Wednesday, April 17, 2019

How does he do it?

I’ve been sharing many stories from way back and I just thought I’d show that some things don’t really change. This little story happened just this past summer. Although I still rarely do anything wrong, you’ll see that Tom is still way too picky. 
Actually, I’d personally been so good that there had been little to write about. I didn’t take the boat out by myself one single time that Tom knows about, and rarely at that. His stern admonishment at the beginning of the summer, ‘do not drink if I don’t put the drink in your hand’ has not been difficult to abide by. You see, when we last stocked up on wine, I positioned myself so that I put each bottle away as Tom unpacked it. Every drop of wine in those bottles was handed to me by my dear husband and thus, fair game! 
Now don’t worry. Sue and I usually limit ourselves to one or two glasses in the afternoon and I’m pretty sure Tom knows. But truly I have been good, and while I know Tom appreciated the effort, I think he gets bored if I behave too well for too long. When this happens, I think he sometimes gets picky and begins looking for reasons for a sound spanking. Goodness knows why, we have plenty of fun ones. But then for no reason, he gets all stern with me. 
Here’s a case in point. Sue and I had plans to go to a pottery/craft show. Tom knew we were going. I didn’t really know what time we were planning to leave, but that morning Sue called early – right after Tom left on his run. “How soon can you be ready? Let’s go to breakfast before we go to the show.” 
I told her to come on as soon as she was ready and I’d hurry. I kept thinking Tom would be back before we left but evidently he was on a long run. Being a perfect wife, I left him a note:

Sue and I left early for breakfast. We’ll be home around one. 
Love you,

We were headed out the door when Sue began fussing at me, “You’re not planning to carry that suitcase around all day are you? We’re going to be walking a lot and you’re gonna break you shoulder.” 
Sue’s always making fun of my pocketbook and claiming I carry everything but the kitchen sink. It’s certainly not true, but for this particular outing, I realized she was right and quickly changed to a smaller bag. 
We had a great day. The weather had cooled off and the crafts at this show were amazing. I love the craft shows where you can visit with the artist. We talked with many and got to watch them create some of the lovely pottery that they were selling. We bought a few things, had a big lunch and arrived home a little before two. Sue let me off and headed on home without coming in. 
That was probably for the best. Tom was not in a good mood. I could tell that the minute I walked in. Tom came over and kissed me but it wasn’t a lingering one. “Where have you been?” 
“Where have I been? You know Sue and I were going to the craft show today. And I left you a note this morning. You know exactly where I’ve been,” I told him, somewhat bewildered. 
“You’re late. You said you’d be home at one.” 
I couldn’t figure out what had put the bee in his bonnet. “I think I said around one and it’s not even two, so that’s around one. Would you be mad if I’d come home around twelve?” I was starting to get aggravated. 
“That’s enough, Cassie Jane.” Tom told me, in his sternest voice. 
EnoughCassie Jane? What was going on? He was really upset and I knew it wasn’t because I’d been a little late. 
“Tom, what are you mad about?” I asked, truly not understanding. 
“I’m not mad,” he stated, shortly. “But you know one of the rules of this house is that you will not leave without your cell phone. I come back home this morning and you’re not here. The cell phone, however, is. And, then you breeze in here late, acting as if nothing’s wrong.” 
Bingo! I finally found what had gotten him upset. Hidden in that statement was the real reason for his annoyance. He  came home and I wasn’t here. It bugs him to death. That was what had started all this. But I realized he was planning to spank me for not taking my phone – chalk another one up to, ‘It’s really Sue’s fault.’ She was the one who made me change my purse and I just forgot to pick my phone back up. 
“Tom, you know I always have my phone with me these days. I haven’t forgotten it in months. Now just calm down and I’ll tell you all about the craft show.” 
