“It’s really just two privates in your squad who got the majority of those demerits.” Without an explanation, Dominique placed the stick in Lori’s lap and then leaned against her desk, towering over the young private. “Private Bekins and Private Meriwether earned 16 of those infractions.” Dominique licked her dark lips and folded her arms across her ample breasts. She crossed her legs and leaned further back against the desk. “That means that the rest of your squad did well, with just five demerits.”
Lori heard the words, but the meaning just wasn’t sinking in. She was too focused on the object Dominique had placed in her lap. It wasn’t a stick, nor a pointer. It was a cane about three feet long with a curved
handle. Yet it was too thin to support any weight. The cane was barely a half an inch thick at its widest and tapered to less than quarter of an inch. Along its length were five knuckles that appeared to have been rubbed smooth. The cane had a dull shine under the glare of the overhead fluorescent lights, and Lori wrapped her trembling fingers around the cane’s center so that it didn’t fall to the floor.
“Are you listening to me, Lori?”
At the sound of her name, the young private snapped her gaze upward. She met the black woman’s dark eyes with her own and swallowed hard. “My squad did well, except-”
Dominique cut the young woman off. “There is no except, Lori. Your squad is a team, and as you said, you’re the leader of that team.”
Lori nodded slowly. Her sergeant’s dark skin gleamed under the harsh light. “Yes, ma’am. I am the squad leader.”
The sergeant nodded her head slowly. Her eyes narrowed. “That cane you’re holding is made of rattan,” Dominique murmured. Lori shook her head and blinked her wide blue eyes at sudden change in subject. “I’ve had that cane for several years,” Dominique continued, “and I’ve only used it when I thought that a young woman was in a bad situation, yet was still worth saving.”
Lori took a long, shuddering breath. She gripped the cane tightly. “Used it, ma’am?”
“Military justice can be harsh, Lori. You and I both know that.” Dominique leaned forward slightly, and it was only then that Lori noticed that the sergeant had unbuttoned the top button of her green fatigue shirt. Her sergeant’s cleavage was stunning, and for a moment, Lori had trouble focusing on the conversation. “It’s true that Bekins and Meriwether would bear the brunt of any punishment that comes as a result of those demerits, but you, too, would be affected by their bad behavior.”
Lori licked her lips as she looked up at the black woman. A mixture of fear and lust blew through the young woman, like a cold wind, and the private trembled as she sat in the wooden chair, tightly gripping the cane in her lap. Lori was focused entirely on the black woman now. The way her lips moved when she spoke. The bright pink of her tongue. Her teeth, big and almost luminous.
“I want you to stand up, Lori.” Dominique moved the glasses and bottle of scotch to one side of her desk and then motioned to the young private. “Hand me the cane, and then lean over my desk.”