Midas. It just did not compute.
“I don’t know what to say sir.”
“That’s ok, Andre. What normally happens when you catch them?”
“We call the police. They are arrested. Many go to jail after they make restitution.”
That wasn’t going to happen in this case. Max was calling the shots, but it was just fortunate that it was one of his stores, fortunate that Andre knew who Cynthia was, and fortunate that Andre was at a high enough level in Max’s organization that he could call Max directly. This could have been a disaster for Max had she been arrested, especially in some business having no connection to Max. Hell, odds were she had no idea that the place was owned by Max. From that thought sprang an idea.
“Get me Mitch Cramer,” Max told his assistant several days later. Mitch ran Security Solutions, another of Max’s companies. Max’ worldwide holdings in oil, gas, mining and shipping as well as retail operations in jewelry and imports made him and his employees targets all over the world. Mitch put measures in place to discourage would be kidnappers and industrial spies. He had even run “black ops” which had amounted to elaborate con schemes in order to thwart theft and extortion. Now he had in mind an operation of a different sort, one that would cure the lovely Mrs. Bergeron of her dangerous penchant for lifting merchandise without paying for it.
Max knew he had to do something to curb this behavior.That it must be stopped was essential. She could end up with a felony conviction and do actual jail time. His wife would be taken away from him and she would suffer the anguish of incarceration. Lastly, in Max’s position he could ill afford a wife-created scandal involving criminal behavior. His work on various philanthropic projects required Cynthia as gracious hostess, a job for which she was well suited, having been in the hospitality business prior to meeting Max. Getting one’s way in this environment was infinitely easier with a beautiful woman at one’s side. He not only loved her, he needed her.
Why did she do it? Who knows, but Max suspected that it was either a need for attention or perhaps she was bored. Cynthia was Max’s junior by more than a decade. At 52 he had been absolutely smitten by the tall curvaceous woman of some 33 years that he had met running on a beach in Hawaii. She had showgirl looks—long, finely muscled legs, a full and shapely rear end, and high firm breasts. The face of an angel—the body of a Victoria’s Secret model. She had, in fact, been a Miss California runner up. Max appreciated the fact that she turned heads wherever she appeared. One might have assumed that she’d have been haughty or spoiled, but in reality she was sweet, kind and intelligent. Max didn’t know what he’d do without her, which made this problem so perplexing.
“I think I know the person you need, Max.” Mitch had met Max in an after hours watering hole. “His name is Victor Cruz. He is a Spanish psychologist. We partnered with him and his team to handle that theft problem at La Monde.”
Max remembered. Top sales staff at one of his retail division‘s stores, all women, had helped themselves to expensive clothes and fashion accessories. When caught they claimed they had “borrowed” them to wear at exclusive clubs to “promote the brand”. Yeah, right. They had not been fired, but had agreed to go through some sort of “counseling” or something Mitch had arranged through Dr. Cruz who was apparently some sort of behavioral psychologist. Whatever it was, it had put the girls on the straight and narrow. After that nobody took off with even a paper clip.
“Fine. I’ll meet the guy. See what he comes up with.”
Victor Cruz was a tall, refined gentleman in his 50’s who spoke with a distinctly Spanish accent. If you could order “distinguished professor” from central casting, this would be the guy, thought Max. No, now he had it—Fantasy Island—Ricardo something or other.
“I am pleased to meet you, Mr. Bergeron, and I hope I can be of service. Mr. Cramer has briefed me, and let me say that I believe you are both right. This problem cannot be ignored. Mrs. Bergeron is on a very destructive course. I am confident that she can be turned away from this course with our unique program. Before we begin, however, I must have your absolute trust that no harm will come to your wife. Our methods may seem unconventional, but in historical context, they are tried and true. They work. What we do will be embarrassing to her and parts of it will be distinctly unpleasant, but not damaging in any way.”
“Mitch tells me you are very good at this, and I trust him, but I want to be there when you do this.” Max felt he could trust the guy. He had checked him out, of course. So had Mitch. His team was apparently in high demand by companies who had sticky personnel problems. They kept a low profile though. You had to be a pro like Mitch to even know he existed. And what if this treatment embarrassed Cynthia? Maybe she needed a little embarrassment.
“It is, in fact, essential that you be there. Mrs. Bergeron, however, will not know you are present. We are set up so that you can monitor everything on a closed circuit video network. The reason you must be there is that you will have to follow up on what we do. We will tell you exactly how to play it. It will be hard for her. Difficult for you too, but believe me, entirely necessary.”
Max said, “All right, let’s proceed.”