I was talking to myself. Tom took my hand and led me to the bedroom, with me protesting all the way. I had not done anything wrong, not really. That didn’t stop him for a minute. I was quickly bare-bottomed and over his lap. He spanked with his hand and I know in my head that it wasn’t even that hard, but I was fighting him mentally the whole time and that always makes it hurt more. 
He stopped. But before letting me up, he said, “I’ve told you before, being without your cell phone will get you spanked every time. I don’t want you to forget that.” 
I hate cell phones! I wish the damn things had never been invented! The spanking hadn’t been harsh but neither had it been a good-girl. I was still annoyed and very quiet when he let me up. He hugged me and kissed the top of my head, but now I was the one mad then. I hate feeling this way after a spanking, but I couldn’t help it. 
Tom went about his afternoon and I took on the job of completely avoiding him and muttering to myself about his unfairness. Around four, Steve and Sue came over. Tom, Steve and Ryan, who had joined us, were in the yard chipping golf balls while Sue and Allie and I sat on the deck. We watched the men and they listened to me gripe. Both Sue and Allie were properly sympathetic. Sue continued on her old theme, ‘You shouldn’t have to put up with that shit’ and ‘why don’t you throw his ass out?’ It’s her way of showing support and, as always, we ignored what she was saying until she came to the following phrase. “He just needs to cool off.” She was exactly right. He did need to cool off.
Do you ever do something and the instant you do, you are stunned by your own actions? That’s what I felt almost as soon as I turned on the lawn sprinklers. I could hardly believe my own actions. I heard the men bellow and watched them sprint to the house. I stood there like a deer caught in headlights. 
They were soaked when they reached the deck. Everyone was staring at me in disbelief, even Sue and Allie. I made a stab at behaving like any mature woman who was completely justified in doing what she had done. That is, I blamed Sue. 
“I… I… Sue said Tom needed to cool off,” I stammered. 
Sue was on her feet in a flash at my treachery. “You’re trying to blame me?” 
I’m sure the rest of what she had to say would have been most interesting but I wasn't around to hear it. Tom, now with a slight smile on his face, grabbed me with one wet hand and marched me through the house to the bedroom. He picked up the school ruler – that darn thing is heavy and stings like hell. I was quickly pulled across Tom’s wet lap for my second spanking of the day. 
“Wait!” I yelled in a panic. “Tom you didn’t close the door! Close it, close it!” Tom had our suite soundproofed when we redid the house. While I know everyone on the deck was fully aware of what was happening, I still didn’t want them hearing it. 
“I wasn’t the only one you just tried to drown,” Tom told me, flatly. “Maybe they would like to hear you get your comeuppance!” 
I couldn’t believe him! My embarrassment didn’t slow him for one second. I know the pop that ruler makes could have been heard next door and I wasn’t exactly silent myself.
“Owww, Owww! Stop!” I couldn’t help shouting. He was spanking fast and hard. I finally managed to throw in a few ‘I’m sorrys’ and ‘I won’t ever do it again’ as he finally came to a stop. 
Tom was in a fine mood now and he was laughing as he helped me to my feet and gave me a big hug. “Girl, what am I going to do with you? Sometimes I think you’d spit in the devil’s face.”  
“I thought I just did,” I told him sourly and I tried to rub the sting away. “You could have shut the door,” I hissed.
Tom laughed at me again. “And you could have behaved yourself. Now, you go out there and apologize to Steve and Ryan. And Sue, while you’re at it. Imagine trying to blame that sweet woman for your bad behavior. And one more thing,” Tom continued, before I could voice my indignation, “whatever else you may do – don’t ever change. I do love you.” 
What am I going to do with him? He can spank me for no reason, as many times a day as he feels like. Embarrass me in front of my friends. Order me to apologize when I don’t want to and laugh at me in the bargain. Yet with one smile, one touch, just the sparkle in his eyes and I just melt with love for him. How does he do it? I guess I'll never know, but he’s a master at it.

