Christmas break came, giving Amy a welcome break from her studies. However, the break was the calm before a very big storm. Just before her finals, Amy realized that the time had come to pick a major. As she pondered what interested her, she realized with some anxiety that the field she really liked was economics. It was the term paper that had changed her mind about the field. Amy realized that international development was a fascinating topic, and a powerful one that affected people around the world more than practically anything else. Amy felt a strong desire to understand the world. Economic development would go a long way to helping her achieve that understanding.
Amy noticed that Ruth Burnside was teaching two sophomore-level classes in the Spring. These were two of the classes that Amy would need if she wanted to major in economics with an emphasis on economic development. Amy now was faced with an important decision. If she took these two classes, her life would be hard over the next five months. She had a feeling that Burnside's opinion of her had become much more favorable since she graded the Vietnam War paper, but she also knew, from having talked to Lisa, the professor’s teaching assistant, that Burnside was hardest on the students she most liked.
Burnside had her reasons. For her there was no gray area as far as students were concerned. Either a student was a worthless, lazy, drunken partier (which in Burnside's mind constituted about 98% of all university students), or a student was one of the few who actually had some respectability and was worth working with. The only way to obtain Burnside's respect was to consistently work hard, and work well, in the one subject that had any relevance, economics. Burnside dismissed everything else as "fluff". She would have, for example, dismissed Suzanne as an "art flake".
Amy's life would change if she took the two classes. They would fill up her Spring semester and make her day-to-day life considerably less enjoyable. Amy's character would be tested, because she was not good at math and would have to overcome that deficiency to pass the classes. The thought of her character being tested scared Amy, because the last time her character was tested, she did not do too well.
What would make these classes even harder is that Wendy would not be enrolled with Amy. Wendy had declared accounting as her major. Being the only child of her parents, she would have to take over the family business. Wendy had explained to Amy that it was only with reluctance that her parents had sent her to college, and that was only because there was no son available to take over when they retired. Wendy's father had to settle on educating a daughter to take over. Wendy had decided that for her accounting was more relevant than economics would be. Ultimately she would have to major in business administration, but she wanted to understand the numbers before looking at the overall picture of her father's business.
Wendy insisted, however, that she would be available to help Amy with the math portion of Burnside's classes. Amy wondered if Wendy really understood how much help she would need. Wendy responded, "Don't worry about that. My course load won't be really bad till next fall. I'll help you."
Amy sighed. She wanted the major. She wanted the understanding it would give her. At least, she thought, if I don't pass Burnside's two classes I'll know right away that I can't handle it, and I'll have time to switch to something else.
An hour before the end of the final day to turn in the class schedule request, Amy filled in the last two lines:
ECON-288a. 6-HR INTL DEV 20TH CENT MWF
ECON-294a. 3-HR THEORY OF INT DEV MWF 1300-1400 BURNSIDE
Unlike most students, Amy no longer had to worry about paying for her classes. Just before Christmas Suzanne handed her a cashier's check for her part in the photo shoot in November. Amy looked at the check, dumbfounded.
"Suzanne, is this right?"
"Yes, it's right. It's a fourth of the money from the photo shoot. There will be a couple more checks once the books hit the shelves. They think I have a major success with your pictures here."
Amy deposited the check in her account and asked Suzanne to take her to see Robert. She wondered what to do with the money. She was smart enough to realize that, as a 19-year old, she was clueless.
When she approached Robert with her situation, he was gratified that Amy had matured enough to not think she had all the answers when it came to handling her modeling money. Robert was smart enough to realize that he did not have all the answers either, so he and Amy visited his financial advisor.
Amy, when presented with investment options, went with a conservative strategy and a very diversified portfolio, with emphasis on security over risk. She set aside the cash that she would need over the next three years, calculated to meet her expected expenses, as well as what she was likely to have to pay in taxes next year. She would forget about the rest of her money until graduation. That would be for graduate school and beyond.
Suzanne did not face the dilemma concerning what to do about her portion of the money from the photo shoot. Some of it she could spend easily enough on new equipment. She made plans to buy a new car and replace the lemon she was driving now. She needed something that would be practical for her work, either a small SUV or a minivan. There were college debts she could pay off. She could finish paying off her furniture. There were credit card bills to pay off. The morning before Christmas she gave herself a present of sorts, the satisfaction of writing a series of checks that would, for the first time in her life since graduating from high school, get her out of debt. The rest of her money simply went into a bank account in anticipation of her expenses for the Spring Semester, which would be her last as a graduate student.
Suzanne reluctantly decided to wind down her massage business. She would pass her remaining customers off on a friend from the physical therapy department. She would still finish her physical therapy degree, but now hoped never to need it.
Suzanne and Amy spent Christmas with Robert. The day after Christmas Suzanne dropped Amy back at their apartment and then returned to his place to spend some time with him alone. As soon as she entered his place they stripped. Naked, she cuddled in his arms on the sofa. For once they were not immediately in the mood for sex. They just wanted to feel each other's warmth. Suzanne rested her head on his bare chest, and he buried his face in her hair, enjoying its smell and softness against his face.
It was strange to think that in the short time they had been going out, each thought of the other as a soul-mate. In the eight short weeks since the day after Halloween each had told the other personal secrets not shared with anyone else. As strange a beginning as the relationship may have had, it now gave both Suzanne and Robert meaning in their lives. Each may have had a career, but a career can never give a person meaning in life the same way a good relationship can.
Gradually Suzanne's hand began moving up and down Robert's chest and stomach. Robert responded by gently squeezing her nipples and massaging her breasts. Suddenly he felt an overwhelming desire to see and caress her bottom. He motioned her to lie across his lap. Suzanne settled over his legs and pulled a pillow under her face. She closed her eyes and settled down to enjoy Robert's caresses. He moved his hand gently in circles around both bottom cheeks, around the lower part of her back and her upper thighs. He glided his palm over her skin. He gently pressed his fingers down the middle of her bottom, spending a few minutes gently stroking her bottom-hole and the surrounding area. Suzanne sighed with pleasure and lifted up a little, opening herself as much as possible for Robert's hand between her legs. With his finger tips he gently traced the tender skin between her thighs. He teased her, gently running his fingers over her labia and touching everywhere other than her clitoris. She was incredibly wet.
"You know, I’ve been thinking… it was pretty naughty of you to spank Amy and Wendy during that photo shoot and not take a spanking yourself. A little hypocritical, I would say."
Softly she replied "That's right. I was a bad girl, wasn’t I?"
Robert felt a rush of excitement and arousal. He brought his hand over the center of Suzanne's right bottom-cheek. He kept it there for a few seconds, letting her know where the first slap would land. Suzanne's heart raced with anticipation. He pulled his hand up and delivered a sharp smack. Suzanne groaned slightly. It was not a groan of pain. Robert slapped again in the same spot. He studied the pink mark in the center of Suzanne's white bottom cheek. Within a few minutes all of Suzanne's bottom would be that color.
Robert spanked slowly, lovingly. He slapped Suzanne's bottom hard on alternate cheeks. He paused after each slap, making sure that Suzanne felt each slap before receiving the next.
SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! The loud swats reverberated throughout the room. This was not a punishment spanking. It was not a spanking out of anger. It was a spanking that would push Suzanne to the limits of her emotion and passion, the pain mixing with the pleasure radiating from between her legs.
After Robert had given Suzanne 30 hard swats he paused. He ran his hand over her back and over her deep pink bottom cheeks. Her bottom was just beginning to swell and feel hot. Robert lovingly caressed Suzanne's bottom for several minutes. He ran his hand between her legs and teased her again. His fingers traced the area close to her clitoris, without making contact with it. Suzanne groaned wildly and thrust herself up, desperate to find Robert's fingers with her clitoris.
Robert would have none of that. He placed his left hand over the lower part of Suzanne's back and pressed her back down. He started spanking again, slowly, sensuously. He stopped after every 6 swats or so to pass his hand over her bottom and tease between her legs. He was driving her wild. The sight of her pink bottom, her groans and squeaks of passion and desperation, the wetness and smell of her sex, her movements against his penis, were driving Robert wild as well. He had not been this aroused in years. He was so hard it was almost painful.
Robert maintained his control for an additional 30 swats. Suzanne was on the edge and so was he. He pulled her up. She kissed him and she grabbed his penis hard. Her face was sweating.
"Robert... my love... please!"
They rolled off the sofa onto the floor. She was on her back, her hands over Robert's bottom. He thrust into her harder than he had during any of their previous love-making sessions. He held back as long as he could, prolonging the release of his own passion. Suzanne was so aroused that her breath came in uneven gasps. She squeaked with pain and pleasure, the pain and pleasure of Robert's hard thrusts grating against her vagina, the pain and pleasure radiating from the heat of her bottom. Suddenly she dug her fingernails hard into Robert's bottom, this time so hard she broke the skin. She released all her passion that moment. She had never felt so out of control.
The pain he felt from Suzanne's fingernails tearing into him only increased Robert's exhilaration. It gave him that extra edge. Sweat poured down his face. Suddenly he felt the release as the orgasm came. He thrust hard, wanting to push himself to his limit. Even after he came he continued thrusting. Suzanne squeaked and had her second orgasm. She moved her hands to the middle of his back. Suddenly Robert had a second orgasm. That had not happened to him for many years. His muscles began to tense up as he released into her the second time. Suzanne grabbed Robert's face and pulled his mouth down into hers.
They finally separated, looking at each other in shock. They were covered in sweat. The whole living room smelled of their sex. They struggled to get their breathing back to normal. The muscles in the backs of Robert's legs were cramped. They sat in silence on the floor for a couple of minutes. They were at a loss for words. What do you say to your lover after an experience like that?
Robert shifted position to sit against the sofa. He reached out and drew Suzanne to his side. She cuddled into his arms. She looked up into his eyes and smiled mischievously.
"I'm still your bad girl, Robert."
Amy found that she was actually enjoying economics more and more as the Spring semester progressed. She had been right about taking the two classes with Burnside. She knew what to expect from Burnside, which she found comforting in a strange way. Burnside might have given her an approving nod to see her enrolled in two of her classes, but Amy knew that meant that Burnside expected more from her, not less. For the first time in her life, Amy had found a role-model whom she wanted to impress. Economics was a tough subject, and Amy had never been good at math. She spent hours each week with Wendy going over the difficult equations needed for her economics classes, but slowly the theories and formulas in Burnside's lectures started to make sense to her.
Another person became central to Amy’s ambitions during the spring semester, and that was Lisa Campbell, Burnside’s TA, who was a graduate student and seminar instructor. Lisa’s relationship with Burnside went back several years to her first year in college. At first she seemed an unlikely assistant for Burnside because her outward appearance was totally different from that of the impeccable economics professor. Lisa was tall and quite attractive, with bleached blond hair and a deep tan. She usually dressed in very provocative clothing and spoke with a casual California accent. She was the chapter president of one of the sororities on campus, and often walked around with a contingent of young pledges trailing behind her. Lisa, when not wearing a see-through blouse or skimpy halter-top, invariable wore a t-shirt or sweatshirt with her sorority’s insignia on it.
Lisa’s outward appearance and behavior were completely misleading. In spite of her social life, she was a hardened, serious graduate student. When in class she was all business; her detailed lectures, harsh grading, and strict schedule totally contrasting with her casual west-coast mannerisms and revealing clothing.
There was something more to Lisa than just her underlying intelligence and ambition, however. Amy suspected that her TA’s sexual appetites were very similar to Ruth Burnside’s. There was something about her, perhaps something in her expression or the way she looked at the guys in her seminars; that made Amy think Lisa could very well be a dominatrix. She could very easily picture the Californian wearing a black outfit and cruel smile, wielding a switch or paddle against some unfortunate naked fraternity pledge.
Lisa took a liking to Amy and began helping her with some of the theoretical material in the classes. Wendy had a good head for numbers and formulas, but had more difficulty with applying the math to real uses. Lisa helped Amy with applied theoretical concepts and gave her some advice about improving her writing technique and finding research sources. By the middle of the semester Lisa knew Amy well enough to confide a few details about her personal life and her sorority. She also related how she had met Suzanne when she was still a freshman, through a mutual friend who now was in working for the university’s economics department as an exchange program counselor in Eastern Europe.
Amy's dedication to her economics classes forced her to reduce her photo shoot schedule with Suzanne. Amy’s roommate was perfectly willing to delay several photo shoots until the summer, and step aside to let her throw herself into her studies. Suzanne reflected that Amy had come a long way in just a year. When she had first met Amy, Suzanne thought of her as little more than a teenager who had some seriousness knocked into her by a bad experience. Amy had changed since Suzanne first saw her. She had matured and had real potential.
Along with Lisa and Suzanne, Ruth Burnside also noticed the change in Amy. The first face to face encounter between Amy and her professor, a confrontation in her office over a plagiarized term paper, was totally forgotten. Amy now did excellent work.
At Lisa’s suggestion, Burnside suddenly decided to do something for Amy that she almost never did for an undergraduate; she e-mailed Amy to invite her and Wendy to her annual Mardi Gras party, this time as guests. The theme would be the same as the Halloween Party, a BDSM costume party. If she and Wendy wanted to come they would have to wear decent outfits. That was the only condition, Burnside emphasized. Amy immediately e-mailed back. "Thanks for the invite. I'll be there for sure! I'll try to get Wendy to come too."
Amy had a harder time choosing an outfit than Wendy. Wendy had a skin-tight shiny black Japanese jumpsuit that would be perfect for her. A pair of black high-heeled shoes and a borrowed black riding crop completed her costume. Amy even managed to convince Wendy not to wear anything under her jumpsuit.
Amy was stuck between wearing a Mardi Gras-style outfit or a BDSM outfit. Finally she settled on going as a nurse. She found an old white nurse's dress and cap at a used clothing store. She shortened the skirt so that it ended just slightly below her crotch. She bought a pair of white silk stockings that came halfway up her thighs. She decided that she would shave off her pubic hair and go pantyless. She felt incredibly daring as she felt the thrill of the cool air on her upper thighs and between her legs when trying on her outfit. Amy stood in the mirror looking at herself. She was all in white, except her upper thighs, which were bare. She felt a twinge of anxiety when she realized that she had shortened the skirt a bit too much in the back. She noticed in the mirror that if she bent over, even slightly, the lower part of her bottom was exposed. However, she decided to go with her original plan to not wear any underwear, since many of Burnside’s guests already had seen plenty of her body in the fall. As she turned around, the back of her skirt barely reaching to the tops of her thighs even when she was standing up straight, she felt that she never looked sexier in her life. Amy's accessories included an old stethoscope, a pocket of empty syringes, and an enema bottle and tube hooked to her belt.
There was an early midterm in both of Burnside's classes a couple of days before the party. Amy suspected that Burnside had scheduled the tests early in the hope of recruiting hosts or hostesses for her party. This time Amy had studied hard and was confident going into both tests. She was determined to be Burnside's guest, not her hostess. Lisa proctored both tests, pacing about the room while Burnside watched the students from her podium
During one of the midterms, Amy noticed the guy sitting next to her looking over onto her paper, as well as onto the paper of the guy sitting on his other side. He was handsome, but was an arrogant fraternity type of the sort that did not interest her. The second time he peeked onto her paper she gave him a cold stare and twisted in her seat to keep him from seeing her answers.
