"I want her in here now, Miss Stevens. Do you suppose you could arrange that?" he said tersely. In a voice dripping with condescending, arrogant and slightly contemptuous tones, Dale Wetherfield instructed his assistant in the matter of Miss Gavin.
"It was an innocent mistake," Diana Stevens remained firm in her opinion.
"A dozen innocent mistakes, it's not so innocent anymore," the executive returned. "And unless you want the same rebuke I'll give her, I'd suggested you find her for me and the matter will be finished."
Diana looked at her boss through her stylish spectacles, tender gray eyes peering up at him as she stood up to his endless grimace. He was a man of impeccable taste always dressed in fashionable clothes. He wore his sandy brown hair long at the back, though it was perfectly groomed, as was his full beard. His brown eyes could be quite devastating, intense and piercing when he wanted to make a point, and made all the more difficult to handle by the dark brows that narrowed ominously. As an employer, he could be as sweet and amiable as a lamb, though with those that disappointed him, he was heartless. While Diana Stevens did not approve of her boss's unorthodox methods of handling some of his troublesome employees, at times they did have remarkable results. This time, she wasn't so sure. "As a friend to a friend, Dale," Miss Stevens said gently, "I hope you don't live to regret your decision here."
Dale didn't reply to her warning, and Diana Stevens left the office.
Dale sat down in his chair and fumed. He hated incompetence, negligence, and reckless disregard for procedure; and at times, the impetuous and unbridled Christina Gavin embodied all those lamentable traits. To his distress, his last resort of burying her in the bowels of the company mail-room had not been enough to keep her out of trouble: trouble must have been a sign that the young woman was alive the way it seemed follow her around like an excitable puppy.
The knock on his door a few minutes later was timid, just as he imagined it would be.
"Come in," he said, looking up to see Christina Gavin's bright face appear.
"You wanted to see me?" she said, with a bashful grin as she opened the door.
"I think you know why," Dale said.
Christina gulped, anticipating what would be coming next.
"The strap's in the closet," Dale said. "You know where to find it."
"You don't suppose . . ." she started.
"No, I don't suppose there's any other way," he finished her thought for her. "This is about the stupidest mistake you've made so far, and I won't let it go unanswered. Not only is your bottom going to burn, Miss Gavin, but for this session, I'm obliged to invite Mr. Evans to witness it."
"Oh, you wouldn't!" Christina protested readily, though by the look on Dale Wetherfield's face the decision had already been made.
"The strap please," he said, interrupting her protest.
The edict being written in stone, Christina Gavin was on her way to the closet as she had at least a dozen times before in her short, but very eventful association with Dale Wetherfield's import company. She was a slight thing, little more than five tall in her stocking feet, though she was prone to wearing three inch heels—even in the mail room—which highlighted her slender legs and made her round bottom appear to dance on air. A sassy mass of blonde curls atop her head, a pert round face and mischievous green eyes with brows that rose to a definite arch, she looked as much a pixie as a woman of twenty-five.
By the time Christina retrieved the implement, Trace Evans was in the office, his face looking as grim as Dale Wetherfield's.
"I don't usually do this, Trace, but it only seems appropriate," Dale informed his associate. "We'll start Miss Gavin's atonement with a well spanked bottom."
"After this brat's shenanigans yesterday, I can think of nothing more appropriate," Trace said, sounding as miffed as he'd been the day before when he'd caught Christina's egregious error, only after a mountain of damage had been done. Shipping important "For Your Eyes Only" documents to the wrong recipients was going to cost Wetherfield Imports thousands of dollars to repair the damage.
Returning to Mr. Wetherfield's desk, the innocent looking Christina waited nervously for another instruction after she handed the two foot punishment strap to her employer. She looked at it knowing all too well the feel of it on her naughty bottom. Such familiarity bred a good deal of contempt, except for the other peculiarities connected with its use.
"I wish this could make up for your errors, Miss Gavin," Dale said. "Unfortunately, it's only going to appease our anger to a small degree."
"Then perhaps it's not necessary at all?" she offered sweetly, her head cocked ever so slightly, as if she thought such a maneuver might deter Mr. Wetherfield from his purpose.
