New to Quest Five?
The stories are best enjoyed when read in order beginning with May 1, 2009.

Welcome To Quest Five
Allison Beaumont is having trouble finding a job after college until one day the wealthy and powerful Joseph Candle offers her a job at his rather unusual corporation, where mistakes can lead to bare bottomed spankings. Adopting the alias of Virginia West, she joins four highly skilled colleagues, racing around the globe in search of mysterious treasures, but wherever she goes, trouble is sure to follow.
Note: Some stories contain scenes of a sexual nature, corporal punishment, non-consensual corporal punishment, and strong language which some reader's may find offensive. If you feel this material might be inappropriate for you please move on to another blog by clicking the next blog link at the top of the page.

December 28, 2009

Spanking & Chastening: Exasperation

Having learned my lesson, I walked from my bedroom to the bathroom as the morning sun took to the sky outside the windows. The warm water of the shower was once again rejuvenating without the promise of a morning spanking hanging over my head. Steam rose like fog until the small room was all but obscured by the dense, warm haze. I breathed it in like fresh mountain air and for a single moment all the troubles and worries faded to a distant murmur.

Reluctantly, I turned the water off as the final suds of soap filtered toward the drain between my bare feet. The steamy air left my skin damp and moist despite my best efforts with the towel. Bounding down the stairs toward breakfast, my wet hair clung to my neck and back while the cool air brought goosebumps to my still naked flesh. I suppressed a shiver and the urge to wrap my arms around myself, an act my parents would no doubt take as an attempt to preserve modesty rather than warmth. In truth it would have been both, although I do not know why I still find it embarrassing to be seen naked by my parents; They have seen it all before.

"Good morning," I said, entering the kitchen to the sights and sounds of my mother's morning routine. Dad was still upstairs and, by the sounds of running water, showering. I tried to keep my voice cordial as I spoke, but it came out as timid and subdued with a tremor of the morning coolness sounding like a touch of fear.

"Morning Dear," Mom said without a single hesitation in her cooking, "Did you sleep well?"

My eyes locked on the back of my chair where the pile of my previous day's work clothes remained draped over the back. On the table, the small collection of implements Dad brought home from his meeting with Mrs. Anderson rested in plain view. I still found it hard to believe he had taken them and more so that he had readily agreed to have them paid for out of my salary. I forced myself to look away and discovered Mom staring at me, impatiently waiting for an answer to her question. "Fine," I said abruptly and immediately wished I had chosen a different word as Mom's brow furrowed in response.

Mom turned back to the stove ignoring me for a long, uncomfortable moment. I waited, expecting a comment or worse from Mom in regards to what she would most likely consider my bad attitude. Instead, she said, "Your boyfriend called for you last night." She glanced over her shoulder at me, no doubt hoping to gauge my reaction to the news by the look on my face.

"You mean Mark?" I asked, wondering why she would consider him my boyfriend or any other guy for that matter, when I barely have the time to return phone calls and rarely get to enjoy anything even resembling a date. Her imagination was undoubtedly running wild when it came to speculating about the intimate details of my life.

"Are you seeing so many men you're not sure which one called?" Mom asked, suggesting more with her tone than her words, if that was possible.

"I'm just trying to figure out how two dates makes him a boyfriend," I said, hoping Mom would not take offense to the annoyance creeping into my voice. It was just like her to make ridiculous insinuations and moral judgments without having all the facts. She thinks she is good at seeing beneath the surface of things to their fundamental cores, but in reality she is just really good at inventing soap operas out of the mundane details of everyday life.

"Well what should I call him then?" Mom asked, exaggerating exasperation with a wave of her cooking spoon in the air, "Your boy toy perhaps?"

I closed my eyes to hide the fact they were rolling for the sky, the stars, and the vast emptiness of space beyond. A quick breath to calm myself and I said, "How about by his name? I'm sure he'd appreciate it."

"Allison," Dad said from behind me, making me jump as I turned toward the sound of his gruff voice, "How many times do I have to tell you to lose the attitude when speaking to your mother?"

"I'm sorry," I said, more out of reflex than because I actually felt that way.

"No, you're not. If you were sorry, I wouldn't have to keep reminding you," Dad said.

"You know what," I said, a sense of bravery, or was it stupidity, washing over me, "You're right. I'm not sorry one little bit. You've yanked me out of my home and dragged me back here like some teenage runaway and if you think I shouldn't have an attitude about it, then maybe you're the one that's been smoking that weed you're always worried about me trying out."

"Somebody woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning," Mom said from the stove. I spun around to glare at her, no longer caring what my parents would do to me. There comes a point when you have to stand up for yourself.

"Not the wrong side, mother," I said with emphasis on her title making it sound more like an expletive, "The wrong bed. Mine is on the other side of town, not upstairs."

"Not anymore," Dad said, "I had your things put into storage yesterday afternoon and turned the keys back over to the building manager."

I spun around on my Dad, my hand flying through the air to connect against his cheek without thinking about the possible consequences. The loud slap echoed in the kitchen as the red print of my hand raised itself on my father's cheek. I was angry enough not to care and enraged enough to want to do it again. His dark eyes glared back at me and for the first time in my life, I glared right back and yelled, "How dare you!"

Rage shook my knees while my chest puffed up and down with shallow breaths through my nose. If I had my 9mm, I would have emptied the clip into my father's head and I knew that was all wrong. I could have wrapped my hands around his throat, tackled him to the ground and clawed his eyes out. The heat of anger steamed the air between us and I swear for a moment I saw horns and a pointed tail attached to my father along with a red aura.

Intelligent thought returned after the long moment ruled by the precarious boundary of outright hatred. I turned and grabbed my day old clothes from the back of the chair and then moved to push past Dad on my way upstairs to get dressed. Dad grabbed me firmly by the shoulder and nearly yanked me off my feet. He said, "Where do you think you're—

Virginia's defensive training took over and I threw my elbow backward, breaking Dad's grip. I slapped him again, this time on the other cheek and he was lucky I managed to keep my hand open instead of clenched in the angry fist instincts demanded. If the look on Dad's face was a clue, he thought I had lost my mind. He was right in a sense. I had lost the mindset which previously had me bowing my head to the wishes of my parents. Echoing in my head were the wise words of Tom Clark, "You can't walk on the edge and think you're never going to fall. Either you give yourself to the team and Quondam or you get out." I thought I could be both Allison and Virginia, but Tom was right. It was time to choose.

"I can't do this," I said, my voice creaking between anger and tears, "I'm not who you want me to be and I don't want to be. This is my life you are messing with and you don't have the right to decide for me. Maybe you don't like the choices I'm making and that's your right, but they're my choices to make, wrong or right. I'm not sorry for being me, but I am sorry you can't accept who I am."

Backing away from my stunned and angry father, I rounded the staircase and ran upstairs to my room, slamming the door behind me. House rules are for those who live in a house and I had already decided it was no longer my home. Hurriedly, I slipped into my clothes and tied my hair back, expecting to hear the sounds of my father's footsteps on the stairs at any moment, but they never came.

I checked my purse for phone and keys, confirming they were accessible and marched myself down the stairs and out the front door. Dad must have decided there was no point in trying to stop me because he was nowhere in sight and when the door slammed shut behind me, it did not open again. I pulled out my phone to call for a ride when I noticed my car was parked in the street in front of the house. Dropping my phone back in my purse, I grabbed my car keys.