Note from PK:

If you enjoy Cassie's stories you can read all about Cassie and Tom and their friends in the Cassie's Space series.

And you can find them in paperback here.

Friday, April 05, 2019


Allie watched silently from their deck as Tom gave me two hard swats on my bottom right out in the back yard. Later, she asked me, “What could you have done so early this morning to annoy Tom?”
I rolled my eyes. “I pulled three scraggly weeds from my flower bed. It’s barely spring! It’s not like I was planning to garden for half a day. But he doesn’t want me gardening without my gloves.” I told her, my voice tinged with sarcasm. “I say it was nothing more than a pretend excuse to spank.”
I know I’ve mentioned many times that Tom is very particular about my hands. This goes way back to our beginning. I remember him mentioning my hands on our first date. I had my eye on Tom from the moment I saw him, but it took him a while to finally ask me out. When he did, I made sure I got the full beauty treatment that day – I had a facial, I had my hair done and of course a mani-pedi was a must. My hands were smooth and soft because I’d never done a lick of honest work in my life. So, once the nails were done to perfection, they were quite attractive to a man who loved hands to begin with.
Tom and I have had more than one ‘discussion’ about me doing things that could hurt my hands – my working in the flower bed without wearing gloves being one of his pet peeves. “There was one time,” I told Allie, “when Tom hurt one of my hands. He was very upset over the incident, yet he still managed to blame me. I think that time sealed his overprotectiveness of my hands – if not other parts of my anatomy.”
The story I was remembering happened way back in the good old days when we were newlyweds. Back then, when Tom tried to spank me, I often fought him. He was 6’2”,  one hundred and eighty pounds and I was 5’2”,  a hundred and ten pounds when we married, so the fights were a bit one sided – but overwhelming odds have never stopped me from trying.
We were living out west, near the girls, and I’d made plans with them to attend a luncheon one day. However, on the day before, Sue and I had gone shopping in the afternoon. Our excursion lasted a bit longer than Tom thought it should have. I’d arrived home by cab after one o’clock the next morning slightly worse for wear. Ah… the wonderful days before I was put on an electronic leash (cell phone). Tom kept his cool as he helped me to bed. But the next morning was a different story.
He was in full lecture mode as he rudely awakened me by ripping back the covers and sailing that darn brush into my unsuspecting bottom. He was upset – “gone all day”… “never checked in”… “not home for dinner”… “spending a fortune”… “drinking all night”… I didn’t hear much of what he said. I was yelling pretty loudly myself.
He finally stopped and began rubbing. “Cassie, don’t you know how much I worry when you just disappear for half a day?”
I laid across his lap, trying to catch my breath and gather my thoughts. “Tom I survived for thirty years before I met you. I can take care of myself on a shopping trip with Sue. There’s no reason for you to worry so.”
“You survived,” he echoed, gently helping me to my feet and wrapping his arms around me. “But I’m not sure how much longer you would have. You were wild and you were reckless. That’s not going to be the case anymore. No more disappearing and drinking with Sue for the day. I’m not putting up with that.” Apparently some things never change. On the rare occasions more recently, when Sue and I’ve disappeared for a day of drinking, has resulted in the same treatment.
 He gave me a kiss and headed toward the door. As he left, he said, “I expect you to join me for breakfast in fifteen minutes. You’re not going to lounge around in bed nursing a hangover all day.” Grrrr… I could have used a couple more hours of sleep. 
We ate in relative good humor, me sitting in my chair trying to get comfortable. “Remember, I’ll be at a luncheon at Lucy’s this afternoon,” I said, not wanting him to assume Sue and I were off drinking if he made it home before I did.
“No, you are not leaving the house today,” Tom replied, firmly.
I went off like a flare! I realized that coming home tipsy after one in the morning was something he could legitimately be concerned about. All right, fine, he’d spanked me for that. Spanking was something I could tolerate, in theory, but my comings and goings being controlled, infuriated me.  I shouted, “You can’t tell me what I may and may not do! I am not your prisoner, and I will come and go as I please. How I spend my days while you’re at work is none of your business!”
Tom was very calm – darn him. He answered me, “Yes Cassie, I will tell you what you may and may not do. I’m your husband. I’ve told you to let me know where you’re going to be and to come home at a reasonable hour. You disappeared yesterday, so you’re going to stay home today. You are going to realize that I mean what I say and you’re going to mind me. When you finally understand that, I’ll give you more freedom.”
‘He’d give me more freedom?’The utter unfairness of this was more than I could take. I was mad, clear through. I swept from the table and when I reached our room, I slammed the door as hard as I could. Now I may have mentioned before, Tom is fairly reasonable about slammed doors. Unfortunately, one slam didn’t get it out of my system. I opened the door and heaved it back for another mighty one. It felt wonderful. Two felt so good that I was sure three would put me over the top. It nearly did.
