Hello and welcome to both SpankAtoZ and WipitUp.
For today’s letter – C – I bring you the utter humiliation of corner time! Those two walls coming together right before the nose and not knowing what is happening behind your back.
Viola, the heroine of my WIP Viola’s Heart Strings is the wife who insulted her husband’s ancestry in front of the servants. Not the done thing back in Victorian times when servants lived quite separate lives from their employers. So Anton has a particular punishment in mind.
Anton tapped the table with his finger. “Joke. Childish banter. Very well, I will see you disciplined in the same vein. Go stand in the corner and lift up your skirts.”
Viola’s feet glued themselves to the carpet beneath her. The hesitation wasn’t intentional—his request stunned her. She didn’t think her behaviour warranted disciplining. She recalled what he had told her in the bedchamber and those words echoed about her head, the determination for her to be obedient. The same attitude her governess had instilled in her as a child. She remembered the dismay when sent to the corner of the nursery of her father’s house and the shameful tears, which had streamed down her cheeks. At least back then, her tender years had warranted such punishments. How would a spell in the corner of his study correct her behaviour when it belittled her, transporting her into a child-like state?
She hadn’t considered how her silliness might garner her husband’s displeasure. An impetuous response to his directive would be to march out of the room. Would he drag her back, admonish her within earshot of the servants. Did Anton have it in him to scandalise their marriage weeks after the wedding?
Awash with contrary emotions, she fisted her hands into tight balls and glared at her husband. He held her gaze, matching her glower with one of his own. Their wills battled against each other, and each second of his unblinking stare left her knees weakened and her eyes blurred with tears, all sparked by her tempestuous revolt. She didn’t want this discord in their relationship. What she craved was his approval. The romantic heart within her had to see past his stiff words to the other man she married, the one who exhibited kindness and made love to her.
The thought of all he was to her triggered her reluctant surrender. Stumbling forward, she shuffled towards a corner, the one farthest from his desk. Once there, she fretted, uncertain, and her arms locked rigidly to her sides, unable to enact his command regarding her skirts.
“Do it,” he said softly.
The humiliation gnawed. What could he possibly gain from seeing her degraded? She stared at her feet, the hem of her dress resting on her bootlaces. It seemed a long way down to where the petticoats lurked beneath. However, with an awkward stiffness, she carried out his instructions, lifting up her skirts and petticoats to reveal her white drawers with their fancy lacework. She clutched her petticoats to her chest. Bared in the bedroom hadn’t caused her grief, but downstairs in his study, the embarrassment grew and she turned away from her husband, not wishing to see his face.
“Lower your drawers,” he hissed.
Good grief! Her pulse quickened and to her mortification, her sex responded as if wired to her husband’s voice. Why oh why, was she filled with lust? The soft hiss of his demanding, but oh so seductive tone added to her dilemma. She wanted to comply, but the dignified woman, whom her virtuous governess had taught shouted inside her head not do to it, not to debase herself for such a trivial act of humour.
“Please, Anton,” she whispered and squashed her legs together. She glanced over her shoulder.
Anton remained by his desk with a pensive expression. He fiddled with a fountain pen, his gaze darting about the table. “If you are ashamed by my request, it is serving a purpose, is it not? When you disgrace yourself with the servants—that is how I feel, inside.” He looked up and held her attention as she swayed between obedience and defiance. “Don’t make me come over there and do it myself.”
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