"Stupid bitch," mumbled the frat guy. Amy was furious at her neighbor. No wonder Suzanne freaked at the slightest hint of plagiarism. Why was she a "stupid bitch" just because she didn't want someone else copying her test?
As Lisa slowly walked up the side of the room on the lookout for cheaters, Amy's neighbor twisted to the other side look at his other neighbor's paper. The other guy was just as irritated as was Amy, and a bit more vocal. "Look, shithead, do your own fucking work."
Lisa quickly looked over to the three students. She had heard the other guy's comment. Amy's eyes met the TA's, and then moved in the direction of her cheating neighbor, then back to Lisa's face. The TA nodded slightly. YES!! Looks like Burnside has herself a host for her party, thought Amy to herself.
Two days later Burnside returned the tests. Amy was sitting next to the same fraternity guy. Lisa handed him an empty manila folder. Amy smiled wickedly. The guy gave her a sharp look.
"What's so funny?" he snapped.
"You'll find out."
That night Amy e-mailed Burnside. "The guy sitting next to me insulted me during the test. Will he be hosting for you?"
Burnside responded. "Elaborate."
"He called me a 'stupid bitch' when I wouldn't let him see my test."
"Then he will need an attitude adjustment as well as a lesson in academic integrity. Be at my place at 5:30. -Burnside-"
Amy and Wendy showed up at Burnside's house at 5:30. Wendy's face was heavily made up to emphasize her Asian features. She looked great in her tight black jumpsuit. The curves of her thin body were clearly visible under her outfit. Amy felt wonderful in her sexy nurse outfit, but she could tell that Wendy was nervous about facing Burnside again.
"Relax," said Amy. "You're not even in her class anymore. Besides, didn't she tell both of us that she actually learned something from our paper? You won't hear that from Burnside too often."
As they walked from Wendy's car to Burnside's door, Amy felt the cold winter air blowing against her bare thighs and up her skirt on her bare bottom. She could tell that she had goose bumps on her bottom and thighs. She was incredibly aroused.
When Burnside opened the door she was again in outfit. This time her students were not shocked. The professor looked over Amy and Wendy approvingly and invited them in. The living room was decorated differently than for Halloween. There were glittery decorations everywhere on the walls, punctuated with fake flowers and strings of beads.
This time Burnside had her leather switch in her hand and was dressed in a one-piece leather outfit. From the front it looked something like a black swimsuit, but in the back it was cut very high. A thin string of leather running between Burnside's tanned bottom cheeks and halfway up her back was the only covering that she had below her waist in the back. She has a nice bottom, in spite of her age, thought Amy.
Amy, for the first time, was able to appreciate how sexy Ruth Burnside truly was. Burnside was over 40, but had not done anything to attempt to conceal her age. Her hair was just starting to go gray, and anyone standing close to her would see wrinkles starting to form around her eyes. Burnside had not taken any artificial steps to hide what was happening to her body, but in a natural way, it was obvious she was determined to stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Her body was toned and hardened from years of intense physical exercise. Burnside had a figure that many younger women would have envied and her whole demeanor demonstrated her excellent health and confidence in herself.
The detail about Burnside that made her truly sexy, however, was not her physique, nor even her erotic outfit; it was the intense eroticism in her eyes and her expression. In class Ruth Burnside pushed an image of harshness and severity. In her own environment, she exuded the same harshness, but it was mixed with her love of sex and of exploring all the physical sensations that a human body could experience. Burnside knew her own body much better than most women. Time and time again she had pushed herself to her physical limits as she explored her world in which pain constantly intersected with intense pleasure. It was that confidence in herself, and in her ability to help others explore their outer limits of intense sexuality, that was reflected in Burnside's eyes. Her expression was that of a person who had "been there".
Amy and Wendy's attentions were quickly diverted from Burnside's bottom. Lisa came into the living room from the kitchen. Her exhibitionist personality (as well as her body) was even more fully on display than the professor’s. She wore nothing except a small red French maid’s apron, a matching maid’s hat, and a pair of red slippers. Her shoulders, breasts, legs, and entire backside were completely uncovered. Seeing Lisa so exposed left Amy with the odd feeling of being over-dressed for this party instead of under-dressed. Compared to Burnside and Lisa, her outfit seemed relatively modest.
Standing at the back of the living room were three naked male students. They were facing the wall and had their hands behind their heads. They already were wearing Burnside's servant uniform, metal cuffs and temporary tattoos around their upper arms and thighs. Their legs were slightly more than shoulder-width apart and Amy could catch a glimpse of the backs of their testicles between their legs. Two of the trio had 16 dark reddish stripes on their bottoms and were shifting uncomfortably from side to side, sighing every so often. The bottom of the third student was still white.
"Bill, turn around please," said Burnside, with a mocking sweetness in her voice. "There's someone here to see you."
The guy who still had a white butt turned around. He was Amy's neighbor from the midterm. His eyes met hers. His face, already red, turned a shade darker. A look of panic went through his expression. He looked at the floor.
"Hey! No one told you to look down!" snapped Lisa. "Look Amy in the eye! You don't call someone a 'stupid bitch' in a test and then look away! What's wrong with you? You're not proud that you said that to her?"
Burnside smiled approvingly at Lisa. Her TA had made a good start dealing with this frat punk.
Bill reluctantly gazed at Lisa, then at Amy. The two women looked into his face and smiled sarcastically, scanning their eyes over his body. He was average height, and had a fairly good build. His legs and chest were deeply tanned, but he was white between his knees and waist. There was a small amount of hair on his chest and some on his calves. His pubic hair was gone, shaved off to comply with the dress code of a punished student. His penis and balls were average sized, but shaved he looked like more like a little boy.
Bill looked like he was going to be sick. He could not believe how humiliating all this was. His fraternity initiation had been nowhere close to this, and the night was just starting...
Lisa walked up to Bill. She pinched his chin and forced him to look at her. "You'll be getting it from Dr. Burnside for thinking that you could cheat on her midterm later on. But first you're getting it from me. That's why we saved you for last, so Amy could watch. You do NOT call a fellow student a 'stupid bitch' in class. Now turn around and put your hands on your knees."
Burnside's eyes shined with that weird expression she always had when she was aroused. Lisa ran her hand over Bill's bottom. The TA slipped her hand between his legs. Suddenly he clenched his bottom cheeks and twisted slightly. She slapped him hard.
"Look, you little cheating punk! If I want to put my hand there, I will put my hand there! You will do what I tell you or tomorrow you're history as far as your career is concerned!"
Lisa again reached between Bill's legs and squeezed the backs of his balls. "You're now getting a little something extra for not obeying me."
Suddenly she turned to Amy. "Looks like you want to play nurse tonight. OK. Do you know how to check a prostate gland?"
Amy shook her head no. Bill's eyes went wide with horror.
"It's simple. I'll show you. Wendy, you get over here too. Get three pairs of medical gloves and that tube of K-Y from the table."
Lisa showed Amy and Wendy how to put on the gloves. She dabbed a small amount of clear jelly on their fingertips. Then she ordered Bill to put his hands on the front of a chair and spread his legs. She pressed her left hand in the middle of his back to force his bottom to stick up. Bill's face was pure misery and humiliation.
With her right hand Lisa stuck a finger up Bill's bottom. He did not dare move. "See how I am positioning my hand? You'll feel the prostate if you put yours in the same way. You can touch it, but don't press too hard. Here, Wendy you try it." The TA pulled her finger out.
Wendy's face reflected genuine curiosity. She shoved her finger up Bill's bottom-hole. As Burnside and Amy watched, Lisa moved in to guide Wendy. "Press in a little more. Do you feel it?" Wendy nodded as she found her target. She felt it for a few seconds and pulled her finger out.
Amy noticed that Bill had a furious erection. Lisa reached down and quickly squeezed it to torment him even more. "Some guys get off on this. Amy, you try it."
Amy shoved her index finger up Bill’s bottom while Lisa kept a tight grip on his penis. She felt around the warm flesh of his intestines and found the small round gland. She gently traced it with her finger tip for a few seconds. Her curiosity satisfied, she pulled her finger out.
"Bill, stand up and turn around. Keep your hands at your side." snapped Burnside. "Now look at me."
Bill's penis stuck straight out. It bobbed up and down slightly, to the delight of the four women standing in the room. Bill looked like he was about to cry. Amy and Wendy had a hard time trying not to laugh.
Burnside moved her face close to Bill's. "Let this be a lesson to you, Bill. No matter how bad you think things are, we can always make them worse. Do you understand?"
"Yes, Dr. Burnside." Bill's voice was barely audible. Gone was the smug way he talked in class.
"Now, get yourself cleaned up. You have 60 seconds."
Bill ran to the bathroom. He wiped himself off and returned almost immediately. Amy could tell that he was no longer just embarrassed, he was scared. He stood quietly waiting to see what would come next.
Burnside and Lisa walked over the table of S&M implements, while Amy and Wendy watched. There was an assortment of paddles, crops, leather switches, straps, and martinets. Burnside handed Lisa a black leather paddle. The paddle's surface was oval shaped, about eight by six inches. The thick leather was stiff and heavy. Any swats from it would hurt, even if wielded by someone inexperienced.
Burnside smacked Lisa’s bare bottom and pointed at Bill. "OK. He's all yours 'til you get tired of paddling him. Then he's mine. That’s when the real fun starts."
Lisa took the paddle and waved it to test its feel in her hand. Suddenly her eyes fell on a riding crop, which gave her a wicked idea. She put the paddle under her arm and picked up the crop.
"Bill, put your hands on your head. Spread your legs."
Lisa began to caress the insides of Bill's thighs with the crop.
"Keep your eyes on me. And close your mouth. You look stupid with your mouth hanging open like that."
Lisa lightly touched Bill's testicles with the crop. She massaged the tip around his penis. The other three women watched with amusement as Bill's hard-on returned. He bobbed up and down as the graduate student continued to rub him with the implement. His face was pure humiliation. Finally he could not look at her any more. She snapped him between the legs with the implement. He jerked and struggled to stay upright.
"What do you think you're doing?! Look at me! Aren't you proud that you called Amy a 'stupid bitch'? Come on. Answer the question!"
Bill forced himself to look up at Amy. "No... I'm not proud..." he managed to get out.
Amy's eyes shined with joy as the wetness built between her legs. This was a totally new experience for her and she was loving every moment. To watch her sexy TA make this frat punk squirm with embarrassment, to have him as her plaything... This was fun!
Lisa set the crop down and took up the paddle to deliver the first part of the punishment. The TA cruelly smiled to Bill as she held the implement out in front, so he could get a good look at the leather that would be tormenting his bottom momentarily.
"Get over that leather bench. Spread your legs."
This was getting rougher and rougher on Bill. He struggled to get over the bench. His hard-on made it difficult. Finally he pushed it to one side and managed to get into position. Lisa showed him no mercy as she massaged his bottom and reached in front to tease him.
Amy studied the paddle in Lisa’s hand. It was obvious that it was intended to be used against one bottom cheek at a time. Burnside had chosen it for Lisa because it would give her maximum control over where she landed her swats. She positioned herself and gently rubbed Bill's bottom with the implement. He sighed with terror and humiliation.
"This almost feels good, doesn't it?"
Suddenly she drew the paddle back. POP! Bill's right bottom cheek turned pink. Lisa decided to hit again in the same spot. POP! The color darkened a bit. POP! Again in the same spot. She passed her hand over the pink area, fascinated that it felt warmer than the rest of Bill's bottom. She shifted to punish Bill's left cheek. POP! POP! POP! POP! POP! Amy landed five quick hard swats on Bill's left side. She paused to enjoy the sight of Bill's left bottom cheek change color. She passed her hand over the pink zone. POP! POP! She landed two more swats on Bill's right bottom cheek to even the color on both sides.
"Bill, how old are you?" asked Lisa.
Bill gasped. "Nineteen" he managed to get out.
“Amy, what about you?”
“I… I’m nineteen too,” responded Amy, a bit surprised from the question.
Lisa patted Bill’s bottom.
"Great! So you two are exactly the same age! You know what? I'll give you a birthday spanking. And I'll give you one for Amy as well. How does that sound? A birthday spanking for you on one cheek, and a birthday spanking for Amy on the other cheek."
Lisa stepped to the frat boy's side so he could see her. "Bill, look at me. Doesn't that sound like a good idea?"
"Uh... yes... yes…"
Lisa returned to her position behind Bill. She pondered whether to punish one side first, then the other, or do both sides at the same time. Finally she decided to punish one side at a time. She tapped the paddle on his right bottom cheek.
"Happy birthday, Bill"
POP! POP! POP! POP! POP! Amy noticed Bill breathing more heavily.
POP! POP! POP! POP! POP! POP! POP! POP! POP! POP! Amy thought that she could hear Bill grunt on the last couple of swats. For the final four, Lisa decided to hit with all her strength. POP! POP! POP! POP!
Lisa thought that she could hear his voice break a little on the final swats, but that was not good enough. She touched the paddle to Bill's left bottom cheek and then paused.
"Bill, aren't you going to wish Amy a happy birthday?"
Bill looked up. There were actually tears in his eyes. "Happy birthday, Amy" he managed to get out.
Lisa nerved herself for the next part of Bill's ordeal. She had to get him to cry before finishing with him. Burnside would not respect her if Bill could get through this without crying. Full force, she laid into him. POP! POP! POP! POP! POP! Suddenly she grabbed the swollen skin at the base of his bottom cheek and pinched it. She twisted the skin hard. Bill's voice broke. Lisa resumed paddling. POP! POP! POP! POP! POP! She noticed his body shaking a bit. Lisa hit with every bit of her strength. Sweat stained her maid’s apron and dripped from her forehead. POP! POP! POP! POP! POP! Lisa's efforts at last were rewarded, she heard him softly sob. POP! POP! POP! POP! Lisa stopped, breathing heavily. Bill's bottom was a deep, blotchy pink.
"Bill, stand up and turn around!" The broken frat boy did as he was told. He faced his three witnesses. Tears were running down his face.
Amy glanced over at Wendy. She could tell that Wendy was fascinated by what had just happened. She looked at Burnside. The professor was totally aroused. She had that wild look in her eyes. That was not good news for Bill. If Burnside went over the edge switching him like she did with Wendy, Amy had no intention of intervening. Bill's well-being was not her problem.
Lisa was incredibly wet between her legs. She had to relieve herself or she would go crazy before the party ended. She decided to subject Bill to yet another indignity before turning him over to Burnside.
"Dr. Burnside, do you have something to clip Bill's cuffs together?" Burnside turned to Amy.
"Amy, on the table. Get Lisa a clip."
Amy passed the clip to Lisa, who ordered Bill to put his hands behind his back. She clipped them together. She took him by the arm. Bill was totally terrified especially when Burnside, Amy, and Wendy smiled at him.
"Get on your back on the floor!" Lisa snapped to Bill. When he complied, he looked up and noticed that under her apron Lisa was completely shaved and totally wet. The sight of her aroused him and yet again he was hard. He stuck almost straight up. Bill’s tormentor looked down at him with disdain. "What's the matter, you never saw one of these before?" She lifted her apron. "Here. Now you have a better look." She lowered her apron and got ready to completely shock everyone in the room, including Burnside.
