“Oh, look at that; the leaves are changing,” Chloe exclaimed to Remi and Sophie as they drove down the street. “Wow, the colors are breathtaking.” the streets were lined with giant maple trees.
“Yes, the leaves are beautiful,” Sophie said while enjoying the girl’s excitement. Then she added, “now that your part of the family. We expect you to help rake and prepare the yard for winter.” when Chloe didn’t respond, Sophie added, “Did you hear me?”
“Yeah,” Chloe mumbled before looking up and catching Sophie’s fierce eyes in the rearview mirror. “um, I mean, yes, Sophie.” Chloe held her breath; she didn’t realize she was being snippy until the moment their eyes met. “Sorry, of course, I’ll help.”
Sensing the tension, Remi jumped in, “okay, you two, how about we schedule yard cleanup for two weeks from this Saturday?” Sophie and Chloe agreed while Remi breathed a sigh of relief
With Autumn came brisk temperatures, and the brilliant-colored leaves began to fall, blanketing the lush green grass not so long ago. In a blink of an eye, sweaters took the place of short sleeves; hot chocolate replaced iced tea. The season was quickly changing.
Remi was right; the trees were bare in less than two weeks. She purchased new gardening gloves and large bags to fill with leaves for each of them. But as she was placing the item by the door, she noticed Chloe leaving with an overnight bag. “Chloe?” she questioned, indicating the bag. “Don’t forget, tomorrow we are cleaning the yard,” she added sternly, “be home by eight am.”
“Yes, Remi. I’ll be home. We’re just going for drinks after work, and I don’t want to drive home.” Chloe hurried past, leaving Remi shaking her head. She knew from the mention of drinks the girl would be late the following morning. Unfortunately, Sophie would not tolerate a delay, especially when Chloe gave her word to help.
Remi spent the day worrying about Chloe and whether she would be home on time. Several times during the day, Sophie redirected Remi’s rambling, only to have her start fretting all over again. Coming up behind her in the kitchen, Sophie hugged Remi and tried to reassure her. “Sweetheart, please stop worrying; if she doesn’t come home in the morning, I’ll talk to the girl.”
“Hmm, okay,” Remi mumbled as she relaxed into Sophie’s embrace.
Later that night, dressed in her fall PJs Remi was getting ready for bed when she noticed Sophie sitting clothed on the bed. She did a double take, seeing Sophie sit in the middle of the bed, back against the headboard. Remi let her mind race through the day. “Sophie?” she questioned.
“Come here, please,” Sophie said as she clarified her intention by tapping her lap.
Remi walked over to the bed, her eyes glued to Sophie’s. She was trying to determine if she was in trouble or if Sophie was being playful; before climbing up, Remi tried again, “Sophie, what did I do?”
“You are not in trouble, but we have something to discuss; now, over you go.” Sophie said.
As Remi was laying herself across her wife’s lap, she added. “Can’t we discuss whatever this is? With us, both sitting?”
“No.” the short answer caused Remi’s bottom to tingle. Then she squirmed as she felt her Pj bottoms tugged down. “Settle.” the swats started light. “All day, you worried over Chloe. When I changed the subject, you brought it back. You kept it up even after I said I would deal with her.” several stingy swats landed, “from now on, the subject is closed.”
“Ouch! Okay, okay, Sophie, I’m sorry.” Remi kicked her feet as Sophie focused on her sit spots. “No more, please.” Remi howled.
“Oh, sweetheart, we’ve got a way to go. For someone who doesn’t like their legs targeted, you sure are kicking a lot.” Sophie cautioned before aiming a few swings to the backs of Remi’s thighs. Then threw Remi totally off kilter by pausing long enough to rub away some of the stings.
” Ahh, that feels so nice.” Remi relaxed into the touch.
“Oh, I’m sure it does. Now let’s finish up.” to Remi’s shock, Sophie reached for their cowhide leather paddle. Remi hated this paddle. Every swat stung like the dickens. She struggled in hopes of avoiding the soft leather, only to be scolded. “Remi, settle, or we will do this again in the morning.”
