Hands full of grocery bags, she fumbles with the keys in her hand, attempting to find the right one to unlock the front door before she drops everything in her arms. ‘Damn It’ she mumbles. Finally, she manages to get the key into the lock and turn the knob. Walking into their home she kicks the door closed behind her and drops everything in the middle of the floor. Groceries, keys, purse, BlackBerry all litter the hardwood floor. She kicks off her heels, picks up the groceries and carries them into the kitchen, setting them down on the counter and pressing ‘Play’ on the answering machine before running back into the living room to hang up the keys & grab her purse and phone. ‘Hmmm...nothing too important...if you cant pronounce our name, then why call?’ she asks while pressing ‘Delete.’
She quickly throws on her apron, clipping her MP3 player to it before putting the veggies in a colander under running water in the sink to rinse. Next, she grabs the bag of chicken breasts from the fridge that she had marinated the evening before and begins to filet & chop them into cubes while stealing a glance at the clock on the wall. ‘Must be running late.’ She thinks. She rushes to set the table with her china & crystal while humming along to the music playing in her earbuds. After chopping the veggies, she throws all of the ingredients into a wok on the stovetop. Stepping up onto her tip-toes, she tries to reach for the cover to her wok and just as she grabs at it, she slips. She catches herself against the island but is not quick enough to catch the lid and it shatters all over the floor. ‘Son of a bitch!’ she screams. Immediately catching her language, but too angry to care and besides, he isn’t home to hear it, she’s safe. She grabs the broom and begins to sweep up the glass still mumbling a slur or profanities under her breath. He had just bought that wok for her a month prior and she loved to cook with it; perfect for little stir-fry dishes.
After cleaning up the mess and tending to their dinner she looks at her BlackBerry to see if she missed a call, a text, something?! It’s 830pm...he should be home by now. She removes the wok from the heat and places it on a back burner, covering it with another lid that is way too big, but it will at least help to hold in the heat. She pours herself a glass of the merlot she picked up at the market for dinner tonight and walks into the living room. Turning on the television to MSNBC for background noise, she sits on the chaise lounge end of their sectional. Tucking her feet up under her, sipping her wine & watching her BlackBerry.
9pm...then 915pm...finally at 930pm her BlackBerry starts to ring. It is him. ‘Hello?’ she answers. ‘Hey, it’s me. I wanted to call and tell you that you don’t have to wait up for me; I’m going to be working late. I grabbed dinner and I’ll end up eating at the unit because we have to get this done.’ he says. ‘And you couldn’t call me before now?’ she asks. ‘What do you mean?’ he questions. ‘What I mean is it is 930pm and I’ve been worried about you!’ she replies more than a little annoyed. ‘Worried? Really, I’ve told you before...it isn’t necessary to worry about me. I’m a big boy sweetheart. Anyway, I have a lot to do before I can leave and I need to get back to work. So sleep well sweetie.’ Before she can even respond, the line is dead.
‘Well how sweet. I come home after working all day and cook dinner for us, and for what? To be ignored? To have my concern minimized? And to be hung up on? Unbelievable!’ she yells out as she walks into the kitchen. She pours herself another glass of wine and starts to scoop the stir-fry into a container to store in the fridge. After loading the dishwasher and downing 2 more glasses of wine she goes to take a shower.
Still fuming over what she thinks is his inconsiderate attitude, in her mind, she turns on the shower and takes off her clothes to step in. The hot water beating down her back is so relaxing that she lingers there, wishing the night had turned out differently. The stress of the day is aggravated by her ‘liquor dinner’ and tears begin to roll down her cheek. He had been gone the first half of the week training; he’d only returned the day before and was so jet-lagged that she barely got a hug out of him before he passed out. Work was exhausting, she had been pulled over on her way home from work for speeding two days ago while he was gone & she hadn’t found a way to tell him yet, the cover to her new wok was broken, he had dismissed her worry and hung up on her. She hated feeling unimportant to him...sure he didn’t know that she had had a difficult day, he didn’t know that she had made them dinner...he wasn’t intentionally brushing her off, he was working...but, he is always working!