Just how much of an exhibitionist Lisa truly was came out in her next command. She ordered the other two naked students to turn around and “enjoy the show”, as she put it. Then she glanced down at Bill to notice him looking up her apron again.
"Since you like looking at my pussy so much, you pathetic little shit, I'll give you a close-up." Lisa knelt over his face. "Now start licking. Make me come, or I’ll paddle you all over again."
The TA pressed down on her victim's face. She made sure that she was positioned so her clitoris was over his mouth. Bill complied, wiggling his tongue around and over his tormentor's clitoris and labia. At least he knew how to give head. The threat of another paddling was not necessary, because Lisa climaxed almost immediately. Her body was covered in sweat and she gasped as a delicious orgasm swept over her. The orgasm felt so good that she totally forgot she was being watched by five stunned witnesses. Once she calmed down, ordered him to keep licking “until you’ve cleaned me up.”
Lisa stood up. She sighed with relief as she wiped the sweat off her face. She was still incredibly aroused, but she no longer felt out of control. Without unclipping his cuffs, she reached down and helped Bill to his feet. The lower part of his face was shiny and smelled of sex. His erection was harder than ever. He looked totally broken and miserable. His torment became even worse when the others burst out laughing, first Burnside and Amy, then Wendy, and finally the other two male students.
Burnside suddenly became serious again. She grabbed Bill by the arm and walked him back over to the leather bench.
"Get back over the horse!"
"Dr. Burnside! I just..."
"Got it from Lisa..." interrupted Burnside. "I haven't touched you yet! Lisa punished you for insulting Amy in my class. I still need to punish you for trying to cheat on my midterm! Totally separate issues!"
Burnside pushed him over the bench and snapped at him to scoot forward. She clipped his wrists to the legs of the bench, then moved to the other side to clip his ankles. Burnside slapped the inside of Bill's thigh. "Spread 'em!" Bill spread his legs wide. He was pressed hard against his penis, which was still erect. The backs of his testicles were clearly visible between his pink bottom cheeks.
Amy looked at the other two male students. They were standing together near the kitchen door, facing Bill and Burnside. She recognized one of them from the other class that she had with Burnside, but did not know his name. The other guy she had not seen before. He must have been from another of Burnside's classes.
The guy she recognized from her other class was fairly good-looking, not as handsome as Bill, but not bad either. He did not have that stupid-looking tan-line that Bill had from running around in his shorts all the time. He cringed with embarrassment when his eyes met Amy's. She made it a point to let him see her studying his penis and the surrounding shaved area. He moved to cover himself. Amy shook her head and smiled at him.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you. Besides, a couple hundred people are going to see you tonight. You won't have a chance to cover up lugging drinks around." Reluctantly he dropped his hands and left himself uncovered as he cringed and blushed from humiliation.
The guy that Amy had not seen before was about average in appearance. He seemed not to be bothered by his situation and made no effort to cover himself. Instead he was staring straight at Bill's bottom and looked aroused. Amy glanced at his penis, which was stiffening. It was clear that he was looking forward to seeing Bill get punished.
Burnside picked up the switch that she had used to punish Amy and Wendy before the Halloween party, looked at it, then adjusted her grip and swished it through the air in front of Bill's face.
"I think this will do. I was thinking about a cane, but I’ll just go with this." She caressed Bill's bottom with the switch. She lightly tapped the backs of his testicles with the tip. Her eyes shined. She wet her lips.
Amy squeezed Wendy's hand. She could tell that her friend was thinking of her own punishment four months before. Wendy cringed in sympathy with Bill, her unease clearly visible even under her heavy make-up.
Burnside stepped back. She raised her arm. Amy heard the switch as it descended on Bill's right bottom cheek. Bill jerked and gasped. A reddish line immediately appeared at the base of his right bottom cheek and turned dark. Bill shifted back and forth. Burnside struck again, only slightly higher. Bill gasped again, this time a bit louder. Burnside hit him again, the third stroke, almost, but not quite, touching the second one. After just three strokes, Bill sobbed for the first time.
Amy was amazed at Burnside's accuracy. Later she would need to ask her professor how she was able to control her strokes so well.
Amy heard the whoosh of the switch again. Bill sobbed louder. His knees started to shake. On the fifth stroke he screamed. It fascinated Amy to hear a guy scream in pain. She had never heard that before.
It was the scream that set Burnside off. Her eyes went wild. Her face tensed up with fury and pleasure. Savagely she laid on stripe after stripe both sides of Bill's bottom. He started screaming and sobbing continuously.
Burnside laid a total of 14 stripes on Bill's bottom from the right side. The new welts crossed each other, forming blood blisters.
Bill was crying hard. His body jerked with each sob. Burnside jumped behind him to begin on his left side. She gritted her teeth and slashed full force. Her face was scary-looking. Amy and Wendy exchanged glances. Amy could tell that Wendy was frightened.
Amy glanced back at the two male students. Amy's male classmate looked every bit as scared at Wendy. The third guy, however, was totally enjoying the sight of Bill’s tormented backside. He was very erect. Amy suddenly suspected that he was gay and quite happy to be watching the show. It seemed that his nakedness and the condition of his own bottom did not bother him in the least.
Burnside hit Bill again and again, a total of 15 more times from the left side. Bill's bottom was turned into a mass of criss-crossed welts and painful blood blisters before she finished. He screamed non-stop.
In spite of her resolve not to intervene on Bill's behalf, Amy was relieved when Burnside stopped hitting him. She looked at his bottom, which made a strange sight. The lower half of his right bottom cheek displayed five neat even lines. However the rest of his bottom showed where Burnside had lost control, covered with uneven, criss-crossed welts.
The spell went out of Burnside's face. She breathed heavily for a few minutes as she resumed control over herself. She unclipped her victim's ankles and wrists.
"Get up, you little cry-baby punk!" snapped the professor. Bill, still crying, struggled to get off the bench onto his feet.
Suddenly the doorbell rang. Amy ran to the door. A group of female graduate students were outside, all dressed in Mardi Gras-type outfits. Amy let them in. Their faces lit up with curiosity and amusement when they saw Bill. It was obvious that one of the graduate students recognized him.
"Bill!" she screamed with delight. "What happened to you?"
Bill turned away. Lisa grabbed his arm and spun him back around.
"She asked you a question, bitch-boy! Answer it! And look at her when you speak!"
Bill forced himself to look at the graduate who knew him. "I... I... copied a test... during... midterms"
The graduate student turned to her companions. "Bill's my roommate's ex-boyfriend. This is great! She'll love it! Let me get a picture!"
The graduate student handed Amy a camera. Suddenly two of the others pulled out cameras and passed them to Amy. Amy took a total of twenty-five pictures of the group and Bill, who was still crying from the pain of his punishment. Each of the girls wanted to stand arm-in-arm with him, and each wanted a shot of his badly marked bottom. Amy wondered what type of circulation the photos would receive once developed.
The doorbell rang again. Burnside had not realized how late it was. Guests started pouring in. Amy and Wendy watched in amusement as the three male hosts started taking coats to the back room. Amy turned to Wendy. "Aren't you glad it isn't us this time?"
Burnside told the hosts to split up their duties. She sent Bill and the gay guy into the kitchen. Amy's other classmate stayed outside to take drink orders. The gay guy seemed delighted. Amy wondered how long it would be before he started making passes at Bill. Amy remembered Burnside's words at the beginning of Bill's ordeal: "Let this be a lesson to you, Bill. No matter how bad you think things are, I can always make them worse."
After talking to and dancing with some of the male guests for a while, Amy decided to find the girl who wanted Bill's picture. She told the graduate student about the "stupid bitch" comment and how Bill was caught and punished by Lisa. She described both the paddling and switching, as well as the part about him having to perform oral sex on Lisa. The other woman was delighted to know the details. "This makes it even better!"
Wendy took a picture of them together, Amy in her nurse's outfit and the graduate student in her Mardi Gras outfit. Amy then learned some very unsavory details about Bill and his treatment of various girlfriends and classmates. He had even raped an unconscious high school student last fall after spiking her beer with Rohypnol and later bragged about it. Amy felt even less sorry for him once she learned what a truly rotten person he was.
By chance Amy touched the enema tube on her belt. Hmm, I haven't used this tonight, she thought. We’ll need to get Bill back out here in a few minutes...
Amy and Wendy spent much of their time that night simply observing their professor. Burnside cheerfully talked with her guests and did her usual flirting with the male professors. There were four older professors in particular with whom she seemed to hang out the most. Midway through the party they were sitting together on chairs next to the wall. Amy noticed each of the men passing a present to her. One of the men, who Amy recognized as a senior professor called Dr. Jim Halsey, made a comment and the others laughed.
Amy could not hear the conversation, but she noticed Burnside laughing shyly and shaking her head. Dr. Halsey and Burnside then stood up, face to face. He took the woman's hands and began kissing her. The people nearby began cheering. The older man stepped back slightly, still holding Burnside's hands. He addressed her again, and she shyly nodded. With that Dr. Halsey turned to face the guests.
"Attention! Attention!" The crowd quieted down. "Tomorrow is Ruth's birthday. What do you propose we do about it?"
"Birthday spanking!" shouted a couple of partiers. The crowd cheered. Suddenly the whole living room started chanting "SPANK! SPANK! SPANK! The chant died down into a cheer. The older professor pulled a nearby chair away from the wall, sat down, and smiling, took Burnside's hand.
"Ruth, my girl, the people have spoken. You are 41 years young tomorrow."
Dr. Halsey pulled Burnside towards him. Her face turning quite red, she went over his lap. Amy realized the birthday spanking must be an annual ritual between the two professors, and that was why Burnside had chosen an outfit with no back. She did not want to wear something that she would have to take off in front of the crowd when she got her birthday spanking.
The older professor slapped his companion's bottom quite hard 41 times with his hand. She closed her eyes and seemed to enjoy it. The slaps rang out through the quiet room, as the partiers watched the university's most infamous dominatrix get her own bottom reddened. Burnside's expression was relaxed and content through most of the spanking; she was used to much more serious play. At the end of her 41st swat, Burnside got up and hugged her friend. She turned around and wiggled her reddish bottom to the cheering crowd. The two professors then posed for pictures, Halsey facing the partiers with an impish expression while his companion continued to hug him with her bottom turned towards the multiple cameras documenting her 41st birthday celebration. It was obvious the whole affair had been in fun and that Halsey’s hand had left her quite stimulated.
Amy smiled to herself, thinking about Robert. She wished that Robert could have given Burnside that birthday spanking with his strap. The professor wouldn’t be so light-hearted right now had she taken those 41 strokes from Robert.
Bill's work in the kitchen was becoming more and more unbearable. That damn gay guy wouldn't leave him alone. Any other time Bill would have torn him apart, but he couldn't do it here. Bill knew that Burnside would really let him have it if he fought in her house.
The truth was that the other guy was just teasing Bill. Yes, he was gay and thought Bill was quite attractive, and it also was true that he had made a pass at him. Normally, after being rejected he would have dropped the matter and moved on. However, Bill's reaction was so vehement that the other guy was decided to have some fun with his homo-phobic kitchen companion by continuing to flirt with him.
A short time after Burnside's birthday spanking was over Bill decided to get out of the kitchen and beg his professor to let him take drink orders from the guests instead of mix drinks. To his huge misfortune he could not find Burnside, but he did find Lisa with Amy and Wendy. At first he thought he would find a sympathetic ear. Lisa quickly ended that hope.
"Look, your boyfriend is not my problem! You are here to help Dr. Burnside serve her guests and I don't see that you're doing it!" Suddenly she noticed the enema bag on Amy’s belt. "Bill, you know what? I'm going to motivate you to get back to work!"
Bill's face showed the distress and disappointment of Lisa's rejection. "Fine! I'll go back!"
"No you won't! Not yet! You're out here fuckin’ around instead of working and you're gonna pay for it! Turn around and face that wall!"
Bill reluctantly turned around. Lisa quickly handcuffed Bill's hands behind his back and snarled, "Get on your knees! Keep your face to the wall!"
Bill shook with terror. He was expecting another paddling over his welts. However, more paddling was not what Lisa had in mind. Instead she ordered Amy to unhook the enema bag and tube from her belt and screw them together.
“OK, I need you to go in the kitchen and fill that bag. As full as you can get it. Make sure the water isn't too hot.” She turned to Wendy. While Amy’s doing that, I need you to grab a tube of K-Y from the back table."
As Amy turned to make her way to the kitchen, Lisa tapped her shoulder and gave her another order.
"Do me another favor. Remember that woman who knows Bill, that roommate or whatever? Tell her to get over here with her camera."
Amy and Wendy came back just as the graduate student and her group of friends approached Lisa and Bill. He still had no idea what was about to happen. When the graduate students saw Bill kneeling next to the wall, with Lisa firmly grabbing his hair and Amy standing next to them with her enema bag, their cameras came out immediately. Bill’s captor signaled Amy to take the end of the enema tube from Wendy and dab it with jelly.
With a grunt Lisa pulled Bill to a standing position by the hair. "Stand up and turn around, your pathetic little shit! You know what? Nurse Amy and me are gonna to take real good care of you! We’re gonna to help you get over your feelings of guilt about spiking the beer of a high school student and raping her! You do feel guilty about that, don't you?"
Bill was too shocked to speak. He was handcuffed and walled-in by a large group of hostile females. Amy was holding the end of an enema tube and glaring at him. Wendy was standing next to her with the water bag. He was immobilized with fear.
Lisa grabbed Bill by the hair and his wrists to force him back on his knees, facing away from his audience. She grabbed his cuffed hands and pushed them up, forcing his to arch his back and place his welts, his bottom-hole, and the backs of his testicles on prominent display. Bill's head went to the floor and was immobilized under Lisa’s knee. Two of the graduate students knelt down to grab his feet and force them apart. Bill now was completely helpless and unable to move. His bottom-hole was very much exposed between his widely-spread buttocks.
Lisa pressed her hand into the middle of the young man's back and pushed his arms up further. The cameras started flashing. The roommate of Bill's ex-girlfriend moved to his side to get both his face and his bottom in the pictures. Tears rolled down his cheeks from the terror and embarrassment.
Lisa paused for a moment, completely enjoying her victim’s helplessness and humiliation, while Amy nervously stood with her full enema bag. She knew what was coming, but was trying to work up the courage to actually…
“OK, Nurse Amy, please administer the therapy to our patient.”
Amy crouched down and pushed the end of the enema tube against Bill's bottom-hole. She worked the tip past his sphincter and pressed it in. Bill jerked and tightened. Amy took a deep breath, repositioned the tube, and finished inserting it deep inside. She held it in place, her fingers almost touching the subject’s welt-covered backside.
“Please… no… uh… uh… not…”
"Bill, knock it off! Keep your butt out!"
Amy passed the bag to Wendy and exchanged glances with Lisa.
“Open the clip.”
Amy swallowed and nervously opened the clip that kept the tube closed with her free hand. Lisa issued another command to Wendy.
“Hold that bag up high. Hold it steady, and keep it up ‘til all the water’s drained out.”
Wendy exchanged a very frightened glance with Amy as she held up the bag and watched it slowly empty. Amy took another breath as she firmly held the tube in place in Bill’s bottom. She had a problem of her own; she realized that her abbreviated skirt had bunched up around her hips, leaving her body almost completely uncovered from the waist down. However, there was nothing she could do about it, because her hands were busy and she couldn’t let go of the enema tube. She tried to ignore the flashing cameras as she kept the nozzle steady and felt the water pass through into her victim’s intestines.