Moments after the third slam, Tom came in and quietly closed the door behind him, perhaps in an effort to show me how it was properly done. In a calm voice, which nonetheless had an ominous quality to it, he said, “Cassie Jane, I’m telling you right now – that’s enough. Do you understand me?”
I chose not to answer him. I turned my back to him and began brushing my hair. Tom left me alone, and again he closed the door quietly. That would have been a good time to call it a draw, wouldn’t it? But no, I just couldn’t let it go.
I gave Tom time to get back downstairs and stared angrily after him. The unfair spanking I’d received, the dictate that I wasn’t to leave the house, his offer to give me more freedom when I learned to mind him, all swirled in my mind as I slowly walked to the door. Opening it quietly, I pulled it all the way back and gave it one last mighty slam! 
It was in that split second, as I heard Tom thundering up the stairs, that I realized what I’d done and that I had left myself no escape. Dumbfounded by my own stupidity, I was still rooted to the spot when he came in and grabbed my arm and the brush all in one movement. I was sputtering as fast as I could, “I didn’t mean to...”, “it was an accident…”, “it slipped…” He wasn’t listening to a word. Remember now, I had been spanked thoroughly not an hour before and I just couldn’t help myself – I reached back in a vain attempt to protect my bottom. 
Then it happened.
The fear, I’m sure, of every spanker. The brush caught my hand in mid-swing. I screamed and Tom dropped the brush at once.
“I think it’s broken!” I cried, holding my hand out. Now, I didn’t think for one minute that it was really broken, but the spanking had stopped.  I’d have sworn my neck was broken if it would have kept him from starting again.
But a close look revealed that my little finger was swelling rapidly. We wrapped my hand in a towel of ice and watched as the swelling increased. He helped me dress and we headed to the ER for X-rays. Sure enough, it was broken.
Secretly I was delighted. I knew Tom felt just horrible about what had happened. I truly believed that his guilt would put an end to my forced relationship with that horrible brush.
Tom was upset over what had happened and he hated the bulky splint on my hand. He felt it was akin to painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa. I was content though. I had pain meds, doled out by Tom, but still… Tom was feeling guilty and I was pretty sure spanking was a thing of the past.
Back home, Tom gave me a pain pill and tucked me into bed for a nap. Later, he brought me soup and a sandwich and insisted on feeding me. I let him, playing the role of victim just a little longer. He apologized again as he picked up my injured hand and gently caressed it. He kissed the palm and then shattered the moment completely by saying, “I believe we have some unfinished business.”
“What do you mean?” I asked, with rapidly growing fear that I had miscalculated.
“I told you specifically not to slam that door this morning, and you just had to do it again, didn’t you? I told you enough, but you didn’t listen.”
“Tom, you spanked me for that. You broke my finger! You can’t spank me again!”
He kissed my hand again. “That’s another thing, honey,” he began, as he pulled me across his lap and started spanking with a hard hand. “I’ve told you before and I’ll tell you one more time. Don’t you ever put your hand back when I’m spanking you. I would never have harmed your hand intentionally” (didn’t seem to mind burning my butt off, though!) “but it’s your responsibility to keep them out of the line of fire.”
I couldn’t believe it. But I didn’t say anymore. At least he was only spanking with his hand and with less force than he normally used. But it lasted long enough to reignite the fire he had started earlier in the day. Finishing, he rubbed a bit before he sat me up. He leaned back against the headboard and pulled me over to sit on his lap. He held me quietly for a while. I wanted to be mad at him, but it had been a long day and I needed comfort more than I needed to hold onto my anger.
Tom’s as good with the comfort as he is at spanking. He held me and talked to me for a long time. He told me he was very sorry that my finger was broken. And that he was appalled that he was the reason for it, but as he said, “Cassie, I want you to know, that if I’m spanking you and you put your hand back, I’ll grab it and hold it while I finish the spanking. But as soon as I’m done, I’ll tie your hands together if I have to, and I’ll take the brush and wear you out for reaching back. And I don’t mean maybe, girl. That’s a promise.”
I surely didn’t like hearing that. My hope of a spank-free future, of the brush being gone from my life, had come to nothing. And as usual, Tom was a man of his word. In those early years, before I mastered the art of clutching a pillow or the comforter with all my might, I did reach back a few more times. I now associate Tom’s pinning my right hand to the small of my back as a precursor to some of the hardest spankings I’ve ever had.
It’s funny when I think back. I bet I’m spanked twice as much now as I was in the early years. Those first years I was only spanked for discipline, and trust me, there were enough of those to keep Tom’s spanking arm in fantastic shape. But now, by far the vast majority of my spankings are loving. I don’t mean as a precursor to lovemaking, although many are. It’s just … us. I love to be taken over his knee. I love the feel of his hand on my bottom. I love his conversation and his undivided attention. I didn’t like spanking during our early marriage, but looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing about our history. It took every bit of our history to get us here. And, here with Tom, is exactly where I want to be.