The tension begins to melt away from her body and she starts to feel a little tipsy. The heat of the shower has worked as a sauna...dehydrating her body, depleting the water and leaving solely the alcohol. She stumbles out of the shower, tripping on the strings to her own bathrobe and falls over onto the floor laughing.
Suddenly feeling somewhat better she stumbles into their room. She drops her robe to the floor and puts on her Patriots tshirt and nothing else. She plugs in her BlackBerry and curls up in the bed, lying on her tummy so the first thing he will see is her exposed bottom...which happens to be one of his favorite parts of her body. She fights to stay awake but it is a lost cause. The warm, relaxing shower combined with the alcohol lulls her to sleep.
He finally walks into the door way past midnight, completely drained from his day. He locks the doors, kicks off his boots, sits his laptop on the table in the dining room and walks down the hall toward their bedroom. Quietly opening the door and peering in he sees her sleeping peacefully...’Almost looks like she might be an angel when she’s sleeping...almost.’ he laughs to himself. Before going into the bedroom to crawl into bed himself, he goes to check the medicine cabinet for Tums, as he used the last from the bottle on his nightstand the evening before. Opening the cabinet he fumbles through the endless contents. ‘No, no, no. I don’t need Tylenol or Excedrin. Already took a vitamin today. I don’t think Playtex tampons will help either...ughhh’ he sighs as he closes the cabinet. ‘I marry a nurse and she has something in the house to cure every ailment I may have...except Tums for the only chronic condition from which I suffer.’ He laughs. His reflux is only becoming worse so he decides to check the one place left that there may be some antacid, her purse. He doesn’t make a habit of spying on her or snooping through her things...he has no need to; she tells him everything and he loves that about her. He’s certain she wont mind him looking for Tums in her handbag. After all, she’s gone into his wallet on more than one occasion for a credit card or the like. He unzips the large pocket of her purse. ‘Good lord, the woman has everything in here!’ he laughs again. As he is sifting through the contents of change, makeup, receipts, etc he notices a bright yellow paper that catches his eye and he knows from experience exactly what it is! A ticket! He unfolds it and begins scanning it for the pertinent information...date,offense,etc. The date? Just two days prior; he’s sure he mustn’t be reading it clearly. Surely she would have said something? She knows better! His reflux flares even more as he scrolls to the offense: Speeding In Excess of 20 Miles Over the Posted Limit...driving 78mph in a 45mph zone! He can hardly believe what he is reading but it is nearly 2am and he has 6am PT and formation...he has to sleep.
He tucks the ticket into his wallet pocket and goes back to their bedroom. As he first walks into the dark room he notices her wet bathrobe on their floor. She knows it irritates him when she leaves wet towels or clothing on the hardwood floors; he picks it up and hangs it on the back of the door in the master bathroom, next to his. He undresses and sits on his side of the bed, chewing a handful of Tums that he finally found. As he is preparing to slide into bed he notices a smell that is unmistakably alcohol. He stands up and walks to her side of the bed; leaning in to kiss her on the forehead his suspicions are confirmed, she’s drunk. Sighing heavily, he walks back to his side of the bed and lies down beside her and falls asleep.
‘Oh my head!’ she mumbles as the sun shining through the window hits her face. She rolls over to bury her face in his chest and escape the sunlight for a while longer...but she is greeted by an empty pillow. She kicks her feet in protest and yanks the blankets over her head, clearly angry that he has, yet again, went into work early. Her alarm goes off like a gunshot in her head. She rolls over quickly to slap the ‘Snooze’. What seems like only seconds later, it is blaring again. She flings the blankets off and slaps the alarm again. Sitting up in their bed she grabs her BlackBerry and checks to see if he at least left her a message; no such luck. She crawls out of the bed and walks into the bathroom in search of Excedrin for her pounding head. She feels a little bit better after showering and quickly leaves for work herself.