To put the plan into operation they had to catch her in the act. Mitch put her under surveillance and Mitch and Max were alerted when she was taped off the security camera in another of Max’s stores three days later while in the act of stuffing an expensive designer handbag into another shopping bag. She was stopped while trying to leave, then escorted to the manager’s office. They made her wait long enough to place one of Victor’s team on the scene. His job was to play the manager.
“This is very serious, Mrs. Bergeron,” said the manager, seated at a desk in the back office portion of the store. Cynthia had been detained, despite her flustered protests that she had done nothing wrong. The protests floundered when they pulled out the stolen bag.
Cynthia squirmed while the manager stared at her for a moment, and then said, “Shoplifting is a crime, and we treat it seriously. We call the police. You could go to jail.”
“No, please. I’ll never set foot in here again. I promise you. Just let me go.” Cynthia was panicked. Max would find out. Oh, God, what would he do? Would he divorce me?
The manager looked at her thoughtfully. “We have no file on you. That’s good. In cases where the offender is a first offender we have been able to offer an alternative.”
“Yes, yes….anything. I am so sorry, I-I don’t know what came over me and…”
The manager held up his hand, motioning her to stop. “If we allow you into this program, there are strict rules. First, you will make an appointment in no less than three days by calling this number,” he said, handing her a card. “Second, you will follow their instructions to the letter. If you do not, they will inform us and we will call the police. Do you understand?”
“Yes, of course. I’ll do whatever you say,” said Cynthia. She examined the plain white business card. It said “Behavioral Associates.” No logo, no fancy print. There was a local phone number.
“You must fully complete the program to the satisfaction of the staff at Behavioral Associates. They report back to us and any non cooperation on your part will result in a criminal complaint by us. If you agree, sign this acknowledgment …and then you may leave.”
Thank God, she thought. They don’t know who I am. She inspected the card. I wonder what they do? She’d heard of “diversion” for drunk driving and supposed that this was similar, only geared to shoplifting. Probably involved counseling, lectures about crime and so forth. It was good Max was still out of town. She’d do this right now. Get it out of the way.
She was visibly shaking as she drove herself home from what she knew was a very close call. Why did she do it, she asked herself? But she knew. God knows, she didn’t need the stuff. It was the thrill, the rush. Like she was Grace Kelly in “To Catch a Thief.” When she pulled a “caper” as she thought of it, it was like she was some sort of James Bond-like character, a secret agent stealing the plans and getting away with it. Well now she’d done it—finally caught. Lucky for her that the store was willing to send her to this counseling thing, whatever that was. Thank God Max would never know. What would he do? He’d be furious with her.
“She called and she’s coming in on Saturday. It’s all set up,” announced Mitch. “That was Carla, Victor’s assistant. They can set up in about a day, but what they need is some space in something like an industrial park, preferably separated from neighbors. Your wife arrives at ten, so we’ll send a car for you and you’ll be there in advance.”
Max nodded. He knew just the place. He hoped Dr. Cruz’s plan worked.
It was your typical suburban light industrial complex in a typical business park. A string of four buildings. Low rise—two stories each. The one on the far end from the parking lot had double glass doors and the legend “Behavioral Associates” on the glass. Inside was a reception desk staffed by a young woman. Certainly nothing out of the ordinary, just a typical corporate office.
“I have an appointment,” said Cynthia. “My name is Cynthia Bergeron.” She was the only one there. Good. She had dressed down a bit. No use in looking like a rich wife with too much idle time, so she had picked a outfit consisting of a simple pleated knee length skirt, a modest blouse and low heels.
The receptionist smiled. “Please have a seat. Dr Cruz will send for you in a moment.”
So far, so good, thought Cynthia. It’s like going to see the doctor. She waited for a few moments more and then another young woman entered the reception area and motioned to Cynthia.
“Please follow me,” she said, and led her down a corridor to an office. Seated at an impressive desk in an expansive office was a man who was introduced by the assistant as Dr. Victor Cruz. He did not get up to greet her.
“Please be seated, Mrs. Bergeron,” he said, studying the file on his desk. Then he looked up, regarded her for a few moments and began. “You are here because you shoplift, Mrs. Bergeron. This is a most antisocial and destructive behavior. But we will attempt to correct that. That is why you are here, no? You must, however, fully obey our instructions. These instructions may not make sense to you at times, but you must comply or we cannot issue a report saying you went through with the program. I trust you understand this?”
“Yes, yes of course I do.” His serious manner made her nervous.
“Good. I must also tell you that no matter what we ask you, you must not lie to us. Truthfulness is essential in this program of treatment. It enables us to prescribe the proper corrective treatment for your particular situation. There are consequences for lying.”