Note from PK:

If you enjoy Cassie's stories you can read all about Cassie and Tom and their friends in the Cassie's Space series.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The first time

Allie knew that the hated ivory brush was part of a dresser set, including a comb and a mirror, Tom had given me as a wedding gift. She’d asked once if Tom had begun using this hateful thing as soon as we got married. I’d told her, no, not right at first. But sadly, it wasn’t long before he felt it was needed. I remember this happened just weeks after Mattie went to live with her daughter and new grandbaby. It was a terrible shock to my system and sometimes it still is. 
We’d only been married about six months and were still really getting to know one another when I needed minor surgery on my foot. It was no big deal, but it was very slow healingand I was having a lot of trouble with swelling during the day. Tom babied me after the surgery for a full week – which should have been long enough for me to recover. He barely let me walk at all and we were finally starting to get the swelling under control. 

“Are you going to be alright here by yourself?” Tom asked, as we lay in bed Sunday evening. “I miss Mattie. We need to find someone else to help out around here. I can make arrangements for a nurse for a week or so.”
We had someone to clean and maybe cook a little every other day so I told Tom, “I don’t want anyone but Mattie around all the time. And I certainly don’t need a nurse. I’m fine. I’m going to lunch tomorrow with the girls and one of them will pick me up. So don’t worry.”
“Oh, no you aren’t,” Tom told me, emphatically. “You’re staying home until that foot heals.”
I began to bristle. “I’m not your prisoner! I will come and go as I please. I’m not driving, I won’t be out long and I’ll be careful with my foot. Stop being so bossy!”
“No, you’re not my prisoner. You’re my love and I am the boss. You’re staying home tomorrow. That’s it. Understand?”
I huffed and turned my back to him. Tom was sweet about it. He kissed the back of my neck and whispered, “I’m taking care of you, whether you like it or not.”
The next morning, Tom got me set up for the day on the couch. I had the remote control, a plate of sandwiches and even a thermos of tea. I had strict orders to get up only to use the bathroom and to keep my foot elevated all day. 
Right, sure. That was Tom’s plan – unfortunately, that was not my plan. I had every intention of going out with the girls just as we planned. You have to understand that back then I hadn’t yet fully grasped how my marriage was going to be. I had done anything I felt like doing for a number of years and I had every intention of continuing the same way. I am embarrassed to say that the idea of lying to Tom really didn’t bother me. I had lied most of my life – to my parents, my first husband and often to the men I dated later. It was no big deal to me. Usually I felt it just kept everyone happy. Honestlythat was how I viewed it. 
Annie came to pick me up around 11:30. “Are you sure you should be going out?” she asked, as she watched me hobbling around.
“Now, don’t you start. I’m fine. I’ll take the darn crutches to keep you and Tom happy, but I’m not going to sit here staring at the walls all day.” 
Annie let me off at the door. In the hotel lobby, I spotted a pay phone. I called Tom at work to tell him I was resting and I’d call him to check in later. I hate that I used to lie to Tom, but I have to say that I was very good at covering my tracks.
We had a lovely lunch and visit. But having to use crutches was a big pain as I tried to find a comfortable place for my foot while we ate our lunch. When we were finished, I went to the restroom and to pay the check. Trying to manage my pocketbook and crutches was wearing me out. My foot was beginning to really hurt and it was swelling again. By the time Annie got me homeI was exhausted and in pain. 
“You take these sandwiches home,” I told her. “And pour out half that tea.”
“So Tom won’t know you went out today, right?” Annie asked. I gave her a sour look and didn’t reply.
As I got settled back on the sofa, I called Tom once again and told him not to call because my foot was really bothering me and I was going to take a pain pill and go back to sleep.The phone rang several times that afternoonbut I didn’t bother answering.
Tom got home about six. “How was your day?” he asked, giving me a kiss.
“My foot’s bothering me a lot. I think I might need another pain pill.”
Tom uncovered my foot and a concerned look came over his face. “Cassie,” he asked sharply, “did you go out today?”
Keeping my eyes closed, I snuggled down into a pillow to keep from looking at him, and said, “Nope, I’ve been right here.”
The phone rang again and Tom answered. “What’s that?” I heard him ask. “I see. Thank you, I’ll get it tomorrow.” When the call ended, Tom picked me up off the couch and carried me to the bedroom. I hadn’t even looked at him and it wasn’t until he put me on the bed that I glanced at his face and realized he was not happy. 
“What’s the matter?” I asked. One thing I will say for Tom, he never tries to trick me into digging myself into a deeper hole. He always just tells me. 
“That was the restaurant that called. You left your billfold there today,” he told me.
 Not truly realizing how serious he was going to take thisI said brightly, “Oops, I guess you caught me!” One more look at Tom told me he did not see this as an‘oops’, but something much more serious.
“Cassie….” He stopped and shook his head.“Cassie,” he began again, “I told you to stay home and you didn’t. You put your health and recovery in danger by not allowing your foot time to heal. And you lied to me.” 
I suddenly realized what was coming. I wasn’t always quick on the uptake back then. “Tom, you can’t spank me, my foot hurts!” 
“Well then, aren’t you lucky Im not going to spank your foot,” was his only answer before pulling me over his lap. He took time to make sure my foot was cradled on a pillow before he sailed into my behind. I knew he was really upset and he was spanking hard. He was saying something about how I was going to mind him and take care of my health. At least I think that’s what he was talking about. I wasn’t exactly concentrating on his words. I managed not to curse. By this time, I had learned that swearing only made the spanking longer and harder. But I was begging him to stop!
After many agonizing minutes, he did stop. He slid me off onto the bed and stood up. But he didn’t hug me like he usually did. 
“Girl, you’re going to have to listen to me and take better care of yourself, do you understand?” I was snubbing and sniffing as I nodded yes. I lay down to pout a bit when Tom said, “Cassie, we have to talk about your lying now.” I looked at him quickly and saw that he was holding the ivory hairbrush. He had never used anything but his hand before.

No! Forget it! You are not using that thing on me! I thought in a panic when the realization hit me that I didn’t have a choice.
“No, Tom, please, not now! You just spanked me hard! You can’t do this!” 
I was wrongHe could and he did. 
I thought a hand spanking hurt – and it surely did, but this was something else altogether. I know I was already sore but that brush simply burned like fire. He was going slow and deliberately. It didn’t last longbut that brush and I developed an instant, and intense, dislike for one another that lasts to this day.
I will saylessons were learned that day. Tom learned that I wasn’t above lying to him. I learned he absolutely would not tolerate it. I also learned that I hated the ivory brush andunfortunately,Tom learned thattoo. It quickly became his weapon of choice when he thought I really messed up.
I complain a lot about that horrible brush. But if the truth be knownit is used a lot less thait was during the first few years of our marriage. I guess I don’t see it, well, feel it, all that much anymore. Maybe a couple of times a year. And there have been years where it was never used at all, if you can believe that. But everywhere we have ever livedit has stayed on my dresser, unless Tom has it packed. It was my wedding gift from Tom and it is my lot in life. I guess that there's something to be said for heirlooms, but certainly not this one.

Note from PK:

If you enjoy Cassie's stories you can read all about Cassie and Tom and their friends in the Cassie's Space series.

