Background:

The New Loretta Young Show: Christine's Children originally aired on CBS in 1962-1963 and featured Loretta Young as Christine Massey, a widowed mother of seven children (5 girls and 2 boys). From oldest to youngest, the seven kids were: college student Marnie (age 18), identical twins sons Peter & Paul (17), vivacious Binkie (16), studious Vicky (15), popular teenybopper Judy (13), and finally the cutie-pie baby of the family Maria (6).

My fanfic Peter Massey, Punished Cheater is a continuation of Episode #9, entitled "The Cheat", in which Peter reluctantly confesses to feeding the answers for a Latin exam to his classmate and friend, Charlie Sudstill. The episode reveals Peter's distress at making his mother cry by his misdeed, shows him going to her bedroom late at night to apologize more deeply, and then at the episode's end, it makes a point to note that, strangely, he does not feel better about admitting the truth and getting things off his chest, despite publicly admitting his fault during a school assembly and also turning down the academic honor award he was due, knowing it would have been undeserved.

The episode ends happily with a loving Christine forgiving Peter once more by kissing his cheek and showing pride in her son's honesty. She even announces the whole family will be going out to a restaurant for supper in celebration, which, I have to say, is a most unsatisfactory conclusion for me, a confirmed lover of domestic corporal punishment. Peter must be spanked – and firmly! – before he is fully forgiven by his mother.

The fanfic on the next pages is therefore my notion of how this otherwise fascinating episode should have ended. Enjoy!

p.s. to view the episode which inspired this story, please visit my profile for the Photobucket link to copy/paste in your browser:

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As usual, Christine Massey was a whirlwind during her older children's party. In between restocking the refrigerator with Coca-Cola and shooing little Maria back to bed, she was also keeping an eye on the darkest corners of the house to ensure no "orbiting" got out of hand.

So far, things were going wonderfully this Friday night even without Marnie home for the weekend to help out. Binky hadn't stopped dancing yet, Judy was just thrilled that Jake McAllister had accepted her invitation to come, and even Vicky was coming out of her shell a bit to talk to the shyest boy on site, Dale Evans.

As for the twins, handsome Paul had absolutely no girl interference tonight from his equally handsome brother … but if truth be told, that was only because Peter was not attending the party. He was upstairs in bed, where he'd been all day feeling nauseous, and though Christine had checked on him twenty minutes before, she finished preparing a small dinner tray for him, then swept out the kitchen past throngs of adolescent revelers.

Up the stairs she glided, straight into the bedroom Peter shared with Paul. The sign outside was showing the usual "Keep Out" but Christine ignored it. She knocked once then entered quickly, shutting the door immediately after her to filter the Chubby Checker 'Twist' that was blaring at her back.

"Hi, Sweetheart."

"Hey, Mom." In his pajamas and slouched in bed with a magazine, Peter glanced up as she set the tray on his dresser. "What's all that? Party food?"

"No, not party food," Christine chided him. "With an upset stomach you can hardly eat chips and popcorn."

"What then?"

Christine smiled as she turned toward her son, knowing full well what his forthcoming reaction would be. "It's crackers and ginger ale."

"Aw Mom. Not agai—"

"No complaints, please. They'll settle your stomach." Removing the oral thermometer from her apron pocket, Christine came to Peter's bedside and sat next to him, placing her free hand on his forehead. "Here now, open up."

The teenager squirmed free. "I already told you, Mom, I don't have a temperature."

"I agree you still don't feel like you have one, but let's be sure, huh?"

Reluctantly, Peter opened his mouth and lifted his tongue, but less than a minute later, he let the thermometer fall from between his lips. Immediately, Christine quit re-arranging his bedcovers.

"Peter Tulson Massey, you put that back this instant."

"No, Mom. I'm not sick and I haven't been all day." Unwilling to meet what he was sure would be his mother's shocked and disappointed expression, Peter kept his gaze lowered while he tossed his magazine over the side of the bed. "I've been faking it 'cause I didn't want to go to school today or attend Binky's stupid party."

Contrary to her son's expectations, Christine's face softened. "Oh sweetheart, I know."

"You know?" Immediately, Peter's blue eyes were back on his mother. "But how—?"

"Honey, I've told you before your nose turns white when you lie. I knew you weren't sick the moment you told me this morning that you weren't feeling well."