Corrective treatment? She thought that this was going to be counseling. Or a twelve step type of thing—‘I’m Cynthia and I shoplift.’?
“Now, let’s speak for a moment about you. Tell me what you do, about your family, your background.”
Cynthia told him without mentioning her husband’s name. She didn’t think he would know anyway, but it was better to be careful. Max, for all his wealth tried to keep a low profile.
“So, no children and you don’t work. You are financially well off. So tell me, why did you do it? Why take jewelry from a store when you could probably ask your husband for it or buy it yourself?”
“I—I don’t know. It was just there and I couldn’t resist, I guess….I..I just don’t know why.”
“Part of what we will do is to find out ‘why’ and then we can work on eliminating that behavior. Our principle is based upon what we call the three R’s—recognition, remorse and retribution. So to begin, we will have you fill out this question sheet. Again, it is very important that you be as honest as possible.” Then he spoke into the intercom, “Angela, please take Mrs. Bergeron to room 3A and give her the standard multiphasic test profile to complete.”
That last one didn’t sound very good to Cynthia. Retribution? It all sounded so punitive. Where was the counseling?
The assistant, who Cynthia supposed was Angela, led her to a room with a desk and gave her a long questionnaire to fill out. It was very detailed personality inventory. She had seen things like this before. But it also asked her to describe every occasion in the past that had resulted in her stealing something. Cynthia was aghast. She couldn’t tell them these things. What if Max found out? What if they decided to go to the police anyway? She decided to play it as if this were her first time. That would be her story.
When she had finished, they took the papers and told her to wait there. Victor reviewed the results in his office and directed his comments to the closed circuit camera. “You see, Mr. Bergeron,” he said shaking his head, “she has lied. She has said here that this is the first time. We will have to move to a different phase now because she must first break down and admit her problem. She is trying to cover it up.”
Through a closed circuit audio link Max asked, ”So what happens now?”
“What happens now will be unpleasant for her, and perhaps for you too, to have to see, but I assure you we have done this many, many times before and no real harm will be done. It will be frightening and moderately painful, but she will then open up to us and be candid.”
“What, this isn’t going to be some kind of shock treatment is it?”
“No, no, not electric shock. Something more fundamental, I think. A sharp shock of a sorts but no shock therapy.”
Well that was good, but Max was more than a little angry at Cynthia now. She had this problem, had put herself (and him) in jeopardy, and then had lied about it. If this was going to get uncomfortable for her, good. So be it.
They led Cynthia back to the office of Dr. Cruz. He was frowning as he perused the papers she had filled out.
“I’m afraid you have not been truthful with us Mrs. Bergeron.”
“Why, what do you mean?”
“You have said in here that this was your first time, that you had not done this before.”
“well, yes I…I” Cynthia stammered, clearly panicked now. She had been found out, but how? What did they know?
“Please observe the TV monitor.” Cruz pushed a remote and a screen behind his desk flickered to life. Cynthia saw herself…in that jewelry store…lifting the necklace. Oh, God. How did they know about that?
“I told you that truthfulness was essential, did I not? And you have lied, have you not?”
All Cynthia could do was bury her face in her hands and nod.
“I told you there would be sanctions for lying, Mrs. Bergeron and regrettably, I must impose them now.” Pushing his intercom button, Cruz said, ”Tell Ms. Chadwick to prepare in room 2D, and send Gina and Peter in to escort Mrs. Bergeron there.”
What? What was going to happen now? She thought.
Max asked the same question of Angela as the two assistants in white lab coats took Cynthia by an arm and one on each side escorted her down the hall. They opened the door of room 2D at the same time that Angela switched the monitor to the interior of that room so that both of them saw the same thing at the same time.
It was a curious mechanical contraption situated beside an upright frame. The lower part of the frame was vertical. At about waist height it was angled forward. There were pads all along the upright legs and the angled top portion. There was a padded crosspiece where the angled part began. The mechanical device had a vertical shaft to which a horizontal arm was attached. It looked like the arm was intended to rotate. Wires led to a desktop computer.
Its purpose became clear to Max when one of the attendants, presumably Ms. Chadwick, fastened what looked like a leather paddle to a receiver in the arm. Unlike the others Mrs. Chadwick was dressed in a type of “matron’s uniform”—blue skirt, white blouse with officer-type epaulettes on her shoulders.
“It’s a spanking machine,” said Angela, anticipating his question. “The paddle is a flexible acrylic covered with leather so it won’t bruise, but it will sting. This is a relatively mild phase of the treatment, but it lets the patient know that things are now very serious. Until we introduce the paddling machine, most of them think this is just a counseling session of some type.”
So that’s it, thought Max. They spank their little butts. He had to chuckle. Cynthia must be going out of her mind about now.
