I know I've been away for a while. My hearty apologies! Thanks for hanging in there with me and Cecilia (and Clara, and Abe, and James). I hope you all have lovely holidays. I'm crossing my fingers this makes it up in time for Christmas, but if not, just remember that there are 12 days... Here's the usual disclaimer about this being a work of fiction, so not to take everything so, so seriously. Your suspended disbelief is appreciated. Please know I don't condone or endorse anything done to another person without their consent. Also, a last thank you to the lovely comments and feedback I've received, especially those of you clamoring for the next installment. You really did spur me on to get this done.
The next morning Clara woke, still nestled next to Abe, her tired feet snuggled under his legs for warmth. The soreness in her bottom throbbed a bit. She rolled over and saw Abraham was already awake and lucid, watching her sleep. She hugged him and whispered "Good morning Sir."
"Mmm... morning sweetness. How'd you sleep?"
His hand gave her bare bottom a squeeze. Clara wiggled and moaned. "How about your bum? How's that feeling?"
Clara endured her husband's teasing and pretended to feel nothing. "Just fine thanks."
"Oh really?" He gave her a sharper pinch.
"Ow! Ouch! Okay, it's sore Sir."
"Good, wouldn't want to hear that I was loosing my touch." Abe smiled. The warmth and familiarity they had after a session was wonderful, as was the knowledge of his forgiveness. Her misdeeds were over and forgotten now.
Clara made to climb out of bed. She was going to start running a hot shower when Abe motioned over to her, pulling her into a surprise kiss. "There's one more thing Clara."
Clara raised her eyebrows. She had momentarily forgotten that she had another twelve with the crop due to her. But that wasn't what her husband was referring to. As he lay in bed and looked at his wife sitting next to him on the edge of their bed he said gently, "You need to apologize to James, Clara. I wasn't the one you hurt yesterday."
Clara swallowed. "He knows?"
"Okay. I'll talk to him."
"Clara, don't push him. He isn't ready. I tried myself last night. He isn't there, and all it will accomplish is to hurt him all over again."
Abe knew her so well. She nodded. "Yes Sir. I'll apologize."
"Good girl. I'll join you in a few."
After her husband left for work, Clara made some tea and pulled out some clotted cream and scones to bring James some breakfast. She knew she owed him an apology.
James heard someone climb the stairs and stopped playing, nervous and anxious that Cecilia had decided to come to him again. Relief and disappointment mixed when he saw Clara. Although he was still hurt by Clara's weak machinations, he wasn't mad at her anymore. He knew everything had been well intentioned. He had set himself up for this sort of punishment. It was no more than he deserved, and he couldn't fault Clara for doing what she thought was helpful.
"James?" Clara seemed uncertain and oddly self-conscious. "Can I interrupt?"
James hadn't slept well. His practice was already showing signs of his fatigue. "Sure Clara. Go on and sit." He turned, sitting on the piano bench, facing the small loveseat in the studio.
She did, sitting on her hands. "James, I think you know what I did last night..." Clara paused, waiting for James to cut her off or start reprimanding her. Instead he nodded and let her get the words out on her own. He'd already forgiven Clara.
"I thought that maybe if... well... if maybe you had a reason, you would finally go after Cecilia." As Clara spoke more, the words came easier. "And it wasn't right of me to try to make you jealous or manipulate you. I'm sorry for being so careless with our friendship and your feelings."
"I appreciate it Clara. I know. I forgive you."
Clara hadn't realized how close to tears she was. She jeopardized not just her friendship with James, but Abraham's as well. James saw her contrition and stood to give her a hug. It was a bit self-serving, because he needed one badly. He had a firm grip on his emotions. He hadn't appreciated Clara's actions, but her intent was warming. "Please don't do it again though."
Clara disentangled herself, calmer now. "No. I promise."
"Thank you." James was so hurt. Clara could feel all the sadness in him. But Abe had specifically told her not to push him or say anything further. "Thanks for the tea Clara."
"Think nothing of it." Clara got up to leave James to his practising.
"No. Really Clara. I appreciate your friendship. I love you and Abe, and I know you only ever try to help."
She smiled at James. At least in his loneliness, James knew he had his friends.
James was going to leave tomorrow. Nearly everything had been settled. He had his bags packed, his itinerary confirmed, and felt fully prepared for his performances. He just had one more thing to do. He picked up his mobile and called Josh.
" 'Lo James. How are you?"
So like Josh to pretend he didn't know why he was calling. "I'm brilliant Josh. And you?" James couldn't keep the sarcasm out of his voice.
"Alright James. I know why you're calling. I'm making progress."
"How much longer Josh?" James was impatient. Every day that delayed Cecilia's homecoming was a day he failed her.
"Just another month or so."
James rolled his eyes. "It's been months. How is that supposed to be progress?"
"James... Listen, it's getting done. I got her clearance for her passport a few days ago. That took some doing since her license is expired. I had to renew it for her. Do you know what that means?"
From the tenor of his voice, it sounded to James as if Josh had been doing some things of questionable legality. That changed things. It was a lucky thing that Josh had always been gifted with computers. James softened his voice.
"That is some progress. Very good then. Thank you for the update."
"James, I'm going above and beyond for you. I know you never ask for favors unless they're for someone else, but please don't doubt me."
James was a bit abashed. "You're right. I'm sorry. I do appreciate your help in this."
"The visa will be the last thing we need. I'll call you as soon as I get it sorted. We have to be patient. I don't want to draw attention to Cecilia's suddenly renewed license, her new passport and her request for a visa. We want to keep her under the radar."
"Right. I'll be abroad for a few months starting tomorrow. But do let me know as soon as it is ready. I owe it to Cecilia."
"I promise James. Safe travels."
James ended the call. It was something to tell Cecilia. It should reassure her while he was gone that he wasn't planning on keeping her here in London indefinitely.
The mood was different as the four of them sat down for dinner tonight. Cecilia thought James was looking in better spirits than he had for weeks. It was probably because he was leaving tomorrow. She wondered if getting away from her was part of his good mood.