After work she decides to drive around for a while to practice her speech for him. She plans to emphasize how hurt she was by last night and hope to God that he will feel bad enough for ignoring her to overlook the ticket. Realizing that regardless of excuses he isn’t going to be happy with her...she concocts another plan. She will not bring up the ticket today...it can wait until tomorrow. She knows she has to tell him eventually, but what could one more day possibly hurt? She hasn’t been able to see him or spend any time with him in nearly 6 days now; so tonight she will soak up his love and appreciation...and tomorrow she will bite the bullet and confess completely her driving error.
Turning the key, she unlocks the door and walks in planning to prepare dinner and change into something cute before he gets home. As she opens the door, she sees he is already home; sitting on the sofa with his laptop in front of him, pecking away. ‘Oh, wow, you’re home early honey.’ she says as she walks over and kisses his cheek. ‘Yep. I’m home, but I need to work right now.’ He doesn’t even look up. She rolls her eyes and walks off to their bedroom to change out of her scrubs, not knowing what he had found the night before, she assumes she is safe at the moment and he is just being inconsiderate again. So she changes into a low-cut green tank top and a pink pair of panties with gold glitter on the bottom that reads ‘Naughty Girl.’
She saunters back out into the living room in her new attire hoping to catch his attention. She walks over to the sofa and sits down next to him; rubbing her hand first up his arm and then down his thigh she asks, ‘Whatcha doin’?’ in her sweetest voice. ‘I told you, I’m working dear, I have to test next week. I’m very busy, please let me focus. Why don’t you go cook dinner or something?’ he answers. She is immediately upset by how condescending he sounds. She stands up, placing one hand on her hip and snaps back at him, ‘Oh I see, go cook dinner huh? Is that all I’m good for? You’ve barely seen your wife in nearly a week and all that matters is what I’m making for dinner?’ She starts to tap her foot and tries to look as tough as she possibly can. ‘That’s not at all what I said Lynn .’ Her foot stops its incessant tapping; he used her middle name and that is never a good sign. ‘And further more; what we have for dinner is not at all an issue for me. Order Chinese take-out if you prefer. I just need to get this work done.’ He adds. ‘Fine!’ she snaps in an elevated tone. He glares up at her, making eye contact for the first time. His gaze is firm, unwavering and it immediately knots her stomach. She quickly lowers her eyes and turns away in a silent gesture of her submission to him. He returns to his work as she walks out of the room.
Back down the hall in their master bedroom she sits on the bed and orders Chinese food for dinner. After hanging up she cant help but think of how angry she is and how he couldn’t seem to care less. Does he not love her? It has been 6 days! Six very long days without the man she loves. She has seen him only briefly and not once has he called herany cute little pet names, not once has he welcomed her embrace, not once has he asked her how work is going. Nothing at all. Only pushed aside while he works. Isn’t she a priority? Doesn’t she deserve his affection? Shouldn’t he be welcoming and reciprocating her physical displays of love? The more she contemplates these things, the angrier she gets. Just as she feels she might explode, the doorbell...dinner is here.
She grabs cash and goes to the door to retrieve their order. As she walks into the kitchen with the bag of food she immediately realizes what she has just done and she prays he did not notice her greeting a stranger at the door dressed so scantily. She opens the cupboards to get them each a plate, then silverware...all the while listening very closely to make certain he is still very busy with his work. He says nothing and after about 5minutes, she decides he must not have even noticed. She pokes her head around the doorway to the living room, ‘Dinner is ready.’ He continues to type with one hand while holding & reading some papers in the other. ‘Yes, thank you. Please put mine in the microwave; I haven’t reached a stopping point.’ His words only infuriate her more. She storms out of the room and back to her kitchen.