Slowly Bill's stomach began to swell. His guts started to hurt. The cameras continued to flash wildly.
Burnside and Dr. Halsey, noticing the flashing and cheering at the other side of the room, worked their way through the crowd to see what was going on. When Burnside saw Wendy holding the enema bag, Amy firmly holding the nozzle in Bill's bottom, and Lisa’s knee pressing down on his head, she smiled at her students. She had trained her graduate assistant well and could take pride in that. Lisa was a natural at inflicting real punishment.
Bill looked up and saw Burnside. There was no pity in Burnside's face. He looked over at his ex-girlfriend's roommate. Behind her camera she glared at him. No pity there. He looked at the collection of cheering female faces surrounding him. He saw nothing but hostile satisfaction at his predicament. Bill clenched his teeth against the increasing pain in his guts. He needed the bathroom, bad. He was completely at Lisa's mercy. He would do anything for her let him up.
Lisa placed her hand on Bill's shoulder. "Bill, please tell the group, in a nice loud voice, why Nurse Amy had to do this to you."
Bill spoke immediately. The only thing on his mind was getting to the bathroom. "I... drugged a... high school student... at a frat party... last year... I fucked her... she was asleep..."
"How old was she, Bill?"
"Fifteen… Sixteen… uh… Sophomore… uh…"
Lisa's response was dripping with sweet sarcasm. "Bill! How shocking! A big boy like you fucking a knocked-out fifteen-year-old? Don't you think that's kind of sick? Bill, answer me. Don't you think that fucking a knocked-out fifteen-year-old is kinda sick?"
"Uh... yeah... uh... sick!"
The crowd murmured and groaned with disgust. Bill didn’t care; the only thing on his mind was getting to the toilet. Sweat and tears poured down his face. Finally Amy pulled the tube out of his butt. Lisa let him up and un-cuffed him. He pushed his way through the mob to the bathroom.
Burnside's face went dark with anger. She pushed through the crowd after Bill. She kicked the bathroom door open.
"Get out! Get yourself wiped off, you little pervert, and get the fuck out of my house!"
Burnside grabbed Bill's bag of clothes and threw them out the front door into the snow of her front lawn. The professor and her TA then grabbed Bill's arms and twisted them behind his back. They led Bill past the cheering partiers and pushed him out the door. A vicious, well-aimed kick to his backside sent him sprawling in the snow.
"What about my midterm?"
"Your midterm?! You've got nerve, you little shit! You flunked it! You flunked my class! You flunked college! If you have a problem with that, take it up with the administration! Then you can tell them WHY you flunked! They'll love that one!"
Burnside slammed her front door so hard the house shook. That was the end of Bill.
Well, not quite. After the normal partying resumed a guy wearing a biker’s outfit found Amy and handed her a business card.
"I work for the campus police. You girls just did us a huge favor. We’ve been investigating three rapes at Bill's fraternity last fall and one so far this spring; all of them involving minors. Of course, no one’s giving up anything and we’ve been banging our heads against the wall trying to get to those guys. Your method of interrogation wouldn't hold up in court, but now I know which one of ‘em we need to talk to."
Lisa and Amy were the heroes of the night. Everyone seemed to want to find them to congratulate them on their treatment of Bill. Even Burnside couldn't have done it better. Amy spent most of her remaining time at the party listening to compliments and posing for pictures with the guests. Everyone there seemed to want to have their picture taken with Lisa in her maid’s apron and Amy in her nurse outfit.
Ruth Burnside had mixed feelings. On the one hand she was jealous. She was used to being the center of attention at her parties. This was the first time that someone else had stolen the show. Still, she was proud of her students. They had added some real excitement to the party and gave everyone an experience they would remember for a long time. Most importantly, the two young women were responsible for ridding the university of a person who had no business being there.
Amy was dumbfounded by the power that she and Lisa had held over Bill. She had hated him for that single comment in class. What irritated her the most was not the comment itself, but the casual way Bill had insulted her. It was obvious that he was used to talking to everyone, especially women, with cutting insults. As a result she was quite happy to see him ground-down as much as possible. However, it still amazed her that Bill's simple act of saying "stupid bitch" one time too many had set off a chain of events that had wrecked his life, and quite possibly would end up with him in jail.
It was almost light outside when Amy and Wendy were able to break away from Burnside's party. Their departure from the Mardi Gras party was a total contrast with their departure from the Halloween party. They left with most of the other guests, with their bottoms intact. Burnside warmly patted Amy’s hand as she said goodnight. Lisa actually hugged her. When Amy got home, there were no pans stacked on the other side of her front door, and no Suzanne sitting on the sofa glaring at her. Amy was just as tired as last time, but this morning she would sleep in her own bed and get up when she wanted.
Amy sighed when she got back to her room. The library books were stacked high on her desk. She could feel them staring at her, reminding her of the huge amount of work that she still had to do for the two term papers she owed Burnside. The books would be her companions as soon as she woke up. She knew that precisely because Burnside had taken a liking to her, she could expect her professor to come down especially hard on her if she did not do good work. Definitely a mixed blessing.
Amy's relationship with Robert had changed radically by the beginning of her second year of college. Amy was now Robert's equal, and his friend. She still approached him for advice when she felt that she needed it, but as a friend, not as a surrogate daughter. She still felt a deep respect for him and cared for him deeply. He had saved her life. He had guided her into the path where she was now. Most importantly, in no way did he attempt to exploit her vulnerability when she stayed with him, nor in the months that followed. Amy now was glad that there had never been a hint of sex between herself and Robert. The infatuation she had felt for him at the beginning ended long ago and she could settle down to enjoy her friendship with him. Robert now respected Amy as an adult and as a friend, listened to her opinions, and was genuinely curious as to what she thought about various topics.
Amy now felt silly about the jealousy she had felt when Suzanne first started going out with Robert. Amy now understood what they saw in each other. Perhaps on the surface they had nothing in common, not age, not interests, not manner of dressing, not career paths. But deeper down, their lives were indeed the same. Suzanne and Robert had both lived hard, lonely lives, shaped by personal tragedy and dysfunctional relationships. They had the same drive, the same sense of belief in themselves, and now a shared belief in each other. Suzanne's eyes reflected a deep contentment in her life. Robert seemed so much more relaxed whenever Amy saw him.
Amy's life continued to be filled with Burnside's work during the depth of the Spring semester. There were the endless quizzes, the multiple-chapter reading assignments, the harsh questioning in class. Most of Amy's classmates were terrified of Burnside, her acidic comments, her harsh grading, her endless supply of red ink. By the end of February, over half of the students had dropped out of both classes. Amy remained among the survivors.
Burnside seemed to call on Amy more in class than on most of the other students. Often if another student did not know the answer, Amy ended up being the second student Burnside called upon. Amy realized that Burnside expected her to shoot back the correct answer, no matter what.
Burnside was particularly hard on anything Amy wrote. Red ink invariably stained anything returned to Amy that had passed in front of Burnside's eyes. Anyone seeing Amy's papers would have thought that Burnside totally hated her, but that was not the case at all. Amy almost had a feeling that Burnside had something in mind for her for the future, but could not imagine what that could be.
The increased pressure on Amy pushed her to study all that much harder. Amy's character was undergoing a transformation as a result of the challenge being thrust upon her. She was becoming harder, more driven, more determined. In the same way that her body had become trim and hardened by a year of working out, Amy's spirit strengthened as a result of the experiences she was having in college.
Amy reflected that the vacillating high school girl who took off with Courtney on that road trip almost two years ago was long gone, as was the emotional wreck picked up six months later by Robert at the police station. Amy reflected that had she and Courtney known each other now, their relationship would have been very different that it had been in high school. There was no way now that Amy would have let Courtney push her around. Probably they would not have gotten along at all.
Amy experienced yet another change in her life during the spring semester. Since the beginning of the semester she had noticed a male classmate glancing over at her every so often during class. He was fairly good-looking, and had a nice expression. He never missed the chance to catch a glimpse of Amy, especially when Burnside called on her to answer questions. Amy noticed that when Burnside called on him, he always seemed prepared as well as she was. Gradually Amy realized that he was interested in her and had set a goal of trying to impress her the only way he knew how, by being prepared in Burnside's class.
Two days after the Mardi Gras party, Amy's classmate did something unheard of in Burnside's class, he raised his hand and challenged her opinion about the development of Latin America. Several Latin American political theorists of the Dependency School had a totally different perspective on the region's development than the model Burnside was promoting, he pointed out. Burnside patiently listened, then pointed out.
"Well, Paul, don't forget, your authors are Marxist, and approaching this from a political and social perspective, not an economic one. Which do you think is correct?"
"Dr. Burnside, the Latin Americans will argue that social and political conditions set the pattern of economic development, while you are arguing the opposite."
"That's right. And there's where the fundamental difference lies in our fields."
Burnside discussed the discrepancies of development models for a few minutes, and then returned to her class topic. She did not shoot Paul down for challenging her. She acknowledged the difference of opinions between fields, and accepted it.
Paul seemed like a decent enough guy; and at least smart enough to come to class armed with information different from what Burnside had. Amy decided to at least give him the chance to get to know her. The next time he glanced over, she smiled at him. There, she thought, that should do it.
Sure enough, after class he approached her. He was unsure what to say, having come this far. Amy pushed him again with a smile. He would have to make the next move. He paused then nervously plunged ahead. "What do you think about Burnside's opinions about Latin America's dependency on the US? I was wondering, because in my Central American history class we're looking at dependency theories which are almost the opposite of what Burnside is saying." Amy smiled internally. Obviously Paul was not a master at pick-up lines. Somehow that comforted her.
"I haven't taken the Political Science requirement yet," responded Amy. "I'd be interested in hearing what you picked up from your other class." With that she opened the door for an invitation to lunch.
It was an absurd posturing between two people who really simply wanted to say, "I find you attractive. I want to know you better." But it was an opening between Amy and Paul, which was what mattered.
The next step was a pizza at the Student Center. That part was easier, once the excuse to get together had been pushed out of the way. The class topic lasted a total of 30 seconds. Amy and Paul began to share things about themselves, to get to know each other.
Since the beginning of the semester, Paul Glisan had noticed Amy in class. She was pretty, but that was not why he was attracted to her. Paul saw something special in Amy. He liked her intelligence and drive. He liked her honesty and sincerity, which was evident in the way she spoke and carried herself. He badly wanted her.
Amy wanted to find out as much about Paul as she could during this first lunch. He was a political science major and interested in journalism. He was a year younger than Amy, about to turn 19, whereas she was about to turn 20. In many ways he seemed older than the age on his driver's license. He spoke French and had traveled in Europe as a high school exchange student. Amy quickly found out he was opinionated, coming from a working class community suffering from massive lay-offs. He challenged the neo-liberalism currently in vogue in the US, using political science as his back-up.
Amy saw in Paul a person with the strength of character to state an opinion in class, knowing his professor would not agree. Paul was not loud or obnoxious, he was not rude or abrasive. Nor was he a flake or a wimp. He was handsome, but in a quiet, unassuming way. He was not much taller than Robert. His short brown hair and conservative appearance contrasted with his non-conformist views about the US and its political system.
Amy had her second class to go to, but agreed to meet Paul later to work out in the gym. They spotted each other on the bench press and made observations about each other's routine.
They both had to study that night, but agreed to meet for dinner the following evening. He took her out to a fairly nice seafood restaurant. They discussed politics a little, and a little about their lives in high school. Paul talked at length about his hometown and how his experiences in high school affected his outlook on life. He was bitter about the effect the factory closings had on his family and his friends. He learned to sympathize with the unemployed of Europe and Latin America, and saw the world as a whole as a result of what he witnessed in high school. Political Science gave him the tools with which he could begin to understand what had happened to his town, his family, and so many others around the world in similar situations. Amy realized that the bitterness he felt over the fate of his community had focused him at an early age, which in turn had forged a solid character. He lacked the shallowness of most of his classmates.
They spent the next few weeks slowly taking their time to know each other. They went to movies and out to eat, to art galleries and for hikes along Lake Michigan. They met every day to workout together in the university gym. One night they even went bowling. It was clear that Paul wanted her, but he never brought up the subject of sex. Amy was grateful for that. She wanted to go slow this time. She wanted to know the person with whom she would have her next sexual relationship. She realized that was what Paul wanted as well.
This relationship was a new experience for Amy. In high school she usually had sex on the first date. Sometimes she had been so drunk that she did not remember whether or not she had sex, or if so, with whom. Some of the guys with whom she hung out in high school now reminded her of animals, worried about mounting as many of their classmates as possible, and not thinking about anything else. Amy now was disgusted with herself for having gone along with that. She realized how lucky she had been never to have contracted venereal disease or to have become pregnant.
The relationship with Paul was a new experience for Amy for another reason. Amy had the opportunity to have a boyfriend for the first time without facing Courtney's disapproval. Amy now was free to make her own choice concerning whom she would go out with, free from the slavery of peer pressure. Paul was so different from what Courtney considered desirable in a guy that Amy felt defiant dating him. Amy realized that her relationship with Paul was her final break from Courtney and her values. Courtney, for example, would have taken Bill over Paul in a heartbeat.
Paul and Amy started spending more time together working on Burnside's coursework, especially on the weekends. Amy still had Wendy help her with the equations, but Paul seemed to be better with understanding the actual theories.
Wendy was true to her word about spending the hours with Amy for her to understand the equations. Wendy spent most of her free time with Amy on weeknights, patiently guiding her through the formulas she needed for her new major.
The weekends were a different matter. Wendy seemed to be preoccupied with some very serious commitment and increasingly was gone Friday and Saturday nights. She was no longer available to go out for fun. Amy wondered about Wendy's absence, but now she was spending more and more time with Paul.
Increasingly, Amy looked forward to seeing him. The times they were apart seemed longer and longer for her, even when she was separated from him for just a few hours.
Slowly, Amy was falling in love.
Amy's 20th birthday came just before Spring Break. It was obvious that Amy would introduce Paul to her friends during her birthday party. Finally the time had come for Paul to learn more about Amy's past and her wanderings.
Amy first introduced Paul to Suzanne the night before her birthday. Amy smiled as she watched Suzanne's eyes scan Paul, contemplating his suitability as a model. Suzanne's mind never seemed to be able to quite leave her work.
They sat down for dinner, as Suzanne explained her life and what she did as a photographer. She hinted that she would like to have Paul pose for her. Amy gathered that under the right circumstances, he would be willing to model for her, judging from his interest in her work. After dinner Suzanne showed Paul her portfolio, including the pictures she took of Amy. Amy pulled out an extra copy of the workout book and presented it to Paul. Paul thumbed through the book, dumbfounded, and then looked up at the photographer and her model. Amy smiled at him. There was one more thing that Paul needed to know. Amy pulled out the three portraits that Suzanne had taken of her last November in Detroit.
Paul studied the pictures for several minutes. They had a story, that much was clear. Paul looked at Amy, but said nothing. He knew that she would tell him when she was ready. He could wait.
Amy and Paul walked around her neighborhood while Suzanne cleaned up. They held hands. Finally Amy was ready to talk about herself.