"But Mom!" Peter bolted upright, completely flustered at this news. "Why didn't you say something? All day you've been pampering me; you were even going to cancel the party tonight until I begged you not to. Why've you been fussing over me like this when you knew all along I was lying?"

A smiling Christine roamed her eyes lovingly over her son. "Because you needed fussing over, that's why, and because I was hoping that in time you'd tell me why you wanted to avoid, not only school, but your sister's party too. Binky's friends are your friends too, aren't they?"

"Well … well, yeah, some of them are but –"

"All right then. Why didn't you want to see them today?"

Peter scowled down at his hands, unwilling to make eye contact. "'Cause … 'cause I just wasn't in the mood to and I'm still not."

"I see. Well, if memory serves, you haven't been feeling 'in the mood' for a number of things lately, isn't that so?"

A shrug. "I guess."

"Care to tell me why?"

Pouting in silence for a moment, Peter finally glared at his mother. "Well for one thing, I've been waiting and waiting for you to hand down a punishment for what I did three weeks ago and …"

"And what, honey?" Christine squeezed his hand.

"And well … it's just … it's just the waiting's driving me nuts, Mom!"

"All right. What else?"

"Isn't that enough?"

The disrespectful tone that Peter had just used was not one Christine usually tolerated from her children, but for now she ignored it.

"So that's all that's been bothering you?" she coaxed gently. "That I haven't punished you for helping Charlie Sudstill to cheat in school?"

Peter nodded, more unhappy now than angry. "I know I was real bad, Mom, but you've never taken so long before to figure out what punishment I deserve. Is it – Is it because this is the worst thing I've ever done why you need to keep thinking about it? "

"Peter—"

"Is it because you just don't know what to do with me this time?"

"Oh honey, no, that's not it." Drawing a breath, Christine reached out and cupped his chin. "I'm afraid I haven't handed down a punishment because I haven't been thinking about punishing you at all."

"What? You mean all this time I've been worrying and waiting for nothing?"

"Yes, honey, I'm afraid so."

Peter's face crumpled in disappointment. He'd always known he wasn't the "good" twin. Compared to Paul, he was selfish more often than he was generous, and he didn't have a modest bone in his body like his brother did. Still, it had never occurred to him that his own mother might write him off no matter how badly he behaved. He blinked fast as he felt moisture threatening to build in his eyes. "You're giving up on me, Mom?"

"NO! No, of course not, honey! I would never! Don't even dream of such a thing!"

"Then why? How come you—"

Christine placed a soft hand over her son's mouth. "Because you've already learned your lesson, Pete, and in a very real way, you've already punished yourself."

"No, I didn't."

"Yes, sweetheart, you did. You admitted fault in front of your entire school without any prodding from me, and that cost you the honor award, which I know you were looking forward to receiving. It even cost you a friend or two from what your sisters have told me. Am I wrong?"

Peter slouched back against his headboard and dropped his chin a little, his lower lip pooched out. "No, you're not wrong, but that's not so much."

"Well, I think it is," Christine contradicted gently. "Losing good friends is never easy and especially not at your age. What you did was a very hard thing for you to do, wasn't it? Be honest now."

"I guess, but …"

"But what, honey?"

Peter shrugged, slowly lifting tortured eyes to meet Christine's compassionate ones. "But I only did the one thing I could to-to make things sorta right. That's not enough, Mom."

"That is enough, Pete. I told you and Paul there are certain mistakes in life that have to be lived with and this…well … I'm afraid this is one of them."

"But Mom, living with it is just so … so … so slow! It just can't be the only punishment I get for doing something this bad!"

Christine said nothing to that at first, though she understood Peter's distress. He was still so young. He would soon be a man, but he wasn't one just yet, and tonight, it seemed he knew it. He was thinking of himself as a naughty high schooler in need of absolution and he was turning to his mother – the only parent he had left – to give it.

Could Christine really deny him?

She didn't think so. She leaned forward and pecked his forehead, her eyes kind with motherly concern.

"And what would be a real punishment to you? Should I ground you or take away your allowance for awhile?"

Peter shook his head, his gaze lowered again. "No, that's only for small stuff."

"Then what, honey?"

"I don't know." Peter's ears darkened suspiciously. "A spanking maybe. S-something like that…"

"A spanking?"

"Well, why not?" Glancing up, Peter took in the surprised lift to his mother's eyebrows and set his jaw. "It's not like you haven't given me one before, Mom."

"Yes, but honey, good heavens, the last time I put you over my knee you were twelve years old."