Clara was always working to make sure people around her were enjoying themselves. To that end, she made beef Wellington for James for a 'bon voyage' dinner. Abraham was somber. He knew it was a mistake for James to leave Cecilia here while he shielded himself from his feelings. But after Clara's meddling, he had resolved to do no further harm that way.
Clara's meal was a triumph and James enjoyed it immensely. He raised a glass to her. "I'm going to miss you all. But I think I'll be back before you miss me, or my incessant playing that is. Thank you for being my family, and making it always worth coming back home."
James was feeling sentimental. The last months since retrieving Cecilia had been trying for him, but he had never felt such warmth for Abe and Clara. Soon he'd make good on his word to Cecilia and he could start healing. But not before.
Cecilia was quiet as they ate. James noticed and decided now was a good time to share Josh's update with her. "Cecilia, I had a call with the embassy." That caught her attention immediately.
"Josh said he's secured your passport. He's working on getting you a visa and then you'll be set to go back to Philadelphia."
James smiled as he delivered this news to her, Cecilia noticed. He was ready to get rid of her. This made her feelings all the more muddled. She didn't want him to leave now. After the lovely evening they had shared at the opening night of "Alice", Cecilia had hoped they'd at least be able to grow a friendship. But in the intervening weeks, he maintained his cool distance. Now, Cecilia greatly feared that if he left tomorrow she'd never see him again. If her visa came through while he was away she had no doubt that James would have Abe put her on a plane as soon as possible.
James read the look of disappointment on Cecilia's face as impatience. "Well, I know it's taking longer than you'd like, but even the Americans get something right now and then." The jest didn't go over as well as he'd thought.
Clara and Abraham both didn't want to think about sending Cecilia away, especially while James was on tour. Cecilia asked, "Any idea how long that will take?"
"Josh was evasive. Still a few months in the offing is my best guess."
Abraham diverted the discussion of Cecilia's departure. "So what's your favorite piece that you're performing this time James?"
"I get to do the Pathetique a few times. It's definitely a standout, even if it is a bloody difficult piece. Natasha and I are playing the Rachmaninoff in Berlin and then across Eastern Europe."
Cecilia had learned over the months the names of the pieces she had learned when she was trapped with Master no—Lace. James had told her his name, but it was hard to think of that man by any other name. The Rachmaninoff cello sonata was devastatingly beautiful. But it was the Beethoven piano sonata that had become her favourite as well. She sighed audibly.
"What's wrong Cecilia?" Abe never missed a trick. Why was that suddenly so annoying?
"Nothing..." There was nothing to loose by giving air to the thought she had, so she said, "I was just thinking how amazing it would be to hear you play in concert James."
"Oh..." James found this awkward. His mind turned to the time she had come to the attic while he was practising. Ordinarily, he would have just invited her to come listen while he rehearsed. But he had literally pushed her out of the studio. He knew she had a genuine appreciation for music... it was part of what had trapped her with him to begin with... "Perhaps you'd like to hear me when I get back home? I'm finishing the tour here in London. I could get you a good ticket."
Cecilia's heart was beating so hard. She would get to hear him properly, even see him one more time? "I'd love to. After all, I got to see Clara dance." A real smile graced Cecilia's features and the mood lightened over the dinner table.
The next morning, Cecilia woke to say a last goodbye to James. She knocked on his bedroom door. It was the first time she had ventured into his personal space since the disastrous encounter in his studio. The door was ajar, and she peeked inside. Everything was orderly and neat. James had already left for Heathrow.
The house it was eerily quiet. James' presence was conspicuously absent. More than just the music was missing. Cecilia found herself very lonely. Even though she hadn't seen much of James before, she felt abandoned. A tangible connection she felt when James was in the house was gone, and Cecilia was bereft in his absence. "You're being ridiculous Cecilia." She scolded herself. "What? Did you want James to bring you along? Did you think you could travel the world with him? You can't even get home right now. You should want to go back to the States. You should want to leave this all behind."
But she didn't. Cecilia was secretly dreading going back. She had more of a life here then she had in Philadelphia. James had seen to it that Cecilia had clothes and a mobile, and told her to make herself at home in his townhouse. "More silliness! You already know how much you cost him. You don't even earn your keep. Why would he, or any of them really, want to keep you around?" This voice sounded suspiciously like her mother again, but there was something relaxing about her self-deprecation. That was a normal part of her life before she'd been abducted. She must be getting better.
Clara bounded home invigorated. The next production was a company premier: A Streetcar Named Desire. Clara had foolishly left her umbrella at home today and was caught in a late afternoon rain. It did nothing to dampen her spirits, even if it did soak through her light pullover and thin leotard.
Clara opened the door to the townhouse and shook off her wet outer-ware. She bent over to pull off her tartan-patterned rain boots, and was startled by Abe's nonchalant appearance. He leisurely leaned against the corridor, wearing track pants and a fitted t-shirt.
"Hello Sweetness." Abe was grinning widely.
"Hello..." Clara answered coyly.
"Well?" Abe prompted
"Is that how you address me little girl?"
"No Sir." Clara shook her head earnestly.
"That's better. We wouldn't want to have to add to the day's tally on account of you forgetting something as simple as that, would we?"
Clara was a bit confused. "No... Sir?"
"I'm disappointed Clara. Did you forget about your punishment? I didn't."
Clara had not quite forgotten. She just hadn't remembered to remind Abraham. She was caught. Her punishment had been delayed numerous times. It seemed today was the day.
"Go on little girl. Up the stairs with you! You'll catch pneumonia in those wet clothes." Clara didn't quite move quickly enough, and felt a sharp smack on her bum. She yelped and scurried up the stairs.
Abe admired the view from below, and followed his wife at a more leisurely pace. He had prepared the bedroom ahead of Clara's return. Usually, Abe liked to make Clara kneel and wait for him, but he was feeling spontaneous. When Clara made to kneel, he instead guided her to the bed while starting to peel off her clothes with purpose.
Clara helped by stepping out of her leotard, leggings and leg warmers. Once completely bare, Abe encouraged Clara to lie face-down on the bed over a stack of fluffy pillows that presented her bottom beautifully.