Friday, March 08, 2019

The Spat

Anyone who has read any of my stories, knows Sue. Other than Tom, Sue is the dearest friend I’ve had in this life. She, like Tom, feels like part of my very soul. We’ve laughed together, cried together, loved together and certainly gotten in trouble together. And it’s been this way nearly since the moment we met over fifty years ago. But that doesn’t mean that on rare occasions we don’t disagree. As Allie poked around for another story, she got one that I don’t think she expected.
Allie and Lily are always eager for a new story. They seem to think that anything negative from my past is fodder. One day this past summer Tom, Andy, Steve and Ryan were golfing so we girls had gathered on the deck at my house. As Allie stretched her beautiful long legs out, she complained, “Look at these scars,” she fussed, pointing to her knees. Daddy used to tell me I’d never be a Rockette because I used to beat the heck out of my knees when I was little – skating, biking, just running around, it seemed I kept them beat up. I’ve got a scar on my arm, too where I caught it on a snag when I fell water skiing.”
I glanced over and rolled my eyes. “You’re hideous,” I told her, without emotion. “You look just like the bride of Frankenstein. Girl, do you really want to compare scars with three old broads like us?” 
“Where do you have scars?” she asked.
We all three started laughing. “My tummy looks like a road map,” Annie said, sounding pitiful. “Back when I had my gallbladder out and a hysterectomy, they had to cut you wide open. But Andy doesn’t seem to mind, so I don’t.”
“And of course Cassie has her bullet hole scar from when she shot herself and that woman,” Sue started.
“Shut up,” I snapped. I’ve told you a million times, she shot me, and you know it.” I glared at Sue. But as I stared, I began grinning. “I do have this scar on my cheek bone,” I said, lightly stroking the spot, although the scar could barely be seen these days. I continued, staring at Sue, “And I have a scar on my earlobe, too.”
Sue’s eyes narrowed. “Too many damn wrinkles to see the one on your face anymore,” she growled. “And, how about the scar I have on my shoulder and the one I have from nearly getting my ear torn off? And it was your damn fault.”
“You started it!” I snapped.
“I did not!” Sue said, her voice rising.
“Law, what ya’ll fussin’ ‘bout now?” We hadn’t heard Lily come out the door. 
“Nothing,” Sue and I answered, in unison.
“They were, too. Lily, come on out. I think we’ve got another story coming,” Allie called as she laughed. “And it sounds like a good one.”
“I have nothing to tell,” I said, primly.
“Me neither,” Sue agreed.
Sue and I sat stubbornly silent as Allie looked crestfallen.
“I’ll tell it,” Annie jumped in. “I probably tell it wrong and I’ll put my own spin on it. But I think I remember most of it. Of course, you tell things best Cassie,” she added, grinning.
“I guarantee she’ll tell it wrong,” Sue said, icily. 
“If I’m going to tell this, I need something to drink,” I told them.
“I’ll get us some sweet tea,” Lily said, heading back inside. 
“No Lily, I need something stronger than that. How about a little wine?”
“Me, too,” Sue chimed in.
“You don’t need no wine. You know ya’ll gonna have some at supper,” Lily fussed.
“Fine, if you don’t want to hear it,” I said, haughtily.
“Oh, come on Lily, give in,” Allie said, jumping up and heading inside with Lily. 
They were soon back with three ice teas and two glasses of wine. Taking my wine, I looked over at Sue with a small questioning grin. She shrugged, and then gave me a slight nod.
I laughed as I looked back to Allie and Lily. They looked like they were waiting for a movie to start. “This is a girls’ only story,” I told them, firmly. “I don’t want any of the men to know we’ve even told you about it. Deal?” They nodded and I began.
“This was way, way back. Tom and I had only been married a few years. I think it was the same year as the cruise. We were all at one of the conventions and Sue had spent the day before ‘the incident’ getting me in trouble.
“Stop right there, you big liar,” Sue growled at me.
“Just hush, I’m telling this.”
“Fine,” she snapped, “I’ll tell them the truth later.”
“Sue and I spent the day together getting ourselves in trouble,” I amended. “Annie was there too, but she wasn’t feeling well or something. I know she stayed in her room. We’d planned to hang around the pool all day, but it was raining so we made the tour of all the hospitality rooms.