"I was thirteen."

"No, you were twelve going on thirteen," Christine corrected patiently, "and you and Paul had picked up quite the middle school 'vocabulary' as I recall. More than that, you were practising it a bit too freely around your little sisters despite my warnings to stop it."

"Oh … oh yeah, you're right." Peter thought back to that time and soon couldn't help but make a face. "You washed our mouths out with soap and then you made us stand in the corner a long time."

"I certainly did. I also used a hairbrush on your bottoms and you didn't like it one bit."

"No, we sure didn't … but Mom?"

"Yes?"

"Well, isn't that … you know … the whole point of a spanking? I'm not going to break the same rule again after you've punished me like a little kid."

"No, I don't think you will," Christine agreed, "but you're not going to break the same rule regardless, Pete. I'm quite positive of that. I really can't imagine you would cheat on another test after what we went through this time, would you?"

Peter ducked his head. "No … but I'd sure feel a lot better if you … well … if you spanked me anyway."

Christine studied the older of her twin sons a moment before reaching out to caress his cheek. "Yes, I believe you would."

She stroked his face a bit longer, her expression thoughtful, then seemed to pull herself together. Abruptly, she took back her hand, patted Peter's leg under the covers and then stood up, her manner now brisk and all business.

"My room in one minute, dear. And don't forget your hairbrush."

Then she was gone.

Frozen in place, Peter stared straight ahead for a few seconds, not quite sure if he'd heard what he heard. He must have though – his mom was gone – so he threw back his blankets and jumped out of bed. He hurried to the dresser to collect the flat-backed wooden hairbrush he'd been sharing with Paul for years despite the fact that each had his own, but on his way out of the room, he paused.

This was really going to happen.

At seventeen years old, five years past the last spanking he'd received, he was going to get another.

Did he really want this? Was it too late to back out?

Peter supposed the answer to both those questions was 'yes'. He ran a hand over the prickly bristles of the brush then fingered the hard backing that would soon be smacking his rear end. Already, his bottom was tingling in dreadful anticipation and his stomach muscles were clenching in fear. This was exactly how he'd felt the last time he'd been about to get walloped at age twelve, except then he'd been right alongside his twin, both of them begging for a reprieve the whole time they were being marched by their mother into the master bedroom.

Tonight, Peter was alone.

It occurred to him that this was a first and not a proud one at that. While he'd been grounded on his own before, he'd never been spanked alone; always in the past Paul had been right there by his side, just as guilty as Peter himself for whatever bad thing they'd done together to deserve a trip over the parental knee. It was lonely this feeling, almost like he'd lost not just his twin brother but also his best friend, and that didn't make any sense at all.

All too aware that he'd asked for this to happen, Peter bit his lower lip then exited his room. A Swingin' Safari was spinning on the record player downstairs, the Massey teenagers and their friends laughing, dancing and talking below, but Peter tried his best not to pay attention. With his eyes focused straight ahead past the staircase, he trudged down the hallway directly into his mother's bedroom. He didn't have to be told to lock the door behind him, of course. That was the first thing he did the moment he shut the door.

Christine was the second thing he focused on and the sight of her wasn't one he was likely to forget. She was seated on the left side of her bed and waiting for him, her spine straight with the backs of her knees pressed flush against the mattress. Her high heels were level against the floor, her skirt smoothed flat over her legs, and her expression was about as stern as it could be. She had changed her blouse, too, to one that seemed spinsterish, and the effect was hardly welcoming in light of the way she was sitting. All in all, Christine Massey looked more than ready to give her son what he'd foolishly asked for.

"M-Mom…?"

"Come here, Peter. You're late."

Peter stepped forward hesitantly, his palms sweaty around the hairbrush handle. He dragged his feet ever closer, unable to take his eyes from her face. "I'm sorry, Mom."

"Have you changed your mind?"

"No. No, Ma'am."

Christine took the brush from him and patted her lap. "Then over my knee. Let's get this over with."

Peter did as he was told, feeling both terrified, awkward and relieved all at the same time. Beet red from the neck up with shame, he stretched out carefully then chanced a look over his left shoulder.

"I'm, uh, not too heavy, Mom?"

"Not to a woman who's borne seven children. Now do you remember the cardinal rules?"

Peter nodded, his fists automatically clutching at the patterned chenille bedspread. "Hands out of the way and no getting up until you give me permission."