Clara's insistence that they create the space together had been tiresome at first. He had no desire to pick out paint, but there were other benefits: the functionality of their bed, storage, concealed hooks, and wall-mounted rings met their needs perfectly.
Cuffs, already attached to rope at the four corners of the bed, were laid out. They were quickly buckled around Clara's wrists and ankles, tethering her limbs to the corners of the bed. Her body was positioned over the pillows, offering up her bottom. There was a fair amount of slack. Abraham took a moment to admire and assess. He was determining exactly how the rest of her punishment would be meted out. Clara knew better than to break the silence, but she started to squirm self-consciously.
Abe looked over his array of implement options. The crop, the wooden paddle, a strap, and a flogger were the finalists. He decided to reserve judgment a bit longer, and let Clara participate in the choice he made.
"Clara, why are you tied down like that?"
"Because I've been bad, and I want you to forgive me. I meddled in affairs that didn't concern me." She didn't try to deflect. Her manipulations in regard to James were the reason for her initial punishment.
"That's right Clara. That's the right answer." Abe decided that Clara's honest answer to that question was worth refraining from using the strap.
"Clara, do you remember how many spanks you have left?"
Clara bit her lip. Sighing, she told him, "Twelve Sir."
"That's more than I remember sweetness. Why is that?" Abraham wanted to hear her say it.
"Because Sir, I came without permission. It was originally six, but... my lack of control doubled the number." Clara was blushing. It wasn't often that a ballerina admitted to losing control of her body. Abraham breathed deeply. He took great pride in being able to overwhelm Clara's beautiful composure.
"That's right Clara. Good girl. Tell me: What do you want me to use to properly spank your naughty bottom?"
Abraham's playful, premeditated interrogation was making Clara's pulse quicken. She loved the way he asserted his control. His praise of her answers made her feel bold. She knew what she wanted him to punish her with: "The flogger Sir."
"Interesting choice." Abraham mentally crossed the flogger off the list. It was the easiest and most sensual of the available implements; Clara wasn't off the hook yet. That left the crop and the paddle.
Clara could hear Abraham pondering. She may have overestimated her say in this. The flogger wasn't much of a punishment. She knew that. In fact, it was her favorite, but hope springs eternal.
Abraham had recently used the crop. That narrowed it down. He reached for the wooden paddle. Variety, they say, is the spice of life. He laid it gently across Clara's cheeks, rubbing the smooth surface against her bum. She shivered. It was cold. "I think this is more appropriate however." Abraham brought the paddle around so that Clara could see. This one stung like the Dickens, with holes drilled through the polished wood. Clara breathed deeply and closed her eyes. "Yes Sir," she said, hanging her head.
"At least twelve isn't too many. It will be over quickly." Clara thought to herself. Abe moved out of her line of sight. She braced herself, clenching her bottom. She waited. A minute passed by. Then two. She relaxed her body and... "SWACK!"
"One Sir," Clara gasped. The pain lit up all of her nerves and the sting settled across her skin. The pillows supported Clara's taught little body. Instead of the next stroke, Clara felt Abe's fingers part her sex. She was already wet. She could hear him murmur approval. She arched her back, feline, forgetting her spanking for the moment. Abe pressed a finger inside, then a second. He pressed her clit with his thumb. She let out a tiny whimper. "Such a bad little girl. You shouldn't be enjoying your punishment Clara." Abe started circle her clit more insistently. "Mmmm... yes Sir, I mean- no Sir. Oh!"
"Two Sir." The impact distracted Clara. Abe came around and palmed her breasts. Reaching underneath her, he found her nipples already standing out, demanding attention, so Abraham obliged. Clara turned her head and tried to nuzzle her husband, looking for a kiss, more contact, more closeness. Instead, he gave her pink tips a sharp twist and a pinch, and moved away. His hands found her stinging buttocks and he pet her gently, taking the sting away. He didn't warm her up this time, so the motions were soothing and Clara wanted to purr in contentment at the direction her punishment had taken. Abe felt hot-blooded and in control. Clara always followed his lead so willingly. He dipped his fingers between her folds again. She was already so hot and bothered.
He played with her more, longer this time. Clara was panting. She used the slack in the ropes to pull her body closer to Abe and to the sinful stimulation. "Oh Sir, please?"
"No Clara." Abe slowed his fingers, just lightly touching her. "You aren't being a very good girl. You're here because you came without permission. You should be asking for your spanking, not an orgasm." Clara stilled with shame. Abraham however, continued his digital exploration. Clara struggled to remain still. She bit her lower lip, and shied away from his hand. She had some room to move, but was unable to escape him. She didn't want to come without permission, but Abraham wouldn't relent. "Please? Please Sir?"
"What are you asking for sweetness?"
"Please let me come?"
"No Clara. Your punishment isn't over. You can't come yet. Not until you have your spanking." Abe was pushing her.
Clara starting to whine. "Then spank me!" Clara couldn't see, but Abraham was grinning broadly. "That's not how you ask little girl."
"Please Sir, may I have another spanking?" There it was.
"Yes you may. You best keep count Clara."
He took hold of the paddle and brought it down sharply against Clara's upturned bottom. "Ohhh! Ummm... Three Sir!"
Abe immediately set down the paddle and started playing with Clara again. He tickled her feet, which had her struggling valiantly. Then he switched tactics and rubbed her calves. Clara groaned. It felt so good. Her muscles worked so hard, and to have Abe rub them down was heaven. Her emotions frayed as Abe had his way with her body. She stretched into him again, eager for more attention. Then Abe groped her chest and rolled her nipples, making Clara hunger for more intimate contact. She wiggled her bottom in invitation. Instead of entering her though, Abe steeled himself and began rubbing her sex. "No. Please. I want to come." Abe fingered her all the more vigorously. Clara couldn't escape it. He hadn't said what the consequence would be for coming without permission, but last time it had doubled her remaining punishment. "Stop. I can't."
"Shhh Clara! I'm having my fun with you. Don't interrupt me." Abe enjoyed the earnest anguish in her voice.
"Sir, please... please may I have a spanking?"
"Of course Clara. Good girl. Good girls ask for their punishment. They don't ask for pleasure they don't deserve."