There were always tons of hospitality rooms and the booze flowed at each. I guess we drank pretty steadily from before noon until I headed back to the room to meet Tom and get dressed for the cocktail party.
“You two been bad girls all your life,” Lily interjected. 
 I ignored her and continued with my story. “I’ve always been pretty good at hiding how much I’m drinking from Tom, as long as I keep my mouth shut. And he didn’t suspect anything was amiss as we headed out. But the more I had to drink, the more my old habits began to resurface. Tom told me later that it was bad.  He said he first noticed something when he heard me laughing and cursing with a bunch of men. When he got me away from them he said I was coming on to him, um… loudly and somewhat less than discreetly.”
Allie’s eyes were wide and I grinned at her. “You can just imagine how that went over with Tom. He whisked me out of there pretty quickly and put me to bed.”
“Didn’t he whip your butt?” Lily wanted to know. “He sure should have.”
“Whose side are you on, Lily?” I asked. 
“I ain’t never gonna be on ya’lls when you been drinking like a fish. That’s for sure.”
I continued, “To answer your question, no, not that night. However, the next morning, after I’d sobered up some, the man flat wore me out. He wasn’t angry, but he was a man on a mission and that mission was to convince me of the evils of drinking. Tom doesn’t exactly spank gently these days, but I know it was worse back then. He spanked long and hard and I was sore as a boil when he finally felt he’d gotten his point across.
“But we talked a long time too. I expect I cried more from the talking than the spanking. I knew I’d embarrassed Tom, though he never said that. But I so wanted to make him proud and I felt guilty. He was so sweet. He held me and eventually made me feel like the most perfect wife in the world. I still don’t know how he managed to do that.
“Later, after another little nap, Tom told me, ‘I’ve ordered room service to bring up a late lunch for you and Sue and Annie. Steve, Andy and I have to get our presentation ready for tomorrow morning. I’ve ordered ice tea for you all – that’s it. No more drinking on this trip. Are we clear?’ I agreed with no argument.
“Tom headed to Andy’s room and the girls joined me. Sue looked a little worse for wear, as I’m sure I did. Annie was kind enough not to ask how we were feeling. Sue seemed to be in a foul mood almost the moment she walked through the door. She was mad as hell about something, but I had no idea what. 
“Lunch came and, somewhat reluctantly, I sat with the others. It hurt. Tom had spanked me thoroughly and I’m sure I winced as I sat. I couldn’t help it.
“Annie tried keeping up a little small talk. Neither Sue nor I helped much. We had barely gotten started, when Sue simply exploded.  ‘That sorry son-of-a-bitch! I’m gonna kick his ass!’
“Annie and I were completely taken off-guard by how vehemently she spoke. I was at a total loss. What in the world had Steve done to her? He certainly didn’t spank at that time. I’d shrunk back in my chair from her unexpected anger. Looking at her, I was almost feeling panic as I asked, ‘What the hell did he do?’
“Sue had jumped to her feet, too agitated to sit. ‘That bastard beat you and I’m not putting up with it this time!’ she shouted.
“I knew I was a little hung-over, and my brain might not have been following as fast as it could have been, but I was lost. I stood, too. I wanted to help her – she was so distraught, but she wasn’t making any sense.
“Looking at me with fire in her eyes, she spat out, ‘I know that asshole Tom beat the shit out of you, but you don’t even tell us? You just take it? We’re supposed to ignore the fact that you’ve been crying? That you wince every time you move? You need to leave the bastard until he gets his temper under control. I can’t go through this shit again.’
“I finally realized what she was saying. Actually, she was saying two things – one was crazy and the other… the other, I couldn’t even let myself begin to think where she was going with that.
“Poor Annie sat staring not knowing how far this was going. But I’d heard all I was going to listen to. Trying my best to rein in my anger, I said, ‘That’s a lie and you can shut your damn mouth! Tom did not beat me. That’s absurd and you know it.’
“’He didn’t beat you? Sit down!’ she shouted. ‘I want to see you plop down in that chair.’
“’Get out.’ My voice was menacing. We were both so angry, breathing hard and staring each other down. 
“’Cassie you know I love you. Can’t you see he’s hurting you? I can’t ignore that.’
“’Tom does not beat me. Our marriage is different. We do things our own way. I’m fine with it. You know we’re happy. Why are you doing this?’
“’I can’t stand to see you take up for him like you’re some little doormat. He’s convinced you that he has the right to beat you and you’re such an idiot that you’ve bought into it. I can’t stand by and watch this again. Tom’s no better than ________.’
“And then she did it. 
“She said my first husband’s name. 
“It’s not a common name. I never hear it and I never want to. I’ve never mentioned his name here and I won’t. But she didn’t just say the name, she said it in the same breath as my wonderful Tom. She had actually said that Tom was the same as … him.
“I don’t know if she expected me to take a swing at her – the fool certainly should have. She should have run like hell. My fist caught her right below the eye and she staggered back in shock. But she didn’t stay shocked long. She came at me. Her first punch split my lip and then, boy howdy, it was on. It was your typical girl fight after those first few blows. We’d knocked the cart with the food on it completely over. We were on the floor rolling, kicking, scratching, biting, head butting and hair pulling. Part of me wishes I had a video of the whole thing. I know we were a sight to behold.