It took Cynthia a moment to take it all in and even then she was confused. What was this? Then they made her stand facing the frame and connected straps around her legs securing them to the vertical legs of the frame. They made her lean forward and placed straps over her forearms which stretched along the tilted part. The lean forward coupled with the crosspiece at her hips made her thrust her buttocks backward clear of the frame. She glanced about in alarm as they fastened her wrists to cuffs in front and her ankles in the rear.
“Wait! Wait! What are you doing?” she cried, now frightened.
At that moment she saw Dr. Cruz enter the room. “Please, please, what is happening?”
“As I stated earlier, there are sanctions for lying. We must ensure that you do not do this again.” As he spoke, Peter, one of the escorts secured a strap across the backs of her knees and another across the small of her back. At about the same time she looked back in alarm to see what looked to her like a leather paddle being connected to the arm. Dr. Cruz said, “Raise her skirt, Ms. Chadwick, if you please.”
Now the realization of what was about to happen hit her full force. “No, no…please don’t,” she blubbed. This couldn’t be happening. She was an adult woman and they were going to start a machine that was clearly going to spank her with that paddle. Under the skirt she wore tasteful but brief panties. They wouldn’t protect her at all. It was humiliating beyond belief to be placed in this position, her nearly bare bottom was rudely displayed.
“Set for 12, Ms. Chadwick. Force level 3. Standard interval.”
Ms. Chadwick punched some settings into the computer and there was a momentary silence. Cynthia heard the whine of machinery as the arm moved into position. There was a pause and then the arm swiveled sending the paddle in a swift arc that connected with Cynthia’s bottom with a loud crack.
Cynthia reacted with a loud “oww…no..” and the arm retracted. A broad band of fire seemed to erupt across her exposed seat. The next stroke came about 10 seconds later and Cynthia let out another squeal of pain and mortification. “Oww, please stop!”
Max watched, concerned now for his wife. “Does that hurt a lot?” The paddle didn’t look that heavy, but it sure made a loud noise.
“It’s actually more embarrassing than painful” explained Angela. “It stings, but it’s all surface sting. No more than a schoolgirl spanking. The buttocks are well designed to absorb punishment like this and it is a light weight implement. Psychologically it’s all about the dispassionate imposition of a consequence—you break the rules, the machine punishes you. The partial baring of the bottom is to shame. The next part is more personal.”
It may have been a mild punishment but Cynthia nevertheless yelped though the whole thing. Twelve times at ten second intervals the arm rotated back then swivelled, cracking the leather paddle against Cynthia’s quivering bottom. By number 12 she was in tears and begging them to stop it. Dr. Cruz nodded to Ms. Chadwick who powered down the machine. “Release her and allow her to compose herself, then return her to my office,” he said and walked out.
It was a chastened Cynthia Bergeron who now sat somewhat gingerly in a chair facing Dr. Cruz. She now regarded the professor in a different light. She had stopped crying now and the sting in her bottom was subsiding. It now felt like a prickly warm glow that was not altogether unpleasant. The embarrassing experience was something else. She still felt totally mortified.
“I am sorry that was necessary, Mrs. Bergeron. We must sometimes emphasize the need for total cooperation and honesty. Remember that you have traded a prison cell for this so you cannot expect that it will be easy.”
Indeed, she thought. But after that, what was next? A long interview with many questions, apparently. Cynthia finally had to admit the full extent of her shoplifting compulsion. Max listened in amazement. It went deeper than he thought. It was totally out of hand. He just hoped that what they had planned would break her of the habit.
What was next was education. She was shown a video that explained the costs of what she did and the effect on others. She was taught about compulsion and additive behaviors and how damaging they were. Dr. Cruz at one point explained to her, “A piece of expensive jewelry that you stole may have cost some clerk their job. Inventory is light and they cannot explain why. What do you think the boss might do?” She could only hang her head in shame. She had not thought of that. To her it had been a game, a lark. She hadn’t meant to hurt anyone. She did deserve punishment, she supposed.
It had been a long day, but now she was back in the office of Dr. Cruz.
“It is now that we come to the final phase of this program, Mrs. Bergeron. I will have to tell you frankly, that you will not find it pleasant.” A cold chill of alarm shot up Cynthia’s spine—not that room again, not that machine, surely…
As if on cue the two attendants entered and stood by her chair awaiting orders.
“Your responses today have been fed into what you might call a sentencing matrix. You will be informed of the results, but now you will accompany my staff and do exactly what they say. “He nodded to the attendants, Gina and Peter.
