by J. Rosemary Moss
There was something familiar about this scene: I was sitting on Peter's couch, waiting for a chance to explain myself, while Elizabeth was trying to talk the man out of strangling me. Satchmo had his head on my lap, as if to lend me comfort in case this was my last day on earth.
I sighed. Well, at least I could enjoy a few glances at Peter while his attention was focused on his wife. The man is smoking hot when he's angry. It's something about that disapproving look of his.
Elizabeth is good--by the time Peter turned back to me, it was clear he had decided to spare my life. Now it was just my ass on the line.
Elizabeth walked over to me and kissed me lightly on the mouth before calling Satchmo, putting a leash on him and heading out the door. I flashed Peter the most inviting smile I could muster, but he still looked as if he wanted to nail my ass to the wall.
"Peter, it's not what you think," I began. "I can explain."
He glared at me. "You sat down at the Tuesday night poker game."
"Yes," I admitted. "Jones invited me. The place was within my radius. You stopped by, so you must not see anything wrong with a friendly game. So what's the problem?"
"I stopped by so I could pretend to need you for a case and drag your ass out of there. Don't you know better than to play poker with agents?"
"Neal, some of those guys take the game seriously. If they even suspected you of cheating, do you have any idea how much heat they'd bring down on you?"
I risked a smile. "Ah, not as much as you're about to bring down on my ass?"
He didn't find that funny.
"But everything was going fine!" I protested. "No one was angry at me. I didn't do anything wrong."
"Oh yeah? What about that mechanic's grip you used when it was your turn to deal?"
I opened my mouth and abruptly shut it again. I had to give Peter credit--who knew he would recognize a mechanic's grip? Time to stop underestimating this man.
"Well?" Peter asked. "Were you dealing from the bottom of the deck or weren't you?"
"I wasn't," I said at once.
He narrowed his eyes at me.
"Neal," he warned in his best 'don't-you-dare-lie-to-me-or-you-will-never-sit-down-again' voice.
"Ok," I said. "I was cheating--I just wasn't dealing from the bottom. I used a faro shuffle, so the cards I needed would be up top. Fortunately, Ed tapped, but even if he had cut the deck I would have . . ."
The look on Peter's face told me he didn't want me to explain the cheating, so I let my voice trail off. I was offended, though. Usually he likes finding out how I do my tricks. I've lost count of how many wicked things he's done just to entice me to reveal my secrets.
But said wicked things didn't seem to be on the menu at present. "Are you out of your mind?" he asked instead. "You were cheating FBI agents?"
"No!" I said. "I mean, yes, I was cheating, but it's not what you think--wait!"
But he was already at my side, pulling me to my feet. Then his hands were on my trousers and he was undoing them. He pulled them down, along with my boxers . . . and that would have been a good thing except that he sat down and pulled me over his lap.
I didn't fight him. He owned me, after all. I figured he had a right to take me in hand. Besides, I liked the lying over his lap part. The actual spanking part though--I think I could live without that. Unlike Elizabeth, Peter doesn't treat this sort of thing like a game. With Peter, there's no cuddling afterward, let alone sex. He always makes it a strict punishment.
I found myself wondering, from the first slam of his hand, what color he would turn my ass today. One time I swear he achieved a deep terra cotta. I never knew that was possible.
But the lecture was even worse than the spanking. I hate it when he's disappointed in me--and he didn't try to make me feel better by hiding that disappointment. I was soon cringing as much from his words as from his smacks.
When he finished spanking me--and that was a long while later--he helped me to my feet and let me pull up my boxers and trousers. Then he sent me upstairs with another smack to the ass, presumably to think about what I'd done.
That's ok, though. I wasn't too upset as I stretched out on the bed (on my stomach, of course). Peter always lets up after about an hour, and today proved no exception. I soon had all the sympathy and attention I could desire.
Elizabeth came straight up from walking the dog and let me rest my head on her lap while she stroked my hair. Peter followed her up and stripped off my trousers and boxers again so he could massage my ass. Life was good.
"Neal, what made you cheat at that game?" Elizabeth asked, her voice slightly exasperated.
"Oh yeah--Peter never did let me explain," I said, craning my neck to give him a playful glare.
Peter rolled his eyes. "Ok, let's hear it. What made you think cheating FBI agents out of their hard earned money was a good idea?"
"You should have more faith in me, Peter," I chided. "I wasn't cheating them out of their hard earned money. I was trying to give them some of mine."
He stared at me. "You cheated in order to lose?"
I nodded. "I wanted them to like me. Everyone likes the guy who loses at the poker table. I even folded pocket aces."
He sighed, but then smiled despite himself. "Next time--assuming I ever let you near a poker table again--just play straight up, ok? I don't even want to think about what would have happened if someone other than me had recognized that mechanic's grip."
"They probably would've have followed your lead and leaped to the wrong conclusion," I said with a wicked smile.
He had a comeback for me, but Elizabeth leaned over and kissed him before he could deliver it. Then they were both kissing me and suddenly it seemed that I was going to get very lucky tonight.
It's funny. I prefer cool colors, but terra cotta seems to work for me.