The engine turned over on the first try and I put the car in drive and pulled away from the curb. Without a single glance in the rear view mirror I turned off the block and left my childhood home, my parents, and Allison Beaumont in the past. All the ties were snapped and even the happiest of memories were suddenly tainted with spoiled love. I could have cried or screamed or pounded frustrated fists into my steering wheel, but instead a smile crept its way onto my lips and satisfying sense of pride filled my trembling heart.

"Was that really necessary?" My grandmother asked, appearing in the seat next to me.

I almost ignored her, but the answer fell from my lips only too readily. "Yes," I said, "It absolutely was."

"If you say so," She said, clearly intending for me to hear disapproval in her tone and words. I chose instead to ignore it like she chooses to ignore sarcasm and I said, " I do."

"Perhaps you'll be better focused on the issues this way," She said.

"Don't count on it," I said, glancing over at her while keeping an eye on the freeway traffic. "If I don't start getting some real answers soon, I'll be walking out on you too."

"He knows who you are Allison," She said, a rare serious tone to her voice, "You can no more walk away at this point than you can stop tomorrow from coming."

"Who is he?" I asked, suspecting the answer would be less than an answer.

"The man in the shadows," She said.

"I gathered as much, but who is he?" I asked again.

"It's what I call him as well," She said and disappeared.

On another day I might have spent some time thinking about what she had said and trying to find the purpose behind her visit, but with her disappearance my thoughts returned to the day ahead of me at Quondam. It was supposed to be another day of disciplinary duties, another day of embarrassment and punishment for violating a policy which could have exposed me or my family to some danger, but the truth was, we were already exposed and by someone inside of Quondam to boot. As I weaved through morning freeway traffic, I decided it was time to put Mrs. Anderson in her place as well.

My determination grew stronger with every mile and was etched in stone by the time the elevator door opened onto the fourth floor. I stepped out and walked at a brisk, purposeful pace toward Mr. Foley desks. He smiled his leering smile, but I ignored him and turned the corner into the main offices without word. I heard him stand up from behind his desk and stumble after me calling, "Miss West."

I paused not a beat as I made my way through the desks toward Mrs. Anderson office in the corner. Mr. Foley's hand brushed my shoulder just before my hand was ready to reach out and open Mrs. Anderson's office door. "Mrs. Anderson is not to be disturbed right now," He said.

Turning toward him, a confident smile planted on my lips, I said, "I need to see her right now and you can run along back to your little desk before I decide to have you drop your trousers and grab your ankles."

"But..bu," He stuttered, suddenly unsure of himself, "You're, you're on disc—

"Not anymore," I said and his eyes widened to size of half dollars before he wisely decided not to challenge me further. I found it hard not to laugh as he scurried through the room back toward his desk like a frightened rabbit to its hole.

I turned back to Mrs. Anderson's office and entered, closing the door behind to keep things as private as possible. It took me a moment to put the complete scene together once I was inside. There was the sound of sniffling, crying, distinctly female groans, and then the smack of leather against skin. Mrs. Anderson was standing only inches from me, her back to me, and the paddle resting comfortably in her swinging hand. Bent over her desk, a dark haired woman, stark naked, was clearly on the receiving end of a long and painful spanking. I could practically feel the heat emanating from her glowing red buttocks and I was standing a good three feet back.

Mrs. Anderson, realizing the interruption, stopped mid-swing and turned her head to look at me, a scowl on her face. "What are you doing?" She asked, a mixture of surprise and annoyance in her tone.

"We need to talk," I said.

"And so we shall, but I'm in the middle of something," Mrs. Anderson said.

"Obviously," I said, moving away from the door and circling around behind Mrs. Anderson's desk, "I can wait." I sat down in her executive chair and smiled up at her. The naked woman on the desk kept her head down, probably afraid of being recognized or possibly ashamed of the tears no doubt streaming down her cheeks by the sounds echoing off the desk.

Mrs. Anderson clearly did not approve of my presence, but rather than deciding to make a further issue of it she resumed the spanking. The woman jumped and squirmed and held tighter to the edge of the desk with every swat of the leather paddle against her inflamed skin. I wondered what she had done to deserve such a harsh punishment and from none other than Mrs. Anderson, but it was not that I really cared. It was mere curiosity to appease the simple satisfaction I felt at finally witnessing someone else receiving such an embarrassing punishment at Quondam. My smile widened as I thought of the poor embarrassed woman, pushing around the mail cart as I had done only days before, naked and ashamed. I should have felt some empathy for her, but I found I had none at all.

A dozen to twenty swats later, Mrs. Anderson finished with the spanking. She had the woman stand, but it was hard to see her as more than a girl while she stood hopping from foot to foot, hand wringing in the air while her hair flopped around her shoulders and her small breasts jiggled like tight mounds of Jello. The sniffled sobs of half choked tears filled the room with her sorrow as she stared downward unable to look at anything more than her naked toes. It was a scene I knew all too well from the other side, but sitting in Mrs. Anderson's chair watching the poor girl embarrass herself to no end, I was consumed by an amused interest and captivation.

I studied the girl's face while Mrs. Anderson lectured her briefly and then ordered her off to Mr. Foley for reassignment. Hopping around in front of the desk, the girl had seemed tall, but as she walked out the door, naked, she seemed to be shrinking by the second as if the act of hunching might somehow hide her shame. Mrs. Anderson closed the door, cutting off my view, but not before I saw the amused reactions of everyone else in the office as they noticed the naked woman with the red bottom walking through their midst. It was enlightening in a way that should have brought a blush to my own cheeks, but I was in an unusual mood and embarrassment seemed infinitely foreign to me.

"I assume you've heard," Mrs. Anderson said, turning her attention to me in her chair.

"Heard?" I asked and her eyebrows raised.

"Mrs. Elliot, the woman who was just in here," Mrs. Anderson said, "Security determined she was the one behind the picture taken of you."

I nodded and said, "I see."

"She's been doing it for some time apparently and has even started a pay-per-view website with pictures and videos taken of various employees being disciplined," Mrs. Anderson said, obviously trying to gauge my reaction to the news. "Obviously we shut the whole thing down, but it is impossible to retrieve the images and videos from the thousands of people who have probably downloaded them."

"Are you telling me that woman turned me into some sort of a porn star?" I asked, anger building up inside me again.

"No, fortunately for you she, only sent the picture to a few of her friends and had not uploaded it to her site yet." Mrs. Anderson said, allowing me to calm down, " You see, she's a college friend of your sister in law and she's been sending her images and videos free of charge."

"So she doesn't know who I am?" I asked.

"She knows you as Virginia West like everyone else here," Mrs. Anderson said.

"Then my sister in law knows the dual identity," I said, as my thoughts strayed to my brother and how he would react if he knew that his wife was involved with the exploitation of such material. No doubt, the spanking she would get would leave her hopping around for more than a few seconds as well.

Mrs. Anderson said, "It would seem not. Mrs. Elliot used fake names with all the pictures and videos she sent in order to make it more difficult to be traced back to Quondam and herself."

"Smarter than she looks," I said.

"Yes," She said, "It would also appear her breach of security is the source of the Q5 info leak."