“Poor Annie was terrified. She realized there was no way she could possibly get us apart and she ran down the hall shouting for the men. They heard her cries and were already coming. Andy grabbed her, but Tom and Steve were heading for the noise we were making. I guess you can just picture what they walked, or rather ran, in on. Each fellow tried to grab his own wife, but we weren’t quite ready to give up the fight.
“I’d been in my share of brawls during my time on my own. I’d learned quickly, don’t stop fighting until your opponent wasn’t moving. When Tom tried to pull me away, the only thing that registered in my mind was that someone was trying to stop me. And that meant it was an enemy. That’s why I slammed my head back into his face – I had no idea at the moment that it was Tom. That was how I, unfortunately, managed to give him a bloody nose in the process. 
“Tom got me locked in a bear hug, and by saying my name over and over, he finally stopped my struggling. Steve was helping Sue to her feet. She looked rough. Her blouse was ripped nearly off, blood was running down from her shoulder and dripping from the back of her ear. Her face was also bleeding from her lip and her nose.
“I had fared little better. My cheek was split open over my cheekbone, and my mouth and nose also dripped blood. One earring had been torn through my ear, which added to the bloodletting. 
“Even Tom was bleeding as we stood there, all of us in shock. It seemed quiet for a moment, all you could hear was Sue and I breathing heavily. 
“Then into the quiet I heard Steve ask, ‘What the hell?’ Tom seemed at a loss for words.
“’Andy, get some wet cloths,’ Annie told him, taking command. ‘Sit, both of you,’ she barked at us.
“Responding to the authority in her voice, we both sat side by side on the sofa as she and the fellows huddled around. Annie and Andy were the ones cleaning the wounds and pressing the cool cloths to our faces. They worked for a few minutes before Andy spoke. ‘They need a doctor. We’ll have to go to the ER.’
“Sue and I both looked at him, startled. Then we turned and looked at one another. We said a lot with that look. Sue and I love one another. It’s deeper than a friendship, it always has been. She stood by me and tried her best to protect me during my first marriage. That marriage wounded her as well as me. After that, she and Annie had probably kept me alive for those five years before I met Tom. Our fury was spent. The look we shared was only love. And gently, because of our wounds, we hugged briefly.
“‘What, what … what caused this?’ Steve asked in bewilderment.
“Sue and I immediately turned to Annie and each of us gave a slight shake of the head. This didn’t need to be discussed with the men. This was just between us.
“‘Oh, no,’ Tom snapped, ‘you have to tell us what in the world happened here.’
“‘Tom, we need to get them to a doctor,’ Andy repeated. ‘Some of these places are going to need stitches.’ 
“He was right. Once we got to the emergency room, my cheek and ear were stitched. Sue got a few stitches to make sure the ear I tried to rip off would stay on and they cleaned the bite wound on her shoulder. 
“Back at the hotel we all gathered in Annie and Andy’s room – neutral territory, I suppose. ‘Should we just head home?’ Steve asked.
“’Why?’ Sue and I asked together. ‘We can’t go, you all have a presentation in the morning,’ Sue continued.
“’Presentation? You two just tried to kill one another and you’re worried about our presentation?’ Tom asked in bewilderment. ‘Tell us what happened. I want to know and I want to know now.’
“I looked Tom straight in the eye, ‘I’m not going to tell you,’ I said simply. Sue reached over and took my hand.
“’I’m not telling either,’ Sue said quietly. ‘Annie?’ Sue reached out to take her hand also, ‘Will you promise?’
“Annie turned a troubled look toward Andy, and then agreed. ‘I promise.’
When I came out of my story-telling reverie , I realized I was again holding Sue and Annie’s hands. I gave them each a squeeze. I had to laugh as I looked to Allie and Lily, their eyes were big as saucers. They had obviously been enthralled. 
Allie found her voice first, “Mom, I cannot believe you and Sue could fight like that. I…” The child truly seemed dumbfounded. Lily still sat with her mouth open, saying nothing.
“How long did Tom let you get away with not telling him the reason?” Allie wanted to know.
I smiled at her. “I’ve never told him. None of us have,” I glanced at the girls and got a nod of confirmation. “They rarely ask anymore. I can understand their curiosity. One minute we were best friends, the next enemies in vicious combat, then with not one word spoken, back to loving one another. Yes, they have to have been bewildered. I suppose we could tell them now, it wouldn’t matter anymore. But somehow, I like the bond of just us girls knowing. I’m not even sure why we told you all. I guess it’s just that we’re all family and I trust you both not to tell the boys. Don’t even tell them you heard the story.” 
“Law, it’s a wonder Mr. Tom let you get away with not tellin’. If I’d walked in and see somethin’ like that, I’d had to know what got you two fightin’ one another,” Lily finally spoke up. “How you two make up without talkin’?”
Sue laughed. “We just seemed to understand one another at that moment. I think we both felt in our minds then, that the other one had actually started the fight. I think we feel that way still,” Sue told them, looking over at me.  I nodded. 
“I guess we both felt we’d been justified in the fight and that it was over,” I added. “Of course, the irony of the whole thing wasn’t lost on us either. I mean, Sue beating the crap out of me for not leaving a man she was worried was beating the crap out of me. If that’s not irony, nothing is.”
“Sue was scared for me – I guess she had worried a bit ever since the cruise. And that day, being hung over, and realizing that she had been at least part of the reason I’d been in trouble with Tom in the first place, she just let her fear take over. Sue always gets mad when she’s worried or scared.” 
“I was scared,” Sue agreed. “I didn’t like it for years after, but that day… I don’t know maybe it was because I was hung over. I knew how bad I was feeling and then to see Cassie hurting when she sat – I just lost it. I’ve calmed down over the years. I suppose Tom does have his good points,” she admitted, grudgingly.
“Ya think?” I laughed
Storytime was over. Allie got up, came over to me and gave me a kiss. “Love you, Mom. I can’t wait until they make a movie of your life. I hope they pick someone amazing to play your daughter-in-law.”

Note from PK:

If you enjoy Cassie's stories you can read all about Cassie and Tom and their friends in the Cassie's Space series.