“Carly?” Destiny wasn’t resisting, exactly. She just had trouble submitting freely to anyone other than her wife.
“I know, but Adele’s not here.” Carly understood the girl’s anxiety as she gave a reassuring pat to the quivering bum. Then a bit sterner, Carly added, “This is how I handle naughty girls, now lift and let’s get these off…” (indicating the panties).
Lifting her hips, Destiny whimpered, “Yes, ma’am.” her eyes blurred from unshed tears. She knew she deserved a spanking, but she needed Adele’s lap, Adele’s firm hand. That thought evaporated soon after the first searing swat landed. “Owie, that hurts!” She screeched.
“Hush now!” Not even pausing, Carly continued, determined to teach this brat a lesson.“We’ve only started.” Swat, slap, swat, the spanking went on and on. Destiny wiggled and squirmed, trying to avoid the onslaught. “Pleeease Car~lee Stop!”
Charlie shyly stood to the side as Jo and Henna huddled together nervously, listening at the door. Quietly both girls pulled Charlie into their embrace. A shocked expression mirrored the next; each girl looked wide-eyed and had her mouth agape. Jo, who was usually on the receiving end of one of Carly’s lessons, murmured, “poor Destiny.”
“Wow, she’s harsher than I thought,” gasped Charlie, when the sound of smacking gave way to the echoing whack of Carly’s wooden clothes brush.
“I know you were being a total spoilt princess earlier,” said Jo, “but Carly knew it wasn’t discipline you needed. Most of the time, she knows that with me, too – which is why I keep saying how kind I think she is. But when I need it, she knows how to make sure I can’t sit down for a while.”
“It’s like Rita,” Henna chipped in. “She’s always giving me playful spankings. But when I reacted really unfairly to seeing her with her little sister – boy, did my bottom sting! But I deserved it, and she knew I knew it.”
Charlie fell back against the wall, feeling some fresh tears break the surface.
“I don’t think I ever gave Leslie that much credit,” she whispered, almost to herself. “I’m so used to people wanting to take me in hand… sort me out… it never occurred to me how much else she is to me. I thought it was so special when Carly was gentle with me. But the thing is… I never really gave Leslie the chance to be that.”
Jo and Henna descended on her as the sobs poured out.
“She didn’t intend to be mean,” Carly was explaining over the phone. “She’s just having a hard time dealing with what’s going on between Jo and Charlie at the moment. It’s left her feeling at a loss.”
“Yes, I understand that,” sighed Adele. “But it’s so unlike Destiny, doing something so deliberately mean.”
“Believe me, Adele, she won’t be sitting down comfortably for a good couple of days – and it took a lot for her to take that from any hand other than yours.”
“I appreciate what you’re trying to do here, Carly,” replied Adele. “Could you put Destiny on, please?”
Destiny’s hand shook as she took the phone from Carly. And although Carly smiled reassuringly, Destiny was wary. Destiny’s voice was barely audible as she squeaked. “Adele.” Just saying her wife’s name brought fresh tears to the surface.
“Shh, hush, come on, baby girl.” Adele cooed into the phone and then realized her girl needed a sterner approach. She continued sharply, “Hush now, Destiny, that’s enough.” Immediately Destiny’s sobs became sniffles, and once she was calm, Adele asked, “ok, are you ready to explain your naughty behavior?”
“Yes, ma’am, well, um,” Destiny struggled to explain until she heard Adele clear her throat in warning. “Ok, ok, I’m sorry, it doesn’t make sense now. But I thought Jo was choosing Charlie over me, and I got mad. I tried apologizing, but Charlie won’t talk to me.”
Adele asked, “wait; I thought Carly rubbed the cream on Jo? Why is Charlie mad?”
“Yeah, she did, but I was jealous; Charlie and Jo were getting closer, and I guess I felt left out. I might have said a few things that weren’t too friend-like.” The silence on the line added to Destiny’s anxiety. “Adele?”
Adele lectured for a few minutes but decided the girls needed to start enjoying their vacation. “Destiny, I need to hang up. You still have almost a whole week, so talk to Charlie. Once you’re all friends again, explore and have fun.” Carly was glad to see Destiny smiling when she returned her phone.
“These are so beautiful,” gushed Henna, looking at a line of sunset shots framed along the wall.
“Sunsets around the coast can be really spectacular,” explained Jo “but the ones in Tide Haven are extra special. Carly has a good eye, too.”
“Is that what drew you here?” Henna asked.
“No, the tide is what pulled me to Tide Haven. I was traveling around, and I wasn’t even sure where I was going to get off the bus. But coming up the coast road, watching the waves roll in across the bay, I just had to get out and feel the place for myself.”
“And there was Carly… waiting.”
“Yes, there was Carly, waiting to give me the spanking I didn’t know I needed.”
They were still giggling at this when Destiny sidled up to them. Jo noticed how awkwardly she was hanging back.
“So what do you think, Henna?” she asked. “Has Destiny learned her lesson?”
“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe she should write a few lines – something about friendship and kindness.”
“Ooh yes,” Jo enthused. “On a nice hard chair.”
Destiny just stood there in shock, her eyes wide. She was torn between knowing they were teasing and knowing they still had every right to be cross with her. It was a relief when Henna and Jo broke the tension by scooping her up in a group hug.
“Where’s Charlie? ” she asked eventually.
“I think she’s gone to find Carly,” said Jo. “Sounds like she’s working through some stuff about her and Leslie.”
“I think she’s working through stuff about her and everyone,” said Destiny. “I was getting all pouty about feeling left out, but it looks like Charlie feels like that all the time.”