Clara understood now. Abe was going to play with her and bring her to the brink. The only thing she could do to stop from falling over the edge was to ask for another spank.
"Ouch! Ahh... Four Sir?" Clara was having trouble keeping count. Her bottom was throbbing now. No sooner had she finished her count then Abe returned to his activities, abandoning the paddle and pulling the pins out of Clara's hair. Her chignon gracefully unraveled and her strawberry-blonde hair spilled around her shoulders. She felt strong fingertips delve into her hair and massage her scalp. Clara moaned wantonly. Somehow every little thing Abe was doing to her now was massively sexual. Abe combed her hair with his fingers, and watched the tension melt away from her body. He wound the length of her hair loosely around his fist, turning her head. He bent over her bound form and nibbled on her ear. "Mmm... I love you like this Clara."
Clara had to agree. She loved feeling him like this. His control was addictive. She nuzzled her cheek against Abe and was rewarded as he kissed down her neck. She wanted to pull herself free so she could touch Abraham, touch him and drive him as wild as he was making her.
Too soon he was palming her breasts again. She moaned and started to thrust her bottom towards him. Abe resisted the temptation. He held back and began to finger his wife. Clara wanted to sob. He could make her feel everything all at once. Her breasts felt magnified from his hands' attention, and her sex was sopping. He found her clit again and Clara threw her head back. She didn't want him to stop. If felt so good and it muted the stinging spanks. She tamped down her plea. She knew now that Abe wouldn't be granting permission. She tried to close her legs, but it was useless. Her helplessness to avoid the building pleasure was worse than the helplessness she felt from the spanking. "No. Please! Please may I have a spanking Sir?"
"MMMffff! Ahhhh! Oh, it's- it's four, Sir. No! Five, it's five." Clara hated the holes in the paddle. They made the stinging worse. She wanted to rub the sting away, but her hands couldn't reach that far. "Clara, if you can't keep a proper count, we'll have to start over again."
"No. No. It's five Sir! I promise." Abe didn't answer. He just started to toy with Clara again. He had no intention of starting from the beginning, but he enjoyed the heightened panic that he elicited from his beautiful submissive. Her bottom was taking on a nice rosy hue now, and he could feel heat radiating from her skin. Abe wanted to see her better. Deftly, he untied Clara's cuffed wrists. Before Clara had time to react, she was stretched with her arms reaching up, kneeling on their bed. Abe had tied the rope overhead and fixed her arms to the canopy. She pulled, testing the new bonds, trying to reach out to her dominant husband. There was not enough slack, so Abe remained out of reach. He had taken off his shirt, and was bare-chested, glistening with sweat. He traced the lines of Clara's arms, shoulders, neck, collarbone, and torso slowly, reverently. Her splayed thighs were soft to the touch, but toned and firm. Abe marveled at the fact that she was his. He moved closer, and firmly gripping her hair, kissed her full on the mouth. It was a relief, if an incomplete one, to feel this possession. Clara yielded everything to Abe in a kiss. His hands spanned her back, feeling the sinew and strength in her pixie-like body.
Clara wanted his track pants OFF. She could see his cock was eager to enter her, and the fabric was getting in the way. She pulled on the bonds above her head, putting most of her weight on the canopy above her, arching her back and thrusting her hips forward. Abe leaned back out of reach. She was putting on quite a show of lust, but he wasn't halfway through yet. He moved forward and kissed her again, his hand brushing her waist and crawling to the apex of her thighs. "MMmmm... Oh, please Sir." Clara was begging him. His middle and ring finger pierced her center and his thumb pressed firmly on her swollen clit. "Shhhh!" he hushed her, and resumed ravishing her mouth. Clara was dangerously close. Panicked, she pulled back from him. He had built her arousal so quickly. She reveled in his control, and loved the feeling of helplessness that came from feeling his hands on her. Abraham covered her whole mound in the palm of his hand, and was rewarded with vigorous grinding from Clara.
She was spiraling out now. Her desire had been quickly stoked and her control was slipping with every touch from Abraham. "Please... please," She was breathy and begging. Clara wanted permission to come, but instead she gasped, "Please Sir, may I have a spanking?"
"Good girl, yes you may." Clara felt his hands withdraw, a relief and a punishment in itself. Abe picked up the paddle, and his wife struggled like a trapped animal. He brought it before her eyes. "Why don't you kiss it Clara?" He suggested, almost innocently.
Clara moaned. He was prolonging this on purpose. She kissed the smooth surface.
"MMMMmmmm..." The intermittent spanks had first jolted Clara out of her arousal, but now they egged her on. "Count Clara." Abe saw her dreamily blink her eyes and struggle to remember what count she was on. "Six!" she cried out, happy that she could still hold on to the number. "Six what Clara?" Abe secretly loved teasing Clara when she got like this. It helped keep her rooted with him longer. "Sir!"
"Put it together..."
Clara's brows furrowed and she frowned. She hated when Abe teased her and then spoke to her as if he was placating a child.
"Better Clara. You're halfway there." So much for a quick spanking, Clara thought. Abraham was outdoing himself on prolonging this punishment. It was irritating that he could pretend to be so self-possessed. She knew he must be achingly hard by this point. She wanted to address that. But Abe's hands were working their magic again. Before he could get her worked up even more, Clara cried out, "Please may I have another spanking Sir?"
"In a moment Clara. Take your time. There's no rush." Abe was being positively evil now. He caught a look at her face and could see the frustration written there. Clara wisely, refrained from speaking what was on her mind.
In response to her angry countenance, Abe moved further away from Clara, leaning back against the pillows piled against the headboard. Clara was wondering what he would do next. He settled back and pulled down the waistband from his track pants, revealing his raging erection. He couldn't wait to bury himself in Clara. She was visibly wet, practically dripping, but it was a punishment after all, one she had earned because she hadn't been able to control herself. Abe was happy to give her a lesson in that control. Arrogantly, he put one hand behind his head, and started to stroke his cock with the other. He groaned. His own arousal was becoming painful and it was a relief to finally acknowledge it. Clara knew exactly what he was doing.