My head jerked at the news, remembering Patrick Hughes and his use of my real name. If Mrs. Elliot was the leak then how did he know my name? There was of course one other possibility, he had used it only once, and I was so tense at the time, was it possibly I had imagined it? Had I inserted my name in place of what he had really said? Was that why he said it only once and in every other way seemed like a nice, normal executive? I was relieved to not have run off and accused him without proof given the developments, but infinitely more concerned with the thought that I might not be able to fully trust my own senses.

"Are you certain?" I asked.

"Nearly," She replied. "She was using a transmitter tied into the security feeds to grab video of various disciplinary actions throughout the building. The transmitter shows signs of being hacked and Miss Jax confirms it would have allowed an outside party to circumvent most of the computer security. Essentially, someone used this thing to gain access to all levels of Quondam Innovations' data, from military contracts to Q5 operations."

"I would ask how no one noticed this until now, but I gather that's rather outside of your department," I said.

"I'm sure Miss Jax and Mr. Clark can explain the security failure much better than I can," Mrs. Anderson said. "In light of these events, I've been instructed to end your disciplinary duties effective immediately."

I had expected to have to fight with her over the very issue and to hear her grant my wish without even having voiced the demand, felt like fate smiling down on me. Maybe things were about to start going right for a change. I said, "That sounds very fair."

"Of course there is still the matter of 30 days probation, but your access and security clearance have all been restored. Cathy has your security card in the lobby." Mrs. Anderson said.

"Dare I even ask what 30 days probation means in reality?" I said, pushing myself up from the chair.

"Very little really. Your supervisor has authority to issue discipline at any time whether your actions warrant it directly or merely suggest you might require a reminder of policy and procedure. Any serious disciplinary issues during the time frame must be reported to me and at my discretion you could be sent to Disciplinary Retreat in response."

"That won't be happening," I said with confidence, "What about Mrs. Elliot? Will she be retaining her job?"

"That has yet to be determined, however she is emphatically in favor of keeping it," Mrs. Anderson said.

"Seems like she should be attending one of these Retreats I keep hearing about," I said, with a devious smile. I had spent a little time reading up on them and from the way it sounded on paper, they were essentially a trip to spanking hell. It certainly sounded appropriate enough for someone taking advantage of the disciplinary system.

"We'll see. I believe you are expected in Q5," Mrs. Anderson said.

Cathy was all smiles when I approached her in the lobby. I do not know her all that well, but in the short time I have been around her, I have come to see she is a true ally. She believes in the corporate disciplinary system well enough, but she is not the type to wish it on anyone. "Welcome back, Miss West," She said.

"Thank you," I said, collecting my security card from her hand.

I stepped toward the private elevator and pressed the call button, feeling a twinge of excitement at the thought of getting back to work with the team. If I pushed my parents out of my mind, the day was going incredibly well and I felt certain there were positive things just around the corner. Cathy turned from her desk toward me and said, "Oh I almost forgot, Mr. Candle wants to see you straight away."

I nodded acknowledgement and stepped inside the elevator, pushing the button for the 30th floor. No doubt, Mr. Candle was going to try to impress upon me how fortunate I was to have escaped disciplinary duties two days early. I would try to appear suitably contrite although I felt anything but contrite as the elevator rushed upward.

The doors slid open to Mr. Candle pacing the floor, obviously waiting for my arrival. He turned to me and stopped in his tracks as I walked onto the floor and stood before him. Sweat glistened on his forehead, his tie was loosened and the top button of his white shirt was undone. Instantly, I knew something more was going on than I had suspected.

"I'm sorry to have to tell you this," Mr. Candle said, his voice warbling slightly in contrast to his usual steadiness, "But you're going to have to patch things up with your parents."

December 26, 2009

Spanking & Chastening: Relativity

Naked and tired, I curled up on my side atop of the covers of my bed. My bottom pulsed with heat and tenderness from a day filled with too many spankings and here at the end of the day, deserved or not, it all felt incredibly unfair. I hugged my pillow to my chest seeking comfort from its soft, cool silkiness against my bare skin, but my thoughts kept wandering back to Patrick Hughes and the auditorium on the 18th floor. The humbling embarrassment from being disciplined before strangers should have been foremost in my mind and under almost any other circumstances it would have. Why did he have to say my name?

He said it only once making me wonder if I had heard it at all or if my mind was playing some trick on me. In every other way he was professional, courteous even, allowing me to dress after the meeting and before helping him collect and file the various paperwork left behind on empty seats. If only he had not used my name, my real name, I would have thought well of him, fondly perhaps, but instead his soft whisper of a voice echoed in my ears and raged in my mind.

"Did you discover him?" My mysterious little friend asked, suddenly appearing cross legged on the bed next to me.

"I don't know," I said, closing my eyes and wishing the girl would leave me alone.

"You have," She said, "I can see it in your mood."

"Maybe. Or maybe I'm just crazy," I said.

"You're not," She said.

"I'm lying on my bed talking to a ghost," I said, propping myself up on my elbow to stare at her properly. "That sounds pretty craze to me."

"I'm not a ghost," She said.

"Aren't you?" I said, hoping the annoyance I felt was coming through in my tone, "You fade in and out of reality, know things you can't possibly know and don't know things you should. If you aren't a ghost, what are you?"

She shook her head at me and said, "The explanation would do neither of us any good and it is in fact irrelevant to the problems at hand. It will suffice for you to accept I am neither a ghost nor a figment of your imagination. Now you need to focus on the issue at hand. You know the identity of the man betraying you and it is imperative you reveal him to the others before he is able to do more damage than he has already done."

I glanced bemusedly at my backside and the near glowing redness emanating from it, wondering if she was making yet another crack about the spankings I had recently received. The confused look on her face in response to my wry smile reminded me she no more knew the identity of our corporate spy than I knew hers. Her typical smug confidence and superiority had left me with the false impression she knew everything, but confronted with a void in her knowledge I began to reevaluate her. It was entirely possible her knowledge in other things, things which she seemed more certain of her accuracy, could be flawed and incomplete. If so, it was just possible there was another explanation for Patrick Hughes' slip of my name. Rushing in blindly with accusations and nothing for proof would only turn a bad situation worse.

"I'm not certain he's the one," I said.

She frowned at me and said, "Don't be ridiculous. He made himself obvious to you did he not?"

"In a manner, but I have no proof," I said.

"If he made himself known to you, he is the one and the proof will be found once you tell the others," She said.

"Without proof why would anyone listen? He was charged with disciplining me today and an unfounded accusation will cast more doubt on me than on him," I said.

"Maybe you have learned something," She said and abruptly disappeared as my bedroom door flung open.

Mom stomped her way into my bedroom, her gaze quickly darting around the room as if she were looking for something. I stared up at her from the bed, blood rushing to my face like I had been caught doing something I should not have been doing. She scowled, suspicion in her eyes, and said, "Who were you talking to?"

"No one," I replied, innocently.

"Don't lie to me. I heard you talking in here. Where's your phone?" Mom said, still glancing around the room.

"I was thinking about things, probably talking out loud to myself and I didn't realize it," I said.

"Where's your phone?" Mom asked, her tone changing just enough to let me know she would not be asking a third time.

"In my purse," I said, trying to keep from sounding angry, "Probably still in the kitchen unless you or Dad moved it."

