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Eyes closed, nose pressed against the wall, James Martinez stood in the corner, sobbing. Tears streamed down his face, and his pants bunched at his ankles, a makeshift restraint. He thought about how he got here. His bottom blistered a glowing red, swollen, with a tinge of purplish tinted bruises, welts raised in perfect stripes from the tops of his cheeks to the tops of his thighs. Perfectly executed strikes of the rattan cane. God, I hate that thing, he thought to himself but knew tonight, the punishment he endured was well deserved. If nothing else, his wife was efficient and effective at administering her corporal punishments. Often, he wondered, how had he gone from a former Army sergeant to a husband punished by his wife?
He could try to fool himself and say he didn’t understand, but he did. Three years ago, his marriage was a shambles, and his wife headed out the door. He hadn’t been the husband he should have been, and only one option would work for his wife, to make her stay. Clamping his eyes closed harder, he wanted nothing more than to rub the burning cheeks of his ass but knew if he did, and April caught him, or worse yet, he lied to her, the punishment he had just received would be nothing compared to what he would earn for that infraction. He thought back to the day he met her, and how much had changed for both of them. A positive change, not without its ups and downs, especially for James, he definitely learned the hard way.
Staring down at one slightly scuffed sneaker, eighteen-year-old April Burgess listened to the incessant beep of the IV machine. Another bag empty. The rhythmic hiss of the ventilator almost enough to lull one to sleep, if not for the fact that a loved one lay supine and helpless in a bed, that steady sound keeping them alive. April had spent the better part of the day at the bedside of her grandmother, the woman responsible for raising her, the woman responsible for her being the respectful, mature young lady she had become. Under far more stress than any teen should have to deal with, April decided to head down to grab a bite to eat. It would give her a chance to collect her thoughts while her grandmother rested. Blindly walking through the line, she grabbed a prepackaged salad and a soda. As she scanned the bustling dining room, finding an empty table seemed a daunting task. Finally, someone stood up to leave. April swooped in and sat down before anyone else could grab the only open chair. That’s when she saw him, three rows over.
A sandy-haired guy, great shape, she could see the muscles move under the tight t-shirt he wore. He appeared to be lost in thought, and she glanced away before he looked up, catching her staring at him. Picking at the plate in front of her, moving lettuce around without eating more than a few bites, April felt the warmth of tears as they filled her eyes, silently rolling down her cheeks. What she hadn’t felt was muscle guy’s eyes on her. April dabbed at her face with a napkin, her shoulders slumped with grief and heartache. Tired, the past three days had been spent going to her morning classes at the university, racing to the hospital to be by her grandmother’s side, studying and working on assignments, sleep being a mere afterthought. When she raised her gaze to see the guy again, a sensation close to dismay hit her. April found the table occupied a cute little old couple trying to enjoy their lunch.
Figures, she thought to herself. April gathered the scarcely touched salad and made her way to the nearest trash can. As she checked her phone for any texts or calls, she pushed the door, bumping into someone. Her breath hitched when she looked up into the dark chocolate eyes of muscle man.
“I’m sorry, I should have been paying attention,” April stammered.
“It’s all good, I could say the same about myself. I’m James,” he said.
The corners of April’s mouth lifted into a half-smile, it was all she could manage at the moment, “April.”
“You here visiting someone?” James asked, then added, “Of course, you are. Most people don’t hang out at the hospital for no reason.”
“Yeah, my grandmother. She’s not doing well.” Damn it, April, hold it together. Fresh tears threatened. James watched her for a moment before saying anything. “I’m sorry. I hope everything will be okay for you…and, well, her too.”
“Well, it was nice to meet you, but I better get going. I don’t like to be gone too long.”
“Understandable. Hey, you think you might want to grab a coffee sometime soon? Maybe help give you a mental break for a few minutes?”
April’s heart did a little dance in her chest, for the first time since arriving at the hospital, she had a fleeting moment of happiness. “Sure, I’d like that.”
James added her number to his phone and told her he would call the next day. April walked down the hall with a glimmer of hope.