"Please! Please can I have a spanking sir?" She wanted to be the one imparting pleasure on her alpha husband. He was making her watch as he stroked himself. If she could hurry him up and get this infuriating punishment over with, she could make sure she was the one to give him pleasure. Abraham loved the urgency in her voice. His hands left his shaft. He abandoned his track pants altogether, shucking them off and grabbing Clara's hot bottom. Roughly he kneaded her flesh, and made her moan. "What was that Clara?" He gave her rear sharp pinches, enflaming her further.
"Spank me Sir! Please?"
"Certainly Clara." Abe enjoyed being overly polite while he had his wife in such a rude and compromising position. The irony was not lost on Clara, but she was past objecting.
"Seven Sir" Clara was whining. "Please may I have a spanking Sir?"
"What will you do for me if I give you what you want little girl? Hmmm?"
Clara didn't know how to respond to that. She wasn't really in a position to bargain. Her voice caught in her throat. She felt a sharp pinch on her clit. "Ohh! No! Stop! I can't think! I don't know! Just spank me please!" It was the only thing she knew would bring this punishment to an end. Abe grinned evilly. Her desperation was such a victory for him. His hand traced her folds, and came away shiny with Clara's essence. He held her chin tenderly and looked deeply into his wife's eyes.
With his thumb, Clara felt her husband trace her lower lip. She closed her eyes and opened her mouth ever so slightly. Her tongue wet her lips, and suddenly, Abe's index and middle finger were filling her mouth. She closed her lips around his wet fingers, and started licking and sucking on his digits, tasting herself and attempting to coax him into lovemaking: any lovemaking, so long as he stopped these teasing torments.
God she was amazing. Abe was using every ounce of his dominant creativity on Clara, and she was close to undoing him. It was some sort of diabolical battle of wills. Clara, with her helpless struggles and wanton instincts, was trying his control. He couldn't give in now though. He really was being quite unfair, putting her in this predicament, but he couldn't muster enough sympathy to end it early. He was going to play it out to the end, no matter how much effort it took on his part.
Clara opened her eyes, and renewed her efforts to suck on Abe's fingers. She looked at him lustily, wordlessly tempting him to take her now. Abe withdrew his fingers. Clara momentarily felt triumphant; sure that Abe would loosen her bonds and allow her the privilege of servicing his cock with her mouth. At least that was what she fantasized he would do.
"SMACK!" Abraham broke her fanciful reverie and gave her the spanking she'd requested. "MMMggg! Ah, seven Sir?" Clara felt different areas of her body light up with awareness. Abe caught her off guard with that last one. He was still behind her, and reached around with the paddle still in his hand. With the handle, he probed Clara's sex.
The rough, impersonal wood was a further shock to Clara's system. She couldn't decide weather to avoid it or seek out more friction. Abe solved that problem by wrapping his other arm around her waist and holding her still. She could feel the perspiration on his chest and on her back. He was kissing her neck and nibbling her ear. "Don't you want to be a good girl Clara?"
No! She wanted to yell. Her desperation was going to shout down her good sense if her husband didn't relent soon. But she always wanted to be a good girl. Saying anything else would be a lie, and Abe would know it. "Yes Sir. Mmm... so good... Sir? May I?"
"May you what Clara?"
"May I please have another spanking?" Her voice was soft and pleading. The fight was almost out of her. Abe could hear it in her voice. "Yes Clara." He let go of her torso and swung the paddle.
"Eight Sir." Clara tried to keep her voice even as she absorbed the pain. Abraham grabbed her chest from behind again. Clara arched her chest towards his hands and thrust her bottom, feeling Abe's iron rod prod her red cheeks. She was devilish that way, offering herself up, beginning to coat his cock in her arousal. Abe grunted through clenched teeth. "No Clara. He smacked her bottom with an open palm. "And that one doesn't count. Be. Good." He wasn't sure if he was telling Clara or his cock to behave at this point, but his willpower wouldn't last under that kind of assault. Clara whimpered. "Spank me!" Clara's voice was desperate, demanding even. Abe did nothing. He pulled away and let her think for a moment. She was not the one to be shouting orders, and he would not oblige that tone. He said nothing waiting to see if she would alter her request. A moment later she breathed deeply, almost reduced to tears.
"Please Sir. I'm sorry. Please spank your submissive." Better. A pinch to her nipples to make her gasp, and then: "SWACK!"
"Nine Sir." Clara's panting was driving Abraham insane. He was punishing himself now. To remedy that he lay back down in front of Clara, and started to jerk himself off. He wasn't sure if he'd be able to stop at this rate. He tossed his head back and closed his eyes. Clara drove him wild. The hunger in her eyes was heated now. She wanted to replace his hands with her mouth or her wet sheath. She started licking her lips suggestively, moaning to get his attention. It worked. Abe straightened up and wordlessly moved towards his bound wife. "Please spank me Sir? Please may I have another?" Clara thought he was going to fulfill her request. Instead she felt him behind her, FINALLY guiding his cock into her sex. Placing monumental control on himself, Abe barely penetrated Clara. She was so wet and slick he easily teased her swollen sex with his cock.
He wasn't giving any attention to her clit, and instead of entering her, he was teasing her even worse. There was no way to move or adjust that would get her the penetration she sought. She felt fingers just brush her. "Clara, you are a bad and dirty girl still. No good girl enjoys her punishment this much!"
"Then please, please spank me!" She was almost done. The pain from the spanking wasn't even the worst part of her chastisement. She wanted to stop feeling caught in a limbo. She had to exert control over herself while Abe made her subject to his own will. She just wanted to surrender now. As she thought this she felt the bite and smarting blow.
"Ten Sir." Her voice came out small and weak. She was going to try to communicate her surrender, but Abe silenced her mouth with his own again. She felt the realness, and the rawness between them. A couple of tears leaked out from her golden lashes. Abe nuzzled her cheeks. She was beautiful, and all his. He had to be the luckiest man in the world. "Please Sir? Please spank me again?"
Without breaking the kiss, he swung the paddle, which landed squarely on her bum. Clara cried out at the concentrated blow. "Ohhh...Thank you Sir. Eleven."
With one more left, Abe decided to go for broke. He pinched her clit softly, alternating pressure, and focusing all of Clara's attention. She shuddered. "Please let me come Sir!" Clara was tired of this game.