Gina took Cynthia by the arm. “Please come with us.” They walked her down a long corridor to a new room. Inside was a bench, a chair and some clothes hooks on the wall. There was a washroom off to the side. “Undress completely,” ordered Gina, “Then put this on.” Gina handed her a white shift, a loose neck to ankle garment that looked like a turn-of-the-century nightgown—the type that heroines in peril always seemed to wear, she thought ruefully. “I would strongly suggest that you attend to any bathroom needs that you may have. Remember, you must remove all clothing before putting on the gown. We will return shortly.”
Max watched as his wife, who was now obviously nervous, wondering what they were going to do to her, complied. God, but she was beautiful, he thought, and he loved her, but he realized that love sometimes meant tough love. “What will they do?” He asked Angela.
Angela looked Max in the eye and said, “This is the hard part, but hear me out. She will be whipped. It will be more painful than the machine and Mary Chadwick will do it, but she is very skilled. There will be temporary marks that will fade in a day or two. The implement that we have found works the best is a synthetic birch rod. It hurts like hell when you are getting it, but the marks fade. It doesn’t penetrate so no welts are formed. But boy does it ever sting.”
Max had to let that sink in. His wife would be whipped before his eyes. So be it. “You sound like you know what it’s like.”
Angela laughed. “You work on Victor’s team, you know the business– inside and out. I actually helped design this program and part of it was figuring out how best to apply the punitive part. We sampled and scored a number of implements and found that this one applied the most ‘ouch’ with the least amount of injury. The birch has a long history both as a punishment instrument and as a health aid. A lighter cousin of what we use is also used in Swedish saunas to stimulate the skin. I’m afraid, though, that what your wife will get is a bit more than a Swedish sauna treatment. The birch is generally a bundle of thin switches about two and one half to three feet long tied together at one end and allowed to fan out at the other. Real switches are impractical so we fabricated synthetic ones. The sting starts mildly but builds from one stroke to the next. By the time you’ve had a dozen it’s stinging pretty good. At two dozen it’s nearly overwhelming and past that you’ll do anything to make it stop. But it leaves only a red bottom, no deep weals and a day or two later you are fine.That’s why it was, for centuries, the most common whipping tool in use.”
“I thought it was the cane, like Singapore.”
“No, the cane came in during the Victorian era. It was the discovery of rattan and the fact that the Victorians were, at least outwardly, a bit prudish. You see, the birch is always given on the bare skin. The cane can punish through layers of even thick wool. Many an English schoolboy got the cane over thick wool shorts and felt every stroke, believe me. But another reason we use the birch is that enforced nudity and shaming is just as important in the punishment regimen.”
Well, if this is what it took to scare her straight, Max thought.
Back in her dressing room, which was really a cell, Cynthia shivered, naked under the thin gown, and agonized over her predicament. Why, oh why, did I ever get into this mess, thought Cynthia. I’m waiting here like Joan of Arc to be led to the stake. What are they going to do? I know it’s going to be bad, whatever it is. That paddle machine had hurt, but now she hardly felt anything at all. So maybe it’s just to frighten me.
She almost jumped like a cat when the door abruptly opened and Gina and Peter re-appeared. “You will come with us now, Mrs. Bergeron.” She rose unsteadily and her two guards each gripped an arm. She was ushered down several corridors though another door and into a large room with a vaulted ceiling, —no it was a courtyard atrium, she realized. Her heart caught in her throat when she took in the rest of her surroundings. In the middle of the atrium was a dark wooden fixture. It had a post with a crosspiece on top with holes in it. Oh, God it was a stocks or a colonial pillory type thing. The holes were for your hands and neck. She’d read stories or seen pictures—or maybe seen something on the History channel. They put you in there and you had to stand for hours while they pelted you with rotten fruit—was that it? She was going to be put in there all night?
But then she knew that wasn’t it because she saw Ms. Chadwick in her “matron’s outfit” standing to the side holding what looked like a bundle of long switches. They were going to put her in these stocks and whip her with that! She’d be bent over, her bottom sticking out lewdly to be whipped. Then to her horror she saw that seated in chairs to the side of the pillory were not only Dr. Cruz, but the manager from the store where she’d been caught. Now she understood. This was the “retribution” part. The store manager got to see her shamed and punished to satisfy himself that justice had been done. This was the most humiliating thing she could imagine!
Dr. Cruz rose and approached a sort of podium in front of the stocks. “Please step forward, Mrs. Bergeron.”
Cynthia did so on wobbly legs and only because she was guided by her escorts. In the corner of her eyes she could see Ms. Chadwick slowly tapping the switch bundle in her palm as if anxious to get started, a thin smile on her face.