Obviously not believing me, she marched to the bed and ripped the pillow from my arms. Her hands patted it down quickly, not finding the phone she suspected it of holding, she dropped it to the floor. Shooting a glare of suspicion at me, she tossed aside the layers of covers on my bed and found nothing once again. For a moment I thought she was leaving when she turned her back to me and marched back to my bedroom door, but she paused just within reach of it and slammed it closed. I twitched at the sound as an irrational fear gripped hold of my heart, making it skip a beat.

She turned back toward me, coming to stand at the foot of my bed with an angry glare in her eyes doing nothing to calm my fear. Her eyes were looking at me, but it felt like they were looking right through me as she said, "You've always reminded me of her. Even when you were a little girl, you had her eyes and that mischievous smile she often wore."

I wanted to ask who she was talking about, but the glare in her eyes kept my silent. She seemed to be recalling something, someone, but whatever it was, the memory was not a happy one or so it seemed. I waited through the silence in the wake of her angry words and wondered if she would explain herself or if I was meant to read her thoughts and know what she expected from me. The quiet dragged on until Mom huffed in apparent disappointment and said, "She was a dreamer. She had big plans for her life. She was always going somewhere. The only problem was she was never here. Everything was always around the next corner, the next bend, but when you spend your life chasing dreams you never actually live."

"Mom," I said, hoping to find a way to ask what she was talking about without angering her further. She stared at me, almost daring me to say another word with her eyes and so I fell silent, waiting for her to continue.

She said, "Maybe you think someday you'll be a big shot at that company or maybe you think you'll make connections with people who will hire you for a bigger and better job someplace else, I don't know, but what I do know is the odds are against it. You are my daughter and you will always be special to me, but out there," She pointed out my bedroom window, "Out there, you are just another pretty face in a sea of pretty faces. It hurts the first time the real world slaps you in the face, trust me I know Allison, but the sooner you deal with the pain of the real world and start living in it, the better."

"Mom," I said, intending to protest, but once again her angry eyes silenced me before I could utter another syllable. Resuming her rant she said, "I watched my mother waste her life chasing fairy tales and dreams until they dropped her in an early grave and I will be damned if I am going to watch you do the same. Whatever life you think it is you are supposed to have and whatever fantasies she has planted in your brain, it is time for you to let it all go and start living the life you have. It doesn't have to be that bad, you can still find happiness in the real world."

"What are you talking about?" I asked, blurting the words out before she could stop me.

She said, "Don't play dumb Allison. I don't know how long she's been filling your head with her silliness, but I can guess it all started around the time you got this awful job."

I blinked as my mind ripped the pieces of the puzzle apart and reassembled then into a new picture that sent a cold shiver down my spine. There were a million questions to ask, but only one I needed for it all to make sense. I asked, "You mean your mother?"

Mom tilted her head at me as if I had just asked the dumbest question in the history of the world and said, "If you want to pretend you don't know what I'm talking about, that's your choice, but one way or another I'm putting an end to this business. Like it or not the fantasies are over, you aren't going to be a millionaire by the time you're thirty, you aren't going to win the heart of the married executive you serve, and anything else she has made you believe in won't be happening either."

I said, "You can't—

Mom said, "Your father and I have already discussed it and as soon as this disgraceful disciplinary action is concluded, you are going to quit that ridiculous job of yours and go to work at your father's old company. He's already arranged a position for you in bookkeeping and while it's not glamorous, at least you won't be fetching coffee and taking dictation in a dead end job."

I bit down on my tongue, holding the angry words of protest inside because I knew she would never let me utter more than a sentence uninterrupted. My blood boiled at the audaciousness of my parents, assuming they had the right to decide where I worked and the field I would work within. I was tempted to spill everything, the real job, the dual identities, the salary, the condo, but something inside held me back. She would call it fantasy in any regard and I had very little in the way of evidence to prove the truth to her. There was more though and it was rooted between the things she knew and did not know.

"I can tell you're angry," Mom said moving back toward the door, "That's okay because eventually you'll understand everything we've done is for the best," She opened the door and rested her hand on the light switch beside it, "Get some sleep, you've got another busy day tomorrow," She flicked the lights off and closed the door, leaving me alone in the dark.

I rolled to the side of my bed and picked up my pillow from the floor, where Mom had dropped it. My thoughts roiled over the conversation with Mom as I slipped beneath the covers. Sleep was a futile effort and I knew it even before I closed my eyes. Suddenly, the only parts of my life which made any sense were the parts I had come to think I would never understand.

"She wasn't always like this," My grandmother said, her youthful voice penetrating the quiet darkness. "In a way it's all my fault. She was far too young for the responsibilities I left her. It jaded her, made her give up on dreams and dreaming and settle for a life she never really wanted."

I opened my eyes and stared in the direction of her voice. There was only the slightest hint of a shimmer, but I focused on it and hoped she could see me better than I saw her. I said, "Is she right about you? Are you filling my head with foolish fantasies?"

"Is she right about your job?" She said.

"Why won't you ever just answer a question?" I said.

"The only answers that really matter are the ones we find for ourselves. If I simply told you everything you wanted to know, you wouldn't really know anything," She said.

"You could have told me who you were," I said.

"What difference would it have made?" She said.

"At the very least my mother wouldn't have blindsided me with it," I said.

"Yes, but the look on your face was priceless," She said with a giggle.

"How am I supposed to trust you when you keep playing these silly games?" I said.

"You aren't," She said, "I would have thought you'd have figured that much out by now. You can't really trust anyone, not completely anyway."

"Oh, I'm sorry. I guess I'm a little new to paranoia," I said, hoping she would catch the sarcasm for a change.

"It's quite alright. I'm sure you'll do just fine in the end," She said, "The issue at hand remains the spy and you should focus your attention on what to do about him."

I sighed realizing it was just one more battle lost in a day filled with defeats. I said, "There are many issues at hand and you are avoiding most of them."

"I have made my share of mistakes Allison," She said, "The biggest of them landed me where I am now, but I've learned a few things since then. You and I are enough alike that I know the more I tell you, the less you'll listen."

"Is that why you chose me?" I asked.

"If I had a choice, it would not have been you," She said coldly, "Everything depends on you and I still don't know what you will do," Her glimmer disappeared from the darkness and I knew I was alone again. Maybe to my mother it seemed I was chasing dreams, but as I laid beneath the covers in darkness I could only see the nightmare looming ever closer and forever masked in shadows.

December 22, 2009

Spanking & Chastening: Revelation

The 18th floor was a whirlwind of activity from the moment I stepped off the elevator. On an ordinary day I would never have given it any thought, but standing there with dozens of people brushing passed me, I was never more grateful for the ambiguity of my professional business attire. I blended neatly into the crowd, disoriented and searching for a direction that made sense. Looking around I noticed everyone seemed to be paying attention to a single man at the end of the corridor with his back to me. I pushed my way through until I reached him.

I said, "I'm hoping you can help me."

He glanced over at me and just as quickly returned his attention to the larger room ahead. For a moment I thought he was going to ignore me entirely, but then he said, "You're Virginia West?"

"Yes, sir."