"Paul, what do you think of those last portraits I showed you?"
"I don't know. I never saw someone look that upset in a picture before."
Amy paused. Finally she began, "You know, Paul, two years ago I was very different from who I am now. You wouldn't have recognized me."
Paul stayed quiet, waiting for Amy to continue. Finally, Amy told him her story.
Amy concluded, "I owe two people my life, my sense of direction: Robert, who literally saved me; and Suzanne, who taught me to see the world in a way totally differently than I had been used to. You'll meet Robert tomorrow. Whatever you think of him, remember one thing. He saved my life. I wouldn't be here without him."
When she finished, she looked into Paul's face. His expression had not changed. He cared for her as much now as he had before. Paul held both Amy's hands and pulled her to him. She threw her arms around him and buried her mouth into his. For a long time they stood on the dark sidewalk, holding each other, kissing passionately. Amy was wet. She pressed against Paul and could feel him stiffen under his pants.
They pulled apart a little. She smiled slightly and looked into his eyes. She said nothing, but in the darkness Paul clearly read the message in her face, "Paul, I'm ready. Thank you for waiting for me."
Suzanne conveniently had taken off before Amy and Paul returned to the apartment. As soon as the door closed behind her Amy took off her jacket and her shoes. She then started to strip Paul. Amy unbuttoned his shirt and loosened his pants. She pushed the clothes off him. His pants and underwear bunched up around his ankles. She ran her hands over his chest and down his legs. She moved her hands behind him and squeezed his bottom.
Paul was hard, but he was content for the moment to simply enjoy Amy's hands on his body. In a way it thrilled him to be naked and Amy still fully dressed, his bare skin pressed against Amy's course clothing. He drew her face to his and kissed her passionately. He stepped out of his clothes and threw his arms around her. He buried his mouth in her neck, enjoying the feel of her skin on his lips and the faint smell of the shampoo in her hair. Amy ran her hand between his thighs. She lightly touched his balls to tease him and ran her hand though his pubic hair. She avoided touching his penis. She wanted to tease him, drive him wild with excitement. He kissed her neck hard, pushing his face past the back of her sweater.
Finally he moved his hands to the buttons of Amy's sweater. His nervous fingers struggled with the buttons and finally undid them. Amy's sweater fell to the floor. Paul's attention was drawn to Amy's chest. He kissed her throat and moved down her chest, burying his face between Amy's small breasts. He gently kissed each of her nipples. Amy gasped with pleasure and excitement. Paul kissed Amy's stomach and returned his attention to her breasts. She ran her fingers through his hair and over his shoulders.
Finally Paul unbuttoned Amy's jeans. She pushed the course denim past her hips to her knees. He kissed the fronts and the insides of her thighs. Sweat ran down Amy's face. She was incredibly wet between her legs. It was the first time anyone had touched her there for over a year and a half, discounting her tormenting of Bill, whom Amy considered barely human.
In this moment, in spite of the physical sensations pulsating through her body, Amy realized something else. It was the first time in her life that Amy had been touched there by someone who loved her.
Paul pushed Amy's jeans and underwear past her calves and over her ankles. Amy stepped out of her clothes and now was as naked as Paul. Paul knelt in front of her. He grabbed her bottom with his hands and pressed her legs into his face. He slipped his face between Amy's thighs and gently kissed the tender skin near Amy's vagina. Amy squeaked with pleasure and anticipation.
Suddenly Paul placed his arms under Amy's back and knees and picked her up. She threw her arms around his shoulders as he carried her to her room. He gently placed her on her bed. She rolled on her stomach as Paul kissed her neck and shoulders. He ran his kisses and hands down her back and over her bottom. Feeling Paul's hands and kisses on her bottom drove Amy wild with excitement. She thrust up, exposing herself completely to him. Gently he ran his hands over her bottom and between her thighs. He teased her labia and finally ran his fingers over her clitoris. Amy was so excited she could barely breathe.
The sight of Amy's body, the feel of her soft skin and firm muscles underneath, and smell of Amy's arousal excited Paul in a way he had never experienced. Amy was only the second woman with whom Paul would have sex. She was far more loving and passionate than his first girlfriend had been. Paul was no virgin, but Amy was about to open up a world of pleasure and passion to him that he had only fantasized about before.
He gently rolled Amy on her back and returned to kissing and touching her breasts. Slowly he moved his caresses down her stomach and between her legs. She spread wide for him. Gently he kissed her labia and moved his tongue over her clitoris. Amy groaned in delight. Paul could barely stand it, he was so aroused himself.
He entered her and began thrusting. At first he tried to be gentle, but quickly instinct and passion took over. He thrust hard and fast. Amy squealed with delight. Her breath came out in uneven gasps. She had two orgasms, one right after the other. Paul released into her, but continued thrusting, desperate to make this as pleasurable as possible for Amy. They were both drenched in sweat by the time they were done.
Amy and Paul held each other closely, desperately, when they finished, afraid to let each other go. They were covered in sweat and smelled of sex. Paul gently brushed a wet strand of Amy's hair out of her eyes and stared at her with and intensity that almost frightened her.
Amy, who had experienced sex so much in high school, suddenly felt like she was a virgin, having had sex for the very first time. In a way Amy was very much a virgin. This was the first time that she had been intimate with someone who actually loved her, and she actually loved, as opposed to the drunken mating she had been used to in her past. This was the first time for Amy that her sex and her love were focused on the same person. It was the first time in her life that she saw the true possibilities of sex, of the real pleasure it could bring if experienced with the right person.
Amy had a quiet birthday with Robert, Suzanne, and Paul. As was becoming typical for her, Wendy was gone over the weekend. She did not tell Amy where she was going. Amy was left with the impression that Wendy's trip was important, maybe something related to her father's business. Amy was hugely disappointed that Wendy could not be with her to celebrate her birthday.
Robert and Suzanne prepared a nice dinner for Amy and Paul. The dinner was topped off with a cherry birthday cake, Amy's favorite.
Paul and Robert got along with no problem. Paul and Robert exchanged their life histories. Paul took an interest in hearing about Robert's work and his opinions about different Federal court cases Paul had been studying. They discussed politics, with Amy joining in. They came at their issues from different perspectives: the lawyer, the political scientist student, and the economics student.
As the minutes of political talk dragged into hours, Suzanne sat looking at her companions with glazed eyes. Politics did not interest her at all unless it was an issue affecting freedom of speech or artistic expression. Finally she became so bored with the others that she took care of the clean-up by herself.
Amy and Paul returned to her apartment for what would be their second night of sex. After having spent just one night together they still needed to learn about each other's needs and desires. Tonight Amy was not in the mood to have sex right away. She wanted to feel Paul's naked body and have him feel hers. She wanted foreplay. Then she wanted sex.
Paul and Amy quickly undressed and sat together on the sofa, listening to romantic songs. She sat next to him, her body pressed against his. For a long time she was content just to have her head on his chest, with his arm around her shoulder.
Paul suddenly had a desire to run his hands over Amy's back and bottom. He motioned her over his lap. Amy's heart raced with excitement at the thought of lying across Paul's lap. As his hand passed gently over her bottom, Amy's flesh tingled with excitement. She shifted position to accommodate herself better over his thighs and lift her bottom a bit higher. He gently ran his hand between her legs, and then returned his hand to caressing her bottom cheeks. Amy groaned with anticipation. She could feel Paul's penis pressing against her hip. Amy and Paul both realized where this was heading. Amy's next words excited Paul more than he could have imagined.
"You know Paul," she began softly, "I'm 20 and I haven't had my birthday spanking yet. And I didn't get one for last year either."
Paul was so excited about the prospect of spanking Amy that she could feel his heart beating.
Teasingly he answered, "Well, I guess that's why you've been so naughty."
Paul moved his hand to the middle of Amy's right bottom cheek. She teasingly bounced her bottom up and down, to let him know that she wanted nice hard slaps. She felt wild with her sensation of submission to him.
SLAP! Paul brought his hand down sharply on Amy's bottom. The pain was just right for Amy. She squealed with delight. Paul gently rubbed his hand over Amy's bottom.
SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! Paul spanked Amy on alternate bottom cheeks. He spanked her hard, but slowly and lovingly. Amy groaned with excitement.
SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! After 12 swats, Paul stopped to admire the blotchy pink color on Amy's bottom. Amy was so aroused that she could barely stand it. She started rocking back and forth on Paul's leg, rubbing herself against his skin. Her breath came out in uneven gasps.
Paul gasped with excitement. He gently ran his fingers between her bottom cheeks and teased her between her thighs. Suddenly he moved his hand back over bottom.
Slowly he gave her the final eight slaps for this year's birthday spanking. SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! Amy bit her lip from the combination of pain and pleasure. SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! She rubbed herself hard against Paul's leg.
Paul paused, to let Amy know that she was halfway through her birthday punishment. He gently ran his hand over her bottom, enjoying the redness and the heat of Amy's bottom cheeks.
Without warning, Paul resumed spanking Amy. For her 19th birthday spanking Paul spanked Amy even harder. He seemed instinctively to know what she wanted. SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! Amy was now in serious pain, but that pushed her even harder towards intense pleasure. She groaned again. The smell of her sex permeated the living room.
SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! Paul's penis pressed harder and harder into Amy's side. The sight of Amy's bouncing red bottom, the feel of her body rubbing back and forth on him, the sound of the loud slaps and Amy's groans, the smell of her arousal, took Paul to a completely new level of excitement.
SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! Paul finished Amy's second birthday spanking with a series of hard swats.
Paul grabbed Amy's bottom hard. He rubbed her with passion. Suddenly he motioned her to get up and guided her onto her elbows and knees on the floor. He ran his hand between her legs. She thrust herself out as far as possible for him
The sight Amy's bottom-hole and vagina, spread wide between her deep pink bottom cheeks, drove Paul wild. He grabbed Amy's thighs and pressed into her. Paul thrust hard, but tried to delay his orgasm as long as possible. Amy screamed with pleasure. Finally Paul released into Amy. His voice broke slightly with each gasp. He moved his hands to her breasts. Amy groaned. Her body shook from passion and exhaustion. Tears and sweat ran down her face.
They moved to her bedroom and tore the blankets off her bed. For a while they simply lay in bed. Amy rolled on her stomach to let Paul enjoy the sight of her bottom again. She reached out and massaged the tip of his penis with her fingers. Suddenly Paul was hard. Amy rolled on her back. Paul pressed down on her. He thrust hard, but did his best to go slowly. This time was even better for him. He was exhausted and covered with sweat when he finished. This second time left Amy so tired that she was almost dizzy.
Amy and Paul were so exhausted that they slept soundly until the next morning. They got up, sticky and reeking from their passion from the night before. They cleaned up and had breakfast. Still naked, Paul sat down at the table and admired Amy's body as she moved about the kitchen. As much as he wanted to help her with the cooking, he could not resist the simple pleasure of sitting and enjoying the sight of Amy's attractive figure as she fixed breakfast. They sat across the kitchen table from each other, smiling and enjoying being together.
Amy was grateful that Suzanne had not come back that night. Suzanne, after spending her evening with Robert, usually came back around 11:00 or so. However, knowing that Paul would be with Amy, she stayed with Robert until the morning and went to her classes straight from his apartment.
Finally classes beckoned both Amy and Paul. Reluctantly they got dressed and walked together to the university. Separating to go to their classes was hard.
Amy had her geology requirement to go to. Rocks. How in the hell could she think about rocks after the night she had just enjoyed?
People are full of surprises, as Amy was about to learn. The person you think you know the best, your closest friend, your family member, your lover, can conceal any number of dark secrets from you. It is human nature that all of us have our failings. It is human nature that each of us tries to conceal those failings from those closest to us, from those who we love the most. It is the fear of judgment, of rejection, over those failings drives people to do strange things in their lives. Often the person you think most perfect is the one who is the one most deeply in trouble.
The week of Spring Break Amy felt more at peace in her life than she had ever felt before. A new relationship, good grades in her classes, financial security, excellent health, the beauty of springtime, the promise of summer, the love of her friends; the world seemed to open up to her in a way it never had previously. The happiness of her life showed in Amy's face. Long gone was the sad expression in her eyes that had so captivated Suzanne's camera a year ago.
On the warm, sunny afternoon on the last day of Spring Break Suzanne followed Amy around the university and took a series of portraits. The Spring sunlight reflected in Amy's eyes and smile. Amy was the perfect picture of beauty and contentment. The focus of Suzanne's photos of Amy changed from an emphasis of the underlying pain to a feeling of joy with life. It was the first series of portraits taken by Suzanne that did not have a sense of sadness in the images. Suzanne reflected that it had been exactly a year since she had held Amy in her arms to help her get past her flashback of Courtney's death. What a change in her friend!
The illusion of perfection in Amy's life could not last. Amy was about to be shocked out of her complacency and face yet another crisis from the person she least expected, from her friend Wendy.
The night after Suzanne took the university portraits, Amy decided to go over her term paper for Burnside's Theory of Economic Development class one last time. The paper was due the next day, the first Monday of classes after the break. She had read and re-read the paper, trying to put herself in Burnside's head, looking for defects. Most certainly the defects were there, but with every revision they were fewer. Finally Amy set the draft aside. Whatever its deficiencies, she had to print up the final copy and go to bed. Burnside would rip it apart with red ink, and Amy had to accept that fact. She had done her best. She hit the print button on Suzanne's computer.
Just then phone rang. Amy looked at the message machine. It read "Atlantic City, NJ - Fast-Mart Gas # 364". At first Amy decided not to pick up. Who would call from Atlantic City? Five minutes later the phone rang again. Again Amy read "Atlantic City, NJ - Fast-Mart Gas # 364" This time Amy picked up. There was nothing on the other end for a few seconds except the sounds of traffic. Suddenly she heard a sob from Wendy's voice.
"Wendy?" Amy listened to another sob. "Wendy, is that you? What are you doing in Atlantic City?" There was silence on the other end. Amy realized that something bad had happened to Wendy, something really bad.
"Wendy, talk to me! Are you OK?"
"No!" Wendy sobbed again.
"Are you hurt?"
Amy paused. "Wendy, can you get back to Chicago?"
"Wendy, I need something else out of you besides 'no'. Why can't you come back?"
"I'm broke!" Suddenly Wendy broke into a series of sobs.
Amy paused, wondering what to do next. Finally she realized that she needed to find out where Wendy was staying. "Wendy, do you have a place to stay?"
"Can you see a motel from where you are?"
"There's a Jackpot Inn..."
"Go there. Call me from the front desk. I'll put a room for you on my credit card."
Wendy cried again.
"Wendy, did you hear me? Go to the Jackpot Inn. Call me from the front desk."
Amy hung up, waiting for the second call from Wendy. Suzanne came into the living room and reached for the phone to make a call.
"Suzanne, you got to wait. Wendy's in Atlantic City. She'll call in a minute."
"What's she doing there?!"
"I don't know. All I know is that she's broke. I got to get her a motel room."
Suzanne looked at Amy, processing the information. Suzanne's expression suddenly became very serious. "Oh my God!"
The phone rang again before Amy had a chance to say anything further to Suzanne. Wendy seemed incoherent. Finally Amy asked her to pass the phone to the desk clerk.