"No yet. You're not done yet."
Abraham was punctuating his sentences with small circles on her clit. She felt so slick; He couldn't wait to be inside her. "Be good Clara."
"Yes Sir. Please may I have another spanking Sir?"
Abe grit his teeth and withdrew. He put slightly more force behind his swing. "SMACK!!"
"Twelve Sir. Thank you Sir."
"Good girl Clara. Your punishment is over." Abe was relieved it was over. He needed to be inside her properly.
Clara just moaned incoherently. Abe stood to release Clara's arms. Once freed, she clung to Abraham, pressing herself close. Her fingers firmly traced his shoulders, and she passionately kissed him, as he had been kissing her. He broke the kiss just long enough to free her ankles, and she rewarded him by wrapping her legs around him too. Abe tumbled them both on the bed, and wasted no more time. Once inside her again, Clara asked, "Please? Am I allowed to come yet?" She squeezed him tight.
"You can come for me Clara." Abe ground his hips and thrust deeply. Clara shook her head, overwhelmed by the long build up. Abe held her hair, and slowly pumped into her. Clara wouldn't stop moaning, and her powerful legs pulled him deeper. Her cunt clamped down and spasmed. Clara cried out, and with another movement from Abe she fell apart at the seams. The incredible undulations in her body set Abraham off a second later, and he released all the tightly managed control he'd been holding. Animalistic groans and masculine appreciation sounded deep from his throat.
The two stilled as the aftershocks from their lovemaking slowly grew less frequent and intense. Abe held Clara closely. She was slowly coming back from subspace, and he intended to be with her as she made the descent and recovered. He felt pleasantly drowsy, and smiled as Clara wiggled her fingers and toes, collecting herself. She smiled up at Abe who was watching her so intimately. "You know I love you? Right?"
"You know I love you right back sweetness?"
"Good". Abe nuzzled her hair and neck. She was falling asleep in his arms. He followed her lead and let go. Together man and wife drifted off to sleep.
It was two weeks or so after James departed for his first stop in Vienna that Clara became concerned. Cecilia was more withdrawn, much the way she had been when she had first arrived. Clara wondered if Cecilia had also detected her machinations to set her up. Was Cecilia mad at her as well?
More than that, though, Cecilia begged off joining Clara at ballet rehearsals. It was an awkward predicament for Clara when Sebastian cornered her after a class.
"Clara, I've been waiting to see Cecilia. But she has not been here. I wanted to see if she still wanted to have dinner with me." Clara felt her voice catch in her throat. If she encouraged Cecilia to see Sebastian was she meddling again? James was out of the country... "I'm not sure I should get involved Sebastian. That's up to Cecilia."
"Por supesto. Conozco. I want only to ask her again, but she has not been here."
Clara didn't know what to say. It was odd that Cecilia hadn't been attending rehearsals, but she was under no obligatation to follow Clara everywhere.
Sebastian persisted. "Well, tell her I asked after her." Politeness dictated no other response: "Of course. I will."
Cecilia was spending her hours alone in James' attic studio. She hugged her knees into herself, and listened to a recording of Schubert's Fantasie for four hands in F minor. Clara had given Cecilia her old iPod, and Cecilia wasted no time loading the device with music, mostly pieces she had come to adore since she had woken up in England a few months ago. Where possible, she made sure they were recordings of James.
When she listened to that music in this room, she felt as if she closed a bit of the distance between herself and James. It was pitiful, but she missed him. The nagging arousal and sexual frustration she brought onto herself by listening to the music intensified her sense of loss. She refused to give up the music; it was her drug of choice. She avoided accompanying Clara to rehearsals because it freed up time for her to enjoy the solitude without intrusion.
James' studio was eclectic. The attic space was dominated by his grand piano. The refinished wood floors were somewhat creaky, and were dotted with large area rugs that had medieval patterns. An old loveseat sat in the far end, next to shelves lined with CDs and vinyl records. Adjacent the improvised sitting area was James' recording equipment. On a desk of glass and stainless steel was a sleek Mac Pro, several portable hard drives, and expensive looking equipment flanked by large studio monitors. In the two dormer windows James had fitted individual-sized window seats. The one closest to the piano was Cecilia's favorite perch.
As the Fantasie ended, Cecilia looked at the time. She should leave the attic soon before Clara or Abraham got home. She didn't want to answer any awkward questions about why she was in there.
Little did she know, Abraham had come home early. Abraham had noticed Cecilia's withdrawn behavior. When he arrived home earlier than expected, he took the opportunity to check on Cecilia.
The townhouse was quiet, although he could smell the aroma of tonight's dinner. He thought to find Cecilia in the kitchen. When that failed he looked in the den. After peeking into her empty bedroom, Abraham was concerned. He made himself check the other rooms before he grew alarmed.
Abe shouldn't have been surprised to find Cecilia in James' studio. Cecilia's tiny form was folded on the window seat of one of the house's dormer windows. It would have been easy to miss her. Abraham was briefly relieved. He took his promise to keep Cecilia safe seriously. However, one glance told him that Cecilia was not coping well. Abe didn't want Cecilia to feel like she was being spied on, so he withdrew quietly. He and Clara needed to do something.
That night the three of them enjoyed the delicious meal that Cecilia prepared. (She was becoming quite the cook.) Clara noticed Cecilia's long silences and slow smiles too. After they finished a re-aired episode of Top Gear, Cecilia excused herself and bid them goodnight. When he was sure Cecilia was out of earshot, he turned to Clara, who was snuggled next to him on the plush sofa. Her hair was damp from her shower, and her short robe did nothing to hide her dancer's form.
"Clara, have you noticed anything about Cecilia's behavior? She doesn't seem right. I'm concerned."
Clara nodded, unusually grave, "Yes. I don't it's healthy at all. She's becoming reclusive almost. It was better before James left. But now..."
Abe caught her unspoken suggestion. Cecilia missed James. He thought the same thing, but there was nothing he could do about it. "We need to get her out of the house. She's alone all day."
"I always invite her to come with me. I don't want to force her into anything she doesn't want to do."