"You see all these people behind me here?" He asked. I nodded and he continued, "Take them through the double doors at the other end of the hall and get them seated. At the front of the room you'll find a table with a box of blank name tags and a few markers. Pass them out and have everyone write down their name and put the tag above their left breast in plain view. Got it?"

"Yes, sir."

"And Miss West," He said as I was turning to the crowd, "Might as well make a name tag for yourself and here," He pushed a set of keys into my hand, "You'll need these."

On the other side of the double doors I discovered a large auditorium. It was a relatively simple matter to get everyone to follow me inside and start filling the rows of seating. I quickly created my own name tag and attached the self adhesive material to my blazer before passing the tags and markers around the room. I had not known what to expect when Mr. Foley had sent me on my way, but it was looking as if a stint in acquisitions was going to be an infinitely better day than my stint in the mail room. Cautiously optimistic, I allowed myself a smile of relief.

It did not take long for the room to fill up to the point of standing room only. A half dozen men came to stand behind the last row of seats when the man in charge walked in and joined me at the front of the room. He looked around at the seated group, the final few attaching name tags as he had requested, and nodded at me. It appeared I had finally done something right.

"Excellent job Virginia," He said, "If you would, there are some folding chairs in the closet up there, the small key should open it."

I followed his nod to the upper left corner of the room and made my way up the central ramp and passed the standing men to the closet. Sure enough there was a stack of folding chairs hidden inside which I quickly passed out to the men without seats. The man in charge met me at the center back of the room on my way back to the front and stopped me. A woman arrived with a cart full of paper cups and three coffee pots. With a curt nod to the man, she turned around, leaving the cart with us. He closed the doors.

He turned to me and said, "I don't want any mess from cream or sugar packs, so black coffee only. We have about 15 minutes before the meeting will start and I'll need you up front with me when it does."

"Yes, sir," I said and set off distributing coffee from the center aisle to be passed along each row for those who wanted it. It was not the most glamorous job, but it sure beat distributing mail in my birthday suit.

As I distributed coffee, a group of carts, full of boxes, were pushed in and left on the front stage behind the table. Coffee duty completed I returned to the stage and glanced inside a few of the boxes, noticing the paperwork inside looked a lot like the documents I had to sign when I first joined Quondam. Suddenly, the whole situation made sense; These were obviously the employees from a company Quondam had recently purchased and they were being offered the opportunity to continue working in their old jobs, but under Quondam's rules.

The man in charge cleared his throat and stepped up to the microphone on a stand next to the central table. The room fell silent and I turned my attention away from the boxes and came to stand behind the table, facing the audience. He glanced at me and gave a slight nod of approval and then returned his attention to the room at large. Everyone seemed a little tense as they waited for the meeting to begin.

He said, "Good morning ladies and gentlemen. My name is Patrick Hughes. I am the liaison between Acquisitions and Human Resources. You are all here today because after reviewing your personnel files and work history with B-Green Tech, Quondam Innovations has decided to extend each of you offers of continued employment."

A sense of relief washed over the room and the audience visibly relaxed in their seats. Apparently none of them had been certain of their future employment prospects with Quondam and this was the first they had been told. It was definitely turning into a better day than how it had started and not just for me.

Mr. Hughes continued, "The purpose of this meeting is to familiarize all of you with the unique policies and procedures here at Quondam Innovations. Before we begin, however, I will need everyone to sign a non-disclosure agreement. We aren't going to be discussing anything top secret, but Quondam likes to keep its in-house systems private and out of the public spotlight. I think you've all met my assistant, Virginia, she will pass out the agreements and then I'll come around in a few minutes to collect the signed form. If anyone doesn't want to sign, you can leave through the double doors at the back of the room and you can collect your final check and paperwork from Mr. Foley on the 4th floor. Thank you."

He turned off the microphone and then pointed me to a box with the appropriate form stacked inside. I took a big handful and he did the same, surprising me, and then we both set off distributing them throughout the room. It was hardly shocking that no one chose to leave. Given the economic times, it seems most people will jump through some hoops to get or keep their job. Look at me, I am a perfect example, putting up with a week of disciplinary duties rather than facing unemployment.

It took about a half hour for all the forms to get signed and collected, but it was eventually done. I carefully stacked them away inside an empty box marked for HR while Mr. Hughes prepared to continue with his meeting. When I first met him I had taken away the impression of a confident, in control man, but having spent a little more time with him, I realized he was a touch nervous in front of the large crowd. Whether it was his first such meeting or not I could not say, but he definitely had not done them often. Then again, how often does Quondam swallow up other companies? I do not think it is an everyday occurrence.

Turning the microphone back on, he said, "Now we can get down to business. I'm sure some of you have heard rumors about the eccentric ways of our CEO, Mr. Joseph Candle. Like all rumors some things are true, some are false, and some are pure fantasy. I'll be covering what is true and the rest, you can safely assume falls into one of the two latter categories."

He paused to chuckle at his own statement and received an uneasy laughter from the audience in response. Having been on the outside most of my life, I knew the rumors he was talking about and in fact I had yet to discover any of them that were not actually true. I suppose it is unlikely that Mr. Candle eats boiled babies for breakfasts, but then who would believe that line in the first place? Maybe Mr. Hughes found the whole disciplinary situation amusing, but personally I find it a little hard to laugh about. I guess I might feel differently if it was someone else's backside getting spanked instead of my own.

Mr. Hughes continued, "Working for Quondam Innovations has a lot of advantages, from job security to opportunities for advancement to recognition as a leader of industry. Success is rewarded, mistakes and failures are used as opportunities to learn and all of that combined with you, the people, are what makes Quondam Innovations such a fantastic place to work."

I felt like I was listening to some self-help infomercial on late night television. Any moment a couple of bikini clad girls should be popping onto the stage as Mr. Hughes starts asking everyone to whip out there credit cards to arrange for five easy payments and a lifetime of joy. The mere thought brought a smile to my lips and almost had me laughing at him. Fortunately, the tenderness from Mrs. Anderson's spanking was reminder enough to keep me from losing all control. Beside, I knew I was still technically on disciplinary duties and the last thing I needed was for Mr. Hughes to decide I needed some discipline.

"In return," Mr. Hughes said, starting to pace the stage with the microphone in his hand, "We ask for your best efforts, ideas, and work ethics. We ask you to abide by our rules and follow our policies and procedures. Of course things do go wrong, people, like you, can make mistakes, and policies and procedures can sometimes get pushed aside, either intentionally or unintentionally. When these things happen, Mr. Candle has developed a system by which we can correct the situation and move forward without unduly disrupting the workplace or the lives of our workers."

Everyone in the room had to know exactly what he was leading up to saying. Why he was dancing around the subject instead of blurting it straight out, I do not know, but it was funny to watch. I almost felt the man was embarrassed to utter the word spanking and of course who could blame him? Standing before a seated crowd of professionals, all adults and many of them older than him, he was supposed to tell them they could keep their jobs but only if they were willing to bend over and grab their ankles whenever they messed up at work. Who would object to that? Pardon me while I cover my mouth and try to hide the giggling.

Mr. Hughes continued his pacing and said, "As you've probably heard that system involves the application of corporal punishment, most commonly spankings. The severity of the punishment is commiserate with the violation or mistake made and naturally increases with repetition. First times are generally mild, a few quick swats over clothing with a leather paddle, and repeated or more serious offenses can increase to disciplinary sentences lasting several days with multiple applications of a variety of implements and going so far as to require the associate to strip nude for the punishment."