“This phase, as you may have guessed, is retribution. And while you may dread what I am about to tell you, just remember that as a result of this program there will be no police, no trial, no jail. Instead this is the trial and what you see before you is your just punishment.”
Dr. Cruz referred to a sheet of paper in his hand. “We have compiled the results of our interview with you and a list of your past offenses and the value of things you have taken. A computer program decides the penalty based upon a matrix that we have devised, much like sentencing guidelines in criminal courts.” Here Cruz paused and regarded Cynthia thoughtfully. “Mrs. Bergeron…. your sentence is that you are to disrobe and assume the position in this pillory. You will receive three dozen strokes of the birch rod to be applied to your naked buttocks by Ms. Chadwick, our corporal punishment specialist.”
Cynthia gasped. Three dozen…with that?
Dr. Cruz continued. “ You may cry out if you wish as it will be painful. Profanity, however, will not be permitted. For each profane outburst, one stroke will be added to your sentence. Do you understand this?”
Cynthia could only gulp and nod. She feared this was going to be really awful.
“Very well,” intoned Dr Cruz, “please disrobe, Mrs. Bergeron.”
Cynthia looked around. They all stood watching her. She understood that if she did not do what they said, that she would be forced, and worse perhaps graded as “uncooperative” on the report that would go to the store owners. She lifted the gown over her head and let it drop. She was now entirely naked. Gina and Peter took her by the arms and led her to the stocks. They guided her to stand where there were two boards that slid together with half holes so her feet were locked in, immobile. They lifted the crossbar and she was made to bend forward placing her neck in the yoke and her hands in the lower cut outs. When the crossbar was lowered she was locked in. She had never felt so vulnerable. Bent at nearly a right angle her bottom thrust out lewdly, inviting the birch rod, it seemed.
Victor Cruz nodded to Miss Chadwick, “You may begin.”
Mary Chadwick took up her stance to the left of the pillory and carefully measured the distance to Cynthia’s trembling buttocks. She flinched involuntarily when she felt the birch tapping her bottom. For a moment there was dead silence. She could not see but she heard the whine of the switches as Ms Chadwick swung her arm forward to deliver the first stroke.
There was a “swishhh….” Followed by a “thwickkk…”. And fire blossomed across Cynthia’s lush bottom.
Max observed the swish and thwick of the birch. As it struck, Cynthia’s buttocks wobbled, then spang back leaving faint red stripes spread over both cheeks.
“One”, announced Gina making a notation on a clipboard.
God, that stung, thought Cynthia, but not too bad. I can take this. Stroke two piled heat on top of the first stroke. By three she realized her bottom was starting to smart really badly. The swish…thwack of the rod continued. Her bottom quivered and reddened. The sting in her hindquarters mounted as the birch fell again and again.
“She’s trying to assimilate the pain,” said Angela, as Ms Chadwick continued to lay on the birch strokes. There was about a ten second pause between strokes. Mary Chadwick would line up each one, bring her arm back deliberately and let fly with a firm forehand with a deft flick of the wrist at the end. “Unfortunately she won’t be able to do that much longer.”
As if on cue, Cynthia let out a cry. The cries grew louder as the stroke count climbed. Cynthia tried to wriggle. She couldn’t. Not locked in the stocks like she was. All that did was make her bottom wobble. Now her distress was growing because with each swish of the birch her bottom registered more and more stinging heat.
By stroke 18 Cynthia was sobbing. It was getting to be too much. Tears were running down her cheeks. She could not stop herself from squealing like a girl. And so her birching was now accompanied by her steady stream of yelps, “Oww….yeow….please…arhh….ahh”.
It was an eerie tableau that Max observed, one that seemed plucked from the middle ages. His beautiful wife, secured in the stocks, buttocks positioned to receive punishment. The town beadle in the form of Mary Chadwick applying stroke after stroke of the rod to her quivering bottom which was now a bright red. Cynthia trying to wriggle but to no avail. There was no sound in the chamber save the swish…thwick of the birch rod, Cynthia’s cries of pain and the almost sotto voce intonation of Gina, “Nineteen….twenty…..twenty-one….” Her bottom jiggling almost lasciviously with each thwack! of the rod.
“I know this looks cruel, but it must be done, you see. It hurts atrociously now during the whipping, but in a day or so she’ll be fine. See, Mary isn’t even applying the birch as hard as she could; she knows how much your wife can take. Plus as you will see it is necessary. She must be taken beyond her ability to handle the pain, but without injury.”
Indeed it looked to Max as if Mary Chadwick was being very deliberate in the way in which she applied the rod, not with a full swing, but a carefully measured one with that wrist snap at the end. Still, Max felt for Cynthia and wondered what it must be like for her to have to endure such a humiliating and painful looking punishment. No one spoke after that and Max watched as the matron’s arm rose and fell. Swish…thwack! 26. Swish…thwack! 27. Cynthia’s bottom cheeks rippled at each impact of the rod.