Amy gave the clerk her credit card number to book Wendy for two nights. Wendy got back on to ask if Amy could wire her some money. Amy started to make arrangements when Suzanne suddenly grabbed the phone out of her hand. She shocked Amy by sharply admonishing Wendy.
"Look, Wendy, you're not getting any money! Amy will be out there to pick you up as soon as she can book a flight! But no money! Put the clerk back on!"
There was a pause. Amy thought she could hear Wendy crying again. "I said no! No more money!"
Suzanne talked to the clerk. "Look! I want to make something clear. We booked Wen-Chuan Li for two nights. That's it. Do not put anything else on that credit card!"
Suzanne took down the motel's contact information and Wendy's room number. She asked the clerk to put Wendy back on. "Wendy, you get in that room and you stay there! I'll get Amy to the airport as soon as she can get a flight. I'll call you. Don't leave that room!"
Suzanne hung up. She grabbed the credit card from Amy and dialed the phone number on the back. She passed the phone to Amy.
"Cancel this card!" Amy looked at Suzanne dumbfounded. "Cancel the card, Amy, now!"
Amy canceled the card, telling the operator to keep all charges up to the last one to the Jackpot Inn, but to not accept anything else. She hung up, now very irritated.
"Suzanne, what's going on? That was my only credit card!"
"Put two-and-two together. Wendy is stranded in Atlantic City. She's broke. What does that tell you?"
Amy gave Suzanne a blank stare. Suzanne let out an exasperated sigh.
"What do people do in Atlantic City, Amy? What's the name of the place where Wendy is staying?"
Finally Amy realized why Suzanne was so panicky about the credit card. Wendy had gone to Atlantic City over Spring Break to gamble. Obviously she had lost everything.
Suzanne drove Amy to O'Hare immediately. Amy went on stand-by for a flight to Atlantic City. In the meantime Suzanne made car rental arrangements for Amy in Atlantic City and obtained directions for getting to the Jackpot Inn. Amy gave Suzanne instructions for turning in her term paper to Burnside. Suzanne would deliver the paper in person and explain that her roommate left due to an emergency but would be back by Wednesday. Suzanne would pick up any assignments to pass along to Amy. Suzanne also would talk to Robert to make the return trip arrangements as soon as Amy called from Atlantic City.
Amy took the first fight out at 5:00 am. She was in Atlantic City a couple of hours later, driving a strange car in a strange city. She had not had any sleep for 36 hours. She was sick from the flight. She was not in a good mood. Finally she found the Jackpot Inn. The clerk gave her a key card, since Amy had been the one to reserve the room.
Amy pushed the door open. Wendy was completely dressed, curled on the bed in a fetal position with her back to the door. She had not even taken her shoes off. There was no luggage in the room. Amy walked up to her and touched her shoulder. She heard Wendy snivel.
"Come on. I came to take you home."
Wendy did not budge. Amy shook her.
"Leave me alone."
"Wendy, let's go. I've got to get back. You do too. Classes start up again today."
"Leave me alone. I can't go back."
"Don't be ridiculous. You've got to go back with me. Suzanne booked us tickets for this afternoon."
"I disgraced my family. I can't face my parents. You go back alone."
"Wendy, you lost some money. Your parents will forgive you. You did something stupid, but you have to move on. There'll be another check from the book this month. I'll lend you what you need until then."
"It's not the money. I disgraced my great-grandmother. I pawned her jade pendent. I pawned it to gamble." Wendy sobbed.
Amy pondered what to do. Finally she answered, "We'll go get it. I'll pay it off. Then we'll go home."
Still, Wendy did not move. Amy, exhausted, irritable, and disgusted with her friend's stupidity, had enough. She went to the bathroom, filled the ice bucket with water, and poured it on Wendy's head.
"Get up, now!" Wendy coughed and wiped her face. Amy pushed her off the bed. Wendy struggled to her feet and gave Amy an angry look.
"Let's get your pendant, and let's go!" With that they left the motel. If they had a problem with the wet mattress, well, Amy had paid for an extra night.
When they got to the pawn shop, Amy used her ATM card to get the money for the pendant. Wendy had pawned it for $2,000. That almost cleaned out Amy's checking account. Amy felt disgust at handing $2,000 cash to the creep in the pawn shop.
Amy took the pendant. It was deep green, elaborately carved, truly a piece of art. It hung on an antique gold chain. Wendy obviously was expecting that Amy would hand it to her. Amy gave Wendy a hostile look, wrapped the pendent in a paper towel, and put it in her purse. Wendy looked at Amy with distress.
"Forget it. You said it yourself. You disgraced the memory of your great-grandmother by pawning this pendant. I’ll decide when you deserve to have it back. It's my $2,000 that got it out of that pawn shop. It's staying with me."
"Amy, it's been in my family for 150 years."
"Well, guess what? It looks like I'll be taking better care of your family history than you did. I think I'm capable of keeping it out of a pawn shop." Wendy looked away. Tears ran down her face.
Amy had never been so mad at someone in her entire life. She was mad because she cared deeply for Wendy. It never dawned on her that Wendy had a gambling addiction. It never dawned on anyone in Wendy's life that she had a gambling addiction. Amy was still getting over the shock.
Amy did not know much about Chinese culture, but she knew that family history is more important in the East than it is in the West. She suspected that Wendy had insulted her family and the memory of her great-grandmother by pawning the pendent in a way unimaginable to a Westerner. Wendy truly had hit bottom.
For a second Amy thought about having a quick look at Atlantic City, but decided, no, there is nothing here to see. She had to get Wendy to the airport and on a plane as fast as possible. There was a real chance of losing her. Her depression was so great that she seemed half dead already.
Amy wanted to call Robert to see if he could book her an earlier flight back to Chicago. She asked Wendy for her cell phone. Without looking up Wendy admitted to having pawned it as well.
"You pawned your cell phone? Wendy, how do you pawn a cell phone?"
A trip back to the pawn shop and another, much smaller ATM withdrawal from Amy's bank account assured the retrieval of the cell phone. The clerk smirked at Amy and Wendy from behind the counter. He had seen this many times before. Amy ignored him.
"Now, what else do you have in this shop that we need to get, so we don't have to come back?"
"Well, we're not worried about clothes right now. What else?"
"My gymnastics championship ring from high school."
"That I'll get for you. But I'm keeping it with the pendent. What else?"
"The earrings my father gave me for graduation."
"My God, Wendy."
Amy drove to the airport. She turned in the car and led Wendy to the ticket counter. Wendy had her driver's license in her pocket; her purse was among the items staying behind at the pawn shop. They boarded the plane for a grim, silent flight back to Chicago. They were in Suzanne's car before sunset. Suzanne said nothing. Wendy was Amy's friend and it was Amy who had to handle her. She dropped off Amy and Wendy and headed over to Robert's apartment.
Knowing that Wendy would not be able to face her parents, Amy decided to have her friend stay a few days with her and Suzanne. She ran a bath and ordered Wendy to put her remaining clothes in the washing machine. Then she called Wendy's mother and told her that Wendy was not feeling well and would spend the night with her. Wendy's mother nervously asked what was going on; she had not talked to Wendy in a week.
"Please, Mrs. Li. As soon as she feels a bit better I'll have her call you. She's OK, but she needs some sleep."
Amy felt guilty about lying to Wendy's mother. Wendy was not OK.
The clothes were still spinning when Wendy got out of the tub, leaving her without anything to wear. Wendy was somewhat more modest than were Suzanne and Amy, and clearly wanted something to put on before lying down on the sofa to sleep.
"Forget about that," snapped Amy. "Suzanne and I don't wear anything to bed. You don't need to either. It's plenty warm in this apartment."
Wendy gave Amy a hurt look and slid under the blanket. Amy sat down on the sofa at Wendy's feet. Wendy lay on her side, her head in her hand, sadly staring at the floor.
"OK, so what happened?"
Wendy said nothing.
"Let's get something straight. You owe me for this. You owe me big-time. You can start with telling me the facts. What happened to you in Atlantic City?"
Sadly Wendy got up and sat down at the computer. She seemed to have forgotten her earlier modesty as she logged onto the Internet, then into her checking account. "It's all here." She stepped away from the table and motioned Amy to sit down.
Amy scrolled through the withdrawals. Wendy's account peaked at $54,000 at the end of January. Then came three airline tickets for weekend trips to Atlantic City. She still had $30,000 deposited just two weeks ago. Then came the final trip and a series of ATM withdrawals. She had over-drawn the account by Friday night. It must have been Saturday when she pawned her things.
Wendy returned to the sofa and slid back under her blanket. Amy was pondering what to do when the phone rang.
The phone call was from the security department of Amy's credit card company. A clerk informed Amy that several attempts had been made to obtain cash advances in Atlantic City with the card number after she had canceled the account. The clerk asked if those requests were from Amy.
Amy was stunned. She asked the clerk to repeat the information and passed the phone to Wendy. Wendy's face looked stricken as she listened to the clerk. Amy briefly talked to the clerk again and hung up the phone. Wendy stared at the floor.
"I have something else to tell you." Wendy's voice was little more than a whisper. "When I found out your credit card number I tried to use it. I kept getting messages that it had been canceled."
my sat silently on the sofa, staring at her friend in astonishment. Finally she managed to speak. "Suzanne made me cancel that card right after I made the motel reservations. I was pissed at her because that was my only credit card. So she was right. You tried to use my card to gamble." Wendy, still staring at the floor, bit her lip and nodded.
"So I can't trust you, can I?"
Wendy shook her head.
"Get up. Sit in that chair. I need to call Suzanne."
Wendy got up and wrapped the blanket around her. Amy grabbed the blanket and tugged on it.
"Look, I didn't say anything about taking this blanket with you. Leave it and get your butt in that chair!"
Wendy hesitated, looking at Amy with a forlorn expression. With that, Amy's temper snapped. "I SAID, PUT THE FUCKING BLANKET DOWN AND GET YOUR ASS IN THAT CHAIR!"
Reluctantly Wendy let the blanket fall to the floor and moved to the hardback chair near the wall. She sat down and covered herself as best she could with her hands. Amy admired Wendy's thin, attractive figure as she dialed Robert's number. Of course he did not pick up. Amy left a message for Suzanne.
"Suzanne, this is Amy. I know you are there. I don't have a problem with it, but I need you to call me back. I have to talk to you right away."
A few seconds later Suzanne called back.
"You were right about the credit card," Amy began. "We have a real problem on our hands with Wendy. I need you to come back and pick up all your financial stuff and lock it up somewhere."
"It's that bad?"
"I'm afraid so. Bring Robert's strap and any other discipline stuff he might have. I wish I could talk to Burnside. She would have what I need for Wendy."
Wendy looked up with that last comment. Her sad eyes met Amy's. Amy hung up the phone.
"What did you think was going to happen? You not only disgraced yourself, you tried to steal from me. If I gave you half a chance you would steal from both me and Suzanne in this apartment. You admitted that yourself. God knows what you would do to your parents. Look the other way. Right now I don't even want to see your face."
Amy's last comment cut to the core of Wendy's soul. Amy had been the one friend in her life who Wendy felt she could truly trust. Wendy had been popular enough in high school, being a member of the gymnastics team. However, she ran with a group of girls who, although popular, would turn on each other in a heartbeat if doing in a friend could somehow increase their standing among their peers. She had done her share of betraying friends and had been hurt several times herself. Amy was so different from that. Wendy knew that Amy accepted her as she was. Amy had been the first person who had gone out of her way to help Wendy through a hard situation at the Halloween Party, doing her best to protect her from Burnside. There was the link between their grandfathers. There were the endless hours they had studied together. And now there was this betrayal.
Wendy knew that Amy would not break off their friendship over this. Wendy knew that she had a problem with her gambling addiction, and she realized that Amy would help her get through it. She knew that Amy was right about the pendant.
Wendy dreaded the punishment that lay ahead, but she wanted it to happen at the same time. Maybe the shock of a severe punishment would force out this... this thing... that had entered her soul and so far made her waste over $60,000. Wendy herself could not understand what had happened to her, why the urge to gamble had taken control of her.
Suzanne arrived with Robert's strap and leather cuffs. Amy had hoped that he might have some other restraints, but the cuffs were all he had.
"Wendy, get up!" Amy took Wendy's arm and forced her to turn around and face Suzanne. Wendy, in spite of having been naked so many times in front of Suzanne the photographer, cringed with humiliation at being naked in front of Suzanne her friend. Wendy looked away in shame and once again tried to cover herself. Amy led her to the coffee table and forced her to kneel on the floor facing it. Then Amy took out the jade pendent, the earrings, and the gymnastics ring and laid them on the table in front of Wendy.
"Please tell Suzanne the story of these three items."
Wendy, in a stricken, barely audible voice, told Suzanne the story of her last trip to Atlantic City, the pawning her things, and the significance of the pendent.
Amy looked harshly at Wendy. "You're not even a decent gambler. Did you win at all?" Wendy sadly shook her head.
"Now for the really lovely part. Wendy, what happened right after I booked your room? What did you do?"
Tears dripped off Wendy's cheeks onto her bare arms and thighs.
"Come-on, Suzanne needs to hear this."
"I... I... asked the clerk for a copy of the receipt... I... took your credit card number to a couple of... gambling places and... tried to get some... cash advances. I couldn't. The credit card was canceled. So I went back to my room."
"Wendy, I want to get this absolutely straight. You lost $30,000 in six days. You called me because you had nowhere to stay. I spent my money getting you a room. I spent my money flying out to Atlantic City to get you. I spent my money getting your pendant back. I missed three classes, two of them Burnside's classes, to do this for you. And the first thing on you mind, as soon as you hang up the phone, is to take my credit card number and try to gamble with it. That was the very first thing on your mind!" Wendy nodded. Suzanne looked sadly at Wendy and shook her head. Amy's lips tensed with anger.
"Wendy, I want you to look up."
As soon as Wendy looked up Amy slapped her hard across the face. Wendy did not move. Amy slapped her again. Amy was speechless with anger and needed to get control of herself. Wendy said nothing. She knelt quietly as the tears dripped down her cheeks.
Amy and Suzanne spent the next few minutes rounding up every scrap of paper in the apartment with any financial information on it. Amy deposited her jewelry and watches into Suzanne's jewelry box. They packed up every small item of any value to put in an overnight bag. Suzanne packed her camera bag. Once the apartment was stripped of anything that Wendy could convert to cash to feed her addiction, Suzanne prepared to leave. Amy handed Suzanne the pendant, earrings, and ring to lock up in Robert's safe. Legally, they now belonged to Amy.
As soon as Suzanne left, Amy grabbed the cuffs and ordered Wendy to put her hands out in front. Amy put the cuffs on Wendy's wrists and hooked them together. Wendy would now be unable to protect herself during her punishment. Wendy was so ashamed that she could not bear to look at Amy. Amy stood in front of Wendy and forced her chin up with her fingertips.
"Wendy, I'm going to punish you as soon as I get things set up. Do you have anything to say for yourself?"
Sadly, Wendy shook her head. Amy continued, "I'm your friend and I will stick by you. I'll do what I can to help you. I'll go with you to counseling. I'll help you face your parents. I'll keep your heirloom safe until you are ready to have it back. Tomorrow you will start your recovery from this addiction. But you also have to pay for what you tried to do to me. You have no idea how mad I am at you."