"That's right." With one hand on her son's back, Christine rested the hairbrush on his pajama'ed bottom. "You're seventeen now, Peter, so I expect you to abide by these rules without my needing to remind you after every other spank, is that clear?"

"Yes, Mom."

"All right."

Without further delay Christine got started, utilizing the same pattern she'd always used on her children whenever their naughty behavior pushed her to take this kind of action.

Smack! Smack! Smack!

The first, the second and then the third spank landed, all on the same cotton-covered cheek before its neighbor sampled a taste. After that, it was back to Cheek No. 1 for twice as many slaps, each one firm, brisk and seemingly relentless to the child suffering through them. Tonight, Peter was that child and although he tried to tough it out, he just couldn't keep quiet by Round 4. Seconds before the first minute was up, with his right cheek in the middle of suffering twelve blistering paddle whacks, he cracked.

"Owwww!"

"Ow! Ow! Aaah!"

"Mom! Oh Mom, please! Do the other side! Pleeeease, Mom! Not so fast!"

"I'm not going fast, Peter. It just feels like it."

As Peter dug his toes into the bed and fought to stay in place despite the escalating pain, Christine carried on. She flicked her wrist and snapped the hairbrush over Peter's tender mounds, first one, then the other, and then finally both at once, concentrating initially on his sit-spots before shifting higher up along the arch.

Splayed across her lap in ever mounting agony, it didn't take long for Peter to break the first of the cardinal rules. He let go the bedspread and reached back with his right hand, all five fingers splayed as widely as possible to protect the greatest surface area.

"Please, Momma, no more! No more! I'msorryI'msorryI'msorry!"

With those words, Christine resolve couldn't help but waver. Only six-year-old Maria still called her 'Momma' with any regularity; the other girls might on occasion whenever they were sick, but neither one of the boys had addressed her that way since they were nine – except for that time when they were twelve and she'd taken them over her knees. Still, Peter knew the rule.

"Young man, what did we agree about interference from your hands?"

Peter's shoulders trembled. "I kn-know, Mom, and I'm-I'm trying to obey, but if you don't stop soon, I'll … I'll … "

"You'll what?"

"I-I won't be able to h-help it…"

To a parent as intuitive as Christine there was no mistaking what Peter was loath to say. He was going to cry if she didn't stop. He was going kick his feet and bawl like a ten-year-old – but unless Christine was mistaken, the process had already begun. The catch to Peter's voice and the sniffling he was trying so hard to get under control already told his mother that his eyes were flooded and his cheeks were wet … but he obviously wasn't ready to admit that yet and Christine certainly wasn't eager to shame him. To save him some embarrassment, she pretended not to know the tears were falling fast as she rubbed his back and comforted him for a moment.

"Peter honey, I know you'll cry but that's all right. It's why we're here."

"P-Please, Mom!"

"Don't hold back, sweetheart. You need to let it out. You need to let go."

"I can't!"

"Yes, you can. Move your hand now so I can give you the rest of your spanking."

Try as he might, Peter just couldn't do it. He knew he'd asked for this, remembered with perfect clarity the moment he'd proposed the "s" word to his mother, but he didn't want this anymore. He couldn't take it. Pajamas or no, seventeen or not, his bottom was hurting much too much to continue. He shook his head in answer to Christine's demand, and stifled a whimper, both unwilling and unable to remove his hand on his own.

Seeing Peter's dilemma, and knowing him well, Christine took over. She knew he wouldn't fight her too badly if she proceeded, but more than that, she knew this particular son would regret it if she allowed him to back out now. Peter wouldn't be proud of the spanks he'd taken; he'd only harp on the ones he didn't. And so, hardening her heart and ignoring his pleas as she forced his hand away, Christine raised the hairbrush once more. Down she brought it, over and over, peppering every square inch of Peter's tight, young behind with its stiff wooden backing.

Ten licks in and Peter's shoulders shook non-stop; another twenty and he broke down completely. The moment this happened, Christine set aside the hairbrush and continued with the palm of her hand, well aware that his tenderized bottom would feel these milder spanks just as keenly as the ones that had come before them. That Peter did, there was no doubt. He thrashed his legs and bawled into the bedspread as though his bottom had been bared, his muffled cries both hoarse and guttural since they were coming from deep within.

Christine continued to smack him for another half-minute and then she stopped. She rubbed Peter's heaving back while he sobbed himself out, murmuring the same soothing words of comfort that mothers have whispered to their crying children in every language since time immemorial.