When she reached her grandmother’s room, April went to the side of the bed, leaned in and kissed her on the forehead. bahis şirketleri “Grandma, I think I met him. I’m going to marry him someday, and you’re going to wake up so you can meet him, and dance at my wedding.” Tears formed and fell once again. This time, they were tears of hope, tears of what was yet to come.
The following day, April kept her phone clamped in her hand waiting for James to call. As he said he would, he called her mid-afternoon. They arranged to meet at a little coffee shop around the corner from the hospital. A place close to where she needed to be, yet enough of a distance to provide a sense of escape.
James greeted April with a smile, but she sensed he wasn’t happy. As the two sat in a quiet little corner, they talked about April’s grandmother, what she was studying, and more small talk, but James never offered any information about himself. She found it oddly curious that a man would mention nothing about his life, so, she asked.
“What about you, James? What do you do for a living?”
James shifted his gaze out the window. He was quiet for several moments, and April began to feel awkward for asking. Then, he began to speak. “I was a sergeant in the Army. Serving my second tour in Afghanistan, I was injured, sent back to the states and just recently out on a medical discharge.” His tone was soft-spoken and tense. “Now, I’m trying to find a job. Think I’m going to apply at the community college. Have to get something going for myself.”
April wanted to reach out and touch his hand but thought it would be inappropriate. After all, they had just met. She didn’t push any further; if he wanted to tell her, he would, she knew that. What she didn’t know, was how grateful he was for her to listen without questioning. Their chatter returned to lighter fare, and the next couple hours passed before they blinked.
“April, I’d love to see you again. Maybe a real date, you know, dinner, movie, something other than just coffee.”
“I think I’d like that. Right now, I have to stay with grandma, but once she’s better, that sounds great.”
After their coffee date, April and James were inseparable. Constant texts and phone calls, dates, James would sit with her at the hospital for support and company, he helped her study, and he brought a fresh smile to her face. For the first time in several days, while she was worried, there was a seed of happiness. Two years later, they were married, and grandma danced at the wedding.
Over the following two years, April finished her senior year internship with Gentle Hands, a foster program for children, and James finished his Associate’s degree in both business and accounting. April made such an impression on upper management, they asked her to stay after her internship ended. Starting in the mail room as a full-time employee, she worked hard, remained dedicated, and learned everything she could. James also worked hard at the bank where he was employed. The young couple climbed the corporate ladder and were each successful in their own right. April, in the coming years, rose among the ranks, until she found herself the first female executive director of Gentle Hands. James’ career, while not as stellar as April’s, was also successful. However, during the recession and housing market bust, the banking industry took a hard hit. Like many others, James found himself laid off amid the turmoil. While not financially ruined, James was left at home while his wife became the single breadwinner. He searched everywhere within a two-hour commute, but as his own company, things were the same all over. April and James sat down many times to have the same discussion—why didn’t James just stay home, take care of the house, and they could still live comfortably off April’s income? Finally, James agreed that it would probably be for the best if he did. It didn’t have to be permanent, only until the recession eased and things began to return to normal.For several months, things worked out beautifully for the couple. Projects around the house were completed, and the house was immaculate. Then, it all began to change. April would come home to find almost nothing had been done. Beer bottles lined the coffee table where James sat watching television, the yard was getting out of control, small things that should have taken almost no time. The couple had argued repeatedly. April, that nothing was being done, their home was beginning to look like a disaster scene; James, that he would get to it, he just got sidetracked. One evening after arriving home from work to again find nothing done, April had enough. After weeks of reading online, finding situations like her own, April knew what she needed to do.After dinner that night, April retired to the guest bedroom, where she had taken to sleeping, for some peace and quiet. She had simply started cleaning up around James, who formed nothing more than a lump on the sofa. Ten to twelve-hour days, followed by an hour commute, it would be nice if she had a little help. bahis firmaları Especially since James was home all day. Ready to walk out and file for divorce, April was willing to give it one more chance. Things were going to change, starting tomorrow morning. She had to have time to prepare, and she didn’t want to go into the ensuing discussion while angry, it wouldn’t help anything.With a cup of coffee, April sat at the kitchen island bar waiting for James to make his appearance. She knew he was up, she could hear him shuffling around upstairs. He plodded down the stairs and headed to the coffee maker, joining her at the bar. ” james,=”” we=”” have=”” to=”” talk.=”” i=”” mean=”” it,=”” i’m=”” ready=”” to=”” walk=”” out.=”” why=”” stay?=”” it’s=”” like=”” i=”” live=”” life=”” as=”” a=”” single=”” woman=”” anyway.=”” nothing=”” is=”” done=”” around=”” here,=”” there=”” are=”” not=”” enough=”” hours=”” in=”” the=”” day=”” for=”” me=”” to=”” go=”” to=”” work,=”” and=”” do=”” everything=”” else,=”” we=”” don’t=”” do=”” anything=”” together,=”” hell,=”” we=”” don’t=”” even=”” sleep=”” in=”” the=”” same=”” bed=””>
“Honey, I’ll get to it, things will get done,” he replied.