“We’re brats,” said Jo. “I think feeling like that just comes with the territory sometimes.”
Carly was outside in the garden, “Hi Charlie,” reaching in the basket she was carrying, “Here, try this tomato.” Carly handed over the bright red vegetable. “So what brings you to my garden?” Carly watched the girl tentatively bite the tomato. “A bit tongue-tied, I see; well, let me try.”
She guided the girl to the bench and, once seated, “if I’m wrong, please tell me, but I’m guessing you often feel a little different. Like maybe you don’t always fit in with the crowd.”
Charlie was stunned; Carly seemed to understand when even her closest friends just didn’t. “Well, yeah, I probably should have stayed home. I’m making Destiny mad, and Jo, I’m sure…” She trailed off after looking up and seeing the expression on Carly’s face.
In the house, Destiny told her two friends about Adele’s parting words. “Adele said, once I make up with Charlie, which I plan to do just as soon as I see her, we are to explore and have fun.” looking directly at Jo, she asked, “where should we start? Should we go hiking? Is there anywhere you want to show us? Should we try to explore somewhere you haven’t gone?”
“There are some ridges up on the hillside that I’ve not walked yet,” suggested Jo. “Oh, and perhaps… let me think…”
A couple of naughty possibilities started to form in Jo’s mind causing her to smile inwardly. Outside, another brat was thinking through things…
“The thing with me and Leslie,” sighed Charlie, “it’s not as intimate as you and Jo. I mean… I know she cares about me, but I never let her close. Even when she’s spanking me – I always fight her. Always treat it like a punishment, even when…”
Her voice trailed off as she tried to deal with the overspill of unfamiliar feelings. Carly put a reassuring hand on her cheek.
“Jo and I aren’t always the way you think of us,” she said. “Remember when she ran out of the pub, and I said she needs her space? Jo pulls away from everything sometimes – even me. And sometimes, she makes a fight of it, because she’s desperate for the… consequences.”
Charlie wasn’t at all sure how to respond.
“Are you saying that’s what I’m doing?” she asked eventually.
“Tell me, why did you ask for a patting earlier? “
“Well… I just… Jo’s told me about them, and I was, y’know, kinda curious. I guess… I guess I liked the idea of a gentle spanking. Almost like a cuddle over Les… over someone’s knee.”
“You might be surprised how much Leslie talks about you,” Carly told her.
“Yeah, about what a total nightmare I am, right?”
“Well, actually, no. She’s actually quite desperate to meet this other Charlie… the one you hide behind the super-naughty outlaw routine… the one she keeps falling head over heels in love with, every time she looks in your eyes…
“The one I think I’m looking at right now.”
Charlie pitched forward into Carly’s arms as the floodgates swung open. Sob chased after sob, racking her shoulders – carrying a sense of liberation like she had never felt before. She was no stranger to tears, or so she thought, but she had never in her life wept so freely as this.
“It’s okay, baby girl,” cooed Carly. “You’re safe.”
“I need… need to speak to Leslie.”
“I know… I know…”
The blare of the phone startled Leslie, then seeing Charlies name on the screen, she fumbled to unlock it. “What’s wrong? Charlie, are you ok?”
She tried to shake away the fog of sleep.
“I’m fine. Oh, Leslie, I’m sorry I forgot about the time change.” Her words edged with worry, accompanied by sniffles. “I just wanted to hear your voice, but I can call you later.”
“Charlie, please don’t hang up. You’ve only been gone a short time, and I miss you so much.” Leslie was fully awake and hoping Charlie would open up.
“Carly says, well, Leslie, do you love me? Like, really love me?” Charlie rambled, “You don’t have to say yes. I know I’m hard to handle. And I get in trouble all the time. It’s just, well…”
“Little girl, every day I fall deeper in love with you.” Charlie was shocked and speechless. “Charlie, you are my world; I love you when you’re my sweet girl and when you’re my naughty girl.” “I’m not going anywhere, little girl. So after you come home from this adventure with your friends, we are going to take time to really talk. How does that sound?”
Charlie wiped tears away with the back of her hand, her heart lighter than ever. “Sounds good, Leslie. OMG, I love you so much!”
Charlies smile brightened her entire face, and she seemed to glow as she hung up the phone. She found Carly in the kitchen, handed her the phone then wrapped her arms tightly around her in thanks. With a swat, Carly sent Charlie off. “Go round up your brats, friends. We’ve got a vacation to plan.” giggling, Charlie ran off.
Destiny looked up just in time to see Charlie barreling her way. But before she could get out of the way, Charlie had her wrapped in a bear hug. They both apologized at the same time, then laughed at each other. Henna and Jo jumped into the pile, and they all hugged and laughed.
Carly smiled at the sight as she brought the basket in. It was good to see how supportive they all were to each other. They were all so vulnerable in their own particular way, and their fellowship was clearly going to mean a great deal to each and every one of them.
Still, she couldn’t help wondering how long it would be before one or more of them was back across her knee.
Her phone buzzed. It was a message from Leslie:
“Hey Carly, could we have a chat when you’re free?”
Wanting to learn a little more about where Charlies sudden shift of attitude had come from, no doubt. Having been through a similar journey with Jo, it warmed Carly inside to be a part of theirs.
“Are you ok?” asked Jo, giving her beloved a hug.
“Just thinking how much I love you,” she said, rounding off her observation with a stinging smack to Jo’s behind.
Jo grinned broadly.
“Now, go back with your friends,” said Carly, ruffling Jo’s gorgeous hair. “I have a call to make.”