For Cynthia the birching was stinging her rear end ferociously. Each stroke delivered a fresh burst of agony. She was becoming delirious. At stroke 36 it stopped. It took a moment for Cynthia to register the fact that it was over. Her body quivered and she sobbed uncontrollably.
Victor Cruz motioned to his assistants. “Release her and take her to her dressing room—standard post punishment procedure.” To Peter and Gina this meant that they could apply antiseptic ointment to her bottom and help her dress. The crossbar was unlocked and Cynthia rose, wincing with pain. Her bottom still burned like fire. Her feet were unlocked and Gina placed the gown over her head. She was led back to the dressing room and Gina placed her face down on a padded table. “This will make sure there is no infection,” she said rubbing in ointment. Cynthia asked, “Do you have something for the pain?” Gina shook her head, “Sorry. You’ll have to make do at home. Lingering pain is unfortunately part of the treatment—so you’ll remember. We can call a cab if you cannot drive, but we are instructed to leave you here for a recovery period of 45 minutes.”
While Cynthia lay face down and tried to deal with what had just happened to her, Max was visited in the monitoring room by Victor Cruz.
“I know that must have been difficult, Mr. Bergeron, but in a day or two she will be fully recovered, the marks will have faded and she will feel fine. Hopefully she has learned a lesson. But we also know in cases like this that if the behavior is compulsive, it is not so easily stopped. She must have a partner who keeps her away from such behavior in the future, and that partner is you. Right now she is afraid that you will find out, but you must confront her—do not allow her to lie to you—and you must correct her behavior, forcefully if necessary.”
Max raised his eyebrows at that. “Do you propose that I buy one of those machines?” He was being facetious, he knew, but what did they have in mind?
“No.” Victor Cruz smiled. “Nothing as elaborate as that. I think a simple spanking across your knee should suffice. That usually works between husband and wife. You may realize other benefits as well. You see, I think your wife fears that if she confides in you, that you will no longer love her.”
“But I do. I want to help her. I’d never leave her.”
“So you must show her emphatically that you love her enough to do whatever is necessary.”
Max later thought about it. Cruz was right. He could not be lax and let her backslide into a destructive habit. And she had to be truthful. Secrets like this could be poisonous.
Victor Cruz was very direct about it. “Give her a day or two and then return home. Ask her what she did this weekend. If she lies… punish her.”
Max took a short trip to cement a deal in Seattle before announcing that he would be returning mid week. Cynthia was relieved. Thank God for a few more days. By this time Cynthia’s marks had faded. They had told her the lines would fade quickly and they were right—you could hardly tell from looking at her that she been whipped. Unfortunately it was not so easy to erase the memory, and in her mind she revisited that awful pain every day. As long as Max never knows, she thought, I can deal with the memory.
Sometimes it seemed surreal—did it really happen? Dr Cruz, the machine, the severe matron with the switches. It all seemed so fantastic now. In a moment of rashness she decided she had to find out. She drove back to the address and spied the building that had housed Behavioral Associates. No one was around. It looked deserted. She got out of car and cautiously approached. It was deserted. There was no sign of anyone, just a big placard in the window that said For Rent. What the hell? But it had happened, as she was reminded every time she sat down. Even with the marks faded, she was tender back there.
Max returned on Thursday. Cynthia had decided on a home cooked meal to welcome him home and had put on a sexy little number of a dress to heat up the mood for what was sure to follow later. Maybe a good fucking can purge this ghost, she thought. And Max was a sexy and virile man. He was always ready for her after a road trip.
He held her hands across the table and asked, “So how was your weekend? Do anything exciting?”
“Oh, no,” she said breezily, ”just the usual with the girls—a little shopping. Nothing much.”
“You seem to be squirming in your chair, dear. Did you get a bite back there?”
“Ah, no it’s nothing really. I just…”She paused. I can’t tell him. But she was clearly telegraphing with body language that she was holding back.
“Just what Cyn? Is everything all right? Are you not telling me something?”
Cynthia was fidgeting and now she was flustered.
“Are you sure nothing out of the ordinary happened this weekend? Whatever it is, you can tell me. I love you and…”
“No, no, nothing happened.” She had snapped at him. Now she felt terrible. All her own fault.
Max’s face fell. There was no help for it. He released her hands.
“Come with me.”
“What?” This was an abrupt shift in attitude on Max’s part.
“Into the study.”