Exasperated, she sat the mug down on the countertop, “You say the same thing every time we have this talk. I mean it this time. There has to be a change, or I’m filing for divorce.”
James’ eyes widened in surprise. It was the first time he heard her use the word, divorce, and he wondered if she was serious or just angry, “Don’t say things like that. You know I love you.”
“I love you, too, but I don’t want to live like this. I’m through,” April paused and took a sip of her coffee. “James, things are going to be different. Here,” she pulled a piece of paper from her jacket pocket, “This is for you. I expect these things finished by the time I get home from work. I’m not playing.”
James scanned the paper April handed him: mow the lawn, pick up tools from garage floor, water plants inside and out, replace the hinge on bathroom cabinet, take his own clothes to the laundry room, load the dishwasher. Nothing extremely strenuous, and other than the lawn, all chores that could be completed in a short period of time. After his wife left for work, James sat down to enjoy two more cups of coffee, the list in his hand, he chuckled. He thought he would surprise her when he had everything done, but he didn’t want her to see him as weak, obeying orders from his wife. On the other hand, he didn’t want his wife to walk out, either. Would she leave? He wasn’t sure and decided to not tempt fate. He took his clothes from the bedroom and bathroom hampers and carried them to the laundry room. She hadn’t said anything about doing a load of laundry, only taking them downstairs. Next, he loaded the dishwasher and headed out to the garage. James saw all the tools on the floor, the same ones on his list to pick up. Being a simple thing, he opted to put the task on hold and start the yard. It would take the most time, mowing and edging. When he finished, it was early afternoon. Heading in the house to take a break, he grabbed a cold beer from the fridge and plopped down to check out the sports report on ESPN.
Glancing down at his phone, he realized he had wasted the biggest portion of the afternoon in front of the television. He still had the tools, the cabinet, and the plants to water. There wasn’t enough time for him to get everything else done. April would be home within a few minutes. Heading upstairs, he decided he should at least give an effort to repairing the cabinet in the bathroom, the hinge needed to be replaced, something that shouldn’t take too long.
April pulled into the driveway, happy to find the yard mowed and neatly edged, hoping the rest of the list had been completed. Opening the front door, she heard a drill coming from upstairs and knew he was working on the bathroom cabinet. Maybe it’s the last thing he was completing.
“James, I’m home. Could you come downstairs, please?” she called up the stairs. When he stood before her, she told him the yard looked great, then asked, “Did you finish everything else on your list?”
“No, it’s not all done, but I’ll get to the rest tomorrow,” he smiled, trying to ease the anger he could see building in her eyes.
April’s anger boiled over. With her hands on her hips, she tells James to go to their room and wait for her, if he can’t do the menial tasks on a list in a reasonable amount of time, then she’s taking matters into her own hands, and he will be punished.
“Punished? What are you going to do? Ground me?” James snapped.”
“Ground you? That doesn’t sound like a bad option, but no. Now, go to the bedroom. You’re going to learn, right now, that I’m through playing. James, it’s about time you learn some responsibility and basic respect. I bust my ass at work, and come home to what? Nothing, except more work. Keeping up with things around the house shouldn’t have to become a fight every damn time. kaçak bahis siteleri I am done. Finished. Now, go! I’ll be up there in a few minutes.”
