Authors: Amanita Virosa
Tags: #chimera, #erotic, #ebook, #historical, #fantasy, #fiction, #domination, #submission, #damsel in distress, #corporal punishment, #spanking, #BDSM, #S&M, #bondage
Kirsty was fit, but she was somewhat shorter than Amelia, whose long legs soon ate up the gap between them. Amelia overtook her even before the course wound down the rise that was known as Holly Hill.
To Amelia's distress, Rose turned at the bottom and ran along the edge of the lake, back across the front of the house and in full view of the watching company. There was nothing she could do about this, but she thanked God that, this time, the audience would be a good deal further away. Amelia ran as fast as she could along the lakeshore, desperate to get out of sight of her tormentors. So fast did she run that by the time the course wound back up into the woods and out of sight of the house, she had almost caught up with Bella and Rose.
The effort caught up with her as she pounded after their backs. Her lungs were bursting now and her thigh muscles shrieking their distress. Amelia gasped and slowed a little, thankful that Gretchen had delayed the Reverend way back along the course. Then she raised her head to follow Rose's route. What she saw made her knees go weak.
The Reverend Dawes was standing by the side of the path, leaning casually against a tree and looking perfectly collected. With horror, Amelia realised he must have cut across the route of the run to intercept them. As Rose and Bella ran past him he swung his arm almost lazily and laid a stroke of his crop across the tight seat of Bella's shorts.
Amelia's stomach contracted at the sound of the impact. Bella stumbled and gave a little gasp of pain, then she was running even faster, away into the woods. Now there was no one between Amelia and the smiling Reverend Dawes. She put her head down and tried to ignore him, running as fast as her aching legs and laboured breathing would allow.
âCome on, Amelia, buck up. You can do better than that!' the Reverend called out to her as she drew near. As she drew level, she saw him smile and raise the crop.
The stroke caught her right across the centre of her bottom. The pain was so intense that Amelia closed her eyes for a second, and narrowly avoided colliding with a tree. A strange, agonised hiss came out of her lips, but as the pain subsided she congratulated herself that at least she had got past the waiting Dawes.
She heard his step and the whistle of the crop a split second before pain shot through the top of her right thigh.
âI said buck up! Come on, girl, pick those legs up now!'
There was another whistle and another excruciating crack. Amelia could not stop herself from sobbing as she ran. He kept pace with almost contemptuous ease, raining blistering crop strokes down on her bottom and thighs. She was running as fast as she could manage, but still he whipped her mercilessly on down the little woodland path. Yelping with pain, tears streaming down her face, Amelia stumbled on blindly, anxious to get away from the wicked crop.
So desperate was she, so intensely did her hindquarters burn and her legs ache, that she was not even aware, for the first few seconds, that the punishing rain of crop strokes and the Reverend's exhortations had ceased. Still she dared not look around in case he was keeping pace behind her, ready to start whipping her again. Instead she gasped lungfuls of air and ran on as fast as ever she could.
The sound of crop on bottom and a cry of pain in Kirsty's voice behind told her the Reverend's whip had found another target. Saying a prayer of thanks, she followed the girls ahead back on to the road, and ran down the hill to the rectory with all the concentrated haste of a gazelle pursued by a particularly lean and hungry wolf.
âOh, God, I will never survive six months of this!' Charlotte gasped as the hot water hissed out of the showerheads on to the pink bodies of eight completely naked girls.
Amelia, whose bottom still throbbed like the very devil, knew what Charlotte meant. All the same, the presence of so much fetching female flesh around her made her feel, at least for the moment, slightly more sanguine about her awful fate.
âAch, it's no' so bad,' Kirsty said with her usual cheeky grin. âHey, Amelia, want me to soap your back?'
Amelia gave Kirsty a disdainful nod and turned to let her do so. She found herself facing Gretchen, who looked very sorry for herself. Gretchen turned, wincing as the hot water hit her body, and Amelia's mouth went dry as she stared at the mass of livid welts on the pale mounds of her bottom.