Gradually, Peter heard her and calmed himself. He pushed to his knees then slid his feet down to the floor, one hand clapped behind him while the other arm brushed the tears from his face. His chest hitched as he kept his eyes averted, obviously embarrassed at having wept as hard as he did.

"I'm s-sorry, Mom."

Christine stood up too and pulled him into a hug, hushing him. "I know, honey. Shhh."

"I won't ever ch-cheat again. I p-promise."

"I know you won't, sweetheart. Here's a tissue now. Blow your nose."

Peter blew and blew and then blew some more. It took six Kleenexes before he felt like a human being again, but at last, his face was dry enough so he could look his mother at least somewhat in the eye.

"Thanks, Mom. I-I think I'm ready to go back to my room now."

Peter turned to walk away, but was stopped in his tracks by his mother's next words.

"Not quite, young man."

Confused, Peter looked at Christine and then looked to where her head had tilted, which was the empty corner by her closet. This could only mean one thing and Peter's shoulders slumped.

"Aw Mom, do I have to? I learned my lesson this time. I swear it."

"Let's just be sure, huh? I do not want to have to put you over my knee again – ever – if I can help it."

The way his butt was feeling, Peter had to agree he didn't want that either. While Christine unlocked the bedroom door then returned to her bed to straighten it, Peter trudged to the opposite corner without any further argument. He poked his nose where it belonged, both hands practically glued behind him, and while he rubbed his aching tush, he couldn't help but recall past experiences in this very same corner – albeit when he was much shorter than he was now. The only thing missing was his twin, but the second this thought came to him, the newly unlocked bedroom door opened and Paul himself barged inside.

"Hey Mom, you seen Pete? Some of the kids are asking about him; they want to know if he's coming down. I came up to check on him but he's not in our—"

Christine hurried over from her night-table.

"Er, Paul honey, you go ahead and return to the party. Your brother's just fine and he'll be back in your room in a few minutes."

"Wait, is that – is that Pete in the corner? What's he—"

"Later, Paul. We'll discuss this later." Christine shooed the younger of her twin sons back into the hallway. "Right now, you have guests downstairs who could probably use some more snacks, isn't that right?"

"Yeah, but Mom—"

"Well, why don't you and Binky go see what you can rustle up in the kitchen, hmmm? I'll be down in a little while to help you."

It took a bit more convincing and almost a firm swat of encouragement to Paul's behind, but finally the protesting teenager was gone and the door closed once again behind him. Christine heaved an exaggerated sigh, and in his corner, Peter was sorely tempted to do the same. Strictly speaking, he knew he wasn't supposed to talk or turn around when he was facing the wall this way, but given what his mother had just done for him, he figured she might be willing to grant him some leeway. He glanced over his shoulder in gratitude.

"Thanks, Mom. I don't think I could stand twenty questions from him right now."

"No, I thought not." Christine returned his smile and beckoned him out of the corner though Peter had only been in there for five minutes. When he was by her side, she reached up and smoothed his brow. "Feeling better?"

"Yeah … well everywhere except my—"

"Yes, I can imagine where you mean so there's no need to say it. Will you join the party now or is it straight to bed?"

"To bed," Peter replied without hesitation. In truth, he did want to join the party and dance with his friends, but he wasn't so sure he could mask the fact that he'd just been spanked by his mother if he tried to sit down. He also wasn't ready to face this twin just yet, so he leaned towards Christine and kissed her cheek. "G'night, Mom."

Christine returned his kiss warmly then watched him go, a bit tired from the evening's drama but also more than a little proud of Peter Tulson Massey. She changed her blouse again, refreshed her makeup quickly and then left her room, but three steps down the stairs, Peter's voice brought her to a halt.

"Hey, Mom?"

Christine looked over the railing to find him standing outside his open door, a very mischievous grin splitting his face. Instantly, she was on her guard.

"You know, honey, I'm glad to see you're feeling back to your old self again, but nothing good has ever come about when you smile at me like that."

Peter's smirk widened. "That's not fair, Mom."

"All right then, prove me wrong. What do you want to tell me?"

"Well, I was just thinking … Paul and I are twins … and we pretty much share everything … and since you haven't lost your touch from when we were twelve, I think Paul should know it too. What d'you say?"

"Peter!"

"Aw c'mon, Mom. Can I set him up? Please?"

"Oh you! Go back to bed before I spank you again!"

***** The End *****