Stunned, James pivoted on one foot and started back up the stairs. Before he reached the landing, he turned and looked down at April, still standing with her hands on her hips, seething. “I don’t know how you think you’re going to punish me. I’m not a child, and you’re not my mother.”
“That’s right, and I’ll no longer be your wife,” she hissed.
James didn’t respond but noted their previous arguments, while heated, had never reached this level of tenacity. He continued to the bedroom to wait for her, wondering what she had in mind. Punishment didn’t sound too bad, being grounded in the house, not his idea of a bad punishment.
Standing at the window looking out over the neighborhood, James waited patiently. It wasn’t a long wait, he heard the click of the door as she turned the handle and opened it. When he turned to look at her, she stood there holding a large shopping bag. He can’t help but laugh when she pulls a brand new wooden paddle from the bag.
“Yeah, and what do you think you intend to do with that?”
“I told you, James, you’re going to be punished for not doing your part in this house and in our marriage.”
“You’re crazy if you think you’re going to paddle me. That’s ridiculous.”
“No, what’s crazy is tolerating the bullshit for so long before putting my foot down. That’s crazy. Now, you have two choices, we do this my way from here on out, or I am leaving you, tonight.”
April placed the paddle back in the bag and turned to walk out the door. “April, wait. I don’t want you to leave. I’ll get everything finished tomorrow.” How bad could it really be? He thought to himself. “Fine, I’ll take the punishment, if that’s what will make you happy.”
“It’s not about a punishment making me happy, it’s about you earning it for yourself. You have shown me no respect, our sex life is nonexistent, the house is a wreck. Now, we have a mowed yard, but it took the threat of divorce to get that much done. Do you not understand any of that? Never mind, don’t answer. I’m not playing around with you anymore.”
James hung his head as shame washed over him. He knew April was right, he hadn’t treated her right, and he basically had given up on everything except his beer and television. “You’re right, I deserve it. I’ll take the punishment. I don’t want to lose you.”
“Fine. I will tell you now that you won’t enjoy this, it will hurt, and I do not intend to stop until I believe it has changed your way of thinking. No matter how many tears or how much pleading. If you get up out of position and refuse to see it through to the end, I will walk out. If you don’t believe me, in my closet, you will find a bag packed and ready to go. Am I understood?”
“Yeah, I understand.” Tears? Pleading? Is she kidding? How much pain could a five-foot-five woman cause him? He laughed silently, he didn’t dare make her madder than she already appeared.
“Meet me in the office in ten minutes, bring the paddle with you. I want you in position, bent over the back of the red chair, hands on the armrests, both your pants and briefs down to your ankles, with your legs spread as far as your pants will allow.”
“Wait, you expect me…”
April interrupted him, “No questions, no arguments, be there. If you are late, I will add two swats for each minute. Don’t make that happen. You already won’t be able to sit comfortably for a few days.”
James swallowed hard, Jesus Christ, what did she intend to do to him? Leaving the paddle on the bed, April turned and walked out the door. He walked over to the wooden paddle and inspected it. A fairly dense wood, with a carved, leather wrapped handle for optimum grip. Fuck, she’s thought this through. She had to order this from somewhere. Not wanting to make her wait, he picked up the paddle and headed for his wife’s office. Once there, he followed her instructions implicitly. What the hell? The chair had already been placed in the center of the room, she had thoroughly prepared for this.
With a groan of disbelief, James hooked his thumbs inside the waistband of the sweatpants and briefs he wore, wishing he had worn jeans that day, as the sweats would allow for his legs to spread much farther. It had to be close to time for her to walk in, so he bent over the chair like she instructed, held onto the armrests, and waited—his ass pushed out and on display for her when she entered the room. His head facing the window, with the curtains open, for anyone to see in with the lights on. Oh, God! What if any of the neighbors witness me getting paddled by my wife? I won’t know if anyone is out there or not. While anyone could see in, all James could see was the reflection of himself bent bare-ass over his wife’s reading chair.
Like clockwork, April entered the room precisely ten minutes after she left the bedroom. Still dressed in the suit she wore to the office that day, minus the jacket, James couldn’t help but notice that she looked exceptionally sexy from his position. She picked the paddle up from the desk and approached him, tapping the polished wood against her hand.
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