"She's not in the best place to determine what's in her best interest."
"I know. But what do we do?"
Abe shrugged. "Maybe we need to make sure she gets out more. We can set an example: introduce her to some friends; take her to see more of London on the weekends... That's the best we can do I'm afraid."
Clara leaned in closer to Abe. His concern for Cecilia's well-being was genuine and it made Clara love him even more. "Okay. We're just going to have to do our best."
Cecilia was naked and kneeling at James feet as he practiced. It was getting harder to practice because she kept nuzzling his legs and interrupting his foot's movements on the sustain pedal. He would spank her for that soon: after he finished practising. She was making him incredibly hard. He would see to that soon too. He didn't finish though. In between movements he gave up, and covered the ivory keys.
He looked down and pretended to be stern and disappointed. "Didn't I tell you to be good down there? You got in the way of the sustain pedal. I made 13 mistakes because you were misbehaving." Cecilia hung her head. He couldn't wait anymore. "Across my lap Cecilia. That's 13 spanks you're due. Be good and count them."
She did. Then he started spanking her bare bottom with his palm. Cecilia counted. Her tiny voice was clear as a tinkling bell as he punished her cheeks. "Please Sir, may I have another?"
James started. The attendant caught him daydreaming and startled him. "Sir? May I offer you a drink?"
James closed his gaping mouth and gathered his wits. The attendant was carrying a tray of champagne flutes. "Thank you. Yes." James took the flute and the attendant left him in peace. He stared out the window and sipped the bubbly. He sighed and wished it were something stronger.
The view outside his window was beautiful. He was somewhere between Vienna and the German boarder on his way to Berlin. His first set of engagements had been successful, and the next stop was a two-week stay in Berlin to play with the Berlin Philharmonicker. He was particularly excited to guest conduct a Prokafiev symphony. Natasha would be meeting him there to perform the Rachmaninoff cello sonata as well. She would be travelling and performing with him on his tour until they reached their final joint engagement in Tokyo.
But first he had a seven-hour train ride to get there. It was more scenic to take the train, but the solitude left James with lots of time to think. Well, he wasn't thinking. He was fantasizing about Cecilia. At least he was far enough away that he couldn't possibly act on his desires. Now that seizing Cecilia was an impossibility, he could feel how much of a toll his tightly reigned control was taking on him emotionally. He was lonely. He had been lonely, but somehow Cecilia's addition to the household made him more aware of it. The distance was diluting his guilt, and he remembered what had driven him to make such poor decisions in the first place. It was time to free himself of his self-imposed bachelorhood. He wanted a partner. Clara and Abe were wonderful friends, but he needed his own relationship.
Clara was being considerate. Again. This was the third time this week Clara had invited her out. This time it was for cocktails with some of the other dancers in the company. Cecilia sighed. Clara came home from rehearsal looking radiant and refreshed, as if she hadn't spent the last six hours demanding physical perfection from her body. She cheerily told Cecilia to get dressed and come out for drinks.
Cecilia had been spending most of her days in James' Oxford sweatshirt and yoga pants. Her curly hair was knotted and frizzy. She hadn't seen any point in cleaning up when she spent most of her day alone. Now she stared at the wardrobe and struggled to find something to wear.
"Abraham is working late so I thought we'd have a ladies' night," Clara came into Cecilia's bedroom wrapped in a fluffy towel. She pulled a plum cocktail dress out of the wardrobe and flung it onto the bed. "You haven't worn that one yet. Go on, it's time to get out of the house. You've been cooped up too much." Cecilia didn't have time to respond as Clara sashayed out of her room to continue getting ready.
This was the last thing Cecilia wanted to do, but she couldn't bear to let Clara be disappointed. She showered and tamed her unruly mane of curls. The purple halter was tight in all the right places and Cecilia felt self-conscious in such a revealing dress. She was never allowed to wear anything like this growing up and hadn't had the nerve to try once she left her parents' house.
Once she finished getting herself presentable, Clara ran in wearing a cranberry mini dress. She grabbed Cecilia's wrist and dragged her out into the London night. Clara's energy was infectious and Cecilia found herself smiling as Clara brought her up to speed on the inner workings of the Royal ballet. They were meeting up with a few other up-and-coming dancers in the company.
It was a quick cab ride to the swanky cocktail lounge that the other ballerinas had chosen as their first stop. Once out among people, Cecilia retreated behind a fixed smile. She didn't know how to interact with these beautiful creatures. They all held themselves with inhuman grace. The ballerinas ordered strong martinis and cocktails; clearly, they were out to burn off some steam.
Clara hoped that a cocktail or two would be enough to help Cecilia relax. She was aware of the good face Cecilia was putting on the outing. Cecilia had demurred every invitation to get out of the house so far, and so today Clara had been more assertive than was her wont. Now that Cecilia was out of the house, Clara had every intention of getting Cecilia to enjoy herself.
"Cecilia, let me introduce you to everyone. This is Gabrielle." Clara motioned to a striking girl with blue eyes and raven hair. "This is Jennifer." A tiny ginger inclined her head.
"Meet Alicia, and Sophie." These dancers were exactly the same height, but the similarities ended there. Alicia was dark and had fierce, proud features, while Sophie's porcelain complexion and almond-shaped eyes couldn't have been more different.
"And this is Mackenzie." A long-limbed brunette with a pixie cut winked in acknowledgement.
The angelic faces of Clara's fellow ballerinas smiled easily. Clara decided to continue with the assertive direction. "Two Sapphire gimlets please," she said to the boy taking the order, "and give the other one to Cecilia."
Cecilia tried to decline the drink when the server handed her the lime-coloured martini, but Clara cut off her objection. "Cheers Cecilia, we're so happy you came out with us tonight!" The other girls clinked their glasses. Clara was moving up in the company. That much was clear to the other dancers, and so they took their cues from Clara.
"Do tell me where you found that dress Cecilia. It's so becoming on you. Not that I have the curves to pull it off..." Mackenzie asked. The feminine chatter went on from there.