There were some gasps in the audience at that revelation and a few of them even sported a bit of a blush on their faces as they no doubt envisioned either themselves or someone they knew in the situation. If only I had gone through such an orientation when I first joined Quondam, I would have known what to expect. Instead, I had been left with a long winded booklet and expected to absorb everything overnight. I had known the basics anyway, but at the time I had been just arrogant enough to assume none of it would ever apply to me because of how badly Mr. Candle had appeared to want me. Live and learn I guess.

"We are lucky," Mr. Hughes said and glanced over to me, "To have an example here for you today. Miss Virginia West is one of our high level executives, but she is with us today because she violated policy in a most serious manner on more than one occasion. The details are not relevant, but she is currently under a disciplinary duties assignment from HR and as such her normal rank and position are meaningless until her sentence is completed."

I did not like the way he glanced at me and I was suddenly feeling like a spotlight was shining down on me. Keeping quiet, I started paying more attention to what he was saying because I had a sinking feeling it was going to be bad news for me.

He said, "Disciplinary duties are one of the most severe actions taken against an employee. The next step up would be a disciplinary retreat assignment and of course if the supervisor feels improvement is not being made, the associate could be reassigned or have their employment terminated. It's important you all understand the disciplinary system so that there are not any surprises once you start working here and today, I'll be demonstrating a few of the most common corrective techniques with the assistance of Virginia."

I blinked at the audience still smiling from the humorous thoughts formerly dancing around in my head. They were of course all staring right back at me and even Mr. Hughes turned to look at me with a glint of pleasure in his eyes. His words were echoing around in my head and something told me I should be panicking, but I was still trying to wrap my head around exactly what was happening. I could hardly breathe and the only thought racing around in my head was how in the world had I ended up standing on a stage in front of a bunch of people I did not know and about to get my butt spanked, probably bare or worse, naked. So much for it being a better day.

Ignoring me almost entirely, Mr. Hughes said, "We'll start out with the typical situations resulting a more mild application of discipline. Examples include; being late to work or late coming back from a break, minor issues with your appearance or professional attire like a wrinkled blouse or shirt or disheveled hair, minor mistakes in your work like a receptionist forgetting to pass along messages in a timely manner, the examples are endless but the general connection is everyday types of hiccups in normal operations which while an annoyance, are unlikely to significantly impact the operations of the company so long as they don't occur all the time."

There were nods throughout the audience as the concept of what constituted minor was explained to them. For my part I stood still behind Mr. Hughes listening and waiting for the looming order that would force me to expose myself and an already brightly reddened backside to the room at large. My knees trembled ever so slightly and I was not sure I would even be able to move when the time came, but I resigned myself to the fact the time was coming and there was nothing I could do short of quitting and that simply was not on the table for me. Call me stubborn, stupid, or a glutton for punishment.

Mr. Hughes continued, "In many of these types of situations you're supervisor will simply pull you aside and give you a quick verbal warning or reminder about policy. However, they are not required to do so and some may choose to give a quick spanking instead. The spanking in these cases is usually done in private with one of these small leather paddles," He lifted a blue leather paddle out of one of the boxes and held it up for the audience, "A few swats delivered to your clothed posterior and the matter is considered resolved. Now for a demonstration."

He turned his attention to me with an almost sympathetic smile on his face. I knew what he expected from me, but I still stood my ground and waited for him to give the commands. He stepped closer and rested a hand on my arm, lowering his head as if to speak conspiratorially with me. Mr. Hughes said, "Don't worry I won't swing too hard."

I smiled at his attempt to reassure me and in a quiet voice only he would hear, said, "I'll hold you to that."

"Go ahead and bend over the front of the table if you please and we'll get this part over with," He said.

Sighing, I made myself take the steps to the front of the stage and then turned my back to the audience and bent over the table, gripping the far edge and hoping he was a man of his word. The first swat landed rather quickly, but slapping against my skirt it barely made any noise and if it were not for the two spankings I had already received for the day, I doubt it would have hurt at all. As it was, the spank barely felt any worse than sitting down probably would. Mr. Hughes followed the first swat with another nine each delivered just as lightly and each having just as little impact on me. As I stood and refaced the crowd I was only mildly embarrassed over the spectacle and on some level I have to admit it was even a bit of a thrill. Yes, I know, somebody get the white jacket and prep the padded cell.

Mr. Hughes returned his attention to the room and began pacing the front of th stage once again. He said, "That's what you can expect for the minor things. Obviously it's a little embarrassing and you'll be left with a sting in your posterior for a little while, but at the end of the day it really isn't that bad of a situation. Most people respond very positively to this type of gentle application and never require anything more to keep them focused on their responsibilities. However, there are cases like Virginia here, where more serious steps are required and as we continue with the demonstrations here I want you all to keep in mind that these types of punishments are reserved for the select group of employees who just refuse to learn from the more mild application you just witnessed."

Listening to him speak I began to feel more and more like a juvenile delinquent. I knew he was generalizing and I was just a convenient example for him to use, but his words felt pointed as if he knew me and exactly what I had done to end up where I was standing. I wondered if the people in the audience knew the whole story, the things I had done and why I had done them, if they would continue to sit and listen or run for the exits. My very presence on the stage before them seems to indicate I would stay, but that is now and if I had heard all this when I was being courted by Mr. Candle, I think I might have been a little more inclined to walk away.

"Virginia," Mr. Hughes said, turning his head toward me for a moment. "Please remove your skirt and panties, then bend back over the table."

Even though I had known the command was coming I found it hard to hear and even harder to comply. My hands trembled as they did the job expected of them and my face flushed hot even though I turned away from the audience allowing them nothing beyond a rear view. The cool air of the room felt like an Arctic breeze as I laid myself back over the table and waited for the application of something more serious than the leather paddle. My only hope was that Mr. Hughes would continue to swing lightly.

He returned his attention to the crowd and said, "In the unfortunate event that your behavior begins to negatively effect your coworkers or company operations you could find yourself facing a stricter form of discipline such as this; a bare bottom spanking. Implement wise, if it is a first time, your supervisor will probably select the same leather paddle used previously however they may choose to use something more serious such as this strap. This type of punishment is meant to be a painful and embarrassing event which should discourage any recurrence of the actions leading up to it. I will demonstrate now, with a few quick strokes to give you an idea of what you might expect although an actual spanking of this type would in most cases be considerably longer."

A moment later Mr. Hughes brought the strap down on my backside with a heavy thud. I barely avoided howling as the impact reignited the fire in my behind and left holding onto the table in order to keep myself down. My hips squirmed against the table and I caught a few chuckles from the audience as the obviously enjoyed the scene I was making. Mr. Hughes kept going until he delivered an even ten and when he let me up, I was hopping around trying to assuage the burning in my buttocks without the use of my hands for the third time in one day. It was definitely no longer thrilling in any way, at least to me that is, the audience might have disagreed.

"I'm going to guess that hurt," Mr. Hughes said while I continued hopping around, but still being careful enough to keep my back to the audience. "I think I mentioned it would and hopefully this little demonstration is all any of you will need to know that I was being truthful."