Amy grabbed a bar stool from in front of the counter that separated the kitchen from the dining room. As soon as Amy set it in the middle of the living room, Wendy draped herself over it. Amy was relieved. At least Wendy was going to cooperate.
Once again Amy felt the thrill of seeing the soft brown skin on Wendy flawless bottom stretched tight, this time for Amy to punish. Wendy's skin continued to fascinate Amy. Her anger suddenly mixed with sexual desire. The sight of Wendy's beautiful thin body, bent over and awaiting punishment from Robert's strap, proved too much for Amy to resist. She passed her hand over Wendy's bottom, feeling the smooth cool skin. She feasted her eyes and touch on every detail of Wendy's backside. Amy felt a strange sexual attraction towards her friend; the only time in her life she had ever felt lust for another female.
Wendy's face was streaked with tears from the humiliation of having to submit to Amy in this way. She was quietly crying. Suddenly Amy felt a bit guilty and pulled her hand back. Wendy would not be spared her punishment, but she would be spared any further indignity from Amy's touches.
Amy picked up the strap. She had only been on the receiving end of this strap, but she had held it enough in the days preceding her first punishment that she knew how it felt in her hand. Amy remembered Robert's technique and would use it on Wendy. She decided to give Wendy a couple of test swats against the backs of her thighs before starting the main punishment on her bottom. Wendy's hands were cuffed in front of her, so there was no issue of her trying to cover her bottom with her hands.
CRACK! Amy delivered the first test swat against the upper part of Wendy's left thigh. It made good contact and Wendy jerked her leg a little. Amy studied the reddish rectangle as it darkened. She changed sides and delivered a backhanded blow against Wendy's right thigh. There was just a dull thud. Amy repositioned herself and tried again. CRACK! That was better. Wendy squealed slightly from the pain.
Amy moved to Wendy's left side for the swat across both thighs. Amy swung, but knew even before it landed this would not be a good hit. Amy tried again. This time a nice sharp CRACK! satisfied Amy. CRACK! CRACK! Amy hit Wendy's thighs again, to make sure she had it right. Wendy sobbed faintly with each of the swats. Amy was now ready.
"Wendy, those swats were not part of your punishment. I just wanted to make sure I can use this strap properly. Now, I want you to stay in position. I don't want you bouncing around or trying to stand up. Every time you move, I will give you a swat across the front of your thighs after we're done on your bottom. Do you understand me?
Wendy's dispirited voice was almost inaudible. "Yes, Amy. I'll try."
In spite of her petite size, Amy was in excellent shape from having worked out over the past year. She had great flexibility in her muscles. She was deceptively strong. Wendy was in for a severe punishment.
Amy stepped back, measured her distance, and tapped her target, Wendy's left bottom cheek. She drew her arm back and delivered a tremendous swat to Wendy. A loud CRACK! reverberated throughout the living room. Wendy sobbed loudly. She looked back at Amy with teary eyes. Amy's glance met Wendy's.
"Wendy, please face forward. I know it hurts. It's supposed to."
Amy switched sides. CRACK! She delivered a backhanded blow to Wendy, as hard as any the Robert could have given. CRACK! A second backhanded blow over the first got a scream out of Amy's friend.
Amy moved back over to Wendy's other side. CRACK! CRACK! She laid two sharp smacks across both bottom cheeks.
Wendy screamed and shot up. She struggled against her leather cuffs.
"Wendy, what are you doing? Get back down!" Wendy's face was pure anguish. "Get back over the stool! NOW!"
Crying, Wendy forced herself back over the stool. Amy patted her bottom with her left hand, and stepped back.
CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! Amy delivered three hard swats across both bottom cheeks. She positioned herself and delivered a two more full-force blows to Wendy's left bottom cheek. CRACK! CRACK!
Wendy rolled off the stool. She stumbled backward and dropped in a sitting position. Instinctively she brought her cuffed hands to her face. She was afraid of Amy.
Amy reached down and grabbed Wendy's wrist and jerked her to her feet. Wendy screamed and shook her head. Amy shook Wendy hard by the wrist.
"You can't hit me that hard! You'll kill me!
"Bullshit! Bullshit! I will hit you this hard and you will take it! Every time you see a slot machine, or a roulette table, or a card game, you'll remember this! If you so much as buy a fucking lottery ticket you'll remember this!
With her free hand Amy landed a vicious slap across Wendy's face. "Since you're such a wimp, get on your knees!"
Wendy knelt, sobbing as Amy went to Suzanne's studio room. Amy rummaged though Suzanne's outdoor photography supplies and found what she was looking for, some rope. She returned to the living room where Wendy was still on her knees next to the bar stool. Her face filled with fear when she saw the rope.
"Back over the stool, Wendy! NOW!" Amy was so angry that she shook. Wendy struggled to get to her feet. She positioned herself over the stool once again.
Amy quickly made a preliminary knot with the rope around one of the barstool legs. She looped the rope several times around Wendy's ankles and around her cuffed wrists, joining each ankle to a barstool leg and her wrists to a supporting shaft. She knotted off the rope. Amy suddenly stripped off her shirt. She had been getting hot and wanted full freedom of movement for her arms. Now naked from the waist up, she picked up the strap. She banged it hard on the coffee table.
Wendy was crying, not from the pain, but from fear. She was immobilized by the rope. Amy was wielding that horrible strap and seemed almost insane with anger. Wearing just a pair of jeans and bare from the waist up, she looked like an executioner.
Amy took up position, measured her distance with the strap, and prepared to lay five full-force swats against Wendy's left bottom cheek. She would do what Robert did, wait a full 15 seconds between swats to allow Wendy to appreciate each one.
CRACK! Full force, Amy laid on the first swat. Wendy squealed. The squeal died down into loud sobs. Amy struck again. CRACK! She waited for Wendy to stop squealing and laid on the third. CRACK! Wendy screamed. CRACK! CRACK! With all her strength, Amy laid on the final two swats and changed sides.
The left side of Wendy's bottom was now solidly a dark brownish red, while her right side was covered with uneven reddish stripes. Amy was determined to make the color on both sides of Wendy's bottom match. She tested her position to deliver five backhanded swats to Wendy's right bottom cheek, tapped it with the strap and pulled her arm back. CRACK!
Wendy screamed after each of the next four swats. Amy waited for Wendy's screaming to die down to sobs before hitting again. Before the last swat she had to wait a full minute for Wendy to stop screaming. Wendy's bottom was now swollen, a deep brownish red on both sides. She struggled hard against the ropes.
Amy shifted sides again for ten swats across both cheeks of Wendy's bottom. Wendy looked back at Amy with horror. Amy glared into her eyes.
"I'm giving you ten more. Then we'll see how much more I think you can take. Like I told you, you'll remember this whenever you feel that urge to gamble."
Sweat dripped down Amy's face and chest as she laid on the next ten swats. Wendy screamed non-stop. CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! The loud swats reverberated throughout the living room.
Amy studied Wendy's bottom. It had purplish welts on it and several blood blisters. Wendy's tender skin was badly marked. Amy passed her hand over the welts. Some of the blisters looked pretty serious. It was obvious that Wendy could not take any more on her bottom. However, Amy was not done punishing her.
Amy untied Wendy's ropes, but left her cuffs hooked together. She helped Wendy up and guided her to lie face down on the sofa. Amy wiped Wendy's face with a washrag. Wendy was silent, but the tears flowed non-stop down her face. Amy felt a twinge of tenderness towards Wendy, but suddenly remembered her credit card and the pendant. No. Wendy deserved no mercy. Suddenly Amy noticed Wendy's shoulders. Wendy had beautiful thin shoulders. That will be my next target, thought Amy.
The strap was too heavy for hitting a person on the shoulders, so Amy got a thick belt from her closet. She would use that.
"I want you to get up and kneel next to the coffee table. Put your elbows on the table. Do not move." Wendy's dark eyes had a tragic look in them when she saw the belt. She knelt and put her head down. Wendy was shaking with fear. She looked like she was praying.
Amy touched the belt to Wendy's shoulder. "Wendy,
please do not lift up
your head. Keep it down."
CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! CRACK!
Amy laid 20 cruel swats across Wendy's shoulders, some up and down, some across. Wendy was sobbing again when Amy finished. Wendy's shoulders were almost as red as her bottom, but she did not have any serious welts on her back.
Seeing Wendy kneeling at the table, her body shaking with sobs, Amy realized that it was time to end Wendy's punishment. Wendy had done her best to be brave and take the punishment as well as she could. Amy's anger faded. She would skip the swats on Wendy's thighs. She left Wendy kneeling and went to the kitchen to get her some water.
Through her tears, Wendy gave Amy a gratified look when she saw the water. It was Amy's sign that the punishment was over. Amy knelt beside Wendy and unhooked her cuffs. She passed the glass to Wendy. Wendy emptied it, put her arms around Amy and cried into her shoulder.
Finally Amy stood up. She held out her hand to Wendy and helped her up. Amy guided Wendy to the sofa and covered her with the blanket. She knelt beside her friend and stroked her hair.
"I want you to stay here for a while. Suzanne and I will help you get through this. Tomorrow you will get some counseling."
Wendy nodded slightly on her pillow. Amy continued, "I want you to give me your checkbook and credit cards. I'll pay off your bills when you get your next check from Suzanne's photo book. I'll get your food and make your car payment. I will take care of you."
Amy squeezed Wendy's hand. Wendy nodded and tried to smile.
"The only thing I want back for the New Jersey trip is the pawn money, and that's only because I'll give you your pendant back eventually. But, as I said, you'll get it back when I feel you're ready for it. The rest of the New Jersey stuff is on me."
Wendy called her parents the next day, to their huge relief. Later Wendy would have to tell them what happened, but she was not ready yet. Fortunately she did not have any classes and was able to sleep in. Amy, who was as tired as a person can be after having gone almost two full days without sleep, also slept in, not having to go to class until the afternoon.
Amy paid off Wendy's credit cards with the final check of her modeling money and then canceled them. There was enough left over to make Wendy's car payments for a couple of months and to pay for the summer session of classes. That was it. For all the success coming from Suzanne's book for Suzanne and Amy, Wendy would not share in that. Her money was gone. At least she was no longer in debt, but that was due to Amy's taking control of her finances.
Wendy stayed three weeks with Suzanne and Amy. She went to counseling and got a psychiatrist through the university health system. She realized that she would never get over the urge to gamble; all she could do was manage it. She had a heavy burden to carry, one that would last her entire life.
The Spring semester finally ended. Amy's GPA fell slightly due to the difficulty of the classes she had taken. However, she had completed several important requirements for her major and improved her understanding of working with the formulas needed for Burnside's materials. This semester had been, by far, the hardest one she had experienced to date. Amy's character had been tested and she survived. She had accomplished everything she set out to accomplish five months ago when she turned in her course schedule.
Amy's biggest accomplishment of the semester was receiving a B+ in Burnside's Theory of International Development class. Of the 150 students who originally enrolled in that class, only 45 remained by the beginning of May. Of them, 37 actually received passing grades. For the semester Burnside did not give any A's. Of the 37 survivors, Amy received the highest grade of the class. She had proven herself to Burnside.
The Spring had been an eventful one for everyone else in Amy's life. Robert's firm was weathering an ugly ethics investigation over the behavior of Suzanne's father. Just before finals, Amy read in the newspaper that Ed Foster had been disbarred and was facing criminal charges. Robert and the other two partners had been called to testify before a Federal Grand Jury, but ultimately would not face any charges. Suzanne's father would face the charges alone, his partners cleared of any accusations of involvement in his activities. What had impressed the investigators had been Robert's insistence on cooperating with them. He never asked for immunity or conditions. He opened his files and the firm's accounts, protecting only privileged client information. He spent hours with the investigators explaining what he understood about the firm's finances. He seemed to want to find out the truth about Ed as much as they did.
At first Amy was amazed that Suzanne was not upset in the least about her father's problems or Robert's cooperation with the investigation. Suzanne was worried about the well-being of her step-mother, not her father. Amy wondered what had happened between Suzanne and her father for her to be so totally unconcerned about him.
In April, Suzanne's stepmother divorced her father and moved out. Suzanne paid her rent for two months to help her get on her feet while she looked for work. It was obvious that Suzanne was much closer to her step-mother than she was to her own father. A few days after the divorce Amy saw Suzanne and her step-mother sitting together in their apartment. Several boxes of Suzanne's toys and high school items were on the living room floor. Suzanne's step-mother had saved them for Suzanne when she moved out. Amy could tell that her roommate had been crying. She had never seen Suzanne cry before.
As Amy slipped out of the apartment, she realized that Suzanne's life had been every bit as painful as her own; probably more so. Obviously Suzanne's father had done something horrible to her when she was still in school. She now knew why Suzanne could care less what happened with her father's ethics violations. She wished that Suzanne could have opened up to her about that part of her life, but perhaps the memory was too painful for her to talk about with anyone.
Suzanne completed the final semester of her graduate degree in Physical Therapy. It was odd that she had struggled to obtain this degree, but now probably would never use it. Still, Suzanne was pleased to have completed this part of her life and proudly put on her graduation gown. Robert, Amy, Paul, Wendy, Suzanne's stepmother, and several of her art friends sat together to watch her graduate. Suzanne's father was absent.
For once in her life Suzanne did not take a single picture. Paul commandeered the camera and shot a roll of film of Suzanne and the others at her graduation. Suzanne's friends and her step-mother held a small party for her in the apartment that night, and Paul shot another roll of pictures. It seemed strange afterwards to see two entire rolls of photos in which Suzanne was the subject of every picture. She was the image of happiness on this day, her day.
Robert's graduation gift would have been strange for anyone other than Suzanne. He gave her a collection of antique cameras, which would allow her to experiment with her photography. Each camera was in perfect working order, complete with accessories, manuals, and a supply of film for the cameras that did not take 35 mm film. Suzanne looked at her graduation present in awe. Robert must have given this gift a lot of thought and put a huge amount of effort into finding and equipping the cameras. They embraced, then turned to face Paul, who took the first picture of them together. Later in life they would pose for other portraits, but this picture, the first proof of their relationship on film, always would have a special meaning to them.
Amy accompanied Paul to his home in western Pennsylvania to meet his family two weeks after Suzanne's graduation. Both of them were exhausted after the semester they had endured. Amy, having survived two of Burnside's classes, particularly needed to get away from Chicago for a while. There was the upcoming summer semester, as well as a backlog of Suzanne's photography projects that Amy would have to deal with upon getting back. She did not want to think about any of that now. She just wanted to get away and see something else besides textbooks and Suzanne's camera lens.
Amy and Paul had a relaxing drive to his hometown. They took turns driving, neither driving for more than an hour before changing. They took three days to drive a distance they easily could have covered in a day, stopping to take short hikes and eat at small restaurants that Paul was familiar with along the route. Amy's feelings towards Paul intensified during the trip, since she quickly realized that she could spend time with him doing anything, or just doing nothing.
If Paul was somewhat out of place in Chicago, he was even more out of place in his hometown. He came from a small town of about 150,000 people. The town was set among a large number of abandoned mines and a small steel mill which had closed about three years before. The downtown had been picturesque at one time, but now was mostly shut down. Looming over the downtown, up on one of the hills, was the huge Mega-Mart that had finished sucking the life out of the downtown businesses after the mill closed. Now the Mega-Mart itself was shut down as well, its mission of wiping out the local businesses accomplished.