âYou really caught it,' she said, something in her voice sounding almost like sympathy.
Gretchen turned back and gave her a shy smile. âI deserved it, I suppose,' she said sadly. âI am very lazy and very slow.'
âWell, he did not have to thrash us as brutally as that,' Charlotte put in, feeling her own well-striped bottom gingerly.
Turning, Amelia was in time to catch the maids, Faith and Rose, exchange a furtive glance.
âThe Reverend,' Faith said anxiously as she soaped Rose, âdoes not like to have his actions questioned.'
Kirsty handed Amelia the bar of soap with a sardonic smile. Amelia began to soap the girl's flawless back. Kirsty's skin was as smooth as wet satin. Amelia tried to ignore the insistent tingling between her legs as she lathered away. âAnd who exactly tells him what is said?' she asked.
Faith flushed and exchanged a look with Rose again.
âThat's clear enough,' Bella put in, having noticed the glance as well. âRemember girls, watch what you say around the Reverend's maids.'
âNo, you don't understand.' Faith looked appealingly at the other girls. âHe has ways of finding things out. If he asks... well, I just have to tell the truth.'
âI can't imagine lying to him, if that is what you mean,' little Linnet said softly as she soaped Gretchen's back.
The two made a delightful tableau, Amelia thought as she looked over Kirsty's shoulder at them. Delicate, slender, Linnet with her tight little bottom and exquisite, apple-sized breasts next to big Gretchen, whose breasts were like honeydew melons in comparison.
Kirsty winced as Amelia, a little distracted by this vista, reached her bottom. She stood back and looked down. Six lurid weals still stood out on the girl's jutting cheeks. âSorry,' she mumbled.
âOch, you're all right. I've had a hell of a lot worse than these wee cleg bites.'
The water ceased and there was a mass sigh of disappointment. She was not the only one who had enjoyed the communal shower, Amelia thought with a smile. As she towelled herself dry she thought about what Faith had said. She imagined herself being interrogated by the Reverend Dawes, his cold eyes holding her in their hypnotic stare. She realised that, even if she could hold her tongue, few of the others would withstand him.
She resolved to be particularly careful about what she said.
A groan from several female mouths brought her out of her reverie. She turned to find that Faith was pointing to a pile of corsets and the dreadful whipping drawers. Amelia's heart sank at the sight. The tight drawers would be even more galling over a welted bottom.
âOh, no,' she said out loud before she could stop herself, ânot those bloody monstrosities!'
The Reverend was waiting for the girls as they filed into the classroom. The combination of their impossibly tight drawers, punished bottoms and leg muscles stiff from their exertions ensured that every one of the trainees moved gingerly.
Amelia moved to her desk and stood up straight, anxiously awaiting further orders. The Reverend looked at each of his charges in turn. She swallowed hard as his eyes fixed on hers.
âAll right, sit down,' he said at last.
Amelia winced, even before her sore bottom met the hard wood of her seat. The action of sitting tautened the cotton of her drawers uncomfortably. Then her martyred flesh did meet unyielding wood, and she winced again.
The Reverend Dawes stood before his table, leaning forward and supporting his powerful frame on straight arms that ended in clenched fists. He raked the rows of trembling girls with his pitiless raptor's gaze.
âOnly one word could describe the performance of this class today,' he said slowly. âPathetic!'
Amelia felt her stomach clench as he spat the word viciously.
âYou are a lazy, disobedient, idle, fidgeting shower of brats!'
The Reverend stood back and shook his head in mock sorrow. He turned and strolled over to the rack of straps and canes. There was a horrible silence as he perused his implements at length. No girl dared to make a noise; Amelia barely dared to breathe. Eventually he selected a cane and swished it thoughtfully. Amelia's knees had started trembling and she simply did not seem to be able to keep them still. The Reverend Dawes turned and stalked towards his class. Amelia's mouth felt dry as blotting paper.
