She nudged the front door shut with a swing of her hips. The audible click of the latch echoed through the hallway. Tossing her car keys on the small table and with a groan of relief, she eased out of her shoes. With each passing second, she allowed herself to begin the process of unwinding and letting the day go.
The handbag was swung off her shoulders and dumped on the floor. It should not go there, but she really could not be bothered to move it upstairs, not yet. Entering the kitchen, she headed straight for the kettle and she filled it through the spout at the sink. Hunting about she began the process of making a herbal tea. It was only at that point she decided to head into the sitting room.
Why she assumed she was alone she did not know. It was late, later than her usual time to be home, she should not have assumed she was the only occupant of the apartment. So when she saw his feet sticking out of the recesses of the armchair, she unexpectedly jumped.
“Christ!” she uttered, hand on chest.
She could see nothing of him except a silhouette. Behind the armchair was the window and coming through it was sufficient daylight to light up the room, but not his features. The dark hair reflected some light, and a little fell on his broad shoulders, enough to tell her he was still in his suit, but the tie had gone.
Each of his hands lay on the armrest and his ankles were crossed. She thought he looked relax, perhaps even asleep, except eyes, like cat’s eyes, were twinkling at her.
Two words. He said them so softly she nearly missed them. Standing in the doorway, framed between the double doors, the distant light of the kitchen behind her, she halted.
“What!” she exasperated.
“Coffee table,” he repeated.
“Now?” she stared up at the ceiling, the swirl of plasterwork, a repeated pattern of semi-circles. Looking back down, she could not fail to notice the coffee table was bare. He had cleared it down. The coasters, the bowl of fruit, even the remote controls had been removed. The piece of furniture was oversized for the space it occupied. A beast of oak, shaped and rounded at the edges, a foot off the floor. The grain smoothed, but probably not polished, which was fortunate, given his request.
“Charlie?” he said with that special tone. She suspected if she could see his face, his eyebrows would have raised up in accompaniment to her name.
Not her name, not the name others knew her by, but it was one he used. A summons had been made and she could no longer ignore the implication. She stepped forward and went to remove her jacket.
“Not yet,” he said. “The light.”
Taking a deep breath, she went to the lampstand. An angle poise with a bright halogen. He had already adjusted the angle and the moment she switched it on, the table was lit up. The stage was now set.
“Now strip, down to those undies.”
She fumbled as she undid the buttons of her white shirt. The two piece pencil skirt and jacket were neatly folded on to another armchair. She deliberately took her time, she at least would have the satisfaction of making him wait.
The stockings required her to bend over and she chose not to bend away from him, but instead tossed her hair to one side and bent facing him. They slipped down her smooth legs, which had been recently waxed, and she flicked them on to the clothes pile. All she was left in was her bra and knickers.
A matching pair, which she wore proudly, although out of sight of public eyes, and they fitted her perfectly. They were tailored to her hips and bust as a glove to fingers.
Now she could see a remote control in one of his hands. He tapped a couple of buttons and the music started up.
When the marimba rhythms start to play.
Dance with me, make me sway….
She smiled at the song. One of her favourites. With a renewed purpose she stepped up on to the coffee table. She had to be careful. Too much foot movement and she would fall off the table. Instead, she relied on her hips and arms. It began slowly, her mood was not there and she had not been expecting to dance that evening. Though her legs ached from her earlier workout at the gym, she had to do a worthy job or else he would keep her at it for ages.
Her feet became cold and clammy, not that she minded, it would keep her grip on the table. The room was not cold, though the sun had long disappeared behind the tall buildings outside the window. The lamp cast a shadow and her body became a backdrop projected on to the wall. She liked to watch her shape turn and twist against it.
Other dancers may be on the floor,
Dear, but my eyes will see only you.
Gradually, she forgot about the neglected kettle in the kitchen, her sore feet and the frustrating day’s work. She swayed her hips from side to side, rotating and gyrating them to the beat. Her shoulders rose and fell with the movements of her arms. She snapped her fingers to the pulse, tossed her hair about and made a simple attempt at a belly dance.
He chuckled. The sound of his small laughter was a huge relief. In return, she turned away from him and bent over sufficiently to show him her wriggling bottom.
“Take them off,” he spoke over the music.
Shit, she muttered to herself, he really wanted the whole package that evening.
I can hear the sounds of violins,
Long before it begins.
What begins? she thought. Stay focused, Charlie!
It was hard, keeping her balance on the coffee table and removing her knickers. She took her time, making sure he had from his seat a bird’s eye view of her facets. The bra too was snapped off, swung before him and then tossed away with a flick of her wrist. Now she was naked. Bare between the legs, as he liked it and quite exposed.
She shamelessly spread her legs and she flaunted everything for him. All inhibitions left her as she shut out of her mind the ludicrous situation and focused on him. His olive skin, now visible in the lamplight, the virtually black eyes, the end of day stubble on his chin and the high cheekbones, which she had come to adore.
The song came to an end, he had repeated it twice. Breathless and still standing on the table, she waited for her next instruction.
“Great, Charlie,” he complimented her. “Now, down here.”
His finger pointed at the space between his legs.
With as much grace as her wobbly legs would give her, she lowered herself on to her knees at his feet. She allowed herself the comfort of resting her weary head on his lap while she regained her composure.
“OK?” she whispered up at him.
She gulped back a nervous laugh. He had to be kidding. It was the best she had given him in a long time.
“You took too long, didn’t you, Charlie?” he said, lifting her face up with a finger under chin.
She stared at his stern features and grimaced. “Did I?” she said defensively.
“The ‘what’, plus I suspected you were secretly cursing me too.”
“No!” she said quickly. “Not really, not like that. I’m tired…”
He interrupted. “Over my lap.”
She opened her mouth to blurt out another exclamation of ‘what’, then thought better of it.
“You see, Charlie, me thinks the lady doth protest too much,” he said as she rose up and began to drape her body over his knees. “This will help, I’m sure.”
A mountain of ripostes entered her head a once, but she managed to suppress them all. It was a pointless exercise, once Franco made up his mind about something, he generally did it.
She was about to be spanked. Hard.