"Boy, does she have nerve," Trace said. "Let me have that," he insisted, taking the leather strap from Dale's hand. "Over the desk, young lady, and don't waste my time," he said flatly.
"But . . ." Christina implored Dale with no results: this too was an edict written in stone, and no manner of pleading would change the course of the next ten minutes. Responding reluctantly to the demand, Christina Gavin bent over her boss's desk, and gripped the edge tightly. Her whole face, lighting up with a crimson blush, was a forecast of things to come when her perky derriere would be showing the same bright blush.
Anxious to get the punishment underway, Trace Evans, pushed at Christina's short skirt; just a simple tug unveiling the well-rounded cheeks, naked as can be with a pink thong panty dividing the two.
"My, how convenient, you must have this one trained," Trace remarked seeing that he didn't have to lower her underwear.
"Maybe she anticipated the moment," Dale suggested.
The two men might have spent some moments admiring the lovely view before them, but Trace Evans was ready to get on with the main event. Standing back at an appropriate distance, he drew back the strap and brought it forward firmly, pelting her submissive ass cheeks with a fast and furious dozen smacks of the leather.
Painful as they were, Christina held on silently; though to look at her face the ready grimace was quite clear, as were the tears in her stunning green eyes. Another dozen smacks of the leather and those tears flowed, running down her cheeks to drip on a sheaf of papers on Dale's desk. Still she was silent.
The smack of the leather against Christina's flesh continued, Trace Evans looking as if he wasn't planning to stop any time soon. While Dale hadn't anticipated his associate's assumption of the task, he was content to let him rain down on the irresponsible young woman, since Dale planned to have the last word, and that was good enough revenge. As it was, it wasn't bad at all viewing the rosy red cheeks, as each smack of the leather made the blush more distinct. Christina Gavin's punished bottom was always a rare sight indeed. The more the strap came down, the more the girl was grunting and groaning, the pain must have been bordering on excruciating.
"Oh, please no more!" she finally wailed, when she couldn't hold back any longer, though Trace heard none of her protests. To any good dominant it was just a sign that the message was finally getting through. A few more decent howls would serve his purposes well, and so he continued smacking the raw rear end, until, with a final brisk flurry of vicious strikes, he stopped and laid the leather aside.
At the finish, Christina remained posed over the desk, too distraught to move a muscle.
"I suppose that should suffice, Dale," Trace said. "I'll let you do the rest." And nodding at the scene before him, Trace left his employer and the negligent young woman to themselves.
"You can stand up and push your skirt down, Christina," Dale finally spoke, his voice still stern, his temper hardly changed. Sitting down at his desk, the executive waited as the crying young woman stepped away and wiggled her skirt back around her hips. She waited for him to speak again, finding his thorough top to bottom scrutiny of her unnerving.
"So, Miss Gavin, now we can get to the heart of the matter."
"Sir?" she asked, not sure what he meant.
"This is your last day, Christina. In fact, it's your last hour in our employ. You can gather your things, and check with Mrs. Breslin in personnel."
"What!" Christina dropped her jaw, her lips were trembling, and her feet were about to crumble she felt so weak. "You're firing me?"
"I have no choice. You've made a mockery of this arrangement for the last time. It will not go on another day."
"But you can't," the blonde cried. "Please, Dale, you can't!" The tears were flowing again. "How am I suppose to support myself if I don't have this job?"
"You know the answer to that," he said flatly, his entire grim expression bringing up the stuff of months of arguments between the two.
"Dammit, Dale Wetherfield, you piss me off!" she blared at him. "Not to mention that nasty trick you pulled with Trace." Her face was as red as her behind, and her arm was waving in a threatening way.
To her feisty theatrics Dale smirked, and the livid Christina moved toward the door, as if she couldn't stay in the room a moment longer.
"Christina," Dale interrupted her retreat with a parting shot. "Remember, we're having dinner tonight at The Shadows to discuss the wedding."
She wanted to pit in his face, or collapse in a heap and cry all the tears threatening to spill from her eyes, but instead, she simply glared at Dale for a second, then fled the room, finding it impossible to come up with a sassy retort for her infuriating fiancé.