He walked through the desks until he was behind them. Amelia strained her ears to try to chart his progress, not daring to turn. The tension in the room was dreadful, a suffocating blanket of clammy fear.
âAll of you deserve a salutary thrashing on general principles.'
Amelia closed her eyes at the word âthrashing' and tried to keep the tears at bay. Not more, she prayed. Her bottom was too sore for more. It simply was not possible to bear it...
âHowever, in the interests of discipline I must appoint two of you as prefects. Two of you have shown slightly more promise than your wretched companions. These two girls will have the privileges and the responsibility of prefecture. They will have the duty of maintaining order in my absence.'
Let it be me! A faint ghost of hope tiptoed into Amelia's heart. Please, she prayed silently, let me be a prefect.
âThe prefects will have food and dress privileges. Flogging drawers, for example, will be optional for them, outside of the classroom...'
The idea of being free of those wretched garments, even for part of the time! Amelia wanted it so much that she almost choked with hope. Why was he taking so long to announce his choices? She bit her bottom lip and tried to stay her trembling. The Reverend was playing with them, she realised suddenly, dangling the possibility in front of every girl in the class, simply to have the satisfaction of then snatching it away. Still, she reasoned as his measured footsteps paced behind her, she must be in with a good chance. After all, it would scarcely be Gretchen or Charlotte, and she could not see timid little Linnet being picked. With a sudden thrill, Amelia remembered, she had come in second on the cross-country run.
âIn order to maintain discipline in the dormitory,' the Reverend continued after a long pause, broken only by his measured tread, âprefects will be authorised to administer up to four strokes of the tawse or cane, without reference to me.'
Amelia's whole body was trembling now. He must pick her, he simply must! The idea of being punished by her fellows was intolerable. On the other hand, the idea of being able to punish these little trollops...
âRight then,' Dawes said crisply, stepping back into view as he walked back to his table. He paused, and placing the cane on the table he picked up two enamel badges. He turned to face the class and Amelia dropped her eyes to avoid his gaze.
âLady Charlotte Letherbridge-Lacey and the Honourable Amelia Colinbrooke. You are, as you know, the trainees from the most exalted families.'
There was a low growl from Kirsty's direction. To Amelia's astonishment, the Reverend merely smiled.
âI am, of course, excluding barbarous tribal chieftains,' he said dryly.
Emboldened by her good fortune, her suppressed pride in her ancestry seeping back into her soul, Amelia risked a glance at Charlotte, who smirked back at her. At least the man had the decency to appreciate the importance of good family, Amelia thought. Indeed, she realised, she might not have been entirely fair to the Reverend Dawes in the past, never having really acknowledged the man's undoubted qualities, not the least of which was judgement.
âSuch a pity, then, that this breeding does not show in your deportment,' the Reverend said dryly. âMayflies show more fortitude, and I have known farmyard sows with better manners than you two spoilt little brats.'
Hope melted like butter on a griddle. Amelia felt bitter tears well as he chuckled at the disappointed girls.
âGretchen, come here, girl.'
Blinking confusedly, Gretchen stepped over to him. Amelia clenched her fists in impotent fury. No, she raged inwardly, not that fat trollop. Surely it cannot be?
The Reverend sat for a moment and perused Gretchen, fingering the badges thoughtfully. Gretchen was clearly agitated; in fact, she was trembling visibly.
âShall I make you a prefect, my dear?'
âUm, I don't know, sir,' she mumbled. âIf you wish...'
The Reverend shook his head. âOf course not, you great lump of lard!' he bellowed at her. He leaped out of his chair and Gretchen flinched away. The Reverend stalked over to a cupboard.
âI have a special status for you,' he chuckled as he opened the door, âbut prefect it is not.' He pulled a tall, conical cap out of the cupboard. The word âdunce' was inscribed around it in wide letters. He beckoned the now beetroot-faced Gretchen over to the corner and slapped the hat on to her golden head.