I forced myself to stand still and keep my arms straight at my sides. It remained a petrifying experience to be standing in fronting of a crowd, bare and red as a beet, but at least I did not have to face them. The sound of their amusement was quite enough without having to see it written all over their faces.

"The final bit," Mr. Hughes said, still pacing and speaking to the crowd, "is what happens when someone like Virginia decides they aren't going to take the spankings seriously and change their behavior. At this stage it comes down to the associate either learning a severe lesson or cancelling their employment with Quondam Innovations. We feel if someone works themselves up to this level of repeated mistakes or behavioral problems it is necessary to take a "tough love" approach. This means if the associate is willing, we will do what we can to correct them and guide them back toward a positive path in their employment and if they are not, it is in everyone's best interest for them to seek employment elsewhere."

He stopped his pacing and came to stand right next to me once again, resting a hand on my shoulder. I glanced over at him hoping my face was not quite as red as it felt. He smiled supportively once more and quietly said, "I know it's embarrassing, Allison, but I need to have you strip completely now."

A lump rose up into my throat and my stomach opened up into a bottomless pit. I knew the order was likely coming with everything else, but nothing can ever really prepare you to remove all your clothing in front of a group of strangers. Maybe if I pretended it was an art class and I was modelling it would be easier, but somehow I just could not convince myself of the fantasy. I shrugged out of my blazer, laying it on the table on top of my skirt and began unbuttoning my blouse as he resumed his pacing.

And then it hit me.

A cold shiver ran down my spine and I heard the mysterious little girl in my head, "They'll be in plain sight," She had said. Suddenly afraid, I glanced over at the man, studying his face for any sign of evil, but there was none. On the surface he was professional, clean cut, and even kind and considerate with all things considered, but he knew my name, my real name.

There was nothing vaguely familiar about him, we had never met, never crossed paths before in our lives or at least he had never crossed mine with any impact, I had obviously crossed his. I told myself not to jump to conclusions, but the frightened feeling refused to abate and deep down I knew there was no other explanation for his casual use of my name; He was the one, the spy, the turncoat, the man without conscience selling off secrets to those would use them for harm.

"Hurry up Virginia. We don't have all day," He said.

Realizing I had no choice but to proceed, I finished unbuttoning and slipped out of my blouse, laying it on the table. "Bra too," He said, before I could even reach up behind myself to unclasp it. The mentioning of it made the act of removing it all the more embarrassing as I felt certain every eye in the room was trained on the white lace garment and no doubt many of them hoping to catch a glimpse of the tender flesh falling free without its support. I tossed it on the table and bent over the edge as quickly as I could in an effort to preserve some sense of privacy.

Mr. Hughes took up position behind me only a moment later and without a word landed a solid paddle swat sending ripples through both my buttocks and a jolt of stinging pain along my nerves. It was like an electric shock, but my body was nearly numb to it as my mind wandered through a fog of unanswered questions and suppositions regarding Patrick Hughes and how he was mixed up in the business of selling secrets. I was vaguely aware of the procession of swats following the first and even when they stopped, but if I gave any physical reaction to it all, I was unaware of it and that was probably for the best.

"Stand up, hands on your head," Mr. Hughes ordered and I obeyed. "As you can see, we take the business of discipline quite seriously here at Quondam Innovations. If you follow the rules, do your job and maintain professional, congenial relationships with your coworkers, you can easily avoid these kinds of sessions, but if you are of the more stubborn variety and want to do everything your own way without regard to the company or your coworkers, you can expect to find yourself in a position much like Virginia here or unemployed. The choices are yours, but you should now all be perfectly aware of what to expect."

December 19, 2009

Spanking & Chastening: Complications

I squirmed in the backseat of Dad's car as he pulled into my usual spot in the Quondam parking garage. The entire trip up I had hoped he would just drop me off at the curb, but deep down I knew he would not have made the trip himself unless he had other plans. As to what those plans might be, I could only guess. We had sat in relative silence the entire drive with Dad listening to his favorite talk radio station and me trying to find a comfortable way to sit while feeling ridiculous sitting in the backseat with the vacant passenger seat in the front.

"You don't have to walk me in," I said as we exited the parking garage on foot.

"I'm not. I need to speak with someone about this photo," Dad said, waving the cell phone at me as if I might not have known what he was talking about.

"I'm sure I could handle it," I said and reached out to take the phone from him.

He pulled it away, putting it back in his shirt pocket and said, "I'm not."

"Dad," I said trying desperately to find a reason to keep him from walking inside with me and quite possibly complicating my work situation to the point of total disaster, "Besides the fact it is embarrassing to have you walking me into work like I can't be trusted to go on my own, it's completely inappropriate and unprofessional. You don't want me to lose my job do you?"

He rolled his eyes at me as we kept on walking and said, "If my mere presence is going to get you fired, you won't need to work again cause we'll just hire a lawyer."

"That's not funny," I said.

"Neither are your lame excuses," He said, "This business of someone taking and distributing pictures of people in disciplinary situations while at work is serious. I'm going to make sure someone in this office treats it as such and that's the end of it."

"I can handle," I said.

"Maybe, but I can't trust that you will," Dad said, "I'm going to take care of it and unless you want a spanking right out here, I don't want to hear any more arguing about it. Got it?"

"Yes, sir," I said, giving up on finding a way to keep him out of the building. I knew from the start it was going to be a bad week, but the way things were going, it seemed like bad was falling short of describing it. As we walked in the front door I glanced hopefully over at Cathy, she at least knew about my dual identities and might have some clue that the man holding my arm was my father. She walked over to us from her post, at least somewhat aware that I had a problem by the look on her face.

"Cathy, good morning," I said. "My Dad here has an issue he wants to bring up to someone, probably Mrs. Anderson."

"That's right," Dad said.

"Certainly, Miss Beaumont. If you would give me a moment to call up, I'm sure I can arrange a meeting Mr. Beaumont," Cathy said.

"I don't want to hold my daughter up if it's not absolutely necessary, it seems she's in enough trouble as it is," Dad said.

"Quite right, Mr. Beaumont," Cathy said, with too smug a smile on her face as she looked over to me, "You can run along to your assignment Miss Beaumont, I'll take good care of your father, I promise."

I shook my head at her for a moment, but I knew she would not do anything to harm me or my father. Embarrass me, well that was a different story and given my circumstances for the week it was just par for the course. I said, "Thank you, Cathy," And left the two of them alone.

Mr. Foley seemed to be undressing me with his eyes as I walked from the elevator to his desk. On any other day I would have taken offense, maybe even said something, but I had much bigger fish to fry and there was the slight matter he could actually order me to undress for real. I stopped and rested my hands on his desk, looking down at him in his chair. He glared straight back up at me obviously trying to decide whether I was crossing any lines with my more commanding than submissive stance.

"I need to speak with Mrs. Anderson right now," I said.

"No you don't. I have your assignment for the day. You'll work in acquisitions up on the 18th floor today. You're expected already and complaining to Mrs. Anderson isn't going to change that," He said.

"Thank you for the assignment, Mr. Foley. I'll get to it just as soon as I've seen Mrs. Anderson," I replied, trying to keep a sense of urgency in my tone without sounding disrespectful. It is harder than you might think.

"Mrs. Anderson is not going to disrupt her—

"Miss West," Mrs. Anderson said, walking over to me and completely ignoring Mr. Foley, "It seems we have a problem."