Pacing back and forth, opening and slamming cabinets as she puts the cutlery and dishes away. Angry, fuming, livid even! How could he be acting this way? Is his work truly more important than dinner with his wife? He works too much! He is going to kill himself working. Damn the military. She rehearses to herself the list of his ‘wrong-doings’ to point out to him. She paces and thinks and the more she thinks the more pissed off she becomes. Finally, she decides, enough is enough!
She storms into the living room, where he is busy at work, and stomps over to stand directly in front of him. When he doesn’t immediately acknowledge her presence, she does something so out of character for her, that it stuns them both! She slams the laptop closed and snatches the papers out of his hand and throws them to the floor! ‘I have had it! Your family should be more important than your work damn it! Why are you acting like this?’ she yells. He is still completely taken aback by what she has just done and then to add insult to injury, she cursed and raised her voice at him! He raises his head to look up at her, the stare is intense. What courage she had has now dissipated. The entire list & speech she had rehearsed has completely escaped her mind, she is speechless...wishing she could go back in time, knowing she has just pushed way too far. She looks away from him, she cant stand to see him looking at her that way. He has said nothing, but she has heard him loud and clear. She hurries to pick up the papers she has just tossed about in her tantrum. Her eyes begin to swell with tears, she knows she was wrong. She doesn’t even notice he has stood up until she collects the last sheet of paper and turns to hand them to him. His large palm is extended in her direction, awaiting his paperwork. She hands the papers to him with visibly shaking hands. After he takes them from her she drops her arms and clasps them together in front of her. Among other regrets flooding her mind now, is the choice of attire. She stands next to him, nearly naked in only panties and a tank top. She feels his gaze upon her and feels incredibly vulnerable.
He steps toward her and grabs ahold of her by her upper arm. Still saying nothing, he escorts her down the hall to their bedroom. Once inside, he closes the door behind them and releases his grasp on her. He is quiet but very firm as he asks her, ‘Do you have anything at all to say for yourself Natalie Lynn?’ She’s visibly shaking, her knees feel as if they may buckle beneath her, she shakes her head ‘No.’ She knows he doesn’t accept a head nod in response to him speaking to her, she very quietly mutters ‘No sir.’ There is nothing left to discuss. He knows that she is regretting her outburst, that she knows he is disappointed, he is angry. He can see she is genuinely sorry and maybe even scared of what is to come. Sure she has been in trouble before. He has spanked her, many many times over. But...she has never thrown such a tantrum directed at him. Never snatched anything away from him and thrown it. Obviously her Irish temper is flaring up just a bit much today.
‘Bed, NOW!’ he emphasizes his last word, not that he needed to...she would not dare disobey him right now. She walks to the head of their bed, grabs two pillows and moves them to the center of the bed. She starts to crawl up on the bed but is stopped in her tracks...’ Lynn ’ he speaks softly, but very sternly. He needs to say nothing else, she knows to what he is referring and would much rather do it herself than to defy him and have him do it for her. She slides her fingers between the waistband of her panties and slowly starts to lower them. After stepping out of them, she turns to crawl up onto the bed and catches a glimpse of him...he has rolled up the sleeve on his right arm. That is never a good thing in this household. He grabs a fist full of her hair and pulls her head back to whisper into her ear, ‘I will NOT accept defiant, disrespectful or otherwise destructive behavior out of MY wife. Is that clear?’