Paul and Amy cruised down the main street of his town. While Amy saw nothing but abandonment and depression, Paul was trying to bring this area back to life in her mind through his conversation. He told her of the numerous adventures that he had with his friends here while in high school. Apparently he ran with a small group of friends who were every bit out of place as he had been. There was no mention of sports, or drinking parties, or anything else other than simple hanging out and driving around.
Paul's family consisted of his mother, his sister Julie and her 3-year-old, an unemployed aunt, and a cousin. All of them liked her.
Amy could tell that at one time the family had been much better off than they were now. Their house was nice but needed repairs; their furniture had been expensive, but was badly in need of a good re-finishing.
Paul's mother was a school teacher who had moved here after marrying his father. She was well educated, but beaten down from years of living in a bad town and a bad marriage. After divorcing Paul's father, she had been determined to give her two children the ambition and drive needed to get them out of this town. For a while it looked like she would succeed, as both Paul and his sister did well in school.
To expose Paul to the world his mother sent him to France as an exchange student during his junior year in high school. The experience of having traveled in Europe opened the world up to Paul, but also made him out of place in his hometown during his senior year. Upon returning home he quickly bored his classmates with his stories about things they had no comprehension of. During his senior year he gravitated towards the other "brains" of his school, all of whom were so different from each other that they continued to learn from their mutual friendship. All of Paul's closest friends, without exception, were gone by the end of the summer after graduating. All of them managed to get out and develop themselves outside their hometown.
Paul's sister Julie also had shown great potential in high school, but was undone by the same social pressures that came close to killing Amy. She was a cheerleader and active in the student government before she got pregnant during her senior year. Although she managed to graduate before her pregnancy became too obvious, the stress of dealing with a child had killed her ambition to pursue anything other than her job at Mega-Mart. The Mega-Mart job lasted until the store closed last year. Now she sat home with Paul's nephew, watching soap operas and talk shows with his aunt.
Amy and Julie got along, oddly enough. They were the same age, had enjoyed the same music in high school, and had run with similar crowds. Really the only difference between them was that Julie became pregnant in high school and Amy did not. Amy saw a lot of herself in Julie, and Julie saw in Amy what she could have been had she not squandered her opportunities in high school. Meeting Amy had one positive effect on Julie. She was jealous enough of her brother's new girlfriend that she decided to enroll in some community college classes.
Paul was typical of a small-town boy in one aspect. He loved to drive around the empty streets for no good reason. Driving seemed to clear his mind and let him think. He seemed to be able to philosophize best when behind the wheel on the streets of his high school years. It was while he was driving up and down the deserted streets that he discussed his sister Julie with Amy.
Paul was well aware of the social pressures exerted on Julie when she was in high school. He did not place much blame on Julie for getting pregnant, nor even that much on child's father. Instead he placed the blame on the entire social system and culture, one he considered almost forced high school students into making bad choices. Amy thought about Paul's observation and her own past. She was impressed with his insight.
For example, there wasn't much that disgusted him when he was in school more than a pep rally. During his senior year Paul confronted his principal over being forced to attend pep rallies. He said quite bluntly, "I don't believe in pep rallies because I don't believe in the values they promote. I don't support glorifying football. And I don't support football because it was a football player who got my sister pregnant. Either you let me skip these rallies or I will take this up with the ACLU."
His principal threatened him with expulsion but Paul held his ground. Finally, when the principal realized that Paul was determined to stand by his opinions, he relented and let Paul volunteer in the school library during pep rallies.
Amy realized that most of Paul's memories of this town were not very pleasant. Yet Paul's heart seemed drawn to this place in a way that she could not understand. As much as he opened up to her, there were things about him she would never understand.
Of the people at Suzanne's graduation party, the most troubled was Wendy. She stood quietly, forcing herself to smile whenever included in group pictures. She still was stricken by her experience in Atlantic City. Amy had taken over her finances and kept her out of debt. However, Wendy now was almost out of money. She hated herself, because the income from Suzanne's photo book should have taken care of her needs for the next several years. Instead she was broke, due to this thing inside of her, this urge to gamble, and her own unbelievable stupidity.
What scared Wendy was that her parents were educating her to take over their business. They were about to entrust the entire family enterprise in her. How could she tell them not to do it? How could she tell them that she would wreck the business within a few weeks and gamble the family fortune? That she had wasted $30,000 over six days? That she had tried to steal her friend's credit card number? That Amy had to take away her checkbook and credit cards to keep her from wrecking her life any further? That she had pawned her great-grandmother's pendent?
The pendant, now safely locked up in Robert's vault at work, was the detail that hurt Wendy the most. When Wendy was a year old, her great grandmother had her fortune told, and put the pendant around her neck. There was a picture in her father's living room of Wendy, wearing the pendant, sitting on her great-grandmother's lap. Her great-grandmother died three days after the picture was taken, but Wendy always felt a connection to her, as though they really did know each other.
Wendy rarely wore the pendant, but for some insane reason had decided to wear it to Atlantic City. Wendy's family had entrusted her with its most important treasure, only to have her betray that trust. Wendy knew that her pendant, passed down from generation to generation in her family, now had to be protected from its current owner. No one knew any of this except Amy and Suzanne. It did not matter. Wendy knew it. She felt that her great-grandmother somehow knew it as well.
Several days later, when Suzanne developed Paul's pictures of her graduation party, she started noticing Wendy's eyes and her forced smile. Suzanne thumbed through the pictures, looking for Wendy. She now remembered that Wendy had been very quiet during her graduation party. Wendy was only in the pictures where someone specifically had asked her to join in. Suzanne looked again at her friend's eyes, and noticed the real sadness in them. She realized with alarm that Wendy had not recovered from her experience in Atlantic City. Not at all.
Suzanne wondered whether to discuss Wendy with Amy, or to try to get further information herself. Finally she decided to invite Wendy for a photo shoot, this time without Amy. She chose the weekend Amy planned to visit Paul's family, to not raise any questions in Amy's mind about going out alone with Wendy. Wendy's sad expression gave Suzanne an idea for a photo shoot. She asked Wendy to bring several sets of her most worn-out clothing. They went to several abandoned factory sites in Gary on a dreary overcast morning. Suzanne had decided to take a series of black & white photos with one of the old cameras Robert had given her. The bleakness of the locations and the weather matched the bleakness of Wendy's face. Suzanne felt guilty about exploiting Wendy's depression for a photo shoot, but the pictures would sell and it was obvious that Wendy needed the money.
Suzanne and Wendy then headed south, to the forest location where Suzanne had photographed Amy the year before, for some outdoor figure studies. Even though it was the weekend, Suzanne did not have to worry about hikers running into them during the photo shoot. There was only one entrance to the area. More importantly, one of the park rangers was a fan of Suzanne's work and agreed to help her. He kept the entrance gate to the parking area locked until Suzanne arrived, and then locked it behind her after she drove in. He hung a trail closed sign on the gate, waved at Suzanne, and drove off. They had four hours to complete the shoot before the ranger returned to open the gate.
Wendy stripped and left her clothes in Suzanne's minivan. Like Amy before her, Wendy felt the thrill of the sunlight and warm breeze on her body as she walked down the trails for Suzanne's figure shots. She sat on the rocks along the stream and put her feet in the water. She balanced herself on the rocks as she walked upstream. She walked among the trees and across open meadows. However, there was no smiling in this series of pictures. Suzanne was interested in Wendy's underlying sadness, which she planned to incorporate into the over-all mood of this shoot. She took a large number of close-up shots of Wendy's face as the shadows from the leaves seemed to splash darkness on her face. Towards the end of the four hours Wendy's mood seemed to brighten a bit, as the effect of the sun on her body and being outside in this pretty location lifted her spirits slightly.
When they returned to Suzanne's vehicle and were ready to leave, the ranger talked to Suzanne for a few minutes and handed her copies of two of her books for autographs. Wendy noticed that Suzanne took her time to write thoughtful comments in them; she did not just sign her name.
It was too late to head back to Chicago when they finished, which was what Suzanne had in mind. She rented a room for herself and her model at the small town near the park, and then invited Wendy to dinner. It was hard for Suzanne to get anything out of her model about her mood, but upon returning to the room she noticed a folder of drawings that Wendy had been working on whenever she had a few minutes to herself. Suzanne asked to see them. Wendy at first resisted. Suzanne did not press her.
Suzanne got undressed, cleaned up, and got on top of her bed. Suzanne's openness about being naked in the room still surprised Wendy, even though she had seen her naked in her apartment daily during the weeks after Spring Break. Wendy could not get away from wearing her oversized T-shirt when in bed, no matter how hot it was. She looked over at Suzanne, who was reading an instruction manual for one of the cameras Robert had given her for graduation. Finally Wendy decided to call out for help.
"Suzanne, do you still want to see my drawings?"
Wendy passed the folder to Suzanne. She fidgeted nervously as Suzanne carefully looked at them.
The quality of Wendy's drawings surprised Suzanne. They were exceptionally good. She drew the pictures Anime-style, as good as the black & white pictures of any published Anime artist. Suzanne was less surprised by the subject matter, having studied Wendy's expression over the last several days. These pictures were clearly the product of a tortured mind, which was what made them so powerful.
Suzanne clearly recognized Wendy as the subject of all the pictures. She had done an excellent job converting her own face and body to Anime. Some of the pictures were simply of Wendy's face, reflecting the torment in her soul. The other pictures were S&M images, pictures Wendy had drawn of herself being subjected to all sorts of whippings, bondage, and humiliation. The punishments in the pictures were far worse than anything she had endured in real life. In some of the pictures Suzanne recognized Amy or Dr. Burnside. Images of gambling items were everywhere; slot machines, cards, roulette wheels, neon signs, casino chips. There were dozens of pictures, all variants of the same theme.
The picture that was the most telling about what was happening to Wendy was one of herself hanging by the hands on chains in front of a roulette wheel. Each space on the wheel had a different punishment written on it. There were numerous implements at Wendy's feet. Wendy's body had been flogged bloody and was hanging limp. Suzanne could not tell if Wendy had meant to portray herself as dead, but she looked dead in the picture.
The other picture that most struck Suzanne was of Wendy kneeling, naked, her hands tied behind her back, in front of the Ace of Spades. Wendy's terrified eyes stared straight out at the viewer. There was a rope around her neck. The desolation of this image, especially knowing the story behind it, deeply troubled Suzanne.
Suzanne, who had spent her college years learning how to heal the human body, was repulsed by the torture portrayed by Wendy being inflicted on herself. However, she found herself fascinated by the power of the images and Wendy's obvious talent.
Suzanne looked up at her model, who was staring straight at her. Wendy's expression clearly indicated that she hoped that Suzanne could help her. Suzanne was not sure what to say to Wendy. The pictures spoke for themselves. Finally she forced herself to speak.
"Wendy, I don't know what to tell you. I'm grateful that you shared these with me." Suzanne searched for something positive to say about the pictures. "Your work is very good. The self-portraits are as good as anything in this style I've seen that's been published."
Suzanne's attention returned to some of the self-portraits done by Wendy. In spite of the obvious difference in styles, the pictures reminded her tremendously of the self-portraits done by the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. She thought about her comment about publishing. She had good rapport with her editor. Maybe she could get him to publish some of Wendy's work.
Suzanne's thoughts returned to Frida Kahlo. Wendy was still staring at her.
"Wendy, do you know who Frida Kahlo was?"
Wendy thought for a second, and then shook her head. "I've heard the name, but I don't know what she did."
"She was a Mexican artist who died of cancer. She was as obsessed with her own suffering as you are with yours, and it came out in her work. Your pictures remind me of Frida's. Tomorrow we'll stop at a book store so I can show you her work. You need to see it."
The next day Suzanne and Wendy visited a bookstore on their way back to Chicago. Wendy looked intently at Frida Kahlo's pictures, slowly turning the pages. Suzanne ended up buying Wendy the book that had the most complete collection of Kahlo's work, and a separate biography. For almost all of the rest of the trip back, Wendy was engrossed in the images. She especially paid close attention to Kahlo's paintings of herself dismembered. Kahlo's most morbid pictures struck home with Wendy.
Suzanne decided to invite Wendy to dinner and to stay with her overnight at the apartment, since Amy still was in Pennsylvania with Paul. Wendy gladly accepted, not wanting to be alone. Suzanne massaged Wendy, which seemed to calm her down somewhat.
When Suzanne finally went to bed, Wendy sat at the kitchen table looking at Frida Kahlo's paintings again. Then she started to draw. The tortured images in her own mind spilled out onto sheet after sheet. She was still drawing the next morning when Suzanne got up. Suzanne prepared breakfast as Wendy continued to draw. Finally she asked Wendy to stop and eat.
uzanne looked at the new batch of pictures. These pictures were even more morbid than the ones she looked over two days before. The image that most disturbed Suzanne was one of Wendy's corpse, lying on its back, tied by the hands and feet to a blackjack table. Wendy's stomach had been cut open and her body was filled with cards, money, and casino chips. Suzanne had a hard time looking at the image without getting sick.
Suzanne realized what was happening. Strangely relieved, she saw this as a good sign. Wendy was venting her self-hatred through her art.
"Wendy, I want to borrow your work. I have an idea."
Suzanne's next book turned out to be her most successful, and her most controversial. Several casinos sued her publisher, unsuccessfully, to keep it from being distributed in Nevada. Robert's partner, the one who had defended Amy from her shoplifting charges, argued the case for Suzanne's publisher. Robert's partner was at the peak of her courtroom performance, savagely confronting the highly-paid casino attorneys. Suzanne, for the first time in her career, had to deal with a large amount of hate mail.
The book's title was simply "Wendy". Half of the images in the book were not Suzanne's photos; they were Wendy's drawings. In page after page, Wendy's tormented face stared out at the viewer from both Suzanne's black & white photos and Wendy's Anime images. Suzanne supplemented her photos of Wendy with ones of gambling equipment and casinos. Both Suzanne and Wendy wrote essays for the book, which Amy edited to make flow better.
With the success of her friend's joint book with Suzanne, Amy had hopes that perhaps Wendy had recovered from her urge to gamble. At the end of the summer Amy asked Wendy if she wanted her family's pendant back and resume control of her own finances. Wendy thought about it for a moment then sadly shook her head no.
The success and controversy of "Wendy" forced the book's subject to finally face her parents with her gambling addiction. It was a hard blow for them. Wendy openly admitted that she was not sure if she could ever take over the family business. She certainly would not be able to take over any time soon. The only thing she could do was continue her studies, go to counseling, and hope for the best.
This did not sit well at all with Wendy's parents. Her father, who had carefully reinvested everything he earned, was stupefied at the thought of $60,000, gone, just like that. It just goes to show you can't trust women with money. Wendy's mother glared at her. She had spent her life trying to convince Wendy's father to change his hostility towards women in business and his disbelief in their competency in general. In a flash Wendy had destroyed everything she had accomplished with her husband. It was Wendy's mother who announced Wendy's punishment.
"You are not fit to stay in this country. You will go back to Taipei, and my brother will find you a husband."
Wendy said nothing, but that night packed some of her clothes and fled to Amy's apartment. Amy tried as best she could to comfort her.
Wendy stayed up all that night drawing. The product of her night's work was a detailed image of her family pendant, broken into pieces and splattered with blood.