I turned to her and said, "Yes. Do you know about the photo?"

"Is that what this is about? What kind of photo?" She asked.

"Of me delivering mail on one of the upper floors yesterday," I said.

"And it got back to him?" She asked, skepticism in her voice.

"That's the real issue," I said.

"Come back into my office," She said and started leading the way but after a half step turned back to Mr. Foley, "A Mr. Beaumont will be exiting the elevators in about two minutes. You will not discuss anything with him, but you will send him straight to my office. Understood?"

"Yes, ma'am." He replied.

Mrs. Anderson closed the door behind us as we entered her office and said, "This is a real nightmare."

"Someone on an upper floor has to know both my identities somehow," I said.

"Not necessarily, but it is a frightening possibility. Is there any chance you know someone, maybe went to school with them and they might not know you as Virginia West at all?" She said.

"No, I don't think so. Mr. Candle was quite meticulous in making sure I had no connection to anyone here or at least so I thought," I said.

"There is another possibility as well, but I'll keep that to myself for the moment. I realize this situation has spiraled outside of your ability to effectively control, but if you can see anyway to keep your parents from returning here after today, it would be in everyone's best interests." She said.

"I tried even today, but as you say this is all well outside my ability to control. Maybe with your help though?" I said.

"What would have me do?" She asked.

"He needs to be convinced you are in control of the situation and take it seriously," I said.

"That should not be a problem because I am and I do," She said, glancing outside her office.

I followed her gaze and saw my father making his way through the desks on his way to join us. We had only a few moments before he would enter the office and it suddenly occurred to me, I had no reason to be sitting in her office and participating in the discussion as far as he was concerned.

"He's not going to want me here and it might seem a bit suspicious if you do," I said.

Mrs. Anderson nodded and said, "You have your assignment for today?"

"Yes," I said.

"Good, take your skirt and panties off and bend over my desk. I'll give you a quick paddling and then you can be on your way. That should keep your father from becoming suspicious about your presence in here," She said.

As much as I did not like her solution, I really saw no other choice myself. Quickly, I unfastened my skirt and let it slide down my legs while I hooked my thumbs into the waistband of my panties and jerked them down to follow. Dad knocked on the door and opened it to enter just as I was laying the items on the back of Mrs. Anderson's visitor chair.

"I didn't mean to interrupt," Dad said as I bent over the desk trying not to die from humiliation.

"Nonsense Mr. Beaumont. I'm sure you've seen and spanked your daughter's bare bottom plenty of times," Mrs. Anderson said, stepping out from behind her desk with one of the typical blue leather paddles in her hand. "By the looks of it, as recently as this morning even. I bet you had her squirming the whole trip to the office."

"Her mother did that after she decided to act like a five year old and go running in the house," Dad said.

"Well, a very nice job in any case and obviously she needs a good amount of discipline," Mrs. Anderson said as I began to wonder if they were going to have their entire meeting with me bent over her desk waiting for swats.

"You can rest assured she'll be getting a dose of my paddle at home so long as she is being disciplined here at work," Dad said.

"That's an excellent idea. I'm glad to hear it. What kind of paddle do you use?" Mrs. Anderson said.

"A typical wooden paddle, like those they used to use in the schools," Dad said.

"That's a pretty serious implement. I bet she bawls like a baby after a couple swats from that," Mrs. Anderson said, while my face burned hotter and hotter from embarrassment. I was not quite to the point of asking for my spanking, but I was getting close.

"You should see the way she dances around the room after a good paddling. You'd swear her butt must have caught fire," Dad said.

"Yes, I've seen her do some little dances here," Mrs. Anderson said, "Adorable to be sure and you can bet she knows better than to try and rub out any of that sting."

"You can bet it's the same at home. In fact, if we hadn't had to get her up here to work, she'd still be standing in a corner with that butt on display," Dad said.

"Excellent," Mrs. Anderson said, "You know I really respect the way you handle discipline in your home Mr. Beaumont. Allison is obviously a very stubborn and silly girl at times and I can't even imagine how much worse she would be without your efforts."

"I'm ashamed how much trouble she's been here at work, but I have no doubt we'll get her turned around," Dad said.

"I'm sure we will," Mrs. Anderson said, "Now, far be it for me to criticize, but I would like to point out that heavy wood implements can be a problem in long term disciplinary situations such as Allison's. We certainly don't want to bruise her to the point she can't take a good spanking when she needs one."

"If she can't handle the punishment then maybe she should start behaving," Dad said.

"I can certainly understand your viewpoint and I'm not trying to tell you how to discipline your daughter," Mrs. Anderson said, "But, I think you might be surprised how effective a spanking with leather implements like this paddle can be. I have a small selection of straps and some lexan paddles as well, all of which are less likely to leave the deep bruising of a wood paddle and yet still quite effective. In fact, because they don't bruise as easily, you can give a much longer spanking."

"It does sound like a nice alternative, but I'm not about to go out and buy a selection of expensive implements just because she's landed herself in a thicket of trouble," Dad said.

"I wouldn't even suggest it," Mrs. Anderson said, "However, I have plenty of implements here and you could pick out whichever one's you like best to take home with you today. We can simply have Allison pay for them over time with a small monthly deduction from her paycheck. It seem only fair after all, they are really for her benefit."

Laying there on her desk, I could hardly believe what I was hearing. It was as if they did not even realize I was still in the room. How they could miss the bare-ass young woman lying over the desk in the middle of the office, I do not know, but apparently I had finally received my miracle and turned invisible. If only!

"I might just take you up on that offer, but first we need to discuss another matter," Dad said.

"Oh yes, let me just take care of Allison and send her on her way and then we can discuss your matter privately," Mrs. Anderson said.

"Be my guest," Dad said, and I rolled my eyes thankful no one could see the look on my face.

Mrs. Anderson apparently thought my Dad needed a demonstration on just how effective a leather paddle can be. She did a good long wind up and then started slapping the paddle against my backside, from cheek to cheek, at a blurring speed. The whap of the paddle against one buttock would barely reach my ears when the paddle would impact the other side. I weathered it well enough at first but the sting built to a flame quickly and soon I was gyrating my hips against the front edge of the desk. When she finally stopped my cheeks were damp with tears and I had decided to swear off sitting for the rest of my life. Well maybe not quite that long but at least the rest of the day.

When she let me stand up, I could not help but do the little spanked girl dance that they both had so lovingly commented on earlier. I blushed the whole time and wished I could keep myself from doing it, but instinct is just something you can not fight. A glance at Dad revealed he was duly impressed by the results of her paddling and I did not even need to ask if I was going to soon see one of those damn blue paddles at home; It was a near certainty.

"I believe they are expecting you up on the 18th floor," Mrs. Anderson said.

"Yes, ma'am," I said, trying to ignore Dad's presence.

"You can put your things back on outside," Mrs. Anderson said, by way of dismissing me.

I grabbed my skirt and panties from the back of the chair and walked out the door. I had almost pleaded to put them on inside her office, but then decided I better not press my luck. It was good enough to be allowed to put them back on before reporting for my assignment or so I told myself. As I stumbled into my panties and skirt, there were plenty of amused stares from the other HR personnel supposedly working at their desks.