She lies very still, hips propped up by the two pillows, crying softly into the blankets. She hears the unmistakable sound of his belt unbuckling. Biting her lip, she buries her face in the bed. He steps to his side of the bed and without a word brings the belt down HARD across the lowest part of her bottom, where the upper thigh and butt cheek connect, her ‘sit spot.’ She gasps...not prepared for a swat there. Before she can even react another WHACK followed quickly by another WHACK and another WHACK! WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! Her knuckles are white, grabbing the blanket in her fist so very hard. She sobs into the bed and fights everything inside of herself telling her to get away from the constant barrage of swats with that thick leather belt. Her mind telling her to run, move, fight...he heart telling her she deserves every single bit of this. She submitted to him long ago, it is way too late now for resistance. WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK. He is swinging high, from above his shoulder, directly down onto her bare bottom. He hates to have to spank her like this, but he knows that obviously after tonight’s temper tantrum, it is his job as her husband to tighten the reins. She is kicking her legs almost as furiously as he is swinging his belt. Her behavior was so unacceptable, so out of control, so disrespectful...he simply can not ignore her behaving like this. WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! He can see the angry, red welts criss-crossing her bottom. He is determined to teach her a lesson.They’ve discussed her temper several times in the 6 months they’ve been married. She always seems to agree that it is out of control and she needs to control her rage more, voice her displeasure like an adult…..but just a couple weeks later, she will do it again...he can not allow her to act out this way. To let her emotion over-power her rationale. It cost him many sleepless nights, when he first met her, to talk with her and reason with her and break through her ‘shell.’ To encourage her good behavior as much as he enforced guidelines to combat her self-destructive behaviors. Now, she is HIS. He will not allow behavior and tirades like that out of his wife for any reason. As he continues to discipline her, he can not help but be proud of her for completely submitting to this punishment. She has not argued, talked back, spoke without being spoken to, thrown her hands back to block his constant swats. He knows the belt is the implement she fears most, but it also makes it extremely effective. She is behaving and accepting the punishment he has decided to give her because she knows that is what he expects of her. WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHAK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! She is crying too hard to even apologize...from the pain as much as from the guilt she feels for having acted out in the manner she did. She knows better. She was way out of line and she knows it. As much as it hurts, she almost welcomes each swat because she is so angry with herself. She loves him. She respects him. She promised to ‘honor & obey’ him. How could she be so out of control? She can feel his displeasure, anger, disappointment...radiating through her bottom. WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK!
Then, almost as quickly as the swats themselves rained down, it stops. She is crying so uncontrollably by now that she doesn’t even realize he has stopped and laid the belt down. Her body is shaking, her bottom is dark red with angry welts, her sobbing is constant. He walks to her and softly runs his hands over her bottom. She cringes, the slightest touch so very painful. He runs his hands through her long hair and traces his fingertips down her back. He climbs into the bed beside her and rubs her back as she lies on her stomach.
‘Come here.’ he speaks softly. She slowly turns to face him, but avoids making direct eye contact. ‘Yes sir?’ she whispers. He slowly pulls her up to him, cradling her head against his chest, wiping away her tears and kissing her forehead. ‘Jason?’ she cries. ‘Yes?’ he questions. ‘Im so sorry. I didn’t mean to do it, I don’t know what came over me. Im so very sorry.’ She sobs into his chest. ‘I know you’re sorry sweetie. And I forgive you. Its over now. Sssshhhh.’ He comforts her and cradles her in his arms. ‘I know this test is important and I promise I wont interrupt your work tomorrow.’ she reassures him. ‘Oh I know you wont...I’m not going to go to work tomorrow.’ he states. ‘Why not?’ she asks. ‘Because’ he begins, as he reaches down and softly pats her bottom, ‘I have to stay home and speak with my wife about driving the speed limit, controlling her alcohol intake, hiding things from her husband, dressing appropriately in front of guests, slamming things around the kitchen and I still haven’t even asked how she behaved while I was away this week darling.’ She had completely forgotten about the ticket! How did he know? She hadn’t said anything?? ‘But...’ she whimpered but he pressed his finger to her lips ‘Ssshhh...hush baby girl. Not now, it will be taken care of at the right time...not now.’ he said as he caressed her body lying in his arms. It had been 6 days since she had heard him call her that....he knew it was her favorite pet name to be called, and he finally said it again. To her....it was reassurance, she had messed up but she had paid for it, he had forgiven her and everything was back to ‘normal’. J