“Sophie, please, you know I hate that thing.” grabbing a handful of the sheet in each hand, Remi braced herself. She didn’t remember Sophie ever using a different implement after she decided. “Fine, I’m ready.”
No sooner had the words left Remi’s lips when the paddle landed. Each whack left a bright red line. Sophie knew she was making an impression by the deepening red color and her wife’s howling. But most of all, she was tired of Remi’s needless worries; Chloe could handle any trouble she brought on herself.
After about twenty swats, Sophie stopped and put the paddle down. This time instead of rubbing, she helped Remi up and onto her lap. “Ouch, Sophie, you could’ve made your point without using that,” Remi whined as she nuzzled close. “My butts gonna hurt all day.”
“Good, I won’t have to worry about you sitting on the job.” Sophie teased.
“As if,” Remi complained, then yawned loudly.
“That’s it, under the covers, it’s bedtime.” when Remi refused to move from her comfortable perch. Sophie reached for the leather paddle and delivered a final scorcher to Remi’s bottom. The unexpected blow had Sophie chuckling as she watched her wife scramble to get away.
“Owe!” Seeing her wife glaring while rubbing sore cheeks was almost too much for Sophie.
Trying to hide her smile, she quickly grabbed her nightgown and escaped to the bathroom. She was going to take enough time for her wife to settle.
The following morning Remi woke to the smell of bacon and the sounds of chatter from the kitchen. She reached back to rub her sore bottom and thought, ‘of course, Chloe’s on time.” she didn’t want the girl to be in trouble, but she would have put money on her being late. A glance at the clock showed that it was already eight-fifteen; she would have to skip a shower or be late herself.
Remi rushed downstairs and blushed at Sophie’s greeting. “Hi, sweetheart; I see you’re running late. Chloe’s here, and she brought reinforcements.” Sophie smiled as she noticed the color creeping over her wife’s cheeks. “Here, take my seat, and I’ll fix you some breakfast.”
Heading straight for the coffee pot, Remi waved off the comment, “Stay where you’re at, dear. I need a cup of coffee this morning, that’s all.”
“Nonsense, come sit. We have a busy day planned, and you’ll need your strength.” Remi realized Sophie wasn’t going to drop the subject.
“Fine.” she gritted her teeth and tried to sit as gingerly as possible. Unfortunately, the wooden chair was no comfort to her tender bottom, and worse, Chloe watched her face contort as she sat. Once again, heat flooded her face. Remi drank her coffee, thinking of ways to get back at Sophie.
Chloe excused herself by gathering her friends. “Come on, you, guys. Let’s get started.”
Now that they were alone, Sophie placed a full plate in front of Remi, “you’re quiet. Are you planning my demise?”
“Yes, and I’m gonna enjoy every minute of it,” Remi said, slightly annoyed but mostly embarrassed.
Immediately Sophie realized by teasing Remi; she hurt her feelings. “Oh, Sweetheart, I shouldn’t have teased you. I am so sorry.” Sophie moved the hair from Remi’s face, then gently lifted her wife’s chin. When their eyes met, she asked. “Can you forgive me?”
It only took a moment for Remi to see Sophie’s love. “Yes, of course, I forgive you.”
Sophie’s smile lit up the room as she quickly kissed Remi’s lips and then directed. “Wonderful, now eat up; we have work to do.”
When Sophie and Remi joined Chloe and her three friends, she noticed a massive pile of leaves. Sophie asked, “Chloe, what’s going on? Why the pile?”
Sheepishly Chloe said, “Well when I told my friends about all the leaves, we started remembering what fun we had as kids. And you know we want to, well, play.” Chloe didn’t realize she was holding her breath.
Sophie shook her head and mumbled. “Well, I’ll be.” and walked away.
Remi cackled at her wife’s confused expression, then thought, “hmm, this might be payback enough.”