Cecilia became less and less guarded as the night went on. Clara was secretly pleased with herself. By the time she was on her second martini, Cecilia was laughing at scandalous stories the dancers had begun sharing, all trying to outdo each other. The unspoken competition ended with the girls laughing so hard tears ran down their cheeks, and more than one had to retouch their mascara before hopping to the next bar...
The dancer named Gabrielle was very conversant. "You'll have to come work out with us sometime Cecilia. It's so much fun. Not class of course, but swimming or yoga. Besides, if you're going to keep up with us when we go out, you'll need to build up your endurance."
"I'm not sure... I'm not very in-shape."
"Nonsense. Come with us tomorrow," Gabrielle prodded. "Clara will bring you. Right Clara?"
Clara nodded enthusiastically. This was going well.
Gabrielle tossed her raven hair back. Her blue eyes were seductive and her small mouth made the most perfect smile. "See? It's all sorted."
Cecilia was feeling the pressure to acquiesce. "Sure. Tomorrow then."
Cecilia was not used to so much alcohol, but it felt good to feel her inhibitions lower. She did look good tonight. The British ballerinas were tall and willowy, but they barely had any curves. Cecilia felt out of place with her petite Latina build, but they all seemed to envy her in that regard. The second bar they went to was a regular hangout for the dancers. The barkeep poured them all shots of Sambuca in between drinks. Cecilia was feeling pleasantly buzzed and faintly dizzy. Clara kept a keen eye out for Cecilia and saw that it was time to get her some water. Soon after, the rest of their coterie was ready to call it a night. "We do have class and workouts tomorrow," they chided themselves, loathe to leave, but mindful of their positions.
On the walk home Cecilia was more than a little unsteady. Clara debated hailing a cab, but Cecilia was laughing and chatting animatedly. It seemed the G&T's combined with the Sambuca did their job and made Cecilia far less reserved. Clara was somewhat concerned. She wasn't sure how much Cecilia usually drank.
Cecilia didn't seem to mind at all. She was laughing, most certainly a bit blotto. She clung to Clara's arm and giggled at her wobbly ankles. Clara was happy to see such a carefree attitude in Cecilia, even if it was alcohol-induced.
Suddenly, Cecilia seemed serious. "What do you think James is doing right now?"
The question came from out of the blue, and Clara didn't know how to respond. "Well, I don't know. It's rather late." It was only half past eleven, but James wasn't one for raucous partying.
"He's probably practising." Cecilia said matter-of-factly. "Maybe with one of his girlfriends."
"Those women he plays with. The one plays piano and she's pretty. But the blonde, the cello player, she's gorgeous. I bet he's with one of them right now." Cecilia had affected a rather poor London accent. Clara bit her lip to keep from laughing, but didn't know what to say to that either. She knew James rehearsed with other musicians from time to time, but he had never been involved with any of his musical partners. "I wasn't aware James was seeing anyone." Clara tried to keep her voice as even as possible. She opened Pandora's box when she tried to set Cecilia up with Sebastian. Her promise not to meddle meant she couldn't do anything to alleviate Cecilia's jealousy or suspicions.
"Maybe not. But the blonde one probably wishes otherwise..." Cecilia's new accent was awful, and Clara was exerting some serious effort not to laugh.
Just then, Cecilia's heel caught in a crack in the pavement. Clara grabbed her arm tightly to keep her from falling. "Watch out!" Then she did start laughing.
"Oh! Good catch Clara! If I were less clumsy you could be my dance partner." Cecilia did a terrible approximation of a pirouette and started laughing too. Clara decided they definitely needed to take a cab home.
Cecilia was slow to wake the next morning. Someone shook her. "Wake up! Come on Cecilia. No time to waste."
Cecilia rolled over. "No, no, no. Up! Let's go."
Clara pulled the covers off Cecilia, and she curled up tightly in a ball. "Mmmm... No, stop..."
"None of that now. You said you'd come and do yoga with me and the rest of the girls last night."
"No I didn't."
"Yes, you did. Now come on! You'll make me late."
Clara was glad Cecilia had agreed to the invitation, and wasn't about to let the opportunity to get Cecilia out of the house go to waste. She threw some yoga gear onto Cecilia's bed. Cecilia tried to get up. The clock on her bed said 6:00 am. She slumped back into bed. It was too early for this.
Clara flicked the light on and blinded Cecilia. "Okay, okay. I'm getting up."
"That's right. You promised Gabrielle. I have a mat you can borrow. Grab a water bottle. The studio's a ten minute walk, you can wake up on the way."
Cecilia was hung-over. The last thing she wanted was to go do a yoga class with a bunch of perfect ballerinas, but Clara still wasn't taking no for an answer. It was kind of irritating, her bright cheerfulness, but Cecilia found even at this ungodly hour, that she couldn't hold it against Clara.
Clara urged Cecilia to drink as much water as possible on the brisk walk to the studio. Cecilia begrudgingly listened to Clara, and found her fuzzy-headedness started to fade.
Cecilia hadn't known what she was signing up for when she agreed to take a yoga class with the corps of the Royal Ballet. Sweat was pouring off her body in less than 10 minutes, and the instructor quietly modified some of the more intricate poses for her. Cecilia was out of breath and embarrassed by the end of the hour and half class. Her body protested when it was time to come out of savasana.
Clara tossed her a towel. "You did really well. Was that your first class? I didn't expect you'd keep up with us."
"Then why did you invite me?"
"That's the point: you'll get stronger."
"It's not my first class. I took a few in college, but I haven't been in a very long time, and I never advanced very far."
The ballerina that invited her to come in the first place, Gabrielle, shook her head. "You could have fooled me. You are so flexible already. I'm glad you came today! I was afraid we scared you off with how much we drank last night."
Sophie answered, "Well, no more alcohol in the system now! A little vinyasa is the best morning hangover cure I know."
"Unless it's a wake-up call from that husband of yours" Gabrielle lifted her eyebrows suggestively and looked over at Clara, who smiled and blushed. "Well, good point. Vinyasa is the second best hangover cure. But you'll all have to settle for yoga. Abe is mine."
"Come on Cecilia, let's get a green smoothie." Gabrielle said. "You'll need something for recovery after last night and this morning." And with that, Cecilia followed her new friends out of the yoga studio.
May 12, 2018 in romance