“Zoe!” Gloria shook her head. “You can’t mean this.” Gloria’s voice was low, and she was still shaking with anger. Zoe had betrayed her – gone to a bar with another woman while Gloria was away at a conference. Guilt got the better of Zoe, and she confessed.
Now she wanted to make it right.
“Please,” Zoe said. She removed a cane from a long, silk bag. It was made of rattan, easily three feet long and about a quarter of an inch thick. One end was bound in leather for an easy grip, and the cane itself was smooth and free of knuckles.
“Zoe, this is crazy. I can’t whip you.” Some of Gloria’s anger bled away as she stared at the cane in her girlfriend’s hand.
“You have to do this, Gloria,” Zoe said, holding the cane at arm’s length. “I love you. I really do. I can’t lose you. Not over a stupid mistake.” Tears glittered in Zoe’s bright blue eyes. It is the only way that you’ll ever really forgive me.”
“Do you you hear yourself?” Despite her confusion and incredulity, Gloria took the cane from her girlfriend. “You’re asking me to beat you!”
“I know forgiveness is a lot to ask.” Zoe’s lower lip trembled. “I betrayed you, and I deserve to be punished. I just don’t want you to leave me.”
“But a whipping?”
“I’m doing this for us,” Zoe said. “Sometimes I do stupid things, and I need correction.” Zoe dropped her head again and put her chin to her chest. Dark hair obscured her face, and her voice was choked with sobs. She fiddled with her fingers, twisting them together. “We have a real relationship,” Zoe muttered. “I just don’t want to lose that.”
Gloria considered the cane. It was long, thin and whippy – easily flexed and solid in her grip. She thought carefully about what Zoe said – that their relationship mattered. Gloria had never even paddled a girl before, and she’d certainly never caned a young woman’s ass. But Gloria also knew that Zoe was right; Gloria would have a hard time forgiving her girlfriend’s indiscretion. Betrayal hurt, and if they didn’t find a way to deal with Zoe’s one-night stand, it would be a wedge that forced them apart.
Gloria swung the cane experimentally, and it cut the air with a fine swish.
“I can take the pain,” Zoe whispered, her voice barely audible. She turned and raised her skirt baring her bottom for Gloria. “But I can’t take losing you.”
Zoe bent over and waited.