Max took her arm and guided her into his study. Leaving her standing by the desk, he pulled a DVD disk from his briefcase and inserted it into a player. The screen flickered for a moment and then a stunned Cynthia saw herself shoplifting the necklace at Jardin’s.
She sank into a chair and covered her face in her hands. “Oh, no,” she wailed. “Where did you….”
“I own the store, Cyn. And you are lucky it was one of mine. Woman, do you have any idea what might have happened had the police been called?”
“I know, I know. I’m so sorry Max. I’ve learned my lesson, believe me. This last weekend I attended a… a counseling session for this. I was going to tell you, but…”
“I don’t think you were Cynthia, and I know all about it. I hired Dr. Cruz.”
Cynthia was astonished. “Do you know what they…”
Max cut her off. “I know all about it. I saw it. And for keeping this little problem from your husband,” said a stern and determined Max as he came around the desk and grasped Cynthia by the elbow, “I think a little refresher is in order.”
“What? Max, what are you doing?” She shrieked as he dragged her toward the couch.
He sat down and flung her across his lap face down. When he started to pull up her skirt, Cynthia realized what was about to happen. “Max, no. Darling, please,” she begged. But Max was determined. Up came the skirt to reveal Cynthia’s breathtaking bottom clad in wispy black panties framed by a garter belt and black stockings. The sexy sight was enough to make Max wish he could forget the task at hand and move to more pleasurable pursuits. Nope, he decided. Time for that later. He slipped his hand into the elastic of the panties and tugged them down to her lower thighs.
“I’m sorry Cyn, but you very much deserve this.” Max raised his hand and Splat! Splat! Splat! He delivered three hard spanks to the center of Cynthia;s bottom. It stung and Cynthia wailed, “ouch, Max, no.” Another smack rang out, then another. Max started to smack Cynthia;s buttocks in a pattern designed to cover every inch of her luscious rear cheeks. Left side, right side, center, high, low—Max was determined to thoroughly spank his beautiful wife until her entire backside was a flaming red. So he continued, steadily applying smack after stinging smack while Cynthia writhed and begged for relief. But, she did not attempt to escape, instead she wriggled her bottom somewhat lewdly, Max thought, while he applied the correction. Max observed the ripple of the lush globes as his palm impacted the satiny surfaces. Her bottom almost seemed to dance under the relentless barrage of spanks. She moved her legs in a flutter kicking motion as if that could alleviate the awful sting, at the same time wriggling in a vain attempt to avoid Max’s palm which landed with a steady smack! Splat! Smack!
When he began, Cynthia was merely shocked. It stung but not so bad, in fact at first it was a sexy tingle. But as the spanking progressed, Cynthia found that the stinging was becoming quite unbearable. A searing heat was beginning to overwhelm her. It hurt, not as much as the switches, but bad enough to make her cry out and beg Max to stop. Still some part of her knew that this was what she deserved. For all the deceit. For thinking of herself only. And on some level she wanted Max to continue so that he would drive out the devils that drove her to do such silly stupid things.
Cynthia now began to cry finally—great wracking sobs. She had given up. This was what Max had been waiting for, as he had been coached by Victor Cruz. He stopped, resting his palm of on Cynthia’s beet red behind and began to softly caress the punished globes. Spanking Cyn’s lush buttocks had fully awakened his passions. His cock felt like blue steel.
Cynthia felt it, poking up at her, and it comforted her to know that this punishment, painful as it was, had aroused such apparent passion in her husband.
“It’s all right Cynthia. It’s over now.” He lifted her up. She flung her arms around his neck and buried her face in his chest. He held her while she cried it out, all the guilt over her deceptions.
“Please forgive me Max?” She entreated him with anxious eyes.
“Yes, love. You are forgiven. Tomorrow is a new day. But the night is young. I’m taking you to bed.”
Taking her by the hand, Max led her to their bedroom. Once inside he watched as she took off her dress revealing her magnificent figure. Max got out of his clothes as she tuned to watch. He had a rampant erection. Their first coupling was intense and furious. The second was slow and tender. The third was a surprise to Max. He hadn’t managed three since he’d been 20.
Afterwards they lay exhausted in each others arms.
“So you knew,” said Cynthia.
“And I saw everything,” said Max. “Look, I know it was painful and frightening, but I hope you will accept that I did it out of love for you. I could not divorce you, I love you too much for that, but I could not allow this to continue.”
Cynthia snuggled against him. “I’d take a hundred spankings if it meant keeping you as my husband.”
Max looked at her with amusement. “Based on the lovemaking session we just had, I’d say you just might have to.” He felt Cynthia stiffen momentarily. Then she relaxed and snuggled closer and in a soft voice said, “If you say so.”